Friday, July 28, 2006

the first word in methane is 'me', baby.

A lake of methane was just discovered on Titan; one of Saturns' moons.

In the name of the native Titanians and native peoples everywhere, I hereby christen this lake 'Lake Paul'.

hey wow! did you hear?
A methane lake on Titan is named after my blog!
I am so proud.

goodbye, refries, goodbye

In case you missed it, go here:
thats her new url, so update your blogroll (do as i say, not as i do...yeah, yeah.)

Well, I have diabetes. Barely, but there ya go.
I don't doubt it for a moment. I was expecting this. The way I've been eating for the last 20 years? Shit, yes.
I do not regret one single moment.
No I don't.

What will I miss most?
Mostly, I will miss not having to worry.

I tell you what, though, I am not going to go around all penitential eating fucking ry-krisps and smacking myself in the head with a board. Food is a celebration and I damn well intend to see that it stays that way.

I'm going to have to learn a whole new repetoire of staple recipes. After all, the ones I have in my head now are what got me to this place! Does anybody have any suggestions for diabetic cookbooks? Particularly with Mexican and Italian recipes? Is there such a thing as a diabetes cookbook put out by a master chef? Jesus, if there is, let me know. I don't care if it's complicated; I can do complicated.

I got myself into this place; I'll damn well get myself out of it.

Because of the heat, I had to take the clippers and shave my poor girldog the other day. Poor wooly sheepie! She has Labrador retriever blood back there in the woodpile someplace so she has an undercoat like felt and a long topcoat to boot. I swear I don't know how one small animal could have so much hair. It was appalling! Now she feels better, though. Looks smaller, too. Lots smaller. And guess what; I'm not done yet. Oh yeah, I'm gonna be her BEST FRIEND.

We are gradually getting the Playboy of the Western World moved in to his new place. Thank God the man was not a packrat. Still, there are a lot of small things that he thought were special, and they are all sitting here in my house now, *sigh* waiting to be boxed up, and eventually donated.
Now goddammit, this is sad. I don't like any of it. Neither does the Yummy Biker. None of it is particularly valuable either, but it's not exactly crap...what it is, mainly, are trinkets he picked up in Greece, or things he saved from when his mothers house caught on fire years ago. Mismatched cups and saucers, figurines, glasses, things like that. I hate boxing it up and then having to lie to him about where the stuff is. But we will.*
Fortunately all his buddies have been given first crack at the large furnishings. Have at, gentlemen! When we finally throw open the doors to the relatives they're going to be rather puzzled by all the empty carpet. I DO hope someone gets shitty with me; I've been spoiling for a fight. Probably won't happen.

Come to think of it, that's a pretty nice statement about the family, isn't it?

*The Yummy Bikers' mother had rather regrettable tastes in her younger years. Her worst judgment, beside marrying the same man three times and a gay man the fourth, was the purchase of the infamous Chicken Dishes. You'd honestly hesitate to put food on them. They're glazed this really odd, mustard-diaper color that's speckled with gnats or pepper or birdshot or something...and smack in the center of each is a huge picture of what can only be described as a gravely psychotic chicken. Each one hefts approximately the same as a boat anchor. She passed them on to us. Gee, thanks. And she always asks about them. "Do you still have those dishes?" and we nod and smile real big. "Well, are you ever gonna use them?" Not even on a dare, honey. We have them stored safely away from young children and the nervous, waiting to be thrown into Bellingham Bay the instant you go to your reward. In fact I may arrange for the hospital to call me. Until then, they're packed away, and we lie.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Next in the wildly popular 'Muk In Her Native Habitat' series, we explore the quaint riverside village of Sumas, the place our little Muk calls home.
Welcome to Sumas, everyone!

...uh, yeah. *Ahem.*

Here is the entirety of the downtown core, this street here, looking north with that 'Welcome to Sumas' sign at my back. Twelve tiny little blocks.
Down at the very end, if you look hard, you can see a faint, faint sort of reddish bar that crosses the street? That's the Canadian border.

Lets take a drive down Main Street, shall we?
Now here is your typical city block in the downtown core. Both buildings date from the 1920's, both buildings are standing slap ass vacant. Lets stop the bus! Everyone out for a Kodak moment!

Here is an abandoned titty bar. This is a huge place, too; it goes waaay back there.

Yes, City Hall is housed in a metal utility building. So is the police station. And yes, you're looking at both of them.

Another abandoned building! Right across the alley not 15 feet from the entrance to the police station, it was understandably not the fun filled, whoopin', hollerin' free for all fightin' old west kinda place its name seems to promise. No, in fact, it was a hangout for recent immigrants from Russia and the Ukraine; all 20 of them. Ride 'em, comrade! The white banner proclaims 'this business for sale-agricultural trades considered'. Yes, that's right. The guy who owns a BAR on an international border crossing wants to trade it for a FARM. I'm not sure what this says about the Sumas economy, but it doesn't seem....good.

Meet Lone Jack. Jack is alone because Jack has been having some proctological issues recently.
What's in the pan, Jack?
No. Don't tell me.
Want to know why I live here? Because of the people. What kind of people? The type of people who would start an international shipping business, house it in an old burlesque theatre with this morphodite squatting out in front...and leave him there. And name the business the only name possible out of all possible names in the universe.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with the greatest of pleasure that I give you....
"Ship Happens"

Youth community service. Get chipping, you little bastards! Hahahahahaha! This is how we school 'em! Put 'em to work chipping yellow paint off the curbs in the hot sun! Stick 'em right out in front of the police station so we can keep an eye on 'em too! That's right!
When I came by five minutes later, Buckwheat on the left was still in the exact same position, pinin' for the fjords.

Ten years ago there were 23 empty businesses along the main drag. Today there are still ten, not counting empty single offices.
If any town needed a reason to support business, Sumas IS that town.
This would be the business.
This right here is the BEST MEXICAN FOOD IN THE UNIVERSE. The service is superb, the people are great...
So why not lets' us City Hall moo-rons perpetuate a tacit policy of harassment? Why not look the other way while the local police put roadkill in their doorway and on their employees' cars? Why not have them raided just before every major civic event so they have to close down? After all, it's the only restaurant in town that hires people long term, AND stays open seven days a week. AFTER ALL, THEY'RE MEXICANS!! Why not? WHY NOT I ASK YOU?? WHY DON'T LETS JUST BUG THE FUCK OUTTA THEM UNTIL THEY PACK UP AND MOVE TO ANOTHER TOWN AND LEAVE ONE MORE ABANDONED BUSINESS ON THE MAIN DRAG??? WHY NOT PUT 23 LOCAL PEOPLE OUT OF WORK??? WHY NOT FORFEIT THOSE TAX DOLLARS? HAHAHAAHAAHAAHAAHA!!!! GREAT IDEA!!!!!

First patron of the day.
This old geezer comes buzzing up at the turn of the lock every morning. They 86'd him for being just generally disgusting about three months ago. What he does now is come in early. He sits in the bar, mumbling, occasionally yelling, pissing himself and bothering the staff until they get some customers; then they cut him off and he wheels away, wearing his knitted toque and his grey wool overcoat, shouting at cars.

Now lets veer off the main drag and amble through the neiborhood.
On our way out to drop off our biodegradable yard waste we find this National Security spy pole, the silver post at the center of the picture with the little goggles at the top.
I see you!
Of course, they see me, too.
Yeah! See this? It's the fat chick! FUCK YOU GEORGE BUSH! CANADA IS NOT THE ENEMY!

THIS is the community compost pile. See the sign? That's how you tell. It says 'Compost Pile'. It is for the community. To put compost in. On. Whatever.

Lush, cool and beautiful.

Here's a bed and breakfast. Although it's in the center of the neiborhood, it backs on a river, and is at the end of a street which backs on a cornfield. Hell, I'd stay here and I live three blocks away.

The Sumas River running through the center of town. No deer today, sorry to say. Yes, this is what passes for a river here..that barely visible trickle. Dumbass Washingtonians can't tell a river from a crick.

Oh crap. A trout jumped and I tried to catch it swimming away but I didn't even get a ripple. Anyway, this is the river. See? Water.
Note that I am standing on a bridge on the main east-west thoroughfare through town at high noon, holding a camera with my ass draped over the guardrail.
Nah. Make of the preceeding sentence what you will. It just might be true.

I mean, come on. This is the worst place in town. Of course I live next door to it. But you can't even see it!
Betcha they see me, though.
Oh crap! She's taking a picture! Quick! Hide the illudium q32 space modulator!

This is the entirety of town looking east to west, from city limits sign to city limits sign...or at least the low hill in the background there where the 'City Limit' sign is.
What town? I don' see no steenkin' town.

You see what I mean? As soon as you leave the main business center the place is beautiful. People sit out on their front lawns and have conversations. The kids say 'hi' to you. The dogs wag. Yes, everyone is in your shit, but I'm in their shit too so it evens out.
But to drive through the business center of town, you'd think 'Jesus Christ, keep on going; what a goddamn dump".

I may shoot a copy of this via email to the mayors office.

On second thought, maybe not...


Monday, July 24, 2006

ok fine

Here it is. So sit down, keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times while the ride is in operation because....

The humble abode. This picture was taken from the sidewalk, facing northeast. That peaked roof on the right marks the origional house. Bitty, wasn't it?
I did all the plantings. Yay me! Yes, that is a torchiere lamp on the front porch. I keep forgetting to donate it.

My rural idyll. This is the view from my front porch, facing southeast. The field where I crashed my motorcycle. Left out of frame is Mt. Baker, but the alpenglow was on it and it wouldn't print.
Turning to the southwest, we have this...

ONE YEAR AGO all that was hayfield too. Every single house and rooftop you can see in that picture went up in one years' time. I honestly DO remember when all this was farms. Now, turning full west, we have this...

Remember my nutty neibors with hundreds of cats and the pet semetary? The ones who yell at their apple tree? Here's their place. Trust me; its in there. So are they. Waiting. Watching. Not bathing. The miscreant apple tree pokes up at center-right. Looks innocent. But it's not.

And now, the backyard! WOW! Remain calm!
Here is all the tomatoes I could fit into one picture without sitting down on the tickly grass in my shorts. You will note the raised bed, a necessity for gardening tomatoes here. In one months' time these plants will double in size and be loaded with 'maters. Yummmmmmmm!

Potted stock ready for sale cheap! 100% hippie grown.

My Goonybird. Ya spend a fortune on toys and the kid sits in the wheelbarrow making hooting noises and laughing. I blame his mother.

This is taken standing on tiptoes on my back deck. There is the evil ex-crack shed, now turned to the cause of good, and my picnic awning. Between them in the distance? That line of trees and the mountains? Thats Canada! YAY CANADA! HI ELLE! HI MJ!

bees hate me. tomatoes don't.

The day before yesterday, watering the plants on the front porch, I got nailed in the leg by a wasp. Yesterday, on the motorcycle, I got nailed in the face by a honeybee. Right below the right eye; it felt like a damn rock. I was really lucky that I was a. wearing my goggles, except for the part where the poor bee got stuck under the foam part and scrabbled about a little bit, ew ew ew ew, and b. I am not allergic to stings. Because boy, I tell ya, I'd be in some sad fucking shape by now. This morning the side of my face is swollen up. Attractive! Looks stylin' with my Pekingese haircut too, I must say.

At least the Bumbler beebers are still my buddy *snif*

So I called the Dr's office for the results of my blood tests, and they gave me the old 'well, all we have here is a note in your chart saying to make an appointment to come in' so I'm about ninety percent certainI've got radioactive rat scabies and possum ass rash. Happy mother butt fucking joy joy.
Farewell, beloved refries.

At least I will still have tomatoes.
And damn, do I have tomatoes. This is the beauty of choosing indeterminate plants; you don't get a huge glut all at once; just enough to always have fresh and a few to put up at the end of the day. My saladettes have been giving me a few every evening for the past couple of weeks, and I made a fresca sauce out of them with some olive oil and crushed black olives. Oh my god, food should not taste so good. Well, yes it should, but this was pornographic. I am so going with this variety next year. The tomato flavor is brilliant! It's a solid savory note, rich but not sweet or buttery, or ketchuppy. It has notes of citrus, but is not sour. It is juicy rather than 'meaty', but thick walled with very little gel, and that not sour. The skin is thin enough so that it dissolves readily with blending; so there is no need to blanch and peel whatsoever; and the seeds are small. Tell you what, I believe I have found the perfect sauce tomato, kids. The variety is 'Olpaka'. Write that the fuck down.

Now, my other variety is a beefsteak...*runs outside and pulls a tag* Big Beef. Now the reports are still coming in about its parentage, but what really bothers me is that the seed broker, Seminis, has been bought out by Monfuckingsanto. Monsanto, people. Better living through Frankenfood Monsanto. Seminis carries all the Northern range vegetable stock. Shit! And Big Beef is a hybrid, too, so you can't save the seed because it won't come true. But ANYWAY. That's a rant for another time.
Anyway, it is giving me tomatoes the size of baseballs, glorious smooth things that are already beginning to mature red. The Yummy biker likes a hamburger sized slicer and he's going to get his wish this year.

I know someone is going to ask if I've ever tried making fried green tomatoes, and the answer is yes. And you know what? They blew. I used a Martha Stewart recipe-and god love her, but ol' Marthas recipes are sometimes a little goofy-and I suspect that might be part of the problem. Other folks have told me that the problem is the variety, or the age of the tomato...that it has to be on the ripe side of green instead of the green side of green. Well crap!
This is one of those things that just sounds like it should be good and when it turned out shitty I was flummoxed. Does anyone have a clue? Batter dip and deep fry? Bacon grease in the iron skillet, cornmeal and milk? Beefsteak vs saladette? Green green or red-green? What?

The tomato has to be handled carefully when you are putting them up. Raw, full ripe and frozen is best for future cooking use. Upon thawing*, the water they cast can be discarded and an extra savory product is produced that needs less reduction time and can be seasoned at the very last moment with confidence.
Preserving a finished product, like sauce or soups, requires extra extra care and lots of tasting, because tomatoes can scorch in the wink of an eye...and they overcook in 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you begin to lose brilliance and complexity and gain moves from fresh towards ketchup, in other words. Stop it dead in an icewater bath, stirring...and if you want to point a fan down into it too, thats all for the good.

*I do not can. I freeze. I tried canning once and it was....explosive. Think champagne. Think 14 burst quarts of finished marinara that continued to foam and ooze for twenty minutes. yeah. Crap. I long to have beautiful jars of canned produce to admire and savor during the winter...instead I have to thaw bricks, and it just isnt the same. Plus, if the power goes out, which it does here, in the winter, I'm fucked.