Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I went down to the crossroads...and kept driving

We are in full flight home for the holidays. Rachel and I will be back in Los Angeles to catch a flight to Canada for Christmas. On a side note, does anyone out there actually get excited about Christmas? I don't want to sound like bitter guy but I am finding it hard to work up excitement for a holiday with such lame music, the worst movies ever, ridiculous commercial overtones and expectations, and food that's only half as good as Thanksgiving. It's a wonder it's even considered the grandaddy of holidays. Although I am really looking forward to seeing my family.

Over the last week we shot all the way from Charleston to Austin. With stops along the way in Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Clarksdale, Vicksburg, and New Orleans it's been a jambalaya of blues, Beale St, battlegrounds, Broadway, bars, bluegrass, BBQ, Bourbon St, and beinets. Mmm beinets!!!

Above all the last week has been a drive through the American music heartland. After the LaScala's graciously took us in in Atlanta, we cruised through the home of 3 of the most profound American musical genres. There was Country and pulled pork to be had in Nashville; a ramble through Blues country on Mississippi's Highway 61; and dudes with horns making the devil's music in Nawlins' (although some say Kenny G invented jazz).

All of the styles hit a convergence in Memphis where we paid tribute to the original genre-fuser. No, I'm not talking about Isaac Hayes. I am referring our trip to Greaceland to pay tribute to the king. Graceland's portrait of Elvis was fascinating because it doesn't discriminate between the classy, all American Elvis, and the sleazy, shag carpet sealing, sweaty Elvis. It simply honors him for what he was: A talented man with good intentions and a terrible sense of fashion.

Outside of our musical exploit,s the highlights of the last leg were roaming the swampy street of New Orleans, and staying in our first splurged hotel room in Vicksburg.

After a ridiculous dinner of BBQ at the Salt Lick, and a sweet stay the Isaak Castle in Austin, we are heading across Texas for Lubbock, Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, on our way back to good ole' LA.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The South Will Rise Again

In the words of the Southern White Supremecist, Vice President, and Senator John C. Calhoun, "The surrender of life is nothing to sinking down into acknowledgment of inferiority." These sentiments have resonated all the way from the lyrics of Lynyrd Skynyrd to the modern caste system of Charleston. What does all this mean to us as freedom loving Americans? It means that Southern roots run awwwwfully deep, and though the South may have lost, they ain't about to admit defeat. And without the fact that slavery is morally reprehensible in every way, it's hard to argue with the Southern lifestyle. Anyone who's quick to think that Southerners are backwoods bumpkins have obviously never been to Charleston, South Carolina.

With visions of magnolias and Spanish moss in our heads we proceeded to roam through "the Lowlans" while sippin mint juleps and perfecting our distinguished southern snarl. We were blessed with a refreshing break at the Evangelista's Virginia spread, complete with Boggle, Beaches, Bullets, Bocce, and Bella.

Any visit to the Virginia Beach wouldn't be complete without seeing Drew. Here he offers his mug to an inspirational WWII poster.

Plantation life was followed by our own "March to the Sea" (see US History/Civil War/Sherman) straight thru Charleston, all the way to Savannah, GA. Tara may have burned but I'll be damned if ole Dixie ain't still alive in some of the purtiest places in the US. Foggy graveyards, classsic architecture, and jovial folk paved the cobblestone riverside streets.

Of all the comforts of the South, none even came close to Jestine's sumptuous soulfood in Charleston. We ate fried chicken, collard greens, fried okra, crabcakes and the best fried green tomatoes and coconut creme pie I will ever have in my life. The food was so good it would even make Kathy Bates eat her heart out....after she finishes her side of hog.

Oh yeah and Rachel would kill me if I didnt give a shout out to Chewy, the raddest kitty cat in Wilmington.