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

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Some things learned, hopefully never forgotten

*The Perseid meteor shower comes around every August whether you have a clear sky to watch it by or not. Catching the tail end of it all scrunched in the back of a station wagon at a rest stop off a high desert highway in Nevada in the middle of the night was a good thing but not as much of a good thing if we had caught it on the coast, my Esteemed Companion. Damn those clouds, that marine layer. Next year. Bueno.

*Stuff left behind in an estranged spouse's garage seems to grow in size over the course of a year yet diminish in meaning relative to the time spent away from it. It's amazing how much stuff I've managed to unload this year and not miss. Where is the passion, the attachment,  the full out craziness that made the accumulation of all that junk the big point to begin with? Outside of art will I ever need to find a place in my home and heart for that kind of massive accumulation ever again? I think not.

*Children and their toys, their play, their imaginations, come and go. Those moments that they want you to get down on the floor and play pass by so fast that you are left in the dust of memory if you don't get down there and play with them right then and there. It was almost fifteen years ago that my oldest (happy 21st, kiddo!) wanted me to play Hot Wheels with him when I stepped in the door after a long commute home from Seattle. I said I would and disappeared into the kitchen to make supper and I never made it back. That moment, the one not taken, has haunted me ever since. Thank goodness for my youngest, for the arrival of that high spirited little boy of my Esteemed Companion! A pray that a moment of good play will never escape me again.

*Traveling in the high desert in the summer time at the break of day is one of the finest things a man driving solo can every experience. Driving that same stretch fatigued under the noon day sun is pure hellishness. Choose to leave early, drive early, get where ever you're going rested. Stay hydrated. Bring plenty of snacks. Leave the chocolate at home. And be sure to bring along plenty of tunes worth listening to over the miles. Those songs will stick with you the rest of your life.

*On that note, never hit the road after a wild night of lovemaking thinking you're going to make your destination on time and in good shape. It'll never happen. Get plenty of rest the night before or leave a day later, or better yet, bring the mujer along to switch hit on the driving. Much better plan I am sure.

*Always remember to do your heavy talking when well rested and over a cup of tea, not late at night and never when red wine is flowing, least ways, not if you don't want to have a morning full of heavy tummy. I have a feeling that next time we face that kind of thing we will leave the talking alone and go play acey ducey, or watch a movie, or retreat like wild rabbits to our burrow, instead.

*Beach play with kids is fabulous and not to be forgotten as a cheap and plentiful source of fun at the end of summer, especially when you live only minutes away from the surf. I forgot how much fun tag, hide and go seek, building log houses, writing in the sand could be. See the world through the eyes of the child and find yourself magically transformed again into that wonderful child you were long, long ago.

*Remember: ..if in doubt, eat dessert first. Especially in the morning, even if the breakfast dish is a pan of mighty good stir fried rice. Always serve sparkling wine well chilled, unless you are at a concert and dragging it out of a picnic basket and then, well, what the hell. Bomb your place for fleas before guests come, not afterwards. Do dishes in the morning especially if more pressing things await the night before. Always have matches, candles and good chocolate on hand when and if you are wondering what to do next but most of all be real. All else is meaningless if you aren't being real.

*Live in a town or a city that has a strong sense of culture and fun about it. This past weekend we had galleries, parades, fresh churned ice cream, gem shows, good super markets, second hands and good hardware stores to bounce off of and never had a moment to ponder "what next?" and come up empty. Sure, I dream of Seattle, San Francisco, Cleveland or New York but I will settle for any place that gives a boy plenty of room to romp and the two adults at hand plenty of things to oooh and aaaah about. Anywhere is fine by me, my Esteemed Companion, truly. Let's plan and let's go.

*A good meal at home, served up with care, consideration, love, tenderness and skill, on mismatched plates, with good music in the background, with laughter and good vibes all around, will beat a five star restaurant out in the town hands down every time.

*Once again, always remember to be real. Remember to back up your words, your oaths, your promises with real deeds. But more than anything, remember to be present, in the moment, right here and now. Donde esta, mujer? Let's go play!


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