Maybe I should start a blog

11 05 2015

Dude, I’m so excited about this blog. A good friend of mine and a great foodie has decided to enter the blog world! If you love deliciousness and quick wit give ’em a follow! You won’t regret it!

Maybe I should start a blog.

 

I’ll be back soon to let you know how things have been because life has been crazy and awesome things have been happening! Thanks for the read!

Cheers for now!

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Fillin’ up your Belleh in the ‘Ham

4 08 2014

You have my new friend Ellen to thank for this post. Ellen comes into my work place on the regular and somehow we always wind up talking about the history of Birmingham and the cool things to do here. I actually started writing this article and discovered it was going to be entirely too long. So I’m going to have to break it up into sections. Today we’ll start with food (because food is always the most important.) It’s no secret that Birmingham has unbelievable food. I am such a big foodie it’s no wonder I’m not 500 lbs. Here are some of my favorites.

MELT: Melt started out as a food truck that had such a large following it built a brick and mortar. Located in Avondale, Melt is a whiz at slinging the all American grilled cheese. They put a new spin on this classic with locally sourced ingredients and gourmet flavor. I love Melt so much that I actually work here. Basically I showed up at the food truck so much that they came to know me by name and offered me a job. I agreed only on the terms that they pay me in cheese. My favorite menu item would have to be the Mac Melt (mac-n-cheese between texas toast) but my all time favorite is a special melt called the Honey Lavender (mounds of ham with monterey  cheese on sourdough, grilled with Alabama honey lavender butter.) The butter is so good I would lick every piece of toast that came through the line if they would let me (they don’t let me.) As if that wasn’t good enough they also have a killer desert known as the banana stand… trust me… there’s always money in the banana stand. Oh yeah and they have vegetarian and gluten free options out there for those that want it.

 

SLICE: If you’re looking for the best pizza in town… look no further than Slice. Some people debate that they like Post Office Pies  better, which is fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if it is wrong. I really can’t tell you what to eat at Slice because I never can decide myself. It takes me 20 minutes of pouring over the menu for me to come to a conclusion and then the waitress tells me the special and I wind up just getting that. Everything sounds delicious. Everything is delicious. Slice sources all of their ingredients as fresh and local as they possibly can and they have several local brews on tap. If I had to pick my favorite menu item it would probably be the “CRAWFISH MAC & CHEESE – Bacon, Jalapenos, Fresh Red Bell Peppers, 7 Cheese Blend” But you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

 

El Barrio is one of my favorite Mexican places [rivaled by the Cantina (best fish tacos in town) and theLittle Donkey (just plain good)]. If you’re looking for the best cheese dip, El Barrio is the place to go and while you’re at it get the Al Cabron tacos. You won’t be disappointed… unless you’re a meat hater…

The best place to grab a Sunday brunch imho is without a doubt is Five Bar. They only ever have 5 things on the menu at any given time. Don’t let that deter you though. It’s all delicious. I had the best chicken and waffles. I still dream about it at night. Everything is fresh and presentation is beautiful.

For slap-your-momma-good BBQ no one will debate that Saw’s is the best. I haven’t actually had their BBQ yet. I never can make it past the other delicious items on the menu like the fried green tomato BLT or their shrimp and grits.

Green Acres Cafe serves up the tastiest grease in town. They serve everything from pork to fish sandwiches to fried livers and wings. My favorite thing to order there is a Whiting Fillet sandwich (make sure to order the fillet and not whole so you avoid those pesky bones). You’ll get the tastiest fried fish you’ll ever have on two slices of good ol’ gummy white bread and if you order it all the way that comes with salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup and hot sauce. Be sure to order some fried green tomatoes on the side for the complete experience. To. Die. For.

And if your pocket book is hurting and you’re wanting the best hot dog of your life you just need to tool on down to Gus’ Hot Dogs. George and L.A. will take care of you. Everything on the menu is under 5 dollars  (be aware they only take cash) and is drop dead delicious. Gus’ is a family tradition. My grandfather use to work at Alabama Power right around the corner and would drop by for a special dog all the way, a Grapico and sweet heat chips. Two dogs, two chips and two grapicos will run you about 7 dollars, so treat a friend to lunch today.

 

Well that should be enough to get you started. There are still plenty of places I could tell you about but you need to start with these. Now go out and get some grub and support your local restaurant owners.

 

Cheers!





Dunt Dunt Dunt: another one bites the dust

28 03 2014

Praise the Lord and Hallelujah! I just got done with another drafting of Joshua Burnam and the Killer Cereal. Hopefully it’s one of my lasts. The story is coming dangerously close to completion. This week I will be asking some of my trusted Englishly peoples take a look at it and give me some feedback. The majority of plot holes have been filled during this last run though which was probably the biggest overhaul it’s seen yet. It’s taken over a year’s worth of primping and polishing to get it to it’s present state.  I have people constantly asking me how it’s coming and my answer is always the same, still revising.

I feel like I could revise myself into the ground sometimes, but it is a necessary part of the process. I often remind myself that the difference between a writer and a published writer is revision. Someone seeking publishing should spend about 25% of their time writing the story and 75% of the time revising it. And man alive, I use to hate revision. Revision, to me, use to mean that I hadn’t done things perfectly on the first go around (and who really want’s to be told that their writing is crap?) It use to mean that I could potentially cut a paragraph that was awesome and then it would be gone forever.

But as I have become more established in my writer’s ways I have come to realize that there is a certain freedom in revision. It is admitting that: yes, I didn’t get it right on the first try but I can come back to it. And that takes a lot of pressure off preforming such monumental undertakings. Additionally, it is super productive. Knowing that you can revise later on helps you to get what’s in your head out NOW. Sure, maybe it might not work well with the story as it is but you don’t risk losing that great idea because it’s not yet perfect. In food terms: First you gotta get the icing ON the cake before you can smooth it out.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to share the news with you peoples cause you’re awesome and continue to read these posts. Hope your March went well! here’s to a better April!

 

Cheers!





Sometimes you just have to have rainbows in your coffee

15 09 2013

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In Praise of Calories

25 01 2013

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, sleep and calories make the world go round. Either one of these or preferably both together brighten my day considerably. I was able to obtain this combination earlier today after work and before class. There was some serious debate on my part which I should pursue first but sleep won out and I cashed in on a two hour nap which brought color and wonder to the rest of my day.
For the past week I’ve been bare bones when it’s come to creativity, motivation and yes even moving. Insomnia had punctuated my nights and barely allowed me enough sleep for functioning. However after catching up on some Zs I found myself actively seeking out food for the first time in days (for those of you who know me you know that’s a huge thing, for those
Of you that don’t know me, well, it’s a huge thing.)
My adventures for today began when Delores served me my flatbread sandwich. She’s new this establishment that I frequent and I have to say she’s the best addition yet! I say this because she distributed the ingredients of my sandwich evenly across the flatbread instead of lumping it in the middle and serving up a soppy mess of bleh. Thank you Delores for the food.
Next on my list of intrigues came as I slogged my way to the library. I passed the man who empties the parking meters. He had a string attached from his left shoulder stretched across to his right hip. On this string hung 100 or more brass keys of the same size. For some reason this made me happy. He dumped container after container of shiny quarters into his little personal roll along buggy that he pushed from meter to meter.
Once in the library I ran across one of the fellow members of our newly named poetry group. This has been an exciting event and I promise I’ll create a post elaborating on it shortly. For now you just need to know we call ourselves the Jones Valley Poetry Company. Anyway, we sat and had a nice chit chat about Dostoyevsky, the Victorian/Romantic era and how we both don’t do enough recreational reading.
Today has refreshed me. I actually feel the desire to write again and think about more than when I might could catch another nap. Here’s to food and sleep and creativity. I hope you get your full share!

Cheers!





For Starters…

2 10 2012

Hey hey, I’m back. This time I have a poem I wrote last week for my class. As of yesterday it got a thorough critique. So I still have some work to do on it. But as the tag line to this blog is pure, raw unedited… i’m posting first drafts. Hollar with your comments or suggestions!

Ciao.

Au Poivre: With Pepper

During the fall months it was dank in the culvert under Dobbson’s street.
“The smell was not just of cat piss and foul tinned fish” but it was as if
Death itself had curled down there to sleep. Yet in the summer
the creek dried up leaving nothing but the crispy husks
of mud babies, broken glass and a fine cayenne silt that clung
to the bottom of my blanket and worked its way into
the bindings of all my books. That 7×15 hollow of corrugated tin
was my Narnia, Naboo, Neverland. It protected from the sun and tongue-lashings
for daddy had a peppercorn temper. The kind with creole heat
that leaves anger in your mouth and the imprint of
tongs on Momma’s back. I was seventeen when he died, mid-beer,
of a heart attack Mother told me “never EVER marry
a football player.” But I did. And now dessert, at least once a week,
is served with the taste of blood from when fist and flesh meet.





Daddy

2 02 2012

My father doesn’t wear his wedding ring. For some reason that’s never been unnatural for me. Yet for some reason whenever I see a couple in public who are obviously together and the woman has nice bling-bling on her left yet the man has none… I instantly think “scandal,” which is ridiculous. I mean I’m sure most married men have a perfectly good, faithful reason to not wear their wedding bands. In the case of my Dad, he’s a pilot. So what? You think. Well he’s not just any sort of pilot, he’s kinda like a limo driver of the air. This requires that he loads all of his hoity toity customer’s bags. One of which caught on his ring years back (back when he actually use to wear it,) and nearly ripped his finger off. From then on he determined to wear it only on special occasions, anniversaries, mother’s day, Mom’s birthday… things of that nature. It was always weird to see its appearance. I’ve only seen it a select number of times. Its gold and along each side there is a small row of dots. I remember seeing the way Dad would clench his hand randomly during the times he had it on. He is not as thin as he was when he was married and the ring has never been resized. He has a bit beefier fingers than he used to and the ring cuts circulation off. He doesn’t complain thought. He knows how much wearing the ring means to Mom. Though he may hide all sorts of discomfort while actually wearing the ring there is no way for him to hide how difficult it is for him to get it back off again. He stands there by the dresser, fingers slathered with a thick layer of coco-butter, tugging and pulling at that darn ring. His lips purse together until they disappear and he holds his breath until his face turns red and that one vein pops out on the side of his forehead. He’s not a man easily bested and so he always gets the ring off again. And again it will go back into the top drawer of the dresser for safe keeping until the next special event. That’s how it’s always been with my father, his thus and so attitude has always made sure there is a place for everything and everything must be in place… except for maybe when it comes to the frigerator.
Where items are kept in the fridge has been and probably will be the longest lasting argument between my parents. Mom loves to cook (and she’s and excellent one at that) and the kitchen is her workshop. All of her tools must be where she left them (and with as many times as we’ve moved it took months for us kids to retrain ourselves in unloading the dishwasher,) and the contents of the fridge qualify as “tools.” Whenever Dad uses the fridge he just throws things where there is a space, I know this because I’ve watched him, and me and my sister got tired of being blamed for his misgivings. And boy does his flippant nature set Mom off. I’m telling you if the pickles wind up where the mayonnaise goes then its World War III and you had better duck and cover. She will rant on and on about how she doesn’t go into his shop and rearrange his tools (which is a HUGE pet peeve of his) so then why in heaven’s name would he rearrange her fridge?! For all her shouting and ranting though, it never does any good. She’ll rearrange the fridge again, make sworn threats about how it would be the last time and how whoever set it out of sorts would be the one condemned to fix it. Of course this bothered my father none “She can just get over it,” he would say. It didn’t please me and my sister at all. I mean we had no problem putting things back where we found them. But you know if you’re putting something back where it was when it was already out of place to being with… you get confused as to whether you should put it back where you think you know it goes or where you actually got it from. And Lord help the person who stands there with the door open weighing ones options, for inevitably Momma would round the corner and see you cooling the world and then you were in for it all over again. That’s the way it is with Momma. And everybody knows when Momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy, which made me wonder why my Dad continually tried to push his luck. Because if it wasn’t the fridge she was ranting about, then it was the stupid woodpile.
I can’t tell you how many times our family has had to move this huge and I do mean HUGE stack of drying tinder. It was a take none of us women folk looked forward to. Why couldn’t he just find a place to put it and keep it there we would ask of Daddy. His reply to us would be along the lines of “Come on Shaniqua, come on Sha-nay-nay, Po’ Lazarus needs yo help in da field.” Dad likes to listen to old southern chain-gang chants and he preferred to think of us as his little slave hands while he was master of the plantation. Mom eventually got to the point where she refused to help anymore. Which left me and my sister to tromp out into the “field” and help him move stacks of firewood covered with lichen and creepy crawlies. Now I didn’t mind the creepy crawlies so much. And I didn’t mind the black widows. Black widows are easy to identify and easy to squish. Brown recluses I mind though. They like to disguise themselves as harmless wolf spiders, however one kiss from a brown recluse and the next thing you know half your body is rotting off and your life is on the line. I’m all moved out now. I don’t have to move that stupid woodpile anymore. Just the other day my Daddy called to tell me he missed me, (which is unheard of because he’s not one of those voice-your-feelings kind of man.) Needless to say I was surprised.
“Yeah?” I had said.
“Yeah…” he replied. “I miss my slave hand. Now I don’t have anyone to help me move the woodpile.” From this I gathered that my sister had finally given up and given in the towel. It was nice to be missed, even if it was Shaniqua’s brute strength he was referencing. I smiled to myself, glad that I was on the phone so he couldn’t see me.
“Well now,” I told my Daddy, “ I guess it finally found its place.”
“Yeah, “he said. “I guess it did.”








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