Monday, January 29, 2007

The message is 'Hot, steamin' love; Texas-style.'

Whee, look at me, I'm unemployed! Actually, that's only a little true. I'm still being paid for this week I'm not working (which I'll believe when the check is in the bank) and my airline job starts next week. To help cushion the little piggy bank for the Japan trip in March-April, I'm going to temp the rest of the week. I have to wear "professional attire" which is vaguely alarming since I really only have an interview outfit. I figure I'll wear the nice stuff tomorrow and the judge how I can fudge a difference in appearance for the next three days. If my hair were longer I could do a bun and really throw them off. I think I have to use Excel, which apparently I am "proficient" in, though I beg to differ. I'm "proficient" if I can be given twenty minutes to figure out what the fuck I'm doing. It will be a rollicking fun-time adventure. I'll insist everyone call me "Lee" and no one will get it.

Since I have fuck-all to do except memorize airport codes and write (and I actually did write some outside the blog today, woo hoo!), I started researching both for the Japan trip and Drew's upcoming (hopefully) Dallas trip in June. He has only been to the airport in Houston and a teachers conference in San Antonio. Oh, and the DFW airport. Now if you saw my detailed trip of NYC, you know I'm totally embarrassed that I cannot return this favor here in Dallas. I mean, it's DALLAS. The fuck do we have here?

(I've taken this shot, too, and the area isn't an eighth as exciting as you might think).

In the interest of being well-rounded, I taped something called Destination Texas off the Travel Channel. It was mostly embarrassing (though who am I to say, considering I'm the native who taped it?)--LOTS of longhorns, cowboys and big-haired morons. But they showed Austin, too, so that helped. Towards the end they said that along with big state pride comes big city pride. San Antonio, Houston and Dallas are three of the ten biggest cities in the US and what makes each one special? Well, they started in Austin (!) and of course, Austin sells itself. Music, food, mellow town, cool as shit all around. Then they go to Dallas. THE FIRST THING? They whip out the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, some dumb twat saying, "Every little girl, growing up, wants to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader." I'm not even sure this is a real sentence. (And if we can say that includes little girls who want to maim little girls who want to be Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders then yes, we all do, honey). Then they said SHOPPING! (And if you have money coming from every orifice, then yes). Then they totally scrambled to desperately show we have culture here, like, uh, the Nasher Sculpture Center! And uh, art! Yeah! Someone mentioned an Opera House? Then onto San Antonio, Alamo blah blah River Walk blah blah...and I really think they totally left Houston off, which really, has always been its sole purpose in my opinion. To make Dallasites feel better about their shallow boring city.

So the show was not terribly helpful. I guess they showed a few westerny places in Fort Worth that might be fun to try in that show-up-for-five-minutes-and-realize-what-a-horrendous-mistake-you've-made kind of way. Neither D nor I have the inclination, and Drew is a flaming gay New Yorker. But then again, everyone should experience certain things at least once? Maybe if "Billy Bob's" is close to Bass Performance Hall and the Sundance Square theatre district. Then we can have a safe haven.

We'll have to take him somewhere with big obnoxious servings, as Kiwi Derek requested (though note the "kiwi"; it wasn't hard, it's all bigger in America). I think only here is "chicken fried steak" or "chicken fried chicken" the huge hit it is.

(Dude!! GROSS!)

I'm not a fan myself, but I can eat almost anything in the name of anthropology (yes, even if I am studying my own people). They recommended a joint called Norma's for this. I'm not sure if it's the same one right next to my old work (all chain-like); they're both diners and the Double R they ain't. Lots of big Southerns and big plates. They also recommend Sonny Bryan's for barbeque. Hmm. This place is ok, I should give it another go. Frankly, nothing in Dallas has ever really impressed me in the way of BBQ (not since the Chuck Wagon in Denton died), whereas there are THREE places in Austin that make me nearly wee myself in anticipation of eating there. Schulz Garten by the downtown government buildings, County Line out on 2222 and of course, Salt Lick. And really, that last one I guess I just feel obliged. The first reminds me of my days living there. Regardless I could sit there and eat and drink beer ALL DAY LONG. Never had the chance, but I could so do it. LOVE IT. The second is a little ways out but the best by far.

However, the show failed to mention the big gay spots in Texas! See, if it really wanted to be a little different...oh well. I'm going to have to do some exploring for Drew. I haven't known any good gay scenes since 1999 in my "theatre" days. I don't think anyone swing dances at Red Jacket anymore, for one thing. Thursday nights, baby!

I have also been catching up on my No Reservations. The voice-overs are still pretentious but I think I'm just getting used to it. I watched the Ghana show today. Meh. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to go, but I have to admit it's a little lower on the list. And I've been to Cambodia, I'm allowed to say things like that. I'm allowed to say "I'd rather go to Venice." (And strangely, I have little desire to go back to Cambodia but I would love to go back to Vietnam, where Drew and I gave each other the "We're Canadian" nod during our first anti-American film at the Cu Chi Tunnels.)

I should go look over airport codes. We do not fly to New Hampshire OR Vermont. I find this ridiculous. I think I'm allowed to fly on other airlines, though, after six months, so there is hope. I don't have to land in Boston or Albany and then cart my ass three hours to Northfield, VT. We do fly to Shannon and Dublin, and I hope that is one of the first international freebies I take.


daveyyojimbo said...

I wouldn't have pegged you for a native Texan. I'm a native Odessan which(as a matter of specifics) is much much worse I think. I'll probably die here(cause God hates me). Bourdain's new show is too over produced or something, too scripted. At least, that's the way it comes across. His old show was way better.

Ellen Aim said...

Yup, a real live Dentonite. Which is probably the next best thing if I can't be a native Austinite. I'm glad to "be from" Denton; wouldn't want to necessarily live there. Unless I had a sweet job, of which there are SO FEW.

"Too over produced," is the best way I've heard that show described. That seems exactly it. Too much "polish" and "thought" in each voice-over; comes off a wee pretentious. The voice-overs always sound like they were painful to write and were written three months after the trip.

I didn't have cable during his old show. :(

Veloute said...

Man, what is it with chicken fried steak? That is some weird food right there. Every single band trip, chicken fried steak. Even though I escaped chicken fried steak, it comes to me in dreams.

Ellen Aim said...

What is it with high school and torturing us with field trip food? When I had to go off campus for basketball games (managing, remember, in exchange for CO-ED PE, thank you, in case that threw you for a loop) they made us eat at Golden Corral. THE SHITTIEST FOOD ON THE GODDAMN PLANET. I ate the rolls. I seriously don't even think they had edible desserts.

I'm told there is also chicken fried chicken. Yum. Yum.