Category Archives: Landscape

From the Burbs of West Houston!

Greetings and salutations in the suburbs of Houston! It’s great to be writing this blog and as this is the beginning of a new day for me, I would like to start off by saying we lived in the suburbs of Houston. Now you may ask, Houston is so big, where the suburbs? I’m particular HOA is located outside the Beltway’s which means you have to have two green cards to get here. We also live in a floodplain which can be quite interesting concerning the recent floods we’ve had here.

 

All that aside, we live in a very diverse. Houston. The restaurants in this area are not five-star they are more family oriented which is very unique. One of our favorite places to go is El Matador. El Matador is an interesting neighborhood establishment where every Tuesday night, Rodney plays the piano or tickles the ivories as the case may be. Writing has been playing for a long time and we know we are at home when I hear the music I grew up with and realize I’m a bit ancient, hee hee hee hee. The food at EL Matador is a mix of Tex-Mex, Colombian and pure Mexican. Of course I like margaritas but isn’t that what a househusband would like?

 

On Wednesday usually consist of going into town which is a great effort on our part. I tell my spouse Jody, but I can drive from Memphis to Jackson, Tennessee quicker than we can get downtown Houston. However, with the advent of the Westpark toll way, it cuts down on driving time for about 15 minutes depending on traffic. Of course, one must take into account the highway 59 parking lot as it can be atrocious at times. Going into town, we usually hang out in the Montrose area. Montrose area in Houston is a hot spot for multicultural experience, something I really treasure! We lovingly refer to Georges Country Sports Bar as the Cathedral of St. George since that’s where we gather together, especially on Sunday afternoon.  Beginning on Wednesday, I attempt to make the vestry committee meeting. There a lot of plans have to be made for the Sunday services at Georges. Oh, sorry. What I meant to say is that the Cathedral.

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“This is right up there at the top of the list for a bar outing in Houston Montrose area.  Great bartenders, good drinks and usually some club function going on.  OH, and Sunday’s, football season, come in for a great crowd to watch the games along with dollar vodka’s.
Very clean, well maintained, good times and good friends.”

There are a lot of restaurants in that area that Jody and I really like. The go to place for us is Barnaby’s! Barnaby’s has the menu that will knock your socks off. The serving sizes are enough that when we order separate meals we had enough for the next day. I usually like the salads and Jody really likes the chicken WONTONS. He likes of so much that even the hot sauce we had to find the Chinese markets.

 

Next place we like is the Ripcord! The Ripcord has undergone some changes from a full-time leather bar to more of an open community gathering spot. The owner, Brad, has opened up the space and invited artists in various disciplines and to show and promote their wares. Speaking of wares, Chip Ware and his spouse have opened up a new shop in the Ripcord. I highly recommend Montrose area of Houston.

 

Getting back to West Houston, the homeowners association here seems to be operating still in the 80s. Me, I am a creative type person and I need room to breathe. Perhaps there is a chance to turn things around and install solar panels, a usable landscape, more economical energy-saving products and bring things up to speed with 21st century. Now, in Texas, the homeowners associations are very powerful and seem to be able to get away with anything. So, I have to learn to work within the system and change it.

 

So, what is a Houston househusband to do at a time like this? Leave it for squeezing it? Fit in or stand out?

Jere Merman Style

 

I believe it’s time for a cocktail or better yet a cigar and a glass of sweet tea on the veranda that doesn’t exist yet. Blasted homeowners associations that I have to draw up plans and submit for approval around in the backyard. Oh well enough for now, see you next time!

Me 2016

Musical Ramblings and Visions

Today I am listening to spotify, some of my recordings and those of friends I have worked with around the world.  Being an artist is a treasure I hold dearly in my life and apply artistic aspects to everything I do.  My canvas is sound at times and I love painting with sound.  Music is my primary language and an escape from a rather hectic world.

I am in my easy chair with Ms. Ethel on my lap and the Duker vying for attention at my feet.  These are our kids as we call them and all rescue animals that just showed up on our doorstep.

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The music today is taking me back to Memphis, Tennessee, home of the blues, culture, Memphis in May, The outstanding Memphis Symphony and Germantown. It is also the home of the Rendevous and Interstate BBQ of food network fame.  header

I have an interesting history with these establishments both musically and in the kitchen.  Heck, I grew up there and love the taste and feel of the city! We have cooked side by side at many events across the Memphis/Shelby County area to the joy of many!

Enough of that about me and on to my reasons for sharing today.

There is a lot going on around the world right now. Mr. Paul Pellay is having a composition of his premiered by a highly capable Violinist.  Paul and I go back decades and he is married to a great violist, Michelle Pellay-Walker that I consider my sister from another mother.  This performance is taking place in Jolly Old England.

From Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Violinist

“At the violin, a day of rigour and joy. Bach in the morning then this. I am proud to have studied, and premiered, literally, hours of solo violin music by the extraordinary Paul Pellay, and this latest is absolutely engrossing-here’s the score, at what I call ‘base 1’ technical work. The groundwork in place, the notes in the hands and the brain, and now the real work begins. Here’s a Spotify link to Paul’s extraordinary ‘Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness’. Violinists, what are you waiting for?”

Paul Pelay score

 

On the other side of the world, the the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Justin Smith, Director of Choirs at Maryhurst University is preparing from the summer.

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Stay Tuned!  Things are heating up here in Houston also!  But for today, I am relaxing before the weekend when Jody and I celebrate our 16th anniversary of being together. We were officially MARRIED in November of 2014.  We are having a casual at home BBQ where Tennessee meets Texas!  16 years ago, on April 1, I arrived in Houston to begin a life with Jody Turner. It’s been an up and downhill roller coaster ride but we are still together these 16 years later! FB_IMG_1436131882732
We would like to cordially invite you to our home on Sunday, April 3, 2016 for a Tennessee meets Texas BBQ in honor of this decade plus of being together. A lot has happened in these years and it’s time to celebrate.
Stop by for good times, good friends, good food and some all out fun!
Please pardon the house as it is now a DYI project that will be ongoing for a bit. I am also taking the liberty of creating videos of the work as it progresses along with recipes, exploring Jere’s kitchen and teaching videos for clarinet excellence.
If perchance, anyone would be considering an anniversary present, we need help on the renovations to the house!
We look forward to seeing everyone!  Recipes and menus will be here later but today, I am having fun with our mischevious kids!  

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Ta Ta for now and have a great day!

Jere

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Sakura Sakura!

It’s Cherry Blossom Time in Japan and DC. Actually around the world! If you have never been to Japan, I feel for you. It’s a beautiful country full of life, vitality and culture.

The yearly excitement awaiting the announcement of Spring begins when the Cherry Blossoms begin their path to blooming and when they do, life stops for a space of time. The festivals are amazing, full of friendship and kinship.

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I had the great joy, from the seventies as a young Marine to present day, of experiencing this rebirth of nature. It’s absolutely amazing!

To begin, here is a traditional performance of the Japanese Folk Song, “Sakura Sakura”. Relax, have a cup of green tea and perhaps some Umeboshi or a full plate of Oshinko, Japanese pickles along with a light addition of Poke or Ika Yaki!

Nabeyaki Udon Nippon
Nabayaki Udon from Nippon in Houston

By the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Nippon Japanese Restaurant in Houston, Texas is my go to place here for the authentic experience!  It’s now in the second generation of a traditional Japanese family owned restaurant here and it’s wonderful.  If you are in Houston, be sure and stop by.  Tell them Jere sent you.  The Uni is fantastic as is the shashimi.

 

From many of the masterpieces of the koto house, Michio Miyagi is a musician that represents Japan, promotional video we produced this time “Sakura Variations” As the first step. This work is composed in Michio Miyagi is 1923, very as timeless classics even now about 90 years have passed since a popular work. To represent the Michio Miyagi of the music world, please watch a performance by the Miyagi Orchestra volunteers. In winter, the “Spring of the sea” as the 4th we plan to up the promotional video. Please stay tuned. Miyagi Soke Facebook: Facebook.Com/miyagimichio Twitter: Twitter.Com/miyagimichio Web: Www.Miyagikai.Gr.Jp

Ah, the inspiring music of the Koto! The Geisha Houses are still active and quite relaxing. Taking a stroll down the Ginza or in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is a nice place to be also during this time.

Tokyo Imperial Palace
Cherry trees of the Imperial Palace “dry street (dry as)” pass-through in the spring of introduction to the general public. Was for the first time published, about 75 connecting from Sakashita Gate Kitanomaru Park to near the dry Gate 0m. Inui street bloom 76 cherry trees, such as Yoshino cherry tree in the spring. Until now, New Year and the Emperor Reborn except for the general Sangha production date, generally was not able to pass through it is. Open to match the full bloom of the cherry blossoms will be the first time. Cherry Blossom In Imperial Palace (Tokyo) The Imperial Palace, Where Their Majesties The Emperor And Empress Reside, Is Situated In The Center Of Tokyo. The Palace Is Surrounded By A Water-Filled Moat And Tree-Covered Grounds Of Nature Within The Bustling Metropolitan City. In Commemoration Of Umbrella Kotobuki Of His Majesty The Emperor, Opening To The Public Is Performed According To Imperial Palace Inui Street In Spring. Inui Street Has 76 Cherry Trees And Is The Perfect Place For People To Experience The Beauty Of Nature.

In Japan, time progresses and for an updated version of this very traditional folk song, enjoy!

Rin ‘- Sakura Sakura ((Sakura Sakura)) Instrumental

For those in the United States, get thee to our nations Capitol for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival!

I apologize for my absence as of late but I have been dealing with some health issues. Coming up is my take on Japanese Cuisine, Culture and my life there and here in the States. It’s wonderful being an artist and having the opportunity to travel the world as a performer and teacher.

59 Diner Closes In Houston

An Iconic Restaurant closed in Houston yesterday evening.  59 Diner.

“A tipster called the Houston Press to inform us that all employees at the 3801 Farnham location at Shepherd were asked to leave and return on Thursday to pick up their final checks. We were told that none of the employees were expecting to be laid off and the caller said that the restaurant seemed busy during breakfast hours. Some of the employees have been with that 59 Diner location for several years and were reportedly given no time to make preparations for this unexpected turn of events.”

This is a shame as I really liked this restaurant!

The Pipeline

The Pipeline in Memphis was a leather bar that came on the scene in the eighties. Owned by Dennis and Stan, they pushed me to develop recipes using all natural ingredients for the infamous Sunday afternoon buffet and beer bust. There were also special events such as the pool tournaments where they demanded excellent foods sourced from local super markets and wholesale venues.
There was always an event planned at the Pipeline and that involved the kitchen. Mr. Leather Tennessee brought in people from around the world to our little place and we went to great lengths to prepare! There were also seasonal events including Mardi Gras, Cookouts, the Pipette Fourth of July benefit and other big feeds. We also coordinated with Memphis In May with a month of selections from the cuisine of the recognized nation that year. That was a challenge for me and yet I expanded my horizons as more was asked.
The challenge for me was to being excellent cuisine on a small budget. I accomplished that by taking standard fare and expanding with noodles into casseroles and such. The big events called for me personally developing as a chef and putting out a varied international cuisine. The Pipeline kitchen was a pass through from the office to the back bar and it amazed me how we could turn out some fabulous meals in short order. I learned a lot there and am grateful for the Widow McCain, the Manager, Jeff Hardy and for the wonderful people of Memphis!

Friday, beginning of a regular weekend or is it?

For all those 8 to 5 folks, this is the usual. However, in the arts and service industries, our week is just beginning. This weekend in Houston is a large event going on in the Montrose known as LUEY or “Let Us Entertain You” weekend where the leather folk from Houston extend the red carpet to the folks from New Orleans that put out, err, put on Mardi Gras every year. It’s a fun event and takes place in the bars and denzions of the Greater Houston Midtown Area.

Continue reading Friday, beginning of a regular weekend or is it?

Global Seafoods North America

This is one of the places I shop!  Global Seafoods North America has a great selection of seafoods and condiments to go along with them!   It’s important to source ingredients at a cost effective and with a high quality.

The Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon is fantastic, especially on a Sunday morning with a good bagel and eggs.  My coffee comes from New Orleans.

And then there is Caviar for the discriminate tastes!  Here, we have an excellent Caviar!  Try it, you will like it!

Eagle Houston

We walked to up a practically new building that was formerly 611, a bit a divey establishment during the time I have been in Houston.  I didn’t know what to expect with the redesign but what I saw on first impression was a very unique concept for the Montrose.  The façade features a series of porches on two floors along with a rustic exterior that took me back to being at Disney World and the Country Bear Jamboree.   Interesting as the Eagle is also home to the Houston Bears.  It seems as no detail has been left out on this building and what a revamp.

Continue reading Eagle Houston

JKROQ COMES OF AGE!

American Fuzion! What a concept with the US of A being the Melting Pot of the world and a dynamic diversity of food, art and music combine into one. ROQ hopes to develop this concept in a multi-tiered approach to the inspiration of all these cultures combing into one people. Continue reading JKROQ COMES OF AGE!