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June 11, 1999
a year ago

Kathy Arrives

Kathy's plane came in really, really late Thursday night, so turned out that I didn't have to worry about dinner at all. I called United a few minutes before John and I were going to hightail it to the airport and her plane was supposed to come in around 8:30 pm; but the recorded voice said 12:30 am. I had to listed to the recording twice to make sure that it was what I thought it said. So we went home, instead. I'd scored a second burrito from the Burrito Guy, so I'd eaten it at around 5, so when we went home, I only had some soup.

John and I talked things through and it really seemed like it would be best for him to just go to sleep and stay asleep while I went to the airport to get Kathy. He had to work on Friday. So I did.

Okay. I was scared to death of doing it. It's a good hour's drive to the airport, and it's not totally obvious how to get there. John needed his sleep, though, and while he was willing to go with me, it was also pretty obvious he was about to fall over asleep. For some reason, I seem to have something in me that allows me to stay up until the body physically stops functioning if I really, truly want to do that. So I went off on my own. Decided it was probably good for me, and I didn't kill anyone or run into anything and actually made it in plenty of time to see Kathy off the plane.


With all the waiting and walking and the fact that I'd parked, reflexively, in the economy lot, we didn't get back home until about 2 a.m.. Luckily, the long ride meant that we got to talk a lot and when we actually got to the house, I just hauled her stuff upstairs for her and we both went to sleep.

I had to get up relatively early Friday morning to get Fezzik to his appointment on time; and ran someone off the road who was in my blind spot on the way over. I just didn't see him at all, and started changing lanes. I only realized he was there when there was a squeal of tires and this car suddenly appeared on that side in the far shoulder. He didn't slow down, he just went right into the shoulder. That was... amusing.

I got to the All-Pets Clinic in Boulder and was simply happy to be there safe and sound and completely undinged.

The rest was a real bouns.

The vet we saw was really nice, loved Newfs, had a husband who used to raise Newfs for show and she really knew the breed and was amazed by Fezzik. She was amazed that he was nearly 11 years old and bouncing around and healthy and happy and fit. He only weighs 110 pounds, now, light and svelt and cheerful, though he really didn't *feel* that light when he stepped on my feet while getting on the scales. That was pretty funny. She took a sample in a needle of his lump and put it on a slide and saw that it was pretty much a benign fatty tumor. He'll grow a few more of them, but they're pretty much nothing to worry about.

I also asked her abut his arthritus and she studied his knees and they crackled obligingly for her, so we've put him on a food suppliment that should help out with the joints, the muscles around the joint and everything else. That should be cool. It also turns out that he really loves his new suppliment. I guess if you'd eaten the same food for 6 or 7 years, that it would be cool to have a new taste on it.

Thirdly, I asked about fleas, and it turns out that the local area isn't supposed to have any. Which is cool. She was surprised when I said that we'd never treated Fezzik for heartworm; and we had a blood test taken to determine if he had them or not. I tried to hold Fezzik for the blood draw, but he jerked away when the nurse didn't find the vein. Ow. She got the needle out of him quickly enough but he bonked my head with his, stepped all over my feet and then shoved me over by running into me. Oops. We were both laughing our heads off by the end of it; but she took him back and got a blood draw in the back, somehow or another. The test came back the next day a nice, big negative, so nothing to do there. Yay!

So, on the whole, Fezzik had a clean bill of health, which is quite a relief.

I didn't kill anyone on the way home, either.

Then Kathy and I took off to Whole Foods to get salmon, as it was the only place that I thought would likely have it. We wanted to make onogiri, 'cause Kathy had brought me a whole ton of Japanese groceries. She brought me bonito shavings in multi-packs; a bottle of Mirin, a Japanese rice wine; two packets of dried heavy seaweed for making dashi; two bags of lychee nut jellies; and a bottle of the dried fish, seaweed, and other bits of stuff that we called 'fish bacon bits', crunchy and intensely sea flavored, it's available in most Japanese places. I still had nori from a while back, and lots of the CalRose rice, so that was all set. We also got milk and a few other things at the market and at the very last instant found some strawberry popsicles in the freezer at the front of the store and we ate those. They were wonderful, filled with fresh, ripe fruit and perfect for the hot, half-muggy day.

We got home with all the loot and put things away.

For the two of us we took about a third of a pound of fresh salmon, cut it into thick strips and salted it thoroughly, that was nearly two teaspoons of ordinary table salt all over the strips and left it in a bowl in the fridge. We then took about a cup and a half of the Calrose rice, the short grain rice, and put that into the rice cooker with the right amount of water (the magical formula is to just have enough water over the surface of the rice so that you can set the tip of your finger on the surface of the rice and the water level is at the first line inside the first joint of your index finger) and set it to cook.

We then sat down to do pen repair while the rice cooked.

After the rice was completely cooked, I rinsed off the salmon while Kathy mixed equal amounts of mirin and rice vinager, nearly a liquid ounce of each. She added a scant tablespoon of sugar, and then nuked everything until it was hot, but not quite yet boiling. I fried the rinsed off salmon in a pan with hot oil while she mixed the liquid mixture into the hot rice and then started fanning the pot and mixing it more to cool the rice so that it was handleable. Then was the fun part.

A pot of cold, clean water, the pot of mixed rice, and a bowl of the cooked salmon were set up, and we wet our hands, put a layer of rice on our palms (about a mounded tablespoon), then put about two teaspoons of the cooked salmon on that layer, and then put rice on top of that to cover and then squished it like mud pies. The squish is such that you make a triangle... the hands are spaced as if you were just about to link fingers and thumbs in two loops together, but not that far... I'm not sure if that makes any sense. But a natural triangle forms from the handful of rice and salmon and the rice covers all the salmon. We made a plateful of those triangles, about eight all together, with plenty of water on our hands between triangles so that the rice wouldn't stick. Then we washed our hands, toasted nori sheets and pulled off two-inch strips that we then wrapped around the triangles so that we could hold them without getting rice all over.

We poured the sea-bits all over our plates, dipped the onogiri in the stuff and then munched happily.

Lots of rice, a little protein, a little seaweed. Yum.

Once we were completely full, my lack of sleep caught up with me, and we both went to take a nap. We went to sleep around 3:30 and neither of us woke up until about 8 pm. I think I needed the sleep. Badly.

John hadn't called while we were asleep, so I worried minorly but stuck teriyaki ribs into the oven to do a slow roast while we waited. Both of us really enjoyed just reading and talking and messing with some of Kathy's pens while we waited for him. I then tried calling him, but he wasn't there; but then he called back about ten minutes later and said that he was coming home.

Perfect timing as the ribs were done when he got home and we just has sweet corn and ribs before going to see the Auston Powers movie. It was funny; but definitely an extention of all the jokes from the previous movie. And by the time we got home it was very, very late and I was tired enough to sleep just fine for all that there had been a nap during the day.

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