The cover story of this week’s Arkansas Times is a piece by Mara Leveritt about her efforts to write a book detailing the vulnerability of New Orleans to natural disaster. Mara saw it coming, and she had spent much of the last year gathering information and attempting to convince her editor that the story merited development and publication. Numerous sources all saw the impending doom, and they all seemed to breathe unanimous sighs of frustrated resignation at the lack of prevention for the inevitable. Mara’s editor even said that the only way the book would sell is if the disaster actually happened. I wonder how that editor feels now. I can’t imagine what a nightmare these last few weeks have been for Mara (the author of the blogging article that featured me some months ago), who saw it all and predicted much of the details of what we’re seeing on TV. A true 21st Century Cassandra.

Speaking of tragedy, this is the 4th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It’s also Chris‘s birthday. He had a party last night at his mom’s house. In the five minutes following my arrival I sustained about 5 rather nasty mosquito bites on my feet. I stayed indoors for awhile until Chris offered to let me borrow some jeans and shoes (I was wearing shorts and sandals as usual) and a can of Off. A friend suggested that mosquitoes like sweet blood and I reflected on the fact that my intake of cookies and M&M’s is probably greater than most people’s.

Saturday was a pleasant day; I ran my errands and picked up some strings at Millsap Music, some CDs at Arkansas Record/CD Exchange (promo copy of Ok Go‘s new album for $2.50!), and went to the River Market for lunch. I figured I’d just bump into somebody and figure out the rest of my day from there. Sure enough I found the Kennedys and Jamie and Charles. I was about to introduce them when they greeted each other as old classmates at UCA Honors College. Funny. So we had lunch and Jamie and Charles and I decided to run down to Bryant to visit New Day Junktiques, the coolest junk shop in the world.

I should also mention that Pancho’s Villa is now open, next door to my house on Tyler. The cuisine is predominantly Mexican, but also with American South standards like catfish and burgers. It’s the only Mexican restaurant I think I’ve seen that appears to employ no Mexicans. Instead it is operated by, and its clientele mostly consisting of, senior citizens. I can only conclude one of two things here: these are the regulars from their previous location, or I have a lot more old folks in my neighborhood than I had initially estimated. There’s a down-home funky feel to it; more like a rural roadside diner than a mid-town city eatery. It reminds me of Big Daddy G’s in Harrison [1]. It’s small, with lots of plants and figurines, there’s a color-impaired TV in the corner which seems to always be playing Wheel of Fortune [2], and smoking is allowed, so that gives you some idea of the atmosphere. So far the eats have been splendid, with the exception that the first time I went, Katherine had the refried beans, and they tasted oddly of Robitussin. As of right now I’m eating Kathy‘s leftover cheeseburger from last night, and it remains delicious.

Today I don’t know what I’m going to do.

1.) I realize that description helps very few people, but cut me some slack, I’m struggling here. You should be able to intuit some vague impressions of the establishment based purely on the name.

2.) I’ve only been there twice now, but each time countless vowels were purchased and puzzles solved, all to the familiar clicking sound of the Wheel, and the smooth delivery of Mr. Pat Sajak.

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