Thursday, December 30, 2004

I am not Chewbacca

That is the opening line of In Me Own Words: The Autobiography of Bigfoot, by Graham Roumieu.* It is simply the funniest book, ever. Period. Caitlin first showed it to me over a year ago. She said it was the number one seller at Fountain Bookstore in 2003 - I'm sure helped along by some enthusiastic recommendations from the staff.

One of my favorite things that happens when I show the book to people is that I get to hear each person's "Bigfoot voice." Turns out that everybody has one, and you just can't help using it when you start to read the sad story of Denis ("Him here for good time, not for long time.") or Craig ("You shitty cat!")

I love the sheer absurdity of the stories, the fabulous illustrations, and the fact that every time I pick it up, I still notice something that I hadn't seen before. I like this book so much that this year, I have given copies to six people, just to spread the Bigfoot love.

Soon, I plan to have an army of Bigfoot fans throughout the land. We will recognize each other by the use of key phrases that only the enlightened will recognize.

Yes I be talking to you Steve!

*Yes, that is an Amazon link, but if you're going to buy this book, you should check with your local independent bookseller. Or, if you want to get it from Amazon, at least use my link so I get credit.

current music
Brand X - XCommunication

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Sorrow

I've been rather purposefully avoiding writing anything about the tsunami. What on earth could I write? I'm just devastated by every piece of news that I read, by the death toll that keeps climbing, by the sheer enormity of the impact. I have a very close friend who was in Thailand last summer, in the area that got hit. What if this had happened then? I used to work with a guy from Sri Lanka who might have lost friends and family. I don't even know how to find out. I know for sure of a friend of a friend of a friend who is missing. I am not a religious person, but I will "pray" in my own way, for everybody who has been affected by this tragedy.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Homeless

Having a cat means you're never really talking to yourself. Or at least you can make it seem that way. I say goodbye to Toast when I leave for work in the morning ("See you later, Buddy, be good!"), and say hello to him when I get home ("Hey Peanut, I'm home!"). (No, I don't use his given name very often. Wanna make something of it?) Even when he's hiding away in one of his favorite napping spots, I can tell he's around. Of course on those occassions when he decides to get up on the bed with me, I can really feel his presence. He seems to absorb sunlight during the day and turn it into gravity at night.

Last Wednesday, I went home after work and went almost immediately to bed. I had plans to be in Richmond on Thursday, but there was just no way I was going to begin that drive at 5:00 PM on Thanksgiving Eve, which would have put me in Atlanta traffic at 7:00. So instead, I napped until about midnight, then got up and finished packing, loaded the truck, took a quick wake-up shower, and got on the road at about 1:30 AM. My traffic avoidance plan was mostly successful. Coffee and water kept me going for the most part. Some heavy rain at around 6:00 AM made me concentrate very hard on seeing the road. The number of cars picked up a bit after I passed Durham, NC and there were lots of stupid people between South Hill and Petersburg, VA. I arrived at my house in greater Richmond at just about 11:30 AM.

When you've lived in one place for nearly nine years, some things become quite automatic. So when I opened the door, I fully expected to see Toast pop his head around the corner so I could say hi to him. Of course, that didn't happen. He was holding down the fort back in Columbus. When I accepted the job down there, I always told myself it was a one year thing, barring some major change that made it appropriate for me to stay. After nearly six months, that hasn't happened. Between the major moving company fuck-ups (have I mentioned lately that Graebel SUCKS?), the work schedule from hell over the summer, the fact that I expect to see David Lynch and a camera crew around here filming Blue Velvet II . . . Columbus has just never felt like home.

And now, neither did the house in Virginia. It looked like the same old place, but there was a big hole where a cat should have been. Without that fourteen pound ball of fur making his presence known, it was just another house.

So I unloaded some stuff from the truck, fumbled around a bit and decided to sleep first, make macaroni and cheese later. I dozed for awhile, fitfully, and eventually got up before the alarm I'd set. I made the mac & cheese to take with me to dinner and headed out.

The Thanksgiving feast at Caitlin's was a blast. We played Yahtzee and Cranium and Uno, had turkey and all the trimmings, consumed a beverage or two. I got a lot of phone calls - and got plenty of ribbing for being "so LA" - but I just had a really good day.

When I got back later that evening, I opened the door and called out "hey Peanut, I'm h- . . . "

B├ęchamel. B├ęchamel Mucho.

I have another post in progress, but the words aren't coming, so I'll waste some time by posting Larry Mac's Mac & Cheese "recipe."

Boil macaroni till just shy of al dente. Drain and set aside.
Make a basic white sauce. You will need enough to coat the macaroni, but not too much.
Add cheese. Perhaps some grated cheddar.
Add cheese. Oh, and swiss can be good.
Add cheese. How about some colby?
Add cheese. Mozzarella is yummy.
Add cheese. Even some parmesan, romano, asiago . . . it's all good.
Pour it all into a baking dish.
Sprinkle with bread crumbs, not a lot, and maybe some more cheese.
Bake for awhile at 350.
Broil briefly so top gets crunchy bits.

Serves however many you want it to. Make sure there's a bottle of Texas Pete on the table.