Friday, May 18, 2018

Yesterday in Washington D.C., in photos

If you plan to visit Washington D.C. this week, don't forget your umbrella.

I didn't have one for the first hour or so walking around outside downtown yesterday morning, and I was quite wet. Thankfully a nice man approached me outside the National Archives with several he had on sale for $5. It was going to be a long day without that.

It turned out to be a long day, even with the umbrella, but I had a good time seeing the sights. The National Archives is a stop I recommend to anyone visiting here. The actual Constitution of the United States is on display inside that building. I was fascinated with all those historical documents. Two uniformed guards stand on either side of the Constitution in a dimly lit room (presumably to keep the documents from fading or discoloring over time). There's no photo here because photography inside the building is prohibited.

I've often disagreed with people over the years who say the U.S. Constitution is God-inspired or that the writers penned those words under the unction of a higher power, but there is undoubtedly something special and unique about that document. I really enjoyed that museum.

Here are some photos from today:

A really cool-looking building, but you have to stand in line behind what looks like a thousand school kids to get inside (in the rain). I decided to take a look at the exterior of the building and and walk to some of the other sites. Who knows, I may get another chance to go inside sometime in the future.

The Washington Monument is tall, but not quite as tall as the San Jacinto Monument in Deer Park, the birthplace of Texas. Unfortunately, this monument is under construction and I was unable to go inside and take an exciting ride in a glass elevator (like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). They need to fix this place because looking out from those windows on top would be fantastic. Just imagine how much you could see from up there!

The Lincoln Memorial is spectacular, and many people were there wanting to see him seated on that big chair. He did such a good job freeing the slaves and being an all-around fantastic president. Incidentally, the National Archives has the Emancipation Proclamation persevered there for you to view, hand-written by President Lincoln.

By the time I made it to the White House in the afternoon, I had walked many miles and was very wet. However, seeing the place in person after years of views on the television and books is quite awe-inspiring.

Two women stopped me by the monument and asked if I knew where the scene in Forrest Gump had been filmed. At first I didn't know what they were talking about, but I do seem to remember Forrest Gump standing here at one point. I stood here long enough to shoot this photo before venturing out to find the Jefferson and M.L.K. memorials, which I saw on a sign but never actually located during my walk.

I had planned on visiting this site on Friday (today), but because my phone battery died I didn't have GPS and was driving out of downtown Washington looking for a freeway sign. I ended up in Georgetown by accident, and pulled into an Exxon gas station to ask for directions. I looked up and there they were! I didn't have battery power to take a photo, so I'm borrowing someone else's picture. These iconic steps from The Exorcist actually end on M Street, practically in a gas station parking lot. Best spooky movie of all time? Quite possibly.

Tonight I'll visit Nationals Park to see the Dodgers and Nationals play for Baseball Night in America. If you are wondering whether Baseball America in America really exists, it does really exist. I saw it on my Twitter page.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The next journey begins: Several days in Washington D.C. start tomorrow morning

I'm looking forward to jumping on some airplanes early tomorrow that will take me from Houston Hobby to Love Field and then on to Reagan National for several days of fun in our nation's capitol.

There I'll see the sights, immerse myself in the history of this great nation, and shack up for several days near Andrews Air Force Base. I always enjoy hanging out in the vicinity of our nation's warriors.

The World Famous Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Washington Nationals Friday Night. I'll park my rear in the outfield for Baseball Night in America. Frank in La Puente, or "Big Bad Frank" as I affectionately like to call him, shipped me a brand new shirt for the event. I think I deposited nearly $11 in his Paypal account for that gorgeous shirt. A fantastic product shipped very fast. Thank you.

I haven't visited Washington D.C. since the early 2000s when I attended some meetings at the Smithsonian commemorating the completion of the human genome. I got around town a little bit back then, but this time I've made a list of places I'd enjoying seeing while in Washington.

Here's where you might have a chance to say "hello" between now and Saturday (other than the ballpark):

1) The White House - This is where President Donald Trump and his wife currently live. When I visited last time, there was a construction project underway that prohibited walking up to the fence line. I'll take a better look this time.

2) The Capitol Building - I have cable news on frequently during the day and there seem to be numerous important people who do interviews in that building, sometimes saying some pretty interesting things. I've also noticed statues that would probably be cool to take a look at if time permits. I'd love to walk into the room where the president gives the State of the Union address, but that looks like the sort of place that might only be open to visitors at specific times.

3) The National Mall - I took a long walk and saw all of that during my last visit, but it's definitely worth another lap around the pool. The statue of President Lincoln sitting on that huge chair is spectacular. I may wander over to see the new (or relatively new) M.L.K monument. That sure was nice of our nation's leaders to give him his own statue and memorial in D.C., but I would have voted to put a smile on his face. He doesn't look very happy.

4) National Archives Museum

5) Washington National Cathedral

6) National Gallery of Art

7) The concrete steps in Georgetown that Father Karras tumbles down at the end of The Exorcist, and the house the MacNeil's rented at 3600 Prospect. One of my favorite scary movies of all time, and one of the most iconic and memorable shooting locations in film history.

For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the place I saw President Obama and Vice President Biden have lunch near the White House years ago on the news. I made a mental note to eat at that location during a visit in the future, as they said the restaurant is a prominent fixture in the White House area. I may have to grab my Big, Fat Everything Burger somewhere else in the city, because I neglected to write down the name of the place and nothing I see online rings a bell. However, I imagine there are plenty of places to grab some tasty chow in that town.

Maybe I'll just bring a Papa John's pizza back to my swanky room and enjoy it with some of that garlic sauce. On second though, I really don't care for that garlic sauce much. Possibly a Big, Fat Everything Pizza without the garlic sauce will do just fine if I can't find the burger place.

I hope to see y'all around town.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Latest Direct TV ad an entertaining break from current slew of boring commercials, CNN is weird

In a time when most advertising firms don't produce the same quality of messaging we once saw on television, the new Direct TV commercial featuring the woman pouring a pot of hot coffee in her lap and the "thumbs up train lady" is a welcomed 30 seconds.

Incredibly silly, and entertaining as a result, the commercial made this Xfinity customer actually think about switching for a moment or two. However, switching is so much trouble. That requires someone coming over to install new equipment (and me having to drive up to the Xfinity office to return electronics), and then I have to learn a whole new cable system. And where would I put the dish? It's easier just to stay with my current cable provider. All I have to do is pay a bill once a month and the channels stay on my TV. I get all this incredible content for only $123 a month. I feel spoiled.

That doesn't make the commercial any less effective or entertaining. I actually thought about switching. That's a big first step for Direct TV. I hope the company's ad agency will continue to produce funny stuff for us to watch.

Speaking of incredible content, I was watching CNN today when they seemed to report that Russia is saying the current hoopla over Flynn is really about someone purchasing a bag of weed. That's a little confusing, but all this Russia news is quite confusing at times.

I'm glad both Xfinity and Direct TV carry CNN so we can see all the weird news about Russia and the sorted cast of characters who wander through the newsroom from time to time. Please keep us entertained (and informed), CNN.

If you have any job openings in that big building on Sunset Boulevard, I can start anytime after the first of the year. I hear there is a little bar across the street that Morrissey used to wander into occasionally. That might be a cool place to enjoy a cerveza after work sometime.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Rams game in Los Angeles lots of fun, Goldie given to local family

I'm writing the first draft of this post on my telephone in the air between Los Angeles and Houston (in airplane mode, of course) to best utilize this time.

The trip to L.A. to catch a Rams game was a lot of fun. When I purchased the ticket at the start of the season, I anticipated a much more evenly matched game. Since that time, key Texans players Watson, Watt and Mercilus were unavailable due to injury, and Cushing is gone because he worked out too hard (again).

This gave us the game we had Sunday. The Rams did what the Rams do, and I assume the Texans had fans looking forward to next season. Although the first half was slower than many had anticipated, during the second half I found myself jumping from my seat often while clapping ferociously.

I think the overall experience of attending Rams games will improve greatly once the new stadium is opened. I like the Coliseum, and historic sports venues in general, but it always seemed more like a college stadium than a NFL stadium to me. I hope the NFL doesn't end up regretting the decision to move two franchises, almost simultaneously, to a city that has let teams get away on several occasions. L.A. definitely needs and deserves a NFL team, but will fans there sufficiently support two of them while St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland do without? Solution: Fill the stadium.

I was a little surprised at how many Texans fans were in Los Angeles for the game. They were all over the place, both at the game and tailgating in the parking lots. I don't know if I can ever remember attending a professional football game in which so many of the opposing team's fans were attendance. They were even in my hotel.

I closed out the day with something that I recommend everyone experience at least one time in their life: a ride through Inglewood after dark on a Los Angeles city bus.

I could have taken an Uber or taxi, but why would I want to miss this incomparable glimpse into a cross-section of American life? Not only that, you cover a lot of terrain for only $1.75.

The Hilton hotel was fantastic. They receive a top rating of "10". They not only took good care of me, they also housed Goldie safely as she awaited her move to a new Los Angeles area household. Fans of Goldie can rest assured knowing she went to a good home (her new family pictured at top of post).

Don't tell the Princess this, but when I purchased the Goldie bear in that photo, I purchased a second Goldie for her as well. I will keep the other Goldie stored until we get together.

I'm not sure where the next adverture takes me, but that is certainly something I'd like to start thinking about.

Whose house? Sleepy Man's House. This guy perfectly illustrates how ready we were for the second half of football. He did wake up later, just in time to see the Rams kick the Texans can all over the place.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I viewed third Stanley Kubrick film on big screen this year thanks to Alamo Drafthouse

The screening of The Shining concluded a year-long celebration of Stanley Kubrick films at Alamo Drafthouse last night in Katy, Texas. The crowd, the largest of these films that I've attended, was described as a "packed house" by the Alamo representative who greeted us before the film began.

Although the room looked nearly sold out, the seat directly to my right stayed open in case the Princess wanted to join us at any point. Maybe a movie about a deranged killer chasing his wife and child around a hotel with an ax isn't the best pick for a potential first evening out together, but this is a Stanley Kubrick movie so that makes it okay.

A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey screened earlier this year at the same facility. I missed Full Metal Jacket due to travel the day the picture screened.

This particular filmmaker's movies, in addition to being some the best ever produced, are experience-driven and best viewed in that environment. Big screen, big crowd. His use of lighting, his unique screenshots and compositions, along with the bizarre and at times edgy subject matter and characters just seem more alive and real at the theater.

Also, knowing how these films were made makes them interesting to watch. The way Kubrick worked with actors, at times making them do multiple takes for seemingly mundane or perfunctory scenes, brought out the best in the performances. For example, the scene in The Shining in which Danny and Dick Hallorann sit together alone and talk about "shining" in the hotel kitchen (seen above) was reportedly filmed more times than any other scene in movie-making history. Kubrick made them do that simple scene more than 140 times.

Prior to this wonderful opportunity afforded to us by Alamo Drafthouse, I had only seen one of the man's pictures in a theater. That occurred the night Eyes Wide Shut opened in 1999 at the Hollywood Theater in Pasadena, Texas.

Unfortunately, EWS was the last film he directed before his death, so we won't have new one to enjoy in the future. Thanks to Alamo Drafthouse for this opportunity to see these movies as the director invented.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Media availability: Lame, deceptive Houston media gets last chance to interview me tonight

For those in the Houston media lying to your viewership or readership, day after day after day, that I will be joining your cesspool of deceit, you have one last chance to interview me tonight.

This interview can either be for employment or a story you should have been working on for years. After tonight, I will ignore any phone call from a news organization in Houston.

Please join me at Home Plate Bar and Grill, across the street from Enron Field, during Game 4 of the World Series. You can ask me any question you'd like to ask, or inquire how I'd like to work with abusive, deceptive bullies everyday.

Again, this is your very last chance to sit down with me. I am the most hard-headed person you know when I'm right about something. You can either ask the questions you need to ask or make your offer this evening.

An interview at a bar during the World Series may seem like a strange time and place for this type of thing, but basically leading people to believe that I'm joining you without any contact or offer in place is equally as strange. Especially from a profession that people count on every day for accuracy and truthful presentation of the facts.

You will stop misleading to the people you are entrusted to inform, at least when it pertains to me.

If you are a member of the Los Angeles media, I will accept any fair offer for any position in your organization that provides a livable wage, and I can start work as early as Monday, Nov. 4. Call me anytime.

And Go Dodgers!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Preparing for a November visit to the home of the Los Angeles Rams

My second trip to Los Angeles this year is in November to attend the NFL's week 10 meeting of the Rams and Houston Texans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

This is only the second NFL game I've attended at that venue over the years. While stationed in Barstow in the 1990s, I saw a preseason game between the Los Angeles Raiders and Houston Oilers. I drove out there with a fellow Marine to see the Trojans play a time or two as well.

I'm flying this time and staying near LAX with tickets booked earlier this afternoon. I got an incredible deal on Travelocity. I ran a search for a round-trip flight and the top result said something like, "Book your hotel now and we'll give you 100% off the cost of this flight." I ended up with two nights at the Hilton and round-trip airfare for $407 (including taxes and fees). I wasn't going to beat that deal anywhere else so I smashed the buy button immediately.

Goldie, the official Super Bowl 50 host committee teddy bear, is going to give occasional updates on my Twitter account as we prepare for the game. In a nostalgic mood, she insisted on wearing an old Los Angeles Raiders t-shirt with her morning coffee today. You can see a photo on my Twitter feed by clicking here.

I'll give the bear to a fan at the game, probably in the parking lot so I don't have to carry it in. I'll ask if the youngster's parents will let me take a picture of Goldie with the child to share with you.

Follow me on Twitter to keep up with all the fun and excitement.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Suggested listening for new readers of this blog

I posted Rebecca St. James' Wait for Me on my Twitter account today. That got me thinking about the origins of this blog.

I began blogging in 2005. Initially called John is Waiting for His Princess, I thought this blog might represent a unique way to pursue a potential wife who may or may not be accessible to me at the present time.

Once I started on Twitter, I found that the videos I post would often draw attention to the blog or podcast, while furthering the whole concept of seeking love and marriage.

I first started reaching out to potential wives on the Internet in 2005.

While there might have been artists who contributed before then, there is one album that I consider the most important of that time period, an album I credit with really kicking this thing off.

That album is Australian native Rebecca St. James' release entitled If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something. If you are a frequent reader this blog or if you find what I post on Twitter interesting, this record is a required listen. After its release that year, the album fascinated me and truly got me thinking the way I do about using music as a means to attract a bride or tell a story.

One little secret for Rebecca: Those roses you received on Valentine's Day during this tour with Ephesians 3:20 on the card were in fact from me. I thought afterwards that I probably should have put my name on the card as well.

I think very few people realize that I don't consider Los Angeles or New York (or any place overseas) as the launching point of most of this stuff I post. For the most part, this idea for a blog caught on with me because of contributions from Nashville, Tennessee, and my stubborn instance (or faith) that the woman you see on that album cover was going to be my wife someday.

It sure was fun believing that at the time.

Always love and respect here for Rebecca, her husband and her family.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The old Tower Theater on Westheimer now selling a tasty melted cheese sauce called 'queso'

The lovely lady said it was "time for some queso." I drove by this historic location in the Montrose area of Houston today and those words echoed in my head.

It's time for some queso, and probably some delicious flank steak wrapped in tortillas with grilled onions and bell peppers, smothered in a spicy red sauce. That sounds like a good time.

So much history in that building. Long before you could chow down on some tasty Tex-Mex, that place was the Tower Theater, one of the smaller live music venues in the area in the 1980s. The first time Stryper ever played Houston as the Yellow and Black Attack in '84 or '85, they played in that building. Opened in the 1930s, it's been a movie theater, a nightclub, and years later you could rent movies in the place after they turned it into a Hollywood Video.

Now, it looks like a pretty good place for some queso. And a Watermelon Breeze, whatever that is.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My mind is as blank as a fart, but I'm sitting down to write on my blog anyway

Blogging has been more difficult lately because finding topics in my seemingly mundane life can be a challenge.

However, you should probably know that I have extended my lease for a third year in Houston at the Gardens. Running off to another city, or rendering myself difficult to locate, is probably not a good idea right now. I want my angel to know where I'm at so she stays at peace. This way she always knows she has access to me if she needs me. The time to move will come eventually.

However, when finding topics to blog on I noticed that my life has fallen into a routine that isn't really conducive to a lot of writing, and that's okay. I'm enjoying this part of the journey for the most part.

While watching a David Lynch film the other night I thought the guy pictured above perfectly described how my mind often feels when I sit down to catch you up on recent developments. I like to blog during periods of activity, or when I moving around from one place to another. Maybe the future will feature more of those times.

Buying and selling online has become a lifestyle for me lately that I have taken to quite well. There is so much stuff around us everyday that people are looking for elsewhere. I've dabbled in several online ventures over the years, but finding tangible products that people want or need at a discount and offering them on the Internet for a profit is the easiest way to generate money without having someone else write you a paycheck. I may work on an eBook someday to help others do this. If you are self-motivated and persistent, it's actually quite a bit of fun.

Who knows how long I'll keep up the excitement, but it sure beats allowing myself to be yoked again by the burden of slavery. Maybe I just haven't found the right slave drivers yet. When I find the leader (or leaders) that fairly account for the unique skills I bring to the table and believe in fairness for all employees, I might decide to put those chains back on.

Until then, anyone need an elegant Lord & Taylor herringbone blazer made with the finest wool known to man? That's really more interesting work anyway, and I have complete control over my schedule. In short, it's a better way to live.

Working from home has been really cool. I usually have plenty of daytime television on while I work on my computer, which is an incredible treat. My favorite right now is the Dr. Phil program, or as I like to call the show, "Our Family's 15 Minutes of Fame for Being Completely Screwed Up." Dr. Phil looks genuinely concerned at times sitting in that chair, but he's laughing at those fruitcakes all the way to the bank. I have no idea how so many people agree to appear on these shows. Maury Povich has a pretty good show in which he gives lie detector tests to guys who are suspected of banging their girlfriend's BFF (among other moral failings). That show is occasionally entertaining, with people jumping around and screaming and hollering at each other.

I need to get more excitement in my life when I'm not working. I wouldn't mind just hanging out with the Princess from time to time. That would sure make things more pleasant. Until then, I'm just going to take some more pictures of clothing items. Does anyone need a pair of Levis 526 Slender Boot Cut jeans? I'm pretty sure I have at least one pair of those.

See you all out in Katy, Texas for the screening of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Princess, I'll pick you up a ticket if you need one. They haven't announced a date yet, but tickets will probably go on sale in the next couple months.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Back in Long Beach this week, relaxing at a familiar place

I was thinking back to the last time I traveled west for a check in at this same Long Beach, California location.

Via blog post, I invited the Princess to knock on door number nine and come in for a visit. You'll now need to knock on door number 12, sweetie.

I planned on recording a podcast here at the time, which I would like to do again during this trip. Pop star Ariana Grande premiered a music video for her song Right There while I was right here. Ariana Grande was strangely in the news again as I drove into town.

A loser built a bomb and took out his anger and frustration on some really dangerous infidels: Eight- to 15-year-old girls. Any nut who thinks God is telling him to blow up a bunch of teenage girls spending their baby sitting money on an Ariana Grande show is clearly tuned in to the wrong frequency.

Speaking of children, this place is situated right next door to what sounds like a day care or elementary school that's on recess a lot. The laughter of children at play and the careful direction of adults put in their charge is heard often throughout the day. Children are our future, sang Whitney Houston. It's wonderful to hear them having such a good time all day long.

I was honored to receive a visit from the Long Beach Fire Department yesterday for a surprise inspection. That visit prompted a new nine volt battery in my room's fire alarm. The last two times I've visited the Los Angeles area the local fire department showed up where I was staying for some type of inspection. About seven or eight of them showed up in Inglewood during my last visit there as well. Safety first.

I once again watched the World Famous Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium last night. Such a wonderful place. They called the evening Korea Night. There did seem to be a lot of Koreans there, including this very talented woman who sang both the Korean and American national anthems. That silly guy who plays a physician on TV read the Dodgers starting line ups and made sexy faces on the jumbo tron later in the game.

The "kiss-cam" wasn't a bunch of pecks on the lips like I've seen over the years at Minute Maid Park. Many of these kisses last night where full-on make out sessions clearly using tongue and designed to show the level of passionate, unbridled love that seems to flow like a mighty rushing stream at Dodger Stadium.

A good time was had by all, except by those who must have a Dodger victory to be happy in life. The Cardinals made the Dodger loss last night look too easy. I trust the Dodgers will step up their game pretty soon with the world champion Cubs coming in town later this week. Below this post is a photo of some cool guys I saw hanging around the Smilin' Man at the ballpark yesterday. There's always a lot of love and joy at the ballpark, along with a bunch of cool people.

I need to get out and visit some other L.A. spots before heading back, but I'll probably just do some relaxing as well.

Unfortunately, I will likely miss the Memorial Day screening of Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket at the Alamo Drafthouse in Katy, Texas. I had previously planned on attending. We'll have to see how I feel after driving all day Monday. Probably worn-out from the road, wanting a shower and sleepy time. I'll try to schedule things better for the Alamo screening of The Shining later this year, making sure I get to view that one on the big screen.

Keep an eye here on my blog and on my Twitter account for updates. I check out of here this weekend to head back toward Houston.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Goldie wants to join us at the feature films

She floats through the cosmos like an alien creature. However, she's not an alien creature. She's Goldie. And she's ready for the nationwide screening of arguably the most important motion picture of our lifetime, April 3.

I'd love to take the Goldie pictured here with me, but people might think I'm silly. I don't need anyone else thinking I'm silly.

Alamo Drafthouse screens 2001: A Space Odyssey across its chain of theaters that night. I look forward to attending in Katy, Texas, the same location I was lucky enough to see Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange on the big screen recently.

I saw 2001 for the first time as a sixth- or seventh-grader in the Houston area, thanks to teacher who obviously understood the importance of the deeper messages in the film. Showing a room full of 11- and 12-year-olds that particular movie is a gutsy and admirable decision by a teacher. Although certainly suitable for an 11-year-old, this is not really a picture that can be fully appreciated (in my opinion) by someone that age.

Show it to the kids anyway. They'll remember and appreciate the gesture when they get older.

Goldie looks lovely in space with lots of colors around her head. Very inspiring. Just like the feature film that has inspired so many other artists over the years.

Most of y'all remember this video, but I'll post it here again for you (from 1992 in Barstow, California).

Goldie would probably enjoying seeing Friday I'm in Love as well, but we're not sure of a release date yet. I'll let you know if I hear anything.

In the meantime, I'm planning to attend this party also.