Friday, August 5, 2011

A Day in the Life of an Old Hippie

I'm licking the last drop of blueberry martini out of my glass, thinking it's time for bed--even the drug dealers down the street have stopped arguing in the street and gone in--but I want to try to get this day down in words. It wasn't, as far as I know, an exceptional day, one that would call for an extra, special edition of the newspaper. But it was a day that left me feeling tired and slightly inebriated fortunate for so many things in my life and maybe even a little buzzed warm and fuzzy. And since it's not Wordless Wednesday any more, I can talk about cows....

...And about how I was up at the ass-crack of dawn milking my cows....Oh, wait. That was someone else who was up at the ass-crack of dawn milking my herd share of cows. But I did run up north to farm country with my good friend Chicken Grrrl to pick up 17 gallons of raw milk for our little milk co-op. It's about an hour up there so we had a good, long chat on the way up and back. We're usually doing something else when we're together, like last week when we dreadlocked another friend's hair or Friday night when we were dancing with a hot, half-naked young man in a kilt (who claimed he was old enough to drink beer and insisted the two of us should spend the night together because he has his own apartment and what more do I need in a man? Oh, child. So much more than that), so it was nice to be captive in her boxy tree-frog green car with no interruptions.....except the one phone call from my daughter asking if projective vomiting is normal for a 2-week-old baby. I assured her it wasn't time for an exorcism unless the baby's head was spinning at the same time and she crab-walked backwards down the stairs.

Milk Shed
At the farm, we unloaded our clean, used half gallon jars and filled five or six coolers with jars filled with raw milk. This is the best milk ever. I usually drink and share half of the two gallons I buy every two weeks, and use the rest to make yogurt or farmer's cheese. The farmer's cheese is really easy, and it doesn't melt so I can use it in omelets and stir fries just like tofu.... only it tastes like cheese. Yum. Fried cheese. With this batch, I'm going to make some mozzarella. One of the local party stores that sells beer- and wine-making supplies got smart and added stuff for making cheese. Booze and cheese. Food of the gods. The milk comes with a two-inch head of cream on the top. Sometimes I just shake it back in and drink the rich milk, or I skim it off and eat it on fresh summer fruit. The gods can get their own. I don't share.

After we unloaded the milk at Chicken Grrrl's house, I just had time to run home and eat a really late lunch before I rode downtown to meet A Man Called Horse* for a bicycle ride. We headed north on a new trail, grateful the temperature had dropped to only 91 degrees today. It was the coolest ride we'd gone on in weeks. We both decided this river trail was our favorite of the ones we've ridden so far: smooth, shady, and way out in the boonies for long stretches. So far out in the boonies we heard rifle fire instead of traffic after one wrong turn that led to a closed bridge. I wanted to lift our bikes over and see what was back there, but A Man Called Horse was afraid somebody would make us squeal like pigs.

At one point we rode past some soccer fields and were surprised to find two fat fucking idiots women had set their lawn chairs up right on the bike path. As we slowed and circled around them I said, "You're kidding me, right?" One of the them replied, "Yep, we're kidding you." I wanted to turn back and bitch slap them, not so much for their chair placement but for their stupid comeback. I figured I could just ride by with my arm straight out and get them both with one pass, but A Man Called Horse encouraged me to stay the course. I plotted a return bitch slap, but they had moved by the time we got rode back through. I hate idiots and bullies.

We rode about 23 miles in all, snacking on small, flying bugs the whole way, and then loaded our bikes on A Man Called Horse's rack back at our meeting place so he could drive me home. He doesn't like for me to ride home because that means I get an extra three miles for the ride and he feels like less of a man if I ride further. Or maybe he's just a nice guy.

By the time I got home I was running a little late. Chicken Grrrl was coming over for music and martinis. I called her, peeled off my sweaty bike clothes, jumped in and out of the shower, and then heated up some left-overs. I sometimes lose up to two pounds during a ride, which sounds good but really means I come home hungry enough to eat a litter of alley cats. Chicken Grrrl arrived while I was sitting on the porch eating, hoping my neighbor Melvin wouldn't come over and ask me to feed him. He's been drinking a lot more lately and his boundaries tend to slip.....although he's way more willing to share his pint of gin and juice.

Sour Cherry Martini
Chicken Grrrl brought homemade sour cherry syrup for cherry martinis and I got out my homemade blueberry syrup and blueberry vodka for the blueberry martini recipe I developed a couple of months ago. We started with the cherry. I shook ice, Skyy vodka, simple syrup, and sour cherry syrup until the metal shaker was too cold to hold, poured, and dropped in a bing cherry. Mmmmm. Tart and sweet at the same time. We grabbed a bag of Dove darks to eat with our martinis and headed into the living room to play some music.

 I picked up my Gibson and we got to work. We're supposed to play for a church service Sunday, so we had to work on a song for that first. We chose one we've done before, "Holy Now," because it's summer and we felt lazy and the martinis were cold and sliding down fast. And then we decided to do a second one just because nobody is expecting it and we like this song by singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer.  It didn't take us long to knock out the songs and knock back the martinis.

Time for more. Chicken Grrrl hadn't tasted  the blueberry martini** yet. I'd been saving it for a special occasion with someone else, but the time passed and I was eager to share the recipe. Chicken Grrrl is kind of a booze connoisseur, so I must admit I wanted to impress her. Same ingredients as the sour cherry martini except for the blueberry vodka, which is surprisingly fruit-like; no chemical taste. I shook, poured and tossed some fresh blueberries in the glasses. Yummy. If you haven't had one, you should definitely give one a try. I first drank one at.....ummmmm.....I can't remember the name of the restaurant, but there was steak and salad and my date and I had such a good time we lost track of time and missed the play we'd intended to go to. The martini made a big impression too, so I vowed to replicate it. I suffered through several tries before I got it just right, but it's perfect now.

Responsibility music out of the way, we could have fun and play whatever we wanted, like an "Evil Ways"/"Venus" mash we came up with for a big show we did last summer. We ran through some other old stuff we've played out before. We're going to apply for panhandlers licenses so we can busk downtown in the artsy, hippie(ish) area there or maybe in a nearby small town where the real hippies live. Yes, we have to get a license here in the city to put out the guitar case and let people throw in their spare change. I think it costs $25, and we'll have to wear our little badges around our necks. It will be fun though. I've busked before and you never know what people will stop and say or do, especially as the night gets older.

We played a bunch of old songs while the drug dealer and his girlfriends fought in the street. For a while we hid under the windows and listened, but other than something about "don't you talk about my mama or my kids, motherfucker," we really couldn't understand what the fight was about. A fight is usually top priority, but this time playing music was more fun. I played and we sang until my fingers were bloody stumps sore and we called it a night.

I love living in the city, with my cows close-by and the river and the bike paths and passionate neighbors who fight in the streets. Tomorrow night The Architect* and I are riding downtown for dinner and a photo shoot. The city is going to turn on all the lights in the buildings and on the bridges so photographers can take colorful photos and enter them in a big contest with a cash prize. The Architect is a professional photographer so I imagine he'll take some kick-ass slow-speed night shots. I'll just haul my heavy Nikon D-70S down there and leave my shots up to serendipity. It works for me. Maybe I'll even get my ass in gear and enter that contest. After the shooting, there're free concerts and dancing and the art galleries will be open for First Friday. Too much fun might make my Saturday morning ride kick my ass, but I suppose I have to pay for my play.
Cleanup can wait until morning.

Somehow it got to be 4:00am though, and somebody has to get up to milk my cows at the ass-crack of dawn. I'm sure as hell glad it isn't me. Good night.

*More on the men I ride with in an upcoming post.
** Blueberry martini: 1 1/2 oz blueberry vodka; 1 1/2 oz simple syrup; short jigger of blueberry/lemon syrup. If your syrup doesn't have lemon in it, a small squeeze of lemon. Shake until the metal shaker is too cold to hold and pour into a martini glass. Yummy! Feel free to lick the bottom of the glass when it's gone and then mix another one.


  1. 1) I am CRACKING THE HELL UP at the name you come up with for people! Who do I get to be??

    2) It sounds like you had so much more fun than I did last night! I have stories, though! Not very good ones... but stories none the less!

    3) If you need someone to panhandle with and ... um.. Chicken Grrl (LOL!) is not available call me!!!!

  2. 1) I'll tell you who you are when I see you. Otherwise you'll be outed to the great big public masses who read my blog.
    2) I want to hear the stories! We did have fun. Next time you should come over. I'll hold you to one martini. I promise.
    3) I'll panhandle with anybody. I'm a panhandling slut, and I'll even buy you a drink or a dildo after we're played out.

  3. 1) Aww that means I'll never get a mention on the blog, if it would out me... wait, I've seen the content on this blog! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! (Kidding of course)
    2)I'll email you the stories! But I'll still take the drink! But yeah, only one. Trust me. You'll want to push me in the street otherwise. In front of traffic.
    3) I'll take the drink. What use do I have for a dildo. Maybe to hold my sassy hat.

  4. 1) I will mention you without outing you and you'll recognize yourself. Wait for it.
    2) I'd have to push you down the street to get you into traffic. With the gate on one end and the drug dealer bottlenecking the other, sometimes there's no traffic for hours. The drug dealer will move if you tell him you really have to pee so could he let you by.
    3) I may have to write a post about alternative uses for dildos. They're the new paperclip.

  5. 1) I can't wait!!!
    2) I always have to pee, so that's good information to have in my back pocket!
    3) That's a valuable post to write!