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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pete's air.

My mom and I were driving to College Station this weekend and, while on the road, we saw a tire shop that seemed like an interesting place:

Not surprisingly, "Pete Comma Tire Shop" sells used tires:

But we're not talking the "certified pre-owned" kind of "used." We're talking straight up USED:

At least he's straightforward about it. That's what I like about Pete. He doesn't mess around with pretense or false labels. He just is who he is - no excuses and no apologies. His mottos in life are "Why pay for a sign when you have a can of spray paint on hand?" and "Apostrophes are overrated." I imagine him working in his shop, wearing overalls and grumbling about the younger generation and their annoying sense of entitlement. Pete doesn't believe in that. He thinks you work and pay for EVERYTHING. He does NOT believe in freebies.

And he's SERIOUS about that . . .

Don't worry - I held my breath as I was taking this picture. I mean, I wasn't sure how much he CHARGES for air and I didn't have much cash on me.

And you just DON'T take Pete's air . . .

Friday, July 1, 2011

Awkwardly excited!

So sorry for going MIA this week . . . I was in trial so I had a good excuse, I promise!! I've been so busy and SO tired and am DEFINITELY looking forward to the long weekend. Hopefully, I will be recharged and ready to go with new posts on Monday. But, for now, since I'm jumping back on here at the end of the week, I thought I'd just share some fun news with you, rather than trying to write a full-blown post . . .

A while back - maybe even a YEAR ago?? - I submitted a picture to Have you seen this website?? If you haven't, stop what you're doing and go there now. But only if you promise to come back. I mean, they're really funny so I want to make sure that you won't leave me for them. Promise? Okay - go ahead. I'll wait here . . .

Oh good - you're back! Soooooooooo? Aren't they so funny?? I love their captions because they are so clever without being too harsh - it really is an awesome website.

ANYWAY, one day I was surfing around on there and decided to submit a picture of me and my sisters at Dickens-on-the-Strand in Galveston around Christmastime in the mid 80s. It's a picture that's near and dear to me and one that I've shared on this blog before:

I love this picture because it captures all three of our awkward phases at one time posing with who might very well be the Patron Saint of Awkward Phases (thank you to one of my readers for that name!). Me with my permed mullet, Judge Judy collar, and my filthy velcro tennies; Tammy with her mauve sweater vest, flood pants, and boat shoes; and Erin with her jacked-up mullet, filthy shoes, and St. Paddy's day sweatshirt at Christmas - it's just all too much for one photo. And I love the fact that my dad had this blown up to an 8x10 and framed - now THAT'S unconditional love, people!!

ANYWAY, because I love this picture so much and think it's so funny, I submitted it to and, for about a year, would go check on their site every so often to see if they had published it. But, alas, I never saw it. I finally just figured that maybe they just didn't think it was as funny as I did. Oh well - no big deal . . . [big sigh, staring at the floor, trying to get you to feel sorry for me . . .]

Then, one day, I got an email from them telling me that had decided to release a daily desk calendar and they wanted to know if they could put MY PICTURE in it!! I called my sisters up and, after getting over the horrifying fact that this picture would wind up on desks all over the country, we cracked up. And then they told us that our picture would be the St. Patrick's Day picture and we cracked up all over again.

It just couldn't get any funnier. Until . . .

I got an email a few weeks ago letting me know that they were going to be releasing a new Awkward Family Photos Board Game and OUR PICTURE was going to be in that, too!!! So, after all these years, the permed mullet is finally going to get its 15 minutes of fame!!

The board game is on sale now in stores and on their website and the calendars go on sale later this month. Aren't you excited?? Don't you think you need to go order one right now?? And maybe put a few away for Christmas presents?? I think you do!! So go do it!!

Go on.


Do it.

Why are you still here?