I Can't Get Enough of Tuscany Fondu

At seven Sunday morning I awoke to the moving van in my driveway. My new neighbor was moving in. I'd fallen asleep on the sofa reading. And, as it was way too early to face the day, I limped into the bathroom, downed some aspirin (I'm beginning to resemble Robert Blake in “In Cold Blood”). I dragged a fan into the bedroom, and hoped that it's noise would cover up the sound of the movers. It did. And the aspirin worked it magic. I got up at nine, my knee not so painful. I listened to some podcasts from the Skepticality site and sipped on a large cappuccino. Eventually I had to walk the neighbor's dog. And then I had to go help Carlos move.

I stopped at the PikNik for two 50 cent tacos de papas rancheros, and I headed my way north. The only CD I had in the truck was a fairly boring album by David J. I tried the radio, but when I got some hate-filled hot air from Duncan Hunter, the vile Republican candidate who won the Texas straw poll, I had to do what I always do when turning on the radio — I had to turn it the fuck off. Everything that is wrong with America is embraced by Hunter as everything he thinks is wonderful about our country. Again, I would thrill to think that the fundamentalist mythos of these swine, what with its notion of heaven and hell, was fact. Were it all true, the satanic jackasses like Hunter would eventually be roasting in the fires of hades for all of eternity.

At Carlos' place, I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to be moved. He had two rooms filled, floor to ceiling, with boxes. And they were mostly small boxes in a variety of dimensions. Also there were two rooms where nothing seemed to have been yet boxed up. A computer still running. A fish tank filled and burbling away.

Shelley had taken Rockie to the new place in Sequin. Carlos' parents were up from the Valley, visiting — they were also at the new place. Because of a cock-up with U-Haul, Carlos couldn't get the truck until three in the afternoon. I arrived at about 12:30. Me and Carlos loaded up his van and my truck. Pete soon showed up and we loaded up his truck. And then we began pulling stuff from the house and staging it in the driveway. We were pretty confident that the morning rains were gone for good. Blue skies with nothing but little puffy clouds.

At three me and Carlos drove to the U-Haul place. The smiling, polite guys who worked there were all either massively stoned or else they were still adjusting their meds towards that sweet spot with regards to their Prozac prescriptions. The four guys drifted unconcerned about the place, and it took 45 fucking minutes to politely over-charge us, hook up a tow bar, unhook the tow bar because they decided it wouldn't handled Carlos' van, and then when I opened the back of the truck and pointed out that the heavy-duty dolly Carlos had paid for wasn't inside, they said they'd fetch it. They never did. Me and Carlos had to go inside and wheel one out on our own. I could understand if they were busy, but they weren't.

Back at the house, Pete had lugged out another hundred boxes or so. And then Wendy showed up with her van. She had a friend, her teenage brother, and one of his friends. We put them all to work. Things began to move pretty fast.

One of the boxes made me smile. It was obviously a gift. A fondu set. Like really, no one buys a fondu set for himself. I could be wrong. But it was the brand name that struck me. “Tuscany Fondu.” And, let me just get this out in the open. Of all the strippers, exotic dancers, burlesque queens, and ecdysiasts who I have appraised and assayed over the years, the one who took me to that heady and intensely fearful place where you think that, whoa, dude, it can't get any steamier and spicier than this, would have to be, no contest, Tuscany Fondu.

But I digress.

Shelley showed up. She set to breaking down the huge fish tank.

And then the rain began. We moved as fast as possible. We all got soaked, but soon we had the mammoth truck filled. The problem was, there are still a lot of stuff in the house. But Carlos decided that we should begin to caravan to the new place.

It was a long drive. The new place isn't really in Sequin. It turns out it's about ten miles north of the town, and then another five miles through farm roads and unpaved roads. Maybe closer to Luling.

Very isolated. But the place is nice. It's a prefab home. About the size of two doublewides assembled together. Central air. A well with an automated pump.

The area countryside is a bit too generic for my tastes. It's on the edge of the coastal plains. Mostly post oaks, some mesquite and hackberry. Carlos has mentioned farming on the place. I could see that. It's flat and open. But if I were to buy a plot of land in this general part of the country, I'd be looking at land solidly in the hill country. I like the cedars, prickly pears, the hills, the nasty outcroppings of rock, and the vistas. But Carlos and Shelley seem happy. And Rockie took me on a little mini tour. She seems to love it. The place is in a pocket of south Texas oil fields I did not know of (the “Luling Oilfield,” according to the Handbook of Texas (Online) — the bible of all things Texportant*). There's a prevailing odor of natural gas that you find in Texas oil fields from Iraan to Vidor. Pretty stinky, but I guess the locals get used to it. The place does seem to be producing the stuff. There are those pumpjacks all over the place — bobbing their giant insect heads up and down, bringing the crude to the surface.

One of the more amusing things was that Shelley removed the fish from her aquarium and put them into an unsealed styrofoam cooler with a piece of cardboard laid across the top as a lid. I was a bit perplexed. We had some plastic coolers which could be sealed. And there was also the traditional prospect of plastic bags. Fish are transported that way all the time, as I recall. Anyway, I decided to snap a picture of this young man with a cooler in his lap, because I knew I'd have a nice opportunity an hour later to photo him with wet pants from sloshing fish water.

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I was not to be proven incorrect.

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Wendy and her crew quickly made good their escape after unloading her small van. Me, Carlos, Pete, Shelley, and Carlos' father eventually emptied the moving truck.

Carlos has plenty of odd stuff. Here we see Rockie struggling under the weight of a prostetic leg. Carlos reminded me that it was a prop from one of is films.

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Yeah. Prop. I use that all the time to explain away, you know, stuff … and things ….

I made it home about 11:30 pretty damn beat.

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*”Texportant.” I was a bit embarrassed coining this phrase just moments ago as I added polish to the post. But it was so dumb, I thought to leave it in the blog entry. And then, curiosity nibbled. I did a Google search, expecting, I dunno, maybe 20 hits. It's Madison-Avenue-obvious, right? Not by a long toss. It's a pure grade “A” Google virgin. So, folks, get crackin' with that texportant.com; the incorporated town of Texportant, Texas; or, hows about, Texportant Industries — you can manufacture ceramic grommets, for all I care. Sir, or madame, consider it a gift! From me, to you. Texportant. But act soon, or you'll be snookered by some out-of-state upstart who'll snatch up that domain name and push his on-line gift items down our collective craw. Oh, you know the ilk I mean. The Tony Lamas of Minnesota. But he goes by many names. You'll know him by the umbrella in his gun rack, his furtive attempts to nibble the corn husk wrapped around his tamales, or his incessant demand that you refer to his country-home on a huge tract of undeveloped land as a “ranch.” “Please, sir, could you use it in a sentence.” “It's texportant, when speaking of that famous home just outside of Crawford, Texas, that we refrain from using the word 'ranch' until folk start lassoing and branding heifers on the property.”

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