Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My "World Famous" Autumn Pudding (Yams) Recipe

For J's Daughter:

Autumn Pudding

3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 well-beaten eggs
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup canned evaporated milk
3 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

Topping: (if you make this recipe in a 9 x 11 baking dish instead of a 3 quart casserole, double topping)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup broken pecans
1/4 cup margarine

Mix potatoes, sugar, salt, eggs, 1/4 cup margarine, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and pineapple. Grease a 3-quart casserole and fill with sweet potato mixture.

Combine brown sugar, flour, pecans and remaining 1/4 cup margarine. Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Creepy Shopping Cart Guy

I stopped at the grocery store a couple of days before Thanksgiving to buy some ingredients for my world famous Thanksgiving yams. I popped in and popped out because I only needed a few things.

As I was walking back to my car, a guy in the parking lot collecting shopping carts for the store said, “That didn’t take long.”

At first, I didn’t think he was talking to me. When I realized he was, I smiled and said, “I only needed a few things.”

As I was driving home, I began to think it was a pretty creepy encounter. First, it was disconcerting to realize that I hadn’t noticed him at all when I got out of my car. Even if I had noticed him, I probably wouldn’t have given him much thought since someone pushing shopping carts in a grocery store parking lot is a common site. Second, the fact that he had watched me park and go into the store and then remembered me when I came back out, in such a hectic parking lot, was definitely creepy.

Was he just a nice guy making conversation or was he watching customers coming and going so he could alert an accomplice who was breaking into cars? Was he really a store employee or just a crazy person pretending to collect shopping carts so he could catch customers off guard, knock them in the head and rob them?

‘Tis the season to be paranoid.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sometimes my body wants what it wants

Since I joined the fitness center, a piece of pecan pie or a second helping of moo shu pork looks different to me. Instead of looking like a little bit of heaven on a plate, they now look like dollar signs circling the drain undoing all the good of at least three workout sessions.

So, when I pulled into Jack in the Box last night, I had every intention of ordering a grilled chicken salad or a grilled chicken pita. However, someone pulled up behind me and, paralyzed by indecision, I panicked and blurted out, "Ultimate Cheeseburger."

"Please drive through."

"Crap."

Evidently, my brain and my body had decided long before I entered the drive-thru that it was going to eat a cheeseburger. On my way to Houston a couple of weeks ago, my body forced me to stop and buy a Twinkie in Seabrook. I usually go for the Zingers when I'm in a snack cake sort of mood but, for some reason, my left thigh told my brain it just had to have a Twinkie. Best damn Twinkie I ever ate.

Ultimate Cheeseburger
Jumbo Bun
Mayo-Onion Sauce
Ketchup
Two slices American Cheese
Two slices Swiss-Style Cheese
Mustard
Two Jumbo Hamburger Patties

Calories
1010
Calories from Fat
639
Total Fat
71.0 g
Saturated Fat
28.0 g
Cholesterol
125 mg
Sodium
1580 mg
Total Carbohydrates
53.0 g
Dietary Fiber
2.0 g
Sugars
12.0 g
Protein
40.0 g

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Few Videos from Thanksgiving

These three short videos probably won't be entertaining to anyone other than family. So, without further ado, since my family members are my biggest audience, off we go.

My brother and his family getting acquainted with Ava and eating gumbo.




The men folk discussing the audio for my dad's new television. My son and brother wanted to take dad immediately to Best Buy for a whole new sound system, but they were diverted by more gumbo.




My mom and her two sisters having a conversation about how they always call their children by the names of their sisters or their other children. I do the same thing constantly calling my son and his wife by the names of my brother and his wife. The twist here is that Aunt Hazel also calls her son by her daughters' names.

Me? Ski?

  • I have what I consider to be a healthy fear of heights. It's not so much a fear of heights as much as a fear of falling off of heights.


  • I break things, mostly bones and usually bones that I need.


  • I hate being cold. Hate it. I really, really hate it. Did I mention I hate being cold? Hate, hate, hate.


  • I think I'll pass.

    I Want to go Back

    At church Sunday, during the sermon the priest discussed how far the Catholic church has come in terms of the way mass is conducted. He spoke of the railing around the altar, the priest with his back to the congregation and the mass being delivered in Latin. He spoke of these things like they were bad.

    I'm a traditionalist.
    • I prefer solemn hymns accompanied by an organ, not guitars, and please, no clapping along to the beat.
    • Don't hold my hand or introduce yourself at any point during the mass.
    • Burn some incense and light some candles.
    • Speak Latin.
    • Give me quaint wooden churches like the one we attended as a child or huge cathedrals like the one we attended when we visited the grandparents.

    I like to feel like I've spiritually been someplace holy, not at a town council or PTA meeting.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    It's Time to Check Out Some Interesting Keyword Activity

    From time to time, I like to give you an idea of what search keywords people used to find this blog. (You can find out this information for your blog by installing StatCounter.)

    Self Explanatory
    • asshole of the year
    • what do you do when the kids all leave for college
    • my dog ate a lysol wipe
    • show me some albino animals
    • quote i think hair gel was invented to identify assholes from a distance

    Kinky

    • binder clips nipples
    • photo of a hairy bum
    • confessions of a window washer

    Huh?

    • mexicans permanent marker
    • cajun french dummies
    • there once was a zombie

    Can I help you with that?

    • al stewart edmund fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot, not Al Stewart)
    • the can guess who it's a game of clue (The name of the game is Clue.)
    • rock me baby car commercial (Cute commercial: Rock Me Gently sung by Andy Kim)
    • is new orleans next to texas (No.)

    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    Oh, no!



    Oh, my God!


    Somebody stole Toby Keith's sleeves!


    What?


    He did that on purpose?


    Oh.


    Why?

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Thanksgiving 2007 - It's a wrap

    Day After Thanksgiving Football Dilemma

    The games:

    • Arkansas Razorbacks vs. LSU Tigers
    • University of Texas vs. Texas A&M
    The audience:

    • One family from Louisiana
    • Several families from Texas who all consider Louisiana the "Mother Country"
    • One family of Texans currently living in Arkansas with one member who considers Louisiana the "Mother Country" and two children approaching college age who have been raised in Arkansas for the last 10 years and will, in all likelihood be Razorbacks one day unless they get their wish to attend the University of Texas

    The dilemma:

    • Both games televised at the same time
    • One game in high-definition, the other not so much

    The solution:

    • Everybody watches both games with picture-in-picture while constantly flipping back and forth between the games
    • Duh.

    The unspoken rules:

    • My brother and/or son shall have possession of the remote control
    • Trash talk shall be kept to a minimum
    • Said trash talk shall be mostly mumbled under one's breath
    • Trash talk responses shall be limited to "What'd you say?"
    • To which the response to the trash talk inquiry shall be "Nothin'."

    Conclusion:

    • Arkansas won
    • Texas A&M won
    • We all ate pie
    • ...and more gumbo!

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Another thing to add to my "Why Didn't I Think of That?" list.

    I am a compulsive list maker and I'm also fascinated by other people's lists. If I find someone's discarded grocery list while I'm shopping, I'll stop what I'm doing and read the whole thing. If I find someone's to-do list in the parking lot at work, I read that ever so personal piece of writing and wonder if they got it all done.

    The following blog is all about to-do lists and they're even going to make a book out of it. Why didn't I think of that?

    The To-Do List Blog


    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    The Subservient Chicken


    Click here to make the chicken do what you tell him/her to do.
    I'm guessing it's a her because of the garter belt, but you just never know these days.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    I Told You I Was Smart

    I'm not sure what I might have posted between last Friday (when this thingy I stole from Lorna gave this blog the reading level of College-undergrad) and today, but now my blog's reading level is "officially" genius.

    I thought you should all know how smart you are.

    cash advance

    My Grand-Fabulous-Baby Snoring Like a Lady

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    Dad Making a Fashion Statement

    Saturday, my mom cooked Cory his traditional birthday gumbo and Cory helped his paw-paw hook up the sound system to paw-paw's new big screen, HD, fancy schmancy television. While we were there, I never noticed what my dad was wearing. It seemed to make sense at the time. When I uploaded my pictures, there was my dad's unique fashion sense in living color.

    I think the above picture will more clearly illustrate this incident (click here).

    Sorry, dad, but you just look so cute in HD, I had to share.

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    Fuzzy Hayes Carll




    After getting up very early Saturday morning, having a full day of fun for Cory's birthday and later joining my friend Shannon for margaritas and Rodgers & LeMasters at Poblano Grill, I popped over to Antone's to see one of my favorite performers in the world with one of my favorite people in the world.

    The pictures are fuzzy and I was fuzzy but Hayes Carll was brilliant. He has a new CD coming out in spring of 2008 and the dates have been set for the 2008 Stingaree Music Festival.

    Happy Birthday, Cory!!


    Did you know that when your grand-fabulous-baby and her parents stay at your house, everybody, including grandma and the dog, gets up at 6:00 a.m.? It's true and here's proof. (Be thankful I'm BEHIND the camera.)



    Below is a slideshow of Cory (my son) and Ava (my grand-fabulous-daughter) opening his birthday presents at my house very early Saturday morning.



    Thanks for making me a beautiful blanket, Aunt Carly

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Stole this from Lorna

    cash advance

    Thanks, Lorna.

    FEMA Denies New Orleans Aquarium

    One of my favorite places to visit in New Orleans is the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. After Hurricane Katrina, I read everything I could find trying to determine the status of the fish, birds and animals there and was horrified to learn that most didn't make it.

    In order to restock the aquarium quickly, the staff of the aquarium did what any sensible person would do, they went fishing. Now, however, since the aquarium was restocked the old-fashioned way, saving tax payers a half-million dollars by not buying the fish from commercial suppliers, FEMA is refusing to pay their $616,000 commitment to the aquarium. (You can read about it here.)

    Ah, wouldn't it be nice if FEMA was the only government agency we had to be embarrassed about?

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Drive!

    • Number of times over my lunch hour I shouted, "Hang up your fucking phone and drive!"

    37 1/2

    • Number of times over my lunch hour I shoulted, "Hang up your f..., oh."

    1/2 *

    * The person wasn't on their phone. They were driving ignorant without the assistance of a cell phone.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    At Your Service

    I've had about ten hits on my statcounter this afternoon from people searching for the song played on the new J. C. Penney's Christmas commercial. It's called "All That I Want" by The Weepies (click here for their website.).

    You're welcome.

    All That I Want
    Words and music by Deb Talan and Steve Tannen

    Out in the harbor
    The ships come in, it's Christmastime
    The kids all holler carols 'cross the water
    Stars that shine
    All that I want, all that I want

    Above the rooftops
    The full moon dips its golden spoon
    I wait on clip-clops, deer might fly
    Why not? I met you
    All that I want, all that I want


    And when the night is falling
    Down the sky at midnight
    Another year is stalling
    Far away a good bye, good night
    All that I want., all that I want, all that I want


    So small a turning
    The world grows older every day
    An ache, a yearning
    Soften when I hear you say
    All that I want, all that I want


    And when the cold wind's blowing
    Snow drifts through the pine trees
    In houses lights are glowing
    Likewise in your eyes that find me here
    With all that I want.


    Out in the harbor
    The ships come in, it's Christmastime
    It's Christmastime
    It's Christmastime.

    ©2002 Deb Talan & Steve Tannen (ASCAP/BMI). All rights reserved.




    I also found this interesting site all about music in advertising.

    What a Lovely Way to Spend an Autumn Saturday Night


    Great food, great drinks, great music. See you there!



    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    From BestWeekEver.TV: Rick Astley



    Watch this VH-1 pop-up video and note that the guy who plays the bartender and is jumping and flipping all over the place is totally hung over.




    Check out BestWeekEver.tv (click here).

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    My Grand-Fabulous-Daughter Ava: Video and Slideshow

    Vampire Baby




    Don't Be Embarrassed. We All Have One.

    When I was growing up, there was a request from members of my family that sent shivers up my spine: "Go look in the junk drawer."

    The junk drawer was a drawer in the kitchen, precariously close to the food prep area, if you ask me, that contained lots and lots and lots of junk. Need a thumb tack? Look in the junk drawer. Need a battery? Look in the junk drawer? Need some string? Check the junk drawer.

    While other members of my family would dive right in, I would approach a junk drawer search as though the drawer was filled with deadly bacteria. Everything in the drawer was either black or brown or rusted. It looked like one big tetanus filled black hole to me.

    One thing that was always in the junk drawer was that last bit of a masking tape (pronounced "maskintape" in our house) that wouldn't come off the roll in one piece. If someone pulled on the tape to remove a piece from the roll, all they got was a triangle shaped piece of brown sticky crap that was of no use to anyone followed by a hearty, "Gotdammit!"

    Other items in the junk drawer were tubes of hardened glue, dead leaky batteries, nails, a rusty hammer and pennies. I don't recall ever needing a penny bad enough to go junk drawer diving. I bet my brother did though.

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    I Rock. I Ran.

    Gravity is not my friend. When presented with the opportunity and the perfect set of imperfect circumstances, my body will fall down and usually break something.

    When I was three years old, I broke my leg.



    In 3rd grade, I cracked a kneecap.

    In 4th grade I cracked a bone in my wrist.

    I've had at least three sprained ankles (maybe more).

    In 1997, I broke my foot (but that didn't stop me from going to New Orleans).


    Being so prone to breakage, I haven’t run anywhere of my own accord since high school gym class. By the way, running in airports, chasing freedom seeking dogs and herding rampant children does not count as “of my own accord."

    As you may recall from a couple of posts back, I have joined a fitness center. You will all be happy and surprised to learn that I have successfully completed three workouts (which included moves on the dreaded step apparatus between use of circuit machines) without injury.

    As impressive as that may be for a person of my limited coordination and frequent inability to remain in the upright position, the thing I am most impressed with is my performance on the treadmill. My fear of all things mechanical, in general, and exercise related mechanical, in particular, has kept me from ever attempting to use a treadmill. I have always been certain that if I ever stepped on one, I would immediately do a George Jetson off the back of the thing and crash into the nearest wall and/or person.

    Tuesday night, however, I had the gym mostly to myself and I went for it. I started slow, then I got brave. I walked. I walked fast. I walked faster. I inclined that sucker and walked even faster. Then, wait for it, I ran. I ran and ran and ran. I ran like the wind! Well, it was more like a brief gust of a gentle summer breeze, but my point is I ran and it felt good.

    Look out big scary looking elliptical machine. You're next.

    XM Satellite Radio News

    MY CURRENT FAVORITE CHANNEL:
    XM54 – Lucy (‘90s Alternative)
    U2, The Cure, Foo Fighters, Bush, Nirvana, Green Day, Dave Matthews Band, The White Stripes, The Replacements, Smashing Pumpkins, Depeche Mode, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Beck

    MY CURRENT SECOND FAVORITE CHANNEL:
    XM44 – Fred (Classic Alternative from the ‘70s to the early ‘90s)
    Crowded House, Ramones, Violent Femmes, Bauhaus, The Smiths, Jesus & Mary Chain, Joy Division, X, Social Distortion, Talking Heads, Blondie
    They play lots of classic punk but not so much that it wears me down like XM53 (Punk/Hardcore/Ska) does.

    MY FUTURE CHANNEL ADDICTION:
    XM59 – 24 hours of Led Zeppelin
    Click here for info.

    IT'S ALREADY HOLIDAY TIME:
    XM103 – Contemporary Holiday Hits (started 11/1/07)
    XM104 - Traditional Holiday Hits (starts 11/19/07)
    XM105 - Country Holiday Hits (starts 11/19/07)
    XM106 - Classical Christmas Music (starts 11/19/07)
    XM107 - Novelty Christmas (starts 11/19/07)
    XM108 - Radio Hanukkah (starts 12/4/07)

    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    It's Time for a Poll

    No matter how hard I try, I always forget to change at least one clock during the Daylight Savings Time changeover. Thank God most of my electronics change themselves automatically or I'd have a real mess on my hands.

    This time, the clock I forgot to change was my desk clock at work. At 9:30 a.m. (standard time), I looked at my clock and it said 10:30 a.m. (daylight savings time). It was taunting me.

    My first thought was, "My goodness, the morning sure has flown by."

    My second thought was, "My goodness, I sure have been goofing off a lot because I haven't gotten crap done."

    It wasn't until my third thought that I realized I hadn't changed the time on my desk clock. Years ago, I worked with a secretary who picked up her purse, punched the time clock and walked past several of us on her way to the elevators.

    "Where are you going?" we asked.

    "I'm going to lunch, why?" she said in a tone that indicated she thought it was a stupid question.

    "At 11:00?" we said in a tone that indicated that we weren't the ones who had just done something stupid.

    "No, it's noon...oh."

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Now, isn't that nice?

    I heard a radio commercial for a "gentlemen's club" and wondered what genius came up with such a sophisticated name for such an unsophisticated place. Granted, some of those "gentlemen's clubs" put in a great deal of effort in an attempt to spruce up the place, but lets be realistic. It's still a strip joint.

    I have a few other suggestions to upgrade the names of a few other things:

    • Complimentary Governmental Income Compliance Meeting - IRS audit
    • Alfresco Bladder Evacuation Unit - outhouse
    • Human Population Control Organism - black plague

    Sunday, November 04, 2007

    The Best Show on Television You Aren't Watching

    It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (click here) or (click here)
    Thursdays at 9:00 central on FX

    My Fabulous Niece and Watch the Westbrook Drumline Video at the Bottom



    My beautiful niece Katie is a Westbrook Star. The Stars are the dance team at her high school. Friday night was Father Daughter Dance night and it was terrific. The drill team captains had their dads giving all the dance cue signals and the dads were even doing the little dances the girls do in the stands. The dance the girls and their dads performed on the field at half-time was Oye Coma Va and it was magnificent and even included a lift and a little improvisational part for the dads.

    Below are pics and a couple of videos. My camera batteries died so I didn't get the Oye Come Va routine. However, if my sister uploads it, I'll post it here. I got a nice clip of the Westbrook drumline which I love. I should have gotten closer but I hate walking up and down football stadium stands. I'm a klutz, remember.







    Saturday, November 03, 2007

    I can't explain it

    Sometimes, a person's voice touches me in ways I can't explain. I'm not a huge country western fan and there are lots of country western and Texas country artists I enjoy more than Alan Jackson. However, there is a certain note that Alan Jackson hits when he sings that, I kid you not, sends shivers down my spine.

    The feeling starts at the base of my neck, then I just get all nice and warm all over. Toasty hot. It's sort of like that feeling you get when you're sitting in the perfect seat at a concert and the bass is thumping so hard you can feel it through your chair, if you get my drift, and I'm pretty sure you do. (Hint: It's not that high note at the end of this video.)

    At, quite possibly, the totally opposite end of that musical spectrum is Amy Winehouse. From the first time I heard her voice, I was mesmerized. Yes, the woman has her problems. Huge problems. My wishes for her to fix those problems are purely selfish. Her voice touches my psyche in a way I can't explain. Get your act together, Amy, if not for yourself, for me. Because, really, isn't that what it's all about? Me?

    Friday, November 02, 2007

    Pretend you're a fly on the wall

    A conversation I just had with a co-worker:

    Steph: Did you vote, yet?

    Me: Yeah, early voting ends today. I voted “For” on the school bond election. It won’t raise the taxes that much and I always vote “yes” on school bond elections. I want them to have everything they want, new cafeterias, new gyms, spas, I don’t care. Give it all to ‘em.

    Steph: Why am I not surprised? This coming from the person who never looks at her 401(k) statements or paystubs.

    Me: That’s right and you know what? I made $x,xxx on my 401(k) last month.

    Steph: What?!

    Me: Yep, my dad says, “God takes care of small animals and dumbasses” and I am not a small animal, so...

    Steph: Unbelievable.

    Me: When you do go vote, there are about four pages of statewide propositions on the ballot before the local school bond issue. I didn’t understand any of them so I just voted “For” on all of them.

    Steph: What?!

    Me:
    Yeah, I figured if somebody cared enough to go to all the trouble to get a proposition on the ballot, I should give them a shot.

    Eveybody in the kitchen: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!

    Steph: Why am I not surprised?


    UPDATE 11/7/07:
    All of the statewide propositions passed by large margins so, I was right. Harumph!

    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    Girlfriends Fitness Center

    I made a decision on which gym to join. Actually, it isn't a gym at all but a women's only "fitness center." I met with the owner, Shannon, yesterday and really liked her. The center is brand new and isn't even smelly, yet.

    The fitness center appears to be similar in concept to Curves wherein you move around a circuit of machines and do some sort of aerobic activity between each machine session. Shannon told me that, if a person goes "all out," it's possible to burn around 700 calories in one 35 minute session. Since, I'm not an "all out" kind of girl, that probably won't happen to me. I'll probably go about "half out."

    At Girlfriends Fitness Center, the aerobic activity includes the availability of steps of varying heights on which I will surely injure myself. (Release of indemnity forms were signed in duplicate.) This place also has an elliptical machine, treadmill and something else I didn't recognize, on which I will also, surely, injure myself.

    The main reason I chose this place was for the location and the cost. It's so close to my house, I could walk there. I won't. But, I could. If I wanted to, that is. A full year membership required a $30 sign-up fee and $30 a month but it includes a year of free tans. Now, that's a deal.

    Another big plus is that members have 24-hour access to the facilities so I never have to wonder what the gym hours are or have to hurry there after work. From what I hear, Curves has limited hours and isn't open on Sundays at all.

    Now, I don't want all you local readers joining my club and hogging my machines, but I'll give you the information anyway, because I'm just that kind of full service blogger.

    Girlfriends
    5925 Phelan Boulevard
    - same shopping center as Bella Bella, Bella Maman and Miller's Discount Liquor
    Suite 1-2
    Beaumont, TX 77702
    409-860-4166

    Accepting memberships during the following times:

    Monday, Wednesday and Friday
    11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

    Tuesday, Thursday
    9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    Saturday
    10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.