Recently, at long last, I had lunch with Sonia. She was the last contestant to drop out during my first HOES victory. While we were both still in contention, we promised each other that whoever won would take the loser out for pizza. So now, 18 months after my first victory, I finally made good on my promise.
Sonia mistakenly took her hand off the sub 7.5 hours into the competition, leaving me the winner. Which was a good thing, because she was in it to win it. I was doing the pee-pee dance HARDCORE and still had 2.5 hours left until the first bathroom break.
She planned on competing this past year, and brought tons of clothes and supplies, but one of the owners told her it started half an hour after it actually did, so when she got there it was too late. I woulda been super pissed at Home Slice, but she doesn’t hold a grudge. The owner who messed up apologized later and gave her a $50 gift certificate. She still comes in once a week; she really loves Home Slice.
Sonia is really nice, I enjoyed getting to know her during the contest. She’s a graduate student in something related to Spanish rhetoric. I don’t really know much about it, but she does. Sonia just moved back to Austin from San Marcos, and will be here for a bit before going to Spain to either research, work, party or some combination thereof. She lamented not being there for Spain’s world cup victory, but still maintains that it was one of the happiest days of her life.
She wanted me to pick out the toppings, and she was even excited by the anchovies. In Spain, she ate anchovies marinated in vinegar. She liked both. We ordered anchovies, garlic, basil and a whole bunch of veggies.
Sonia plans on competing this year, and she’ll be a force of unstoppable standing-with-a-hand-on-a-sub. Mark the waiter psyched me out last time with rumors of yoga teacher and ex-Israeli commando competitors, but a prepared, on-time Sonia is as formidable as any of them. More real, too.
Total this year: $987
Jessie and Ryan came out for pizza with us. They bought plenty of beer, so my memories of this particular pizza are a little fuzzy. On our half, we got both green peppers and roasted red peppers (along with garlic and fried eggplant). Both kinds of peppers was a little much for my mood this time.
They recently got a new puppy, Sydney, who they are CRAZY about. I think she’s a blue heeler. This means that she’s super excitable and loves feet. Sydney didn’t come to pizza, which is too bad, she woulda gone nuts over all the pizza, new people, and stimulation in general.
Ryan and Jessie are very health conscious; they eat healthy, ungreasy food, exercise a lot, etc. But they make allowances for free Home Slice. Lots of pizza, lots of beer (for Ryan). Now, everyone (except for this guy) likes Home Slice, but they reeeeeally love it. I’m not sure if it’s because Home Slice makes a delicious pizza that stands on its own merit, or whether it’s the only pizza/carbs/unhealthy food they ever eat. They’re excitement makes them awesome pizza guests. There have been a few pizza dry spells (as much as three weeks!!!!) during my reign, and the pizza always tastes better after such a drought. However, I don’t also bar myself from other kinds of deliciousness whenever I happen to be out of town or confused about the whereabouts of Home Slice Pizza from pizza. I’m might be silly sometimes, but I’m not crazy.
Total this year: $956.50
Johann Wagner and I go way back. I sold him my neighbor’s car (she had moved and gave me 1/3 of whatever I could move the car for), and we share some of the same musical friends. We made a pizza date, and he asked if he could bring his lady along. I said sure.
Apparently, he didn’t tell her I was coming, he just said “honey, let me take you out for pizza”. The plan was for him to get loads of brownie points, then find me at Home Slice, invite me to sit down, and then have me “buy” the pizza, thus absolving him of actually having to pay for the pizza. Sadly, she saw through his tricks.
So we dined alone. I was a little late, and saw him helping a homeless guy put stuff back in his cart. We sat down and ordered a pizza piled with veggies (artichoke hearts, black olives, fried eggplant, green peppers, mushrooms, onions and spinach), but with no cheese on his half since he’s lactose intolerant. We had Trey as our waiter, I’ve had him a ton recently. I said “long time, no see”. He smiled.
Johann is one of those folk musicians who’s really good at what he does, but poorly compensated for it. He’s discovered a way to bridge that gap: songwriting for hire. One of his songs just got picked up by Calfornication, some TV show. He’ll get paid every time the episode runs, anywhere in the world.
He told me the story of a famous musician friend of his. She had just sold a shitload of records (millions and millions) and was playing a gig when in walks Tom Waits. The Tom Waits. After the show he comes up and says he’s a fan. She’s honored, what musician wouldn’t be? Then he presents her with a manila envelope with a CD and songsheet inside. Would she mind recording this song he wrote with her in mind? What do you say to Tom Waits? Of course. Well, she recorded the song on her next CD, and Tom got paid for every one printed. He made like half a million bucks, without having to tour, record, etc.
So apparently it’s a thing musicians do. Get other, more commercially popular musicians to record your music, let them sell the records, and get your cut. Kris Kristofferson, a well regarded musician (and actor! he was amazing in Lone Star) in his own right, penned some music’s greatest hits (like “Me and Bobby McGee”), once landed a helicopter in Johnny Cash’s backyard to drop off some songs since Johnny wasn’t calling him back.
Johann has thought about going up to folks with manila envelope in hand, but hasn’t quite worked up the guts yet. But he’s going through some financial angst at the moment, so that might change.
He told a story about finishing a show and standing by his merch table, hawking CDs and chatting with fans. A hot chick came up, complimented him on his show, acted all nervous-like, and just grabbed a CD and left. He was more surprised than pissed off, so he let her go. Pretty girls get to play by a different set of rules. Luckily I bought him a pizza, and he didn’t have to guiltily abscond with it.
For some crazy reason, I forgot to take a photo of Johann with the pizza, so instead you’ll just have to enjoy a photo of my grandmother (Gran) wearing a moose hat.
Total this year: $937.50
What a difference a day makes. Terrible music the next day. Whoop There It Is? Let’s Get It Started? Macarena? Oy vey.
My Guadalupe float trip companions Michelle and her friends Mike and Stephanie came through Austin on their way back from the river, and I took them to Home Slice to ease their return to the real world. Michelle is quite the veteran of YotP, but Mike and Stephanie were Home Slice rookies.
They’re big meat fans which I am not, so we decided that they would get me an eggplant sub and I’d get the pizza for them. This prevented a meatless half to accommodate me that they wouldn’t have enjoyed as much.
Everything worked out, because I’d had pizza the previous night, and was happy to have an eggplant sub. One of the ironies of my deal is that despite my fate becoming so intertwined with the eggplant sub, I don’t get the subs free. Only pizza. Not that I’m complaining.
My sub was delicious as usual. Arrangements with large groups that end up with me getting a free sub in lieu of the beer in the “pizza on me, beer on you” mantra are always a treat for me.
They loved the pizza. Since it was so laden with toppings (sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green olives, garlic, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes) it was a little sloppy and necessitated a fork for the first half or until it was fold-able.
None of them shared my sunburn pain, but they had the pain of a post-float drive back to Dallas. Not sure which is worse.
Total this year: $907
I spend most of Saturday floating the Guadalupe with some friends from Dallas. In an effort to have as stereotypical experience as possible, I drank a lot of beer, did not drink a lot of water, and burned my torso to a crisp. All this exhausted me, and after a brief pit stop at home, Erin and I went to Home Slice.
Somewhere along the way, I developed a nasty case of the hiccups. We walked in and were greeted by Kelly. She asked how we were doing, and I told her about my affliction. After debating the merits of various supposed cures for the hiccups, she brought me a coffee filter and instructed me to drink my water through the filter.
I did, and hot damn, it worked. No more hiccups!!! I’d tried various other techniques, such as being scared (sorry Seth, you have to pay for pizza for now on) and drinking water from the other end of the cup (never figured that one out), but the filter thing totally worked. How is that for spectacular service: Kelly brought us pizza, refilled our drinks, and cured my affliction! I love Home Slice.
We ordered a loaded pizza: black olives, spinach, garlic, roasted red peppers, fried eggplant, extra cheese to hold it all together, and the obligatory half anchovies. A list of the desserts offered hung dangerously close to our table, and Erin said we had to get a rice krispie treat. So we did.
Both the staff and Erin and I appreciated the disco/funk music playlist for the evening. We sat by the kitchen, and Mark the waiter would dutifully tell other waitstaff to “get down on it” in tune with the song. He also told me to “get my back up off the wall”.
Hard to beat this pizza experience. Good pizza, dessert, dance-in-your-seat-music, free healthcare. We left a big tip.
Total this year: $879.50
Tiffany, who left Austin for grad school in Eugene OR, recently came back for a visit with her bf Mark. A visit to Home Slice was in order, and we met up to ensure that Mark’s first day in Texas was a delicious one.
It was. He seemed a little curious about anchovies, a topping that Tiffany and Erin were decidedly un-curious about. So instead of ordering them on half, I ordered them on the side. This is what I got. A tentacled monster of briny goodness. Actually it wasn’t that good, the raw anchovies tasted too strong and slimy. Mark wasn’t much of a fan either. But it looked cool, and it looked like what most people think anchovies taste like.
Mark did like the fried eggplant though. That’s everyone’s sleeper fave. We have to talk most folks into it, but most folks really dig the smoky smoothness.
Since we couldn’t decide, we ordered half margherita (with sauce) and half roasted red peppers, spinach, garlic and fried eggplant. I forget which side everyone liked best, but they were both pretty good. The sauced margherita tastes much more basic than the dry version, I wonder if that’s because the sauce hides other flavors or if they do different stuff to it. The mysteries of life, huh?
I loved recounting Tiffany’s harrowing adventure of getting to our wedding. Allegiant Air delayed her flight by like 6 hours, causing her to arrive after the rental car counter was closed. She ended up arriving 9 hours after she planned, but hey, she got a $25 voucher for her next Allegiant Air flight! Luckily she’s the type to think this sorta thing is hilarious, other guests might not have.
They were in town to visit old friends and so Tiffany could rejoin her old rugby team for a tournament. Her rugby friends are crazy and awesome. One of their enduring quirks is to refer to me as “free pizza Steve”. I forget how this came about, but that’s how I’m known to them. They kick ass, literally.
Tiffany is currently in Ethiopia (then South Africa) traveling and working with some NGOs for her graduate studies, and is blogging about her trip here. Follow along and ask her if the pizza there can top Home Slice’s handiwork.
Total this year: $849
We’re married! See, with rings not made out of olives this time. This was our first pizza after our wedding. Although we didn’t get married in Austin, Home Slice was in our hearts. We had mini eggplant subs as an appetizer, pizzas after the dancing, and my groomsmen wore custom pearl snaps featuring the Home Slice bathroom pizzas (made by ZZZ Threadz, they have a booth at a craft market down the street on weekends). I thought the design was clever since each viewer could interpret it how they wanted. Some just saw pizza, some saw “you complete me”, and some saw a subtle sexual reference. Erin didn’t think the design was very subtle, but she doesn’t have as much of an eye for subtlety as I do. Here’s some photos of the big day.
Our first night back at Home Slice was a pleasant evening, so we decided to eat outside. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes thought the night was equally pleasant, making mine less so. Home Slice has bug spray that they usually give out on request, but tonight the bottles were preemptively lined up on the outside bar.
Nonetheless, it was still a lovely night. We went with a simple margherita-plus-olives-plus-half-anchovies, and enjoyed a nice summery, salty meal together.
Total this year: $824.50
Today, Erin and I are getting married. To celebrate, we are bankrolling our signature topping addition at Homeslice: half anchovies. Tonight only, Erin and I will pick up your order of half anchovies. Not the pizza, not the other toppings, just the anchovies (we are unemployed, cut us some slack).
I love the pungent, awesome terribleness of anchovies, and Erin always demurs for a more chill, comforting pizza. Half anchovies symbolizes our relationship; we order it on all our shared pizzas. Do you like caesar salad? If so, you probably like anchovies.
Try ’em. On us.
We wanted to celebrate our wedding with our beloved Home Slice community by inviting you to share in our intense, piquant joy. So come by Home Slice tonight, get yourself a warm pizza pie, and get half fish. Mazel tov. Don’t break their glasses though, that’s on you.
In love and pizza,
Seth and Erin
Erin and I went out to Home Slice the night before leaving town to go get married. It was sort of a hectic time getting everything ready, but I don’t think we forgot anything important. This pizza was our dinner the night before and our breakfast/lunch the day of our flight.
Home Slice will have somewhat of a presence at the wedding. I’ll let you know how it goes after it happens (this Sunday). Not right after, but soonish.
Cost: $25.00 (I guess)
Total this year: $798
Eric Rynerson came to Austin for my bachelor party and arrived a day early. Verily, we went to Home Slice. This weekend had incredible amounts of alcohol consumed, so again I don’t remember too much about this particular pizza or encounter.
Thanks to Google Analytics, I can see how people find my blog and what search terms they use in Google. Every once in a while, someone searches for “Eric Rynerson”, and finds a previous YofP blog post about Eric, and heads over to the blog. I hope that when his grandkids’ grandkids look for info about their ancestors, these blog posts will be the entirety of what they learn about their family. That’d be hilarious.
Eric is a food aficianado. He loves good food, and is extremely eager to try every example of deliciousness he can find. Luckily Home Slice fits the bill, otherwise I’m not sure he’d come down to visit so much.
Cost: $25.00 (I guess)
Total this year: $773