(From Sister K this morning)
Last night Big B and I were watching tv on our brand-new plasma flat screen. It's the one in the bedroom, having been transfered there after Big B decided it wasn't big enough for the den, where he likes to watch the Rangers lose yet another baseball game. Mind you that we still have harvest gold shag carpet in the house from the 1970s, but when it comes to the latest electronics or getting the driveway re-paved, the sky's the limit with Big B. But that's another blog...
Anyway, Big B had just left the room to make his nightly Pimm's cup (thanks, Racie and Paco) when suddenly the flat screen in the bedroom fell partly off its mounting on the wall. I ran over to it and valiantly tried to save it from crashing to the floor while frantically screaming for Big B to come help me. When he realized that his 42" flat screen (it completely overshadows anything else in the room) was about to become a pile of broken glass and computer chips, he raced back into the room and saved it.
As we were standing there looking at the tv turned sideways on the wall, we were scratching our heads and wondering how this could have happened. Big B had used industrial-strength bolts engineered to the exact specifications for supporting the tv until the pyramids crumble. He turned to me and said, "What could have caused this? Maybe there was an earthquake." I looked pityingly at him and said, "Sure. We had an earthquake in Dallas, Texas. And pigs were flying as it was happening."
Flash forward to this morning as I was drinking my morning coffee while perusing the newspaper. I had the tv on as background noise when I suddenly heard the word "earthquake" uttered by the news anchor. Seems there was a very rare and unexpected earthquake that had occurred in Dallas the night before. I ran to my computer and went to the television station's website. Under news stories was the caption "Earthquakes Jolt North Texas." Who knew?
I had to make an apologetic and sheepish phone call to Big B at the office this morning, begging his forgiveness for being such a naysayer. After listening to me grovel for a few minutes, he accepted my apology and said, "At least the driveway didn't crack and the new pool filtration system seems to be working okay." I hung up the phone and went back to vacuuming the shag carpet.
Friday, October 31, 2008
(From Sister K this morning)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Last night I decided to try the yoga class, as I was starting to crave more endorphins and had missed my 5:30 am work out yesterday morning. So off I went to the 6:30 pm yoga class, my matt stuffed into my gym bag, looking all hip and earthy in my yoga pants and spandex top.
I like to be early to any exercise class, believing it is rude to show up late when the class has already started. It’s disruptive and can throw off the pace of the class. So ten minutes early, I turned the door knob and walked in all smiley-faced, ready to befriend everyone in the room.
Suspicion and mistrust met me at the door and stopped me in my tracks. Conversation ceased mid-sentence. The fox had just wandered into the hen house. Sarah Palin had just burst into an anti-NRA meeting. I was the OUTSIDER obviously there to disrupt the natural flow of karma and happiness so carefully fashioned by Sunshine Wheatgrass, the yoga instructor. I headed for the furthest corner of the room and tried to make myself invisible.
Not satisfied with my anonymity, Sunshine began by telling me to remove my socks. Then to sit up straight and that I did not have my yoga blanket folded correctly. The whole blanket-folding issue became a centerpiece of her class. Her premise was that a neatly folded blanket, smooth seam to the front and fringe seam to the back, represents order, neatness and purity of mind and body. Fine, except she went on and on about it for the entire class. I’m all for neatness and purity of mind and body but this went far beyond that mantra. I secretly decided that Sunshine was OCD and this was all about control and no wire hangers and Lord knows what else. Was she locked in a closet as a child? Forced to eat creamed spinach on toast? Switched at birth? My mind began to wander. I understood now why the room went silent when I walked in earlier. Newbies endangered the order of Sunshine's tiny universe and had the potential for introducing unacceptable thoughts and behaviors. And badly folded yoga blankets. I made a mental note to blog about this the next day.
Suddenly I was forced back to reality by Sunshine’s unrelenting focus on me. In front of the entire class I was asked to run down my medical history, starting with any surgeries I might have had that would impact my performance. I told her about my back surgery and she asked “What age were you when you had your surgery?” When I answered I was in my early forties at the time, she said “Oh, okay. So not recently. You’ll be fine.” I was crushed. I could no longer pass for early 40-something. I was an aging hippy, bent over and arthritic. Someone who wears gym socks to yoga class, does not know how to fold her yoga blanket and prefers Frito pies to musli. No wonder I was Sarah Palin in yoga pants. Clearly I had not washed away my sins and did not possess a pure mind and body. Pure minds and bodies do not eat Frito pie washed down with frozen margaritas. I was a dismal failure.
Class finally began with Sunshine singing a delightful, if somewhat off-key, yoga warm-up song in Sanskrit. Her voice was a cross between Yoko Ono and Dolly Parton, and not in a good way. It was high and shrill and I had no idea what she was saying but it sounded official and very exotic. Once the sing song was dispensed with, Sunshine began pacing the room, speaking in tongues while checking everyone’s form, pushing and pulling rogue arms and legs that were not positioned to her strict standards. I dutifully performed the Downward Dog, Lotus and Half Moon poses, all the time looking at my watch and wishing I was at home with Paco.
At one point Sunshine told all of us to straighten our legs, knees and arms and reach over as far as possible. She said “And for all of you cheaters who are wearing baggy yoga pants, I can tell whether or not you’re performing the pose correctly or not.” I looked around and realized I was the only one wearing baggy yoga pants. Oh dear. Shamed and humiliated in yoga class by Sunshine Wheatgrass. What could be worse, except maybe showing up for Jack LaLane’s exercise class smoking a Camel and hung over. No, this was worse.
Class finally ended and suddenly Sunshine was happy and all smiles, thanking everyone for attending and inviting us all back next time for more fun and torture. I fled to my car and drove home, vowing to stick to weights and Pilates. When I got home Paco was cooking dinner and asked about my class and did I want a glass of wine? “Yes, please” I said. “That was not exactly what I was expecting. I think I prefer Pilates over yoga. Sunshine was so mean.” Paco laughed and gave me a kiss. “Sweetheart, I’m just glad you take such good care of yourself” he said. “Go relax and drink you wine and I will call you when dinner’s ready.”
I will take Paco’s good karma over Sunshine’s bad dogma any day.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
So now any of you who want to hang on my every word can do so easily just by becoming a Kool-Aid Drinker. Despite the ominous tone and potential for lasting psychological damage the moniker suggests, I encourage you to take the plunge. I promise to do my part and bring you nothing but the very finest journalism has offer (in my limited sphere).
If anyone happened to be watching CNN this morning (the part that was NOT about the stock market debacle) maybe you saw a blurb about the Vote glass program being hosted by a certain beer emporium chain. Every time you buy either an Obama or McCain glass you cast a vote for that candidate, and here's the best part: you can vote as many times as you like!
I happen to have connections with this establishment and personally know the designer of the glasses, so I decided to hold my very first contest giveaway and whoever wins gets to pick which glass they would like to have and I will mail it out first thing. Now here's the best part: if you put my link on your blog I will send you both glasses, or two of the same one.
Just complete the following sentence for your chance to win:
If I could change my name I would change it to__________________
The winner will be on Election Day. Good luck everybody!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Group e-mailed promotions for prescription drugs, 'male enhancement' pills
CHICAGO - Federal authorities in Chicago say they've shut down one of the largest spam e-mail operations in the world. The Federal Trade Commission says the group generated e-mails promoting sales of prescription drugs and "male enhancement" pills.
Now that the SPAM folks are supposedly out of business, I vote to hire Blue Man to be the spokespersons for The Little Blue Pill. I think a man need only look at their round, blue, smooth heads to be instantly reminded that it's "time to take my pill!" Imagine, never having to worry about that again right before heading out for the evening with your Trophy Wife?!
(editor's note: where are their ears?)
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Friends and family,
Just had to share this story about the scare I had this morning. As most of you know, Buck and I have two brown tabby cats, Lizzie and Buster. They're mostly inside cats but sometimes I let them into the backyard if I'm home. I keep an eye on them and constantly check to be sure they're okay. (I've owned at least twenty cats in my lifetime and only two of them have died of old age.) This morning after they had been outside for about ten minutes, I went to the backyard to check on them but they were nowhere to be found. I then went to the front yard and was calling for them when I happened to glance over and saw perhaps one of the biggest birds I've ever seen in my entire life. It was standing on our lawn, regally looking around as if it owned the place. I ran inside to get my Birds of Texas book and my binoculars (most of you know that my eyesight isn't all that great.) I discovered that the huge bird was either a broad-winged or red-tailed hawk. As I was enjoying the majesty of the bird, I noticed that it was guarding something dead at its feet. At first I thought it was a rat but as I was watching it start to eat the hapless fellow, I noticed that the victim had a furry, fluffy brown tail. Much to my horror I began to panic over the possibility that one of our sweet kitties had met an untimely death in a most vicious and dramatic way. Now before you say, "Kathy, it was obviously a squirrel, you dummy," you need to know that I had minutely scanned the dead animal with my binoculars, and all I could see was its brown, variegated tail, little pointed ears and powerful hind legs. It really did resemble Lizzie, our smaller cat. Because I had to know what was the "catch of the day," I walked over to within ten feet of the hawk and threw my Birds of Texas book at it to scare it away. (I was hoping that my eyesight would kick in at that close distance and I could identify the animal.) However, the hawk kept right on eating while it disdainfully eyed my futile and cowardly attempts to run it off. By this time I was totally freaked out, wondering how I was going to explain to Buck that his favorite cat Lizzie had lost her "lease on life" and had become lunch for this grizzly raptor in our front yard. As the hawk finally got tired of my yelling and stamping feet, it flew off with its prey and, much to my relief, I saw that it was indeed a very unfortunate squirrel who had definitely been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Although I felt sorry for the squirrel, I was ecstatic to discover that it wasn't one of the family pets! When I walked over to examine the few pieces of fur remaining on the grass, Buster casually ambled out from behind a bush and starting licking his front paws. I then glanced over to the house and saw Lizzie on the front porch taking a sunbath. Of course neither one of them was anywhere to be found as I had been frantically calling for them just a few minutes earlier. I immediately took the cats in and Googled "hawks cats." I ran across an unbelievable story of a hawk that crashed through a screened-in porch to try to get a cat who had been minding its own business. If you want to read this hilarious story, go to "Hawk eyes cat for its breakfast" at www.gazetteextra.com/hawkattack082107.asp
Needless to say, Buster and Lizzie will not be spending much time outside for quite a while.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Mary and Pete had never laid eyes on each other until today, but theirs was a powerful love, bound by bookends of loss and hope and the inner sanctum of an on-line chat room. Like an arranged marriage, their paths were pre-destined by forces beyond their control, lifted up by the wings of change and borne of a mutual love for ludafisk.
Finally ready to start over after the tragic loss of his beloved wife (although she was by no means forgiven; how can you forgive someone who chooses their own exit strategy?) Pete found himself in the strange, subterranean world of internet dating. Maybe it was the challenge of meeting people in person that was stopping him from trying the conventional dating scene. Chat rooms afforded him the chance to edit his words before speaking them and prevented anyone who read them from hearing the lingering pain in his voice. Without much hope but now at least ready to look once again for love, Pete whipped out his Presto Charge and plunged head first into the "Love Lines" Chat Room.
Mary had resigned herself to staying in an unhappy marriage, remaining forever a stranger to love. Quietly humming “Is That All There Is” as she folded the laundry each day, Mary felt closer to Peggy Lee than to her own husband. She and Peggy were soul mates, or so she thought. Then one day, while surfing the web, Mary Googled "chat rooms" and decided she had nothing left to loose but the pain she felt in her heart. And maybe 35 pounds.
The day that Pete and Mary finally met in person, he was standing next to his car with the passenger door open, waiting for her and her faithful, if somewhat confused dog, Charlie. Their journey was just beginning but to both of them, they felt as though they had already spent a lifetime together. The interstate was calling their names as Pete dropped the top on the convertible, gunned the engine and slid the car into Drive. With every Dairy Queen and Motel 8 for the next 7 states carefully noted on his map, Pete felt a confidence and excitement in the future he had not known for years. As he pulled Mary closer to him, she, too smiled and thanked her lucky stars. Her bags were packed, Charlie was safely in the back seat and her beehive was freshly washed and nailed down with a gallon of Aqua-Net. Her hair wasn't going anywhere, but she and Pete were.
To be continued…
I went to school with John, although he was a year ahead of me. I remember him walking down the halls of our high school by himself and looking very lonely. He infamously went on to be the would-be assassin of Ronald Reagan. If I had known he aspired to shoot the president in order to impress his pretend girlfriend Jodie Foster, I would have averted my eyes and never acknowledged him. I’m surprised I wasn’t interviewed by the FBI after he committed his terrible deed. His photo was in my high school yearbook, in my bookshelf at home. Surely that would make me a possible accomplice.
The sister of one of my closest friends was good friends with Sharon Tate back in the 60s and was supposed to be at her party that fateful evening up in the Canyon. She couldn’t attend because she couldn’t find a babysitter and hence is still alive today. Surely in hindsight the cops would want to interview me to see if I maybe had some ties there with the Manson family. Never mind that I was only 12 years old at the time of the murders.
HUNSTVILLE STATE PRISON
This one has trouble written all over it in so many ways. I went to school at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas and lived across the street from the maximum security unit for 4 years. My sorority raised money every fall by selling beer and burgers at the Prison Rodeo and I remember being winked at by one of the prison rodeo contestants whom I found out later was an inmate there at the prison for committing capitol murder. That wink could have cost me dearly if anyone else had seen it. Who knew? Maybe I was plotting to help him bust out or something. I also rode the Greyhound home one weekend with a couple of ex-cons who had just been released from the prison the day before. Being bus-mates could have smeared me for life. Was I the girlfriend of one of them and maybe we were on our way to our next heist?
You won't have heard of Jim, but he was married to my sorority sister Chris and I always thought he was a little slimy. He was a chemistry major, never appeared to bathe or wash his hair and was always at the library. A few years after college graduation I was watching the news one day and there was Jim, being handcuffed and pushed into the back of a Houston squad car. Jim had obviously paid close attention in his chemistry classes because he had been running a successful meth lab for a number of years. If I had known he would go on to a semi-successful career in pharmaceuticals I would have steered clear of him, too. I am amazed the FBI didn’t come calling, asking to see my medicine chest at home.
Don’t know if anyone has ever heard of that song “I Danced With A Man Who Danced With A Girl Who Danced With The Prince of Wales", but it is in that vein that I see how people can sometimes be linked with other people, however obscurely. This can be a dangerous and perilous thing. If I flew over the North Pole would that make me Santa Claus? If my ancestors owned slaves or fought on the side of the Confederacy would that make me a racist? If I spoke Arabic would that make me a terrorist? If I served on the PTA with an ex-exotic dancer turned homeroom mom, would that make me a stripper? Before we all go off the deep end and assume the worst about a person (such as a presidential candidate) I think we need to take a hard look at what the actual connection is there and exercise a little common sense.
I once spent the night in Reykjavik, Iceland, but that doesn't make me a reindeer.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I was driving to work yesterday morning and came across this yard sign, nearly causing me to hit a parked car. I seriously did a double-take. Had I missed something? Overnight had Senator McCain decided to step aside “for health reasons” and install Sarahcuda at the top of the ticket as the ultimate “stunt”? Who is actually running for president, Senator McCain or Governor Palin? I am getting confused.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The conversation shifted to couples finances and, more specifically, pre-nupes. Not ours because we don’t have one (I think only mistrustful rich people are the only ones who need bother with them) but other people whom we have known who either have one or suggested to their partner about having one. I have always taken the view that no one would even broach the subject unless they don’t have much faith that the marriage will last. Or else they have so much darn money that it really would mean financial ruin if the marriage dissolved.
At this point I got all lovey-dovey and said to Paco "For instance, you and I would never have considered asking each other for a pre-nupe. We are both committed to our marriage and went into it with 100% love and faith that we will be married until death-do-us part." Paco agreed with me and we continued driving. After considering this for another minute or two, I added "And not that this will ever, ever happen, but if for some unknown reason you and I did end up getting divorced, I would certainly never try and demand half of any assets you may have had prior to our marriage. It would only be about community property and nothing else. I just don't understand people who try and take each other to the cleaners. That is just awful." At this point I was feeling especially close to my new husband, not to mention slightly holier-than-thou at my unparalleled selflessness and refusal to ever become a greedy soon-to-be ex-wife. Funny how my high-and-mightiness was so short-lived…
Paco: “What if you were mad at me, though?”
Me: “What do you mean? Why would I be mad at you?”
Paco: “Well, presumably if you wanted a divorce you would be mad at me about something, right? Why else would you want to get divorced?”
Me: “That’s weird. If never occurred to me that I would be mad at you but I guess why else would we be splitting up. What did you do?"
Paco: “Well, what if I had an affair or something equally terrible? Would you still only insist on splitting up our assets post-marriage, or would you go after my entire net worth?”
Me: Gosh, I never thought about that. Hell, yes, I would go after them. I wouldn't want half, I would want all of it. You could just wave your money goodbye at that point, Buster. How dare you!”
Paco laughed all the way home about my sudden about-face while I thanked my good fortune to be married to someone with whom I could even have this kind of conversation in the first place.
Friday, October 3, 2008
I think it is only fitting that the current rescue plan is euphemistically called a "bailout" since that typically involves parachutes. I find it highly ironic that the "bailout" is going to be used not only to save Wall Street execs, but some of our money will no doubt also go to their "Golden Parachutes". And who should be opposed to the inclusion of a line item limiting executive payouts? That would be Dubya and his minions. If it wasn't so mind-bogglingly irresponsible what the current administration has wrought on this country I would try and assign it some fancy poetic term. As it stands, I can only call it criminal.
I also think there should be some etiquette involved regarding what a lame duck president can and cannot do in the waning months of their presidency. Like not signing legislation that will only perpetuate the damage and destruction long after they are gone. Sort of an in-your-face final farewell, complete with confetti made from hot checks. I can think of lots of other heinous acts that I would like to see off-limits to them but I think this one is a good start.
Feel free to add to my list in the comments box and maybe we can send them all to Washington next week, just in time for the weekly Ollie North Shredding Party.