Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My new nightmare.

After reading my post about the disturbing increase in flies this summer, my friend Tracy sent me this lovely picture . . .

I DON'T think they're paying her a compliment. Well, I take that back - a fly's perspective is quite different from ours. Those guys are probably enamored with her and her . . . ummmmmm . . . eau de TOILET.

So now I'm going to live in fear of butt-sniffing flies. For the rest of my life.

This is how people get OCD, isn't it?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yeah, that's it - "cartilage."

My sister Erin likes to squeeze the tips of her kids' noses because she just thinks they have the cutest, squishiest little noses in the world. Sometimes the kids try to squeeze the tip of her nose in retaliation but it's not as squishy and, frankly, it hurts. When they asked her why her nose isn't as squishy as theirs, she quickly came up with the best answer she could think of on the spot: "Because you have more cartilage than I do."

Our family motto: "When you don't know the answer, make it up. And make it sound good."

ANYWAY, the other day Erin was lying on her couch and had her hand on her stomach. Out of morbid fascination, she decided to hit her stomach to see how much it would jiggle. It was so entertaining to her that she did it a few more times.

She assures me that this is the way super brilliant people spend their time.

Unbeknownst to Erin, her seven year old daughter Savannah was watching her from the love seat across the room and was greatly interested in this game her mother was playing. She got up from the love seat and laid down on the floor by the couch so that she'd be right by Erin. Then she hit her own belly to see what results she got. Since she naturally has the build of an Olympic gymnast who swims, plays tennis and soccer, lifts weights and runs marathons on the side, her belly didn't jiggle at all. (Don't hate your niece, Catherine. Do NOT hate your niece.)

She tried a couple more times, and each time her belly failed her miserably. She was so disappointed because, alas, she has the Hip Hop Abs I've always wanted. (Don't hate your niece, Catherine. Do NOT hate your niece.) She looked up at Erin and said sadly: "I guess you have more cartilage than I do, Mommy."

Erin assured her that's EXACTLY what it was.

But I think Savannah might be on to something. Why do I try to cut out "saturated fat" and "sodium" and "cholesterol" and "greasy foods that drip down my hands like glorious streams from Heaven?" Maybe the better bet is to try to cut out the cartilage from my diet. It's different but it could work . . . think I'll give it a shot.

And, lucky for me, Swiss Cake Rolls are cartilage-free . . .

Thursday, June 24, 2010

If I see one more fly . . .

Is it just me or does it seem like we are being taken over by flies this summer? Are you noticing this? Has there been some sort of population boom? I mean, it's outta control. In fact, I think a family of flies actually tried to buy a house down the street. Seriously - they are EVERYWHERE right now . . . and they appear to travel in groups of a thousand.

I can't take it anymore.

We've been spending a lot of time outside by my mom's pool so she has invested in some fly swatters for us to have out, almost as decoration for the patio table. My sisters and my mom have become consumed with killing flies - with a fly blood lust, if you will - so it's nearly impossible to have a conversation with them anymore. You know - what with the fly massacre going on around me and all:

Me: So guess what happened to me today!
Erin: [looking at a fly on the table] What?
Tammy: [looking at a fly on a Coke can]
Mom: [looking at a fly on my arm]
Me: Well, I was driving home from work and this car swer-
Erin: DIE!!!!!!! [TWHAP!!] That's 7 for me. Sorry, Catchy - what happened? [looking at a new fly]
Me: Well, this car swerved in front of me and it almos-
Tammy: Come to mama . . . that's it . . . just a little closer . . . HA! SUCKER!! [THWAP!!] That's 8 for me now!
Erin: Whatever! That's only 7 for you!
Tammy: What??! That's 8 for me. I got the one on the plate, the one on the can, the one that fell off the table, the one that -
Erin: Oh yeah - forgot about the one that fell off the table. That was a good one.
Tammy: Sorry, Catch. So what happened with the car? [looking at a new fly]
Me: Well, it almost hit me and I had to swer- [THWAP!] OUCH!!!
Mom: Sorry - it was right there on your arm. I couldn't just let it get away . . .

I'm SO much more mature than they are.

Not only am I having to deal with constant interruptions in our conversations, I also have to hear my mom tell everyone about how gross flies are all the time. I mean, I already know that they're gross but my mom has made something of an art of telling people what flies do. And I'm talking the gory, blow-by-blow details that make your stomach turn. She knows way too much about flies.

See, my mom is one of the most curious people I know. And I mean “curious” as in inquisitive, not as in strange. If she hears something she doesn’t know, she will get on the computer to research it then read approximately 400 books on the subject until she is an expert on the topic. Then, regardless of whether you want her to, she will tell you all about.

Multiple times a month. For the rest of your life.

And that's how it is with the subject of flies. One night when she and my dad were newly married, they were lying in bed listening to the annoying buzzing of a fly overhead. My dad, unbothered, was drifting off to sleep but my mom was wide awake growing more and more irritated by the sound. She began swatting and cursing at the fly until my dad, now disturbed from his almost-slumber, said “Just go turn the bathroom light on and it will fly in there. Then you can close the bathroom door and leave it in there. And then we can get some sleep.” My mom thought he was crazy and told him so. But she also thought it was a worth a try so she did as my dad instructed: she got up and turned on the bathroom light and, sure enough, the fly flew right on in. She was dumbfounded. And totally intrigued. The next day, she was at the library when it opened (this was long before the days of Google) and she checked out every book about flies that she could find. Since that day, my mom has been an expert on the little suckers and loves to enlighten us with various facts about them whenever she can. The tidbit she most frequently shares with us is that when a fly lands on your food, it eats it and throws it back up. Right there on your food. She also likes to tell us that a fly’s legs are covered with a sticky substance that helps it grip onto flat surfaces and that, since flies are very frequently in dirty places like rotting animals and piles of dung, you never know what disgusting substance is rubbing off the fly’s legs onto your food. For 34 years, I’ve been subjected to conversations like this:

Me: [waving off a fly that just landed on my hamburger] Shoo! Stupid flies are everywhere. [picking up hamburger to take a bite]
Mom: [hand on her heart and look of horror on her face] You're gonna EAT that??
Me: Yeah.
Mom: You know what flies do when they land on your food, right?
Me: [Oh crap, here it comes. Maybe I can head it off . . .] Yeah - they throw up on it. [Quick - think of subject change . . .] Guess who I ran into yester—
Mom: No no. That’s not all. They take lots of little bites and immediately throw them back up. All over your food. Not just in one little spot.
Me: Well, I can just pick that part of the bun off so I won’t eat any fly throw up. [Change the subject, Catherine.] Guess wha-
Mom: [raising her eyebrows judgmentally] Well, I GUESS you could do that. But what if you don’t get the right spot?
Me: It was just on this part of the bun.
Mom: Did I ever tell you about their legs?
Me: Yep. [Quick - let her know that you know the story so she won’t tell it again . . .] They have that stuff on their legs that helps them grip onto flat surfaces.
Mom: Yes! They have sticky substance on their legs that helps them grip onto flat surfaces - it’s what helps them stay on the wall or the ceiling. You know, places like that. But think about where they land . . . Have I ever told you about THAT?
Me: Yeah - it’s gross. Dead animals, poop, nasty places. You’ve told me lots of times before . . . [She’s still gonna tell me, isn’t she?]
Mom: Exactly! They land on rotting animals, dung, dead people, sewage, trash, city dumps, biohazardous waste . . . You can’t even imagine! And then it comes and lands on YOUR hamburger.
Me: That’s pretty gross.
Mom: Have I ever told you about how I learned about all that?
Me: Yeah. You were in bed and heard a fly buzzing and dad told you to turn on the bathroom light and you did—
Mom: Yes! Isn’t that amazing?
Me: Yep! [She's gonna tell me the story again in 3 . . . 2 . . . ]
Mom: I was just laying there listening to the fly buzz around and I was getting SO frustrated. Then Dad told me that I should get up and turn the light on and . . .

So this huge increase in flies is really going to be a problem for me. I guess I'll just ha-


That's 10 for me tonight!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We'll finish this conversation when you're older . . .

My sister Erin and her daughter Savannah (7 years old) had a conversation the other day that I thought was just priceless. So I thought I'd share it with you!

As background . . . Erin's friends Jenny and Randy have a little boy named Luke and they are expecting their second baby, who will be born at the end of this month. They found out that they're having a baby girl and they have picked the name Lily for her - so cute! Randy and Jenny are white. Why is that relevant? You'll see . . .

Savannah: Mommy - what would happen if when Lily comes out, she's got brown skin?
Erin: [Weeeeeeeeeeeell, Jenny would have a LOT of explaining to do . . .] Oh my gosh, she would be so CUTE!
Savannah: I know! She would be! [pause for some deep thought] I mean, she wouldn't look the same as Luke . . . but that's okay. Cuz it doesn't matter what you look like on the outside - it only matters what you look like on the INSIDE.
Erin: [Weeeeeeeeeeeell, it would kinda matter to Randy in this instance . . .] You're exactly right!
Savannah: Oh, I hope Lily really DOES have brown skin . . .

She's gonna be SO disappointed when Lily shows up and she's . . . well . . . lily white.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Searching for something?

I told y'all a few months ago about how I have an account with a company that monitors my website and gives me lots of helpful information about my blog. I can find out things like how many hits I'm getting each day (I'm growing - keep reading!), what areas of the world my readers are in (a big Hello to whoever is in Poland!), and what search terms people are using to land on my blog. Sometimes when I'm bored, I like to look at the search terms part because it's just interesting to see how people are finding my site. Most of the terms are some variation of my name or "The Catherine Chronicles" but SOME of the terms are just . . . well . . . they're kind of . . . one might say that they're . . . well, let me just give you some examples:

"Does this make my sog look big" - Okay . . . First of all, I have no idea what your sog is. Second, I'm not going to look at it to tell you if it looks big. And third, I don't like you looking on my blog for the answer to this question.

"'Adam's apple' 'Her throat'" - Oh boy. Ummmm . . . okay . . . wow . . . well, there's really no other way to say this . . . ummmmm - I don't think "her" is a "HER," if you know what I mean . . .

"Mommy you are easy target now" - This makes me feel a bit nervous because it sounds like a line from a horror movie. Please, don't do anything rash.

"What movie does the line 'mirrow mirrow on the wall' come from" - I don't think that line is in ANY movie, actually. Aaaaaaaaaand that's most likely due to the fact that "mirrow" IS NOT A WORD. But the line "MirrOR mirrOR on the wall" comes from Snow White.

"Mirrowmirrow.com" - Seriously? Please tell me you're kidding. Please tell me you have a bet going on how quickly you can cause me to go into a full-blown seizure.

"How to be the coolest aunt ever" - Finally . . . something I'm an expert in. Aside from always having gum in your purse, letting your nieces and nephews climb on you like a jungle gym, and always siding with them when they get in trouble, you must remember three important words: sugar, sugar, sugar. And if you can sneak it to them right after they're parents have said no more, you're GOLDEN.

"Aunt is worst" - Shut your mouth.

"I clog the toilet" - Okaaaaaaaaay. Well, thanks for letting me know. And you know, the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem so you're off to a good start, I guess . . .

"Prank call by Catherine" - Not guilty. And how'd you know it was me??

"But it's cool that you act like like you have no idea who I am" - Wow. SOMEbody went to their 10 year high school reunion and did NOT have a pleasant experience. But at least they're not bitter about it . . .

"Clipart tampon" - 1) Why do you need that? and 2) . . . WHY DO YOU NEED THAT???

"Rascal orgy queer now" - Ummmmmm . . . what? Man, talk about a SPECIFIC search. And you better wipe your hard drive before the FBI finds it, weirdo.

"Which way is up when you fall into a pool" - Mom? Is that you?

So those are the terms that are somehow bringing people to my blog. I'm sure they did NOT find what they were looking for but I'm glad they stopped by. And, I don't know about you, but I'm glad that we have all learned two very important lessons:

1) The word is "Mirror," people.

And 2) There's some guy out there looking for a "rascal orgy queer now."

Lock your doors, friends.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Walk American

As most of you know, my blog is usually light-hearted - I don't use it as a place to go on ranting tirades or as a forum for tackling the big, sensitive issues. I've adopted that approach to blogging partly because that's not the kind of writing that interests me and partly because big, sensitive issues make my butt clench. So I just steer clear of them.

But today that changes.

I've been frustrated by something for years and I've never said anything about it. I've suffered in silence, just hoping that it would change on its own but the problem just continues to persist. So now I say that enough is enough - it's high time someone had the courage to speak up about it. And if that someone has to be me, so be it . . .

[deep breath . . .]

Wal-Mart has its Enter and Exit sides flip-flopped and it drives me CRAZY:
This layout forces you to walk to the left. But I was always taught that you stay to your RIGHT when you're walking. If you're on a sidewalk and someone is walking toward you, you each move to your right and pass without incident. And it makes sense because that's how we drive - to the right. It's the American way. But somehow Wal-Mart missed that memo. And without that rule, pandemonium ensues.

Yes, pandemonium.

Plus, I'm both a rules follower and a creature of habit. So with every trip to Wal-Mart, the two sides of my personality go to battle, each seeking to assert dominance over the other. Do I follow the rules and do as the signs say, under the watchful eye of the nice greeter who hands you your shopping cart? Or do I throw caution to the wind, shake my fists at the security camera, and walk American as I was taught? It's a MAJOR decision, friends. And, either way, I'm going to run into people who have inevitably chosen the opposite way . . . I recognize the panic in their eyes as they walk toward me and I give them a knowing look of understanding as we do the "which side should I pass you on?" dance.

Like I said - pandemonium. And I can't take it anymore.

Now should I be concerned that this bothers me so much? Sure. Do normal, psychologically healthy people notice Enter and Exit signs and feel the need to write about them? Probably not. Should I stop asking questions and answering them myself? Absolutely.

So today I take a stand: Stenciled Enter and Exit decals be damned - I'm walking American and Wal-Mart can just deal with it.

Well . . . unless the greeter guy tells me to follow the signs . . .


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mom translator

My friend Stephen sent me this clip today, saying: "Not sure what made me think of you when I saw this, but anyway . . ."

I really need to get one of those . . .

Monday, June 14, 2010

Confessions from an otherwise brilliant mind.

This afternoon I spent about 5 minutes looking for my sunglasses and could NOT find them anywhere. I looked up, down, and all around, racking my brain to remember where I was when I had seen them last. I was on the brink of sheer panic when I said to my mom and sisters, in a slightly frantic voice "Have you seen my sunglasses anywhere???" They all three looked at my head and my mom said "Aren't they on your head?"

And then I felt like an idiot.

That happens a lot to me - I do something so dumb that I want to assure people around me that I really AM smarter than that. For instance, the other day I met some friends for lunch and, after we were finished, I re-filled my styrofoam cup to take my drink with me. When I got in my car, my cup-holders were already occupied with empty Diet Dr. Pepper cans (because my car is super clean like that) so I just put my styrofoam cup between the outside of my right thigh and my console. No more than five minutes later, as I was driving home, I heard an alarming squeaking noise and had no idea where it was coming from. It turned down my radio, turned off my A/C and listened closely. I convinced myself that the sound was coming from my dashboard so I started driving down the road with one ear down to the dashboard and one eye on the road and began to panic. Was my dashboard about to fall down? Do dashboards squeak when they're about to fall? How much would it cost me to get it fixed? I was just about to do a u-turn and head to the Ford dealership when it dawned on me that the sound was coming from my styrofoam cup.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand then I felt like an idiot.

And then there's the time that I was sitting in my uncle's recliner curling my cousin's hair as she sat on the floor in front of me. I curled a section of her hair and went to set the curling iron down so that I could use both hands to get another section ready for curling. But instead of setting it down on the end-table right next to me, I set it down on my thigh.

Soooooooooo then I was an idiot with a big blister on my thigh.

It's in those moments that I wonder how I ever graduated kindergarten, much less college. Luckily, I'm not alone. There are LOTS of people who are way smarter than me who do stupid things . . .

Like my sister Erin. She decided to make macaroni and cheese for her kids one day. When the noodles were finished cooking, she grabbed the colander so that she could strain the noodles. Aaaaaaand then she held the colander in the palm of her hand while she pour boiling water into it. Somehow she got out of that without having to get a skin graft . . .

Or my sister Tammy. She was driving in Dallas with her husband Brian and saw a sign that said "Frontage Road" so she exclaimed excitedly "They have a Frontage Road here? WE have a Frontage Road in Houston, too!"

And my mom. She really is one of the smartest people I know, which is why I don't feel bad making such fun of her in my posts. But she takes the cake on this one because she was in her thirties before she realized that Mt. Rushmore was NOT a natural phenomenon. Think about that, people - she spent MANY adult years thinking that these rocks just HAPPENED to look like four of our Presidents and that that's why it was such a big deal. Then there was the time in high school when a police officer was killed in the line of duty and people were driving with their headlights on during the day in honor of him. Tammy had been out in her car and was just blown away by the number of people who were driving with their lights on for the officer. She got home and told my mom all about it which, of course, made my mom want to go see it for herself. So Tammy drove her to a nearby bridge that would give her the perfect vantage point over the highway and would allow her to see all the headlights on in the broad daylight. My mom was taken aback by the sight. She put her hand over heart, shook her head slowly, and said "Oh! Just imagine what that would look like if everyone did that at NIGHT."

Yep. I'm in good company.

So now that I've aired my family's less-than-brilliant moments, it's time for the interactive portion of today's blog . . .

What's YOUR confession from YOUR otherwise brilliant mind??

Come on . . . it'll make me feel better about myself.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Put your glasses on, Mom . . .

When my sister Tammy was a toddler, she went through several different hair colors - her hair just couldn't make up its mind. She had white hair, black hair, and red hair before her body finally decided that it wanted to be a blonde.

Tonight my mom and I were looking through some old pictures and my mom found one that brought back a lot of memories and really stopped her in her tracks:

Mom: Wow. This is amazing. Just amazing. Remember how I said that Tammy's hair changed colors a bunch of times when she was little?
Me: Yeah.
Mom: Well, here's a picture of her when she her hair was dark. It's just amazing.
[Hands me this picture . . .]

Me: Yeah. That IS amazing . . .
Mom: [Looking at the picture and shaking her head with an air of nostalgia . . .]
Me: . . . Especially since that's ME.
Mom: [Knitting her eyebrows and looking at the picture more closely. And then shaking her head at me while trying her best not to smile . . .] What. Ever.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

One person's placenta is another person's haircare.

My sister and I were out shopping this afternoon and we stopped off at Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things that we needed. We were in the shampoo aisle when my sister saw something that we may never recover from:

No, ma'am. That's disgusting.

I don't care how soft and shiny it makes my hair, I'm not using it. Oh my gosh - what would I do if some of it got in my mouth while I was washing my hair??? And it wouldn't matter if it smelled like roses, I'd convince myself that it smelled like afterbirth which, of course, would mean that I'd start every morning by throwing up violently. I'd probably lose 30 pounds a bottle.

Hmmmmm . . . actually, maybe I'm being a little too hasty in my judgment on this one . . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dumb . . . and dumber.

I got home this evening after a day in trial and I flopped down on the couch. I picked up my remote and turned my television on. When I turn on my cable, it automatically turns to Channel 2 regardless of what channel I had it on when I turned it off. Channel 2 is a local channel that airs lots of infomercials and lots of shows like Cheaters, Judge Hatchett, and Street Court - you know, the intellectual black-hole type shows. For some reason, my cable occasionally gets stuck on Channel 2 for a few minutes when I first turn it on. So I have to wait before I can access the other channels. Most of the time, it's no big deal - I just wait a few minutes and then change the channel. But OTHER times, I get sucked into an infomercial and find myself thinking that I really do need the Magic Bullet, or the Ab Circle, or the Sham-Wow, or the Total Gym so I can work out just like Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley do. And more often than I'd like to admit, I get sucked into an episode or two of Cheaters.

That happened to me today. And my IQ dropped about 10 points.

You know, when you watch television regularly, you really get a shocking reality check about how dumb some people in the world are. I mean, there are some REALLY dumb people out there . . . and somehow they get television coverage. How do they manage that?? I saw a couple of those people on Channel 2 tonight and it reminded me that I haven't shared some of my favorite "Dumb People on TV" moments. So here you go . . .

[From a woman on the news] "She died very instantly." Oh, what a relief - I HATE hearing about long, drawn-out instant deaths.

[From a girl on Big Brother]: "He got off scotch free." Yeah, but did he get off VODKA-free. That's the real question.

[From that same girl on Big Brother]: "All hell's gonna hit the fan." Well . . . I guess that's better than all sh** breaking loose . . .?

[From a girl who was caught cheating on Cheaters . . .] "What did I learn about cheating? I learned that it's not worth it. And that if you're gonna cheat, you should do it right. Back track everything because someone's probably watching you." Weeeeeeeeell, at least you learned a good moral lesson.

[From a paternity test case on Judge Hatchett . . .] "Joe says that he smokes a lot of marijuana and wears very tight underwear so he cannot be the father of the baby." Really? REALLY, Joe?? On national television, Joe?? You know what - I'm rootin' for ya. I hope you're NOT the father because we do NOT need your contribution to the gene pool. Keep wearing those small undies, bud . . .

[From a guy on the news] "We're pretty much at our last straw." Okay, buddy - that's just the wit's end that broke the camel's back . . .

Aren't you so glad that you're smart?

Aaaaaand that you're not on TV?

Monday, June 7, 2010


My friend Sean recently saw my post about Kirk Cameron and THEN he saw this kid on TV as he was watching news coverage of the Scripps Spelling Bee . . .

Notice who this kid wants to meet???

I lamented to Sean that this kid will probably get to meet Kirk now because he did so well in the spelling bee while, in the meantime, my love will continue to go unrequited. Sean assured me that I would get to meet Kirk when we star in my first movie.

Smart aleck.

But seriously - I should get to meet Kirk because I can spell, to . . . I mean, two . . . I mean, too . . . I can spell, also.

Okay - fine, Aldrin. You win . . . this time.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Decisions, decisions . . .

I went to our neighborhood Macaroni Grill for dinner tonight and, as I pulled into my parking spot, I noticed that I was parking right in front of this sign:

It's like the ultimate "That's Not My Department," isn't it?

I double-checked to make sure that I hadn't accidentally driven to the Macaroni Grill in the 5th Ward and then sat in my car for a second to determine if the bow tie pasta was good enough to justify losing my car and my belongings for. And then I did a brief scan of the parking lot to make sure there wasn't another sign that said "See you inside . . . but if you get shot in a drive-by shooting on your way in, we're not responsible!" Feeling reasonably assured of my safety, I got out of my car and ran quickly inside.

Because, honestly, the bow tie pasta IS really good . . .

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Close, Mom. So, so close.

Well, we had a great Memorial Day at my mom's pool this afternoon. We swam and ate burgers and swam and ate dessert and then swam some more. It was the perfect day. But you know, you really can't go wrong with swimming, burgers, and banana pudding. That's always been MY motto.

No, literally - that's my motto.

Toward the end of the evening, my sister Tammy and her husband, Brian, and I were sitting around talking about 80s music and downloading some of our favorite old songs onto our iPods. I was busy downloading such classics as "Wake Me Up Before you Go Go" and "Sister Christian" when Tammy said something about how we HAVE to put the Eurythmics on our iPods. In response, I made a super-mature face that would be similar to the kind of face one might make when she has stepped in a pile of dog poop. That's when this exchange occurred:

Tammy: [jaw dropped and eyes bugged out] You don't like [lowering her voice so that none of the neighbors would hear the sacrilege] the Eurythmics??
Me: Ugh. [then boldly, so that everyone could hear] No.
Brian: What???
Tammy: How can you not like them?
Me: Ugh. I just never really got why anyone liked them. [Then to continue with my mature argument . . .] They're stupid.
Mom: What? You don't like Annie Lennox??
Me, Tam, and Brian: [slightly surprised that she knew that name but too involved in our iTunes searches to give her props]
Me: No - I don't get what the big deal is about her.
Mom: What - no one's impressed that I knew that Annie Lennox was with the Arrismics.
Me: Awesome . . .
Tammy: Aaaaaaaaaaand that's why we're not impressed . . .

It was the perfect end to the perfect day. In fact, one might say that Sweet Dreams are Made of These momen-

Yeah - the Eurythmics are stupid.