Thursday, December 29, 2011

Construction Junction

Day 3 of construction on The Franchise. The builder has already demolished all evidence of the last tenant. They pour concrete today. Finally I can get rid of those bodies. Things are moving very fast now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blended

Blended families are hard. Very very hard. I, for one, am glad to go back to work today.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Why We Love Him

My husband sprained his ankle at indoor soccer on Tuesday.

Yesterday he was out on the street rescuing cars that got stuck in the snow.

And then he walked the mall with me while I shopped for my stepdaughters. Nordstrom has a killer sale on some Alexis Bittar and Kendra Scott jewelry. Given that the Alexis Bittar just went on sale yesterday, I have hereby proven that it does pay to procrastinate.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All Is Bright

You know, this is why I love you. Because of your comments, I will ease up on my stepdaughter for dating a 27 year old (but I will not ease up on the 27 year old, should he ever dare to show his face around here).

And perhaps "whiz bang" is endearing.

You people put me in a good mood.

Also, my boss told me I was doing a good job. This can be translated as thank God you are here because someone has to be the regulatory attorney.

Anyway, I am starting to revisit the holiday spirit. There was a bit of a lull there the past two weeks.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What Would You Do

1. Every Christmas this one family member sends out floral arrangements to the rest of us as his gift. He told me once that he goes to his local florist and instructs them to create a "whiz bang" bouquet, and he also once told me the budget that he gives the florist. I know for a fact that he would be very upset and embarrassed if he saw the arrangements that we actually receive. They are not at all what he would select if he was actually selecting the arrangement. Part of me thinks he should know and would want to know, but another part of me wonders if I would come off as ungrateful. And another part of me wonders if this is way too much thought on my part given that his only input into the gift is "whiz bang" and budget.

2. Should a 27 year old be dating an 18 year old?

Used, with cookie

Y'all, after typing you a long and witty post, my computer chose to freak out. So you will just have to wait until tomorrow for me to tell you about my crazy relatives who were in town this weekend.

On the sunny side, I found a recipe for chocolate chip cookies where the cookies stay soft.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Joy To The Me

One of the greatest joys in life is watching your child discover something that they love. This is especially lovely after that same child spent the last 24 hours beating himself up after finding out for the first time in his life that he can score below average on an exam.

Last night my son took a SCUBA class. He was so delighted with his new hobby that he was smiling from ear to ear and giving big shouts of enthusiasm whenever he surfaced. Everyone else was so moved by his excitement that the whole pool turned into one big happy party.

I was so moved by his joy that I texted his father who replied, "What about the sharks?" Valid point, but I had carefully checked out the pool before hand.
And I texted my husband who replied, "But we live in a landlocked state," no doubt calculating the cost of international dive trips in his mind.

However.

For two glorious hours, there was nothing in our lives but pure joy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Alternative Education

My son has taken exactly three tests in his 10 years of life. The first two were IQ tests. One because he had to be tested as gifted to get into this alternative school he goes to, and two because we were curious if at 10 years old he was still as smart as he was at 3. Wait. That didn't come out right; we wanted to see if his IQ remained stable.

For purposes of the point, and not to brag, according to the IQ tests, my son is very smart. Really smart.

When you are really smart, you can get into this alternative school where you can study whatever you want at your own pace, and there are no tests (you can't give test to 18 kids learning 18 different things), and you are taught by parents who ended up becoming teachers just because they hung out so much at the school on account of the fact that they can't interact with normal adults at regular paces of employ. But I digress.

My son took his third test last month, a standardized test required now for him to get into a normal school for 6th grade. And he tested below average in reading and math. Something to put in your pipe and smoke before you drool over that expensive alternative school for your child. For what we've paid for this school we could own our house, yet I still have to find someone to tutor my son about the concepts on and the process of taking standardized tests.

On the other hand, he reads and understands Popular Mechanics, can do computer programing, and could tell you about every Republican currently in the running for president and why they would be bad for our economy. He wants to be a patent attorney or an engineer and to study at the University of British Columbia. But the university and the law school - they require a standardized test.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Big Weekend. Huge

Well I didn't break into any health clubs this weekend; rather, I attempted to perfect the chocolate chip cookie. And now I need to break into a health club.

Also, I caught the movie Love And Other Drugs on HBO. What. Both my husband and best friend were out of town this week and my son was with his dad. So I baked and watched a Jake Gaganhall movie (I am not going to even try to google the correct spelling of that one.)

As a lawyer, that was an incredibly difficult movie to watch. So many FDA and other federal health care beneficiary laws broken all over the place. If only I could qui tam a movie.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Who Settled This?

It is seriously friggin' arctic here.

I would have been such a bad frontier woman, which is odd because it is in my blood. My grandfather's grandmother was the first woman to travel across Canada in a covered wagon.

However.

If that had been me? There would have been a whole lot of bitchin in that wagon and I would have nagged the whole traveling party until we turned around and headed back South. I don't know how they did it without Patagonia and heat and Starbucks. But more importantly, why. It continuously amazes me that anybody settled a town anywhere north of Texas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Around The Corner

We open The Franchise in two months. The architects have submitted their bids and the funding is almost processed.

We need a manager. As noted, after buying The Franchise, I found a great lawyer job. So, ignore the part earlier where I said it was miserably cold here, and think of anybody that might want to move here and run a franchise.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Runner's Life of Crime

There comes a time every year when I can no longer use the free treadmill (street) outside, and I begin to long for a gym. That time is when it is snowing sideways.

My husband signed us up for a 5 day free trial membership at the local community center. On Saturday morning I had to get my son to his middle school entrance exam, so I figured I would head on over to the gym for the trial.

But first I shoveled. Then I scraped. And then I had to shovel again because it had snowed that much. My husband was in warm South Carolina eating greens and peach cobbler with his kin. He was.

Finally we got to the exam center, which was quite a trick as my Volkswagen Rabbit is not a fan of snow. Luckily, the community center was down hill, so after I dropped my son off I slid on down there. The parking lot was empty except for a few construction people who are building a new wing onto the center, but I expected that on account of the blizzard. (And was also wondering who the slackers are who join the community center gym and let a wee bit of snow get in the way of their fitness.)

I found a pathway that was partially shoveled to an entrance at the back of the building and walked the halls until I found the treadmills. I got ready, hit start . . .

and promptly set off the intruder alarm. The gym doesn't open until noon on Saturday.

WELL THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE.

I prefer to think of it not so much as a breaking and entering as a misunderstanding. I think my husband is upset we are no longer welcome at the community center, and the next closest gym is a cool hundred dollars more, but I would like to note here that the next closest gym is OPEN DURING REASONABLE HOURS.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Black and White Weekend

The Boston Terrier is coming for a sleepover!

My dog had to live with my ex because current husband doesn't like dogs. He's also allergic to certain dogs. Anyway, current husband is in South Carolina visiting kin.

Mmmm Boston Terrier. It's cold as heck here so I know he will be all cuddly and nuzzly. I am already declaring it the Best Weekend Ever.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And Let's Not Forget Jell-O Shots

I am LOVING all this jell-o information. I am sure to find a new Thanksgiving Mold tradition for my family.

Alas, people actually liked the Frog Eye Salad that I tried this year. In fact, my guests who are, in turn, hosting Christmas, asked me to bring it over then. I got the recipe from allrecipes.com, and it is the first recipe that pops up when you type in Frog Eye Salad. It is a pasta salad that uses those little pasta balls and has a pineapple egg sauce. It has no jell-o, but it has Cool Whip so that is the general "salad" category for which we are aiming.

Now, one of my guests was from Canada, and the other from Texas, which are not necessarily known for being the culinary centers of the universe. (Except for TexMex. I really would take TexMex over just about anything. Well, specifically frozen margaritas with salt.)

By way of disclosure, my family hated the Frog Eye Salad.
Me? I liked it. But I am the one that feels cheated out of a family tradition because we didn't have a Family Holiday Mold. So I could be projecting.

All this talk about jell-o and we didn't even yet get to jell-o shots. I remember when I thought I was really classy because I served my guests white grape champagne jell-o shots. Nothing says I am hosting a grown up dinner party like a jell-o shot. Oh the early 90's.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ring Around The Tuna

Oh this is lovely. This link was shared by a reader in response to my Thanksgiving mold post. (Sadly, she doesn't have a link because someone with this kind of knowledge I would follow.)

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/12-terrifying-jell-o-recipes

Also terrifying, the Viennese Salad - I crap you negative but they really do serve that in Vienna.

Anyway. Ring Around the Tuna. Do you suppose if I served that the next time I hosted the Pi Phi Alums that they would be gracious and take a nibble, or that they would get it was a joke. Probably that would depend on whether or not they were the Southern Pi Phis.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Franchise Update

We are $20,000 over budget for the franchise build out. Kind of makes the person who lost $7,000 doing home party sales seem like less of an idiot.

Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Have an Unlucrative Business and Piss Off Your Friends in the Process

Start one of those home party sales businesses.

Announce that you are having a party but by party you merely ask people to shop at your on-line account.

Let your friend make some purchases but fail to tell her there will be a cyber Monday sale.

And if you are still thinking of doing it, I know that my very intelligent friend lost $7,ooo in the process.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How Many Things Are Wrong With This Picture?

One. One huge thing. The lights in our dining room decided to stop working and nobody can come fix until Friday.

But it is okay. I love the next 48 hours more than any other 48 hours of the year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Success - A Dish for Loathing

As far as I know, I don't make anything for Thanksgiving that everyone hates. Really, every family should have that one dish that the Thanksgiving cook loves to make but everyone hates.

Growing up, that one dish was my mother's persimmion pudding. God rest her soul. For my husband, his family had the Jello mold WITH MEAT IN IT. My friend Cheryl always put out stuffing that I swear had the consistency of cat litter and everyone begged her to stop making it, but she couldn't.

But this year. Oh this year I have found that dish. I think it sounds fantastic, but everyone will surely hate it and now we will have a new tradition. I had a particularly chatty barista today who was telling me about her family's frog eye salad. Done.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Golden

I couldn't be more pleased with my new gold hallway. It's so cozy. We'll see how I feel about it in the summer, but it sure is lovely for the holidays.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Mode

Y'all. I am so excited for the holiday season this year! No particular reason, just full of joy.

Last night I knocked out a good portion of my Christmas shopping at Sur la Table, my new favorite store. Whether you are shopping for a chef or an occasional cook, there's cool gadgets for everyone.

Also, this year for the first time we are doing outdoor lights. That way, if the car jackers / kidnappers decide to strike in our yard again, they will have a nice holiday ambiance.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Do! I Do!

Casey James doing I Need Some Texas. Oh dear Lord. Yes Please. I'm sure it would work out better for me than Demi. And he loves dogs.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Harsh Little City

Our front yard was the scene of a violent crime recently. Earlier this year the house across from us was robbed and the culprits ran in front of our door. Just a few weeks ago, not far from where I jog, a man was pulled from his car at gunpoint.

Yet my husband won't let me have a dog. If you would like to call him to discuss, please email me and I will provide you with his personal cell number. If someone picks up and says "Hello I hate puppies," then you have reached the right guy.

We live in one of the more schwanky areas in town, so it's not like we're all hip living in an urban loft in a warehouse district recently reclaimed from condemnation and next to an empty lot.

However. I don't feel like I can let my son play outside by himself. I don't feel safe running by myself, or walking from our detached garage to our house in the dark. I feel like we need a dog or we need to move. My husband picked move. That man really hates puppies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nebraska Bound!

When my ex husband and son took off for a wedding in Nebraska this past weekend I had but one request. Just the one. Okay, it was a compound request, but still. I merely requested that my son be rested and clean for his prep school interview on Monday morning.

Wait, you say. Doesn't your son already go to that funky alternative school? Yes. But. Do you know what happens when you tell a 10 year old they can study whatever they want at their own pace. Let's just say we need a plan B.

I met them at the Prep School admissions office this morning and immediately noticed my son looked exhausted. On our campus tour he was leaning against walls and yawning when I wasn't trying to scrape the breakfast from the sides of his mouth.

After the tour my son went in for his interview, and then he came out and my ex and I went in for ours. When we came out, MY SON HAD REARRANGED THE FURNITURE IN THE WAITING AREA TO CREATE A COUCH AND HAD GONE TO SLEEP.

There is only one university in the entire country that is going to accept that he didn't get into prep school because he was too tired from raging at a wedding in Omaha. I hope he enjoys the University of Nebraska.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Vegas Show

Or, as our international visitors behind us proclaimed, some guy have all the ruck.

Who knew Rod was so loved by the Asian community. There was much picture taking and singing along. It might have been annoying had it not been so endearing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Oh look. I found myself at Bouchon in Vegas again.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Horrible Truth

I hate to pay for a gym when there is a free street right outside my door. (See picture. Free street outside my door. With a beautiful running trail right in the middle.)

However.

It's cold and dark when I have the chance to run. (See ice on windows.) But one thing I have realized lately is that I really need to run five times a week, not three, for it to make a difference. Oh what to do what to do. I am not a cold weather person. Says the Canadian.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Swamp Things

As mentioned here before, my stepdaughter is a vegan. This makes perfect sense when you come from a place where the local delicacy is bull testicles, but this makes no sense when you live in New Orleans.

Do you know what's really good? Stuff that crawls out of the mud and into your pot. Swamp food. Deep fried alligator is delicious. Tastes just like (all together now) rattlesnake.

After wanting to stab my eye out with a fork at lunch because we were at a lentil restaurant mere feet away from a place selling fried shrimp po boys, my husband kindly directly us to real food for dinner.

There, at one of New Orleans' more infamous restaurants, my stepdaughter asked the waitress if the greens were made with any animal products. Bless her heart. To which the waitress replied, "Yes ma'am. Both cow and pig."

Both cow and pig. Now that's a vegetable!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Still Standing

I had no fewer than three people and one googled article tell me that my highschool didn't make it through Katrina.

I took this picture on Saturday. You see those steps there? That's where yours truly tried out for (and made) the cheerleading squad and also generally RULED.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Easy

I'm off to The Big Easy to visit my stepdaughter at Tulane. My vegan stepdaughter. I think the vegan population of New Orleans is probably one.
The last time I was in New Orleans I had two hurricanes and a basket of gator bites. And then headed out to party. My how times have changed.
Also, there's nothing much for me to show. I haven't been back since Katrina, but I understand my highschool is gone. My ballet school is gone. The place where my mom and I began the tradition of lovely ladies lunch is gone. The store where my mom bought her favorite hat, gone.
However. I suspect if you gave me a chicken neck on a string, I would still know how to catch dinner. There are just some things that can't get taken away.

Those States

Last night my husband asked me if Tulsa was in Oklahoma. The more I thought about it, the more I decided that was a reasonable question because really why would anybody have reason to know where Tulsa is.

Speaking of "those" States, one of the funniest things that I have read lately is Celia Rivenbark's chapter on Nebraska in You Don't Sweat Much For A Fat Girl.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Today I Don't

feel like doing anything. Nothing at all.

That plant is awesome. Next year I am going to work as a plant.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

96

I'm just saying'. I'm incredibly proud of 96.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Anything At All

I love being a lawyer.

However.
If I could do anything at all, I would spend my days looking out of the window of oceanfront property in the Pacific Northwest while drinking bourbon and writing.

(1) bourbon. I have discovered that I really like bourbon.
(2) apropos to nothing but my son's sanity, he tells me that his father's girlfriend has "gone away for a really long time." Huh. Could it be?

Apropos to something, I can't get Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah out of my head.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I am so way cool.

dudes! I just took this and posted it from my iPad.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mom's habitat

Last night we were at our favorite restaurant, the dbar. Whereupon my son proclaimed, "View mom in her natural habitat, having a mocha and some chocolate."

Chocolate was required as we are now on our third SBA banker and every time they switch us off we have to redo almost all of our paperwork. Nothing I have ever done has been as complicated as getting an SBA loan.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Toy

My 8 year old computer had finally had it. Now I have this, an iPad. I don't know how to show you pictures though. They could probably tell me at the genius bar but they scare me. I realized just how not smart and uncool I was standing in the apple store.

Last week was a mess because of The Worst Migraine Ever, which effects seemed to linger for quite some time. I even forgot to go to my son's presentation at school about his Canadian heritage. I guess I'll just have to take it one email at a time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Night on the Floor

I wish that my night on the floor came with a good story that involved tequila and some life changing visions. Alas, it has merely to do with a migraine - although there is nothing mere about a migraine.

This one was the worst of all, included throwing up, and lasted about 24 hours.

However.

The upside of becoming intimate with the bathroom floor? I found an earring I thought I had lost.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh! Art Deco!

I would be a litigator if I could practice at a place like this. How lovely. (Oh, yes, I am talking about St. Paul again.)

However, I will never be a litigator. That is a different breed. I enjoy them, I dated a few, but that's really as close as you want to get. It's best mostly to enjoy them from a distance.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Gecko and The Vampire

I remember my parents having rocking parties that lasted until the wee hours of the evening. Whether owing to the fact that this recent party was to celebrate my father's 70th birthday, or the fact that most of his friends these days are from the book club at his church, the party was over at about 9:00.

So fairly early that evening I headed back to the hotel with my boys (my husband and my son, both of whom I quite like).

However.

My son decided he was too cold and asked if he could turn down the air in the room. Okay, fine. He did so and crawled into bed and fell asleep. My husband crawled into bed and set his iPad to watch the Virginia Tech game that he missed on account of being at the party.

Frustrated that the hotel t.v. didn't get Food Network or Bravo, I decided to just read Freedom, which I started out liking immensely but now find a bit much. I fell asleep. Yet I woke up about every 15 minutes sweating buckets and trying to ignore the football game that was going on in the bed beside me. Finally I realized that my son had set the thermostat to 80 and that my husband actually intended to watch the entire game that night mere inches from my head.

I'm exhausted. And do you know what you can't do in Dallas? Walk anywhere. As in, the next morning when you need a cup of coffee, you can't just walk out of the hotel down the block to the Starbucks. But do you know what you can do in Dallas? Drive to the Starbucks you frequented when you went to law school there and then drive to some pretty damn fine Tex-Mex, and then you remember just how much you adore your heat-loving gecko and the football-loving vampire.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Guests

My son and I are headed off to Dallas for 24 hours. For my father's 70th birthday party. My son hasn't seen his grandfather since 2009. But that's the thing about 10 year olds. They don't hold grudges. Here I will follow his cheerful lead.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fro Yo. Explain.

We are now within walking distance of 4 fro yos, and only a short drive to a Pinkberry. Oh I know I know, the fro you fad has been in your town for years. The last time we were in Dallas there was a cross-street with a fro yo on three of the corners. But here we get fads - fashion, food or otherwise - years after the fact.

So. Two questions. First, how do they get loans. We are bringing a product here that isn't even here, and getting an SBA loan has been the longest, most difficult process I have ever been through. How do you snag a loan for a store that is exactly the same as a store a block away? Are there that many people who are independently wealthy?

Is frozen yogurt good?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Micromanaging, Down to the Stripe

According to The Franchise Mothership, we must have stripes of different colors along our wall. Having not seen vertical stripes on walls except in sports arenas and past episodes of Trading Spaces when the decorators were getting really bored, I see no reason for vertical stripes (of varying widths). Yet here we are.

Oh I get the consistency and branding bit. But I do not see how the particular branding item should apply to my store when I don't like it.

This food franchise thing was an interesting choice for someone whose biggest pet peeve, after having to listen to people eat, is being micromanaged.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More Things I Love

about St. Paul. These guys. They were just a few blocks from my hotel.

Another thing about St. Paul. Southwest Airlines is not big there. If your stewardess calls in sick, you have to wait for them to fly another one in from Chicago. The point being, without my work computer on me, I had an opportunity to pick up a new book.

I picked up Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, even though I thought The Corrections was just okay. As it turns out, the first part of Freedom takes place in St. Paul. And as it turns out, I really like Freedom.

However.

It did not bode well that I had to read the first sentence of the book over and over and I still don't understand it: The news about Walter Berglund wasn't picked up locally - he and Patty had moved away to Washington two years earlier and meant nothing to St. Paul now - but the urban gentry of Ramsey Hill were not so loyal to their city as not to read the New York Times. Oh wait, now that I typed it, I got it. Anyway, I persevered because I love an author that can wield a dash.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Something is Different.

Something is different.

I've felt it, yet until yesterday, I couldn't put my finger on it. I had cleaned out my house of a lot of things from the past. I was having dreams about people I hadn't thought of in years. I decided I could forgive a few people. (A few. I'm a Scorpio, so some are still on the decade long grudge plan.) I was experiencing not just happiness, but joy.

Then I realized what had happened.

At some point recently I crossed the line from surviving to living.

After a decade of burying my mom and learning how to be a mom and going through a divorce and getting fired and trying to be a second wife and a stepmom and sometimes doing okay and sometimes not doing okay, at some point I crossed the line. From surviving to living. Ahhhhhhhhh. That's an exhale.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mickey's Diner

This was five blocks from my hotel in St. Paul. This is the ultimate diner. This is as good as it gets.

The guy who makes the malts sits on the stoop and smokes until you order. The guy who fries your clams claims to have been there since the 70's and talks back to the regulars. The whole thing is mostly counter seating mere feet away from the grill. The guy who sat next to me was aggressively interested in what I was reading and explained that the diner car was transferred there from New Jersey. He goes to Mickey's for the pancakes.

My dinner at Mickey's - one of my best ever.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All I Hoped It Would Be

and I have the pictures to prove it. Only, my computer is being ornery. Do you know what I have to buy? A new computer. Grrrr. As far as I am concerned, a computer is like an appliance. I would rather spend $1000+ on anything else, but when you need a new appliance, you need a new appliance.

So for now, you will just have to trust me that St. Paul is amazing. A classic diner. A morning run while the sun was rising on the Mississippi. An art deco court house. Those Peanuts statues. And the people? Lovely. The clams at the diner? All I hoped they would be. The chef and waitress at the diner? All I hoped they would be.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh Sweet Clammies

You may recall that last Spring I was watching a Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy was loving on some fried clams. Ever since I have been wanting fried clams. You can't find them in these parts.

However.

I am going on a business trip today. On this trip I will do blah blah blah blah and meet with some people blah blah blah. Oh yeah, also - I will be in FRIED CLAM COUNTRY. Oh sweet fried clammie. You will be mine all mine.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Making Room

Yesterday was Therapy Thursday. My therapist once tried to move it to Wednesday and it just didn't work because Therapy Wednesday doesn't sound as good.

I was telling her about how I finally moved almost all of the clothes out of my closet from the 90's that my mom bought me. To which she asked, "What are you trying to make room for?"

"New clothes."

"But what are you trying to make room for?"

"New clothes." Seriously. The black blazer I had - shoulder pads, was so long that it went past my butt, and it had big gold logo patch. I needed a new black blazer and some other staples.

But, also, I realized this after my mom being gone for 10 years: She's more a part of me than ever. I don't need the things to see her in my son, to feel her beside me when I am happy, and to feel her hand when I am sad. And she would want me to have a new blazer.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Games Ann Taylor Plays

I don't know about where you live but here the only thing between Target and Tory for true office wear is Ann Taylor. Sure, I can get away with JCrew and Banana (on the odd occasion I can find something that fits at the Banana - I always leave there questioning whether I have a peculiar sized torso). But if I need an outfit for a business presentation, it's Ann Taylor.

At this point in my life, I could be wearing Milly or Stella or DVF on a regular basis. However, maybe I am just still too close to that time in my life that I lived paycheck to paycheck, or maybe I just read too many stories about unemployed people. I can't justify a wardrobe full of that. People are hungry.

So I am quite familiar with Ann Taylor. And here is what I quickly realized after I was back in the business of having to look like a business person . . . you never should pay full price for anything at Ann Taylor. Wait a week and whatever you have had your eye on will be 40 to 50% off. This past weekend I set out to replace the black blazer wardrobe staple and I got one that had been over $250 for $97. The next day, that promotion was over and it was $100 off suits. Now, this morning, it's buy one get one 50% off.

Which begets the question - why would anybody pay full price for anything at Ann Taylor? And is that the marketing strategy you want? It tells me, "these clothes are not worth their full price." However, I guess it does work because, for work, I have more Ann Taylor than anything else.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Modified Splitz



Sauteed bananas, chocolate chips, and Talenti Sea Salt Caramel gelato. My new obsession. Given that when I find a food I love it's all I eat day and night for weeks until I no longer want it ever, I am due to grow as big as a house.


Most excellent modification - grilled banana splits! Cut slit in banana peel, shove chocolate chips around banana in peel, wrap in foil and grill. When chocolate chips are melted, take off grill and add gelato. Considering I don't grill, and it's about to get cold and snow in the next month, I picture my husband spending a lot of time outside grilling banana splits in the snow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Spoiler Alert

I took The Boy to see Dolphin Tale this weekend. I cried through the whole second half. Damn if they didn't get that dolphin a new tail.

Also, The Boy wanted a new outfit. From Nordstrom. Where did this kid come from? But I love it because my mom and I spent a considerable amount of time at Nordstrom. After I had The Boy and she passed away, I assumed I would be going solo at the Nordstrom. Not so.

Friday, September 23, 2011

If Not Coffee, What?

Do you remember Winona Ryder in Reality Bites explaining to Ben Stiller that all her sustenance for the day came from her Big Gulp? (Also, I had that haircut! It was really cute.) I am the same way but substitute coffee.

Yet I no longer want coffee. But I don't know where to turn then. I live on coffee and coffee type beverages. I don't really eat. If I quit the coffee, I'll gain a million pounds. I need something to fill the space that will be left if I cut back on the coffee, but what. Nothing appeals. I just want to get clean. Why is this so hard?

Take my husband, for example. He doesn't drink coffee or tea. Instead for breakfast he has orange juice and cereal. Ewww. And then for lunch he has a sandwich. Ewww. I can't be healthy. Last night I had all these bad dreams and all I can imagine is it is my body saying, "could we get a salad in here?" And no, we can't. Because I LOATHE lettuce. Argh. I need rehab. If they tried to make me go to rehab I would say yes yes yes.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Forced to Write

Let me state for the record - that is, before the rant - that my ex-husband is a good father. He's present, he participates and he and our son have a great relationship. We were fairly much a disaster together, but I have so much gratitude for his fathering our son.

However.

My son has trouble with the actual act of writing. His brain just can't get his hands to work in conjunction with all that is going on his brain. I'm not making this up. He was actually doing some tests for school and they figured this out. Anyway, one of the things you can do for this is to practice the physical act of writing.

So my ex makes him write for half an hour a night. I looked at my son's journal and I saw that what he was writing was a countdown until his writing time was over. Numbers. And last night when I called him over there he was pissed off because he was having to write. Ouch.

This is a kid who, not being forced to write, will, on his own accord, write short stories about being in hell and having to listen to the Dead Matthews Band. My personal favorite is about the cookie that rolled through town. I'm not sure forced writing is going to do us any favors. Then again, at my house I ask him to write in his journal and he takes five minutes to write two haikus and although we now have two lovely haikus, we have very little writing practice.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Consumers

Even though I no longer live in Texas, my best friends here are from Texas. No, they are nothing like the women on Big Rich Texas or Most Eligible Dallas (which I suspect is the more awkward Most Eligible Dallas rather than Dallas' Most Eligible because someone at Bravo wouldn't commit to Dallas' versus Dallas's).

However. They are consumers.

To wit: My best friend told me today that she goes to Starbucks twice before lunch. That's hard core.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Smells Like . . .

The other day I was wasting time in Sephora (I can waste a lot of time in Sephora), and I tried a spritz of Tocca Giulietta.

It immediately struck me that Tocca Giulietta smells exactly like something else. It smells like something from the early 90's. Teen spirit?

I kept smelling my arm all day long, but I couldn't place it. The mystery of the smell was nagging at me so much that I went back the next day and tried it again.

After smelling my arm again for the better part of that day, it finally hit me. Tocca Giulietta smells exactly like that pear shaped, peach colored Caress bar soap. Exactly.

I went back the third day and bought some because pear shaped, peach colored Careess bar soap reminds me of '93 when I spent the summer in Whittier, California, and that really was one of the best summers of my life. Then I would come back to Texas and have one of the worst years of my life. Anyway, to kick it up a notch to dramatic, Tocca Giulietta reminds me of innocence and happiness and being really fit. I spent a large part of that summer running around the track at Whittier University. It really is amazing how a bottle of perfume can be like a time machine.

Tocca Giullietta - 1993 Whittier, California
Fendi - 1987 -Vienna, Austria
Chanel No. 5 - 1990 Dallas, Texas
Gap Grass - 2006 My bedroom at my mom's house, Dallas, Texas
Chanel Allure - 2003 Denver, Colorado
Vera Wang Princess - 2005 Keystone, Colorado
Lilly Pulitzer Beachy - 2009 Las Vegas and Aspen
Tocca Giullietta - 2011 Back in Whittier

Monday, September 19, 2011

Color Blocked

After my margarita on Friday, I decided to head to J.Crew wherein I purchase things that tend to look very J.Crew.

Here I am in my new fall outfit embracing the color blocking trend. Plus, hot pink capris go with everything, no?


This was an outfit for fall, but also my reward to myself for the good presentation on Friday. Halfway through my presentation I remembered I have these new speech therapy skills and I started to end all my sentences on a down note rather than an upswing. This is also why I cannot watch The Rachel Zoe Project this season; she ends all her sentences on an upswing and we are trying to break that habit. Anyway, with my new public speaking skills making me sound more commanding, I figure I can pull off the hot pink capris at work.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hurt So Good

This week has hurt so good. The festival . . . that was a hard success. We just last night finished cleaning the last of the pots and pans and containers. Today I have three (3) career defining meetings at the lawyer job. I'll admit it . . .there were days this week I hit the Starbucks twice.

Tonight's margarita is going to taste so damn fine.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mad Art Deco Love

I do not need more costume jewelry. My two closest friends both do jewelry trunk shows (for the same company).


And then I find this. Sold out at jcrew.com, but the store still had quite a few.

My favorite (and the only) thing I've bought for fall so far.

jcrew.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alex P. Keaton and Koi

My 10 year old son is the second coming of Alex P. Keaton. One of the reasons that our booth at the festival had a line rather than the other two selling a similar product was because my son went into the crowd handing out samples. Nobody told him to. And certainly nobody told him to do so while wearing a blazer and a tie.

As a thank you I told him that I would take him out to dinner wherever he wanted. From time to time my son wants McDonald's. This is fine with me because from time to time I like a semi-soggy, salty french fry dipped in sweet and sour sauce and some soft serve ice cream.

True to this town's health nut reputation, I have to drive past two Whole Foods before I get to our closest McDonald's.

They had remodeled the McDonald's since the last time we had been there. This is all good because the former theme was peach and aqua. However. Now - and there's no way this could have been approved by corporate - the theme is goldfish. There are live goldfish on every table.

Do you know what? I cannot stand goldfish or koi. Just thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies. Ewwww. This is my nails on a chalkboard thing, only I would rather listen to an hour of nails on a chalkboard than be near a goldfish or koi. It's just goldfish and koi. I can be around the great big fish tank at the Vietnamese restaurant, or dine near the big tank at the aquarium. But I cannot be anywhere near, let alone eat near, goldfish or koi.

Is that odd? I thought I was the only one who had the extreme annoyance for chewing sounds, but just last week there was a piece on the news about others like me. It's a real phobia or disorder or whatever, but it's a real thing. I wonder if there is a support group for people who are extremely creeped out by koi.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Success(ish)!

The festival was a huge success for us. The first day we sold out early, so the other Franchise a few cities over made us some extra product and dropped it off the next day. Despite the increase in inventory, we still sold out two hours early the second day. People loved it. We were the only booth selling our product that had a line!

We learned a lot - even if you clear the extra food products that you intend to sell with the county health department, if you forget to tell the festival organizer you will not be allowed to sell them.

Standing for two days straight is hard.

Your family will get very grumpy with each other when working on no sleep.

This is a tough gig - despite selling out, despite the lines, we barely broke even. Also, I didn't keep up with all the cash I personally spent in research in supplies for the products that the festival organizer told us we couldn't sell (which was a shame because people were buying them before we were told to put them away).

However, its very hard to place a value on the marketing and name recognition we got from having approximately 80,000 walk in front of our booth, and getting to tell a great many of them we were coming soon.

Okay . . . I'm off to put my very tired body in a hot shower and then head off to be a lawyer.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Almost Time . . .

For the past three nights I have been driving one-third of the way across this state (thank goodness this isn't Texas) to pick up supplies from the other Franchise for the festival this weekend. For some reason, still unknown, this had to be done in three shifts.

Now I floss and go to sleep because tomorrow is a very big day of (after working at my real job) collecting signage and coinage and baking and cooking into the late night hours -

Then . . . we introduce The Franchise to an estimated 80,000 people.

Then . . . next month . . . construction begins on our very own store.

Also, Attorney at Large - in response to my comment that pumpkin spice lattes seem a little more cloying this year than usual - suggests that I ask for half the syrup which I think is brilliant because I will want coffee in the cool mornings this weekend standing at our booth. While coffee treats are, ultimately, one of the things we will sell, we have not yet purchased the espresso machine that is worth more than all the cars in this family put together. And I think that over the next (24X3 . . . 48 + 24 which is 2 carry the 1 and add to 6. 72) 72 hours I am going to need lots of coffee. And a calculator. Because lets not forget the state wants their tax, the county wants their tax, the city wants its tax and then there are the special taxing districts. Note to self . . . get calculator at next Office Depot run.

Honestly . . .

A bit overwhelmed
1. Full time lawyer
2. Running a retail food booth at a festival before we have opened our store
3. Finding a new school for son
4. Not quite cold enough yet that we can forgo the leg shaving. Sigh.

And is it just me, or do pumpkin spice lattes seem a bit more cloying than normal this year? I've had two from two different stores, and I might just be done for the season.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So Much Fun

We worked all Labor Day weekend and since getting ready for the festival that The Franchise is participating in. (ended sentence in preposition, too tired to care) Although we have the exclusive for our product at this outdoor mall, we didn't think to secure an exclusive for the event. Accordingly, I have been busy perfecting additional products.

Wait, you say, doesn't the Mother Ship tell you how to make your products. Well, yes. But their product selection is just the one product. Accordingly, we had to come up with a plan to make our booth the best of its kind there, selling related but different products in addition to the one.

I'm sorry to be all sly - but if I mentioned the product here, the Mother Ship would find themselves on a Google word search. All I can tell you is that it is not turkey legs.

Anyway, I'm up to my eyeballs in recipes and having a blast. I've perfected two that are crowd and critic ready.

That worked? That worked!

For over a year I have had daily headaches. I woke up with a headache and another one crept in during the afternoon. I have tried all kinds of stuff: aspirin, Advil, no pain medication, no coffee, extra coffee, an MRI, more water, more sleep, different pillows. Finally my doctor suggested a massage.

Done.

I walked into the spa on Saturday morning and the lady asked, "Would you like a glass of wine?"
And I said, "It's 9:00 a.m.! Brilliant!"

I have been headache free for three days. A twenty-five minute neck and shoulder massage. It was that simple. Horray for self-indulgence.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Headache

My doctor found two big muscle knots in the back of my neck to be the source of my daily headaches and he ordered my to get massages until they are worked out. Uh. Okay. I'm a once a year, if that, kind of massage person; normally I find them to be quite self-indulgent. But, you know, if it's doctors orders. Also, with a therapeutic message, I don't have to get in the robe and get all relaxed - God forbid. I just go in, stay clothed, and they work on my neck for 25 minutes. Sounds heavenly.

Also, he believes my more frequent migraine clusters may be a result of us living on the crossroads of two very busy streets. You know I love the location of my house. However, the grime that coats the outside our house from the cars and buses is a little frightening. Anyway, we have a Franchise to build, so moving isn't even in the cards. But it does make you think - is it healthy to live right in the city?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Experts

One of the most difficult things about dealing with The Franchise Mother Ship has been the requirement to work with their so called experts. We really are 0 for 3 on that front. For example, we just got our design plans back from the guy we have to use, and he included a display case for a product the Franchise doesn't serve, and he put the espresso maker at the opposite end of the store from the coffee service bar.

And you may recall the fiasco with their real estate agent we had to use trying to get us into a mall and failing to realize, or at least share with us, that we were one of three stores bidding for a space, thereby causing us to start our negotiating low rather than at our planned rent. It became obvious to us right after we submitted the bid, and he just kind of played it off like, "you didn't know that?"

The saving grace here is that we believe in the product - that after all these shenanigans and we open our doors despite all their "help", we will provide a great product.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Relative

Yesterday, I crap you negative, I met a relative of the drummer from Journey. That guy. Alas, she is unaware of whether Steve Perry will ever reunite with them.

Also, there is a Kate Spade bangle at the sample sale that is all wavy - just like those plastic stacking bracelets from the early 80's. Remember those? I must have at least one. I wonder if I had been happily married in the 90's if I would have a similar affinity for, say, Nirvana and the return of plaid baby doll dresses.

Also, this makes me sound really old. I got married way too young to someone from Ohio and I was his second wife. And I was a mere infant when I was wearing those plastic wavy stacking bracelets (with my Panama Jack t-shirt).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Working Weekend

On Saturday I opened and worked a shift at the Franchise two cities over to get a feel for what it's really like, and get a feel for it I did. Once the highschool kids realized there was someone there willing to interact with the customers and take the register, they were more than happy to let me take over!!! I turned around at one point and everybody was gone.

I had fun. In fact, it was really fun. I am having all kinds of tooth clenching evenings over the festival that our Franchise is doing here in town in a few weeks because I just can't wrap my head around the logistics of it, but the store I can see now. Also, tip - do not commit to do a festival before your store is open. The collective blog world just went, "duh."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Franchise Update

I haven't talked Franchise for some time which is kind of remarkable because now we are doing stuff on a daily basis for The Franchise.

While it is still unknown whether we will be open this year (I know, can you believe this process?), we are days away from a signed lease, and have architectural plans under way.

The shopping area where we will be located has an annual festival in September that draws in 50,000 people, so we are operating a booth for that. How to serve our food product when we don't actually have a store to produce it yet has been a bit of a challenge, but our fellow franchisees a few cities over have been so helpful offering to train us and sell us products wholesale.

It is highly unlikely we will make any money at this festival as we have had to order so much stuff and obtain permits (that are all reusable), but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to advertise to 50,000 people that The Franchise is coming to town.

Its friggin' crazy. But if I wasn't doing this I would be watching reruns of Triple D. Really, at this point, reruns of reruns. And then I would start craving pork product and onion rings and think, hey, I could run a food establishment.

Bad Dog

I used to have a Boston Terrier. It now lives with my ex-husband, but that is a different story. The point is this - my ex-husband's house has been broken into twice, while they were home, with the Boston Terrier. Last week I read a news story about how someone broke into a home and they stole . . . the couple's Boston Terrier.

Accordingly, Boston Terriers are bad guard dogs.

I love this picture (from dogbreedinfo.com). It looks like it is waiting in line for the Insane Clown Posse concert.

Also, in our incredibly busy lives, I do sometimes still cook. Still pleased from the excellent experiment with the fried eggplant, we tried the fried cucumbers from White Trash Cooking. Ewww. Just ewwww. The eggplant had an egg and milk wash, which helped the cornmeal stick. The cucumbers you just shook in a bag with cornmeal. The cornmeal didn't stick and we just ended up with soggy little vegetable oil sponges.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Theater, Orange Chicken and Luck

This weekend my husband announced that he got us season tickets to the theater again this year. I cried.

The first thing we gave up when I got laid off from big law was our theater tickets. I know. Cry you a river. I know people lost houses, medical insurance, dignity. And I know that there are a lot of people who still haven't recovered.

But it was a big thing for us. He took me to the theater on our first date, and there he told me about his two daughters, and how he liked to take them to the theater. Then, for the first couple years of our marriage, our theater dates were a constant. And each time, before the theater, I would get orange chicken. Theater and orange chicken. Mmmmmm.

Next month - our first show of the new season.

Every day I wonder if it could all fall apart again - and I know it could. I am at a privately held company now, held by a great big national company, and companies get bought and sold. The news is pretty convinced there is going to be a double dip recession. So I know that every day I get to go to work and every evening I get to go to the theater is a gift. Part of my ability to do that is hard work, but I know its also luck.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pre-First Impressions are the MOST Important.

My son's new 5th grade teacher sent out a letter to the class parents earlier this summer on computer paper decorated with crayon illustration of smiling sunshines and froggies. I, as an adult, refuse to read communications from other adults decorated in crayon.

So I didn't read the letter. And it turns out there was important information in said letter.

I don't care for this lady already. I know that's probably wrong of me, but I just have a odd feeling that this year is going to be an odd year with this one. We have a parent-teacher-student meeting this morning. I need an attitude readjustment, and quickly.

Also this weekend - finally a weekend at home. My son wants to paint his bedroom sea foam green and gold (how great is this kid) so I anticipate we'll be picking up paint samples at some point, but other than that no fun stuff like organizing the house and getting ready for back to school. Although, I am actually look forward to it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Killer Whale



When I said I would get him whatever clothes he wanted for back to school, I wasn't thinking killer whale outfit. Yet here we are. He wanted that or a blazer, and who wears blazers to school anymore?


Here he is demonstrating how killer whales kill things with supreme rubber band shooting skills.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back in Aspen


What I learned after rereading that last post is that apparently I at least need Advil to proofread. Also, giving up the Advil has not made the headaches any better. In fact, they have been stronger and more frequent than ever. I am not buying this rebound theory. I was out of town for business one day last week and that was the one day I didn't get a headache. I keep telling the doctors its something about this city - the altitude? the air?

As you know, I was also away last weekend for anniversary purposes. Aspen. I love that place. When we were in Aspen earlier this summer, I wondered if I didn't really care for it anymore. The natives were aggressively pretentious, and the family was complaining how expensive everything was which made me wonder if maybe it wasn't a little over the top. This time, however, I adored it again. The really curt girl at the Ink Coffee store complimented me on my JCrew resin necklace (although she did the give the guy in front of me a really hard time about his bagel), the natives were friendly, and while the coffee is more expensive there, I didn't really notice any difference eating out.

I sat in one of the chairs pictured above and read. Makes for a perfect day.

Every Damn Day

For a long time now I have been getting headaches every day. My doctor won't do further tests until I prove to him these are not rebound medicine headaches - that is, these headaches aren't caused by the Advil I take every day to get rid of the headaches I get every day. Then next week I give up the coffee to see if its the caffeine. I'm a barrel of friggin' monkey right now.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

internet In heaven

There is internet in heaven right? Because theres a few things my mom would want to know. She could never have forseen what this family would become. Anyway, the part she never met and I are off on three day weekend for our anniversary. Thank God for him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

People Are Good! Hug The Bunny!

The good fortune continues!


My husband was having a root canal (okay, the good fortune not so much for him), so I had to take a cab to the mechanic to pick up my car.


Well, the cabbie is an out of work Cordon Bleu Paris trained chef. So we talked about his training and his career (under Charlie Trotter in Chicago) and how he came to drive a cab. Then we talked about The Franchise and running restaurants. And do you know what he did with the $75 fare? He said, "Just give me $20. We food people stick together."


I was then convinced I would be spending close to a grand for the clutch repair. Do you know what the mechanic said? No charge. No charge. No charge for even the diagnostic.


Wha? People are good I tell you. This whole experience has been life transforming.


Let's hug a bunny, shall we?

Thank you, whoever you are.

As you know, we were going to have a relaxing weekend and we were going to reset and there were going to be no more agro blog entries and we would all be hugging bunnies and sharing craft ideas.

Well.

It was 98 degrees and the great majority of the population was headed up to the mountains. It was bumper to bumper. I never let out the clutch to fully engage in first gear from the time I turned onto the highway until an hour and a half later when I could just feel the car was going to die. Panic. I was in the middle of three lanes of angry traffic.

In less than a minute from when I realized I had an issue and tried to pull over, the most terrible smell came from the car and it died. One person drove past and just looked at me. The next person rolled down his window and asked if I was okay. I think he saw I was totally out of my element. He then got out of his car, stopped traffic, and helped me back down onto the side of the road. Then he made sure I had a cell phone and apologized for having to go.

But it was okay because a tow truck pulled up just minutes later and the driver asked if I needed help. Now, I hate to judge, but I have seen episodes of Cold Case Files that start this way. But what do you do? He told me to get in his truck and he would pull my car. Then, perhaps sensing my trepidation, he added that his wife was in the truck. This did not make me feel a whole lot better. I have seen episodes of Cold Case Files that also start that way. But what do you do?

You just have a little faith and be thankful. Very very thankful that there are people who will help you when you are stranded on the side of a mountain. I have the tower's card, but have no idea who that driver was who stopped traffic for me. Thank you, whoever you are!

So now my car has been towed to somewhere in Denver, with its key, to some mechanic who didn't return my phone call all weekend. We just have to have a little faith.

Then the kindle broke, then my straightener broker. You know things break in threes. So that's done. As soon as we get the car back, we'll discuss hugging bunnies. However, I did reset a little bit this weekend and I am grateful for this little adventure because it reminded me that people are good.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mmmm Mountain

Tomorrow after work I will meet my husband in Keystone. Ahhhh. Tomorrow night I will have the best tortilla soup in America other than the tortilla soup from the Blue Goose in Dallas, Texas. And then we will RELAX.

I will finish reading My Korean Deli and perhaps start another book. (I spent the entire week in the Indiana Code and Regulations so I have this reading momentum going and I want to devour more words.)

I will watch some episodes of Dexter and try episode 3 of True Blood.

And I'll just do some breathing, which is always nice in the mountains.

And then on Sunday I will rush home to meet my son who has been in Mexico with his dad. He sent me the most lovely e-mail today about how he has been cliff diving, snorkeling, and swimming with dolphins.

It is good to be us.

No Hazardous Pastries

In my research regarding this little venture my husband and I have embarked on I discovered this: You may not sell hazardous pastries in Colorado.

Pot and alcohol?
Yes.

Hazardous pastries?
No. The State of Colorado will protect you from yourself purchasing and consuming hazardous pastries. I, for one, will sleep easier tonight.

It's also fun to look at the rules and regulations for handling dead bodies and running nail salons, neither of which are, however, our business.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Flip Flops

I, generally, am not a fan of the flip flop. I broke down and purchased a pair from Brighton early this summer, as they came with a snazzy little silver alligator, and I do need something I can slip on my feet when I dump the coffee grounds on the roses. (This is the extent of my gardening - dumping trash into the bushes. However, tonight, when we were coming back from the Target, I deadheaded two roses. Not bushes. Roses. Only several hundred more to go. My neighbors hate me.)

Where were we. Flip Flops. No. Purchasing them in leather or with faux jewels does not make them so. Flip flops for taking out the trash? Yes. For a wedding? No. For work? No. I just had to share that because at some point flip flops became office attire and while I generally do not care what anybody is wearing at the office beyond me, I cannot get behind flip flops as even business casual attire.

It's Complicated

That is, the SBA loan application process. Sheesh. I know we have discussed this herein at other times. And at this point, I have no idea what we are signing our life away too. You get to the point where you just put people in touch with each other and they take first and second liens on your house, vehicles and bank accounts. And then you cross your fingers and hope you sell a lot of stuff.

And this should come as no surprise, but. Do you know what happens when you tell the Mother Ship that you don't want to use the chairs they have selected for our purchase because the other franchisees tell you they are not working for them? They say buy the chairs they selected. And do you know what they tell you when you say you want pellet ice (because, let's face it, everybody loves pellet ice) rather than the cubes they want you to produce? They say get the machine that makes the cubes. And do you know what they say when you ask if you really need a piece of $10,000 equipment when there are ones that end up producing the same product for $5,000. They say buy the $10,000 machine. We knew this, of course.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oh No She Didn't

My husband's ex-wife wants my husband to continue paying her child support while their daughter is at university. That is, my husband, who is paying for the university, room, board, the meal plan, and who furnished her dorm, is also supposed to write this mother a big check every month for the daughter who is no longer living in the house.

HAHAHAHAHA. Makes my head fucking explode.

Let me make it perfectly clear - I absolutely want my stepdaughter to have every last thing she needs at university. The issue here is this - doesn't this woman feel dirty and pathetic for still wanting the check? Shouldn't this woman want to do something, anything, too contribute to her daughter's success and not just sit back and take checks? Shouldn't she be thanking my husband profusely for making university possible for her daughter?

Alright. We will put it to bed now, as the whole thing just makes me angry. In other news, my ex has actually stepped up to bat and is supporting my theory that we have to get our child out of this free-for-all hippy dippy alternative school that worked like a charm when he was little but is now just all to copacetic. Also, to be perfectly clear, I am not old enough to have a daughter in university. My husband is older than me, and the mother way older than that.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Poise (the princess kind, not the undergarment kind)

It is time now that we take a break from Amy Winehouse news and turn once again to She Who Ended Up With The One Who Actually Turned Out To Be The Less Handsome Prince And Who Does Not Care To Use The Blendy End Of Her Eyeliner of Cambridge. I will say this - the lady has poise. I read somewhere - it would have been either People or Us - that she had months of voice training prior to The Big Day, and that this is credited for her tremendous poise.

She does have this calm, easy confidence. I, on the other hand, tend to emote and get pitchy. So I decided to enroll in voice lessons. Which sounds all so very high maintenance of me, and I actually am not very high maintenance. I have been to voice training twice now and I cannot tell you how much I love it, and how much of a difference it has made already; that is, I feel like I sound much more intelligent! It's way cool. Also, I blend my eyeliner.

Don't Mess With My Target

Oh my goodness what a day. If it could go wrong it did, from the time I walked into the office until the time I walked into Target. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY DID AT THE TARGET? They rearranged all the aisles from north/south to east/west. So not okay. I normally find Target so soothing. My Target is all clean and white and red and smells faintly of the Barbie Dream House that I always wanted as a kid but never got. An off-hours trip to Target can be better than therapy.

However.

Now my Target resembles a Costco. I do not care for Costco. I would rather purchase a 50 count of Q-Tips every week (I love Q-Tips) than a 3 brick pack of 500 count Q-Tips. This is space better used for makeup and shoes. I was trying to pick up Season 3 of Nurse Jackie at the Target. When we left her she was the subject of an intervention. All I could find was Season 2. This so would not have happened had they left the aisles north/south. I ended up picking up Dexter on the recommendation of my best bud.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fried

Y'all. On days when I cook, I'm still doing the White Trash Cooking thing. I deep fried eggplant the other night. I deep fried. I have always been scared of the deep fried process. And, apparently, my husband has always been scared of me deep frying because he actually got out the fire extinguisher while I was cooking. Dude. Have a little faith.

Anyway. Deep fried eggplant is delish. DEELISH. You just dredge eggplant circles through egg then salted cornmeal, and fry. However, when you deep fry in your house, there's not enough candles in the world to take that smell away. Also, I read that being around burning candles is no better than smoking. There's your ominous thought for the day.

I am almost considering a fry-daddy that I could plug in to the outlet on the porch. Because deep fried eggplant? Not available anywhere but delish.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

You Know You Have a Problem When . . .

You know you have a problem when you wake up with cupcake crumbs between your cleavage. Anyway, this is better than a hangover.

Last night, I had an extra fun spontaneous dinner with my best bud, but the glass of wine knocked my on my ass. The one glass of weak-ass pino. Dear God, it's me, Associate Girl. What is happening to me?

Also, when the franchisor Mother Ship and the builder ask to review your real estate lease for your space, this greatly complicates things. Also, when you find a little snippet somewhere that says a husband and wife have to operate as a general partnership, this greatly complicates things.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How Many Lawyers and Engineers

This weekend one lawyer and one engineer are going to try to figure out how to open one food booth for a festival that is happening in front of our rental space but before our store is actually open. The festival is in a month and a half. We can figure this out.

Anything not to garden. Why do I hate gardening so much. I like having our yard. I do. Is it because there is just so very much work that needs to be done and I have no idea where to begin? Is it because I am overwhelmed by the expense of everything that needs to get done? Honestly, I think its mostly because I don't like to garden.

There. I said it. I don't like Glee. I hated The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I even tried to read it twice. And I don't care to garden. If I didn't bring home the bacon I would be totally useless.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Out and About

Last night we went for a nice dinner to celebrate my husband's birthday. Actually, his birthday was on Sunday, but he had to pay for his own dinner on Sunday because earlier that day I left my debit card at the tequila place. These things happen.

Then we came home and watched an episode of Nurse Jackie. (We're in the second season. I am just so sure that Kevin knows about Eddie.)

Also, no word from the campers that are off with the landscaper. I trust everything is okay.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

and the kitchen sink

1. I got an email that my yahoo account was compromised. Last month my bank account was compromised. I have different super stealthy passwords for both.

2. The guy from Weeds lost his cred when he showed up in a Brittney Spears video. I grow tired of Weeds. I liked the first season, the second was okay, and now we just watch because we have time invested in it. Right now I am obsessed with Nurse Jackie.

3. I am almost done redlining The Franchise real estate lease to add the broker's comments. We heard that the Mother Ship gets a kickback on the high-end, overly expensive equipment we have to buy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Child Care

Overheard while dropping my son off at his school for sleep-away camp . . .

"Who is taking us on our trip?"
"You know the guy that does the landscaping?"

I'm fairly certain that I have seen episodes of 20/20 that begin this way. Part of my panics. However. (1) We don't want to be politically incorrect and reach a snap judgment about the landscape guy or anybody in the landscaping industry. (2) Any further time spent at drop off and I will have to get my latte prior to my 9:30 call rather than after.

Fingers crossed!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What's My Thing, I Wonder?

Kate (that is, Ms. William), her thing is that she doesn't blend her eyeliner. My one friend wears lots of faux diamonds and thinks that people think they are real but really everybody knows they are fake. I have another friend that tells the same stories - long stories - over and over and over again. I must have a thing that is relatively annoying that people notice but don't tell me. I wonder what it is.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Miss You!

I really do. I miss typing here, and I miss reading my favorite blogs.

And Hi Blogher! I know that I owe you some paperwork.

There are weeds in my yard that have now rightfully gained the status of landscaping.

I have been reviewing an 80 page lease for the Franchise. Eighty pages. What? Now, granted, I am not a real estate attorney, but I have reviewed some commercial leases in my day. Never have they been 80 pages.

Also, I am preparing for a business trip this week that I got assigned to at 4:30 p.m. last Friday.

Best of all, I got a surprise Friday night with my son. Normally he is with his dad on Fridays but dad and girlfriend went to the Chris Isaak concert. (Note to girlfriend: I happen to know that the entirety of Forever Blue reminds him of me.)

Anyway, my son and I went to the mall and I got new running shoes, he got obnoxiously overpriced clothes from crewcuts that he picked out and loves, and then we went for sushi. I really like his company. Plus he is a snazzy dresser.

I wish I could tell you where I was going on my business trip because its kind of fun, even though I am not there for fun. I have a night to myself to wander. Oh, and read the Exhibits H-ZZ of the lease.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My New Favorite Ski Town

That, down there

is Steamboat, viewed from the ass-kicking hike my husband made me go on before he would buy me a hamburger. And do you know what? After climbing two miles at a 90 or so degree incline for two hours in 100 degree heat I DIDN'T EVEN WANT THE HAMBURGER anymore; rather, I thought about perhaps barfing. And I'm a fit person. Also, my husband doesn't really make me exercise before he'll buy me food. He's just all oh look how cute you are climbing this mountain while breathing heavily while I manly man leap rock by rock over it then run back down to get you water then run back up to deliver it to you - you, you have earned a hamburger my dear. Or something along those lines as all I really remember is that I was hot and tired and making a note to my future self that when my husband says "let's go on a hike" I should say "define hike." As hike does not equal climb. Very different.


Anyhoo. That little town in the distance? Three places with tortilla soup and margaritas on one street. On one street. Brilliant.

Friday, July 1, 2011

In a few hours



I will be here in a few hours! A long weekend with no kids. Just nail polish, magazines, downloads, tennis racket, cafes and husband.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Freaky

I'm guessing that I am not supposed to get ideas from the Discovery Channel's Freaky Eaters show. Yet here we are.

All liquids except for dinner! Do you have any idea how many yummy liquid things there are to eat? I do.

I do this to myself whenever I feel like things might be a wee little bit out of control. For example, like right now when I have to do a 50 state legal survey by yesterday and we are opening a freakin' franchise in our spare time.

You don't have to worry about me being anorexic or anything. For example, Godiva makes a fine milkshake. Totally on the liquids only plan. And every morning I make this spinach smoothie with blueberries and fish oil. YUM. I just pick something to control about my food. I don't otherwise restrict my food. I thereby create a sense of tranquility and all is right with the world.

Also, I may have single-handedly put my therapist's daughter through university.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Approved

We have franchise space. Approved. It's been such a long, random road that maybe it hasn't even sunken in yet. Oh wait. It just did. HOLY MOLEY WE HAVE A SPACE FOR OUR FRANCHISE.

As you may recall, we spent over a year looking. Then, when we finally located a space we thought was about as good as it could get, the Mother Ship said no. As in, no. Then they said no, unless you can get the landlord to part the sea and and do this and do that and then you jump through this moving hooping of fire and fix a cavity in a tiger. Well. Here we are.

Also, I was about to throw in the towel on White Trash Cooking. I did the Duchess's Baked Beans, and they were just odd. They were baked beans with cinnamon and bacon laid on top. Bacon doesn't bake. And with that much cinnamon, it had a dessert like aftertaste. They were icky.

The next recipe was Red Beans and Rice. I was very, very sceptical and thought this was going to be the last recipe of this project. All I did was soak and boil red beans with onions, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Please. Where's the spice? White Trash Cooking is not long on the spice. But do you know what? This recipe was fantastic. The beans had so much flavor, and even made their own gravy. What? I don't even get how it was possible but this was fantastic - exactly the type of thing I was hoping to find when I started all of this.

Monday

No posty. Migraine.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Patting My Own Back

Last night I was at a lawyer function.

Lawyers do good things. Lawyers make things happen.

Sometimes, when I am in a gaggle of them, I am sort of in awe. Then I realize HEY I am one of them. You know how last week I made that stupid mistake? Well, yesterday, I found that elusive little piece of information that saved the day.

Busy Friday today, but I like what I do.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Come Spend The Evening

My son got an invitation to "spend the evening" with a friend. Do you suppose that means he is staying through dinner, or the night?

Thank you, everybody, for all your thoughts and kind words about him and the break-in. We've slept with all the lights on, but he otherwise seems okay. It might help that when he is with me it's a different house.

In other follow ups, the Mother Ship has given us some conditions on the space - that is, hoops that we have to jump through and conditions that the landlord has to agree too. We're almost there. Anyway, this is good news because it was looking like it was an unconditional no. We are mentally so ready to go. Since we first signed the agreement, there has been competition popping up everywhere. I have to say though, our product is the best by far.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More on Beds and Rest

There have been a few times in my life where I have just been wiped out for no good reason. I've been to doctors for full work ups and nobody has found anything. One's advice was simply, "If you're tired, then rest."

I'm not pregnant. I may be stressed about the franchise space (and frustrated and angry), but I'm not depressed. I'm not sick. I'm just so very tired.

Yesterday, the longest day of the year, I put up the white flag. I felt slightly guilty about not playing outside, but the "just rest" comment kept playing in my mind. Despite feeling bad about not running, cooking, or even pulling out the frisbee, I was where I was. My son and I watched Cupcake Wars then Wipeout then 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show (never again) then 24 Hour Restaurant Battle. We watched 4 friggin' hours of tv. Then we slept for 8 hours. I woke up fairly rested, then made coffee, then promptly felt like I could spend the day back in bed.

So here we are. I'm not complaining. I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm just stating.

We are going to Steamboat Springs for the 4th. Mmmmm vacation rest.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mmmm Bed.

Growing up I lived in beautiful homes with lovely furniture and art. However. My parent's bedroom consisted of a boxspring and a mattress on a frame. No headboard. No bedroom suite. And that's where all the junk and unopened moving boxes gathered - right in their bedroom.



As an adult, my house has turned out much the same way. I've never owned a headboard. I once had a long talk with a friend who is also headboardless. We pondered why it is that it has never crossed our adult minds to want or need a headboard. And my therapist is all , "You are a grown up. The bedroom should be your sanctuary. You must purchase bedroom furniture." And I was all, "whatever."


But now these are 30% off at Horchow.com. A or B. A or B. M can pay for his own damn university.




Holding On Tight

My ex's house was robbed while they were all there, including my son. My son was in the basement and my understanding is that he wasn't even aware of it while it was happening.

1. Boston terriers are terrible guard dogs.
2. I can't protect my son from scary things.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Round Up



Last week at this time I was there. This week at this time I am here:


1. The Mother Ship did not approve our space. We are frustrated. Very frustrated.

2. I lost half of my readers when I began White Trash Cooking. Nevertheless, as I have now put off going to the grocery store long enough (two weeks), I think the hog laden festivities are about to resume.

3. My work mistake . . . largely forgotten. This just proves what a difference a boss can make. When I worked for that partner at big law, the same occurrence would have gone much, much differently. I feel so very, very blessed to be where I am now.

4. Tonight I get to see my best girlfriend. She has been in Texas while her mom goes through chemo. Now she is back and there is nothing quite like sharing a glass of wine with your best girlfriend.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Kid Rocked Aspen

Is that a Journey t-shirt that your son is wearing? Yes. I'm so proud. And could he and his cousin be any cuter? No. No they could not.






Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More So

Typically at concerts I am somewhat in awe of the cross section of humanity that is there as well. These people, these concert goers, are not like any group of people you find at your office, or the grocery store, or even the Walmart. You can't imagine where they come from or where they go after the show, but places like under a rock or in a cave come to mind.

But not at the Peter Gabriel concert. That looked like a law firm staff meeting.

And get this . . . he started EARLY. I love that. I hate being late. I am never late. I have once or twice even tried to be late but I just end up being on time. Peter Gabriel and I - peas in a pod.

Then it rained. At the outdoor concert. There was a fantastic lightening show beyond the stage for the entire evening.

He didn't do much of his pop stuff. In fact, he started off with a song about torture and ended with Don't Give Up which, for those of you who may not know, is one super emotional song about nobody wanting you when you lose.

So . . . this concert was right up my alley. I like my music mellow and emotional and often sad. I have wondered why this is so, as has my husband, as that would be about the opposite of my personality, which is NOT mellow and very rarely sad. In fact, I'm fairly high-strung and happy.

He did do Solsbury Hill which contains one of my favorite musical lines of all time:
"You can keep my things they've come to take me home."

Also he did do In Your Eyes. And I cried. Because that is what we high-strung, happy people who like emotional music do. We stand in the middle of a concert at Red Rocks in the pouring rain and cry.

So

I went to the Peter Gabriel concert last night.

I have much more to say about that. However, I have some damage control to do at work. I screwed up. I made a stupid mistake. A big stupid mistake. I didn't catch something I should have caught, and that's really my job - to catch things that should get caught, you know.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back From Aspen.

Back To Aspen is a better title for a blog entry than Back From Aspen. Yet here we are. However, I have this universal truth to share with you - real, serious advice for you to understand and practice . . .

Do not head to paradise with your extended family as you will be packed and sitting on your suitcase at 6:30 a.m. ready to leave and realizing something is wrong when you cannot wait to leave one of the most lovely towns on the planet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Back to Aspen

I am a lucky girl. Tomorrow after finishing the day at a job that I love I will drive off into the sunset to meet up with my family waiting for me in Aspen.

There it will be perfect. Not too warm. Not too cool. The aspen tree leaves will flutter like little silver green fans and create a pleasant murmur throughout the land.

AND I AM ALSO AWARE OF A PLACE THERE THAT MAKES A REALLY GOOD FROZEN MARGARITA.

God bless Aspen.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Drive

Aspen from the gondola. I had to leave the family vacation to come back to work for a few days. As much as I hated to crawl out of bed at 5a.m. this morning and leave everyone, the quiet drive through the mountains with the sun coming up was, well, the drive of a lifetime.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Busy Weekend Good Weekend

Today the Mother Ship is in town to approve our franchise space. Tomorrow, off to Aspen. Mmmmm Aspen.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Time Time Time

1. I got the second of two tickets in two weeks for not having a current sticker on my license plate. It always falls off within days in the car wash. I'm current! I'm current!

2. The theme song to The Deer Hunter wrecks me. Also, one of the more disturbing movies ever. It happened to be on right before Less Than Zero. Super sad in a whole different way. Come to think of it, the theme song to that wrecks me too - not Hazy Shade of Winter but the actual Less Than Zero song. (This is what happens on Wednesdays when it is Top Chef rather than Real Housewives. I end up on the retro movie channel.) Anyway, didn't Brent Easton Ellis just recently write the follow up to Less Than Zero? I remember thinking that was a really important book when it came out, but I have no desire to read the follow up.

3. Sweet potatoes. Wash 'em. Grease 'em. 350 degrees for 45 minutes. We are skipping Boiled Peanuts, as my husband is allergic to peanuts. Soon it's fried veggies - now we're talking!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tent:House like Cob:Utensils

I am pretty sensitive to house smells and would really prefer my house to not smell like anything - not bacon, not onions, not even Febreeze or a plug-in.

So after regular Succotash which involved bacon AND onions, corn, lima beans and tomatoes (not to be confused with Indian Succotash that involved neither bacon NOR onions but did involve cream (read, Indian Succotash is better), I was pleased to see a recipe for Corn on the Cob. This involved boiling water. There was no rendering of pork product, nor sweating of onions.

Frankly, if you had previously handed me an ear of corn, I would have had no idea what to do with it. Turns out that it turns out perfectly if you cook it just like shrimp - that is, bring a pot of water to boil, put in the corn, return to a boil, turn off water and steep for 5 minutes for young corn, ten for larger corn. (You do the exact same with shell-on shrimp.) Perfection. Then butter and salt.

Except I refused to even give my family the option of actually eating it on the cob. I had to cut it from the cob. I hate to see humans gnawing on things. Tent:House like Cob:Utensils. And you will never find me in a tent.

Anyway - I am pretty smug that I now won't shy away from those great big barrels of corn in the grocery store. I know what to do with ears of corn and how to do it well. Yay me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Weekend

My stepdaughter graduated from high school this weekend. For the record, I am way too young to have a daughter who has graduated from high school. My husband is much older. Anyway, I had nothing to do with it, but I am proud to say she is off to Tulane this August. As you may recall, I spent 4 fantastic years living in New Orleans, so I couldn't be more pleased for myself and proud of her. Oh the fun we will have. She has already said that she is going to pretend like she doesn't know my husband and me when we go to visit her. Which is fine. Anyway, I cry at the first note of pomp and circumstance. So an emotional weekend was had.


Also, I promised my son that if he ran two miles with me I would get him some lego. I am not above bribing. And he did. So there we were at the mall at the Lego mini figure kiosk FOR A VERY LONG TIME. Emphasis on the very long time. Because this is a big decision, you know, which Lego mini figure you will select. So I left him there but I didn't want to wander too far away. This left me wandering Talbots (again, I am too young) and Brighton. Oh Brighton. Brighton typically reminds me of middle class Dallas homemakers. Yet there I was. And I found this . . . Dear God yes please. So a successful weekend was had by all.



In re White Trash Cooking . . . we've also been successful there. Indian Succotash is lima beans, corn and cream. Southern comfort food. Just the very reason I set off on this venture; that is, to find a recipe like that. I see many repeats of that dish in my future.







Thursday, May 26, 2011

Therapy Thursday, With Bacon

There have been times throughout the past several years where I have left the therapist's office thinking, "Why am I paying her to have this conversation? Everything here is good."

That thought right there? That thought right there guarantees that something is going to happen that makes me so very very glad for the next Therapy Thursday.

I can't get into it here, as this is not the forum. Things just ebb and flow, and in the ebb cycles you can feel stranded.

In White Trash Cooking news, this week's recipes included Limpin' Suzie (pork product, okra and rice), and Tomatoes and Corn (pork product, tomatoes and corn). Luckily, we are now moving on from the vegetables that begin with pork product. Pork product added little by way of seasoning but lots by way of smell, at least after you've stewed the crap out of it. Crumbled bacon stirred into things (Tomatoes and Corn) -more flavor. Otherwise, the recipes tasted exactly like what they were - okra and rice, and tomatoes and corn. And my boys liked both.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shoe Issues

Y'all. I'm having shoe issues.

I was voted best dressed in high school. And just in case you think I have lost it, my department at work was discussing just recently how I have no bad outfits.

However. Shoes. I have luscious career shoes. And I have running shoes for running. But what does one wear on the weekends that is neither career shoes nor running shoes?

I do realize how very petty this sounds. I understand many people in Joplin are without houses.