Friday, January 31, 2014

Pic Of The Day - 01.30.14

I was hanging out at the Four Seasons Hotel (that just rolls of my tongue in such an eloquent way) on Thursday evening for a work function that I planned and was a HUGE success.  Anywho...

Before it started, I walked around the 3rd floor lobby and saw this interesting combo of curves and lines that I have never noticed before.  I refer to this as Straight Lines & Curves.

Pic Of The Day - 01.29.14

So...after all of the clouds on Monday and Tuesday, it was nice to see the sun.  This is a pic I snapped from the 4th floor lobby of the building I work in.  The sun was casting shadows through the blinds; very cool effect.

What if you had an ice storm...

and the ice never happened?

So...I'm a bit late getting some posts posted and it's a Friday night and I've been working on a presentation and I sound like that song from You're A Good Man Charlie Brown Book Report.  ("If I start writing now when I'm not really rested it will upset my thinking which is not good at all.  I"ll get a fresh start tomorrow...")

The Ice Man Did Not Cometh on Tuesday (Jan. 28) morning at 3:00a.m.  We were expecting another round of ice to coat the greater Houston area.  And then, it didn't happen.  There was some ice, snow flakes, etc. but it didn't meet the expectations of the predictions.

Schools, city government and some businesses announced closures on Monday evening in anticipation of the The Ice Man Cometh Part II.

This is about all of the ice we received at The Calvinator's Crib.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What Would You Do For A Klondike Bar?

or a photographer?

I was on Instagram the other day and saw this photo posted by Dennis.

To say the least I was a bit intrigued.  So...I went to the website and then to the blog and saw more photos of Dennis and more of Dennis. 

I think it's great that Dennis is comfortable enough to pose for a photographer.  I have too many insecurities to do something like that and I guess I am a bit jealous, or envious is probably the better word, of people like him, Model Warren and Derek Yates who do pose for the camera.  My hat is off to all of you!

Photos of Dennis can be found on the blog of Men In Monochrome.  I must warn you, some of the photos are NSFW.

There Is No Crying In Fantasy Football..

...but there is crying for things that really matter in life.  And it's that topic that I am not prepared to write about just yet so let's deal with the subject at hand.

I've always heard about Fantasy Football Leagues but really had no idea how it worked.  So this season we had a league at Legacy.  I signed up, went to training camp, drafted players but still didn't know what I was doing.  I took advice from fellow coaches and the commissioner himself helped me out but still I lost.

So...yesterday we had a tailgate party and trophies were presented to the winners.  And just for participating, I received a bobblehead.

Monday, January 27, 2014

It's Almost SAD

I was Arne's on Sunday to purchase some football decorations and got sucked into the aisle with Mardi Gras decorations which then drew me into the SAD vortex.
They have several aisles dedicated to SAD (Single Awareness Day).  SAD is observed on February 14.  In some cultures it is also known as Valentine's Day.

The bright side to SAD is that Mardi Gras will be just a few weeks later.  Arne's has more aisles dedicated to Mardi Gras than they do to SAD; and that is always great news!


Slow Moving

I don't know if my momentum had lost its speed because I was off on Friday or what but I really had a hard time doing anything on Saturday.  I did make it to Fit but before that I got sucked into watching Monster-In-Law.  It was well after 5:00PM before I even made it to Starbucks so I sat on the patio and watched the sun set.  I think I even used the word cattywampus.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Ice Man Cometh

It happened again.  It hasn't happened in three years.  A fraction of an inch of ice brought Houston to it's knees on Friday.   We knew it was coming but there's very little you can do about it.

I grew up in Ft. Worth so I know ice baby.  I also know that a thin coating of ice on some of these mega flyover bridges where highways interchange are asking for trouble.   In a case like yesterday, it's always best just to stay home.

The surface roads were fine but it's the ice that you can't see that causes the problems.  And yes,  all the Yankees were making fun of us but give us a break,  this hasn't happened in three years.  And karma is a bitch!

All you haters who were laughing at us,  well just remember,  we're prepared for the heat.   We just crank down that air conditioning (as early as February) and start preparing for the long, hot summer.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pic Of The Day - 01.24.14

We've had some swings in the weather this week.   On Thursday,  the temperature started to drop and then it started to rain.  That is never a good sign. 

HRC Houston was having a kickoff for the upcoming gala.  The reception was at BBVA Compass Stadium and I really debated about going.  I am glad I attended.

It's always great to see my friends but it's always fun when you get access to a private club and then a celebrity shows up.

Guinevere Turner, best known for writing the screenplay for American Psycho, was the guest speaker.   What a treat!  (And oops, I forgot to get her photo.)

Don't Judge Me

I worked late on Wednesday and broke down and went to McDonalds.  It happens. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It Started Off As A Good Day...

and any day that starts off with this...

 should not end like this...
You see...

Yesterday we celebrated a co-worker's birthday with miniature cupcakes.  It was a festive atmosphere at work.  However, later that day she called me and was very upset.  She was on her way to pickup her granddaughter at school when a man ran a red light and hit her another car.  Believe it or not she walked away from this accident.

Things can change in a New York minute.

Be safe everyone!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pic of the day - 01.20.14

It was Chamber of Commerce weather on Monday...until the wind started blowing and stirred up the dust and pollen.

Pic of the day - 01.19.14

Sunday was the running of the Chevron Houston Marathon & Aramco Houston Half-Marathon.  Thousands of runners took to the streets of Houston on a new course that incorporated portions of the old course.  Of course The portion that was kept on the marathon course was the part I refer to as The Allen Parkway Death March.  Up and down.  Up and down.  Just when you don't want to go up and you only want to go down.

Anywho...I had several friends running both races.  Because of road closures and not being real familiar with the new course of course I arrived at Fit early and waited for the runners to come down Waugh Drive.  At the last minute I remembered I had my big hand in the car so I grabbed the clapper and clapped away.

I went to workout since I was already at Fit and then went to Starbucks to feed my daily addiction.  While I was there, I received a text message that AlanTheRealtor aka AlnHouston had just crossed the 30K marker.  I made my way to the portion of the course that I refer to as The Dog Leg.  Memorial Drive to Shepherd to Allen Parkway.  And yes, the big hand was with me.

When I saw AlanTheRealtor, I ran with him and the big hand for a few steps and wished him well down the Allen Parkway Death March.  This photo I snapped is of people still on the course who may or may not have finished within the allotted time.  I posted it on Instagram with the caption, "Never give up on your dreams."

Now for the rest of the story...

It was somewhat emotional being out there.  Chase Dreyer had posted this photo on his Facebook page.
Chase's dad died a few months ago so Sunday he was running for his dad.  I saw Chase before I saw Alan The Realtor and gave him a high 5 and then I almost cried.  This is an email I sent to Chase later on Sunday:

  • Hi Chase,
    First of all, once again, congratulations on finishing today!

    Second, I hope you don't think this is a weird message. I think we've only briefly talked once at Fit a few years ago or so but there is something I want to share with you.

    I don't know if you remember me giving you a high five on the Memorial Drive/Shepherd dog leg of the marathon course. I had seen your signage on your torso on Facebook page earlier so when I saw you come around the corner it really moved me.

    My dad passed away the Saturday after Thanksgiving in November 2011. In late August, cancer cells had been found in his bile duct. He had several options. Chemo & radiation and maybe have another year. Do nothing and live 3 months or less. Do surgery (a very complicate procedure called Whipple Surgery) and possibly live another 5 years.

    The surgeon who agreed to do the surgery only agreed to do it because he said even though my dad was 81, he had the body of a 60 year old. My dad ran his first marathon in Ft. Worth at age 50 and probably ran on a regular basis until some time in his 70s. The doctor attributed his fitness regimen to being so healthy.

    I was on the course for his 2nd and 3rd marathons. I think he only ran three (and I don't mean "only" to sound like I'm discounting him) marathons. He continued to participate in 5ks and 10ks.

    After watching him run those marathons, I remember thinking, "I can do that" but it wasn't until 1998 that I ran my first marathon. He came down from Ft. Worth with my mom, sister, and brother-in-law. And he came down here two other times to cheer me on. He was with me at the start line along the course and at the finish line. I've traveled to other cities to run marathons and half-marathons and always had his encouragement.

    So back to 2011. I had been training for the 2012 Houston Half Marathon but I ended up going back and forth to Ft. Worth that fall in preparation for the surgery and my training schedule went out the window. I remember after the surgery the surgeon said, "I guarantee you he will not die of cancer. We removed all of the cells." The uncertainty was whether or not he would survive the surgery. It was too much for his 81 year old body and his body rejected the changes that were made.

    Looking back, it's almost as if I lost all my inspiration to run when he died. I keep thinking that one day I'll get back out there (and lose all of this weight I've put on).

    You really moved me today. Seeing you out there running for your dad was very inspiring. I'm sure your dad was with you every step of the way just like mine will be the next time I get out there on a long run.

    Once again, congratulations and...
    Thank you!


Monday, January 20, 2014

The Mystic Society of Isis & Osiris

Saturday night (January 18, 2014) was the Inaugural Ball of The Mystic Society of Isis & Osiris.  This is a new Mardi Gras Krewe in Houston that includes many of my friends.

It was a fun evening that included dancing, mingling, adult beverages, costumes, and of course beads!  

Be sure to mark this on your calendar for next year.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pic of the day - 01.17.14

So...last night, after some adult beverages at El Real Tex-Mex, I walked back to my car at the office.  Rather than cross in the middle of Westheimer, I decided to be a law abiding citizen and use the crosswalk at a controlled intersection.

The lights in the window at Light Bulbs Unlimited really caught my eye.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Pic of the day - 01.16.14

So...I took a picture of some artwork in the building I work in but I guess I accidentally deleted it because I can't find it.

So... in lieu of that photo I am going to pay this photo of Derek Yates.   I'm not sure how I found Derek's Facebook page.   I think it had to do with a contest for being an underwear model.
Anywho... this is someone to watch.   He is an up and coming actor and model.   Look for him on Facebook and follow him on Instagram and Tumblr.
This is a photo he posted today.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pic of the day - 01.15.14

Yesterday, I did a walk-thru with some co-workers of Limelight Houston.  I had not been inside 2401 San Jacinto since July 2013.

When I walked into the club, I think I heard myself say, "Oh wow!"

The interior of the club has been renovated and while it looks similar it is very different; in a good way!

This is a photo of what I call the tunnel.  It's beneath the new stadium seating.

Curious?  You'll have to check it out for yourself.  Visit Limelight's website for hours of operation.

Carnivale - January 18, 2014 is something fun to do this weekend.  It will definitely get you in the Mardi Gras mood.

The Mystic Society of Isis & Osiris will have their inaugural ball this Saturday, January 18, 2014, at the Ensemble Theater.  The good times roll at 7:30p.m.

I asked one of the members, "What should Str8 Up With A Twist expect at this ball?"  Here is her reply:
"The event will be a combination party/dance with Venetian inspired costume presentations from our members interspersed with the music, dancing, mingling. Guests will get to interact with each other and participate in the event since there will be open dancing and open seating. Guests are to wear formal attire and if desired can bring a mask but masks are not required."

Sounds like a good reason to put on a tux on a Saturday night!

To purchase tickets, click here.
For more information about the organization, click here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Moon Over Beaumont

Yesterday I headed east on I-10 with some co-workers to Beaumont.  On the drive over, they were talking about the full moon from the previous night and yesterday morning.

After a nice meal, a couple of glasses of wine and great conversation at Suga's, it was time to head back to Houston.  Before we left the restaurant, I stepped out onto the deck and noticed the bright moon.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

This was the view yesterday from the building I work in.  Houston does have a beautiful skyline. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Am I A Target?

I just can't quit you.
On Friday, I received a new debit card.  Hmmm.  Obviously my financial institution knows that I shop on a frequent basis at Target.  Either they are being proactive or my debit card has been hacked.

Two days ago CNN reported that up to 110 million customers may have had their personal information hacked in the breach.  Target has apologized and is offering free credit monitoring.  While that is all well and good, who is going to reimburse me for the time I am now going to spend updating accounts that do an auto-debit from my card?

Can I send Target a bill for my time?  Yep, I didn't think so.

And yes, in case you're wondering, I'm still shopping there.  In the words of George W. Bush, "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."(—Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pic of the day - 01.11.14

Saturday was a weird day.  Plans did not go as planned and I was irritated the entire day. Plus,  I have something hanging over my head that was amplified by my irritation.
On my driving around on Saturday I saw a truck that was painted with a portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  If I had to guess,  the owner of the truck probably prayed to her and the prayer was answered.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico.  She is Mary,  Mother of Jesus, who appeared to Juan Diego who in turn was sent to the bishop with requests from Mary.  When she appeared to Juan Diego, her skin was brown like his.  Her feast day is December 12 and it is a throughout Latin America and in cities that have a high percentage of the population who are Hispanic.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Last night, Betty Buckley took the stage of the Cullen Theatre at The Wortham Center.  Actually, the show started with her NOT being on stage but coming in through a side door singing When You're Good To Mama from Chicago.  And it was a simple stage.  A grand piano, some ferns on pedestals, a stool, chair, table, music stand and lights adorned the stage.

The title of the show was The Vixens of Broadway which highlights the songs written for the other woman and supporting female characters of Broadway.  So think, Ado Annie from Oklahoma! singing I Cain't Say No or Perón's Mistress in Evita singing Another Suitcase In Another Hall.  And yes, she delivered on these songs and many more.

She also did a spoofed medley of songs highlighting songs sung by the other woman or the supporting cast member that steals the show and you don't see them again until curtain call with the underlying song being You Gotta Get A Gimmick from Gypsy. So think Les Miserables, Evita, and even herself being made famous for singing one note in Memory from Cats.

There were a few songs that she sang that I was not familiar with mainly because I didn't know the musical.  These were songs from Dear World and Allegro.  I hate to admit this but I've never seen Into The Woods so the Little Red Ridinghood song was also new to me.

Until last night, I thought only Linda Eder could sing Unusual Way from Nine but I must say Betty's rendition has won me over.  The one song that didn't belong to the other woman was Corner of the Sky.  I almost cried when she sang it because it is my favorite song from Pippin.  I remember seeing that show many years ago at Casa Mañana.  It brought back some conflicting memories.  She sang it because she was in Pippin on Broadway and always wanted to perform it.  And well, when you're Betty Buckley and you have a captive audience, sing it girl!

With the exception of some sound problems, a roaming photographer and someone who was using their cell phone they must have been on Grindr or Scruff OR trying to take photos it was a wonderful evening.  And speaking of the cell phone, she politely asked the guy to turn it off because it was distracting and she handled it much better than La Lupone did a while back.

And let's hear it for the girl!  She can still hit those notes!!!!  Because she had spoofed Memory earlier in the show I was afraid she wouldn't sing it.  When she stepped on stage for her encore her stance let me know that she was going to sing it even though the musical intro didn't give it away.  Throughout the song she stayed in the character of Grizabella and wowed us.  It was another moment that almost made me cry.

I thought that would be the end of the show BUT at the request of Scott Brogan from Brilliant Lecture Series  she sang Send In The Clowns from A Little Night Music.

Thank you Betty for sharing your talent with us last night and you did sparkle in more more ways than one.

Betty was going to be signing her Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway cd after the show.  I got sidetracked in the lobby by visiting with people including Lydia Baehr from Lydia Baehr Public Relations.  Plus, the previous evening at Tenenbaum & Co. I had already met her; it was the highlight of my week; another wonderful memory.

Friday, January 10, 2014

From Bowling Alley to Broadway Legend - One Night Only

I've often been told that I am multifaceted. This isn't to imply that I have multiple personalities it's just that I have varied interests and can fit in almost anywhere.  So I guess maybe I'm a quasi-chameleon?  For example...

Last night was the Legacy employee holiday party at Lucky Strike.  There were multiple reasons we did the party in January but long story short it's always good to try and round up the employees for an evening of fun.

I would have stayed longer at Lucky Strike BUT I had an invitation to meet Betty Buckley at a private party.

Bowling Alley?  Betty Buckley?  Karaoke?  Broadway Legend?  Pool Table?  Cases Of Jewelry?  Guess what I chose.

I left the party early and went to Tenenbaum & Co. for a meet and greet with Betty Buckley.  Tenenbaum & Co. has some beautiful jewelry.  I had never been there so I was thrilled to be able to peruse their collection of jewelry without feeling pressured to buy something like I could afford it.

When I walked in, Betty was the first person I saw and I was star struck but not to the point where I was willing to step into the circle of guests and interrupt the conversation.  I partook in stunning repartee with Lydia from Lydia Baehr Public Relations and other guests.  Eventually, I made my way over to Betty and met her.  She is everything I imagined her to be because Fort Worth like us are good people.
Steve Bland, Betty Buckley & Timmy Martinez
I can't wait to see her perform tonight!  Don't forget...if you need more information about the show, visit Brilliant Lecture Series website.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


One of my co-workers described yesterday as mizzle.  Not sure if that is a combination of miserable and drizzle or what but it was drizzling but not as chilly as it has been.  This is a pic I took from inside my car when I was leaving FIT last night.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

And So It Goes

On Friday, the legendary Betty Lynn Buckley makes an appearance in Houston at The Wortham Center-Cullen Theatre.  Brilliant Lecture Series is bringing her for a one night appearance.

I had the opportunity to see her in Fort Worth at Bass Hall in 2000.  It was a wonderful evening with just her and a small combo on stage.  It was also great to see her perform on her home turf.

Betty was born in Big Spring, TX, but was raised in Fort Worth, TX.  She is the daughter of Betty Bob & Ernest Lynn Buckley.  (Don’t you just LOVE the Texas names?)  Her Fort Worth roots are deep.  She attended Arlington Heights High School, TCU, was crowned Miss Fort Worth in 1966 and was runner-up in the Miss Texas Pageant.

Betty landed her first role on Broadway her first day in New York.  She was Martha Jefferson in 1776.  She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in Cats.  She received a Tony nomination for her performance in Triumph of Love.  Betty received an Olivier Award nomination for her role as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard and went on to replace Glenn Close on Broadway.

One of the roles I would love to have seen her perform is Mama Rose in Gypsy at Papermill Playhouse.  However…if you listen to Betty Buckley An Evening At Carnegie Hall you can hear the showstopper Rose’s Turn.  The cd is by far one of my favorites and includes my favorites As If We Never Said Goodbye, With One Look and Seasons of Love.  There are two songs that form a medley on the cd that I always hum when I think of Betty and the songs are And So It Goes and Everything Must Change.  If you expect to hear her haunting, award-winning rendition of Memory, you’ll have to purchase Cats (1982 Original Broadway Cast).

What’s funny (to me) is that when I mention her name, most of my contemporaries remember her as the mom on the television series Eight Is Enough or her role in the movie Carrie.  This just goes to prove she has a wide range of talent and a wide-reaching fan base.

There is still time to purchase tickets to see this native Texan Broadway legend.  Tickets can be purchased through the box office at The Wortham and more information about the performance can  be found on Brilliant Lectures' website.  AND here's a special deal for you...

There's a promo being run through CultureMap.  You can save 50% by using promo code: GIFT2

Don't forget!  She's from Fort Worth...not Dallas.  So Houston, come out on Friday night to get give Betty Buckley a warm Houston welcome.


I know I have addictive behavior.  Shoes.  Clothes. Mardi Gras Beads.  Vodka.  Food.  Shopping at Nordstrom & Whole Foods Market.  It could also be that some of my behavior could be considered being stuck in a rut.  When all else fails for dinner ideas, I go to Whole Foods Market. 

So...once again, last night I went to Whole Foods Market on Waugh Drive and ended up just buying a slice of King Cake because I forgot I had some layered enchiladas (from Whole Foods Market) in the fridge at home.

Anyway...when I walked in I noticed that flowers seemed especially bright last night.  I'm sure it's the lighting and it's some retail trick to get people to buy flowers but anywho...these flowers really caught my eye last night.
And maybe it's just because it's that time of the year but they sort of look like they belong at a Mardi Gras party.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

So now I have you humming that classic Christmas carol that was recorded by Andy Williams.

Well, that's not the season I'm talking about.  My time of the year is Mardi Gras Season.  My love affair with Mardi Gras began in the late 80's when I was in my late 20's.  I was invited to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  I had never been to New Orleans and I had never been to Mardi Gras anywhere so I killed two birds with one stone.  And in fact, I guess you can say it became a ménage à trois.  It's a love affair between me, New Orleans and Mardi Gras.

It's not all about the debauchery and over indulgence.  It is about the beads, revelry and having a good time with family and friends.

So why did I post this today?  Well...

Yesterday, January 6, was not only The Feast of the Three Kings/Epiphany, it also signaled the beginning of Mardi Gras Season.  And Whole Foods Market was ready with the King Cake!
Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Monday, January 6, 2014

North-South vs. East-West

I've often wondered why The Calvinator walks around in a circle before he poops.  (He also, kicks dirt and sort of looks like he is doing The Running Man when he finishes.)  There are several theories about the circling (looking for predators before being in a vunerable position; matting down the leaves & grass; looking for a clean spot).  So now we have a new theory.

According to this article in New York Post, dogs are aligning themselves with the magnetic field of the earth.  Dogs prefer to poop facing north-south as opposed to east-west.  Hmmm...I've never noticed but I guess I'll start paying more attention.  I have a good sense of north-south so I won't have to carry a compass.  I wouldn't be surprised if The Calvinator doesn't face north-south; he isn't just any ordinary dog.

Bright Lights; Big Shadows

So last night I was out walking The Calvinator in his 'hood and noticed a really cool shadow being cast on the sidewalk at Delpelchin.  I prefer to walk him at night on their campus because they have sidewalks and lights.  For some reason, last night was the first night I noticed how bright the lights are in one of their parking lots.

This photo is the fence shadow on Sandman.
follow me on Instagram (calvinzdad)

Sunday, January 5, 2014


I walked in to Whole Foods on Waugh and was immediately hit with a sea of purple; quite stunning.

You can see other photos from Saturday by following me on Instagram.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


This is the view from FIT. I took the photo on 1/3/13 while I was on the elliptical.  The sun coming up behind the Houston skyline is always a beautiful sight.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind - 01.03.14

Congratulations to Annise Parker who was sworn in yesterday for her third term as Mayor of the United States' 3rd 4th Largest City, Houston, Texas!  Due to term limits, this will be Annise's final term.
source: OutSmart Magazine
According to The Houston Chronicle,
"...Parker called for coastal hurricane protections and, again, an end to chronic homelessness. She drew applause for saying “real progress” in street and drainage improvements will soon be visible and for promising to pass a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation and gender identity."  
You can read the full story here and read coverage of her inauguration celebration via CultureMap here.

So...I ran across a couple of things that made me giggle.

The first one is from the Today Show.  There is a guy who has recreated some iconic scenes from movies using his dog.  For instance, here is his interpretation from The Graduate:
You can view the other photos here.  AND The Calvinator should be glad I haven't made him do this. Just sayin'.

Remember the Cabbage Patch Kids?
 Well today on my Facebook feed someone posted this:
You can learn more about the hats here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It Was A Beautiful Sunset...

but I was stuck in traffic and couldn't take a photo.  Normally I don't have traffic issues but I decided to go the Super Target past Texas Medical Center. 

Just so you know what you missed,  I captured some photos off of Instagram.  The first one is from Ryan Korsgard and the second one is from Hope Stone. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you the very best in 2014!

One of the best things I heard about resolutions is that they really should be called intenions.  I have a few things that I intend to do.   A few of them I started before today.

And one thing to remember,  everyday is a new opportunity.