Monthly Archives: June 2013

Letters to Jessie and the Avengers

Janet, Jessie and I (The Three J’s) went over to my mom’s house to visit and bring her birthday gifts. Happy Birthday, mom! We couldn’t bring Roxy over because my mom’s cats would probably eat her alive. They don’t like dogs. Roxy, on the other hand, loves to play with cats!

As we sat in my mom’s cozy living room, we couldn’t help but notice the giant TV in front of us. Mom had bought herself a sixty inch 3D TV. Can I just say WOW? Mom was so excited about the TV she wanted us to watch a bit of her favorite movie so we could see the special effects up close and personal. Since my mom is in her mid sixties her favorite movie is, of course, the Avengers.

We ended up watching the whole movie, we happen to love it too, and can’t wait for the Avengers 2. As we sat around the living room, trying to catch flying objects in 3D, wearing our special little glasses, I couldn’t help but say, “Look at us all sitting around like twelve year olds.”

Janet’s response, “Yeah, twelve year old boys.”

Jessie loved the movie so much I borrowed it from Netflix so she could watch it again. She also streamed Thor and Captain America before the Avengers arrived. Jessie is now a true Avengers fan vowing to go trick or treating as the Black Widow. Now, if only I can find a chaste version of the Black Widow’s outfit we’ll be just fine.

I think she was truly inspired by the athleticism of Black Widow. I walked into the kitchen and found her standing on the counter rummaging through the various boxes of food we keep on top of the cabinets. When I walked in, I must have made a noise because Jessie’s head whipped around to look at me.


“Yes, mom?”

“What are you doing up there?”

“Nothing to see here, mom, move along.”

“How did you get up…oh, I don’t want to know. What are you looking for?”


“I left them in the living room, Jess.”

“Oh, I should probably get down then, huh?”

Notes to Jessie

There are so many things I want to tell Jessie. She’s twelve now and growing up so fast both literally and figuratively. I had ‘the talk’ with her a couple of years ago and I think I traumatized her when I explained how things worked. I’ve decided to write down a few things for her to read, I just think it’s easier on her young, still developing mind.

If you don’t want to read them, I’m incorporating them into my blog here, I’ll differentiate them using, ‘Dear Jessie: Don’t Be Stupid” or “Dear Jessie: Debit Cards are NOT Credit Cards” or something along those lines. Don’t worry, I won’t write anymore about the birds and the bees unless it’s been a while and you need a refresher course! I can send you the PowerPoint personally. Just to forewarn you: it’s not for the faint of heart.

I’ll try to write one a week for a while until I run out of wisdom…shouldn’t take long! Hmmm…am I done already? I realize she won’t take all my advice to heart, I guess the true path to wisdom is a personal one, but if she could set her sights on a less slippery slope than the one I followed, I’ll be happy. Plus, this way if she does something really stupid, down the road of life, I can say, “I told you that was a bad idea.” I’ll even have it in writing.


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How Do I Love Thee, Texas Barbeque?

Since Janet and I stayed at the Aloft this past weekend in Portland, we were situated directly across the street from a Famous Dave’s BBQ joint. After living in Texas on and off for about fifteen years, I hesitate to order BBQ in other states, but especially in the Pacific Northwest. We are known for a lot of things but BBQ and Ice Tea (which go hand in hand, really) are not two of those things.

Janet and I decided to try Dave’s because it’s been a really long time since we had our BBQ fix. Eating at Dave’s made me realize just how much I missed Texas BBQ. Famous Dave’s was fine but can’t hold a candle to our favorite Austin BBQ spot: Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q – where you can get BBQ and fill up your other tank with gas!

If you live in Austin Texas, you will have a favorite BBQ spot because I’m pretty sure they have a committee who won’t let you live there if you don’t like BBQ. A lot of folks will join one of three bandwagons: Rudy’s BBQ, the Salt Lick and County Line BBQ, and faithfully eat at their favorite choice. (There are lots of other BBQ joints, lots, but I’m narrowing my choices to these three and Austin only.)

Same thing goes for iced tea. You either like sweet tea or unsweetened tea and you’ll rarely meet anyone who will tolerate one if they prefer the other. Usually you’ll hear, “Oh, you don’t have unsweetened tea? I’ll just drink water,” and it won’t be in the ‘oh, goody, I LOVE water’ tone.

Why do Janet and I worship at the alter of Rudy’s? Let me just tell ya: it’s mostly the brisket, sause and setup. When you first walk in to Rudy’s, they have a large winding area you go through, to get to the counter (kinda like Disneyland), which is lined with glass bottled sodas and beers. Right after the drinks are the usual BBQ sides in a giant refrigerated display case. So, before you even order your meat, the drinks and sides are already in your hot little hands!

You order the most important part of the meal, the meat, at the counter and watch while the professional slicers cut your meat right in front of you. No need to sit down and have a waiter slowly make his way over to take your order, the front counter crew will have loaded up your food and removed a big chunk of change from your pocket in no time!

Since Janet can only eat regular brisket (wet) and I can only tolerate lean (dry) we both get what we like without annoying the other because Rudy’s has them both.  Because, you know, if Jenn ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! And the BBQ sause (not sauce)! It is, without a doubt, one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth (right behind their delicious, melt in your mouth brisket). There are some camps, in the BBQ world, who swear any kind of sauce should be banned from BBQ, but I think a truly great sause only enhances the meat.

I’m sure other states make great BBQ too I just haven’t found it yet. Famous Dave’s must be pretty good because it’s a chain and if it were terrible nobody would eat there, eh? And in defense of Franklin’s on the Eastside of Austin (within walking distance of our house), we haven’t tried it yet. Something about a line 30 or 40 people deep, waiting to get in every single day, lets me know something exceptional is happening there. I just don’t want to stand in line (it’s hot in Texas) because I’m lazy and I’m usually at Rudy’s.

So, if you are anywhere near Austin, please visit each and every BBQ joint in town, and a couple hugging the county line, so you too can jump on a bandwagon. If I’m in town, you might see me at Rudy’s, crying tears of joy, while eating lean brisket on squishy white bread drowning in Rudy’s sause. Either that, or I’ll be at Chuy’s…don’t get me started on Tex-Mex!


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