Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Arting Around Houston

A friend from Lafayette was in town visiting last week so we did some Houston stuff that I thought I'd write about. Actually I'm only writing about it because I need to make list of museums and galleries that I want to visit and putting it here is the only way I am guaranteed not to lose my list.

Orion MPCV
We had very limited time and really crappy weather so we didn't get to do and see everything that I would have liked but we still had a great time. My friend had never been to NASA so we spent one day there. I didn't realize that so many people are under the impression that NASA has closed down. It seems to be a common misconception, however the only thing that has closed down is the shuttle program. NASA is alive and well and working on the Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle which is expected to make its maiden voyage in 2015. In the mean time we'll be hitching a ride to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz to the tune of $60 million per seat. Russia isn't exactly mourning the loss of our shuttle program.

Later that evening we drove over to Humble to meet my friend's friends for dinner. I'd never been to Humble before, it was bigger than I thought it would be. If you're in Southeast Texas and want to blend with the natives make sure you pronounce Humble correctly. It is Umble. The "H" is silent. I don't know why. Similarly, if you are in South Louisiana and want to blend you should learn how to pronounce Atchafalaya correctly. You will have to have someone pronounce it for you because there is no way you could ever accidentally say it correctly. Cajuns have a thing about putting emphasis on syllables that you would never expect to be emphasized, yeah? <---that was a Cajun thing too.

Ever since we moved to Houston I've been encouraging people to stay with us when they're in the area because we have plenty of space for guests. It just so happened that Jayson was out of the country when my friend came to visit so he couldn't stay with us since it really wouldn't be appropriate to have a man in the house without Jayson here. He is a dear friend who is like a son/brother to me but it still wouldn't be right. Fortunately we have some mutual friends in The Woodlands who where happy to have him stay with them.

This provided a good opportunity to troll The Woodlands which I highly recommend if you've not done it before. It was one of the first "master planned communities" in the United States...which is just another way to say that most of us can't afford to live there and even if we could we wouldn't want to because of all the rules. I don't know exactly what all the rules are but just the few that I do know of are enough to keep me out. Don't get me wrong, the area is beautiful and if you don't mind all the restrictions then you might love it.

Some of these restrictions include a cap on how large your house can be, a requirement to maintain a certain percentage of wooded area on your lot, a cap on how much concrete area can be on your lot, design and color restrictions based on your neighborhood, etc. This is in addition to other basic neighborhood association rules such as not allowing you to have a Chevy up on blocks in your front yard. I can dig that. 

When you're driving through the Woodlands you might be asking yourself where all the houses and stores are. They are not visible from the roads but are hidden by tall forest-like trees. There are restrictions on how tall commercial signage can be which must be around 4' tall since I never saw a sign taller than that. There are no billboards which makes for a very pleasant driving experience but the short signs hidden by tall trees make for a frustrating experience when you're trying to find the stinkin' McDonald's.

Market Street, The Woodlands, TX
I would like to go back one day and visit Market Street in The Woodlands so that I can criticize that too. Okay fine, maybe I'm just jealous. I honestly would not like to live there but I do have to admit that from a design perspective it is well planned, executed, maintained and simply beautiful. A little pretentious, yes, but that's what happens when you live in an area whose population is over 90% white with an average family income of over $100,000 per year. This community was designed to be exclusive and it has succeeded. I tend to rebel against that kind of exclusivity.

On the last day of my friend's visit we had hoped to see the King Tut exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts but we were delayed because of rain and didn't make it over there in time. Instead we went to see the Menil Collection which consists of a museum, 2 chapels, 2 galleries and a bookstore with no admission fee for any of it.

We saw the Rothko Chapel and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel which are both architecturally stunning but we missed out on some of the awesomeness because it was a cloudy day and the chapels are both designed to incorporate natural light as a design element.
Byzantine Fresco Chapel
Rothko Chapel







Because of time we missed the Cy Twombly Gallery and the Dan Flavin installation at Richmond Hall but I will definitely keep those on my long list of Houston artsy stuff to do.

The Menil Collection Museum was a pleasant surprise. From what I understand, Mr. Menil was a french banker who married a Schlumberger gal so they really didn't have any financial trouble. They started collecting art in the 1940s and ended up with over 16,000 pieces of it. They also supported the growth of art and architecture as well as the civil rights movement in the Houston area. Mrs. Menil built the museum after her husband's death to display not only their vast collection but to host exhibits from other artists as well.

I really didn't have high expectations since I knew that most of what we'd see came from a private collection but let me tell you...the Menils chose well. I was expecting to see mostly generic artists but there were lots of name brands. There were dozens of Rene Magritte paintings in their large surrealism section but I guess he saved his most recognizable one, The Son of Man, for his own museum. There were a couple of Picasso paintings and sketches as well as 2 Mondrians that I was not impressed with because really, if you've seen one...

Andy Warhol's "Ten-Foot Flowers"
Andy Warhol's "Ten-Foot Flowers" makes for an impressive piece of wall art. However, I am forever traumatized by Robert Gober's chunk of hairy cheese which I did not understand nor appreciate as art. It's a beeswax chunk of cheese with human hair in it. Why??
Robert Gober's hairy cheese



"Grey Alphabets" by Jasper Johns






Actually, I asked myself "WHY??" more than once which I think most people do when browsing through a modern art exhibit.

If I had to pick a favorite I think it would be the "Grey Alphabets" by Jasper Johns made from beeswax and oil paint on newspaper and canvas. I love the color, the repetition, the medium, everything about it.

I didn't realize there were so many museums in Houston until after we moved here. Maybe this is typical for a big city, I really wouldn't know, but I'm surprised I hadn't heard about more of them before.

As far a big cities go, Houston seems to be one of the more humble...with a hhhh sound. Dallas is loud and unapologetically in-your-face about how awesome it is. And it is awesome. Austin is more quietly pretentious however you do get the message loud and clear that if you're not young and hip you're not welcome. I think Houston is confused about itself. It can't help but be Texas proud but its efforts to embrace diversity make it impossible for Houston to be as Austintatious as it could be with such a large art scene.

This is a list of other arty stuff to do and see around Houston and it is mainly for my own benefit since I am a prolific list maker and a proficient list loser. Here are the ones I haven't seen or previously mentioned:

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Peel Gallery

The Heritage Society Museum

Project Row Houses

The Museum of Printing History

The Houston Arts Alliance Gallery

Czech Center Museum Houston

Barbara Davis Gallery

The Health Museum

Rienzi Center for European Decorative Arts

Holocaust Museum Houston

18 Hands Gallery - where I just learned about the International Texas Teapot Tournament!!

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Houston Center for Photography

Houston Museum of Natural Science

McMurtrey Gallery

The Weather Museum

Winter Street Studios - an old furniture factory that now houses over 75 artist studios

Spring Street Studios - a former moving & storage building that's now home to 80 artist studios

Off The Wall Gallery

The Jung Center of Houston

Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum

Lawndale Art Center

Rice University Art Gallery

Art at The Airport - I would like to spend a day driving around to all the terminals to see each different installation

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum - okay, that one is more for Jayson than me

Art League Houston

The Architecture Center Houston - and some of the walking tours available there

Blaffer Art Museum at U of H

Wade Wilson Art

Elaine Bradford's commission at the Vinson Neighborhood Library

John Ross Palmer Fine Art Gallery

George Ranch Historical Park

Station Museum of Contemporary Art

Moody Gallery

Sicardi Gallery

There are dozens more galleries that I haven't checked out yet so I'm sure this list will grow, as if it isn't long enough already. On the upside, it could be much longer but I've already knocked out about a dozen places. And I didn't include my list of offbeat funky destinations such as The Beer Can House and other similar world's-largest-ball-of-string or freak show type things that I'm unnaturally drawn to. Or maybe it's a natural attraction. Those are my peeps.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dangling Doggie Eyeballs

It normally takes me a while to get fully alert in the mornings, but today my sister snapped me into instant alertness. Here is our phone conversation:

ME: Helllooo? (all slurred and groggy)

MAYN: Okay, I am trying to remain calm.

Shamayn had just opened her Etsy shop to sell these adorable pincushions she makes so my first thought was that she had sold all of them in 10 minutes and I was so excited for her. Then she said:

MAYN: I'm on my way to the vet with Sissy. She pissed off Dutch and he went after her and now she has one eyeball hanging out.

Sissy is a 4 pound tiny teacup toy miniature Chihuahua and Dutch is a freakishly large 100 pound Labrador. I can't believe he hasn't swallowed Sissy whole before now.

ME: Oh my gosh how awful!

MAYN: I know. It was all I could do to get her into the kennel. I tried to tell myself that I see dangling eyeballs all the time so it's no big deal but it is! It's hanging out of the socket!

ME: Is she messing with it?

MAYN: No, she's just curled up in a ball shivering.

ME: Oh, she's probably in shock.

MAYN: That makes two of us! I'm going to tell the vet that she might need a little something to calm her nerves and she prefers Klonopin...1mg twice a day, just to take the edge off.

ME: Let me know what he says.

A few minutes later Mayn called back and said the vet thought he might actually be able to save the eye. He took Sissy into surgery so he can pop the eye back in then sew the lid shut to let it heal for a while.

Chihuahuas are already so bug-eyed, I'm surprised she hasn't popped one out before now. Most dogs might learn their lesson and would leave the big dog alone from now on but not Sissy. I'm sure as soon as she's back on her feet she will be picking on Dutch again and next time she might lose more than an eyeball.

Now that I'm unusually alert you might think I would be extra productive and get a head start on my day. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. I'm just hyper aware that I really want to go back to bed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First Class, Subway Bathrooms, and Big Alex

Continental First Class
A few days ago I had to drive Jayson to the airport so he could suffer through his long flight to Aberdeen, Scotland. In first class. Poor baby. His company's home office is in Aberdeen and he's made several trips there but they have a strict company policy that no one, even executives, flies first class. It just so happened that on this particular flight the first class fare was actually $20 cheaper than coach. I don't understand how that could happen unless maybe coach was full and they just wanted to fill those first class seats. Anyway, he didn't complain.

Emirates First Class Suite
Emirates In-Flight Spa
He will have a chair that folds out into a bed and a menu of good food to choose from. He could also drink himself silly if he was so inclined but neither of us do that anymore. It's too bad his company's home office isn't in Dubai so he could fly first class on Emirates like they did in that Sex in The City movie that I definitely didn't go see with a bunch of church friends. Then he could have his own private suite and even have a spa treatment mid-flight. Those Arabs know how to do first class.

Jayson sometimes brings back little souvenirs for me and Taylor but his trips are usually all business with very little free time so I don't make specific requests. However, I felt that since he's flying first class this time he will probably arrive already rested and refreshed and would have plenty of energy to do some shopping for me.

I found a yarn shop just outside of town that has lots of locally grown, dyed and spun wool. I would love to have a couple of skeins of it to make myself a nice scarf or something. When I told Jayson about this his eyes glazed over and I think he lost consciousness for a few seconds so I quickly came up with a Plan B. There's a shop not too far from his hotel that has cashmere scarves for way cheaper than we can buy them here so I told him I'd like one of those if he couldn't get the wool yarn. I'm pretty sure he'll come home with a scarf and maybe even a sweater to go with it as long as it means he doesn't have to go to the yarn shop.

He's such a guy.

After I dropped Jayson off at the airport I made my way to the Fourth Ward to go to a store that I've tried to visit several times but they're always closed when I get there. Once again, it was closed. There was a cardboard sign on the door that said they will reopen on January 27. The store is Texas Junk Co. and they're only open on Friday and Saturday and even that schedule seems to be at the owner's discretion. They don't have a website and I never think to call ahead before I go.

I'm going to try again this weekend because I would like to get a pair of boots before the rodeo. I want something vintage, funky and well worn to go with an outfit that I'm maybe making. I say maybe because all I've done is think about it so far.


Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to make my way over to Westheimer Antiques Flea Market. It's in one of my favorite areas of Houston, the Neartown area. There's just all kinds of quirky, offbeat, fun stuff to do and see around there. Check out the art deco Kroger on W. Gray. How fun is that?

Along the way I spotted this sculpture on an otherwise unremarkable building located at the corner of Mason and Hyde Park in Montrose. I thought it might be a David Adickes sculpture since Houston is peppered with them but I hadn't run across this one in my extremely thorough search of quirky stuff to see. Sure enough, I learned that it is an Adickes sculpture called Big Alex and its host building is a framing shop. You can read a little about the adventures of Big Alex here.


I didn't get too far down Westheimer when I found The Cottage Thrift Shop which benefits The Women's Home in Houston. Well, I'm all about a good cause and I'm even more about thrifty treasures so I couldn't not stop in. They mostly had clothes, which rarely interest me, but I did pick up a few things. Most notably, these gorgeous silk ties that I will use to dye this year's...uummm...Passover eggs.

I spent more time in the thrift store than I had intended and discovered that I was hungry and had to pee. Fortunately I was parked right across the street from Katzs Deli so I decided to drop in, grab a sandwich and pee. The restaurant is in a huge 2 story building and even at 3 in the afternoon they were unusually crowded. I hoped this was a sign that the food was good. It was. I had the best french dip sandwich I've ever had in my life, thanks to a recommendation by their flaming gay bartender who became my newest BFF in less than 10 minutes.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the ladies room experience which was decorated like a New York City subway platform, complete with an "accident".

The bartender also recommended I have their cheese shake for dessert and I'm glad I did. It was amazing. They take a hunk of actual cheesecake, throw it in a blender and make a shake out of it. OMG.

Although this was one of the tastiest deli experiences I've ever had, it was also the most expensive. It was just me, I had a medium sized sandwich, fries, iced tea and the shake for dessert and my bill was $28. Would I cough up the cash and eat there again? Yeah, I would.

As I continued to make my way to the antique shop, I spotted El Real Tex Mex and quickly added it to my list of restaurants to try. It's located in the old Tower Theater in Montrose and I don't even care if the food is any good or not. They did such an amazing job with the marquee that I would eat there just to celebrate good design.

Well aware that my afternoon was slipping away I continued down Westheimer toward my destination until I was lured in to B.J. Oldies and Antiques by their deceivingly funky facade. They had a lot of overpriced antique French furniture and pretty much everything else was overpriced too. Either that or the price wasn't marked on the item which just irritates me. I left empty handed and cursed B.J. for looking cool on the outside and pretentious on the inside.

It was after 5 and I knew the stores would be closing soon and it would be getting dark which makes driving home an adventure since I'm somewhat night blind. I decided to save the Westheimer Antiques Flea Market for another day and just head on home. I'm glad I did because I spotted so much more funkiness along the way that I would like to devote a whole day to. The Lower Westheimer Shopping District is full of quirky little resale shops, antique stores, bars and tattoo shops. Oh my gosh, I've never seen so many tattoo shops in one place.

You can get a tattoo pretty much anywhere in Houston. There are little strip malls all over the place and the common ingredients of the typical trashy Houston strip mall are a tattoo shop, a bail bondsman, a beauty salon and a dentist. I'm not sure what those 4 business have in common but they seem to come in a set. 

As I continued to head toward the loop, the funky Neartown/Montrose area of Westheimer ended quite abruptly after I passed S. Shepherd. I had wandered into River Oaks where the flea markets and tattoo shops were replaced by Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, and the ginormous Central Market. However there is also the River Oaks Plant House where the median in front of the shop is lined with tons of fun topiaries. That's kinda cool.

I never expected to like living in a big city but hard as I try, I just can't hate it. I live in Cypress which is its own little town and everything I need is within a 10 minute drive. But if I'm willing to drive for half an hour and battle a little traffic, I'm rewarded with more stuff to do and see than I could possibly squeeze into a lifetime. I'm always running into native Houstonians who have never been to the Art Car Museum or The Orange Show or they don't know about the Sky Lobby on the 60th floor of the Chase Tower. There are so many other things to do that they just haven't gotten around to exploring more. They should call me.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Big Bad John

I would like you to meet the newest member of the Green family: John. John Deer. Get it?

Jayson ended John's sweet little life then spent a small fortune having him stuffed and mounted so that he could sit in our garage for 4 years while we argued over the best place to hang him.

Looking back, I'm not exactly sure why this was an argument. Well it wasn't a "real" argument, just a difference of opinions. The thing is, I make all the decorating decisions for our house. All of them. This works for us because Jayson really doesn't care what color the walls are or if the fabric on the dining room chairs matches the rug.

There have been times I have chosen things that he didn't particularly care for but that situation is desirable compared to what would happen if he chose something I didn't care for. Compromise is out of the question because I don't believe it really exists. Think about it. When you compromise someone is still getting what they want and someone else isn't. They're just not as cranky about it as they were before.

If I painted a room a color Jayson didn't like he would say, "This color sucks." And that would be the end of it. If he painted a room a color that I didn't like I would say, "This color sucks. I can't believe that out of all the colors available you picked this one. Why did you pick it? Did the person at the store pick it for you? Were you wearing sunglasses and didn't realize how hideous it was? Do you know how much Kilz it will take to paint over this?? You should have called me, I could have told you exactly which color we like..." And I would say this daily. For as long as the room stayed that color. Which would probably be less than 24 hours.

I realize this might not work for all couples but it works for us. I don't tell him what kind of battery to buy for the car and he doesn't tell me how to decorate the house. Oh wait, I guess I do tell him what kind of car battery to buy. Well I'm sure there is some decision out there that I let Jayson make on his own and I will describe it as soon as I think of it.

As I was cleaning and preparing John for his new home a little piece of him fell off. I'm not sure what it was but it was between his nose and upper lip (if deer have lips) and I'm calling it a piece of taxidermy modeling putty and definitely not petrified deer flesh. I don't even know if taxidermists use putty but if they don't please don't tell me. I had to super glue it back on and color in the gaps with a Sharpie so believing that it's just a piece of modeling clay is the only thing keeping me from hurling.

I'm hanging John in our foyer in the middle of a two story wall. That means I had to wrestle with the ladder-from-hell. You know, one of those big tall ones that folds into 4 sections and you can configure it a dozen different ways and it weights 100 pounds and pinches off a finger every time you use it? Yeah, that one.

Then I had to find a stud and all us girls know there is never a stud around when you really need one. Here is what happened the last time I went looking for a stud:

Fortunately I nailed it (heh) this time. I was a little concerned about teetering at the top of a 12' ladder with a nail in my mouth because I have a friend, whom I will respectfully keep anonymous, that swallowed one that way. And then she had to see it through to completion, if you know what I mean. Thankfully, I did manage to get my nail in the stud without ingesting any hardware.

Now I have a dead deer head on my wall. Yay me. I don't like the dead deer head, I never wanted it in the house but Jayson likes it, he's proud of it and he wanted it hung so I hung it. I'm just a giver that way. However, I can only tolerate John's presence if I'm allowed to fru fru him up a little. Right now he is wearing a lovely pair of vintage rhinestone earrings with a vintage tiered necklace that makes him look ready for a Spring time garden party! I can't wait to dress him for Halloween.
















Wait, I've got it! I knew I'd think of a decision that was all Jayson's. I let him make the decision to move us from Louisiana back to Texas. My home state. Where all my family is. The Promised Land. My Mecca. Yep, that was all him. See? We share in the decision making.

Enjoy this little ditty from Jimmy Dean. Before the sausages.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Google Roulette

I am playing hide and seek with my lawn guys today. They showed up this morning while I was downstairs in my jammies and I couldn't get upstairs to change clothes without being seen. This wouldn't have been so bad except they camped out at my curb for half an hour while I pretended to not be home so that I woudn't have to answer the door in my jammies.

After they left I got dressed and all was well until I had one of those uncontrollable IBS attacks that sends you straight to the bathroom and holds you captive there until it passes. Naturally, the lawn guys showed up again while I was tending to that business so all I could do was sit there and listen to them knock as I folded animal shapes into the sweat pants pooled around my ankles. It passes the time.

I should have known today would be "off" in some way because it began with trauma bright and early this morning. I use my cell phone as an alarm clock and after turning it off I usually lay in bed for a while and play on my phone until I feel like I'm alert enough to make it to the bathroom without falling down or breaking a toe on a piece of furniture. This morning I was scanning the comments on some book lovers forum that I'm not real sure how I ended up on. I wasn't really alert yet and wasn't paying attention to the conversation but I kept seeing a word that I didn't recognize. The word was "apadravya". I don't have a huge vocabulary but I know a few unusual words. I play Words With Friends. I hadn't seen this one before so I Googled it to find the definition.

For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT Google that word if you're naive like me and don't already know what it means! I am seriously scarred for life. I pulled up the wiki page and there was a nice big color photo that told me all I needed to know.

For your own safety, I will tell you that apadravya is a form of genital piercing that looks to me like it should only be performed by a urologist in a surgical setting. I just can't imagine why anyone would do that. After seeing that I spent over an hour looking at my pretty pictures on Pinterest, trying to erase the image that had been burned into my retinas.

Fortunately my afternoon has not been nearly as traumatizing as my morning was but it could have been had I not already learned my lesson about careless curiosity Googling. I'm always fascinated by those blog statistic thingies that show you what words and phrases people Googled to get to your blog. I just gave mine a once over and saw that over the past year the phrase used most often to land people on my blog was "Mama Maggie Gobran" who I wrote about in this post. That makes me happy.

However, over the past month I have attracted the most visits from people looking for "aged tattoos", an "elephant with a hangover" or "vaginal bleaching". I get the tattoo one but I honestly can't remember writing anything about a hungover elephant. I'm morbidly curious about that bleaching thing but I'm over my annual quota of accidental porn so I'm content to stay naive about that one.

Quite a few people have also found me by searching for "Buckstaff bath house infections", "pelvic rest instructions" and "his underwear drawer". These are the interests of the kind of people I attract. And now I can probably expect to add apadravya enthusiasts to the list. Yay.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

People of Walmart...With Sprinkles

I've been to Walmart twice this week and my freak magnet is two for two. The other day I accidentally made eye contact with Adam the Parking Lot Evangelist as I was rolling my purchases out to my car. He started talking to me before he was even close enough for me to hear him and he was still talking ten minutes later after I had chewed my own leg off to get away from him.

Adam should get some kind of award for cramming every cheesy Christian cliche known to man into one ten minute long run-on sentence. He is on fire for the Lord, which is great, but if I didn't already know Jesus he might have sent me running in the other direction. Bless his well-meaning yet really annoying heart.

After my Adam encounter I thought I had filled my freak quota for the week but alas, I was wrong. I had to run back to Walmart tonight to grab a couple of necessities such as a container of cream cheese frosting. I knew I had lingered a bit too long in the baking aisle when the woman next to me started speaking to me despite the 'don't bother me' vibe I was intentionally radiating.

While holding a bottle of red sprinkles in one hand and yellow sprinkles in the other she asked, "Are the Texans' colors more red or blue?" When she said "red" she held up the red sprinkles and when she said "blue" she held up the yellow sprinkles. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open staring at her red and yellow sprinkles, trying to reconcile what she was asking with what I was seeing. When I failed to respond she said she thought they were more blue and she pulled a t-shirt out of her basket that was indeed blue with red and white writing on it.

I have no idea what color the Texans are nor do I even care but I was curious as to how long it would take her to realize that her blue sprinkles were yellow so I told her that I thought their colors were more blue than red. She agreed and she put the yellow sprinkles back on the shelf, tossed the red ones in her cart and rolled away.

People of Walmart, I salute you.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Breaking Bad Lost Mad Men

What can I say? It was the holidays, I got busy and forgot to blog. I could get caught up and say everything I want to in one big super long post that no one, including me, will ever read...or I can spew little bits of stream of consciousness at you whenever I happen to cough them up.

Paints a purty word picture, don't it?

I choose the latter.

I am supposed to be hauling myself downtown to drop off our rent check but I figure if I stall for about another hour I can hit rush hour traffic on the way there AND on the way back, turning a one hour errand into three hours which should be just about enough time to finish my audio book "Explosive Eighteen". I will admit to being a Stephanie Plum fan but I read the books for the mystery, not the romance. And fat free ice cream tastes just as good as the regular stuff.

So I don't really watch TV, right? I have nothing against TV, I just don't have the attention span it takes to commit to a series and there's rarely anything good on. We've watched just about all the movies on the Netflix streaming thing, so a few months ago we moved to TV shows. Jayson and I watched the entire "Lost series". I realize we are probably the only people with indoor plumbing who haven't seen the show but again...I'm not good with series-es because I can't remember to watch them every week. If I do happen to remember, I get easily distracted, miss important information, lose track of the plot, then give up and go craft something.

"Lost" was really good. I'd watch it again. All 6 years of it. It can be done over the span of a couple of weeks if you're really committed. I like shows with the good vs. evil premise and with characters who surprise you. You were never quite sure which side Benjamin Linus and John Locke were on. You were also never quite sure what in the heck was going on. The island wasn't really explained until something like the third from the last episode of the whole series. I liked that. It wasn't easy to figure out. It was also somewhat of a letdown because it wasn't nearly as awesome as I had imagined but then again, I can imagine pretty darn good.

I also like that "Lost" was nonlinear. It started at the beginning but it jumped around a lot to give you the back stories of the main characters. It had foreshadowing, back stories, and even a parallel thing happening but still managed to make sense. That's good writing. And I always get excited when characters or story lines intersect unexpectedly like in "2 Days in The Valley" or "Pulp Fiction".

One of my favorite movies ever is "Memento" which is not only nonlinear, it is chronologically reversed. Lots of movies start at the end the go back to the beginning and work their way to the end again. That's old hat. But "Memento" starts at the end and works its way back to the beginning. That's some genius writing right there. And besides, I practically live that guy's life with the memory loss thing.

"Breaking Bad" is some of the best TV ever. The writing and the directing are amazing. I'm not sure if this is what the writers intended, but it makes me want to cook meth. Am I the only one? Not that it glorifies the life of drug dealers or anything, but it shows this average guy doing something so completely unexpected and out of character. It's frightening but exciting. And illegal but still...

I'm convinced that I could cook some good meth. And the drug dealers would like me because I would be nice to them and people usually treat you the same way you treat them. And I could probably make even more money than Walter White because he obviously doesn't know a thing about marketing. Have you seen those awful plain plastic bags he uses for his product? Atrocious! My meth would be delivered in a lovely handmade gift bag with a matching card thanking the buyer for their purchase. I would also have a frequent shopper's card that would get punched with every pound purchased. After every 10 pounds they buyer would get a coupon worth 25% off their next purchase. That's how you keep your customers happy. It's all about marketing.

And all of my deals or transactions or whatever they're called would take place at Starbuck's because everyone in there is too self absorbed to notice what's going on around them. It has to be a public place so I don't end up in a car crusher at the junk yard.  I hate it when my hair goes flat. See how street smart I am?

I could totally do this and no one would suspect. Plus I've seen enough of the show to know some of the ingredients that I would need and I already have them on hand. All you need is some sinus pills (got tons of those), acetone (I buy the all-acetone nail polish remover), some matches, fertilizer and chili powder. I'm sure I can get all those beakers and stuff at American Science and Surplus. I'm all set.

Right now I'm on the 4th season of Mad Men and I have to say that I'm a little disappointed in this one...especially after all the hype I've heard. The set design, costumes, props and pop culture references from the 60s are fantastic. I was born in the 60s so I didn't really experience it but when I look at family photos they look just like the set of Mad Men. Well...except for the whole Madison Avenue thing. Every time I see a pregnant woman on the show chugging a glass of wine and chain smoking I think, "that's my mom!!"

Most of the show is less about advertising and more about who Don Draper will sleep with next. He gets jiggy with someone different almost every week, lies to his wife about his past, smokes 2 packs a day and stumbles home drunk after work. I just keep thinking to myself...Oh my gosh, is this what it was like for Darrin Stephens? Did Samantha know? I always knew Larry Tate was a playa.