Monday, November 28, 2005


One of Thea's neighbours has donated her wooden rocker to our veranda. Every morning I take my coffee and fags, settle in and start that chair rockin'. I rest my head against the high back, close my eyes and let the sun sizzle my face till the freckles start exploding, not unlike popcorn poppin' in the cinema lobby. With the scent of salt seasoning my thoughts I mentally write the script for my day.

Life doesn't get any better than this.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


I was sad to read that George Best died. I was not surprised. I am not a fan of football (that's soccer to us Yanks) but George was truly talented and bigger than life. It feels as if its the end of an era.

Here's a quote from George that pretty much sums up his life and one of the reasons I admired him

I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


But not a dollar short. Thea and I just had our Thanksgiving dinner, deferred from yesterday as she worked all day. As is de rigueur, we ate too much and I'm sitting here unable to move from the surfeit of food, two helpings of everything including pumpkin pie. It was an interesting mix, me the dedicated carnivore and Thea the faithful vegetarian. I had turkey, mashed potatoes and salad. Are mashed potatoes a vegetable I hear some of you query? I believe they are tubers, which to my mind are not vegetables. No doubt some of you horticulturists with a broad knowledge of flora are snickering at my ignorance. Might I remind you what Dortohy Parker replied when asked to define horticulture, You can lead a whore to culture but you can't make her think. Thea had celebration roast from Whole Foods (or as Thea calls it Whole Paycheck), the huge health food store coming to London soon. Don't ask, all I can say is that she read me the ingredients - soy this and powdered that - and then was surprised I declined when she offered some to me. She also had green bean casserole, salad and of course my world famous mashers. Yes, those mashers are really world famous and she said they tasted just like the ones I made for her when she was growing up (everybody say ahhhhhhhhh). They were very tasty if I do say so myself, it was the first time in 17 years I had made them with the original ingredients as I was unable to get some of the spice mixtures in the UK which are essential to the perfect masher and of course there is my secret ingredient which I won't tell y'all. Thanksgiving itself was very quiet but a red letter day as I had forgotten an American custom on many radio stations, playing Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant Massacre. Almost twenty minutes of good music and lots of laughs. The station I was listening to played it once in the morning and again in the evening, I listened both times and it made my day. I recommend all y'all who haven't heard it to seek it out and give it a listen, its a classic example of the taking blues in the style of Arlo's father, Woody Guthrie, with a sixties anti war message. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant (excepting Alice).

Lastly we will go round the table and say what we are thankful for... okay let's start with me. I'm thankful Thea has given me a roof over my head and that I have, at least, a part-time job so I could provide her with a real Thanksgiving dinner. It's your turn now................

This entry was written whilst listening to brilliant bluegrass music online at (Andy they play lots of Ralph Stanley).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Dear Fashion Avenger,

My daughter recently told me that a couple of her friends said that I looked cracked out. My first reaction was, that's good 'cause I've lived a life. My second reaction was, hey at least I still have new opportunities to explore, i.e. becoming a crack ho. My third reaction was, damn do I really look that bad? Would you please, Ms Fashion Avenger, give me some before the damage is done advice?

I'm thinking I should embrace this whole old age thing and go for the total look, with a bit of a twist, as you know I embrace the Bet Lynch style of aging - more is more. So, Ms Fashion Avenger, should I get less sleep and encourage those bags under my eyes to become travelling trunks, perhaps of Louis Vuitton grandeur? Should I tug on my incipient jowls ensuring they sag even more?

Then there's the hair, most stylish seniors have grey hair. Should I dye my hair grey 'cause it just doesn't want to seem to go there on its own? I mean does anyone really dye their hair grey? I don't think there is even a grey hair dye, only those lovley shades of lilac and blue to highlight one's natural grey hair. Here's the story so far with my hair. Missing my fabulous hairdresser in London, Paul Cochrane, and displaying roots from hell there was only one thing I could do...

PAUSE Paul if you are reading this, please step away from the computer and do not read the following paragraph. Thank you. START

Yes, Ms Fashion Avenger, I took matters into my own hands and did the deed myself. My hair is now a lovely brilliant red. How brilliant do you ask? When Thea saw it she said, I don't know if I would ever colour my hair a colour that can never be found in natural hair colours. There you go, different strokes and all that. Let's just say that under the sun or any light, I have no need for relective materials to announce my whereabouts.

Hair style, oh this is the rub. The hip old ladies you see in the ads always have long silvery grey hair causually woven into plaits hanging down their backs. My hair is too fine for plaits, still has not got grey since I've started writing this, and will never grow very long. Cut it really short? I'm so over that if you're old you should have short hair thing, what do you think? So its medium long, should I wear it up or down? Up is good for the cheek bones but bad for the jowls. Oh help me, Ms Fashion Avenger, I just don't know what to do.

Clothing, I'm thinking jeans, all hip old ladies wear jeans, don't they? I'm cool with that but its the top bit I'm confused about. T-shirts, yes, but skulls or no skulls? Also your normal T-shirt neckline sucks on me so I usually cut them into a more flattering neckline. This often involves a cut low enough to show off the puppies. Puppies or no puppies? Black, yeah this is one place I draw the line and will brook no interference even if it is good advice, for which I am actually asking. Black is my colour.

I coould go on and on but I think you get the picture. Please, Ms Fashion Avenger, respond as soon as you can 'cause otherwise I may have to never leave the house again. Actually that would be a bit of a problem for Thea as this, mum living with her thing, is dragging on too fucking long. Of course it would serve her right for sharing her friend's remarks about how I looked.

I breathlessly await your response,

Cracked Out in Austin

P.S. Or should I fight the fight and spend $20.00 on two fabulous new products I've found that promise to instantly lift your face and eyes?


It got a bit chilly tonight, actually it got really cold and when I left work to catch the bus home I had to wait for what seemed an eternity on a windy corner and as I was stupidly not dressed for the weather, my arse was turning to ice (quiet down in the back, I know this is not a vision you wish to dwell upon but it was integral to the moment and necessary to set the tone of my wretched despair). Like a knight in shining armour along came my hero, Ray the bus driver, in his warm steed. Nothing weird about that right? Yes, of course you're right darlings, wait for it... we get near my stop and I pull the cord, Ray says, Stay on the bus Bette and proceeds to go off his route, drive down my street and drop me at my door step.

Yes, Austin is absolutely, awesomely weird. Cheers Ray, you are a prince among men and sound as a pound.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Been looking for a job for far too long. No one, it seems, offers programmes utlilising the experience and skills I garnered in London. That's the difference between a nanny state in the UK and the US dictum pull yourself up by your own boot straps. It appears if you are unemployed in the US, you're own your own. The enterprsie culture is not supported in this country. No problem, I think, I'll just apply for pretty much anything that will pay me a meagre wage that will cover rent, food and fags. Ah... but no. Advert after advert repeats ad naseum, you will need a valid driving license and a late model car. Austin has a pretty good bus system, pretty much always runs to schedule and goes anywhere you need to get to. Apparently not good enough for the employers in this city. It gets worse though. I decided I would apply for brain dead jobs... sit in a cubicle wearing headphones and plugged into a computer taking telephone calls from customers for a mobile phone company. Anyone with just half a brain could do that. Well maybe they could but first they would have to have a backgound check and submit to a drug test. Are they fucking kidding! I can hear the conversation now, between a recidivist drug user and anarchist (that would be me) and a customer. Dude, you know this fucking phone company is ripping you off so why don't you go postal on the bastards and take out everyone you see with a cell phone. You get the idea, okay it could be fun but I really only want to do my job, get paid, go home, smoke my fags and read my books. I didn't follow through on that job application. My latest interview is with an environmental group, I'll be going from house to house soliciting donations for a campaign to stop the artic drilling.
Good cause, a low paying job = my life.
Meaningless bureaucracy, facist requirements = US employers.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Today, 8th November, is Thea's birthday. Here she is wearing her new birthday boots, her present to her self. I always taught her that it is very important to buy yourself a Happy Birthday to me prezzie and I'm proud to say she carries on the family tradition. Thea had an excellent birthday, she got me up early so she could open all of her presents under the birthday tree that I made for her, I took her out to breakfast, Pat took her out to lunch, Dana met her for drinks then they hooked up with Nathan and some other friends and after work I met up with them at Threadgills.

Here's the part about the ill wind... after Katrina decimated New Orleans many of the musicians from there came to Austin. Every Tuesday night Cyril Neville (of the Neville Brothers and Papa Mali play at Threadgills. Fabulous funky sounds from the lads and their band, Tribe 13. They played a special song for Thea and she took centre stage on the dance floor and showed the crowd what dancin' is all about. All I could say is I made that! Papa Mali said I did a really good job an all.

Oh and not to rub your faces in it but is was camisole weather here tonight, warm with just enough of a breeze to be comfortable. I'm lovin' the weather now that the killer heat has abated.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


The 5th of November is Alice Huzar's birthday. Unfortunately I thought it was later in the month, sorry darlin', and just realised the actual date a few days ago, which meant there was no way I could post a card from the US that would reach London in time. What to do? I considered an ecard but they're just not amazing enough for our Alice. Ah ha, I thought, why not just write about Alice on my blog.


That's Alice on the left in the picture. Isn't she lovely? Too bloody right she is. She has an utterly engaging contagious smile, an amazingly fetching sense of style and excellently entertaining hair (we never know what colour combo or design she will sport next). Her wit is sharp, dry and leaves a lingering finish on the palate of one's mind. She writes with skill and a deft turn of phrase that never ceases to excite me whilst making me jealous of her abilities (okay I'm only feckin' human you know and I'm feeling a bit inept trying to write this paean of praise that is worthy of our Alice). In her guise as Fashion Avenger she fearlessly chides the unfortunates who are brazen enough to appear in public in unsuitable attire. Oh how they would suffer should they happen to read her blog and recognise themselves. How I wish they would.

Things I love about Alice, in no order whatsoever:

She makes me laugh (I don't usually do that too much).
She is willing to laugh at herself.
She lets me know when I've crossed the line, like at Clare's wedding (enough said).
She is bubbly but never false and has her downs as well as her ups.
She loves Steve Guttenberg (I've always found him very cute) enough to dedicate an entire section of her blog to him.
She says things like Go big or go home.
She is incredibly intelligent.
She loves interesting quirky shoes.
She isn't into reading poetry but she came to my gigs whenever she could.
I go could on and on..... but I couldn't finish unless I mentioned those luscious ginormous puppies of hers!

Alice, darling, I so wish I could be there to celebrate your birthday with you. I will definitely being raising a galss to you on the day.

I love you sweetie.