Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Play It Again, Sam

Happy Tuesday friends! The last few days have been heavy with laze. But that is okay. Yesterday was the first day since school let out that I didn't have something pressing to do. It was nice to relax. I woke up early, completed a piece of copy that needed to be written for Pictoric Media Group (thanks again Ciara) and then spent the day on my own terms....well, sort of....
My grandma is here! And having a "lazy Monday" was ENTIRELY her idea. I asked her what she would like to do and she said, "Nothing. I want to have a lazy day!" I said, "Okay! I have been dying for a lazy day for weeks!" So yesterday we did nothing...and today wasn't much more productive (although we did manage to get her to the salon for a wash and blow dry). She has been resting quite a bit. My theory is my mom and my aunts tired her out last week with shopping, late night bar-b-ques, primping, packing, etc. I think she is recovering here! However that all ends today. Mom is at the helm tomorrow and I can assure you she will not be so indulgent. She intends to take grandma to the mall while I am at a meeting for the Bereavement Center Silent Auction.

We have had a brilliant time together so far. It is so wonderful to host my grandmother in my home for the week. I cherish and value this time together. It is rare that she and I are ever alone together. I know this week will forever be a precious memory...for the both of us! I intend to pick her brain and probe into all those stories I think she might be ready to part with.

This is my favorite picture of my grandma. As I write this she is looking at the photo. She can't remember quite how old she was but she remembers it was taken in Laredo, TX when she was enrolled at Holding Institute. She says it was a finishing school and had various programs for women. For instance they trained you to be a secretary and things of that nature. She laughed at how curly her hair was in this photo. She says she achieved the look with pink foam rollers....ladies you ALL know those! My mother would put them in my hair EVERY Sunday evening and I would sleep in them all night. Monday morning I sported a beautiful mane and a terrible crick in the neck! I will forever contend....beauty is, in fact, pain!
We just finished watching Casablanca. She said she did not want to watch a "current movie" because often she didn't understand the content. I suggested a classic film. We purchased it "on demand." I, shamefully, have NEVER seen this film! She says she has seen it more times than she can count. However, she remembered the first time she ever saw it was at The Majestic Theater in San Antonio with her father and step mother. I thought that was a particularly sweet coincidence because that is, by far, my favorite place in San Antonio. It is a truly regal, historical building. It is the theater where I saw my first musical, Les Miserables. I think my love of theater grew in large part out of the grandeur of that building! (Not necessarily the musical!)

Tomorrow we don't have anything going on in the morning so we can sleep in, have our coffee and breakfast, spend some time outside while she prays to Jesus and then prepare her for the mall. No doubt she will be exhausted by the time my mom gets done with her. Thursday we will visit with Najla and Gianna as well as attend a softball game. She seems particularly excited about that. Friday she is being treated to a facial by Rene at Healthy Skin. Oh...the pampering! She deserves it!
Today's Top Ten List is courtesy of Jace'. Jace' has this insane ability to watch a movie once and not only memorize the most poignant lines; but recite them on command. While she and I have rather different taste in films...I do appreciate her unique talent. She has a particular penchant for what I call "stupid movie quotes." When I suggested the topic she took some offense. What I should have said was, "Hey Jace'...can you provide me with a list of your top ten favorite comedy film quotes?" By no means do I think these movies are stupid...well...no, no, no. I won't comment. I haven't actually seen all of these. When Johnny provided the YouTube links to his favorite songs to groove by, Jace' said she WOULD provide the same service. She would simply NOT be outdone!

Jace' and I at Maria's birthday party. I am playing with black and white and blurring of edges.

1) Airplane! 1980

This had me cracking up when I was in elementary school!! It’s a classic!

Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?

Ted: Surely you can't be serious.

Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.


2) Wedding Crashers 2005

Mediation Scene This is too funny. Every time someone is talking to me and I don’t want to listen I just say this….

soon to be ex-wife: "You shut your mouth when you're talking to me!"


3) Pineapple Express 2008

Saul and Dale about to light up a joint.

Saul: “Just sit back and get ready to enjoy some of the rarest weed known to mankind...

It's almost a shame to smoke it. It's like killing a unicorn... with, like, a bomb.”

4) Grandma’s Boy 2006

This movie is HANDS DOWN one of my all time favorite movies! It’s hilarious! It’s so funny that there is not just one or two quotes that stand out, but since I couldn’t put the entire movie on the blog here is what I came up with.

After he beats Bobby in Dance, Dance Revolution, this is how Jeff reacts:

Jeff: “Uh-Oh? High Score? What does that mean? Did I break it?”

Jeff is about to loss his virginity to one of Alex’s grandma’s friends. This is their pillow talk in bed. Oh, and Jeff is only about 25 in the movie.

Jeff: “So, I mean, what’s it like being old? It’s gotta be weird, right? I mean you saw a lotta stuff go down. World War I, World War II, the automobile, Tupac…”


5) Caddyshack 1980

This movie needs no explanation, it’s still funny! The link is to the Caddyshack theatrical trailer.

Al: “Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must've been something before electricity.”


6) Role Models 2008

This movie has a few very funny quotes, but I have to include the Ben Affleck quote for my girl Patty!

Danny is this little 9 year old black kid that Ronnie and Wheeler have to be “Role Models” for (along with McLovin) so they don’t go to jail.

Ronnie: Suck it, "Reindeer Games!"

Danny: I'm not Ben Affleck.

Ronnie: You white? Then you Ben Affleck.

7) Friday 1995

This is another movie that needs no explanation.

Smokey: I got mind control over Deebo. He be like "shut the f**k up." I be quiet. But when he leave, I be talking again.

8) Office Space 1999

Bob and Peter are chatting about Peter’s lack of motivation.

Peter: “The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.”

The link below is the video of Peter “not caring” in the gangsta scene.


9) Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy 2004

This is when Brian is talking about his special cologne called Sex Panther…it’s made with bits of real panther…

Brian: They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

10) Dumb and Dumber 1994

There are entirely too many from this movie, so I’ll just say this…

Guy in restaurant: “Kick his ass sea bass!”


A special "thank you" to Jace'. I absolutely adore this crazy talent of yours. You keep us all laughing all the time! Even if "some of you" don't believe she really saw a chupacabra at that bar-b-que joint!

Here is another card from Quotable Cards. I love the sentiment of this celebrated quote. I often think I need to abide by this gentle suggestion on a much more frequent basis. This one is tough for me. I keep it right next to my desk to remind me.

Goodnight friends! Grandma has fallen asleep as I have been finishing this up. Unfortunately I am going to have to wake her up to get her ready for bed. She does not enjoy this! Who can blame her?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Farmers Market and San Antonio River Museum Reach

I woke up very early this morning to teach my final Pilates class of the week. I have been subbing for my mother. (She has been in McAllen all week spending some time with my grandmother. Tomorrow my mom will return....with grandma in tow....and grandma will be staying with me all week!) Carolyn Bell called early this morning and suggested I stop by The Synergy Studio (located in the "Can Recycling Building" on the grounds of The Pearl Brewery) for a trunk show by Autum Teneyl Designs. Fabulous! A perfect opportunity! I have been threatening to visit the Farmers Market at The Pearl Brewery for several Saturdays but have not been motivated enough to get up early. In addition, I have been excited to visit the new "museum reach" section of the San Antonio River. Part of the Riverwalk extension runs immediately behind the grounds of the Pearl Brewery. Serendipity was completely on my side this morning.

The Pearl Brewery was established in 1881 and first produced Pearl Beer in 1886. Originally known as both the "J.B. Behloradsky Brewery" and the "City Brewery" it eventually came to be known as "San Antonio Brewing Company" in 1902. Otto Koehler left his position as the manager of the "Lone Star Brewing Company" to assume a position as manager and president of the "San Antonio Brewing Association." Under the direction of Koehler the brewery increased in size and also increased beer production. The San Antonio Brewing Association transitioned from micro-brewery to a formidable competitor to the considerably larger Lone Star Brewing Company. Brewing continued until 1999 when production was transferred to Ft. Worth, TX. While the San Antonio Pearl Brewery closed it's doors in 2001; Pearl Beer is still being produced by Miller Brewing in Forth Worth, TX.

Currently the grounds are being re-imagined and re-invented into a culinary and cultural center where one can eat, play, live and learn on the banks of the San Antonio River! The "Pearl Farmers Market" is a producers-only market. It is open every Saturday (with the exception of holidays) from 9am-1pm. Each vendor is expected to have grown, produced, harvested and raised their own goods and products. Shoppers are able to purchase directly from the vendor and can expect to find fresh fruit.......
organic products such as lavender infused soaps, candles, etc......

organic vegetables.....
and fresh wildflowers.
The Farmers Market experience was enhanced by a live Zydeco Band. Also available to purchase are fresh breads, meats, seafood, jams, jellies, sauces, salsas and cool drinks to combat the sweltering heat! I purchased 6 yellow squash for 2 dollars, 3 sweet potatoes for 1 dollar, 1 golden onion for 50 cents, 6 peaches for 5 dollars and a bag of fresh okra for 2 dollars. I thought grandma would enjoy some fresh fruit and veggies during her stay.

After I finished shopping I walked down to the river and walked around a teeny, tiny little section of the new river expansion. I would have stayed longer BUT it was already very, very, very hot and I was in full Pilates-ware which does not lend itself well to warm, outdoor climates.I believe this part of the extension is called "Pearl Springs." It is directly behind the "Full Goods Building" of the grounds. It is beautiful. I can not wait for cooler weather so I can continue my adventure north AND south of this location.
I met "Mella" and her human on the banks of the river. Her human was meditating and "Mella" was doing what I only WISHED I could have been doing!
On my way back to the car I stopped at Melissa Guerra. Think Willams-Sonoma or Sur la Table with a South Texas flare! Not only can you purchase all manner of kitchen ware, gadgets and gidgets; you can also purchase jewelry, cards, soaps, candles, huraches, guaberas, leather goods, textiles, hand carved goods, textiles and antique fixtures. This store boasts an endless variety of dried chiles, corn husks, mexican vanilla, coffee and essentials for baking. In addition you can purchase large statues of saints, cookbooks, cd's, cookware, glassware and dinnerware. And the best part...by far...is you can do it all under the blanket of fantastic tunes from south of the border that force you to move your feet as you consider which tricked out Cuisinart you are going to take home with you!

Overall an excellent morning! I like to think I took myself on a date and had a fabulous time! I hope you all consider enjoying the grounds of The Pearl Brewery. I would like to imagine my future home will be located on the very same grounds. Apparently condos are on their way. I am proud of San Antonio....slowly but surely....we are gettin' there! I will spend an entire other post on The Synergy Studio.

Have a wonderful weekend! I need to get movin'...big plans this evening!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Red, White and Blue Equals Lavender

I received very nice responses to my Father's Day blog! The overwhelming consensus is that my mother's letter was extremely touching. I had several people tell me they cried....and these are not the typical "cry-ers!" So, nice job, Mom! To be honest...some of the elements of the letter were a surprise to me. It was really sweet to read about their special memories...memories that actually did not include me. (Hard to imagine but apparently there was a time my mom and dad did not have me in their lives!)

Here is a photo of mom, dad and I at The Grill at Leon Springs. We celebrated Father's Day with a late lunch. Once again I was most pleased by this restaurant. Once October rolls around I can not wait to have happy hours on their new patio! In addition, they have "Economic Stimulus Wednesdays" where they offer about five to six meals for roughly 11 dollars each. I know the reviews are mixed but I have always enjoyed my meals at The Grill and I highly recommend it.

Several weeks ago I picked up the latest edition of Scene in SA magazine. (I'll admit I like to thumb through the periodical from time to time to check out all the "party pics" of various social events in San Antonio.) I noticed the Lavender Festival in Blanco was fast approaching. I immediately sent a text to my "Sandbar '08/Round Top '09" crew to see if we might add "Lavender '09" to our ever growing list of weekend debacles, fiascos and getaways. Miraculously we were all available and agreed to leave very early as the mercury is SERIOUSLY rising and FAST! We arrived in Blanco at about 10am. Parking was tricky but we find a semi-shady spot and a very nice gentlemen picked us up in his John Deere golf-cart-like vehicle and dropped us right at the front gate! The girls made me ride shotgun. I am still unsure how I won that distinct privilege. They asked me to take their photograph. I was happy to oblige but I was quite afraid I was going to fall out of the cart. It was a major contortionist act to grab this picture. Not bad, huh? Immediately upon arrival we purchased "Lavender Lizzies!" Think mimosa...but with lavender margarita mix instead of orange juice. They were tasty!

Unfortunately Jace's "Lavender Lizzie" went straight to her head and she ended up in a bit of legal trouble.....

About twenty minutes into our lively lavender libations we realized the heat was unbearable. Each one of us kept quiet about it until we couldn't stand it any longer. We were quickly in agreement. We would sprint through the Blanco town square, find a cool place for lunch and then suffer through a tour of one of the various lavender farms in the area. We simply were not going to leave the lavender festival without visiting one of the participating farms. Despite our well developed plans we still tucked into the courthouse. It was the only place with air conditioning. And we got a chance to sit down for a bit.

Ironically we chose to eat at a bar-b-que joint just off the town square. Guess what....air conditioning was BARELY functional and the smoke was so thick we could hardly see each other across the table. But I digress. We headed out FM 165 to Heron's Nest Herb Farm. Lavender, echinacea and various other herbs are grown here. Guests of the festival were invited to tour the entire farm...including the owner's home and private gardens.

This is a photo of the private gardens off the farmhouse.

The owner had various pieces of metal art displayed throughout her private gardens.

I realize the following two photos are VERY similar, however I wanted to post them both to showcase just how lovely the private garden was.

Part of the festivities included making our own lavender products to take away with us. Each one of us made a "mister" with lavender as our base essential oil and then layered various other oils on top in order to create different aroma combinations that also serve specific restorative functions. We also created a sea salt scrub for our friend Valerie. We thought it would be a perfect birthday gift for her.

Below are various photos I took of the grounds.

This was a wonderful festival. HOWEVER it would be a more pleasant experience in ANY OTHER EARLY JUNE or in early spring or late autumn. As it turns out this is the "harvesting" season of lavender and the festival MUST take place during this time of the year. If you "can stand the heat" then by all means check it out next year. If you do not like to be hot and sweaty then this festival is not for you! Grab a lavender soap bar and lavender candle instead!

I actually have been loving these two Wes Anderson films for quite some time. I JUST scanned these graphics in so I am sharing them with you now. I love, love, love, love, love these two films...and to a lesser extent...The Darjeeling Limited and Rushmore. The merits and attributes of these films are extensive and I can hardly list them all right now. I will share the "top three reasons I love these films:" 1) the overall visual asthetic of these films very much appeals to my eye (I do not know how he achieves this), 2) the soundtracks (especially of The Royal Tenenbaums) and 3) Bill Murray (who I believe has made AT LEAST one appearance in all Wes Anderson's films except Bottle Rocket.) I am not a fan of watching movies over and over....but I could watch these two movies time and again and laugh out loud each time. If you like "quirky" then pick these up. If you don't....then do not waste your time. You will HATE these! And then you will tell me and I will be very upset and have to yell at you and defend the movies and really...do we want to go there?

Rory: I am sure you will have fun at your Cotillion.
Charlotte: I am looking forward to it.
Lorelai: Oh, don't get too excited. Cotillions are not fun parties. They are boring rituals to train a whole new generations of snobs.
Emily: And how exactly would you know? Lorelai never attended a Cotillion.
Lorelai: You don't have to jump off the Empire State building to know it is going to hurt.

Goodnight friends!