Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pig Roasts and Summer's Here and Dogs

Everything since I woke up Sunday has been wonderful. Sunday was full of exploring and that amazing cave movie I won't stop talking about. Then Monday was beautiful and Carrie and Alan and I went to the cave movie again, then spent hours talking manically on a patio with sparkly drinks. Well, Carrie and I talked manically and Alan smiled patiently, dropping little things in at appropriate times. A great idea was born there. It was written down in a notebook. We met up with her girlfriend outside the food trucks at Momocho, and then there were margaritas and so many dogs. Ohio City people love their dogs, man. I want a doberman so badly now it hurts. They are so big! And noble! Ended up at the Parkview with Jason and Nancy who works at my old grade school and told me stories about teachers who will never retire, eating sliders. Drove home listening to a mix CD with the Faint on it, remember them? Remember how we used to dance to them at 1:30am in Akron bars? I talked for like eight hours straight that day. I got home and my mouth was tired, worn out.

I have three stories about pig roasts. The first one was when I was living in Phoenix, and Allison and I went to the annual pig roast that the Harley mechanic alums threw for her graduating class. It was in the middle of the desert, at night, and the sand and scrub brush was lit up by the moon for miles around. There was a fire surrounded by men in leather jackets, and at some point a potato gun was brought out. I was handed the potato gun and pointed in the right direction, but the end cap wasn't screwed on properly, and it exploded into my shoulder when I shot it off. Honest, I didn't feel anything much that night. I wandered off alone in the high contrast rocks and cactus, and stared at the moonlight. I smiled at beards and sang along to eighties rock. But the next morning, my right breast was bruised deep black. It was worth it.

The second pig roast I went to was at the house of an ex-coworker. His house was in Painesville, and I got so lost trying to get there, I ended up driving around this industrial truck waste spot for hours which was fine. But then suddenly I was in Mentor, which was not fine. When I got to his house finally, thanks to a friend of his who picked up the phone, the front yard was full of kids, and the fire pit was full of drinkers, and the pig was out behind the kitchen, in a giant homemade smoker. Did you know I will always be one of the last up at a party? That's true. I can outlast all of you, and still sing along to Rock Star, and be the one having inappropriate conversations with construction workers by the fire.

The third pig roast was last night, when Scott from Washington Place held a little "opening the patio" shindig, with the best parting gift ever, a ticket to the Veggie U Food and Wine party, the sort of ticket I'd never be able to afford so soon after my birthday. I'm really excited to go to this event, sincerely. First of all, it's in Milan OH, which is in my favorite part of Ohio. True story, Monday night I talked about the Firelands for at least 15 minutes straight without breathing. Second, it IS a good organization. Kids should learn to grow things! There will be an apocalypse some day! Tomatoes will be worth more than gold! Mom tried to teach me when we were little, with her impressive city vegetable garden, but I'm the worst at growing things. I haven't forgotten the feeling of picking cucumbers though, and the roughness of thick vines. I've wanted to go to this event the past years, but I'm always so broke right after the big birthday blowout. This year I can do both! Camilla, Sarah, and I are going to make Derby style hats for it, hopefully with vegetables Carmen Miranda style. You should join us, or at least go click that link and see what they're about, to make them giving me the ticket worth it. Aaron Sanchez is going to be there! Also at least four chefs who have been judges on Top Chef, which to some of us is a big deal. I will not mention certain recap posts to them.

Scott and the food at Washington always wins me over, but the "seal the deal" moment was the super large super crispy piece of pig skin he laid across my plate. That I gnawed on with my hands. Because I learned to eat pig in the desert. That's just how it is.

Sitting on their pretty patio, in the hot sun mixed with gray clouds that is the way Ohio starts summer, Sarah told me that the bell tower of St. Andrew's was actually a facade to hide a crematorium smokestack. Not actual bells. Nope, dead people smoke. I don't know if that's true, because I can't find any corroboration online, but after I gleefully repeated that story to everyone I've talked to since? It is now. Also Sarah never lies, because she is a lady.

Then tonight, Amanda cooked us 8 pounds of asparagus. Later I hung out in my dark backyard, and listened to the neighborhood dogs snuffling around in yards, and took a walk to smell all the night blooming flowers and I was really grateful that I'm not allergic to beauty.

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