2009 Jun 28 | HMNS, CAMH, Joystix, Pride, more

I like to use online review sites like Yelp and Citysearch to see if a restaurant is going to be good, but in some cases they aren't very accurate. For example, both raved about Prince's, but it was pretty much a basic burger joint that didn't seem to be all that great.

My dishwasher stopped working, so I called and asked them to fix it. They did, and that same day, too. However, they also noticed the ceiling in the kitchen was hanging down a bit from the hurricane last year. Unfortunately, the next day they came and fixed that without letting me know they were doing it and got ceiling gunk all over everything.

Tuesday night was the midnight opening of Transformers. I went to the Marq*E Center to watch it because they have an IMAX. However, there are actually two other IMAXes that play regular movies, and one is only 10 minutes away from me, whereas the Marq*E Center is around 30 minutes. I always forget the close theater has an IMAX, though, because I don't go there much, and I go to the Marq*E Center for other things, too.

A Transformers belt with a buckle that transforms into a lighter.

Nobody really dressed up for the movie, probably because you'd need lots of cardboard boxes around yourself and you'd never really be able to sit and watch it comfortably. This guy did have a helmet on, though.

Thursday at lunch a visiting professor comes and discusses his research. I always like the pretty pictures of cells.

I was going to Sherlock's one night and Bryan mentioned to try Double Dave's for pizza, which was right across the street. It was really great.

They had this list of people who had written them bad checks. Actually, I'm not even sure if this is legal due to privacy concerns.

One of the bartender's at Sherlock's had on some kind of light-up hat made out of plastic cups.

They have pool tables there, but I swear they're tilted and warped.

After re-doing the ceiling in the kitchen, they also said they wanted to redo the one in the bedroom, although at least they warned me about it. After that, though, there were drywall pieces stuck all over the carpet, so they decided to shampoo the carpet. They told me they would do it Friday, so I moved everything except the bed and some tables out of the living and bed rooms and into the kitchen and bathroom.

However, when I got home Friday, I noticed they hadn't cleaned anything. I asked the office, and they said they would clean it on Monday. I didn't really want to move everything around three more times instead of once, so I pretty much left it over the weekend and moved a few things out of the way if I needed to get into the fridge or whatever.

Two of the women who work in the front office, both of whom are really fun.

The pediatrics section of the eye institute has some Legos, so I took a few minutes to make a bridge one day.

Friday night was Mixers & Elixirs at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I'd never seen this massive geode before.

Ooh, crack your own geode. Too bad he was closing down as I got there.

There's a big stone globe outside this entrance that you can push around.

They set up this little area with a DJ to entertain people before they let us into the main exhibit hall.

They had free appetizers, half of which were really healthy (carrots, cauliflower, etc) and half of which were not (Snickers, gummy worms, etc).

A view from the upper area.

After a few hours there, we walked to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston which was having Steel Lounge Underground. It was kind of the same idea as Mixers and Elixers, except it was smaller and had techno music instead of an 80s band. On the way there we passed by a restaurant with these beach balls hanging from trees.

I would never have found the entrance to it because it's hidden behind this metal wall with a tiny opening and no sign.

One of the exhibits at the CAMH was an interactive one where you could make your own dollar bill and hang it on the wall.

There was also a sailboat that was being built.

This guy had some paintings downstairs. The paintings weren't too interesting, but I really liked the descriptions of them.

The music on the left with some sort of house thing in the center.

One of the artists knit covers for things, including this handrail.

After that we went to Joystix for Pac-Man Fever. However, the parking lot and all the parking spots around it were full. We found a couple of spots, but this sign was right there. We guessed all the spots were full because of a game, which meant we wouldn't be able to park here, but we weren't sure, so we went to Minute Maid Park to ask.

We walked right in and nobody stopped us for tickets. We didn't even know exactly where we were until we hit the bleachers and saw the game going on, so we decided we might as well sit down and watch it for a bit. After a few innings we left, wandered around until we found a few open parking spaces, and reparked the cars.

Then we headed into Joystix. There were a lot of people there but not so many that you couldn't play the games you wanted. We had a lot of fun with the shooting games, and this woman beside us was using both guns at the same time. She also got really close to the screen like Ron used to do with Duck Hunt at Mick and Holly's.

Some other good ones were Guitar Hero, some of the racing games, Gauntlet Legends, and some pinball games. We also had a blast playing Joust, which I never liked as a kid because I could never figure out what to do.

Saturday was the Pride festival. My major goal was to park under some shade, and thankfully I found a spot that was really close.

The people who lived around there were putting out trash bins and other things to try to keep people from parking in front of their places. I don't know if they wanted to reserve the spots for their own vehicles or what, but I'm pretty sure that's not legal.

I wanted to grab some ice because I was playing volleyball after this and wasn't going home between the two, so I needed to keep all my Gatorade cool. I could have probably just scooped up some that was in these bins for free, but a bag is pretty cheap, so I just bought some.

A couple of interesting costumes.

A bouncy house, but adults were using it instead of kids.

A girl with a really big Super Soaker.

One of the stages with live music.

Another interesting couple.

And another stage.

These people were sitting in their truck watching a movie with a blanket over their windshield. I told them it was a brilliant idea.

Walgreen's was giving out free water.

I grabbed a late lunch at Little Big's. I just walked in and ordered a hamburger, but they have the mini-hamburgers, sliders, instead. It was really, really good food, though.

I couldn't figure out what the little metal sticks were for until someone put their order number up on it.

A big wine selection at a hamburger joint. Kind of weird, but whatever.

I had a little time before the volleyball games started, so I checked out the Salvation Army. They had this really cool chess set table, but it was $100. Also, the edge of the drawer handle was broken off.

Some of the people who came to play volleyball. A couple of us started around 4pm and more people kept showing up, so we just kept playing. Some people actually left, ate dinner, came back, and were surprised we were still playing. We finally quit after 9pm when it was too dark.

We had seen people using hoses earlier, so I brought some this time. They were really nice for spraying down the sand (otherwise it was really too hot to play on), for cooling off a bit, and for washing the sand off. Another group that was playing even asked to use them.

Even though the Pride parade started at 8:45, I still decided to try to see it. However, there was no parking anywhere near it. Normally I wouldn't mind walking over half a mile, but after playing volleyball for 5 straight hours, I was pretty tired, so I just went home.

They're already setting up for the Fourth of July.

Sunday morning we went to Gravitas for brunch. It was really good, but they only have valet parking, so instead of giving them my keys and a few bucks for parking my car 20 feet away, I just parked on this side street.

After that I went and watched the US vs Brazil championship soccer game. I tried out this little place called Saint Dane's, which wasn't too bad.

A lot of people packed into a pretty small space, though, so it got pretty crowded and hot. Some people also brought their dogs, but thankfully they were all well-behaved.

I like it when people just wear clothes they're comfortable in, and I'm always a little annoyed when people only wear clothing to be "cool," which this guy was trying way too hard to be.

And around 3pm some of us went to Volcano.

Two of their signature drinks, a frozen screwdriver and a strawberry basil margarita. They also had some cocoa drink, but it was too hot for that.

They were supposed to have a pool table, but they had switched it out for a foosball one because they said the pool table didn't make any money. We were a little disappointed, but it was still a lot of fun.