Flashback Friday

Another impending move, another house sold … the semi-peripatetic life has suited me for creative, financial, and spiritual reasons since the days of my youth. I am happy to report that the present days (and what “youth” remains) are still being spent in the pursuit of adventure and whatever alluring-but-elusive glimpses of magic may be attained amid this mortal coil. Speaking of the Sweet Bird of Youth, however, I fished-out these photos from yesteryear during the recent packing process. The first pic was taken in Biarritz, France, September 2002, as I was reclining on a couch in the hotel room, windows wide open to the rhythm of Atlantic waves caressing the shoreline at sunset. The sounds of cooks and servers getting ready for evening customers could be heard in the restaurant just below the room and in others along la croisette, but it was hardly disturbing. People don’t rush madly to accomplish anything in Biarritz, in September or otherwise. Their furtive preparations had instead the effect of a lullaby, as might be discerned from the expression on my face. And, no, this was not a selfie. Selfies didn’t exist in 2002. Whatever the case, we’ll call this one “The Alchemy of Biarritz and Kava Kava”.

(By the way, dinner that night was stupendous: duck confit and langoustines.)

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AS FOR THIS NEXT photo, all definitions and explanations escape me, at least insofar as aesthetics are concerned.  I only know that the shot was taken during the same  European expedition in September 2002, but in the heart of Paris. Apparently I was feeling “priestly” that day, though I can assure you it is merely a trick of the light and a Nehru-collared black button-down of which I was fond at the time. I suppose the crucifix was a bit much, but I was fond of that, too. I wonder whatever became of it? Hell’s bells, we’ll just call this “Father J Crossing the Seine” and leave things at that.

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Keep moving, y’all.

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Jonathan Kieran is the author of the Rowan Blaize series of epic contemporary fantasy books (Brightbourne 2012), as well as the critically acclaimed (Midwestern Book Review, Manhattan Book Review) Confessions From The Comments Section: The Secret Lives of Internet Commenters and Other Pop-Culture Zombies. His work has also been featured on The Daily Dot.com and in a plethora of other ‘zines, papers, and alt-weeklies. Click on the book covers above and to the right if you want to learn more about Jonathan’s titles and perhaps spend some of your hard-earned money on his multi-formatted gifts to the human race.

Jonathan is currently writing and illustrating a new masterpiece of epic dimensions. Drop-in once in awhile for updates. Mr. Kieran promises to provide them, but only once in awhile, because he doesn’t get paid to blog endlessly for free.

 

Post-Christmas Narcissistic Food Porn

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Yes, I am hereby and at last engaging in that ”time-honored” FB tradition of displaying one’s private FOOD PREPARATIONS for the awestruck wonderment of those inhabiting cyberspace. Because we ALL KNOW how crucial it is that untold others see exactly what we are about to put into our mouths and proceed to masticate, thus launching the arduous and biologically complex process of human digestion.

Whull, at least my Foodie Narcissism comes with a recipe that you, too, can perhaps implement in your own future efforts to flood the internet with visual information about items your teeth are eager to gnaw while your tongue makes a series of accompanying, helpful movments and saliva-drenched gyrations.

Behold (above) the centerpiece of my Christmas Day Lunch, or Lupper. Or brunch. Or Bupper.

8 Lamb Loin Chops, Marinated Overnight.

You’ll need: 8 Lamb loin chops (no kidding)

Salt them with a reasonable amount of kosher or sea salt. (Not too much!)

For your marinade: mince 8 or 9 cloves of garlic; chop finely one fresh “branch” of rosemary—about 2 heaping tablespoons worth, when chopped; chop finely one cluster of green onions, the kind you buy in any supermarket; using about a one-inch wide slice of lemon peel, create some lemon zest, chopped in a fine julienne style; add about a quarter cup of chopped purple onion; slop a few passes of good extra virgin olive oil in a skillet and then combine all the ingredients of the above-described marinade into a skillet or big baking dish.

Rub all eight of the lamb loin chops in the mess, coating both sides LIBERALLY. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

When ready the next day, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, but cook the lamb chops on high heat atop the stove FIRST, about 2 minutes each side. You want to give them a nice, quick sear.

Next, transfer the lamb chops into a DIFFERENT baking dish or oven-safe skillet, and place them in the preheated oven. Cook ‘em for about 10 minutes, or 15 if you like your lamb well done 😩.

Meanwhile, reserve the “drippings” from your stovetop sear (including all the marinated bits). Strain the liquid, etc. through a mesh strainer into a saucepan. Add about a cup of chopped mushrooms (morels or brown button mushrooms are great—don’t use toadstools or hallucinogenic varieties.)

Cook the strained liquid and mushrooms on med-high heat in the saucepan. Add a bit of vegetable stock if you feel you don’t have enough broth. As the mushrooms give off their goodness and the liquid begins to reduce, add a small handful or flour or cornstarch to create a roux. Stir like mad with a bamboo whisk or wooden spoon to turn the roux, keeping it smooth and silky.

When your lamb loin chops are finished in the oven, serve them up and top them with sprigs of rosemary and your lamb roux/gravy. Voila!

I served this on Christmas Day with mashed potatoes (save some gravy for them taters!), brussels sprouts, homemade dungeness crab cakes, and an earthy pinot noir. No one keeled over. At least not from the food.

Trust me, it’s Ten Commandment-breaking good. Just like I hope your Christmas and New Year shall be. (Staying on the straight & narrow, of course.)

Happy Happy Times, Friends … Another Year Beckons. Whatever shall we do with it?

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Jonathan Kieran is the author of the Rowan Blaize series of epic contemporary fantasy books (Brightbourne 2012), as well as the critically acclaimed (Midwestern Book Review, Manhattan Book Review) Confessions From The Comments Section: The Secret Lives of Internet Commenters and Other Pop-Culture Zombies. His work has also been featured on The Daily Dot.com and in a plethora of other ‘zines, papers, and alt-weeklies. Click on the book covers above and to the right if you want to learn more about Jonathan’s titles and perhaps spend some of your hard-earned money on his multi-formatted gifts to the human race.
Jonathan is currently writing and illustrating a new masterpiece of epic dimensions. Drop-in once in awhile for updates. Mr. Kieran promises to provide them, but only once in awhile, because he doesn’t get paid to blog endlessly and believes that any “writer” who gives-away a lot of stuff for free is a Wattpadder or a Smashworder, not a writer.

Because we all know #anyone can do it. #trueartistry

miss teen
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Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel is slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

My Post-Christmas “Glutton-Boy Blues.” #holidayexcess #redemption

"May running-shoes dispel the blues of all the crap you've eaten."

“May running-shoes dispel the blues of all the crap you’ve eaten.”

JONATHAN’S POST-CHRISTMAS “GLUTTON BOY BLUES”

You swore you wouldn’t overdo it, promised moderation,
but in the New Year aftermath of “booze obliteration”
your Tower of Indulgence has collapsed into a heap,
and on your glutton-head it fell while you were fast asleep.
You woke up with a headache and a tongue like salted pork.
And all because you couldn’t halt that shovel called “a fork.”
You lapped-up bowls of gravy and the stuffing you inhaled.
You gnawed upon each turkey-leg — the sirloin steaks impaled!
And then you washed it down with gulps of bubbly and of beer
and had the nerve to really think: “I’m not so bad this year!”
But all the scattered cookie-crumbs and candy-wrappers tell
the TRUTH about your greedy ways, your gastronomic hell!
You know there’s only one way to remove the sting of shame
and that requires exercise–enough to leave you lame!
So out into the winter day your bloated carcass stumbles,
and off you trot for seven miles as every muscle grumbles.
It takes you two full hours as you jog your sins away
while from your pores the Grease of Excess streams into the day!
Just one more hill and maybe all this self-inflicted pain
will cleanse your sorry system of the water you’ve retained.
And that is when your New Year TRULY starts and guilt is beaten …
… may running-shoes dispel the blues of all the crap you’ve eaten.

~JONATHAN KIERAN. Copyright 2014.
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Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel is slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

The world of dating is a tale of meet, greet & eat for #tarantulas.

Mark Your Calendars! To Celebrate Halloween 2013, Jonathan’s wild & witchy All Hallows Eve-themed novel for adults, Rowan Blaize and the Hand of Djin Rummy, will be available for FREE KINDLE E-BOOK DOWNLOAD from 12AM October 27 until midnight October 31! That’s 5 days to scoop up this cauldron’s brew-of-a-tale, set amidst the magical mischief and mayhem of St. Augustine, America’s Oldest City. Click HERE when the time comes and fire-up the imagination (and your Kindle) this Halloween season! See below for more details …
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SING IT! (To the tune of the old Andy Williams/Johnny Mathis Christmas song) … “It’s the MOST amorous time of the year! With the leaves that are falling, tarantulas crawling and hearts filled with FEARRRRRrrrrr!”

Yeah, this is the time of year in Northern California when horny male tarantulas start roaming in droves across roads, yards, fields, mountains, plains, high chaparral, parking lots, sidewalks, wild woodlands and through the aisles of WalMart in search of willing mates. Typically, these are shy and retiring members of the arachnid family but they more than make up for their introversion in Autumn with this mass migration to hunt for female affection. Most people brake for small and fuzzy creatures that happen to be in the roadway as they speed home in a feverish daze to catch every scintillating minute of Creeping Up With the Kartrashians, but these particular Small & Fuzzies don’t seem to rate the same courtesy from drivers, unfortunately.

"And take off that brassiere, my dear ... because baby, you and me, this night, we're gonna get it on ... to love serenade."

“And take off that brassiere, my dear … because baby, you and me, this night, we’re gonna get it on … to love serenade.”

In fact, it’s rather common to find them smooshed on the roadways, even deliberately so. Pictured above is one lusty little fella who survived the perilous trek across the winding lane in front of my place, albeit with the prompting of a stick. Hey, it was a favor. The gangling things must be overwhelmed with Lady-Spider pheromones because they do tend to ramble aimlessly in dangerous spots. We just gave this one a little help. He was traveling with a buddy, at the time, but it was probably a good idea to separate them, given the fact that they were possibly going to end up competing with each other for the affections of the same gal, waiting somewhere in the shadows of her cluttered silken burrow deep in the forest.

Tarantula-sex itself is a risky undertaking, from what I gather. The males must use their pedipalps, little antennae-like appendages located near their massive chelicerae (that’s “fangs” in the language of Spider-Nerd) to vibrate specific lovin’ sensations to the hiding female, sort of like sitting in a Cadillac at the curb, playing some Barry White and letting the sweet, whiskey-smooth sounds drift through the car window into your Red Hot Mama’s crib in the hope she might be inspired to let you in for a little visit. Just like that, really. In any case, the male tarantula must lure the female out of her nest, placate her with various gifts, tricks, and promises of fidelity in order to approach and then, once they are cephalothorax-to-cephalothorax and carapace-to-carapace, use specially evolved sex-hooks on the tips of his legs to pin Miss Thang’s front-parts all the way back. (Yes, natural selection swings in the BDSM direction from time to time in the animal kingdom). He does all this so she can’t possibly stab into him with her much bigger, more no-nonsense (“Listen, I gotta get back to cleanin’ the house. Ain’t nobody got time for THIS!”) venom-injectors. If the male tarantula gets the female in the right mood, canoodling proceeds apace. Sound familiar to anyone? Uh huh.

Such Herculean efforts do not usually end in Days of Wine & Roses, however. If the male tarantula is even a tad off his game as he disengages, the female will strike with lightning speed and eat him. There’s no time for the post-coitus cigarette, to say nothing of cuddling. Lady Tarantulas don’t care about any of that nonsense. Once impregnated, they know they’ll have several hundred kids to feed in a few months, so a meal at-hand is a meal at-hand, even if it happens to be your one-night stand. Of course, this “I’ll Die for Some Action” attitude serves an important purpose in nature; the nutrients that Mama Tarantula obtains from poisoning, masticating and ingesting the body-juices of her mate will go a long way toward much-needed child support when the egg sac needs to be decorated and such.

So, rock on, little tarantula-men, rock on. Get your groove on with honor and eager anticipation, knowing that somewhere out there, the girl of your dreams is waiting to greet you, meet you … and eat you.

I just love Autumn. It’s so … symbolic.
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Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel, an epic supernatural thriller, is now finished and slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …
Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads