Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I walk my little one (actually she is twentyyears old) this evening via cell phone through remote parts of DC as she heads home late, in the dark. This is a modern way of caring for your older children.

I tell her that I have been listening to a Tonya mix a lot. She asks what’s on it. I read the titles. She says about one (Cannonball) – oh! did I know that this has been a favorite of mine? No, really? Yeah.

I got a date with the night, burnin down my finger, Gonna catch the kids dry, gonna walk on water

What I actually have had is a permanent date with the sponge and scouring pad as each day I am either cleaning the house for a showing or doing endless stacks of pots, bowls and cooking utensils (in the case of yesterday: both).

Cleaning a kitchen after a cooking binge is like grading exams after a semester of teaching – an unfair punishment for an otherwise challenging and stimulating set of tasks. There is no shortcut, you just have to do it. If you’re lucky, you’ll have company during the tedium of it all. Most often you will only have your thoughts.

And so what are they, those thoughts that accumulated with the four-hour stack of pots this morning? A blogger whom I had the great pleasure of meeting last night had recently asked how much of oneself does a person need to put out there [on one’s blog]? My personal answer is: perhaps not nearly as much as would appear at first glance.

Today, all you get is the facts:

After commenting on Jeremy’s blog that we keep too much useless stuff and we should all get rid of unnecessary “things,” I noticed that I had just last week purged old useless spices and therefore no longer had the black sesame seeds I needed to coat the chicken bits rolled over scallion, to be dipped in spicy pepper sauce at the grad student going away party (at JF's RV) for Katy and Jeremy.

The photos posted yesterday are from a rushed trip to Penzey’s Spices for a replacement jar of seeds.

I had balked initially when it was suggested that I throw some snackies together for this event. I love these guys tons, but I am not very good at throwing things together for any party, especially one that is not my own. If you want to point a finger at me and say “There runs Fusses With Food,” go ahead and do so.

In the end though, I could not resist, especially since blogging Ang agreed to stand by my side at my kitchen counter and take orders for a significant chunk of the day. Jesus, how often do you get that kind of assistance!

Facts, facts, stick to the facts:

There was a lot of vodka at the RV. It was good to see all that vodka and gin lined up on the kitchen counter. It was like an army battalion, scary, really, reminding me at the outset that it was poised to fire and kill if I drank too much too fast, especially since I hadn’t eaten (purely for reasons of being completely busy the entire day and completely out of it the day before).

So I drank with restraint. Probably more restraint than I have ever had at a party of this type. Others were far less restrained and still others did not drink at all. An interesting mix.

We played a game of associating weird facts with either Katy or Jeremy (you had to pick which if any had had a certain experience) and I walked away with a pair of striped socks for knowing, among other things, that neither Jeremy nor Katy had ever eaten an entire Thanksgiving meal naked. Someone else in the room apparently did eat it in such fashion, but if you walk with someone at dawn (Katy) and travel with another to Poland (Jeremy) you get to know a ton about each of them, including that they are not the type to leave their clothes behind when invited to share in the yams and pumpkin pies.

I can only speak for myself and so I will only repeat the toast I made in the round of saying something nice about either of the two celebrated persons. So: to their leaning in their work away from sociology – something that I myself had done twenty five years ago and now, in a different context, am doing yet again. Here’s to those leaning away, may they (me too!) find their true leanings truly rewarding.

And, speaking of rewarding, perhaps the most rewarding for me aspect of the evening (and there were many aspects of all shapes and hues) was meeting some people, blogging people, sure, but not only: all sorts of people, whom I’d never met but had always wanted to. The talk on the bench -- priceless.

Madison Aug 05 070 great friends

Madison Aug 05 068 lost in prayer

Madison Aug 05 066 the key to success

Madison Aug 05 045 tough act

Madison Aug 05 033 post prelim bliss

Madison Aug 05 030 Fruity Pebbles??