Friday, October 31, 2008

Joke....Happy Halloween!

A man is walking home alone late one foggy Halloween night, when behind him he hears:




Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.




Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him.






He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him. However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping.




on his heels, as the terrified man runs.

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, he locks himself in. His heart is pounding; his head is reeling; his breath is coming in sobbing gasps.

With a loud CRASH the casket breaks down the door.

Bumping and clapping toward him.

The man screams and reaches for something, anything, but all he can find is a bottle of cough syrup! Desperate, he throws the cough syrup at the casket...


(hopefully you're ready for this!!!)

The coffin stops

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Picture Perfect - Festive

meurtos 008

So...what is a white girl doing with an altar for Dia de los Muertos? Well...I'll tell you.

1) I live in TX. Sadly, the part of TX that I live in is a pretty normal suburb. I am sure that my neighborhood looks pretty much like many in the US. But if you go south for a bit...well, that changes everything. Texas has an amazing connection with Mexico. Fred and I traveled to San Antonio a few years back and learned a great deal about the beauty of this state and its culture. One of our, now favorite restaurants, Mi Tierra, was decked out from head to toe for Christmas. It was a sight to see...but the thing that interested me was the altar. There was the traditional creche, but it was surrounded by devils and calaveras. I asked around and did some research, which eventually lead me to learn more about the Day of the Dead.

It is a remarkable holiday where people clean and decorate their graveyards, and have picnics while visiting their dead. It is a way of keeping our family members close and loved.

2) I grew up in a very Irish household, raised by my step-mother, who I didn't even know was not my birth mother until I was 7. Even after this was acknowledged, it was never spoken of. I don't know why, but I am fairly certain it is not healthy.

We carry so much of our past with us...whether it is emotional baggage, or genetics which carries pieces of our past into the future. Regardless, there is room in all of our lives to look back and forward at the same time. It is that space in between where we live.

So, here is my festive post. I type with my past watching over me knowing that for better or worse, they have influenced who I am today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


"I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about."
-- Oscar Wilde

So, like my friend Ang, who wrote about all the blogs that are still trapped in her head, I have to confess...I've got nothing.

Oh, I have ideas. Inklings of blogs that are half-formed, floating around the amniotic fluid that is my brain.

I have a really good one on an article I am reading for Qualitative Research. This article actually made me cry a bit...and I think I finally found out who I am as far as research theories go.

I have another one on being a disgruntled reader. The best books I have read lately have either been nonfiction or YA. I see trends people (yeah, it was kind of a play on words that alluded to 6th Sense...did you get that at all? No. It works better aloud..)

Oh...and I have a really good one about Post Traumatic Stress and my Quantitative Class presentation. For some strange reason I don't know why someone would do paired t-tests instead of an ANOVA. (I am just parroting the words here people...much of this is still Greek, although my Prof seems to think this is ok. ) I had a serious anxiety attack on my ride home from school.

And then there is the election. I will be so happy when it is over. I am tired of the hate being bantered around. It is wearing me out.

So...I am going to go to bed now and read. Tomorrow is another day. Maybe I will have a blog of substance to share.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Freeze Warning

I know River is going to get a kick out of this one....I got an email today from my employing city notifying us that we will have our first freeze tonight. It made the news too.

This is early for us...I have had years where the air conditioning was still on for Halloween!

Now I guess I need to go cover my plants (butterfly bushes and vinca are still in full bloom) and cover the spigot. Not.

Someone in our neighborhood has a fire going. It smells great.

I better stock up on some firewood...I think it will be a long winter.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Naaaaaame That BOOK!!!!

(cue wild applause!)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to play Naaaaame That BOOK! By the way, this is a blatant rip off of River's Name That Crap. is the book cover...

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1) Can you name that book?

Rosco Report

I recently posted some photos on Facebook, including the one of Rosco the day we got him.

I thought I would update you on his growth...

Here he is.

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You have seen previous videos of Rosco diving off the side of the pool to get his orange retrieval toy...well, he is quite confused about what is happening to his favorite toy...the pool.

While I was taking photos of the pool...he was chasing me around with the retrieval toy dropping it at my feet. hweenpool 022He Finally got tired of me not playing and decided to do it himself.

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He dropped the toy into the pool...then climbed down the steps to fetch it for himself.

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Seeing that there was a new game afoot, I played along. I dropped it into the water...and again, he went down the steps to fetch it. I knocked on the glass door and asked Fred to come on out to see. Rosco and I went through the routine again...then Fred had a turn. He tossed the toy into the 6 inches of water...and Rosco flew through the air...

He came out with a limp, which has since gone away. We stopped playing that game but it does go to show...That dog will do anything Fred tells him to do.

I'm taking bets....

We cleaned the pool out today. When I suggested to Fred that we drain the sucker and start over he said "Do you know how much it will cost to re-fill the pool?" I then asked him how much he spent last month in chemicals trying to get the algae under control. He agreed that it may be time to start with a blank slate.

So...we set the pool to drain yesterday around 11...and we turned off the pump last night at 7. It was almost empty. Here are the guys this morning, using the shop vac to get the dregs of the pool....

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Now we are filling it. The water was turned on around 3 o'clock....what do you think? How long will it take for the pool to fill?

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Picture Perfect - Favorite

Asking a person who likes to take photos to pick just one favorite is tough....and yet, this is what Picture Perfect has asked us to do this week.

I chose this one. I like the composition...the blues...It was taken at my favorite place in the world...while spending time with my favorite person.

20th anniversary 227

Thursday, October 23, 2008

PO-KE-NO Anyone?

I am a sad sack of a person. I am very, very social. I will find any excuse to have people over. I like entertaining…I like people…and I especially like having people in my house.

Except when I am stressed. Like this semester. Actually, I was talking to a co-worker about stress and I said that I am actually too busy to be stressed. I get one thing done and move on to the next. There is no looking up…there is no time to breath, just one step after another. Oh, I still freak out when there are big *ss assignments due, but who doesn’t.

Sadly, when I am stressed, I tend to retreat inward a bit which is not good. I have discovered that I am an extrovert. I like being around people. When I teach, or present, I feel energized; if I start the day in a bad mood or a little sleepy…doing a storytime or two will knock that right out of me.

So, since my schedule has me out of the house from 8am-9pm Mon-Wed and taking ½ hour lunches all week long; when someone calls to have dinner or lunch I explain that I can’t right now….but call me in December.

I ran into a neighbor the other day and she said: “When is POKENO? Halloween is coming…that means Pokeno at Marianne’s house.”

**Side note…I love Halloween. I have a lot of decorations…and I like to show them off, so if I am going to host something, it will be around Halloween, so people can be ooh and ahhh about what a great collection I have. And now I have added our Dia de los Muertos altar, so there is even more STUFF!

So, I thought about it and decided to invite some people over to play Pokeno…and it is tonight.


You don’t know what POKENO is?

You obviously don’t live in the suburbs of Texas!

Pokeno is a game that people (ok, women) play. I have never seen a man play POKENO…although I have seen them fight over dice during Couples Bunko. (another blog) Each player picks a card, very similar to a bingo card. On the card are random playing card faces. We all sit around and people take turns being the “caller.” If I was the caller I could say that we are going to make a T or do the second column on the card….then I would shuffle and flip through the deck of playing cards, calling them out. The rest of the players place chips on the card faces that are on their card as they are called. When they make the desired shape or column on their card, they call “POKENO.”

Every person who plays brings $5.00 cash and a wrapped gift that should cost about 10-15 dollars. The person who calls POKENO, gets to open one of the gifts and show everyone what they got. This continues until all the prizes are opened.

Then we take a break and eat and drink. I am making some Halloween themed foods: Bat Wings (Buffalo wings); Cat vomit dip (spinach dip); poached brain with coagulated sauce (cream cheese with Berry/jalapeño jam); Chopped Hansel Sandwiches (mini chicken salad sandwiches); Devil Eyeballs (deviled eggs). I still need to think up a name for a baked brie dish with apricots, pecans and jalapeños. TO DRINK: Witch’s brew (white wine sangria) and Zombies (no really, they are called Zombies) I have a cool Erlenmeyer flask that the Zombies will be served from. DESSERT: Spider web cake and Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater Bread (chocolate bundt cake and pumpkin bread) I will also have KEEL-OVER COFFEE (Keoke coffee…brandy, Kahlua and chocolate liquor with coffee and whipped cream)

After our break, we set the timer for a random period of time and we play again….this time…when you win, you get to steal a gift from someone. This goes on until the buzzer sounds. At that point it is time for BLACKOUT. Whoever is next in line (which really stinks) has to call the cards, and the object is to have a chip on every spot of your card. The first person who does this wins the cash.

Then there is more eating and drinking….

So…if you are in the neighborhood…come on by. The cool think about POKENO is you can play with any number…so there is always room for more!

Oh…and if you can think of a gross name for my baked brie dish with apricots, pecans and jalapeños dish, I would be obliged!

Monday, October 13, 2008

McPalin Haiku Hysteria

My friend Lisa sent me this link to People for the American Way's McPalin Haiku Hysteria . As you all know, I love a good Haiku...and have written some bad ones in my day as are some of the examples they have on their site.

McCain on judges:
“I like all the ones Bush picked.”
We're in trouble, now.

Driving our nation
Over a bridge to nowhere
Thats McCain-Palin

I am composing mine as we speak.

I can't help but wonder...what will we blog about when the election is over?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cell Phone Survey

So...our family currently has Verizon Cell Phones...4 of them. This Christmas, all but one of the contracts will be up and we are thinking of switching services. I desperately need a new phone! I have a Razor and it stinks beyond belief when it comes to texting...which is what I do most on my phone. The photo option is horrible! You wouldn't believe some of the bad bad pictures I have taken with this phone.

Fred and I went to AT&T the other day and I played with many of the "Berry" phones with QWERTY pads and I found the buttons too small. I also played with the iPhone which I really liked, except for the touch screen QWERTY. all of my technophiles out there....what kind of phone do you have? I want my phone mostly for text, but it does have to take pictures and, you know, make calls as well. I don't play on using it for the internet...but it would be nice to be able to access it once in a while. (What movie is playing right now)

So....what kind of phone do you have? Do you love it or hate it? How about your provider? Any serious issues, or do they all stink and charge too much? (especially once you are already in their grasp!)

Happy 21st Anniversary!


This time last year, Fred and I were lying in bed eating room service, sipping champagne and playing backgammon. But not every year can be the grand celebration we had last year. And not every year can be as tumultuous as this last one.

Fred and I have been married for 21 years and we know a few things about ourselves now. We know ourselves better as individuals and know what we can pull off as a couple. Not everyone could have survived the ups and downs that the last 21 years have seen....cross country moves, cancer, sickly children, unemployment, and the big one: teenagers. But Fred and I are good in a crisis. We are a good team.

So, happy anniversary sweetheart. I can't imagine living my life with anyone else but you.

Thanks for be my partner in crime and my cheering section. I love you!

Friday, October 3, 2008

What would happen if....

*Disclaimer...this is not a wish for anything bad to happen to McCain, just something we were talking about at work and I didn't know the answer. I am sure there is someone out there that has the knowledge I lack...

What would happen if.....

1) John McCain died before the election?

2) John McCain died before being sworn in?

Just wondering....and worrying!

Nora Ephron's take on the Debate...and listing calories.

Thanks to Huffington Post for keeping me informed and entertained!

The Graph and I by Nora Ephron

I tried to watch the vice presidential debate tonight but it wasn't easy. This was because I was forced to watch it on CNN. I happen to be an MSNBC junkie -- but the TV set was already tuned to CNN so that was pretty much that.

This was the first time I've watched a debate on CNN, and it turns out to have this graph running along the bottom of the screen, a graph that allegedly represents the moment-by-moment feelings of a group of supposedly independent voters in Columbus, Ohio, who sit, with some sort of electronic devices, and register their warmth or cool as the debate goes on.

Well, this is no way to watch a debate. It reminded me of this thing that's happened in New York City, which is that all restaurants with more than fourteen locations have to put on the menu the calorie count of each food item. This is an appalling development. It's hard enough to figure out what you want to order without someone explicitly telling you that you're going to drop dead if you eat it. But more important, I don't believe those calorie counts. Who knows how many calories there are in a grilled cheese sandwich? No one, that's who. But there it is, on the menu, in a grim black and white parenthetical, and it affects you, you can't help it, and as a result you end up not ordering the thing you wanted and instead ordering some stupid bowl of soup that barely gets you through till three in the afternoon.

Well this graph on CNN affected me, it affected me so much that I could barely focus on the debate, I was so busy watching the graph. I knew it was completely unreliable and irrelevant, and yet my heart sank and rose according to it. I sort of heard what the candidates were saying, but mostly I watched the orange (for women) and green (for men) lines rise and fall as each phrase was uttered. When Sarah Palin spoke and the lines went up, I felt irritable. When Joe Biden spoke and the lines went up, I felt happy. Don't get me started on Gwen Ifill.

Every so often Sarah Palin would say things like "darn right" and "bless their hearts" and "you betcha" and I noticed that the people in Columbus were unmoved by Palin's folksy expressions, at least according to the graph; this gave me faith in America. But then I reminded myself that the graph was probably as unreliable as the calorie count that caused me not to order what I really wanted to eat for lunch.

When the debate was over, we were all sad to realize that it had not been the exciting blood bath we were hoping for (I mean, let's admit it) but thrilled to hear that Biden was the winner. So I came home and celebrated: I had a grilled cheese sandwich (530 calories) (not really).