Monday, September 26, 2005

Bonfire of Mundanities

I have even less to say than usual - I've been thinking about some ideas, but they're just not cooked yet. I almost threw you some short fiction that I wrote a while ago, and still think is pretty okay, but I couldn't find where it was. The printed copy that is. The electronic copy is on my old Mac IIcx, which, sadly, has a long-dead floppy drive, and has been consigned to the bottom of the coat closet for the last couple years. I don't really know if Windows XP still has Appletalk support - with the right connector, I may still be able to salvage the 4 megabytes or so of stuff worth keeping off the Mac's whopping 205 megabyte drive. And think how fortunate we'll all feel when I do.

It's been a fairly busy week; Boo's birthday was the 18th, our wedding anniversary was the 21st. In between, a friend of ours, Cy, had a soft-opening for his upholstery/design business, which he's actually been doing for years, but this is a new location. Which he's been in since May. But whatever. Got to see Joan Steffend again, of Decorating Cents, which Cy has appeared on a few times in the past couple of years. Too bad that I could care less about celebrity (or demi-celebrity). Still, fun.

We went out for Boo's birthday with a few friends. I made him this cake that was mostly milk-chocolate mousse topped with a thin ganache layer, that all sitting on a thin chocolate genoise base, which rested on a layer of milk chocolate, Rice Krispies and hazelnuts. He didn't eat the bottom, of course, because he has this weird thing where nuts are good by themselves, yet become evil when included in other things, and he dislikes cake. But the mousse and ganache was a hit.

Boo had yet another celebration of sorts this week with Quorum, the Twin Cities' GLBT chamber of commerce - he was just elected to the board. It was on our anniversary, so I was a pill, and declined to attend. I hate business schmooze-fests with a passion; so we met briefly beforehand and had coffee. I got him a hideous Hallmark card - Pepto-pink, with a bow, and declaring love for my beautiful wife. I did actually go in the store trying to find something sincere, but they weren't up to the task - gays don't get married, dontchaknow. So I went for slightly bitter irony, and it was good for a laugh.

Mind you, we were married on September 21, 1996 - the day after that flaming liberal Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, with the support of home-grown populist Paul Wellstone. Which might help to explain last week's remark that "all politicians are liars and opportunists, and it's strictly a matter of luck if we get one who won't screw us over." Fortunately, at least 100,000 marriages have been defended since the act was signed. No really, you can look it up. I'm sure I have the link somewhere.

I bailed on Boo on Friday by attending System of a Down with our former neighbors. We live in a duplex, and Jen and Dave lived upstairs for about a year before buying a house a couple of miles away this past July. Which is about when we bought our tickets. We enjoy the same types of things (mainly staying up too late, drinking beer, misbehaving, and playing loud music), and Boo, um, not so much, so we try to do some things together a couple of times a month.

Well, it's not like Boo would have enjoyed the show. I did, but I'm kind of sore from the head-banging and pogo-ing in place. And I have no voice. Too. fucking. old. Good show, though. The Mars Volta opened, and was a perfect textbook demonstration of how poor sound mixing can absolutely ruin a show. On their website, they're not bad (though not good enough for me to order a CD), but live you couldn't hear anything except drum and bass, which was muddy besides. The drummer came off the best, but we actually had to leave for while and drink grossly-overpriced Budweiser while waiting for them to end. System of a Down rocked like hell, hence the aches and bruises, but are a bit static as a show. And they don't play encores, which kind of makes sense given that their driving philosophy is pained contempt. Stayed out way too late (or early depending on how you regard 3 am), overimbibed, and was more or less useless all Saturday as a result.

Therefore, I missed the HRCF dinner Saturday night, which would have been another schmoozefest, only with a giant price tag attached. Boo had fun, but had issues with the design, staging, and presentation of the event. I am so not surprised.

So, finally, Sunday, we got to have our anniversary celebration properly.

I roasted a duck. I used Julia Child's rather labor (and pot/pan) intensive steam-roasting method, which involves thirty minutes of stove-top steaming, thirty minutes of closed roaster braising (my braising liquid was lovely - onion, organic locally grown celery, carrots and turnip, a cup or so of cabernet franc, and bay leaf and thyme, plus a cup or so of degreased steaming liquid.) The final step is open roaster for 30-40 minutes, while the braising liquid is strained and boiled down to a sauce. I thought I might saute some mushrooms and add to the sauce - feeling a bit earthy and all - but unfortunately, I seemed to have used them for something else. So, prunes instead, along with some rosemary and juniper berries.

I made Parmesan grits on the side, since I forgot about the organic potatoes I had, and we used up some of the massive amount of tomatoes we have from our CSA farm share - I must have at least 5 lbs - mostly red and yellow, cherry or plum, and some orange and green heirloom varieties. I sliced a mixture, drizzled very lightly with balsamic vinegar, sweet fruity Villa Montalbano olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Happy Birthday and Anniversary, Boo! I know you don't read this blog, but just in case, here's a little Whitman sampler:

We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going - North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying - elbows stretching - fingers clutching,
Arm'd and fearless - eating, drinking, sleeping, loving,
No law less than ourselves owning - sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming - air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing,
Fulfilling our foray.


julie beth said...

congrats, you crazy kids! :)

(! i generally just bake duck, after stuffing it silly with some sort of bread/OJ/cranberry dressing. which rocks, but yours sounds SO good!)

damion said...

Randy, I love your Blog. Thank you for sharing all that you do and for writing so beautifuly.