if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Photos Anew.

getting over it.

Im grouchy, but its silly, yet it's real. Here is a photo, Ive got to study now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Life is what happens when your'e making other plans...

I want to write a book called "What Ive been doing instead of writing". It would be excellent reading to fellow procrastinators and cause throat clearing and critical eyebrow movement from academic superiors and checkbook monitoring spouses. Yesterday's chapter would be called "Improv Auction".
Having just gone to the library for my new study materials on Maori culture, I was happy with the variety of books Id gotten: cookbook, weaving, history and Waihine goddesses. I was navigating the gray city of New Lynn, which I am not very familiar, with when I was routed all over the place, due to road closure. I opted for a street that didn't have cars lined up in a detour route. Not knowing where I was going at all gave me the perfect orientation to go anywhere. This time it was the Green Bay Auction house. The building had panels of small windows and there were all kinds of things showing through. The doors were wide open and there was parking, so naturally I had to park and peek. As it turned out there was an auction that had just started in progress. I had the notion that I might find an under priced gas deck oven for my top secret plan to have a bootleg pizza operation a couple of nights a week. The Karekare community is itching to get together and the closest pizza is 35 minutes away (and the closest really decent pizza, over an hour away).
I got my orientation to auctions from providing catering services for the Funk and Junk auctions in the early days of my Katrina'srestaurant. There is a certain camaraderie that happens once the auctioneer starts swiftly moving through the items. I'm talking about miscellaneous gadgets, tools and collectibles here, not precious artworks. I remember Michael Adams as an auctioneer, how his wit crept out and made even the most hardened curmudgeon crack a smile by the time the affair was over. People are suspended in a balance between pointed interest and passive curiosity as they watch things get auctioned off. Ive bought plenty of things at auction that I never would have looked for otherwise. Some items are favorite tools that even got lugged all the way to New Zealand like the sturdy copper saucepan and lid from the Cliff House restaurant. It had a critical role in our camping days of the first four months in the New country. Sometimes it poached perfect eggs, sometimes it helped with Desmond's car sickness (thank god for the lid). It has seen all the facets if the Alexander-Stone family. I have bought both functioning and non functioning musical instruments. My advice is to decline purchases that include the thought "I could just get it fixed".

Yesterday, the crowd at the auction house was a mix of men of exotic ethnic origin and dress, congregating on the left side, and white women, over on the right. The men, mostly Middle Eastern and Asian bid on tools and office equipment and the odd waffle cone maker, while the white women had fierce bidding zeal for things like busts (of Beethoven?) and antique toy prams. I saw some screamin deals get made. I went to the food counter at the back, run by an old old woman. She was a dear and I absolutely had to get a slice of tender orange cake with pale orange frosting and a cup of instant coffee. In other circumstances, the cake would be easy to pass by as not worth the calories, but this scene legitimized it, somehow. I asked the woman about her offerings, "What are those desserts, there?" and she said: "Vegetable and Ham and egg". I took my cake and coffee over to the "men's side" and sat down. I thought about the school work calling, I thought about our two student budget, I checked out the drills, pressure washers, miscellaneous box lots and garden tools in a case. I chuckled at the auctioneer's wit and at some people severe faces. I ended up with a dandy office chair on wheels with up and down capacity and a box of Crown Lynn ceramic door knobs, which I think I can sell online. I spent $37.00. It was an hour or so departure from routine. Maybe it was fiction writing research. Yeah that's exactly what it was....

Monday, February 09, 2009

Writing Restriction

Today is the day I promised myself I would be caught up with my Evergreen writing. It should have been sent already. I am to have a chapter a week done for an autobiographical project and three short stories, including one for children done within the next month. Yesterday, I went to the library to work on it. I got a lot done, but most of it was not writing. I bought a beautiful crystal vase at an antique shop with an invisible tiny chip, got some lovely summer fruits, including a punnet of strawberries which I ate entirely before I got home, I got a movie for each family member and checked out three music cd's, bought a 20 dollar clearance mp3 player (signifying my entry into the modern world) and then finally got to writing for about an hour and a half in a Starbucks, of all places. I cant write at home because of those loud dirty dishes and the snickering laundry hamper, but everyone and their mother ordering drinks, no problem! So that much closer to one completed chapter, I forge ahead today. Im trying the "set the timer and lock one up in the upstairs bedroom" approach, with helpful ears to receive reports of my progress. Im all coffeed up and have had my oats. I will finish the current piece, work on the alligator story (the kids one) wrap up the cat women on the roof. If I do all that I can marry the Butte Montana reflections with the Lance section of the autibio. By then the heat of the upstairs may drive me out of my cell and perhaps I can visit my waterfall for a dip. Will I ever get to the pirate fantasy? I hope so. That one is pure escapism and I could some about now.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Family Visitors!

We have Jordan's Mother Linda and his Uncle Charles visiting us now. Its been summer temperature and leisure since they arrived a couple of days ago. We put Linda in the sparse, yet welcoming, Grandma room (of course) and Charles got the nice big tent, out in front of our house with a view and bird song lullabies. Charles has taken some nice photos while he has been here, including this one of Lillian. Jordan and I have birthdays on Feb 5 and 6 and its been a treat to celebrate our birthday season with family. Charles is in the country for a bug meeting. He is an entomologist He finally got to come to New Zealand for a meeting. Charles lives in Davis, California and has just feathered his empty nest with a new family, there. Linda is a nice guest, she has healthy habits like yoga and running several times a week and she enjoys a fresh and lively diet which she eats grazing style, in small meals throughout the day. I remember at first, being mixed up about my role as hostess, since she is so self sufficient. Now I know better and just let her forage through my pantry and fruit bowl. Linda is very easy going and really revels in plain and simple family time. I think we will go camping in the Northland while Linda is here.
We have some friends up near Cooper's Beach, who have a new baby to admire. With any luck, we can get some surfing time with them, too. I gave Jordan a surfboard for our birthdays. Today we borrowed another board and went out in the exquisite pastel early morning to surf. It was my second time and Jordan's first. I would be happy just hang floating from the board, enjoying the swells, but there is so much more to it. Today, there were a lot of little fish eggs in the water that I could feel when I was paddling out to "the Back". The back is where the people who already know how to surf go, its out past the breakers.
It's a 3 day weekend here and there were lots of folks looking to catch the waves there in North Piha. I like that there are all ages and shapes of people surfing, not just the Hollywood surfing cookie cutter buff bods you'd expect from the movies and TV. I need to write for school, now. G'night

Monday, February 02, 2009

Reflections on fasting

I'm having my first day of eating after 10 days of fasting (well, I had an elixir of fresh lemon juice, real maple syrup, cayenne and lots of water). I have to say it was very beneficial. I know that some reading this do not approve of fasting, so you may browse someplace for this posting. One thing I noticed is that although I wasn't eating I enjoyed cooking even more than usual. I think that my family got more inspired meals than usual, for some reason. It was nice to revel in the art of cooking again. Secondly, I smelled everything very well, I could smell which family member entered the room. I smelled every persons breath I spoke with and the summer smells of nature were as vivid and a spring lilac in your front yard. It was for the most part, enjoyable. I must say, though that the cloying smell of pancakes lingers too long! The third thing is that I was much more even tempered and philosophic about things. If I did get agitated, I just stated my business plainly and got on with life's more pleasant offerings. I didn't get snagged into a grouchy mood. I was at a loss at times when I was running errands and I usually would get a cup of coffee or some cheap sushi (it's really cheap here, and it's everywhere) I had to find other ways to pause during my day. I found myself avoiding being a guest where there is obligatory feeding as a regular custom. I had a generally quieter 10 days than usual. Giving my digestive system a rest was fine. Getting the perspective that I got was the real benefit.

Im not saying that I didn't get hungry or think about food, but knowing I had set aside only ten days for the experiment/cleanse kept me from loading into the damn fine homemade pizzas that I made, with that homegrown pesto or give in while walking past the Korean seafood restaurant, the one with the amazingly gracious hosts. I did, however, contemplate grace quite a bit. Now upon reentry into the eating world, can I behave? that will be the next test.