I love crazy people. Love love love them. Across all areas of my life-- be it romantic, interpersonal, professional, you name it-- there are at least one or two crazy people in each part that inspire me daily. Please understand that I mean crazy in the best possible way, that I say the word with great reverence, because lemmings like me can only exist because they have pied piper counterparts that lead them to the edges of cliffs.
There. I've said it. I'm a lemming.
I live to be lead. To be inspired. I need my muses because I find it hard to feel things deep within myself without some sort of outside stimuli. That's not to say that I'm not crazy, too, oh no. But I'm situationally crazy, not endemically crazy, and there's a huge, gaping hole of a difference.
Crazy people create the really, really ridiculously good stuff that others didn't while those others say, "that's so easy I could've done it," without any sense of irony. Mr. Rothko, if you were alive today and I had an audience with you I would tell you that my good friend's mom is lovely and all, but she could not (and did not) have the chops to rival your work and that she really embarrassed me when she said that at the Menil in Houston. I mean, I'm sure she wasn't the first to say it, but whatever, it was still a huge, petulant child-like eye roll.
Crazy people are exciting and fun. They show us a bigger, more beautifully lit stage for adventure because they give us the possibility of greatness, greatness that can be ours, too, because we're in their orbit. And when we're in that orbit there's a frenetic giddiness that is almost magic.
I want to be crazy. Crazy makes the world go 'round and crazy both craves and invites audience participation. I want to skin and then tailor a suit out of crazy and wear it out on the town.
Crazy is totally consuming and fun.
Until it's not anymore.
And then all of that promise of fun and guarantee of adventure starts eating you from the inside of your belly and you can't remove yourself from the spinning, nauseating hangover. And you realize that limits and boundaries actually help create greatness, too, and you have to get far, far away from both the creative and destructive force that is crazy. It's not like you don't like, hell, highly revere crazy, you do. But crazy is actually killing any sense of your self that you've ever known.
And after you wake in the wake of the destruction and you're left with only bits and pieces of that former self, you still feel better for having been in the company of crazy and all its delusional glory. And you realize you're right there, right on the edge of the cliff, and you didn't jump but you really, really could have and maybe that wouldn't have been the worst thing to have happened...
...and you forgive yourself for being angry at crazy because crazy was just doing what crazy does-- inspiring and maddening you and you are but a lemming in the first place. And you retreat into a quiet, dull world and you do the dishes and the laundry and write a blog post and wait for the next crazy person to lead you back towards the cliff.
And you make a...wait for it...silly segue and a delicious fall salad.
by Ruth Cousineau
Lobes of golden mushrooms, shreds of buttery Gouda cheese, and the heartiness of spicy greens come together in this substantial salad. It's a terrific companion to the chive shortcakes, stew, and baked tomatoes, but keep it in mind when all you're after is a soup-and-salad supper.Yield: Makes 8 servings
Active Time: 15 min
Total Time: 40 min
3/4 pounds sliced portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
10 cups mixed spicy greens such as mustard, arugula, tatsoi, mizuna, and watercress
1 cup coarsely grated aged Gouda cheese
Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.Toss mushrooms with 3 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a bowl. Roast in 1 layer in a 4-sided sheet pan, turning once, until golden-brown and tender, about 15 minutes. Cool mushrooms.
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 5 tablespoons oil in a bowl until combined. Toss mushrooms, greens, and cheese with enough dressing to coat.
cooks’ note: Mushrooms can be roasted 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.
I make my version of this salad with arugula and I use a nice port vinegar instead of a basic red wine vinegar (the devil is in the details...).
Shine on you crazy diamond and...