Archive for July, 2008

31
Jul
08

lunches from my sweetheart the drunk

So, as previously mentioned, my girlfriend got blitzed and made food at 3am in a frenzy of culinary performance art.  I finally had the chance to taste the meal for which our kitchen was destroyed.

I must admit, I expected it to be terrible… a labor of love, if you will.  Somehow, in her innebriated glory, A. managed to pull off a tasty meal; I will now try to guess how it was made and from what.

I believe this meal was prepared in three pans.  One in which peeled potatos sat sizzling in butter, another where cauliflower was sauteed (Also, I presume, in butter as it was as rich as the potatos), and a third where rice, after cooking in the rice cooker, was presumably oiled, semi-fried and seasoned.  Either that, or the rice was simply added to another pan when it was time for mixing.  The seasonings to me seemed to be something along the lines of Basil and “Cajun” mixed.  The flecks of orange were originally thought to be our oft used and beloved cayenne, but alas, with as much orange as was visible, it was not spicy enough to be.  This will probably be my first error.  It had the slightest hint of indian food which made me think curry, but if it was used it was slight.

Over all it was a very satisfying mix of three things I like prepared by a loving drunk woman.  I would eat it again, with a little salt or hot sauce, perhaps.  Soy maybe?

Thanks A.  I will try to have the dishes done before you get home 😉

31
Jul
08

the drunks strike again

A. and I had taken a short hiatus from playing Risk, one of our favorite pastimes.  Since the move we have played twice.  The first time we just gave up half way through with no clear winner.  The second time I won by concession.  I had a long day yesterday so the beer consumed while playing Risk not only made me drunk, but rather tired.  I went to bed, apparently unannounced, much to A.’s dismay.

When I awoke this morning it was raining, which was quite pleasant.  I laid in bed for another half hour enjoying the calm and cool.  Finally it was time to head to the shower.  I knew she had made lunches for us, so I figured there would be some dishes to do.  But…

When I passed into the kitchen I beheld every dish, spatula, pot and pan we owned piled Burton-esquely in the sink.  I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the floor looked a shade darker than normal.  Had there been an oregano fight?  Was A. secretly cleaning and packing weed whilst I slept?  In order to cross the kitchen to the bathroom I first needed to sweep the floor.  To my bare feet it felt like walking on mulched leaves.

I was, at this point, rather curious about what the result of this havoc would be.  It sits calling my name in the break-room fridge as I type.  I will add another post later after it has been critiqued.

30
Jul
08

oversleeping

Apparently it is unwise to stay up until 3am drinking wine and playing Risk when you need to get up at 7am that same morning. The reason it’s unwise is twofold.

Firstly, getting drunk doubles your chances of setting your alarm to PM by not going all the way through the numbers so that the proper dot is lit next to the display. I’m sure this happens to all of us. Second, depending on the volume of wine ingested, 3am may not be far enough away from 7am to sober up, increasing your odds of sleeping through your alarm, shutting your alarm off and going back to bed, or getting a DWI on your way into work. This morning, on top of the lingering buzz and the panic of realizing I was late, I was asked to do some stunt driving. Someone was either moving in or out of a neighboring residence, and as I park in the back off the alley, their truck was blocking my exit.

“Got enough room to get out?” called the male driver.

“Yeah, I think so” I lied, up to the challenge.

I managed to back out between a telephone pole and the nose of his truck with mere centimeters on either side, whipped backwards into the neighbors spot, and went on my way, noting the look of respect on the man’s face. As I drove off I thanked something or other for letting me through that without incident. They were in a rental truck, so there would have been a claim no matter how minor the damage.

Anyhow, I think this particular late arrival just avoided radar detection. I won’t know for days. What I do know, is that I really need to safeguard myself against oversleeping, because let’s face it, oversleeping is annoying for everyone.

29
Jul
08

“Christmas” the oaf grunted

When boxed wine first hit the shelves of liquor retailers, it was met with guffaws.  “Where’s the romance?”  “Surely this can’t be proper wine!”

On the whole, as it was new, those offended had a point.  The stuff was wretched.  McWine, if you will.  Within a few years, more reputable wine makers, particularly in California and Australia, began to release higher quality boxed wine and the public responded, first with skeptical curiosity, and then with a conversion-experience type of approval, becoming often evangelical in the defense of their semi-faux pas.

More and more, consumers became convinced of the value of boxed wine.  You could pour a glass without worrying about spoilage, and most boxes equaled 4-6 bottles worth of wine for the cost of one midrange corked.  So the real idea behind it all (which was the ability to stay fresh once openned) caught on and people, begrudgningly or otherwise, began to purchase these rectangular casks en masse.

The side effect that the wine producers may or may not have foreseen, was the likelihood that, given how splendidly easy it is to ration over generous amounts of wine to oneself without the visual aid of watching a 750mL bottle rapidly empty, that people would consume immoral amounts of the juice in one sitting.

A. and I have discovered this ease of over-consumption with a particular brand and as such have coined a term for the absolutely hair brained points of mopey conflict that can arise from over-drinking:

Velladrama.

I find it to be a particularly clever use of the wine maker’s name, and have often mused that the grin he sports on the side of his box is one of sinister mirth, knowing the trouble he will cause anyone involved in social interaction upon its indulgence.  A mixture of liquid courage, regression, and truth serum.

A. and I cannot afford the better tasting boxed wine and have been set to acquiring a taste for what can only be described as Red Liquid Nascar.  Why this devotion to drunkenness?  There were aspirations of drying out upon moving that were shrugged off with frightening ease.  There were elaborate discussion about the new personal daily habits we would acquire after moving to our first apartment together.  Yet, neither of us can easily see much fun in a summer evening, equipped with a three season porch and a bent towards conversation, without the slow stupefication of alcohol to lubricate the potential friction of our intercourse as it becomes braver still with each glass.

If only it didn’t lead to moments where, staring at a picture of a brick wall and sky and being asked “Where was that taken,” the inquirer would receive a dull grunt of “Christmas.”

Mind you, Velladrama is not the rule.  Exceptional as the exception has proven to be, most evenings of wino-esque activity yield results no more harmful than what amounts to a two person party.  Music, discussion, and alcohol fueled passion.  All relatively standard.  Some very funny and very dumb things have been born of it.  Chasing neighborhood kids through the park and screaming “ARE WE HAVING FUN!?”  Getting excited during an argument and breaking a knuckle on the door.  Having a who-can-give-the-other-a-bigger-bruise contest.  Destroying the kitchen to make something one wouldn’t eat sober.  Never ending rounds of Risk and Poker.  Driving to Missouri.

I dare say the question of drinking is high philosophy for A. and I at this point.  Something to be debated by the greeks.  Of course, the day to move on will come, and the biggest question will be then: can we?

26
Jul
08

and it all worked out

Funny, the way you can almost unintentionally find yourself anywhere but where you intended to be, and funnier still, how when you arrive at this unexpected place along your journey, that, unless you have wound up in a very bad place, the old intentions and your new reality are not marked by a feeling of abandonment. Well, I suppose some could wind up in a fine place and still look back as though they had failed by not accomplishing this or that, but that may be a personal problem.

A few months ago I gave up my Minneapolis job hunt, frustrated at the lack of good entry level jobs. I had been waiting to hear back from the only company I actually wanted to work for for what seemed to be dismally long. A split second before I gave up completely I spotted an ad for Americorps, an avenue I had not considered. I called the director of the Santa Barbara, CA Literacy Program and had a very pleasant chat in which he decided I was already pre-qualified (notable as the paid opportunities are very, very hard to get). So, I downloaded the extensive application and reference forms and plugged away. I told nothing but the truth, as their federal background check would reveal inconsistencies that I tend to let go on regular applications (such as having 13,000 different jobs, many not lasting more than a few months). I do hate to have anything ‘required’ of me, it goes against my artist nature. Anyway, I rallied my friends who provided stellar reference letters and wrote my own brilliant letter of interest. It was looking good, I thought I had a fighting chance.

I waited for two weeks for word after mailing it. Nothing.

Then, one fortuitous Wednesday afternoon I got a voice message from the Minneapolis based company that i had wanted to work for (good benefits/salary and non-profit environment) but did not return their call that day; I needed to sleep on it. A. and I had started to become very excited at the prospect of moving to California for a year and had bought city maps and looked at it through “google earth.” We had started looking for apartments and a job for her. We both had a lot riding on my acceptance to the program. I didn’t so much sleep on it as wrestled it, as though the right choice could only be found by changing position every five minutes. I awoke the next morning intending to accept their offer, and as I approached the three season porch, where reception was better, my pocket vibrated. I answered.

“This is imnotme” I said warily to the area code I didn’t recognize.

“Hello, this is Director of Americorps, Santa Barbara. “We have reviewed your application and would like to invite you to serve in our Literacy program.”

My stomach dropped.

Now I had been offered a very good job in my hometown and a very exciting opportunity in a beautiful coastal city in California. It was the most difficult decision I had ever been faced with. There were gains and losses on either side that seemed to be so equal that they canceled each other out. And after 24 grueling hours of back and forth with A. I regretfully declined Santa Barbara my service and accepted my new job. Two months later, yesterday, in fact, A. and I moved to an apartment in an excellent part of town, and are exceedingly happy with where we have wound up in it it all.

 

In a matter of one month our plans had gone from A. getting her own place while I worked to pay off some debt, to moving to Santa Barbara, to moving to Minneapolis, and none of these plans had been laid with anything but resolute purpose and intent. Se La Vid. Or, as my friend once quoted: “Life is what happens while you’re making plans.”

25
Jul
08

do you care for children?

My cubicle neighbor asks this of people all the time.  And it’s funny, because she is asking this of people who provide care (some call it daycare) for children.  So asking them if they care for children may be an instance of too-much-information.  One of these days an honest provider may just say, quite frankly, “No, but it pays the bills.”

On a heavier note; what’s up with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?  Seriously.  It never dawned on me what a real possibility it is until I learned that the state of MN requires childcare providers to take a class on it, then watch a video once a year to become and stay licensed, respectively.  Those poor childcare workers.  Hearing class attendees being warned that the authorities will come to question you, etc.  That would be really terrifying to be watching over napping infants, only to find one dead by the time the infants parents arrive to pick it up and bring home.  How absolutely terrible.

It’s never ok to shake a baby.

24
Jul
08

black holes and revelations

I am really, truly, and exceptionally excited.

The Large Hadron Collider is schedule to come online next month.  If you don’t know what it is, you should.  Here’s a link to the official site. You can also look it up on wikipedia, which gives accurate information in a more focused, reader friendly way.

 

The New York Times has some more pictures of the experimental aparati.

 

There has been controversy around safety concerns, which apt and reputable commissions and scientist have thwarted, but truthfully, I hope they accidentally destroy the planet.  I’m not pretending to know anything at all about partical physics in any more than a theoretical sense, in fact, I don’t even know how they have managed a temperature of 1.79Kelvin.  That is intimadatingly cold.