Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's stir it up today - Happy Halloween!

I read an article recently about some Texans going to Colorado to campaign for Obama. They were told not to say "you'll" as they didn't want to make it obvious that they were from Texas. Excuse me? Don't they realize that's just not possible? It's like telling me I can never eat Mexican food or bake yummy chocolate stuff anymore. It's a death sentence.

You think I'm kidding. I'm not. It's crazy (I should probably say appalling) the amount of slang or jargon we use in daily conversations. I once tried to go an entire day without using slang. I didn't last 30 minutes. It's obvious this overuse of slang or jargon is a problem when you work with folks from other countries. They weren't born here and did not grow up using the crazy phrases we became accustomed to in our youth.

Here's a few worth some thought or at least a giggle:
  • "Intents and Purposes" - Not so much slang but why do we say this?
  • "Hell in a Hand Basket" - Huh?
  • "Death Warmed Over" - Say what?
  • "Rode Hard and Hung Up Wet" - I love this one!
  • "Not Playing With a Full Deck" - Ha! Describes me!
  • "Birds of a Feather Flock Together" - At least this one makes some sense.
  • "It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Lady Sings" - Yeah. I get it but would the Indian guy you're working with understand this?

Not to make this post about slang and jargon as I'm not preparing a dissertation here and I know I'm not an expert. After reading some entries in the Urban Dictionary for research into my last post, I am now absolutely sure that I'm completely clueless about slang. I can say that the research has improved my rank from naive-geek almost up to not-quite-so-naive-geek as to some of the more colorful acronyms being used these days. ;-)

But to prove my point about jargon overuse, I wrote a draft of this post and then I went back and highlighted the "slang" phrases I used. Not that I was planning to remove them but just to give myself a little giggle. I left them in a red font so you can enjoy and/or argue my point.

So the week is about over. Halloween is here. I'm not usually one to toot my own horn but hubby's office has a Halloween party every year and they have a dessert competition. I made this cake. It's a Chocolate Italian Cream Cake. Oh, so very yummy! Hubby's boss loves it although that hasn't helped me win the competition in the past.

Yes those are pecans on top and there are chopped pecans in the cake and in the icing. OK, so I'm not Martha Stewart after all [big sigh] but that's OK. The cake is one of those "from scratch", use-every-bowl-and-tool-you-have cakes that I make once a year but the taste is worth it. If you want to know more, let me know.

Also this is what my fall decorations are supposed to look like. They have been revived and restored since the ugly gourds attacked. The scarecrow pulled through and is doing well. Thank you for all the well wishes.

That's right. The grass is still green outside and it's been so dry I'm having to water again! Yuck.

Tune in over the weekend for *pictures of the Halloween costumes. Believe it or not I actually put something together this year. From what I'm seeing and hearing, lots of folks are doing something for Halloween this year. It's fun and can be reasonably cheap and with the state of the economy and the worries over potential unemployment, why not?

*you may see mine assuming I can pose with my eyes open

Have a great Halloween and to celebrate the revival of my fall decorations, I'll take a pumpkin smiley. That is if it's working again [another sigh].

Also be sure to check out the Halloween Carnival at There will be numerous posts guessed it: Halloween! Yeah, I know. You're sick of Halloween by now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wrinkle me not

Just when I thought I could get past the getting older posts, a friend sent me something today that just can't be left without comment. You may have seen it going around in an email but I feel compelled to add my own two cents. So here I sit with a glass of *wine and a belly full of my homemade lasagna conjuring up some perspectives (or sarcasm) on this "middle" part of life:

  • A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think.

Honestly, I don't care what anyone is thinking when I'm trying to sleep. The only time I nudge hubby awake is with my Bam-Bam club when he's snoring.

Truthfully this isn't very often as I'm usually snoring louder.

  • If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting.
Hum...I'd actually like to watch the game. I like baseball and I can tolerate college and some professional football. If I'm feeling really aggressive, I can go for a cricket match! The whining is usually because I'm too busy doing uninteresting things.

  • Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.
I'm not a very good shot. I'd probably make a mess of it.

  • Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.
The magic words are "Here, let me do that for you honey"!
Flowers are a close second.

  • Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40.
Yeah. We just let you think you've fooled us.

  • Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
Wrinkles? Oh, no. Let's not go into this. The cosmetic industry won't let us forget about wrinkles. By the way we want be be considered sexy, hot, or at least attractive. Period. We don't want to hear "for her age" or "once you get past a wrinkle or two".

  • Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.
Uh oh. Better keep the face hole shut on this one!

  • Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants (or maybe a dude in an afro wearing platform shoes) making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Pathetic.

Oh, dear. If I was 22, I wouldn't even look at a old dude wearing yellow pants or the hippie with the psychedelic shoes.....Wait a minute. How much money did you say you made today? I like expensive shoes and I've noticed that hubby has almost as many pairs of shoes as me and that is so very very wrong.

  • For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

Well said. I have nothing to add.

*All "mistakes" in this post will be blamed on said wine or my cat curled up beside me throwing hair on the keyboard.

I'm always up for some wrinkle-free smileys.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pepe le pew and chocolate

Just when I thought I could give myself a break from posts about "country life", nature brings me something else to write about. Last week hubby noticed a well-nourished skunk in our front yard as he was leaving for work at O-Dark-Thirty.

Mr. Skunk's tail was standing at red alert ready to add its own special kind of air freshener to the outside air.

But it must have realized that softy hubby was not a threat. As the car left the driveway, the tail rescinded and Mr. Skunk went back to munching.

Now this latest issue of animals dining on/in/off my yard has got to stop. I've been noticing little holes and grass pulled up all over my front and back lawn. We've recently been invaded by armadillos and even the turkeys showed up a few weeks back. (Those suckers better skip town. Don't they know what's happening in a month?) This on top of the mole tunnels makes me want to camp out at night with a pitch fork! Yes me, who won't even kill a fly or spider.

There's more. As we were coming home from dinner over the weekend, I glimpse Skunk Jr. and his sibling parading across my front lawn like they own the place. Hubby doesn't think what I saw was skunks. I'm convinced they were as pictured here in my post; enjoying French Pastries in the form of whatever they're digging up from my lawn. (OK I know it's Spaghetti and Meatballs but at least they are in France!)

Humph! Munching on my dime again. IZ NOT HAPPY!

DAMN! Now I'm hungry for a French Pastry. A Chocolate Croissant will do nicely. My expectations are high that my fellow bloggers will come through for me but I'm reasonable. I'll settle for a chocolate smiley.

Don't forget Da Old Man's chocolate extravaganza. The crazy guy is giving it away before Halloween! If you win a bag of chocolate, I expect you to share!

I'm also up for beer, wine, tequila......OK you get the point.

Friday, October 24, 2008

And your point?

I was reading a discussion earlier about whether or not your humor is affected by your mood. In my case, I would have to say absolutely and totally! I tend to get real sarcastic when I'm feeling a bit witchy (note choice of words reflecting the season). I checked my mood thermometer this morning and this is what it showed me:

Maybe it's because I was planning to run 13+ miles today. Or maybe it's because my Mom called. Mothers have this magical spell that just by tone of voice, a look, osmosis, or body language invokes the guilt gene in their daughters.

I had a friend tell me that when she turned 40 she stopped caring what anyone thought about her or her opinions! I was impressed. At that time, 40 was still a little ways off and after our conversation, I was innocently looking forward to this kind of freedom. Now that I've been there and done that and it's been awhile, I'm finding that she was just so very, very wrong. Damn!

For those of you not yet 40, please do not worry. It's easy and it's a blast. I was working in an office at the time and there were about 6 of us turning 40 within a 6-9 month period. The cube decorations and gags moved from one cube to the next. It was hilarious. I remember that someone disabled my phone, hid my mouse ball (just to be clear it's the computer mouse) and my cube was full of black balloons, black crepe paper, and confetti. The gag gifts I remember were a magnifying glass and a grim reaper Halloween decoration. Sounds lame, but it was fun. There was probably more but I've got CRS (Can't Remember Sh*t) so this will have to do.

Writing this post, practicing deep breathing, and having finished the 13+ miles upright and with all limbs intact has given me the therapy I need. From this day forward, sensitivity be damned. No more guilt. Please just kiss my a**.

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I'm tickled pink that you stopped by and actually made it to the end of this post. My mood will get an ever bigger boost with a smiley. Also, I post @3 times a week. Get the latest by subscribing or become a follower and view the latest post on your dashboard (Blogger).
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You want me to go where?

Some of you know that I teach Group Fitness classes. Since I spend most of my time laying around managing the cat not working a full-time job, I'm often called upon to help out (sub/teach for someone else) in "emergencies". I don't have a problem with someone planning ahead for a sub when they have vacation or whatever but it's the emergencies that can be very amusing and a little frustrating:

Some examples:
  • My child is sick/hurt. OK. No problem.
  • I've got the flu. Yeah, that happens. Again, no problem.
  • It's my son's birthday tomorrow. didn't know that before today?
  • It's my daughter's first day of school tomorrow. Again, hello, don't you have a calendar handy?
Anyway, my "boss" called me last night and said she needed to cover another class so I could pretty please go to the gym across town and teach her class? I'm such a suck-up sucker. I said I would. Keep in mind that I get freaked out about being "lost". This gym is about 30 miles from my house and the last time I was in the area I wasn't driving. You probably think I'm nuts but this makes a big difference for me.

Reminds me of a story about my dad and the definition of "lost". Back in the late 60's/early 70's, my parents were very involved in a local Southern Baptist church. Being Southern Baptist, this meant Tuesday nights were "visitation" which is going out to all the folks that were "new" at the church on the previous Sunday. My dad was driving with another man and they were going round and round trying to find a specific house. He finally stopped the car, turned to his companion and said "I'm lost". His companion was obviously shocked and very concerned. He immediately responded "Let us pray". I hope you understand the Baptist definition of lost is "not saved/burn in hell". My poor dad. He just prayed with the man. I have no idea if they ever found the house.

Back to my story. Have you ever noticed that if you say "I have to go to such-and-such place" that you immediately have 3 people tell you how to do it? I'd rather hear someone say "I'm very familiar with that area. Let me know if you need directions" . Yeah, I know. That's not how it works.

I can be a bit directionally challenged and subject to Brain Fog so I asked "What would Sarah Palin do?" I figured she would go to Google Maps and have them tell her how to get there. So I did and I was really confused when this showed up:

Directions in hand, I get in my car and type in the address into my navigational system (more fun toys to help me NOT get lost) and it gives me a weird route but I take it anyway.

I got there on time with no significant issues or panic attacks even while driving thru some parts of town that reminded me of the television coverage from Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.

I think I will make my own excuses next time. "I'm sorry I can't do it. It's my cat's first day of obedience training and we all know he really, really needs it".

Of course if they offer to double my rate-of-pay, I might be a bit more obliging!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Of mice and fortuitous men

Before you start freaking out that I'm posting about rats, it won't be that bad. I promise!! As I continue to write posts, I find myself getting re-educated about lots of stuff/junk/crap that I thought I used to know.

So today it's rats/rodents/mice - at least to start. We all love Tom and Jerry, right? That is we like to think lightly of rodents in their animated form rather than their grotesque, scary and nasty manifestation as house/yard pests.

You're probably asking if maybe I'm in need of some cheese and some of Deb's traps. Not yet. But my mother is and that's another story. Let's just say one surprised her while she was indisposed in the bathroom. That has to be the last place anybody wants to see an unwanted houseguest!

I'm actually talking about The Year of the Rat.

What were the Chinese thinking, I asked of Wikipedia?

"The rat was welcomed in ancient times as a protector and bringer of material prosperity. It is an animal associated with aggression, wealth, charm, and order, yet also associated with death, war, the occult, pestilence, and atrocities."

At least they seem to touch on that little issue of THE PLAGUE.

There's more:

"People born in the Year of the Rat are noted for their charm and attraction for the opposite sex. They work hard to achieve their goals, acquire possessions, and are likely to be perfectionists. They are basically thrifty with money. Rat people are easily angered and love to gossip. Their ambitions are big, and they are usually very successful. They are most compatible with people born in the years of the Dragon, Monkey, and Ox.

You are imaginative.
You are generous. You can be quick tempered. You will be happy as a writer, critic or publicist."

Hum....sounds like blogger me but I wasn't born in a RAT year. I'm a TIGER. I'm happy about that as it means I roar rather than squeak.

Back to the Chinese and more thinking. So what's the story on Fortune Cookies, I again ask of Wikipedia? To summarize, there is a legend that indicates that they were a way to pass secret messages. They were also brought to the U.S. by the Japanese, not the Chinese.

I always liked the little game where you say "in bed" after reading your fortune. I know. Yawn. We've all heard it but it can be really funny.

This is what was in my fortune cookie recently:

"Your genuine talent will find its way to success."

Hum.....I'm so talented. Which one are they talking about?

Just kidding. I'll probably have more luck with the 6 numbers on the back.

Hubby got this one:
"The evening promises romantic interests".

He was giving me a look. Maybe I should be glad he wasn't looking around.

Adding "in bed" takes this post somewhere else entirely so let's just leave it at that.

You know how every so often you'll get one and it hits home? Hubby has several of those in a drawer. If you've got one handy, I'd love to read about it in the comments. Or if it's a good one for "in bed" at the end, I'll take those too.

Yeah. My weekend was real exciting and yes I had Chinese Food. I almost forgot. I watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I liked it. Yeah. I know. I'm living up to the Geek part of my name. I also spent some time sleeping and organizing a Halloween costume. Yippee. I think I now have a plan. Hint: Wigs

Catch Deb and many other funny folks at Humor

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Save me from the season

I'm always keeping my eyes open for ideas for my posts. I could write about all the evil things I've done in my life but that would be even more boring than this post. I think I remember undressing my barbies and maybe even removing their arms and legs but nothing that would make the news.

Wait! I think I threw confetti on a cute boy's lawn in high school...

I just got back from my run in the park. I don't think I can feel my legs. With less than 2 miles to ago, this guy on a bike comes up to me and says "Hey, aren't you my yoga teacher?"

I'm thinking to myself I'm at mile 10. I'm really not presentable right now and this guy's name is Dave, I think. DAMN! It wasn't Dave. It took me a minute but I finally recognized him. He was in disguise wearing a helmet and sunglasses. I was hoping for a big crack in the ground to swallow me. That didn't happen. It's a small world sometimes.

OK. I hear you. Back to today's post. It's fall and I like fall, except for the leaves that "fall" off my oak trees that seem to have multiplied over the summer. It's nice to have a break from the heat but it's the colors that get my attention: orange, yellow, red, orange-red, etc. I've always wanted to buy pumpkins and hay to set out so my neighbors think that I actually have decorations. Last year I broke down and bought fake flowers and some dolls for my front porch. I made a little tea party. The neighbors must have liked what I did. Three houses up the street, they copied me.

This year, I had to have more. I needed something for the inside of the house. I'm home more than I like to admit and I get tired of looking at cat hair (Yeah I know I could vacuum but would you get serious here?). I bought more flowers and a scarecrow and arranged them in a vase. Martha Stewart would be proud!

But it just wasn't enough so I bought some small gourds. What was I thinking? Have you ever seen anything uglier? Most of them have some serious pimple problems and well....just look at the pictures.

I named them. I'll warn you. Hubby thinks I'm incredibly silly sometimes.

He's probably right.

I'd like to introduce you to NICE BUNS!

I couldn't bring myself to name this one although all sorts of ideas came into my mind. I finally came up with

The stripes give this guy away:

And finally, let's go back in time to the Road Runner cartoons and the wonderful ACME company:


Yes, it's supposed to be a bomb.

The rest were too ugly for photos. They killed my scarecrow, may she rest in peace.

These gourds remind of the Beer episode of the British Comedy Blackadder, Season 2. Specifically, Baldric and his confusion about a turnip. I loved Season 2. Hugh Laurie (Dr. House) is in the last two episodes. Catch it if you can.

Enough said. I guess I should get back to ignoring all the leaves that are falling out of the trees.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ah....all cuddly and sweet

Strange day in the "country".

I'm about to go and torture myself run 6+ miles up and down hills and what do I see approaching my almost empty birdbath in the front yard? Did you say a bird? Uh, no. A mommy deer and her babies. There is a wooded area across from my house. Lots of critters hang out there but I've never seen the deer. It's been dry lately so I guess they are getting desperate for water.

I took a picture with my cell phone and it was so bad I couldn't even post it. I had to take it thru a window because I knew that if I went outside they would be gone faster than dark chocolate in a room full of women (Yes, I resemble that). Hubby has an awesome camera but it was packed away and I'm lucky if I can find the "on" button. I had to have a picture though so this is what you get. Use your imagination.

I can hear the gears turning in some of your heads. You're picturing yourself with a shotgun holed up in the ditch across the street from my house. (You know who you are and I'll be watching for you).

They were so cute! Hubby, Hubby, can I keep them?

They were gone in a flash when a big pickup drove down our street. I refilled my birdbath and hoped they would come back later.

So I finally made it out the door for the run and find my neighbor walking thru our backyard. She's wearing sandals and carrying a stick in case she sees a snake. Hum.....wouldn't boots or at least real shoes be better than the flip-flops? She's looking for her sweet and innocent kitten. I say kitten but when she grows up, there won't be any mice, moles, bunnies, squirrels, coyotes or bears left in this neighborhood.

During my run, I was chased by strange-looking cat. It looked like a mix of tuxedo and calico. I hope it has a good hiding place for Halloween night.

In a sing-song voice oozing with sweetness I said "Ah, what a sweet purty furrball you are". Then I noticed it chasing me. I guess I was a big juicy sticky mouse-thingy running away. PLAY TIME! After all, the humidity felt like 110% and I was sweating pretty good by then. It lost its nerve when a truck came around the corner. Ha! I win again.

I'm used to barking dogs and I've been mistaken for a snack at least twice but a cat? Weird.

Last week a DirectTV van nearly creamed me. Note to self: Do not ever sign-up for their service!

Finally, here's another "Ahhhh" moment. This past summer was great for the hummingbirds. What amazing creatures they are. We have Lantanas blooming close to the house. After stalking them for weeks, we finally got our pictures!


Friday, October 10, 2008


Warning: This post has links to some (not all) of my favorite Humor Bloggers. It really didn't start out that way. It kind of evolved. Enjoy.

Some of you catty Humor Bloggers must have your minds on Halloween but if you read the comments you might think that the Cat costume really does it for a lot of guys.

I love Halloween! I also took the quiz to determine what I should be this year. As the result was incredibly lame, I'm writing this post to hopefully generate some fresh ideas.

I really enjoy the creativity of what people can do this time of the year. The home-grown, yeah-I-made-this-up stuff can be the best or the worst of the season. As for me, I always put this off to the last minute and end-up with nothing or something incredibly dumb. Hubby is the same way. His office actually has a fancy party with food and cute little kids dressed up, and a contest, and food. Did I say food? He ends up dressed as a geeky software developer himself. This year he has vowed to be different. Hum.....

Why didn't the quiz give me this as my costume? With lots of makeup (and the purchase of the wig and mask) I might be able to pull this one off (lifting wand to strike an evil fairy spell on the wicked).

Sorry about that. Obviously the power of this costume is getting the best of me.

Seriously, the right thing to do (easiest on the pocketbook and my effort to "recycle") is to look thru my closet and various other storage areas scattered around the house and re-use an existing costume......

OK fast forward. I did that. Here's the inventory:
  • Pebbles
  • Pirate
  • Silly Halloween T-shirts
  • Long gray wig
  • Green face makeup to make me look like Frankenstein
  • Witch's hat
  • Hippie Dude

OK folks. That's a weird variety of costumes. My favorite is Pebbles but the costume I have is way to big. Now this one; it's is a lot sexier. Mine has long baggy pants and a brown wig. It also came with a club. I really like the idea of carrying a club. It makes me feel like I grew a pair.

The Pirate is just too LAME for me this year.

The Long gray wig has is own set of problems. It's hairy. Duh, but it's a mess. The hair sheds everywhere and it won't stay combed and it's hot and scratchy. I think I'll burn it. I wore it to work on one year for the costume contest and had a weird co-worker "makin' eyes" at me all day. Creepy.

The Witch's hat is kind of cool. It has a kink in it because of the way it's been stored so it looks like the Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter movies. That was last year's costume along with a Silly Halloween T-shirt. The first and only set of candy-beggars guessed it on the first try. Their dad was stumped though. Guess he's already a dumbass. For more on the dad-to-dumbass conversion, you'll have to read some dude.

I just can't bring myself to use that Green make-up. With all the running I'm doing lately, I don't need any help looking green. As for the Hippie Dude, I looked at it, turned green and decided to trip out on some LSD. Groovy, man. Guess I'd better skip that one too.

Remember the quiz? Well, after answering the questions, it gave me The Alien. LAME with the big "L" on it's forehead (OK, I know that "L" is supposed to be for Loser but work with me here).

As a child, not withstanding the silly store-bought costumes, my friend and I usually went trick-or-treating as a "hobo". Oh yeah. Very creative. All we did was mess-up our hair, put dirt on our face, and wear one of dad's old shirts and a pair of jeans. Yippee. It must have been good enough as we came back with bags full of candy. I think I have to give some credit to the neighborhood for that. Back then everyone had their porch light on and was willing to give out candy. I don't think anyone ever came home with a razor blade or was poisoned.

One year, I almost became a Pack of Cigarettes. Mom and I took a large cardboard box and with wrapping paper and markers made it look like the brand Dad smoked. I eventually wimped out. I think I was embarrassed. You know how it is at that awkward age. If some kid did that today and showed up at a church Halloween party (I mean Fall Festival), folks would have a cow. On second thought, this is redneck land. Maybe they would think it was incredibly clever.

While I was looking for costumes online, I also found this baby. Doesn't this just say "HOT"? Uh huh. You have to buy the boots separately. DAMN! I used to love the game but then I grew up and got old and creaky. Now I do yoga instead of Twister. There is a pose in yoga called "Flip the Dog" and it makes me wish I had the dots when I flip over. It's also difficult to teach. I can see it now. Put your left hand on the 3rd yellow dot and your right foot on the 2nd green dot.........maybe not.

Coming up soon is the Humor Bloggers Carnival. On Monday, the 13th, the hostess will be posting blogs about Growing Up 60's, 70's or whatever and/or Weird Rules Your Parents Made Up. Catch it if you can.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I wanna go back!

I think I must be missing the mountains. I know hubby is. He has suggested moving to the mountains at least a dozen times in the 1 1/2 weeks we've been back. Hubby's allergies go away when we go to the mountains. Texas, in all its glory, can be very, very dry with all sorts of irritants for the tender-nosed this time of the year. My reply is always the same:

"But sweetums we will have to take both moms with us".

"Arrrgh!" says hubby remembering their ages and that they are accustomed to us being in shouting range.

(That's not the word he actually used but in the interest of offending any of you ex-military folks, I substituted a more appropriate word).

On the other hand, long distance.......hum. Maybe he's onto something. I'm picking up the phone calling a realtor and starting to pack.

Tally-ho. Auf Wiedersehen. Sayonara. Hasta La Vista, Baby (in best Arnold voice).

That felt good but now it's back to reality.

What's with prospective employers that call you back every 6 weeks when you've completely written them off and re-invented yourself again (or at least tried)? Every time they call, something has changed at their company. This is sounding maybe I should run real fast in the opposite direction. But maybe an offer on the table would spark my interests.

As part of my 12-step program to blog less (is this realistic?) and get a few things done, I've started to look at all the pictures hubby took on our vacation (with the intent of making a digital scrapbook), and you, my lucky readers (notice the plural, I'm hopeful), are the first to see a few of my favorites:

Remember the waterfall that had the windshield wiper effect? I added a couple of pictures from our hike to my Purple Mountains post.

Hubby got this picture from the top of Deer Mountain (we really did make it to the top). These are some of the tall peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park:

And to finish off this post, here's how Colorado welcomes the bright colors of Autumn. The aspens were quivering:

And the sun goes down and the evening turns crisp. We went for a beer!


Monday, October 6, 2008

Growin' up 70's

The 70's? That's me. Let's sum it up: Hippie movement continues, Vietnam opposition and eventual pull-out, terrorism at the Olympics, LEISURE SUITS, Nixon impeached, Bicentennial, gas rationing, disco.......and lots more I'm sure.

I can't say it was the most hilarious time of my life but I'm having a good time remembering all this stuff so here's some snippets from that awkward time in a girl's life:

Polyester and pianos
- OMG! Is this really me and what's with the pink? That's my BFF I'm sitting on and there is a birthday cake in the background in the shape of a piano. Yep, obvious future geek here. I think I must have burned this outfit at some point (along with my bra that I didn't and still don't really need).

That's my brother and I'm sure he burned those pants.

I liked to watch Batman after school (the series, for all you young folks). I don't know why. I guess I was just weird that way or liked to see the good guys (and gals) win over the strangely-costumed villains trying to destroy the world or at least Gotham City. On the other hand, everyone has seen Batman's costume. WTF?

I loved Robin. Yes, that's an autographed photo (remember, geek-in-training here). I wanted to be Batgirl. And poor Catwoman. It really upset me when she had to suffer for her bad deeds. She just needed a little more love and guidance from her parents, right?

Daddy's girl:

  • Dad rode a Harley. He didn't look like your typical Harley dude although he decked out in full leathers for the 30-mile commute to work. He got pulled over by a cop once and when he took off his helmet showing off a healthy crop of grey hair, the cop said "Have a nice day, sir" and went back to his car. Ha!
  • Daddy must have liked his little girl. I got home-made breakfast every morning. My brother? He slept thru it. I think the term for brother back then was dork.

Boys, Boys, Boys:
David Cassidy (picture me swooning) was oh so cute! I'm not sure I knew what sexy was back then. Now I think this picture is sexy......(I know he looks young enough to be my son but be quiet about that!)

Here's a story....of a lovely lady....
I know the whole song by heart. That's right. It's the Brady Bunch. I loved that show. Peter was a little darling and Jan was my heroine. I think my brother secretly watched it to see Marcia and Jan without their bras.

Pacman and Donkey Kong: We thought this was the best thing since polyester leisure suits.

Where's the fun?
  1. In by 11:00 PM, Mom said. Well, I didn't date much and my friends were usually grounded or had to work, so I guess it wasn't a problem.
  2. Dating is for much older girls, said Mom again, spoken to her then 15-year old. Not much of a problem here. See #1.
  3. On the other hand, I did have a problem with this rule: Boys are not supposed to touch you....ever. Please don't tell my mom about Spin the Bottle and that my husband kissed me before we were married and that we held hands in public.
Star Wars Episode IV - What better way to start a geek career than to get hooked on this movie?

Our first VCR. After my brother showed my mom how to program it, we never missed another episode of Hart to Hart! Did I just write that out loud?

Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive......Disco? I didn't get it. I liked the music (please stop throwing things at me) but never really learned the dances.

I can now do the Electric Slide, although it wasn't a craze until the mid-eighties. I'll teach it to you for a smiley! Or maybe you'll give me a smiley if I don't teach it to you.

Jump forward 30 years. I'm seeing Farrah Fawcett hair, polyester, high gas prices, and crooked politicians. Not much has changed, has it?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Last time I saw you you were this big....

I don't know how you feel about family reunions but my mom's family has one once a year and that's enough for me. And why can't we have them at a bar like this cute little place in the Caribbean?

Let me explain a little more.
  • Mom is the youngest of 10. Half of the siblings and many of their spouses are resting eternally so the numbers are decreasing.
  • Most of the folks that attend are, well, let's face it: OLD.
  • Some of my cousins that I really like haven't spoken to this side of the family in 15 years.
  • Why can't the rest of my cousins look like Matt Damon?
  • A few years back there was a slight issue with "the will" that concerned some of my mom's cousins. It's funny how the ones that got the money show up.....sometimes.
  • Siblings Uncle Bob and Aunt Sally (names changed to protect the guilty) don't speak to each other because of an issue that you thought you could only see on the Jerry Springer show. Can't go into that.
  • I seem to have permanent brain fog when it comes to the names of older relatives that show up every few years.
  • I'm incredibly shy and introverted (OK, stop laughing, please).
Somehow my brother gets out of this....must find out how.

I have cousins that are identical twins with completely different lives and usually one, but not both, attends the gathering. I find myself in a conversation with a Twin, talking so much I'm barely stopping to breathe, and then I mentally slap myself. DAMN! This is the other twin. I hate it when that happens!

A huge cousin 24 times removed gives me a hug and says "You need some meat on your bones, girl". HA HA HA HA. It's the double standard at work. I can't say "you need to lose 200 pounds, dude".

And what is it about older family members and tombstones? They have to go to the cemetery together and stare at the markers of those that have previously departed. Yeah. OK. I can occasionally do that usually at the burial of another family member but let's not make a habit of it. Last year, my mom became ill during this outing and ended up at the hospital. I don't think she has been back since.

One of my favorites from last year's reunion is this conversation:

"What happened to your hair?" 80-something Uncle Joe says to 50-something Cousin Harry, while patting Cousin Harry's bald head. (Realize that Uncle Joe is tall, Cousin Harry is short and Uncle Joe likes to push buttons.)

"The same thing that happened to yours!" says Cousin Harry with a snarky smile. And I can just bet that he imagined Uncle Joe out cold from an upper cut to the jaw.

But I survived as I always do. There were folks there I had not seen in quite awhile and I did remember their names. My mom is pleased hubby and I show up every year and I have a respite for another year. Hopefully I can avoid an unplanned trip to the cemetery and see everyone again next year or maybe I'll win the lottery and discreetly arrange to be in the Caribbean ;-)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who are you and what have you done with my husband?

I think I mentioned that hubby attended the Beginner's Yoga Conference while we were in Colorado and that he enjoyed it. I'm not sure if this influenced his latest announcement on the way to dinner tonight or if it's the reality of the 1/2 century milestone that is approaching faster than he wants to admit:

"I've decided I want to climb Mt. McKinley".

"WTF" I say. "That's 20,320 feet and takes, like, uh....months" (mentally making a note to check his life insurance policy).

At least he didn't say Kilimanjaro.

He goes on to explain that this year we did a hike to a peak at 10,000 feet and next year we'll do one that is 12,000 feet and next year 14,000 feet so we'll build up to it, right? Notice how it's now "we"? Seriously, I don't think he expects me to accompany him but I'm not really sure......

Now if he had said Mt. Rainier (2 to 3 days) maybe, but McKinley? Geez.

I'm starting to worry about him. He says he likes hiking/climbing better than scuba diving. (Another mental note: arrange for Ebay auction of slightly used scuba equipment).

So if he goes thru with this and he meets up with the grim reaper because of a slight misstep, I've come up with a list of requirements for the next guy that might be a part of my life. (Hubby and I joke about this all the time).

Non-negotiable requirements:
  1. Plunges toilets.
  2. Designs and then performs grunt work on large household projects (e.g. kitchen and bathroom tear down and rebuild).
  3. Supportive of crazy wife/companion who trains for long distance races.
  4. Likes Mexican food (In Texas, this won't be a difficult requirement to meet).
  5. Digs large holes to plant trees that will most likely die.
  6. Climbs to high places (like the roof of our 2nd story).
  7. Able to effectively operate basic household appliances such as washer/dryer, dishwasher, and vacuum cleaner.
  8. Opens wine and makes a mean margarita.
  9. Correctly identifies and demonstrates use of all power tools in the garage.
  10. Assists parents and other family members with their computer problems.
  11. Learns quickly/trainable.
  12. Able to follow Heroes, surf the web, and work Evil Sudoku puzzles at the same time.
Although this is supposed to be funny, I realize that what I'm really saying is that since it was easy to come up with this list, I must be a very lucky gal. I'd better make sure he trains adequately for that McKinley expedition or maybe I can talk him into to something else; like training lions, or bear wrestling, or commuting to and from work everyday with other stressed-out drivers in need of some serious yoga. ;-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mine's bigger than yours

You got it. This post is about guys and their measuring sticks..... sort of. The "guys" I'm talking about keep it real simple: I'm bigger. These are my women. Go away.

By now you've probably looked ahead and found the pictures (yes, I saw you do that) and figured out I'm talking about elk. It's late September and the guys have being doing without for a long time. It's called the "rutting season" and lasts thru most of October. The elk are beautiful animals. The females are smooth and graceful but the males are the stars. Their antlers have had all summer to grow to huge proportions and they've bulked up by munching on the grassy meadows all season. On our recent trip to Colorado, we didn't have to look to far to find elk. The best view was one cool evening on the grassy knoll at the Estes Park Conference Center.

They must have been taking voice lessons as their bugle calls could be heard for miles (pretend you're hearing whales, remember Dory from Finding Nemo?).

The point is that the big guy gets some but sometimes after multiple bloody duals. That's a lot of work for a few seconds of......OK I think you get it.

The big guy chased off several of the eager but inferior little guys and culled out a female. She turned him down ;-( Poor guy. Guess he'll have to try again later.

I think the little guys have to be very sneaky or wait until they become the "big guy".

Realize that it is also hunting season. So if these guys don't want to end up roped to a redneck's pickup for show and tell back home or have their rack displayed above the fireplace, they should get out there, get the action, and go back into hiding.

It was funny to watch the people watch the elk. Although we were cautioned to keep our distance, I cringed when I saw silly eager tourists try to get closer. What, are you nuts? These guys are huge and well.....they're horny. Catch the clue yet?

Hubby took all these pictures and more. He loves it. Me? I put on a coat and enjoyed the show for awhile. Then I got tired and headed for warmth of our lodge room like a wimp.

"1.00s, 1.50s, 1.75s for the short arms. If you know what I'm talking about, you're probably old, too."

"Boomer brain fog: What was the last, middle, and first part of what you just said to me?"