Thursday, February 27, 2014

RIP Jim Lange :-*

So amongst all of the babble from the yahoo on CNN, I was a little taken aback when Today Show reported that Jim Lange had died at the age of 81.  I remember watching him on The Dating Game.

More about Jim can be found here.

Pic Of The Day - 02.26.14

We need the rain here in Houston.  We are way behind on our rainfall.  However...did it really have to rain on the day that I had to travel way outside of the loop?  UGH!
photo taken back inside the loop

Pic Of The Day - 02.25.14

On Tuesday, I went to vote early in the Democrat Primary.  I voted early because I will be in New Orleans on Tuesday for Mardi Gras!  On my way back to the car, I noticed some public art.  It was nice to see this pop of colour.

What's Love Got To Do With It?

So...this morning, I actually made my way to Fit to do some cardio.  I was listening to KRBE and then switched to watching the telly when Today Show started.  Even though the first 20 minutes of Today Show is composed of news that doesn't stop, I really dislike the last 10 minutes so I usually try to find something else to watch or go back to listening to KRBE.

At Fit, there are rows of television monitors and I usually scan them to see if anything looks interesting.  I can usually count on CNN to keep me entertained until Today Show starts up again.

So...this morning I see THIS yahoo being interviewed by Chris Cuomo.

The yahoo actually has a name.  His name is Bill Donohue and he is president of The Catholic League.

According to their website:

The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. Founded in 1973 by the late Father Virgil C. Blum, S.J., the Catholic League defends the right of Catholics – lay and clergy alike – to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination.
Motivated by the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment, the Catholic League works to safeguard both the religious freedom rights and the free speech rights of Catholics whenever and wherever they are threatened.
And there's more! Why is there a need for this organization?
And today’s brand of anti-Catholicism is more virulent and more pervasive than ever before in American history. While it is true that Catholics as individuals have made progress in securing their rights, the degree of hostility exhibited against the Catholic Church is appalling. Quite simply, Catholic bashing has become a staple of American society.
REALLY? The Catholic Church is under attack? Am I the last (Roman) Catholic to know this?

So...this morning, Chris Cuomo talks to the yahoo about the Anti-Gay Bill (SB 1062) that was vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  The yahoo should have known better not to argue emotion because Chris was arguing facts.  And the more facts he argued, the more outrageous the answers became from the yahoo.

I actually found myself laughing in disbelief at some of the answers and the unreasonable answers.  I wish I could post the entire interview.  You can listen to a part of it here.

And I guess the thing that really got me was when he said that love has nothing to do with marriage.  According to him, marriage is about duty and commitment.  If marriage is based on love, then a brother and a sister could get married.  

And a couple of more things...
1. According to a recent survey, the views on gay marriage are shifting.
2. Bill Donohue DOES NOT speak for all Catholics.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Here's To Elaine Stritch

My friend Greg Fredo has had a longtime love affair with Elaine Stritch.  I must confess that if wasn't for him she probably wouldn't have shown up on my radar.  Because of him, I learned to appreciate Elaine. turns out there is a documentary about that looks really interesting.

I think she does the best rendition of Ladies Who Lunch.

Which now leads me down the road to the movie Camp. This movie has some great songs in it and the actors really do a great job with the story line and music. There is a longer clip from the movie that gives the background story on these two girls. If you want to see it, just search YouTube. Here is their rendition of Ladies Who Lunch.

OK. So that now leads to two of my other favorite moments from Camp. Enjoy these two clips!

Pic Of The Day - 02.24.14

I was out walking The Calvinator at lunch yesterday and noticed that one of my neighbors had planted some pansies.  While we didn't stop to smell the roses, we did stop to enjoy the pansies.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pic Of The Day - 02.23.14

This house on Caroline Street behind Limelight Houston.  I look at it and wonder who lived there when it was first built?  Who else lived there throughout the years?  It's definitely a safety hazard but do the current owners think it can be saved and that is why it is still standing?

RECAP: Mystery and Fantasy Mardi Gras Party 2014

I'm not bragging BUT I will say this was a fun party and I'm glad I was able to be a part of the host committee. The new interior at Limelight really played well into Science Fiction theme. I'm not a pic fan of SciFi. I thought about resurrecting my Killer Klown kostume from 2001 but I didn't want to have to deal with clown makeup all night. I REALLY wanted to do something from the Mad Max series but they're all grungy. (The only person who ever looked fabulous was Tina Turner as Aunty Entity in Beyond Thunderdome.)

We had 1,228 guests plus the 58 hosts.  Throw in some beads, a couple of dancers and top it off with alcohol and you have a fabulous party!

photo: Kendall Kessel
photo: Brett Cullum

photo: Brett Cullum

photo: Ken Council

Friday, February 21, 2014

See You Later Bryan

If you've  been following my recent blog posts, you might remember me making a comment that there was something I need to write about but I wasn't ready to do so.  I've put it off as long as possible but today is the day.  I think I have waited writing this because the reality of the loss of friend hit me hard today when I attended a funeral Mass for him.

A few weeks ago I was at work and was getting ready to call it a day.  It was later than I usually stay.  I was getting ready to turn off my computer and a message appeared via Facebook from Trisha Beissel.  It was a request to call her.  I had met Trisha maybe once or twice.

The message really concerned because I knew that her mother had heart surgery within the past year or so.  I thought it was odd that Trisha was asking me to call her because if something had had happened to her mother, why wasn't Bryan calling me?

When I spoke with Trisha, she told me Bryan had died.  It was news I didn't expect to hear.  In fact, I had to repeat back to her what I thought I had heard her say.  And I was correct, Bryan was dead.

I met Bryan in 1997 at St. Anne Catholic Church here in Houston.  He was a part of a group of guys that would attend the Sunday, 5:00PM Mass.  AttyHou and I made friends with the group and every now and then we would go across the street to Cafe Adobe for fellowship after Mass.

Throughout the years, Bryan and I would find ourselves at the same party or fundraiser.  We did some traveling together which provided us with some great memories.  He became a BeadBoy and hosted some Mardi Gras parties with me and some others.
BeadBoys Party

Bryan had friends around the world.  He traveled the world because of his job and he made friends everywhere he went.

Bryan left Houston and moved to Atlanta.  As time went on, we didn't speak to each as often as we used to when he lived in Houston; it happens.

Sometimes when Bryan would be in Houston for work we would get together for dinner.  On occasion, his mother would join us.  He was the type of person that I could pick up the conversation where we last left off.

He was also the type of person that would do anything for you...within reason.

Our last conversation was early/mid-January.  We reminisced about a trip to Los Angeles and how much fun we had coming back to Houston.  We had a good laugh going down Memory Lane.  I also told him to think about coming to Houston for the Mystery & Fantasy Mardi Gras Party on 2/22/14.  He said he would think about it.

I sent Bryan a text message on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and never heard back from him.  I thought it was a bit odd but I didn't think too much about it when he didn't reply.  Within a week he would be dead.

Bryan was 51 when he died; a year younger than me.
At 1308 Cantina, April 2, 2010
 I was upset to hear the news.  I called his mother and we shared a few tears and laughs over the phone.  Bryan was cremated and due to the big ice/snow storm in Atlanta, there was going to be a delay in the delivery of his ashes.  And so, a Mass was scheduled for today and the reality of Bryan being dead hit me like a train.

When the arrangements were made, Trisha asked if I would say a few words at the service and I agreed.  I wasn't sure what to say and even when Mass started, I still wasn't sure what I would say.  I had a long continuous dream last night about the funeral.  I didn't sleep well.

This morning, I went to Starbucks and jotted down a few bullet points and then it was time to go to the church.

I shared some memories with the congregants.  It was by far one of the hardest things I have had to do.  I told them how we met at a church.  I told them about our last conversation and I'm glad we were able to laugh.  I told them that I had invited him to come to Houston for the Mystery & Fantasy Mardi Gras Party tomorrow.

If you could say that we had a song, it would be Amber's Above The Clouds and I shared that with the assembly.

I ended it by saying that if you believe heaven is above the clouds, then Bryan is there smiling at us.  And because I said hello to him the first time at church I was glad that I could be at a church at a Mass in his memory and be able to say, "See you later Bryan."

St. Justin the Martyr Catholic Church

EPILOGUE: A lady who was at the Mass told me that my comments made her smile.  Several guys who there told me I did good job.  Bryan's dad found me at the luncheon and thanked me for speaking.  He said he could tell that I spoke from my heart.

Pic Of The Day - 02.20.14 (Not really)

So...I'm sort of fudging here. 

I've been trying to take one photo per day; at least one.  Well, yesterday got away from me.  There's been quite a bit on my mind.  I realized this morning that I had not taken a photo BUT THEN I realized I had done a screenshot of something on Instagram and well, I consider a screenshot a photo so I DID take a photo.  BUT THEN I realized I actually took the screenshot on Wednesday not Thursday but it was late in the day so I'll consider it my Pic Of The Day for 2/20/14.

I actually kind of like the idea because many times I will see a quote or something like it that I like and I'll do a screenshot.  So here ya go.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


More and more I find myself thinking in hashtags and I didn't realize it until I saw this video (#Hashtag2 with Jimmy Fallon & Jonah Hill).  I use them on Twitter and Instagram and sometimes on Facebook.  I don't actually verbalize or use the hand gesture but I think I might just start using the hand signal which I guess means I have to verbalize what I'm thinking otherwise it doesn't make any sense.

More Photos From Richards, TX

Lake Conroe

This was my view yesterday morning from my room at La Torretta. It's not a bad way to start the day.

Mystery and Fantasy Mardi Gras Party

I love receiving mail.  And yesterday when I arrived at home with The Calvinator, who had been on holiday at Dogtopia, there were several packages from UPS and FEDEX waiting for me.  All of them had to do with my attire for the upcoming Mystery & Fantasy Mardi Gras Party on Saturday night.

BUT...there was one parcel that came through the USPS and it was the one I didn't expect to receive until next week.

When I opened the box, I was expecting to see what I had purchased but instead I saw this!
Don't you just LOVE the wrapping?  So now you're probably wondering what I bought.  Well, if I tell you now or show you the picture, it won't be a surprise.  If you see me Saturday night, you'll know what it is and if you don't see me Saturday night, you'll just have to wait until I post some photos from the party.

And speaking of Mystery and Fantasy Mardi Gras Party...another thing that I like about it is that is a party just to have fun.  The hosts pay for it and we don't ask for donations.  It's not a fundraiser.  It's just a fun party!

Rapper's Delight with Brian Williams (and friends)

I fell asleep last night watching the Olympics.  I haven't been feeling well; allergies are kicking my butt.  Anywho...I woke up on the couch with the television on and it was a bit after 11:00PM CST.  It must have been this song that awakened me.  It's a great mash up using Brian Williams, Lester Holt and Kathy Lee Gifford doing Rapper's Delight.

I've watched it several times this morning. I've tweeted it. I've shared it on Facebook. It's brilliant! I look forward to the night that I am well rested and can watch Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. He is definitely the breath of fresh air that the show needed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Hottest Ticket In Town (?)

This Saturday is the Mystery and Fantasy Mardi Gras Party.  I joined this group a few years ago because I always had a fun time at the party...from what I can remember.

The party always has a theme.  This year it is Science Fiction.  I'm not a big SciFi fan so I'm opting for a tux with a mask.

The party is by invitation only which means you have to know one of the hosts.  Each host is given a limited number of invitations and since there are only 60 of use, there really are a limited amount of invitations.

Limelight's new decor fits perfectly into the SciFi theme.  Many of our guests haven't been to 2401 San Jacinto since it has been remodeled so they are definitely in for a treat!

Oh, and in case you don't believe me about the hottest ticket in town, this was posted on Facebook earlier this week:

Have You Ever Been To Richards, TX?

Well, I had never even heard of the place until I arrived there on Tuesday. I was there with some co-workers and we participated in The Cowboy Solution. It was a great two days. Here are some photos from Tuesday.

Pic Of The Day - 02.17.14

Do you ever drive by a place and think, "I want to eat there but I don't because they're always so busy"? That's how I feel about El Rey. They're always busy and no matter which direction you come from, there is usually a traffic jam in front, on the side or in the parking lot. There are only two restaurants that I'm willing to go through that much work for and those restaurants are Paulie's and Brennan's.

Monday, February 17, 2014

It Must Be Mardi Gras Season...

if Costco is selling large bags for Zapps!  Of course I couldn't resist.

It was supposed to be a leisurely stroll through Costco on Sunday.  I ended up buying all kinds of snacks.  Oh well.

SAD Remnants

"There's got to be a morning after..."

This was the scene at Kroger on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pic Of The Day - 02.14.14

And I bet you thought I would do another SAD posting.  Well, there's one on my Instagram page.  I went to a SAD party at work.  I also went to a fabulous dinner party that had SAD decorations. 

The dinner party was at a fabulous house in River Oaks.  There were four couples and two singles.  The hosts made sure the couples didn't sit next to each other so that is always fun.  Also, I never thought I would be playing bingo in a house on Kirby Drive.  It was a fun night.

On my way to dinner, I snapped this photo.  It was a full moon that was very bright.  I was at a stop light when I snapped the pic.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Greetings From The Calvinator

To everyone who observes Valentine's Day or Single Awareness Day, The Calvinator thinks you are cute stuff.

Pic Of The Day - 02.13.14

Even though this is a SAD (Single Awareness Day) photo, I like it because of the color.  Believe it or not, I didn't use and Instagram filter on it.  You see...

I had to run to the grocery store to buy The Calvinator some Rachel Ray dog food to mix with his Blue Buffalo kibbles.  It was just at sunrise and the sky was a nice mix of orange, pink & blue.  Hence, the pink tone on the SAD tent.

It's SAD - Single Awareness Day

Today is the day that many of us are reminded that we are single.  And while couples are out paying high prices for dinner, and florists are driving all over town delivering flowers, and chocolates are being consumed by the pound, there are those of us who will consider this just another day.

There is a bright spot in all of this for me.  First of all, I *heart* this photo from Kinky Boots.  It was on their Facebook page and it has some of the best lines from their songs.

And the second part is that I've been invited to dinner in River Oaks.  Some friends are having a small dinner party and I have no idea who is invited and I'm fine with that.  It will make for an interesting evening and knowing these guys, it will be fun!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dale Hansen Speaks...

and the world listens.

No one ever expected Dale Hansen to say this about Michael Sam. Thank you Dale for being on the right side of history.

Attack Of The SAD Balloons

So...I go walking in to Kroger on Studemont to pick up some dog food for The Calvinator.  It was late in the evening and I had been at a meeting so I was a bit tired.  I go walking in and there was a bevy of SAD balloons that accosted me in the entry way!  Even Tweety Bird is on the SAD conspiracy!  I can't get away from the reminders.  I'll be happy when Single Awareness Day is over.

Pic Of The Day - 02.11.14

Amongst all of the SAD reminders, its nice to see Mardi Gras decorations.  I snapped this photo at Whole Foods and then snatched up a piece of King Cake.