Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ava the Grand-Fabulous on Her First Halloween...Oh, and there's one with her mom and dad

Bye, Shannon!

Today, a very close friend I've worked with for 7 years is leaving the firm. From time to time, in a person's work career, people move on. Some of those changes are tougher to take than others and this one is especially tough. I'm going to miss you, girl.

Thank God Al Gore invented e-mail.

He did invent e-mail, right?

Guess what

I hate gyms. I hate waiting for a machine. The machines are all sweaty. Germs! Staph! They stink.


I'm joining a gym.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Things that make me scream all year...not just on Halloween:

  1. People who walk down the middle of the driveway when I’m trying to drive into the parking lot at my office.
  2. People on the news who say, “This sort of thing just doesn’t happen in this neighborhood” or “We never thought this would happen to us” when something bad happens.
  3. News people who ask, “Did you think this would ever happen to you?”
  4. The way the television news programs give an overly dramatic theme song, title and graphic image to every big news story and then repeat it constantly.
  5. Politicians, in general.
  6. Hillary Clinton, in particular.
  7. People who cut me off then drive 10 miles per hour in front of me.
  8. People who cut me off then drive 10 miles per hour in front of me WHILE TALKING ON A CELL PHONE.
  9. People who won’t get the hell out of my way in the supermarket. The aisles are not 10 feet wide. Stagger your baskets, people!
  10. Running into the same moron on every supermarket aisle who is always standing in front of whatever specific item I need…and I am VERY specific.
  11. Ugly people.
  12. Ugly people don’t really make me scream.
  13. I was just checking to see if you were paying attention.
  14. Messy stapling
  15. About 100 motorcycles trying to merge into traffic as one big group on Interstate 10 near Houston. It was unbelievable. The guy on the first motorcycle simply led the whole group onto the highway from an entrance ramp holding his left arm out as though all 100 of those motorcycles were going to fit into the space between the car in front of him and whatever traffic was coming up behind them. I was in the left-hand lane when they were entering the highway and I kept driving so I have no idea how it all turned out.

Monday, October 29, 2007

More of my busy weekend

My dear friend Jen is getting married in January and we had her first shower this weekend. Her family is a hoot and a great time was had by all.

A lot of people don't like wedding showers and baby showers and such. I love them. Shiny happy people! Cake! Presents! What's not to like?

The fabulous cake!

Jen and cookie cutters

Jen and Co-Maid of Honor Becca.

Jen and the handsome groom, Brian

Jen and Co-Maid of Honor Laurie

(Co-Maid of Honor Lacey couldn't attend.)

(Who says a person can't have three Maids of Honor? Pish Posh, we say.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Weird Thing From Saturday Night

In May, I did a post about a night out at the Star Bar and described how, when my BFF Jack walked in, the song, "You Can Leave Your Hat On" was playing which, of course, is the name of this blog.

Last night, the song came on and I told Bonnie, "Wouldn't it be funny if 'Jack' walked in right now?"

Well, he didn't walk in right then, but right after I said that, my phone rang and it was him calling looking for us at the bar across the hall where we had all met last Halloween. He made it into the Star Bar while the song was still playing.


The Weekend

Laurie and Darlene working the door

Friday night I went with Darlene to a local bar to watch her husband's band play. As it turns out, in a lot of smaller clubs which do not usually charge a cover charge, the band is responsible for providing people to work the door. You guessed it. I helped Darlene work the door at one of Beaumont's less glamorous clubs. I have a new respect for anyone who has to put those stupid little paper bands on people's wrists and, just because Darlene had to ask me how much change to give for a $5 cover charge from a $50 bill doesn't mean she'

Saturday night we (me, Jack, Bonnie, Terry and Dan) went to Crockett Street for their annual Halloween bash. Perhaps it's because we've gone to this particular function every year for the past few years, but the costumes didn't seem very creative. I thought the best costumes of the night were my sister Bonnie who went as Steve from Ghost Hunters and my brother-in-law Dan who went as Charlie Sheen complete with blow-up doll. Bonnie was disappointed that nobody seemed to recognize who she was supposed to be but her costume was great.

Bonnie's bag o' ghosts

Bonnie as Steve of Ghost Hunters

(Note the fake tattoos on her arms. Cool. Those aren't her sideburns and eyebrows either.)

Dan as Charlie Sheen and his "friend", Terry as Trixie Treat

and Bonnie as Steve of Ghost Hunters

Me as, I don't know, Ann Margaret, perhaps and

Jack as one of those Start Trek engineers who always get killed first on any mission

(More pictures here or click on the Flickr badge on the sidebar.)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Our house will be a very, very, very fine house

I have lots and lots and lots of women friends and cousins and we love to sit around and eat and drink and gossip and say gross, disgusting, vulgar things all while trying to save the world. Occasionally, we talk about what will happen when, inevitably, our children or husbands or doctors look at us and say, "Dammit woman! That's it!! You've microwaved your last cat. To the home with you!"

Most of us agree that we're actually looking forward to the time when we’re all in the same “home” together. I was telling somebody that the other day. I said that all of my girlfriends and I plan to live in the same home when we get too old to take care of ourselves.

They said, “I hope it’s a big house.”

I said, “Not same HOUSE, same HOME. Big difference.”

A few notes to anyone who plans and builds future "homes" for women like us:
  • We'll play bingo, if you insist, but we also want slot machines and blackjack.
  • We want current music playing on the surround sound system along with the classic rock.
  • High speed internet connections are a must.
  • We'll drink our prune juice but we want a nice Chianti on pasta night and margaritas every Friday.
  • If we want to make a bong out of our of our empty insulin syringes and Fosamax bottles during arts and crafts time, don't give us any shit.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ghost Hunter? Me?!

Tonight I will be attending the first meeting of the Southeast Texas Paranormal Society with my sister Bonnie and my mom. Eat your hearts out Grimm and Leslie.

Click here to read my scary ghost experience.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Butterflies and such

You know the whole thing about a butterfly flapping it's wings in Thailand affecting events all over the world?

What affect must a pipeline explosion in my little neck of the woods have on the entire world and not just our immediate surroundings? What about raging fires so immense and intense that their smoke is visible on satellite images far above the earth?

If any of you know me at all, I'm not just speaking of the environmental impact. Every single event, no matter how small, has an affect on subsequent events. Freaky right?

I hate it when my brain gets in one of these loops like when I start projecting my mind back and back and back to the beginning of time and what was in the beginning before the beginning and where did God come from and how big is the universe and how tiny is the universe and...and...?


Monday, October 22, 2007

More Keywords

Below are some of the keyword phrases that people typed into a search engine and, somehow, ended up at this blog. Whenever I've posted unusual keyword searches in the past, someone always leaves a comment asking how to find out what keywords people used to find their blog. I use Statcounter which counts visitors to my page and also lists keyword searches. Statcounter is free and easy to add to your blog. It's located at

On to this edition of strange keyword searches:

Some just don't make sense to me...
unexpected night quotes
appetizer in a hat

what do the jcpenney dishes say on the back

Some are self-explanatory...
brent coon & associates sucks (By the way, this one came from someone at Brent Coon & Associates)
andy barney helen thelma lou on couch naked
ex girlfriends show up at husbands class reunion (Why would this surprise anyone?)

Some are sad:
what to do when you miss a friend

Some are sad and funny at the same time:
i want to leave my smelly husband

Some are probably trying to settle an argument:
re-propose to wife vow renewal?

Some will never find what they're looking for because they can't spell:
heardboard sex

Sunday, October 21, 2007

For Oakley and Baxter: We're onto you...

Oakley - my son and his family's dog
Baxter - my sister Bonnie's dog

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I Love Halloween

Today, as I was driving to my sister's house to pick up both sisters and my niece to do a little Halloween shopping, I saw a waving banana and a shouting clown at the corner of Dowlen and Phelan. They waved and shouted and smiled at me and I waved and smiled and shouted back. I think there should be clowns and gorillas and fruit on random corners of every city waving and shouting and smiling all year long.

The Halloween store was great fun and all of the clerks really seemed to be enjoying their jobs. I walked up to an interesting Beetlejuice/vampire/undead looking guy and asked him, "Do you have anything that looks like a person has been stabbed or hatcheted and the weapon is still sticking out of him?"

He said, "Sure, right over here."

"That would be a totally inappropriate question in any other store, wouldn't it?" I asked.

When I was checking out, I told the cashier, "Oh! I need this Bottle of Blood, too. Wow, I've never said that in a checkout line before."

I love Halloween.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Best Buy Extended Warranty - Update

I promised an update on my experience with the Best Buy Extended Warranty program after having to bring my camera in for repair.

I brought the camera to Best Buy on 10/2/07 because it quit working and I had purchased the 4-year extended warranty when I bought the camera 3 years ago. Best Buy sent the camera away and, without any drama whatsoever, the camera was returned to me yesterday. Granted, it took 3 weeks, but they "replaced practically all of the internal electronics" according to the Geek Squad guy, at no cost to me. So, I'm not complaining.

The camera seems to be working fine and, it might be just my imagination, it seems to be a little snappier. Best Buy gets a B++ from me. It would have gotten an A except that I wish it hadn't taken so long to get the camera back.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why was I late this morning? Um, the dog ate my homework?

I overslept a little this morning, but not enough to make a difference in my work ETA. So, I sat at my computer to check blogs and e-mails and such. At one point, I checked my watch, which I had set beside my computer the night before, and thought, “Hmmm, 6:35, still plenty of time. I must have looked at my bedside clock wrong."

When I got out of the shower, I sat at my makeup mirror checked my watch and thought, “7:35. Crap. Not much time. Shift it into high gear, sister.” I leave my house at 7:50 so that gave me 15 minutes to do hair and makeup which is possible if I initiate warp speed mode and take lots of shortcuts hair and makeup-wise.

Luckily, I remembered hearing on the news, while laying in bed hitting the snooze button, that there had been a pipeline explosion in Port Arthur. Not lucky that there was an explosion, but lucky that I decided to turn on the television which I don’t usually do in the morning. When I turned on the television, News Guy announced that it was 7:45.

“Odd, I thought. Those News Guys are usually accurate with the time. I wonder what’s wrong with his clock.”

Five minutes later, he announced that it was 7:51. How could it possibly be 7:51 when my watch…STILL says 7:35?! My watch had stopped at 2:35. All morning, I had only been looking at the big hand on my watch.

So, I need a new watch. Are digital watches still cool?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Beautiful Grand-Fabulous-Baby Laughing at Her Silly Dad

Note: The "related videos" that show up after you watch the video aren't our Ava. They're videos that YouTube attaches as "related" based on keywords, tags, etc.

Longer version...

Freak Out a Co-Worker or Family Member Day

I just tried to switch between open programs on my computer which I have done at least a million times in my life. However, instead of hitting alt-tab, for some mysterious reason, I hit control-alt-arrow.

Go ahead and try it.

Now, go do it to somebody else's computer while they're away from their desk.

(Note: I don't think it works on all computers.)

Monday, October 15, 2007


This morning, I was eating a banana and reading e-mail before getting in the shower and “BAM!” A transformer blew somewhere and my power went out. At least, I think it was a transformer. For all I know, it was an alien spaceship landing on top of my house. Aliens or not, I had more immediate problems: go to work stinky or go to work with a wet head.

When we lost power after Hurricanes Rita and Humberto, going to work unplugged (no makeup, no hair dryer, no flat iron) was no big deal because everybody else looked like crap, too. However, this morning was different. I would be the only person at work who looked like she just crawled out of bed and not in a good way.

So, I took a quick shower before the hot water ran out and put on some makeup sitting at my makeup mirror which I, of course, plugged in even though there was no power. It made sense at the time.

I walked through the kitchen, grabbed a Lean Cuisine and a yogurt out of the refrigerator, walked through the laundry room, opened the door to the garage and stared at my electric garage door. Crap.

“I think there’s supposed to be a rope or something I have to pull,” I thought. “Okay, there it is. The odds of me pulling on that rope and the garage door opening are about a million to one.”

“Well, I’ll be damned. It worked.”

I got in the car, pulled out of the garage and reached for my garage door opener to close the garage door. Crap. I had to actually GET OUT OF MY CAR and close the garage manually. What is this? 1962?!

I drove on to work and the rest of the day has been uneventful. I do have to stop at the grocery store on my way home and buy yams to cook for our Boss’ Day luncheon tomorrow. A word to the wise for my co-workers tomorrow, since I don’t know how long the power was out and my recipe calls for eggs, don’t eat the yams.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Not So Scenic Route

View Larger Map

Every time I've gone to visit my son and his family in Houston, I've been tempted to take a shortcut down Farm-to-Market Road 565. Even if it didn't save any time, I was sure it would be prettier than my usual Interstate 10 to Highway 146 route or Highway 146 to Interstate 10 route depending on if I was coming or going.

As a public service announcement for anyone who has ever considered that Farm-to-Market 565 might be a shortcut, I present to you my findings:

  1. It isn't pretty. It's just a curvy two-lane road through mostly industrial parks and refineries.
  2. It passes in front of Houston Raceway Park. Luckily, at the time I passed, the race was evidently in progress. Based on the amount of cars in the various parking lots, I hate to think of the traffic congestion I would have encountered on this two-lane road if the park had just been opening or if the race had just been ending.
  3. There are several railroad tracks and I had to wait for a train to pass at one of them.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Today is one of those days...

...that I really know what it means to miss New Orleans.

The weather is perfect and I crave the peace of sitting on a bench in Jackson Square.

I crave a fried shrimp dinner from Masperro's with a $1 strawberry daiquiri.

I crave a Top Shelf Margarita from Margaritaville at 2:00 in the afternoon, then another.

I crave Cat's Meow.

I crave the Famous Door.

I crave Cafe Du Monde at 2:00 a.m. or maybe 3:00.

I crave a pina colada/banana daiquiri from any frozen daiquiri shop.

I crave browsing the beautiful shops on Royal Street.

I crave a po'boy from Mother's or People's or Johnny's.

I crave sitting on the patio of Pat O'Brien's at dusk sipping a Hurricane and watching someone light the fountain.

I want to meander through the Conti Wax Museum.

I want to watch the penguins and otters at the aquarium.

((le sigh))

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Something for all you spangly trumpet players

Something else I stole from while I should have been working. There's Star Wars music. There are trumpet "laser beams." There's sort of some dancing. You definitely want to see the part where the trumpet misfires probably saving the lives of several disappointed Ewok. I wonder if she won whatever the hell competition she was trying to win.

Happy Birthday, Jamie!

Happy Birthday today to my beautiful daughter-in-law, Jamie!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Could Totally See Homer and Marge Entering This Contest - The Prize? Your Wife's Weight in Beer

NEWRY, Maine -- Keith Cardoza and Julia Stoner of Boston, Mass. posted the second fastest preliminary time and topped their original effort in the final heat to become 2007 North American Wife Carrying Champions (NAWCC) against the largest field in the event’s history. They take home a trophy, Julia’s weight in Bud Light beer, and five times her weight in cash, which totaled $675. They have now qualified for the world championship, which is held in Finland in July.

The carry is the competitors’ choice, though most use the “Estonian” carry, where the “wife” holds her husband around the waist and tightens her legs around his neck, thereby freeing the husband’s hands. (HUH?!)

Click here for the whole story and why wouldn't you want to?

Here's another wife carrying competition in Finland. Allegedly, the competition arose from barbarians who tested possible recruits to their ranks by forcing them to carry heavy sacks while performing other tasks (hacking and chopping tasks, I assume). The sacks were implemented because it was not uncommon to steal women from neighboring villages. Ah, the good old days.

(I found the first part of this juicy morsel over at Best Week Ever.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Guess who this is - Clue: It's not me.

Everyone I work with, I want you guys to try to guess who this is in the comments. I'll post the answer tomorrow.

Enough of all this sweetness

I recently read that the non-word "alot" might be added to the dictionary because it is used by so many people. Somebody shoot me.

"Alot" is no more a word than "alittle" is a word. "Alot" is two words. Allot is one word. Look it up.

Thanks, alot.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

I Want to Hold Your Hand

You have to watch this to the end to realize these adorable otters are really and truly holding hands as they float about. It's the sweetest 2 minutes you'll spend today.

Thanks for forwarding the video, Baby Sis.

My blogging friend Leslie sent me this next one. Once again, watch it to the end.

Have a sweet week, everybody. :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Then there's this one

Feist, "1234" for Ipod Nano. You can click here for all things Ipod advertising.

While we're on commercials

My blogging friend Beguile Me sent me a link to the following J.C. Penney commercial which I had never seen. Adorable!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Old Navy and J. C. Penney Commercial Musicians

Ingrid Michaelson, "The Way I am" for Old Navy

Regina Spektor, "Life Inside the Music Box" for J.C. Penney

Lyrics for "Life Inside the Music Box"

Life inside the musicbox ain't easy
The mallets hit
The gears are always turning
And everyone inside the mechanism
Is yearning to get out
And sing another melody completely
So different from the one they're always singing
I close my eyes and think that I have found me
But then I feel mortality surround me
I want to sing another melody
So different from the one I always sing
But when I do the dishes
I run the water very very very hot
And then I fill the sink to the top with bubbles of soap
And then I set all the bottle caps I own afloat
And it's the greatest voyage in the history of plastic
And then I slip my hands in and start to make waves
And then I dip my tongue in and take a taste
It tastes like soap but it doesn't really taste like soap
And then I lower in my whole mouth and take a gulp
And start to feel mortality surround me
I close my eyes and think that I have found me
But life inside the musicbox ain't easy
The mallets hit
The gears are always turning
And every one inside the mechanism
Is yearning to get out
And sing another melody completely
Is yearning to get out
Is yearning to get out
Is yearning to get out

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hells Bells Rocks

This Friday night, 10/5/07, at Antone's, Beaumont, Texas, Hells Bells will perform. They are an outstanding AC/DC tribute band. You don't want to miss this show. Opening for Hells Bells will be Image 6.

Ceiling Leak Update - I do have such lovely karma

  • Plumbing company called and scheduled me for an appointment tomorrow. Tomorrow sucks but the girl I spoke with was really nice and nice goes a long way.
  • Plumbing company called back and said they had a cancellation and asked if I could meet the guy in about 10 minutes. Groovy.
  • A really cute plumber was waiting at my door when I got home. Cute is a nice little bonus.
  • After inspection, Cute Plumber says it isn't a plumbing problem, it's an air conditioning problem. Crap.
  • Cute Plumber made the call to my home warranty people who said they will send an air conditioner guy out and I only have to pay one service fee. Double groovy!
  • I thanked the Cute Plumber and told him, "One service fee? That's great and I even get a new ladder out of the deal." (He had forgotten his ladder upstairs.)
  • "Oh, man. Thanks," he said. "I've left more pliers and wrenches at more houses than I can count."
  • "It's that added touch that your company is famous for, right?" I said.
  • He said, "I think the only thing I haven't left behind is the van."
  • Then he drove away into the morning sun. Goodbye, Cute Plumber.
  • As I was finishing up this post, the air conditioner company called and said their guy will be here between 8 and 8:30 tomorrow morning.
  • Damn, I got me some good karma.

Update: 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning and it's all done. My AC main drain line, or some such thing, was clogged. If the insurance claim for my stained ceiling goes as smoothly as this, I'll be happy, happy, happy.

Update: 8:30 a.m. Friday morning and my insurance adjuster has already returned my call and will meet with me next Wednesday. Everyone has been so nice! I highly recommend: Thermacon, Tru Care Plumbing, American Home Shield home warranty company and Farmer's Insurance.

Does it really come in threes?

I, generally, am a very lucky person. I'm not lucky at gambling or choosing the right line to wait in, but, other than that, I'm pretty lucky.

However, when things happen to me, they happen all at once. I usually have a two or three week period every year where things just go all to hell. I just might be at the beginning of one of those bad luck times.

First my camera broke which is a big deal to me, especially with the new grandbaby coming for a visit this weekend. Now, as we speak, something is dripping from my attic into my hallway right outside my bedroom door. I won't go into my attic to look to see what it is, so all I can do is lay awake, listen to the drip and wonder what the heck is going on up there. Tomorrow, with very little sleep, I'm sure, I'll be dealing with home warranty people and insurance people. Joy.

Sure wish I could take some pictures of the ceiling stains that are already forming. They look like puppies and elephants.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hints from Laurie

I usually read the Hints from Heloise column in my local newspaper. It amazes me the trouble people will go to in order to save about six cents.

One frequently recurring question is, "How do I get the sour smell out of my sponge?"

Hint from Heloise:

Soak the sponge in lemon juice and rinse it out. This will remove the odor for good but keep in mind that it is important to either dispose of, bleach, or run your sponge through your dishwasher regularly to keep bacteria from growing.

Good grief. You can get a bag of sponges at the dollar store for...well...a dollar. Better yet, environment or not, killing trees or not, I never use sponges. They are filthy, disgusting bacteria hotels. I'm a paper towel girl.

Best Buy Extended Warranty - Part 1

My camera quit working Sunday and I brought it into Best Buy to take advantage of the 4-year extended warranty I purchased when I bought the camera three years ago. They have sent it off to determine if it can be repaired.

From what I read on the internet, I am about to enter the 77th level of hell by attempting to get satisfaction out of a Best Buy warranty. We shall see.

I will be without a camera for two weeks. Oh, the horror.

I'm so confused

I consider myself a pretty hipster groovester. However, lately I'm having trouble keeping Maroon 5 and Matchbox 20 straight in my head.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Let's Catch Up, Shall We?


Friday, I had lunch with my BFF Jack at Tokyo, our favorite local Japanese restaurant. After one of our dinners at Tokyo about three months ago, a strange thing happened to me at Sam's regarding said BFF which I wrote about here.

This time, when I got back to work after lunch, a song came on my XM radio which Jack had posted about on his blog back in January. It's an obscure song (at least to me...on the Laurie label, by the way) which I had never heard played on XM before. Immediately after that song played, a song came on by his favorite performer which is played rarely on XM. The song that played right after that was "Whenever I Call You Friend." Awwww. I'm telling you, there's something cosmically weird about us eating at Tokyo when nobody else is with us. Weird, I say.

Friday night, we went to my niece's performance with the dance group at her high school's homecoming football game. It was the 25th anniversary of the school so they had former Stars members also do a routine. Who appears right in front of our eyes but our friend Lonnie whose daughter was a former Stars member. I have some really sweet pictures of Lonnie with his daughter. Who would have guessed Lonnie was such an old softy? Another weird coincidence was the advertisement poster directly in front of our seats. I took a few pictures of it, but it will only seem oddly coincidental to some of you and you know who you are.


I threw a birthday bash for my baby sister Bonnie. We sang some karaoke, ate lots of food, drank lots of drinks and played some games. One question on one of the games asked, "What is the lowest prime number?" A debate ensued about whether or not 1 is a prime number. It isn't. Ask Terry. During the heat of the debate Clay said, "Well, I don't know if it's a prime number but I do know it's the loneliest number."


We went to my sister's house to celebrate Alec's 21st birthday and had spaghetti and meatballs which he helped cook. It was fabulous. At the very end of the party, as I was about to take my last picture, my camera broke. So, all of my pictures from such a fabulous weekend are stuck on my memory card.


Tonight, I'm going to Best Buy and try out that extended warranty I bought when I bought my camera three years ago. Wish me luck. From what I read on the internet, it might not go so well.