i’ve gone to see the queen (city)

I’m back in Houston after a week and a half in North Carolina, where it was a wonderful and bracing 32 degrees my last morning there.  Oh sweet, sweet chilliness.  But I’m enjoying beautiful weather here (for the moment) in the Bayou City, so I have no cause for complaint.  And I had a wonderful time with my high school girls at the reunion, with Lilian in Asheville, with the fam in numerous restaurants throughout the Queen City (woohoo Deejai mussaman curry and chocolate creme brulee at Savor!), with my brother and his family at one of his productions, and with Sandy throughout the streets of the city as I got lost.  More than once.

It’s true that I lived in Charlotte for six years, but that does not change the fact that I am directionally challenged.

I’ll post pictures on facebook sometime later in the week, when Danny returns to Texas bearing my camera. Until then, I am too lazy to narrate something meaningful or creative, and therefore I will recount in lazy, list form some highlights of the Great Charlotte Trip of 09:

  1. Mmmm.  Savor.  Delicious delicious food, and cheap, with daily specials.  Barbecue chicken.  Tomato and cucumber salad.  Sirloin burger with applewood bacon and carmelized onions.  Peanut butter pie.  If you’re in Charlotte, you should check it out for lunch.  Morehead, near the stadium.
  2. Singing some high school classics with Beth, Erin, Noel, and Brian on the way to the reunion.
  3. Searching, with Danny’s help, for a postcard appropriate to send along with a job application, so the school can acknowledge receipt of my materials, as I forgot to purchase a Rice postcard before I left town.  I considered a “Roadkill Cafe” recipe card, an artsy photograph of Willie Nelson, and a provocative group photo of football cheerleaders before finding an innocuous reproduction of a Degas painting.
  4. Meeting Sterling, my new niece, the baby of many expressions.  And watching Danny make ridiculous faces at her.  I have photographic documentation.
  5. Sitting on an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway with Lil, during which we discussed the many inflections of the word “biscuit” for referring to different individuals’ degree of hotness and the probability of serious injury if one were to tumble down the incline a few inches from our feet.
  6. Dad’s roast, mashed potatoes, and peas, the makings of the Perfect Bite.  Leftovers would have been wonderful, but Lucky, the Largest Dog Ever (see Figure A), ate the remaining hunk of beef in a furtive grab-and-gobble.  That was a lot of meat!

    Figure A

    Figure A

  7. Watching my nephew Andrew careen around a high school gym wearing a cape and Burger King crown.
  8. My flight back, during which I endured the constant screaming of the two demon children seated in front of me.  They slapped and bit one another and shook their seats for the entire two hours and fifteen minutes, except for during the two minutes when their mother coerced the flight crew to sing “Happy Birthday” to one of her spawn, in celebration of his spawn-dom.

Okay, that last one isn’t so much a highlight as a scar on my brain, which was already tender from dissertation writing.  For now I’m back to the job market grind with new enthusiasm and gusto.  I’ve put together an unobtrusive playlist to inspire Deep Thoughts and Unwarranted Confidence.  I tried to just put my iTunes library on shuffle, but it insisted on returning to “A Dramatic Reading of Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha, read by Martin Maglaras.”

Although I do like to chant “By the shores of Gitche Gumee.”

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