Monday, December 12, 2016

Dance on Thru to the Other Side

Let the record show that these words actually came out of Pru's mouth today at 7:34 p.m.

Every day is fun.

To be clear, I do think that every day is fun - for one reason or another, no matter how minuscule - but to know Pru is to expect the darkest possible expression of everything, so when I asked her what fun things were on her agenda this week, I was shocked to hear something so unlikely from her.

My fun came in waves, beginning with a walk, but not the pipeline walk I'd wanted because Tuesday's residual rain overflow stopped me in my tracks when I tried to access the pipeline, but a brisk walk nonetheless.

At Studio Two Three's winter print fair this afternoon, I chatted with the enthusiastic printmaker recently tied up with birthing a baby, planning the print fair and tying up the loose ends on expansion, all activities that require an abundance of youthful exuberance and non-stop energy.

Just give me print fairs, another Galentine's Day dance and a go-go night and I'm good. Granted, others may need more from a print collective.

Perhaps most importantly, I snagged a fabulous print (8/25 because 2/25 had a blue smudge I couldn't quite get over) by local Rellie Brewer called "Dance Thru," and picturing two people who could have escaped from "Harold and the Purple Crayon" caught up together.

Embracing? Dancing? Definitely intertwined. As my guitarist friend put it so well today, "Any music that makes me move involuntarily is always the experience I am hoping for."

With most of "my people" otherwise occupied, it was Pru and Beau who met me for a wine dinner at Camden's focused on holiday indulgences that began with Biutiful Brut Cava alongside a crab and shrimp salad with horseradish salsa (the kick on the finish alone was worth the price of admission) that devolved into an overview of sparkling maintenance.

Back in the late '90s, a new woman in my life had decided I was a worthy friend once she learned that I always had a chilled bottle of something sparkling in my fridge. You never know when it'll come in handy, after all.

"We have that in common," Pru said authoritatively. "People always say don't open a bottle for me because you'll have to drink it or you'll have a half-full bottle open. Doesn't apply. Not gonna happen. Who do they think I am?"

Fact is, some people are always at the ready with a bottle of fun.

Layers of flavor showed up in roasted butternut squash soup with goat cheese crema as well as in the mineral-forward Jean-Marc Brocard Kimmeridgien that Pru and I could have sipped all day long without complaint.

Turns out the secret of the soup was chicken and pig stock, leading to an expose of Pru's soup needs. "I've learned to keep her in ham hocks," Beau said drolly about three recent batches of soup that began with hocks and ended in happiness.

It was during the pairing of Laurent Martray Brouilly "Vieilles Vignes" with chicken galantine (the word, incidentally, one vowel off the dance I so enjoyed last February) alongside cranberry chutney and celery salad that conversation turned to people with celery issues.

There were two at the bar, both grown men, yet they handled the dish differently. One saw the hated celery as integral to the dish's appeal despite his lack of fandom and ate every bite, while the other stacked his celery to one side of the plate as if it had cooties.

Instead of focusing on celeriac nonsense, I thought it wiser to move on to debt murders. You know, like if I murder someone for you, then you'll have to murder someone for my friend and eventually, he/she for me. Simple.

Not wanting to upset the apple cart but unable to resist, I pointed out that I had no one I wanted dead, because I had no good reason to wish it so. What are the reasons to sign on for a murder pact anyway, I wondered aloud. Love? Revenge? Money?

My life may be fun, but it's not entangled enough for one of those reasons to inspire me to take a life or contract someone to do so for me.

Seeing a woman in gauchos - easily the most unflattering piece of clothing ever foisted on womankind - we digressed to the understandable appeal for men of cross-dressing (they really don't have the clothing options we do), kilt-wearing (I'm all for it) and why both are still seen as outside the norm.

Best random commentary: "You've been watching a lot of Eddie Izzard, haven't you?" And the problem with that is...?

You wanna talk fun? How about eating house-smoked and cured ham with whipped sweet potatoes and ham gravy while sipping Banshee Pinto Noir and arguing whether Bermuda or the Outer Banks is more worthy of someone's vacation days?

Personally, I could have a lot of fun on either trip, so you make the call and I'll pack my bag.

Whenever I eat ham, I am reminded of my mother's devotion to the "magical beast" capable of providing breakfast, lunch or dinner, not to mention soup to die for, and her lifelong justification for always having one in the fridge.

Like always having a bottle of bubbles around, it only makes good sense. Just in case.

The mustard greens showed up late to the party of roasted lamb lollipops, purple fingerling potatoes and mushroom duxelle (though everyone was too polite to make them feel bad about it) set to the liquid notes of Finca la Mata Tempranillo for a hearty final course.

Meanwhile, Pru regaled us all with reasons to visit her slice of Mexican mountain heaven, reasons that included the largest Democratic ex-pat community, a muscular gem expert with gleaming skin at La Cucaracha and late night shopping expeditions that end with sipping bubbles overlooking the town.

Sounds like we'd have fun, fun, fun till Beau stopped supplying the ham hocks or someone got murdered, whichever came first.

Besides, any adventure that involves me having a good time is always the experience I am hoping for.

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