Thursday, July 31, 2008

100 Years on Main Street: 1986-1991

Sometimes I wonder why I have such a disconnect with America. It might be attributed to my upbringing in what should be properly qualified as a foreign country.

This is where I lived in my teen-years: La Vernia, Texas. When I lived there in the late 80's through 1991, little had changed on Chihuahua Street from this picture. For example, look at this picture, then pave the road, subtract the model T's and insert Chevy trucks. The building on the lower right used to be a popular hangout for my friends and I, a place where we played pool, jammed with our guitars and a friend of mine broke his jaw in several places after huffing model paint propellant and attempted to navigate the backdoor steps. Just out of the shot on the lower left was the original grocery store/Chevy dealership where, on the roof, my friends and I established the Anti-Redneck Club, where we smoked cigarettes, plotted revenge, hid from the Wilson County Sheriff named Walter, and spray painted shit.

Monday, July 21, 2008


So for the first time since the lay-off of October 2006, I have a full-time, non-contract job, in my field of expertise. Although my most recent contract position was very rewarding and even enjoyable most times, it's nice to know that I have a little more job-security than I've had for nearly 2 years.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Late Night American Burrito Gods

In Neil Gaiman's wonderful fiction masterpiece, American Gods, it is explained that the nexus of power in America is Lookout Mountain, home of Rock City, Ruby Falls, and other shitty tourist traps. The characters in the book visit similar places throughout the US (insert shameless plug for Cave City, Kentucky here) which also hold such power. An underlying premise is that although kitschy, these aging Americana icons still hold a powerful sway over spirit of America. You can still see that proof on a number of rotting barn sides damn near anywhere south of Kentucky and east of the Mississippi. They all beg you to SEE ROCK CITY - 8th Wonder of the World at Lookout Mountain or something to that effect.

These hokey spiritual powerhouses are fading and I wonder what the new, true nexus of power is in America. I think I have found it at the local late-night burrito place. Our favorite in Louisville is called La Bamba, whose mantra is that they serve burritos as big as your head...and they do. I keep finding myself there at 3am for no good reason other than I am a fat underemployed American with a penchant for greasy Mexican food. But anyway, I was reminded of this connection when I noticed a mildly humorous (but not that humorous) YouTube video that does a good job illustrating the phenomenon of Late-Night-Burrito-Place as a growing, underground spiritual power house of America (see below). For some godawful reason it inspired me to blog about American Gods and La Bamba.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Whirlwind

So I got back from my trip last Thursday night, in time to rest up for Lebowskifest last Friday and Saturday.

As usual, my trips to Texas are 50/50 mix of "glad-to-be-home" and "you-can-never-go-home". I miss certain aspects of Texas: like it being socially acceptable to buy beef jerky while wearing a tank top and sweating profusely at the gas station, being hotter but not so humid as Louisville, and family members who own lakefront beach property and generously share it with you. Things I didn't miss: the ever awkward and dreaded annual socio-political-religious lecture from my father (a mere 90 minutes long this year), the ongoing marital and social ills of my brother, and Texans in general. The ride was nice though. I got to stop and see friends in Nashville, got a nice tan and only hit a small amount of rain once in 2000+ miles of riding.

Leboskifest was fun as usual and I had a first - I did consume oat sodas (leboskifest for beer) and a Caucasian (leboskifest for a White Russian), stayed up to 3:30am, but kept myself in check enough to leave without a hangover. I think that will be a good way to end my Leboskifest days. I may go to future garden parties if the bands or feature events are interesting enough but I'm pretty much done with the main event/all weekend pass thing. This decision is not because the fest is not fun, it is very fun and if you've never gone you should go, but it's a tired idea for a guy who has been to 5 of the fests. I had my share of fun and now there is video evidence to prove it at Sign up on the website to get info on the release date.

Oh - also, last week a whole slew of people died or got fucked up. Luckily my friend Jenny was in the latter category. Jenny (aka Bad Penny) is the founder of the Derby City Roller Girls and broke her leg in several places. She's insured, but won't be able to get back to work for a while so chip in a few bucks already k? Go here for more info and spread the word.