6:00 pm: Heading over to the Volcano for preliminary crawfish strategizing.
7:00 pm: They have Divine No. 6 on draft! MJ rocks for cluing me into this.
7:10 pm: And it is truly divine. Sweet but with dark underpinnings, hoppy but slightly fruity, tangy but grounded. So many descriptions, so little time.
8:00 pm: Time to head home and get some rest for tomorrow’s activities.
6:00 am: Richard wakes me up, already dressed in his running clothes for this morning’s race. He’s like a very excited puppy.
6:02 am: As soon as he leaves the room, I fall back to sleep.
6:30 am: Richard wakes me up again. Excitement has turned into annoyance, as we are now running late.
6:35 am: Leave the house with no makeup on, without brushing my hair and wearing the shirt I slept in with some ratty old jeans. No coffee either. I am looking HOT.
6:50 am: We’re at the trailhead for the race… Where is everyone?
6:55 am: Ah, yes. The race actually starts at 8:00 am, not 7:00 am. Now I’m annoyed, too.
7:00 am – 7:45 am: Sit in parking lot, mock early-morning cyclists with their clackety shoes and uber-tight shorts. NO ONE wants to see your junk through Spandex, especially this early in the morning! Get some decent clothes!
8:00 am: Race starts. I wave goodbye to Richard and read the NY Times on his Blackberry while he’s gone.
8:27 am: Richard returns, super sweaty and upset about coming in 12th place. I think 12th place is fantastic, if only because I couldn’t even finish a race, much less come in 12th. Once again: wildly divergent opinions abound.
8:30 am: Richard horks down two bananas and a bag of plantain chips, douses himself with cold water and declares that he’s ready to leave.
9:00 am: Home again. Just enough time for a shower and a little breakfast before heading out again.
9:30 am: Why is it so damn hot in this house?
9:35 am: Richard has turned off the air conditioning AGAIN. I stomp off to grumble at him.
9:36 am: Richard defends himself by saying that he’s freezing. I counter by informing him that it’s because he’s sitting naked, directly underneath the air vent, while reading the sports section. He defends his right to sit naked; we compromise by relocating him to a position that’s NOT directly in the path of the air conditioning. I ask if he’s considering taking a shower today, or just letting the sweat dry into one of our upholstered chairs. No answer.
10:30 am: Fed, showered and dressed. Checking email.
11:00 am: Leave house to pick up BBQ from super-secret location for Chowhound’s BBQ Smackdown at 12:30. Richard is still naked, reading the sports section, as I leave.
11:30 am: Get to super-secret location, where order for brisket and ribs has already been placed and confirmed. They are CLOSED.
11:31 am: Super-secret location no longer a secret. VIRGIE’S BBQ ON GESSNER, YOU SUCK. Thanks for closing with no notice and not calling to let anyone know you wouldn’t be able to provide the order which had been placed well in advance, and which had been confirmed just 12 hours prior. Ass clowns.
11:35 am: Call Jenny, panicking.
11:40 am: Jenny calls in a rush order to alternate BBQ restaurant. I drive from Gessner and Tanner (NWish Houston) to Kirby and 59 in fifteen minutes flat, without using I-10 at all. I have never been so proud of myself.
12:00 pm: At Goode Co. BBQ, picking up order of ribs, brisket and jambalaya. They have packed everything as requested in unmarked containers with no Goode Co. packaging, and the order is perfect. They are so awesome. Begin mad rush over to Washington Avenue for BBQ Smackdown.
12:30 pm: At Pearl Bar on Washington, nowhere to park. Eventually park by homeless guy who gets excited when he sees me carrying two giant boxes of food. When he realizes they aren’t for him, he spits at me (AT me, not ON me — so no big deal, really).
12:30 pm – 3:00 pm: BBQ Smackdown underway. Excellent turnout of Chowhounds — about 30 people here to judge the contest. Hanging out with I’ve Got The Munchies, Eating Our Words, I’m Never Full and Food In Houston as we chow down. Pearl Bar is very cool, with great jukebox and assortment of board games and hula hoops. Like a bar for six-year-olds. Nothing in the Smackdown is blowing us away yet, but the sides that people brought (like the coleslaw that was specially made for us by Houston’s, and the summery couscous) are very good. An awesome afternoon, all in all.
3:15 pm: Winners are announced. Of the six participants in the blind taste test (in two different categories, ribs and brisket), Pierson’s won the brisket by a long shot and Luling City Market won the ribs by a slim margin over Pierson’s. We are all surprised at how low we ranked Goode Co. BBQ (fifth and sixth). Other contestants included Kozy Kitchen, Burns BBQ and The Swinging Door.
3:30 pm: Cleaning up BBQ mess. What to do with all this extra sauce?
3:45 pm: Heading right back to Kirby and 59 to the Volcano for the Houstonist Crawfish Boil.
4:00 pm: Crawfish boil prep is in full swing with other Houstonist staffers. Much chopping of veggies, sorting of spices, separating wristbands and purging of live crawfish is underway.
5:00 pm: Monica and I have the easy job, sitting in the A/C and putting $5.00 all-you-can-eat wristbands on people. Feeling bad about other Houstonist staffers in the heat, boiling crawfish and handing out beer flats to hungry, demanding people (especially Groovehouse, who has the nasty, back-breaking job of purging the crawfish). Richard is here, though, “supervising” my wristband activities to make sure I don’t put them on too tight, too loose, catch arm hair in the sticky part, etc.
6:00 pm: This place is a MADHOUSE. I’m glad we have 500 pounds of crawdads, cause there are a LOT of people here. Caroline Collective peeps come and go, as do a few Dynamo staffers.
7:00 pm: Passed out the last of the wristbands. We are officially not selling any more wristbands, so as to conserve precious few crawfish resources we have left. Start collecting trash and used beer flats, taking to dumpster, rinse and repeat. Yay! Jenny is here!
8:00 pm: Taking a break to eat a batch of mudbugs with Richard. They are SO GOOD. Bargas is the boiling badass.
8:30 pm: Richard goes home, as I prepare to get back to work.
9:00 pm: Help with the last few batches. Spill boiling water on my foot while removing crawfish from pot. Ouch.
9:30 pm: Last batches of crawsfish are served. People seem to be satiated.
10:00 pm: Houstonist staffers sit down and eat last few flats of super-spicy crawfish, drink frozen screwdrivers and veg out.
10:30 pm: Residual cleaning of boiling area and help to load the propane and propane accessories into Bargas’ car. Glad it’s a rental, cause this crap is dir-tee.
11:00 pm: Foot still on fire, but holding a frozen screwdriver against it seems to help.
11:30 pm: Talking into the night. Very tired, but very happy with crawfish boil and turnout. Houston and Houstonist both rock.
Day spent in bed, miserable from back cramps, aside from a few waking periods to do grocery shopping and watch a double-feature starring the brutally-hot Ryan Gosling. Lars and the Real Girl and Stay — both highly recommended.
How was your weekend?