August 18, 1997

It's cloudy today. For the first time in weeks it's blessedly cool out and the air is scented with water. I've missed it.

The weekend was clear and hot and bright as the last several weeks were. And I spent Saturday at work after that hefty breakfast with Mike Wasson. I got home to find that John had put in a keen digital dimmer switch for the kitchen lights and I brought home a pound of dunginess crab and made us a number of really crabby crab cakes that were crisp and sweet with peanut oil and spicey and a little too salty with Old Bay seasoning. Sunday I intended to get to work, but just never made it. I think I was sick, somewhat, as I slept three hours in the afternoon solid and didn't wake up until John came into the bedroom and woke me because Jon Singer was coming in ten minutes.

John and I had spent the morning eating breakfast, dumping a load of garbage, and shopping. The garbage load was not only our usual everyday garbage but also a load of construction garbage that David had created. We had quite a lot of recycling as well. Seems that in Washington, so many folks recycle that the state doesn't setup monetary incentives to do it. But since about a third to a half of our garbage is recyclable, we save significant money at the dump. John had completely filled the trailer that goes with the Stoat with the cans and pile of smashed construction timbers and bungee'd it all together with gold, purple, and sapphire colored bungees.

The Transfer Station is always pretty fascinating to me, and isn't something that, as a kid, I'd ever have gotten to see. When I was growing up we would just stick our garbage outside, at the curb and some huge roaring monster of a truck with two guys in dirty dungrees would hop out and empty the can and roar away in a cloud of blue smoke. John's childhood was a bit different because his dad figured out that going to the Transfer Station himself was a lot cheaper than curbside service. Turns out we spend about as much at the dump to dump nearly four months' worth of garbage as it would cost for a week's worth of curbside, mostly, perhaps, because we're just two adults and a dog.

The Station itself is just an open air structure with a galvanized tin roof, and ramps up either side. In the center are two bays for two transfer containers. Cars can pull up to the lip of the container, and you dump your stuff into the top of it. It's smelly, loud when the raker gets going (to evenly distribute all the stuff) and there are some saftey orange ropes strung at the lip so that you don't go in. But it's quite a drop down. People just go in and do their thing as fast as possible and get out. The recycling bins, on the other hand, are pretty solid wood structures painted brilliant colors, with green grass, rainbows, kids playing all along the sides. The slots for tossing clear, brown, green glass, news papers, mixed papers, plastics, and tin are all clean and clearly labelled. The contrast is pretty amusing.

Singer arrived after I did a quick shower and showed us more of his astonishing porcelain works. He had come especially because he'd made me a simple white cup that was perfectly sized to cup between my hands and held exactly as much as my favorite pot would make. It was utterly perfect and transluscent enough to show light when held up to a bulb. It also felt marvelous to the hand, smooth and rounded and beautiful. The porcelain itself had dripped just a tiny bit along the bowl of it and the small drip marks felt neat under the fingers.

We started with an iced rose congou from Upton that was perfectly balanced between the sweetness of the rose scent and the deepness of the black tea. The second steeping tasted, looked and tasted much like a lychee black. The first steeping was so sweet that it didn't need any sweeteners at all. Yum. And in the hot weather the icing was perfect. I just brewed the tea about double strength and poured it over an equal amount of ice.

Dinner was duck breast and chicken breast marinated in Grande Mariner and Trader Joe's mango chutney, roasted at 350 until the skin was just starting to crisp on the duck, and then glazed with the reduced marinade with another blop of chutney in it. Brown basmati rice, and a mixed bag of veggies stirfried with peanut oil. Jon invited himself to dinner when he heard that about the duck breast, and I'll admit that I made up the menu to tempt him.

Turns out that there's a reading and signing tonight by Gibson, and there was one on Saturday by Gaiman. Both were in the area. Singer knows these things, I had no clue. I am half glad I have no clue, in that now I regret my soccer game tonight and regret, very mildly, that I was at work on Saturday. Okay, I regret the latter a lot because Singer took Gaiman and Puck to Shiro's. <sigh> That would have been worth a lot to be a part of.

Next time. Next time. Singer's said that he'll tell me more stuff when he knows about it.

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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