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

Monday, January 11, 2010

The joy of working the dogs

I spent the weekend helping out the Hot Dog King, but maybe it was a case of the Hot Dog King helping me out, instead. It's been a mutual admiration society we've been running for awhile now. Both of us being foodies and fans of the Three Stooges is a plus, but having a pal who is also unemployed AND a natural born hustler makes it even better.

It wasn't rocket science running that cart, that's for sure. Basic mathematics was required for counting cash. Customer service skills I have in spades. Watching the number of dogs in the wells, well, that was easy, about as easy as fishing them out and applying toppings according the wishes and desires of my patrons. It was the waiting and the thinking inbetween customers that made it tedious at times. Otherwise it was fun and easy, and that, my friends, is what work should be all about.

I stood there, under the eve of the Sedgewick Albertsons, soaking in the strange balminess of the weather, the pleasantness of the customers and the comraderie of a pal. The work I was doing this weekend gave me a different kind of thrill than the satisfaction I get when I work at Helpline. It was a different kind of fatigue at the end of the day, too, a delicious sort that said to me that I worked, not just for the sake and survival of the community, but this time, for it's pleasure, too.

It was an ephiphany, then, for me, to discover what it was that work really meant to me: a bit of delicious fatigue at the end of the day delivered up because I spent the day entertaining, nuturing and participating in the growth and well being of my community. If only work in my profession could be as simple, easy and as fun as serving up that humble dog.
But, you know, applying topping to wursts is not where I am going. The destination remains a mystery, somewhat like the ingredients of those dogs I was slinging. And that mystery will continue up until the day my ship comes in, and that day, children, is the day I set my hot dog tongs down.


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