Last night while I'd been playing with my watchdog timers, Gretchen had been palling around with a collection of increasingly-intoxicated poets. There was one scene where a group of them all went into the bathroom (either at Oriole 9 or Joshua's) and read each other poems. It was a bonding experience, and a good one for Gretchen, since there aren't a lot of talented poets to pal around with in the Mid Hudson Valley. When the evening came to an end, Tim (one of Saturday's panelists) hadn't wanted it to end, so he'd come back to our house with Gretchen and R&K, our two other festival houseguests. We had a second guestroom available, though Gretchen had to call me and tell me to undertake an emergency cleaning jihad, some of whose tasks included: spiderweb removal, cleaning a wookiesque bathtub (I'd impulsively shaved parts of my legs during my last bath), changing all the sheets and pillowcases (Tim is allergic to cats), and removing the corpse of a Deer Mouse.
This morning Gretchen had to get up early to take Tim to the Stewart's on Route 28 so he could catch a ride down into the City. As for R&K, Gretchen was enjoying them enough to whip up a brunch she hadn't thought she'd be making. And then when the K half of R&K recognize the picture of Ray on our refrigerator door, we learned that, completely independently, they were old friends from back in the 1990s. So Gretchen called Ray and Nancy over for brunch without telling them who else would be there. You know, SURPRISE!
I whipped up some BLTs and Gretchen made waffles and vegan grilled cheese sandwiches. We'd asked Ray to bring over more vegan bacon, but there's had gone moldy. "We didn't have any bacon," Nancy declared, "but we brought booze!" It was a bottle of champagne.
Our dogs ended up going on two walks this morning, and Lila went for three. As for me, I had some built-up web development tasks that I'd been unable to work on since my return from Virginia. I could have worked on them, I suppose, but to satisfy the agent in my head responsible for procrastination, I can only get shit done when I have large blocks of time to work with.
This evening, well after our house emptied out and it was back to just Gretchen, me, and our seven critters, we watched another one of those baking competitions that included a vegan contestant. This one involved donut bakers, and somehow, despite making hideous elephant donut sculpture that looked like it had been working too long cleaning up a melted down Japanese nuclear reactor, the vegan won. Unlike past shows where we knew the outcome beforehand, this came as a delightful surprise (it seems I've absorbed a little of Gretchen's vegan tribalism). I'm starting to get the sense that perhaps vegan cooks and bakers are simply better cooks and bakers than their non-vegan counterparts, perhaps because they can't rely on as many crutch constituents (eggs, milk, and cheese) and so have a more intimate understanding of how food constituents interact.
A new band I've been listening to is called The Sleepover Disaster. They have a great wall-of-sound shoegazer thing going on, and seem to have completely mastered the My Bloody Valentine technique of never letting go of the whammy bar. There are lots of little accidental and intentional shimmering pieces of magic in that wall of sound they build, full of hidden treasures for those who listen repeatedly. They even harmonize sometimes when they sing, though that can get a little strange. Check them out here:
In other news, I turned off the household boiler again today, and hopefully it will remain off until some time in November.