Thursday, August 21

more pizza!!!!

the cucch surprised me.
he popped up into the woodsly goodness,
all married-up and sh!t, but flying solo-
and we spanned an excellent afternoon together.
that's the best way to get over having the girls gone
from the freshness of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
a secret best friend intervention is so expert.
and i knew what needed to happen, neighbors.
i mean,
it was OBVIOUS-
i had dough,
i had sauce,
i had chee',
and i even had amber coming over after work for dinner.
all those things combined means super-deluxe get-rad super supper sh!t
was fully going to go off like circles of serious 'za-'za, kids...
check the once-more-with-bigger-feelings-type teleport:
pizza party!
there can't be more, can there?
there sure is, guys.
too much is the right amount,
and pizza is the best!
pizza party time is good for you.
so good, in fact,
that i had a second party pizza plan just a few days after the first one.
double-down double-down-under-chee' doubled-up double dough doo-doo!
overdoing it.
that's still a thing.
everything else is just pretending to go to eleven.
and that's not invited;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 20

we do things.

my daughter wants to make a steampunk costume.
we start thinking about hallowe'en early.
we have to.
or, at least, we tell ourselves that.
she secretly watches all this internet content about modifying stuff,
and adding bits and pieces to other stuff,
and stuffing stuff into other stuff.
not like that.
jeez. you guys are A*-holes.
i'm talking about tutorials on crafts.
and googling information on cool costumes.
 i sure do love nerding out.
after she showed me a few pictures of nerf guns that's been altered to look
like victorian battle-blasters from the alternate future of the distant past,
we got one for ourselves, and got to work.
we decided on a small one,
since they live with some pretty staunchly anti-gun lefty nancypantses.
no sense in getting the kid into trouble, right?
after a little black paint, a lot of epoxy and superglue, and lots more paint,
and paint markers, and wire, and sorting through odds-and-ends and bits
and pieces we found in the clearance bric-a-brac aisles at the department store...
....we ended up with this:
pretty cool, huh?
like, a tiny pneumatic lightning inoculator!
and how F*ing rad (and cute) are those little lightbulbs?
no.... they aren't functioning.
take it easy, killjoy.
that big lightbulb carburetor jauns, from wire, a sink strainer and a travel bottle?
neat-o, neighbors, is what we were shootin' for here.
we used a lot of small parts from actual firearm accessories,
a bullet casing, bottle caps, gear findings, a fishing swivel,
a giant thumbtack, fake leather felt, weird string, a drywall anchor, tiny beads,
and just a little bit of patience.
we made it all happen in-between work and pizza and movies an' that.
not half bad for a quick foray into nerd munitions, though.
and i think the other side is pretty good, too:
maple likes it,
i like it,
and we had fun putting it all together, together.
it still shoots nerf darts.
that's kind of expert, isn't it?
family togetherness,
and craft party activation,
with guns!
all guns are dope, even the plastic weirdies.
oh, yeah, and just so you know what we got ourselves into-
it started out looking super-gaytarded:
the retrofit teleport time-travel unravel upgrade is what's up.
making things, together.
that's that family sh!t friends.
and it's good for you.
we didn't make a whole costume, yet.
it's still only august.
go easy.
in anticipation of the effort,
i gave her an old broken pocketwatch i've had for some time;
and an old beat-up bowler hat i bought from the long-gone hat shop in town;
and we hit up a craft store for all the felt and glitter and fabric,
so she's well on her way.
i try to help, guys.
i mean it.
we do nerdy stuff,
but it's how we bond;
never quiet, never soft.....

pizza party.

i'm home alone, again.
after too few nights with harvest and maple,
family togetherness is over and done with for now.
that's no joke,
but it sure is a total bummer.
we did activate and participate in an awful lot of big flippin' fun, though,
right up until they got in the car to go home-
and that means the last night in town was a busy one.
i mean, it had to be extra expert,
because there won't be another one for a little minute...
y'know what that means?
it means that it was about time for a righteous pizza party.
heck yes, neighbors-
because we LOVE PIZZA!!
reppin' on that pee eye zee zee ayyyyyyyy!
how much pizza did we dominate?
ALL the pizza.
the baking stone,
the super stretchy dough,
and some elite mise en place of various beige things.
word up.
check the party-time-excellent-type teleport:

numero uno!
spinach and sliced little tomatoes. so cute.
and circles of especially smoky browned tofurky dawgs.
underneath the simple lightly sweetened and salted crushed tomato sauce,
there's a heavy slather of rinotta cashew-nootch-tofu chee'.
it's the secret activation that makes the whole thing go to eleven.
and of course, the daiya('rrhea) vegan cheese, for a little added hottness.
the crust gets so dope with the soft secret under-sauce chee' top
and the cornmeal rolled stone-baked bottom.
real talk-
once it got quartered and served,
each steaming hot slice took some actual worthwhile time to eat.
heavy, hearty, massive foodstuffs need to be conquered.
that's the only way to enjoy them.
and there's more, obviously.

caramelized sweet vidalia onions!
secret chee' business, heavy on the sauce, not-so-secret daiya,
and that hot crustiness for your face.
this one had ALL the flavor you could ask for,
and then just a little bit more flavor, too.
we do it right when we doo-doo that italiano-type sh!t.
and then we ate another 'nother one, too.
check the tiny-green-trees-type teleport:

broccoli and brick-hued faux bacon squares!
so much food!
no daiya this time, for the sake of variety.
the secret chee' is burly, kids.
for all it has going for it in regards to the realm of creaminess,
it contains double that in the density department.
all that nootch and garlic and tofu and cashews definitely adds mass.
and the bulky double-crust concentration made each piece a meal in itself.
that's how we can all be sure that we remain on the correct path.
too much is the right amount,
and when three pieces of pizza leaves you feeling stuffed to the uvula?
you guessed it, kids.
you gotta terrorize one more for the road.
tomato basil soysages?!
sizzling circles of slightly burnt spicy diced beige tubes.
oh stop it, you know they're delicious.
don't be dumb.
and more of that shreddy chee' sh!t, browned at 500 F*ing degrees F....
we came, we stretched (the dough), we administered the high heat,
and we filled ourselves until we couldn't fit anything anywhere anymore.
that's it.
there was no reason not to go a little overboard.
i mean it.
a few paltry days to smash a summer of fun in?
that's impossible.
we made all the moves we could.
i won't ever stop trying my hardest to impress my daughters.
i do what i do, because that's just how it has to be.
and there's no excuse to cut corners and lame-out,
to take it easy and lazy and weak.
i gotta do it all, and do it right,
and do it louder and fresher and harder.
rules is rules.
best dad ever?
not hardly.
really real worthy warrior poet?
these girls need to be exposed to some of that more often.
i am still grateful for the time i have been given,
even when there's nowhere near enough of it.
(there never is)
i miss 'em;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 18

two fires.

fire, neighbors.....
the furious flames of a roaring, soaring, searing hot,
blazing, barbarian raging daytime fire!
you know it's the best part.
the decision was made,
the kindling was stacked in a square,
and the match was lit.
check the teleport:
that's how afternoons get activated.
i made two fires, yesterday.
that's right.
i sort of had to, really.
harvest and maple and amber and i did some grilling,
and we needed extra space for potatoes.
that's right- extra space.
i mean,
you can't take up all that griddle area with spuds.
that's just plain dumb.
you can do it to 'em in the primordial elements in the pit of doom.
so they go right in the coals, wrapped in foil, campground style.
so expert.
a packet of buttery baby fancies,
and a pouch apiece for sweetly yammed-up orange ones, too.
that's fresh right?
a half an hour in the furnace and they're all ready for gettin' munched up so hard.
the other fire was in the proper fire containment receptacle.
the big fire goes on the wild lump charcoal pit,
inside the blacksmithy forge i call a grill.
we had zukes and squash, and asparagus, and brussels, and carrots,
and big muchrooms, and soysages, and corn.
too much is the right amount,
so we got right with out meal,
and we made nice with our makers.
our meal-makers.
sunday is for food, not spirituality.
family togetherness is no joke.
in fact,
it takes a whole lot of effort to stay fun all day.
that may even be true for most everybody-
but, when you're me?
(which you may all deeply exhale out in a heavy flood of relief that you aren't)
it becomes brutality.
not because these kids aren't rad.
far from it.
all i ever want to do is be around them, honestly.
it's just that i'm SO not fun.
at all.
it's just possible i'm funny, or at least, funny-lookin'-
but i'm NOT fun-
and honestly,
i think i might kinda hate having fun.
real talk.
i love hanging out in the kitchen and cooking,
and making artsy-type projects,
and watching movies, and arguing about which dr.who is the best one (#10)
and talking about books...
but that's nerd-dad stuff.
they don't care about other sh!t, really,
which i guess means THEY aren't fun either?
the pressure to engage in the maximum amount of interactive participation
is dominant in my mind, though.
having family togetherness action in full effect,
in the interest of entertaining my daughters and making the minutes matter more,
takes all the effort i've got just to make things marginally alright.
a whole 'nother day off,
no work, no plans,
and just ourselves to keep us occupied?
no question,
it's good stuff, having all those hours all to our own,
but it gets sandwiched in the center of a hard style.
making it matter,
and making it the best.
that's what we're here for,
and that's we're determined to do.
real life unfolds,
fun or not,
ready or not,
it's all really happening,
and i wouldn't trade it for something else at all;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 17

short but powerful cakes

powdered sugar and a little lemon oil and ground vanilla beans
stirred up, into, and all over a whole quart of sliced strawberries?
if you don't have the expert toppings,
you're just eating bottoms.
which really isn't always all that bad in some cases.....
the strawberry stuff is seriously tasty,
and it has all the right proportions of tart and sweet and wet and thick.
simple slabs of syrupy adornment are what we adore on our cake, kids.
and speaking of cakes,
check the oaten-circles-of-excellence-type teleport:
oatmeal and lemon zest and freeze-dried strawberries!
circles cut out of a burly batch of dough,
doing double-duty as extra-bannock-y scone coasters.
just slightly sweeter than i'd usually score a scottish cake,
and twice as toothsome for all that oaten hottness.
there's just the right amount of  layers and layers and layers and layers.
a LOT of layers-
folded and flipped and folded forever and ever.
that's how it was going to go before we even started preheating the oven.
you had to see that coming, friend.
after all, too much is the right amount,
and that's especially true when making soft hearty biscuits for breakfast.
word up.
the berry bits and pieces were the airy super-crunchy kind when they got added in,
but they soaked up the moisture and act as little steam engines while baking.
time release aroma activators are always welcome in MY house.
that's real.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress has enough mystery smells that arrive uninvited
during overly rainy days and unvearably hot days
that all pleasantly dedicated and indentifiable odors are nice to know about.
but anyway,
with a sploosh of soya in whipped creme conditions on top?
breakfast shortcakes are in effect.
they ARE pretty short.
oh, c'mon.
me and mine are all gonna hang out extra hard.
i'm talking about shopping and cooking and talking
and hot fire and maybe even lightning
and crafting and movie-watching and EVERYthing.
family togetherness is important,
and working on tattooing tards is going to have to F* right off for today.
losing oney means less than losing this moment.
i've got things to do,
and a couple of halfway-decent little darlin's to do 'em with.
stop it.
they're all-the-way decent.
and they're all-the-way-expert, too.
it's all really happening,
and we've got the biscuits in our bellyholes to see us through until at least lunchtime.
too much of each other, all day long.
really real life unfolds;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 16

when the nerd takes over.

what the heck is sleep?
it's what i didn't do last night.
of course.
why, you ask, was i wide awake well into the wee hours
that welcome the brightening morning skies?
because sometimes i get excited about reading.
that's it.
i read the last few hundred pages of the new book i got on thursday.
it was about magicians.
not true life tales of the modern day stage magicians.
but, like, magic magicians like with spells and secret powers,
in other worlds between ours and that sort of sh!t.
it's called the magician's land,
and it's already cover-to-cover eaten up by my eyes and brain.
it was super good;
and yes,
i like that sort of thing;
and also yes,
i'm very tired.
really, though, you can't leave fifty pages until the morning.
that's really lazy and quitterish, and i can't hang out with that.
i'm a real sleepyhead right now.
hell, neighbors,
my daughters went to bed hours and hours and hours before i did,
but somehow, they're still asleep.
i can't figure that out at all.
no matter when i go to bed, i'm up and at 'em around six.
then again,
i'm not growing up big and/or strong,
which these girls are theoretically deep in the throes of at the moment.
they're synthesizing proteins or somethin', and that's probably pretty tiring.
all i'm doing is getting more and more busted up,
and losing more and more hair.
that hardly requires any rest to achieve.
the good news, though, friends, is that we made our own magic happen,
all by ourselves, way before bedtime crept up on us.
check the teleport:
apples forever.
cinnamon apple sheet cake, for your face.
there are apples all up in it.
inside the batter, there're bits of gooey, chewy chopped braeburns,
and then, to make sure that there was more than you could handle,
but enough for us to enjoy correctly,
we slapped all those sweet, sloppy, stewed and spiced fuji jauns on top of it.
because too much is the right amount,
we crushed up some crunchy dried granny smith apple chips,
and hit 'em off with butters and oat flour and cinnamon an' that,
and ca-choppled it all up into streusel-style sprankles.
i know, right?
we get expert every time we get together.
and that's just what i needed all summer long.
not so much the apples as the family togetherness.
that's real.
we're eating cake for breakfast,
and we're spanning time with each other for the limited hours we've got
as a team of worthy warriors poets and active participants in the woodsly goodness.
for my part,
i'm surely making the most of it,
and i'm making more treats, too.
we get what we get,
but it's what we're doing with it that matters;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 15

pie? pie!

banana chips, neighbors.
those crunchy, sweet, sorta sticky yellow circles.
i crushed up a whole lot of 'em.
two or three big ol' handfuls.
and when they were all roughly crushed up,
with few chunks and pulverized dusty extremes?
i made some magic for our faces.
that's real.
graham crackers and raw sugar and a punch of oats,
and those crushed-up 'nana chips,
all buttered and vanilla'd and soymilk'd into a crust.
and where there's crust, there needs to be filling, right?
you know it.
bananas and their dried-up dessicated chipper brothers were mashed
and mushed and hit up with tapioca and vanilla and melted chocolate,
and a creamy dream of brownest brown was born.
check the teleport:
pie is good for you.
i'm just sayin', that's probably a thing.
especially with chocolate and bananas an' that.
yes, kids, that IS fancy walnut activation on top.
buttery vanilla-glazed chocolate-covered toasted walnuts.
because all those flavors go together as if they knew each other
really well back in high school and still talk from time to time
like they just saw each other yesterday.
no kiddin'.
i like pie.
and i like bananas.
and i love chocolate.
and i feel verrrrry amicably towards nuts, too.
i'm happy to have this in my belly, that's for sure.
there's some left, too, if you're interested.
you know where to find me;
never quiet, never soft.....

peanut buttery bananas.

banana bread is good.
mostly because of the bananas.
but also,
because of the bread.
there is so much moistness in it,
and so much vegan faux-dairy, too,
that it almost seems like it's not capable of taking itself very seriously.
mushy 'nanas, and yogurt and sour cream and butt',
all smashed together to make a powerfully built batter.
...and that's just a small part of what's up.
i'm serious.
i'm taking banana bread to eleven,
with the awesome addityion of yet another 'nother butter that has no butter in it.
peanut butter is in F*ing full-effect up in here, neighbors,
and it's inside the mixed-up mash that makes the bread bake best.
check the teleport:
peanut buttery crumbly fresh-baked baby sized loaves.
i just think that the little minis are so kyooooooot!
it sounds better later, talking about how much you consumed in one shot.
think about it-
'i ate three slices'??
that sh!t is weak.
now try THIS-
'i ate three loaves'?!
that just feels F*ing tough.
i love treats.
i LOOOOOVE treats.
i can't even help it, kids.
i get excited and i wanna squish 'em all between my fingers.
that'd ruin it for everybody else, though-
and honestly,
i had a better idea than crushing cake under my thumbs......
go on, look at 'em again.
you got it.
peanut buttery cream chee' frosting filling is layered in the middles of them.
so expert.
i couldn't let them alone.
and just having one extra part to their production wasn't nearly enough activation.
we all know better than to leave it alone once the product is better-than-average.
good enough is not enough, and this was no exception.
a smooth squeeze of pieces-type p.b. goobieblops,
in the style pioneered by reese, tho?
that's the little somethin' that did it to it like it's s'posed to be done.
i doo-doo that upgrade-type sh!t.
thursday in two ports.
that's what happened.
portsmouth first, to pick up my daughters,
get some specific ingredients,
acquire craft supplies,
and generally represent woodsly goodsly warrior poetry along the sour seacoast.
we did that.
and when we were finished with southern new hampshire?
you know we weren't finished for the day.
we sped north to school shop in the mutha-lickin' maine mall, ya'll.
portland was destination number two.
and we did what we came to do.
eat tofu, talk sh!t about b!tches and buy shirts.
that's it;
never quiet, never soft.....

gravy makes it better.

i thought i was making properly proportioned plates.
a normal quantity of all the ingredients.
i should've listened to myself, neighbors.
the bread was too thin to hold it all together.
too many oats and not enough flour,
or something like that.
whatever the reason,
the stuffed sandwich magic must've been mistcast,
because it backfired badly,
and became openfaced fury for our faces.
all the shredded carrots and pea shoots didn't render the really realness
of a whole lot of fat beige bits useless and tasteless and weak.
i mean it.
check the teleport:
fat fried potato slices, in a sandwich?
you're damned right, duders.
and when they're complementing caramelized red onions,
and sauteed shiitake jauns?
so expert.
and that's before factoring in those cornmeal-crusted seitan slabs.
and gravy, kids.
gravy over everything.
the gravy is the glue that really held it all together.
i should pay more attention when my intentions
start getting responsible ion the kitchen.
the rules clearly state- too much IS the right amount.
maybe my manly dinnertime sandwich business would've been more successful
if i'd managed to make more of most of the stuff on the stove.
that's probably a real thing.
it had to get munched up on with a fork;
and yeah,
the pieces that wouldn't fit at first all got eaten up too.
i mean, c'mon.
we're not gonna wimp out on shark-style gluttony if it is right there,
staring at us through crisp potatoey circles, are we?
no way.
the days are slipping away, again.
that's serious time travel.
when friday shows up and you don't remember wednesday?
car rides and travel overlaps and family togetherness, though.
that's the stuff that helps it all flow smoother into the future.
i've got two kids here.
big kids, really.
harvest and maple are finally in the woodsly goodness with me.
that's the bright spot.
dear ol' dad gets a tiny minute to appreciate the people he made.
it's been a while.....
so, for the first time all summer,
i'm really stopping what i'm doing,
and i'm soaking it up and savoring it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 13

spicy noods

not having to cook is especially expert 
when the food you're served is totally delicious.
almost any food that gets made for you specifically should be appreciated,
but when it's ready,
and it's hot,
and it's super spicy,
and it has the big thickness-style noodoos,
and the sexy garnishes, too?
if you can't hang out with elite dinner activation,
you have GOT to be kidding me,
because you're obviously an A*-hole.
and that's no joke.
check the homecoming-to-spicy-noodoos-type teleport:
the limes, though.
you gotta squeeeze 'em all over the top of everything.
that takes it to eleven, for sure.
i love brussels sprouts,
and i love seitan,
and i love those wicked wheaten ropes of slithery asia-time spaghetti, too.
i get excited about there being so many small green pieces
of vital vegetation hiding in there,
especially when all of them have heat and crunch and nutrients aplenty.
super spicy jauns with all the hot peps and ho' sauce are precisely
what i needed to nose-run and lip-burn my face off
after a very long day of covering-up craptard smears,
and adding waaaaaay too many lines to pictures on people.
my fingers feel like broken glass inside of burnt sausages.
(and that hurts a whole bunch, for the record)
the next two days are for baking and getting ready and set,
and driving and making moves.
i want to make treats.
i mean,
i always want to make treats.
but, today, i think treats are going to be the saving grace for a crappy situation.
it's one of those days-
the weather is rotten-
rainy and cold and it doesn't look there's a plan for it stopping
until ALL the water rinses off all the rocks off of ALL mountains,
and pours down and down until ALL the floods overtake ALL the rivers.
nature wins, kids.
that's real.
and i want in on the victory party, with cake and sh!t.
nothing brightens a grisly day of grim skies and worrisome waterfalls
more than baked greats and the aroma of freshly enhanced floury flourishes.
this is What Is,
and that's all i've got time for.
real life mostly revolves around my oven;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 12

five means two.

almost nobody showed up!
hang on for a second, and you'll get it all.
i thought dinner was happening.
(and it did happen, actually)
what i mean is-
i thought a small get together of good people with big appetites
was going to go down over here last evening.
overlapping social circles of friends,
convening at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
with the specific intention to attend to getting busy
with pots and pans and plates and sh!t, so that we could produce,
and consume,
way too much of some radical expert vegan hottness.  
i thought that was what was happening.
timelines and tempers and moonbeams all conspired to keep most
of my main mamas and papas away and at bay all day anyway.
it was just my literate and articulate and excellent homeboy travis,
and me,
and two big fat F*ing plates of heroic shark-gluttonous goodness.
nobody came over,
and that was a bummer;
but i made enough for everyone,
and didn't hardly have to share....and that was just flippin' right.
check the teleport:
herby spicy chicken-fried homemade seitan steaks,
activated in semi-sorta-salisbury style,
with thick-cut taragon-baked portobello mushroom strips.
that's good.
garlic-leek sauteed kale, with vegan roast bacon bits.
that's better.
travis came over carrying a casserole dish, duders.
and it had tubers for tearing into under the tinfoil, too.
it was jam-packed full of seasoned and spiced sweet potatoes.
that's the best.
and all of it got drizzled with wet wallops of nootchy, thick, hot gravy.
that's expert.
like i said.
it would've been too much for just two men,
if those men weren't well-spoken barbarians of all-out culinary armageddon.
lucky for us, we are just that.
all of it all disappeared down the hatches and into the furnaces.
so good.
and there were sorbet spritzers for dessert!
don't worry guys.
i have the big fat boba-tea-type straws for maximum suck.
that's a thing.
i'm sayin',
if you love treats, but lack the right implements?
you're probably F*ing up in more ways than just that one.
life is hard when you aren't rad.
it's hard enough when you are a worthy warrior poet.
i can't imagine the box-mix minciness of being a mealy-mouthed mediocrity.
that's it.
work, more work, and then more work.
and then?
even more work.
that's what this summer has been all about.
the next two days are all mine.
and there is a little something more than just that on the horizon.
word up, kids.
harvest and maple are finally gonna span a tiny moment or two
up here in the woodsly goodness with their dear old dad!
family togetherness is what i need,
and it's coming my way thursday morning.
that's it.
folks can't make it over;
and other times,
people flee far away from everything to do what's important to them;
and there are other other times,
where things just don't seem to work out.
all of THOSE times are what make the next few days mean so much.
when the goings on get aligned,
so they go on all in the same place at the same time with the right people?
that's the sweet that beats all the bitter,
and that's the way it is supposed to be.
it's all really happening, and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....