Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Vision Realized

While Garrett has had his Halloween costume ready to go for a week or two, I have only just put the finishing touches on mine.

To make the perfect Waldo shirt, I first tried to create white stripes by spraying bleach onto a red shirt. That resulted in a red-and-pink shirt. Perhaps the right shirt for a new rugby team, but not the shirt for me!

I then tried spraying (and sponging) red fabric paint onto a white shirt. It worked!

The entire ensemble will be revealed on Saturday! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Into the Wild

Garrett and I began last weekend by fighting this giant, red-eyed longhorn armadillo with our bare hands!

Actually it's just the prominent mascot of a local bar, Goode's Armadillo Palace.

The following day we embarked on a hiking adventure. The weather has finally cooled off so that going outdoors is now (somewhat) bearable. We drove up to Lake Houston Park, about 45 minutes north of Houston.

This bridge over Peach Creek was the most visually exciting part of the hike.

Given its muddy color, Peach Creek is more like Latte Creek! It's hard to discern mud from water in this picture...

We saw squirrels, birds, mosquitoes, butterflies, ants, mosquitoes, what seemed to be deer hoof prints, mosquitoes, and Cub Scouts. And mosquitoes! Those insects never give up. Isn't it time for them to migrate south? further south?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Scenes from the Bayou City

Here are some snapshots of Houston in October!

Our neighborhood is safe, thanks to the Texas Rangers!

Follow the yellow brick road... to fall!

Nothing says "upscale neighborhood" like a shrunken head!

Lizard close-up!

"Hoot, hoot!"

We've had a lot of rain recently, and little mushroom cities have sprung up.

Garrett and I attended the Bayou City Arts Festival in downtown Houston last weekend. So did this polar bear!

Steel cacti, steel skyscrapers.

How does your garden grow?

Sculptures appropriate for Halloween!

Seen from the Metro train on the way back to Rice.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The second most surprising award of the week

Forget Norway and Nobel! Another set of awards was announced this week that shocked many Americans. The part of Houston known as Montrose was named one of the ten "Great Neighborhoods" of America by the American Planning Association! Montrose is a hip part of town known for its antique stores, cafes, thrift shops, restaurants, bungalows, art museums, Halloween pub crawl, and annual gay pride parade. The college where I am currently taking a class, the University of St. Thomas, is also in Montrose and has on its property the boyhood home of Howard Hughes (1924 Rice University drop-out). Garrett and I agree that Montrose is a pleasant place to visit and/or to drive through.

Check out the website for the lists and slideshows of great neighborhoods, great streets, and great public places honored by the APA.

Am I getting old?

Garrett and I attended a Kings of Leon concert at the Toyota Center here in Houston. We had general admission tickets that gave us access to the floor of the arena. After entering through a side door, we were ushered to the wrist band table. This is what we had to wear:

"Should I have brought my bike helmet with me?" I thought.

As it turns out, the crowd (as well as the band) was generally mild-mannered. By night's end, my legs hurt and my ears were ringing. As we were leaving, and I was wondering if this was my last concert, I saw a mom depart with her young daughter. The girl was about 7 years old and wore a homemade Kings of Leon shirt that read, "My First Concert." Ah, the circle of life!