Sunday, April 30, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Back then we didn't know that plants led lives of their own. They lived, loved, mated and died. Once this startling discovery was made, Legislation was passed to prohibit the consumption of plant life of any kind. The agricultural industry collapsed overnight, as fields were ordered to be left to grow, nothing to be touched.
Their spirits were among them teaching the young plants how to grow, and when to fear the harvest.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I'm always straightening my tie.
I like to stop the van and take a few seconds before I do these gigs.
The four-foot check sits awkwardly in between the seats. I look at the name again, saying it to myself a few times.
Contrary to popular belief, "The Check" isn't cardboard, it's actually made out of foamcore board, which is much sturdier. People have a tendency to hug them.
I move the mirror to make sure my tie adjustment has worked. It has, but I adjust it anyway. The cameraman is loading tape into his video camera. The photographer is testing his flash.
We are about to change these people's lives forever, and they have no idea. This used to excite me about the job, but lately it's just become sort of, you know, more of a job.
I sigh and say their name again a few times.
I straighten my tie and put the white van in gear. It's just over the bridge.
I just hope the flying elves don't come back...
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
The tiny church had no name. It's builder was remembered by no one. The inside was empty, save one small podium and a picture of a thoughtful Christ, looking up through a small hole in the rafters.
It now gave sanctuary only to the desert animals that took refuge under it's foundation.
All of a sudden he realized, there in low light of the evening sun, that his life had passed him by. He was destined for nothing.
What had he accomplished?
What had he to show for a lifetime of wanting?
His shoulders buckled and fell under the weight of his acceptance that wanting wasn't enough.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
time to take my Howard Roarke tour of the Rock Quarry. But which quarry?
Realizing that my only marketable skill aside from the whole camera and lighting thing is making coffee, I got a job at a coffee chain...a big one.
I get a pound of coffee a week for free...i had to get that out of the way...
My first day was spent reading through a forest of dead trees compiled into bound works the likes of which I haven't seen since college. These great tomes included things like the 20 steps of cleaning the pastry cabinet, and the 16 steps to making whipped cream. At first I was a bit nervous, thinking that this actually might be akin to rocket science. I was quickly turned around when I realized that the manuals are written to the lowest common dominator, and that I wasn't crazy, or stupid and that this (as I suspected) is the farthest thing from rocket science. They were able to take the simple process of mixing a bag of powder into a pitcher of water and complicate it to a level I've never seen before. I read through the several chapters that I was required to complete and spent much of my 11 hours watching others work.
I did spend a few of those hours in front of a computer watching a presentation that was so mind numbing, I actually felt dumber after it was over. The photos that accompanied the presentation were horrendous! Some store manager with a new camera decided he was a photographer. His very liberal use of the flash and the awful exposure of some of these shots really made me cringe. It was so bad that I asked the manager if I could redo the presentation for them. I would, too...for free...to save the poor souls forced to sit through this nonsense. Do I really need to see photos of each of the 12 steps to cleaning and stowing a mop bucket? Is my life so sad that I have to sit through this at age 35?
(pause as I have one of those moments where I really start to examine my life...thanks to Bourbon, it won't last too long.)
One of the other folders of brochures and pamphlets includes a Tea Passport and a Coffee Passport. I am expected to conduct coffee and tea tastings. This is actually kind of cool and was the best part of the day. I had three coffees in different presspots and tasting cups. I was to pair each coffee with a pastry or food item. There is a pairing chart that says what coffees go with what, so it wasn't too difficult. I was told to take out of the pastry case whatever I wanted...
The Kenya AA went surprisingly well with the Lemon cake, red grapes (the most enlightening pairing by far)and an orange. The coupling with the grapes really brought out the citrus notes in the coffee and brought down the high end acid taste.
The Sumatra was paired with cheese. Brie, cheddar and a pesto jack. The cheese actually made this coffee tolerable to me, as the bolder dark coffees have not been kind to my aging stomach over the past couple of years.
Guatemalan Antigua was coupled with a chocolate espresso brownie. nice. The rich brownie really went well with the bold earthy flavor of this coffee. The apple also went nicely.
As I fill my coffee passport, I will be on my way to becoming a Coffee Master. I have to take a couple of classes to attain this title. I might stay just to get this title, and have business cards made:
Camera, Lighting, Coffee Master
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Evidence of the crash was collected over the course of 10-15 seconds. I was able to store all of the information I had gathered onto one negative, thanks to an ancient technology...
The collection of extended periods of time onto film was created around 1880.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Mouse starts under the bowl. Bowl is lifted. If the mouse goes into the color hole you've bet on, you win. There's a mouse kibble in each of the holes, but the odds are always on the house (or is it the mouse).
I feel like this mouse all the time....
This carnival game seemed kind of seedy at first, but upon second thought, the mouse gets a treat no matter what hole he goes into, so for the mouse, it's all right then...
so maybe I don't feel like this mouse...
Thursday, April 06, 2006
First up is Crispy G, he's always on edge, ready to snap. Some tribes say he can steal your soul, so lookout for him.
Big Fresh is up next. He's so hard-core, he's puttin' in 80 hour weeks...every week.
Tastee-Taste is our man across the pond. Don't let his appearance fool you, he's a brainiac, and ready to pounce!
Hot-Stuff 'll make you into a statistic in the blink of an eye, so watch it!
And backin us up here state side, Mr Durden, if you don't see him around, you know he's off somewhere savin' the world. (you know, like Pete's Dragon)
We're stickin' together like the zippers on a Michael Jackson Beat-It jacket.
thanks to: http://www.planearium2.de/flash/spstudio.htm
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Upon moving in with my new roommate, Mr Durden, I was told that he was very frugal with all but 3 things:
Bourbon : Maker's Mark or Knob Creek
Coffee: shade grown, organic, fair trade, free range
Bacon: Thick-Sliced Virginia Bacon.
It comes in a 1.5lb. package, and at almost $8.00, it's nothing to sneeze at.
The right bacon makes all the difference, and sub-par bacon is a real shame, according to Mr. Durden.
Before living here, I had never given bacon it's proper respect. I considered it a treat, a throw away side to eggs and pancakes, an occasional addition to my Subway Turkey 12 inch.
He takes it very seriously, considering bacon to be it's own food group. We have a jar or two of drippings, used for cooking almost every one of Mr. Durden's native dishes. My favorite is pilau (pronounced Pur-low), a rice dish with shrimp, sausage and, of course, bacon. Another brilliant and tasty treat is Shrimp and Grits. Bacon drippings and flour combine with sauteed onions and green pepper, add the shrimp (with have been sprinkled with lemon juice, and cayenne pepper and allowed to sit for a few minutes), and served over cheddar grits.
I confess that I have a newfound love of the porky goodness, or maybe it's lust. It really does go with everything, and makes almost any food better. I've crumbled a few slices into bowls of New England Clam Chowder, and added drippings to everything from grits and biscuits to spaghetti sauce, rice and burgers.
Wrap any meat in bacon and you can pan fry it till the cows come home and it won't dry out. (I use this trick with chicken breasts when cooking over the open flame of a camp fire.)
And now we come to the dilemma... My diet advice (read: dodge) has always been: All things in moderation, including moderation.
Sensible eating with any amount of physical activity, and you can be a reasonably healthy person. I don't have a television or a game console, I walk quite a bit, and I don't drink beer (Bourbon has no calories), so I've been mostly guilt free when it comes to my diet...
As with any new lover, the first part of a relationship often involves an over indulgence in all things. I'm coming to the cooling off period with bacon. I still love it, but we'll be spending a little less time together. This is a good thing, as I can be allowed to appreciate a little more, our meals together.
I turn 35 this year and I've noticed that it's getting harder and harder to retain my girlish figure. This could be a problem as chicks just don't dig on man-breasts like they used to. I'm starting to be more (gasp) responsible when it comes to my diet.
So, my darling bacon, I think we need to spend some time apart. We need to live our own lives. Maybe we can see each other in the future, if things (like me) work out.
Even still...there's nothing like good bacon...damn.