The Texas State Fair started up this weekend and the only thing that really means to people here is fried foods. Here are a couple of things to to look forward to this year (a more comprehensive list can be found here).
- Deep fried jambalaya – I can guarantee you my father will be trying this when they come to visit. I can also guarantee you he’ll be knocking back antacid afterwards.
- Fried picnic on a stick – This is just stupid. It has fried chicken, tater tots, and a dill pickle in one bite. No thanks.
- Deep fried chocolate tres leches cake – Yes please.
- Fried mac and cheese sliders – I was behind this until the word sliders. Stop trying to make mac and cheese something it isn’t!
- Fried cow patty – It doesn’t even matter what this is. When you call it a cow patty I stop listening.
- Fried sugar – We are running out of things to fry. It’s coming down to single components you find in a grocery store. Other ideas : fried maple syrup, fried cream cheese, fried spaghetti sauce, fried broccoli, fried coconut milk. These ideas are all copyrighted – there is no way you could have come up with them on your own by walking down the grocery store aisles.
- Deep fried chicken and waffle – The Atlantian (Atlantan?) in me likes this a lot.
- Cup of trash – Why?
I was reading an article on our local news site and noticed the location of the story described as “The Disney Streets”. I immediately Googled it and saw this on Google maps (click on it for more clear text).
This is a mid-century neighborhood in Dallas with all Disney-esque street names – Snow White, Pinocchio, Elfland, and many more. This is a real thing. And I’m torn between being snarky about it and being delighted for the child in me.
I’m waiting for us to be invited to some sort of rewards program by Scardello because we attended another cheese class last month. And we are signed up for another next month. This time around it was “Charcuterie and Cheese”. Charcuterie started out as a way to preserve meats prior to refrigeration. I wasn’t entirely sure what this including and was kind of wary of the whole thing, expecting that we were going to spend the evening eating cold meat formed into weird molds. But I was pleasantly surprised when we were greeted with this:
There was one pate which I was very reluctant to try but actually enjoyed because it tasted like kielbasa. The rest were essentially different salamis, aside from the prosciutto which I would have gladly eaten many times over. We were surprised by the variations of salami because there really aren’t too many choices in your typical supermarket. Our favorite was probably the wild boar salami by Creminelli, based in Utah. The wild boar actually comes from East Texas where they are hunted for population control. We were lucky to have a couple of different salamis by Creminelli and actually had some while we were in Park City since they are based in Salt Lake City. Taylor actually got some of their whiskey salami as part of his usher’s gift from Matt! So we are eating that and getting drunk.
The worst part about the class was this couple that was clearly on a date sitting at our table (you have to sit at tables of 6 or 8). Both of them ate maybe half of their plates. How do you just leave high quality cheese and salami on your plate like that? I don’t care if it’s your first date and you are trying to be cool, YOU EAT IT ALL. I debated eating theirs after they got up to leave but you never know with communicable diseases.
Our house is near White Rock Lake where Taylor likes to run on Saturday mornings and we also enjoy riding our bikes. To have a 9 mile loop around a lake in the middle of the city of Dallas is pretty great. The lake – like all but one in Texas – is man-made and has a spillway that feeds into a tiny river. Birds, including herons and egrets, like to stand on the spillway and get misted by the fast moving water. You can’t walk out to it because I suppose it’s dangerous but D magazine found a picture of some high school girls in the 1950s enjoying the cool waters of the spillway.
Ah to be young.
On Tuesday night we had a storm that started before we went to bed and wasn’t done until we got up the next morning. It was some much needed rain and as annoying as lightening can be while you are trying to sleep, there is something oddly comforting to me about low rumbles of thunder. Luna is no longer scared of thunder and it actually seemed to energize her throughout the night. When she starts sprinting around at night we just spray her with a water bottle as she runs by. I wish I could get a video of this because I imagine we look quite comical half asleep trying to spray water in a general direction. Click through HERE to see an awesome photograph an artist did compiling all the lightening throughout last night. I repeat: this is a compilation of the lightening and did not all happen at once (clarification for our mothers who will see this and think we almost died because 40 lightening bolts struck at once).
A border town named McAllen recently had a Walmart go out of business. The city was left with a giant empty building and they decided to convert it into a library. It is about the size of 2.5 football fields and is the largest one-story library in the country.
Within the first month of opening, library registrations increased by 23%.
Dallas county is having a bit of a West Nile issue. With 37 human cases and 2 deaths, Dallas county has had the most cases of any county in the country. Pretty much every 2 days since the middle of June, the city has been spraying in areas where new cases pop up. Apparently cases don’t usually show up until August/September so we might be in for a fun couple of months breathing in insecticide. Taylor rarely gets bitten by mosquitoes but they love to find me in our apartment. I was just watching TV on Sunday night and realized that I had three fresh mosquito bites on my side. We are trying to train Luna to kill mosquitoes but apparently that is not a skill she is interested in honing. She would prefer to work on catching water in her mouth as it drips from the shower head.
The past couple of weeks have been dotted with several days over 100 degrees, including 108 degrees on Tuesday. The annoying thing is that my office amps up the air conditioning a little too much when it is hot so people end up wearing cardigans. Some people even have space heaters under their desks.
Yesterday was our three year anniversary which, to those who have been married longer, may seem minimal. To us that seems like a long time and every year we turn to each other and say “holy crap, we’ve been married X number of years!”. When we told people that we were engaged there were a lot of seasoned couples that acted like they had acquired some amazing knowledge about relationships upon becoming married. They would look at us and say “marriage is hard” and then smile at each other like they knew something we did not yet know. I am here to tell you that we have acquired no such visions in these last three years. We have simply stuck to the advice that Taylor gives every newly married couple: don’t be selfish. That’s pretty much it. Also, don’t let other people define your marriage for you. There are a lot of stupid people out there. We will celebrate this weekend by going to San Francisco to visit some friends.
“Happiness that is sought for ourselves alone can never be found: for a happiness that is diminished by being shared is not big enough to make us happy.
There is a false and momentary happiness in self-satisfaction, but it always leads to sorrow because it narrows and deadens our spirit. True happiness is found in unselfish love, a love which increases in proportion as it is shared. There is no end to the sharing of love, and, therefore, the potential happiness of such love is without limit. Infinite sharing is the law of God’s inner life. He has made the sharing of ourselves the law of our own being, so that it is in loving others that we best love ourselves. In disinterested activity we best fulfill our own capacities to act and to be.
Yet there can never be happiness in compulsion. It is not enough for love to be shared: it must be shared freely. That is to say it must be given, not merely taken. Unselfish love that is poured out upon a selfish object does not bring perfect happiness: not because love requires a return or a reward for loving, but because it rests in the happiness of the beloved. And if the one loved receives love selfishly, the lover is not satisfied. He sees that his love has failed to make the beloved happy. It has not awakened his capacity for unselfish love.
Hence the paradox that unselfish love cannot rest perfectly except in a love that is perfectly reciprocated: because it knows that the only true peace is found in selfless love. Selfless love consents to be loved selflessly for the sake of the beloved. In so doing,it perfects itself.
The gift of love is the gift of the power and the capacity to love, and, therefore, to give love with full effect is also to receive it. So, love can only be kept by being given away, and it can only be given perfectly when it is also received.”
– Thomas Merton
You might think all Texas musicians are country singers but there are some other types of musicians and bands that have come from this state. The city of Denton is about 45 minutes north of Dallas and has become somewhat of an independent music scene, partially due to the University of North Texas College of Music. Our friend Ren, who lives in Austin, recently posted about one of Taylor’s and my favorite Denton artists and I realized we had never posted about her. Despite spelling her name wrong, Sarah Jaffe has several great albums out and one of my favorite songs is “Clementine”.