Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

We went to Graceland, Graceland, Memphis, Tennesee

Oh Paul Simon has been with us in spirit here as we visit Elvis' spirit's true resting spot. We have helped fulfill Andrea's life long dream of going to Graceland to see the home of her beloved Elvis. And we have had a mighty good time of it along the way.

Graceland is not nearly as ostentatious as I thought it would be, and in fact was less spectacular than many homes I have gone to in California and Boston for church gatherings and whatnot. Yet it is homey. I must lament the fact that Elvis died in the 1970s and therefore his entire home has been frozen in a shag carpet time warp. Probably better than the 80s houses with all those tacky David Hockney pics all over the place decorated in the colors of Don Johnson's shirts of the 80s, which happen to still be the colors of present day Miami. I was glad to note that in his David-Bowie-meets-Buck-Rogers basement he used the colors of the San Diego Chargers: blue, yellow and white. an extra special touch was the gold lightning bolt emblazoned on the wall, which symbolizes both Elvis and the San Diego Chargers, apparently-- who we san diegans happen to affectionately refer to the Chargers as "the bolts"-- whereas the acronym atop the bolt,TCB, which stands for the groanworthy phrase "Taking Care of Business" stands only for Elvis. I'm sure people in East County heartily approve of such an inane slogan, as is evidenced by their classic rockin love for the Bachman Turner Overdrive song of the same name. ANything that implies power and efficiency and manliness is beloved by the males of East County. unfortunately the only businesses i see being truly taken care of in East county have to do with beer and porn, which is not really "taking care of business" if you ask the julie. harumph. if they would take care of the kids they have scattered among their womenfolk and buy them some clothing that fits and give them foods that at some point was natural even if it has now been pounded beyond oblivion, and show up for their parent-teacher conferences, then they could dub themselves TCB all they like.

Ahem, I digress. Graceland is far homier than I thought it would be despite the unfortunate presence of wall to wall shag carpeting, mirrored ceilings, and stunningly unmatching decor. They seal off the top "out of respect" they say, but probably because it would be mayhem around where he died of his overdose/attack. Jessie read a book that said he had advanced bone cancer when he died and may have been medicating himself against pain. Anyway, his early death has clearly been a boon. He has sold over 400 million records in his life, unbelievable!!- and i have to admit, I really like a lot of his stuff. I seem to particularly enjoy the bluesy rock stuff. i do not enjoy ballads. We looked through his cars--big shout out to the pink and purple cadillacs--and his planes--gold plates seatbelts and sinks. and then we slunk out of the memphis heat and humidity to enjoy Elvis' favorite food: grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Totally delicious, as you might expect. Most Southern food is rich and heavy and super delicious and i'm pretty sure my cholesterol level has gone through the roof in the past few days. we went to one exhibit that talked about how people thought he was pornographic because of his awesome dance moves. totally scandalous! they would only show him waist up on a few shows. anyway, he seemed pretty cool--maybe a bit too slick, like Bill Clinton--and no one could doubt how much he loved music. i wish i had some passion or talent like that.

anyway, our next stop was sun studios, which was actually the highlight of some of our days, mainly because of our kickass tour guide. she had on the cutest docs, and she was extremely exuberant and adorfably sardonic about telling us the history of the studio that had recorded some of the hugest, most amazing acts ever ala elvis, bb king, jerry lee lewis, johnny cash, carl perkins, howlin wolf, and many many more. Memphis is definitely a music lover's paradise. it's like a ritual stopover for any awesome band that appreciates music and they leave their traces all over with jam sessions and signed instruments and the generally cool attitude Memphis seems to have.

and then we went to Beale Street. which was awesome. much shorter than i would have thought, but not mattering. we went to a restaurant called Rum Boogie or Stax merely because we could not resist the smell wafting out of there. incredible southern food and incredible music. and signed guitars from the likes of dave matthews, the temptations, hootie and the blowfish. we were sitting right under pearl jam and sid vicious, so that made me quite happy. people. the gumbo there was delicious squared. the red beans and rice: phenomenal. fried catfish and pickles were two other musts.

we drank beer and listened to the awesome band in from L.A. and all agreed we had just had an incredible day. and i realized that while I do not like jazz, i love the blues. oh my.

for some reason this reminds me of the lesson i promised to pass on from indianapolis. you can't stereotype avid hunters who decorate their houses in american flags and animal skins. not all people who have stuffed heads mounted on their walls are backcountry ignoramuses. some of them are kind, so kind in fact that even though you know you could get some PETA members in there to burn it down in horror, you would never do that just because those patriotic animal skinners are so darn wonderfully kind and generous.


Blogger Naomi said...

Miss you, dear one. And all your partners in crime, too. Who should totally get blogs.
We came in 2nd in pub quiz tonight. Jeff Kool asked where you were and Max flirted his adorable Australian butt off while saying "thanks so much for coming. It ruined my night last time when you didn't come." And I was like, "I was bringing Julie to the airport." And he was like, "who?" I swear he's always smashed by the end of the night.
Anyway, fun and all, and A & K say hi, but not nearly as lovely without you and the Meltykiss.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Naomi said...

Oh, and also: Paul Simon is the shizzle.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

love the updates! I almost feel like I'm there.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Dakota Kid said...

I've got one Naomi...but you know that...oh wait..maybe you were talking about the other partners in crime..which I totally agree with your comment about them getting blogs!!!

9:31 PM  

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