December 31, 2008

Here's The Story

I met T-Bone 13 years ago at a Christmas party celebrating the end of our first semester of law school. I had picked him out of the button-and-suspenders crowd that dominated our class (bunch of gunners - so annoying) about two weeks into the year, and I dutifully stalked him for the next three months. My best friend was in his section, so I knew his schedule and could conveniently park myself outside of his classrooms and catch a little lookie-loo as he passed by. God forbid I ever try to actually talk to him - it was sooo much easier to pester my friends with daily (hourly) reports of what he was wearing, what he was eating, and what I overheard him saying in the cubicle across from me in the library as I pretended to be reading my Con Law assignment. See, I am not, nor have I ever been, one to flirt. I don't know how and am sure I would fail miserably should I ever attempt it. The Junior High Approach to Dealing with Boyz (TM) (heart-sparkle-heart-lips) was working just fine, thank you, but I had a sneaking suspicion that if I never actually met him, I would just D-I-E DIE, y'all. I knew in my heart that, at the very least, we would be great friends. I just knew it.

So after months of listening to me go on and on and ON about him, I think everyone around me was looking forward to the Christmas party where, it was hoped, I would get a few drinks in me and maybe finally - gasp! - end the suffering and talk to the guy. In all my stalking, I had literally run in to him a couple of times - once in the cafeteria when I had a mouth full of pizza and once when I was exiting the bathroom, still struggling with my zipper. Sweet. Not exactly the right time to introduce yourself to the love of your life. Anywho, I was so nervous about the possibility of meeting him, I called for back-up, and Karla May, living in Alabama at the time, came to my rescue. She too had had "just about enough of this shit," so I knew something was going to go down if in fact T-Bone made an appearance at the party.

After a few pitchers of margaritas for courage, she and I arrived at the party, only to find a group of about six of my so-called friends lined up at the door, all saying, "He's here! He's here! He's here!" Oh shit. I swear to you, not five minutes later, my best guy friend, Fox, who didn't know T-Bone from Adam by the way, followed him to the bathroom and said, "Hey - you're T-Bone, right? Follow me." Then the rest of my alleged compadres grabbed me and quite forcefully PUSHED me into him, after which Fox quickly made the introductions and stepped back to view the carnage. I want to throw up just thinking about it even now. But, after a couple of shaky "Hi"s and me saying something gay about my idiot friends being off their meds, we started talking. And we talked and talked and talked. Until 6 in the morning. There were a couple of times in there, when we were back at my parents' house (oh yeah - cuz did I mention I was living at HOME at the time? Gawd, I'm so awesome.), I started to nod off, and I was telling myself, "He's here! He's really here! Wake up!" We hit all the big topics, including music, God, and even marriage. Just in general, but still. And it didn't even seem weird. The best part was when he went to leave, and he asked - asked! - if he could kiss me. Still my favorite kiss of all time. Ever.

Two weeks later, we broached the topic of marriage again - this time, quite specifically, and a year from the day we met, we got engaged in New Orleans. A year later, we got married on New Year's Eve, and 11 blissful years later, The Story has just continued to unfold.

My mom has asked me on more than one occasion, "How did you know he would be so perfect for you? Just from looking at him?" and the answer is, I don't know. I just did. Which is especially surprising for someone who never EVER thought about getting married or dreamed about what my wedding would be like. I just couldn't really picture that happening to me. But then I saw him, and I thought, we need to know each other, and the universe made it happen.

I often tell T-Bone that he is either easily impressed or easily amused, I'm not sure which. Either way, I'm glad he is who he is, and I'm so lucky to get to be who I am with him. So Happy Anniversary, babe. I love you.

And Happy New Year to the rest of y'all.

December 29, 2008

Post Christmas Post

Oh what a time we had. Christmas went off without a hitch, and that night, we had about 30 people crammed into my kitchen, feasting on tamales and my award-winning chili (Really, there's a bigass silver bowl with my name engraved on it in the trophy case in my - wait for it - sorority house! Zeta Tau Alcohol, y'all! WHOO!). At one point, we had everybody here, from 20 month old Opie to 90 years young Abuelita Turista, so, Circle of Life and all that. It was fun.

We spent the weekend near Houston with our bruthacuzzins and their new wee kitten, and now we're in full on prep mode for Peach's (9th) birthday tomorrow. And our (11th) anniversary the day after that. And a whole New Year the day after that. I forsee lots of calories in my immediate future.

See, if it weren't for the non-stop action we've got going on around here pretty much from October 1 on, I would be one of those post-holiday blues people. It makes me sad to have to take down all my pretties, etc., but lucky for me, right about the time I've got everything put away, I'm staring down the next most wonderful time of the year - Awards Show Season!

Right now, though, I have to go outside and kick some delinquent ass - your no-good nephew and his heathen gang are shooting off fireworks over the creek next to mi casa. It's only the 29th, dipshits.

December 24, 2008

I Win.

In a Who’s Got the Greatest Old Man of All Time Contest, I mean. Really, truly.
Example # 4,637: Peach and Olive have spent the last few days with Mama and Abuelita Turista in San Antonio while T-Bone and I finish up The Christmasing and work to pay for The Christmasing. Anywho, when I planned on them going down there on Saturday, I casually mentioned to T-Bone that maybe Saturday night we could go hear some music somewhere, like back in The Day. He said to leave it up to him, and I did.

So, as I’m packing las ninas for their trip Saturday morning, T-Bone says that I might want to pack a small bag for me. So I say, "For what?" to which he says, "All will be revealed." And did like some spirit fingers or something. "As long as I can wear jeans," I say, and "Yes, that would be appropriate," says he. So in the tote went the jeans and boots, with the requisite turquoise jewelry thrown in for good measure, and we were off. We spent the afternoon with my other grandmother, and after a delicious meal at one of my favorite old haunts, we hit the road again. I-35 Northbound, to be exact. Towards Austin, to be exact.

However, just as we pass through New Braunfels, T-Bone takes the exit for Gruene, and I realize we’re going to one of my favorite live-music venues in the world: Gruene Hall. He hands me an envelope that says, "Happy Merry Chrismaversary," inside of which is a pair of tickets to see Bruce and Kelly, the Second Cutest Married Couple Ever, in their Holiday Show, and a reservation for this historic inn. Well, totally surprised and pleased was I, to say the least. That guy.

The show was so fun – lighter on the holiday songs than I expected, but I was so glad to hear some of my old favorite Kelly songs. And they had a slideshow of their four (FOUR!) redheaded angels that nearly brought me to tears, it was so cute. Gruene Hall is sort of an open-air honkytonk, but thankfully the crowd was a little more well-heeled and civil than the usual drunken fratboy a-holes that infest the place sometimes. The accommodations were quaint and comfy, and we couldn’t even hear the military dudes whooping it up til all hours in the piano bar downstairs.

After a lovely breakfast, we hit the road on a quest to complete our shopping, and dammit, if the Project Runway stuff at Demons ‘R Us hadn’t been on sale all weekend and was completely picked over, if it was even there at all. Yeah, we went to three Devil’s Spawn ‘R Us on Sunday, on the opposite ends of the world, and it was only at the last one, out in BFE, just shy of Hell, that I found one of the two items we were looking for. And it was only after we got home that I realized Peach had edited her list down from two PR items to one, to make room for the American Girl knock-off doll bed from Target. Thanks be to Jeebus we found the one item that made the cut.

And on the Ken front, we looked, y’all. We really really looked, and unless you want some prince dude, who’s strapped on an electric guitar(?) for some reason, or a surfer dude, who’s wearing a not-at-all-gay tanktop and super short swim trunks, there are NO Kens to be had. And no Ken clothes either. Unless you frantically search the interwebs, and find Fashion Insider Ken, who normally retails for $75 because he’s one of those "collectibles" that you keep in the box forever and put on the No-No-Touchy Shelf in your mauve and emerald green guest room, but who, shockingly(!), is now 50% off and available for shipping and can arrive on or around 12/29, just in time for a 12/30 birthday. Hopefully, Peach will be too distracted by the rest of her haul to notice that Barbie didn’t get no man for Christmas and then will be pleasantly surprised when she opens the dapper little dude on her birthday five days later.

So, to recap:

T-Bone – the winner and still champeen of the Most Awesome Husband Texas Cagematch Finals.

Bruce and Kelly – please come over for dinner and bring all those little carrot tops with you.

Mattel – I have a new concept for your pisspoor Ken line: Just a Normal Family Guy. See here and above for inspiration.

Peach and Olive – Christmas is coming, and Mommy’s getting fat. Please to put your pennies in your old man’s hat.

To the rest of youse - Here's hoping you have some merry and bright of your own tomorrow. Happy Holidays, y'all!

December 18, 2008

Yes, Peach. There is a Santa Claus.

So my Peachy Pie, I’m pretty sure, is having quite the crisis of conscience over this whole Santa Claus thing. Although she would never say so and would never EVER blow it for anybody else, especially Olive. That would just break her heart, I can assure you.

I think she might have heard some rumblings about it last year and maybe some full-fledged confirmations this year, but I haven’t broached the topic other than to ask about making a Christmas list. Usually, she wants to discuss the many choices she’s seen in stores or catalogs and lets me "help" her narrow it down to four or five things. This year, she’s either said, "No thanks. I’m fine." - with a noticeable quiver in her voice - or "I want to give Santa a holiday this year." - again, with the quiver. However, when pressed, I have gotten her to jot some things down and have found a couple of discarded lists, one of which asked Santa for "a chance to see you" or "anything you wish." So precious.

I’m treading very softly here because what if I decide to have The Talk with her, and she’s not even close to being a non-believer, and I ruin her childhood and drive her into early therapy? I’m trying to read her as best I can, but as it’s gotten closer, she seems to be either humoring me by getting on board the Santa Express or she genuinely still believes. I can’t tell.

That said, she has made her final selections and typed her list and Olive’s list on the computer, with lots of fonts and colors and the usual embellishments. Ever the budding designer, in the top two slots, she wants some Project Runway sketch books. Next up, a bed for her knock-off American Girl doll, and a Scuba Barbie. Also, the Kit Kittredge DVD, and finally, "a boy Barbie for my house." Hmmm …

Anybody shopped for a boy Barbie lately? I mean NOT of the HSM3 variety? Because the pickins’ is slim, my friends. The choices are pretty much: The Gay Ken; The Gayer Ken; and Queen Ken.

Now, if she wants a boy Barbie "for her house," as in to look at fabric swatches and rearrange furniture, I think we’re good. But if she wants him to propose to Barbie and raise babies together, we may have a problem.

Olive’s list? Par for the course:
Big stuffed horse for my bed
Tack for my horses
Horse Sense game
New Cowgirl Nanny doll – no stinky (blond) hair, only brown
Scuba Barbie – no stinky (blond) hair, only brown OR red
Horse Shrinky Dinks

All of which I have to get THIS weekend, because other than a few stocking stuffers and a couple of things I ordered online, I have NOTHING. Stupid work interfering with my shopping.

December 16, 2008

Oh Goody

You wanna know what’s awesome? Waking up with a raging case of PMS when it’s 29 degrees outside. THAT’S awesome. I should know. Right on the heels of the Mouse Flu, too. Beautiful.

However, what else is awesome is going to work with the above afflictions on December Birthday Goody Day – which I was shamed into participating in by The Lady of Many Falls (seriously, a different ponytail everyday), who showed up in my office with the sign-up sheet yesterday, gently reminding (berating) me that I missed (dodged) the November Goody Day and that it’s really fun (wrong) and everyone participates (lie) and couldn’t I bring some "finger food" OR pitch in $5? OK, but only because I happen to have some frozen shit left over from my ornament exchange that I can whip up in 20 minutes. So suck on that, Peggy Sue.

SO I whipped up the frozen shit, took it in this morning, in the FREEZING cold, with the cramps and the almost-barfs and the beginnings of a migraine, and here’s how my day started, with tongues wagging on all sides of me:

7:45-8:30 am – Did you bring that for Goody Day? What’d ya bring for Goody Day? Did you see what she brought for Goody Day? She brought this (frozen shit) for Goody Day, and it looks wonderful! I can’t wait for Goody Day! I wish it was my birthday month so I could line up first for Goody Day, because everyone knows that the BEST stuff on Goody Day goes first, but you have to wait until your birthday month to line up first, so then YOU get the best stuff on Goody Day! Is it 9:30 yet? Because Goody Day starts at 9:30. Who else brought something for Goody Day?

8:45-9:15 am – They’re setting up for Goody Day, y’all! They got them snowman plates that’s so cute, and the food looks DE-licious! I sure hope (some random women) brings that (nasty casserole involving tater tots) that she brought for October Goody Day because I missed that since my birthday is in June, and I was on the phone when the line started forming, so by the time I got to Goody Day, that (nasty casserole) was gone, y’all, and all I heard about the rest of the day was how good it was. I was so excited for the November Goody Day, but (random woman) was out of town, so we didn’t have (nasty casserole), but I heard that she’s making it for December Goody Day. I’m going to go help them finish setting up for Goody Day so I can get in line right behind the December birthdays. I love Goody Day!

9:21 am – Is it 9:30 yet?
9:22 am – Is it 9:30 yet?
9:27 am – Is it 9:30 yet?

9:29:57 am – Y’ALL! The food’s out! Line up behind the December birthdays!

9:42 am – They(?) just called from over there and said the line’s down, so you better hurry up and get over to Goody Day. And see if they got anymore of them Lil’ Smokies – could you bring me some if they do? I didn’t want ‘em mixed in with my Bacon-wrapped Asparagus, covered with Tamale Queso. This is the BEST Goody Day ever!

Holy HELL, I wish I was kidding. If I heard one more grown ass person say "Goody Day," I really might have gone postal. Or finally barfed. All over their GD Goodies.

December 15, 2008

Mouse Flu

So whatever barfy bug struck Peach last week - up until the very night before we left for Mouseland - must have struck my happy ass yesterday morning. Which was LOADS of fun to deal with while spending the better part of the day traveling. Thankfully, I never actually barfed per se, but I was plenty bugged nonetheless. I still feel like crapola today, so I'll have to postpone the trip report. Which I know you're dying to hear. Until then, enjoy this little mouse tale.

December 9, 2008

Goin’ Back to Cali

Mouseland! That’s where we’re going on our super secret trip Thursday morning. And Peach and Olive have NO clue that we’re going anywhere, let alone The Happiest Place on Earth. We’re not telling them until we get them up to go to the airport, so keep it under your mouse ears.

It’s been touch-and-go the past 24 hours because, of all times, Peach was battling a little barfy bug yesterday. Could have something to do with all the Nutcracker cast party treats from Sunday afternoon, followed by the rich party food she happily indulged in at my annual ornament exchange Sunday night, but she did have a bit of fever, too, so who knows. Luckily, she rallied today for her Cultural Challenge at GGMS. In one hour, the child recited two poems, one of which was her own work inspired by Shel Silverstein, played in a guitar ensemble and accompanied a classmate on his vocal performance, AND narrated the class play based on Greek mythology. T-Bone said it was more like a Cultural Smackdown because she totally "dominated the thing." Thanks to The Job, I will have to relive the event through the magic of videotape, assuming of course T-Bone got something other than the pole in the middle of the school auditorium, which we have plenty of footage of from past events.

So tonight and tomorrow night I have some stealth packing to do, as well as the usual Pre-trip Freakout Jamboree. But I will leave you with this:

Olive: Mommy, did you know Daddy used to have a lot more hair on his head?

LT: Yes, I did know that. Like in this wedding picture.

Olive: Well, I’ll tell you what happened. He used to have a lot of hair until he got married. And then it all started falling out … because of all the kissing.

December 4, 2008

Fortress of Solitude

That’s what I call my office at The Job. A: because it’s friggin’ freezing, 24/7; and B: because I close the door, and I am in my own little world. I could go all day and not see another human if I only had a port-a-potty up in that mutha. Several times, I’ve been in there, working "late" (which, in gubment terms means, "after 4"), and when I come out, everybody’s gone. Split. Outta there.

I don’t have a lot of interaction with the support staff (mostly because I still can’t figure out what it is that they DO, exactly), and of the three other lawyuhs, there’s only one I regularly talk to. And even him I can go for days without seeing. Other than T-Bone, I’ve gotten four phone calls in the almost three months I’ve been there. And other than administrative BS and birthday/retirement/quinceanera/food-related announcements, I’ve gotten two substantive emails. TWO. And they were both replies to actual work-related issues I brought up. It's so bizarre. It’s like my office is some kind of timewarp/vacuum/CrissAngelMindFreak zone.

Not that I’m complaining. Not really. But I just feel like I get in there, and every time I come out, I have to get my bearings and remind myself, "Oh right. I’m at ‘work’. This is my ‘job.’" And it’s not like I go out of my way to avoid people or be ugly to them. It’s just that they’re all in their cubes, doing whateverthehell, and I’m just passing by on my way to the loo or to the Kick Ass Ice Machine in the breakroom (truly, one of the top two best things about The Job. That and the paycheck. Not the amount, per se, just the fact that there is one.). Several of them have little mirrors up on the shelf so they can see when people walk up behind them. They’re tiny little rearview-type mirrors, just big enough to see their eyes dart up at you as you pass by. It reminds me of the jails and prisons I’ve been to (as a visitor, not a resident), where the inmates fashion mirrors out of anything reflective and put them on the end of a toothbrush or chair leg or whatever and stick them out of their cells so they can chat with their neighbors or see who’s coming to shank them. It freaks me out, y’all. Seriously.

So I scurry back to The Fortress and decide which wall to stare at for a few hours. The grey one, the other grey one, or the other other grey one with the door. Behind me is a wall of windows, which would be lovely if they didn’t look out on the parking lot and the machine shop, with a nice view of the dumpster where old cake party stuffs go to die. And they have those GD vertical blinds. Which I loathe. I haven’t brought anything personal from home yet, not one picture or desk-sized Zen rock garden. Mostly because I’m still in denial that this is actually happening, but also because I’m supposedly getting "new" furniture that has been "ordered" and is being "constructed," as is all gubment office furniture, by some of the state’s finest "craftsmen," who just so happen to be "jailbirds" who have nothing but "time" on their hands and a great interest in being "busy" instead of being "dead" in a yard riot. Which means, I ain’t getting no furniture anytime soon. And when I do, dollars to donuts it’ll be missing some sharp metal components that were mysteriously lost in transit. I do think I’ll bring up my office chair from home though. My work chair is way too complicated, and it’s blue. Electric blue. So not my color.

December 2, 2008

Goodbye, Sleep. Hello, Grind.

Man, it’s hard to get back into The Swing after a few days off. Especially when it’s chilly in the mornings, and you just want to be the cheese in the middle of a Snoozing Children Sandwich. Toasted, of course. I say being responsible stinks.

But oh what a wonderful break we had. T-Bone stayed with las ninas while I brought home the bacon on Wednesday. Thursday, we had the perfect Thanksgiving dinner for four, and Friday was Operation Decoration/OMG-we-have-a lot-of-ornaments-palooza. I ran out of steam before I got to the tippy tip top of the tree, but I’ll throw something up there before this weekend. Everything else inside was already done, and Sunday, T-Bone and I tried to do the outside stuff until the galeforce winds finally got the better of us. But I’m not giving up – there WILL be light.

Saturday, we spent the day "in the country" with my sistacuzin and her boys. They have a little house in a nearby antique mecca, and we hauled ourselves up there to play games, make s’mores, and throw stuff in the burnpile. Fire good! At one point, a small faction stole away to this awesome spot, and who should be holding the door for us when we got there? Frank! I recognized him right away, what with the Santa Claus beard and the fairly creepy way he said, "My pleeeeeasure" when I thanked him for holding the door. Quick! Grab the children before he tries to paint chickens or wine ephemera on them! Or distracts them with an "art" project made with spray paint, broken mirrors, and MDF! That guy.

So now we’re in a holding pattern for the rest of the week. Peach has her holiday dance performance this weekend, and I have my annual ornament throwdown on Sunday. Then NEXT week, next Thursday, to be exact, we jet off on our super secret surprise trip to … aww, wouldn’t you love to know? Stay tuned!