Frehel Diaries: The Fine Art of Loss
Now playing: Nouvelle Vague - Too Drunk to ****
via FoxyTunes

One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

The last thing I remember is taking the third shot, my spirits high. I wake up in the hotel bed with no idea how I have gotten here. Did I walk up the stairs? I don't remember walking up the stairs and certainly if I was that drunken they would have posed a serious difficulty. I think all this with my eyes barely open.

As the Sauvage gathers his stuff, he sees my eyes open. He pats my head and tells me he'll be back-he tells me to rest. I'm not sure there is anything else I could have done. Later, I'm not sure how much later, I wake and decide to do inventory. My pocketbook and my wallet are present, but my notebook-my Bible-is not. Neither is my favorite cardigan. I collapse back on the bed. I wake up again and the Sauvage is there with his daughter. I tell him I can't find my cardigan or my notebook. He says he'll look into it while I rest. He asks if I want to come to the beach. I tell him no, and he jokingly asks me if I would like some more vodka.

And if I had had the strength I might have strangled him in front of his daughter. As it was I merely gave him a hungover hot look of death and collapsed on the bed. He hear his laughter echoing in the stairwell as I fall back asleep.

By 5 in the afternoon, I had recovered enough to take a shower and drink some water. I felt much better and got dressed so that when the Sauvage returned from the beach with my cardigan, he was surprised to find not a hungover mess reeking of sweaty vodka from every pore, but a sweet smelling showered together girlfriend.

Still he couldn't find my notebook. He searched the hotel room. He seemed more upset about its loss than I was. After all, what's a notebook compared to a boyfriend and a few hours of my life?

In the car on the way to dinner, the Sauvage jokingly recounted the parts of the evening I couldn't remember. Apparently we both did 6 shots of vodka...each. I don't remember those other 3 shots, but then I have no reason to doubt it. He laughs as he describes me falling over repeatedly on the way to the car. Of course, rather than walking WITH me in my drunken state, he continued to walk in front of me. He tells me how he would walk, notice I was gone, and turn back to find me on the ground. Why he didn't carry me after the first time or at the very least take my arm, I can't ask. Furthermore, I'm not thrilled that he finds it so amusing. While I'm relieved he doesn't hold this behavior against me, I'm angry that he delights in finding it so amusing. The moron is lucky I didn't die on him.

Of course, part of my anger is misdirected rage because even though I'm angry at him for not taking care of me when I was drunken, I'm more angry at myself for letting myself get this drunken. After all ,I knew he couldn't be relied on to take care of me. It's not like he had been doing a bang up job until this moment. And if I had been more responsible I wouldn't have had to worry about any of this.

But as my mother would say, there is no point making a fuss about what has already happened. You must focus on what you can change, and so I make a silent vow for the rest of the trip to be sober.

The Sauvage is enjoying laughing and teasing me about getting drunken too much to see how upset I am. I look out at the window and realize in a few more days, all this will be lost too.

Frehel Diaries: Personne n'a fait ce que tu as fait pour moi
Now playing: Chuck Prophet - No Other Love
via FoxyTunes

I figured that as soon as we dropped off Nana that we would we go back to the hotel for some hot make-up sex. I rarely get make-up sex because truth be told if I hadn't been forced to see the Sauvage again, I wouldn't have. I would have deleted his phone number, blocked his email, and acted, if I came upon him, as if I had never seen him before and wasn't interested in seeing him again. But it's amazing what a little dancing and fireworks can do to my spirits. (Would-be male slaves, take note.)

After I dropped Nana off, the Sauvage asked me if I liked vodka. Now I had sworn, SWORN, to myself that I was only going to drink wine and cider on this trip, but considering the last 24 hours I didn't just want a vodka infusion, I absolutely needed one. The Sauvage drove us back to Sable D'or Les Pins and took me to a bar/cafe where he was clearly old friends with most of the staff. And again, it seemed as if our high spirits colored the world around us. We sat down, and the Sauvage ordered two shots of vodka caramel.

And had I not still been in the throws of bacchic energy I would have, perhaps, pondered the wisdom of shots on a practically empty stomach. But then, who am I to deny the Gods their due?

We slammed the shots, which were buttery and sweet as promised. The Sauvage ordered two more. I told him not to, but it was too late. He turned to me and teasingly asked me if I was scared.

Now, if you ever want me to do something, if I resist-all you have to do is say, "What's the matter? Scared?" I absolutely can not handle challenges to my courage whether liquor is involved or not. So the shots arrived, and the shots were taken.

I asked the Sauvage what had changed, what had happened, and he took my book and wrote "Personne n'a fait ce que tu as fait pour moi." (No one has done for me what you have done.) I looked at him blankly. What had I done? I tried to think. After all another woman had his child, what had I accomplished that could compare with that?

He drew a picture of an airplane going from one place to another and suddenly I understood. No one had ever traveled across the ocean for him.

Two years ago, my last sad love asked me at the beginning of our affair "What is it that you really want?" And what I told him was, "There was a night when I was in Las Vegas, when I was at a party in one of the VIP rooms at the top of Mandalay Bay. I was engaged to the man who called me the love of his life. I had just gotten my teaching job at NYU. I went out there on the terrace and watched the sun set. And I couldn't tell where the stars ended and the lights in the city began. I couldn't believe how good my life was. In that moment the universe seemed filled with so much possibility, so much surprise. I want that feeling back. I want someone to surprise me again."

Of course, my sad love disappointed me...predictably.

Sitting across from the Sauvage, I realized I had become what I most longed for: a surprise. Because of what I've survived-the pain, the insanity, the abandonment, the lies from those I should have been able to trust most, and how I've survived-both creative and determined-I do what most people wouldn't. Pain and fear don't stop me. One of my directing teachers once said to us, "Don't worry about the safe art. There will always be people who produce safe art, worry about making dangerous shit because there just isn't enough of it." And this is my strength, never worrying about living a safe life, a normal life, because the vast majority of Americans are taking care of those safe lives. I've lived a dangerous and unusual life, and that is my power, my strength. It's easy to see it as a weakness because using our strengths does not necessarily result in our happiness.

And in that moment, I thought of the Inferno.

In Canto 24 of the Inferno, Virgil cautions Dante, “For resting upon soft down, or underneath the blanket’s cloth, is not how fame is won-without which, one spends lie to leave behind as vestige of himself on earth the sign smoke leaves on air, or foam or water...” To leave a mark on this world, even the tiniest of dents, one must suffer, strive, and endure. Our gifts are given to us not so that we will use them for the benefit of all, even at our own expense. (After all, Dante spent his life exiled from the city he most loved.) So all the crap I had lived with shouldn't be interpreted, as I often do, as a sign that I have made the wrong decisions. Simply that is part of the price of my particular gift. And suddenly, despite everything that had happened, I had the strangest impression. As a person who doesn't believe in God, I shouldn't believe in destiny. But in that moment, I felt that I was in the exact place I was meant to be. I couldn't imagine my life without that moment, and I wouldn't change anything if it meant sacrificing it.

And somehow while having this grand realization, two more shots materialized.

And while I couldn't explain to him anything of what I was feeling, so I took the shot while silently celebrating the harmony of the universe. And then both of us laughed like the brave strange maniacs we were.


That's the Most Foul Tempered Rabbit I've Ever Seen

Oh you don't begin to know the pain waiting in store for you, when Mr. Bunny opens up a new can of whupass on you, Mr. Cat!

And just for added humiliation, someone not only recorded this rumble for posterity, but then posted on the net.

So consider this fair warning.
(And yes, Frehel posts are coming, they are.)

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Big Buck Bunny
This animation features my new dream man. While I think it could use some editing, it had me cracking up. Especially the fat little waddling creature who I think is my future ex-boyfriend.

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And now for something completely different...a recipe
Tomorrow I'll get back to Frehel, but it's summer! All I can think of it sitting out on the porch with my mother slowly nibbling on food, sipping wine, and listening to music. So I thought I would share with a recipe, which is a staple of Lapin household mainly because all of the ingredients are usually on hand. Also, I have recently discovered this recipe is fairly versatile.

The following recipe is originally based on a recipe from Epicurious. I've altered the recipe to make it lower in fat and tastier.

Mexican Pasta with Black Beans

serves 2 generously

3/4 pound fusilli or other spiral-shaped pasta
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
a 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
a 10-ounce can mild enchilada sauce
a 3-inch hot chili of your choice (you can use pickled jalapenos if fresh aren't available-also chipotle chilis in adobo can be used to give a smokier flavor)
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
freshly grated low fat sharp Cheddar to taste
2 scallions, sliced
cilantro garnish (optional)


In a 6-quart kettle bring 5 quarts salted water to a boil for pasta. Cook pasta until tender, about 12 minutes.

While pasta is cooking, in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan cook onion and garlic in oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add beans, enchilada sauce, and jalapeño and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about
6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir sour cream and salt to taste into sauce.

In a colander drain pasta well and in a large bowl toss with sauce, cheese, and scallions. Once the cheese has melted, top with cilantro.

Dinner for One

If you are like me, a lonely gal trying to watch your weight, this recipe is very useful. Simply make as much, or as little, pasta as you want and top with as much sauce, cheddar, and scallions as desired. Save the rest of the sauce in a container. Sauce will stay well over one week. In which case the next recipe might come in useful for left over sauce.

Huevos Rancheros

I grew up going to New Mexico every winter to enjoy the gorgeous powder in Taos, New Mexico. Those trips fostered a taste for the local food, particularly Huevos Rancheros, or fried eggs served atop a spicy tomato-ey sauce. While there are more authentic recipes, you can also use the sauce from the Mexican Pasta for Huevos Rancheros.

Prepare the tortillas. Heat the oven to a warm 150°F, place serving plates in the oven to keep warm. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium high, coating the pan with the oil. One by one (or more if your pan is big enough) heat the tortillas in the pan, a minute or two on each side, until they are heated through, softened, and pockets of air bubble up inside of them. Then remove them and stack them on one of the warming plates in the oven to keep warm while you continue cooking the rest of the tortillas and the eggs.

1 serving

1/2 cup mexican pasta sauce
1 egg
2 tortillas
1 teaspoon butter
1 dollop low fat sour cream
freshly grated low fat sharp Cheddar to taste
1/2 scallion, sliced
cilantro garnish (optional)

Reheat the Mexican Sauce slowly over low heat. Just before assembling mix in cheese, sour cream, and scallions.

Heat the oven to a warm 150°F, place a serving plate in the oven to keep warm. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium high, coating the pan with the oil. Place the tortillas, one at a time, into the skillet. Cook a minute or two on each side, until they are softened, and pockets of air bubble up inside of them. Remove the tortillas and place them on warming plates in the oven to keep warm while you continue cooking the eggs.

Huevos Rancheros is usually served with fried eggs, but I will offer you two options. If you like you like your eggs fried, add a little butter to the skillet you used for the tortillas. Heat the pan on medium high heat. Crack egg into the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes for runny yolks.

But, trying to be a bit more healthy, you can also use poach the egg for a similar effect. (The key is to have a runny yoke to mingle with the sauce.) Fill a sauce pan with water and place over high heat. Once boiling, add a dash of white vinegar. Crack an egg into a cup and slowly slide the egg into the boiling water. If you are concerned about keeping the egg together, you can put the egg in a plastic sandwich baggie before boiling. Just make sure the baggie is sealed. Remove egg between 1-3 minutes. You can plunge the egg into ice water to be sure the egg doesn't continue to cook.

Now you have all the elements for your breakfast. To assemble spoon sauce onto plate and top with the egg, and use the tortillas to sop up runny egg tastiness. Top with cilantro.

OK so these aren't the types of thing I would serve if say Gordon Ramsay were to stumble into my kitchen, but they are tasty. Perfect for a night on the porch sipping the trademark Lapin margaritas or for waiting for an update on my french adventure/soap opera.

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