Thursday, October 20, 2011

10.15-19.2011, NJ

Always dig the East Coast change of seasons and New Jersey is enough like Lawn Guyland to feel like home. Lots of color in the leaves, and sounds from flocks of migrating geese at night.

Express parking is the best kept secret at DFW. Going forward, we plan to use it even though it's two bucks extra a day. Our flight got things off to a less than auspicious start with a never-ending bumpy descent, and the first rental we got was a hybrid car-of-the-future with an electric key that we couldn't figure out how to operate, necessitating a return trip to the rental desk to get something from the past that was more satisfactory.

An extremely good trip from a culinary point of view. My big sis cooked meals that tasted like our childhood -- pork ribs, cabbage salad, broccoli with sesame, and rice the first night was a special fave, as was the Italian dinner (chicken parmigiana, spaghetti bolognese, asparagus, salad, and garlic bread) she cooked at her friend's house on Tuesday. D'Angelo's Italian market in Princeton had panini sammies on bread that was crusty but not hard, and black and white cookies that reminded me of being a kid. It's a new favorite, along with Tandoori Bite, which we discovered on our last trip.

We'd tried to check out DeLorenzo's Tomato Pies on a previous visit but the lines were too long. This time we only had to wait a few minutes and it was well worth it. Their salads are big enough for two people and incredibly flavorful, while the pies have a thin, crispy crust like pizzas I had in Italy, with _just enough_ ingredients on top. Not what I typically look for in a pie, but a surprising winner. Only the Chinese lunch our last day was a disappointment.

Using my sister's iPhone (uncomfortably), I was able to do a little "rock 'n' roll secretary" action. Francisco Cruz from The Symptoms of Stereophonic Transmissions reached out to let me know about their Prophet Bar gig tonight, which T. Horn might attend (I'll be closing at the market).

Heard of the Red 100's victory in the Dallas Observer music awards "Best Blues Act" category (sorry Will), and their bassist/guitarist Robbie D. Love reached out to the li'l Stoogeband to see if we wanted to play with them at the Moon on Friday -- curious, as there are already two other bands on the bill, and it looks as if Robbie reached out to every band he likes (RTB2, Stella Rose, Quaker City Night Hawks, etc.). No dice, as Ray is gigging with Epic Ruins and Hembree with PH7. My sweetie wants to take pics of them, though, so she and I might catch the show, at least.

Discovered that the Queers, with whom the Stoogeband will play at Lola's on 11.27 (Sunday after Thanksgiving) are my Army nurse son-in-law's very favorite band on Earth, which means I'll get to be both the annoying guy from the support band _and_ the annoying fan parent. Not a bad way to end our Stooge season.

Crate digging at the Princeton Record Exchange, I found the new Rocket From the Tombs LP I'd been seeking and one of the two Artist House Ornettes I was trawling for, but no reissue first SRC album and no Rocket Redux (which Doc's wants $45 for). Best of all, I found a discounted copy of the Kleenex/Liliput vinyl box set for Hickey, in appreciation of his watching our cats. A trip to the Record Collector in Bordentown proved to be abortive, as they're closed on Tuesday (!). Another time, perhaps.

Finally, showing up stupid early at the airport in Newark meant being able to get on an earlier flight when ours was delayed. They called it as soon as we arrived at the gate. Lucky we decided to forego the airport seafood. Home with our cats three hours early (as opposed to an indeterminate period late) was a nice way to end our trip. Hooray!


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