So, I was playing a bit too much Dark Souls II the past few days. Eventually I decided that things had gone too far and I told my girlfriend Alice that I would play no video games for a week. I had tried this many times before, but this time I had an external entity to keep me honest. I asked Alice to ask me every day she saw me if I had played any video games since the last time she’d asked. If I had, she should be ashamed of me. Alice, as only Alice would, decided she would take it one step further and be publicly ashamed of me, explaining in detail to everyone we jointly knew how I had set myself what a normal human being would see as a simple goal and failed miserably. Then she suggested she could cook me a whole chicken if I succeeded, but I declined, finding the threat sufficiently motivating.
I started my video game fast late Friday afternoon, so I’ve been clean two days. It’s gotten markedly easier since yesterday, when it seemed I could think about almost nothing but enchanting my blacksteel katana with poison to get through the Smelter Demon’s heavy armor. In the meantime I’ve made significant progress on my work and done a lot of cooking and exercise with Alice. Yesterday we made another kale salad with miso tofu dressing, which we took to a potluck with Alice’s covenant group through the Unitarian Universalist Church.
Today, though, we had a particularly exciting lunch.
Believe it or not, that is a slice of tofu. We’ve prepared it as “Tofu Steak.” It was one of the multiple items piled onto our dish today. I cooked this tofu in a miso and ginger marinade while Alice fried some radishes. Between us we had only one stainless steel spatula, and we were neither of us interested in using the plastic one, so we passed the instrument between us in a sort of frenzied dance, each trying not to let our own dish burn. I repeatedly added too much oil to my dish, which reacted violently with the water in the tofu, treating us to a relatively constant boiling hot spray as we worked. At one point Nate came in and asked me to pick up a plate for him, since I was standing in the way of the cabinet, which I did with one hand while flipping the tofu with another, carefully maneuvering my chest to keep my apron pointed towards the stove to protect me from the brunt of the boiling oil spray. My neighbor knocked on my back door and said he wanted me to meet somebody, and I chatted with him for a few minutes until he asked me about the thick fog of smoke billowing from my kitchen.
Somehow despite all the wacky hijinks, we managed to make a plate stacked high with delicious food.
Then we went out to Lake Johnson, which baffles me in that I haven’t been kayaking on it the whole three years I’ve been here in Raleigh. For $10 we rented two kayaks and explored the various coves, dams, and bridges for an hour that seemed simultaneously to go on forever and end too soon. Not pictured here are a seemingly unlimited supply of puppies that crowded the shoreline and dock.
In short, it wasn’t nearly so hard to maintain my fast today, although I do look forward to giving that demon what’s coming to him next Saturday.