Still attempting to get a life in west Texas. On Friday night K. from work came over and we played a shoot-'em up game on the PS2. I'm grateful for the company, but it seems I'm either going to fish fry nights with fifty-year olds or playing video games with a guy barely of legal drinking age. Speaking of which, I made us a couple of gin-and-tonics and he said "Hmm, it tastes like Sprite, but there's some other flavor in there I really don't like." I then poured him some straight gin and said "Try this. If you don't like it then that bad taste is probably the gin." He took a sip and spewed it out into the kitchen sink. I finished the remainder of his shot as well as both our gin and tonics, which was not helpful for the ol' video game reflexes. Afterwards we watched "Princess Mononoke," an Anime environmentalist fable about a rapacious iron town literally in warfare against nature.
Today was warm and clear. I drove to Lubbock, per usual. The first stop was one of the surprisingly good wineries in the area. I took a brief tour of the facilities, which were modest but spotless, and bought a $12 Merlot which I am enjoying right now. Then I went to the Buddy Holly Center in the "Depot District" near the Texas Tech campus. Holly is Lubbock's most famous son, and by chance I happen to come on the weekend that the museum was commemorating "the day the music died." On February 3, 1959, an airplane crash killed three rock stars: Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper. (Cf. the song "American Pie.") Admission was free and a rock historian gave a tour of the exhibits, sharing some interesting stories along the way. For instance, the distinctively geeky, black plastic glasses arose out of necessity. In line with the pop culture of the times, Holly preferred not wearing glasses while performing, but his eyesight was so bad that when he dropped a guitar pick he groped around the stage floor unable to retrieve it. One of the Everly Brothers advised him, "If you've got to wear glasses, make them unique," and an icon was made. Elton John, whose flamboyant spectacles were inspired by Holly's example, donated a pair of his own to the museum. Holly also influenced Lennon and McCartney; they said their first fifty songs were imitations of Holly tunes, and they gave their band an entomological name in homage to Holly and his backup band, The Crickets. Actually I'm not crazy about Holly, but I do think "Peggy Sue" is pretty cool for the galloping drum track and the nifty chord change from G to Eb.
Then I browsed some of the used book stores on 34th street. They were pretty good but nothing was either interesting enough or cheap enough to warrant a purchase. Finally, I wrapped up my Lubbock excursion with dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant, where I ate fried tofu and vegetables while watching CNN coverage of the Columbia crash.
I suppose I'll attend one of the town's many Baptist churches tomorrow morning, although I'm not necessarily looking forward to it.