21 September 2012

The Friday Belt: Corked on Mezcal

Vida Mezcal ($36) from Del Maguey

El Bebida:
There wasn't a worm in the bottle and I didn't get stinking drunk and wind up with a dead donkey in a ditch. Although, it could've happened. Vida ($36) is considered entry level Mezcal.  I consider it a huge value. Firstly, I like that Mezcal is smokey. If you like Islay single malt or back bacon or smoked almonds or Lapsang Souchong tea, this, my friend, is the stuff for you... and most certainly for me. It's like drinking a Cuban cigar.

Two - I discovered Mescal only recently -- It was about the time I started pissing everyone off. Kidding.  I've been pissing off folks for years. I saw John Huston's 'Under the Volcano' and was both terrified and awed  (Awed is such a better word than awesome) by the main character, a complete pile of whale shit played by Albert Finney. As we used to say in the Airborne, "Nothing's lower than whale shit."

Three- Because of the single malt smokiness, I tried Mezcal as a Rob Roy.  Didn't work. I also tried it with  Campari, sweet and dry vermouth and too many tequlla recepies to mention.  I think it's best sipped straight with a big plate of Puerco Pibil and a couple beers as a chaser. Keep your consumption to that and you'll be awarded with increased clarity of vision.  Drink too much and you'll wind up in a ditch with a donkey.

"A dish so good, you might get wacked just for making it." Robert Rodriguez

Cork belt ($40) from Cork Design

El Cinturón:

As a kid living in El Paso, my family would go into Juarez all the time. This was long before it turned into a war zone. I remember eating tacos from street vendors.  Hand made corn tortillas, beef, cilantro, diced raw onion and a squeeze of lime juice.  That was it and it still is.

I remember the Mexican men wearing belts that were cowboy in origin and the leather was always a light tan. These belts were a real contrast against blue jeans. Many miles from Juarez, a couple ladies in Fernandina Beach, FL are making belts and lots of other stuff outta cork.  I love the color of cork and this belt takes me back to those days in Juarez.  I'm gonna suggest they look at making a belt with a detachable buckle.  That would open up all kinds of possibilities.

It's nice to know cork is fire resistant 'cause if you drink enough Vida Mezcal your belt might catch on fire...


Anonymous said...

Nice belt. It's been a while.


Dallas said...

Drink too much and you'll wind up in a ditch with a donkey.

or thrown down a ravine with a dead dog.

gentleman mac said...

Now that I know cork belts exist, I finally have a reason to get rid of Pinterest.

Anonymous said...

Try sotol from the Chihuahua desert. Hacienda brand is the easiest to find. Better than tequila and miles better than tequila.

Regarding UNDER THE VOLCANO, Emilio Fernandez the Mexican director appears towards the last scene - his pistol and hat came from McAllen and Pharr Texas respectively, a hardware store and western wear store. I had to hire an officer of the Mexican navy to escort the pistol down to the d.f. The prostitutes that appear in the cantina were real, courtesy of Emilio.
Off subject you ought to look into the paintings of David Fertig which can be seen at James Graham in NYC and old issues of Forbes, American Heritage, Art in America and the NYObserver, a great painter, a combat artist if you count combat as 1790 to 1814

tintin said...

Matthew- Thanks. The belt's a keeper. Both of them.

Dallas- You read the book?! I really enjoyed this 1976 doc'y on Malcolm Lowery.


It's so well done but it's depressing as hell. Which is why I must like it so much. It sheds extraordinary light on Lowery's life and consequently the book and the film.

gent mac- I aim to please.

Anon- Thanks for the detailed comment. I'll give Sotol a shot. I've seen Fertig's paintings many times. I just didn't know who he was. I think the National Park Service have used a few in Rev War sites. They look very familiar.

I was pretty sure, without knowing the background, the hookers were real. I was in a lot of whore houses when I was in the Army but they were never as bad the one in Volcano.

Anonymous said...

Emilio went to great pains to find the worst available then in the df, then and to transport them to Cueranvaca. Regarding the pistol, Emilio - godfather to two of my sons, the Mexican navy insisted I not include any cartridges, Emilio had "spent time in his room" for shooting and wounding a critic with whom he had a disagreement over an award he had won at Cannes. I knew him for years and never saw any sign of actions like that, but he did enjoy his own fearsome reputation. Bob Dylan and Sam Shepard talked about the shooting in Esquire in one of the spring issues of 1987.
I also ought to mention Bacanora, a mezcal distilled in a narrow region of Sonora and sometimes distilled with a wild turkey breast in the bottle. Roberto Bolano the Chilean author had a fetish for it. You can find it in Los Angeles.

tintin said...

Anon- I read somewhere that Emilio came up with the idea to use a scorpion and ants in Wild Bunch. I understand he and Peckinpah were great drinking buddies.

I understand that handguns don't go over well with the Mexican police. Get caught with one and it's off to jail for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Yes he did, he introduced me to Peckinpah whom if you talked to, at say seven in the evening, was great = responsive, full of verve and if you talked to him later at say, midnight, was otherwise. Emilio told me that Peckinpah had the unfortunate habit of picking fights with producers for no reason - quarrels where there was no qauarrel. He acted for Peckinpah three times, liked his part as Mapache but thought WILD BUNCH to be too violent, thought ALFREDO GARCIA made no sense, but liked PAT GARRETT because he liked Bob Dylan. He liked actor Ben Johnson from the Wild Bunch too, called him the "divine man" for his manners and horsemanship. Odd phrase from someone like Emilio, considered to be the ultimate macho as he was.

Ive enjoyed your blog since your posting on John Koch - followed it ever since...M Magazine, Charlie Davidson,et al...really good

Unclelooney said...

After seeing Scott Glenn in Urban cowboy drink Mescal I reenacted the scene one night, complete with chewing.
remember Creepy Crawlers? That was the consistancy.
I had to wash down El Gusano with an Old Style.
True story and I wasn't alone either

tintin said...

Many thanks and flattered you've enjoyed the blog. I've read a number of bios on Sam and he was always part of my life with my father, who happened to be a big fan of Alfredo Garcia. I always preferred Cross of Iron.

I have a sense of why Peckinpah had the problems he did. Certainly the booze and drugs but it's gotta be hard to write and direct in the film business-- that is such a business. "Hell," as the saying goes, "is other people." Sam thought that. My father lived it and I'm afraid I'm going down the same path.

Good to see you again! I wish I could get Old Style here in NY but I think Special Export would be a far better chaser.

M.Lane said...

Once again you have done a great service to mankind. I love RR movies and Once Upon A Time in particular. I have been looking for this recipe since I saw the movie but I could never understand the name of the dish when Johnny Depp says it.


Thank you. I am heavily engaged at the moment but as soon as I get some breathing room I will make this dish and try Mescal as well.


Anonymous said...

Over the years Jay Cocks the former Time movie reviewer-Scorese scriptwrtier and James Crumley, Montana detective novelist used to hold private viewings of ALFREDO GARCIA at Cocks apt in NYC back in the early 1980s. The Crum invited me when I was in NYC but I couldnt make it. I admired Alex Phillips Jrs bleeding colors in the cinematography, and for once agreed with Pauline Kael in one of her offhand remarks that Gig Young was the soul of the film. Never a Warren Oates fan, never met him, though everyone that I knew that ever met him, all, literally all of them, came back full of enthusiasm for him and wondering why he wasnt considered a major movie actor, so....Crumley once approached Oates in a urinal in Santa Fe and thanked him on behalf of all rednecks in America.Anyway for me JUNIOR BONNER and the scene father and son at the railroad tracks is Peckinpah at his best. And there are moments of MAJOR DUNDEE that have stayed with me for forty years.By the way LOOK magazine sent Peckinpay to Mexico to interview John Huston. Peckinpah wrote the interview up and submitted it but LOOK never ran it as the conversation turned "technical" Ive looked for the manuscript for years and no luck

tintin said...

M Lane- Not knowing how to make a decent Pibil is like not knowing how to fuck.

Anon- College roommate and crime writer, Wallace Stroby introduced me to Crumley in a Holiday Inn bar in Chicago. Crumley sat on a barstool holding a cigarette and drinking a beer. I told him how much I liked Dancing Beer. He was fairly aloof until I mentioned I had been in the army and had been a cop. Then things got interesting. It was a great night with Crumley telling me I needed to get my stories down before I yacked.

I gotta check out Dundee. I keep hearing about it from all the Sam Aficionados. I just can't stand Heston. But I love Oates. The scene in the Bunch with Oates & Johnson and the washers ("silver holes) stands as one of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

If you are a fan of the Crum look into a novel by his old friend William Harrison called AFRICANA, 1978 or so I think, its been awhile,about mercenaries in the civil wars and revolts in Africa of course. Crumley is the major character, subject to a fiesta of bullets in the course of the story. Its a good portrait by someone who knew him early on. Peter Beard blurbed AFRICANA, a rave endorsement. I commisioned a script from Crumley once, set in 1948 Mexico eventually published by Neville in 1987 as THE PIGEON SHOOT. I hated the thing, passed it on to Peckinpah for his advice and he called me in south Texas from the df late one night, you could hear the roar of his pals in the background. He told me "the script has fleas! Needs a good shaking" Im still laughing, it was the best that could be said for it. Sorry to drag this exchange out.

tintin said...

Anon- You ain't dragging anything out. Yours is gold as far as I'm concerned.

I'll find Africana not to mention Pigeon Shoot. My father had stories about 7th Special Forces Group in Africa in mid-60s. Sterile teams going in for live fire training. Some working with Mike Hoare. They'd wear a mix of uniforms and carry various Euro weaponry. No ID, no tattoos, nothing that could ID them. Always thought it a fascinating story and I've confirmed it with some retired SF and one Delta.

No one seems to think the Congo interesting anymore but the time and the place and the characters make for some wild stories. Very much appreciate yours.

Anonymous said...

The Congo and the myths and rumors of the 1960s have disappeared from most memories. Id like to hear more of your dads stories.

What Ive imagined about the Congo, and its still the wild East for me or "easter" from where I am writing at least, was confirmed by the photos alone in that terrific book on the gentlemen of the Republic of Congo in their second hand and dead stock refinery that appeared a year or so ago. I d love to go there, dont know why I haven't.

Before I quit, about Vuarnets that you posted awhile back....in 1980 Thomas McGuane and I were pals (still are) and I wandered up from Texas to Montana to see him, his ranch and beautiful wife, to talk horse, books boats and guns and so on. Out on his place, on a ridge in the Toyota jeep that Barbra Steisland had sent him gratis to convince him to write a screenplay for him (he didnt) on a ridge I suddenly needed sunglasses, and up to that time I didnt own any. He handed me a pair of Vuarnets, which then I didnt know anything about, saying "Try these, you ll think Montana is under nuclear attack"
I used them for a week, became a believer and when I was back home in Texas ordered four pairs. Thirty three years later I still have three of the four which I rotate dailey except in winter. You undoubtedly are right, they look better on girls, but I dont care. As my wife says, "you've never been daunted by the feminine" Keep on, Im reading and looking forward

tintin said...

Anon- Some stranger than fiction stories are what I heard. Africa was 7th Groups AO and after completing the Q course a number of teams went over. A story is one entire A team disappeared never to be found. Who knows. Easy enough to explain to families...Vietnam.

I never did a tattoo because I wanted to be eligible for a sterile team. Not that I had any chance of making it thru the three phases of SF training. Maybe the old man told me that just so I wouldn't wind up with an airborne infantry tattoo.

The odd assortment of Mercs then. Germans, Dutch, Portuguese, French. What great characters. Piss poor effort via the film, Wild Geese but a better stab at it with Walken's Dogs of War. There's something about the thrill of battle Dogs brought forward. Dad told me once that combat was the biggest thrill he ever had. Nothing came close and he thought that's why wars would always be around. I've heard others talk the same way. Some get that look. Most don't. Almost all of 'em talk about it in a detached and professional way. I do know this. It comes back to haunt them in old age. That much I know.

Your Vuarnets are going for big bucks on eBay.

Anonymous said...

well Borges said at some point there will be war because men have a passion for war, wars end when the passion ebbs. Every rumor that came out of the Congo in the 60s whether Cubans fighting there, Russians flying prop attack bombers for the most part have turned out to be true. In the early 90s in Mexico City I picked up a small book in spanish about the Cuban excursion into the fighting, and the impression that it left me with was that it flopped due to ambivalence.
Try and find a hardback of AFRICANA with the dj which I recall was bright yellow with stylized lions etc and beautiful. I dont reckon it would cost much.
I liked DARK OF THE SUN too, the jauntiness at the start,the cheerful cynicism. Theres another good thing called THE IMMINENT RAINS non fiction from the late 1960s by John Heminway worth reading, the last european holdouts in east Africa - covers some of the same. I was trying to recall why I mentioned David Fertig and it was because of THE DUELLISTS. You know I always thought the braided hair on Keitel was an anachronism, a nod to 1976 by Ridley Scott. Then a year or so ago I picked up a book from France on toy soldiers and under the hussar model saw that braided hair then was deemed to be effective at blunting a saber hack at the neck. You are right about war and memory. My dad flew over Munich Vienna and Romania (oil fields) in WW2 and never talked about it much until the last five or six years of his life when it was all he could talk about. Described nearly beening blown to bits over Vienna , getting back to the base in Italy and reading later in the official record "light flack over Vienna on..." The thing about those Vuarnets to me and why I gas on about them is the simple fact that they are still with me, christ, Ive had them longer than Ive been married, and its a puzzle.

tintin said...

Anon- I'm about to drop $500 on a Fertig (Carnival print from the '80s) and it's all your fault. Hope you see this -- Hope you're well.