Get Up N’ Dance!


Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook*

Warning. This post has links to some fun music. You may want to dance. 

I sit here listening to Janet Jackson, thinking about my week. The song is together again from her Velvet Rope album. I was probably twelve when I used to listen to this song.

Last night I got in my car after work, and turned on the radio to Frank FM, 101.1. It’s basically a popular music station, but it plays pop music from my middle-school days as well as new tunes. Too Close was playing by Next. OK, not the most appropriate song for a middle-school dance, which is probably when I was last listening. But it was a perky song to listen to on the way home, the kind of song that makes you want to sing out loud and do a little dance in your car seat.

Music has this amazing power to enliven a situation, or to refresh an old routine. Try running to a Coldplay song, and then change it up to Usher, and you will feel the difference…literally in your pace. Listening to Pandora seems like a no-brainer, because it does the work of DJ for you. But it’s exactly that, a NO BRAINER, in the worst sense too, because when you leave it on for hours, it gets so repetitive that it ceases to have any stimulatory effect. My friend recently taught me to be a more active Pandora user, and since I’ve started clicking thumbs up and thumbs down, I have had more excitement from my usual stations.Lately I’ve been listening to Selah Sue, a Dutch singer with a sexy-raspy voice, and a little reggae vibe.

Other cool music that keeps things groovy:

This live version is great too: 

(This is my sexy beautiful friend Jillette Johnson, on tour now with Kris Allen…see them performing live together ).

(Saw her playing in the Metro in Paris, and then at L’arte Bar, also in Paris).

Scenes from Silver Linings Playbook, have you seen it? I am kind of obsessed!

I hope that shook things up a little. Because now I begin the philosophical, boring, contemplative part of my post. So those of you who like boredom and philosophy, read on. 🙂

I tend to get really, REALLY enthusiastic about things. Projects, goals, life, what I want to do in a day that can’t possibly all get done in a day, ETC. There is this moment went giddy excitement turns to a feeling in my upper back, and then I realize, it’s not a pleasant one, it’s PAIN. My excitement becomes too much, my brain picks up the pace, and suddenly it’s talking to me in fast-foward, chipmunk voice. HIGH SPEED. ah! That’s when I need to turn off the ego, pause my larger-than-life dreams, and chill. out.

(If this post is kind of all over the place, it’s because right now I am in between the excitement phase and chill out phase. About to head outside soon but first, the point of this blog post…ROUTINE.)

ROUTINE. ROOTed in ROUTine. The RUT of ROUTine. Time to reROUTE!

Let’s face it, sometimes routine sucks. Going out to the same bar all the time. Having the same thing for breakfast. Hanging out with the same people all the time at the same places. Jogging along the same running route for years. Same same same same same. It gets boring. Un-stimulating. If I were a scientist I could probably say something smart about how routine uses the same parts of your brain over and over, and wires you to the same (boring, negative, stressful…) thought processes. Talk about a creativity buzz-kill!

Hey, we have senses. FIVE SENSES!! (some people have more? some people less…count your blessings). We can use them. In different ways. Sound, smell, taste, sight and touch are universal gifts that offer us a route OUT of routine. I have a newfound appreciation for the sense of smell, especially, as of reading Season To Taste by Molly Birnbaum, also author of food blog my madeleine. Did you know there is something called inosmia, which means you can’t smell, and hyposmia, which is a reduced sense of smell? And then you pretty much lose your ability to taste, too. I think I will inhale through my nose lot more after reading this memoir.

I’m also reading French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano (reading several books at once is my subconscious slap in the face to routine. Or you might want to call it ADD?) I woke up at 7:30 this morning, made a cup of coffee and opened the book. On page 34, Giuliano writes:

“Gastronomic boredom leads to lots of unhealthy eating. If you don’t make improvisation and experimentation part of your eating life, you are sure to find yourself in an eating rut. It’s as bad as a romantic rut–losing that spark–and just as likely to get you in trouble!” 

As much as routine can feel healthy (oatmeal every morning) and comforting, after some time I start to crave something more exciting. Usually that leads me to want to go out to eat. This morning, Guiliano’s words led me straight to the kitchen. No oatmeal. But I also knew I was too hungry to go to the store and buy nifty ingredients before making breakfast (I’m an eat-as-soon-as-I-wake-up-or-get-cranky-from-low-blood-sugar kind of girl).

I had some stuff in the pantry and fridge. Always keep some stuff in the pantry. Dried oyster mushrooms. Polenta. Cheddar cheese. Eggs. Raisins. Arugula. Ground basil from the end-of-summer days, defrosted. Pine nuts. I made this:

dish close

polenta cooked with water and the water from soaking the mushrooms, and finished with some butter and cheddar cheese. Tasted rich enough for me, without milk or cream. Wine poached raisins (this just means I simmered the raisins in some white wine and salt), oyster mushrooms, and toasted pine nuts. The egg-yolk became the sauce.


oyster mushrooms, sautéed with sage, and finished with a splash of red wine.

and when I popped the yolk it looked like this:

gooey egg

and this on the side, but also good mixed in:


This is just arugula, lemon juice, pine nuts, and dollops of basil, ground and seasoned (kind of like pesto minus the cheese and nuts).

In my last post I wrote about the idea of a silent meal. What about meals that eliminate, one at a time, each of the senses? What about that for a break of routine? Imagine a meal without taste. It would still have temperature and texture. Did you know Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s has trouble with smell and therefore taste? Think about all the textures in there ice-cream…and now you know why!

That concludes my post for today. Off to enjoy the sunshine! PEACE!!

*photo at top is from


One thought on “Get Up N’ Dance!

  1. I thought in order to taste you need to be able to smell. I can’t imagine a meal without taste. Isn’t that (basically) what it’s all about? After viewing the diner scene in Silver Linings I’ve changed my mind about the silent meal on a date. Awkward. Although the I haven’t seen the movie supposedly the small amount of criticism it has received revolves around the framing of bipolar disorder as a “loveable quirk” as opposed to a mental illness. I guess I’ll have to eventually watch the movie. If you ever want to combine food with a movie take in a show at the Starlight on Nantucket. They serve food and drink in the theater. That might make an interesting blog post.

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