Tamales, and other stories.

Good morning! My head is deep in a work project, but I’m emerging to present three vignettes of the last week (varying in degrees of quirkiness):


1). T-Shirt

I colored my hair on Friday, and it occurred to me that every time I do, I reach for the same t-shirt… not only that, but the only time I ever wear that shirt is when I color my hair. In light of the momentous realization that I have a designated hair-coloring shirt, I thought I’d honor it by doing a hair imitation of The Dude, who is pictured on the shirt.


I forgot to put on sunglasses, though.

I forgot to put on sunglasses, though.


I went with Dark Auburn this time, by the way, returning to my natural reddish shade (courtesy of my redheaded biological father).


2). Auto Service

We turn onto University from Roosevelt several times a week, at least, so I don’t know how it is that I never noticed the establishment RONNIE’S AUTO SERVICE until a few days ago.

You know this had to happen:


This was too easy, but we couldn't resist.

This was too easy, but we couldn’t resist.


I know, I know. But “Ronnie” by itself just isn’t right, especially if we’re talking about a service establishment. The Wrah-Wrah is a very helpful little guy. RONNIE JAMES’ AUTO SERVICE.




(This picture was taken in France. I knew I’d find a use for it one day!)


3). Tamales

On Saturday night, I went out to enjoy the company of some friends at a country-western gay bar known as a popular dance venue, attended by gay and straight alike. As usual when I go out at night, I enjoyed the people-watching aspect the most. The late-night crowd looked to be typical as a whole, but one person stood out: An elderly Hispanic woman slowly making her way through the room holding a sign that read “TAMALES.”


Fresh homemade tamales... mmm.

Fresh homemade tamales… mmm.


She looked like a sweet old Grandma, totally out of place.

Sometime after midnight, we left and went to another LGBQT-friendly bar. This one was more upscale and situated in the Melrose District, and it was also a dance club spilling over with an energetic dance crowd. To my surprise, the same woman was there, weaving silently through the sea of people with her TAMALES sign.

It had been a long time since I’d been down to 7th Avenue in the wee hours of a Sunday morning.

“I’ve never seen anyone selling tamales in a club before. Is this now A Thing?” I asked, using the parlance of our times, as The Dude would say.

My friends hadn’t seen tamale vendors in clubs before, either. We jokingly speculated that TAMALES was a new gay bar code word of some kind, but now that I think about it, there’s nothing funny about it.

It amounted to a sad social commentary. The old woman is probably very poor, so she goes where lots of people gather (neither bar had a cover charge – admission was free), including gay bars in the middle of the night. It was nearly 2:00AM the last time I saw her. People tend to get hungry after dancing for hours, and I can see how homemade tamales would be a tempting prospect… especially if you don’t have to go anywhere to get them. It’s actually kind of a genius idea.

Now I wish I’d bought some tamales to bring home to Callaghan, who would have enjoyed them. Making tamales is a time-consuming undertaking that’s not something I’d do more often than once in a blue moon. Even at Christmas, I’d order my tamales from Los Sombreros or Manuel’s.

Speaking of moons, the Blood Moon of the lunar eclipse last night was splendiferous.

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