Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Thank you, Sean Paul! Thank you for cleaning up our neighborhood, our city, all of Southeast Texas.
Today, there is nothing more beautiful than Sean Paul and his Bobcat!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
As Tall Son shares my aversion to clutter and kitsch and is a devout minimalist, I trust his design decisions, so sent this e-mail to him:
"What do you think of this one?" (I attached a photo of a new modern minimalist house, designed by a great architect; a photo I will not attach here, as I do not want someone to scoop the house out from under us.)
Tall Son responded:
"I like it but it lacks a few Southern touches:
- Stone hunting dogs flanking the entry way
- A two-foot rusty lone star over the front door.
- A junkyard sculpture of a longhorn in the front yard.
- Twin lazy boys in the living room facing a ten-foot TV tuned to college football.
- A pool table with a plastic Budweiser lampshade over it.
- A poster of a large-breasted bimbo in a bikini mounting a Harley in the garage (over the arc welder of course).
- A longhorn trophy over the TV that sings the "Yellow Rose of Texas" when you pull its tongue.
- Antlers mounted in every room for good measure.
- A flashing neon sign over the sound system that just reads "The King."
- Oh, and for the little lady: a velvet painting of young Elvis over the stove.
He loves the house!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Photo: Courtesy of Han Feng's website
Ingo Maurer's Fly Candle
Photo courtesy of Ingo Maurer's website
Thursday, September 25, 2008
This is a story about a whimsical, minimalist topiary turtle that stands in Meyerland.
In the neighborhood of My Ranchburger, there is a long-standing delightful surprise, a topiary turtle that seems to have been inspired by turtles the artist Max Ernst sculpted during the last century. For years I have smiled each time I drove past this boxwood creature, wondering who created it and why. This turtle has been maintained here for as long as I can remember (I moved here in 1976).
Determined to learn its origin, I recently caught up with the Meyerland Community Improvement Association (MCIA) landscaping Crew. They told me that the turtle was first sculpted by a former member of their crew, whose name they could not recall. Since the retirement of the original sculptor, the landscape crew has continued to maintain the turtle. It seems that the inspiration for the turtle was the hundreds of turtles that once inhabited the nearby bayou and not by Max Ernst's creations.
Note: These photographs were shot before the hurricane but La Tortoise still stands after Hurricane Ike; a few less leaves and a bit frowzy, like the rest of us, but still standing!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
At My Ranchburger in Houston: here is our vintage Southwestern Bell telephone that kept us in touch with the outside world during Hurricane Ike and following, when power outages hit the entire Texas Gulf Coast. Doesn't she look sassy? Couldn't you just imagine putting in a call to Russia from the White House?
Monday, September 15, 2008
The Texas Chainsaw Crew in Meyerland, Houston. This is one of many crews of neighbors who joined forces and resources to begin the horrific clean up that we face in Southeast Texas.
A crew of chainsaw-wielding neighbors clears the streets the day after Hurricane Ike blows through My Ranchburger's area of Houston. One of the crew insisted that I take a photo of the Poulan chainsaw. Guys love their chainsaws!
In Houston, many old trees were blown over; some narrowly missing houses, others smashing onto them. Power lines and poles were blown down. Water pressure is low, so water has to be boiled and conserved. There is no electricity and the weather is hot and humid. My Ranchburger and The Bunny Bungalow appear untouched by Ike...only tree damage and debris which we can handle. We Texans are a "can do" people. We don't stand around and whine about "when and what are they going to do for us." Houston mayor, Bill White, personifies the "can-do attitude." He has been on the radio (there is no longer television or Internet available to many of us) giving us encouragement, tips and real information about how we can help ourselves and our neighbors.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
We must find replacement lamps for our bedroom at My Ranchburger. The one's we have were purchased years ago as temporary lamps. You know, just until we found the lamp of our dreams. Now one of those lamps has a transformer that is on the blitz. And the Edouard-Wilfred Buquet lamp is a lamp a modernist could lust after. But apparently no one sells a satisfactory reproduction; not even MoMA. A quick Internet search reveals that originals can be had for $4,000-$7,000 USD. This is quite out of my price range for a couple of lamps to put in the master bedroom. But they could look so cool on our grey Italian bed's credenza.
This will stir the ire of the purist but I had rather have a good reproduction with a halogen bulb. To my eye, a modern design does not look so chic if it's dented or tattered.
Sometimes one has to be content with longing. After all, it's not the lamp on my side of the bed that's blinking and fizzing; is it, Tall Husband?
Ferris wheel as seen from the Architecture Center of Houston
Monday, September 8, 2008
September 6, 2008-September 30, 2008
Kurt Baxter, Owner of Designage in Houston and designer of The Bunny Bungalow blog card
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Last night, the 2008 99K House Competition opening reception was packed with design enthusiasts. The Competition is sponsored by the Rice Design Alliance and the American Institute of Architects, Houston Chapter. The challenge to the designers and architects was "to create an innovative design for a small house that is affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient." There were 184 entries from around the United States. The complete list of participants is at http://www.the99khouse.com/.
The competition winner was Hybrid/ORA from Seattle, Washington with Core, a compact, highly adaptable house. Core will be built in Houston. The City of Houston is donating a site for the house through the Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority (LARA) initiative.
Some of the finalist's models above and below.
At such design events as these, the potential of running into friends with like passions is the big draw and this event did not disappoint.
Another winner at this reception was Gourmet Familia, Charles M. Morales' catering company. Also, the gourmet marshmallows by Sharon Erisman of Queen Bee Marshmallows, were a true taste experience. Pictured above are the cayenne pepper with dark chocolate marshmallows, my favorite. Gourmet Familia is located at 12633 Memorial Drive, Suite 181, Houston, Texas. 832-526-8236; Queen Bee Marshmallows: 281-433-5235.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Yesterday evening we met friends for dinner at the New Pearland Town Center in Pearland, Texas.
After dinner, they invited us to the grand opening of Cork Wine Bar, a modernist bar with just the right touch of dark, sultry woods and beautifully done low lighting. One of Cork's bars is the traditional take on a bar with a bartender; then there is a long, sleek bar that has seating on both sides, a design which promotes face-to-face conversation. Then there is the knock-out, back-lit, wall-to-wall wine rack. This all adds up to warm, cozy chic.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
According to the e-mail invitation I received, the Rice Design Alliance and AIA Houston will open their exhibition of 66 selected entries to the 99K House Competition on September 3, 2008 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol.
A catalog of this exhibition will be on sale for $9.99.