Monday, March 06, 2006


It used to be that it had no meaning for me: midnight. Big deal. Hands of a clock, moving, always moving. I’m on the computer, there’s music. No compulsion to work at that hour, no pressure to perform. Post midnight time was my time.

Then midnight became synonymous with an Ocean deadline. Self-imposed. Post something by then or else. A journalist’s deadline, except I am no journalist. Just a blogger. Still, midnight is suddenly threatening.

And now it is a goal, not a given, that I should stay awake that long. On Saturday, I ended a night out early by saying at 11:45 I am ready to go home.

I am, therefore, pleased that my evening tonight with Tubbs is an early one. You know Tubbs – the Eldorado guy? And his new restaurant on Atwood Avenue? Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace? I get the name wrong a lot. I forget the Tex or the Palace, but Tubb’s sticks with me. Sometimes I think I would do well with a last name like that. Less subject to mispronunciation.

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Tubbs does tacos right. My three, achiote rubbed tilapia, shrimp and grilled portabella, sitting on soft corn tortillas, flavored with chipotle dressing, made my eyes burn with joy. Though perhaps the burn was the result of zestiness, as I doused each taco with one of three salsas available in limitless quantities.

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My eating companion wanted a taste and a small greedy part of me wanted to say no. The enchiladas on her plate were plenty delicious. I relented when I realized that each taco was only $2.50. If her bite was too substantial, I could easily order another.

I do wish the backroom where we ate was a little, well, warmer. I am used to eating dinner in my coat in Madison restaurants (winter or summer, the latter raising severe AC issues – it’s as if Wisconsinites can’t get enough of that cold air), but the nip here came from both the cool temps and the cool-ish space. I’m trying to recall why I thought it to be less than embracing and as I spin back, I am seeing gray tones and dim lighting. It’s okay, I can live with it. The food is worth it. But, oh, for a burst of warm air, warm tones, warm something! Maybe I am over dramatizing the fact that we are in March and it feels like the dead of winter still.

P.S. Why an early dinner? Because I am a groupie. Doesn’t it make me a groupie to hear Lucinda Williams in the summer in Milwaukee and then to enthusiastically show up at her feet when she comes to Madison?

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