Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ruler of the Block

I used to make fancy-dancy things for Thanksgiving, like an acorn squash soup, a spinach-salmon roll, and a butternut squash souffle. Well F that. Do you know what people like best? Not spinach-salmon roll. Also, butternut squishes are a pain.

So we just had a simple and basic holiday dinner - save for cakelettes as an alternatives to rolls.

My mom started a wonderful tradition of having different plate settings at every seat, which you can sort of see here, except I had two lady bug plates because I have learned that when your friend has twins, its best not to give one something and the other something that is a different version of the first thing. Mayhem ensues.

Also, see on the right my new faux fur throw. I am not sure how I managed to live this long without a faux fur throw. I got mine at Cost Plus for about half the price it is at other "home decor retail chains." When I brought it home I noted that it had shed onto my purple coat like crazy and I was cursing myself for my cheapness. Nevertheless, there has been very little (if any) shedding since. I like to wrap myself in my faux fur throw, open the curtains in the morning and say, "Good morning kingdom," because, while wrapped in my faux fur cape, I feel like the block is mine to rule.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Free Parking

On Friday we went to a lovely dinner downtown. We were pleased to see that our usual parking garage had its gates up for the holiday. Score. Free Parking.

Later that evening, we were behind another car leaving the garage. It stopped at the ticket kiosk. The driver kept trying to get the machine to take his credit card - EVEN THOUGH THE GATE RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM WAS OPEN.

Now, how many times would you try to get a machine to take your money when the GATE IN FRONT OF YOU IS ALREADY OPEN. But he kept trying to insert his card in every possible combination of front and back and left and right. He even pushed the big red button for help.

We were laughing so hard we were crying (because we are nice like that). Just when we realized that we should be filming this for youtube, the guy decided to just drive along. THROUGH THE OPEN GATE.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Back at My Job

So, from time to time at my job, I surf the web.

And, currently at my job, since they have turned on the heat and the system is right next to my cube, I hear RRRURRRURRRURURRRURRRURRRRURRRURRRURURURUR all friggin day long. (It's okay - I can complain about my job again because I am doing something about it.)

Accordingly, when I saw on the web that there is a new mini-microwave that you can use at your desk by plugging it into your USB port, I had a fantastic idea. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that smells worse than an Amy's All Natural frozen meal.

You see where I am going with this, no? Tis the season for giving back.

Monday, November 22, 2010

From Dark Circles to Hummel in Under a Minute

I HATE IT when people tell me I look tired. I inherited it, much like the Calico Corners chairs. The females in my family have been blessed with bags and dark circles much the same way Linda Gray was. (I fear that so many of my dear younger readers will not get that reference, so perhaps this will help . . . her, from the t.v. show Dallas.)

I just don't think its fair that people at work can tell me that I look tired, but if I was to tell them what they look like, I would get fired.

Do you know when I started this blog I never once imagined we would be talking about the t.v. show Dallas. But while we're here . . . My mom had a signed picture of Larry Hagman. I have no idea why. That makes it sound like we also collected stuff like commemorative plates and the crap they sell in the back of Parade magazine, but I can assure you we did not.

There was a lot of Lladro though. But no Hummel. That would be tacky.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've Got a New Attitude. And Cakelettes.

Ms. LaBelle has got nothing on me. I've got a new attitude. Okay, so maybe it's brought to us by Lexapro. All hail modern medicine.

Last week was rough - started out rough - which is why I was relatively absent form the blogging world. Something nasty happened at work, and I just have to leave it at that. I'm still employed (oh joy), but things got bad and I got sad. I was not happy, feeling glad, with sunshine in a bag.

At first, I hit a wall. My heart literally hurt. I felt the same way I did last spring when I wanted to live on the couch or drive around slowly listening to my singer/songwriter collection from the 70's. So I did that for one night last week. And then I was all, screw that. I have got to do something.

As The Franchise space is looking like it will take well into spring, I decided to resume my legal job search full force. I got burned out after a year of looking. But all of a sudden looking felt like the right thing to do again. It will either net me a job or keep me busy until The Franchise space opens up.

I applied to two on-line headhunters (useless, I fear, but too easy not to do), and three jobs through my practice group's web page. One in Los Angeles, one in Pheonix, and one in Tennessee. Nope. I wouldn't move. I would commute for the part of the week that my son is at his dads.

I don't know if it is even realistic to think that could work. But we're moving forward people. Moving forward. And while I was on a roll, I baked cakelettes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Last Saturday At This Time

Whereas we were at Treasure Island with a view of the HVAC, my aunt and uncle were at the Encore with this view. They booked the suite for a week but left a day early, so they let us stay there on the Friday night. We were the high rollers, no?

I love cities. I am a city girl. Love skylines. Love hustle and bustle. There, on the bottom right, under the orb - The Fashion Show Mall. Therein - the Kate Spade store. Ah civilization.

At the airport I found a book about Steve Wynn. I am now aware that the mob controls EVERYTHING.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Starting with a blank slate, I would have never picked red as an accent color. (To translate for the Canadian readers, colour.) Yet here we are.

I inherited my mom's 80's Calico Corners chairs, purchased a house with a red hallway, and bought red dining room chairs. Accordingly, when I saw those red candlesticks at Sur la Table, I had to have them because, well, because red is our color. I am quite pleased with my purchase. They make me very happy. They come in all sorts of colors so, spoiler alert, this is what everybody is getting as a Christmas present from me this year.

Oh, below. My mom. (To translate for the Canadian readers, my mum.) Hi mum. She bought me that mirror when I moved into my first apartment. The chairs, the mirror - quite the choices for someone whose favorite style is midcentury modern. But they were all from my mum so there we are.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book Review - Zeitoun

Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers, is a must read.

Although the media covered Hurricane Katrina extensively, it neglected this story - or, at least, despite my relentless attachment to the t.v. during that time, I never heard of Zeitoun.

Yet Zeitoun is perhaps one of the most important stories to come out of that tragedy. It is one of the most frightening stories I have read. It's non-fiction and I fear that it's a story that is still repeated in different forms over and over again.

Also, however, you will be deeply touched by the beauty amidst all the horror.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Gambler

This isn't another post about Vegas. Still, herein, we shall discuss a big gamble.

I have several offers on the table right now for space for The Franchise. Decent offers. In good spaces. Yet, YET, there is the possibility, the mere possibility, that a most excellent spot will become available in a few long weeks. This possible space is being offered by the same guy who gave away our very first potential space to a competitor.

You know what George W says. Fool me once - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again. Or something to that effect. The point is, my gut is telling me to turn down two offers for the mere potential of a space from a guy that would go ahead and give that space to someone else at the drop of a hat.

My gut also once told me to purchase a black and white polka-dot feathered headband from J.Crew because I could totally pull it off in all situations.

I think I am going to wear that headband today. I believe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Hokies Do In Vegas

This is one of my favorite pictures of Vegas . . .

Kind of like in Mean Girls where Gretchen keeps trying to make "fetch" happen, I don't think Fremont East is going to take off any time soon. It's old and seedy, but also kind of retro and trying.

We ended up there because what do you do on a Saturday in Vegas? Track down the head of the Virginia Tech Hokies Club Las Vegas Chapter so you can watch the VT game with your people. I actually find this trait of my husband endearing and the Vegas Hokies are a very nice bunch. One fan's mother made cookies for everyone and another fan bought drinks and snacks for the group.

When I meet up with other SMU Mustangs we ask, "Are we winning any games this season?" "I don't know." "We should keep up with it though because last year the Mustangs ended up at the Aloha Bowl and nobody knew." "Ooooooh Hawaii in January. I love football!"

Friday, November 12, 2010

Love the Gold Fishies

Oh Gold Fishies you will be mine. Or, perhaps, vica versa.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When in Vegas

When in Vegas, go straight to this place . . .

and then head to Bouchon for macaroons. I hear there is gaming, drinking and all kinds of debauchery to be had here. But we come for the macaroons.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Return

My first week on Lexapro has been nothing short of a miracle. Don't get me wrong - I haven't gone all the way over to loopy. I'm not about to start volunteering at my son's school or alphabetizing the spices. I just feel normal.

That is to say, for the first time in a very long time, I feel like a human being with the full range of emotions. There is hope and there is joy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Squirrel, Interrupted

Our neighbor in Texas used to sit on his porch and shoot squirrels. I know this not only because of the sound of the gun shots, but also because one afternoon one of his successes (sorry PETA) fell from a tree right onto the arced glass dome of my sun room. The dying rodent slowly slid down the glass, spread eagle, leaving a trail of blood in his path.

I carefully stuck my head out of my door and heard, "I'll clean that up."

Now that we live in Colorado with no neighbor so thoroughly invested in the sport of urban squirrel removal, our neighborhood is overrun with the little beasts. They are large and mean.

One evening my son said he saw a squirrel running across our fence with a jar of peanut butter. Being the excellent mother that I am, I told him to stop telling tall tales. The next morning I found a jar of peanut butter in our yard.

Later, my husband came in rubbing his head. I asked him what had happened and he said a squirrel had chucked a bagel at him. "You mean a piece of bagel?"
"No. A whole bagel"
"Was it chocolate chip?"
Eye roll.

We glare at the squirrels because they are evil and they have had peanut butter. And you know what happens when you eat peanut butter. It is only a short amount of time before they are banging down the door for some juice.

Here's where I need to tell you about our fence. Under ordinance of our little district, we cannot have a solid fence facing the park. Accordingly, every other wood plank is removed. This morning when I was leaving for work, there was a squirrel right at my door. When I opened the door he looked at me like, well, like a squirrel in headlights. I yelled "SCAT" and he scurried like mad right over to the fence where he dove into an open space between two planks and promptly got his fat furry little squirrel ass stuck.

All I could see was squirrel butt and fat little squirrel paws air running to nowhere. Again, if you're a PETA member or supporter, then you don't see the humor in that. However, if your family has ever been stalked and/or mocked by squirrels, you may have cracked a smile. If he's still there when I get home from work I'll get out the butter.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Confidentail Farmville Report

It was a very busy weekend . . .

A. I would have told you that there wasn't anything to observe about Sixteen Candles that I hadn't already observed. But do you know what? Yesterday morning I caught Sixteen Candles on TBS and I noticed for the first time that the Confidential Survey is misspelled as "Confidentail." I was about to get all proud of myself because, as discussed herein, I once won the Worst Speller Award at the Fourth Grade April Fool's Spelling Bee, only I wasn't aware of the joke until after the Bee. I was gloating when I made the confidentail observation, finally overcoming the stigma of that terrible award. Then I realized that in the twenty-six years since the movie came out I have probably seen it close to forty times, and I just now caught the typo. I am typo catching adverse. See It takes me 26 years to catch a typo.

2. I also saw The Social Network. In the theaters - it's not yet on TBS. Mark Zuckerberg was worried about advertising making Facebook uncool. Uh huh. I can see how it would detract from all those cows that have escaped from Farmville.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Good Kids Abound

There has been a lot of talk lately about bullying in schools. Accordingly, a little vignette that made me smile . . .

At my son's school, the kids get to pick a topic that they want to study for the year. Last year one kid did the human brain, and he brought in a human brain. Query how you source that. Another kid studied pot. Right on. He did not bring in any samples. This year my son is studying cancer. He decided to do a bake sale so that he could raise money to buy art supplies for children with cancer staying at the hospital.

This was his deal, he arranged it all himself and he didn't ask for any help. Here is the best part . . . you would not believe how many other kids unexpectedly brought cookies and donuts in to him to add to the sale. Good kids, them.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ah, Okay. I'll Stop Complaining Now.

Okay, I'll stop complaining about being trapped in my cube now . . .

This is a quote from an Assosiated Press story about Edison Pena, one of the trapped miners who decided to train for a marathon while he was down there:

"What I thought about as I ran in the mine was that I was going to beat destiny," Pena said through a translator at a packed news conference Thursday, hours after flying into New York. "I was going to turn the tables on destiny. I was saying to that mine, 'I can outrun you. I'm going to run until you're just tired and bored of me.'

I'm fairly certain there's a lesson in there somewhere.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fried Okra, Covered Wagons and Lexapro

Today I was at my doctor's office because last month I had two migraines within a week of each other. While I was fine with just moaning on the floor, my husband was all, "You know, I am a global supply chain manager. I cannot fix this. Perhaps you should see a doctor." But he was wrong, so wrong; he suggested that when I felt like eating we should go get some fried okra. That was pretty much the best idea EVER. No amount of medical training could come up with a solution so brilliant. Yet he still made me promise to go see a doctor.

There I was with said doctor discussing my head and the pain therein and thereon and how if four Advil and a Starbucks can't cure a headache then fried okra will. Bet they didn't teach that at his fancy-schmancy medical college.

Then he started asking me all these questions. Am I snoring at night? Another thing they didn't teach him at his fancy-schmancy medical college is that the women who come to the office wearing cardigans and pearls do not snore. Duh. Am I having trouble sleeping? Well, my husband is very competitive and he likes to end up with all the covers at the end of every night, but I didn't think that was the issue. Am I anxious?

I just didn't know what do to with the question, "Are you anxious?"

So I started to cry. And I couldn't stop. I kept pulling Kleenexes from the box and trying to talk but nothing would come out and I was bawling and shaking my head and waiving Kleenex.

But he was so good. He really wanted to know what was going on. He sat there and listened. And then when I stopped, he would ask more questions. Like, this guy was gooooood. It may have all been a dream because I cannot believe the comforting, proactive discussion I had with the man.

Then he said he wanted me to try Lexapro, which also might help with the headaches (the daily ones, not the migraine ones). At first I was against it because my family is a firm believer that all depression and anxiety can be cured with bucking up, going shopping and/or Scotch. Furthermore, if you take anxiety medication it means that you are anxious and we are not anxious people. We are hearty Canadian people whose forefathers travelled across Canada in covered wagons, joyous and pleasant and mellow the whole time. But me? Not so much. The doctor was just so good that I trusted him completely. We agreed for me to try it. So here we go.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Love Me! (Question 2 of the 30 Truths)

Question 2 from the 30 Truths is, "What do you love about yourself?"

(My friend and fellow blogger over at 32 Entropy Lane has all of the questions listed out. http://www.32entropylane.blogspot.com/)

I love that . . .
I handled my divorce with dignity. When I looked my husband in the eye and told him that I wanted a divorce, he told me that I would never see my son again. Then, throughout the process, he pushed every single button he knew to push. In spite of this, I looked out for all three of us at every turn.

When my divorce attorney asked if I would like for him to arrange for me to move back to Texas with my son, I said no. As much as moving back to Texas appealed because of my friends and my job options, I declined. My ex hated Texas (there's a country song in there somewhere), and I didn't know whether he would follow us or not. If he ended up not following us, I didn't want my son to grow up without a father. In other words, I saved my ex from his own potential bad choices and made it as easy as possible for my son and my ex to maintain their relationship.

Another example of this was our parenting agreement. While my attorney wanted to get me the typical agreement that allows the mother to have the majority of the time, I didn't want my son to get the impression that either parent was more important than the other. I demanded a schedule that was 50/50.

I walked away with my head held high. I did right by everybody, as right as possibly can be done in a divorce and for our situation. I credit this with the reason that all three of us are happier today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Rose Giving the Finger to Fall

I love this last, determined rose in the rose garden at the side of our house. It's as if it is saying, "FU frost and wind and rain. I'll say when it's over." Or, perhaps, it does not speak in the vernacular of a Real Housewife and is instead simply saying, "I'm here."

Speaking of saying things, I love this quote below. I love that it is about writing, and I love that it is about not getting angry, an emotion I so rarely access, even when it would be appropriate.

"It wasn't so much cathartic, but in putting it out there and reading it, instead of being so angry, I really missed everyone. I wished they were here."

Ivana Lowell Why Not Say What Happened? (excerpted from an article in the November Elle, Little Girl Lost and Found by A.M. Homes),

Less iPad, More Stuff to Throw

My husband has been hinting around that we need an iPad. When my stepmother was driving us to the airport to come home from Dallas, my husband picked up her iPad and started to play around with it.

After a little while, he turned to me in the backseat and handed me the iPad. Do you know what he had used it for? He used the iPad to find a web browser, went to Youtube, and called up a video of David Hasselhoff singing Rhinestone Cowboy.

You should have seen how proud he was of himself.

He also thereby negated any argument to be made for us needing an iPad.

On a related note, to the extent that the next story also involves my husband, I love having a husband and a son. I went on a walk with my son and we had a lovely chat. Later, my husband caught up with us. Thereupon said husband and said son proceeded to pick up berries and nuts from the ground and throw them at each other. This lasted for the entirety of the walk, involved running ahead to hide behind trees for covert attacks and, upon realizing that the red nuts could be stepped on to produce a juicy interior, involved the tossing of pulp. My son giggled the whole time. Note to self: throw more stuff at son as he finds this very pleasing.