Monday, April 30, 2007

Karla May, MIA

Internets, it appears that I'm about to be totally missing in action.

Tomorrow begins a 2 1/2 day conference at work hosted by yours truly. It's a big effin' deal. 60 people will be attending from all over the country, and it's more or less my "debut" as Team Leader of my team. It's a highly important meeting for my team as well because it will be our first meeting of this sort in over two years, and it will provide a real opportunity to finally shake off the ghost of our former Team Leader who did shitheaps of political damage with a lot of these folks before she hightailed it out of here. We've all been prepping for this sucker for what feels like eons, and now it's finally here. It goes all day tomorrow, then there's a group event in the evening, all day Wednesday, and until noon on Thursday.

Then, Thursday afternoon, The Geej, Dah, and I get on a plane and head for the beach. Thank God. I need a break, and a change of scenery will be very nice as well.

All of this is to say that I may be a bit absent from the blog-o-sphere for the coming week. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and check out some of the new links I've added on the right and spend some quality time contemplating the following chart:
You're welcome.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Everything hurts.

My hands. My elbows. My knees. And of course, my back.

That's what two consecutive afternoons of flowerbed cleaning out, hardcore weeding, and planting will do to you when you're as old as I am. Jesus, people. The hot (and MUCH needed) shower I took along with the 4 Advil I popped immediately after the yardwork was done have done zilch to keep me from feeling like I got beaten with heavy chains. But damn if everything doesn't look better. I netted two 30 gallon leaf bags filled to capacity with just weeds. That's how nasty-looking my flowerbeds were.

I've still got some plant purchasing and planting to do before I'll feel comfortable enough to share photos with ya'll, but at least I'm getting there.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


When I moved to Birmingham, AL in 1994 (I know!! I can't believe it was that long ago either!), one of the things I was amazed to discover was that--gasp--B'ham had 4 actual seasons. Holy crap! That whole "spring/summer/winter/fall" thing I'd been hearing about during my entire life spent in Texas was actually true!! I couldn't believe it. It's sort of like finding out there are actually "Martians" living on Mars. But not really.

What I DID discover was:

The autumns were long and colorful.

The winters really were cold and had ice and snow and shit. (Which, of course, was still rare enough to hold that "Snow Day!" charm. And as we all know, "snow day charm" totally rules.)

The springs were glorious and lingered for months, punctuated with mad dogwoods, commandeering the forests and roadside medians. (Yeah, I went all "romance novel" on you bitches. But was gorgeous.)

The summers were warm, but not horrible. Totally bearable, but definitely noticable.

Then I moved to Chicago in the autumn of 1997, and I discovered that the winters (and the gloom that accompanied them) started in October and lasted until late April. Roughly 6 fucking months, people. And the remaining 6 months of the year? Springsummerfall. Although they were short they were enjoyable. However, the dominance of winter did not make me happy.

So I moved back to Austin in October, 1999. And the first September I was here, we broke a Labor Day weekend record that still holds: 110, 112, and finally 114 degrees in a ten-day stretch during which every day topped out over three digits. Clearly, I was back in the land that was the mirror image of Chicago, with 6 months of summer, and then fallwinterspring all quick and shit.

Not so, this spring.

I'm happy to report that our spring has actually been wet and green and cool and filled with wildflowers and epic Texas storms. In short, absolutely lovely and authentic. It's actually been "spring."
Which brings me to this...

Strawberry perfection. (Which would make a great nail polish color/stripper name, by the way.)
I bought a carton of strawberries a few days ago at Whole Foods, and today when I was cutting some up for The Geej, I discovered this gem. How amazingly perfect is it? Wow. The shape, the color, the ripeness. This is spring in fruit form.

A springtime trip to the farm:

Thanks to Jaye and her alert attention to The Chronicle, she prompted us to go to Pure Luck Farms today to, you know, pet baby goats. Other than the fact that Jaye and I TOTALLY looked like the principal cast members of "The Geej has Two Mommies" (not that there's anything wrong with that), we had a nice time.

Of course there were goat babies to be fed and petted.

Then there were adult goats (also known as "Big Goats" to industry insiders) to be admired.

All I've got to say about this is, if there are actually any heterosexual males who read this blog on a regular basis (which I kind of doubt), you guys should HOPE to come back in another life as a Pure Luck Farms buck. Dude!! 20 females to 1 male. Your only job? Eat, stay healthy, and have sex while living in an idyllic setting surrounded by people who care for you and WANT you to impregnate as many females as possible.
I'm just saying, seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.
Oh. Where was I before I got distracted with goat reincarnation/sex? Oh yes...
We also petted goats with twins on board that needed to be sympathized with. (Bless her heart. She's all kinds of knocked up with twins and just lying there praying for labor while the other not-so-pregnant goats are frolicking about.)

And of course we petted any farm cats (and dogs) that showed up. (Sorry, no photos of "Lucy" and "Queso" the farm dogs, but trust me, they were cute).

And there were gorgeous horses to be ogled.
And electric fences to be shocked by. (Sorry, Jaye.)

And later, at lunch (The Geej loves "Aunt Jaye," can't you tell?)we bonded with a four-letter word spouting bird to be admired.

We like spring is all I'm sayin'.

More, please!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

File Under: Terrible Idea

I noticed this week on my way downtown to work that there's a pawn shop on south Lamar that has a big banner hanging out front that says, "Moms LOVE Little Surprises."


Thanks for clue-ing me in, Pawn Shop of Destiny!!

If by "little surprises" they mean a most-likely stolen second hand television or a recently-hocked diamond ring whose proceeds were used to secure a meth score, then yes, this is absolutely the type of thing most mothers are hoping they'll receive on Mother's Day.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Insomnia + Wireless = Post on Cars!

It's nearly 5am. I've been tossing and turning since about 3:40, and I finally decided to say, "Fuck it," and get up. So I've got some time to kill between now and when The Geej comes and crawls in bed to "snugguh," so I give you: The Kars of Karla May!

[All the photos are grabbed from Google image search, so no, they're not the actual cars of Karla May, but they're close enough.]

Car #1: 1984 Buick Skyhawk

This photo looks a lot like my car, actually. It was white with a navy interior. I freakin' LOVED this car. My stepdad had some business associate whose son was shipping off to join the Navy or something, and was no longer going to need his car. So my mom and he bought his gently used Skyhawk (it had about 8,500 miles on it) and presented it to me in November, 1985--3 months before my actual 16th birthday. It sat in the driveway taunting me. I wanted to drive it SO badly, but since I didn't have a license yet, I was limited to jaunts around my neighborhood and the occasional trip to the grocery store for mom. Finally she relented to my whining, and I got to drive it to school. God, I thought I was cool.

For my birthday that year, my dad installed a bad ASS stereo--complete with new speakers and a power booster/equalizer. My Van Halen tapes sounded so damn awesome. My license plate was 185 RJP, so my car became known as the "Rockin' Jammin' Princess." Yep, I'm a dork. My dad also eventually tinted my windows and had some custom pinstriping done. In other words, he pimped my ride. I drove the SHIT out of this car. I was almost always the one who drove when my girlfriends and I went out on the weekends during high school, then I took it with me to college, so it logged many miles on the Longview to Austin (and back again) trip. When I traded it in for my next car, I actually cried. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend. But it was time to let her go so that I could move from coupe to sedan. And get a sunroof. And cruise control.

Car #2: 1990 Mitsubishi Galant LS

My dad got injured on the job, sued the company whose machinery he was working on when he was injured, got a $200,000 settlement, and in true white trash, never-had-money-before fashion, started spending it like a maniac. First, he bought himself a red corvette. Next, a house. And then me, a car. You have to understand how crazy this was: My dad was not the generous kind generally. Yes, he would do stuff like pimp my ride (as he did with car #1), but that was more because he was into cars and stereos than it was about giving me anything. So for him to even offer to give me a downpayment for a car would've floored me. But no--he went to the lot with me and paid cash for a brand new, totally loaded vehicle. I nearly shit myself. We bought it in Shreveport, LA while I was home on Christmas break in 1990. It was the end of they year, he was paying cash, and he was a hardcore negotiator, so he got a damn good deal on it. I can remember driving it back to Longview and into the driveway at my mom's house, and her being pretty blown away at house nice it was. It was seriously cool--dark navy, with a navy interior (again, the photo above looks a whole lot like my actual car). Top of the line stereo. Sunroof. Every bell and whistle available at that time.

I drove it back to Austin after the break, and the very first weekend I took it out and parked it near 6th street, someone keyed it from the front bumper to the back. Awesome.

Aside from teaching me that I never wanted another dark car with a dark interior while living in Texas, this car was the bomb diggity. Very reliable and comfortable. It saw me through the rest of college, through my underemployed slacker years, and on into grad school. I eventually put over 100,000 miles on it in 7 years. It was looking a little rough when I traded it in on car #3.

Car #3: 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage LS

What I really wanted was another Galant. But I couldn't afford one--unless of course I went for the base model with no bells, zero whistles. I'd become spoiled by my LS, so I wasn't willing to skimp out on features. So I downgraded to the Mirage, but was able to get it fully loaded. I got in in white with a grey interior. It was a cute, fun little car. And the biggest deal was it was the first car that I bought for myself. I mean, I went in and negotiated for it by myself. I made the car payments by myself. I (eventually) paid for the insurance by myself. I felt all kinds of grown up with the Mirage.

The week I bought it, I accidentally rear-ended some redneck in a 1964 Dodge Dart that had "I (heart) my Rottweiler" and Confederate flag bumper stickers. I was going all of 11 miles an hour when the accident happened, but it managed to bang up my front end. His tank of a car was fine, but he claimed he'd injured his neck. Whatthefuckever. State Farm gave him the "Oh no you DIDN'T" smackdown, and he crawled back to his trailer park in Irondale. But still: my brand new big girl car wasn't brand new anymore. It sucked. I eventually took the Mirage with me to Chicago where it took its fair share of city abuse, and then it came with me when I moved back to Austin. It was a good car--again, reliable and comfortable--but I didn't love it nearly as much as I did car #4.

Car #4: 2002 Volkswagen Jetta V6 Wagon

Holy God. After spending my entire car owning life driving 4-cylinder vehicles, the V6 Jetta was nothing short of a revelation. What a kick ass car. A real driver's car. And it was made in Germany--not in Mexico like so many Volkswagens now are--so it rolled off the same assembly line as the Audi Quatro, and it felt, well, German. I got a helluva deal on it: It had been a dealer's car, so it had 800 miles on it, and also, I bought it at the end of the model year, so they were willing to deal. Basically, I got the totally tricked out version of this car for the price of a used base model. Amazing stereo. Wood grain and chrome interior. Leather, heated seats. I wanted to totally make out with this car, I loved it so much. But alas, The Geej came along, and the backseat became terribly small (now that her big ass carseat was in there), and it was also terribly low and hard to get in and out of, so in late 2005, I (rather impulsively) traded it in on the current car.

Car #5: 2003 Nissan Murano SL
"Family car" is right. It was a lease-return vehicle with about 35,000 miles on it. Not as many bells and whistles as the Jetta (no sunroof--which I miss more than I thought I would, no leather interior, lame-ish stereo, missing cargo cover). But it's comfy, and there's plenty of room for two adults with actual human legs to sit in the backseat along with The Geej's carseat. One thing that bugs me though is that these cars (especially the silver ones like mine) are EVERYWHERE. They're so ubiquitous it's almost comical.

So there you have it. Now you can sleep more easily knowing what I've driven all my life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A million lights are dancing and there you are, a shooting star...

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

My favorite movie of all time "Xanadu" is headed for the great white way.

I am pretty sure I've just died and gone to heaven.

I WILL see this show.

Monday, April 23, 2007


That's me. Zombified.

I'm coming off of a fabulous weekend spent with Mr. Wonderful. We had a great time just lounging, hanging out with The Geej, driving around in the Hill Country, stopping at weird shops, visiting with friends, eating sushi, reading, talking, making fun of Earl. It was hard to let him go back to Colorado today, but I predict this will be his last spring there. He's really starting to make things happen that will make his (and his family's) move down to Austin a reality. I'm almost breathless with excitement.

Last week was hellacious at work. Let me just put it this way: sometimes being the "boss" ain't fun. At all. And last week was one of those weeks. It was physically, mentally and emotionally draining. But Friday afternoon, my team and I took off, had a long lunch at Hula Hut and then went canoeing on Town Lake. We all needed it, and the weather was spectacular.

This week is going to be another nut buster. I've got assloads of work to do prepping for this huge conference my team is hosting next week. We've got about 60 people who will be attending, and all eyes will be on us to show that a) we're a different team than we were when we hosted the last conference of this type 2 years ago and b) that the current team leadership (i.e., yours truly) isn't as big of a nutcase as the last person who was leading the team. I'm more excited than anxious. I'll just be glad when it's all behind me and I'm sitting on a plane headed toward the beach. Which is happening. A week from this Thursday. If I don't die of chronic sleepiness syndrome (now, with extreme yawning!).

More as I muster up the energy and creative brainpower...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

As if you needed further proof that I'm the coolest mofo on the planet.

Tuesday evening, I had a minor panic when I looked at my calendar for work, then I looked at my work "To Do" list, and realized I was on the verge of drowning.

I called Saint Dah and asked her if she could come fetch The Geej from school on Wednesday so that I could stay late at work and tackle some of the mountain o' shit I needed to get to at work. Of course, she said yes because she fucking rules.

Also Tuesday night, I was directed to this post on a blog called "Diner Girl." I laughed my ass off, and immediately started jonesing for some Chicago. 70s funky groovy lots of horns Chicago. Not the 80s pussed out Peter Cetera and keyboard-heavy Chicago. My mom used to order those old Chicago albums from Columbia House, and she'd play them on the weekends when we'd be cleaning house in our little divorcee/single mom apartment.

Next evening, as everyone left the building and I settled into the idea of staying as late as I needed to to knock out as much stuff as I could at work, I hopped on iTunes and downloaded this "Best of..."Chicago collection that had--I'm crappin' you negative--38 fucking songs. For $11.99. Yes, about 1/3 of them are the 80s (and later) crap that I refer to above, but the rest of it? Fucking gold, people. I strapped on my headphones and then the singing began. Full, unadulterated belting it out. Yes, the cleaning crew was there, but what did I care? I'd never see them again, and I'm sure they were all laughing at the wacked out gringa bopping in her chair and wailing "25 or 6 to 4" at the top of my lungs.

This continued until well after the cleaning crew were done and had left for the night. I was getting SO much work done, that I didn't want to leave and get out of my groove.

Finally, about 8:30, I had to get up to pee. And OH MY GOD, I saw this gal from the legal team at the printer. She sits about 10 ft. and over one cube wall from me. I just about died. I was all, "Oh hi, Legalgirl. I thought I was the only one here...(nervous laugh). I mean, I was REALLY signing there...I wouldn't have done that if I'd known...I'm so sorry if I bothered you." This particular gal is a rather humorless soul, and she just kind of went, "Oh, I put my headphones on."

Cripes. I turned about 82 shades of crimson and slinked off to my cube.

I ended up staying another 45 minutes or so, but the rocking was kept to a minimum. I did, however, burn a badass Chicago mix for the car, so now it's The Geej who's being tortured with my singing. Poor, poor girl.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You're welcome, Mom.

When my maternal grandmother passed away suddenly 8 years ago, my mom and her siblings had the unenviable task of going and cleaning out Grandma's stuff from the house of her husband. I say "house of her husband" on purpose because my grandmother had remarried late in life (after being divorced from my jackass grandfather for 30+ years) to a widower, and had sold her house and most of the stuff in it, and had moved into his house where he'd lived with his former wife and raised their kids, etc. So, even though she lived there for 10 years, it always felt like we were formal visitors when my mom and all of my grandmother's other progeny came to call (rather than like family who could lounge around, raid the fridge, change the channel on the t.v., etc.).

Even though it was a dismal task, my mom and her sisters had a pretty good time unearthing all of my grandma's weird shit. Like most people who were raised dirt ass poor in The Depression, my grandmother never EVER threw anything away. So my they found boxes and bags and other types of containers FULL of half-used, sort of empty bath and body products. Make-up from the 60s. Hundreds of perfume samples and bottles of hotel toiletries. Medicine bottles so old that the liquid had evaporated and the copy had completely worn off of the labels. Mounds and mounds of pantyhose with runners in them. Shoes that had never been worn. Clothes from previous decades that still had tags on them. You get the idea.

I guess because my mom is a)the sibling who lived the closest to Grandma's house and b) had room to store it, she ended up with most of this shit. Why they did not throw the vast majority of it out remains a mystery.

I guess it shouldn't have been much of a surprise because, as they say, the apple doth not fall far from the tree.

Case in point: A few years back, I was visiting my mom and stepfather in the Pine Curtain, and I was examining her pantry. There were things in there that were so expired that I'm pretty sure they presented a public health risk, but the BEST one that I found was a box of "Chicken Cacciatore" mix that I had bought when I was living in my first apartment in college. In 1988. Somehow, it made its way to my mom's pantry, and had lived there comfortably until the new Millennium. And don't even get me started on her spice cabinet. Wow. I found shit in there that had labels written in calligraphy in what I'm pretty sure was Middle English.

When my mom moved from her house in the Pine Curtain (where she'd lived since 1983) to the Hill Country in late 2005, I thought, "Finally!! She'll finally be forced to clean out all of Grandma's old bullshit AND face the facts that she's got a lot of scary old stuff that she needs to jettison as well."

Fast forward to this past weekend.

I was alone with The Geej at my mom's house on Saturday night. The baby was asleep, nothing was on t.v., and I was bored. So, I decided to get nosy. The guest room that is more or less "my room" when I go to her house has its own attached bathroom. Within this bathroom is ooooooodles of storage, including a big, walk-in closet that is practically empty. And then there are the shelves full of plastic bins. I knew these bins held band-aids, extra soap and the like, but like I said, I was feeling nosy, so I decided to see what else they held inside. When I did so, I was visited by the ghost of my grandmother.

Exhibit A:

This is the treasure trove of stuff that I pulled out of the bins that either had clearly marked expiration dates that had come and gone many moons ago or were so clearly decades old, they deserved culling.

Exhibit B:

Oh look! This dietary supplement just turned 10 years old! It'll be entering the 5th grade this fall. Congrats!

Exhibit C:

Remember when "Giorgio, Beverly Hills" was a big deal? It was about the same time that "Dynasty" was #1 in the ratings. (Fun fact: My mom also still has a yellow and white striped "Giorgio of Beverly Hills" beach towel that I'm pretty sure she got with a coupon from "Parade" magazine.)

Exhibits D and E:

I have SO many questions about these products: "Was there really weasel oil in these things, or was it just a clever marketing ploy because, hey, what's more compelling than weasel oil that you can put on your face!?" "Was the 'Rose Marie' mentioned in the the 'Collection By..." line the same Rose Marie that wore the little bows in her hair on the Dick VanDyke show? And if so, how involved WAS she in the 'Oil of Mink' R&D process?" "What the fuck is a 'Moist Cote'?"

Exhibit F:

No label. No idea. Too scared to open and try and figure it out.

Exhibit G:
You've used "Dawn Mist" deodorant, right? No? [Seriously, where the fuck did this come from and why the hell did she have THREE of them?]

Exhibit H:
'Member back in 7th grade when you would've killed a kitten just to get the latest pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans to wear on your skinny, pre-pubescent ass when you went to the skating rink on Friday night and couples skated to "Babe" by Styx? And remember how Gloria Vanderbilt branding was, like, everywhere and all you wanted to do was get your hands on anything with that signature or those initials or that swan emblazoned on it? And then she tried to go mass market and started selling her shit at K-Mart and crapped away any cache and desirability her brand had and then she couldn't give that shit away on the street? Well, my mom still has this little gem from before Gloria's fall from grace: a stained--but still full--"Eau de Toilette" sample of the scent of Ms. Vanderbilt. So very, very sad.

Exhibit I:

Yeah...judging from the graphics, I'm pretty sure this is from about 1967.

Exhibit J: I love to use MOISTURIZER on my face before I drink my SOFT DRINK and listen to my MP3 MUSIC FILES while writing in my journal with my INK PEN. Why, I ask you. WHY did she keep this in the first place, then move this 300 miles to her new house, and then pack it in a precious storage bin?!!


I got a big, black trash bag and dumped all this shit in there and it's now in a landfill somewhere. The sad part? I only managed to empty one plastic bin. There's still so much SHIT in that closet. Even sadder? You should see my garage and my bathroom cabinets.

As I said, the apple doth not far fall...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Photo Essay

If I weren't totally wiped out from the fact that this was my first day back in the office in a week and that I spent 4.5 hours of my day (3 at work, 1.5 on the phone while at home) discussing some effed up interpersonal B.S. going on between two members of my team so that I'm also emotionally drained, I'd write you up some witty, worthwhile post. But I just ain't got it in me. So, please enjoy the following random selection of photos and their accompanying brief, unimaginitive descriptions:

The Geej hosting a picnic at Dah's house. She served me tacos, a hot dog bun, mustard, milk, and picante sauce.

My mom's cat, Smokey Jo. She is a feral rescue, and is pretty skittish because of her sketchy past. She is spotted out in the open about as frequently as Big Foot, so it's pretty amazing that I was actually able to capture her image on camera.

An amazingly good piece of banana caramel pie I ate at a restaurant called--you guessed it--"Hank's" in Charleston.
A rooftop bar in Charleston where Jaye and I enjoyed many vodka tonics and mingled with the whitest white people in the world. Yes, we saw an old dude in a seersucker suit and another guy in lime green slacks. And I said "slacks" on purpose.

Me and Jaye on the rooftop bar at sunset.

The bridge that connects Charleston with Mount Pleasant. This was taken by Jaye who was copilot in my kick ass minivan rental. Ever heard of a Pontiac "Montana?" Yeah, me neither. What a piece of shit. It made the "Aztek" seem like an engineering marvel.
If you've ever done the South Carolina to North Carolina trek on I-95, then you know exactly what this is a picture of. If not, I pity you because it really is something to behold.

A lot of things about that drive made me feel like I was back in east this lumber truck, for instance.

Storms a-brewin' as Jaye and I were flying back into Austin.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Howdy, ya'll.

I'm posting from the lovely "Cyber Cafe" in the Raleigh, NC airport whilst enjoying a "Tuna Nicoise" sandwich (read: tuna salad) and a glass of Pinot Grigio.

This trip has been fun, but exhausting. I've got lots to write about. Like my kick ass minivan I rented from Avis. And the 24 hour Topless Cafe off of I-95 called "Cafe Risque." And the creepiest hotel ever--The Holiday Inn of Doom. And how much I love, love, love Charleston, SC. And how freakin' gorgeous the south is in the spring. And the utter delirium that Jaye and I dealt with at about 12:30 in the morning on Wednesday that started with my question to her: "I wonder what fried marshmallows would taste like."

Yes, a good time was had by all. And you should freakin' HEAR my drawl, ya'll. When I'm around this many hardcore Southerners for this long, it comes roaring back with a damn vengeance. It's pretty crazy.

Jaye and I had time to kill this afternoon, so we went and got mani- pedis. Nice. Now, my child is safe at La Turista's house, eating snowcones and playing with Peach and Olive. I can't wait to see her little peaches.

Hopefully I can download some photos and do an honest-to-goodness post about this trip tomorrow. But I don't know...Because The Geej and I will be heading out to Casa Avocado to play with the Malcontentettes tomorrow afternoon and spending the night at Dah's house afterward.

More soon. I promise...

Monday, April 09, 2007

How 'bout a quickie?

I've got a jillion things to do before I leave for South Carolina in the morning, but I just realized that I hadn't posted in days and started feeling guilty, so here I am. Procrastinating. Like I always do.

Mom's back from Thailand. Seems like she had a good time although I think she and her sister were probably about ready to throttle each other by the time it was all said and done. I can't wait to hear all of her stories and see her photos (if she actually took any). All I've really learned thus far is that their hotel was awesome, they ate some amazing food, and that the Thai people are "the prettiest of the Orientals."

This weekend was weird. Geej and I went to mom's empty house Friday afternoon to spend the night, mostly for a change of scenery, but also to give her poor, lonely cat some company. Then, HOLY SLEET STORMS, it went nuts on Saturday and sleeted heavily on us the whole way home.

The Easter Bunny paid The Geej a visit and left a small basket of candy and a few little toys, and I quickly discovered that the girl goes totally OCD when it comes to candy. If I heard the word "candy" come out of her mouth once (as in, "Can I have some candy?" "Where's my candy?" "Can I look at my candy?" "Can I hold my candy?" "Hey--who moved my candy?"), I heard it 7 trillion times. I finally had to hide the damn basket from her and threaten her with throwing the whole haul away if I heard the "c" word one. more. time. I know, I'm a bitch, but really... She gets a couple of pieces a day, and that's plenty. But believe me, next year it's all about the toys--and maybe like one piece of candy.

I saw Willem Defoe at Whole Foods last Thursday. He was parked next to me, loading his car trunk with groceries. He's actually quite handsome in real life, even if he was sporting some bizarre mandals.

"Reno 911" and "The Sopranos" have returned. Thank you, Jesus.

My tax refund direct deposited in to my bank account on Friday. Thank you, Lord.

Mr. Wonderful booked a trip and is coming for a visit on the 20th. I'm so happy!!

Tomorrow night I'm having cocktails at the Charleston home of my ex-boss from my days in Chicago. And when I say "Charleston home", I mean in addition to her other homes. And by "homes" I mean mansions. As in across the street from (one of ) Ted Turner's home(s) and on the National Historic Register. I've been there before, and it's hands down, one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever been in. Built in the 1700s. Three stories. Lovingly restored. Tasteful, elegant (not pretentious) decor. Beautiful gardens. Blocks from the waterfront. Just breathtaking.

Okay, I'll try to blog from the road and take lots of photos. But I ain't makin' no promises.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

So. Damn. Lame.

Sorry to do this to you, but here's a meme stolen from Blackbird via Badger.

Favorite Color: Aqua
Favorite Food: Cheese
Favorite Month: October
Favorite Song: I have no fucking idea.
Favorite Movie: Probably "Raising Arizona"
Favorite Sport: College football
Favorite Season: Autumn
Favorite Day of the week: Sunday
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Mint Chocolate Chip
Favorite Time of Day: Between 10pm and midnight

Current Mood: Tired
Current Taste: Orange juice
Current Clothes: PJs
Current Desktop: Bluebonnet photo I took at La Turista's house
Current Toenail Color: "Freshwater Pearl"
Current Time: 9:43pm
Current Surroundings: Guest room/office
Current Thoughts: I don't have to set my alarm tomorrow morning!

First Best Friend: Stephanie Graham at Honeysuckle Montessori
First Kiss: Kyle Gilbreath at Skateland
First Screen Name: Marlaesque
First Pet: A tomcat I named Sharon
First Piercing: Ears. 7th Birthday. Merle Norman store in Kilgore, TX
First Crush: Jake Gladden
First CD: Something I ordered from the Columbia Music Club, I'm sure.

Last Cigarette: Can't recall. Many, many years ago.
Last Car Ride: Home from work and Geej fetching.
Last Kiss: The Geej
Last Movie Seen: In the theater--"Reno: 911," at home, "The Miracle Worker"
Last Phone Call: Mr. Wonderful
Last CD Played: LCD Sound System

Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Guy/Girl Friends: Yep. Doing so currently as a matter of fact.
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Yes, but in misdemeanor ways.
Have You Ever Been Arrested: Thank God, no.
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: Hell yes.
Have You Ever Been on TV: Not exactly but sort of.
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn’t Know: Yes. Built to Spill concert at Stubb's. October 2002. It was awesome.

Thing You’re Wearing: Glasses
Thing You’ve Done Today: Read books to The Geej
Thing You Can Hear Right Now: Distant cars driving by my neighborhood (my windows are open)
Thing You Can’t Live Without: Laughter
Thing You Do When You’re Bored: Channel surf

1. The Geej's school
2. Whole Foods
3. My office
4. Galaxy Cafe

1. Julie
2. Thelma Jane
3. Mr. Wonderful

1. Black or White: black
2. Hot or Cold: hot


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

To answer your inevitable questions:

1. No, it's not just the angle of the camera. He really is that big.

2. She only outweighs him by 10 lbs.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mean People Suck

This past Sunday was Day Two of the return of glorious spring weather in Austin. Yes, yes...we've needed the rain that we got in March in a serious way, but it was the 2nd wettest March in Austin. Ever. And even on the days it wasn't raining, it was gloomy as all hell. So when I woke up on Saturday and it was clear, cool, and SUNNY, I nearly skipped around the house with glee. Sunday it was an exact repeat of Saturday, except not quite as breezy and a bit warmer. Suffice it to say, it was gorgeous.

I took The Geej out to a celebratory lunch together. No, we didn't go to Luby's. We went to an actual restaurant with table service all by ourselves. One of the things that I love being able to do with her now is go out to eat. Back when she was 11 months old, I never would've DREAMED of going out to eat with her on my own. Too much "stuff" I had to take with me, and at that age, they can't be talked out of a meltdown or bribed into eating their whipped sweet potatoes. But now, it's different.

After our lunch, I decided to go drop off a bunch o' stuff at Goodwill and then to run my seriously nasty car through the automatic car wash near my house. I've lived near this place for 1.5 years, but I've never gone there. As you might expect, there was a line for the auto wash. The line extended down to a bay of car vacuums (2 of them) that were both in use. Then, on the other side of the vacuums, there was this man waiting in his Toyota Matrix. I pulled in behind him, but then as I observed for a minute or so I figured that he was waiting for the vacuum, and not the wash (due to the fact that both vacuumers were still in action and the position of his car). So I pulled around him and got in line for the auto wash.

Since it was so nice, I had my windows down. Next thing I know, this Cretin asstard pulls up beside me and YELLS, "You FUCKING WHORE!! What the FUCK do you think you're doing cutting in line?!"

He was a woefully unattractive mid-50s-ish man. Driving a Matrix. Yelling at a total (female) strangers like he was about to throw down and kick some serious ass.

I was startled to say the least. I yelled back, "I thought you were waiting for the vacuums!"

Him: "I was giving them space so they could pull out."
Me: "But they weren't pulling out any time soon, so I thought you were waiting. I'll move. And by the way, there's a TODDLER in my back seat, so you have NO business yelling at me like that!"
Him: "Just move your fucking car."

I hate to say it, but this isn't the first time something like this has happened to me in this great state whose motto is "Friendship." But that's a whole 'nother post, and it happened in Buda, so I can't say I'm really surprised.

But this. This happened on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in south Austin. There are few times that I can recall when I have felt either a) scared for my physical safety because I am a woman and/or b) pissed off because, if I weren't a woman, but instead a beefy, younger, testosterone-filled man, I would've forced that jackass to give me an apology and because I'm not, I couldn't. Instead all I could do was leave. So I peeled outta there, shaking with rage.

The Geej, having silently witnessed all this from her car seat finally said, "What's the matter, Mommy?"

Me: "That man said ugly words to us, so we left."
Her: "Who that man?"
Me: "I don't know. But when someone says ugly words to you, you can just walk away."
Her: "You went fast, Mommy."
Me: "I know, I'm sorry."
Her: "You spill my milk on me."
Me: "I'm sorry, baby."

God, what a turd I felt like. I should be the model of calmness and maturity for my daughter. But instead I peeled out like a high school sophomore, spilling her milk in the process.

Damn that asshole for ruining this perfectly lovely afternoon.

Fast forward to this morning. We were on our way to school. Our normal route takes us by this stupid car wash. Unprovoked, The Geej says, "That man said ugly words to us," as we passed it.

I replied that yes, he'd said ugly words, but that we drove away. Then she asked an unexpected question:

Her: "Where'd he go?"
Me: "That man?"
Her: "Yes. Where he go?"
Me: "Oh, he went home to his ugly wife and his ugly kids in his ugly house."
Her: (pensively) "Oh..."
Me: "Honey, we really don't need to worry about that man. Karma will get him."
Her: "Who Karma is?"
Me: "Karma's not a person. It's a thing. If you're nice and you love people and are kind to them, Karma will be nice to you and give you all kinds of gifts. But if you're mean and ugly like that man, then Karma will be mean to you and take all those gifts away."
Her: "But who Karma is?"
Me: (Realizing that explaining the concept of karma to a 2 1/2 yr. old probably isn't the best idea I've had this year) "Oh look, we're at school!"

Fast forward again to tonight. We're having dinner, and outta nowhere:

Her: "That man said ugly words to us."
Me: "Yes he did."
Her: "But we go away. You drived fast and spilt my milk."
Me: "Yes. That was an accident, and I'm sorry. But that's what you do when someone says things to you that aren't nice: you just walk away."
Her: "And Kermit will get you off the truck."
Me: "What?"
Her: "Kermit will get you."
Me: "Is that a movie you saw at Dah's house?" (My mom has waaaaaaaaay too many DVDs for The Geej to watch. Most of them are from the $2.99 bin at Wal-Mart and are total ass. But I have seen a Muppet DVD or two in her collection.)
Her: "Yes. And Kermit will be nice to you if you're nice. But if you're not nice, Kermit will get you."

So, yes. Thanks to the experience at the car wash yesterday and my subsequent reaction, my child has now confused Kermit the Frog with karma, and now thinks he's some sort of boogeyman for mean people.