Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"I Smell Gas"

A friend of mine called me the other day and said, "The weirdest thing happened to me yesterday."  He was right.  Weird barely describes it.

The day before he called me, he noticed the smell of gasoline as he was getting into his car to leave for work.  He didn't give it much thought and drove on to the office.  As he was leaving his car when he got to work, he could still smell gasoline.  He looked under his car and saw gasoline pouring in a steady stream from somewhere under his car.  It's a new car, so he called the car dealership and they told him they would send someone to get the car.  He told them he would drive the car to them.

"You DROVE a car that was leaking gasoline?  That was POURING gasoline?"  I asked.  "You weren't afraid someone would throw a cigarette out of their window and blow you up?!"

"Yeah,"  he said.  "I didn't think about that until later."

"What about the gas in the parking lot?  Did you call somebody to clean it up?  Did you tell anybody?"

Did I mention that we work in the same building?  Which we also share with the FBI?

He said, "I didn't think about that until later, too.  Somebody could have dropped a cigarette ten feet away and blown up the whole parking lot, if not the whole building.  It could have been an international incident!  My family would have been left to prove I wasn't some sort of crazed FBI hating suicide bomber."

"Holy shit!"  I said.

"Then, as I was driving to the dealership, it suddenly occured to me that I was trailing gasoline down 11th Street and somebody with a lit match or dragging a muffler could be in for a big surprise."

"But, you made it, obviously."

"Yeah, I made it.  When I got to the dealership, they told me the leak was coming from ABOVE my fuel tank and that they thought they knew what it was and wanted me to stay to see it myself, because this had happened before and people don't usually believe them when they tell them why their car is leaking gas."


"So, they start taking my car apart.  Did you know the fuel tank is in under the seat in the middle of your back seat?"

"Uh, NO!"

"Uh.  YEAH."

"That doesn't seem safe," I said.

"When they took the seat out, they showed me the fuel line...chewed through."

"What the fuck?"

"A rodent.  Either a mouse or a rat or a squirrel.  Who knows.  A rodent.  They said it happens all the time."

"I never heard of such a thing," I told him.

"Me neither."

"Well,"  I said, "I'm glad you didn't get blown up.  Or blow me up.  Or blow up the FBI."

"Rats.  Squirrels.  Mice.  Crazy."


Notes on American Idol

Siobahn - Not good. I still like her though. She's got to get it together. I hope they didn't freak her out so much that she can't make a comeback.

Katie - Sounded good, but it wasn't very "together" like the judges said.

Didi - Sucked out loud. The girl just does nothing for me.

Crystal - Great, of course, but she should have lost the piano.

Casey - HOT!

Andrew - Great…I was so happy he did that.

Aaron - Not good, but I think he's still sick or something. Why did they put him at the end? He must have been WAY better in rehearsal.

Michael - Loved it so much better than the hokey cr*p he's been doing. Very good.

Tim - Simon cracked me up…"It doesn't matter what we say, so good for you. See you next week."
Hahahah!! Ellen was so funny, too…"You looked like you were trying to sneak up on us, but we could see you." HAHAHAHAH!!!

Lee - AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING!!!!!!! AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Plus, I love that song, so that made it even more amazing.

Bottom three: Didi, Siobahn, Katie

Usher was a good mentor except for the creepy Andrew Lloyd Weber thing…"Pretend I'm a beautiful woman." WTF?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

By Carly (with an 11th Demandment from me)


Demandment 1
THOU SHALT NOT comment how big a pregnant woman looks. We (pregnant women) are bigger than normal. We know this. We see ourselves everyday and notice how our wardrobe dwindles until all we can wear are huge sweatshirts, our husband's pajama bottoms, and flip-flops. We do not need anyone else informing us of how big we are. Exclamations such as "Damn!", "Good Lawd!", and "You look like you're gonna pop!" do not help the situation. This especially goes for persons commenting on the appearance of a pregnant woman that you have never even met.

Demandment 2
THOU SHALT NOT ask how many babies a pregnant woman is having. This pretty much goes in line with "Demandment 1." Asking how many babies we are having is just as bad as shouting "You are freakishly huge!" It doesn't make for a pleasant day. If we are having multiples we will let you know, otherwise, assume we are having one.

Demandment 3
THOU SHALT NOT call a pregnant woman "Little Momma" every time you see her. You may think you're being cute, but just realize that you are not the only one calling us this. As soon as you pass us and shout out "Hi Little Momma", someone is right behind you saying the exact same thing. When we pregnant women hear this 7-8 times a day, everyday, it tends to wear on our nerves. If you must say something, say "Good morning" or "Hi", like you did before we were afflicted with pregnancy.

Demandment 4
THOU SHALT NOT comment on the "cuteness" of a pregnant woman's "belly." This goes hand in hand with "Demandment 3." You are not the only one clever enough to call a woman's pregnant physique "cute." Everyone says it every day. You are not clever. "Cute" went out the window when we first noticed that our jeans were a little snug and had to buy our first pair of maternity pants. By the sixth month we are not cute, do not feel cute, and hate all cute people.

Demandment 5
THOU SHALT NOT hold meaningless conversation about pregnancy with a pregnant woman. For co-workers and acquaintances: If you could not hold a conversation with us before because you couldn't think of anything to talk about, then please do not use our pregnancy as a topic for the next 9 months. Yes, it's fun for us to talk about the pregnancy at first, but during the last trimester we're talked out. We just want our precious little parasite to be ripped from our bodies so we can get back to normal. We do not have time to hash out details of the pregnancy to everyone. If we weren't best friends then, we won't be now.

Demandment 6
THOU SHALT NOT touch a pregnant woman's stomach without permission. This is a biggie. Just because something is growing inside of us causing our mid-section to protrude does not give you justification to touch it. We're sorry our bellies may be in your personal space while waiting in a line or in a crowded area. We can not help it. If we have not known you for more than 5 years, or do not talk to you on a daily basis about something other than our future child, than hands off. If you touch our stomachs, we're touching your crotch, so be ready.

Demandment 7
THOU SHALT NOT discuss your prior pregnancy woes unless asked. We do not want to hear about how awful your pregnancy was, unless we have specifically inquired about it. We don't care how swollen your feet were. We only care about the fact that our feet are the size of an elephant's and we no longer have ankles. You whining about your swollen feet does not help our situation. Do not tell us to prop our feet up. It doesn't help. Nothing does. It's hopeless.

Demandment 8
THOU SHALT NOT discuss how bad your delivery was. For those of us having our first child, we have no idea what to expect. No book or video in the world is going to prepare us for child birth. Hearing you talk about how arduous your delivery was and how you were "ripped from top to bottom" does not help in any way (and I, personally, cannot believe you would actually tell someone, anyone, that). Regardless of how bad your delivery went, if asked by a pregnant woman how it was, lie.

Demandment 9
THOU SHALT NOT tell a pregnant woman how miserable she looks. We are pregnant...not fat...and therefore, not jolly. Although we may look "cute", we don't always feel like showing it. There is something inside of us kicking our innards every minute, we have to go to the bathroom 100 times a day and our backs hurt. We're sorry that, at times, we can't suck it up and put on a happy face. You telling us we look miserable just reinforces the fact that we're unhappy and are failing miserably at trying to hide it.

Demandment 10
THOU SHALT NOT inquire as to our plan after childbirth and then pass judgment. Do not act shocked if we decide to go back to work after our child is born. What is this, the 1950s? Women do not have to go back to work only in times of war any more. Some of us are the breadwinners and have no choice. I, personally, have bills to pay, such as cell phones, cable, groceries, daycare, etc. Now you may say to yourself, "You wouldn't have those daycare bills if you stayed home with that precious bundle of joy." Even if I did stay home, if you think I'm going to spend more than 5 hours a day with this screechy "bundle of joy," you are sadly mistaken. Mommy needs her "Me" time. Besides, who's going to love and nurture my child if they're home with me all day?

An extra Demandment from me for after the baby is born...
THOU SHALT NOT speak of being tired in the presence of the parents of a newborn.  My baby is 29 years old and I still remember wanting to strangle anyone who said the words "I'm tired" to me in the first three weeks after he was born.  You're tired?  You can take a nap...whenever you want.  You can sleep more than two hours in a row.  You don't have to make bottles, wash baby clothes or try to comfort a crying baby all on five hours sleep in the last twenty-four hours.  There is no tired like newborn parent tired.

Below is the best grandma present I received. If you have a baby or if you're going to have a baby, you need one of these. My grandbaby is almost three years old and we still use this every day...

Monday, March 29, 2010

For Employees Suffering on the Job

I created this slideshow to go with an audio clip e-mail I received about three years ago. This clip has received over 100,000 hits for me on YouTube. Enjoy...

If you are in a job funk, try these...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

This and That

Last night I went out with my sister Bonnie and some friends.  Things I learned (or might have already known, but forgot)...

Toward the end of the night, Bonnie developed an annoying case of the hiccups.  I told her to eat a sugar packet.  She asked, "Does that work?"  I said, "I don't know."  Bravely or stupidly (your choice), she swallowed a sugar packet and VOILA! no more hiccups.  I Googled it today and whaddayouknow, to paraphrase Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar helps the hiccups go away

A long time ago, one of our friends was searching the local singles websites and after entering the qualities of her perfect mate was given the profile of her recently disposed of and soon to be "ex" husband.  His profile picture?  Their wedding picture with her cropped out.  Ouch.

The bathroom at this particular bar has automatically flushing toilets, an automatic soap dispenser and an automatic paper towel dispenser.  However, the faucets are old school and you have to actually physically turn them to get water.  What are we?  Animals?  At my office, on the other hand, the faucets are automatic and everything else isn't.  The more beer I drank the trickier going to the restroom became.  At least twice during the night, I stood at the sink with my hand under the antique non-automatic spigot waiting for water to pour over my automatically soaped hands.  Yes.  I'm blaming the beer.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

No More Excuses

My work life is back to normal, my daughter-in-law is over the hump of her horrible morning sickness, my mom is doing well and my brother and his family have gone back to Arkansas after a wonderful visit. So, there will be no more non-blogging and no more non-exercise excuses.

I will blog every day, even if it's just a stupid link or uninteresting observation. I will exercise every day, even if I only put on my tennis shoes and play Wii for thirty minutes.

Speaking of Wii, I'm also going to get back into Guitar Hero/Rock Band. Because...

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Orleans March 2010

I highly recommend this book which is set in New Orleans...

Sunday, March 14, 2010 commercial: I'm confused

I'm personally not a fan of audiobooks. I have a problem focusing on someone yapping in my ear while I'm trying to do other things. I tried listening to books on tape years ago when I had to drive back and forth to Houston on a semi-regular basis and this was the result:

Listen to book on tape...

Think about grocery list...



Listen to book on tape...

Pass Pappasito's and think about margaritas...



Listen to book on tape...

Realize I have to use the bathroom and wonder if I can make it to my destination without stopping...



Repeat. has a commercial which shows people doing various things while listening to a book and smiling blissfully at the wonders of twenty year old technology. The people in the commercial are walking, cleaning house, driving and doing various other activities which aren't usually conducive to book reading in the old fashioned hold-it-in-your hands manner.

My problem with the commercial is that it also shows people sitting on the couch? sitting on a park bench? laying in bed? While listening to an audiobook. Why are they listening to a book when they could be reading a book? This caused me to go all Fahrenheit 451 in my head and freak out over audiobooks and Kindles and Nooks and iPads.

I want my book to feel like a book, smell like a book and have real actual pages that I really actually have to turn. I feel your pain Ray Bradbury. I feel it.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Job News

Long story short:
I started back to work at the new version of my old law firm this morning.

Long story a little less short:
Over the weekend the stars aligned presenting me with the opportunity to return to the job I was laid off from two months ago. I resigned from my two week old job Sunday, returned my refinery credentials this morning, drove across town and went back to my old office and surprised the hell out of everybody.

Very short summary:
Today was a beautiful day.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Call your!

My graduating class has recently started having monthly lunches. After only two gatherings, the lunches have become so much more than just re-connecting with old friends. It's a true spiritual bonding and a blessing that cannot truly be explained in words. It's a feeling in the heart.

I didn't even know most of the classmates who've come to the lunches so far that well in school, but I now feel like we were best friends who've never been apart. That kind of feeling can only come from God.

I highly recommend monthly lunches with old friends/family/classmates to all of you! Call them. Now. Even if only two or three of you show up for the first lunch, I promise it will grow. It's worth a shot, right? Right.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Ru's New Dog Sally with Ava

My mom, also known as "Ru" to Ava, has a new puppy. It's a French Bulldog named Sally. Sally has a pouty face like dad used to get when something annoyed him and she sits in dad's chair, snores, farts and follows mom everywhere. Mom says it's sort of like having a little bit of dad back.

More Excuses

I hate posting about my lack of posts, because I feel like I'm being arrogant in assuming that people are waiting breathlessly for me to write something. However, since I've been posting a lot less frequently I want to give you an update.

I have to be at my new job at 6:30 a.m. and I'm not a morning person. So, late night posting is out because I start getting sleepy early in the evening.

I still don't have my own computer at work, so break time and lunch time posting are mostly not possible. If I do get access at lunch time, I usually catch up on Facebook and the TJ Alumni site.

The main reason, of course, is that we're in the early weeks of American Idol and that takes up two hours on Tuesday, two hours on Wednesday and one hour on Thursday evenings. During Idol, I'm once gain Facebooking.

Basically, I blame Facebook. Doesn't everybody?