Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Zero to obsessed . . . when will I learn?

Sometimes I'm surprised by how little I know myself. I mean, I know the important things like what music I like (country), my favorite ice cream (Blue Bell Cookies 'N Cream), and how I'd like to die (overdose on Swiss Cake Rolls). But sometimes I make up my mind about something and declare that I don't like it or want nothing to do with it, only to be proven dreadfully wrong in the end when I go from zero interest to obsessed in 10 seconds flat. And it's in those moments that I realize that I really don't know myself at all.

Like the time my sister Erin wanted me to like a new group called The New Kids on the Block and I just rolled my eyes because they were NOT my type. You know how that one ended - a few months later I was signing all my notes in school as Mrs. Joe McIntyre and had decided that I wanted "Please Don't Girl" played at my funeral, should I meet an untimely end. Don't laugh - it would have been a poignant song in that setting . . .

And the same thing happened when Erin tried to get me to read the Twilight books. I made endless fun of her and told her I had no interest in reading stories about teenage vampire because, you know - I'M AN ADULT. I was so convinced that I would NOT like those books back then. But now? TEAM EDWARD, BABY!!

Then there's also the time my sister Tammy was taking Spanish in high school and she tried to teach me a few words of it. I was in 5th grade and could NOT be bothered with it - I had NO interest in learning Spanish at all. I mean, I knew Pig Latin and, as far as I was concerned, that was the only foreign language I needed. BUT then I got to high school and discovered that I loved Spanish, ended up majoring in it in college, and now I have a crush on my yard guy. Well, the last part doesn't really have anything to do with learning Spanish but at least now I know how to translate things like "It's hot out here - feel free to take your shirt off."

Unfortunately, I haven't gained better insight into myself as an adult. When I started trying to cook more, my friend Tracy told me I should get a Barefoot Contessa cookbook and I made a "does something stink in here?" face and told her that I had NO interest in a Barefoot Contessa book. She asked me why and I gave her my very reasonable and well-thought-out response: "I don't like the name Barefoot Contessa." I followed that with a very mature explanation: "I think it's stupid." Tracy, knowing me much better than I know myself, rolled her eyes at me and forced - yes, FORCED - me to get the Barefoot Contessa cookbook. I took it home against my will, protesting the whole time. Aaaaaaaaaaand now I own every one of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and EVEN have one with Ina Garten's autograph . . . love that lady.

Of course, Tracy had already experienced my lack of insight first-hand at an office party. She and I used to work together and she made cakes for folks who were celebrating birthdays. We had LOTS of people who had been born in October so we combined their parties and just had one big October birthday party. Tracy made 5 different cakes and one of them was a homemade fresh strawberry one. I had only ever had box strawberry cakes and I wasn't a fan. So at the party, I sampled the other four cakes (don't you judge me - they were small pieces) but steered clear of the strawberry one. Tracy asked me if I had tried that one and I said "No, I don't care for strawberry cake." She rolled her eyes at me and said "Well, did you at least TRY it?" So I just repeated myself: "No, I don't care for strawberry cake." That's when she forced me - yes, FORCED me - to try a piece of it. And it was probably the best cake I've ever had. I even found myself in the office kitchen at the end of the day trying to figure out how to smuggle a big piece home in my purse.

So you would think that, with all these examples and experiences, I would have learned by now. But I haven't. I just keep misjudging my own likes and dislikes, wants and needs. I still don't have a bit of insight into myself. In fact, just this month . . .

It seems like everyone I know is into Netflix these days and they all tell me that I should join, too. I'm sure you all know what Netflix is but, just in case you don't, I'll explain it to you. It's basically an online DVD rental company. You search their online directory and select DVDs that you want delivered to your house. When you select the DVD, it goes into your "queue" and then they send you a DVD in a little red envelope, you watch it, return it in a pre-paid envelope, and then they send you the next one in your queue. It's really a great idea. Anyway, so many people in my life are Netflixers and they love it so they're always telling me to do it. But I have no interest. The conversations are always the same and I always end up saying something like "Well, I'm not really a big movie rental person so it would just be a waste of money for me." And, honestly, that's how I feel. But I started thinking the other day that there are a few television shows that I never followed that might be fun to watch. I thought it would be fun to order an entire series on DVD and watch it from start to finish. And since they have lots of different television series to choose from, I decided to take the Netflix plunge two weeks ago. I signed up, thinking that I might find a show or two that I'd like to order. No big deal. Just one or two . . .

As of tonight, I have 321 discs in my Netflix queue. Three hundred and twenty freakin' one. And every day I come home so excited to check my mailbox for my next red envelope - it has just about become the reason for my existence. I get positively giddy when I see the envelope and I marvel at how fast they got it to me. Plus, someone mentioned that you can actually have friends on Netflix and that allows you to see their queues, leave them comments about their selections, and recommend movies or shows to them. So now I'm sending friend requests to people, which means that I basically went from quietly abstaining from Netflix to STALKING people on there. It's crazy.

It's seriously one of the best ideas of the century - I want to kiss the person who came up with it. I want them to show up to my house in a red envelope so I can kiss them and make them a Barefoot Contessa dinner and a strawberry cake.

[deep breath]

I need help.

Monday, August 30, 2010

One man's junk is another man's . . . wall-hanging?

I've had to be on the road a bit lately for depositions. I love a good road trip so driving to places like San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, or Rusk is no inconvenience to me - I LOVE it. If you've never heard of it, Rusk is a little town in East Texas. They have a great old courthouse on a town square that is, in my opinion, quintessential small-town Texas. The drive out there is nice because it takes you through some pretty country. So I never complain when we have a deposition up that way.

In fact, we were there recently for a deposition and, afterwards, we decided to eat at a little restaurant on the square before we headed home. There weren't too many options so we picked one little restaurant/gift shop across from the courthouse and popped in for some lunch. As we waited for our lunch to be ready, I took a look around. Three quarters of the place was set aside for the restaurant - they had tables and chairs and a little buffet in the back. And a quarter of it was a little shop. I perused the trinkets they had on display to see if they had anything I wanted. You know - maybe something to decorate my house? Maybe some jewelry? Maybe a gift for my mom or sisters?

Orrrrrrrrrr maybe a Fashion Cowboy Hat?
You know, I'm not sure they define "Fashion" the same way I do . . .

However, not seeing eye to eye on such minor words as "fashion" didn't stop me or discourage me in my quest for an item to purchase. But, alas, I looked high and low and didn't find anything that I wanted. Which was a real bummer because I always like to buy things in little stores like that. But my perusal of the store wasn't a total loss because I saw an interesting decorating/crafting idea that I thought I'd pass on to y'all . . .
I mean, if you have rusty silverware, rusty cheese graters, an old rolling pin, a cowhide, and some chicken wire laying around - get that hot glue gun and go to town, folks. And if you can throw in a random rusted out padlock, you've got yourself a masterpiece. This is either "thinking outside the box" at its best or a hoarding problem.

I haven't decided which one yet . . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

You take me for a fool, fool??

My mom and my sister Tammy went shopping today and ran across an interesting bargain:

Apparently they don't get a lot of math majors at this store. And they do NOT want people buying in bulk . . .

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I had trial this week (and we won, thankyouverymuch) so I took it easy this evening. I decided that I would invite my mom to come over and have dinner and watch this Irish show that we discovered on Netflix. I called her up and she said that sounded like a great idea so I headed out to the store to get the groceries I needed for dinner. On my list of things to get was a package of chicken tenderloins so, once I got all the produce on my list, I headed over to the meat department. I walked toward the chicken section and found myself standing next to a very nice butcher who was putting some marked-down meats in the cooler. He looked over at me and we had this conversation:

Butcher: Do you or your husband like rib-eyes?
Me: [Oh boy . . . this is awkward. Do I tell him I'm not married? Will that make him feel awkward for assuming that I was? I don't want him to feel awkward. I HATE when people feel awkward. Maybe I should just go along with it and pretend like I AM married. Maybe I should make up a husband and start talking about him. I could say things like "Oh BOY does he like a good rib-eye!" Or I could make up a name for him to make him sound real, like: "Oh my gosh - Joe JUST asked me to cook him a rib-eye tonight!" Or I could say something playful like: "Joe's more of a tenderloin guy, if you know what I mean wink wink nudge nudge." But that seems like kind of a pathetic thing to do. Well, I need to do SOMETHING because he's staring at me and waiting for a response. Maybe I should tell him that my husband doesn't like people staring at me. Oh Good Lord, Catherine. It's just a simple question - answer it.] Weeeellll . . .
Butcher: The reason I'm asking is that I JUST marked this meat down so it's a REALLY good deal.
Me: Oh, really? [Beep beep beep . . . wait - is that my "expired meat" radar going off?]
Butcher: It was $26 and I just marked it down to $16. Sooooo . . .
Me: Wow. That really IS a great deal! [For OLD meat . . .]
Butcher: Yeah. So if your husband likes it . . .
Me: [Okay - he's just rubbing it in now.] Well, I probably couldn't cook it tonight so I'm not sure how long it would last in my fridge.
Butcher: Oh, well just freeze it!
Me: Oh. Well, yeah - I could do that. [If I wanted to feed Joe old meat, mister!]
Butcher: That's what I do. My dad used to own this old country store and he would always bring home the old meat.
Me: [AHA!!!! I KNEW it!]
Butcher: And he always said it was the best meat because it was the AGED meat. Soooo . . .
Me: Oh . . .
Butcher: So that's the only kind I eat!
Me: Well, that's a good idea! [Oh . . . my . . . gosh - he's trying to give me mad cow disease.]
Butcher: [with a little bit of a "you didn't hear this from me" tone] But I would freeze it for a day or two if I were you. You know - just in case . . .
Me: [No - I DON'T know. Just in case of WHAT??] Oh, okay!
Butcher: Just a tip. [Walking away] But your husband will like it!
Me: [Okay, SERIOUSLY???]

And that's when I headed to the ice cream aisle.

But I really almost bought the old meat because I didn't want to hurt the guy's feelings. And I didn't want to pass up a good deal on some rib-eyes.

Because Joe really DOES like a good steak . . .

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spending time with Ben and Dearsie

My 6 year old nephew, Ben, spent the night at my mom's house the other night. He arrived at her house with all of his knight action figures and related toys, including a catapult. When my mom saw these and heard that he intended to play knights with my mom, she was a little concerned. I mean, she raised three daughters and we never played knights so she wasn't quite sure how to do it. But she decided that she was going to play knights like no one else ever has. In fact, she was going to stage the best medieval war right there in her living room. Ben would declare her the best grandmother and the best strategist to ever walk the Earth.

To accomplish this goal, she ran upstairs and grabbed a few things that she could use to build a fortress for her knights and then ran back downstairs. Then she sat down on living room floor, across from Ben, and started to build her fortress. She was preparing for the beginning of what was sure to be a bloody battle with Ben's knights, when Ben started this conversation:

Ben: Okay. Are you ready?
Mom: Yep!
Ben: Okay. We're gonna start with breakfast.
Mom: YOU'RE GOING DOW- wait . . . what?
Ben: We're gonna start with breakfast.
Mom: Oh . . . okay . . .
Ben: Do you want bacon or a side of ham?
Mom: Ummm . . . bacon.
Ben: Well, then you have to make it! Just go like this [demonstrating how to use a make-believe skillet] and then you have to say "ssssssssssssssss." Because that's the sound it makes when it's cooking.
Mom: Okaaaaaaaay . . . well, what about the battl-
Ben: And when the knights are eating, they have to make a sound like this "Num num num num." That means that they like the bacon or side of ham.
Mom: Okay . . . ummmmm . . . sssssssssssssssssssss.

So the knights ate their breakfast with no talk of battle. When the imaginary breakfast was over, Ben took my mom's knight, placed it in the catapult and launched it. Then he declared the war to be over, much to my mom's dismay. What a waste of a fortress . . .

Later, they had this conversation:

Mom: I won't be able to call you my sweet little boy much longer because you're growing up so fast!
Ben: Oh Dearsie. You're so silly.
Mom: Well, it's true! You're getting so big! Pretty soon you'll be driving over to my house in your own car!
Ben: Deeeeeeeeeeeearsiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie . . .
Mom: I'm serious. You'll be driving your own car and you won't have to get your mommy or daddy to bring you over!
Ben: Dearsie, I don't even have my own car!
Mom: Well, not yet! But you will! Maybe I'll buy you one - what do you think about that?
Ben: Nah - you'll forget . . . And you'll be dead by then anyway.
Mom: Well . . . you just talked yourself out of a car, buddy . . .

My mom's starting to wonder why her grandchildren keep wanting to kill her off so early. But I don't think that's what's really going on here. I think it's much simpler than that. See, I think Ben has seen how my mom often mistakes Honda Accords or Pontiac Grand Ams for my Ford Mustang or how she calls all SUVs, big AND little, "Expeditions" and he does NOT want her picking out a car for him.

And, frankly, I can't blame him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Must be a mom thing . . .

I'm not a mom (as my nieces and nephew remind me often) but I KNOW lots of moms and I've observed that something strange happens to women when they have kids. They sleep lightly enough that a baby moving its little finger will wake them up. They wash dishes in water that Satan himself would call scalding. And they start to willy nilly re-name places and things around them.

For instance . . .

My mom just recently got a new television and a Blu Ray player. She's never really used the Blu Ray on her own so she doesn't know how to use it yet, which prompted this little conversation between my mom and my sister Erin:

Erin: What are you gonna do tonight, Mom?
Mom: Vicki and I are going to watch a movie.
Erin: Oh, that's fun! Are you gonna watch it over here or at her house?
Mom: Well, I don't know. I'd like to watch it over here but I don't know how to use the Black View yet.
Erin: The "Black View?"
Mom: Yeah. I just don't know if I know how to use it.
Erin: The "Black View?"
Mom: Yeah. Can you show me how to use it?
Erin: [thinking . . .] Are you talking about the HD?
Mom: No. The Black View.
Erin: [thinking . . .] Ummmm . . . the wide screen?
Mom: No. The BLACK VIEW. The thing that you put the things in.
Erin: Okaaaaaaaaay . . . that helps tremendously.
Mom: You know . . . the thing.
Erin: No - I don't kn- oooooooooooooooh! I got it! The Blu Ray?
Mom: Yeah . . . Wait - why are you laughing?

And it's not just my mom . . .

My friend Robin just emailed me the other day to tell me that her mother had called her to see if she wanted to grab lunch at Genghis Grill. If you've never been there, it's a really cool place. It's a Mongolian grill so you go through a buffet line, putting all the raw ingredients, spices, and seasonings you want into a bowl. When you get to the end of the line, you hand your bowl off to a guy who cooks it all for you. Then they give your food in a cool red bowl and you eat it up. Well, Robin's mom, Sandra, wanted to go grab lunch there so she called Robin and they had this conversation:

Sandra: I was just calling to see if you wanted to go to that Beijing place!
Robin: The "Beijing place?"
Sandra: Yeah! You know - Beijing Bowl.
Robin: Beijing Bowl??
Sandra: Yeah! You wanna get lunch there?
Robin: [thinking . . .] Ummm . . . Beijing Bowl??
Sandra: Yeah. You know - the Beijing place with the red bowls.
Robin: You mean Genghis Grill?
Sandra: Yes! That's it! [pause] So instead of a "BB" it's a "GG" . . .

But the best messed-up name I've heard in a long time actually came from my best friend's mom, Pam. She was helping Jill put some laundry away the other day and she picked up one of Jill's bras and said "This is a pretty one. Did you get it from Rebecca's Secret?"

And, actually, that story got even funnier to me tonight when I told my mom what I was going to write about. I re-capped the stories and she said "The red bowl one is so funny. But I can't remember what's wrong with 'Rebecca's Secret' . . ."


Man - you gotta love our moms and their creative re-naming processes! I don't know how they do it . . . but I'm sure glad they do!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A blah-g for you!

Sometimes my life is just plain boring. Like a beige kind of boring. I go through these periods where nothing interesting or noteworthy happens. I know that's normal. But the problem is that I need things to blog about so boring is not good for me. I mean, y'all don't want to hear about my life when things are boring, do you?

You do? Really?

Ok! Great! Well, have I got a blah-g for you!!

The latest in my work life . . .
I was reading a file the other day at work and ran across a statement from a TDCJ guard who was reporting a fight that had occurred on his unit. He explained how the fight broke out, who was involved, and how they "used chemical agents to quail the disturbance." I tried to figure out why they would use chemical agents and throw quail at the offenders - that seems like it might border on cruel and unusual punishment. Especially for the quails. But then I realized that he meant "quell" and then I laughed. And breathed a sigh of relief for those poor quails.

Then I read another file that had a statement by an offender. Apparently he felt that he was being set up to take the fall for something because he explained that he "was used as a guinea pig to accept blame for the offenses." I thought to myself that if the offense was "criminal misuse of common phrases," he was definitely guilty. But, hey, it's a common mistake to make: "scape goat" sounds JUST LIKE "guinea pig." So I get it.

The latest in my home life . . .
My air conditioner died last week. In August. And the worst part about it was that it died on Tuesday and they couldn't come replace it until Friday. So that meant that my roommate and I had to live in the sweltering heat. For three days.

Did I mention that it's August?

It was miserable. My dog just laid around, refusing to move, and I spent the entire time sweating like Ashley Judd in A Time To Kill . . . it was horrible. But it's funny how your perspective can change so quickly when something like that happens to you. On Tuesday, when I came home from work, my house was 82 degrees and we were BURNING UP. It felt like hell had been temporarily relocated to my house. But then when the new A/C was installed on Friday and the house had finally cooled down to 82 degrees, we each grabbed a blanket and called everyone we knew to tell them how cool our house was. But now our house is back down to a glorious 72 degrees so life is good. And if it ever goes back to 82, I'm moving.

The latest in my quest to be cool . . .
This week I had a major set-back in my search for street cred. I've been doing pretty well lately, earning my street cred bit by bit. I've been listening to Top 40 music, throwing around names like "Jaz Z" whenever I can, and saying phrases like "don't be trippin', yo" just for good measure. I've felt pretty proud of the progress I've made and was ALMOST ready to declare myself "hip-and-with-it" . . . until this week . . . when I had to use dictionary.com to look up the plural of "ho." My street cred plummeted at that moment and I found myself back at square one, feeling strange urges to say things like "gee golly" and "my, that sweater set is lovely." It's really quite distressing.

The latest in my social life . . .
Today we threw a shower for my friend Tracy (Jill's sister). She and her husband Brian have adopted two boys from Ethiopia and they get to go pick them up at the end of this month. And let me tell y'all - these boys are BEAUTIFUL. It's been so exciting to follow the adoption process with them - they are going to be GREAT parents. These little boys are so lucky to have been placed in their home.

As these are Tracy and Brian's first kiddos, we wanted to throw them a baby shower to give them all the goodies they need for when the little guys get here. Jill and I were co-hostesses with Tracy's mom's friends, Carol and Peg. My job was a pretty simple one: order a cake, pick it up, and bring it to the shower.

Simple, right?

So I got the cake from a local bakery called Nielsen's Bakery and it turned out really cute. We had them put two little blue baby buggies on it and a caption that read "They are yours!" because that's what the Ethiopian judge said to them when she finalized their adoption. It was all very cute and sentimental and I was so excited to get it to the party so that everyone could see how it turned out.

But before I headed over to Carol's house with the cake, I had to decide what I was going to wear. I've been opting for capris as of late but today I decided to wear a skirt instead. Plus, I had these super cute new shoes that I wanted to wear and I knew they'd go perfectly with the skirt I had picked out. So, the decision made, I got dressed and got the cake and headed to Carol's house. When I arrived, I decided to not park in the driveway so I just parked my car in front of their house, just along the curb by their front yard. I got out of the car and walked onto the grass to get to the passenger side where the cake was. I carefully got it out and began to walk across the grass to the driveway. Just as I was stepping onto the driveway, my right foot landed in the divot between the grass and the driveway. That's when my ankle rolled. Aaaaaaaaand I went down. Cake and all.

I swear it took me 30 minutes to fall. It was like super slow motion. I was trying my best to regain my balance but that only resulted in me doing this weird ankle-roll walk that could NOT have looked graceful. My eyes bugged out and I held my breath for the big impact. My ankles finally said "I quit!!" and stopped trying to regain balance and I went down. While my skirt flew up. I finally hit the driveway with the force of a fallen tree but somehow - miraculously - I managed to keep the cake completely level as I fell. Unfortunately, that meant that I didn't have my hands available to break the fall. Which meant that my knees broke the fall for me. And since I was in a skirt, that hurt like a . . . like a . . . well, it just hurt REALLY bad.

I hopped up as quickly as could. Pulled my skirt back down and looked around to see if anyone had seen me. As far as I could tell, I was in the clear so I bent down, and picked up the cake and tried to walk in as if nothing had happened. Aaaaaaaaaaand then that's when I saw that my knees were bleeding. So I spent the day playing hostess at a very nice shower with a bunch of lovely women . . . aaaaaaaaand the knees of a 6 year old tomboy. Should have worn the capris . . .

But I SAVED THE CAKE, thankyouverymuch.

So that's it. That's what's been going on with me lately. Boring? Yes. But that's what makes it so blah-gtastic. But now I have to stop writing so that I can put some Neosporin on my knees, nurse a twisted ankle, and get under my covers because it's COLD up in he-ah!! Shoot.

Yep - my street cred's comin' back . . .

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh . . . did NOT see that coming.

My sisters are really into Yellow Box flip flops. Have you heard of them? They're really cute flip flops and they have lots of fun colors and styles. You can get them in camo, pink bling, polka dot, zebra, cheetah, plaid - every kind of fun pattern you can imagine. They're pretty popular right now, especially with my sisters. Erin is the one who discovered them in my family and she quickly got Tammy hooked on them, as well.

In fact, Tammy just had a birthday so Erin and I each got her a pair of Yellow Boxes because we knew she really wanted some new ones. She was SUPER excited and loved the styles that we had chosen. She wears them all the time and she gets lots of compliments on them every time she does. The other day she wore a pair with a black leather strap that was decorated with stones and studs - they're very cute. While she was out running errands that day, she stopped by the dry cleaners and had this conversation with the lady there:

Lady: Oh my gosh - WHERE did you get those flip flops??
Tammy: [Man - people LOVE these things] My sister got them for me for my birthday! They're Yellow Boxes . . . [pause for reaction].
Lady: Do you know where she got them?
Tammy: Ummmmm . . . I think she found these at a Hallmark. [twisting her ankle around and modeling her foot for full effect] But I know you can get them at Charming Charlie's and a couple of other places.
Lady: Oh really? Well, I need to go get them.
Tammy: [I should tell her that I get compliments on these ALL the time. You know - to help her make the decision to get some . . .] You should! I get compli-
Lady: Yeah. I'm going to New York next week and I'm trying to get all the obnoxious Texas stuff I can find so I can wear it all when I'm up there.
Tammy: [Wait . . . what?] Oh . . . uh huh . . . [Act natural, Tammy. Act natural.]

Sooooooooooo Tammy is selling her Yellow Boxes if anyone is interested . . .

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Frogs and mummies and penguins . . . oh my!

I recently ate at Chuy's Mexican restaurant in The Woodlands with one of my friends. If you don't know, Chuy's is a restaurant chain in Texas that's really popular and has a fun atmosphere. It's not my favorite place to eat (because my soul mate is Lupe Tortilla) but it DOES have the best sauce ever - the Creamy Jalapeno dip. It's soooooooo good and makes the trip to Chuy's totally worth it.

Know what else makes the trip to Chuy's totally worth it? The artwork in the back left corner of The Woodlands location. If you ever get a chance to sit back there, take a look at the walls. They are decorated by a series of paintings that are . . .well . . . I guess you could call them . . . I'd say that they're . . . well, I'll just show them to you. Here are few of my favorites:

I call this one "The Worst Birthday Party EVER."
Seriously - this is just cruel. That thing is the size of a planet. AND IT HAS SPIKES. It's like the pinata that fights back - like something out of an Indiana Jones movie. This family doesn't just GIVE their candy away - those people are gonna EARN it, dangit.

Here's another one I like. I call it "Ankle Weights? Check!"
It's such a peaceful scene: a kid and his over-sized kite on a windy day just seconds after the kid gives an obscene thrusting gesture to the kite. It's pure Americana.

Then we have the one I call "I Meant To Do That."
You know - I didn't actually see him fall but I can tell he did it gracefully. I mean, his top button did not budge, his hand is extended gracefully in the style of a ballerina, and his face is set in a calm, snobby expression that's no doubt meant to inform us all that we can quit laughing because he "meant to do that." Of course, it's no surprise that he can fall so gracefully. I mean, he's probably had lots of practice falling, what with the toddler-sized feet and all . . .

Another one of my favorites is the one I have named "Acid Trip":
The longer I look at this picture, the more I want to ask "Is this what it feels like to be high?"

Aaaaaaaaaaand then I see this one . . .
and wonder if I really AM high.

Another one I like is the one I've named "Nice penguins. Niiiiiiiiiice penguins."
Is it just me or are those penguins unusually large? I mean, they come up to his waist. And his . . . ummm . . . nether regions. That's not normal. And I think he's thinking the same thing because his butt is clenched BIG TIME.

But my all-time personal favorite is this one. I call it "Count 1 - Indecency with a Child."
Is that a mummy in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Twice.

So there you have it - my favorites from the Chuy's gallery in the back left corner of The Woodlands location. But you might have your own favorite so you should really go check them out for yourself. If you do, let me know what you think.

And bring me some jalapeno dip . . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Forget the security camera - use a dictionary.

I had a quick errand to run today and, while I was out, I saw this sign on a store's window:

And then, of course, that made me want to issue them a spelling citation and inform them that spelling "violaters" would be prosecuted, too. And don't even get me started on the missing period at the end of the second sentence - proofread, people!!

You know, if you're gonna make threats, you should really use spell check - especially before you break out your little letter stickers. Because this sign did not in any way make me fear the proprietors (or perhaps I should say "proprieters") - it just made me get out my camera and then blog about them.

I don't think that's the reaction that they were going for . . .

Monday, August 9, 2010

Survival 101

For some reason lately, I've been really into survival shows. I don't know why - they're just interesting to me. The two I'm watching right now are Dual Survival and Man Woman Wild, both of which are Discovery Channel shows. Their premises are similar in that the people on the show are dropped into some sort of survival scenario with only a few supplies to help them and the goal is to reach civilization or be rescued. But each show has a different spin on how to present the information. Dual Survival is about two guys who have totally different survivalist backgrounds - one is a former Army sniper and Special Reaction Team instructor and the other is a hippy-ish minimalist who doesn't wear shoes, regardless of the climate they're dropped off in. They use their different skills to get out of the situation together. And Man Woman Wild is about a husband and wife team - he is a former Special Forces survival expert and she is a British news reporter. So the show is basically him teaching her what she needs to know in each of the survival scenarios they are placed in. And I can't help it . . . I'm a sucker for both shows.

One of my favorite things about these programs is getting to guess what I would do in each situation that the hosts are placed in. Part of me thinks that I could survive using the skills I am undoubtedly learning from shows like these. But the more realistic part of me knows that I would be dead within days - well, maybe hours - of the survival experience. And chances are I'd die in one of three ways . . .

1. My survival partner would kill me.

Both of these shows start out the same: the hosts are left stranded in a situation that a normal person might find himself in. Maybe they were on a safari and their jeep broke down in the middle of the jungle. Maybe they were on a ship that sank and they find themselves floating in the waters off of Novia Scotia in a lifeboat. Or maybe they were backpacking the mountains of New Zealand and got lost. Whatever the situation, these hosts handle the realization that they are stranded extraordinarily well. They simply take an inventory of the supplies they have in their backpacks or boats or cars or whatever they have and then they adapt to the situation.

Not I.

The moment I realize that I'm lost in the waters of Nova Scotia or in the jungles of Africa, I'm going to start to crying. And not just like a sweet, soft kind of cry that might make you say something comforting like "Don't worry, sweetie - you're gonna be alright." No. I'm going to wail. Then I'd check my cell phone to see if I had any service and when I realized that I didn't, I'd start hyperventilating. And crying louder . . . like a snotty, loud blubbering that will make you want to drown me so that you can survive in peace. So chances are that I'd meet my end pretty quickly upon being lost.

But if THAT didn't kill me, then . . .

2. I'd starve.

On both of these shows, they eat things that make me gag just sitting here in my living room. I've seen them eat ants, bugs, and rodents and I just couldn't do it. On one episode of Dual Survival one of the guys was eating something he called a Hoo Hoo Grub and he was talking about how nutritious they are.

Seriously? A Hoo Hoo Grub?

I could never eat them because, frankly, they sound like an STD. Now if they were Ho Ho Grubs, I could do it because, as you know, the Ho Ho is the distant cousin of the Swiss Cake Roll. But a Hoo Hoo grub? Absolutely not. If my survival depends on me eating grubs, I'm going to die. They'll find my body shriveled up from hunger . . . but they'll find no Hoo Hoo Grub bits in THESE teeth.

But if a Ho Ho/Swiss Cake Roll grub got me through the starvation, then . . .

3. I'd die of fear.

On Man Woman Wild recently, they were in the African jungle. It was late and the man and wife were taking turns sleeping. While the wife was doing her turn as the lookout, she heard a menacing growling in the bushes nearby. She calmly woke her husband up and they had to sit there in the dark and wait to be attacked.

Nope. No way.

Look - I don't even like to go outside in my backyard when it's dark because if I hear a noise in the bushes, I'm paralyzed with fear. And if, God forbid, a cat or raccoon comes running out from BEHIND the bush, I'm done. I'll come back in the house, collapse on the couch still shaking, and call everyone I know to tell them about my harrowing night. My friends would all tell me how scary that situation was and how courageous I was to live through it and share my story with others. And then I'd blog about it.

This is not what survivalists are made of, friends.

But even though I know that my survival experience would come to a sudden and whiny end, I keep watching these survivalist experts do their things. Why? Because it's interesting. Because it's inspiring. Because maybe, just MAYBE, I can learn something from them that I can use one day.

You know, in case I ever find myself stranded in the Brazilian rainforest with just a backpack and a Ho Ho Grub.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A quick Nora gem

Well, I'm wrapping up my second trial in 2 weeks . . . I'm so tired!!! So I'm going to bed so that I'm all rested in time for my closing argument tomorrow morning but, before I go, I wanted to leave you with this quick little gem . . .

We were sitting around tonight at my mom's house chatting with some friends and we got on the topic of things that are annoying. At one point in the conversation, our friend David said that he got SUPER annoyed by people who still write checks. That's when this conversation happened:

David: You know what I think is really annoying? People who still write checks.
Erin: Me, too! And that's my mom! She still writes checks.
Mom: No, I don't!
Erin: Yes, you do.
Mom: No, ma'am.
Erin: Mom - yes, you do. You still say things like "I'm gonna go cash a check at the grocery store."
Mom: No, I don't! I use my IPM card!
Erin: Your "IPM" card??
Mom: Yes! I use that and I get money at the . . . the . . .
Erin: The "IPM" machine?
Mom: Yeah!

What would we do for entertainment without her around???