C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hibernation Time

It's cold, it's dark, it's winter, and I don't much want to talk to anybody.  So blog posts may be a bit scarce for a while until this old bear gets over it or spring arrives, whichever happens first.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Pork Boys Do Pescado Florentina

That's the name we came up with for our main dish Thursday night, with an Italian nod to my truckbuddy Frank, who came up with this totally, postively, absolutely scrumptious recipe for fish cooked on a bed of spinach and rice.  Too easy, and so damn good!  You fellas who cook have got to try this, you will love it - and it's good for ya, too.

The ex-roommate, being the kind of inventive guy he is, couldn't help putting his own little Tex-Mex spin on it:  to Frank's recipe he added tomatoes and lime juice and some Mexican seasonings, which were just enough to give the perch (Frank uses cod) a delightful undercurrent of zingy flavor without overwhelming the very succulent fish, which by this method comes out steamed to perfection - and the rice and spinach are both very delicately flavored by the fish. 

Man, I just can't tell you guys how larupping good this is - trust me, you gotta try it for yourself.  Today.  You won't be sorry, and it's a practically foolproof recipe.

The XR surprised me with some delightful little quichettes, as we call them, for appetizers:  minature quiches filled with oh I don't know what all - eggs of course, and I think spinach and ham and mushrooms.  Whatever.  Awfully good to start a meal with, or just to snack on anytime.  He actually made a whole big tray of them, but these are all that were left by the time dinner was ready.

We also decided we wanted cheese grits to go with the fish dish, and that was a very good idea indeed, as you can see.  It tasted just as good as it looks:  the perfect accompaniment to our main course, yummy, gooey, cheesey, and lightly browned for a slight crunch.

My big contribution was another Southern favorite, butter beans and bacon - okay, so the beans came out of a can, but they were good just the same, seasoned with the bacon and some butter and black pepper.  And I slaved over fixing some homemade bake-n-serve rolls too, I want you to know.  We love those, but hot corn muffins would have been a good choice for this meal, too.

Of course we had some White Zin to wash it all down with.  And for dessert, which I didn't get a pic of, vanilla ice cream with caramel and chocolate syrups on a piece of warmed double-chocolate loaf cake.  Yeah, so it was all store-bought, so what - we enjoyed the hell out of it anyway.

I'm going to see if I can't get the XR to blog those recipe versions and share the bonne cuisine with you guys.  It was some kinda good, I tell you what.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Waitin' for the Weekend

David White

Still your Head Trucker's ideal man, after all these years.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Drive: Jersualem

I had intended to start the new year with this but I forgot. Till now.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Just Dreamin'

I read something long ago that has turned out to be very true: there comes a point in middle age when you realize that a great many things you once may have dreamed about will never, ever come to pass. No doubt this happens to all of us but the very highest achievers.

For example, once upon a time, you might have dared to hope that you would someday have a house big enough to have its own well-appointed bar, and wouldn't this look awfully nice in there, with you lounging around in a velvet jacket and slippers and pipe, saying:  Another piƱa colada, James.

And there may have been a time when you actually believed that you would would one day have the heart to take up piano lessons again, and if you did, wouldn't this be grand to make music on?

And again, you may have somehow longed for some lovely, solid home with an actual fireplace and then wouldn't this room be something nice to come home to and snuggle up in with a cozy book, or dog, or lover?

Although who could possibly keep those white chairs white for long?  Not you, certainly.  So perhaps it is really for the best that these things did not come to pass.  It may be that you would only have made a mess of it, after all.  Had you torn through the iron gates of life, you would perhaps have had only a broken gate to show for it.  Had you dared to eat a peach, you would have dribbled the juice down your shirt front.

And would it have been worth it, after all?

A spilled drink, a broken key, a soiled fabric, a cold draft, a spent flame - reality has that annoying way of intruding on even the cheeriest of dreams.

Well, no matter. Perhaps the kindest thing we can do for ourselves in this mortal life is to dream beautifully. Some say life itself is but a dream.

What do you say?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Waitin' for the Weekend

Mark Everett

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: Roman Holiday

The bad news is that Steve is cutting back to every two weeks on his reviews.  The good news is that this week's review is of another one of your Head Trucker's faves.  And it's amazing how studly a beard makes Eddie Albert look.


Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert help a princess discover the magic of Rome and Audrey Hepburn win an Oscar in William Wyler's classic, ROMAN HOLIDAY.

Shot on location, featuring Hepburn's American debut and with all the attention to detail and flourishes that marked Wyler's greatest successes, this rollicking comedy and travelogue is a perfect selection for Oscar season and one of the sweetest romances of the 1950's.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Still Cold

What greeted me at dawn's early light when I stepped out to feed the birds.  Temp was 18 and wind chill was 9.  And buddy it felt like it, too.

Going up only to 30 today, won't be above freezing again till Friday I think. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Feels Like Zero

I'll say it fucking well does.  Just went out to feed the birds with only a longsleeved T-shirt on, and holy shit! That was like stepping into an icicle bath.  You can believe I got my ass back inside pronto, buddies.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow Day in Texas

At the moment, 30 degrees here, headed down to 23 tonight, and a high tomorrow of 35.  First time it's snowed this winter.  Last year by this point it had snowed 6 or 7 times.

The birds are having a frozen dinner.
Back yard, about 4:30 p.m.
Front yard
There was a big bunch of sparrows sitting in the wisteria bush by the curb, but they all flew off the moment before I snapped this pic.
The ex-roommate calls this sycamore a "planet tree."  They're all snow planets today.

And I took these pics before today's snow.  All the time I've been here, there's been a squirrel threesome living in the back yard.  Figures.  I call them Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

As well as a pair of cardinals - but curiously, they only come to eat at dawn and dusk, so it's hard to get a good picture of them.  Here's the mister, rather wary of the camera.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It Can Still Be Done

This may be old news to some of you city boys who keep up with all the latest developments, but your Head Trucker is awed by his discovery today that a new building just went up in New York City that is actually - beautiful.  My God, what a concept.  Here's the pics to prove it:

Ralph Lauren had the new digs put up to house his womenswear collection at 72nd Street and Madison, across from his existing store in the old Rhinelander mansion, which is now going to be exclusively for menswear. Actually, I think the new place has a more masculine look, and it sure is handsome. It's faced with Indiana limestone in Beaux Arts style - done by a New York architectural firm that up till now has been known for glass-and-steel postmodern monstrosities.

I don't care anything about Ralph Lauren's brand-name stuff - I've never seen anything he made that I had the least hankering for. But I sure do like his style of building. Who knew that this kind of construction could even be done anymore? But you see it certainly can - if people want to. They just haven't wanted to for the last sixty years or so, and more's the pity.  Architecture on a human scale, with details lovingly crafted, adds a great deal to the enjoyment of life - unlike the slick, faceless, soulless creations of recent decades that have littered the urban wasteland for far too long now.

But this warms my heart, a work of fine craftsmanship - my hat's off to all the guys who worked so hard and so well on this job, especially the stonemasons and iron workers.  I love it, hope more architects will be inspired to do likewise. More pics of this beauty here and here, check it out.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Waitin' for the Weekend

Standard Time: 'Tain't What You Do (It's the Way that You Do It)

The ex-roommate was asking me about an old song the other night, which led me to looking up a lot of my swing favorites on YouTube.  Here's a megahit from 1939 that ought to raise a smile on your faces, boys - ostensibly about music, but pretty risque for that day and time, see what you think.

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: Rebecca

Steve Hayes reviews Hitchcock's 1940 classic, which is one of your Head Trucker's all-time favorites:
Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier star in Alfred Hitchcock's first American production, David O' Selznick's version of Daphne DuMaurier's REBECCA. An extremely faithful and glamorous adaptation of the bestselling suspense classic, REBECCA was shot in the grand tradition that had been set the previous year by Selznick's Oscar winning production of GONE WITH THE WIND. Eager to make a successful follow-up, Selznick imported British director Alfred Hitchcock and set him on his way to a brilliant career in America by giving him the only picture he ever directed that would win the Best Picture Oscar. Besides the two glamorous leads, the supporting cast includes George Sanders, Gladys Cooper, Nigel Bruce, the hilarious Florence Bates in her screen debut as Mrs. Van Hopper and the unforgettable Dame Judith Anderson as the evil housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. Thanks to Selznick, REBECCA is lavish, romantic filmmaking at its best, directed by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dan Savage on Sex, Religion, and Bullying

An interview with Dan by a Chicago TV station at year's end:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: San Francisco

Steve Hayes brings back the shower boy, and starts the new year off with a review of the 1936 disaster classic San Francisco:
The great earthquake of 1906 provides the backdrop for a classic tale of adventure and romance starring Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald and Spencer Tracy in W.S. Van Dyke's SAN FRANCISCO. Written by Anita Loos, filmed with a cast of thousands , amazing special effects, a top flight supporting cast including Jack Holt and the wonderful Jessie Ralph and with all three stars at the height of their magnetism, SAN FRANCISCO offers the type of legendary Hollywood glamor that only MGM could provide. Happy New Year from everyone at STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies!
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