Monday, September 29, 2008

Be careful what you say

So the other night in Ft Worth we are sitting around visiting and yes, Calvin was being very sociable. My brother-in-law kept making comments about how much Calvin loves him.

The next thing I know Calvin jumps on the couch, walks over to my brother-in-law and starts humping his right arm. Now THAT is showing some love!

In other news...
Did y'all see Tina Fey's portrayal of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live? That was too much when she said she needed to use a lifeline and phone a friend. LOL

I think I might watch the debate on Thurs night. A good laugh is good for the soul.

Speaking of good laughs, why is Cloris Leachman still on Dancing With The Stars?

Saturday, September 27, 2008


At a previous place of employment I was issued a Blackberry. Within a matter of days I was addicted. This addiction lasted for a few years and then one day I had to go cold turkey.

Everything was fine for awhile until last week when I purchased a Blackberry to replace the phone that I lost post-Ike. I couldn't resist!

Once an addict, always an addict. I wonder if there is a 12 step program that I can join? Is there a Crackberry Anonymous group? Should I join Kaye Sedilla at Betty Ford?

What I have discovered is that I think I can blog using the Crackberry. If this post posts, then I know it works! Doubt that I can post pics or videos or use spellcheck. Maybe you will hear from me more often!

Oh! The possibilities.

In other news...
I made a quasi-surprise visit to la familia today. You see...

Pre-Ike they wanted me to come & visit to celebrate my b'day. Made some plans that didn't happen. So this past Thursday was Joe & Helen's 53rd Wedding Anniversary. Yes bois & gurrls, I said 53.

So there was a small luncheon planned today and I showed up in Ft Worth. It was something that I needed to do and I'm glad that I did. I had some other commitments for today but unfortunately they had to be shelved and I hope that I will be forgiven. I'm back in H-town on Sunday.

And guess who eating lunch in the same restaurant as me today? The one & only Bernadette Peters! OMG!

I knew that she was in Ft. Worth to perform this evening but I never expected to see her eating!

I SO wanted to talk to her. However, she was with someone and they had their food so I left her alone. I think I know where she is staying and I could have hung out in the hotel lobby and stalked her...

One last thing. Things are still a bit odd in Houston. Some of my peeps still don't have power.

Catch up with y'all later.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tighten Up

On Monday at work we were discussing an upcoming artist installation that will center around Lightin' Hopkins. Turns out Lightin' Hopkins was inspired by Blind Lemon Jefferson. Blind Lemon Jefferson was the inspiration for a former collegemate's restaurant in Deep Ellum (Dallas, TX). He name the restaurant The Blind Lemon and the logo was a lemon wearing sunglasses. It's funny how one topic can lead to another.

So while we were discussing artists and musicians I told them that when I was a mere tyke I was given a portable record player and an album. The album was a compilation of various songs and one of them was Tighten Up by Archie Bell & The Drells. I never knew how to dance the Tighten Up but I remember the song...and that was from about 40 years ago.

What I remember about the song is that Archie Bell says that in Houston they do a dance called the Tighten Up. While I'm telling this story one of the ladies said they she remembers seeing Archie Bell & The Drells perform at something similar to the Houston version of American Bandstand.

So one of my co-workers is intrigued by all of this and she finds a video of Archie Bell & The Drells performing the song. Until I watched the video yesterday, I always thought The Drells were the musicians. I love their dance steps on the video. Enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pictures post-Ike

Thought you might enjoy looking at some pics. I'll have a few more later but these are a few that I got ready just you!

So...when I purchased The Cal Mobile the intent was to get something that could be loaded up with some of my belongings and it wouldn't be low to the ground and I could evacuate before or after a hurricane. Well, I listened to the city and county officials and didn't evacuate. And even if I wanted to leave after the storm I couldn't because I had a FENCE ON THE CAL MOBILE!!!!

The power went out a bit after 9:00 p.m. on September 12. Here I am on Sunday, September 14 around 4:00 p.m. I was a prisoner of CenterPoint Energy. And yes, that is Cakebread Chardonnay in the glass. I was a prisoner with class and good taste.

On September 21, AttyHou, some neighbors and I decided we needed to finish cleaning up his yard and my yard. I thought it would take a couple of hours. took a bit over 5 hours. I had not eaten lunch and I was delirious and started channeling Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Michael Kors AND Nina Garcia.

The challenge was to use the debris from Ike and make a couture dress. This is what I came up with.

I want to be on the cover of ELLE Magazine dammit!

My mom told me that she saw a story on the telly about how Houstonians were helping Houstonians post-Ike. Neighbors and strangers reaching out and helping each other. Calvin decided to do his part and join in the recovery and cleanup of Houston.

Calvin opened up a small Bed & Rawhide and invited over Baxter & Tanner who were without power.

They were all a bit pooped out from playing. Here they are relaxing.

And you know how I have a song for everything. While Ike was beating us up this song popped into my head. Yes, even while the house was shaking due to the sustained hurricane winds, rain not falling from the sky but hitting the house sideways, transformers popping outside and wondering if the insanity would ever stop, I thought of Ike and Tina Turner.

It's getting late. I'll have a few more pics for you soon.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

blogging Hurricane Ike (part XV)

One of our hangouts in NoRO is Cyclone Anayas (Mexican food). Good Margaritas and good food can always be had there. So it was a bit sad to drive by the other day and see that the roof had been ripped off by Ike. The surprise was that the restaurant was open on Friday night!

It turns out that the staff (managers, waiters and busboys) worked feverishly over the past few days to reopen the restaurant. Yes, the ceiling needs to be reworked but it was good to see familiar faces on Friday night.

There were five of us who gathered for Friday’s meal. One person evacuated to Austin and was stunned when he drove back into Houston and saw the damage. One person still doesn’t have power at his house. The other three (including me) spent most of the past week spending quite a bit of time drinking expensive wine together in the ‘hood.

It was nice to be able to sit down, enjoy a hot meal and frozen adult beverages and relive the madness of Hurricane Ike. The respite is just what I needed.
I began to get a bit sentimental (adult beverages will do that to me) and last night before I passed out fell into a deep slumber on the couch I started humming Umbrella.

For the second night in a row, I have had a post-hurricane dream; not quite a nightmare. The weirdest thing happened though and it wasn’t part of a dream.

Remember I said that I passed out fell into a deep slumber? I was asleep on the couch and woke up around 3:00a.m. When I woke up, KHOU was doing a recap of some Hurricane Ike footage from last week. They were showing reporters in the storm reporting from various locations around Houston. It took me a minute to realize that this was NOT live. THEN, the cable box went dead and the telly didn’t have anything on it! I looked outside to make sure another hurricane wasn’t approaching. Within a few seconds the cable box reset itself and broadcasting resumed. Those few minutes were from The Twilight Zone.

Are hurricane dreams part of the new normal? I hope not.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

blogging Hurricane Ike (part XIV)

I need to get focused. I'm losing things: first the phone; then a set of eye glasses; then the charger to the temporary phone. I ran a red light because I have become so accustomed to stopping at an intersection with a blinking red light (or no working lights), making sure it's clear and then going on. I saw a red light, made sure it was clear and then proceeded forward. Oops! It was a working light.

I’m tired. Tonight I really needed to fold laundry that I did prior to Ike but didn’t get around to it. I have laundry that needs to be done but don’t feel like doing it. I need to clean up the garage sale room guest bedroom because I might have powerless friends come and stay with me. I need to get back into a routine…maybe it will be a new routine. (I actually found a Starbucks that was open this morning!)

I really need to catch up on blogs. I feel so disconnected from people. One that I did check was David Dust and his post almost started a flood of tears. It brings back memories from three years ago. You see…

When New Orleans was slammed by Hurricane Katrina, Houston opened its doors and provided shelter and food to the refugees evacuees. And yes, there were those who feel like they wore out their welcome but I remember a song from Catholic school days and part of the lyrics are, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me…”

A few weeks later, Hurricane Rita looked like it was heading for Houston and what should have been a 4.5 hour drive to Ft. Worth took 27 hours. As it turned out, the storm turned and went for the Texas/Louisiana border and wiped out cities on both sides of the border.

On the way back from Ft. Worth, I saw a sign just outside of Hempstead that said, “God bless Houston.” When Neil Diamond came to the Bayou City for a concert, he greeted the audience by saying, “Houston, the city with a heart.”

And while Houston didn’t suffer the blow from Ike like Galveston Island or Bolivar Peninsula, there are many people in the 4th largest U.S. city who are trying to get by. So when I saw that David Dust said that Houston is hurting, he is correct. We’re getting by and making do and hopefully the bonds that have been established through this time of inconvenience will remain intact.

Texans are a rare breed. One of my favorite sayings is, “There are two types of people: Texans and those who wish they were Texans.” Another favorite is, “I may not have been born in Texas but I got here as soon as I could.”

Those of us in Houston, Galveston, Port Arthur, Beaumont and the surrounding areas will get through this. Our cowboy boots may be a bit wet and muddy from dealing with Ike but they’ll get dry and we’ll clean them up. Our big hair may be a bit tussled but we’ll find our teasing combs and Aqua Net Hairspray and get our coiffures back in place. And those whose facial enhancements are a bit askew due to the high winds, well a little nip/tuck can be had in the Texas Medical Center. And I know that in some bar in Montrose, a dj is playing Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive and a choir of bar patrons is singing's just too bad Tina Turner didn't record the song!

I’ve always heard people talk about the new normal after a disaster or tragedy. I now understand.

EPILOGUE: I’m only going to do 1 or 2 more posts about Hurricane Ike. I hope to return to my normal-witty-self and post my str8 up with a twist point of view.

blogging Hurricane Ike (part XIII)

Yesterday morning I received a text message from a neighbor that a utility truck had been spotted in the neighborhood. Please keep in mind that this was the first person from CenterPoint Energy or City of Houston (excluding Houston Police Dept.) that had been spotted in the neighborhood since tropical storm winds stopped on Saturday.

During the afternoon, I received several phone calls from neighbors that the power was on. While I was happy, I also felt sad. You see...

There are six of us in my office. Of the six, four of us now have power and the outlook for the other is not good. It could be next Monday (Sept. 22 or later) before they have power restored...and the storm made landfall on Sept. 13.

I did finish cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer. It was all good for 72 hours but that had passed.

There wasn't much at the grocery store. I was able to supplement my canned goods in the pantry.

I'm dreading Friday or Saturday when I have to start the hunt for gasoline. I'm still fine right now but Friday or Saturday will be the day to fill up. It's really just a matter of finding a place with gasoline and without a long line.

Through all of this I need to tell myself that this has been an inconvenience. There are people (including a guy on our staff) who has lost his home. He has been sleeping in his truck with a gun to protect what is left of his property.

It has been one day at a time for all of us.

I think the one good thing that came out of this is that I was given the opportunity to meet and visit with my neighbors. I don't have any family members in Houston but I am surrounded by a good group of friends and neighbors.

I have not had the opportunity to look at any of the pictures of the destruction that Ike created. I have a feeling it will turn my stomach.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

blogging Hurricane Ike (part XII)

Hey folks. I need to make this quick.

Here's what's been going on...

As of right now, I still don't have power at the house. There's probably close to 1.5 million still without power. Up until about 15 minutes ago we had not seen a City of Houston employee, a CenterPoint Energy employee or one of their contractors in the neighborhood. Just got a call that one was spotted not far from the house and they will see what they can do to restore power.

Galveston Island, Bolivar Peninsula, Baytown, League City and other parts of the greater Houston metro area and in bad shape. I feel guilty complaining that I don't have power.

Some friends who have a townhome with windows that open are letting Calvin stay with them during the day. They still don't have power either. I can't keep him in my home because the windows don't open and those that do would give him access to the outside world.

Last night I went for a ride with Calvin and it was interesting to see sections of Shepherd Drive with electricity, some businesses, restaurants and bars that were opened. This is less than 1.5 miles from me and it was like a whole different world.

We did a massive cleanup at work on Tuesday. There are trees that have been uprooted and leaves and branches everywhere. It did make a difference to the appearance of the physical grounds.

Gas lines are long.

Finding a good cup of coffee is difficult.

Grocery lines are long.

I did get a cell phone replacement. Please send me your phone numbers ( because I lost quite a bit of information.

I feel like I've lost touch with the whole world. Haven't read a paper in days. Haven't watched television in a few days.

As I told my mom, this is one day at a time and yes, things could be worse for me.

Thank you for your well wishes.

-tim "timmy"

Monday, September 15, 2008

blogging Hurricane Ike (part XI)

Hey folks. I need to make this real quick. I'm borrowing a friend's computer at her house.

Storm is worse than we ever thought it be. The house shook for hours and the rain and wind wouldn't stop...this was only a cat. 2.

Power went out at 9:08 a.m. on Friday night and it hasn't been restored YET in my neighborhood.

We're banding together to make the best of it. Neighbors helping neighbors.

A fence landed on my car. Tree was down in the backyard. Trees blocking the street were removed by about 15 of us on Sunday.

Digging into the wine reserves. 2 bottles of Cakebread gone (1 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday). 2 bottle of Silver Oak that I shared with neighbors who cooked my steaks and let have been sharing their generator with me.

Calvin is fine.

I've been sleeping on the floor by the front door because that is the only way to get ventilation into the house at night.

I'm losing my mind.

Work has power (air conditioning) but no internet.

We're keeping an eye out for each other.

Send positive thoughts our way. There are people in Galveston who are worse off than me. I need to count my blessing but it is hard to keep in perspective.

Take care everyone.

Friday, September 12, 2008

blogging Hurricane Ike (part X) (Today's LOL)

My sister and brother-in-law in Ft. Worth just called to check up on me and Calvin. I was told about this footage. OK. I've had 2 Hurricanes and this is too funny not to share!

I did let Calvin out for about 20 minutes. He thinks he is The Lion King.

blogging Hurricane Ike (part IX)

Latest happenings from The Bayou City. Interspersed through all of this are phone calls to and from friends who stayed.

3:30p CDT - Some lady named Vivian on MSNBC says, "Residents of Houston stare down the storm."

3:31p CDT - Based on what Vivian said, I think of that scene from What's Love Got To Do With It when Tina tells Ike she is sick and can't perform and I think he smacks her...maybe I put that in myself...and makes her go out and perform. She goes out and does a great job and the song is appropriate for the scene. Watch the clip.

4:15p CDT - I'm in the other room and hear an annoying voice on the telly and realize it is Steven Dean on Channel 2: Your Education Station.

4:53p CDT - MSNBC is interviewing the Chief Information Officer for the City of Galveston. She says that 40% of the residents didn't evacuate. I think, "WTF!" Don't they know about the storm in 1900 that killed 6,000 people. It is still the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. She also says the City of Galveston personnel are housed at The San Luis Resort. It is a nice hotel.

5:15p CDT - Receive a phone call that Anderson Cooper is downtown. Speculation arises about where he is staying. Hilton Americas? Four Seasons? Hyatt Regency? Based on the damage from Alicia in 1983, Anderson will have good stories to report if Ike keeps on this path. Calvin and I are less than three miles from downtown. Should we drive downtown and go for his evening walk?

5:25p CDT - Decide to take Calvin for his walk in the neighborhood. Cops are already patrolling the 'hood. Saw 2 cop cars. Wind is picking up and clouds are getting darker. Neighborhood parties have already started or are getting started. Also, it is as if there is a dog parade going on. Everyone is out walking their dogs one last time.

6:20p CDT - First bands of Ike hit Galveston even though flooding has already started on Galveston Island.

6:28p CDT - Frank Billingsley reports that Ike is picking up speed and gaining strength.

6:29p CDT - I'm making Calvin nervous so I pour my first Hurricane.

6:32p CDT - Locate my slicker and Salomon Pro Amphib shoes. Calvin thinks we're going for a walk.

6:55p CDT - Calvin realizes we're not going for a walk and passes out (again).

Comment: Miss Ginger Grant...thank you for the offer of the ice. I have plenty.

Question: Can someone tell me why my bathtub is full of water? Seriously. I'm not going to drink it. I have enough water for me and Calvin to last for a LONG time.

Comment: Yesterday, someone told me that I needed to wear maroon and purple today and put an eggplant in my front yard to ward off the storm. I don't have anything maroon. I don't have an eggplant. Should I have bought some baked eggplant from Luby's and put THAT in the front yard? Just askin'.

Stay safe everyone.

EDIT @ 7:36p: Received a phone call from Boston Greg and he was singing part of the lyrics from Tina Turner's Better Be Good To Me

Rather appropriate for Ike's approach on Galveston-Houston!

blogging Hurricane Ike (part VIII)

So here is what has sorta been happening today since I last posted.

Intertwined with all of this are phone calls from friend; those of us who stayed and decided to hunker down. Also, replying to e-mails from concerned friends and family members and checking FaceBook.

11:00a.m. CDT - Started doing laundry for two reasons. 1) If I lose power, not sure when I would be able to do laundry again. 2) Need some clean clothes when Anderson Cooper arrives to interview me and Calvin.

11:20a.m. CDT - Decided to run over to Subway because earlier in the day I saw employees waiting to get in. When I stepped outside it was getting breezy and cloudy. Earlier in the day it was calm and sunny. This made me start singing It's Too know that line, "You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do."

Got to Subway and they were closed but I noticed that Quiznos and Texasadelphia were open so I went to Quiznos to grab my last meal a sandwich. Also noticed that the Shell station on Memorial Drive is out of gas.

11:45a.m. CDT - Took Calvin for a walk. Lots of people out walking their dogs. Noticed that DePelchin Children's Center had secured their picnic tables which had me concerned. PROJECTILES!

1:05p.m. CDT - Cleaned out the bottom of one of the closets in case I need to use it to hide from breaking windows. Did a Hunker Down Drill with Calvin. Had to bribe him with peanut butter. He didn't want to leave the closet.

1:45p.m. CDT - Filled up the bathtub with water but I'm not sure why. Somebody told me to do that so I did.

1:50p.m. CDT - Jessica Willey on KTRK Channel 13 interviewed a guy that had to be rescued from West Beach (Galveston). His name is Joe and Joe said, "That is a nasty fat storm. That pig is huge." I wonder if that pig wears lipstick? Joe also said that where Joe Cantore is that is where the most damage will be. BTW...Joe lost his Corvette and his shoes.

2:04p.m. CDT - Erik Barrajas showed up for work.

2:05p.m. CDT - Break in the clouds and the sun shined. Coincidence?

2:06p.m. CDT - Andy Cerrota is in Freeport.

2:07p.m. CDT - Still looking for Anderson Cooper.

2:15p.m. CDT - Put batteries in portable radio/cd player so that I can play showtunes if I lose power. Found an old Sony Sports Cassette player (remember cassette tapes?) that also has a tv band, radio band and weather band. It still works.

2:25p.m. CDT - Found a fortune cookie and opened it. Fortune for today is He who grabs the last lettuce wrap is the least hungry. Got hungry again and wondered if P.F. Changs is open. Doubt it. They have good lettuce wraps.

2:30p.m. CDT - Water is rising in Galveston Bay. Not a good sign.

2:50p.m. CDT - Saw taped footage of Jeff Ranieri on Galveston Island. He saw a snake that was coiled and guessed it was at least 10 feet. Then he said he saw a porcupine. The MSNBC anchor told him it was a rat. Wondered if Jeff has ever been to a zoo?

3:00p.m. CDT - Michael Chertoff, Director of Homeland Security says 100,000 homes will be damaged by flooding. Let's hope he is wrong.

3:10p.m. CDT - Calvin is still asleep.

blogging Hurricane Ike (part VII)

I ended up falling asleep on the couch with The Calvinator. Had some dreams about evacuating to my alma mater and listening to newscasts from Houston.

When I woke up I had a big fur ball hanging off of my right ear. Ah, the joys of having a furry puppy.

So what to do?
I went to Memorial Park for a 3 mile run. It was sort of eery because there were very few cars on Memorial Drive. Normally at 730a CDT on a Friday it would be crowded with people heading into downtown.

There were a few people at the park. Most of the faces were Saturday morning faces. We all know there ain't going to be any running going on tomorrow morning at the park.

There are some people that need to get a clue. You see...

Yesterday Mayor Bill White announced that the City of Houston would be closed on Friday. This means city departments/offices.

This morning at the park I counted at least 5 people who walked up to the Tennis Center and tried to get in. Uh...City of Houston includes Parks & Recreation. Why would you think the Tennis Center would be open? LOL

The office was closed and I expected that to be the case. What I didn't expect was The Kolache Factory to be open or Smoothie King. So I grabbed a kolache, some coffee and CLIF Bars.

I went over to Valero to get some bean dip (an essential item for me) and picked up some Rock Stars and Starbucks canned drinks. Valero had gasoline only because they received some this morning. They were out of ice and so was the liquor store. It looks like Subway on Memorial Drive is going to open. I saw the employees waiting to get in.

Ike may make landfall as a cat. 2 but still has the potential to be a cat. 3.
I've switched over to KTRK-Channel 13 for awhile. Andy Cerota called in from Surfside, TX. Some yahoo won't leave his house and law enforcement was trying to get him out and couldn't do it.
I'm waiting for Erik Barrajas to come on the telly. This is probably his first time to cover a major storm like this.
OK. Need to consolidate all of my batteries, candles, etc.
Phrases of the day: Stay safe
Shelter in place
Hunker down

blogging Hurricane Ike (part VI) (cocktails)

Had this waiting for me in the inbox.

1 oz. cinnamon schnapps
1 sugar cone
Pour the schnapps into the sugar cone. Every time you hear a TV weathermansay, "cone of uncertainty ," bite off the end of the cone and down the shot. Ifyou hear Jim Cantore say it, drink two shots consecutively.(they should change this to the "Cantore Zone"... dang him.Have you ever noticed that, despite all the cone of probability talk, if Cantore is parked in front of your house you are toast?)

2 oz. Midori
2 oz. rum
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
After your home loses power, combine Midori and rum in a cocktail glass.
Add a scoop of the vanilla ice cream that is melting in your freezer.
Stir, and drink through a straw.

1 1/2 oz. Absolute Ruby Red vodka
1/2 oz. vermouth
Prune juice
Combine vodka and vermouth in cocktail glass. Fill remainder of glass with equalparts Clamato and prune juice. Stir. Drink. Ask next-door neighbor whose ficus tree blew over and crashed onto your roof -- even though you'd warned him for months to uproot it -- if you can use his bathroom. Repeat.

1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. gin
Sweet-and-sour mix
Splash of fruit juice
Combine vodka, tequila, rum, bourbon and gin in a tall glass.
Fill remainder of glass with sweet-and-sour mix and splash of juice.
Stir, then garnish with an inverted drink umbrella.
Drink during peak storm hours, and vow not to believe anyone who tries to tellyou the hurricane that flooded your garage and destroyed your shed was just a Category 1

1 1/2 oz. Goldschlager
1 1/2 oz. apple brandy
1 pack Sugar in the Raw
Combine Goldschlager, apple brandy and sugar in cocktail glass.As you drink, seriously contemplate moving your Yankee backside back to NewJersey where it belongs.

1 1/2 oz. rum
5 oz. Jolt Cola
Combine ingredients in a cocktail glass.
Drink while trying to figure out how the heck you're supposed to go two freakin'weeks without TV and AC

2 oz. Kahlua
2 oz. Baileys Irish cream
4 oz. rum
Serve in a 6-ounce glass and laugh-cry deliriously as the mess spills all overthe counter top.

2 oz. Blue Aftershock
4 oz. Sprite
Combine in a cocktail glass with crushed ice you received after waiting in line for three hours at a mall parking lot. Take a deep breath, sip and scream like a little girl when the cold beverage hits your tongue. Repeat.

1 oz. Jack Daniel's
Splash of sarsaparilla
Rock salt
Load both barrels of a shotgun with rock salt. Climb to the roof of your house with gun, bottle of Jack Daniel's and can of sarsaparilla.
Fill shot glass with Jack and splash of sarsaparilla.
Watch for looters.When you spot one, blast his backside with rock salt.Drink shot. Repeat.

1 oz. Goldschlager
1 oz. Rumplemintz
3 oz. Jim Beam
Splash of vermouth
Combine Goldschlager, Rumplemintz and Jim Beam in an empty soup can.
Add splash of vermouth. Drink. Remove chain saw from garage and attempt to cutup fallen tree limbs in yard.
Ask neighbor to drive you to hospital when it all goes horribly wrong

1 1/2 oz. vodka
1 1/2 oz. vodka and Midori
1 1/2 oz. vodka and Galliano
1 1/2 oz. vodka and grenadine
Pour each ingredient into a separate shot glass.
Serve one to yourself and to three other people.
The person with the clear shot of vodka drinks first.
The person to his right drinks the Midori shot, and so on.
If somebody drinks out of order, develop a quick case of road rage and slap him silly

1 1/2 oz. Curacao
2 oz. pineapple juice
Splash of lime
Combine ingredients in a leaky paper cup and serve.
Wait six to eight months for someone to repair the cup.
If you're impatient, hire an unlicensed, out-of-state contractor to do the jobfor an exorbitant sum and pray he doesn't hurt himself in the process.

1 oz. Southern Comfort
2 oz. sloe gin
Tonic water
One week after the storm has passed and your neighborhood is still in ruins with no sign of help on the way, combine Southern Comfort and gin in a cocktail glass.
Fill remainder with tonic and add a dash of Angostura bitters.
Serve with a nut brownie. Before drinking, raise the glass and say the toast,"Doing a helluva job, Brownie!"

blogging Hurricane Ike (part V)

Had a dream that my boss walked into the office and said the storm had changed direction and was heading toward New Orleans so everybody get back to work.

That woke me up at 354a CDT. Went to the living room to turn on the telly to see if the dream was true and it wasn't. Ike is still going to hit us. If Tina can take punches from Ike, so can we.

On the telly at this early hour are Lauren Freeman & Owen Conflenti along with Jonathan Novack at Channel 2: Your Education Station. Normally they're broadcasting at 500a CDT. Anthony Yanez is missing.
Speaking of missing people, where is Ryan Korsgard? Didn't see him on the 1000p CDT news last night.

I realized something a few minutes ago. Going to Ft. Worth isn't going to do much good because once Ike makes landfall and goes limp, his remnants will probably dowse the Ft. Worth-Dallas area.

OK. So, I'm wide awake. Should I do laundry? Go for a run? Try to go back to sleep? Too early to walk Calvin.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

blogging Hurricane Ike (IV) (aka we are disaster worthy of Anderson Cooper)

Calvin and I returned to NoRO this evening. A group of us met at AttyHou's house to help him put away things that could become projectile and fly over the fence and land on me and Calvin.

I called Joe & Helen in Ft. Worth and told them that I am staying. I gave them my reasons why and reminded them of what happened during the evacuation of Hurricane Rita. You see...

As of 900p CDT, the contraflow lanes out of Houston have not been opened. News reports are saying that traffic is very heavy on I-10 west (going to San Antonio) and I-45 north (going toward Dallas). Been there. Done that. Not doing it again.

Also, in 2005 when The Calvinator and I left Houston, Rita was approaching Category 5 status. It later dropped to a three or so but to see a cat. 5 coming at you is quite disturbing...and then it turned.

I went to JAX for my last supper and did take-away. One of the local gas stations is already closed. Some restaurants were closed. To look at SOMA and Max's Wine Dive you'd never know we're waiting for a hurricane.

I've been checking my water supply. Trying to catch up on stuff and sorta wondering what's going to happen.

While I was watching last night's episode of Project Runway the phone rang and it was alnhouston. I answered, "Did you see Anderson Cooper?" because I knew that alnhouston was out running around town today and thought he had seen him. What I didn't know is that Anderson Cooper was on the telly broadcasting live from Houston! I am watching him right now and cannot figure out where he is in the city.

Calvin is ready for his Anderson Cooper close-up.

blogging Hurricane Ike (part III)

Calvin is here with me at the office. The schedule at the groomer was a bit askew and I needed to meet with my boss today. She is cool with him being here. We came to the conclusion that he needs some diversity training.

Received a call from New Orleans Lisa (NOL). They are getting the outerbands already. It has been intermittently cloudy and windy in NOLA. We are seeing something similar but not to the extent that NOL is seeing it.

She asked if I was going to evacuate and I told her that at this point it is too late. Please remember, Houston is the U.S. 4th largest city. We proved in 2005 that a mass evacuation can actually be more dangerous than sheltering in place. NOL and I both agreed that this storm can turn at the last minute and completely miss Houston-Galveston. That's what I keep telling myself.

The maintenance guys have found the plywood to board some of the windows & doors here at our building. A guy is arriving in a bit to cut down a tree that has the potential of falling over and landing on one of our buildings.

I was asked if the houses are stable enough to withstand wind gusts of up to 100 mph. These structures have been around for a long time. I'm sure they'll be OK.

Will be heading home in a bit so that I can get caught up in the media frenzy on the telly. Will be looking for Jeff Ranieri, Sam Champion and Jim Cantori to make an appearance in Houston to cover Ike.

blogging Hurricane Ike (part II)

So I just returned from a quick jaunt to Walgreen's on Almeda & Southmore. Finally found out where the Buffalo Soldiers Museum is located. Will have to visit some time.

Anywho. Bunch of people at Walgreen's but not a mob scene. Further down the street at the Chevron station it was a mob scene.

I had to cross over Hwy 288 and traffic is crawling north. These are the folks coming out of Brazoria County.

In case you're wondering why folks are filing up with gas, here is my thought process. If the electricity goes out, those gas pumps aren't going to work. So if you do want to leave after the storm, let's say you have no electricity or water for days and you want to leave town, you won't be able to get any gas. Just ask Brettcajun about the lack of utilities due to a hurricane.

blogging Hurricane Ike

I dropped off Calvin at the groomer. He really needs to be groomed and I really need a haircut and well you know who comes first.

Prior to taking him to the groomer I stopped at the other office for my daily fix. There was a weird vibe in the air. I think it is because people realize we could get hit hard by Ike. Damn him! First he beats up Tina because he says she deserves it and now he is coming to punch us. Add to that the fact that today is the 7th anniversary of 9/11

After I dropped off Calvin, I found a gas station that didn't have a line (the stations near the house were crowded this morning) and I topped off the tank. I only needed 1/4 of a tank to fill up.

The eye is still heading toward Freeport. They will do a mandatory evacuation for some of the zip codes in Harris County starting at noon. They're doing this because of the storm surge along the coast. Galveston, Brazoria, Chambers and Wharton counties had already started an evacuation and they asked the residents of Houston to stay off of the freeways so that people from those counties can get through town.

I have no idea if the office is going to be open tomorrow. I'm sure HISD will be closed. The mayor has suggested that offices close tomorrow so that people can get things in order to ride out the storm. They're also telling us that if power goes out evacuate after the storm. Not sure I understand that logic.

I'm going to talk to Jim later and find out what he is going to do. I did stock up on canned food in case the power goes out. Calvin has plenty of food. I also have plenty of water. I also have plenty of batteries, vodka, mixers, tortilla chips and magazines and books. Will charge up the iPod nano later.

If I had vacation time accrued, I'd use it and leave but since I don't I'll have to play it by ear. By the end of the work day it is going to be too late to leave and I really don't want to be stuck in the car for 24 hours and get caught in the car in the remnants of the storm. The voluntary evaucation of Hurricane Rita in 2005 is something that I never want to do again.

If Jim stays put, Calvin and I may go to his house since it is more sturdy although he has a bunch of glass. I'll also ask if I can put the car in his garage. Right now there is room in the garage.

You may not know this but my birthday September 10 is the peak of hurricane season. The last time a storm like this hit the Texas coast around September 10 was in 1961. Hmmmm.

If we end up getting interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN, at least Calvin will look handsome and I'll look like a lush.
Will keep you posted.


I previously posted about two events that occurred that have had an impact on me. The second one happened on September 11, 2001.

Last year, I posted some of the sequence of events that were going on in my life leading up to what has become known as 9/11.

Today my thoughts are with everyone who lost a friend or family member on that day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Caption This

September 10, 1997

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hello! Let me introduce myself to you.

Bois and gurrls. I am so sorry. I feel like I have been neglecting and well, I have but it wasn't intentional.

It's been whirlwind of activity since I started my new job and I REALLY meant to post something over the weekend but a pool party and a party for Legacy got in the way. Plus my other weekend stuff of running (on a bum knee), working out, checking in at the office and making new friends have just kept me being a busy boi.

I really meant to write a longer post this evening but I swear Apple is out to drive me crazy! And yes, it has to do with the iPod nano.

I haven't even had a chance to pay attention to Ike. Everytime I hear that name I start humming Proud Mary. I didn't even like Ike Turner. And once again, I must ask, who comes up with these names?

Well in case you haven't been paying attention, the cone of uncertainty changes everytime a Houston weatherman sneezes. OY! Maybe I won't have to spend my birthday Wednesday night in line at Kroger replenishing supplies. I really need to stop buying food that I normally wouldn't eat. I'm beginning to wonder if Kroger, HEB, Randalls, Piggly Wiggly and Fiesta have something to do with all of these hurricanes. I'm just sayin'.
One other thing to report...Calvin tried to mawl me while I was in bed. He's been reading a book or something because he went for my wrist and right for the vein! They don't call him The Calvinator for no reason.

I think he is a bit p!ssed that I haven't been spending more time with him and I did return a bit late after making new friends. I think he was trying to tell me something. Just a minute ago I walked up to him to pet him and he growled. LOL Well, turns out he had just started munching on a rawhide and I didn't know it. I think I'm gonna be like Korto on Project Runway and sleep with one eye open.

Catch up with y'all later, I promise!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Get Into The Groove

I'm trying to get my groove going. Trying to figure out what time to get to Memorial Park to get in a run, make my daily pilgrimage to the office, get Calvin walked and get to the office.

Somewhere in there I need to check FaceBook, post to the blog, go the gym and read other blogs. OY!

Once I get into my groove, I'll get back to being my wittyself and post on a regular basis.

If you're a Project Runway fan, be sure to check in with David Dust and LoneStar Steve for their recaps.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dryer Fire

This is a Public Service Announcement from Str8 Up With A Twist

Up until about 3 years ago I never thought twice about leaving the dryer running when I left the house or when I went to bed. I'm not sure what incited my fear of the dryer catching on fire. This video confirms my fears.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind 16.0

Hurricane Gustav
Gustav came onshore and didn't pack as much of a punch as expected...and I don't know of anyone who is complaining. As expected, the eye went west of New Orleans and made landfall at Cocodrie, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.

There has been flooding, high winds and power outages in south Louisiana. Brettcajun posted a few items from Baton Rouge.

I will say that I was holding my breath today watching the water lap over the Industrial Canal. I wondered if the levees had been reinforced and could they really withstand a Category 2 storm? There was quite a bit television coverage here in the Houston area and I was beginning to wonder when it would stop. And then I thought, "If had left Louisiana, I'd want as much information as possible to know when I could return home."

source: Reuters

I know there are naysayers who will say, "What was the big deal?" With hurricanes you never know if they pick up strength or dissipate. I subscribe to the theory of better safe than sorry.

However, the people in Houma, Lafayette, New Iberia and Lake Charles, Louisiana bore the brunt of the storm.

For those who evacuated, it was a good drill. From what I have heard, this is how an evacuation should occur. As someone who openly criticized, Mayor Ray Nagin, FEMA, former Governor Blanco and George Bush during Katrina I will say job well done this time around to the team in place for Gustav.

Overheard yesterday
He looks good from the neck up.

Overheard this morning (no. 1)
Customer: I'm dehydrated. I need something to drink.
Barista: Party too much last night?
Customer: I don't party and get drunk.
Barista: Oh that's right. You go and have a nice dinner and get overserved on wine and liquor.
St8 Up With A Twist: LOL

Overheard this morning (no. 2)
Person at a table next to Str8 Up With A Twist: I think they should just pack up the city and relocate it (referring to New Orleans). There's nothing left but a bunch of shacks.
Str8 Up With A Twist thought: When was the last time you were in New Orleans? And why don't you suggest that they do the same thing to San Francisco that is build on a fault. Or better yet, how about Cedar Rapids that flooded earlier this year? DUH!

John McCain
I'm NOT even going to comment on his pick for his running mate (Sarah Palin). There is just TOO much to say. Is it just me or is there some correlation between Juno and Juneau? Just askin'.

And So It Goes
I'm still trying to get the computer back to normal. Today's chore was getting it to recognize the printer. This was followed by loading more software for other programs. Good thing I'm a patient person. UGH!

I start a new job on tomorrow. So...not sure how often I'll be posting. I haven't told the people at the office that my hours will be changing. They'll figure it out when I show up early and not in shorts and sandals. Will also have to make some adjustments to my time spent at LeFittes.