Pandemic Road: Week 10

Hello Friends! Does this picture make you feel better or worse?

I saw this artistic gem earlier today when I walked into the local restaurant known as 100% Taquito. I laughed out loud. The decision to visit this establishment today revolves around the idea that Tuesday was Cinco de Mayo. (May 5th for you gringos who don’t speak Spanish.) Otherwise known as my birthday. I won’t tell you which birthday, but I am getting closer to Medicare than I care to admit.

Having a birthday on May 5th was never a big deal growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. I think I heard about Cinco de Mayo while studying Spanish in high school, but it was not considered a significant holiday. Then I moved to Houston. I learned that Cinco de Mayo rivaled St. Patrick’s Day as a major party and celebrate day. I even heard one bartender in Austin refer to it as “Cinco de Drinko”.

When my new Houston friends discovered this was my birthday, I was taken out to many Mexican restaurants over the years. We would all gather in the bar for a couple of hours drinking margaritas while waiting until our table was ready. Mexican restaurants are really crowded on this date. Unless you’re in the middle of a global pandemic with face masks and social distancing.

Originally way back in the wayward youth of my 20s, I was told that Cinco de Mayo was the Independence Day for Mexico. Wrong. That is still a common misconception that many have today. Please stop thinking that. Cinco de Mayo represents the Mexican victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. If you need more information than that, then I would suggest you goggle it for yourself. Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th. Who says you can’t learn something by reading random blogs? You’re welcome.

I now go to other restaurants on my birthday. However, again we are in the middle of a global pandemic. So this year my Dear Friend delivered a delicious dinner from Giacomo’s to my home and we ate on a cool and breezy balcony. I enjoyed a vodka martini. It was the quietest birthday I have celebrated in a while, but I am still lucky to be safe and healthy.

I took one other picture while I was at 100% Taquito. I saw this quote by Abigail Smith Adams hanging on the wall just to the right of the counters. Just in case you don’t know who Abigail Smith Adams is, I will give you a second history lesson for the day. (Are you feeling smarter yet?) Abigail Smith Adams is considered to have been the strongest female voice during the American Revolution. She is also sometimes considered to be one of the Founders of the United States. Oh, and yeah, she was also the wife and closest advisor of the second President of this country, John Adams.

Abigail Smith Adams really doesn’t have anything to do with Cinco de Mayo. However, just like 100% Taquito, I am adopting this quote as my motto for the rest of the pandemic.

What’s your motto?

Until next week.….

The Road To The Moon And Beyond

I traveled into space twice this week! Okay, so they were virtual reality trips, but they felt and looked real. Good news! You can too! All one has to do is visit the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University. From now through December 21st they have several exhibits that have to do with traveling to the Moon. One part is actually called  Moon Shot. There is one multi‐media exhibit that I will not even try to describe, but trust me you will be fascinated. Then there is one large gallery with works from several artists including Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. There are also several newspaper articles from July of 1969 and one even touted that we would be colonizing the Moon with the decade.

The entire exhibit shows not only the historical significance of the time and Rice University’s part in that history, but also the lasting effects on art, culture and society.

And, of course, I mentioned Virtual Reality trips into outer space. One of the VR trips is located in the big gallery. The other is in a gallery all by itself. Look for a door that looks like this:

Both VR experiences are great fun and each lasts about 15 minutes. I was somewhat hesitant considering that I have a serious fear of heights, but easily tolerated both adventures. Oh yes, there were times when I was floating in space. Yet I could feel the floor beneath my feet even if I couldn’t see it. I also walked on the moon and even landed on the sun.….without getting burned!

All of the exhibits in the Moody Center are free, however, there is a nominal fee for parking in the lot directly across the street. Well worth the time and money to be sure.

Also, today is Halloween and I would be remiss if I did not mention my new annual Halloween tradition. It involves both me and my Dear Friend going to lunch at 100% Taquito which is located at 3245 Southwest Freeway here in Houston. The food is really good even for a vegetarian and they really know how to decorate for the season. I’ll just post my pics below and you will see what I mean:

Until next week.….