inviting myself over
Saturday, November 27 2010
Yesterday I'd hung an expensive ($300) set of insulated blinds over a tryptic of windows near the woodstove. The hope is that these will help retain heat from the stove at night. This morning as I put them up, they introduced a new sound to my morning routine (which also includes coffee being ground and kibble being dumped into the dog bowls). Off in the bed upstairs, Gretchen was puzzled at first by this unusual noise, but she figured it out.
As I continued with building the framework to support the new section of flooring in the greenhouse, I realized I needed an additional concrete pier along the south wall, causing me to build a small wooden form and mix up about a gallon of concrete. It's convenient to have an easy source of water for water-requiring projects right there in the greenhouse itself.
Gretchen went to visit Vegan named Sarah over in Saugerties (she's a frequent housesitter throughout this area) to walk the dogs and to eat at a new brunch place. Among the things she learned from Sarah was that Lynne and Mark had come up from the City and were visiting Ray and Nancy. Knowing that I like Mark and still craving alone time, Gretchen convinced me to invite myself over to Ray and Nancy's place this evening. So I called down there at about 5:30 and ended up inviting myself over for dinner. It was another delicious seat-of-the-pants pair of dishes cooked by Ray: an Asian-style ginger-flavored broccoli and an Italianate pasta & redsauce dish. I'd brought over a bottle of dry white wine because he'd told me that is the only form of alcohol he is now permitted to drink. But then it turned out that he only drinks dry red wine. It fell to Mark and me to drink the last of the pre-surgery Miller Lite in the refrigerator.
At some point Ray, Mark, and I went out to Ray's garage mancave, which still doesn't have any form of heat despite the change in the weather. Ray played us classic scenes from Hanzo The Razor, a Manga-inspired live action movie about a crime-fighting, self-flagellating, martial arts superhero (and his two devoted assistants). His appeal to western audiences lies as much in a his kinky lifestyle as in his James-Bond-by-way-of-16th-Century Japan contraptions. For example, his preferred way for interrogating women is by raping them (but they love it!). His manhood is completely desensitized after following a rigorous regime of fucking bags of rice and using a club to beat the impression of his erect penis into a chopping block. The movie pivots effortlessly between sex and violence, and there's plenty of homoerotic content in between. Sometimes Ray would turn up the soundtrack for us to hear, though mostly we'd be listening to MP3s instead, usually of contemporary blues-inspired hard rock (such as The White Stripes). Meanwhile Mark helped organize some shelves and I tossed darts at a dartboard. Periodically I'd go inside to get one of or the other of my dogs so they wouldn't think they'd been abandoned. Eleanor didn't much like the cold, so we tried bundling her up in a pair of ski pants, which was only semi-successful. The clock was stuck on 4:20 the whole time we were out there.
Eventually we retreated back inside, where Nancy, Lynne, and Mark and Lynne's daughter Viv were watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the 2005 film starring Johnny Depp). It's a pretty intense film if the time is only a little after 4:20 or you're a little kid. Viv seemed horrified when Veruca Salt was pushed down the garbage shoot by the swarm of angry CGI squirrels, though later when asked whether the newer or older version of the film (she'd seen both) was more scary, she said that neither was, though if made to decide, the newer one was.
I didn't really know how strongly I'd partaken of 4:20 until the drive home. The stress of driving led to something of a continuous low-level panic attack. And then when I got home, Gretchen seemed disappointed that I'd only been gone a little over three hours.
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