City of Houston Set to Light It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day

March 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Events

April 1st-2nd

Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism advocacy organization, today announced that the City of Houston will once again “Light It Up Blue” in honor of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd.

In 2007, the United Nations declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day in perpetuity. 2012 marks the fifth anniversary of World Autism Awareness Day.

Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue campaign, now in its third year, is a unique global initiative to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. Iconic landmarks around the world will Light It Up Blue to show their support.

“We’re so pleased that Houston City Hall will once again shine a light on autism by Lighting It Up Blue on April 2nd,” says Carey Carver, 2012 Walk Chair.  “In addition to raising awareness of autism spectrum disorders, the city’s support means so much to families dealing with the challenges of autism on a daily basis.  We commend the leadership of the city of Houston for its ongoing commitment and dedication.  We’re also excited about local events in honor of autism awareness month.”

Local events include:
Sunday, April 1st: MAMs House of Ice, in the Heights, will be serving up blue snow cones from 12pm-7pm and will donate 20% of the sales to Autism Speaks.
Monday, April 2nd:  The Downtown Aquarium  will host a Dine & Donate night.  Dinners must present a flyer to secure a donation for Autism Speaks.
Monday, April 2nd:  Happy Hour at Blue Bar at Brenner’s on the Bayou. For a $10 donation to Autism Speaks, guests receive complimentary hors d’eouvers, drink specials and a chance to win great raffles prizes. 5pm – 7pm

In 2011, landmark buildings around the world, from the Empire State Building to Australia’s Sydney Opera House, joined in the Light It Up Blue campaign.  Homeowners who wish to show their support for World Autism Awareness Day can purchase blue light bulbs and blue lanterns at Home Depot. For more ideas on how to participate, visit www.lightitupblue.org.

GHOST RIOTER

March 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Blogs

THE DEN – It’s time to catch a program on my new 50-inch plasma TV. Eh? A loud moise from the kitchen. I go to see what happened. There is my wife’s brand-new crystal pitcher shattered into a hundred pieces on the floor. Then the clock strikes 13 o’clock just as the hot water heater, with its lifetime guarantee, burns out. This can only mean that my house ghost, Lawrence of Suburbia, has returned. “Lawrence, where are you? I’ll count to three.”

“Should I start your Teleprompter?” says a ghostly voice. “Miss me?”

“No. Because of you, Texas has had the hottest and driest summer in its recorded history. My pipes broke, the foundation cracked, the yard died and my electric bill for the a/c tripled. Go away.”

Do you ever have those days when the car won’t start and the cat disappears? Then you discover you lost your winning Lotto ticket worth $57 million, you’re laid off at the sewage treatment plant and discover the reason car won’t start is because the cat is lodged in the fan belt? It’s not just bad luck or happenstance. It’s because you probably have a Lawrence, too, even though most people think ghosts only haunt Scottish castles, Italian monasteries and Chevy Volt dealerships.

He continues: “Since last I saw you I was in charge of Bin Laden’s security detail. You’ve heard of the Arab Spring? In all modesty, I’m responsible for the Syrian Summer. I had a stint as safety inspector for BP’s Gulf of Mexico drilling operations. I mentored Rush Limbaugh on how to attract women listeners. He clearly has no idea about sex. No wonder he’s had four wives and no kids.”

Lawrence pauses for breath. “That sex mess began when Obama asked me, ‘Should I demand that Catholic institutions be required to offer their employees birth control programs? That might be trouble.’ I told Barry I had smoothed out everything and there would be no repercussions. Then he brought up my recommendations on Solyndra, so it was a short gig; like when I served as George W’s adviser on WMDs. I swear those giant windmills looked like IBMs aimed at Crawford. I was Rick Perry’s mnemonics coach, and wrote the new Texas sonogram laws. Don’t you love being the laughingstock of America? Oh, do you receive the Longhorn Network?”

Lawrence is always bragging on himself, like the time in New Orleans when Brownie told him, “You’re doing a heck of a job.” I won’t even get into his work on Wall Street, but when he says your house is under water, it’s actually under water. Now he’s working for Bill Maher, washing out his mouth with soap after every show. “I sold a black helicopter franchise to Glenn Beck. I got Disney to produce ‘John Carter.’ Cost a quarter billion dollars to make and thus far is the biggest bomb since Hiroshima.”

After he leaves, my TV explodes. The warranty doesn’t cover ghosts.

 

Ashby is haunted at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Fe, New Mexico

March 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

UP WITH PUT-DOWNS

March 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

“I notice in your brain dead typical left wing journalists who have no clue about misery and suffering in America by Obama, but pretend too” “You are a disgrace as a writer with your lap dog suck up to the radical left wing democrats who are destroying Americans lives daily” “Learn the truth” “Obviously, Lynn Ashby is a SOLD OUT Liberal in OH-BLAMA’s Tent!!”
One of the joys of this job is hearing back from readers, and e-mail makes it so much easier. Now we can simply put on our bathrobe in the middle of the night, go to the computer in the cellar and anonymously write threatening messages to total strangers. It’s better than beating the wife and kicking the dog to vent our frustrations.
Here’s some more: (Editor, please don’t correct the letters, they add to the flavor.) “I wish Mr. Ashby would identify those he mentions so we could bar them from attending. If he won’t then, he’s a liar.” “I notice you didn’t say in one of those months Obama declares himself King since he spits on our system of government. Also Obama gives aways billions of tax payers money for political donors to start businesses which fail”
“One of your brain dead reporters actually forgot their lies, to support the radical far left Obama faithful and Dems, which goal is to shut down American jobs, stated the Earth was the coolest in many years in 2011. I thought your brethren said a reversal wasn’t possible under this scenario of Global Warming????? More lies”
“This is all scare tactics, which you have been brainwashed by the far left and cannot be honest with real truth because your peers will reject any objection to the far left religion” “Print the truth, don’t slander, there could be issues. I know, how you left wing journalists ,love to distort the truth against conservative thinking people, who go against your perverted left wing religion” “Let make it simple for your polluted, lying mind”
OK, I did mistake the mayor for a serial killer, and did wrongly call it “the police farce.” True, not all Texas legislators are thieves, traitors and bigamists, but I’ll bet some are. I meant to call you a “bastion of the community.” Sorry, but libel lawyers need to work, too.
Human nature is such that, when we read something we like or agree with, we nod our head in approval and turn the page. But if what we read is unsettling, we slam down the newspaper and head for the cellar PC. Journalists refer to such epistles as Dear-Sir,-you-cur letters. They go with the territory and actually we like them, except for the ones signed, “Love, Mother.” Besides journalists feel they serve a purpose, letting others vent their frustrations. But these people really need to get a life. They could be doing something useful. Think of the camaraderie and the knowledge of accomplishment of taking up another cause: adopt a highway.
I cannot tell you of the depression and frustration I feel. No, not of being on the receiving end of such diatribes, but seeing the bad spelling, terrible syntax, garbled facts, lack of punctuation and semi-literate outrage. Journalists go to college to make sure every word is perfect, every fact is double-checked. Then we ignore all of that and do as we please. (Sorry about leaving out the “not” before “guilty.”)
We really need a better class of insulters. These examples are so crude, so unsophisticated. “Your mother wears army boots” would be a step up. Where is Mark Twain when we need him? “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” And: “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” Theater critic Walter Kerr: “He had delusions of adequacy.”
“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” — Clarence Darrow. And from Mae West: “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” Closer to home: “He has all the characteristics of a dog except loyalty.” That gem was the work of Sam Houston. President Abraham Lincoln is always portrayed a sorrowful figure, but he could insult with the best of them. To wit: “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”
On the other hand, be careful whom and what you insult: “We did not conceive it possible that even Mr Lincoln would produce a paper so slipshod, so loose-joined, so puerile, not alone in literary construction, but in its ideas, its sentiments, its grasp. He has outdone himself.” — Chicago Times on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (Nov. 19, 1863)
Bumper stickers can be real zingers. These are from the commie-pinko left, but no doubt the right has some, too “Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends.” “Am I a liberal or just well educated?” and: “Voting is like driving a car. Choose (R) to move backward. Choose (D) to move forward.” Any of these is guaranteed to provoke road rage in my neighborhood.
The British have honed the well-sharpened insult to a science. There is this famous exchange between Winston Churchill and Lady Nancy Astor: She said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.” Churchill replied, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.” “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” “A modest little person, with much to be modest about.”
A member of Parliament said to Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.” Finally, Oscar Wilde: “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” Baba-boom!
A journalist’s standard reply to a toxic letter from a total stranger is, “Dear Sir, You may be right.” Don’t mention the bathrobe.

Ashby gets insulted at ashby2@comcast.net

ALABAMA’S GULF SHORES & ORANGE BEACH

March 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Blog

DISCOVER PLEASURE  ALABAMA’S GULF SHORES & ORANGE BEACH Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer a wide range of accommodations, diverse attractions and exquisite cuisine, all set in an atmosphere that exudes the Eagle’s lyrics of that “Peaceful Easy Feeling”.

By Christi St. Laurent

Now is the perfect time to discover why Alabama’s Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are known as “Pleasure Island.” Travelers to this southern beach resort have compared it to Hawaii, Laguna Beach and the Bahamas. This breathtaking destination has much to offer – relaxation, fun and entertainment. In a day’s drive, you can awaken your senses as you step onto shimmering quartz white sand (Native Texans refer to it as “the good sand”) and enjoy the magnificent turquoise water.

RESORT DESTINATIONS

The Caribe the Resort, The Beach Club, and Turquoise Place Spectrum Resorts make reservations easy and completely stress free with a nice range of accommodations ranging from the “budget conscious” to the “put me in the lap of luxury” traveler. They provide 24-hour cancellation policy, affordable rates year round with peak rates only in the summer. You can completely pamper yourself in Orange Beach at the spacious Turquoise Place condominiums where you get all the comforts of home and then some. Watch the magnificent Gulf coast sunset from the outdoor hot tub on the private balcony your beautifully decorated 3, 4, or 5 bedroom suite. Each is fully equipped with indoor/outdoor kitchens, wet bar; even washers and dryers. Resort amenities include state of the art exercise area, spa appointments, air-conditioned poolside cabanas, Tiki bar and a 450-foot lazy river. The atmosphere and experience will have you booking your return stay before you get home.

EXPLORE

Sailaway Charters – Step aboard with Sailor Skip for an informative two hour nature cruise and get up close and personal with a variety of marine life as he pulls them aboard and into the aquarium. You will marvel at the baby puffers, play with squid and possibly get snorted on by a passing playful dolphin.

CRUISE

Cetacean Cruises – Cruise out to the Bay with Captain Bill Mitchell for an incredible dolphin experience you will not soon forget. It’s amazing to see the friendship bond between man and dolphin in such a beautiful, natural environment and you will come to understand why I now call Captain Bill “Dolphin Whisperer.”

RELAX

Sanroc Cay Marina – Whether you want to shop, dine at the local restaurants (Café Grazie, Louisiana Lagniappe), listen to live music (Hula Hula Tiki Bar), take a guided fishing trip with Reel Surprise Charters or just stick your toes in the sand, SanRoc Cay Marina has a little something for everybody. If you want to explore your creative side and enjoy interactive arts, then visit Beach Cite Studios, where you can paint, sculpt, make jewelry, dance, sing or take a culinary cooking class.

DISCOVER

Magnolia Springs, Alabama – Grandma Floy Michalka preserved her figs in jars, and Magnolia Springs preserved sweet southern charm in this historic location with original buildings and homes built in the 1800’s. The Magnolia River was once the highway for steamers and paddle wheelers and is currently the only river mail delivery route in the United States. The people who call Magnolia Springs home will wrap you in sincere hospitality and humble generosity. David Worthington found his life’s destiny in 1996 when he renovated the original 1897 Sunnyside Hotel and opened the Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

Of course at the end of the day, it’s all about just relaxing, enjoying good food and having fun. If you’re looking for a casual beach experience with lots of food and drinks, waterfront views and live music where you can let loose with family and friends, then check out one of these local favorites; the Hangout, Lulu’s, Harbour Grill and Original Oyster House. If you’re feeling more in the mood for ambience, breathtaking views, fine dining, exquisite cuisine, great wines, all served up by some the area’s world renowned chef ’s, then spend some time at Cobalt, South Beach Bar & Grill, and Shipp’s Harbour Grill.

Bayou City Outdoors present Get Into the Outdoor Life: Biking 101

March 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Events

Tuesday, April 10
REI
7538 Westheimer Rd (at Voss) Houston, TX 77063
7:00–8:30PM

Houston has it all when you’re looking to bike! If you want to cruise, commute, mountain bike or road bike, we’ll show you where to go and how to get started. Who needs to drive when Houston has over 80 miles of trails in the parks and 345 miles of street trails! With information on the best routes in Houston and some simple bike maintenance tips, you’ll enjoy riding the streets (or the trails) on your bicycle with ease and confidence! We’ll also give you the top 5 tips for how to maintain your bike so it stays in top condition and good working order.

7:00 PM Class; 8:00 PM Gear demonstrations. REI, 7538 Westheimer Rd. at Hillcroft, Houston, TX 77063 (you will find us in the back of the store in the warehouse area) Details and RSVP at www.BayouCityOutdoors.com or call
713-524-3567

Sanctus Real is Bringing Music And a Message to Houston

March 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Events

Friday, March 23, at the Toyota Center@ 7:00 p.m.

Grammy-nominated band Sanctus Real is bringing more than great music to its Houston stop on the Winter Jam 2012 Tour Spectacular March 23. Lead singer Matt Hammitt is bringing a message of education and support for families who have a child with a Congenital Heart Disease. It’s a message born of his own family’s experience, as their son Bowen was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) in 2010

Matt and Sarah Hammitt established Whole Hearts Foundation to assist families in understanding and learning more about pediatric congenital heart diseases, to support them through their child’s surgeries and aftercare, and to provide funding for local children’s hospitals. “We want Whole Hearts to be a resource to families dealing with their child’s illness,” he said. “We understand the practical, financial, emotional and spiritual needs these families have.”

Sanctus Real and eight other bands join host NewSong for the Winter Jam 2012 Tour Spectacular. Established by NewSong in 1995, Winter Jam is committed to ministry and its policy of no tickets and admission of only $10 at the door.  Winter Jam 2012’s Houston stop is Friday, March 23, at the Toyota Center. The concert begins at 7:00 p.m.

PASS THE WORD

March 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

MY COMPUTER – “The password you gave is incorrect.” So my bank is telling me on my computer screen. I am trying to get into my bank account to check my overdrafts, but can’t. My password is “wombat.” At least it was until someone stole my wallet that contained a slip of paper on which I wrote at the top, “secret passwords,” and somehow broke my code. So I changed this particular password to “tabmow” – “wombat” spelled backwards. Sneaky, eh? Eat your heart out, National Security Agency.

Wait. Is tabmow the secret word for my bank or my home burglar alarm system? Are you saddled with, and supposed to remember, a long string of various passwords for every one of your black boxes? Do you also have a different word to punch in at the bank ATM? Want to see your stock portfolio on-line or read your e-mail? In each case you need a password – a different password. Indeed, I need both a user ID and a password to check several accounts, plus a whole series of other secret words to use on my laptop not to mention my iPad2. (Apple didn’t like my initial offering in which I expressed my frustration over so many different passwords, labeling it, “Too obscene – get used to it.”)

Everywhere I look there are people fondling and punching their BlackBerries, iPads, iPhones, Kindles or their Android cell phones that take photographs while flossing their teeth. Each one of those instruments needs a password, maybe two or three, before activating. How much human energy and time do Americans spend each day simply trying to use what we can’t use until we remember our first spouse’s birth date?

If I forget the password to my parole records, the computer gets testy, so I have to jump through hoops to explain it’s really me: “What elementary school did you attend?” That’s easy, Benedict Arnold Elementary. Go Fightin’ Red Coat Turncoats! “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” Benedict Arnold. “How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck is a union member?” “If a train leaves Chicago at midnight going 65 mph and another train leaves New York ….” You get the idea.

One of my brothers lives in a gated community, he’s a convicted war criminal, so each time we drive up to the guard tower, I have to punch little buttons to open the gate. Actually, the security box is carefully designed so I have to un-do my seat belt, get out of the car, usually in the rain, to push the buttons, then I discover they changed the code. A friend lives on a ranch outside of Austin and invites us out for dinner. The ranch has a huge gate and tall fences – something about Comanche moons — so I need to punch in the code (Double Bar Laughing Cow). Where’s the cow button?

“Read The New York Times on-line!” To keep non-subscribers and Republicans away, the Times wants a secret code, password, eyeball check and DNA sample. Same for my local on-line newspaper. Have you tried to read your credit card statement on your PC or whatever you use? It’s easier to find a Rush Limbaugh sponsor. My own credit company, House O’ Cards, was reluctant to open my file, explaining, “You still owe us for the Y2K virus screen.”

Speaking of credit cards, they used to have just a long number and an expiration date. A few years ago they added another secret code: a four or five digit number. It is neatly written on the very same card. So what’s the point? That’s rather like hanging the key next to the door. Do you work in a place that has a keypad by the locked door? Before being allowed in, you have to punch in the correct code. Couldn’t you just wait till someone comes out and then you walk in?

One way to simplify my memorization was to use one word for everything, so I chose “password.” But I was told over the phone by Billy Bob, who spoke with a Nepalese accent, those were not enough letters; I must have at least one numeral and, besides, that word had already been taken. So now I have Passswurd8, puusswired32 and drowssap (backwards, hehehe).

There are so many different secret words that I had to make this list. Besides the aforementioned sites and firms I have been issued codes for a MUD (either Municipal Utility District or Mothers Ugainst Dating), my computer router, my PC anti-virus screen, the cable account, my Quickens checkbook, automatic electric bill payment and the Philosophical Society of Texas (don’t ask). Oh, I forgot: what’s your secret number to fetch the recorded phone messages from your home phone, office phone and cell? Can I borrow them?

Jack Paar, the late-night TV host, once said he got a secret Swiss bank account. The bank official told Paar, “On this slip of paper is your secret account code. Memorize it, then burn this paper and scatter the ashes in the wind off a bridge.” Paar stuck the paper in his pocket, ran to the nearest bridge, got out a match and read his secret code: “9”.

It seems odd that we need all these various codes, keys and passwords to protect our accounts and records from hacking when a 23-year-old Army private can give 300,000 secret government records to WikiLeaks. We taxpayers spent Lord knows how much to safeguard all those secrets to prevent exactly what happened. I want a refund. We must wonder how many security risks have access to the CIA’s ode-Cay oom-Ray. How is it that some 16-year-old in Frankfurt can hack into the Fort Knox when I can’t even open my own recorded cell phone messages? How many times have you been asked, over the phone, for the last four digits of your Social Security number? By the time you’re eligible for Social Security, you can’t remember them.

 

Ashby is hacked at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

ANA Airline’s Lounge takes you away

March 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

Moist towel-ette?  Check.

Complimentary Internet?  Check.

Set to a pallet of black, gray and white, the ANA International Lounge in Japan’s Narita airport is a calm respite from the hustle and bustle of international travel.

 

Unlike other lounges, when you enter the ANA lounge, calming spa-type music subtly sets the relaxation tone.  The lounge is created with low walls similar to upscale office cubes.  The walls create “pods” of six to eight chairs and plush couches.  From this vantage point, you can head to the bar, or simply sit and watch the airplanes prepare for take off.

The food takes center stage here.  H Texas arrived at 8:00am on Thanksgiving Day.  Despite the time, there were several choices of wine and local beer on tap.  Egg salad sandwiches, rice puffs, rice cakes, and several sweets were available along with Pumpkin and Miso soup.

Other amenities include: International money changing machine, payphone, computers, concierge, and duty free shopping.   This lounge helps make International travel a breeze.

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16th Annual San Luis Salute

March 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Blogs

 

More than $100,000 was raised for The University of Texas Medical Branch’s new Jennie Sealy Hospital. Once completed in 2016, this $438 million hospital will be among the leading inpatient facilities in all of academic medicine, with 310 patient rooms, 20 state-of-the-art operating suites and a 28-room day surgery center.    Paige Fertitta, Tilman Fertitta, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly

More than 1,200 guests danced and dined at the South Beach-themed ball. When the fuchsia curtain rose, the gala guests were wowed at the transformation of the ballroom designed by Richard Flowers and Kirksey Gregg of The Events Company. The South Beach themed gala featured spectacle and pageantry, music, burlesque, surprise acts, a swimsuit fashion show, lights and plenty of glamorous action.

Stacy Soriero, Kara Howes, Tiffany Wong

Following a procession of notables from business, politics, medicine and Mardi Gras royalty, the night was packed with all-star entertainment, from performances by Jessie’s Girls and the Philidelphia Mummers to Las Vegas showgirls. A special performance by the former lead singer of the Go-Go’s, Belinda Carlisle, surprised guests and kept the dancing going until 1:30 a.m.

PHOTO CREDIT:    Michelle Watson

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OPERA IN THREE AXE

March 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

Our opera, “Entrare d’Pagliaccio” (“Send in the Clowns”), opens in the small Italian village of Constanto d’Beta where the rivals to become Il Duce square off for their daily arguments. The moderator, Fatso Rushbo, begins with the poignant lament, “Doofuss GOPO Canadito” that asks the musical question, “D’besti politico inna da parti? Dios Damanti!” which roughly translates as, “These are our best candidates for leader? Gee whiz!”

One office-seeker, Count Mitti Romo, sings his aria, “Mafioso Getta No Respecta” (“Corporations are people, too.”) which usually receives a standing ovation from the private boxes while those in the cheap seats throw fish heads at Romo. The moderator turns to another candidate, Dr. Ronaldo Paullini, who is considered a dark horse (listed in the program as “equine hopelessa”). Paullini takes a careful look at Romo and sings the hilarious “Medico Moribundo.” (“As a doctor, I pronounce your campaign DOA.”) Romo, of course, takes offense and replies with the well-known, if not vicious, “Fido inna d’Calaboosi.” (“I’ll put you in my car’s rooftop cage.”)

As the two adversaries almost come to blows, arriving in a hale of tossed rice and wedding bouquets is the white-haired southerner, Nintendo Blanco. Known as a fearless debater, if not a serial adulterer, Blanco takes center stage to offer the other candidates some advice in “Mama Media” which contains these lines, loosely translated:

“When your campaign’s a rotten mess/when money’s gone/you’re all alone/you can’t go wrong/just blame the press.”

Fatso Rushbo asks Blanco why he is not spending more money on his campaign, to which Blanco wails the unforgettable “Alimoni Non Pre-nupto.” Blanco then turns on Romo and sings, “Why did you say I’m a heretic and should be burned at the stake?” Romo replies with the arrogant, “Inferno Fantastico.” (“I like to fire people.”) Romo adds, “Sposo Macchina. (“You’ve had more wives than my wife has Cadillacs.”) As the curtain goes down on Act I, Paullini and Blanco sing the daunting duet, “Ennui Tutti-frutti,” that contains the memorable line, “Dominos wid d’pepperoni via Lamborghini.” (“Deliverers smile arrogantly as they make their rounds in an expensive sports car. It’s the Preening Tour of Pizza.”) At this point even those in the private boxes are throwing fish heads at the stage.

ACT II — The second act opens with the entrance of yet another job-seeker, Don Santore. With his beautiful tenor voice, he stands flatfooted, arms folded across his chest, and defiantly sings, “Non Scuola, Non Governo, Non controle d’bambinos!!” He segues into his beautiful “Medieval Melodi,” which ends with, “A woman’s place is in the convent.” Santore goes on to tell everyone that he will be chosen the new Il Duce because he is against all public endeavors, especially streets, parks, schools and fire departments, causing Romo to ask, “Don’t you like to fire people?” (“Zippo De Do Da?”)

There is a sound at the door and all turn to see the entrance of Ricardo Perri from the Solo Estella Stato. He bursts into song with, “Recuerdo Ooopso.” (“I remembered! It’s the Department of….of….of…”) Perri wanders off stage sadly shaking his head. Fatso Rushbo turns to the others and asks, “Eh?” (“Did that guy really get elected governor of Solo Estella Stato?”)

This is when Nintendo Blanco sings the defiant aria, “Non Influenza Per Banconote.” (“I Am Not a Lobbyist.”) His denial brings a chorus of laughter from the others who reply with the saucy, “Quack, Quack, Quack” (“If you look like a lobbyist, walk like a lobbyist and talk like a lobbyist, you’re probably a lobbyist.”) Romo adds an additional insult: “Betcha Buncha Moneta?” (“You want to bet 10,000 lira on that?”)

Blanco steps forward to sing, “How often do we have to hear ‘the Gingrich who stole Christmas?’ It’s been beaten to death.” Fatso Rushbo replies, “As often as we have to hear more dumb jokes about Eye of Newt.” (“Stupido Ad Nauseum”) When Dr. Paullini chides Romo for making so much money in a questionable manner, (“Una Percenta Dilemma”). Count Romo fires back with the delightful jig, “Danza d’Forma 1040” (also called “When IRS Eyes Are Smiling”) that contains the raunchy: “The Bain of my existence/ maintains my bare subsistence/loopholes keep me rich for sure/so I don’t fret about the poor.” The curtain falls as Blanco wails his famous, if repetitious, “Paparazzi d’scumbaggio.” (“The media are all lying commies except for Fox, which is fair for the unbalanced.”)

ACT III — The final act opens in the cloistered offices of the evil Don Wiggi Trumppo, king-maker, power broker and egomaniac. He is in sad spirits, singing the mournful, “Lamenta Bozo,” which goes, in part: “Bachman was the best man/Cain looked good as well/Chris won’t run/and Ron’s no fun/Newt’s poisoning the well.” Enter Don Romo who kneels and begs, “O, endorsi, presto chango.” He says the Don’s support would flip the race and put Romo in the lead. Trumppo replies with the hilarious, “Pinka Slippa.” (“You’re fired!”) And so it goes as one after another of the candidates comes begging for Trumppo’s support. After the last candidate leaves, the Don sings the sly, “Uno buono secondo Il Duce.” (“Maybe one of them could be my vice president.”)

In comes the current Il Duce, Baracci O’Bama, singing the naughty, “Status Quo Perfecto.” (“This is no time for change.”) Don Trumppo scoffs with, “You’re full of promises and flowery speeches.” (“Bovine Poopinni”) O’Bama replies with the acidic, “Bigatti Contrario Negro” (“You bigot. Because I’m a black Irish-Italian Catholic Muslim you’re playing the race card.”) Don Trumppo argues that the economy is terrible, gas is 400 lira a liter, occupi Wall Strada is in its eighth month and, finally, “Unemploi essa d’pits.” O’Bama responds with his enchanting “Scaldare Globale.” (“It’s because of global warming.”) As the curtain drops, angry voters storm the stage singing the rousing March of the Tea Party: “Ditzo Eskimo.” (“Bring Back Sarah Palin.”)

 

Ashby sings at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

Capital One Bank Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park

March 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Events

Capital One Bank Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park

Announces 2012 Featured Artist

HOUSTON (February 29, 2012) – The Bayou City Art Festival announces international artist Tanya Doskova as the Featured Artist for the 41st Annual Capital One Bank Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park, which takes place March 23 – 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The featured artwork for the 41st Annual Capital One Bank Bayou City Art Festival is Doskova’s Spanish themed, La Corrida. “This piece is dedicated to young Picasso. He loved dressing up and playing the Matador.  In my painting he is the bull and bullfighter. Fighting himself, he ‘grabbed the bull by the horns’ when still a child,” explains Doskova.

Recently, Doskova was recognized with an Award of Excellence in the Communication Arts Illustration Annual Competition giving her worldwide recognition and exposure. To view samples of her artwork or to learn more about her, visit www.tanyadoskova.com.

The festival is located in Houston’s beautiful Memorial Park located at South Picnic Lane. There is no public parking in Memorial Park; however, the festival provides a free, convenient shuttle service from 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Northwest Mall located at the 610 North Loop at 18th Street and shuttle service located at the Downtown Theatre District parking lot from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday only. Parking at the Northwest Mall is free and parking at the Downtown Theatre District parking lot will be at their standard rate. For preferred shuttle transportation, pick up an EZ Rider Pass at any Capital One Bank branch starting March 12, 2012 to get preferred shuttle service from the Northwest Mall location.

Ticket Information:  Tickets available online at www.bayoucityartfestival.com  or at the gate day of.  Ticket prices are $12 for adults and children 12 and under are free.

Festival sponsors include KTRK-TV ABC 13, Houston Area Cadillac Dealerships,
Culture Map, Green Mountain Energy, Apache Corporation, Houston Chronicle, New York and
Texas Monthly.