Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I swear, I'm still here.

I'm just coming off a long weekend that included Mr. Wonderful and his oldest son visiting as well as ninja cleaning my house and shopping for GEEJ'S 3rd BIRTHDAY PARTY (oh my GOD, y'all, she's SO big). I just put the boyfriend and son on a plane back to Colorado. So damn hard. And I'm working up a big "catch up" post, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with this to contemplate (which I saw this weekend):

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Same as it ever was






A couple of rays of sunshine...

I finally sat down and went through the 200 or so photos that are on a CD that The Geej's school sent home with her on the last day--candid shots of all the kids doing their thing--and OH MY GOD are there some great shots.

Like this one.
And this one.
And this one (that's the love of her life, Daschel, covered in blue paint and rocking a sweet mullet).
Also, Mr. Wonderful and his Oldest get here Friday around brunchtime. YAY!! I'm super excited to see them both.

Last, but not least, The Geej's big third birthday extravaganza happens on Sunday. Her actual birthday is Monday, but the fiesta is on Sunday.

Holy CRAP I've got a lot to do! So if my postings are spotty or brief over the next few days, you'll understand...right?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Catching up

Friday night was fun, but you see, I wasn't able to hang as late as I thought. Reasons? I was tired from working/momming all week. I'd had too much wine while getting ready for the evening with Ms. Lindsay in her swanky "King Suite" at the Clarion Inn. Oh, and I'm old. Like really, really old.

But it was great to gab (loudly) and laugh (even more loudly) and to just generally hang out with the ladies without a husband or a kid in sight.

Here's Mags stuffing a napkin in to her shirt. I know there was a reason she was doing this, but damned if I can remember.
Here's Karla stuffing a French fry into her nose. I think she learned this skill in finishing school.

Here's Lindsay with that "I'm really quite drunk but still very adorable" look on her face, and to her left, Patty.

Here are Bookhart, Jaye, and Jaye's patient friend from out of town, Emily.

And here's a way-too-up-close photo of me that Karla took when I could've sworn she was taking a picture of my cleavage. Damn, I look like an old trannie.

Lindsay and I left before the party changed venues (see Karla's entry), and Jaye and Emily were nice enough to drive our drunk asses back to the Clarion. And what did we do? We had the t.u.d. (totally unnecessary drink). That's right, we felt like we just HAD to dive into the wine we hadn't finished while getting ready. So we continued to chat and imbibe until I saw Lindsay literally falling asleep sitting up, and stumbled back to my own room (across the hall). I've apparently forgotten how to pack, because I had nothing to sleep in, so I just put my t-shirt on that I'd worn to work all day and slept in that.
The next day, head banging, I woke up at around 10am. It was dark and cold in my room, but I just felt too lousy to go back to sleep. So I got up to get dressed and discovered that I'd packed a shirt to wear, but no pants. (What is WRONG with me?! Wait, don't answer that...) So after putting on my dirty pants from the day before, I packed up my crap, and knocked on Lin's door. She'd showered, was having coffee, and was watching trashy t.v. Shortly thereafter, we walked next door to have some Dim Sum, which pretty much hit the spot.

Next I went home. Showered. Did some laundry. Napped. Packed another bag, and left for my mom's house. It was raining like a bitch when I left (of course), but thankfully stopped during my drive. In fact, it cleared off nicely, and I was able to watch The Geej demonstrate her tricycle riding skills. I even got inspired and took my very dusty, unused bike out for a spin as well. You gotta love the Huffy Cruiser.

Looking ahead to a busy week at work, a doctor's appointment, and frenzied preparations for Mr. Wonderful's visit (he's bringing his oldest with him) and The Geej's big birthday party this weekend. Yikes.

More soon, kittens.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Oh yes it's ladies' night, and the feelin's right...

Tonight's the Big Night Out for a lot of us who are over there in the blog roll on the right: Bookhart, Mags, The Texpatriate, Malcontent, Jaye, and others.

Watch out, Austin. We don't get out much, and we have a lot of gabbing to do. So just prepare yourself.

What else. Oh yes! My ark-building kit came in the mail today, just in time for the latest deluge. I heard the weather guy on t.v. say that we've had rain for 27 of the last 30 days. With today's downpour, that makes 28 out of 31. It's amazing to me that, at 1:15pm this July 20th in Austin, Texas, it's only 74 degrees. How is that even possible? But my GOD the humidity.

More stream-of-consciousness stuff...

I have two conversations with the Geej that I must relay to you:

Conversation #1 was had while she was sitting on the potty doing...you know...number two. Anyway, it was taking her a looooooooooooooong time, and when asked about it, she said, "I know! I'm frustrated with my poo poo."

Conversation #2 happened between Geej and Dah this morning.

Geej: Mommy's at work.
Dah: What does Mommy do at work?
Geej: Well, she plays with her friends, eats lunch and buys things.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Now, here's the story of the "I amaze myself!" koozie:

Many moons ago, in the early 90s, Jules and I had gone to Dallas with another friend. I don't remember why we went, but I'm sure it involved heavy drinking. Anyway, I always buy a commemorative koozie when I go on a road trip. It's just one of my things. I usually look for the one with the stupidest phrase on it. If it's misspelled, sexist, or completely politically incorrect then that makes it even better. On this trip, I'd purchased the koozie in the photo below. For some reason--hangover induced deliriousness, most likely--I decided to explain the deep, deep meaning of the phrase combined with the graphic of the rabbit pulling itself out of a hat. I explained it over and over and over for at least 30 minutes. Annoying? Why, no. Hilarious? But of course.

Flash forward to January 2006, Julie comes down for a visit and I have a big housewarming party at my house. I brought out my two big shopping bags of koozies collected over the decades, and gave them away to my guests. Julie ended up with the "I amaze myself!" koozie (appropriately), and she decided to whoop it out at the party SHE had last weekend when I was visiting her in Norman.

Yet another reason I love her.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yes, there is a cat that's bigger than Earl.

His name is Oliver, he lives in Norman, Oklahoma, and he's a total love machine. Oh, and he has his very own Lay-Z-Boy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

As if you needed another reason to stop smoking:

You could someday end up needing a Smoker's Bib (tm).

Brought to you from the good folks at Taylor Gifts.

The product description on the website reads:

Stop fumbled lit cigarettes and dropped lit ashes from burning holes in senior's clothing. Flame retardent apron stretches across chairs armrest to prevent hot cigarette end from falling onto clothing or between you and the chair. Light-weight, machine-washable fabric meets NFPA 701 flame retardent requirements. 30 x 34".

Your Price: $39.98

But as my friend Jimmy said, you really can't put a price on safety.

Taylor Gifts offers other wonderful items such as the "Bidet Ole" to keep you extra fresh "down there," the "Photo Face Angel Doll" now 30% more creepy, and of course the ever-popular "Outdoor View Curtains," for when the real outdoors just won't do.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dictionary definition of the term "Brain Dead."

Y'all, The Geej and I had a blast visiting Julie, Moon and their kiddos in Norman. Too much of a blast, I suspect. I am running on fumes, and my liver is hating me. And guess what? I GOT PICKED AT JURY DUTY TODAY! Ohmyfuckinggod, I have never, EVER been so damn bored in my life. My day went like this (now with bullets!!):
Get to the Municipal Courthouse by 8:30.
  • Sit in "reception" room for about 45 minutes.
  • Go into actual courtroom.
  • Get asked questions by both attorneys.
  • Get asked to go into the hallway and wait.
  • Get called back into the courtroom.
  • Watch 11 other people get released.
  • 6 of us remain.
  • The trial starts immediately.
  • It's about this dude who lives on this 10 acre tract in an area called the "ETJ" (extra territorial jurisdiction) of the city of Austin. It's more or less a no-man's-land that's not considered within the city limits (and receives little or no city services), but is still beholden to the laws and ordinances of the city. Anyhoo, he was basically using his land for a purpose that was not sanctioned by the proper permitting, and had three charges pending against him. This particular case had been going on since 2002. I seriously wanted to kill myself after about an hour of listening to the minutiae of this stupid ass case.
  • But no, it lasted until 5:00pm, when we were FINALLY charged and told to go figure out his guilt or innocence and his punishment if necessary.
  • Our deliberation lasted about another 45 minutes.
  • Ultimately, we all figured out that he's an idiot, but that doesn't excuse him from the letter of the law. He was guilty on all 3 counts and we levied a $750 for each charge (the maximum was $2000/per).
  • Did I mention how fucking boring this shit was?
  • And the prosecuting attorney was slimy and icky and I wanted to slap him.
  • Aside from perhaps the Social Security office, the Municipal Court building may be one of the most depressing places on the face of the Earth.
  • I hope it's another 20 years before I get called upon to do my civic duty.
I'm going to bed. Pictures and tales from Okra-homa tomorrow.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Oklahoma is OK!

So I got here after an hour delay at ABIA, and guess what:

I brought the sunshine with me. So, it's been sunny. And green. And--most importantly--not humid AT all. Yay m!

Apparently, I am some sort of weather goddess. That is SO cool

More soon. I swear. Right now? Too drunk to post.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Holy crap! Titles are back!

And yet, I can't think of one.

I smell irony...

I guess this post will be a farewell to Claudia Alta Taylor (better known as Lady Bird Johnson). I've always liked her for many reasons.

1) She was an East Texas girl. I'm sorry, but you can't get much more east Texas than Karnack. Karnack is right next to Uncertain, and it's all really close to Jefferson and Caddo Lake. That area is known for having Spanish moss in the trees and alligators in the swamp. It's also known for some bad ass fried catfish. It always made perfect sense to me that Lady Bird had that thick "Gone With the Wind" drawl. Northeast Texas is FAR more "southern" than it is "Texan." The reason for this is pretty simple: As Southerners migrated west after the Civil War (a.k.a. the "War of Northern Aggression," as my people like to call it), they got to northeast Texas and pretty much stopped because it looked and felt like home. If you've ever spent time in northern Alabama or Georgia and listenend to those pines and dug your hands into that red clay, you know exactly what I'm talking about. That Southern dialect--which was, in and of itself, a descendant of the Scots-Irish and English settlers--just set its roots into the deep red clay and thrived. When I listened to Lady Bird, I heard my grandmother--Johnnie Mae who was from a town that no longer exists in northeast Texas and who died before I was born. I heard my Aunts (pronounced "Aint") Mary Lois and Annie Merle and my great Aunt Annalea. I will miss hearing that voice.

And then there was the hair. East Texas through and through.

2) She was not classically beautiful, but was insanely attractive. She wasn't loud, but she got heard. She wasn't tall, but she seemed larger-than-life. I will miss all the things she was able to be without trying. Her subtlety.

3) The wildflowers. Thank goodness her last spring and summer in central Texas were both so ridiculously beautiful with wildflowers. Earlier this spring, when I was marveling at the gorgeous highway interchanges while driving through the Carolinas, with all of their swaying native wildflowers, I remember speaking about Lady Bird, and thanking God for her highway beautification program. What a legacy.

4) The one and only time I ever went to the the LBJ ranch just outside of Johnson City was a couple of years ago. I went with my dear friend and admitted Texophile "Tommy Joe" who was visiting from NYC. It was spring, and he just wanted to drive around and look at Texas. So we got in my car and started driving with no plan whatsoever. We ended up at the LBJ Ranch in the late-afternoon. We asked when the next tour was taking place, and the dude in the booth said, "Now. Go on!" So we boarded the open air tour thingie--you know, the kind that used to take you from the Six Flags parking lot to the gate--and we were on our way. The first thing that we realized is that we were the youngest passengers on the tour thingie by some forty years. The next thing we realized is that we were DEFINITELY the only ones onboard with a righteous buzz working. (Thank you, travelin' tall boys!) Anyhoo, we started on our tour of the ranch, complete with the canned over-the-intercom commentary of the he/she tour guide. At first, we giggled about the surreality of our situation, but soon, we were captivated by the loveliness of the place itself. The ranch is still a "working ranch" meaning there are still herds of cattle roaming and still ranch hands tending, etc. It was early spring, and the entire ranch was flush with life--from the impossibly green grass to the abundant butterflies. It was idyllic to say the least.
We rounded a gentle curve and started down an easy hill to President Johnson's final resting place. The tour guide suddenly slowed the tour thingie down and took on a hushed, whispering tone, as if he/she were trying to keep from startling nearby wildlife: "Ladies and Gentlemen. This is a rare treat. If you'll look to your right at the ranch house, I believe you'll see Miss Lady Bird herself enjoying some iced tea with a friend on the front porch. Even though this is a national landmark, the Johnson family still enjoys it whenever they like. Ms. Johnson comes down a couple of weekends a month if she's able."
As we all gawked as if we'd seen a polar bear and an octopus playing chess, Ms. Johnson lifted her hand and waved to us as if to say, "I know...this is so awkward. I'm sorry. Y'all have a nice tour, okay? Take care..." Very Southern. We all waved back with silly grins on our faces. Very awesome.

Right after passing in front of the house and The Grave, we rounded the corner just in time to witness a cow giving birth to a calf, afterbirth and all.

Ah...Texas in the spring.

So yeah. That's my tribute to Lady Bird. I hope by the time she gets to heaven, Lyndon realizes what a treasure he had and showers her with kisses and apologizes for being a philandering jack ass. But regardless what happens when she arrives, I hope she rests in peace.

P.S. And dudes, I was going to totally post this awesome photo of Lady Bird I ripped off of someone's website, but guess what: BLOGGER'S NOT LETTING ME POST PICTURES. I get titles back, and they take away pictures. ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

AGAIN!! I can't post a title in the title box. Is anyone else having this problem?

Also, I haven't had home phone service since last night when the storm apparently knocked it out. They're saying they can possibly have it restored by 7pm on Monday the 9th. I'm sure they'll credit me for the few days I was without phone service on my next bill, right? No? You don't think so?

Yeah, me neither.

I guess our big excitment of the day (besides the fact that it DIDN'T RAIN all day!!) was the fact that the Geej and I nearly stepped on one of these in our back yard while looking for doodle bugs to put in her bug cage:I'm pretty sure it was one of these (a non-poisonous bull snake), but not sure enough not to be scared shitless by it. Holy CRAP, y'all! It was just lying there in the grass, sunning itself. And I literally didn't see it until it slithered away from my shoe landing right next to it. I estimate it was about 2' long, which means it was young, because these suckers can get to be 4' to 5' long.
What the HELL?! I think snakes are cool--lovely, even--but only when they're in an aquarium and there's a nice thick layer of glass between them and me.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Blogger's not letting me post a title. If it did, my title would be something along the lines of, "Stuff That's Pissing Me Off; Stuff That's Making Me Happy."

I guess the whole not-being-able-to-post-a-title thing is yet ANOTHER bug they can't figure out. Sort of like the whole spacing fuck up thing when you post pictures.

If I weren't so lazy and technologically ditzy I'd move this sucker over to Wordpress or something.


Other shit that's bugging the fucklights out of me?

The rain. Obviously. I mean, it's all anyone (including me) can talk or blog about. It really is ridiculous. Today we had lots o' sun. It was actually quite gorgeous. And then, around 7:30, lightning, thunder, and buckets upon buckets of--sigh--rain.

My dentist's office. I called to get a teeth cleaning and a) they said, "Oh, you also need an exam. Would you like to do that during the same appointment?" Um, no dumbass. I'd like to have to come there TWICE when I could do everything in one appointment. I am all about complicating my life, so yes, please, book two separate appointments for me. And b) they can't get me in until OCTOBER 15th. WTF, la gente? Really? This dentist--whose office is in the MALL mind you--is that popular? Yep, this is what I get when I go for the "low insured" dental plan.

My garage. Y'all, I know I've bitched about this before, but 1/2 of my entire garage is just filled with shit I need to either give away, throw away, or sell. I know if I would "Craig's List" half of it, it would be gone by the end of next week. There's some good shit out there. It's just shit I don't want anymore. Now it's too steamy and warm to get out there and do anything about it. Every time I go out there to get in my car, the mess at hand just makes me mad...at me.

Fucking jury duty. July 16th until ? And guess what: My "Fortune's 100 Best Places to Work" company doesn't pay you while you're out on jury duty. Nice.

My roots. I swear, it was barely a month ago that I got my hair cut/colored, and already, my roots are like 1.5" long, gray, and skanky. My hair's longer than it's been in a while (which I'm sort of liking), but I have no idea why it's growing so fast. It's certainly not because I'm having too much calcium. If anything, I'm calcium deficient. I'm going to get it touched up this week. But still, it's pissing me off.

My toenails. Wow, do I ever need a pedicure. That's all I'm gonna say.

Daya is closing. My favorite day spa EVAH is closing, and I don't know why. Not that I get to go there a lot or anything, but when I DO have the opportunity to go get a massage or a facial, this is the ONLY place in Austin I've really enjoyed going to. Damnit!!

My CD burner on my computer. It no workee. Grrrrr...

That's enough of that.

Now, for some stuff that's making me happy:

El Chile now sells its insanely good salsa at Whole Foods. Thank you, Jesus.

Karla will be here in a week.

Next weekend The Geej and I will be visiting our DEAR friend Julie (who REALLY needs to update her blog--HINT HINT) and her adorable kiddos and her two kitties and her house pony and her friends. I just want to hug them all to pieces.

KEXP's "Shake the Shack" rockabilly show. Flawless.

The taste-testing panels at work that I signed up for. Fun!

All of the Collective Wellbeing products. Especially their "Night Balm."

Hip Hop/Twirling Lesson Fridays. (We just established this at work. More on this later.)

This book that a work friend bought for me and The Geej. It is most excellent in every way.

The fact that not only did Mr. Wonderful get a phone interview for a local job this week, he's also been talking about coming down for a visit at the end of the month.

The fact that I raided my mom's pantry the last time I was out at her house and managed to release her from the ownership of these unecessary salt and pepper shakers along with the "Cinnamon" vial that is obviously from the set of Gunsmoke:

Um...WHY???!! Why did she pack and MOVE these from Longview to her current house? Do you see that there are two of these that have no mate? That's like packing ONE shoe. Or a piece of Tupperware with no lid. WHAT'S THE POINT? And then she just stuck them in the back of a shelf in the pantry behind packages of chicken bullion and ranch dip mix?

Okay. I'm signing off.

I'm equalized. At least there's more stuff making me happy than pissing me off.

Bye my little babies.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I loathe this guy almost as much as I do Toby Keith:

Ugh. Larry the Cable Guy.

He's apparently pimping some horrific swill called "Git-R-Done" beer because, as the beer's brewer says, "Rednecks love quality too."

Seriously, is it any wonder people think that we southerners are mildly brain damaged when we have ambassadors like this?

Monday, July 02, 2007

There's one in every neighborhood.

If you go to a tall man's convention, there's still always going to be one dude who's the shortest guy in the room.

The same goes for neighborhoods. I don't care if you live in the most hoity toity gated shi shi neighborhood in your town, there's always that one house that's just kind of trashy. Maybe they decided to paint their brick some godawful color. Or maybe they just let their yard go until it looks like utter shit. Or maybe they collect lawn "art" that they think is tasteful, but anyone with a brain thinks is awful.

That house in my very UNhoity toity neighborhood is right across the street from me, and it makes me want to punch something.

First of all, it seems like they have some sort of "garage" sale every month. Like this past Saturday, for instance. They pulled all of this shit--including FIVE strollers--out of their packed-to-the-rafters garage, threw it out in the driveway, and attracted bargain hunters like flies. But by around noon, when it became clear that most of their crap wasn't going home with anyone, they just threw it all back into the garage and closed the doors until next month's shit-sale-o-rama.

And I guess the full garage would account for part of the fact that they always have NO FEWER THAN SEVEN vehicles parked in front of their house. Fucking A people!! When I snapped this photo yesterday, there were 11 cars there. ELEVEN!! (Trust me. I counted. You can't see the one parked in front of the van on the left...you know, the van with its hood up. And they are stacked several deep in an auxilary "driveway" they've made on the right of their house.) I wish I could say that seeing eleven cars over there was really an unusual sight, but it's not at all.

I don't even know these people, but I know I don't like 'em...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Welcome to the world!

This is the as-yet-to-be-named brand new daughter of my friends Thelma Jane and Michael. Her proud big sister is Miss Ruby Jane.
The new Miss Thang arrived on Friday afternoon, June 29th, weighing in at a healthy 7 lbs., 7 oz. Everybody's doing great, and mama's supposed to get to go home tomorrow. For those of you who know how much newborns freak me out, you'll be happy to know that I actually held her!! And I already love her.
Congrats friends!!