Life changes fast. One day, you’re trolling through pages data, applying abstract codes like, “power dynamics” and “hegemonic norms” and “gender expectations,” to words and sentences. You’re teaching late-afternoon classes on marriage (the theoretical kind, definitely not the lived kind, just ask my husband) and doing your best to convince twenty-year-olds that they can understand basic social statistics. That they will learn through osmosis and it will benefit them forever and ever and ever. You’re spending nights writing paragraphs for a manuscript that won’t get published for another three years, only after it’s been double-blind peer reviewed by six different reviewers, named A ,B ,C ,D ,E , and F, and undergone at least four rounds of heavy revisions per the editor’s request.
The next day, you’re in your tiny ass dining room. All of the furniture has been pushed aside to make room under the window with the soft light and you’re pouring sparkling wine into glasses filled with cognac and lemon juice and just a small dollop of simple syrup. Cocktails that remind you of home and rehearsal dinners and nights spent in the Quarter with childhood friends. Nights that are, at the very least, capped off by chicory coffee in the morning and the best scones from Scone Boy. You hover over the glasses, tinker with the placement of the flowers that are hanging from your grandmother’s old brass vase with the individual stem holders. Your heart feels lighter and you’re not sure if it’s from all the taste testing or just a different kind of life that still makes you feel a little wobbly at times. Your email dings. You scurry over to it, past the drooling dog who follows excitedly, to make sure it’s not the editor you’ve been waiting to hear back from. A different kind of editor than the ones you worked with just twelve months ago, for a publication that, for better or worse, doesn’t require a double-blind peer review process.
And you wonder: “What the hell just happened?”
That was my 2015 in a nutshell. The year was also punctuated by petting fat cows, reading (and re-reading) some of the most lyrical prose I could get my hands on, playing in snow, driving poorly in snow, making too many pizzas (I think I have a problem, see here, here, and here), trolling the internet for sailboats and Inns for sale in the mountains (call me if you have either), and writing too much about my past with women who are beyond amazing and crazy talented and also tolerant.
Okay, more things happened than that. And more things will continue to happen in 2016, bringing more unexpected changes, I’m sure. Life is funny that way. But for now, I just want to say thanks. Thanks for sticking around during a year of transitions and change and uncertainty. Thanks for reading, for cooking, and for sharing. Thanks for just being you, whoever that is, wherever you are.
And cheers to 2016!
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” -Rumi
- 1-1/4 ounce of cognac (I prefer Courvoisier VS)
- 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon of simple syrup
- Champagne or sparkling wine, for topping off (ideally, one that's very dry)
- 1 lemon twist, for garnish
- Add the cognac, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until cold to the touch, about 20-30 seconds.
- Pour into a champagne glass, top with champagne, and serve with a lemon twist for garnish.