Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving and all that stuff...

Wow, long weekend, lots of stuff happening. Started out with the holiday, of course. Lots and lots of food and hanging out with the family. Probably put on a few pounds, but whatevs. Friday we headed over to the Marq'E to see Beowulf in 3-D, and the early show was sold out, so we killed some time at the Dave & Buster's that used to be Jillian's. The entire shopping center over there looks like a cemetary of shops that once were. It's disappointing that they put so much money into that center, and it seems that nothing can stay open except Cafe Adobe and the Cinema.

Let me start off by talking about the Dave & Buster's. It is not located very far from the other, bigger, and better location on Richmond. You would think they would provide excellent service to ensure they will remain open. However, each employee we came across was rude and indifferent. I'd rather drive to the other location and get a better experience. It is nice that they have lowered the price on the games, and the tickets you win on some of the midway games can be conveniently counted and put on the same card you have for gameplay.

Next we headed to Cafe Adobe, a place that I have had bad experiences at before, but usually at the other Westheimer location. This time was fine, but I can't figure out how they run their service. Our waiter seemed to be overloaded with tables, and he had a team of lesser-experienced people running food out for him. Why not train everyone equally, and have good service for each table without the long wait? We only ordered drinks and an appetizer, and we were there over an hour and a half.

Now for the movie: I was very pleasantly surprised. I was skeptical because previous all-CG movies I have seen have left me wanting, but this one, perhaps partially because it was in 3-D format, worked beautifully. The characters were not as wooden as I expected, and the creatures were extremely intense. The Grendel character was a surprise, and you really feel for him as you do for Gollum in the LOTR movies. If you are debating on seeing this movie, go see it in 3-D before it is gone from the theaters. You won't be disappointed.

On Saturday morning we headed out to the Renaissance Festival once more on the last weekend, but it was very cold, very wet, very muddy, and not very fun. The folks that work there were doing their best to put on a cheerful face for the few that showed up, but it wasn't working to keep the crowd there.

Yesterday evening was full of merrymaking for our friends Betsey and Mandy who were having a dual birthday celebration. We started off the night at Chuy's Tex-Mex restaurant on Westheimer, and it was crowded as usual. The service was good, but the poor girl was so overworked that she kept forgetting drinks and such. It took a very long time to order, but the food came out in a reasonable amount of time, and it was good. They do need more servers for their busy nights, though.

After dinner, it was on to the Mezzanine Lounge, a sports bar that has numerous large flat-panel TVs, and several lounge areas. Our group settled in an upstairs lounge, and we were so very Texan and boisterous that we offended some Kansas fans who were trying to watch a football game in peace and quiet... at a sports bar. Well, I can't say we felt very sorry for them, and they looked a little silly waving their stalks of wheat around anyway. Since our group was large, we were treated to some free drinks, and the birthday girls got some huge fishbowl birthday drinks. I actually got one too because the bartender made an extra, and they handed it to me since my birthday had been fairly recent. We had jello shots and cupcakes courtesy of the birthday girls, and watched Kansas and Missouri battle a close game.

Finally we ended the night at Etro Lounge, a bar just off Montrose that specializes in retro music. The club is decked out very cool, and it isn't too big or too small, and if you like 80's music, the DJ is terrific. We had a great time dancing, drinking and hanging out. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Second City at UH Homecoming

If you were one of the lucky few to catch the (free to students) $5 show at U of H last night, then you were treated to some excellent entertainment by the Second City touring company. Second City is based out of Chicago, and is a mostly improv group that began some of the great comedic talents like Bill Murray and Tina Fey. I had the honor of being friends with one of these multi-talented people, and was able to catch the show after my evening class. Unfortunately, it wasn't given the advertisement it should have, so there were a lot of empty seats. The only reason I knew about it was from my friend in the show. The show was part of the UH Homecoming celebrations all week, and only got a blurb of a mention on the website.

But what a great performance! I take my hat off to these guys who throw themselves out there with skeleton scripts and audience prompts to determine what course their skits will take. A few of the skits had some stumbling blocks, but for the most part they had the audience rolling with their antics. If you ever get a chance to see these guys live, GO! It is like watching a live episode of "Whose Line is it Anyway?". Just hilarious. And a shout out to my friend Anthony who rocked his performance!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ren Fest Almost Over...

I always like to attend the Texas Renaissance Festival at least once every year, because it is such fun to people-watch all the interesting folks who dress up. This year, I was one of them, and had it not been slightly hot and muggy, it would have been excellent! The fair has been enjoying terrific weather this year, so the crowds have been large. At the midpoint of the day, it even became difficult to walk through the wide pathways due to all the people. As usual, there were the bar wenches with their cleavage cinched up to their chins, and there was the occasional fairy, barbarian, pirate, and especially kilted Scotsmen, since the theme for the weekend was Scottish Highlands. Only two weekends left for the fair for those who haven't been yet this year - next weekend is the barbarian theme, and Thanksgiving weekend lasts Friday through Sunday with a Christmas theme. I highly recommend the boysenberry mead, located at the Greek Agora, as well as their wonderful gyros, and I can't go out there without munching on a turkey leg! The wine tasting is a lot of fun, and there are several terrific shows besides the joust and the impressive fireworks show at the end of the day.