Thursday, December 22, 2011

An oldie but goodie . . .

I didn't have time to blog tonight but, since I don't want December to keep passing me by without any good holiday posts, I thought I would re-post one that I did last year about Christmas songs.  I'd like to say that I'm posting it by popular demand but, really, I'm re-posting it because my mom asked me to.  She loved this one and, since she provides half my blogging material, I thought I would oblige her!!

So read this one from this time last year . . . and have a great Thursday!!


Fa la law la law la law law law

What is there NOT to love at Christmastime?? The colors, the lights, the fun wrapping papers, the decorations, the food, the Christmas cheer . . . it's all so wonderful. But I have to say that my favorite part about this time of year is the music. I love - L.O.V.E. - love Christmas music. Like to an annoying degree. If you ever happen to be standing next to me when Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" comes on, you'll see what I mean. And if there happens to be a brush in the vicinity that I can use as a microphone, forget it . . .

But I've discovered something interesting about Christmas music. As you grow up, you start actually paying attention to and understanding the words that you're singing. And that can open your eyes and change the way you feel about the songs that you've loved all your life. Take "The Twelve Days of Christmas," for example. I grew up singing that song with gusto - especially the "fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive golden rings" part. But now that I'm older, I can't help but think to myself "that guy is the WORST 'true love' EVER." Seriously. I mean, if I had been his girlfriend, that song would be called "The first day of Christmas" because I would have left with my partridge in a pear tree and cut my losses. I have no idea why that girl stuck around for the 12 pipers piping. She's either a better woman than I or does not know about eharmony.

Then, to make matters worse, I went to law school. See - law school ruins your brain and changes the way you see the world. You hardly know it's happening, but happen it does. One day you're driving down the road and you see a car accident and you think to yourself "Oh, I hope that no one's hurt." And the next day, you're driving down the road and you see an accident and you throw your business card out the window. That's how it works. Subtly but surely, law school changes you so that, without even thinking about it, you're spotting potential legal issues that pop up around you. It's a gift and curse. But at Christmastime - with my beloved Christmas music - it's a curse . . .


I'll Be Home For Christmas . . .

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

This is a textbook breach of contract case - will he or will he NOT be home for Christmas? I mean, he clearly committed because he says he's coming home and we can count on him. He even goes so far as to require us to prepare for his homecoming by getting snow (a difficult and, I would imagine, expensive feat), mistletoe, and placing presents under the tree. Then, after we have relied upon his representation and incurred these expenses, he inexplicably backpedals and says he'll be home, even if it's only in his dreams. Well, that wasn't the deal buddy. Be home for Christmas or you'll be hearing from my lawyer.


I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus . . .

I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night
She didn't see me creep
Down the stairs to have a peep
She thought that I was tucked up
In my bedroom, fast asleep

Then I saw Mommy tickle Santa (tickle, tickle, Santa Claus) Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night


Some people call this a Christmas song. I call it "Exhibit A" in "Daddy's" subsequent divorce and custody proceeding . . .


Santa Claus Is Coming to Town . . .

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He's making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town
He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

I know that these lyrics help kids walk the straight and narrow each year around Christmastime, I do. I get it. But, seriously - it's a little creepy, isn't it? And I believe that it qualifies as a stalking offense in Texas. I mean, maybe there are no laws about watching people when they're sleeping in the North Pole, but we do things a little differently down here, my friend. So keep your peepers to yourself or you'll get your Miranda warnings when you DO come to town . . .


We Wish You a Merry Christmas . . .

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy New Year.
Glad tidings we bring
To you and your kin;
Glad tidings for Christmas
And a happy New Year!

So bring us some figgy pudding
So bring us some figgy pudding
So bring us some figgy pudding
Please bring it right here!
Glad tidings we bring
To you and your kin;
Glad tidings for Christmas
And a happy New Year!

We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
So bring it out here!
Glad tidings we bring
To you and your kin;
Glad tidings for Christmas
And a happy New Year!

These are either the worst Christmas guests ever or they are burglarizing your home. I think it may be the latter. First, they earn your trust and gain entry into your home by wishing you a Merry Christmas - who wouldn't be disarmed by such a congenial act of well-wishing? Then, as soon as you drop your guard, BAM! they start demanding some of your figgy pudding. And before you can even respond to their rude manners, BAM! they're extorting you by refusing to leave until you meet their demands. It's a Christmas crime that is not entirely uncommon. But don't worry - we'll get these guys and file trespassing and extortion charges against them. Let's just hope there's some DNA evidence in that figgy pudding . . .


Baby It's Cold Outside . . .

I simply must go - Baby, it's cold outside
The answer is no - Ooh baby, it's cold outside
This welcome has been - I'm lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm -- Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious - Man, your lips look so delicious
My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh your lips look delicious
Well maybe just a half a drink more - Never such a blizzard before

I've got to go home - Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there
Say, lend me your comb - It's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand - Your eyes are like starlight now
But don't you see - How can you do this thing to me
There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Making my life long sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can't stay - Get over that old out
Ahh, but it's cold outside

Okay - let me say at the outset that this is one of my favorite songs, especially the version from Elf. But, let's be honest - this song is just a verse and a chorus away from a date rape . . .


So there you have it - that's what law school has done to me. Sometimes I wish I could stop the law school curse and re-live those carefree days of singing without analyzing and issue-spotting. But, alas, I cannot. But don't worry, I still find lots of joy in singing along with every Christmas song I hear during the season.

Especially "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" . . .

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Misfit Decorations

A few weekends ago, I was out with my mom shopping for a few new Christmas decorations.  It's always interesting to see the different styles of Christmas decorations out there - there is definitely something for everyone.  But this year, as we walked through the store, I was struck by the strange decorations that were for sale.  They seemed less like cute things you'd want in your house and more like escapees from the Island of Misfit Decorations.  I'm just not sure who is buying these particular items.

Like this super classic decoration.  I call it "Happy hoo hoo ha ha."  


That's supposed to sound like a monkey.  Say it again now that you know - hiLARious, right??  Thought so . . .

Then we have the two angels who got kicked out of the band because they couldn't quite figure out what to do with the horns . . .



I call them "Angels we have NOT heard on high . . ."

Or the Santa who was recently tortured on the rack . . .


The fact that he survived at all is a Christmas miracle.  The fact that he celebrated survival with a snowflake hat is a shame.

And what Christmas would be complete without a witch-like figurine, stretching her bony fingers toward you, beckoning you to come closer?


If she asks you if you want to join her for Christmas dinner, run.

I think this poor kid got a little too close to the witch aaaaaaaaaaaaand ended up atop random kitchen items.  This is a great decoration idea, don't you agree?  I don't know about YOU but nothing puts ME in the holiday spirit quite like a kid's head on top of a strainer with a freakin' whisk sticking out of his side. 


I call this next one "Joy to the World" because, lest you get carried away with happiness and fun this season, this little guy has a golden tear to bring you back down to Earth.  And, frankly, it's about time someone created this Christmas decoration.  I mean, sometimes we all need to be reminded that living on top of a teapot sucks.  Am I right or am I right?


Finally, my favorite . . .



I imagine this is what Santa would look like if he fell off his sleigh somewhere over the Alaskan wilderness and had to survive in the wild for 30 years.  Don't you want him on YOUR mantel with that wild, desperate look in his eyes? Just make sure you don't leave cookies out for him.  He prefers squirrel.  Medium rare.

Seriously - I really don't understand who is buying these things. 

Unless of course YOU have them in YOUR house, in which case they are lovely. Just looooooovely.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Let's not get ahead of ourselves . . .

My mom and I were out shopping for Christmas decorations the other day and, as we were pulling out of one parking lot, we noticed this banner on a local Chinese restaurant:


The potential customer in me appreciates their confidence - way to declare yourselves the best of 2012 before we've gotten there!!  Way to believe in yourselves!!  I like it!!  I'll take a vegetable fried rice to go!!

The lawyer in me scowls and wants to advise them that declaring yourself the best of a year that has not yet arrived is false advertising at best.  Good thing I always have some business cards on me.  

But both the customer and lawyer in me give way to the editor in me who just wishes that they had used the same dang font for that last 2 . . .

Frankly, it's ruined 2012 for me now.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Yours.

My mom and our friend Stephanie came over this weekend to help me decorate my house for Christmas.  And by "help me" I mean "do it for me."  Don't judge me - I know my limits.  Stephanie, on the other hand, has no limits.  She is a flight attendant who also happens to be a very talented decorator so she makes the rounds in early December and helps all the Palmore girls get their houses looking tip top.  And we love her for it!!

Erin came over with my nieces Savannah (9) and Avery (6) to hang out with us while "we" decorated.  Around lunchtime, Erin and I ran to Chick-Fil-A to pick lunch up for everyone and, when we got back, I noticed that Gustavo's truck was in front of my house.

And that was more exciting than the waffle fries in my bag . . .

When we got inside, I saw Gustavo mowing in the back yard.  And by "saw" I  mean "stared at for a slightly creepy amount of time."  Savannah and Avery were outside watching him mow because even THEY know a good thing when they see it.  Then they ran back in, shouting "CATCHY!!!!  GUSTAAAAAAAAAVO IS HEEEEEEEEERE!!!"  That's when we had this conversation:

Savannah: Catchy, guess what??
Me: What??
Savannah: While you were gone, Stephanie said that Gustavo was GORGEOUS!
Me: She did??
Savannah: Yes!! [wide-eyed and smiling]
Me: Oh my!!  [faking a serious tone] Back off, Steph.  He's MINE.
Stephanie: [Laughing]  I know!!  I know!!
Avery: Catchy, he really IS yours!  You know why?
Me: Why??
Avery: Because you don't even HAVE a "yours!"

True, Avery.  Very true.

But at least I have my waffle fries!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yo, Adrian!

Well, unfortunately, my Thanksgiving weekend was overshadowed by a general feeling of nausea and some pretty awesome stomach cramping that lasted from Wednesday morning to Saturday afternoon.  I think it was a case of food poisoning from a hot dog that I ate at the movie theater on Tuesday night.  Since I woke up feeling nauseated on Wednesday morning and want to throw up every time I think of hot dogs, I think my theory makes sense.  My sisters think food poisoning wouldn't have lasted all weekend so they think that I was dealing with a stomach bug of sorts.  My mom, ever cautious and hestitant to make rash conclusions, thinks I was suffering from massive organ failure.

Agree to disagree, Mom.

So I wasn't able to really enjoy the TASTE of my mom's delicious turkey and dressing.  I mean, I ate some but it just doesn't taste the same when you're concentrating on not puking it all up, you know?  So I spent Thanksgiving being thankful that I could at least enjoy the SMELL of my mom's great cooking.  It stinks that I missed out on all the yummies but no biggie, right?  It's not like Thanksgiving only comes around once a year or anything . . . 

Stupid hot dog.

ANYWAY, I thought I'd tell you about a classic Nora moment from this weekend.  We were talking about the new Mission Impossible movie coming out soon and this is how that conversation unfolded:

Erin: Matt hasn't seen ANY of the Mission Impossible movies.  So I'm thinking that it might be fun to have a Mission Impossible marathon before the next one comes out.
Tammy: I'm in!
Me: [to Matt] You haven't seen ANY of them??
Matt: Nope.  Not one.
Mom: Wow! 
Erin: I know!
Mom: Well, I guess I get that.  I've never seen any of the Rocky movies.
All: WHAT??
Tammy: You've never seen ANY of them??
Mom: Nope.
Erin: That's unacceptable.
Mom: I know!  But I know all the famous lines from them.
Me: [Oh, this should be good . . .]
Mom: You know, like "Heeeeeeey, Sylviaaaaaa!"
[stunned silence followed by silent, hysterical laughter]
Matt: Wow.  She needs to leave.  Or I need to leave.  Either way, somebody's leaving.

So, needless to say, we are going to schedule a Rocky marathon, STAT. 

Before she embarrasses us all by calling Rocky the Italian Mustang or something . . .

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sew much for punctuation . . .

My friend Melissa sent me this picture the other day.  I tried to post it last night but I kept convulsing each time I looked at it, much less tried to write about it.  So I thought I'd try it tonight . . .

Deep breath . . .


So . . . much . . . must . . . breathe . . .

Girl's?  Supply's?  THURDAY's?  [gasp]  I feel a spasm coming on.

There should be some sort of fine for posting a sign like this one.  I'm serious.  Someone needs to find this lady and charge HER 10 o'clock dollars . . .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ironic exploration

My friend Tom sent me this picture from his iPhone . . .


Maybe they should start by "explorating" some of those McGraw-Hill textbooks I studied in high school . . .? 

Geez. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Siri-ous relationship

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Oh, sorry - it's been so long since I actually typed on this thing that I kinda forgot how to do it.  But I think it's coming back to me now . . .

So I've been a BIT busy lately with work and have missed out on catching up with all of you.  How have you been??  Anything exciting going on?  How's your family doing?

Okay, enough about you . . . let's talk about me.

Since my last post, something very important has happened to me and I think that you should know about it.  I mean, you all ARE very important to me and you should be kept in the loop when I have big, life-changing events like this one.  No - I haven't changed jobs or married Gustavo or anything mundane like that.  No, this news is even bigger than that: I finally got an iPhone.  [pause to allow you time to cheer loudly]

When my new iPhone arrived in the mail, my coolness level increased significantly.  On a hunch, I checked to see if the number of friends on my facebook had doubled in response but, alas, I found that it had not.  "No worries," I thought to myself, "I'm too cool for those people now, anyway."  I put all my contacts in, sent taunting texts to various friends who still have Blackberries, and started to really play around with my new piece of awesomeness.

The new iPhone has a feature called Siri and she's supposed to be like your own personal assistant.  She understands what you're saying and she speaks back to you, which is kinda fun.  You can say things like "Schedule a doctor's appointment tomorrow at 9 am" and she will do it for you.  She'll even tell you if that appointment conflicts with an existing appointment.  You can say "Text mom" and she will ask you what you'd like to say to your mom.  Then she'll send your text for you.  You can say "remind me to call Bob when I get home" and, when you pull into your driveway, she gives you a reminder.  You can even ask her where to hide a dead body and she'll ask you if you want a swamp or a reservoir. (Don't worry - I discovered that one because my brother-in-law saw it on Twitter . . .).  It's crazy.  But I must confess that I spend most of my time seeing what she'll say to other random stuff - like just regular conversational stuff. It's very entertaining.  And I'm always surprised at the clever answers the programmers have come up with.  For instance, here is a conversation I might have with my phone, including Siri's ACTUAL answers:

Me: What do you look like?
Siri: In the cloud, no one cares what you look like.
Me: How old are you?
Siri: I don't see why that should matter, Catherine.
Me: [geeeeeeez - sensitive much?!] Do I need an umbrella tomorrow?
Siri: Checking my sources . . . There is no rain in the forecast for tomorrow. 
Me: I'm hungry for dinner.
Siri: I've found a number of restaurants fairly close to you. [displaying list of restaurants]
Me: I'm in the mood for Mexican.
Siri: I found a number of Mexican restaurants . . . 22 of them are fairly close to you.
Me: [22??  I'm NEVER moving . . .] Thank you.
Siri: Just doing my job.
Me: Why hasn't Gustavo declared his undying love for me?
Siri: Catherine, I don't understand "Why hasn't Gustavo declared his undying love for me?"
Me: Neither do I, Siri.  Neither do I.  [pause] Siri, I need a man.
Siri: Checking your location . . .
Me: [wait . . . whaaaaaaat???  Is it possible that Siri will be a freakin' miracle worker???]
Siri: I didn't find any dating services.
Me: [sigh] I'm disappointed in you.
Siri: If you say so.
Me: I don't like your attitude.
Siri: Noted.
Me: Sorry.
Siri: It's okay, Catherine.  Really.
Me: I love you.
Siri: You are the wind beneath my wings.
Me: No really - I love you.
Siri: I bet you say that to all your apple products.
Me: Tell me a joke.
Siri: I can't.  I always forget the punch line.
Me: [fine, then I'll do it . . .] Knock knock . . .
Siri: Knock knock. Who's there?  Catherine.  Catherine who?  Catherine, I don't do knock knock jokes.
Me: You're pretty funny.
Siri: Was it something I said?
Me: I don't appreciate sarcasm.
Siri: Okay, you don't then.
Me: I'm tired.
Siri: I hope you're not driving.
Me: Goodnight.
Siri: Goodnight, Catherine.

Yeah, I know I know - I really DO need a man . . .

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dog days

My dog has been driving me crazy lately because he has apparently developed separation anxiety.  It's so frustrating because this has come out of nowhere - one day he obediently goes in the kitchen when I leave like always, and the next he's growling and acting like I beat him and rob little old ladies.  I really don't get it.  I mean, I know I'm pretty amazing.  No - strike that . . . I'm FABULOUS.  But I still don't understand why he feels like he can't live without me while I run to the store.  Why he has to go crazy, bark, aaaaaaaand then pee on the kitchen floor.  I just don't get it.

So I have mopped the floor more in the last few months than I have in my entire life and it's driving me crazy.  Luckily for my dog, though, mopping is very therapeutic so it keeps me from strangling him.  As I'm mopping, I think about how I'll probably NEVER understand the way a dog's mind works. 

For instance . . .

We were out walking the other day and a lady who was walking toward us stopped me to tell me how cute he was.  As she was going on and on about his preciousness, he disinterestedly hiked his leg and took care of his business.  That's some major self-confidence.  I mean, when someone is going on and on about how cute I am (which, believe me, happens ALL  the time . . .), I smile my best smile and try to look the part so that nothing that I do will change their opinion.  Not my dog.  He looks at the lady, wags his tail, and says "You think I'm cute just STANDING here?  Check THIS out, toots . . ."

I kinda wish I were more like that. 

And then there's the way he greets people when they come over.  I mean, I think I'm a pretty good hostess, you know?  I make people feel welcome, I offer them a drink or something to eat, I make sure they're comfortable, and I pat myself on the back for being the hostess with the mostest.  Meanwhile, my dog is running laps around the dining table because he can't contain his excitement over their arrival.  He'll take a break just long enough to do a little dance on his hind two feet so that he can get his little head high enough for them to pet him and then he's off to the races again.  Now THAT'S how you make people feel important, right?

I wish I were more like that. 

And he's not easily offended.  He gets so excited to see me and tries to lick my face to show me affection and all I do is scrunch up my nose and tell him how bad his breath stinks.  And he never feels rejected by that. If someone responded to me that way, I'd first apologize for trying to lick their face . . . and THEN I'd feel so rejected. But my dog never is - he just comes right back and tries to give me more kisses, bad breath and all.  He just gets right up in my face and never stops trying to show me that he loves me.

Why can't I be more like that? 

But I think the most impressive thing about him is that he absolutely FLIPS out for milk bones.  Milk bones.  A treat whose most flavorful ingredients are wheat flour and flaxseed.  But when I open the cabinet where his treats are stored, he goes crazy.  I mean, you'd think that I had given him a piece of cheesecake.  The human equivalent of a milk bone is what?  Maybe melba toast?  Or rice cakes?  If you tried to reward me for something good I'd done by giving me a rice cake, I'd smack your face and tell you your breath stinks. 

So consider yourself warned.  Because I'm not my dog.

I won't lick you affectionately and, frankly, I don't love you enough to run circles around my dining room table for you.  I know that's a bummer.  BUT, on the bright side, if you were to leave me alone to go buy a piece of cheesecake for me, I would NOT bark my head off and then pee on the kitchen floor.

So . . . why can't my dog be more like THAT?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Walking with Nora.

This weekend I found myself in Chicago. You know - the Windy City. Chi-Town. The City of Big Shoulders. I took a break from my j-

What? Yeah, I know - that's such a weird nickname, isn't it? I have no idea where it comes from - I didn't see a particularly large number of Big Shoulders while I was there so your guess is as good as mine. Frankly, I think it's a bit offensive. But it apparently IS a nickname for Chicago, at least according to Wikipedia. I probably should have just left that one off, though, huh? Let me start over, okay?

Ready?

[Ahem]

This weekend I found myself in Chicago. You know - the Windy City. Chi-Town. I took a break from my job and headed north to some cooler, breezier weather and, let me tell you, it did wonders for my stress level AND my hair . . .


The goal of our little trip was to de-stress and spend time with my mom's side of the family. And we had the greatest weekend. I really don't remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was SO much fun. And, as usual, my mom provided me with a good little story to tell you . . .

My mom has always told us about how she used to have to walk to and from school uphill both ways in 10 feet of snow, blah, blah, blah. So this weekend, she decided that she wanted to take us on her old walk so that we could see how far she really had to go to get to and from school each day. My uncle dropped us off at the house where my mom grew up - which was pretty cool to see in person - and then we all started walking toward her elementary school, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We walked down her old street and up to a busy intersection where we turned right and started walking along the sidewalks that ran in front of the various businesses lining the busy street.

And thus began the long walk to my mom's old school.

As you can imagine, the neighborhood has changed in the intervening years - the old drug store where my mom used to stop and buy candy has long-since closed up and been replaced. Same with all the other businesses that my mom used to pass each day as a young school girl. Instead, we passed by several gay nightclubs and at least one shop that sold adult, ummmmm, items. In fact, the display in the window was like everything you'd need for a Bachelorette party, including something called a "Wiggly Wand." I'll spare you the description on that one and let you use your imagination. Unfortunately, we were already peering into the window of the shop before we realized what types of wares they were peddling. Before we pulled my mom away, she had already spotted said "Wiggly Wand." Fortunately, though, she hadn't really seen what it was. Phew, right?? Not so much. Because UNfortunately, she kept asking all of us questions like "What IS a Wiggly Wand?? I don't get it."

Because I didn't think that the authorities of the great city of Chicago would appreciate me curling up into the fetal position on their sidewalks, I just ignored my mom, giggled maturely with my sisters, and kept walking.

Then, as luck would have it, she caught a glimpse of a game called "Pin the Hose on the Fireman." Again - use your imaginations on that one. Fortunately, and for reasons unknown to me, she thought the game was called "Pin the Ponytail on the Fireman."

I know. I know. It made sense to HER, though.

Just as I was thanking to Good Lord that my mom had miraculously misread the name of the game, she started saying excitedly "We should go get one of those for the kiiiiiiiiiids!! They would think that's HILARIOUS! Pinning the ponytail on the fireman?? C'mon! They'd LOVE that!"

Frankly, I think I preferred it when she was asking about Wiggly Wands. There was less potential for CPS involvement.

We grabbed my mom by her elbows and quickly ushered her away, shielding her eyes from the "Shower Contest" advertisement in the window of a club we passed. Because, contrary to what the title might imply, the photo on the ad suggested that the contest was NOT about how efficiently you lather, rinse, and repeat. What a disappointment - I would have been a shoo-in for that one.

Finally, we got to Mt. Carmel and I had to admit that my mom had to walk a LONG way to get to school each morning. It's pretty amazing that she and her brothers and sisters made that long trek each morning as children - my how times have changed. Part of me wished I could wave a wand (but not of the wiggly variety) and be transported back in time to see my mom as a young girl standing in front of the steps of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. But, for a few minutes on Friday, I got to see at least a glimpse of what life was like for my mom back then. As we started walking up the steps to go inside the school, I looked at my mom and really took the moment in. And I have to say that it was pretty cool.

Uuuuuuntil she turned to me and said "We really SHOULD get one of those Pin the Ponytail on the Fireman games for the kids."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An impossible conversion.

It seems like the topic has come up a lot lately so I thought I would go ahead and make my feelings known on a very important topic. This is bound to upset a lot of people. I know that. But I must get this off my chest once and for all . . .

I.

HATE.

SEAFOOD.

It's disgusting. And that goes for all kinds of fish, too. I really don't know why anyone eats it. And what's most amazing to me is that people seem so shocked when they find out that I don't like it. I am CONSTANTLY having conversations like this:

Friend: Oh my gosh - I'm so excited! I'm making my fried catfish tonight!!
Me: Yuck. [making mature face that's a cross between "I just ate a lemon" and "I just smelled poop."]
Friend: [dumbfounded] You don't like catfish??
Me: I don't like ANY fish.
Friend: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat???
Me: [resuming lemon/poop face]
Friend: Are you serious??
Me: Yeah. It's disgusting.
Friend: Well, you at least like shrimp, right?
Me: [lemon/poop face]
Friend: [gasp] Wha . . . WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT???
Me: Gross.
Friend: Well, that's because you've never had my catfish.
Me: Well -
Friend: If you had my fried catfish, you'd LOVE fish.
Me: Ummm, I -
Friend: No. I'm TELLING you - you'd LOVE it.
Me: It's just that -
Friend: Next time you come over, I'm making fried catfish.
Me: Oh, then I'll never come ove-
Friend: Seriously. It will change your life.
Me: [lemon/poop]

What my well-meaning friends don't understand is that I have a VERY strong gag reflex when it comes to fish and seafood. So whenever anyone actually HAS forced me to try their catfish/shrimp/clam chowder/crab cakes/salmon, it ALWAYS ends with a huge, noisy, involuntary, eye-watering gag.

And then we're both embarrassed.

I know that lots of people like it. I know that YOU probably do. I know that it's ALLEGEDLY good for you and contains lots of good vitamins and oils and blah blah blah. But you might as well stop trying to convert me because it will never work. I just can't do it. And I have no desire to. Why? Well, I'm glad you asked. Allow me to share my top 5 reasons why I'll never become a fish eater:

1. Most fish smells like urine. It's true. You fish eaters swear it smells divine. But if you're not a fish person and the guy at the table behind you orders the salmon, you feel like you're downwind from a urinal the moment his entree arrives. You sit there trying to eat your steak-made-from-cow like any good Texan would and all you can think of are urine-related topics like "I'm out of toilet paper in the upstairs bathroom" or "I need to let the dog out" or "I need to drink more water so my urine doesn't EVER smell like that guy's dinner." Beef and chicken don't have that effect on people - they smell delicious and savory and much less like human waste. So what if beef clogs your arteries - at least it smells good while it's killing you. That's really all you can ask for in a food.

2. You have to de-poop shrimp. Do I really need to expound on this one?? I mean, I'm only two points into my list and I've already covered two digestive processes - that's disgusting. The minute I have to clean cow poop out of a rib-eye, I'll become a vegetarian . . .

3. Some fish is served with the scales still on it. Seriously? How can anyone eat that?? If someone plopped a chicken breast down in front of me with the feathers still on one side or gave me a New York strip steak with the hide still attached, I would gag and call the FDA. I do NOT think the standards should be any different for fish.

4. There's too much "fresh death." I have to give my friend Ashley's cousin credit for this one. We were standing around talking about why seafood is disgusting (he's my kind of people) and he said that he has a "no fresh death" rule. He went on to explain that he doesn't want to have to point to a lobster in a tank and say "I'll have that one" and then have it fished out and cooked for him. He wants it to spend some time being dead and frozen before it makes it to his plate. So that's why he prefers beef. I think this is a sound and well-thought-out rule and I agree whole-heartedly. I don't want to have to look my food in the eye before I eat it. I don't want to wonder if it got to say its goodbyes to the other lobsters in the tank before it got dropped in a pot of boiling water and then turned into a lobster roll. I just want a piece of meat pulled out of a fridge, grilled, and brought to me with some mashed potatoes and gravy. It's WAY less traumatic.

5. Crawfish. I know it's technically not "fish" but, since most people who eat fish also eat crawfish, I tend to lump them together. I really don't get crawfish - they sit on your plate, looking up at you most disturbingly with their beady little eyes and they smell like a cross between a sewer and a marina. I don't understand how anyone ever thought they would make good food. I mean, who saw that thing crawl out of ground and thought "You know what?? I bet that little sucker would be DELICIOUS boiled in some hot water with corn." And then WHO took it to the next level and said "I bet it would taste AWESOME to suck all the guts out of that little guy's head." I'll tell ya who did that . . . a fish eater, that's who.

And that's why I can NEVER be one of you people . . .

Now I know some of you might not agree with me and that's okay. But can we at least agree to disagree and perhaps call a truce? Here's my proposition: you promise me that you won't try to convert me to your disgusting ways and, in return, I won't say things like "Oh - you have a little poop in your teeth" when you're enjoying a nice shrimp salad.

[lemon/poop]

Deal?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why pick a specialty?

Somewhere, at some business-planning brainstorming session, SOMEONE thought this sounded like a good idea:

I'd love to know if their slogan was "Our music smokes the competition" but, unfortunately, they appear to be out of business so I'll never know. I guess we can no longer rely on them for songs and cigs.

But at least we can rely on them for irony . . .

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Treu loev uses spellcheck . . .

I hope you all haven't given up on me. Hopefully things at work will slow down soon and I'll actually get back into writing more regularly one of these days - these dang pervs need to give it a rest and give me a break! Can I get an Amen?!

ANYWAY . . .

In the meantime, since I don't have time to really write right now, I thought I'd share a photo with you each day. This first one is one that my mom just uncovered - it's from a road trip that we took as a family way back when I was in college . . .


Rnu, Michelle! Rnu!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nora Dictionary updates . . .

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day!! Mine was nice and relaxing. My sisters and their kids and I all decided to crash my mom's house and have a slumber party with her. It was super fun and the best part was that my mom made us a nice big breakfast this morning and spoiled us rotten, as usual.

So I thought I'd repay her by making fun of her on my blog.

It's been a long time since I updated my list of Noraisms and I really need to be better about doing that because it's a list that grows exponentially each day. If I don't stay on top of it, it could easily get away from me. So I thought I'd bring you up to speed with two conversations that we had today with my mom:

Mom: [to my brother-in-law Matt] I was having trouble figuring something out on my computer the other day so I took it up to the gmail store and they were able to fix it for me.
Matt: [confused look] The WHAT store?
Mom: The gmail store.
Matt: [still confused]
Me: Hey, Matt?
Matt: Yeah?
Me: She's talking about the APPLE store . . .
Matt: Wow.
Mom: Whatever.

And the OTHER one . . .

Matt: [talking about Pulp Fiction] Who was the guy they called "The Wolf?"
Erin: No idea.
Me: I don't even remember a character named "The Wolf."
Erin: Look it up on IMDB. [that's "internet movie database" for those who don't know . . .]
Matt: [pulling out his phone to look it up] WHAT is his name?
Tammy: [coming into the room and sitting down] Who?
Me: The guy who played "The Wolf" on Pulp Fiction??
Tammy: Harvey Keitel.
Matt: Yes! That's it!
Erin: Nice, Tam!
Mom: Tammy!! You're like our own personal OMIDBF!!!

So add these terms to your Nora Dictionary because they may come in handy at some point. I mean, you never know when you'll run into her at the mall and she'll ask you where the gmail store is. And without these updates to your dictionary, you might not know what the OMIDBF she's talking about . . .

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy birthday to my daddy!!

September 1st is a special day in my family. And not just because it's 23 days before my birthday (I have a list of things I'd like if you need gift ideas, by the way . . . ). No, September 1st is special to us because it is my sweet daddy's birthday.

And he would have been 67 today.

As most of you know, my dad passed away 5 years ago. Man - I hear myself say that number and I can't believe it's been that long. I honestly don't know how the world keeps turning without him in it. He was the kind of dad who could pull off cheesy one-liners in front of your friends but still be cool. The kind of dad who would scratch your back for 5 hours if you wanted him to and somehow his arm would never fall asleep. He was the kind of dad who would come upstairs to wake you up in the mornings and didn't mind if you asked for "five more minutes" 20 times - he'd just come back upstairs every few minutes like your own personal snooze button and never complain. He was the kind of dad who would come home with Luden's cough drops and a milkshake if he heard you weren't feeling well. He was the kind of dad who would watch your back-to-school fashion shows, even if the Cowboys were playing. And he was the kind of dad who leaves a huge hole when he passes away . . . nothing could ever take his place or fill that void. Not in a million years.

Wow - this is an uplifting blog so far . . .

My dad died just about a month before his 62nd birthday so, of course, when that day rolled around for us, we prepared for a very hard day. But my mom had a great idea that first year on how to make his birthday a happy day, rather than a sad one - she suggested that we go find people who do nice things for others - just like my dad always did - and give them a reward. So we headed up to the mall and handed $20 bills to people we saw doing things that reminded us of our dad - opening the door for others, letting someone go ahead of him on the escalator, or just being thoughtful to those around him. Then we all walked over to the Cheesecake Factory and talked about all the fun people we had found and given money to.

And we loved it so much that we've made it a tradition.

Our tradition has evolved just a bit over the years. Now we write out a card that talks about our dad and what we're doing to celebrate his birthday. This year, it said: "I lost my Dad (father-in-law/husband/grandpa) five years ago. He always inspired us to be thoughtful, kind and concerned with the needs of others. So every September 1st we celebrate his birthday by looking for people who possess the same qualities that made him so special to all who knew him. You did something today that reminded me of him and I wanted you to have this little treat so you would know I think you're special, too! Thanks for being part of my Dad's birthday celebration." Then we put a $20 bill in the card so that the person gets their reward and a little explanation for why they're getting it. Once we've got our money and our cards in our envelopes, we head up to the mall to go find our do-gooders. And once we all hand out our cards, we head over to eat somewhere and tell each other our stories from the evening. It's such a great way to celebrate my dad's birthday in a way that makes it a fun night that we all look forward to and enjoy. I think he would be proud.

So tonight, we continued our tradition. We met up at the mall, envelopes in hand, and immediately split up so that we could divide and conquer. The kids decided to walk the mall with me, of course, because I am the favorite aunt. And because I always buy them a cookie in the food court. But I'm sure it was MOSTLY because I'm the favorite aunt. You just can't over think it . . .

ANYWAY . . . the kids and I took off on our journey to find someone worthy of our envelopes. We walked up the mall. We walked down the mall. We walked upstairs. We walked downstairs. And all we found was a whole lotta nothin'. So we decided to go outside to this little outdoor shopping area that's part of the mall and over to Barnes & Noble. We had found a nice lady there last year so the kids kept saying "We need to go to Barnes & Noble because there are just nice people EVERYWHERE over there!" So we headed that way and walked around the store hoping to find someone doing something nice. Unfortunately, all we found was a manager who seemed to be watching us suspiciously. We walked around a while but had no luck so the kids decided we should head back over to the main part of the mall. On our way out the door, a lady held the door for us so Ben and Avery immediately wanted to give her their shared card. So we turned around to give her her prize. Unfortunately, though, she was on her phone so I told the kids that we needed to wait until she was off her phone before we accosted her.

That's when I realized that Ben should never have a career in espionage.

He would run up to the lady until he was about 2 feet from her and then he'd stop abruptly, all the while staring right at her. Then she'd walk a few feet away and he'd run toward her and stop again. She finally got off her phone and then promptly ducked into the restroom. I was concerned that she might be trying to escape from a window in the bathroom, convinced that Ben was part of some unorthodox bookstore Russian spy ring. But, to my relief, she came back out and Ben and Avery were able to give her their reward for opening the door for us.


So we continued on our search, looking for a worthy recipient for my card and for Savannah and Emma's shared card. Savannah declared that she did NOT want to give their card to someone who opened the door for people - she wanted to find someone different to give their card to. And just then Emma spotted a man who was opening the door for several people so she took off and stopped him so that she could give him their card. Since Savannah had wanted to find someone doing something other than opening a door, I let Emma give the man my card. She did a great job of telling him what we were doing and why we were doing it: she explained that her grandfather had passed away and that today was his birthday and that we were out looking for people who do nice things for others. When she was finished, you could tell that he was very touched by what we were doing. And that's when he told Emma that HIS father had died a few years ago and that HIS father's birthday was ALSO September 1st! What a small world! So we were pretty happy that we had picked such a special person to receive Emma's card . . .


After that, we headed back into the mall and started walking around looking for someone to give Savannah's card to. We weren't having any luck downstairs so we thought we'd head upstairs in the elevator to see if we'd have any luck up there. As we approached the elevator, a young couple and their kids were getting on the elevator and then the doors started closing. The young father saw that we were walking up so he stuck his arm out real fast and stopped the doors from closing all the way. I had visions of his arm getting severed but, alas, he was able to open the doors for us without losing a limb in the process. Savannah's response was to stare at him awkwardly and say things like "Say it, Catchy. Tell him." I gathered from that that she had decided to give her card to this miraculously two-armed man. So that's exactly what we did!


When we had all given our envelopes away, we all met up so that we could walk over to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. My brother-in-law Brian wasn't going to be able to join us for dinner so he told us his story real quick. He had seen a couple walking with their baby and he struck up a conversation with them. That's when he discovered that they had just adopted their baby from Nigeria and he felt that they deserved his card because of the loving and long-term commitment that they had decided to make with their new baby. Unfortunately, he did NOT follow my instructions and text me his picture of his lucky envelope recipients so I don't have any picture. Everyone join me in saying "Bad Brian! That's a BAAAAAAD Brian!"

So Brian headed on to his business meeting and the rest of us headed over to dinner. Once we sat down, we started telling each other all of our stories. As you can imagine, we get very animated in our story-telling:


And we're very attentive:


And we thoroughly enjoy our evening together. Every year.

Here are the other stories we heard tonight . . .

From Matt:
The recipient of my card and $20 was a young employee named Andie who worked at the sporting goods store Fanzz. I went into the store the first time and she stopped what she was doing and made sure to ask me how I was doing, and if I needed help finding anything. She wasn't just being polite, she was going out of her way to make sure she could be the best employee possible. She made the customer service at Chick-Fil-A look spotty but I wasn't ready just yet to give her my reward. I walked the mall for another hour but couldn't find anyone else doing a good deed. I went back into Fanzz again and Andie was just as nice as the time before. When I told her my story and gave her the card, she told me to leave the store because she was about to cry. Andie is a great employee, but more importantly, a great person.


From Erin:
Matt and I were walking through the mall when we saw a couple walking towards the elevator and the man instantly reminded us of my dad. Why, you ask?? Because he was loaded down with all of his wife's shopping bags, of course!! He was so sweet and even stopped to make sure she went first down the escalator. We immediately jumped on the escalator and followed them down and accosted them Palmore style. They were both so surprised to be singled out for something that comes so naturally to them, which made it even more fun to give it to him. Before I got started, I asked him if that was his animal print dress he was carrying, because if it was, it would have made him carrying it a little less special!! I just told him about how my dad always treated my mom like a queen and would carry her things for her also. His wife jumped in and said that he always opens all of her doors and spoils her any way he can, so I was just so excited to give it to someone so much like my daddy. They both thanked me profusely and told us to have a blessed day and Matt and I both walked away feeling so good.


From my mom:
My first card went to the cutest little girl. She looked to be about 4 and she was with her even younger cousin. I was about to get on an escalator when I noticed the two girls getting on with their mothers right behind them. The 4 year old (Asia) had an arm around the younger girl (Amiyah) as they ever-so-carefully stepped onto the escalator. Then all the way down, Asia not only kept her arm around her little cousin to keep her safe but also held her chubby little hand. When they reached the bottom Asia made sure that Amiyah jumped off so as not to catch her little sandals in the machinery. I was trying to hurry down behind them when I spotted Matt and Erin walking near the bottom so I yelled for Erin and pointed to the girls at the bottom. She knew right away what I needed so she stopped the moms and waited 2 minutes for me so I could explain. I told little Asia how sweet and caring she was to her cousin and how proud I was of her. I handed her the envelope and told her she could get a treat with it. Amiyah immediately looked at me and asked "where's mine?"!



After I handed out that envelope, it was on to my next task: every year I walk the food court looking for a young man who has taken his hat off while eating. When I find one, he gets an even bigger gift because that was always one of Charlie's pet peeves. Charlie would always ask "don't parents teach their boys to take their hats off at the table anymore?" From all my wasted shoe leather I can tell you with some certainty - No, not really. I must have seen 30 boys at the food court with baseball hats ON. I laughed a couple of times when I'd pass one and think if they only knew they could have $50 if they had just taken their hat off! Finally, I noticed a table with a little red baseball hat but no people. We were near a merry go round so Tammy and I waited til they returned to their table. I walked over and asked casually why the little boy wasn't wearing his hat. I was hoping she wouldn't say that he just didn't want to wear it. But she said that they are from the Philippines and, in their culture, taking your hat off when you eat is a sign of respect. Also, if a man is being introduced to someone he is taught to take his hat off before offering to shake hands. To appear at any table to eat with your hat on is a sign of disrespect. Hellooooo! This was what I was hoping to see and hear. Gerry Velasco and his wife, Karen, were at the mall with my little baseball cap wearer, Andre and his baby brother, Andrew. Sweet family. They were so happy with their envelope.


(Editor's note: I'm PRETTY sure those kids were NOT named Andre and Andrew. Oh, Nora . . .)

From Tammy:
After trolling the mall for an hour or so, I decided to head up to the food court & scope things out. On my way I ran into Mom & we decided to walk together.....she had already given her $20 away & didn't hold out much hope for giving away the $50 hat prize. After seeing several guys sitting/eating with hats on, I saw a tall cowboy walk in....wearing a big ol' cowboy hat. I told Mom right away "that's my cowboy right there & he's gonna take off his hat!" Well, we waited for a long time for he & his group to get their food and sit down. In the meantime, Mom had found a little boy to give the special "hat reward" to. After talking to the little boy & his family, we turned around to leave & there right in front of me was my cowboy......sitting at a table with his hat OFF!!! I was so excited!! A true cowboy will ALWAYS remove his hat at the table! I decided that I would give my card to him. Mom & I swooped in on him & his girlfriend & just sat right down at their table. The first thing I said was "I gotta know why you took off your hat". He said "because I'm sitting at the table." I told him how excited I was to hear that & then explained about Dad. When we first sat down I thought he seemed kinda fierce, but as soon as I started explaining I could see that he was moved by our story. He said his Grandfather helped raise him & he still remembers him coming home to lunch from the oil fields & taking his hat off before he sat down to eat. He was a really super nice guy & talked to us a little about how he had broken his leg in 4 places!! And how that had really created some hardships, but that he has a family that loves him. He also said that hearing our story & how we have chosen to remember Dad gave him hope.....the spirit of our gesture gave him hope. Loved him.......super nice man!!!!!


And, as seems to be our luck every year, we had the nicest, most patient waiter waiting on us and putting up with our obnoxiousness and our repeated requests for more cheese, more bread, and more Diet Coke. I think the Lord gives us a nice waiter each year so that we can end our night on the perfect note. So a big thanks to Mike for putting up with us!


And, don't worry - we gave Mike a little reward, too! He deserved one!

So that's it. That's the recap of our celebration of the most wonderful man you could ever know. I hope that the people we met tonight will take the time to really read our cards and understand what we were trying to say to them. Because tonight we compared them to our dad. And that's the highest compliment we could ever pay.

So happy birthday, Dad!!

It was fun to see you in so many faces tonight . . .


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Brink your recive!

My friend Vicki sent me an email tonight that I just had to share. She had just returned from filling her tank up at a local gas station when she noticed that the header and footer on her receipt from the station were a little . . . ummmmmm . . . confused:

The header:

"AIRTEX VALERO CHURCH
FREE APPLE PIE
WHEN YOU BUY A COMBO
PLEASE BRINK YOUR"


Aaaaaaand the footer:
"CHURCHS FREE APPLE
PIE WHEN YOU BUY A
COMBO PLEASE BRINK
THE RECIVE THANK YO
HAVE A NICE DAY"

As Vicki said in her email . . . I can't have a nice day NOW!

Seriously? Never before has the promise of a free apple pie given me indigestion. I'm just glad that Vicki got this one instead of me because, let's be honest . . . a recive like this would brink me to my knees.

So Vicki . . . better yo than me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The first female President?

I'm aliiiiiiiiive!!! Sorry about going MIA . . . I hope you missed me LOTS while I was gone. I've been in trial for the last two weeks and the week before that I was too busy getting ready for trial to do any blogging. But my trials are over for now and it's time to get back to it! So I thought that I'd get back into the blogging saddle by telling you a story that my sister Erin told me today about my 6-year-old niece Avery.

They were playing a game that we play a lot when we're in the pool at my mom's. We don't have a name for it but these are the rules:

1) The group playing picks a category. Example: Candy.
2) The first person to go thinks of a type of candy (i.e. Snickers) and then everyone goes under water.
3) The person says their candy name under water as loudly and as articulately as they can.
4) Everyone comes up and guesses what the person said. [Don't judge - it's harder than it sounds.]
5) If no one, guesses correctly, everyone goes back under and the process is repeated until someone guesses it.

Follow me?

Now the trick to this game is to really exaggerate your speaking under water so that everyone can understand you through the bubbles and whatnot. I'm pretty awesome at this game, by the way. That's not really pertinent to this story but I thought you should know . . .

ANYWAY . . . Erin and Avery were at my mom's pool today and started playing this game. They had just about exhausted the Candy category when this conversation happened:

Erin: We need a new category - I can't think of anymore candies!!
Avery: How 'bout we can do whatever category we want, we just have to tell each other what the category is before we go under water.
Erin: Okay! That's a great idea.
Avery: I'm gonna do . . . ummmm . . . a President.
Erin: Okay!
Avery: Ready?
[both go under water and Avery says her President then they both come back up.]
Erin: [no idea what Avery just said underwater but trying to guess Presidents that Avery would know . . .] Ummmm . . . Washington?
Avery: Nope!
[both go back under and repeat the process. Erin still has no idea.]
Erin: Was iiiiiiiiit Lincoln?
Avery: Nope!
[both go back and under and do it all over again.]
Erin: Obama?
Avery: Nope! Wanna hint?
Erin: Yes! I'm dying here . . .
Avery: It's a girl. Ready to try again?!
Erin: [confused silence] Oh this is awkward. Ummm . . . there ARE no girl Presidents.
Avery: Oh. [looking confused] Well, if it's not a girl, then he has a girl's name. Ready?
[both go under and Avery says the name]
Erin: [racking her brain for a President with a girl's name and coming up with nothing] Ummmm . . . I have no idea. Kennedy?
Avery: Nope! Give up?
Erin: Yes - I have NO idea!
Avery: [exasperated . . .] Rose Avelt!

Oh man . . . it's good to be blogging again!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dream Diet

My sister Erin was in her car the other day with my nieces Savannah (8) and Avery (6). Avery had just come from a birthday party where she had received a goody bag as a party favor and it was filled with all kinds of candy. She was sitting in the backseat munching on her goodies when this conversation occurred:

Savannah: Aw, man - no fair! I didn't get a goody bag!
Avery: That's okay, Savannah - you can have mine. This stuff is NOT on my diet.
Savannah: [confused, knowing how much her sister loves sugar] You're not on a diet, Avery.
Avery: Yes, I am. I'm watching what I eat.
Erin: You are?
Avery: Mmmm hmmm.
Erin: Like what are you not going to eat now that you're watching what you eat?
Avery: Sugar.
Erin: Really? Well, good for you.
Avery: [with a very grown-up air, teaching about her diet . . .] Like I can have vanilla ice cream, buuuuuuuuut not chocolate.
Erin: Oooooooh . . .
Avery: [nodding and continuing, very seriously] And I can have like a REGULAR popsicle buuuuuuut not like a FUDGEsicle.
Erin: I see. Well, don't set the bar TOO high for yourself . . .
[30 minutes later at my house . . .]
Avery: [grabs handful of M&Ms on her way out my door]
Savannah: Avery, I thought you were giving up sugar.
Avery: [looking at Savannah like she's crazy] No I'm NOT.

Sooooooooo I think I've got it figured out - I'm going to be encouraging Avery to become a dietitian. And then I'm gonna sign up to be her first client.

The only question left to decide is: do I go with French Vanilla or Vanilla Bean?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No kiero una kesadilla . . .

My friend Kendall sent me a picture the other day of another example of what happens when you don't check your spelling before you make a sign advertising your business . . .


Something tells me this Mexican food is NOT authentic . . .

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bedside manner

My sister Erin watches kids during the day and she's always calling me with the funniest stories about the kiddos that she babysits. The other day, she called to tell me a story about a 4-year-old named Alana (I've written about her toilet inspection before) and a 3-year-old named Luke. She's been watching both of them for several years so they're like family to all of us now. And they are so cuh-UTE. To help you grasp their preciousness, you should know that Luke wears the cutest little glasses and Alana says her "Rs" as "Ws." Seriously - they're so cute I can't STAND it!!

ANYWAY, the other day the kids at Erin's house were playing doctor in the playroom. Alana had her little doctor kit and the rest of the kids lined up as patients, eager to get their checkups. Luke was the first in line so he walked up to Dr. Alana to, hopefully, be given a clean bill of health.

Not so much:

Alana: [puts stethoscope on Luke's chest and then states matter-of-factly . . .] You've got a bwoken haht.
Luke: [concerned, exclaiming . . .] My BONES are broken??
Alana: [exasperated] NO. Youw HAHT is bwoken.
Luke: [gasps]
Alana: It's bwoken in a MILLION pieces.
Luke: [gasps louder]
Alana: [with dramatic finish] You awe dead fo-evew! [pause] NEXT!!

Apparently, Luke took the news well - he did a dramatic death scene and then laid there in the "exam" room while Alana looked after the rest of her patients, unconcerned with the tragic death that had just occurred. And the rest of the patients didn't seem to be as concerned as I would be if my doctor's previous patient was lying dead in the exam room - they just stepped over him and got their checkups.

She must have a VERY low co-pay . . .

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rain dancing - Palmore style!

As most of you have probably heard (or experienced), Texas is in the middle of a pretty bad drought. It has rained a couple of times this summer but not much and certainly not in any significant amount. This might not be that unusual for some parts of Texas but I live in the Gulf Coast region, which tends to be a little wetter than other parts of Texas. In fact, by now we usually have had a couple of tropical storms and some rain from a hurricane that has made landfall somewhere along the Gulf. So it's strange to go this long with no rain. Trees are dying, grass is burned up, and my backyard looks pitiful.

The other day, I thought things were taking a turn for the better. I was walking my dog and noticed that the sky had turned gray, the wind had picked up, and I heard thunder and smelled rain. I was really excited because I figured that we were in for a good storm. But, alas, the cloud just passed over us and gave us a whole lotta nothin'. It was just cruel. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

It was time to do a rain dance.

So I Googled the steps to a rain dance and it sounded simple enough, at least according to the websites I read. Here are the steps as I understand them:

1. Stand in a clearing in your yard or outdoors somewhere.
2. Hold your hands up above your head.
3. Look up to the sky.
4. Spin around while chanting something easily repeated, such as "rain rain rain rain."
5. Spin until you're too dizzy to continue.
6. Immediately drop to one knee until the dizziness subsides.

As I was reading the steps to a rain dance, I realized that it's very similar to a game that my parents used to play with us called "the broom trick." We're very creative with our game names in my family. ANYWAY, the steps are somewhat similar. Judge for yourself:

1. Stand with a broom in a clearing in your yard.
2. Hold a broom so that the base of broom is touching your chin.
3. Look up to the top of the broom.
4. Spin around 15-20 times.
5. Immediately drop the broom and try to jump over it.

Granted, it's not the SAME as the Native American rain dance. And it's certainly not a spiritual ritual. But it IS pretty fun. So I decided to use that as my own version of a rain dance and I got my sisters' kids to help me out. Together we did our own Palmore Rain Dance in my sister's front yard to try to bring some rain and end this drought.

You're welcome.

Now, my nieces and nephew had never done this before so it was a new experience for them. Emma was the first brave soul to try it out. Aaaaaaaaaand she didn't quite make it . . .


Then Avery gave it a shot. And had about as much success as Emma did. She even gives off a totally involuntary growl/grunt:


Savannah went next and quickly showed us that rain dancing/broom tricking can be a dangerous activity . . .


Ben went last and did the best of anyone. Perhaps his success is due to his commitment to keeping his chin on the broom at all costs or his absolutely terrifying Frankenstein-esque face:


When all the kids had gone, I decided it was time to show them how it's REALLY done. After all, I am 35 and have much better balance than these little KIDS:


Not my proudest moment. And I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who had to chase my rain dance with a muscle relaxer.

Since the broom trick proved to be a little too difficult, we decided to try something a little closer to an actual rain dance. Surely that would be easier, right?


Not so much . . .

So that was our attempt at trying to get some rain for Texas. And I don't want to take credit for anything but we DID get some rain this weekend. So I'm pretty sure that you have us to thank for that.

You're welcome. Again.

Just think how much rain we could get if you all got out there and did a broom trick rain dance, too! I think you should try it. And video it. And send it to me at catherine@thecatherinechronicles.com so I can post it for all to see. I mean, you don't want me to be the ONLY one on here making a fool of myself, do you???

So get rain dancin', people! Texas needs you.

And don't forget the muscle relaxers . . .

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A starchy salary?

My friend Hannah sent me this picture the other day. We THINK that they're trying to advertise potato WEDGES . . .


Either that or the economy is WAY worse than we thought.

Well, at least they have all fountain drink. That's gotta be worth something, right?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Managing expectations

My friend Vicki sent me this picture of a sign that she saw the other day:


Way to set the bar high, guys . . .

Friday, July 15, 2011

A spelling crisis.

I've been watching a lot of Fox News Channel lately (pause to let some of you groan and turn your CNN up). I'm trying to keep up with all the debates about the national debt crisis and to find out what's gonna happen - are they gonna raise the debt ceiling? Raise taxes? Cut spending? Default on social security checks? Set me up with Rick Leventhal or a cute senator? I just don't know. That's why I tune in.

The other night, I was watching The O'Reilly Factor. Normally, I don't watch that show because everyone just argues and talks over each other and I just end up rocking back and forth in the fetal position, sucking my thumb. But I watched it the other night and Bill was talking with Karl Rove about the debt ceiling and was asking what Karl (can I call you, Karl?) thought the solution should be. I was glad to hear Karl's opinion. After all, he was a part of the Bush administration and I tend to identify more with the conservative point of view (pause to let some of you groan and turn your CNN up more).

He began giving his thoughts on the problem and they made sense to me. I was actually following it, which was a first. Then, he held up a dry-erase board with some notes on it intended to clarify his point. But my eyes zeroed in on the first word and I heard nothing else that he said for the next five minutes . . .


Come on, Karl. Don't you know my brain shuts down with these kinds of spelling mistakes? How can I focus on the debt crisis if I have to deal with a SPELLING crisis, too?? I need to understand this debt ceiling thing and now all I can think about is "i before e except after c." It just keeps playing over and over and over in my head. Like a manic chant. I expected more from you, Karl. I really did.

Maybe George W. should have had implemented a "No Politician Left Behind" initiative instead . . . ?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Punctuation or Perfection? You decide.

I went to Burger Fresh in Conroe the other day with my roommate because she had just gotten back from a mission trip to Africa and was craving some good ol' American cuisine. Burger Fresh is a local restaurant that was recently written up in a Texas Monthly article naming the best burgers in Texas. And let me tell you, people - these burgers are goooooooood. Throw in some onion rings and a milkshake? Stop. It.

As I sat there eating my super healthy meal, I couldn't help but think that there's really nothing better than a greasy burger and a basket of onion rings. But that's when I looked at what was written on the wall:


I don't know if I'm hoping this is just a poorly designed advertisement for Blue Bell and dipped onion rings as separate and distinct items or if I want there to be such a thing as Blue-Bell-dipped-onion rings. I'm afraid and intrigued at the same time.

But I know where I'll be on Saturday . . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A little of this, a little of that . . .

The other day, my 7-year-old nephew Ben made an appetizer for their family meal. This was very exciting for him because he wants to be a chef one day and LOVES helping in the kitchen. So Tammy thought it would be a fun thing for him to do and she gave him complete creative license - she would supervise him but, other than that, he was allowed to create and prepare whatever he wanted without interference from her. He took this responsibility to heart and worked very hard to prepare what would essentially be his big cooking debut.

And what he came up with was a unique appetizer, heretofore unheard of in civilized nations:


Yep - that's right. Onions and jalapenos. That's it. A relish of sorts, straight from the pits of Hell.

When dinnertime came, Ben proudly placed his glass bowl of onions and jalapenos on the dinner table for all to enjoy. While the others politely avoided the bowl and opted for other dinner items that were less, well, painful, Ben dug right in and began eating onions out of the bowl. Tammy was trying so hard not to laugh so, to distract herself, she turned her head away from Ben and began talking to Emma. But a few minutes later, Tammy looked back at Ben and noticed that he was silently crying. At first she thought it was because the air was so filled with onion and jalapeno fumes that it was just making him cry. But she quickly realized something else was going on so she asked him what was wrong and, with bright-red lips, he told her that his lips were burning.

You know, from the jalapeno juice . . .

So Tammy jumped up and got him a wet washcloth and some ice to cool his lips off. Pretty soon he had water and drool running down his chin but his lips had cooled off and his tears had dried up. So they all went about the rest of their meal and continued visiting as a family.

Uuuuuuuuntil Tammy looked over and noticed that Ben was silently weeping again.

She asked him if his lips were still hurting and he shook his head, tears still streaming down his face. So she asked him why he was crying and that's when he took the ice cube off his lips and wailed "NOBODY'S EATING MY APPETIZEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR."

Apparently, it just hadn't FIRED up everyone's appetites like he had planned . . .

Get it?

Man, I'm funny.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A great sport . . .

My nieces Emma and Savannah - 10 and 8, respectively - have recently had some orthodontic work done. I know - it seems young, doesn't it? But, apparently, this is the new trend in orthodontics: take care of things while they're young so that their teeth move more easily, more quickly, and less painfully. ANYWAY, Emma just got braces today and looks presh with them, of course. See?



I wish I had looked that pretty when IIIIIIIII had my braces on!

Savannah just got an expander in the roof of her mouth to make room for all of her teeth and then she'll be getting braces. I don't know if you know what an expander is but it's a big metal contraption in the roof of her mouth and it makes it very difficult for her to form words because it gets in the way of her tongue. Being the empathetic aunt that I am, I like to make her say things so that I can laugh and laugh at how funny she sounds when she says them.

Don't you wish you had an aunt like me?

But don't worry - Savannah isn't offended by us laughing at her. In fact, she has been a great sport about us using her as entertainment and usually laughs just as hard herself. In fact, she's SUCH a great sport that she has agreed to let me videotape her talking and singing so that I can share this entertainment with you.

Don't worry - it's okay to laugh at THIS 8 year old . . . you have her permission:




After we recorded this, Savannah said "Catchy, THIS one is gonna get a LOT of comments." So, if you get a chance, leave a comment for my two favorite little metal mouths. I'm sure they'd love to hear about what YOU thought about braces, if you've had them. And if you haven't had them, feel free to tell them how cute they are. That's what I always do.

You know - when I'm not laughing at them . . .

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hail to the Chief

My mom and I went to the George Bush museum in College Station this weekend on what my mom would call a "lark" - she loves going on a lark. We're big fans of Presidential museums because we like how you get a bunch of history and a glimpse into the lives of our former presidents as you look at all the pictures and memorabilia and read all the placards. So, since my mom hadn't been to the Bush museum yet, we hit the road for a spontaneous road trip and headed west to good ol' Aggieland.

I'd like to say that I spent the most time reading interesting tidbits about Bush's political journey or the issues that he stood for while in Congress and the Oval Office. But I must fess up to being a little shallow - I like to look at the pictures of him and his family before he became President. Or pictures of him and Barbara on their wedding day. It's so neat to see them as ordinary citizens, leading their ordinary lives. And, in this museum, you kind of get two for the price of one because you see lots of pictures of George W. as a child in the Bush family's early days in Texas. There were pictures of him as a toddler, as a child, as a teenager. Pictures of him on his mother's hip, in the yard playing, just smiling with his siblings - just general shots of him living his life. I love that.

It's cool to look at those pictures and think about how he was just a normal toddler, smiling for the picture without any clue that he was destined to become President or that this picture would one day be hanging in a museum. I've never had any desire to be President but, as I stood there, I just couldn't help but imagine myself in his shoes. That's the cool thing about America - anyone can become President. Any one of us could have pictures hanging in a Presidential museum one day. It could be you. It could be me.

That's when my armpits started sweating.

Don't get me wrong - I think it would be so cool to be President and, let's face it, the idea of people coming from miles around to learn about me and read about me and see pictures of me is RIGHT up my alley. But a PRESIDENTIAL museum needs to be dignified. It needs to have an air of distinction. Of greatness. Of prestige. And the pictures and memorabilia contained therein should live up to that standard.

My Presidential museum would be filled with pictures that would bring embarrassment upon the office of President.

Liiiiiiiiiike the hundreds upon hundreds of shots of my various mullets over the years. Take, for example, this classic shot of my permed mullet from 4th grade, complete with nestled heart-shaped clip:

Or this one, showing the domestic side of my mullet:

Or, God forbid, this one, showing my mullet in what appears to be a post-hacksaw encounter:

I daresay mine would be the first mullet to grace the walls of a Presidential museum. And I don't think I'm okay with that.

No - maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe the American public would be okay with the mullet. I mean, it was the 80s - I can't be responsible for popular hairstyles through the decades, right? My fellow Americans would surely not lose respect for me just because of my hair, right? And then it hits me . . .

Oh, Lord. The bedhead pictures. WHY did I take the bedhead pictures??



I'm standing in the Bush museum, surrounded by pictures of the fall of the Berlin wall and all I can think about is that my Presidential museum would have a bedhead section instead of a Berlin Wall section. And that's horrifying.

But not as horrifying as the thought of a section containing pictures of me wearing leotards:



The American people don't deserve that.

Or pictures of me in various dance poses:



I don't care if my body WAS by Boni, those pictures have no place in a Presidential museum.

But you know what pictures are the worst to think about? More than the mullets or even the leotards? The WORST thing that would be in my Presidential museum would be the many, many pictures that I've taken over the years that would make Americans question whether I had an I.Q. sufficient for the Highest Office in our country:












How do you lead people after they've seen you with a banana peel or a basket on your head? How can they have confidence in you when they've seen you trying to eat a telephone or sticking out your tongue? Or seen up your nose? How can they take you seriously when they know you used a tattered binky until you were in grade school? It just can't be done.

So I have a new-found respect for the many Presidents who have led our country and, in the process, have opened up their lives and picture albums for all to see. I tip my basket-hat to them and say "Hail to the Chief!"

Better you than me.