5cense C-19 # 20: Obama the bellboy, fartichokes, mall-complex rubber exorcize trax, Amazon + garbanzo pasta


21 April 2020> We were staying at a fancy hotel + Obama was the bellboy... evidently he’d always wanted to be a bellboy + being president allowed him to fulfill this dream. He spent about 10 minutes showing us the ins + outs to our room + the secret gifts they'd left us. When it came time to tip him we reached in our pocket but didn't have anything but then our bedder-½ handed him something. We told him that it was an honor to meet him + our bedder-½ rolled her eyes at us like we was a starstruck kiss-ass. Then Gian, Blake + Molly came to visit us in our room, we tried to tell 'em about how Obama was our bellboy but they weren’t intrested, they only wanted food. We gave them a baguette + cheese + they devoured it like they were starving. Then we went out in sum open Piazza (felt like Venice) + a homeless guy was asking us for $1 + we ignored him but then 10 seconds later we found a rolled up wad of $8 we recognized, that we found before + gave to another homeless person (cuz we’re superstitious about keeping money that we find) so we went back to the guy + tried to give it to him but he wouldn’t touch it, said he just wanted $1, not $8 + just so he didn’t think he was a charity case we said it was $8 we found the day before so wasn’t ours + we tried to give it to another person but evidently they didn’t want it + this made it seem more suspicious (cuz of COVID) so the guy didn’t want even $1, so we dropped it back on the ground + went to find a place to wash our hands.

Later we were driving in a car w/ our dad (who died 38 yrs ago) across a stone bridge + there was this stunning view of Mt Hood, almost like it was built in to this medieval castle, which the bridge was a part of + we were driving right up to it. The scene was otherwordly, like science fiction. We commented how just a few days ago there was tons of snow on Mt Hood + now there was hardly any. We saw our mom + she was dressed 50s + getting into an old Chevy. She took off her Birkenstocks + put on old brogues + hid the Birkenstocks cuz she was embarrassed she had them.

In the real monndough we posted the 12th + final episode of Textiloma. This as we get a note from our distributor to say that Amazon hasn't been re-stocking books (or stocking new 1s) cuz they aren't considered "essential" items... alcohol + marijuana are considered essential, but not libros? We get closing (brick + mortar) bookstores, but seems books are perty darn essential right now (especially for all those students... which actually, we've gotten requests for dbooks from closed universities that are using a book + students can't get it (of course we complied... actually what prompted us to put them all freely online)). We suspect the only reason Amazon ain't selling books is cuz their profit margin for ebooks is so much more. Bezos is a greed-mongering bozo. In any event, better to buy directly from Small Press Distribution (they're already selling copies of Textiloma), who (although sorta open w/ minimal staff) are really hurting + who knows if they'll survive this crisis, in which case we + other small presses would be fucked. Even universities are in jeopardy—U of A (where we + our bedder-½ graduated from) announced furloughs, JHU (where our bedder-½ works + also where a lot of COVID research takes place (they're the 1s aggregating all the data)) is taking drastic measures as we speak + other universities will likely follow suit... the implications are quite dipressing. When the dust clears, only the non-academic mega-corporate Amazons of the world will weather this COVID crisis, the ones that can exploit the tragedy for monetary gain. We'll only be able to eat at chain restraunts cuz the mom + pop's have all shuttered up. There will only be the Amazons + us consumers + they will supply us w/ just enough essentials to keep us alive so we can keep consuming what they sell in a self-perpetuating death spiral.

Speaking of food, after a few weeks of refreshing our browser at midnight we finally scored a FreshDirect delivery time slot, so we still haven't had to resort to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. Last night we cooked Jerusalem artichokes (that are neither artichokes nor from Jerusalem) for the 1st time (they came last week in our CSA). Most sunchoke recipes seem to be for a creamy soup that looks disgusting, so we made more of a 1-pot au gratin sort of concoction in our Dutch oven, w/ parsnips + a bunch of cremini mushrooms we also had to use up. The sunchokes definitely have a unique barnyard smell + do sorta taste a bit like artichokes. Evidentally Jerusalem is a misnomer of 'girasole' (Italian for sunflower, which the plant (native to North America) sort of looks like). They gave us a little gas but not sure they're worthy of being called "fartichokes".

fartichoke frittata


+ oh yah, 2 nights ago we made a stir fry w/ these lovely oyster mushrooms + green beans

Our CSA also snuck some beets into our order... so that makes 2 of 3 foods that we truly hate. Tho we did eat some of the Brussel sprouts, beets make us gag, not even sure we could eat them without throwing up. The 3rd food we absolutely hate is cauliflower (which like beets we'd probly retch if they passed thru our lips (like we did when we was a kid + was then forced to eat what we threw up... which perhaps explains our distaste). We made pizza another night + tonight we're gonna make pasta e ceci. Inspired by a Zuppa pavese recipe we saw the other day we're thinking we'll add an egg at the end to poach in the broth (how they often do Nabeyaki udon). We make ceci e pasta all the time, but until now it mostly amounts to adding a can of chick peas (if Italians call them 'ceci,' not sure who else in el moondough calls them garbanzos?) to whatever pasta dish we're making (to balance carbs w/ protein). But this time we actually set out to make pasta e ceci as it was intended to be made... sauteed sum garlic + diced up jalapeños (cuz we had 'em) in olive oil + then added garbanzos + then leftover broth from a few nights ago (that had a nice smoked paprika sunchoke barnyard funkiness to it) + a few spoonfulls of Calabresian bomba sauce + then added sum shell pasta... topping up w/ just enough water that the pasta would cook but not too much that it became soupy (tho often in Italy they serve it more as a soup). Top w/ parsley + scallions (again, cuz we had em) + grated pecorino (we forgot to add the egg tho.... next time). Had it w/ a salad + garlic bread.

pasta e ceci

22 April> Like the night before (when Obama was our bellboy), we were living in a huge luxury condo/hotel that was attached to a mall. We lived there permanently in a condo, but there was another guy in the glass elevator going down that was all geeked out looking out + taking photos so we asked if he was staying at the hotel  + he said no, that he was just "checking it out." We felt like saying “it’s just a fucking mall!” but bit our tongue, no sense in not letting the guy enjoy his moment. Then we remembered about COVID + wondered why we were in the same elevator w/ him, why they didn’t have a 1 person at a time rule in place. We took the elevator cuz we had our bike (which we had to pop the front wheel up to fit), but quickly got off + took the stairs carrying our bike (figured it was part of our workout) but there were tons of people in the stairwell walking up + down apparently just for exorcise. We got down into the mall where it sort of went outdoors, but then it was like this massive rubberized track + everyone was walking in different lanes, going in circles, for as far as the eye could see, some laned circles looping into figure-8s, reminding us of a fractal version of Man Ray's "Dust Breeding":

Sum of the lanes continued along a beach, felt like Miami, sleezey people in bikinis + rollberblading, but there were also a lot of pear-shaped (as Robert Lopez calls them) people, squat + round + of various skin tones + drab clothes that were trudging along like zombies, not at all practicing social distancing cuz they didn’t care... they either felt they were superhumun + wouldn’t get sick or were too busy getting on with life to worry about losing their life to a silly disease... it was survival of the fittest! At least this is what we were thinking, nobody was talking. Everyone was just “exorcising” in this sprawling dystopian complex of rubberized tracks that ran along train tracks + beyond that industrial wasteland that felt like São Paulo (tho we’ve never been) + we too were just out for exorcise (our bedder-½ stayed back in the apartment cuz she thought the health risks outweighed the benefits). We saw an open field w/ a few ppl playing soccer + tried to get off the track to get to it (we had lost the bike at some point). We crossed the railroad track + then a train came blaring it’s horn at us. We tried to retreat but a latch of our backpack got caught so we hugged the fence barely avoiding getting hit. We unlatched ourself + looked at the fence topped with barb-wire that we had to climb while these trains were coming 1 after the other non-stop but it seemed too dangerous, so we retreated back to the track. Then we saw Kevin (that makes the 3rd dead person appearing in our past 3 dreams) running + we yelled that we were 6 feet behind him, in the same lane (the outer #8). We were holding a conversation while jogging, 6 feet apart from each other + this douchebag guy ran right by us ½ in our lane, almost brushing Kevin’s shoulder + Kevin started yelling at the guy that he wasn’t practicing social distancing + they were in a shouting match getting in each other’s faces + we were trying to get Kevin to admit he started it, just to stop it, cuz this was worse than what they were arguing about (as far as spreading airborne particles), but Kevin was arguing about the “principle of it.” The guy handed me an uncooked meatball + we held it awkwardly like what are we sposed to do w/ it? then remembered about COVID + tried to give it back but he didn’t want it so we rolled the raw meatball on the floor towards the elevator + kept reminding ourself to not touch our face + to get somewhere to wash our hands. 

After that were vague notions at 3 a.m…  ½-dreaming, ½-lucid thinking, that we could halve written down but u godda consciously retrieve them from your memary banks to remember 'em + then you'll have problems getting back to sleep, just like how the night before we had a hard time getting to sleep after scoring the FreshDirect slot (incidentally, anyone in the DC that needs anything let us know by thursday mornings (it's a re-occuring weekly delivery we have scheduled)). Us thinking about this morphed into another dream (is the best way we can put it), these lucid dreams processed us thinking about processing, in the current state about COVID. We wondered: if u don’t think about these things are u in deNile? ½ of us thought it was bedder to be in deNile, the other ½ thought we shd be staying informed + consciously analyzing everything to work thru it (which is more the approach our bedder-½ takes, especially as her work is somewhat directly affected/influenced).

734 <(current)> 736> Almanac of the Dead (1992): Don't be a stranger (or a fuck toy) @ a Ⓚ in Surprise, AZ
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