Eating Barbequed Iguana

I’m on a mexican radio
I wish I was in Tiajuana
Eating barbequed iguana
I’d take requests on the telephone
I’m on a wavelength far from home
I feel a hot wind on my shoulder
I dial it in from south of the border
I hear the talking of the dj
Can’t understand just what does he say?
Radio radio…
—- Wall of Voodoo, Mexican Radio

The Tennessee Williams quote on the wall at the Gallier House, Royal Street, French Quarter, New Orleans.

I wrote about this on my Facebook page back in February – but I don’t think a lot of people followed the link.

At any rate, this story started back in 2012, on a trip to New Orleans. I ran into a group at the St. Vincent’s Guest House and soon was involved in a one-day writing marathon – walking around with a handful of folks, scribbling away.

I was inspired by the experience to the point I organized a Writing Marathon or two of my own, here in Dallas.

Then finally, in July of last year, I was able to swing attending the full week-long Writing Marathon Retreat – branching out from the Gallier House to write across the French Quarter and beyond.

One day, the group I had gone with that day stopped for the fixed-price lunch at Antoine’s (highly recommended if you are in New Orleans in the summer). I remembered an incident that had happened in that very restaurant thirty five years earlier. I pulled out my pen and notebook wrote up my memories in the bar.

At the end of each day, there was the option for a few folks to stand up and read from what they had written earlier. I put my name on the list and read the story from Antoine’s. The readings were recorded.

Then, in February, a selection of the recordings were played on KSLU radio.

You can listen to the 2017 readings AT THIS LINK – If you want to skip ahead, my reading is at about the 14:10 point.

If that link doesn’t work – go here – http://www.kslu.org/awards_recognition/index.html and click on “2017 Writing Marathon.”

People have asked me about the siren at the end of my reading. That isn’t a sound effect – the fire engine actually went by on the street outside, siren blaring, as I finished.

Now I need to get going and register for the 2018 Retreat. So much fun.

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Willing to be Jaunty

“Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you.”
― Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

Klyde Warren Park Dallas, Texas

Klyde Warren Park
Dallas, Texas

Food Truckapalooza

There was a lot going on over the weekend. One of the events I had circled on my calendar was a Food Truck Festival in the parking lot at Valley View Mall. It looked like fun. One of the selling points was that they were bringing some trucks in from Austin, a famous Mecca of Gourmet Foodtruckery.

After work on Friday, the weather was threatening, light rain and boiling clouds, but Candy and I drove over anyway. We paid the five bucks to get in and I put the wristband on. Now, I knew I’d be careful because I wanted to come back on Saturday and didn’t want to pay another entrance fee.

What is it worth to sleep with a Tyvek writstband on? Should I have simply torn the thing off and just handed over another fiver? I’m too cheap so I wore the thing.

I haven’t worn a watch for years – ever since I read a news item that said young people didn’t wear watches because they rely on their smart phones. I want to be cool. With a wristband on, I kept unconsciously glancing down at my arm for the time – the old muscle memories of wearing a watch are still there.

Friday evening at the Food Truck festival had a healthy crowd but not too many. The trucks had small lines – a short wait to order and a couple minutes for your food. Candy and I could sample a few of the many trucks that were there.

We had sliders from Easy Slider, which were good, and a pulled pork grilled cheese from Jack’s Chowhound, which I liked better than the Steak Frites I had from them before. We tried two kinds of pizza, a thin crust from TX Delizioso and a thicker one from Doughboy’s Pizza. Candy found some ice cream from Short N’ Sweet and then we headed home – full, but none the worse for wear.

On Saturday, Candy was off to New Orleans and I drove down to the Dallas Arboretum to meet with some friends and take some pictures. When that was done, I was hungry, so I headed back north to the Festival.

The crowd was huge. The place was packed and every truck was sporting a long snaking line of food fanatics waiting for their grub.

I knew from experience that lines like that mean the trucks were going to start running out of food soon so I jumped in line for the Crazy Fish truck to get some Sushi. I was lucky, right after I placed my order they had to close down… out of rice. I had their last order (though they were able to open up a few hours later).

While I was eating (I know sushi from a truck sounds odd – but I will eat anything… and the food was good, I’ll write a review in a day or so) the Three Lions truck pulled in and stopped. A line began to form immediately; before they could open a hundred people were queued up. I looked around for something else I had never tried and found a Colombian food truck from San Antonio and had some Platanos Fritos and Chicken with Rice (review to come).

Some friends were supposed to meet me and I called them to warn of the crowds and the trucks running out of food. They said they’d come anyway, but were about an hour out. I was tired and full of food, so I took a little nap in my car, and felt a lot better when my friends arrived.

The choices were getting limited – truck after truck was shuttering down, out of food. We did manage to score some really good Korean Bar-B-Que Tacos from the Chi’Lantro Truck. The Austin trucks did rock the festival, but Dallas isn’t very far behind.

One other truck that we checked out was a new one – the Coolhaus truck, a recent transplant from LA. They had excellent ice cream sandwiches – but I liked their design – pink roof and brushed steel, plus the fact they are named after the architect that designed the Wyly Theater.

With this many people willing to pay five dollars apiece simply for the opportunity to wait in line up to an hour to get food out of a truck…. I can’t help but think this gourmet food truck thing still has some legs in Dallas.