"Excuse me, but is this vegan?"
I drank too much wine last night. I ate too much cake, and too much food in general. I stayed up too late and had too much caffeine. So how come the amount of fun I had was just right?
The boyfriend and I threw a small dinner party last night. Because I love to cook, I enjoy the preparation of dinner parties sometimes more than the event itself (which wasn’t the case last night, but I’ll admit I’ve sweated over a meal for days only to provide it to its intended guests, then wished I could hide upstairs with some hummus and carrot sticks and original Star Trek.)
Catering provided by Play-doh
Last night’s meal consisted of curried vegetable pasties, asparagus with nutmeg hollandaise, and a raspberry-chocolate flourless cake with homemade whipped cream. Naked ladies dancing with abandon beneath a decaying Sun*. I was most proud of the cake. You know how sometimes you’ll taste a dessert and you immediately feel that you’re doing something so wrong but it feels so right? I guess the word is sinful. You’re stomach screams “This is blasphemy!” but your taste-buds whimper, “Do it again…!” (If you’re interested, I’ve included the recipe below.)
At age 17, while most of my friends were either studying at high school or studying how to get high at school, I spent leisurely days brainstorming new and creative ways of annoying our local Sheriff and his deputies.
Living in a tiny Gold Rush town tucked in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains – a quaint dot on the map named Nevada City, California – with a population of less than 3,000 people and a downtown district that could be circumnavigated in a brief jog, the only trouble a teenager could get into was trouble he made himself.
Nothing's changed. Except the colors are brighter now.
I had a partner in crime – the prettiest girl in town and my best friend, Autumn. We were soul-mates, mutual muses, and best of all, we were both enrolled in the independent studies program, which meant our actual campus time was reduced to a single 20 minute session a week, leaving the rest of our schedule open for adding to our collection of abandoned lawn ornaments, inventing new kinds of candy, and devising “experiments” to test the moods and reactions of our fellow man. Some people called us practical jokers, but we fancied ourselves social anthropologists.
It was late September and very hot. Autumn and I lounged in a swimming pool, which was conveniently located in the middle of her upstairs bedroom. In a moment of brilliance fueled by heat-stroke, we constructed the pool there so we could watch TV or toast bagels while we soaked. We drank water from margarita glasses, snacked on Joy-Pops (an unpleasant tasting but texturally exciting confection we assembled from parts of Almond Joys, Pop Rocks and wasabi), listened to polka music and played Trivial Pursuit.
"Please conjure sheets of paper to come floating out of the laundry basket below"
The author, circa 1996
I have recently come into possession of my adolescent photo collection. There was, for a period of about five years, a time when I owned a fetching Ricoh camera which had been given to me by a rad woman whom I lived with on a mountaintop commune on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She used to regale me with stories from her years as a hot-shot publicist, and explained to me which lines from David Bowie’s “Drive-in Saturday” had been written about her by the Thin White Duke.
Were these claims true? Who knows. But it did distract me from the profound and crippling nervous breakdown I was experiencing at the time, fuelled in part by excessive use of ecstasy as a means of spiritual enlightenment and by living with my then step-father who made such helpful suggestions as, “Maybe you have alien implants in your brain.”
“Oh, yes. Well thank you for that.”
I thought it might be fun to dip into the box and see what musical and/or cinematic associations they bring. Kind of reconsider my colorful past in terms of stuff you could purchase at Amoeba Music. For I am a salesman, ladies and gentlemen.