Friday, August 07, 2009

Harvest Time

"Put yr cell on vibrate. Race starts soon....Best race ive seen in wks! Sorry but its so good.....Tonys 14 car v v bad. Kyles 18 car bad too....Johnson 48 car needs work. Lots. He cant win....Montoya might win!....Hamlin wins....Hamlin crying in car. V overcome."--L'Ailee's texts to me, Monday afternoon, during the Pocono race.

Work has been quite busy. Plus, thankfully, I have an interior decorating job, after months without one! A good-sized one, too. It is such a relief. There's nothing worse than the feeling that you used to write, used to decorate, etc. and won't be doing it again anytime soon. I hope more will be right behind this one. If anyone wonders why I made a big deal out of the prospect of skipping Christmas with the family back home in favor of watching our hockey teams play at their home venues a couple weeks ago, well, I told my mom about the job, and her response was, "So you'll have lots of money for Florida at Christmas!" No, but I will be able to get a large diet soda and buy a Bill Guerin jersey-styled T-shirt, if such a thing exists, before a Penguins home game without feeling any guilt or pain. So I know she means it about not reading me and my brother's blogs. I've commented at a few sports blogs and answered a few e-mails, but otherwise not had much time to play around online this week.

I'm happy that the Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor as Supreme Court Justice today. Finally! I'm so happy that Laura Ling and Euna Lee came back to America! Bill Clinton does still have some usefulness to him. It did occur to me that on the flight to the US, he might've suggested a way that these two attractive women could thank him, but seriously, it's awesome that he could get through to the North Korean government even that much. Also, yesterday, the San Diego Zoo's panda mama, Bai Yun, gave birth to her fifth cub! The baby looks like a little pink naked molerat now, but you can watch her or him grow into a cute black and white teddy bear here.

The Pocono race was rained out on Sunday. I don't know what the deal is with all these damned rainouts, but I'm getting sick of them. I was planning to miss half of it to work on the job, but instead I spent all Sunday afternoon there. Probably for the best. But I have a day job, and I needed to be there on Monday. L'Ailee solved the problem once again. She gets Mondays off, and she stayed home to watch the race. "It's much better than Jerry Springer anyway," she joked. She texted me and a few select friends play by play updates, beginning at noon with "Put yr cell on vibrate. Race starts soon." I suppose I could have gotten more official text alerts from Speed TV or something, but their writers wouldn't have tailored it to me by apologizing that "Tony wont win today sorry." Her best friend's 8-year-old daughter was home from school, and also finagled permission to text updates. (At least I sincerely hope she had permission. Plus, her mother really hates her NASCAR habit.) I know it sounds kind of naff, but I haven't deleted their texts yet. Denny Hamlin won, snapping a 50-race winless streak. I never mind that. Plus, his grandmother had died in the past week, so the poor guy was really emotional. The important things are, Tony Stewart is still on top of the points, and L'Ailee's boy Kevin Harvick is finally doing better, and Watkins Glen, where all the drivers we really like excel, comes up next week.

Earlier in the weekend, we watched Funny People. Decent movie, far better than I'd have expected from Adam Sandler. Earlier yet, on Friday night, I celebrated Lughnasadh, the first of the three harvest festivals, with my best friend Yemaya O'Reilly and the loose-knit group with who we celebrate most Pagan sabbats. What we have in common are that we worship multiple Gods, don't want to celebrate alone, and don't really have another affiliation here in NYC. There isn't much besides that. Yemaya and I had an amazing experience with our home coven back in Florida, Chemin Brigitte. We founded it with four other friends whom we'd known in our mundane lives for a long time, and then we were real selective about adding new members. It's still capped to 13. We're not the only former Chemin Brigitte members who've moved away and go back to Florida to celebrate Samhain, our truly mega Sabbat, with them. We know we can't have that again, and we're thinking that we need to invest more into a community here, since neither of us intend to leave the NYC area anytime soon. The point of Lughnasadh is seeing the seeds, actual and metaphorical, that you've planted in the past year grow into something worthwhile. You can't expect to get the best result out of something you've only given minimal effort.

So Yemaya and I took on the responsibility of planning the post-ritual dinner. We've both been to this rodeo before. Yemaya actually cooks for a living. But we had a difficult time coming up with something good and cohesive that everyone would eat. My best friend also has an 8-year-old daughter. She listened to us go back and forth. Then she piped up.

"What about pasta?" she asked. "That's grain, right? For the harvest? And you could use whole grain to make it more, um, grainy and harvesty, but of course you need a good strong sauce." We looked at each other. This seemed like a good place to start. We asked her what else she was thinking. "You should make the sauce out of vegetables and stuff from your gardens," she said. (Yemaya and I both have terrace gardens. So do several members of our group.) "Make salads out of your vegetables, too," she suggested. "And for dessert, Grape Nut ice cream!" Now, Yemaya is Jamaican, and Grape Nut ice cream is a Jamaican treat, and her daughter happens to really love it with real maple syrup on top. But we like it too, and it did seem appropriately "harvesty," yet more in keeping with the weather than the traditional cakes. She even had an idea for beverages. "Agua frescas. They're more natural than soda, and they're lighter than juice." We really could not improve on that. We both hugged her and told her we were using her ideas. She was so excited, especially when we told everyone that she planned the menu for us. She wants to be an Olympic swimmer when she grows up, but if the swimsuit controversies get to be too much for her, Yemaya and I are convinced that the child has a future as a chef or a caterer. The fact that she helped in the kitchen some without complaining cemented that idea.

Yemaya, at least, is seeing seeds she planted grow in her daughter. I don't have a child, so I have to look elsewhere to see how my seeds are doing. I see movement too, though. It's a wonderful thing, even if Lughnasadh is the beginning of my least favorite month. It's easier to see a purpose for August in NYC than in Florida, anyway. I hope everyone reading this sees growth and movement in their lives, no matter your beliefs. I hope you see everything good you've started grow like crazy.

Links, links:

The American Psychiatric Association finally flat-out admitted that ex-gay therapy is ineffective and a bad idea on multiple levels.

You can't convince the Birthers, so you may as well laugh at 'em with this Kenyan birth certificate generator. Thanks to Vanessa for this.

How is America going to end? Choose your own apocalypse!

Why thinking oneself more enlightened than past generations makes one "real dumb, real fast" Sometimes you gotta eat the fish and spit out the bones....

Finally, you omen readers (and those who put up with us) will have a good laugh at this from the Onion: Solitary Crow on Fence Portending Doom, Analysts Warn


Carie said...

I missed the race, but I did check the live feed updates when I could...I to am tired of all the rain delays (especially since we here never get rain lol) its hard to reschedule time to watch it.

Our garden didn't make it this year :( we have been having problems with things eating it...opposums are the worst right now. Last year we had a ton of zucchini, yellow squash, tomatos, armenian cuccumbers and so so much more...made for a very very nice summer, this yea one squash plant is fighting to survive and some tomatos lol...the peppers produced alot, but now they are dying off, the spinach went to seed so we only got 3 harvests out of it this year and the green onions are almost all gone now...since Ashley and I eat almost only veggies having a garden is so year we are doing raised beds and putting a top on the fence for it (its in an enclosed area with no roof right now, the fence is to keep my veggie loving dogs out of it) but the fruit trees did decent this year and since we planted berry vines I am looking forward to I so wish we had alot of land, I love to garden, took many many classes on it to lol :)

ohhh the captcha is blesses :) funny cause I saw it right after I sneezed :)

BostonPobble said...

I have missed all of the holidays this year. It was hard enough to keep track working from home, 7 days a week, when the days all kind of blend together anyway. Now, on the road, one day is simply too much like the other. Your statement "You can't expect to get the best result out of something you've only given minimal effort" resonated loudly this morning. ;)

Glad to hear you've gotten a designing gig, too!

Snooker said...

Hmmm... are my seeds growing? Good question. I guess I would have to start with "what are my seeds"? I've never been much of a planner. Maybe I should consider that... or is 41 too late to begin?

Peterson Toscano said...

Okay, your links made me sooo happy.

I have been doing some gardening myself. Well, in a lazy guy sorta way. There is a community garden here in Central PA where I am hanging out with my boy for the summer. You can pop in and out whenever you like and then you e-mail them the hours you spent there. Then they give you produce based on how much time you spent working.

Lots of great Amish farms with lovely produce.

And when are we going to hang out??? :-)