Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Garrett and I are giddy! The weather in Houston can be described as sunny, 70s, sublime! We went on three separate walks this weekend to take it all in. Here are some snapshots from our neighborhood. I heart flowers!

I match the azaleas!

On Saturday, we saw a women emptying junk out of her garage. On Sunday, we saw that she had placed this scarecrow in a raggedy chair. If it's at the end of the driveway, does that mean he's waiting for the garbage truck? Or is it a piece of art, something about the scarecrow kicking back to enjoy spring since his autumnal duties are complete?

I like the ivy on this front porch.

The handiwork of our local graffiti artist! We noticed his (her?) work around the neighborhood during the 2008 elections, small "Tron" images that read "Vote Right" (like the one seen in the upper right corner of this image). This piece is on a non-functioning door on the back of a shop, in an empty parking lot. She has the presidential seal on her neck. Spring is an excellent season for smirking!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where's the common sense-us?

I was actually excited to find an envelope from the U.S. Census in our mailbox this afternoon. As a freshman in college in 2000, I somehow missed the census a decade ago. I am now eager to contribute to such an impressive national project.

So imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope to find a single sheet of paper informing me that, in one week, I will receive a 2010 Census form in the mail. Huh? Is this how we're spending -- or wasting -- government funds? To preserve my sanity, I am not going to ask the statistician of the house to calculate how much paper this endeavor has wasted, or how much carbon dioxide was released during the delivery of this important news.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Flying saucers

Garrett and I went for a walk yesterday and discovered some beautiful and enigmatic flowering trees in our neighborhood. After learning on Google that they were saucer magnolias, we ventured out to get some photos today after a rainstorm. I think they're fascinating!

I caught this one peeking around a fence!

This is not a saucer magnolia, but some kind of sculpture that perhaps stands in honor of rodeo season. I call it "Surprised Longhorn."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rodeo Tailgating

It's that time of the year again, when every Houstonian dusts off his cowboy hat and boots and the trailriders make their way into the city on their horses. It's the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo!

Garrett and I joined another couple this weekend for the rodeo "pre-party." Next to a carnival of enormous proportions lies the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. This is a sea of more than 400 tents, wherein various restaurants, individuals, and teams compete for a variety of BBQ trophies. Garrett was so excited to go, as someone who starts drooling at the mere mention of a pulled pork sandwich.

We were disappointed to learn upon arrival, however, that the average Billy Joe Bob who pays his $10 admission fee is admitted to only two tents! At the "Chuckwagon," the public can enjoy a free sandwich, baked beans, and chips. The "barbeque" sandwich, though, tasted more like the Sloppy Joe found in your local cafeteria. At the Hideout, Billy Joe Bob can drink overpriced alcohol. The remaining 431 tents are PRIVATE parties, which you may attend by invitation only. There wasn't even a stand where we could purchase some samples of these award-winning dishes. With no personal connection/hook-up, we spent most of the night wandering around, sipping beer, looking at tents, and breathing in the aroma of barbecue. We also enjoyed a nice funnel cake. Disappointed, we didn't even stay for the live music events.

The highlight of the evening was stumbling upon this tent, where whole pigs were being roasted on spits. We caught this chef putting an apple in the pig's mouth. Too bad there wasn't an accompanying spider web advertising, "Some pig!"