Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In Memoriam . . .

I have some terrible news. It's about our friends in the Creepy Little Village. Have you read that post yet? If not, go read it now - just click here. Don't worry, we'll wait for you.

Ok, now that you're back, let me tell you my news. You might need to sit down for this . . .


That's right . . . ALL of our friends are gone! No more village pervert. No more slopey shoulders boy. No more creepy ring girl . . . they have been obliterated by a callous hand and a can of Kilz. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but I feel responsible for the fate of my little disproportionate friends. Did someone show the owner my blog post? I don't know! What I DO know is that I can never show my face in there again!!! And that's a real shame because I love their fajitas . . .

Luckily I was in Rico's just a couple of weeks before the genocide occurred and got some more pictures of some of the characters that I had missed the first time around. Since you'll never be able to see them in person, I want to introduce them to you now . . .

First, meet a lady I like to call "Five o'clock Shadow lady" or "Testosterone Teresa":

Now, I'm gonna admit something to you: I was jealous of this lady when I first saw her. I mean, she's got a mustache bigger than Burt Reynolds' and a left shoulder that appears to be on steroids, and some guy is STILL buying her a drink at the bar. What does she have that I don't have? Is it something in her eyes? In her voice? In her enormous stature? . . .
Good Lord, she's huge! Did you notice the size of her head? I'd be buying her a drink, too. And hoping she doesn't head butt me.

Now call me shallow, but my jealousy of this gigantic, mustache-y woman subsided when I took a better look at her suitor. I like to call him "Pig Hoof Man":
What's going on with that right hand? And what an unfortunately short thumb he has . . . it's a little disconcerting and a bit repulsive. Come to think of it, I'm surprised this man HASN'T hit on me before.

But, believe it or not, the strange attraction between these two people is not the best part of this part of the mural. The bar they are standing by really steals the show . . .
How are those things not sliding off? I think the artist missed class on the day they taught dimension. And art.

Another villager you need to know about it the Butterfly Tamer:
You can't see it in his picture, but she's surrounded by about a hundred butterflies. But I'm concerned that she might be allergic to them and that it's causing the left side of her cheek to swell. I'm sure it's just temporary, though. But if it's permanent, maybe they can use some of the extra tissue in the cheek to even out her boobs.

Finally, meet "Double Butt Boy."
Now, I'm usually an eye girl but I just can't help staring at this guy's butt. It's mesmerizing. Here's the close-up . . .
It's like two full butts, isn't it? That or it's a growth of some sort. Either way, I can't look away. You can't either, can you? He can't take HIS eyes away from something, either. What is it?

I wish I could ask Double Butt Boy what he's so fascinated with. If he were looking at a picture of his butt, I'd understand. And I'd be standing right there with him. But he's looking at some sort of religious depiction and I don't get it. The top part appears to be the Virgin Mary (I'm not sure but it's a good guess, don't you think?) but what's underneath Mary? It looks like a little boy in a red t-shirt holding her up and he seems QUITE out of place. Strange. I think I'll call it "Our Lady of the Creepy Village and Little Tomas From Down The Street."

Can I just say what we're all thinking? This artist was hitting the margaritas a little too hard while painting this mural.

So that's it. That's all I got of the creepy little village at Rico's. I haven't been back there yet, but I hear that they are painting a new mural in its place. I can't wait to see what wonderful new characters await me there. I'll have get in there soon to take a look.

As soon as I come up with a good disguise . . .

Monday, June 29, 2009

Statues, skeletons and bulls . . . oh my!

I spent the weekend in the Hill Country, between Hunt and Ingram, Texas. On Saturday, we decided to see what treasures the stores in Ingram held so we piled into the car and headed to town. After about 5 minutes in the back seat, with no A/C circulating to me, I contemplated throwing myself out of the car so that I could at least feel the breeze as I flew through the air. But we arrived at the shops just as I was opening the door, so I was spared.

The first shop we went in belonged to a woman I like to call "Don't Touch Any of My Things" Lady. From the moment we walked in, she followed us around at an uncomfortably close range. She was right behind me or right next to me but always RIGHT there. When someone else came into her shop, she would go see them and then come back to where we were. I guess she thought that we wouldn't be able to resist the creepy doll heads, the beetles preserved in the middle of a block of plexi-glass, or the shell lamps circa 1985. I was half-tempted to put my purse under my shirt and act like I was trying to smuggle something out just to see what she would do. But I wasn't sure that I wanted to spend the night in the Ingram jail so I didn't.

The next shop we went into was a bit scary. It seems that shop owners in the Hill Country have an affinity for strange mannequins/statues. This store was no exception. Upon entering, we were greeted by this life-size statue . . .
This might have been better suited for a painting on canvas or maybe a small collectible for the kitchen counter. But a life size statue? It scares me.

This same store SPECIALIZED in scary. We turned the corner and saw this . . .

Need a closer look? So did I. Here you go . . .

What the . . .?? It's like Thriller meets Gone With The Wind meets Zorro. So strange. And my L-5 hurts just looking at the lady in the green - I didn't know if I should buy her or give her a muscle relaxer. Are people buying these things?? Do they think "Oh, look! A sway-back skeleton dressed up like a 19th century Mexican! Wouldn't that look great on the table in my foyer?"

Or "I've always wanted a skeleton that looked like Phyllis Diller!"

Or "Oh, look! A picture of what I'll look like when I finally get married!"

I know you're gonna be surprised to hear this, but we didn't find anything worth buying in the shops in Ingram. It was quite a disappointment. But that was ok because we had a big night ahead of us: we were going to the Crider Rodeo in Hunt, Texas and that promised to be a night of excitement.

Well, not so much. We arrived at the rodeo a little early so that we could get dinner at the grill that was on the property with the rodeo. We got the best burgers we'd had in a long time and were only slightly troubled by the fact that they were cooked by a sweaty woman in a sports bra. After we ate, we started to head over to the rodeo and were stopped by a man who must tell his barber "Give me the George Jones." He wanted to know if we were going to be coming back for the dance after the rodeo. We told him we weren't. He wanted to know why.

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay . . .

We told him that we had kiddos with us and that we had to get them down. He told us that there would be lots of kids there until 1 am and then waited for our response. He was persistent, that's for sure. Then we found out that he was the promoter for the "star" of the post-rodeo concert. I asked him who the star was and he told me his name was Jeff Griffith. I'd never heard of him. That was awkward. But, apparently, he has two number one hits on the country charts, a number one hit in Europe, and one that is going to be number one soon. Curious, I asked this man - this PROMOTER - what the names were of the songs that were number one on the country charts. His answer? "I don't actually know the names of the songs but they hit number one." Hmmmmmmm. Then, hearing where we were from, he told us about another guy he promoted who was from Willis. Again, I'd never heard of him. Again . . . awkward.

Perhaps promoting wasn't the best career choice for our little friend . . .

The rodeo was fun to watch. They played Leigh Anne Rhymes's version of The National Anthem while a young woman ran her horse around the arena with the flag. When she'd done her 20th lap and Leigh Anne was still on the first half of the song, I started to feel awkward. Finally, that was over and the rodeo began. The bull-riders weren't very successful - they were all thrown off within a couple of seconds. But I got some good shots . . .

This one was taken just before I took off running AWAY from the fence I was shooting through:

And I got some pictures of the cowboys . . .

Don't judge me.

The calf-roping was no better - none of the competitors were able to rope one. But the barrel racing would be more successful, right? Nope. They all hit the barrels and one knocked a barrel down. I was tempted to go put MY name in for one of the events to see if I could win any money.

But, sadly, the whole Hill Country experience had to come to an end. And now I'm home.

With no life-size statues, skeletons, or cowboys to show for it . . .

Friday, June 26, 2009

People really buy this stuff?

Today we spent the afternoon in Fredericksburg, walking around Main Street and checking out the local shops. We found one antique shop that really set itself apart. And by "set itself apart" I mean "scared the bejeezus out of us." After walking around for just a few minutes, we determined that we'd rather spend the night in a graveyard than get locked in that store overnight. It was such a strange collection of things no one would ever buy and I wished that I had you all there with me. So, since you WEREN'T there, let me give you a tour of this lovely establishment and some of its terrifying items/lovely antiques for your home or office . . .

First, meet the twins . . .
and their cousin . . .
Sure these things are right out of a Stephen King novel. Sure they may come alive at night, sing haunting melodies, and do malicious things to anyone or anything that happens to cross their paths. But they would look GREAT in your home.

Next, meet the twins' latest victim . . .

This "antique" just screams "Fredericksburg." Actually, I think it probably screams "HELP! The twins have my torso!" but let's not argue that point. What we should focus on is how great this would look as a coat rack right inside your front door. You should totally get it.

Next, we have the life-size Mary and Jesus . . .

I hope the Lord forgives me for saying this but . . . if you're not decorating a church, this would just be a strange buy. I'm not saying any more than that because I still need to get home safely.

Another item available for purchase is this nice stuffed wolf: Notice the bared teeth. This is nature at its finest, friends.

Next, we have a cubby of hooves from various animals . . .
It doesn't matter if your decor is traditional or contemporary, dismemberment transcends all decorative styles. And think of all the ways you can use these: back-scratchers, pointers, page-turners, or even fly-swatters. Seriously, you should get one.

Next, we have a horse with a crazed look in his eye.

Sure it's possible that this thing comes alive at night, too. But isn't that a risk you'd be willing to take for something that looks as loveable as this little guy?

Among its decorative items, this store also has antique light fixtures. Well, they're not so much "antique light fixtures" as they are "fixtures that someone hung an antique from." Case in point: the ever-popular "cheese grater" light . . .

or the "what do I do with all these burned-out light bulbs" light . . .

This store also had literature in the form of antique books:
Man, they just don't have creative titles anymore like they used to, do they?

And we found a tapestry that had a picture on it that I like to call "Dark Days on the Frontier."

Seriously - what is this guy doing? And why did someone think this would make a lovely tapestry to hang in your home?

Finally, we have an antique gynecologist chair . . .
Because what good host doesn't want to offer his guests some stirrups?

After we left that store, we went to the Five and Dime where we discovered some exciting news:
Now, I have no idea what Blue Waltz perfume is but it apparently has been hard to find. Perhaps there had been a shortage? I don't know. We found some bottles of this apparently precious commodity over by the register:

Looks amazing, doesn't it? And it's only $3.99 - what a steal! If anyone wants me to pick some up for you, let me know . . . I know where to get it.

So that was our day in Fredericksburg. We walked away with no antiques and with no Blue Waltz perfume and I think we are going to regret that for the rest of our lives.

But at least I got some good ideas on what to do with my cheese grater.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Baby Got Buoy

Early this morning I headed out to San Antonio for a deposition that I had to attend. I passed a Buc-ees on my way out there but, as I was running late for the depo, I could not stop for Beaver Nuggets. I put my hand and forehead on my driver's-side window and looked longingly in their direction as I passed but, alas, I had to drive on.

The deposition was a pretty short one - we were in and out in about 2 hours. Normally after a deposition, I head back to work. But not today. Today, I continued West to Hunt, Texas, where I met my friends Diana, Joley, Jerry, Phil, Olivia, and Taylor for some quality time in the Hill Country. A nice, relaxing weekend . . .

And then I had to put my bathing suit on.

I had spent the drive out here giving myself a pep talk, knowing I'd be strutting around in all my bathing-suit glory in T - 4.5 hours. I had been telling myself things like: "Pale is the new tan." and "Big thighs might help me swim faster." and "Maybe I'll get into a bloody car wreck before I get there." But, eventually, I arrived in one piece . . . with my one-piece mocking me from my suitcase. I thought "Maybe they're swimmed-out and will want to sit around in jeans and sweatshirts instead." But the second I got in the house, Olivia and Taylor (8 and 4) wanted to go swimming.

With me.

So I put my swimsuit on and put some yoga pants on over it in an effort to put off the big reveal until the last possible moment. Thankfully, Diana and Joley were both wearing shorts into the pool so, not wanting to deviate from the apparent trend, I decided to just wear my yoga pants in, too. Of course, I didn't think through what water-soaked yoga pants suctioned to my thighs would look like when I got out, but it provided temporary relief from my bathing suit phobia. Aaaaaaaaaaand helped those around me to not DEVELOP a phobia of my suit.

We played Marco Polo for a while and I remembered how much I used to hate that game. I mean, it's fun when you're one of the "polo" people but it really sucks when you're Marco. And that's just what I need to add to my bathing suit insecurity: make me bounce around the pool with my eyes closed, arms flailing, and yelling "Marco!" You just can't help but feel cool.

Then we started throwing a little ball around to each other and that turned into a game of don't-let-it-touch-the-water-or-you-lose. We decided that if anyone let the ball touch the water, that person had to get out of the pool, climb up the slide, and slide down into the pool.

Let me tell you a little bit about this slide. It's a tall, narrow, plastic slide that looks like it will barely fit my butt. I briefly had visions of getting lodged in it somewhere mid-slide and having to have my friends cut me out. If armpits can sweat in a pool, mine did.

There was no way I was going to drop that ball.

So we started throwing the ball around and, one by one, everyone dropped it and had to go down the slide. Except me. I was diving for the ball, swallowing water, taking gallons of water up the nose - whatever I had to do to catch that stupid ball. Then they ganged up on me. Phil threw the ball high into the air and it was coming down right at me. I looked up, centered myself beneath it, and was preparing my trash-talk of "You have to work a lot harder than that to trip Catherine Palmore up" when the ball slipped right through my hands and smacked into the water.

Things began to move in slow motion . . . NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

So I got out of the pool, my yoga pants soaked and clinging to my thighs for dear life. I felt particularly attractive. I made the climb up to the top of the slide (which is really quite awkward after the age of 10), sat down at the top, quickly said a prayer for minimal friction, and pushed off. It was actually kind of fun. And I wasn't even embarrassed that I had to hold my nose as I came flying into the water. I mean, really - that was the least of my concerns at that point.

Then we changed the rules and decided that anyone who let the ball hit the water had to do a cannonball. I wish I could tell you that I didn't have to get up and do one but I did. You know, as a girl, you really can't win with a cannonball because you want to be cool so you don't want it to be a wimpy one. But, on the other hand, you don't want everyone to be blown away by the big tidal wave you and your big butt create when you jump in. It's really a fine line to walk. I'm not sure where my cannonball fell on that line. I'm not really sure I WANT to know . . .

After we were all through with our games, Joley asked if I sink or float in the pool. As my affinity for Swiss Cake Rolls and Mexican food has made me quite buoyant, I was surprised by the question. I figured it would be obvious. I thought to myself "Maybe these yoga pants really DID conceal my fat! God bless Old Navy!" and calmly answered that I THOUGHT I would float. We laid on our backs and all floated peacefully. Suddenly, I became aware of something that horrified me: my body was turning on its own so that my butt was floating upward. My butt was ACTUALLY rising to the top. Like a big, yoga-pant wearing buoy.

How embarrassing.

Thankfully, it was time to get out of the pool and head to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. You would think that my experience in the pool today would have curbed my appetite but it didn't. I ate all the chips and tortillas I wanted and decided that was a perfectly smart and healthy thing to do.

Because, let's face it . . . my butt's gonna save me from drowning some day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seriously - why are you standing there?

This weekend I went to the movies with my mom, my sisters, my best friend, and one of my dear friends, Kelly. After we found our seats, I ran to the restroom. As I approached the ladies' room, I could see that the line was out the door. That was unfortunate for me because I had downed a LOT of water at dinner and was in pretty bad shape. I contemplated bullying my way to the front of the line but some of the ladies in front of me were too big for me to take so I just waited patiently.

There are a lot of things to think about when you're standing in line in a public restroom but my mind always goes to one particular thing: which stall will I get. Sometimes I entertain myself by trying to predict it and, if I'm right, I smile awkwardly as I pass the girl who just left the winning stall. But most often, as I stand there, I'm hoping and praying that I don't get the first stall.

I HATE the first stall. You do, too. Maybe you don't spend ridiculous amounts of time thinking about it. And maybe you don't find your heart racing when you think about it. But you hate it, too. It usually has a HUGE gap between the wall and the door frame that leaves you very vulnerable to passersby. But that's not the worst part. When there's a long line, people inevitably end up standing RIGHT IN FRONT of the first stall. And they're leaning back against the wall which means that they are FACING your stall. And that means that you have an audience while you're trying to do your business. And if it's a kid standing there - FORGET it.

Why do people stand there? I'm getting mad just thinking about it. I mean, if you're standing there facing me, then my attention necessarily has to be on you. I have to make sure that you're not looking into my stall and I have to concentrate on keeping a very stern look on my face in case we make eye contact. I come up with snappish things to say if we do. Like "can I help you?" or "are you at least going to buy me dinner?" or "would you like me to pose for a picture?" Then I think it might not be a good idea to invite photography at such a moment so I scratch that one. Under the circumstances, I really want to be able to hurry up and get on my way but with all the perverts staring into my stall, I'm really too preoccupied to get things done quickly. It really wears me out.

So this weekend as I stood there, waiting for my turn, I had my eye on that first stall and on the girl standing there facing it. I began to sweat and prepare myself to turn to the lady behind me and say "You look like you have to go more than I do so go ahead and take that stall." But, after all that worrying, the first stall opens up for the girl in front of me and I'm safe. I end up getting a stall toward the end, out of the way of the encroaching line. I breathe a sigh of relief, use the restroom, and head back to the theater.

But I'm normal, right??

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


So I went to the dermatologist today. I haven't been since I was in junior high so I figured I was due for a visit. The nurse came in and asked me what all I needed done so I told her. She took down the notes and then asked "Do you want an upper body check-up today, too?" almost as if she was asking "Would you like fries with that?" I said sure - why the heck not?

Before she left the room, she gave me a paper top to put on. She told me that the doctor was running behind so I didn't need to put the top on just yet and that she'd come back to let me know when it was time to put it on. So I sat in the room and waited for her to come back with the heads up. But, instead, the doctor walked in. I explained to him that I had been waiting for the nurse to tell me when to put the paper top on but that he beat her to me. He said no problem, he'd step out and let me put it on real quick.

And thus began my adventures with the paper top. Have you ever had to use one of these? It's folded up and has the thickness of two-ply toilet paper. Well, maybe a little thicker, but not much. I briefly considered walking out and taking my chances with skin cancer. But, instead, I took my shirt off and went to unfold the paper top. That's when I discovered that you have to tear it apart at the folds - like you would tear a piece of paper at a perforation. But when you're standing in an exam room with no top on, knowing the doctor will be in any second, this is not easily done. Plus, you have to be sure that you're not tearing an actual seam because that would render the top useless and would provide no privacy. The problem is, until the shirt is completely unfolded, you can't make out the shape so you don't know where the seams are. So you just shoot nervous glances toward the door, pull frantically at the paper, and hope that you have an intact top when it all comes undone. It's all very nerve-racking.

Finally I get it on - with the opening in the back, of course. I stand in front of the little mirror that they so graciously provide and I am horrified. The little paper top is a stinkin' crop top. Like circa 1989. All I'm missing is a pair of shoulder pads and a pair of pleated pants. And it does NOT cover my stomach. It's like a bad Britney Spears video. I try to slump over to make the crop top meet the top of my pants and that seems to work. I walk, slumped over, to the exam table and sit down. I'm relieved that when I sit AND slump, everything is covered and I don't have to come up with clever things to say to the doctor like "guess I shouldn't have had that Mexican food for the last 33 years!" or "do I see YOU or my GP about excessive bloating?" Things of this nature. I breathe a sigh of relief.

The doctor comes in to do the upper body check-up and immediately takes the paper top off of me.

Ummmmm . . . what the heck just happened?

But I'm mature. I sit there - just me, my bra, and every flaw I've ever tried to hide - and converse about what I do for a living while the doctor, an inch away from my skin, scans my upper body from behind his jeweler's glasses. I break out my very best posture and try to suck in everything that I can - this is damage control at its best, my friends.

Finally, the exam is over and I get to put my shirt back on. Not that it matters anymore - the doctor knows my deep, dark secret . . .

I do NOT have Hip Hop abs.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bad Hair Day Monday . . . The Sir Lancemullet!!

Well, we've explored my mullet in its many phases: the early years, the scraggly years, the Permullet and now the fourth and final phase . . . the bobbed mullet, which I shall henceforth call The Sir Lancemullet. And I like to say it with dramatic flair. And an English accent. I think it deserves no less . . .

Seriously - who let me get this haircut? This is nothing short of criminal. And, lucky for me, it's preserved for posterity in my 5th grade yearbook. I look like I was transported straight from King Arthur's table, don't I? It's ridiculous . . . isn't it, m'lady?

There are a lot of great things going on here with this particular haircut. First, don't you love the curled bangs? Adds a feminine touch to this Medieval pageboy look, doesn't it? Second, notice to meticulous cut across the ear. A soft slope down the ear would NOT do - this mullet had to make a statement about the beautiful relationship between the ear and the hairline - the provocative lobe peep show that can be achieved. It's amazing. Don't be jealous.

Third, one of the best things about this bobbed mullet is that it shows off my cowlick. Like so . . .

I know, I know. I make natural beauty look easy.

Fourth, check out the blunt, uneven cut on the bob. You would THINK that the well-trained folks at the ever-so-classy Fantastic Sam's would have done better than this. But, apparently, the women they hired had some anger issues they were working out on my hair:

By the look on my face, I think it's clear that I'm planning a bloody revenge while getting a unicorn painted on my cheek. I can't even bring myself to smile at the skating rink with my friend:
Well, could YOU?

And that rounds out the many faces of my mullet. First through fifth grade . . . that's dedication to a haircut, people. And can you believe we haven't even gotten to my awkward phase yet??

Ps - if any of you have bad hair pics that you don't mind me posting and making LOTS of fun of, email them to me! I promise I'll give you anonymity if you request it! :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

I would NEVER do that . . .

My roomie Melissa and I recently got caught up in a reality show on the Discovery Channel called "Out of the Wild: The Alaskan Experiment" - have you seen this one? It's obviously based on the book "Into the Wild" which is about the guy who went into the Alaskan wilderness but didn't survive. So this reality show takes 9 contestants into the wild and they have to try to make it back to civilization. They each have a GPS tracker on and they have the option of pushing a rescue button on the tracker which will summon a helicopter to take them out of the wild forever. One by one they reach their breaking points and elect to bail out of the "experiment" until the final four reach the end of the challenge and make it back to civilization.

The experience they have on the show includes over 50 miles of hiking through brutal conditions and terrain, spending the night in tents or occasional cabins in below freezing weather, and eating squirrels, mice, ptarmigan, and porcupine. At least once on each episode, you see them skinning and gutting some animal that they've caught for dinner. Once they showed them squeezing guts out of a mouse's rear and I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit. I put my lunch aside and thought to myself: "There is not enough money in the world to make me eat a mouse, especially after I've just squeezed guts out of it's butt . . ." Then, as the show went on, the narrator explained that the contestants were not competing for money but, rather, for the satisfaction of having completed the challenge.


If I'm going to eat a rodent of any kind, I expect to be paid handsomely for it. But, even if they paid lots of money, I think I can safely say that I will never be signing up for that show.

That got me thinking about other things I'd never do. Like . . .

1. I'll never sign up for The Biggest Loser. I mean, don't get me wrong - I'd love the challenge and the training and the resulting weight loss. But there's no way in HELL that I'm standing on a scale on national television in biker shorts and a sports bra. Plus, I'm not sure that I'd ever get past the trauma of the producers looking at me and saying "Oh, yeah - she'll be PERFECT for the show." No thank you.

2. I'll never bungee jump. Why do people think this is fun?? First, I don't want to plummet head-first toward any surface. Second, I don't want to be stopped by a rope that's tied around my ankles. That just seems painful. Plus, I think I would end up like that poor mouse because the whole experience would end up squeezing something out of my butt. I bet it would be the mother of all chiropractic adjustments, though. But that's not enough to make it tempting - I'll say "no thanks" to bungee jumping.

3. I'll never streak across a baseball field, or anywhere else for that matter. Why do people do this?? They are CLEARLY not burdened with the insecurities that I have. I mean, there's no way you can suck your gut in while employing football-like dodging techniques to avoid being captured by the poor policeman who drew the short straw and had to chase you. Plus, the thought of any part of my body jiggling on the Jumbotron gives me sweaty armpits. No - I think I'll leave streaking up to the crazies.

Can I get an Amen on any of these?

Well, I'm off to bed. Here's hoping that I don't dream about fat, naked people bungee jumping on the Jumbotron!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mama tried, mama tried . . .

My mom. God bless 'er. In addition to teaching us good grammar, she took a very creative approach to correcting bad habits that she saw us developing. They didn't always stick but they left funny memories. And it's great to have funny memories from your childhood, don't you think? So I thought I'd share some of my mom's creativity with you . . .

"Don't slump!"
My mom hated it when we would slouch because she wanted her girls to have good posture. She was always on us about it, especially at the dinner table . . . I guess she didn't like it when our chins hit the table. Not one to give up easily, she decided to make us eat dinner while balancing a book on our heads. This might sound like a good idea until The Great Gatsby comes crashing down into your meatloaf. But we had to give her credit for trying.

"Take smaller bites!"
My mom also hated it when we put too much food in our mouths. So, being the creative mom that she is, she came up with what she thought was the perfect solution: she drew a red circle on our plates and we had to put any bite of food in that circle first before we could put it in our mouths. If the bite was bigger than the circle, it was too big and we had to fix it before we could eat it. This was annoying at the time but kind of funny to think about now. My mom was proud of her idea . . . until we started noticing red streaks through our mashed potatoes. It was then that my mom realized that she hadn't used a permanent marker. So that idea was short-lived, thank GOODNESS. And we're still waiting to find out if we have some sort of ink poisoning from the whole thing.

"That doesn't sound like a very nice song."
I remember one time I was singing "Papa Don't Preach" at the top of my lungs and my mom asked me what I was singing. I told her and then she asked me if I knew what that song was about. Here is the chorus:

Papa don't preach
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach
I've been losing sleep
But I've made up my mind
I'm keepin' my baby

So it was an easy question to answer. This song is OBVIOUSLY about how this girl's dad is a preacher and she is telling him not to preach anymore. And she OBVIOUSLY calls her boyfriend "baby" and she's telling her dad that she is not going to break up with him. I had no idea that she was singing about an unplanned pregnancy and that she didn't want her dad lecturing her about it. That was an awkward conversation. And from Madonna - who knew she was so risque, right?? I'm glad I wasn't walking around singing "Like a Virgin" instead . . .

So my mom decided that we needed to really pay attention to the words of the songs that we were singing. Her next creative idea was to make us write down the lyrics to a song that we liked and then read them at the dinner table so that we could discuss what they meant. Erin picked "Walk this Way" by Aerosmith and Run DMC. Let me tell ya, people, you have not seen awkward until you've sat across from Erin as she reads dryly: "Walk this way. Talk this way. Walk this way. Just gimme a kiss."

I chose the song All Cried Out by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. I had taken the task very seriously and had sat in front of my "jambox" rewinding the tape over and over until I had recorded the entire song in my little spiral. It wasn't full of little gems like Erin's choice was but it was much less awkward to discuss around the dinner table. Unfortunately, a week or so later I left the spiral I had written the lyrics in over at my neighbors', Tiffany and Alana's, house. Their mom found the spiral, opened it up, and stumbled across the lyrics for All Cried Out. The problem was that she had never heard the song so she thought I had written it myself. At the age of 11. You can imagine her distress when she read:

All alone on a Sunday morning
Outside I see the rain is falling
Inside I'm slowly dying
But the rain will hide my crying

And you, don't you know my tears will burn the pillow
Set this place on fire 'cause I'm tired of your lies
All I needed was a simple "Hello"
But the traffic was so noisy that you could not hear my cry

Ah, I gave you my love in vain
My body never knew such pleasure
My heart never knew such pain
And you, you leave me so confused
Now I'm all cried out over you

Never wanted to see things you way
I had to go astray, oh, why was I such a fool?
Now I see that the grass is greener
why oh why
Is it too late for me to find my way home,
How could I be so wrong?
Leavin' me all alone

Don't you know the heart will cause an inferno
Romance up in flames, why should I take the blame
You were the one who left me neglected
I'm so sorry
Apology not accepted, add me to the broken hearts you collected

Ah, I gave you all of me
gave me all of you
How was I to know you would weaken so easily
Ah, I don't what to do
I'm all cried out over you

Ah, I gave you my love in vain
My body never knew such pleasure
My heart never knew such pain
And you
I left you so confused, now I'm all cried out
Now I'm all cried out....over you

My body never knew such pleasure?? Needless to say, Vicki and Richard planned an intervention with my parents to let them know that I was deeply troubled. And possibly a tramp. But my parents were able to clear things up and explain the purpose of the lyrics in my spiral.

And we never had to write the words of songs again.

You don't know how glad I am that this all happened LONG before "I Touch Myself" came out because THAT would have been awkward . . .

So here's to my mom and her never-ending creativity. As I sit here slouched over my computer with my mouth stuffed with too many pretzels and humming Papa Don't Preach, I declare: YOU DONE GOOD, MOM!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WiiFit, MiiFat

I've been in trial for the last two weeks and have not been working out. And let me tell ya, people - these abs aren't gonna get Hip Hop by the themselves, know what I'm sayin'?? So tonight I spent some time thinking about working out (you have to ease into these things, you know . . .) and have decided that I'm going to add WiiFit back into my workout routine. Have you ever done WiiFit? It's pretty fun to add into your routine but isn't really enough to be your total workout. But, although it's fun, there is a problem with it . . . it is absolutely brutal on your self esteem.

When you first fire it up, you have to create an avatar - that's the fun part of the process because you get to make it look just like you. Then you have to step on the little WiiFit board and let it weigh you. This is where things get personal. See, the WiiFit doesn't just tell you your weight. It puts your avatar on the screen and has it looking really excited for the results - like pacing and biting its nails. On the right side of the screen, there is a scale that resembles the "Test Your Strength" game that you see at carnivals. You know - the one where you hit it with a hammer and the thing goes up and up and up and tells you how strong you are? Well, that's how it tells you your weight - by having the arrow go up and up and up until it gets to your weight. That's bad enough. But the really bad thing is what is happening on the left side of the screen with the avatar.

While the arrow is going up and up and up, the avatar is getting fatter and fatter and fatter. It's horrifying. Then when the weight is revealed, the avatar puts its arms out and looks down at itself as if to say "What the . . . ?!?!?" while you stand in your living room feeling ashamed and mouthing an apology to your poor, unsuspecting avatar. To make matters worse, WiiFit has your avatar dressed in skin-tight yoga clothes which stretch with your avatar as you blimp up. And your belly is showing. It's such a blow to the self esteem. And, as if THAT wasn't enough, every time you weigh, you have to experience it all over again. You would think that your avatar would start out at your last weight and then get skinnier as you do. Don't you think that would be much more encouraging? But instead, it starts you off really skinny and blimps you up every time. So you could lose ten pounds in one week and still walk away with your head hung because you just had to watch your avatar get sucker-punched with a spare tire and a Lane Bryant credit card.

My roomies have avatars on there, too, and it's so embarrasing that my avatar is like a heavy-weight giant compared to theirs. And I can't escape the comparison because every time I turn the game on, all the avatars come running out. Melissa's and Tara's come out running daintily while mine comes bounding out, flat-footed to meet them. Then my avatar has to stand there with theirs, modeling my yoga pants and belly shirt. They might as well have a swimsuit competition on there to really drive my self-esteem into the ground.

So, wait . . . WHY am I wanting to start WiiFit again??

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bad hair day Monday - I mean Tuesday . . .The Scraggullet

Between my early mullet years and the infamous Permullet years, my mullet went through a difficult time. These were dark years . . . the Scraggly years, when my hair was too long, too dry, and plagued with split ends. I shall call this era the Scraggullet.

Try as I may, my mullet just looked rough every day. Looking back now, I can see that that it was a tell-tale sign that I had outgrown Johnson's No More Tears and was ready for something a little more heavy duty. Honestly, don't we all outgrow it pretty early on? I mean, it's just a bottle of soap that sucks all the moisture out of your hair, isn't it? Well, I had DEFINITELY outgrown it by the 2nd grade but, alas, we didn't know. And the result was not pretty . . .

I look at this picture and I can actually hear my hair crying out to me, panting "water . . . I need waaaaaaaater . . ." I just want to reach through the picture and rub some leave-in conditioner in that mess to put it out of its misery. It actually hurts me to look at it now. I think the worst thing about it, though, is that I was obviously clueless about how bad it looked. I mean, it's clear I put my hair over my shoulder because I thought it looked cute - why? And why didn't I put it over the other shoulder to hide the stripes on my shirt that don't line up? If only I could do picture day all over again.

Having ridiculously dry, scraggly hair made grooming pretty difficult. Luckily, I had a loving mom who would brush my mullet every morning before school.

Doesn't she look so happy to be there? I remember these early morning brushings fondly - standing there for what seemed like an eternity, the brush ripping through the No More Tears knots (which, ironically, reduced me to tears) and my mom lovingly mumbling under her breath that she was going to "cut this damn hair off." Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah memories . . .

And, speaking of memories . . . how can I talk about my Scraggullet without mentioning the skating rink?

Notice how it's in tip-top shape for my attempt at the reverse skate. I remember skating around the rink, my mullet blowing in the breeze, the dry ends slapping passersby and causing fairly serious retinal injuries. Those were the days.

But the Scraggullet had to come to an end. It's part of the natural evolution of the mullet. It was too long, too dry, and just too darn scraggly. And it wasn't becoming anymore . . .

When your hair looks like that, it's time for a change, my friends. Ooooooooooooor it's time for you to wear ugly striped pants to draw everyone's eyes away from the stringy, dry mess on your head. Either way works really.

But, as we know, I permed that puppy up and Santa only had to bring me some PermaSoft and a pick that Christmas.

And the rest is history.

Monday, June 15, 2009

UP and down . . .

Well, I'm in trial again this week, folks! Unfortunately, that means that Bad Hair Day Monday will have to become Bad Hair Day Tuesday . . . I should have more time tomorrow to scan in all the bad pics for your viewing enjoyment! Soooooooooo, in the meantime, allow me to tell you this little story . . .

Last week, while preparing for my LAST trial, my niece Savannah IM'd me on facebook. She's six now and just finished kindergarten so she's not really what one might call a "fast" typist. In fact, with her, it really is not INSTANT messaging at all - it's more like EVENTUAL messaging. But the whole thing was so cute . . . and I was able to get a LOT of work done in between messages.

In our "EM"s (see how I incorporated my eventual messaging thing there? Keep up, people . . .) we decided to go see a movie on Saturday - either Night at the Museum 2 or UP because they both looked SO funny and we love funny movies. Saturday rolled around and she decided that she wanted to go see UP so my sister, her two kids, my mom, and I met up at the theater. We walked in - loaded down with popcorn, Sour Patch Kids, drinks, and napkins galore - and sat down in the seats my mom had saved for us. The lights went down and the movie started.

And so did the career of Savannah Ebert.

For those of you who don't know, UP is a Pixar movie about an old man who is befriended by a slightly annoying but endearing young boy scout who wins the old man over. That's what we knew going into it. The movie starts off in black and white and shows the old man as a young boy watching film of his hero flying off in a zeppelin in search of adventure. At this point, Savannah is over the whole thing. She scrunches up her face in disgust and proclaims loudly, "This is a bad movie. I mean, it's all black and gray even." Tough audience.

Then the young version of the old man meets his future wife and Pixar sums up their life together through a series of clips of them throughout the years. The two of them at their wedding. The two of them painting their mailbox. Building their house. Decorating their house. Laying on the grass, watching clouds take shape. Watching clouds turn into babies. Painting their nursery. In the doctor's office while the doctor gives them bad news and they hang their heads in sadness. And then painting over their nursery.

What the heck kind of movie is this???

Savannah says loudly, as if explaining this to the less sophisticated viewers within earshot "he doesn't want to be her husband anymore." My mom, not wanting her to get the wrong idea of this happily married couple, swallows her popcorn quickly and explains, "No, the doctor is telling them . . . ummmmmm . . . that . . . ummmmm . . . [suddenly, my mom doesn't want to have to explain this to a six year old in the middle of a movie theater but she's in it now and she can't get out] . . . they lost their baby." Savannah screws up her face again in a "what the heck?" expression and looks back at the screen as the life in pictures continues.

The two of them growing old. Walking up a hill to have a picnic and look at clouds together again. Cleaning the house. Him buying tickets for them to go to the place she's always wanted to go. Her collapsing on a hillside. Her in the hospital. And him at her funeral.


Savannah is apparently processing all this information at the same time I am because she says loudly but calmly: "Well, this is a horrible movie. I should have picked Night at the Museum 2."

Then the man beats a young guy over the head with his cane and causes him to bleed. The police come to arrest him and then you see him in court. The consequence for his assault? He has to move out of the house he built with his wife and move into a retirement home.

The movie has been on less than 15 minutes and I'm already trying to cut my wrists with a sharp popcorn kernel.

When the retirement home folks come to pick him up, he unleashes a gazillion balloons that carry his house away with him in it. While he's flying in the air, his house gets into a storm cloud and is knocked around pretty badly. All of his precious mementos of his life with his wife start flying all around and breaking and he's trying frantically to catch them all. Savannah shakes her head and says, "Man, it's a hard life without his wife." And then goes on to remind us that this is a horrible movie.

The old man encounters problem after problem in trying to re-locate his house and Savannah finally exclaims, "Well, none of this would have happened if he had just NOT hit that guy in the head! This is just a bad movie . . ."

It eventually picked up a LITTLE bit. I mean, there were some funny parts but it really was kind of a downer movie over all. Luckily we had my mom with us so she took the opportunity afterward to cheer us all up by telling Savannah (in a chipper voice, no less), "That's how I feel without Grandpa!"

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand then she went to submit her resume with the writers at Pixar . . .

So that's my little review of UP - what a terribly misleading title. You may like it more than Savannah or I did. But, I'll tell you this . . . if Pixar comes out with a movie called "DOWN," count me out.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Whenever I travel, I always meet interesting people. And by "interesting" I mean "fun to make fun of later." I love that God puts these people in my pathway - I think He knows I love a good story and I appreciate that He humors me.

A few years ago, I had to travel to McAllen, Texas to appear at a hearing for work. It was an interesting experience as I had never been to the Valley. My cab driver spoke only Spanish so I was excited to use my Spanish from the airport to hotel. I stayed overnight at a hotel and then caught a cab to the courthouse the next morning. Again, my cab driver did not speak English so I got to speak Spanish to him, as well. I was loving McAllen. I got to the courthouse and found the courtroom where the hearing would be held. The judge came in and began doing docket call. She'd say the name of each case and the lawyers present would stand up and announce ready. They all had very latino names and pronounced them very quickly like the occasional hispanic news reporter does. I was surprised that the court reporter never missed a beat: "Alicia De La Guerra for the defendant" or "Ramon Garcia de la Garza for the plaintiff" or "Anulfo de la Playa del Carmen for the defendant." Ok - the last one I made up but you get the point. I was really impressed with her that she could type all those names with no problem at all! But I was MOST surprised when I stood up and said "Catherine Palmore for the defendant" and she threw up her arms in frustration and told me to slow down.

I'm sorry . . . what?

I tried again, a bit more slowly: "Catherine Palmore for the defendant . . .??" She looked at the me as if she'd given up on me and then looked at the judge for help. For a second I honestly thought I was about to be held in contempt. The whole courtroom was looking at me by that point and I kept replaying the whole thing in my head to see if I had accidentally cussed or something instead of saying my name. Then the judge had me spell it out for her and I was in the clear. Phew . . .

On my flight home, I sat by an "interesting" lady who might be THE most talkative person I've met to date. And that's a lot coming from a Palmore. ANYWAY, I sat down in the seat next to her and the show was on. She took breaths only when necessary for survival: "Hi. How are you? Is this your first time to McAllen? [no pause for an answer] I just moved her not too long ago. I actually come from Cincinnati. I know, I know - I'm a "yankee." [laughs heartily at her own joke]. Have you been to Cincinnati? [no pause for answer] It's a great city. But I do love McAllen. I just got married a few months ago. I know, I know - I'm a little old for getting married, huh? Well, he is just the greatest. He was definitely worth waiting for! We're renting a house right now while we're building. You should see our floorplan! It's unbelievable. We were going to pick one floorplan - I think it was floorplan A or something like that - but then we decided that we really wanted an office and that floorplan didn't have an office. So we went with floorplan C. We are so excited. [noticing the sun shining on my face . . .] Oh! The sun's hitting you right in the eye, isn't it? Let me close the shade here. [distracted by the view . . .] Look at how small the cars are from way up here! I bet this is how God sees us. [laughing heartily at her own joke again] Don't you think? We're just all like a bunch of teeny tiny little bugs from that far away, huh? Have you ever seen the cars look so small? Man, we must be REALLY high up . . ." And it went on like this forEVER, bouncing around from topic to topic. I think I spoke 10 words the whole time! But despite the fact that she was preventing me - a talker - from talking, I enjoyed sitting next to her. She had so much to say and seemed so excited about saying it. And I got to practice some courtesy laughs and got a good story out of it so it wasn't a complete waste. What else can you ask for from a plane ride, right?

I thought of that lady yesterday when my mom sent me this video . . .

She is sooooooooooooooooooooo precious, isn't she?? She is REALLY trying to give him some latest bit of news that she heard recently. I just love it. And part of me wishes that I could have been the person sitting next to her so that I could have been a part of the "conversation."

But I have no doubt that I'll be sitting next to her on a plane in 30 years. And I know I'll hear all about it then.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Now that we've all become such good friends, I think it's time that I bare my soul to you and share with you some of my fears in life.

When I was a kid, my parents let my older sister, Tammy, stay up late and watch Jaws with them. Because Erin and I were too young, we were told that we were not allowed to watch it and that we had to go on to bed. It was quite an injustice. I laid in my bed, staring at the ceiling and thinking about what a crock it was that Tammy got to stay up and we didn't. I couldn't get to sleep so I decided to get out of bed and go enjoy the movie. What could be the harm in that, right? So I snuck down to the end of the hallway and watched the movie from there, where no one could see me. It was the most horrible decision I have made to date. At some point, I fled back to my room, terrified and looking over my shoulder to make sure no sharks were following me. I got back to my bedroom door and a dilemma arose. If I could just get to my bed, I would be safe. But I was pretty sure that Jaws was under the bed and I didn't want him to eat me as I approached it. My solution: a mad dash towards the bed and a gravity-defying jump from about five feet away. I almost bounced off the other side (which would have surely defeated the point) but I was able to stay on the bed and avoid having my feet ripped off by the Great White lurking below. For years, this is how I got in bed. And I never let any part of my body hang off the edge for fear that it would be snapped off. Laugh if you must, but know that I still have all of my appendages.

When I was a teenager, I was JUST getting past the idea of Jaws residing under my bed and would even let my foot hang off the bed every once in a while. That's when I made the mistake of watching Nightmare on Elm Street. It was a mistake not only because it was a dumb movie, but because I could not get the vision of Freddy Krueger out of my mind. I was 16 - I wanted to be brave. I really did. But he scared the crud out of me and I knew - I just KNEW - that he was under my bed. As much as I hate to admit this . . . I had to re-institute my running jump method of getting into bed. At 16. That's just embarrassing.

These days, I don't have any fear that anyone or anything is living under my bed. But it's not because I'm mature or rational - it's because there's too much crap under my bed for anyone to fit. Take THAT, Freddy Krueger.

My current fears are MUCH more reasonable . . .

For instance, I'm scared to death of automatic staplers. Seriously, people, they're simply unnerving. I stand there with my stack of papers that I want stapled and I have to work up the courage to do so by staring sternly at the stapler in an effort to intimidate it. I put the corner of the papers in and start to move it back toward the stapling mechanism. At this point, my body involuntarily stiffens as I try to get my head as far away from the thing as possible and my face gets the look you'd get if someone were about to spit in your face - you know, the fluttering eyes that are wanting to close but also wanting to watch long enough to know when the moment is coming. Then BAM!! The staple goes in. I jump, look around to see if anyone saw me, and then get the heck away from the thing. That's totally normal, though . . . right?

And automatic revolving doors. I'm scared of those, too. I don't like the feeling that the door is moving without me and that it will get my heels if I don't move quickly enough. And I REALLY hate the big ones at airports and hotels that have the really big chambers that fit more than one person. Inevitably, someone gets in the same chamber with me and then drags his suitcase behind him JUST enough that it keeps stopping the door. Then you have to wait until the door starts moving again only to have it stop when the guy lets his suitcase get too far behind him again. It's quite maddening. And the whole experience makes my heart race and gives me sweaty armpits.

More recently I've developed a new fear of a snake being in my toilet. I don't know where this has come from but it's here with a vengeance. I check every toilet now for amphibious life before I sit down but then worry that the snake was just hiding back in there and will swim out and get me when I least expect it and am most vulnerable. Honestly, I don't think it's the snake bite that I'm most afraid of. I think what really scares me is that the snake will bite and will hold on for dear life. And that's a 911 call I just don't want to have to make . . .

So there are my fears, friends. And don't you judge me for being irrational in the things that I fear - I bet you have some crazy ones, too. At the VERY least, you're probably afraid of snakes in your toilet now, too.

You're welcome for that.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Comfy? Really?

Well, I'm still in trial and have NO guest blogger for today so please forgive me if I sacrifice my post for a decent night's sleep so that I don't doze off during my closing argument tomorrow . . .

BUT, even though I can't write a full blog, I want to leave you with these two things:

First - today in trial, someone said "I don't want to beat a dead horse to death." Was it professional for me to take my eyes off the judge so that I could write that down? Probably not.

Second - yesterday I had to stop by Tammy's house to pick up a document that she was printing off for me. While her husband, Brian, was upstairs getting it, I sat down with the kiddos and watched a few minutes of America's Funniest Home Videos. Ben (my five year old nephew) sat next to me and cuddled up under my right arm with his arms linked around mine and his head leaned against the top part of my arm. It was all very cuddly and I LOVED it. Until he said, "Catchy, you're comfy."

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm - not sure that's a compliment, really. I mean, a soft bed is comfy. An over-stuffed chair is comfy. But ME? Doesn't he know I'm really looking for "Man, Catchy, your arms are rock-hard! And those abs? Shaun T. would be proud!" Anything other than "comfy."

The only thing that could have made it worse would have been if he had tried to fluff my arm like a pillow . . .

Well, that's it for tonight. Hopefully, I will be back up and blogging tomorrow! For now? I'm off to lay my comfy butt down in my comfy bed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Uttermost Confusion

Hey, everyone! I'm in trial this week and was concerned that I wouldn't be able to post something to my blog while I'm working into the wee hours on, you know, my job. Soooooooooooo my sweet mom stepped in as a guest blogger today and bailed me out! And I'm so glad she did!!! Thanks a million, Mamasita bonita!!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you Nora . . .

While my friend and I were out shopping, we happened to pass a store with a marquee proclaiming it a Consignment store. Well, nothing says bargain like the word "consignment". So in we went and, almost immediately, my friend found two gorgeous lamps. Even I, from the "my-taste-is-all-in-my-mouth" School of Home Decorating thought they were stunning. But if we hadn't already been stunned by the uniqueness of the lamps, we were definitely stunned by the price tag. It seemed quite high. After all, it was a consignment store. So my friend stepped over to the counter to ask about the lamps and inquire if the store ever had sales.

Who knew the Devil from the Devil Wears Prada moonlights as a consignment store clerk! Oh, she had it all: Eyebrows cocked? Check. Looking over her glasses? Check. Tammy Faye make-up? Check. Two unsuspecting customers? Check, check. As we approached, it was apparent she knew she would be forced to put down her Mocha Mocha Latte and open the "Stupid Question Window."

Well, about halfway through my friend's question, the look on the woman's face turned from the "you dare to interrupt me" glare into a face contorted as though she had just stepped in something squishy and stinky and perhaps that we had put it there. Then she said, as if she were about to hand us our "sign" . . . "Those are UTTERMOST lamps. And, NO they don't have sales. And certainly not on UTTERMOST lamps." I excused myself just long enough to step back outside to make sure I had read the sign correctly. Yep, consignment. Uhhhhhhhh, isn't consignment just a euphemism for "used"? So why was this wench acting like such a snob? She was a cashier at a used furniture store for Heaven's sake, not an auctioneer at Sotheby's! She seemed so taken aback by the fact that we didn't know what an Uttermost lamp was that I thought for a minute there she was going to use that old line from Saturday Night Live: "Jane, you ignorant slut".

I don’t know, it could have been the Bed Bath and Beyond coupons sticking out of my purse that prompted her to quickly scan her surroundings and then condescendingly tell us that, if we had a computer, we could go home and print off a coupon from their website that would entitle us to a 20% discount off any item. Now I‘m no marketing genius, but whoever came up with that idea should have to stick her wet finger in the socket of the nearest Uttermost lamp!. So let me get this straight . . . You want two paying customers to leave your store, drive home to print out a coupon, then drive all the way back to your store where, in fact, they are already standing, in order to get 20% off? What the......??

Before leaving the store to drive home and print out a coupon, my friend wanted to make sure it would be good for the set of two lamps. Well, apparently this was the ultimate slap in the face. The woman put her hand up to the side of her head as though she were about to have an aneurysm and with undisguised disdain said "NOOO, you may only get one lamp with the coupon." Although she made me feel like I had finally split my decorating britches right there in front of God and everyone, I immediately put my shoulders back, stepped up somewhat defiantly, looked over my Versaces, and said "OK, then I will also print out a coupon so my friend could get BOTH for 20% off." She looked over her knockoffs in defeat and said "I guess we couldn't do much about THAT".

That's right, lady. You can't.

Who's the ignorant slut now?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bad Hair Day Monday . . . My mullet: The Early Years

After I posted my Permullet pics, I realized that I had kind of jumped the gun as far as my mullet pictures go. The Permullet was the third of five phases of my mullet "career," if you will, so I really should have started from the beginning. Allow me to do so now . . .

When I was around 8 years old, I got my ears pierced at the Piercing Pagoda at a mall in Dallas. It was a horrible experience and I was QUITE misinformed about the entire procedure. I don't know how I thought earrings got into your ear lobes but it certainly never occurred to me that they would be SHOT into them with a GUN. They did one ear and that was a deal-breaker for me. I began to wail and to try to escape the chair I was in - there was no way they were going to shoot me in my other ear. Suddenly, passersby began to stop and gather 'round the Pagoda to watch the scene that was unfolding.

The high school student who was entrusted with this weapon tried to assure me that it would all be okay. She hadn't realized that she had completely lost my trust when she fired a sapphire-covered NAIL into my ear. Seeing that she was getting nowhere with her kind assurances, she resorted to a teenager's best friend . . . peer pressure. She began to say things like "You don't want to go around with only one earring in your ear - you'll look funny." That's okay. I don't mind. "No, you don't want to look like a pirate, do you?" ARRRRRRRRRRRRe you kidding me? Of course, I do! Who wouldn't want to look like a pirate? "People will laugh at you." I love laughter. That's fine with me.

She finally convinced me with sugar. She gave me a lollipop and told me that she would count to three and that I could crunch down on the lollipop at the same time she shot me. So that's what we did and I ended up with two pierced ears and a general mistrust of people at mall kiosks.

A few days after I got my earrings, I had to get my haircut. My hairdresser, Mitzi - yes, I said Mitzi - told me that she could give me a haircut that would really show off my earrings. It was called a bi-level and it would look BEAUTIFUL on me. I was sold and that was the beginning of what I like to call the Mullet Era. And Mitzi was right - you could see my earrings . . .

And you know what? I appreciate that about the mullet. I mean, I really thought I was going to die at the Piercing Pagoda, or at the very least experience some sort of shock or pain-induced seizure. So I'm glad I got to show those puppies off.

But it's not just the earring factor that makes it such an amazing haircut. One of my favorite things about the mullet is that HALF of your head is bangs. It's mesmerizing, really. Take a gander for yourself . . .

Side one . . .

And side two . . .

In fact, when you pull your hair up in to a ponytail, you can even fool people into believing that you actually have a bob. Like so . . .

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, like so . . .

Seriously, that's an amazing haircut, people.

I've never been embarrassed about all the mullets in my past because I have always found comfort in that fact that it was the 80s. In Texas. EVERYONE had them. Right? So imagine my horror when I discovered my 2nd grade picture a few days ago. Notice me . . . Catherine . . . a/k/a The Lone Mullet . . . smack dab in the middle in the back row.

How embarrassing.

But pictures aren't the only place in which the memory of my many mullets live on. My mom recently found some of my old school papers when she was going through some old paperwork. One of the papers was a worksheet where we had to answer questions about ourselves and there was a series of questions about our hair. One question asked "Does your hair cover your ears?" My answer . . . "Halfway." When my mom showed me that, I laughed and laughed. But now, I imagine myself working on that worksheet and trying to figure out the answer to that question. First, I probably tried to look at my earlobes by looking out the corner of my eyes. Then I probably tried to just feel my ears. Somewhere in the process, I probably became acutely aware of the fact that the other kids had a simple yes or no answer to that question.

But at least you could see MY earrings . . .

Friday, June 5, 2009

What literally bugs me . . .

Can we talk about a couple of my pet peeves? Are we close enough to do that now? Ok, good - here we go . . .

Literally . . .
The word "literally" has to be one of the most misused words in the English language. People just don't understand it so they throw it in when they are telling stories. This is LITERALLY grammar abuse and it must stop. "We don't understand what you mean, Catherine. Give us an example," you say. Well, here you go, my friends . . .

"I LITERALLY laughed my head off. " [Really? Because I don't think that's possible.]
"When he walked in, I LITERALLY died." [Wow. Now that's a story I'd like to hear more of.]
"The fans are LITERALLY hanging from the rafters here." [That was said by a sportscaster who was reporting from the arena where a local college basketball team had just won a big game. Imagine my disappointment when the camera didn't pan to show these rafters filled with wild, hanging fans. You would think that would be news worthy . . .]
"When I heard about Heath Ledger, my chin LITERALLY hit the keyboard." [Ouch! Did your jaw dislocate?]
"This job is hard. You literally have to have eyes in the back of your head." [I imagine the number of eligible applicants decreased significantly at that point . . .]

And then people use it when it doesn't make sense. A friend of mine was telling me a story and she said "And I was literally stuck in traffic." I guess she was trying to distinguish that from being FIGURATIVELY stuck in traffic?? And then a woman on the radio said "I'm just literally talking right now." Hmmmmmm . . . I don't think that's right, lady.

Question talkers:
Have you ever talked to people who are question talkers? You know, people who ask a series of questions and answer them themselves? I had dinner with friend once and noticed that her entire conversation was a question and answer session with herself. Let me try to recreate that for you here . . .

Am I nervous about what the future holds for me? Absolutely. Am I sure that this is the right decision that I'm making? Not at all. Does that keep me up at night? You bet it does. Am I going to let that stop me? No, that would be foolish. Do I wish there was another way for me to handle this? Without a doubt.

Does this irritate the crud out of me? You betcha. I mean, if you have a conversation with someone who converses that way, you feel totally useless. As I sat there "talking" with this friend, I realized that I was not needed. She could have had the same conversation with her hamburger. And the hamburger would not have had to split the bill at the end of the night. Listening a question talker just makes me want to interject mean answers like so . . .

Am I nervous about what the future holds for me? I hope so - you should be. Am I sure that this is the right decision that I'm making? Well, you're an idiot of if you are. Does that keep me up at night? I don't know but you're putting ME to sleep. Am I going to let that stop me? One can only hope. Do I wish there was another way for me to handle this? I don't really care but I know how I'll handle things differently next time you want to go to dinner . . .

So those are literally two of my pet peeves. Do I have others? Absolutely. Will I write about more of them another time? Without a doubt. Should I wrap this blog up and go to bed? Yes, because I'm so tired that my eyes are literally falling out of my head.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaawkward Moments

Don't you just love awkward situations? I mean, they are HORRIBLE when you're in the moment but they sure do make for funny stories later. And isn't that what life is - just a series of stories strung together? I don't know about you, but I prefer to have lots of funny ones! So I thought I'd share with you some of the best awkward moments I've had. Enjoy!!

Not so cute . . .
I was talking to a friend of mine once who was eating a piece of cake. He was telling me how good it was and then asked me if I wanted a bite. I said no thanks but he insisted and started to feed me a piece, quite against my will. Now, when someone of the opposite sex feeds you something, it is of utmost importance to look cute while taking the bite. This is very hard to do and, in my case, it was made doubly hard by two factors. First, the spoon he used was abnormally large. Seriously, it must have been some type of serving spoon because it was HUGE. So now I have to look cute WHILE trying to daintily wrap my mouth around this spoon. The second factor was my sister Erin. No, she wasn't there, but her voice was in my head. Anytime I've taken a bite of something off her fork or spoon, she complains that I don't "get it all." She hates it if there is ANYthing left on fork after it's been in my mouth. And her voice was in my head saying "Gross! Don't leave anything on the spoon!" So there I was, trying to look cute, trying to look dainty with a huge spoon in my mouth, and trying to seal my lips around the spoon so that I cleaned every last bit of the cake off of it. He pulled the spoon out of my mouth but the awkwardness didn't end there. Now I had my mouth full of cake and had chocolate cake bits and frosting on my lips . . . you know from the dragging of my lips across the spoon to clean it off as it came out. Then to add insult to injury, chunks of the cake on my lips started to fall off and land on my chest. Awesome. I determined at that point that I would never try to look cute again while eating something. Instead, I'm just grabbing the spoon myself and shoving it in. I mean, it might not look cute but at least I'll enjoy the cake.

What the . . .
When Erin and I were in junior high, we were looking for some way to make money during the summer. One of our friends told us about a lady who was looking for someone to watch her kids during the day and Erin and I said that we would do it. We rode our bikes over to her house to meet her and her kids and get the details we'd need to know about the kids' schedules. I'll never forget sitting on her couch and listening to her describe the schedule we'd have to keep, which included quite a bit of housework that she wanted done everyday, as well. Erin and I sat there with our good "we've never met you so we're not going to slump" posture (Mom would have been so proud) and we kept shooting side glances at each other. I mean, I don't have a great Crazy Radar and even I had picked up a crazy vibe off the lady as soon as she had started talking. From her wide eyes and pale face, I could tell Erin had, too. Then the lady told us how she wanted us to run the vacuum cleaner at a certain point each day and I think we both checked out of the conversation and began to wonder what we'd gotten ourselves into. This "easy" babysitting job was turning out to be the worst summer money-making idea EVER. Then came the moment that has been burned into our brains . . .

One of the kids climbed up onto the lady's lap and she was talking to him sweetly. Then she took her lips and grabbed his top lip between them and just held it there for a second. Mine and Erin's chins both went back involuntarily as if we were saying "WHAT THE . . .??" and we turned and looked at each other. Maybe this was her version of a butterfly kiss? Maybe like a pedophilic butterfly? We didn't know and we didn't WANT to know. We just wanted to get away from this lady and her vacuum and butterfly kisses. We finished up our meeting, hopped on our bikes, and rode like the wind. Needless to say, we canceled on the lady and said we couldn't watch her kids because something important had come up. And it would take all summer.

Let me give you a hand . . .
One night when I was in law school, my friends and I were eating at Taco Bell. There were two men at the table next to us who seemed to be suffering from the same condition: they were both confined to wheelchairs and had very small arms and legs and it appeared that they had no use of their legs and VERY little use of their arms and hands. They finished their meals, took their trays to the trashcan, and began to head for the door. Well, I THOUGHT it looked like they were heading for the door - maybe I was wrong. I grabbed the keys and called after them: "Excuse me . . . sir!" He turned around and looked at me. I said "I think you left your keys" and walked over to the man and handed him his keys. He did not say thank you or thanks or even "oh I wouldn't have gotten very far without those." Instead, he looked hard at me as if I had offended him deeply. I was quite taken aback by this and suddenly became self-conscious about my action. I mean, I would have done the same thing for someone who was able to walk so it was not as if I had done it just because he was in a wheelchair. Even though I knew my heart was in the right place, I got nervous about what he thought about me. To compensate for his cold stare, I smiled nervously and began to stutter and stammer about. To my horror, the sentence I was able to get out was "I just didn't want you run off without them." RUN OFF WITHOUT THEM?? As soon as the sentence was out of my mouth, I felt the blood drain from my face and I gulped loudly. The man continued to look at me without even the slightest hint of kindness. He turned to throw his cup away and I, again in an attempt to overcompensate for the awkward situation, lurched forward to open the trashcan for him and said, "Here - let me give you a hand with that." WHAT . . . THE . . . HELL??? It was the first time in my life I had ever wished that I had been rendered mute as a child by Scarlet Fever or some other childhood disease. I pursed my lips together to avoid saying another word and concentrated on keeping my mouth shut. I acted "natural" by smiling nervously and backing away slowly. He turned around and left the restaurant and I was left standing there . . . well . . . with my foot in my mouth.