Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Yes, I'm still alive, Ive been out with a sinus infection and a lovely stomach virus.
I'll be back soon, right after round three of midterms :)
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Rules and Mediocrity
Rosa Parks, 92, died of natural causes at her home in Detroit, Michigan. For those of us a little light on history, Rosa Parks was a woman, a black woman, who in 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, was arrested for not relinquishing her seat on a bus to a white male passenger.
I know, 50 years later it seems hard to believe that this could have happened, but it did. Her arrest lead to a year long strike against the bus system in Montgomery, which eventually caused enough financial pain that the segregation laws on public transportation were lifted. You might remember the young man who instigated this reform, Martin Luther King. And so started the civil rights movement.
It was not all rainbows and puppies for this movement and it didn't happen all at once. Years later this reform would take new spins and one would be branded integration. A young white boy living in Mobile, Alabama would be bused 45 minutes to the 'other side of town' to a predominantly black neighborhood in the name of integration. The bus the boy took would routinely have bricks thrown at it by angry neighborhood folk, angry black neighborhood folk. Those same folk would protest outside the school, daily. They would take their happy black children out of that school and move them to another. Now the young white boy was being bused 45 minutes to the 'other side of town' to a black neighborhood to go to a mostly white school. The boy's other friends who lived in the non-integration bound part of the boy's neighborhood and who went to the local school would feel sorry for him. This was the other side of integration and that white boy was me.
What did I care? I had no idea what integration was, I just thought the bus ride was fun and the new school was huge and in a cool neighborhood with lots of trees. I went to this school for 3 years and loved it. I made great friends, great black friends. They taught me how to dance and introduced me to fun music like the Isley Brothers, Funkadelic and the Ohio Players. My best friend, LaSheri, who lived in the angry black neighborhood, would educate me in the latest fashions, which my mom would then go out and buy for me. My mom drew the line when I asked her for an Afro.
But its what all the groovy kids are doing, MOM!!!
It would be years before I realized I was in the middle of a multi-decade time bomb. Integration did not go smoothly during that time nor the years following. After the fact I heard many horror stories from both sides of the color line. But still I'm glad that in some small way I unwittingly participated in what Rosa Parks started. And I wonder today if she had reliquished her seat on that bus, would history have played out the way it did. Would we have advanced to the place where we are today? Its hard to say but my guess is that it would have taken much longer.
What I admire about Rosa Parks was her ability to stand. She broke the rules because the rules made no sense to her. And really, the only thing to gain from slavishly following rules and blindly conforming to the status quo is a smooth, calculated path to mediocrity.
Rest well Rosa.
Pic: Me with my puppies - Mobile, Alabama 1975
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Noone ever visits Dallas. So why in a 4 day span do I have a friend from Austin, an aunt from Nashville and my brother (in law) from Cincinatti?
I'll be back after this hosting stint.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Losing 200 Pounds
I know Noeha is going to kill me for posting these pictures but I think its important to many people out there in a 'life goes on' capacity. She is busy with her son's birthday this weekend so she won't read this until Monday :)
Noeha has been carefully considering the prospect of dating over the past few months, not really sure what to expect. Natural questions for someone who exited the dating scene for a chunk of time to do the marriage thing. Who will find me attractive, who will I find attractive, what age ranges are available, what backgrounds? They must appreciate travel, languages and be open to new experiences. There was also the fantasy physical form: tall, dark hair and handsome.
Life is funny. The first person to ask our Noeha out was a 6'4", dark-haired, German speaking man from Switzerland (on the right). I might add that he is 25. Go Noeha!! :)
Noeha is so shy and introverted, that is why she didn't meet these people on her night out at Zsa Zsa.
Like I told her before, in reference to her ex husband.
That is best 200 pounds you ever lost!
Life really does go on, and frequently its better, just ask Noeha.
Scraping W For Hotties
I really need to start carrying my camera everywhere. I missed a priceless photo op in the campus parking lot yesterday.
I parked between the two SUVs, feeling a little claustrophobic, considering my car could fit into the back of either. One SUV had a young man attached to the bumper. The young man had a paint scraper. He was scraping a W 04 sticker off the back window. I loved it.
Me: Feeling guilty about your choice, are you?
Kid: Huh? Oh, no man I didn't vote for him.
Me: Why the sticker?
Kid: My dad gave me this car to get back and forth to school.
Me: Ah, feeling guilty about his choice then.
Me: Good point but why are you selling a vehicle you aren't paying for?
Kid: I can't afford the $110 a week to get back and forth!
Me: $110 a week, Holy Crap! (remind me not to complain about my $40 a week)
Kid (laughing): Yeah, and its impossible to pick up the hotties with this on the back of my car!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The countdown begins. There are only 8 more shopping days until Tara exits her 20's.
Its been a pleasure knowing Tara since she was a wee, innocent pup of 23. But then I clandestinely took her to Shades of Grey (a fetish shop) one casual Saturday afternoon for a fun filled hour of riding crop shopping (gag gift for a mutual friend) and we got her over the innocence hump. LOL. She has accomplished much in seven years; a personal transformation into a chica of character and inner strength and an impressive professional transformation into a completely different career. She is now taking on graduate school while working full time and considering a move to a cold state to further her career.
I will be proud to help Tara into her 30th year on the planet by eating cow flesh and listening to country music at Southern Junction in Rockwall, Texas. Sometimes you just have to embrace the cheese in a can, frito pie and coozy with embroidered initials (cuz you don't want someone walking off with your coozy instead of their own coozy as we learned from the great coozy theft brawl in the Fort Worth stockyards).
Happy Twenty 10, Tara!!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Giving Good Face
I was taking a break today in the library and reading one of those disposable articles on the 100 most beautiful people. I learned two things. First, I didn't know who half of the beautiful people were. Secondly, my tastes must be orthogonal to the those making the selections.
Heres my idea of giving good face.
Boys: Colin Farrell, Jake Gyllenhaal, Antonio Banderas, Edge, Matt Dillon, Gael Garcia Bernal, Eric Balfour, Jason Statham, Denzel Washington (50, wow), Jesse Metcalfe.
Girls: Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Daryl Hannah, Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall (81,wow), Halle Berry, Delta Burke, Uma Thurman, Marcia Cross, Salma Hayek.
Afterwards I tried to determine any recurring theme in my selections. None were apparent, except all of the boys had dark hair.
Who do you think gives good face?
Shaken, Not Stirred
Sunday, October 16, 2005
King Of Sushi Ho-Dom
Reikyu Sushi & Bar
5321 E. Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, TX 75206
I've been to Reikyu three times in the past month, an obvious indication that I like.
Location. Convenient if you frequent Angelika Theatre or anything else in the hallowed, post-hip shrine to consumerism known as Mockingbird Station; second floor, end of the walkway South-South-East of Angelika.
Atmosphere. Sleek. It has a laquered wood and stained concrete loft feeling, contrast-stitched with black linen. Progressive, little-heard EuroTrash on the turntable, audible but not conversation-killing levels. Younger but informed staff are professional roll-with-it types who always smile and find solutions to every challenge.
The Plate. Every good sushi ho has a foundation from which they will judge the entire restaurant. Usually this includes several sushi selections and maybe a roll. If the chef can't get these right, there is not going to be a return visit. Unfair, you say? Tough, when you are wearing the bejeweled crown of all Sushi Ho-Dom, you can make up the rules. My do-or-die selections - Yellowtail, Eel and Sea Urchin. Score on all three. I have to admit the Yellowtail is served non-standard with a splash of sesame oil, which visually turned me off but it did enhance the delicate Yellowtail. The Eel was crisp-tender and the smoky-sweet sauce was thankfully minimal rather than swimming. The Sea Urchin was the best I've had, an enormous piece of billowy surf exploded deliciously. (Yeah, I know Sea Urchin, or Uni, is not everyone's thing).
A couple of rolls worth trying. Philadelphia: Big morsels of lightly smoked whole salmon, avocado and cream cheese. Nine: Shrimp tempura, crab and cream cheese mixed and avocado. Avocado: Ok, this was the best Avocado roll I've ever had. Served in a Mu Shu wrapper and dressed up with a subtly spicy and sweet mustard sauce. All rolls were delicious. What I found interesting about the rolls was that they were served with a sweet low-kick wasabi sauce piped around the plate. Good idea that they did not put the sauce on the roll, a little dab on was perfect, more than that would have been overpowering.
Apps are good, but not stellar. We enjoyed Edamame and their version of Pot Stickers(shrimp).
Service. Polite and efficient. On several occassions they were out of something, usually beverages, but they managed to find a worthy sub. My friend Noeha, in preparation for her 'Far East' party, asked them to create a list of items they could cater. They did, they gave her a great estimate for the lot, plus they recommended several items that would hold up better in a 4-5 hour party time frame.
Price. Mostly reasonable, however the Nine roll is small (4-5 pieces) and almost $10. Try it once, just to say you have. I'd expect about $25-30 a head for apps and normal sushi consumption.
Overall: Reikyu is a worthy adversary in a growing lawn of Sushi houses. They do not rival Teppo, which I consider to be the best Sushi in Dallas, but they are leading the pack of second place entries. Good bet for great sushi in a comfortably fashionable setting without having to forfeit your mortgage payment.
Now kids, the rest of this post has to do with my unfortunate reading of the Guidelive review of Reikyu. Its been a long standing joke in my circle of food hos that we use GuideLive only for directions to restaraunts. Why? Because we consistently disagree with the review and generally we find the writing style dull, wandering and outdated. And really, if you want to know about a restaurant, ask someone you know with similar taste who has been there recently.
Here is their review of Reikyu and my very unkind comments, maybe you will see why the joke will obviously continue.
If you're over 35, be forewarned as you enter Reikyu, the sushi bar at Mockingbird Station: You will probably be the oldest cat in the house.
Really? I've been here 3 times and each time there was quite the age spread. On my last visit there were 4 60-something suits dining solo at the bar. And really, who cares, I think we as a society have transcended the age of Fonzie and Ritchie and kiddie hangouts. Maybe she will get to the sushi next?
Whether customer or staff member, everyone at Reikyu is young, young, young. And if youth creates hipness (which it sort of does), then Reikyu has to be the hippest restaurant in Dallas.
Huh? I'm sorry but sounds like (1) You are headed toward a mid-life crisis with the abusive frequency of the words youth and young (2) You are trying to draw some crazy correlation between youth and hipness. Please, I would love to see the statistical data on that out-your-ass assertion. I could swallow a sense of progressive style begets hip but not just youth. Proof By Counterexample: Witness the hoards of 20-something girls I see each and every day with their tight low-rise jeans and cropped, strappy tank tops, looking like muffin tops with back fat. This might be hip in your world but in mine, its just gross.
Mr. Lee is 21. Reikyu is his first restaurant. He's also working on an electrical engineering degree, but after meeting chef Shochi "B.B." Onuki, he became inspired to open a place.
Wow, neat. I'm sure the other 3000 restaurants in Dallas have owners with equally fascinating stories to tell. But you know, as a patron, I am mostly interested in what's on the plate. So, if Mr. Lee isn't wrapped up in some sushi rice and nori, ready to be dipped into some tangy wasabi-spiked soy sauce, I'm not really interested. Maybe she will comment about the sushi next?
Now she is describing some Fusion menu items: Robata Steak and Lobster Paella. OK, I will give her this, they sound good, I could taste them all as she wrote. It is also important to have some non-sushi items available for the friends of sushi hos that have not yet been enlightened to the raw. But again, these are not items I would try until they have proven to me that they can do the basics, which would be, yes, the sushi.
Perhaps it's coincidental, but there's one other thing that all of the staff shares, aside from youth: Nearly everyone who works here has radical hair, be it gelled, streaked, mussed, waved or spiked. Normal hair need not apply.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, make her stop, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Right, so that whole messy, multi-colored hair thing started in the 90's, you really need to get out more, seriously. And again, I'm not sure what this has to do with whats on the plate.
Did she even talk about the sushi? Let me read this again. Oh yes, here it is.
Sushi is passable.
Oh for the love of all that is holy, you have got to be kidding me! Look, when your ass goes to a restaurant with Sushi in the name, I would expect your ass to eat and comment on some sushi!
Huggs and kissies,
The King Of Sushi Ho-Dom
Reikyu Dallas Sushi
HIV Prof Returns
Some of you may remember HIV Prof from the Molecular and Cell Biology of HIV course that I took over the summer. He is definitely my favorite professor of all time. I like that he can get down with language and instantly melt the generation barrier between himself and the cast of 20-somethings in his audience.
HIV Prof is teaching the second half of Molecular and Cell Biology. He started this past Wednesday. Me and friend Lauren (also in the HIV course) took bets on when HIV Prof would unleash his unusually effective technique on the unsuspecting class. It took 5 minutes.
So you see here (pointing to chart) the ribosome basically deficates the protein out of its anus. After protein has been squeezed out of the ribsome's hole, the protein has many paths it can take depending on many factors, including its localization signal. And thats the subject of today's lecture.
Lauren and I were on the floor laughing, I think the rest of the class was in shock momentarily, then HIV prof giggled, his captive audience followed suit.
I love this guy!
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Behind Melrose Hotel
3835 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, TX 75219
When I first moved to Dallas, a native told me the best reason to live in the Oaklawn area is staple eatery, The Bronx. After 13 years, I have to agree. Its been around forever, and unlike every other come-n-go place near the strip, its it has persisted and is consistently great.
I met friends Eloise and Laurel at The Bronx yesterday for lunch. Both Laurel and Eloise are native to the Dallas area, a rarity these days, and they both, like most native Texan women I've met, have a persistence and amazing inner strength. No matter what is happening in their lives, these native Texan women carry themselves with grace and dignity. Divorce, layoffs, financial ruin, natural disaster? Ha, they will show comforting concern but they will never flinch, they've lived worse things. I think these women will collectively be one of the strongest memories I will carry with me when (or if) I leave this area.
Persistence, strength, consistency. An interesting intersection in friends and venues.
Its almost pointless to go on about the plate since at The Bronx you could pick anything blindfolded and it will be well-prepared, well-presented and satisfying. Their tomato-dill meatloaf is legendary and fish specials (rotating) are always fresh, inventive and usually nodding slightly toward some ethnicity of the week.
What makes The Bronx unique in my mind is its people; both staff and patrons. The staff has developed an amazing skill of reading unspoken signals: 'we're in a hurry', 'don't get chatty', 'we like sarcasm'. The patrons are an ecclectic mix; you can find anything from Melrose Hotel guests to white cap SMU boys to pre-op trannys. Sunday mid-morning is by far my favorite time to go. Packed and comfortably chaotic, Sundays you find mostly neighborhood locals nursing hangovers and swapping stories of their too-short, too-fun weekends. Its always a hysterical earful over the one of the best breakfasts in town. Go ahead and toss out the low carb diet and eat every last one of the rosemary skillet-fried potatoes that come with breakfast, you can work it off later.
Pic: Bronx side door, which I just noticed today is pink and turquoise. Has it always been this way? lol
The Bronx Dallas
Friday, October 14, 2005
Whew, that was a rough week! But next week is a week of no tests or papers, let the halftime show begin!
Halftime Stats (for my mom to put on her refrigerator - LOL)
Biochemistry: Exam 1: B Exam 2: A
Cell Biology: Exam 1: A Exam 2: A
Bioinformatics: Exam 1: A Quiz 1: F (yeah, Brazil hangover!) Quiz 2: A
Data Mining: Exam 1: A Exam 2: A
Oh yeah, Scott, this is my bedspread :)
Friday, October 07, 2005
This one is for my friend Giddy Boy (aka Luis) who
- Becoming elated when someone praises you
- Becoming depressed when someone belittles you
- Feeling happy when you experience success
- Feeling drepressed when you experience failure
- Feeling joy when you experience wealth
- Feeling dispirited when you become poor
- Feeling pleased when you experience fame
- Feeling depressed when you lack recognition
This is usually difficult for people to grasp.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
One of the first blogs I started reading was NYC Bouncer. After digesting the first post I knew it. This guy is headed toward a book deal. Yeah, he's that kinda good. I've been bad about keeping up with his writings but it came as no surprise to me when today I discovered that he has a book deal. Burn it up!
But who will be next to exit blogland for something more visible? Most people I know throw out bits and pieces of their day-to-day, myself included, its definitely not a concerted effort rather a mechanism for entertainment or just keeping in touch with a dispersed set of friends. I enjoy that genre of blog, it lets me keep in touch with people in the wee late hours, from my comfy chair, in my boxers. But there are some that have a theme, a passionate direction; here are two that are destined for higher ground.
Sangroncito is my pick for book deal. This one is a no brainer. Whether he is off on a new steamy jaunt, Latin lover in hand or carefully excavating the roots of his family tree, his writing style is sexy, fun and always leaves you feeling satisfied.
Living Above Ground
Living Above Ground is my pick for getting picked up as a columnist. No day is complete without her beautiful landscape of inquisitive, introspective imagery and commentary on the human condition.
And for this week's new and interesting link ups.
BriThoKen, The Desert 'Mo
The Krebs Cycle
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I thought it was high-school girl cute that her license plate read 'best', B 3 S T. Apparently this was not indicating that she was the best driver, at least not judging from the revene of a whiskey dent on the passenger rear. But thats not fair of me, is it? A big black Escalade is probably a prime target for parking-lot side swipes, particularly considering that with the road hogging mass of a small planet, it must put off its own gravitational pull.
Maybe it was that she was from Florida, or at least her vehicle, that she didn't understand the subtle unspoken rules of driving in the fast lane of the Tollway -'We go 75 mph, not 50 mph, in this lane.'
Maybe if she would have put down her cell phone she would not have swerved into the next lane each time she picked up her Venti Starbucks from the cup holder.
She looked like every other lady who lunched; too much silver jewelry on her hand causing a blinding effect each time her wrist made contact with the descending angle of the sun. And then there was the hair - was she having a personal contest with Ivana Trump to see who could get their blonde pile to comfortable cruising altitude first? Looks yes, but not the driving skills. If your going to be a lady who lunches its essential that you learn how to drive like hell. Its a survival skill, not just defensive, it ensures your social standing since tardiness is not a quality well-respected in those circles.
I moved from my fast lane position to the slow lane, just in case she decided to take another gulp of caffiene. And thats when she did it. She turned 180 degrees around in her seat and bitchslapped one of her kids. The big black Escalade snuggled up to the little white Lexus in the next lane. The Escalade was bored so it tagged the Lexus on the passenger front quarter panel in a friendly game of tag. The Lexus did not want to be IT, so he tried to pass it off to the red F-150 in the next lane. The F-150 definitely didn't want be IT, so he tested the full extent of his braking system to avoid entering the game. The three cars behind the F-150 did not have time to play so they, in series, like dominos, also tried to avoid being IT. The little green Focus wound up being IT. Clearly unhappy with being IT, he skulked off the playground with his hood wrinkled up in sour-pussed discontent.
Personally, I don't care if your going to hit your kids, its your choice, and really, thats something your kids will work out later with their AA buddies and therapists. But for all that is holy, please save that crap for home, the mall or the grocery store. Anywhere else but when you are operating a 2 ton bullet in the proximity of other people that are not particularly interested in being collateral damage to your bad judgement and lack of self-control.
OK, the accident wasn't what really what frosted my cookies, everyone seemed ok in the end. What really pissed me off was that this creature from the sunshine state not only didn't stop or pull off to the side of the road, she gunned it, screeched across 3 lanes of traffic and disengaged from the Tollway at the nearest exit.
Its a good thing I have a great short term memory. It made it so much easier to give her make, model and license plate number to the Plano police.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
About two weeks.
Two weeks of perfect, photographic memory, thats about how long it lasts anymore. I'd like to say my memory simply diffuses gradually and in years I have no more instant recall, but that isnt how it happens. After two weeks my memories sit ankles crossed, hem straight and slightly below the knee, waiting patiently to be asked back into the conscious mind.
There are some bad consequences to this, like unwittingly dating the same people twice. Date 1000 (randomly picked as a name, since I've forgotten exactly where I left off on the sequential date numbering scheme) and I started dating about a year ago. And really 'dating' is too strong of a word for what we were doing. Nice enough, attractive, fun, secure but at my age I know if someone is a yes, no or maybe and I know it PDQ. Date 1000, no. But what the hell, its not like I had time for or interest in anything more. So off we went. We only saw each other maybe once a month, that might be why it took me 11 months to realize we had done this before, 9 years ago.
It was the Smokey and The Bandit Trans Am I saw in a magazine ad that triggered the first message to my recall. Wait, I know this car, I've been in it, many years ago someone I knew had a car just like that. Then the gridwork started to assemble; a vocal inflection piece, a tendency not to listen piece, a Peter Pan in size 13 boots piece. Its good that I at least keep pictures of some of them. Thats when I drug out the 90's pictures and there, circa 1996, was Date 1000. Dammit!
So now I've decided to barcode imcompatible dates and install a scanner at the door. If one gets close it should just send me a subtle message.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Oh no, Muscle Boy I.T. tagged me. So here is the 5th line of my 23d post, for whatever reason you might have any interest in it, lol.Please contain your jealousy and yes, I am aware of my own insanity :)
Since I'm known not to follow rules, I propose a new game. List your 5 favorite actors living or dead. Don't tag your friends just post a comment here. I'll start.