14 September 2015

This Post Concerns Such Things as the Proper Preparation of Salmon, Loading a Dishwasher and the Word Funky

This picture makes my mouth water.

It’s always something. It has to be because if it wasn’t something it would be nothing. No one wants that.

I just enjoyed loading the dishwasher. I’m serious. First I put away the clean dishes that had been in the dishwasher, then I put the dirty ones in. I’m very organized about such things in a way that my family thinks is a little weird. Popularly said, some of what I do is a little OCD. Among all the other peccadilloes, foibles, eccentricities, mental quirks and emotional upsets I live with there is a tendency I have to do certain things compulsively. Well what of it? In my case it's nothing for anyone, least of all me, to be concerned about. I’ve got other fish to fry. Indeed I have a rather sizable lake’s worth of fish to be fried. You know, not that it matters, I prefer my fish not to be fried. Broiled is much better, barbecued is good. Frying is one of the worst things you can do to a fish or to your belly.

My dad regularly went salmon fishing. On the ocean. He did this up until he was 91 and would have continued if on the last trip he took he didn’t have a freakish fall coming out of the boat. That fall ultimately led to his death. He caught the biggest fish on the boat that day. That was my dad. Anyway he once took my father-in-law fishing. The two of them hit it off famously, their mutual love of fishing being a prime reason. They caught some fish, as was generally the case when my dad got anywhere near water. He’d walk down to the pier and the fish would just give up and jump into his lap. So the in-laws were staying with the wife and I at the time and they prepared some of the salmon. This is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They fried it. Son of bitch, yes they did. They’re from the south where damn near everything is fried. But salmon? Jesus that’s criminal. I tasted it and it was like eating a cross between a french fry and broiled salmon. Meanwhile the wife made me some salmon the proper way. Or I should say, one of the proper ways. My dad used to smoke salmon and even salt it. Either way is delicious. There's a lot of ways to prepare a salmon. Frying should never be one of them. Come on.

But getting back to my original point (and I swear I had one) I enjoyed loading the dishwasher. I like washing laundry and taking out the recycling and compost and trash. I like sorting my clean socks. I like a lot of tasks that are ritualistic and also serve a purpose and make my life a little cleaner and tidier. They are good for the soul. And for someone like me who deals with issues stemming from a crazy and alcoholic mother, they are natural and necessary. There are worse things.

One of the things I like about some chores (mind you there are certain chores I can do without, let’s be real here, I don’t like doing just any stupid thing like mopping or cooking) is that they are reminders of being alive. Occasionally when I’m suffering a particularly difficult commute it feels like death. Waiting in line can be like that. The feeling that life is being sapped away from you. You are helpless and have no power in a situation and just have to take whatever comes. Of course you can just let go and try to relax but that’s one of those things that even after 28 years of 12 stepping is easier said than done. But accomplishing little chores feels like participating in life. In a small way yes, but then who’s to say what’s small and what’s significant?

I mentioned commuting. Regular readers of this blog (both of us) know that I frequently share stories about my bus rides through San Francisco’s Chinatown. On today’s trip a passenger boarded with what must have been a live octopus with an intestinal flu. Whatever it was was in a bag and not moving but the odor betrayed it. I recall the word funky which was quite commonly used in various ways years ago but has fallen out of favor for reasons unknown. I'd like funky to come back. I remember when music could be funky and that was a good thing. More funk, please. It's a word that needs a comeback.

I’d love to chatter on and on and I know you’d very much like me to. But if I wrote more it would keep me from studying Italian which I simply must do and if there was more here for you to read (he flatters himself that anyone has read this far) it would keep you from that book you’re reading. Your book club meets Thursday so that simply won’t do. You're on what, page 86? Jeez. Then again this blog may be delaying you answering some work-related emails, or maybe you should be reading little Millicent a bedtime story or more importantly this might be keeping you from curing cancer. Gracious me.

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