Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I double-checked with my dad about Rita's history as a pilot, and he said she raced planes around towers and that she had a bunch of trophies. If I can get hold of a photo, I'll show her to you so you can see what grit looked like. She also had that distinctive East Texas drawl, spoken in a slow voice, like she had all day to get the sentence out...

WTF is UP with sending kids back to school so early? People are always shrieking and hand-wringing about a lack of funding for the school systems in this country and yet they make the children attend during the hottest part of the year and they have to really gin the A/C systems to keep it tolerable in the buildings? What a load of horse shit! Unconscionable. School--at least in the south, should not start until the beginning of September. Seriously.

My house is more comfortable than most, and I'm having a $450 electric bill to keep it 80 degrees in here. We have double-paned windows. Someone with single-panes in the same size house just told me theirs stays about 90 degrees and their last bill was $750.

So not only are we paying for the electric in our own homes, we're buying super-cooled air for the school buildings as well. And frankly, it's too effing hot to learn or work on anything, anyway. I haven't lifted a finger to make jewelry in about 6 weeks, because it's too bloody hot to work on the torch. AND I have people who want more of my jewelry, but they'll just have to wait. Sorry. This is Texas. Call me in November...

Went to Babe's Chicken Dinner House at Belt Line and Garland Road Monday night. They have toe-curling fried chicken, and it's all served family-style where they bring the side dishes to the table and everyone just takes as much as they like of each dish. Mashed 'taters, green beans, corn. But even having some of the best fried chicken I've ever had (and that's saying something) did not begin to compare to the natural glory of their cream gravy.

If I'd been standing when I first saw that bowl of gravy, I would have gone all jelly-like in the knees. It has the most divine consistency - looked exactly like my Grandma Bertie's (my grandma who died in Arizona in June 2005). The faintest whiff tantalized my nose with what I hadn't dared to hope for-- it smelled like that marvel she always whipped up to complement her buttermilk biscuits. Heaven.

Lo and behold, it tasted remarkably like her gravy. My nose began to tingle, and I feared for an instant I might weep, so I started prattling on about something incredibly silly to distract myself. It's not that I'm so in love with gravy as a particular food - it's just the power of association. The tremendous release of again smelling and tasting something I thought lost to me forever was overwhelming. Of course, it's only the tiniest bit off, but it is as close an approximation of her gravy as I ever dare hope to experience.

Funny thing is when I was waxing orgasmic here over fried chicken 6 months or so ago, Big Dick told me to hie to Babe's in Roanoke. You were totally right, Dick.

So for anyone who comes to Texas to visit, Babe's is an absolute requirement. We're talking death-row last-request meal, here. It's that good.


FHB said...

Yep. I was surprised when i took the job teaching AP classes at a local high school that they have 18 or 19 weeks to kill in a semester. I'm used to covering a 40ish contact hour semester in 8 weeks on the base, but there I've got to fill about 65 contact hours. I mean, I can dither on for ever in the history class, but the government/economics was a real bummer. You end up with lots of fluff, showing videos and having them write papers about them.

I've heard the longer semester's about getting them in class and off the street, but your point about the waste of money is well taken. They need more time to dumb everything down and teach the test.

And on yer electric bill, does the upkeep of the pool boost it at all?

Dick said...

The nice part about Babe's was I was able to enlighten Kelly to their greatness when she was out here the last time.
Have you been to Momma's Daughters over on Harry Hines at Walnut Hill Ln yet?
Heaven on a stick I tell you. Go at 11am for lunch to get a decent seat.

As far as the electricty goes, I'm running about $300 a month right now. That's keeping 1700 square feet at 78 degrees during the day while I'm at the office, and 73 in the evening.
Not too bad, but the AC system is at least twenty years old, and ready for a total change.
Just another thing on my list.

Kelly said...

Oh my god, Babe's is like heaven. Dick introduced me last time I was in town. I have a feeling I'll be making him come home with dinners from there every so often.

I would die for their chicken, creamed corn (my first try of it ever) and biscuits.

I'm drooling...see what you started?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Sounds like Babe's is a perfect excuse to fire up the urban assault vehicle and hit the border! Once it cools down a bit of course.

phlegmfatale said...

fathairybastard - hard for kids to concentrate in the heat, too, to say nothing of beleaguered teachers! The pool is a definite electric expense, I'd guess it is a few bucks a day. Worth it.

big dick - my new electric bill went down by $70. Hallelujah. Naturally you had to pull out the big guns to lure your fair lady to this sweltering heat. I'll look forward to your blog exposition of the A/C replacement adventures.

Kelly - Babe's is glorious - could be dangerous to go very often, though! OMG - you reached adulthood without ever having creamed corn? Oh, honey, you've only just begun to live! Next stop: State Fair and Canton!

barbara - Sure - come on down and I'll buy you a dinner - I still owe you for that wonderful cd I'm enjoying. ps. Martha Wainwright's track is still my favorite.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You know, I just knew somehow that the Martha track would appeal to you. Gotta love a girl who can curse like that!

phlegmfatale said...

barbara - said with economy and feeling, an ounce of Martha Wainwright is worth a pound of therapy