Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Friday, June 30, 2006

This Week Cannot End Soon Enough

This week has been more fraught with mistakes than most. My day usually starts out well enough. Then I arrive at work.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Monday, June 26, 2006

¿Como se dice…?

How can I learn to speak Spanish? I need to stop saying I want to learn to speak Spanish, and I just need to do it. I guess I should start trying to speak Spanish to people who are fluent in it.

Our schools did us a disservice. They should have started us early on learning Spanish and other foreign languages. In sixth grade, when they were telling us about studying Spanish, they scared us off by telling us that we had to have mastered diagramming sentences in English, and other B.S. like that. Now, I cannot communicate with a sizeable number of Texans.

Buenos días. ¿Cómo está usted? ¿Cómo fue tu fin de semana?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Battling the Establishment

Kinky Friedman made it onto the Texas gubernatorial ballot, the Houston Chronicle reports. My signature on the petition came through!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Flawed Logic

I am typically pretty good about saving my money. I often forego purchasing items I would like to purchase, but don’t need. So it really smarted when I had to spend a sizeable amount of money on bodywork for the Si. This prompted me to question my frugality. I decided that, if I am going to have to throw away cash for something on which I would really rather not spend money, I might as well fritter away my money on purchases I want to make. Thus, I bought one of those Japanese knives about which I have been reading. The Japanese kitchen knives are supposed to be superior to the German kitchen knives. The blades of Japanese knives are thinner than the German knives, as a result of which less force is required to cut through food. The blades are also forged by hammering the steel, rather than just stamping them out of a piece of metal, as with the German knives. I did not buy a $1,000.00 or even a $400.00 knife. I bought one of the Shun knives for the low, low price of $135.00. And it is incredibly sharp!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Are You Upset?

When we were driving home from Bombay Sweets and the Galleria, I thought my sister was angry, as she was driving rather fast. But, no, she was not angry. She just likes to drive fast [and recklessly], she said.

Overhyped

I am not going to be persuaded by any more of Alison Cook’s restaurant reviews. I do not totally disagree with her assessments, but I think she tends to be slightly overzealous in her praise. I have not found the restaurants on which she lavishes such accolades to be as extraordinary as she would lead the reader to believe. I had been much looking forward to trying Dolce Vita. I thought it was smarter than the average bear, but I had the highest expectations after reading what Ms. Cook had to say about it. And how, I wonder, did Ms. Cook single out Bombay Sweets for such a rave review? It is rather nondescript in appearance, and it is nestled among a slew of other Indian eateries. If it is as superior to other Indian restaurants as Ms. Cook claims, Indian food in Houston must be the pits. Shade, where I dined with Thomas (who no longer seems to occupy the blogosphere), was immensely better than your usual dining venue, but it was simply not as divine as I had anticipated after reading Ms. Cook’s article. Of course, she is trying to sell newspapers, and she no doubt seeks praise for her work. And the more extravagant the review, the better the read.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

When Will I Learn to Avoid the Buffets?

Enjoying the Sunday brunch buffet at Hugo’s is not what someone whose pants seem to be fitting tighter needs to be doing. The Sunday brunch buffet, with the various offerings from Hugo’s “Regional” Mexican kitchen available for one to sample, was fun. I enjoyed some of the delicious hot chocolate made from the Mexican chocolate they make right there at Hugo’s. The company was most pleasant, also, as I dined with Thomas, his brother, and a mutual friend from law school. It ceased to be fun, though, when I became uncomfortably full.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Before Congress in his parting rant, Tom DeLay characterized liberalism as seeking “more government, more taxation, more control over people’s lives and decisions and wallets,” as The Houston Chronicle quoted. This sounds like a description of DeLay’s Republican Party, as well. Hasn’t spending increased under this Republican Congress like never before? Aren’t the Republicans attempting to restrict rights by determining who can’t marry whom? Did the Republicans not interfere in a Florida family’s decision as to whether a brain dead woman had a right to die?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Pizza Blanco

I am eating white pizza for dinner tonight. I ran out of time to make tomato sauce. I typically make the pizza dough the night before, so it can undergo a slow rise in the refrigerator. This improves the flavor and makes for fewer tasks to be performed on the day of pizza making. I also generally make pizza Margherita, with just tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. However, there is no basil growing in the yard. Since some people in the household must have meat with every meal, I will make a few pizzas with prosciutto di Parma, arugula, tomatoes, and mozzarella. Tonight, I made such a pizza for two. But only one is eating. I am home alone. This time, I added the arugula after baking the pizza, as at Dolce Vita. I should have added the Parma ham after baking, also. I do not like how it crisped up like bacon. Homemade pizza is good, though. And fun to make.

“Mister” Zarqawi

Two USAF F-16’s “engaged” Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with a 500 lb. bomb. It reflects that the New York Times is a first-rate publication in its practice of referring to as “Mr.” and “Ms.” The people who are the subjects of articles. But do Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi really deserve to be accorded that respect?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Wacko, Texas

I found myself in Waco, Texas this last weekend, to attend a family reunion. It had been quite some time since I had last visited Waco, and it would suit me fine if it were quite some time before I visited Waco again. It is not an easy city to navigate. Although my mom and sister, traveling in a separate car, were quickly able to make their way to Highway 6 to proceed to Houston, my dad and I had to ride the loop for a while before we were heading southbound on Highway 6. Additionally, the streets take dangerous turns at intersections. I don’t know what happened on one occasion, but my brother and I were traveling perpendicularly to the numbered streets, when, all of a sudden, without changing directions, we were traveling on a numbered street. I observed that Waco had an abundance of churches, payday lenders, and tobacco shops.

Prior to spending two days in Waco, I was in Austin for a CLE. The Four Seasons on the lake, where the two-day CLE was held, is quite remarkable. Unfortunately, I did not stay in the Four Seasons. The discounted group rate was $200.00 a night. The regular rate is $370.00 a night. I stayed in a $90.00 a night hotel a few miles down the highway. Interestingly, there was no Bible to be found in the hotel room.

Austin is a neat town. While I was there, I was able to eat at a few restaurants I had been curious to try. Ashley had recommended Swad. Most of the diners were of Indian origin. When I caught a glimpse into the kitchen, it was staffed by Indian ladies clad in saris. One of the patrons with whom I conversed (for assistance in interpreting the menu) remarked that Clay Pit, which my sister recommends, was akin to P.F. Changs, that is, it was Americanized. Swad, conversely, featured more authentically Indian cuisine. I am not well versed in Indain food, so I cannot begin to label the offerings I sampled, but I did try a sampler platter. The food was different from what I have eaten at other Indian restaurants. There seemed to be more sauce, and less meat or vegetables. Swad was exclusively vegetarian, which was not objectionable to me.

I also tried Z’Tejas. I do not recall where I read about Z’Tejas, but it was reviewed favorably in some publication. When I was trying to locate Z’Tejas via the Internet, I discovered that it was a chain. Although it was not too objectionable – the catfish tacos were satisfactory at $9.00 – it was not worth the ten-block walk from the Four Seasons. At noontime in late May. Clad in wool dress clothes. The exercise did not hurt me, though.