Saturday, November 27, 2010

It Was a Good Time


via A Blog to Read

I realize that all of you are probably wondering “What on earth can I get Joseph for Christmas?”  Well wonder no longer folks, ‘cause I’ve found just the thing!  Sure,  Manufacture Royale’s Opera time-piece watch will set you back $1,200,000… but can you really put a price on friendship? Plus, according to their nine-page (!) press release they boast to be “unashamedly elitist” so… you know… it’s perfect for me.


Fashioned from 319 parts, this steampunkian time-piece is made from 18k rose and gray gold, polished brass in various tones and finishes, three sapphire crystals, twenty nine rubies and strap of what I can only assume is baby unicorn hide Mississippi alligator skin.


If that weren’t enough, the hours are chimed in with an A and the minutes with a C#.  You know, just in case you need to tune an orchestra and the concert master is out getting drinks with the oboe section.


The accordion-like extension of the watch acts as a resonating chamber for the above mentioned A and C#, most likely so it can create a louder disturbance while at the opera.  PLEASE TURN OFF ALL $1,200,000 WATCHES BEFORE THE CURTAIN RISES!!!!!


Apparently the watch comes in a veneered wooden box carved to resemble the Bastille Opera House. I mean, why wouldn’t it?


So act fast, readers, because only 12 of these little gems will be made!


Artist: Liza Minnelli/ Album: Liza with a Z

(I actually had a plethora of song choices for this one as the word “time” showed up in exactly 700 titles on my iTunes.  To be fair, that does include words like timeless and springtime but also sentimental and the Latin word timet [thanks Mozart!] I chose this one however because, well… it’s Liza and I’ve seen her in concert and it’s my favorite song from the album. Also, the song reminds me of my friend Nate, so that doesn’t hurt either. Not that I needed any justification or you actually needed any explanation.)

Other choices included:

- What Time is It? (Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire)— too literal

- Timewatching (The Divine Comedy’s Liberation)

- The Best of Times (Jerry Herman’s La cage aux folles)

- The Second Time Around (Eileen Farrell I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues)—you know, because a second is also a measurement of time and all

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give it Back to the Indians




This is the first Thanksgiving in a couple of years that I have been able to be in Texas for the holiday, as the last four I was buried in snow in Ann Arbor.  I got in yesterday afternoon and we headed to the Hill Top Cafe (it’s the one on the top of the hill) and I saw this cookbook for sale:

 2010-11-24 19.41.58   2010-11-24 19.38.59

I’m probably breaking some copyright law… but it’s my mom’s recipe!


For the big feast we had our family friends, the Morrisons, and my granddaddy Dan came over from Kilgore.

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  2010-11-25 12.20.57   2010-11-25 13.19.11    


DSC03310Pam and Mom

DSC03307 Paul, Robert, Worth, Dan, Matt, Ray and Me


One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories is from six years ago when I was studying abroad in Italy.  My parents, grandparents and aunt Brynda all came over to visit me and we had a non-traditional dinner at a restaurant in Rome.  Well, except for the fact that my mom, fabulous as ever, brought over turkey napkins for the feast.  Needless to say the Italian waiter was a bit confused. 

Picture 713 "Great, the Americans don’t even trust our linens!”


Artist: Ella Fitzgerald/ Album: The Rogers and Hart Songbook

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On the Steps of the Palace


For no other reason than because I think they are cool… here are some pictures of STAIRS!!  In looking around online I found that there is actually a whole website,, dedicated to pictures of them (as if that surprises anyone.  I mean, for God’s sake, I have a blog so why not one specifically for the inclined inclined).



  An endless staircase in Munich, Germany by Olafur Eliasson



At the Godiva store in Japan



Yup, that would be a bridge made of stairs in Switzerland, measuring in at 56 meters long. Jurg Conzett and Rolf Bachofner


cstairs19     cstairs20 

I’m pretty sure my friend Jeremy will have these one day



What I imagine is an accident waiting to happen. GET OSHA ON THE PHONE!!! Sabina Lang and Daiel Baumann



The ancient Kauri log staircase of New Zealand.  “Carved from a 50 tonne section of one giant swap kauri log. … Radiocarbon dating confirmed that this tree had been perfectly preserved in the swamp for 45,000-50,000 years.  Growth rings tell us it had lived 1087 years before it fell more than 45,000 years ago.”


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This is actually from the Hobby Center when I went to 9-5 the other day. I have decided to entitle this one: “Orca’s Mouth at Midnight”



In Maastricht, the Netherlands by Weilarets Architects



Frank Gehry’s instillation at the Art Gallery of Ontario


storage-tank-stairs Hendrick Boot © Staircase on an industrial water tank



Double helix spiral staircase at the Vatican museum


longchamp_03  longchamp_02

At the Longchamp store in New York, by Heatherwick Studio



Some crazy cantilevered stairs.  These remind me of a performance of Montiverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea I saw at Houston Grand Opera years ago in which a door opened at the very top of a side wall on stage, Fredericka von Stade appeared, and with every step she took a plank would slide out for her to step on. You know, while also trying not to die and singing “Addio, Roma” flawlessly.



Best. Tree house. EVAR! By La cabane perchee



At the Skittles headquarters Lub d hostel in Bankok. 


Artist: Stephen Sondheim/ Album: Into the Woods

Friday, November 19, 2010



My aunt Brynda was in The Woodlands yesterday, so I drove up north and my mom drove down south in order to meet up and make a day of it. I absolutely love my mother’s relationship with her sister… they get along just famously and talk to each other pretty much every day.  (My mother calls Brynda “siter girl,” which I love because I think sounds like it is right out of a Tennessee Williams play). Unfortunately I forgot to grab a picture of them together so I’ll post the only one I have! 


Picture 640

  At the Trevi fountain in Rome. 


Now, any trip to The Woodlands wouldn’t be complete without a visit from Mrs. Mallory and Ms. Paige Yartym.  Luckily we were able to have a lunch date once lil’ bit was done with school (I know, she’s got looks AND brains!)



paigemacncheeseUmmm, the mac and cheese goes in your mouth, not your hair :-/ I guess I take back the “brains” comment!


Artist: Irving Berlin/ Album: White Christmas

Thursday, November 18, 2010

9 to 5


This past Tuesday my friends Monica and Kris and I got away from the grind of the Barn and headed downtown to see 9 to 5: The Musical at the Hobby Center.  If you’re not a Dolly Parton fan, then don’t continue to read.  (Actually, if you’re not a Dolly Parton fan then we probably shouldn’t be friends.)

DSC04963 Look at those showgirls Monica and Kris workin’ it!



Getting some coffee before the show


2010-11-16 19.29.04Oooooh the antici… … … … …pation



Being a Tuesday, the audience wasn’t exactly brimming so we decided to take over some box seats that were empty! Ummm… I mean we paid full price for them? :-/


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Houston’s very own Statler and Waldorf


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Hobby Center at intermission



We’re smiling because there aren’t any customers around

Because we met at the Barn and carpooled (Kris got free valet parking because she drives a Lexus and they are a sponsor) we had to go back to Town and Country to get our cars.  At 10:30 there was still a group there doing Holiday 2 floorset and so as an after dinner treat Monica and I busted in and had some of my CTS cake for dessert.  I’d like to think we were a breath of fresh air after a long evening of putting ornaments on trees, but I get the feeling they were actually pretty grumblies we had been out having a fab.u.lous night on the town without them.  You’ll notice that Kris is not in the cake eating pictures… that’s because she’s a mature adult and decided not to come in… but not Monica and I!


DSC049772010-11-16 22.34.35 

It’s like looking in a mirror, isn’t it?

You know, ‘cause I kinda had to!


Artist: Dolly Parton/ Album: 9 to 5: The Musical

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Madman Across the Water


I saw someone talk about this on their facebook feed the other day and thought it was worth poaching.


Okay! Let’s see what happens:

jp3Easy enough.



Just a hop, skip and a…



Wait… what?!

Artist: Elton John/ Album: Madman Across the Water

Monday, November 15, 2010

Come Spirit, Come Charm


Last night we had our extra special Holiday meeting at the Barn (where we make sure everyone is on the same page about how to deal with better help all of you crazy valued customers during this hectic retail season). They also announced the “Catch the Spirit” winner for October 2010:

untitledIt’s me!!!! I CAUGHT THE SPIRIT!!!!

(Just to clarify, “Catch the Spirit” is the equivalent of employee of the month, it’s not like I started speaking tongues like Robert Tilton or anything.)

Artist: Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon (that would be Carly’s sister btw)/ Album: The Secret Garden