Monday, January 25, 2010

Success and Suckiness

I bought some fresh basil and some buffalo mozzarella and some pretty red tomatoes at the Farmer's Market. I thought of making a salad last night, but longed for something warm and substantial. I thought I might find some nice white fish. But they didn't have any suitable fish at the market. So, I settled for chicken. I decided to improvise and make chicken paillards with a garlic lemon sauce. I would serve the paillards over basil infused creamy asiago polenta and top them off with roasted tomatoes, improvising all the way. And what a success the dinner was. I should come up with a name for this dish. (I made The Son put down his knife and fork so I could snap a pic of his plate, so that's the real deal pictured.) The Husband, and my youngest son and daughter were singing my praises. Our lovely meal was worth getting burnt in the eye. I was busy sauteing the chicken in olive oil and a bit of butter when I heard a PoP, but didn't get out of the way quick enough, and got struck in the eye. Ouch! I immediately ran over to the sink and doused my eyeball in cold water.

It's such a good feeling when we put out a lot of effort and see that effort pay off. It's not so good when we work our butt off, and things don't pan out. Ah, the tough get tougher, (or so they say), and if we practice stick-to-it-tiveness we will prevail. I try to teach my kids this. But, once in a while we attempt to accomplish something we really don't excel at. No matter how hard we try. There's a lesson in learning just where our abilities lie.

Everybody knows somebody that thinks they can sing but they can't. This particular delusion seems to be awfully common, after all the tone deaf are just that, tone deaf. And being a terrible singer is no big deal, if all you do is lock yourself in the car and try to keep up with Lady Ga Ga. Who ya gonna hurt? Lady Ga Ga can't hear you, and as long as you pipe down at traffic lights and spare the pedestrians in the crosswalk, you won't offend a soul.

On the other hand, if you behave like Ernesto, you will rupture innocent eardrums. Ernesto Ruiz worked for my father at his appliance store. I was working there too, setting up the kitchen design showroom, and after the store closed Ernesto would fire up one of the many stereos, (he favored Barry Manilow), grab the intercom microphone, and belt out Copa Cobana, or Mandy (God help us) at the top of his lungs. He sounded beyond pathetic. Ernesto truly believed that he had missed his true calling. (Ernesto's a family man now, owns a string of furniture stores. My brother told me this recently. I wonder if he makes his employees listen to him sing. And who's he singing with now, Michael Buble?)

I'm not in the least bit mechanical. And I'm terrible when it comes to understanding electronic anything. I can't program our complicated (they lie and say it's simple) remote for our cable, let alone operate the darn thing. Which my drives techno-savvy family bonkers. They expect that I should be able to record a movie, or fast forward through commercials on my own, and I just can't!

For some reason I can run my Mac just fine. Of course I've been working on Apple computers for twenty plus years, I guess if I couldn't operate one, that would make me quite inept.

We all have our long suits and our short suits. Name one thing you've got going for you, and one thing you wish you could do, but suck at. We'll all get to learn more about each other ;-)

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.


Woman in a Window said...

Ok, yum and yikes! The dinner looks great but Barry is scaring the shit outta me. Is he coming for me?

Going for me: um, er, ya, um.
Oh, I suck at alot! Math, staying organized, focusing, oh wait, this is my daughter's list. OK, it's mine, too.


L.T. Elliot said...

that dinner is looking delish! Want to cook for me?

What's going for me? My laundry is going right now and getting cleaner.

Not going for me? My dishes aren't done yet. *Sigh*

Jemi Fraser said...

I love Barry's music, but he's such a HAM! :)

I can sing. Wait. Maybe I can't. American Idol really makes me wonder!

lakeviewer said...

Oh, my goodness, what a question. Like you, I like to cook and interpret different dishes. Pretty successful most of the time. I can't draw or paint or decorate. I even suck at gardening; but, I'm enjoying every bit of success I can wrench out.

Fireblossom said...

You may suck at the remote control, but you can sure whip up a fine meal, Elizabeth! Just looking at the picture is making my mouth water.

I am good at writing, and sucky at knowing where that important paperwork went.

ellen abbott said...

I can untie knots. Knots that defy everyone else.

And I can sing as long as it's in my three or four note range.

Miss Footloose said...

You can cook, girl! I'm not too bad in the kitchen myself. I can write, but am not good at self-promoting and using Facebook and Twitter and hate them, frankly. I'd rather connect over a cup of cappuccino, preferebly in Italy. Don't actually speak Italian, but can manage a bit. Actually am not bad at managing in countries where I do not speak the language. I'm very good at making a fool of myself.

I suck at science, economics, politics. But I can cook.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Yummy on the meal! Can you come cook at our house? LOL!

Thanks for the giggles I got from your post today!

I suck at Math!! See my post for today!!

I'm great at dancing. Would love to dance my life away, but these old body parts aren't co-operating like they used to! UGH!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

What a yummy supper!

I can't sing worth a toot. Actually, I don't do ANYTHING well but write. Good to know what our gifts are and pursue them.

Wish I knew who Lady GaGa was! I keep hearing about her and meaning to ck her out on YouTube.

Mystery Writing is Murder
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Joanne said...

Let's see, in the summertime, I grow, by far, the best Jet Star tomatoes. And like you, I'm not really tech-savvy. I just bought an external hard drive for back-up and needed thorough explanation from the salesperson. But see, it's my tech-fear that stops me, because the procedure was actually simple :/

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Ha! I'm so laughing right now because I can't figure out how to work the tv in my new apartment. I finally gave up and will ask my roommate tonight. :0)

Cloudia said...

Food and food for thought!

Aloha, Bloggy Friend

Comfort Spiral

Wendy R said...

Lovely bouncing buzzing post. I was waiting for the meal to have existed only in your imagination but then your great photos show its exquisite reality.
I too am techno-savvy on a 'writer needs to know' basis, beyond that -chaos!
Coming back

Shelby said...

hey I'm likin' that dinner too.. what's for supper today ?

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

That dinner looks yummy. Funny you mentioned not being mechanically inclined I wrote a blog post this weekend about that very thing- it will come up on Friday.

I agree with Woman in the Window- Barry is looking VERY camp and damn scary. I used to have a poster of him on my wall when I was a teenager- difficult to admit that.

Jenn said...

Well let's see, I'm really good at eating but not so much good at cooking. So when I come over I always am the one to bring the wine lol.