Image Hosted by

Friday, July 29, 2005

Finally! I live up to my subtitle.

Since this blog is subtitled, "A Texan View on a California Lifestyle," I figure its time to actually give a view, as a person from Texas, on a California lifestyle. And today we shall talk about something very near and dear to my heart.

To tell the Truth (with a capital so you know I mean it) this wasn't actually something I thought a lot about while living in Texas. Its like you don't know how much you appreciate good cold water until you find yourself in the middle of a desert and all you have to drink comes from one of those crappy metal public fountains, where the water tastes like dirt and you're sure some six year old has been spitting on it, and who knows what the crazies have been doing to it, but I sure don't like the look of that stain there... are you sure this is ok to drink from, you ask no one in particular, but you just get an unassuming shrug from the homeless guy and decide to take your chances, but I digress.

What I'm talking about here is good, old fashioned, made by people without green cards, Mexican food. In Texas, its everywhere. In Texas, you can find a taqueria easier than a Starbucks, they are everywhere. Even the large chains, like Papasitos, or Chuy's still manage to put a plate in front of you with that made by Grandma Perez look and feel to it. One of my favorites in Texas (for breakfast anyway) was a place called
Juan in a Million. This place made breakfast tacos so huge, even the tortilla was a little intimidated. So intimidated in fact that it came with a couple of extra torillas, there, I think, just for the moral support. I mean, it was so jammed packed full of eggs, cheese, potatoes, and bacon, that they had to import special oversize foil to cover it all completely! (So big in fact they have a wall of fame for people who have eaten them... these tacos are big... are you getting that?) So if you are in Austin, check it out! Its on the east side of I-35, so you know its authentic!

Well, last night I went to dinner at this place that was recommended by the cable guy, called Celia's. It is located in downtown Lafayette (ooh ritzy) and is conveniently located near everything, as everything in Lafayette is. Upon entering, I immediately noticed it was once a seafood restaurant, by the large pier like posts (complete with large rope) holding up the entrance way. Once inside though, I was magically whisked away to another time and place. A time, that hopefully never exists, a place that is a very gay version of Mexico. I won't bore you with my review of the interior design, suffice to say though, neither Grandma Perez or Juan would have picked out this color scheme. On to the food.

The first thing my girlfriend noticed (that's right t-o-g fans and groupies, I'm taken, so back off! but keep sending me the love letters, I enjoy reading them) was a definite lack of queso on the menu. Maybe I'm wrong, but in Texas, a Mexican food restaurant without queso is like a seafood restaurant without food from the sea, and if I'm wrong, I don't want to be right. She decided to verify with the waiter about the status of the queso and was quickly shot down! He looked at her warily, like he had never heard the word before, and then replied, "If you mean melted cheese, then no, we don't have that." [I've just realized that its very hard to type a very snooty Hispanic accent] Well, I was a little let down, but she was devastated! "Am I never going to get queso in the state," she grieved. I assured her that I have seen queso on a menu somewhere out here, and then she brightened when I mentioned the crock pot she owns and how easy it is to make, and that we can bring our own next time!

I took the lack of queso as a mere happenstance, but was quickly called up short when I cockily asked the water if they had a meat sauce (or carne sauce for the bilingual) for the enchiladas! I had already closed my menu, assuming this was a done deal, but no, once again he used his haughty tone to let me know that not only am I a social misfit for demanding something so bizarre and outrageous on my enchiladas, but that they also don't have a meat sauce! Needless to say, it was only from the sincere urging of my dinner partner that I didn't immediately flip the table over and storm out of the restaurant... ...I did that after we had eaten instead.

I know I live in Northern California, which is about as far away from Mexico as Iowa, but it is a border state!

Oh Texas, home to the only Mexican food I love, please mail me some enchiladas in meat sauce, and some queso for my honey!

So, I don't really have a quote to end on today, mainly because when I google "Mexican food" quotes, I get tons of forums of people all over the world looking for a good Mexican food place in their area. Apparently, Mexican food is not only hard to come by, but also very prized by the masses... ...then why do we make it so hard for immigrants to move here from Mexico?

"Beans, beans, the musical fruit..." -some unknown lyrical genius
"Beans, beans, good for the heart..." -some copycat lyrical doctor

Posted by timothy :: Direct Link 5 comments

Post a Comment


Monday, July 25, 2005

Overheard in the news today...

So you know me, and you know I'm not one to overly comment on what going on in the news, but I read two articles today that caught my eye and I felt I needed to share.

The first news article comes with a personal story. From the time I was about 6 (or whatever age it was when I got my first plastic snake) I would frequently sneak into my parents bathroom before bedtime and place a plastic snake coming out of the toilet like it was going to bite you. See, my mom was a night pee-er (you know who you are people) and would frequently awaken in the wee hours to groggily walk to the bathroom. I look back fondly on the days when I would wake up at 3 a.m. to the otherworldly shrieks of my mother, which were soon followed by a cursing of her second born (me). I always found it amazing that something that cost only a few cents could cause so much havoc.

This almost backfired only once. It was a long hot day in Texas and a big bull snake (hell, I'm no herpetologist, could've been a rat snake, hell, I don't even know if these are real names of snakes, but this one was large, long, non-poisonous and black and we called it a bull snake) had slithered up onto to the porch to get out of some of the heat and bask in the shade directly in front of our front door. Well, my mom initially thought it was a prank of mine and was about to walk out and pick it up when she saw the tongue move. I still got in trouble... anyway, story that made me think of this story right

Oh, that's right I said two stories... well, how bout this:

Cats won't eat sweet-tarts or pie, but they would love to eat your face once you die!
[just realized that rhymes. Wow! I'm a poet and wasn't even aware of that fact]
Full details
right here!

"What happened to Grandma?" -Francis
"Cats ate her face." -Dewey
"What?" -Francis
"Cats ate her face." -Dewey
"Is anyone else there? Let me talk to dad." -Francis
"Hello Francis" -Dad
"What happened to grandma?" -Francis
"Cats ate her face, here talk to Dewey, he knows all the details!" -Dad
[paraphrased from Malcolm in the Middle]

"If you see a snake, just kill it - don't appoint a committee on snakes." -Ross Perot

Posted by timothy :: Direct Link 2 comments

Post a Comment


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Now with Linky goodness!

I have added some links to blogs I like to read over on the left side, over there <--.

Some are friends I know in life, some are people I know online only, some are famous for blogging (ok, one), and some are blogs I just found today that I'd like to check back in on every now and then...

So now you have something to read if I haven't posted in awhile.


Posted by timothy :: Direct Link 0 comments

Post a Comment


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Happy Bastille Day!

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!
(Fraternity... its not just for alcoholics anymore!)

For those of you unaware, July 14th is Bastille day in France (and I guess wherever French people are, like Canada). It is the frilly equivalent of our 4th of July, in that it marks the common man's revolt in 1789 against all things monarch, but didn't reach its full aims until sometime around 1875. History lesson over.

If you'd like to learn more, check out many of the wonderful books on the subject at your
local library , or read this article I found about it on the world wide web, located here.

Having recently celebrated our own independence from the unrighteous tyranny of the British Monarchy, Bastille day reminded me of other countries' own fight for their own independence. Both the American Revolution and the French Revolution and the Taking of the Bastille go to show that a people oppressed can only be oppressed for so long before they get so fed up that they change things for the better. Both America and France did this on their own (though the French did step in and help us battle the British in our revolution, kinda funny when you think about it, after 9/11 a big French hating spree occurred, when in all actuality, if not for the French we would still be drinking tea and having extraordinary vacation and sick day packages at our jobs, but I digress)

And all of this started me thinking about the Freedom of Iraq. When they look back years down the road are they going to take the pride in their freedom that we do, even though we handed it to them?

Is freedom given, as sweet as freedom boldly fought for?

Will they look back on the day Bush declared Mission Accomplished aboard an aircraft carrier as their independence day?

Will they make movies about aliens attacking them on their independence day, and a small group of brave, zany, and in some cases a little crazy fighters, fighting back, against all odds to defeat this juggernaut from the stars?

It makes me wonder, if France were still horribly ruled by Monarchs (the kings and such, not the butterflys... though... that would be funny) today, would we feel it our obligation to give them their freedom? Or would we be friendly with King Louis XXXXIV while it benefits our nation, and then once he tries to kill our dad (or raise the price of wine) we decide its time for the frenchies to be free?

Also, it took France almost a hundred years to throw off the yoke of oppression, will it take that long in Iraq?

I think the biggest thing I realized is that in both the American and French revolution, it took the entire population coming together to beat their oppressors, whereas in Iraq, once we over threw Saddam, we still had a country full of differing opinions. Apparently Saddam wasn't so bad as the British or French monarchs that it forged a common bond among the Iraqi people to put aside their differences to come together to create a free country. Instead, we are fighting factions that merely wish to replace Saddam with themselves. Now, I'm not saying that there aren't some Iraqi people who want peace and equality (except for women), the numbers reported of men showing up to join the Iraqi army (or whatever) were astounding, but it seems like the country is still torn over who should rule, and how.

And I'm not saying we should pull out of Iraq before we can honestly say we made a positive difference. We committed ourselves to this path, and the only upright thing to do is to finish it. I support our troops for their honor, courage and dedication to our country (or to paying off their college loans), and respect their decision to stand up for what they believe in. I don't think that we should have gotten involved in the war when we did, but now that we are there, we have to see it through.

But I do hope that we learn from this in the future. I hope we discover that freedom can't be forced on a people that don't want it. That freedom can't be handed out like food, medicine, education or health care (which are all much better ways to achieve freedom, after all a healthy, well-fed, educated population is the best defense against tyranny) . That a people will be free when they can join together to fight on their own for that freedom.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." ~Thomas Paine

"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

"We have to call it "freedom": who'd want to die for "a lesser tyranny"?" ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

"Freedom is not enough." ~Lyndon B. Johnson

"Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance." ~Woodrow Wilson

"Liberty doesn't work as well in practice as it does in speeches." ~Will Rogers

Posted by timothy :: Direct Link 2 comments

Post a Comment


Thursday, July 07, 2005

I love this dog!

I mean, How could you not?!?

We talk about our day while I'm watering the garden...

...and his arch nemesis is sprayed water!

Of course, I can think of someone who isn't overly fond of this dog...







"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts."-- John Steinbeck

"Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."-- Robert A. Heinlein

"Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that is how dogs spend their lives."-- Sue Murphy


Props to danielle for taking the pictures!

Posted by timothy :: Direct Link 0 comments

Post a Comment


Saturday, July 02, 2005

It's Amazing

How one small change in your life can make the whole day seem brighter and the mundane more exciting!

Posted by timothy :: Direct Link 0 comments

Post a Comment