Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Educating Noeha Part 3

The journey continues ...

I had to do my F.I. Thursday on Friday since Noeha and Tara both had dates. How mean of them to put their dating lives before our F.I. Thursday night! Oh, I had a date too. :)

For F.I. Friday we tried two new places: Top Cat and Fuse.

Top Cat
5444 Lemmon Ave
Dallas, TX 75209
Phone: 214-522-1750

No, this is not the kind of place Noeha will be having power lunches with the Ritz crowd. But, I was curious to try it since I had tried the owner's upscale place, The Catalina Room. Top Cat reminds me of every place my family and I would stop at coming home from the beach (when we lived in Alabama). Its a fish fry. Your meal will come in a plastic basket with one piece of wax paper at the bottom.

Galina and Noeha @ Top Cat

Think 50's Diner. Very low maintenance, order at the counter and take up roost in one of the high bar stools at one of the few high round tables. The crowd here is scruffy; they are definitely not here to impress you nor will they be impressed by you. They are here for one thing, inexpensive fried seafood.

If you saw the Will and Grace episode when Karen takes Grace to 'Taco Time' to watch Joan Collins stuff greasy tacos into that Kabuki mask of a face, then you have seen Top Cat.

The Drink
Who the hell are you coming up in here and trying to order a diet Coke? Or at least that is what the girl looked like she was saying when she smiled at me after I asked for one. Top Cat has one diet drink, Diet Dr. Pepper, gross. All the other options are fully sugared.

The Plate
I love fried fish, its a product of being raised partially in the South. Top Cat has fried seafood and that is about all they have. So pick your item of fry: Catfish, Oysters, Shrimp, Frog Legs, etc. They come in sizes: 1-piece basket, 2-piece basket and so on. All of the baskets will come with hush puppies and fries. We chose the 2-piece Catfish Basket. Yum eeee! Top Cat does catfish in a modified southern style; it is cornmeal coated and fried. I say modified southern since in order to be truly southern, they would have to fry everything in bacon grease, which they didn't.

The fries were not anything special and the hushpuppies were a little on the soft side. I like my hushpuppies crunchy but that is a personal choice.

Order at the counter, pickup at the counter. Service is as good as you want it to be :)

Everything is under $10, except the family sized baskets.

Lemmon Ave, closer to Inwood. Its next to the big ass pawn shop. Irony :)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Dostoevsky Foreshadowing

The Machinist

I like movies that change your opinion of an actor, director, writer, etc. Take, for example, Christian Bale. He is a good looking man in my opinion, so I've never complained about having to look at him for 2 hours. As an actor, fairly good; I liked him in Batman Begins and Equilibrium but these were not award winning performances. After seeing this movie, I had to bump him up a category.

Bale, at 185 pounds was looking buff in Equilibrium(2002) and again for Batman Begins(2005) but in between he went down to 120 pounds for The Machinist(2004). 65 pounds?? Sheesh, I barely recognized his bony, hollow face. I think that amount of weight loss is record for a particular role. Who is he trying to be, Robert De Niro?

Before you rent this one, be aware that it is a very dark film. Netflix labels it as a 'thriller' but I'm going to put it in the psychological suspense category. It has a very Hitchcock-esque feeling, even the soundtrack mimics Hitchcock with a side of creepy 1950's sci-fi sound.

What happens when you do something so wrong that you cannot process the guilt? Thats easy, its kinda like Fight Club, you create an alter ego, fabricate a different version of reality, then convince yourself that the alter ego and new version of reality are correct. But what happens when even this starts to wear thin and the guilt still rears it ugly, persistent head? Again, this is easy, the line between reality and insanity start to blur; you start to question who you are and what is real.

Trevor (Bale) is in this situation. The movie opens with Trevor disposing of a body rolled up in a rug. You are not given the identity of the body until later but remember the line between real and fabricated is a little blurry; keep an open mind. In the last 15 minutes you will be whacked over the head with the truth and you will absolutely not see it coming. In the sytle of Memento, the film does an excellent job of suspension of disbelief only to pull the rug out from under you in the end. Once you recover you will be able to retrofit the details from the first 90 minutes and everything will make sense.

This film is thick with reference and symbolism as a way to foreshadow. As soon as I saw Trevor reading the book, The Idiot by Dostoevsky, I knew what was in store. The Idiot is about an honest, straight-forward man who is constantly battling the corruption and deception of others; the ending of the book is completely unexpected, much like the ending of this movie. Later in The Machinist, we see a sign titled Crime and Punishment, another Dostoevsky book, this one is about a guilty man trying to convince himself of his innocence. More brilliant foreshadowing. It gives you a feeling for the development of Trevor's psyche; from believing that he is innocent to knowing he isn't but still trying to convince himself otherwise.

IHMO, this is Bale's best work. I'm sure the short jaunt into anorexia helped with the pained, tortured expressions but there is one scene with him evaluating himself in the bathroom mirror that I can still recall in chilling, frame-by-frame detail.


Post 222

In honor of my 222nd post, I found a pic of Room 222's cast. Does anyone remember these guys? I think they even before my time :)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mom Update 2

Snippet from this past Friday morning.

Mom: I think I'm ready to check out of the hospital today.

Doc: No, you need to be here one more day for observation.

Mom: I completely respect your opinion.

My mom checked out of the hospital Friday morning.

Do you see who runs this show? :)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Rat Pack

The Catalina Room

4218 Lemmon Ave
Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: 214-526-5411

The Catalina Room now occupies the heavily renovated space formerly known as Lemmon Wok. It took the owner about a year to complete the remodel to his liking but it was worth the wait. I know a few people who are eternally grateful that Lemmon Wok is now gone.

Mark's mom, Terri & Mark @ Catalina

You expect Frank, Dean and Sammy to greet you at the door with a mouthful of clever one-liners and a battery of old classic tunes. This doesn't happen but the very lovely blonde in a tight black skirt and jacket does give you a complimentary glass of Rose Champagne. Its a bottomless glass that will be refilled throughout the evening. Right-o, nice start.

The live jazz band from the bar area propels you back to the 40's, as does the highback booth seating that occupies the perimeter of the dining room.

Catalina has become the date place for gays and lesbians. Each time I go I see exuberance of newly formed couples as they get their romantic evening off to a good start.

On weekdays the Catalina is a great conversation dinner spot. On the weekends, you are going to need to scream through an amplifier for the mere chance of being heard.

The Plate
Steakhouse menu with seafood options.

Seafood Gumbo: I'm a gumbo snob, its a product of having parents who lived in New Orleans for many years. Catalina's rendition stacks up nicely. Roux-based and silky, it imparts a French Quarter memory without the excessive heat that Cajun hands can sometimes add. Bits of onion, carrot and bell pepper and shrimp that have obviously been on a body building program; they were so big that 3 of them filled the bottom of the shallow bowl. Nice size offering too, this and salad would have sufficed as a meal.

Caesar Salad: Good, not stellar but still more than acceptable. Crisp lettuce, garlic crouton and a very mild (like forgot the anchovy kinda mild) dressing made for delicious start.

Fried Fish: The owner of Catalina is also the owner of Top Cat, the fish fry place further up Lemmon Ave. I had to try the fried fish just to satisfy my curiosity since I havent been to Top Cat ... yet. The flavor is fantastic! Crunchy but greaseless and the batter was so flavorful that you did not need the accomanying tartar sauce to make the fish pop. They cut the filet into four long strips attached at the tail making a kinda flower presentation. Very novel look but they left a few bones in the "boneless" offering.

Grilled Tuna: Touch my grilled tuna and I will hurt you with my fork. This is by far the best dish I've tried here. The grilled tuna comes with a sweet and garlicy soy-based dipping sauce. You will not need the dipping sauce because the tuna has been grillled over a mesquite plank and is very flavorful on it own. Of course, I got my tuna rare, so it was moist and had the consistency of filet mignon.

Kahlua Pound Cake: I normally don't do dessert but I tried someone else's order of this( no calories eating off of someone else's plate you see). OMG, this is fantastic; moist, chocolate density with just the right hint of Kahlua.

Overall I like the service here but be warned, on weekends, they are outrageously slow and prone to error. I know that the owner has been cross-training employees from his other restaurant, Top Cat, but I think they might need more schooling on how to operate in peak hours.

For the type of venue, everything is very reasonable; soups are $5, apps & salads are all under $10 and entrees are $10-20.

On Lemmon between Wycliff and the Tollway, which is conveniently located near the Cedar Springs strip should you decide to head out to the clubs post-dinner. Catalina is valet parking only.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mom Update

Everything went well today, mom has a new C3 through C7.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Today is my mom's birthday, she is 60 39!
(Really mom, its getting harder for me to pull off 19 :)

Tomorrow my mom is going to get an interesting present, a new neck. She has been in a neck brace for a year now due to a degenerative spine disorder. She goes in for surgery tomorrow. I'm a little bit worried. Not for the surgery, since that will only take an hour and the surgeon does these procedures daily, but rather for the recovery.

Mom is notoriously stubborn and a "stay in bed for 2 weeks" recovery order from the doc is not likely to stick. Witness the colon surgery of 10 years ago. She was supposed to stay in bed for 2 weeks. When I called her the day following I heard the distinct clatter of dishes in the background.

'Mom, what are you doing?'

'Nothing, just tidying up in the kitchen.'

'I'm sorry but weren't you supposed to be in bed for 2 weeks?'

'Oh shit, I'm gonna have to let you go, your father is pulling into the driveway!'

I can hear the shuffle of bedroom slipper-clad feet scooting across the hardwooods, furiously trying to get back to bedroom before my dad discovers she has decided to clean the kitchen rather than stay in bed the day after major surgery.

'You are SO in trouble!'

'I'm hanging up now.'

Click, dial tone.

It might be a little different this time since my dad is retired and at home :)

Happy Birthday Mom, and buena suerte!

Sunday, January 22, 2006



This F.I.T. I was kind of surprised when I got on the scale, 7 down and 4 to go. I thought for sure that the Mushroom Port Lasagne and 4 glasses of wine would have prevented any weight loss from the prior week.

This F.I.T. was low key. Tara came over for an ad-lib meal salad and wine. The Mark joined us when he got home. Noeha had a date so she was MIA.


The second week is over so the drop date was Friday. I threw Artificial Intelligence under the bus; I didn't think the course was that well-organized plus I doubt the information is going to be valuable for my industry. (although it is very cool, conceptually)

Which leaves me with

  • Biostat

  • Immunobiology

  • Spanish

  • The Spanish course is cool, its mostly done over the internet. You watch some videos on the net, listen to some CDs that come with the book, do some homework in the workbook and Fax it to the prof. She calls 3 times during the semester for oral exams. I only have to go to Richland's campus 3 times to take written exams (and those times are left to the student). I wish all of my courses were like this!


    I downloaded 1200 songs in 2005 and never listened to or burned any of them until January. I know, bad Jim! But I'm half way through all of them and this one from Depeche Mode is my favorite. I love this CD! I can't believe how long DM has been around and this is seriously their best CD to date. Some of the tracks have an old school, high-energy DM sound like A Pain That I'm Used To and John, The Revelator. But the remainder of the CD shows that DM has mastered a new sound that lies somwhere between New Order and Portishead; funky and downtempo, sometimes just plain eery.

    The CD art bothers me. What is that thing anyway? Its like some Blair Witch feather voodoo doll. Creepy.

    Other good ones were Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism, Afro Celt Sound System: Seed, Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better and The Strokes: First Impressions Of Earth.


    The DNA Knot project is off and running. I'm still coming up to speed on the science behind what I will be doing. Plus I am writing papers for my boss about the process of software engineering (since he is a novice in that area). Its good experience to try to explain information that is systemic (to me) to someone else who has no background. I'll try to explain the science here once I figure it out.

    The Plate
    New restaurant, The Catalina Room, to tell you about later. Oh, and a new home-grown dish too.


    Right, I'm glad I delayed writing about this since now one of the 3, Roundup Guy, has self-destructed. Now there is just Home Depot Guy and 4 Years Ago Guy. More on these later, I have a pressing date with 4 chapters of statistics.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006


    There were many things to celebrate in January. Noeha - new gig at the Ritz. Alana - nailed her real estate test and is now an agent. Mark - finished his company direction meeting after 4 months of 14 hour days spent planning. Lauren - admission to law school. Galina - a birthday and still looking like a model after two children. Tara - finished her first year of grad school with a kickass 3.9 GPA. Paul - survived his week long stint in South Carolina. Me - only 11 months of school to go!

    So we had a January celebration dinner Saturday. Not like we need a excuse to do these but sometimes it helps with nailing everyone down in one place at one time :)

    Tara's side, Mark, Lilia, Noeha, and Galina's back @ Jim's

    I made THE mushroom port lasagne, it has become my signature dish. To date this has produced 4 marriage proposals and many more squeals of delight. It takes 3 days to make but it is worth the effort. There is no way I will type up the 6 pages of ingredients and directions but if you are interested check out the source, Field Of Greens .

    Galina, Lauren and Tara's other side @ Jim's

    Everyone brought something for dinner: Goat cheese, brie, carmelized onion and mushroom pizza (Tara). Antipasti salad with provolone, salami, garbanzos and tomato in a red wine vinaigrette.(Noeha). Canolis(Lauren & Paul). It was all incredibly good and went well with the wines from Galina, Mark and Lauren.

    Mark, Lilia, Noeha and Paul @ Jim's

    This picture is interesting because we have Lilia and Noeha together in the middle. Both share much in common: they are both young, attractive, intelligent, sweet-natured, fun-loving ambitious women. They also share one other thing in common - the same ex-husband. Yep, and they have become friends. Their children consider each other family. If I were the ex-husband, I would be feeling really small and very self-conscious right about now.

    Pity :)

    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    Educating Noeha Part 2

    Following Perry's we scooted over to the new restaurant in the Crescent, Nobu. Yes, its the same Nobu that De Niro et. al. started in NYC years ago. However, Nobu in Dallas does not have the same punch, it has name and buzz but its been dumbed down in many ways.

    400 Crescent Court
    Dallas, TX 75201
    Phone: 214-252-7000

    The Atmosphere
    Nobu is definitely more comtemporary than Perry's, having a softened concrete loft feeling. Other than the backlit sake magnum lined shelves that cover every wall, the interior is surprisingly bland. I suppose I was expecting something to pop or be dramatic like NYC but that didn't happen. Im still laughing a little at the wood grain they selected and those 'branches' that delineate bar from dining area (see photo below), they looked prefabricated and frankly, lame.

    The crowd at Nobu is surprisingly relaxed and downtempo, looking mainly like business travelers staying at the Crescent Hotel. It was a mixed crowd of over-dressed, jeans-n-flips, old, young and everything in between. However, something tells me this place turns very young and very new money come Friday night.

    The Drink
    The good news. This is where Nobu racks up a lot of points with me, cocktails. Awesome selections. Matsuhisa Martini, a light but delicious blend of vodka, sake, ginger and cucumber. Something interesting happens when you add sake to vodka, the alcohol burn is eliminated and the drink becomes dangerously smooth. Pear Martini, orange vodka, pear liqueur and orange juice. Also delicious, albeit a bit sweet for my taste. Before you decide to tie one on with these beverages, keep in mind they are $14 each.

    The Plate
    Again with the expectations. I was expecting outrageously good food with exotic ingredients and dramatic presentation. Not happening. And I had mixed reactions to the offerings. We only tried appetizers so our view was quite limited. Spicy Tuna Roll, kick ass. This was the best spicy tuna ever, and I have had hundreds. I'm not sure what they used to give the tuna heat, maybe some chipotle but it really stood out and gained applause from all who tried. Special Roll, not so special, still good but it was an annoyingly bland combination of shrimp, crab, avocado and cucumber. Japanese Eggplant Tempura, yum! Eggplant is notoriously difficult to prepare in tempura but this one was silky firm and the tempura batter was crisp and greasesless. Sweet Potato Tempura, gross, this was horrible. The sweet potato was hard and unlike the eggplant tempura, the batter was soft and greasy. Boo. Hiss.

    The regular dinner menu looked intriguing and creative but I will wait to try the full sized meals, I think the staff needs some more time to work out the kinks. One dish, the black cod in blonde miso, will get me into the dining room at some point.

    Good, not outstanding but still good. Our server was all of 21 but she was well versed on all of the drink and food options. She made recommendations without hestation, some of which were right on, others crap. She was polite and checked on us from afar about every 10 minutes.

    Yeah, better get your bonus money together for this night. For sit down dinner with cocktails, soup, apps, entree, dessert and wine you can expect over $200 a person. I saw the bill for one table of four - $985. You've got to be kidding me, thats a mortgage payment!

    My suggestion, stop by for drinks and maybe have one or two small plates. Even then you should be prepared for $50 a person.

    Nobu is in the Crescent, the building is owned by 'old money' Dallas. As you might expect it is expensive in every respect, including parking. My suggestion, park somewhere else(like at the Quadrangle) and walk over. Once inside the Crescent, this is a good place to window shop and people watch.

    Galina, Noeha and Tara @ Nobu

    Monday, January 16, 2006

    Educating Noeha Part 1

    My friend Noeha has a new job, the Director of Sales and Marketing of the new Ritz Carlton in Dallas. Just one little challenge, she isn't terribly familiar with the uptown/downtown area that the hotel will service and her boss is already charging her with setting up power lunches in 'appropriate' venues.

    Last Thursday we decided to take her out and show her a few 'appropriate' venues.

    2911 Routh St
    Dallas, TX 75201
    Phone: 214-871-9991

    I hesitate to call Perry's a steakhouse since it serves more inventive dishes than steak and seafood, even though the menu has those items should you want them. It has an old-world, wood-paneled, dimly-lit study feel; sophisiticated yet entirely comfortable. Looking out over the sea of patrons I saw mainly well-dressed 30-50 somethings in the dining area and casually dressed 20-30 somethings in the bar area where we were. Minimal pretense and maximal enjoyment set the tone.

    The Plate
    Since we were visiting two places we opted for apps rather than full-sized plates.

    Tuna Tartar: I regret not taking a photo of this. Squeaky fresh tuna cut into small chunks and coated in a light wasabi sour cream sauce; separate hot Thai sauce that could be mixed in to your liking. Crunchy garlic sourdough toasts as a base. Vertical presentation of densely packed lettuce, avocado and tomato to accompany; the sides looked like they had been molded into a large cylinder before the presentation, very nice.

    Calamari: Woo! Thick cut toothy strips of calamari fried greaselessly and served with a smoky plum Thai sauce. Dee licious.

    Crab Cakes: All crab, in fact, I still don't know what was holding them together. Minimal spices and a tangy smooth Remoulade sauce on the side. Very good.

    I don't use this word often but flawless. Perry's is known for their service. You might have 4 different people tending to your table but they will be stalking silently and invisibly until you need something.

    Expensive, very. Perry's speaks to special occassions and power dinners. Drinks and apps are moderately priced and could substitute for a light dinner. Or you could just tell them you are the Director of Sales and Marketing for the new Ritz and have everything comped :)

    Perry's is a couple blocks north of the Crescent, definitely within walking distance. Perry's would be a good stop after visiting the galleries along the Cedar Springs strip. Valet parking is front and center on Routh or you can just park on the street a block further.

    Mark, Noeha and Galina @ Perry's

    Saturday, January 14, 2006


    F.I.T., its the acronym for my new get back into the swing routine. It stands for (cover your eyes, mom) Fuck It Thursday. I thought about borrowing ARC from my friend Tara, this would be the terribly efficient Ass Reduction Campaign, but that would not be appropriate for my situation and I think a few people would complain bitterly should I journey down that path. I could have borrowed Brother Nick's GARC, a derivative of ARC, which stands for Gut and Ass Reduction Campaign. Still not appropriate, I needed something to tie together multiple resoultions.

    So F.I.T., basically on every day but Thursday you eat 1600 calories in 4 400-calorie meals (one glass of wine count as a meal) On Thursday you eat and drink whatever you want. Naturally it follows that my going out and socializing will be on Thursdays. I picked Thusday because I don't have to be up until 9am on Friday :)

    Every day but Thursday there is 30 minutes of yoga and 1 hour of weight training. On Thursday there is no exercise but there is a weighing in before the eating and drinking begin. This week - 5 down, 6 more to go and I think the fat boy 501's circa 1985 can be safely tucked into the back of the closet again :)

    This F.I.T. I did some socializing with friends. We tried new places (for us) in uptown: Perrys and Nobu. More on those later (pics included) but today I have to kick ass since I'm having a January Celebration dinner party tonight. Don't ask where the 10 people are going to sit since my dining room table can only seat 4.

    Happy weekend everyone!

    Tuesday, January 10, 2006


    I usually don't make New Years resolutions, I tend to make them when I think they need to be made. Here are the ones that I 've already started or promise I will start, right after I finish procrastinating ;)

    • Drink less coffee. I know, right, good one Jim. I found myself up to about 12 cups a day last semester. I think this might be a bit much, even for me. Maybe this is somehow tied to the pains in my stomach?
    • Lose 11 pounds. Along with excessive coffee drinking, I was not eating well or regularly. Add a maybe I'll work out once a week exercise program and poof, you're a fatass! lol. 4 down, 7 more to go.
    • Be nicer to stupid people. OK, this one will be hard for me but I am trying. Usually these people are those that I encounter on a freeway or in a club.
    • Spanish on the transcript. Its been an eye-opener to look for jobs in my new industry. Many of them are internationally based positions, most of those are dealing with Latin America. Although they don't require Spanish, I can see now that opportunities will be greater for those that have Spanish on record. I can speak Spanish, somewhat, but its a flavor that is popular in Mexico and Cuba.
    • More socializing. Do you hear that, people that complained about last year? This starts this Thursday!
    • Cut bad dates off quickly. Like immediately. You can verify this is in process by talking to The Extrovert :)
    • Visits to Austin. Austin is looking like the number 1 or 2 city for me, so I'm making plans to explore it in depth.
    • Fixup the townhome by June. I may not sell it considering what is happening in my area but at least I will be prepared. There is also a possibility that a developer may come in and buy this property at 200-250K a unit, if that becomes more tangible I will definitely hold. My handyman came over today and we banged out 4 of the 30 items on the fixup list.
    • Drink more red wine. My BP went up over last year, not bad but still higher. My doc recommends red wine (1-2 glasses) over vodka as an effort to control the upward trend. Okie dokie, since its medicinal and all!

    So there, I post these here, in public form, so that you, my kind and compassionate friends, may hold these over my head later :)

    Monday, January 09, 2006


    Suzy. I've known Suzy since I was single digits and our families lived next door to each other in Mobile, Alabama. Gosh, that was like over 20 years ago (way over, right Suzy? :) She lived in Sao Paulo and was my virtual guide when I went to Brazil last year.

    Suzy just had her first child last year and shes started a blog about motherhood and her son, Lon. This kid is cute, really cute.

    Sleepless in Babyland

    Sunday, January 08, 2006

    Shut Up, I Know

    Yeah, I know I've been slacking in the blog dept, consider it a new trend for 2006 :) One of the things I'm doing this year is spending less time on the internet: blogging, chatting and the purely evil activity, shopping.

    Hello, my name is Jim and I have an Ebay problem.

    HI JIM!

    Anyway, lots going on. School starts tomorrow, new projects, new resolutions, new boys.

    I'll catch up soon :)

    Thursday, January 05, 2006

    Constructing Santa

    Its my dad's birthday today so it seems appropriate to talk a little about him. He loves Christmas. He has Christmas socks, musical ones, they play Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer when you press on Rudolph's nose. The Christmas decorations stay up until the day after his birthday.

    For three years he has dressed up as Santa much to the delight of my two nieces. This year was the first year that my sister and I were able to see the construction of Santa. I haven't laughed so much in a long time. Now we understand why we used to hear our parents laughing their asses off in the basement. I think the three Jacks, straight up, definitely help the process.

    Happy Birthday Dad!

    Santa looking a little Dolly Pardon-ish

    Hang Loose Santa and Mom

    Ride That Wooden Pony Santa, Ride It!

    Brooklyn Santa and Mom

    Santa Delivers

    Tuesday, January 03, 2006


    Here are some random shots I took from my day in downtown Raleigh (thanks again Stephanie for the tour!). Downtown is interesting in that mostly it does not feel like a downtown; everything seems more spread out and midrise, heavily red brick laden, old and new juxtapose on every corner. It was entirely pedestrian friendly and didnt take much time to walk from end to end.

    I liked Raleigh. Its very green, even in winter, there seemed to be a good but small base of culture and the sampling of food I had was incredible. Homes near the downtown area have character and seem to be about the same prices as Dallas. However, I think it would be a one or two year place for me, its just too small, and I'd probably exhaust it quickly then move on.

    Run It

    I won't get into why I didn't go on my New Years Eve date or why I didn't go to Noeha's for a champagne toast. I won't even go into why I spent the night watching the top 100 video countdown on BET, but that's how I spent my night :)

    It was fun, actually. I used to really be into soul and R&B in high school, that is, until I got into punk rock. It was nice getting to know the new kids in that market, some are really good.

    Chris Brown is one of the newbies, he is 16, SIX freakin' TEEN, sheesh. He's got a great voice, even if you don't like the style of music. I won't compare him to Michael Jackson like everyone else has, he's different than MJ, in a good way. Funny that he is from random town Virginia, population 2000.

    He comes on after Julez Santana in the video. I liked the nod to Romeo Void and the dancing, if I tried that I would be in traction, lol.

    I think I might be going through a new R&B phase :)

    Sunday, January 01, 2006

    More Savannah

    Savannah owes its 1800's look to two amazing entities: HPG, The Historic Preservation Group and SCAD. The Historic Preservation Group, a group of fastidious Savannah residents, oversee all architectural renovations in the inner park area, making sure that each structure is true to the era in which it was built. When you buy a home in the inner park district the good people of the Preservation Group will monitor your renovations; they come out and scrape the paint down to its original colors, then enforce those colors. They approve light fixtures, windows, mailboxes, door hardware and even stepping stones. When moldings are to be repaired, they specify how it should look and of what materials the replacements can be made. They seriously keep the look and feel cohesive and true to the era.

    The other entity is SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design. This is probably the largest art college I've seen. SCAD dominates the inner park area, its campus sprawls out over dozens of historic buildings, most of which SCAD has purchased and refurbished. I believe SCAD has single handedly saved over 70 buildings in the inner park area. Thanks to the student body of SCAD, the inner park district, while elegant and stately, also has the youth and vibrancy of its more modern counterparts.

    Telfair Legacy
    One of the most interesting families of Savannah was the Telfair family. Edward Telfair was the governor of Georgia in the early 1800's. Just before the 1820 fire that devistated half of the city he completed the Telfair Mansion which he gave to his son Alexander. Later, in the 1860's, the end of the Telfair line, Mary, who never married nor had children, left the Telfair Mansion to the city of Savannah, along with most of the Telfair fortune. Today the Telfair Mansion is the Telfair Museum of Art, the oldest art museum in the South.

    As you walk the city of Savannah you will see buildings all over sporting the Telfair name, this is a family who has survived in one form or another in heart of Savannah for 200 years, and will probably be around for eternity.

    In March of 2006 the Telfair Legacy will rise again with the opening of the Jepson Performing Arts Center, 64,000 square feet of performing arts, education and display space.