Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pic Of The Day - 08.28.15 - At The Car Wash

My mom said her car had not been washed since my dad died. That is going on four years. So...I took the car to have air put in the tires and to get it washed. I ended up in Watauga. It's been a long time since I've been in Watauga.

While I was sitting in the car going through the car wash, I snapped this collage of photos. It's sort of artsy fartsy.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Remembering Katrina

It started on August 28, 2005.

I heard that Hurricane Katrina was classified as a Category 5 and was aiming for New Orleans. It was the storm New Orleanians always spoke of and hoped would never happen. This was the big one.

For the first time in its history, a mandatory evacuation of the City had been ordered by Mayor Ray Nagin. The shelter of last resort? The Superdome.

Call Lisa. She had left well before the evacuation order was issued and was on her way to Houston with the kids. Where's Kevin? West coast trying to head east.

I-10 west from New Orleans #parkinglot

Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005. Initial reports from New Orleans #alliswell

I caught up with Kevin and Lisa on the evening of August 29, 2005, at the J.W. Marriott in The Galleria area on Westheimer. Lisa's family was there.

We ate at Ninfa's by the ice rink. The Galleria was packed and everyone knew each other. THESE were the people who could get out on their own and had a place to go. There was an odd electricity in the air. #distractthekids

There were odd conversations happening. #whathaveyouheard #theleveesheld #neworleansdodgedabullet

I said good-bye to Kevin and Lisa. #hughugkisskiss

I woke up on August 30, 2005, to the news that the levee system failed. #neworleansisunderwater

The reports started coming in that people were stranded in the Superdome. Reports of hospitals without power and flooded. Reports of people in their attics and on their roofs because the water had risen that high. Reports of bodies floating down streets.

Call Kevin and Lisa at the J.W. Marriott. They've checked out. Call Beth. Kevin and Lisa had left and were making their way to Lafayette.

And then it turned out that the reports WERE true. I remember a guy calling in to CNN from Hotel Monaco that he was a guest and was stranded.

Soledad O'Brien reporting from the Convention Center. People went there hoping for help and no one was there.

Where was FEMA? #michaelbrownatruthschris #batonrouge Nagin? #rantingontheradio Blanco? #pissingcontest Bush #onanairplane

There was enough blame for everyone to share. #annericeranting What amazed me was that all of this was happening 300 miles to the east of me. We can airlift food and water to people overseas but we can't help our own? HOW does this happen in the United States of America? HOW do we leave our fellow citizens stranded? WE don't do that but OUR government let it happen.

It still puts a lump in my throat to think this was only 10 years ago. And the City of New Orleans was not the only one affected by this storm. Other parts of Louisiana, and Mississippi and Alabama received their share of damage.

We Will Rise Again - George Rodrigue

Parts of New Orleans have recovered, others have not. People who made their way to Houston...some have stayed, others went back to New Orleans. Why would they do that?

There is something about New Orleans. For some people, it's in their DNA. For me, it's hard to explain. I fell in love with the City the first time I visited. I can understand why someone would go back and rebuild their life.

I've been told by multiple people that I'm an old soul. New Orleans is an old city. It was bound to happen.

It's the people. The people are resilient; it's in their blood. It's the music. #birthplaceofjazz It's the food. #cajuncreole It's the city that care forgot. #laissezlesbontempsrouler It's the city that has always welcomed me with open arms.

Tennessee Williams once said, “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” #iagree

There are defining moments in everyone's lives and unfortunately I have had two within four years of each other...9/11/01 and Hurricane Katrina. Let us never forget.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Pic Of The Day - 08.27.15 - Swag

There was a Yappy Hour at Upper Kirby on National Dog Day. I was late getting home and was unable to take The Calvinator. However, on Thursday, the management staff bequeathed him with a swag bag for Post-National Dog Day.

Pic Of The Day - 08.26.15 - National Dog Day With The Calvinator

Pic Of The Day - 08.25.15 - "Hello Stranger!"

It rained. We went from a period of being deluged with rain to a dry period so we were due for a storm or two.

This was the view from the 4th floor of Legacy Community Health looking toward downtown as the storm approached.

It's an odd phenomenon with some of the people I work with. It rains and some people go into Chicken Little mode. Yes, I've been caught in my share of storms and flooded streets but I also try to remain calm. Maybe it's just me?

Pic Of The Day - 08.24.15 - So Then This Happened

I don't always shop at Highland Village but when I do it requires a stop at Sprinkles. You see...

I needed to purchase some cards and Paper Source always has an unusual selection plus I always find things I don't need. It just so happens that Sprinkles is right next door and I did consider take-out from P.F. Changs but I'm sort of trying to budget my money. Anywho...

I purchased 1 Salted Caramel, 1 Red Velvet and 1 Carrot Cake + 2 Doggy Cupcakes for The Calvinator for National Dog Day (cupcakes not pictured).

P.S. I didn't share the cupcakes.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pic(s) Of The Day - 08.23.15 - Social Security

Driving around Houston you just never know what type of art you might see and such was the case on Sunday. These murals are on the building that was once the Social Security office and will soon be a Whole Foods.

Pic Of The Day - 08.22.15 - Where's The Fire

There's always something happening at H-E-B on Dunlavy. Saturday was Kids' Day and there were all types of activity going on inside the store. As I was leaving, this vintage fire truck was pulling up.

Pic(s) Of The Day - 08.21.15 - Take Me Out (Again & Again)

I was back at the ballpark and no that is not a complaint. It was Oxy night at the ballpark and the Dodgers were in town to play the Astros. It was good game. Actually it was a historic game!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pic Of The Day - 08.20.15 - Remembering Katrina

The 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is approaching. As part of the commemoration, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu made a stop in Houston to thank the city for everything we did to help the evacuees. Houston wasn't the only city that opened its doors but it was the first to step up to the plate to offer an option to those who found themselves stranded in New Orleans. Houston also took in the highest number of evacuees.

This is a photo that Annise Parker posted. I believe it was a photo on Mitch Landrieu's Instagram page. It shows people housed in the Astrodome. From the Houston Chronicle:

One of the most notable temporary housing options for the evacuees was Houston's Astrodome, which housed thousands of evacuees during the weeks following the storm. Many of the people who ended up at the sports complex were transported via buses hightailing it from New Orleans. Volunteers set up temporary cots, clothes lines and food stations throughout the complex and doctors came through to provide medical attention to those with serious need.

As people started to move back to what remained of their homes and decide where they wanted to spend their future, a number of those displaced by the storm opted to stay in Houston. Former Mayor White said there are an estimated 40,000 evacuees who are now full fledged Houstonians.

"What we do know is that we were already kissing cousins and we became closer," Mayor Parker said. "We already had a lot of cultural overlap. Our food became just a little bit spicier and our culture became just a little bit richer because so many people came here."

Pic Of The Day - 08.19.15 - Keeping An Eye On The Tropics

Tropical Storm Danny has formed. It's too soon to determine what will happen but it is a good reminder that we are approaching the peak of hurricane season which is September 10.

Pic(s) Of The Day - 08.18.15 - What A Day

Every now and then I have one of those non-stop days. It started off with the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Health Summit and Business Expo at the Hilton Americas. That evening I was at the launch party for Heart of Fashion which will take place in November. Then, it was off to China Garden for EPAH's dinner meeting and election of officers. At the meeting I was elected Vice President. What a day!

Pic(s) Of The Day - 08.17.15 - Reading Is Fundamental

I attended a meeting at Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. We (Legacy) are working with them to help us get volunteers for our Little Readers Programs. They're doing good work at the Foundation but I was really intrigued with the art work.

Pic Of The Day - 08.16.15 - The Beginning Of The End

I took a nap and was awakened by the sound of thunder. It was all OK until the power went out around Richmond & Kirby. It stayed out for about an hour and The Calvinator and I took the steps up and down so that he could go for a stroll.

The power came back on and then went off again. This time it was for about 15 minutes. It messed up my evening because I couldn't cook or watch Big Brother.

It also brought back memories of Hurricane Ike.

Pic(s) Of The Day - 08.15.15 - Strolling With The Calvinator

There is an old apartment complex that backs up to The Calvinator's Upper Kirby Crib. All of the residents had to be out by July 31, 2015. The complex will be torn down and a new development will go up. The property has an orange tree, crepe myrtle and this bougainvillea.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pic Of The Day - 08.14.15 - Take Me Out (Again)

The Houston Astros are having a great season. This isn't how it was supposed to happen. And, during this winning season, I have been very fortunate to be the recipient of tickets to their games.

This time I was with AlnHouston in Suite 99. It was an evening of free food, great conversation and good baseball. The Tigers were in town but I didn't get to see Brad Ausmus.

In case you don't who Brad Ausmus is, this is him.

Pic Of The Day - 08.13.15 - Shopping From A To Z

I need some new athletic wear and I'd been looking at this Astros colored shirt at Sports Authority which then lead to me looking for a bargain or two which then lead to me walking down to DSW and finding some shoes and socks and boy was I tired!

Pic Of The Day - 08.12.15 - I Know Who You Are And I Saw What You Did

I was not allowed to post anything on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I couldn't tell anybody what I was doing at la griglia. People saw me. People know what I did. However, they were sworn to the same secrecy. That's all I can say.

Some days I live an undercover life. I should be a spy. And nobody does it better.

Pic(s) Of The Day - 08.11.15 - Itza Her Birthday Too!

It was Chree's birthday; a milestone birthday. It was a parade of flowers going through the office. It was a day of boxes of cupcakes.It was fun!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pic Of The Day - 08.10.15 - On The Radio

It's been awhile since I've been interviewed on the radio. Januari Leo hosts a radio show for Legacy Community Health on KPFT. It was National Health Center Week and I spoke about Legacy's history and growth as an FQHC.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pic Of The Day - 08.09.15 - Lemonade

Kroger had a bright display of flowers in their floral department. The bouquets were named Lemonade and with that pop of pink it should have been Pink Lemonade.

Pic Of The Day - 08.08.15 - See You Later Bill

Often it has been said that only the good die young. It's always sad when someone dies way too soon and such was the case with Bill Barrow.

I met Bill when we were in the Krewe Of Olympus-Texas. It was a person with a big heart and a creative flair.

Bill died in July and on his birthday, a Mardi Gras-esque celebration of his life was held.

There was a very nice write-up about him in the Houston Chronicle. You can read it here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pic(s) Of The Day - 08.07.15 - Not Today Satan! Not Today!

This is NOT how you want to be awakened to meet the neighbors.

The fire alarm in the building went off at 1:08AM. At first I thought it was the alarm clock but I soon realized it was the fire alarm. It even awakened The Calvinator.

So...I went out to the balcony to determine if there was fire/smoke beneath me, above me or to the side of me. Negative.

Then, I went to the door to feel for heat. Negative.

Then, I slowly opened the door to smell for smoke. Negative.

Then, I put on my shoes, grabbed by billfold, keys, two phones, the leash and The Calvinator and down we went, four flights of stairs. Before we entered the stairwell, it did occur to me that this could be an alarm to notify of us of an active shooter in the building. The other thought that occurred to me was that maybe a gunman/gunwoman pulled the alarm to get people in the hallways and stairwells and start shooting at us.

I didn't grow with that mentality. When a fire alarm sounded it meant it was either a fire drill or a fire. Growing up it NEVER would have occurred to me that someone could be attempting to kill people. It made me sad that this is the environment we live in.

So...The fire truck was approaching as we exited. It was only a matter of minutes.

And it turns out, some guy was trying to get his girlfriend's attention and pulled the alarm. #notcool #childish

Pic(s) Of The Day - 08.06.15 - I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream

It's difficult to say, "No" to ice cream especially in the middle of the afternoon at work! We had a going away party for our Summer Interns.