Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baytown Spots

So, I really miss Houston sometimes and when I say that I mean the area I grew up in which was a few minutes from the Heights/Montrose area. Which, if you are not from Houston, is the independent, antiquey, artsy, eclectic, multi-culrtural part of Houston.
 I now live in Baytown and struggle with the fact that probably 90 percent of the restaurants and stores are chains and not independent and also that there is not much variety. You can find five Mexican restaurants per block, I am pretty sure.
I also lived in Hitchcock, TX when I was a Camp Director at Camp Good News and it was even worse there. But both places I searched and discovered. So, this post is to let everyone know that I am going to share some of the spots I have found in Baytown, hopefully this will give these spots some recognition and maybe a few people will patronize the restaurants and (other spots) I have found more frequently or for the first time.
I hope more independent, interesting places pop up. As they do, I want to let people know. Someday, I want to open a coffee shop/record/bookstore/place that promotes the arts. Until I do (and I am sure after I do) I am going to share my finds. So, look out readers. I am going to tell you a little more about:


Antiques!
1) Goose Creek Emporium- (219 Defee)
Large store with quite a few booths. Price depends a lot on the booths. But you can find some good things there. The owner is a little rude. Found an antique door for $20 but only because I talked to the booth owner. Otherwise I bought a cute milk jug to hold my sponges and dish soap for $6 and I bought a Fossil Wallet for $5.

2) Jack's- (12 Defee)
Great people, really cute set-up, you can find some good things there, sometimes it can be expensive but you can bargain and there are definitely good finds price wise. Even if you don't find something you can afford they have the most things to wish for and the best aesthetic. I bought two end tables for $15 each. And really it was less because they didn't charge me tax since $30 was all I had.

MUST BE CLOSED NOW, I HAVE NOT SEEN IT OPEN IN AWHILE THOUGH IT IS NOT EMPTY.

3) Vera's- (N. Main between James and Sterling)
Vera loves to talk, the outside of her shop is really cute and she has some great things there. Pricing is here and there. You can bargain with her, just be prepared to talk. Don't look for records there though, they aren't in good shape. Bought 2 Gold bird wall decorations for $10 total.

4) Goose Creek Antiques- (Texas Avenue)
This is half antique store, half junk store, billed as antique store. The junk is in piles and some things are way overpriced and some things are a find. The antique half is overpriced. I have found it is most useful as far as the smaller things you might want to buy to decorate. 

Eats-

1) Rooster's -
Barbeque and all American, good food, but not excellent. Good service. But this is off one visit.

 2) Nara Thai- Go here! Great Thai food, so glad to have it in Baytown. 

Beats!

1) Revolution Records-
Disappointingly, this shop also sells adult paraphernalia and videos making it not appropriate for all ages and making it really awkward for me and for other females who feel like I do. Also, the records are overpriced and the selection is dissapointing, BUT Baytown does have a record store. 

2)

Treats!

1) *See "Drinks!" for CORKGRINDERS

Ice cream

Reads!

UNFORTUNATELY, THERE DOES NOT SEEM TO BE ENOUGH INTEREST TO KEEP A BOOK STORE ALIVE IN BAYTOWN. TWO HAVE CLOSED SINCE I HAVE MOVED HERE.


Drinks!
1) The Dirty Bay Beer Company-
Beautiful on the outside and the inside. Only been once. No craft beers, but otherwise a good selection. https://www.facebook.com/thedirtybay/?fref=ts

2) Corkgrinders- What I describe as one of the cool places we have in Baytown. There is non-Starbucks coffee, craft beer, open mic nights, and concerts. Yes. The decor is casual, cool, industrial. There is a shelf of books and games for customers to use. https://www.facebook.com/CorkGrinders/

Arts!

Baytown Little Theater- baytownlittletheater.org/
Quality theatrical productions in Baytown! Summer musicals are a must-see.

Lee College Theater Department-http://www.lee.edu/pac/
Quality theater in Baytown!

2) Corkgrinders-
Open mic poetry nights, open mic comedy, and local musicians. 

Thrift!

The Cookie Jar-
benefits the Women's Pregnancy Resource Center. Good stuff, organized, good cause, good prices.

Goodwill-
 Not independent, but the only non-independent one. Overpriced clothes. Decent priced housewares, shoes, belts, etc.


Consign!
1) Karen's Closet-
Mostly women's clothes, good prices, good finds


Here and There
1) Health Food Store on Baker-
Good selection, good prices.

2) Hall's Carpet Haus-
Quality work. They have installed vinyl in our Kitchen and bathroom, and refinished our wood floors. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks

I am thankful for my parents who:
  • Didn't let us watch much TV and so we used our imaginations
  • Bought our clothes from thrift stores because we learned to find great things in unexpected places
  • Had dinner with us every night because we learned to be polite and we learned to eat healthy
I am thankful for my mom:


  • Who read books and taught me to read 
  • Who didn't tell us what words meant but told us to stop and consider if we could figure it out. And then to look it up in the dictionary. I have an excellent vocabulary because I learned to be curious about word meanings and look them up myself. 
  • Who danced in the kitchen because now I know for sure kids love it when you do that. 
  • Who wrote down everyone's birthday and remembered people's birthday because it taught me remembering a fact like that about people makes them feel special. 
  • Who created a "costume" bin for us out of things she found because it was fun! And I learned to direct and to create and it fostered my acting bug.

I am thankful for my dad:

  • Who let us play his drums (until 10PM) because I can play the drums now and I learned to respect neighbors nighttime. 
  •  Who took hours picking out a card for birthdays or drew one himself because I can still read over the one's he gave me and I learned that making cards for people makes the cards that more special. 
  • Who talked like Donald Duck and Foghorn Leghorn because we laughed and laughing is good. And I practiced imitation as well. 
  • Who played Dodgeball and Baseball outside with us because my athleticism was nurtured and he taught us to have fun outside. Also, it confirmed that girls could have fun in this way too. 
  • Who played Hide and Seek, Checkers, Armwrestling, and the Get-Away-Game with us inside because I had a dad who played with us and taught us we could have fun inside beside video games... and because I learned that you could make up games!

I am thankful for my siblings:

Joseph

  • Always made ridiculously detailed Lego structures.
  •  Made contraptions out of things in his room. 
  • Told me I look cute with braces (if my parents said it...they have to! But your brother? Maybe I do!) 
  • Let me dress him up, do his hair, and take pictures of him. I'm a hairstylist now. 
  • Told me not to worry about what people say 
  • Made fun of my Feminist streak (so now it is even stronger)
  • Asked my advice about stuff
  •  Generally went along with my schemes. Such as a having a karate match, being whatever part I cast him in our plays, filling our plastic pool with freshly mowed grass and swimming in it, Pinecone wars (with trash can shields), etc.

Noah

  • Did some amazingly accurate voice imitations 
  • He also let me dress him up and take pictures 
  •  And he would comb my hair although he got a comb stuck in it "curling" my hair 
  • Let me dye his hair 
  • Was my personal GPS even at 10-that boy has sense of direction. 
  • Made us laugh. 
  • Rode bikes with me from our house to Downtown Houston. That was an adventure. 
  • Saved me from a Mosh Pit that I had gotten us into. "Noah, let me show you how to get all the way to the front of a concert" which I succeeded in, but I had never been to a POD concert before.

Camille 

  • Always asking questions... and I shared a room with her 
  • So generous that it affected me in positive ways
  •  Loved for me to sing her to sleep. It made me feel special that she wanted me to.
  •  Likes hanging out with me
  •  She thought I was cool: "Let's ride in car, roll the windows down, and listen to music real loud." 
  • Creative in thinking of ways of having fun 
  • Is that girl that everybody knows and who's phrases turn into catchphrases, but she's the nice version. 
  • Always looks cute and can put together outfits in an instant that would take me half an hour. 
  • Is wise beyond her years.

We all played outside together, made puppet shows together, rollerskated in the house together, played in the flooded streets together, rode bikes, took walks, made a backyard circus together. So many things. And now, my sibling are all still interesting to me. I am thankful I have an interesting family.

I am thankful for my husband, Bobby:

  • That we met serving kids outside in the great outdoors.
  •  That he watches our son so I can go out (a husband should do this, but many don't) 
  • That he doesn't think I am made only to be home. He is coaching basketball but is making sure that I can still take my acting class, even if Elijah has to go to a game. 
  • Thinks about my family (helps my dad with computer stuff, he took my mom out to lunch before, is interested in my siblings ventures). 
  • Wants me to be at his basketball games 
  • Still gets mad at me, which means he cares what I think.
  •  Likes music and searching for it, so I don't have to. I love awesome music but not searching for it. I like to happen upon it. 
  •  Swing dances with me and dances at weddings with me (even though it may require a drink to get him through it.)

My, son, Elijah:

  • His laugh His dimple 
  • That he looks like me
  •  That he hugs me 
  • That he wants to be with me
  •  Watching him be creative with toys 
  • And without toys. 
  • That he says "Hi" to everyone and loves people 
  • That he smiles at strangers who need it 
  • That he sings in the grocery store, and the car, and in bed in the morning before I get him. 
  • That he is silly and loves to laugh.

My best Pal, Nat:

  •  For being one of the most thoughtful people I know. When she comes over she washes her dishes, when she has spent the night she folds her bedding! She helps in a way where you don't even know what is going on and it is done.
  •  For being adventurous 
  •  For going along with my schemes
  •  For appreciating the art I do 
  • For pointing out beauty
  •  For loving life 
  • That she doesn't care about age!
  • Painting together, making food together, gardening, kicking a ball around, open mic nights, concerts, jumping in Barton Springs, making silly videos, watching "Dude, Where's My Car?" together, washing her car, having a garage sale, starting our Etsy shop. So, much more. I am thankful for Nat.

  • I am thankful for acting classes, so freeing 
  • Mixed Martial Arts classes, aggression feels good 
  • Painting 
  • Beautiful weather 
  • Creating, imagination 
  • Music, how many sounds can humans come up with to express themselves. So beautiful. 
  • The written word, I love Smithing and reading the written word.
  •  My camera, it captures moments and tells stories. 
  • Canoeing, it is like hiking on the water. 
  • Hiking 
  • Camping, my favorite part is making fire and waking up to the sounds the woods make. Trees, majestic. 
  • Laughing.
  •  Food. 
  • Dancing, dancing, dancing. It is like laughing and art married.
  •  God who created it all.  Amen

Friday, November 4, 2011

I was thinking

Just a ponderance:
Saying something over and over in a fight is like when people try to speak louder in English when someone who speaks a different language doesn't understand them. It is just annoying and they don't understand, but, on the other hand, you just really want them to understand you. You feel like what you are saying is important.

There are so many different smiles. Isn't that weird?

-I'm not sure about you
-I have to
-I've been posing for this picture a long time
-I just want you to see my dimples
-That was funny but I know I am not supposed to be laughing
-We are cohorts, what's next?
-I'm pleased
-I'm embarrassed
-I'm embarrassed and pleased at the same time
-Yes, I just said something funny
-Do you get it?

Just a few. I had written more, but then I cut it to this point because it almost sounded like a poem.

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