Monday, April 11, 2011


So my schedule has been kinda all over the place ever since I got here. The combination of telling your boss that you can work whenever he needs you and living on said boss' couch leads in large part to your itinerary being heavily controlled by external parties. And while I don't particularly abhor this, I am eagerly awaiting word on when I can terminate this particular situation (more information to come this week). All that being said, it is so nice to just chill the fuck out sometimes.

As it happens, today was my Friday. I only get one day off tomorrow, but I get Saturday and Sunday off, so I'll take it. Anyhow, after work Gabe and Leandra pick me up and we go to Foodland to get the accoutrements for linguine alla carbonara. Tits! Also, we get beer. Gordon Biersch Spring sampler. Thanks, Maika'i card membership!

For those that don't know, I love carbonara. Love it. It's definitely not the healthiest thing in the world, but I'll be damned if it isn't devilishly delicious, in an almost naughty and shameful way. And it couldn't be easier. First, start boiling up some linguine. Then, you want to dice up some bacon and start rendering it down with a little bit of nice olive oil. The more legit Italian way is to use guanciale(cured pork jowls) or pancetta(cured pork belly), but bacon makes a more than adequate understudy. While the bacon and noodles are cooking, scramble up an egg or two in a bowl (I used three for one pound of pasta) and add shredded Parmesan cheese into it. I use a lot. Yes, real parmigiano reggiano is preferable if you have it, but we're already using bacon, so can please shut that argument up? Thanks. Also, crack a good bit of black pepper into that mix. And make sure you have that done and your bacon crisped and rendered before the noodles are al dente. It's paramount.

With the noodles cooked, drain them (don't rinse. EVER) and add them to the pan with your bacon and olive oil. Keeping the burner off, toss the noodles in the oil enough to get them evenly coated. Then add your egg mixture and toss it in with the noodles. Keep tossing and incorporating. The residual heat in the noodles will softly cook the egg and give the a cheese of creamy sauce vehicle to spread its wonder. Also, bacon is bacon is bacon. Eat this with a nice salad, which Leandra conveniently prepared, and pair with delicious beer. Or wine, if you're in the mood.

Forgive the horrible shot framing, I didn't really give a fuck at the time.

With such a lovely meal, it was nice to sit down and enjoy. Some Bob's Burgers was watched. And a little Family Guy. Lulz were had.

After a little post-meal guitar noodling (pictures of Hawaiitar Mk.I to follow) I'm lounging on the lanai. Having an addict cigarette (Marlboro Gold, it was the best they had at 7-11) really reminds me I need to find a place on this island to buy Shermans. I experience the cigarette in a way the "smoker" world is too nicotine-enslaved to truly appreciate.

I am a match smoker.

It may not sound like a big difference. You may think "Nathan, how you light the cigarette doesn't matter. It's all about getting it lit!" And while I will cede the point about a cigarette fully blossoming after the application of flame, I submit an explication of the application's implications on the enjoyment of said tobacco.

Match smokers take time. The whole Bic culture is just about quickest possible delivery of nicotine to the bloodstream. It's so formulaic. So barbaric. So completely geared to instant gratification. Where's the joy in that? How are you supposed to fully enjoy something if you've had no time to let your mind arouse itself to the idea? Where's the foreplay? Where's the anticipation? I love sex, but I don't just barge right into it. Give yourself time to light that match, smell the slight sulfurous tinge in the nostrils, let the flame settle, and purposefully take those first few prep drags to set that cherry. Then, pull in a deep, smooth ocean of smoke. Let meandering plumes of it trail out your nose. Feel it dance past your lips. The chase had made it all the more special.

Now I suppose my being a cigar smoker has influenced this notion quite a bit, but is that really a bad thing? If you choose to smoke, and I certainly don't make any moral or social judgments either way, just make sure you really smoke it. Fully savor it. If it's gonna kill you, make sure you milked it for all it's worth. For that matter, just go ahead and do that with everything you love. Be fully present. Fully accepting. Fully in contact. Synchronized. Even for stuff you don't like. If you have to do it, it might as well be worth it. Time spent vacant and distant is really only stolen from you.

Until next time, ohana. Aloha!

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