Monday, November 5, 2007

Arson Patrol and Chili

All Hallow's Eve and Halloween night were, last year, very exciting in our district because there were something like 40 arsons on those two nights alone . . . we made national news.

This year it was decided we would have no repeat of the previous year's events, so a 48-hour, city-wide arson watch was put into effect that included extra police coverage, helecopters over our historic districts, local businesses and about 1,000 volunteers to patrol the neighborhoods in police-issued orange T-shirts using orange flashing lights on our vehivles to identify our patrols as well as alert anyone in the area that we were present.

Our nieghborhood hadn't a single arson this year as a result . . . kinda cool to see what motivated people can achieve.

Our house was headquarter's for two days of all-night patrol volunteers . . . there was food, drink, homework, board games, Will & Grace. Lots of fun with some great people.

Favorite Moment: Jayke Pena shows up on our front porch in sandals, a toga, big jewelry and perfectly guilded laurel leaves, quoth he, "Don't *tell* me I'm the only one who dressed up!!?" Yup. He was. And it was a brisk night to be flapping about in a toga, no matter how authentic. . .

Here's the chili served at our house that night (you'll need a bigger-than-usual kettle to accomodate):

Caffienated Chicken Chili

8 cans navy beans
24oz. Corona (yeah, the beer)
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 T minced fresh garlic
2 fist fulls of chopped celery
3 bunches of cilantro, chopped
3 fresh poblano peppers chopped, seeds included
2 bunches green onions, chopped
6-8 grilled chicken breasts, chopped (I always say go for more meat)
1 pound fried bacon, chopped fine (throw the grease into the pot for flavor)
1/2 c., heaping, dark roast coffee run through the coffee grinder until powdered
1 Lime, juice only
1/8 c. chili powder
2 - 3 T cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt (may need more, taste as you go)

Set aside your cilantro, lime juice and chopped green onions until 30 minutes before serving to keep flavor and color at peak. Pour your beer and chicken broth into you kettle on medieum flame. Add bacon, beans, spices and vegtables; sautee about half an hour. Add remaining ingredients and serve with Frito's, shredded cheese and sour cream.
My own recipe. Serves at least 12. Freezes and cans well.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Random Morning

It was a short night following a mellow evening the likes of which we have not had in some time. Things have been too busy. Things have been too stressed. Things have been too damn pinched; you can hardly be expected to pinch pennies you haven't got, now, can you?

It was a special kind of luxury to sit in the Mixx over dinner – waiting for laundry – and spending five solid hours visiting, texting, thumbing through Vanity Fair with no need to worry about needing to be someplace else or how many dollars the bill might run to.

We hauled laundry up the stairs of home around midnight and – all our favorite shirts and underwear fresh and clean – headed out on a late night excursion before returning to adjust the thermostat and settle in for the night . . .

I wake at five in the morning to the alarm not even remembering when I dropped off and begin getting ready for the day only to find when looking out the window that the bulk of the fall color on our street has been whisked away past peeling houses in the hours before dawn and is hurriedly rattling down the street to the place bright colors go to hide until spring.

Our apartment, even in it's current state of utter chaos, is homey and welcoming. Light filters through the linen panels in the bedroom and falls across Roderick's face as he breathes softly in his sleep and the only sound otherwise is the ticking of our clocks each busily keeping time in their own efficient way that only makes sense to them and keeps us compnay more than providing the expected service.

I seldom see, but like, this time of day; there is a quality about it that almost makes up for the loss of sleep the sight of such early light costs. It is possible in the early morning – before even the street is awake – to walk through the house and look at it as if I do not exist, as if I had stumbled upon a way to absent myself from my own life and to, then, turn and look over my shoulder at it without feeling entirely connected to it.

Leaving the bedroom, I look to the right through the pumpkin-colored hall into our plum-tinted study with it's cast-off sleigh sofa and its fragments of creamy porch column and banister neatly stacked with random books. . . Into the bathroom to assess the damage of the night before . . . Not bad. . . . Nothing a little gel and a comb won't fix. . . out into the dining room with its theatre seats, filled bookcases, and the table with its arrangement of pebbles in a green metal tray that supports delicate twigs wandering between the arms of the light fixture above . . . through the disaster breeding in our kitchen (we both hate doing dishes) to grab a cup of tea . . . back to the bathroom where I hang up Roderick's towel from the night before.

Hanging up towels isn't one of his virtues. But he has many others. . . I find myself tempted to nudge under the covers and will the day to wait for me a little longer. But I don't. Because it won't. So I grin and grab my coat, instead, and head down the stairs to the front door.

Winter's first wind began in the night and has been steadily, efficiently whipping away the leaves until it appears the maples and horse chestnuts are clinging to shreds of red and gold fabric with tired, bony fingers. And on the wind along the River from across the Lake came the first frost: The air has the nip of good cognac, my breath hangs in the quiet morning and the grass crunched under foot as I cross the lawn on my way to work.

Officially or not, Winter is digging in for a long stay.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Important Stuff

So she turned to me and said, "Now that we've covered things like souls and dreams and the value of emotions, I have to ask you: How are my boobs?"

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Field in Prescott

Water color on paper. I had a favorite fieldd in prescott and a swatch of colors that just seemed to go with it. SPM

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Things that go, "Bump!"

Our office has no running water, so I grabbed the coffee carafe, went down our stairs, up the flight across the landing to the men's room on the second floor . . . .I opened the door, groped for the switch to turn on the light, filled the carafe with water, propped open the door with my right foot, transferred the carafe to my right hand and turned the light back off before heading back to the office . . . . .and then I about left my skin when a woman's voice rasped from the last stall, "Turn that damn thing back on!!?"

So I did. And trucked the hell out of there . . . . .

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Rightness of a Thing


Jenny L. was an odd creature who once licked us both at the Redeye and gave us Mono…but the girl had a point. SPM

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Swinging Toward Change

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

So. The ice on the river began to rot eight days ago, breaking up two days ago under the persistant influence of the sun. Buds are beginning to swell and the air no longer has a fetid chill to it.The windows could be thrown open to flush the last bits of fusty air from the corners of our apartment and the Scary Neighbors were out in full force and full volume.

They take all of their troublesome elements from one young man who yells at passing cars and at us every time we enter or leave our own house. He has the skankeddiest hair I have *ever* seen, and no sense of dress whatsoever; he seems to think that any jersey-hoodie-white-sneaker combo is good enough. Sure. To be buried in. Maybe.

(I have begun to notice a striking similarity between this guy and his yelling at passing cars and the way dogs chase moving cars and bark. I wish the guy next door would get just a little closer to the dog's behaviour. Some dogs get too close to the car and get clipped, you know, and that's not always a bad thing.

Anyway . . . he and his buddies blared music from the cheap speakers of the hoopty-mobile in the driveway next door and sauntered down the block to our corner harassing all and sundry that happened to pass, with one exception: Today was the first day since the cold set in that the special-crazy old black lady walked by the house pushing her shopping cart full of dead baby dolls and talking to herself. Hoopty Crew & Co. gave her all the sidewalk she wanted and said nary a word. There must be something powerful buried under all those dead baby dolls . . . . I wonder if she does parties. . .

And then - just at 6pm - all of the bells in all of the old spires that bind in our strange bit of world began to ring out the end of the day. That's when I remembered that nothing is so bad that a little time and the right word or touch won't put most of the shine back into things.That's when I begin to feel sorry I spent so much of the day in a slump . . . .
1:12 AM -

Monday, March 5, 2007

A Sickly-Sweet Poem.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008
somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond
(by e.e. cummings)

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens;
only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

What was he going on about!?
A woman?
A man?
A loved child?
I am not certain,
but I have thought,
I have wondered,
I have decided in reading that he writes of hope because it is what is needed at the moment.

Not that life is so harsh, but understanding and wisdom can be so scarce and so many things happen that shoudn't. . . and so many are not happening that should . . . I have decided that the poem is about hope and, odd or not, this is what hope looks like to me.