Jan. 1st, 2007

scary_manilow: (joi)
Greetings from the year 2007!

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As you can probably tell from the horribly distended size of my belly, the holiday season was very good too me... Our annual yuletide jaunt to the Great Republic of Texas satisfied appetites both emotional AND physical, so while my record collection is now sagging beneath the bulk of newly acquired winter weight, my waistline is in even worse shape, and what better time than the New Year to begin a structural overhaul of this fleshy temple? Time to count those calories--trade in beer for hard liquor, soda for caffeine pills, fried donuts for cream-filled croissants. And exercise? You better believe it-- Yesterday, I WALKED all the way to the burrito place downtown for my daily pre-lunch snack. That's dedication, friends.

Things I enjoyed about Texas (and Austin in particular):

1. An abundance of neighborhood bars, corner markets, and family homes converted into small businesses... These three things are a novelty to me because, for reasons too multi-layered to comprehend, they have been forbidden to exist within the Lawrence city limits. I could go on and on about how the big-box developers and Mass Street landlords have our local lawmakers squarely secured in their hip pockets, but after a while it just feels like I'm arguing with the voices in my head.

2. Record shopping, record shopping, record shopping. Some of the best record stores on the planet reside in the Lone Star State, which seems to be the official drop-off point for all the old rockabilly, r-&-B, surf, stomp, soul, bluegrass, big beat, grind, doo-wop, and girl group 45's in the U.S. of A. I mentioned before that my record collection has bulged to the bursting point because of this holiday trip, and rest assured, there isn't a wasted calorie in the stacks. I can't afford a winter coat, and I'll have to rely on voodoo to summon up this month's rent check, but at least I'm stocked with enough vintage vinyl to keep me warm until spring arrives.

3. Quality vegetarian food. I really hadn't expected to eat much in Texas... Every restaurant is either a steak house or a BBQ joint or a Mexican place that specializes in fried pork. But surprisingly, many of these places feature a full vegetarian menu, and even more surprisingly, the quality of each meal is fucking outstanding. From chili to pasta to faux-cheese steaks dripping with tangy hot sauce, the meatless selection down there is vast and delicious, which is more than I can say for our supposedly forward-thinking burgh.

I'd like to take a moment to thank the Spiral Diner in Fort Worth for their special contribution to the winter stomach fund (see above photo for more info).

But where does all that good food go? Texas may be the land of rich cuisine, but it's also the land of water saver toilets, which may do wonders for rationing and conservation but don't help for squat when it comes to squeezing out the bean dip. Now, I pride myself on my commitment to outstanding bowel movements. In fact, I'm known coast to coast as a guy who takes great pleasure in destroying public toilets whenever the opportunity presents itself (just ask the employees of a certain Taco Mayo in Oklahoma City if you need further details)... But in Texas, the rules of defecation have been changed. It's all about squirting a little here and there, then holding on to the rest for later, no matter how painful it may be... Words can't describe the relief I felt upon returning to Kansas, where I was finally able to see a full-length turd through to its satisfying conclusion.

And with that positive mental image-- my gift to you this holiday season-- I'm off to begin my daily workout: A quick jog into the kitchen to pour myself a drink, followed by several reps of heavy lifting as I put the glass to my lips. Ahh... Feel the burn.

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