Saturday, December 15, 2012


It is Savage Kitten's birthday. Savage Kitten, as some of you know, is my ex-girlfriend, who is still my apartment mate. We've lived together for over two decades, and despite the cessation of what was a mighty fine thing, we get along quite well. Which is natural for two reasonably mature individuals who are not given to emotional excess and operatic self-expression.
I have gotten over the break-up.
She got over me years ago.

Her birthday is special.

When she was a little girl, her frightbitch mom would sometimes forget her birthday entirely, though the natal days of her various brothers would entail a banquet! And presents! And cake!
Girls just don't count for very much if your parents are old-school Cantonese from the country districts.
Consequently, remembering her birthday appropriately makes her overlook that she is a woman in her forties who is marking ONE YEAR OLDER.
I'm early fifties, so if you were to forget my birthday it might be just as well. Two months ago I turned ONE YEAR OLDER. Since then, my eyes have fallen out, my long Gandalf-like beard has turned pearly white, my privates have shrivelled and calcined, and I dodder and mutter while soggifying my incontinence pants.
Dense shrubbery is growing from my ears.
I can't feel my extremities anymore.
Dammit, where's that nurse?!?

[Little bit of essential background: Back in September, after the so-manieth time that paranoid anti-Obama crap had been forwarded to the pro-Israel list, I de-subscribed. Life is too short to see red every time the loonies send vicious partisan propaganda or spew venomously insane far-right rhetoric. I also e-mail blocked several people, and de-subscribed from three other mailing lists. What this meant was that no-one on those lists, save for a few members of the rational fringe, were aware of my birthday when it happened in October.
At the office, the Calendar with birthdays and anniversaries was packed-up in one of the unopened boxes since the move, and we were preparing for the sale of the company in any case, so they did not know or notice either.
And, as this blogger has always been embarrassed about attracting attention in the months leading up to that day or making waves, because it might be seen as trying to remind people or impress upon them the need to remember the event -- don't ask me about my grammar school years -- virtually no one even realized that I had become one year older and spontaneously begun soiling my diapers, drooling, and gibbering in a theatrically senile fashion.
But I really appreciate the half-dozen friends who did pay attention.
They are a remarkable cure for creeping old age.]


We celebrated Savage Kitten's birthday yesterday. She came home to a feast.
A three and a half pound lobster, with drawn butter, asparagus sauteed and sauced with a sherry reduction black mushroom duxelles to which oyster sauce and lime juice had been added, creamed spinach with smoky bacon chunks, salt-water boiled whole potatoes and carrots with a little balsamic, hot crusty French bread.
No, I didn't spend all day cooking, be real.
Got the water boiling, picked up Luigi (the lobster) who was relaxing in the sink, snipped the rubber bands off his claws, and shoved him in head-first. Instant unconsciousness. Everything else was prepared while he turned delicious.
It wasn't a huge amount of time, just the timing.
Everything came together perfectly.

Savage Kitten was ecstatic.

Luigi - a lovable lobster! I always name my live seafood - don't you?
It makes what is going to happen to them less personal.
And acknowledges their unique individuality.
I think they appreciate that.

She was too full to eat cake afterwards. Took a bath to wash off the lobster goo and butter, then put on her brand new warm flannel jammies with the happy penguins, and went to bed, surrounded by stuffed animals.

Years ago I racked up experience in Chinese restaurant kitchens. It was very instructive. One of the remarkable things that Chinese cooks do is that almost absent-mindedly, without even thinking, they scrub-out cooking vessels and wash utensils immediately after use, rather than piling them up for later. The result is that even when preparing food for a party of hundreds, there are no dirty pots and pans by the time the dishes arrive at the tables.
Our kitchen was already reasonably spotless when she started sucking on lobster.
Her soak afterwards took longer by far than washing all the dishes and stowing the left-overs.

Honestly, no effort at all.

Yep. I did good.


She squealed delightedly when she saw the pajamas.
I was hoping that she would do that.
She doesn't often squeal.

I'm feeling rather good about myself right now.

Happy birthday.

There's cake.

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