Maybe it was the loss of Jim Harrison this week that made me cook for the first time in a long time this week, using a recipe from Saveur to try something new. A few days before his death I lingered over a handful of his books on my annual birthday run to Half Price Books, choosing instead a double 180 gram vinyl Little Richard anthology and David Thomson's New Biographical Dictionary of Film. I have some catching up to do with Harrison, since he was so prolific late in life, and what a pleasure that will be.
The pasta I made had fried capers in it. Where have fried capers been my whole life? Mustard & butter, crisped cauliflower, red pepper flakes, paperdelle pasta--good with salmon one night and a fried egg the next. Having just revisited Andrew Vachss revenger thriller Flood, I am moving on to a full reading of a Marcella Hazan cookbook. For too long we have been making tacos out of whatever we had the night before. I always suggest Minksy's and one out of 50 times, we do choose Minsky's.
It's hard to proceed with the next line of thought without sounding fruity, but anticipating Opening Day is different when your team has been to The World Series twice, winning the second time. I haven't tracked every Royals personnel move the way I have the last ten years. I don't know their spring training record. I have neither unreasonable hope nor unreasonable pessimism. The franchise is in a healthy state and the leadership group has earned the trust of the fans after many years of the punching bag treatment.
I melted down plenty in my blog and on social media, in recent years. Once, in early May, I even posted a picture of dirty dog water in the bathtub. There were Royals cups floating in the muddy water and I compared it all to the Royals season: about to go down the drain. Before social media, there was just the ugly business of keeping my chin up in public after total strangers would mock my Royals hat or sweatshirt.
This year I'm more interested in player development and how the emerging stars settle in. A breakout season for one of them would be fun but not required on a team that wins on hustle, execution, defense, balanced pitching, and fundamentals.
I had a weird notebook crisis recently after Tracy bought me a wonderful stack of Moleskins at Costco. I had taken to using notebooks not for creativity but for lists that were impossible to execute and triggered depressions. I would start a notebook, get one page in, and want to start a new notebook, because who wants a notebook full of stuff like:
buy styrofoam cover for exterior hose valve
So, after reading Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids, I returned to a more agreeable use of notebooks: writing poems. If a person writes one poem a day for twenty or thirty years, something good has to happen, something better than:
caulk upstairs shower