Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
Wiscon and Irises, June 10
Pineapple Tamales, June 18
Wiscon and Irises
Wiscon was one of the best Wiscons. The programming was superb, the participants superb, we were all superb. Reacquainted my self with old friends, met some new ones. Actually spoke to Carol Emshwiller, and although I stuttered, it was still a thrill for me. Never thought I would be lucky enough to ever meet her.
The Lady Poetesses From Hell party on Friday was somewhat more low key than usual, but a success nevertheless. It was a Lefse (sort of a potato tortilla) Tasting Party. I bought as many different kinds of lefse as I could find in Minneapolis, plus the usual sorts of toppings: lingonberry jam, butter, cinnamon sugar, sardines, and some weird tubes of cheese product from Norway at Ingebretsons (a Scandinavian specialty shop). We made coffee (of course) and Rebecca and Paula did a few coffee cream fractal readings ("I see a fine convention experience in your future"). Rez brought his lefse griddle along to warm up the lefse, but it kept blowing out the circuits. Erik and Paul brought beer and cider, and Erik bravely wore one of my aprons.
As far as we could tell, the Norske Nook (a little restaurant noted for its pies) lefse pleased people the most but they cheerfully ate the others, as well. At the end of the night we only had a few pieces left. You just never know with fans.
A friend told me later that Peter and Lou Berryman, who were performing at the con, saw one of the posters for the Ufda Lefse Party and were tempted to come up and have some, but decided they were too tired. Awwww.
On the drive back, those of us in Laurie's van stopped in Baraboo at a sculpture garden. Tom Every, an eccentric artist, has filled a meadow with the most fantastic sculptures after several days of many many many words, we were delighted to be out in the open and feast our eyes on the amazing giant birds, insects, small cities, dragons, creatures, rooms, and gazebos this guy has created out of discarded scrap metal. We laughed and exclaimed happily, signed the guest book, and felt like we had visited a rusty but wonderful corner of fairy land. There are sites on the Web, but they don't do it justice, of course.
Yesterday Denny and I decided to go for a drive, and drove up to the Anderson Iris Gardens. It's not as way out in the country as it used to be, but it's out there. What a nice drive. Karen and I used to go up there once in a while to drool over and buy irises. It was even better than I remembered they've expanded the beds.
Denny was mostly amused by the names and I went flitting from bed to bed, falling in love over and over again with various varieties. The day was warm, and finally I dropped into sensory overload. The colors and scents along with the sheer mass of flowers was almost too much.
"Hello Darkness" is a new, almost black variety. Some of the other peculiar names were "Taco Supreme" (bright yellow and red, no guacamole), "Well Endowed" (huge gold), "Queen in Calico" (rose-violet), "Ringo" (white and violet with red beard), and "Snow Spoon" (white with yellow beard). We talked of making a science fiction iris garden with names like "Star Fleet","Skywalker", "Star Wars", "Sky Fire" and the like.
However, came home to mull over the catalogue and dream.
Hope all is well out there. Take good care of yourselves.Terry
Forgot to mention last time that I have been inducted into the Order of the Space Babe for service to the Tiptree Award, and so were Laurie, Eleanor, Rebecca, Paula and Erik. We all have nifty little pins, now, with the Space Babe and her blaster proudly displayed. An honor.
It's raining again out there. For the last week and a half we've gotten so much rain I keep checking my address, thinking I'm back in Oregon. Every morning I go out and look at my little handy dandy rain gauge. In morning 2 inches, another morning 1.5. Everything is quite soggy, including the basement. Most of the plants are doing Ok, though. Unfortunately this includes the weeds. Were you aware that you can give yourself a really nasty cut with a blade of grass? Luckily I was able to stop the bleeding, otherwise I would have had to explain to the nurse how one manages to do such an improbably weird thing. Use gloves when pulling up rough tall grass.
We recently celebrated Walking Pigeon Day. It looked like an ordinary day except that the pigeons were walking. Sure, pigeons walk, but generally, they don't walk across the street. Chickens, perhaps, but pigeons usually fly. On the way to work and coming back, then running errands before dark, I saw no pigeons flying, even when it looked like they might get creamed by a car. The next day they were flying again.
Maybe it was a pigeon pilot strike, or maybe it happens every year and I just never noticed it before. Hard to say.
Saturday my writing group met at the Seward cafe for breakfast. The Seward is a lovely little bit of the 60s, being a cooperative, and having darned good food. You fill out on a slip what you want and the prices, someone takes your money, calls in your order, you get your own silver and what not, find a place to sit down, and later someone bellows out your name when your food is ready. I discovered the Egg Mock Muffin. There were two versions, mine had a real egg, real cheese, a vegetarian sausage patty, and a whole wheat homemade English muffin. The vegan version looked good, too.
It's hard to beat their buckwheat pancakes, or the red and/or Green scrambles, but the Egg Mock Muffin was quite tasty.
Another culinary adventure that very same day was finally trying the tamales at the Mercado Centrale at Bloomington and Lake. The Mercado is a series of little shops and take away places sharing common space in an old building. A woman from Central America came up with the idea and it is a resounding success. There is a butcher, a small grocery, the little restaurants, music, jewelry, a bakery, a toy shop, all sorts of things. It's pretty much saved the corner of Lake and Bloomington from ruin.
The tamale place makes darned good tamales, and I was enchanted to see that they had sweet tamales. Tried the pineapple and found it divine. Denny was less sure about it, in spite of the pineapple.
Well, that's it for now, must go downstairs and finish drawing the plans for the ark. Already have two cats for it....
Copyright © 2001 by Terry A. Garey.