Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What a hundred bucks will buy you

Thursday I was saved by the bell. The wolves are still out there but have been backed off a range or two. I know that it'll kill me later on but I took out my wee retirement. So, does that make me "retired"? Do I feel like I am retired? Am I now strapping on white shoes and hitting the links and watching Oprah in the afternoons in my barkalounger and hanging out with my homies on a bench in the park playing checkers? Oh, I think not. No, I'm still hustling for work.
Sure, taking out my retirement cash was crazy, and because of that I went alittle bit crazy after a three months of austerity. Yeah, today I went out shopping. Retail therapy. Blew all too much money considering my circumstances. Today was a good example of what controlled Mexican madness is all about. But when I tallied it all up it was all spent on all goods for the long run. Groceries, books, movies, clothes and music. And not one thing bought retail.


Today I hit up three second hands, a pawn shop and a discount grocery store in two counties. Bought labeled goods (Ocean Pacific, Quicksilver, Ralph Lauren, Columbia, Cablela's), a nice stack of music, an even better stack of current movies (five dvds for ten bucks, cheaper than renting) and more than a few award winning cookbooks. I look around me and see while my haul could fill a couple boxes or more on moving day I am satisfied with my craziness. Yeah, I really couldn't "afford" to do it but I did it anyway. Why? Because we are a consumer society? Because we are trained like monkeys from birth down in the OC to shop whenever or however we can, damn the cost? No, because after working the summer away like a dog under the threat of punishment and exile from a somewhat suppressive agency I had to o something to relieve the pressure. Oh, yeah, baby, and I did, and I had FUN.

Face it, I am in exile. I am a long way from family but thankfully close in to friends who went out of their way to support me during my times of trial. Let's just say that blowing fifty some odd dollars shopping at the grocery store today felt like a party. I felt vindicated stocking my wine cellar with discounted wines, loading up my larder with canned goods. I felt that what I spent today was spent in the name of good will. Someday, and that day is soon, is tomorrow, hell, is everyday, was spent readying myself for the long haul. That "long haul" started months ago and has been staring me in the face all the while, even while I rifled through today's receipts.

Today I went out and blew a fortune. But today I socked in movies and books and things that in my wildest and most wicked of imaginations I would never think to ever borrow again from my local public agency. Today I went out and paid nine dollars for a bottle of wine that in my wildest imagination I would never think to spend twenty five dollars on. Today I blew ten bucks on a coat that was mostly a forty or fifty buck coat retail that I will pack away in my car, a coat that I will use going back and forth on those long and cold trips to Boise this upcoming winter. And today I went out and added candles, cookbooks, music and movies to my collection that someday I hope to share in the wee hours with somebody who cares a bit about me, or, while I'm waiting, with friends who like to cook, like to eat, like to drink wine and who, frankly, like me, like me for whom I am, and that is a thrifty man.



Thaydra said...

I love thrift store shopping!

As a matter of fact, I did just that today. Tried the retail thing (for Halloween goods) and came up empty handed save for some appetizer plates, so headed over to the new Goodwill in Silverdale. Spent more money than I should have, but it was well worth it!

Candles, movies, cookbooks, music.... what could possibly be better than that? Sounds like a good haul to me!

dulcigal said...

Ken and I quote this poem when we decide to "splurge". It was written by (insert early Middle Eastern poet here), someone whose name escapes me at the moment.

"If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And of thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed the soul."