Thursday, November 27, 2014

HARD BOILED EGGS

Every year about this time you start seeing all these tips on how to cook a hard boiled egg so that it wont stick. Cook them with salt, with vinegar with a metal spoon with a wood spoon; cook them at midnight, pray to Jesus, pray to the devil, turn the handle to the north.
None of these things is going to help you.
If that egg is fresh, its going to stick and there is nothing on Gods green earth you can do about it.

I had about 1000 to cook one time. That’s three cases.  Had them all cooked and shocked and the first ten just jumped out of their jackets. Then I hit about five that didn’t.  Then ten that were easy.  And that was just about the ratio through the whole process.
Why?
Because one of those three cases was very fresh eggs. They were all cooked together, but those were the ones that stuck. That’s the science behind it, and it wasn’t the only time I had that kind of thing happen.
Anyway, the best part of the story is that as I peeled the eggs, I tossed them into a huge bowl of ice water. They sank to the bottom. I was about halfway through when Don “The Animal “ Pascal, the banquet chef, came by.
“What are you doing?” he says.
“Peelin' eggs”
“What are they for?” he asks.
I felt like being a smart ass, so I said :
“We’re going to bob for them, like apples”
Don didn’t even flinch. Off comes his chefs hat, and into the ice water goes his head, and when he comes back up he has an egg between his teeth.
Don “The Animal” Pascal.
That guy was a trip.

And that’s my best hard boiled egg story.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

EVERY ADVANTAGE

Well, that’s what pisses me off. Its easy enough to say the kid shouldn’t have done what he done.
No one can argue about that.
But it misses the issue of why a cop was fucking with him in the first place.
I’ve said it before…I’ve played football, baseball and had bottle rocket wars right in the middle of the street. shoot, we used to stand outside my apartment and throw frisbee for hours ACROSS a 4 lane street to a field, No cop ever did anything but wave and smile as he idled past.
And the deeper issue still of why an entire community feels so disenfranchised.
This comes mostly from a group of people that have never been the least bit discriminated against, or disenfranchised. Born with every advantage, they make no effort to empathize at all.

Addendum: I did finally find a white person that says the cops continually ask her to stay out of the street. She's the friend of a freind of a friend up in DC, and if I'm reading her right, she's a hooker.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

YOU SHOULD SEE THE OTHER GUY


MARIANO

The man outside he works for me, his name is Mariano
He cuts and trims the grass for me he makes the flowers bloom
He says that he comes from a place not far from Guanajuato
Thats two days on a bus from here, a lifetime from this room.

I fix his meals and talk to him in my old broken spanish
He points at things and tells me names of things I can't recall
Sometimes I just can't but help but wonder who this man is
And if when he is gone will he'll remember me at all

I watch him close he works just like a piston in an engine
He only stops to take a drink and smoke a cigarette
When the day is ended, I look outside my window
There on the horizon, Mariano's silhouette

He sits upon a stone in a south-easterly direction
I know my charts I know that he is thinking of his home
I've never been the sort to say I'm in to intuition
But I swear I see the faces of the ones he calls his own

Their skin is brown as potters clay, their eyes void of expression
Their hair is black as widow's dreams, their dreams are all but gone
They're ancient as a vision of a sacrificial virgin
Innocent as crying from a baby being born

They hover around a dying flame and pray for his protection
Their prayers are all but answered by his letters in the mail
He sends them colored figures that he cuts from strips of paper
And all his weekly wages, saving nothing for himself

It's been a while since I have seen the face of Mariano
The border guards they came one day and took him far away
I hope that he is safe down there at home in Guanajuato
I worry though I read there's revolution every day

Robert Earl Keen


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

GAG ME

I remember being in a hotel restaurant in San Diego for the breakfast buffet. My phone rang. It was a girl I knew. I got to talking, with her on the speaker, and were yackkin' it up like you wouldn't believe, and you know I got no inside voice, and I'm talking about how great it is to be a Texan, and how the California girls cant get enough of me and my accent, and I look over all the way across the dining room, and there's some woman looking right at me, and I can tell she has heard everything i just said, just as if i was sitting right there at the table with her; and she looks at me right in the eye, glaring at me is what she's doing, and sticks her finger down her throat, then mouths the words "Gag Me".
Gag me. Darn right.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

CUTTY SARK

My first snockering was with dads Cutty Sark. 

Susan Peebles spent the night with my sister. I drank a 6 oz glass just straight up out of
the bottle, no ice, nada. I have vague recollections of being placed in the shower, and laughing my ass off, then waking up the next morning, smelling like whiskey and Herbal Essence shampoo, covered in coffee grounds with an invisible railroad spike sticking out the front of my head.
The coffee grounds were from my sisters feeble attempt to make coffee.
The railroad spike, I guess we've all had that one.
Took about 4 days to get over it, and I still cant handle the smell of whiskey.
In fact, just looking at the label makes my head swim.

Monday, November 17, 2014

CATNIP

I took a buddy in to the VA a few weeks ago. Babalougats.
He was a good friend many years ago, and a babe magnet. 
He's not in the best of shape; 3 heart operations and no teeth. But to say his flower has faded would be a mistake. He is as bright and funny and charming as ever. 
He lives in one of those bedbug motels in Arlington. The first time I went to see him, and saw all those oxygen tanks lined up across the back wall, man it shook me. I started going every couple weeks to take him for breakfast. He is great company. The banter is non-stop between he and I.

Any way, I took him to the VA for a check-up. 
He comes back out to after the exam; his eyes are wide open. He looks like a cartoon character that just got hit with a frying pan.
“They want to admit me. My kidneys are shutting down”

He’s been in for about 10 days now. They have drained 60 pounds of fluids from him and got his heart rate to where it should be. It was at 140 when I took him in.
While he was in he didn’t want to tell his mom. Didn’t want to worry her. She’s been sick.
Then he got the call two days ago. His mom had passed.

You know, its funny. The strangeness and timing of this life just can't be measured
I said to him “Well, at least you didn’t have to put yourself through all that”.
He said “I was thinking the same thing”.

I visited Bubba at the hospital last week. We told the nurse I was his brother. Relatives only in ICU.
She said “You guys look so much alike”
Bubba says “He was always the pretty one”
I said “Yeah, but Bubba got all the girls”
Bubbas says “Yes. I was like Catnip”

Catnip. LMAO. I been using that one.
Fuckin’ Bubba.

There are some really cheap apartments across the street from mine. I talked to him last night about moving in to those when he gets out.
“ I don’t have any furniture” he says.
“Oh hell, Bubba, we’ll get you some furniture. People give it away all the time. I gave away a bed just last month”

I’m hoping he’ll go for it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A METAPHOR FOR SEX




"...I'd better not be too explicit. My night is careless
with itself, troublesome as a woman wearing no bra
in winter. I believe everything is a metaphor for sex...
Sometimes I play a game in which my primitive craft fires
upon an alien ship whose intention is the destruction
of the earth. Other times I fall in love with a word
like somberness. Or moonlight juicing naked branches.
All species have a notion of emptiness, and yet
the flowers don't quit opening…
Ask a glass of water why it pities
the rain. Ask the lunatic yard dog why it tolerates the leash.
Brothers and sisters, when you spend your nights
out on a limb, there's a chance you'll fall in your sleep."
- Terrance Hayes,
from "LIGHTHEAD'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY"

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ON MINIMUM WAGE AND THE AMERICAN DREAM

I started out in food service and worked my way up. As I worked my way up, I worked with a lot of people that didn't want to be a chef, or a general manager. They just wanted to be a line cook, or a prep lady. They stayed very close to minimum wage; their increases came from doing a good job and longevity, not from following what some might call the "American Dream". Their American Dream was to come to work and do a good job and not be screwed. They wanted a clean place, out of the weather to work. They wanted to supplement the household income so their daughter could have a flute, or maybe got to college. They didn't want to get rich or be the boss, they just wanted to get a sqaure deal.
They were the salt of the earth and I admire them for it.

Back then my first job I made 1.65 an hour. No one was going to pretend I could have a place of my own, or that I earned a "living wage" @ 1.65. I think when I moved out of my parents house and in with a room mate I was making 2.25 an hour, and minimum wasnt 1.65, it was more like 1.95.
From what I understand, 1.65 is the equivalent of somewhere around 9.50 in today's money. All things being equal, that is where much of the inequality comes from.


I think I was making 2.50 an hour when I got my evaluation. I had worked there for a year, seen probably 25 cents in increases that year. They gave me a 15 cent raise. I told the manager that wasn’t going to keep me…that I thought I was worth more than that. He said “OK, fine, we will re-evaluate the next two weeks”.
The next day, the #1 cook in the kitchen quit. For the next two weeks I did my job and his. Worked a couple 80 hour weeks.
When I sat down with the manager after two weeks, I was grinning like a butchers dog.
"I think we were discussing how much I'm worth around here" I said
I’ll never forget the look on his face.
“Well, you have certainly done an outstanding job” he says.
When I left the table I was making 3.15 an hour.
Life was good.

Years later, during an interview for Chef’s position I was asked:
“What is more important? Your employee’s or the business?”
At the time it seemed a difficult question. I don’t exactly remember my answer, but I did get the job.
Over the years I have come to believe that there may have been several good answers but there was really only one wrong answer.
That the business is more important than my employees.
You might disagree.

Maybe if we had left minimum wage at 1.65 an hour, butter would still be $.55 a pound.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

VETERANS DAY



My dad served in North Africa as a mechanic working on the B-26’s that provided air cover for Patton.
His duties also included recovering downed aircraft. They found a German ME-109 (Messerschmidt) that went down with a mechanical problem but was fairly intact. They borrowed whatever parts they needed from other Messerschmitts they had recovered and managed to restore the thing to a flyable condition. In order to avoid unwanted attention from the AA gunners, they painted the plane bright orange. Everyone knew not to shoot at the bright orange ME-109 because that was our own boys having some fun in their free time. Well, the Krauts found out about this plane and one day an orange ME-109 flew in and bombed their camp.

And that was the end of that.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

ROUGHING IT

After about our 6th camping trip the Ex-Mrs bulletholes asked for a tent she could stand up in. I’m like “What?” but went ahead and got one.

Then after a few trips she asked if we could get one that had a floor.
I’m like “What?” but went ahead and got one.
Then about 6 trips in the stand up tent with a floor she asked “Do you think we could get a cabin one time?” and I’m like “What?”, but we never did.
And now she’s my ex.

OUR FIRST TENT