We spent the morning watching my oldest son, alias Josh, prepare for a job interview. My husband tied his tie. I micro-trimmed his neckline. We wished him luck and then my husband, my youngest son (alias Rory), and I drove into the Loop. Here in Houston, that means driving from the suburbs to the inner city, which is encircled by a freeway called the 610 Loop. It also means driving from chain restaurants to excitement.

On the way to excitement, we texted one of my fave cousins (Andrea – not an alias) to see if she was down for some culinary adventure. As usual, she was, so we picked her up and then headed to the nearest farmers’ market.

At the farmers’ market, I was happy to find someone selling Texas persimmons, just like the ones I used to have on a tree in my yard when I lived in Austin. You can’t get those at the grocery store here. They only sell Asian persimmons, which are hard like apples or bell peppers. Texas persimmons are soft like overripe tomatoes. We shared one in the street on the way back to our car.

After that we took Andrea to this restaurant called Feast, because she hadn’t yet tried it. You can google Feast if you want, and you’ll find a lot of glowing reviews if you do, but suffice it to say that the owners are mainly British and they cook “snout to tail,” meaning they cook the cuts of meat that most Americans wouldn’t think to eat, but in an awesome gourmet way. They also do various British and French stuff. So we had cock-a-leekie and Bath chaps and crispy pork belly and Welsh rarebit and French onion soup and grouper on ratatouille-esque vegetables, and it was all very good.

After that we wanted frozen yogurt, because we’re all frozen yogurt addicts. We drove to the new frou-frou froyo place everyone’s been raving about, and it wasn’t as good as you’d think it would be, but they had a nice patio so we sat there and people-watched and discussed in great detail what was wrong with the frou-frou frozen yogurt. And my friend Ashley was supposed to meet us, but we finished our yogurt before she could get there so we told her we’d meet her at a bar, instead. Then my son Josh called and told me a really effed-up story about how his job interview with a reputable retailer turned out to be a multi-level-marketing scam with a disreputable bullshit firm. So I told everyone what happened and we all vowed to get vengeance on whoever was responsible for doing that to my child.

We drove to Boheme and were happy to see that Christopher was the bartender that day, because he makes their red sangria the best. So we drank red sangria and beer while Rory looked on, a little annoyed that we intended to sit on couches and do more talking. We wondered if it was strange that we were drinking at 2:30 PM, but decided it was okay as long as we drank a bunch of water at the same time. When Ashley got there, she ordered some quiche. She let Rory try it and that made him feel better.

We talked and talked, and then we decided to go to the zoo. It was Ashley who convinced us to do it, and then she said she had to go home. So we left her and went to the zoo, and it was hot as hell but we said we’d only see our fave animals and then leave before we died of dehydration. Andrea hadn’t been to the zoo in 19 years, she said. We showed her the aquarium and the bird house and then the primates. I showed her my very favorite monkeys, who will climb up the side of their giant chain-link enclosure and take tree stems from your hand. (I’m not telling you to feed the monkeys at the zoo, because that would be wrong.) Then we went to the goat petting zoo and petted the goats, which is always basically my main goal in visiting the zoo, meaning I basically pay $11 to pet a bunch of goats and my friends say Dat should just buy me a goat to keep in our back yard and it’d probably save us money in the long run. But half the fun of the petting zoo is watching little kids interact with the animals, so he’d have to buy me a little kid to keep in the back yard, too, and I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. Before we pet the goats, I actually got to pet the brahma cows for the first time ever in my life, which was nice. (Usually they’re haters and don’t come near enough for petting.) After the cows and the goats, we looked at the one sad deer in the Houston Children’s Zoo, and we probably did not feed it stems from trees it couldn’t reach, because feeding animals at the zoo is wrong. And it wasn’t even grateful for the tree stems, anyway. The monkeys at least look you in the eye.

After that we were going to leave, but then we went to see the Small Cats, instead, and then we went ahead and saw some big cats, too, and one of the leopards peed right in front of us. And then Rory realized that it was 6:15 and we needed to get the hell out of Dodge if we were going to make it to our concert on time.

So we dropped off Andrea and peeled out to the Woodlands (some suburb) where Rush was playing at 7:30. And we got there just in time, and Rory saw Rush play for the first time in his life, and so did I, actually. I never got to go to concerts when I was young, but this was Rory’s second concert. (His first was Depeche Mode, just this past year. His third will be the Gorillaz, in October.) Rory plays percussion at school and bass at home, so he of course admires Neil Peart very much. I thought the show was okay… until the encore, when it suddenly turned awesome. It ended at 11:00 and Rory fell asleep in the back seat on the way home. I texted Josh and ascertained that he was at his friend’s house, being just as good and responsible as college kids always are.

The cats got into bed with me while I checked on my Pocket Frogs and played my turn in eleven games of Words with Friends. Then I went to sleep and probably had pretty decent dreams.

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Posted in domestic, gluttony, Houston on 09/26/2010 05:21 pm

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