Saturday, October 29, 2011

See You at the Whore House

Talking with my brother the other day about music, cause that’s one of the three things I think about, I mentioned some rad new tunage I had been experiencing on Spotify. Magically I was producing all kinds of delicious ear nourishment without paying. Flabbergasted, he insisted that I explain. So I told him, “Dude, it’s Spotify.”

“Where’d you here about that?” He said.
“My friend Jeff.”
“Where’d you meet Jeff?”
“The Whore House.”
“Oh, Okay. Move over, I’ll show you some good stuff.”
Guess you wanna know how he responded so coolly to such an interesting reply. Not a ton of big brothers are down with their little sister meeting fellows at a whore house.

This isn’t just any old house of ill repute, no no, around here, those are words of love. They refer to a few rooms surrounded by a few more walls that hold all kinds of sweet memories for me and my besties. We went in girls and boys, we came out Men and Women. Weird, but beautiful. It started a few years back, somewhere just before my first niece, Alexandria, was born.

Near the end of the summer my life took a sudden turn, a crazy one. I had been working at the car dealership, the cookie factory, processing and boxing bags of saline solution for shipment, selling long distance over the phone, tickets at the Dee Event Center, blah, blah, blah, and then; unemployed. I filled out an application at “The Living Scriptures” and when they called to offer me an interview I answered my phone, “Ticket Offi. . Thank you for. . Ken Garff. . . Hello?” 

They let me come anyway and later that week I was sitting in a conference room of noobie telemarketers looking for an irresponsibly quick pay day. 

Two weeks of training at $12 an hour followed wherein I met the former Miss Brittany Faye Garrett, now Mrs. Bee King, halved some delicious “Villa Bella” BLT’s, scrounged enough change to wrestle a Nutroll out of the vending machine on breaks, and ultimately, got fired for being a useless telephone salesperson who had never seen a living scriptures video and questioned the historical accuracy of the facial hair on the animated interpretations of biblical characters.

I ended up waitressing for Mrs. Lee at the Wing Wah, several stories for another day, and spending every egg-drop-soup free moment at the Whore House.

We were both stretched pretty thin in the cash department, and by thin I mean broke-da-broke. Starving for some salty sweet goodness and someone to talk to about our crazy trainer; I purchased a Nutroll and sat down next to Brittany. I don’t remember our first conversation but I’m sure it involved lots of laughing at least two enormously overstated “RIGHT?’s” and a sharp increase in volume and speed. In the background Karen Carpenter started singing, “We’ve only just begun. . .”
Bee invited me back to her place after work one night, while she smothered a slice of toast with a liberal smathering of peanut butter I was introduced to the roomies. Chau, Wendy, Lindsay, and Amanda. Beautiful and virtuous women though they were, they always seemed to have “company”. Technically, I was still living at home so when Mom asked me who I was hanging out with it took me a minute to report. “Where are you meeting all of these people?”
“At Brittany’s.”
“This sounds like an interesting house. . .” Matt mumbled in passing.
“You aren’t going there.” Mom said.
Matt didn’t, but I did, all the time.

 We joked one day in the kitchen about what the crazy old neighbors must be thinking, what with the swinging front door. The joke continued after I left for my shift at the “Wing Wah” and by the time I got back that night it was official. “The whore House” was our home.

Ironic really, considering the way we all left that great house. Chau and Lindsay were married in the summer to their handsome princes, Tyler, Austin, and I left on our missions, Amanda got married sometime in between. The house adopted Lyndee and Ruth, not sure when, Bee was a lousy pen pal, Wendy left on her mission, then bam, bam, bam, Lyndee, Ruthie, and Bee scooped up some princes for themselves. Tyler followed me home and stuck around, King officially crowned, Austen reclaimed his princess (not the one in fake eyelashes).

 T-Roy and I grew up, but just a little, and discovered some dreams to chase. One by one we left the house, but it never left us.
One of these days we’ll fold and one of us will buy that house. We’ll walk out the back door one afternoon to a mysterious BBQ (dejavu) and a text message will whip across the screens of my favorite non-relations in all the world.  

“Foods Hot,
See you at the
 Whore House.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Tart Treat

Raspberry Tarts

o   Preheat oven to 450 degrees
o   Prepare pie crust.
o   Roll crust into 2” balls and flatten into round discs.
o   Shape discs into mini cupcake tin pressing discs into the shape of the tin as though they were tiny pies.
o   Brush edges of crusts with egg wash and then sprinkle with sugar sprinkles for a golden brown color and some sparkle.
o   Fill each cup with approximately 1 Tbs. of the Raspberry filling, be careful not to overfill.
o   Bake at 450° for about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown.
o   Allow tarts to cool completely
o   Remove from pan carefully and pipe or spoon on a dollop of raspberry cream topping.

Raspberry Filling
o   2 c. partially crushed raspberries
o   Granulated sugar to taste (I use about ¼ c. for every 2c. berries)
Mix and let macerate until they are juicy and delicious
Raspberry Cream Topping
o   1c. heavy whipping cream
o   4 oz. room temperature cream cheese
o   2 Tbs. raspberry filling
Whip cream until it is nearly ready, add cream cheese and raspberry topping. Whip all together until smooth and creamy. (add powdered sugar to whipped cream to sweeten if desired.)
Grandma Maud’s Pie Crust
o   2c. Flower
o   1c. shortening (Crisco is best)
o   1 egg
o   Ice water
o   Vinegar
o   1 pinch salt
In a large bowl cut shortening into flour until well mixed. In a separate small bowl beat one egg with a splash of white vinegar and a splash of ice cold water. Add egg mixture and a pinch of salt to the large bowl and cut in adding more flour if needed. Dough should not be sticky at all but combine easily into a ball.
Bake at 450°
To increase your yield, maintain the 2 to 1 flour: Crisco ratio and multiply egg mixture to achieve desired texture.

          The measurements and techniques involved in Grandma Maud’s crust are not exact by any means. When my mom taught me how to make it she used just the words that Grandma Maud had used to explain it to her.
          “What’s a splash, mom?” I asked.
          “You know, just ‘splash’, turn the water on, let it get really cold, then run your bowl through the streaming water. A splash.”
          No joke, that’s how she taught me. That’s how Grandma taught her. I never knew my dad’s Grandma, but I bet she was really somethin’.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I am a Desperado.

I was chillin with Linda this morning,(Linda Ronstadt) as I often do when seeking direction and an opportunity to sing super loud while I clean the house. And just like she always does, she hit me with the truth, square on the chin. Here’s what she said;

“Now it seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table,
But you only want the ones that you can’t get.”

You’re absolutely right Linda, but I still want them. What do you say to that?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ain't Life Grand

My friend lost his grandpa last week. He didn't wonder off, he passed away. Away from the mortal sight of his loved ones still on this earth. It has been several years since I have had the sight to see my own grandpas, I wanted to express, somehow, my empathy.

I know where you're at buddy.
I know where our grandpas are too. Busy and peaceful, safe and waiting. 
ps, my radd and fearlessly loyal puppy dog Butch is there too.
That might not make you feel better. Maybe later it will.


I miss my grandpas every day. I miss their wisdom. I wish I had known then to ask them everything. I wish I had written down all of their stories. In times of discouragement I want to read their lives. I want to invent ‘Grandpa Google’, where all the answers come from the millions of wrinkles made moment by moment in the minds of those clever, brave, generous, resilient, tender men.
I feel the loss of their experience, especially now, as I step further and further every day into adulthood. I miss their hands. Huge, careful hands honed and infused with muscle memory and perfect timing. They were soft and generously folded with wrinkles where once had been hard callouses, tough skin, torn epidermis. They cradled my heart, wrapped all around my shoulders with long arms, still strong, and creaking joints. I remember laying my face in my grandpa’s large cool hand. His eyes had grown sad.
Love you Grandpa, love you both.
Thanks for the music, thanks for the laughs, for my parents who honor you, for the love you gave my Grandmas who miss you achingly. Thank you for a name I treasure, a place where I belong. Thank you for always looking at me like I was beautiful.
Wish you were here,