October 30, 2008

Have A Spooky Good Time

I heart Bob and David. This always gets me in the Halloween spirit. YAY candy!

October 27, 2008

And How Was YOUR Weekend?

Friday night, I thoroughly enjoyed about 15 hours of revelry and Robot-Offs at Karla May’s Bachelorette Extravaganza. I’m sure someone will try to post evidence to the contrary, but I just want to go on record as saying that, other than sleeping with a magazine picture of Chris Robinson in my bed, I was a good girl. I hated to make an early exit, but school carnivals and sick children were already on the agenda for Saturday.

Yes, the long-awaited GGMS school carnival had to carry on without Olive and me as she came down with a touch of The Bug in the wee hours of Saturday morning. T-Bone had only just gotten off the phone (for the second time) with Peach, calling to say goodnight (again) from her dance studio's overnight lock-in, when Olive stirred and said, "Daddy, my tummy h…URL." Once more for good measure, right after he changed her pjs and the sheets (natch), and that was it for the night. Especially considering it was 5 AM at that point. See, this is why I never want to go anywhere – I’m worried Peach and Olive might miss me too much (check) and/or get sick (check and check). T-Bone handled it all very well, but of course both little dumplings collapsed on me as soon as I hit the door. Later, Olive and I watched The Breeders' Cup and then crawled back into The Biscuit for a snooze while T-Bone took Peach to get her sugar and inflatable slide fix at the carnival. So, a perfect afternoon all the way around.

Sunday brought a flurry of activity, including pulling out some cool (because it never really gets cold, right?) weather clothes for some alleged Canadian air scheduled to hit the area this week. I also trimmed back my out-of-control Esperanza bushes, but the Lantana will have to wait. As per usual, I met a couple of neighbors while working in the frontyard, including one whose dog crapped in the flowerbed right in front of me, prompting the dude to say, "Well, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go!" Thanks, asshat. And your little dog, too.

Also, we voted! And we got verklempt! And then we had ice cream!

And then, I had to go to The Job this morning, where I was met, as I have been every day for the past six weeks, with the co-worker who always asks me, "Ya havin' fun yet?" Well, I was ...

October 21, 2008

Radio Killed The Legal Star

Now that I’m a commuter, I’ve been listening to the radio more than usual. For better or worse. I do have a CD player in the car, but it’s loaded up with kid music (the good kind), and I’m too lazy: a) to choose something from our vast music library (really, T-Bone has some kind of illness, y’all); and b) to go through the multiple (2) steps of actually putting it in the changer. I had an MP3 player T-Bone got me for my birthday a couple years ago, but that GD thing was so user-UNfriendly, like, downright user-hostile, that it just frustrated the crap out of me and I hardly ever used it. SO, I’m left with the radio.

Which is absolute shit.

Basically, you have your choice of about three formats, at least in the non-talk, non-country, non-alternative/co-op milieus. I don’t do NPR, and I still haven’t gotten over the fact that some Holy Rollers took over one of the TWO rock stations we used to have in this town, the alleged Live Music Capital of the World. Anyway, so three formats:
  1. KrazeeJamminOldSkoolZooTeamInTheMorning. Or some variation thereof. There are several of these stations, ranging from oldies (which, apparently now includes the 80s. Kill me.) to All-the-Hits-from-Today! (i.e., people I’ve never heard of and/or want to strangle). They basically all play crappy pop music and are always taking callers for some wacky trivia game or planning some Listener Beach Party Happy Hour. They also always have at least one raspy voiced "Hollywood Insider" gal, who is so full of misinformation and spray-tan fumes that I have the overwhelming urge to send her a subscription to Entertainment Weekly, wrapped around a lit stick of dynamite.
  2. FratBoyBurnOutCockRock. Ugh. The worst part about this station is the morning show is all talk, just like the DJs, because I’ve seen these jackasses, and I shudder to think of the beasts they hooked up with if even 1/10th of their sexual exploit stories are true. Better yet, the afternoon show is pretty much some dude from Indiana or somewhere and a bunch of drunk guys calling in and cussing him out on the air. Yeah, it’s as stupid as it sounds. I did learn one thing the other day, though. It seems there is a restaurant along the Hooters line called Tilt the Kilt, so anybody looking to make some extra dough for the holidays …
  3. CorporateSuccubus. There is one local station, which shall remain nameless, (KG*R), that is so firmly attached to the corporate teat that their playlist is about 25 songs long, and TWICE last week, the last song I heard when I got to work was the first song I heard when I left. They try to fool us with all these different "shows" throughout the day, but for the most part, I can name at least 3 artists they will play at nearly any given hour. I mean, I love Lyle Lovett, too, but damn! Come up for air already.

Like I said. Shit. Absolute.

BUT the bright side to this commuting biz is all the crazy stuff I see along the way. Like the W bumper sticker with a little TF? on it. And the one that said "Born Okay the First Time." And then there was the guy in nothing but his butt floss riding his bike AWAY from me down Lamar the other day, smiling his, well, his ass off. And no, it wasn’t Leslie. Finally, the Grand Prize Winner was the guy I saw literally hopping down the sidewalk yesterday with these giant pogo stick things attached to his feet, making him about 9 feet tall. Not counting the rabbit ears he was wearing.

Holy hell, I love this town.

October 18, 2008

It’s The Christmas Tree’s Fault

So says my aching body after 12 hours of moving furniture. See, I had to move the couch and two chairs and two tables and two entertainment centers and two TVs and a bunch of miscellaneous crapola today because with the previous configuration in my quaint little living room, where-oh-where would Der Tannenbaum go? Two months from now? See?

I’d be lying if I told you that that was the first time I made a design decision, at the risk of life, limb, my sanity, and, possibly, my marriage, based on the placement of the Christmas tree. One of the selling points (for me) of our floor plan was all the windows in the living room, all the better for viewing the Christmas tree. Hell, back in the day, I even passed on rental property because there just wasn’t a good place for the Christmas tree. And many is the time I have arranged other people’s furniture (even if just in my mind) based on outlet location and maximum "TaDA" potential for the Christmas tree. Really. Many times.

And so it was today that I couldn’t fight the urge any longer and decided to strap an armoire to my back and carry it upstairs. Yeah. I decided a while ago that we could do with one TV in the house (shocking, I know) and thereby rid ourselves of the smaller entertainment center and old school (read: heavy as shit) tube TV from the gameroom and replace them with the bigger entertainment center and BigAss TV from the living room. Now, it’s all over but the tweaking (which really never ends), and la familia, even sweet T-Bone, thinks it looks great. And my lovely couch in the living room is thanking me already for prolonging its not-exactly-stain-resistant life. So, it’s all worth it.

A more substantive post when I can muster up the grey matter ...

October 3, 2008

The News (minus Huey)

Work is going OK, I guess. I’ve been able to adjust my schedule a bit (not one minute less than 40 hours, mind you), so a few days a week, I’ve been coming in at 7:30 and leaving at 4. The traffic still BITES even at that time of day, but at least it’s not nearly 7 when I get home. And this blog post? Written on a break from pushing paper for The Man. So, thank you, taxpayers. Enjoy.

Last weekend, I cut 7 inches off my hair. Nothing fancy - still all one length, pretty much. I am not a "hair" person, so I am very limited in what I can "do" with my hair. The one time I had anything but one length to deal with, well, y’all remember how that turned out. Gawd. I did rock the spiral perm, a la Edie Brickell, back when that reference was actually current, and I have half-considered going back to that many times, what with its true wash-n-wear-ability. Lucky for me, the gal who cuts my hair doesn’t do perms and thereby saved me from myself once again.

Peach is rawking out already on her guitar. She can play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and is working on some Beatles tunes from T-Bone’s "Even YOU can play The Beatles" music book. She is also terribly excited to be in the Waltz of the Flowers number in her dance studio’s holiday show. She and seven other munchkins are the backup dancers, if you will, for one of the big girls on toe, so she’s been flitting and flying all over the house as of late. Well, more than usual anyway.

Olive surprised me yesterday with a lovely song she learned at school. In Italian. Know what’s even cuter than an earnest 5 year old singing? An earnest 5 year old singing in Italian. And twice this week she’s come home in her extra clothes because she’s on dishwashing detail, and she takes it so seriously, it’s actually a full-body experience. Today, she and Peach are staying for an hour in the afterschool program, and I fully expect they won’t want to leave when T-Bone goes to pick them up.

Speaking of wonderful, exciting, and TOP SECRET news (weren’t we?), we have planned a most awesome surprise vacation for those two sugarplums, and I want to tell them so bad, it’s killing me. Details to follow ...

October 1, 2008

Gimme Five

Today, Olive decided to turn five. And by "decided," I absolutely mean "decided," because for the last few months, she was determined that this day was NOT going to come. She said, repeatedly, that she didn’t want to grow up, was not going to grow up, would not turn five, would stay four forever, and would never again have a birthday or birthday presents or a birthday party, but a "no reason" party with presents might be acceptable, etc..

I think most kids go through a stage here and there where they say they want to be a baby or they don’t want to grow up or whatever. I know I did, and I can remember being about six and just crying in my bed about it. But I got over it. Mostly, anyway. But Miss Olive? I really wasn’t so sure she would. This "stage" was more like a regular series (usually at bedtime) of utter meltdowns, triggered by such innocuous things as saying "Maybe we can get that (usually a horse) for your birthday" or "How was (classmate’s) birthday circle today?" or "Look! That cat on TV is giving birth to kittens." She would get so beside herself, it was pitiful. And when we could finally get to the bottom of it all, she would cling to me saying it was because she doesn’t ever want to leave us. Breaks. My. Heart.

I tried everything to talk her down – Who said you have to leave? You can stay here forever – we’d love for you to stay forever. You don’t have to grow up all in one night, just a little at a time. Think of all the things you can do when you’re bigger. Think of all the things you can do now that you couldn’t do when you were a baby. Yada, yada, yada. But nothing worked. She would finally wear herself out and fall back on the bed, sniffling and spent. And then she was fine. Until the next time.

Determined, as always, to plan a most magical birthday, I floated out different ideas to her, but if it involved, you know, a party, with a cake, and people – God forbid – singing to her, she wasn’t having any of it. Because she wasn’t having a birthday and wasn’t turning five and was staying four forever and on and on again. FINALLY, we saw the preview for a little movie you may have heard of called Beverly Hills Chihuahua. I suggested we go see it and maybe invite a couple of friends and maybe have lunch afterwards and maybe a cupcake or something. And she went for it. As long as everyone understood this was NOT a birthday party. OK. A few days later, during another small scale anti-aging meltdown, I casually mentioned that the various stables near our house have a rule that you have to be six to take riding lessons and wouldn’t that be so fun and something to look forward to and all that. I kid you not, the next morning at breakfast:

Olive: Mommy, how many more days till my birthday?
LT: 17.
Olive: Yes! And then I’ll be five and then I’ll be six and then I can take riding lessons! And then I’ll be eight and I can go on the trailride! And then I’ll be ten, and …
LT: Hold it! Let’s just enjoy being five first. Mommy can’t handle any more than that.

And so today, we pulled off what has been called "the best birthday I ever had." We started with the traditional tiny birthday cake in bed, followed by the traditional birthday circle at GGMS (where the bday child picks a friend to hold a lit candle (the sun), and the bday kid (the Earth) walks around the candle the number of years they've been alive - how cool is that). After school and dance classes, we had the traditional dinner at the restaurant of Olive's choice (Chuy's, natch), followed by the traditional birthday cake and ice cream, birthday presents, and much-beloved treasure hunt around the house. T-Bone is a genius when it comes to making up the clues, and Peach and Olive are so cute, tearing around from room to room, with me bringing up the rear with the video camera, trying not to kill myself. The last clue leads to the Big Present, which was a horse music box filled with new play jewelry. Olive loooooved it. She put on all the jewelry, cranked the music, and just stared at herself in the tiny mirror, while whispering, "This is the best birthday I ever had. I will remember it forever. Every time I look in this mirror, I will remember this day. Thank you, Mommy. I love you." And on and on and on. And yes, I caught it all on tape.

It was a great day. And I will remember it forever. Thank you, Olive. I love you.