Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I think my yogurt is hitting on me.

I recently discovered the yumminess that is Rachel's yogurt. OMFG, people. You haven't really HAD yogurt until you've tried Rachel's.

Yesterday morning I had vanilla chai from their "Essence" line (freakin' YUM!). And this morning I went with the pomegranate blueberry from the "Exotic" line (yowzah).

Things were going along just fine with Rachel and I until I began really reading the packaging:

"Rachel's: Wickedly Delicious

Blissfully Blended.

Luscious blended yogurt inspired by the planet's most alluring fruits and flavors.

Break free from the berry-blend blahs. Classic blueberry meets sassy pomegranate in an unexpected burst of pure fruity exuberance."

A) Is this a cup of yogurt or a dime store romance novel?
B) I like my bursts of "pure fruity exuberance" to be expected, not to come at me from nowhere.

I think I need a cold shower. And some more yogurt.

Monday, July 28, 2008

800th Post!!

And really, it couldn't be more mundane.

This past weekend was fun because it was Geej's gymnastics-themed birthday party featuring 12 wee ones and their parents. I'm happy to say that it was a hit. The kids enjoyed the activities and getting to run around in the a/c jumping and tumbling and whatnot,, and parents enjoyed getting to visit with one another. Other hits besides the actual party itself was the woman hired to make balloon animals and a balloon birthday cake hat (she was AWESOME) and the butterfly shaped cupcake cake from Whole Foods. I'm telling you, when the cake feeding frenzy of little children sets upon you, not having to slice and serve is an added bonus.
That night I got to go for a mini girls' night out with Jaye, Lindsay and my friend Rebecca to see the new production of Mortified. It was all women this time, and two of them were repeats from the November show (disappointing), but there were two women in the show who were fucking hiLARious. Our group of gals got started at Vino Vino, and then went back there after the show. Damn, what a righteous place. Tons of interesting wine, nice light menu offerings, helpful staff and an unpretentious vibe just perfect for chit-chatting.

After MUCH sparkling rose (yes, it's big here too Karla), I almost accepted Lindsay's invitation to partake in some Rock Band, but decided to get my old, tired ass home instead.

Yesterday was spent balancing my checkbook (scary) and signing up for online bill-pay (progressive!). I also washed/vacuumed my car and did a major trip to the grocery store. Typical Sunday fare.

Geej's actual 4th b-day is this Wednesday. Don't worry, she'll have plenty of presents to open on the actual day itself, and she gets to pick where we go for dinner. Knowing her, she'll choose Red Robin, which is actually fine with me.

I guess my other big news is that after my semi-annual trip to the doctor last week, I have been referred to a cardiologist to see to my high blood pressure. It was 170/110 in her office, and yesterday at HEB I took it again, and it was 160/101. Not good, people. I've GOT to figure out a way to deal with my stress and get this damn blood pressure to go down or I'm headed straight to Stroketown, USA.

I'm a chubby, middle-aged, hypertensive stressball. Try not to envy me too much.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thing's that drive me crazy.

All of these sign's were encountered during our trip this past weekend.

In Fort Stockton. I think this is a wee bit insensitive give the history of Native Americans and alkeehol.

These restroom's were in the Fort Stockton K-Bob's Steakhouse, which is also home to the "Biggest Salad Wagon in West Texas." Yee haw!!

Again, Fort Stockton. I definitely need to send this into the Punctuation Blog.

And finally, lest you think it's just a small town penchant for incorrect and unnecessary punctuation that I discovered during my travels, check this out:

Yep. That signage was produced by our very own Texas Department of Transportation.

Somebody needs to take some classes's or something.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things we saw*

*Also known as "I'm too damn tired to post much else tonight."

Sometimes you've just got to pull off the highway. Like when you're driving along in the desert and all of the sudden, off to your left you see a sprawling field of intense yellow. When you pull on to the shoulder, put it in reverse and then go down the dirt road, you discover a field of sunflowers pointed east at the morning sun.
You catch your breath. Then you move on to Balmorhea State Park where there's a big spring fed pool that's so clear and lovely it looks like it's made of blue jewels. On the grounds of the state park is this: Not a view one would expect in the desert, making it that much more amazing and lovely.

Speaking of views, here was one of my favorites--the view from the patio of our room: The Marfa Courhouse, water tower and, of course BH. It is the rainy season right now in that part of Texas. And while we were there, we were treated to gorgeous storms, rolling in for miles. Ironic, isn't it, that to view a decent rain, I needed to travel to the desert...

And after the rain, apparently there's almost always a rainbow there. We saw several including a double rainbow, and this succinct, intense and very determined little rainbow-lette pushing its way out of the dark storm clouds:
When it rains, the reptiles get happy. This was one of the happier fellows we met. (Notice the goddamned cigarette butt in the upper right of this photo...grrrr.)

And then, yesterday during the nearly 450 mile trip home, I just marveled at the diversity and beauty of the state I was born in, amazed by the fact that there are still LARGE parts of it that I have yet to experience, and wondering why in the hell it took me nearly 40 years to see this part of it.
Oh yes. We will be back.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back from down over there.

I have many tales and photos from our trip. Actually, more photos than tales because our trip was the dictionary definition of uneventful. Which is a GOOD thing and absolutely what I needed.

Texas is very big and very beautiful. Where we were is the geographic and natural antithesis of all things Pine Curtain-esque, but it is still so very Texan and, because of this, comfortable. People there will be friendly if you want them to, but will utterly leave you alone if you'd like for that to be the case, and not think you're uppity or aloof for even one minute.

If this trip taught me anything it is that I am so tightly wound most of the time, that it actually requires effort for me to relax. I mean to just chill the hell out and be comfortable with nothing on the day's agenda. That is much harder than I ever imagined it would be. And just when I start to get into the groove of it, it's time to come back to reality and wind back up.

More tomorrow, lambs.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Things are about to change.

I've got a confession to make: when it comes to Texas, I've never been west of Llano. I mean, yes, I've been to the panhandle. Twice. But the panhandle is its own thing. West Texas is like a whole other country, with high deserts, mountains, canyons, and miles and miles of nothingness. It's what people who've never been to Texas think of when they think of Texas. And I've never been there.
Where we're going will change this.

In Austin, it is humid and sticky and--at the same time--bone dry. Hotter than hell with no rain to help break the monotony of the dog days. Even at nearly 10pm, it's still 86 degrees outside. The place where we're going? It gets down into the 50s each night.

BH and I haven't been alone with each other--sans kids--in...well, it's been a while. Where we're going, we're going to be alone. Blissfully alone with each other.

No agenda and no plans other than let's just get there.
Marfa, here we come.*
*Potential evildoers: Don't bother. We have a house-sitter, an alarm, and a vicious dog.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In which I am hemorrhaging money

In the span six weeks (ending 8/1…hopefully), I will have had a lot more green going out than coming in. Cases in point:

  • Full July tuition for Geej’s school despite the fact that the school’s only open until the 25th
  • Tuition for 2 weeks of Gymnastics camp (while school is closed during late July/August…really don’t know what I’m going to do for the other two weeks…)
  • Full August tuition for Geej's school despite the fact that the school will only be open for one week in August. Oh, and tuition's going up for the 08/09 school year, dontcha know.
  • Deposit for Geej’s b-day party--including a dude making balloon animals, people!! (balance to be paid on the 26th)
  • Birthday presents
  • Deck cleaning/sealing (labor + 5 cans of sealant at $27/can)
  • 6-month car insurance premium
  • Quarterly Costco run (toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, Kleenex, paper towels, etc.)
  • Deposit on wedding venue (that’s right fools! We finally landed on a date and place! I’m so happy!)
  • Long weekend road trip to Marfa (gas, lodging, food, commemorative koozies, etc.)
So yeah. I’m not what you would call “rolling in dough” at the moment. Sigh.

And speaking of depressing stuff, will SOMEONE please explain this to me? If you can truly claim "executive privilege" for shit like this, my question is what CAN'T you weasel out of by pulling "executive privilege" out of your ass? If I look up "executive privilege" in a thesarus, does the phrase "above the law" appear? Absolutely nauseating. I guess he and his band of evil flying monkeys are going to be able to leave Washington in January without having to answer to any of their chicanery. Yeah, I said "chicanery."

Now, to lighten the mood, here's a picture of a smiling puppy I swiped from Cute Overload. I swear, sometimes that website is the only thing that keeps me from jumping off a cliff:

Yay! Puppies!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I call this shot, "Shockingly Worthless."

Yep, this is pretty much what he does. All day. When he's not eating, that is. Lucky bastard...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Check this out (the Asian edition):

A workmate of mine may have gotten the best fortune cookie fortune of all freakin' time:
Also? Explain to me what the hell is going on here?!:
When my dad died, he left me nothing. Yes, this still upsets me because he didn't take the time to say, "Hey, you know what? This MATTERS to me that my one and only child have this thing of mine and know what it meant to me." I'm not talking gold nugget jewelry or a gun collection people (although, both of those things COULD have been my legacy), I'm talking something funky and trivial, but that mattered to him. Something that would REMIND me of him as a person.
So after he died, I had a very limited time to look through his things and figure out what I wanted. Picture this: I'm going through my dead father's meager belongings, while--all the while--my stepmother is supervising by looking over my shoulder. I'm sorry, but this was a very intense, personal and intimate thing I was doing, and I didn't appreciate her intrusion. It's its own bowl of bullshit.
But anyway, one of the things I discovered during my exploration through his stuff was this set of sake bottles that he once told me that a friend of his had brought him back from Japan. I don't know if I was more surprised that a) he actually had friends who would venture all the way to Japan or b) that he'd kept these bottles for so long (since the late 70s). At any rate, they were way cool and empty, so I decided to add them to my rather pitiful pile of take-aways.
So here's one of the bottles:

It's hand painted bone china. Very freakin' cool looking Kabuki-esque characters. I display this bottle on the buffet/bar furniture in my dining room.

And that's all well and good except for the fact that this bottle IS HAUNTED!!!!

Despite the fact that this bottle is empty, brownish reddish blood (or something else) slowly seeps from its invisible cracks until it looks like a Kabuki massacre.

What the HELL, people?! Somebody needs to 'splain this to me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Things that suck/Things that don't suck (an incomplete list)

Things that suck:
  • What stress does to my stomach
  • What this recession-that-isn't-really-a-recession is doing to my 401k
  • The fact that the electrical outlet that our deep freeze is plugged into went kaput some time yesterday, a fact that wasn't discovered until this evening after every ounce of food therein was ruined and we had a horrible mess on our hands
  • Post nasal drip
  • Tantrums thrown by teenagers/little children
  • The overly-sensitive keyboard on my laptop
Things that don't suck:

  • Rootbeer floats
  • Late-afternoon thunderstorms
  • Having a much-needed pedicure
  • Getting our deck cleaned/sealed (looks like new!!)
  • Small town 4th of July parades (Look! There's Mayor Kruger!!)
  • Breaking in the new grill I got BH for Father's Day (this photo was taken BEFORE the deck cleaning/sealing, btw)
  • BH's new scooter
  • And of course, rocking out
Rocking out never sucks.

Friday, July 04, 2008

In honor of the independence of our nation...

...here's some video of the Hill Country Plungettes doing what it is they do in the parade this morning in Lago Vista.

Dah did a nice job. Here she is in all of her Plungette glory (from another parade):

And finally, her granddaughter, The Geej going nuts in Dah's Plungette's hat.

Party, party, party indeed.

Happy 4th of July, y'all.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Because I totally forgot to do this for Father's Day...

This is a photo of a snapshot, so forgive the poor quality, but it's one of my favorites. That's me and my dad when I was 11 mos. old. I've got on my Christmas p.j.'s, and he doesn't have a moustache. Which is rare. I have a few pictures of him without one, but all of my memories are him in his full Burt Reynolds 70s era glory. He was eleven years younger than I am now when this photo was taken, and in this profile view, he and I look so much alike it's freaky.

Anyway, I promise that next year I'll do a photo dad retrospective (because God knows, I've got some AWESOME shots...the 80s home perm era anyone?), but for now, I'll just say I miss him terribly. Especially seeing the Geej wrapping BH's dad Gramps around her little finger, it made me realize how bummed I am that he never got to meet this challenging, amazing, beautiful, spirited, funny little creature. He would've melted completely.

You KNOW you want it

A bullet-pointed update from moi:
  • The trip to the Pine Curtain went fine.
  • Except that on the way out of Austin we got stuck in an hour's worth of traffic and somewhere between Temple and Waco we got stuck in traffic--again--due to an accident
  • So the entire trip--which without a bunch of stops and traffic takes about 4.5 hours--took about 6.5 hours.
  • And The Geej never fell alseep or stopped talking. Not even once.
  • It was muggy and green in east Texas--the opposite of what it's like here. Except for the muggy part.
  • We stayed with BH's dad, Gramps, who lives on a lake.
  • Saturday was BH's brother's birthday.
  • And we got to go out on the boat.

Chloe (BH's niece), Geej and of course Sally

  • But that wasn't until after I went to the Super Wal-Mart. Y'all know how I feel about Wal-Mart, right? Like, I'd rather have a tooth filled while listening to a Toby Keith album than go to Wal-Mart.
  • But I'd forgotten my toothbrush, Geej's toothbrush, cotton face pads and q-tips, and Wal-Mart was the closest and pretty much only thing near the lake.
  • I somehow survived this ordeal.
  • The lake was fun. We parked the boat and the Geej got to play in the water.

  • And now her swimsuit is pretty much ruined because the lake water up there is sort of brown.
  • Saturday night, it rained and thundered and everything. It was awesome.
  • It rained more on Sunday morning. (Did I mention that everything up there was green and lush?)
  • We packed up and left Gramps's house, only to realize about 25 miles down the road that--GASP--Geej had left Sally (the Alpha Baby, pictured above) behind.
  • Much crying and sobbing ensued.
  • We called Gramps and asked if he could mail Sally to us. He said yes. Thank God...
  • We stopped and had lunch in Kilgore with my elderly Aunt Mary Lois and Uncle Ray.
  • They are really sweet, but really getting up there.
  • They were each other's first date (in 1940), and have been married since 1941.
  • We ate at a post-church hotspot that had a buffet.
  • Everything on the buffet was from the same color family--chicken fingers, fried chicken, chicken fried steaks, beef tips and rice, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, green beens (more brown than green, really), and carrots.
  • The Geej slept some on the way back to Austin. Not much, but some.
  • I had to pull the car over--twice--because she was acting like a jerk.
  • God, I hope 4 is easier than 3 has been.
  • Which reminds me: her birthday is in 28 days, and I have no idea what to do party-wise.
  • And she's expecting something cool.
  • Speaking of cool, we got REALLY good gas mileage on our road trip. But now my car is FILTHY with about 1 billion dead bugs on the windshield.
  • Another cool thing? Sally arrived in the mail yesterday, safe and sound.
  • And we're going to watch Dah march in a 4th of July parade on Friday. I may pee my pants.
  • Then Saturday, we're going over to a friend's house to watch their neighborhood fireworks show which, if it's anything like last year's, will be super cool.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

File Under: Upbeat Pop Songs With Horrifyingly Sad Lyrics

I heard this on the radio the other day for the first time in years and was singing along to it's cheerful tune when I realized for the first time how fucking SAD the lyrics are. I mean open-a-vein sad. Check it out:

Note: A good way to start your average Tuesday

  • Drink an 8 oz. Coke on the rocks whilst getting ready
  • Pretend to be "the teacher" whilst your little girl pretends to be the mommy of 4 babies going on a field trip on her tricycle
  • Discover a baby bird in its nest that's right behind the school's mailbox while you deposit your $1025 check for the remainder of summer care for the girl (made it sting a wee bit less)
  • Rock OUT to Rush's "Free Will" on XM on the way to work