Tuesday, July 31, 2007

End of Summer

Just when I am living my life the way I want to, the way I should really; I have to go back? As a teacher I follow the instinctual calendar of the student that we all have inside of us. Since the age of 5 we are given this schedule, you get off in the summer. For alot of people that keeps going well into their 20's. That is 20 years of conditioning! Then all of a sudden we have to go out and get real job, and what happens to the summer? The summer is reduced to marketing ploys, obscure references to being off and enjoying it. But you really are not anymore.

So in that respect, I am lucky, but an object at rest tends to stay at rest. So the summer of sitting on this porch drinking Pearl martinis is coming to a close. It tastes of bitter lemons I must say. At least I have this for a few months. Makes me think of the reason why I work:

I do the time for the time that I do not do the time.

Live with that and you should be alright- but poor.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dome & Crescent

Often I amazed how much I think of the Southwest. If not once a day, I think of it once a week. The cliche of the endless sky comes to mind, blue from one side of the mind to the other. A gorgeous cobalt cap covers one's life. Everything on the earth appears in homage to that dome, rock formations and canyons bow and form themselves into perfect temples to that overhead God. (I always felt sorry for the gods, that they do not get a capital 'G' in honor of them. There are as many cultural symbols for pagan gods as there are for Gods- if not moreso) The houses of man even succumb to that dogma of obeying the sky and earth. Man-made towns rise, literally from out of the earth rather than just from the earth's parts. Streets are layed out logically, flowing from a central plaza that I both miss and need in my life; that and the consistency of a federally-funded siesta. I am held in a constant suspended animation when I remember the balcony at the Best Western (yes, a Best Western that literally lives up to its name) and the celestial canvas that spread from that adobe plaza in the clouds- a horizon event in every direction.

Oh yes, if not for the people, I think I would move there in a heartbeat.

Yes, the people. For a culture supposedly descended from outlaws, desperados, hopeful miners, bold and death defying entrepeneurs (can you imagine creating a business in the old west?) and the iron testicle wielding pioneers (again allow me to express a situation, taking your family, your house, your dog, your babies, and putting them into a wagon and crossing the country!) people in the southwest surely are anal. Its as if they took Baptist and Protestant Americana and cooked it down to its disgusting essence.

Again my theme, who the hell would tell Wild Bill, Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, or Doc Holiday ( as much American icons as the caped wonders in comic books) to not smoke in a saloon? But that is an old theme. The Southwest, overridden by Californicators (hard to believe my spellcheck couldn't get that one) is simply too civilized, too organized- like Houston.

Let's talk about Texas. Aside from the fact that I see the whole landcape of America, like most citizens of this country, like a fairy tale land of contrasting themes, rather than a gradual shift in culture; I thought it was going to be different. Yes, my friends laugh at (with?) me when I tell them that I thought I was going to see sand and armed horsemen THE SECOND we crossed the border into Texas. But nooo, not at all, Louisiana just kept going. So that made it even odder, stranger, that the geography of Louisiana (and wetter I must say) would be clashed with the righteous dogma of GOP Texas along with a repugnant dose of reluctant Hispanics that long ago relinquished the squiggly lines over the n's.

For me Houston had no center, no soul, at least none that I could see thrown into your face like New Orleans, New York, or even Miami (if you don't know Spanish your face gets even more exposed). Nothing but highways, strip malls, and people on cell phones. Business, business, business but how do you enjoy it?

So that is what I think of when I wake here, when I think about moving. Great places need great people. And the only place you find that in unison, in agreement, in a delicately balanced cocktail, is New Orleans.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pearl Vodka

At Casey Jones, the very local supermarket, today I discovered a new vodka. It has the four characteristics that you need for a good vodka. Smooth, little bite, cheap, and made in a country that is cold. In this case it Pearl Vodka, made in Canada, nice bottle, less bite than the great Belvedere. This stuff is smoother and thicker than Grey Goose (which to me tastes like perfume). Since I heard that all Grey Goose does is buy cheap Vodka and put it through a distilling process, I don't even buy it as a gift.

Took this wonderful Vodka, drinking it down as I made Gazpacho (little did I know that you had to seed the tomatoes and strain the goop- but its all a learning process anyway), and went to Gretna's greenspace and sat there drinking and grilling. Lovely day, good friends, lots of sun, and I entertained myself watching my friends try out an impossible boomerang. A little bit of olives and I was set. It feels so good to find something new, something that is made well and they do not charge too much for.

Ah, Vodka, the only liquor that is judged by how little of it you can taste!

Which brings me to another point and I invite anyone to comment on this. I heard various people say various things, but is it clear or dark liquor that is worse for you. Yes, I know they are both bad, but one of them, really wipes your guts (liver) out. Anyone have any idea, and since I am asking, anyone have a source?