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Random.

31 Jul

No other word made me feel so cool, sophisticated and superior to my high school classmates.

Brooklyn Bridge

I picked it up while doing college stays.  All the women used it, and it made them sound so worldly. “You’re from Upstate New York? So am I! Wow, that’s… so… random… that they had you stay with me.”

The more I heard it, the more intoxicating it became. I was already trying to curb my usage of “like” having been made aware that intelligent young women don’t use the word while debating post-modern anthropological theories unless Margaret Mead really was like Franz Boas. Adding ‘random’ whilst subtracting ‘like’ felt very grown-up.

I would drop it into conversations just to enjoy the effect it had on my red neck classmates and rural hick teachers. I felt like it was my connection to the world I wanted to be in, the world of high academia, while I was still trapped in the hateful morass of high school.

Brooklyn Bridge

And then one day my English teacher pulled me aside and and asked if I knew the actual definition of the word I had become so fond of. I have no recollection of what I said to her, but I do remember the gist of her response; you’re not using the word correctly, it’s making you sound like an idiot and someday you’re going to regret it. I poopooed her, but of course, she was right.

I realize this story may not paint me in the prettiest of lights but I wanted to illustrate exactly why I have such a strong reaction to this word as it has been rearing its ugly head with alarming frequency in the blogosphere lately. There are currently at least two memes being passed around asking the tagee to tell the world 7 or 8 “random” things about his or herself. Here’s the rub… The things are not random.

Pimientos de Padron

What we’re really being asked to do is to reveal 7 or 8 intimate things, 7 or 8 unusual things, 7 or 8 silly things, but certainly not 7 or 8 random things. There’s a calculation, a process, a method, a choice the writer must make about how much she wants to reveal to a world of unknown people about herself. It’s a cold, thought out thing, most certainly not random.

And so to the people who have tagged me for this meme, thank you. Without the tag I wouldn’t have known you were out there. But, you’ll have to forgive me for not playing along in the strictest of rules. If read closely, I’m sure there’s at least 7 or 8 things in this post that would qualify as new or possibly interesting information about me without having to number them.

Carciofi alla Giudia

I think about my posts while I’m waking up in the morning. I formulate a thesis, or sometimes just a headline, then I plan a rough outline of how I want the text to flow, and then I get up to write while still half asleep.

Before I settled on this ‘random’ tangent this morning I was planning to write about how I’m not a movie person and that I only just saw Mostly Martha this Saturday evening after a dinner of amazing fried veggies and homemade pasta with fresh scarlet runner beans. I was going to plead with you to believe me that I had added the movie to our Netflix queue months ago, long before I knew they were remaking the film. I was going to lambaste the movie industry for not having figured out a way to deliver movies on demand in the way that eMusic has for, well, music. I was going to explain why I hate iPods and iTunes, and I was going to tie up all these divergent things in a witty and intelligent way with a story about the ‘random,’ no, I mean, unusual, vegetables I found at the Greenmarket last Friday.

Fresh Pasta with Scarlet Runner Beans

But alas, I feel that I have already run on for far too many pixels and these things will have to wait. 700 or so words and only a dozen or less about food, on a foodblog no less. I hope that’s not too random.

Head below the jump for the recipes for Pimientos de Padron, Carciofi alla Giudia and Fettucini with Scarlet Runner Beans.

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