Friday, December 31, 2004

I Can't Stop Myself

In Cajun families, we do three things when people leave. We kiss them, we hug them and we say, "Be careful." I don't know why we feel the need to tell people to "be careful." For the most part, most people want to be careful. Some people enjoy living life on the edge as they jump off bridges and climb mountains but I think, for the most part, they are also trying to be careful as they do these ridiculous things.

I wonder if I've prevented an accident with my inevitable "be careful." I wonder if one of my friends or family (or, who am I kidding, I even say it to total strangers) have been on the verge of doing something reckless and thought, "Oh wait a minute. Laurie said 'be careful.' I better not drive off that bridge. Whew, that was close."

Link to Red Cross for Tsunami Donations

I'm copying this idea from my friend Deek Deekster over at the "Blog of Funk" (see sidebar). I'm sure he won't mind. Below is a link to the Red Cross to donate to the victims of the tsunami. You should pop over to Deek's blog to read his post regarding the tsunami as seen from a more personal level.

Then scroll down and have a laugh at his post titled "Up, Down or Sideways." It should be required New Year's Eve reading. (Also, read the one after about blogging and bloggers.)

In the face of tragedy, we shouldn't forget to laugh. It's good for your soul.

Pictures Follow

A lot of pictures follow. It snowed in Southeast Texas on Christmas Eve which is a big deal in this neck of the woods so I've posted pictures of that. There are also some pictures of Cory's graduation and the celebration after.

My brother and his family are in town from Arkansas so we all went out to Alibi's for Kamikaze Karaoke. The idea is that you have to sing a song that the karaoke guy picks before you can sing the song you want to sing. Every time you sing a kamikaze song, your name goes in the hat for a $50 prize at the end of the night. My brother won the money. Go, Stu. Go, Stu.

*Pic* My patio in the snow Posted by Hello

*Pic* My patio in the snow. Posted by Hello

*Pic* My patio in the snow Posted by Hello

*Pic* Terry singing (she had foot surgery) Posted by Hello

*Pic* Dan singing Posted by Hello

*Pic* Uncle Wayne and Charlotte Posted by Hello

*Pic* My brother and mother singing Posted by Hello

*Pic* Jamie singing Posted by Hello

*Pic* Steve, Roger and Dan Posted by Hello

*Pic* After-graduation celebration Posted by Hello

*Pic* Cory and Jamie Posted by Hello

*Pic* The fam with Cory Posted by Hello

*Pic* Cory at graduation Posted by Hello

*Pic* Jamie's mom's house Posted by Hello

*Pics* Cory's in-laws, Lisa and Jim Posted by Hello

*Pic* It snowed! Posted by Hello

*Pic* Cory and Jamie at Jamie's mom's house Posted by Hello

*Pic* Jamie and her mom and her sisters. Posted by Hello

*Pic* Cory in front of his mother-in-law's house during the snow. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Top Ten Suspected Drug Abusing Cartoon Characters

Disclaimer: I didn't write this. I found it online attributed to "anonymous."

10. Gargamel (From the Smurfs)
Most likely LSD. Spends his life in pursuit of little blue guys mentally abusing his cat.

9. Olive Oyl
Amphetamine abuse. She might just be anorexic, she is always giving her burger to her friend. One side note, what the hell are Popeye and Brutus thinking?

8. Snagglepuss
Can't explain it. Maybe it's the name, or the look, but he is suspicious.

7. He-Man
This is an easy one. Steroid abuse. "BY THE POWER OF ANABOL!!!!!!" Makes me want to root for Skeletor. Alone in his castle, hitting the weights. And on top of that he even injects the shit in his pet tiger.

6.& 5. Yogi and Boo Boo
We all know what is really in those picnic baskets. They go back to the cave and trip.

4. Droopy
The number one downer abuser in toon land. The only time you ever saw him happy is when he sees the picture of the babe.

3. Dopey Dwarf
The name gives him away. Also, allegations are that Doc is writing some extra scripts for Sneezy and all the guys are partaking.

2. Daffy Duck
Crack. He is so wired he bounces around on his head without pain. Blows his beak off all the time.

1. Shaggy
By far the #1 suspect. His clothes, his hair, his bad goatee, the boy converses with dogs. But all of this is nothing until you go to the Munchie Factor. Anybody who averages 9.3 dog treats consumed per episode smokes pot, no if, ands, or, buts about it. And look at the way he and his friends painted that van!


I've been accused of writing too often about bodily functions but such is life and here I go again.

As soon as I walked into the restroom a short while ago, I was hit in the face by a toxic funk that curled my nose hairs. I knew someone was in the last stall so I held my breath and managed to not gasp out loud. As I was washing my hands, Davie came out of stall number three and said, "I don't know who did that but they have a problem."

I said, "They need to go home and lay down."

We began spraying Lysol and Febreeze in massive quantities and left the restroom. As we were leaving we saw Rosanne going toward the restroom and we told her, "We didn't do that."

She wisely opted to go to a restrooom on another floor. If my co-worker with the IBS happens to be reading this, really, cut back on the fiber.

Pass it on...

First thing this morning Davie e-mailed me that she's listening to The Who's Tommy. I haven't been able to get "Pinball Wizard" out of my head all day long. Hopefully, I've passed it on to you.

"...that deaf dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball."

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

You Want Some Cheese With that Whine?

In a previous work-life, I was a law firm office manager/psychotherapist. The most frequent complaint I received day in and day out was “my office is too cold/hot.” This topped the list well above she/he is looking at me, she/he is touching me and she/he was mean to me.

When I began my current work-life as a paralegal/docket clerk, I swore that I would never complain about the temperature in my office. I don’t care if I have icicles hanging from my nose or if I’m having a hot flash spawned straight from hell, I never make a peep.

Luckily, I am in the office next door to the office which contains the thermostat for our block of offices. The women in the offices to the right of the thermostat are constantly cold and the women in the offices to the left are always hot. Therefore, at least fifty percent of the time, I’m pretty comfortable.

I attribute my relative comfort to good karma built up from seven years of dealing with temperature whiners with a smile on my face and a sweet, “I’ll call the building,” when I wanted to say, “Bring a sweater,” or “Wear some clothes and stop dressing like a hoochie,” or “Close your blinds,” or “Get some hormones.” Or, “I’m not your mother, I’m not your teacher, I’m not your gynecologist and if you don’t get out of here and let me finish this spreadsheet, I’ll give you something to whine about. Now, calm down and go eat some fruit or something.”

Monday, December 27, 2004

Bad Drivers (Academically Speaking)

While trying to get to the mall during the Christmas holidays, I had the opportunity to observe a large sample of bad drivers exhibiting particularly bad driving behavior in a compressed geographical area. Since I wasn't making much forward (or even sideways) progress, this presented a unique opportunity for study using the scientific method of observation and analysis rather than my usual unscientific method of ranting and raving and gesturing.

My deduction? Bad drivers may be represented by a sort of inverse bell curve which is not configured, as you might expect, according to driver's ages but by the value of their chosen mode of transportation. The worst drivers are at each end of our curve while the rest of us are fearfully stuck, drooping precariously, in the middle of our inverted curve.

The left side of the curve represents cars ranging in value from $1 to $500 which would include, for example, your 1972 El Camino or your 1986 Cutlass Supreme. These people don't give a shit what happens to their cars, they don't have insurance and they drive like they're in bumper cars at the South Texas State Fair. The rest of us are like the poor little 5 year old girl stuck in the corner of the bumper car barn red faced and crying terrified because all we can do is spin in a circle.

The right side of the curve includes cars in the $50,000 and up range driven by people who obviously have deduced that since they pay more taxes, they are entitled to ignore all traffic laws and also to use proportionately more of all traffic lanes. In their view of the road, other drivers are a mere inconvenience and not worthy of a backward glance into their rearview mirror. Watch out for me, peasants!

Those of us in the drooping middle-class of our inverted bell curve have few options. Since we are in the majority, we have a greater statistical probability of being victims of the morons at either end of the curve. The best we can hope for is to be an impartial witness when "Mercedes Mary Ellen" runs "Bubba Bumper Car" into a curb and we can stand back and watch the fur and flannel fly.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

If I Die Before I Wake

While making the rounds of relatives on Christmas day, we stopped in to visit my Uncle Wayne and his wife Charlotte. Wayne is my dad's youngest brother and he's only 8 years older than me.

For someone with sky high cholesterol and blood sugar levels, my uncle is in relatively good health. However, he is constantly giving away his possessions and prefacing statements with, "I might not be here next (fill in the blank: a. year, b. Christmas, c. Easter, d. weekend)."

The alarm clock is on Wayne's side of the bed and when it goes off, he wakes Charlotte for work. One morning the clock didn't go off so he woke Charlotte late. He told her, "You know, if I die during the night, you'll be late for work."

This set off a riff on what Charlotte would say when she called the paramedics:

"My husband died during the night. You need to come get him. I'll leave the door open, I'm late for work."

"My husband died during the night and I'm in a bit of a hurry because he didn't wake me and I'm late for work. I'll put him on the dolly by the front door but I'll need the dolly back."

It reminded us of when we were children going on family vacation. As soon as we were on the road to our destination, our mother would peer over the front seat and look at us and in all sincerity say, "If something happens to me the cash and Astroworld tickets are right here in this pocket in my purse," as though we would drop her at the nearest hospital and continue on our merry way.

By the way, if something happens to me, somebody get this blog published. Make up some sappy story about what a light I was to the world in my not-so-short-life and how it all tragically ended while I was (fill in the blank: a. rescuing people from a burning building, b. donating organs, c. feeding starving children in Rwanda, d. tackling a mugger to recover a little old lady's purse).

Then, go to Astroworld. The tickets are in my purse.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

No Apologies

I've received and read a lot of holiday greetings this year with apologies and/or caveats attached. I have seen things like, "Merry Christmas (if you celebrate)" and "If Merry Christmas is too offensive, Happy Holidays". I'm sure a lot of people, aren't even mentioning the "C" word or extending holiday greetings at all for fear of offending someone.

I know that if someone told me "Happy Hannukah", I would think, "How sweet." Or, "Merry Kwanzaa", I would say, "How nice. Thank you." I am neither black nor Jewish but I would appreciate the thought that someone wished me well especially during a time of year that was spiritually important to them.

Bring on your well wishes during your Winter Solstice, Chinese New Year and all of your Muslim holidays. I accept blessings in any form you want to give them.

Merry Christmas to all, and I do mean all, of you!

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Good Old Mind-F**k

Yesterday afternoon, the office let us go at 3:00 p.m. so I went to Rio Rita's with Shannon for lunch/dinner and margaritas. The plan was that Shannon was going to hang out with me until Carly and Chris came out later. However, lunch/dinner went faster than expected and by 6:00 p.m. I didn't want Shannon to have to wait any longer so we left the Star Bar. My intentions were to go back out to Crockett Street at around 7:00 p.m. to catch up with everyone.

Instead, I ended up watching "Butt-Face the Cable Guy" work on my cable modem and, as an added attraction, disconnect my digital television channels. Rather than drive back downtown, I decided to meet Terry and Dan at The West, the very nice little bar which is about two minutes from my house. When we left there, we went across the street to Fast Eddie's which is a huge pool hall with about 50 tables. It was packed and I was once again amazed at what is going on practically right outside my front door.

At The West, there is a digital juke box. I had never seen such a thing. You can even use your credit card to play your music choices. In the tradition of slot machines, your money is referred to as "credits" so you don't realize how much money you're stuffing into the machine. For two extra "credits", you can force your songs to play in front of everyone else's songs.

Dan put some money into the jukebox but his songs never played. The younger people at the table beside us were obviously forcing all their songs to play. Their group had grown from four to about fifteen and we kept having to move our table to give them room. They had cameras and were just having a great time.

When Dan realized that they were monopolizing the jukebox, he said, "I was going to offer to take a couple of pictures for them but since they're not going to let any of my songs play, they can just be one motherf***er short in all their pictures. Yeah, they'll get home and look at their pictures and say 'where is so-and-so' and 'oh, we don't have a picture of all of us.' Ha! Bastards!"

That's one thing I love about Dan. No big scenes, no hitting and cursing and throwing of beer bottles, just the good old mind-f**k. Of course, they didn't know they had been screwed out of what would surely have been their most memorable holiday pictures of all, but we knew. Ha! Bastards!

Beam Me Up Scotty - Please!!!

My cable modem connection is down so I'm making posts and reading e-mail and surfing the net from my old AOL dial-up connection. If I make it to Monday without throwing my computer through the window in front of me, that will be a true Christmas miracle.

I called the RoadRunner people last night and told them I was having problems and they checked my signal from their office and told me that they couldn't come out until Monday but they happened to have someone in the area who could come out right then if I would be home. It was about 7:00 p.m. and I was between bars (had just left Crockett Street and was on my way to meet Terry and Dan at The West before going back out to Crockett Street, however we never made it back to Crockett Street - see next post) so I said, "Sure." I was thrilled.

About 10 minutes later, the "repairman" showed up. He came in, looked at my television downstairs, didn't speak two words, went upstairs and started yanking stuff off my shelves to get to my cable wires and started yanking on the cable wires. It's not that he was rude, he was just a man on a mission. I was freaking out because my shelves were wobbling and I could picture my computer flying sideways off my desk as he pulled frantically on the wires.

He left the wire pulling and went back downstairs as I wordlessly trailed him. Before I could make it downstairs, he was out my front door to check things out on the outside of my house. As I sat on the couch watching the Goof Troop Christmas Story on the Disney Channel (that's where he put it and I was afraid to touch anything), poof, my cable went out.

This time, when he came back in, he was moving much slower. He was no longer a man on a mission. He was now a man who had somehow managed to simultaneously make my digital channels inaccessible while in the process of not restoring my internet connection.

He asked, "Do you need this before Monday?"

I said, "Well, I don't want anyone to have to work over the Christmas holiday."

He said, "That's great. I know what the problem is, but the guy who could fix it has already gone home."

"No shit," I thought, "Of course you know what the problem is since you're the butt-face who just created it."

I went upstairs to put things back in order which butt-face had manhandled and as I shoved the big basket which holds my photo albums back onto my shelves, the ceramic mask on the top shelf came crashing down onto my wrist. No real damage was done but it hurt like hell.

I hope this isn't a preview of my Christmas weekend.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Shrimp Fajitas and Margaritas

They're closing the office at 3:00 p.m. which is 30 minutes from now then I'm headed to Crockett Street to start the evening at Rio Rita's for shrimp fajitas and margaritas (Grande Suprema por favor). If my internet is back up at home when I get back tonight, I shall recap my evening. Hopefully, it will be blogworthy.

Holiday Smells

I like the holiday fragrances of pine and cinnamon and spice as much as the next guy but the scents that really get me going are the ones that hit you in the nostrils when you walk into a bar: men's cologne, cigarette smoke and beer.

Merry Bar-Hopping to All and to All a Really Good Night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Still More From My Calendar at Work

I bought my brother some gift-wrap for Christmas. I took it to the gift-wrap department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping. Steven Wright

Warning: Dates in calendar are closer than they appear.

My house was clean last week. Sorry you missed it.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

I really didn't say everything I said. Yogi Berra

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Blogging = Online Reality Show

The only "reality show" I watch is American Idol. I can't take the risk of getting hooked on any of the other shows because I know what kind of freak I turn into during a season of American Idol.

Blogging is like an online reality show. We are witness to people's ordinary and, on occasion, not so ordinary lives. I have always enjoyed driving around at this time of year looking at Christmas lights and I especially like it when people have all their doors open and curtains drawn so we can see inside.

Reading other people's blogs not only lets you see inside their homes (if they post an occasional picture) but always lets you see inside their minds which is so much more interesting.


I was talking to Carly at work today about going to Crockett Street after work Thursday and I told her I sent an e-mail to everyone to let them know our plans. Paula overheard and came over and said, "You didn't send one to me." I said, "Sure I did. I sent it to everyone." She said, "Oh, well you send me so many work e-mails. I have to read those first. Then I read the personal stuff."

Is that someone with their priorities out of whack or what?

Monday, December 20, 2004

Pics of My House Decorated for Christmas


My Kitchen

Posted by Hello


My Dining Room

Posted by Hello


Living Room

Posted by Hello


My House for Christmas

Posted by Hello

*Pic* My House for Christmas Posted by Hello

*Pic* My House for Christmas Posted by Hello