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

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tie Dye

Wasnt tie dye from the 60's? How come we all still like it and I still find it in high dollar clothes in department stores? I don't know, maybe there is a resurgence of fascination with the era and the sentiment it expressed.

Whatever the reason it manifested itself last weekend in the form of a tie dye party. One of my new friends, who conveniently lives around the corner, has an annual tie dye party, a close circle of 125 people all bring their white cotton items and spend the afternoon with pot luck, beer and a variety of dyes creating, well, art.

I had to duck in and out of the party to take care of work stuff but I managed to turn an old T-shirt and an older Banana Republic dress shirt into something else.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Mom Blogs

First came the upconverting HD DVD players, then the flat screen TVs and now, my parents the technowizards of the retirement set, are blogging. Its only a matter of time before my dad gets a smart phone and starts trading stocks on the golf course! :)

Mom's Jewelry Blog

Sunday, January 18, 2009


If you've been looking for the perfect indie film that is both interesting and feel good, a comedy with a romantic spin and only a time commitment of 85 minutes. Look no further.

The themes in this film are love, mathematics, the illusion of control overlaying the inevitable reality of chaos. All of which are wrapped up in a clever script, good flow and dead-pan dark comedy.

Ryan Reynolds scorches as the efficiency expert who realizes that lists and careful planning are not a panacea. And really, they create a narrow, unaccomodating structure from he must escape as he learns surprising details surrounding his marriage and friends. I'd have never thought of Reynolds as a leading man, having only ever seen him make a brief appearance in an X-Files episode cicra 1995, but he firmly holds this underrated Indie together. I'll look forward to seeing more him in the future.

Chaos Theory

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Little Israel In Texas

Today The Ladies and I went to try a new restaurant. I've been wanting to try this place since I moved to Houston. There are many Kosher restaurants here, if only because the Jewish community is so large, but, to my knowledge there is only one Kosher (Dairy) restaurant run by Israeli's. Its called Saba.

I'll eat almost anything but The Ladies both have specific tastes. Luckily Saba's menu had something that appealed to everyone: Shakshuka, Hummous, (your mom's) Egg Salad, Bourekas, and the incredibly addictive מלאווח‎ (Malawach) Pizza! If you have never had Malawach Pizza, you need to find the closest Kosher Dairy restaurant run by Israeli's and try it. Malawach Pizza is like a 100 layers of what I would consider phyllo dough, fried, then topped with cheese and spices (and probably other things but we opted for cheese).

Having been a complete Shakshuka (egg dish with spicy tomato, onion, pepper sauce) nut while I toured Tel Aviv, Be'er Sheva and Jerusalem, I'm clearly a self-appointed expert. I've tried it in a couple of places back in the States, even went so far as to make it myself. Good, but Saba's is better, more reminiscent of the dish I had all over Israel.

Hummous is thick and creamy, light on the garlic, heavy on the tahini. Pita are apparently hand made and fresh. Of course, all plates come with the obligatory Israeli salad of chopped cucumbers and tomatoes ( lemon juice and olive oil are at the table).

I found the service to be friendly, efficient and very comfortable. The atmosphere, well, its casual - very casual. Saba's is located in a non-descript stip mall south of a very dingy part of Fondren. I took pictures of the outside but I wont post them since it does nothing for the experience of the wonderful food on the inside.

Saba's was moderately busy on a Sunday afternoon, a steady stream of people came in for a noon-time sit down meal or ordered Malawach to go. Note that you will hear almost exclusively Hebrew conservations from the patrons here, however English comes easily for those manning the counter.

Lunch for 3 with enough to take away came to under $30, which we found more than reasonable.

We all loved this place and it might become a Sunday ritual.

Saba's Kosher Kitchen
9704 Fondren Road
Houston, TX 77096

(note: they are closed from Fri 3p to Sun 9a for Sabbath)

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Family Update

I had an email from my cousin last night, everyone is Israel is fine. Ironcially one cousin gave birth right before the fighting started, another during. Middle cousin was actually delivering when a rocket hit a high school behind the hospital. I guess thats one way to speed the delivery raipdly along. Cousin Marnina wrapped up her newborn and headed out to another city. I guess youngest cousin is still expecting, still. Strangely youngest cousin may the safest of all, living in the West Bank. I never thought I write safe and West Bank together in one sentence.


Monday, January 05, 2009


Done. Kind of done. I keep adding more red if only to tone down the orange. Occassionally I add a brown or black streak. I doubt I'll truly ever be "done".

A lot of people have seen this in person and they always have questions. Here is my spin.

This is my abstract impression of Jerusalem after my trip to Israel.

It was a very emotional experience being inside the walls of the old city. Its overload in every respect, not to mention this is the birthplace of the three big religions. Because it was more emotional I went with red and orange as the dominant colors since those are most emotional to me.

The big red circle is G-d. I was going to put the Hebrew word for G-d in the center, but that seemed trite. Plus I suck at Hebrew script. Then I was going to fill te big circle with a white-yellow color to be more G-d like but that seemed ugly. And stupid. I finally decided to go Kabbalah; you cannot describe or represent that which is G-d. So, I didn't.

The 3 smaller red circles are the 3 religions represented in Jerusalem. The circles are raised and rough-edge with fiber paste. The symbols are not centered in the circles. My point here, albeit very unpopular, is that no religion is perfect or centered. They are interpretations of G-d according to independent systems of thought. Only collectively do they make sense and converge on a true meaning.

Oh yeah, I also needed something to match my red and orange vase. LOL


Sunday, January 04, 2009


People have been asking how my family in Israel is doing. As far as I know they are fine, I haven't heard anything to the contrary. Yes, the city most of them live in, Be'er Sheva, has been bombed. To make things more fun, all three of the cousins are expecting this month. I may not hear from them again until February, considering.

I was reluctantly glad to see Israel make the move on Gaza, considering the missle range of Hamas is now reaching Israel's third largest city. Continuing to wait would only bring certain destruction to Be'er Sheva, Tel Aviv and, who knows, probably Jerusalem. Hamas is a loose cannon; irresponsible, illogical, immoral and a complete disservice to the its people and the region.

I think Israel's Achille's heel has been waiting and bowing to world opinion. Through every "truce" and "ceasfire" Hamas has continued launching missles on Israel, clearly indicating peaceful co-existence is not on their agenda. But of course, what would one expect from them, destruction of the state of Israel is part of their manifest. In writing and certainly in practice.

Israel not responding to these threats since leaving the Gaza strip has lulled the public into a "oh another rocket was launched into Israel" reaction, like it's as benign as a penny rise in gas prices. It is not benign; their intent, no matter how successful, is still to destroy. I'm betting if Mexico starting launching missles on Houston the reaction would be a little different at home. We would probably see the USAF taking out anything that moved in Mexico. Not to mention the inevitable traffic jam that would result from the many pickups and concealed weapons rushing southward toward the border.

But fortunately for us we have reasonable neighbors that don't want us destroyed.