Houston Post Harvey – Taking it Day by Day

I’ve lived in Houston since 1997. It’s flat. You don’t realize how flat until you’ve traveled to Austin or San Antonio. The Texas Hill Country quickly reminds you that Houston’s only hills are its highways and beltways. It’s also full of traffic, and as recently shown on the news, prone to flood. We have bayous and creeks surrounding our flat terrain. Still I love this city for so many reasons such as :

1. Diversity. This is truly an international city. Global companies choose Houston to place as their U.S. headquarters consistently. We attract business and opportunity bringing people from all over looking for work. Annual Greek and Italian festivals along with the city’s international festival, highlight just some of those cultural activities that the city and its suburbs love to celebrate.

2. The people. Because there’s such a diverse group of people in the 4th largest city of America, people learn to interact with others from such different backgrounds and we do it daily. That’s why people came together so quickly to help during Hurricane Harvey. Houstonians help when the cry for help is sent out. They may have cursed at you the day before for not merging onto the freeway correctly, but the next day that person is there to help you evacuate your flooded home.

3. Food. We have the best. Fajitas and margaritas are a staple. Bar-B-Q and chili cook offs are as frequent as weather updates. Spanish tapas bars, hip Montrose eateries, elegant Galleria restaurants, taco trucks, China town, and seafood dives where you can “peel n eat” crawfish and shrimp, dot our city’s landscape.

4. Sports and entertainment venues. We have the harvey picRockets, Astros, Texans, and Dynamo. We still have loyal Oilers fans. Our fans have been deprived of a championship for a long time, but they remain true and steadfast. Houston also attracts the best performances from opera, to country, rock, jazz and we have a symphony that gives free performances to the public in Herman Park.

5. Resiliency. People here pick up the debris and tattered left overs from the storm and get to work. Neighbors help neighbors and volunteers show up in full force to aid in cleaning homes, schools, and businesses affected by the flood.

It’s going to take time for Houston to rebuild. We have flooded before. It will most likley flood again…but hopefully not for a while. We’re Houston Strong and will take life one day at a time. Congratulations Houston! You showed America and the world what we’re made of. Now time for a margarita.

March Madness…for several reasons

March brings showers and April spring flowers…or something like that.  I enjoy seeing green!  It’s a sign of new life after cold temperatures.  Actually our winter here in this part of Texas was so mild, that I blinked and it was spring!

With that burst of new life comes new energy, new ideas, and some busier schedules.  College basketball tournaments are about to start as well…have no idea where the term March Madness came regarding that! Outdoor recreation kicks into high gear, people begin to spruce up their yards and homes, and vacation planning for spring break is in full force!

As a realtor, this is the time of year that we begin to see people plan on buying their first home, or selling what they have and upgrading to a larger space.  Here is a quick newsletter from the real estate team that I’m apart of: http://imprv.co/awel

Take a quick read and let me know your thoughts and questions about real estate.  Read More »

And the Oscar goes to…yawn.

Princess Grace ExhibitGlamorous dresses, lines of limousines forming and creeping like slithering, snakes, reporters and photographers yelling people’s names, and a bright, red carpet.  It’s all about honoring Hollywood.  People who live what 98% of the world will never experience or know, yet we’re supposed to tune in and clap for them.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love movies and find the celebrity lifestyle intriguing.  But, the last few years of the Oscars have left me unsatisfied for several reasons.

Political speeches are becoming redundant.  I get it.  Hollywood celebs love the Democrat party, want equal pay, hug trees, and think Meryl Streep is God’s gift to mankind.  And for the record, I love Meryl.  However, when everyone gets on stage and says the same thing, the echo effect takes control, and a four-hour long broadcast is quickly about to become five!  I’m all for free speech, but just say your “thank yous” and move on to the next category.  Millennials, whose attention span may be ten seconds, are about done with the accolade parade as well.

The fashion parade and commentary is the same.  Celebrities are asked who they are wearing, how much the jewelry is worth, and my favorite question; “How long did it take you to get ready?”  That’s a loaded one.  And the dresses that the actresses are wearing cost more than what some people earn in a year. It was only fun to watch it when the late Joan Rivers was there to add her snide remarks to the fashion mishaps.  It’s not the same without her.

Finally, the viewership goes down every year.  Stats further bolster my argument, and the cable tv shows dominate the ratings, along with the 24 hour news cycle. Viewers find highly paid actors patting each other on the back a little…well…boring.

Kick it up a notch Oscars producers!  Recognize some people who help America run day-to-day.  Let’s roll out the red carpet for teachers, police officers, fire fighters, veterans and their spouses, volunteers, and so many more.  Instead of giving out $30,000 gift baskets to presenters and award winners, automatically donate to a charity that will make a difference in a person’s life.

How long will it take you to get ready?

Fantasy Football Fatigue

I know when football season is approaching.  It starts with the men in my house planning a fantasy football meeting, slash party, slash draft, slash my wrist (sorry I slipped with that one) kind of event.  But before the event even occurs, there’s the “research” that goes into the players.

July is when I begin to faintly hear the discussions concerning players and their health.  By the beginning of August men become like students finishing their Senior English papers;   on the computer, checking periodicals, combing through statistics, and starting their “picks”.  And for once it’s picks that don’t involve nasal cavities.

Then the draft day comes.  This isn’t a quick meeting.  This involves several hours of talking, debating, finally drafting, and then coming home with the hope that this team will win the Super Bowl.  Then the season games begin!

Sunday lingo on the way to church for some people may be, “I wonder what the pastor will talk about today?  What are we having for lunch?”  Ours starts with, “I should have played John Doe.*  I didn’t.  Now watch he’s going to score all these points and I’m going to lose this week.  My team is horrible.”  Sigh. I’m hoping the sermon will revolve around keeping the Sabbath holy.  Something like, “NFL…Not For the Lord’s Day!”  I can only pray.

When the fantasy team is doing well, it’s incredible.  There are high fives, whooping and hollering, and the testosterone level is excruciatingly high.  When the team is doing poorly, a television remote is bound to fly, tempers flare, and suddenly men are talking to the television like they can really be heard.  “John Doe * you stink.  Why didn’t I trade him?  Is it too late?”  I myself would like to be traded to a wine bar.

When I was in college there was a class offered called “Sports Psychology”.  I honestly used to think that it was about men and why they get so worked up about sports!  Then I learned what it was really about.  I like my idea better.

So girlfriends, wives, sister wives and such, brace yourselves for a couple of months.  Next it’s playoffs, then the Super Bowl, and then we’re free…until fantasy baseball in the Spring.

*John Doe isn’t actually a NFL player.  The author doesn’t know many players’ names.