August 2nd, 2010

The Week That Was 8.1.10

The last week of July has certainly been a strange one. It was equal parts “return to form” and “forging new frontiers.” Whereas the beginning of the week was filled with meetings over pints, coffee shop seclusion and old friends, the end of the week held the surprises of kickball team membership, sand volleyball challenges and quitting smoking. I’m relatively certain that these two versions of Paul do not get along well together. There are a lot of conflicting anguishes going on in my body right now.

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Salento, Gesundheit (Paul)
When I first decided that I was going to be a writer, I spent many hours at Crossroads in Rice Village. The location is now the popular frozen yogurt stand. The kids these days were just never into the crepe scene. That was the demise of Crossroads. If I would have been smart back then, I would have just taken my business down to Salento on Rice Blvd. Just down the street. Quiet. Sometimes live music. Good energy. Close to my med center apartment. Most importantly, they have food. Good food. The prosciutto sandwich and the brie sandwich come highly recommended. As an old friend and I caught up over a light dinner, coffee and glass of wine, arguing over the nationality of the bartender and the perils of accepting compliments, I wondered what would have been different had I adopted Salento instead of Agora as my go-to coffee shop. One thing is for certain, I probably would have had more dinners of prosciutto and brie instead of DQPs and fries.

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Kickball is Happen-Ins (Paul)
Sneaking out of work early on Friday is an essential part of the weekend. Initially, the idea was to help Richard move into his new apartment. That was delayed just a bit, enough for me to catch a quick nap before bearing down on a too-full U-Haul. Unfortunately, the move had me running late to my most important task of the week: Kickball Team Meeting at Rudyard’s. Luckily for me, the world converged on the bar that night. There’s never a more happy Paul than one that doesn’t have to change locations throughout the night. Austin band, The Happen-Ins were playing a show upstairs at Rudz on Friday night. I had heard of the band, but never heard them. With my camera ready and a couple of beers already in my system from Kickball Happy Hour(s), it wasn’t difficult to get revved up for the show. Between the two dudes dancing the jitterbug together during the Mike and the Moonpies set, the garage band sound of The Happen-Ins and Paul Bebe’s band closing out the night, I’m glad that I had the Canon with me to capture it. My boozed up brain couldn’t handle all the happenin’s.

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Street Art Tour #2 (Paul)
“What are you up to today?”
“Hunting some graffiti. You?”
“Dude, you’re like a dog with a bone!”
I can’t argue with the above, conclusive text message I received. Ever since a couple of Sundays ago, I can’t stop looking around for the next piece of artwork I missed. Some people have sent in clues as to where to look and for that I am grateful… or, at least my car’s fuel economy is grateful. Saturday took me over to Cactus Music to look for the debut album of The Happen-Ins. As I walked out of the store to drop off my new music, I saw a Give Up stencil on the corner. That was my cue to grab the camera and drive around hoping to find some art. I missed the in-store performance by The Energy, but they would understand when the mood strikes you’ve just got to flow with it. Driving down Richmond on Saturday I came across three new spots, a couple on Almeda, one on Westheimer I had seen last weekend, two on White Oak… the list goes on. Basically, I’m saying that Houston Street Art Tour #2 is just around the corner… just like most of Coolidge’s animals. Get it? Ok, I’ll show myself to the door.

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A Day on Drinkery’s Beach (Paul)
I’ve been to the Washington Ave. Drinkery exactly one time. I believe it was on a Wednesday at about 11PM. There were approximately four other people in the bar on that night. Sure, I probably should have given them another shot at my tab, but I didn’t really have a reason to go until Sunday afternoon. Marc sent me a text asking me to get my lazy Sunday ass up to Drinkery for some sand volleyball. On the day you quit smoking, it’s best to find things to distract you from the usual habit. Playing sports seems like it would be a good way to mix it up. Unless, of course, you usually play centerfield with a cancer stick dangling from your mouth. That’s a bit of an exaggeration… But not… It’s good to get back in that “college intramurals” mode, but there is no reason to be as sore as I am after an hour of physical activity. Ah, getting older and not taking care of your body is the best. Marc is going to have the in-depth experience tomorrow, so be prepared. Hopefully he touches on a little thing called “crying-to-the-organizers-to-get-the-opponent-disqualified-itis.” Our second opponent suffered from that not-so-rare disease.

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The Kids are Alright (Marc)
With a buddy making the big leap and leaving the nest, we decided to spend his first night soiling his reputation at all the local haunts near his midtown apartment. I don’t spend much time circulating around midtown, but from his apartment, we had a wealth of options. We hit the Wet Spot first in order to get some food and soak up the celebratory beers we had enjoyed on his porch. The Wet Spot doesn’t have great food, and I think they only have one cooking technique: frying. They do, however, have personal TVs at the bar where you can watch whatever the hell you want. The only problem for us was that there weren’t any sports on at 3PM on a Saturday. After grubbing on grease, we walked over to Front Porch to watch the new look Astros. Couldn’t anyone tell the Puma’s that their hero was gone before they got to the game in costume? By the time the game ended, we decided to walk over to Spec’s to get a bottle or two to christen the new place. Such a long walk required sustenance, so we stopped into Cheerz and ordered shots. The next place we stopped in absolutely refused to serve us. By the time we got to Spec’s and made our way to the check out, the cashier looked at my buddy and said “Are you sure you’re okay?” I guess we should have stopped while we were ahead.

— Paul

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