Thursday, October 29, 2015

All Hat, No Cattle

Okay, I admit it, I wrote this on FaceB and then realized I should have written it here. I was reminded of the old Texas description of a dumb cowboy: All Hat, No Cattle. So here goes:
Last few days I've gotten several pics of President Barack Obama and his wife with the general title of: "Only 15 more months till they're gone. Like if you agree. Let's get a good Republican in there."
My response is to write HAHAHAHA! Lincoln and Roosevelt (Teddy), are long gone. And even Goldwater would not be accepted by the current crew of zanies. Who do they want? Dimwitted Carson who looks to be on so many meds you WANT to forgive him from being so completely stupid on every stinking issue; You want Trump? The New York loudmouth who functions well in NYC but would have this country in hot water with 30 countries in a week if president, and then would try to send national guard into the homes where suspected illegals live. Wow. Or completely crazy Cruz, who is proof positive that affirmative action occasionally fails with his Harvard presence; Rubio? The little Cubano whose father fought WITH Castro but talks about how his father escaped Castro in order to capture the Miami Cuban votes? Maybe Fiorina, whose claim to fame is running two companies into the dirt, killing tens of thousand of jobs, and walking away with a pile of money the companies gave her to disappear before she did more damage. Or Santorum, whose name on the internet perfectly describes this utterly phony Catholic; Or do they want Christie, who has never resisted an impulse in his life, to have the red phone at 3 AM if someone calls to interrupt him while he's eating a bacon and mayo sandwich? Let's go with Jeb Bush, who destroyed Florida and is trying to convince us that his brother kept us safe by invading Iraq at the behest of Dick Cheney and Haliburton? 
I would not invite any of these people to a block party, much less to a presidential debate. Hell, Lindsay "I'm not gay, just effeminate" Graham, is better than all of those people. And effeminate is his best feature! Hell, even Kasich, if you don't look at his religious-right belief, sounds better than all of them. YIKES! What the hell are republicans thinking with this motley crew of absolute dumb ass losers? They are certainly not thinking about the well-being of this country!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Crazy World

So I was thinking about some things today, some serious stuff, when the cover of my book, Sapo in My Soul, popped into my head. It probably popped into my head because an Italian publisher is going to print a copy in Italian and he'd asked for the photo files.
    When this thought popped into my head, I had to write to Morgan Maher, the designer of the book and a guy who has several of his photos in the book, including the cover picture. (To see it, go to amazon dot com and punch in Peter Gorman in books and the cover will pop up.) And this is what I wrote him:
Morgan: Crazy, right? Some things just pop into my head insanely. Like this: You are probably the first person in the history of the world as we know it who has ever put a picture of a stretched out frog while it was being milked for its venom on the cover of a book. 

   First person in the history of the world. Whew! We waited 6-8-40 billion years for you to come along and do that. And there you were and did it. Another first in a world where people don't think there is anything new under the sun. HA!
   There is lots of new stuff under the sun. Go out and be part of it everybody. It's a damned exhilarating feeling!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Saying Goodbye to My Surgeon

This might seem silly to most of you, but yesterday my surgeon and I said goodbye. We both didn't like it. Neither one of us was looking forward to it. Here's the deal. When I first met Dr. Ronny Ford from Huguley Hospital it was shortly before surgery on my right calf, which was being absolutely destroyed by four flesh-eating viruses—basically, I think, a staph cocktail that was out of control. He took care of that in July, 2013, with two operations. By luck, and with his help, and the help of the staff, my leg and life were saved.
    In January or Feb of 2014, Dr. Ford gave me a skin graft from flesh he took off my upper right thigh. That measured about 6" by 10 ". During most of those months, I was seeing him as I got better every week or two. After the skin graft I also saw him every week or two. He's nice and his assistant Anne is nice and I always enjoyed the visits. Evette at the front desk is also nice: Everybody gets 5-Star ratings from me.
   We started spacing the visits to once a month about six months after the graft, but one year later, in Feb of 2015, the leg reinfected and I've been seeing him every week since then, except for my time in Peru.
   But yesterday, we both had to admit, it's better. Nothing to be done. And you know what? That was sort of sad. I love my visits to Dr. Ford. I'll miss Annie's Irish elfin sense of humor as she tells me my blood pressure isn't so bad, but that I should take it easy on the wine. I'll miss the couple of minutes a week when Dr. Ford scraped the Sh.t out of my leg and I had to bite my tongue sometimes to keep from screaming.
   Crazy, right? I mean, just a habit, right?
   Yes, both of those. But it was also a connection with a few very special healers, who heal in a very immediate world of surgery. And they did it with style and substance and character and fun and that is a great combination. And that's why I was sad when we had to say goodbye yesterday. My leg doesn't need him anymore. But my spirit still does! Damnit!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Another Glorious Food Leftovers Piece

Ah, so this is going to be another food blog? Another leftover food blog? Why does this guy keep writing stuff like this? Can't he stick to politics or ayahuasca or even his family? How are his damned dogs anyway?
    Thanks for asking. The dogs are find. Boots got joined by Blackie a couple of months ago. He came, he stayed, we fed him. Now a younger version of Blackie has come along--so alike that I think she may be Blackie's daughter--out of nowhere and appears likely to stay awhile as well. So now I have to cook a lot of chicken legs daily.
   But those are not the leftovers here. What happened was a friend came in Thursday for several days. From Arizona, I think. Then another friend flew in on Friday from New York, just about the time that Madeleina got home from college for the weekend.
   Not sure what people would want considering the hour, I made a batch of good taco ground beef--yeah, I'm making a lot of that lately to make up for all the years I never did--and got a good head of organic iceberg lettuce, a nice avocado, some shredded cheddar, taco sauce, and hard taco shells. That would cover me if Chepa and the girls came over, if Italo came over, or Marco, or whomever. To go with that, I made a spaghetti squash. Baked it with a bit of butter, and when it was done put it in a saute pan that had lots of garlic and diced red pepper in it, added a bit more butter and voila!
   Then I made a large pan of Uncle Clem's Chicken--Madeleina's favorite treat. You take chicken breasts, cut them into smallish--siingle bite--pieces, flour them and sear them in olive oil with a bit of garlic, good cracked black pepper and pink sea salt. Then you get an absurd amount of broccoli and cut that into a couple of hundred bite-sized florets. You steam or par boil those. Then you put the broccoli on the bottom of a good baking pan, put the chicken on that, add the secret sauce to cover all, then top with sliced fresh mozzarella. Bake till the cheese is golden brown, serve over rice.
   Now on Saturday, the out of town friends were going to do medicine, and we were joined by a third friend, from Texas. They could only have one meal of the day, then had to fast (and do lots of yard work to get rid of the food in their systems) and it had to be fairly light, so I made them a large salmon filet. Stove top in olive oil, skin up, high heat, till the meat side was a beautiful dark brown. Flipped it so skin side was down, then put thin sliced zuccini, yellow squash, diced Roma tomatoes and chopped scallions all around the fish in the pan and let it cook away. It was a large piece of fish, good and thick, so that was probably 15 minutes. Then I took out the fish and put it aside. Added some organic vegetable stock to the veggies and pan juices, stirred em up, put them in a bowl. I put a bunch, big bunch, of spinach in the pan with what little pan juice was left until it wilted. Put the spinach as a bed on the plates, put a nice slice of salmon on that, put the veggies next to the salmon, with some of them just falling over the thin end of the meat, then put rice next to those. Good meal.
    No food for anyone for dinner that night, just ceremony.
    The next morning all were ravished, so I made home fries with onions, cooked up a mess of scrambled eggs with cheese, and fried some good ham slices for breakfast for them.
   But then, see, two more friends were coming over in the afternoon. What to make them? And what if Chepa and the kids came over? So I put eight chicken thighs in the oven after searing them stove, then tossed in three boneless beef ribs in a homemade barbeque sauce and got them baking. Put together a nice guacamole and then sliced a beautiful papaya and drenched it in fresh lime juice.
   We wound up using a little of everything and since the Giants were playing I didn't put anything away before the game ended and I went to sleep.
    So I woke up to a table filled with left overs: There was a small bowl of taco beef and a couple of taco shells and nearby some shredded cheddar. The guacamole sat near the plate of ribs, which was next to the remaining chicken thighs, and Uncle Clem's Chicken, and not far from the last of the spaghetti squash, which shared a plate with a bit of the home fries. Rice was on the stove; a plate with a tiny bit of salmon was still wrapped in the oven.
   The ice cream hadn't been touched. I guess the food was good. And I think the dogs are going to have a great mosh of a meal later!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Small Perks of Small Town Living

I loved living in New York. I loved my tenement apartments, even, and especially the first, which had a bathtub in the kitchen and no sink in the toilet-only bathroom. But I moved to Texas after a stint in Peru, and it was pretty country out here. You always smelled skunk when you came close to Joshua, a town of about 4,000 at the time, between the county seat of Cleburne and Burleson, the last suburb of Fort Worth.
    I never made friends here. The neighbors all had pretty good plots: The guy next to me, Ty, had an acre; to my left, the guy had about 3.5 acres. Across the street, the guy had about 40 acres. Next to him a woman had 55 acres but didn't live on the property. So it wasn't like just running into people. And it wasn't like New York: Johnson County was a dry town, so if you wanted a drink you had to go to Fort Worth, and what's the fun of driving 20 miles for a drink if you have to leave after having two because you have to drive another 20 miles to go home? So I didn't make those drinking buddy friends, either.
   Now I did like my neighbors, and we often said hello, and if I was doing a project they might come to check it out and have a beer, and vice-versa, but I don't think I was ever in any of their houses and I know they were never in mine. No matter. I had my friend Lynn, over in Irving, and we'd talk on the phone and see one another every couple of weeks. And over the years I've made friends with Mike and Dian and they come over every couple of weeks; and Pat comes over now and then. And then I've got lots of former guests from the jungle who stop by for a few days, and some people who want a little healing--so I end up with lots of company, even though that company is not normally nearby. This week I've got two friends, one from Oregon, one from New York, coming in for a few days. And then Mike and Dian are coming on Sunday for dinner. So I don't lack for company, I just don't have friends nearby like I did in New York.
   But now and then, I get surprised at people who know me. Now I know some people in the police department, and the crew at the jail and a couple of judges know me, because I've written about the corruption in this town and county quite a bit and gotten some jailers fired and clipped the wings of a constable what was doing bad shit to single women late at night, and helped get a few state laws changed along the way with regards to criminalizing school truancy and such. But then that kind of being known isn't always the best, because it means you have to be so clean, so straight, that you don't give anyone the chance to come at you--knowing that some people would love to do just that.
   Okay, all of that preamble is much longer than the real story. The story was that yesterday, while in the Post Office, the guy behind the counter greeted me with: "Hello, Mr. Gorman, what can I help you with?" and then helped tape up a package I was sending while we talked a little about an upcoming surgery he's facing at the VA. Good guy. I once bought him and one of the women who work there a couple of Dairy Queen ice creams and I guess they didn't forget that. But they'd earned them, putting up with me sending a lot of books out when my books first got published.
    While I was talking with the Post Office man, Madeleina's piano teacher came in and said: "Why, hello, Peter Gorman! I haven't seen you for some time? How's my Madeleina? Off to college?"
    Nice, right?
    Then this morning I was doing the manly job of taking the garbage to the dump. There was a line of cars maybe 12 deep waiting for a space to get to dump their garbage. But the guy who registers you in and weighs your truck before and after you dump to know how much to charge you, told me to skip the line and put my garbage in a big metal container off to the side instead. "You don't need to be waiting in line. You've probably got better things to do." He's a nice guy. We've talked about his blood pressure and how sometimes the blood pressure pills just make you have to pee like crazy right after you take them.
    So I went over to the big dumpster and got out of the truck and tossed the first bag high into the air to get over its 8' walls. Then I heard a beep behind me. I turned. It was the neighbor with the 3.5 acres who works at the dump. He was in a good sized Caterpillar right behind my truck and indicated that I should just toss my trash into the huge machine's maw. That meant I didn't have to toss the garbage into the air. When I was done, he lifted the arm and dumped the mess into the dumpster. Cool.
   Then I went around to the scale, waited on line and when it was my turn the high blood pressure guy said: "I'm not gonna charge you today. Free. Have a good one!" And then I rode off.
   There are some perks to living out here in a small town. For a day or two it felt like I was a mafia don, people being so nice to me for no reason. Yo! Where's my crew?