Friday, August 31, 2007


Str8 Up With A Twist bids adieu to Aimee In The Heights. I met Aimee two years ago when she moved to The Bayou City. It has been fun to have her here. She has been a big fan of Kaye Sedilla and I'm sure Kaye will miss her too! I hate it when a fun person leaves but such is life.

Aimee is heading to The Windy City this weekend. Be careful Aimee and best wishes on your new adventure.

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 3.8

I have an uncanny ability to hear thunderstorms approaching while I am asleep. It's not like radar or anything. I think it has to do with having a dog that needs and likes to be walked and trying to time the walk with approaching rain.

I had a really good workout last night at LeFittes and I was sound asleep in the wee hours of the morning when I heard thunder off in the distance. I looked at my watch and it was 411A but I couldn't figure out how far away the storm was, was it coming from the Gulf, from the west or from the north and was it really going to rain on NoRO?

I called for The Calvinator and he jumped on the bed with me and waited. Sure enough it happened. The storm came in from the north with a belly full of rain and the accompanying thunder and lightning. Believe it or not, Calvin stayed with me through the storm. Normally he just lays there, gets his tummy rubbed and then leaves.

Knowing that the ground would be soaked I made sure NOT to wear the soccer sandals for our morning stroll. I think the reason I lost my footing yesterday is because there isn't much to hold your foot in place with the soccer sandals. So I got my Keens and off we went. An uneventful walk this morning.

Me wearing the Keen shoes. It took several shots to get a good photo. It's difficult to take a picture of your feet and not have them look like they belong on an oversized Mickey Mouse.

Got back to the house and turned on the telly and remembered BBC was carrying live coverage of Princess Di's Memorial Service. I only watched the exit processional. I'm not going to post much about Di. I've already done a post about where I was the day that she died.

I still find it hard to believe that we were the same age. I think that is the underlying thought that I use to connect with her death. It is also hard to believe it has been 10 years.

I heard that Dodi's father was not invited to the service. He held a moment of silence for his son and Di at Harrod's.

It's Labor Day weekend and it looks like it is going to be a quiet one for me and The Calvinator; no complaints here.

Friends are heading out to New Orleans for Southern Decadence and others are heading to Austin for Last Splash. Another friend is heading to the ATL. Sofi Bon Chien is having a b'day party in San Francisco. Happy B'day Sofi!

Sofi Bon Chien

I might head over to the MFA/Houston to view Red Hot Asian on Saturday.

I do need to get a run in tomorrow morning. 6, 7 or 8 miles? We'll see what I feel like in the a.m. Also need to make some cards and do some prototypes for a potential client. It might turn out to be a putz-around weekend. :-)

Have a safe weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 3.7

"Lassie! Run and get help. Timmy has fallen into a well!"

So this morning I was out with The Calvinator on our morning stroll. With the exception of the running shoes, I was in my running attire 'cause I was going to head over to the park for a 4 mile run. I did 3 yesterday morning so I thought I'd add a mile. As you may recall, I was "de-wimped" on Monday so I was ready for 4. Plus I've been reading NoFo's blog and his group did 23 miles the other day so I'm really feeling like a slacker. Others who are making me feel like a slacker are Will Run For Martinis and Running For Gold. I JUST can't get motivated to do a marathon.

So it's a bit before 600A and 007/NoRO is very quiet. There was some fog this morning. The ground was wet. I could hear the train off in the distance.

I was wearing my soccer sandals and for some stupid reason I starting singing to myself, "People say she's crazy she's got diamonds on the soles of her shoes..."

So we get to Reinerman and Feagan and we're heading toward the Doris Miller Library Center. OK...I don't have my glasses on but off in the distance I see somebody walking toward us with a dog and I'm trying to figure out if it is a big dog or a little dog 'cause if it's a big dog The Calvinator will want to rumble.

All of this is happening in a few seconds and next thing I know I lose my footing, twist my right ankle and almost fall into the drainage ditch/gully. It looks like I'm going to go face first into the muddy, wet grass and now Calvin is startled and he is trying to get away from me.

In the effort to correct my footing, I twist it again and start to fall toward the sidewalk (face first) but I grab the chain link fence and I never fall but boy does my ankle hurt!

There were several things I thought of: 1) "Calvin, run and get help! Timmy has fallen into the gutter." To which he would reply, "You must feel right at home."; 2) There's no way I'll be able to run today, tomorrow or maybe EVER again; 3) I've shattered my ankle on the leg that I had a stress fracture and my hopes of ever getting a gold medal in the Senior Olympics have also been shattered.

So as I'm trying to recompose myself and figure out the damage here comes the lady with the dog and sure enough a rumble starts.

As all good runners do, I tried to shake it off and determined that I could walk back to the house. I went on to the park and stood there for about 15 minutes trying to decide what to do. If I could make it to the 1/2 mile marker I might be able to do 3 miles...and I did.

I really need to start carrying my cell phone with me but when I'm in running shorts, there's no place to put it and as it is I have Calvin on the leash in one hand, a poop bag and the keys. I'll figure out a solution.

SIDEBAR: I went back and took some pics in the daylight. It's difficult to tell the actual grade of the incline but trust me, it wouldn't have been fun landing in the gutter. And yes, I've been in the gutter many a time!

"Don't stomp your little last season Prada shoes at me, honey."
-Enrique Salvatore to Elle in Legally Blonde

I wasn't going to post anything about about Senator Larry Craig but I can't resist. This whole thing about tapping the foot under the stall door at MSP reminded me of the scene from Legally Blonde when Elle was waiting to use the water fountain and the pool boy was taking his time. Now I don't know if Sen. Craig was wearing Prada shoes but it would have been funny if he had been.

And one more thing about 1159A CDT today my cell phone rings. This is how the conversation goes:

Str8UpWithATwist (SUWAT): Hey.

AttyHou: Hey boi. What are you doing?

SUWAT: On my way to Best Buy to buy my brother-in-law a birthday present. How are you?

AttyHou: Stuffy.

SUWAT: You sound stuffy. Physical stuffy that is. Not in a conservative, Republican, I'm gonna tap my foot under the bathroom door and have sex with you stuffy kinda way.

AttyHou: Hypocritical stuffy.


¡Feliz CumpleaƱos!

Birthday greetings go out to Daniel who is an avid reader of Str8UpWithATwist. Daniel joins a fine group of us who are in our 40's. Welcome aboard Daniel!

Daniel and Sugar Land Stuart waiting for Kaye Sedilla.

OK bois and gurrls...I haven't done weights since Sunday and I need to get my fat arse to the gym today. It's gonna hurt.

Mina Lee Studio Art

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?

I was going to do a LONG post about Hurricane Katrina. I started composing it and I couldn’t decide which direction to head with it.

Here were the topics:

1. The friends who have returned to the area and are rebuilding their lives.

2. The clients I had who against all odds have picked up the pieces and started all over again.

3. The bickering between Bush, Blanco & Nagin. Regardless of party affiliation, everyone was to blame.

4. How a natural disaster was worsened by the ineptitude of The Army Corps of Engineers. Go visit The Netherlands and come back with a game plan. (The brunt of the storm went east of New Orleans. Sure there was wind damage and lots of water but if the levees had been properly built they should have held.)

5. The people stranded at the Convention Center and the Superdome and my thoughts 18 months later when I walked into the Convention Center.

6. Watching live coverage on CNN and being dumbstruck that this was happening 350 miles from my doorstep.

7. The inability of the U.S. Government to get food and water to its own citizens and my thoughts about FEMA Director Michael Brown.
“You’re doing a good job Brownie.” –George W. Bush
Correction on 8/30/07: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." -George W. Bush on September 2, 2005

8. The inability of the local, state and federal governments to get a game plan together and rebuild The Big Easy. We can rebuild Iraq but we can’t rebuild New Orleans? Come on Cheney…use your muscle and get Halliburton in there without going through the bidding process.

9. Evacuees in Houston who are trying to start all over again; some have succeeded and some are surviving day-to-day.

10. Anne Rice p!ssing me off when she stated that “Americans have turned their backs on New Orleans.”

11. Spike Lee's documentary When The Levees Broke. Overall I liked it but I have some issues with it.

12. The new Hispanic influx on theCity.

13. How the City of Houston and Harris County decided they would do whatever it took to provide shelter for the evacuees. Months later Neil Diamond would salute the citizens during his concert when he said, "This is a city with a heart." Then Dallas Morning News lauded the City for what it did. This should have been headline news because of the rivalry between the two cities. :-)

14. How the U.S. Coast Guard said "Screw it!" and threw out the rule book and ignored government red tape and rescued people. They were probably the unsung heroes of the catastrophe.

15. "What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle) – this is working very well for them."
–Former First Lady Barbara Bush, on the hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston, Sept. 5, 2005
Do I EVEN need to comment on this? UGH!

16. Everything that I love about New Orleans: friends I have made there; the locals; the food & booze; the charm; the history; Mardi Gras, Southern Decadence and Halloween; the good memories.

So rather than harp on all of those topics…many of which still make my blood pressure rise…I’ll end this post with the lyrics from a song:

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss it each night and day
I know I'm not wrong, the feeling's getting stronger
The longer I stay away

Miss the moss-covered vines, tall sugar pines
Where mockingbirds used to sing
I'd love to see that old lazy Mississippi
Hurrying into Spring

The moonlight on the bayou
A Creole tune that fills the air
I dream about magnolias in bloom
And I'm wishin I was there

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When that's where you left your heart
And there's one thing more, I miss the one I care for
More than I miss New Orleans

-Louis Alter & Eddie DeLange

And in case you're first trip back to New Orleans after Katrina was in February 2006. I've made several trips since then and plan on making many more.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gully Washer

I heard him say it, "This shower will be out of here by the 6:00 news." W-R-O-N-G!

That "storm" hooked up with another storm right over NoRo before the 6:00 news and it rained hard. Before I realized what was happening the heavens opened up and I hadn't closed the window on The Cal Mobile. UGH!

So I put on my Cal Walking Slicker and ran outside.

This is a picture of my shorts when I got back inside. If you look close enough, you can see the raindrops on the hair on my legs.

This is a closeup.

So HE comes back on at the top of the 6:00 news and says we're going to have flooding. It was coming down at about 2.5" an hour. Then I hear something about SUVs floating and if you live near Memorial Park, Downtown, Galleria, Med Center, etc. stay put.'s the deal. I bought The Cal Mobile so that I COULD drive through high water. I was tired of the Corolla floating around.

It finally let up a bit around 7:00 and The Calvinator wanted out. It was still raining...but not as I put on the Cal Walking Slicker and took him out. He must have known we needed to hurry (you could see the lightning and hear the thunder moving away from NoRo) because he peed and pooped really fast and was ready to get back home.

I have often been "teased" about The Cal Walking Slicker. I've had this slicker long before there was a Calvinator. I got it for about $15.00 at a Gap Outlet and it has served me well.

Here's the Cal Walking Slicker drying off (front)


We've been through hell and high water (get it) together. Earlier this year I thought it was time to retire it because the zipper was stuck. I was looking to replace it and before I hit the "purchase" button on the Lands End website I tugged on the zipper one more time and voila! We were back in business.

HE says to expect another gully washer tomorrow around the same time. I'll be sure to get to LeFittes well before the storm hits.

Stay dry everybody!

Something I Forgot... tell you.

Ken Hoffman is a columnist for the paper that I read on a daily basis. In his Sunday column he answers questions from readers and replies to readers' comments. He has a quirky sense of humor; hence my affection for his column.

So, he has been printing restaurant stories from readers. And this past Sunday he printed my story! It's not the first time I've seen my name in print in the paper but it is still kinda fun to see your name in print.

Here's the excerpt from his column:
Ken Hoffman
Aug. 24, 2007, 12:00PM
Special Sunday mail delivery

I have a restaurant story for you. I was taking a defensive driving course at a buffet-type restaurant a few years ago, and we were in a room off the main dining room. Next to us was the dessert stand. I was watching a little boy serving himself pudding, it must have been a boring part of the class. The young boy would serve himself a dollop of pudding and then carefully lick off the serving spoon, then right back into the pudding for another dollop and another few licks. I guess he was maximizing the amount of pudding he was having. I decided not to eat there after the class.

Manny Hernandez, Houston

A few years ago I was having dinner with a friend at a restaurant that's since closed. A few booths over, a little girl picked up a ketchup bottle, unscrewed the top and licked the top. She then put the lid back on the bottle and never once did either of the adults do anything to stop her.

When they departed I told our waiter what happened. He just kind of looked at me like I was a freak but my friend confirmed it. The waiter removed the bottle from the table and I can only hope that he threw it away.

Tim Martinez, Houston

The only thing I drink straight from the bottle in my house is Hershey's syrup. -Ken Hoffman

SIDEBAR: OK...he sorta edited my story 'cause even though the restaurant has since closed they are part of a national chain and reopened a new property a few miles down the road. As Realtor Alan said, "I'm sure he was thinking of losing advertising dollars." And every time I pick up a bottle of ketchup, I think of that little girl. I'm scarred for life! do

So after yesterday's run with RunnerOne my shoes were a bit dirty and they were getting wet from the rain so I took them off before I got in The Cal Mobile and left them in the back of The Cal Mobile. And that is where the story ends until this morning.

I got in The Cal Mobile this morning and could "smell" something. Yuck. The smell was familiar. You got it. Sweaty, wet running shoes that sat there all night and dried out. I'm letting The Cal Mobile air out right now but have to keep my eye on the sky 'cause it will prolly rain this afternoon; it's Houston ya know.

...tell you. (Part II)

I did get a ticket to see Linda Eder on Sept. 14! A small gaggle of us will be going together to see her: Everyday Italian, AttyHou, Bret & Karl from the 006. No one wanted to spend the extra money for the post-concert party so I guess Linda will just have to do without meeting me.

I'll prolly have to wear a muzzle so that I don't sing along with her and they'll prolly have to restrain me in my seat so that I don't jump up and clap every time she starts and finishes a song.

I've seen her perform twice in concert and once in Civil War and I must say that she is a great performer. My favorite songs by Linda are: Someone Like You; Big Time; Something To Believe In; The Bells Of St. Paul.

If you need information about the concert, you can get it here . scratch off my list of things to do.

I bought a ticket to see Whistle Down The Wind. I have several reasons for wanting to see this show. I *heart* No Matter What by Boyzone. And, it is my understanding that this show has had a few reincarnations. It'll be a few weeks before I get to see the show so look for a review later on.

I still can't decide if I want to see Mamma Mia! again. :-) The first time I saw it was in Sydney and then a tour came through Houston and I saw it twice in the same week but with different groups of people. I don't know. It's one of those shows that is kinda silly but it makes ya feel good. The jury is still out on this one. Tickets are still available but it is only here for about a week so I need to decide soon. A road trip might conflict with the run of the show. Guess I need to make some decisions huh?

Monday, August 27, 2007

"I'm going to de-wimp you."

That's how our run started today. I met RunnerOne today at 530P at Memorial Park. It was hot but there were also thunderstorm clouds off in the distance.

So we started our run and I was asked when was the last time I ran at this time of the day. I mumbled something about it was during the last century or maybe sometime last year during the month of February...when it's nice and cool. I guess the fact that I run in three sweater feeling humidity in the morning is considered wimpish in the eyes of a guy who just ran through Death Valley. :-)

We ended up doing 4 miles and hard to believe it was a negative split. By the time we were into mile 3 it looked like the clouds were coming our way and the wind was picking up. The thought of getting caught in a thunderstorm in Memorial Park is not on my list of ways that I want to die.

My energy level is quite a bit different during the afternoon/evenings. In fact, I was getting hungry so before I left the house I did two spoonfuls of peanut butter and then ate a Clif Bar on my way to the park. In all honesty, I have forgotten how to eat during the day if I'm going to run in the evenings. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

We finished the run, did some post-run stretching and then it started to rain. I was already dripping with sweat so the rain felt really good.

OK bois and gurrls...I'm outta here!

I'm In A Mood

It must be that time of the month or the year or something. I'm in an odd mood.

Maybe it is the upcoming lunar eclipse? Maybe it the upcoming anniversary of the death of Princess Diana? Or maybe I'm rethinking everything that happened two years ago later this week in New Orleans?
Not really sure.

OK. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

I went on a bit of an excursion this afternoon. I went to the main post office downtown (just for kicks...not really) and then drove around a part of downtown that I'm sorta but not sorta familiar with.

I had seen a building off in the distance one day and wondered, "What is that?" So today I found the building. It is the new Business Building for Univ. of Houston-Downtown. Looks like they're still trying to finish up some exterior work but it is a nice looking building.

Then I wondered if I could find Irma's. I knew it was somewhere on N. Chenevert but it had been eons since I've eaten their. It took a couple of wrong turns but I found it.

So then I thought, can you find The Last Concert Cafe? This one is a bit more tricky if it has been eons since you've been there and after dredging through the bowels of the I-10 overpass, I found it.

I was going to head over to Ninfa's on Navigation because I heard they have recently done some work on the place. I figured I'll save that for another day...maybe when I stop in for a bite at Yolanda Black Navarro's Villa Arcos Restaurant.

Irma's, The Last Concert Cafe and Ninfa's on Navigation are three unique Mexican restaurants here in The Bayou City. I think I'm most intrigued with Last Concert.

If I remember the story correctly, the lady who opened the restaurant in 1949 said this was going to be her last venture. So you see how she came up with the name? She has since passed away but the restaurant is still open.

A couple of former clients introduced me to the restaurant. It is a bit difficult to find because there isn't a big sign. In fact, I was surprised today when I saw a small sign because in the past they didn't have one. The "red door" is kept locked and you have to knock to gain admittance. You have to look for the building with the red door.

I was "told" that the building was previously a brothel and I sorta believe it because one time that I ate there we were sitting in what could have been an itty-bitty bedroom. I was given two explanations about the locked door: 1) It pays tribute to the days of it being a brothel and the "clients" had to knock to gain admittance; or 2) It used to be a rough neighborhood and this kept out the riff-raff.

One of the ladies who introduced me to the restaurant said that if I came back that weekend I could find her on the stage playing the tambourine. You see, in addition to being a restaurant it is also a venue for musicians. It really is something different.

So if you're ever in Houston and you're looking for something that is VERY unique, check out The Last Concert Cafe.

In Other News:
Birthday greetings go out to Realtor Ben! I ran into Ben yesterday and I couldn't remember the exact date of his birthday. I said, "I know it is in the late 20's." He said, "It's been years since I have seen the late 20's." And then we both laughed hard. :-)

I understand that Calvin gotta hold of my computer last night and did a posting. I don't know how he can type with those paws of his? And yes, he is correct, I did go to a fundraiser for Jane Weiner's Hope Stone.

Jane has a ton of energy stored in that petite body of hers! And watch out. If you drink her Kool-Aid, you can't run from her enthusiasm. I met Dancer Jane through Realtor Alan. At some point in the future I'll do a posting about an upcoming event that a group of us is working on. The timing of me drinking the Kool-Aid was a bit odd...everything happens for a reason.

I'm running with RunnerOne this afternoon/evening. It is going to be hot. I'm a morning-humidity runner as opposed to an evening/afternoon-heat runner. (Sorta like, "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" kinda thing. Seems like you're one or the other but not both.) :-) Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

HA! I got the laptop and he doesn't know it.

Hey's Calvin. You might know me as The Calvinator. Str8 Up With A Twist is in the other room watching Big Brother 8. (Him and his reality shows. If I hear him say one more time, "I could win Amazing Race" I'll probably maul him while he sleeps!) He thinks I'm in here chewing a rawhide. I make some noise every now and then just so he won't come in and check on me; distraction you know.

I'm worn out! He got me up really early yesterday just because HE was wide awake. Can you believe he had me out there around 445A?!?! At least he slept in this morning until about 615A or so.

I really shouldn't complain. I took a nap while he was at the office reading the paper. He then went to that place he calls LeFittes. So by the time he got back I was all rested up and treat of treats he took me to Memorial Park. It was getting a bit hot but I didn't mind.

We didn't do our normal 1+ mile walk. I cut it short because I wanted to sit in the Jungle Gym area and watch people huff and puff. I know I drive him crazy with all of my sniffing and marking but he just doesn't understand that if I went more often I wouldn't get so excited.

He left me alone for most of the afternoon. I heard him say something about going to a fundraiser for Hope Stone. He came back for awhile and then he went to 500P Mass at St. Anne's. It must of have been a quickie because he came back and caught me napping. I wasn't expecting him home so soon.

After a walk that was interrupted by AttyHou, we came back and he gave me a Frosty Paw. He must have been in a really good mood because earlier he gave me some peanut butter with my heart worm medicine and then after he finished his dinner he gave me his left over pei wei (he calls it rice).

Well, I better get this posted before he finds out that I logged into "his blog". When he asks me what I know about this posting I'll just act nonchalant and ignore him; I'm good at that.

"Make woof not war." -Calvin

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 3.6

Attack of the Killer Tsetse Flies

I'm not sure what happened last night. I was sitting on the couch watching The George Lopez Show and sometime after 800P I fell asleep. I woke up around 1100P or so and The Calvinator was sitting there staring at me. So we went to bed. (It had to have been tsetse flies that caused the early slumber.)

As with all things, there is yin and yang. I woke up at 400A this morning! UGH.

I putzed around for a little while and The Calvinator finally woke up. So here we are at 445A out for our morning stroll.

We came back and I putzed around some more and then made my way to Memorial Park.


I wasn't sure if I was going to do 6 or 7 miles this morning so I thought I'd give it a whirl and just take it one step at a time.

After the first 4 miles I was thinking maybe I should do 8. I had just about convinced myself to do 8 but then my stomach started feeling a bit odd. Wasn't sure if it was Runners' Runs or what so I opted to do 7. Just as I finished 7 the stomach was fine. Hmmm.

There were a gazillion people at the park this morning. Large gangs...I mean packs of people running. One group was running 4 abreast and almost knocked me into Memorial Drive. So much for courtesy.

I cleaned up there at the park and then joined the festivities for Party In The Park. HARRA was sponsoring the event. I belong to the group so I figured why not check it out.

Lots of people were enjoying the food (I had a biscuit stuffed with egg and bacon), ice cream, music, camaraderie and beer. In keeping with "It's 500P somewhere" I enjoyed a beverage from Saint Arnold's Brewery. Who cares if it was only 815A?

That is my thumb.

I chatted a bit with Triathlete Lee. He wasn't having a good run this morning. Which just goes to prove that some days it is your day for a good run and some days it isn't your day.

This what my shoes look like after 7 miles.

The Office

After I left the park, I headed over to the office. There were 1/2 a gazillion people there! I had no place to sit and enjoy my Iced Grande Sugar-free Vanilla Non-fat Latte and read the paper.

I'm sure there is some correlation between the number of people at the park on the weekends and the sales figures at the office, Kolache Factory and Smoothie King. All of them were busy this morning. I had to sit at a closed outdoor cafe and get my daily dose of the news.

¡Feliz CumpleaƱos!

Birthday greetings go out to Romeo. Happy Birthday Romeo!

Romeo, Stuart and Randall

Romeo is a long time resident of Houston. He has been very active within the community and has many friends and admirers. I met Romeo through Sugar Land Stuart. Romeo is the only person that I know who went to high school with Janis Joplin.

I called Romeo today rather than yesterday because I've never been quite clear about the true date of his birth. His birth certificate says August 24, 19___ but his mother said he was born on August 25, 19___. Guess I should have called him at 1159P yesterday and conversed with him until 1201A today? :-) (PS There's no way I'll reveal his age 'cause paybacks are h#ll.)

Something to read

I bought this book because the description made me laugh!

Emma Brockes didn't always love musicals. In fact, she hated them. One of her earliest (and most painful) memories is of her mother singing "The Hills Are Alive" while young Emma crossed the street to go to her babysitting gig. According to her mother, the music would keep muggers at bay. According to Emma, it warded off friends, a social life, and any chance of being normal. As she grew older, however, these same songs continued to resonate in her head, first like a broken record and then as a fond reminder of her mother's love.

Some people would slice off their arm with a plastic knife before they'd sit through Fiddler on the Roof or The Sound of Music. But musicals are everywhere, and it's about time someone asked why. From An American in Paris to Oklahoma!, Brockes explores the history, art, and politics of musicals, and how they have become an indelible part of our popular culture. Smartly written and incredibly witty, this is a book for people who understand that there are few situations in which the question "What would Barbra do?" doesn't have relevance, in a world much better lived to a soundtrack of show tunes. At the heart of What Would Barbra Do? is a touching story about a daughter, a mother, and how musicals kept them together. Part memoir, part musical history tour, it will keep you laughing and singing all at once.

I get in these moods sometimes where I have a song for everything and typically it is a showtune. This should make for some good reading!

Friday, August 24, 2007

International Beefcake

Remember when French President Nicolas Sarkozy went Whitney Houston on the paparazzi because they were taking pictures of him on his vacation? Well…the latest is that he was shirtless and he didn’t want his poignees d’amour showing up in print…and they did.

Sarkozy showing his love handles.

However, in the most recent publication of the photos the poignees d’amour have disappeared. Paris-Match said it retouched the photos because “the position of the boat exaggerated this protuberance…In lightening the shadows, the correction was exaggerated.”

So what is it with Heads of State doing the whole beefcake thing? First Sarkozy and then Putin? W…if you’re reading this…keep your shirt on, OK?

Putin showing his pecs while fishing.

And speaking of poignees d’amour, I’m not helping my cause any. Yesterday at the office, there was a new item in the snack machine: Triple Berry Cobbler Muffins. Prior to going to the office, I did a 4 mile run at Memorial Park so I figure I already had a credit balance on my calorie intake for the day. However, despite the pressure from Chris to purchase a muffin I only ordered my Iced Grande Sugar-free Vanilla Non-fat Latte, got my newspaper and sat on the terrace. It’s funny. I was sitting outside and I could hear those muffins calling my name.

I went back inside and ordered one (remember I have a credit balance on calorie intake) and I must tell you that is one helluva muffin! So much so, that this morning I ordered another one. I figure I need to eat up today because I’ll do six or seven miles of running tomorrow morning and you can’t run on an empty tank. (Do you understand my logic?)

Plus, I know I burned more calories yesterday walking The Calvinator AND I went to LeFittes and did weights. And just in case you’re wondering, here’s the breakdown on the Triple Berry Cobbler Muffin: 420 calories; 160 calories from fat; total fat 18g; saturated fat 8g; trans fat 0g; cholesterol 70mg; sodium 310mg; total carbohydrates 60g; dietary fiber 2g; sugar 31g; protein 6g; Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin C 15%; Calcium 4%; Iron 10%.

This is a picture of the Triple Berry Cobbler Muffin and Iced Grande Sugar-free Vanilla Non-fat Latte on my desk at the office.

And speaking of Heads of State (well sort of), Danny in the SFO was rubbing elbows the other night with Gavin Newsom. OK…Gavin could take his shirt off and no one would probably raise a ruckus.

Gavin & Danny (photo: Bill Wilson)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Have You Ever....

...done something but really don't remember doing it?

I went running this morning. Did a three mile jaunt around Memorial Park this morning but I really don't remember much about the run. I do remember that my knees were really bothering me. I actually started feeling some knee pain during yesterday's spin class at LeFittes.

It's been a roll of the dice as to who is going to be teaching. Connie was on the schedule but the past few times I've been expecting her there has been a substitute. I know she will be leaving soon for America's Finest City so that is prolly why the schedule has been a bit cattywampus. was a typical Connie spin class. Sweat. Swearing. Grunting.

...really wanted a specific type of food?

I had a meeting tonight at Legacy. It was short and productive meeting. When we finished I ran an errand and even though I wasn't hungry at the time I kept thinking about green beans from Pronto Cucina on Montrose Blvd.

Ran the errand, chatted on the phone with Joe & Helen and by then I had worked up a hunger for green beans. Now it was not only green beans but I wanted the roasted chicken breast and garlic mashed potatoes. So my happy @ss trotted over to Pronto Cucina. was good food.

...just felt really irritated?

I don't know what my problem was today. I don't have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) but I couldn't finish anything I started. (Well I did read the paper.) And the thought of having to deal with a couple of people today was really working my nerves. And then I found out some really odd news about someone that I thought could be trusted.

Don't worry. I'm fine. Maybe it is the alignment of the planets and the stars and the moon and Hurricane Dean being in our hemisphere. Speaking of Dean, here is a satellite image.

That's it bois & gurrls. I need to get ready for Top Chef.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 3.5

I thought I'd give you some updates before I do my normal ramblings.

1. Headache - I passed out on the couch last night holding my head. Woke up and went to bed and had a restless night. (see below for my odd dream last night) This morning when I woke up I could feel some drainage going down my throat. I never thought this could be sinus related. Feel a bit better today.

2. Hurricane Dean - Hurricane Dean came in south of Cancun with 160m.p.h. winds. It is heading into the Bay of Campeche and will then make landfall between Tampico and Veracruz. I really feel for those folks in Mexico that are bearing the brunt of the storm. I heard a talking head say that this will be the third strongest storm on record.

3. Running - I met RunnerOne this morning at Memorial Park. He asked how I was doing and I told him about my headache and he immediately diagnosed it as sinus problems. I told him about my odd dream last night (see below) and that is why I was feeling tired.

We didn't run around the park. He surprised me and took me to the track. We did an 800m warm-up and then did 6x400m sprints. Based on the sprints I was running an 8:00 minute mile or less. HA! Now if I could do that for 26.2 miles I'd feel really good about myself.

4. Jimmy Martin - I'm really disturbed about this. (See my post: Missing Person). Like I stated, you never expect to see someone that you know on one of those fliers.

So those are my updates. Here's what else is on my mind.

America's Finest City
This past Sunday was the running of America's Finest City 1/2 Marathon. I have done this run three times and I absolutely love it.

San Diego is one of my favorite cities even if I didn't have good runs doing the Rock 'n Roll Marathon. The weather is great. The scenery is wonderful. And the people are beautiful. I remember the first time I ran Rock 'n Roll I made the observation that the spectators looked better and were in better shape than the participants! Here is proof of the pretty people.

Brad is a catcher for the Houston Astros. During the off-season he lives in San Diego which is where his kids and wife live.
According the Health insert in yesterday's Houston Chronicle, in the off-season Brad lifts weights three times a week and does aerobic exercise (running, biking, Stairmaster or elliptical machines) five or six times a week. He also likes to hit the waves up to five to six times a week.

OK...with the exception of surfing I do all that and I don't LOOK LIKE THAT. :-(

Oh boy. I had a doozy of a dream last night. Here goes.

I was doing a triathlon at Benbrook Lake in Ft. Worth. For the swim portion of it we had to swim through a sewage pipe. However, when we exited the pipe there wasn't enough water for us to continue our swim so we were in a holding pattern waiting for more water. Everybody is just kinda standin' around and I have to pee. So I go to the restroom and pee and come back to the group and they're still waiting for water to be released from the damn (and I still have to pee).

The water is finally released from the damn and we have to swim upstream (like salmon). I'm holding my own with the group.

Once we finish the swim it is time to start the run (and for those of you who know about triathlons this is outta order 'cause you're supposed to bike after the swim). However, before we could actually start the run, we had to play a game of Dodge Ball followed by a game of Kick Ball.

I was so p!ssed off because as a kid I hated both of those games. So I suck it in and start heading toward the games (and I still have to pee). That is when I finally awakened and REALLY had to pee.

Have a good day everybody.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 3.4

The Headache Continues
OK. It hasn't been a constant headache since Saturday but this afternoon it started coming back. Barometric pressure? Need to have my eyes checked? The heat? I don't know.

All I know is that a swarm of tsetse flies must have attacked me because I took a 1.5 hour nap today and I'm getting sleepy and I have a tinge of a headache. UGH!

I had every intention of getting to Memorial Park early this morning. I went to bed last night at 900P but didn't wake up until 645A this morning. I never sleep this much!

Tsetse flies I tell ya!

Hurricane Update
OK. Hurricane Dean will strike south of the U.S. border. This was a good drill. As mentioned in a previous post, we are approaching the peak of the season. And to prove it here is a graph of when things peak. As you can see, we won't be out of the woods until some time in October.

Here is a satellite image of Hurricane Dean taken earlier today:

OK bois and gurrls...The Calvinator needs to go for a quick pee and then I need to get to bed. I'm meeting RunnerOne in the morning at the park. Let's hope I wake up!