Tuesday, October 31, 2006

From the Longest Crawl

"Life......broken down into its constituent years, days, hours, minutes, plotted on a graph, the rhythms resemble one another from moment to moment, and year to year; we have good days and bad days, minor ups and downs as a rule, puncutated by wild, inexplicable turns of fortune; peaks and troughs where your life crashes, or springs into a period of uncontrollable growth and change. And if you're British, to help you climb the slopes, and help smooth the slide into the valleys, there's booze."

From Ian Marchant (who, I would predict, would come across as a bit of a prat in real life, but who, in the printed word, is pretty entertaining).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Return to the Aruss of Tex

Whuhh whuhh whuhhhh work has taken me back to the southwest for the first time in a while. A desert roam for a few days in Nude Mex and then east to the Arse of Tex for many miles flitting between the concrete cities on concrete highways.

The things one generally misses about the deeesert are the lifting of the humidty helmet that you’re virtually unaware of elsewhere (the air’s particuarly light and fluffy (and the light particularly airy and fluff-free)) and the big sky, sudden-mountain, ebb and flow landscapes. Show off sunsets and mountain cloud displays tickle the retinas in NM. It’s generally a crappy place to live long-term, mind, due mainly to the cultural isolation and dip-spit local menalities. Yung Selks is finding this to her cost, natch. She gracefully loaned a few pages of oily newspaper for me to shelter under in Albusquirty while I was there, and showed me a good time out at a bus stop and in a 7-11. Her recent brain reboot and consequent fatique scuppered my plan to record her dulcet tones reading her brain leavings for future moosakal useage, but I’ll capture a chunk of her wordage on wav at some point. I did capture her nebb.

I catapulted south down to Lost Clueless to see the Outlaws and a visiting Fleeciebeast. We admired backyard motors-on-bricks, saw old mates in Historic-with-a-capital-H Mesilla, and flew into a storm from El Paso to Houston a couple of days later. When we finally arrived in Hobby, the streets were underwater, cars were floating, and the river police were rescuing dolphins from the Galeria. Rumours among the milling baggage claim mongers at Hobby had it that between 12 and 16 inches had spat down on the city that day.

TX is still the land of big hair, bigger highways, and y'alling. And it's been a tad of a shock to be back in full-on car cultchahh – makes yer glad to live in places where the auto isn't a necessity for functionality. While there’re many natural/semi-natural wonders around, strip mall is what one can easily imagine as the dominant feature of the Texan landscape.

Has been a few years since I've been in Austin, the liberal island in the sea of Texan Shrubness, and was good to dip into its downtown thang with Chumplick and see a few of the faces of the Chosen Family that I've not for too long. Few folk have sprogged sprogs, grown dogs, bought property etc. since I was last there. Only drawback was being driven into by a young woman at a pedestrian crossing. Her vehicle ended up much worse off than mine and was a pretty crappy start to her birthday getting slapped with a You’ve Just Run Into the Back of Someone Else’s Car ticket. Luckily no one hurt and we could both safely drive away after talking with the local plod and being given the reems of obligatory paperwork to crunch through.

Have also returned to the strange environs of Aggieland in Bryan and College Station: Nice Place to Leave for the first time in almost a decade. A few buildings have shot up, but pretty much unchanged there in Brazos Co. The Wranglers, cowboy hats, and Hitler Youthesque corps of cadets still abound on the TAMU campus. I ran into a good number of familiar faces from the past during a brief, transient skip through town and old work haunts.

Sat now, in Houston, trying to find a hole in the weather to fly through in order to return northeastwards.

Completely unrelated quote of the day from the lips of Bruce Robinson:
“When you look through the binoculars of American entertainment, it’s stuffed with fear. Hollywood is basically about Yanks running away from special effects.”