Subject: Another Slack-filled Sunday
From: !!!firstname.lastname@example.org (TarlaStar)
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 14:19:19 GMT
It was brunch time again this past Sunday, and I've only just emerged
from the food coma. This month's brunch was held at Sr. Testicler's
abode and cooked by John. There's was beautiful little spa and
somewhat New Age meeting place down the Big Sur coast called, Esalen.
It was washed into the sea by El Nino. John used to be the cook there.
This month, he made us Thai.
We arrived at Sr.T's around eleven with a couple of lawn chairs, a keg
of beer, a two-gallon pot and a wok for John. I had just dragged the
teenboy out of bed about 10 minutes earlier. He had to go to work at
2:30 and we didn't want to have to drive home to pick him up and take
him to work, so we brought him to brunch. John put him to work placing
pieces of yoghurt marinated chicken onto skewers. John is a genius. If
there's anything that the boy secretly loves, it's feeling useful and
The kitchen was a wonderful chaos of cooked chicken, herbs and spices,
strange mushrooms, mussels and shrimp, veggies of various and sundry
sorts. It smelled heavenly and I accepted a cup of coffee before John
put ME to work skewering pieces of marinated beef. Sr.T's date, "H"
was off at the french bakery getting several large baguettes, Etta
James was playing on the stereo. It was Sunday, our day of communion.
It wasn't long before Sr. Terry the Scary, Sr. Do-me, and Sr. Jezabel
the Unclean arrived bearing the South Park tape. Hugs and kisses went
around and we caught up on each other's month. I passed around the
newest book on New Zealand and we all teared up at the photos. It's
everything I ever wanted in a country...and penguins. H came back with
the bread and more coffee beans and we all chatted pleasantly while he
grilled the skewered meat and John prepared the rest of the appetizer
Sr. T's coffee table was loaded down with beef and chicken kabobs,
various sauces ranging from sweet (hoisin) to firey hot (fish sauce
with tiny red and green peppers) to mild (yoghurt with mint) a plate
with sauteed mung bean sprouts and carrots was in the center of the
table, along with steamed rice noodles, cooked shredded chicken and
pork, mushroooms, and a plate of fresh leaf lettuce. We each removed
the meat from our chosen kabob and scooped up whatever sauce we
thought we could handle, then John told us that we were to treat the
lettuce leaves as we would a tortilla, picking and choosing the
veggies, meat, sauce and noodles to lay inside and wrap the leaf
around. It was delightful.
There were a few late arrivals. Al had to open the kitchen at "the
evil place" and he left there around 1pm. Kathy had to drive down from
the city and got there soon after Al. Frank swung by around two. Frank
is a wonderful man. He and his wife, Gwen built a house in the country
that is a monument to environmentalism. It's built part-way into the
side of a hill, with high windows on the North (hill-side) side and
low ones on the south side for air flow. All the way around every room
in the house there are planters built in. He has a Japanese style
bathroom with a step-in soaking tub. The kitchen is open and airy and
leads directly into the greenhouse. He raises water-plants. All of his
used water goes into a series of three outdoor tanks, each slightly
lower than the other so that he can move water through the pipes by
gravity rather than by motor. The water is cleaned by a combination of
plants, goldfish and charcoal filters as it moves through each tank.
At the end you have clean water once more, which he uses to maintain
the thousands and thousands of plants that surround the house. Gwen
died a few years ago and it's getting hard for Frank to maintain the
house, but he loves it and does the best he can.
We are an unusual mixture of people brought together by The Mont and
bonded by our ability to survive "the evil place" with humors intact.
Sr. Testicler is 37, and working on her Ph.D. in a combined
Sociology/Communications major. John is 40 ish,world travelled, works
at Kinko's, and knows the secrets in every closet in Norman. "H" is in
his mid-thirties, and finishing his degree in Communications. Sr.
Do-me is 26, and a letters major. Terry is 28, and getting her M.A.
in Business Comm. Nightmare Hippy Boy is 16, in high school and
working at Braum's. Sr. Jez is 27, and may or may not ever complete
her degree in English. She works at a ritzy little French restaurant
in Ft. Worth. Frank, is Sr. T's dad,77, a retired news photographer
and died in the wool liberal of the finest kind. Al is in his
thirties, and manages the kitchen at "the evil place". He's the only
one of us still left there. Kathy is 35, and just completed her BA.
The Bearded Guy is 34, and finishing up a Master's in Computer
Science. You all know me. Ranging from 16 to 77 and we still
communicate honestly. It's a wonderment to me.
We moved back and forth between the living room and the patio. At one
point, John offered some kabobs to the next door neighbors and they in
turn offered to share a doobie with the group. John, Terry, Jez and
NHB went over and smoked with them. TBG and I are still staying
straight. Soon thereafter, I had to take the boy to work and Frank
Next, John whipped out the salad course which consisted of:
marinated shrimp, chicken, bean sprouts, tomato and cucumber slices,
fried rice noodles, and fish sauce sweetened with a little sugar and
some soy sauce.
Sr. T had acquired a number of excellent red wines. My favorite was
the Canyon Road Cabernet, though the Pinot Noir was also quite good.
The Merlot, though very tasty was a bit too sweet for me after having
a glass of the Pinot. The Bearded Guy brought a couple of gallons of
his smoked porter and a couple of commercial Lambics for everyone to
try. One of the best things about this group is that no one is a nasty
drunk. Everyone just gets sweeter and more affectionate and that's a
We had two soup courses. The first was, Mee Krob (soup with chicken,
and coconut milk) followed about an hour later by a Mussel soup in a
spicey broth. There was plenty of crusty French bread to go along with
them and the mussels were tender and perfect.
At this point, our eyes were glazing over, so it was time to gather in
the living room and watch South Park. It was close to 7pm. We decided
on the next date, June 14th. That made Sr. T. very happy, "It's Flag
Day," she cried. "That's my favorite holiday!"
Sr. Do-me and Sr. Terry the Scary had brought their own variety of
"panty remover" and everyone toasted the chef. I only had a tiny shot
glass of it, while everyone else killed the bottle. It tasted like a
liquid Apple Jolly Rancher.
I was sitting out on the patio when I had The Moment. There was a
slight breeze, Jez, John, Sr. T, TBG, Kathy and I were out there
smoking cigarettes, and sipping our drinks (mine was water at this
point). There was a huge Magnolia tree with a single perfect bloom
next door and the birds were singing to each other. A feeling of deep
contentment came over me, an almost spirtual sense of belonging and
being with those you love. We were living in the moment, just enjoying
the presence of each other and the joy that comes from having good
friends who share your same ideals.
John had two more courses to go, but decided to forego one and just
served up the Beef Curry over rice. It was perfect. The beef was
tender, the sauce, hot enough to make your mouth glow but not so hot
as to overwhelm you. I'd stopped drinking a few hours earlier, because
the Bearded Guy looked as though he wanted to cut loose. He and Sr.
Jezabel were pretty tipply at this point. I gathered our stuff and
herded them out to the car for the drive home. Slack.
Next month it's my turn to cook again. I'm thinking...French.
Hey listen...before you go, would you mind changing my diaper?