Friday, April 30, 2010

Ho-ly! What a good deal!

My brother-in-law Matt saw an ad today that he thought looked interesting so he passed it on to me:

Wow. If you're a Rayford Ho, this is DEFINITELY the place to go. But how do they monitor who gets the discount - do you have to show like a Ho ID card or something? Or maybe be able to pay in all 1 dollar bills? And do people get offended when the cashier just automatically gives them the 10% off? That could get a little dicey.

It's really too bad because I'd like to get in on this but I'm not sure I can pass as a Rayford Ho. I don't have an ID and I don't really have the right wardrobe . . . the most ho-ish thing I could wear is a threadbare Old Navy Perfect tee without a tank top underneath. And something tells me that's not gonna cut it.

Dang hos get everything.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tip of the Day

The other day, I logged onto my email account at work and noticed a Tip of the Day. I was mildly curious so I read on, thinking that I might learn some new shortcut or helpful hint that would make life easier. What I found, instead, was this:

Compose a new e-mail message by clicking New Mail on the toolbar.

Reply to a message by selecting a message and clicking Reply on the toolbar.

When you're done typing the message, select Send from the message toolbar.


You know, I think any person who needs this Tip of the Day might not QUITE be ready for email . . .

Monday, April 26, 2010

Creepy crawly.

I told you last week about the field trip that I went on with my niece's class to the butterfly exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It was lots of fun to walk around the exhibit and let the butterflies fly all around us. They were sweet and graceful, flitting around us like something out of a fairy tale. It was a great day that ended with lots of picture-perfect moments like this:

But started with lots of terrifying moments like this:

You see, before they let you into the butterfly exhibit, they route you through a bug exhibit - a terrifying collection of bugs I never knew existed. Bugs I never knew were out there to fear. I've spent all my life thinking that the scariest bug I would ever encounter were the tree roaches we have in Houston. But my eyes were opened to a horrifying reality . . . we are not alone.

One of the first things that we saw were the hissing cockroaches. I've heard of these before but had never seen them in person:

I stood in front of the plexi-glass display, hoping to hear them hissing but praying that I wouldn't at the same time. I knew I'd never get the sound out of my head but I couldn't stop trying to listen hard for it. I was frozen with fear and curiosity, unable to move along or look away. Thankfully, Savannah pulled me away because she was ready to move on to the next display . . .

Oh dear God. Oh dear God. Please let me go back to the hissing cockroaches. Breathe. Breathe.

These things were bigger than an apple slice, people. AN APPLE SLICE. ROACHES. That's unnatural.
But at least they tried to make these things less terrifying by having them ROOT AROUND IN A FREAKING SKULL.

This is when I started feeling like my entire body was crawling with bugs. I walked over to the next displays, scratching my head and my arms and convinced that one of those roaches had escaped and was crawling up my back. But my attention was quickly diverted:
You know, if I see a normal-sized beetle like the one in the upper left hand corner of this picture, I am disgusted. I might say "ewwwww" and move away from it but that's all. If I saw one of these big beetles, I would cuss. I'd straight up swear and run out of the room, probably overturning a bookcase along the way so that it couldn't follow me. Beetles aren't supposed to be that big . . . right?

HO . . . LY . . . SH . . . - No. Absolutely not. This is not supposed to exist in nature, people. Not without the assistance of a talented special effects artist. I mean, this thing needs a stinking helipad to land. And it must sound and smell like a diesel truck as it flies. How can it not?? Honestly, if this thing flew into my house, I'd just move. I'd run out, abandon my roommates and my dog, and I'd never return. It's terrifying. And HAS to be the most disgusting thing in this exhibit . . . right?

Seriously? This is a real thing? I cannot imagine having a medical condition bad enough that I'd allow them to treat me with MAGGOTS. No thank you. If you tell me that maggots are the only thing that can save my life, I'm getting my estate in order. Disgusting.

Everywhere I turned, there was something else to haunt my dreams. I tried to be brave - I really did. I tried to say educational and mature things to my niece like "Look at how those roaches are eating dog food. I've never seen a roach so big that it could eat dog food, have you?" or "See how this one is labeled as a hairy scorpion but there's nothing in the case? Isn't that interesting? I'm sure that means that they're just cleaning it. I bet they can't escape plexi-glass . . . are y'all ready to leave yet?" But as I made my way through the museum's own version of a Little House of Horrors, I had to keep my eye on the prize: butterflies. Soon we'd be walking among the trees, surrounded by the sweet, innocent little creatures. And there's NOTHING scary about butterflies . . .


Friday, April 23, 2010


Today is my sister Erin's birthday . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERIN! She and her husband have decided that they will celebrate her birthday by going to Jazz Fest in New Orleans this month. Tonight my mom, God bless 'er, tried to have a conversation with Erin about their trip and the result was awesome, as usual:

Mom: So now why are you wanting to go to New Orleans?
Erin: Because Matt wants to see Pearl Jam and they're playing there.
Mom: Don't they have concerts closer to Houston?
Erin: Well, yeah. But it's Jazz Fest and we've been wanting to go to it for a while.
Mom: Now what's Jazz Fest?
Erin: Well, it's a festival in New Orleans and they have lots of bands that play and it's just .
Mom: Oh! It's like Mop-a-lop . . . [seeing Erin's blank stare] . . . oooooooor Zoopaloopa . . . ?
Erin: Lollapalooza?
Mom: Yeah. That.

Honestly, I just don't know how her brain comes up with these things. Tonight Erin said that one of us should call her to see if should could recall the name "Pearl Jam" - we figured it would be pretty entertaining. So while I was writing this post, I called her up:

Me: Hey, Mom - do you remember the name of the band that Erin and Matt want to go see in New Orleans?
Mom: Yeah! It's ummmmmm . . . ummmmmm . . . oh what is it . . . ummmmm . . . jamming . . . jamming . . . jamming something. Yeah. Jamming Something.
[silence while I laugh]
Mom: I remember because I just started buying jam instead of jelly . . .

Awesome. Just awesome.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


This past Thursday, I took the day off work to go with my niece Savannah on her class field trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see the butterfly exhibit. I had to be at Savannah's school in the morning and, when I got to her class, all the kids were beginning to line up to get on the buses and I noticed that Savannah was standing with and trying to comfort a little girl who was crying. They filed on the buses and then left for the museum before I was able to find out what was wrong with Savannah's little friend.

I drove out to the museum with some of the mothers from the class and we met the buses out there. As the kids were filing off the bus towards us, I saw that the little girl was still crying. Savannah's teacher told me that I was going to be in charge of Savannah and this little crying girl for the day so I took their hands and we walked toward the front door of the museum. Savannah explained to me that her friend's name was Kaylee and that she was sad because her mom was supposed to be on the field trip but had been unable to go at the last minute. I tried to cheer her up but she was pretty weepy while we were waiting to go inside to see the butterflies and could barely talk because she was feeling so pitiful. Then they opened up the doors for us and we walked toward the entrance of the museum, talking:

Me: Are you girls excited??
Savannah: Yeah!
Kaylee: [crying] But my mommy's not heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.
Me: I know, sweetie. I'm so sorry. But you know what? You can tell her all about it when you get home! Won't that be so fun?
Kaylee: [crying] But she said she'd be here.
[crossing the threshold of the museum so that we are officially inside]
Me: I know, but -

I was at a complete loss for words. One second I had a highly emotional kid who was having a pretty rough day and the next second I have a kid who is speaking in ALL CAPS. I mean, out of nowhere she had morphed into that Voice Immodulation Syndrome character that Will Ferrell used the play on Saturday Night Live - the one who can't control the volume of his voice. It was hilarious. And, as you can imagine, her exuberance only increased upon entering the butterfly exhibit.

Have you ever been to a butterfly exhibit? There are butterflies flying EVERYWHERE. They fly right past your face, they land on you, and they are everywhere you look on trees or bushes. It's really pretty fun. As we walked into the exhibit, Kaylee spotted a butterfly and began yelling "OH!!! LOOK!!! A BUTTERFLY!!! OH LOOK!!! ANOTHER BUTTERFLY!!!! LOOK OVER THERE!!! ANOTHER BUTTERFLY!!!" And she pointed out every single butterfly like that.

All of them.

She seemed to have forgotten her troubles for the moment and that was a good thing in my book. But soon it came time for us to head back outside to meet up with the rest of the class for lunch on the museum grounds. So we walked toward the front door and AS SOON AS WE CROSSED THE THRESHOLD back outside, she started crying again. It was like the museum had been her happy place. She was trying to tell me through her tears that her mommy had said that she would pick her up after school so I was talking to her about that and trying to console her again. We were walking over to where the class was eating lunch and you could see that there were two tables there and that the girls had congregated around one and the boys around the other. As we were heading toward them, we had this conversation:

Kaylee: [weepy and through her tears] But she said she'd come pick me up after schooooooool . . .
Me: Well, I bet if she told you that then she'll be there.
Kaylee: [still crying pretty hard] But she said it and she's not heeeeeeeeeere.
Me: Well, school's not out yet. It's just now lunchtime. Do you know what time school gets out?
Kaylee: [pitifully] Yes. [sniff sniff]
Me: What time is that?
Kaylee: [barely able to get it out through her tears] 3:00.
Me: Do you know what time it is right now?
Kaylee: [still pitiful] Noooooooooo.
Me: It's only 11:30!
Kaylee: Oh. [slight pause] HEY LOOK!! A GIRLS' TABLE!!! LET'S GO EAT OVER THERE!!

And then, having found her happy place again, she took off running, leaving me behind laughing. I walked over to the girls' table and ate the lunch that my sister had packed for me and sent with Savannah. I was excited to see that she had decorated my lunch bag, written a note on my napkin, and - best of all - packed me a Swiss Cake Roll.

And that was MY happy place.

So it turned out to be a great day - I got to hang out with Savannah, met an entertaining little girl, had a butterfly land on me, and got a Swiss Cake Roll. I didn't think it could get any better. Uuuuuuuuntil Savannah asked me to take her Swiss Cake Roll home for her.

Poor naive little Savannah . . .

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A riDIKulous name.

I told you the other day that I took two of my nieces to San Diego this past weekend to visit our friends Andy and Kacey and their son, Kien (6), and daughter, Maya (4). But what I FAILED to mention is that I realized this weekend that I might just be too immature to have children of my own.

Allow me to share with you my moment of epiphany . . .

When we were at the zoo, my niece Emma saw an animal called a Dik Dik.

Yes . . . I said "Dik Dik."

The name had barely registered when this conversation among the kids began:

Emma: [yelling with delight] Oh! A Dik Dik! I LOOOOOOVE Dik Diks!!!
Savannah: What's a Dik Dik?
Emma: I LOVE Dik Diks! Kien, did you see the Dik Dik??
Kien: Yeah. It's over there.
Maya: Where's the Dik Dik?
Emma: Over there. Oh! I didn't know there were Dik Diks in California!
Savannah: Emma, why do you keep saying Dik Dik? You like really like to say Dik Dik, don't you?
Kien: Yeah! Why do you like Dik Diks so much?

Meanwhile, I'm over to the side giggling uncontrollably, hitting Andy, wiping away tears, and doing the pee pee dance. Now, a mature person would have been able to listen to this exchange straight-faced and possibly taken the opportunity to educate the kids on where Dik Diks come from, what they eat, how they hunt and what they - yeah . . . I can't even get through that paragraph with a straight face.

How am I allowed to call myself an adult??

But, seriously - who ever even HEARD of a Dik Dik?? Much less knew so much about them that they became simply rapturous upon seeing them in the zoo? And let's be honest - that is a ridiculous name. Why on EARTH would anyone name an animal that, for goodness sake? Were there no better options? It made me a little nervous about the rest of the animals in that section . . . I was half afraid we'd see an Anus Anus or a Boob Boob next.

And there's no WAY I could've handled that.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Priceless Moments

This weekend I took my nieces Emma (9) and Savannah (7) to San Diego to see some dear family friends who moved away a year and a half ago. It was SUCH a fun trip with them. We got to hang out with the Vu family and see all the great sights of San Diego - the seals in La Jolla, the beach, the zoo, Old Town, aaaaaaand, my personal favorite, all the servicemen walking around.

One of the best parts of the trip for me was having conversations with the kids and overhearing them talking to each other. Here are a few of my favorites:

An Honest Conversation:
Sav: [knocks on bathroom door in hotel]
Emma: [from inside bathroom] I'm about to go potty.
Sav: Okay. But I have to go BAD.
Emma: Okay. [opening door] I can wait to go poo.
Sav: Okay. [walking into bathroom]
Emma: But hurry because I REALLY have to go poo bad and I'm about to start tooting.
Sav: Well then just go.
Emma: No, it's okay. You're just going number 1, right.
Sav: Yeah. But I REALLY don't wanna have to start listening to you toot.

It was all handled in very business like tones which made it even better. Hilarious.

Each of the kids had a Visa gift card from my mom and they were using them to buy souvenirs for their families. They tried to spend all their money in the hotel gift shop on our first day there but I reminded them that we would be going to the beach and zoo and that there would be lots of gift shops in those places so they should look around before they bought anything. They held off for a while but, in the end, bought all their souvenirs from the zoo and from the hotel gift shop. While we were in the gift shop at the zoo, I tried to encourage them to buy themselves a souvenir, as well. Emma decided to use that opportunity to teach me a lesson about selflessness:

Me: Now, don't forget to buy something for yourselves. Don't you want a San Diego t-shirt or a stuffed animal or something?
Emma: Catchy, you have to remember J.O.Y.
Me: Okaaaaaaay . . .
Emma: J.O.Y. - Jesus Others You. So I have to make sure I buy stuff for everyone else before I get something for myself.
Me: Oh. Well, that's a great way to think, Emma. But don't forget that we are still going to Old Town to eat and there will be souvenir shops there for you to buy stuff for your family. So you don't have to get it all here.
Emma: Well, Catchy, I wanna just get it all done here because this stuff is cheap and then I can spend all the rest on myself . . .

Well, we're on the right track, at least . . .

What an idea!
While we were on the plane coming home, the person in the row in front of us pushed the flight attendant button and the lights on their row came on. This piqued Savannah's curiosity:

Sav: Catchy, why did she push that button?
Me: That's a good question. There's a button up there that has a picture of a flight attendant - do you see it?
Sav: Yes.
Me: Well, you can push that button if you have a question for the flight attendant or if you need help.
Sav: So that lady needed help?
Me: I think she might just have a question.
Sav: [pointing to the light button, which has a picture of a light bulb on it] See that button with the light bulb on it? What's that button for? Is it for like if you have a good idea?

So cute. And I think it WOULD be a good idea to have a Good Idea button on a plane!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

More proof . . .

My sisters and I always get a kick out of my mom's total inability to remember the names of cars or tell them apart. She just can't ever get it quite right. For instance, my sister Tammy drives a black Expedition but if my mom sees a black 15 passenger van she's says "Oh look! Is that Tammy?" It's awesome.

I've blogged before about this problem because it's something that comes up a lot in conversation in my family. (Need to refresh your memory? No problem - just click here, here, or here.) I recently blogged about a conversation that my mom and I had about what kind of car an Infiniti was. I had told her that I like Infiniti G-35s and she wanted to know who makes Infiniti because she kept thinking that "Infiniti" was the model name. Like a "Ford Infiniti" or something. We had this hilarious exchange that ended with me laughing and her shaking her head. (Click the first "here" above for the conversation). Anyway, lots of you defended her saying that she WAS actually right because Infinitis are actually the luxury line made my Nissan. But believe me friends, that is NOT what she was getting at. She still to this day thinks that an Infiniti is something you would buy at a Ford or Chevy dealership.

So my Uncle Bernie (my mom's brother) emailed me today with an article in an attempt to defend my mom on that issue once again. And that forces me to share another story to prove ONCE AND FOR ALL that my mom does NOT know her makes and models . . .

Mom: I keep mean to tell you, Erin, that I read a really interesting article that you need to read. It was all about a safety issue in your car. Your Durango is the Ford one, right?
Erin: Well . . . it's . . . I don't really know how to answer that question.
Mom: What? Why are y'all laughing?
Tammy: Because a Durango isn't a Ford.
Mom: Well, that's why I'm asking if ERIN'S Durango is a Ford.
[more laughter]
Erin: No - I actually opted for the DODGE one.
Tammy: That was a good choice . . . much better than the Ford ones.
Erin: Yes. That's what we thought. Matt did a lot of research before we bought it.
Mom: Okay. Well, this article was about safety issues in the FORD Durango.
Catherine: No . . . Mom -
[more laughter]
Tammy: [who drives a Ford Expedition] Okay - we need to figure out WHICH of us needs to read this article . . .

I rest my case.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Suburban graffiti

I live in the suburbs and have all my life. Some people think that suburbanites don't know what real crime is. That we're sheltered and spoiled. That we've never seen "hardened criminals" at work. Well, I say they're wrong - we suburbanites have our fair share of criminals to deal with, believe you me. In fact, just the other day, I ran across a stop sign that had been hit by what I can only imagine is a gang of thugs roving around my little suburban hometown:

Oh, the defacement! Oh, the horror! Oh the . . . seriously?

This is just embarrassing.

But I must say that, other than the poor punctuation, this is a graffiti artist I can relate to on many levels:

1. He's obviously not comfortable with breaking the rules and neither am I. When I go to have lunch with my niece at her elementary school, I'm the only 34 year old who puts my head on the table at the end of the lunch period when the teachers tell the kids, too. When the kids keep talking after the teacher has said to quiet down, I get sweaty pits and my butt starts to clench a bit because I'm afraid a teacher will give me a look. I bet this graffiti artist is the same way. He probably thought this idea was EPIC and has no idea that the real hardened criminals out there are laughing at him. I can only imagine myself in his position working myself up for such a strike: "Oooh! Oooooooooh!!!! I know what I'll do! I'll go and write 'Don't' on a stop sign. [nervous laughter] Yes! That will be AWESOME." He probably giggled the whole way home.

2. He probably thought the play on words was super clever. I mean, he didn't go with a big "Ef You!" or some other vulgarity - he went with a little word play. You know what? I'm just gonna say it - this is a criminal who thinks outside the box.

3. He was obviously nervous about this big rebellion because, based on the streaks running down the sign, I'm going to guess that he was sweating profusely at that time. Plus, he was in such a hurry, he BARELY finished the "T" before he high-tailed it out of there. I guess he just wanted to get it done as quickly as possible before the po po came. [see how I used hardened criminal language like 'po po'?].

4. He used shoe polish instead of paint because he didn't want to do anything crazy like RUIN the sign. I bet he wore sunglasses to BUY the shoe polish. And paid for it with cash.

5. He's probably living with regret, hoping daily that there haven't been any wrecks because someone ACTUALLY thought it was a new state-issued "Don't Stop" sign.

This is the kind of person on our streets, friends. So as you're tucked into your little suburban beds tonight, thinking about how safe you are, think again. Remember that there's some guy wandering around out there with shoe polish and poor punctuation skills who can strike at any -

Yeah. It's just embarrassing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Favorite quotes from the weekend.

Spending time with my family will ALWAYS yield good material and this weekend was no different for me. Here are my two favorite conversations from the last couple of days:

First, Ben (my 6 year old nephew) and Avery (my 5 year old niece) had this discussion over Mexican food:

Ben: You don't know everything like I do.
Avery: Yes, I do.
Ben: No, you don't. Because your mom hasn't taught you everything.
Avery: [very upset at this accusation] Mommy! Ben says you haven't taught me everything!!!
Erin: Well, no one knows EVERYTHING.
Avery: [feeling vindicated and then turning to Ben] Yeah.
Ben: [determined to prove his point] Well, then what's 100 plus 100?
Erin: [mouthing the answer to Avery silently . . .] Two hundred.
Avery: [to Ben] Two hundred.
Ben: What's eight hundred plus eight hundred?
Erin: [mouthing again . . .] Sixteen hundred.
Avery: [misinterpreting Erin's answer] Six hundred.
Ben: [triumphantly and with an air of 6-year-old superiority] No. It's TEN hundred.
Erin: [in one of her more mature moments . . .] Nuh uh . . . it's sixteen hundred.

Then my mom was trying to tell us how she and her friend had walked to a new accessories store on Market Street, which is a little shopping area in my hometown. They normally walk to the Starbucks on Market Street but had decided to check out this new store, instead, and she just thought she'd tell us about it. That's always a mistake for her . . .

Mom: This morning, Stephanie and I walked to Charming Charlie's on Market Street!
Erin: Oh, really? How'd you like it?
Mom: Good! It was something different. We normally walk to Sweet Things.
Erin: [pause] You mean Starbucks?
Mom: Whatever.
Erin: No. Mom. I need you to understand that it's "Starbucks."
Mom: [shaking her head] What. Ever.

I honestly don't know where she comes up with these things.

And doesn't she realize that if we DID have a place around here called Sweet Things, I'd be walking there with her, too?

Friday, April 9, 2010

A blatant misuse of clip art.

I was in a public building this week and had to use the restroom. As I was walking into the stall, I noticed a sign that I thought was worth sharing so I got out my camera and took a picture. I'm not really sure what others in the bathroom thought when they saw me walk into a stall and close the door and then heard me taking pictures, but that's neither here nor there. What matters is the sign. So here it is:

Putting the total lack of punctuation aside, we must agree that this sign carries an important (albeit, poorly punctuated) message for the patrons of the bathroom - and bathrooms all across this land, for that matter: clean up after yourself. And to underscore the message's importance, they have it in English and Spanish.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand clip art:

This hardly seems like the type of message clip art was meant to convey. And what exactly is happening in this picture, anyway? I stood in the stall for a long time examining this little scene and am no further along in figuring it out than when I began? I mean, what is this person dropping into the toilet? A fish? A piece of poop? A bag of marijuana she's hiding from the police? Is she casting some magical spell on the toilet, causing it to hover over the dog's head? Is that why the dog is cowering? Seriously - why is the dog cowering? What the heck does that girl have in her hand that would warrant such a response? And, perhaps most importantly, how on EARTH is she able to support her weight with those little ankles?

I don't get it. I just don't get it.

But for the sake of dogs and ankle-less employees and patrons everywhere, I did remember to flush the toilet.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wait. Did I read that right??

I was in an elevator this week and happened to look at the Certificate of Compliance on the wall. Just something to stare at while I'm waiting for the elevator to get to the second floor. Don't judge me - I had a heavy trial box so I couldn't take the stairs. Get off my back.

Anyway . . . I was standing there looking at the Certificate of Compliance, just passing the time. Aaaaaaaaaand then I noticed the due date for the next inspection . . .

I put my glasses on just to make sure I was reading that right. Yep. I was. That's when I started sweating profusely and hyperventilating.

And let's be honest - if I'm gonna sweat profusely and hyperventilate anyway, I might as well just take the stairs.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Miss me yet??

I'm in trial this week and haven't been able to post . . . are you missing me yet?? I hope so because I've missed you. I've been thinking about you all and staring at the stars through my window, singing "Soooooooooomewheeeeeeeeere oooooooout theeeeeeere, beneath the paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaale moonliiiiiiiiiiiight . . ."

Unless that's weird. In that case, I've just been working on trial stuff and not thinking about you all a bit.

I'll be back online tomorrow but in the meantime . . . wish me luck!!!

Catchy Pants.

Ps - that song's stuck in your head now, isn't it?

You're welcome.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Me and my green man . . .

This past Saturday I took a concealed handgun class with some of my friends from work. Most of the day was spent inside a classroom learning the laws in Texas related to carrying concealed weapons. But the fun part was at the end of the class, when we got to drive over to a shooting range to take the shooting part of the exam for our concealed handgun license.

To take the exam, we had to shoot 50 rounds at a target that looks like the silhouette of a man - a green man, to be specific. Here's what it looks like:

A perfect score on the shooting test is a 250 and our instructor explained that, to get that score, we had to shoot within the 8, 9, or X circles. I was in the last group to shoot and was a little nervous that I might shoot so far off my target that I would actually hit someone else's target and that they would take the gun away from me for the safety of others. I tried to breathe evenly as I donned my ridiculously large ear muffs and stepped up to the shooting line. Our instructor called out for us to take the first shot, I raised my gun, gulped audibly, and pulled the trigger. I looked at my target and was pleasantly surprised to see that my first bullet had hit in the 9 circle. I wanted to jump up and down and giggle uncontrollably but I didn't think that would be very safe to do with a loaded weapon. Plus, I also wanted to look cool. Well, as cool as I possibly could with shaky hands and ear muffs that were twice the size of my head.

ANYWAY, round after round I managed to keep my bullets within the center circles and continued to stifle my desire for rapturous giggling. At the end of my 50 rounds, my total was 247 - just three points off of perfect. That's when I realized that shooting green men might be one of my spiritual gifts.

I know I'm 34 years old and should be past wanting to take my work home to show my mom but I couldn't help it - I wanted to show my family what a stinkin' Bad A I am . . . yes, that's right - a giggling, gun-toting Bad A. So I took my target over to my mom's and showed it to them and they ooooooed and ahhhhhed appropriately.

Aaaaaaaaand then I didn't know what to do with it.

Should I throw it out? Just toss it in the trash with my banana peels and Little Deb - I mean, other super healthy trash? That didn't seem right.

Should I roll it up and stick it under my bed with my New Kids post - I mean, other normal non-boy-band items that a 34 year old would have under her bed? That seemed a bit silly - I didn't really care about it THAT much.

So I tried to think of some good use for it and my first thought was that it might be a good crime deterrent - I mean what criminal wouldn't pick up the subtle message? I think it could be pretty darn effective. For instance, I could use it as a window treatment for my front door:

Or as a welcome mat:

Or perhaps as a sun visor for my car:

But taking him around to pose for all these pictures made me feel a bit of an attachment to him, frankly, and I decided that I couldn't just hang him on my front door or stick him in my windshield. And I REALLY couldn't just throw him away.

So I decided to keep him in my room:

And I think he fits in nicely on the . . . ummmmm . . . unoccupied side of the bed, don't you? I'll admit that a bullet-riddled green man is not the exact KIND of man I had envisioned sharing my bed with. But let's face it, people . . . I'm not really in a position to be picky.

Plus, my New Kids posters are too far under the bed.