Sunday, April 03, 2011

Houston trip, week one

So it’s been quite the eventful trip so far, and it’s only half over. I spent Thursday night at Loehmann’s and bought a couple things, but the big event was Friday night and going to see the Rockets game from Nearing’s floor seats, which were on the third row back from courtside.

I got there an hour before tip-off and chatted with the guy behind me, who works for Microsoft. He pointed out a 6-foot-10 woman across the court from us, and remarked that he didn’t think she was born a woman because of her height. So of course I immediately let him know I wasn’t born female either, and he hardly batted an eyelash. I’m happy about being comfortable enough with myself that these conversations are routine for me now.

So, back to the game. I’ve been a Rockets fan since 1985 when they lost to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals (the first year of the fabled Twin Towers tandem led by Olajuwon and Sampson). In all that time, I’ve never had floor seats, and it was every bit as exciting as I could have hoped for. I caught a cap from a cheerleader and touched the ball when an errant pass went into the crowd. Kyle Lowry hit a step-back jumper to tie the game with less than 4 seconds to go, sending the game to overtime where the Rockets prevailed.

Saturday I went to Half-Price Books and bought some CDs before heading to the 59 Diner to meet my pal Linda, and we had an epic catch-up talk that lasted nearly five hours. It’s been at least 10 years since we’ve seen each other, and almost 20 years since our last one-on-one face time. She’s an avid reader of my blog, and we’ve been keeping a lively correspondence for about the past year.

Today I started the day with lunch at La Madeline, one of my favorite French bistros, followed by a visit to the original Half-Price Books in the Rice Village, where I bought six more CDs. Then I went to the Rothko Chapel for some quiet time in one of my sacred places of the world.

From there I went to a very noisy Memorial City Mall and did some shopping – I got some clothes at Macy’s (finally using the gift card Polina gave me for New Year’s) and a YSL brow pencil at Sephora. I also got a tasty Cinnabon roll for an afternoon snack.

During this trip I’ve had some good Cajun food at Boudreaux’s, Mexican food at Pappasito’s, Chinese food from Feng Ling, homemade ice cream from Marble Slab and donuts from Shipley’s. Surprisingly, Krispy Kreme seems to have left town, so I guess Shipley’s put them out of business. Monday night I’m planning to have dinner with Ben, my old mentor.

Next week is going to be busy as the event approaches, and I’ll be flying to Dallas early Thursday morning, staying one night and flying home Friday morning. It’s been a good trip so far, and it’s been fun driving my Kia Soul around and visiting various places. My suitcase is gonna be a lot heavier coming back, that’s for sure.