lunedì, ottobre 22, 2012

À la recherche de la pâtisserie industrielle perdue

There's a lot of things I've given up over the years. A lot of them over the life of this blog though I'm not sure they're catalogued here.

- Cigarettes (since 2006)
- Binge drinking (since 2009)
- Marijuana (since 2010)
- Casual sex (since 2005)

Hard to say how permanent all of these are. I'm pretty sure the marijuana one is just going to last as long as I'm breastfeeding and/or living in a country where it's still treated like it's something for the naughty kids. I didn't plan to give up marijuana; I just moved to Australia and realized I couldn't act like the middle class adult I am and still keep smoking it. Hard to explain what I mean. Look: in all the cities I've lived in or visited long enough to need to get high in Canada or the US, when you want marijuana you call someone and they come to where you are and sell you some, usually from a selection, or else you go to where they work, like a grocery store, and buy it while you're carrying out other errands. In Benelux and Germany, it's even more middle-class. You buy some from a store or from a park and then you smoke it and nobody minds as long as you don't litter or breathe it out on normal people, like cigarettes.

Here - it's such a rarified thing on the one hand (see Nimbin) that it turns me off. Like the coffee shops full of Americans in central Amsterdam. On the other, it's something that people on the very low end of the social scale do - and I myself can hardly believe what a snob Australia has turned me into.

Just a side rant for a moment on the subject of my snobbery. It's classist, not monetary. There aren't that many poor people in Australia, relatively speaking. One of the things I hate about Australia is how it's shattered my illusion that all the human race needs to advance as a species is a sort of universal prosperity. There's practically money hanging off trees here, and people are still buggering up their lives in dumber ways than you can imagine. The F-word's job involves a lot of people who can't hold down a job for various reasons, one of them being that they refuse to work for less than $25 an hour, and some of these people have fine backlogs from dumb little shit like speeding or fair dodging ranging from $10,000 to $28,000. Squidsy, who's become my benchmark for okker Ozzie inertia, is about $6,000 in debt and won't get a job because he can't find anything around here that's not in the service industry, but he wants to go back to university and has to get out of debt first. He could just suck it up for half a year, pay it off fast, and then go back to school for retraining, but he'd rather stay on the dole, pay the minimums, and complain for fuckin' years. At the same time, his Canadian wife, who has exactly zero uni or professional experience versus his five year degree and work background, is making a good monetary and social go of this place by retraining as a pastry chef in a paid apprenticeship and singing with a band on the nights Squidsy has custody. Anyways, I was writing about something else. Back to it.

So I've given up a lot of things. Probably some of them are permanent gives-up. I hope so, anyways. I hope the cigarette thing doesn't come back. Money vampire. Or the casual sex; F-word sex is a lot better. He doesn't do weirdo shit like shave his balls. Probably the binge drinking is behind me too. Nothing against it in principle; I just can't handle the consequences. But I can't ever say never again, because one of the other things I'd given up - back in the physically buggered aftermath of my thesis defense, when I think my whole gastro-intestinal system was overhauled - was eating in any substantial amounts what the French call pâtisserie industrielle. I'm not sure what you call it in English. Confectionary, maybe? But that might include candy bars, which I never really gave up completely. I'm talking about packaged, processed cookies or packaged, processed things-that-look-like-they-were-baked.

Pregnancy 86'ed that. I blame Miss C in Paris as well. Not that she got me any - I don't think pâtisserie industrielle has any place in her life. But when I was visiting her during my second trimester in the small town where she's rented a very pretty house,  she bought me a fresh madeleine from a local bakery on our way out of town. Prior to that, I'd only had madeleines years before, as a poor starving student in Paris, in their vastly inferior pâtisserie industrielle form. When I got back to Australia I started craving madeleines - a first for me, as they're rather bland and uninteresting - and somehow that got confounded with pâtisserie industrielle. And then I needed first, chocolate digestives. Probably not coincidentally, immediately after my grandmother's death - chocolate digestives were always present and doled out as great treats in her household. And then, after this episode of Bottom the other night, it was Hobnobs. One good thing about Australia is its good supplies of British pâtisserie industrielle, which despite the Frenchiness of the term is the best pâtisserie industrielle. Not the most convincing fame to culinary fame out there but hey - it beats Australia. All this place has going for it is cheap kangaroo meat.

Anyways, end of ramble. I'm rambling a lot these days. I like it and other people tolerate it. I think it amuses them to see me blathering so much when I usually don't blather much at all. Now I'm off to my acupuncturist to ramble at him for awhile until I fall asleep full of needles. Ren is 37 weeks old today. That means if he or she popped now, it'd count as a full term pregnancy. That is a good feeling. Especially since I've already filed my October invoices and should get paid for the whole month even if my mat leave ends up starting this afternoon. No sign of that, sadly enough. A little tightness at the top of the uterus, the odd cramp. At least I know they won't let me go too far over, though getting induced looks like the sort of thing that makes a shitty thing shittier. Any road. I'll manage.

8 commenti:

Baywatch ha detto...

indulge the ramble. the ramble is good.

Baywatch ha detto...

ps: best blog post title ever.

e.f. bartlam ha detto...

Waffle House parking lot...flash your lights twice. The short order cook will come outside and walk behind the building. Follow him.

These are instructions I recieved be carried out in a well lit parking lot at a busy intersection.

I did it...idiot.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Why idiot? Did it not work?

e.f. bartlam ha detto...

It did but I couldn't have done more to attract attention to my self and what I was doing...short of waving a big sign that read "I'm Here To Score Weed."

The usual process was for the waitress or water to slip it to you while refilling your coffee.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

See, that's what I'm talking about. That's fucking service. Here, you have to drive for 45 minutes and talk to hippies.

Baywatch ha detto...

Wait, a minute -- which Waffle HOuse are you talking about?

My guy leaves it in a drop box. I haven't made a pickup since last December. Dear God. I don't even know if I can remember what it's like. Not that I could afford it these days.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

God bless America.