Monday, August 31

bye bye, august.

just like that-
in a flash, in a moment,
in an overnight cool-off....
august is suddenly in it's last throes of summer sweet heat and light.
on it's way into history, this last day,
a monday no less,
is the harbinger of a fallow fall of equal parts autumnal awesomess
and transitional trepidation.
huh?
it looks good,
but not much happens therein that might be construed as good news.
yet,
it all really happens, and it all really ends,
with or without happy in attendance.
y'know?
august disappears too quickly,
but it sure always seems to take an eternity before we see the finish.
i'm just sayin'-
it sure felt like it was way more than 31 days,
that's real.
now that it's over and out, though?
i think i could've used another 'nother week or so.
yeah.
it's been a long month in the mired muck of a morass of small means
and mean-spirited motives.
oddly enough,
and to my great disappointment,
morasses aren't what they sound like,
nor are they at all what i wish they were.
awwwwwww.
muddy puzzles and boggy bogglers are what i've been unraveling all august long.
that's right.
and what are the answers i've uncovered?
there's only one, really, but it's correct-
try hard(er).
yup.
real life is not fair play nor fairy tale endings
and almost no one gets what they deserve.
but,
they might, just maybe, get what they earn.
if there's a suitable investment of enough blood, sweat, and quietly wiped-away tears.
try harder.
^that's all there is to do.
too much is the right amount, after all,
so, with that in mind,
enough cannot be nearly enough, now can it?
no way, neighbors.
instead,
whether by ill-gotten, misbegotten, or fairly-gotten methods,
the objective objective is MORE.
*
damn,
that's no way to say goodbye, is it?
there should be something nicer involved with a sendoff.
not just the dismal concave upside-down dystopia of my daily doings.
i'm aware of that,
and i certainly didn't slack-A* my way into the final episode of hot, sunny,
august activation by being underprepared to power up something sweet.
don't be dumb.
i made us a treat.
what else would i do?
check the teleport:
that's right, kids.
it's thinned-out and bulked up cookie dough, transformed into cake batter.
yeah.
gluten-free vanilla rice flour flavor, with a little oaten hottness,
and some extra tapioca-type loft and chew,
so that i wasn't serving up some weak dry doo-doo.
c'mon.
i know better.
it's good,
but what makes it expert is that custom creamchee'-moistened
chocolate oatmeal granola jauns on top.
crumbly chunks of streusel sprankles are what y'all need.
and they are also what we've got.
i wouldn't sell anyone short,
and i sure wouldn't wreck a treat i'm gonna eat, too.
jeez.
oh, yeah, and one more thing-
hot chocolate sauce on the bottom of that plate?
so dope.
just the right touch to complete the profile.
a little under-drizz' is good for you,
if there's cookie-cake and granola spranx already ready for your face.
real talk.
-
real talk is all i've got.
i don't have it in me to pretend that things aren't things.
A is A.
and anyone who says otherwise is selling something;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Sunday, August 30

newly minted.

gluten-free.
uh-huh.
that's what happens when your diaper-babyish bellyhole can't handle the truth.
i mean,
c'mon, neighbors-
bread and flour and dough are all expert,
and wheat is what is on my mind most of the time.
i'm sort of about that all-purpose jauns.
i'm sayin',
i love hard red winter, soft red winter, straight-up durable durum,
hard spring, hard white, AND that soft white.
i never met a wheat i wouldn't eat.
however,
sometimes you meet a worthy warrior who has dietary restrictions,
and maybe you don't be a total d!ckturd about 'em.
(like, for example, being a lightning-striking viking vegan, perhaps)
anyway,
i've got a buddy that i've gotten to know and respect and admire over the last year,
and if everything works out the way it's supposed to-
today is the day.
yup.
the last day.
we'll wrap up his sleeve,
he'll wrap up his stay in new hampshire,
and i won't see him around anymore.
which is great news....for him.
ha.
y'know what is even better news?
i made up some mother'ucking magical gluten-free treats
for a fresh-to-death fond farewell for his wheatless face.
yuuuuuuup.
i'm NOT actually an A*-hole.
i appreciate his commitment to getting tattooed,
and he travels a ways within this remote mountain state to doo-doo that freaky sh!t,
and he's been an all-around top-five client since the first sitting,
so, honestly, if i didn't try to make a little magic happen,
it would almost be disrespectful to both of us.
therefore,
treats are a required addition to our final hours in the studio,
and they are surely in full effect right this very minute.
yeah!
what kind of glutenlessness have i prepared?
minty ones.
why?
because mint tastes really F*ing FRESH, kids.
obvi.
that sensation of chilled out tingling tundra sorcery is what we need, i think.
he's headed to sunny new mexico,
which i think is always as swelteringly hot as sunny old mexico,
so maybe one last early winter-style cold snap,
in soft, spongy, minty brown & white rice tapioca oatmeal briquettes is in order.
i hope so.
check the wreckable-rectangle-type teleport:
kaBOOMfire!!
mint chocolate chip blondie bites,
with mint chocolate mint ganache,
and shaved chocolate curl sprankles.
y'feelin' it?
word.
for really real,
if it isn't expert,
it isn't what i'm interested in.
*
this is it.
today is the day, again.
a sense of completion,
another 'nother ending.
every time the time we've been given reaches it's final countdown,
the other person in the exchange is the one who leaves,
and moreover inevitable goes on to bigger and better things...
meanwhile,
in the woodsly goodness,
sequestered in the shadow of a forest,
shuttered up in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
squirreled away in the roots  of a mountain,
i'm still right here.
that's probably the hardest style there is.
nothing bigger,
nothing better,
but always MORE of it.
i'm always right here,
at the event horizon of a black hole,
watching time slow down, and pressure pull me in place.
it's heavy, this temporal tempest,
and it isn't temporary.
in fact,
it seems somewhat inescapable.
i guess that makes a lot of sense when you really add it all up-
the gravity of a lifetime of getting it wrong,
imploding in one focused location,
but only the location is fixed,
and everything else stays pretty broken,
just in precisely the same spot.
ugh.
try that on for a while and see how it suits YOU.
despite the deepening divide between the infinite purgatorial plunge of my
daily happenings,
i still wish for success for myself and my peoples,
and i'm glad that whatever X-rays escape from the portal
of this plummeting anomaly that seems analogous to my everyday life
have reached those i care enough about to spend energy thinking about.
maybe the problem is that X-rays aren't enough to cultivate coincidence
in the dense dolorous doldrums of my deep dark chasm.
in fact, i'm sure that if any new mode of thinking is going to elevate
and alleviate and allocate some new expert excellence into the abyss of
the secret universal ether,
it's certainly not going to settle for X.
what i need is some XI-rays,
and as soon as they answer my call,
bigger and better are bound to follow.
.....
i'll just be in the kitchen in the interim,
baking up a little extra something for the road;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 29

out come the wolves.

holy full flippin' moon, neighbors!
can you feel it?
have you seen it?
it's big,
it's bright,
and it's bringing all the wild blood from all over the wilderness,
every pulsing, thrumming bass-boosted blast of barbarian big action
directly to the doorstep of my fair forest realm.
mmhmmm.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is aglow with the beams,
and the blue light from that silver circle is bathing every inch of my reflective rooftop
in heavenly reverberations.
wow.
the push and pull, the tidal wavelengths,
the hazy skies and bleary eyes that give way to full blown supermoon
werewolfen berserker battle-beastly fury.
that's what's up.
and when the sky is alight with the shiny round animal magnetism,
i feel it's only right to start up a convivial conflagration of my own.
y'know?
yeah.
it's raging gypsy fuego time!!!
the world is my tinderbox, and i've got heaps of fuel.
guys, check the towering-inferno-type teleport:
word.
i'm burning EVERYTHING.
that's no joke.
i've got crackling logs and flammable extras,
and all of it is getting blazed to bits...
the fire got so crazy tonight,
it starting shooting out sideways.
uh-huh.
c'mon.
i got that side fire jauns spraying leftwards,
and upwards.
the light is orange,
the heat is heartwarming, and everywhere else warming, too.
the smoky scent of campfire has me missing my peoples this evening.
having company could've made the whole night more expert,
but,
the nightcrawling, churning, roiling animal frenzy of a wilding wolf moon
maybe is best to be enjoyed all alone,
the thing is-
i've got bristling hairs, snarling teeth, and clenched fists,
and nobody else needs to watch me writhe around in the grass,
howling and barking mad,
but loving every last second of the embers and sparks that're being carried towards
the big orbiting satellite overhead.
it's all really happening, kids.
the inferno is just the right amount of extra hottness in every way.
i'm grateful for the time i have been given here,.
and the absence of others around the stones only makes it easier to be myself.
there're treats in the oven,
and plans in the making.
my drawing board has sketches,
the night is young,
and the lights are on in the heavens above.
i'm missing my ladies, big and small,
and i'm looking up, even if i'm not looking forward....
right now is when i'm supposed to be;
never quiet, never soft.....

tart, but not.

flour, butter, creamchee', sugar, vanilla, salt.
yup.
all together, creamed and crushed and squished and pressed into
a dense doughy ball of pre-pastry preparedness.
mmmmmm.
i have a tart shaper.
i do.
it looks like the smallest wooden dumbbell,
but it's the smartest tool in my tiny tartlet arsenal.
what?
that's a real thing, neighbors.
my mini muffin pan, and a well-floured tart shaper,
and that dough, after a short stint in the refrigerator,
for the basis of an adorable miniaure tart cup creation.
i mean it.
puff pastry cups to hold all the new hottness are what i'm all about today.
check the tart-but-actually-very-sweet-type teleport:
see?
you'd better believe that's expert!
mmhmm.
crispy-edged buttery creamchee' cups,
and silky chocolate pastry creme occupying all the empty space in each one-
it's richer and firmer than pudding,
it's softer than fudge,
it's better than either,
and it lives very happily in the middle of all of that cutesy cuppiness.
word.
did i roll 'em all in shredded unsweetened flaky coconut?
use your eyes, for goodness' sake, kids.
of COURSE i did.
why?
because i'm not a complete A*-hole, for starters,
and because i'm about that complimentary complementary coconut cooperation, too.
i mean,
chocolate and coconut are pretty much best friends...
well, whenever peanut butter isn't there to vie for all the attention, anyway.
right now, though-
it's chocolate and coconut, and activated flavors in full effect.
crema de coco?
it's coconut sugar syrup!
that's rad.
coconut flour, and crushed-up coconut, and coconut oil, and coconut milk,
all whipped and spun and whisked and whirled into a no-joke burly
swirly heavily-laced pasty batch of frosty frosting freshness,
made possible in part by the crema de coco blops that smoothed the whole thing out,
and sugared the whole thing up,
and made some minor magic start poppin' off in the kitchen.
c'mon.
that's good, right?
yeah.
i thought so, too-
but,
good is not enough-
too much is the right amount.
therefore,
there's also ground chocolate fairy dust drifting down on each one,
for a final exxxtra extra component in the new new hotter hottness.
yeah!
they're tarts,
but,
they're sweet.
you get it.
*
there sure is a whole lot of night to fight through,
and it doesn't get easier the more of them you make it past.
plus,
with the seasons getting ready to transition,
and the woodsly goodness always running faster towards fall,
the dark is showing up earlier, and staying longer, too.
it's getting a whole lot more noticeable these days.
i wonder if the full moon casting long shadows on tall trees
is making me see more deepening dark tidings,
or if that's just the unfolding plot of a secret universal plan getting illuminated
by blue spotlight floods in the night-terrorizing recesses of the evening's creases and cracks.
i don't know for sure,
but i am well and fully aware of the duration that each black patch extends along,
and spans in expressive ever-expanding expanses as the searchlight in the sky travels
an arc across horizon to horizon.
yikes.
it's sneaky, the darkness.
it moves.
and while i'm baking away the hours,
it's plotting and planning new ways to take up more time and space,
and even the magnetic rays of lunar luminescence have no effective means
of preventing it.
sure,
those beams have got some power.
i mean,
they tug and tear at the fabric of iron-filled flesh,
and draw out the slivers of savagery and ferocious furious battle-beastliness...
...but the dark?
it just waits.
and when the waning is underway,
it comes back sooner, and stays a minute more,
and will for months yet.
there are circles that overlap,
and as the year moves away from summer,
the interconnected rings of spirit and memory
spiral away from light and heat,
and from a coiled counterclockwise corkscrew,
gloom, doom, cold, and dark all rotate their way into the inner circles
of time and place like an augur digging down
and dredging up whatever should've stayed buried. damn.
that's the way it goes.
why?
because nature wins,
and the winner does what she wants.
meanwhile,
i'm just over here baking treats,
trying to mix coconut and chocolate in a way that seems bright, light, and warm.
i'm creating my own counterpoints to the decline of this year.
but,
i'm also eating them.
which, in turn, contributes to the decline of my counter offers.
it's a continual circle, a slow-motion cycle,
not so much vicious as languid,
but totally inevitable for all the speed it lacks.
the year is ending,
the treats are getting eaten,
and all of it is exhausting in all the ways that word implies.
yeah.
this is What Is,
and the daylight isn't revealing anything different;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 28

dalmatian.

mmmmmmmmmm.
coconut.
delicious.
i like it.
a whole bunch.
and i want a little bit of it in the cakes i'm baking.
y'know?
yeah, 
you do.
now,
when i say i want a little bit of coconut in my cakes,
i actually mean i want a TON of coconut in my cakes.
and i just happen to have so many kinds of coconut at my disposal.
yep.
sometimes, though,
coconut needs a little help.
i'm helpful.
at least,
when it's time to take a cake to eleven
i'll lend a hand or two to make the magic happen.
to that end,
me, my cakey batter-blasting bakery skills, and a bunch of tiny chocolate chips
all arrived to help coconut complete it's mission.
and seriously, all that effort, and all that coconut, 
and that little bit of chocolaty activation really brought the whole bowl of awesome
to a whole new tier on that expert scale.
when the timer dinged on the oven,
we had a little somethin' special to show off,
and i'd like for you guys to see it...
check the dalmatian-spotted-coconutty-nicey-nice-type teleport:
see?
the cake is so soft and squishable.
coconut has all that good oil and fat and richness,
so coconut flour, and coconut shreds, and coconut sugar,
with a little vegan creamchee' and a pat or seven of butterish,
mixed up with some other stuff,
including, but not limited to, tapioca and regular flour and vanilla,
made a perfect coffee cake batter base.
then the chocolate chips made it even better.
the crumbly crumbles on top are pretty great on their own,
and when a bite of this sweet baby-b!tch goes into your face,
the tandem hottness of moist cake and crankley coconut and confectioners sugar,
coupled with coconut oil and coconut flour, 
for that dusty white-sand sexxxiness will make you pee your pants in pleasure.
but,
rules is rules,
and the rules say that too much is the right amount.....
which is why there are even MORE tiny chocolate chips being sprankles on top!
*
what's up? 
how about being super-expert all the time?
yes.
and what about creating treats that are delicious and decadent and doooooope ?
yes, again.
keeping it real, and keeping it vegan, 
and still bringing the house down with superior skills, elite ingredients, 
and a healthy dose of overdoing it?
c'mon.
you know it's always yes to all of that, every single time.
i create my own rewards,
and then i eat them/.
hard styles and soft cakes,
long nights, and quick snacks.
the challenges increase, and the treats do, too.
there's a proportionate ratio of circumstantial difficulty to consciously-chosen reactions.
the treats get more delicious, the worse the rest of the day tastes.
that's no joke.
it's all really happening;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Thursday, August 27

the pits.

neighbors,
i've got three weird concrete pits.
no.
i mean,
i've got a surprise cache of them in my yard,
at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
where i make things, bake things, break things,
and take things to be tossed, turned and transformed....
there,
in the previously woodsly swath i recently had a mulchy monster truck
come and grind up and spit out as ripped roots and mouldy messiness,
there are three separate concrete pits.
...and i'm pretty sure at least one of them has water welling up inside it.
or,
if that's not ground water,
it could very well be some sort of leachy sh!t-soup from genuine human buttholes.
ummmm, yeah.
what.
the.
F*?!
so now, before any continuing efforts to improve my lands and holding can be resumed,
i've gotta go dig down, and fiddle around with a shovel,
to try to upturn the leafy, sap-smeared, moss-covered, spiderfull soil,
and unearth the answers to this muddy, root-covered, concrete-lidded riddle
moonlighting as a crap-cavern in my yard.
damn.
i just wanted to put up a fresh, folksly, vine-covered (eventually),
fence-type enclosure, to create a proper and appropriate site-specific
safe romping realm for my impending dog situation.
simple enough, right?
sure.
if you're someone else.
twenty feet in the wrong direction to start,
with exposed roots from ancient trees as a chaser,
and now,
vaults, or dry-wells, or wet wells, and i'm unwell with wearied worry
about whatever has to happen next.
naturally,
it is going to be a doom-and-gloom domino-effect of cascading catches,
glitches, hiccups, stumbling blocks, and of course, money.
neighbors, what do we call this?
money pits.
yuuuuuuuup.
literally, without any winky stink-eye glibness,
money pits are presently what i'm spelunking.
it was to be expected, although still hoped against...
old and busted is the name of the game with an aged manor in the mountains.
this isn't anything new.
it's just another 'nother wrench in the works,
which is, of course, to say it was predictably the only choice, really...
after all,
this is warrior poetry,
and that's not indicative of mortal peril and physical combat-
it's an all-out battle, daily, against the elements that compose the easy way:
the well-traveled properly-marked well-maintained path;
the smooth-sailing and/or calm seas...we simply don't DO that sort of thing.
i'm just sayin'-
the rosy prose and taxi-metered standard stanzas of sunny-sides-up and upbeat outlooks
aren't what we write about over here.
don't misunderstand me, though-
i'm not hopeless, helpless, heartless, or even hapless.
nope.
i'm just better equipped to persevere and endure through prolonged exposure
to hard styles and long nights, heavy days and tough times.
quitting isn't how i get busy with my business.
when the secret universal plan has more strength-training exercises
to work out on my force of will with an opposing force of worsening weighty waiting,
what can i do?
i gotta do the things i'm designed to.
like,
dig in, figuratively,
and dig in, with a real shovel,
to get to the bottom of the mystery of what the F* is really really wrong here.
i mean,
it's SOMEthin', that's for sure.
deeper, and maybe a little darker,
and every bit as dirty as the buried doo-doo butterholes i'm excavating.
nothing stays buried forever,
and not much of what surfaces is treasure...
*
i'm getting much better at shouldering the load.
i guess you can't keep carrying it all by yourself
and not get at least a little bit stronger.
to whatever plots and twists and parcels of problems happen to heap up
and hunch my back with straw after straw after straw.
baleful bales, stacks on stacks on haystacks of time-taking day-draining blocks
of interwoven needful needlings,
with that last straw never ever really quite landing on my shoulders.
so,
i don't get crushed by it.
i just stay kinda tired.
no breaks, no brakes,
just bad breaks and full-throttle progression into whatever future comes from carrying on.
is that weird?
the thing is-
there's never not work to do somewhere,
and doing nothing costs a whole lot more than spending money or wasting time.
i can't hang out with standing still,
even when i'm spinning myself into a dervish tornado just to gain an inch or two.
it's all really happening.
we're moving even when we think we aren't getting anywhere;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 25

leisure.

neighbors,
it felt like luxury.
huh?
last night, guys.
we went out for pizza.
which we already know is ALWAYS expert-
with fancy salads with terrible, stoopid beat-tasting gross beets,
and exxxtra-large pies,
covered by all the elite toppings (potatoes, zukes, sungold 'matoes)
before we returned to the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
and that sort of homecoming never ever ever gets old.
i can't say enough good things about how i feel when i'm home.
i can be surrounded and beset and beseiged on all sides by sh!t-salad suckiness,
and as a matter of course,
i often find myself in a penned-in, pent up poke of perceived peril....
but once i'm cocooned in the big, old, busted, woodsly, goodsly, warm wrapping arms
of my strapping mismatched manor?
i'm safe.
i'm on base.
i've got the force fields and wildflower fields of my chosen path,
and my appointed, anointed place to protect my more delicate bits,
and shelter my small, secret sensitive sensibilities from the perpetual pugilism
of the wider waking world of working and wreaking and wrighting and writing...
yikes.
good thing i've got this old house, isn't it?
you bet it is.
and last night, for about an hour,
it really felt like luxury.
sitting on a blanket, on the super-sexy walk-out deck,
watching the clouds roll in, and get progressively darker,
even more than the fading light would normally let on,
as rain threatened to douse our spirits,
and our citronella tea lights,
but held off until the lounging was exhausted,
and all the rest was well-rested.
ha.
look,
all i'm sayin' is-
for the first time in a long time,
i spent an evening looking upwards, instead of inwards,
and it really made a huge difference in how i saw the big picture.
yup.
plus,
i might've been really feeding my idea of unnecessary decadence,
with a fattie-boombattie exxxtra-stinky exxxtra-smoky stumpy molto-italiano cigar.
adding clouds to the clouds,
and letting the candlelight illuminate the immediate area,
while the skies layered silver and grey in patchwork patterns.
check the teleport:
c'mon.
i can't say if i'm ready to believe that i'm embodying the sentiment of
stay ugly, stay dope,
or,
if it's something more akin to look bad, and smell worse.
hard to say,
and maybe too late to make a difference....
that's kind of the way i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
but,
how about those flappy earholes, though, huh?
womp womp.
i took out my plugs when i got home,
but i think it's worth noting that when it comes to full immersion
in the hard styles and personal styles of my specific lifestyle,
too much is the right amount.
to that end,
these are the new hottness i'm reppin' in my lobes, kids-
wooooooooord.
expert recognize expert,
and that's no joke.
so if you aren't about these fresh new jauns,
you aren't invited over, at all,
let alone to the elite and exclusive upper deck of foresty freshness.
really.
*
there's time in places i haven't looked for things i'd like to do.
i'll just have to keep my eyes open,
and stay good-lookin'.
y'know?
not on the outside,
but with my outlook.
upwards, onwards, and outwards are all directions i'm facing,
from the valuable vantage point of the vanguard of my virtuous valhalla in the intervale.
i'm here, and i can see the forest for the trees,
the mountains for the rocks,
the fields for the grass,
and the goodness for the woods.
decked out and dressed down, and things are looking up;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 24

giving you the whole sausage.

oh, hey there, neighbors-
y'wanna know about something good?
you do?
great!
yesterday, my body-piercing buddy, wayne,
came to work for a few hours on his day OFF.
now, hold on,
that's not the great part.
the great part was that we chose to plan ahead, the day before,
for some crucial barbecuing during the off hours of the day's doings.
yup.
that's a change of pace, in time and place, without a doubt.
charcoal briquettes, and lighter fluid,
and a freshly scrubbed old and busted grill......
all good things, y'know?
when we're in a special circumstance,
and somebody is doing exxxtra,
i really think there should be a commensurate compensation
in the form of recognition and appreciation.
if you do MORE, you should get MORE.
that's a thing-
and we doo-doo that behind-the-building sh!t, kids,
and when we doo-doo that freaky cookout jauns,
we do it right.
i brought sweet onions for all that delicious low-sulphur sexiness they provide;
and scallions, for low-end green onion flavor, and top-end sprankle garnish;
and green, red, and yellow bell peppers, because they're the other other main ingredient;
plus,
hungarian wax hot peppers, for a subtle kick from un-pick-out-able sauteed slivers;
and small sweet orange tomatoes,
and two kinds of vegan sausages, for variety, and for good measure.
oh,
and buns, obvi.
jeez.
i know it may not seem like a big deal to y'all-
but,
sundays are the least ovely day of tattoo times in the woodsly goodness.
usually,
while the rest of the gigglers and squigglers all canoodle and cavort
and chortle together at whatever semi-clever middling comic notions they devise,
i'm in back, despised and sequestered and solo like carbonite.
ugh.
not this time, though, yo.
we had wives and ladies and bearded barbarian battlers
all gathered around the rusty cage of hot fire and smoky, savory flavors.
we only made the one kind of grillable goodness,
but we made sure the whole presentation was expert.
a little oil in a tray, with some fast food s&p packets for gourmet activation,
and a lot of stirring, and waiting, and grate-marking greatness gets it done.
friends,
check the deluxe-sausage-and-peppers-type teleport:
woooooooooooooooord.
we ate 'em all up, guys,
and it was only us.
the rest of the weak-sauce waterbabies weren't invited,
and most of them barely even attended work,
let alone any extra-curricular circulation among the fireworkers.
these sandwich buns were perfect for this purpose, too:
c'mon.
delicious.
for realsies.
and the whole time those veggies were sizzling away,
the entire shop smelled like a super-amazing fairground...
...sans animal butts.
mmmmmhmmm.
we rigged the whole scene to be as makeshift, and as prefect,
as the median line between the two could ever be.
and it worked!
a simple, succulent sausage and peppers party?
that's what happened.
and honestly,
it was every bit as rewarding as i'd hoped.
a feeling of camaraderie,
a shared expanse and experience....
i think people do that all the time,
but really,
worthy warrior poets rarely travel in packs,
so any overlap between folks and peoples and us is kind of an event.
i'm grateful for the time i have been given,
for the glimpses and gleanings that carry the most meaning,
and for the sausages that contain zero intestines and genitalia.
that's especially good.
this is it,
and that's about all;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 23

late and right on time.

better late than never-
that's usually reserved for non-life threatening scenarios.
i mean,
an antidote of critical medicine showing up ten minutes after you die from
venomous poisonous lethality?
laaaaaame.
so,
it's reasonable to say that never is equivalent to late, really, in certain instances.
but,
when we're talking about the triumphant tossing of a wheel or two of pizza?
damn, duders-
in that case,
it doesn't matter time it is when i get home,
or how long the flippin' oven takes to preheat,
or even if we've got enough ingredients....
whatever, whenever, and however....
as long as there's pizza for the eating,
late is better than never.
because never pizza is the sh!ttiest state of the world i can envision,
and that's just not somewhere i'd ever want to live...
seriously.
i'll fire up a slice or two or four or six at any hour,
and even if i was hungry at dusk,
i'll still terrorize a overzealous 'za at full dark.
i mean,
c'mon-
any time is a good time for pizza.
so,
i guess a long day of overlapping little zips and zaps that kept me at the studio
for longer than i'd have liked could've been a whole lot worse.
after all, i got paid to be there,
i got to tell stories all dang day long,
and i think i did some decent work while i was at it-
plus,
there was pizza at the tail end, and that's a great way to end any day.
working a little extra isn't so bad;
neither is starting my mise en place while the ovenly lovin' takes forever
to get up to speed, and up to temp,
in order to stay superheated and ready to ragnarok
some unruly rolled doughy doo-doo into the upper echelons of edible excellence...
it all fades away once the food is on the table.
i'm just sayin'-
sourdough crust,
underchee',
and crushed tomatoes.....
everything else we put on top of that is pure bonus round brownie points.
mmhmmm.
and you all already know i'm about that extra credit jauns, neighbors.
you don't?
sure you do.
you know the rules-
too much is the right amount,
and if ten is perfect, eleven is perfectER.
check the overtopped-over-the-top-type teleport:
collards and soysages and caramelized onions!
that's good.
but,
the next one was even better:
broccolini, brussels, baconish, and sweet onions!
wow.
the heavy load of on-top treats;
all those bits and pieces operating as one cohesive unit?
a collective crescendo of crust and sauce and chee' two way,
plus green stuff, and brownish protein particles....
it's F*ing teamwork, the way everything plays a vital role,
and plays it to perfection.
*
i truly get happier when i'm eating pizza.
y'know why?
duh.
because pizza is expert.
don't be dumb, kids.
also,
i think i'm better when i'm running late.
i mean it.
like,
i draw up some reserves, and turn up the fires,
and poke and stoke 'em until i'm just as stoked as the raging pyre that powers my pulse.
yikes!
i'm sure my coworkers and most of my neighbors would prefer never, though.
just ask 'em-
i'm much much better never, or not at all, or ever,
but,
late will have to do;
small lapses in the sonic assault are all i have to offer.
i'm spitting hot fire, or, at least creating cascades of caustic consonants constantly,
a double-bass-boosted breakbeat barrage on every set of eardrums i can hit.
why do i do that?
because i've got a grind date to make,
and true stories and pizza are all i've got to go on.
it's ALL really happening.
none of it is pretty,
most of it is hard,
and all of it is real;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 22

a fourgy of flavor.

neighbors,
it's saturday!
that's something good, i think.
i mean,
it can't be any worse than any other day,
so maybe, just maybe, the hard styles are tired from a long week of
effing all the A*s of all the hard working woodsly goodfellows,
and as a result of the pause in pugilistic passing of tough times,
it'll be a better day?
haha.
c'mon.
don't be dumb.
that's not real.
...at least yesterday i had a great regular client, and his wife,
to hang out and talk sh!t with.
...it's always enjoyable to have some of the folks i actually enjoy being around
hanging out and getting good work while we're all in the studio at the same time,
which is the special ingredient i require to offset the sh!t-salad smorgasbord
of rough seas and stormclouds that represent every other other day.
that's real.
i needed it, seriously.
and i sure am grateful for the gifts they brought;
(scented candles en masse, duders, in aromas that showed they really listen,
and a stand to let 'em burn on)...
plus,
the conversation we share, and the times we span.
really feel like they mean something.
real talk with real people is what i actually genuinely enjoy most about my job,
and it happens more rarely than i'd like-
so when the opportunity arises, i soak it all up, like a sponge, until the next time.
-----
anyway,
i had a better day than thursday, for sure.
but,
right now, there's still today to get through.
i'm gonna need a serious treat to power me through it.
y'know what that means?
it means i'm shooting for a fourgy, friends.
a quad-tiered triangle of terrific,
especially designed to fill my bellyhole,
and stimulate my face-piece with furious and ferocious freshness.
so what IS it that's going to stack itself up so high,
and bring the big business to the breakfast table?
it's a mutha-'ucking new hottness hybrid,
and i want y'all to check the g-darn teleport:
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
slivered almonds, and almond extract, and almond flour,
with melty butterpat vegany blops,
and a whole lot of spatula-slappin' smoosh,
to get all of it together.
pressed into a springform, par-baked to hold it down, and hold it up,
so when we added the almond shortcake batter,
and baked the fluff all up into it,
the edges didn't succumb to any sort of soft sagginess.
once the crawnch and the cake were in place,
a wild storm of whisking took precedence,
and almond pastry creme resulted from the excessive stovetop swirls
of all-inclusive almond everything.
hey!
are you keeping count?
almond tart crust.
almond cake.
almond creme.
that's a threesome of toothsome treat triumph,
but you can clearly see red in that photo, can't you?
mmhmm.
that's because too much is the right amount,
and we needed to freak it off with a splash of something special.
homemade strawberry jammie-jam,
spread all over the surface,
for a contrasting flavor and texture, sweet, slightly tart, sticky, and somewhat syrupy,
so that when you bite in,
you get a sparkly splash of strawberry barbarian burliness,
before the totally nuts overload of almond awesomeness.
expert.
that's the way i doo-doo that freaky sh!t, kids.
stacks on stacks of activation are all that stands between me
and being surrounded by this saturday's sinister suckiness.
it's ALL really happening,
and most of it is not the good news we'd hoped for-
however,
the only thing worse than a bad time is NO time;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 21

...put it in the pizza.

i want pizza every minute of my life.
that's a thing.
also,
i want to have pizza parties with my family.
yep.
happily,
once in a while,
i have a little minute to make all of that happen,
and i enjoy some family togetherness with my kids,
and with a lovely lady,
in front of a blisteringly hot oven,
on a blast-furnace of a day,
with multiple burners blazing on the range,
and my toppings all already gotten, and ready to get activated in sequence,
in full effect, on pie after pie after pie after pie.
word up.
i love pizza.
i LOVE it.
and when it's party time for me and mine,
i think i've got it going on.
neighbors,
pizza is what makes my days better.
check the quad-pie-explosion-type teleport:
BOOOOOOM!
we all love pizza.
and that underchee' jauns is the big sexy food sorcery from the future.
really.
it makes every vegan pizza eleven times more expert.
fact.
we terrorized a ton of doughy dopeness,
we mastered a mountain of saucy boss business.
we conquered a continent of cheese-ish championships.
friends,
look at my food:
veggie dogs and collards.
what shape is that?
that's the shape of too-wet of dough,
and too hot of day,
with not enough cornmeal to roll the pie off the piel.
nice, right?
yeah.
it tasted the way it's supposed to,
and ugly doesn't ever prevent being dope in my neck of  the woods...
the next one was better looking, and just as tasty:
vegan italian sausage and broccolini.
lots of both,
and daiya(rrhea) chee' under and over the greenery.
that's for extra gooey pull,
above the sauce,
and with the steam escaping the underchee' fixin' the fixin's with a fabulous flavor.
layers and complexities are the way to go.
i think that's true,
and it sure seems to be working out whenever its pizza time on the clockface.
how about this one?:
brussels, baconish, and onions.
our personal favorite,
and a mainstay of my pizza night productions.
we ate it with as much enthusiasm as ever,
and then,
we had to do SOMEthing with everything left over from the first three.
and you know what that had to be, don'tcha?
ehhhh,
put it in the pizza!!:
yeah!!!
a grande finale masterpiece mash-up of all those great flavors.
strips and chunks and stacks and sprigs.
we doo-doo all that freaky sh!t,
and when it's all over?
we're full, fat, and happy,
for as long as it takes to pop some kettle corn, and keep feeding our faces.
mmmmhmmmmm.
good sense says to stop when you're stuffed,
but warrior wisdom tells us differently.
yes, indeed, it does...
and so,
in the spirit of shark gluttony
we share our special sentiment-
too much is the right amount.
that's the mantra of the patron saint of second helpings,
to whom we're praying with every extra bite.
***********
nothing is as good as pizza.
what i mean is-
creative control and tangible rewards aren't as readily available anywhere else.
plus,
pizza never lets me down.
that's about the best thing i can say about anything.
-
harvest and maple are safely back in connecticut,
with their full-time family, and with the promise of high school waiting around the corner.
this summer's fun vacation dad doings and happenings are all over.
we went out with a pizza party fun time of family togetherness and feasting,
and i'm grateful for the time we spanned together.
there's a deep and abiding emptiness that comes from goodbyes,
perhaps more acutely when there are so few big hellos in the first place.
i do most of what i do alone,
and i deal with it, and i dwell in it,
and i suppose it's possible i may or may not be an island, entire to myself;
but,
i am most certainly a rock.
in the most sincere simon & garfunkelesque sense...
and a rock feels no pain, and an island doesn't cry;
never quiet, never soft.....

doom and gloom in every room

neighbors,
every once in a while,
right in the middle of a spate of not-so-great days,
comes a remarkably bad day.
one that makes all those other ones seem pretty tolerable,
even when you know they actually aren't...
hmmmmm.
but first, before a dissertation of the depths of my despair,
let me tell you about some treats-
i made a few dozen chocolate-peanut butter-fudge-frosted,
peanut buttery super-smooth, crazy moist,
semi-magical, molto-majestic cupcakes with my kids;
and we swirled that dark, decadent, rich and thick frosting on top,
in a four point blop pattern, with a central spire of that hot fire for added hottness,
but only after rolling the base layer of black gold in caramel turtle sprankles.
check the teleport:
see?
totally expert.
and, quite honestly, very tasty.
but,
there's complaining to be done,
and treats aren't goig to sway me from my true-life true storytelling times....
and so, without any further distractions, let me begin........

there aren't very many encouraging or hopeful things to say
about my six-day-a-week workplace situation.
most of my coworkers and i don't speak. at all, to each other;
hell,
one of them divorced me,
and subsequently derailed every in-place plan i'd prepared for my future,
yet she somehow still works twenty five feet away from me
to the wonderment and bewildered disbelief of every casual observer.
that's pretty cool, right?
no.
no it's not.
i mean,
maybe some folks like chasing funds, and losing time, starting over,
and working harder on less-rewarding projects for fewer compensations,
in order to barely preserve some semblance of material success?
i said maybe.
somewhere along the line,
between buying my dream house,
and then watching that dream, and many others,
take a surreal turn for the morose and moribund-
i managed to take a very interesting career,
with all of the accompanying privileges of artistic explorations of expression,
and turn it into a damned dirty job, just like anybody else's.
yuck.
somehow,
i effed up the fun parts, and kept all the tedious, tiresome, loathsome,
deplorable doo-doo buttery bits.....
and just to make it harder, and less-enjoyable,
and more competitive,
notably,
for this week's worsening diagnosis of critical mass and deplorable prospects-
we (and by we i mean almost NONE of us) have hired a new guy
to take away another 'nother slice of the ever-dwindling pie.
yup.
....now,
here's a relevant question, directly pursuant to this development:
if someone says 'they just want you to be happy',
and yet does everything possible to make that IMpossible,
do you still believe them?
well, if you do, you're reeeeallly really dumb.
....and i'm not that dumb,
the thing is,
i recognize words, and their meanings-
a fact which puts me at a disadvantage when conversing with folks
whose every sentence holds the incontrovertably inverse version of the verbs they're
purporting to be the actions that make positive reactions possible.
it's implausibly naive to presume that doing the exact opposite of anything resembling
helpfulness, gratitude, generosity, active participation, or appreciation,
will ever garner the overjoyous back-patting thanks that follow the aforementioned motions.
anyway,
yesterday was pure sh!t, from sun-up to well after dark.
however,
i had a brutally big, barbarically beautiful, bean-filled and bountiful burrito for lunch.
and even though i waited in a line out the F*ing door at chipotle, i still got to work on time.
although,
i did get pulled over for speeding.
and i did have two very tricky, difficult tattoos to attempt as soon as i got there.
what's the best part of a job that's become a chore?
when the chores are complicated by poor scheduling and indifferent desk help.
y'all ever have that happen?
you show up to a spectacularly sour sh!t-slap of sucky situations,
site-specifically sorted into sorties of shrapnel-shredding shell-shocked storytelling;
the shrill shilling sell-spiel from self-absorbed scatophages,
spilling their secrets as sordid scraps of superfluous policy??
no?
weird.
it happens over here ALL THE TIME.
so what do we do about that?
mostly,
i work harder, under worsening conditions,
due to presently unimprovable catch-22 caveats in my current calamitous contracts!
and that catch-as-catchall-can-22 in NO way resembles two elevens.
get it?
oh, c'mon.
all of that noise in my head,
all day, and all night, just for a space of my own in the woodsly goodness.
i have to sort of half-laugh at the convergence of circumstances that all seem hell-bent
on undoing the fragile fabric of  my Folk Life, here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
for instance,
after a day of demonic douchebaggery,
i came home to some site work designed to improve my property
through the removal of unruly wild wood and weeds.....
and the duder who did it, while i was en route to massachusetts did a great job,
.....
.....except,
it all really happened twenty feet from where he was supposed to do it.
like,
half of it isn't even on my land!
kaBOOMfire.
awwwwwwwwwww, man.
hahahahahahhaha.
yup.
that's real.
my semi-sweet homecoming, to an empty house,
and the dreary prospect of an impending autumn
well away from my dear darling high-schoolers,
was totally activated by a grand finale of F*tard effrontery,
in the form of clear-cut crossings through other peoples' places.
better still,
the tractors and monster-mulchers ripped up the topmost roots
of all the great big elderly oak trees in between.
that's sort of the best part, really;
since that'll just start the slow decline of those mighty oaks,
and begin the process of an expensive tree removal next year.
yeah.
when they're gone, they're gone,
and even though there will be a discussion, that may very well become a dispute,
the trees won't just sprout back because my argument is the stronger one.
....
oh, and i had a cupcake for dinner.
it was delicious.
some days are better than others,
but few days are good days.
i endure,
and i exist,
and if that isn't the slowest form of suicide, i don't know what is.
to the casual observers' untrained eyes,
it may almost actually appear as if i'm just living my life;
let me assure you,
this is the most time-consuming stop-motion swansong swan-dive
into the bottom of the barrel.
real life, documented, in detail.
that's my goodbye note;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 20

francophile pain grille'.

breakfast, again.
thank heavens for breakfast.
i mean,
neighbors,
you KNOW that we make it special,
and you KNOW that family togetherness activation
is how me and mine enjoy the early hours of each day we span together.
...and when a wednesday works it's way through the workweek,
all the way to us in our woodsly goodsly forest fortress,
i think we owe it to ourselves, to each other,
and to the progression of time, really,
to bring some superfresh morning-glorious hottness to our faces,
to our bellyholes,
and to the overarching thematic unity that non-stop deliciousness represents
to our own weird warrior-poet kitchen collective.
mmmhmmmm.
vanilla soymilk, almond flour, powdered unsweetened coconut,
nootch, powdered sugar, flax seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger,
and a dash of tapioca, whisked into a slurry, in a hurry......
just so it could sit around and meld into one cohesive vegan dredgeable batter.
expert.
and when a mushy mess like that is just hanging out by my stovetop,
and harvest, and maple, and amber are all present, and accounted for,
and accountable for dominating another 'nother masive meal,
all while at their assigned seats along the countertop?
yeah....
that's when we slice some exxxtra-thick hunks of burly barbarian sourdough,
and let 'em all soak up that magical sauce!!!!
one piping hot pan later,
and all y'all gotta do is check this flippin' teleport:
c'mon.
what's not to like about french toast?
and squares of bread made to resemble pancake omelets are a-ok in my book.
is that real maple syrup on top?
what are you?
an A*-hole?
it is OBviously real deal maple syrup, from the mountains of new hampshire,
right there, drizzlin' down the sides of those delectable rectangular squishers.
guys,
the whole time all of that was underway,
i had strawberries simmering in sugar and lemon,
for some homemade jammie-jam jamboree jauns.
yup.
and of course, to take it to eleven, which is right where it needed to be,
we freaked it off with more of that almmond milk ice cream action, too.
i know it seems like there's a whole heck of a lot going on,.
but, i mean, you are aware of how we get down, right?
correct-
too much is the right amount.
that's the only level of flavor we'll accept.
and since this morning effectively marks the end of summer for me and mine,
i think indulgence is absolutely in order.
we're leaving in a minute.
and nobody is happy about it.
it's all really happening, though,
and before too long i'll be back at work,
two kids lighters,
and one houseful of emptiness to return to after that.
damn.
*
i'm so grateful for these girls.
we made crafts and costumes,
and we crushed every meal like absolute wild-boar battle-beasts.
there were more laughs, and more smiles, and sweeter dreams becaus eof them,
and i miss them already.
it's true, and it gets truer every day-
without the bitter, the sweet just ain't as sweet';
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 19

breakfast is my favorite time of year.

good morning, neighbors.
i think i'm slowly losing the need for sleep,
or,
maybe i'm just developing a tolerance for tiredness.
i've been working late very nearly every day for the past few weeks,
and staying up late,
and running late to cause that sequence of delayed reactions and deactivations.
luckily,
i'm also waking up before everybody else.
that's cool.
i mean,
nothing feels nearly as isolationist and separate
as being the only conscious sentience in an ocean of slumberland sleepyheads.
mmmhmmmm.
my eyes are open more often than they're closed,
and i'm seeing things i'm not even looking for.
i think i've got complex convex kaleidoscopic telescope lenses
in place of my previously prefectly adequate eyeballs.
no?
i'm seeing multiple aspects of myriad objects,
in detailed schematic exploded diagrams of cause and effect,
shock, awe, and aftermathematical half-empty reflections of what's next.
y'feel me?
it's like i've got mirror-lined hourglasses on, and all i see is long nights,
hard styles, bad scenes, rough spots, tough patches,
and a funneling tunnel of lightning sand and more of the same on the other side.
could be i just need a little more rest?
i hope that's all it is,
because i'm worried about missing out.
when i'm operating under such poorly timed scheduling,
with obligations overlapping like chitin,
but staying out of sync,
so i'm steady grinding,
but like i'm under a millstone more so than turning the wheel;
and grating,
which isn't so great, when you're giving or getting any of that;
and wearily wearing away at the exterior armorplates of active participation,
so that there's more exposed, like weakness, than revealed, like illumination.
ugh.
 .....
you know what THAT kind of sh!tty outlook calls for?
yuuuuuuuuuuuup.
cinnamon brown sugar waffles.
obvi.
i don't eat my feelings so much as i replace them with treats.
check the crispy-brown-battery-banana-type teleport:
wooooooord.
slow and low,
with coffered dents making the crawnch of a buttery skin the perfect counterpoint
to a fluffy, steamy, soft interior of oaten, wheaten world of wonder,
replete with coconut notes that run alongside the nutmeg,
and the cinnamon, and the ginger, and that vanilla cakey sweetness, too.
plus,
brown sugar gets all caramelized,
and them jauns is SO expert.
for really real.
and why is it so dope with a couple of sliced up buhnaynaynoonoos on top?
wha-what?!
because bananas are good for you.
y'know what is even better for you?
uh-huh.
ice cream.
that's right.
a fat scoople of vanilla almond-milk magic makes everything all better.
i'm on that old time flip mode and de la soul waffle iron work, y'all.
huh?
i doo-doo that a la mode sh!t,
but, like, exxtra 'hoodsly an' that.
how come?
so as to really elevate the experience of molto molto flavor to eleven.
me and my peoples all appreciate the results.
the day may turn to straw, at the bottom of a stable,
covered in crap,
but it always begins with gold.
*
these eyes see the passage of time, back to front and front to back,
but rarely do they see the bright.
light eyes and dark spots,
like night vision in the sunlight,
but not blinding from overabundant lumens
more like photo-negative.
so everything shiny is a deep dark pit of purplegreen and black.
i'm seeing bruises where you see beauty,
but i'm eating waffles while you snack up on a cereal bar.
so really,
i'm kind of coming out ahead.
i'm just sayin'-
those are some really F*ing good waffles.
breakfast is where it all begins.
we start at the top,
and work our way down,
picking up speed,
and gathering mass for a big crash at the bottom.
every day is an avalanche;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 18

burgers and fries.

waffler fries are the TRUTH.
crissed and crossed and seasoned with paprika-y spicy orange activation?
c'mon.
they're french-style potatoes taken to eleven.
the thing is-
when we want 'em,
it makes more sense to make them as an accompanying element,
and not a main course.
i mean,
what do you think we are?
dirty A*-holes?
no way, neighbors.
we'll get our potato jauns poppin', but first,
we'll need some other other action to whet our appetites,
so our wafflers are more of a treat, and less of an entree.
mmhmmmm.
in this case,
i had the overworked dough from our breakfast biscuits cold-double-proofing
in the refrigerator since breakfast,
and by the time i was ready to get busy being an expert in my kitchen,
it was well-rested and molto relaxed again.
so,
i did what any of you would do-
i put the fries in the oven at a lower temperature than what is considered traditional,
and i re-rolled out that flaky dough,
and circle-cut several thick slabs of burger-sized bun discs out-
while the hotbox was preheating, with the potatoes within,
those buns were rising without any extra help,
sweltering in the hot hot heat of our close and clammy kitchen.
that's right, guys.
we repped our nightly meal on homemade buns, just because we could.
my family gets the good stuff,
because they're good.
i think that's the way it's s'posed to be, am i right?
good things for good folks seems like it should be a thing.
maybe it already is, and i just am not that deserving.
could be.
the other other peoples up in here, though-
they tip the scales in favor of good, better, and best...
anyway,
waffle fries are rad,
and buttery burgery buncakes are, too,
but,
it's what's INside that matters most, i've heard.
tell you what-
check the teleport, and then we'll discuss:
woooohooooo.
one regular august summertime supper, for me and mine,
only, not so regular,
and a lot more vegan,
and fancy,
and better than any average joe and jane are gonna get at their house.
sorry, kids,
but the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress isn't where regular happens.
nope.
over here,
rules is rules,
and the new hottness is what we put on our plates.
word up.
pinto bean burgers,
with all the good bits and bobs ground up and mashed-in and added on,
for a savory circle of hearty, heavy, barbarian nutrition for our faces.
plus some verrry chartreuse pickles,
and caramelized red onions,
and a slap of slaw, for that leaft greenery that adds vitamins to the scenery.
expert.
shredded collards, carrots, scallions, parsley, pea shoots, black pepper,
and bean sprouts, with a dab of vegenaise,
and a lot of crawnch,
so that every bite of that business is an all-out extravaganza of exceptional excellence.
we ALL love food,
heck,
after that massive meal, complete with exxxtra wafflers,
we still popped up another pile of kettlecorn for the afterparty.
mmmmmmmmmm.
too much is the right amount,
and that's what we need.
all we have is limited time,
so we have to fit in maximum fun.
it's not easy,
but it's what we do,
because anything less is not invited;
never quiet, never soft.....

biscuits.

hey duders!
my daughters, harvest and maple, are here again,
and that's the best news there is to report....
and when they're around,
i think we're all motivated to make sure every minute matters more.
that's no joke.
to that end,
even after a long day early early morning wakefulness (3:30 a,m,),
and a whole day's worth of driving to and from the meet-up spot,
and an immediate return to the workplace,
and that after delivering their daughterly teenaged layabout selves
to the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress....
then we all got back together, and amber brought over some thai food,
and we enjoyed the sunset and noodoos and family togetherness
all at the same time.
and we even fired up some homemade kettlecorn to gnaw on while we watched a movie,
or, at least, while the girls watched it, and i fell asleep,
just so i could wake up too damned early all over again.
yikes, neighbors- the earliest earlies are not cool.
i'm saying that despite rarely ever sleeping past six in the morning normally.
what the F* is starting your day at 3?
oh.
the answer is: a terrible idea.
got it.
*
annnnyway,
i took a shot at homemade semi-freestyle english muffins.
check the finished-product-looks-nice-type teleport:
yup.
for serious.
i made those!
all by  myself.
the true story?
they were less like english muffs,
nothing like british biscuits,
somewhat similar to fried dough,
and a lot more reminiscent of southern biscuits than anyhthing else.
i made from-scratch vegan buttermilk,
whisking cider vinegar and lemon juice and oil into some soymilk
and then letting it sit and curdle in it's own acidic environment,
and i took a stick and more of earth balanced butterish spread,
and let it warm up to room temperature, too.
four cups of flour, and a heavy-handed grabful of sugar, a tablespoon of salt,
and fast-activated action-packed turbo yest, all together in the stand-up mixing bowl,
plus a quarter cup of warm water, a splash of agave,
and some fully-engaged regular active yeast for further and farther rising power-
guys,
it's a greasy wet mess when it's ready.
that's when you knead it into an elastic ball of overwrought gluten,
and out it aside for an hour to blow the heck up.
....and once it's big and hot and swollen?
uh-huh.
you put it in the fridge for a while.
hahahahaha.
superfancy unnecessary complicated bread sh!t is what i do when i'm up and at 'em
well before the rest of my tiny little enclave regains consciousness.
friends,
you roll the whole dough in semolina flour,
top and bottom,
roll it out, slice it up into circles,
and then you pan fry both side a little to get 'em golden brown and crispy!!
yuuuuuup.
that's real.
that way, the tops and bottoms get firm,
and the flaky middle pulls apart soooo easily.
that's smart.
i saw a dude make something similar,
and it looked so much like a pain in the A*,
but also so expert, that i gave it a shot on my own time.
i might've over-oiled the pan,
and those tasty little nuggets might've gotten overfried,
but,
that took nothing away from the new hottness in the final outcome.
no foolin'.
we have our own small world over here,
insulated from outsiders,
protected on three sides by woodsly goodness,
out-of-sight, out-of-the-way, and one hundred percent all ours.
this Folk Life that happens when we aren't apart,
when i'm not at work,
when we're all together?
it's the best thing i've got to look forward to,
and it keeps the home fires lit during all the other long times,
hard styles,
tough nights, worse mornings, and tiresome, tedious, lamentable in-betweens.
it's ALL really happening,
but only the parts that overlap with the three leading ladies in my play
are worth spotlighting.
high lighting our high life as lowlifes in the high country is what's up.
today is the day, and there may only be one or two more
before school and work take over and take us away from each other.
i'm grateful for the time we have been given-
there's never enough of a good thing;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 15

real maple syrup.

grade b?
yeah.
it's actually more mapley than the exxxtra-fancy clearwater amber jauns.
i want that burly brownglass thickness, neighbors,
and i want it on my breakfast.
that's the correct way to activate a barbarian morning,
with thick-slab discs of custom first-meal hottness.
there's just one thing that makes a long day tolerable-
a hearty start of treatsy sweetness, fresh off the griddle.
y'know?
that's right.
what do we flap when we jack?
panniecakes!
teleport:
you already should be aware that resting the batter makes the whole thing
way more expert than just stirring and pouring ever could.
that's a fact.
y'gotta let it chill out in the fridge,
and deactivate for more activation.
it seems like that shouldn't be a thing,
but it realllllllly is.
i mean,
first and foremost,
i whisk it all together,
the flour, the oats, the salt, the sugar, the baking-style pow-pow and the soda;
the ground oats and the pulverized coconut....
and i curdle the soymilk with lemon and oil,
and pour in a plethora of vanilla, too.
so really,
by the time the vegan sour cream and the melted butteriness get folded in,
the whole battery batch is one heck of a delicious prospect;
but then,
we let it rest awhile.
so it can relax, and get ready to hit that searing hot pan,
and blow the F* up into a puffy manly griddler of utmost excellence.
it's the chill-out that lets the gluten go easy, and the moisture to marry into
the more absorptive elements,
and tie the whole overall awesomeness into one cohesive fighting force for flavor.
it makes for the ultimate buttery skin, and the meltiest fluffy centers.
duders,
i always want to eat at least four of  'em.
also,
i don't really measure amounts,
other than to make sure there's too much of it all.
c'mon.
i know there will be four for me,
and i'll add a scoop of everything if you're coming by, as well.
*
anyway,
that's the bright spot.
no doubt about it.
a full stack of 'cakes,
with that grade b tree blood
for an A+ in the nutrients department.
i take my happiness where i can get it,
and i get it going when i'm up early (always)
and ready to activate a by-request breakfast for my favorite professional food appreciator.
that's no joke.
when i have a morning guest, i'll occasionally take a request-
and if it happens to be the best kind of food for my face,
i'll even make exxtra.
yup.
i'll make a plateful of pannies for me and my very own amber,
if you're nearby,
you'll know it's us-
a couple of hungry hungry hippos-
just listen for the sound of forks scraping, and teeth gnashing,
as a pair of wild savages dominate every available morsel on our plates;
we're tag-team championship mealtime contenders,
a powerhouse duo of gluttonous goodness.
she's a lady, and i'm a tramp,
but together, we're two pigs in a sty,
but, like,
in the BEST possible way;
never quiet, never soft.....

the right tool for the wrong job.

worrrrrrrrrrrking!
yep.
i do a lot of that.
the first one in, and the last one out.
pretty much every day, i'm diversifying my skill-base,
and becoming a much more versatile,
albeit largely unrewarded,
artistic adventurer.
hmmm?
i'm traveling to the city limits of known frontiers with my needles and ink.
like,
i'm almost positive there are maps that clearly document
this pokey path i'm trekking along.
i think that the geometry and prose and roses,
and watered-down waterbaby watercoloresque opaque ink action
have all been charted and fenced in by borders that don't need to be re-crossed...
and yet,
every day,
i'm steadily ensuring that no new ground is broken,
and that the firmly-established standards for boring white people with money to burn
remain solid,
i'm like a fence-inspector at the crowd-control safety barriers, almost.
y'know?
no?
oh.
i travel along the limits of pre-existing pinterested checkpoints,
and i shore up the walls of what has already happened with a big ol' booster shot
of more of the same, just to guarantee we don't overstep the agreed-upon limit
of imaginationlessness.
does that sound sad?
i dunno, duders.
i think i'm not as bad off as i would be if i was traveling the high-concept high-road.
after all,
'rewarding' is an individually defined concept, is it not?.
is it better to be a pioneer or a settler?
an explorer or an emperor?
a specialist or a jack-of-all-trades;
or better yet,
a jack-off who's traded art-making for money-making,
grinding away at those movie checks?
awwwww.
c'mon.
stop it.
that's not as awful as it sounds,
and yet,
it's not much better, either-
sure,
i get paid to make marky-marks on people, which i s'pose is sort of neat-o...
..if sunflower outlines and too many words are your thing,
every day is a garden-party in eden.
but,
i'm also being compensated for wiping off their bloody serum,
that's potentially hazardous human F*ing juice, kids!
and for listening to their fidgety complaints;
and for smelling their filthy feet and cigarette breath;
and for hearing lauds and laments about their kids and their pets......
ugh.
liniments and lubricants and
neighbors,
i just want to tell jokes and stories and have a good time-
even when i'm spanning extra hours before and after the established schedule of operation,
doing absolutely opposite ends of the stylistic spectrum of tattoo artistry
from the far reaches of advanced internet image searches.
what?
oh.
well, when it comes to doo-dooing doo-doo buttery tattoos,
i don't really have a personal specialty anymore.
there's no call it.
i just do tattoos.
and i do a whole lot of them,
whatever on whoever.
in fact,
whenever i'm at the zapshack,
i'm zippin' away on some sort of anonymous something or other.
the only truly negative side-effect of that sort of willingness to just do work?
my brain is not being challenged all that often.
i mean,  
i don't have to think too hard,
and even all the cover-ups and mathematical mandalas
aren't occupying enough of my thought processes.
that leaves me with an excess of neurological electricity to exhaust and expend
through loud noises and lightning-striking laser-fast monologues....
i talk myself silly, and i crack myself up,
and i berate and lambaste and blast bunches and batches of underqualified listeners.
on the rare occasion that a great idea comes in,
and somehow, through some sort of scheduling snafu,
i'm the one doing it,
i do it as hard as i can, and i really bring the thunder and the noise,
and even the mutha-'ucking ruckus.
also,
when a terrible idea comes in,
and i'm OBviously the one doing it,
i bring the  fire and explosions all the same.
there aren't really any lousy jobs,
just spoiled, lazy, entitled, lousy babies who assume they're too good to do 'em.
***********
just do your job.
that's all.
it's not a crazy request, it isn't an outrageous concept,
it's what you're there for.
i'm working all the time.
i'm certainly no hero for doing what i do.
in fact,
i'd say i'm probably achieving maximum neutrality on the hero scale.
i'm just telling a true story,
one about labor, loss, and gains.
there's lost love, and then there's no love lost,
and most of all,
there's sweet flippin' moolah.
money is time.
and the only way to gain one is to earn and spend the other.
that's just the thing;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Friday, August 14

caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!

duders,
i dusted the doodiehole-shaped pan with ground chocolate and butters,
and when i popped it out,
it had a shiny chocolate shell of a skin.
wait...
what?
i made a bundt cake.
i baked it up, and ate it up, and everything about it was great.
especially the outside.
...because i dusted the doodiehole-shaped pan with ground chocolate and butter,
and when i popped it out to cool of on an oven rack,
the chocolate had sunk in, and the butters had sheened the crumb,
and crisped it up just a teentsyweentsy bit,
and that made it so much more expert.
yeah.
that's the way it went.
also,
it looks like a caterpillar, and i think that's cool.
check the teleport:
hahaha.
yup.
after i fired up the almost-poundably parapoundcake concoction that became
a very buttery smooth vanilla-bean bombardment of battery beastliness,
tamed from savagery by the circular shape and the corrective convection of my oven,
and the confection convention in my kitchen,
i had to take it up another 'nother notch.
secret chocolate skin is one thing,
but two more types of outer activation is what we really need.
.....that's a thing.
so,
there's a powdered sugary cocoa icing seeped into, drizzled onto,
and soaked through the outer limits of this already dang tasty
chocolaty championship bakery hottness,
and then, because rules is rules,
and too much is the right amount,
on top of that,
a verrrrrrrrry rich, dark, deep, three-kinds-of-chocolate-infused ganache,
striped and streaked in imperious slashes to make sure y'all know that,
here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
when  it comes to making even just a simple cake,
there's really no such thing.
i exclusively want everything expert, and nothing less, ever.
anything else is for regular buttholes,
whereas OUR buttholes are bundty woolybear caterpillar cakepits-
now and forever, and don't you forget it.
hahahahaha.
cake is good for you, probably.
it's good for me, at least.
i know that is definitely the case.
i can't stop crushing bite after bite,
like a porcine powerhouse of boorish boar-bristled animal appetite.
i guess i'm just a big fat pig on the inside.
that figures.
i mean,
bigfoot skunk-ape gentlemanly exterior,
enormous wild hog savage glutton within.
i can fit more in the furnace than the cast-iron cage would suggest.
like a TARDIS of treats,
i'm bigger on the inside.
well,
maybe except for my forgiveness gland...that one is pretty undersized.
otherwise, though, there's secret spaces for MORE treats,
and i'm forever trying to pack them full of sugary sweet delights.
i do what i can,
and i bake when there's time,
and i devour every crumb like a starved wild beast.....
some holes can't ever be filled, i guess.
that's depressing, actually.
awwwwwwwwwwww.
way to end on a low note, huh?
it all means something,
and maybe someday, there will be enough cake;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 13

what even IS this??

it's so dope.
it's expert.
it's delicious.
it's got a whole lot of what it's got;
and it's got a whole lot going on.
therefore,
it's true woodsly goodsly warrior poetry in practice,
and it's the pure-being of essential treat activation,
and it's all right there in one sexy square of moist cakey new hottness.
mmmmmhmmmmm.
neighbors,
check the teleport:
wha-whaaaaaaaat??!!
lemon juicy, lemon zesty, vegan sourcreamy, super tapioca-laced moist and fluffy,
tight crumb, light textured, lemon oil extracts and vanilla soymilk softened
super sweet light brown sugary lemon bar(barianism),
topped with a big portion of slow-simmered tiny wild maine blueberries.
that's that seasonal fruit jauns for your face.
with a splat of creamchee', and fresh squeezed lemon juice,
confectioners sugar,
and a punch of flour and tapioca, to thicken it up into that pasty purple power
that sits pretty atop the lemony loveliness.
duders,
that blueberry stuff goes to eleven.
(i zested it, too, and added vanilla bean paste)
but,
that's not enough, is it?
c'mon.
what are you?
an A*-hole??
don't be dumb...
there's only one way to look at treats creation-
and that's the high-concept concocting that comes from following the first rule of treats:
too much is the right amount.
yuuuuuuuuuup.
and therefore,
that's why i made some buttery creamchee' lemon cookie streusel sprankles,
and crumbled that all over the tippity top,
and then grated even MORE lemon zest on that!!!
ka-POWerful flavor exploding in every bite!
however,
that just makes it molto molto expert.
and i am in the mood to go off the 1-10 charts,
and blast off into the elevensphere.
....hence the vanilla almond milk ice cream a la mode-ification!
*
treats are what make me happy for a fleeting second or two.
those glimpses into satisfaction are fragile,
and fanciful,
and ephermeral,
so i'll take what i can get,
and get after 'em in the kitchen whenever i have a free moment.
my wednesdays are getting fuller and fuller, too,
so i get up earlier and go to bed later,
because treats are luxurious, and indulgent, and slightly frivolous,
and therefore, they are absolutely mandatory.
that's a thing.
i don't need more sleep,
i need more cake,
and i have the tools, the wherewithal, and the technology to fill a need like that.
lucky me,
i eat them as fast as i make them,
so i'll never run out of things to do.
i want more of everything, almost.
except sleep,
and work,
and the pursuit of a spotless mind.
forgetfulness is not invited,
but immunity to memory might get a backstage pass.
provided i can still recall how to recreate these mutha-F*ing treats.
i guess we'll see;
never quiet, never soft.....