I cashed in $7.40 worth of bottles and cans at Joe Hiller's tonight. He's decided to let the bloody Salvation Army stand a wage worker outside next to one of those kettles ringing a bell, dammit. Now it's just Trader Joe's and maybe the Whole Paycheck where ya don't have to walk by those mutherfuckin queer-haters. (Don't pardon my French.) Okay, I should say, to walk by those workers representing and collecting money for those mutherfuckin queer-haters. Better?
Anyway, in there I ran into two fellow MRers (MRsians?), also stockin' up before the storm. Took my time gleaning my various ingredients---yes, mostly ingredients, not so much stuff already cooked and frozen in plastic-covered plastic then boxed. I'm imagining being snowbound, after all, with time and psychic space to cook. Among my gleanings were some cheap criminis and last-minute-brainstorm sour cream. (Any guesses where I'm going with that? Stay tuned.) I drove home, lifted the windshield wipers to ready-for-snow position, and carried everything inside, including enough kitty food we can hole up here for a good long time.
Did up the few dishes (so nice to have few to do up) and started cooking, with Dinah Washington and Ella on shuffle in the living room. It was warm in the kitchen before long---thus the topless chef. The dish in progress? Third Generation American's Improvisational Instinctual Stroganoff. Winged it all the way, and it came out purty good, even with unconventional noodles for the dish---little tight corkscrews, the last of the pastas in ex-Gran(d)ma-out-law Edna "Peg" Rider's gift package of almost two years ago now.
Wonder what my Russian great-grandparents would think of my cooking tonight. I always presume I'd meet with naught but contempt in the eyes of most of my dead ancestors. But perhaps they'd be sympathetic with me on some level. Maybe at least they'd like me thinking of them, and wondering about their knock-off stroganoff. "Stroga-knock-off?"
Later I watched the rest of Clash By Night, 1952, with Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan, and Marilyn Monroe. Noir-y, but not exactly. Atmospheric, for sure, but not in the usual noir way. Fritz Lang. I honestly didn't know where it was going, and that was good. Found myself, moreover, unsure of which way to root: that the selfish wild-card people who callously blaze paths of destruction through other people's lives are hopelessy so and can never reform, or that they aren't, necessarily, and could/might/may.
Like, think of that (uncomfortably physically violent but) compelling scene in All About Eve in which Addison DeWitt gets harshly direct with the eponymous Miss Harrington, telling her (in his disturbingly dominant/patronizing way) how they're alike, and (basically) scum, and that they thus belong together. And then he calls her on her shit big-time, in brutally (but beautifully cut-to-it) specific detail. The K**** K***ss moment, I could call it, after the woman who taught me what I needed to know to understand Eve.
In that movie, Addison's right; those two are hopelessly selfishly compulsive and wanton. I won't say what goes down in this movie, in case anybody's still reading at this point & might want to see it. But I remain ambivalent. What do I believe? I want to believe there can be redemption, as you might guess. That's the sucker I am. But sometimes I let myself root for come-uppance, such as Eve is destined for, and I enjoy the thought of it, in a base kind of way. I think I do believe that those karmic consequences come about, if only in ways the offenders may never consciously have to admit. Now whether there can be redemption without, say, the devil in question going into a 12-step program or something dramatic like that, I really don't know. It would take tremendous emotional courage, that's for sure.
The snow's letting up a bit. But the sky's still shrouded with it, and the streetlight looks sepia yellow with all that white whiteness around.