Saturday, July 18, 2009

the Problem of Leisure

Toilet seat up. "Hmmn...?" Both of my computers on the dining room table, along with the external hard drive, burner and speakers. "Whazza--? You'd think...." Seventies hard rok squawking from the stereo. "YEAH! That's what I'm--yeah!" Children's toys, not put away but merely shoved back against the walls.

Uh-huh. My wife and daughters are out of town. And in this very quiet apartment, I have become Talking to Myself Guy.

I can stay up as late as I want, and sleep late too. I could be Go to a Rave Take Ecstacy and Become Convinced that the World is One Guy. Or Walk the Streets All Night and Experience the Real Vienna Guy. Or even just drink two beers and Walk the Streets Part of the Night Guy. No. I think I'll stay home, edit family fotos, watch an old Western movie, and mutter. "The lighting in this scene--wait, lemme back it up--this is-whoa."

That's the kind of guy I am.

I really did drink two beers the other night. I mean two of the big ones. Tall boys.

Plus, yesterday, I did leave the house. I went to Prosi, our Asian-Latin-African grocery and bought a can of refried black beans and a jar of sliced jalapenos. Then I went to the main public library, and spent a few hours listening to music I've never heard while looking at coffee table picture books about sixties cinema and twentieth century Russia. Then I came back home, edited more family fotos and made nachos for one.

Completely useless, entirely exploratory, unhurried looking and listening. That's my excess.


Ed Ward said...

Except that you're choosing what to look at and listen to somehow, and storing it for a future use that you can't even conceive of now. Bet it'll bubble up some day.

I have two cans of refrieds and some tortillas frozen in the freezer. Time, I think, to make use of same. Cantal cheese is perfect for enchiladas...

pat said...

Good idea. I envy you the tortillas. Cantal cheese I don't know. On this side of the Franco-German divide I use bierkase (sic.)

NeoMystic said...

It's so rare to have those alone times of unhurried, wide open space and your own mind. Drink. Read. Talk. Rock. Eat. Sort of blog. Sounds like heaven.

Stewart said...

So,if you made nachos then you can get tortilla chips at least. In London, our Sainsbury's had a whole section of Old El Paso brand products. Unfortunately, it was a UK version of the brand and everything had been reformulated to weird British tastes. What they called "corn tortillas" were actually flour dyed yellow. I could go on...

I ended up buying a chapati press at Borough Market and masa harina at Whole Foods Market London in Kensington and making my own corn tortillas.

Have you tried ordering from

I sent Ed some Mexican food items from London when he was in Berlin and it got delivered.

Jennifer said...

Pat, I'm totally enjoying your blog. Doesn't count for much, I'm sure, but wanted to let you know.

pat said...

Dear NeoM: Yeah, it's been verrrry nice. I've discovered Buffalo Springfield, Cat Power and Betty Davis (the female george Clinton?) And I read my sixteenth book. Hey, the Black Sabbath box set liner notes do so count as a book.
Dear Stewart: Thanks for dropping by! Yes, we can get tortilla chips, but they're really just glorified Doritos. Our supermarkets sell Tex Mex Santa Maria brand mexican-style products and the flour tortillas are not awful.
I love London, but my friend David Sims got it right when he said the national spice of England is dough.
Jennifer: It counts for a lot--thanks for reading!