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January 29, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Edging it Out

I do know that I am on the ragged edge of burnout, and even though I brought home my machine last night I also know that I need to spend time this weekend on recuperating to some degree. So I did my best to sleep late, and on waking I went to the trouble of making hash browns, eggs and Canadian bacon for breakfast. That was very satisfying.

I also meandered through pieces of newspaper, various books that were sitting out, a National Geographic issue that Tom Gryn had sent me about the Brothers Grimm, and watched some cartoons while John rode the exercise bicycle. I fished out the tape that Geoff made for me of music that he listens to, and then tried the tape player. Sadly, it was not wired correctly, the John had the time and when I asked him nicely he wired it up correctly, so I could listen to the tape while I rode. It helped make the ride go by more quickly, as it was mostly good dance club music with some old-fashioned surprises that I enjoyed. Now that I have the tape set up, I really should listen to Genevieve's tapes as well. Admittedly, with the speaker and electronic set up we have I really am spoiled by the quality of CDs. It really is hard to go back to audiotape.

We went out to do some small errands, which had been left during the week for this weekend. Small things like actually going to the grocery store for real, with a full planned list, coupons, and grocery bags. I feel so domesticated when I actually remember all that stuff, and come out of the grocery store with about $20 worth of savings. All very satisfying. I think I understand why one of the number one pass times of the American public is shopping, so many choices, and the power to choose to buy whatever one wants. Even if it is something a small as pork spare ribs that happened to be on sale, a special of the day.

When I saw a special on the ribs, I had a sudden craving for my dad's homemade sweet and sour spare ribs. Real, homemade sweet and sour has no red. Period. It is just equal amounts of sugar and vinegar with a little bit of soy sauce and ginger for additional taste. I seasoned the flour with some of my Szechwan peppercorns, ground in my mortar and pestle, and a little kosher salt. I washed and dredged the ribs, flour them, fried them in canola oil, and then put them on paper towels in a warm oven while I put together the sweet and sour sauce. Just the above things with a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it. The results were satisfying, a little crispy around the edges, and perfectly sweet and sour all around.

That was my four o'clock snack. John got half as well, but after my snack I went upstairs to do the work I needed to do.

I was able to make one change, test it, and then do the research to enable the second fix. By then the sun had gone down, I was tired, and I had within my sights everything I wanted to finish for the weekend. Also, before doing the grocery shopping, John and I had visited both the video rental store and the new liquor store next to the new Safeway. We rented two tapes, and I bought some old scotch, some chocolate liquor, and John stocked up on beer.

Several of the things we bought at the grocery store included ingredients for lasagna. I wanted to try the no-cook recipe for lasagna, which mostly meant that the noodles didn't have to be cooked before the layering. John took care of half of the ingredients, while I prepared the other half, and then I layered the whole thing and stuffed it into the oven. It bubbled away happily, while I dictated part of last week.

When the buzzer went off, I went back downstairs. John made garlic bread, and we ate while we watched the first of the two movies. It was Kite, an anime about teenage assassins. It was, very much, a tragedy and an excellent example of how Japanese animation portrays very, very different story lines than any American animation would even think of trying. It is interesting in the middle of all the outcry about how violence in entertainment might lead to violence in real-life to realize the extent and level of violence in Japanese movies, when the Japanese culture and population has such a low level of violence in comparison to American reality. Not that they don't have it, but if there were a direct correlation, as people postulated, then the Japanese should have a far bigger problem than the U.S., rather than the opposite.

The second movie surprised me. It was Bowfinger, which was far funnier than most of the previews had led me to believe. There was a lot more courage in it. It was also very reminiscent of the Weezy Bat stories, in that the premise that anyone that really needs to can make a movie was core to it. That the dream of making dreams is a very strong one, and one that some people simply need to pursue. In some ways, it also reminded me of the story of the making of Six-String Samurai. There might be something there that will draw me more once I am done with this part of my life.

It was after midnight when the second movie finished, and John was snoring on the couch. So I woke him up, rewound the tapes, and took us off to bed.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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