Following the Paths of Grief

(kick me under the table all you want, I won’t shut up)

Grief has kept me away from this space, away from engaging in the writing I love, and away from what seems like the barest minimum of human connections. A grief that shuts down, just as much as it can hone.

I didn’t write here, but I did write a lot about organic electro-optic materials in photonic computing, coming to a website near you. Even in grief, you must pay the bills.

My cat Hermione died. Her cancer came back, and there was nothing we could do. Hermione knew it was time, even if I still don’t want it to ever be time.

Me, Hermione, and Jacob
My precious baby Hermione

Continue reading “Following the Paths of Grief”

The First Thing I Ever Cooked or Made: PB&J

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich by Aaron Gustafson
Peanut Butter and Jelly, the way my brother was expecting.

The first thing I ever cooked — or rather made — by myself in the kitchen was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was about 5-years-old at time, and my family, all four of us with one on the way, lived cramped in a 700 square foot studio apartment. Oh, and during the week, my Grandpa lived there with us too as he worked as contractor on the home my parents were building.

I am not what you would call an aficionado of pb&j. I certainly ate my fair share of it as a child, but probably haven’t eaten one in 10 years. I remember making this particular sandwich for my younger brother Jonathan. As I made it, he played supervisor. He tried to caution me against pressing too hard with the knife on the soft, overly-processed white bread. And I’m sure he also attempted to get me to cut the crusts off it, which, as a proto-feminist, I surely scoffed at.

When I finished and proudly handed it him, Jonathan frowned and pointed out that he wasn’t going to eat it as I’d broken through the bread. Yes, the first thing I ever made in a kitchen was rejected. Ironically, 20+ years later, my brother would wholeheartedly eat about any food put in front of him, including pb&js with knife holes in the bread. I also bake my own bread now.

Inspired by the First Meal I Ever Cooked question over on Gluten-Free Girl’s blog.