Friday, November 6, 2009

I Miss My Baby Boy

It's been five months. Five long months. I miss him. I worry. A lot. Sometimes I go for several hours without thinking or worrying. Sometimes I can't go 2 minutes. Occasionally, I lose it. Like the day I sat in the car in the parking garage at work and cried. It was brief and I managed to pull myself together and go in and have a semi-productive day. Tonight, I was lying on the couch watching Grey's Anatomy. This episode featured a premature baby who nearly died. I cried. It reminded me how much I love my son and how incredibly worried I am that he is out there, right now, getting into trouble, getting hurt, missing opportunities, messing up his life, risking his freedom and how utterly helpless I am to do anything about any of it. In fact, the more I try, the harder he resists. I know that I wasn't a perfect mother. Hell, I wasn't even a very good one. I screwed up. A lot.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Greek Sucks

Rapid fire catching up on the mundane happenings in my life: got food poisoning and had to go to the ER, flew to Tennessee to see Mom and rest of family and pick up a car, listened to a book on CD on the way back, caught the flu/bronchitis/pneumonia (they can't make up their minds), read a book or two, remembered that I really like my job despite the crap I go through some times, became addicted to Mafia Wars, fell behind in my Greek class because of my repeated illness and am going to have to drop it which means I may not graduate in May after all, learned that Mackenzie Phillips is not the only person to have been involved in an incestuous relationship, acknowledged but did not celebrate getting another year older, carried my husband into the house after his back went out, worried incessantly over my teenage son who is determined to ruin his life before he is 20, carved a magnificently scary pumpkin, welcomed my friend back from maternity leave, measured suitcases to make sure we wouldn't have to check them and slept. A lot.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What a week!

In the last 10 days I have done several things I am not particularly fond of, some of them more than once. They include: shopped for school clothes; visited the emergency room; added a class, dropped it and added it back again (all because my prof can't keep straight which section gives me the credit I need); worked on a mind-boggling report until my eyes bled only to have the meeting canceled; stepped on a scale; subjected myself to a sleep study; was outbid on a replacement Blackberry on Ebay; started a diet; blew a diet; took my kid to orientation at her new school; argued with my ex over our kid; waxed my eyebrows and found out that a couple of my "friends" said something very hurtful about me behind my back.

But, there were also good things that happened. I took my 12-year-old to get her eyebrows waxed for the first time. She tried really hard not to cry and it was pretty funny. My husband and I took my mother-in-law to dinner Saturday. I always enjoy her company. I had a long talk with my oldest daughter and was impressed by her maturity and sincerity. I don't know how I managed to raise such a beautiful person. My husband didn't go blind from his accident. I could go on, but you get the point. For every negative, there is a positive. For every action, an equal and opposite reaction. Life is both good and bad, rewarding and frustrating. I'm just happy I am along for the ride.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Weekend Update, Sans Amy Poehler

Word is, Amy Poehler is teaming up with Seth Meyers for a prime time Thursday edition lead-in designed to boost ratings for her new series, Parks and Recreation. This "Weekend Update" has nothing to do with that. My kids have discovered my blog and think that I am supposed to report on every single activity they engage in - from the really cool stuff to random farting. The fact that my mom, who lives in another state, also reads and is anxious to keep tabs on the grandbabies is added justification for what I'm about to subject you to.

First, let me correct my oversight in not reporting that the day before the circus we went to the Galleria. The Galleria, mom, is a huge shopping mall (3 or 4 stories high and several city blocks) full of over-priced stores and an indoor ice-skating rink. We had lunch there and visited a few stores. I bought a cool black LA Ink t-shirt at Torrid. The v-neck is back!

But the real reason for our visit was so the girls could try out the trampoline bungee jump. They have two big-ass trampolines set up side by side. Each trampoline has two poles sticking up one story high with bungee cords attached to them. They put the kid on the trampoline and buckle her into a harness attached to the bungee cords. When the kid starts jumping she goes really high. High enough to execute flips and come eye-to-eye with people shopping on the next floor. Needless to say, they loved it.

This weekend it was, "Drivers, start your engines!" as mom and dad took on the little girls in a go-kart race. We went to a track off 249 and raced around the track as fast as the karts would go. Then we stopped by Willowbrook Mall and did a little window shopping.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mossy Nissan Rules! Cash for Clunkers Scores Big!

Yippee-eye-ay! 18-year-old baby got a brand spanking new car despite having no credit, no money and a mother with a credit score lower than George W. Bush's IQ. But what mom did have was clear title to a 2002 Ford Windstar with a combined EPA rating of 18 MPG. And as of 6 p.m. today Mom's clunker is rusting away at MOSSY NISSAN on the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas. Tomorrow it will suck it's last ozone deteriorating fumes as it is driven around to the back lot to await it's date with death.

The BEST DAMN CAR SALESMAN ON THE PLANET, KIRK VERRETT, deserves ALL the credit. He worked with UBER FINANCE MAN, BRENT DeMOSS, to put together a deal that put all other dealerships we visited to shame. In particular, I would like to warn my friends away from Don McGill Toyota. {If you are not my friend, I suggest you high-tail it over there right now}. I had an inexperienced salesman who made promises he couldn't deliver and wasted an inordinate amount of my time in the process. It was an utterly frustrating process until I spoke to TBDCSOTP, KIRK VERRETT, at MOSSY NISSAN.

Kirk shot straight with me. He told me exactly what he could do and then he DELIVERED. And, not only did he do what he said, he did it quickly. Turn around time from first conversation to driving away, all paperwork signed ~ less than 24 hours! You can reach Kirk and Brent by calling the dealership at 281-496-2200.

For the record, I am not being compensated in any way for this post. I feel that when people help us out, do things that they don't necessarily have to do, or are just plain nice - as both of these gentlemen were - we should spread the love. They put a smile on my daughter's face and that's all I need. They treated me as well as they would have treated someone with a perfect credit score and plenty of cash to spend. They were honest and respectful and I appreciate it. This is how I show my appreciation.

If you are interested in the Cash for Clunkers Program click here and see if your trade in qualifies. If it does, familiarize yourself with these rules:
  1. It must have been registered in your name for the last 12 months.
  2. You must have proof of insurance for those same 12 months.
  3. You must be able to drive the vehicle to the dealership.
  4. The person who is trading in the vehicle must be on the title of the new vehicle. Example: The van we traded was in my name alone but my daughter and I are both on the new car.
  5. You can only buy a new car. Doesn't work for used.
  6. You can only get one rebate.
  7. The rebate is either $3,500 or $4,500.
  8. The amount of your rebate depends upon the difference in MPG between your trade in and your new vehicle. Improve your MPG by 10 or less and you get $3,500. Improve 11 or more and you get $4,500.

This deal isn't for everyone and the money is limited. The Federal Government committed $1 Billion to this program ~ roughly 230,000 cars. If the money doesn't run out first CARS (Car Allowance Rebate System) will end November 1, 2009, so this is what is traditionally referred to as a "Limited Time Offer." The program officially kicked off Monday, July 27 and after three full days the estimated remaining balance in the fund is $858 million. That's a little over $47 million a day. At this rate, the money will be gone in three weeks. Get yours now, before it's too late! Call my buddy Kirk and let him get you rolling.

P.S. Kirk, I was serious about shooting Ole Blue full of holes. If management is down, give me a call and we'll have target practice!

P.P.S. I hope you aren't a Bush fan, otherwise this post just got a little awkward.

P.P.P.S. Even if you are a Bush fan, you are still TBDCSOTP

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Blog

I've decided to compartmentalize. I'm starting a new blog that will feature my writing and keep this one dedicated to The List and everyday observances. This blog shall remain the product of myself and The Don. He has been on hiatus lately, but fans never fear, he shall return mightily, swords flashing in the light.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sneak Peek at My Work in Progress

Below is an excerpt from the manuscript I am currently working on. Feel free to comment.

It's all very complicated, he said.

Don't patronize me. It's not that fucking complicated, you just don't want to tell me. And that's fine. I really don't give a shit anyway. The point is you're looking at jail time. Years of jail time. If that doesn't bring things into perspective nothing will.

But I didn't do anything, he wailed plaintively.

And since when does that matter? She was sick of this back and forth, beating around the bush bullshit. He was as full of double-talk as ever. Some things never changed.

They sat at the polished mahogany bar of a popular Mexican restaurant in mid-town. He nursed a beer and munched on chips and queso while she swirled her Riesling. The French president silently mouthed a New Year's speech on the tv above the bar. The wine was good but did little to lighten her mood. She hated it when people lied but even more frustrating was when they lied to themselves.

Lucy Miles didn't know how to lie. Well, that's not exactly true. She knew how to lie; it's just that she wasn't very good at it. Lucy was an in-your-face kind of chick and didn't give a damn about what most people thought. She had only been there 10 minutes and was already planning her exit. She thought about ducking out when her companion went to the men's room but it just wasn't her style. She passed her card to the bartender and turned up the wine glass, drawing the stare of the businessman across the bar.

Even without her sometimes questionable manners, it was hard not to notice Lucy. She was striking at 5'11" with big doe-y brown eyes and bone-straight chocolate hair swinging just past her shoulders. She favored pencil skirts with thigh-high slits and stilettos that accentuated her long legs. She wore prescription glasses with a dark, square frame that gave her the look of a naughty librarian. She had a way of looking over them that could both petrify and exhilarate in the same glance. Her complexion was fair, thanks to her red-haired grandmother, and she slathered on SPF 30 moisturizer morning and night to keep it that way. Years before she'd thought a "healthy" tan looked great, but these days, with the threat of wrinkles and skin cancer looming, she'd decided porcelain was her ideal hue.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rambling Observations

The Neighbor (369 pages) by Lisa Gardner. Took me four and a half hours to read. The build up was pretty good but the resolution tanked. Seems like she just got tired of writing and wrapped it up rather sloppily ~ woman returns unharmed, tried to frame the dad who tried to frame the husband. Dad dies, husband and wife confess dark secrets and live happily ever after. All in under 30 pages. It wasn't believable and certainly did not set off the nervous jitters and obsessive-compulsive door-locking the reviews promised. I finished last night at 1:20 a.m. and was sound asleep by 1:25.

Had a few spare minutes this afternoon so we ventured into the county library. 7-year-old checked out 5 books, mostly Amelia Bedelia titles. By the time I helped the girls with their selections I had only a few scant moments to grab something for myself before we had to be in court. I was anticipating a long wait in the courtroom and definitely wanted something to keep me occupied. In my haste I grabbed a John Grisham novel I hadn't previously read. Incredibly, we were the very first case on the docket and managed to get out in under 7 minutes. I'm relaxing at home and reading page 210 of The Brethren.

If the arrest of Harvard professor Gates had happened while Bush was still in office, would the press have solicited his opinion as they did Obama's?

Loving vs. Commonwealth of Virginia, decided June 12, 1969, by the U.S. Supreme Court, declared the Virginia law against interracial marriage to be unconstitutional. Richard Loving was white; his wife, Mildred, black.

If your teenage daughter asks permission to go out "to a movie" but can't even deliver a Cliff's Notes version of the plot, she is probably experimenting with sex. Or drugs. Or both.

There are new shot requirements for kids entering 7th grade in Texas. My school district sent a letter detailing specifically which ones my kid needs. If yours doesn't, you need to check with your pediatrician before school starts.

My husband did not find the post-court phone call in which my daughter tearfully wailed that she was going to jail nearly as funny as she and I did. Such a lame sense of humor.

I really miss my baby boy.

Planning a back-to-school shopping trip to the outlet malls in San Marcos in a couple weeks. Hope to find some really good bargains.

Case Dismissed

I'm happy to report that my 12-year-old had the charges against her dismissed today in court. She was ticketed for "affraying" back in March or April when an ungainly girl in her gym class bumped her in the chest, called her a name and declared that she'd been wanting to kick my baby's ass for a long time. Now, my girl is no trouble maker, but there is only so much a person can take and the chest bump was it. It soon escalated into punching, kicking, hair-pulling and writhing on the gym floor. Both girls were hauled to the office and ticketed by the school district's police officer.

It didn't take much research to learn that in the State of Texas, self-defense is no defense when it comes to affraying - an extension of the schools' tough zero-tolerance policies enacted in the wake of Columbine and similar tragedies. We were lucky in that this was her first offense and she had options to get the case dismissed. She could choose between performing community service and taking a "Social Skills" class through an approved provider. Though I am tempted to gripe about what a rip-off the class was ($45 for a 3-hour, Saturday morning session on how to make better decisions) I honestly can't complain. My kid didn't start the fight but she certainly participated.

We did not punish her at home because you can't let people walk all over you. We figured the justice system would work better than grounding. I'm hoping the experience of going to court and the class provided her just enough of a glimpse of what could happen to keep her out of trouble for the long haul. Judge Yeoman certainly doesn't pull any punches but he also allows the kids (and parents) a little bit of dignity if they are truly trying to do the right thing. Bad things happen to good people all the time....what's important is how they handle it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey

The circus rocks! I went for the first time in 30 years yesterday with my little girls and it was great!

We arrived early to go backstage and see the animals.

We bought a program and got autographs from several of the performers.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Proud to Be a Quitter

Take that, S. Vaughn - high priestess of sadistic higher education - I QUIT!!! In all my years of school I have NEVER dropped a class, until tomorrow. I am getting up bright and early to hoof it to the campus of the University of Houston and DROP THAT STUPID FUCKING WORLD CIV CLASS. I am not up to it. I'm tired. It's hot outside. It's too damn much work. And, quite frankly, I don't want to do it! As soon as I made the decision the waves of relief washed over me and I had peace. I may never graduate since it is required but right now I don't care.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Awash in Culture

I’m enrolled in Summer School and one of the classes is World Civ. The sadistic professor believes we will get more out of the class by submersing ourselves in the cultures we are studying. To that end, I must visit FIVE exhibits at local museums and write a short essay on each before August 5.

I took the train to the Museum of Fine Arts yesterday at lunch (Thursdays are FREE). There are some really old pieces that totally impressed and a bunch of other crap I couldn’t care less about.

I plan on seeing the Terra Cotta warriors at the HMNS and the Forbidden Gardens in Katy. Both exhibits are based on ancient Chinese secret….I mean, history. The first emperor of China, a dude named Qin, was a pretty rough character in life so he worried about what would happen in the afterlife. He had between 6,000 and 8,000 life-size terra cotta soldiers made and buried with him in his tomb. The exhibit at HMNS features some of the actual statues that were excavated. In all actuality, Qin wasn't as bad as some other ancient rulers. They actually had their servants buried with them - alive.

The Forbidden Gardens have replicated the entire terra cotta army – all 6,000 warriors – in 1/3 scale. I’m stoked to see 6,000 2-foot tall warriors. They have also re-created the Imperial City in 1/20 scale. Should be pretty cool.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

List Item - Goodson's Cafe

Cross off another list item. Hubby and I took daughter and boyfriend to Goodson's Cafe in Tomball for a late lunch yesterday. We saw it on the Travel Channel and had to try it out (See Random Links). They claim to have the best chicken friend steak in Texas and no way Hubby was going to let that claim go unchallenged. The result: he took to his bed at 5:00 p.m. and didn't get up until after midnight. A chicken fried steak bigger than the plate that knocks a grown man out for upwards of seven hours - now that's a piece of meat!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You Know Your Momma Taught You Better Than That!

Saturday we had a luau at our house to celebrate my daughter's high school graduation and my husband's birthday. We invited about 75 people over. Over the course of the day, around 55 showed up. One of those was a longtime friend and former employer of mine. When we worked together, about 10 years ago, I met his sister a few times and we hung out a little. So I was not surprised when he brought her with him to the party.

My pleasure at seeing her lastest all of about 6 minutes. She promptly found a seat in the shady part of the back yard and instructed her son to come in the house and tell me to fix her a plate. She wanted three ribs, two pieces of bread & bbq sauce. Upon hearing the request from her son I turned up my Dr. Pepper. I figured as long as something was going in my mouth nothing bad could come out. I reminded myself that I was very blessed and made the plate.

Fifteen minutes later the kid was back for seconds. Another ten minutes later, he was loading up more food on the plate and asking for aluminum foil. Keep in mind that I have meat on the grill and am cooking as fast as I can. There are new arrivals who haven't yet eaten and she is packing plates to take home!

Another 30 minutes or so and I am still in the house preparing food for my guests. I have yet to sit down or relax myself. The kid comes back in the house because his mom wants to know when we are going to cut the cakes. I said it would be at least another hour because I want all the guests (and me) to have a chance to eat.

Before I could turn around good, the mom was behind me in the kitchen packing ANOTHER plate. She looked in every pot and pan and had the nerve to ask if that was all the meat! Then she asked about the cake. I told her I didn't have time to cut the cake. Ray Charles could have seen how busy I was!

She then asked for the aluminum foil (again) and while she wrapped her plate wanted to know when my daughter was due. I politely explained that my daughter is NOT pregnant, simply a little plump. The heifer practically called me a liar and told me not to send her an invitation to a baby shower in a couple months. As if!

Then, the last straw. She cut my husband's birthday cake! I lost it. I used a few choice words and asked her to get out of my house and not come back. I couldn't believe how incredibly rude and inconsiderate she'd been. I was working my A$$ off and she expected me to wait on her hand and foot, send 3 plates of food home with her and cut the cake on her schedule. I know this isn't witty or even very interesting, but I'm PISSED. I would never go to someone's house and behave in such a way. I might expect such behavior from a child but this was a grown woman (older than 30).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beer Washes Away Gay Dance Night

The Dynamic Duo was a wee bit saddened at missing our chance at a horseback ride so we chose to drown our sorrows in a couple (seven) pitchers of beer at the Tavern last night. Thanks to all who put up with our pathetic cries of "donkey punch" whilst mashing our fists together over the table, a la "Wonder Twins."

An additional shout out of gratitude to all the HPD officers who miraculously did not stop us on the way home last night.

In our drunken stupor we made plans to strike a different but equally important Item from the List - namely, gyrating on the dance floor of Chances - a wickedly fun gay bar. It, however, was not to be, as the effects of the alcohol necessitated lying on the couch with a cold washcloth over one's eyes and forehead.

I'm pleased to say that the four doses of Alka Seltzer I drank throughout the night did their job and I awoke with something less than an actual hangover. Three sausage and cheese Kolache Factory kolaches and a 20 oz. Coke later and I felt nearly myself. That didn't stop me from laying on the couch most of the day, but hey.

I did manage to venture out of the house long enough to buy groceries (HEB has a great sale on meat) and more party supplies for the Luau next weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2 to 5 on the Horse Back Ride

So, we planned to cross off a List Item this weekend by riding a horse. A mutual friend said her brother had a horse he would let us ride. It was all set. Then about 8 p.m. last night my phone rang. It was M.F. (mutual friend) calling to say that we would have to find another horse because her brother got arrested in front of their grandmother's house just an hour earlier.

The irony of the situation is that he was arrested over said horse. Turns out he needed a place to stable the pony and his granny had referred him to a guy in the area. He met with the guy and paid the monthly fee. The horse had been there just a couple days when he learned that he had paid more than other customers.

Feeling cheated, he went to the stable and confronted the man, who happened to be drunk at the time. MF's brother demanded a refund but the Stable Owner had no cash. He offered his bottle of whiskey as collateral until he could cough up the dough. MF's bro took the bottle and started to walk away when Stable Owner suddenly regretted his decision and asked for his bottle back.

The bro gave it to him, up side his head! Assault with a deadly weapon. He's been dodging the po-po's for the last 2 months (on the advice of his attorney) but HPD finally caught up to him last night. On the bright side, MF is going to sell the horse to pay legal expenses so we might end up owning a horse we can ride any time we want!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We're Going to Disney World!

Another List Item will soon be marked off. We have reservations for Disney World for the week of Thanksgiving. We are staying at the Coronado Springs Resort on Disney property.

It's the one with the Mayan temple-themed swimming pool. After a short discussion, TD and I determined that this will not count as a two-fer; visiting the Mayan temple ruins will remain on the list.

I went to B&N and read all the Disney World guidebooks one Sunday afternoon. I will share the best money-saving tip I found here: Buy your Disney merchandise at HOME. Here's what I do: watch sale papers for Disney-themed merchandise. Then, sneak to the store without your kids and hide the crap you buy under your bed. When it's time to go, pack one suitcase with "souvenirs." You can dole them out while on vacation, crumb-snatchers none the wiser. No need for them to know you didn't pay $30 for that 12" plush Minnie.

What's Chocolate Got to Do with It?

Already, the questions begin. In no particular order:

Q: Why are you doing this?
A: Why not?

Q: What's chocolate got to do with it?
A: If I had more chocolate I might be content to sit on my middle-aged ass.

Q: Do you actually get laid less often after you get married?
A: Depends. According to our Fun Lunch Friday conversations, I'm way ahead of all my friends, regardless of marital status. Well, except for the gay man-whore but he's an anomaly.

Q: Are you going to the GCHS 20 year reunion in August?
A: If at all possible. I'm taking summer classes so I might have exams that weekend.

Q: How did you end up in Houston?
A: The guy I married wanted to move here. Aside from marrying me, it was his only bright idea.

Q: Are you still married to him?
A: Nope, traded up to a native Houstonian.

Q: What time does the luau start?
A: 1 p.m. CPT

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 1 - Hershey's

Ever have one of those days where you are in the office and you just don't feel like doing a effin thing? (BK)
Damn right (TD)
Actually, before we get started we should let you know that this is a tag team effort at blogging. (BK)
Damn right, death to cubicles (TD)

So, anyway, we were just fine until lunch. Working hard and stuff until we went to Pappa's Seafood and I was ruminating on Edward Cullen and the Isle of Esme when TD totally interrupted my daydreaming to ask why I had spittle on the corner of my mouth. (BK)

Side note: vampires are supposed to be blood hungry beasts, not pansies that are suckers for love looking to woo hearts but rip them out still beating. (TD)

Okay, so, as not to sound too weird to our other lunch mates I said that I was thinking about a vacation to a tropical isle because the Meyer chick did such a great job of describing that island off the coast of Brazil that Edward took Bella to for their honeymoon. Which then led to our discussion of places we wanted to visit and things we wanted to do ---- bucket list style. (BK)

Step 1 - make a list. Step 2 - compare said lists. Step 3 - KICK ASS (TD)

So, here we go. We are starting our lists as of today. This blog is to commemorate the shit we do, the planning beforehand and the blisters and hangovers afterwards. We have pretty lengthy lists to start with (see "Bucket or Fuck It" to the left) but are open to suggestions. We will also post pictures and/or videos as proof of our escapades.

Adventure #1: Equine Expedition. Scheduled for this weekend.