Friday, September 25, 2009

A Week Later

Today I needed no painkillers to ease the ache in my jaw, because it's finally gone.

What a week! Sore, swollen, stuttering, biting my tongue over and over again ... ow. But today it is better. I've still got a sore spot on my tongue from pinching it, but otherwise, I'm ready to tackle a steak or a crunchy salad. Thank Heaven.

With the cessation of pain, I threw myself into the work of the Piker Press, and did some uploading of articles and correspondence that has been waiting for my attention. I got a lot done, actually, and that felt good.

The Piker Press, as I have said before, exists for no other reason than to keep writers writing. We're getting some good distribution, but more importantly, the writers are getting published in such a way that allows them all the good aspects that their writing deserves: audience and (I hope) good editing.

The Fame and Fortune Thing for the Press is just going to be dependent upon Fate throwing some marketing genius at us who can work for zero dollars until we can turn a profit.

But I'm not waiting for profit, I just love to see new work, love to hear people's stories.

Gotta love writers who write because they love writing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Under the Porch

I don't do dentistry well.

Tantamount phobia, dentistry is my least favorite activity in the world. I hate the sound of drills, the echo of drills in my head, the injection of Novocaine, (or whatever the hell it is), the clatter of instruments on trays, the touching of my teeth and face.

I elected to have two crowns put in today, because the time is coming when we'll have no dental insurance. When that ends, well, we're on our own, and that means "screw you, live with pain and teeth needing care."

At least now I will be able to chew on the right side of my mouth until the end of my life. The aging fillings in the two back teeth are gone. The new crowns will last me until the end of my life.

I made it through the appointment without shedding a tear; indeed, most of time I was marveling at how incredibly stoned I was from the nitrous oxide. For two hours, the most coherent thought I had was, "Wow, I am really fucked up."

Nevertheless, I repeatedly tried to relax my shoulders and arms, and tried to send my mind away to other thoughts -- but I can tell from the aches in my body that I will be sore tomorrow just from the tension stress.

It's only 4:30 in the afternoon, but I want to crawl under the figurative porch and be left alone, like a sick dog.

Note: When I came back from the dentist, both dogs climbed into my lap, sniffed my face and hair, and kissed me gently in concern. What good boys!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


That should be said with a wide open mouth, a grating tone of voice, and a swooping series of notes.

"Whaaaaat?" was how my sister and I read the Little Golden Book "The Three Little Kittens" when the mother cat questioned the kittens about the loss of their mittens.

It was formative. Once, when Bernie and I were in San Francisco, walking along the Embarcadero, I said, "Whaaaaat?" in just that way when he told me about some salacious gossip he'd heard. A passing family heard us, and the little girl with her parents imitated me, "Whaaaaat?" earning a cuff and reproof from her mother. I only hoped that she would continue to use the sound in the future.

So at 7:45 am, when my phone on my bedside rang, I woke groggily, and then jumped and sprang out of bed as a very loud "BOOOOOOOM!!!!" echoed through the room. "An explosion," I thought. "No, wait, thunder? Whaaaaat? In September??"

The phone was Alex trying to wake me to find out where the hell I had my car keys, as the windows of my car were open and it was POURING. I found the keys and flung them at her, then ran to the back patio to bring in the rotissierie oven, which should have been able to live outside until the end of October, at least.

Then we retired to the garage, opened the door, and watched the storms roll across the area, one after another, lightning and thunder and rain and wonderful clouds. Bernie, with only four hours of sleep since he had come home from work, was too fascinated by the weather to sleep, and got up for coffee and doughnuts in the garage as well.

It was beautiful, especially when, right after we'd all gathered in the garage to watch the sky show, a double rainbow appeared.

Neighbor kids and Lillian ran around in glee when it wasn't thundering, rejoicing in a warm and very unusual rain.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Dog and His Girl

Lillian walks with Sebastian after the rain.

He's such a good dog, and dotes on his little Miss. They don't walk far on these forays, but he is perfectly behaved and walks at heel like a gentleman. You can tell this by the sag in his leash.

Sebastian was supposed to be a smaller dog, but something went awry in that plan. He's big, at least 80 skinny pounds. Without a mean or contentious bone in his body, he's the perfect pet for the Granddaughter of the House.

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Phenomenal Feast

Bernie manned the barbecue grill this afternoon by popular request.

He grilled corn in the husk, baby portabello mushrooms basted with Saffola margarine (very good tasting for cooking), and white onions cut into bite-sized pieces. When those were done he cooked up a multitude of exquisite hamburgers.

I'd made up guacamole and ranch dip to add to the table, so when we all sat down to eat, we had plenty of everything to go around, which was good, because it was all so delicious we hardly knew when to stop.

The mushrooms, sprinkled with a mere shake of sea salt, eaten as a whole bite with a slice of the white onion, were heavenly. Until this summer I could not understand the fascination with this type of mushroom, but now that I've had them grilled I find them irresistible.

Bernie's method of roasting corn on the grill has made me an avid convert from my lifetime of boiling corn on the cob. He peels back the husks, rubs the ears with a little butter, folds the husks back over the ears, and lets them cook until the kernels have brightened in color. I would have thought they'd catch fire, but they don't.

The burgers are done last, over what ends up being low heat, making them tender and juicy.

The success of this summer's grilling has led Bernie and me to believe that we have to tear apart the top of our barbecue structure and re-construct it to make it about three times as big. That way, we could make enough mushrooms for guests when we have them, and have the hamburgers cooked at the same time as the corn. Or a passel of chicken quarters. Or a phalanx of kabobs.

The day was perfect, weatherwise ... a fine Labor Day to savor the Commercial End of Summer.

Did I tell you that commercially, it is now Halloween?