Texas Children’s Cancer Center Casino Night

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

On Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m., Kolja Rockov, CFO of LINN Energy, will chair the 3rd annual Texas Children’s Cancer Center Casino Night. Join us for a private event featuring dinner, casino tables and entertainment at the fabulously chic outdoor Sky Bar at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Tariff: $500 individual tickets; sponsorship packages from $1,250 – $25,000+

For more information, please contact Tarryn Lankford at Texas Children’s Hospital; tslankfo@texaschildrens.org or 832-824-6914.

Kick Off On the Green

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

The National MS Society is hosting a Kick-off Party to celebrate the opening of registration for the 2012 BP MS 150! Bring the whole family out to learn more about riding or volunteering in the BP MS 150!

To kick off the 2012 BP MS 150, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
is hosting a fun-filled “Kick Off On the Green” celebration on Thursday, Oct. 13 at Discovery Green to thank the thousands of Houston-area supporters who have helped make the ride the largest and most successful fundraising ride in the country for the Society. Now in its 28th year, the BP MS 150 ride, set for April 21-22, 2012, aims to raise more than $17 million in 2012 to fund cutting-edge research and programs for the estimated 56,000 Texans impacted by MS.

Nearly 13,000 cyclists took part in the two-day, 180-mile journey in 2011, and organizers of the ride expect another substantial turnout in 2012. General registration for this year’s ride begins online at www.ms150.org on Oct. 12, and those who attend the kick off will have the opportunity to win a registration package prize that will include a free registration and a night’s stay at a hotel in LaGrange on Saturday, April 21.

The “Kick Off On the Green” celebration will include activities for both ‘green’ and seasoned riders, including a Bike University, a rider orientation for new riders to learn everything about the ride and for veterans of ride to refresh must-do’s to prepare for the April 21-22, 2012 event. Additionally, attendees can enjoy a free concert in the park that evening as part of Discovery Green’s concert series.

2012 BP MS 150 Kick Off On the Green
Thursday, October 13, 2011
4 – 8 p.m.
Discovery Green
1500 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77010

The person to contact for the event is Brenda Buchanan, Brenda.buchanan@nmss.org or 713-394-2933.

Magnums Make a Difference

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

MIB is a Houston based non-profit organization passionately committed to improving the odds for at-risk youth with a clear vision of how to accomplish outstanding results.  Founded in 2006 by former Dean of Students and head lacrosse coach at Westside High School, Jerry Davis sought to address the severe disadvantages faced by low income children in the Houston area. Making It Better is dedicated to positively impacting the future of at-risk children in our community by offering a variety of programs that are tailored to meet the needs of each campus.  Whether the program is academic or enrichment, delivered during or after school, on a school campus or in an apartment-based program; MIB’s goals are always the same  . . . developing relationships and improving self-esteem by sparking creativity, fostering the desire to succeed, developing social skills, and expanding life experiences.

Magnums Make a Difference Wine Dinner
Making It Better (MIB) will celebrate its 3rd annual signature fundraising event, Magnums Make a Difference – 2011 on Saturday, October 29th at The Wynden on Post Oak Lane. This one-of-a-kind wine dinner brings wine lovers together to benefit the at-risk children of our communities, Featuring large format bottles of premium wines expertly paired with a decadent 4 course dinner, silent and live auction; this event will be the major fundraiser for the upcoming school year. MIB’s goal is to raise more than $100,000, approximately a quarter of their annual budget, in order to serve 1,000 + children in their programs and to counter the severe budget cuts and reductions in school and state funding.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Wynden (Formerly Masraff’s)  1025 Post Oak Lake

Gene Locke, Partner, Andrews Kurth

While most of the country remains concerned about the return on their investments in this bear market, Making It Better continues bullishly to invest in the lives of the students we serve to ensure that no opportunity goes unrealized. We are invested in the academic, social and emotional development of these children as well as in assisting in the development of their moral character. What energizes and sustains all of us at MIB are the relationships we build with the children we serve and the responsibility we feel to help these children recognize their untapped, unlimited potential, thus empowering them to transform their lives and perhaps even the lives of others.

Simon Fashion Now

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

This season, Simon Fashion Now(r) presented by Cadillac arrived at The Galleria in conjunction with Fashion’s Night Out on Thursday, September 8! During Fashion’s Night Out, more than 50 of The Galleria’s retailers rolled out the red carpet to celebrate the best of fall fashion. Fashion’s Night Out at The Galleria took place from 5 – 8 p.m. throughout The Galleria and brought high fashion lounges, red carpet entrances and dynamic DJs spinning shopper’s favorite tunes. During the Thursday night cocktail party and fashion show kicking off Simon Fashion Now(r) presented by Cadillac, more than 800 fashion forward Houstonians were in attendance at ICE at The Galleria. The cocktail party and fashion show kicked off fall Simon Fashion Now events – a dynamic three-day celebration of beauty and style at The Galleria. Guests at the Thursday night luxury cocktail party enjoyed trend inspired cocktails from Grey Goose, while stunning models from Page Parkes rocked the runway in fall’s hottest looks. The show’s finale surprised and entertained with an impromptu dance flash mob. The party rolled on for the fashionable crowd as Gigi’s Asian Bistro & Dumpling Bar hosted an exclusive post party immediately following the fashion show.

Participating Retailers: Exclusive Post Party: Neiman Marcus Gigi’s Asian Bistro & Dumpling Bar Saks Fifth Avenue CH Carolina Herrera Fendi Jimmy Choo MaxMara St. John Tiffany & Co
Photo Credit: Michelle Watson, Bill Olive and Dave Rossman – images marked accordingly with MW, BO or DR.

Gucci Artisan Corner at The Galleria

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

To celebrate Gucci’s 90th anniversary, Gucci will display an Artisan Corner in the Houston Galleria store for public viewing from Friday, Oct. 21 through Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Artisan Corner brings the craftsmanship of Gucci’s Florentine leather goods factory directly to its clientele, allowing guests to view skilled artisans assembling some of the brands most iconic handbags. The display will include custom work tables, a sewing machine, a leather stand, and metal tools, as well as additional background materials which illustrate the evolution of the products, from mood board to sketches.  To further commemorate the anniversary, Gucci will make a special contribution to Houston Children’s Charity (HCC) to benefit their A Better Night’s Sleep program and host a private event with the organization.

Gucci artisans will focus on the New Bamboo, New Jackie, Jackie and Stirrup bags – Gucci classic designs that have each been updated by Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini.  The hand-crafted products will be available in exotic skins and exclusive colors and can be personalized with hand-embossed monogramming. In addition, each handbag will feature a special inside plaque embossed with the location and date.

Target Pop-Up Makeover Stations

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Beauty Designer Napoleon Perdis Brings Celebrity Style to Target Guests with
Pop-Up Makeover Stations

Target® is celebrating its redesigned beauty department with a free makeover event at local stores. On October 8 and 9, Target beauty design partner Napoleon Perdis and NP Set beauty experts will take over Houston-area Target parking lots with a pop-up makeover station to provide guests touch-ups, tips, and to showcase new products. There will also be giveaways and instant special offers.

Napoleon Perdis, NP Set Creator and Make-up Artist, and NP Set Beauty Assistants


Saturday, October 8
Target Store ~ Parking Lot

Noon – 6 p.m.
2580 Shearn Street
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 331-0376

Sunday, October 9
Target Store ~ Parking Lot
Noon – 6 p.m.
4323 San Felipe Street
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 960-9608

Internationally-known make-up artist Napoleon Perdis and NP Set beauty experts giving guests complimentary makeovers and styling tips in a unique pop-up environment.

For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom


September 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

THE GROCERY STORE – It’s got to be here somewhere. It was here last week. I spot a clerk. “Excuse me, but where is the candy?” He looks at me curiously. I continue: “You know, Baby Ruth, Hershey’s, M&Ms. (I didn’t actually say “M ampersand M.”), those common, ordinary, vanilla, or maybe chocolate, candies.”

He gestures towards an aisle. “We’ve got shelves, aisles, an entire section for candy.”

I peer down the aisle. There are, indeed, loads of candies, all festooned in orange and black. Tricks and treats sweets. Cheap junk to create cavities in small mouths. Stuff that their mothers won’t let them eat, so it ends up the garbage. That kind of candy.

“It’s October,” he says. “You know what that means?”

“Sure, every October 31 is Halloween to celebrate the night before All Hallows Day, thus Hallowed Eve which became Halloween. It began as a religious holiday but was overtaken by costume manufacturers, horror-movie makers and the sugar lobby.”

He holds up his hand to stop me. “There’s a food fight in the produce section. I’ve got a clean up on Aisle 4.” (He didn’t actually say “4.” He said “four.”)

Have you tried to buy just plain candy lately? Unless you hit a Godiva shop during its annual hedge fund managers’ sale, right now all you can buy are Indian Corn, Autumn Mix, Spooky-Spicy, Ghost Host, Witches Brew and Sweet Sweat. They are dolled up in Halloween attire. Here’s something called Brach’s Mellowcreme Pumpkins. Mellowcreme? There’s no such word. What with LOL, Numb3rs, CitiBank and Toys R Us, no wonder our kids can’t spell.

The orange and black bag lists “Nutrition Facts,” i.e., the ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, confectioner’s glaze, gelatin, artificial flavor, along with yellow 6, red 3, yellow 5 and blue 1. This is nutrition? Besides not being able to spell, we have a generation of obese children because all they eat are gelatin and yellow 6.

Halloween is a holiday devoted strictly to candy, but it is not alone. As soon as the ghosts and goblins put their costumes back in the closet, stores will clean their shelves of candy and store it all in a warehouse till next fall. Quickly the aisles will be filled with chocolate turkeys, Plymouth Rock candies and orange pumpkins with artificially flavored orange. On Thanksgiving Day we recall the suffering of the Pilgrims by stuffing ourselves silly.

The Friday after the Turkey Day games, out go the autumnal sugar-coated celebrations to make way for Christmas candies. Honey dipped mistletoe, saccharine Santas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Tootsie Roll and Brach’s Mellowcreme reindeer. Candy canes stick out of candy-filled stockings. Tree ornaments are edible. Wreaths taste great. That’s not a jolly old elf, that’s a Jell-Old elf.

Hurry and put away those Christmas goodies for New Year’s is on the way. Champagne, hats and horns, and, of course, January Canduary. Finish up because Valentine’s Day is here. Forget what I said earlier about Halloween being the only holiday strictly for candy. Valentine’s Day, named for the patron saint of diabetes, is all about candy. How many Whitman’s Samplers are sold?

Quick, get those heart-shaped red candy boxes off the shelves because Easter is on the way. It only takes an instant for the quick-change artists at my grocery store to swap cupids for crosses as somehow yet another religious holiday has been converted into a confectionary convulsion. Easter eggs come in many colors and flavors. So do cute little candy ducks and rabbits. No doubt Australian children hunt for hidden mint-filled platypuses because they lay eggs, too.

By now our eyes are confectioner’s glazed-over with holiday after holiday, each one requiring that we buy sweets. It never ends: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Secretary’s Day, (Oops, now it’s Administrative Assistant’s Day. Is Hillary Clinton the Administrative Assistant of State?) Memorial Day is not much of a candygram but July 4th has its own red, white and blueberry sweets. Labor Day is hot and humid, which means lots of lemonade.

Grandparents Day never caught on, mainly because our grandparents had been eating so much candy they died of sugar shock. This brings us to sugar-free sweets. A whole lot of Americans can’t consume sugar, but that makes no difference. With a little hunting, we can find sugar-free Easter turkeys and Valentine’s Day witches.

I go next door to the drug store, although just why it is here isn’t clear since the Super Sack ‘n’ Save Grocery Store has a drug store, too, along with photo shop, dry cleaning and blacksmith’s forge. Just as grocery stores today are about half groceries and half motor oil and deodorants, drug stores have banned the section that actually sells drugs to an obscure corner. The rest of the place is for toys, birthday and bar mitzvah cards, mops, over-the-counter pills and — what else? — candy. Here in the Drug Lord I can tell which holiday is up next by which Hallmark card display covers most of the aisles. There is Christmas candy, Easter candy, Guy Fawkes Day candy, cavity-creating treats for the Chinese New Year, MLK Day and Presidents Day.

Texas state employees celebrate Texas Independence Day, San Jacinto Day and Emancipation Day, the latter best known as June Teenth. The state bureaucrats also mark Confederate Heroes Day, Cesar Chavez Day and LBJ’s birthday. Grocery and drug stores in Austin (“Live Music Capital of the World”) probably reflect these taxpayer-paid vacations with the appropriate cards, music and candy rappers. For all practical purposes, Cinco de Mayo is a state holiday, too.

So it is that I am not able to buy a simple Milky Way or Hershey bar. Not unless I want it all gussied up in some holiday wrapping. I tell the clerk, “I just want to buy a plain candy bar, not a holiday parade float. Not Almond Joy to the World or Life Saviors. The Three Musketeers are sucrose, lactose, and fructose.”

“You mean 3 Musketeers.”


Ashby is sweet at ashby2@comcast.net



September 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

The Department of Homeland Security has given the State of Texas at least $1.7 billion in grants since 9/11. The money is for anti-terrorists prevention plus our own safety and security. Like a $21 fish tank in Seguin, a $24,000 latrine on wheels in Fort Worth, and a hog catcher in Liberty County.

Huh? A fish tank? A portable john? A hog catcher, apparently to catch even more pork? It seems grants to Liberty County also bought $6,167 worth of feed pans and dog crates. Sure, they’re listed as “dog crates,” but have you checked those photos from Abu Ghraib? Why do you think the MPs needed leashes?

It gets worse. Under the guise of homeland security we also paid $47 for bird cages and $5 for rodent cages. Kleberg County bought two brand-new 2011 Camaros, each costing $30,884. Whose brother has the Camaro dealership in Kleberg County? The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) paid for body bags, garbage bags and Ziploc bags, for hog leftovers, probably.

Even when something is purchased, apparently no one knows what to do with it: A $250,000 first-responder trailer had been parked since its purchase, obviously without much use, and bolt cutters had to be used to open another trailer because the keys couldn’t be found. “That’s sure a mushroom-shaped cloud, Billy John. Where are the keys? No, I thought you had the keys. Anybody got the keys?” Once inspectors broke in, they found two new mobile generators with flat tires.

All of these mind-numbing revelations and more were dug up by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (don’t we just hate the liberal media?) in poking through thousands of purchase orders. In addition, a report this year by the inspector general of DHS criticized Texas’ management of DHS grants from 2006 to 2008. The audit showed that the state was generally efficient in administering the grant programs, but passed the money to local governments without adequately defined objectives. Nor did the state adequately monitor the cities, counties, etc., the report says. Instead – get this — the state asked local officials to rate their own performance.

Austin also asked the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to check how the funds were being spent. Yet in the four years ending in 2009, DPS evaluated only about 60 grant recipients a year, among the many handouts, with little or no emphasis on performance, the inspector general’s audit found. This is a nice way of saying our state government is sloppily spreading our tax dollars, and has no idea how they were spent. Then Austin asked the local officials to rate their own performance. That’s crazy.

“The state,” we must remember, is Texas, governed by the Honorable Rick Perry, that watchdog of waste and fraud, who absolutely detests Washington, the federal government and the Redskins. But that $1.7 billion the feds gave the state, well, that’s another matter. It is the same as requesting federal funds to help fight forest fires from a government you ridicule in hopes of running that very government. There is something hypocritical about biting the handout that feeds you, but it is extra bad when those very funds are wasted. If Perry has trouble running Texas, how can he run the entire country?

There is, however, an answer: “They don’t know what they’re talking about,” explained former Texas Homeland Security director Jay Kimbrough. (Kimbrough has been Perry’s policy point-man for almost every crisis in his administration from drug task forces to the Texas Youth Commission, and was temporarily chancellor of the Texas A&M System.)

We paid for framing hammers, envelopes and hanging folders. Is some Texas town going to mail al-Quida a threat? Somebody requested those funds and got them. Sort of gives new meaning to “pushing the envelope.” The city of San Antonio got a $2.99 million helicopter and a $349,916 Ballistic Engineered Armored Response vehicle. North Richland Hills has a $225,913 armored vehicle.

Wait, there’s more. DHS has poured a total of $6.1 billion into Texas for homeland protection, much of it going directly to local governments, bypassing Perry. This amount includes $4,422 spent at a Sugar Land gym equipment store, $67,740 for gym memberships and almost $427K for “veterinary/animal care services” in Humble. Why?

Now a most important question: Did you get any of that $6.1 billion? I sure didn’t, but others did. So we must poke our own snout into the government trough. We apply for funds to pay for projects that sounds important. For example, a few thou for an “anti-al-Quida protector, guaranteed to plant fear in the heart of any would-be terrorist.” It’s a razor and a bar of soap. “Suicide bomber eradicator,” aka a short fuse. Guys, need a new yacht to check out the chicks on the beach? No problem, there are probably funds for “nautical surveillance equipment.”

Short some money for that vacation in Paris? “Texas Anti-IED, Inc.” should have no trouble landing big DHS contracts. IED does not stand for Improvised Explosive Device, those road-side bombs, but rather stands for Imminent European Departure. That will go unnoticed by the Perry watchdogs. Use military parlance: “Border Waster, one, Model 67-X. Flammable.” OK, so it’s a case of tequila. Who will know? Considering the lack of oversight, just be honest: “Dancing lessons, $434. Birthday party for kids, $187.” Those costs should be covered without question.

This whole outrageous boondoggle can be laid at the feet of those running for office against boondoggles. Finally if you are wondering how any city or county could justify buying bird cages and fish tanks, we turn to Pamela Centeno, a Seguin city planner who administers some of the grants. The cages and tanks allow refugees to drop off their mice or goldfish on the way to San Antonio. She wasn’t sure how many fish the tank could hold. Considering all the pork we have purchased, Perry’s new book, “Fed Up!,” is not so much a title as instructions to the waiter.


Ashby is scheming at ashby2@comcast.net





Houston West Chamber to Host Zest Fest

September 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Events, Uncategorized

Zest in the West, presented by Kroger, is a food, wine, and craft beer “Zestival” hosted by the Houston West Chamber of Commerce.  Held on Thursday through Sunday, October 20-23, Zest in the West anticipates more than 5,000 west Houston business professionals and residents to attend.

Zest in the West kicks off with a “Grand Zesting” event on Thursday, October 20 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hilton Houston Westchase located at 9999 Westheimer Rd., Houston, 77042.  The “Grand Zesting” will showcase 150 wines and culinary fare from West Houston’s finest culinary talent.  A live and silent auction with extraordinary offerings will generate scholarship funds for the West Houston Leadership Institute.  Tickets are $45 for general admission and $75 for a VIP ticket.

Joining the line up for the weekend festivities Saturday and Sunday, October 22-23, the outdoor “Zestival” comes alive in front of The Great Indoors, 10496 Katy Freeway at Beltway 8, Houston, 77024, with artists, food trucks, wine and beer sampling tents and live music. Open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., guests will enjoy interactive art displays with a glass of wine at “Connoisseurs and Canvas Art & Wine Cove” where over 150 wine selections will be available for tasting as guests can buy great eats from participating west Houston restaurants and Houston’s hottest food trucks.

Also on tap, “GreatBrewers Foam on the Range,” a craft beer tasting zone and educational experience held for beer-lovers.  Patrons can partake in exotic craft and specialty beers from around the world available for the tasting. Musical entertainment provided by the Robert Hartye Band and host of live musical talent on stage for two full days.
For the adventurous foodie, Haute Wheels West will roll in with food trucks galore providing some of the most cutting edge cuisine in Houston.

For the kids, a special “Kidz-Chen” area sponsored by Denis’ Seafood will be open for the younger set to experience a hands-on cooking lesson with Executive Chef Vernell Powe.  In addition, an entire kids fun zone with Bubble Runner, bounce houses, face painting, games and more.  Kids get into the action with the Kroger cookie station with Halloween cookie decorating for the kids.

Proceeds benefit the West Houston Leadership Institute, providing scholarship funds for participants of a ten month program that is coordinated by the Houston West Chamber of Commerce. The West Houston leadership Institute’s purpose is to train and develop leaders in the West Houston community to care for the future of West Houston.

Sponsors of this zesty event also include presenting partner Kroger, Absolutely! Magazine, Westchase District, Spring Branch Management District, Republic National Distributing Company, GreatBrewers, Kwik Copy, Yellow Cab, Denis’ Seafood House, Sarah’s Florist, Carmelo’s, Ristorante Italiano, Josephine’s Day Spa and Salon, Lawn Management Company, Inc, PJS Services, Office Depot and WHERE Magazine.

Tickets to the weekend “Zestival” are $15 for general admission and $35 for VIP entry with kids 12 and under entering free.   Parking is free in the surrounding Great Indoors parking lot.

Zest in the West, presented by Kroger, is a “Zestival” designed and dedicated to the residents and employees in the prestigious West Houston Area and is produced by Food & Vine Time Productions, producers of Wine & Food Week, Haute Wheels Houston Food Truck Festival, Red Hot Block Parties, BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival, and the Katy Sip n Stroll.  Food & Vine Time Productions has raised over $400,000 for benefiting charity partners since its inception.  For more information on the Zest in the West, visit www.zestinthewest.com or call 713-557-5732.

Houston West Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy organization dedicated to enhancing the economic growth and vitality of the West Houston business community through leadership and business  development. The Chamber currently has more than 600 business members representing 45,000 employees. For more information, visit www.hwcoc.org  or call 713-785-4922.

Annie Selke Book Signing

September 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

WHAT: Annie Selke Book Signing for Fresh American Spaces
WHERE: Kuhl-Linscomb, 2424 West Alabama (at Kirby)   713.526.6000
WHEN: Saturday, October 1, from 1-4pm

Meet visionary designer Annie Selke and join us for a signing of Fresh American Spaces, Annie’s must-have decorating book.

Buy a copy of the book and be entered to win a $500 gift certificate for Dash & Albert Rugs or Pine Cone Hill bedding.


September 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Local chefs to design colossal gingerbread houses for auction
December 3

Gingerbread Bash kickoff party to be hosted at Katy Freeway H-E-B
September 27

Co-chaired by Lara Bell and Roseann Rogers
Honorary Chairs: Lance and Jennifer Gilliam
Presented by Absolutely! Magazines

Bringing together families in the spirit of the season, event co-chairs Lara Bell and Roseann Rogers invite you to the 6th Annual “Home Sweet Home” Gingerbread Bash honoring CMH President Lance Gilliam and his wife, Jennifer, at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2011 at the Children’s Museum of Houston (CMH). Filled with laughter, fun and of course … gingerbread, the evening’s events will feature one-of-a-kind gingerbread houses fashioned by dozens of Houston area’s most artistic chefs, including those from Mark’s American Cuisine, Jackson & Co. and Aramark, to name a few. These holiday masterpieces will be auctioned off to
the highest bidders and proceeds will benefit CMH’s educational exhibits and programs.

Enjoy an enchanting evening of live music, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres catered by Carraba’s while the kids take pleasure in special holiday activities, like designing their own gingerbread houses, sipping on Mexican hot chocolate, taking photos with Santa, hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. Frosty, and accessing all of our action-packed exhibits exclusively open for this holiday’s magical event!

Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for children. Current Patron Level Members will receive four free tickets to the event in appreciation of their support. If you would like to purchase a Patron Level membership to receive the free tickets, you must do so by Nov. 28, 2011.

To get into the excitement of event, co-chairs Lara Bell and Roseann Rogers, along with H-E-B store manager, John May, and H-E-B community coordinator, Amy Cone, invite you to be part of the Gingerbread Bash kickoff at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2011 in the H-E-B store on 9710 Katy Freeway. There will be a live DJ, face painting and surprise, surprise … gingerbread house decorating! Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Advance tickets to the Children’s Museum of Houston Gingerbread Bash will be available for purchase at a $10 discount.

Your contribution supports the Museum in its mission of transforming communities through innovative, child-centered learning with a vision to spark a love for lifelong learning in all children. For more information, Gingerbread Bash tickets, or Patron Level memberships, contact Special Events Manager, Krystal Harris, at (713) 535-7209 or kharris@cmhouston.org


September 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Children’s Museum of Houston aspires to raise $1 million in
Asian-inspired evening event
October 15

Chaired by George and Kathy Britton and Paul and Katherine Murphy

The Children’s Museum of Houston (CMH) is bringing the Far East close to home when it transforms The Corinthian into a Pan-Asian masterpiece for this year’s “FantASIA” gala at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2011 in downtown Houston.

The event chairs, George and Kathy Britton, and board member and former CMH president Paul Murphy, along with his wife Katherine, invite you to help them accomplish their mission of raising $1 million to boost the Museum’s educational and outreach programs. This funding is vital in maintaining the Museum’s day-to-day operations and in providing an outstanding place for children in the community to learn and  have fun!

Join more than 500 of the most generous local supporters and nosh on a multi course feast of exquisite Asian delicacies catered by Jackson & Company, accompanied by music from Quiet Storm and Sky Rocket. Be greeted by Kaminari Taiko’s heart pounding drumming and mingle to Lee’s Golden Dragon’s jaw dropping acrobatics as you’re immersed in Darryl & Co.’s vision of the orient and beyond.

The big board, live and silent auctions will be led by auction chairs, Marcia Smart and Karen Turbidy. Bid on exclusive and unique packages, including: a one-of-a-kind stay at any Starwood Resort for seven nights anywhere in the world with first class tickets on CMH’s official airline, United Airlines; viewing passes to the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day International Parade plus United Airlines tickets and stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Thanksgiving weekend; flying with the Texans on their chartered plane, riding on the team’s police escorted buses, staying in the team’s hotel and attending the game with General Manager Rick Smith; or enjoying the grandeur and opulence of India with stays in Udaipur and New Delhi! A Chinese
Dragon Dance will be performed during the live auction.

Joining the Brittons and Murphys at the top of the list of party-goers include: dinner chairs Mario and Gina Elie and Michael and Melissa Mithoff; CMH Board President Lance Gilliam and his wife Jennifer; William J. Hill; Mr. and Mrs. Bob J. Perry, Michael and Lisa Holthouse, Michael and Susan Plank, and Jim and Franci Crane, to name a few.

Tables of 10 are available at sponsorship levels of $30,000, $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, as well as a limited number of $5000. Individual tickets may be purchased at $1,000 and $500.

Valobra has generously donated a stunning jewelry piece, exquisitely designed by Valobra, valued at $10,000 to be raffled. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit CMH’s day-to-day operations and the winning ticket will be announced at the FantASIA gala. Raffle tickets are five for $400 or $100 each.

Your contribution supports the Museum in its mission of transforming communities through innovative, child-centered learning with a vision to spark a love for lifelong learning in all children. For more information, table reservations, gala tickets, or raffle tickets, contact Development Manager of Fundraising Events, Allison White, at (713) 535-7269 or awhite@cmhouston.org.

America’s No. 1 Children’s Museum” by Parents Magazine, winner of Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks “Best Museum in Houston 2009 & 2010,” Click2Houston’s “Best Museum 2010,” the Children’s Museum of Houston is a Citysearch.com’s nationwide 5-star children’s museum. It is dedicated to transforming communities through innovative, child-centered learning with a vision to spark a passion for lifelong learning in all children. Founded in 1980 and housed in a whimsical building designed by internationally acclaimed architect Robert Venturi, the Children’s Museum of Houston offers a multitude of innovative exhibits and bilingual learning programs for kids ages birth to 12 years. The Museum serves more than 1,100,000 people annually and operates as a 501(c)(3) under the direction of a Board of Directors. It is located at 1500 Binz in Houston’s Museum District. Admission is $8 per person and $7 for seniors 65 years and older and for members of the military. Children under one and Museum Members receive free admission.
Free Family Nights are offered Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. courtesy of the Houston Endowment, the Wortham Foundation, Inc. and the John P. McGovern Foundation. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from Noon to 6 p.m. The Museum is open at 9 a.m. on the Second Saturday of every month for Museum Members. The Museum is closed Mondays but open on Federal Holidays, during Houston Independent School District’s Spring Break and during the summer months from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, please visit www.cmhouston.org or call (713) 522-1138. The Children’s Museum of Houston is A Playground for Your Mind™ Can your mind come out to play?™


September 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Brenner’s on the Bayou TO HOST ANNUAL BEER FEST
Brenner’s on the Bayou Annual Celebration for Beer Lovers, Food Lovers and Fun Lovers featuring more than 50 Artisan Beers

The 2011 Brenner’s on the Bayou 2011 Beer Fest invites guests to sample more than 50 artisan brews paired with chef crafted cuisine while enjoying live entertainment from Sonny Boy Terry in Brenner’s lush outdoor setting on Saturday, October 8 from 2 until 6 p.m.

Many US breweries will showcase their fall seasonal including Oktoberfest or Double Bocks. Participating breweries to date include:

Abita                                Left Hand
St. Arnold                        North Coast
Shiner                             Harpoon
Independence                Real Ale
Pabst Blue Ribbon         Deschutes
Southern Star                 No Label
Sam Adams

The event will be held at Brenner’s on the Bayou located at One Birdsall Street. Admission for the event is $50 (plus tax) per person in advance and $65 (plus tax) per person at the door. $100 VIP tickets also available and include special access to The Reserve Room. Tickets are available for purchase online at http://www.brennerssteakhouse.com/bayou/beerFest.asp or by calling (713) 868-4444. Dress is resort casual, comfortable shoes, no heels. Must be 21 to enter.


September 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

mstyle Lab Concert Tour performance in Woodlands, TX

Macy’s mstylelab is the place to be for the second annual mstylelab Concert Tour, bringing intimate performances from top musicians to select Macy’s stores across the country. All events will be free and open to the public at the mstylelab lounge at Macy’s.  As part of an exciting music program produced by FILTER Creative Group, concert attendees will have the chance to uniquely connect with musicians while exploring the newly revamped mstylelab lounge.  On display will be the hottest back-to-school styles and accessories from Macy’s exclusive brands American Rag and Material Girl.

Eisley, a quintet of four siblings and a cousin, will be performing at Macy’s at the Woodlands Mall.  The first 300 customers to make a $35 purchase in mstyle for Juniors or Young Men’s September 18 will receive a complimentary autographed photo.

A home town favorite, Eisley is a rock band from Tyler
, Texas, consisting of four siblings (Chauntelle, Sherri, Stacy, and Weston DuPree) and their cousin (Garron DuPree), all of whom were born and live in Texas. The band performed for many years in Texas clubs.  Their first major tour was with Coldplay’s tour in the US. They have also toured with the Dave Matthews Band, Brand New, Snow Patrol, New Found Glory, Hot Hot Heat, Switchfoot, Taking Back Sunday, The Fray, Bleach and Mutemath.  Additionally, they have toured the country as a headlining act – the first of which was in 2005 Winter West with The Elected and The Colour. They made their national television debut on Late Night with Conan O’Brien  August 30, 2007, performing “Invasion.”

For their 3rd brutally honest, catchy LP, Eisley has reappeared with new personal relationships, a new label (Equal Vision Records) and a new album completed on their own titled, “The Valley.” This album reveals their strength, patience and perseverance. It signals a victorious climb out of their darkest valley. With it, Eisley has managed to put forth their greatest and most personal album yet.

Members of the band are Stacy DuPree – vocals, keyboard and guitar; Sherri DuPree-Bemis – vocals, rhythm guitar; Chauntelle DuPree – lead guitar and some vocals; Garron DuPree – bass; Weston DuPree – drums.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

2:00 p.m.
Macy’s at The Woodlands Mall

Level One. Mall Entrance
1201 Lake Woodlands Drive
The Woodlands, TX

EDITOR’S         All press must RSVP to Melissa Goff at (305) 577-2171
NOTE:               Melissa.Goff@macys.com

About Macy’s
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.

For Macy’s media materials, images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at www.macys.com/pressroom.


September 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

by Lynn Ashby

THE LOBBY – Welcome to the presidential library of former President Rick Perry. First, you may have noticed as you drove up that this building has a steeple with a cross on the top. It is well-known President Perry – former chief executives are always referred to as “President” even if, like Jimmy Carter and George Bush the Elder, they were unceremoniously thrown out of office – felt his library should reflect his religiosity. This also explains the stained glass windows and the Gregorian chants in the background. Yes, this place gives a whole new meaning to “the bully pulpit,” which is in the next room. But he doesn’t like to make too much of this, as he said in his last sermon.

You ask, “Did my tax dollars go to build this religious shrine? I thought there was a separation between church and state.” Actually, this is one of 14 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. All of them have to be built at private expense, although public funds are used to maintain them. The new George W. Bush Library at SMU will cost a half billion dollars, including a $210 million endowment, about a three times the cost of any other presidential library. The taxpayers’ cost to operate our various presidential libraries is about $64 million each year. It’s a mere pittance compared to the price of a nuclear aircraft carrier.

There’s a question? No, Congress doesn’t scrimp on the upkeep because in the backs of their minds, every single one of them, is the thought that someday they, too, may have one of these monuments to themselves. Now come along to the library’s right wing. There is no left wing. This glass case contains the uniform Perry wore as a Texas A&M yell leader. Notice it is all white, with no school name across the chest. This makes it easy for the yell leaders to buy their uniforms at any hospital supply store. Incidentally, the term is “yell leader,” not “cheerleader.” Speaking of colleges, President Perry wanted professors to stick to teaching. I believe tenure was outlawed in 2016 and research was banned the following year.

The President likes Aggie traditions, which is why, during his State of the Union speeches, the entire Congress had to remain standing, and let out an occasional “Whoop!” although some of the opposition would yell, “Maroon is also a verb!” But his background has nothing to do with tripling federal grant money to the Brazos County Ballet or the new College Station submarine base. OK, so it’s a wide beach. And the Trans-Texas Corridor was never really dead.

Next we see the Presidential Hair Stylist & Boot Shop. This glass case contains the late Wile E. Coyote, who savagely attacked then-Governor Perry’s dog while Perry was on the jogging trail. To the left are several late donkeys and elephants who savagely attacked Perry while he was on the campaign trail. Here are the floor plans of the $9,000-a-month rented mansion the governor lived in after the other Governor’s Mansion burned. Note the swimming pool and guest house. Next we have the Texas State Schoolbook. After the budget cuts, it got a lot of use. No, we don’t show the names of the thousands of poor sick children cut off from health care while he was governor. Why should we?

Another question? Yes, when running for his last term as governor, Perry swore he wouldn’t run for president during that term. But so did Clinton and Obama. If you are going to believe every promise a politician makes, I’ve got some peace dividends and middle class tax cuts for sale.

Seeking a presidential library can be dicey. When Bush the Elder was first elected, a bidding war began among various Texas schools. Rice and UH wanted the library separately, then joined to make a duel bid, placing the institution in the middle of a Houston park. That idea was DOA. A&M got Bush’s approval, and the Aggies thought they had eight years of documents to show and eight years to drum up the money, because all Bush had opposing him for a second term was some pink-cheeked hillbilly named Clinton. Need I go on?

Why is this library located here in Paint Creek? Texas already had three presidential libraries, and this one gave us more than any other state. As Perry was the governor of Texas, the UT campus was considered as a site for his papers — along with the future burial place for the president and his wife, just like LBJ, Reagan and George H.W. Bush. However, Perry said, “T-sips? Over my dead body.” We thought that was the whole point, but it ended the discussion.

The obvious place for the library was College Station, but Bush the Elder got there first. So that left us with Perry’s home town of Paint Creek, population 273, “Gateway to Hog Creek.” True, we are a bit out of the way for tourists, but presidential scholars keep coming, looking for compassionate conservatism.

While Perry was running for the presidency, Washington pundits brought up “Texas fatigue” because Texans had occupied the White House 17 of the previous 48 years (more if you count Ike). Speaking of which, this tablet is a quote from noted political scientist Larry Sabato, of the University of Virginia, on then-Governor Perry’s chances at the Oval Office: “I love Texans, but I think with the Bush presidency being such a fresh memory, it’s probably not a wise idea for Republicans to nominate a Texan for president.” Professor Sabato now teaches remedial hieroglyphics at Western Montana Community College and Sasquatch Shelter.

One last question. Yes, that talk by Perry about Texas seceding from the U.S. caused a bit of a ruckus at the time, and kept growing, which is why Rick Perry was president of Texas. Thanks to both of you for visiting the Perry Presidential Library. I’ve been your guide, Mitt.


Ashby shushes at ashby2@comcast.net



Convivio tapas + bar + lounge

September 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining

Convivio opens this week.

The atmosphere at this Durham located establishment is festive.  The evening we visited, tables were singing and clapping.  There is a communal dining vibe, this is the perfect place to party with a big group.  One long room with concrete floors makes for a loud evening, be prepared. There is a bar area, small patio and balcony.

The kitchen was bustling as they served up the tasting menu.


It  started with a flavorful bang! 


Albondigas: the Meat/Pork meatballs and spicy tomato concasse is the best item on the menu. We’d swim in this sauce if we could.





The next item was the Pizzetas de Queso de Cabra y Vegetales.  A long name basically meaning a flat bread pizza with fresh vegetables. Yes!  The veggies on this item were very fresh!






Other items included:

Fideua: Seafood noodle paella. This came in a small bowl; more like a tiny shrimp spaghetti.

Croquetas de Chorizo: Chorizo Revilla, Bechamel Sauce.  Special note about the Bechamel sauce. This should be offered with as many dishes as possible.  It’s super great! Pinchose de Ensaladilla Rusa: Spanish Baby Potato salad. This was light and refreshing.  We’ve never had potato salad on bread, but it worked.

Pinchos de Chorizo: Revilla Chorizo

700 S. Durham



Shecky’s Girls Night Out

September 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Shecky’s Girls Night Out returns to Houston September 14 – 15 at The Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel. What a perfect way to end your summer season and fall into fashion and fun with the girls! Keeping up with the latest in what to wear (and how to pull it off) is hard. Fashion styles come and go, but one thing that’s always in style is quality time with your friends. At Shecky’s Girls Night Out, you and your fabulous entourage will discover unique, artisan designers and jewelers, sip delectable drinks, and cap your night off with our glorious Goodie Bags.


Visit the Maybelline New York Color Studio and score personalized consultations and product recommendations from expert makeup artist.  Check out the latest fragrances and samples of natural beauty products inspired by nature from The Body Shop.  Discover LaCroix—100% natural sparking water (calorie, sodium and sugar free!) available in eight flavors like Berry, Cran-Raspberry, Grapefruit and Coconut (their brand new flavor!)

Shecky’s Goodie Bags are filled with must-have’s from brands like Aveeno, Dentek, Lady Speed Stick, Softlips, The Body Shop, LaCroix slim cans (only available in the Goodie Bags!) and more.


Date: Wed.-Thu., Sep. 14th-15th

Time: 5pm-10pm

Place: The Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel | 909 Texas Ave. (Travis & Main Sts.)


General Admission: $10 in advance

General Admission + Shecky’s Goodie Bag: $30 in advance


Shecky’s, is THE girlfriend lifestyle and marketing company dedicated to empowering and rewarding women to discover, socialize and shop with their girlfriends. Why? We believe women elevate other women—and that spending more time with girlfriends increases one’s confidence, knowledge and joy in life! So we’ve made it our purpose to create social events, a supportive online community and fun content to connect and celebrate girlfriends! From relationships, career, trends, style or beauty—Sheckys.com not only covers what girls talk about, we bring it offline at up to 80 nights of live “girlfriend events” a year across America. Almost one million amazing women in 20 cities have attended Shecky’s events as we celebrate our 10-year anniversary this year. For more information, please visit www.sheckys.com.


September 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

With Care2Spin™ (the marathon where pledging to spin anything for four hours helps raise money for Easter Seals Greater Houston) only eight days away, I wanted to reach out to provide you with a brief overview of all of the ways in which you can become involved, and the places and times where you can join us to interview ESGH staff and clients regarding the many benefits this event will provide to the individuals and families Easter Seals Greater Houston serves.

Tomorrow, September 10th 2-5 p.m.: Spin Your Spaghetti at Houston Carraba’s Copperfield

Simply Organized Chaos and Carrabba’s Copperfield teamed up for a spaghetti dinner that benefits Easter Seals Greater Houston.  Meals are $20 per person and 100% of the proceeds will be given directly to Easter Seals Greater Houston.

Friday, September 16th 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Care2Swirl at The Tasting Room at Uptown Park

For those Non-athletic types that still want to participate in the festivities and give back to Easter Seals Greater Houston, can enjoy a wine tasting with us at Tasting Room. For $20 (plus tax), attendees will taste 8 wines, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and hear live music with $10 from each tasting going directly to Easter Seals Greater Houston.

Saturday, September 17th 8 a.m.-noon: Care2Spin™ Bike Marathon at John Eagle Honda – 18787 Northwest Freeway

Houstonians around Houston will come together for a spin marathon on stationary bikes and raise money for Easter Seals Greater Houston. Cricket Wireless will provide music for the spin instructors through their MUVE phones.

Saturday, September 17th, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.:  Foelber Pottery Care2Spin™ – 706 Richmond Avenue

Foelber Pottery will hold a 12-hour Pottery Spinning Marathon from 6 am to 6 pm.  They’ll be spinning at their retail location for the entire 12 hours and are asking for donations as their encouragement to keep up the spinning. Houstonian are welcome to stop by and even to spin their own pottery, if they make a contribution.

Saturday September 17th noon-4 p.m.: Care2Spin™ After Party at John Eagle Honda – 18787 Northwest Freeway

After spinners complete their activity, we are inviting participants join the Care2Spin™ title sponsor for a reception at John Eagle Honda to celebrate our success and officially announce all of the Care2Spin™ funds raised for Easter Seals Greater Houston. We will have live music, tricked-out Hondas, entertainment for the kids, and a delicious lunch for all in attendance.

Texas Music Throwdown

September 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

The Texas Music Throwdown is a benefit concert sending all proceeds to our wounded military veterans at Heroes On The Water.

Heroes on the Water (“HOW”) helps injured military veterans of all branches with their physical and mental rehabilitation using the therapeutic qualities of fishing and kayaking.  Heroes On The water was founded by Jim Dolan, a former pilot in the United States Air Force, in 2007.  In less than four years, HOW has grown to be a nationally recognized organization with over 35 chapters that gets our wounded military vets out and about after they return home from their military assignments.  Creating smiles, working with hospitals, and getting our wounded veterans out in nature is HOW’s core philosophy.

The Texas Music Throwdown is a fun event for the whole family.  It takes place on October 1, 2011 at Town Green Park in The Woodlands. Tickets are available at the gate and are only $5.00 for adults and FREE for kids 10 & under.  The Texas Music Throwdown is more than just a concert to entertain.  It is a way to raise awareness and support for such a wonderful organization like Heroes on the Water.

Without these courageous veterans we may not enjoy the freedoms we have today, and it is our time to give back and say thanks.

For more information, please check us out on Facebook and www.TexasMusicThrowdown.com


September 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

Goodbye to Texas A-and-M. So long to the maroon and the whi-i-i-ite. Hullabaloo disconnect, disconnect. All their exes live in Texas. Yes, the Texas Aggies – again intimidated by the Teasips, this time by the Longhorn TV network — have picked up their inferiority complex and left. They are departing the Big XII athletic conference to join the Southeastern Conference, there to do annual battle with South Carolina, Kentucky and, the big rivalry, Vanderbilt. I can hardly wait. Fortunately, for tradition’s sake, the Aggies will still be playing UT in those orange and white uniforms – the University of Tennessee. But somehow it won’t be the same.

If you are not a sports fan but only pay state taxes to cover part of the costs of these schools, I’ll explain. For 82 years there was the Southwest Conference made of up to eight Texas schools plus our illegitimate cousin, Arkansas. In 1994, UT, A&M, Texas Tech, with Baylor added for its GPA, joined the Big Eight to form the Big XII. (XII is the only Latin most coaches know). That left SMU, TCU, Rice and UH adrift, bouncing from one conference to another. After last season, Nebraska and Colorado left for other conferences. Now A&M has split for greener – as in money – pastures. Aggies are the nicest people in Texas, but don’t ever marry one. With them, it’s “for better or I’m gone.”

Why all this changing around? The real and only reason is TV money for football. Nothing else comes second. The Big XII has a $1.17 BILLION deal with Fox Sports. UT alone has an athletic budget of $167-million this year, more than any school in the nation.

Now why you non-sports folks should care: In an op/ed piece by former Gov. Mark White, he quotes noted Texas economist M. Ray Perryman’s research group which estimates that the negative annual economic impact of A&M leaving the Big XII at between $217.2 million and $589.5 million, and the loss of between 3,050 and 8,329 jobs, depending on one of two scenarios. “In scenario one, A&M would leave the conference and the rest of the Big XII would remain intact. The second scenario assumes the departure of A&M and the dissolution of the Big XII.”

This is outrageous. How can we teach those young students holed up in College Station about loyalty when their leaders betray fellow Texans for a cheap buck, or maybe several million? Fish (that’s Aggie freshmen) are taught the value of A&M traditions. Yeah, they got a great tradition with Auburn. Let’s restore Bonfire before our big game with those Florida Gators. Will the administration please report to conference headquarters? Please drive to Houston, take a flight to New Orleans, then hop a mosquito sprayer to Mobile, rent a car and drive the 211 miles to Birmingham. See you in a couple of weeks.

We took those Aggie football players – virtually all are Texas born and bred — from the age of 12 and turned them into major league players. We showered them with equipment, uniforms, coaches, cheerleaders and bands. They played in high school stadiums most colleges would envy. When they got to Aggieland, same thing only add several zeros to the costs. Now, when they are finally making money for us, they will be turning the stadium’s stiles in Athens, Ga., while their fans will be spending money there, and the SEC will be reaping the TV cash. A&M has played football against UT, Texas Tech and Baylor a combined 313 times. That’s a lot of money made, a lot to lose. Incidentally, I can voice my opinion because I’m an honorary Aggie. At the time they presented me my plaque, they said, “It’s an honor reserved for those who deserve the very best…and almost got it.”

Oh, ye sons of the Alamo! (hang on, I’m just getting started) would the taxpayers from Marfa to Mexia pay for the Corps of Cadets to march up the main street of Lexington, Ky., if there is one, when you could march up Congress Avenue on your  kamikaze mission to take on the Longhorns? Will the agriculturalists in Aggieland, who can grow moss on a rolling stone, turn their attention from cattle to cotton so their team can play in the Weevil Boll?

The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band is the best collegiate band on Earth. Each halftime they march on the field, looking like chocolate syrup spreading across a pool table. Hey, Starkville and Tuscaloosa, pay attention. No, they’ll be corning their fritters and marrying their cousins. If those Fightin’ Famers want to break away, we expect a big check for damages, or we’ll sue. What’s more, they will be ostracized as traitors to Texas. As we noted before, maroon is also a verb.

So what do the other schools in the conference do? Since every college in America seems to splitting for another conference for big TV bucks, the options are many. The Big XII could bring in other schools such as UH, which has had its nose pressed to the candy store window for years. TCU is showing football respectability after decades of serving as the opponent’s homecoming game. SMU could start hiring good halfbacks again.

We could stay in-state and put Austin College vs UT-Austin, Sam Houston State vs. the University of Houston, Baylor against Mary-Hardin Baylor. UTEP against UTSA, UT-Dallas vs. the University of Dallas. Texas A&M-Commerce against any other Texas A&M at (fill in the blank – there are dozens). But note there is no University of Texas at Houston. UTAH would confuse sportswriters, most of whom think Condoleezza Rice is served with soy sauce.

Maybe we could lump all schools with the same nickname in one conference. Of course, the Baylor Bears would have 29 other schools to play. There are seven Aggies. The SEC alone has two Bulldogs and two Tigers, which must be confusing. The TCU Horned Frogs would stand all alone, with the Heidelberg College Student Princes, the Sweet Briar Vixens, the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes and my favorite, the Cal-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. Oddly enough, those school names were never copied.

Here is my sure-fire plan to restore football glory to the state of Texas, stoke rivalries and turn big bucks on ticket sales. We get a few colleges together like, say, SMU, TCU, UH and Texas Tech. We add Baylor and Rice to give the conference some class, and UT and A&M for the big crowds and heavy money. We call it, get this, the Southwest Conference! Now, is that a stroke of genius or what?


Ashby is unsportsmanlike at ashby2@comcast.net











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