Day At The Beach

Yesterday was a perfect day to go for a drive.  So of course, that’s what I did.  I drove down to Galveston and went to the beach.  The trip was as scenic as it was relaxing.  Here are some pictures I took along the way:

It was a beautiful day on the beach.  The weather was ideal.

The calming sound of waves tumbling over the sand put my mind at ease.

My beach towel.

This is a Portugese Man o’ War.  You gotta watch out for these guys.  Their sting is more painful than a jellyfish.  Being a clueless land lubber, I thought these were just platic wrappers people had left on the beach.  I sat down right beside one.  Fortunately, a guy came over and kept me from getting stung.  Now I know.

Brave surfer swims to colorful pier.  Meanwhile, hungry shark swims to brave surfer.

A gorgeous view of Galveston Bay.

The road to Galveston took me through downtown Houston.


Pero no se como escribirlo.  :  P

On the way, I spotted an entire field covered with BLUEBONNETS.  It was a spectacular sight!

These pretty Indian Blankets also caught my eye.

On nearly every hillside, there were wildflowers dancing in the breeze.

These plants also have yellow buds, but they are a bit more prickly.

A pastoral scene.

A house on a hill.

Uh oh.  I think this city boy just took one picture too many.  Time for me to go!

Playlist: The Kindling

For those who haven’t heard, Texas is ablaze tonight. It’s a good night for staying in and listening to some music.

And a good night for another playlist.

Okay, so I broke out of the mold this time. Last time, my list resembled the American Top 40 Countdown. This time, there are no hit songs. I think this is easily the most emo playlist I’ve compiled to date. And by “emo,” I mean awesome.

So here is my latest compilation, “The Kindling.”



1.  The Ballad Of Mona Lisa – Panic! At The Disco

This “picturesque” song timestamps the list.

2.  Ruined Everything – Automatic Black

Don’t you just hate it when that happens??

3.  Left With Alibis and Lying Eyes – Emery

Just another day at the DA’s office . . .

4.  Awake And Alive – Skillet

A tautological song — or is it?

5.  Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt – We Are Scientists

Another day at the bank . . .

6.  The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows – Brand New

Gotta love these emo songs and their titles.

7.  The Good Left Undone – Rise Against

This might just be my favorite song on the list. Very cathartic.

8.  Suffocated – Orianthi

Remember to breathe when listening to this one.

9.  You Got Me – VHS Or BETA

That guy’s voice is amazing.

10.  The Shake (Awful Feeling) – My American Heart

Not to be confused with The Shimmy, which feels good.

11.  Make It Stop (September’s Children) – Rise Against

A choir swaying alongside blaring guitars? Play it on repeat.

12.  Rules Don’t Stop Me – We Are Scientists

But men in uniforms with night sticks do.

13.  Everything Your Breathing For – Parlor Mob

Is it just me or does that sound like Jack White?

14.  Blueside – Rooney

So mellow . . . and relaxing . . . *yawn*

15.  Ghosts – Dexter Freebish

This song will haunt you.

16.  All Good Things (Come To An End) – Nelly Furtado

What a fitting song to end with! I couldn’t resist.

At the top of the staircase, a magnificent palace loomed above them.  Its white limestone walls dominated the picturesque landscape.  The windows glowed with light, and flickered with the shadows of those inside.  A steeple made for a stoic crest.  Perched atop the plateau, and the sea, it was an architectural wonder. 

The base of the palace featured a sprawling courtyard.  There lay a scene that would have made Dionysus marvel with delight.  Dozens of guests (all in costume) milled around picnic tables lit with torches, as waiters weaved through the crowd carrying food and refreshments.  A live band played from a stage. There were burlesque dancers, and jugglers.  Trapeze artists and tumblers.  A woman wearing a boa, and a man who breathed fire.  And a clown.

She gazed out in awe at this spectacle.  Feeling out of place, she clung to the stranger’s arm as he led her through the fray.  Soon they were at the steps of the palace.

“Good evening, sir!” said the man at the palace door.  He turned to her.  “I see you have brought a guest with you?”

“I have,” the stranger responded.

“Well then.  The more the merrier,” smiled the doorman.  He bowed and gestured inside.  “Please, come in, and make yourself comfortable.”

The palace was brightly lit, and filled with the most elegant decorations.  Statues and fine paintings adorned every room and hallway.  Many of the paintings were of the dead, but the palace was very much alive.  Everywhere she looked, costumed guests were loitering, walking, chatting, laughing. 

The stranger led her down a spacious marble hallway.  As they continued, she could hear the distinct sound of violin music.  It grew louder and more urgent with every step.

At last the hallway opened up into a foyer, girded with railing.  An enormous chandelier hung over a ballroom dancefloor on the story below.  Peering down from the railing, she saw rows of masked couples stepping to the rhythm of a heated violin.  It was a style of dancing she had never seen before.

Abruptly, the music stopped.  Applause erupted from the foyer.

“What type of dance was that?” she whispered to the stranger.

“It’s called the Paso Doble,” he answered quietly, staring out at the dancefloor.  “It is a French dance with the character of a Spanish bullfight.  Not for the faint of heart.” 

He turned to her.  “Would you like to go down there?”

She nodded. 

“Okay,” he said.  “But first, you’ll need to follow me.”

Spoken Word Poetry

A friend of mine sent me a video of this girl who performs spoken word poetry.  This form of poetry is generally delivered in a stream-of-consciousness style, where the rhythm and inflection of the poet’s voice help communicate the feelings that inspired the poem – perhaps better than the words themselves ever could.

In high school, my friends and I would occasionally go to the Poets Loft on Wednesday nights.  The Loft was a little tavern-like place on the top story of one of the buildings lining Bath House Row.  (Those familiar with Hot Springs may know where I’m talking about.) 

Wednesday night was open mic night, and there would be all kinds of people who would come up on stage and share their poetry or music.  It was a very open atmosphere.  A place where people came to express themselves.  Where everyone could speak their mind, and know they were being heard.  Many would come with notebooks containing poems they had prepared.  And they would deliver them passionately, in their own unique way.

The video kinda took me back.

Spoken word poetry reminds me that written words can only go so far in expressing the feelings that lie within us.