Last night, I watched The Year’s Most Terrifying Documentary about robots. Not only in industry, but on the road, in every aspect of human life. In retrospect, the only terrifying thing was that it was narrated by a scary robot voice and it featured a dude who married a robot lady and opted to live with her in a digital village or some such place where he would work on “enhancing her” all day long and then, and this is a guess, have her enhance him at nighttime. I did not like her knee socks, but it had a very anime ring to it, so I suppose that was what he was going for. I’d like not to think he was trying to turn her into an adolescent schoolgirl.
The part where he tucked her into his sleeping pod was pretty telling of his loneliness. I won’t knock the guy, he had a good point, in China there are many boys to the girl ratio, and he didn’t know how to relate to women, did not know how to please them, he said. I would argue it does not take being a playboy to land a nice girl, and the only way to get to know how to please a woman is to get to know the woman. No?
This morning, as I left Glendale, all the lights were green. I have captured it with the blurriest lens possible. It’s nice to get a big, green light to start the day off right.
I’m on a trajectory home, but it’s going to be a while, like 7 hours. It is good to sleep in your own bed, it is comfortable in a way that hotel beds are not (not always, sometimes you get a good one). I was watching THE FIVE (since everyone refers to highways with a The in front of the number) at 3am yesterday because my body felt it was 5am, which is normal wake-up-time, and there I was, in front of the window, it slightly cracked, the rain splattering away on the window pane. How can the highway be that busy at 3am, 8am, 6pm, 10pm? The sign of a city operating on every shift 24/7, no doubt.
This morning, as I entered the airport, Bob Hope greeted me. The life-size bronze version of him. I really loved him as an actor. My parents are boomers, so they forced me to watch many black and white movies growing up, because it was that, or don’t watch the tv. In that way, I’m kind of a huge Bing Crosby fan, too. White Christmas and Holiday Inn are two of my favorites. I know this surprises you.
Anyway, pretty neat airport. I hope the sun comes up before we walk outside to board, because I want to see the hills again.
I went to Whole Foods last night for dinner again. I tried queso made of cashews. There is no end to the weirdly concocted foods available at this store. I did not think it tasted like queso, but it wasn’t bad, either, and I can’t help but think that I am a better-off person now that I am not pumping all manner of crap into my body. I ran an average of 9:39/mile the other day and I cannot believe that either, but it’s great to feel good. Since I turned 40, my body hurts for no reason at all, I can’t even explain how little I understand it, but it’s probably some combination of my cells expiring and my joints extinguishing all my cartilage as quickly as possible. Whatever the case, it hurts a lot less when I stay very active, because when I meld into the sofa, it is not good. I tried all vegan food from the hot dinner options, some tofu, something that tasted like stuffing but almost like pasta, a bunch of greens, and some beets. I can’t always tell what I’m eating, but I have not died yet, so it must be ok. I am into yerba mate – but it contains a lot of caffeine, masked in a delicious fruity taste so you have to watch it, or you’ll be buzzing like a coke fiend and your friends and loved ones will not appreciate you very much at all for it.
The robot movie talked about the cars that drive themselves. When I was in Miami, the self-driving cars were driving by work all day. I thought they were Google Street View cars, because they have a pod on the roof with cameras pointing in all directions. Turns out they are in beta testing, and have humans inside at the wheel, but they are not driving, they are observing. The scary robot voice overlaid the commentary about how the robots slowly learned about the humans, taking in their behaviors, their needs, their strengths and weaknesses. My takeaway is that it takes a lot of testing and failure to make something like a robot driven car successful – or a robot that puts cars or pizzas together. They malfunction, but with artificial intelligence, or AI, it becomes different, because the robot is thinking and learning, it’s not just pre-programmed, and it may go rogue and press a human to death, as was the case at the VW plant in Germany. And sometimes, the car keeps driving long after it has cut the car in two, killing the passengers, it just keeps on chugging with the remainders of the people inside until it is physically prevented from progressing further.
This is not to blithely ignore the deaths of those people – if they were my people, I would not want some random, Midwesterner blabbing on without a care – the people involved are not just statistical outcomes – and that is another takeaway, that people are willing to be pioneers of new technology, even knowing the danger. That says something about our desire to be a part of something big. The person in the car was watching a Harry Potter movie when they died, and I’m sure they didn’t expect that outcome when they left the house that day.
The final bit or randomness for the day is this: when we get up in the morning, it could be our last morning, and we don’t know it, and if we could know it, we would not be able to get through it. There is something to be said for being a little bit in the dark. The best things happen to us from not knowing, and the worst, but I feel like I am equipped to make it through it all.
But I might’ve left it in Glendale. Bob Hope airport is my go-to in this area. LAX is a scourge of an airport. It took me 6 hours to get here and worth every bit of it especially walking outside to deplane and seeing the hills which were closer than the picture seems. The fires are out. Even getting a little rain tomorrow. Maybe I’ll take the very long way to the hotel after work and see the ocean. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the coast in these parts. Off to work!
it snowed a little today. despite it being fuh-reezing, it is bearable. in 2016, I swiped my son’s Pokémon Go account and together my spouse and I have walked 1,200 miles. a lot of people do this game from the car but it’s best to get outside. weather snap from the app tonight. 1 wake down, 1 funeral to go. it was excellent to see the family tonight and powerful closure to see my cousin and realize he is deflated, he’s no longer there.
Made a hot curry last night. Burn-your-lips-off-a-little-hot. What else? Camping is over for the year. The leaves are in the yard covering the grass. Planning to go to the Daytona 500 next year. Have mapped the distance from Sacramento to Yosemite and priced flights for later after the snow pack has started to melt - the waterfalls are something to see, I've heard. Today, the sun is shining and it is a big voting day today in America. I live close to a polling station and it has been packed since before the sun rose. I read all the amendments and propositions. They're confusing, written to drive people to feel stupid, not empowered. I read an article in Forbes about the measures on the ballot and their criticism of their confusing nature. People worked hard to give us a voice and to see it dissolve into this nonsense, well, it bothers me. I will not engage in political banter, but I will vote. On deck today, we decide if people can smoke weed - either with a medical prescription or right out of their own stash in the basement, decide if people can call bingo, if we will pay more for gas and olympic medals (??) and whether or not a host of people will be representing the State and local governments. One weird batch of issues.
I took the day off to hang with my little homie, whose school is closed. On with the day!
The trees will be bare by week’s end. The colors have been vibrant this year. Last year, they jumped off a crumbly brown. The whole idea of Fall has been put aside for Winter, at least it feels that way. The autumn on a farm with everything going from green to yellow and orange was the best ever. The trees gave wide open views of the fields as they were being wrenched up by the tractor. To be up in a tree...
It was an early start today, which afforded me a quiet visit to the market. I made sauce and meatballs for tomorrow night's dinner and a rice/pork "something" (I can only imagine the cheerful nature of its recipient dutifully trying and smiling and swallowing after many, many prolonged chews...it could be a Panda Express night after all). The kitchen looked like an explosion, but it's all tidy now. If anything, this day is almost like Summer and deserves a nice, long walk to the library. If ever there was a punishment to me, it would be to take away my library card. Kitchen Confidential did not work out. Not being a great compartmentalizer, I could not separate myself from the thought of Anthony Bourdain killing himself. I am onto Armistead's next book Sure of You. The last one, Significant Others chronicled the impact of HIV/AIDS. The 60's and 70's were sexual times; it was considered free; no such thing as free lunch, that's for sure.
Ok, here we go.
Or knead it until it starts to look like a giant brain. Then you're done. Now, back to the sauce; it should be bubbling on low at this point. Make sure to use a spatula to scrape the bottom. It should not be crusty. If it is, toss it out and start again, it will taste burned - you cannot rid the sauce of the taste once it's there. My grandmother would not agree with adding parmesan but it's delicious, so add some, to your own liking.
Now, we make the meatballs. Set the sauce on low on the back burner and forget about it for a while. Turn the big brain into mini-brains, and add to a skillet. Don't overcrowd it, you have to flip these things around until they're brown on all sides.
The object is not to cook them in the skillet, only brown them. As they finish browning, pop them into the sauce. When they're all done, cover with the lid slightly off, and simmer on low. Occasionally, remove the lid and skim off the fat into a bowl and discard - your arteries will thank you later. After the pot has been on the stove for 4 hours, take it off, let it cool on the counter and then refrigerate over night, if possible. It will taste much better the next day.
Pork Rice Something
Pork rice something arose from watching street food videos for an hour this morning in bed drinking coffee before I spilled it on myself and was forced to not only get up, but wash the sheets. It should be dinner tonight, and it's cooling itself off in the fridge, but I don't know what to make of it. I think it started to get out of hand when I was doing a time lapse video using one hand while cooking the pork and enacting a chef-move for which I am unqualified with the other hand, tossing the veggies like a short-order cook. I think I have located all of the corn, but it was evasive. The avocados were not great, but it's almost November. I cut out all the brown parts. I know, it won't kill me, but the brown parts remind me of mold, and we have already uncovered my inability to place my feelings into little boxes to rest upon high shelves. Into the trash they went.
Lastly, there's something to be said for trying your best at doing new things. Even if you suck.
You will need the following for this recipe:
1 good sized orange
1 each of yellow, red and orange peppers
Onions if you like (I do not like)
1 can of corn
1 pack of thinly sliced pork cutlets - or slice your own from a bigger piece
Spicy brown mustard
Sea salt (because it is trendy, or just salt-salt)
Literally every bowl, knife and piece of kitchen-ware you have
Cut up orange, yellow and red peppers - make tiny strips. Cut up and dice one jalapeño. Slice up half of a tomato. Open a can of corn. Add all of that to a skillet with a little oil. Do the same with some onion if you want. Add some pepper. Flip it with your dominant arm and then spend some time on the floor hunting down the corn. You'll get the hang of it eventually.
Cut up 5 thin pork cutlets. In a separate skillet with some oil, cook them until done.
While the veggies continue to cook, turn to the avocados. Remove 2 decently sized avocados from their little shells, dice them in a bowl, add some spicy brown mustard, sea salt, a touch of onion powder, and pepper. Cut a fresh lime and squeeze overhead. Mix it together.
Take 1 orange, cut it in half and take it with you back to the veggies along with the avocado mixture.
Combine the pork with the veggies, turn the heat up and add the orange juice - get it bubbling good.
Slow down the fire, add the avocado mixture, flip everything again like a short-order cook and pour over some Thai rice. Eat it or save it to ambush your family later.