February 2nd, 2013

Flavored Calories.

In which I catch up to entire countries

Soup for breakfast. This has been a thing for me since at least my teens. I remember scrambled eggs back when Mom would make them for me, and I ate a fair amount of Special K and, other times, cottage cheese (NO NOT TOGETHER), but as I got further into junior high and high school, I got less and less interested in traditional breakfasts. (It was a big deal to me when the Special K recipe changed a bit, and I didn't like the new recipe nearly as much.) By high school, I usually had leftovers. There was almost always enough from previous dinners. Of course, it was a hodgepodge: whatever was available. Often it was pizza (reheated, which years later annoyed my then-girlfriend Alicia. "You don't reheat pizza! Leftover pizza is better cold!")

Otherwise, it was -- to quote Willie from Temple of Doom -- "something simple. Like soup." I had soup a lot as breakfast. Not as much now (I'm more likely to have either grits, or a Grape Nuts-like mix combined with yogurt), but this morning includes split pea with ham. Which looked nasty coming out of its condensed-soup can, but split pea soup isn't the prettiest soup under the best of circumstances. But like many soups, it's warm and filling. And for years I wondered Why don't more people have soup for breakfast?

And I felt a little vindicated to find that pho, which got popularized in Vietnam about a century ago and has made inroads into the U.S. and (glory be!) my lovely town of Portland, where I wouldn't be surprised if people have tried to swim in the stuff, is often a breakfast dish in Southeast Asia. THEY KNEW DECADES AGO WHAT I FIGURED OUT MORE RECENTLY.

All this is to end with this: I could probably have two to three meals a day of pho. Thank you, Portland. And thank you, people from Vietnam and environs. Eat well.

Oh, one more food thought I occasionally have: thank you, early humans who figured out how the hell to make rice something edible. It's not obviously food!
I listen

Friends on a false spring day

A well-lit day. Portland collectively went yessssssssss at how nice and light and relatviely warm today was; I did two long walks, soaking up some sun during both as I went to and from the library. (Another motive for walking: not using TriMet tickets, as this month I didn't buy a monthly pass. February is the least-painful month to go pass-less.) Portland gets these glimpses of spring and then dives under the wet blanket of clouds for the rest of the winter, but we'll deal with that, having stored some of today's light. It helped.

Second walk also yielded a visit with one of my acquaintances, Heather T. (not to be confused with Heather G. -- by the way, "Heather G." sounds like a rapper's name), who was riding by on her bicycle. Bicycles are easy to stop, easier than cars are, so we walked in the same direction for a bit and updated each other on our lives; we hadn't seen each other for a few weeks. We hugged a quick friend-hug and went our separate ways.

After that, and getting home (dishwashing! Food! Online stuff!), I headed out for my next visit to my friend of -- whoa -- going back to 2001. Matt Kaplan, one of my fellow survivors of the Vesta call center. We hadn't seen each other since summer 2011; his family's been living in Hawaii. Now they're here again, and Matt's gone from working a drive-thru Starbucks in Hilo to working a drive-thru Starbucks near SE 82nd and Johnson Creek. When he and his wife Gerry moved from Portland, they were a couple: now they're foster-turned-adoptive parents. Of four. They've both known they should be parents, and they became parents like whoa.

And finally we could visit again; today had turned out to be a good day to do so. Next I'll visit him and the rest of the family (oo! We can call them "the fam-damily" now!) sometime. And Matt being in town may continue Portland's Jonathan Frakes sightings, even if Frakes doesn't come back to direct anything else here now that Leverage has ended. Anyway, there was hugging. Hugging is magic.

And after that I treated myself to dinner at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, since one's in walking distance of that Starbucks, and I walked not in the sun because it was dusk by then, but the sky was still lit up prettily with backlit wisps of clouds. Up there, it was (and is) colder. It'll be cold down here again, because we still have a turn at winter, but! Not today. And hugs (after all, I mentioned hugs) can help with keeping us warmer.