Tuesday, June 30, 2009

From Our Moscow Bureau

Last week I attended the Moscow International Oil and Gas Exhibition (for those of us in the Oil business this is Russia's answer to Houston's Offshore Technology Conference). I've been to a lot of oil field trade shows and conventions and I have never seen anything like this. It might not have measured up to the size of Houston’s OTC, but what it lacked in size it made up for in marketing ingenuity.

Each booth is sponsored by a company, usually oil service related, (i.e. Baker Hughes, Weatherford, Schlumberger) that is marketing its products and or services. And at each booth there are ridiculously hot girls that have been hired to be just that...ridiculously hot. In fact, it's pretty common knowledge that the companies that rent these booths contact modeling agencies to pick out their models that will be standing around lookin' pretty all week.

But i guess in Russia where most of the women are ridiculously hot no matter where you are, marketers are forced to come up with a better strategy. This year the clever Russian marketeers had topless girls standing around near the booths passing out flyers. TOPLESS! Well, I guess I am exaggerating a bit. They were tasteful enough to use an airbrush to paint the company logo over the girl's...girlies for lack of a better word.

Anyway, I was going to take a picture to send back to the planners of next year's OTC in Houston but my boss saw me reaching for my camera and told me that he thought it might be tasteless for me to take the picture. After all, I'm sure the girls wouldn't want to bring any unwanted attention to themselves.

Only in Russia…

Oh, and I told him later that day that I wasn't reachin' for my camera. I was hoping that I might have some paint thinner stashed away in my pocket.

~The Moscow Correspondent

Monday, June 29, 2009


Last week I won a journalism award. I beat out a number of other reporters for the award, including one of my own coworkers who was nominated in the same category.

Today he walked up to me, leaned in close and said in a low voice "in high school, my history teacher always said winning anything less than first place was like kissing your sister."

Then he kissed me and said "congrats, sis."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This morning as I pulled into the parking lot of city hall, I noticed a councilmember park his car in one of the spaces reserved for the media. He got out of the car and started walking toward the building. All of a sudden the parking attendant walked up to him and said "you can't park there."

"But I'm a councilmember," the councilmember replied.

"I know who you are, honey. But you can't park there. Those spots are reserved for the news media," the parking attendant said. "They gotta be able to get inside and tape you. You gotta park somewhere else."

Oh it was a sweet, sweet moment.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I remember you.
I remember that your body was broken.
I remember that your blood was spilled.
I remember that you didn't have to do it.

I remember you,
I remember how your body was broken.
And I remember how they pierced your side,
Then you defied death and you ascended into the sky.

Nudity Strikes Again

It's going to be 100 degrees on Wednesday. Every Wednesday I meet a friend to go for a walk/run in the park. I suggested we wear air conditioned suits tomorrow. She suggested a cheaper, low maintenance alternative.

If you see two girls walking naked at Memorial Park tomorrow...wave hello to us.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Going Nude

I hope that title got your attention. There will not actually be any nudity in this episode of the QQ. Sorry to disappoint.

Yesterday I had a hankering for Starbucks. But I had a dilemma. I had just stepped out of the shower, my hair was wet and I was wearing no make-up. I usually don't leave the house under those conditions. But I decided to throw caution to the wind.

I walked into my neighborhood Starbucks, greeted the barista and placed my order. He took my order, handed me my change and then peered closely at me and said "you look really familiar."

Yeah. He didn't recognize me without make-up on.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

He Said, She Said

Me: "You know sometimes you're not very nice to me."

Him: "What are you talking about? I say positive things to you all the time."

Me: "Yesterday you told me I looked like the mayor's wife."

Him: "That was a compliment! The dress you were wearing was so cool! You looked good...like you could be a mayor's wife."

Me: "Oh. (long pause as I mull this over) Well next time could you just say 'I like that dress. You look nice'...?"

Sometimes men and women just don't understand each other.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Things that have been said to me or about me in the past few days

You're dressed like a mayor's wife.

You take the fixer-uppers and make them worthwhile.

I caught her (LJ) off guard big time.

How many other people are you sleeping with?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shopping Around

Last night I went grocery shopping and stopped in at the deli to get some turkey. I was waiting patiently for my turn and was a bit lost in the meanderings of my mind, when I sensed a shopping cart pulled up very close behind me. I crept forward, creating a bit more distance and the cart followed. Then a man behind me started loudly saying "excuse me ma'am" in a really annoyed tone as he attempted to edge his cart past mine.

There just wasn't much room, so I pulled over to the side as much as I could and turned to look at him, only to be confronted with kind eyes, dazzling teeth and a friendly smile coming from the warm gaze of an extremely attractive man.

He then proceeded to talk with me for the next 10 minutes in the grocery store as we compared items in our grocery carts, sampled different selections the deli ladies wanted us to try and chatted about sundry subjects.

We walked through the parking lot together...with plans to see each other on Sunday.

Ok ok fine...it was a guy I know from church and am friends with. Happy now?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Geeks and Freaks

I was at a public radio conference in Portland. Cue the geeks.

On Saturday, I checked out the Portland Saturday Market which is a huge arts and crafts market. Vendors bring all sorts of handmade products and hundreds of people show up each weekend. Now the first thing you need to know is that Portland's inhabitants are...well...weird. Very edgy, alternative, punk, hippie...all rolled into one.

Now factor in that this past Saturday was Pride Day in Portland and you suddenly have one very, VERY interesting market experience.

I saw midgets, an entire group of people in pirate costumes, hippies petitioning for medical marijuana, white women with dreads and peasant skirts, transvestites and one guy wearing a purple corset and hot pants who held a sign that said "Spare change for sex change." Cue the freaks.

Let's just say in this glorious melange of humanity, I probably stuck out as a total weirdo.
One of these things is not like the others...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why Houston?

As Amy and I traveled through beautiful environments with temperate climates we kept asking ourselves one question: Why in the world do we live in Houston?

We came to the conclusion that it's because of the people. Clearly the weather is not keeping us in town. It also can't be the stunning architecture or amazing parks, quality of life or walkability of the city. Sure isn't the wonderful commute and carefree traffic. Yep. Must be the people.

That's why we've decided to start a commune. Applications are being accepted, but be advised admittance will be HIGHLY exclusive and based on arbitrary factors like how much we like being around you and whether or not we think you're cute.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I've seen London, I've seen France...

I've seen the QUEEN!

That's right. Her Royal Majesty, the Queen of England.

So there we were in London, walking the streets of the city. We decided to stroll past Buckingham Palace. Why, you ask? Because we could. So we're walking along outside the palace. It's really not much to look at, but it's bigger than my house so I can't really criticize.

All of a sudden this police officer walking around looks at us, gives this little sideways wink and says "somebody's coming."

We look at each other in excitement...could it be one of the Royals?!

Within five minutes...sure enough...a huge Bentley rolls around the corner and drives through the front gate no more than six feet away from me. Sitting inside, wearing her little hat, is Elizabeth II, Queen of England!

A collective gasp went up from the handful of bystanders and we all started jumping up and down and screaming "the Queen! the Queen!" as she rode by smiling and waving and nodding.

We were giddy.