Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When the Ill Winds Blew

The weatherman said there would be bad winds on Tuesday. Very late Monday night (really early Tuesday morning) I heard the gusts come in. I had a fleeting thought that Native Americans thought big winds brought evil. This morning when my husband kissed me goodbye, I was very cozy and everything was good. I went back to sleep immediately and woke up with a start when the bedroom door opened. It was my husband. I jokingly said, "I'm glad that was YOU!" Then he said that he had talked to a neighbor and a lot of cars had been broken into. He wanted my keys to check my truck. He came back and said everything was fine. I went right back to sleep. The next thing that woke me up was a really weird sound. I couldn't figure it out. I thought either someone was torturing a dog or someone was running a motor with very bad belts. It stopped and I went back to sleep. I heard it one more time. At 11:30 the phone rang. It was my neighbor from two doors down. She asked if I knew about the break-ins on our street. I told her what I knew and then she told me more details and said she had forwarded an e-mail from another neighbor. Here's the breakdown of the thuggery:

On Saturday, the man in house #1 discovered that the glove box and center console were open and had been rifled through. He thought maybe his wife was looking for something. Later she (his wife) found a flashlight on the sidewalk between her house and house #2. He then brought up the other thing and she said she had not been in their SUV. My Sweetie and I also saw that flashlight on our way home from our walk on Saturday. I thought some kid had dropped it. Monday night when the people in house #3 got home from a trip they found a garage remote by their mailbox. It belonged to the people in house #2 whose car had also been broken into. And some equipment was stolen from the garage of house #4. Then last night (Tuesday night), the stereo and speakers were stolen from a car at house #5 and an SUV was stolen from house #6. I don't know if anything happened at the other houses but I know why we were untouched. We have windows across our garage doors and we leave the lights on at night. If the thugs looked in there, they would have seen a bunch of junk. Probably the most valuable thing in our garage (besides my husband's car) is the fridge and that's not the sort of things these criminals grab. The creepy part is they are doing it at night when we are all at home!
Oh yeah, the rest of my morning. I heard that weird sound again and went through the garage and out the side door. Apparently our neighbors got a dog. The wind was howling (we had gusts of up to 58 m.ph. today with grassfires and airport cancellations) and I could hear this dog doing this crazy whining and I peered through this broken spot in the fence and he had his little nose stuck through a small space in their fence that faces the street and was biting away the wood with his teeth! I called my neighbor's cell and told him and he said he was near the house and would swing by. About 20 minutes later I heard what sounded like a person running across my roof. I figured a branch had broken off a tree. Then about 15 minutes after that, I decided to step out there to see if he had put something there by the little hole in the fence. I saw something out of the corner of my eye, turned to look and it was a skylight! I ran back in the house and sure enough, there was a big square open hole in my bathroom! There were leaves on the bathroom floor. After that hailstorm in April, my husband had chosen our neighbor (the guy in house #6 up there) to re-roof our house. I wasn't crazy about that at first, but it sure came in handy today. I called his cell and he was home. He walked right over and fixed it.
Now on an oddly related note, I watched "Oprah" today. Her guest was Gavin De Becker. Ten years ago, he wrote "The Gift of Fear" and Oprah wanted to remind everyone to listen to that little voice. I listened to that little voice in a big way once. I was thinking of that when I watched the show. Then I remembered something else. Last night around 3:00 a.m. (okay early this morning), I wanted one more beer before I went to bed. I did not have anymore beer inside and would have to go get another beer from the (well-lit) garage. For some reason, I was creeped out about going out into the garage last night so I just went to bed. And today I find out thugs were out there last night being evil. What if I had walked out just as one of them had looked in? My instincts told me not to go in the garage last night although I've done it hundreds of times. As Oprah would say, "Always listen to that little voice." I'm glad I did.

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Brain is "Just Marred"


I call the boys next door "The Hansons," because they look like the two Hanson boys on the left. If you are unfamiliar with Hanson, they were a popular music group some time back with a big annoying hit called "Mmmm Bop." They are brothers and the one good thing was that they actually wrote their own songs and actually played the instruments unlike regular "boy bands" that just sing and dance like The Pips, who were actually awesome. But I digress. I should change my name from Geewits to Digressia. See, I did it again. Okay, back to "the Hansons."


If you've been reading here long enough you know that I do not like to leave my house except to fly to other states to vacation. I find "going out" terribly tiresome and have a million rituals to go through to actually leave the house. I don't even check the mail. I do Meals on Wheels every Wednesday so I can be a productive citizen, but often do not go out any other day except some Saturdays. Last week I did not go out between Wednesdays, but I knew I had to go to the grocery store on Saturday. Since I had to go out anyway on Saturday, we did another walk around the neighborhood which was nice. Then we ate out at Razzoo's (a Cajun restaurant) and hit the grocery store.


Imagine my surprise when the phone rang today at 4:00. My husband had taken my truck to get the oil changed. He called to give me the horrible news tell me that the Duke game would not be telecast locally because Fox Sports would be running a Dallas Mavericks game. He suggested I find a sports bar that could get the east coast feed from Fox Sports. This was 4:00. The game was scheduled for 5:30. My brain went into "freakout zone." I finally found a nearby sports bar that could do this, and jumped in the shower at 4:30. I was playing the "Mission: Impossible" theme in my head, which is what I do when I know I have to hurry. I broke a (not having to catch a plane) record and was fully ready to go at 5:05.


We pulled out of our driveway and I noticed there were a giant pile of people in the driveway next door. The older Hanson boy's little red car was there in the driveway with "stuff" all over it and I saw the words "Just Married" written in white shoe polish. My brain did a flip, my chin hit my knees. I saw this same car just two months ago with "18 and legal" written on it in the same white shoe polish. I'm pretty sure he's still in high school. JUST MARRIED? I thought for sure I had hallucinated the whole thing, but my husband verified it. The whole ride to the sports bar I kept trying to wrap my brain around it. I finally decided we had misread the car. I'm thinking now that he got a tattoo and it said "Just Marred." I hope that's what it was. That makes more sense. Right? Right?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Having a Backup

photo by Webbaliah

Whenever I need a green pepper, onion or avocado for a recipe, I always buy two. Sometimes when you cut into the green pepper, onion or avocado - no matter how great it looks on the outside - the insides are grey and icky. I simply toss that one and then I have a nice new one to start over with. Wouldn't it be nice if we could do this with everything from cars to shoes to relatives?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Look! It's Danny Bordeauxie!

My Spoonerisming (Yes! it's a word! Look it up! Okay, please don't.) has now gone to a whole new level. We got into a spirited discussion tonight about the best TV show theme songs. My Sweetie was all "The Rockford Files" and "Sanford and Son" and I was all "Mission Impossible" and "Hawaii Five-O." We were singing, humming and whistling various themes (Yes, we are easily amused), and I asked "How did the Pepperidge Farm go?"
I probably need a cat scan. Meow!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How The Eloi Will Come To Be

After reading Jazz's blog about the different generations, I've been thinking about that a lot. I was born in 1961 and realize that I am one of the last people to see the legal swindles. There were ads in the back of comic books ranging from how to bulk up to how to see through women's clothes with x-ray glasses. And the Sea Monkeys. At the county fair, we always had the "Watch the beautiful lady turn into a gorilla. It's Live! And It's Real!"
Even kids' toys weren't exempt. There was something called "Silly Sand" and it looked fascinating on the TV ads. It was a huge disappointment. It did not work at all like it did in the commercials. It was just glops of colored sand and water. No fancy castles for us.
In my lifetime, law after law has been passed to "protect the consumer." Are people really that stupid? How will people learn to be wary if they never encounter a big rip-off? It looks like H.G. Wells was right and we are creating the Eloi.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Off My Bum

I was inspired by Josie going hiking over the weekend and got off my bum and went for a 45 minute walk on Saturday. It was chilly but sunny out and so we walked at a brisk pace. First we checked out the new section of the neighborhood. I think of it as the "Termite Neighborhood" because when the bulldozers went over there and razed the woods, our whole neighborhood became infested with termites. Thanks a lot, builder people. The new section is a whole bunch of faux castle McMansions mashed up against each other with tiny little yards. I told My Sweetie, "I bet it takes longer to get the lawn mower out of the garage than it takes to mow." He said, "I would just use scissors." After we checked out that section we headed east and discovered that that part of the neighborhood was 15 or 20 years older than our section. They had really large yards and chain link fences. It sort of reminded me of North Carolina. I always think of Texas as being pretty flat, but our neighborhood has some hills which are far more noticeable when you are walking. Our cul-de-sac is at the top of a hill, and I thought the walk back would be the only uphill climb, but I was wrong. My butt is pretty sore, but that is good. I'd like to make walking a regular thing. I e-mailed my neighbor - the one that let me use her washer last summer when my washer broke in mid cycle - and asked if she'd like to go on some walks. She's thin and doesn't need to lose weight like I do, but she said she was interested. Unfortunately it's cold and drizzly out these days. Hopefully we will get some decent weather soon and I can get back out there. And there's always the treadmill.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Vacation Planning

I have spent the last two days planning my vacations for this summer. I'll be in Vancouver from June 1st through June 6th visiting our beloved Josie. This is an open invitation to any fun Canadian bloggers to meet up with us. Shoot one of us an e-mail. We will be spending one day visiting Vancouver Island if you're over there. I hope you will still be available to meet up with us, Tai! I also made reservations for a beach cottage on Topsail Island. If you've been reading here long enough, you may remember this is the beach near my Mom's retirement place in North Carolina and also that my best girlfriends live in North Carolina. This means we will get to spend a lovely week On The Beach and I will get to see my Mom and visit with my friends. I picked this particular cottage because of the location. We will be able to walk to many cool places. It's actually a duplex and we will be on the right side in this streetside picture:

This next picture is from the beach looking back at the cottage, so, we will be on the left. The cottage's name is "Yawl Come South." That's funny to me.
Below will be our living room and the access to the beachside decks. (That's the Atlantic Ocean out there "yawl!")
The cottage is wired with high speed internet, so I may borrow my Mom's laptop and try to blog from there. But I will have to wait and see if that seems like a possibility. The next picture is our bedroom. I sleep on the right side and there doesn't seem to be a nightstand there. I will have to find something to put there for my water and carmex. But those windows? They are on the oceanside of the house so they will be cracked so I can hear the ocean all night. Woo hoo!

The picture below is the view of the ocean from the cottage. I will spend most of my time on that deck drinking beer and looking at the ocean!

The beach trip will be June 14th through the 21st, so I will have a week between trips! The last time I did that was April 2004 when I had one week between my Hawaii trip and my North Carolina trip. That was crazy. I hope this will be too!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Yellow Rose of Tacky

I was going to take a picture to show how ugly my section of Texas is in the winter when it's overcast and I noticed this truck in front of me. (Yeah okay, taking a picture when I'm going 65 mph down Airport Freeway is probably as bad as talking on a cell phone, so to everyone on that section of Airport freeway at 11:08 this morning, I sincerely apologize and promise that it will not happen again.) Then I saw this truck, and no, I was not tailgating, I cropped the picture. Anyway, if I can stop stopping to explain everything, it made me think about all the tackiness of Texas.

Then I remembered to take this picture of this very Texasy house that is on my Meals on Wheels route. It usually has a giant mobile barbecue smoker thing in the driveway (which would have been awesome) but it wasn't there today. And in case you can't see them,
the shutters are all about the Texas Tacky:

And then of course this was in the bar I stopped by:

What was funny about all this, was when I got home, I had an e-mail from a friend in North Carolina that had a "Are you Yankee or Dixie?" quiz. I took the quiz and it said:
78% Dixie. This is a pretty strong Southern score!
I thought it was funny that I was 78% Dixie since I was born and raised in North Carolina and now live in Texas. Where did that 22% of NOT Dixie come from? Plus, one of the questions was defective. Question #7 asked, "How do you address a group of people?" Well I say, "You guys," and although that was not listed as an answer, it showed up after my response as if it had been an answer. If it had been an answer, I think I would have been even LESS Dixie.
Latest Spoonerisms: The other day I was thinking about something and I said, in my head, "Better nate than lever!" That still freaks me out because I still can't get over the fact that it's not a speech thing. Then two days ago, I put a towel on the kitty castle, because my cats REALLY love sleeping on towels, and Barney went to sleep there and I said to MY Sweetie, "I'm glad Barney found that." He said, "What?" I said, "I put a castle on the towel."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Name That Moon!

(use your 3-D glasses to enjoy this pic!)

Don't you think it's weird that our moon has no name? It's like you named your son "the son" or your dog "the dog," although I think many people have done just that. There are 169 moons in our solar system and they all have names. Well, okay, some just have number designations, like "S2003 J10" which I secretly call "Erika." And then there are all the cool mythological names like "Erinome," who in Roman mythology was a lover of Jupiter. I bet you can guess which planet Erinome is a moon of. Another fun one is "Juliet," which is a planet of Uranus. Some of the moons of Saturn were discovered as late as 2007. They found a bunch in 2005 including Bergelmir and Fenrir, which sound like Tolkien elven names. By 2007, they ran out of ideas and started giving them number designations. I hope they don't make kids in science class remember all 169 names and designations. Sheesh!
But my original point was OUR moon has no name. That doesn't seem right at all. I've been trying to think of a good name for our moon. It would be nice to name it after Gene Roddenberry, but we have to remember the name has to go with all the prefixes like "half," full," "blue," and "crescent," and "Crescent Roddenberry" sounds like a weird dessert. We could name it "Nelson" because we are used to the phrase "half-Nelson." I think "Bob" would be good. I also like "Marilyn" and "Placido Domingo." I can't explain that last one. I suppose if we had to pick a name the masses would agree upon, we'd have to name the moon "Elvis." It seems to work with all the prefixes and most people like Elvis. The only problem is that over time, we would never say, "Look, it's a full Elvis." You know we'd all say, "Look! It's Fat Elvis!"
What would you name the moon?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Stupid Dreams

I have the stupidest dreams. In one recently I was trying to sneak off with Willie Ames to make out with him. We were both about 17 and he was my brother on a TV show, so I guess I played one of the sisters on "Eight is Enough." We got to the top of a sand dune and were watching a lady who was a cross between one of my former dance teachers and my former step-mom. She was dressed in purple velvet and was up high like us to accept an award and give a speech because she had donated 8 million dollars to Duke University. She and another lady were doing an ice dance together and fell off the cliff and then the whole sand dune gave way and I was sitting on a ledge about 5 stories up. Then I woke up.


In another one my daughter refused to be potty trained and I was getting really tired of changing her diapers. Suddenly I said, "Wait a minute! You know how to use the toilet! You're eleven years old!" (She's 23).


Last night I had one where I needed to know the number of gold on the periodic table of the elements. In real life I'm practically obsessive about looking things up. Before the internet, I'd keep lists of things to look up and go to the library and have a field day. You can't imagine how much I love the internet. It feeds my need. But the stupid thing is, I constantly dream about having to look things up. So if I don't know it, how can my brain supply the answer in my dream? Yeah, it's weird. I usually get so bent out of shape I wake up. Not last night. I knew about where AU is located on the periodic table but for some reason in my dream, I had to know the number. But instead of waking up, my brain supplied a wrong answer and my dream self accepted it. It was 19. When I woke up, I thought, gold doesn't break down so it must be an even number. Well it's not. It's 79. 19 is Potassium (K). Maybe my brain was just trying to tell me I need potassium. Or it was just another stupid dream?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Miss Gulch of the Neighborhood

(Warning: The following post may contain some disappointing information.)

I didn't mention this before for a couple of reasons and mostly because I figured it was a one time thing, a fluke, if you will. Early on Christmas eve, I stepped out of the little side door of the garage to sneak an evil cigarette to inspect the garbage cans and was standing there by the gate in my red and green flannel pajamas. I could hear several little boys chatting away and it seemed like they were playing with Toby, the neighbors' cat. One of them yelled, "It got away!" I figured he was gonna run right under my gate to get away from the kids and he did. Well, through the wooden slats I could see a figure approaching and then MY GATE LATCH WAS CLICKED OPEN! I was in shock and without thinking I said, "What are you doing?" in my best imitation of the disgruntled apple tree from The Wizard of Oz. The boy screamed and ran and was saying to his co-horts, "Did you hear that?" Then another voice was saying "Do it AGAIN!" I then can make out the shape of this ballsy kid walking right back up to my gate. I said, in my regular voice, "Don't open that gate!" Same response. Now I was severely irritated and walked back into the garage. We have windows on our garage door and I walked up and saw this kid making his THIRD APPROACH! I banged on the glass, pointed at his face and yelled, "GET OUT OF MY YARD!" I was extremely irritated because my backyard is my sanctuary of outdoor privacy. I couldn't believe the gall of these kids to invade my personal space. I then decided to forget about it because it was Christmas eve.


Today the dog next door was barking his eyeballs out and I was wondering what he was so fired up about. He finally stopped barking and a short while later I decided to go out the back door to, uhm, get something from the deck and I stopped short just outside my door because I could hear these little boys being all snicketty gibbets nearby. I could tell they were by the neighbors' fence. Our houses in this neighborhood are stepped on different levels. The people with the cat are downhill, and the ones with the dog are uphill. We don't have a fence on the uphill side and the neighbor's fence doesn't start until a way back. So there was nothing between me and these kids but air. I thought I would just go back in the house and then, THEN they jumped down into my yard into my planter box of bamboo! I peeked around the bush by my patio that I was sort of hiding behind and all I could see were shoes and socks at the bottom of the bamboo. I had now reached my boiling point and stepped out and yelled, "What are you doing?!?"

For some reason I imagined I was scary, but then realized I was wearing grey sweats, a Michigan J. Frog T-shirt and had bed hair. One of the kids said, "Hiding." I said, "Well, you're hiding in MY bamboo in MY backyard! My yard is private! Go hide in your own backyard!" All I saw was shoes and socks flying out of the bamboo. I tried to call my neighbor because I had told her about the Christmas eve thing and she knew who the kids were, but she wasn't home. I then called the house that I thought she had said was their house and talked to the dad, but I had the wrong house. He did say he had a little boy that ran around with all the other little boys on the street and would talk to him. Sheesh! I've lived here for 6 1/2 years and never had kids in my backyard before. What's that all about?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

And Now We're Back

My flight was pretty uneventful. I sat next to a guy from San Diego and bored the hell out of him. Several times I had to tell myself to "SHUT UP." My Sweetie was already there when I got to the hotel. He had called and told me the room number - 2924, so I knew we were going to have a great view, but it was very foggy. This was looking down at the marina from our balcony.
We went down to the little Irish Pub and soon Jeanette called, which was good, because I left her phone number right here next to my computer! We met up and yakked away. I was pretty buzzed and now I imagine Jeanette will never want to meet another blogger. Hopefully I wasn't too annoying. They are very tall, but since we were all sitting down, I didn't have to strain my neck or anything.

The next morning, Sunday, the fog was gone but it was still overcast and we got caught in a few light drizzles as we walked over to the Gaslamp District. That's the Coronado Bridge over there and that little greenbelt area also has a pier which you will see later. Coronado Island was right across the water and we could see the big Navy ships and even Hotel Del.

We chose this bar called Whiskey Girl because some bartender told us it would be a good place to watch the game. Since I seem to suffer from chronic (hee hee if you know your root words) bad timing, we were worried that we might not get to see the game, because A) We were in San Diego and B) the San Diego Chargers were playing in the AFC playoffs. And it was a REALLY BIG deal for them as they had not won a playoff game in 13 seasons and of course the games were on at the same time. The manager was very nice and turned one TV to the Duke game for us. Do I know how to stand out in a crowd or what? Duke won AND San Diego won, so everyone left happy.

This is the fog-free view looking down from our balcony. I had binoculars, so I got to really look at all the fine yachts. We went to Dave and Buster's after the Duke game and had a good time. We won lots of tickets and got a T-shirt and a shot glass and I only fell down once. I have a big ole bruise on my butt. I was riding a motorcycle game thing and laughing my head off and when I got off the motorcycle I fell right down. It was funny even though I was wearing white jeans. Fortunately they were unscathed, unlike my butt, which was scathed.

On Sunday after we checked out, we took a walk around the marina over to that little green area that was in the earlier picture. I took this picture of our hotel. There are two towers and this was the north tower. On the right there, is part of the south tower.

This bird was on the pier and it was huge. I tried to get closer so My Sweetie could put me in the picture for scale, but the bird was having none of it and flew away, scaring the bejeebus out of me. It was VERY large!

That's me on the pier with the Coronado Bridge in the background. We then walked over to the Joe's Crab Shack for beer and snacks and headed back to the Gaslamp District for a while before we had to return to the hotel to get our suitcases and head to the airport. The weather could have been better, but I really loved all the boats, the views, meeting Jeanette and all the good seafood. Now I have to wait another year to go back!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

San Diego, Here I Come!

It's 2:55 a.m. here. What happened was, I invited my daughter and her friends to stop by for "Happy Hour" because they work until 11:00. So I figured they would be gone by 12:30 or 1:00, but I guess I am very entertaining because they left at 2:30. I don't have too much left to do tonight so I should be okay. I can't believe we went through 7 bottles of tonic water! The little ones, not the big ones, thank goodness.

I'm not a remote blogger and don't even own a laptop, so I'll be incommunicado until I get back, but I have a request. I made up a goofy song for the new year, but it is not finished, so please submit any fun or interesting words that rhyme with "eight." I want to add new verses to my New Year Song. Submit as many as you please over the next few days. I've already used "great," "late," and "wait," but I need more and bigger fun ones. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ha Ha! Isn't Weather Funny?

(A San Diego Bay pic that may have been stolen from some stranger's blog.)

One would THINK that when one travels to San Diego in January, that one is going to be getting a weather UPGRADE. Ha Ha! But weather, it can be so funny. Let's look at the current predictions. San Diego on Saturday: 58 degrees and rain, Texas on Saturday: 71 degrees and mostly cloudy. San Diego on Sunday: 55 degrees and showers, Texas on Sunday: 74 degrees and mostly cloudy. (hee hee, when I read back over what I had just written, I had typed "Sand" Diego TWICE! Sand Diego! How goofy is that? Maybe that will be its future secular name.) But getting back to the weather, as you all know, I am a half glass full type of person and I am really looking forward to the raining. It is dry as a BONE here and my knuckles are like fine grit sand paper. I have both humidifiers running at full blast and it's still at 30% humidity! My throat and my skin will be so happy to be in a rainy place. I should be in Vancouver! San Diego will have to do for now.
Cool San Diego newses: On Saturday I will be meeting Jammie J (Jeanette) and her husband. I have been reading her blog for almost 3 years I think. I discovered her on "Jay's Party" which still exists but he quit blogging in July 2005. It was the first blog that I became addicted to. Through Jeanette's blog and her photography, I have journeyed through Europe, visiting Italy and Ireland. I've visited a farm, a blogger gathering right here in Houston, TX, seen a concert at the Hollywood Bowl and even been to Legoland. You guys should check out her blog. It's private, but you just have to get a password and I'm sure she knows you all well enough from my blog. Jeanette's about 6 feet tall and her husband is even taller so we will feel like munchkins! I'm pretty excited about meeting her.
The second cool thing is my daughter came by on Sunday to give us our Christmas present and it was a $100 gift card for Dave & Buster's! I checked the internet and there is one in San Diego just 6 miles from our hotel. This way My Sweetie can party at D&B with me and not have to drive home. And it will be free! Free is good. So now I just have to find a cool sports bar to watch the Duke game at 2:30 on Sunday. Then we can go somewhere nice for dinner and then finish up at D&B. And this whole time I was saying we had no plans for San Diego. I don't care if it rains the whole time. I think I'm going to have fun.