Tuesday, November 11, 2008

While My Guitar Gently Sleeps (Day of Rest)

I got up early on Sunday so I could do my shopping while most other consumers were at church, asleep or both. One of my first purchases was a new set of blood-red bedsheets. Before starting my chores, I placed my guitar out of harm's way on my newly- adorned mattress and after doing so I couldn't help but think that my B.C. Rico is one sexy instrument...sadly, the largest hole on my guitar is 1/8" across and 3/4" deep, otherwise I'd marry it. I think I'm hoplessly romantic.

Next, I set about preparing dinner. The previous night, I had taken a package of frozen chicken breasts out of the freezer and placed them in the refrigerator overnight. This left them in a half-frozen/half-thawed state that made it easy to dice them into cubes for better marinading.


- 1 package (1 1/2 lbs. to 2 lbs.) boneless, skinless chicken breast, partially frozen, trimmed and diced

- 2 smallish onions ,chopped

- A really big green bell pepper, chopped

- 2 habanero peppers, finely diced

- 2 red chile peppers, diced

- Fresh garlic, minced

- Enough Cheep-O Brand Italian Dressing to cover it all ( but not drown it).

Avoid using 'light' dressing, you'll need the oil in the 'hi-cal' stuff for cooking; the extra sugar/corn syrup in the 'lite' will burn and ruin everything...
Throw this stuff into something big enough to hold it all, add some thyme, rosemary, white pepper and cayenne pepper, stir, cover and refrigerate. It should look like this:

I can't do housework without music, so my next step was a bit of simple stereo maintenance- ever have a stereo/radio etc. that makes "crackling" sounds when you adjust the volume and other knobs? Perhaps one side of the stereo cuts on and off unless you jiggle it "just right"?

Dirt is likely to be the culprit.

I removed the top casing of my amplifier and set to cleaning...in my case, the volume fader was cracking and buzzing and generally annoying the hell out of me, so that's where I started. First, I used some canned air to blow out the dust from the front (below) .

That solved nothing. It was a total waste of time. The real dirt was on the inside.

That little grey rectangle to the left of the air nozzle is the backside of the volume button. It slides along a metal rail that regulates voltage (a potentiometer or 'pot' for short), so the next thing to do is to clean the pot. The slight electrical charge that runs through the pot tends to attract dirt and other particulate matter, such as smoke and cat dander, so it's a good idea to clean it at least once per decade.

First, blow canned air along the rail while sliding the fader back and forth. You can actually see the agitated dust specks clinging to the red nozzle- there was some serious grime inside!

Next, moisten a cotton swab with 100% anhydrous (without water) alcohol, which you can obtain from any electronics parts dealer- stick the wet end of the swab inside the pot's groove and gently slide it back and forth, in and out, slowly at first, then faster, repeating as needed...aaaahh. Now we are getting somewhere!

Important: Do not use rubbing alcohol on your electronics, ever. Look at a bottle of rubbing alcohol- it says 70% alcohol on the label. The other 30% consists of water and mineral oil, two things that will ruin your delicate electrical wotsits.

Do you remember VCR tape decks? If I had a DVD for every VCR that I have seen destroyed by the careless application of rubbing alcohol, my name would be Netflix.

The flash bleached this photo- in "real life" , this swab was filthy. All told, it took nearly half a dozen swabs before I was satisfied.

Problem solved! I put on CD #2 of the Peter Tosh boxed set, 'Honorary Citizen', made a quick trip to the laundry room and began cleaning and re-arranging my humble (read: humiliating) abode.

The first thing I did was carry my broken old futon frame out to the trash. My landlord is renovating one of the other units in the building and had piled up a load of cabinets, carpet and furnishings for a City pick-up, so my timing was perfect, I merely added my jetsam to the flotsam that was already there...I also dragged my dysfunctional 1975-ish Zenith console TV to the pile...I had entertained vague plans of converting it into an aquarium one day, but some things are just not meant to be... the TV belonged to my late grandparents and carried a lot of emotional weight, but holding onto a 150-pound, six-foot-wide TV cabinet for sentimental purposes is kinda crazy, even by my standards.

After ridding myself of these large, useless items, I pushed my remaining belongings to one side of the room and went looking for furballs and dust bunnies along the walls that had been covered by said useless objects. I found plenty.

The view from the other corner:

That painting is of me, back when I was fat, naked and had (some) hair on my head. I'm thin and bald now, but I still get naked on occasion, as necessity dictates.

Speaking of naked, when my male cousin died this spring, his sister gave me his surprisingly bizarre collection of pornographic DVDs. I didn't have the heart to tell her that bi-sexual midget porno is not exactly a boat-floater for me, so I graciously accepted them, but I need to get that shit out of my house- dying is natural and not to be feared, but I would rather not leave behind a collection of bi-curious dwarf porn- people might get the wrong impression- so I boxed it up and tossed it into my neighbor's trash can. My neighbor is a Born Again Christian midget who attends 12-Step meetings at Sexaholics Anonymous, so I doubt he'll mind, after all he's probably seen it all before...ick.

Strangely, by the time I took out the trash, the old Zenith was already gone, someone had carted it away...I wonder if there's a market for 30-year old broken televisions? Perhaps the heavy metals in the cathode-ray tube are worth something.

Speaking of paintings, I decided to "retire" the one pictured below. It was done by Ralph, one of my all-time least-favorite people; a drug-dealing, pedophile leader of a cult of teenage runaways and a "friend" of my parents...he once ripped my mom off by selling her a forgery of a Salvador Dali print. That's a whole other story...fiction, of course.

Thinking about kicking Ralph's ass made me hungry, so I placed my marinating foodlets into a sauce pan and sizzled them until the chicken was cooked through, then I added some water, flour and butter, whisked it until the sauce thickened and thenserved it over brown rice. Spicy yum! I made another laundry-related trip and then I sat down with a plate of my 'whatever' and some garlic bread...fantastic!

Speaking of "retire", today is my last day at my current temp job, so I snuck my camera in and took a snapshot of the chair I've been filling since June. People used to stick their heads into the doorway and ask me rhetorical questions such as: "How can you stand it in here?" and "Don't you feel claustrophobic?"

I am not going to miss those questions.


Enemy of the Republic said...

Wow, what a post! Where to begin?

1. The sheets are awesome. Can I find them at Target?

2. Cooking looks good. Need a chef--too lazy.

3. Cleaning house. Oh, that's for December.

4. There is actually porn on the stuff you mentioned? Well, it takes all kinds to make a world.

Allan said...

1. Yes. That is where I got them.

2. I'll be looking for a job at the end of 2010...

3. It's an early Christmas for me this year!

4.Um, yeah. If it can be done, it's on tape somewhere.Scary, eh?

billy pilgrim said...

why is canned air so expensive?

i can't believe the price of that stuff.

yellowdog granny said...

this post punched a lot of buttons for me..i fecking love the sheets and the guitar is so sexy..
the chicken dinner looks terrific...
when i read all your cleaning chores..i had one thought...
oh my friend...you so need a blow job.

schlep said...

Great post Netflix! I'm glad to know someone who knows what's inside an amplifier.
I was also on a spicy recipe-sharing kick today, great minds blog alike....

Anonymous said...

Whoa - I was so caught up by the red sheets I could hardly read on. Why blood red? No wait...I don't want to know!!

Sling said...

You knocked this one outta the park buddy!

The gitfiddle is hot,the chicken sounds delicious,DIRT IN ELECTRONICS IS AGGHHHH!,and bi-curious midget porn is..well I don't know what it is,but it can't possibly hold a candle to co-ed asian cheerleader porn,I'll tell ya that...Good job!

yinyang said...

The thought of you and your [cousin's] bi-curious dwarf porn just cracks me up. You should have kept it - it would certainly give people to talk about at your funeral (which is hopefully a long time away ::knocks on wood::).

Allan said...

BP- Because 50% of the proceeds go towards feeding out-of-work stereo repairmen.

JS- Everyone needs a blowjob (or the gender-specific equivalent).It's part of the human condition.

S- I saw that! Cool beans.

C- My choices were : "Missionary White", "Key Lime" and " Target Scarlet". I went red.

SL- Thanks! Yeah, it kinda grossed me out and I'm not especially squeamish.They make Asian porn?

YY- Even in death, I will misunderstood and ridiculed...sigh.

angel said...

LOVE the red sheets dude- and the guitar is gawjiss!!!
that chicken dish looks so yummy... but i can't do all the peppers- any suggestions as to what i can replace them with for a milder dish?

Anonymous said...

I need a day like that. I think I'll go out and buy a guitar now.

Anonymous said...

Oh, btw It's me NYD.

Blogging from work. tee hee.

Bostick said...

That shit looks good.

Lyzard said...

I was just wondering what to do with my half frozen-half thawed chicken breasts tonight. Problem solved.