tirsdag, november 21, 2006

We Are Who We Know We Are

My uncle, mother, and two of the Dalton kids growing up in Chicago, circa 1950.

Things are as usual back here in Illinois. There are more tvs and computers, it seems, than the last time I visited. There are always more computers and televisions. We've at least a box of tissue in every room, though that has nothing to do with television. We aren't a crying-at-dramas kind of family. At least, not as a family. If we're going to get weepy, we tend to do it on our own.

The Cubs and Bears are the headline news. The school system's concerns about math education come second...or third.

In the evening, we watch mysteries. (Last night my dad and I watched the first two episodes of the old six-episode Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy series. Alec Guinness's portrayal of Smiley is aces.) In the evening, we read. Pops is reading Zadie Smith's most recent novel (On Beauty) and Michael Perry's Truck. Umberto Eco and Dylan Thomas have also queued up on his reading stand.

Mums is reading Graham Swift's Waterland.

Grams has just finished part three of Moberg's four-novel cycle of Swedish immigrants.

And I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, a violent and breathless ode to declarative sentences and the obliteration of punctuation. I think I'll soon have something more to say, but only a bit more. I'm 100 pages or so shy of the ending, which means that I'll finish tonight unless he takes to 8 pt font and double-justified margins, a la WG Sebald. I don't foresee that happening.

Oh, but it isn't all gunplay, intrigue and immigrant toil around here. A DVD copy of A Child's Christmas in Wales sits on the desk downstairs. (It's about time we've replaced the decrepit VCR tape from that old PBS broadcast!) Seems targeted perfectly for a Thanksgiving night viewing.

The comforts of home.

My Spidey Sense

I made hot cholocate the night I returned. I'd brought the Ghiradelli canister. So there I was in the kitchen looking up at the pans above the stove and the chocolate in my thoughts. I was pleased to see another nice pot had been added to their cookware: a high-walled sauce pan. Perfect.

I removed it from the hook, set it on the stove with a bit of heat, added my milk and chocolate powder, turned up the heat, and hey: cob webs.


I'd turned to grab a stirring spoon and when I turned back, I noticed a billowy wisp of cobweb on one side of the pot.

I stared at the cholocate, which in its ill-mixed state had formed bubbles atop the milk.

In my own apartment, this probably would have brought about my gag reflex. Perhaps it would have keyed off a midnight cleaning binge. Here at home, though, I just looked over my shoulder, not that anyone in the house would have cared.

I eyed the chocolate again.

And with an Addam's Family-like acceptance, I just brushed the web aside with a napkin and got to stirring the milk. Hell, I'd probably eat a chocolate covered spider.

Again, the comforts of home.
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