Saturday, October 30, 2021

Perfection and Sentiment, With a Side of Altered Brain Chemistry


                                                      MILK does a body goooooood, y'all.

The paneer turned out PERFECTLY!

No I do not have glamor shots.  They are on my phone, and my phone is refusing to release them without a titty fucking and a blank check, so here is a picture plucked from the innerwub that looks pretty much exactly like how it turned out:

                                                                    Cue angel chorus!

It was as simple as simple could be, I must say.  Bring whole milk up to a boil, then add one teaspoon of citric acid in one cup of hot water, and gently separates into snowflakes and clouds like magic.  It was one of those cooking moments when you try a new method and it blows your mind, like mounting a sauce with butter and watching it thicken, when logic would seem to suggest otherwise, and you stand there like a muppet going 'Whoaaaaaa' at your stove like it just grew a pair of tits.

Paneer is the dairy version of tofu. It's only flavor is protein and creaminess.  (Shut up, ya filthy minded trollops.)  It's the depth of the sauce and the pungency of the other ingredient in the dish that sinks into the paneer and flavors it up, and the sum is far, far greater than the parts.

As tends to happen, home-made is infinitely better than what you'd buy at the store (plus you know what's in the stuff you made.)  The difference is astounding, both in flavor and texture.  Home made is like a sliceable cloud of rich,wonderful potential. Store-bought, even the artisanal stuff, is like someone took a golf ball and beat it with a rock.

 I will never buy paneer again!  And cheap? Holy crap I saved $3.00 a pound! To fuck around and have fun in the kitchen!

Here is a link to the recipe I was making:


Holy shit I've been married for 37 years.

Ask me this tomorrow, I won't know the answer since I'm the one who forgets sizes, phone numbers, birthdays,  holidays and anniversaries in this house.  The Biker is the one who has a memory that borders on the eidetic. I have a memory like a rubber hemorrhoid doughnut.

And so 'twas me that went "Ruuh?" 


when he announced yesterday that we would be staying the weekend in Anacortes, and here I am, aniversarying my ass off, eating expensive chocolate in bed and drinking Bushmills out' the neck of the bottle, ripped to the tits on a certain schedule A substance and lolling about en dishabille in our snazzy hotel room.  It is BLISS, children.

I've gone over our Anacortes holidays so many times here I won't tire you with it.  Suffice it to say that this is our ideal getaway spot and dream retirement destination.   It is what Washington State is really about.  Unlike the little red blight of Trump holdouts and fundamentalist-separatists that is the Fourth Corner where I live, this is the Washington I moved to, lo back these many years ago, back when the Stainless Steel Amazon was but a wee Stainless Steel Amazette; where everyone is tolerant, where the ages and races mix and share cultures and music and ideas, the exact opposite of what the rest of the world thinks America is like.  

It was a SUCH A RELIEF to get out of lockdown, out of our house, out of Sumas, out of the Fourth Corner, and come down south into the real world again that I literally cried on the way here, I was so happy.  It also helps that it is an astounding Fall day. The sun is out, the sky is bright blue, the leaves are burning down towards Winter in every color imaginable, and all the fields are plowed and black, waiting for the rain to bless them.  Everyones gardens are glorious with the years' last flourish of color - and the home gardens here in Anacortes rival mine, and many surpass it.

I look back on the bad times in our marriage and am absolutely fucking amazed that it lasted this long. You take a ferociously intelligent, German, hardass mans' man from Alaska and add a study addicted, flamboyant Bi-feminist-hippie street fighter from Portland Oregon and there's going to be an exchange of Molotov cocktails occasionally.  We've almost gotten divorced twice. Signed the papers and everything.


And yet here we are in defiance of all logic and common sense, 37 years together, having a blast, behaving badly, watching Mila Jovovitch shoot mutants on TV and joking and laughing and doing our favorite things and you know what?  This is the LARGE LIFE. We know each other better than any other person on earth, and have each others' backs because we consciously decided to do that thing.  Our marriage is so much deeper and means so much more now, compared to the days back when our relationship was based on a mutual predilection for Jaime Lee Curtis, Phillip K. Dick, motorcycles, antisocial behavior, marathon blow jobs and carbohydrates - interspersed with being pissed off at our daughter.


I am high as fuck. It's awesome.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Gimme A 'C'!


I'm doin' it!  I'm doin' it! Right this very moment!  I am making paneer! OMG THE EXCITEMENT!!  Yes it's just action action action here at Rancho FirstNations as I hope to shit that I don't screw this up!

Turns out there is a metric shit-ton of recipes and videos out there about how to make this stuff.  I am armed and ready as I'll ever be when it comes to preparation. Everything is laid out, and I'm just waiting for the milk to heat up.  Then the magic happens. My only worry is that the leg of pantyhose I'm using to drip the curds doesn't fail me.  I shoulda got size large instead of medium.  Man, those first world problems suck.


Thank you Vancouver Island, British Columbia for being where you are, sheilding us from the two  'cyclone bombs'  that hit this last Sunday and Monday.  What we got here at the Rancho was a typical Autumn smackdown. What Vancouver Island got was apocalyptic.  The seaward coast got a beating, but it was the strait between the island and the mainland that was a screaming blast channel of oh fuck no.  If I have any B.C. lurkers out there, I sincerely hope that you came through that OK and that you're doing fine.  

I'm using a Canadian weather station just over the border to track my weather, because it's in the exact same microclimate that I'm in and shares the same geography.  (If you stand in the right place here in Sumas you can actually see the light on the automated data collection site just over the line.)  

I followed the course of the weather all through those past two days and it was frightening to see the kind of extreme weather phenomena that Vancouver Island was taking.  The winds hit the island from the West, went south down that coast, then took an abrupt turn at it's southern end and headed straight north through the strait!  I keep thinking of all the beautiful homes and the yachts and docks that must have been at the mercy of that wind, the flying debris, the waves and the sideways rain.  That rain was hitting my house like a firehose. I hate to imagine what it was like there.  So hey, Canada, get in touch and let me know how you're doing, OK?

For weather geeks: Check it out here -

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Is This The Real Life? Or Just ADHD?


                                   ...fucked up at Safeway, but got two dozen eggs for meeee......

 I just did the most inadvertent Karen thing ever.  

I bought a dozen jumbo eggs (the most awesome and expensivist and super coolerist of all the egg groups) got out to my car, didn't find the eggs in my bags and went back in with the receipt.  The checker said 'Oh! Sorry! Just go on back and get the same thing.'  So I did!  And hippity hopped back out to my car only to find the eggs still in the shopping basket.

Oh shit.

So I trudged back in with the eggs and went to the checker and said "It wasn't your fault, it was mine. I'm so sorry. Here, what do I do with these?'

The manager shows up, smiles and chuckles and says, 'Go ahead and keep them. Once they've been out of the store I can't take them back, they'll just get surplussed."

I look at their smiling faces, and what is the first thing that pops out of my mouth? Not 'Thank you!' Not "Why, how nice of you!" No.  I sing "I'm gonna go egg-ing cars now!" and prance out of the store.

It hits me in mid prance. "What kind of a moron am I?  Did I really just sing the neener-neener song?  Oh my God, do they think I did all that just to get free jumbo eggs?"

I am bummed.

As I'm driving away, I tell myself  'Come on now. My motives were pure, it was a mistake, I'm not the only weirdo they'll see today' but it isn't working, so I decide to cheer myself up by singing Bohemian Rhapsody.

Now, I can sing the hell out of Bohemian Rhapsody.  It never fails to get my mind out of a bad groove. And I put my heart into it.  So I'm driving through farm country just belting out Bohemian Rhapsody with all my soul, and when I get to that high note? That sustained 'Meeeeeeeeeeeee'? I give it my all, full voice, and throw my arm out the window dramatically,


...and see a police car.

And look down at my speedometer and see that I am doing 70 in a 55mph zone in rural Lynden. 

I am so fucked. 

But fortune smiled on me! I was not stopped! Don't ask me why!  All the way home I was imagining how I would have had to explain to the cop why I'd been driving with one hand on the wheel, speeding and for all appearances screaming at the top of my lungs.  All I know is that I burned up a lotta weird old lady karma points in less than 20 minutes this afternoon.


The Story Of The Great Paneer Hunt

I am a slave to saag paneer.  When I have to have it, I let nothing get in  my way.  I will drive all the way to Blaine for paneer, although I don't have to usually. 

You see, there is a large population of people from India on both sides of the border in this particular area, and dairy is insanely expensive in Canada for some reason, so we have two dairy stores no less that five blocks from my front door. We get lots of folks coming down through the Sumas crossing to load up their cars with the stuff, so I'm usually able to feed my Jones with little effort.

Today was not that day.  NOBODY has any paneer.

There are two craft cheesemakers in Whatcom County who make the stuff, never mind the big companies! The stuff is sold in all the big grocery stores! Costco carries paneer!  Wal-Mart carries paneer! They even carry paneer in the gas station Quickie Marts! IN THE QUICKIE MARTS FFS!  7-11 CARRIES PANEER!!!

Not today.  Today there is no paneer whatsoever in all the land.  I made calls. I looked online. I went to the outlets, the quickie marts, the supermarkets, gas stations, dairy stores, you name it. Nothing. Nada.

How does this happen?  Cows are not exactly an endangered species. Particularly around my neck of the woods. I HAVE BEEN DENIED PANEER AND I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT AT ALL.

So I'm gonna make my own.  Yup.  It's come to that.

Pray for me.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ad Astra Per Aspera, Y'all

The first time I was married I wore a ladies tailored jacket and skirt set from the 1940's.  It was all the way style and sharp as hell and fit my curvy little frame like a glove. No I don't have any pictures. Just believe me when I say that the outfit was the only good thing about that marriage.

I love well-tailored clothes, and when I'm forced to interact with my fellow humans I'll go thrift something vintage and show up put together like a brick shithouse, makeup, hair, the whole package, looking good.

Now here comes 2021 and this shit is in style:

                             Look at my crotch dammit! Look at that red stain ON MY CROTCH!    


Why in Gods' name are people spending money on deliberately ill-made, deliberately ugly clothes? Patterns that accidentally on purpose seem to be shooting out of your babymaker or your barking starfish? Immense images of Nicholas Cage? Shirts made out of 1/3 a shirt from Goodwill and 2/3 a shirt from Ship n' Shore for the love of Christ, deliberately askew so the buttonholes don't line up and the collars don't match? And what's up with the palette? Everything I look at seems to be variations on 'oatmeal and homicide' ffs. The general effect that the designers seem to be going for is 'What a dead-cat hoarder would throw on to go dumpster diving'.  And the models-!  Grim anorectics without eyebrows, man and woman!  I've been all over the web looking into this trend and it's just a joke. A very bad joke. The intentional asymmetry, the intended ugliness, the absurd 'Whoopsie! This pattern looks like it's shooting out of my ass!' bullshit just eludes me.

This is not to say that I'm a fashion plate by any stretch of the imagination. But then, I live in rural America and I'm 61.  We all look like bull studs from the 1970's out here, and yet our clothes are bilaterally symmetrical and don't look like they were sewn by people experiencing a psychotic break.  

I've lived through some unfortunate trends, and of course there's always the extreme-o schlock that you wear for shits and giggles. But this crap has made it from the edge runways all the way onto the racks in Wal-Mart.  Hell, even the lady at the counter in my pharmacy here in Sumas is wearing this shit!  If anybody out there can explain the thinking behind this trend I'd be grateful.  Puzzled, but grateful.   


 So far I'm into attempt #3 of Watching Aquaman All The Way Through. The only thing that keeps bringing me back is Jason Momoa, and not just because I want to roll him in sugar and pretend he's a lollipop, either. 


Well of course I looked up 'Images/Jason Momoa Naked', do you know me?  Let me tell you, the sheer amount of Photoshopped Jason out there is astounding. The one where he has a blank white stubby little dad bod, a pop can - sized black dick and a Jason head is a masterpiece of surrealism.  All from ultra-sketchy Russian porn sites, per Image search, so please don't send me any pix that you might have found, because I'm not running a very robust antivirus program.

Long story short, I finally succeeded!  I would have written Aquaman off as time wasted never to be regained save for the presence of Mr. Momoa, who to my astonishment and gratitude turns out to be one of the most natural, funny, and accomplished hot male actors since the notoriously lickable Brad Pitt also turned out to be a fantastic actor with infinite range!

He is way more than just another '2nd tier action stud', and I'm looking at you, Mr. The Rock. Take a seat.  (Vin Diesel gets my pardon because motherfuckin' Vin Diesel. Similarly Shane Diesel, another action star. Ahem.) I can just picture Jason in one of those quirky Wes Anderson movies alongside Bill Murray.  Tell me what you think!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Future Is Now!


                  Me in my newly updated home, chillin' in my electric throne, all metal and shit. 


Electrical service up to code and brand spankin' new from the pole to the plug-ins! A clean attic that is entirely innocent of dead starlings and heaps of old remodel detritus past!  And as of 12:30 today, FULLY INSULATED!

Hell yes!  I have polkadots all over the outside of my house since we went for blown-in insulation, and yes, I'll have to go around and seal those, but the heater hasn't gone on since they left!  It literally feels like a different house altogether!  Rancho FirstNations rises from the mire to reach for the stars!  Somewhere a horse neighs!  A flock of birds darken the skies! Lightning strikes a distant hilltop! I CAN LIVE IN MY HOUSE AND NOT FREEZE MY FUCKING ASS OFF!!!!!!

So naturally, I decided to watch 'Aquaman' to celebrate.

It is a very bad movie.  

Of course, like everyone else, I am not watching it for the plot.


Superhero movies don't need much of a plot, of course. What matters is making the action, props and backdrops look credible and all of a piece.  Aquaman is just a whole lot of no style, bad CGI, and Jason Momoa wearing jeans to swim in the ocean.  WTF jeans. You'd think being Aquaman he'd be ready to deploy at a moments' notice and always have a banana hammock on under those Wranglers, but no. Kicks off his shoes, though. 

How do I know so much about swimming in the ocean in jeans?  It's a thing in Oregon, where most of the beaches are gravel and there's a lot of interesting cliffs, rocks and huge piles of giant beach logs and trees and wrecks and shit to climb around on.  You don't plan on swimming, but you're near the ocean and things are slippery and covered in barnacles and old rusty spikes, and you'll probably fall off something, so you wear jeans and cheap tennies. And when you do fall in, it's not fun. It's cold, sandy, smelly and salty. You chafe and bitch for the rest of the day. So would Aquaman.

What I have enjoyed lately is 'Suicide Squad' (despite the overbearing presence of Will Smiths uninteresting character,) and 'Harley Quinn - Birds of Prey.'  In fact, Birds of Prey is DC getting back to it's roots, when superheroes had a sense of humor and weren't all dismal, angsty carnage junkies in weird costumes.  Plus hot women who kick ass WITHOUT being metahuman!  About fuckin' time, DC


And now a message from the 1930's!

I made the mistake of trying to follow a curry recipe that I'd seen demonstrated on a cooking show.  There is no way you can make a proper curry without the right utensils, come to find out.

 Heretofore I'd been doing my best with a broad, shallow frying pan and making all kinds of mess, trying to strain tiny ingredients out of hot oil quickly, using a ton of paper towels, strainers and bowls, desperate for curry.  


                          The indignity of Curry Desperation. It isn't pretty and it isn't pleasant.

After watching the nice man from India make his curry, my brain finally kicked in and I dug out my big ol' cast iron chicken fryer from about ninety-some years ago and cranked it up.  

My high-sided chicken fryer with the lid was the TICKET.  Here this dude on television had been merrily straining and frying and seasoning and adding and subtracting and flipping shit around using something like a deep, high-sided wok.  Well of course he wasn't a mass of orange oil stains and onion fragments; he had a decent pan to work out of.  Once I had that chicken fryer crackin', it worked like a charm! AND I HAD CURRY!  

So if you've been struggling to make curry, buy one of these beasts.You can get one new, but they're expensive -$40.00 is about midrange - and you'll have to season it in the oven about five-ten times before it's ready to use. Do you want to spend two days oiling, baking, cooling, and burnishing a seven pound mass of iron? Lid and all?  No you do not.  And no, the new ones are not pre-seasoned for sour birdshit. They're just blackened and have had a spritz of canola oil. That is not seasoning. That is a recipe for culinary disaster.  The solution?

           Here is what you want.  High sides, two handles and a domed lid with a loop handle.  

Get one from an antique store. They're usually cheap, because they don't display particularly well. They're already deep-seasoned, too.  All you'll have to do is wash it out and give it a couple of fresh seasonings in the oven and you're off to the races. You can use it as a Dutch Oven. You can deep fry with it on the stove top. You can even make bread in it! These damn things are handy as all get-out.

As for mine? I inherited mine from my mother in law, who inherited it from her mother, so free, so HA.


Monday, October 11, 2021

Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are!

 I'm here!  I'm Bi!  Get used to it!

Today is National Coming Out Day in America, and I thought I'd just publicly own my URGES here online!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Home Movies

 I have had a...let's say, 'dramatic' relationship with my daughter since the time she hit puberty until she moved to De Sout'.  

                 Not her, not her banjer. Not even her Sout'.  But I'm leaving it here because De Sout'.

I guess it's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, because since that time we get along great.  (And to my vast amusement, she has turned into a huge Star Trek geek in her old age.  She used to be so embarrassed that I liked 'such a totally uncool thing' when she was younger. HA.)  

Well today she gave me the best gift - after a long discussion about who was the best Trek captain -


Kirk will always be My Captain, but Janeway didn't break the Prime Directive every other     episode, nor did she go around screwing everything in the damn galaxy.     


- she gave me an account on her HBO Max account!

Did I hit Turner Classic Movies first thing?  LIKE THE FIST OF AN ANGRY GOD!

Man I have missed my Turner Classic!  The first thing I did after The Biker insisted on getting us hooked into the channel, which he did with ill grace and lots of swearing because he and The Future are enemies, I landed on 'After The Thin Man' and watched it hard! I had a huge grin on my face the whole time!  Jimmy Stewart in one of his rare 'screen heavy' roles! Asta and Mrs. Asta! The sets!  The clothes!  Myrna Loy and William Powell!  Heaven!!!

 Back when there was still such a thing as True Elegance, Myrna Loy had that shit sewn up.  Her costumes in this movie are astounding!

Now I am about ready to cue up 'Blazing Saddles'!  Next?  'The Producers'!  Next? 'The Penalty'! Next?  'M'!  Next?  'Metropolis'! Next?  'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum!'  Do you have any must-see suggestions?  Do tell down in the comment lounge!


When my mother was young, she was an usherette in one of the grand movie palaces in New York. Yup, my young, sparkling, beautiful mother in a domino hat with a tassel, a flirty little skirt, mesh stockings and a majorette jacket!  

 Not her, but  you get the idea.  Imagine a gorgeous Greek girl with amazing black hair, legs for miles, a cute figure; and all in navy blue with gold trim and high heels.  That was my mom.

 She was a past master of Hollywood lore and had seen everything, starting with the very first silent films (back when you had to scrounge a penny selling old bottles to see 15 minutes of film shown on a white sheet in an alley.) She hung around the silents so much that she attracted the notice of a moviemaker, and had been scouted to be in an early 'Kiddie Kast' movie - she was a beautiful child, too. No, she didn't get a role. Her mother forbade it, and after knowing how Shirley Temple and other child actors were treated back in those days, I'm glad.  

Her and I used to watch all the old movies when they came on television, and she would even stay up with me until midnight for Sinister Cinema if they were going to play a movie with one of her favorite old time stars.  She always carried a silk handkerchief with a lipstick kiss from Colleen Moore tucked into her purse for good luck all the years I knew her.  

Colleen Moore, who looked like my mothers' identical twin back when this shot was taken. She was a V A M P, vamp!

She taught me about plot, film techniques, directors, different genres, she filled me in on all the Looney Toons and Merry Melody 'in' jokes and references, introduced me to old radio shows, even took me to my first live stage play - All About Eve with Don Ameche and Ann B. Davis!  She knew all the dirt, too. All that  scandalous stuff coming out about old movie stars? I already knew it all by the time I was ten.  

Yes, I am that cool, thanks to her.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Quaint Vignettes From My Charming Rural Idyll

 I woke this morning by sitting up and announcing "It's Waldemar!"

I don't know anyone named Waldemar.  I wasn't dreaming about anything remotely Waldemar-ish.  It is a mystery.

I also learned that one cannot change channels with a cell phone; neither can one make calls with a remote.  This is a lesson that I apparently need to re-teach myself about twice a week.

This afternoon, I went to visit the lady next door, who wanted some divisions.  When I knocked, I heard her say "Go see who that is" and a kid ran into the front room, looked at me through the glass and announced "It's some man!" and she replied "Don't answer it then."

It has been one of those days.


Last Monday The Biker hauled home an entire wood turning setup, from lathe to blades and everything in between, that he lucked into on Ebay.  I can't fault him for it - he got a couple of grands' worth of quality tools for $125.00.  Yeah, he had to drive to Montlake Terrace and back, but that's still a bargain even with fuel costs added.  

Had he asked, I would have had him bid on this vintage Feldman-ator.  

 No, what I can fault him for is the fact that 1. He does not know how to turn wood 2. He has only partial use of his left hand, and 3. The garage is packed full of tools, equipment and crap already.  Fine, it's his garage and his domain, but I've had an industrial wood turning lathe in the back of my pickup for a week now and I need my pickup to go grab another load of lagoonage dammit.  Add that annoyance to the annoyance of knowing that at this very moment that man is outside trying to move the stupidly heavy thing by himself into the maw of Chaos.  Yes I offered to help. Of course he refused any help whatsoever.  He is German, after all.



So far I haven't heard any loud 'SPLAT' sounds, nor have I heard screaming and pleading, but I wouldn't, either.  He is German, and thus far too macho to make a 'SPLAT' sound, or scream and plead.  He would simply lie on the concrete under the lathe and feel very grouchy until he expired.  I should probably go check on him.



I keep forgetting that The Biker has fabbed himself several moving dollies of different heights for just such purposes.  He has a chain hoist and a welding set-up (of course) and access to lots of scrap steel and punched bar stock and casters and whatnot via his job.  I needn't have worried.  But I did, and I feel better about myself for having worried, although I never did lift ass and go check to see if he was bleeding out on the garage floor.

                I searched 'man crushed by machine' and this came up.  I liked this better. Here it is. 

The guy who put together this turning set up was a real engineer, and given that he lived in Montlake Terrace, he probably worked for Boeing.  The stand, custom rigs, and mounts are works of  great skill and mechanical know-how. It's kind of a shame that all this hard work was wasted on the dudes' son, who couldn't wait to get it off the property.  Of course the fact that the dude was so quick on the trigger that he offloaded $2000.00+ worth of quality equipment to the first bidder means that he is almost certainly a fucking idiot.  


I was able to get all of my tomatoes ripe and inside this year for the very first time ever in the history of my growing tomatoes!!  

                                     After two weeks of dry aging in the crawlspace, naturally

The last batch of tomatoes just got processed, and there was just enough to make a big pot of Pork Marinara.  (From a long pig, naturally.)  I had to make ground pork anyway, so I carved the meat off the bones and ran it through the grinder on my Kitchenaid, baked the bones in the oven and then into the pot full of fresh, raw tomato sauce with some garlic, olive oil, black olives, red wine and coffee;  a little oregano, a little basil, cooked for a couple hours on Low.  

I was able to make a nice lunch out of the pork left on the bones once I took them out of the pot,  I've got five pounds of ground pork for sausage, half a gallon of marinara, and a nice smug feeling that makes up for being mistaken for a man by a small child this afternoon.


The attic cleaners have arrived!!!!!!!!

Went right to work, too.  They're up there right now making alarming noises with a ginormous industrial vacuum cleaner.  They're even running it down between the walls (gotta love balloon framing) to suck out all the antique Hantavirus.  ONE IS STOKED Y'ALL!!  Insulation next week!!!!!!!