Saturday, December 31, 2005

I Like Dreamin'

A month or so ago, I did a post about a dream I had and asked for dream interpretations from the crowd. Popeye is especially good at this. The reason for this dream post is that last night I had the same strange incident happen to me in two separate dreams in the same night. I don't recall ever having that happen to me before.

In the first dream, I'm driving along a dark road with my mother in the back seat. I don't remember if anyone is beside me in the front seat. My dad is following in a van. As I'm driving along, suddenly my headlights go out. I can't see anything. It's like I'm completely blind. I can hear my dad telling me to keep driving, they'll come back on eventually but I'm terrified. My mom, tells me to wait a minute and she shines a tiny flashlight through the windshield which helps for a moment and then everything goes black again.

I finally decide to try to pull off the road and wait for the lights to come back on but I'm frightened because I'm not sure where the side of the road is or if I'll actually be off the road when I stop the car. I manage to pull off the road and after a few seconds, the lights come back on and I drive away terrified that it will happen again. I have no idea where we were driving to or how I felt about where we were going.

In the second dream, I'm by myself in the car and, once again, I don't remember where I was going, but the lights go out again throwing me into complete darkness with the car still moving. This time the darkness comes in shorter intervals and I just keep slowly driving each time the lights go out. I don't remember anyone being in the car with me and I think I woke up before the end of that dream. It wasn't quite as frightening as the first dream because I remembered having the lights go out on me before even though the dreams weren't actually connected in any way other than the headlights going off.

Any ideas?

Friday, December 30, 2005

Last Page of This Year's Work Desk Calendar

Greetings, large black person. Let us not forget to form a team up together and go into the country to inflict the pain of our karate feets on some ass of the giant lizard person.

English subtitle in a Hong Kong kung-fu movie

(By the way, Kung-Fu movies are another guilty pleasure.)

I Am Not An Animal!

A breaker has been blown here at the office and my electric stapler and XM radio have lost power. I cannot work in these primitive conditions.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hey, Hey, We're the Friends or I'll Be There for the Monkees

I was listening to the Monkees (another guilty pleasure, by the way) today on XM and it struck me that Mickey of the Monkees and Chandler of Friends had similar personalities. Taking it a step further, Ross and Mike were both the tall intelligent type while Davey and Joey were the heartthrobs. No Peter you say? You would be wrong. Phoebe fit the sweet flighty slot filled by Peter. Rachel and Monica represented every cutesy chick that the Monkees ever fell in love with. The Friends theme song is even kind of Monkee-ish.

To recap:Ross = Mike
Chandler = Mickey
Joey = Davey
Phoebe = Peter
Rachel/Monica = 1960’s hippie chicks
I’ll Be There For You = I’m a Believer

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

This Must be a Dream

This morning as I stood at the elevators on my way up to my office, I noticed two women wearing black pants and shirts in the exact same shade of aqua. I’m used to the phenomenon of several people dressing in the same color or combination of colors on the same day in the office, but this was the first time I had experienced it at the elevators before even getting to the office.

This made me think of a conversation my sister and I had last weekend. I told her that sometimes I think the world is just a figment of my imagination like in The Matrix. She replied, “If this is all in your head, can you make me thinner?”

What do people dressing alike have to do with The Matrix, you might ask. In my warped and slightly deranged mind, I wondered this morning if the people at the elevators and in my office who happen to dress in the same colors on the same day could possibly be the result of a lack of imagination on my part in my self-created and internally imagined world?

Exactly what is consciousness anyway? How many times have you been asleep and dreaming and thought, “I KNOW this isn’t a dream,” but it was a dream? How many times have you been awake and thought, “I must be dreaming,” but you weren't? If a person is hypnotized, they can be made to think they have pain when they don’t or that they have no pain when they do or that they’re a chicken. The hypnotic state can be so real to a hypnotized person that the experience can leave actual physical evidence on their bodies.

There are also those times when I feel I’m the center of my own little universe. Often, when I think, “It would be great if someone would invent…,” two nights later, I'll see the item being advertised on late night television. I wanted a place to go similar to New Orleans but closer to home and I’ll be damned if someone didn’t build Crockett Street. I constantly complained about talkative disk jockeys and the fact that they talk about everything except the music and, BAM, someone came up with satellite radio.

For all I know, I could be in a coma right now from some surgery I had when I was eight years old and this has all been one big coma-related, drug-induced hallucination. At least that would explain the Sixties...and Michael Jackson.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hey, Baby

One night, around midnight, I got a phone call. I picked up the phone and the guy on the other end of the line asked for Lisa. I said, "You have the wrong number." He said, "Okay," and hung up. Three seconds later, the phone rang again and the same guy says, "What are YOU doing?" I hung up the phone and lamented the fact that it was the most action I had gotten in months.

One day last week, I received a text message that said, "Hey, Baby." I didn't recognize the number so I didn't respond. Yesterday, I noticed the text message in my saved messages and started wondering about it. What if the person sending the text message had worried and fretted over sending the "Hey, Baby" and finally gathered up their courage and sent the message and then, upon receiving no response, went into a deep dark depression and became so depressed they couldn't go to work and lost their job and their house and their car...and it was all my fault!

In the old days, when you got a wrong number, you knew it immediately. Now, with text messaging, once the message is sent, it's gone. You have to wonder how many relationships are forever damaged by the punch of a careless finger.

"I sent you a text message. Why didn't you respond?"

"I didn't get it."

"Kiss my ass."

"Bite me."

etc, etc, etc...

I decided to text message the "Hey, Baby" person and tell them I received the message and thought it was a mistake. They responded by saying, "Sorry, wrong number."

Yeah, bite me.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Angels, Evacuees and French Fries

The Friday before Christmas, my sister and I headed out to finish our shopping. The traffic around the mall is always bad. However, at Christmas, you can't leave home without a strategy. Our plan was to do all of our shopping in the stores that share a parking lot with Target. This would save us about thirty minutes (valuable nap time before going out that evening) by not trying to cross from one parking lot to another. The lunch part of our plan included Jack-In-The-Box.

However, much like Tim in New Orleans who cannot find a Popeye's since Hurricane Katrina, most of our Jack-In-The-Box restaurants in Beaumont are still closed because of Hurricane Rita. We soon found out that this was the case for the restaurant in the Target parking lot. As Bonnie and I passed the still closed restaurant, we spoke of one of the last times we ate there. It was the Saturday before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

I remember the day exactly because, as Bonnie and I sat there eating our lunch, several families walked into the restaurant. As the smaller children ran around and played, the older children spoke in more hushed tones but were still teasing each other and goofing around. The parents, however, had the unmistakable look of adults who are worried but don't want their children to know the extent of their concern.

Because of our love for New Orleans, we had been obsessively tracking Hurricane Katrina. I looked at Bonnie and said, "I bet those people are evacuating ahead of the hurricane." This was later confirmed when we looked at their cars in the parking lot. At this point, no one had any idea of what was yet to come for New Orleans and, a month later, for Beaumont. Yet, our hearts went out to them and I can still feel the sadness I felt for those poor people. I often wonder what happened to them and to their families and homes.

Little did I know that, three weeks later, we would also be evacuees. At one of our stops in Shreveport, after being on the road for a total of seventeen hours over two days, we stopped at Burger King. I know we had the same battle worn looks on our faces that we had seen on the faces of the New Orleans evacuees in Beaumont. All along the way, as we traveled through Louisiana and Arkansas, people were especially kind to us when they noticed our Texas license plates, toilet paper rolls peeking from behind pillows in our rear windows and the four dogs with their nine humans trying to make their way to safe harbor.

Although we encountered many angels on our two-week evacuation odyssey, the strangest angel story occurred in Shreveport. After we left Burger King, we stopped at a gas station to fuel up again. We were so shell shocked from trying to find gas earlier along our evacuation route that we became compulsive about filling our tanks if the gas meter needle fell below half a tank.

As I stood filling up my car, I noticed an odd old African American woman who was talking to herself and walking toward the gas station. She would wave at cars on the busy street as they passed and loudly speak to no one in particular. As she got close to me, I turned my head toward the gas pump because I wasn't sure what kind of crazy she was. When she got right up to me, she looked me in the eye and said, "Dry land." I looked back into her eyes and didn't see crazy. I saw love and concern and a light in her eyes behind the concern. She said again, "Dry land."

She then walked up to each of our cars and spoke to everyone in our group saying over and over again, "Dry land." "Don't you worry." "Everything is going to be okay." "Dry land, darlin's. Dry land."

She then continued on her journey down that busy street waving to cars and talking to no one in particular. We all looked at each other and got in our cars and drove away. When we discussed it later, we were unable to account for her ability to know we were all together or that we were concerned about the coming rains and floods on their way to our homes which were now so far to our south. If anyone had been at the station and had been watching us for a while, they could have easily discerned the nature of our trip and that we were all together. However, I knew that this lady had just walked into the station from far up the road because I had watched her as she was walking up.

When we got home, we found that her words had been oddly prophetic. Although, we didn't exactly come back to ideal living conditions and undamaged homes or dry land (my aunt had three feet of water in her Port Arthur home and the rain did a number on my sister's badly damaged townhouse), Beaumont only got about eight inches of rain from the hurricane. That's about the amount we get occasionally from a bad summer storm. Also, if Hurricane Rita had made a direct hit on southeast Texas instead of southwest Louisiana, my aunt would have had about fifteen feet of water in her house rather than three feet.

The strange lady in Shreveport with her dry land prediction still haunts my thoughts as do the faces of the New Orleans evacuees we saw at Jack-In-The-Box that long ago Saturday in August. I hope they're all okay. To all the nice people we met along the way in Arkansas and Louisiana, we're doing okay, too.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Have a Merry Catfish Christmas!

Photo by Suthep Kritsanavarin at National
(Story alert from Mom)

While my blogging friends (and other blogging people I've never read or heard of) are posting beautifully written Christmas and Happy Holiday wishes, I knew that my blogging friends (and other blogging people I've never read or heard of) would be sorely disappointed if I didn't post a picture and a story about a big-ass animal/reptile/fish/mammal/amphibian of some sort.

Here are more pictures and here is the entire story.

Have a big-ass Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Oh, what a night.

The night started at Rio Rita's with me and Bonnie and Janice and Michelle enjoying margaritas and Mexican food with a brief foray into Mr. Hankie and South Park cartoons involving a piece fajita meat but I took pictures so I'll post those or put them on Flickr later. We then met Terry and Dan at TEN (the bar, not the time) for Sugar Baby martinis and Rick Danna playing excellent martini drinking music. From there, we went to the Black Cat for Mark Fiorenza's annual Christmas party which was great and we saw a lot of old friends from the hood. At around 10:00 (the time, not the bar), Bonnie and I left the Black Cat and met Terry and Dan at Antone's. I also caught up with Jen and Brian who were in town from Baton Rouge for the holidays. When I got to Antone's Josh Langston was playing which soon became David Lee Kaiser which then became Jimmy Kaiser and also some big black guy would get on the stage and sing with them occasionally along with Lee Pelly and some other people including some guy on bass who is famous or something but I didn't catch his name and then David Lee's band and Jimmy's band were all on stage at once along with Spencer Marks and Lee Pelly and the Josh Langston guy got back up there and at one point the Josh Langston guy stage dived into the crowd which was the first time I've ever seen that at Antone's and it was my favorite way to spend a night of live music when all the musicians get up there and just all start taking turns playing and singing and I was in heaven then a girl I went to high school with walked up to me and got right in my face and said, "We're still doing it aren't we?" Hell, yeah, Jessie. We're still doing it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Today's Plan

This is the plan for today:
  1. Lunch
  2. Spec's
  3. Target
  4. Rio Rita's for dinner (6-ish)
  5. Mark Fiorenza's party at the Black Cat (8-ish)
  6. Antone's for the Kaiser Family Christmas (10-ish)
  7. More Black Cat (12-ish - party shuts down at 3:00 a.m.)
  8. Blogging While Intoxicated (I drove last night. Bonnie doesn't know it, yet, but she's the designated driver tonight.)
If you see me on Crockett Street tonight, stop me and say Merry Christmas!!!

Current Situation in New Orleans

My new blogging friend Tim has posted a link to a very good article about how things are right now in New Orleans.

Tim and his family are back living in New Orleans and his blog gives you a really good sense of what it's like living day-to-day in today's New Orleans.

A + A = AA

My baby sister (44 years old) has gone back to college and she got two A's in her first two classes. We went out tonight and I was buying and now she says her two A's have forced her into AA.

(By the way, at the Star Bar tonight, we saw Lee Pelly, Chris Dozier, Jamie Talbert, Honky Tonk Jones, 9 Station Drive and The Kaiser Brothers.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Another Waste of Time

Another way to waste a couple of hours. Now, I'm addicted to this stupid game. It's at Yahoo Games.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Several years ago, we were sitting around the dinner table after eating Sunday dinner at my mom's. This is the time when mom usually fills everyone in on the family news she's received since the last time she gave us the family news.

The big news this particular week was that the son of one of my dad's cousins had been in a car wreck and had lost several toes on each foot. Other than the tragic loss of his toes, the guy came out in reasonably good shape.

"How did he lose his toes?" someone asked.

"I don't know," said mom.

Someone else asked, "You mean, he had a fairly bad wreck and his only injury was that he lost a few toes?"

"Yep," mom said, "That's what his mom said."

We all looked at each other for a minute and then my brother asked, "What was he doing? Trying to stop his car like Fred Flintstone?"

And that's the truth...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Aloha, Jesus

(Art Work at

I didn’t decorate my house for Christmas this year. I don’t have an excuse other than pure laziness. The odd thing is, it hasn’t dampened my Christmas spirit at all. Since I'm not living amid the tons of decorations I usually spread around my house and fretting about when I’m going to have time to take it all down, I’m enjoying a clutter-free and stress-free Christmas. This has had the unexpected side effect of actually making me feel more Christ-mas-y.

We also pulled names for buying presents among my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews which cut my Christmas shopping by about ninety percent. So, instead of trying to find just the right thing for eleven people, I was able to concentrate on finding the perfect gift(s) for just one person. It’s not that I don’t enjoy buying for everyone, but I really enjoyed buying for one. It felt more personal.

By eliminating the shopping stress and the decorating/cluttered house stress, I’ve broken through some invisible barrier that I didn’t even realize was there and I can see more clearly the original reason people began celebrating Christmas. I’m not one of those people who object to the crass commercialism and the non-Christian aspects of the holiday. Anything that puts people in a festive mood is fine by me.

It’s just that, without the distraction of the traditional Christmas paraphernalia of snowmen and stockings and trees spread throughout my house, it feels more like I’m in preparation for an actual birthday party. Maybe I’ll pull out my Tiki/Luau birthday decorations and celebrate the actual birthday of Jesus in my own way rather than the whole Silent Night Holy Night version that we’re accustomed to.

Happy Birthday, Jesus and mahalo.

By Special Request

Lonnie and Poodles

Who is that umbrella-ed man?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Merry Christmas to Me - Part 2

I couldn't resist. I think I'll save this one for Christmas morning. Santa would want it that way.

Twelve Guilty Pleasures (x 4)

I started creating a list of my guilty pleasures because I was going to do a Twelve Guilty Pleasures of Laurie post in the vein of The Twelve Days of Christmas. However, I soon discovered that I couldn’t narrow my guilty pleasures down to just twelve. I had so many, in fact, that I had to break them down into separate categories.

The things listed below aren’t necessarily my favorite things, which I proudly and unapologetically love, although, in some cases, they are. These are things that I like but feel guilty about enjoying so much. In some cases, I might feel guilty because they’re silly or goofy or crude but, in spite of myself, I love them anyway. In other cases, it’s the sappiness or the calorie count that inspires the pangs of guilt.

So, here you have it, the first version of my guilty pleasures lists. I’m sure there’ll be more to come.

Barry Manilow
Any American Idol Contestant
Keith Partridge
Tom Jones
The Carpenters
Kid Rock
Justin Timberlake
Tribute Bands
REO Speedwagon

Double Stuff Oreos
Pecan Pralines and Cream Ice Cream
Pecan Pralines
Pecan Pie
Chocolate Fudge…with pecans
Glazed Donuts
Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy and French Fries
Cinnamon Rolls
Bread Pudding
Butterfinger Blizzards
Banana Pudding
Lucky Dogs

Honeymoon in Vegas
Love Actually
So I Married an Axe Murderer
Forget Paris
Funny Farm
Raising Arizona
Old melodramas like A Summer Place and Where The Boys Are
Popeye (the one with Robin Williams)
Reservoir Dogs
Valley Girl

American Idol
Most Haunted
Miami Vice
Green Acres
Married…With Children
Beavis & Butthead
South Park
Beverly Hillbillies
G-String Divas
Taxicab Confessions
Real Sex

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Stolen from Old Horsetail Snake

I got these off of Old Horsetail Snake's Bl*g (He doesn't allow the use of the word bl*g on his bl*g. So,since I'm stealing material from him, I shall do the same thing on this post.)

First, A Pirate Joke...
This pirate walks into a bar with a big ship's wheel stuck down his pants. The bartender says, "Excuse me, sir, but do you know you have a ship's wheel down the front of your pants?"And the pirate says, "Aaaargh, it's drivin' me nuts!"

Now, a Cartoon...

I'll Give You a Fat Lip

I woke up this morning with a swollen upper lip. I Googled it and one of the sites said it could be

...a sign of possible stomach disorders resulting from repeated consumption of sugar, caffeine, spices, alcohol, soft drinks...


(One of the other Google hits said: malnutrition. That ain't it.)

Guess who...

...hijacked Jive Train's show at Antone's Friday night.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Before I left the house this morning, I had a long talk with myself about not eating so much at the firm luncheon today. I told myself that I can eat sensibly without overdoing it and then I wouldn't be miserable the rest of the afternoon. Then I got to work. By 9:00 a.m., I had eaten my oatmeal breakfast bar, a donut, a boudain colache, a sausage colache, a cake ball and some of the boss' raspberry/cheese spread.

If anyone sees me heading toward the kitchen, shoot me.

Today's Agenda

  1. Go to work
  2. Work
  3. Office Christmas Party during lunch hour
  4. Work some more
  5. Meet some friends at Carraba's for dinner
  6. Go to Crockett Street
  7. Sugar Baby Martini's at TEN
  8. Jive Train at Antone's
  9. Blog it
Edited to change:
  1. Go to work
  2. Work
  3. Office Christmas Party during lunch hour
  4. Work some more
  5. Meet people at Carraba's for dinner
  6. Go to my sister's house for my nephew's 21st birthday party
  7. Antone's for Jive Train
  8. Blog it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Can Wash Tall Windows in a Single Swish

We have a window-washer at our building today. This is always an exciting day for the girls in the office. One of the girls in my e-mail sewing circle alerted the group that a crotch in a harness just went past her window.

I told her that when he comes to my window, I’m going to put on my XM radio earphones, hold the radio in my left hand while pointing the portable satellite antenna at him with my right hand and pretend like I’m trying to get a signal. Fav File Clerk said she will come down and point her cell phone at him like she’s taking his picture as I try to arrange him into the perfect satellite-window washer-XM radio triangulation.

Jen T. said we should also throw some dollar bills at the window as he does his thing. I wonder if OSHA would have a problem with any of this.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

When You're Only Allowed One Drink... the cups at Sam's.

Which Husband Are You?

I hate to beat a dead horse but you remember the post I did a few days back about the local jewelry store commercial, directed to the women, which said that, if your husband bought your Christmas gift from their store, he is saying that you are more rare than diamonds and more precious than gold?

Today, I heard that commercial again and then, a couple of hours later on the same radio station, I heard a commercial from that same store except this time the commercial was directed to the men. The man commercial states that if they shop at their store, they can park right in front, they don’t have to fight the crowds and they can be in and out in ten minutes.

So, husbands, the way I see it, buying jewelry from this store is a real crapshoot. Depending on which commercial your wife heard and/or believes, you are either a selfish bastard who ran into Fuckit’s Jewelry Store at the last minute because you could get in and out and spend the least possible amout of time shopping for her or you’re her prince charming because you obviously think she is more rare than diamonds and more precious than gold.

Good luck.

I have a confession...

I love Barry Manilow.

Playing on XM…Barry Manilow…Even Now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

XM at the Office - Day 1

8:00 – 12:00
Although, I have over 100 channels, I can’t make myself tune off of Channel 22 – Modern Adult Hits. This morning I have heard Green Day, Matchbox 20, Weezer, 3 Doors Down, Gorillaz, Jet, U2 and, the clincher, Gin Blossoms. When’s the last time you heard the Gin Blossoms on the radio? Every single song is like I personally picked it. I’ve died and gone to music heaven.

12:00 – 1:00

I tried to catch the Comedy and talk channels during my lunch hour but I couldn’t get a signal. Isn’t it all on the same satellite? I’m confused.

1:00 – 1:30
Since the whole point of this satellite radio thing is to find music I’m not very familiar with, I have switched over to Channel 44 – Classic Alternative and I’ve heard: The Clash, Echoe and the Bunnymen, INXS (Melting in the Sun), B-52’s (Strobe Light), Psychedelic Furs.

Can’t catch Channel 74 - Bluesville. Crap.

1:30 – 1:40
Channel 24 - Sunny: Tijuana Brass (Cabaret), Henry Mancini (This One’s for You), Perry Como…moving on.

I came back to Modern Adult Hits. My name is Laurie. I’m a Channel 22 addict.

Battery died. Didn’t bring AC adapter. Double crap.

1:43 - 5:00
More Christmas music on terrestrial radio.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Merry Christmas to Me

I decided on the XM and bought the Delphi XM2GO. I did an online trial of the music on each service and I preferred XM. I really couldn't tell you why because they both have huge musical selections. So, I wouldn't say that XM is better than Sirius. It was just my preference. Try both out online before you buy to see which music selection feels good to you. As far as receivers, I wanted one that did everything and this is it. I haven't tried it in my car or as a portable, yet, but it sounds great playing through my sound system in my living room with the built-in FM transmitter.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy 70th Birthday, Mom! Thanks for all the good genes. I'll talk to you later about the bad ones.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Tis the Season...Deer Season

Merrily stolen from
Falafel Sex.


This was in my inbox tonight when I got home from Crockett Street:


Your current situation has been calculated to the main peoples, and upon conscientious contemplation, we are able to offer to you the following offer.

Based upon conscientious contemplation you meet the requirements to receive a generous return on your original property investment.

By completing the following attached form in a timely manner we will be able to complete our estimation, and we feel assured you will receive not only a reduced rate of interest, but also a cash return that will carry out all your holiday needs and more!

Do people actually respond to this crap?

Comedy Texas, Richard Pryor, Queen and Cam Pyle at Antone's

I just got in from Antone's where we saw the Cam Pyle Band. Check out Flickr on the sidebar for some pictures. First, we went to Comedy Texas to celebrate my mom's 70th birthday and the comedians were great but I don't remember their names which is inexcusable. At Comedy Texas, several of the comedians mentioned that Richard Pryor died earlier today which was a very sad moment to experience in a comedy club, but it is exactly where I would want to hear that kind of news. On the way home from Antone's, I rocked out to the best song you can rock out to on your way home from a great night out: Bohemian Rhapsody.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

What Kind of Messy Are You?

Other than a brief stint as a basket room clerk at the neighborhood pool when I was sixteen, I've worked in offices my whole working life. From this experience, I've broken people down into four categories of messy:
  1. Organized on the surface, messy in their drawers
  2. Messy on the surface, organized in their drawers
  3. Organized on the surface, organized in their drawers
  4. Messy on the surface, messy in their drawers
I fall into category number one. Although I will confess that all of my labels face forward in my refrigerator and food pantry and that all of my clothes face the same direction in my closet; the inside of every drawer, closet and file cabinet in my life is a mess. On the outside, however, everything has a place and everything is in its place.

I discovered the different categories years ago when I looked into a desk drawer of a paralegal I worked with on a daily basis. On the surface, this girl's office was a wreck. I never understood how she could find anything in that office. Yet, if you asked her for something, she knew exactly where it was. I was, therefore, amazed when I opened several of her desk drawers one day and found that every pen, pencil and paper clip was in its designated place and all of her file folders had neatly typed and color coordinated file labels. The folders were even all the same color. My files aren't even alphabetized let alone color coordinated.

She and I took an informal poll around the office and found that roughly 90 percent of the office fell into either the neat/messy or messy/neat categories. Those people who fell into the neat/neat or messy/messy categories were invariably a little on the quirky side and suffered from all sorts of phobias and anxieties.
What kind of messy are you?

What Kind of Messy Are You?
I am neat on the surface, but messy in my drawers.
I am messy on the surface, but neat in my drawers.
I am messy on the surface and messy in my drawers.
I am neat on the surface and neat in my drawers.
Why do you care so much about people's drawers?
You have just set my therapy back five years.
I wish you would have never discovered that quiz maker thing.
This Poll by lauriea776
Click here to view results

Friday, December 09, 2005

Hurricane Katrina - Governor Blanco's Documents Online at

A large portion of 100,000 pages of emails, notes and other information submitted by Governor Kathleen Blanco's office for ongoing congressional hearings regarding Hurricane Katrina are online at The Louisiana attorney general's office announced on December 8, 2005 that it will eventually provide access to these documents via internet to the general public.

Getting Married in New Orleans

On my previous post describing a typical itinerary when we're in New Orleans, I had a commenter ask me about places to get married there. The rules for getting married in New Orleans are now similar to the rules for getting married in Las Vegas. One of my friends went to New Orleans with her fiance to get married. They left Beaumont around 7:00 a.m. and, with no prior planning except to obtain certified copies of their divorce decrees and birth certificates, were married by 2:00 p.m. That includes a 4-hour drive, by the way.

There are lots of websites with information about getting married in New Orleans in the traditional fashion with a lot of planning done, stress experienced and money spent. This site [click here] has all the information you need about getting married in New Orleans and furnishes several options for ceremonies which seem relatively painless.

If I were going to get married in New Orleans, this would be the plan (not that I've given it a lot of thought, you understand):

  1. After checking into a French Quarter hotel, walk down to St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square and share a few spirtual moments (inside the church, if it's open) with your very-soon-to-be-spouse.
  2. Go to Cafe DuMonde and have a pre-marriage brunch of cafe au lait (for the caffeine buzz) and some beignets. Steal some sweet powdered sugar smooches.
  3. Before heading to the courthouse for your license and ceremony, stop at one of the antique shops in the French Quarter and buy your rings.
  4. Buy some flowers from a street vendor.
  5. Go get married.
  6. Meet up with your friends and family at Masperro's on Decatur for your wedding dinner. (This is a very casual restaurant where you get a lot of delicious food for not a lot of money.)
  7. Send someone over to La Madeleine's for a variety of pastries and have your "wedding cake" in the park in front of the cathedral.
  8. Have your "reception" on the patio at Pat O'Brien's. Have the Pat O's photographer take your official wedding photographs ($8 each, what a bargain). You can't monopolize all their time, but, I'm sure they would take three or four group shots for you, without any problem.
  9. Hang out with your friends on Bourbon Street until it's time to start the honeymoon.
  10. Spend the rest of the weekend in New Orleans or, if time and money permit, go to the airport and catch a plane to Vegas (Caribbean? Paris?) for an extended honeymoon.
  11. Go home and spend all the money you saved on an elaborate wedding on something you and your friends and family can enjoy together for years to come. How about an outdoor barbeque pit/kitchen area or turn a room in your house into a martini bar or a home theater?

No, I haven't given this much thought at all.

Edited to add: When I answered Abby's comment, I realized I hadn't included bachelor and bachelorette parties on the agenda. Everyone could always go up a day early which allows more time for ring shopping and the above mentioned B-parties. Of course, the parties will probably cross paths during the night but that would just keep things interesting. Hey, it's New Orleans!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

If you really loved me, you would have bought my gift from...

I just heard a commercial on the radio for a local jewelry store. The announcer on the commercial said that, if you open a box on Christmas morning from their store, it means you are truly loved. Thus, implying that if you get jewelry from another store, your husband does not love you, he’s an asshole and you should immediately start drawing up the divorce papers. The announcer, who is one of the owners, further states, “Men who shop from us think their wives deserve the very best,” once again alluding to the fact that if he shops anywhere else, he thinks you are scum.

To equate love and the degree to which a person is loved with the location of a gift purchase is crap. To assume that men are simple creatures, who will flock to this store or else risk looking less loving on Christmas morning than the guy who fell for this tripe, is insulting. If the gift receiver is so superficial that she will only be happy with jewelry that came in a box from a certain store, the gift giver has bigger problems than deciding where to shop and I hope he has a credit counselor on speed-dial.

For those women who view a gift of expensive jewelry as something to flaunt as an indication of the love and devotion of their mate, I have two words for you: Kobe Bryant.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A True Blond Story

One of my friends came into my office after lunch yesterday and said, "I have a blond story for you." I said, "Hit me."

My friend (the blond in question) went to Circuit City at lunch to have some work done on the satellite radio she had installed in her car. The Circuit City guy explained her options and she told him she would think about it and would bring the car back another time after she decided what she wanted to do.

She walked back to her car, opened the door, threw in her purse, sat down and closed the car door. Oddly enough, however, the steering wheel was gone. She looked at the empty dash in front of her for a split second, then slowly turned her head to the left. She had gotten into her car on the passenger side instead of the driver's side.

She now had two options. She could either climb clumsily and very unladylike over the console between the seats or she could swallow what little pride she had left, exit the car and walk around to the driver's side and leave Circuit City in shame. She decided the humiliation of leaving the car and walking around to the driver's side would be better than the embarrassment of trying to climb all elbows and assholes across the console.

She said she got out of the car, kept her head down, walked around the car, got in and drove away. She never looked back toward the store where she was certain a crowd of store employees had surely gathered to watch her sort out her dilemma.

I think she should have gotten out of the car, looked back at whoever was watching and, in a very British accent, said, "Damn American cars."

Another weird fortune cookie...

We all know what happened the last time I got a weird fortune cookie. This is the one I got today:

Your luck has been completely changed today.

I hope that's a good thing.

Rescue me?

As I was coming in the back door to my office a little while ago, I encountered a security guard who looked at me and said, "Oh, there's the way I get out."

Somehow, that didn't make me feel very secure.

Damn, short arms!

(Received by e-mail.)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Old Horsetail Snake

This is one of my favorite blogging friends. He is better known as Old Horsetail Snake. Hoss lives in an Old and Wrinkly Folks' Home (that's one of his many names for the place where he lives) in Oregon.

This link explains why he is staying in the Old Farts Home (another of his names for it).

This link is a memorial to his wife who passed away a few weeks ago.

I introduce you to him because, if you aren't reading him, you should start today. These are a couple of snippets from his post today. I thought they were hilarious.

While cleaning out his room to move to a smaller apartment in the Old Farts Home, he found an old business card he had created for himself:

Treasure Maps - Fine Wines - White Women - Guns and Butter - Fertilizers and Contraceptives - Stag Parties and Box Socials


Free-Booter - Raconteur - Bon Vivant - Gourmand - Connoisseur - Hedonist - Privateer Savant - Iconoclast - Swashes Buckled - Wars Fought - Masses Inflamed - Kings Dethroned - Shipping Disrupted - Devils Advocated - Camps Raided

He also found a card that put him " good standing as a member of the 'International Society of Imbibing Physiognomists**', which qualified me to use the title of "Indoor Bird Watcher."

Membership was granted to those who identified the following birds through the bottom of a martini glass while seated:
  • Emerald-Throated Dowager
  • Extra Marital Lark
  • Whiteheaded Crotchgobbler
  • Great American Regret
  • Red-Eyed Vertigo
  • Morning Grouse
  • Gimlet-Eyed Bushtit
  • Rosy-Breasted Pushover
  • Midnight Bed Thrasher
  • Swift Running Peewee
  • Ruffled Spouse
  • Hairychested Nut Scratcher
  • Red-Peckered Woodhead

**A stupe who studies the outer appearance of a person - primarily the face - to gain knowledge of the inner personality.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Miss New Orleans Blog Layout

I recently deleted the legal pad background and I have had some requests to put it back. I kind of like the clean white look while some readers say it hurtses their eyeses. Let's see if this poll thingy works. Majority rules.

Miss New Orleans Blog Layout
Which layout background do you prefer for this blog?
Yellow Legal Pad
I don't give a crap.
Make up your own damn mind.
Who died and made me boss?
This Poll by lauriea776
Click here to view results

Sunday, December 04, 2005

New Orleans - What Are you Gonna Do?

A few posts back, one of my commenters asked if I could give her an itinerary of one of our typical trips to New Orleans so that when she goes, she'll be sure not to miss anything. We've been taking a couple of trips a year to New Orleans for the past ten years and we've developed a routine which we can't seem to break. Our first trip there were ten of us (see the picture above) but the trip has now grown to around twenty people (see the picture below).

Every trip, we find ourselves doing the same things and going to the same places. We always try to mix it up and do a couple of new things each trip but we always slip back into our old habits. Keeping that in mind, I present you with a typical Ransonette/Grillo/Adams/Young/Arledge New Orleans trip. (This is not to be confused with the itinerary of people who actually live in the city and know all the really sweet spots.)

  • A few of us arrive in New Orleans on Thursday and relax and wander around the French Quarter and hit a few bars in the evening. We take it easy this first night because we are professionals. If you hit the city too hard the first night, the rest of your trip is a recurring cycle of hang-over cures, antacids, hemorrhoid creams and more alcohol. It ain't pretty.
  • Friday, the people who arrived Thursday, wake up to a leisurely breakfast of orange juice, croissant and coffee (fetched from Le Madelaine by the men folk). The people who are driving up Friday leave Beaumont around 7:00 a.m. and caravan to New Orleans arriving around noon.
  • After everyone has checked into their rooms (either the Inn on Bourbon or the Prince Conti), we walk down to Decatur and eat at Masperros.
  • After lunch, we walk across the street to the Jax Brewery mall to take advantage of their really nice restrooms and do a little shopping.
  • After Jax Brewery mall, we walk to Jackson Square and hang out there for a while. We then head toward the French Market hitting the daiquiri shops and souvenir shops along the way.
  • At Margaritaville, we take a break before heading back toward Jackson Square where we usually stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets and coffee. We then head back to the hotel to change clothes, take a nap and hit Bourbon Street.
  • Either Friday or Saturday afternoon, we meet at Pat O'Brien's at around 3:00 p.m. to take a group picture.
  • Our first stop (after Pat O'Brien's) is the Cat's Meow. The Cat's Meow is a karaoke bar and we try to get there early (4:00 p.m.) because we pretty much have the place to ourselves and can sing a lot without feeling too ridiculous. (Keep in mind that we are still relatively sober at this point and still have the capacity to feel ridiculous.)
  • As the Cat's Meow gets more crowded, we move to the upstairs bar and hang around in the bar and on the balcony until the 3-for-1 Happy Hour ends at 8:00 p.m.
  • At 8:00 p.m. we leave the Cat's Meow and hit Bourbon Street. At this point, it is very important to eat something. Some people find a restaurant for a big meal (Ralph & Kacoo's is a favorite) but most of us eat pizza, Lucky Dogs or gyros from somewhere on Bourbon Street.
  • At this point, we've somehow broken down into several smaller groups and end up at various different clubs (Gold Mine, Famous Door, Fat Cat's, Utopia) meeting up with each other off and on throughout the night.
  • We used to go back to a diner on St. Peter called Poppy's for breakfast before heading in for the night, but it changed owners a couple of years ago and it just hasn't been the same. Before the hurricane, rumor had it that Poppy got the restaurant back. I'm not sure of the status of the diner at this point. Nonetheless, it's a good idea to eat breakfast somewhere before going in for the night but it's hard to find a good breakfast place that isn't too crowded.
  • Saturday morning, we usually eat breakfast in the restaurant in the hotel and, once again, break up into different groups to do whatever you like. Some people favor the malls, some like the shops in the French Quarter and some like to go to the casino. There is usually at least one group of people who go to the aquarium.
  • I also like the Wax Museum on Conti. It's down the street from People's Grocery where you can get a delicious Po Boy.
  • It's hard to believe and I'm embarrassed to say that I've never ridden a streetcar or had a buggy ride and I've never been on a cemetery tour or gone to the zoo. These activities come highly recommended by others though.
  • There are lots of other things to do throughout the city (D-Day Museum, Garden District) but I can never tear myself away from the French Quarter.
  • Saturday evening is, basically, a repeat of Friday evening agenda-wise. However, the adventures are always different.
  • Sunday, we usually have an early lunch at Ralph & Kacoo's and do a little more shopping before hitting the road around 2:00 p.m.

From time to time, people ask me to write one of these itineraries for them and, by the time I finish, I'm usually exhilarated just from typing this out. This time, however, I'm a little melancholy. I can't wait for our next trip in March but I'm also a little anxious about returning after the city has had so much tragedy. As I've posted here before, however, we will do our best to drink lots of liquor and eat tons of food to help resurrect the fortunes of the city in general and the French Quarter in particular.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I have added a Flickr box to my sidebar. Click over there to see pictures of my 50th birthday party that I threw for myself at my house, Halloween this year at Crockett Street, Cory's wedding and rehearsal dinner, a New Orleans trip with family and a New Orleans trip with some people I work with.

I've already used up all my space for this month so it looks like I'll have to upgrade because tonight is a Christmas parade at Crockett Street and more fun at the Star Bar and TEN and I'm bringing my camera.

I love this Flickr thing.

He Was a Good (Snow)Man

Friday, December 02, 2005

Feel Drunk Yet?

Hot Sex

On one of our New Orleans trips, toward the end of our first night of a long day of blatantly inappropriate alcohol indulgence, one of the wives was looking at her husband in a do-me-do-me-now kind of way.

One of the other men looked at the husband and said, "Son, you are going to have a hot night tonight."

The husband said, "There's a fine line between hot sex and holding her hair while she throws up."

I never did ask if there was hot sex or hair holding but by the looks of the wife at breakfast, my money's on the hair holding.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Albino Animals

Someone sent me a picture today of an albino peacock. This started me on a picture search for other albino animals. Since I just got home from a Christmas party and my feet hurt and I want to go to bed, I leave you tonight with several pictures of albino animals because I'm just too lazy to do anything else.

More Albino Animals

Pretty in Pink

I don't personally know this pooch. I just thought it was cute.