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02 .0 6 .14


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Shelter Fallout | Dib Goes Shark Week | Colby Comes Out

P L U S : 7 D AY N E W B R A U N F E L S / S A N M A R C O S L I V E M U S I C G U I D E






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Shelter Shock

First, a mea culpa, then, a Last week, we wrapped up this column with the following statement:

MIKE piece, which appeared in last issue, was not what one REYNOLDS week’s would call charitable toward
we met. By all accounts, the shelter management. For the record, things have to change over there, and fast. We intend to move forward with pressure to make the requisite changes, and to that end we have donated our own marketing expertise and print space toward recruiting foster families and promoting adoptions, as well as mounting a search for other professionals to get the shelter up to par. If the shelter doesn’t make proper use of this assistance, we’ll let you know about it. Today, we’re going to learn about the dog pound industry in general, so grab your notebook, some Kleenex, and a barf bag. told




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Postscript: At Monday night’s Council meeting, Scullary Council and the public about a Chihuahua at the shelter that had just had puppies and was lying on a cold, wet concrete floor. We saw the dog in question, and it was in a clean, elevated kennel. In the past, Scullary told us about total poundage of deceased animals disposed of at the dump, without revealing that those numbers included roadkill, thus assigning moral responsibility for the deaths to the shelter. These same deceptive tactics were employed by proponents of the can-ban, and for that reason we must distance ourselves from Scullary and No Kill New Braunfels. Our commitment to reforming the shelter remains firmly in place. I relied on flawed information about both the puppies and the use of the word “wet concrete” in Scullary’s speech to City Council. There were five people in the “TX Citizen group” during the shelter tour, and while most of us saw the Chihuahua puppies, only one of us saw the set of puppies that Scullary was referencing. That person confirmed Scullary’s statement as true. The “wet concrete” issue originated in a bad transcript of the Council meeting. A review of the actual video revealed that she had not used the word “wet” when describing the conditions that the puppies were kenneled in. We apologize to Linda Scullary, No-Kill New Braunfels, and our readers for these errors. Having said that, we stand behind the roadkill issue noted above, and we still wish to remain distanced from No-Kill New Braunfels, as there are multiple issues that we haven’t addressed here yet, primarily their use of hyperbole and rumor to establish moral authority on the subject. Scullary accused us, before having read the article, of delaying our coverage because of our previously disclosed relationship with the husband of shelter Vice-President Amanda Craig. We actually delayed publication for a week so we could have another meeting with TXCITIZEN.COM


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No Doesn’t Always Mean No
First of all, the phrase “No-Kill” is a marketing term. It’s near meaningless. The ONLY way a shelter can actually be no-kill is for that shelter to be very selective in the pets it will accept. If a shelter is open-admission – that is, takes in all animals that show up – some of them are going to die, no-kill or not. When you and I say “no-kill”, we reasonably think that means that nobody gets killed. But when an open-admission shelter claims it’s nokill, what they actually mean is that they kill less than 10% of the animals in their charge. That’s the industry standard, and that designation has to go. If “no means no” on prom night it should also mean no when it comes to dogs. Some shelters are not open-admission. They only accept animals they believe they can find a home for. They can only take so many, but they can, if they wish, keep them indefinitely. Other shelters, like the one in Austin, take all comers, put down up to 10% themselves (citing illness or aggression), and then transfer the problem out to other rescue groups or shelters that that haven’t hit their death quota for the month/year. This doesn’t solve the problem, it just puts the blood on somebody else’s hands. And Austin gets to keep its NoKill status. Hooray. Continued on page 6.


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Due Process
Waldrip Puts Foot Down on Scientology Legal Team
The usually even-keeled Judge Dib Waldrip lost his cool during a hearing in a Comal County woman’s harassment lawsuit against various entities and persons within the Church of Scientology. “We’re spending time doing nothing!” the Comal County District judge admonished lawyers in the case. “Except burning money and wasting resources!” The judge was visibly frustrated by the creeping pace of the case. The issues before Waldrip on Monday concerned evidence that Monique Rathbun had requested from the Church of Scientology in order to argue against CSI’s Anti-SLAPP motion. The AntiStrategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation law is meant to protect people from getting crushed by lawsuits after criticizing large entities. The Church is claiming that Rathbun’s lawsuit is violating its First Amendment rights. Rathbun’s lead attorney, Ray Jeffrey, opened the hearing with a complaint that the Church provided him with a terabyte of videos and photos taken of Monique Rathbun and labeled the evidence “attorney’s eyes only,” meaning that Jeffrey could not share the evidence with his client or her husband, Marty Rathbun, a former high-level official with the Church. Richard Cedillo argued for CSI that the photos and videos are confidential, privileged and the proprietorship of the Church, an argument the judge dismissed. “It’s not proprietary,” Waldrip said. “The formula for Coca-Cola or Goodyear is proprietary.” The judge also dismissed that the photos and videos are confidential, saying that confidential is reserved for the decisionmaking process of attorneys. “How is a photo itself confidential?” Waldrip asked. “They will disseminate them on blogs and on YouTube,” the CSI attorney argued. Jeffery recommended that the information be labeled “confidential,” thus he could share the information with his client and keep it from being disseminated. Waldrip agreed. The main point of contention came when Monique Rathbun’s attorney wanted to show two videos: a one-minute piece without sound that the Church had given him as evidence, versus a 10 minute version Jeffrey acquired replete with audio. Jeffrey said the video shows the Church provided “defective and incomplete” evidence. That’s when things really took off.


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Waldrip first demanded Jeffrey explain how the videos pertain specifically to the AntiSLAPP motion. Rathbun’s team argued that it shows how the Church is not complying with the judge’s order for evidence. The judge was not persuaded and said Rathbun’s attorneys were making more of an argument for sanctions than on Anti-SLAPP issues. CSI took exception to the plaintiff’s argument. “My client had people working 18 hours a day to get this information,” Cedillo said. The judge asked Cedillo if there was privileged information in the cuts, referring to the material removed from the video the Church provided to Rathbun. “If you produce something that’s cut, you need to bring it to me.” Waldrip became exasperated as the CSI attorney continued to argue. “This goes on and on,” the judge said. “So, what you’re telling me is that people are spending 18 hours a day cutting stuff?” “Do you want us to give you a terabyte of information?” Cedillo argued. “No,” Waldrip admonished. “I want you to give it to them! If it’s privileged, bring it to me. If you cut stuff, you’re just picking a fight!” Visibly angry, Waldrip fell silent to compose himself. “I’m about to the limit of your tilting at windmills,” he said. He demanded again to know what the video has to do with the Anti-SLAPP motion. Rathbun’s team argued that the fact the video was cut brings into question the Church’s true motive in its operation against the Rathbuns. The judge concurred. “Mr. Cedillo, that’s the problem with taking a paring knife to (evidence),” he told the CSI attorney. “Take your paring knife and dull it.” The one-minute video provided to Monique Rathbun showed, in silence, her speaking with a police officer. The full version showed the officer asking the two investigators for the Church what they were doing. They told the officer they were making a documentary and that they were hired by one of the Church’s attorneys. The officer then suggested they move along. After the video, Waldrip overruled CSI’s objections to the video and told the Church to provide uncut evidence to Rathbun. “If you find another time bomb in there, Mr. Jeffrey, it will be duly considered,” the judge said. “Is that what you call a time bomb, you honor?” Cedillo asked. “You can call it whatever you want, Mr. Cedillo,” Waldrip responded. “There was no reason to parse that video.”

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by low-income families for a discount ticket Continued from page 3. Hey, remember when former District Three Councilman Mark Goodner spent a meeting arguing for a tax increase, ensuring its passage, and then voted “no”, and actually admitted during the meeting that he voted against so he could always say he never voted for a tax increase? Remember that? We do. And it’s the same thing with shelters. Pass the buck. And they do it constantly. Austin “transfers” 30% of its animals. Nobody knows for sure what happens two-steps later in the chain of possession. We do know that a transfer isn’t an adoption. That’s a different field in their pie chart. So from here on out, we collectively need to understand that the New Braunfels Shelter is an open-admission shelter. Nobody gets turned away. But not everybody lives. Not across the Rainbow Bridge. I have a difficult time believing that that many dogs fell into the above categories, but that’s just a feeling, and should be taken aggression designation, because that’s a very, very subjective call. I have two big, stupid, loveable dogs that wouldn’t hurt anybody, but I guarantee I could get them to growl at me if I wanted them to. Reaching for the chewy might do it. And they’ve gone at it with each other over food on more than one occasion. If a shelter needed room, it wouldn’t be hard to taunt a normally gentle dog into a reaction, and that’s all that would be needed to send them packing, as it were.

Remember our slogan, “An act of omission is an act of intent”. Litt deliberately manipulated the numbers in order to manipulate the public. This is what these people do, and why they

The Board needs to take some bold

corrective action, and quick. I know the

Director’s hearts are in the right place, but as I

said last week, the road to Hell is paved with

can’t be trusted. To experience the insanity/ good intentions. Shelter management needs NoKillNewBraunfelsTX and/or do a search enormous hats move in and take over. And for Marilyn Litt on You’ll see so much misinformation-fueled, adrenalinepowered, self-righteous rage you’ll surely they are coming, pitchforks in hand. In other, happier shelter news, the folks over at Tractor Supply teamed up with the TX

with a grain of salt. I am concerned with the dishonesty for yourself, visit

to change before the crazy people and their

cough up a hairball. No wonder people are Citizen to donate over $2,000 worth of dog hesitant to help. Who in their right mind wants and cat food to the shelter. Thanks Tractor to be in bed with crazy? Nobody. That’s who. Thanks for hurting the cause, Marilyn. Enjoy the attention. Supply! You rock.

Do I seem angry? I hope I don’t seem angry.
public do to their pets is sickening. Watching the Shelter Board scramble to correct years of mismanagement is depressing. Then we have to deal with the No-Kill New Braunfels people, who are, in fact, a little nuts. The horrific
Litt and her hat Tractor Supply rocks!

even with a “No-Kill” designation. The best we The longer I work on this issue, the more I hate can hope for is “Low-Kill”, which, while not an it. Seeing what certain members of the general official rating, is certainly more honest. Most people would agree that the situation sucks, no matter how you slice it. The community at large needs to decide which it wants more, a no-kill designation, or

We’re still looking for a veterinarian

to agree to match San Antonio’s rate for

an open-admission shelter. And then accept stories circulating from, written the limitations inherent in their preference. Our by hack blogger and glamour-shot enthusiast shelter has to take in feral cats, which account for Marilyn Litt, with the assistance of No Kill New

a huge number of those kills, because the City Braunfels, are nothing more than rumors that Mayor will tell you about phony litter quantities Councilman Richard Zapata has put together won’t let the shelter release the cats back into a have not been fact-checked, but are damn on the river, numbers do matter. If you sell me an advisory group to help get the shelter on colony. Since a feral cannot be domesticated, good at terrifying the public. a ticket to see a five-headed baby, and I go in track. If you’d like to assist with your expertise, Above, we reported that 1,637 dogs came the cats can’t be adopted out. Only about 13 the tent and see a two-headed baby, I’m going please contact him at To percent of the cats in the shelter’s care in 2013 in, and 644 were euthanized. That’s a number to feel like you ripped me off, which you did. volunteer as a foster family, contact Amanda

spay/neuter services for the shelter. We’ll Note to Marilyn Litt: If you have to lie to compensate that vet with free advertising to get your way, you really don’t deserve to, you make up the difference. Please contact sales@ know, get your way. And yes, despite what the if you’d like to help. Former

found homes. The rest got the needle. According none of us like. But Litt decided to up the ante, Just tell me there’s a two-headed baby to begin Craig at If to Amanda Craig, Vice-President of the shelter’s reporting that 648 had been put down (close), with and we’ll be square. you want to help reduce feral cat kills, please Board, they sometimes get 100 feral cats in a and only 570 were adopted (also close), and I know, I know, we’re supposed to ignore contact the Mayor at in single month. An email to the Mayor and your then misled the reader to a dishonest conclusion. dishonest tactics like the Litt articles because support of a Trap-Neuter-Release ordinance. City Council person would go a long way in Here’s the quote from her latest alarmist piece, “We all have the same goal. What does it To adopt a furry Texan, give the shelter a call correcting that wrong. (And if you’re a mean breathlessly titled “New Braunfels Humane old lady, maybe you stop trapping cats and Society: Nothing worse could happen than making them the shelter’s problem. Mean old ladies love to trap cats.) happens there now”: “In 2013, more dogs were killed than were adopted; 648 died and 570 found new homes.” As far as these numbers go, this is true. matter?” It matters because ends don’t justify means. The coach of my kid’s baseball team wants to win. I want to win. We both want the same thing. But if the coach is willing to cheat or abuse the players, my boy is at 830-629-5287. read on the Internet. \m/ Mike Reynolds Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Oh, and don’t believe everything you

Dogs. Gone.
Chew on this: In 2013, According to Craig,

a total of 1,637 dogs came into the shelter. specifically so she could make her point – the 993 made it our alive, either returned to their number of animals returned to their owners by

coming off that team, post haste. To put it But the story goes further than the numbers another, more colorful way, I want a clean do. She left out a critical piece of information, pin in the middle of the ring, not a “Dusty finish”. Google that.

It seems that the Board of Directors at owners or adopted out, but 644 dogs were the shelter. That highly relevant number being the shelter had been taking the word of the put down, just under 40% of total dog intake. 411. So let’s look at the figures one more time. former Shelter Director that everything that The shelter tells us this is due to a combination 1,637 dogs came in. 648 were put down. could be done, was being done. We all now of three reasons: A TOTAL OF 993, just over 60 percent, went know that was not the case. The new Shelter

1) The euthanized dogs were in such bad to a home ALIVE. More alive than dead, the Director, Denise Cox, was promoted from shape medically that the shelter couldn’t afford exact opposite of what Litt wants her readers the Assistant Shelter Director position to the to have them treated. to believe. It’s a whole different story when the top spot, and while she may be a delightful 2) The euthanized dogs were aggressive. other 411 dogs are factored in. I feel so lied person, the more I think about that, the less I 3) The euthanized dogs were brought in to. I’ll bet you do too. like it. It’s a status quo move. 6 AD SALES 830.358.2493

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Uncle Esel, My granddaddy tells us that the old Germans would leave cut onions in living rooms and kitchens where people gathered because they would absorb viruses and germs that caused colds and flu. Is there any truth to this? I had forgotten his old story until I recently saw a post about it. Thanks, Corrine
Dear Corrine, For once, I won’t caution about lies being spread on Facebook, even though this is where you likely saw the post you mention. This particular old wive’s tail actually goes back hundreds of years and is referenced in writing at the turn of the previous century. Colds and flu are primarily spread by contact with an infected person and not by magical viruses floating around the house waiting for a victim. Cut onions only serve to make the house smell like cut onions. They also do not work on vampires, (that’s garlic). Love, K Dear Epi, Besides the building, some of these pastors have nice cars, opulent homes and some even have boats and other toys. For some time, they have been free of having to pay taxes because it was seen as a way to keep the governments hand out of the church and from being able to challenge the separation of church and state. About the only thing the Feds get involved in is when a pastor or minister gets cozy candidates running for office. Locally, we saw the Oakwood Baptist Church pastor get involved in a voting issue, but because it didn’t involve an actual candidate, the IRS was not inclined to investigate the issue. There is some thinking that in this day and age, it might be time to rethink this issue. Many big churches have amassed great wealth and property and some pastors have gotten involved in politics. If a church can afford Mercedes and Lexus cars for pastors, then the question is “Why can’t they pay taxes just like the rest of the country?” The reality is that the constitution does not require tax exemption for churches and was not the intent of most founding fathers. This status essentially is a privilege and not a right, so it does seem to make sense that they pay as long as the IRS doesn’t use their status to cause problems for any one group. We do of course know that we can trust the IRS to not target political groups or to pick on groups that they disagree with. That’s just not going to happen. (snicker) Love, K


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Dear Uncle Esel, I have never been a religious person until recently. I have started to attend a small church that meets in a rented old metal building. We don’t yet have money to do a lot of things we’d like to do. I then saw some other churches in town and saw that some were very opulent and had big buildings and huge parking lots. My question is why aren’t these big churches required to pay taxes? Thanks Epi

Uncle K. Esel is a lifetime resident of our fair city, and is well known for his sage advice on a wide range of topics. If you find yourself perplexed with no one to turn to, send your question to Uncle Esel at: Be sure to write “Question for Uncle Esel” in the subject line of your email.

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Male • 5’11” • 190 lbs Female • 5’07” • 170 lbs DOB: 06/30/1971 DOB: 01/28/1980 CHARGE: Two charges CHARGE: Theft of of failure to appear motion to revoke property over $1500 probation for under $20,000 possession of a controlled substance


Male • 5’07” • 200 lbs Male 6’02” • 210 lbs DOB:• 01/01/1976 DOB: 05/20/1980 CHARGE: Possession CHARGE: Failure to of a controlled substance pg 1 under appear for driving 1 gram and theft with of while intoxicated property under $1500 two or more previous with 2 or more convictions previous convictions

Male • 6’02” • 230 lbs DOB: 10/05/1959 CHARGE: Misappropriation of trust fund

Dear Mexican: Why is it that many first-generation Latino students are so quick to judge and alienate secondgeneration students just because their parents went to college and are able to afford a little more? This happened to me recently. People treat me differently and think I will look down on them, yet I grew up in the barrio and never acted like I was higher than them. The only difference with my life is that my parents went to college to give me a better life… why does that have to affect how I’m treated amongst other Latinos? Pocha Pero No Pendeja
Dear Wabette: I turn the columna over to Jody Agius Vallejo, sociology professor at the University of Southern California and author of the magnificent Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican-American Middle Class, for which your humble Mexican wrote the intro. Take it, profe! “Many first-generation Latinos (meaning that they are foreign born) are quick to judge some second-generation Latinos like you because they themselves are constantly

-A R R ES TE D -

Male • 5’10” • 200 lbs DOB: 07/21/1976 CHARGE: Driving while intoxicated with child passenger

Male • 6’00” • 155 lbs DOB: 07/08/1978 CHARGE: Possession

Male • 5’11” • 230 lbs DOB: 03/24/1966 CHARGE: Evading arrest detention with vehicle

Male • 6’00” • 200 lbs DOB: 04/27/1965 CHARGE: Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault family violence with prior conviction


judged by middle-class Latinos. Most people mistakenly assume that Latinos exhibit ethnic solidarity and that everyone gets along. However, the Latino population is not monolithic, and divisions exist depending on national origin, generation, and whether you are upper, middle-, or lower class. These divisions are exacerbated by American society (especially the media and racist politicians), which homogenizes and stigmatizes Latinos by portraying them as uniformly poor, unauthorized, and uneducated. “Despite these stereotypes, there is an established, and growing, Latino middle class. But middle-class Latinos must deal with these disparaging stereotypes in their everyday lives, especially when they are mistaken for unauthorized immigrants or when people assume that they are uneducated simply because they are Latino. Thus, middle-class Latinos, especially those who are disconnected from the immigrant struggle for upward mobility because they were raised in middle-class households by college educated parents, often attempt to distance themselves from immigrants as a way to deflect discrimination. This distancing

Female • 5’00” • 180 lbs DOB: 06/11/1966 CHARGE: Driving while intoxicated 3rd or more

Male • 5’06” • 190 lbs DOB: 03/24/1948 CHARGE: Theft of property over $1500 under $20,000



830.620.3400 - 24-Hour 830.620.3411 - Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm

The names listed have been released in accordance with the Texas Public Information Act Code 552.001 st.seq.annotated Public Record and Information disclosure statues.This is a true and accurate account as of Monday, February 03, 2014 at 10:30 am and may not be current by the time it is read. Do not try to apprehend anyone. For anonymous tips and rewards, please contact Crime Stoppers at: 24-Hour Phone number 830.620.3400; Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm 830.620.3411. These are listings of criminal warrants with the Sheriff’s Office and are not indicative of guilt or innocence. Officers are to verify the status of each warrant prior to making an arrest. Any person is innocent of wrongdoing unless proven guilty in a court of law.



(in their imagination) snub them.”

By Gustavo Arellano behavior is nothing new and is seen among all immigrant groups, past and present, and is indicative of the American assimilation story. So, I suspect that some first-generation Latino students anticipate that you will look down on them and they thus snub you before you can The Mexican’s advice? Tell the haters que se vayan a la chingada. And now you know why Vallejo is an acclaimed professor, while the Mexican teaches at the College of the Calles.

I recently went to a heavy metal show for a band from Spain called Mago de Oz. The show was at the LA Sports Arena, and the two opening acts were local Mexican heavy metal bands, so needless to say the majority of fans at this show were Mexican metal heads. I work in the music biz and thus I go to my fair share of both Anglo and Latino concerts/shows on a regular basis. One thing I notice is the mosh pits at hard rock, metal, punk, ska, and similar kinds of shows. It looks like in any Anglo mosh pit, the fans are literally trying to kill one another, often times leaving people severely injured. But Mexican/ Latino mosh pits seem to be composed of fans locking arms, dancing with one another, and no-man-left-behind kind of attitude. Can you explain why so much brotherly love in the mosh pit when in the outside world it seems like Latinos love to bash and cut down their fellow paisas? El Vampiro
Dear necessarily Vampire true—go Gabacho: to a concert Not by

Brujería, the most hardcore metal group of all time, authors of the single greatest stanza in history (“Matando güeros/Ricky Ramirez style”—“Killing white people/Richard “The Nightstalker” Ramirez style”. Even Gerwshin couldn’t come up with something that beautiful!) and see what part of your spleen hasn’t been absorbed by your appendix.

Ask the Mexican at themexican@, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or ask him a video question at youtube. com/askamexicano!
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Carpe Canis

! Hot in the Kitchen with Sherri Gallagher
Chinese New Year was January 31st and we did it up right. Instead of ordering take intimidating, they are the “steak of the sea”. You just need to cook them like a steak filet. The key however, is to purchase “dry” scallops. Just ask the fishmonger at the counter. Dry scallops often mixed with preservatives to make them last longer at the supermarket. They look plumper and more appealing but often turn out overcooked and rubbery. You are also paying for that

out, I made an authentic Asian dish that you can easily duplicate. Although scallops can be

are not preserved in salt water when caught. Wet scallops absorb a salt water solution which is

infused water when you buy them by the pound. Dry scallops, on the other hand, are pulled scallops cook up better with a nice sear and have a more natural flavor but don’t stay fresh for long. Once purchased, they need to be cooked as soon as possible.

straight from the ocean and placed in a dry container with no water or preservatives. Dry

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Orange Glazed Scallops Over Dragon Noodles
• • • • • • • • • 1 ½ lbs “dry” sea scallops 1 tsp garlic powder 2 tsp ground peppercorns Sea salt to taste 4 tbls peanut oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped ¾ cup orange juice 1 tbls soy sauce 1 tsp grated orange peel

Season the scallops with the garlic powder, pepper, and salt, set aside. On medium high, heat 3 tbls peanut oil in a large cast iron skillet. Once hot, add scallops and sear each side like

a steak. Then sauté until each scallop is lightly browned and opaque; about 2 minutes on each

side. Scallops should expand and behave like a steak filet cooked to medium. Transfer scallops

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to a plate and let rest. Leave drippings in the skillet. Add chopped garlic and 1 tbls of peanut sauce, and orange peel and bring to a low boil. Continue to boil until sauce thickens, stirring glaze over scallops. Garnish with chopped cilantro and diced green onions.

oil to the drippings. Heat over medium high for about 30 seconds. Add orange juice, soy

frequently; about 2 minutes. Place scallops over a bed of Dragon Noodles and pour orange

Dragon Noodles
• • • 4 oz thin linguini noodles 1 tbls brown sugar 1 tbls soy sauce 1 tsp Sriracha sauce 2 tbls butter ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1 large egg • •

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• •

Cook noodles until al dente per instructions on package. Meanwhile, in a small bowl,

mix together brown sugar, soy sauce and Sriracha; set aside. In a large skillet, melt butter mixture to butter in skillet and cook the egg. Add sugar, soy, and Sriracha mix to skillet. Add the Asian noodles that you are used to. Let the Dragon Noodles simmer while reducing the sauce. When noodles are the consistence that you desire, add to plate per instructions above. Happy Year of the Horse, and Eat, Drink & Be Sherri!

over medium heat, add red pepper and whisk. In another small bowl, scramble egg. Add egg

cooked noodles and stir covering noodles with the sauce and cooked scrambled egg to create

Carpe Cattus

Sherri Gallagher is a New Braunfels personal chef who grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she began cooking at the age of 8. Her culinary virtuosity can be experienced at the Regal Ravioli food truck in Austin, (, and at various catering functions and local home dinner & cocktail parties. She can be contacted at



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Last Word
With Kelly Colby
The Unbeliever
There are times when the world can be a difficult place for an agnostic. Being ambivalent to something that is so central to the lives of many of one’s friends and family almost always creates tension, a tension that most fervent believers find irresistible and are anxious to explore. From the agnostic’s point of view there is nothing to be explored. Most of us have taken the time to examine the evidence and come to the conclusion that we have no opinion on the subject. Most agnostics are reluctant to talk dogma because we have little to no interest in the basic set of preconceptions necessary to adopt that level of involvement. Individual truths mean little when the overriding truth is in question. But believers find these overriding truths self-evident, so they find the answer “I don’t know” (or “I don’t care”) unacceptable. This is particularly true during the most sacred of American holidays: Super Bowl Sunday. Fortunately for me, I am “out” to most of my friends and family as a sports agnostic. Coming out is a difficult thing. It involves a good amount of questioning, some anger is to be expected, and your mother may cry, but in the end, it’s better for everyone. After you have explained to them for the seventh or eighth time that, abomination or not, you really couldn’t care less who comes out on top of the playoffs and that you will not enter the program they heard about that cures such things through prayer, they begin to grudgingly accept this is just the way you are. Let me recommend that all of my closeted brethren join me. After all, if you aren’t willing to accept who you are, how can you expect anyone else to? One of the greatest worries I have seen from believers in my life is that my agnosticism somehow means I don’t want to be involved. That isn’t at all true. Most agnostics still eat and enjoy pleasant company and conversation. We would rather be included than forced to search fruitlessly for a support group. In my own case, I go to a friend’s house for his Super Bowl party every year. One benefit to this is that it gives me a justification for leaving my own family’s gathering. Anytime you put too many family members in close proximity, petty resentments, age-old grudges, and completely unforgiven slights are certain to come up. Brother turns upon brother and father against son. I much prefer to watch that happen to someone else than to deal with it myself. Besides, the food is better at Simon’s house. TXCITIZEN.COM Furthermore, Simon’s party is ideal for examination from a sociological/ anthropological perspective. By the time I get there, the women have already been sent into exile. I’m not exactly sure how this is accomplished, but women and children are noticeably absent from the gathering. I suspect that the women are getting the better part of this, escaping with the children in advance of any real damage being done. There is little doubt that groups are different when they are comprised only of men. The testosterone is almost palpable. The drinking begins early and ends in unconsciousness. Games of skill are preferred (like beer pong) and the only intellectual exercise allowed is arguing about football or playing poker. I am no good at the former, so I tend to stick with the later. While the view always suffers in the absence of women, the menu rarely does. I can smell the delights for the day as soon as I open the door. Chili has already been made, as have hunks of meat. The origin of the meat isn’t worth questioning in a group of men. Just grab a chunk and dig in. Vegetables have been all but eliminated from the diet. The stuffed jalapeños and guacamole are both green, but they are technically fruits. A macaroni dish is available to the left of the smoked brisket, but while I see both bacon bits and ranch dressing, the closest thing to a veggie is a sprig of dill. The chicken wings are also devoid of any vegetation. Perhaps there was a diced onion somewhere. Only alcohol is available to wash the charred, smoked, spiced, and fried meat down. Beer is there, of course, in several varieties. I’ll try the one from the keg before remembering why I don’t generally drink beer. This one is a popular local micro-brew, which means that they have added extra turpentine for flavor and replaced the hops with castor berries. What ever happened to the beer I drank as a teenager? What’s wrong with the watery effervescence of a Meister Brau or a Coors’ Light? Who decided that Lucky Lager and Mickey’s Big Mouth are not sophisticated? Budweiser is the KING OF BEERS. These brews were good enough for our fathers, and they were good enough for me once upon a time. I used to drink that stuff by the gallon. If you want high alcohol content, that’s what the hard stuff is for. That, too, was in abundance, or because my friend is so AngloAmerican that he glows in the dark, whiskey was at least. Good Irish whiskey, scotch, bourbon, all the countries of any import were represented. Single malts, blends, mixtures, the occasional upstart distiller, it was paradise for anyone with even a thimble-full of Irish heritage. My family has never admitted to any Irish heritage even though my name is Kelly, so I brought a strawberry liqueur, really good stuff either straight or mixed with lemon-lime soda. The razzing I received was both good natured and expected, and I expect that the whiskey drinking will ramp up in response to my girly drink. This can only help for poker later. The combination of a full carnivore diet and liberal amounts of alcohol has the expected effect on everyone, and soon eight men are farting and cursing, and farting and running for air, and fouling the bathroom in ways sure to take the wallpaper right off the walls. By the time the football game starts, everyone sits around the TV, or they would if there was one. The TV has been removed in favor of a projector on a wide, white wall. So, everyone sits facing the wall. Pants are unbuttoned, and hands thrust down the pants to who-knows-what masculine end. As the game moves on my friends exhibit typical football-watching behavior. The calls by referees are questioned, stats are discussed, favored teams rooted for and the other team denigrated. Fumble!, Touchdown!, and Bingo! are screamed. Peyton Manning’s parentage, then his sexual orientation, and finally both are called into question. This condemnation is apparently extended to apply to fans of said quarterback, even if they are your brother or have been your friend for years. Calls to “Pound the rock!” “Take him down!” “Get in there!” and “Break his ####ing legs!” ring out. This continues as the fans jump up and down creating a chorus of flatulence punctuating the important commentary. By this time, I have usually begun reading a book. I try to sit close to the door for easy access to a cigarette break and save myself in the event of a methane explosion. Don’t be fooled into thinking that I’m not enjoying myself, though. While I may not care about or understand America’s favorite pastime (yelling at a wall like idiots and associating with teams that you haven’t the skill to really be part of), I love America as much as the next guy, and nothing captures the American spirit quite like Super Bowl Sunday.

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