"For real company and friendship, there is nothing outside of the animal kingdom that is comparable to a river"--Henry Van Dyke
I just set the crockpot in motion with a mixture of raw pumpkin and something called Kodiak Cakes Big Bear Brownies. The Kodiak Cakes box features a picture of a big bear insisting that he is a few Brownies short of a full hibernation. "Whole wheat and double chocolate", the box proclaims, as well as "no trans fats".
I am trying a new thing by baking with a crockpot, after tonight's salmon was a success, albeit a more muted, less flavorful success than last night's chicken. Tomorrow I am all set up for pork loins, sauerkraut, local cucumbers and small red potatoes, for a kind of German fest. Tonight, though, let them bake cake.
The directions said I need a coffee can for the baking, but we have no spare coffee cans. This is entirely unlike my childhood, when spare coffee cans would be easy to find. I instead fashioned a cradle for the dough out of parchment paper, and hope that
I end up at midnight with Weight-Watchers-style low-fat brownies rather than with
a goo of cocoa parchment paper. If I have the former, I'll surprise my co-workers with
a healthy September dessert special.
This afternoon I went hiking at the riparian woodland near Spring Creek in Richardson.
I saw the first hints of late Summer/eartly Autumn flowers. I listened to my mp3 player as I walked on a cool afternoon. My favorite track was a Creative Commons download from the amazing Minnesota netlabel Darkwinter Records. The track is called "Silent Night (Shepherds Quake version)" by an artist called Archive.
"Silent Night (Shepherd's Quake version)" begins with a simple music box playing "Silent Night". Then the music box notes deconstruct gradually into a pleasing melodic chaos. Then the chaos is reprocessed into ambient drone. It's experimental and yet lovely, and it's a free download in the spirit of an almost-forgotten spirit of non-materialistic giving.
I thought that I should wait until December, and offer it up as a truly meaningful alternative to Christmas sentimentality, as the experience of sound in the piece has an almost spiritual feel about it, the spirit of the active mind connecting with the creative sense.
But I stopped by Garden Ridge today, and they already have up green, blue and silver aluminum "tinsel trees", and I realized the disease is already in its early stages, and an antidote is required.
I picked up some novels to read this week, and some farmers' market seedless grapes upon which I snacked tonight. I took the dogs for a walk by the park pond, in weather fresh cooled in the aftermath of a quick morning rain.
I hope my schedule at work permits me to drive to Bedford to play Tuesday at the Bedford Scrabble club. The consensus of those with whom I have e mailed is that I should play in "serious game" conditions at a club before entering an actual tournament. I would go to the Dallas club at nearby Richardson, except that Thursday night I must go to Los Angeles on a quick business trip.
This afternoon I listened to one of those sampler CDs that came with an issue of Paste Magazine, and decided that I liked the new song by Dolores O'Riordan "Ordinary Days", and William Fitzsimmons' "It's not true".
This week's favorite song is neither of these worthy, earnest efforts, but Free Form Five's new remix of the song "No More Conversations", an electro-dance track with a retro flair I quite enjoy. The lead singer for Free Form Five, T. Barnett-Herrin, provides, under the alter ego "Calendar Girl", remixable a capellas in the altogether admirable Creative Commons project called Calendar Songs, for which I assembled perhaps the least effective mix (but tremendously fun) mix thus far, in which the "July" song is paired with cardinals, a woodpecker, and a red-winged blackbird.
I have a very brisk week ahead, but I'm pleased to have had a restful and produtive weekend. Perhaps my only error was failing to save a song on the Splice Music on-line sequencer before my system crashed, yet remixing life is full of false starts and necessary discards.
I am on to new novels, late night football games, and the hope of creative crockpot weight-conscious Kodiak brownies.