Houston, Murder, Sickness & Music

Happy Monday, all.  Jason and I had a fabulous weekend in Houston visiting my family.  We drove in Thursday afternoon and made a quick stop on the Northwest side of town to see my Nana, who is doing much better after her open heart surgery last summer.  Then, we ate some lunch at the fine Willie's Ice House before heading over to the east side to Mont Belvieu where my mom, sister and brother live.  We ordered pizza and chit-chatted to our heart's content until we crashed for the night.  Friday, they all had to go to work and school, so Jason and I drove over to Baytown and caught the noon showing of THE GREY with my celeb crush Liam Neeson.  It was awesome!  Neeson vs. wolves...doesn't get crazier than that, my friends.  That night, my mom made her delicious harvest chowder with corn bread and we sat around playing Scattegories and Clue.  On Saturday we all went down to Seabrook to hang out with Aunt Kelley, Uncle Steve, Aunt Kandace, Nana and my cousins.  We had a Kitchen-family traditional lunch of taco soup and cheese dip, superb as always.  During a heated game of Clue later that night, my mom asked my Aunt Kelley about a creepy "Murder Mansion" story she'd been told that supposedly took place in Seabrook, just a few miles from where my aunt and uncle live.  It turns out the story is true.  Apparently this millionaire sex offender named Bill List moved to Seabrook from Ohio in the '70s and had a huge 32,000 square foot mansion built right on the bay.  The mansion was super ugly and looked more like an office building than a home.

The Murder Mansion
In his free time, List would peruse the streets of Montrose and Westheimer in downtown Houston for young, homeless "street" boys.  He would bring them back to his mansion in Seabrook and give them food, shelter, drugs, or whatever else they might want, and in return, he expected sex.  Oh, and they were also his prisoners- they had no way of getting out.  There are rumors that he murdered some of the boys, but I don't think anything was ever proven.  However, List was said to have been abusive and into sexual pain.  One night, four the boys got together and formed a plan to kill List.  The next morning after List went to work, the boys did heroine and completely trashed the house, writing obscene things on the wall.  Smiley, one of the boys, wrote "Bill List is a sick man.  He is going to die" and signed it "Smiley, 1984."  When List got home, Smiley shot him in the head as he was heading up the stairs.  I think the boys were eventually caught because we found something online about Smiley getting out of jail on parole, and he evidently lives just ten miles away from where the mansion used to be.  The mansion was knocked down about four years ago and condos were built in its place.  Some of the residents that now live in those condos claim to have seen a creature and shadows roaming the property at night.  I was super-intrigued by the story especially because I've been going down to Seabrook ever since I was about eight years old, and I had no idea of its history.  Plus, I'm really into haunted houses and spooky stories like that.

When we left Aunt Kelley's that night we had to drive over to the condos where the Murder Mansion once stood just to see if we ran into Mr.List or happened to catch a glimpse of old Smiley.  Of course, we didn't see anything, but it was neat to see where all of that took place!  The next morning, Jason and I went over to my Dad's and hung out there for a few hours before heading back home to Austin sweet Austin.  We caught the very end of the Super Bowl, which was fine by me.  Congrats, Giants!

I woke up this morning with a sore throat, which is usually the first sign that I'm getting sick.  Thanks, world.  Sorry, body.  So, basically I've just been taking it easy today.  I took a bath earlier, gave myself a much-needed pedicure, made cream cheese and herb scrambled eggs and made a grocery list.  Now, I just need the energy to get off the couch, put some clothes on and get to the grocery store.  I might take a nap first... :)

I'm super excited to try a new dinner recipe tonight- Griddled Polenta Cakes with caramelized onions, goat cheese and honey topped with ground chorizo and served with a sweet potato.  Doesn't that just make your mouth water?

Since it's monday, I'll leave you with some music.  This is my favorite song by London indie-rockers, Yuck; it's called "Suck":

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