Oct 17

And now, storytime

This came in conversation today. It dates back to May of 2012. I wrote about it here. We were in a small town barbecue restaurant and Big Will, the owner, came out from the kitchen to say hello.

My contemporary notes:

Somehow we got on the subject of The Yankee being from Connecticut …

He then reached into the pocket of his overalls and pulled out a .45. She jumped. We laughed. It was a great joke.

There were six people at the table. Five of us were from the South. Only one of us was surprised when he produced his pistol.

She was genuinely afraid, but he was just making a joke, of course. She tried to hide behind me. Someone pointed out she’d need to get more cover than that.

Sometime later he went back out to his truck and brought back his AR-15.

That place opened in 2011. Will said he’d previously been a machinist, but that there had been a car accident in the family. The restaurant, then, was a way to for the family to spend more time together. And, there it was. Will’s wife was working in the store on a slow May day. His daughter was singing for an audience of six. (She was good, too.) It was as small-town as you could get.

It looks like the place closed last year. That’d be a shame. The world is suffering from a shortage of good barbecue.

Sep 17

Oh my!

We had a big night of it this evening. The Yankee and I went to the Japanese steakhouse for dinner where the second best show was being seated with people who have never been to a Japanese steakhouse before. The third best, of course, was the gentleman who made our food.

The best show of the night, though, was back on campus. We went to see George Takei take part in a lecture series. He had a full house, as you can see from our near-the-back-of-the-auditorium seats:

He talked Trek, of course, but most of his lecture was about his activism, and his family history. He’s got that incredible story: internment camp as a kid, watching his father re-build his life as a teen, becoming an actor, becoming a politician and a activist and then his coming out and his continued activism. He’s funny, he’s poignant, he’s powerful and passionate. Like a true stage performer, he stayed in almost one spot the entire night. He must be a light tech’s dream, he never moves.

That’s why I could never be a stage performer. I’d hit my marks. And then I’d hit everyone else’s too. Also, the lines. I took some great improv classes in college — because the professor was energetic and it seemed like a good way to get ready for some less-interesting class — and I learned that I’d never do well with remembering my lines. And, lo, another performer’s career that wasn’t.

Also, I studied method acting, specifically, Stanislavski’s system, which seemed obvious and basic enough to not be real. And if you can’t experience the system that is trying to teach you to experience the role then you’re probably doing it wrong. I never could get past the part of the method where it wasn’t just a guy struggling to remember his lines and hit everyone’s marks.

I thought about that while enjoying ice cream cake tonight. It was a great experience.

Sep 17

Things I saw today

We skipped town after work today. In the parking deck we found a Karmann Gia sitting nearby:

I believe this may be a 1971 model. For a time during its 1955-1974 production run this car was imported into the U.S. more than any other.

Just a nearly perfect car design.

It doesn’t have much on the Toyota Camry though, am I right? I mean here we see the side view mirror and the sun, which is closer than it appears:

That’s something to think about over the weekend, huh?

Saw this at the barbecue joint we ate at tonight:

I wanna be big.

Aug 17

What we did this weekend

Last spring The Yankee qualified for, and this weekend participated in the USAT Olympic Distance Triathlon National Championship. She’s awesome. Here are a few clips from the big race:

She almost hit a PR, and finished with a smile, despite some serious sun and legitimate heat. It was a great race!

Aug 17

You just think you know square jaws

I’m not seeing things, right? You’re seeing this too, aren’t you? There’s a face in that shadow, yeah?

Which led me onto a long series of thoughts about the impermanence of shapes in clouds and the more permanent but still shifting nature of the shadows of buildings and maybe how the buildings are wiser, but the clouds have it better. So that was lunch.

Also, I meant to order the bourbon chicken, which is a sweeter dish. But I instead ordered the first chicken item I saw on the menu, which was the voodoo chicken. That was red and spicy and the word “voodoo” should have been the clue, dude. I wondered if the shadow man somehow knew. His jaw was jutted out just so, in that brutalist blockish manner. I strolled back by later but the sun had moved over by about half an hour and the shadow man had moved on for the day.

We’re moving today, too:

We are in Omaha this weekend for a race and fun. Lately I’ve come to realize it is difficult to travel and eat. Something about the schedules and the options and habits. It is a challenge. This was dinner:

We had a burger at a pizza joint when we got to The Big O.

At the pizza joint, which was using a Chicago theme, because it is pizza in Omaha, one surmises, there was a claw machine. You remember claw machines. Those were the games you couldn’t win no matter how good your manual dexterity was on its own. You couldn’t win at it such that you began to think, and then watch, and then know, that no one could win at the claw game. And then you saw the little feature on that one guy cleaning up at the claw game and you thought “Huh, why does one guy need that many stuffed toys and obviously cheap watches anyway? The claw game. It was waiting for you, at the Chicago-themed pizza joint in Omaha, Nebraska.

I’m not sure if it was a sad game because someone had been so successful or if someone was so successful because it was a sad game. When you see them near empty like that, it effects you. Probably it was sad no one was pumping quarters into it at the moment.

That was at about 11 p.m. and thus it was the best burger possible. Probably because I didn’t ask for the voodoo anything.