Hash

In a cookbook – it might have been Irma Rombauer, but I’m not positive – I read a tidbit in an introductory blurb about the various forms of hash. It was a quote from an American housewife and cook, who said (quote not exact) that different people throw just about anything into hash, “but I throw myself into mine.”

I can’t claim that level of passionate involvement, always, but the basic idea of the embracing catch-all turning out tasty is good. Especially if you can get that nice crusty layer at the bottom. So hash it is.

Wind. Today was wind. It’s late Feb., and March is eager to get blowing and going. I’m in northern NJ, and the only winter we’ve had to date has been a few spells of 2 or 3 cold days spotted around in December and January. As I’ve remarked before, after the real suffering of last winter, this is not something I wish to complain about to any Authority. (There are those who feel that we should contact the Canadian government about the cold fronts they send us, but I can’t think this would do anything but waste postage and/or bandwidth.)

But I love windy days with the sun and cloud shadows going in and out, and the treetops bending like wild modern dancers. Oxygen! Take it in! Open your brain! Fear nothing! I take Albert the Pug out to pee in the ramshackle border, and he lifts his nostrils directly into the airstream, and his little velvet ears flutter slightly, and his tail curls tightly with interest.

Locks. Took the locksets from the two rental suites’ doors to our local locksmiths today, to have new keys made. Al, our friend and handygenius, had extracted them from the doors yesterday. Heavy brass they are, and coeval with the house AFAIK, which makes them over 130 yrs old. The guys at the smiths were at leisure when I arrived (unusual – they’re the primo shop of their kind in the area, and always busy) – and were ranged jovially behind the counter, ready to help me as a committee. Gave advice on cleaning the faceplates, metal composition, etc. Wonder what the keys will look like. Will they be big gorgeous 19th century keys, fit for a chatelaine’s belt or the keyring of a housekeeper running the lives of the little Irish maids who almost certainly polished those very doorknobs?

– Just learned that my favorite actor, the gifted, beautiful and amiable Englishman Paul McGann, will be at a major Northeast US science fiction convention out on Long Island in about a month’s time. Several old pals from previous fandom days are planning to attend – and I’d love to see them, and him too. Lots of interesting water flowed under the bridge amongst the members of that group…

Age and sex and art. I used to be afraid that menopause, when it at last established itself, would create a me that no longer had any spark of the divine flame. By which I mean the Urge, the Need, the Reaching. In a way, I was right – – but I find that the perspective I now have is a good thing. Face it, I had the kind of sex drive that gets in one’s way. I couldn’t transmute it into anything with good form, and I was always suffering pretty pointlessly, if luxuriously. (Got some good memories stashed, though!) The Great Mother alone knows what would have gone down if I’d done what I most strenuously wanted to do: find the right man, and get it going with him, and keep it going. Not to mention having a family.

Now, with none of those particular fears or joys or strains attending me, I am able to look at things in a different way. Things, people, people’s emotions, animals, the world of nature, small and large matters of beauty, the narratives in life.

The Republican campaign. The spectacle of Santorum and Romney vying for the love of the fear-crazed elements is astonishing. Makes me wonder if they’re much worse, really, than other major presidential candidates have been during periods of major national flux. I should read more history.

Santorum has the advantage of being (I think) the more authentically nuts of the two. Romney seems to be doing something that, deep in his gut, he would rather not. It reminds me of an interview/article about Sen. Estes Kefauver, the Kentucky Democrat who ran an aggressive campaign in the 1960 primaries. The NYTimes reporter asked him why he was running for president. An expression of astonishment suddenly overtook Kefauver, and he blurted, “I don’t know!”

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