Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Carolina Diary II (july 5)

Best smell on earth, confederate jasmine...

Carlyn's hat (her travel blog here, brave girl!)

So Delthia, my brilliant new friend [an actual one, sans facebook], tells me she saw a doctor on the Today show years ago who said only about 25% of a given population’s taste buds actually work like they’re sposed to. She should know, she comes from a family of good cooks whose taste buds work, and lives in a culture’s that, for the most part, don’t. She grew up on the Chesapeake Bay and sez crab doesn’t taste like it used to. I believe her. She said she read Fast Food Nation and Fatland and lost a hundred pounds this year. I met Delthia in the wifi café I frequent. She is a gifted writer (her blog here) you should it check out. She is the only person I’ve ever met who can recite Eartha Kitt’s intro to “Mink Schmink Money Schmoney Think you’re hot now doncha honey” without any prompting, just right off the top of her head. And she recites Dorothy Parker from memory. I mean... whoa.

We talked for four hours the day we met. We were lamenting the downfall of yet another righteous congressional progressive (they are so few in number these days) felled by his own, uh, well what she referred to as “Anthony Weiner’s Tweenis.” (Rhymes with, you know.. penis) She is witty as hell.

satellite bar

I do enjoy the soft evenings here. Once the sun goes down it’s as nice as it can be, I go for walks in Forest Hills, the swanky ‘hood a few blocks east of my humble digs. “The evening breeze caressed the trees tenderly” I find myself humming as I stroll along watching dads and kiddies walk their dogs, the Spanish moss waving in the breeze like feather boas. I finally made it to the beach today at long last. Bought a cheap umbrella to shade myself from the BRUTAL midday sun and of course it was a piece of crap, inverting itself and blowing down the beach the minute I put it up, (a nice guy grabbed it for me). Naturally I had to go ask the gal down the beach a ways who, I could not help but notice, had the awesome, stiff as a board navy blue canvas and wood umbrella that didn’t budge in the brisk wind where she got it, and LO! she bought it the same place I bought my facaca one. So tomorrow it’s back to the store to exchange for something that doesn’t think it’s in a Mary freakin Poppins movie.

my home, Manna

People here are real friendly, native or not. Genuinely warm. I think it’s the weather. You “pardon me” and ask them a question and they don’t just give you the info you’re asking about, they smile and go on to actually have a little conversation with you about it. Southern hospitality I guess. But it sure makes you feel welcome.

Like the couple I met at Manna the other night (my fave restaurant in years, really, Thursday is real tapas night, take it from me, nearly as good as Blanca Paloma in Seville– they ARE the kings). They invited me to a July 4th party at a wonderful bar called Satellite on the shadier side of town and I went and had so much fun and everyone so friendly and the bartender didn’t know how to make a MaiTai but he faked it beautifully and charged me dollars less than Manna, so I was happy. My friend Leslie, who invited me, made most of the food, her husband making the pulled pork (I do love me some of that pokemeat) and all round delicious. Met a gal from Maine there who lives in South Carolina now. Hi, Belinda! [waving] That makes three folks from Maine now who’ve moved here. The bar is cool, very like the best bars I used to know in the southwest back in the day. Superb music nonstop, from Joni’s Hejira to Muddy Waters. Can’t beat that. None of that, you know, Abba or any of that crap, or unnecessarily plaintive commercial country stuff. I missed the fireworks, was pooped and needed rest from faux Mai Tais, but they must have been spectacular as I could hear them exploding from twenty blocks away.

I find myself saying at some point every day “I love it here” (usually early evening) and I do. Every day I discover something new. Like another Southern Woman Writer! I discover in one of the friendly used books stores. One just leads to another. (List to follow in next installment)

Iris and her hoola hoop July 4 @ Satellite

nice house near me, backyard

I’ve made more friends in my last 18 months of travel than I did in all the years I lived in Maine. Folks who are tolerant of eccentricity, and I bless em for it.

Finished my novel, at least til someone tells me different. Still kicking the idea of a ‘six months later’ kind of final chapter, not sure. Other than that it’s done, and much better than it used to be. . . . I hope.

Janice and I are going out to bargain steak night at a nearby hotel that Portia sez is to die for. So Psyched about that for Thursday. Always with the food, I know. In another 6 months I’ll be big as a house. But this is what happens when you have no kitchen! You are grateful as a Dachau victim to discover decent food. (If that was a tasteless comment, I apologize.) I finally found the perfect salad place today too a few miles away, with white anchovies no less. The Brasserie du Soleil. I love it. Good and cheap. They actually wash the lettuce!! – Am lately terrified of e-coli infested greens since discovering the wifi café (whose wifi I am presently using) doesn’t wash theirs. A friendly barrista does not a proper prep chef make!

mimosa blossom

crape myrtle trees

tall pines

and spanish moss

I’m making a list: Pros and Cons of Moving to Carolina. And Miss Tee’s birthday is next Monday, so will be headed to sweet Charleston for a couple days for that. Celebrate the lucky fact of her in my life.

Janice sez the palmetto bugs live in giant colonies deep down in the storm drains in the day and come out at night. Just like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s enough to give you nightmares. She said she once found one in the ground when she was digging in her garden. “Do you think they live in the DIRT too!??” she asks me, mortified. Dirty buggers.

Until next time..

Check out my cousin Lynn's (Jeez, Lynn, total bummer about your leg!!) recent commentary onthe state of the nation. She's always sharp as a tack. Here's a taste:

I’m told a chicken can easily be led to slaughter if you place its head under one of the wings and twirl it around in circular motions several times. When the bird is placed back on the ground, it is so disoriented it virtually collapses with its neck lying directly across the chopping block.

The point being: Loss of equilibrium can be deadly.

I truly believe our politicians come from a long line of chicken farmers, not only because they are innately adept at slinging manure, especially during election season, but also because they are most proficient in recognizing the pecking order of the feeding trough. First up: Paybacks to corporate sponsors for unlimited campaign financing (and hats off to our judicial branch for expediting that process):

“I know the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people; but what I didn’t realize is that those people are assholes.” (john stewart)

And let's Impeach Clarence Thomas. Per non other than John Dean's advice here.

And if you need a laugh, try this on for size. Finally someone did this!

Remember, kiddies:

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win.

1 comment:

  1. Leslie! thanks for saying hi! I had a great time with ya'll at satellite. will call you next week about touring. this week just got ahead of me... off to charleston saturday.. here is leslie's blog