Janine's away in Denver since Sunday, and I've found I eat like crap when she's not around. Not necessarily bad food, just food that doesn't take any preparation, concentration, or anything else food really should have before it's eaten. For dinner last night, I had three beers, two bowls of cereal, and a can of Chunky. I'm doing slightly better tonight -- I had two beers, one bowl of cereal, an apple, and an attempt at cooking a chicken breast in BBQ sauce. I stuck it in the oven on a sheet, set the thing to 350, and waited. Fifteen minutes later, it was only lukewarm (and the BBQ sauce on the sheet was smoking and setting off the fire alarm), so I jacked up the oven as far as it would go and waited some more. That just made the smoke worse, so I took it out of the oven, stuck it on a plate and put it in the microwave for a long time. Which worked out fine.
It's not really that I can't cook -- I've made some really killer Tequila Lime Chicken, and some fantastic chicken vindaloo with half the ingredients the recipe called for -- but it's more like I can't be bothered when I don't have an audience. I don't have the zen consciousness yet to construct a truly beautiful creation (or the talent yet, I guess), then destroy it like a Tibetan sand painting. Especially if I'm the only one around to enjoy it. I get all gastronomically nihilistic and reflect on how cereal and roast game hen with pineapple glaze all wind up looking the same in the end. Shit is the great leveler of food.