lukegilman.com : High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

Inprint Brown Reading Series 2007-08 season lineup announced

The Inprint Brown Reading Series season lineup has been announced. My personal highlights include Michael Chabon and Dave Eggers, founder of publishing house McSweeney’s whose Internet Tendency is a daily read. See the Inprint Houston website for more information.

Houston Chronicle: Inprint Brown Reading Series

• Oct. 15: Richard Powers and Jennifer Egan. Powers (The Gold Bug Variations; The Echo Maker) often incorporates science, medicine and technology into tales fraught with emotional and moral complexity. Egan’s novels include Look at Me and, most recently, The Keep.
• Nov. 12: Elizabeth Alexander and Taha Muhammad Ali. Alexander’s poetry collections include The Venus Hottentot and American Sublime. Ali is a leading figure on the contemporary Palestinian literary scene. His books include So What: New and Selected Poems.
• Jan. 21: Vikram Chandra and Mayra Montero. Indian-born Chandra, an alumnus of University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, is author most recently of Sacred Games, a 900-page epic of crime and corruption in contemporary Mumbai. Cuban-born Montero is author of nine novels, including Dancing to “Almendra,” set in Mafia-dominated, pre-Castro Havana.
• Feb. 17: Dave Eggers and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Eggers’ memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, launched his career in 2000. McSweeney’s, his literary journal and publishing house, has become a leading platform for up-and-coming writers. Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun won the 2007 Orange Prize. New York magazine described it as “like Gone With the Wind, except in Nigeria.” This reading will be at Cullen Theatre, Wortham Center.
• March 31: Alice McDermott and Laura Restrepo. McDermott won the National Book Award for her novel Charming Billy. Restrepo, from Colombia, is a leading figure in contemporary Latin American fiction. Delirium (2007) is her latest novel translated into English. This reading will be at Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
• April 12: Robert Hass. A former U.S. poet laureate, Hass has a new collection out in October, Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005.

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Justice for All? Artists Reflect on the Death Penalty

The death penalty art show will be exhibited in Houston at M2 from February 10 – 18, 2007 with an opening night reception at 7 PM on the 10th. The gallery is located at 325 West 19th Street in Houston (Map). There will be a gallery talk Friday, Feb 16, at 7 PM with Mary Mikel Stump, Gallery Director of the JCM gallery at Texas State University.

Death Penalty Art Show

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The Six Wards of Houston

[NB: Cross-posted at Metroblogging Houston.]

The Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association recorded residents of the neighborhood talking about their houses and what the character of the neighborhood means to them. There are currently four videos up – Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three, Volume Four.

Houston Chronicle: Group trying to preserve old Sixth Ward character posts front-porch testimonials on YouTube.com

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If you’re a Houston transplant like I am you probably have no idea what a ward is much less where they all are. Here’s a great run-down of the Six Wards of Houston. The Houston Chronicle has a feature on the wards with a helpful map. Looking it over, one of the things you’ll likely realize is how much of Houston you’ve never set foot in. May I suggest a New Year’s Resolution? Get out there and do some local tourism!!!

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The End of the Universe is in Houston, Texas

According to Lewis Black. The sad part is that I can think of two different places in Houston he might be talking about.

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Another Bowl Loss….

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The Houston Cougars went down 44-36 to the South Carolina Gamecocks. A gamecock, if you didn’t know, is a “strong, colorful, and territorial type of chicken.” Knowing that only makes me feel marginally better. Exciting game, good finish, blah blah blah blah blah… another bowl loss is all it is to me.

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Houston Police clash with Fans @ Walters on Washington

One of the blogs I’m involved with is Houston Metroblogging, a community-based site that’s part of a wider metroblogging network. For the most part it’s fairly mundane check-out-this-new-coffee-shop kind of faire, but every once in a while there’s a brush with real journalism. Case in point -

The preceeding video was one of three posted in Houston Police Officer Involved in ‘Melee’ with Concertgoers. Compare with the airbrushed version from the Houston Chronicle. The video clips are a bit too Rashomon for me to pronounce a verdict one way or the other, but in the past this kind of incident would be swept under the rug as if it never existed. Now that it lives on through the internet it will be interesting to see if it gets any momentum behind it. Just as the internet fosters a long tail in commerce, I perceive there is a latent outrage element at work.

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Protected: I Moved (family and friends post, magic word required)

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Volcano’s Cross Decorating Fundraiser for La Rosa

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I happened to notice that local watering hole Volcano is sponsoring a cross decorating silent-auction fundraiser for La Rosa/The Rose, a non-profit that helps abused Hispanic women and their children. You can pick up a cross at Volano, bring it back and it will be auctioned off for the silent auction on El Dia Del Muerto, Nov. 1st, 2006.

If you’re interested in decorating a cross to be auctioned, drop by Volcano at 2349 Bissonnet and pick one up or call 713-526-5282. The festivities are slated for Wednesday, Nov. 1st with a preview party from 5-7, with silent auction following from 7-9. Admission is $5 for adults, free for kids.

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Houstonian Collecting Oral Histories from Long-Time Residents

KUHF: Houstonian Collecting Oral Histories from Long-Time Residents

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Poisoned pigeons mar Texas festival

This article couldn’t be any funnier if it tried. From the Associated Press of all places – Poisoned pigeons mar Texas festival -

TEXARKANA — The city’s annual festival was marred by dead pigeons nose-diving into pavement and others dying on downtown sidewalks after they ate poisoned corn from the roof of a nearby bank branch.

Authorities said they cleaned up more than 25 sick or dead birds following miscalculated pest control efforts at a CapitalOne Bank branch.

“The death of these pigeons was more than an unfortunate accident,” city president for CapitalOne Bank Lacy McMillen said in today’s online edition of Texarkana Gazette. “It was not the intention of the bank to harm any of these birds.”

McMillen said the bank hired an exterminator to handle its pigeon problem after a bird entered the bank and defecated on a customer.

The Shreveport, La., company hired to do it, Anti-Pest Co. Inc., said the aim of the treated corn was to sicken pigeons and divert them from the rooftop but that death was sometimes an “unfortunate side effect.”

Vera Martin, working at a handbag booth at the city’s weekend Quadrangle Festival, said the poisoning sends a bad message to children.

“I think it’s cruelty to animals,” she said. “What other animals could be killed in the process of doing this?”

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