I'm addicted to making hollandaise sauce.

I started fooling around with it the other day, and the closer I get to perfecting it (it's close), the closer I presumably get to a heart attack.

It's impossible to make a little of, and at the times I make food, no one is around.

I should also point out that my hollandaise is geared towards hashbrowns, not benedicts or seafood.

So every time I make a batch, I end up consuming 3 large potatoes, 1 large onion, 4 egg yolks, a stick of butter, a blurt of lemon juice, a pinch of sugar and a shitload of pepper, cayenne and coarse black.

It would be easy to blame this on the number of cooking shows I caption, but it can't be direct; none of the shows have made a hollandaise and very few bother with potatoes or frying pans.

Oh well. At least premature death shall be tasty.



Pride and humility, but only for a little bit because there are many small things

A blog is a tough thing to take seriously.

Unless the writer puts the sort of effort involved to make it actually good enough to question why they're not doing something better, it's a bit of a crapshoot.

For years, I've overestimated my own importance in my entertaining and oft crap-smeared corner of the (vomit) blogosphere.

I've torpedoed two blog functions after throwing tantrums because no one was posting comments, and had contemplated torpedoing this venture as well for similar reasons, despite the fairly nice design I implemented during an odd bout of motivation months ago.

As someone who finds great pleasure in the artistic equivalent of mushrooms (delicious things that grow on shit), I enjoy plumbing the internal depths on spiritual booze cruises. While I'm realist enough to know that a lot of the stuff I was throwing up and out there for you folks to sift through was crap.

Again, I like crap-sifting.

But I'm also prideful enough to know that in all of those endless grafs of crap, there was probably something possessed of enough pith, wit, depth, or unflinching truth for everyone to cut and paste something they liked, if they made it deep enough to find it.

So yeah, it's tough to keep readers, let alone inspire them to post a comment, if your modus operandi is little more than get shitfaced and vent.

But, like any other business, no matter how seriously you take it, blogging is a two-way street,
especially if your friends are your customers.

Today, Blais gets a goddam cookie.

When a helluva a stand-up dude that I haven't seen in... hell, four years?-- anyhow, when that dude is still reading my crap, and because of my last tantrum, I haven't been reading many of anyone else's--let alone his, and his was damn good--my li'l bitch routine over readership goes out the goddam window.

Also, I just discovered that my cat, Henry, likes tomatoes. I just ate a grocery store-bought roast beef sandwich and teased him with the tomato slices as though they were meat or some other such cat-endorsed scraps. I then hung them from the bathroom doorknob to hopefully freak Wyatt out after I'd forgot I'd put them there.

So maybe Henry doesn't LIKE tomatoes. Maybe he only ate them because he didn't want me to think that I'd tricked him into showing interest in them. Well, if that's the case, the trick is still squarely on him.

I just watched my goddam cat eat goddam tomato slices. Better than watching my childhood dog Tuscon I (Tuscon II was the ma of Dags) eat watermelon. Goddam.

Anyhow. Blais is a stud and I have to start reading his blog again for many reasons, least alone is the reason mentioned. But it's a good one.



Yowsa fo' yo' schnauser?

Did Thanksgiving with Moe's fambly. Big time. Got called Tim once, which is odd, given her voluminous clan's familiarity with the name Jim.

All around good time, with the biggest downer coming on our final morning there. I had wandered outside to pair my coffee with a cigarette. Just sort of looking around at the fantastic emptiness of their corner of Tyndall, warm with a sort of familial connectivity that was entirely new to me.

And then I got whomped with guilt for abandoning my own family for someone else's and for feeling so damn good about. But in that guilt was something I'd almost forgotten how to feel.

I missed MY parents.

So many trips back home have been borne more out of a tedious sense of duty than out of actual desire. I always drove slowly there and quickly back.

I'll be leaving for Redfield Christmas morning and coming back the following Monday. This has been the plan for a week or so, but prior to that brisk morning moment, I'd been looking at that trip with something between dread and resignation.

In college, my cronies (can't remember whether it was Blais or Doschadis) called me "remote."
I think, overall, that was the best term for me. My dad was always a bit remote. Austin's dad called him an odd duck.

Anyhow, Dad's remote. Not a condemnation by any means. Just a descriptor. He's always been self-contained and compartmentalized. Imagine a brain as a fishing tackle box, organized by weights, lures, hooks, and tools, all for specific tasks. That's my dad, J.F. II. Sure, every now and again, something would get thrown in the wrong compartment and my mother and I would be amazed by his fleeting openness, and it was as special as it was rare.

That was really my sole male role model growing up. These are thoughts for me, and these are for Dad, and these are for Mom, and these are for my friends, and this one here's for a girl, if I could ever figure out how to talk to them.

With years of experience with Dad, Mom was equipped to deal with me taking on these traits, but she had an inside edge too. I always took after her more, although they were both perplexed at how someone so bookish could care so little for school, but that's an entirely different can of worms.

I got most of my artistic inclinations from Ma, and she provided me with the technological fixes I find myself drawn to to this very moment. She approaches much of the world as relativistically and contextually as I do. Unsurprisingly, when I call home, she's the designated communicator. We email periodically.

In short, my relationship with my parents has been warm, but I wouldn't call it close.

Well, it's coming sort of full circle these days. Over the last four years or so, I've been trying to shed my remote label. Open up more. Be more genuinely human and less the Celebrated Artifice of Jim.

Sure, it's been bumpy, but that's to be expected. I've managed to pull enough trays out of the tackle box that plenty is mingling and that's good, but some things are surprising me. When I'm happy, I'm happier. That's cool.

Conversely, the lowest I was normally capable of feeling was more an absence of happy than unhappy, but now I am oddly capable of sadness. Disappointment is fleeting. Sadness can stick with you. Also, I am now more familiar with obsession, jealousy and a whole raft of Pandora's hooligans I'd kept locked up in the Spock box.

Two mornings ago, I was happy, then sad. But happy again, genuinely glad, knowing that I was going to be going home.