Dog Days of Podcasting: Steeping


I wrote a cafe vignette called “Steeping” yesterday, and recorded it for today’s entry into the Dog Days of Podcasting project.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I can’t believe you lingered here long enough to let espresso go cold, as busy as it is in here today,” Sarah ventured once they were alone again.

“I was working on a poem,” David confessed.

“I had no idea you were a poet. Are you published? Can I read your stuff?”
“I am, when I’m not wearing bike pants and delivering documents around town,” David answered, taking each of her questions in order. “I’ve published a couple pieces here and there,” he continued. “And as to reading it…the stuff I’m working on right now needs to steep a bit.”

“Poems steep?”

“Just like tea,” David said.

You can listen to the whole piece at SoundCloud or click play in the applet below:

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Dog Days of Podcasting

Taking Myself to Bed


There are days when I wake up in the morning and am disgustingly perky, bouncing in and out of the bathroom, dancing my way to the kitchen, making coffee because I want it, and not because I need it.

Then there are the days like today, when I woke up aching from head to toe, feeling like my brain was wrapped in gauze, and that every movement required me to swim through pudding. I have these days about once a month, but this one snuck up on me, although, in retrospect it explains the meltdown I had via email with two good friends. Hormones are SO much fun!

Fortunately, today was a day where I had no deadlines, so I was able to take myself off to bed as soon as I’d finished wrangling the dogs (the three older ones have to be fed before the puppy can be let out in the morning, or no one eats the right food, and since the four dogs have three different types of very expensive grain-free dog food, this is an important part of my mornings).

I had every intention of doing some writing, but my brain and body joined forces and dragged me into sleep, and so, I spent most of the day curled up on the bed with a stack of books remaining largely ignored, the computers all turned off, and three of the four dogs curled up near me.

Around five, I began to feel slightly more human. Or at least, I felt hungry, so I had a tuna sandwich and part of a ginger ale, took a shower, read magazines for a while, and ran to the grocery store, though I still had that pudding-feeling.

The house is devoid of chocolate (with the exception of chocolate protein shake mix), and I made a point of NOT buying any at the store, but when we got home, I brewed some lovely Kusmi tea which had come in my last Birchbox. The flavor was called “euphoria” and was roasted mate with chocolate and orange. I added a level teaspoon of turbinado sugar, and while I didn’t feel euphoric after drinking it, I did feel a bit more grounded and centered.

Another mug of tea followed about an hour later, along with a cup of strawberry Chobani yogurt, and a ton of water.

And now? Now it’s just after midnight, and while several layers of the brain-gauze have been lifted, I’m still tired and sore, so I’m taking myself back to bed.

Sometimes sleep really is the best medicine.

Thursday 13: Beau Melange

No theme, just miscellany.

1) This quotation about the recipe for coffee, according to Talleyrand, always makes me grin:

Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.

2) All day yesterday the word anamnesis was caught in my brain. It’s used liturgically to refer to a memorial act – the Holy Communion in high church. In English, we say “remembrance.” – Do this in remembrance of me – but anamnesis is a deeper memorial. Not just witnessing, but participating in the memory AND the mystery.

3) I watched MSNBC’s coverage of the introduction of the new pope yesterday. My favorite quote, from one of the commentators:

I love that he’s a Jesuit. This means he has a brain.

Sadly, I don’t remember the name of the person who said it.

4) Since the beginning of the year, I’ve reduced my coffee intake to one cup a day, but I’m spending the time to make really amazing coffee. Most recently, I’ve been using a tiny Bialetti moka pot. I love it to bits.

5) Last month, I splurged on tea from Teasim. They make an organic Earl Grey that is so fragrant, it makes me want to take a bath in it, but today I was drinking an herbal blend of peppermint, licorice root and cloves. It made my head feel better.

6) According to Henry Fielding:

Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.

7) I haven’t been blogging a lot because I’ve been in a serious reading mood. Specifically I’ve been reading a lot of Star Trek fiction because I feel like I need to escape.

8) Fuzzy and I saw Oz the Great and Powerful last week. It was good, but I couldn’t help contrasting it with the 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland. Both fantasy lands are interesting, but I think I prefer the darker, gritter Wonderland.

9) My favorite version of Oz is the SyFy miniseries Tin Man. This has nothing whatsoever to do with my undying love for actor Neal McDonough. Or rather, for his work.

10) The rules of Rock Scissors Paper Lizard Spock, as explained by Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) on The Big Bang Theory:

1. Scissors cuts Paper

2. Paper covers Rock

3. Rock crushes Lizard

4. Lizard poisons Spock

5. Spock smashes Scissors

6. Scissors decapitates Lizard

7. Lizard eats Paper

8. Paper disproves Spock

9. Spock vaporizes Rock

10. Rock crushes Scissors

11) As I write this, at a bit after 2 in the morning, there are five dogs sleeping in my room. Dog number four is Aztec, our current foster. The most Zen chihuahua in the world.

12) Dog number five is our new puppy, Teddy (he came with the name, and we think it suits him). This is his picture:

13) A Facebook friend shared this video with me the other day. It’s called “God Made a Dog,” and it’s awesome. Enjoy:

Sexual Tomato

I should have grabbed the camera, and even commented off-handedly that it deserved a picture, but did I? No. Neither of us did.

My good friend Paula had just returned to town after another stint in our nation’s capitol, and she’d brought back agricultural contraband in the form of peaches and an heirloom tomato. The peaches, she kept, but I’m tickled to say that the tomato was shared at my house this evening.

As good friends can, she sensed that I needed company tonight. I was mopey yesterday because I knew the weekend was approaching, and work was more frustrating than usual, and grew ever more so until finally, around two this afternoon, I told the guy I contract for, “I just can’t deal with any more stupid people today. It’s not your fault, and I’m sorry, but I really need to just stop now, because I’m getting cranky and frustrated, and everything I write is going to SOUND cranky and frustrated.”

He must’ve been having a Fridayitis moment, because he laughed at me, in a non-patronizing way, and we agreed to call it a day.

So when PT called and said, “Hey, what are you doing tonight,” I was honest, and said, “I’d love to hang out, but I’m really not in the mood to GO out. But I have hamburger I’m planning to grill, and you’re welcome to come, if you give me enough time to vacuum my house.” (Vacuuming was not optional at that point, and had been on the agenda for today anyway – the pet-hair tumbleweeds were beginning to evolve into sentient creatures.)

Now, she’d texted me from the farmer’s market where the tomatoes were purchased, so I knew she’d found wonderful stuff, but the tomato she’d brought…it was deep emerald green on top, gradually merging with deeper maroon, and when we sliced into it the inside was a brilliant ruby red, and you could smell that wonderful tomato-y smell that wraps sun and vine into a lovely fleshy package. I arranged the slices on a black glass serving dish, and we sliced the top in half and ate it standing at the counter. It was perfect. It was sexual. It was total food porn. And it was DIVINE.

The rest of dinner was a simple summer supper: burgers on the grill, a salad, and baked potatoes, all accompanied by cosmos and chilled water, much laughter, and no talk of anything resembling work.

After dinner, we adjourned into the dining room I never use for actual dining, and had coffee, and noodled on our computers, but it was late, and neither of us was up to anything really taxing.

Better yet, she stopped at a tea store and brought me some frou-frou tea – 2 oz. each of Assam, Lapsang Souchong, and Golden Monkey, the last of which is $7/oz. I’ve been dying for non-bagged, interesting tea, and even though I really needed rest, brewed a pot of the Assam after Paula had gone home.

Plans for tomorrow include sleeping late, folding a metric assload of clean laundry, and washing several loads of towels.

And writing, of course, always writing.

I Smell Like Piña Colada…

…that was caught in the rain.

It’s all Deb‘s fault, too, because she got me hooked on ULTA, so I bought shampoo there yesterday, because, even though I do love my Aveda products, every so often it’s nice to use something different.

I fell in love with Freeman/Aussie products 20 or so years ago, but our local grocery store shampoo aisle is distinctly lacking in them, so when I saw them at ULTA, I couldn’t refuse. I love the cheery purple bottles and snarky instructions. I love the fruity smells of the shampoo, and the piña-colada scent of the conditioner. When combined with my lovely citrus body wash, I’m a walking fruit salad. Or something.

The best thing about my visit to ULTA yesterday, is that it came with a free gift. A lovely green Calvin Klein tote bag with black leather straps, and some CK Eternity lotion, body wash, and cologne to try. Well, for some random guest in my house to try, because I sprayed the cologne and all I could smell was alcohol for ages. Or ten minutes. I’m so spoiled by the perfume oils I buy from Possets and BPAL that I can’t tolerate spray scents unless they’re amazing.

For the record: Coco & Coco Mademoiselle are amazing. Clinique’s Happy is delightful. CK Eternity? Not so much.

From ULTA we went to PetSmart or PetsMart (I never know how to interpret their name) to buy dog food. Funny thing about dogs – they like to eat regularly. I did not spend an extra fifteen minutes meeting all the dogs up for adoption. No, I really didn’t. Well, maybe ten. The rest of the time I was quietly chanting, “You have two already. Zorro will never forgive you if you bring home a third.”

I paid the extra $3 for the good dog food, though.

We went to the grocery store as well, for, you know, groceries. I was out of tea. Well, out of good tea. Well, out of good black tea. I have tons of herbal. Sadly, Tom Thumb, even in it’s new and improved upscale garb with a Starbucks about to open inside the store, does not have a great tea selection. (Translation: I was looking for Lapsang Souchong. They don’t carry this, even though I KNOW Twinings and Ceylon Teas both make it.) I opted for a Twinings sampler of English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey and Lady Grey. The Lipton, which I had resorted to drinking, is now back in the cabinet, where it shall remain until the next time I’m ready for it’s intended use: ICED tea.

And now, on a fine Sunday afternoon, I’m going to go have tea and a muffin, because it may be nearly two, but we’re just getting up (oh, hush, we went to bed at four), and then I’m going to roast a chicken.

Have a great day.