May 14th, 2014 (Tarred)
by Steven Townshend
Last fall, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams came to Chicago. Jeni’s is some of my favorite ice cream in the world, and when I was young I used to say that ice cream was my favorite food (now, I guess I’d cheat and say tapas). When we were visiting some friends we saw that they had a Jeni’s recipe book that explained how to make her splendid ice cream. This was never an endeavor I imagined I’d attempt, but as I browsed the pages I was amazed at how easy it seemed in comparison to some of the intricate pizzas and Chinese dishes I’d made over the past few years. I made an offhand comment about how I wanted to get an ice cream maker and try these out, and somehow that comment made it back to my sister, who bought me an ice cream maker for my birthday. Since the winter was so cold, I didn’t try it out until this week. What can I say? I’ve made salty caramel, black coffee, and tonight I’m making buckeye state (chocolate and peanut butter). I’m hooked.
In the midst of freelancing, I’m running low on time and energy trying to keep everything together and get everything done. I’m working nights and weekends again, trying to stay ahead of schedule and make sure I get everything done. That’s my day to day.
The summer lies ahead and I don’t want to squander a day. It’s easy on days like today when it’s back to 50 degrees. I’m not complaining, though. These days I’m wistfully looking back at summers past, the lazy carefree days of indulgence where I’d go with friends to shows and events. This was before marriage, children, and professional obligation. All of those are good things, but it’s easy to miss those carefree days sometimes. Maybe the secret is to trick oneself into forgetting one’s cares for a day or two. Maybe that’s what vacation’s for.
I’ve been seeking out “ancient music” lately. That’s what I type in iTunes to find it. You don’t get as many or as varied results as you’d like, but with some searching and filtering you can find some great stuff. One of my favorites right now is Ancient Egypt, by Ali Jihad Racy, a soothing album recorded in 1978. Another fantastic album is Ancient Greek Musical Instruments, by Petros Tabouris Ensemble, 2003. Great music for writing. I find it hard to concentrate if the music has words (that I can understand).
Stranger Than Fiction
I have a cat that loves to chase rope, but is scared to death of the sound of rope as it whirls through the air. That’s all I’ve got.