Good Luck Grill

Quickie post,

A place I love to eat is the Good Luck Grill in Manor, TX. I learned about it when I lived in Elgin. I will still drive out there to meet Nameless for dinner periodically. They have some of the best catfish I've ever had. (If you're not into catfish they have great chiliburgers and chicken-fried steak.)

Fried Catfish, coleslaw, and a chili cheeseburger peaking out from behind the paper. And fries.
I think it's fun to have a place to drive to for dinner – a little "out of the way, but worth it" kind of place.

That is all for now.



So, I was staying the night on Friday night at Nameless' house, watching the menagerie. Nameless was in Dallas, and since I pay child support for most of these animals it only makes sense that I'd be the one to watch them.

Saturday morning I woke up and took my medicines. I vaguely noticed that the pills were still in the daily pill dispenser for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and I thought that that would make it much easier to fill it up for the next week.

As the morning went on I began to be very angry at being there. I decided that it was probably just too soon after moving out for me to be spending time there. I was angry at everything he ever said or did to piss me off. I decided that I needed to head home, so I spent some times petting the cats and the dog, fed the whole crew and the feral colony on the front porch and headed out. Nameless had asked me if I'd give the dog a bath, but I decided that I could do it another time. I needed a cup of coffee and the Philistine doesn't even have a coffee maker in the house, much less cream.

As I was driving out of town I thought about filling up the car, but I was in too foul a mood to stop. Even at my favorite gas station on the corner of Main Street that sells the perfect Dr. Pepper. When I began to cry I had to really ask myself what the f***ing hell was wrong with me. How could I be so angry and so hurt about something that happened over a year ago and how could it still affect me so much? Then I started going over the morning's activities in my mind and I focused in on the pill dispenser. Like water running down the side of an overflowing glass it occurred to me that if the pills were still in the slots for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, then I didn't take them on those days. This dripped into my consciousness slowly.

I've mentioned before which medicines I take; I won't go too deeply into it here. But, I did mention the anti-bitch medication that I take, and one thing about this kind of medication is that there is a certain level of dependence that develops. What I mean is that when a person stops taking them there is a withdrawal, beyond the recurrence of the bitchiness the diagnosis of which was the cause of the prescription in the first place. In other words, I was turning back into a bitch, but this time an irrational bitch going through withdrawal. (This doesn't even address the possible adverse effects of not taking the other medication, which is mostly the source of the bitch symptoms.)

I kept myself busy yesterday; I nursed a coffee at Starbucks. I went grocery shopping. I made a marinara sauce and invited a friend over who is going through a particularly difficult time (a legitimate one). I invited Nameless and was surprised when he decided to come. I mean, driving 3 hours back from Dallas, then to drive another 30 miles for dinner is more than I expected. Not that I wasn't glad to see him. We actually had a lovely time and laughed and I felt better and hopefully my friend felt better.

Then today I slept until 1pm. 12:30, really, but I didn't get up and about until 1. I actually got up before 7am and took my pills, fed the cats their moist treats and then went back to bed. What's strange is that I picked up with the dream I was having right where it left off. It was a kind of mystery novel and it was probably brought on by the book of Victorian ghost stories I'm reading, but it was actually kind of fascinating.

I didn't get better until this evening when I met with some other friends and had a couple of beers. If I had known that drinking would actually make me feel better I would have done so much earlier in the day. (I had a couple of glasses of wine last night.) But, most of today was a fog, and I feel like I didn't get the day off and now I have to go back to work tomorrow and it's not fair, really.

But, it will teach me a lesson about cleaning, because when I cleaned my bathroom last I put the pill dispenser in a drawer, which is why I forgot to take them. Out of sight out of mind. I feel like perhaps I shouldn't clean any more again. Ever.

We'll see.

e A r n i e

The Oasis

♪ I put on some make-up
Turn on the eight-track
I'm pulling the wig down from the shelf... ♪ ♫

Oh, hi there. Sorry, I was just singing to myself.

So, choir practice is out for the summer. Who knew that choirs did this? The Southern Baptist church I sang in didn't. Not that I remember, anyway. It was over 20 years ago, though.

The reason for mentioning this is that our last big hoorah was Pentecost Sunday. We worked for a few weeks on the songs and it was a special Pentecost choir, not just the every-week one. So, I told Nameless that he needed to come see me sing this time. I actually asked if he would like to come, but there was a definite undercurrent of "you'd better say yes" to the way I asked. Being that he's the only one I told (in person) about my post-Easter meltdown – mid-meltdown – I think he understood that it was more than just a casual invitation in case he happened to already be planning on driving 40 miles from his home on a Sunday morning to attend Mass in a parish not his own.

And, I think we did a darn good job. Somehow he and Patricia (she also showed up) got it into their heads that I was going to be singing a solo. I suppose a normal person wouldn't have asked friends to come see them unless they were singing a solo, but I'm still a little delicate and I didn't want to be alone after we finished. Just in case.

After mass we went to lunch. Patricia (who will have her own little entry here soon) has been trying to get Nameless to go see the art gallery at The Oasis restaurant on Lake Travis. I had never been to The Oasis, so it seemed like a pretty good idea to take advantage of the fact that Nameless was already so close. They're always looking for galleries to sell their art in, even though they almost never want to sell their art in galleries.

The main draw of The Oasis is the view. Situated on a cliff overlooking Lake Travis, it is the self-proclaimed Sunset Capital of Texas. So, we didn't have a problem being seated for lunch, which is definitely not the sunset hour at this latitude. We ate outside under one of the 19,192 umbrellas. (Even still, my scalp got sunburned. I have GOT to remember to wear a hat!) Nameless ordered fried avocado tacos and I ordered a hamburger and we split them both between us. Patricia had a vegetarian dish, because she's a vegetarian when eating out. (This is part of a long, yet morbidly fascinating story.) I think it would be cliché to say that I'd had better food in my life and that you're paying for the location. The food was good and the view was nice. We saw islands in the lake that aren't supposed to be there (caused by the drought.) We saw disgustingly large houses. I don't think I saw any boats, but I'm not sure they are able to get on the water, again due to the drought.

I was expecting a restaurant with many patios. I got that, plus a small shopping center that apparently sprung up around it. A flag was flying announcing Oasis, TX, and that was kind of the feel. The shops were up and downstairs, and it was all very rustic.

There is a gallery on the ground floor, Texas Treasures. They had some very lovely antiques and contemporary art. An artist I know from Elgin named Greg Silkenson (Talking Wood) has work there. He has some nicely designed wooden boxes there. He might have some of his furniture there as well, but I didn't see it if he does. (I own one of his boxes. I keep hand-fabricated jewelry in it.)

The Blue Genie is on the second floor and they do have nice work. They are more contemporary. They actually have a show close to Christmastime in town. I'm not certain about their entire history; I don't think they've been in Oasis, TX very long, because I don't think it's been there very long. I don't know if they existed as a gallery before the Christmas Bazaar or if it was the other way around. One way or another, I recognized a couple of artists there. For instance, a potter named Jason Hooper.

After checking out the galleries we retired for a cup of coffee. Then Patricia decided that we were going to go sit on her friend's dock and watch the lake, even though neither Nameless or I really wanted to. She disappeared for about 20 minutes to look for her friend's phone number, because the fact that somebody says no has never bothered her for one minute.

We ended up sitting in the courtyard until around 7. In case you're keeping track, we were there from around noon until around 7. Yes, that's a very long time. We saw the line grow longer and longer as people began showing up to watch the sunset from the famous patios. Nameless was apparently enjoying relaxing and not feeling the urgent need to be doing something, a feeling that overwhelms him any time he's around his home. I'm certain that I would not have chosen to be out there that long, though it was fun and we did enjoy the courtyard and its sculptures, which we would have otherwise missed.

eArnie on the patio at The Oasis

Statue in the courtyard

Gymnast statue in the courtyard

Gymnast statue in the courtyard

Statue of Wishing Well in the courtyard

When we finally left we discovered that the line waiting for a table extended from the people waiting in line to cars waiting to get in to be able to park so that they could get in line. The line of cars went out of the parking area and up the road, and people were parking along the side of the road and walking very long distances for the privilege of enjoying the Sunset Capital of Texas at sunset. Perhaps it was busier than usual because it was a holiday weekend, but people seemed to think this was all perfectly normal. I can't imagine a sunset over a half-empty man-made lake could possibly be that impressive, but clearly there are plenty of people who disagree.

After that we went to Torchy's Taco's because upon leaving the restaurant Nameless and I decided that we were hungry. Again, Nameless and I split our orders and again Patricia had a vegetarian option. I mentioned the story behind the name of one of the items on the menu. I don't think I'm going to say which one here, but you could look up their menu and see if you can figure out which one I'm talking about. After I told them they both momentarily wondered if they were still hungry enough to eat. (They were.)

Then we went to HEB for ONE THING and ended up leaving an hour later with a miniature shopping cart overflowing because they weren't going to get a normal-sized shopping cart because they only came in for one thing, never mind that the minicart was so full that we were carrying the overflow in our hands. I did get a nice basil plant, which I've been looking for for weeks, and I ended up getting an Esperanza so that Nameless could get the 4th potted plant for free.

In the end I got home at almost 11pm. I'll have to think twice before I invite Nameless to see me sing at church again. Fortunately Monday was Labor Day and I was off from work. I might not have been in a very good mood about the whole thing otherwise.

So, that's my Oasis experience. I've only lived in Austin since 1998; that's what, 14 years it took me to eat there? That's about par for the course in my life.

I'm ready for bed now. I'll write more later.


e A r n i e

P.S. If you happen to visit the web sites that are linked from this blog, please let them know that eArnie sent you. Thanks.


May 20, 2012

I have a friend who shall remain nameless. I’ve mentioned him a few times here; I’ve called him Nameless, and he shall remain Nameless. This is his choice. I leave it to you, Gentle Reader, to figure out who he is. People who know me closely will not have a problem.

The thing is that Nameless and I dated – or I thought we dated – for a while. That didn’t work out well. This is actually my second attempt at writing this entry because the first one ended up going on and on about the relationship and the details of why it didn’t work out, but that’s not really what I want to write about – for this particular post or in general.

Nameless and I are still very good friends. He’s actually my best friend, and I’m not one to use that handle gratuitously. He’s more like a brother. I’ve met his family and they have adopted me; I’m invited to all the functions. Recently a friend of his asked if we were back together. I’ve had to really begin to watch myself that way, because it’s easy to slip into the habits and familiarity of couplehood. But, he doesn’t want to be together; he has told me this more times than I care to mention.

My point, and I do have one, is that while I’m trying to date again, it’s not easy. First of all, it’s not easy to meet people – for me anyway. Second, it’s not easy to meet people that I would want to date. I’m really just not into bars any more; I should go more often just to kind of keep that line in the water, but it’s a lot of hassle. Then there’s online dating. ***Please do not read this next sentence if you’re squeamish.*** If you create a profile on a gay dating site and describe yourself to God and everybody as a top, then you’d better have the balls and self-confidence to go along with that bold statement because I don’t have time to babysit or listen to snivelly, whiny men who ask me every 5 minutes if they’re bothering me. ***Okay, you may begin reading again.***

But, I end up comparing people to Nameless. By that I don’t mean to say that he’s where I set the standard because I’d like to think my standards are a little higher than somebody who won’t agree to officially call me a boyfriend much less a partner; I’m shooting for a husband here. But, I end up asking myself, “Would I introduce this man to my mother? My sister? My nieces and nephews? Would this man introduce me to his family and make me a part of it? Could I make this man an intimate part of my life? Would I buy a house with him? (This didn’t happen with Nameless, but I wanted it to.) The answer so far has been no… since I stopped thinking that I was dating Nameless, anyway. There were a few close-calls before him.

This doesn’t even touch on the number of friends I’ve met through him, some of whom I call my own friends. So, when I broke up with him, and said that we could be just friends, and it turned out that this meant that nothing changed except for my expectations, it left me in an awkward position. Many people have told me that I should consider just phasing him out of my life – for a while anyway. (One person told me to just burn the bridge, but she’s warped and has far more self-esteem and friends than I do.) The truth is that he’s more than a friend. When I need help with something he generally will drop whatever he’s doing to help me. (Like, when I run out of gas in the pouring rain, for instance.) He’s been with me for any important events in my life since we’ve become close. When I attended a very moving retreat at church there was a supper at the end for family members to join the attendees. He’s the (only) one who came. He was there when I was confirmed as a Catholic; he was there when I was in a car accident that left me lying on the side of the road and eventually in an ambulance. I know that I can count on him and I can’t just turn my back on that.

So, now as I meet people and begin talking with other men I feel a pang of guilt from time to time. It will be awkward if I ever do date again. But, even beyond that, coming out of that situation has left me a little fuzzy, as if I’ve been napping for ages and I’m coming into the world again, blinking in the bright sun, rubbing sleep out of my eyes and wondering what’s happened. I used to have a circle of friends (one of my own) and this and that happened and now I don’t have that circle any more, and all of my friends seem to be through Nameless to one degree or another. I’m not just in the market for a boyfriend; I’m looking for a brand new set of friends that I can count on. (Before anybody gets their panties into a wad, let me clarify by saying that this doesn’t mean that I DON’T have friends, it just means that I want more of them.) Because, every time I get to a weekend or an evening and I want to go out for dinner I call Nameless. For anything big or small my first reaction is to call Nameless. And, while I will never say that I regret knowing him or that I wish we weren’t friends, I’m never going to make new friends this way.

So, that’s my awkward little story about a very special person, who shall remain Nameless. Now it’s very late, I’m very tired and though I probably won’t sleep due to the volume of coffee I’ve consumed today I need to think about going to bed.

More later,

e A r n i e