Friday, June 30, 2017

Loser's Bar

Warning: This post does not contain beautiful coastal images and soulful poetry. Instead it is a random musing from time spent landlocked in Las Vegas during 117 degree heat.

In Vegas there is a bar called, Loser's Bar. It was between my hotel room and the convention center so I had the opportunity to pass by at least 4 times a day for 3 days.

It wasn't open at 6:00 am when I went to work, but by early afternoon every day there was "entertainment." A duo, on a rickety stage, drinking cheap beer while cigarettes smoked away in the ashtrays, singing the saddest country-western ballads ever written. They dug deep to find the most depressing songs and keep them coming one after another.

The first time I passed by, I thought it odd that any place in Las Vegas was named for losers, as the town's party line is all about winners and winning. Then, apparently, my fertile imagination took hold.

My next trip, I looked into the window and saw one lone soul at the bar. My ex was propped up on a stool, drowning his sorrows. He looked up from his drink and nodded as I passed by.

Later in the afternoon, a few more people had checked in to the Losers Bar. Each one of them was familiar to me and we had a negative encounter in the past. People who had done me wrong, just like in the songs. They acknowledged me through the window as well.

Each time I walked back and peered in the windows, a new patron appeared. Always someone I knew, always someone with whom I had a history, always acknowledging me with a raised shot glass or beer can. The phenomena lasted for three days. The bar was filling up.

It would have been laughable if it wasn't so very real. Okay, okay, it was pretty laughable. None to soon, my business trip ended and I quickly headed home. Luckily, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

This experience will be written off as a mirage in the desert during record-breaking heat and never mentioned again.

I now return you to our regular programming from the Oregon Coast.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ancient Roots

With last week's minus tide, beautiful roots appeared. Covered with a mossy seaweed, they define tide pools with their outstretched tentacles. The tree is long gone, but the roots appear to have been preserved under the sand.

It is trendy now to look for your "roots" and ancestors who came before you. I will skip the search and claim these as mine.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

Crab is the New Zucchini

At the end of summer here in Oregon, zucchini is incredibly abundant. No self-respecting farmers market vendor or store can sell it for any price because this prolific squash is growing like crazy in everyone’s garden. In fact, my brother-in-law tells the story of how in Joseph, Oregon, during late August, if you leave your car window open and unattended, there is a very good chance you will find zucchini in your car upon your return.

As a child, my father grew zucchini (and all types of squash) and my mother dutifully cooked it up in every conceivable way. It didn’t take this sharp, 5-year-old long to figure out that squash smothered in butter and brown sugar was still squash. Having only recently rediscovered my love for the vegetable some 50 years later, as it makes a delicious low carb alternative to pasta.

Long story short…enter the Winter of 2016 when Dungeness crab have been extremely plentiful on the Oregon Coast. An item that usually costs $20.99 per pound, if even available, is now selling for $3.00 per pound in Tillamook. Although the tourists are buying it up like crazy, there is still plenty to go around.

My son, living in the beautiful fishing village of Garibaldi, has been harvesting crab from the dock and giving me 12 to 16 every week. As much as I love crab, and have been cooking, freezing and otherwise preserving it for future meals, there is still a plentifully supply. 

Giving it away here is difficult as the locals are wise and have had enough themselves. My attempt to foist it on local contractors, friends and even business associates has met with a firm, “No, thanks.”

So let this serve as a warning to coastal residents and visitors…roll up your car windows, do not leave your bags unattended, and the children’s backpacks. As the warning signs read, “We cannot be held responsible for your belongings.”