Rainy & Random

The rain’s been keeping me inside. Not that staying inside is a bad thing, necessarily. Autumn spent yesterday with her family in Warner Robins, and I made some 15-bean soup, worked on some photos from last weekend’s wedding, read some of McDevitt’s Time Travelers Never Die, finished the crappy bourbon I bought last week, and wrote.

Autumn and I bought a pressure cooker a couple of weeks ago. It’s turned out to be one of the best kitchen purchases we’ve ever made. Put everything in the pot, and you have soup, beans, risotto, whatever in fifteen minutes. I made a split pea soup two days ago that would likely stand up to any soup I’ve ever made. Yesterday’s bean soup is good, but the cupboards were bare. It turned out to be one of those random concoctions: you know, when you collect all the ingredients that you have left, just so you can get rid of them before they go south. I had a bag-o’-beans replete with “Cajun” seasoning packet, a can of tomato sauce, a yellow onion, two small carrots, two larger celery stalks, hot sauce, and water. I put in garlic powder, basil, thyme, a couple of bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. I let the pressure cooker do its thing. I missed the fresh garlic. We always have fresh garlic around the house, so when we’re out, I know it’s time to go to the store.

We’re also out of booze. I stopped in the Depot Package Store on Pio Nono last week to pick up some Maker’s Mark. I’ve been drinking good bourbon lately for a couple of reasons. One, I love beer; however, I’m trying not to take in any extra calories these days, and beer’s loaded with those. Two, I can sip a good bourbon over ice for a while. It’s tasty and not hasty. One glass warms me up, so a small bottle of Maker’s will last me a while. I usually keep Evan Williams around when I’m craving Manhattans.

My regular liquor store is on Vineville near Moe’s, but a train was blocking my way that day. I’m not sure what it was doing, but I had to turn around and take a back road down to Pio Nono. I was too lazy and tired to backtrack up Vineville in 5 o’clock traffic, so I stopped at the Depot Package Store. Either the place had been burgled, or they were going out of business. The shelves were empty, particularly in the bourbon section. They had no Maker’s, nor did they have any Evan. They had plenty of that watery Canadian whiskey, but none my usuals from Kentucky. The dude at the counter watched me stare at the empty aisle: “Can I help you?”

“Do you have any Maker’s?”

“Nerp. Only what you see.”

Hm. They had a small section of small-batch bourbons. I’ve always had mixed luck with these, but I chose one that was not too expensive. Elijah Craig. A Kentucky Jew? It looked a bit darker than I’m used to, but I don’t discriminate based on color. Besides a 12-year-old, small batch whiskey should be fine.

“What’s up with no Maker’s,” I asked at the register. “You guys shutting down?”

The attendant shook his head: “The owner’s cuttin’ back.”

“Cutting way back, I guess, if there’s no Maker’s or Evan.”

“Twenty-one, nineteen, sir.”

Elijah turned out to be a bit too smoky and oaky for my taste. At least now I can go back to Maker’s by not going back to the Depot Package Store and its enthusiastic attendant.

Last weekend, Autumn and I photographed the wedding of a young couple. Rudy is the son of a colleague of Autumn’s, so my wife got us this gig. We spent over six hours with Rudy, Christian, and their friends and family on Friday and Saturday, snapping about 1200 photos. Since Sunday, I’ve post-processed about half. My deadline is Sunday; I’d like to have all the photos posted before I go back to class next week. Out of the 1200, I’ll post the best 250 for them to look at. Then, I’ll create their album and video. Some of the shots came out  very well. I’ll have examples posted on my photog site in a couple of days.

I also want to finish reading Time Travelers by Monday. I’ve been into McDevitt’s work for a couple of weeks now. He was such a nice guy at the Crossroads: very generous to spend time with me. In fact, listening to him speak inspired me. Not only am I keeping up with my blogging — thanks for the positive feedback, everyone — but I’ve decided to try my hand at writing science fiction.

I’ve begun outlining what will likely be two novels. I also have two solid plots for short stories. I even started writing one last night. I’m pretty excited about this, so much so, I couldn’t sleep. I hope to have my first ever sf short story done by the end of the weekend!

Who says rainy days aren’t good for anything?