Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Fat Time of the Year.

 Back home the holidays look like this.
The fireworks show, ice skating and fake blown snow all help to make a California town feel like Christmas - palm trees and all.
 The lights, carriage rides and costumed characters add to the feeling.
But here in Southeast Texas - Christmas is all about the food.
Thanksgiving is just the warm-up. (Although the lobster and shrimp macaroni and cheese sprinkled with bacon bits was pretty damn good.)

It gets cold down here on the Gulf.
No, not North Dakota cold but the temperatures drop enough and it rains enough to entice Creoles to show off their cooking skills.

On cold days people make Gumbo.
And no, not the stuff where people buy bottled roux and store bought ingredients.
I'm talking about roux made from frozen and saved drippings from various meat dishes and browned flour.
I'm talking about ingredients which are homemade, plucked, caught and/or grown.
I'm talking about that old-school Gumbo only ones great-aunt still makes.

No, it's not plated to be pretty.
It's not worthy of food-porn posts on Facebook.
The recipes will not be written in published books.
There may be some stray bacteria in the roux.
It may look the same coming out of your body as it did going in.
But NOTHING beats the food this time of year cooked by women who know no other way.



I Sat This One Out

 This election cycle was just too much for me - both locally and nationally.

In fact, I typed my own name in when it came time to vote for President. Friends were lost and relationships were strained over simple facebook posts.
Racists, anti-racists, feminists, Socialists, the downtrodden, the disenfranchised, the overlooked, the underrepresented, the unheard and the (insert your personal form of victimization here) were all hoping for 'change'.

But isn't this the same disillusioned and jaded group who elected Obama?
Weren't people tired of crooked bankers, self-serving politicians, mendacious media, religious leaders who were lusting after men, children and/or money, criminal cops, bad-assed kids... you know, weren't people tired of what we have allowed our world to become?

I just sat this election cycle out.
Locally, my county just elected it's first female and Black sheriff.

In a county and region known for its racial divide - A Black woman won.
This is the same area where one of the highest paid superintendents of schools in the country (yeah, he was a Black man) was run out of town and our school board taken over by the state - and the city was mad at his salary, race and the disappearance of tens of millions of dollars. This is a town where it's former Black mayor and council members were sent to prison for corruption. This is an area where a man was dragged to his death by racists, where sundown towns still exist and where neighborhoods are still largely segregated by race.
This is a county where Trump received more votes than Clinton.

There is no apparent Zenaphobia in this county.
Zena Stevens won her post in a long and drawn out election.
In the primaries she was opposed by a popular Black former quarterback in a Texas town where football is everything.
For good measure a white opponent was backed by the establishment in the hopes that the Blacks would split their votes between the Black candidates and that there would be no Black sheriff candidate on the final ballot.

But Blacks showed up at the polls in such great numbers that it was the two Black candidates who were forced to have a runoff. Ms Stevens won the runoff and had to face a candidate who was once pulled over and arrested for a DUI.

At a time when the candidates for POTUS had their character flaws largely ignored, in a known racist Southern almost Antebellum town, in a town still stung by the inept terms of Black leaders (both locally and nationally) - people chose their next sheriff based on her experience and qualifications.

The thing is, I think people voted for the outsider. For the candidate who didn't benefit from being seen as a well connected member of the current establishment.

And I think this is true with the election of Trump.
I think people were just sick of the status quo and all of the quid pro quo.
I think people voted for the outsider's outsider. I think people who had hoped for Obama to shake things up doubled or tripled down on someone who could really upset the cart.
I think Trump just captured the zeitgeist of those hoping for a reset.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Generation of Sissies

Back in the day - growing up in suburban Southern California - Halloween was always fun.
Not just trick-or-treating on the actual night. Not even the Dio de los Muertos celebrations the following days...

Halloween was fun enough; running from the big kids trying to steal our candy, eating all our 'good candy' before one got home only to have his parents take it, staying out later so that we'd get the final dump of candy before people would stop giving it out, knowing which houses have the full-size candy, picking pomegranates and having battles trying to stain the other kid's costumes in sticky red juice,... And in later years, pulling pranks on our friend's parent's homes. (Detergent and food coloring in swimming pools was oh-so common.)

Halloween season started with the opening of Knott's Berry Farm's Halloween Haunt (Currently called, Knott's Scary Farm.).
Depending on one's age, Halloween consisted of a trip or two to Knott's, an Oingo Boingo concert, strolling down Hollywood Blvd to trick-or-treat (as ten year olds, Hollywood Blvd on Halloween night was a sight to see.), and an endless list of Haunted Houses.

But the highlight - regardless of one's age - was always Knott's. Disneyland may have been more famous, Magic Mountain may have been bigger with better rides,
 but it was Knott's that was the most fun.

These days, pastors and the PC Police protest against everything as being offensive towards one group or another. (I'm just waiting for Black Lives Matter to protest the hanging of ghosts in trees as being symbolic of the lynchings of Blacks.)
These days Halloween attractions at Knott's are being closed because they may be traumatic to the mentally ill.

Really? Knott's was forced to close Fear VR 5150 because the mentally ill may become stigmatized by it's representations of the horrors of being trapped in an insane asylum?
What's next? Those who suffer from the 'disease' of obesity protesting Christmas because fat people are being portrayed as being cruel to reindeer and enslaving midgets (Or are they elves or dwarfs?)

Sheesh... bunch of overly self-sensitive sissies.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

First Transgender Actor?

Weeks after Jeffrey Tambor won an Emmy for his work in 'Transparent', a year after Bruce was celebrated as Caytlin - is 'Modern Family' really doing anything that daring?
(I catch the show on occasion - mostly to check out Sophia Vergara.)
While the show has just cast a young transgender eight year old (Can one really be transgender at that early of an age?) as the gay couple's adoptive daughter's new friend - is this really a 'first'?


In the tradition of the Onnagata in Japanese theater - Yellow Dancer from 'Robotech' was a transgender character in a children's cartoon - over thirty years ago.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Shot Heard Around the World?

Reforms in the American justice/financial/religious systems have been promised for decades.
But can current events be the beginning of a modern-day Shot Heard Around the World? (Or at least The Shot Heard Around America?)

Power has never respected it's victims - power only respects power. The Third Estate will always be the victim - until it realizes that it doesn't have to be. Modern-day Metics (Not slaves. I've never heard of slaves applying for work on plantations - most of y'all asked to be where you are.) in America (minorities) will always be second-class citizens until they realize that they don't have to be and take on the added responsibilities that go along with being a free citizens.

Black lives will never matter.
(Until Blacks prove that they do.)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I HATE Nightclubs

I'm just good at them.

The club for which I am currently consulting (think: Bar Rescue) is doing VERY well. It's doing so well that it's primary creditors are offering to take the club from it's current owners and offering to give me the club.
Shiiid... That's how I ended up with my last few clubs...

There are three rules in nightclub ownership;
1) Pay your employees.
2) Don't sleep with your employees (or customers).
3) Pay your bills, fees, licences, and taxes.
That's all.
In.
That.
Order.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Run, Boy, Run

Every kid in the hood knew to be home before the streetlights stopped flickering.
I wonder if the practice had it's roots in slavery.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Police Involved Lynching - NAACP Speaks Up

 Some criticize Hollywood for the white-washing of historically non-white figures in feature films. These are the same people who celebrate the diverse cast in a play about a distinctly un-diverse group of historical figures.
These are the effete erudites who form the new Politically Correct Cultural Police.

The PCCP exaggerate every real and perceived racial slight. These are those who gasp and clutch their pearls at even the slightest micro-aggression.
The PCCP passively-aggressively lynch and bully their victims on social media.
 While covering a story about proper and acceptable racial casting - Amy Robach misspoke by referring to Blacks (Or is it 'black', 'Negro', 'African-American', or whatever the latest terminology is these days.) as 'Colored People' instead of 'People of Color'.
If the term 'Colored People' is so offensive - shouldn't the PCCP first seek to teach the NAACP a lesson?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Climate Change?

 California ALWAYS burns. This isn't news. Everyone knows to plant iceplants on hillsides and as a perimeter around one's house. Everyone knows to clear excessive brush. Everyone knows to prepare for the inevitable.
 Louisiana floods - it always has. Where do they think all the swamps came from. That's why caskets are not burried but placed in concrete enclosures above ground.
But the thing I'm noticing here in Texas are the super colonies of Crazy Ants. I thought Fire Ants were the top-dog in the ant world. Fire Ants displace most other ants and termites but the Crazy Ant is able to neutralize the Fire Ants' venom and they are displacing the Fire Ant here in many parts of Texas.

My neighborhood was built on old rice fields which had soil imported to raise our homes to at least four feet above street grade. I've had water up to my mailbox that still did not reach even halfway up my lawn. People prepared for the inevitable.

But back to these ants. Fire Ants and Crazy Ants are at war and human structures are paying the price.
There was no way we could foresee nor prepare for this invasion.