Friday, February 4, 2005

Chicken soup

I have to get some pictures of broccoli, and for that matter pictures of--no matter how much they resemble a changing diaper gone bad--pictures of bechamel up. And why? Because I get ten hits a day looking for none other than pictures of broccoli. I feel guilty--no I do--that folks searching for bechamel and for "pictures of broccoli" get my site. It ranks high. Not highly, that would be absurd. I rank high in broccoli pictures and I have not two, not one, but none. For the bechamel...I should appeal to Bakerina, fair Bakerina, I should appeal--a simple link to the best, the most simple, the most elegant bechamel the Bakerina has to offer. I think she would cooperate. I should ask her. She could host this most basic recipe at her site. I could link to it. That's the idea of blogdom.

I don't know why--ok, that's kind of a lie--the spiders of Goodely Oogle send all these folks my way looking for wisdom in a milky, floury--not flowery, and it really better not be floury or one has done something wrong--sauce, but for god's sake, can't there be more pictures of broccoli than my none? Really, in the next two weeks--sooner than that I am too busy with school--but sometime within the week after next I will just put up a shit load of broccoli pictures. For fuck's sake, if that many people want them, it is my civic duty to provide. I may, I will, I think.

Oh, I should holler at the remarkable Bakerina about the bechamel. I had a recipe, buried in a post, over a year ago which included sort of, hmm, erm, somewhat slap-dash instructions? for bechamel. More of a poem about a sauce than a recipe. There was the milk and a bay leaf, a sliver of onion, a puff of nutmeg--that sort of thing. The truth is: bechamel is a handy sauce. Add some shredded cheese--molnay!, I think, anyway. Erm, but anyone, a persistent link. Somehow I need a persistent link obvious to those many few who sadly find my site looking for pictures of broccoli and bechamel. This that pitter flat spalat shat tat, ok, Mary just asked me from where I got the noodles for the soup--which she is now home from work and eating--

"Is it good?" I asked, no really I just asked this seconds ago.

"Yes," she said demonstratively, definitively, declaratively, deluctably, what-ever-the-fucktably? "I love it."

And so, there you have it.

Chicken soup, for the feeling sick your girlfriend, your lover.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

There are no audio clips of cats becoming ready to mate here. Or any audio clips for that matter. None.

I am 6th of 2470 for "audio clips of a female domestic cat ready to mate". Okay. No clips. Not of donkeys discussing cuticle creams or guyabas licking each other on the ear and talking dirty as only guyaba can do. No prickly pears prickling with gossipy heat nor pancakes quietly farting their loving whispery one-notes to butter. No sizzle and hiss. No freaking audio clips. Thanks.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Time and Dog Walks and Dirty Dishes

Thanks to those who provided helpful advice on my burning topic of fitted sheet folding. Despite all attempts to enwisdom me I am still madly twisting the bottom into a tense puffy bow and stuffing it into the drawer swallow by swallow. Perversely, I now have this nagging desire to iron my sheets. No idea why. Well, that's not quite true. It has been god awful and mean shitty cold here lately and the thought of steaming hot linens has its appeal. Still, hardly practical to iron a sheet, race upstairs, fling it on the bed and hope it stays warm while I finish up the others. Just idiotic, but still it nags.

Not a fan of ironed things, but there's a love of the steam and the wavering scenes beind the white column. Something in the intermittent hiss and glide and the secrets which the fabric gives up in buried smells released by the heat. I'm not fastidious. I'm not bothered by wrinkles in the least. I think there must be an alchemist part of me, enjoying the mutagenicity of t-shirts and pillowcases neatly creased as broken glass, stuffed in the bottom of the clean laundry bag, fuming and changing and relaxing under moist heat. Not much threat of becoming an obsessive ironing compulsive: I don't have the time.

Not sure where it goes, the time. Not sure at all. There's a lot of bits spent at the kitchen sink cleaning the latest peanut butter-covered knife and the latest lip-greased cup for tea. The coffee stains and the coffee syrup coated spoons and for god's sake the dog hairs and the dog staring waiting hoping praying for...for what? Jesus Christ, I wish I knew what was on her mind with the breathing and the sighing and the plaintive shedding. Fine dog though, mind, absolute sweetheart, loyal and kind. Furthermore, she keeps Mary's feet warm at times and that's a service worth as is worth.

Mostly the time lately is in being in between, halfway there and needing to be on the way. Not my favorite way to spend a life. I love endless days and endless days only start with endless mornings, whatever say the fans of late night. No day lasts as long as one started before the sun comes up. Every hour then a gift, a cold secret gift, a mysterious fat and wide eyed tight scalped time. Lately I've been rising with the post, good woman who delivers the mail, hitting our stoop at hours almost noon, not the way I'd choose. Up till three and what would I expect--but these hours after midnight are watery quick, weaving quick leaving quick, depleting things. Hours spent on farting and on wishes of sleep. Not the thing at all and a hard thing to change. Time now to get out and let the dog piss, or bark or howl or whatever she's of a mind.

Monday, January 3, 2005

Black-Eyed Peas, Luck Luck Luck

To each who has left me comments recently: thank you. I never went anywhere--just wasn't posting. Please do feel free to use the e-mail link. It is kind of people to care enough to check in after months and holler hey. Thank you. Happy new year besides, god, I really hope so. You all deserve it.

It was a new year and so we ate black eyed peas. Old tradition, new tradition. We used to eat roast pork and sauerkraut, fried apples and roast potatoes. On New Year’s Day Rosalie speculated that might have been Larry’s favorite meal. But then she said, she said, he had so many favorites, liking his food. We did not eat roast pork this year. We ate black-eyed peas for luck, for luck, in this 2005, a good year, it will be a good year. Battered, deep fried cod and black eyed peas and cole slaw, collard greens and corn bread, macaroni and cheese. A picnic round the kitchen oak. I think this must be a Southern belief, the belief in black-eyed peas. My brother asked if the Southerner’s have had such good luck, should we be eating their peas? Not a bad point, but this year we were looking for a little luck, a little calm, a little peace, so my mother with the buying of the peas.

For that matter, I love black-eyed peas, the earth and the grit, the grim stone-faced joy of their taste. My brother consented to eat exactly one, let him have luck, let him. And why not? What’s the harm of hope, of superstition? Two thousand four, a year, a point of planetary position come home again, I won’t blame, I won’t call bad, but it’s been a weird, hard year. The worst yet, some might say, but how to value the living, the dying? I won’t blame 2004, but I'll be looking forward to 2005, hoping time slows a little. I think it should be tired. Let it rest, let it roll slowly in tall weeds, let it bake in the sun, let it chew on old leather and eat paste.

Deaths at Christmas must be as common as any other time, they must be as common between Dec. 20 and Dec. 27 as between May 1 and May 8, don't you think? Still, they suck. My cousins lost their mother, my father's sister, right before Christmas. Same disease as my dad, almost exactly the same progression. Didn't hold off quite as long. Fuck it, I don't care if it's a plane or an asteroid or frozen goose shit, I just hope something gets me without choices, without too much time for contemplation and deterioration. No need to get into it here, but this aunt of mine, and who doesn't, deserved better. Funny, funny, crazy, brilliant, whacked woman.

Eating the black-eyed peas and smiling at the coming year with one hand over one eye, fingers crossed. A good year. God knows I wish one to each, to all even, knowing that for so many it's going to be an uphill slog through hot pink, curdled poodle vomit. But still, we hope, and why not? For each, for all, I hope good, or interesting, or sweet, or fat, or sassy, or slap happy, or horny, or lightly toasted and buttery, hoppy and bitter sweet or sweaty heady whole hearted blooming black passionate swirled rainbow sherbet, ephemerally loving tear-drawing breath-stealing loin-tingling chest-swelling good times are ahead of you, lurking in your water closet, in your pantry, in your closet under all the jeans you bought last year that don't fit; hiding in the strangely inviting trunk of your car--if only you were small enough to install a right-sized couch and lava lamp and move into that tidily sized, carpeted space--or maybe you wouldn't want to--but still I hope in your music which you will play, in the wonderful food you will cook, in the wonderful things you will write, in the wonderful lost moments with your infant you, thank god, forgot to video tape but will remember forever, in these moments, in these moments, in these moments of congealed bacon fat and pregnant diapers, in these moments of innocence, and it will all seem like innocence someday, fucking god damn it, for god's sake do I wish each his or her happiness. Love it, please, whatever moment it is, love it. Do the stupid, do the wise, do the taxes, but love it, love it. Be a little silly, go tell your lover thank you for the smoothness of the plaster and the horse hair, go tell your dog, thank you for the steaming turds and the plastic bags, go tell your roaches thank you for the entertainment. Telling these planets, these hard cold spheres thank you for the death of my father, thank you for the life, thank you for the mitochondria, thank you for the breath, thank you for the altar and the fat, thank you for the memories, thank you for the sweet brilliance of berry juice and strange fruit hairs. Will and thanks and hope and dread, this affliction, hoping this new year at least has some sweetness, some unnoticed moments to fuel future nostalgic memories.

And, I guess, that's about it.

Monday, December 20, 2004

List Making

Going to Washington, that's D.C., tomorrow. Right now I have ten thousand things to do but am confident that whatever gets done will be enough. Dishes and dog fur and fish tanks to be cleaning. Bills and cat boxes, overflowing the both of the them, but what else? This is my version of making list. Owen's things to be done in the next three hours. No I haven't forgotten packing; I've pushed it into that never-land of things which, since leaving can't be accomplished without them, will be done no matter how late. It would be lovely one of these lifetimes to be organized, I mean really so. To have all chores done in time to relax and reflect and enjoy it deeply. Does this ever happen? Is there any way to fold a fitted sheet neatly?

No, I mean the last. If anyone knows of a systematic, repeatable way to fold a fitted sheet, please let me know. Years ago I solved the problem by not buying fitted sheets. Hospital, or at least store front clinic, corners and a nice, not-to-worry self-righteous old-fashioned feel. Who needs elastic? Yes, but then there is being in a couple, and the hospital corners, well, sleeping alone and not moving much is one thing, but god forbid, with two bodies and a cat in the bed, and god help us should someone else have to change the sheets...anyway, if anyone knows a good way to fold a fitting sheet, a simple thing, let us know, please.

Let's see. Oh, right, I was going to put that 3M plastic film on a few windows tonight. It actually might happen. If I get started, I will do it. I might not get packed, the bills might not get paid, and I just remembered I should take a shower. The fridge didn't get cleaned by the way. There is this bowl--it's a lovely bowl, a blue banded and white glass Pyrex thing--a bowl full of old hummus. Actually, it's hummus no longer, green and blue-black and white mold. That bowl is lurking on the bottom shelf, well out of sight, not a thing to worry one at all if sight is out of mind. I do sort of miss the bowl.

There is also olive brine runnded over and under the glass trays which allow viewing of the stains and onion skins and blue--really cool periwinkle color--allium mold in the vegetable drawer. The bacon needs to be thrown out. So too the plastic tub of refried black beans. The hard dried--but not moldy--cheese, but properly that's Mary's exclusively so I don't worry. The lettuce: one bag fine--at least till Thursday--and one bag already that watery brown-white liquid waiting to run through my fingers when to pick it up I'll try. God only knows how old that kefir of Mary's is. One wonders why I should worry now if this old hummus has not worried me so much yet? Furthermore, I'm the only one leaving: Mary will be here and could certainly clean the fridge if she were so pressed. But, it's a strange thing. There is something about getting on a plane, or driving far enough away to necessitate sleeping somewhere else--one night won't do it, two barely--this sleeping away is the thing, the thing to remind one of every undone chore, of every cobwebbed corner or every molding crust married to every crusty sock. I'd do it all, if I had the time, pull out and polish every nail in every stud.

But I don't have the time. For god's sake, I've not even packed yet. At some point I'll have to walk the dog. Mary then will be home from work, and so few hours to smell her hair and listen to her talk to put hot water bottles under the sheets and light candles and christmas lights and try to be sweet. If only I were more organized and had this all in a list. If it were a job I'd be on each thing, soon done with all things, I swear.

I should get. Trying to not let six months pass without a post. I suppose I could always post my school work, but goddamnit, boring enough to write the first time, much less to read. I could post unsent letters, the living and the dead. That would be strange.

Saturday, December 18, 2004


I'm not dead, though if I were I'd like to think I'd have more time for things like maintaining a blog. Different calendar, different clock. Truthfully, after fall semester started and with a new job I haven't even had time for wool gathering. Piles and piles of wool waiting to be gathered, getting matted into felt, full and fuller.

We got a dog too, August, right at the end of August. The Rice country humane society chose her name and we were disinclined to change it. And yes, despite the name, she's a she. Nice, silly and time hungry dog. Sheds a great deal

Suddenly with the semester break and my kitchen floor is actually mopped, there are clean sheets on the bed and even the tub might lose its soap scum patina this afternoon.

I miss good food. Never eaten so shitty for so long in my life. Right now I wish I could eat wood, this tree down in my yard. Three hundred dollars before Christmas to have it taken off the neighbors fence and I passed on the fees for cutting, chipping, hauling. Just down and a lot of wood. How strange a thing that a tree, for many millions of years, a normal entity with integrity--an expected, even desired part of the landscape--suddenly, because of a fence being built under it and cables strung beneath it, a tree becomes a nemesis, a pest, an impediment, an expensive reminder of entropy. It was an ash tree, badly rotted at the heart of its base, but full of wet wet heavy green wood above. Half is still standing, and must come down--one can see light through the curtain of xylem on which it balances. Unfortunately, the my and my neighbor's power lines have to be dropped for those good times and they aren't able to come out till after Christmas. And when, that will be another five hundred, plus tax. I seriously need to find a way to make more money.

Not saying much am I? But not dead, though a lazy, non-posting, bad webizen. May soon think of things to share and find pretty words to hang on them. Of course, anyone is welcome to poke me with a stick (email), to see if I'm just sleeping.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Autumn in August

Summer forgot about us. It's cold here in Minnesota. It shouldn't be in the forties in the middle of August, but it is. Poor pumkins. Growers say what are normally the size of basketballs by this time rather resemble golf balls. You probably could get away with growing lettuce or broccoli throughout this summer. It does make me smile though to hear people complain about it. Normally this time of year one hears bitter comments on all sides about the sweltering conditions. Strange and a little bit sad though, to feel it's autumn and hardly have noticed the summer.

Mary and I are going with a group of her friends to Wisconsin tomorrow, to the Bois Brule river. A few days of floating and sleeping on the ground. Will be nice, I think. Nice anyway to wake up smelling like wood smoke, damp or not. Showers predicted for each day :) Going to miss a couple of classes though, which feels irresponsible.

Bois Brule, Mary's dad informs me, means burnt wood in French. Apparently it was what French settlers called Native Americans, once upon a time. So far removed from the time and the daily usage, it is impossible to know if it was used with derision, if it was pejorative, or not. Funny thing about words. I'm told the section of river we'll follow has lots of Class I and II rapids, with a couple of Class III. I, of no experience on rivers, will be walking around the last I think. No one ever drowned--or lost one's kit--on a portage. Brule empties into Lake Superior and that is where we finish. Something deeply satisfying about that. Even if you don't leave from the headwaters, following a stream till it gives up to something greater has a beauty to it.