Thursday, March 29, 2012

Things that Have Happened Since I Last Posted

  • BH celebrated his 43rd birthday.
  • We went on an old-fashioned Sunday drive to see the spring wildflowers that are blooming like crazy right now after months of severe drought followed by a wet winter. It was beautiful and probably quite the opposite of what most people who've never been to Texas picture when they imagine our state.

  • I began composing my will.
  • BH's youngest son, F, came to live with us. On Monday. It was rough, but the best thing for this kiddo who needs his dad in his life.
  • Many tears were shed.
  • Adjustments were made.
  • F started school at his new school today. Scary, I'm sure. Remember sixth grade?
  • I canceled our trip to Ireland, which was supposed to begin 2 weeks from tomorrow.
  • I found out I need a root canal. And I'm getting it done today.
  • I found out we're getting a fat tax refund, which was originally earmarked for our trip but some of which will now go to pay for my stupid root canal. Sexy.
  •  My wonderful friends Joshelle from Portland and their kick-ass kiddo Ruby Bird arrived in Austin for a visit.
  • I dreamed that I was at a Sammy Hagar ("I Can't Drive 55"/Red Rocker-era Sammy) and Stevie Nicks concert at a waterpark (Sea World), and I was going down this massive waterslide that, of course, went over the stage where Stevie and Sammy were performing, and somehow, I ended up dangerously clinging to the outside of the slide tube. And who saved me? In front of the performers and the crowd? Why, MacGyver, of course. That's right: Richard Dean Anderson showed up, frosted mullet and all, and saved my ass.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Talking With My Daughter About Prince

Yesterday while I was at work listening to my iTunes on random shuffle, Prince's "Baby I'm a Star" came on. I cranked it up all the way, did some borderline embarrassing chair bopping, and had to restrain myself from bursting into song. "Might not know it now, but baby you'll find out I'm a STAR!" I was already in a pretty good mood, but this musical boost put me over the top.

Later, when I left work, my Prince sing-along hit full tilt in the car on the way to pick up The Geej. Selections from "Purple Rain" were joined by classics from "1999," "Parade," and other albums of his. However, when I got to the Geej's aftercare place, the iPod was turned off, and the concert came to an end.

Until this morning.

We got in the car to head to school, and memories of the prior day's joyful, funky songfest made me hungry for more, so I turned on "Baby I'm a Star" again--where it all began.

This is the conversation that followed.

Geej: Mommy, can you turn it down.
Me: No.
Geej: Just a bit?
Me: Okay (turning it down one notch).
Me: "Baby, look me over/tell me do you like what you see?
Baby, I ain't got no money, but honey I'm rich on personality."
Geej: (Sort of horrified that I'm so in to it and clearly not "feeling it" as they say) What IS this?!
Me: This is Prince! Isn't it awesome?
Geej: No! It's HORRIBLE!
Me: (Ignoring her and continuing to sing) "I don't wanna stop, til I reach the top...I'm a STAR...whoa YEAH!"
Geej: Do you really like this?
Me: Um, clearly. Is it just too funky for you? (Smiling at her in the back seat)
Geej: (Unimpressed) No, it's just too awful for me.
Me: Oh come ON! This was one of my favorite albums in high was one of the biggest albums of the decade! Prince is super talented. He can play a ton of different instruments--piano, guitar, bass, drums... And you should see him DANCE. He's AMAZING!!
Geej: Is he still alive?
Me: Yes.
Geej: How old is he?
Me: I don't know...maybe around 50.
Geej: So he's older than you.
Me: Yes. He's practically dead.
Geej: No, but when he's 50 MORE years old he'll be 100, and then he'll probably be dead.
Me: Do you want to see what he looks like (picking up the iPod to show her his picture).
Geej: (In a totally dry, teen-agery tone and timed perfectly with the soulful first solo guitar notes of "Purple Rain") No, Mommy. I don't care about Prince, and I've got to get out of the car or I'm going to be tardy.
Me: (Turning down the music) Okay. Well...I love you (kiss), and I'll see you this evening. Have a great day.
Geej: Okay. Love you. Bye. (Gets out of the car and walks toward the school doors).
Me: "Never meant to cause you any sorrow. Never meant to cause you any pain..."

And scene.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Long, Stupid Story of My Lost/Not Lost Wallet

Back in December, I'd gone grocery shopping one Saturday morning, and while at the store, picked up a few stocking stuffers for Christmas. When I got home, I hurried to my closet to squirrel away said stocking stuffers, away from the eyes of husbands and children, then I headed to the kitchen to unload the rest of my purchases.

It was a fine day, and I was looking forward to a massage and salt-glo body treatment I'd scheduled later that afternoon at a day spa near our house. Earlier that month, I'd unearthed a gift certificate to the spa given to me by my mother the previous Christmas, and needed to use it prior to the expiration date.

When I grabbed my purse to make sure I had some cash with which to tip the massage therapist, I discovered my small, adorable pink metallic wallet that I bought in Portland last summer was missing. I fuh-REEEKED out. I immediately got in my car and flew back to the grocery store, asking the cashier in the lane I'd gone through if she'd seen it (no), the Front End Manager if it had been turned in (no) and the store manager if it had been turned in (also, no). My freak out continued. I am generally good in a crisis, say, if you cut the tip of your finger off and need to get to the hospital or if I back in to a police car when leaving a parking space. Cool as a damn cucumber. However, when I lose stuff that's important to me...stuff that I need RIGHT THAT MINUTE, I lose. My. Shit. I literally had to pop a Xanax just to deal. I immediately called the spa and cancelled my appointment (how would I pay them? My gift certificate was only going to pay for a portion of my services), and that just bummed me out even more because my gift certificate was expiring the next day. Then I ran to the bank to cancel my debit card and get issued a new (temporary) one. Then I got online and on the phone and started canceling credit cards. Thankfully, I don't have but a couple, but it was still a pain in my ass. I looked at my calendar, trying to figure out when the hell I was going to have time to deal with getting a new driver's license--a fate almost as horrible as having to go to the Social Security office for...well, for anything. And the whole time I'm going through all of this, I'm thinking to myself, "Where the fuck IS that damn wallet?!" I don't like it when stuff doesn't make sense--you know, like algebra and when wallets seemingly disappear in thin air. I was in a shitty, shitty mood for the rest of the day.

The next day, I found my fucking wallet on the floor of my closet, right near where I'd hidden the stocking stuffers.


Fast forward to this past Sunday. The Geej and I go to The Lorax. During the movie, I hang my purse between our seats, on the arm rest. Shortly after getting home after the movie, I realize that, DAMNIT TO HELL, my wallet is not in my purse. Grrrr... So, I put The Geej back in the car, and we head back to the damn theater. When I got there, I checked with the ticket booth (nope, but here, fill out this tiny "Lost and Found" slip in case we find it), the snack bar (no) and then asked the pimply 15 year old working the ticket checkpoint if I can go in to the theater and look around where Geej and I had sat to watch the movie. His answer: No. The movie's just started, so come back in about an hour and a half, and you can go in when it's over.

Um, no, Junior. That's not going to work for me. That's my fucking wallet filled with all of my Important Stuff and the cash I'd gotten from our pre-movie trip through the ATM, so you're going to need a bit more accommodating or get me your goddamned manager because your policy? Is stupid.

After speaking with the manager, I was allowed to go in to the theater. The previews were still running. There was a man and his son sitting in the seats Geej and I had occupied. I explained to him what was up, and he got out his phone (for the flashlight effect) and helped me look under and around the seats. No luck.

Having learned my lesson with the whole December "lost" wallet situation, I held off cancelling everything, and instead waited until Monday, hoping that the last clean of the evening at the theater would yield my wallet or that some nice citizen would turn it in and I would get a call. But no.

So Monday, I took the day off to hang with The Geej who--have I mentioned?--is sick. She'd been running a fever off and on since Friday evening, and I wanted to get her in to see the doctor on Monday morning. A good chunk of Monday is spent dealing with her under-the-weatheredness (diagnosis: bad bronchitis) and also, the whole wallet debacle. I even dragged my poor child to the driver's licence office so she could experience the fun that is our Government At Work.

By the end of the day, everything was cancelled, new cards were ordered, and I had my new paper driver's license folded up in my too-big-to-EVER-lose-it-without-noticing-right-away wallet.

Yesterday, I stayed home again with The Geej who, although no longer feverish, was still coughing like Lucille Ball. During an afternoon call with my boss, my other line rang and I answered it. It was the movie theater: they had my wallet.

Well, great.

I headed to the theater to pick it up, expecting all of the cash, etc. to be missing, but sweetbabyjeebus, it was all there! In tact!! I couldn't believe it!

But I've decided that I'm still going to carry the Big Ass Wallet from now on because this cute little pink sucker is too easy to misplace.

In non-wallet related news, we've discovered Cam Wow, and omg The Geej and I laughed ourselves to tears playing around with it yesterday.

Hell, even Doug got in on the fun.

Alright, that's all for now. More soon, chickens!

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Last night, at the Radiohead show at the Frank Erwin Center, there was a guy in the "floor" section of the arena who decided that the best idea for experiencing they show was to, you know, lie on the nasty horrible uncomfortable ground while gently playing the "drums" on his substantial belly. He did this for about four of five songs and only changed his position (and eventually got up) after people started staring at him as they walked by and one guy checked on him to make sure he wasn't dead.


We have instituted "no TV" nights at our house on Mondays and Tuesdays in an effort to get The Geej to focus more on her homework. It's been working really well. Today, on the way to school, this was our conversation:
Geej--Since I haven't watched TV this week and I've done all my homework, can I watch TV tonight when we get home?
Me: Sure.
Geej--Yay! I'm gonna have a TV fuhganza!
Me: What's a "fuhganza"?
Geej--It's where I go CRAZY with the TV!


Austin's favorite cross-dressing, thong-and-heel sporting, bearded, crazy homeless man, Leslie passed away today. I remember going to see a show at Stubb's one night (inside), and Leslie showed up wearing a half t-shirt and a tiny red, shiny thong with high heels and painted fingernails. He got one of the band's promotional bumper stickers and plastered it across his naked butt cheeks. Then he proceeded to get up on stage and shake everything God gave him as the band played. The audience was pretty much unfazed. I've got photos somewhere...


Today, on the way home from work, I was traveling down S. Lamar (like I always do). It was drizzling and the traffic was creeping along. I reached the strech just north of Oltorf--where there are literally three Mexican food restaurants in a 1/2 mile stretch--there was a half-trailer parked in the lot of the middle restaurant, La Feria. In this trailer, was a HUGE camel. He seemed oblivious to the rain and was steadily munching on the palm fronds of the tree his trailer was parked underneath.


Last weekend I was lucky enough to travel to Florida to visit a couple of girl friends. I was on a mission to see some manatees, but that was not to be. However, we did see some freaky wildlife.

We drove to Marco Island (near Naples) for the day on Sunday. And somehow, we happened upon this place called Stan's, which is apparently legendary. There were cars EVERYWHERE, and when we asked a kindly old British man what was up, he said, "Well, on Sundays, Stan likes to sell beer, and a lot of people like it apparently."


It was a white person palooza! Lots of trashy, drunk people inexplicably crowded into this indoor/outdoor waterside bar, drinking specialty drinks called "Buzzards" and listening to a southern rock cover band. (Yes, they played "Sweet Home Alabama." Twice.)

That's Stan. He's apparently 180 years old, and his wife, The Buzzard Queen, works the joint with him. She was there decked out in her black, sequined and feathered regalia, dirty dancing with strangers, taking dollar bills out of mens' waistbands with her teeth and posing for pictures. Classy couple, those two.

At Stan's they welcome dogs. Even if they're on the table while you're eating.
We were classy too, having brought our own snacks to a restaurant. But everyone was too drunk to notice or care.
I think the coolest thing was the fact that I found a license plate featuring my pseudonym parked right next to my buddy's La Turista's daughter's pet name.
Kind of cool, right?