Friday, September 30, 2011

My Therapy Session with Dr. Sigmund Food

"The Intervention" (#3 in the Sigmund Food series)

Dr. Food: Vhat brings you to my couch today?

Lentil Breakdown: I’m holding an intervention for my blog. I hope all my readers will fit in your office.

Dr. Food: I’ve seen your Google analytics. Tell zem to bring zair friends. Who calls an intervention for a blog, anyvay? Lady, are you cuckoo?

Lentil Breakdown: Well, doc, since Lentil Breakdown turned two, I think it’s time to confront it with some serious questions. Like where has it gotten me and where is it taking me?

Dr. Food: It got you on zis couch, and now I can afford another trip to Vienna! Cha-ching! And it looks like it’s made you lots of friends who enjoy a good nosh!

Lentil Breakdown: That’s true. I’ve made so many friends, it’s incredible! I’m so lucky and grateful for them all, but sometimes this social networking feels like, well, high school. How many people “Like” you? How many people follow you on Twitter? How many visitors did you get? How many people left comments? How many people signed your yearbook? And I'm still an outsider without a date to the prom!

Dr. Food: Vhat did you expect? To be homecoming queen?

Lentil Breakdown: No, but I figured this is where I would shine—just me in the trenches, crafting my magic, without fashion or personal grooming to get in the way. But my blog doesn't really fit in with the other food blogs. It's not a cheerleader, a nerd or a stoner. It's a lot like Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club.

Dr. Food: Vell, other zen to avoid Bloomingdale's and za bathtub, vhy did you start it?

Lentil Breakdown: I thought I might get a humor food column out of it.

Dr. Food: Lady, everyvun’s middle name is Shecky, and vee all have a food blog. Did I tell you about mine? It’s called Oedipal Edibles. I subconsciously cook all my mother’s recipes. Turns out I'm in love vith her tuna casserole!

Lentil Breakdown: But doc, I may not be a real chef, but I’m a real writer!

Dr. Food: And I’m a real shrink. Vhat's your point?

Lentil Breakdown: It's just that I have a food-related book inside of me that wants to come out! But between my full-time job and this blog, I can't write it! I can barely keep up with the blog! I have all these ideas, but they're sitting around languishing in my brain. Everything's a struggle! Formatting issues, widgets, HTML, SEO, ISO, white balance, Photoshop, Light Room, StumbleUpon, HootSuite, TweetDeck, Google Plus—WTF! It's all Swahili to me and a huge time suck! Doc, I feel like a dinosaur. Spielberg could hire me to play a brachiosaurus in Jurassic Park 4. They were herbivores, you know.

Dr. Food: Ah, a technophobe vith vegetarian proclivities.

Lentil Breakdown: Days vanish before my eyes and and all I've got to show for it is a phallic ode in cyberspace!

Dr. Food: Sounds like vee need more sessions! Cha-ching!

Lentil Breakdown: And I'm a perfectionist who obsesses over every detail! Can you tell me something to make me work faster?

Dr. Food: Vith your OCD? Zat would be like Michele Bachmann telling Harvey Fierstein to pray away za gay!

Lentil Breakdown: But can’t you rewire my brain or something?

Dr. Food: Zair aren’t enough circuits, lady! Vee’d have to build more dams!

Lentil Breakdown: What's the point of a blog, anyway? Is it a place for narcissists to say, “Hey, look at me!” and whoever screams the loudest wins? Do we all have something so unique to offer that it needs to be broadcast to the world? Is disseminating useful information more noble than simply talking about ourselves? Who's to decide what's useful? What makes us relevant? What makes a person an authority? Is educating and informing people more respectable than merely entertaining them? Can you educate and entertain at the same time? Is "edutainment" really a word?

Dr. Food: I see vee need more dams zen I thought!

Lentil Breakdown: Doc, it just seems like I should be doing something more useful with my time than creating this light entertainment. Who am I, Mario Lopez? I’d rather be someone who’s making a difference like a Michael Moore or a Michael Pollan. But those Michaels are already taken. And they’re probably better at being them than I could ever be. Although with the portions I’ve been eating, I may have a shot at being Michael Moore. Doc, I’m like a neutered Chihuahua. I sit around barking, but I’m not humping anything! I should be out there protesting against the corporate machines!

Dr. Food: I saw you at an anti-GMO rally vith your lawn chair and picnic basket. Looked like quite a spread!

Lentil Breakdown: It was! All organic and no GMOs!

Dr. Food: But vhy veren't you marching?

Lentil Breakdown: My vegan fried chicken took a little longer to prepare than I expected, and I didn't have time to make a protest sign. Simulating bones is harder than you think!

Dr. Food: A picnic to a protest? Is zat vhat you’re bringing to za table?

Lentil Breakdown: I don't know. What am I bringing to the table? What are any of us food bloggers bringing to the table? Is sharing our love of food enough to warrant all the hoopla we make out of this colossal time suck? How many cupcake recipes does the world really need? What other parts of our lives are we sacrificing? Doc, I haven't touched my toes in two years. I'm not even sure they're still down there! I miss my muscle tone.

Dr. Food: Zen quit yer bitchin’ and get out of za kitchen!

Lentil Breakdown: I don't know. I’d like to hear from my interveners.

Dr. Food: Oooh, I love a good viener! Vith a little kraut!

Lentil Breakdown: I want to know if bloggers enjoy spending countless hours on social media or if they just accept it as part of the job? Do they have an end game in mind for their blog? How long do they plan on doing it? What else would they be doing with their time? Doc, I can't seem to quit high school! But what’s the point of going on if I never get my diploma?

Dr. Food: Vell, it’s like a client of mine vunce said, “My sister thinks she’s a chicken.” So I said, “Vhy don’t you have her committed?” And he said, “I vould, but I need za eggs.” Maybe you need za eggs!

Lentil Breakdown: Oooh. Suddenly I’m in the mood for a frittata. I'm thinking sundried tomatoes, arugula, caramelized onions and fontina on a periwinkle blue plate with a fuchsia napkin and post-modern fork perched perfectly on a distressed oak tabletop near my westward window at 5:18 pm. See you next week, doc.

Dr. Food: But our time isn't up!

Lentil Breakdown: Sorry. I gotta go charge my camera battery.

Calling all interveners!

Related Links:

My Therapy Session with Dr. Sigmund Food: “The Salad Bar”

My Therapy Session with Dr. Sigmund Food: “Guy Trouble”

Shishito Chile and Cheese Frittata


  1. You are a master with words. You add an important and unique dynamic to the food blogging sphere - you don't have a cookie-cutter kind of blog and add something meaningful to what's out there.

    As a fellow blogger and friend, I feel ya. I think the question I and probably most food bloggers or any blogger for that matter should ask is the "why I blog?" and "what do I want out of it?" If you have higher aspirations like a column or a book, then focusing your efforts and being more deliberate about it will get you where you want to be or to at least say you tried.

    Yeah, I know it's easier said than done. I say this to you as well as myself. I'm here for you as a friendly ear.

    Another excellent post, BTW.

  2. A man walks into a psychiatrist's office. He's completely naked except he's wrapped from head to toe in Saran Wrap. The good doctor looks at him, nods, and says "Vell, I can clearly see you're nuts."


  3. You want intervention? You got it. 1) Dump Facebook, Twitter and all their ilk. 2) In your newfound time, write the book. 3) Blog when and if you feel like it; let go of any existential angst about it--let it just be a fun place to express yourself. The book will make the money. 4) Stop eating carbs for a while, see your feet, then find a balanced way of eating that (my dear, it has to be said) includes good, local grass-fed meat.

    Intervention is about helping you kick butt on stuff that's paralyzing you, right? Hope I got that right ...

  4. Adair, your time is not wasted. You compose wonderful posts, for which you should feel a sense of personal accomplishment. The joy is in the writing, right? Write! But I feel your pain. Last night I was up to my eyeballs in tweaking a stupid logo in my Wordpress template and I had to run away from my desk and go to the gym, just so I wouldn't hate myself for spending my whole evening on that one futile task. See, I have it worse. I play with the templates and DON'T ACTUALLY WRITE. So keep writing. But do take the time to find your toes again!

  5. Also, Session 3 is a HOOT ... when I got to the frittata on the periwinkle plate, all became clear. Don't fight it ... you will always love food, and writing about it. Let 'er rip.

  6. There might be a book in it. Or should we say (to pay our respects to this delightful new century), there might be a kindle in it.

    Drop the blog, and write the kindle.

    But in the meantime, if you must put something on PAPER(I mean, if you're going to be retro, why not a papyrus scroll, for Christ's sake),pick a selection of your best blog-posts, and publish them as an anthology.

    This stuff is GOOD.

  7. And you are not only a hilariously funny humorist, though you are that.

    If I take your verse which begins "My sweet, oh how you make me moan/when we are in my bed alone," abstract it from the context of the post and the related photograph, and forget that you wrote it as part of a humorous piece, I think it stands on its own as a poem, a very erotic poem, and a good one.

    I find it evocative in the way that only a true poem is. You couldn't improve it by adding,subtracting, or changing a single word, as is the case with a true poem. I would go further, and say that those first two lines are so good that they have classic force.

    And I know whereof I speak. Some of the greatest poems in the English canon were written by Anonymous.

  8. This is funny but also insightful. I can really relate to some of the points you make, and I'm still finding my way... slowly but hopefully surely.

  9. Andrea: Thanks for your friendship and support!
    Michiel: Thanks for your joke!
    Becky: Thanks for the tough love! I don't know if I can quit carbs. Maybe I'll try cutting out gluten first, and see how that feels. Have never done it long enough to feel any difference. Legumes are one of my main protein sources though. Not sure why I should cut out those!
    Michael: Thanks for sharing!
    Anonymous: Thanks for your advice and kind words.
    Leaf: Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Oh Adair, lol well if you diced to call it quits wait until you write something on that ice-cream escapade we had in san fran. If you dont write something on that i will be tempted to post it on youtube and post the link all over facebook and here!! I hope you have it in you because that was a great fun day everyone should hear about.

    I would say slow down on your obsession with the blog and focus on the book. Meaning come up here to your aunts home in NBay to do some writing and hang out with me ane Kent, LOL,
    Love you

  11. Suggestions from Anonymousketeer:

    1. Continue the blog; perhaps write less, or less often.
    2. Write the book.
    2a. Without abandoning the peripatetic nature of the blog, also use it to support the book.
    2a.1 By publicly committing to write the book in the blog, you will build self-motivation to complete it.
    2a.2 By periodically mentioning the book in the blog, you will build and maintain interest and anticipation for the book.
    3. "Edutainment" is not a word. It is an ecostainment in the biome of language.
    4. Forget all that other sh...tuff.

  12. Sky: Yes, am planning to write about the ice cream.
    Anonymousketeer: Thanks for the sage advice. Love your pseudonym!

  13. I feel ya- sister. Just today though, I thought to myself proudly... I have learned to use my camera, build a website, lightroom, seo, ... It's a growing process of life and when you push through you are proud of yourself. You should be proud of your blog, it's an expression of your creative self. Personally you are one of the only blogs I "read"- you keep me engaged, laughing, and yes I always learn something.

  14. crap I have to figure out my new links every time I post it's linking to my old site! see it never ends. I'm over at

  15. Thanks Louise! Congrats on your new site!

  16. I wish I could answer your questions, but I am clueless myself:) I just know that your articles make me laugh and I truly look forward to every new post. Yours is not a McDonald's kind of food blog and I read it because of it.
    You are a talented writer and I really hope you write that book one day soon:)

  17. don't change. the world has too many molly ringwalds. we like you, ally sheedy.

  18. Hi Lentil! This is a conversation we have had and you have brilliantly turned it into a such an engaging piece! It takes courage as an artist to follow your heart - I look forward to reading your work, whether it be a book or a blog - keep writing. Bijouxs

  19. I know this is old(ish), but having newly recommitted to actually posting on my own blog, and so far carrying through with it, I struggle with the same questions daily. Same questions I had when pursuing academia. The navel gazing! The adding reiterations to a superfluous canon of literature! Wasting hours upon hours consuming others writing/blogs! But I do REALLY like yours. And find it original and intelligently funny and inspiring. I like that you BRING the alternative/anti side to things, that isn't something I have seen much of!!

  20. This series should seriously be published!! Not just on your blog! You are brilliant, Adair! I so enjoy your wit and nuances and sense of humor! Keep at it, I feel the same as you some days, but I just keep going-it's what I believe in. CC