Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Yolk's on me.

I am a little accident-prone, the illustration above is of the aftermath of a pez truck that encountered the underside of my foot. A couple cola-flavored candies were lost that day. I am no stranger to breaking objects and enduring personal injury as a result of my own inadvertent doing, and sometimes not so smart maneuvers (I give you welding while wearing sandals and socks, in hindsight, wrong for more than one reason.) Most recently, my left hand is still a little tender from it’s encounter with a chain link fence when I looked over my shoulder while in motion on a bicycle; my college roommate has quite the collection of glued back together knick-knacks; there’s a broken shredder out there because I wanted to see what shiny mylar would look like in little slivers. Okay, that last part was not so much an accident as it was a lapse in impulse control. At any route, breaking things isn’t so hard for me to do. I cracked and egg over the pan today, upon exiting it’s shell, the yolk grazed my finger and separated itself from its little bubblyness. When it hit the pan it was fusing with the white, and I had to take a moment to simmer myself down. No spatula slamming, no fit throwing. This is what I am working on. Calm. It’s just an egg, but darn it all, I wanted it to be fried, not flawed.
Fried eggs are a recently new addition to my diet, I used to only eat a version of scrambled eggs that I cooked until they were a dry flaky weirdness and then doused with Red Hot. Now, if not fried, they might be omletted with various types of cheese or sautéed mushrooms, maybe some spinach or sun dried tomatoes. One yummy version comes from left over Dal Sagg and either munster or armenian string cheese, depending on what we have. There was a salmon scramble option at brunch the other day, and I broke my “if I can eat it, I will eat it” mission statement. Another day, another day. But the thing about the eggs, you see, they don’t always come out perfect every time. Sometimes the yolk breaks right away. And you’ve got the option to scramble the mistake right then and there, but then it’s just a stirred up mess at that point, no slightly browned slices of fresh garlic, no asparagus cooked in olive oil, nothing. Just a deflated defeated slop. You could still throw it in the rice you cooked and slosh on some Dr. Bragg’s and Siracha Sauce and call it a day and it will be almost just as good, but it’s not the same when you’ve got it in your mind to have that orangey yellow eruption with intention.
There’s been an occasion or two where the shell-to-pan transfer is a success, and then somewhere in the flip, there’s a flop and the goo bubbles out from underneath as it solidifies, but I think the worst is when everything else go well, and when you get it to the plate, you find it to be overdone. I’m trying to pay attention to the details, which brands of eggs seem to be more prone to success or failure. The size, shape, and color are factors. Brown eggs, more brittle than the harder shelled whites, tend to splinter and poke holes in my yellows, for example. Googling tells me that fresh eggs produce the best shape when frying. Hmmmm, our lease agreement specified no babies or dogs, I don’t remember anything in there regarding poultry...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Curled up in my sleeping bag, flashlight in hand, I turned page after page of “meanwhiles” and action sequences paired with colorful panels on thin yellowed older than me by at least seven years paper. I had four thin books borrowed from the barn stash, two of which were completely devoid of the glossy covers, the other two still had the remains of the outer shell. A portion of the covers had been removed, the top couple of inches on of the front sliced cleanly away. Evidence in the form of slivers through the first few pages indicated that when the other two still had their covers, a similar situation might have occurred. I wondered, perhaps, if these where stripped issues, something I was familiar with in my book store working days, sitting in the back wharehouse, removing covers of mass market (paperback) books and magazines to be sent back to the publishers, and the contents destroyed. Seems like a waste, I know I was always tempted to keep the castoff portions. If this was in fact the case, that these old issues of illustrative narratives somehow escaped destruction, well it made them seem a little bit more adventurous for the journey. True, yes, if they had been better preserved versions in more pristine condition they may have had some sort of monetary value, and maybe handled with more reverence, bags and boards, maybe even graded. But what fun is that on a night in tent when I was the only one too wound up to sleep? So I’m a little excitable, it’s true, but this was even without the pixie sticks I wasn’t permitted to purchase from the gas station where we stopped in to pee (Amanda convinced me it was a courtesy to refrain from unleashing the effects onto the other three people that would be in close quarters for the rest of the car ride).
The light coming from my wind-up style was in full strength to illuminate the pages I was reading in my tent, all three beams were blasting onto the well-spoken seaman with Spock like eyes and a green Speedo. Another character remarked that he spoke as if he was reading from a book, or something similar. There was a panel of two girls embracing, I made up my own mind and read between then lines with that one. It was very late, and at thirty I was engaging in a summer camp fantasy in the Catskills, color wars and all. I grew tired before my light faded and needed to be rewound. The mechanical whirl of the recharge, I feared, would most likely wake my tent mates. Up closer to the barn the fire still crackled and murmured conversation soothed this city girl into a Sub-Marnier themed sleep until the tacking up of the outhouse sheet for a door and chopping of firewood roused me in the morning. However the other two in my tent where still asleep, and there was a fantastic four to be read, so I stayed nestled between the protruding root to my stomach sleeping left and gulch to my right where the visible rock was removed before pinching our tent. I had to sort of nestle in to the hole, which gave me a bit of anchoring to minimize slipping down towards the corner at my feet. You see, it wasn’t until it was rather dark that we had gotten our sleeping quarters situated. There was already quite a bit of a slope to contend with and it wasn’t until later that we realized how rough the terrain we had chosen was, an inconvenience that seem to grow as the damp ground below dried and settled. It was a minor setback to a well needed out of the city weekend trip. My team, incidentally, had the task of maintaining the fire, which I have to say was a stroke of luck in my book. Rummaging through the woods, for dry kindling to start in the morning amongst the ferns was a lovely chore indeed. Also enjoyed, was breaking up the brush that needed cleared away, which also provided a nice accumulation of ash for cooking later in the evening. Through the day, members of the purple team could be seen snapping and stepping off twigs as well as sawing and swinging axes. I liked having a task, I have to say, being a guest and all, it felt nice to contribute. The day was filled with games and fun, points were scored, and the whole thing was taking in varying degrees of seriousness. We had an injury during volleyball, an obstruction during the egg toss (I was part of a pair that went all the way to the end until a cradled catch of an egg lobbed from one end of the gaming area smashed into the metal chair that was used to tie the finish lines for the other games. The judges on the deck above had mixed reviews. One woman felt sympathy towards the misfortune of being so close to an obstruction, but a boisterous voice said, “She should have looked” which made the call and I was out. We also lost the wheelbarrow race, mainly because we would rather forgo the points than to possibly induce injury on our youngest team member. I think we ended up in fourth place. Maybe we should have kept better score in badminton, and maybe our end of the evening skit would have benefited from better direction, and there is a slight possibility that we kinda sorta dropped the ball in the baking portion of the competition (rice crispy treats were no match for woven pie crust or cheese cakes.) However, all points aside our efforts as a team of fire maintainers glowed brightly well into the evening that was filled with music and fireside chats. So suck it, striped team! General cleanup? What’s that anyway? People pretty much took care of there own mess anyway, I didn’t see any of you wielding an axe in the name of friendly competition.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Either Oar.

Last week, I was up and out by seven a.m. on a Saturday, mind you. I know that for some people that is an everyday occurrence, but not I, especially on a Saturday. But that’s not the point, so anyway last weekend my cousin who lives in Hawaii (not to be confused with the cousin’s who are part Hawaiian) came to visit as well as participate in, of all things, a canoe race. But not just your average ordinary summer camp canoe style slap in the water kind of thing, to be more specific the race was called the Liberty World Outrigger Competition and for fifteen miles she and her crewmates paddled (or oared?) there was a preference to the distinction, but maybe it was just to the object not the action, and come to think of it, she called the wooden thing she brought with her to the mainland in a padded bag a paddle, with authority. The long thin boats, the kind that seat six and have a stabilizer on one side in the Polynesian style, lined the shore of the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, in the quiet sunny early morning. Boat by boat the crews maneuvered the vessels from the grass down the stone step seat things over the rocks and into the East River. I was already impressed with their trip from the shore to down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass for the starting position. I would have gotten tuckered out just from that. The rowing, wait no, paddling, look like a lovely little dance. My cousin told me there was a specific couple of things that was called out let the team know when it was time to switch sides, but I don’t remember what it was. I tried to listen, but the traffic from the bridge overhead overpowered what was being said out there in the East River. The East River, incidentally, isn’t actually a river. Someone recently told me this; I think it is because of its ocean water connection and not fresh water sourcing. Hmm, but it’s not an estuary either in case that is what you were thinking, it is a tidal strait. Cue the rainbow and the more you know jingle jangle. It’s all about some learning here. You want to know what else I learned; sitting on the stone steps on a Saturday morning with a book is a delightful thing to do. But wear sunscreen, cause even at seven thirty in the morning, the sun is still ‘a shining even if it’s a bit chilly, and stationary shoulders are an easier target. ...Hut! Ho! That’s what it was, the thing the said for the changeover, and now you know. And that’s half the battle, I guess.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's been a while.

I have neglected this little attempt at releasing some thoughts and drawings like a dog in a car on a hot day with the windows up. Well, maybe I’ve left it open a crack, like I’m not a total absent minder. I’ve been conscientious of the negligence, but still the fact remains I haven’t done much about it so that when I come back to it I find a panting sweaty pissed off pooch that will totally make a mark outside of my bedroom door in retribution. Okay maybe it’s not so much like that. I don’t have a dog, and if I did I wouldn’t leave it in a car on a hot day. One could argue that I also don’t have a car, so the probability of me leaving it in a car that I don’t have is also pretty slim. So I guess that isn’t the most accurate analogy. Maybe it’s more like not calling a friend for awhile, like a long, long while and then when you finally do get around to it so much has transpired in between the last time you chatted that a lot of really good topics kinda get passed over and you end up talking about the weather, which by the way, has been crazy lately. On more than one occasion I have found myself gazing up at the beautiful mammatus cloud formations with a well-deserved amount of wonder, eventually making a connection with their appearance and a forecast of turbulent weather. So as beautiful as they are, I can’t really enjoy them as much as before when they were just something beautiful above my head when I know now it just means I am going to have to walk in the rain again. So yeah, I guess it’s like that, the long time no call thing. It’s easy to get distracted, really easy to get distracted. There’s all this life stuff going on, and then this whole trying to make a living thing and be social and have a relationship and eat healthy food and poop and pee and make food for others and sometimes clean up their poop and pee. The list could go on and on. But they are just excuses, really. And you know what, there’s a dude out there that has got no arms or legs, well he has arms from like the shoulder to the elbow, but still. Does he make excuses? No. In fact he writes books and wrestles and goes on Oprah and everything. So, I’m going to make a change, I’ve done it more than once in my life, some of it even for better. I am going to contribute more to this here Writing and Drawing bloggy thing I created, open up the window, if you will to let things that shouldn’t be left inside all stifled and let them thrive on the outside. Who knows? Maybe I’ll lose steam or get overwhelmed by other things again. But I am going to make more of an attempt. You see that little thingy up there. Yeah, I printed a bunch of those out and cut them into a neat little square to pass around and get my name out there, albeit with a little reservation in the sense that if in fact the receiver does go to my dot and then from the image map menu page clicks their way onto this here Writing and Drawing, what would they have found, a big empty space since November fourth. So, here’s to being ambitious ‘bout productivity.