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|Greetings from San Antonio Hill Country. I am here for the weekend attending a Bikram Yoga seminar being given by Bikram himself. The first lecture/class begins at 9:00. Not sure what to expect, but it will most likely be in a warm room.
The instructions say we are not to wear anything green. Apparently Bikram only likes green if it is connected to nature or MONEY!
Today's schedule of events finishes at midnight. The last item today is at 10:30 p.m., entitled "Hot Chocolate with Bikram."
It should be an interesting two days, and I hope relaxing after a sleepless and painful week watching the Astros. Will talk about them later.
|Saturday, October 29, 2005
|I took the day off work today. "D" from my 6 a.m. Bikram yoga class has been bugging me to try doing two classes in a row. I decided to try it this morning. We did the 6 a.m. and the 8 a.m. That's three hours of yoga in 105-degree heat. It was an amazing experience. Sometimes it's tough to get through one class, but I found the second one easier and felt very relaxed. And I drank 3.3 litres of water! We had the same instructor for both classes and took him out for breakfast at the Buffalo Grille afterwards.
We're thinking of trying three in a row at a later date.
We are yogaholics. 430 classes for me and counting.
|Friday, August 26, 2005
|Another yoga breakthrough! This morning, at my 350th Bikram class, my head made it to the floor doing the fixed firm pose. There's hope for everyone! Two years ago I couldn't sit back on my heels for longer than five seconds.
Of course, I still have a long way to go with this pose. We're also supposed to hold our opposite elbows above our heads and bring our knees together. That part may be at least five years down the road. Stay tuned!
|Tuesday, May 10, 2005
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|Last weekend I attended a yoga workshop given by Rajashree Choudhury. She is the wife of Bikram Choudhury. Bikram Choudhury is the founder of Bikram Yoga. It was an expensive weekend, but well worth it. The workshop was held at a place about 20 miles northwest of Austin called "The Crossings". You can read all about it here if you like. I shared a room with a friend who is a regular with me at the 6 a.m. Houston class. We were kept very busy with yoga (Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning) and didn't have much time to enjoy the facilities. However, the food (included with the price of the room) was delicious -- there was weird stuff, such as tofu scrambled eggs for breakfast, green salad leaves I'd never seen in my life, and was that bird seed I sprinkled on one of my salads? There was normal food as well, though. No beef, but plenty of salmon and chicken. And if you looked carefully you could find a slice of chocolate cake. There was live music at the cafe on Saturday evening, although everyone seemed to have disappeared to bed by 10 o'clock.
We learned a lot more about yoga from Mrs. Choudhury. She took us through all the Bikram Yoga postures, explaining each one's benefit in detail. When I got up on Sunday morning I could hardly move, and am not sure how I got through the final three hours, let alone drive home. As I type this three days later, however, I feel absolutely great. Yoga has worked wonders for me.
|Wednesday, April 20, 2005
|I notice that no one's clamouring for details of our Washington trip, which is just as well, because I'm too exhausted to write about it! And I thought Bikram yoga took care of every muscle in the body. What about the shins, Mr. Bikram? Seriously, this place is amazing. We need at least a year to see everything. We took a high speed train to Philadelphia yesterday and saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It poured and poured all day. The weather looks better today and we're off to look at more of Washington. There are a couple of pictures in the album already.
|Sunday, April 03, 2005
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|Major Bikram Yoga breakthrough. After 282 classes and almost two years . . . I'm doing the camel!
And what's next? Head to knee without bending my leg.
Flexible people are not invited to comment.
|Thursday, February 03, 2005
So how did the Yoga Championships go? Well, it confirmed two things for me ... I have absolutely no chance of participating in the yoga olympics, and I'm a bloody awful photographer. It was amazing watching the competitors do their stuff up on that stage. They had three minutes each to do five compulsory postures and two electives. You will now find out that I'm also a rotten reporter, but as this is history in the making (i.e. the second annual yoga competition which could lead to an Olympic event) I feel obliged to tell you everything I remember.
There were five male competitors, about thirteen females, and six judges. The male winner was Ky (pronounced Kay). I know his name because he teaches the 6 a.m. class about two days a week. The runner up was Charlie. I also know his name because he attends the 6 a.m. class occasionally and the instructor is always saying, "Good, Charlie. Excellent, Charlie".
The females? Well, this is embarrassing, because I can't remember the winner's name. She was by far the best, in my own humble opinion. You could tell she was going to win just by the way she walked onto the stage with such admirable elegance and poise. I do know also that the lady who came in second was the girlfriend of the multi-tattooed male competitor from London. Of course, he would've won if he hadn't wobbled. We yoga people have off days and on days, you know.
As for my fuzzy pictures. Well, let's see you trying to take decent pictures in a room with lights and mirrors all over the place and trying not to make a clicking noise. It's difficult, folks. I've pulled out five. The first is of Ky doing some warm-up poses before the crowds arrived. The second is of the judges. (As a side note, the judge in the black jacket stayed in Houston to give a two-hour yoga class yesterday morning [at which I nearly died], followed by a workshop in the afternoon [during which I sat on the floor for four hours trying to look comfortable, getting up occasionally to try out a posture]). The third picture is the winning female doing dandayamana-janisharasana (standing head to knee, for you commoners). The fourth picture is the winners' circle -- First, second, and alternates. That's Joani and Mike in the middle -- the very fine owners of Bikram's Yoga College of India. Joani had certainly dressed for the occasion (see the fifth picture).
And talking of crowds -- there were probably a hundred people watching. The competition took place in the room where I attend my classes, and it was still hot from the morning class. What struck me was how quiet everyone kept during the routines. If you go to a classical music concert there are always people coughing. It's impossible for everyone to keep quiet. But at this event you could've heard a pin drop. Complete silence during the routines. You know why this is? Because everyone there was healthy. And you know why everyone was healthy? Because they all do Bikram Yoga.
Bikram Yoga rules.
|Monday, January 17, 2005
|Okay, Houston reader . . . something for you to do today. The Texas Regional Asana Yoga Championships are being held at my yoga place. I haven't seen it announced anywhere, but admission's free and it starts at 1 p.m.
No, I'm not competing. Not quite bendy enough yet. But I'll be there.
And no wisecracks about oxymorons, please. Here's what Bikram himself says:
There has been some misunderstanding and dismay about the words "yoga" and "competition" being said in the same breath, let alone it being an actual event. While the concept of a Yoga Championship is fairly new in the United States, it is an age-old tradition in India, where yoga actually has its roots. What most people in North America do not know is that yoga championships have been held as far back as 2,000 years ago. There are yoga competitions being held in India almost daily.
|Saturday, January 15, 2005
|Greetings, family and faithful readers. Happy New Year. I wanted to put something on the site but was having trouble thinking of something interesting. Here are some of the things I'm thinking about, though:
-- Happy belated birthday, Charlie. January 1st has to be the worst day of the year for a birthday.
-- Tsunami TV. I can't stop watching. CNN is covering it the best. I haven't watched CNN in a long time -- in fact, not since 9/11 when I discovered Fox News. But they really are doing a good job. That reporter, Anderson Cooper, is kind of strange, though. He talks talks like this this.
-- David should have been at his new job (a.k.a. the beginning of the rest of his life) for two days now. How's it going, David? Emsworth to London seems like an awfully long commute. Hope the trains are reliable.
-- I think the final death toll from the tsunami will be 500,000.
-- We booked a trip to Washington DC (long weekend after Easter). Neither of us has ever been. It's about time.
-- Bikram Yoga has to catch on in England soon. Who will be the first Habershon to try it out? We had a cold spell in Houston recently, and going from outside into 105-degree heat is the best thing since sliced bread.
-- I entered the dead pool. Now nobody will be speaking to me. The organizer does like cats, though.
-- Carlos hasn't signed with the Astros. However, he hasn't signed with anyone else, and he has plenty of suitors. We are still holding out a little hope here in Houston, but things don't look good.
-- Talking of cats, John gave me a videocam for Christmas. I've temporarily named it the "Panther Cam." Once we've finished messing with it and decide where to install it and figure out how to put it on Habershons.com you'll all be able to watch Maggie and Condi wash, sleep and fight. Betcha can't wait.
-- We got a new printer at work. I love it! The other one was using up an inkjet cartridge a week. I actually started saving the empties. Anyone know any buyers for about fifty used #45 HP cartridges? The new printer (HP 1320tn laserjet) even prints watermarks! Just what we needed... hmmm...
-- The President of the Houston Mini Motoring Society sold his Mini. He bought a Dodge.
-- Talking of cars, effective January 1st, if your car becomes disabled on the Houston freeways it will be towed (and a hefty fee charged) after six minutes. Pretty steep, huh? Are there any Habershons who can change a tyre in five minutes and 59 seconds? There are a lot of angry people in Houston right now; in fact, today a woman actually punched a policeman.
-- John and I are into soups. Not the canned types, but the kind that take five hours to cook. Split pea, navy bean, corn chowder, etc., etc. Grate a little mousetrap cheese and sprinkle on top before drinking (or eating if heating up for the third day in a row).
-- No red tomatoes yet, but we have at least seven green ones. I'll do a count and take a picture at the weekend.
-- It's past 6:30. Time for soup and to check out CNN for the latest tsunami developments. Hope 2005 is going okay for everyone so far.
|Wednesday, January 05, 2005
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I reached 60 on Thursday morning and went yesterday out of habit.
Today I'm taking the day off. I feel fine. My back is strong. I'm not exactly a poster child for Bikram Yoga, in that some people who take the class for the first time are already way ahead of me. But as Mike, the owner, says: "It's a journey, not a destination."
|Saturday, October 16, 2004
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|Bikram says: "Come to class every day for the next 60 days and I will give you a new body, a new life."
I've attempted this 60-day challenge several times but kept getting thwarted by things such as hangovers, food poisoning, oversleeping, and out-of-town trips. But now I'm on Day 31 and going strong. It has rather taken over my life, though. I get up at 5 a.m., leave home at 5:30, get home at 8:00. Then I have to shower, wash three towels and my yoga gear, and go to work. When I get home from work I have to dry the towels, fold them, and put them in the car ready for the next day. Then it's time for bed.
Sixty days really isn't a big deal when I think of Nick and Clare doing that paper round at 4 a.m. seven days a week for . . . what was it? Ten years?
John wants to know if he can come with me on Day 60 and pick out the new body. Smart alec.
|Wednesday, September 15, 2004
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|I told my Bikram yoga instructor on Tuesday that I was feeling a little under the weather, jokingly blaming too many G&Ts. I'd only had one. Really. He immediately pulled out a New Yorker cartoon from under the counter. I wonder if it's a standard handout for hungover yoga students?
|Thursday, August 19, 2004
|It looks as if Darla is back in business. She e-mailed me and probably all the other Yoga Body Houston students. I can only imagine the vitriolic e-mails she'll probably get in response. I feel no animosity towards her, but will not be attending her new place. Bikram's Yoga College of India has been awesome. The instructors are great, and my back feels better than it did when I was 30. On top of that, they've just installed a brand new heating system. This is also the first time in my life that I've enjoyed getting up at 5:00 in the morning!
|Thursday, July 15, 2004
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|Houston is about to be hit by storms. When I got home from yoga this morning John was pacing the hardwoods with a paniced look on his face. Calamity! Our internet was down. "Well," I said, "I picked up some bagels, so we can have breakfast at the kitchen table for a change."
"Great," he said.
"Hey, we can even . . . talk," I added.
John turned pale. "Well, let's not get carried away," he said.
|Tuesday, June 15, 2004
|Now that I have to drive to my Bikram Yoga classes I've run into a small problem. When I leave the place I'm always drenched with sweat. I bought a large towel to cover the car seat, but it tends to slide down the back of the seat. In addition, the seat belt gets wet. I could take a shower at the yoga place, but if I don't get away before 7:45 the traffic builds up.
When John was in the car yesterday he mentioned that Wendy was starting to smell like a gym. So now I'm wondering if I smell bad when I get to work, having sat in the same seat in my work clothes.
I'm thinking that the best answer would be to buy a huge terrycloth robe (that's a flannel dressing gown, Habershons) and wear it in the car. The only problem is, would I get funny looks from other drivers? Wendy gets enough looks as it is, and I'd be very conspicuous.
|Sunday, May 23, 2004
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|I'm now attending classes at Bikram's Yoga College of India (BYCI), off Bissonnet near Kirby. They very kindly offered unlimited free classes for all of May to anyone who could produce a Yoga Body Houston (YBH) package receipt. I say "very kindly" because they now have no competition and probably would have found us all knocking at their door anyway.
I took Mike's class on Wednesday and Joani's class this morning. They've added two more 6 a.m. classes to the schedule which is perfect for me.
So what are the differences between YBH and BYCI? I'm sure all you Habershons in England are really interested in hearing about it. You know what to do at times like this, don't you? GO STUDY THE FAMILY TREE!
The biggest difference is the distance from home. I now have to get in the car (nothing against you, Wendy) and drive there. It takes eight minutes to get there and twenty minutes to get home. I really really really miss my walk.
The yoga room does not have a view. I miss watching the sunrise through the huge windows at YBH.
There is no dish of orange segments by the door.
I won't get my free bottle of water for walking to class.
We do not use rugs. We only have to put our towels on top of our sticky mats. That will save me $2 per class. We also don't have to mess with spraying our rugs before the separate leg stretch. That pose (and the triangle pose) is done facing the front of the room with our feet on each side of the sticky mat.
There's a clock in the room.
Their dog is smaller than Frankie. I don't know if he does yoga.
YBH taught me modified poses to prevent further back injury. They told me I should not be curling my spine forwards. BYCI want me to attempt the regular poses -- just a little bit more each class. Joani is missing THREE discs from her spine (and I thought my TWO had set a record) and told me that I need to try all the poses if I ever want to heal properly.
BYCI is not nearly as fancy as YBH. No comment.
That's about all that comes to mind. I shall finish off here by saying that if any ex-YBH students surf this way, they should get over to BYCI as soon as they can. I had a very warm welcome and felt comfortable immediately.
|Friday, May 07, 2004
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|I e-mailed Darla to ask her what happened. She responded. I'm not going to repeat her entire e-mail here, but it was a case of "pay the rent or pay the employees." She chose the latter. I'm not mad at her. All I have to do is find another Bikram Yoga studio. She has to pick up the pieces and start her life again.
|Wednesday, May 05, 2004
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|I don't know whether to cry or kick a dog.
During my Friday Bikram Yoga class at Yoga Body Houston, Darla (the owner) said they would be closed on Sunday and Monday for "studio work". I presumed some kind of maintenance or renovations.
I have just returned from what was supposed to be my 6 a.m. class (yes, it's 6:19 a.m. as I type). The place has closed. Everything's gone. No explanation. NOTHING.
There were about fifteen of us standing outside, in shock. One person had just paid for a full year (about $1,500). I paid last week for a 90-day renewal, including mat rentals. It's not the money, though, it's the betrayal of trust. I'd centered my life around that place.
"Where your Membership is Truly Unlimited"
How could you, Darla?
|Tuesday, May 04, 2004
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|The New York Times printed this article last week on the dangers of hot yoga. Let me see here -- the following were quoted as finding it harmful: a director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation, a physical therapist, a professor of physical therapy, a licensed physical therapist, "physicians", a chief of women's cardiac care, and an orthopedic surgeon. Only one person in the article was allowed to defend it, and that was the owner of a Bikram Yoga studio.
So let me help out the minority here, and add my 26 cents. All I know about hot yoga is that it's worked wonders for me and my back. I can't speak for anyone else as I don't hang around at the place and discuss it with the other students. It's not a place for socializing (unless you choose to attend the monthly chanting get-togethers), so I don't know how everyone else is getting along with it. The physical therapist is quoted as saying:
When you are in a hot studio filled with hard-core Type A personalities, and everyone's adrenaline and endorphins are pumping, you're not feeling any pain, . . . and it may mask how far you can go.
I can't speak for New York, but I've never noticed any hard-core Type A personalities at Yoga Body Houston. Aren't they all at the gym? The people I see there are mostly in their thirties or older and work at their own pace. The younger ones come and go. Adrenaline? Endorphins? Good Lord! The instructors constantly tell us to take it easy, to sit down if we feel dizzy, and not to push it. They bring us orange slices if we look the slightest bit under the weather.
Could it be that yoga is putting the surgeons out of business?
Bikram Yoga rocks!
|Sunday, April 04, 2004
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|I have just completed my 100th Bikram Yoga class at Yoga Body Houston. It has also been exactly a year since I went to my first one, so I guess I can preach a little to all you people out there with bad backs. It works!
Bikram Yoga is done in a hot room (up to 105 degrees). It lasts for 90 minutes and the poses are the same every class. The instructor talks the entire class, demonstrating a pose occasionally, but usually you don't have to look at her/him at all. Everyone works at their own pace. Having had two discs removed from my lower back and also having had a car accident a year later, I've had to be very careful, and do specially modified poses to replace all the poses that involve curling the spine forward (there are five of these during the routine). The owner told me that with my history I should never curl my spine forward again -- there are so many times in the day, starting with brushing your teeth, when you curl forwards. It's bad for you! On a side note, I gave my golf clubs away two weeks ago. Hadn't used them for three years and they were going mouldy in the shed.
There are some poses that I still haven't mastered. For instance, Fixed Firm. But I'm nearly there! The other one is Camel. This pose makes me nauseous fifty percent of the time. As soon as I start going backwards I just want to throw up. We're told that this is good for us! When I do the camel successfully you'll be reading about it here.
Okay, so it's only been a year. Maybe it's a fad. But right now I can't emphasize enough to all you bad back people how great Bikram Yoga's been for me. Find out if there's anywhere near you that offers the classes and try it out!
UPDATE, April 4th, 2006: Since writing the above, things have changed. Yogabody Houston went out of business a couple of weeks later. I arrived one morning for the 6:00 class and the doors were locked. It was quite traumatic. Fortunately there was another place in Houston that offered Bikram, and I started there the next morning. As soon as I started doing the modified poses, the instructor stopped me and told me to attempt each pose to the best of my ability. From that day I began curling my spine forwards. Today it feels perfectly healthy. It bends backwards, forwards, sideways, left, right . . . YEAH!
|Sunday, March 21, 2004
|Loyal readers may remember my writing about my route home from yoga. To refresh your memories, this is one of the fields I cross. I rarely see anyone when I go to the 6 a.m. classes, but yesterday on my way home I saw two men walking in my direction. They changed their course and headed into the garage. I thought nothing of it until later in the day I heard that two prisoners had escaped from the Harris County Jail. I found their pictures online and was 90 percent certain it was them, so called the Sheriff's office and told them the location. Whether my information helped with their capture I don't know, but it was exciting!
|Saturday, March 13, 2004
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| Remember my mentioning Frankie a while back?
He does yoga, too.
|Saturday, September 06, 2003
|Sunday, June 8th, 2003
There are four Bikram Yoga instructors at my yoga place. There may be others on weekday mornings, but I'm familiar and comfortable with four of them. They all bring something different to the class, even though the routine is exactly the same each time. There's Amy, Farida, Ed and Darla. It doesn't matter to me which one of them is instructing. I never wonder on my way there who it will be, because they're all good teachers and keep me motivated.
I have to say something about Darla, though. She's the owner. I don't know what her schedule is, but she's usually instructing on weekends. Sometimes her giant brown poodle, Frankie, is wandering around, too. Darla reminds me of Basil Fawlty. A mild form, mind you. She differs from him in that she is extremely efficient and very likeable; that is if you can handle her dry humour. She is the boss as soon as she walks into the room. She'll tell the newbies to get in the back row and order them to "cut the chitchat." She'll come up with lines such as, "This isn't vacation. This is yoga," making the weakest of us chuckle. When the class has been going for about ten minutes, the receptionist will slide a clipboard through the door. This gives the instructor a count of how many are in the class, who hasn't paid (probably), and who has medical ailments, such as herniated disks, bum knees, asthma, etc. Today Darla looked at the list and there must have been a note that one of the students had signed in with an illegible name. Darla asked us which one of us had a name beginning with N-A-T. A lady owned up to being called "Natalie." "What's your last name, Natalie?," asked Darla. "Severino," (name changed here) was the response. "Thank you," said Darla. "Are you a doctor?"
I didn't get it until the middle of the tree pose, and lost my balance.
For some reason, I always work just a little bit harder in Darla's classes.
|Sunday, June 08, 2003
|Thursday, May 29th, 2003
HostSave is still having problems and service is intermittent. Please stick around and be patient, loyal readers.
I haven't really typed about my England trip yet. Pictures and news will appear here over the weekend with a bit of luck. Meanwhile, check out Charlie's killer golf
Monday, May 26th, 2003
I gave this pot to Mum and Dad a long time ago when visiting from Saudi Arabia. And I'm not surprised that it ended up amongst the rubble of Ricky's garage. He decided to return it to me this weekend. David also gave me a bunch of stuff from Dad's house, including a bag full of sixpences and other assorted coins. I decided to put the sixpences in the pot and put the pot in my travel bag. God, it was heavy as I lugged it across Gatwick's South Terminal to the Continental check-in desk. I checked the bag in, got my boarding pass, and headed to Gate 19 to board my flight to Houston. Gate 19 was about a fifteen-minute walk, but I arrived in good time. The lady at the desk took my passport and boarding pass and beckoned security over. "We've been paging you, Ms. Athearn. Didn't you hear us? We need to search your luggage."
I was surrounded by four mean looking people and told to step aside. Meanwhile, everyone in the departure lounge looked up and the passengers in line behind me went quiet. I had no idea what was going on and felt extremely embarrassed. "Please follow us," said one of the security men.
I was marched back the way I came. The journey was endless. I was trying to ask them what they thought was in my bag, but they wouldn't enlighten me. "Am I going to miss the flight?" I asked. "That depends," one of them said. They led me into a small room without windows, and there was my travel bag. Another security officer came in. "We need to search your bag. Please open it." I started taking everything out. When they saw the coffee pot they realized that it was the culprit causing havoc with their x-ray machine. The officer examined the contents and decided I was harmless.
They escorted me back to the departure lounge and gave me back my passport. Everyone had boarded and the crew was waiting for me. I was sweating and nervous. As I walked down the aisle of the plane to my seat everyone was averting their eyes. It was very weird. I felt like shouting at them, "it was only a damn coffee pot!"
The only positive thing about the incident was that my bag was the first on the carousel at Houston. I went from Immigration to Customs to the AmpCo Express bus without breaking stride.
Okay, so the Gatwick officials were doing their jobs, and I made a point of thanking them for taking care of our safety. But I did feel that once they knew I was innocent they could have said something to make me feel a little better. And was it really necessary to let all the other passengers know that I was a possible terrorist? It was not a pleasant experience.
The rest of my trip went perfectly and I'll touch on some of it later in the week when I've had some sleep and polished that damn pot.
Thursday, May 22nd, 2003
On Saturday we will be saying our final farewells to Dad at an ashes committal service in Rotherham, Yorkshire. I'm leaving for England this afternoon and will be returning on Monday. Here's my itinerary.
I won't be taking my laptop, so there will be no updates to this page until at least Monday. On previous visits I've always taken it with me and signed up for a BTWorld account for a month. I don't know if any of you have ever tried cancelling a BTWorld account, but it's next to impossible. After about ten e-mails and three long distance 'phone calls last time, I ended up having to cancel my credit card just so they wouldn't keep charging me.
Thursday, May 22nd, 2003
In case you've been wondering what happened to the website yesterday, the server, HostSave, suffered a DOS (Denial of Service) attack. It still seems to be very slow and I haven't been able to upload anything. Don't people have better things to do than go around hacking into other peoples' business? There should be mandatory prison sentences for anyone who denies access to Habershons.com.
Thursday, May 22nd, 2003
I got my hands on some Club Level (a.k.a. Sushi Level) seats last night and we met up with the Hummingbirds for an Astros' game. But why oh why oh why have the Astros turned up the volume at Minute Maid Park? Or has my hearing just got better? It's impossible to hold a conversation with the person next to you between innings. The only time when it's reasonably quiet is when the visiting team is at bat. I'm thinking of writing to the Astros and asking for a turn-back-the-clocks night with only an announcer, a manual scoreboard, and an organist. I bet they would pack the place.
The Astros lost, 7-4, but it was exciting to the end, with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, Bagwell at bat, and Kent in the on-deck circle.
Tuesday, May 20th, 2003
We bought a new mattress. It's heavenly. I knew our 8-year-old one had got lumpy and uncomfortable, but I didn't realize how lumpy and uncomfortable until I woke up this morning feeling uncreaky and well-rested and ready to conquer the world (well . . . almost).
Sunday, May 18th, 2003
I've stuck with the yoga classes, and what a difference they've made. At first I tried Ashtanga, Anusara, Iyengar, and Restorative, but then just one Bikram class had me hooked, and I haven't gone back to any of the other ones. Bikram yoga is done in a hot room (about 105 degrees)
for 90 minutes. The routine is the same each time: two sets of each pose, beginning and ending with breathing exercises. From the bits and pieces of information I've picked up, instructors can only be certified in Los Angeles. I go three to four times a week. It takes a large chunk out of my evening -- about two and a half hours if you count the walk there and the walk back. But it's worth it. Hey, a lot of Houstonians spend that much time commuting. During the class I drink (and sweat) a litre of water. A couple of times I've felt dizzy and wanted to throw up, but I've found there's a pattern, depending on what I've eaten or how much I've drunk the night before! And I'm not the only one. The instructors know who has back, knee, asthma, or other problems and are extremely attentive. They will even order a student to sit down if (s)he doesn't look good. They have given me modified poses to do and I'm not allowed to do anything that curls my spine forward. Sideways, backwards, and twisting is fine. I can't do the camel pose yet, and am wondering if I ever will, but I do feel myself making a little progress each visit. Most of all, I know exactly what I can and can't do. It's as if there's a tiny lever in the small of my back, and if I push it the wrong way it touches a nerve and gives me pins and needles in my ankle (don't gross out, loyal readers -- just hope you never get sciatica). When the class is over I feel so refreshed and energized, and those orange slices in the bowl by the door taste damn good.
If things continue to go well I'll be shopping for my own yoga mat. But right now I don't want to jinx it. I think it's worth the $3 rental not to have to carry it to and from classes.
Sunday, May 18th, 2003
Ex-New York Times reporter, Jayson Blair, hasn't had a mention on this page yet. Habershons of England are probably wondering who the heck he is. If you want to know the story you can read about him here.
I know I always pick up on the insignificant parts, but I've just read this MSNBC article, Times Bomb, and find it shocking that when sending out an important e-mail like the one below, Blair failed to edit it or use the Shift key.
â€śhey folks,â€ť Blair wrote, â€śthis is my new email address. feel free to forward it to anyone who asks to reach me. spread the word to those who still care that i am holding up as well as possible and love so many of you. I [sic] time will come for more, but itâ€™s not here yet. all the best, jayson.â€ť
Along the same lines, I know that none of us is perfect when it comes to grammar and spelling, but I would have thought the Houston Chronicle could do better. On Page Two this morning they have a photograph of a deaf music student. The caption underneath it reads: "Tammie Willis lays down on a piano to feel the music played by Tiara Walker."
Incorrect use of the verb "to lay" is one of my pet peeves.
I think the above bitching session was prompted by the fact that one of Paul's English students signed the Habershon Guest Map today. Tell him your sister's thrilled, Paul.
Saturday, May 17th, 2003
Whew! I seem to have packed a lot into the last six days. Nothing bad to report, unless you count our wardrobe collapse late last Sunday night. The shelf fell on the hanging clothes and everything crashed to the floor. It's really fun getting up on a Monday morning and trying to find something to wear to work when it's covered in camping gear. Anyway, it was a good chance to sort out all my clothes and ruthlessly discard any that hadn't been worn for over two years. I took three 30-gallon bags full to the thrift store and now have a nice empty wardrobe with clothes that can breathe (if that's what they do).
So what else happened this week? I got a raise. I got two As (the professor said all eight of my papers were outstanding - WOW!) for my economics classes and my GPA is now at 3.53 with one class to go. This is good. Thursday evening we went to hear the Randy Rogers Band and Radney Foster at Party on the Plaza
downtown. Last night we saw Randy Rogers again at the Fire House Saloon (Troy McManus opened). Randy gave a very high spirited performance. I'm not sure whether he was happy or depressed, but he certainly opened up towards the end of the show, as noted by Alex.
By the time we got up this morning it was time to head to Minute Maid Park. The Astros lost to the Phillies but still lead the NL Central (Cubs don't count).
Now I have 24 hours to catch up with stuff, such as washing dishes, doing the laundry, and tending to my fantasy Baseball teams. Nothing will lure me out of the house until Monday morning.
Happy belated 20th, Clare!
Sunday midday, May 11th, 2003
I only got a picture of Michael Fracasso's guitars last night. Anyone who's been following Habershons.com News & Thoughts avidly will be wondering about that song below ("Laughing Boy") and what happened. I'd been curious all week as to who he had in mind when he wrote it. Last night, all was revealed. It was about the fifth song in the first set, and he introduced it, saying, "This is a song I wrote about a man with the middle initial 'W'." My heart sank as I felt John tense up next to me. I knew the words that were coming and I knew things wouldn't be good. We were also bang in front of the stage and within touching distance of Michael.
Oh, don't get me wrong. John loves a good argument but he'd never grab a musician by the legs and drag him off the stage. He waited until the song was over, whispered in my ear that he was leaving, grabbed the camera, and walked out. Someone in the audience of about 20 shouted "subtle," and I didn't hear Fracasso's next words, but something he said (must've been the final straw) caused Callie and Kevin to get up and leave, too.
Yes, you have a wishywashy sister/aunt/cousin/friend. I didn't follow them out. I play the guitar and had a front seat and wanted to watch Michael play and sing for the rest of the evening. His music is absolutely beautiful. I'd paid my ten bucks and was going to stay. During the break, as I sat at the empty table with half-finished drinks, someone asked me where my company had gone. I told him that my friends were very defensive of George Bush and didn't like the "W" song.
This individual went and told Fracasso. Fracasso was horrified. He had no idea that three members of his audience had walked out. We ended up talking for the rest of the intermission. The thing about the guy is that he's already extremely vulnerable looking and I always have the urge to give him a big hug and tell him that everything's going to be okay. Here's what I wrote about him the first time I heard him. Anyway, we didn't discuss politics, but he did mention that he wrote "Laughing Boy" during the Bush/Gore elections but that really it could have been written about any political leader. I don't know if that makes things any better for the Johns and Kevins and Callies of this world. Probably not. No, make that "definitely not." Anyway, during the second half of the show Michael was like a wounded puppy dog and kept referring to "the people who walked out on me". He even played the "1950s" song for John, who'd requested it earlier. It made me want to give him an even bigger hug.
I do, however, wish that musicians and other celebrities would stay away from politics. They should realize that whatever they say is going to offend 50% of their audience. Or perhaps I should say 45%, as there's always that 10% like me. Call us anything you like.
P.S. If you're wondering how I got home. I walked. So did John. It was only two blocks. My only worry the whole evening was whether he'd be mad at me for not leaving with him.
Sunday at 1 a.m., May 11th, 2003
Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Have I had an interesting night out. It didn't go exactly as planned; in fact, it turned quite sour. I'm a little plastered and will explain tomorrow when I've sobered up. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with the words of Michael Fracasso's song that I was writing about on May 8th. I've played it so much that I think I just about know the words:
Who loves you Laughing Boy?
101 jokes up your sleeve
Everybody's favourite clown
The party's over
the chips are down
who loves you laughing boy?
all the money in the world
the family name and cunning charm
the diamond beauty on your arm
Where does it say we were meant to love you?
Where is the sky now if it's not above you
Why do they always say that you'll grow up some day?
Who loves you Laughing Boy?
all the power at your command
the rules were made for you to bend
with no pretence to make amends
Where does it say that we were made to love you?
Where is the sky now if it's not above you?
Why do they always say that you'll grow up some day?
The devil sends you soft asleep
now the world can mend its sheep (??)
by the time you close your eyes
all your dreams have passed you by
Who loves you laughing boy?
when there's no one up above
raise your glass make a toast
do everybody's favourite joke
where does it say that we were made to love you
where is the sky now if it's not above you?
why do they always say that you grow up some day?
And I'll probably wish I'd never mentioned all this when I wake up in the morning.
Saturday, May 10th, 2003
David sent me a list of the birthday presents he received, but no pictures. He got a jigsaw of Sandringham (visited last weekend), a Panama hat to replace the one he left under the seat at No. 1 court Wimbledon last year, and a big box of little drawers in which to keep nuts, bolts, and nails.
No gardening set? (Habershon joke there)
Friday, May 9th, 2003
Happy birthday Helen and David!
Thursday, May 8th, 2003
Michael Fracasso's coming back to Houston on Saturday and will be performing at Anderson Fair. The last three times he's been here something's prevented me from seeing him. Fourth time lucky. I've been listening to one of his new songs on his website. What a great voice! Now if only Will Kimbrough would come back, too. He seems to be href="http://www.waxysilver.com/artists/will_kimbrough/tour_dates.phpl">everywhere except for Texas.
Thursday, May 8th, 2003
Decided around 1 p.m. today that I'd like a hotdog for lunch. Left work and headed to Minute Maid Park to catch the last five innings of the Astros game. They have now won seven in a row and are on their way to Philadelphia for a three-game series. Of course, I took the camera. Here's Wendy posing outside the park, here's a picture of the outfield (Berkman and Biggio talking, Hidalgo in right, Kent at 2B) and here's a picture of the outside of Larry Dierker's new bar, the Big Bamboo. Larry Dierker was the Astros' manager until 2001.
The roof was closed until the end of the game. It's hot outside and very windy. The air's not too fresh either -- I think there are fires burning in Mexico. N.B. I still love this town.
Tonight there's a sold out, yes, sold out football (soccer) match being played at Reliant Stadium, between Mexico and the U.S.
I think that most of the crowd will be rooting for Mexico.
Tuesday at noon, May 6th, 2003
Charlie returned with his own ladder. He wasn't feeling well, but he climbed up into the crawl space and found the leak. Unfortunately he couldn't get at it from up there, and I whimpered quietly as he cut a hole in our brand new kitchen ceiling. The problem has been solved for now with an emergency clamp (see before and after pictures). We now have to make a decision as to what to do. Get new pipes installed (major job), install a teflon filter (about $600), or leave it as it is and wait for the next leak, which could be tomorrow or in five years' time. Whatever the case, he won't do the work until it is cooler (as in 3 o'clock in the morning) and he's feeling better.
He left his ladder behind so that John can go up and take a look when he gets home, andalso refused to give us a bill. I like Charlie.
Now I need to get to the office and earn some money for my portion of the next plumbing bill. Hey, things could be worse. I could have a broken leg (sorry, Ricky).
Tuesday, May 6th, 2003
Charlie the plumber came by early (before I'd brushed my teeth). He took a look at the crawl space where all the pipes are, expressed horror at the rusty state of our pipes, and then got into a deep discussion with John about mysterious things like corrosion, teflon filters and electrolysis. I don't know about these things. I just want them fixed. I'm not like Callie who seems to be able to repair
washing machines and then sit back and polish her fingernails (heh heh!). Anyway, all I know now is that John has gone to work, leaving a signed, blank cheque, Charlie's gone off to install a handicapped toilet for an elderly lady, and I've just taken a glorious lukewarm shower and washed my hair. Charlie switched on the water again so that when he gets back (with a longer ladder) he'll know exactly where the leak is and can get to work. That's a picture of our pipes. They were born in 1942.
Stay tuned for the next episode.
Monday, May 5th, 2003
When you don't have running water you really develop an appreciation for it. I never wake up properly in the mornings unless I take a shower, and felt grumpy and groggy all day today at work. John stayed home to greet Charlie the Plumber. Charlie didn't want to cut away the kitchen ceiling until he'd made a diagnosis. He felt that the leak could be from the hot pipe of the upstairs water heater. The only way to find out was to disconnect it and turn the water back on, and then give it a few hours. He said he'd be back in the morning. By the time I got home the water was dripping through the ceiling again, so we had to turn it off.
So . . . another night without water. Yuk yuk yuk. I took a shower at the yoga center but then got sweaty again walking home in the 90-degree heat. Tomorrow morning it's my turn to stay home while Charlie does his work. My boss gave me plenty of stuff to keep me busy.
Sunday (late), May 4th, 2003
I was just thinking how nice it was this weekend to be catching up with stuff.
It felt good to be "between crises." Then at about 9 p.m., as I sat organizing my Baseball lineups, water poured through the kitchen light fixture and landed on my laptop. When I screamed, John thought I'd seen another cockroach. We went charging upstairs, imagining the apartment in six inches of water. It wasn't. We switched off the water, dragged the ladder out of the shed, and John hoisted himself into the attic to see if the a/c pans had overflowed. All dry. So . . . the diagnosis is that one of the pipes between the floors is leaking. This means keeping the water turned off until we can get a plumber round tomorrow. It also means that he'll have to make a hole in our beautiful new kitchen ceiling to get at the problem. (wail, sob, howl)
Anyway, at least John stocked up with bottles of water at the beginning of the war, so there'll be enough for a pot of coffee in the morning.
Sunday, May 4th, 2003
I've just received an update from David on how Dad met Mum. Her fellow employee at the bank was Enid Lake (then Miss Clatworthy), not Esme Davey. he and her husband, Victor, are alive and well, living in Sidmouth, Devon, and they
celebrate their Diamond wedding anniversary in August.
This makes me think of something else. I believe Enid Lake may also have met her future husband, Victor, on that day. I do remember Mum telling me a story that the four of them went out together one evening and had drinks (supper?) in a caravan on Dartmoor. Enid was wearing an angora sweater, and apparently when Victor returned to base his uniform was covered in goat hair. Hope they don't mind me tattling here.
As for Esme Davey, David advises that she and Fred are also still alive and living in Plymouth. My strongest memory of them was their white cat. We went to visit them one day when I was about seven. The cat was frightened for some reason and disappeared up the chimney, returning covered with soot. I can still see Fred jumping after the cat, trying to pull it out by grabbing its tail.
When I went back to school after the summer we were asked to write about our holidays, and apparently I wrote about "a man called 'Fred' who
chased a cat up the chimney."
Sunday, May 4th, 2003
Our ads in the Houston Chronicle and Greensheet don't seem to be working. We haven't had a single call on the apartment. Keep your fingers crossed that this sign on our front lawn will work. We've even put the price and our home 'phone number on it so you can tell we're starting to panic a little.
Sunday, May 4th, 2003
Today would have been Dad's 82nd birthday. I thought you might all like to read a paper John wrote about him back in 1998. He had to interview a war veteran for a history class and they talked for a couple of hours on the 'phone between Sherborne and Houston. Although it's not mentioned in John's paper, I did want to elaborate on how he first "met" Mum. He'd been on fire duty and had been called to the bombed National Provincial Bank (now "NatWest") in Plymouth where she worked. She was sitting dejectedly on a still-standing bank counter amongst the rubble of the building with a fellow employee (I think Esme Davies, if anyone remembers her). He was trying to cheer them up, and grabbed a top hat which was still attached to a hook, and an upside down motorbike which actually started. He put on the top hat and started riding along the bank counter, singing at the same time. She noticed him okay and soon they were going out together. They didn't see each other again until after the war, and he proposed to her via letter from the Indian Ocean. In 1945 his ship returned to Plymouth. An employee at the rebuilt bank shouted to Mum that his ship had been sighted. She apparently stopped what she was doing, grabbed her coat, told the manager she was quitting (tut tut) and ran to the harbour. They were married on June 9th, 1945, and three days later Dad had to leave for sea again.
|Friday, May 30, 2003
|Saturday, March 29th, 2003
This picture has a lot of "stuff" in it which is probably only interesting to me. But I want to be able to look at it again one day, so anyone who thinks they may be bored should go and study the Habershon Family Tree.
Still here? Can you spot the cat? That's Mud. She's 18, and in excellent health. Our other cat is Cindie. She's about 12. She became very ill a while ago, and we thought she was going to die. She got thinner and thinner, and when we picked her up all we could feel were her bones. Anyway, Cindie is now recovering and is starting to put on some of the weight she lost. Unfortunately, though, she's turned into a kitty terrorist. If we keep her bowl full she eats until she throws up, so we have to ration her with constant snacks throughout the day. Between those snacks she's developed a nasty habit of not only jumping on the kitchen counter, but tipping over the Kroger rubbish bags that we use for . . . well . . . rubbish. So not only do we now have to make sure we wash all the dishes at night, we also broke down and bought our first pedal bin. You can see it in the picture. I've always been anti-bin because they only mean one more item to clean. But I think this is a magnificent pedal bin. It takes 13-gallon bags and it actually fit in the boot of my Mini when I brought it home from Target.
Still here? Well, you may notice the water containers above the pedal bin. John bought them when the terrorist alert went to high. It surprised me when he did this. He didn't buy any duct tape, though. Our house is full of holes. I don't know how long the water will sit on the counter. Maybe it'll come in useful during the hurricane season.
You still reading? Well, yesterday was my birthday (my Randy Johnson birthday). This was the sight that greeted me when I got home. It was a good birthday, in spite of the fact that we'd shelved plans to go to Minute Maid Park for the Astros/White Sox exhibition game. Note that the wine is (was?) Australian. There were CDs in the pink packages. Paul McCartney's "Back in the U.S." double album, and Vladimir Ashkenazy playing three Beethoven piano sonatas. The larger blue package contained a tiny gift certificate for thirty (count'em . . . 30) yoga classes over ninety days. Whew! Am I going to be calm and flexible.
John hasn't been well this week. I can't remember when he last went to the doctor, but this time he actually made an appointment and kept it. The $512 he spent on the visit, tests, and prescriptions obviously did a world of good, and I'm happy to say he's on the mend. That was all I really wanted for my birthday.
Time to upload and log off. I still have six-and-a-half papers to write and sixty yoga classes to attend, not to mention my fantasy Baseball draft starting on Thursday.
Friday, March 28th, 2003
I took an Anusara Yoga class last night. It was way too advanced for me but I modified some of the poses and got along quite happily in the back. That was until the instructor told everyone to turn sideways and I found myself at the front :(
I rashly purchased the unlimited 30-day package. Now to look for a sticky mat.
Wednesday, March 26th, 2003
I'm working in a town called "Liberty" tomorrow. Good name, huh?
Wednesday, March 26th, 2003
After my back surgery in 2001 I never went to rehab. or physical therapy or whatever they call it, mainly because my medical insurance didn't cover it and the back surgeon never suggested it. In fact, when I went to have my stitches out, I sat in the waiting room for an hour, and when I finally saw him he told me to walk a lot and do the back exercises in "the red book." "What red book?", I asked. "Oh, you never got one? Have the nurse give you one on the way out," he said, his mind already on the next patient.
So, over the next year I walked a lot, but got bored with the back exercises. And I turned stiffer than a board. The car accident made things worse, and I promised myself that as soon as I felt human again I'd start some kind of exercise program. Libby was telling me how much she enjoyed her yoga classes, and I kept that idea in the back of my mind. Then three weeks ago I was driving home from work and saw that a yoga centre had opened in the new plaza at Waugh and Allen Parkway. The thought crossed my mind that this was my chance, but I still did nothing. Then last Thursday a flyer arrived in the mail. The clincher was reading that anyone who walked, ran, or took a bus to their yoga class would be given a free bottle of water. Who was it that said we Habershons love a bargain?
So, I've now been (make that "walked") to three yoga classes. Restorative 60 minutes; Iyengar 60 minutes; and tonight Iyengar 90 minutes. Tomorrow I'll try Anusara. The instructor told me to avoid Bikram and and Power Yoga until I was completely fit. Right now I can't sit cross legged without discomfort and certainly can't touch my toes. It's going to be a long haul, but I'm hooked. Can't wait to try the Hot Yoga.
It's expensive at $15 a class. I'll have to make a decision soon as to whether to buy my own mat and sign up for something more long-term. There's a 90-day unlimited for $490 (ouch) and a yearly unlimited for $1,500 (ouch ouch ouch).
Thanks, Libby, for planting the seed. And you're right about the part at the end. It's great when it's all over and you lie in the dark for ten minutes.
Wednesday, March 26th, 2003
I think you all know how I feel about this war. My feelings haven't changed over the last week. Saddam Hussein is evil. And his soldiers are murderers. They pretend to surrender, and then kill their captors. They wear U.S. uniforms and kill civilians. They execute prisoners of war. And I wouldn't be surprised if it was their own bomb that exploded in the Baghdad market this morning.
I'm sorry, family, but Bush and Blair have, and always have had, my full support.
Sunday, March 16th, 2003
David has now e-mailed the rest of THE BOOK, so the onus is on me to get all the pages cropped and sized and up on the website. Our American ancestors have a long chapter and I should have it finished soon. Meanwhile, feast on Confederate soldiers, a Postmaster General, a Governor of Georgia, and . . . I might've guessed . . . a Habershon who was ripped off by a Frenchman.
Friday, March 14th, 2003
Check this out! John's mum has just published her third book on St. Anselm. And she's put me in the dedication and given me a signed copy. I feel very honoured.
For anyone who wants to buy it (HAH!), it will soon be on Amazon.com and is called: "St. Anselm and the Handmaidens of God," by Sally N. Vaughn.
Now, back to my papers.
Friday, March 14th, 2003
Great show by the Dead End Angels at the Mucky Duck
last night. Their first CD should be out in about six weeks.
And now for the weekend. No play for me. You read it here, folks. By Sunday night I intend to have finished three of my eight papers (80 pages total) which are due April 30th. I've started two of them and John's not going to let me out of the house until they're done. Meanwhile, he's going to be fixing up the upstairs apartment so we can run an ad. and get some rental income coming in again.
Sunday, March 9th, 2003
When the Dead End Angels are famous, I'll be able to say that I knew them back in the days when they played in supermarkets. Our drive to Austin yesterday was well worth it to listen to them for two and a half hours. This was the fourth time I'd taken a road trip to hear them, and each has been well worth it.
On Thursday they are actually coming to Houston! Luxury! They'll be playing at my favourite venue, the Mucky Duck (best Scotch Eggs in town). Yesterday evening's Central Market show finished at 9 p.m. I zipped around with a basket afterwards and packed up Wendy with fresh vegetables. We drove back to Houston and arrived home exactly at midnight.
John took pictures of the band -- from left to right, Rick Poss, Craig Bagby, Scott Melott, and (hunk) Troy Wilson. Scott actually came and sat and talked with us during the break while he ate his green, healthy looking avocado-laden salad.
Oh, did I mention that they'll be in Houston at the Mucky Duck on Thursday? Come on out, loyal readers! This is a new band and you need to hear and see them before ticket prices rocket to $80 a seat.
Friday, March 7th, 2003
We headed out to El Campo last night to catch Roger Creager at Greek Bros. Restaurant. I'm not sure what was better, the music, the company, the food, the wine or the drive. Wendy looked very sweet parked outside amongst all the pickup trucks. I think I should get her a gun rack.
I've lived in Texas now for exactly twelve years, and my heart still melts when I see men in cowboy hats. Some of them posed for me; in fact, two of them actually gave John and me their hats and took a picture of us.
Tonight, we rest. Tomorrow we're going to Austin to see the Dead End Angels at Central Market.
And I still haven't started my first paper.
Friday, March 7th, 2003
For those with no time to keep up, here's where the UN Security Council stands regarding war with Iraq. This square from the BBC website has a mine of information in it.
I wonder what it will look like next week?
Wednesday, March 5th, 2003
I got caught today, Callie (yes, I know you're a loyal reader). I was sitting at the lights at 610 and Woodway and saw a man walking on the edge of the feeder carrying a gas can. He looked completely stressed and upset as he walked towards my car. I rolled down my window. "Oh, please, you need to help me. I ran out of gas about a mile back. My family is sitting in the car, and I only have seventeen cents. Could you please help me"?
It crossed my mind that he was just panhandling, but he looked so wet and desperate. I couldn't just roll up my window and not help him if he was genuine. So I asked to see his driver's license. "Huh"? he said. "Yes. Your driver's license. Show me your driver's license and I'll give you some money," I said, reaching for my wallet. He reached into his pocket and pulled out rather a nice looking wallet. There was no license, but the look of humiliation in his eyes was more than I could stand.
I gave him five dollars, and drove off feeling like pond scum.
Tuesday, March 4th, 2003
I knew it!
Monday, March 3rd, 2003
Happy 21st birthday, William! I checked to see who else was born on March 3rd and came up with:
Graham Bell (inventor) 1847
Masamune Hakucho (inventor) 1979
Conrad Aiken (poet) 1905
Adolph Hitler (politician) 1905
Jean Harlow (actress) 1911
Jance Garfat (musical artist) 1944
Robyn Hitchcock (musical artist) 1953
Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee (athlete) 1962
Herschel Walker (athlete) 1962
Tone-Loc (musical artist) 1966
John Bingham (musical artist) 1969
Ronan Keating (musical artist) 1977
Sunday, March 2nd, 2003
Callie e-mailed me a link to this article from today's Houston Chronicle. It's written by a woman who grew up in Iraq.
Saturday, March 1st, 2003
I've just been rummaging through my desk looking for a good picture of the March Habershon of the Month (to be announced shortly), and came across my 1981 Saudi Driver's License. This gave me the privilege of driving anywhere within a 10-mile radius of my house, within the Aramco camp fences. This has to be a collector's item; I doubt very much if they issue licenses to women over there any more. Wonder if I could sell it on EBay?
I have to say, however, that I did once drive for about ten miles outside the fences, from Dhahran to Dammam (with a male passenger, in case we had to make a sudden switch). That was back in 1975 when the Saudis turned a blind eye to most things. I also used to ride my Yamaha 360 dirt bike in the dunes. I'd get past the guard at the gate wearing a large, long-sleeved shirt, and my hair tucked inside my helmet. That was until someone reported me -- fortunately to the Aramco Security Department (who let me off with a warning) and not the Saudi Police.
Saturday, March 1st, 2003
Too much to do and not enough time. I tried to get a paid holiday on Monday, which is Texas Independence Day, but my boss wasn't biting. The good news, however, is that next week is Spring Break so I don't have to go to any classes, only start working on my term papers.
We went back to the Firehouse Saloon on Thursday night to hear Rodger Wilko (John's picture of Stephanie on the right) again, and were also treated to a cool opening band called "F.Co." (photo by John on left). The band's lead singer, who was very cute, assured me that the name isn't rude -- it's short for Fayetteville County. So there.
Kevin brought a friend/colleague (Dan) from Calgary with him. His enthusiasm for everything was infectious. I love it when people visit Houston and really seem to like the place and genuinely enjoy themselves. Dan's enthusiasm rubbed off on me, and I actually stayed at the Firehouse until 2 a.m. Not a good idea on a night before a work day, especially as I wanted to hear Michael Fracasso at Anderson Fair the next night.
My tired body made it to work, though, and as soon as I got home I went back to bed and slept three hours. Then we headed out to Anderson Fair. Bummer bummer bummer, Michael wasn't performing. He's in the hospital.
|Monday, March 31, 2003