Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Little Sumpin' Wild

I sure am tired. Never fear, though: I’ll not sleep well tonight either, likely. It’s 8:59 on the computer clock. My wife is putting our son down to sleep. A couple friends of ours just left after a good time of eating and chatting. It was a good Saturday.

The day started off with me in bed. No surprise there, right? The unusual thing is it has gotten to the point Angie is getting out of bed before me. It’s not that I’m asleep when she gets up, it’s that I’m staying there, laying there, praying there (if that were my thing) to go back to sleep; to right this wrong and bring my hours of sleep to where they should be. I feel guilt when she’s up before me, because that’s usually my thing, and she only gets up when Liam is up, which means I’m slacking on my parental duties. But I’m trying to catch up. So I lay there, and I think I lay there for a long time, and then I get up and I ask, “So when did you get up?” and Angie replies “Oh, about 6:45,” and I look at the clock and it’s 7:10 and I realize I didn’t lay there all that long.

I’d planned to make breakfast, but the good wife beat me to it: bacon, which I sandwiched between my double fiber bread, and pancakes, which I covered with butter and real maple syrup. I had my French press, still working on a light-roasted Costa Rican. I had a lot of it, because I wasn’t off to a good start today. I strapped shoes on Liam and took him out for a bit of the morning garden rounds, but there was quite a bit to be done and he ended up back inside, as did the dogs. Things were watered and inspected. Then I cut lots and lots of basil—some was rinsed and stored in the ‘fridge for later pesto or what-have-you (like the burgers tonight), and some was left for drying. I picked a few tomatoes and lamented the fact that I seem to be incapable of growing a significant amount of beans. I laughed at my pygmy corn, a product of my poor cultivation, not genetics. I shook clouds of pollen from the more prodigious corn plants in other beds. We have a reasonably sized garden, all in raised beds. It took quite a bit of work for me to set it all up, and it’s dominantly ghetto: you won’t see this shit in Better Homes and Gardens.

The breakfast was in the middle of the gardening—outside, in to eat, then back outside—and then we attacked the house. It was a day full of cleaning. We split it up pretty well and did a real thorough cleaning: every room, floors mopped, dusting, pulling out furniture…the works…or as close to the works as we get. Better Homes and Gardens would still frown upon us.

Early on I was feeling starved for some friendly social interaction, so we invited a couple we know over, who happen to have a very cute 10-month old. Or he’s just about 10 months; a few days short. Liam will be 16 months in 2 days. Jebus. We set the time for 5:00pm and continued cleaning. Cleaning became more important. I drank a pint of OJ.

A bit after noon, Angie headed to Whole Foods and I stuck around to clean. I wasn’t super hungry but was grazing a bit on nothing out-of-the-norm: almonds, banana…I intended to have an apple, and then I forgot. The day went quick with the cleaning. I spoke on the phone with my sister for a long time. I called my grandma to wish her a happy birthday, one day late, because the 3-hour time difference kept me from calling after work yesterday evening.

With things largely in order, I made sure Angie wouldn’t mind and headed to the pool to get a swim in. I’m not sure what’s up with my swimming lately: I’m enjoying it. It hasn’t been as hard. And today was weird for a few reasons.
1)      The gym was damn-near empty. So was the parking lot, which makes good sense. The pool was damn-near empty, and I didn’t have to wait for a lane.
2)      I’m pretty sure I counted my 10th lap 3 times.
3)      Due to number 2 above, I stopped counting my laps, which I never do, and decided I’d just make sure I got 30 minutes in. That was kinda nice, except I don’t know how far I went.

I swam a bit longer than 30 minutes just for good measure, which probably meant about 35 minutes. I just wasn’t into details today. I usually do 20 laps in about 10 minutes, so I surely swam more than ¾-mile, but I just can’t say for sure. I coulda (yes) swam more, but it was after 4:00 and I’d promised to not be THAT long and I needed to get some dinner prep underway.

When I got home, Angie had made some guacamole and was cutting some Yukon golds for fries. They make great fries. She also made a salad of mixed greens, cheese, croutons, and some green onions from the gardens. The burgers were on me. Sixteen-percent-fat ground beef, chopped red onion, a few small cloves of minced garlic, minced basil from the garden, salt, pepper, and some of those green onions mentioned above. I mixed that all together with the beef, pressed out some burgers (with two mini-burgers for the mini-humans), and put it all in the ‘fridge ‘cause like us, these friends are ALWAYS late. When you expect it, you plan for it. I put the whole wheat buns in the countertop convection oven, waiting to toast them on the bagel setting so only the inside of the buns get toasty. I’d started drinking.

Oh man, how could I have neglected to mention this for so long? There are a few breweries I love. You’ll hear of them. This one, it’s fairly close to us in Petaluma (a couple hours’ drive away and we’ve never been there), it’s called Lagunitas, and this beer: it’s one of their limited releases: A Little Sumpin’ Wild: it’s a malty, high alcohol brew with a Belgian yeast, apparently. I thought it was a wild yeast strain, but I guess I was wrong. That’d make good sense, though, given the name. It’s not a typical beer, it’s super-fantastic, and it sits around 9.5% alcohol. I love California. Angie got me the six pack as a special request. I started drinking it after my swim. And I’m not hammered or anything, I’m only on number 3…or 4? I’m not sure. But the first was like 4 hours ago, so there you go. All is well.

Shortly before our friends showed up (they’d texted about 5:30 to say they were on their way [see?]), I put the first batch of ‘taters in the fryer. Good ol’ deep frying. They arrived, Elba scared their poor guy with her barking. Nosta is the smart one. She’s the character judger, and she’s good at it. Elba barks at everyone. She knows these folks. They’ve been here many times. She barks at them every time, and this time their little guy was big enough to be scared by her. That’s okay, though: she’s doing her job.

It was a good evening of conversation and food. Those burgers with white cheddar, the fries and the salad, and they brought a chocolate cake they’d made with zucchini in it (we all grow zucchini, and if you’ve ever grown zucchini, you know you need to find things to do with it) and walnuts on top. It was real good.

And now here I am, less wordy tonight. I cleaned and swam today. I ate well. I drank beer. I’m still trying to finish this last one. I drank a bit of tea that may help me sleep. I sure hope so. I wish it’d make me not dream, too. Do others hate dreaming?

So good night, clean house. I’d better say it now, ‘cause you’ll be dirty in the morning. That’s the way it is with a toddler, two shepherds, and two cats. At least we don’t have that gerbil-sized spider I killed last night to deal with. It’d probably make a mess, too. 

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