Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

While large numbers of friends discuss their plans to change the world by casting a ballot, the Wife and I have modestly begun to learn a new skill. We make pasta from scratch.

A pasta machine requires two people for use: one will turn the handle and feed the dough, while the other will catch the cut noodles. In our case, this doesn’t develop teamwork and intimacy* so much as it resets them in a new, fun context. Can I say that in English? Yes. We’re playing with an adult Play-Doh Playhouse. It’s fun and, eventually, delicious.

I’m wary of telling people what they should do with their time. The answer is often the doctor’s code: Do no harm. But I do think people should consider what is productive of their time, the ways in which they can and cannot change the world. There is our world, Earth, and there is our world, which includes friends, families, lovers, neighbors, anyone within our reach. How much more effectively can you spend your time than with them than on the internet, looking for the latest political outrage against decency and telling everyone to vote lest be burn in the sad gas of a stranger’s stupidity?

George Carlin was only half-right. Masturbation probably is more productive (and more pleasurable) than any vote. But even better is to spend that time and all the time leading up to it making good food.

*We’ve got those in spades.

Love and Wok

Posted: June 20, 2012 in cooking, marriage
Tags: ,

Marriage has two purposes: to join two souls in perfect union and to stock a kitchen with kick-ass gear. My best man and his wife, for instance, bought us a wok. I tell you that I love this wok. Add it to my list of loves.

Last night, I used the wok to prepare bowls of orange chicken. I didn’t need the wok, exactly. You can use a sauté pan if you like. But the wok is mighty. It demands faith and regular use. Lately, I’ve begun several new relationships.

Like many non-white American dishes, orange chicken might seem fancy or beyond your skill level. Honestly, though, it just requires patience, organization, and timing. Try to remember that a shit version of orange chicken is served at Panda Express. If that fool can do it for minimum wage, you can too.

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons of orange juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup of soy sauce

1/6 cup of water (This depends on your taste. You might want more water to cut the soy flavor. If so, watch out how much sauce you actually add to the chicken, because you don’t want the meal to be too saucy.)

Tablespoon of red pepper flakes

Tablespoon of chopped or minced garlic

Green onion to taste

Tablespoon of honey

½ tablespoon of ginger

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Combine first three ingredients in a saucepan. Cook at medium temperature. Slowly stir in other ingredients. When they mix (liquids will have blended together), turn heat to medium-high. When sauce boils remove from stove.

For the chicken

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 bell pepper (You could use half a green and half a red, too. If you want to go super veggie, add another half a yellow pepper), roughly diced

1/3 onion, roughly diced

1 tablespoon black pepper*

1 teaspoon coriander

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 cut-up chicken breasts


Coat the chicken in flour and spices. Cook pepper and onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil at medium heat. Set aside. Cook chicken halfway through, then set aside. Wipe excess flour from wok. Add second tablespoon of oil and combine chicken, veggies, and sauce. Turn heat to low. Sauce will reduce and chicken will cook through. Serve over rice. Duh.

*Note the absence of salt, though just about every recipe you’ve ever read called for salt. Dude, salt is a fine preservative and heart-clogger. It is not necessary to add salt to every meal, especially not a meal that includes soy sauce. Try the dish without salt. If you need salt to enjoy it, you have the discriminating taste of a raccoon.

ooh, la laThose who bash ceremonies on general principle are like people who bash modern art on general principle. That is, they lack the ability to make critical aesthetic distinctions. Some ceremonies, like the Oscars, involve cheap madeover automatons accepting awards and activating tear machines. Some wedding ceremonies, to be more particular, are social events at which no emotional connection between bride or groom is necessary, though a simulation of it must be captured in photographs. The wedding ceremony itself, though, can be beautiful, particularly if the ceremony is obvious backdrop.

Beauty lies not in the order of ceremony or any of the individual rituals contained therein, but in the human departures from order and ritual. These departures suggest the individual and human. Memory makes use of this material and no other, to particularize the ceremony and make it great.

A full congregation might hear the bride tell her parents they’re stepping on her dress. They might see the kiddo ring bearer offer the rings as soon as he finishes his walk down the aisle. Shared memories particularize a ceremony.

More individual memories intensify the beauty, particularly for the skeptical observer. Consider the groom for whom the ceremony’s an afterthought, who said, for instance, that “It’ll be a relief when this is all over” and “I don’t know what the big deal is. We’re practically married already.” But when his bride stands before him dressed and made up and happy before him, his knees alone might buckle, and though others might tear up, his tears carry the extra weights of desire and need.

–We will wear our wedding shoes around the house and in the garden and we will wear them with jersey shorts, undershirts, and, later, naked, I hope.

–I will throw away apparent trash but which is, in fact, key to our future. Sorry.

–The house will be scrubbed, mopped, etc., while you linger upstairs with Mad Men and craftwork. I will curse your hand-maid bouquets, but not aloud. Alas, you are now reading about this curse. Forgive me again. It was a brief, one-time thing, and I probably shouldn’t have posted this on the internet.

–The jazz festival will disappoint us both, but mostly you, because you want to like jazz more than you do,  yet this is the best on offer. I promise that Sonny Rollins was better live in the 60s and 70s, but how would I know?

–The zoo will be hot, but I will go there and see the butterflies you like and dream of thank you sex to come. Thank you.

–My mother will say she is coming down early, “she” meaning my entire family, meaning we’ll have to entertain them that much longer and that much sooner. Our jaws will be sore with teeth-gritting, and each of us will say, at many different times, “I’m not going to make it.” We will.

–Your parents will find something else that needs to be done right away, right now, or everything will collapse, and you’ll resign yourself to do it, but don’t. I’ll do it, and if it doesn’t get done everything will not collapse. Maybe the world economy will go down, sure, but who cares about that?

–A flower girl or ring bearer will contract tuberculosis, meaning some chunk of extended family isn’t coming because they’re in a TB ward, and we’ll ask something like “What do you mean TB? It’s 2012.” But there it is. We will have no need to worry, since we have two other flower girls and at least one ring bearer in reserve.

–One of our least wanted invitees who didn’t RSVP and made us happy with his decision will reverse himself and attend. His date will vomit on your mother. I will light him on fire, and it’ll be okay.

–A supervisor will tell you that she needs that report yesterday, which is impossible, and you will say so. It will be a shiny moment of triumph in which you will think of me and think “love me, motherfucker,” and I will. Or I will be in that conversation with the supervisor, etc.

–The annular eclipse will occur. We will think about it afterwards.

–On Memorial Day we will eat and drink a great deal. If we remember anything, it will be selfish remembering, having  to do only with us.

–We will serenade each other with love songs of the 80s. Belinda Carlisle will be featured.

–We will remain calm, mostly. It helps to know that we are the hottest people in world history.

*though not necessarily in the precise form described.

notes on the marriage license

Posted: May 5, 2012 in marriage

a. love is made ridiculous by the m.l. to ask a pair of honeybirds applying nicknames far more wretched than honeybirds to pay attention to the fine legal language in the event love sours is more foolish than the nfl asking me to believe the new orleans saints operated the only bounty program in pro football the past three years, or more foolish than asking people if they’d pay more taxes to cover the deficit.

b. the marriage arbor is located in the back of an office of ten cubicles. it reminds this visitor of marriage props on tv shows, complete with the dying vine-plant growing along the way. nothing suggests eternity like the back of a dusty office.

c. stereotypes of government employees are not always but often accurate. our licensing professional was a 50/50 in this regard. to her credit, she was competent at her work. on the other hand, and particularly given the government work in which she was employed, she offered a perfect sample of human indifference. perhaps she’d worked other sections of the court and understood the statistics. if you know the numbers, it must be hard to smile at every pair of honeybirds.

d. city records have not been entirely converted into computer documents. a number of worn binders stood within arms’ reach. i would’ve liked to examine them, though our licensing professional might have torn out my tongue and slapped me with it.

e. “honeybird” is not one of our wretched names. our names are far worse and would drive you much deeper into your alcoholic black hole.