Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meet me at the Testicle Festival!

Found on MSNBC.COM….You can’t make this stuff up, people!

Diners can 'have a ball' at testicle festival
Will pay $50 apiece for the privilege of eating private parts of bulls

OAKDALE, Calif. - The fundraising idea may seem a little nuts, but Oakdale's annual Testicle Festival is always a big hit.

On Monday, volunteers with the town's Rotary Club plan to fry up 400 pounds of the private parts of bulls and serve them to diners who pay $50 apiece for the sit-down meal.

The event, whose proceeds also benefit the Oakdale Cowboy Museum, has drawn an average of 450 people and last year raised $28,000.

It's common practice on cattle ranches for young male bovines to be castrated into steers, which after the initial loss, eventually makes them more docile and easier to handle. Fans of the delicacy, also referred to as "mountain oysters," come from around the state.

According to Rotarians, everyone who buys a ticket is guaranteed to "have a ball."

Really? When I was in Jaycees, we sold rubber clown noses for the SIDS awareness group, held carnivals and parades, raffled stuff off. And the Rotary Club feeds the good folks of Oakland the tallywhackers of unsuspecting calfs? I don't even know what to say to that!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh, Francisco....

Katie bar the door. I've got it bad for a short hispanic guy named Francisco.

Perhaps a little background might be in order. MrG and I bought our little house in June ten years ago. It's an older home in a lovely established neighborhood where the neighbors all keep their yards and homes nice and neat. The little lady who owned our home first was a skilled gardener and clearly knew what she was doing and what looked good and thrived in the yard. So when we bought our home, it came ready made with a lovely backyard. It had beautiful azaleas, rose bushes, Indian Hawthorne, and nandina.

Please note that I said "had."

I putzed around for the first five years or so, keeping the flowerbeds weeded and mulched and trying not to kill too much. When I finally got pregnant, the combination of the summer heat and prenatal discomfort knocked me for a loop and I sort of threw in the towel. It's a lot of work and hard on the bod.

The final straw for me came when I was about seven months pregnant. I was in the back yard pulling up pansies when I unearthed a squiggly mound of grass snakes. I would like to note for the record that "mound" means about the same as "whole lotta."

Before you say it, no, the snakes are NOT more afraid of me than I am of them. Trust me on that one.

After I launched myself, seven months pregnant and big as a house up out of the flowerbed and across the back yard, I decided it was ok to give myself a pass on the yard work for awhile.

Turns out that gardening with a young baby/toddler/preschooler is no damn walk in the park, either. So that pass lasted about three years. Don't judge me, people.

During that time, Mother Nature, who we have already established is a real bitch, took over in our back yard. The azaleas kicked the bucket. Saplings began to spring up in my flower beds. A nandina ran wild in the northeast corner. And the more it grew, the more unmanageable it became. Vines crept and weeds grew and mulch turned into dust before our very eyes. And I didn't have a clue how to make it all go away.

A summer or two ago, I paid a yard guy to come out and clean out the dead stuff for us. Not so smart, as it turns out. Although it desperately needed to be done, and although it was all dead and NEVER. COMING. BACK, I did not consult my better half about the yard work beforehand. James the yard guy cleared it all out, and I thought it was beautiful. MrG came home, took one look at the carnage, and proceeded to have a wall-eyed hissy fit. He did not agree to it, it was not ok with him, and by gosh, he was not happy. At all.

It was at that point that I threw my hands in the air, walked inside and refused to negotiate further on the yard. Do what you want, I said. Tear out the flowerbeds and sod the whole damn yard. Pay some nubile young thing to weed the flower beds in her bikini. Better yet, till it up and put concrete on it. I'm done.

We changed yard guys after James and ended up with a very nice man named Francisco. He calls me Meeeeesus Garseeeeeya, which I just love (have a shot of tequila, then say my name in your best Taco Bell accent and roll that R, and you'll be close!). He also does nice work, shows up on time, and always locks the gate when he's finished. He's polite, he gives me what I need, and he never rolls his eyes or makes a face at me.

What more could a girl want in a man??

MrG came to me a couple weeks ago and said he was going to talk to Francisco about the flower beds. He had this grand ambition about pulling out the beds and sodding. He and Francisco had a chat in the back yard, away from us women folk, and MrG, who had been hell bent that the flower beds needed to come out, headed inside with the news that Francisco had deemed the beds nice enough to keep. He would come on Monday and begin to clear them out. Once they are clear, he says, we can go forward with a plan.

As LittleG and I turned the corner onto our street today in the crimson steed, we noticed a big stack of green stuff on someone's yard. It was an awfully big stack, and I thought, hmmmm, someone's had some work done.


It took me about 100 yards to realize that the big stack was actually a ginormous stack. And it wasn't someone who had the work done. It was us. Goodness gracious.

I'm pretty sure Francisco and his pals spent the whole day here. A dead tree is gone - the only sign of it is a stump in the back yard. Saplings? Gone. Overgrown nandina? Trimmed and tamed. Crepe myrtles? Pruned. MrG was even excited to know we had a fence back there. I knew we did, because I wrote the check for it. But it was still nice to see.

I walked into our back yard, and for the first time in about three years, did not have the weight of total disregard for our home and property. What this morning felt overpowering, ugly, and out of control, was now neat, clean, and shapely. For the first time in about five years, MrG and I had an open, honest, direct communication about our plans for our back yard. And no one even cursed.

Our yard is now a blank canvas. I can put my own flowers and plants there. They can be the story of our family. And I hope beyond hope that I pick sturdy, strong varieties, because God knows I kill everything else.

I am excited at the prospect of nice clean flower beds. Maybe some new rose bushes. LittleG has requested some daisies (my favorite flower), and I would love to put a little patch of vegetable garden out there somewhere. And now we can do it. And it won't push us to the brink of divorce.

So thank you, Francisco, for being my yard guy. You did in a day what I couldn't do in five years. And you did it so MrG wasn't grumpy about it. I have no idea what this is getting ready to cost me, but frankly, it will be a whole lot cheaper than a divorce or a new back yard.

Given my propensity for the hispanic fellow, you had better watch out pal, cause Meeessus Garseeeeeya love you long time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The aftermath

Well, thank you, dear readers, for your concern and well wishes today. I was frankly overwhelmed by emails and even discreet phone calls to my coworkers.

Truly, thank you.

I think the root canal analogy I used the other day is a perfect description of how it went today. Something was wrong and we knew there was a way to fix it. We knew something was coming, but we didn't really know what, and it was scary. It hurt a bit, but ultimately, we will feel better soon.

I work in sales, for some really smart people. Because of the economy, our business is not going as well as it was a year ago. (Wow! Go figure....we're the only ones in the US in this situation). And the bosses recognize this. Someone decided that perhaps they should take inventory, evaluate, if you will, the sales staff that they have working for them.

And so it began - a big list of metrics that I won't trouble you with, except to say that it gave the guys in charge a clear, unbiased opinion of where we all stand on the food chain.

I am happy to report that I actually scored a bit better than I thought I would. There were a few items that surprised me outright, but for the most part, I fell just north of where I thought I had performed or what I deserved.

But some people I really like were affected. Some folks were asked to leave, others invited to stay but in another capacity. Some folks got promoted, and I just moved over laterally to a new supervisor. And I'm ok with that.

In this economy, I don't think any of us have the right to feel safe. And I don't think any of us have the right to feel entitled to a job. Just because I've been there almost three years and have more than nine years of experience in my field, I shouldn't feel like I have a job for life.

I also don't think we have the right to complain when the people who pay us to show up for work every day put a system in place to monitor what exactly it is that we are bringing to the party. Go for it, I say, because it shakes out the ones who are pulling their weight and it clearly defines the ones who aren't.

It's not about who is in the inner circle now. It's about who is bringing it.

So today was long, and I am tired and drained. Tomorrow is a new day and with it comes its own set of expectations. So I am off to bed, and I hope a decent night's sleep for the first time in a week.

Thank you again for those of you who checked on me, thought about me, prayed for me. It's good to know you're out there, whoever and wherever you are.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25

We interrupt this week of highly charged emotional angst to bring you a little happiness. That's right, kids, some bluebirds and butterflies, right here in the middle of Lady Steele's career and mental meltdown.

It was six years ago today that I saw something I had never seen before and frankly was beginning to wonder if I would EVER see. A faint little line. A mere glimmer of my future - a tiny purple dash across the screen of my 745th home pregnancy test.

Those of you who can get pregnant simply by skipping a pill and having impure thoughts can go away now, because this story won't have the same effect on you.

I was clearly NOT the kind of woman who could just multiply and bear fruit. We tried. And we tried. And then we tried again. In the beginning, it was fun. Terrific, in fact. The closeness, the intimacy, the stolen time together with the one true love of my life. The working together on a common goal, and by gosh getting warm and tingly in all the right places at the same time! Bow chicka wow wow.

But a few months go by, and suddenly what was fun once upon a time now seems like work. Now there are doctors involved. And medications. And calendars on the refrigerator, with yellow days and big red circles. And conversations that start with, "I don't care if I have a fever and snot all over my face, by gosh it's day 12, get in the bedroom NOW."

All of that came to a screeching halt about 5 am on March 25, 2003. It was a Tuesday. Nice things happen in our family on Tuesdays.

I had felt a little odd the day before. No, that's not fair to say. I was totally outta whack that day. I had made the most beautiful filet mignons on the grill. Perfectly seared on the outside, warm pink centers just like we like them. I cut into my steak that evening and my stomach flipped inside out. I told MrG that something didn't feel right, and that if things weren't better in the morning, I was taking a pregnancy test. I had only done this every four weeks for the past 20 months, so this was not a surprise to him.

I woke up early on Tuesday morning and took the test. My heart thudded as I watched the second hand tick away, just as it had countless times before. I know three minutes really isn't that long, but you try holding your breath and waiting - three minutes suddenly feels like three hours. As the second hand clicked to its designated stopping place, I gave the test a quick glance, with the same mixture of anxiety and dread I'd felt a hundred times before.

WTF? Is that a smudge? Did I get a defective test? Oh for the love of all that is holy, am I seeing what I think I'm seeing? Put it down. Walk away. Pick it up and stare. Holy crap. Pick it up and stare again. Holy crap.

It's 5 am and MrG has been at work all night, and compassionate adoring spouse that I am, do I let him come in and get some rest until we know for sure our life is about to be turned upside down? NO - I hit him with the news the second he walks in the door.

As the token practical, down to earth, sane member of our family, he suggests to me that we confirm it with a blood test. Fabulous. Can do! But it's 5:15 in the morning, and now I have to burn about 3 hours before I can get in to the doctor's office.

Somehow the minutes click away, and I am sitting in the parking lot waiting on the doctor's office staff as they arrive to open for business. I bully my way in and demand a blood draw to confirm my pregnancy with all the dignity I could muster between my teary little outbursts.

The lab tech puts the tourniquet on, jabs me with a bit more force than I think is necessary, draws some blood, and sends me out of her lab. On my way past the front desk, Robin the receptionist tells me they'll call when they know something, but I should plan on 48 hours. Are you freaking kidding me??

As it turns out, it was not 48 hours. It was more like 9 hours.

I was making dinner when I got the call from my former gynecologist, who was happy to announce that the rabbit had died and she was now my obstetrician. I was indeed with child. Preggers. Knocked up. In the family way.

Holy crap.

And the rest, they say, is history. 240 days later, I brought home a beautiful little girl with a shock of dark hair and the most perfect little fingers I have ever seen. I guess good things happen in our family on Thursdays, too.

So much of my pregnancy was frightening for me; I was so afraid that something was going to go wrong. But those first few days were pure bliss - having this miraculous secret that only MrG and I and the best OB/GYN in the world knew. When I think about the excitement and the joy of that day, I still get a lump in my throat, six long years later.

So today, I'm taking a few minutes out of the insanity that is my present life to celebrate the day six years ago, when one simple little dash changed the direction of my life forever.

Thank God for kids.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Make it go away, please!

To quote LittleG, "Let me understand this to you."

My soul is stressed. I did not sleep well last night, and while I was very busy at work today, I just don't know how productive I was. My foot hurts and I have a toothache. My trendy new supershort do already needs a trim. My toes look terrific (thank you Lena!) but the rest of me is heading south rapidly.

What is a girl to do? I'm not wack-a-doodle enough to have my moods chemically adjusted, so I just have to wing it. Here are some things I've actually tried today in an effort to self-medicate:

Skinny Cinny (thank you, Daniel. You are DA MAN!)
Whoppers Robins Egg candies
Grocery shopping over lunch
Audiobook (well, 30 minutes worth, anyway)
Fruit crisps - apple and pear
Dinner with my family
Too many carbs at dinner with said family
Half a beer
A snuggle with my kid
Two loads of laundry
Some time on Facebook

None of it has worked thusfar. Here are the things I'm further contemplating:
The other half of the beer from dinner
Nice stiff shot of Crown Royal Reserve
Further research on my quest to learn to enjoy scotch
Five more loads of laundry
iPhone bingo
Some cheesy TIVO'd shows
A snuggle with my hubby
Wii boxing
Going to bed without doing the dishes
Crawling under a blanket and summoning a dog to sit on my lap and stare at the wall with me

I fear, though, that my efforts will be for naught. Truly what will settle me is having this mess at work behind me instead of looming large in the future. Whatever is coming up is big - I can feel it and I dread it.

The fact of the matter is that no matter what scenario I come up with in my mind, it won't be anything near the reality of the situation. Whatever shakes out probably won't be nearly as bad as the anticipation of it. Kind of like knowing you're gonna have a root canal - it's coming and you're afraid of it, but once it happens, things settle right back down. We can only hope.

I really truly need the next 42 hours or so behind me, and I'll own that. I've worked myself into a royal tizzy, and I expect to stay firmly planted there until about 5 pm on Thursday.

Cross your fingers that my head doesn't explode between now and then. And mark your calendars - I'm getting a root canal next week. This insanity will start all over again....

Monday, March 23, 2009

I love my Starbucks Guy

Daniel is my man. More accurately, he's a barista at my local Starbucks. But for about five minutes every weekday morning, he is mine, all mine.

When everything else is going haywire - dogs, husband, morning routine, emotional 5-year old, traffic, whatever - I can always count on Daniel.

He recognizes the crimson steed as we stampede into the parking lot and he always starts my drink, sometimes before we get in the door. My drink is an easy one, and sometimes when the stars align and the other customers aren't paying close attention, he'll make my drink out of order, jumping me in line before others with their fancy schmancy frozen frappucinos or those silly drinks that take foam or steamed milk or sprinkles and such.

He's fast and he's accurate - my drink is always perfect, with sugar free syrup and skim milk, a little room at the top so I don't squirt coffee all over the place, just the way I like it. He's polite but not overly chatty, he acknowledges that I tip well, and he's nice to LittleG.

For that, I love him. I don't know much about him besides he is a 20-something blond haired kid. He is in school and goes to church. Beyond that, I've got nothing. And pretty much all he knows about me is my name, my kid's name, what I drink, and what I drive. And you know what, that is just fine with me.

I cannot tell you more about him, because I fear you will search him out, and suddenly, I will have to compete with other consumers for Daniel's attention. And I'm just not willing to do that.

So go get your own Starbucks Guy. Daniel is mine! At least for about 5 minutes around 7:30 in the morning.....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm up for Wife of the Year

MrG is a happy camper this evening. Wanna know why? Two words....Home Cooking!

I got up earlier yesterday than I had planned and thought I would surprise LittleG and MrG with some hot fresh banana bread since LittleG didn't eat the bananas before they got brownish and mottled. It hacks me off when she insists that I buy her fruit that she doesn't eat. Oh, who am I kidding? I love banana bread, so I hid the bananas from her. Oops.

Before you chastise me for feeding my family what is essentially dessert for breakfast, you should know I made the bread using Hungry Girl's Banana Bread recipe. This recipe calls for Splenda instead of sugar, whole grain wheat flour, Egg Beaters® and applesauce instead of fat, so don't call me out, please.

By the way - if you are dieting, or just want to make your meals more healthy, you need to check out Hungry Girl. She's got some fabulous food finds and her recipes are easy and delicious!

Anyway, our errand day started yesterday with hot banana bread, right out of the oven. This morning, I used what was left of the banana bread to make french toast. A little light vanilla soy milk, a little whole wheat flour, a slug of Egg Beaters and some cinnamon....YUM! I also served real bacon, which is a rare treat since we are trying to make smart food choices in our family.

I knew MrG needed some time alone today, so I took one for the team. I sent LittleG to Sunday School with Nana, and I graciously vacated the premises for a couple hours. To keep myself entertained, I had my nails done and got a pedicure. Nothing gets in the way of my man's happiness, so you know, I did what I could.

Before I left, I took some tamales that his mom and I had made out of the freezer and put them on the stove. Two hours later, he had a quiet house, all the HD Outdoor Channel he could stand, and hot tamales, made for him by the two women who love him most. MrG is a lucky man indeed.

LittleG and I finally found our way home, and she and her dad spent some time together while I threw together some homemade pita bread. If you've never made your own, you should give it a try sometime. Here's the recipe I start with. I use a mixture of whole wheat pastry flour and bread flour, and I toss in a little gluten. Turns out perfect every time!

MrG LOVES hot fresh pita bread. Pita bread is like a big fat thick tortilla, only a whole lot easier, but don't tell him that!

Throw some pork chops on the grill, open a can of green beans, mash some potatoes, and bingo, you've hit one out of the park.

So he's down the hall now playing XBox, all loaded up on fresh baked carbohydrates and love. Good thing, since this week promises to be a stormy one. Spring weather in Texas is unpredictable at best, and Mother Nature can be a real bitch this time of year. The weather man says we'll have storms on Tuesday, and Thursday is the day of reckoning at work for all of us. None of us expects sunny and mild, we just don't know how stormy it will be at the office that day.

I expect to be pretty freaky freaky over the next three days, so I liquored him up pretty well. I hope the warm glow he starts the week with will overshadow what is likely to be a pretty ugly week.

On the upside, we will get to Thursday, then we'll get through it. I'm making a birthday cake for a friend of LittleG's this weekend, and buttercream is always therapeutic. So I have that to look forward to.

I'm not sure what you should expect over the next few days. I've done my best writing when I've been emotionally overwrought, so it's either going to be really good, or really clear to you that I'm just phoning it in.

For now, I've got some more work to do if I'm going to win that Wife of the Year award. Ever forward, friends!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday in the car with my family

We spent a lovely day together running errands and just hanging out. LittleG is all about the game playing, so in the car, she concocted the New Quiet Game. Apparently, it's a take off on my favorite game, "Let's see who can be the quietest the longest," but with a twist.

LittleG: I am BORED. This is BORING. How much longer?
Me: Quite awhile, LittleG. It's only 8:30 am, this is our VERY FIRST ERRAND and we have about 10 things to do before we are done.
LittleG: Can I watch a movie?
Me: You know we don't watch movies while we are running errands. Let's just enjoy our time together, just the three of us.
LittleG: That's BORING. Let's play a game. How about that one where I sing to you?
Me: I have a better idea. Let's play the quiet game!
LittleG: Ok, but not your quiet game. The New Quiet Game.
Me: Whatever, as long as there is quiet involved, because for the love of all that is holy, I've not had my Starbucks yet.
LittleG: Ok. Let's all be quiet.
Me: Yes, lets.
LittleG: Mooommmmeeeee!
Me: Total silence
LittleG: Daaaaddddeeeee!
MrG: Total silence
LittleG: Moommmmeeeee!
Me: Yes, LittleG?
LittleG: You two are not playing right!
Me: I thought we were playing the quiet game. I was being quiet. Daddy was being quiet.
LittleG: Mommy, I say your name, then you say the name of the person you want to be quiet.
Me: If I'm supposed to be quiet, then why are you asking me to say something?
Little G: Ok, you two. Let me understand this to you.

Remember when I was worried she would NEVER SPEAK? I am SO past that now. And, I am seriously going to revisit the "no movies in the car while we are running errands" rule.

In the meantime, let me understand this to you.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shout out to UrbanDaily.BlackPlanet.com!

It's with a mixture of pride, elation, and utter confusion that this morning I announce a link to my blog from a website I know absolutely NOTHING about. That's right, an honest to God link that someone put out there, back to my site.

I have a confession to make. I have, on occasion, rarely, once-in-awhile, posted a gratuitous comment or two on very popular blogs in an effort to bolster traffic to my own little slice of the internet. Ok. I've done it slightly more than occasionally. More like often. Don't judge me people.

But this is one site I've never even heard of. Clearly, I'm not urban, I'm rarely daily. I'm definitely not black. And although, I consider myself ruebenesque, I'm certainly not my own planet.

So when I started seeing hits from the UrbanDaily.BlackPlanet.com website, I began to wonder...who are these people and why in the world do they care about me when I'm really more SuburbanIntermittent.CaucasianPlusSize?

Turns out when you use the phrase "Sometimes a Girl's Gotta Work That Pole," the cosmic electronic joke is on you. Thanks to the magic that is the metacrawler, I now have a potential whole new reader base. And a whole bunch of confused folks who ended up here.

So, my apologies to you fine folks who clicked over from UrbanDaily. I'm sure I'm not quite what you were expecting to see.

Doubleclick the photo below and look for the arrow. That's me!!

Peace out.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Is Tim Hawkins the most amusing man in America?

Please do NOT go to YouTube and search for this guy. If you do, you'll ruin all my back up material. Because I can promise you, you're going to see him here again.....

Funniest word choice of the morning

From a story on WFAA.com.....

Associated Press

HURST, Texas - Police are looking for two men and a woman they said snatched $3,400 worth of panties from a Victoria's Secret in the Fort Worth suburb of Hurst.

Interesting verb choice. They "snatched" the panties? Really?

Tee hee hee!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gone so young

I can't believe the sad news about Natasha Richardson. She was 45 years old, on vacation with her kids, taking a ski lesson on a beginner slope.

Not drinking and driving. Not jumping from an airplane. Not speeding on the freeway. Not indulging herself in self-destructive behavior like a spoiled, rich movie star. She was just a mom on the slopes with her kids, and now she is gone.

A guy I worked with lost his mom this weekend. She was making dinner and passed out, dead from an aneurysm. Another friend lost her mom to cancer on Sunday.

It's hard to know which is worse - the sudden unexpected death that takes your loved one away from you so quickly that you do not get to say goodbye, or the long, painful death that leaves you anguishing mentally as your loved one wastes away physically. Gone is gone, either way.

It hardly seems fair that my friends are facing the loss of their mothers, or that Liam Neeson and his boys are facing life without Natasha.

I had started a quirky little post about how my day started today, but in light of this cloud that's hanging over me right now, I feel like that would be a little inappropriate and disrespectful.

I sat and stared at the wall for awhile tonight, and this is what bubbled to the top. Hopefully the flavor of the day tomorrow will be a little more cheery and optimistic.

Good night, all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I heart Richard Castle

I took a night off tonight. It's 10:18 pm, and the dinner dishes are still on the table, and the laundry sits unfolded in its sad little basket on the floor.

And I could care less!! I sat on my behind under a blanket and a dog and watched two hours of television in an hour and a half this evening.

I am in love with Richard Castle, the fictional crime writer character in ABC's Castle. He's gorgeous, funny, and he WRITES! Oh, be still my beating heart. I fully expect ABC to cancel this show in the next week, because that's what always happens when I love a show this much.

Thank heavens for the miracle that is TIVO, especially TIVO with CBS Monday night comedies on it! If you're not watching Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, you ought to be. These are absolutely hysterical and SO worth burning an evening.

Best line of the night...WAIT. FOR. IT..."Little Barney says mahalo!"

Good night, all. Well, almost good night. I've gotta do the dang dishes first.
I don't know whether to hope tomorrow night is more productive for me or not!

Monday, March 16, 2009

This writing gig is great

I have to admit to you that I've spent a lot of time thinking about words lately. What can I write that will be entertaining? Make you laugh, maybe make you cry? What magic combination of letters and punctuation can I string together to elicit some reaction in those folks who are nice enough to click in every day?

There aren't many of you, but some of you come early and often. It's nice when you drop by Lady Steele's for a quick little read with your morning coffee or your evening cocktail. Or for your hardcore ones, your morning cocktail....

But I digress. As I have spent more time thinking about what I'll write, I find the words come to me at the strangest times. When I'm not really thinking about it, suddenly a perfect phrase or an interesting sentence will float to the top of my consciousness. And off I'll go.

Some of these posts have taken me months to write. I've been chewing on them and chewing on them, looking for exactly what I want to say, and how I want you to feel when you read it.

I understand why some people make a living doing this. When you nail it, you know it, and it feels FABULOUS!

My friend MK said it best - sometimes the words just bubble around up there. And sometimes the planets align just perfectly, and I can bring a thousand little words together to form a coherent, entertaining, touching piece.

At other times, they are just their very own little bubbles, floating off forever.

One of the reasons I wanted to write is because I think I need to make more time for me. Think about what's really on my mind, own it, and put it out there for others. I know that my words are entertaining and enlightening and sometimes embarrassing for my mother, but you know what? I am what I am, and these words are my story.

If you enjoy them along the way, then all the better. Thanks for clicking in and indulging me in my "me time."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Facebook fine

Ok, is it a total slap in the face of all that is holy to post this on a Sunday? I got if from Facebook, and I think it is hysterical.

The way this works is that you read through the list of offenses below and tally up what you've done, then charge yourself a fine, according to the amounts prescribed.

When I did the math, I came up with ...... $495. Oh, my. Lady Steele is a dirty girl indeed!

I will send a $10 Starbucks gift certificate to the loyal reader who can come up with the EXACT combination of sins I committed to reach the magic sum of $495. (And yes, I have a spreadsheet, so don't try to get fancy on me).

By the way, you will have to give me not only your name, but also your email address, and I will call you out in a MAJOR way if you're smart enough to figure out exactly which of the offenses I've committed!!

1) Smoked pot -- $10
2) Ever got drunk at work, or went to work while still drunk --$50
3) Cheated on your significant other -- $10
4) Been in love with two people or more at the same time -- $50
5) Said you love someone but didn't mean it -- $25
6) Went streaking -- $5
7) Went streaking in broad daylight -- $15
8) Kissed a co-worker-- $ 20
9)Kissed your boss --$50
10) Been arrested -- $5
11) Spent time in jail -- $15
12) Peed in the pool -- $0.50
13) Played spin the bottle -- $5
14) Done something you regret -- $20
15) Slept with your best friend >-- $20
16) Been in love with a stripper -- $20
17) Went skinny dipping -- $5
18) Been slapped-- $5
19) Slapped someone-- $5
20) Beat up someone -- $20
21) Been jumped -- $10
22) Ever had sex at church -- $25
23) Dated someone you met on My Space -- $25
24) Cheated on test -- $50
25) Vandalized something -- $20
26) Slept with someone in your parents' bed -- $100
27) Crossed dressed -- $10
28) Given money to stripper -- $25
29) Flirted with an officer to get out of a ticket-- $30
30) Been in love with a stripper -- $20
31) Kissed some one who's name you didn't know --$10
32) Hit on some one of the same sex while at work-- $15
33) Ever drive drunk -- $20
34) Used toys while having sex -- $30
35) Got drunk, passed out and don't remember the night before -- $20
36) Had sex in a pool -- $20
37) Masturbated -- $10
38) Cheated on your significant other with their relative or close friend --$20
39) Done oral -- $5
40) Got oral -- $5
41) Done / got oral in a car while it was moving-- $25
42) Woke up in the morning and did not know the person who was next to you-- $40
43) Stole something -- $10
44) Slept with someone who has been in jail -- $25
45) Made a dirty home video -- $15
46) Plan on making a dirty home video in the near future --$30
47) Had a threesome -- $50
48) Had sex in a public place-- $20
49) Been in the same room while someone was having sex -- $25
50) Stole something worth over more than a hundred dollars --$20
51) Had sex with someone 10 years older -- $20
52) Kissed a teacher while you were still a student--$25
53) Lied to your mate -- $5
54) Lied to your mate about the sex being good -- $25

Smoking pot and going to/getting drunk at work only counts once (each offense), so don't try to get creative.

If no one wins, I promise to spend exactly $495 on therapy. That should be just about enough to rid myself of any feelings of guilt or regret. Or veneral diseases. I'm just saying


Friday, March 13, 2009

Lady Steele's Friday Night Dance

Sometimes, when your day job sucks, a girl's just gotta work that pole.

I'm Out of Here!

My friend Dorothy gets the shout out for the inspiration for tonight. More on her later.

I am..... Wigged out. Freaked out. Burned out. Worn out.

I'm all of that, and more. We have some heavy stuff going on at work this week. And I'm just DONE with it. Some of you don't know this, but I work in an industry that's dependent upon people who sell stuff to people who build houses.

For those of you who have not been paying attention, the housing market is in a little trouble right now. And thus, my team, and the other teams at my office, are facing sales situations that most of us in our 30s and young 40s have never had to face.

We don't know how to sell in a down economy, because we've never had to do it. We're used to, as salespeople, picking ourselves up, brushing ourselves off, and sometimes blowing sunshine up our own shorts when we've occasionally been told No. Before now, that' s been the exception rather than the rule. But right now, we're hearing No a lot more often than we're hearing Yes. And that wears on you.

There's only so much a salesperson brings to the party. When we tap it out, there's nothing else to draw upon.

To top it all off, the people we work for are smart. Very smart. And I think, although we've not been told (at least not in so many words), that they are going to be faced with making some very tough decisions in the coming days or weeks or months about who stays and who goes.

It's no fun to know your every move is being monitored. Frankly, it's scary as hell. But metrics exist for a reason, and if for nothing else, they bring a level of objectivity to the process that may have been missing before.

We've all been thinking, wondering, planning, all this time for SOMETHING to come down the pipe. We can feel it in the air, although we've not been told in so many words, that change is near.

So today, the closed door meetings with the hoohahs commence. So-and-so bigwig is looking very grim, we decide. And the other one? Decidedly cranky.

But what does it mean?

We all wonder, and we all ponder. I read on CNN this week that survivors - those who remain after a company goes through layoffs - actually have more stress than those who are laid off. They wait, and they wonder, "Am I next?"

We've only had one layoff, and in the grand scheme of things, it was not a big one. And yet, we salespeople know we are being watched, and we know our days may be numbered. And it is scary. Very scary.

I think about my friends in the company and wonder who among us will survive, and who among us will remain to pick up the pieces. I am sad to think that my happy little job with my decidedly terrific clients might be rocked by a transfer to another group or a change in my territory. Or, God forbid, what if I'm the one who doesn't make the cut?

Worst of all, I have no idea WHEN or even IF it might happen. Sometimes it sucks to be a minion!

There may not be a single thing at work more terrifying to me than thinking something is in the works that affects my day to day life and not knowing a damn thing about it.

So tonight, I am done.

I am giving myself permission beyond this moment, 8:47 pm, not to worry about whatever may or may not be going on at the office. I've fixed myself a lovely Crown Royal Reserve on the rocks (which I have never done before). I plan to drink it and enjoy it.

Here in just a moment, I will be headed down the hall to sing the "Soap up my duck" song to LittleG. I will put her in her jammies, help her brush her teeth, read to her, and have a cuddle.

Afterwards, I'll have an hour or so on my own and I'll start the whole process over for MrG. Out of respect for most of you (and my mother!), I will spare you the details. Write your own joke here, folks, because by then, I will have had my lovely shot of Crown, and I may not even be able to put on my own jammies....

Monday will come soon enough, and it will start all over again. In the meantime, I owe it to myself and my family, to leave work at work. I am SO OUTTA HERE!

The time will come, eventually, when I can give you an update on our current saga. At least I hope.

Lady Steele

I haven't talked about Dorothy because she deserves her very own blog. And it needs to be a good one. I promise, I've been carefully considering the right words to use for her. And when you finally get to hear about her, it will be worth the wait. Or not, because I don't know that I can dig that deep. We'll see.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Things that make me happy

LittleG has this terrific book by Todd Parr, called The Feel Good Book. The book talks all about things that make you happy, like sitting under a tree reading a book, or taking a nap with a stuffed animal.

I have to confess that I don't do the weepy girl thing very well, and yesterday was hard on me. I had a raging headache when I got home, which prevented me from even sipping a glass of wine in my Dad's honor. That did not make me happy.

Anyway, with the sadness of yesterday behind me, and with some little glimmer of joy in my heart, today's inspiration comes from Todd Parr and his list of happy-making things, and from my dear posse, who every day make me happy.

I'm limiting the list to 10, because I could go on indefinitely, but I really should hold some back, just in case I'm outta material before Easter rolls around. We may see a TTMLSH part 2. Just hang tight.

Things that have made Lady Steele Happy today - in totally random order
1. Chili Cheese Fritos
2. Robin's eggs
3. Selling stuff, especially when it's big stuff
4. Starbuck's Iced quad venti skinny cinnamon dolce lattes
5. My warm fuzzy lap blanket from Target
6. My extra special personalized pen that I bought from my friend Dorothy's kid (more about her later, I promise)
7. Having my team at work mentioned in the same sentence as the phrase "golden child"
8. Knowing that my crock pot roast is making my house smell yummy right now AND that dinner will be "this close" to being ready when I walk in the door.
9. My posse - my dear sweet friends at work, my BFF, and my sister in another city. Oh yeah, that guy I'm married to, and our offspring, too. (That, by the way is about 10 things all by itself).
10.Campbell's tomato soup

If you're a loyal reader, then you've already seen the skinny cinny mentioned before. Get over it. It's my list, and I'm sticking to it. And, yes, they really are THAT GOOD.

Thanks for indulging me today in my little dance of happiness. Unless you've gotten an email from me, you don't know it, but my email footer reads, "He who is not happy with what he has is not likely to be happy with what he likes to have." Days like yesterday just make days like today all the better.

Lady Steele

P.S. If you're so inclined, you you can read more about Todd Parr here:
Todd Parr

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11, 8: 30 PM

We may not get rain for awhile in Texas, but when we get it, WE REALLY GET IT. This is a radar shot of North Texas, and it's probably about 300 miles wide. Nothin' but good old green and yellow, with some orange thrown in for good measure. For those of you who aren't from 'round these parts, that means rain. Lots and Lots of rain!!

We've had almost 3 inches of rain, officially. The unofficial total at Casa Garcia tonight is "a big old puddle" of rain. Our back yard looks like a swamp.

It's 40 degrees here, so what I said earlier holds true. Cold and dark. And wet. Very, very wet.

Many thanks to those of you who commented and emailed today. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who care for me and get what today has brought.

Ever forward, friends.

March 11

My dad died three years ago today.

Out of respect for my mother and the memory of my dad, I'm not ranting today, or even trying to entertain.

It's raining here in Texas today - a cold dark rain, steady and solemn. It is, probably more than anything else, representative of the way I feel on the inside.

My dad had been sick, very sick the last months of his life, and his death allowed him to slip from this world into the next.

I have a friend at work whose mother is dying. The end is very near for her, and to watch my friend struggle with it brings me back to those dark days when my own family was so torn by emotion. You hate to see them go, but seeing them here and hurting is almost too much to bear.

More than anything else, I am struck after this time just how permanent death is. I don't want to be the one to break this to you, but I'll do it anyway. The people you love are eventually going to check out. They will be gone. And they will be gone forever.

No more phone calls on your birthday, Christmas gifts under the tree, or random emails. No more passing them on the street on the way to Target, no more family dinners to enjoy. No more anything.

Finito. Done.

Whatever unfinished business you have with your loved ones will remain unfinished.


Tell them while you can that you love them, and listen to them when they say they love you. Hold on to those words, my friends, because someday all you'll have is the echo of them in your hearts.

As for me, today I will watch the rain fall from the sky. It's cold and it's dark, but today, it's just what I need.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dora grows up

First it was that little Tramp Hannah Montana stripping down for the provocative poses in Vanity Fair. Next, Barbie got all dolled up with tattoons and fishnet hose. But this time, they've just crossed a line.

Crossed a line, my friends.

I cannot believe what I've read about Dora the Explorer. Seems like Mattel and Nickelodeon have seen the writing on the wall. Bazillions of Dora fans are growing up and leaving their Golden Girl behind. What do I mean by Golden Girl? I think I can sum it up in one simple word: Royalties.

Quite simply, there is more Dora merchandise on the market than a child could ever hope to own, or that a mere mortal parent could ever hope to afford. Videos, games (electronic and otherwise), doll houses, dolls, panties, t-shirts, dresses, pajamas, pencils, sheets, backpacks, cereal. Hello!! Dora even has her own soup and fruit snacks. The list goes on and on and on.

And every time some dumb adult plunks down their credit card to buy this licensed crap, Mattel and Nickelodeon get their piece of the action.

So, the same brain trust who brought us Tattoon Barbie and Jamie Lynn Spears as Zoey 101 (even after she done went and got herself knocked up), Mattel and Nickelodeon are proud to announce the new and improved, more grown up Dora. Click here for more info. Go ahead. We'll wait.....Introducing Skanky Dora.

So, now Dora is going to be all grown up and living in the city. Does that mean sleepovers with Diego's friends? All night pub crawls with her BFFs? Will Boots, Map, and Isa be replaced by Stilleto, a TomTom and the Artist Formerly known as Prince? I'm confused. And terrified.

Moreover, do I need to be concerned that next we'll see Grown Up Dora training bras, tampons, or God forbid, our Little Explorer's First Condom set?

And what in the world happens for that next round of little girls? Who becomes their hero, the girl who solves problems and makes things happen? Does the Dora we know and love just cease to exist, replaced forever by some trash talking tween and her merry band of hoodlums?

Do I seem a bit sensitive about this? Well, yes, I do. My kid has loved Dora for as long as I can remember. Well before she ever learned to use her words, she sat transfixed in front of the television, hanging on to every word Dora said. She's learned most of the Spanish she knows from Dora, and she totally gets it that when you don't know where to go, you look at a map.

Believe me, I get it. Selling stuff is good. And selling more stuff is even better. But why can't these guys keep anything holy? Let us keep this sweet little chica as she is now. Adventurous and helpful, with her little round belly and her mismatched clothing. She teaches good lessons - help others, be nice, use your good manners. Please, Mattel, don't trash that by letting her grow up.

If you want a new hero for our daughters as they get older, please hire some new college grad who can't find a job and let him or her come up with a new concept. Or better yet, hire some unemployed parent who has lived with a tween. Those people need jobs, and our little ones need their heroes. And when they get a little old for their childhood heroes, they need new ones. Not just older versions of the ones they've always known. Let's roll out a whole new character with her own set of friends and her own agenda.

Maybe I am mourning the passing of Dora's childhood because it represents for me the changes ahead for my own daughter. She'll be headed off to Kindergarten in the fall. And before I can blink an eye, she'll be on her own in the big city. Given a choice, I will always keep this image of my very own Dora in mind.....LittleG as Dora, Halloween 2005.

Don't do it, Mattel. Don't replace that little round bellied baby with her orange shorts and her pink shirt with a super sexy hip and trendy city girl. Just don't do it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Happy Birthday Barbie

Happy Birthday Barbie! You’re turning 50 years old today, and I understand from my friendly neighborhood news anchor that there are now more Barbies in the US than there are actual people. That certainly holds true at Casa Garcia, where at last count, you had us by a margin of about 7:1.

I am concerned, though, at two of your latest Collection offerings, the Black Canary Barbie® Doll, and Totally Stylin Tattoos Barbie®. The Black Canary (shown here) is allegedly crafted after a DC Comics superhero of the same name. I’m not buying that – she just looks like a cheap hooker to me.

How in the world am I supposed to explain to my five year old why she can’t wear her leather high rise panties and fish net pantyhose to Sunday School? Barbie’s wearing them, after all…..

And from the Are You Freaking Kidding Me files, the Totally Stylin Tattoos Barbie…..or as LittleG says, Tattoon Barbie.

Tattoon Barbie comes with her own selection of tattoons and a tattoon stamper. Now your daughter can tattoon away with her little friends on their Saturday afternoon play date.

Give Barbie the butterfly she’s always dreamed of on the top of her left hand, or flip her over and stick that stripper tat in the small of her back, just like the real ho’s do. And just in case your kid wants to emulate her favorite toy, Mattel is kind enough to provide temporary tattoos.....What in the world are the toy execs thinking??

Anyway, Barbie, it’s been a great run for you. You’ve worn a million different outfits and held almost as many jobs, and you’ve still got that fabulous figure. I hear that Ken’s back in the picture again after a brief separation. As a (very busy!) working girl, you’ve kept yourself in the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed…..homes, cars, pets, you’ve got it all.

So, happy 50th, Miss Thang.

PS - for the benefit of the Mattel lawyers, Barbie, her image, her name, and her riduculous marketing copy, are the intellectual property of Mattel. Sue me, I dare you, cause all you're gonna get from me is a stack of naked Barbies......

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Happy now?

Loyal reader: "Psst! Lady Steele? You awake?"

Lady Steele: "Yes. What is it?"

Loyal reader: "I want to talk about today."

Lady Steele: "Was it worth the wait? I tried hard, so I hope it was good for you."

Loyal reader: "You betcha!! You gonna do it for me again tomorrow?"

Lady Steele: "We'll see. Goodnight."

The thing about thongs

I remember with some degree of discomfort the day I finally solved the VPL - Visible Panty Line - dilemma. I was in high school and had been wrestling with how, exactly, I was supposed to cram my size five body into a size three pair of jeans and look halfway decent at all with those big ugly panty lines messing up my rear end.

Keep in mind, dear reader, that I am a child of the 1980s, and underwear options were considerably more limited back in the day. It was all good though, because we had big fancy hair to distract from our panty lines.

When I say we had limited underwear choices, I mean there were only two - full coverage, or total commando. I never made the jump to total commando, but I admit to trying the self inflicted wedgie on more than one occasion, because sometimes a girl just has to look goooooood.

Regretfully, that doesn't often happen for the size five girl crammed into the size three jeans, but that's another blog. Anyway.....

Thank heavens, underwear technology has advanced and we have all sorts of choices now. Today's young ladies can choose from seamless undies and boyshorts, hipsters, cheeksters, and bikinis.

But the mother of all VPL prevention units is the Thong.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a thong as, "A garment for the lower body that exposes the buttocks, consisting of a narrow strip of fabric that passes between the thighs supported by a waistband."

Lady Steele defines a thong as "the weirdest undies EVER."

Highly functional, no doubt, but weird nonetheless.

There are all sorts of thongs - lace ones and ruffledy ones, microfiber and cotton ones, fishnet ones, and even silk chiffon ones. There are thongs for little skinny girls and thongs for their full figured sisters.

Some dude named Sisco even wrote a song about thongs.

Thongs are odd little undergarmets, and they are quite interesting. While researching the humble thong, I came upon some fascinating stories.

Did you know a woman sued Victoria's Secret when she was injured by an errant decoration from a thong?
Woman Sues Victoria's Secret.

Recently, an army deserter was arrested in Colorado, and he was found wearing a thong under his boxer shorts. Sometimes, a boy just wants to feel pretty.
An Army Man and his Thong.

I don't know what it is about the boys in Colorado, but these two geniuses used women's thong underwear to cover their faces while they robbed a convenience store.
Thong Bandits.

There is an actual membership organization for women who "fight frump" by wearing thongs. It boasts 2,000 members in 150 chapters in the US and abroad. Don't believe me? Check it out yourself here:
Blue Thong Society. You have to see it to believe it.

So you think you want to make the jump and give the thong a try? Here are just a few words of wisdom, from a girl who made the switch.....

Enlist the help of a friendly salesperson when buying your first thong. The only thing more uncomfortable than a thong that fits well is a thong that doesn't.

Wash your thongs in cold water, with gentle detergent or lingerie wash. That will extend their life, help them keep their shape, and keep them pretty.

If you are married to, sleeping with, or hang out with either an army deserter or a stupid crook, keep your thongs hidden so your unmentionables don't end up as a news story.

And finally, this one is important girls, so listen up.

When you find that perfect thong - you know, the one that's so comfortable that you barely even know you're wearing it - be absolutely, positively sure that you pull it down BEFORE you avail yourself of the facilities in the ladies room. Just trust me on that one.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Not tonight, dear, I have a headache

Loyal reader: "Pssst. Lady Steele?"

Lady Steele: "What?"

Loyal reader: "Lady Steele, wake up!"

Lady Steele: "Not tonight dear, I have a headache."

Loyal reader: "But Lady Steele, you promised!"

Lady Steele: "I know. But I got my hair cut today, and it's way too short, and you know how that makes me feel. And I squandered the family fortune while doing my part for the economy. And then the birthday party - with all of those 2 year old little girls! I can't even fake it tonight."

Loyal reader: "I know you're all beat down. But that's when you're the best!"

Lady Steele: "No means no! Now go to sleep."

Loyal reader: "Awwww Mannnnnn!" (whined in Swiper-like tone)...I thought when you said on Ash Wednesday that you were going to blog EVERY DAY you really meant it."

Lady Steele: "I know, and I'm sorry. I'm just DONE with tonight. I'll make it up to you tomorrow. I promise!"

Loyal reader: "Ok, I'll wait, but you better be really good."

Lady Steele: "We'll see. Goodnight."

Friday, March 06, 2009

You know you're a grownup when.....

There are times in a girl's life when it is clear she has crossed the line from young woman to adulthood. It's funny what defines us.

My first grown up moment came when I got a vacuum cleaner for Christmas one year. And I was DELIGHTED to get it.

Another grown up moment came in 1997 when my mother bought me my Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas. A real live, honest-to-God Kitchen Aid, with a personalized mixing bowl. I still have that mixer and I love it. And it's amazing I've not burned it up yet.

Paying off my first car and student loan, getting fired (not once, but twice!), falling in love, getting married, and buying a house.....yes, all grown up moments.

Of course, I totally felt like a grownup the day we brought LittleG home from the hospital. Ohmygosh, am I really a MOTHER??

I've been a wife now for just shy of a decade, and I've been a mother for more than five years. And yet, recently, I felt more like a grown up than ever before.

I was debating with a dear friend the relative merits of our motherhood skills. We were discussing how hard it is to be everything to everybody and be any good at any of it. I found myself telling my friend and MEANING it that SHE is in fact, the better mom, wife, and worker.

Trust me, sistah has it going on, and she either can't or won't allow herself to see it. And as her friend, I feel inclined to point it out to her.

Me: You are such a good partner, wife, and mommy. Your kids are so lucky to have you.

Her: No way! You are the best Mom ever!

Me: Nuh uh! You are! YOU are the best mom ever. I am just a sham.

Her: Oh no you're not! You are fabulous and I love you and MrG loves you and LittleG loves you. And we will never speak of this again.

Imagine. Lady Steele, modern superhero, the one who put the "I" in competitive, arguing that her friend is better than she, at anything at all. Much less something as important and critical as motherhood.

Sometimes it's hard to be a grownup, and sometimes it's just no contest at all.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Overheard at dinner tonight

This week has been lousy. The fun started on Monday when I went back to the podiatrist for a re-check of my foot, which has been giving me trouble.

Turns out that when the nice doctor gave me the prescription for cortisone pills, the silly fool actually thought I would take it. When he found out that I hadn't, he said my foot was hurting because it was inflamed, and had I taken the medicine like he told me to, then I would feel so much better. Blah blah blah blah blah.

2 shots of cortisone later, I hobbled, tear streaked and beaten down, to the crimson steed and made my way back to work. I had a handful of Advil with dinner and treated myself to a muscle relaxer as I settled in to watch the finale of The Bachelor.

An hour later, LittleG woke up burning with fever. She's been battling the springtime allergies here in Texas, and I knew when I felt her forehead that she had lost the battle. So, I bundled her up, put my damn bra back on, and zipped off to the Doc-in-the-box, then to the all night drive-through pharmacy. I didn't get to bed until well after midnight.

And that was JUST Monday. You can imagine how the rest of the week has gone....

This evening after work, I had a few precious minutes of relative solace while MrG and LittleG played hide & seek together. I promptly used that time to uncork a lovely bottle of merlot.

When I called my dear family into the kitchen for dinner, LittleG took one look at the wine glass and called over her shoulder to her father, "Daddy, Mom's into the wine again!"

Into the wine, indeed, my friends!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

That's my kid!!

As I parent, I am always spewing forth parental wisdom for LittleG and pretty much anyone else who will listen. I have these little "sticky notes of life" that I want to be sure I impart to her. Some of my favorites:

• A bad boy may be fun, but a good guy stays forever.

• Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
• You can get a baby in your tummy AFTER college.
• Chocolate is not a smart food choice.
• When I ask you to do something, I expect that you will do it.
• Polite children are nice to be around.

Some of my more free-willed friends find my approach to child rearing to be overstructured and some even go as far as to insinuate that I might be pushing LittleG too hard to be a grownup, thus depriving her of her God-given Right to A Stress Free Childhood.

I figure the more I throw at her now, the more chance I have that at least part of it will stick. And it's hard to know how much of it is sticking.

Sometimes, though, you just know. We had to make a late night run to the Doc-in-the-box the other night for a nasty upper respiratory infection, and here's what transpired:

Doctor: So your ears are really hurting?
LittleG: Yes, sir
Doctor: Have you been coughing much?
LittleG: Yes, sir
Doctor: Does anyone in your house smoke?
LittleG: NO WAY SIR! We don't smoke in our family! That's just nasty!

She shoots, she scores!!!!


Some stuff you just can't make up.....

Florida woman calls 911 3 times over McNuggets

04:29 PM CST on Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Associated Press

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Authorities say a Florida woman called 911 three times after McDonald's employees told her they were out of Chicken McNuggets.

According to a police report, 27-year-old Fort Pierce resident Latreasa L. Goodman told authorities she paid for a 10-piece last week but was later informed the restaurant had run out.

She says employees refused to give her a refund, saying all sales were final. A cashier told police she offered Goodman a larger portion of different food for the same price, but Goodman became irate.

Police say Goodman was cited on a misuse of 911 charge. A current phone listing for Goodman couldn't be found.

A McDonald's spokeswoman said the company didn't immediately have a comment on the incident.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dear Diary, by Jason Mesnick, The Bachelor

Dear Diary,

I am so torn up about the turnout of my season on The Bachelor. All along, I got to know these 25 beautiful women and to explore their many assets – some of them very, very deeply.

I knew going in to the Rose Ceremony that Melissa was the one for me forever and ever. And that slut Deyawna’s visit just made it all the more clear to me. So I cut Molly loose and cried like a baby, tears and snot falling down over the balcony of my multi-million dollar bachelor pad.

I recovered somehow, probably with the help of my super shiny suit, and made it to proposal alley. Melissa looked radiant and my heart filled with joy as she agreed to make me the happiest man on TV.

But sometime after I proposed, it became so clear to me that Melissa – who obviously loves me with every cell in her body and shows it by running with glee to me and throwing her legs around my waist as her extra special greeting – she’s just NOT the one.

I’m just not that into her.

I’ll tell you who I am that into – and that’s Molly. Clearly, SHE is the one for me. Yeah, I get it that before I knew she wasn’t. But now I know she is.

So, I’m faced with a choice. Do I give Melissa a quick heads up before the After the Final Rose Ceremony show that I’m going to dump her like a hot potato? Or maybe I pull a “Matt & Shane” and make nicey nice throughout the show, wait for a polite week or two, then dump her?

Or maybe, just maybe, I can do it on national TV! Yes, the blindside, as witnessed by OHCH and all of America. Eureka! That’s it! This will be even better than breaking up in a fancy restaurant. I know for sure she won’t misbehave in front of millions of viewers. Well, maybe only that one time when she called me a bastard. But whatever.

I will always have that extra Break the Bride’s Heart on National TV bonus from my contract to keep me warm on those lonely nights when Molly is out partying with her girlfriends.

I am terribly worried about tonight’s After The Final Rose Ceremony, Part 2. These girls are going to eat me alive, especially when they find out that since Molly and I hooked back up that I’ve changed my mind AGAIN and will be asking Jillian tonight for “just one more shot.” Because I'm pretty sure now that SHE is the one.

I’m a big huge tool, and I pimped my son out on national TV, all in search of a wife. I hope they go easy on me tonight, and I wonder if OHCH will let me be the very first to have my own The Bachelor Sequel show.

Oh Dear Diary, what is a boy to do?

Ok, so it's not a lousy school

In Texas, we take our college allegiances very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that one of my posse felt inclined to point out an egregious error in my previous post:The Boy and a choice.

In it, I called North Texas a lousy school.

I would like to state for the record that North Texas is NOT a lousy school. They have a very strong Greek system, a world renowned Jazz band, one of the strongest Psychology departments in the state, and if memory serves me correctly, they used to have one seriously fabulous Microbiology prof (shout out to Gerry O'Donovan!). Oh, and at least one really crappy dorm - shout out here to West Hall, baby!

So, what I should have said is that North Texas was a lousy school - for me.

I needed to be dunked head first into the college experience....football games, all night study sessions, secret trips out of town to spend the money dad sent to buy books, learning to stand on my own two feet, and deep fast friendships that would last a lifetime. What I got instead was a party-hard commuter school where I was surrounded by people who were going Greek when I wasn't.

I was never a part of North Texas - I was apart from it. And I have no one to blame but myself.

So, my Mean Green friends, please forgive my slammin' of the green. I bleed maroon and sometimes forget that not everyone does.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I'm not just a beeyotch after all

I don't consider myself a particularly negative person. Generally, when facing a new situation, or even when facing a situation I've been through before, I tend to think that things will work out well.

Why then, do I always throw these red flags up? Why am I the one in the meeting with the "yeah, but what if" questions.

Is it because as my mother has often suggested, I really do see the glass as half empty? Is it because I can't just relax and go with the flow? Is it because I am neurotic/controlling/awfulizing? Or, am I really, truly just a big ole beee-yotch?

Turns out, maybe not! Last week I was reading a magazine (for pleasure, just because I could!), and stumbled upon this article:
Oprah: Defensive Pessimism .

If you didn't actually click into the link, let me sum it up for you. The long and the short of it is that folks like me tend to use pessimism as a defense mechanism. We plan for the "what ifs" even while hoping for a good outcome.

So when I come up with a laundry list of things that could go wrong, I'm mentally preparing for them and preparing to put a Plan B in place in case things do go wrong. It doesn't mean I'm not onboard for the project. Coming up with Plan B gives me a sense of control, even when things go awry.

The article says that about a third of the population uses this strategy, and generally people who use it tend to be successful.

So, I'm going to keep on doing what I've always done - hope for the best and plan for the worst. And I'm not going to listen when they tell me to lighten up!!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Stand by for .....NEWS!

I was so sad to read last night about the death of Paul Harvey. America's Voice has fallen silent, friends, and it's a sad day for all of us.

I remember spending the night with my grandmother when I was just a child. Two memories always float to the top of my foggy remembrances when I think of her. One of them is the cool touch of a satin pillowcase against a hot face in the middle of the night. And the other is Paul Harvey.

My grandmother listened to him every day as she "put her face on," and I was happy to sit and watch her, and listen to him. I was captivated by the news when he read it, and I could not wait to hear The Rest of the Story.

Sometime in college, I took up the Paul Harvey habit, and without fail, his voice always brought my grandmother to mind. She's been gone a long time now, and I still think of her when I hear him.

We were on our Christmas pilgrimage this winter across the flatlands of west Texas, where you're lucky to pick up any radio signal at all. As the crimson steed sped into the next radio zone, Paul sputtered through the speakers to me, and his voice was as staccato and yet soothing as it had ever been.

I listened to the news. And Now, Page 2......it almost made me want to stop and buy some Citrical, and sleep on a Tempur-pedic bed, and listen to his voice on my Bose radio. I remember thinking at the time how sad it is that he wouldn't be with us forever. Little did I know that I was hearing him for the last time.

Paul Harvey was the king of the airwaves, the grand daddy of them all. And he did it without Butt Bongo or porn stars or offensive language or sexual innuendo. He showed up and read the news, talked about products he truly believed in, and tugged at our heartstrings with The Rest of The Story.

It makes me sad to think that with his passing, we have lost forever a broadcaster with such wide appeal and enormous talent for telling it like it is and enthralling his audience at the same time.

Rest in peace, Mr. Harvey.