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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Historic Couch Is History

One night last week, we'd just managed to get the bug to go to sleep for the night (the first two hours of it, anyway) and settled in on the orange couch for some TV watching when Wagner got sick all over the old couch and I decided I'd already cleaned it for the last time. This was the couch I'd had in college and taken with me to Queens, the one my dad took the bed out of so it'd be easier (for the Israeli-army mover guys) to carry up to my fifth-floor walkup at 666 Ninth Avenue in Manhattan, the one that still had the worn-out remains of two (2) sets of slipcovers my mom made underneath the set I made myself, the one I sawed the legs off of during a bout of spring cleaning years ago, the most comfortable couch that had ever been made in the whole world. It's gradually making its way to the dump.

Here's the couch (and me, and a very small Cooper)
in Florida a year or so ago. You can tell it's Florida from the mint-green walls.

The next morning I said I'd be sad if we gave Wagner away but I'd get over it. Since then he's been good. Model pet dog. He's only eaten one board book (it might've been I'll Teach My Dog a Lot of Words) and one Beanie Baby in that time—which for him is good beyond all expectations. Everything would be easier without him, but maybe a little less interesting.

The bug, like Wagner, tends to escape from enclosed areas. Still, this new
baby paddock is pretty good at slowing her down.

The bug learned to drink water ("water: the main drink," her dad explained) from a sippy cup this morning. Before, she'd just chew on the spout, not realizing you have to suck on it to get anything out. To be honest, I didn't know this either until I tried to show her how it was done—I mean, it's not called a sucky cup.

Last week was the big Elberton 12-County Fair. We went on Thursday night with our friend Andrew to see the demolition derby, which was exciting, thrilling, loud, and wonderful. The bug fell asleep on my shoulder in the middle of the second heat. We also saw a whole wall of nice-looking canned goods and one or two sorry-looking flattened pies, and a barn full of every kind of domesticated fowl imaginable, most of them raised by someone named Jesse. I had a styrofoam cup of trolelotes (white corn kernels in a thin broth, topped with mayonnaise, Country Crock, and crumbled queso fresco—or maybe it was cotijo) from a booth selling goat tacos, among other Mexican street-type foods.

I just sent in the second of the three freelance jobs that've been hanging over me, so I'm feeling home free right now. The one-time house cleaning service Mr. Chalmers arranged (at my request, made the day after the couch died) helps a lot too: having the floors clean and the plastic dry-cleaner bags folded and stacked neatly on the bed is a great start; it makes ridding up the rest of the place seem a lot more worthwhile. Some things I'm looking forward to: going the Pig Jig in Vienna, Georgia, this weekend; finishing that third freelance job, a book about Huntsville, Texas, the execution capital of the world; coming up with some decent cookbook ideas; seeing the two minutes of Adam Brody in Thank You for Smoking; mildly rooting for Jeffrey at Olympus Fashion Week on Project Runway; putting in some good hammock time before it starts to get too cold; taking the bug on her first plane ride (to Spokane via SLC—wish me luck) to visit my parents and help with a hog-butchering.

Finally, because no blog entry is complete without a meat-in-the-skillet picture, here's the Chinese dish I love so much. I think I'm slowly getting closer to the Ninth Avenue Grand Sichuan International version, though theirs is much hotter and more sour than mine was, which is hard for me to understand because I always make everything too hot and too sour for normal people. At least this time, as Mr. Chalmers pointed out, the sour long beans were more like just another ingredient than "something from another planet." (They can be a little, um, squeaky?)

This is, let's see, ground turkey (in place of pork; for the heart), hot pepper oil,
hot pepper flakes, diced sour yard-long beans, scallions, a little garlic and ginger,
a splash of soy sauce, and some Chinese black vinegar.


Carrie said...

That looks SO. GOOD. I want to eat lunch now!

gramma said...

The escapee looks so proud of herself!