Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In Which We Smoked Marfa Lights

When good buddy Matt Sonzala asked SLY if we wanted to drive a Mini Cooper out to Marfa for a few days and stay in a trailer in the desert, it took about three seconds to say FUCK YES HAND ME MY TRAVELING SCARF.

It was part of a promotional deal for Mini Cooper's new Countryman model, but that was all I knew. A handful of relative strangers would drive to the desert in German cars, hang out, and be filmed. After reading the waiver I wondered if we were actually going to be hunted by a billionaire cattle rancher. Or turned into a human centipede.

So off we went. Our Austin crew had heard about the wildfires, but had no idea how bad they were until we got to Fort Davis on Sunday. Then we got a nice, warm greeting.

It looked apocalyptic but I was sort of awestruck. The billows of smoke were layered, like a painting: red, gray, pink, white. Some of them were soft, tall plumes, others what I'll refer to as a "firenado." Some people said it was a house fire that started it, others a rogue cigarette. Even miles away, I could feel the heat on my face. We often forget how powerful nature is, right there under our feet. Later that night we listened to Marfa Public Radio for updates. "We have breaking news," came a calm, deep radio voice. "There are loose cattle on the road."

Creeping wildfires and frightened cows aside, we had a grand old time rambling through Shafter, a prickly ghost town with a graveyard more than 100 years old, having a brush with Border Patrol, and camping under the stars. Shout out to Padre's for one of the best margaritas I've had in a while.

Shout outs to Mini, Sonzala, and travelmates Sun-Jue, local rapper Kydd (check his rhymes), Stephanie and Alie (check their store), and Aaron and Rachel of Knuckle Rumbler (check their parties). And yes, I did drunkenly suggest we request "Humpty Dance" from Marfa Public Radio Monday night, but I was just trying to keep spirits up. (They didn't have it, and played Bob Schneider instead.)

Boy did I feel lame going back to my "old car" after driving that baby at 80-100mph through West Texas. Thanks, Germans!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Complaint Box, Winter Edition

I was batting an idea around the So Like Yeah Estroplex a few days ago: a Snuggie-type thing that's also an electric blanket but that didn't have to be plugged in and was tailored enough that it wouldn't knock over a bunch of candles with its "Stand Back"-era Stevie Nicks sleeves. How would it be powered? Kinetic energy? Of course not. If you're wearing a Snuggie you ain't doin' shit! That's as far as that got. Yes, we only write by candlelight at the 'plex.

Then I saw the commercial for Forever Lazy, which turns adults into giant babies. Giant, freezing babies who can only be consoled with beer and TV. I was almost on board. Until around the 1:15 mark.

People. We have to draw the line at "zippered hatches" or the terrorists have won.

(Here's a plus, though: Searching for that Stevie Nicks video led me into a Fleetwood Mac rabbit hole, and I found this gem)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Q: How would you describe "The Wizard of Oz" to someone who has never seen it?

Waters: Girl leaves drab farm, becomes a fag hag, meets gay lions and men that don’t try to molest her, and meets a witch, kills her. And unfortunately — by a surreal act of shoe fetishism — clicks her shoes together and is back to where she belongs. It has an unhappy ending.

John Waters, from Robert Elder's new book.