Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Future Superstar

Ever since I was a young teen - and that was thousands of years ago, I've wanted to be a rock star. When I was in middle school, I imagined a name for my future band...Electric Blue.

I was going to be a sen-say-shun!!!!! It didn't matter that I couldn't play the guitar or drums. I was trained to play classical piano and I figured that I could wing it until I could play rock music for real. That, or I could play a mean cowbell or tambourine. I did not practice or join a garage band, I just figured a rock gig would fall into my lap and I'd be a sensation.

After I got older, I rode on the coattails of my brother who was in a small informal band. The lead musician of the group liked me and he let me get up on stage on occasion and sing backup. And let me tell ya, I was in heaven. I had found my niche. I did a fair job of singing harmony and could enjoy the glory without having to remember the lyrics of every song they played. I felt like a rock star even though the only places I got to sing at were mom and pop restaurants on the outskirts of the city and at lake parties where all of the visitors were drunk.

You can't see them, but there were lots of drunk people watching us.

At Mancuso's restaurant playing for about 20 people.

At Mancuso's again. Playing for about 15-20 people

Don't I look snazzy? I like the coat I'm wearing in the middle picture. It looks like the color gods threw up on me. And they were on acid at the time.

I have to admit that those times I got to sing backup were some of the best times I've ever had. I loved singing even if I wasn't the greatest. I felt special because I got to stand on the stage and shake my hips and watch the audience nod their heads to the beat. 

I've been known to jump up and join the musicians on open mike nights because the urge overtook me and I just could not sit still any longer. I figured if the evening was devoted to amateur musicians, I wouldn't get into too much trouble by joining in. 

I'm 51 freakin' years old and I still want to be a rock star!!! I still don't have any ability to play a musical instrument but I can harmonize. I don't even want to be the lead musician. Just give me a pair of leather stilettos and let me gel my hair up into spikes and I will be good to go. All I need is someone who wants a person older than in their 20s who is happy to turn their volume down and harmonize. That's all I need. Please. Someone. Anyone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Anita's Gecko

A friend of mine is an empty nester and I think being alone is starting to affect her. She has a cat and 2 dogs and has recently adopted a gecko. This gecko has it made living with her. It's got a big fish tank with places to climb and hide, and a fancy schmancy rock that has magnetized sides so you can put one piece inside the tank and it has a spot for the lizard to hide, and the other half of the rock is on the outside so you can remove it and peek at the critter trying to hide in the rock. It gets fed live crickets and worms on a regular schedule and there's even a heat lamp to keep the habitat nice and warm. This lizard is living large!

When the gecko first came to live at the Palace D'Anita, she noticed that it's eyes were not open. It was a gecko with disabilities! She was given a defective pet - a bargain bin buddy.

The poor little guy had to feel his way around because his little eyes were sealed shut. If I were a gecko and my eyes were sealed shut and I had just landed a sweet gig at a posh lizard hotel, I'd be pissed! I'd want to see if I had a barcalounger or a disco light or if the drapes matched the carpet.

Luckily for that gecko, Miss Anita knew how to do ocular surgery and she worked for 2 whole weeks on those crusty eyes until one happy day, that critter could see. Apparently, a lizard sheds it's skin and that includes the covering of the eyes, only this little guy shed it's skin but not it's eye coverings and had been denied the opportunity to see the world through fresh eyes. Until Dr. Anita came along that is.

These days he's a happy critter. He can see the world around him and he even got a next door neighbor...another gecko. They have to be the same size to coexist or the larger gecko will kick the ass (or tail) of the smaller one, so it might be a little while before they can share a home. Maybe during that time they can work out who will empty the trash and who will do all of the dusting so that they won't bicker once they move in together. A homey gecko is a happy gecko - or so I've been told.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Writers Block..........still.

It's pretty apparent that I've had a serious case of writer's block. Actually, I haven't written anything because it's been hard not to gripe and like I said previously, Mama always said that if I didn't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all. So I haven't.

On my last post I described living through foundation repairs. It was hell but I'm no longer afraid of the house falling down. That's a good thing. Next, I decided to tackle my broken air conditioner. Well, I didn't tackle it, a guy I work with (who can fix ANYTHING) tackled it for me and he got it working! I was so happy, I literally cried. I'm sure I made him really nervous because he's used to seeing me laughing and joking and being a clown and there I was bawling like a baby. I wasn't sure how to adequately thank him so I made him a sign using my mad photoshop skills.

I wanted him to know that I thought he was absolutely FAB. Do you think he got the hint? My girlies and I lived in comfort for about a week then the A/C died. Again. Only this time, it was really, truly, absolutely dead. I think I heard it give a death rattle when it quit. Luckily it was only in the 80s outside so living was bearable and my super friend had left me with a portable cooling unit - just in case the machine he had just fixed died; until the temperatures went up into the 90s. Then the house became a sauna. Even with the little unit running full blast. Manchild also ponied up a window unit to help but due to insufficient funds, the girls and I were going to have to live a month or two being hot. And boy, were we hot. Even with 2 little portable units blasting away and every single fan we had running it was just plain ol' hot. I think the cats actually shed extra fur because it was so hot!

Luckily, I was able to get another loan and was able to have my outside unit replaced and once again, we reveled in the coolness. It's been a few weeks and the thing is working really well. I keep waiting for something else to break so I haven't fully relaxed yet.

I've been suffering from really bad writer's block for quite some time and all the extra worrying about broken houses and broken A/C units and multiple loans has taken it's toll on me. I could literally start an ulcer farm in my gut from all of the worry.

I shouldn't complain because things could be so much worse but for me, it's seemed like some really bad months that have passed. It doesn't help that Manchild lives in another place so I'm essentially a single woman. I want to be a damsel in distress and have a shining knight rescue me, dammit! He doesn't even have to be riding a white steed! He could show up on a Moped and I'd be happy! Aw hell, I'm starting to complain again. So for your benefit...Roger Wilco, over and out!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Crashes all around me!

In the last 7 days I have seen 3 car crashes. Two of them were right next to me! Thankfully I wasn't involved but it has been unnerving to drive when people all around me are crashing into one another.

It's no secret that I love my car almost more than I love my own kids, so if someone hit me I'm afraid I'd have to kill them. For real...I'd kill them. Or at least maim them pretty badly.

Last year I had a small Asian lady run into the back of my car while stopped at a light and I was hopping mad. I stepped out of my car with a notebook in hand and asked her for her address, phone number, license plate number, drivers license number, insurance agent's name and number, policy number, description of her car and a few other things. I remember her asking me if I was a police woman because I took so much information down. Of course I wasn't, but she hit my baby and I was going to make darn sure things would be fixed!

I don't know if there have been so many wrecks because people are so preoccupied or what, but it just seems crazy that I've seen 3 in 7 days after not seeing any in years. You can bet that I'm being super careful and observant to make sure I'm not involved.

Friday, May 16, 2014


Today was the first of 3 days that my house will be under construction to fix the foundation. I’ve been slowly learning about what a lemon I purchased 5 years ago. The electrical is spotty, the A/C is dying by the day, there are plumbing issues and the foundation has already been worked on 3 times before I purchased. Now, I’m paying through the nose to have my yard annihilated, the interior of my home to have 5 big holes dug and to hear sounds I’ve never heard a house make.

At 9 am a big truck rolled up and 7 men came pouring out. They quickly set to work, digging holes all around the exterior of my home. The guys were super-fast and before I knew it, there were holes that seemed to go all the way to China. Being the good southern girl that I am, I went outside and offered all of them tea and crumpets. Not really, I offered them ice water but it was better than nothing. As the guys were digging outside, I was inside frantically trying to move all of my furniture out of the way.

If you’ve never had major back surgery let me just tell you that trying to move sofas and dressers and tables is not good for the body. I found that out really quickly. The nice foreman for the foundation company saw me struggling and jumped in to assist me. Thank gosh for him because I would never had been able to move everything. I’m sure he helped me (get all of my crap the hell out of the way) because he was an honorable gent.

I spent the first day watching in horror as my yard was transformed into a dirt pile and the interior of my home went from cozy to chaotic. The furniture was moved to one side of each room and the carpet was rolled back to expose the most f---ed up foundation I’ve ever seen. There were cracks and at least 15 concrete patches of varying sizes where previous work had been done. Seeing how I’m no foundation expert, I couldn’t begin to understand where there was anywhere else to work that hadn’t already been touched! Unfortunately, the guys who knew what they were doing found plenty of areas to manipulate.

Lunch time arrived and the workers took a break at my patio table to enjoy their lunch. I say enjoy because those dudes had their meal break down pat. While I was eating my dry, flavorless turkey sandwich those guys were hooking up a microwave and fixing a lunch I would have paid good money to eat. Yes, I said microwave. The men brought their own kitchen! They made the yummiest looking and smelling tacos I’ve seen in a long time.

The break from the noise and activity didn’t last very long and they were back at work before my nerves had a chance to settle. To my surprise, more men showed up to work and what I had thought was chaos was simply a prelude for what was to happen next. As I was sitting at my kitchen table working I began to hear pops and creaks and all of a sudden, I felt the house lift then drop. I can only equate the feeling to what an earthquake might feel like. It was sort of a rolling motion and it almost made me feel kind of dizzy. I knew I wasn’t moving but the ground beneath me was. All of the time I thought the men outside were digging, they were actually placing pilings under the foundation. They had already dug to China and back again and had placed piers in the ground. The outside work was almost complete. Finally by 7:00 pm, the men stopped for the day and left me to revel in the dirt and mud and holes. I found my place in the one room of the house that had not been destroyed and fell into a deep, tortured slumber.

9:00 am the following day all of the workmen reappeared and started in with a vengeance on the interior of my house. One minute it was peaceful and the next, jackhammers were tearing through the concrete. The whole house was shaking and I felt like I was sitting in the middle of a storm. The men chopped out a total of 9 holes inside of my poor, decrepit house. Even though being worried and getting upset was of no use, I couldn't help but wonder what I had gotten myself in to. I watched as wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of concrete and dirt was rolled through my living room and out the front door. By the time day two was over, I felt ready for a beer or 12. I somehow managed to kick back, have some beers and watch TV. It wouldn't do me any good to try to clean up because I knew that the next day was going to bring more chaos and dirt, so once again I feel into a dead sleepless sleep.
Day 3 finally arrived. I was hopeful that the workers could miraculously finish what they had started and put my home back together. Extra men arrived and before long my home looked like an anthill with hundreds of workers scurrying about. I was beginning to get used to all of the noise and conversations I couldn't understand a word of. I hid out in the one room that wasn't torn up and willed myself to be patient. I was told by the foreman that the job would be complete by the end of the day. He was right...his job was done, but mine was just beginning. I had 2,500 square feet of dust and grime to wash away. I had what felt like thousands of piles of dirt to smooth and grass to replant. I had rooms of furniture to rearrange and clean and carpets to shampoo and attempt to re stretch. Pictures on the walls needed dusting and straightening. I'll bet that my house has not been as thoroughly cleaned since I purchased it. The cobwebs that had been happily collecting dust and bugs were all swept away and my vacuum got a total workout. I'll bet I emptied the collection canister 5 times.
I've been told that my house is now sitting level and is safe and sound. I can no longer see the outside where the floor had separated from the walls so that's a good thing. The cracks in my walls that had grown over time are closed up and I can begin the long process of repairing sheetrock and painting. I've about decided to do what I need to do and then sell this money pit and move somewhere else. I can guarantee that the next home I purchase will be gone over with a magnifying glass before I sign on the dotted line if I ever buy again. I absolutely do not want to go through any kind of home renovation or foundation repair adventure ever again. Not in a million years. Ever!

Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm still kicking

I haven't written in so long I'm not sure it I still "have it". It's been a trying time of late and my momma always said "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all". I guess I took her advice to heart. 

So what's been going on? Well, let's see...I guess the biggest thing has been the fact that my hubby decided to take a job in his hometown which happens to be over an hour from my house. This means that I only get to see him on the weekends. And let me tell ya, it kinda sucks. On one hand it's been a relief because when he was working for the law, he was a real bear to be around.

I mean, the man was impossible to live with. My manchild enjoys being in a bad mood but he was way worse than normal! the man walked in the front door after work in a BAD mood.No smile, barely a "hello" and you could see the hate pouring off of him in waves. I understand that being in law enforcement can make a person become jaded but it can also suck the life right out of people that have to be around someone like that. After 7 years he had finally had enough. I'm not sure if it was my threats of impending divorce or if he just finally had enough but praise be to the gods, he decided to find another career.

For about 2 weeks my man was pretty pleasant to be around. He was so dang relieved to be out of law enforcement he was giddy. It's taken about a month for him to de-stress and decompress but at this point I think he's going to make it. He got a job in a totally unrelated field which is good but he still finds things to be unhappy about. Since he already has a house in his home town and his new job is in his home town it only makes sense that he live there. It's good for his mileage but it isn't so good for maintaining his marriage. I feel like a single woman again. I only get to see him on the weekend and if something is going on here in the wicked city, I don't go down there. There have been weeks where I didn't see him for 2 weeks straight. He doesn't seem to mind which perplexes me. How could he NOT want to be around me 24/7??? I'm practically perfect in every single way!!!

I'm not sure what is going to happen. For the time being, I'm learning to be a single person again. If something breaks, I take care of getting it fixed - alone. If I want to go do something around town, I go alone. Or with girlfriends. I'm planning a little out of town trip with my kidlets but no hubby because what we're doing isn't his thing. You see? I'm virtually single! I've had lots of married people tell me that my situation sounds pretty ideal to them but they aren't in my shoes. They have live-in hubbies. They'd understand what they were missing pretty quickly if they were in my situation.

Well, I've gone and done it...Mama's advice about being quiet when there's nothing good to say just flew right out the window. Sorry about that. You see why I haven't written? Maybe I should go back into hibernation again!

Friday, February 7, 2014

It was NOT a most excellent day!

picture via Google via
Ah, the lowly egg. Who would think that it could be a dangerous explosive device? Take my word for it - the egg can explode with amazing power given the right conditions. I found this out the hard way. It all started out when I decided to hard boil some eggs at home to take to work for a snack. I didn't have a lot of' time so I didn't boil them for very long but I figured they'd be OK. Once I got to work I was hungry so I cracked open one of the eggs only to have some of the white part dribble out in to my hands. wah wah wah..........  My stomach was growling so I decided to try microwaving the part of the egg that didn't dribble out for 30 seconds. 30 seconds people! That's barely long enough to heat a piece of bread! But about 20 seconds in, I started hearing popping and splattering and a few kabooms. I immediately turned the microwave off and peered inside to survey the mess when the dang yellow blew up in my face and all over me. I never knew something could blow up even when the magical microwaves weren't waving around but boy did it ever.
picture via Google via
Not only was the interior of the microwave totally coated in exploded egg, I was covered. I had egg on my clothes, my face, it was in my was everywhere. And I was still hungry with nothing to eat.

Shortly after I finished cleaning myself and the microwave I received a message from my boss, asking me to set up a laptop and projector in a nearby conference room and I was instructed to make sure that the computer was logged onto the internet. Easy peasy, no problem. I grabbed the laptop and hightailed it to the conference room. I connected it to the projector and started logging onto the internet and that's when the troubles began. I couldn't get a wifi signal even though we have it in our building and the laptop is equipped to receive it. There had to be some setting that I didn't know about which is a real problem when you're not a technical type of person. I called the help desk and finally got through the steps to get logged on. One problem down then another problem arose! I had the computer hooked up to the cable that makes the screen appear through the projector and nothing was showing up. I looked through the display settings and couldn't seem to figure out why nothing was showing up. 3 minutes to go and I'm calling the help desk again. It's a miracle that I didn't get electrocuted because let me tell ya, I was sweating bullets. I finally got everything to show up through the projector just as people were filing into the conference room. Whew! I asked one of the people attending the meeting if they were waiting for my boss and I was informed that the meeting that was scheduled for that room was for accounting. ACCOUNTING?!?!? That's not what my boss's meeting was covering! A slow burn started in the pit of my stomach and worked it's way up my throat as it slowly dawned on me that I was in the wrong conference room. I cussed under my breath which probably came out waaaayyyy louder than I had expected and grabbed everything and ran like a bat outta hell to the correct conference room. As I entered the correct room I noticed that a person in the room already had a laptop which was projecting onto the big screen which was displaying...wait for it...the internet. After I had recovered from my heart attack I saw my boss strolling through the door so I asked him if he wanted the laptop I brought for something in addition to the laptop that was already up and running. I was told that he simply wanted to make sure there was a laptop ready and available.

Shoot me. Please.

I made it through an hour or so before the next forehead slapper happened. A coworker called and asked me for some images, so I created a folder on my desktop to put all of the images in and fired it off in an email to her. Shortly afterwords she called me and explained that she was having trouble opening the files. I tried to talk her through the process to open them and she wasn't having any luck so I went to the file I had on my desktop to see what was up. Guess what? I didn't put the images in the file! I sent her an empty file! DOH!!!!

The final disaster of the day happened when I ventured downstairs for lunch. I picked out what I wanted, paid and made my way to the elevator. As soon as I stepped in, the styrofoam container wobbled and my lunch fell face down onto the floor. What else could go wrong? Luckily, nothing. I made it home without crashing, I didn't burn dinner and I finally got to bed without anything else going wrong. I was really glad that day was over.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Taking A Pseudo(fed) Trip & Never Leaving The Farm

For the past few days I've been having a really hard time keeping my concentration. I'm doing some pretty thought intensive work at my job and this little problem is starting to affect my productivity. I'm normally prone to fits of attention deficit and hyperactivity but usually I can take a few minutes and walk around the office and return to my task clear headed and ready to work.

To compound this problem, my sinuses have been acting up, and after a while I got tired of sniffing and snorting so one morning I headed to the department medicine cabinet for a little allergy relief. The generic packet that was labeled as "Allergy Relief Tablets" had two teeny weeny red pills and I wasted no time in swallowing them down. I didn't give it much thought as I returned to my tasks at hand until about an hour later. I noticed that I was having an extra hard time concentrating and I was having trouble forming words. Being the oblivious person that I am, it never dawned on me that perhaps I was feeling funny because I had taken sinus pills.

After a few hours of feeling VERY loopy I began to get concerned that maybe I had experienced a mild stroke or something. I was talking, but the wrong words were coming out. I was woozy. I couldn't hold a thought. I voiced my concerns to a friend and she began quizzing me about my current activities and also asked me if I had taken any medication. BINGO!!!!! Meds!

My theory is that those tiny little pills had righteously kicked my ass. And not only had they taken me down, they took me down for about 12 hours. It wasn't until the next day that I began to emerge from the sudafed fog. Now, if anyone accuses me of being silly/loopy another day I won't have as good of an excuse but for at least one day I took a trip and never left the farm. Good times people...good times.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ice? Not nice!

Down here in the south if there's even the threat of bad weather, companies close early and everyone in the city raids grocery stores and empties the shelves. And we don't usually get snow storms, we get ice storms, hence the need to purchase a months worth of groceries. This happened here in Big D a few weeks ago and the media coined the storm "Icemageddon".

After unseasonably warm temperatures the weather service stated that a major cool down was headed our way and the smart citizens of my fair city sprang into action. Milk and bread evaporated from store shelves, people hit the liquor stores hard and fast because you know, you want to enjoy a cocktail when you're socked in, and many companies sent their employees home early as the temperatures began to plummet.

I was a bit of a skeptic because I've seen the city freak out over supposed storms only to witness a non-event time and time again. Since it had been so warm around here I figured that even if it snowed 10 feet, weeks on end with temperatures in the upper 60s would have the ground so warm, any frozen stuff would melt right away. I went to bed listening to gusty winds and clear streets and woke up to many broken tree limbs littering my lawn and a quarter inch of ice everywhere. The weather event actually happened!

I figured that even though the ice appeared, the warm ground would clear things up in no time but I was wrong. Day one turned into day two and day two turned into day three. I was trapped in my own home and by day three, I was getting a major case of cabin fever. But I didn't have it as bad as bad as some people around here. Motorists and truckers were stuck at a standstill for days because the roads were impassable. I mean, they were literally stuck in their vehicles which were stuck in a long, long line of trucks and cars on the highway and they weren't moving at all. Even though the department of transportation tried to prepare for the weather by sanding the roads, they couldn't keep up with the amount of ice falling. This resulted in frozen roads with lumpy ice that would kill the undercarriage of any car. It was bad!

About a week after the storm blew in I decided to tackle the cleanup of all of the limbs that had broken off of my trees. Since I'm crippled for the most part I was having a hard time figuring out how I was going to chop up branches that were as big around as my thigh but I have wonderful friends and one in particular, Amazing Anita, insisted that her and her man were going to do the heavy work for me. That girl dogged me for days before I relented and accepted her offer of help. When Manchild found out the plan, I think he was threatened by the fact other people would be helping me (when he should have been), and he stepped up to the plate to do the work. He cut the wood and I hauled it. Bad plan. Baaaaadddd plan. My poor little body rebelled and I was laid up for days afterwards but the big stuff was out of the way. I still have lots of little stuff littering my yard and about 10,000 cubic feet of leaves to rake but at least the sidewalk is passable. Maybe I'll get lucky and a typhoon will blow in and blast those leaves away. It is Texas and we do have crazy weather here. Anything is possible.

The ice in my yard lasted for almost a week and I was plenty happy to see it go. Snow I can handle, but ice is a real pain in the ass, let me tell ya. The motorists are long gone, the stores are restocked and life is back to normal. We're in the clear for at least another few weeks if all goes well. 

(Since the writing of this post, an arctic blast blew in and we're having temperatures in the teens but at least there isn't any ice.)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Foxy the Watcher

This is Foxy II

When I was young I had lots of stuffed animals like many young girls probably did. I loved each one of them as if they were real, live pets. My brothers took great delight in abusing them by punching and throwing them which sent me into fits of rage.

Foxy took plenty of beatings from the boys as well as from my cats. I had a crazy cat who thought Foxy was his love mate. He'd actually try to "woo" her if you know what I mean. Having been raised on a farm, I knew exactly what the old boy was up to and I didn't like the fact that he was raping my precious Foxy one little bit. Another cat just gave him baths and kneaded his tired (nonexistent) muscles with her paws.

All of those years of my petting and the boys' pounding and the rapings and kneading from the cats took a toll on poor old Foxy and by the time I was a teenager, all I had left of Foxy was his tail. By age 17 I finally had to give him up and let him rest in peace (pieces).

Fast forward 33 years to my 50th birthday. The one brother who pounded on Foxy the most was super excited to give me a birthday gift. As I reached my hand into the gift bag I felt the  most wonderful thing. Could it be true? Did I feel the familiar rough fur from so many years ago? YES!! It was another Foxy! Foxy #2!! Apparently, my sweet brother searched for years to find a mink from a broken mink stole just like the one I had as a child. He found lots of them but they were attached to whole wraps and cost hundreds of dollars and all he wanted was one and it had to be cheap. He finally hit pay dirt when he visited an antique store, found 5 minks sewn together and after telling the shop owner the story of his long, long quest, the guy sold it to him for super cheap because he liked the story so much. Mission accomplished.

At my birthday party, family members who didn't know about my love for Foxy looked on in horror as I pulled out those musty dusty minks and deeply inhaled the scent of a long lost friend. They grossed out at the fact that the minks still had feet and toenails and dusty, rough fur but I loved them. I played with one of Foxy's feet so much on the way home, one of them fell off and I carried it around in my purse for months. I LOVE all 5 of my Foxys! Who would have thought that a musty old partial mink stole could be such an epic awesome gift? I love that my brother thought enough of me to search for 35 years for something so odd and let me tell you, Foxy 2 has a special place at the foot of my bed and NO cats are allowed around it. This one will last a long time because I don't have pesky brothers beating up on it. Who knows, Foxy might last long enough for one of my future grand kids to adopt it and love it just as much as I do.