Monday, September 20, 2021

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

What a freaking day. What a day. If I knew how I would turn that into an f'n song: What a day, what a day, you and me into the sunrays....WAITTTTTT!!!! That's Dr. John's song except he wrote What a night, What a night, you and me under the moonlight....If I don't do it somebody else willllllll!!!!
OKAY, so I should not steal my heroes' songs!!!! Somebody take a note and remind me. Damn, I'm sinking supinely into the muck...
But HOLD ON, I'm Coming.l......Wait, I'm doing it again!!! Sorry Sam and Dave!!!! All I know for certain is I got Sunshine on A Cloudy Day.....NO NO NO!!!!! I'm freaking infected!!!!!!
Okay, just playing with your heart. But now dont go playing with my heart..,
Damn, someone sink me in the Los Angeles tar fields before I continue!!!!!
The thing is that I'm always bragging about my cooking. And when I was a cook and then a chef in NYC I really was very good. I was steady but also innovative. I learned where I could -- Portugal, France, Belgium, NYC-- and absorbed like a sponge. But every now and then I completely blow something out of the water. And I did that the other night with falafel: chick peas, spices, fresh goods. How did I do that? I used canned garbanzo beans. I was so embarrassed that I wrote about it here on FB. I blew the sauce too. Tahini with lemon. How do you ruin that? I don't know but I did.
So last night I had my son-in-law Adrian put a pound of garbanzos into water and into the ice box and today I worked.
Everyone will tell you it takes 10 minutes. I took an hour just cutting and trimming fresh dill, curley parsley and cilantro. Then I had to chop onions and chic peas and garlic and mix that with coriander (from Peru), cumin, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and smoked paprika.
chopping without a food processor can be a bitch but I was determined and did it, then put it in the fridge.
Next was the awful tahini sauce I made the other night. I did a makeover. Not mascara or a new front porch, but added coriander, dill, salt, garlic, olive oil, red pepper and a bit of good yogurt until it was a sauce that could make your mother fly.
Then I fried a few balls of falafel. I did not have enough oil to fry Nicki Manaj's cousin's friend' swollen balls but I had enough for my needs.
This sh.t came out fantastic. I'm glad I got back up on that freaking horse with no name. Because I have been to the desert with..... OKAY, I QUIT!!!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The stuff that happens when you blink....a good recipe

 

So I made a very nice chicken cacciatore two days ago. Recipes will say it takes 20 minutes to put together. Mine took 2 hours plus two hours cooking. Day before that I made a curried shrimp and smoked duck breast meal. Yesterday simple hot ham and cheese and tomato sandwiches. On sesame Italian bread. With homemade coleslaw (don't forget the sugar, white vinegar, celery seeds and Coleman's mustard powder!!!!!).
Tonight I didn't feel like cooking -- I had rainbow trout and some other things but they weren't singing to me. So I decided on a big omelet with 8 oversized organic duck eggs from our coop.
Simple, right? Yeah, except that to stuff it I needed to saute garlic and minced onion, diced tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil washed and chopped and then the best virginia ham we know of. When I make the omelet for three I will need to chop the two cheeses, then make a sauce of the fresh mushrooms I just washed and sliced thinly, marsala wine and a touch of heavy cream.
To go with that I will need smashed potatoes, so I baked 4 medium sized red potatoes and cooked six pieces of bacon. I'll render the bacon fat, put the cooked potatoes into the pan with it, then smash them semi-flat, season them, cook them on the stove top, turn them when they are fragrant, and then do it again.
So like I didn't want to cook and wound up with 10 steps and 15 freaking ingredients. Should have cooked. Would have been less work.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Rebels Without a Cause

There are a million things to rebel against. Unfairness, wickedness, selfishness, thievery, the Vietnam war, invasion of Iraq, big brother and homeland security, the lousy way our country treats Mexicans and Central Americans, the CIA and their coups around the world done in the interest of a few billionaires making more money. I could go on for a lifetime and never name all of the things worth shaking your fist at or defying the law on, from smoking dope to the government giving you a social security card, a permanent number that might as well be tattooed on your forehead.
But I am at a loss with people fighting the covid vaccine. When you were a kid you either had the vaccines or did not go to school. When you drive you carry a license or go to jail. When you get on an international airplane or bus you either have a passport or you ain't crossing the border. Once you get to the other side of the border you either have your visa with you at all times or risk going to jail--depending on what country you are visiting. if you work as a nurse you either have an available license or go to jail. So what the freak is everybody so worked up about with the damned c-v shot? Y'all just got a hard on for being stupid or what? Cause you are. You are stupid to reject it. And selfish. And you might just murder someone if you pass it on to them. But yeah, take a stand. Too bad you don't realize you are standing in quicksand, jerks.

 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Some Things I've Been Thinking About

 

Here are a few things I have been thinking about today.
I loved driving a taxi in New York. It allowed me to be part of the armpit culture there. I learned where dog and cock fights happened when dog and cock owners got into the cab and told me where to go. I learned about where the real gambling was going on when people I'd pick up at the airport asked me to take them to a game. Initially I had no idea. But I made a point of finding out where the games were and what the stakes were and what the code words were and when clients asked me for a game I asked them "what stakes" and their answer led me to take them exactly where they wanted, got me a fee and got the doorman a fee to allow them into the games.
I learned where the whorehouses were and used a few when i was scotched on cocaine and booze; I learned where the best gay places were for the fellas who got into my cab with chaps and no underwear. I learned where Catholic masses were held at midnight and where free meals and clothing were had for the poor and forlorn. I knew the after hours clubs the pre-hour clubs, the police and hospital workers bars were that were allowed to operated 24/7 because the unions protected the workers who had odd shifts. I got to work as an undercover for the cops a couple of times that were frightening; I got to work with the mob which was just as frightening.
Most of that was born in taxi driving. Some in New York kitchens that I ran.
There is so much, the colors were unimaginably fascinating. For a kid in New York it was wonderful. Stopping at a topless joint to have a beer at the M and M club on Little West 12th street and having the mob throw me though the front window because I disrespected their favorite transvestite. Having a stand at the Feast of San Gennaro, the biggest Mafia party in New York.
I loved having five of my plays produced off-off Broadway and writing stories and falling in love and smoking dope and selling dope.
This is a ridiculously self-indulgent. I probably should have been feeding people who did not have enough to eat, or making rain for those who did not have potable water.
So why do I bother you with this? To say that I am still alive despite this pandemic, despite being ill, and that I want you all to know that. I am not quitting yet. That is selfish, and you can hate me for it. But it's the only solid ground I have left to stand on before I sink supinely into the muck of this world. So hate me or forgive me or use me to keep yourselves from falling into the terrible sinkhole we face. I wish you all strength, strength, strength. Revel in who you have been and what you have done. Do not forget that in these hazy times, okay? Even if it isn't perfect, it is still a past to grab on to to keep from sinking.

Completely selfish post again

A good friend gave me a story idea for the Fort Worth Weekly, for whom I wrote for 18 years. Was let go when the pandemic hit and the paper was downsized. This is what I wrote to him to explain my circumstances:

Do not have an outlet for journalism and an too old to send queries about. I have a million ideas but I cannot work for the money offered, and the Fort Worth Weekly let me go more than a year ago. So I've just been in and out of hospital, had several small surgeries and a couple of huge issues where I was in ICU for several days at a time. I am nearly finished a musical -- my first theatrical piece in 52 years  -- which I hope will provide for my kids when I'm gone, have a new small book of stories coming out before October, a cookbook nearly done and a 40 day boat trip in the Amazon scheduled for Jan/Feb. Boat deposit paid. Have $15 grand for it, need $30 grand more, so it is not a guaranteed thing.

    So I am staying busy with good work. Just wish this freaking sickness in me and in society and in our cumulative souls would evaporate overnight.
    To use Tom Waits: Working hard, hardly working, if you know what I mean...
Gor



Thursday, September 09, 2021

A note on getting normal after sapo/kambo

This is a quickie and relates to the frog medicine known as sapo or kambo. It is a medicine, the secretions of the phylomedusa bicolor tree frog, that the animal uses as a protective agent when attacked by birds or tree snakes.
Okay, you can look it up a little if you need to; what I wanted to note today was this: The sapo/kambo is absorbed into the subcutaneous layers of skin that have been burned with a jungle vine. The physical effects, which come on quickly, include heated forehead and face, racing heart, a rapid drop in blood pressure (from the vasodilation caused by one or more of the bioactive peptides in the substance. Stomach will clench, you might defecate or vomit, some people sweat a lot. It is a rigorous, or terrifying experience for a lot of people. Fortunately, the most acute effects of the medicine pass in 15-18 minutes (as a rule, though there are exceptions). By the time it's passing you feel like you've been driven over by a Mac truck. With good reason: the medicine flushing throughout your body is like a Ms. Pacman, gobbling up impurities, collected but hidden poisons (from anything from car exhaust to red dye #43) and sending them for elimination. Some of these poisons have been comfortably hiding for years inside you. But to release them they have to be put on track for expulsion, mostly through the kidneys, and in the time they are collected until the time they are eliminated they are poisoning you. Yeah, it is freaking intense. Why do it? Among the easiest things to explain is that it is a wonderful vasodialator. It opens up your arteries and that releases some of the plaque you have spent years amassing. Which will have permanent benefits of allowing more blood to flow through your system bringing more oxygen to your organs for an improvement in health.
Oh, my, I did not mean to go on like this. I actually just wanted to say that a lot of people suffer from headaches and so forth for hours or days after sapo/kambo use (same medicine; one name is Peruvian, one Brazilian). They do not have to suffer. The elimination of toxins, via peeing, pooping, sweating, throws your electrolytes and natural sugars off. So have someone with you who will make you a large glass of water with lots of fresh lime and good sea salt in it for quick electrolyte balance, and then, a few minutes later have a fat slice or two of fresh papaya to settle your natural sugars. Mango or pear will do in a pinch, but papaya is king of the walk. Here in the USA it is available everywhere, though you might have to go to a really good store, or order it by mail to have it on hand. I recommend that it just become part of your sapo/kambo planning.
As a cautionary note, DO NOT use sapo/kambo when pregnant as it is an abortive that will provoke the most painful, long lasting miscarriage imaginable. There are other conditions to not use the medicine as well. Look them up. They are fairly easy to find.
Sorry to go on for two months but I am very tired of hearing people say they are still physically ill hours and days after using this marvelous medicine -- which should always be used with someone who has a good deal of experience as this is a freaking monster medicine that you should not play with ever -- when lime and sea salt water, coupled with a couple of slices of papaya would do the trick.

 

Monday, September 06, 2021

What I Am Thinking Today

 

So what's the deal? It's all freaking dreadful and people are suffering and dying all over the world as a direct result of other people's selfishness. We send food -- or someone sends food -- where it is sorely needed and some goddamned asshole has his army or gang steal it to sell it elsewhere while their own people die. How is this possible?
People with power redirect rivers to make sure their cities and crops are well-watered, leaving those who were cut off from the water to dry up and blow away.
Some people make a fortune off of your -- our -- illnesses, charging what they want for medicines that are needed, rather than just take a few pennies on the dollar. They would be rich in any case, they just would not be motherfukkas.
And on and on until my fingers are sore from typing out the million types of injustices in this world, none of which I understand. In my world, if you have it share it. If you can afford to give it, give it. Make the world a more beautiful place, not an uglier place. And god knows I am a long way from perfect. But you have to have something to strive for, a target to aim for. And I think decency is a large enough target that I wish the whole world would aim for that, for starters.

Update on the Gorman clan

 Dear All: Update. I think Italo is on his sixth day in the hospital. No ventilator but no talking on the phone as he has no air. He is a bit of his wise-guy self today, threatening to kill me if I don't cut down on smokes, so I think he's at least a little on the mend. As for my smokes, I've been doing one an hour, more or less, for two weeks. That sounds like a lot. But for a guy who could easily go through 20 packs a week to a guy who is currently, and without much effort, down to 8 packs a week, well that is a difference. I have to cut down and get strong because i intend to be on my own boat in the Amazon for 40 days or so in January. Already put the deposit on the rental of the 84-foot riverboat. Small for the Amazon, but she'll do. I hope Italo can take six weeks off and join me. Marco and Madeleina too. It's gonna be one hell of an adventure once we are all well again.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Covid in the Family

 

My oldest is down with covid. When he first got sick and took the test, he didn't feel well. That has changed: despite having a good supply of oxygen he had to go to the emergency room twice and then yesterday an ambulance brought him a third time. The hospital found him a bed. Here in Texas these days that means you are pretty damned ill, because there are only beds for really ill people. The rest have already been taken by other covid patients.
What do you say? I can't visit him and he has a tough time talking on the phone because of shortness of breath. This is an athlete we are talking about, a 35-year-old still playing a lot of soccer at a very competitive level. This is a kid who removed an old water heater and installed a new one for me just as his illness was coming on. This is a guy who is father to my grandkids. So far only one of those grandkids is covid positive, but it looks -- fingers crossed -- like her symptoms are mild: A spiked temperature and a few others for a day or so, and nothing since then. She is only eleven, too young for the vaccination.
My son, on the other hand was plenty old enough to get vaccinated but chose not to. He would never give me his reasons, and I suspect he really had none, other than being a 35-year-old athlete who thought he was bulletproof.
When you are a parent, you never stop being concerned about your kids. Once they are on their own, of course, the concern is from a distance. You can no longer bribe them into eating spinach if they really hate it. My three kids are all grown up and as willful as I was and am; heck, they're almost as willful as their mother and grandmother, and that is willful writ with all caps.
I'm pissed off that he didn't get his shots. Yes, we might all grow purple heads out of our shoulders as a side effect in a few years, but so what? Still, it was his choice and it is what it is. But I'm scared, worried, concerned. I am the one who gets exotic diseases and winds up in the ICU, not my kids.
Hundreds of thousands of people are going through this right now, worrying about their kids, their parents, cousins, friends laying in hospitals all across the country. I hope they all get better soon.
And I hope my kid does too and that my granddaughter shows no more symptoms. I love you guys. Get better soon.