Friday, February 29, 2008

How Wednesday Went

I don't go to Red Lobster enough to remember why I don't go there. I hope the next time I think about going to lunch there someone will run up and kick me in the shin. Their tartar sauce tastes like bad coleslaw with too much onion. Their shrimp is tiny and dry and the service was awful and I was at the bar. I walked in and said, "I'm going to sit at the bar." The dudes (there were TWO of them) said, "Okay, we'll bring a menu right over." About 7 minutes passed with no menu and no bartender. She finally came out and took the order of the guy on my left who had sat down 4 minutes after I did. I hope I remember not to go there again.

The morning started out bad enough. I already had the shower running when the doorbell rang. AT 9:30 A.M.!!!! My first thought was "Why is my doorbell ringing at 9:30?" My next thought was "Who would ring my doorbell at 9:30?" I opened the door and it was the lawn service guy. We just started this lawn service and I told the guy, "Make a note to NEVER come here on Wednesdays." I was very irritated because I had to close the blinds in my bedroom and bathroom. I like my blinds open. But because I am generally a positive thinker, I realized in the shower that if the guy had arrived 10 minutes later, I would have been in the shower and seen a guy walking around in my backyard. That would not have been good.

My MOW route seemed to take forever. My first stop was a no response and I had to got through all the protocol that I've talked about before. At my third stop, my buddy lady wanted me to do a few things and my fifth stop guy wanted to talk and he talks veeeerrrrrrrryyyy ssssslllllooooowwwlllllllyyyy. I finally finished my route and made my stupid lunch decision.

After my bad lunch I went to the country club to meet with James Bond and he was still in his 2:00 meeting. My waiting narcolepsy kicked in and I was just about to doze off in the lobby when I was saved by some other guy walking up and offering to show me around. The room (the Winchester Room - how Texasy is that?!?) was nice and has a great view over the golf course and a little pond. When we were finished there and went back upstairs, James Bond was ready for me. I had fun picking out the menu and discussing various things. I'm almost 47 and have never planned anything like this so it was a great learning experience.

Now all I can think about is this event and I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about centerpieces and whatnot. I need to stop that. It's just that I keep getting ideas all the time. They were married in Hawaii, so I want to have leis for everyone. But I did choose to have an open bar. And that was for me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm So Jealous!

I just got off the phone with my husband. He's on a business trip and told me the speaker this morning was Lewis Black. Lewis Black is my FAVORITE comedian (and I do a funny impersonation of him). He also said there are bunnies all over the resort and that one nearly ran across his foot. Bunnies and Lewis Black. Wow.

I've been busy trying to plan a wedding anniversary dinner for my husband's parents. I am meeting James Bond tomorrow at a country club to go over the menu. Yes, James Bond is the catering director at a country club. Who knew? Maybe he's working undercover.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Birds

I didn't realize when we went shopping for a vacuum cleaner that we were being cast as unwitting extras in an old Alfred Hitchcock movie:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Another Reason to Hate It

I don't like Dallas. The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is one giant metro area with a lot of competition between the two major cities and Arlington (there are also a kajillion suburbs). Arlington has the Texas Rangers baseball team and is now building a giant football stadium for the Dallas Cowboys, which will probably be the Arlington Cowboys someday, although they (the team) were in Irving the whole time and were never known as the Irving Cowboys.
I lived in Dallas from 1984 until 1988. I hated it. I always had a hard time explaining why, but I just found this line from Yahoo Travel: Contrary to popular belief, there's no oil in glitzy, status-conscious DALLAS. If you need a hint about which words are true and also disturbing to me: It's the same reason I don't like L.A. And on top of the, I don't know, attitude, there's the traffic. The traffic is always horrible and there are several major car accidents every single day. I have honestly asked myself many times when in an introspective mood, "Did I leave my first husband just to GET OUT OF DALLAS?"
Although I left in 1988, I couldn't just wave goodbye through my rearview mirror. My daughter was only 4 and her dad lived there, so every other weekend was the horrible drive to Dallas (or its burbs). When she turned 16 I was SO happy! I also had to work there quite often when I was freelancing (1996-1998). I can't begin to guess how many hours I spent on 635 going 45 IPH (inches per hour). I probably lost 6 months of my life sitting on 635. The best place I ever worked was in a town north of Dallas (The Barney the Dinosaur corporate offices) and they started talking to me about a permanent position and all I could see was me spending hours and hours on 635. And 75? It's as bad. And you had to take that to get to the Barney place. Aaaargh!
Once after I left the Barney place, and I was in a rush to get to one of my daughter's volleyball games, I came upon a fresh wreck on 75. It looked like Hollywood was filming one of those post-apocalypse movies. There were about 5 or 6 cars and glass scattered all across 4 lanes. I just drove all crazy and slow swerving between all the stopped crashed cars, because I had to get to the volleyball game. I did look at everybody to make sure no one had blood spurting out of their heads, but I just wanted to get AWAY. And one time on 635 after creeping and crawling for FOREVER, I passed the wreck that had held us up. A truck was sitting on top of a car as if it had been lowered by a crane. I never saw anything about it in the news and to this day wonder how that happened.
The only time I go to Dallas now is for the State Fair. The State Fair is worth it and is on my side of Dallas. I can only think of a few other times I've been in recent years: A Red Wings game and to meet a childhood friend at his downtown hotel. So today on the news they announced that after his term is over, Mr. & Mrs. Current President will be residing in Dallas. That seems appropriate and I think it will suit them just fine.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I didn't know Dear Abby was Italian. I always thought she was Jewish:

Okay, it's been a week and a half since my bad haircut. I think it's starting to look normal again. Maybe I just hate the fact that my face keeps getting inexplicably wider. I really need to get on the treadmill. This is a totally undoctored photo that was taken today. And by saying that, I will admit that I am a Photoshop expert (those are Art Squad's words, not mine), and I have touched up some of my pictures. But this is me today (Wednesday) and boy I wish I had done some stuff to that picture.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It Doesn't Suck

Is that not the ugliest vacuum cleaner you've ever seen? I used to hide it when it was out and someone came to the door. But I loved it. It was a hand-me-down from my Mom and I gave away my shiny new pretty vacuum after she gave me this one. Why? Why would I do such a thing? First of all, I have very sensitive ears and the old one that was the new one (I think for clarity I'll call it "the green one" was very very loud and as Randy Jackson would say, "pitchy." The green one was also very heavy. And with all its weight, newness and noise, it really didn't have the suction of the grey one there. So out it went. This one has been My Dawg, Ya'll (okay no more Randy Jackson references!!) for many years, but alas, the end has come. When I was attempting to vacuum the bedroom yesterday all I was doing was making tire tracks, although I think it did pick up a few feathers (from the pillows. There are no birds in the bedroom). But the lint? It was having none of it. So now we have to go buy a new vacuum on Saturday. I hate buying things like furniture and appliances, because you have to plan on being happy with the purchase for 15 to 25 years. Unless you're rich and wasteful, of which I am neither. Okay, I did replace a couch and chair after only five years but they were droopy. And it wasn't wasteful because I gave them to my daughter. So wish me luck on buying a light, low-noise vacuum that uses bags and has a retractable cord. I should be able to find that, right?

I pulled out the sewing machine to do some sewing projects and got another one done today. I have this little pine bench that used to be at the foot of our bed, but when we rearranged our room last year it didn't fit in there anymore. I had made this little green cushion for it that matches our bedroom, but we moved it into the guest room which is black and grey.

So I made this black toile cover for the old cushion:

I don't know why all my sewing projects seem to involve long straight seams. I HATE them. But after some trouble with my bobbin (The sewing machine is 24 years old!), I finally got it done. Now I can move on to my Jake Pillow Project which I hope to have done by Friday and will do a little show and tell here. Tomorrow of course is Meals on Wheels Wednesday as well as Catfish Wednesday, so I get to take a sewing break. Enjoy your Wednesday! And Thursday! Well heck, have a whole great rest of the week!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pictures of Me and Other Things

When I had to move stuff around last week in flickr to post my Japanese Gardens photos I deleted the picture that was on my profile but oddly it stayed on here for over a week. Then today, "POOF!" it was gone. I wasn't crazy about it because I felt like it looked like I was copying other pictures I had seen on other blogs. I like to use the most recent photos for my picture and I was looking for a newish pic to use and I noticed I had on the same T-shirt in several pictures. I thought to myself, "Why is this shirt in every picture? I don't wear it that often." and then laughed out loud when I realized that I had it on! I'm wearing it right now!

This is the T-shirt. And we actually have two of them and it has long sleeves, so it is very cozy when it's chilly, like now. I even have a short sleeve version and a white short-sleeved one. I don't even know what the "IV" stands for but they were free. We get lots of free T's from My Sweetie's job.

Anyway I picked out the picture over there (up there?) because it's from the bar in San Diego when we watched the Duke game on January 6th. I didn't realize until recently that January 6th was the 13th anniversary of the day I met My Sweetie, so it seemed like an appropriate picture. Speaking of pictures of me, I thought I'd show my Driver's License picture because it always makes me laugh. It looks like I was on my way to a costume party when I stopped to get my license renewed. Cleopatra, yes?

In other news, we had terrible weather over the weekend. We had hail 3 times: once on Friday and twice on Saturday. It was probably what they call "pea-sized" but one of the times we had the "marble-sized." This is my patio on Saturday:

Here's recent photo of Barney. He weighs 14 lbs. now and he's about 9 months old. He's a sweet loving kitty and sports a cute cummerbund:

And these are my Valentine's Day flowers. I really love the vase. It makes me want to get a goldfish or learn how to do sandscapes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Oscar* Fun

I just watched a cute show on VH1 called "VH1's 20 Greatest Oscar Moments." I'll admit it: I'm an awards show junkie. I spent two days curled up in a fetal position when I realized there would be no "Golden Globes." Fortunately I had the "Screen Actors Guild Awards" and the "Grammys" to pull me out of my funk. And now the word on the street (and by street, I mean the internet) says The Oscars* are a go now that the writers' strike is over. The show must will go on, thank goodness. (And that horrid writers strike being over means I can also get my "Saturday Night Live" fix -YAY.) I can't wait to watch the Oscars* and I hope we have some new great moments this year. And although I'm not gay, I would have loved to be Adrian Brody that night.

*Dear Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Scientists people, please accept my apology for not being computer savvy enough to know how to do the little circled "c" copyright thingy. And welcome back.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Bloggy Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day to my favorite blogger buddies. Here's to:
Josie - for being a great new friend and an inspiration.
Jazz - for being one of the coolest ladies I've ever met.
Jeanette - for being one of my original blogger peoples (from the Jay days) and sharing so much with me.
Tai - for making me feel like it's okay to party and have fun all the time.
Naomi - for sharing her wonderful life in the Hills (and Broadway!)
Ian - for being all worldly, curmudgeonly (yeah right!) and a little naughty.
Leslie - for weathering the storms in such an upbeat manner.
Scarlet - for her fun crazy take on family life in Miami.
Dave - for his very sweet and real way of looking at life.
Ticknart - for being a fun young sci-fi guy.
Happy Downtowner - for her slightly different Canadian perspective and good stories.
Big Brother - for making me want to be a bit smarter.
Michael - for making me feel almost like an L.A. insider.
Lone Grey Squirrel - for his great travel and touching human stories.
Jocelyn - for her crazy fun (and orange shaggy) take on things.
And the bloggers that I read and don't really know:
The Daily Randi - because she makes Everything sound Fun!
Rayna - I love her pictures and stories about life in New Orleans with her new baby.
Hilary - I love the smart Jewish L.A. thing she has going on.
To all of you and future blogger buddies: Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Things I Made Recently

Here are some things that I made recently:

I made a pizza Saturday night. I don't think I've made a pizza in 10 years. I bought the crust pre-made, but the rest was all me. Well, sort of - I made a killer easy pizza sauce by draining a can of diced Italian style tomatoes and running them through the blender. It was great! The toppings were red and green pepper strips and thin pepperoni (and mozzarella, of course).

I made the mistake of telling my hairdresser that he could cut my hair as short as he wanted to because it would grow back.

I made a call to my estranged brother in North Carolina. You could ask me why until you're blue in the face and I don't think I could come up with a good answer, but I'm glad I called.

I made myself laugh today. I was thinking about future lighting work in the house. I want two potlights for the kitchen and was thinking how nice sconces would look in a particular place in the living room. Except, in my head, I was using the word "scones." That would not be a good idea and would most likely attract ants.

I made these goofy little things with my new modeling clay. I've loved playing with modeling clay since I was 3 or 4. I wanted to make Snoopy but I did not have enough white clay.

And best of all......

I made my airline reservations for my June Vancouver trip!!!!

The Lost Realm

My sincerest condolences go out to anyone and everyone who has experienced a friend or loved one in any state of dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. I've seen all sorts of stuff on TV, but I had never experienced it firsthand. Until today. I was on the phone for about 10 or 15 minutes with the Mom of a high school friend and she was in another realm of existence. I don't want to go into the details of the conversation, but there was a lot of repetition and other odd moments. I felt exhausted after the short phone call and can not even imagine the daily hardships that her son must go through. My heart goes out to all caregivers in this situation. I wish you strength and patience. And love.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Lovely Wednesday

I need to start this post by saying that when it comes to Flickr, I'm really dense. I already had three folders although one of them was junk, so they insisted that to create a new folder (they call them "sets"), I needed to give them money. It took me quite a while to figure out how to delete 4 pictures and rename the set "Japanese Gardens," but by golly, I did it! I may also have deleted my blog picture because that seems like something that would happen.
Wednesday started out well, and we got an early start for Meals on Wheels. It was the easiest packing and sorting I've had in months. All the regular meal people chose menu A and the two diet people chose B. That may not sound like much, but if you're not a morning person and you're trying to sort your diet and regular A's and B's, it can tangle your brain. When I got to Myriam's house, a lady from her church was there helping her with general cleaning, and she heaped effusive praise on me for her new faucet. That was sweet. When we left her neighborhood we saw this lawn chair in a tree and I had to take a picture:

I think it went up there in the "Crazy Winds" we had, but My Sweetie thinks it was a prank. It's possible that an irate neighbor was protesting because that house still has the Christmas lights up. After MOW, we went to my dumpy little catfish place - My Sweetie's choice. Yummy. Then we went to the Japanese Gardens:

I didn't know what to expect because I had only been once in late April so I wasn't expecting much for the middle of winter, but everything was gorgeous! My Sweetie had never been at all so he was pleasantly surprised that there was fauna as well as flora. There are lots of koi and they have little machines, like gumball machines, to buy fish food. The machines say, "fish food," but apparently ducks and squirrels can not read, because they were big fans of the fish food. The ducks were very aggressive and were practically taking the pellets right out of the fishies' mouths. And the squirrel? He came right up and begged like a puppy! He was so cute. There were also turtles sunning on a log. if you want to see all these creatures and the Japanese Gardens photos I took click HERE. Now My Sweetie can't wait to go back when everything is in bloom. After the Japanese Gardens we went to Hobby Lobby where I bought some modeling clay, other random fun things and this cute thing that I hung on my fence:

And of course, as I mentioned in the last post, my team won THE Big Game. I wish every day could be like Wednesday. It was a perfect day. I hope you all have a perfect day.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Perfect Day!

(Photo from the Durham Herald-Sun)

Wednesday was a great day. My Sweetie took the day off to do Meals on Wheels with me, then we went to the Japanese Gardens, ran some fun errands and capped off the day with a 89-78 Duke victory over UNC - our #1 lifelong rival. I will work on the Japanese Gardens photos today and try to get that post up later tonight. I took about 850,000 pictures!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It's All About Texas!

Although my Mom and I love Texas, neither of us were born here, and we laugh at a lot of Texas ways and things. The thing that's always cracked us up the most is how no matter what is going on in the world, the Texas news folks try to make it about Texas. If they do a story about hurricane Katrina, they slant it to talk about how many Katrina victims relocated to Texas. If they do a Super Bowl story they will manage a Texas connection. It's always about Texas. The primaries today? Texas. Now all the news reports are about how for the first time in a generation, Texas will make the big difference and break the (almost) tie between Obama and Clinton. Yay! It's all about Texas now!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008


These are the deluxe chicken nachos I made for our Super Bowl dinner. Because I had to keep stopping to watch the commercials, it took TWO HOURS to makes these. I think next year I will make a frozen pizza.

I operate on 1/2 B.P.

I was looking at my garage door opener motor thing the other day and I noticed it said "1/2 H.P." And I thought, 1/2 horse power? What is that? Is that the power of half a horse? So I started thinking about half of a horse. And I thought, well there's the front half and the back half:
So I figured half horse power, no matter how you sliced the horse, pretty much meant a two-legged horse. I even pictured it being sliced in half sidewise. You'd still have a two-legged horse. So I thought instead of 1/2 H.P, it should be 2-L.H.P. (for two-legged horse power). Then I thought of this:

Friday, February 01, 2008

The MOW Mix-Up (and sore thumbs)

the old faucet

Wednesday morning I head over to the church to pick up my food for Meals on Wheels and there is no route sheet. One man is still there and I say out loud, "I have no route sheet." He says, "I was wondering why you were here, because there's no food left." So I called MOW and she had no idea what was going on. She said, "I guess the subs I called for Thursday came on the wrong day." I think of another option: That my route was somehow lost at the MOW office. I decided since I was all the way over there, I would check on Myriam to see if she needed anything and wait with her to see if any food showed up..
She did need some help. Her fence latch was not catching and it had been banging in the crazy winds and she had set a chair against it and was terrified someone would steal her chair. She gave me a key to the padlock and man was that thing hard to open. Then I had to use the lock as a hammer to get the latch to close and was finally able to put the lock back on. I feel sorry for whoever has to open that thing. I hope it won't be me. Then she wanted me to look at one of her upstairs faucets. It was the one I had not been able to fix the hot water leak on last year and had just turned off the hot water valve since she has two bathrooms up there. Well, now the cold water was leaking, so I told her I would come back on Thursday with my tools and replace the whole faucet.
Finally a car pulled up and an old couple got out and walked to their trunk. I walked out and said, "Are you with MOW?" She said, "Yes.?" I said, "I was just wondering how you guys happened to get this route today. This is my route." She said "Dee called us." Hmmm. I asker her if maybe she was supposed to come on Thursday and she told me they ONLY do Wednesdays. Hmmm. Dee was on the phone with Myriam, I got on and told her and she would NOT admit that it was her mistake. Now she claims the Thursday guy said "Wednesday." Anyhoo, I said, "Well I guess that means you need someone for Thursday?" Since I had to go back anyway to do the faucet, I may as well pick up the route. Oh and the substitute lady? She was all whiny and said, right in front of Myriam, "I could have gone to a retirement party instead of this." How freaking rude was that? THEN as we walked out, she turned to me and in an incredulous voice, asked, "Are you going to all of their houses?" Like she thought I was crazy. But now I'm thinking she meant to have me take the rest of the stuff so she could try to make her party.
When I got up Thursday morning, I called in just to be sure and Dee said everything was right now. I did the route and I'm sure some of the people went around all day thinking it was Wednesday. Then I wasted 25 minutes trying to find a place to eat lunch in the area. Yes, that defeats the whole purpose! I finally found a very mediocre Mexican restaurant. At least they had beer! I always want a Dos Equiis with Mexican food. I made it back to Myriam's just after two and had very little trouble getting the old faucet out - I knew from last year what to expect and had all the correct tools this time. Then I ran to the local hardware store and got a faucet and connectors. The plumbing guy they sent to help was about 12 and I was sure he had no idea what he was talking about, because those old houses over there need a special connector end, but he gave me the right stuff. I finished everything just after 4:00, but my thumbs were KILLING me. Here is some plumbing advice: If you have tendonitis in both thumbs, do not replace a faucet in a tiny bathroom cabinet. Your thumbs will hurt like hell and you will have a hard time holding your beer that night.