You Get Free Refills, Baby!

I spent most of the week in Tulsa, OK. It was my third trip to Oklahoma, that I can recall. A few things about the state that come to mind:

  • I’ve done a bit of driving in the state, and while the landscape is interesting enough, the cities I’ve visited (Tulsa, OK City, and Lawton) are pretty much all shitholes.
  • In places like Ohio and other points east of the Mississippi, I’m struck by all the areas with Indian names, yet there aren’t any Indians around. That’s because they were all moved to Oklahoma (thanks Andrew Jackson, you fuckhead). Consequently, Oklahoma is overrun with areas and streets named after Indians from ancestral grounds nowhere near Oklahoma (the site I was working this week was on Apache Street, for example),
  • I get pissed when I see the OK license plates that say Indian Country. Especially since after all this land was supposed to have been given over completely to the tribes, that didn’t last too long. Typical. Sound bitter? Yeah. This shit pisses me off.
  • The people have all been very nice, though. In kind of a buzzcut, Jesus-loving sort of way.

Anyway. I started my trip off in usual fashion — breakfast at the airport restaurant in Missoula. Their breakfasts are top shelf, in my opinion, and starting a trip off with one is always a highlight. This is a picture of Connie, the woman who works the place in the morning. I don’t think she knows my name, but she knows what I order and gets it right every time without needing to even show me a menu. You can’t really see her, but this was taken with my shitty cell phone camera, plus she never stands still. It was the best I could do! She can pull off a room full of whiny travelers like nobody’s business. I like her!

I got to Tulsa but didn’t feel like going anywhere once I got there, so I holed up in my hotel room. It was the Ramada Inn right at the airport. I had this absolutely stunning view out my window of the long term parking lot. High class!

I read a little, turned on the TV on a whim, and this is the first thing I saw:

Who the hell watches this shit? No wonder Americans are so goddamn dumb. I shut it off and went high brow; I watched this awesome piece of celluloid greatness on my laptop instead (I’d rented it before I left and brought it with me):

The next day I headed to the work site. I took this picture just down the street from where I was working.

I spent the bulk of the next two working days with my ass planted right here:

Except, of course for when I was sneaking over to this spot they were stupid enough to tell me I could visit whenever I wanted to:

Besides the liquor store, once clear of a couple blocks of industrial parks the locale I was working in was dominated by churches and bbq joints. We went to Big Daddy’s BBQ for lunch the first day. It was actually pretty damn good, in a bbq-sauce-on-wonder-bread kind of way.

     

I know I talk a lot about how my days are filled with danger, and that I live a laugh-at-death kind of life . . . by now this post alone should show you that there is no bullshit being invoked when I say that. James Bond’s job has nothing on mine, he just goes about his in a much more metrosexual fashion than I do.

I did get in an hour-plus every day I was there at this goddamn place though. The highlight each day was closing out my workout on the treadmill. I had a shuffle going of songs by the bands ENFORCER (from Sweden) and CAULDRON (from Canada) on my iPod (on account of these bands touring together, including a stop I set up in Missoula so Sid’s band could open for them), but on the video screen they had BET playing; the result was I got to listen to music I like playing to videos featuring sexy, oiled-up bodies cavorting and grinding around. Maybe there’s hope for TV yet. . . .

I did manage to get out and visit a couple bookstores. In addition to two separate comic shops (which I didn’t photograph), I stopped by two new/used bookstores. The first was called Steve’s Books and Magazines (shitty cell phone pic, taken into the bright sun):

     

It was a cool shop. While there I learned that just a couple months ago some of the movie version (a remake, I haven’t seen the original) of The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson was shot there. That’s an awesome book; I hope they don’t screw up the movie. Jessica Alba is apparently in it; that doesn’t bode too well.

One thing cool about Steve’s is they actually have a little diner in it. I didn’t eat anything, though. The guy that I talked to who was working the counter had such an awful case of gingivitis (at least he seemed to be suffering from it based on the blastfurnace whiff I got of his breath every time he opened his goddamn mouth, which was all too often) that I lost my appetite.

The other place I visited was called Gardner’s Used Books; it was much bigger, kind of musty and ramshackle, but also awesome.

And dig what was waiting just inside the front door. And for sale too! It was $2700 or something like that. If I’d had the money and could have gotten it through baggage check, I’d have bought the goddamn thing:

I also swooned over these three boxes. I didn’t even look through them — I can’t! If I did, I’d have wanted to buy all of them. So I just sighed and took a picture.

I did score a copy of Captain America #601, the black and white variant. This thing is awesome. It just came out a few weeks ago, but this variant has been very hard to find. It was drawn by the legendary Gene Colan, who is/was 82 freakin’ years old when he drew this book. Fantastic.

          

Since I have both versions — this one, which is just the pencils, and the other one, which includes the ink and color, it’s very interesting to see the difference as the art evolves. Very cool.

          

By the time I was ready to leave, HULK was getting a little tiresome. I had to put him in his place.

That’s enough awesome for one session. Tomorrow — the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum!

4 thoughts on “You Get Free Refills, Baby!”

  1. >The sign on that liquor store… the way it's worded makes it sound like kind of a warning to the wayward cracker, like "BEWARE OF BLACK-OWNED BUSINESS IN AREA".Never been to Oklahoma myself, but from everything I've heard and from what you've said, it sounds like a good place to get the fuck out of.

  2. >I pretty much WAS the wayward cracker, I realized.Oklahoma is weird. The church-to-everything-else ratio was higher than anywhere else I've ever been. I went through one stretch of them that was more unsettling than some of the worse neighborhoods I've driven through. I'm surprised the different denominations aren't out fighting each other in the streets.

  3. >I just skimmed through all your posts that I missed during my August "off." Laughed at various things. The only one I remember now is the picture of you showing Hulk who's who. I've never been to Oklahoma, but I'll bet Missouri could give it a run for its church money.

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