Weekends with Pat (and Jen)

Thumbnail: Marinating pork and lamb chops
Thumbnail: Pork and lamb chops, Vietnamese style
Thumbnail: Godiva hot chocolate
Thumbnail: A pasta dish
Thumbnail: Spice rack
Thumbnail: Steeping tea
Thumbnail: Woven trivet
Thumbnail: Woven trivet

A sense of hedonism has the better of me lately.

I remember feeling this way once. It was about five years ago, soon after I lost my grandmother and job in the same week. I’ve come to understand that such is a passing phase, and that I should simply enjoy such guilt-free things while it lasts.

As a result, I’ve been selfishly monopolizing Pat these last few weekends.

An exorbitant amount of pleasure comes from the motley assortment of foods he prepares.

A friend who cooks as a hobby is up there with the other friends with similar sorts of practical, esoteric knowledge: the lawyer friend, the car mechanic friend, the computer geek friend (so I’m told).

Over the course of a few summers he perfected his grilling technique, and has now moved onto a mastery of cold salads. We have an agreement when it comes to practicing his cooking skills, where he gets a record of his consumable accomplishments, and in return I get a memorable meal and some great photos. He often mentions that he’ll have to join forces with Karen, an accomplished baker, to provide the desserts. Baking ability is something that’s admittedly eluded him, as he focuses on entrées.

The other, less tangible yet truly sublime form of pleasure comes from our conversations. Pat’s a person who listens and contributes to a topic in equal measure. Someone who doesn’t just wait for his turn to speak. As a result, I’m comfortable opening up to him, something that I shy away from with most other people.

Lately though, it’s clarity that I’ve been looking for. Too often, I over-analyze my life, and it’s no secret that my emotions affect me more than I’d like.

When I need to sort out my life, Pat’s the person I turn to. I don’t seek guidance or council from him, only perspective.

In the end, nothing clarifies and refreshes like a couple mugs of tea and some good conversation.

I’ve been hogging Pat these last few weekends, stealing him from the rest of his friends and family, but I don’t care.

Hedonism is the new rule, and I’m giving in with caprice.


  1. If he were closer, I’d ask to borrow him…

  2. yeah, my husband becomes real popular with his friends when their computer breaks down (he’s a system engineer/admin) He’s learned to say ; NO because otherwise he’s always being asked for favours

    I do a fair job at cooking, but I excel as a baker
    LOVE baking, hate cooking, funny hey?
    must be a comfort thing

    I enjoy reading your blog entries, I love your candor. Most blogs (including mine) are often filled with : I did this, then that, then we did this, here’s the pics.
    Your blog is an outward expression of an inner diaologue.
    I have an anonymous blog that I use for that, but for the most part, my (public) blog keeps distant family and friends abreast of what we’re up to and how the kids are growing.
    Lately though, I find I’m not even writing in my anony blog.
    Since reading Eckhart Tolle’s books, I’m finding I need that outlet, less and less.
    I highly recommend them to you.
    As one who grew up with all sorts of abuse (physical, sexual & emotional)
    his books help me put my past and present into perspective.
    He has helped me overcome the ‘disease’ of compulsive thinking.
    “The Power of Now” is a good book to start with.

  3. OH
    surely you’ve tried Rooibos tea? (translated: red bush …I speak dutch)
    a southafrican variety that is caffeine free and has MORE antioxidants than green tea, and tastes WAY better AND without the caffeine naturally
    it’s been my favourite this past year!
    the flavour is so full it never needs sugar or milk (never liked sugar or milk in my tea)

  4. @Xibee — And there’d be no way you’d get him from me. :)

    @amy — I’ve also learned to say no to helping people with their computers. I think that some take advantage of it, like getting free legal advice, something that stores charge $60+/hour for.

    It’s not that Pat doesn’t enjoy baking, I think he just finds it difficult. One time, at a party at Aaron and Karen’s, he told us that he tried to make a pineapple upside-down cake for the party, but it ended up so bad that he had to throw it out. It’s interesting that something that comes easily to one person is much more difficult to others.

    You flatter me with your kind words about my writing. To be honest, writing doesn’t come naturally to me. I find it’s often amateurish and contrived. I don’t think I’ll ever be as wildly lyrical as Vladimir Nabokov (whom I admire most), but reading his words still inspires me to try.

    Your blog may simply be about your every day goings-on, but it serves a purpose as you said: to keep your friends and family informed. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    I find my writing has changed a great deal as well. Reading back on the entries I linked to in this post made me cringe. I used to do a great deal of blogging on my daily life, but after a while I felt like I wasn’t really saying anything.

    It’s interesting that you say Eckhart Tolle has provided you with an outlet. I don’t think I can ever lose blogging as an outlet. Even when I gain a certain amount of serenity, wisdom, or knowledge that helps me, I still need to express myself. The Power of Now is 3rd on my list of books to read.

    And I haven’t even heard of Rooibos tea, but it sounds curiously delicious. I’m a person who would only drink tea with lots of cream and lots of sugar. Right now I’m strictly on Oriental tea because of caffeine issues, but the Rooibos alternative sounds like a great idea. I’ll have to read more about it and try to find it in my city.

  5. Jeff, I’m having caffeine issues too, which “oriental” teas did they choose for you? I miss my jasmine and bo guk….

  6. @Xibee — No one chose a specific tea for me, although I’ve received many as gifts. I have no problem with any of the Oriental types.

    My acceptable level of caffeine stops at orange/black teas, but it’s different for every person. There’s a handy chart on the levels of caffeine in certain types that you may want to check out.

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