Houston Dream Home

April 29, 2021 § Leave a comment

It’s been four months since moving to Houston and so far I have lived through the coldest weather in 100 years and the deprivations it delivered upon us. I have survived several revolutions around the metropolis on the 610 “Insaneway” and a Spring Break at Port Aransas.

Eaten alive in Port Aransas. It’s really a metaphor for the Texas real estate market.

All of these life threatening experiences are nothing, however, when compared to what I have endured in the crucible of Houston’s real estate market. And not just Houston proper either. The hamlets of Magnolia, Katy, Spring, Tomball, Humble and the Woodlands are confidence men in this shell game.

I think I have seen over thirty listings in just a few days. The only thing more depressing than picking through the remains someone has left behind is, well, trying to buy it.

Homeownership is something I have avoided for nigh on 20 years. Not because I feel the need to spurn worldly possessions due to they suffering they cause but by virtue of living in overpriced New York City. Perhaps I could have purchased a house in Gotham but I was unwilling to fork over a million bucks for a standup bedroom with a half bath.

Apartments in Houston are palatial in comparison (as in aside, in New York it is pronounced House – Ton, like the film maker). But unless you enjoy living through Spring Break in Port A every weekend, an H-Town housing complex is no place for you.

The only thing more depressing than picking through the remains someone has left behind is, well, trying to buy it.

It’s always a party in Port A

Something about low interest rates that I don’t understand has made houses in Texas as scarce as good Italian food. Adding scores of Yankee*** refugees to the equation only makes things worse. My agent, who will be eligible for sainthood or the Peace Prize after the market stabilizes, has remained doggedly persistent and a favorable outcome is hopefully in sight.

My Dune goes to 11

If it doesn’t workout this time I am considering selling all my basses and guitars and investing in a sporty RV and going mobile like the Who.

That way I can live in as many places as I want, albeit in a Big Apple shoebox, but at least I can have a different front lawn whenever I choose. A year of beach front property only sets you back a measly $12 in the Texas Republic. Pull up, park and begin a new life as a beach bum from the Jimmy Buffet School of Ne’er-do-wells. You can do a lot worse than Port A or Padre Island.

Good luck finding your dream home.

***Disclaimer: John Truelove was born and raised in Bedford County, Virginia. He is not a real Yankee.

T for Texas

February 1, 2021 § Leave a comment

McGovern Centennial Gardens

I have moved to Texas, Houston, to be exact. After over 20 years in NYC I finally threw a dart at a map and headed west. “I loved the crime and the traffic but it just was NOT hot and humid enough,” as that old bon mot goes. The time was right to escape. The events of 2020 destroyed everything I liked about the city, I started feeling less and less safe and I didn’t want to be trapped under the rubble when the metropolis finally collapsed under its own weight.

In other news, I have a car for the first time in over 20 years, a condition that will only add to Houston’s vehicular congestion and another …er..um… imperfect motorist to a population already replete with drivers on the offensive. (At least when they aren’t busy backing into a parking spot – a peculiar Houston idiosyncrasy)

Galveston Beach

Things are refreshingly different here. For instance, the weather is mild. As of this post a good old fashioned nor’easter is dumping two feet of snow on my old home. Snow is only fun once a year, the first fall of the season, and then only if you are inside with no where to be and a drink in your hand. It is isn’t quite mild enough to perform my famous cannonball off the swimming pool high dive, however, although the clear blue of her undulating skin beckons. This amenity is another first. Access to a pool in Gotham required a steep membership fee and 6 a.m. lane reservations. Yawn.

It was not warm enough over the extended weekend in January to go plunging into the Gulf of Mexico but walks on Galveston beach and delicious Pier Beer in the warm sunshine was pleasant, indeed. Having this new car sure is handy for getting away for the weekend. Corpus Christi and San Antonio are next on the road trip list and beloved Lafayette and New Orleans have never been more accessible.

I am going to miss my friends. I am going to miss walking home from my favorite bars. I am going to miss my band Dixie Automatic. Yes, ironically enough I was in a New York band called Dixie Automatic. It was a good group and we always had a lot of fun together playing Country music for Yankee hipsters.

Below is a sample from a live show in NYC before they boarded the place up.

Honeymoon by Dixie Automatic

Zandvoort Storm

February 12, 2020 § Leave a comment

stormy-window-holland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature paints a violent portrait
In a thick impasto of worried gray, bruised maroon, frigid blue
Gulls get stuck in the oil
Invisible wind punishes the sea grass
And blows sand onto the canvas
Blending with the palette’s tortured colors
Half a tube of titanium is squeezed
To frost the curling surf
Endless coils of leaden thunder break
In silence behind rain distorted glass
The stormy world melts with a Van Gogh eye

The Long Trip to Paradise

November 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

A pineapple cookie in both shape and taste

8000 feet below are souls I’ll never meet

The newly wedded groom has beer, his bride, vodka

Three hours has exhausted polite small talk with giddy strangers

Shades pulled. We are a fuselage of midnight

Crossing coordinates our bodies cannot understand

No matter how patiently the brain explains

Night swallows the East as the West basks in gold

We glide ahead of shadows on the shoulder of Apollo

Classes separated by diaphanous curtains

The sounds of crystal, silver, smiles

Drift back in a cloud of gourmet aromas

To the starving ears and noses of the budget proles

Hush! London is sleeping. New York yawns.

The stomach of earth churns and vomits

Molten sick into the shivering Pacific

Eons of uncomforted turmoil and viola, Paradise

Salted nuts and a cold martini, sudoku, a movie

Words yet unexperienced assemble to be written home

On the pale paper underbelly of a stunning view

I dream of white noise in sleep’s fitful lap

Stiff, restless, motionless at the speed of sound

Sipping black coffee in heaven’s blue parlor

I smell an exotic flower blooming in the travel guide

Her ancestors adorned waving, brown bodies

Welcoming His Majesty’s brave sailors

Ravenous with ribs showing, thirsty mouths agape

Months adrift in Neptune’s wilderness

Surviving on salt pork, beetle and grog rations

We dine on pasta primavera, white wine, salad

The nectars of dry land restored a sailor’s faith

Finding God waiting for them in a heathen paradise

Puzzle Wit

November 2, 2018 § Leave a comment

A bright light in the Texas sky over Walmart. Also, spoke that guy in German. Joyce filled Ulysses with enough symbols and metaphors to keep readers busy for years and criticized critics who criticized him for his lack of prudence and restraint for being puzzle wits. How does one reach a puzzle wit who tosses your masterpiece aside for a fast paced bit of pulp fiction? Is the author responsible for edification or entertainment? A concertina is limited but can still play a memorable tune whereas the extended range of a clarinet playing Schoenberg is ignored and from it a hasty retreat is made. The bright light in the sky over Walmart advertised a special on bratwurst. Sausage is a popular menu item at a Texas barbecue restaurant. It is has lineage to early German and Czech settlers who got lost on their way to Midwest homesteads. Just like Ulysses. Well, sort of. I wouldn’t know for sure because I am a puzzle wit who tossed the novel aside to watch the Dallas Cowboys. My mother’s family is from Texas but are not German or Irish like the brilliant James Joyce. Or, for that matter, Czech like Kafka who said of Ulysses, “one should not write while drinking.” Kafka was an Eastern European puzzle wit who might have benefited from the vitamin D in the Texas sun but he would have found the sausage too spicy, probably.

For Leilani

May 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Erupting Volcano credit Steven Hager

Photo credit Steven Hager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am an active volcano
Beneath my mantle is magma fommented
Sulphur roils into toxic venting clouds

Seams tear through my crust, opening
Furious pools of boiling crimson, spitting
White, scaly ash in the air, landing
All over everything like oily snow

Capricious Pele is offered sacrificial ointments, salves and creams
Pacified, the inflamed goddess sleeps
Dormant for days, erupting again with no warning

And yet I am not Paradise rising
A gift to Heaven from the Sea
Covered in flowers, fruit, and trees

Swan

October 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

swan

I have nothing against the duck

They are very well and good

The emerald sheen on the mallard head

In the flesh or a decoy of wood

Yet sometimes they hint of discarded old shoes

On the banks filthy and wet

Then in glides the swan and all that is foul

We are obliged to forget

I Don’t Sleep on Planes

March 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

truelove_plane

I have spent longer periods of time getting from point A to point B but the longest single flight was a trip from Newark to Tokyo. I was sure, given the duration, that I would be able to grab a little shut eye if not from fatigue at least pure boredom but I was awake the entire passage.

I studied my conversational Japanese and wrote this song. Rather than using my typical means of production, I arranged and recorded it with a free version of Ableton Lite software. It was a challenge to fit everything into the limit of 8-tracks and, frankly, learning Japanese was more intuitive but the software helped me achieve an ethereal sound that works for the theme of the tune.

Download it and play it in your future travels. Yes, (ha, ha) it could indeed help you fall asleep. Send me a postcard.

http://www.johntruelove.com/music/2016/sleep_on_planes.mp3

 

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