Monthly Archives: December 2013

One From The Poetry Corner

bullwinkleEsteemed Readers, Bottom Feeders and Counters of Meters, today we bring you an installment of the Poetry Corner. We promised to keep this blog going, so we are happy to be in your face.
The following poem is the first in what will be known as the ‘Yakima Cycle’ by Michael Hendrick, a drunken friend of ours who can’t be trusted with your daughter…a sad one, boys and girls, sniff, sniff. He redeems himself with his poems…maybe not this one but he seemed quite insistent that we publish it for him and it is a ‘limerick’ really. As per our buddies at the Encyclopedia Brittanica a limerick is a popular form of short, humorous verse that is often nonsensical and frequently ribald. It consists of five lines, rhyming aabba, and the dominant metre is anapestic, with two metrical feet in the third and fourth lines and three feet in the others.
These short rhymes often involve a city name. We chose Yakima as our city and Mr. Hendrick, in his infinite kindness, offered to share poems written just for this blog…a saint of a man, is he.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A certain young woman from Yakima
got randy but had quite a hacking cough.
Though she sounded a fright,
she loved a new man each night.
Her ten kids proved that she did not whack’em off.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now, Kids…it is nothing against women, nothing against Yakima and most certainly not against masturbation…if anything, is insulted here, it is the Rhyme itself, but it endures, year after year.

Oddly, though…the most popular blogs here are the ones having to do with insults and words and we find that to be very interesting and think we will do our best to include more such material in days and weeks to come.

Welcome to the Working Week!

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More About Heading West

Michael (6)Recently, the editorial ‘We’ left the East Coast and headed west. “The west is the best,” Jim Morrison said. It is true and it is also kind of sad. After fifty-six years in the same time zone, the Eastern Standard Zone lost the fun it used to be.
Personally, we first heard rock and roll in New York, as Roy Orbison exposed his whiney heart over radio in my parent’s old Desoto singing Born On The Wind. At five years old, we watched the Beatles arrive at Shea Stadium on the tv and the resulting new British revolution followed on the screen. In our teens we spat at the stage of CBGB, pogoed and slammed.
New York City, the City that never sleeps must have been napping when the Hip Train arrived in Colorado and Washington with legal weed. How can it
be the hippest city in the world when the most delectable commodities are easier to get here in the west? Our eyes moisten with tears of sorrow when we consider this. We think of the swinging forties and fifties when the Rat Pack ruled the dark streets and the punk rock in the seventies that restarted the heart of rock and roll in the face of the disco machine uptown at Studio 54.
Recently, the editorial ‘We’ left the East Coast and headed west. “The west is the best,” Jim Morrison said. It is true and it is also kind of sad. After fifty-six years in the same time zone, the Eastern Standard Zone lost the fun it used to be.
Personally, we first heard rock and roll in New York, as Roy Orbison exposed his whiney heart over radio in my parent’s old Desoto singing Born On The Wind. At five years old, we watched the Beatles arrive at Shea Stadium on the tv and the resulting new british revolution followed on the screen. In our teens we spat at the stage of CBGB, pogoed and slammed.
New York City, the City that never sleeps must have been napping when the Hip Train arrived in Colorado and Washington with legal weed. How can it
be the hippest city in the world when the most delectable commodities are easier to get here in the west? Our eyes moisten with tears of sorrow when we consider this anomaly. We think of the swinging forties and fifties when the Rat Pack ruled the dark streets and the punk rock in the seventies that restarted the heart of rock and roll in the face of the disco machine uptown at Studio 54.
We miss the dirty old New York City of our youth with her dirty pavements, leering pervs and beggars with outstretched hands. They brought a sense of danger that seemed vital to the city, like the visage of Moondog standing on Sixth Avenue shouting his poetry and scaring more timid foot traffic to the other side of the street with his two-horned Viking helmet. Philadelphia still sports a layer of dirt on it but Disney constipated the Big Apple by cleaning up Times Square, the once-beloved center of sleaze. The last time we walked down to Greenwich Village and got thirsty for a beer, we had to walk eight blocks…eight blocks!!! In NYC for a beer? The real indignity came with viewing the Lower East Side out the window of an Applebee’s because that was all we could find.
The Globe Marquee In Times SquareAnd what happened to the 25 Cent XXX Sex Show on Forty Second Street? As bad as it turned out to be, how could anybody resist finding out how much of a show you get for a quarter?
Well, now we reside in Washington, home state of the most prolific serial killers. The Son of Sam fell far short of some of the body counts we see here. To the south a couple of states, we have California so that gives us our minimum daily requirement of nearby whack-jobs. What is the difference between bad behavior at the Jersey Shore and bad behavior in LA? LA dresses it up better and has blondes. It all comes out the same on TMZ, though.
We arrived here at 70 miles per hour. That, in itself, tells volumes about the gap between coasts. We crossed some areas in Montana where there was no speed limit whatsoever. At 70 mph, we do not feel inclined to speed. Therefore, the police have no need to pull us over. If they did, they would find something that is legal, anyway. When they put out the DUI patrols here, they are kind enough to tell you which night of the week and during which hours on which road. That is so kind!
In fact, if we do not agree with the way things are run, they even have legally assisted suicide! How can we go wrong?
Some eastern states go to 65 mph but the norm is the old ‘stay alive at fifty-five’. Go 65mph there and they have a good reason to stop you. Take Pennsylvania (please…haha), if you are stopped and ‘suspected’ of being high on marijuana, you must consent to the urine test. The test used by the state police is so sensitive that it can spot the tiniest amount of THC metabolites in urine so that it can even turn positive if you smoked six months ago. If you prove positive you lose the license, get the fine, etc…if you refuse, you get the same thing…not nice!
No such things happen here. There also seems to be a great paranoia in the east. Before we left and as we packed, we heard numerous friends and associates warn us about the dangers on the road. “Keep your guns in the storage locker!” “Don’t keep any paraphernalia on you!” “Remember the facial recognition scanners every mile along the road!”
We left with two shotguns and a rifle lying right behind the seat under the open case of Pabst Blue Ribbon, which we drank all the way from Harrisburg to the bottom of Lake Michigan one June night and did not see a single police until we waved at one in a rest stop outside of Fargo. There is really nothing new to be scared of on the road. Take it from us, it’s the same old road. Be free.
Here, hitch-hikers still stick their thumbs out and serial killers smile at them. Beggars guard entrances to the shopping areas, mostly young methed-out tweakers with nothing to look forward to. Older ones drifted north after then-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani solved the city’s homeless ‘problem’ by rounding up everybody in the parks and giving them a free bus ticket to LA, but only if they promised not to return. So we have all types here.
Most exciting, just to the south in Portland, the city hums with activity. We can feel the energy and a scene is taking place there…either that or the place is loaded with poseurs. From the many small music magazines we see, we know Portland has tons of small venues with live shows every night. Big acts tend to play Seattle and skip down to Cali. The scene in Portland feels organic, the visiting acts at local clubs seem to be an esoteric mix which blends with and compliments all of the fresh new faces releasing new songs on vinyl and playing crowded gigs.
Where can we get the best price for our old vinyl? Portland, of course. So many record and alternative book stores line the streets here that it reminds us of the Village in the old days, before Bleeker Bob’s and other old rare record/cd haunts vanished. If we sell an LP in Portland we get cash as opposed to the dreaded store credit, which has so often dampened our spirits. We take the cash and go to small clubs where the vibe reaches out from the city center into outlying neighborhoods.
Count up the clubs and the acts per night and we do not think NYC can keep up, not with the rock and roll end of things. We feel the loose, mellow, friendly haze of the current heroin epidemic there, as well. Funny how those things seem to keep time with each other.
Seriously, though, the scene in Portland, so robust you can taste it, may just break out and unleash a new twist, a new alternative to alternative, a fresh coat of paint to a passe’ form of music. What is happening in rock and roll right now? Who is hot? Where is the innovation? When did we last see a ‘movement?’ Was that way back when grunge hit?
The biggest sellers remain in place from the sixties, seventies and eighties. The geezers sell more ducats than youths do and that is wrong. College students listen to Pink Floyd and the Beatles. These may be old bands but soon we ought to be hearing from the young and angry again, unless rock and roll really is dead.
We’ll be sitting right here, watching from up close.
See ya!

We miss the dirty old New York City of our youth with her dirty pavements, leering pervs and beggars with outstretched hands. They brought a sense of danger that seemed vital to the city, like the visage of Moondog standing on Sixth Avenue shouting his poetry and scaring more timid foot traffic to the other side of the street with his two-horned Viking helmet. Philadelphia still sports a layer of dirt on it but Disney constipated the Big Apple by cleaning up Times Square, the once-beloved center of sleaze. The last time we walked down to Greenwich Village and got thirsty for a beer, we had to walk eight blocks…eight blocks!!! In NYC for a beer? The real indignity came with viewing the Lower East Side out the window of an Applebee’s because that was all we could find.
And what happened to the 25 Cent XXX Sex Show on Forty Second Street? As bad as it turned out to be, how could anybody resist finding out how much of a show you get for a quarter?
Well, now we reside in Washington, home state of the most prolific serial killers. The Son of Sam fell far short of some of the body counts we see here. To the south a couple of states, we have California so that gives us our minimum daily requirement of nearby whack-jobs. What is the difference between bad behavior at the Jersey Shore and bad behavior in LA? LA dresses it up better and has blondes. It all comes out the same on TMZ, though.
We arrived here at 70 miles per hour. That, in itself, tells volumes about the gap between coasts. We crossed some areas in Montana where there was no speed limit whatsoever. At 70 mph, we do not feel inclined to speed. Therefore, the police have no need to pull us over. If they did, they would find something that is legal, anyway. When they put out the DUI patrols here, they are kind enough to tell you which night of the week and during which hours on which road. That is so kind!
In fact, if we do not agree with the way things are run, they even have legally assisted suicide! How can we go wrong?
Some eastern states go to 65 mph but the norm is the old ‘stay alive at fifty-five’. Go 65mph there and they have a good reason to stop you. Take Pennsylvania (please…haha), if you are stopped and ‘suspected’ of being high on marijuana, you must consent to the urine test. The test used by the state police is so sensitive that it can spot the tiniest amount of THC metabolites in urine so that it can even turn positive if you smoked six months ago. If you prove positive you lose the license, get the fine, etc…if you refuse, you get the same thing…not nice!
No such things happen here. There also seems to be a great paranoia in the east. Before we left and as we packed, we heard numerous friends and associates warn us about the dangers on the road. “Keep your guns in the storage locker!” “Don’t keep any paraphernalia on you!” “Remember the facial recognition scanners every mile along the road!”
We left with two shotguns and a rifle lying right behind the seat under the open case of Pabst Blue Ribbon, which we drank all the way from Harrisburg to the bottom of Lake Michigan one June night and did not see a single police until we waved at one in a rest stop outside of Fargo. There is really nothing new to be scared of on the road. Take it from us, it’s the same old road. Be free.
images0O5COR7XHere, hitch-hikers still stick their thumbs out and serial killers smile at them. Beggars guard entrances to the shopping areas, mostly young methed-out tweakers with nothing to look forward to. Older ones drifted north after then-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani solved the city’s homeless ‘problem’ by rounding up everybody in the parks and giving them a free bus ticket to LA, but only if they promised not to return. So we have all types here.
Most exciting, just to the south in Portland, the city hums with activity. We can feel the energy and a scene is taking place there…either that or the place is loaded with poseurs. From the many small music magazines we see, we know Portland has tons of small venues with live shows every night. Big acts tend to play Seattle and skip down to Cali. The scene in Portland feels organic, the visiting acts at local clubs seem to be an esoteric mix which blends with and compliments all of the fresh new faces releasing new songs on vinyl and playing crowded gigs.
Where can we get the best price for our old vinyl? Portland, of course. So many record and alternative book stores line the streets here that it reminds us of the Village in the old days, before Bleeker Bob’s and other old rare record/cd haunts vanished. If we sell an LP in Portland we get cash as opposed to the dreaded store credit, which has so often dampened our spirits. We take the cash and go to small clubs where the vibe reaches out from the city center into outlying neighborhoods.
Count up the clubs and the acts per night and we do not think NYC can keep up, not with the rock and roll end of things. We feel the loose, mellow, friendly haze of the current heroin epidemic there, as well. Funny how those things seem to keep time with each other.
Seriously, though, the scene in Portland, so robust you can taste it, may just break out and unleash a new twist, a new alternative to alternative, a fresh coat of paint to a passe’ form of music. What is happening in rock and roll right now? Who is hot? Where is the innovation? When did we last see a ‘movement?’ Was that way back when grunge hit?
The biggest sellers remain in place from the sixties, seventies and eighties. The geezers sell more ducats than youths do and that is wrong. College students listen to Pink Floyd and the Beatles. These may be old bands but soon we ought to be hearing from the young and angry again, unless rock and roll really is dead.
We’ll be sitting right here, watching from up close.
See ya!

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Extra, Extra! Read All About It. Uruguay 1st Country to Legalize Pot!

not chilly in Uruguay...

not chilly in Uruguay…

Reverent Readers,
This slightly dated yet still-hot news emerged in recent days, 11/11/13 to be specific, quoted from the MJNA website, with full recognition to them for lifting it from UPS and FOX…thanks, all!!!
MJNA is the stock ticker symbol for Medical Marijuana, Inc, and though it has proven to not be wholly reliable, the following items were copied by them from reliable sources. To avoid conflict of interest, we did not read the news on the first two sites – this way we simply pass on what they posted…but it looks like positive news to us and last we heard they were negotiating with Jamaica to do the same thing.

Uruguay First Country to Legalize Cannabis

As was anticipated in July, Uruguay today became the first country in the world to fully legalize cannabis. The country is the first to legalize all aspects of the marijuana trade, with the government regulating the production, sale, and use of cannabis. The measure is aimed to stem the growing violence related to the drug trade and to offer treatment instead of punishment.

From Fox News Latino:

The Senate gave final legislative approval to the bill late Tuesday, and President José Mujica, who campaigned for the legislation, is expected to sign it into law. The 78-year-old president has said he wants the market to begin operating next year.

“Today is an historic day. Many countries of Latin America, and many governments, will take this law as an example,” Sen. Constanza Moreira, a member of the governing Broad Front coalition, said as the bill passed with 16 votes in favor and 13 against. Congress’ lower house approved the measure in late July.

[…]

“This is not liberalization of marijuana. It can be consumed within certain parameters established by law. I think it will reduce consumption,” Sen. Luis Gallo, a retired doctor who favored the bill, told the Associated Press.

[…]

The government got help from a national TV campaign and other lobbying efforts supporting by billionaire currency speculator and philanthropist George Soros and his Open Society Foundation and Drug Policy Alliance. In September, Mujica met with Soros and billionaire David Rockefeller in New York to explain his legal-market plan.

Read the full article at Fox News Latino or The Associated Press but remember where you saw it first.

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Tips On Stealing An Xmas Tree

treeIn today’s economy this topic generates a lot of interest, Gentle Readers, so – in this atheistic, agnostic. faithless world – let us look at how we can ‘spruce up’ (ahem) our lives by sticking shiny things on dead trees. As you see in the photo provided by ABC News, some people like to get trees for free!

About ‘the holidays’…here in the great North West, anybody driving in store parking lots over the past week can attest to how the holidays bring out the worst in people. As part of our calendar training this time of year represents our time…our chance to celebrate, our chance to consume, our chance to eat and drink too much, our time to satisfy as many cravings, gain as much weight, and kill as many brain cells as possible.
Banks used to have ‘Christmas Clubs,’ savings accounts where people squirreled away cash all year long to blow during the holidays. We wonder if the clubs still exist. Banks don’t stick around long anymore. A year is time enough to get scammed. Remember when we trusted banks? No, not when we trusted them before the Great Depression; we mean remember when we trusted banks up to a few years ago, after we forgot the depression.
The bottom line, as regards stealing a tree, here is: too many people are at the shopping areas. We act crazy enough, abusing our way through the tortuous weeks, but many must have their special holiday food and are in a hurry to get home and stuff themselves. Many can’t wait to see what they are going to pay for on credit for the next year and a half. Most want to park close to the door because they must carry the all of the precious bounty. Impatience reigns.
Cars get keyed. Frenzied parkers hit and run, scraping or denting anything parked on either side of their space.
Accomplish stealing your tree away from such behavior.

Several choices present themselves. Each person has their own way but since the holidays haunt us, we pose a few guilt-free solutions. First and most obvious, we present the old-fashioned way of driving to the woods, then parking along the road. Find whatever conifer grows in your path as you walk into the forest, you cut it down and bundle it on home.
The same method produces equal success when picking your prize from the lawn of a local mall or landscaped office park; your old high school principal’s house makes for a perfect spot to shop, maybe the school itself. Sticking with the guilt-free theme, bear in mind that nurseries have the nicest trees. These trees stand proud and straight in rows until sold….sold. It should be a crime to make money on holidays which celebrate spiritual beliefs. That is the same kind of shit Jesus threw the moneylenders out of the temple for. What harm can we do to an evil merchant?
When stealing from a business…make it a large business. Leave the Mom & Pop tree nurseries and find a chain store.
Most importantly, never ever steal anything from a friend!

Equipment is paramount to success. Chainsaws (we prefer Stihl) wake people so are best used only for deep woods scenarios, or very bold daylight ‘removals’ from front yards of vacationing enemies. Hand-saws present tricky problems, particularly if you use such tools infrequently. Green wood not only causes blisters, it shows the tenacity of a whole Druid nation if your blade is dull.
Those magic knives that cut through a can of beans, then cut down a pine tree and then cuts tomatoes into the thinnest wedges possible? Forget the part about the pine tree. Ha. We tried that years ago in a nursery one rainy night with a QVC gift knife which worked wonderfully on TV. With the rise of security cameras far off in the future, the new moon provided enough cover to allow us an hour to hack through the muddy trunk. Blisters formed in the first five minutes. Our legs froze from squatting down low enough to cut an even line across the sappy, cold wood.
Naturally, dragging the muddy tree into the house filled us with a sense of pride. Sopping wet, cold, blistered and bedraggled, we saved fifteen dollars to abuse ourselves with….enough for a case of beer at that time.

We presume that most Kind Readers are adults.
If you have children, then you probably need a tree. If not, think it over. For you parents in the house, we suggest the good old American Way – trickery! Tell your kids that Santa brings the tree when he drops down the chimney of the apartment you live in. Slip the kids a little eggnog (with a Mickey, natch) and take a midnight drive late on the 24th. Pack your pliers, a couple wire clothes hangers, and a machete or similar large knife. Avoid using QVC knives.
Drive toward your local shopping center (better yet, the best one in your town) and there you’ll find a beautiful assortment of misfit trees. Awww…just like on the Rudolph TV special, sorta.
Most trees have a good side – the one that is showing, or the side which is face up if it is on the ground. Turn them around and there’ll be branches barren and broken. Sad in a way, if you are an Arborist, however finding two half-trees to wire together with hangers solves so many problems. Besides providing for our families we utilize trees which would have otherwise died in vain. We see a certain urban heroism in this. Next, simply use the machete/knife to even out the bad sides of two tree of the same approximate height by chopping off the deformed branches on the ‘sick’ sides. Fit them together until they appear to be one tree. Children do not notice the double trunk if you steal enough presents to hide it behind. Bind top and bottom together with hangers, set it up in the living room and just watch those tender little eyes light up next morning! Be careful and try to find to trees of the same variety. A half-pine, half-spruce tree might cause a curious child to wonder; if this is your only option, concoct a good story and have it ready in the morning.
These few helpful hints carried us through many a holiday season.
We hope you find them to be useful, too! Just remember the security cameras!

Now, go get a tree – if you must.

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Whatever Happened To This Blog?

Michael (6)Gentle Readers, for months, perhaps a year, we have been putting you off and have let this once-heralded blog slip into near obscurity. Today, we return and not only that – we return with our original name.
We remain uncertain as to whether we were trying to protect ourselves or trying to get laid when we changed the words ‘substance abuse’ to ‘substantial abuse’.
Too much information on one’s pattern of substance abuse can put low on the list for certain social invites. The fact remains that, as a result of being fed beer regularly as a baby (imagine yourself sucking from a beer bottle as tall as yourself…but just on weekends…), the editorial we naturally became alcoholic. We missed out on all the fun of gateway drugs – ha, ha, as if such a thing exists. We are not Hippies because we were born too late but we did manage to ingest LSD in every decade since the seventies, inclusive, and still keep the old neuro-plasticity working well enough to keep your attention!

We thank all the people who kept reading old entries of the blog while we were out of action.

We also thank Paul Krassner – for inspiration. We contacted him regarding some Beatdom business. Although he influenced us greatly over the years, from MAD to High Times magazines, we felt a pang of guilt when viewing his bibliography. He never shies away from a topic. He is fearless. He wrote a lot about drugs and put them in the titles of his books. He has integrity. We were afraid we would never be able to get laid if we had to explain our substance abuse issues…a pretty lame excuse, looking back.
Mr. Krassner helped change the course of American history to a degree. His activities during the sixties – his outspokenness, sense of humor and respect for Truth – allowed many others to open up with their personal views. Somebody always has to break the ice in a repressive situation and he melted minds. Conversely, The Realist allowed so-called ‘broken minds’ to melt the ice of the oppression of the time through humor. We remember how you Dear Readers love illustrations, so here is the book to look for…confessions…if you do not buy it and read it, you will not know what we are writing about when we refer to it in future important dispatches.
Anyway, there is a lot to learn about him and we encourage you all to pick up copies of his books. The best place to find them is on his website, http://www.paulkrassner.com

So, with all that being said, we shall now resume the blog as it ran a few years ago, three to four times a week. We will try to be more politically-minded and will try to be less silly. Things have gotten a lot more serious since we reported Governor Christie getting stuck in his gubernatorial bathtub and being pried out with two boat oars and a handy few pounds of butter from the larder….ah…”larder”… We thank the Gov for allowing us to resurrect an old word! May we gain from his girth.
Another reason for our return lies in the excitement we feel as we explore new lands. Native to New York, we left the east coast and drove west this past summer. After a lifetime in the Eastern Standard Zone except for vacations and other excursions, we find great novelty here in the State of Washington. We knew the diversity of topography to be extreme but the last thing we expected was to wind up stuck in a desert, much less the scablands. Everybody said it rains all the time here.
Not so.
We never experienced such pesky sunshine in all our days. Sun, sun, sun…nothing but sun, all summer. Like Bob Dylan asks a recent LP, “Don’t you know the sun can burn your brains right out?” Speaking of Dylan, we can’t help but compare the area to the locale depicted in the film Masked and Anonymous. With all the Native Americans, Mexicans, sand and abandoned junk cars, the resemblance strikes us as uncanny. In fact some areas here are so bleak as to resemble Afghan mountain ranges; so much so that troops bound for that bloodbath got used to the elements by training near here.
Fall arrived and clouds followed and as the sky got darker, things got brighter. We love rain! The first good rain to come in brought our first dust storm along with it. A fantastic sight! A cool thing to view from the safe confines of a car with rolled-up windows.
There is so much here to discover in Washington, we didn’t know where to start so food is never a bad idea. Crossing the US, we noticed portions of food increasing in size as we pushed westward. True, we settled for road food but it actually tasted good and we had to start comparing fast foods, just to see the cultural anomoly we are faced with.
It started at the ‘Steak’N’Shake’ somewhere in Michigan. Years passed since the last fast food burger touched my lips. It came down to ‘eat or starve’ so we went with Steak’N’Shake. It was amazing! The first thing that freaked us out was the whipped cream and cherry on the milkshake…we remembered that from soda fountains in the distant past. When we opened up the burgers, a cornucopia of veggies stuck out from the bun. While we chose our move to a liberal land where pot is legal, as is same-sex marriage and assisted suicide, liberal portions never occurred to us.
So amazed were we, that to push the idea to the limit, we tried a McDonalds…we must report that our two kitties, along for the trip, actually ate some of the ‘meat’. We tried the same thing in Pennsylvania and they shunned it. Finally, even McDonalds had a cherry on top of the shake.
Now here is the rub.

It is sort of like Lenny Bruce’s ‘Jew vs Goy’ bit…only it seems like Lenny was wrong on that one. He said anybody who lives in New York is jewish, whether they are goyim or not. While admittedly goy to the catholic degree at childhood, we can’t help but feel that the whole northeast seaboard, as well as points as far west as Chicago, create the true demarcation.
Try to find some real foods, foods we grew up with and now we seem to have entered a weird zone of culinary depravity. Perhaps being in the east, where European immigrants first landed, exposed us to a variety of victuals. Ethnic foods spread out from immigrant neighborhoods as they became popular with other cultures.
Brie, capers, anchovies, hummus, halvah, Finlandia or Jarlsburg brand swiss or Parmigiano-Reggiano, olive oil from Italy, couscous…mention these items and prepare to be met with a blank stare. Other seemingly unbotchable staples – pizza and bagels, for instance – get ‘the treatment’. To find a simple slice of pizza (crust, sauce, cheese and spices) the closest option is to send out for a Papa John or Domino imitation pie and cut it in the shape of a slice…or make your own. The concept of an italian pizza shop where you can walk in and buy a slice is exactly that, here on the eastern part of the state, a concept. It is an idea that does not exist. Maybe you can get it in Seattle but we have not gotten that far yet.
Forget bagel shops…but the street tacos rule!
We admit to enjoying a bagel at the most fabulous hotel we could find this side of the Cascades, The Davenport Hotel in Spokane. hotelHere, birthplace of Crab Louis (after Louis Davenport), they referred to the smoked salmon as lox and knew well enough to put capers on the plate. For as many salmon as swim through here every year, we expected that most people would be familiar with lox. Maybe they are better off. I did see a number of big fish float belly up in the Columbia River just around migration time, when the state warned residents not to eat the local fish due to dangerous levels of pollutants in the filets.
Hordes of homeless tweakers who live under bridges and eat these fish since a little added protein never hurts a meth binge, are likely unaware of these warnings. A lot of homeless drifters hang here, though, so that makes us feel welcome. Hitch-hikers spot the roads, too. We hadn’t seen one since 2003 in Ireland. No wonder the serial killers like it here.
There is so much to say, so much to compare, so much to type that we will hold it for another day, tomorrow maybe…
~

Sorry for not really promoting the substance abuse this time. We did drink beer while driving across most of the states, though. We shall make up for this in due time.
Thanks all, for coming back to read this blog, and it feels good to be back!

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