how you comin on that novel?

Misquoting Charles Darwin for Selfish Purposes

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."

--Charles Darwin**

My writing has over the years been fueled and clouded by several substances... 

A near constant has been Irish coffees: caffeine for energy, alcohol for lowered inhibition, warmth for comfort when recalling difficult ish and turning it into literature suitable for consumption.

But while lots of things are cheaper in Thailand, Bailey's isn't:

that's $35.15 American

that's $35.15 American

There's a knockoff called Kelly's that runs about 430 baht, but when I went yesterday to the one store I've found that carries it, I found that's now past-tense.

Curses.

So I fired up ye old Google to find a substitute, while also considering is it worth it just to shell since I'm already here and in the grand scheme...  

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Wait, what? You can make Irish cream?

Sho nuff--even without a cooktop. Which is good, since I don't have that. Or an oven. Or a microwave.

And I made it, and I like it better than Bailey's, and it was cheaper, and while all of that is interesting (?) none is especially relevant. This is about adaptability and how we can all adjust to situations we couldn't even imagine previously.

When my marriage was mid-implosion in 2014, X and I spent a lot of time talking.

A lot of time talking (she's a psychologist so what would you expect?). 

Among many memorable things, she asked "What is it you're wanting to change? What don't you like about this life?" She genuinely wanted to accommodate (within monogamous reason). And truth was, I couldn't even articulate what was missing. We had an outwardly lovely aspirational life--two fancy cars, four BR house, six-figure income, sufficient footwear.  

how many pairs of feet do you have?

how many pairs of feet do you have?

Everything I could want. Except happiness.

Post-separation and divorce my life changed to one hedonistic and Nate Dogg-inspired. I also spent more and more time with my first love--writing. I wouldn't survive the corporate life much longer.

A year ago I was making preparations and adaptations. I sold off damn near everything and traded PowerPoint for the One-Way Ticket. Since then I've visited six countries. I got a real taste of Thailand as predicted. Now instead of deciding on blue suede vs. brogues, I choose sneakers or flipflops, and have a week's worth of clothes as long as I re-wear stuff.

Through it all I've carried inspirations from people who've adapted to challenges I couldn't imagine. And I've shed a few tears along the way.

always nice when friends read my blog

always nice when friends read my blog

And I finished a workable, submittable novel. My life is so different, so changed, by all I've been able to do and see. I am blessed and fortunate. It's been everything I wanted and couldn't articulate.

Change is on the horizon and I'll need to adapt again. It will suck sometimes. But that's no different than any of y'all's lives--and I see how very strong the people in my life are. The strong survive because the strong adapt.

Adapt. Change. Nothing is the same.

So we keep moving.

**Okay, not exactly. But that's the gist.

Border run #2: a greener shade of Cambodia

I'm now starting my third month in SE Asia, and on day 4 (of 12 scheduled) in Cambodia.

Tempus fugit, Ferris.

I've also posted lots of food porn here but not provided a proper restaurant review. Until now.  

HAPPY SIEM REAP PIZZA

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Pizza is big business in Siem Reap (at least, as big as business gets here), with some surprisingly high quality pies on offer.

That's not Happy Siem Reap Pizza. No, they--along with four or five other joints in town--specialize in happy pizzas. Thus, my must-do travel itinerary for Siem Reap was the following, in no particular order:

  • Visit with stepbrother
  • Angkor Wat
  • Happy Pizza

The interior of Happy Siem Reap Pizza is rustic, with dark wood and brick throughout. This is no doubt helpful for hiding bloodshot eyes. The service is quick and the staff is knowledgeable. When I ordered my small mushroom pie, priced at $3.50, I was quick to remind that I wanted it happy. My waiter informed me it’s $2 extra to make it happy.

Now, one might argue that paying extra for happiness, at a place with “happy” in their name, amounts to bait and switch. But I remembered mai pen rai, then remembered I was in Cambodia, not Thailand, and so remembered que sera sera.

“No problem,” I say. “Ah kon.”

that green ain’t basil

that green ain’t basil

My pie (and milkshake) came quickly. The taste? Eh. Reminded me of Chef Boyardee pizza kits I made as a teenager (which, if I’d made those "happy", would’ve made my friends much happier too). But the flavor isn’t what I savored of those three slices--no, this was a pizza that truly lived up to its promise. And I spent the rest of the afternoon in my room, flipping channels and grinning a fool.

By the way, K-Pop is amazing:

It was also a valuable reminder that the Nate Dogg way of Life was a valuable one to mine, but ultimately, was unsustainable. Good as it is to take care of head, without a little good, fine, hard work, I'll never not be workin on that novel.

But with all that said, I was also a fan of Happy Siem Reap Pizza’s to-go boxes--because they have them. I got one, and am looking forward to cold pizza for dinner. And breakfast.

Overall rating: 4.20

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