Sunday, July 27, 2014

what i'm listening to right now

"titanium," by david guetta featuring sia:

i'm late to this party, i know…but i continue to enjoy this song nonetheless.

how to host an artsy friend who likes beer and good food

the second in an occasional series about the fun things to do when people come to visit!  my friend talia visited me in houston in…june.  early june.  but this post is better late than never, right?!  talia is artsy and loves food and good drinks and we became great friends the year i lived in new york, after becoming good friends working together in england for a few summers.

friday night: airport pick up, dinner at torchy's tacos (duh.  every visit to texas must start with tacos.)

saturday: brunch at down house, beers at karbach brewery (photo below! this brewery opens up several times a week for people to just come and drink and hang out.  there are dozens of picnic tables and people were there with board games, cupcakes for birthdays, meals…almost anything you can imagine.  i loved it!), watching 20 feet from stardom in the air-conditioning after sweating outside at karbach (good movie - thank you, netflix), turrell sky space for the sunset show, dinner at pondicheri (because talia and i had an indian food tradition in new york and pondicheri is AWESOME).

sunday: brunch at empire cafe (in the garden out back - such a fun spot), the menil art gallery (eclectic - right up talia's alley - and she knew all these damn artists i'd never heard of - impressive!), coffee at agora, looking at antiques in montrose, barefoot contessa on tv.

it was SO much fun hanging out with talia and showing her my city!  i think houston showed itself to be pretty awesome.  and i offer this key to hosting people in houston in the summer: alternate outside time with air conditioned time.  that air conditioned time is CLUTCH, but the whole trip can't be air conditioned - lots of fun things are outside!

who wants to visit me next?!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

while visiting my sister in dallas this week, i made two new pioneer woman recipes that were awesome: rose sangria (subbing in cherries for the peaches, since the peaches at the grocery store weren't ripe - and the wine-soaked cherries were awesome!) and mushrooms stuffed with brie, which were every bit as good as you are imagining.


i love cooking.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

when you visit a federal prison the line is long.  and there are lots of children in it.  children whose fathers are behind the tall fences covered in barbed wire.  children who catch tiny frogs and show them to you as the line moves slowly forward.

when you visit a federal prison there are a lot of rules you don't understand, so you don't even try.  no capri pants, no underwire bras, no sandals, no paper money, no watches.  you can bring a bag full of quarters.  your license.  your car keys, which could certainly do more damage than your watch.

when you visit a federal prison, there are so many hugs.  it's like baggage claim at an airport, but even more emotional.  people hugging dads and husbands and sons and friends.  big smiles everywhere.  children settle onto their dads' laps, men sit holding women's hands.  there are orders taken (prisoners can't leave their seats once they get in the room), and loved ones crowd the vending machines with their bags of quarters.  cheeseburgers and kit kat bars are purchased, chips poured out on styrofoam plates and shown to the guard to inspect before being delivered to your loved one.

when you visit a federal prison, there is an inmate who will take pictures of prisoners with their loved ones, yet he has no one there to visit him.  there is a man meeting his three month old grandson for the first time.  there are adult women crying.  there are a hundred other people bearing witness to these private moments.

when you visit a federal prison people walk in quickly and walk out slowly.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

i'm listening to the audiobook of the warmth of other suns right now, and really enjoying it.  this is the quote from which the author gets the title:

"i was leaving the south to fling myself into the unknown.  i was taking a part of the south to transplant in alien soil, to see if it could grow differently, if it could drink of new and cool rains, bend in strange winds, respond to the warmth of other suns, and perhaps to bloom."
--richard wright

those lines struck me as so appropriate for anyone who has moved their life from one place to another.  i love this visual: of growing under a new sun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

fascinating!  i can't stop watching (you can refresh the page and get a new taxi).  when i lived in NYC i took taxis very rarely (they were so expensive compared to the bus or subway, and i was a grad student): to or from the airport about half the time (it was twice as fast as the bus, but literally 10 times as expensive), or sometimes when it was late at night.  nyc taxis: a day in the life.