Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘A Rich Full Life In Spite of It

Unfuck Texas? Fuck Dallas though July 5, 2013

I think that the first time I visited Dallas was around 1976: I went down with a couple of friends to watch the football game between the Sooners and the team in Dallas.

The game was located close to the block where Kennedy was assassinated, and that’s where the drunk masses strolled after the game.

Who won? I never cared. I don’t recall I went in the stadium: Maybe I didn’t have a ticket, or I just needed to see Dallas.

The after game celebration was as boring and loud as everywhere else in the USA, with maybe more “Fuck Sooners” than anywhere else, and drunk youth walking back and forth along the same long street.

The Viet Nam US engagement was put to rest, except for all those handicapped and mentally shocked soldiers. Forgotten and locked from the sight of public media.

And then in 1977, another excitement got hold of the universities with strong Iranian students. The University of Oklahoma had one of the most active Iranian students, and every couple of days there were demonstrations and marches shouting “Down the Shah”

The next time I visited Dallas was in 1985 at Xmas time. I wanted to be away as the university was almost vacant and insisted with my highschool friend from Lebanon to visit with him.

Actually, we shared the same table for about 3 years, and I don’t recall we spoke. When we met in Dallas, I noticed that he hardly recognized me or cared for me all these years sitting side by side.

Probably I boarded the Greyhound bus because I wouldn’t suffer another Amtrak train trip.

For an entire week, I stayed with  Hobeich who was married. They got married while in college because his rich German wife got pregnant. They told me that it was love/lust from the first night they met. His daughter was Not natural because probably his wife tried to abort but failed to carry it successfully.

I felt my friend or his wife suffered me for that week. They took me once on Sunday to an auction, behaving as well-to-do couple who bought a new big house.

My “friend” was ashamed to make me visit his quarter at work, a kind of a high post with an oil company owned by his father-in-law.

I realized that Dallas had no beginning and no end, until I you find yourself smack in the dust bowl.

Note: In a condolence event in Lebanon, I met someone with the same family of Hobeich and asked him whether he knows my friend. He said that he didn’t know him personally but is convinced he passed away from heart attack.

Dallas is a sprawling city, flat and flat to infinity. It seems that the same Real Estate developer was monopolizing the aggrandizement of Dallas, or a mafia of developers agreed on a couple of blue prints for mass production.

Dallas should be the ideal digital city for addresses: No landmarks or monuments to direct you, except Downtown.  I was under the impression that no public transportation were available, not even buses.

The State government never wanted to know that there are poor people in Texas who could not subsidize GM, Ford, Exxon, Chevron….

I passed through Austin once. Maybe on the way to Baylor?

Fuck it all: I should have stayed longer in Austin, but I was sick and tired of university towns…

And what the article of “A Rich, Full Life In Spite of It” has to add on Texas and Austin? And posted on July 3, 2013.

Given the recent disdain expressed for the Lone Star State on ACOF, I was surprised when Le Clown asked me to contribute a post about Austin to his travel segment.

But if any city can soften such a resounding, “Fuck you,” to Texas, it’s Austin, and after Wendy Davis and Ashley A. paved the way back into his left leaning heart, I agreed.

I’ve lived in Texas most of my life, minus three semesters of college in New Mexico.

I grew up in rural Texas, and attended junior high and high school in a dairy town where football was king. I lived in Dallas for a few months after leaving New Mexico, and then finally settled in Austin.

I’m well aware of the stereotypes about Texas and its residents, and I won’t deny that we deserve some of that reputation, but Austin is unique.

My dad used to call it little San Francisco, and he did not mean this as a compliment. He wasn’t very happy when I moved here in 1998; he probably thought I’d catch a bad case of bleeding heart liberal—I prefer to label my views as moderate, but he had a point.

It is a tree-hugging, laid back city–a splash of blue in a predominantly red state.

And I love it here.

It’s a common practice in the South to begin every conversation with strangers by talking about the weather, but it’s not very interesting. Unless you visit during our winter months, January and February, you should dress for swamp ass and be prepared to lose ten pounds of water weight over the duration of your visit. The forecast—fucking hot.

I almost jogged around Town Lake after I took this, but I was wearing flip-flops, so I ate a donut instead.

I almost jogged around Town Lake after I took this, but I was wearing flip-flops, so I ate a donut instead.

Austin is known as the live music capital of the world, but for me the beauty of this city isn’t in the bands you can see, the memorial to Stevie Ray Vaughan, the bars you can go to, or the restaurants I could tell you about.

It’s the vibe of the city that brought me here, and it’s the heart of the city that has kept me here for fifteen years.

Austin is the college town no one ever wants to leave.

Austin is the view from Mt. Bonnell, or watching the sunset from a cliff overlooking the 360 bridge. If you’re lucky enough to have friends with boats, it’s spending summer days at the lake with a cold beer in your hand.

Austin is the naked people at Hippy Hollow, hanging out free and uninhibited and not giving a shit what anyone else thinks about it.

Austin is the view from Mozart’s, a coffee shop right on Lake Austin where your dogs are welcome, and you can sit on the deck looking out at the water, sipping something other than Starbucks, and writing for as long as you want.

Austin is First Thursdays on South Congress, where the hipsters come out in droves, pay too much for homemade clothes, and drink PBR in a can at $6 a piece.

Austin is the Pecan Street Festival, where 6th Street is transformed from a wannabe Bourbon Street, to a haven for crafters and artists to display and sell their work complete with food trucks, and a variety of fried things on a stick.

Austin is a city that holds a festival at Pease Park every year in honor of Eeyore’s birthday. The smell of a freshly fired joint is just as likely to mix in the air with a waft of patchouli as it is to hit a wall of Axe body spray.

People dressed in cargo shorts and Polo shirts will be standing next to people who’ve left clothes behind in favor of head to toe body paint for the day, and they’re all swaying to the same drum circle rhythms. Everyone passes it happily left, sings Kumbaya, and life seems a little less bleak and a little more harmonious if only for a moment.

It’s a short drive to some of the most beautiful rivers and lakes in Texas, including my family’s ranch, where the Llano runs peacefully through it, and the land has been in our family for close to 100 years.  The pace of life is a little slower out there, but it’s a place where the word redneck doesn’t mean ignorant, it means a person who works hard doing manual labor, and has the mark of the Texas sun on the back of their neck to prove it.

My dad is behind the camera here.

My dad is behind the camera here.

Austin is place where you’ll find people raised in these smaller towns with more conservative values living peacefully among the liberals, exercising our right to protest when we disagree, supporting local artists, and a good majority of us still hanging on to our guns.

That’s not even necessarily out of fear or ignorance although of course it can be. I don’t own any guns at all, and don’t care for them personally, but when my dad and I disagreed about that issue, it was easier for me to see his point of view knowing that he grew up with rattlesnakes like this one to defend himself against. And if I came face to face to one of these on foot, I’d want a gun with me too.

Austin is my home, and I’d appreciate it if you’d un-fuck it. At the very least, come visit before you judge the entire state as a bunch of ignorant assholes.

Movin’On Up: Keep, sell, donate, or dumpster… Due to low interest rate?

Are you getting ready to sell your property because fixed interest rate are low (4%)?

Are considering refinancing your home and cash in on the high interest rate you started with?

A Rich, Full Life In Spite of It posted on May 27, 2013 “Movin’On Up

I have been knee-deep in all my things. My house looks like an episode of Hoarders, and I’m wrestling with the four decision piles. Keep, Sell, Donate, or Dumpster (KSDD).

Here are some things I’ve learned so far:

  1. We have entirely too much crap.
  2. It’s easier to part with that crap when faced with the reality of having to pack and move it. Haven’t used it in a year? It’s gone. No function in a new space, gone. Clothes that don’t fit anymore and aren’t part of a nostalgic concert t-shirt collection? Donate. I’ve been trying to do this and get organized for years, but now I’m really doing it.
  3. The appeal of the e-reader is never greater than when you’re packing box after box of books. I can’t bear to part with most of mine, even the shitty ones. 15 boxes and counting. (The appeal of nearby libraries is never greater at these situations…)
  4. The list of things that we need to fix and update in our home is long, expensive, and overwhelming. Power wash everything and shave the dog. Caulk all the cracks! New paint inside and out, new back fence, repair garage door opener that has been broken for three years, new blinds, steam clean the tile and grout, wash the baseboards, actually decorate with something other than children’s toys, new flooring. Everything I’ve ever thought would be nice to do around here will be done in the next few weeks. For someone else to enjoy. An interesting life metaphor if you care to explore it.(Nothing like selling to remind people that moving out is the best occasion to bring compassion toward the buyers)
  5. Storage buildings are expensive.
  6. The DIY and HGTV are on the television more now, that is, when my daughter will allow us to switch over from Toy Story. I feel like all these “Crashers” shows give me unrealistic expectations for my trips to Home Depot and Lowe’s. I fully expect someone to approach me followed by cameras and come landscape my yard for free. I’m disappointed every time it doesn’t happen. I laughed for five full minutes when I heard someone on the DIY network say silicone caulk yesterday because I’m super mature.
  7. The most common question that I get asked now when talking about this, is what school district do we want to be in? Have I researched elementary schools and high schools? On a limited basis, I have, but I still have a part of me that wonders how important the quality of the elementary school really is. I went to grade school in a three room, rural school-house, and was fine. I attended the one high school that was available to us–it was fine. I’m not sure how to adjust to this momster mentality that every school my daughter attends has to be perfect, even the pre-school. We’re still just coloring and learning not to shit in our pants, right? I know, I know, it’s important. I’ll get there.
  8. In searching through homes for sale on the internet, it took me exactly fifteen minutes to turn into one of those people on House Hunters that I hate, complaining about wallpaper, boarders and ruling out a listing based on a kitchen that doesn’t open up to the living space and has the wrong color cabinets. Didn’t think I had that in me either. I was wrong.
  9. I will make shit up to achieve the symmetry of a list of ten.
  10. I can see the garage floor for the first time ever since moving in here.

Tada…ten. That’s actually true, but probably not interesting to anyone but me.

Our friends put their house up for sale Friday night. By Saturday evening, they had three full price offers on it.

The market is smoking hot and probably headed for another crash.

But we’re doing it.

Since I stopped working, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to curb the desire for material things, and it’s interesting how this process has re-awakened that wanting. I want a big spacious floor plan and a beautiful outdoor living space. I want two or three bedrooms and an office. I want a bathtub big enough to swim in and a nice kitchen. I want some new furniture to go with it. I want to not feel so disgusted with myself for wanting these things. I want this post to be funnier and sound less pretentious.

I don’t always get what I want.

It’s a steady stream of need vs. want evaluations lately, but for now at least, I know that I’ll be hissy fit free even if we don’t get any of those things.

But that’s what’s going on here.

My posting will probably be even more sporadic for the next few weeks, but I’ll still be around reading your stuff.

Is anyone else getting ready to move or in the process of refinancing your mortgage?

Good times, right?




January 2023

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