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

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Evening star!

Sometimes things, good things, just happen. Sometimes things, like a good sunset, a couple well placed seats at an orchestral concert, a couple bowls of soup, a nice bottle of sparkling wine, just come together, make a simple kind of magic, turn a normal sort of work day into a real and fantastic date, something taken to a higher level because it wasn't planned but cobbled together with a simple grace and art that made the whole enterprise just flat out sing.

Yep, it wasn't planned, that's for sure. A stack of comp tickets to the Friends were out there for a performance at the Mendocino Music Festival for a Wednesday night, a normal late night for me at the branch. I wasn't even thinking of going but also saw that no one else was going to attend, either. So mentioned the fact to my Esteemed Companion, let her know that I thought it a pity that she was so far way. Well, what did I find in my email box almost immediately but a sort of gently wrapped in velvet cast iron skillet upside my head! Come on, man, what kind of an invitation was that? A gentleman always asks a lady properly so I did and that was that. Contacted the President, got a couple tickets set aside at will call, arrangements were made on her end and within twenty four hours we had a date planned, a real date, a pressed shirt, curled hair, happy faces, baby-sitter set up kind of date. Our first. How wonderful was that?

It's not every day we get to go to a concert and for a first outing it was especially grand. The setting for the festival in Mendocino is in a magnificent  circus sized tent, set across from the town on the headlands, right on the edge of the sea. We were privy to a fantastic set of contemporary and challenging pieces as well as an exquisite concerto by Rodrigo before intermission, the last of which left me soaring, feeling as if I was Errol Flynn and my darling dear was Olivia De Havilland on the set of some grand Warner Brothers adventure film.

We strolled out of the tent at half time while the orchestra tuned up, walked straight into the last vestiges of a glorious sunset, caught the evening star on the rise, noshed on two take-out bowls of a most wonderful kind of soup and then, to her hearts delight, popped a nice bottle of bubbly, too. "Now, where did that come from?" she must have wondered. Well out my grocery sack, this man's version of a Mary Poppins bag! We never caught up with the chocolate that lurked at the bottom of that bag but I am sure that it will be there for another adventure somewhere else down the line, that much I am sure.

As for the Debussy and La Mer and the rest of the evening? Well, let's just say that it was sublime. Small problems come and go yet we made our way through life and over hurdles and in and around all sorts of things which says to me that if we can pull off an orchestral kind of evening at 70 miles apart with all it's requisite twists and turns, well, then, we just might be able to pull off anything we put our minds to.

Yeah, last night we shared evening full of heavenly music and a sweet slice of time side by side in a most wonderful setting. And more to the good were all the secret sweet wishes we were throwing at that evening star last night that says to me even more good things are coming, that a sort of grand happiness, one never expected nor looked for, is afoot. Happy days, indeed!


 Here's something on the show we saw and on Shin-Ichi Fukuda, guitar player to the stars!

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