Friday, March 28, 2008

Sound of silence

Awfully quiet around here, ain't it?

My apologies for neglecting the blog. Ending my time in Waco and preparing for the move to Lewisville has afforded me scant time for much else.

I'll be disconnected for a few days. Once I'm settled, better rested and perhaps less frazzled, I will fill ya in on everything.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Much more than a TV theme song

Y'know, the guy from "Step By Step": I got 20 bucks that says half of y'all pause the clip when a shirtless Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) appears.

This intro holds a special place in my heart. As a young un', I used to dance to the intro of "Dallas" with my Mom. I never actually watched the show back then because it aired past bedtime. I just danced to it — a perfect way to wind down before slumber! It was among the highlights of each week. It's cool getting reacquainted with the song 20-plus years later because I never noticed the funk elements to this version of the theme song (they tweaked it each season; the later versions are rubbish).

Anyway, speaking of getting reacquainted, I'm returning to DFW. I accepted a position with The Dallas Morning News on Monday. I will be the assistant managing editor of the West Zone publications and editor of the Southern Denton County edition of neighborsgo. I am very excited and will keep y'all posted as I move, er, I mean dance to Dallas.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A few things on my mind & plate

Today’s a rocker. A quality state of mind and good weather (for now) can make Monday worthwhile sometimes.

I Finally Made It — I got around to making the V’con’s Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake (the tin rocks — thanks, Mom). These pics show it cooling before a powdered sugar blizzard. This cake is for coworkers, but the next one will make a suitable (barely) breakfast for me.

Potato, Black Bean, Salsa and Cheese Taco — I don’t think I’ll ever go vegan. I just love cheese too much. This mix filled several corn tortillas this weekend. It’s my tribute to absurd “Tex-Mex” joints in the Midwest that pack tacos and burritos with potatoes. You know who you are.

Variation of a Favorite — With the end of soup/stew/chili season fast approaching, I made a different version of that righteous Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili I made in January. This time around I subbed sweet potato with plain-ol' potato. I also decreased the amount of cocoa, chopped more cilantro and added chipotles in adobo sauce, which I omitted from my sweet potato pot. Wow and damn! This bowl kicked my ass with its flavors and no-foolin-around heat. It would kill lesser men — y’know, modest teetotalers who wax their backs. Who needs conventional depilatory creams when you’ve got a bowl of chili that can singe unsightly hair?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hey, revolver

There were a couple of remarkable moments yesterday that reminded me of, well, me. They mostly revolved around music and the stuff I dug in the formative listening years (roughly 10 to 16).

Sure, my tastes have evolved, but yesterday I was happy I spent some quality time "back in the day" with vinyl, cassette and CDs that came packaged in long cardboard boxes (what a waste of resources) ... in no particular order: The Clash, The Pumpkins, "The Moz". It's the stuff that got me here.

When I was 13, I wanted nothing more than to sound and look exactly like Chris Cornell. Was that too much to ask for?

I'm listening to Soundgarden right now ("Badmotorfinger," as I said I would last night), and lovin' it all over again. It's not really a classic, but it was/is important. Some things (music, jeans, Chucks) suit me anytime of day, everyday, no mater how old or uncool they are. They're enjoyable. I can't worry if something is popular or "right." I'll find faults if I look hard enough. I will trust my instincts and enjoy and move with life's curves.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Truer words have never been sung

Apparently, returning to Texas has awakened a long dormant appreciation for country, rootsy rock, folk and bluegrass — preferably the kind without field and stream mammals on jug, washboard or wash-tub bass. Still, don't expect to see me at Willie's upcoming Waco stop. I'm not that guy and I never will be. No, sir, right now I'm just playing a lot of Lucinda Williams, Drive-By Truckers and spinning this debut disc by the SteelDrivers, a promising Nashville group chockful of industry veterans with satchel of experience and accolades who just make good music. Props to my Pops for hipping me to 'em. I couldn't find a pro quality video to "share," but you can see more of them here and over here, too

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Crumby cake, crumbling city(?)

I was surprised yesterday when I :

1. Discovered a can of pureed pumpkin in the back-crack corner of the pantry.

2. Found this Pumpkin Crumb Cake Pecan Streusel in the V'con. (I've flipped through that book a ton, but I never saw it before).

It was an awesome dessert that filled my kitchen with the spices of late fall.

Yesterday also was a really good day for repairs. The TG crew finally fixed my sink (I didn't have a functioning hot water faucet for about a month). After several attempts (mine and the repairmen) they accepted failure and ponied up some coin for a new faucet (I'm easily excited — spray attachment!).

Speaking of TG, neighbor and Tribster J.B. has a blog dedicated to Downtown Waco living. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Boobs from Bob

I made this chocolate with vanilla frosting "cake" for my friend Megan's friend. I employed an Easter egg tin to create the shape.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wranglers: Real. Uncomfortable. Snakes.

This is The Snake Man, Jackie Bibby. That snake! That smile! That hat!?!

I checked out the Rattlesnake Roundup last Saturday at the Community Center in Oglesby. Two bucks worth o' entertainment captured digitally follows. I must admit that I debated whether to attend this oddity. I feared they would slaughter and supper-ize the snakes (unfounded, however there were plenty of snakeskin goods available). I'm glad I went. I used to see Western diamondbacks daily at San Angelo State Park, so it was nice to reconnect with them. And as far as I could tell, the wrangling show didn't harm the snakes. And I was exposed to a piece of Coryell County culture. A piece that I most assuredly will never experience again.

His record is 8 snakes. He's shared a sleeping bag with 109 and a bath tub with 81. Guinness recognizes his feats, and so should you.

Snakeskin — Not just for boots and belts, but for touchin', too.

He's lying in a cage with about 30 or so rattlers. Oh yeah, and one's on his effin' face.

An albino cobra. Yep.