CT Rambling

Strike up the Band We have lived on these Rocks for 3 years!

Wow! Another Year has come to pass and yet here I am still banging away on this laptop. I celebrate this milestone because I haven’t gotten hit by that crosstown bus or fallen ass over teacup down a bilco door. Sadly, I celebrate this 3rd birthday solo while right now Mary Louise is heading on a Ferry to another island down in Mexico with the MoHo’s. No I am not bitter about this one bit. I promise.

In her absence I have been writing this post in my head for a couple of days and I  have to say how humble I am that we are still plugging along in a city that could possibly eat us alive. I have always said that there are two things here in The Empire State that I always run out of; time and money. This year has been a whirlwind and I can’t believe it has been 3 years from when we rolled up to 1300 First Avenue and emptied our contents into the UES. This year there have been some major changes to our lives this year and l have always said that sometimes change is good.

In the past year some of our friends have also followed suit and made moves from familiar Memphis surroundings and dipped their toe into new cities and regions. I always tell them from our experiences that right now there may be tears of uncertainty but each day and week things will normalize and level out. I still look back and say to myself that if you told me 3 years and change that I would be living in New York and love each day of it I would have told you that you are crazy as hell. I am serious when I say that this was the best thing that we have done in our adult lives. The experiences and things that we have and continue to learn about have been amazing. Much like Anthony Bourdain told us on each show was that we need to explore and try out new things. Do the uncomfortable and you will be amazed at to what you learn and it will make you a richer person internally. I still miss that fucker. His story wasn’t finished.

People still ask me how I like living here I always tell them the same response. We love it and should have done this sooner. I am in no way dogging Memphis or our friends back there but Mary Louise and I always had an ‘explorer’ gene in us that was dying to get out. New York is a strange city and has a lot of people from many different walks of life. Much like a child we are always asking questions and seeking information. You know what we found out. They may be from a different country, have a different person that believe in or vote for but we are all children playing in the same sandbox and we better find a way to get along. Call me crazy but the first thing that I ask the yellow cab driver, after I tell them *in my best New York Accent*, is where they are from and “Tell me about yourself.” People love telling their story to strangers. There is a lot of pride in those words and I cherish each and every one.

While I sit here smoking a Perdomo stinking up my work laptop I recall all the things we did. They are in no particular order include;

  • Mary Louise completes and graduates with a MBA from NYU and this better complete her higher education quest. We don’t have any fucking room in closet for a Doctoral Robe and all that crap. (I am very proud of her for this)
  • Mary Louise takes a new job and a whole bunch of new responsibilities that I don’t doubt she will do great in.
  • Made a trip to Philly and got me an authentic Cheesesteak.
  • We moved from the Upper East Side to the Gritty Hipster streets of Downtown Brooklyn. That wasn’t easy folks, oh and moving sucks here in New York City.
  • One would think that downsizing from 1300 square feet to 535 square feet would be easy but try to move to another studio that is configured differently. Thankfully Ba made a trip to Brooklyn and helped us with the move.
  • I made Senior at my work so I am now a Senior Sales Rep for selling tourists tickets on those double decker buses.
  • We made a trip to Maine for Lobster.
  • We made a trip to the Riviera Maya of Mexico for a work counterparts wedding and made a one night trip over to Isla Mujeres in December.
  • Made a trip back home for Christmas and got to see our friends and family.
  • Had to check in on Kitty down in Belize in February and to get warmed up from the 4 Nor’easters we had this past winter.
  • Were honored to become Godparents for Willimena in April and now have another one who will possibly wipe our asses when we get older.
  • Reconnected with Vivian Longstreet and Stone and enjoyed a great weekend with them Upstate.
  • Had to make yet another trip to Mexico and insure that RJ and Mallory didn’t have tres children. (still unknown but we will see in 9 months if that was a success)
  • Mary Louise made a trip to The Hamptons while I smoked meat on Katonah Avenue in the Bronx.
  • Mary Louise currently is down in Mexico right now with the MoHo’s and will return on Monday.

Yep we had a blast on this island and on a couple other islands. Rather than collect stuff we have decided to collect memories and passport stamps. I am nearing 1000 words and will end with a quote that I always love. “Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer”

IMG_2489Much like Black Eyed Peas and Greens on New Years day if you celebrate New Years eve wearing a Bowler hat you will have good luck. *taken 2 blocks from Times Square on NYE

IMG_1883New York Food and Wine Festival Event

IMG_1641Pipes and Drums Prom. Who knew that Mary Louise and Lady Barrister wore the same color dress.

IMG_0059Madison Square Garden Event – here Mary Louise is saying “W.T.C.B.F. Carbunkle Trumpet, LZ goes to all the good shows and you take my ass to a Collegiate Hockey match? You better step up your game and start bogarting the good tickets too!”

IMG_2151Funny I don’t hear her bitching about this one. Aboard the USS Intrepid for the Marine Corp’s Birthday Celebration

IMG_3427Willimena is going to be a handful I can already tell.

IMG_4024 (1)Who has 2 thumbs and completes her MBA from NYU in 2 years while working full time and interviews for a new job. This one! Seriously though. This is it for higher level education.

IMG_2821Right before we move out of the UES they open a bonafide Queso Mexican Restaurant Joint and we find a great Cajun place too! Thank God we have the Q Train!

IMG_3128Boerum Hill is pretty cool. If you walk across the street from our joint you are in Boerum Hill neighborhood. If you make a left and walk across Flatbush you are in Fort Greene. You walk 3 more blocks and you are in Park Slope. Confused yet?

IMG_1262So glad to see Kitty when she made a trip up to the Big Apple.

IMG_0501This is the face of a woman who is about to walk out into a friggin Northeast Nor’easter. 50 MPH Winds with below windchill temps and Snow. I ‘worked from home’ that day!

IMG_8491And here was the first pic when we moved in. 3 years later and we are still here and I may or may not be a liberal democrat.

Thanks for reading and for following this worthless dribble. Now pull that band-aid off and go out and make yourself richer and happy 3rd Anniversary to us!

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BoogieDown BBQ at the Rambling House 2018

5 years of the BoogieDown. Between Philly and New York a lot of meat has been cooked and served. This year we changed things up and hosted the event at the Rambling House and did more of a benefit for Alex’s Lemonade. The Memphis Mafia arrived on Thursday and on Friday and Philly rolled into town on Friday night.

On the menu this year was Pulled Pork Shoulder, Baby Back Ribs, Beef Brisket, Smoked Mac and Cheese and Cole Slaw with PorkOsaurus’ new Slaw dressing. We figure that there were about 250 guests and we raised over 2600 for the charity. Thanks to all those who came and a huge thank you to the great staff at The Rambling House.

IMG_3840Why yes we are smoking ribs on Katonah Avenue. What of it?

IMG_3842The PorkOSaurus Company Store. They have a new Slaw Dressing and Marinate

IMG_3863Um Guys, can you get some work done today?

IMG_3845About to start to juice the ribs

IMG_3847Isn’t that a Sexy Picture?

IMG_3846The Chief Bottle Washer and Midget Aficionado

IMG_3856Lemonade Stand courtesy of Fiona

IMG_3864The Boys from the Local showed up for some grub and to let the kids take pictures in the rig

IMG_3865Packed House and they could escape the heat

IMG_3861The Rambling House staff was serving up the food and we also had a face painting person. That is her in the hat….or some homeless girl

IMG_3859This is what probably made the Spring on Pepe’s cooker to go bad.

IMG_3867“Please buy some Rub, Sauce and Marinade so I can have my playroom back!” Poor C-Man was getting tired

IMG_3868Again thank you to the staff at the Rambling House. We couldn’t have done it without you!

You will have to excuse me as I have some non-smoked goods this week.

933 Days and I got it done!

What did I do that took almost 2 and half years to accomplish you ask? I am proud to report that I have the Entire Upper East Side of Manhattan (North of E60th Street to E96th Street,  West of 5th Avenue to the East River) speaking Southern!  It is a thing of beauty, I have everyone saying “hello” and “good morning” on the streets. Snapple and fizzy water has been replaced with freshly brewed Lipton Iced Tea. Bacon Lettuce and Tomato with Pimento Cheese has replaced the Gyro carts on the streets. And Finally the first Friday after Memorial Day everyone will be wearing Seersucker!

I am pretty proud of myself, I didn’t think I could do it. Hell, I even have my work family now issuing “Bless Your Heart” to people instead of saying “F You!”  So what is next for Carbunkle Trumpet you wonder? WE ARE TAKING OUR SHOW IN THE ROAD TO DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN! Yep! We are moving out of the UES and heading to the borough of Brooklyn! Home of Jay Z, Manbuns and Hipsters and I am putting all of you on notice! Ok, so the real reason could be that Momma has taken a new job so we have to move out of her employers housing but we are excited for the new adventure.

We looked at a number of different locations on this rock and other rocks and decided that we needed the following things;

  • One or two subway stops back into Manhattan and easily walkable
  • Multiple Subway Lines for when there are delays, cancelations or weekend repairs
  • Full Service Building so they can accept our Vodka & Wine fruit & vegetable deliveries
  • Office or business center shared space in common area
  • Outdoor space and maybe an outdoor grill for daddy to burn red meat
  • Had to be cool and have a neighborhood tavern (or two)

Downtown Brooklyn checked all the boxes so we started to find a new home in that area. We looked into one building but they would only allow one dog and since we have two that collectively weigh 11 pounds that was out. We found another joint that is just as good and pending the vetting process we are in. We are shooting for next week to move so don’t be surprised if this sucker is quiet next week.

data=2M2OiB_yxfn5DcdjDRgvI6wr69jNRy3suS-zfNpCNuuMB_IbWMxsjfy6d2reA7Kcv5tiy7Pqdj1XX4k_InfgQqIgpJBUQt63NdtgsnjRhj--JFktXUBjgvOMCIXHj8hTyuyOWe are smack dab in the middle of everything. Walking distance to the Barclays Center, right next to a University that we may know the head men’s basketball coach, it is a quick Subway ride to the Murphranks and there is an IHop on the Fulton Mall!

IMG_3004Roughly 13 subway lines I can jump on to get into the city!

imagesHere is the front of our Non-Hipster Building

Dattner-Architects_HubOasisAll186_web-1-840x580I mean this isn’t too bad for those 30 nice days of summer for us to enjoy!

IMG_3011Maya is saying “Wait, I like the UES! People tell me that I look cute and want to pet me! I don’t even like the Beastie Boys”

IMG_3012Maddy is looking forward to taking a wiz on the artificial grass in the dog run that they have. Yep she will peeing on Brady Bunch Astroturf!

IMG_3070This part sucks, basically because we don’t have much room to put shit

IMG_3069Office and Holiday Crap is in boxes!

IMG_3068You will notice that the Cigar Humidor and the Steve Bartman Bobble Head are still here. I will pack those last of course!

IMG_3067Blue Dogs are packed and ready to move to Brooklyn

IMG_3065Not to say that we don’t have a lot to offer but do any of your future residents make Logo Cornbread? Please accept us and can you make it quick, we are starting to get nervous!

We will keep you posted, till then I will be busy growing out my hair for the Man bun!

 

Monday Lunch Club Philly

Fade In – Fancy Bougie Gift Shop in a downtown Philadelphia Hotel

A somewhat haggard looking customer places on the counter 2 Gatorades, a liter of water and diet coke. He scans the back counter where the Over the Counter medicines are located.

Customer – “May I get 2 packages of Advil and some Imodium AD please?”
Cashier – “That will be $39.75 will you be paying cash or credit?”
Customer – “Credit and I don’t need a receipt.”
Cashier – “Sir, I hope that you get over your ‘Flu’.”

Way back when the Monday Lunch Club was in full force each Monday at lunch we would convene at Heavenly Hoagie on Union Avenue to recap the weekend, brainstorm new business ideas, and bust chops with Pete the owner. We were convinced that Pete was either in the witness protection bureau or the personal bookie for The Mob. I mean no disrespect to Pete but the man couldn’t remember shit or a food order to save his life. I mean I ordered the same thing week after week and he never got it right.

Pete’s specialty sandwich was a Philly Cheesesteak since he was from South Philly. Prior to when we moved up here I had never visited Philadelphia nor had an “authentic Philly Cheesesteak wit wiz.” The bread, the steak, the onions, the cheese wiz, it was a good thing and it kicked the ever-loving shit out of Lenny’s sandwich or other deli’s that have a Philly on the menu.

This past weekend we were in Philly for Pepe and D3’s child’s birthday. On Sunday we awoke in the hotel and were needing grease, cheese and bread and cheese fries. I confirmed with Google that we were close to Geno’s and Pat’s but on the list was Steve’s Prince of Steaks. We decided that this was going to be our choice as it was the closest to our hotel.

I opted for the double meat – double cheese and went with “wit wiz” and it didn’t disappoint at all. I knew that this place was going to be a good one because anyone who has Cheese Fries has to be good. Hey I just got back good results from my blood work last week so I figured that I could ‘go off plan’ a tad.

The Cheesesteak and fries didn’t disappoint. It was spot on!

IMG_3051The Center City Location

IMG_3054The Menu was pretty much like Pete had minus the Fries. I always wondered why Pete would sometimes put Marinara Sauce on my hoagie. It was “Pizza Sauce”

IMG_3053Where the Magic Happens

IMG_3024_LIWhen you get >45 you appreciate getting good results like this

IMG_3055I didn’t know if I should salute or eat it!

IMG_3056It would be considered rude to show an empty wrapper so I am going to post this one halfway through.

IMG_3058The Neighbor is probably drooling on her iFoam right now

No Disrespect to Pete, Geno or Pat but Steve’s Prince of Steaks is on point! And it helped my bad case of MPH.

“Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd….”

Buy me some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks who the Feck am I kidding buy me some friggin long underwear and call my ass in May for tickets opening weekend in the North sucks! Yep yours truly attended a baseball game north of 160th street during opening weekend and it was cold to say the least.  The tourist bus company that I work for has 4 seats in Yankees stadium for all 81 home baseball games. I have to share the hosting of the tickets with the other ticket sales reps and naturally because I am low man on the totem pole I don’t get first dibs. On Thursday the word came down that there were some seats open for Sunday’s game because LJZ was nice enough to take a day off from her residency at Yankees stadium so I raised my hand.

What I should have done first is look at the friggin weather report. Ah, it was at least sunny and not raining but albeit it was kind of chilly. The game was fun, the Yankees went up 5-0 in the first and we were spitting distance from Aaron Judge and of course….beer so it was a good day. The clients enjoyed themselves and after some extra innings at the Yankee Tavern we headed home for the evening.

IMG_2934Puffy Coats being worn in a baseball game. Friggin Puffy Coats!

IMG_2935“Not my seat or my beer” No Man Ever

IMG_2938That boy is a grown ass man! I can’t wait for the Cubs to play them in the World Series this year! It is going to be fun!

Have a good day and go support your local baseball team. It is supposed to mean that spring and summer is here.

 

Pictures of the Week

It was a great week last week and I have the bank statements to prove it!

IMG_1491What this really means is that you should double up on Gold Bond

IMG_1476Friends of ours were in town on Saturday so we met up and had a drink. It was so great seeing them.

IMG_1468Anyone need some Corn? The Farmers Market at Union Square is legit!

IMG_1469We tore it up at the end of Restaurant Week.

IMG_1471Then we tore our livers up!

IMG_1466You can’t tell because of the shadow but “The Water Line” on my pants was up to my knee. The Friday Rain was a bitch!

Have a good weekend folks!

From Isla Manhattan to Isla Mujeres & Back

So about 3 years ago we were vacationing with RJ and Mallory down in Mexico. We booked a Whale Shark excursion which we absolutely loved. After our swim with the Fishes the charter boat takes you to the shallow waters of North Beach at Isla Mujeres for lunch and a beer. North Beach is pretty cool so later in the week we took the ferry over to Isla and rented a golf cart for the day and hung out. There was something about the island that reminded us about San Pedro Belize so 2 years we stayed a couple days on the island prior to a week at one of the larger resorts where we kicked it with Papa New Guinea Mike and his family. On that trip we sought out more of the island and again enjoyed ourselves.

Last year, well one couple had a child which drove the other couple to move to New York so there wasn’t a Trumpet’s/RJ & Mallory yearly trip but we planned extra hard for this year. A duplex house was rented with a pool and 6 couples headed down to Isla Mujeres for a weeklong jam fest. One of the houseguests probably said it best with a post she did on her Face Crack Page. I will paraphrase it here;

Isla Mujeres is a hidden gem. The waters were clear, and peaceful (except when traveling in a small boat to swim with the whale sharks- I’ll discuss that shortly). I feel like the majority of the island was post card worthy. I mean, where else can you go and eat impeccable dishes for a portion of the price paid stateside?
E. and I went with a fun group, most of which we didn’t know. Each day was a new adventure. We would typically hop in the infinity pool and then go out for the day. Some of us would go shopping, while others went to explore.
I would recommend some time at North Beach. Sunday’s are the best if you want to witness a first-hand fiesta… Or a singer in 6 inch platforms breaking it down for hours in an itty bitty bikini. That lady had some mad skills, or at least from what I remember. The drinks were cheap and delicious!

I read her note while I was in a cab heading across town and I thought to myself “She gets it” She went on one trip with us and she nailed it on the head. Not many people can travel to an island that primarily has locally run restaurants, English isn’t the predominate language and you don’t flush the toilet paper. I get back to the office from vacation and had a couple people ask me what we did. When I told them that we hung out and didn’t do much some got it and some looked at me like we did nothing but stay drunk and not apply sunscreen. Yeah we did that too!

It was a great trip, we got to hang with our friends for a week. We ate tons of great food that wasn’t that expensive. Drank just a couple beers each day (stop laughing AB, EB, SN, SG, KC, JL, LA, RA, RJ & Mallory) and maybe had a vodka drink…or two.

IMG_2012“CBT just give them your damn Drivers License. It isn’t like you drive up there in New York anyway!”

IMG_2014No we aren’t already burnt, the umbrella was red and cast a weird color on us. Well we were drinking pretty heavily on Sunday.

IMG_2015Me and Mallory

IMG_2023The Cuban Band on Sunday-Funday at Playa Norte! You cannot beat this at all! KLC Man if you want the pic of ‘the bathing suit the lead singer wore just email me. It was impressive!

IMG_2035This was the “after” picture from being at North Beach. Funny thing is that we only rented one cart!!!

IMG_2042Had dinner here one night, the Crab in the Garlic Sauce is to die for! Die For I tell you!

IMG_2044There was a line 3 deep to get breakfast from this lady. I had no idea what I was ordering but told her that I wanted 4 of them. They were beef tacos that was killer and only cost 2 bucks.

IMG_2048View of our Casa from the roof deck.

IMG_2055Another Gem of a joint that we ate at.

IMG_2116This was last night’s meal. Killer and we sat on the street to boot.

IMG_2129Last Sunrise of the Trip. We will be back!

Needless to say, a good time was had by all and the only causality was a monogramed hat!

The Best and Worst Shows I have seen

Wow! Some of you readers are still kinda salty that I had such a killer Friday last week. This is a perfect time to tell you about a discussion I had a couple weeks back. Back in March right after we went to see Billy Joel in MSG I was talking to some work peeps about how great the show was and so on. We then were talking about great and not so great performances that we have seen in our lifetime. My friend started telling me how one of his buddies was dying to see either Bette Midler or Barbara Streisand. They paid a king’s ransom and got tickets to see the show. Apparently the performer wasn’t really into it that night and “phoned it in”. Let’s just say my friends buddy was pissed and to this day hates that performer with all the bile in his belly.

I can say that with my past life experiences I got to see both the front and back of stage shows. I won’t name any names but I have seen Diva’s and some people that I keep waiting to come across the teleprompter saying they have been found dead from an Overdose. I will list a couple here in a few later but last Friday when we were waiting for The Avett Brothers to come on stage we had a similar discussion. One of my work cohorts said that they already knew that the Avett Brothers will kill it tonight. I looked at this person with the (Southerner didn’t comprehend what the Northerner said) puzzled look and they tell me “Dude this is Madison Square Garden. It is the Mecca of venues. You either bring your A-Game or you stay the F at home!” It makes sense is you think about it. Which do you think that a performer is going to get more fired up for; the 1PM time slot at the Washington County Fair or opening act at Madison Square Garden?

Anyway not to rub further salt in the wound but The Avett Brothers came on stage and completely shredded that stage! Not to further rub it in to my friends in Memphis but living up here really doesn’t suck. First of all you have everybody and their brother trying to get a date in MSG (they have an event 365 days a year) or if they can’t swing that they go to a smaller venue that still is killer. When we saw Squeeze they both admitted that they were pumped to play in New York. Anyway without further ado here is a short list of best and worst performances I have seen in my lifetime;

Worst Shows CBT has seen

  1. Diana Ross @ Live At The Garden – phoned it in and didn’t give a feck)
  2. Hank Williams Jr @ The Mid-South Coliseum – Dude was so shitfaced he could barely stand (don’t judge)
  3. Little Richard  @Beale Street Music Fest – If you have to have a teleprompter to remind you where you are and you still screw that up….retire dude.
  4. Sheryl Crow @ Beale Street Music Fest – I won’t say that she was drunk but even the kids who passed out on the grass said she sucked.
  5. Eric Clapton @ Mud Island Amphitheater (I am going to take some shit for this one) The man is a legend but if he is just going to come out and sing his songs and not say one word that wasn’t a lyric…..I got the CD too Mr. Clapton, I could have just listened to that instead.

Greatest Shows CBT has seen (in no particular order)

  1. Michael Franti @Beale Street Music Fest – I know right? He came on stage and played his heart out and bared his soul. Seriously because of that experience I am now a fan.
  2. Billy Joel @MSG – The official House Band of Madison Square Garden. He gets it and he loves it!
  3. Billy Joel & Elton John @ The Pyramid – I hear they aren’t the best of friends but they sure do fake it and put on a great show.
  4. Rod Stewart @ The Pyramid & @ The Mid-South Coliseum – He loves to tour and play.
  5. Earth Wind & Fire @ Beale Street Music Fest – I have said it before, I attended a religious experience on the banks of the river that Sunday.
  6. Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band 1986 @ Mud Island Amphitheater (The Rain Show) *back story* The band came out and was able to get 2 songs in before the heavens opened up and rained for 45 minutes. Maybe 750 fans stayed and Jimmy came out and sang acoustic because if he tried to amp up he “Would Shock the Shit out of himself” and played all the great songs.
  7. Jason D. Williams @ Center for The Southern Folklore Street Festival – If you have a chance to see him get it on stage by all means do it!
  8. Blues Boy King @ Opening Night at BB Kings Memphis – Got a special invite to sit in on sound check and even at his age the man loves to play.
  9. Seal @ Live at The Garden – I admit it, I wasn’t really looking forward to this show when the lineup came out but he changed my opinion. High Energy and he loves to play.
  10. Harry Connick Jr. @ Live at the Garden – Harry is and always be the consummate performer. This was the epic “I am playing my ass off and all I get is a chicken wing?” show where table guests put platters of food on the stage for him.
  11. KC & The Sunshine Band (Sound Check the Day Prior) @ Sunset Symphony – Pretty much this is a closed set but because I was a child slave labor worker for MIM I got to attend. The Band interacted with the Memphis Symphony and performed the band’s songs. KC had a riot and loved it. This is where we have the infamous “Where is Robert Ross (stage manager)? Robert Ross I want bongos for ‘Shake Shake’. Do you hear me Robert Ross? I want fucking Bongo’s!” Oh this was on a hot mic that probably could be heard in Mud Island. As we all stood with our mouths open I believe it was BK who said “KC don’t fucking play does he?” The show on Saturday was ok but I think the sound check was better.

10400999_23522759927_8854_nJason D. Williams getting it on stage! This concert series showcases the local musical acts and is a free festival, if you have ever attended the old King Biscuit Blues festival down in Helena, it reminds me of it. As old Charlie Musslewite used to say “Son if you don’t have the blues after you spend an afternoon at festival then you ain’t got no soul!”

10400999_23522739927_7434_n

He absolutely destroys Piano’s!

10400999_23522774927_9931_n

Consummate Showman! Sure he is crazier than squirrel poop but you got to love a professional.

 

28440_390775564927_286971_nPuddle of Mud at BSMF – You ever heard 6K people scream “Fuck You”?

28814_400029399927_1580650_nEver wonder what a wall of speakers looked like?

28440_390775599927_2947718_nHarms and I at Earth Wind and Fire’s Sunday Service. Top 5 Moment!

28814_400029524927_7158628_nI am not saying that KC is a Diva but ‘she’ does expect the best from his stage performers.

28814_400029689927_6501356_nI won’t go into great detail but the River and MIM will change you.

So what’s your favorite show?

 

Carbunkle Trumpet’s Trip Report – Change on the Island

“Oh it has been 3 years since your last visit; a lot has changed on the island.”

“Wait till you see the change on the island.”

“Get ready to see a bunch of changes on the island.”

“The island has changed, it isn’t the same.”

“They have ruined that island, it isn’t the same!”

Boy, some of you guys really know how to make one wonder what the hell they are getting into when they are heading back down below the 18th latitude. I hate to disappoint those of you who have tuned in to read me eviscerate the island but not much has changed in my humble opinion;

  • Marlon Brando still makes the best ‘Stress Captain’ cocktail and is always a delight to sit and talk to and also to catch up on the town’s gossip.
  • Jet Holland is still less than 5 feet tall and is peddling his ‘Best Rum Punch’ and Hot Dog at Belize International.
  • Pedro still speaks his mind whether you want to hear his opinion or not. In his defense when he gave me grief for not staying with him I reminded him that I was loyal to Mrs. Celi much like I was loyal to him and his pizza joint on the back end of the island. He appreciated my candor!
  • The Shrimp Sticks at Blue Water Grill still is the Bee’s knees!
  • After drinking 20 Belikin Beer one will get fur on their tongue.
  • Celi’s Deli still makes the best Chicken Tostada’s and the Best Black Bean Soup!
  • Alberto still to this day calls me “Buddy” and Elvi’s serves the best and very lethal Dirty Banana frozen drink.
  • Complete strangers say “Good Morning” to you as you walk by them.
  • Tia Chocolate is still my favorite little brown woman and makes me feel tall!

For those of you saying “Ok, smartass, we get it!” let me qualify something. Change is inevitable; if you don’t change then you will either become obsolete or you go out of business.  I work for a company that raises an eyebrow if the comment “We have always done it that way” is said because there is always room for improvement. Just imagine what would have happened if a US Gringo who married an Island girl didn’t say 39 years ago “I am going to fly people from the mainland to the island.” Where would San Pedro or Belize be if Tropic Air wasn’t born back in 1979?  Yes I am talking about John Grief but come on guys, isn’t the road north to Las Terazzas much better than potholes and puddles?  Was the traffic so horrible on the island that it drove me crazy? You are talking to a fucking New Yorker!! At least they aren’t honking their horns like they do here in Gotham. Sadly we can’t keep an island from growing just like we can’t keep a puppy or newborn from growing up.

I will admit that there are some things that I wasn’t crazy about but am I going to create Facebook pages and stage boycotts? Hell no, I am only on the island tops 2 weeks a year and unless I have skin in this game it isn’t my place to bitch. Do I plan on changing hotel accommodations on the island because I saw a couple billboards advertising a different resort….Nope. Do I think that there are WAY too many taxi’s on the island? Um have you visited New York City lately? There are more Ubers, Yellow Taxis, Black Sedans and other private for hire cars here than you can swing a dead cat at. I guess what I am getting to is that change, whether you like it or not, is a good thing. We won’t know if that change is going to help or hurt things on the island but if it brings more money to my friends who live in Belize then I say why not!

IMG_0849Now that we have 3 airports to do our bidding, I think we shall see this airport a couple more times in a year.

IMG_0843Here is our Guber (Golf Cart Uber) in Caye Caulker

IMG_0832They still put the bishop hat on the Belikin’s

IMG_0811Marlon Brando August still serving them up!

IMG_0797I know a certain person is looking down on us saying “God both of these two are short!”

IMG_0748Belize Construction Site

IMG_0745One of these days we are going to bring that woman up to New York! Love us some Tia Chocolate!

I know I am out of sorts but I had to post some of these pics from Dead Elvis week prior to the Candle Light Vigil as some are too good not to pass up.  For those of you who have never seen Stumbling Elvis or the Elvis Tribute Artist contest, I encourage you to attend as it is really good. Thanks to @38103girl for hooking us up with the tickets, Thank Thankyou Verrryyy Much!

 Pretty much sums it up ya know?
 “I hope this suit don’t tear up baby!”
 “I am caught in a trap”
 Note to any future ETA who are thinking of competing, I have never seen Young Elvis or GI Elvis win, it is always Jumpsuit Aloha Elvis who wins.
 See what I mean….
 I know this pic is out of sorts but I wanted to share with the class that Monkey Head Maddy is getting ready for Duck Season being the first ever Tiny Toy Poodle retriever.
 Yo King!
 I think there is something wrong with Bone’s lip.
 Why yes PR did dye his hair for Stumbling Elvis, gotta love the devotion to the King!
 Yes I know I am not wearing a jump suit but they don’t make short fat suits ok?
 Even Melzie had to get in the Stumbling Elvis Love!
 I think my Elvis Bobble head got some compliments
 Me and Michelle
 Foster Grant Elvis?
 You have to love this city and the fact that people do crazy shit stuff like this!
 Thank you Very Much! Elvis has left the building!
My Buddy Ebbe dropped in during Dead Elvis Week and will be back in Mid September with 30+ Danes looking for some music and ribs!
To The King!