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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You Can Still Be A Man In Oklahoma

It's what's for dinner.

Recently we visited Oklahoma City. A city on the rise, it's modern accommodations and old west charms are more than appealing. Seriously, it's just like Ft. Worth. It was designed and planned by the same cattle barons along the Chisholm Trail... But I digress... We were there visiting family and it just so happens, the wife is working on a big project there so we got to see that. We walked through the red bricked streets of Bricktown where I just happen to know about a certain steakhouse that folks visiting Oklahoma should never miss.

Micky Mantles.

The steakhouse bearing his name is more than a tribute to his greatness, it's a testament for being a man, and men everywhere.
Picture the rustic, stockyard setting. You stagger into a dark cigar bar. You realize the place is perfect for your needs. You're a stranger in a strange land, but somehow this place is familiar. What is it about this joint? I know, it's a classy place and you are a classy guy... We know what to do, let's sit at the bar and have a cigar AND SMOKE IT!

You see,,, in Dallas and Austin, these cigar bars are a thing of the past... (Hitler put and end to decadence, too...)

Once you've picked out your stogie and the perfect grey goose martini, dirty, with blue cheese olives, you can sit back and enjoy the priceless baseball memorabilia before you.
Then when the spirit moves you, you wander into the darker dining room. You won't see your hand in front of your face, but you will hear the sound of clicking spurs and cattlemen chatter all around you.
The lobster escargot is a must. I like the peppercorn filet, mid rare. Mac N cheese has never tasted so good.*belch*

Don't miss the best steakhouse north of the red river. Just eat it.

After dinner, the staff is more than happy to run down the desserts, but the real message here is, at Mickey Mantles Steakhouse, you can still be a man, you can still be free.
(They don't treat their smokers like animals like they do in Texas.)
And being free is being a man.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Second "Look" Inside Sun City

In the old Comanche lands of the northern hill country of Texas, there lies a retirement community the likes of which you've never seen. A massive, conservative, voting block of tea-publicans who cling to their "clean" and often exclusionary society with vim and vigor.  Sun City is the name, Georgetown,TX is the place.

Having grown up in Texas, I'm no stranger to the tea-publican mind. I've got more than a few friends who would shout, "Don't Tread on Me," at anytime.
Being of sound mind and liberal body, I often banter with these friends and give them my progressive perspective as best I can. We visit G-Town from time to time and I've been privy to an inside look at this other place they call, "Sun City."

I'll never forget sitting outside the voting precinct on election day--helping a friend and President to be-- at the Sun City Rec. Center in Nov. '08.  I was wearing an Obama shirt and a Cowboy hat.
I was all but accosted... (Seniors=Buzzard$)

Recently we re-visited my right-wing brethren of the dry, ancient lands of central Texas.
As most men of a certain age do, we like to play golf. Guess where we played???

The first 9 holes were a bit rough on us, we'd had a full tournament of Texas Hold Em at the local watering hole the night before.
We needed to stop in at the clubhouse bar for a refreshment.
That's where our story begins and my compadres perceptions about their wise, respected neighbors end...

You see, Suuuunnnnn Ciiiiiiiiiiitttttty's got a Drag Queen in it!
And it freaked out my foursome.

Being the metro sexual that I am, and having chosen a more open society to live in(Dallas), I was engaging in normal conversation with Jennifer, the transvestite behind the bar. Who, as it turns out, owns and runs the place.

I found she and her restaurant to be charming and good. The other three of the foursome got mixed reviews.

Mr. P was the first to stare and shake his head, while Mr. W had already gone into a quiet denial. A zombie-like trance that was unusual, even for him. Mr. S, always the mathematician, was already calculating a "yes sir," or "yes ma'am" answer scenario in his mind, and his follow up response,  should he guess wrong.  As this "trans-fusion" went on, I spoke with Jennifer about a Lee Trevino signed painting on the wall. She gave me a big red smile, her gold earrings shining, her blouse fluttering, her Lucile Ball wig shifting as she served us our sandwiches and beverages to go. We bid her farewell and were out the door. Mr. P muttered to the golf pro, "Why?" The pro responds, "you just gotta get used to it."

As we converged on the 10th, the mood was somber to say the least. Mr. W, who was still coming to terms with what he'd seen, took several intense practice swings as did Mr. S.
It's hard to put into words how disturbed Mr. P was, and still is for that matter.
The Marshall approached, confirmed all their fears and added that the "he-she" could outplay us shot for shot from the blue tees.
Mr. P abused his clubs, kicked the golf cart, paced around, and loudly exclaimed, "Why, why, why would you do that!?"

I remained calm through all this.
I enjoyed every bite of my sandwich as I realized what was really going on in Sun City and what it meant to live there.

Today, Mr. P is sitting at his desk still asking the question, "why would you?" A question asked by many at dinner tables across Sun City.
Jennifer responds, in a much deeper voice, "You want honey mustard on that?"

Never let it be said the tea-publicans of Sun City,TX aren't an all inclusive bunch.

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance, which has some experience in these matters, extends best wishes to the east coast as it recovers from Hurricane Irene. Here now is the roundup ...

Off the Kuff notes that Texas' unemployment rate is at its highest level since the days of the oil bust. Maybe firing thousands of teachers and other public employees isn't such a hot idea.

Bay Area Houston picks up and posts the video of the Sanger ISD administrators who poked fun at Rick Perry in a Hee Haw sing-along skit.

A Houston city council candidate has affixed hundreds of his campaign signs to utility poles -- in violation of both city ordinance and the utility company's rules -- throughout the city, many of them 20- and 30-feet off the ground. This candidate, an attorney, blames "overzealous volunteers" and makes no promise to remove them. This candidate's name is Eric Dick. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs asks the (hopefully obvious) question: does Houston really need another dick on city council?

How can you tell that republicans are batsh*t crazy? Rick Perry has jumped to the top of the polls. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme has warned you for years.

Libby Shaw at TexasKaos has a roundup of Rick Perry's vast network of crony capitalists for inquiring minds. See Icky Ricky Perry, the Master of Pay to Play Politics.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson shows that state Sen. Steve Ogden needs to check his facts about who's to blame for the budget impasse last session: Ogden's false equivalency.

This week on Left of College Station Teddy continues to look at Rick Perry's Texas. From tort reform that doesn't deliver on promises to water infrastructure neglect that has left Texas a dry state; from crony capitalism that benefits Perry's campaign contributors to the fact that the Lone Star State has the highest percentage of uninsured in the nation. It's hard to mess with Texas when Perry already has.

Neil at Texas Liberal will be taking part in a spoken-word event and concert in Cincinnati on Saturday, September 3 to mark the release of the Aurore Press book Living In The Lap Of Labor. This book is a collection of essays about working in America. Neil has an essay in the book and will be reading from that essay. While it is unlikely you will be in Cincinnati in the week ahead, Neil asks you to stop on by and say hello if you are in fact in town.