April 2003 News & Thoughts

Sunday, April 27th, 2003

I’ve enjoyed a couple of movies since writing here yesterday. My Netflix DVD rentals have been gathering dust over the last couple of months, but I pulled one out last night — “The Glenn Miller Story.” If you haven’t seen it as an adult I highly recommend it. Excellent soundtrack, including a great scene featuring the real Louis Armstrong playing at a nightclub in New York. I remember mum telling me she got Glenn Miller’s autograph when he came to England. Wonder what happened to it?

Today we went downtown to see “Bend it Like Beckham.” It was brilliant, < and we needed a good laugh. Hilarious Asian family scenes and some new words to add to the dictionary. I’ve finally broken down and added “sorted” to it. You all seem to be saying it over in England now instead of “sorted out.” I also added “stroppy.”

The weather was gorgeous today and we walked down Main Street after the movie to check out the new light rail construction. It should be running on January 1st. John‘s like a child in a sweet shop, as you can imagine.

Saturday, April 26th, 2003

While the mad rush to meet the school deadline has been going on (see below), John has been busy painting, fixing, and touching up the upstairs apartment. Here’s the ad we have running in the Houston Chronicle. Click here to see the web page he constructed. How could anyone not want to rent it?

Saturday, April 26th, 2003

The nightmare is nearly over. I have written eight, count’em, eight papers over the last two weeks. Four of them are already printed on premium paper and stapled, and four of them are drafted, awaiting printing and proofing. I don’t know how many pages there are, but there have to be approximately 80 altogether (40 for each class). I chose the two classes because neither involved tests. Never again! I’m too much of a procrastinator. Anyway, I’m now an expert on subjects such as genetic modfication, the economies of South America and Africa, and the world soybean industry, not to mention the history of agriculture. Please don’t test me, though. My head is swimming with facts and my fingers ache from all the typing. All I need my loyal readers to do now is keep their fingers crossed that I get at least an A-minus in each class. “What’s with the weird picture?”, I can hear you all muttering. That, dear family, friends and surfers, is the first seed drill, invented by Jethro Tull.

Now I’m going to take some time off to catch up with some Baseball, wash Wendy (we worked in Galveston this week and she’s very salty), return books to the library, and play my piano. Later tonight I shall print and proofread the papers, and on Monday I shall drive to UH and hand them in before the 5 p.m. deadline.

Sunday, April 20th, 2003

I’m absolutely beat, and am facing the upcoming week with horror. Not only do my fantasy Baseball teams need a lot of attention, but I also have to go to work, school, and turn in eight papers on the 28th. It’s my own fault — shouldn’t have procrastinated like this.

Anyway, before going to bed I do have to mention the great weekend we had in Dallas. It was my first trip there, and I couldn’t help thinking about Terry Wogan when I first saw the skyline. Rather than try and write something coherent, I’ll just hyperlink the pictures. We stayed at the Aristocrat Holiday Inn, which was about a mile from Deep Ellum — a lot like the neighbourhood of Montrose in Houston where John
and I live. Our trip was to hear the Dead
End Angels
play at the Elbow Room. Here’s a picture of it from the street. We met Kevin
and CallieCallie there and studied a href=”http://www.habershons.com/wp-content/uploads/converted_files/graphics/texas/Dallas041903elbowroom.jpg”>the stage, which looked very small. The band arrived and while they studied it, the four of us went for a walk around Deep Ellum. Spot the HabershonhereHabershon. Check out the decor
at Coyote Ugly, and see another
flag
on the Baylor Building. We returned to the Elbow Room, talked to the band who had set uptheir equipment and hung up the tee shirts (they had their first one stolen the other night — in Lubbock), played some shuffleboard, ordered pizza, met Scott (we’ve got to try out his luxury camping) and Cindy (who booked the gig), listened to the band, drank a lot, and then sat and talked to the band until about 2 a.m., or was it 1:30 a.m.? This is the last time we’ll hear them for a while because Rick is going to be in Europe for a month (sob). But he’ll be back, and in about four weeks their first CD will be released.

I was a little horrified to learn last night that Rick is a Yankees fan and Scott is a Dodgers fan. But it could be worse. It could be the Br@<e$.

Great weekend, but now I’m paying for it.

Good Friday, April 18th, 2003

I’ve been quite worried about John John lately. It’s been at least ten days since he’s craved a new computer part, be it a faster chip, hard drive, more RAM, cordless keyboard, bigger monitor, or whatever.
He’s back to normal. He wants this and this, but won’t be getting either (unless our lottery numbers [1, 3, 11, 19, 28, 37] come up).

Good Friday, April 18th, 2003

Just surfacing here from these blasted papers (three down, five to go, due April 28th) to post some family news. First of all, though, Happy Birthday, Paul!

Paul is getting a brilliant birthday present from Nick. They are going to Paul McCartney’s Back in the World concert at Earl’s Court tonight. I am sooooo jealous! I watched the TV special of his U.S. tour last year and it was great. I’d like a full report, Paul.

Nick reports on his latest venture. You can read all about it here. I’ve also put a link on the left of the website so everyone can follow his progress. You can sign up to get on the mailing list and can also check out the route they plan to take. I hope you’ve had permission from the French to drive through France, Nick. Anyway, how about a Habershon sponsorship for this good cause?

The bad news is that poor Ricky broke his leg skiing. Full details will appear on a certain page in May if he continues to be brave.

John and I are driving to Dallas tomorrow for another Dead End Angels show and will be back on Sunday. If you don’t hear from me before than, may I take this opportunity to wish all Habershons a very Happy Easter.

Sunday, April 13th, 2003

Flowers flowers flowers. We drove past all the wildflowers to San Antonio yesterday to take in a Dead End Angels show at the Scenic Loop Cafe. We met up with Callie, Kevin, and Camille, and stayed overnight at a Drury Inn.Kevin and John were beside themselves with the free, unlimited, high speed internet access, and will probably never stay at a different hotel chain ever ever ever again. Geeks. We took quite a few pictures and I’ve put them on a separate page. This is my favourite.

Incidentally, on May 31st, Camille will be a doctor. A real M.D. Cool, huh? She’ll then be leaving for Idaho for her first job.

Thursday, April 10th, 2003

Yoga’s going great and I haven’t injured myself, although I’m still
as stiff as an ironing board. I took some pictures on the walk
home this evening. “Oh, goodeeee,” I can hear you all
saying. Lump it, dudes.

yoga2.jpg (378105 bytes)
This is the
shopping plaza where Yogabody is located. Note that
there’s a nail
place
.
yoga3.jpg (187524 bytes)
yoga4.jpg (359744 bytes)
Buy your booze here. Bayou Liquor is run by Chow (sp?)
a very hardworking Vietnamese lady who also owns our local
convenience store. I usually drop in to say
“hello” and buy a lottery ticket.
yoga5.jpg (349059 bytes)
Look at all the
Disabled parking spaces! I have to be the most disabled
person going to yoga, and I walk! There’s usually a
parking problem for the 5:30 class, too.
yoga6.jpg (382618 bytes)
This is the view from the Yoga studio. No doubt Callie
can identify the man with the sign.
yoga7.jpg (208195 bytes)
This is the empty lot I walk across to get home.
yoga8.jpg (315837 bytes)
You can tell by the well worn path that I’ve already been to
plenty of classes.
yoga9.jpg (355417 bytes)
Vincent’s and Nino’s restaurants are on my route.
Nino’s is way out of our budget. We’ve been there for
lunch once in nine years. Amazing food.
yoga10.jpg (385500 bytes)
Sometimes I take a short cut between the restaurants.
yoga11.jpg (350921 bytes)
Or walk around the corner.
yoga12.jpg (443140 bytes)
And sometimes I pause to listen to the live music.

Darn
it! MEMORY CARD FULL.

Thursday, April 10th, 2003

Many years ago, around 1972, I think, I was lying on the lawn at Coleford. It was a perfect day — about 75 degrees and very still and quiet. I had my eyes closed, but opened them as I heard the sound of an aeroplane. It was the concordenoseup.jpg (13513 bytes)

Concorde on a test flight from nearby Bristol. It was very quiet and flying just above the trees, its beautiful white body gleaming against the perfect blue sky. Sorry if I’m sounding sappy here, but it was an incredible sight, and I decided from that moment that I had to fly in it when it went into service.It did, in 1976. And it was flying the London/Bahrain route. I was in Saudi Arabia by then, and only a fifteen-minute flight from Bahrain. I enquired about the price, and discovered that if I cleaned out my bank account and returned on a two-stop flight, via Kuwait, I could just afford the Concorde trip from Bahrain to London.
It was definitely worth it. The food was great, the champagne was flowing, and we flew so high that I could actually see the curvature of the earth. I was interviewed by a Scottish radio station during the flight. The reporter was making his way around all the passengers. I remember him telling me that I was the only person he’d interviewed that had actually paid for her flight. In those days they even sent you a certificate to say you’d flown in it. Here’s
mine
. It’s spent a lot of time in a damp basement in Cape Cod, but it’s still legible. Oh, and an interesting fact. I played nine holes of golf that morning in Dhahran and eighteen at Mendip upon arrival (tickled to see the latter has a website!). The actual Concorde segment of the journey was about two and a half hours, I think.

The return flight to Saudi Arabia was also an experience. I had a four-hour layover in Kuwait, and was then stuffed in a Dhahran-bound aeroplane with propellers and about 80 inebriated Saudis. I was squashed between two of them and obviously looked uncomfortable as the steward put me in First Class once we were up in the air.

Back to the Concorde. When Mum died suddenly in 1987 I couldn’t get a flight from Boston to England. Everything was booked. British Airways did, however, tell me that if I got to New York they could put me on the Concorde at regular price. So I’ve actually flown it twice.

I read today that Air Chance and British Airways are scrapping the Concorde. It’s just been costing them too much. Very sad. It also means that I’ll never fulfill one of my other dreams — to take the QE2 to England and fly back on the Concorde. Could never have afforded it, anyway.

Another side note. Apparently the Brits and the French got on quite well together when they produced the Concorde. The biggest argument they had was whether or not to put an “e” on the end. Look who won.
Gonna miss that plane.

Thursday, April 10th, 2003

Wendy’s blushing.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2003

Whoever gets up first in the mornings usually switches on Fox NewsWhoever gets up first in the mornings usually switches on Fox News for a war update. This morning over coffee and cereal I watched the Iraqis climb up on that pedestal and wrap the rope around Saddam’s statue. It made great breakfast television. I called my boss to tell him I would not be into work until that thing toppled. With some help from the Marines, it crashed to the ground around 9:45 a.m.

And talking of Fox News, it has now replaced the BBC as my home page, ads or no ads. The BBC’s biased reporting has been especially troubling lately. Sometimes just their headlines make me angry. Anyway, today HMS Ark Royal switched them off, so I have too.

This is probably my busiest day of the year — not only work and school, but Relief Pitcher draft night. It’s the last position we draft in our fantasy Baseball league, and after seven gruelling nights it’s very difficult to concentrate on organizing 70 pitchers. It’s taken me four hours and fifty-one minutes. Now it’s over and I need to get some sleep. Wendy and I are going to Liberty and Splendora tomorrow to dig for maps, and we need to be alert and stay away from flying gravel and big trucks.

Saturday, April 5th, 2003

John just sent me this joke from Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus on NRO:

Speaking of doubles: The following joke — said to be current in Iraq — has been making the rounds here: “The eight Saddam body doubles are gathered in one of the bunkers in downtown Baghdad. Tariq Aziz, the deputy prime minister, comes in and says, ‘I have some good news and some bad news.’ They ask for the good news first.

“Aziz says, ‘The good news is that Saddam is still alive, so you all still have jobs.’

“‘And the bad news?’ they ask.

“Aziz replies, ‘He’s lost an arm.'”

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2003

The Baseball season started yesterday. Tonight is the beginning of my eight-day fantasy draft.

And I still haven’t written my school papers. The text books are piled high on the kitchen table but I just can’t get started. What is my problem? Why do I spend all my time worrying about them when I could be writing them?