June 14th, 2010

The Week That Was 6.13.10

This was the kind of week that over-inflates your brain to the point of explosion. Around every turn was another thing to excite, motivate, inspire, et al. From the first game of the World Cup, the quintessential competition between 32 nations, to TEDxHouston there was never a dull moment.

I haven’t quite been able to wrap my head around any of it yet. That’s not a new issue for me, however. The weird thing is none of the cultural phenomena happening this week compared to the mind-blowing car chase seen in the heights. A speeding F-150 being pursued by a police cruiser down a usually sleepy street in the Woodland Heights crashing through and iron fence and into the porch of a previously impeccable home.

Curiosity took over which led me blindly down to the scene only to have seven more cruisers whiz by and a helicopter appear overhead. The manhunt was on. There is something invigorating seeing something that only happens in the movies or to Billy Joel. Then again, the last time that the Piano Man crashed into a house, I’m pretty sure he didn’t try to flee on foot with a weapon and an entire police force trying to apprehend him.

Pause – A Movie by Zen Films
If you haven’t heard of the Fiesta Movement yet, check it out. It’s an inter-city competition between 16 cities. The latest mission in the Movement was to create a short film that featured a Ford Fiesta. Zenfilm took on the task for team Houston producing Pause. Tuesday they had the world premiere of the movie as well as a free screening of Get Him to the Greek. You can watch Pause on YouTube and take a look at the other submissions city by city on the Fiesta Movement website. If Team Houston wins – which they are very close to doing – they’ll be donating the Ford Fiesta to Noah’s Kitchen the local non-profit dedicated to providing the less fortunate meals. Here’s to hoping Team Houston brings home the grand prize.

Loopy Tortilla
Sometimes I forget why I try to avoid going out to dinner on Friday night. One of the reasons is that I would much rather sustain myself on a liquid diet to celebrate the weekend. Another is the fact that everybody goes out for dinner on Friday night. There wasn’t a parking spot to be found in front of Lupe Tortilla. Consequently, tables were at a premium. Thankfully I’ve made it a habit to be late so the wait didn’t worry me too much. After finally being seated and served you realize that it isn’t just the fact that it’s the weekend that fills Lupe. The food is good, the margaritas are strong and the service is great. Now if we could just get all the people in the restaurant to stop shouting just to be heard over the next table. Seriously, people, your conversation is not that important.

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TEDxHouston
First of all, a big congratulations to the curators, board members and volunteers of TEDxHouston for making it all happen. Culture Pilot and their crew certainly pulled off a great event at the Wortham Theater at University of Houston on Saturday. From a walk up to the theater through the courtyard and a protest against GAS (General Apathy Syndrome) to the final speaker, Dr. David Eagleman, there wasn’t a hiccup or lull. TEDxHouston was absolutely an amalgam of great ideas, both practical and theoretical. Those that were in attendance got a taste for what Houston is capable of in the future as well as what the city is doing right now to make it happen. If you were there or watching the live webstream of the event I’d love to hear your thoughts, your favorite speaker, what you walked away from the event with or any other comments. Once the videos from TEDxHouston hit the web I’ll be back in this space to let you know. Coming from someone that left the university campus with a head full of ideas and motivation to get the ball rolling on a few more projects, I can tell you that the webisodes that are to come are worth tuning in to.

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Empire Cafe
A full calendar of events usually comes at the expense of general necessities. Laundry and other mundane tasks find themselves ignored day to day, week to week. Sunday I tried to take it upon myself to get some of those things done. Filing bills and paperwork, cataloging albums and finally RSVPing to my sister’s wedding are not the most exciting of activities, but luckily I had the World Cup to keep me company and to keep my attention. This was all well and good until I got a better offer: Meeting up with my sister and her fiance for dinner at Empire Cafe. It’s going to take a lot more than some cable bills to keep me away from the goat cheese and mushroom stuffed ravioli known as the Milano. On top of that, Sunday was a spectacular day to waste inside sitting Indian style in front of a filing cabinet. Surely, Empire’s patio area ranks among the best in the city. You can tell because even at 8:00 in the afternoon more than half of the tables outside are full of people who would otherwise be preparing for yet another Monday morning.

— Paul

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