Saturday, January 3, 2009

SATURDAY: STILL LIFE WITH CANTALOUPE ON THE SILK ROAD, AGAIN

(Cantaloupe, oil on canvas by Judith Soloman)

After I wrote the fundraising post last night, I was emotionally drained. Drank 16 ounces of water and went to lie down, watch Spain: On The Road Again which I had taped from earlier. Fell asleep before the paella was done, and slept until about 9 this morning. Which is fine, I can catch up today, it being Saturday and all.


In case you don't know about the series above, it's a great chef (Mario Batali), a great food writer (Mark Bittner), a great actress and lover of all things Europe (Gwyneth Paltrow), and a great Spanish historian (Claudia Bessole) taking an extended road trip across Spain, mostly eating everything they come across. Gwyneth is a vegetarian, Claudia is a local, Mark and Mario are unceasing omnivores and epicures (funny how Mark out-eats Mario every time, plus is given to indolence, but he's slender and Mario is an energetic rotundity). The art, regional appreciation, and conversations are wonderful. Plus it's two funny guys and two strong women, two of them happily married elsewhere with children, so while there's an occasional flirtation, mostly it's all about connecting as human beings, to each other and to Spain. I'll be sorry to see their adventure end.

When I woke up, I watched the re-run of This Old House our local PBS station plays on Saturday mornings, followed by Home Time (though I still miss butchy little Robin Hartl on that one), then Norm Abrams in Yankee Workshop. I fell asleep again during Rick Steve's monotone tour of Europe and some poseur who travels around fancy restaurants talking about novelle cuisine (can't remember his name), and woke up in time for a grocery delivery from Barbara, who does a spiffy job for reasonable rates. As I type this, I'm taping Sara Moulton, Ming Tsai, Lydia Bastianich, Jacques Pepin, and America's Test Kitchen. At 5:00 the current This Old House hour comes on, and at 8:00 it's Rosemary and Thyme, a gardening-based BBC mystery series starring two fabulous British character actresses.

Saturdays, it's all about PBS at my house. Until midnight, when I tape American Chopper just to see working class masculinity and massive male-conditioned dysfunctionality in a garage setting -- it's my Bill fix for the week. He was an auto mechanic, then race car mechanic, then truck auto parts dealer, as well as a blue musician. Hanging over my computer monitor here is a photo of him in a stock car he build and raced -- and eventually crashed.

My hands are still shaking from the work of bringing in and putting away my groceries. Imagine trying to haul groceries while using a walker. Yes, of course, I hang the bags from the top supports, but lifting that laden sucker is tricky. I have a chair halfway so I can stop and rest. I keep reminding myself of the treat at the end -- a full fridge/pantry and at least one thing I've been craving. This week, its cantaloupe: There's fresh cantaloupe in there. By the time I'm done, however, I'm too stretched to eat. So I drink another glass of water (electrolytes plus I'm a mouth breather) and come to the computer to check e-mail, chill out. Dinah is rampaging through a paper bag I put on the floor for her. It's a sunny day, supposed to get up into the 60s. All is well.

Now, I can either be responsible and write a GNB post, work on Ginny Bates, and/or a couple of other writing projects -- or I could play a little Chocolatier or Tradewinds. (I have all three Tradewinds, the original Fertile Crescent version, the Caribbean version, and the newish Silk Road one. They're all different challenges.) If anybody out there plays the Silk Road one, have you figured out how to manage to get the red ink from Damascus, the white powder from Constantipole, and the sheep guts/rabbit fur from Heratt in time to meet the deadline? It's not a quest that's essential to winning the game, and I always win now, I'm a trading savant and I buy up masses of heavenly fire plus two Summoners and a Tao Mystic, I cream opponents in battles. But I've never managed to solve that one puzzle, despite selling off elephants and racing with horses, carrying no merchandise, and having only warriors who can run like the wind (no chunky battle-axe wielder or siege elephants, for instance). The strategy guide at Gamezebo doesn't say how to do it, either.

Shit, I can tell I'm going to play instead of work. At least for the next hour. After that, cantaloupe and being industrious, I promise.

(Screenshot from Tradewinds Caravans)

1 comment:

Cowboy Diva said...

what a great post!