Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Janine upped the ante last night with a sort of crumbly blueberry pie and turkey salad sandwiches. She's got me beat anyway -- she can make all of this great stuff from sheer creativity, where I am still handcuffed to the stupid cookbooks and increasingly disgusting-with-splattered-food pages of Bon Appetit, which is either unjustifiably full of itself as a culinary authority, or abides by a definition of "spicy" approved by Barry Manilow. That jalapeno-covered roasted chicken mentioned below tasted a hell of a lot like roasted chicken NOT covered in jalapenos. I'm gonna have to start jerkin' some shit, just to make sure it tastes like something.

Meanwhile, my job hunt begins. Sigh. I do so hate job hunts.

On the plus side, I did manage to make it a zen weekend by floating down the Salt River on an innertube while drinking Sapporo and... well, no and, I guess. That's about it. Nice central-Arizona scenery, quiet and peaceful except for all the folks there in various stages of one-ness (some of them in the early, louder stages). And a rare appearance by the overt pornographer -- every now and then on the Salt River college-aged girls get so zen (or drunk) that they start taking off their clothes, to the amusement of all nearby, non-scandalized tubers. At a couple of points in the four-hour float, middle-aged piles of goo with cameras were standing on the banks and looking encouraging and hopeful that the svelt, college-aged girls would consider them more of a naughty dare-type prop than just icky, dirty idiots with no lives. It really got pathetic right at the end, as we were nearing the final checkpoint -- a pale, doughy guy in red shorts and a tee-shirt was squatting on the bank, holding a cardboard sign reading, "Show Tits, Free Beer." Of course, by then, everyone was tired, and the ones that had been drunk were probably just feeling ill now, and the feeling of playful lawlessness was gone as soon as we saw the exit staging area. You'd think at least he'd have the address of his porn website, so girls could see pictures of themselves flashing their friends. It'd kind of be like Splash Mountain (I would have made the obligatory Flash Mountain joke, but I believe there's already a site called that, with Splash Mountain photos showing people doing what you'd expect).

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Oh yess, and I just removed from the oven a roasted chicken with jalapeno slivers inserted under its skin, its abdominal cavity stuffed with lemon wedges and onions soaked in olive oil and soy sauce. And seeing as it was already past my bedtime, I promptly wrapped it in foil and shoved it in the fridge. Tonight I shall dream of very tasty flying chicken sandwiches.
Boy, I had far and away the weirdest dream (and the strangest waking-up experience) in recent memory last night. I dreamt I lived in a humongous, ramshackle yellow house, which was filled with people, tables, and junk to the point that it looked like a giant flea market. To emphasize the weirdness, students were racing each other around the perimeter of the grounds, which was lined with a high wooden fence, on levitating pillows while solving math problems. Meanwhile, there was a white rap star there who could fly (I think his name was Aaron Boone, although upon waking, I remembered that Boone's the shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds). In this dream, I recalled being able to fly in previous dreams, which is true -- I usually fling myself to the ground and find myself floating like I'm being repelled by a magnet. In this case, though, it wasn't working. I was getting jealous of the flying rap star and really wanted to fly again.
So I finally found a piece of paper in the house that outlined the steps to being able to fly again, although it listed a catalog of sacrifices I'd have to make in order to make this happen. I only remember one -- I'd have to cut off the tip of my elbow. Regardless, I became wildly excited at the prospect of flight, and began keening in a falsetto howl until I woke up gasping for breath. And if you want to know what it all sounded like, listen to the last few seconds of PJ Harvey's "The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore," cranked up as far as your stereo cranks.
I've never woken up gasping for breath -- it was like some sort of apnea attack. And I haven't been exhilerated by a dream like that in years -- I felt charged all day, especially to and from work, with PJ Harvey blasting through my moon roof. I'm not sure what my subconscious is trying to tell me, really -- I was able to "fly" once, and will again if I give up... something? Part of my elbow? All material concerns? Is Eminem guarding a bizarre secret? Is Reds shortstop Aaron Boone? And at another point in the dream, I was trying to kill someone with a flamethrower, but I couldn't get the thing to work right. What the hell's that about? Or maybe my cat's just stealing my breath as I sleep. Jesus.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Back on track with the food ambition, if not the actual cooking talent. Attempted a recipe from Bon Appetit tonight that was supposed to produce gnocchi and instead gave me little clumps of potato that tasted like cheap pancake batter. You're supposed to smother the whole mess with a couple of pounds of gorgonzola cheese melted into lots of heavy cream, which I'm not going to do out of concern for the quality of life of my later years, but I aim to try it out with a good marinara and see what happens. Maybe I reproduced the recipe perfectly and it's supposed to taste like it does, but what difference does it make what it tastes like under all that creamy cheese? That's my perspective at the moment. But now, if you go to Chez Andre's anytime soon, don't get the gnocchi. It's not so good tonight. Try the cereal -- it's delish.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Janine's away in Denver since Sunday, and I've found I eat like crap when she's not around. Not necessarily bad food, just food that doesn't take any preparation, concentration, or anything else food really should have before it's eaten. For dinner last night, I had three beers, two bowls of cereal, and a can of Chunky. I'm doing slightly better tonight -- I had two beers, one bowl of cereal, an apple, and an attempt at cooking a chicken breast in BBQ sauce. I stuck it in the oven on a sheet, set the thing to 350, and waited. Fifteen minutes later, it was only lukewarm (and the BBQ sauce on the sheet was smoking and setting off the fire alarm), so I jacked up the oven as far as it would go and waited some more. That just made the smoke worse, so I took it out of the oven, stuck it on a plate and put it in the microwave for a long time. Which worked out fine.

It's not really that I can't cook -- I've made some really killer Tequila Lime Chicken, and some fantastic chicken vindaloo with half the ingredients the recipe called for -- but it's more like I can't be bothered when I don't have an audience. I don't have the zen consciousness yet to construct a truly beautiful creation (or the talent yet, I guess), then destroy it like a Tibetan sand painting. Especially if I'm the only one around to enjoy it. I get all gastronomically nihilistic and reflect on how cereal and roast game hen with pineapple glaze all wind up looking the same in the end. Shit is the great leveler of food.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Yo -- Andrew Bishop Bockhorst, M.A., M.F. Badass, DIG! Anybody wanna anthropologist, you send 'em to me! FO SHEEZEE!

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Alright, folks, tomorrow's the day I actually turn in my thesis. I actually tried turning it in yesterday to the... well, the thesis office, whatever the hell their official title is. They made me fill out some forms, and obviously jump through a few hoops, evidenced by the fact that I still have the goddamn thing -- one line on the title page had to be struck, and the margins in Appendix C were off. The nice woman at the office who gives a shit about these things had a freakin' ruler, the kind I hadn't seen since grade school when they were standard issue along with glue, pencils, and glitter. So I fixed all that today, and I give the 100-page behemoth away tomorrow afternoon. Then I call my committee director and take him up on an offer for a pint of IPA at Gentle Ben's -- I'll miss that crazy South Carolina accent, and his take on the Battle of Little Bighorn as the glorious last days of the "ho-ase wo-ias" (i.e., horse warriors).

Meanwhile, I attended a meeting of the only writer's group in town that I've been able to find -- they've advertised for a while in the local papers, and I think I may have been the only new face in the very small group (four others) in quite some time. Nice folks, but being as it is way the hell across town, I might have to start a group of my own, maybe even with people this side of fifty.

Monday, May 05, 2003

I have been here all day and I am tired. There is no bottom to this thesis -- I have found that I can continue writing it, like Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys, until the end of time. Each time I sit down with it, I add ten pages and it remains essentially the same paper. It is uncanny.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Ok, I cheated a little bit -- I was tweaking the paper on Friday, feel a little bit rushed with the whole thing, called the graduate college and asked them to give me until Monday. They said fine. See how easy things can be when you ask. Seems to actually work fairly seldom, but can't hurt. So tomorrow's another day of tweaking. Fun fun.