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Blogging from Texas about everyday esoterica...from the down to earth to the highfalutin.


"She wasn't doing a thing that I could see,
except standing there,
 leaning on the balcony railing,
holding the universe together."
 - J.D. Salinger


You are invited to attend a reception 
for the exhibit "Hipsta-Addict" 
photographs by
 Michelle Cate
at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. 
Sunday, April 22nd,  2-4 p.m.

Who Do I Love?

... Sarah Vowell.  I never once heard of Sarah Vowell until the day my reporter friend scooped me up and said I had to come with her while she went to cover a lecture a writer was giving at the local university.  As riveting as that sounded, the tone in her voice let me know, perhaps this was some wordy rock star I'd yet to discover... "she had been on NPR" after all.

Her familiar voice is part of her claim to fame and lead to her being part of the Disney film "The Incredibles" as the Gothic-like daughter character, Violet. That all aside, her snarky, ironic fact finding mind amazes all.  I found myself relating to her point of view right away, perhaps naturally because I was rared in a similar fashion, in a super Christian household in a neighboring state.  Or perhaps, she's just that charming.  The most obscure things of my childhood she seemed also to take for-granted as installations as well.  Books, Church and strange bits of pop culture that somehow made their way to the mid-west-ish/south.

After the lecture I bought a book of her's and I must admit I've found myself reading the same 3 chapters of it over and over again, as I can't seem to find the time to really get going but they always make me laugh, and I always read with her voice in my head. I almost prefer to listen to her talk.  She's now like a "touchtone" to me, of what makes sense, how sad and funny it is that history will always repeat itself.  We think that things are always so bad now, worse than ever... but it's just not true.  Life is always good and bad and Whatever.

If I could have a fair god mother (although lets just say "sister" because shes way wise beyond her years) it would be her.  I took it as a sign that my current boyfriend on our first date offered me a scooter helmet that was autographed by her.  It was like her saying "LOOK, this guy has a thinking mind, and he would like to live life to the fullest, but he keeps that noggin safe while doing so!"  So, she might not know she was somewhat of a match maker, but I gotta love that Sarah Vowell.

P.s. Here's a video of her speaking on the day I saw her, which my bf took on the same day in the same room but I did not know him yet.

Hopeful for the Pig Stand

I know I've written a little about "The Pig Stand" in the past on this blog.  It certainly has been a character in my life since living in this neighborhood for years. It's set actually in a space between downtown and a "historic district" so it's clearly played a huge role since it was built, particular when it was a regular place for people to eat almost any hour of the day...8am to 2am I believe were their normal hours...  Perhaps it's a sign that my town's heyday is really "over" since I only know of two other 24/7 restaurants in town.

But there is a group trying to support the preservation and restoration of the this mid century gem. Please check out www.saveourpig.com  for more info.  We've already felt the ups and downs of many of the people who have worked on this project before now... but we ultimately feel that if the people of our community stand together... the logical and truly most profitable thing will be to save her.

I took these photos recently of the current state of her exterior and interiors.

Pay it Forward, Ad Infinitum

This season was one of the first that really got me caught up in thinking about actually buying "Christmas gifts" I donno it has taken me 28 years for the gift bug to take over, but perhaps I need less and feel a bit less that the joy is just in receiving.  I get a kick out of giving the right gift.

What makes a gift right, though? Hopefully it's something beautiful and useful or at least to be enjoyed on a semi regular basis?  While I won't claim to have it all figured out I did stumble upon the perfect gift that literally keeps giving.

It's a Kiva Loan  from www.kiva.org
The concept is something I heard about a few years back but it seem to have really taken off in 2010. You choose an individual or group to recieve a small micro loan from you and they work to feed their family or improve their home or whatever it is they need it for.  They then slowly but steadily pay you back. They have an extremely high pay back rate.  Now, this is NOT a way to make money, this is humanitarian. But when they pay the entire say, $25 dollars back, you can then use that same 25 and loan it to another person, and ad infinitum.  There is literally no end to the good you can do with a few 25 dollar loans floating around the world.

In November chose to support Beth Kabacwamba who lives in Uganda and has a brick making and laying business. She's already paid back 12% this month.

This year  I will make one micro loan a month and try to gift my friends that "have everything" Kiva Loans.  I think that many people doing little things like this will really what makes us realize we're all in this together and most certainly we're more similar than different.

Perhaps the most radical change that occurs this year will be in our hearts and minds in this our prophetic year of 2012.

And for those looking to keep it "local" or at least in USA I've discovered that Kiva will be working with more domestic orgs to give to individuals in the states as well.

Beer Can House in Houston

IMG_5277 by rustycate
IMG_5277, a photo by rustycate on Flickr.

Seems like a good idea!

Green Pop Up at Winnie Trade Days

green van by rustycate
green van, a photo by rustycate on Flickr.

For a while I had a small collection of Polaroids of VW vans forming. This one is pretty nice... Still being used and in working condition. From my experience, they can't go much faster than 55 but why would you want a small house on wheels to go any faster? You would break all your dishes.