We headed out to New Braunfels early yesterday morning.
On the way in, we stopped at Snow BBQ, which was voted best BBQ in the state by Texas Monthly - which can be a hotly contested distinction. The Snow's only serve BBQ from eight in the morning Saturday until the meat runs out, so we got there right on time. We had scrumptious beef brisket sandwiches for breakfast: rimmed with fat, falling apart, smoky and rich, this was the breakfast of kings, never mind it was served up on butcher paper. I gorged myself on cow and pickles and we continued on to New Braunfels. This definitely beats a gym floor in New Braunfels.
New Braunfels is a little town roughly two hours from Houston known mostly for a big spring and an excellent water park: settled by Germans, it attempts a kraut n' beer theme incongorous with the setting. My aunt's boyfriend, Mike, has family there, so we delivered some delicious barbeque to his lovely mother's house as an excuse for the journey. We spent the day hanging out with Mike's deeply amusing family and eating meat: it was definitely a great way to get my thoughts off of Gustav and onto the future (or onto nothing at all, really, which may be what I prefer.)
Spent today catching crawdads with a nice Chinese couple at the spring. There's an art to it: a tiny bag of flour is wrapped around with twine then tied to a foam block. The bag is dipped into the water, where bright red crawdad inevitably emerge from the reeds and seize onto the bag to be hauled out of the water and dropped in a bucket. It's a lot easier then fishing, but some skill is involved: you have to find the little suckers in the first place. The spring was, in any case, crawling with them: waving their little red claws in the reeds, jetting behind rocks. I'm good at crawdad fishing: I got six in about thirty minutes, earning the admiration of my fellow fisherpeople. I will be able to make crawfish etoufee when the apocalypse comes.
The Gustav threat is beginning to bother me, I won't lie: what I thought might be a minor inconvenience seems to be turning inexorably into a major threat, if i am to believe media predictions. I had only just begun to settle into New Orleans and I was having a really wonderful time, enjoying both my classes and the easygoing debauchery of my ancestral city: I was not ready to leave, not at all. No one else was either (But did we ever.) The city itself is almost emptied out judging by the media, and it's a bit odd to see cameras fixed on unusually lonely and silent streets. Anderson Cooper was standing around looking Concerned But Competent and that's when you know things are gonna get ugly.
I'm interested in how the Republican National Convention will react to this. The partisan in me is pleased that their party is literally being rained upon, but I almost feel sorry for them: they're in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation.
On a purely selfish level: my transfer was a nightmare as is, and it feels rather perverse that I am finally settled and happy at a school that now seems to be in a lot of danger. I am already feeling rather passionately about Tulane and I hope this proves to be far less of a nightmare then the Recent Unpleasantness was, both for my own selfish reasons and for the sake of New Orleans at large.
Thought: if this does get ugly, I'd prefer to find a way to get back to New Orleans and help out somehow, rather then just lie around stewing safely in California. I hope the university realizes that a lot of students probably feel the same way I do and will put systems into place to allow us to do so. I can't think of a better use of my time.
Last night in New Braunfels, we were watching a bull riding competition for some reason and I spotted an unreasonably beautiful young cowboy named Pistol Jones, who knows how to subjugate wild bovines and has flowing locks of auburn hair. I suggested to my aunt that my contingency plan may be to run off with Pistol Jones and become a barrel racer on the Southwestern rodeo circuit. You never know.
One thing I have learned well this past year: you can't predict what's going to happen in life and there is no use in trying.