First off – I just realized that my first day of unemployment fell on the 11th – which makes it easy for me to count the number of jobless days it’s been. That being said, when February rolls around, this helpful counting shortcut will go out the window and I will return to the status of communication-major-with-no-discernible-math-skills. Unfortunate.
Anne isn't wearing make-up!
My first stop was in New Orleans for a couple hours where I met my old pals Anne and Joey Mason, who are fresh off a ridiculous honeymoon in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I wish I could've stayed longer, but I got a late start on the road and it was westward ho. Always nice to catch up in person on each others' adventures. That being said, my travel companion Mike Rockwood and I did go to Acme Oyster House on Bourbon to indulge in the so-good-it-can-only-be-construed-as-witchcraft chargrilled oysters. Masons - if you are reading this - this was completely Mike's idea and that is why he is your nemesis. I apologize in full. But damn those buttery oysters are good.
Population 1113 today bitches!
As Mike and I drove all the way to Houston, we passed thru China. China, TX, population 1112. I wonder what if all the residents in this town are called "Chinese"? Or you know how sometimes the place you're in describes the person you are (e.g. - Harvard man). Does that makes these residents Chinamen? Uncool Texas. Uncool.
Here's a little aside about Texas' independence - when you enter the state from the east on I-10, there's a mileage sign on the highway that shows you're 9,324,382 miles away from El Paso (actual number closer to 800-something). Who puts that up? The number merely indicates how long you're stuck in the Lone Star state. Apparently, El Paso is nearly just as close to Los Angeles, than it is to Houston.
Next project: Four Loko House
Mike prefers froggystyle
We got into Houston around 1am and the next day was a whole lot of rest and recovery. After a quick gym visit, we visited the Beer Can House off Malone Street. It's exactly what it sounds like - a house covered with beer cans. This "art", took John Milkovisch 20 years (1968-88) to make. It was closed, so I don't know how many beer cans it actually took to make it, but I think this Milkovisch was a real cheap ass - Busch beer cans seemed to be the most prevalent casing. Mike and I proceeded to perform freestyles off planters smothered with sliced beer cans. The thought of tetanus certainly entered our minds, but the photo op was too good to pass. Several days later, the score remains: Mike - 1, Cary - 1, Tetanus - Zero. Check back later for the final score.
The rest of my time in Houston was spent in a Tex-Mex haze. Lupe Tortilla, Laurenzo's El Tiempo Cantino - I ate so much Mexican food, I didn't even have room for Freebirds. Apologizes to all of Santa Barbara.
The only thing worth mentioning between Houston and Dallas is Buc-Ees. It's the Walmart Supercenter of gas station pit stops. It has a giant beaver for a logo, and boasts there are two reasons to stop there, #1 and #2. I shot some video of the elegant restrooms - they did not disappoint. Hopefully, I'll post this soon. Some patrons were a little curious as to what I was taking pictures of. Can't a guy just take video of gas station bathroom stalls without getting weird looks and the third degree? Damn dudes.
Oswald was in far right window on 6th
If you look closely you can see the X's.
I stopped in Dallas to check out the 6th Floor Museum off Elm and Houston Streets. That's where JFK was assassinated. The 6th floor of the old school book depository is now a museum about that fateful day. It's quite impressive. There are minute-by-minute photos of the motorcade driving down Elm Street. Kennedy was hit at 12:30pm. There are also frame-by-frame stills of the Zapruder film. How's this for crazy? There's a quote by JFK the morning he died: "If anybody really wanted to shoot the President of the United States, it's not a difficult job, all one has to do is get in a high building... with a telescopic rifle." Eerie. You're not allowed to take pictures inside the museum, but outside on the street, there are two "X" markings that indicate the two shots he took. For us journalism junkies, there's a fascinating account of Jack Ruby's murder of Oswald. Former NY radio announcer Ike Pappas asked Oswald a question right as Ruby emerged from nowhere and shot Oswald. Pappas said he thought he was going to get hit as well. Checking out this museum was a nice two-hour break for some brain facts.
I arrived in Oklahoma City around 10 that night. My friend Jaclyn Schultz immediately took me out to the downtown party scene known as Bricktown. For someone who knew nothing about OKC - gotta be honest - it impressed me. This was a Tuesday night, and Bricktown was popping, especially the Skyy Bar. The area reminded me of Baltimore near Camden Yards. That's not a good analogy because nobody like Baltimore, except McNulty (whoever hasn't watched "The Wire" needs to!). It's a hip, relatively recently developed area that includes a riverwalk, with boat-rides, and Mickey Mantle-Bricktown Stadium, home of the triple A Astros. Mantle was from Spavinaw, OK. Don't really know how close that is to OKC. Don't really care to look it up. I have a photo of this, but this program isn't letting me upload. That's too bad because Ansel Adams called to tell me it was the greatest photo he's ever seen.