concepts of being on time

As may have been made apparent in my lazy day post, I have a fairly straightforward “type A” personality (while being introverted, yes. It’s fun to be both of those things, I catch people off guard if they do not know me well). This plays in to a lot of areas in my life, one of the big ones being Time- I like to be on time, I refuse to be late.

Some dear friends of mine got married a few years ago, and I was involved in the festivities. I will never forget what the bride’s father said at the beginning of the wedding weekend while talking about the schedule to all of us playing a role in the day: “Early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.” I know that wasn’t the first time I had heard those words put together before. But when I heard them at that moment, it was all I could do to keep from jumping up and down and screaming because I had found someone like-minded (yes, that someone being the bride’s father). Those specific words have stuck with me day in and day out ever since.

When I am expected somewhere- if it is a matter of someone waiting for me- I am Always early. Being early gives me time to prepare for whatever it is that is about to happen; I am able to scope out what is going on in my surroundings. If I am meeting friends for dinner, this means I can get a table and choose the seat at the table that best faces the door. If I am going to an interview this means it may be noted that I am prompt. If I am arriving at my job it gives me time to sit back and breathe for another few minutes before working. If it is rehearsal with other musicians, I then have time to tune my violin and warm up.

I have never been to a job interview less than 15 minutes early (at which point I wait in the parking lot and then make my presence known 5 minutes before the interview is scheduled). I leave for work every day at exactly the same time. Most days I get to work 15-20 minutes early and I wait until 8:58 and then walk into the house. I leave myself so much time because of the darned traffic here in this city. There have been days when I’ve arrived and had only enough time to park my car and get into the house at 8:58am. But Never any later than that.

The time that everyone decides on is supposed to be the time that event begins. Not the time that everyone arrives to start preparing for the event.

Now, if it is a large social situation, it is the opposite for me. Unless I am hosting a party (rarely happens), I am a good half an hour late, typically. I allow myself more leeway for a few reasons-

1. I am not good in large social situations, nor do I particularly enjoy them.
2. People rarely arrive at parties early, and if they arrive on time, they are normally the only ones. I do not like to be the only person present at a party. It makes need for small talk. I do not like small talk.
3. I can arrive unnoticed, most of the time, if I am late. Then I can find a couch or chair in the corner of the room and do what I do best- observe. Observing is my favorite form of engaging in social activity.

However, if said social situation is starting at a specific time for a reason other than “let’s get together and eat food and maybe eventually play games or watch a movie,” like perhaps a surprise party, or a get-together with a purpose where everyone realizes that timeliness is necessary, then I go back to my “early is on time, etc.” mantra.

—–

I was privileged to spend two weeks in Northern Ireland at the beginning of August, and one night we were all at a get-together  to meet my brother-in-law’s very large extended family. The festivities were due to start at 8pm. We arrived around 8:45, I believe. Late, yes, but at least I already understood two things:

1. This is how my sister and her husband work, most of the time.
2. This seems to be the Irish way of thinking to begin with.

And then I got to talking with Ted, my sister’s father-in-law, after meeting one of his sisters. I either apologized for being late or at least made reference to it (it wasn’t in my control anyway), and Ted laughed at me. He pointed to his sister. “She got here at 7:45! The house was dark! My wife and I were not even here yet!” (Ted is one of 12 siblings, or some other large number. His youngest sister was the one who got to the party at 7:45. Not a single other soul, including the hosts, arrived at the house until at least 8:15pm, if I am not mistaken.)

WHAT?! The hosts of the party were not even at their house 15 minutes before it was supposed to start? It wasn’t like they just needed people to arrive. They had food to put out and tea to make and other sorts of get-together things to do.

I laughed with Ted and his sister, and then explained to him my way of thinking, which seemed to be his sister’s way of thinking. “Ted, what do you think if I say ‘Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable?'”

Lots of chuckling. That’s what he thought.

“You mean to say, Bekah, that getting somewhere early is a benefit?” … more chuckling.

“Well, Ted, how would you phrase that statement?”

He pondered for a moment, and then threw out this re-phrasing: “Early is unnecessary, on time is early, and late is on time.”

So there you have it- a clashing of cultures, or perhaps just personalities. I can appreciate it. But I cannot implement it.

What are your philosophies for being on time? How have you found it in other cultures? How has this been a problem? How has it been a good thing?

Sunday CSA Birthday- a few of my favorite things

Here are some thoughts that are all related somehow:
(Actual CSA stuff about halfway down.)

You know it’s a good day when a CSA pickup falls on your birthday, right?

Especially after a wonderful birthday weekend to boot.

The best part about now being a quarter of a century- it means my parents have been married for 26 years. I am so thankful to have such good role models in my life.

I was with my family on the east coast last week, and spent my birthday back on the west coast. Family is fantastic, and so are friends- and I have the best friends here in LA. It’s the only way to stay sane in this crazy place.

My birthday weekend included frisbee at the park in the sunshine, sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds, multiple episodes of Parks and Rec (the only TV show I actively watch (and re-watch, and re-watch, and re-watch. I’m on my 3rd time through season 4. Season 4 just ended two months ago. It is the BEST show)), Kerrygold dubliner cheese, fresh tomato, and sundried tomato pesto sandwiches on ciabatta, and games of Farkle and Bubble Bobble while in the company of a small group of friends. My birthday day brought about a three player game of Canasta (hand and foot) and dinner at India’s Tadoori because there is nothing better tasting than vegetable korma over rice with naan. Nothing, you hear? And of course, my CSA pick up, which ended up being probably the best one yet. More about that in just one second.

Presents were a vegan cookbook, teacups, and tickets to see Mumford & Sons at their sold out festival in Monterey.

What does all this mean, really? It means I am surrounded by people who love me and know me almost better than I know myself. Honestly. Everything listed above basically describes who I am. Right down to the fact that I celebrated with just a few friends. In fact, that was the most important of it all. I love having a small community. My introverted self needs time and ability to interact on a personal level with those who I love. A weekend spent with only my closest friends is my favorite way to spend time. Huge kudos to Jeremy, who has been a significant part of my life for two years now, and has learned all of these things about me and more, and planned everything that happened this weekend.

I talked with my littlest siblings (who aren’t that little anymore) on the phone at the end of the night, and naturally each of the three of them asked me “What did you get for your birthday?” I simply listed the three things I just listed above (trying to explain quality time, and good people, and good food, etc, wasn’t going to work- they only wanted the tangible), and two of the little ones were not entirely impressed. But the other, my 9-year-old brother, had a reaction that almost brought me to tears:

“The small things in life matter the most.”

It is SO the truth. But what 9-year-old child can really know that and truly believe it? My little brother is among the few, or the only. He is one of the most sensitive and beautiful kids I have ever known.

An old picture, but one of my favorites. I love this little kid. And the rest of my siblings.

So, with all that to say, I’ll stop the sappiness and get on to the produce. Would you LOOK at this lot?!

Basil, kale, lettuce, apricots, plums, nectarines, patty pan squash, carrots, broccoli, onions, and potatoes.  I mean, seriously now! Everything here is AMAZING!

I am beyond excited for the basil, because I’ve been wanting to try my hand at homemade pesto and use my friend Megan’s recipe. I’ve always avoided making pesto because most recipes I come across call for pine nuts. My grocery budget does not have room for pine nuts. So when I read Megan’s blog and found she uses sunflower seeds, I went right out and bought a package, and they have been sitting in my pantry ever since, waiting for the right time to help me with my pesto endeavor whenever it should happen. Well, it will be happening in a day or two. And I can’t wait!

I was getting tired of not having kale in my fridge, so I bought some curly kale from Whole Foods last week and made four cookie sheets of kale chips with garlic and cayenne pepper (and ate them all) within two days. This kale is not curly kale, and I’m getting tired of kale chips for the moment anyway, so I’m not sure yet what will become of my kale. Perhaps a green smoothie along with my lettuce- because, as always, I never know what to do with a head of lettuce. It’s just not appetizing to me. But it is a beautiful head of lettuce. I tore it into bite-sized pieces and rinsed it all out yesterday, and it’s nice and fresh and a beautiful color. If only I enjoyed it more.

I also recently had a want for carrots and bought a two pound bag just last week. I’ve been craving muffins, and so when I saw that I now have an over-abundance of carrots, my brain immediately went to baking. I’m thinking of trying something truly vegan, with avocado and applesauce included in the ingredients list. I have to do some looking around to figure out how to make that happen; there will definitely be a post about it once I make the muffins.

The fresh fruit, as always, will be (and already has started to be) consumed as is. I know there are a ton of delicious recipes for stone fruit, but I like snacking on it way too much to justify making something different out of it.

The broccoli is being had for dinner tonight alongside orzo with feta, lemon juice, and olive oil. The squash and potatoes will find their way into some roasting pan or stir fry.

What does your CSA look like this week? What exciting recipes would you make with some of these veggies that I use so matter-of-factly and simply? What are some of your favorite things? What would your perfect birthday weekend look like? Have you ever baked with applesauce? (Because I haven’t and I’m just crossing my fingers that it will work.)