Friday, May 28, 2010

Names have been changed to protect the guilty

Yesterday I was sitting at my desk, working quietly, thinking wholesome churchy thoughts...because I work at a church and that's what we do.  A couple of similarly wholesome churchy gals came into the office and started discussing their movie plans for the evening and invited me to come along.  I asked what we were seeing and they said Sex and The City 2 at the Broussard theater at 6:20.  That sounded doable to me so I agreed to come along.  I texted Jayson and told him I was going to a movie and out for coffee with the girls so I would be home late.  Then I texted Taylor and asked her if she wanted to go with us.  My daughter's moral compass points a little more north than mine.  She did not approve of our movie choice and declined the offer.  I really screwed up with her somewhere along the line.

Just because I agreed to go to Movie Night With The Girls, doesn't guarantee my actual participation.  I am known to agree to almost anything during the day but once I get home, all bets are off.  As soon as I walk in the door in the evenings, I spontaneously molt out of my clothes and into a t-shirt and sweat pants or shorts with no binding undergarments.  After that, nothing short of a severed limb can make me leave my house.  And that's iffy since we've determined that a styptic stick will stop the bleeding.

When I got home from work last night, I immediately dove into a project to keep myself from molting out of my clothes and it worked for a while.  Just about the time I started to give in, the phone rang and one of the Movie Night Girls asked if I wanted to ride with her since we live near each other.  I usually prefer to take my own car places and not have anyone relying on me for a ride in case the whole thing tanks and I need an out.  But, I agreed since it didn't make sense for both of us to drive all the way out to Broussard and back while the ocean is filling up with oil.  So now I was locked in.

My ride showed up and we had a nice drive to the theater.  I don't know why the Broussard theater was chosen, but I thought maybe it was because some of the Movie Night Girls didn't want to get caught at this particular movie.  Then I remembered who the Movie Night Girls were and knew that definitely wasn't the case.  It had to be the ticket prices which are $2 cheaper than the Lafayette theater.  Wow, I had no idea.  And there wasn't a huge crowd either.  The only downside, other than a little bit of a drive, is that the Broussard theater doesn't have Twizzlers.  I thought every theater had it's a requirement or something.  Apparently not.  I soothed my disappointment with an Icee.

Gal Pal #1 (not her real name) and I got our snacks and made our way into the theater.  The Gals who got there first reserved some seats for the rest of us.  I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture, but they draped napkins over the seat backs which I thought was a very classy touch.  In all, there were 9 of us wayward church ladies in attendance.

I wasn't expecting much from the movie and that's about what it delivered.  I will say, it was not nearly as raunchy as I was expecting.  I've seen a couple of episodes of the TV show, one was entertaining and the other one I couldn't finish watching because I got all embarrassed.  The movie had 2 sex scenes where we were treated to very brief (and busy) male backsides.  The scenes were so short, I really didn't have time to get uncomfortable.  And anyone who's been married longer than 5 minutes knows that when it comes to bare male backsides, the briefer the glance the better.

I am extremely easily entertained and rarely completely dislike a movie, and I didn't completely dislike this one.  The acting was bad.  Noticeably bad.  And the actresses are really showing their age, which wouldn't be a bad thing if they were acting their age.  But there were a few funny parts and some touching scenes that had to do with motherhood.  Maybe I would have liked it better if I was more into fashion.  Since I'm not, I found the clothes to be ridiculously impractical.  These 4 girls were walking through the desert in Abu Dhabi wearing stilettos.  I just didn't get it.  The only thing I did get, which, okay is ridiculously impractical but I love it anyway, is these sunglasses on a stick.   I have no idea why I like these so much but I do!  In fact, I'm really regretting throwing out Taylor's broken sunglasses a few weeks ago because I'm dying to make my own (not Chanel) sunglasses on a stick.

I also made a note to remind myself to pick up a Maybach like each of the girls in the movie had at my earliest convenience.  And I also suggested to, uh, Gal Pal #2 that she book flights for the next Haiti mission trip on the same airline they used in the movie.  Actually, I think that one was fictitious but Emirates Airline has the exact same suites.  I think we could serve the Lord more productively if we traveled like this.

After the movie we walked over to Starbuck's to grab an espresso before bedtime only to be reminded that it was 5 minutes until closing time.  Who should we run into but the next wave of Movie Night Girls waiting for the 9:30 show.  Who knew this movie would be so popular among church ladies?  We later found out that the 9:30 Girls had the privilege of being seated in front of a bunch of drunk gay guys in drag.  Some girls have all the luck!  That just sounds like fun to me.  I can hear the tut-tut of my daughter's disapproval in the back of my head.

So we left the second wave of Movie Night Girls and headed over to CC's for our nightcap.  We  talked and laughed and drank our coffee and ate our cookies and scared off some youngsters.  A good time was had by all.  Whoever said church ladies are stuffy and boring has obviously never met MY church ladies.  We talk about our sex lives, we laugh until we pee our pants (not always because of the sex life conversations), we cry over the bad choices our children make,  we discuss our latest diet over a pan of brownies,  we complain about the electric bill, and occasionally we tiptoe across the line...but if one of us steps too far, another one is there to pull her back.  Those are my kind of gals.  

I should probably have whiplash from the number of times I've had to be saved from myself but I sure do like pushing that envelope.  I'm working on that.  Case in point: earlier this week I was at a staff meeting at church explaining how the new website would be more like a blog and we would embed some of the existing ministry blogs that we have.  Someone at the meeting asked if the new website would have a link to this blog.  Marti and Dennis both jumped up at the same time and screamed, "NO!!!"  Gee, I wonder what they meant by that?  :) 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oh, Snap!

I thought I'd wait until today to write about the weekend since this is my day off.  That way I could take my time, think about what I'm going to say, reflect leisurely, and enjoy the process.  Not to mention I could use the "I have to blog" excuse to get out of doing other unpleasant tasks such as cleaning, laundry, brushing my teeth, etc.  Mind you, there is no one here telling me to clean house and do the laundry, nor is there anyone here that I have to make excuses to.  It's just my head...telling myself what I need to do, then arguing with myself that I have other obligations such as entertaining myself with sarcastic anecdotes so I simply cannot be bothered with such mundane (and not entertaining) tasks as washing underwear.  Arguing with myself can be frustrating and exhausting but the good part about it is...I always win.

So basically, I'm blogging in dirty underwear.  Just so you know.  And I'm probably borderline mentally ill.  Oh, and you know my big plan to wait until Monday to write about the weekend?  I must have been temporarily insane when I had that idea.  I obviously forgot that I have no short-term memory.  Take my narcoleptic memory loss, add a heaping spoonful of hormones to the mix and I'm practically that guy from the movie Memento.  The next time you see me I may have my grocery list tattooed on my forearm.  Don't judge me.

Let's just see how much I can remember.  I have no memory at all of Friday night which I'm taking as a good sign that it was pleasant and uneventful.  Saturday....  Yes.  Saturday morning I woke up and Jayson had already cleaned the kitchen, the hall bathroom, and mopped all the floors.  I was so exhausted for him that I took an afternoon nap.  Eventually I did pitch in and we got the house straightened up.  Our house is never really "clean" and we're okay with that.  Everyone here either works all day or goes to school (or both) and we're tired when we get home.  I don't want to spend the last few remnants of my tiny allotment of daily energy on cleaning when I could be playing Words With Friends.  It's all about priorities. 

Saturday night we took Erin Farley to dinner and hung out for a little while.  She's doing some amazing work ministering to children, it was great to get caught up with her.  We ate at Sage Italian, which was good but I couldn't get my mind off their light fixtures.  It's a pendant light with a paper shade that reminds me of those cheesy party decorations with the honeycombed paper.

After a little Googling, I learned that these were designed by Karl Zahn and are made from Tyvek.  Brilliant!  They're not really that expensive either.  I'm not really looking for lighting options but that didn't stop me from Googling them and saving pictures of my top 100 favorites.  It's how I roll.  I'll share a few of the pictures I found just in case someone accidentally reads this and needs an interesting but impractical light fixture.

Apartment Therapy has this one made from toilet paper.

Cut Out and Keep gives instructions on how to make this one from drinking straws.

Jeffrey Rudell provides instructions for recreating his paper chandelier at Craft Stylish.  Just in case you're out of forks to stick in your eyes.

Okay, these aren't paper, they're reversible felt and you can buy them from if you can convert pounds to dollars.  Or we can all save a few bucks and a currency conversion nightmare by making our own out of construction paper like we did in first grade.

Sunday we went to first service at church then our small group met during second service.  Joel, my boss/worship pastor, had driven his uber geeky scooter to church Sunday morning and parked it under a tree by the stage exit.  This proved to be too much of a distraction/temptation to our small group, especially since we max out at about 10 on-task minutes per meeting.  Someone (I will not throw my husband under a bus) casually suggested we t.p. Joel's scooter.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.  Someone (again, not throwing Jayson under the bus) grabbed a roll and lovingly decorated Joel's ride.  He did have some help from two passers by who may or may not be named Mary and Melanie.  They were on their way to jump out of an airplane cuz that's just what they do after church.  Then someone (I'll help him out from under the bus later) put a crispy dead frog on the scooter seat and carefully belted him in with t.p.  We just considered this our small group community service project and the meeting was adjourned.

I should add that it would have been difficult to have an actual meeting since 2 of our members were missing and one was hemorrhaging in his car.  Chad nicked the top of his ear when he was shaving in the shower Sunday morning.  Chad is one of those bald guys who shaves his head.  I know, I don't get it either.  Anyway, he didn't realize he had cut himself until he discovered the scab during church and he did what you're supposed to do when you find a scab.  He picked it off.  Apparently his jugular runs across the top of his ear because his profuse bleeding cause him to miss the rest of the service and most of our small group meeting.  He finally went to the CVS across the street and bought a styptic stick which stopped the bleeding immediately.  We discussed the magic of the styptic stick and how if you severed a limb you could probably use it to stop the bleeding then go on about your day.

We all decided that Chad was looking a little pale and iron deficient and we figured Mexican food would restore him so we had lunch at Azteca's...which, in my opinion, is probably the most underrated Mexican food in town. Their salsa is great.  After lunch, Chad and Jamie had about 47 things to do, one of them being shopping for some pants for Chad, so Jayson decided he needed pants too.  We said our goodbyes then headed to Stein Mart where Jayson got 2 pairs of pants and 2 shirts, I got 1 shirt.  Stein Mart is too pricey for me.  The shirt I got was $14.95!  Of course its original price was $118 so I guess I shouldn't complain but I hate paying over $10 for an article of clothing.  That's just wasting good money that I could be spending on Tyvek lamp shades or something.

After Stein Mart we headed over to the library to pickup some books that were being held for us.  I got a cheesy romance novel and Jayson got some golf book or something.  Yawn. 

Anyway on the way home Jayson said, "Oh snap!" 

I said, "What?" 

He said, "Did I say it right?  You know, in the right context?"

I said, "There was no context.  No one was saying anything."

Apparently Jayson heard someone say "oh snap" a few days ago and he'd never heard it before and wanted to sound all young and hip.  Taylor would have rolled her eyes and said, "FAIL!"  So we had a discussion on the appropriate usage of "oh snap" and then did some role playing exercises so we could practice sounding natural when we say it. Unfortunately for me, a recovering potty mouth, when an emphatic "oh" comes out of my mouth, "snap" is not the word that naturally wants to follow it.  I have to stop, think, regroup, then speak.  After some practice, we were both satisfied that we could say "oh snap" and sound exactly like the people we are: The King of the Geeks and his lovely wife, the Nerd Queen. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bruised and battered for the better

My new friend Beverly is recovering from eye surgery and is still in that battered and bruised stage.  She'll heal and it will be fabulous but she reminded me of a surgery I had years ago.

Well, let me back up.  I've been sleepy for 25 years.  Not the drowsy, stayed up too late, need more rest kind of sleepy, but the oh my gosh I am absolutely going to DIE if I don't fall asleep right this very instant kind of sleepy.  Believe it or not, there is a big difference. 

When I was a senior in high school, I got mono...from sharing a Coke with someone, of course...which can cause some pretty serious fatigue.  I was sick, but functioning, for about 6 months.  My sister said she was walking down the hall in school one day behind this pitiful, emaciated girl who was pasty and freakishly thin.  Then she realized it was me.  Yeah, buddy, I was a looker.  Anyway, I got over the mono but the extreme fatigue never went away.

I just wrote it off as hereditary laziness until I started falling asleep while I was driving.  I'm not talking about driving cross country, I would doze off in the 5 minute drive from my house to Target.  I started thinking maybe that wasn't normal.

My first thought was sleep apnea.  Jayson said I sometimes....purr...when I sleep.  I certainly do NOT snore.  Much.  So I went to my favorite ENT doctor who took my tonsils out when I was 14 and still maintained a thriving practice between his golf games.  He took one look at the back of my throat and noted that I had way too much soft palate back there which could cause...purring...and could block my airway while I slept.  He recommended I have a uvulopalatoplasty where they essentially remove the uvula (that little hangy downy thing in the back of your throat) and the surrounding loose tissue.  He said my throat would be "uncomfortable" for about 2 weeks, then everything would be peachy.  Sounded doable to me.

During the exam he also noted that I had a deviated septum that needed to be corrected and he could do that procedure at the same time.  Worked for me.  Then he said, very delicately, "so, Mrs. Green, while we're in there is therrrre....anything else you'd like to have done...." as he waved the pen in his hand around my nose like it was a magic wand.

Okay, fine, I had a little bit of excess nose with some pointy protrusions on the sides.  You know when a cartoon character swallows a bone and they show it stuck in their throat sideways?  It looked like my nose swallowed a bone.  It wasn't altogether hideous, it just gave me a little more character than I cared to have.  Since a nose job isn't covered by insurance but he was already going in there anyway, he cut me a really good deal.  Sort of a buy 2 get 1 free type thing.

So, I went in for surgery (out patient if I remember correctly) to have the uvulopalatoplasty, septoplasty, and rhinoplasty.  I was told I would have a sore throat for 2 weeks and possibly some bruising around my eyes.  The day after surgery I would have to go back to the doctor so he could remove the packing in my nose.  Which, by the way, I am convinced was the inspiration for that trick that magicians do where they pull a 50 foot long scarf out the palm of their hand.  The doctor started pulling out the packing in my nose and more and more of it kept coming out until I was convinced that he was pulling my brain out through my nose.  It was not a pleasant experience.

Anyway...when I got home after the surgery, Shamayn brought Taylor to the house to see me.  She was probably 4 or 5 at the time and evidently Mayn had warned her that I was going to be bandaged and bruised and wouldn't look very good.  Taylor walked into the bedroom, looked at my face and tears welled up in her big brown eyes.  She said all tearfully, "Mommy?  I don't think you're gonna make it."  It hurt to laugh but I reassured her that I would, eventually, make it.

Then a couple of days later I had second thoughts.  And very vivid fantasies about torturing and killing that lying, deceiving, golf-playing doctor of mine.  He said I would have a sore throat.  He said it would be like getting my tonsils out where I would have to eat ice cream and jello for a while.  Ice cream and jello??  I couldn't swallow my own spit!  Sore throat does not begin to describe the pain I was in.  Childbirth would be closer but there would be fun baby at the end of it.  It was excruciating.  And it wasn't just the surface pain in my throat, it was the muscular pain that really got to me.  If I tried to swallow I would feel this sharp, stabbing pain going from my throat straight up into each ear.  No one warned me about that.  Oh, and that whole "2 weeks" thing?  Big. Fat. Lie.  I was miserable for over a month.  I couldn't breathe through my nose because of the swelling and yucky scabby stuff going on in there, but I couldn't breathe out of my mouth either because air felt like fire.  So basically I didn't eat, drink or breathe for about a month.

Eventually, everything healed.  I held on to the bruises around my eyes for almost 2 months which proved to be sort of fun once the bandages and swelling were gone.  I probably looked like a battered wife but I pretended I was a bad girl who got into fights.

Did this solve my problem with fatigue?  No.  It did not.  I could have been a little mad about that, but I got a discount nose job out of the deal.  I told my neurologist (who was treating me for migraines) about my continued fatigue and he said I could have something called central apnea which causes you to stop breathing while you sleep but not from a physical obstruction. My great aunt had narcolepsy so that was also an option.  He scheduled me for a sleep study to see what was up.

The sleep study showed that I have extremely fragmented sleep patterns.  During the study I woke up, not always to full consciousness, 3 or 4 times an hour.  There is another test called an MSLT that is usually given after a sleep study to verify narcolepsy but the doctor said that wasn't even necessary since he could see that my patterns are so screwed up.  So, I started taking medication to treat narcolepsy and I no longer fall asleep in my car, at the mall, on the phone, or in the middle of an IMAX  movie.  I am still tired 24/7 but I don't have that urgent, panicky *need* to sleep.  I just want to.  All the time.

So, that's what I've been thinking about since Beverly had her eye unnecessary yet beneficial nose/throat surgeries.  Well, the deviated septum did need to be fixed.  It was actually lying on its side so that part was necessary. 

Come to think of it, that's not the only time one of us has had surgery because of well-meaning yet inaccurate medical advice.  Jayson still whines about that.  Men are such babies, it was just one little vasectomy.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If one's good, 638 are better

Look what I got today!!  638 little glass bottles from one of my most favorite places to order from: American Science & Surplus.  They set me back a whole $16.95.  How could I not buy them?  The only downside to this whole transaction is that I simply cannot figure out why there are 638.  They came all sealed up nice and neat and wrapped in bubble wrap so I'm assuming that's the way they come from the manufacturer but why 638??  It's driving me crazy!!  It's not even divisible by 12!  How insane is that??!! this will really bake your noodle...technically I did not receive 638 because 2 of them arrived broken.  2 out of 638 is not bad at all so I decided against demanding my 4/100ths of a cent back.  Here's the noodle baking part: Because of the 2 broken bottles, I received 636 bottles which IS DIVISIBLE BY 12!!!!  636 makes perfect sense!!  Maybe they knew.  Maybe they intentionally calculate 2 broken bottles per shipment so that their customers will receive a logical number of bottles. Or...maybe I'm undermedicated.

Assuming I can ever work past the math nightmare, I'm going to make something fabulous out of these.  Well, not all of them but a good portion of them.  I saw some cute necklaces on a Facebook page that were made from these little bottles and I want to try to make my own version.  Of course,  I will most likely go completely overboard and end up with something so huge and bulky it can never be worn but that's okay because there's a word for that.  It's not "mistake" it's "object d'art".

I already know I'm going to use guitar wire as the necklace base but the tough part will be coming up with enough interesting doodads to fill the bottles.  I could fill all 638...uh 636...with beads right now.  I've got enough in my stash to do that but how boring is that?  I want interesting doodads but they have to be tiny interesting doodads.  I will likely be collecting tiny things for a while before this can materialize.

I worked on Kaelei's paint chip book a little more last night.  I made a page with library pockets on each side for some of the samples.  I want to make at least 2 more pages like it with empty pockets for her to fill up any way she wants.  I've also decided I want to cover it in fabric and attach handles so it will be easier for her to carry.  At the rate I'm going she'll be getting this for Christmas 2015. 

Uumm.  That's all I have to say.  The end.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Collections and obsessions

I almost started this off by saying, "I'm not much of a collector" but that would be sort of a lie.  It would be more accurate to say that I'm not a collector of traditional, collectible type things.  Antiques are great, but only if they're useful.  I love old china and dishes but why anyone would hang a plate on a wall is beyond me.  How you gonna eat your cake off that thing??  And I never met a Hummel figurine that I didn't want to throw up against a wall.

I guess you could say I have a...sizable collection of art supplies, collage doodads and ephemera.  But the goal with those is not just to accumulate more, I do actually use the stuff.  Occasionally.

The only thing I have that I would consider a collectible where I actually seek out more of them just to have them, is my small assortment of dutch Delft pottery.  This is not the traditional blue and white pottery that you might think of when you hear Delft.  This stuff has a funky turquoise and gold swirly pattern on it and usually has some brass on it somewhere.  I think this was made sometime between the 1940s and 1970s and evidently it didn't go over too well.  There's not a whole lot of it so it's hard to find but it's not valuable or expensive or anything.   

The first piece I got was from my Grandmother when she died and it's the tall skinny ewer on the far left in this picture.  That's your free scrabble word for the day.  "Ewer".  It's a small pitcher.  I'm not sure why we need another word for pitcher but ewer certainly is easier to play in a scrabble game.  My sister and I used this piece when we would play I Dream of Jeannie at my Grandmother's house.  It was the bottle that we would blink ourselves into.  Good times.

All of the other pieces I've found on eBay.  Today I got the small ewer and the little covered dish in the front of the picture.  I'm really excited about the covered dish!  The little ewers and vases I can find on eBay pretty easily but I think I already have at least one of every shape and size.  It's the little dishes and bowls without any brass on them that don't show up every often.  So when you're out shopping or junquing keep your eyes peeled and report back if you see any of these.

My niece, Kaelei, has a collection of paint chips that might just lean a little more toward the obsession side.  I'm sure not one to judge since on more than one occasion I have walked out of Lowe's with one of every single paint sample available on their shelves.

I got an idea to make some kind of collection book for Kaelei where she could store her paint chips and use them to make little crafty things if she wants to.  I made a few little mini notebooks for her and a couple of bookmarks.  Then I took some of the textured samples and put a small piece inside some slide mounts.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with those yet.

So now I'm trying to figure out how to make the collection book.  I've decided I'm going to use a binder I got from Susan Malcolm.  She sells these really cute personalized notecards and wedding invitations.  She has sample books you can look through and when the companies put out new sample books she has no use for the old ones.  I think one of her old sample books will make an awesome collection binder for Kaelei's paint chips!

I'm still working out the details for how this is going to look but the process sure is fun!  I'll post updates as I continue to work on it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You should write a blog

So I've caved to peer pressure, yet again, and started another blog, yet again.  People are always telling me, "you should write a blog".  What they may not realize is that I have written a blog.  Many blogs.  I am a serial blogger.  I start a blog, post 4 or 5 times, then completely lose interest and let it die a slow painful death.  I have murdered 5 or 6 different blogs and I feel sure this one will eventually suffer the same fate.  Oh well.

Now that I've resurrected the blog, I have nothing to say.  This is why I don't blog, it's why I don't sell my artwork.  The pressure to perform completely paralyzes me.  I love to write but the only way I can do it is to convince myself that no one really reads it.  If I can ever get over these freaky quirks, I'm going to write a book.  Someday.  About...something.

Jayson and I went to first service at church this morning then went to IHOP for brunch.  I can't figure out why a city this size known for it's abundant and diverse eating establishments has the smallest IHOP I've ever been in.  And the place is always packed wall to wall with a 20 minute wait.  Whoever owns it has to be making a killing.  We put our name on the list and settled in for our wait with about 20 other people.

We stood up against a wall for about 10 minutes next to a long row of chairs set up for the waiting masses.  When the 2 people sitting in the chairs closest to us were called to their table, I looked around to make sure there were no elderly or disabled people waiting, then grabbed the seats.  Jayson was on the very end and I was next to a woman who was holding her toddler in her lap. 

I am not exactly known for my love of humanity, a character flaw I am working to improve, but I like most kids most of the time.  For the little ones, there seems to be something about my face that they find funny because I can usually get them to smile pretty easily.  I don't ever try to analyze that phenomenon because it might depress me, I just tell myself that they are drawn to my dazzling smile.  Yeah, whatever.

So Jayson and I entertained ourselves by making faces at the toddler next to us and occasionally picking up her binky that she kept spitting onto the floor.  I didn't see any other kids around her but I knew she had to have brothers or sisters because her mom didn't even wipe off the binky before she plugged it back into the kid's mouth.  That's not her first baby.

Just as they were called to their table, an elderly couple came in and headed toward the empty seats beside us.  I couldn't tell exactly what kind of medical issue the woman had but her husband was carrying a black bag that she appeared to be hooked up to.  The wife was leaning on the husband for support as she walked, but it looked to me like the husband sure needed someone to lean on too.

They waddled over to the seats beside us and the husband helped his wife to get seated and comfortable before he sat down.  I should say before he began the process of trying to sit down.  Because I was already seated and because this man standing beside/in front of me was bent at the waist in preparation to be seated, I couldn't help but notice that his backside was freakishly wide.  This observation turned to panic when I saw that not only was his backside not going to be contained in his own chair (spill over was inevitable and my chair was right next to his), but he was a little shaky and off balance and aiming right for my lap.

There was nothing I could do.  My whole life flashed before my eyes.  Because of his position in front of me I couldn't stand up to help him or even move out of his way.  I reflexively raised my hands as if waiting to catch a pass and run it in for a touchdown.  Fortunately, the earth shifted on its axis just in time and the man swiveled perfectly into his seat with minimal uncomfortable spillover.

I sure hope this doesn't sound disrespectful because I like old people just fine.  In fact whenever I see an elderly couple I wonder what Jayson and I will be like at their age.  Will one of us have to take care of the other, will we be active (which would be weird since we're not that active now), will we be 'that sweet elderly couple' or will we be 'those cranky old people', etc.? 

I think most old people are cute as can be, I just don't want to sit next to them on an airplane.  Does that make me a bad person?  They're not like most people where once you put in your ear buds they get the message and don't try to talk to you.  Oh no.  Old people don't mind at all that you're not listening and trying desperately to sleep, they've got a captive audience, by gosh, and 47 grandchildren to describe in painful detail.

To be fair, that was one elderly lady on one 3 hour flight that felt like it lasted for 4 months.  I shouldn't lump all elderly people in with her, especially since I'll probably be just like her some day.  And on that day, if there is a God in heaven who loves me, I will find myself on a cross country flight seated next to one of her grandchildren.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

All good things must come to an end

Our week of fun has come to an end. My sister and her family left for Dallas on Sunday to spend the week there getting some medical stuff taken care of. I miss them, it's too quiet around here! I didn't realize how adding just 4 extra people would increase our overall consumption of...everything. In the 8 days they were here we went through 4 half gallons of ice cream and 14 rolls of toilet paper. Not that the two are related.

I forgot to tell about our trip to Cedar Deli on Friday. Shamayn and I had been out shopping and were starving and just happened to be in the neighborhood of Cedar Deli. It was after the lunch crowd so we pretty much had the place to ourselves except for these 2 middle eastern guys who appeared to be friends of the owner. After we placed our order, the owner introduced one of the guys, an Egyptian, to us and said he's some kind of awesome singer. The Egyptian guy began serenading us with what I'm sure is the latest hit from Arabic Idol. He reminded us of our grandfather, who was Lebanese and was known to carry a tune now and then. We then impressed our new Egyptian friend with our small vocabulary of Arabic words that we'd learned from our grandfather. They're all curse words but we were just trying to be polite and speak to him in his own language. Apparently, he was so impressed that he was speechless and couldn't even sing anymore after that.

I had the pita with tabbouleh in it and Mayn had a falael pita. We decided it was a Cajun falafel because there was a hint of Tony's in it. Mayn bought some halva to munch on and we couldn't resist the fresh baklava on the counter. I wasn't going to get any at first because I'm usually disappointed in commercial baklava. It just doesn't even come close to my Sita's. But...I didn't want to be rude so I got a piece for the road. We made it as far as the car before we both inhaled our desserts. All I can say is Oh My Gosh! That was the BEST baklava I've ever had, including my Sita's, God rest her soul. We couldn't pinpoint exactly what made it so good but I could have eaten a dozen more pieces. We figured it was laced with meth. The nuts were ground finer than any I'd ever had before. They were almost powdery but not dry at all. And it tasted like there was either halva or tahina in it. All I know is I need another fix.

Saturday afternoon we all went over to Chad & Jamie's house for a crawfish boil. Kaelei was fascinated and ate her fair share. Presley ate one then refused any more after that. Mike and Mayn both got schooled on how to behead their supper and did quite well.

Kaelei climbed up to the famous Thibodeaux Tree House and discovered that getting up there was a lot easier than getting down. But she did it! While Presley was watching the kids jump on the trampoline, his little legs were bouncing and his arms were swinging up and down like he was up there with them. Mayn finally gave in and let him jump. He went back and forth between elation and terror. He would jump a little and be laughing hysterically, then he'd look at his mama, hold his arms out and say, "hold you?" The Thibodeaux and Lanier kids were very kind to both Kaelei and Presley. Emily and Kaelei had extensive crawfish discussions and the kids settled down on the trampoline and made room for Presley while he jumped.

When we got there, the womenfolk were in the kitchen peeling about a million cloves of garlic. I sat down to help and join in the conversation. I'm not sure how the conversation ended up where it did but I'm relatively certain I was not completely responsible. All I know is, there was extensive discussion about various personal ailments as well as a debate over the most acceptable (and hilarious) term to use when referring to a specific body part. In the end, we agreed to disagree but we all left with some new vocabulary words we can be proud of.

All in all, it was the perfect ending to our week!

Done in by a dead battery that wasn't even mine.

I think my sister and I have managed to irritate every single antique store owner in town. Let me explain something about the Kennedy family. Any time they go shopping, whether it's one of them or all of them, the event is a minimum three hour tour. A three hour tour. They are excruciatingly thorough. This is a fabulous benefit when you're looking for something particular. If it can be found, my sister will find it. She can spot a single thimble in a case full of antique brooches, Nippon teacups and 8-track tapes at 100 yards. I don't think the antique store owners appreciated her talents when after hours and hours of shopping we both leave the store with a whopping $6.00 purchase.

One lady said to us, "well y'all are the last of the big spenders, aren't ya?" We just smiled and said yup. Then another lady said, "I see you both found a little trinket. A little treasure. A little something to enjoy" (emphasis on the "little" part). Hey, it's not our fault their stuff is overpriced. Or maybe we're cheap.

I discovered that Shamayn and I have very different philosophies when it comes to shopping for antiques. She looks for little collectibles that will likely increase in value over time. There is not a piece of china in the entire parish that my sister hasn't turned upside to read the bottom. I've actually learned a lot from her.

When I shop for antiques, they have to meet a certain criteria that goes something like this:

1. I have to like it. Let's face it, some antiques are butt ugly. I don't give a rip how valuable they are, if I don't like them I'm not buying them.

2. It has to serve a purpose. I have enough dust catchers that sit in my house and do nothing, I don't need more. The stuff I buy will be used...maybe not for the purpose in which it was intended, but used nonetheless.

3. Anything meant to be used in the kitchen must be able to survive both the dishwasher and the microwave. This is non-negotiable and it includes fine china, crystal, silver, etc. My first set of dishes was a set of Noritake china that belonged to my great grandmother. The pattern has pink flowers on it with a platinum band around the edges and I have every piece including the gravy boat and the teapot. If I was a collector I might be really excited about that because it would increase the value of the set but actually I'm just excited about it because it means I can serve gravy and tea. Anyway, that kind of thing isn't exactly dishwasher or microwave safe but it survived both on a daily basis.

Today we cranked it down a notch and tore up the Jockey Lot. This was a little more our speed since the shop owners were dang thankful for our $6.00 purchases. We actually spent a little more than that because we grabbed a flat of strawberries on the way out. You impulse purchase. This required us to stop at the Winn Dixie on our way home to pick up the rest of the strawberry shortcake supplies. As we were loading up our purchases, the man in the car next to us said his battery was dead and asked if we could give him a jump. I asked if he had cables and he said yes. Crap, I was locked in to doing a good deed.

So Dead Battery Man goes to hook up the cables to my battery and begins to lecture me on how I really need to clean the corrosion off the terminals or I'm going to end up stranded like he is. I'm thinking to myself, I may end up stranded, but it won't be quite like you since I'm pretty sure my butt crack won't be showing.

Dead Battery Man tells me that all I need to do is pour some Coke on the terminals and it will clean the corrosion right off. Or I can mix up some baking soda and water to clean it. I'm smiling and nodding because I've heard all this before and I still have corroded terminals because I have a strict policy of never looking under the hood of my car unless it stops working. Right now, it's working fine so I can't be bothered with corrosion.

I asked Dead Battery Man, "do you want to hook those up?" because he's still picking at the corrosion and judging me because of it and I'm starting to feel intimidated by this man whose sweat pants are slowly working their way down his backside. He says, "hang on, I just want to check something out." Then he goes over to his car and re-clamps the cables to his battery for the tenth time and comes back over to my car and does the same. He fiddles some more, scratches his head and says, "hhmm, nothing's happening."

I know less than nothing about cars but one thing I do know is that at some point he is supposed to try to start his car. So I asked, "do you want to try to start your car now?" And again he replies, "hang on, I just want to check something out." He leans in his car window and tells his girlfriend to hand over her bottle of Coke and let me tell you, she was none too happy about it. Then he walks over and says, "I just want to test this theory" and he dumps half the bottle of Cherry Coke onto my battery and starts fiddling with cables and terminals again.

Shamayn doubles over laughing and I'm not sure if it's because this guy just poured a Coke all over my car battery (which is obviously something he's been dying to try all his life) or if it's because I stood there and let him. Dead Battery Man is really starting to irritate me now so I asked, "did it work?" And he replied, "hang on, I just want to check something out." This caused Shamayn to completely lose it and her laughter was causing such a scene that Dead Battery Man asked me what she was laughing at and insisted I let him in on the joke so he could laugh too. I just said, "oh, she's a giggler" then gave her the task of snapping some pictures to keep her occupied and out of trouble.
So he finally gets the cables all hooked up to his satisfaction but still doesn't make a move toward the driver's seat so I asked, "do you want to try to start your car now?" And he replied, "hang on, I just want to....". By this time I was at the end of a rope I never had in the first place. I interrupted him and said, "oh dear, I think our ice cream is going to melt before we get it home." We had no ice cream, this was a blatant lie that I still feel absolutely no remorse over. Melted ice cream was obviously something Dead Battery Man was strongly against because he quickly hopped in his car, turned the key and we heard nothing but a click.

Dead Battery Man waddled back over to my car and said he had a feeling from the beginning that it wasn't a battery problem because he didn't see any of the sparking you sometimes see when you hook up the cables. Jumper cables, and electricity in general, scare me. I made sure to stand at least 10 feet behind this guy and away from our cars this whole time. In an effort to continue to educate me about my car battery, he unhooks the cables from my car and walks up right beside me thanks to the special 50-foot long cables he has that are only available to car battery superheroes who travel the world fighting against evil terminal corrosion. Then he whacks both the clamps together and says, "see? If my battery had any juice at all we'd be seeing sparks."

The only thing I could think to say in response, which thankfully I didn't say out loud, was, "maybe you shouldn't have used *Cherry* Coke."

When Pigs Fly

My sister and I went on another little outing today. We spent several hours browsing through all the little pretties at When Pigs Fly off Johnston. I used to go there all the time when they were in Scott but I thought they closed, didn't realize they had just relocated. Der.

Like any good indoor flea market/antique store, the place is huge with lots of little rooms off big rooms and more littler rooms off those. After the first hour, it was clear we should have packed a lunch and brought a compass with us. Their prices and the selection of stuff was better than the places we visited was hot. Dang hot. It's a big warehouse type place that doesn't have air conditioning but they do have lots of big fans set up to circulate the scalding hot air.

Their furniture was reasonably priced and they have lots of 50s era formica dining table sets that I just love. I also love those metal clam shell motel chairs that everybody's grandmother used to have on their patio. I have fond memories of going to visit aunt and uncle so-and-so during the summer and plopping down on a metal lawn chair in the back yard then smelling my own sizzling flesh as it was ripped from the backs of my legs when I stood up. I want to know what idiot thought those things would be a good idea for North Texas summers.

I bought a couple of small things but I left behind several things that are still calling my name from the store. One of them is a cobalt carnival glass pitcher that matches the footed bowl I have that was my grandmother's. The other is a set of milk glass spice jars that would be perfect for storing little sundries. My little sundries are in desperate need of attractive storage solutions. The only problem is that I need a heck of a lot more than 12 jars for my sundries. By the way, I opened a wardrobe in the store and it had little metal labels on its shelves for "shirts", "belts" and "sundries", so I've been all about sundries today.

They had this freaky metal medical cabinet that I just love. It's all rusty and gross but it plugs in and has this compartment on top for where they sterilized medical instruments. It's so Frankenstein...I love it!

Then there was this pie safe type cabinet that someone had put hardware cloth in the front of. Have you seen those earring holders that are made from attaching a piece of metal screening to a picture frame? I love those. Well, this cabinet sort of reminded me of those and I thought it would be such a cool thing to have in your bedroom or closet/dressing room. I would hang all my earrings and necklaces and costume jewelry from the hardware cloth on the outside so it would just be covered in colorful doodads. Then inside would be the perfect place to store scarves and purses and belts and hats and little accessories like that. I might have to go back and get that thing tomorrow.

Another weakness I have is for printers cabinets, trays, letters and supplies. I can't afford the cabinets, including this one which is in excellent condition and needs a loving home.

After about 3 hours of digging through all the fun antique stuff, Mayn and I realized that we were both extremely overheated and dehydrated. I don't know why neither one of us thought to grab a bottle of water before we left the house. We both thought that chewing a piece of gum might trick our bodies into thinking that we weren't really thirsty but that little plan backfired. I couldn't create enough saliva to turn the gum into gum. Shamayn had a little better luck than I did but after about a minute of chewing, the gum made her cotton mouth even worse so when we got outside the store and headed for the car, she gave her gum a good healthy blow thinking she'd shoot it across the parking lot and away from unsuspecting shoe soles. In her weakened state, her aim was off and she shot her gum directly onto the flag pole in the parking lot. And yes, we left it there. It was too funny not to.

Happy Mother's Day to Us!

Shamayn and I went on a little outing today. We started out at that flea market by the church. They had lots of good junk, especially the kind of junk I like which is pretty much anything as long as it's en masse. This big box of marbles kept me mesmerized for a good 20 minutes.
They had lots of stuffed stuff too. I thought the cowboys were just a bunch of dummies they dressed up for fun until I saw that someone had stuffed not only your typical lions, bears an deer...but also skunks and nutria. Now I'm thinking those cowboys are an example of someone's taxidermy hobby that got out of hand. We browsed for a good hour and managed to spend about a buck a piece. We thought their junk was a little on the pricey side.

Our next stop was the Maurice Flea Market. They had more antiques, less junk. Mayn bought a couple more thimbles for her collection and I found a fabulous set of old Samsonite luggage that's in mint condition. I bought 2 of the 4 pieces and may go back for the other 2 later.

From there, we stopped off for lunch at the Villager where Shamayn confirmed that they do indeed have the best chili cheese fries on the planet. We stuffed ourselves full of good food and ambiance then headed to Sephora to pick up some girly essentials.

We probably spent a good 2 hours in there. The store manager said it was such a joy to see someone leisurely shopping and enjoying themselves, she rarely sees that these days and was so glad to have the opportunity watch us shop. I'm sure that had nothing to do with the fact that every half hour we dumped another $50 worth of stuff into our baskets. Shamayn was on a quest for some skin care products that will treat her extremely dry, crusty, flaky, oily, slimy, acne-prone skin. I was looking for a lipstick that wasn't frosty or sparkly, not a clear gloss but nothing with a lot of color either, and something that will self-line without effort but not look like I have lip liner on. Sometime within this past year, I woke up to discover that I now have old lady lips and I'm none too happy about that. I bought a Smashbox Doubletake lip pencil just to prove to myself that I'm not at the coral stage yet. Someone just shoot me if I ever start wearing coral lipstick and matching nail polish. Oh. I did buy a new frosty blue nail polish that I really didn't need just to help ease the pain of the old lady lips.

While basking in the afterglow of our major cosmetics haul, our slightly impaired judgment told us that we needed to go pick up a chocolate dobash cake for supper. Mike had been watching the kids all day so they had already been fed and we wanted cake for supper because it's almost Mother's Day and we deserve it. We went to Southside Bakery, picked up the dobash cake as well as an assortment of cookies, pastries, and petite fours, most of which we ate in the car. As we were paying for our purchases, we were telling the little girl behind the counter at the bakery that we had just spent our childrens' college fund at Sephora and now we were having cake for dinner because it's Mother's Day and we can. Shamayn and I wished each other Happy Mother's Day and gave each other a big celebration hug. The little bakery girl laughed and said she hoped she could have as much fun as us when she got to be old.

That @#($%.

Picnics and Firearms

Today was the baptism/picnic at church so last night I decided I'd better slap some polish on my toenails so that my feet would look at least almost human in sandals. I polished them all pretty and was happy with the job I'd done until I looked at my sister's feet. She had given herself a very classy french manicure on her toes. For mine, I'd chosen a color called "Mint Sprint". Shamayn's toes look like they belong on a princess, mine belong on Shrek.

Today I discovered that a half gallon of Blue Bell's Caramel Turtle Fudge ice cream and an 8-count box of caramel Drumsticks have a shelf life of less than 24 hours in my house. I am blaming my sister for this. If she wasn't here, that stuff would have lasted 36...maybe even 48 hours.

This afternoon, Mike decided he wanted to take Taylor and Kaelei to Barney's to teach them how to shoot a gun. The last time he visited, he insisted they all go get pedicures. He's a well-rounded individual. Taylor is not much of a gun person but she was all for learning how to use one. She said she wanted to shoot a "three five seven magnum". I can only assume this is something she saw on a computer game because she didn't say it quite right and she had no clue that her 80 pound body would not be able to handle the recoil. Uncle Mike wisely chose to outfit each girl with their own 9mm.
Kaelei chose a bin Laden target and got in several good body shots. Mike delivered the kill shots to the head.

Taylor chose a plain target, took 3 or 4 shots then realized that she was holding a deadly weapon in her hand. It upset her so much that she cried and vowed to never touch another gun as long as she lives. I suppose that might make some parents happy but we're just confused and considering DNA testing to see who this child belongs to.

Shamayn wants to go to some antique stores or flea markets tomorrow so that will be our goal for the day. Well...that and keeping Presley from sticking another screwdriver into an electrical outlet. It had a rubber handle so it's all good.

For us girls only

My sister and I love shopping at second hand stores, flea markets, Goodwill, garage sales, etc. She showed up at my house with a box full of clothes that she bought for me at the Goodwill back home. They had a $.99 buy-one-get-one-free sale so she was able to get a ton of stuff!

Now, I'm not saying that Texas Goodwills are better than Louisiana Goodwills...but...Texas Goodwills are better than Louisiana Goodwills. I miss being able to plunk down $5.00 and walk out with a bag full of clothes. $5.00 at a Goodwill here will get you a tshirt. With armpit stains. I really even hate to admit this because complaining about how overpriced Goodwill is makes me feel like I might as well complain about those uppity snobs who live in that trailer park off the interstate. Yeah, I'm just jealous of them.

So I tried on all the things she brought and they fit perfectly. I wear a size 6 but an 8 feels so good that I buy a size 10 (Steel Magnolias). She also threw in a few hand-me-downs which I am certainly not opposed to. As much as I love second hand shopping, I draw the line at undergarments. The thought of wearing someone else's drawers is just creepy. This does not apply to my sister's drawers.

So...Shamayn gave me a few pairs of undies that she either never wore, or she wore once for 10 minutes. That's her story and I believe her. They are very cute undies, a little more...frilly...than what I buy which typically comes in a 10-pack and hangs next to the gum in the checkout line.

There are a couple of pairs that fall in the category can I say this delicately...butt floss. We have determined that this type of undergarment is not practical for real sized women because it gets lost under the excess rolls of flesh and it completely disappears. Waste-o-time. As I was going through the undie stash, I came across something that apparently got placed there by mistake. It appears to be an eye patch.

Family Week at The Greens

My sister and her family are spending the week with us which means double the insanity around the Green House.

I cleaned up the house today and decided to jump in the shower shortly before my sister was due to arrive. As I was getting ready to shower, Taylor knocked on the bathroom door and asked if Aunt Mayn drives a black car now because she can sort of see one in the driveway. I told her I didn't think so, unless they borrowed a car, but she should go outside and check to be sure.

A few minutes later she bolted into the bathroom which is extremely unusual for her. Normally she knocks and makes me list the articles of clothing I'm wearing so that she can insure that I am appropriately covered before she opens the door. This time she failed to inventory my clothing before bursting through the door and immediately realized her mistake as we both locked eyes like a couple of deer in the headlights. She slammed the door shut and I hear her mumbling on the other side, "oh my gosh, I will forever remember this day as the day I saw my mother naked". This was no big deal when she was 4, but apparently now the sight of me naked induces vomiting in my child. I told her to wait until she accidentally sees her grandmother naked. That vision has been burned into my retinas for the past 30 years.

So we got past the emotional scarring and I asked her if the car was Aunt Mayn's. She said, "Oh. No, that was my car." She hasn't quite gotten used to seeing her new car in the driveway.