Thursday, May 27, 2010

Upper Fairfax Revisited

My faithful readers may remember earlier references to my days of wild abandon when I had my studio on North Fairfax.........days and nights of depraved revelry guzzling cheap wine, brewing and dispensing hundreds of pots of coffee to droppers-in (I used to say that if I had sold the coffee and given away my ceramics I would have been a huge success.....this was  before the invention of the coffee house, by the way), and, sort of incidentally,was also involved in the endless potching, shaping, decorating and firing of clay works of art in the midst of all this revelry.  I know I promised more tantalizing revelations from this period and I am here to deliver.

Before I continue I must properly describe the setting......otherwise it will make little sense, I fear.  ( may make little sense even if I describe the setting in excruciating detail, but, as you know, I am undaunted by that.)

My shop was one of three adjoining shops that had been built onto the front of an old 1930's house.  Mine was the center one and I was lucky enough to have the original living room of the house complete with a real wood burning living/sleeping quarters up 4 steps at the back of the shop area.  There was also a mini-bathroom consisting of a toilet and stall shower and, in the shop itself, a sink.  I had carved out a samll kitchen area around the sink and had installed some hanging cabinets over the sink and a work counter with primitive open storage beneath, a second hand frig and 4 burner apartment stove.  It was really a very efficient working kitchen, but only for one small person and it was here that I often produced nearly gourmet meals for my friends.

One of said friends was a wonderful, brilliant, funny writer named Sasha who came by often for conversation, nourishment, occasional friendly sex and various games like scrabble and all sorts of word games which we both adored.  One night I invited Sasha to a special dinner.......I had splurged on a gorgeous piece of steak and intended to grill it in the fireplace (which worked very well as a grill site incidentally) and offer a salad and baked potatoes followed by my marvelous apple pie with cheddar cheese baked right  in the crust.......heavenly.  Sasha arrived and I had the grill all set up in the fireplace and the charcoal just about ready for grilling.  The oinkly  (oh another lovely combination that really should be a word)  as I was saying, the only glitch was that the salad had to be prepared by me in the kitchen which was about 25 feet and 4 steps down away from the grill in the fireplace so I took the obvious path to solving this problem.  I put the steak on the grill and installed Sasha on a chair by the fireplace with all the necessary tools and acoutrements to remove the steak at the proper moment and the instructions to "watch   the steak, please while I assemble and toss the salad".  "OK" said Sasha with a confident grin.

As I tore up greens with wild abandon I would periodically call out to Sasha ...."are you watching the steak?" and he would reassuringly reply, "Yes, yes I am watching it". Finally  the moment arrived when the salad was ready, likewise the baked potatoes and I trotted back and up the steps to my living room with the dinner on a tray.

"How is the steak?", I asked...... And Sasha looked up at me with innocent brown eyes and said  "I think it is burnt.....

Oh, The Shame of It

Holy is a week since I uttered a blog-word to my dear friends and I am deeply ashamed, sorrowful, repentant and whatever.  And it isn't as if I haven't tried......I have sat here staring at the virgin New Blog screen on many a morning and been unable to come up with a swingle word........that, of course, was meant to be "single" but I rather like "swingle"...if it isn't a word it ought to be.

I have also spent many an hour trying to analyze what the impediment is  (very different from writers'  block) and what may have altered within me during my recent trials and tribulations but I keep bruising my nose against a solid blank wall.  However, today is my caregiver's day off and I am detecting an ineffable something........the vibrations are different when I am here alone and when Consolee is here with me...........somehow the solitude seems to have turned off the evil rays which have been blocking my blogging.  Now, don't get me wrong, folks.....I am not blaming Angel-child Consolee.............and it is not simply that, when I have someone to talk to,  the need to blog is somehow diminished because no conversation compares with the sharing that goes on here.  I can only assume that the  distraction of a presence alters my Blogability in some way.  Or perhaps it is simply that Lois, the Hermit is a Blogger while Lois, the gregarious social butterfly is not.  At any rate, I will simply take advantage of this hermit-day and pass on a few photos and random thoughts while the spirit is with me.

First, I must revert to my Pollyanna state and confess that, when the two of us sit in Crochet Corner  gazing out into my little overgrown courtyard where the bougainvilla and jasmine vines spill over the wall in wild profusion, I am constantly reminded that I have the enormous privilege to live in Paradise.  When I ripped out the 3 little sash windows in my living room and installed floor to ceiling glass panels I certainly knew what I was doing though I never envisioned that a klutzy tumble would install me in my recliner to gaze out for so many hours at a time.  Anyway, all I can say is I am certainly glad I did.

Oddly enough,  speaking of bougainvilla,. I have never had such a profusion of blossoms until this year when I have been forced by my enfeebled condition to neglect everything that is growing outside........hmmm.....could it be that plants resent having a Jewish Mother who is constantly pinching their little leaves and muttering, "eat, eat, and flourish, mine kindt" ?

These are potted bougainvilla in the back yard overlooking the pool...........never looked this good in all the years in have wrung my hands over them.

And, here is a rare shot of Baskin, my anti-social  ingrate of a cat who has not let me touch him in the 6 or 7 years I have had him and for whom I went to the trouble of adopting Winnie to keep him from being so you can ploy was a success....he huddles near Winnie whenever he can and basks in her presence.......the little idiot.  He could have had 7 years of petting if he weren't so stubborn....ah well......maybe some cats need to be hermits.........ya think?