NASCARing way to the airport yields pole position

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Talladega, I got all jacked up on Mountain Dew have decided to drive more like Kurt Busch and less like Hoke. This may scare you since I am already aggressive driver after having logged over 1600 miles during The Great Croatia Road Trip on the Formula Un track that is the A4. GTF out of the left lane already if you’re not hauling ass. For real. Move it on over; your bumper is clogging up my radiator.

Training is going well so far. I drove to an airport in the wee morning hours for the second time in as many days. Both trips cranked up near the top of the five o’clock hour, which is great because traffic and cops are scarce then. Monday’s trip involved returning Scotty B to Hobby for his flight back to NYC’s Lower East Side, and today I shipped out to InterGalactic for a day trip to Dallas.

On Monday, the closure of I-45 South due to a chemical spill forced me to take to the downtown surface streets. Ain’t no thang. I have played Grand Theft Auto enough to know how to drive down a sidewalk when necessary and scare the shit of pedestrians but not kill anyone. Plus, Houston still has the high speed asphalt that was installed a few years ago for the Houston Texaco Grand Prix. A 40 mile round trip in 50 minutes, including the little detour. Not too shabby.

Today’s trip was even more better (yes, that is proper grammar; look for it in the soon to be released JB el JB’s 21st Century Rules of Grammar for Pissing Off Rhetoric Nerds). The Loop was wide open this morning as I departed FPR en route to InterGalactic save for the one lady in the SUV who was applying eye make-up while creeping down the concrete. Do that shit at home or when you’re in gridlock not when the lanes are wide open. Here’s a thought: if you hauled ass to the office, you could put your make up on the bathroom or your office. Alas, I digress.

A fluid 610 yielded a more barren Hardy Toll Road. I do love me some toll roads. It don’t get no better (shut it, nerd) than multiple lanes of grooved concrete and an EZ Tag. If motorists are willing to pay a toll to drive on a road, then they should be allowed to go as fast as they want. So, that’s what I did. I raced my way down the straight away and through the Greens Road toll plaza until I caught up with some cars that were about to go a lap down.

Clearly driving on the NASCAR circuit is tougher than civilian driving, but at least those folks are on the track with people who’s thumbs and heads are not firmly ensconced in rectal tissue. If only everyone knew that a race was in progress. Maybe I should equip The Heater with a scrolling LED sign that says GTFOMW in reverse lettering. The Heater still sliced through the crowd of wheeled monoliths handily taking the checkered flag with ease.

Pole Position Parking
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
Normally my Race to the Airport victories only offer a few extra minutes to stop into the President’s Club for some free papers and vodka tonics. Today was special. Today the parking gods recognized my AJ Foyt like prowess by awarding me Pole Position Parking. Here’s the photo to prove it. The E Terminal security checkpoint lies through those glass doors and 20 yards to the left.

I had time for a shoe shine and a trip to the PC to track down some OJ and the papers, the papers. Name that movie and I’ll boil you some crawfish.

Incidentally, I have emailed my state legislator and federal representatives requesting that bump drafting be made legal on interstates. I only hope that this gets passed before April 27th so that I can get some practice in before the road trip to ‘Dega.

Thousands of tasty crawfish slaughtered Saturday

Bucket o'crawfish
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
Friends and neighbors (hopefully the ones to the right are still friends) piled into the backyard expanse at Flying Pig Ranch for the First Annual Crawfish @ The Ranch party last Saturday. A crowd numbering in the tens of people (~47ish) devoured thousands of crawfish that had been berled properly. Berled properly as in the water was seasoned and the crawfish were plopped in. And, not as in the effed up Texas/Shreveport way which is basically like dropping them into a hot tub for a quick bath and then coating them with cayenne so as to light your lips on fire. I only recommend that method if your girlfriend wants lips like Jolie, but you can't afford the collagen. Otherwise, "you get 'F'," to quote The Manatee.

UnFortunately no F's were given at FPR. I shook off a light hangover to go meet my "source," we'll call him Cajun Gourmet (CG) in a parking lot near my house. Freshly printed cash was exchanged for five sacks of mudbugs weighing a combined 175 pounds. Big ups to El Pedro for lending me the trizzuck for the pizzup otherwise The Heater's trunk would have smelled like someone doused it in Sex Panther. Took me a month to get that smell to go away last time.

After brunch at Buffalo Grille, the NOLA contingent got the house to party status throughout the afternoon while I stressed out about operationalizing the event. I definitely need to work on my "holy shit there's a zillion people coming over to my place and I'm not prepared" overreactions. LP, can you coach me on that? PTL for TDO and Tracey for wrangling the patio and hanging the lights and cleaning up the den and all the other stuff that I didn't do but took credit for.

Guests started arriving just after TDO finished the party mix, and just as I was getting into the shower (number 2 on the day). I know what you're thinking: why in the Wide World of Sports would you shower before boiling crawfish all evening? It's simple, stupid. It make me feel pretty. And, I believe in that prolonging the shower exponentially increases the stink.

The first batch was ready right on time at 6:30 in the PM. As usual the first batch was light on the spice as I felt out the audience's capacity for melted fillings. The heat increased steadily and resulted in the third batch being the best, which was stellar because most folks were just about finished. Fortunately, the Crazy Lady and Rational Man (he likes to party though) brought dozens of jello shots and shooters for folks to cool their tongues.

The fourth batch came out as the clock approached 9:30, I think. I was a bit nervous about having ~35 pounds leftover. I may need to turn in my paddle if that many were left. To my surprise large appetites materialized out of thin air; the AssMan anchored the table in polishing off the final critters.

175 pounds of crawfish, ~12 pounds of potatoes, five dozen mini-corns, eight artichokes, eight onions, two bushels of shrooms and lots of garlic were consumed on the back porch. Four rolls of terlet paper were consumed in the throne room. Hmmm. I wonder if there is a correlation.

AJ is hip hop
AJ is hip hop
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
The patio scene blew up as the berlin crowd dissappated. The NOLA contingent (TDO, Archbishop Pummel & Scotty B [via NYC]) joined forces with locals El Boliviano, NellDog, The Murph & AJ [on weekend furlough from Dallas] to smoke seven packs of Marlboro's and suck down some suds. The old man in me came out around midnight when I got nervous that my Mystery Neighbors may get pissed about the howling, story telling and other general high decibel carousing that was going on. I caved to The TDO Vortex and we moved the party down to Doghouse Tavern.

Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
I'm not ashamed to say that I'd never been to the Doghouse Tavern before. When I lived in Midtown (pre-parking meter phase when Post Midtown was 20% occupied), the place had opened at the same time as Front Porch which was across the skreet from my place. Why walk blocks, when you can trip and fall into a bar? I am glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the crowd.

Sure, sure, there were the recent Midtownians, who I like to call assholes with credit. Yes, that is a stereotype. But if the shit fits... Can't you act like you've had a real paycheck and lived in a decent apartment for more than a week? I know that you haven't, but can't you pretend? Sorry. Email me if you want the full take. Better yet, take me out in Midtown on a Friday night and I'll show you exactly the type of folks I'm ranting about. But, I digress.

El Boliviano, Nell Dog & Pummel
El Boliviano, NellDog & Pummel
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
The night was saved by the bar maiden. She was your typical girl next door who was probably working her way through an engineering degree and just took this bartending gig as a way to pay for her scientific calculator. She definitely didn't use the money for clothes that fit because everything was at least one size too small.

Not a big fan of tank tops I am. But, there are exceptions to every rule. Scotty summed it up best. "Her tits are dancing like rain drops on a puddle." I was actually surprised he could articulate that since he was standing on his tongue.

The night closed with a blur as did the weekend. TDO and Tracey evaporated. AJ, Scotty and I headed back to the ranch. To Whom It May Concern: no, I was not drunk when I drove home. I took it easy on porpoise. I dig the love though. Thanks.

The next morning brought carnage in the house and in the yard. Crawfish were mashed into the lawn throughout the yard. Pummel was so hungover she was almost parallel to the floor.

There was only one solution for this situation: BBQ. I'll spare you the gory details, but Goode Company was just what the doctor ordered. The secret's in the sauce.

So there you have it. "That's what went down" to use the parlance of our times. If you didn't make it, don't sweat it. There's always next year.

Shameless plug: Jealous of the fun we had? Need your own berlin rig? Checkout BoilCrawfish.com for all your crawfish berling needs. Tell them JB sentchya.


High on the hog at Houston Rodeo

ZZ Top
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
I bought Dad a grown-up type birthday present after years of buying him dress socks, JC Penny underwear (it has to be from JC Penny) or sometimes nothing more than a card. We saw ZZ Top last night at the finale of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

This wasn't my first Houston Rodeo, but Dad's a rodeo nut so this was the first time that I have ever checked out everything the rodeo has to offer. We started with sausage on a stick for breakfast and washed it down with Diet Coke. Mmmm good. I think meat on a stick is the national food of Texas. Fortunately the Livestock Show was only fifty yards and a bathroom break away.

The Livestock Show part of the rodeo kicks butt. You wanna watch little kids wrangle large mammals or birds? Gotcha covered. You need bridles for your horse, bride or child? Gotcha covered. Need a little something special for that little someone special? Yep, gotcha covered. How about a horse trailer slash apartment? Duh.

I was floored by the amount of gear being peddled at the event. I thought country folks were broke? That's what they say in the songs anyway. Must not be since many of the fancy horse and cuddle trailers were sold - some to the tune of $116,000. Esscuse me?

We slid by the Corral Club for a steak dinner prior to checking out the carnival. The steak was well seasoned, but well done; I like mine to moo. The beer was free and cold as was the AC inside the tent. I thought about keeping one of the free programs, but it had more ads than the middle of the newspaper and weighed at least five pounds.

The carnival is always a spectacle of great proportions, but show me a carnival that isn't a spectacle and I'll buy you the Midland Tridge. Kids were haul assing around singing a chorus of "I want this" while teenagers strutted around with their jeans hanging down off their knees looking miserable as hell but not wanting to go home. Put your fucking ball cap on straight already. You know when wearing your baseball cap all cocked up to one side was cool? Right after you won the lottery.

Mullet? Check
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
Lines started building at the gates about an hour before the rodeo was set to start. I love waiting in line but only at the rodeo. I'm not kidding. The people watching is stellar, particularly if you're at the back of the line. You have the best excuse to check out the 1,500 folks in line in front of you, which is the perfect time to find great mullets in the crowd. I love me some mullets.

Extreme Bull Riding finals were on Sunday. Those kids are nuts. 2,200 pounds of bull versus 155 pounds of teenager. The bulls usually won, but those riders are fearless. I expected the guys to pack it up after one of their buddies took some horns to the back and face (he looked pretty OK for having just kissed a bull head-on at 20 mph), but they kept standing there and waiting their turn. What the?

In the chute
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
The kid that won looked to be 20 at most. I've got socks older than him, but me and my socks didn't take home ~$16,000 for two eight second rides. He deserved it. The bulls he drew were tough. It looked like he was strapped to the top of a piece of popcorn that weighed a ton and smelled like bullshit. I hope his wife is a chiropractor.

ZZ Top took the stage just after six o'clock and blasted Ring of Fire to the 60,000+ folks in the crowd. The old kids can still rock their hometown crowd 38 years after they started. The set list was stacked with fan favorites: Cheap Sunglasses, Pearl Necklace, I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide, Legs, Sharp Dressed Man, Tush, La Grange, Just Got Paid. I'm pretty sure the show closed with Viva Las Vegas, but it may have been Tush. I was too distracted by the drunk lady in front of me who looked like she was about to fall into the dirt while she was chair dancing. NOA would eat her lunch on the Pro Chair Dancing tour.


I'm doing that drywall up in Las Colinas

Bird is ready
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
Back in the D for the week teaching rookies how to consult. The newbies are pretty quick to pick things up and eager beavers to get their first assignments. My memories of those times, the end of the salad days, are vague - nearly lost after about a million frequent flier miles and lots of shitty fried vittles.

Still, one can't help but get jazzed up about work when you're talking about it all the time. The war stories - both good and bad - are the most vivid memories. 'Member that time I flattened the tire of my Avis car while doing donuts in the middle of the icy street in Bartlesville? That was the same project on which Jake and I drank all the Diet Mountain Dew from all seven Coke machines in the building about three days after they were stocked. "Chip, I'm all jacked up on Mountain Dew." Those were both good times. Fuck you's to the grill from Mary in front of the training team qualifies as bad.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I lived. Suck it, Mary.

Thank you eight pound six ounce newborn Baby Jesus.


At least I got the Singles

Someone needs to write to the American Heart Association, the Surgeon General and the Drug Enforcement Agency regarding the possibility of narcotics having been added to Kraft Singles.

In case you were deprived as a child because your parents cared a lot about proper nutrition, Kraft Singles are delectable slices of processed cheese food trapped in a cellophane case of protection. Contrary to the branding scheme, they are not actually food; rather, they are slices of yellow crack.

A recent trip to Kroger (pronounced KRO-jzay for those of who aren't blessed) resulted in the acquisition of 16 slices of heaven. Numbers quickly dwindled upon arrival at the home base.

Forget Lay's. I challenge any lover of pretend cheese to eat only one slice straight out of the fridge and walk away.


Weekend of decadence leads to week of blah

I hate it when killer weekends give way to PITA weeks. Friday night Houstonist hosted the Light Rail Pub Crawl to celebrate Texas Independence Day. Saturday night was H-town's bachelor party at Lauberge du Lac casino. Sunday afternoon I shot my mouth off as the emcee for an ultimate tourney at Kick's Indoor. Monday was blah, and today I just about had an aneurysm.

SMC floated the idea for a light rail pub crawl past me years ago. I finally acted on the advice Friday. We had about 40 crawlers and roughly 10 staff ride the rails to bars and get a bit drizzunk. The night ended at Warren's with bourbons, drinking games, beer, chicks, slobbering, pizza and a ride home from El Boliviano.

I woke up way to early with a dehydration hangover and a Frank's Pizza tummy ache. I still had to pick up a pimp shirt from the cleaners, finish the road trip mix for the limo ride to Lake Chuck and grab a bite to eat to lay the base for more cocktails. Fortunately everything was finished in time to rush off and lose money.

Fast forwarding past losing one fifty (which would have bought at least 8 gallons of paint that I need to apply to the inside of the crib) to the end of the night brings us to the ride home. Eddie, the driver (not chauffering as none was done), was screaming back to Houston at 200 mph in a 12 foot stretch job containing six highly intoxicated individuals cackling like hyenas at Spies Like Us.

The car fire on I-10 brought that caravan to a screeching halt behind a convoy of parked cars. The traffic jam was horrible; I've seen more movement in glaciers. Seriously, who lights their car on fire on the highway? Didn't your folks teach you that you should only light things on fire in your own backyard or at someone's house after you have a disagreement with them about who's fondue is better?

The delay set us back by about an hour and afforded us the opportunity to squeeze in The Wedding Singer before we got home. El Boliviano didn't have time to stock the limo with water so I drank a Coke during the layover. That was a great choice. Drinking that Coke was like drinking OJ after tripping. I finally conked out at 6 AM.

AJ Mo Betta woke me up at the crack of Noon with a text message informing me that my bullshitting skills were required as early as 1:15 PM for the start of the 2nd Annual Houston Co-ed Indoor Ultimate tourney. I'd done this last year and had a blast calling the action and lighting up people on the field for bad outfits, crappy throws and pretty much anything else that I thought needed lambasting. Thus, I'd agreed to do it before I was fully aware of the hangover lag.

The tourney went well. SMC's team won just like the bookies thought. The MCing went well, but wasn't nearly as funny as last year. I went home and dined with Los Pedros before passing out which brings us to the current week of blah.

Monday was Monday, but not a super duper PITA Monday. It was just Monday, the day that everyone in a nine-to-five job hates because it means you have to go back to work and can't get a haircut at a real barbershop. Don't worry, Monday. I'm pushing for a four day work week to start on Tuesday so that she can feel some of your pain. You need a break today.

Ah, today is Tuesday. Work may have started yesterday but Tuesday is now the new Monday. I just figured out that my furnace was connected to the same breaker as the 220 wall socket that I disconnected, which means that I froze my ass off again last night. My hippo-pot-a-MOOSE has been lost somewhere in Africa since KLM lost the Dr. & Mrs. DFT's luggage.

And, the two ton cherry on top of this shit sundae was getting lit up on IM by our office manager for leaving meeting notes on a whiteboard for which I was not responsible. Yeah, I wrote them. But, the big boss was to have erased it. Instead he wrote "Do not erase. JB" Oh, yeah. It's semi-confidential stuff about a client who happens to be in the office today.

See what happens when you yell at me and I can't punch you in the mouth? I get pissed and have to vent which leads to me rambling and sounding like a whiny bitch.

Now REO Speedwagon is blasting "Keep on Loving You" on my iTunes. Great. I'm going to jump in front of a steamroller and hope that it's faster than the one in Austin Powers.