Lone Star Pirate Festival

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Oh Boy, I wish I was going to be home for this! Amazingly, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it. The Lone Star Pirate Festival. Wow. Right here in Houston, how lucky we are. 😉

It looks like so much fun. You get to dress up like pirates, drink lots of pirate beverages, listen to maritime/pirate music (the Bilge Pumps, Blaggards, etc), and go around saying ‘arrrrgghh’. And everybody around actually ‘gets it’. 😉

They’ll also have food trucks and vendors and according to their Facebook page, a real life mermaid. 😉 It’s also inside so you don’t have to worry about the weather. I’d love to go!

I can’t wish too hard though, since I am supposed to be working during that time period. It’s scheduled for July 20th and I should be shipboard by then (it’s not a pirate ship 😉 ).

I was thinking about it this afternoon and until this job I will have only worked 5 weeks out of 36! I can’t hope for anything else other than that I actually get to go do that job! So many have been cancelled this year at the last minute.

Maybe they’ll have another one of these festivals that I can go to. I hope so. I hope they come back to Houston. I don’t like driving all the way up there, but it’s not too far for something like this. If anybody get’s to go, I hope you’ll let us know how it went.

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Surfside Food and Art Festival

Today I went to the 2nd annual Food and Art Festival at Surfside Beach. I showed up around 1400. There were cars parked all along the highway, filling up both parking lots and even the old convenience store down the road. I found a place to park and headed for the music.

Stahlman Park was as busy as I’ve ever seen it. The beach was full of people with surfboards and kites. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was out and the sky was blue. By the time I got to the beach, it had clouded up and was grey and clouds covered the sky. It was windy enough for the kites. There were a lot of people having fun with them. I saw a lot of different kinds. My favorite was the dragon. 🙂

The Surfside Volunteer Fire Department was out with their fire truck (and mascot). They were cooking up a storm. Art car by Bonnie Blue was parked out front. Downstairs there was a live band playing, people were dancing, and the chili was cooking. Upstairs the artists were set up. The whole place was crowded, a few of the booths were completely sold out. They even sold out of hot dogs. Good news for the SOBA and St Patricks Day folks. 🙂

I was glad to see such a large crowd. The vendors I talked to said they were selling a few things. I had a booth myself last year. There weren’t many people then and I didn’t sell a single thing all day so I didn’t bother to get one this time (I also thought I would be back to work by now, but still stuck trying to find a job).

They had a lot of interesting stuff for sale. Everything from cupcakes and honey to home made soaps and cremes, jewelry, pottery, paintings, wood carvings, and more. They even had a ‘community art project’ where everyone was welcome to join the fun and add their own personal touch to a large canvas near the front entrance. I liked to see that the whole thing was very dog friendly too. I saw quite a few people brought their dogs along and they were welcome everywhere. Nice.

There was a man by the front door who built model ships. He had a couple of really large models, one finished and the other still needed a few details added. It looked very time consuming! Tiny little pieces everywhere. I would never have the patience for that, but it looked like a good hobby for some.

The Fort Velasco people had a table there too. I drove by later and saw they’ve got signs up prohibiting metal detectors and a round wooden palisade. Looks like they’re making some progress but I didn’t stop to talk to them this year.

There were quite a few teams entered in the chili cook-off too. Everyone looked like they were having a blast. I’m not a big chili fan so I didn’t try any myself, but it must’ve been popular since a few of the teams were already sold out.

There was also a craft beer tasting that looked interesting, but I can’t take any chances on that so had to skip it. I think the chili and beer definitely helped the attendance this year. I hope they’ll keep on adding more things like that to the festival. It definitely increased the crowds by a lot this year!


Orient Bosphorus

I was picked up right on time at my hotel. I was glad to see a few others coming along while making our way to the ship.

We arrived at the dock, just past the Galata Bridge, and boarded our vessel (sorry but I didn’t get the name). There were a few similar vessels Med moored to the seawall. Our group was one of the first to arrive. We all went to our assigned tables and the crew brought out our national flags for us.

I was surprised by how many different nationalities were represented on this cruise. Azerbaijan, Japan, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Lebanon, Tunisia, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, India, and more. Just at my table there were people from Kuwait, Pakistan, UK, Algeria, and US (me).  And the boat wasn’t really all that crowded. 🙂

We got underway and got to know each other over our appetizer plate. I tried to figure out what everything was. I tasted a little bit of everything. Nothing was really familiar except for a slice of baloney, some cheese, slice of cucumber and tomato.

Between all of us at the table, we figured out that we also had hummus, carrot salad (not sure what else was in it but the carrots but it was good), potato salad, and dolmus (Greek  word for stuffed grape leaves with spiced rice inside). There was also another salad with peas, carrots. And an orangy mystery. Nobody had any clue as to what it was. It was bland tasting, like maybe some sort of bean paste.

We had a choice of chicken, fish or spicy Turkish meatballs for our entree. I had the grilled chicken. It was nothing spectacular. It came with rice and a small salad.

While we were eating, the MC went around the room. Table by table he gave a little pep talk on each nationality, while the rest of us cheered him on. It was actually pretty entertaining. The guy was good. 😉

The show started with a Whirling Dervish. I liked his lighted costume. I wondered how he didn’t get dizzy spinning around like that. But I think that’s pretty much the point. They’re supposed to get dizzy. Remember how you used to spin around when you were a kid? Same thing. 😉

After the Dervish, we had various folk dances. The dancers were excellent. They were spinning and jumping around. The men did something similar to the famous cossack dances. They even did a knife throwing exhibition (only at a block of wood).

The belly dancers were the big hit of the night’s show. The main dancer went all around the room, teasing all the men and really hamming it up. I do wonder how people who have such traditions as belly dancers can also want to keep all women covered up with nothing but their eyes showing. I find it kind of funny to watch the ladies taking photos of each other when they’re all covered up like that. I mean, how can you even tell who’s who? I really just don’t understand the Muslims.

Last night was a great example of people from all over the world- different cultures, different languages, different histories, etc- just getting along being people together and having a good time.

The show ended and the DJs started playing some wild dance music. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single song he played before, but I liked it. Most everyone else knew the songs by heart.

Everyone really got into it. All but a few were out on the dance floor. One woman was jumping around out there with her baby (who looked bewildered). The group of ladies from Lebanon started line dancing (a little differently than we do it in Texas). 😉

line dancing ladies from Lebanon

line dancing ladies from Lebanon

It was pretty chilly outside, but I had to go out to take pictures a few times. 😉

The waterway was beautiful at night. The bridges were all light up. We passed by some of the larger buildings close enough to get a good shot. The moon was just rising over the Asian side of the Bosphorus. I spent a few minutes out on deck smoking. I peeked in the wheelhouse (had to take a look). The Captain even let me take his picture.

All the crew members were very good and friendly. You could tell they liked their jobs. I’m sure they probably get asked the same questions constantly (I started out on passenger vessels), but they never let it show.

 

They dropped me off at my hotel around midnight. I had a great time. If you ever get to Istanbul, check out Orient Bosphorus.

Teaser: Bosphorus Cruise

I’m running late today, so this will just be a short teaser. I’ll write more when I get in tonight.  Yesterday, I went on a dinner cruise through the Bosphorus Straights between Europe and Asia.

It was a beautiful night and the cruise was very entertaining. With good food, company, music and dancing!

Ongoing Arts

It’s been a busy couple of days around here. I got an email last week about today’s Sunset Sip going on tonight in Freeport. I was interested in entering some of my art in the show. I found out the information I needed a couple of days ago.

I spent all day yesterday getting my photos ready. Signing them, matting them, and framing them. I met the lady in charge of the operation (Jennifer) yesterday afternoon in her Freeport office. She has some stunning artwork from previous events decorating the place.

She kindly showed me to the Heritage Ballroom, and then helped me set up in the entry. I brought my big painting of the underwater scene I had painted one winter when it was too rough to go outside on the tanker. I’ve had it hanging on my living room wall ever since. I do really like it. I think it turned out pretty good, especially considering I was using the ships deck paint (and a little wonky from the fumes on the last part- after I had to move it to my room).

Most of the rest I’m bringing are photos. I’m also in the show at the Brazosport Art League  Gallery next to the college. I’ll pick up the ones I have there now and bring a few more to enter there.

Once I do the trade at the BAL Gallery, I’m headed to a photo shoot with the Brazoria County Models & Photographers out in West Columbia for the Day of the Dead. That should give me some awesome photos! The models are all great to work with and I always have a lot of fun. I hate to cut it short, but I’ll have to, in order to get back to Freeport in time for the Sunset Sip.

I’m looking forward to this event. I’m sure to meet lots of interesting people. I hope I get a chance to wander around and check out everyone else’s work. They’re having a zydeco band, a brewery, a winery, and all kinds of food.

I’ll have to tend to my booth, so not sure how much time I’ll have to look around. After all, I do really want to sell some things too.

PS- if you like my work, please let me know. I can have it uploaded and put on all kinds of things. Check it out…https://society6.com/captainjillsjourneys/collection/jill-friedman

Houston Zydeco Festival

I decided to have a little early celebration (hope I’m not jinxing myself). I had 2 prospective jobs last week. The first since last September!

I’m still waiting for confirmation and things change constantly in the offshore world, so I hope I’ll be going back to work soon. It’s a huge step down in both position and pay, but after more than 6 months out of work, I’ll take pretty much anything.

I’ve turned in applications at the Mathnasium, Hastings bookstore and Buc-ee’s in the last week. Tried to avoid applying to jobs like that as long as I could, but I need to do something to bring in some income. My savings are running down fast. 😦

I’ve been stuck hanging around the house so long, broke, stressed and a little depressed. I think I can afford to take a little break. I’m heading to Houston today for the Zydeco Festival. 

It’s going on all day. Lil Nate and the Zydeco Bigtimers, Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws, Keyun and the Zydeco Masters, Gino Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Platinum Players Zydeco Band and dif KO on the turntables are the featured players.

Great Party

Opening Night Party was held inside the Mall of America at Nickelodeon Universe. It’s an amusement park! Woo hoo!

  

Rides, rides, rides! There are all kinds of fun rides. Roller coasters, water flumes, carousels, slides, and the latest “Fly Over America”. That was really cool! You go inside, sit on tiers of benches, take off anything loose, strap yourself in and then the ‘theatre’ goes totally dark for a minute.

 

When the lights come back on, you’re flying in the air high up above the scenery as you fly across the USA. You feel the wind as you swoop and soar, high over the snowy mountains to check out a couple of skiers, then sweeping down to follow a few cowboys round up the herd. You pass through the clouds, feeling their mist on your face and another scene opens up before you.

It was a fantastic experience and the beautiful landscapes would inspire anyone to take a cross country road trip. I wish I was driving home!

Wandering around the park, meeting up with characters like Sponge Bob Square Pants, the Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the bearded lady and her man was pretty cool. Plenty of people had their pictures taken to show the kids back home (me too). 😉

Playing games is always fun, it’s never been so easy to win before. Everyone was happy to play and take home a prize.

The food was great too, Minnesota specialties like walleye sandwiches, wild rice soup and tater-tot pie. A S’mores bar was a great idea. You can book them to come to your party and roast your own specialty marshmallows and ‘fancy’ chocolates. Yum! 🙂

Halloween Treats Recipe Slideshow

Halloween Treats Recipe Slideshow – Photos | Epicurious.com.

I thought you all might enjoy some of these special Halloween recipes. Yes, it’s my favorite holiday. Yeah, I know it’s getting kind-of late, but you can always eat any leftovers later (along with the candy).

Some of them are cute, some are silly, some look really good, some I would take a pass on. Something there for everyone I guess.

Here are a few shots from the article to whet your appetite (there are over 40 more). 🙂

Halloween Cocktails

Halloween Cocktails | Food & Wine.

I’m stuck offshore again this year for Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday (other than St Patrick’s Day- I hate to miss the parade and all that free green beer!).

It’s pretty much a toss up over free green beer and free candy for Halloween, but since I don’t go trick or treating anymore and I’m the one who has to buy the candy now, I have to give St Patrick’s Day the prize for my favorite holiday. 🙂

That Barm Brack looks pretty tasty. I wouldn’t mind one of those Pomegranate and Tequila cocktails either at the end of the day.

They’ve even listed a couple of cocktails that sound especially good for a sailor gal/pirate like me.

Take a look at the Dark and Stormy Death Punch, the Philadelphia Fish House Punch, and the Dark and Stormy. When the Navy Officers invented that one, they described its ominous hue as “the color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under.” Oooohhhh. 🙂

I hope you all can enjoy some of these. I’ve still got at least a week to go til I can get off this ship. 😦

A New App Turns Fractals Into Ornate Art

A New App Turns Fractals Into Ornate Art | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

As a person who appreciates art and a person who’s interested in math, I just LOVE the intersection of both subjects. Fractals are really beautiful examples of both art and mathematics!

You can see examples of fractals in all kinds of places in nature. Tree branches and roots are one. A river delta is another. Spiral shells like a nautilus or conch is another (see my earlier post (https://captjillsjourneys.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/beautiful-spiral-shell/) or the others in that series (corals, sea urchin).

I remember playing with creating very simple basic drawings of fractal equations when I was in jr high school. I would have loved to have been able to continue on with it in later classes, but we had to move on to other things.

I think spending more time on this kind of thing in earlier years in school might help show kids that math is actually a really interesting and useful subject and IS really something we can use in the real world. Its not just something we have to get through in school and will never see again.

I do have to admit, I have personally never used calculus since I got out of school, but if I wanted to, I’m sure I could find a use for it. I’m just busy with other things. 😉

I could definitely find ways to use this app with the fractals, even if just to look at the beauty of it and enjoy it every day. 🙂

I don’t know if this Frax app is free or not, but even if it costs a little bit, it might be worth it. I haven’t had the chance to try it yet since I’ve been offshore since I’ve found out about it. I hope I can try it when I get home. 🙂

14 Halloween Cocktail Recipes

14 Halloween Cocktail Recipes : Decorating : Home & Garden Television.

It looks like I’m going to miss all the Halloween parties this year (again). Here are some scary looking Halloween treats for the grown ups to enjoy while the kids are out hunting for candy. 😉

Instead of the usual Zombies in celebration of Halloween, I’d like to try some of that Pumpkin Spice Halloween Punch or maybe try a Liquefied Ghost or a Vampire, after a few of those I might be ready for some Bloody Brain Shooters (braaaaiiiinnnss)!

Save me some!! 🙂