Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tour of Houston by way of your tummy

Though I am extremely excited about moving back east, I admit there are things I will miss about Houston. I will miss living close to cool stuff like boutiques. I will miss living in a city that is easy to drive around and you don't really need to know how to parallel park. But I'll probably miss the food the most. Houston doesn't have much stuff for visitors, but if you were to take a tour, you'd have to take a tour of the food. There's the requisite BBQ. Beef brisket is king. There's the mexican food and tres leches, tres leches, and more tres leches (I guess that would make nueve leches, at least). There is a HUGE Chinese population and so many places to get authentic Chinese food marching along side the General (Tso). There are also so many good cafes for lighter fare like sandwiches and salads. That being said there are AMAZING places for sinful desserts like 6inch tall, three layer chocolate cakes that deserve the name "Death By Chocolate".

Here are some of my favorite places to eat in Houston:

Amazon Grill - BEST cilantro salad dressing in the world and it tastes good on EVERYTHING. I definitely recommend the Amacones, crunchy tortilla cones filled with seasoned chicken and topped with a dollop of guacamole.
Berryhill Baja Grill & Cantina - gotta try their fish tacos. Though I think grilled with the original set-up of special sauce and shredded red cabbage is better than the tempura fried orginals.
Café Express - excellent shrimp and avocado salad and they have monthly specials. My favorite was this jerk chicken sandwich with chipotle sauce with a side of sweet potato fries.

Central Market - yeah, it's a grocery store, but MAN, what a grocery store! A dozen variety of apples alone and the wall of chocolate from around the world says it all.
China Bear - best Chinese buffet in the area. How they keep their General Tso so crispy all the time is a mystery to me.
Chocolate Bar - home of insane Death By Chocolate cake. I swear I almost died eating that thing. They also have lots different kinds of chocolate ice cream and chocolates, of course.

Chocolat du Monde - excellent Belgian chocolates that make even the worst days a little better. Favorite piece is probably the one called Mephisto. Mmmm...sin.
Dessert Gallery -yummy sandwiches and to DIE FOR Texas sized cakes. My fav's are Mom's chocolate cake with choclate frosting, Diner yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and Luscious Lemon cake that is like having cake and lemon meringue pie at the same time. Plus they have LCD screen showing how they decorate the cakes. Total food porn.
Katz’s - NY style deli restaurant that never Kloses. Awesome yankee pot roast sandwich at 3am.
Paulie’s - great paninis and Big salads . Skip the cookies though. They look pretty and that's about it.
Pico’s Mex-Mex Restaurant -Seafood enchiladas!!!! and my favorite rice and beans anywhere. I'll miss this the most because I know I can't get real Mexican food up north.
Ruggle’s Café & Bakery - MMM....almond slice encrusted goat cheese salad with grilled chicken and sundried tomato vinaigrette. And I dont even like sundried tomatoes, so thats saying something.
Silver Palace - best Chinese buffet close to the medical center
Taste of Texas - No talking when we eat here. Best steaks and salad bar EVER. Seriously, no talking.


I'm going home! Yay! Goin' home! Yay!

My bestest friend Grace is flying to Houston on Nov 18 and she will accompany me on the 1,340 mile drive back to the east coast!

It should take about 3 days, 2 nights. We'll have a short first day and spend some time in New Orleans and try to stay in a hotel in the French Quarter. Then we'll have a longer second day and spend the night in Greenville, SC or somethin between Atlanta, I mean HOTlanta, and Charlotte. Grace and I are great traveling buddies so I'm excited about this trip! I've never driven so far before. Well, I was in a car on the same trip from Houston to Virginia back in 1983, but I don't remember any of that.

If it don't fit in my car, it ain't comin' with me. So I have lots to do to sort out all of my junk. After Katrina and Rita, I realized I don't really need STUFF. Almost everyTHING is replacable. I'll try to sell some stuff, but a lot will just be thrown out or maybe donated. I'm not really sure how I'm gonna do all that. Craigslist I guess. But I'm going to toss every tshirt that has a little hole near the belly button resulting from leaning up against lab benches with bleach or other mysterious chemical residue, which sadly, is a lot. Dishes, glassware, and pots and pans are going. Small favorite kitchen gadgets, like the microplane grater, will be kept. Old text books are going because the most important bio texts are free and online at the NCBI Bookshelf website anyway. So basically, that leaves clothes I actually wear, sentimental things, fun books, jewelry making supplies, my laptop, and stuff for my thesis.

Thinking about all the crap I have to square away in the lab and in the apartment makes my head hurt.

BUT I'll be home just in time for Thanksgiving! My family moved into our house in Clinton on Thanksgiving in 1986 (right?). That's gotta be a good sign :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Screw you guys, I'm going home.

That's right folks, I'm headed back east.

Being here in Houston working in this field has worn me too thin. I've given it my best shot to work it alone, but I need more support than what I can get over a telephone. My boss is terrific and we will email frequently so that I can complete the thesis paper. So I'm going to regain my sanity, my happiness, my life at home.

Screw all those who think I'm a failure. None of those people read this blog (I hope), but screw them anyway.

I'm so excited to move back!! I have no idea what the details are but I've made the first scary step.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Zaner Bloser sounds dirty.

There is this article about the loss of cursive handwriting. Some people lament it because they wish things were like how they were back in the "good old days". Most people don't give a crap because they type everything. The only thing for which you need cursive these days is to sign your name on the credit card reader at the store. And who knows, maybe in a few years we won't even need it then when they just ask for your thumbprint.

I however do lament the loss of handwriting, but not because I long for the olden times, but because it's pretty. It's everyday art.

I admit my handwriting has gotten chicken-scratchier over the years due to lack of practice, but there are many days when I just sit down with a blank sheet of paper and write the alphabet. It's soothing. And it's easy when you can't think of anything to draw. For each letter I've decided what my A's look like, B's, etc. I still have a hard time deciding how my upper case I's and Q's should look.

I do also have to admit that I can get pretty obsessive over my handwriting. I was entering my signature into Goo's NintendoDS Brain Age (Blue. Bloo. BLUE!) and I insisted on rewriting it like 20 times. It was freaking ridiculous. I can be pretty anal retentive sometimes.

A person's handwriting is also very telling about their personality. You know exactly the kind of girl who dots her i's with circles, or God forbid, hearts. Her letters are always bubbly and probably, so is her personality (for better or worse). My cursive has lots of flourishes, but mostly angles from right to left, which ,some say, indicates that I look to the past too much.

Oh well, if you feel like you're losing your personality on your keyboard, there is a
thing that, for a fee, that will make your handwritten letters into computer font. Neat.

Maybe over time, cursive handwriting will become what calligraphy is. Beautiful but outdated, always impressive, but simpler than most people think. So in my opinion, it's worth the effort.




Dear Insomnia,

It sucks not being able to call anybody at 3am.



Chupacabras are scary monsters that suck the blood and guts out of livestock in Latin America.

In English, Chupacabra means "Goat Sucker" and that is scary in a completely different way.

You know how on T.V. people who have scary nightmares sit up straight out of bed? That is so fake right? I say Nay Nay! I did that the other night. Sometimes I take sleeping pills that sometimes make me have really vivid dreams. Some are good, some are bad. But the other night I dreamt of a giant tarantual climbing out of my kitchen sink. And believe it or not, I sat straight up out of bed and a little to the right, thereby falling onto the floor.

I'm going to stop taking the sleeping pills. Unfortunately that means I'm here posting random stuff on my blog in the wee hours of the mornin.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I had a McCoun, but I ate it.

Jonagold, Cortland, Empire.

P.S. The Jonagold here is freakin HUGE. Like baby head big.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's that time again

Hi everybody. I figured it was time to post a new blog mostly because I'm tired of opening up IE and seeing a picture of magic cup and balls, despite how much I love magic cup and balls.

So instead, let's all look at this. I want this shirt from One Horse Shy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Made in China

This is something I found at Target in the Dollar Bins.

I sent it to Goo in a care package because it has the words "cups" and "balls". Not only that, but they are indeed "magic".

It wasn't until he called to thank me for the package did he enlighten me to the fact that "each ball penetrates the cup".

Honestly, what the hell???