Thursday, July 24, 2014

Here Comes the Rain Again

May I just say how much I appreciated today's weather?

With the exception of a few minutes in the morning, the sun has been M.I.A. all day long. Between the gray, overcast skies and intermittent showers all day long, it's been, for me at least, an absolutely gorgeous day.

My garden, my potted plants, the trees, everything looks so lush and verdant as if the green pigment in them is on steroids. Even the humid air, so like the beach air I recently left behind, feels like a lovely thing.

But I seem to be in the minority when it comes to a day (or night) like this and when I invited Pru to join me, she begged off, claiming it was raining cats and dogs and lizards.

Umbrella in hand, out I went solo to Chop Suey for a reading.

The book store seemed crowded, but maybe it was just that everyone had umbrellas and books in hand. Not willing to risk it, I found a chair and planted my backside while mingling from a seated position with a painter and then a poet.

I was thanked for attending, to which I remarked that I love having people read what they wrote to me.

Marie Potoczny led off by reading a short piece called "If Not Now, When?" about car sex in a traffic jam. Sample line: "I go at him like he's an Arby's cheddar roast beef sandwich." There was a lot of laughter at the end.

Reading her short story, "The Third Prophesy," Katy Resch wove a story of a guy from a difficult background making his way in the world, not without some issues along the way.

Tonight's main event was Allison Titus (who looks younger every time I see her) reading from her new novel, "The Arsonist's Song Has Nothing to Do with Fire."

Chop Suey's owner Ward introduced her, telling us he'd taken her book to the pool one recent afternoon and didn't get much swimming accomplished because he cracked open the book and was immediately sucked in.

She began by reading the prologue about one of the characters "practicing" dying and then jumped into the middle of the book, which involved a doctor secretly creating wings to be implanted on humans, a pyromaniac who did not want to be labeled an arsonist and a mother who died seven years after her daughter stopped talking to her.

So, you see, it's really no surprise that Ward was engaged in this saga from the first pages.

When I left Chop Suey, it was still raining hard and puddles were getting wider and harder to cross, but I wasn't going to let that matter. Besides, I had on platform shoes.

Over at Saison Market, California winemaker Andrew Jones was pouring his "Field Recordings" wines and Saison's chef was pairing small plates with them.

Don't mind if I do.

His Chenin Blanc was fabulous with the pickled shrimp, as were the fennel-crusted lamb lollipops with the smoky "Neverland," a Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot blend and I adored the "Fiction" red blend with the southern-fried quail with mole sauce.

That's the wine Andrew said he makes the most of, using leftover bits from all the different vineyards he works with and blending until he gets it to just where he wants it to be.

Don't stop 'till you get it right, brother.

The tasting wasn't overly crowded, but with plenty to eat and drink, no one was in any great hurry to move through, especially once the wine began softening the hard edges of everyone's rainy Thursday and laughter became the dominant sound in the room.

When I left there, it was to a gentle rain, sending me directly to my balcony and four days worth of newspapers to catch up on while the rain dripped on the metal roof next to me.

Did I mention how I love a rainy night?

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