Monday, August 31, 2009

The best day EVER!!

Today I had the best day of my life. And that's saying a lot because I've had a LOT of great days in my life. But today, my friends, was the best.

Better than the day that I found two twenty dollar bills in a pair of pants that I hadn't worn in three years. Better than than the day that Wheel of Fortune had a "phrase" that turned out to be "New Kids on the Block." Even better than the day I realized that, since I was on my own in college, I could eat the whole box of Swiss Cake Rolls if I wanted. And, believe me - THAT'S hard to beat.

So what was so great about today? Well, friends . . . I GOT TO MEET CRYSTAL GAYLE!!!!

Now, some of you may know how much I love Crystal Gayle but for those of you who don't . . .

When I was a kid, I IDOLIZED her. I used to sit in my sister Tammy's room, using her stereo to play my 8 track tape over and over and over. I loved every song on that tape and sang with all my heart. She was the reason that I realized that I love to sing and she made me want to be a singer when I grew up. And I was glad for that because, before that, I wanted to be a cowgirl but after an experience I had as a child on a horse called "Funtime," it was clear that the cowgirl life was NOT a "fun time." But I digress . . .

She also made me want to grow my hair out so that it was just like hers. But there were two problems with that goal. First, I was still using Johnson & Johnson No More Tears shampoo which, frankly, is like washing your hair with a bar of Dial soap. Just thinking about it now makes me want to do a deep conditioning treatment. And why was I still using it as a 6 year old? I don't know - ask Nora. ANYWAY, it dries out your hair and doesn't make it the easiest thing to brush through in the morning, especially with MY bedhead. Second, my mom was still brushing my hair for me at that time and, what with the long and tangly hair coupled with her fairly healthy dose of craziness back then, the morning hair-brushings were a little tense. So we decided short hair was the way to go for the time being . . . at least until we started using conditioner, for goodness sake.

So fast forward 25 years or so and I'm driving around in my car when my phone rings. It's Tammy calling to tell me that Crystal Gayle was coming to Dosey Doe here in The Woodlands. I couldn't believe it! My idol? In my hometown? I almost wrecked. For those of you who don't know, Dosey Doe is a restaurant where they have live music either in the form of open mic nights or concert. It's an intimate venue in that, no matter where you're sitting, you're never more than say 50 feet from the person on the stage. So the idea of seeing Crystal Gayle THAT closely was so exciting! I knew I had to go.

My sister Erin ended up going with me. It was such a bummer that Tammy didn't get to come even though the whole thing was her idea - she had to be at children's choir at her church. Between you and me, I think God would have understood . . . I mean, IT'S CRYSTAL GAYLE, for goodness sake!! But she had to pass and that was no good. So Erin and I made our plans without her and decided we'd try to make the 3:30 show, which meant that we needed to get there by 2:30. Now, in true Palmore girls fashion, we didn't decide that until 2:00 so we got ourselves into high gear and high-tailed it on over to Dosey Doe. We had made last-minute reservations so we knew we wouldn't get the best seats in the house but we were holding out hope that they had saved the best seats for us . . .

We walked in and told the hostess our name. She looked up our reservation and got our table assignment and then led us to our table. We had our fingers crossed as we were walking. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand then she stopped at our table and we finally saw that we didn't really have the best view . . .

Just as we were sitting down, Erin recognized the hostess as a girl she had known in high school. They hugged each other and I momentarily got my hopes up that she would now have compassion on us and would move us to the best seats in the house. No such luck. Instead, she told us to have a good time and to let her know if we needed anything. I opted against telling her that we needed new seats.

But we Palmore girls are survivors so I knew we'd make the best out of it. We'd have to improvise and stand up or sit down so that we could see around the giant wooden structures all around us but it would work. It was just no big deal - nothing good dampen my excitement. Not even the view I had from across the table:

Erin had gotten the notice about the concert a LITTLE last minute and hadn't had a chance to straighten her hair. Luckily, she had a ponytail holder with her so she was able to see the concert. :) That girl has the most hair . . .

But, despite my two questionable views, I was beaming with excitement and anticipation:
We ordered the "Ginormous Chicken Fried Steak" but refused to call it by that name and prohibited our waiter from using the word "Ginormous" or its synonyms when referring to anything that we ordered. As we were eating our "Dainty Little Flower Chicken Fried Steaks," Crystal took the stage. I was sooooooooo excited!!! And, yes, her hair was just like it always was!!!
So many memories came flooding back and I was so amazed to be seeing her up close and personal after all these years. And before I knew it, I was . . . well, I was . . . ok, fine - I admit it - I was crying. I mean, I was laughing at how ridiculous it was that I was crying, but I was crying nonetheless:
Yep. I'm wiping my nose on my hand. I hope Crystal didn't see that. :)

Don't worry - I finally got a hold of myself and was able to grab a napkin instead of my hand:
After I dried my eyes and could see again, I took full advantage of our awesome view:
There's nothing like watching Crystal Gayle through rebar. Just ask Erin . . .
We watched the concert from the ground for a while, looking through the bars like this. As soon as I sat down on the ground, Crystal looked right up and me and made eye contact with me!!! It was so exciting!! Erin just laughed and laughed that I was so excited about that. But she was singing a different tune when Crystal looked right at her when she was taking a picture:


And then we both started jumping up and down when she looked up at us and winked:
It was a great concert. Her voice still sounds great and we think she might be moonlighting as an easy listening radio DJ because her speaking voice is so soothing. She sang all the great songs that I loved as a kid and that I still love to listen to, thanks to the greatest hits CD in the number 5 slot in my car's CD player. And it ended the best possible way it could have - she sang some gospel songs that brought the house down and then . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . she looked up at me and WAVED!!!! SHE WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVED AT MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

But BY FAR, the best part of this best day ever?? Getting to meet Crystal Gayle in person:
She is TINY. She is on her tiptoes and I'm bending down and I'm STILL towering over her. And I didn't realize it at the time, but the camera doesn't lie: I apparently had her in a death grip. Look how I've pressed my face up against hers like we've known each other for years. Just blew right past her personal space and went in for the sorority sisters pic. I have no shame. And check out my right hand - my knuckles are white from pressing it so hard into her back. Poor thing was probably signaling for her attorney to draw up a restraining order.

So that was my best day ever. I daresay it will not soon be topped!

Unless I discover a box of Swiss Cake Rolls in the pantry . . .

Friday, August 28, 2009

Department of Public . . . Safety?

I had to go to the DPS the other day to get a new license - I had lost mine a year ago so I thought it important to get it replaced quickly. I decided to go to the Walker County DPS office because it's right down the road from my office so I hopped in my car and popped over there for a quick renewal.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand then I remembered it was a DPS office and they never do ANYTHING quickly.

There were two ladies working the counter and about 15 of us waiting in the line. And let me tell ya, friends, they were taking their sweet time making their way through us. Then, after I'd been there for about 20 minutes, one of the ladies got up and went out to take a smoke break. How do I know she was taking a smoke break? Because she was standing behind a glass door and staring defiantly at all of us while she smoked.

Then another lady came out from the back and sat down. I thought "Where the HECK were YOU? And why aren't you helping anyone?" She typed at her computer and looked busy and then got up and asked the other ladies if they wanted any coffee. I wanted to shout "It's 3:00 in the afternoon . . . in AUGUST. Coffee can wait!" The other ladies said no and Coffee Girl walked out. Then the two remaining ladies started laughing about how she's so strange because none of them care about coffee. I rolled my eyes and stomped my foot. That's about all you can do in a DPS office without getting arrest.

To help make the time go by, I decided to distract myself with people-watching. There was a young girl in front of me whose boyfriend was with her. She did all her paperwork, waited on the DPS lady's record-breaking slowness, smiled for her picture and then walked toward the door. As she got close to the door, I saw the DPS lady give someone behind me a high sign and point to the young girl who was leaving. I turned around and saw a State Trooper standing there. He walked up to the girl and said "Are you Ms. Ruiz? I need to talk with you over here for a minute." I thought "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn! Homegirl sold her OUT!" Then I thought "Why am I talking that way?" Something about the DPS office makes me go all gangsta and stuff.

Ooooooooooooooookay, I'm gonna stop.

ANYWAY, I decided at that moment that I would do my best to NOT make that DPS lady mad.

There was a lady in front of me who appeared to have consulted the stylists at Glamour Shots for her big day at the DPS. Seriously, I haven't seen hair that big since my mom's in the early 90s. I couldn't take my eyes off of her hair.

Until I saw who she was standing next to: a man who had consulted George Jones for HIS big day. I didn't know if I should give him a crash course in hair trends since the early 70s or ask him for an autograph. I just opted to watch him. George stepped up to the counter and went through the license renewal rigmarole: paperwork, fingerprints, picture, and waiting for the DPS lady to type a novel. Seriously . . . WHAT are they typing?? ANYWAY - the best part of George's renewal process was when he had to do the eye test. This was the exchange I was so lucky to overhear:

DPS lady: Put your forehead here and look in and read line 3 to me.
George: 3 . . . 0 . . . 5 . . .
DPS lady: Sir, they're letters. Not numbers.
George: Oh. Ok. E . . . P . . . R . . . T . . . J . . .
DPS lady: There are actually 6 letters. Try it again. You got the first one right.
George: D . . .
DPS lady: No, you had the first one right the first time.
George: Oh. E . . .?
DPS lady: Mmmmmmm hmmmmmm.
George: E . . . B . . .
DPS lady: No . . .
George E . . . D . . .?
DPS lady: Mmmmmmm hmmmmmm.
George: E . . . D . . . F . . . you said these are all letters?
DPS lady: Mmmmmmm hmmmmmm. Try it again.
Catherine: WHAT??
George: E . . . D . . . F . . .ummmmm . . . .
Catherine: Seriously? Department of Public SAFETY, people! SAFETY!!! Take his license away until he gets glasses!!!

Finally, it was my turn. I walked up to Smoke Break Lady and breathed a sigh of relief that Sell Out Lady was busy with George. I gathered that she was in a hurry suddenly (it had been 20 minutes since her last smoke break) because she was "rushing" me through the process. I did my fingerprints and my paperwork and she typed away. Then she motioned me over to the blue screen so that she could take my picture. I had barely gotten into place before she snapped the picture. I'm not sure I was smiling or looking in the right direction and I'm POSITIVE that I hadn't had sufficient double-chin reduction time. But I was brave and said something like "Oh! That was faaaaaaaaaast!" and made a joke about her making sure that it was a good picture of me. She didn't laugh. I looked around to make sure there was no DPS officer waiting for me.

Feeling dejected and filled with dread about seeing that picture in 8 to 10 weeks, I slumped my shoulders and walked out, visions of double chins dancing in my head. What else could I do? Nothing but get in my car and head back to the office.

But you better believe I was driving 10 and 2 and looking around for George the whole time . . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Holy Mole-y!!

I had lunch at Berryhill last week with a group of friends. Have you ever eaten at a Berryhill? It's a Mexican restaurant and it's pretty good. They have really good nachos and a creamy jalapeno sauce that's kinda like Chuy's. I like to have a whole bowl of it to myself and not share with anyone. That's a little insight into my soul for ya.

ANYWAY . . .

As I was eating, I looked up and saw this:
When did the Mona Lisa become the blessed mother? And when did the blessed mother start eating fish tacos?
I think the chef took the lazy way out on that fish taco, by the way.

After I finished eating, I excused myself to go to the restroom. In order to get to the restrooms at this Berryhill, you have to walk through one door which takes you into a separate little hallway where you see the ladies' and men's rooms. So I walked through the first door into that little hallway and was greeted by this:
My first thought was "DANGIT!!" because I had to use the restroom so so badly but I HAD to stop and look at this picture at length. So I crossed my legs, did the pee pee dance, and took a closer look.

Wow. There's so much about this picture to talk about. First, her dress is hugging in all the wrong places. Need a closer look? Ok . . .

You know, I think I actually tried that dress on at Dillard's a few years ago. And let me tell ya, people, when a dress hugs the front of your thighs like THIS, it's time to admit that you've been hitting the Swiss Cake Rolls a little too hard. It's also time to get the next size up. If you won't do it for yourself, do it for the innocent children who might see you walking around in public. They don't need to see that.

I wonder who the inspiration for this picture was? Clearly it's someone who made the artist very angry. I mean, you just have to take one look at those thighs and cankles to realize that. Don't believe me? Look at the face:
Again . . . wow.

That's one rockin' double chin. Reminds me of my last driver's license picture, actually. And was the mole really necessary? I think if you get up close enough, you can see a hair coming out of it. Add in the football player neck and the lifeless hair that draws attention to the vastness of her face, and you've got one angry artist.

After I finished looking at the anatomically correct mole girl, I whipped my head around to my left to see what gem awaited me on the men's room door. I was not disappointed:

I thought to myself: "This place just gets awesomer and awesomer." Sure, "awesomer" is not a word but I had to go reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally bad. I like this guy for his beady eyes, his five o'clock shadow, and the slight Mexican mafia air he has. I think he's about to pick mole lady up for a hot date. And I think he's gonna like her dress.

And her mole . . .

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dating in the Dark = blood pressure on the rise!

I got home from work tonight and decided that I would spend the evening cleaning and organizing my room because it has been SORELY neglected this summer, what with my crazy trial schedule. Plus, I'd had a productive day at work and thought it made sense to continue that level of productivity at home. Sooooooooooooooo I walked in the door, sat down, and watched TV all night. Judge me if you must but I HAD to watch TV - these brain cells aren't gonna kill themselves, friends.

And what ELSE am I gonna watch on a Monday night but our favorite hour of awkwardness . . . Dating in the Dark, of course!!

So we meet our three guys and three girls who are going to be sharing this whole Dating in the Dark experience together. First we meet the guys: Matt (who is looking for the mother of his children), Jose (who admittedly has zero game), and Jeff (a divorcee who always dates really hot girls). I decide that Jeff is going to irritate me. Then we meet the girls: Deanne (a freelance TV news reporter who wants to be the ultimate soccer mom), Renee (a jewelry designer who is worried that the guys won't like her), and Gina (a girl who describes herself with words like feisty, passionate, short-tempered, and short-circuited). When people describe themselves with the word "passionate" that's usually code for "crazy" so I'm looking forward to seeing what fun Gina has in store for us.

The group meets in the dark room for the big group date. Prior to meeting the girls, Jose suggests that the guys bring each of the girls a chocolate heart and then asks the rest of the guys if they thought that was too cheesy. The guys answer him with an awkward silence. Allow me to assist, Jose . . . Yes, it's cheesy. But the cheesiness was countered by the fact that you asked that question. You're forgiven. So they guys go into the room with chocolate hearts in hand and meet the girls. This moment is always uncomfortable for me because everyone feels like they have to be "on" so everyone is laughing too hard at everyone else's jokes. And there's always someone who is being just a tad obnoxious. Tonight, that person is Renee. The guys ask the girls a question and Renee and Deanne answer it. Then it's Gina's turn and she apparently talks a little longer than Renee wanted her to. So Renee handles the situation maturely by saying "I guess it's all about Gina" and then throws her chocolate heart at Gina's head.

Wow.

Wow for two reasons, actually. First: WOW to the fact that she actually just threw something at someone's head for talking too much. Second: WOW to the fact that she actually hit Gina's head in the pitch black. That's pretty amazing aim, friends.

So Gina - passionate, short-tempered, short-circuited Gina - handles the situation by becoming openly angry and making the situation SUPER comfortable for everyone. Renee makes a completely insincere attempt to apologize (allow me to paraphrase - "Geeeeeeeez, I was just kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiding. I'm soooooooooooooooooooooorry." Something like that . . .). Gina won't drop it. Renee "apologizes" again. The guys jump in and say "She was just kidding." Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand then back to Gina not dropping it again.

Awesome. I KNEW Gina would be crazy!! My pits are sweaty and my blood pressure is off the charts.

And then the moment that made me swear that I'll never marry . . . two of the guys come out of that room saying that they are attracted to Gina.

W . . . T . . . F . . .???

Seriously?? I've spent my whole life being normal and . . . and . . . and - well, I give up. Need . . . to . . . lower . . . blood . . . pressure.

But enough about my nervous breakdown. Back to the show . . .

So the couples go on their first dates. Unfortunately, there was nothing too noteworthy about those dates. I yell at the television things like "why isn't anyone trying to feed anyone anything??" and "what am i suppose to blog about if you don't have an awkward conversation??"

Then the guys get to see what the girls sleep in. The guys make a comment about Renee's flannel pajamas and I take MAJOR exception to that. Flannel jammies are ok . . . right?? RIGHT?? Oh geez. I'm normal AND love cute flannel pajama pants . . . I have no chance, do I?? Then the girls get to see what the GUYS sleep in and they air poor Matt's dirty laundry - literally. Apparently, Matt sleeps in a white undershirt with major pit stains. The girls freak out over this. I mean, are we really surprised by the fact that a guy might have a shirt with pit stains? Is it really "freak out" worthy? You really need to save your freak out moments for bigger things - like when someone throws a chocolate at your head. Oh wait . . .

Poor Matt has some fall-out from the pit stain incident. Renee goes on a date with him and calls him out for having pit stains and says mature things like "we were all like 'oooooooooooo'" and then leaves an awkward silence. Poor Matt looks so embarrassed and doesn't know what to say. I'm really rooting for Matt, pit stains and all.

I'm also really rooting for Jose. He seems like a nice guy, too. He goes on a date with Crazy Gina and he decides to go in for a kiss. But first they have a conversation about an inch and a half from each other's face. Jose asks her "How comfortable are you right now?" and she answers that she's comfortable. Meanwhile, I'm yelling at the television: "I'm uncomforable! IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII'M UNCOMFORTABLE!!!"

I LOVE this show.

Then the show sets the couples up according to their level of compatibility and they get to go on dates with their matches. Nothing too exciting there . . .

Deanne and Jeff go on their date. Jeff talks about how he's accustomed to dating really hot women. He says that he's not usually emotionally compatible with these women but it's ok because they're hot. Seriously? Is this guy serious? Deanne begins to worry that, based on the way he talks about looks, he must be really hot and out of her league. I think that's what irritates me most about this man. I mean, he's nice looking. But she nailed it on the head - he talks like he's a freakin' super model and will accept nothing less than that. And Deanne is super presh so I'm irritated that she's feeling insecure now over this guy.

Blood . . . pressure . . . rising . . .

Then Renee and Jose get matched up by the show and Gina is MIFFED because she has already set her sights on him. My crazy radar goes off and keeps me from hearing the next few lines. Renee tells Jose that she wants a man who will put himself out there. Jose takes that to mean that she wants a man who will try to awkwardly kiss her on a bean bag chair in the dark. She doesn't really even pucker up in return. Rather, she tells him that she's not used to kissing someone she hasn't seen. Then Jose talks about how he's confused. I'm laughing uncomfortably in my chair. My dog is looking nervously at me. Renee comes back and tells the girls about her dates. She mentions this kiss and Gina starts snorting and pawing at the ground. She handles it maturely and makes the situation SUPER comfortable for everyone by saying "So what? I'm sloppy seconds?"

I know, I know. It doesn't make any sense. But IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII'm not going to correct her . . .

Then Gina goes on her compatibility date with Matt. She's irritated about this date because of the pit stains. He's convinced that they have a great connection. I really want to root for Matt but I'm kinda questioning his sanity at this point. He offers to kiss her to help her get back at Jose and Renee. To Crazy Gina's credit, she did change her tune about Matt and apologized for saying anything bad about him.

The couples then go on their final, uneventful dates and THEN it's time for the big reveal!!!

First up: Gina and Matt. The light shines on Gina and Matt looks happy. He's already said that it didn't matter to him what she looked like because he felt so connected with her in the dark. And, you know what - I believe him. But, as it turns out, he's happy with the way she looks. And he then says that she looks like a very sweet, nice person.

Except when you throw chocolate at her head.

Then, while she's waiting for him to be revealed, she starts whispering "Please be hot. Please be hot." Seriously? Is that the standard that we're all going for? Why are we suddenly eliminating normal-looking guys from the running? ANYWAY, Gina is disappointed with the way Matt looks. And then she says the words that I will never forget: "I mean, could I see this person on top of me?"

Once again: W . . . T . . . F . . .???

Run, Matt. RUN!!!

Then Deanne and Jeff get to see each other. They both look happy and relieved at what the other looks like. She thinks he's super hot and has perfect bone structure. He says he's on the fence because she didn't make his jaw drop. This is where I start to shake my fist and curse the people on TV. I mean, he JUST spent several dates with someone he feels REALLY connected with and excited about and now he's on the fence about her because she was just "cute" and didn't make his jaw drop??

That's when I realize that I'm clenching my teeth and beating the arm of my chair with my remote control. And that my roommate is trying to shove a valium down my throat.

Then Renee and Jose see each other. Renee opts for the flower-the-size-of-a-small-child-in-the-hair look for her big reveal. They both look relieved and happy when the light comes on. He says she's very very pretty. She thinks he's dreamy with perfect white teeth and dark eyes and silky baby smooth skin. But she's not sure he'd be someone she'd be into. Well, she never really articulated that but that's what I gathered from all the "uhs" and "I don't knows" that she was uttering.

Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for - THE BALCONY.

First, Matt goes out to see if Gina will meet him out there. He's looking at the balcony door and hears the front door click. Gina is dumping him. She says that she thinks she hurt Matt and that hurts her. I yell "I doubt it!" Then she says that she knows that makes her a "superficial bitch." I yell "You said it, not me!" and throw a chocolate-covered almond at her face. Poor Matt looks hurt and knows that she must not be the girl for him because he wouldn't end up with someone so superficial. He knows that he'll be fine. And I know that his pits are sweating BIGtime at that moment . . .

Then Jose goes out on the balcony to see if Renee will meet him out there. Big shocker - she dumps him, too. At least she cries about it, though. I have to give her credit for that. But that doesn't help poor Jose who is left on the balcony feeling every insecurity known to man.

Can I just say that I am SO disappointed in the girls on this show. I mean, I think that guys get a bad rap for being superficial but on THIS show, the guys seem to be the more open-minded sex when it comes to looks. Come ON, girls!!!! You're giving me major blood pressure issues!!

Last, but not least, Deanne goes out the front door. Jeff is agonizing over whether to go out there because Deanne just didn't light his fire when he saw her. But he goes out on the balcony to give it a shot and my blood pressure goes down a bit. And, luckily, Deanne is wearing what can only be described as a baby-doll flight attendant dress. So that was a bonus for Jeff.

The show ends with Jeff talking about how this show has fundamentally changed him as a person. You know, because he met someone who was cute but then considered dumping her because she didn't make his jaw drop but then decided to give her a shot . . .

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand there goes my blood pressure again.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shine!

This weekend I was in the kids' musical ("Shine!") at my church. The kids have been working so hard this summer to learn all the songs, dances, and dialogue and all that hard work paid off this weekend during the two show times - they were GREAT! I stood backstage and marveled at how well they knew their lines and their cues, how quickly they changed costumes and mike packs, and how well they behaved while waiting to go back out for the next group number. We really do have a great group of kiddos at our church.

While I was standing backstage, I learned that when you have a bunch of pre-teens gathered in one area, you can't help but notice that half of them need to be wearing deodorant but they don't know it yet. The air becomes heavy with B.O. very quickly into an hour-and-a-half musical and then just sticks around for the duration. Like a big green cloud. I had to help several of them get their mike packs on and had to suck in a quick breath first before going in for the job. And every once in a while the mike pack wasn't cooperating so I had to let out my breath and breathe in again while I was entirely too close to an offending armpit. I think the hairs in my nose were singed in the process. I don't miss being 13 . . .

I played a lunch lady in the play and my costume was horrible. Check me out . . .
Honestly, I think that I would have preferred to have been dressed as a cow. Or an elephant. Or a sumo wrestler. Even dressing as a fat viking lady at the end of an opera would have been more flattering. I found the skirt at Goodwill and it was a homemade gem so the pockets stuck out on the sides and added a nice bulging side flank effect. I was stunning.

And the most attractive part of the costume was the hair net . . .
Seriously - I'm still single, people. That makes this outfit all the more inconvenient. Do you know how many people saw me like this?

And now I'm putting pictures of it up on the internet.

Hmmmmmmmmmm - didn't think that one through very well . . .

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dating in the Dark: What would I do without you??

Since I was in trial this week, I am JUST now catching up on all my missed shows from the week. I'd like to take a moment right now to thank the Lord for the DVR - it's the best thing that ever happened to me. Well, after Swiss Cake Rolls, that is . . .

So Dating in the Dark was on on Monday and I just finished watching it. It started off like all the episodes do: 3 men and 3 women come into the house and prepare to find love in a dark room where they have to judge each other on personalities and not looks. And I kick back on my couch with my remote control and a pillow to bury my face in during the uncomfortable moments.

All the men and women meet up in the dark room together and thus begins the awkward journey I have come to love on this show. They sit around the table and try to talk in a way that gives the other people in the room an indication of what their personalities are like. Tonight we have Dion, Leo, Malek, Lisa, Tawny, and Tanya. Tawny announces that she is the type of person who introduces herself as a crazy girl.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm done with her already.

Then the participants get to look at each others' cars. Apparently they don't get any warning so the cars are exactly the way they left them when they arrived at the house. Oh . . . my . . . gosh . . . this would be horrible for me. I would quit the show right then. I mean, have you SEEN my car?? It's filthy. And it's filled with empty water bottles and FiberOne bar wrappers. I can just IMAGINE the rest of the participants back in the house talking about how I must be very well hydrated and remarkably regular. Mortifying.

The only noteworthy thing that came of the car exploration was that the girls found a box of condoms in Malek's cup holder. My FiberOne bar wrappers start looking WAY less embarrassing . . .

Then they get to have their first dates. First we see Dion and Lisa. They hold hands and talk about how they love to travel. I can't really tell you that much about their date because I was too distracted by the fact that Dion was sweating profusely. Every time they showed him, his hair was becoming more and more saturated. Either the A/C was broken in that room or Dion's nerves are directly connected to his sweat glands. It's quite unfortunate.

Malek and Tanya meet for their first date. Nothing too exciting. I was still wondering about Dion's hair.

Then Tanya gets to go on another date with Leo. Poor Leo. I was rooting for him because he was a self-proclaimed nerd but he took a head-first dive into Lake Awkward on this date and I had to cut him loose to save myself. He asked Tanya if she considered herself to be a good kisser and then followed it with an awkward "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm." She explained that she thought they should just take it more slowly and he said that the completely agreed. And then he started whispering "ACCELERATE IT!"

I put on more deodorant because my armpits started sweating. I began to wonder if I had Dionitis.

Then Leo and Tawny have their date. At one point, they're standing up and she feels his stomach. And that's when I vow that I will never go on a date in dark room EVER. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand now I have a new nightmare, thankyouverymuch Dating in the Dark. Honestly, I think that if someone felt my stomach our first date, I would be forced to feel his face with my fist.

Then the show matches them up according to their level of compatibility but no one is very happy with those matches. And, surprisingly, nothing too exciting comes of those match-ups. So the participants get to go back to the pairings they made themselves.

Dion and Lisa have another chat on the bean bag chair and seem to be a good match.

Leo and Tawny meet up in the darkroom again and she tells him to show her his favorite dance move. I whisper a reminder to her that she's in a darkroom and can't ACTUALLY see him. She is disappointed that he doesn't just whip out some dance moves and that he seems kind of nervous. But can you blame him? He's in a dark room dancing for a crazy woman - I would be nervous, too! Then she does the Running Man and I award it Awkward Moment of the Night. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Malek and Tanya meet up and are chatting about music. He "accidentally" touches her boob a few times and teaches her how to hug in his culture. She says she likes that hug and he says it's because her heart and his heart are touching each other. I start getting nervous and hope that the producers are checking to make sure that Malek didn't clean out the cup holder in his car during the commercial break . . .

The last dates were more of the same: Lisa and Dion have great chemistry. He told her that if she wasn't good looking it would probably change the way he was feeling. On the one hand, I give him kudos for his honesty but on the other hand . . . WHAT THE HECK?? Have you learned NOTHING from this show??? The date ended with him going in for a kiss but misjudging how close he was to Lisa so he was mid-sentence when he hit her lips. It was a pretty awesome. Malek says something romantic in Arabic to Tanya and she swoons. Tawny and Leo spend some more time together. He likes her but she feels no chemistry with him. I start to get nervous for the big reveals . . .

Not surprisingly, Dion and Lisa choose to see each other. They go into the room and await the spotlight. First the light shines on her. She's super nervous and doesn't know what do to under the light. I decide that I'm a Lisa fan at that point. And so does Dion - he thinks she's gorgeous. Then the light shines on him and Lisa thinks he's really cute. But she also thinks that she probably wouldn't have looked at him twice out in the real world so she needs more time to think.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE???

Leo chooses to see Tawny so we see him standing in the room, waiting nervously. Then the spotlight comes on and . . . and . . . there's no one in the room with him. WHAT??? I feel like I'm going to throw up. My second round of deodorant is GONE and my butt is clenched like it's never clenched before. Apparently, Tawny just really had no chemistry with him and didn't want to lead him on so she chose to just leave the house altogether. Man! That's BRUTAL. Poor Leo . . .

Then Malek and Tanya get to see each other. Malek thinks that she is curvy but says she is beautiful inside and out. She think's he's super cute but she doesn't know. She doesn't like his receding hairline or the fact that he was wearing a scarf. But she's confused because they had such a great connection in the dark. Ummmmm . . . EXACTLY. This show makes me so mad!! But I WILL give her the scarf thing. European or not, friend, a man in pashmina is unacceptable.

So Malek and his pashmina go out to the balcony to wait for Tanya. He hopes that she will join him out there so that can give this whole dating thing a shot. I'm not worried about this one because he's super cute and so is she PLUS they had great chemistry in the darkroom. Then, to my horror, I see the FRONT DOOR open and Tanya walks out, leaving poor Malek up on the balcony!

WHAT??

I just don't get it when they have such great chemistry in the darkroom and they are actually good looking and yet they STILL choose to walk away! It just doesn't make sense to me. As Tanya walks away she says that she has learned that looks are important but not as far as whether someone is good looking or bad looking.

HUH?

Then Dion goes onto the balcony and waits to see if Lisa will come out there. The camera goes from balcony door to front door and I start chewing on my pillow. Then Lisa comes out the balcony door. I'm so relieved! And so is Dion - he wonders aloud what the international word for "WHEW!" is.

Ummmmm, Dion - I think that IS the international word . . .

What would I do without this show??

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dear Catherine . . .

Hey, guys!!

I'm in trial this week so I don't have time to blog at night . . . but don't give up on me!! I am alive and I WILL be back!!!

In the meantime . . .

One of my friends suggested that I take Dear Abby on and answer some "Dear Catherine" questions. I thought it sounded like a funny idea so I thought I'd see if you all had any good questions for me to answer. You know like "What do I do with these mismatched socks?" or "How do I get my boss's attention?" or "Why are you so stinkin' awesome?" Things of this nature.

I'm not sure if it will work but it's worth a shot!! If you have any ideas, post them below or send them to catherinepalmore@gmail.com. Feel free to tell me your story/background in true "Dear Abby" style so that I have something to work with!! :)

We'll see if we get anything good!!

Sincerely,
Desperate Blogger in The Woodlands.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The art of shopping . . .

I'm not really a big shopper. I mean, I like to go but I'm not the "shop til you drop" type. Plus, I'm entirely too impulsive. For instance, I went with my best friend, Jill, to the container store this weekend. Jill's a great shopper - she researches products, compares prices, takes measurements of things, and has a 60 day waiting period for everything she buys. Except for guns. She had a specific list of things she wanted to get at the Container Store and I was going to get one thing to store my jewelry in. An hour later, Jill has decided to postpone the big purchase of storage bins and I've got $100 worth of organizational items I may or may not ever use.

I'm just not good at shopping, you know? I think in order to be a good shopper, you have to understand sales. You have to wait for them and know how to use them to your advantage. But sales are hard for me to understand. For instance, this looks like a good sale . . .

But then I saw this . . .

And then I got confused. And the worst part was that both signs were on the same rack:
So I did what any normal person would do: I took a picture and went to a store that wasn't having any sales . . .

I also think that good shoppers have to appreciate the ambiance of finer stores. But I don't. For instance, I walked into Nordstrom's this weekend and noticed these in the entrance:

But I don't get them. Are they supposed to say "Come! Shop at Nordstrom's!"? Or are they supposed to say "This is a really fancy store. You should be impressed by our art."? I don't know. The only thing they say to me is: "Is my blush a little too heavy?" Nope - I don't appreciate the ambiance they're trying to set. So I did what any normal person would do: I took a picture and went to Macy's . . .

And I think good shoppers have to understand new trends in fashion. Sometimes that means that you have to figure out how to get into trendier garments - and they can be CONFUSING. At the galleria this weekend, Jill had a difficult time figuring out a cute dress she wanted to try on:
And SHE'S a good shopper. So if SHE can't figure them out, what chance do I have? I'm seriously concerned about this! So I did what any normal person would do: I took a picture and went to the t-shirt section . . .

And, thankfully, they weren't having any sales.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Survivors!!

I met some friends at Rico's last night for dinner. I know that I need to move on but I just really miss the creepy little villagers. As good as the food is, Rico's just isn't the same since the genocide.

I arrived at the restaurant with a VERY full bladder so I dropped my purse off at our booth and headed back to the restrooms. I noticed that, as I was walking back there, I was kind of sulking because there's no bad art to look at. It's such a bummer. But then, I looked up and saw this:

I'm not really sure what's going on here. Are they re-painting their faces? Was the artist taking a stab at impressionism? Did these musicians scratch their faces off when the Ring girl from the creepy village looked at them? I don't know. What I DO know is that this sight lifted my spirits and I continued my walk to the restroom with just a little more pep in my step.

I rounded the corner and found myself standing in front of the ladies' room and, glory of glories, look what greeted me there . . .

A genocide survivor!!! I love her!!! I shall call her Panchita. I love her thick waist, her low belt, and the apparent elastic at the bottom of her skirt. I'm not sure I would have gone with the red hair extensions but to each his own. And she's serious about them - she's got a spare set of extensions ready to go. I was a BIT disturbed about her bulging forearms and her swollen right shoulder. And what looks like an Adam's apple on her throat . . . That's when I double-checked to make sure this was the LADIES' room.

And that's when I saw Paco:
Thank goodness for Paco's thick neck! I mean, how else would he hold up that massive sombrero?? Those things are heavy . . . it's hard for me to hold my head up just long enough for them to put whipped cream on my nose on my birthday. I can't imagine how Paco does it day in and day out. Then I noticed his arms. Sure they're bulging but they're freakishly short and I don't really know how he manages to lift the sombrero up high enough.

And I love the look on his face. Need a close-up? No problem . . .
Now, I admit it's not the best picture in the world BUT you can still see his face. It's as if he's trying to avoid eye contact with whomever is opening the men's room door. Like he's thinking "Maybe they won't notice me here." Or it could be that, when the door opens, Paco has a clear shot of the urinals and he doesn't want anyone to think he's a perv. Makes sense to me. But I must confess that I'm concerned about the shocking pallor of his face. Perhaps he just realized that Panchita might be a man?

Oh, Rico's . . . your fajitas and your artists . . . they never let me down.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oh Dating in the Dark, I love to hate you!

So I watched Dating in the Dark again last night and it was awkward and wonderful as usual. This week's episode was about three guys named Jeff, Amit, and Cormac and three girls named Shannon, Misty, and Kelly. Same set up: the girls live in one wing of the house, the guys in the other, and they only "meet" in a dark room where they can't see anything at all. But, thanks to the infrared cameras, we can see it all . . .

So they all six meet in the dark room. The girls come in first and they decide that they are going to be super quiet so that they guys won't know they're in there. Sure enough, when the guys come in they think they are alone. Until Shannon breaks into a giggle fit. You know the kind of giggle fit you have when you're nervous and someone says something only mildly amusing that you should only give a courtesy laugh to at best but, instead, you find yourself snorting and wiping mascara from under your eyes? Anyone? Anyone? Well, poor Shannon ends up laughing a little too hard and blows their cover. That was when I realized that Shannon might have a little crazy in her . . .

During the group date, it becomes obvious that Jeff and Shannon like each other, Amit and Misty like each other, and Cormac and Kelly like each other. Not surprisingly, that's how they pair off for their individual dates. Nothing too exciting happened on those and I was disappointed.

BUT THEN . . . the guys and girls get a chance to take a video tour of each other's houses. I think that this could be interesting because the contestants didn't know that their houses were going to be videoed for this tour. I'm expecting to see unmade beds, a pile of laundry on the bathroom floor, and kleenexes on the nightstand . . . you know - what they would see at MY house . . . so I got all excited for it. But, alas, it seems as if the contestants had been warned . . . and HGTV had re-decorates their homes just in time.

Except for Shannon . . .

Her house is awesome. They open up the cabinets and we see that everything is disorganized and I think I even saw some trash thrown in there, too. I might have just imagined that, though, but I was too lazy to rewind it to make sure. Then they show her sink and it's full of ants. The guys are grossed out by that and look at each other, unable to really speak. Jeff's love of her appears unaffected. He will accept her, ants and all.

I do love a good love story.

They go on dates again and Jeff asks Shannon about the ants. She does her laugh again and I think "Poor girl." I'm starting to like her because she just seems so normal. I'm starting to feel defensive for her and I keep saying "It's not like they were a bunch of ROACHES." Then I realize that I'm arguing with the television and it's going nowhere. So now Shannon finally gets to explain the ant situation. And I'm ready. I mean, I had an apartment with a bad ant problem in college so I know it can happen. So poor Shannon needs to be vindicated with a perfectly good explanation. She giggles and explains that she had been killing them but then she started feeling bad karma.

Huh??

And then she decided she was just going to become one with the ants.

What the . . .?? Sorry, Shannon - I couldn't hear you because my Crazy Radar was going off. Did you say that you wanted to become one with the ants??

Then they show the guys making a toast with one another and Cormac says "Here's to Fire. Not the ferocious kind that brings down shack or shanty but the sultry kind that brings down pant or panty." I roll my eyes and decided I don't like him.

Jeff goes on his next date with Shannon and brings dessert to feed her. Why do these people keep doing the whole feeding each other thing? Don't they realize that they are going to be in the pitch black?? It's just so awkward. I love it every time.

Then Amit and Misty have their next date. We find Amit alone in the room doing the I'm-getting-myself-psyched-up boxing in place thing and I whisper to him that he's being videoed and that we can see him. Misty walks in and we see that she's brought her hula hoops for them to use. Of course she has - that makes sense, right? This is the strangest date idea to date . . . why is this fun when they can't see each other? So they hula hoop and giggle and I scrunch up my "this is stupid" face. Then they decide to box each other. In the dark. Since they don't want to really punch each other, they end up doing their best imitation of a 6th grade girl fight. I'm tired of Amit and Misty's date.

Then Cormac and Kelly meet in the room and Cormac has brought his guitar in to sing Kelly a song. They are sitting on the ground and he's serenading her. It's awkward to watch and I find myself actually wishing he were trying to feed her, instead. Then he tells Kelly something about how research has shown that you can tell a lot about someone by a kiss. Mayday! Mayday! I start yelling to warn Kelly to watch her pants and panties.

But the awkwardness isn't over yet. The producers have decided that the show isn't uncomfortable enough so they are sending the couples in for one last date. It's a theme date and the theme is Dancing in the Dark. I can't report much from those dates because I spent too much time with my hands over my eyes. Watching bad dancers is bad enough but watching them dance in the dark . . . it's just too much for my little eyes to handle.

Then it's time for the reveal.

Shannon and Jeff see each other and are pleased as punch. Shannon is crying and shaking and just can't believe how adorable he is. She thinks he has a good energy about him so it seems like a good match. Plus, we know she won't try to kill him because that would be bad karma.

Cuckoooooooooooo! Cuckoooooooooooooo!!

Amit and Misty see each other and both look disappointed. She thinks he's cute but he's too short for her. He thinks she isn't the kind of girl he'd approach in a bar. Is that the standard we're supposed to be using??

Finally Cormac and Kelly get to see each other and Kelly is disappointed because Cormac is too good looking and looks like he could be a catalog model. Ummmmmmm . . . come again? That's a BAD thing? Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first case of reverse discrimination on this show. This is a ground-breaking series, friends. Ground breaking.

So then the the guys go out on the balcony and wait to see if their chosen gal will come out. This is the part of the show I both dread and desire. I turn up the volume and pop in some Imodium AD as a preventive measure.

First, Jeff goes out. He's really nervous to see if Shannon will come out on the balcony. He looks at the balcony door then at the front door then back to the balcony door. I shout "Stupid show! I love this show!" Then the front door opens and Shannon walks out, leaving poor Jeff up on the balcony by himself. I'm so confused at this point because she was JUST crying and shaking and talking about how adorable he was. There's only one conclusion we can draw, folks: Chick's CRAZY.

Then Amit goes out there. He's excited to see if Misty will join him. But she really can't get past the height so she goes out the front door. He talks about how this whole situation takes him back to his childhood when he was pushed aside because of his looks. I'm so depressed at this point that I actually try cutting my wrists with my dog's toenails.

Then Cormac comes out to wait on Kelly. She's inside agonizing over whether she can deal with a guy who's so good looking. I'm on my couch shouting "Why God?? Why??" But she chooses him in the end. And I think that was the right choice. I mean, he's a terrible toaster but they did have good chemistry. And she can always just close her eyes and picture someone ugly when she's kissing him . . .?

Oh Dating in the Dark . . . why must I love you so??

Monday, August 10, 2009

An aisle of discoveries . . .

My roommate Melissa and I went to the grocery store the other day and had to get some rice noodles from the foreign foods aisle. So we walked over that way and, while searching for the rice noodles (which, incidentally, were on the bottom shelf), we found this little gem:
We picked up the jar and marveled at how disgusting it looked. "Why would anybody eat this?" we asked ourselves. Sure, the jar says it's ginger. But I'm not altogether convinced it's not the innards of some animal. Seriously . . . why on Earth would anyone purchase a jar filled with a pink, fleshy substance from the foreign foods aisle?

What other treasures might we find here?

We decided to explore this aisle a little more to see what other joys it held. We looked for more in the Asian section and found some real winners. For example, we found what might be the worst possible snack I've ever heard of:
Seriously, if they serve snacks in Hell, there are bags and bags of these there.

And they serve this there, too:
Fish sauce? Seriously? I cannot imagine any purpose for this product that would make it okay.

We headed over to the Hispanic section of the foreign foods aisle and found one item of interest:
This might be the most terrifying abuelita I've seen. I'm quite sure I could NOT relax over a cup of hot chocolate with her looking at me like that.

Over in the Kosher section, we found another fish product that made me throw up in my mouth a little bit:
Can I be honest with you? Even though I hate fish, it's not the fish that disgusts me. And it's not even the fact that it's fish in a JAR. It's the fact that it's in JELLED BROTH. I kinda get grossed out when I open a can of chicken noodle soup and the broth is a little congealed. I can't imagine using that as a selling point for a product. Frankly, it's disturbing.

Another kosher product I will never try:
Wow. Hats off to the good folks at Manischewitz for tackling the problem of how to spice up these little cardboard-esque crackers. They went for a real unorthodox angle - no pun intended. Honestly, I don't know which would be worse - these or the shrimp flavored chips. It's really a toss up for worst snack idea EVER.

Ok, now this is just taking the Whole Grain craze too far . . .


Then we wandered on over to the British section and "spotted" a traditional English snack:
As a self-proclaimed prude, I see this type of thing and thank the Lord we won the War. Our Founding Fathers saved me from a lot of blushing . . .

So that was all we found. In our search for interesting products, we learned a lot about the foods of other cultures. Well, really, we learned just enough to raise a lot of questions. In fact, back in the Asian section, I found one product that summed it all up for me . . .
Indeed . . . WAI oh WAI would anyone eat these things???

Call me close-minded but I'm so glad I live in a culture of hamburgers and french fries and Swiss Cake Rolls. And, after my little exploration of the foreign foods aisle, I am now endlessly grateful to be a part of culture that's free of spotted dick and wheat knockers.

God Bless America.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shark Week - YIKES!

So I've been watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. And it has scared the BEJEEZUS out of me. Seriously - why do people go in the ocean? I don't get it and, frankly, I never really have.

I remember learning about sting rays in 8th grade. My teacher explained that they blend in with the sandy bottom of the ocean so people don't see them and they step on them. She said that when you step on a sting ray, that's when it swings its tail around and buries its barbs into your leg. This horrified me - I sat there wide-eyed, sweating profusely. Then she said that the best way to avoid being stung is to drag your feet through the sand as you walk in the ocean. That way you will bump it rather than step on it and you'll avoid getting a calf full of barbs. That lesson traumatized me because I had never known such a danger existed. But you better believe that I drag my feet through the sand every time I'm in the ocean now.

I'm not so much a natural-body-of-water kind a girl, I'm more of a oh-my-gosh-what-just-brushed-my-leg kinda girl.

ANYWAY, learning more about sharks this week has been both captivating and terrifying. But, despite the efforts of the Discovery Channel, I don't think I've learned the lessons the producers and editors intended for me to learn. Rather, I've filtered all their information through the very unique filter that the Good Lord gave me and this is what I took away from all the shows this week:

Discovery Channel's efforts: They showed lots of stories of survivors of shark attacks who chose to not let their attacks interfere with their love for the ocean. So they all got right back in there once they were healed. We have to realize that sharks aren't evil, they are just great hunters and WE mess things up when WE come into their territory.

My take-away: These people are CRAZY. If a shark bit me and I lived to tell the tale, I would never step on a beach again. In fact, I would boycott all things oceanic - I wouldn't even eat Sea Salt chips - and would refer to the shark as "Bastard" in conversation. You would NOT see me on Discovery talking about what a beautiful animal it would be. You would see me holding a spear gun on a boat on a Discovery show that would be called something like Hunting Bastard.

Discovery Channel's efforts: I learned that in areas like Seal Island in South African waters, Great White sharks will swim down low and then sprint toward the surface of the water and fly through the air, just to nab a seal swimming on the surface.

My take-away: Seals must taste pretty good because I can't think of a single piece of food I'd be willing to sprint for.

Discovery's efforts: When you are being eaten by a shark, it will throw you back and forth like a rag doll and, in the commotion, you should hit it in the right spot on the nose or grab and squeeze the eyeballs so that it will let you go.

My take-away: There is no way that I would have the presence of mind to do that in that moment because I'd be too busy thinking things like "Do you think the shark saw my bathing suit riding up on my right cheek before it bit me?" And then I would be dead. And rightly so . . .

Discovery's efforts: Survivors who have lost limbs are doing great with their prosthetics. And they are getting right back into the action.

My take-away: I definitely could NOT do Hip Hob Abs with a prosthetic leg.

Well, I couldn't . . .

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blah blah blahg

It's one o'clock in the morning and I cannot think of a single thing to blog about. So I thought I'd just tell you what I've been up to and thinking about in the last week.

Please don't be jealous of how exciting my life is.

On Friday, I had to depose a defendant in a case that will go to trial in September. We were talking about his substance abuse history and he told me that he had smoked marijuana and "wets." I asked what that was and he explained that it's a joint that is laced with Angel Dust and is dipped in embalming fluid.

I'm sorry . . . WHAT??

Where do people come up with these things? And WHO came up with this one in particular? Do embalmers get that bored? I mean, I know I'd be dead so it wouldn't matter, but I don't want my embalmer to be high. And I CERTAINLY don't want him to be so high that he actually thinks soaking his joints in embalming fluid is a brilliant idea.

I also don't want him to be cute because he'll be seeing me naked when I can't suck my stomach in. But I digress . . .

This same defendant explained to us that he was kicked out of the Klan because they found out about his sex offenses. I asked how they found out about them and he said . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . they did a background check. The freakin' Klan did a freakin' BACKGROUND CHECK. Who knew?? Not I.

* * * * *

When I was leaving Huntsville the other day, I had to get gas so I stopped at a gas station that's right by Huntsville high school. The marquis at the gas station said "Go Hornets!" and that's when I realized that the high school mascot is a hornet. Really? A hornet? I mean, sure they hurt when they sting you. Sure they should be avoided whenever possible. But there is something inherently UNthreatening about a mascot that can be killed with a newspaper. Someone should have thought that through.

* * * * *

I've been thinking that I need to start working out more. And since I actually heard my bra creak this week, I thought there's no time like the present. So I pulled out the ol' WiiFit Board to weigh and, you know, throw myself into a hopeless depression. I selected my Mii and the WiiFit starts telling me things like "I haven't seen you in a while." and "It's been a while since you worked out." and "Why are you such a worthless fatty?" I stepped on and the WiiFit program let out a surprised "Oh!" I rolled my eyes and started yelling "Yeah yeah yeah - just hurry up and get it over with." It gave me my results and I had to endure the whole WiiFit experience of watching your Mii blimp up as your weight is revealed. I've described it for you before so I won't bore you with those details. But I WILL remind you that it's brutal and it took me three days for my self esteem to recover. After the program gave me my weight and acted appalled at the results, it asked me if I wanted to set a weight-loss goal. I said yes and chose a goal. Then it got sarcastic with me by saying things like "You didn't make your goal last time. Do you want to pick a more realistic one?"

Why do I use this thing again??

* * * * *

I've been watching NCIS a lot this week - why am I so addicted to this show? I've noticed recently that every time they go search a murder victim's house, the house is always neat and usually has one little messy pile of mail somewhere in the camera shot. It's made me start thinking about how how I should pick up my dirty laundry before I leave so it's not out if people have to search my house. I mean I don't want them to walk in and see my - oh my goodness . . . this show is turning me into my mother.

* * * * *

And now I'm sitting at my computer typing this and I've noticed that, at some point in the last few hours, my throat has started getting sore and my left nostril is stopped up. I hate it when only one nostril is stopped up. It's so annoying. And, inevitably, it runs but you have no suction power to keep snot from running freely down your lip. You feel some . . . ummmm . . . drippage . . . and you try to sniffle it up but there's nothing - one nostril sucks in completely, the other stays stubbornly in place, and you have to run to get a tissue before the floodgates open. Tonight I had to put a tissue in my nostril to keep it plugged up. I looked pretty attractive - I'm not gonna lie.

So here I am sitting here with my creaky bra and a tissue hanging out of my left nostril.

Wanna come hang out?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Does this song make my gut look big?

I listen to country music. Judge me if you must but it's who I am. Love me through it.

I hear people make fun of country songs all the time. Sometimes I give them a courtesy laugh. Sometimes I just stare blankly at them to make them feel uncomfortable. But most of the time I try to defend my favorite musical genre. I say things like "No, not all the songs are about losing your truck and your wife." or "No, they don't all make you want to cut your wrists." Things of this nature. I mean, some people just don't take my country music seriously. I tell them to give it a try - "listen to it for a while and I promise you'll like it!"

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand then they start playing songs like this one . . .



Seriously?? How can I work with this kind of material??

I know he's trying to say that her big ol' gut is a positive thing in his book but I just can't get into this song. Maybe it's because I keep picturing the face of the girl who is the subject of this song when she realizes that it's about her. Maybe it's because I could relate to it more if it were about rocking a Swiss Cake Roll gut. But mostly I think it's because it contains lines that I never want to hear sung about me. For instance . . .

"The first thing that caught my eye . . . she was rockin’ the beer gut"
What about my eyes??? My smile??? My winning personality??? If you tell me that my gut was the first thing that caught your eye, then my fist will be the first thing that catches your jaw.

Man, this song makes me violent.

"Well it’s just some extra love around her waist"
Is that supposed to make me feel better? Do you realize how long it took me to find the perfect shirt to HIDE the "extra love" around my waist?? Why don't you sing about THAT, you big jerk.

Breathe, Catherine. Breathe.

"With the blue jeans a little tight around her butt"
That's it. Let me at him. LET ME AT HIM!!!

And the worst thing about it is that, despite the fact that it is SUCH an annoying song that I despise with ever ounce of my being, I can't get it out of my head. It just plays over and over and I can't stop it. And you know what??

It'll be stuck in yours today, too.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dating in the Dark = Cringing in the Light

Well, against my better judgment, I tuned in to watch this week's episode of Dating in The Dark. I can't help it. It draws me in like the Hunting Channel does sometimes - totally against my will. I sat down, propped my feet up, clenched my butt, and turned the TV on.

So again we have three girls and three guys who come to the House of Horror to meet in the dark. They come from their separate wings of the house and enter the dark room to meet as a group. They all sit around a table talking louder than normal and laughing a little too easily at bad jokes. Since they can't see anything around them, they spend a lot of time talking to the table or to the space above each other's heads. It's amazing to me that even their inability to see where they should be talking makes me nervous for them. What does that say about me?

And then begin the individual dates . . . and the awkwardness I love to hate.

First, we see a series of individual dates that leave me nervously saying things like "Oh my gosh, I would NEVER do that." For instance, Sasha (obnoxious red head who thinks she's pretty darn sexy) decides to play the ever popular game of "Let's feel each other's profiles" with Chris. She feels his profile and he just lets her do it and laughs. There is definitely a "ha ha - this is funny" feel in the air. Then he goes to feel hers and suddenly Sasha brings out her best "I want to be a porn star" look. He clumsily runs his entire hand down her profile - and I mean CLUMSILY - and she closes her eyes, opens her mouth, and puts her head back as if this if the most sensual experience she's ever had. As his fingers come down across her lips, she tries to grab one with her mouth. He just laughs and moves on, clueless about the hilarity that just happened. I thank the Lord for the invention of the infrared camera.

Then Jenn has a date with Chris and she asks what ALL girls ask on the first date: "Will you do push ups with me on your back?" I roll my eyes and groan at the cheesiness but secretly promise myself that if a man ever does push ups with me on his back, I will marry him right then and there. Mark my words . . . I will.

All the girls like Chris and really want to just compete for him. But the show pairs them up according to compatibility and then we have to see the compatibility dates with the three couples. I think to myself that these should be entertaining. And by "entertaining," I mean "gut-wrenchingly awkward." But that's what does it for me, folks.

Date 1: Chris and Megan. Chris brings Megan a plate of 6 different foods that she must taste and guess what they are. For the record, I would hate this little game because I'd be afraid of what food he would put in my mouth. If he put fish or mayonnaise or, heaven forbid, mayonnaise-covered fish in my mouth, I would slap him and walk out. And the infrared camera would catch all kinds of faces of anxiety and fear on my face as he put the next sample in. No thank you. Megan was a good sport, though. Her first bite was an apple and she correctly named it. Then she said it was a bad apple and quickly looked for somewhere to spit it. Then she realized that she couldn't see anything so she had to spit it in her hand. Chris, ever the gentleman, tells her to put it in his hand so that he can put it on the plate. She complies bashfully and I instantly like this girl. I mean, how can you NOT like a girl who has to spit out an apple into a guy's hand on their first date?? That's a girl I can relate to. She names all 6 items correctly and then he tells her that she gets to pick her reward. I'm sure he was expecting her to say she wanted a kiss. But, instead, she says she wants him to tickle her arm. I totally want to be her friend.

Date 2: Sasha and Billy Ray. Neither of them are pleased with this match-up but they sit on the love seat and talk. Sasha goes in for her apparent killer question: "How soon after you start dating will you be ready to get married?" I clench my butt. He scratches his cheek nervously and utters "Oh Good Lord." I like this guy. Then he says, shrugging his shoulders: "I don't know - maybe a year or two years??" Then she sits up and says "See, my answer would be 'I might not EVER be ready.'" She has a triumphant air that suggests that she might want to follow that statement up with "Boooooooyah!" I'm confused because I can't figure out why she thinks she has scored some victory. And Billy Ray makes a face that suggests that he feels the same way I do. Yep - I like him. I begin wondering if he can do push ups with me on his back.

Date 3: Phil and Jenn. Phil is super cute and a Marine. What else to do you need to know, girl?? I look at Phil's muscles and think that THIS is the guy she should ask to do push ups. But, instead, she sits on the love seat and talks to him while she secretly pines away for Chris. Then Phil suggests that they do some salsa dancing. Have you ever seen salsa dancing in the pitch black? It wasn't pretty, friends. Poor Phil ends the date with no chemistry. Not even an arm tickle . . .

Then all the girls choose to go on another date with Chris. He is flattered that they have ditched the other guys and are only interested in him. The girls come in the room and he is sitting on the love seat with his arm up on the back of the seat, looking cocky. I roll my eyes. Jenn brings strawberries and whipped cream and decides to feed them to him. Why can't people realize that this is not going to be the sexy move they think it will be if they can't see the other person's mouth. I watch her dip a strawberry in the whip cream and then ram it into his nose. Then his chin. Then the side of his mouth. And then his mouth. He's got whipped cream all over his face. It's awesome.

This new cocky Chris decides he's going to kiss all of them. When Megan was on the love seat with him, she was talking about her family and you see Chris take his index finger and start moving it toward her lips. He's going for the finger-on-lip-shhhhhhhhhhh-don't-say-a-word-just-kiss-me move. But he can't see anything so it makes it difficult. But it's hilarious to watch the approach. His finger hits her chin and then the side of her mouth and then he says "I'm going to do something." Huh? She stops talking and looks concerned. Then he puts his finger on her lips and she says something that makes me love her even more: "I've got red lipstick on." She says it with a tone that's sweet but also says "I better not get out there and see that you've smeared my red lipstick all over my face." She's awesome. I begin to wonder if she can do push ups with me on her back.

Chris goes in for the kiss with Jenn and she says what every guy wants to hear in the moment after their kiss: "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww." What?? What kind of reaction is that? I'm sure he wished he could take back the "WOW!" that he exclaimed after they kissed. Then he has his date with Sasha and she goes in for the kiss with him. I think for a second that she is trying to eat his face off and then I realize she's just trying to kiss him. She ends by biting his upper lip with gusto. He looks traumatized. I've got one eye closed and am making the face you make when you're about to get hit in the face with a ball and you see it coming. It's awful to watch.

Then comes the big reveal. They all choose to see Chris so he's the only bachelor who goes in the reveal room. He seems pleased with all of them and then says that Megan is a bigger girl than he normally dates. I think he's an idiot because she's precious and he owes her another date for messing up her red lipstick. Then he sees Sasha and says that she is also a bigger girl than he's used to and that he's not attracted to red heads. He's probably not into girls who try to rip his upper lip off, either. Then he sees Jenn and, not surprisingly, she is totally his type because she's fit. Or at least the most fit of the three. So he wants to go forward with Jenn. I pronounce him Supreme Idiot for not picking Megan since she was the one he liked the most in the dark and she was SO cute, too.

Remember from last week that one person goes out on the balcony and they have to wait to see if the other comes out the balcony door to pursue the relationship OR if they go out the front door of the house without looking back. Chris goes out on the balcony hoping to see Jenn. The hitch is that any of the girls can choose to walk out on the balcony to choose HIM so there could potentially be an awkward moment if the wrong girl walks out. My shoulders get tense and I think how an arm tickle would relax me. Then I think no, it would tickle and make me more tense. Then I think PAY ATTENTION TO THE SHOW, CATHERINE!!

Chris looks at the balcony door then at the front door. Then the balcony. Then the front door. I'm biting my nails. We hear a door knob and we see that it's Megan coming out the front door. I shout "Good for you, girl!!" and get ready for the next stressful moment. Chris looks back and forth and I start sweating. Then Sasha comes out the front door. I shout "Good for you, Chris!" Seriously - that chick was crazy.

Then comes the moment of truth. Will Jenn come out on the balcony or will he be rejected by all three. The camera shows the balcony door and the front door as the music builds. I have my remote control in hand, ready to throw it at the TV if they go to a commercial break. Then the front door opens, and Jenn walks out! Poor Chris is left up on the balcony with no one!

It's painful. It's awkward. It's embarrassing.

It's WONDERFUL.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pizza and a drunken orgy . . .

Recently, I had lunch with my mom and some friends at an Italian restaurant in The Woodlands called Grotto Ristorante. In Grotto, there is a colorful mural on the walls that starts on the walls by the bathroom and wraps around the entire restaurant. I've eaten there several times, but have never really paid close attention to what is depicted in the mural. On this recent visit, however, I took a closer look.

And I might never be the same.

I'm not sure if the artist of this mural was high, drunk, sexually frustrated, or a combination of all three. I think the latter is the most likely. He has chosen to decorate the walls of the restaurant with various scenes of what can only be described as a drunken orgy. So I took some pictures to share with you and I've taken the liberty of giving titles to my favorite parts . . .

Title: "Do I smell something next door?"
Hands down - this lady has THE worst nose I've ever seen. I'm quite certain she can smell things from 3 miles away. Whenever I am unhappy with any body part of mine, I will remember this lady and thank the Lord that He spared me in the schnoz department. And what's going on with the guy on the left? He needs a blood transfusion STAT. I bet that lady is jealous of his nose. I think the artist was sexually frustrated here because of the phallic nose and the cleavage shot.

Then, as if to say "You think THAT'S cleavage?" . . .

Title: "Masquerade: They'll NEVER recognize me."
If my head is ever that small compared to my boobs, please shoot me. And please shoot that guy who's trying to cop a feel. Artist: sexually frustrated . . . is there really any question on this one?

Title: "Thank goodness for martini glasses."
I don't know what's worse - her dress or her hat? And if this lady ever tries to give me a high five, I'm gonna politely decline . . . check out her hand. That thing could hurt someone if used irresponsibly on a high five. And what's going on with the other lady and the perverted little man? Artist: sexually frustrated . . .

Title: "Cheers! . . . Do you feel a breeze?"
Seriously, guy? You need to see someone about this.

Title: "Ummmmm . . . I asked for SALT on the rims . . ."
Apparently, the artist was so focused on his . . . ummmm . . . frustrations, that he forgot to paint fingers for her. How is she supposed to eat her fish? Well, I guess if you need someone to help you eat, that's the way to get volunteers . . .

Title: "Tragedy at Table 10"
I think the artist was just trying to paint a drunk clown who is passed out at a restaurant . . . who hasn't, right? BUT I think he was too drunk himself to pull it off. Instead, it looks like a beheaded clown with green blood dripping down the table cloth. Artist: drunk and very possibly high.

Title: "Makeout session"
This is a depiction of a scene we're all familiar with: a chef and his wife make-out while the Mafia looks on and a masked court jester sneaks off with the dinner. Ah . . . classic. Artist: high as a kite.

Title: "We've GOT to start eating at another restaurant."
Wow. Where do I start? I count 3 phallic noses, 1 peeping pervert, 1 table dancer, 1 court jester dancing around the table, and one of the characters from Popeye in the right corner. This artist has some serious problems.

Title: "Drag Queen Engagement"
If get upstaged on MY engagement night by a green, mouthless, cross-eyed waiter holding a pig-baby wearing a toupee, I'll be SO mad. Artist: needs to check into some sort of substance abuse program.

Title: "B-b-b-b-BOCK . . . drunk girl down!"
Why is this girl passed out? Why is she wearing a french maid's outfit? Why is there a chicken looking at her? Why is the clown beheaded? I think it's obvious folks . . . the artist is three sheets to the wind. And frustrated.

Title: "What the . . .?"
I really don't know what's going on here. There are so many things that I don't understand - the dog peeking out from behind the waiter, the snake around the bird, the guitar player in the background, the horned alien popping up from a firey manhole with a pitchfork . . . Am I high? No - the artist is. BIG TIME.

My mom and I went around the restaurant taking pictures and hoping that the manager wouldn't kick us out for doing so. We went back to the table and laughed at how strange and ridiculous that mural was . . . who the heck comes up with that stuff?? What was his "inspiration?"

And then I saw where my mom had chosen to stow her cell phone . . .
And I knew we had to get out of there STAT.

Before someone started to paint her.