Archive for June, 2012

Achy Breaky Heart?, More Like Achy Breaky Brain…

June 23, 2012

Where to start?, I guess I should post the puzzles we did on vacation that I forgot to post in the previous post. When we arrived at the bungalow in Florida, there was a box of puzzles… 2 were 100 piece, 4 were 300 piece and 4 were 500 piece. Sofia did the first 100 piece and there were 2 pieces missing upon which she decided that the missing pieces must have been put in the wrong bag of pieces and that if we did all the puzzles we would eventually find the missing ones from the first one. One week later…

So we ended up doing them all and guess what?, we never found the missing pieces and actually realized that there were more missing… so I guess we got our puzzle fix out of our systems. I’m gonna attempt to conflate two seemingly unrelated events but first I figure I’ll post some greenware pics. I’m hoping to finish up two stragglers today and run a bisque tonight…

Here’s an experimental vase…

Here’s another slightly experimental piece (the one on the right)…

OK, so here goes. Not many people believe me but during my adult life I have had 3 baby teeth that never fell out when I was a child. Of course I didn’t know this until I was in my late 20s. One fell out back then and that’s how I found out. A very sharp canine slowly almost took its place. Then when I was 39 or so, the second one fell out and I was left with one stubborn baby tooth remaining. Well, while brushing my teeth the other day it finally gave way and the two teeth on the bottom that flank the four middle teeth are gone leaving me a bit beaverish…

Wow, those macro shots of my facial hair are not flattering. OK, so keep that in mind. Last week, Mr. Steven, Mr. Sebastian and I were having some java and Seb and I decided to go downtown and check out the DinnerWorks show that Mr. Fong Choo curated. Seb thought that it opened at 10 but when we arrived with only one quarter for the parking meter, we realized that the gallery didn’t open until 11 so we strolled down the block to find change for a dollar to feed the meter. We eventually got in at about 11:15 when we were about to bolt. I’m sorry to say that since I wasn’t planning to go that morning I didn’t bring my camera but here’s a shot of who is in the show besides Mr. Steven who didn’t come with us because he is in the show and had already seen it…

Here’s the only pic I could find online of the show which is Ms.Schwartzkopf’s table and shows how the tables are suspended from the ceiling with fishing line. It also shows some of Mr. Julius Friedman’s beautiful photographs that adorned the walls…

So anyway, the show looks really nice but my story is about the restaurant that we passed on the way to get coins for the parking meter. There’s a pizza joint that we passed on the next block that has been a Louisville institution since before I lived here so at least 25+ years. I hadn’t gone there in almost that long. Anyway, that evening we were supposed to take our neighbor friend out to eat as a thank you for watching the Dingus Dog while we were in Florida. I thought… why not get pizza at this place? Indeed, why not exactly? So, later that evening we ventured back downtown for some pizza, beer and conversation. I have to point out that on the menu is a “super pizza”, which according to the menu is 12 pounds and takes 45 minutes to prepare. We didn’t get that. So my neighbor, Mom, Sofia and I were seated in a booth. Before the waiter even came to our table, a doofus looking dude in a big black cowboy hat and cowboy boots comes up to our table talking about “the show” and whatnot. Of course he was talking as though we knew what was going on and we didn’t so we just waited for him to finish… something about a drawing for a 20 $ gift certificate. I looked at the stage and was relieved because the band wasn’t even set up so I figured we’d be gone before anything happened. I have to point out here that I hate country music and I assumed, because of his costume, that that’s what was in store. Don’t get me wrong, I like Johnny Cash as much as the next person and there are other exceptions including Tennessee Ernie Ford that are fun to listen to. In both those cases, I’m speaking strictly of their secular work. You know… “if you see me comin’ better step aside, alot of men didn’t and alot of men died. I got one fist of iron and the other of steel, if the right one don’t getcha then the left one weel (that’s a southern example of assonance). So anyway, we ordered a beer and the cowboy went up on stage and said, “everybody ready?” and launched into one of my all time most unfavorite songs by Kentucky’s very own country legend… “achy breaky heart”. I cannot express how dumb I think this song is, mostly because breaky is not a word and falls into the same category as far as I’m concerned with “obla di obla da”. Anyway, I could tell that this was not a karaoke night even though it was just this dude with a karaoke machine. So as he sings the breaky classic he’s dancing around the restaurant and hovering over table after table much the same way a belly dancer does, making everyone uncomfortable… or so it seemed. All I’m really sure of is that he made us uncomfortable when he hovered over our table trying to sway his hips like a Elvis wannabe. Now, we’re shouting across the table because we cannot hear and the song mercifully ends and cowboy dude sits down and hands the mike to his father?, not sure, but he was a very short man with one of those haircuts where the hair cups over his ears like a helmut (kinda like, maybe Conway Twitty or someone like that back in the 60s or 70s). He says, “everybody like Conway Twitty?” and launches into one of his songs. Then the haggard Merle, Mr. Jones and so on. At this point we’re trying to just have a shout conversation. So, a bit later the Twitty wannabe does his rendition of Elvis’ “American Trilogy” or “Freedom Trilogy”?, not sure but we’ve all heard the medley before. The second song in the medley is a hymn and I looked up only to notice for the first time that even I was one of the youngest people dining in the restaurant and during this magnificent trilogy, older people all over the restaurant had stood up from their seats and were swaying from side to side rapt, as it were, much like the groupies who must have thrown their undies at Elvis back in the day. There’s 70 year old couples swaying back and forth to the Elvin karaoke trilogy and taking pictures of the Twitty dude with their phones. At this point, we realized that we were the outsiders on this wednesday evening and I got that familiar feeling that we all get when we are the one person in the room that doesn’t belong, but… then I realized something. After growing up in central NY and living in KY for some 35 years, I had finally accomplished what had been so elusive til now. I mean, over the years I’ve learned to speak the language but that only allows me to blend with speech but now I have not 1, but 2 missing teeth in the front part of my mouth and it became clear that I could walk amongst the natives with nary a suspicion of my northern heritage. In other news, look what I have in the back of my car…

My friend traded me for some bonsai pots, yet to be made. Another strange but very welcome occurrence is that my abandoned beehive has new residents…

I’ve neglected the hive since two winters ago when my bees all died for the second time and the bottom area where they enter and exit has been overgrown with ivy etc. but unbeknownst to me there’s a little 1/2 inch hole in the back of the hive and they are going gangbusters in and out. My current plan is to ignore them and maybe if I do, they’ll survive. Last but not least, Mr. Steven loaned Sofia all the Hayao Miyazaki movies and the bug’s been making her way through them all and she loves loves loves them. I caught her in the sandbox the other day with this getup on…

I can’t remember the character that she’s supposed to be… Kaya or something like that. I’ll close with another pic of the bug that I just liked doing what I assume I will soon wish she had never learned to do…

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Back To The Kennel…

June 10, 2012

Well, we drove in from St. George Island last evening after a week staying at the Bohemian Bungalow… not to be confused with the Boobie Bungalow which I take to be a strip joint that we passed somewhere in Alabama. Over this period of 8 days, I heard nary a yelp from the canine family of creatures… of course after returning home that was immediately remedied by my mind-bogglingly inconsiderate neighbors. But I digress. If I was ever re-thinking my current idea that I would simply never retire and continue working til I dropped, a week with absolutely nothing that had to be done took care of that. The phone didn’t work and I couldn’t bring myself to watch TV on vacation which severely narrowed the options… or so it seemed. I quickly filled the void with beer, cooking, swimming, reading, puzzles, beer and of course UNO. But it also became clear that however long this list of distractions that if I were to achieve the, hmmm, what’s another phrase for american dream (an absurd and meaningless phrase if ever there was one), the, the cultural fantasy (akin to winning the lottery), that the aforementioned list would grow incredibly tiresome with a couple weeks I’d guess. So that was lesson one from the family vacation… go to work and forget about this imaginary life of leisure that so many are saving for. Onto another revelation about island life. You know, we visited the Bohemian Bungalow 2 years ago and we learned that food snobs will have difficulty obtaining their sustenance at an island grocery or the Piggly Wiggly over in Apalachicola. So, we brought tons of food and water too because the island water tastes like animal dung… well, it could be that we’re just not used to it. Anyway, the whole food thing was last trip’s lesson/revelation but this time we ran out of… you know… what the french call papier hygiénique. So off to the island market Mom went to stock up on, let’s just call it PH or TP if you find that tiresome. I paid no attention whatsoever to the lack of the paper product until one afternoon whilst my prostate was making me wait for a little flow-age and of course I had no glasses on because who needs glasses when they’re peeing (even if they’re peeing while drinking a beer at the same time), I stared vacantly forward only to see this island TP and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why anyone would think anyone would want or buy basil, I don’t know, flavored? scented? what? toilet paper…

Charmin must be coming up empty with their allegiance to the Six Sigma continuous improvement process. I kept thinking why basil?, I like basil but if we’re doing scents, I’d prefer lilac and if we’re doing herbs I think I might like to try some oregano toilet paper. The whole thing made me think of Ben Franklin’s infamous and fantastically funny “Letter To The Royal Academy”. Oh hell, you know these kind of things happen when you mix beer and blindness. The bug had one hell of a time and, as it turns out, she’s already a better and faster swimmer than I’d ever been. I swear she swam 9 hours + the first day we were there. Every morning the bug and I went to the ocean for an hour or so. Here’s a pic Mom took of us…

I guess I should point out here another revelation that I keep having over and over and that’s that despite what my brain thinks, my body simply cannot do what it used to. A couple days before leaving the waves were particularly large and I decided to wade out to where they were breaking and kinda jump into them and let them carry me a bit. Of course, I managed to time one incorrectly and it literally slammed me against the ocean floor. I hit very hard a bit askew against my ass and I had a very stiff neck and my back is still sore. It was one of those events where you wish against wishing that you could just go back in time about 1 minute’s worth and not do what you did. Here’s a couple shots of the fish in action…

Here’s a couple shot of Sofia “being Mom” as she says…

And here’s another shot of Sofia “being Mom” which consists of wearing a goofy hat and sunglasses…

And of course the sunscreen, the sunscreen, the sunscreen. Not my cup of tea but the bug was slathered multiple times daily. One last pic of the bug lounging. This pic just made me think, as I often do, how fast she’s growing. She looks so much older here to me…

Back to Alabama. It’s difficult to make sweeping generalizations about entire states of the union, especially if you live in KY. And if you drive in the country in KY, I don’t really think it’s all that different but I think everyone in rural Alabama has their own personal church. It might be easier if each household just registered itself as a church because it seems that there’s that many. Of course along with the churches are the churches’ advertisements on billboards which I ignore with all other advertisements but the funny/disturbing billboards and signs are the “holy” admonishments like this one that we saw along I65 and apparently is quite well known to travelers along this route…

Sure, it’s concise and in plain speakin’ too but the thing I find so amusing is the devil himself. Apparently before making an appearance here, Old Nick stopped off and stole the grim reaper’s scythe. Far be it from me to parse satanic iconography but I don’t recall beelzebub sporting that particular farm implement. Wasn’t he a pitchfork wielder? Last but not least I thought I’d post my favorite dish that I feel as though I made up myself. It’s this yummy avocado quesadilla…

Simple saute some garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. Mash up and avocado and mix in the garlicky shrooms. Spread evenly on 1/2 of a tortilla shell. Grate some havarti on top of the avocado mixture. A little more oil in the pan with fresh ground pepper. Carefully brown both sides which will melt the havarti but not really heat up the avocado much. This one has some blanched spinach mixed in too. Meat eaters would probably like to add some bacon but of course, it seems americans will put bacon on anything. Well, back to work.