PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Souper

I have made it through many calendar months of my hitherto short life without having spooned any broth, consommé, stock, or even hot water into my mouth. This is not that unusual. The warm summer months don't put me into much of a soup mood. I prefer a cold drink on a hot day, believe it or not. Occasionally, I'm treated to a bowl of creamy, cold zucchini soup by my better half, or an amuse bouche of gazpacho at a local eatery.

Recently, it came to my attention that January is National Soup Month. It turns out also to be National Hot Tea Month, National Oatmeal Month, and National Slow Cooking Month. The latter I might refer to as National Braising Month, but efforts to reach wider audiences have caused the National Month Naming Committee to go with phrasing that people can understand without having to reach for a dictionary (which, I imagine, not many people possess these days in a form that one has to "reach for"). On the darker side, January is also Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and National Bath Safety Month, the latter reminding us that not everyone has been careful enough when they draw a bath for their wee-little or aging family members. So, lots of causes to be mindful of in January.

Soup is the one drawing my attention these days. First, because the prepared food section of our local supermarket has inexplicably been unable to keep up the quality of their minestrone. It's either a supply chain problem, or a staff retention problem. Maybe both. But my wife won't eat the stuff any longer. Second, because we had a bone-in ham pre-Christmas, which gave me the opportunity to use the bone for French Canadian split pea soup a few days later.

Not French Canadian Split Pea Soup

Now that we're in the middle of National Soup Month, I made a batch of chickpea and harissa soup (a.k.a "lablabi"), a Moroccan concoction (say that 10 times fast) that is far spicier than what us New Englanders are used to but is perfect on a frigid day. I've eaten this stuff three times for lunch this week, as my employer has asked me to work remotely until at least January 24th, and I have a kitchen at my disposal. Then, yesterday, in a bold move, my wife served us sausage and spinach soup for dinner. So, although I am no stranger to soup, yesterday was one of the few days in my life when both lunch and dinner were unquestionably soupy.  

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Digest This

When you encounter an advertisement of smiling people handing varieties of Yoplait yogurt to one another other, you probably think, "Hey, gee, those people are passing along a healthy, fermented dairy product, packed with hundreds of millions of good bacteria that aid in digestion."

What do I see when I view the same advertisement? I see a lot of single-use plastic.

I am almost 100% certain that one cannot buy yogurt in any form in my local supermarket without it being packaged in plastic.

Wait! That is unless my supermarket happens to offer one of the Yoplait brands that appears in that same commercial, which turns out to be a French variety of yogurt called Oui. The process for this variety may be a little different than others, but I care less about that than the fact that Oui comes in a "glass pot" with a foil top. When packaged as a 4-pack, cardboard is added. Ergo, no plastic at all.

Yeah, I know, you don't really care. Because "plastic is recyclable." Oh is it? Maybe sometimes. But just because you throw your waste into single stream recycling bins doesn't mean it will ever get recycled, at least according to this scary Frontline report, with horrifying images of the oceans and beaches awash in unrecycled plastic.

Anyway, you might not think or care about it and keep on buying your yogurt in plastic packaging. Meanwhile, I am going to start shopping for yogurt the way I shop for eggs: avoid the plastic packaging.

(Since when I have ever gotten environmental on you in these pages, anyway?) 

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Rock Show

You kids don’t know about rock shows because you were too little when rock shows were suddenly made illegal, but now they are legal again, and I have an actual ticket to one of these.

OK, not a ticket per se; I have an entry pass via an app on my phone. So cool! I almost opted for a physical ticket, mailed to me via the pony express, but I worried that the ponies wouldn’t be vaccinated and would be snorting away without masks on, spewing pony nose dew all over my precious physical ticket. Then, who knows, we all get the horse variant, and then China doesn’t allow us into their country because they start calling it the “American Horse Virus,” which causes liberal Chinese to decry the racist language against American Horses.

It could happen.

Anyway, I’m sure you remember what a rock show looks like, if you were of age before they became illegal. The sound. The lights. The beer. All of us screaming until we’re hoarse.

Maybe it is called the “American Hoarse Virus.” But that’s no better.

The best news in all of this is that the Sinclair survived. And so did The Osees!

 

 

 

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President McVay

I’m aware from the chatta on many of the social media channels I tune into that the American people want a list of my priorities in case I were ever to become President of the United States. Also, how much time would I take off from the job for leisure activities or hobbies?

Would I get into macrame, for example? Or perhaps be a kegler?

Look, it’s really not safe for me to be bowling in my spare time. First, it’s indoors, so not great COVID-wise. Second, think of the security cost. They’d have to shut down the whole facility to protect me from my enemies.

And anyway, can you imagine if there is international crisis brewing and I’m spending time rolling balls down alleys?

Here is where I confess that, nevertheless, I’m inclined to continue brewing beer in my spare time. Because although American needs to get back to work, America needs a beer worse. So, in effect, I’m leading America by example: working hard, and drinking the beer I’ve spent time brewing right there in the White House.

In addition, I plan to create a social media app called “Chatta.” Stay tuned on that one.   

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J'Biden Era Haikuage

 

People's Arms. That's right!

200 million shots

In 100 days

 

We are good people

But we still have far to go

Repair. Restore. Heal.

 

There's nothing new here

The Affordable Care Act

We're restoring it 

 

America's Day

Democracy is fragile

The world is watching 

 

Strategy is based

On Science, not politics

Truth, not denial

 

 

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