Wednesday, August 31, 2005
A happy day in New Orleans.
Who's looking at who? (OK, whom)
I have heard from people who have heard from people that the Aquarium in New Orleans was completely destroyed. I don't know if it is true, but it would make sense considering the location. I can still find no info about the zoo since the flooding began. If you have some, let me know, even if it's bad news.
The aquarium was a happy place, home to many many penguins and sharks and fish and sea turtles and the like. Since most of these animals can swim, perhaps some made it out to sea and can begin a new life. Perhaps the penguins will start a new colony in Jamaica! We went to the IMAX at the aquarium. In the lobby, it smelled like a mixture of popcorn and band-aids. Very strange, I know.
I can hardly watch the news. It is heart-breaking.
Is it too soon for a little comic relief? The past couple of days have been so tragic and sad, and I feel like I have been hit by a bus. We took the monkey hiking...he's lucky - he got carried most of the way. But here he is, braving the steep high cliffs of the Minnewaska Trail. One thing's for sure. he never complains.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
PHOTOS FROM NEW ORLEANS
I never thought I liked New Orleans until Kev and I spent our honeymoon there in April 2003. It is a city of great food, great music, beautiful gardens, friendly people, Meyer the Hatter, Voodoo BBQ, the Sock Monkey Man, and lots of nice animals at the zoo and aquarium, including the penguin in the photo. I have also been to Biloxi and Gulfport. I feel very sad for the people and animals on the gulf coast. This is a bad day.
The last few mornings of our trip, Ryan started saying "coffee" every time he saw me. I wonder why that is?
Monday, August 29, 2005
Canada goose (hundreds)
Hawk 1 (could not ID)
Hawk 2 (could not ID)
Some kind of Heron (Prob. Great Blue)
Some kind of thrush (heard)
Hummingbird (prob. ruby-throated)
(I unfortunately did not have my field guide with me)
Tons of dragonflies*
Tree frog (heard)
*Have you guys noticed that there seems to be a lot more dragonflies this year? Maybe it is just because of my new pay attention policy, but I have been seeing them everywhere in great numbers.
Left Hyde Park yesterday at around noon, and about nine hours later, walked through the door at Palo Pinto. A long day of travel, but the flight wasn't bad. We ordered some Thai food and went to bed early. I kept waking up not knowing where I was, and managed to sleep in until 8:00, so I must have been tired. Felt sorry for Kev having to get up early and go to work. I don't have to be at my office until 1:00.
I was glad to see that everyone has been blogging A LOT, but I know I will never be able to catch up on reading them all. I will do my best. I also have some photos to post, but no time today. In the meantime, here are a few things I learned on my trip:
- Sandwiches always taste better on the side of a cliff in the middle of a 7 mile hike.
- Bats are really cool until one flies right at your head.
- If you put honey on your finger, the butterflies will sit right there and drink it.
- Frogs never drink.
- The world's largest kaleidoscope in is Mt. Tremper, NY.
- Apparently, fall is "asteroid season." (I am suspicious of that one.)
- Sailing is fun!
If you are someone who is unable to embrace the heat, I recommend a trip to the Hudson Valley in late August, as it is delightfully cool and quite scenic.
Time to get back to the real world...
UPDATE: Not really digging the real world...I want my vacation back.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Since the Hudson Valley is home to the Culinary Institute of America, there are lots of good chefs in the area. On Wednesday, we ate at a cafe in New Paltz, home of many many people who wear tie-dye and smoke various things and protest whatever they can and so forth. It is kinda like Denton, for those of you who know Denton, but more quaint. Anyway, at this cafe there is a chef from the CIA, and he prepared for me a delicious grilled brie sandwich with blueberries and almonds. Unexpected combo, huh? Very messy, but very tasty. I will try to recreate it at home someday.
Anyway, I look forward to catching up on my blog reading when I get back, and to sitting in my chair, and to September which is coming soon. But I will miss the people and dogs and cats and trees and mountains and birds and stars and lovely cool evenings of the Hudson Valley. And the sandwiches.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
By the way, all morning during my closet raid, Sirius First Wave has NOT played Turning Japanese. Happy times.
Whitney, I have a big bag of clothes for you. Not the JC pants, though. They're going up in flames.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Shout out to Francine, who is in town from Austin, and is planning to go to lunch at Antone's tomorrow. We WILL save Antone's, one lunch at a time.
My mom says it is worth the money to have good pants. She is going to try to help me find some on Thursday.
Kev says that even though he has no background in film, he could make a better movie than The Cave. I think he is right. I saw the commercial tonight and it looks really stupid.
Yesterday a catering truck came to sell lunch to the guys who are working on the new McMansion across the street. It was like the ice-cream man's truck, but without the scary music. Question: Am I allowed to go over there and buy some lunch from the catering truck? I was thinking they might have good tamales.
Here's the thing. I don't really need the beautiful pink cashmere wrap sweater. I have sweaters. Lots of them. And Kev is not going to like me any better if I have that sweater. And my family doesn't care what I wear. It would just be nice, I guess, to leave the house every once in a while feeling good about my clothes instead of feeling like Stacy and Clinton are going to ambush me at any minute and put me on What Not to Wear. Maybe that would be good. Maybe Stacy and Clinton could help me find some pants. I need to go sit in my chair for a few minutes.
There are birds like this and MORE at the Birds of the World show at the State Fair of Texas, which is coming soon! Please go to the bird show. It is free and you will see great birds there.
Monday, August 15, 2005
The weekend is over, but it was a good one. I spent the greater part of it sitting in my new chair, reading this book ------->.
It is a really good book, and I recommend it even if you aren't a bird person. It is sorta about birds, but it is more about paying attention and noticing things around you. It is basically about what I have been trying to say all along on this blog, but Simon Barnes says it so much better. The thing about paying attention is that you never know what you might see. For example, I go to work in a depressing office building on the service road of a depressing highway. But every day, there is a chance I might see the American Kestrels who live in the Ramada Inn overhang. So, when I get out of my car, I take a minute to look around. Every time I do see them, it makes my day just a little better. And even if I don't see them, if I look for them, I might see something else. I have seen mallards, killdeers, kingbirds, etc. If I didn't pay attention, I'd just be like the rest of the people who walk into the building with their heads down, depressed about going to work that day. Anyway, it's a good book, so check it out from your local library or wait for the paperback if you don't want to shell out the dough for the hard-cover. It is uplifting.
Since getting my chair and sitting in it a lot, I have had no nightmares, and very little stress. It is doing me a world of good. TG was asking if Kev has a chair. No, he doesn't. I was pretty sure Kev isn't the kind of person who needs a chair, but just to be sure I asked him last night if he wishes he had a chair. He said,"I don't need a chair." So, there you go. He has a desk, anyway. Also, TG, I liked the windchime idea, but the chair is in the bedroom, so that might get annoying at night.
Yesterday, my birthday concluded with dinner at my parents' house. My mom made delicious spaghetti and brownies, and my dad made home-made vanilla ice cream, and LarryFeathers was there and Albert the dog, and it was good. After all this birthday dessert, blackberry cobbler will have to wait until after vacation. I think I am going to save it for the first nice cool crisp fall day. Lots to look forward to!
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
This is Antone. He is a nice Greek man, and as you can see, he loves Texas. You may remember him from john_clarke's blog about hummus. Today, I met john_clarke for lunch and we went to the Antone Cafe, which is downtown at Main and Field (I think). If you didn't believe John about Antone saying, "You want SPICY?" and calling him Joe, then you were right, because Antone says, "You want SPICY?" and calls him MISTER Joe. He called me The Lovely Lady. And then he gave me delicious Mediterranean food (thanks to John for buying lunch).
While we were eating, Antone came to our table to lament the construction in the neighborhood which is hurting business at Antone Cafe. Antone said he has been there for thirty years, and business has never been this bad. He blames the new lofts. People that live in lofts eat inside he told us, they don't bring new business. Antone Cafe needs there to be construction of new office space which means hungry lunch customers. Lofts do him no good. He sighed and his head hung low. Then, he brought us a free plate of grapes and pomegranates. Antone is sad. I can tell. And I am sad too, and I think we must all get together and save Antone Cafe because it has a nice hard-working owner and delicious Mediterranean food. So please try to go downtown for lunch and eat at Antone Cafe, and tell people you know to do the same, especially if they work downtown. I will go back, so let me know if you want to go with me.
I have decided 37 is really not so bad. I sure did have a great birthday, with lots of nice messages from people I like, including a medley of Foreigner songs with the lyrics tricked up birthday-style which was left on our answering machine last night by my friend Shannon. I am listening to some new CDs that Kev gave me (two Band of Bees and a Robert Cray). I have new books to read and new kitchen gadgets to try, including the garlic peeling tube I blogged a blog about last month. Dinner at Nero's was great - Chicken Saltimboca and tiramisu and the usual great service from Tom, possibly the best waiter in Dallas. Met up with Julie and friends after dinner which was fun. I've got vacation coming up, September's nearly here, and I feel a groove coming on.
You may have noticed that there is a picture of a chair on this post. That is my birthday chair - a gift from Kev. The great thing is, not only is it a fabulous and perfectly Tara-style chair, but it also represents something I have wanted for a long time: my own little spot in the house. Now I have a spot where I can sit and read and drink coffee and relax. This morning, I bought my spot some cheerful orange gerbera daisies. In a little while, I am going to sit there and read the Friday newspaper and do the crossword. At the moment, the view isn't great...Good Neighbor Ron's car-port and some weeds. But I am going to fix that by putting a new bird feeder outside the window and maybe some sort of low-maintenace plant. And I think I also may hang some pictures on the wall behind the chair. I love my chair. I am going to go sit there now.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Since it is my birthday, and I managed to not have to go to work today, I am going to do fun stuff all day. First I am going to get some happy feet at the pedicure place, and hope I don't get some kind of infection from the whilrpools that people keep warning me about. Happy Feet are worth the risk I think. I am also going to go have lunch with my brother, who was nice enough to call this morning and invite me. (BTW, new LarryFeathers blog is up). In the afternoon, I might go shopping and get a new purse because mine is falling apart. Kev gave me a gift card to that cool place where you go make stuff, so I might go by there and check it out and sign up for a class. I might just even take a nap. And tonight we are going to dinner at Nero's, which is always a huge treat. Fabulous food, exceptional service. So I am going to stop moping about being old and start having fun now. Thanks again for all the nice thoughts.
Happy Birthday to Tara!
and to also congratulate her on the one-year blogaversary of The Lazy Russian Horses Show this month.
Now everybody sing along:
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday Miss Tara
Happy birthday to you
And many mo000re!
Love ya, darlin'.
Now back to our show...
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Did I ever tell you about the idea we had for a shop called Cobbler Cobbler where you can get your shoes fixed and enjoy a delicious fruit dessert? That one might have been Kev's...I can't remember. Anyway, I'd go there.
In Garland, there is something for everyone, whether you are a farmer, a Buddhist, a Mexican person, a hungry person, a person who needs things cleaned, a republican, a person who needs an education (as long as you've had your shots), or perhaps even a person who sells propane and propane accessories.
I hope you will enjoy this mild photographic adventure through the place we lovingly call The Land of Gar...or The Real Arlen.
Monday, August 08, 2005
I didn't mind going to school when I was a little kid. It was easy, and mostly pretty fun. I went to first and second grade at Slate Run Elementary School in New Albany. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Dersch. She was a mean mean lady with loooong straight hippie hair and a permanent scowl. It was common knowlege that her husband shot and killed their neighbor's dog for coming into their yard. Once when she told the class to be quiet, I had a cold, so I blew my nose and got in trouble. It's a good thing my parents already taught me to read and write and do math, because I doubt I learned much from Mrs. Dersch. Here's an idea: before you decide to become a first grade teacher, make sure you like children. In spite of Mrs. Dersch, first grade was pretty OK. I had friends, and enjoyed recess, and we got to carve stuff out of bars of soap.
For second grade, I had Mrs. Huffman. She was nice and smiled, but she was hard to look at because of a large strange bumpy facial growth. I was in an experimental "split-class," which meant it was half second graders and half third graders. One time, I was looking at a line of styrofoam cups on the window sill in which we had planted some beans. I thought I'd try out a bad word on one of the third graders, so I pointed out to Kelly Zurschmeid that the dirt pellets in the cups looked like t*rds (a word I learned from my cousin Jeremy, no doubt). Kelly Zurschmeid told on me and I got in trouble. Another time, during free play, all the third graders were rubbing their feet on the carpet and then shocking the 2nd graders. So I rubbed my feet on the carpet and shocked Gerry Lewis, and he told on me and I got in trouble. See, I almost never got in trouble because I hated getting in trouble, so when it happened, I remembered it.
My favorite thing about 2nd grade was once a week when the other 2nd and 3rd grade classes came into our room and sat on the floor. Then the music teacher would roll the piano into our room and we'd sing songs for like an hour. Woody Guthrie was a big player back then in mid-70s music classes. The best was when we got to have rhythm sticks and triangles and stuff to beat on. Also in second grade, I learned to whistle and blow bubbles with gum. And I got to join the school orchestra a year early because the teachers decided I was bored. (I guess maybe they thought it would keep me from saying bad words and shocking 3rd graders.)
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Today we went to the Angelika at Mockingbird Station to see Deep Blue. It is a documentary film about the ocean and ocean creatures. If you like PBS specials about the ocean, then you will really like this movie. The footage is great, spectacular at times, and the soundtrack goes well with the action. Even the smarmy Pierce Brosnan wasn't too annoying as the narrator, although I much preferred the work of the great Morgan Freeman in March of the Penguins. Speaking of penguins, you will see them in this film, as well as dolphins, whales, sea lions, hammerhead sharks, fish of all kinds, and lesser known deep ocean dwellers with blinking lights, and one that even shoots out a blue laser-beam type of thing that explodes into a burst of blue light seconds later to annoy or confuse its predators. Very cool. There are also some really funny crabs. I give the movie 4 out of 5 penguins on my new penguin rating system. I probably would have given it 4 1/2, but parts of the film made me feel a little claustrophobic. So please go enjoy Deep Blue with your friends and family today. WARNING: Some parts are sad.
PS. The popcorn was pretty good, but Kev and I both managed to spill root beer on ourselves, and the theater was FREEZING. For once it was good to walk outside.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
UPDATE: So, Marty provided a link to a website via the comments (thanks, Marty!), and now I can tell you that a blackberry is a device which can offer me wireless solutions to meet my unique needs. Uh...OK. But what does it DO? Sadly, I don't think there are wireless solutions to any of my unique needs.
I prefer the fruit.
Friday, August 05, 2005
When I clean the house, I look like this. Actually, I don't wear the hat. Kev made me put it on for the photo. If I didn't wear the bandana, I would become very headachey and congested from stirring up dust. I just finished cleaning my house for today. It is always such a good feeling to have a clean house. Wait a minute...that sounds like a Mister Rogers song. Every Friday morning at Central Market, I buy a copy of the Dallas Morning News as a treat for after I finish cleaning my house. Friday's paper is good because it has the movie section and the weekend guide, as well as a moderately difficult crossword puzzle in the Texas Living section. Kev hates the newspaper. To him it creates passive chaos, if you will forgive the feng shui-ese. He also isn't very interested in the news. He does like Dilbert though. Most of the time, I don't get Dilbert. But I did think it was kinda funny last week when the boss was going to get cauliflower for a brain transplant. I DON"T like cauliflower.
Tonight for dinner I am going to make the shrimp recipe from SA_Eric's blog, along with a nice mushroom risotto. This will be my first time to go solo on shrimp-cooking. I fear a kitchen disaster, but I am going to try it anyway. I like shrimp, but it freaks me out a little because it still kinda looks like a critter.
I am hoping to go see Hustle and Flow this weekend. It looks really great, and Henry Rollins gave it 4 stars.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Eventually got banned from Sesame Street because people were afraid children would mimic him and bang their heads senselessly on pianos. I guess no one worried about children choking while shoving cookies down their throats trying to be like Cookie Monster. Don Music sketches were funny. Did Sesame Street jump the shark when Elmo arrived?
PS Don Music is basically Guy Smiley with glasses and crazy composer hair.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Music click for more Don Music info!
Living: Van Morrison, Paul Weller
Dead: John Lee Hooker, George Harrison, Miles Davis, the whole Buena Vista Social Club, Hank Williams...I could go on and on...
I will try to think of a new theme for future questions of the day.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
In keeping with the theme, what was your first concert?
Mine was the Police, Reunion Arena, Ghost in the Machine tour. I was in 7th grade. My dad took me and 4 of my friends. We all bought the baseball-jersey concert t-shirt to wear to school the next day so people would think we were cool. It was great, and I think even my dad liked it. He was fascinated and probably puzzled by some of the fashion statements being made at the show. Later, my mom took some of us to see Journey. There was a lot of cursing by Bryan Adams, who opened the show, and it was kind of awkward, but fun. I think it was probably too loud for my mom, but she was a good sport about it.
UPDATE: Based on comments, it appears t-shirts are common among readers of the LRHS. However, none of you are middle-aged or portly or dare I say it, engineers or high school French teachers, and I believe it is this population that seems to suffer from the rings the most. (Not Kev...he wears t-shirts too, and he is neither middle-aged nor portly).
The above assumption is based on very little real evidence other than the frequent rings of Monsieur Tanton, NGHS, 11th grade.
Hmmm...I bet Tall Guy would think "The Frequent Rings of Monsieur Tanton" would be a good album/song/book/or something name.
Question of the day for Wednesday:
Name your top 5 best rock/live music shows, and worst 5 too!
Um...wait a minute, this is hard. Gotta think about this for a while...
- Saxon/Armoured Saint at the Arcadia
- Nine Inch Nails at the Arcadia (opened for Peter Murphy...I stayed in the lobby).
- Debbie Harry at some bar...no band, basically a karaoke show, very wheels-off
- The Who at Reunion a few years ago...shockingly bad, after seeing them live before at the Cotton Bowl and thinking it was amazing. A big disappointment.
- The Texxas Jam the year it had the weird line-up of Ziggy Marley, INXS, and Guns -n- Roses...was that a Texxas Jam, or just a Fest of some kind? It was awful.
- Charlie Haden at the Blue Note, New York City, the night we got engaged.
- Doc Watson at Bass Hall, Fort Worth
- Echo and the Bunnymen, Bronco Bowl
- KISS with make-up at Reunion...HUGE fun-factor
- Prince at AAC last year
- And all the good people I have seen at the old Poor David's Pub, including Lloyd Cole, John Wesley Harding, and Tab Benoit.
And an addition to the WORST list: Ringo Starr's All Stars in some field over off LBJ somewhere. I felt I had to go. He was a Beatle after all.
I reckon if I was asked the same question tomorrow, you'd get a completely different list.
PS I am also whipped by the drum/guitar/bass solo.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
- Penguin photographer
- Safety Dictator
- Coffee taster
- Owner of a nice shop that smells good, plays quiet good music, and sells nice affordable things that people will like. There will be coffee samples and cookies for customers, and I will have a comfortable register chair and a dog that sits next to me.
- Travel blogger
Biggest whip job for me would probably be working at guitar center.
What is YOUR dream job / whip job? Let me hear from you!
You know what makes me really mad, is that people have so little ability to handle themselves in a safe manner that we NEED things like speed bumps. Humans should not have to be forced to drive carefully on narrow streets where kids and pets and squirrels and other cars frequently create obstacles. They should just know better, and stop acting like complete jack-asses. But that's never going to happen.
And I have no idea what to do about teen-agers doing stupid stupid things. It's very sad. I seriously question whether most 16-yr-olds are really ready for the responsibility of driving a real car. Do they really know how different it is from their video games? I read in another blog recently that they no longer require kids to even take an actual DRIVING test anymore, just the written one. Can this be true?
Well, I'm just getting myself worked up...sorry for the negativity. I want this blog to be a happy place.
Monday, August 01, 2005
If you fear the world, it's not necessarily better to just stay home:
- An estimated 280,190 toilet, shower, and bathtub accidents sent people to the ER in 2002.
- razors were linked to 33, 532 injuries.
- hot water - 42, 077 injuries.
- 23,283 sink injuries
- each year, about 400 people unintentionally suffocate or strangle themselves in bed.
- air pollution is 10 to 50 times higher indoors than outdoors.
And if you do decide to go out:
- half of all bills and coins carry infectious germs
- 5 people a year are killed by falling vending machines
The Lazy Russian Horses Show: Entertaining and Educational!
- It lasts 25 days, most of which are spent at sea.
- It is not hot in Antarctica.
- You do not have to drive, cook, or make any major decisions for 25 days.
- You get to hang out with penguins, raft and kayak alongside whales and icebergs, see many cool birds, and there are seals of all kinds.
- You get a complimentary parka.
- Did I mention the penguins?
Now this is unfortunately a very very expensive trip. I reckon that to really do it right, we're going to need close to 40 grand. This presents a problem, because we just don't have an extra $40,000 lying around the house for fabulous adventures. And even if we did, we would probably have to use it for something like the mortgage.
And so, the scheming began. My first idea was to start entering every sweepstakes or contest I could find...surely I would win something, right? In fact, if any of you alert me to a contest that I enter and win, I will give you 10% as a finder's fee! My second idea was to sell raffle tickets for one dollar each. Once I sell 50,000 tickets, I will have a drawing, and that lucky winner will receive $10,000, and I can use the rest for Antarctica. Question: Is that legal? Would you guys buy one of my raffle tickets? OK, third idea: I could approach the executives from Sony, and have them sponsor my trip. I would take lots of pictures with my Sony digital camera, and they could turn the whole thing into a campaign for "see how great this Sony digital camera is for the common man who has no training in photography." Do you think they will go for it? Please let me know if you have any more ideas.
I think I have decided that I am going to Antarctica for my 50th birthday. That will give me time to get the money, and will also make my next several birthdays more bearable, since instead of being one year closer to OLD, I will be one year closer to penguins. Let me know if any of you would like to borrow my free DVD brochure.