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Old 11-10-2008, 04:04 PM   #46
vivaldirules
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Sort of like an aerial Rorschach. I should be charging for this!
Okay, how much do I have to pay the llady at the door?
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:07 PM   #47
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Okay, how much do I have to pay the llady at the door?


(or should i say "pandallol" ?)
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:41 PM   #48
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Here, or more accurately in the next post, is a one-shot attempt at a Vera tale. But a couple warnings first.
  1. Some of this is shamelessly plagarised from Nadine Abensur's excellent recipe for pumpkin and parsley risotto in The Cranks Bible. (I kid you not)
  2. I think this might be, um, pushing the boundaries a bit much?

You have been warned.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:44 PM   #49
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Making Risotto

I'd been away for far too long. Departmental politics, multihop routings through dubious (not to mention dubya) countries, never-ending meetings, urgent project overruns ... So little time, so many people to offend ...

Still, after several months, here I am, back at last. And the mobile informs me I have a message.

Vera. So she hasn't forgotten me. But has she forgiven me for not staying in touch?

Heart racing, despite the passing of these many months, I read the message.

"So you're back now?" (How did she know?) "Come over for dinner. 7pm. No need to bring anything."

I glance at my watch. Just about time to dump my luggage, change and head over.

Forget the expense. I grab the nearest thing to some decent flowers from the arrivals lounge and a really nice Royal Tokaji (I remember she loves dessert wines), and charge out. "Taxi!" I shout as I leave terminal.

And so, at about quarter to seven, I'm standing, slightly breathless, outside her door, holding the flowers and Tokaji, with many thoughts going through my mind. How did I get here so quickly? Will she like the wine? Does she still love me? What have I forgotten? Why didn't I call her while I was away? Desperately trying to calm myself, I take a deep breath and ring the bell … and wait.

The door opens and Vera is standing there, just as I remember – and as I'd imagined – her. "You've come early". That voice, that elocution, that ... STOP IT. I'd forgotten how her voice penetrated straight into parts of my mind and played with them – and just how much I love her playing with them.

"Come in. Help me make our risotto," she murmured, sounding like the gentle caress of waves on the shore.

"I thought you might like these. I feel awful at not calling," I at last uttered as I stepped through the door.

"How beautiful – and a '93 Aszu. You do feel naughty. Here, let me chill that for you. Remember, distance makes the heart grow fonder." I wish my heart would stop stopping, it's so… distracting. And that she wouldn't stress words like that.

I followed her, helpless, like some adoring puppy into the kitchen. Get a grip of yourself. You're a grown man, not a puppy!

"Can you get the Carnaroli, please?" Car-na-rol-i. How can she make an ingredient sound like that? How can she make it so incredibly sensuous? And why do I feel an urge to slobber and go woof?

I find the rice and measure out the right amount.

"Here," she says, taking the rice and placing my hand on the saucepan with the oil and softened onions, into which she pours the rice. "The stock is ready. You can make the risotto." I've never made risotto. This will not go well. And her voice is not helping me concentrate – on cooking.

Somehow, sensing my unease, she carries on: "It's easy, just let it simmer and let your instincts guide you." She places the wooden spoon in my hand and then puts the first ladle of stock onto the rice. "Just play …" CONCENTRATE. "Turn the heat up with the stock for a moment, and then stir. Gently, then quickly, then perhaps softly, sometimes circle this way, sometimes that way, other times stoke the stock into the rice. Vary the rhythms, dance with the risotto, play with it." CONCENTRATE. MUST CONCENTRATE. "Lead the risotto, and then let it lead you, tease it, caress it, then add more stock and keep the play going and going."

I swallow far too loudly and nervously, and she busies herself with the final preparations of the roast pumpkin, parsley and parmesan.

As I stir, and combine, every few minutes, Vera comes over and rests her head on my shoulder. Her right hand glides gently along my arm until it rests on my hand and can gently guide me. "Pianissimo", I hear as she slows my hand. Other times it is "forte", as she raises the urgency, then "mezzo piano" as our hands slow. Sometimes her other hand reaches round in a caress.

"I'm almost done," I manage to say, as the last of the stock is almost gone.

POP. I jump.

"Perfect timing. Prosecco?" She smiles, and we add the final ingredients.

We never got round to the Tokaji.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:53 PM   #50
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zowie. lazyscot, bringing us a new episode in the finest tradition of Vera stories from the golden age of Vera stories. just... excuse me one moment, ah, i think i need to go open a window. and possibly splash some cold water on my face. i'll be fine in a second. bravo !
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:08 AM   #51
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I'd been away for far too long. Departmental politics, multihop routings through dubious (not to mention dubya) countries, never-ending meetings, urgent project overruns ... So little time, so many people to offend ...

Still, after several months, here I am, back at last. And the mobile informs me I have a message.

Vera. So she hasn't forgotten me. But has she forgiven me for not staying in touch?

Heart racing, despite the passing of these many months, I read the message.

"So you're back now?" (How did she know?) "Come over for dinner. 7pm. No need to bring anything."

I glance at my watch. Just about time to dump my luggage, change and head over.

Forget the expense. I grab the nearest thing to some decent flowers from the arrivals lounge and a really nice Royal Tokaji (I remember she loves dessert wines), and charge out. "Taxi!" I shout as I leave terminal.

And so, at about quarter to seven, I'm standing, slightly breathless, outside her door, holding the flowers and Tokaji, with many thoughts going through my mind. How did I get here so quickly? Will she like the wine? Does she still love me? What have I forgotten? Why didn't I call her while I was away? Desperately trying to calm myself, I take a deep breath and ring the bell … and wait.

The door opens and Vera is standing there, just as I remember – and as I'd imagined – her. "You've come early". That voice, that elocution, that ... STOP IT. I'd forgotten how her voice penetrated straight into parts of my mind and played with them – and just how much I love her playing with them.

"Come in. Help me make our risotto," she murmured, sounding like the gentle caress of waves on the shore.

"I thought you might like these. I feel awful at not calling," I at last uttered as I stepped through the door.

"How beautiful – and a '93 Aszu. You do feel naughty. Here, let me chill that for you. Remember, distance makes the heart grow fonder." I wish my heart would stop stopping, it's so… distracting. And that she wouldn't stress words like that.

I followed her, helpless, like some adoring puppy into the kitchen. Get a grip of yourself. You're a grown man, not a puppy!

"Can you get the Carnaroli, please?" Car-na-rol-i. How can she make an ingredient sound like that? How can she make it so incredibly sensuous? And why do I feel an urge to slobber and go woof?

I find the rice and measure out the right amount.

"Here," she says, taking the rice and placing my hand on the saucepan with the oil and softened onions, into which she pours the rice. "The stock is ready. You can make the risotto." I've never made risotto. This will not go well. And her voice is not helping me concentrate – on cooking.

Somehow, sensing my unease, she carries on: "It's easy, just let it simmer and let your instincts guide you." She places the wooden spoon in my hand and then puts the first ladle of stock onto the rice. "Just play …" CONCENTRATE. "Turn the heat up with the stock for a moment, and then stir. Gently, then quickly, then perhaps softly, sometimes circle this way, sometimes that way, other times stoke the stock into the rice. Vary the rhythms, dance with the risotto, play with it." CONCENTRATE. MUST CONCENTRATE. "Lead the risotto, and then let it lead you, tease it, caress it, then add more stock and keep the play going and going."

I swallow far too loudly and nervously, and she busies herself with the final preparations of the roast pumpkin, parsley and parmesan.

As I stir, and combine, every few minutes, Vera comes over and rests her head on my shoulder. Her right hand glides gently along my arm until it rests on my hand and can gently guide me. "Pianissimo", I hear as she slows my hand. Other times it is "forte", as she raises the urgency, then "mezzo piano" as our hands slow. Sometimes her other hand reaches round in a caress.

"I'm almost done," I manage to say, as the last of the stock is almost gone.

POP. I jump.

"Perfect timing. Prosecco?" She smiles, and we add the final ingredients.

We never got round to the Tokaji.

I am a risotto specialist! :-D just yesterday evening I cooked some risotto with artichokes and sausage roll balls for some guests I had at dinner... :-D

Don't get hungry you all! I'm too tired today to cook!.... ;-D
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:05 PM   #52
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Cut to interior, Grumman Goose. Seated in Pilot's seat is Harv, Seated in Co-pilot's seat is Vivaldi. Vivaldi is wearing a goggle helmet and scarf.

HARV: Let's run the checklist. Flaps?

VIV: Check!

H: Rudder?

V: Check!

H: Landing gear?

V: We're floating.

H: You still gotta say check!

V: Why should I say check when the landing gear is obviously a large aluminum boat welded onto the bottom of the plane?

H: Because it's in the script!

V: I thought this was the script.

H: Just say check!

V: (Sighs) Check!

H: Engines?

V: Check!

H: Radio?

V: Did you want the rock station or the country western? Becasue I'm not really fond of hair bands, and that seems to be all that they are playing on the classic rock station this week.

H: You know, they wanted a Jack Russell Terrier for your role, but I insisted that they go with you. I'm not sure why, at this point.

V: Look, it's just a model! No way am I going to risk my life with some pretty boy ex-male model who thinks he can really fly a seaplane!

Vera: (From the back of the plane) Hey you two! Knock it off! I've read ahead in the script and I am not about to stay in that little box for one second longer than I have to! We finally got rid of the damned llama, so let's get this show in the air!

V and H in unison: Sorry!

H: Radio?

V: Check!

H: Right then! Vera and Harv in Panama, or the tale of the Bush Whacked Bush Pilot is ready for take off!

V: Don't we need tower clearance?

H: This is a seaplane! We don't need no steenking tower clearace!

V: Well, I just thought that since this is LAX where we're sitting, we should actually do some sort of actual offical type thingy.

H: Just put your paw on my hand and act like you have something to do!
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:21 PM   #53
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:applause !!!:
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:23 PM   #54
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:applause !!!:
Check!
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:26 PM   #55
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Check!
heeheehee !!!
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:10 PM   #56
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Vera slowly came to consciousness. She had a headache. More to the point, however, she had a pulse. For that, at least, she was thankful. but where was she? She tried to move and found that her hands were tied , as were her feet. And there seemed to be a box. What was happening?

She tried to scream and discovered that there was also a gag. Great. It was a good thing she wasn't prone to allergies, or there'd be Hell to pay.

She thought of Harv. If only she hadn't sent him packing over such a silly thing as patching a sailboat's hull. It wasn't even as if he made his living with the thing, it was just transportation. The Goose was the real money maker and he kept that in tip top condition.

She longed for Harv's risotto...
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:11 PM   #57
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Hey, whatever happened with Vera and the squid? Neko, are you there? Chthulhu (or however the hell you spell your name)? Marc? Somebody?? We gotta flesh out Vera in all her glory.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:12 PM   #58
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Harv and Vivaldi raced back to the Base. Harv nodded to the gate guards as Vivaldi stopped for a skritch. They got to the place where the pumping station ussed to be. Yellow ribbons were stretched out around the area.

"What's this, Biggles?," asked Harv.

"Not sure. It just seemed like agood idea to cordon off the area and there was a surplus of yellow ribbon in the PX. Makes a good not really existent barrier doesn't it?"

Harv sometimes worried about Biggles' grip on sanity. "I brought Vivaldi back with me. I want to try and find Vera, so would you mind?"

"Who's a good boy then? That's right! Who's a good boy?"

"Yeah, that would be me. Could I just take a sniff around?"

"Go right ahead, old boy. Who's a good boy?"

Vivaldi rolled his eyes and muttered something about wolves, throats, and a coming revolution. He walked over to the drying puddle of blood and sniffed vigorously.

"Well?" asked Harv, nervously.

"Don't rush me!" There have been at least five dogs widdling here in the past twentyfour hours and it takes some time to sort them all out."

"What's that got to do with finding if that is Vera's blood or not?"

"Nothing. It is her blood. I could tell that right away. Humans are a lot simpler than dogs."

"Well, why didn't you say so?"

"I just did."
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:25 PM   #59
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oh noes !!!!

(have i mentioned how much i adore the vivaldi character ? i like him better than squid, i do believe.)
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:56 PM   #60
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Harv gritted his teeth. "Very well. Shall we try and find her, then?"

Vivaldi sniffed around a bit more and then started yapping manically and running around in circles.

"What? Do you know which way she went?"

"I just have to do that three times a day. It's in my contract."

Harv counted to ten. "So, what would you do if you knew which way she had gone?"

"I'd say, 'she whent that way, let's go.' What good does having a talking dog do if you don't talk? Sheesh." He kept on sniffing.

"Well?"

"She went that way, let's go."

The small gray dog started out at a trot in the general direction of the city. Harv followed at a distance, regretting the heat and humidity of mid-day Panama City.

Every now and then, Vivaldi stopped to sniff at a post or tree. Harv had learned long ago not to ask. Slowly, they made their way downtown, then on to the Old Town side. Here, there were various small shops run by down on their luck peddlers and ex-patriates.

They finally ended up in front of Miyatake's Flower Emporium, a small, lean-to shack with a few sad flowers in buckets of water that had started the day out as ice.

"She's in there," said Vivaldi.

"Hello, Mr Wallbanger," said a familar voice. "And greetings to Vivaldi-san, as well. My children miss you."

"They're heathens."

"Shh!" said Harv.
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