Thursday, September 27, 2007

Name Calling

I was at a cocktail party/fundraiser this evening for Equality Texas and I received a text message. I didn't look at it until I got home. Here is what it said: Wh_re!

That got me to thinking. In the past week, I have been called two new names. Tonight's wh_re isn't anything new. I've been called worse by better people. LOL

So you're probably wondering, "What were you called?" Well, a week ago Tuesday I was called a cesspool. That was a new one. And when the person said it, it really didn't register until Realtor Alan kind of gave me a look. Of all the names I've been called, that was a new one.

So then on Tuesday night, the name was changed from cesspool to kiosk. LOL I was told it sounded much better than cesspool and it was more Russian sounding. LOL

And speaking of time when I was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras I was covered in beads. Someone walked up to me and said, "Bead wh_re!" To which I replied, "At least I have the word bead before wh_re rather than just being a wh_re like you!"

Maybe one day I'll come up with a whole list of names I've been called throughout my life. It may take awhile to compose it; I've been around for awhile.

In other news...
One more comment about Trash Disco.

On September 1st, the City of Houston enacted a No Smoking policy in bars. I hadn't been into a bar since the policy went into effect and let me tell you, it makes a HUGE difference.
When I walked into the Cha-Cha Palace...I mean Rich's...on Sunday, it didn't smell like it usually does. And get this: I didn't have to come home and throw my clothes in the washer and jump in the shower to get the smell of smoke off of me. It reminded me of going to bars in California and getting back to the hotel not smelling like you had been at a bar.

I know. I know. I know. The smokers don't like the policy because it infringes upon their rights, etc. Well folks, I can't take up for you on this one. You can always go outside and puff.

Attack of the Tsetse flies (again)

I was with Blaine yesterday at the Krewe's storage unit and there must have tsetse flies out there because by 1000p last night I was fast asleep on the couch. At some point, I made it to the bedroom and The Calvinator was fast asleep. I guess I didn't set the alarm because I didn't wake up until 700A. Which means I didn't go running.

HOWEVER, I thought I'd be smart and go at noon. After all, there were rain clouds in the area and I figured it would rain and cool off a bit. WRONG!

What was I thinking? It had to be around 90 degrees and the clouds disappeared and the sun came out. That was one of the hardest 3 miles I have run in a long time. I do have to look at it this way though, at least I got three miles in today.

Fais Do Do (from Wikipedia):

Fais do-do is a name for a Cajun dance party, originating before World War II. According to Mark Humphrey's notes from the Roots n' Blues CD "Cajun Dance Party - Fais Do-Do", the parties were named for "...the gentle command ('go to sleep') young mothers offered bawling infants." He quotes early Cajun musician Edwin Duhon of the Hackberry Ramblers, "She'd go to the cry room, give the baby a nipple and say, 'Fais do-do.' She'd want the baby to go to sleep fast, 'cause she's worried about her husband dancing with somebody else out there."

'Do-do' itself is a shortening of the French verb dormir (to sleep), used primarily in speaking to small children. Comparable to the American English "beddy-bye", it is still commonly used by French-speaking people.

More about this in an upcoming post!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 4.3

I feel like I have quite a bit to tell you but I'm not sure how much you want to know. So I guess, I'll just jump in and see how much I can ramble.

Trash Disco Party

The Krewe had a party at Rich's on Sunday. I finally got the photos off of my camera sorted through a helluva lot of pics. Here are a few:

To see many, many more pics, click here.

That first pic reminds me of a funny incident from a few years ago. AttyHou and I were at JR's one night. Madonna's cd Ray Of Light had been released and they were showing the video to the title song.

A guy that we know who is really cute and nice but might be short 1 taco on his combination plate walks over and starts singing. Well, the chorus is: And I feel like I just got home And I feel And I feel like I just got home And I feel

However Mr. Cute & Nice is singing: And I feel like a disco ball And I feel And I feel like a disco ball And I feel

We couldn't stop laughing. And to this day whenever I hear Ray Of Light or I see a disco ball I think of that night at JR's.

And before I forget, thank you to everyone who showed up on Sunday!

World AIDS Day

Some of you know that I have volunteered some time to work on World AIDS Day Houston. I will be putting more information out here in a couple of weeks but please know that there will be events happening Nov. 30 - Dec. 2.

We had another meeting last night and I left there feeling good. Sometimes I wonder if the things I do really make a difference and last night was sort of a reaffirmation. I had a good feeling driving through Midtown on my way back to NoRO.


RunnerOne wanted to meet at Rice U yesterday afternoon. I was really dreading it because he has this workout that has me running up and down the stairs. Plus, it was hot! I had already been to LeFittes earlier in the day.

As it turns out, we did a loop around the campus that consisted of alternating jogging with fast running. I kept pace with him until the last segment.

Normally I allow 23-24 hours between runs but if I did that then I wouldn't be able to get a run in today so...

After I dropped off The Calvinator at doggy daycare, I went to Memorial Park for a 3 mile jaunt this morning. hurt at first but I ran through the pain and felt good when I finished.

If any of who have ever run a marathon, or you are thinking about it, take a look at this clip for Spirt of the Marathon. I can't necessarily relate to the elite runners but I can relate the Average Joes in the movie.

The Calvinator

I took him to get groomed the other day. He doesn't like to go to the groomer but he always looks so handsome when they're finished with him. On our way home from the groomer I took him to Memorial Park. A lady stopped and said how cute he looked. After she walked away, I said, "You see!"

Anywho...I took this photo of him on Monday.

And Tuesday, he tried to maul me again. Well, it turns out I was sitting on the cushion where he had hidden his rawhide. Once I got out of the way and he was able to get it, he was fine. Or maybe he tried to maul me because he didn't like wearing my sunglasses. I don't get it. They're Oakleys! It's not like a put a pair from the Dollar Store on him.

He is passed out right now. I just love it when he goes to doggy daycare!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


"...I can remember, you can remember, and I'm sure Jesse Helms can remember, a time in this country when the word crackpot meant something. It is getting harder and harder to tell when the mainstream stops and the lunatic fringe begins." -Ann Richard

There have been a couple of things in the news that I feel the need to comment on. I don't expect you to agree with me so if at anytime you don't like what you're reading, you are more than welcome to stop reading and come back when I have something amusing to say.

Let's start with, as Whoopi would say, "I'm A Dinner Jacket" otherwise known as Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Many people are upset that he was invited to speak at Columbia University. Everyone is welcome to their opinion.

I can't believe he accepted the invitation. I hope he didn't think that students would sit there and believe everything that he said. There probably wasn't a better group of people to skewer the guy. What's that saying about it's better to keep your my mouth shut and look like a fool rather than open your mouth and prove you are a fool.

(from the AP):
He sought to portray himself as an intellectual and argued that his regime had respect for reason and science. But the former engineering professor soon found himself drawn into the type of rhetoric that has alienated American audiences in the past.

He provoked derisive laughter by responding to a question about Iran's execution of homosexuals by saying: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. ... I don't know who's told you that we have this."

Well, the reason you think you don't have any homosexuals in your country is probably because they have all been executed.

Let's move on to the 2nd crackpot of the day: Bill O'Reilly.

(from Media Matters):
During the September 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, discussing his recent trip to have dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia's, a famous restaurant in Harlem, Bill O'Reilly reported that he "had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful," adding:

"I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship."

Later, during a discussion with National Public Radio senior correspondent and Fox News contributor Juan Williams about the effect of rap on culture, O'Reilly asserted:

"There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' You know, I mean, everybody was -- it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all."

O'Reilly also stated: "I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the Sharptons and the [Rev. Jesse] Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture. They're just trying to figure it out. 'Look, I can make it. If I work hard and get educated, I can make it."

What the F___? I mean, come on. I wonder if he has ever been to a Mexican restaurant in a Mexican neighborhood in a city like Houston or Ft. Worth? He probably thinks everyone walks in with a switchblade?
I guess what scares me about Bill O'Reilly is that he has people who actually listen to him and buy his books.

I'm still shaking my head over this one!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tropical Depression #46 (revisited)

As promised, here are some photos from the party on the 15th. An apology is extended to those people who were not photographed. I had someone lined up to take photos for the evening and a message got to me late in the evening that this person would not be there. A couple of people took my camera and snapped some shots. I think you can tell that a good time was had by all.

For more photos, click here and look for Tropical Depression #46. Also, I guess I should 'splain a couple of things. Everyone was offered strands of beads. I'm a bead wh_re and a founding member of BeadBoys so it only made sense to have beads; long white strands and a dog with a birthday cake. In addition to this, I found a pair of FEMA Trailer beads on ebay.

In the photo gallery are photos of napkins that I used at the party. I'll let you come to your own conclusions.

Alice Ghostley

Yesterday at Trash Disco I was told that Alice Ghostly had died. I was turning the beat around so it really didn't set in until this morning.

(from the New York Times)

Alice Ghostley, a Tony Award-winning actress who became known to television viewers for her roles as dizzy sidekicks on “Bewitched” and “Designing Women,” died yesterday at her home in Studio City, Calif. Her age was usually given as 81.

The cause was cancer, said a longtime friend, the actress Kaye Ballard, who said that she was actually about two years older.

Ms. Ghostley made more than 90 television appearances in a career that spanned six decades. She was a regular on the situation comedy “Bewitched” from 1966 through 1972, playing Esmeralda, a shy, bumbling witch whose spells never worked, who caused unintentional havoc whenever she sneezed and who turned invisible when she became nervous.

From 1986 through 1993, she played a more-than-usually wacky neighbor, Bernice Clifton, on the hit show “Designing Women.” In one episode, plastic surgery gone awry gives her a pig’s nose, which she wears with aplomb, then with mounting embarrassment until it is repaired. She also appeared in “Evening Shade,” “Love, American Style” and “Mayberry R.F.D.”.

While essentially a comic actress, she won a Tony for best supporting actress in 1965 for her performance in a drama, “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window,” by Lorraine Hansberry, author of “A Raisin in the Sun.” Ms. Ghostley played the conventional sister of the show’s star, Rita Moreno.

Ms. Ghostley also received a Tony nomination in 1963 for her performance in “The Beauty Part,” a fantasy by S. J. Perelman.

Alice Margaret Ghostley was born in Eve, Mo. She first attracted notice in “New Faces of 1952,” one in a series of Broadway revues staged by the producer Leonard Sillman; that edition helped start the careers of Paul Lynde, Eartha Kitt and Carol Lawrence. Ms. Ghostley’s big moment was her rendering of the song “The Boston Beguine,” a sendup of proper Bostonians.

She is survived by her sister, Gladys. Her husband, the actor Felice Orlandi, died in 2003.

Ms. Ghostley appeared in 30 films, including “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Graduate.” While she never won an Oscar, she did accept one, standing in for her friend and fellow “New Faces” alumna Maggie Smith in 1970, who was named best actress for her starring role in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.”

I remember her on Bewitched but I really took an appreciation for her acting ability when she was on Designing Women. One of my favorite Bernice moments was when she was wearing a Christmas tree know the kind made out of felt and is supposed to go around the bottom of a Christmas tree...and when it is pointed out to her she comments that it was a bit tight and she had trouble putting it on. LOL


In yesterday's rambling...I mean post...I commented that I ate some Macho Nachos and drank some beer.

Well, this morning I was paying the price for my antics.

doing weights for the legs (Sunday) +

drinking beer (Sunday) +

reliving my youth on the dance floor at Rich's (Sunday) +

Macho Nachos from JAX (Sunday) =

an OK 3 mile run on Monday morning.

I was feeling every bit of my age this morning when I went running. I almost quit after 1/10 of a mile.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Do You Want To Funk?

I returned to NoRO a little while ago after spending part of the day at Rich's. Krewe of Olympus hosted a Trash Disco Party. We had about 300 or so people show up. Many of us were reliving our high school or college days. I knew it was going to be a fun time when the first song played was the EP of Blondie's Heart of Glass. I think my vinyl disc is still in storage at Joe & Helen's. I *heart* Heart of Glass.

Kudos go out to Blaine for putting this together.

I'm sure people will be calling their chiropractors tomorrow to get an adjustment. They were boogie oogie oogoing 'til they just couldn't boogie no more. And I had a brain fart today. I couldn't remember the dance steps to the Bee Gees' Night Fever.

One song that wasn't played (and trust me most of the disco hits were played in a three hour period) is Sylvester's Do You Want To Funk? This is by no means moi in the video but if you want to dance alone in your living room, click on the play button.

I'm probably going to be feeling a little tired in the morning. I think I had one too many beers. Normally I'm a vodka drinker but I knew that I had to get home, walk The Calvinator and get something to eat. And the Macho Nachos from JAX will probably cause my tummy to hurt in the a.m. Also, I'm carb friendly and beer has carbs and if I decide to run in the a.m., I'll be loaded up on carbs!

Well the problem with drinking beer is that it makes me pee...and pee...and pee. And speaking of pee, did you see the article in today's Parade Magazine? One of the first things I learned when I started running is to look at the color of your pee to determine if you are hydrated. Later on, I realized that taking any type of a B complex vitamin will make your pee glow in the dark...sort of. Anywho, the link to the article isn't available but it was very interesting.

So when I'm talking about pee and Sylvester is asking Do You Want To Funk?...I guess it is time to say goodnight.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Buh-buh-buh-buh-Bennie and The Jets

I think I broke my alarm clock this morning. I really wanted to get to Memorial Park around 630A or so. So the alarm went off and in my attempt to hit the snooze I knocked it to the floor and never went off again.

I finally woke up and got The Calvinator out the door around 710A or so for our morning stroll. I saw guys carrying stuff down an alley and putting the stuff in a van. Immediately I thought it was a burglary in progress only to realize some of my neighbors were having a garage sale and these were some customers.

It was actually a good morning for a run. I had a good 7 mile run. Yesterday I loaded Elton John Rocket Man n Number Ones onto the iPod nano. I had listened to a few of the tunes yesterday at LeFittes so I decided I'd give it another whirl this morning on the run.

Wow! Talk about a trip down memory lane.

One of my favorite songs by Elton John is Bennie and The Jets. I consider this some of Elton's best piano playing. The syncopation is flawless. And I guess I never realized that Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) is a great running song especially on a Saturday morning with low humidity and a moderate temperature.

Many of the other songs took me back to my youth. The one that I appreciated later in life is Tiny Dancer. It wasn't until I watched Almost Famous that I took a true liking to this song. I always visualize the scene on the bus when they're singing the song and I always think of Penny Lane. And I remember being on the flight to Sydney and listening to this song and playing it over and over and over (not quite for 18 hours though).


I'm a bit spent right now while I'm composing this and watching the Ugly Betty marathon on abc family.

Earlier I met up with the blogger formerly known as LoneStar Steve. We met at the office in Montrose and I must say that it was much more active than the one on Memorial Drive in NoRO.

The atmosphere at the Montrose location allows folks to be much more flamboyant but what was happening outside was much more interesting/disturbing.

First of all, a bird was stuck in a tree; not a cat. The bird had it's foot caught in a piece of wire(?) and was hanging upside down. I thought it was dead but the blogger formerly known as LoneStar Steve pointed out it was alive which explained why customers and employees were trying to free it. Eventually mission accomplished.

Just as we were getting ready to leave, we noticed a man across the street was laying on the sidewalk face down. An employee and several outdoor customers ran over to help him. My initial thought was some type of seizure or something related to diabetes. I think it was diabetes related. The police and an ambulance arrived.

Before moving to NoRO, I lived in Montrose. It is a very eclectic neighborhood and there is ALWAYS something going on. Today was just a microcosm.

But back to the blogger formerly known as LoneStar Steve. I almost didn't recognize him. His hair is back to it's natural color. He has lost weight. He is toning up. He has a nice tan going. Add all of that to a great personality and well you should just bottle it up and sell it and make a fortune.

It was fun to sit there and laugh and catch up. I hadn't seen him since Kaye Sedilla was in town. Kaye is so high maintenance that I barely had to time to visit with the blogger formerly know as LoneStar Steve.

So...The Calvinator is passed out right now and I think I might join him for a short nap.

Catch up with you later.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just A Reminder:

Krewe of Olympus will be hosting Trash Disco at Rich's on Sunday, September 23 from 400P - 700P. The club is located at 2401 San Jacinto. $5 gets you past the velvet rope. Dust off your tambourine. Polish your whistle. And get ready to "boogie 'til you just can't boogie no more."

Unhinged Production presents Sordid Lives. The show opens on Friday, September 21 and runs through October 20. More information can be found here.

Dr. Eve: You have got to get over this Tammy Wynette fixation!

Brother Boy: Well, someone's got to carry on her legacy now that she's gone!

Dr. Eve: You've been doing this for twenty-three years! What was your excuse before she died?

Brother Boy: My mind's a blank.

What would you do if...

I was supposed to meet RunnerOne this morning at 545A for a jaunt around Memorial Park. When I woke up at 445A, I had a text mssg stating that he wasn't feeling well and wouldn't make it. So...what to do? Go back to bed? Go for a run?

Calvin was still asleep and mozied over to the couch and went back to sleep while I putzed around trying to decide what to do. I was feeling a bit run down and couldn't figure out why and then I remembered that I had a "few" glasses of Flying Pig Shiraz with dinner on Wednesday night.
EDIT: It isn't Flying Pig Shiraz. It is Pigs In The Sky Shiraz.

A small group of us did a pre-birthday dinner celebration for Nichole at Vietnamese Restaurant on 19th Street in The Heights. Good food at a reasonable price with a personable restaurant owner/chef and lots of gossip and laughter makes for a fun evening.

So anywho...after our morning walk and lookout for burglars, I went to Memorial Park and did a 3 mile run. After my run I made my way to the office. On my way I was listening to Sam Malone. His morning crew was talking about O.J. Simpson flying back to Ft. Lauderdale after he was released on bail. From what I understand, O.J. flew in Coach and people were taking photos of him, etc.

So the question presented to Sam's listeners was: "What would you do if you were on a plane with O.J.?" The responses were varied. I didn't have the radio station's phone number but this is what I would have said to Sam: "I would check the in-flight magazine to look at the movie listings to determine if Snakes On A Plane was the movie they would be showing."

And I guess it's time for the Las Vegas Office of Tourism to change their catch phrase because based on O.J.'s escapades it is obvious that what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

News You May Have Missed

I heard two stories today that are rather disturbing. The first one involves a mother who set her children on fire. This took place in Haltom City, TX, which happens to be the suburb of Ft. Worth where I grew up.

I sent Helen an e-mail today to find out what she knew about it and it turns out it happened two blocks from Joe & Helen! Joe & Helen heard the sirens, etc. but didn't go to investigate what was happening down the street. (I wonder where I got my Gladys Kravitz gene?)

If you want to read more about the story, here is the link to Houston Chronicle.

The second story is something that I have witnessed. A study was done about hand washing. It concludes that 1/3 of men do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

I have noticed this at LeFittes. I've seen guys go to the urinal, shake it and then leave without ever going to wash their hands and THEN they go back to the gym floor!

Now, I will admit there have been times that I haven't washed my hands but it only happens when I'm running and have to use a Port-O-Potty and there isn't any place to wash your hands or there isn't any hand sanitizer available. In an instance like that it is what it is because there is no choice.

In fact, I think I've become a bit obsessive/compulsive about washing my hands ever since I took possession of Calvin a few years ago. I feel like I am constantly washing my hands and I go through rolls of paper towels like there's no tomorrow.

And speaking of paper towels....I went to buy some today and there was a double pack of Brawny Paper Towels with the Brawny Man on the packaging. However, the double pack had Mary Engelbreit designs on them. Isn't this sort of a contradiction?

Here's the Brawny Man:

And here's the Mary Engelbreit design:

As it turns out, it was cheaper to buy two single rolls with no design than it was to buy the contradictory double pack.

Now this third story is actually kind of funny because I know how frustrated the guy must have been. I ran across this from Kenneth In The 212.

I can totally relate to the attacker's frustration! In fact, I haven't been to spin class in awhile and the last time I was there a guy in front of me was grunting and swearing and shaking his head and stopping when it got too difficult. Dude. You control the tension on the bike! Adjust it!!!




September 18, 2007 -- He's not doing much "whooping" now.

A Manhattan hedge-fund manager whose loud grunting and cheering during an Upper East Side spin class allegedly led a fed-up broker on the bike nearby to nearly break his neck is furious that prosecutors aren't treating the assault as a felony.

"This wasn't just a playground fall where Stewy fell down and went boo hoo," angry victim Stuart Sugarman said when told that his alleged attacker was charged yesterday with a mere misdemeanor.

"The reality is I spent two weeks in Lenox Hill [Hospital], including a week in ICU and six hours in surgery," Sugarman complained. "My life has been altered, possibly permanently. This is not a misdemeanor."

Sugarman, 48, a fund manager and investment banker at Sunrise Financial Group, admits that he noisily war-whooped, groaned and shouted, "You go, girl!" during his last spin workout Aug. 15 at an Equinox gym on East 85th Street. That, he says, didn't give broker Christopher Carter, who was three bikes over, the right to repeatedly yell, "Shut the f- - - up!" and then leap off his Schwinn and come charging at him.

The grunting Sugarman is accusing the allegedly berserk broker - both men top 200 pounds - of tilting Sugarman's stationary bike's front wheel up a yard off the floor and flipping the bike and Sugarman into a wall.

Sugarman suffered a concussion from the bike's falling on top of him, along with damage to six discs in the vertebrae of his neck. His surgeon, he said, tells him he was "one click away from a wheelchair."

"The guy had a spinal-cord contusion with major surgery to his neck involving the use of cadaver tissue and multiple metal plates and screws," said Sugarman's lawyer, Samuel Davis.

The criminal complaint lodged yesterday against Carter, 44, of Maxim Investments Group, only accuses him of causing "sustained lower-back pain" and "substantial pain" but makes no mention of the serious physical injury needed to characterize an assault as a felony.

Prosecutors declined to comment on the case. Carter's lawyer, Michael Farkas, said only that his client "did not commit any criminal acts."

"Mr. Sugarman is clearly taking advantage of the criminal-justice system to build some civil lawsuit," he said. Sugarman has yet to file a suit.


I haven't heard anything else about the break in yesterday. I will tell you that I didn't sleep well last night. Before I went to bed I told The Calvinator that he was on duty. He was asleep by 1030p.

He woke up at 545A when I did. We both heard a noise in the backyard and it frightened the sh_t out of me. He started barking and I was up turning on lights and looking out windows. It may have been one of my critters making their last run before the sun came up.

Since I was awake, I took him for his morning stroll. Including myself, I counted 7 people walking their dogs and five people going to work between 610A and 630A. Once again, why would anyone attempt a burglary at that hour of the morning?

After we finished our stroll, I went to Memorial Park for a 4 mile run.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 4.2

I was actually going to title this post Ramblings Of A Constipated Mind but then I went to eat at JAX Grille and ate a HUGE Chicken Caesar Salad and now I think things might flow like they should.

You've prolly noticed that I haven't been putting much out here. A big part of that is because I was getting ready for Tropical Depression #46. Another part of it is because I feel like I'm having a bit of writer's block and since I can't take a laxative for that I'm not sure what to do. Maybe a Martini or two? And something is really bothering me today so maybe if I write about it and get it off of my mind, that will help.


After a wonderful Friday evening with Linda Eder, I overslept on Saturday morning. I didn't on the alarm clock and just happened to wake up. I took The Calvinator for his morning stroll and then went over to Memorial Park. I only had time for a 5 mile run which I guess is better than nothing at all. If I had more time, I could have done an additional 2 or 3 miles but I had things to do and people to see.

The good thing about Saturday's run is that I didn't have a case of droopy drawers. The humidity was high but not as high as the previous Saturday so I wasn't sweating as much.

The rest of the day was spent getting ready for Tropical Depression #46. I was up to my eyeballs in Jambalaya. When Jim and I lived together I remember he told me one time, "Nobody makes Jambalaya like you do." Over the years I have received several additional compliments. So when it came time to decide about catering vs. cooking, I opted for cooking.

I couldn't have done the party without Ben's help and Michael's creative eye. Ben made dozens of mini-Po' Boys. We used the Antone's concept of putting Chow-Chow with mayo for the dressing and they were yummy! Ben also created a recipe for Cajun Vegetable Dip. It had a secret ingredient that I won't reveal. And we also served Zapp's Chips and Praline Brownies from Acadian Bakers.

I didn't do a full bar. Guests had the choice of Barefoot Cellars Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, beer (Bud Light, Abita and O'Doul's), soft drinks (Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite) and a special Tropical Depression #46 frozen drink (Hurricane mix with orange vodka, an umbrella and a cherry). I didn't think I was going to like the TD #46 drink but that sucker was good!

The party was at Legacy's Resale Store. In lieu of a birthday present I asked the guests to consider making a monetary donation to Legacy or to bring an item for the store. Also, some of my guests have been longtime supporters of Legacy and this party was also serving as a thank you for all that you have done type event.

I'm not trying to sound egotistical but it was a fun time. Kenny In Montrose (KIM) wrote this about the party:

In theory the party benefited Legacy Resale Shop but in reality it was just flat out fun. The guests all enjoyed each other so much fun that they stayed until the bitter end.

I'm not sure if you have ever made Jambalaya but it's all about getting the right ingredients in the right proportions. That's sort of how I view the party. It wasn't all about the food and drinks. It was about having a good mix of friends for a good cause and making sure everyone had a good time.

And all of this couldn't have been done without the help of some of Legacy's staff: Alaina, Martha, Phil and Chris.

I haven't had a chance to work on the photos but I'll be getting those on here soon.


So this is what's bothering me.

This morning I woke up a bit later than usual and didn't get out with The Calvinator until around 645A. We were on our usual morning route and a block away I saw 2 HPD cars and there were cops walking the perimeter of a fenced yard.

When we came back around on the other side of the block there were 3 HPD K-9 units which is never a good sign. Of course, the dogs could see The Calvinator but he couldn't see them and he could hear them in their SUVs so he is going nuts in the middle of the street.

I left Calvin at the house and then went for a 3 mile run at Memorial Park. There was no way I wasn't going to enjoy the low humidity morning!!!

Later in the day when we went for our mid-day stroll I saw a lady near one of the houses on Dickson where the cops had been. Turns out she is the mother of the guy that lives in one of the houses.

This morning around 600A while he was asleep upstairs 2 men broke into his house. When he realized what was happening he called 911. The cops told him that there has been a rash of burglaries in the 'hood and they're happening between 500A-700A. What the f___? People are still home at that hour! Somebody is either cracked out or has a big set of cajones.

If I had awakened at my normal time, we would have been near the house around the time that the break in happened. Awhile back I stopped carrying my cell phone and mace with me on our walks but I guess it's time I start doing it again.

So let's see...leash, poop bag, keys, cell phone, mace...I guess I'll just put Calvin in a wagon and haul him along with everything else. :-) Actually, I normally wear a pair of running shorts or gym shorts so I guess I'll wear cargo shorts instead. I'll designate one pair for Calvin walking.
I thought when I left Montrose and moved to NoRO life would be quiet. Oh well.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Day After Tomorrow

When I last left you, I had posted photo of a pot of Jambalaya and I promised more info tomorrow. Well, tomorrow (which was Saturday) is done and gone so here it is Sunday which is the day after tomorrow. (And now I'm humming Tomorrow from Annie.)
Quite a bit has transpired in the past few days; all of it good. And rather than give you a recap of the past few days and bore you, I'll do it in snippets so that you will come back to find out what happens next and still be bored.

In anticipation of Humberto showing up on Thursday, I did all of my grocery shopping for Tropical Depression #46 on Wednesday. So Thursday, I went ahead and started some of the prep work for making Jambalaya.

Thursday night Everyday Italian, AttyHou and I went to Eastman Gallery for a gallery opening. Legacy received a portion of the proceeds from the evening. Ran into some art aficionados that I had not seen in awhile. Of course with this group, all you had to say was open bar and they're there! It has nothing to do with viewing and/or purchasing art.

I REALLY wanted to go workout on Friday but cooking the Jambalaya took most of the morning. I had errands to run and things to do and before I knew it I had to start getting ready to see Linda Eder. The performance started at 700P so that also meant not eating dinner since I didn't eat lunch until 200P.

Everyday Italian, AttyHou and I trotted our happy asses down to the Wortham Center. Living in NoRO makes it VERY convenient to the Theatre District. We live about 3 miles from the district and I really should take advantage of the proximity.

Anywho, Bret and Karl from the 006 met us there. Many familiar faces were in the audience including Realtor Ben and Realtor Alan who were 2 rows behind us.

Prior to Linda coming onstage Scott Brogan from Brilliant Lectures spoke about upcoming shows. He said that Julie Andrews will be in Houston in December. Then he said Diana Ross will be here in February '08. When he said that, there was a collective gay gasp and we started laughing. We weren't laughing at Diana Ross. We were laughing because there was no response from the audience when he mentioned Julie Andrew's name but Diana Ross gets a collective gay gasp!

Linda Eder put on a wonderful show! She was backed by a small group of musicians so it was just them and her on the stage. I'd like to say that she sang ALL of my favorites but well...she left out I Am What I Am and Something To Believe In.

And she really is a true professional. During a ballad there was an audio problem (too many details) and she stopped the song and made a couple of jokes and said she would come back to the song later. Later in the evening when she was doing a different song there was a tacet in the music and someone's cell phone starts to ring. She just smiled, sort of chuckled and kept on with the song. Of course, once the piece was finished she had a comment. In both instances she could have had a diva moment and thrown a tantrum but she dealt with the situation at hand.

I'm really glad that we made the time to see her. If you ever have the opportunity to see her perform, make the effort.

Oh...and of course I had to buy the limited edition or Barnes & Noble exclusive of her new cd. Well actually, I was going to pay but AttyHou threw his money in front of mine and paid and wished me a happy birthday.

So that gets us through Friday night. I'll be back with more weekend stuff!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Son of gun we'll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya, a crawfish pie, and file gumbo...

More info tomorrow.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Good Thing About The Good Side

Well TS Humberto upgraded himself to a hurricane and then decided not to visit Houston. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Not sure how I lost track of what was happening but I read that around 1100P last night the warning was lifted for Harris County.

Humberto decided to go east and made landfall on High Island. Because it went east and NoRO is west of the hurricane, we didn't get any rain. We're on the good side of the storm. In fact, it was pleasant this morning when The Calvinator and I went for our morning stroll.

I was a bit late getting to Memorial Park 'cause I figured it would be pouring down rain this morning and set the alarm for later than usual. Instead of dripping with sweat by the 1/2 mile mark, I didn't start sweating until the 1 mile mark. THAT'S how I know the humidity level was lower than usual.

Humberto should be a reminder to all of us on the Gulf Coast. He popped up out of nowhere and within 24 hours went from being a low pressure system to a hurricane. There was a run on the grocery stores yesterday afternoon. I think many people were concerned about getting stuck at home due to flooding. Why didn't they already have their supplies?

I'll say it again: "Don't let your guard down. It's still hurricane season."

Strange coincidence...I'm doing a Tropical Depression Party (#46) on Saturday at Legacy's Resale Store. If Humberto had formed a few days later, I might have had an unexpected guest. Guess my timing was a bit off.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Waiting For Godot...uh, I mean Humberto

OK. So I sorta missed the last weather forecast and I've been looking at satellite images and someone is getting quite a bit of rain right now but it isn't raining in NoRO...yet. I did hear that if you live east of I-45 you had a high probability of getting hit hard. Well, I live about 3 miles west of I-45 so I don't nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies...I mean about storm tracking.

It has been odd today 'cause clouds are swirling all around us. Coming at us from different directions. That how it is with tropical storms. Ya just never know which way the rain is gonna come from.

It did rain for a bit while I was at LeFittes but by the time I finished there was some sun peeking through the clouds.

With all of these clouds swirling around me, I found myself humming Judy Collins' Both Sides Now.

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere,
I've looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun they rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

545P CDT 091207 Looking South from NoRO

555P CDT 091207 Looking south at from the NoRO/RO border

740P CDT 091207 Looking west from NoRO

Tropical Storm Humberto (12:52P CDT)

I was right! :-)

(from, Texas -- A tropical storm formed off the coast of southeast Texas on Wednesday and is expected to move into the Houston area soon, KPRC Local 2 reported.

A tropical storm warning was issued from Port O'Connor, Texas to Cameron, La. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the next 24 hours.

A flash flood watch was also issued for part of southeast Texas until 7 p.m. Thursday.

The center of Tropical Storm Humberto was about 55 miles south-southwest of Galveston at latitude 28.3 N and longitude 95.1 W. The storm was moving toward the north-northwest at 6 mph and had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

"Basically we're looking at a 10-hour landfall at about 9 p.m. or a little after that," KPRC Local 2 meteorologist Anthony Yanez said.

The forecast models indicate the system will make landfall near Galveston.

"It would make landfall just east of Galveston Island," Yanez said. "If it flows a little bit more to the west or off to the east, it almost doesn't matter because no matter where this goes it's grabbing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and moving it into southeast Texas."

The storm is expected to be directly on top of Houston on Thursday morning.

"It's moving slow and that is bad with a tropical storm," Yanez said. "You do not want a tropical storm moving slow because it is going to dump a tremendous amount of rain."

Wind speeds in Houston and Galveston were moving out of the north, and Yanez said that could cause trouble as the storm nears.

"What's going to happen is the storm is going to slow down because you have these competing winds that are moving against each other," Yanez said. "It's not the southerly wind where it can hit and race on out of here. Whenever you have that collision, it's going to slow this storm down.

Obviously, with a storm like this that could bring in some incredibly heavy amounts of rain."

Yanez said 5 to 10 inches of rain is likely over the next two days and some spots could see up to 15 inches.

"If we see that, we're not going to be able to handle that," Yanez said. "We just can't handle that much rain. It's moving at 6 mph. The formula is you divide that by 100. You could see 16 inches of rain. That would be the huge danger for us in Houston. That's not meant to scare anybody, that's just meant as a reality."
The system is expected to continue to affect the area through Friday."
This is something that we are going to be dealing with for quite a while," Yanez said.

Tropical Depression #9

Within the past 6 hours, a low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico, has developed into a tropical depression. It is just off the coast of Texas and a bit south of Houston which's gonna be wet for the next few days. It is moving north which means it probably will not develop into a hurricane (but how about a tropical storm?).

I'll keep you posted. As they say on 20/20, "We're in touch so you're in touch."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Dog's Life

I ran with RunnerOne this afternoon. He didn't try to de-wimp today. We did a 1/2 mile warm-up and then did 10 x 200m sprints. Finished it up with a 1/2 mile walk-run back to The Cal Mobile. It was a good workout but right now I can feel my calves having spasms. I've already had 2 bottle of Gatorade. And I'm tired.

Earlier today, I walked into the living room to check on The Calvinator. This is what I found:

Sometimes you need something like this to put a smile on your face.

Good night!

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 4.1

Yesterday marked the peak of hurricane season. Still too early to say, "The coast is clear." Remember, it was around September 23/24, 2005 when Rita made landfall and wiped out the rest of southwestern Louisiana and The Golden Triangle of Texas.

Today marks the 6th Anniversary of 9/11 (the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon). I got a snippet of the ceremony held near Ground Zero in NYC and it really got to me.

I had a meeting today and then went to lunch with AttyHou. On my way back to NoRO I heard Green Day's When September Ends. There are several songs that put a lump in my throat and that is one of them. Included on this list is: Seasons Of Love; Alone Again (Naturally); On Eagles Wings; Be Not Afraid; and Rainy Days & Mondays. There are more songs.

Yesterday was a fun day. I made my way to The Galleria to wish Neiman-Marcus a 100th Happy Birthday! They were giving away their famous cookie. Of course I strolled around N-M like I belonged there.

The cookie had its own special shopping bag.

Close-up of the cookie (before I ate the whole thing).

A small tin of mints (for after an office visit).

I had to get a look at the N-M exclusive Prada shoe. I think it was only $995. Pocket change for an oil tycoon. They had a really nice looking shirt by Robert Graham for about $180 or so. Don't worry...I didn't buy either item.

I did stroll around The Galleria. Purchased a new protective cover for the iPod nano. It is red just like the nano.

And of course I had to make my obligatory pilgrimage to the mother ship...Nordstrom

I did do a 3 mile run first thing in the morning and get this...I actually made it to LeFittes to do some weights. It was a quick workout 'cause Everyday Italian and AttyHou wanted to go out to dinner. It's always nice to return to the scene of the crime so we went to Cyclone Anayas. The last time I was there I was a bit tipsy when I left. Not last night though.

I had to be sure to eat my Neiman-Marcus cookie before I went to bed. I know. That can't be good for the body but it sure tasted good.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Let Me Entetain You. Let Me Make You Smile."

So I went to see Whistle Down The Wind. It was a 200p performance and I was actually surprised at how some people were dressed...not in a bad way. Some people REALLY dressed up! Keep in mind though, this observation is coming from someone who goes to Mass wearing shorts and sandals during the summer months; it's just too hot. Today I was dressed casual chic. was time for the curtain to rise and I think it was Frank Young from Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) who comes out to welcome us...blah, blah, blah. Then he says there is somebody that wants to talk to us before the show starts and I'm thinking Andrew Lloyd Webber is going to come out at which point I was anticipating peeing in my pants.

Instead, it was Bill Kenwright who is the Producer/Director of the show. In addition to being impressed I start to become a bit concerned.

He informs us that we are the very first audience to ever see this production and he hopes we like the show. (I start having flashbacks to Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? The Musical.) He said he would be doing his notes during the show and that we are welcome to get with him after the show to offer our thoughts...unless we didn't like it then just leave. :-) He said that if we liked the show, then all of America will like the show and he hopes that it runs for a very long time.

So the show starts and to be quite honest with you it wasn't bad. I recognized some of the songs and when put in the context of the story they take on a different meaning. It was quite enjoyable. A little tugging at the heart was in there and I had a couple of lumps in my throat during a few scenes. I thought a few of the rural Louisiana accents were a bit overdone; nothing that can't be corrected. And I may have missed some lines or something 'cause there were a few things that didn't make sense. Enjoyable show.

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum...I mean during intermission. I saw someone that I know and right before the 2nd act was about to begin he asked me what I thought about the show? I told him that I was enjoying it. He said he was finding it hard to believe. I then reminded him that it is musical. And then I start to giggle.

So now I'm distracted because I wonder what he thinks of Cats or Phantom of the Opera? Does he really think that Eva Peron said, "They need to adore me so Christian Dior from my head to my toes."? Does he think that Mame Dennis can really, "...charm the husk right off of the corn."? Did Aunt Eller (latent lesbian that she was) really tell the farmer and the cow man to be friends? How about Snoopy singing that he thinks he is some fierce jungle animal? The list goes on and on!

I go to the theatre to escape and to be entertained. And yes, some things are meant to be unbelievable.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

NYC Sept. 8 - 10, 2001

This is one of my all time favorite photos ever. (It was taken on the evening of September 8, 2001.) Not because it looks like Ben and I are wearing a headpiece but because we were all laughing and smiling and just happy to be happy.

We are standing outside of the Paramount Hotel. We had just left the bar and you couldn't take photos inside the hotel lobby or the bar much less move the furniture in the bar because each piece had it's place and you messed up the design by moving it around...blah, blah, we took our picture outside before we headed over to Splash. (I seriously doubt if Philippe Starck would have known we messed up his design!) :-)

Prior to meeting up with Greg, Sean, Jim and Ben, I went to see 42nd Street and I pretty much tapped danced my way over to meet the bois. It was good meeting place before we did other things that evening.

The short story behind this weekend:

  • On my 37th birthday, live on the east coast, at the beginning of the 830A segment, Katie Couric says to me, "Oh. I thought you were 40 or something like that." To which I replied, "No but I'll be back." So I had to go back in '01.

  • I went to NYC thinking I was going to spend the weekend alone which I was fine with but I was surprised by the bois. It really was a fun weekend.

  • Katie didn't talk to me again. Greg had enlarged a photo of me (at age 5) and put my face on tongue depressers and handed them out to the crowd. At one point Al Roker asked a lady, "Whose face is that?" Matter of factly she says, "Timmy." Al says, "Who's Timmy?" She says, "I don't know."

  • Due to a storm that had blown in on the evening of 9/10/01, I had a flight delay out of EWR back to IAH. I got back to IAH really late and didn't get to bed until around 200A on 9/11/01. Greg and Sean had also departed NYC and Jim and Ben were coming back on 9/11/01. One of the last things Jim said to me before we said our good-byes was, "I wish we were going home tonight." I said, "I wish I was staying another day."

  • Due to what happened on 9/11/01, they were stuck in NYC for the rest of the week and ended up driving back to Houston. They were supposed to be at the New York Stock Exchange early on 9/11/01 to rub the bull and watch them ring the bell but they overslept and had no idea what was transpiring not far from the apartment they were staying in. I was sitting on the couch in my Lucky boxers with bed head and bleary eyes watching everything transpire and was frozen but was able to call them and pretty much make no sense as I was yelling and crying.

The question was asked the other day, "Shouldn't we move on and stop acknowledging 9/11?" My thoughts lean toward letting people deal with it in their own way. I still get choked up because I had just been there. The fun and frivolity of the extended weekend didn't matter anymore.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

"Better have you naked by the end of this song"

So things didn't go as planned this morning with my Saturday run. The plan was to go to Memorial Park and do 7 miles or so.

I got up this morning and walked The Calvinator then got ready to go to Memorial Park. I had put on a pair of shorts that I hadn't worn in awhile and me and my happy @ss were off to the park. And just in case you're wondering, I was wearing my Crocs.

So I get to the park, put on the running shoes, slather on some Body Glide on the thighs, put on the iPod nano and tried to determine if it was shirtless running weather 'cause the humidity was feeling really high. Figuring that I'd prolly have to lose the shirt (which running shirtless has nothing to do with being vain and trying to show's more about scaring people...I mean being hot and uncomfortable) at some point, I decided to just say "f__ it" and if people go blind, well so be it.

I do my ritual pee, take a swig of H2O and off I go. Everything is fine until about the 1 1/2 mile marker. (I won't comment on the people who decided to use ME as their pacer and wouldn't get off my @ss.)

Right around 1 1/2 miles the shorts start to slip. It is then that I remember why I haven't worn these shorts in a long time. When they get wet (from sweat or rain or both), they start to slip down. So here I am running and wondering what kind of a show I'm giving to the people behind me. If you read in the headlines today that there is a crack problem at Memorial Park, you'll know that they're talking about ME!

Now I'm regretting not wearing a shirt 'cause at least the shirt would give me some coverage. I'm trying to figure out what to do 'cause I could only run for about 30 seconds before I'd have to pull the shorts up. I get to the 2 mile marker, grab some water and think, "This ain't so bad. I can do this."

Rather than do 1 more mile, I decide to do 2 more. Big mistake. The slippage only gets worse...and you see it only happens when I run not when I walk. I just wanted this to be over with so I kept running and pulling up the shorts.

I guess at one point I must have pulled them up too high or they were too low 'cause I noticed people running toward were staring at me and they weren't looking at my face; they were looking around the waist line.

Now I'm thinking, "What do I have in The Cal Mobile that will keep the shorts up?'' Nothing. So, now I'm just trying to finish and for some odd reason I think of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake singing Rock Your Body at Reliant Stadium during the Super Bowl and her wardrobe malfunction.

See how my mind works? You should all be afraid of me!!!!

Anywho, I finished 4 miles, cooled down and went home. The shorts are now in the trash can.

Speaking of running, I haven't been doing weights very much or spinning and I'm feeling really guilty and fat. These guilt trips are from 12 years of Catholic school. ;-)

There she is...

As mentioned in a previous post, in the olden days this would be the day that the new Miss America would be crowned. To refresh your memory, the pageant was started to keep tourist on the Atlantic City Boardwalk for a few days beyond the Labor Day holiday. The pageant originated on September 7, 1921 and was originally named the Atlantic City Pageant. In 1922, the name was changed to Miss America Pageant.

Like clockwork you could always count on Miss America being crowned close to my birthday…until they moved it to later in the month and then changed the month to January or February or something like that. Let’s get to the point of my rambling.

On September 9, 1961 there were two things happening. Hurricane Carla was pounding the Texas coast and the new Miss America was going to be crowned. Linda Jacklyn Loftis who was originally Miss Ft. Worth went on to become Miss Texas and was favored to win Miss America. My mother was having labor pains and wanted to see if Linda would be crowned as the new Miss America before she would leave for the hospital. As it turns out, Miss North Carolina (Maria Fletcher) was crowned that evening. Miss Texas was 3rd runner-up.

I have romanticized the story and tell people that I was almost born at home because of the Miss America Pageant. (I was actually born the next morning at 6:58A in a hospital.) And even though Ft. Worth (Haltom City) is nowhere near the Texas coast, I have romanticized it and said that the change in barometric pressure induced my mother’s labor pains.

Many times in my life I have pondered aloud, “No wonder I turned out the way that I am. What choice did I have? I was born during the weekend of a hurricane and the Miss America Pageant!”

For various reasons, I used to have an obsession with the Miss America Pageant. Texas always sent contenders to the pageant and usually they ended up in the Top 10. The first Miss Texas to be crowned Miss America was Jo-Carroll Dennison. She was Miss America 1942. So you can imagine the screaming that happened in my house the evening of September 11, 1970, when Phyllis George was crowned Miss America 1971!

I remember the headline on the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram the next morning was something similar to: By George, she did it!

And then 4 years later, Shirley Cothran did it again! And this is where the story gets good.

OK…so my sister and I sang in a choir at church. It was a small group; a folk choir. Because it consisted of guitars and voices we would practice at different homes ‘cause we really didn’t need to be in the church.

So one night we’re at the McMullin’s home. The McMullins were very active in the Miss Texas Pageant association/system/corporation/whatever and were chaperones. During our rehearsal Shirley Cothran, THE FORMER MISS AMERICA...I’ll repeat that…THE FORMER MISS AMERICA…comes walking into the living room and tells us that we sound really good. They never told us she was in the house!!!! I was stunned. And just in case you’re wondering, no she wasn’t walking around in a tiara or a beaded gown. She was just as normal as normal could be.

Anyway, I outgrew my obsession with Miss America shortly after everything blew up with Vanessa Williams, Miss America 1984A. (That isn’t a typo.) It really had nothing to do with the scandal. And don’t get me wrong…I’m a big fan of Vanessa Williams. Talk about someone who was handed lemons and rather than making lemonade she poured some vodka on them and now look at her, she’s Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty!

My obsession with Miss America was quasi-renewed when I moved to Houston and would attend Miss Camp America. They held this event the same night as Miss America and it was truly one of the best events in town.

So that’s the story. Guess it also sorta explains my obsession with hurricanes. And to let you know how big of a nerd I can be, I used to memorize the list of major hurricanes that hit the U.S. I used to know the name, the year and where it hit.

Go ahead and say it, “You need a life.”