Monday, November 30

november's embers.

goodbye november.
you had a lot going for you,
and i'm sorry you've got to go-
but,
december is coming in hot,
while the temperature is sinking like a ship,
and there's a whole lot of holiday hottness jumping off
as the timeline ramps up, and taps into the speed force,
for a full-blown whirlwind of holiday cheer an' sh!t.
yikes!
i've got ugliness lurking on my periphery like a lioness,
waiting to watch me die, and eat my eyes.
there's not enough time, ever.
and i don't ever even really sleep,
so i can't imagine how i'll manage to make more accomplishments suddenly
start to appear in completion to anyone's satisfaction.
unless we're talking about food.
if that's all there is to worry about,.
then i've got no worries, whatsoever.
i'm sayin',
we had pancakes the other day.
of course we did.
teleport:
cute!
my ma wanted to experience the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress breakfast big action,
and i wasn't about to b!tch out and give her some weak-sauce tofu scramble.
no way.
real maple syrupy coconut pancake magic is what we DO over here;
and if i'm going to be known for something,
i'd like to at least attempt to cultivate a legacy of cookin'-A* mo'fuggery.
y'know?
and y'know what else?
they were delicious.

word up.
we drove like savages to hell and back yesterday, too.
and i even managed to stop on the way back, and make some questionably disastrous
expert executive decisions.
like what?
well,
when you're bummin' out that family togetherness is over for another span,
it's much easier to just find an even worse feeling,
and focus on that.
yup.
i doo-doo that destructive distraction jauns, kids.
two cigars, two caffeine-rick beverages,
and a three pound burrito, totally dominated into digestive doom in six minutes flat.
teleport:
ugh!!
hey,
here's a fun query for you guys-
did i drip a pint of burrito blood onto my wiener?
yes,
i definitely soaked 'em straight through to my undies.
but, like, not on purpose.
a too-big of burrito can't be wrapped exactly,
so there's burst seams, and stretched edges,
and when every single thing is in there,
there's bound to be an excess of sauce.
so,
now i'll ask you-
what goes great with a self-imposed gut-ache,
enacted to distract from situational heartache?
the answer is obvious:
a wet, spicy crotchful of mild, medium, and hot wet ugliness!
mmmmhhhmmmm.
so juicy, in the worst of ways.
also,
salt dementia IS good for you, right?
no?
uh-oh.
then the basket of chips i crunched down immediately afterwards wasn't a good idea?
but,
i thought too much was the right amount!
damn, i did rep one one heck of a hard style all day yesterday.
i do what i gotta to make sure my wrenches all stay turning, neighbors.
this is it, though, friends.
the last day, again.
i'm ready for what's next,
but i'm still a little salt-drunk from what's passed.
it's all really happening,
and i'm perched, poised, prepared, and powered-up for the tomorrows to come;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Sunday, November 29

goodbye pizza pie

awwww, MAN!
it's over.
yeah.
this is the end of the visit.
i'll be roundtrip roadtrippin' to massholechusetts and back,
droppin' off the kids, and my ma,
before i'm in the tattzap shack, studiously expending energy on
exxtra-electrical activation all dang day.
uh-huh.
resting is a luxury i don't usually enjoy.
and by 'don't usually' i really mean never ever.
word up.
there's always so much to do,
and it's made much more somber, and downright dour, even,
when harvest and maple leave the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
the woodsly goodness is grayer and colder without 'em.
damn.
plus,
my ma gets up really early,
so i've had a predawn breakfast companion for the first time in ages.
well,
i mean,
besides crabby,
but he and i don't really eat the same stuff, so it's not the same thing.
ha.
so,
i've got a lot of asphalt and ink ahead of me today,
and the trip takes one heck of a toll on me,
and those tolls add up, too,
in a way that depletes the stacks on stacks of quarters in the center console.
i'll be off soon,
and i'll have my house back to sole-proprietorship,
and the rules will once again be observed.
however,
those same rules dictate that we gotta get it poppin' before we leave with
some hot, fresh activation straight out of the oven.
that's a thing.
what does that mean?
it means PEE-EYE-ZEE-ZEE-AYYYYYYY!!!!
yup.
i got home a little late after all the sh!t-salad zipzaps i applied yesterday,
but fortunately,
ampy-d mise en place'd the topping scene like a sous chef from the bistro.
nice.
and then,
with a hot convection convention,
and a hungry gaggle of girlies salivating at the bar,
we blew up a four piece of pie for our eyes!
check the teleport:
spinach and homemade vegan sausage!
expert!
and then:
collards, and baconish bits, and asparagus!!!
expert!
and then:
mushrooms, and notdogs,and spinach!!
expert!
and THEN:
bacon, brussels, and caramelized onions.
expert!!!
in fact, it's ALL expert, all the time.
that's how it goes around these parts-
we saved the best one for the final sendoff.
more pizzas means more flavors means more nutrients,
and that's precisely what everyone needs every single time.
c'mon.
we party with slice after slice,
because we know that too much is the right amount.
i miss this whole houseful of homies already.
neighbors,
my kid made the underchee',
and the underchee' is what makes warrior poet pizza so elite!
*
i'm lucky to have this time with these guys,
and we're lucky to overlap all the overwhelming excellence
of woodsly goodsly time-spanning with treats and togetherness.
i'm grateful for the time i have been given.
i'm bummed there isn't more,
but without the bitter,
the sweet isn't nearly ever as sweet.
it's all really happening;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, November 28

expert recognize expert.

this is what's good:
yes.
harvest and maple and crabby and i,
totally crushing some family togetherness with a hot hot fire,
and the smell of smoke in our nostrils,
toasting our toes in the woodsly goodness.
our time in the smaller moments is every bit as expert as the big action is.
that's no joke.
we had a delicious dinner,
(with zero leftovers involved. i want that new new, not yesterday's greatest hits),
and homemade kettle corn,
and a blast of blazing barbarian hottness.
as usual,
i lit it with just one match, despite the lightly-whipping winds.
there's an art to being expert,
and a it's a source of personal pride in practice to be ale to do what i do,
if only to impress myself with competent ,
and then tell all y'all about it.
the thing is,
why wouldn't being expert be the goal?
i mean,
if you do it right from the jump off,
you get the ragingest inferno of fresh-to-deathness every time.
teleport:
i take towers of power to eleven.
we let it burn itself down to the ground,
and we basked in the waves of warmth and comfort.
-
guys,
family togetherness is what i needed,
and we had the best time making memories out of wood and flame...
the world slows it's spin when we're all in one place,
and everything seems brighter,
even outside the glow of the embers.
i am grateful for this group i get to call my own,
and for the expansive, expensive grounds we name our sovereign territory.
we have our Folk Life,
we have our time together,
and there's indelible, incredible relief in that;
never quiet, never soft.....

apples to apples.

mmmmmmmm.
apples.
do you like apples?
....yeah,
i do too.
y'know what's even better than an apple?
an apple pie upside down cake!!
neighbors,
check out the fanciness:
wu-TANG!!
cinnamon, and ginger, and nutmeg, and allspice,
with vanilla beans, and brown sugar,
and real maple syrup, and a whole batch of cortland apples!
that flipped over apple-bottom topside turvy curvature is what's poppin'.
i mean,
it's caramelized brown sugary hottness,
with the cider drained right off.
guys,
y'know what's up with that leftover mulled magic juice?
ummmm,
it goes IN the cake.
oat flour, cinnamon, ginger, and those smoooshed apples,
all stirred up, and mixed in,
and baked into a deep brown superstar of burly hearty barbarian big action....
expert?
don't be dumb.
of COURSE it is.
with my imported british star pan, courtesy of ampy-d,
and a little buttery grease'n'flour non-stick dusting,
we're onto something pretty great, aren't we?
cinnamaple frosting is the TRUTH.
creamy, dreamy, and all sorts of cinnamony nicey-niceties,
whipped into cider-drizzled dopeness for your face!
plus,
those brown sugary butter cookies are looking exxxtra-sexxxy.
oh, you know that's true.
i mean,
just look at 'em.
yup.
four kinds of flavors, on one kind of cake?
that's the way that really real mutha-'uckers get down.
rules is rules,
and reppin' just one flav' is against the rules.
***********
duders,
i'm not saying that crabtree is the warm gooey epicenter
of this Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
the one that the woodsly goodness gloms onto and crowds itself around;
but,
i will let you draw your own conclusions on that one:
ha!
the little fella is constantly being cuddled up and held onto,
despite his incessant and insistent face-biting frenzy of forever ferociously
savage battle-beastliness.
no rest goes undisturbed,
and the dog bed has become the body pillow for all the humans
to flop down on and snug him up.
my buddy is far more popular than i am,
and he will sink his teeth right into your cheek!
awwwwww.
it just goes to show-
stay ugly, and you'd better be baking some super-elite cakes,
be cute, and you can steady rock a dastardly bastardly demeanor,
and get away with it.
good looks get you things,
but old bustedness forces you to get better at things.
that's the ugly truth,
and it's all really happening;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, November 27

stay black.

it's black friday in the white mountains,
and all i can think about is pumpkin pie chee'cake!
and vanilla chee'cake!!
and pumpkin pie vanilla chee'cake!!!
yep.
i mean, i do love shopping,
but i do not love shopping around cheapskate greedy babies
climbing over each other for a ten-cent doorbuster sofa cushion.
gross.
the thing is,
even more than buying stuff,
i really love a good cake, or pie, or whatever.
i'm about those treats, man.
i have 'em.
all of  'em.
and they're dope.
like,
really dope.
and you all already know i get busy with elite crusts, right?
yup.
and i wouldn't want to take shorts now, would i?
no way.
so, i kept on with the elite crust jans,
and i did that again-
graham crackers, flaked coconut, oats, coconut sugar,
vanilla, melted butters, the works.
packed into a spring-form pan, thick, and dense, and fresh.
mmmmmm.
a good crust will determine if something is good or great,
but,
a lumpy chee'cake can't overcome a fabulous crust.
that's real.
luckily,
i'm fully immersed in that smooooooth chee'cake game, kids.
believe it.
stacked up, in two layers, and two flavors,
you KNOW i'm keeping it molto expert.
neighbors, don't take my word for it,
check the teleport:
YEAH!!!
neighbors,
cinnamon brown sugar butter cookies,
with those crate&barrel cookie-cutout stamps?
mmmmmmhmmmmmmmmm.
and rich, sweet, cinnamaple frosting, too??
too much is the right amount, y'all.
and besides,
i told you.
i LOVE treats.
i especially love it when they're very fancy.
*
i'll be bringing it with me to work today,
where the blackest of black friday moods will descend
on all the duders who walk through the door expecting deals.
however,
this tastiest of treats will still await the appetites of MY clients,
but only if they can tell me a good enough story.
that's a thing.
show up with a true tale of really real life,
and i'll slice you off a sliver of this epic eliteness,
for your face!
nobody eats for free,
but all it'll cost you is a tale of average height;
never quiet, never soft.....

wellingtonian.

mushrooms are good.
that's real.
and stuffed mushrooms are great.
that's also a thing.
so, if we can work it out to where we're on some upgrade jauns?
like, where the hottness gets elevated and activated?
well, now,
up here in the woodsly goodness, that sh!t is the TRUTH!
recognize.
mushroom bits and stems,
sauteed in browned vegan butter until richly roasty toasty,
with absolutely zero gross wetness remaining,
stirred around with caramelized onions and fried garlic,
tossed with chopped wilted arugula!
that's a tremendously delicious filling,
for some really improved-upon button caps of satisfaction.
that'd be good all on it's own.
right?
right!
but,
too much is the right amount,
and if it doesn't go to eleven, it doesn't go on my plate.
real talk.
neighbors,
check the teleport:
BOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!
demi-wellington explosions!
peppered puff pastry, punched into midi-muffin cups,
with the stuffed stuffs sitting pretty in the middle.
how good are they?
oh, c'mon.
you're joking, right?
no?
what are you?
an A*-hole.
they're not just good,
they're mutha-'ucking expert!
just look at how perfectly this made-up plan came together:
see?!
the mushroom caps shrunk under high heat,
and the pastry wrapped it right up.
half wellingtons, well done,
and one hundred and eleven percent perfect.
the flaky part is the flakiest,
the buttery bits are the butteriest,
the arugula, well, it's one blue-heavenly vegetable,
and that's no joke.
i'm about that food hottness,
and you know i'm into inventing kitchen wizardry on the fly.
a little something special never made a holiday any worse.
there's comfort in cooking good stuff,
and pride when the hungry hippos all converge on it,
devour it,
and leave behind only the scantest of crumbs.
word up.
appetizers aren't normally my thing,
but this batch of that new-new may have swayed my attitude somewhat.
*
there's still so much to do,
and there's not enough time to do all of it.
i want fires, and cocoa,
and cakes, and movies, and stories,
and more of my kids,
and more time to play with crabby,
and i'd like to terrorize a leftover or two, too,
but instead,
i've got work to go to, and work to do,
and all those four-day weak-sauce weekend waterbabies will be there
to ensure a hard-styled mess of a day goes straight downhill from the jump off.
nothing gold, nothing glittery, just more of all of this;
never quiet, never soft.....

too much is the right amount.

neighbors,
i'm going to ask you to take a look at the fattest plate of fatness
that i've eaten since exactly one year ago.
ha.
check the too-much-is-the-right-amount-type teleport:
holy sh!t!!!
i overdid it. as usual.
i went all-out. as per normal operating procedures.
i took it too far, which is the correct distance to travel on thanksgiving.
guys,
i crushed nine+ hours of creative activation,
and focused participation,
and culinary domination,
and came up with pounds and pounds of indulgent dopeness
for the fat faces of  the people gathered in the name of grateful family togetherness.
and that's not including the wednesday pre-prep i powered through, 
in the morning and the night,
in order to make absolutely certainly positive that every damned thing 
went all the way to eleven
what was on the menu?
EVERYthing!!
but, like, what specifically was cookin?
ah.
well,
i slow-simmered up a potful of homemade maple-syrup-sweetened cider-stewed 
vanilla-kissed woodsly goodsly cranberry sauce.
yup.
that's expert.
plus,
no thanksgiving is complete without gravy,
and if there's gravy, what's better than that?
how about also having mushroom gravy?!
yuuuuuuuuuuuup.
two kinds of gravy is clearly and measurably better than just one weak boatful.
that's expert.
you know i have been slowly improving my largely-underappreciated
from-scratch vegan sausage roast.
well, i made the best one yet,
and it was fried up with leeks and carrots and celery,
spices, parsley, and maple-sweetened Folk Life cornbread,
for a big ol' broth-moistened batch of dressing!
which was also the best version of itself so far.
mmhmm.
SO expert.
there was cornbread, of course,
and garlic'd collard greens, for all that iron-rich awesome nutrient power.
we needed it, and we had it.
yum.
four grain fancy rice dressing/stuffing has got a lot of spicy veggie brownification
and just a tiny hint of crunch,
but more importantly, 
it has acres of garlic and spices, and red, black, short and long grains of ricey niceness,
for underneath, and also inside of the HOUSE-RECIPE VEGAN ROAST!
poultry-esque seasonings, pink beans, tofu, wheat gluten, 
and a few other proprietary blended bits of beigeness,
wrapped around a big lovin' spoonful of that rice,
and baked up into a crisp-bottomed, 
juicy leek-and carrot-basted ball of vegetarian barbarianism!
word up.
slices carved off of that jammer made everybody happy all at once.
roasted rainbow veggies?
teleport:
we doo-doo that pretty-colored pan of everything good:
blue and red potatoes, parsnips, baby carrots, pearl onions, 
butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts.
that's true expert root magic from the earth!
speaking of true magic-
mashed baked sweet potatoes,
with brown sugar and olive oil, black pepper, caramelized shallots,
and from-scratch tempeh bacon bits?
kaBOOMFIRE, b!tches.
if you're not about it, 
i think you need to get outta here.
and while we're getting into orange-hued hottness,
maybe just quickly check the teleport:
butternut squash, cinnamon, olive oil, nutmeg, toasted pecans, and dried cranberrries!!!
c'mon.
that's new england white people sh!t taken to the utmost, am i right?
hahaha.
what did the kids like the best?
the skin-on homeboy style garlic mashed potatoes.
yep.
kids like regular stuff, even when it's not all that regular.
have you been keeping count?
collards, cornbread, roast, double gravy, double dressing, double orange bits,
potatoes, roasted veggies, and cranberry sauce?
that's twelve separate dishes, 
from scratch, 
with very nearly no recipes at all, y';all.
expert recognize expert,
...........and i didn't even mention the hors d'oeuvres or desserts!
woooooooo!!!!
i'm on that proactively practicing what i preach jauns,
and it all happened flawlessly,
and flavorfully,
and with absolute savagery in F*ing full effect.
mmhmmmm.
believe it.
***********
i did an awful lot of all it.
but, i mean, i sort of always do.
my little ampy-d peeled squash, and chopped a lot of stuff.
maple peeled apples and helped some, as well.
the other two?
well,
they were here.
and that's likely a type of moral support, isn't it?
probably.
-
there's hard styles and soft foods, 
family togetherness,
and holiday spirit and memory.
it's all a part of a bigger picture,
and it's all really happening;
never quiet, never soft.....
this is my 400th post this year.
that's tied for the most i've ever written, from back during far worse times.
it's nice to know that i've got more and better true stories to tell these days.
thanks are given, and truths are told.

left overs.

neighbors,
thanksgiving!
y'know?
brown-sugar butter cookies are good for you,
especially when you need a batch as accents for the bigger picture.
and that means you get the exxxtra cookies to munch up in the meantime...
thanksgiving,
and giving thanks,
as in,
affecting an accepting attitude of activation and invitations,
and of being humbled, if only for a small second or two,
by all the good things going on in your life.
i mean,
c'mon.
even though we're not killing any turkeys up here in the woodsly goodness,
and there's no loss of life to reflect on our happiness to be alive,
or any murdered-up munchables to accurately illustrate that plentiful victuals,
virtues, values, and valor are what we're reppin' up here
hidden out amongst the mountains and the trees...
but,
even when there's only vegetables on our plates?
yeah.
we still celebrate like champions.
champions of giving thanks for great efforts and accomplishments...
....especially in the kitchen.
for really real,
gratitude and generosity are what worthy warrior poets are all about every day-
the thing is, though, kids,
that's especially taken to eleven on the designated day dedicated
to gluttonous praise for the abundance of overabundant good food and good times.
even if that's only halfway accurate half of the time-
too much is the right amount,
and THAT'S what we're thankful for.
what's happening is a ferocious, focused, fact-based true story
of actual everyday active participation in the creation of a superlative celebration.
guys,
i made a feast.
i doo-doo that sort of sh!t.
mmmhmmmm.
under the influence of a full-moon,
and the berserker werewolf battle-beastly bad-vibes of a molto mojo mishap,
involving colder climes, tough times, hard styles,
and a whole house full of ladies who watched it all unfold.
that's a thing.
harvest, maple, ampy-d, and my ma.
yikes.
so many girls waiting for food.
yeah.
luckily,
i had my homeboy, crabtree, to help keep the overall manliness of my manse
at higher-than-peak levels.
ha.
he's a rock-solid moon-knight fusilier of cavalier canine catapulting sweetheartedness.
yes, he is.
and i'm thankful for his great big dumb shark-bullet head.
also,
this is the first time my children have seen 'im,
and so far, they're all pretty psyched on each other.
.......anyway,
from early in the morning, i had all those hungry, impatient people,
sitting and staring, sneaking bites, taking naps, and noticing (frequently)
that the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is not a warm and fuzzy place,
no matter how inviting the interior.
word up.
i mean, it's a fortress.
designed to keep me safe, not comfortable,
i started cooking at 6:30 a.m.
beginning with the traditional Tea 'N' Toast,
and continuing into cakes, and cookies, and pastry dough,
and so on and on until 4 p.m.,
when the whole big action was all ready all at once.
i've got my timing down,
and i've got more than eleven items on the mutha-flippin' menu!
expert?
um, i'm inclined to think so.
so what was the final score?
cold people- 3
hungry people- 5
good dog- 0
naughty dog- 1
furious fit-throwing do-it-all-1
helpers- 1.5
nappers- 2
gratefully satisfied lords and ladies of the lair- 6
damn.
it's a good thing that friends don't keep count...
(but they sure-as-sh!t had better take sides.)
rules is rules,
and taking it easy would've been the same as taking a hot sh!t on the table.
success is all i want, and all i've allowed for on the schedule-
nine hours of on-your-feet killing-it crucial albie rock domination,
all devoured in under fifteen minutes.
my life is a never-ending loop of domino effects.
lots of set-up,
a little bit of knocking down,
and a bunch of mess to clean up after.
it's all really happening-
family togetherness, feasting, driving back and forth,
and a from-scratch Folk Life extravaganza of self-celebrating expert creation.
this is What Is,
and that's that;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, November 24

another.

lotus frames!
if i see 'em,
i'm buying 'em.
that's a thing.
i found one,
and it was gold, and that was good.
yesterday,
i went back for more,
and happily they still had another one.
it was lighter, and brighter, too- like a silver lining of flowery freshness.
what did i do?
i grabbed it, and i took it with me to work.
i mean, c'mon.
i'm not going to NOT buy it.
what am i?
an A*-hole who hates cool stuff?
no way, man.
that's not me.
i like the good parts,
and when i find them, i catch hold and i make moves.
that's real.
but what happens on yet another 'nother slower than seasonally-precedented
day of underwhelming hours and hours over at the tattoo spot?
you know it-
we break out the paints again, neighbors.
old cardboard, pens, pencils, and crappy crafty acrylic squirts.
yup.
me and my scissors and another trip to the same old well.
skull monsters?
don't mind if i do.
check the take-two-type teleport:
awwwww.
a little cute plated fleur-de-morte monster head...
...with baby teeth!
my usual poor photograph,
but this time with teeny tiny bites,
cooked up in the small moments when i could be tattooing,
except,
tattooing is especially circumstance-specific up here in the woodsly goodness.
no jokes-
the appointments are getting pretty cheap,
and the cheapskates who make 'em are getting even cheaper.
yikes.
poor people go into pre-christmas hibernation, i think.
saving up all month for bags of socks,
video games,
and XXL 'minions' sweatshirts,
like a bunch of mealy-mouthed weak-sauce waterbabies.
it really seems like time is always unfolding faster than the finances
of these up-here necktards can catch up with.
which is gross,
but doubly so when it effs up my movie check reality even a little bit.
small art in the lean times and meantimes.
doing nothing isn't okay,
and staying still feels like falling backwards.
progress is all i want,
and the process is underway, always, to get ahead of where i'm at.
...life moves in every direction but rewind.
that's a thing;
never quiet, never soft.....

MORE.

AND.
yup.
AND, not OR.
y'know?
like,
too much is the right amount,
and,
i don't want one or the other, i want both.
that's it.
this AND that.
now you get it.
what's the best part about rock bloxxx?
whatever you want or need,
they already GOT they!
huh?
hahahaha.
oh, c'mon.
i'm just sayin',
they're a customizable template for adaptive excellence,
and if you are lookin' for something that represents the total package,
part and parcel, kit and kaboodle with oodles of all of it,
all at once, in one place, fully activated and operational and sensational?
look no further.
the answer is here in these treats, and that answer is delicious.
neighbors,
i freaked it off properly with some demanding ampersand-&-AND-ing cookies:
kaBOOM!
what are they?
they're expert.
and they go to eleven.
obviously.
but what are they, specifically?
ah,
well,
they're chocolate;
& chocolate chip;
& peanut butter;
& coconut;
& oatmeal;
& they've got those frosted sugar stencil ampersand &'s on top, too-
because they are what they are,
which is to say, AND WHAT?!
wordimus prime.
*
treats.
i doo-doo that off-the-cuff/on-the-fly/throw-it-in-a-bowl-style sh!t.
uh-huh.
and i do it pretty hard, and with bleary eyes and a whole lotta yawns,
and a whole lotta dog-kickin' foot-shufflin' jauns, too.
what else would i even do at early-as-F*-o'clock?
baking and being bummed at how wide awake i am.
that is the two-sided solution set.
i bake things, i break things,
and occasionally, when the opportunity arises, i also make things.
yeah.
....and this is it.
tomorrow and thursday,
i'll be working harder than i do during my days at work,
and that by a well-defined inclined degree of difficulty.
traffic-packed long drives,
and hours and hours of slow cooking, fast frying, short stacks and quickbreads;
entertaining and draining the trough of family togetherness;
creating memorable moments,
timing twenty hundred types of treats to all be ready at once;
planning, predicting, and paying molto molto attention
to the continued good humors of my houseguests;
and all while walking this dastardly dog at regular intervals
through this irregular intervale that i dwell within.
um,
also,
there will be the roasting a whole heck of a lot of potatoes,
with more than a few blazing barbarian cast-iron hot fires keeping us
tight, snug, dry, and warm.
dang.
i'm about to be the busiest bee in the hive,
and we all know nobody gives a sting about the king bee.
awwww.
hard styles and long nights, loud days and early mornings,
tough times and great food-
this is What Is,
there's only room for AND.
more is what's really happening,
and that's got to be good for us;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Monday, November 23

lotus.

not busy.
ew.
that's not how sundays are supposed to be.
at work, i mean.
they can be easy if you're sitting around at home,
or whatever and wherever regular people span time and space
doing regular weekend day-off sportsing and lounging.
but,
on my irregular but consistent sunday afternoons,
i want the tattoo shop to be a busting hotbed of sweet moolah
and fat stacks on stacks on stacks of big action.
unfortunately,
nature wins,
...even when we don't want to play-
and biting bitter cold and drizzly misty rain teamed up to form up
a force field of unpleasantry that surrounded the studio,
and kept any worthwhile movie checks from breaking through.
i didn't do nothing.
i never ever do that.
but,
in between hard styles and tough tatzap crap slaps,
i also broke out the not busy bust-out budget paints.
yep.
why?
because t.j. maxx had a fresh-to-death little frame,
and i scoopled it up.
yup.
the teej has all the top-secret white-people stuff,
and when i find it, i get it, because i want it.
and that flowery framework needed a little activation inside the central circle.
luckily,
i doo-doo that cheap-art baby-bite-sized makery.
neighbors,
i had a little minute, so i made a little thing-
check the discount-dopeness-type-teleport:
right??
they have another 'nother one,
and i think i'm gonna have to go get that one, too.
small art in small spaces in spare moments is good for you.... like nutrients.
***********
there's a lull in the overlapping circles of spirit and memory.
a deep breath,
a pregnant pause,
a sense of purpose,
and a feeling of foreboding-
thanksgiving gratitude and generosity are headed my way,
in heaps and piles, mounds, mountains, and rivers of F*ing gravy-
in these final days and nights leading up to the gregarious gluttony
of a considerate and concentrated coalesced family togetherness extravaganza,
there's time to reflect on the events of this year,
and years past,
and to observe a moment or two in professionally-accredited appreciation
of the worthy warrior poetry;
savage stormswept raging gypsy machinations;
berserker barbarian battle beastly bard business;
shark-gluttonous good-food Folk Life Libertarianism;
lightning-striking virtuous viking values-driven victory;
and active participation in words and deeds for all the days before today.
...and today is the day,
just like every day.
and in a few days, it'll be an even big bigger day-
but all of 'em, all the time, are all really happening,
and i'm grateful for the time i have been given;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, November 22

straight up.

so,
there's this thing that has been giving me a little anxiety.
yeah.
a little stressie-stress all up in my chest.
you see,
crabtree's ears weren't up.
huh?
neighbors, that's a thing.
the pups have gotta have the big ups.
bull terriers have pointy upright erect and alert ears.
otherwise,
they're sh!tty at being bull terriers.
rules is rules.
the standard for heroic specimens of battle-beastliness is very clear.
and that's why i was concerned that the gross calcium upgrade
i've been feeding him wasn't doing it's thing.
at all.
you don't want to gross yourself out every day for nothin', do you?
well, i don't.
that's for sure.
so,
i've had some stress that crabby might've NOT
been as expert as i would've hoped-
what with one defective and indifferent ear, an' that.
and it's been bumming me out,
because that means that taping his tips together in a binding situation,
reminiscent of ancient chinese courtesans, was due to begin today.
and that's been effing with me all week.....
until yesterday, that is!
talk about a buzzer beater-
he finally got on board with the burly cartilage construction i've been encouraging,
and his whole head is looking verrrrrry rad, all at once.
word up.
guys,
check out this upright citizen's fine upstanding pointy totoro ears:
BOOM!
twin ^^ arrows of still-not-listening-to-me-at-allness!
so handsome?
SO handsome!
he couldn't care less,
unless there's treats,
in which case, he'll grudgingly pretend to give over half a sh!t.
teleport:
sooooo many biscuits were harmed in the making of this photo.
he's getting big, and occupying all my time.
last night was a tooth-and-claw title fight tournament between us,
and i'll admit that for a little minute i was worried i wouldn't win.
luckily,
he's still small,
which helped considerably.
the thing is,
he is still just a playful little puppy,
but,
he's MY playful little puppy,
and i'm not about to let his instincts determine the rewriting of any of
the house rules in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
nature wins,
but up in here, at the threshold of the woodsly goodness,
nurture is strictly enforced.
*
those ears, however.
yuuuuuuup.
those ears are looking good.
and looking good is something i hold in high esteem.
he's got weird eyes, he's got a big, long, dumb head, he's a stout little potato,
but he's exceeding the parameters of what it means to be what he is.
ugly can be beautiful, kids.
remember that.,
because pretty can only remain average.
too much is the right amount,
and that means we're on the right track over here;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, November 20

november-flavored

mmmmmmmm.
mmhmm.
neighbors,
check the teleport:
daaaaaaaaaaaaamn!
that's that good thang.
that's that new new.
that's that hottness.
that's what's up.
cake for breakfast, cake for lunch, and cake for dinner-
i want all the cake, all the time, right now, and later on as well.
what's really good in the woods?
......this cake, friends.
believe it.
cinnamon crumbly coffee cake, all soft and sweet and spiced,
with chopped up dried cranberries in there,
to make sure it's especially novemberish, and autumnal, and expert.
......and it's super expert, guys.
that's a thing.
on top of that hearty heavenly magical mutha-'ucking cake,
there's a whole fat layer of pie-style baked spiced apples, too.
yup.
with the sweetness, and the moistness, and the apple-activated nutrients,
and all the other other stuff that accompanies the fall's best fruit.
but that's not all, y'all.
how could it be, when too much is the right amount?
that's right!
we take things to eleven around here,
and the dutch-style crumb-crumblin' streusel sh!t i doo-doo
when it's time to do the right thing to an already fantastic treat
absolutely meets the criteria.
yup.
brown sugar, confectioners sugar, vanilla, butterishness, flour, oats,
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger,
and toasted coconut flakes.
word up.
that subtle kiss of coconut ties the whole damned thing together.
i mean,
c'mon.
if that doesn't sound like the best part of november thus far,
i don't think you've been listening closely enough.
-
what?
is that all?
no.
it's OBviously not all.
you can clearly see that in the picture.
don't be dumb.
it's not a good look.
y'know what IS a good look though?
yes, that's correct-.
a stout scoople of vanilla almond milk!
you gotta a la mode a fat breakfast slice,
and if you've gone that far,
you can't really skip out on homemade cinnamon caramel drizzle, too.
uh-huh.
brown sugar and vanilla and earth balance butters and cinnamon and soymilk,
melted together until the sugar crystals all got smooth,
and the sauciness started to thin itself out,
for a sophisticated sweet drippin' drop,
across and over and down on the whole freakin' thing.
yum?
F*ing right it's yum.
get on my level over here, guys.
in fact,
get over to the studio,
get yourself a slice,
and get excited for all the loud fresh, hardness that's about to pop off in your face!
that's real.
*
making treats is my meditation.
the powerful focus of a free-form process of additive activation,
the creation of cake as a corollary to intention and attention.
it's good for me to make things from scratch,
and it's even better to make it up as i go along.
i think that makes my brain better at thinking?
probably.
the thing of it is,
treats are so good, but also so bad.
balance is important,
but rules is rules,
and too much is the right amount.
too much treats is what i want,
and in my bellyhole is where i want them....
eating them is my undoing,
and the whole process ends in shark-gluttony
and self-destructive ingestion and indigestion.
that's how it goes.
the truth is,
the treats are so good, the consequences will never outweigh the joy of devouring
metric tonnage of that cakey new hottness from the future.
my eyes and my mouth are always open,
and i see it all really happening.
this is the way november should taste,
sweet, warm, spicy, and rich-
and this is the way november should feel.
full, and empty, at the same time;
never quiet, never soft.....

simple can't come over.

guys,
i just wanted a chocolate chip cookie.
y'know?
like,
a regular cookie.
but,
that's not how experts do their thing,
so instead, i made double-buttery crisp creamchee' chocolate chip jauns,
and i stamped 'em into circles,
and then i added another 'nother stampy style to the mix as well.
yeah.
stars.
circles and stars and super-official activated awesomeness, all at once.
they look almost regular,
but they taste totally elite.
that's what's up.
tell you what,
why don'tcha go on ahead and check the teleport:
see?
what?
oh, well, c'mon now, neighbors-
i said SOMEtimes i want a regular chocolate chip cookie.
my treats game is steady evolving into new hottnesses like sugar-baked pokemon.
ha.
if superstar discs of miniature-chip-chocked rocks are good,
then a whole herd of chocolate-striped tricera-chips are even better.
yup.
too much is the right amount,
and more chocolate has never ruined a cookie in my kitchen.
...for real.
*
also,
triceratops?
still my favorite dinosaur.
he's the best one.
i'll make special exceptions for other ceratopsian,
like my homeboy the torosaurus,
or even a styracosaur,
because exxxtra spikes are exxxtra expert,
but the tri-guy is still my main dude.
and friends,
you may not already know this,
but the extended family of my prehistoric beak-and-horned herbivores is huge.
teleport:
damn.
more is better, though.
and some of those fellas have got some serious cuffs, ruffs, frills, and spoilers.
i still prefer them in chocolate and sugar,
but regardless of the confection level,
my affection is true.
*
it's hard to get excited for a long walk with your dog when it's raining.
he's not into it,
i'm not into it,
the weather is intent on ruining it,
and all of it combined makes for a grim start to a long day.
that's no joke.
so,
instead,
maybe we'll just chase each other around the house until i'm panting and sweaty,
and he's still supercharged and ready for more.
we've got a relationship, he and i,
and it's largely based on biting things and eating food.
i swear he might be my spirit animal made flesh.
so that's it.
bad weather, no sleep, cookies, and dinosaurs.
what else could you possibly want?
it's all really happening;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, November 19

BIG bites.

hey neighbors-
i haven't run this much in years.
what?
literally, running.
running after this dog.
running away from this dog.
running to the store to get stuff for this dog.
running into walls because i'm exhausted from following this dog around.
yep.
we gotta run around together, he and i.
not running around is not an option available on this menu, kids.
that's no joke.
i'm telling you,
after almost a month of puppy interactive participation,
the one truth i can attest to?
a tired crabby is the only good crabby;
awwwwwwww.
and the thing of it is-
he NEVER gets tired as fast as i do.
y'know?
i'm just sayin',
he's over here F*ing napping,
after administering an astonishingly admonishing 4 a.m. restless roll-around rising,
and a 5 a.m. all-the-way wake up and eliminate outdoors session.
meanwhile,
i'm over here wide awake,
melting dark chocolate for ganache,
and he's charging up his little A*-hole sh!t-machines to spread cheer, and terror,
and, of course, feces,
all over the whole of the woodsly goodness.
hahaha.
i might've effed up what was left of the un-effed recesses of my life with this decision.
that's that wrench choosing jauns,
and that seems to be what i do.
a limitless group of choices,
and i still keep going for that same pipey-monkeyworks-wrecker.
rules is rules, i guess.
so here i am,
up, at 'em, and activated,
with bleary eyes, a busted facepiece, ten bitten fingers,
and an embarrassingly early went-to-bedtime,
or,
more truthfully, a ridiculously overtired passed-the-F*-out-time.
yup.
i doo-doo that drop-right-where-i-stop-style sh!t.
and then i repeat the process, again, and again,
while crabtree learns only a little,
and then maybe, just maybe, he learns a little more.
it's probably the naps that do it.
***********
alright,
so i'm tired a lot.
y'know what else i am,
especially on wednesdays?
yuuuuuuuuuuuuup.
i'm one mean cookin' sunovab!tch.
word up.
and when it's a wu-TANG word up wednesday,
you know i gotta get it poppin' like a pro, yo.
real talk.
this time around i went big.
yeah.
empanadas grandes.
that's my move.
while y'all're over there reppin' little puffy pockets;
i'm up in here dominating pastry backpacks.
boom.
check the big-dirty-type teleport:
muy sucio!!
guys,
i didn't measure a flippin' thing,
but i know i put in a whole lotta buttery balance in that bread.
with flour, ground up cashews,
and a slap of vegan creamchee', a dash of salt,
and that's it.
after folding it a few times,
and chilling it down and out while i made everything else,
i had the flakiest crumbliest butteriest best crust i've had yet.
mmmhmmm.
that's real
and inside of 'em?
lentils, and that coarse ground cashew debris, and butternut squash;
and onions and garlic;
and poblano and green pepper, and cayenne pepper;
with cilantro, coriander, marjoram, mexican oregano,
hot paprika, cumin, and g.p.o.p. (obvi),;
a quick flash deglaze of apple cider vinegar,
and some time off-heat to fuse it all into a cohesive unit of excellence,
and the freshest fall roasty toasty nutty-nuanced hearty filling
fulfilled all of my flavor desires for the day.
damn.
plus,
i cut those little hearts, and those tiny +'s into the tops,
after i folded them up, and shaped them into bricks,
because i like cute stuff, alright?
alright.
and once i cuteified the packages,
i re-chilled them for a few.
huh?
that's the secret to superflaky buttery baked hottness, guys.
you don't want the fats to soften before the furious fire hits the shell.
c'mon.
did you say salsa?
i hope so.
i cooked down, and kept warm, a hot hot diced tomato,
green chili, poblano, jalapeno, onion, garlic, herb, spice,
and broth blend of sweet, spicy, slow-simmered sexxiness,
and the chunkiness added all kinds of depth and texture
to those delicate pouches of perfection.
i'm kind of all about that onslaught of awesome.
-
dirty coconut rice.
that's what's up.
red onions, garlic, peppers, and cilantro,
with long grain goodness, steeped in coconut milk
until all that fatty-boombattie business is soaked in, and fired up,
and finished off with a dash of cilantro.
yup.
sprankles are what make it expert.
that's real.
-
and we need to get magical with some brown blarpity refried beans,
activated with a blast of nootch,
and onions, and garlic, and more g.p.o.p.,
and vegan butters, and a dash of ho' sauce,
because they're good on their own,
but they're even better when they're hooked up.
scallion sprankles?
obviously.
too much is the right amount,
and i wouldn't want to let myself down, now, would i?
no way, duders.
my grind stays at eleven until i fall asleep.
days off are even busier than days on.
that's a rule.
i work hard at what they want,
because nobody likes a lazy slack-A*,
but,
i work even harder at what i want.
because nobody else is going to do what i do,
and certainly not FOR me.
i've got a dog,
i've got an oven,
i've got a hard style,
and it's all really happening,
from before the break of dawn, until well past dark;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, November 17

crabby encroachment.

how would YOU take it if somebody gave you
a sequentially conflicting pair of statements?
like,
specifically,
if first they said:
'the only way to have a great dog is to bring him everywhere with you.';
and then immediately followed that with:
'i don't want you to bring your dog here with you.'
what would you think?
admittedly,
i'm a pessimistic cynical skeptic,
as a a result of one lifetime-to-date of doo-doo buttery disappointments
all lined up like sh!t-salad dominoes, and falling down before the final set up is finished.
awwwwwww.
that said,
my disposition colored the conversation with skidmarks of syllabic sepsis,
and i naturally took the gist of it to mean that this individual wishes for me
to have a not-great dog.
logically,
i believe that is a conclusion that makes linear sense.
but,
if we're all being honest with each other,
which is a thing, i believe in-
i discredit any use of logic in this instance,
and instead,
i believe it's emotionally that this person wishes for me to have a not-great dog.
y'know?
as in, for personal reasons, my failure would bring them happiness.
damn.
that's sort of a hard style.
i mean, i get it.
i'm guilty of it, too, sometimes;
or a lot of the time;
or most of the time, even.
but,
crabtree doesn't bother anybody.
(except, possibly this disapprover, i s'pose)
of course,
we're learning how to be be good, together.
in fact,
the strictly regimented schedule we've kept for the past three weeks
has got his little heinie doing what it needs to out of doors, reliably,
whenever i'm in charge of his care and training,
which just so happens to be always, anyway.
i'm just sayin', neighbors,
look at the faces of these two happy chappies:
c'mon!
no harm, no foul, no problems;
just two worthy warrior poets,
with big dumb heads, weird eyes, and recalcitrant dispositions,
spanning time and enriching lives in our own respective unique ways.
here's the thing-
he needs certain helpful assistance throughout this essential, imprintable,
positivity-reinforcing training period in his little life;
and i need to be the one that gives it to him.
he's my dude, and he needs to take sh!ts and stuff like that,
because his little body can only hold 'em for so long.
i'm not about to horrify his whole scene with crate-poops
and bladder-bursting urine soaked sheets or whatever.
that's not very cool, nor very nice,
and certainly not the right way to socialize and support a new little fella
with the routines and regimens that he requires.
word up.
i'm over here trying to create something expert out of a blank slate.
it isn't easy, but what the F* ever is?
uh-huh.
***********
alligator-headed shark-bullet blanco barbarian business isn't all stress,
and clandestine crate-training at the tattoo-studio.
nope.
some of it is still about playing.
yep.
playing is the key to making your dog like you.
turns out,
just making him sit down for cookies isn't going to win any real affection,
but a big ol' batch of toys being tossed and tugged and thrown around has got the
attention-attachment activation that my little crab-man craves.
to that end,
i've upgraded my alligator assortment for maximum enjoyment.
check the exxxtra-gatory-type teleport:
wooooooo!
when i find 'em, i get 'em,
and then we play with 'em.
there are a lot of them out there,
and my completionist obsessive acquisitional personality LOVES that.
crabby might be just as happy with turtles, plain old rectangles of fabric,
heck,
he seems pretty psyched to try and eat his cutesy stuffed bed, actually.
but,
this is my house,
and i'm decreeing that albiegators are the toy of choice,
followed by crustaceans and cartilaginous predatory ocean-dwellers.
boom.
there it is.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is a busier place with this beast within it's walls,
and that's making everything more complicated.
that's the way i like it.
it's all really happening,
and there's much less wasted time for my trouble;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, November 16

i pan well.

if you're not into pancakes,
we can't hang out.
....i'm serious.
panniecakes are kind of a friendship test.
if you're using box mix?
FAIL.
if you're using fake brownified maple-ish syrup?
FAIL.
if you're only reppin' one kind of flour?
i won't fail you for that...
...but you're getting an incomplete.
ha.
but, i mean, i DO take panniecakes seriously.
and also,
i take 'em to eleven.
what else would i do,
and why else would i heat up the griddle
if not to fire it up with some expertism?
word.
when it's time to get busy with breakfast here in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
we use at least three kinds of flour,
and we curdle our own buttery-soymilk,
and there's shapes involved,
and vanilla because they're cakes and not just breads.
and we combine textures,
and activate toppings,
and most of all, we drizzle that really real maple syrup.
huh?
whaaaaat?
why doo-doo all that work,
just for a stack of golden griddle cakes?
because too much is the right amount,
and when you truly know what the hottness is already,
you can't just pretend that some tepid-A* jauns have got it poppin',
c'mon.
that's liarmouth diaperbaby sh!t,
bush league self-delusion,
weak sauce of the lowest caliber,
and that's NOT the way we start our days, neighbors.
real talk.
it starts with the pancakes, and spreads to the house, y'all.
check the over-arcing-thematic-unity-type teleport:
wu-TANG!!
coconut oatmeal circle-patterned perfection;
with those apples making the whole thing exxxtra-turbo elite.
yep.
coconut oil and butterish pats heating up those fruity booty slices,
cut thick, and cooked right on up with the skins still on
and kissed with brown sugar that was allowed to caramelize,
on both sides, for that sweet glazed goodness that screams out new england-
and then turned up one more notch
with cinnamon sprankles,
to make damned sure you know it's no joke to come over here and eat with me.
mmmhmmmm.
i just love pancakes, kids.
what can i say?
truth-tellers can never stop.
i s'pose that's just the way it is.
*
there's lots to do this month.
yard work.
hard work.
cooking.
baking.
entertaining.
training.
dog training.
XI-mas amassing.
jeez.
mix in all the tattzaps,
and the fires,
and the walks,
and the drives,
and before too long,
it's a crazy jam-packed smorgasbord bouillabaisse of big actions,
active participation, activated articulation, and interactive family togetherness.
damn.
halfway through it, and there's still twice as much on the back end as there was up front.
it's a big booty b!tch of a november,
and it's all twerk and no play until the last gasps of december.
i AM grateful for the time i have been given,
i just wish there was a little bit MORE of it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, November 14

winded.

aaaaargh.
the wind, duders.
ill winds, and ill tidings,
and illmatic magical mastery of the elements,
and that ill na-na.
two of those are currently happening,
and i'll give you a hint which two-
there's blowing, blustering, bellowing, billowing, and befouling
all along the ley lines and lateral limits of the woodsly goodness.
yuck.
i hate wind.
i do.
i know it precedes changes,
and it carries answers,
and that it makes the fluidity of air into currents of charged and sensate
skin-tingling tactile tsunamis of spirit and memory.
however,
right now,
it's making itself into knives of bone-biting cold,
and my dumb ears are bright red and stinging
from walking around with crabtree on our morning constitutional.
...and i'm just not into it.
-
i AM,
however, very much into chocolate and coconut.
yup.
they go together.
and they love each other.
and i love that about them,
and i love to put that kind of unity in my mother-F*ing mouth.
neighbors,
check the teleport:
oatmeal brown sugar coconut bars!
they're all lumpy, and moist, and thick, and hearty,
with chunky oats and coconut flakes making the texture really take off.
that's good.
and the middle is stacked up with a big blowout of cocoa and coconut frosting,
filling in and up and our from the radius of that rectangle.
is that a thing?
i think so.
plus,
i got that drizzle jauns going strong on top.
stripes of coconut chocolate ganache, all dark and dreamy,
slashed across the surface,
just sticky enough to adhere all those fancy flaky coconut sprankles.
word up.
i want that expert activation at all time.
and i have it, because i create it.
we cultivate coincidences,
but we make our own fortunes.
that's definitely a thing.
***********
while those of us in the remote north aren't nearly as likely
to be exploded as many european semi-socialist urban centers are.
...and as an aside-
seriously, WTF?
paris is such a lovably dirty, old, busted, cliche',
why would anybody want to blow it up?
the idea that murdering concertgoers is a way to enforce policy change
is pretty preposterous, and very ugly,
and completely removed from sanity.
especially since there's no way the french government
actually respects the eagles of death metal OR their fans.
the actual eagles, maybe,
and even then, hotel california only carries so much weight in the modern age.
but for real, though-
replacing zealotry for reason means you're a total A*-hole.
for real.
bombing yourself into pink mud to make a point
isn't even a symbolically pyrrhic victory,
it's a mean-spirited mess,
and a public-service-workers' nightmare.
NObody in paris is going to clean that up.
i mean,
c'mon...
there's human sh!t on the sidewalks, and nobody even notices.
now there's terror-attack literal body-paint on the everything else?
i do believe they'll have to go on strike
to campaign for another 'nother 'nother paid month off from work every year.
jeez.
anyway,
it sucks when terrible things happen.
always.
those bombings/shootings/sh!thead attacks were a b!tch-ass thing to do.
*
and it doesn't compare, or correlate,
but we did have an armed bank robbery yesterday.
yes.
we did.
i'm pretty sure my deposit at the branch is now getting spent by a male suspect
in women's skinny jeans and a blonde wig,
after a legit old-school holdup.
wow.
the rural reaches of northern new england are getting a bit rough,
at least for where we're at,
and what we've got to offer.
friday the thirteenth was a real piece of poop.
i think that is what happens.
i'm troubled by the events that unfold in pain and suffering;
i'm discouraged that crime and shortcut greed are invading my immediate world;
i'm exhausted from responsibilties that require my constant upkeep and support;
it's ALL really happening,
and it couldn't possibly always be good news;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, November 13

thirteen unlucky numbers.

today.
yes, neighbors.
today is the day.
the unlucky one.
that's right.
you can't have a sandwich week without the follow-up having
a spooky, kooky, friday the thirteenth secret murder jinx explosion.
mhmm.
it's just math, really.
if a month starts on a sunday,
thirteen days later, it's friday.
every time.
forever.
the math on this one, though, seems to support the superstition.
yep.
and it's SO super, too.
ha.
the curse is coming down hard on today.
bad timing and harsh tidings are coupled with the glowering gloom looming
above the woodsly goodness like a foul black mood made of foul black skies,
and also november's predictably unhappy general gray malaise.
...on the plus side,
i've got tattz on tattz on tattz, all day long;
and on the plus/mega-minus side,
i've got my handsome homeboy crabtree with me,
demanding an exxxtra-large order of my complete attention.
he's dope, but dang it, he's a pain in the workplace.
i mean,
it's pretty hard to devote one hundred percent to either, tattoo or dog,
and it's just as hard to subtract from one or the other, too-
the repercussions and ramifications are pretty hefty, whichever direction you choose.
guys,
you're damned if you doo-doo, and damned if you do not.
word up.
that sounds like my kind of party.
now,
what happens when you need to be 200% expert, all day long?
ummmm.
you grab that wrench,
you hump the beehive,
and you take it to eleven.
metaphorically, at any rate
.....and also,
you most likely freak the eff out,
and also also fail pretty spectacularly.
yeah!
too much is the right amount,
and i s'pose if we're being honest, (which i always am)
i like it when things are terrible.
what?
that's not that weird.
you know the rules-
easy days make for lazy people,
and good fortune is wasted on good storytellers.
whereas harder styles make for bigger action and better people.
real talk.
the most furious forges full of the hottest fire temper the truest steel,
and when this winter is finished,
i plan to be a mutha-F*ing +ULFBERH+T, b!tches.
if you don't know,
you'd better ask a friendly lightning-striking viking about it.
oh, yeah-
AND it's sh!tty weather outside, again, today.
ha.
that means there's no room to maneuver my day into any sort
of  free time/play time/outside time-outs;
and i imagine it'll be that much harder to wrangle up any of those few
sympathetic coworkers to my cause, as well-
the rain, the work, and the weak-sauce are all collaborating on a sh!t-salad
triskadecafailure, in freshly-defecated fragrant F*ing full effect.
this is not a complaint, kiddos.
it's a pep talk.
it's time you learned that litany is my liturgy...
heck,
i'm probably preaching to a hot fie choir already.
who'd keep reading if they weren't on board beforehand, am i right?
***********
wow.
did you read that?
or did you just scroll to find the picture?
it's okay.
y'know what goes great with much too early mornings,
and far too full days,
and calendar calamities of imagined fortunes and doomed dates?
yep.
tarts!
or, tiny tartlets!
or cutesy little baby bites of powerful flavor, and all the textures, too.
check the coconut-and-caramel-and-chocolate-type teleport:
THIRTEENIE-THIRTINY-THIRTARTS!
i dunno if that nomenclature works,
but i DO know that they're great.
coconut flour in with the creamchee' puff pastry dough,
chilled and pressed into mini muffin cups,
and baked until jusssssst golden at the edges.
that's expert.
i made vegan coconut caramel, too.
i did.
brown sugar, butterish, vanilla, a splishsplash of soymilk,
a pat of creamchee', and a shake or two of coconut,
hot heat melted up, bubbled down, stirred together,
and scoopled right into those crispy petite pastries.
mmmmmm.
delicious.
that would've been a victory all by it's lonesome,
but,
that's not even kind of the thing that would be tolerated here
in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen .
no way.
what do we want?
we want MORE everything!!
so,
there's crema-de-coco, and dark dark dark chocolate,
melted together with pow-pow-powdered sugar,
and a drop of vanilla, to make a lava-hot ganache drizzled in stripes on top of each.
ka-BOOM.
that makes 'em very excellent,
but it's not enough.
(it never is).
i had other other treats going strong in a whole other kind of cakey scene,
and they had frosting involved.
y'know what happens when there's exxxtra frosting?
yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup.
it's not exxxtra anymore, it's just right.
chocolate coconut frosting swirlies,
blopped onto the already elite little baby bombs?
that's expert expert.
how do we finish that?
how indeed.
clearly, the correct answer was a light dusting of confectioners sugar snowfrost.
awwwwww, they're so cute.
and tasty.
really.
i could pop a whole batch down the hatch,
and go into a sugarshock tart coma pretty easily.
*
today is the day,
and tomorrow, and sunday, and monday,
and tuesday all have similar scenes.
it's all really happening.
more work,
more responsibilities,
more accountability,
more treats,
more of everything.
i guess i should start being more specific about what i'd like to have more of?
i want MORE time,
MORE money,
MORE successive successes,
MORE victory.
in the meantime,
i've got more wars to wage, more worries to wear me out, more wreckage to rake,
and all of it,
no mater what, is all really happening.
that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, November 12

cornbread and chill?

real maple syrup, neighbors.
yeah.
that's what i do.
new england cornbread is semi-sweet, with a hint of that tree-sap happiness
drizzled into the grits and grains.
mmhmmm.
cornbread is good.
like,
deliciously moist, and crumbly,
and with a thin crisp skin where the heat holds it together along the edges
of where corn and bread and pan all collide.
expert!
y'know what makes cornbread even better?
chili.
yeah.
that's no joke.
when the red part soaks into the yellow part,
and both parts get activated a little exxxtra?
that's what's up.
and after a long, bleak, dreary, lugubrious length of an actual,
literal but metaphorically-lacking eleven eleven day?
.......wordimus prime.
i doo-doo that chilly-weather chili hottness in my whole facehole.
go ahead, start with a quick teleport check:
BAM!
onions, browned up a bit,
and then green bell pepper, and poblano pepper,
and one fat carrot, and two stalks of celery,
and five cloves of garlic, all minced into tiny pieces in a hand-crank food processor.
when that got a little too hot to avoid sticking to the pot-bottom,
i deglazed it with a splash of cider vinegar,
and added in a whole mess of diced tomatoes.
when that got naughty, i added a big italian-style vat of crushed tomatoes,
and a splash of tamari, and water with that veggie bouillon business in it, too.
yum.
cayenne, and crushed red pepper, and black pepper, and cumin, and oregano,
and ginger, and dried mustard, and g.p.o.p. (obvi),
with coriander and sage for good measure,
with a bay leaf, or two,
because i guess that's the way to get into the spirit of the thing.
and when it reduced a bit, as all those veggies soaked and saturated
and spread the F* out,
i fired up some light red beans AND some black beans,
and threw in a whole mess of parsley and cilantro.
yep.
i'm deep into that chili scene, kids.
plus, because it was eleven eleven,
i took dinner there, too.
caramelized leeks?
that's that green onions goodness that gets all the people hollerin'.
and pan-fried homemade lightly seasoned seitan strips?
c'mon.
don't even try to front like that's not SO luscious.
i know better, and so do you.
when it's time to rock a chili party,
you know who to call, y'all.
and with exxxtra cilantro sprankles,
and a fattie wedge of that oven-hot still-piping cornbread,
my pre-woodstackin' power-up was totally and completely expert.
the spice level was nose-runnily righteous,
the food temperature was tongue-burningly toasty,
the heartiness of every element was like an earth elemental from the future,
and all of it had all the flavor, and then some,
that i hope you've come to expect and appreciate, in words and pictures,
from the homeliest homeboy in the heart of these here hills.
yeah.
***********
this is what makes my day.
talking about food i eat.
eating food i make.
making food to eat and talk about.
it's all really happening,
and the highlights are all edible;
never quiet, never soft.....

november rains reign supreme.

no-thanks-vember.
jeez.
so much rain.
so much fog.
so much firewood.
well,
not really SO much firewood,
but some firewood, certainly.
a cord in the a.m.,
and another one after dark,
with one last other 'nother batch of red oak and rock maple headed over this morning.
yup.
now, last year,
i missed out on burning wood indoors.
because i waited too long to order wood,
and somehow the woodsly goodness ran out.
i'd never heard of such a thing, either,
but i still didn't get any, and that was the reason why.
also,
i don't know if i really missed out,
because i used real modern-technology heat throughout the whole of the
holy halls of my Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and it actually heated the whole of it, as well;
which truly was kind of flippin' awesome,
being that it was the first winter i didn't think i'd freeze to death indoors.
for serious.
anyway,
if the hotness isn't as important as that hottness jauns,
then for ambiance,
and for rural realness,
and for a messy, dusty, dirty, debris-strewn main feasting room,
wood is good, neighbors.
that's real talk from the mountains an' that..
i ordered it early,
when it was still light outside after 4 p.m.,
and when the temperature wasn't terrible sweater-worthy-
and even then,
the delivery happened nearly two months from the date of order,
damn,
rustic busted bumpkins have got that lumberjackin' demand on blasssssst.
but,
the duder who brought it out here came through from the middle of maine,
and he hauled over the cleanest, neatest, nicest batch of logs i've ever gotten.
i mean it.
and what's more, the delivery was prompt, early, in fact,
and everything was as promised.
i LOVE that.
and then, i got crackin' on the stackin'.
that morning cord?
check the teleport:
.......boom.
one hour of sweat equity, invested in power squats and splinters.
expert.
and much later,
after dinner, and the baking of treats, and some quality crabtree time,
i went back out, to the illumination of my headlights,
and the soundtrack of my car stereo,
and crushed cord number two, too:
word up.
it turns out, i'm not afraid of manual labor at all.
i mean,
i was trying to dominate the job into submission,
so i could resume the remainder of my day off with some semblance of
active participation in pleasure.
instead,
after the shortest of showers to remove the spiders and the slivers,
my good, sweet boy and i both instantly did this:
ha.
c'mon.
ampy-d was there to capture the moment,
but crabtree and i were out cold.
straight reppin' those molto molto ZZZ's.
why was he so tired?
i think it has to be because he's a TERRIBLE helper.
it must be draining to only cause complications
in every single facet of a whole entire day right?
i'll bet.
i mean, it wore me out fairly quickly.
guys,
he tried to eat the leaves before i raked;
he tried to eat the rake when i cleared the leaves from the shed;
he tried to eat the wood when i started stacking it;
he tried to escape through the slats of the shed when he had any available free seconds;
and,
he ran around the whole house a hundred thousand times, inside, outside, upstairs
and everywhere else.
it's exhausting hanging out with him.
that's a thing.
we ran up my street's semi-steep incline,
and where i was winded and weary,
he was primed and powered up for even MORE.
damn.
my cardio levels need to get elevated pronto.
i think it's worth mentioning that when there's a downpour,
and the heavy rains fall on thirsty wood,
from maine to the intervale of bartlett, new hampshire,
said wood gets F*ing saturated,
and heavy as all heck.
i can't imagine how much less uncomfortable it would've been had the
weather, and the wood, and the puppy all been cooperative.
instead,
i made do,
and i did what needed doing, and i still found time to go out and get
some late november ornaments and lights for my impending thanksgiving guests to enjoy.
there's work to do,
always,
and i'm always working.
nobody wants to see that sh!t, though, y'know?
y'all wanna see me LIVE.
well, i'm alive,
and i'm livin' a lucid, lurid, leering, lubricious dream.
it involves wet wood and a hot box,
but i don't think it means what you think it means;
never quiet, never soft.....