20100623-finds-0101Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Written by The Independent Staff

1. LOVELY RITA
“There is simply no way of getting out of this life alive,” is about as philosophical as author and retired engineer Jim Booksh gets in his new memoir, My Life with Rita ($16.95, iUniverse.com), a six-decade account of his career in the natural gas business in south Louisiana and around the world with his wife, Rita Larcade Booksh, the daughter of a prominent Rayne family and a former Rice Festival beauty queen. Memoirs of the high and mighty, heralded though they may be, have little on this less celebrated genre — memoirs of the steady and ordinary. For its celebration of simple virtues, its synchronicity with the rise of the energy business in the second half of the 20th century, Booksh’s chronology will better serve the future anthropologists picking at the ruins of a dangerous epoch of Western Civ. His paean to love, life, work and golf — in that approximate order — resonates with honesty and humility. It is about the accumulation of friendships and the accumulation of years, and the inexorable incompatibility of the two. But more than all, beyond the grim destination a life’s memoir must necessarily arrive at — Rita descended into the darkness of Alzheimer’s Disease and died in 2005 — My Life with Rita is a simple, sweet tribute. Boy meets girl, and loves her for 58 years. — Walter Pierce

2. CRUSTOLEUM
Lafayette’s Wildfires are back — this time with Mississippi’s Moose — tending the black flame with a new seven-song split EP that plows with the brown chowder through sod and steel. Guitars and vocals burp, snarl, and growl in unison through the rut range of the dirt earth heaviness. Crowned with crustoleum warhead riffage and telegraph scream vocals, it’s not easy listening. Which is why it rocks. Both bands are making the rounds on summer tours, so go check them out. To buy, go to www.myspace.com/wearemoose or www.myspace.com/wildfires337. — Dege Legg

3. FIT FOR A KING
Want to cool off and slim down this summer? Try Smoothie King. Its new Fit N’ Crunchy Bowls combine hand scooped yogurt or sorbet with granola for a healthy meal alternative or hardy snack. Strawberry Tart has been the most popular flavor since the bowls launched in May, but Smoothie King offers five others, including the trendy super-fruit Acai and my personal favorite, Mango. The treat comes packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and protein, and if you’re really looking for slimming benefits, you can “make it skinny” to lose an extra 100 calories. The $4.69 bowls can be found at either Ambassador Caffery store in Lafayette, with drive-thru service available at the location near Super Target. — Annie Bares

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