Tuesday, January 29, 2008

e for something

Doc thinks I'm an excellent blogger and has included me in some pretty good company. Considering where else I've seen this endorsement and who else has been awarded this, I'd have to say I'm in great company. I'm going to be selfish, however, and not pass it on. I really just don't feel like it, and believe me, I've thought about it. I've saved Doc's post in my Google reader, waiting for the time I felt like sitting down and figuring out who deserves it. I could come up with several, but I really just don't feel like playing. And it's nice that I don't have to play.

I have a lot on my mind lately, as anyone can well imagine.

If you are a regular reader of Doc's and if you read her comments, then you already probably know most of this story, but I'm sharing it here anyway. I sat on it for a few days, but I need a post, and it's time.

I went to the gay bar recently. Our town actually has a few, and I've been to three so far. One was shortly after Valentine's day last year, a few days after learning Momma's news, and I stood against the wall, arms crossed, angry look in my eyes, quite likely ruining the mood for ten feet around me in any direction. I'm not sure what I had in mind that night, but it didn't help anyone.

The next time I went to this particular bar I had fun, but nothing came of it but me drinking a wee bit more than I needed to have. Another gay bar I've been to has been on the night that it doesn't really function as a gay bar. A friend of ours does an alternative dance party there on Saturday nights. What this means is that a few gay people and lots of guys who look like they collect swords and/or knives with dragons on the handles, guys who like girls but can't convince them to join them for any sort of fun, hang out while a few of them dance poorly to a broad array of not necessarily dance music.

Then we come to the gay bar I most recently visited. With me was Momma, a lesbian friend and a gay male friend who called a taxi and fled when it seemed we weren't going to leave when we'd promised him we would. We would have, but since he fled we didn't have to, though we pretty much did.

I had a good time at this particular bar on this particular night, even if I did hang out with girls, much too nervous to interact with any of the lovely gay boys in attendance, the ones I should have been hanging out with. On a side note, Momma won a prize playing bingo, and I got some under the shirt action from the drag queen running bingo. She also wants to wash and cut my hair.

And that is me as a gay man, happier with the girls because the boys, hot though they are, make me nervous. I'm sure if one of them had talked to me I'd have done the giggle Japanese style, hiding my mouth with my hand, looking appropriately bashful. I need to do something about that.

All in all it was a fun night. I'm sure I'm not nearly gay enough in my flannel shirt and biker jacket with the punk rock buttons on the lapels, but it's what I know. Also I don't have any appropriately gay clothing. I'm not sure what that means, but my sense of style certainly leaves something to be desired, and when I do go out, I'm afraid the gays assume I'm not one of them because I certainly don't look it. I'm sure there's a remedy for that somewhere, and I'm sure one day I'll care enough to change my entire wardrobe in the interest of looking gayer . . . or not.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

ranting again

Why do I use Restalyne? Because he thinks I'm younger than I am. So goes the line in an especially galling commercial advertising a product that one injects into their face to smooth out the lines and wrinkles one earns as part of growing older.

The commercial pisses me off every time I see it, because they are basically suggesting that it's completely okay to base a relationship on lies. I'm sure we all know how well that works, and those of us with first hand experience can second that particular emotion.

On some level I don't suppose I really care too horribly much that some people are insecure about their appearance to the point they are willing to inject toxins into their skin in order to appear younger than they really are. It is extremely galling however to have it sold to us on the basis of lying to the significant other that we probably claim to love.

How strong a relationship do you imagine you have if you are so willingly deceiving someone? And if this deception is okay to the woman in question then at what point would she draw the line beyond which lies are not okay? In my opinion, you can't accept any lie without accepting all lies.

And yes, I completely understand that this is an ad, that the people in the ad are actors and that it's par for the course in the world of advertising consumer products, but at some point we have to accept that there is some amount of mirror between how we live and how we accept that advertising of consumer products.

In the end, it's just one more commercial that pisses me off, and it's really fucking easy for advertising to piss me off. I may in fact be one of the single most irritating people with which to watch television.

I'm just saying is all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

sounds of stomach churning

I'm having to force myself not to even look anywhere near The Boy right now. For all the trouble we have getting him to eat reasonably healthy, there are a few foods that he does love.

Momma worked in the daytime yesterday, and as a nice surprise for the boys she brought home some sushi. When she brings sushi she'll often make at least one roll with soy paper and no raw fish, just in case I feel like having a little something. If it's a roll that usually gets roe she will put it in a little to go cup on the side and put it on to serve it.

The boys ate their sushi last night but didn't eat all the roe. There was some small amount left which The Boy is now eating. He has a little plate with some pickled ginger and a lime wedge and the little container of tiny orange flying fish eggs.

I tried roe once. It was salmon eggs, so they were a little bigger than what The Boy is eating. I remember it vividly because it was one of the few times I've actually had to scrape my tongue to get the nastiness off of it. I remember spitting it directly into the garbage can and probably even considered washing the taste away with a handful of that garbage. It was seriously the singly most foul taste to ever enter my world.

So as the boy sits with his little container, eating the fish eggs with a spoon, I find that I can't even look anywhere hear where he sits.

Fish eggs . . . bleurgh . . . ach . . . ick . . . shiver . . . shudder . . .

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Post fodder or just a thing I keep forgetting to do? Either way, thanks again to The Quotations Page, a quote of the day. Who doesn't love Oscar Wilde?
The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated.
and for the hell of it another:
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

video time

It's time for a new video. I forget exactly where I heard of this band, though I do know it was one of the gay bloggers that are new to my reader, not that that matters.

The singer is Sam Duckworth, and the band is Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. Yes, a bit of a mouthful for a name as far as that goes. So far I've only heard his songs that I can run across on YouTube or his Myspace page. I've really enjoyed what I've heard and need to get around to getting a cd.

It doesn't hurt that he's a cutie, though a hair cut wouldn't hurt at all.

This video is for the song Call Me Ishmael and is perfect for all the time card punchers and wage slaves out there.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

link love

How late am I? Not more than a few weeks in this instance. I've been meaning to direct you to the coolest new blog around, and I'm sure I have a perfectly valid excuse for not doing so sooner, but it doesn't come to mind at the moment.

The lovely and talented One L has a really cool blog that she's started, The Music Chamber. I read, though usually without commenting, because I can never think of anything good to say.

Head on over. Being Tuesday, it's open mic, so you can listen to some other equally lovely people play guitar and/or sing or maybe just slap a pair of spoons against their thigh.

Then make sure you put The Music Chamber in you blog reader of choice so that you never miss a post.

poor dumb Romney

uuuummmmmm . . . I lifted this from the local news blogging site. The person who posted it there titled his post Awkward, and I don't know of a better title. I'm just a little on the dumbfounded side here. Just watch, and feel free to tell me what you think.

Monday, January 21, 2008

please don't ask me how I ended up at my wit's end

I don't know how many posts I can start and delete. Tonight alone I'm up to four. It's like I have something I need to dump out, but every attempt just comes back around to poor-pitiful-me, and that's the last place I need to keep going.

The problem is that I keep letting myself get stuck in the evil mud of depression and self pity. I feel useless like that last square of toilet paper that you can't get off the roll without it ripping to shreds, and I know better.

Am I really just stuck in bad place, or do I just keep not doing the things to pull myself out? In the deep dark of feeling bad it's hard to ask that question, but answering it would really help.

In the deep dark it feels good to wallow in the misery, but when I force myself to try and write I realize that it's too often self imposed. Writing forces me to think and examine what I think I think. I don't have to feel this way, but it's so much easier. It really is just a matter of time and place, and I need to figure out what it takes to get out of here. The sad truth is that the self medication of the drink is the biggest help right now, and I'm already close enough to being a drunk without the added aid from the feelings.

Some amount of it is still guilt at having hidden and buried my own gayness for so long that I involved Momma in this to such an extent that I not only allowed her to believe things that just weren't true but went out of my way to make her believe. That was a shitty thing to do, and it's hard to accept that I'm as much a victim of this idiocy I nursed as she is.

The real problem in all of this is that I keep not doing the things it would take to help myself. I'm so used to inaction, I'm so used to being passive, I'm so used to just sitting back and letting life pass by. It's hard to break that habit.

I'm completely accepting of the fact that none of what I've just written makes a whole lot of sense. I'm fine for the moment with things not making sense. It's just how things have to be right now. And having said all that I know that it's really up to me. It's work, and I hate the very idea of having to do that work. But more than that I hate where I keep finding myself when I don't do that work, so it's time to shit or get off the pot.

post title taken from the Rise Against song Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

buckle that baby

Local blogger Katie Allison Granju is asking about car seats. Her newish baby is growing too big for what she refers to as the baby bucket, and she's interested in reader opinions about the next seat.

Child safety seats always remind me of growing up and the seats we had when I was a child. Born in the early seventies, I'm a product of that era before seat belt laws and mandatory safety seats for children based on age and weight.

If I remember correctly, my mother told me once about the seats her children rode home in as newborns, a laundry basket lined with blankets, probably crammed safely on the floor between the front seats. My brother can comment and point out how wrong my memory may be or possibly add some color commentary.

After the van broke down for the last time we rode for a few years in a Volkswagen Beetle. We had to look like the clown car family as we arrived at church and proved that you actually could fit eight or nine people in a VW Beetle. Sometime after this we moved up to a large sedan, Ford LTD, then on to a full size station wagon.

Smaller brothers sat on older brother's laps while the middle brothers got to perch on the front of the seat, kind of like staggering horizontally stacked butts. The youngest brother generally got to stand in the middle of the front seat until he was too big to stand. The nearly youngest brother would sometimes ride in the rear area beneath the rear window. The station wagon was great, but I don't remember often using the rear most seat as there was much more room if we left the seat down and just sat in the space at the back on top of the folded down seat.

Seat belts I remember as those filthy things crammed down into the seats, those things we sometimes had to pull out of the way as we searched down in the crack between the seat back and the seat itself. Once we'd retrieved our pencil or quarter or whatever, we'd cram the seat belts back down into the crack. The closest I remember coming to a seat belt for many years was, when sitting in the front seat, my mother's arm thrown out in front of us as she came to a quick stop.

I'm not waxing poetic about those heady and carefree days of yon. I'm completely fine with the fact that my children are safer in the event of an accident. Most of the time I've been driving there have been seat belt laws in effect, and all the time that I've had children there have been laws mandating that they be safely buckled in.

It's fine, good in fact, and I'm quite beyond being used to it. It's an ingrained habit to not even put the car in gear till I've made sure that all passengers are safely buckled in, and I've even taught the boys to alert me if I happen to forget and the car begins to move before they've gotten their seat belts buckled. And even through all that, it's also somehow an ingrained habit to throw my arm up sometimes when making a quick stop. It's just one more thing my mother has given me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

absolutely nothing

It's just after one in the morning, and it's not nearly as cold outside as it should be, or maybe it just doesn't feel as cold as it is.

Last night's/this morning's weather report for my town and the local area was the most convoluted I've ever heard. We were basically told to expect rain and sleet then rain and snow then rain and sleet and snow then snow and sleet then sleet and snow then . . . you get the picture. At one point late last night (wee early hours) while Momma and I were darting to the garage to smoke, we could hear the sleet hitting the ground. When we looked into the streetlight we could see snow blowing around. When I woke this morning, all that was left was a tiny, maybe two cups worth, collection of snow, blown against the base of a neighbor's tree.

I woke up this morning pissed off and depressed. Part of that was due to sleeping too late. Momma and I have been staying up way too late lately, and when we have a deep heart to heart, we can excuse it. Last night was not that, just too much sitting up and not going to bed. I can be a bit of a butthole if I sleep too late. I'm honestly better off waking at a reasonable time with too little sleep.

We did get to watch the newest Project Runway, and how Rami and his smug ass attitude is still there I don't know. I hated Christian when we were watching commercials and waiting for the season to begin, but as the show continues I find myself liking him even more. He's a little sweetheart even if his hair is seven shades of fucked up. And just in case he happens to read this, STOP TUCKING YOUR FUCKING PANTS INTO YOUR BOOTS!!! So not cool.

I'm kind of craving a tiny square chicken sandwich and a tiny square bacon cheeseburger, but I hate to waste eating fast food when we don't really need it. It's much better when it's more needed, but I for real have some munchies and am much too lazy to want to eat anything we have here.

Speaking of what we have here, tonight's supper was roast chicken and fettuccine alfredo with onions, yellow bell pepper and zucchini. The half wit bagger at the grocery store, the sawed off little shit that isn't quite mentally as there as one might wish, did his usual suck job bagging my groceries, zucchini in the same back as raw chicken, bell pepper in a bag by itself, seventeen boxes in one bag so that the handles don't quite meet . . . yeah, I should have really done it myself. However, my grocery scanner was the guy that I think is gay (not interested in him gay just that he's always been an absolute sweetheart) is always worth talking to because, as I mentioned, he's always an absolute sweetheart, and he's going through chemo, and I'd rather just be friendly and interested in his well being.

Supper was good, but I don't want leftovers the same night I made it. There's also etouffee from a couple nights ago, but Momma hasn't had any yet, and I'd rather save it for tomorrow when she'll need a quick meal on her way out the door to work.

That's not even close to an update, but it is what it is. I should probably just call it by its name, post fodder, but we'll pretend it's important and that we've learned something from it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

she rocks

It seems a little ridiculous to even mention this in 2008, but women in rock still seem relegated to either the bass player or as a member of the all girl band that no one cares about once they realize that the members aren't knocking themselves out to be sexy for the boys. I mention this because today's band features a woman as both lead singer and guitar player.

The video below is The Muffs. It isn't one of their newer songs, but it is a good one, as if they were able to put out a bad song. This is the band that's been pushing Rufus out of the cd player lately.

It could easily be argued that there are sweeter and/or more beautiful voices in music, but for a straight up, basic rock and roll band, Kim absolutely kills it. Wait till about 2:30 when she belts out a scream, the absolute best scream in rock music.

The video is their song Outer Space.

momma gets her turn

Momma has a blog, though as of now her three posts amount to one a year. Her newest was written two days ago and has to do with the entirety of 2007, at least as far as our relationship goes. Go and read it HERE, and then come back for my own additional thoughts.

Right, so you read it? Because what I have to say may not make much sense if you didn't.

If you did read, then you've seen now the catalyst, the spark that finally allowed/forced me out of the closet. Now for some things that are hard to admit.

I never really believed that she was the one. I thought on some level that she must be and maybe even wanted her to be, and I, most of the time, thought of us as together forever. But all along I knew better. All along I wished that she'd do something to give me an excuse. I knew the truth, yet never felt I could admit to it or do anything about it.

Her sneaking around and being dishonest are quite understandable given the nature of her nocturnal activities. The actions that called for the sneaking and dishonesty are harder to understand, but through discussions she and I have had, I've come to understand her and her motivations to some extent. Her youth gave her own sexual nature plenty of fuel to be confusing to her, and I can completely understand that all of that led her to where she found herself.

In her post Momma mentions my forgiveness. We shared dishonesty, both of our own kind, and I completely forgive her dishonesty. Considering the fuel mentioned above, considering what she's shared with me about her childhood and youth, I don't feel that her actions need to be forgiven. I can't blame her for being confused. I can't blame her for sex and sexual issues getting the best of her. I am equally to blame if we never were completely honest with each other before being forced to. Perhaps if she and I had talked more and more honestly a few years ago then things wouldn't have progressed to the point they did. It isn't that I don't forgive her, because I completely do forgive her the things I think she truly had control over. A person's nature doesn't need forgiveness any more than you can forgive a candle for giving light.

But then comes all the other stuff. We've had a great time together over the years. We have produced two wonderful children through this. We have a strong and wonderful friendship. How much of this would be possible if I'd come all the way out earlier in my life? Where would we be if we'd never gotten together in the first place?

Monday, January 14, 2008

zero percent

Your Political Profile:

Overall: 15% Conservative, 85% Liberal

Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

It's not that this silly thing is not indicative to some extent, but some of the questions were really poorly worded, while all the questions offered no more than two options as answers. There really has to be room for the various shades between yes and no.

So on Social Issues and Ethics I'm zero percent conservative? And I get twenty five percent conservative on fiscal issues and personal responsibility? Again, the wording of the questions and the available options don't really allow one to explore the issues very much.

Seems though I may have done this one before. This time it's thanks to Meg at Get In, Hang On.

the dreams post

Momma has dreams, things that she really wants to do. I have things that seem impossible, so why should I bother.

A line that's run through my head so often lately, a line I've typed into posts I've begun and deleted, I was not raised to follow dreams; I was raised to do what god told me to do.

I don't intend to blame my parents for where I am now, but I can't help sometimes but wonder, the whole nature versus nurture argument tag teaming with the absurdity of my insular childhood and youth. Keener minds than mine have wrestled with this, and I'd love to think they've gotten closer than I have, but part of me doubts very much.

Who doesn't want to write the great American novel? And I'm so sure I'm the guy to do it. What story could be more American? Ultra religious childhood, rebellious teen years, acceptance of at least bisexuality coupled with some amount of experimentation, decade plus heterosexual relationship with attendant children with the first volume published ending in the early coming out years. Seriously, find more American than that. I'd like to see you try.

As a child I was sure I was going to be either a missionary or that I would work in advertising. How the advertising part came in I can only imagine due to some childhood fixation with the show Thirtysomething. I'm not sure exactly how that works in, but it's a memory and the only logical conclusion I can draw. That I ever watched the show is possibly linked with a youthful attempt to emulate the cool brother. That those were my childhood ideas of my possible future says something.

At some point I started writing, lots of real crap for the most part, most of which I currently have in a tucked away and ignored stack of Mead composition notebooks. I don't know that I ever got to a point where I wasn't writing crap, but I did spend a few years not really writing anything. I finally discovered the joy of blogging, thanks to the coolest of homeschoolers and homeschooling families all across our bit of the continent, and at least on occasion practice writing. Writing has always been there, hanging in the background of things that I can sometimes enjoy and might not suck at.

Cooking I discovered quite by accident. As a child I helped in the kitchen by staying out of the way. At the same time, my best childhood memories of my mother involve watching Julia Child and Martha Stewart and Jeff Smith and Justin Wilson. This was when Martha was a cook and not some clenched ass lifestyle expert. Jeff Smith you'll remember from The Frugal Gourmet, while Justin Wilson brought us cajun cooking and the phrases "oooooeee" as well as "I guarawntee."(yes pronounced like that) Julia, of course, needs no introduction.

I held a number of restaurant jobs before the one I consider to be the first real one, the one that led me to a life in the kitchen, a giant whore of a place in Charlotte NC which is not so sadly no longer there. Some other idiots have bought the building by now. I washed dishes. I did a lot of LSD around this time and sometimes dreamed of squadrons of the various dishes flying in formation. I hated it and quit, swearing I'd never work in another restaurant ever again.

My next job was in a large national chain as was my next job. From there I did some work as a general laborer with a drywall contractor. It sucked, and the first chance I got I was back in a kitchen. I've done local stand alones, local chains, national chains, sports bars and once worked in a place where I cooked so many wings that we dumped cases (one case equals forty pounds) of wings into large drip pan, and I scooped them into the fryer with a two quart scoop.

I can write anytime, but the nightmare years of kitchen work made me grow a new dream. I really want to open my own restaurant. I have more ideas for places I think would work in my town, and I'm not telling you any of them. Now that I'm not in the closet I have room to hide my ideas, because I know bitches will steal my ideas.

But even so, it's hard for me to think of it as a dream, as something worth pursuing. There's a certain petulant "why can't I?" but beyond that I just don't do anything. There are also random measures of guilt and laziness and fear mixed in along with other feelings. Fucking feelings!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

updatey sort of thing

I feel as if I should post some sort of update, an answer to my most recent post in which I channeled my angsty and confused sixteen year old self and wrote something I would have called poetry roughly twenty years ago.

It's often hard not to feel guilty about having kept my sexuality some sort of secret for so long. It wasn't that it was a secret between Momma and me, because she knew. I, however, convinced myself I was bisexual and just accepted it as true. I should have known better, and on some level I did know better.

So we find ourselves in the here and now, and by letting the genie out and confronting it I've put a swift stop to the relationship we thought we had for so long. And it's all those years that I find myself having to figure out, except that there doesn't seem to be a lot of figuring out going on.

As one would, Momma has asked me about those years, and my best explanation is to accept that I can't explain anything. I can't help either of us make sense out of it. I have to wonder if it's just that I don't want to delve into it as opposed to not being able to make sense of the tough questions.

Momma and I had this conversation months ago. It really is settled, but like picking a scab, my brain doesn't want to let it go. I don't really know if I need those answers or if it's something to just let go of. I want to just let it go, accept that we don't always get answers, but the part of my brain that can't let go of guilt is holding onto this, demanding that I feel bad about this.

And that's where I too often end up lately. It's the stupid things that make me feel bad, and as depression does, it grows from there, sucking in anything that can add to the mix. It never takes long from there for me to slap together some overwrought post full of poor sad me sorts of themes. The difference is that this time I didn't delete it immediately.

And finally, to the people who commented to that post, I really appreciate it. It was all stuff I should and do know, but we silly humans sometimes need to hear things repeated.

Friday, January 11, 2008

just click away while you can

Times I want to just dump the bucket that is my head out, just empty it and start all over. I think sometimes I should sit down and write. I think sometimes I just need a shoulder to cry on.

I even think some times that I'll be able one day to make sense out of everything. It's never happened yet, so I've got no reason to believe it one day will, but I can't stop wishing or hoping or whatever it is I'm doing.

I'm a master of the talking without so much of the walking. I'm good at putting together strings of words that make me look more a master of my domain than I really am. I'm mostly a guy in his mid thirties whose brain is stuck at a much younger place. I have a great wife and great kids and want nothing more than for a handsome prince to sweep me off my feet.

Princes aren't just ambling down the street these days. I have to accept that I am where I am and on some level give consideration to making sense of myself. Last time I set out to do that I had not only the drugs but also the time. I don't think it worked so well that time, so I'll have to find a different route.

I feel currently like I'm wasting time in a hallway lined with doors. Entering any one of the doors represents having to sink myself into and make sense of any number of questions. I don't want to do the work that involves, so I loiter in the hall a bit more, pretend I'm thinking about something important. I keep myself in a place that is safe but is stagnant.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

uuuummmmmmmm. . .

I'm sorely in need of dumping my brain into a bunch of stupid words on your computer screen. But what to write about? Do I go with the softball and write about how long my hair is? Honestly, pictures of me from over thirty years ago show the only other time it's been this long, and it's a totally new experience made more so by over a decade of voluntary head shaving. It's just weird, and it's not really thaaaat long.

I looked through my reader to learn that the number of gay specific blogs and news sources is nearly equal to the total of homeschool related feeds. I find that a lot of the gay blogs I'm most drawn to are guys discussing coming out, though most of them are a bit younger than me with a bit less of the history.

I could tell the story about going to see a local rock band and the guitar player of the other band that played, the band from halfway across the state, the guitar player that couldn't not be gay. He had to be. And I kind of think I may have made an ass out of myself I realized walking away with the seven inch and t shirt for ten dollars. For what it's worth they really were good live, and he threw in their cd for free, so . . .

We also have soccer sign ups this weekend.

Monday, January 07, 2008

more vendaloo?

If you'd like, play the following song and scroll down for more vendaloo news. Visit Molly and tell her thanks for, not only getting this song stuck in my head, but also for this attempt I'm making to lodge it even more in your head. If you aren't sure what the hell I'm talking about then by all means listen to the song. It's great.

Please feel free, if you think you know better, to tell me in the comments what a vedaloo actually should be. Keep in mind that I'm making it from our beloved friend Ms. Joy.

Vinegar, olive oil, garlic, ginger, curry powder, mustard seeds, cumin, cardamom, cloves, crushed red pepper all go into the blender and come out a thick and smelly and yellow mess. It then gets tossed with two pounds of pork, cut into one inch cubes, for one to eight hours. When you're ready too cook the pork you cook some sliced onions in a pot, add your pork, a can of diced tomatoes and a cinnomon stick. Cook it till the pork is at is tastiest, stir in some more mustard seeds, let it thicken and add some cilantro.

So, even with my almost need to follow a recipe at least the first time, I used rice vinegar though the recipe called for white wine. The (preferably black) that followed each mention of mustard seeds translated to brown being the darkest mustard seed we had, and I wasn't going all the way to the coop for mustard seeds. And instead of pork loin or shoulder as requested I went with a cheaper cut thinking the stewing would work fine on this particular cut, and all the loins and/or shoulders were twice as big as I needed. Also I forgot to add the cilantro at the end, which I realized as I was finishing eating and wondering how I could make it better. Finally, we didn't have the rice we should have had, and I used sushi rice. I just didn't like it in this.

What made it better? Coconut milk and not sushi rice and not forgetting the cilantro. After I looked a little more I realized that we did indeed have a long grain white rice, which was better than sushi rice but not nearly as perfect for this as jasmine rice, which we don't currently have.

I'm sure the addition of coconut milk made is so not vendaloo anymore, and I really don't care. And that's the end of of this round. One begs me to make vendaloo again and to write about it again. That's how these things go. But really, we just can't know. I'll definitely mess around with curries, but will I attempt the vendaloo again? Actually yes, because the more I think about it the more I really do care. What is this dish, this vendaloo? I'm afraid I might have to actually bother looking around. I mean, it has a song not not about it for fuck sakes.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

who's an idiot?

We'll know later for sure how big an idiot I am, and I'll try to remember to update this post to let you know. Why am I demeaning myself so?

Tonight's supper is pork vendaloo, or what the Joy of Cooking tells me is pork vendaloo. It smells good, it's done according to the recipe with one minor change. I do not have white wine vinegar, but I do have rice vinegar. That should make a mostly unnoticeable difference and is not why I'm an idiot.

So what happens if you set up your rice steamer almost correctly and let it run for ten minutes without the cooking water? There is water in the bottom, so I wasn't tearing it up and letting it run while dry. But I set it up as the vendaloo went to it's cover and simmer for one hour stage, leaving the cooking water out because I didn't know what effect it would have for the rice to sit in water for thirty minutes waiting to cook.

The thirty minutes elapsed meaning the steamer needed to start with the addition of the water. I'd even measured out the water when setting up the steamer. Turn the knob to thirty five minutes and walk away. Thankfully, ten minutes later, I decided to smoke a cigarette and on my way outside noticed the measuring cup of water next to, as opposed to in, the steamer. I added the water to what had become more clump than pile of rice, stirred, swore a couple more times.

So, twenty five minutes from now the steamer timer will ding, and I will go and inspect what I fully expect to be absolute hell. Will the rice be okay? Will it need to cook a little longer? Will it be a gross and soggy mess? Am I really an idiot? Can you expect good ethnic dishes from Joy of Cooking?

update on the rice: it was fine, maybe a tiny bit overcooked if anything, but certainly not in a bad way. Vendaloo? not bad as such, but not good. The pork wasn't especially tender, and the sauce was a bit lacking. I'm not sure yet what I'd do different, but I'm sure I'll make this again after fixing the recipe.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

old and new

My very first post of 2007 was a bit of history about Hank Williams as well as a video of him doing his song Cold, Cold Heart. I'm posting another version of the song, this time without the history. In fact, this is about all you're getting in terms of words other than to say, enjoy Cold, Cold Heart performed by Norah Jones.

that new years post

Somewhere inside of me is a part that wants to write the "out with the old, in with the new" post that so many people have been able to throw together. I've honestly tried to think about this, measuring my life in terms of where I've been, where I am and where I want to go.

Regardless of how 2007 may have started, we couldn't have known then what the year would present, the explosions that would occur, the tears shed and the truths bared.

I feel as if so much of what I held or believed or pretended was true this time three hundred sixty five-ish days ago has been proved untrue in some cases and as the lies they were in other cases. It hasn't been fun, but the year represented a lot of hard truths coming out between Momma and me, not to mention beginning coming out for at least one of us.

The biggest change has been the difference in secretly knowing that I am gay versus accepting and admitting that I am gay. I almost completely accepted it many years ago, and I can't know or explain or understand the circumstances that pushed me back into the closet. Those circumstances, for all the shit one goes through pretending not to be gay, gave me a very supporting and loving wife and friend as well as a wonderful pair of kids I don't appreciate nearly enough.

And I expect a lot of changes going into the new year, that one that's already aging as I type these words. I've already spent too much of my new years day watching shows involving mixed martial arts events and Iron Chefs from last year than is prudent.

So what is it I need in the consistently less new new year? The same shit as anyone, better diet and more exercise, less smoking and tv watching, more money, my vote to count, comfort with my sexuality, support and love from and for my wife, honesty, my kids to be happy and learning and knowing they are loved and supported, money, less debt, friends. You know, the basics.

And this is where I find myself going into oh eight. I've lived years that have collected around me, sometimes feeling like walking through mud that clings and weighs me down. There are elements that counteract all of that somewhat, trying to reach down and pull me up, and I love my wife for being the element that keeps pulling me up while all of this tears at her in ways I can not even imagine.

More than anything, this year needs to be the one when I start acting in ways that back up the things I say. I say a lot, but I don't often quite live up to those things I espouse. I need to look into that along with doing things that make me a better and happier person. I've never really given those things much thought, and I think I kind of need to. Those sort of thoughts always seem so selfish to me, and that makes it hard.

A couple of days in I honestly expect good things this year. I hope your year is good, free of the bad stuff that we can't avoid, full of the good stuff we never seem to quite track down. I wish for honesty. I want to figure out what that thing is I'm supposed to be doing when I grow up and to grow up finally.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

in case I wasn't lazy enough

Sue Doe Nim was kind enough to suggest I join Stumble Upon, probably because she knows I don't spend nearly enough time at the computer.

I sat on the invite for a while, not sure if the too much I already do was quite enough, until today. I took the plunge and stumbled on over.

I'll be honest and say right now that I'm not what it is I'm supposed to do there. It mostly seems like a fancier option than my little shared items window from Google reader which you can see right there to the left.

So we'll see how it works. Is it better than shared items? Did you ever notice my shared items? It's really right there on the left. Go look at it. It's where I can share the best of the blogs that I read. There's some cool stuff in there, and you know that I'm the smartest sumbitch you ever laid eyes on, so of course if I like you'll love it.

If you already stumble upon stuff you can find me there. I'm samuelfunkypants, which isn't to say my pants are especially funky, and they aren't really that cool either, basic Wrangler regular fit, run about fifteen bucks at Target and last just long enough. The knees usually wear out about the same time my hard pack cigarette pack starts to wear corners in my pocket.

christmas full of books

This, assuming I haven't forgotten any, is the pile of books that made up our Christmas book gifts. Most of these were from Momma and me to the boys. Four of them were gifts from my family to Momma and me. The one book that wasn't actually a Christmas present was purchased within a day or two of the actual day as I finished shopping for my family, so I've included it, that one being the The New Encyclopedia of American Animals.

Anthony Bourdain's The Nasty Bits as well as Alton Brown's book, I'm Just Here for the Food, were gifts to me, visible in the two lower corners. Next to Alton Brown are the gifts to Momma, Michael Ruhlman's The Soul of a Chef and The Reach of a Chef.

I'm well into The Nasty Bits and am a big fan of Bourdain's work. This makes the third of his books that I own. The two Ruhlman books are firsts for us as is Alton Brown. Momma and I have become fans of Ruhlman through his appearances with Bourdain, while the entire family loves Alton Brown. Big Brother and I have enjoyed his show Good Eats for a while, and though Momma also enjoys the show, she generally seems to be at work when we get a chance to watch it.

Among the other books, one notable is The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman's ode to making your baby hate Jesus (sarcasm) which Big Brother seems to be enjoying. I've mentioned this book before as one that we loaned out never to see again. I've wanted to replace it for some time, and we finally did. You can see the top of a book mark peeking out. In addition we picked up three other Pullman books, I Was a Rat, Clockwork and The Fireworks Maker's Daughter. These are all delightful stories and fairly quick reads, and I've read two of the three already.

One really cool book that I was unfamiliar with is Abarat, by Clive Barker. It's the second kid's book of his that we have, and I've also already read it in the week since Christmas. Now we have to hunt down a copy of the next of his Abarat books so I can read the rest of the adventures of Candy Quackenbush. It's an odd story in the best possible way and exactly what a fan of Clive Barker would expect. In addition to a great story the book is full of illustrations painted by Barker, beautiful work that really pulls one deeper into the story.

A couple of notables that I've barely flipped through but look forward to diving fully into are The Dangerous Book for Boys, mentioned variously and randomly by a few homeschooling bloggers I enjoy, though I can't think now who. It was with their mentions in mind that I snatched this up as soon as I saw it, though it wasn't technically on any list when I did see it. Next to it, the bright red book at the top of the picture, is Characters from Tolkien by David Day, the purple book with the giant TOLKIEN. This was a score from the used book store, one that I wasn't looking for but again had to snatch up as soon as I saw it. Having flipped through it a bit I've been awed by the art, not to mention the further immersion into Middle Earth.

There are, as one can see, a number of books not getting a mention in this post. I didn't set out to write an obnoxious list of gifts and books, but there are a few I'm proud and happy to finally own as well as some new discoveries. My parents were kind of enough to give us two new bookcases, so I know that as soon as they're put together our new books will have a home. We'll also need to sort through all our books and arrange them somewhat sensibly. I still won't put all my foodie books and cookbooks together, but at least the kids books can all go on a bookcase together, removing several of them from my foodie bookcase.

Apart from some really good ham and the joy of seeing family, the pile of books might be my favorite part of Christmas. Some people fantasize about rolling around in piles of cash, while I dream of the day I can wallow in a big pile of books, or maybe just have a huge room with built in book cases lining the walls, each full with a variety of friends and neighbors of the written persuasion. And no, you can't borrow any of them, because I've learned that lesson a few times. But you are welcome to come by and hang out and read.

start the new year with what?

It's late, and I should be in bed. Momma is dozing. The boys are both in bed and asleep. I should also be in bed and asleep.

Checking my stats the last few days I've found some of my posts showing up HERE. I don't know exactly who these cunts are stealing my rambling, but I'd really like to know what's going on. I wrote that stuff, and I don't like them pilfering. Who are they, and how can I stop them?

If you have any news or info about this type of thing, please comment or email me. I'd like for them to not only be stopped but also to be caught and busted. They are not writing this material, and they have a blog based on other people's work. I'm not the only person having their content stolen, and it is beyond uncool.