and we (re) learned a valuable lesson. before the scoot inn show, we attended a member's party at the blanton museum. the party had free wine, but not much food. and somehow, we managed to completely skip food for most of the day. the end result was a quick and steep blood sugar cliff. I need to add some granola bars and beef jerky to my photo/camera bag. next time I hear my wife say, "I really feel like I need a hot dog" on the way to a show, I'll find a way to make it happen.
the other lesson I learned, when the wife asks for directions, I will not try to do the job of an iphone. when she asks, "HOW FAR?", I realize "drive straight through downtown on this street, it's on the left" is not the same as iphone with an exact "1.2 miles" answer. each attempt I tried to give directions, like saying the street address or showing a google map with two dots and a straight line between, only added to my list of failures. it's best to leave the navigating to the technology of her choice, then I can sit back and enjoy the view. as a modern day spicoli, my mantra shall be "you drive, and iphone'll nah-vuh-gate"
this year's cotillion season is over. photography is discouraged, with exception of the final dance. family members are encouraged to attend, participate, take pics and video.
I said "HEY YOU!... SMILE!" and he did.
the older kids start with a NO-parents allowed dance and formal dinner. they make a big effort to apply their best table manners. the daughter has attended a few years now, she was appointed leader of table etiquitte. the other kids at the table referred to her as "the queen of england". they were all having a good time.
the guy seen in the first pic cut in on her partner from table 10 for the last dance.
the parents actually dance with the kids for the younger cotillion. Kat looks forward to the mother and son cotillion. she made a special effort to be there this year.
but somehwere along the way, #1 son decided he did NOT want his picture taken. he scowled and gave me serious looks when I aimed my photo device in his direction. if I can't get a good pic, I just have to take more shots!
yes, it'same girl from the Valentine's dance. I'd supplied him with chocolate to give to whoever he shared the last dance on V-day. I could see she had not forgotten his gift of confection.
then came the parent dance portion of the evening. it's usually a lot of fun.
#1 son became rigid and refused to smile. his mother had left work in the middle of an important project to share the dance with him. I attempted to improve things by NOT taking a bunch of pictures. his mom decided she'd get him to smile, one way or antoher.
#1 son made it around the sun once more, moving into double digits... pic above is from the valentine's day cotillion dance.
he has been issuing some big brain questions lately:
"can electricity have weight?"
"if Einstein had a formula for turning mass into electricity, has anybody tried to reverse it to create mass from electricity?"
I'm assuming he is getting some of these ideas from the Gifted and Talented program at school and listening to NPR. He recently got really upset when his brother was making little boy (annoying) sounds while he was trying to listen to a story about centrifugal uranium enrichment. but mostly he's still just a boy, and still a bit fragile.
I took a few of his friends out for lunch to celebrate. we went to gourdough's public house. their food is all donut based... donut burgers, sandwiches and garlic donut salad croutons. I'll admit it was better than I had expected.
from his parents, he received one roll of duct tape and tickets to ripley's believe it or not odditorium in san antonio (along with hotel reservation at the grand hyatt)
we started with a great lunch at la gloria ice house, street foods of mexico.
if he looks a bit banged up... it goes like this,
Wednesday: came home with an easter egg sized lump on his forehead. something to do with a door being opened into his face.
Thursday: came home with a busted lip, something to do with an elbow and P.E. class
Friday: I got a call from the school nurse, something to do with falling off a 3ft wall and landing on his face. he recieved five stitches on his eyebrow.
#1 son had received two books for Christmas, a Guinness book of records and a Ripley's believe it or not. I can't tell you how much time he has devoted to studying and repeating facts from those books.
#1 son has spent a great deal of thought regarding the world's fattest man. he finally got a life sized example.
we also did the 4-D ride. I was worried it would be too much for #2 son, I was wrong. he was so excited. he yelled, "THAT WAS AMAZING!!!" as we left the theater.
a quick happy hour snack in our room while enjoying the view from the 19th floor. got cleaned up and out for dinner.
I'll tell you to avoid the riverwalk area for dining options. most of the food down there is over priced and no so great. BUT, we do enjoy Las Ramblas at the Hotel La Contessa. it was a short walk from the grand hyatt.
watermelon salad with pop-rocks, squid ink lobster-seafood paella and caesar salad.
#2 son was complaining, "I like corndogs with STICKS in them!" I managed to derail his complaints by challenging him to insert one into his nostril, he proved me wrong, "SEE! it DOESN'T fit!" then he forgot all about the lack of sticks.
the horchata fritters were really good, as was the creme brulee/flan dessert.
grand hyatt is on a quiet section of the riverwalk.
we also spent a night at our place in wimberley. we were happy to find that the half bottle terrarium my mom set up has sprouted basil!
pics provided by a new P&S camera that has improved low light performance. pic of moon above was done w/o tripod. (below) the daughter, very precisely puncturing a blackberry...
the indian food grocery store has these delicious ready to eat meals. you just boil the bags and dump them out. there are no preservatives or MSG, just regular stuff on the lists of ingredients like "onion, garlic, yogurt". we can have a quick, tasty indian food dinner for less than $2 per person! #2 son approves, he loves that garlic naan and basmati rice!
there is no down time for mardi gras. we get up and keep going for another parade. this year we rode a float, we threw beads to mardi gras beggars.
it was a nice float too! the front was animated and of course it had a big loud sound system. it even had separate his/hers bathrooms. let's do this!
#1 son asked me get off so he could practice throwing beads to me before the parade started. turns out it's pretty easy.
there were many floats in the staging area. all pumping out different (and obnoxious) music.
this is the time to unpack and hang all the beads on hooks and organize the other throws (plush toys, moon pies, chinese new year candy).
we had rubber mardi gras crawfish, plush rats and finger puppets and a bunch of candy and chocolate from the chinese market since it was also chinese new years! Gung Hay Fat Choy means "Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year."
we are way up there on the second floor. there is a constant threat of being whacked in the head by street lights and trees. #2 son went to school yesterday and drew a picture of "the man with the microphone" from our float. he is the one that tries to give warning about low hanging obstacles.
#2 son quickly understood his role. for the past few weeks, he has been saying he did NOT want to throw from a float. he's been hiding some of his things, convinced we would make him throw his personal toys from the float.
#1 son took a bunch of broken bead strands and tied them in one long strand. he was using that to lower good beads to the lower deck. I got in on the fun as we teased the girl below us (marnie). she didn't look very amused at all as she kept swatting them out of her face. LOL
the parade is two hours long. kat and the two older kids had been throwing at a fast pace for the first 30 minutes and were nearly empty by the half way mark. I hadn't thrown much at all so we shared my stash.
it's work throwing all those beads and toys and moon pies... makes a man thirsty.
there is a great diversity in the Highland area. from historic mansions with their professionally catered parties under rented tents, to the let's pull a bunch of crap into the yard sort of parties.
#1 son is really enjoying the roll of duct tape he received for his birthday. the young men adjusted the street sign. they were quite proud of themselves.
as the unofficial space #83 event photographer, I get asked to take a lot of pictures. "hey take a picture of me and my neighbor, and one of my ex-step-brother, and this girl I just met" etc. (I'm gonna try to include a few, you can email me for any specific one I didn't upload)
I think the point, he is trying to make is, "we are #1!"
there was plenty meat for carnivores. mardi gras happens during my annual vegetarian (pescatarian) experiement. I survived from a diet of nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, and a few beverages.
and the fire is roaring!
DANCING GIRLS!: the women and children start pouring in around 3pm (5 hours after us)
they waste no time and get that dancing started.
her hand was cold....
and the sun goes down... tension builds as we await the parade.
laser light show attracts a few new people.
more dancing and shaking....
people flood in from the street and a few neighboring sites. the people that had asked us to turn it down now join in on the dancing, their women and children can't resist our jungle beats.
some kid did some break dancing, the girls were shaking all the right parts, looked like a bunch of ants on a hot rock!
that gnome was operating at MAXIMUM!!! the daughter does not participate in the foolishness, she is a bit more reserved and just observes, with ron swanson. he also would not participate.
the krewe of gemini parade:
#1 son takes command of the laser and directs it into the street, and all over the parade. that’s my boy!
it turns out, the marching band can get a bit pissed-off if you get in the middle of them to take pics. watch out for the tuba man!
later, things got a bit saucey...
the old mardi gras reach-around
still hungry? how 'bout breast meat...
more reach-around, hey, I'm tryin to take a picture here.
which is it?
A: I got to axe you something
B: she's gonna give you the axe
and that was the end. I lingered (loitered) till the fire man came.
he gave me a stern talking to about fire safety and warned about the possibility of a ticket next year. but this knob only goes up... I think we'd call that ticket a fire fee. I gently reminded him that it gave them a job, coming to exterminate our fires. some people start them, some put them out, and a few dance around them.
ended the evening with another roaring fire. we roasted salmon strips I marinated in OJ, honey, sea salt and sriracha.
it's a long term plan or... the life plan. after a good bit of thought, and experience with the neighborhood and time spent on site, I realized the best location for a future house on our wimberley lot would be the same footprint of the old house. this solves several issues, the HOA architectural review committee should have less to consider since it would be the same place as the existing home, more of a replacement. the septic plumbing is already installed for that footprint. and, this would result in the least amount of oak tree removal.
so I started playing around with possible layouts using the same footprint. I think the first gives us the most usable sq footage. these models don't have all the windows or represent the slope of the lot.
this plan has affords a small studio/office lof or third bedroom on a second floor area at the front
our aim would be to use nonflamable building materials due to the high risk of wile fires. steel studs, concrete fiber board (hardy), stone, masonary, metal siding and glass.
I included a greenhouse for kat, and a garage complete with either a vintage van or bmw e30.
aesthetically, I think I like this next one best.
I've always loved a butterfly style roof. no second floor is easy on old people with weak knees and fragile hips (I told you this was a life plan, I'm thinking of the future)
gave the wife my jacket to wear. yes, I decorated an armani jacket with roosters. we call it "the cock jacket". as we approached the venue, waiting for the walk sign to illuminate, I felt a touch. I turned around to find strangers giggling. someone uttered a confession, "I wanted to touch your cock". they started to take turns tocuhing my jacket. that jacket gets a lot of attention, but this is the first time it's been molested by strangers. this was a hint to what sort of flirtatious behavior awaited us inside.
so, THIS IS THE LINE! DO NOT SCROLL BELOW THIS LINE IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY IMAGES OF THE HUMAN BODY, MOSTLY WOMEN. in other words, may be NSFW pics below.
they have several body paint vendors. if you have exhibitionist tendencies, carnaval will give you the opportunity to meet up with voyuers/photographers. she loved all the attention
not just girls, boys were playing too. peter pan and a stormtrooper... I don't know what to say. well, peter pan is a disney movie and disney did just buy star wars... I guess they are bedfellows after all.