Feb 28, 2008

Birds on Wires

Birds on Wires by Finijo

When I picked Connor up this evening, we started to drive down the street and he exclaimed, "Whoa!"
Birds on Wires 2 by Finijo

I looked up and in the beautiful Texas sunset, I saw more birds than an Alfred Hitchcock movie could would know what to do with.
Birds on Wires 3 by Finijo
I swung into the parking lot at the CVS on the corner and started snapping away. They were incredibly loud and chatty, and it was just a marvelous site.

Feb 26, 2008

The Medium is the Message

I was sent this time lapse video of the making of the Obama mural by PR!MO of LecheQuemada, which does great video projects. Thank you, PR!MO. Nice job on the video, too! I was wondering who was responsible for the great Obama mural - and now I know. The mural was painted by: GONZO247, Christian Azul, Mr. Bristle & Reginald Adams, and the artwork is by: Shepard Fairey. I just watched Shepard Fairey on The Henry Rollins Show a few weeks ago and had no idea that the mural was his design when I happened upon it last week. I voted in the primary for Hillary, but I have to support artists - especially in Houston. He's right in the video - the medium is the message.

Cigarettes Beer Milk Mural

Milk Bread Cigarettes Beer Mural - Photo by Finijo

I have been noticing a lot of unconventional art in the form of murals lately. This mural is on the side of a convenience store on W. Belfort. I suppose this could represent the four basic food groups for some people. I like the idea that there is so much art around Houston and hope to continue blogging it as I find it.

Feb 22, 2008

I Still Want Hillary, but...

I was driving into the office today and found these murals up on a building across from the Breakfast Klub.
Several campaign workers were trying to get into the Obama campaign headquarters, but it was locked and empty. They must have been sleeping in after staying up to watch the debate.

I still think Hillary is the best person for the job, but damn that is a powerful image ! Kudos to the artist - GREAT job!


I just finished reading Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk and I think the book is GREAT! I think this is easily as good a book as Fight Club (which I also liked a great deal). I started reading this book on my flight to Memphis at the suggestion of a friend. The irony is that the book begins with the hijacking of an airplane - which made me laugh a little to myself on the flights coming and going. The books anti hero is Tender Branson, a survivor of the Creedish Church mass suicide. The Creedish Church is a cross between the Amish and the Jonestown cult. As Tender Branson makes his way in the world outside of the Creedish compound, he finds work as a kind of indentured servant to a boorish wealthy couple and he starts his own suicide hot line - with a twist. Instead of talking people out of suicide, he encourages them to off themselves. I have recently become a Palahniuk devotee and of the three books I have read, so far, I think this is my favorite. I liked Haunted, but had difficulty keeping the characters straight, because of the code names. I also enjoyed Fight Club, but Survivor appealed to my sense of macabre and my sense of humor just a little bit more than the other books.

Feb 20, 2008

Vocational ADD

Full Moon and Clouds by Finijo

I am in the process of trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life - well at least the next phase of my life. I think I am developing vocational ADD. I like what I do, but I have determined that the focus of my employer is on the style more than the substance of what I do. The best analogy I can think of is teaching to the test (like constant cramming for the TAKS test), rather than having enjoyment from the learning process. At first I enjoyed testing myself and jumping through the hoops, but it has grown tiresome for me. I think that a lot of the joy I had in my job has ebbed and now it seems like it is just me and the hoops. Hoop after hoop after hoop. I will let you guys know when I decide what I am going to do...

Feb 17, 2008

Connor's 14th Birthday Bash

Max (aka Billy Elliot)

Connor had Alex and Max over for his birthday tonight. Max is a natural born ham - we like this kid - he's a keeper. After Max spilled Pepsi on his own clothes, we found one of Con's old sets of pajamas for him to wear. Max will be taking them home, since the last time Con fit in them he was about 11 years old. Alex is Connor's oldest friend and like a member of the family.

Alex and Con

We bought an air mattress to solve the furniture problem in his room. After adding a blankets, pillows, pizza, chips, soda, hand held gaming systems and three teenage boys - you can imagine that the room pretty much smells like puberty and farts.

Feb 16, 2008

Retirement Party

Retirement Party

I hugged a dying man today,
at his retirement party.
He smiled as though he believed,
all was right with the world.
I felt the weight of gravity,
pulling us all into the Earth.
He spoke of loving life,
every minute a precious treasure.
I saw his bravery,
in the face of the end.
He spoke of his family,
both at home and at work.
I thought to myself,
I do not want a retirement party.
He graciously greeted each guest,
spoke of good and hard times shared.
I will have no opportunity,
to know the dying man.
He explained, "In the end,
I barely knew myself."
I wonder what I will miss
as he retires from work and life.
He talked of how he made peace
with the end of his life.
How he would enjoy and truly live
every last minute that he is allowed.
He talked of learning, almost too late
to enjoy life and not to work too hard.

I hugged a dying man today.
Today, the last time I will see him,
no time left for him to know me.
The next time I hear his name
will be when after he is gone.

Connor's Growing Up

Connor turns 14 on Monday. This week he bought flowers for the girl he likes (that was a first) and they were well recieved - he got hugged for his trouble. Tomorrow he will have a couple of friends stay over for pizza and a movie-a- thon. He's not our little tree climber anymore, he's a real live teenager (with all that that implies) and he's counting the days until he is grown.

Feb 15, 2008

Introspective Day

Creation House Quote by Finijo
Today was an interesting day. I worked most of the day but took some time off this afternoon to go to a lecture at the Institute for Religion and Health. The speaker was Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche who spoke on the Power of Love in Healing. He was both funny and insightful.

Creation House Side by Finijo
I also managed to get some pictures of a building that has fascinated me for some time. As vibrantly colored as it is, it seems to be shut down and no longer functioning as a space for artists. What a waste.

I think the quote on the rainbow colored house is wonderful:

Creation is first of all an act of destruction.
Pablo Picasso

The Lafayette by Finijo

I also finally got around to getting a shot of this mural on the side of a building called The Lafayette that I have enjoyed viewing over the years.

Feb 14, 2008

Bashia Bulat

Basia Bulat Photo by Bobby Bulat

I discovered an amazing songstress, Basia Bulat, while I was doing a search for music from Basia from the 80's. I fell for her song, Little Waltz, which is a lament of the impending loss of someone dear. Her voice is gorgeous and her phrasing is odd, which always appeals to me. She's Canadian and sounds like a cross between Natalie Merchant and Corine Bailey Ray. I tried to order her album, Oh My Darling from Amazon, but was daunted by the price (about $26.00), so I searched to see if I could buy the CD directly from her website and found that she offered a discount to order it directly from her label. I ended up spending about $12.00 for a FANTASTIC collection of her songs. The CD took about two weeks to reach my house, but it was worth the wait. Her music ranges from melancholy songs of love lost to upbeat songs like In the Night and driving songs (Snakes and Ladders). There is not one song on this CD that I don't like - which is rare for me. Her music is listed as Indy, which fits pretty well, since it doesn't sound like anything that's getting airplay right now. GREAT MUSIC - check her out. These are the lyrics to two of her songs -
Little Secret:
a heart is so easy to keep
when I think of the curious look in your eyes and impossible
oh, only you could really know
i'll never let a little secret go
all of the times you were near I forgot to say
'I'm an unbeliever,' but I'll pray to you every day
if it would make your eyes forever stay that way
if it would make you want to stay with me
all the times you've been far away, wondering
I've been uncovering words I've been waiting to say to you
oh, only you could really know
i'll never let a little secret go
Oh My Darling:
there are two things I will carry in my pockets at the end
oh, my darling,
you are one of them
the way you look when you have a story to begin,
oh, my darling,
that's the other half
and I will never lose them,
no i'll never never show them like a prize
I will keep them out of sight
and I will never give them up
to any silly promise or a lie,
they are mine until I die, until I die

Feb 13, 2008


Ominous Crow Atop Tree by Finijo

I snapped this shot as I left work today. The storm was brewing and the crow was screeching at me like I had somehow offended him greatly. Maybe he just didn't appreciate having his picture taken. The ball of leaves hanging from the left side of the tree is a huge ball of low hanging mistletoe and the little nest-like things throughout the tree are parasitic plants. When You click on the picture, it enlarges and I think the crow looks like he is superimposed on the photograph.

Feb 11, 2008

Journey to Ixtlan

I finished reading Journey to Ixtlan the Lessons of Don Juan tonight and I am surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I found the book to be interesting and funny. Journey to Ixtlan is the third book by Carlos Castaneda that tells the story of his tutelage under the Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan while he was a college student studying hallucinogen plants in the desert Southwest. The Journey to Ixtlan is filled with magic, death, and supernatural power. The stories are purported by Castaneda to be true, but many believe Don Juan is a made up character. Ultimately, I don't think it really matters, because Journey to Ixtlan is such a unique tale that it is worth reading regardless of the origin of the story. It seems more than likely that some of what Castaneda has written was fueled by the use of some of the hallucinogens that he was studying while he was writing the book. Although Don Juan is Native American, I found the book to be full of Buddhist and Existentialist parallels. Castaneda uses beautiful imagery to tell his tale. This is one of my favorite quotes:
...For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I wanted to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while; in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.
Don Juan

Karim Day

Quiche and Camera by Finijo

I met Karim this morning for our Sunday brunch and chat. It was a gorgeous day to be out and about in Houston. I think it's great that in our ever changing world, you can count on old friends for consistency. Karim's quotes for the day (both said with enthusiasm), "I love chartreuse," and "The quiche is cut in a perfect wedge."

Voe Art by Finijo

I spoted this bit of outdoor art on a building across the street from Antidote, the coffee house where we had brunch. Antidote reminded me of Austin, because of it's laid back and ecclectic atmosphere. The painting reminded me of the 80's because of the colors and it's garrishness.

Window Frame by Finijo
Just down the wall from the Voe Art painting was this window. I appreciate that someone made the effort to dress up what would be a pretty standard and unattractive window with a gilt frame. After we talked for a while more, Karim made us a wonderful dinner of salmon, stir fried vegetables and arrugala salad.

Inversion by Finijo

We then ended our day of relaxation and chat at Inversion, a coffee house on Montrose for desert and coffee. I enjoy their coffee, but I love the window. It is an homage to the Art League building that previously stood on this spot. We had every intention of watching some DVD's and painting, but instead we ended up talking and eating our way through the day. It was one of those days where you lose track of time, until you are hungry again.

Feb 10, 2008

Car Wash

Abstract Perspective by Finijo

I took Joy in for her semi-annual cleaning today and snapped some pictures that I think came out pretty well. I think this looks like a moon with a fireball either orbiting it or about to make impact.

Blurred View II by Finijo

This one looks like it is looking up from the bottom of a well or pond to me. I think it's kind of like an impressionist painting, but a little freaky because of the perspective.

Blinded by Red by Finijo

I think this looks like it was taken with a microscopic camera inside an artery or vein.

Foam Weeping by Finijo

Connor thinks this one looks like a Hubble telescope shot of some galaxy.

Feb 9, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

Green Ladybug by Finijo
I was out in the world today for work. Everywhere I looked, flowers were budding and butterflies were fluttering. I found a green ladybug on the back of my car and managed to snap a decent picture of it. I don't think I've ever seen a green one before. It's strangely beautiful, but looks like it isn't quite ripe yet.

Feb 2, 2008

Tacos A Go Go

I found a new place to eat breakfast downtown called Tacos A Go Go.

The food is cheap and decent taqueria fare and they serve breakfast all day every day.
The owner's sister painted the relief and shadow behind the giant Madonna above the bar.
This bottle of hot sauce has a great name, but did not pass my breakfast partner's test for taste and heat.
The walls are painted in bright colors and covered with Mexican movie posters and memorabilia.
The owner's sister also painted the murals that adorn the walls of Tacos A Go Go.

This is one of my favorite parts of the restaurant. The window frame is a mosaic of bottle caps.

Wanna Be

I took this little video clip at Connor's dojo. The little girl was hilarious, she just wanted to be like the big kids sooooo much.