Saturday, June 27, 2009

More Reading, Less Poker

After my run of ridiculous bad luck at the 'M' the other night, I've decided to take a week or so off from the poker tables. And while I generally feel like playing poker is a positive expectation game for me, right now, I just don't want to take the chance on taking a hit to the bankroll with another slew of bills due in a few days.

So I've been chillin' here at the new apartment--something I find that I really enjoy, now that I live by myself. It had been so long that I'd forgotten all the small joys of having one's own space. Of course, having a sweet TV helps, but then again, most of the time, there ain't shiat to watch. I've already seen every episode of Deadliest Catch and No Reservations at least three times, AMC seems to show Clear & Present Danger about six times a day, (and it was a sucky movie anyways), and while I love me some History Channel, Food Network, and Discovery, I will *never* watch anything that has to do with aliens, ghosts, bigfoot, mummies, or Rachael Ray.

It's also too getting too hot to do anything outside except go to the pool, and for the past three or four days, the maintenance crew here has drained the pool and are working on resurfacing it. So swimming is out of the question. Oh, and I'm still a couple of days away from kicking this head cold, so I don't feel like doing much except reading and cooking (although my appetite is still on the wane due to being kinda sick).

Thankfully the NBA season is finally over, and now that the draft is behind us, maybe Bill Simmons' column will be readable again. In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of other reading. Most of my books have been sealed up and stored for over two years, and some of them I've never even read, and some of them are almost ten years old. But I've been unpacking them all, and it seems that I've lost a storage tote somewhere. I cannot find my guitar notebooks anywhere, and while I can't name any specific titles, it feels like I'm missing some of my other books.

Oh well, at least I'm pretty much all unpacked now. And I see that I have some empty shelf space, too...

Over the past two days, I found and read the first two Back Bay editions of C.S. Forester's Hornblower saga, Mr. Midshipman Hornblower and Lieutenant Hornblower, both of which were fantastically fun to read. Normally, besides Tom Clancy novels, I'm not much of a fiction guy--I prefer history books--but well-written historical fiction is quite enjoyable.

Of course, absorbing that much Royal Navy adventure in so short a time has left me wanting for more. So this morning, I broke my promise to myself that I'd buy nothing but necessities until there was a new couch in my living room--I got onto Amazon and ordered the next three volumes in the series. That'll give me the first five out of the eleven total Hornblower books , and I'm sure that by the end of the summer, I'll have read the entire saga. (I'm also waiting on another shipment of a couple of other books, but I ordered them before I decided to stop spending money).

And even though I'm still a bit sick and kind of not hungry, I find that eating one meal a day of cheese, crackers, and apple slices just doesn't cut it. So this morning I felt like I had to make some sort of substantial meal.

So I broke out the big cast iron skillet, cooked up a pound of breakfast sausage, made a roux with real butter and bacon drippings (Oh yeah!), added some white and black pepper, mixed in a bit of milk, and let the whole mess simmer for a bit while I baked up a pan of biscuits. While watching an episode of Triple-D on the Travel Channel awhile back, I saw that one of the diners used maple syrup in their gravy recipe, so added about a quarter cup to mine, too.

Remember that scene in Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman is in the restroom at Jack Rabbit Slims, does a line of coke on the counter, then stands straight up with a slight quiver and yells in the mirror "Gott-damn!!!"?

Well, that was my reaction when I took my first bite. It was outstanding.

I may have been in kitchen exile for the better part of the last year, but I still got mad skillz. This was probably one of the best batches of sausage gravy that I've ever made. And lucky for me there are leftovers, too.

Anyhow, there's not much else of interest going on around here. I'm just gonna enjoy the peace and quiet, the cool breeze from the air conditioner, and perhaps a rum drink or two, and spend most of my weekend reading and waiting for the phone to ring.


No comments: