it's 8:17 PM...

I got home a little after six and I'm on my fifth gin and tonic. No apologies here, friends, I needed it. The past two weeks have been hell. The past three weeks, actually. The only bright spot was Monster Bash. I've been so torqued up that I haven't been able to sleep or eat. Last night I had one of the Mrs. "Cheeseburgers to Die For". I can't describe how wonderful that was. Vampires would come out into the daylight for one, if they were so inclined to eat such a thing... maybe if she made them extra rare..? A big, fat, juicy hamburger, grilled to perfection, with two thick slabs of *shudder* Velveeta processed cheese melted all over it, with thick slices of raw red onion, gobs of ketchup and a thick slice of dill pickle, on a toasted hard roll (with poppy seeds, or course) and lots of salt. Every bite caused a riot of greasy juice to squeak out the other end of the roll. It reminded me of a James Herriot story where he was invited to breakfast at a farmer's home after spending the night attending to some veterinary emergency. The farmer's wife cooked up a big thick slab of bacon, which was mostly fat and the only way he could choke it down was to cover it with pepper chutney, all the while watching the farmer sticking big, wiggly globs of fat in his mouth and exclaiming, "Ah, young vet'nery, ya know it's good eatin' when the grease runs down your chin!". (remember that one, Erin?).
I guess that point that I'm making is that when you're at the end of your rope, screw tying a knot and hanging on, have one of the Mrs. cheeseburgers. It's the little things, you know?
She is, though, the bright mistress of the grill. We use our outside grill year round. Whether it's a hotdog or a nice, thick steak au poivre, it always turns out perfect. I, on the other hand, am of the burn and char ilk. I must have, in some past life, been the priest who tended the sacrificial alter upon which toasted tributes to the gods were prepared. If it's recognizable as food, it's not yet done. If it looks like it should be tossed into the Ganges in fond farewell, it's almost ready. The true test is when, probed with a fork, it disintegrates into a rain of ash and embers. I am not allowed to grill. It's not that I'm a bad cook - my stews are culinary events, par none and my chicken baugette sandwiches, with grilled chicken, marinated peppers and grilled asparagus, with Swiss cheese and home made mustard are legendary events for those who have on them supped. (ok, I can grill boneless chicken breasts... and asparagus... with only a little supervision). Tis' over a live fire that I fail. In a big way.
I think there's a lesson in limitations there, somewhere.
*insert cigarette break here*
Well, that certainly was the pause that refreshes. Yes, I'm back to my old, bad habit. I blame it on the rather nerve twisting events of late, but it's only my weakness of falling prey to my habits. It will be the undoing of me at some point, I'm quite sure. Part of it is that what would have been drama in younger days has filtered down to being stress. I used to handle stress by being a world class bastard of a jerk. Thankfully, I've mellowed over the years. I've learned to throw it away, for the most part, rather than keeping it all bottled up inside under the pretext of "handling it". That didn't work. I occasionally fly off the handle (I have to look up the origin of that phrase sometime), and let go with a string of oaths that would make the gods blush, but, more often than not these days, I just shrug it off. Maybe it's because I've realized that I'm well into the second act of this particular play and there ain't no curtain calls when it's over, so time wasted fretting over stuff you can't control is time wasted. It's time better spent absorbing all I can of the world around me. Realizing that you're closer to the end of your times than the beginning has a way of concentrating the mind. Without getting too morbid, I can only hope that the next world is as beautiful as this one. I hope there are bigger, bluer skys. And darker, colder winter nights to wile away reading books by the fire. And warmer, longer summer twilights, full of bigger and brighter fireflys. And the Mrs. And her cheeseburgers.

pearls before swine...


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