Thursday, January 31, 2008

Quick post before I pass the Hell out.

I am a zombie. Not the brain-eating kind, but the kind that is braindead from lack of rest and too much work.
This week (which isn't even over yet) has kicked my old butt six ways from Sunday. For instance, I was supposed to go to yoga tonight (my last night of the beginner's series I've been taking all month) and then to the Justin Timberlake sing-a-long at The Alamo with a bunch of other cougars like myself. But what did I do instead? Came home and almost immediatley plugged in the laptop and started working. I broke to take a shower and put Geej to bed, but other than that, straight-up work. No yoga. No Justin. No energy and no fun whatsoever.

Here's why this evening devolved into a crapfest:
Today I drove myself and my team to a favorite restaurant on S. Lamar for my belated birthday lunch. About 500 yards before the entrance to the parking lot, my car suddenly felt like it had slammed into neutral and every light on the dashboard came on--including the "Service Engine Soon" light. Despite the fact that my car was, in fact, in "Drive," nothing happened when I pushed the accelerator--it was like it was not connected to the engine in any way. So I turned on my hazards and coasted into the parking lot and into a space. I turned the car off and crossed my fingers that if I let it "rest" while we ate lunch, that I would come out and everything would be fine. It wasn't. When I turned the key, the radio, lights, window, etc. all worked, but that was it. No engagement of the motor whatsoever. Just silence. So while my coworkers got on their cellphones and found a ride back to work, I got on mine and called Nissan Roadside Assistance. I just kept thanking my lucky stars that I'd had the sanity to purchase the extended warranty/service protection plan/roadside assistance package thing when I bought the car. Within about 45 mins., they had a tow truck there.
I then spent the longest 20 minutes of my life in the cab of the tow truck heading to the dealership. I got to listen to the tow dude tell me every possible function of his GPS system and what he and his girlfriend were going to be doing in San Antonio this weekend and about how much he hates grafitti and about how February's going to have a lot of Fridays in it and about how new cars are all "crap" and "tin cans" and that if he could he'd have a 70s muscle car with air brakes because they're the safest and how he doesn't believe in seatbelts. God, it was excruciating. Dropped the sick car at the dealership and then got a ride back to my house so I could get in BH's car (he was in Fredricksburg in his work truck) and get my ass back to work. So, basically, I had about 2 hours of my work day stolen from me by a seriously messed up car. (They called me this afternoon to say they have no idea what's wrong with it and are having to run "a lot of diagnostics" meaning that the labor alone on this thing is going to cost me an arm and a leg. Well, there goes my 1st quarter bonus I was so excited to learn about yesterday.)

I'm finally done with my work, and now I'm going to go collapse in the bed.

But before I go, here's a picture of me and The Geej at my birthday dinner last night:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gregarious. Hilarious. Aquarius.

It's my freakin' birthday. The beginning of the last year of my thirties. Rather than let it get me totally down and slit my wrinkly wrists, I decided to do me some learnin'--YouTube Style! Now, I'd like to share what I learned with you.

If you'd like to get to Aquarius, it's at around 9:30. However, you'd really be missing out not to just watch/listen to the whole thing.

You're welcome.

Monday, January 28, 2008

This is seriously getting out of hand.

I know I've written before about the blossoming love affair between Earl and BH. But y'all...I'm at a loss:
I mean, come ON! Would you look at the self-satisfied look on that damn cat's face?! I clearly do not matter to either of them anymore. Sigh...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fancy Feasts.

Anyone who knows me well willl tell you how much I lurves myself a good meal. I mean, it's no secret. Just look at the lateral spread of my ass and you can tell that. But what I'm talking about here right now is a meal that's prepared by other humans in an intriguing and comfortable setting that has something interesting and/or artisitic about it that makes it truly special.

In short: I likes me a nice meal at a swanky restaurant every now and again, price be damned. You know: just the chance to go out and indulge in this particular type of art form/theater.

So a couple of weekends ago when a bunch of mommy friends and I were at Mz. Ruby Jane's 4th Birthday/Pinata Bashing Fiesta, I let it be known that for my 39th birthday (which is looming EVER larger), all I really wanted to do was to get all the girls dressed up (like we used to do) and go out to eat at a nice/swanky scene-worthy restaurant (also, like we used to do) and go enjoy each others' buzzed company (yes, like we used to).

But last weekend, I got to spend several blissful hours out at just such a place having a WONDERFUL dinner shored up by flutes of Prosecco. Ant then tonight, I took my mom out for her birthday (62, Jan. 27) and then next weekend, BH and I are going out with his mother and her husband for her birthday (65...her b-day is the same date as mine, btw). So when should I do this "Fancy Girls' Dinner"? Any time after the 2nd seems, you know, meh. So fuck it. Who the hell cares about the fact that I'm entering into the swan song of my thirties anyway.

Not me. I mean, not really.

But next year, this time? You can fully expect that I'm going to be planning one of those "HOLYSHITI'MTURNING40" trips/events that I am going to NEED my girls for.

But enough about me and birthdays. Overrated all around. What I REALLY wanted to tell you about is that-gasp-the last TWO WEEKENDS I've gone out to dinner at the types of swanky places I described in paragraph #1. Last Saturday, it was Starlite with Jaye (for the helluvit). And then tonight it was Imperia with Dah (for her birthday).

Me and Dah, all gussied up for her birthday dinner.

So, Starlite. What a happy accident this was. I say "accident" because Jaye and I had actually planned on going to Uchi. That's what we'd been craving, and so we decided to early like old people to avoid too brutal of a wait. Hah! We got there at 6:30pm, and there was ALREADY an hour-and-a-half wait. We said screw it and headed downtown without a plan, and that's how we ended up at Starlite--someplace we'd both been wanting to try. We'd both eaten there when it was at its funky original location in a little house on 34th street, but neither of us had tried it since it had moved into its large, elegant downtown digs. The place itself is GORGEOUS, and it has an upscale-but-not-snooty feel. Jaye and I both started out with a couple of their signature cocktails--HIGHLY recommended, and then she had a salad, and I had a velvety soup of perfectly-seasoned white bean puree. We split an oyster appetizer that was to die for, and then we both had seafood entrees--she, sea bass; me, tuna. Day-um, y'all. Both entrees were exquisite, and the service was attentive, but not pushy. I want to go back. Soon. They've apparently got a dynamite brunch on the weekends that I'm dying to try. And trust me dudes--if you want to take your lady out for a romantical evening, this is the place to go.

Now for Imperia. I'd been curious ever since Capitol Brasserie had closed. I'd enjoyed that restaurant with its clean, crisp French feel, and it's most excellent frites. Holy GOD, the frites. And I'd also been a fan way back when of Mezzaluna when it occupied the space where Imperia now resides. I was wondering what kind of transformation had taken place to change the French brasserie to a hip Asian place-to-be-seen restaurant. Wow, y'all. The interior place was utterly unrecognizable from its previous incarnation. The bar, front door, kitchen and restrooms were still in the same place, but that's where the similarities ended. The interior now is sleek, dark, and sexy, with lots of dark wood and golden accents, including an enormous golden Buddah statue lording over the lounge area. The main thing I kept thinking when I walked into this place was, "This does NOT feel like Austin. At all." Whereas Starlite is fancy in its own way, it still feels warm and Austin-y. Imperia, however, did not. It was very L.A./Dallas/Chicago-ish. In other words, I felt too old and woefully unhip to even be allowed in the front door. But the service was good and the food was very tasty--especially the deserts we ordered. But it was SUPER loud and a wee bit over priced (for what you got), so unlike Starlite, I don't know if I'll be wanting to rush back any time soon.

More soon, my loves.

But I'm signing off for now.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My "To Do" List from HELL

I am old school. I keep a weekly/daily "To Do" list at work on a sheet of paper with little lines next to the item where I can put an "X" mark when I complete whatever it is that needs to be done. Occasionally I also use the "Tasks" function in Outlook, but mostly, it's pen and paper.

Right now, I have an entire legal sheet's worth of "To Dos" to be done, and it just keeps coming and the list just gets longer. I have NO idea what's up with the universe right now, but it's not cutting me one bit of slack at work.

I've taken to blocking out chunks of time on my damn Outlook calendar that are called "DO NOT SCHEDULE; WORK TIME" so that I don't get sucked into another relentless meeting.

Oh yeah...and I have a wedding and honeymoon to plan.

My stomach is in knots and I'm having muscle spasms in my back. Stress much?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Best. Spam. Ever.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I opened up my Yahoo mail today, and this little gem was waiting in my inbox:

From: %XTRAZ_VRACH Kenton Hebert
To: Yours Truly
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 7:14:03 AM

Subject: Dont be shame along of of your instrument length

Your girl lived you alone along of she had jazzed it with your mate.His instrument is bigger than yours and this is the main reason of leave. Do not panic bro. Now you have good chance to Increase your machine size. This is your possibility to change your sexual life.

Wow. I'm not sure what "Kenton Herbert" is trying to sell me, but I gotta say, I'm intrigued.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Do YOU believe in magic?

So yesterday, The Geej went poop in the potty in her bathroom, and when she was done, flushed. But then I heard this, "Mooommmmmmmeee! The poo poo's not going down!" Sure enough, I went to check it out, and the stuff in the potty was just going round and round and the water was rising ever-so-slowly. Yikes. I ran to get the plunger and see if, with it, I could somehow avoid a very messy situation. Of course Geej was trailing me the whole time: "Where are you going? What are you doing? What IS that thing, Mommy? Why won't my poo poo go away?" You get the idea.

I hurriedly get back to her bathroom, and start plunging away (gag!), then flush, and VOILA! It flushed, and everything went down with the water. Thank God.

Then The Geej looked up at me, wide-eyed, and says, "Mommy, that was a MAGIC trick!"

Seriously, the girl kills me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One of the very best things about Earl... that he absolutely does NOT care when you do silly crap like this to him.

In fact, he just sits there and purrs. I also love the nonchalant curlitude of his tail.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and the Just Plain Crazy.

This is The Good:

The Geej. She's been acting like a freakin' angel lately, save a few meltdown moments here and there. It's times like these that are hard to remember when she's going through one of her she-beast/spawn-of-Satan phases. I know it won't last forever but still...She's funny and happy, and a downright joy to be around lately.

This yoga class I'm taking. I know it's only intro for fatties and the really stiff, but still... Getting to spend (at least) 2.5 hours in a quiet room, breathing and focusing peacefully inward is seriously a gift.

BH. Can I just tell you what a champion this man is? I had a work thing I had to go to Monday evening, and he stayed home with The Geej. When I got home, I could tell that he felt like crap. I put her to bed, and then him, and guess what: He had a 100.4 fever and was really sick. And then? He managed to get up at 5:30am this morning to go to his first ever district meeting at work AND THEN stayed with GJ while I went to yoga, despite feeling way less than 100%. He thinks it's important that I go to this class because he knows what it means to me. Holy crap. How do I deserve this man? You'll be happy to know that he went to bed just after nine with no fever. Hopefully the worst of this is passed.

Celebrity Rehab. God, I'm a sick bitch for wanting to watch this show. But I do...

The Geej's weekly gymnastics class that she started on Monday. This was Dah's Christmas gift to her, and she freakin' LOVES it.

Enjoying an Italian wine tasting at work, complete with the high-dollar cheeses and other appetizers that you'd find at a swanky cocktail party, you know, just because.

Having so much recently-downloaded music in my iPod that I simply can't digest it all--including 50 soul/funk songs brought to me on a jump drive by my good friend Tommy Joe while he was visiting from NYC. That dude rules.

The wild mushroom lasagna I had at Whole Foods today. Mama mia!

Getting to do little surveys like the one on the upper right. Go ahead! Answer! It's fun!


These Are the Bad:

Cedar fever. About 2/3 of the people I know are suffering from it hardcore. Luckily, it rarely bothers me, but man, people at work and everywhere are suffering with this shit.

I let out a tiny little toot tonight during yoga. First, I swear it was tiny--what my mom would've called a "little popcorn fart," and it was when we were lying on our backs holding our knees to our chests and rocking back and forth. And I was all relaxed and then--toot! Here's how I know I'm getting old though--I really didn't care or get embarassed or anything. I was like, "Aw...hell. Like the rest of you Yoga freaks aren't holding them in like a mo-fo. Puh-lease."

THE GODDAMNED SPACING ISSUES ON BLOGGER WHEN YOU--GASP--DARE TO POST A FUCKING PHOTO!!! Fix this shit, people! You've been out of "beta" mode for months. What the HELL?!

The news. Pretty much all of it. I want to stay informed--really I do. But I've gotten to where it just infiltrates my every waking and sleeping thought, and that can't be good, right? So I've pretty much tuned out. If I can't read it in Bust, or The Onion, or Oxford American, then I'll bet I don't know about it.

My "baby fever." Y'all, I've got it in a MAJOR way. I see babies everwhere I go. I coo over them and ogle them. This past weekend, I got to hold this baby:Look at her supreme chunkiness and how adorable she is. I literally, wanted to gnaw on her fat rolls. Man, BH is lucky I don't have the necessary equipment, or I'd be wanting to get knocked NOW.

This Shit is Just Plain Crazy:

Work. It has cranked up to the proverbial "11" and I am on the verge of losing my mind. Seriously. We need at least three more people on our team to handle the work we've got on our plate. It's fun work; it's interesting work; but, it's still work.

My MasterCard bill this month. I know it's leftovers from Christmas plus some other random stuff, but day-um people! When I paid off my MasterCard (which is my only traditional "credit card" btw) some months ago, I swore I would never carry a balance...that I would pay it off each month. And granted, it's still in the 3-figures range, but still. It's just plain crazy.

The scary, insane shit that one of my best friends has been dealing with with her seriously-disturbed ex-husband. She knows who she is. She knows that I love her. And she knows that I'm praying for her, even though that's not something I normally do.

And finally, as we all know, the hotness of Clive Owen is just plain crazy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

At least I'm not the only one.

It seems that I am having problem posting with any sort of regularity of late. It's not because I don't have anything to share. I do. It's just that it seems like I'm extra busy with work and life and extra tired, and late at night, when I normally blog (like now), I'm just too wiped to do so.

But you know what? Most of the bloggers whose work I most often read are also having their own dry spells, going days--if not weeks--between posts.

What's wrong with us? How do we get our mojo back? Sigh...

I will let you in on one little piece of news: BH and I have been beginning to talk about our honeymoon destination. We decided to each write down 10 places we wanted to go and then share our lists and go from there. The only guideline was that the destinations would have to be somewhere that could be enjoyed in just a week's time (since that'll be about as much time as we can both spend away from our jobs and the Geej). And also, the list could include places you'd been before but wanted to return to. So last night we decided to share our lists, and we managed to narrow our potential destinations down from 20 to just 10. Here they are (in no particular order)--

  • Texarkana, TX/AR (It's twice as nice!)

  • The Poconos (so classy)

  • Atlantic City, NJ

  • Detroit, MI

  • Gary, IN

  • Orlando, FL (All Disney, all the time.)

  • Provo, UT

  • Texas City, TX (Refinery tour!)

  • Fargo, ND (but only if we can postpone our trip until January '09)

  • Juarez, Mexico

  • Branson, MO

Don't those places sound romantical?

Oh, and I have to share 3 of my favorite Geej-isms with you. Lip balm is called "lipchap," heart beats are "heartbeeps" and geckos are "eggos." She also told me tonight that she liked the buttons on my pajamas so much, she wanted "to just eat them up!" And I caught her sticking her toes in her mouth while she was in the bathtub tonight. She is just too weird for words.

Okay, off to bed. More soon. I promise.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

Much goings on.

Hell. Oh. Friends.

Yes this year has started out with much business and activity. So to catch you all up, I'm going to have to sort of list it out with little creativity if I have any hopes of covering it all, so please forgive.

In no apparent order:

I got my hairs did, and decided--for some unknown reason--to get bangs cut. Yeah...not such a good decision. Within 3 days, I was done with them. HATING them. So now, I'm wearing a barrette in my hair almost full time in order to subdue the sheer bang-iness of them. A nearly 39 year old with a barrette? Pathetic.

BH's two sons J-13 (initial-age) and F-7 arrived in town on 12/27. It was so great to see them, and mostly to see BH with them. After being apart for nearly 2 mos., the reunion was long overdue. We went for a big family weekend (a gift of my future mother-in-law) at the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio. Much fun for the kids, and the adults. In fact, the weather was so perfect during the day, that it was warm enough for the kiddos to SWIM in the outdoor (heated) pool, while at night, it was cool enough to bundle up and go on a horse-drawn carriage ride. Awesome. Another thing that was awesome? The future MIL also gifted me an hour-long massage at the hotel spa. Niiiiiiiiiiiiice.

Geej and F-7 got along SO well. They played together like champs. It was an utter delight.

New Year's Eve was insanely low-key. Like, OLD people low key. We just hung with the kiddos, ordered pizza, watched an episode of the Planet Earth DVDs I got BH for Christmas (after the F-7 and Geej had gone to bed, of course...I mean, animals EAT each other and stuff on that show), and went to bed by 11pm. Lame, but very nice.

New Year's Day, F-7 flew home to Colorado with his mom, and J-13 went to College Station for a few days to visit a family friend of theirs. Geej went to Dah's house (because school was still closed, and both BH and I had to work the following day), and BH and I went to see "Walk Hard" at The Alamo. On a scale of 1 - 10 for funny, I'm only going to give this one a 5.5.

Back to work, and sort of to normal for the rest of the week except for the big news of the week, which was: BH and I finally settled on a place, time, and venue for our nuptials. It's taking place in April, immediate family only, and will be followed by a honeymoon and then a celebratory party for friends and extended family. Whoot! Now, of course, the diet begins.

Friday, Geej came back from Dah's, and Saturday, J-13 came back from College Station. It was insanely warm and gorgeous outside, so we cooked out and had another low key night hanging at home.

Highlight of Geej's and J-13's time together? When she asked him, very seriously, "Will you help me put my baby's outfit on her?" He politely declined. Second favorite moment, when she asked him, "Have you ever had pudding? It's kind of like Jello, but not really." The look of wincing disdain on his face was utterly priceless.

Yesterday, BH sent J-13 home on an airplane. I know it must've been extremely difficult to say goodbye. He had such an energy about him when his boys were here. I can't wait for them to be in Texas full time, so the stress of long separations isn't a part of his reality. He's planning on going up there for a visit in early February. As he said, "Two months is just too long." I absolutely agree.

Today it was (sort of) back to normal. Everyone's back at work, and the pace of things is definitely picking up. The traffic is returning to normal. And tomorrow, Geej goes back to school after over 3 weeks away. Lordy. The poor child is oh so bored with us. She was so excited about school tomorrow that it was nearly impossible to get her to wind down for bed tonight.

So tomorrow, it's back to normal for real. The routine of getting up, making the lunches, getting her ready, getting her to school, and getting to work--hopefully within time to actually snag a legal parking place at work--begins again.

2008: Do I have any resolutions? Well, none per se. I would like to stick with my "read at least one book a month" rule I set for myself (and surpassed) for 2007. And I'm earnestly trying to swear less in daily conversation. Those of you who know me and my fondness for the f-bomb are most likely laughing outloud right now. But seriously: my cussing had gotten so out of control, that I didn't even hear myself do it anymore. Classy, right? So my goal is to reign it in by about 75%. The benefits of this are two-fold: not only will I not sound like a white trash sailor with Turette's, it will also make those times when I DO say "Fuck" that much more pleasurable and meaningful. And I'm also planning to ease myself back into some state of physical fitness. Tomorrow I start a twice-a-week yoga workshop (my Christmas gift to myself). I am SO excited about this, people. Ever since that stupid surgery back in late 2006, I've felt completely disconnected from my body. I'm unhappy with how I look and how I feel. So January's all about yoga. February's going to be about yoga and diet. March is going to be about yoga, diet, and aerobic walking. And that's it. Just establish a routine where these things are a part of my life--slowly over three months--and stick with it as best I can.

Happy New Year to y'all, by the way. I recently passed my 700th post, and I'm sort of amazed I'm still doing this. Thanks for reading--whether you're regular or not, whether I know you or not. This blogging thing has meant a lot to me over the past 700 posts. May I have the stamina and the stories to do 700 more.

That's it for now. There's more, including photos, but now it's 11:15, and I'm sweepy.

Oh, by the way, it's warm enough that I've got the kitchen window next to me open right now. Weird, no?

Friday, January 04, 2008

I am obsessed.

These are the Great Lake Swimmers. They are Canadian. They are amazing. I love, love, LOVE them. This song is stuck in my brain, and it's not just because of its wonderful use of autoharp.


Please wake me up when this nightmare is over.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

At what point do I become jealous?

Earl has become incredibly enamored with BH.

He enjoys whatever BH is reading.
He approves of BH's choice in footwear.
He also enjoys/approves of BH's actual feet.
He likes to snuggle with BH, either underneath a blanket (you can see a wee bit of BH's jeans and shirt in this shot).

Or even if it's on TOP of a blanket (you can see a wee bit of BH's face at the top of this one).

Clearly, he is no longer just MY cat. Nor is BH solely MY man.


Learning to share is hard.