Friday, December 14, 2007


Another winter has begun here in New England. A nice snowstorm got us started yesterday. I was happy to have been home all day, as the snowfall immediately built to heavy proporations and traffic was snarled for hours. I watched it on TV from the snug comfort of my favorite chair, with a cup of hot chocolate it at my side. And then I went out to play.

I made my first ever snow angel. And if you click on the title of this post, you'll get to see all of my pix.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Men Men Men Men...

While at the mall today [yes, shockers! I was at the mall today...Macy's had quite nicely sent me some coupons, and I really do need a new dress for Scottie's wedding even though there is an unworn little black dress in my closet, but it is a year old, so I thought perhaps I should have a new one. Which means that I went shopping. As usual, I didn't come home with my primary objective, but I'll get to that later.]

As I was saying, I went to the Mall today. And wow! what an event! So many men. So many kinds of men: tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, fat ones. Old ones, young ones, ones that looked fantastic in jeans! [Just recalling the experience has me almost bursting into song.]

Yes, I know that men do shop. But never have I seen so many men in the mall at the same time. And carrying packages, lots and lots of large plastic and paper bags. One fellow departed Finish Line with four bags full of sporting goods, I assume. But I was more impressed by the guys sporting Limited, Talbots, and Macy's bags.

Of course, the overall winner was the unaccompanied man [in his 40s or so, with just a touch of gray at the temples] who carried a Brooks Brothers' bag out of which peeked the ubiquitous pink and white striped paper of Victoria's Secret. Now that's a man!

Such a joy to be the Mall at Christmastime. All the men men men mennnnnnnnnnnn.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Texas Accent vs the World

I was chatting (online) with a client about how and when I use my Texas accent. She commented that I hadn't sounded like Texan while I was at their office. Probably because I was in work mode. The Texas accent comes out naturally when I'm with friends, or if I'm tired. Of course, I can deliberately switch it on and off, particularly as a defense mechanism against the obnoxious Yankee accents I encounter. Or for work, when I need to speak clearly and professionally.

Then the conversation segued to Christmas music -- because I happened to be listening to Andy Williams trilling It's a Wonderful Time of the Year. Usually, I start listening to holiday music in October each year, a habit developed during high school.

I was in chorus back then. Me and the 100 other choir students would start practicing Christmas carols almost immediately after Labor Day. And when that many people sing simultaneously, they kinda need to enunciate words in exactly the same way so they'll be understood.

Hence, the birth of my proper diction. Then, for a couple of easy courses in college, I took Public Speaking as well as Voice & Diction. And there began my work mode voice. In which I no longer express my Texan heritage. All based on my high school chorus experience.

But on contemplation, perhaps this was a deliberate ploy of the chorus teacher. Maybe she had an nefarious plot to eradicate the Texas accent. After she'd destroyed her students' ability to speak like a Texan, she planned to subtly remove the Rs from words like park and car, then insert those lost consonants into words like wash. She would punish anyone using y'all unless addressing an individual. Next, she'd slip the treacherous aks into songs so students would aks a question.

Because, of course, a Texan wielding an aks really would herald the end of the Republic.

But I'm happy to say that I've escaped her reprehensible clutches. I have learned to control the diction. I don't aks or pahk or warsh -- not even on demand.

But I can say Howdy or Good Morning, depending on my audience.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Random Comments

Scientists seem to agree that the Earth is warming. Because of this, they’re concerned about the accelerated melting of glaciers and sea ice around Greenland and Antarctica. This event is causing sea levels to rise higher and higher at a faster and faster rate, with an expected rise of almost 20 feet by the end of the century. If this is so, just why are we rebuilding New Orleans?

Since Friday night, Angel has haunted the kitchen looking for the mouse that got away. She seems to have missed the part where I put it out the back door.

It’s such a dilemma, I just don’t know how I will survive making the decision. And what if I choose poorly? What if it doesn’t work out? Or –gasp– what if I have to change everything I’ve already gotten used to doing? I just don’t know which to buy: iTouch or iPhone?

I watered my plants on Saturday afternoon. Naturally, it's been raining ever since then.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's just Terrible here

But, then, you can see for yourself...this is the view from our cabana on the beach at the Marriott Ocean Club on Maui.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Senility starts at 15

Angel just woke me up.

Her meow sounded strange almost close to a howl. Given that she never meows above a mew, I immediately startled out of bed. I flicked on the light expecting to see her dying or at least partially maim for her manic bouts of grooming --only to discover that my 15-year-old Persian was meowing loudly to capture my attention and approval. She had brought her latest captive and placed it at the foot of my bed.

A book cover.

The cover of a Nora Roberts romance novel, to be precise. One which she had ripped away from its bindings earlier today. Apparently, Ms. Roberts has offended Angel in some heretofore unknown fashion.

As I left the bedroom to write this post, she pursued me -- book cover in her mouth. Yes! She actually picked it up, jumped off the bed, and followed me to the other room! Then she proceeded to start the howling meows all over again. When I looked over at her just now, she dropped her prize, pawed it, then looked at me for approval.

Yes, I'm duly impressed that she has captured a dastardly book cover.

However, I'd probably be more impressed if she'd kidnapped one with a handsome prince in the picture rather than this one with pretty blue flowers.

The hunter and her prey.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A new version of Survivor

I'm Swiss, yodelodelodelay-hee-foo'
Which Survivor of the Impending Nuclear Apocalypse Are You?
A Rum and Monkey joint.

I'm pretty sure that I fell into this category because I chose the "Pillage" option for the last question.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

HP: 7

I finished Book 7 of the Harry Potter series just now. Only took 9 straight hours. My eyes are blurry (I really need to see an optometrist!).

Here's my review, then:
-- Characters were killed off.
-- I even cried at one point.
-- Loose ends got wrapped up.
-- I knew I was right.
-- An acceptable ending.

Follow-up edit:
-- I also was right about the identity of RAB.
However, the 2nd half of that equation caught me by surprise.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

What? Me, Creative?

During a chat with Rhonda yesterday, I got to thinking about why I stopped writing creatively.

I have ideas constantly running through my head. And I come up with great beginnings all the time -- usually while driving to/from work or on the treadmill.

But I haven't put much effort into writing beyond that initial idea or opening paragraph. I used to feel compelled to write. And to compose anything: bad poetry, those openings that would go nowhere, commentaries. What happened to my impetus to publish? When did I stop wanting to write?

Sure, I had to write in college as a journalism major and be creative as the opinion editor for the college newspaper. And I was part of a critique group in my 20s, so I had deadlines to meet and others to answer to when I didn't do my work. The only book I've written resulted from my critique group's deadlines.

Which leads me to wonder whether I'm so lazy that I can't write unless I'm forced to do so. And if that's true, then one could conclude that I'm not really a writer at all. Not like I was before I turned 30 or so. Somewhere along the way, I became so wrapped up in career and house that I lost my creativity.

So, as a result of my chat with Rhonda, I started a new blog. One that forces me to think differently. It's a bit of stretch: I've absolutely lost my ability to write humorously. But it's gotten the creative juices shifting, if not flowing, again.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Is that Blackberry in your pocket...

Last night, while waiting endlessly -- or so it seemed -- for the fireworks to get underway (for a second time) in Danvers, I downed way too much water and Dr Pepper. Big mistake when we're sitting in the parking lot of a local elementary school. In the dark. Without flashlights.

After an hour's delay in the fireworks, I desperately needed relief. So I stood in line for the port-a-can. Several people ahead of me had those glow-in-the-dark necklaces. One person had a flashlight. These items were shared with those before them. But by the time I had a chance at the door, no one in line had any form of illumination.

Yes, I came prepared for a port-a-can. I am my mother's daughter: I had a packet of baby wipes and another of facial tissue. But at the moment I stepped into the absolute darkness of that port-a-can, I mostly was grateful that I had a Blackberry in my pocket.

Beware! makers of hand-held lanterns. The hand-held mobile phone may take over your industry!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Short Shameful Confessions 3 & 4

I am eating a healthy breakfast for the 10th day in a row.

Which leads to SSC #4: There is no shit under foil in my refrigerator.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Shaving Dilemma

or How to Shave in the Dark When You Don’t Have Hair

I never thought I’d complain about shaving. After all, I have the advantage of baby-fine, pale-colored hair on my legs. And those hairs are few and far between. Which means that I can go a week or more without shaving before anyone could possibly notice hair on my legs. Ergo, I don’t shave the legs any more often than that.

However, that advantage also can be a problem, as I discovered yesterday. Because Sunday was very sunny. I had chosen to catch some rays on my patio. I had shaved on Thursday. Yet, the very bright sun showed that I had missed a couple hairs on my right knee. Then, I noticed one or two down the shin. And another four or five scattered across my left leg. None of these errant hairs were beside each other or in any noticeable pattern. And since they’re baby-fine, I can’t feel them when I run a hand up my leg.

Tell me I’m wrong, but usually I just run the razor up my legs, assuming that I’m getting everything. After all, there’s soap in the way. And dim bathroom lighting in an apartment-style bathroom. Add to that my almost non-existent leg hair. E voila! now I have a very bad shaving job.

Sitting here in my sunny dining area…and I still can’t see those hairs. So, should I shave again, or just let them grow until this Thursday?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Yes, serious complications that have nothing to do with wardrobe worries for my eminent vacation. Actually, it's really just one complication: Angel.

She's sneezing, snuffling, and with raw lips from having rubbed her smash-faced nose too frequently today. Yes, I intend to take her to the local vet first thing tomorrow. Unfortunately, the very close veterinary clinic (just a block away) also has some very bad reviews online. So, I gotta find some places further away.

So I'm going to worry all night about her health, and what I should do if she needs meds while I'm away.

Well, hey, maybe there's a silver lining: If I can't sleep tonight, then maybe I'll have a better chance to sleep on that long flight! Ok, so that's kinda selfish of me. But at least for a moment I stopped worrying about Angel.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Too many decisions

So, this afternoon I began to organize my packing for Wednesday's departure. Since I'm the woman who takes four pair of shoes and at least six outfits for a weekend event, I find I have way too many clothes put aside for this 8-day trip.

Too much to choose!
How many shoes?
How many shirts? What if it's cold and all I have is short sleeves?
What if I bring too many long-sleeved shirts and its hot even at night?

I hate this indecision almost as much as I hate discovering, once I'm there, that I've made the wrong choices.

I might need to bring more than one suitcase!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Made for Walking

While in Cincinnati last weekend, I found the perfect pair of walking shoes:

Supportive so my back and feet won't ache after hours of walking:

Airy so I won't get too hot and be tempted to go barefoot; and

Fashionable so I won't be embarrassed by Italian shoe taste.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Just some musings at seven Sunday morning as I wait for my flight back to Boston. Again, I arrived at the airport much too early to find my flight won't be for another four hours. So I'm sitting in the Delta Crown Club. (I'm probably the only visitor here who's under 50 and didn't attend the Kentucky Derby yesterday). Anyway, the following are some thoughts, in no particular order...

Dr Pepper

Two new states!
Yes, I can add two to the list of US states that I have visited. Okay, so "visit" is a tad overblown. I drove through a portion of Indiana and Kentucky to get to the Cincinnati airport. (Actually, I think this airport is in Kentucky.)

Of course, I hadn't planned to drive thru any state other than Ohio today. Except I made a small error in assuming that the Loop 275 around Cincinnati would be similar in size to Loop 610 in Houston. It's not. It's closer to Beltway 8 or Loop 1604 size. Which means, I went around the city. And in the process, passed through portions of Indiana and Kentucky.

So now my list of visited states has reached 30, plus D.C.

I watched the fastest three minutes in sports yesterday. It was quite exciting. Oh, there was a queen! (as opposed to "oh, there's a band!") Can't they sing that "My Old Kentucky Home" song any faster?

Yay! Astros!

Boo. Jazz.

Sad, old, alone
People passed through airport security and such this morning singly and in groups. At least two families with small children impeded progress for quite some time. Eventually, though, we all tramped toward the trains for the terminals.

Boarding after me was an elderly gentleman with a cane who shuffled slowly along. He hadn't completely pulled down the right pant leg over his ankle boot. I wondered if he'd expected the pant to fall on its own or hadn’t yet noticed. Or if, in his stooped and frail condition, he chose not to fix the problem. Maybe he had trouble bending over.

The train to the terminals had the usual posts for catching your balance. But the only seats were high benches at the front and back. The gentleman glanced their way. Given his shrunken stature, though, the bench topped his belt line. So, instead, he turned to a post.

As the train took off, both I and a young man behind the gentleman took a half-step toward him in case he fell. Then we self-consciously stopped and looked at each other when he grabbed a post as if it were no big deal.

Everyone exited at Terminal B—because everyone flies Delta out of Cincinnati. As a group, we all ended up on the escalator. That is, except for the older gentleman. I was saddened to note that he had lagged behind. His shuffling gait was inadequate to match the bustle of everyone else with their rolling bags, strollers and scampering children. He still hadn’t reached the start of the escalator by the time we all reached its end.

I couldn't help wondering why he was alone. Didn't he have friends or family to travel with? Someone to talk to as he waited for the flight? He didn't even have a bag with books or newspaper to while away the time. It made me very sad.

I don't want to become that person. I would rather die young that be so solitary, shuffling behind the crowd and dropping further behind with every step.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Extraordinary Wake-up Call

This weekend, I'm representing my company at a tradeshow in Cincinnati. Because exhibitor set-up time is limited, I had to choose a flight that left at 7:30 am today. Which meant that I would have to be out of bed by 5 am to get to the airport in time.

Blech! I most definitely am not a morning person. So I set the alarm for 4:15 as a precaution. I assumed that, at such a disgustingly early hour, I would not be easily awakened. In fact, I was quite sure that it would take 15 to 20 minutes of news-talk radio (my alarm) to seep into the REM processes. And then I'd need plenty of time to stagger around bleary-eyed as I made I sure didn't forget those last-minute toiletry items that I would use this morning but also would need tomorrow morning in Cincinnati.

So when I startled awake at 5 minutes to 5 no radio noise! first thought was something along the lines of Ugh, why the hell am I awake at this hour? Then I realized that I could hear a voice very very faintly but quite distinctly yelling, "Answer your phone!"

"But the phone's downstairs. And who the hell would call me at this hour anyway?" I grumbled, preparing to roll over and snuggle back below the covers.

The distant voice yelled again (just as faintly), "Answer your phone!"

At this point, it finally struck me that I should have been out of bed a half hour earlier. Not unlike a sprinter off the mark, I dashed into the bathroom. Already I was mentally re-calculating the time required to get to the airport and through security. I calmed slightly. As long as I put my makeup on in the car (in the dark) and didn't give a damn how my hair looked, I still would be able to get to the airport in a timely manner.

Luckily, I'd had a momentary flash of foresight last night. Before going to bed I had put out extra food and water for Angel. So I didn't have to worry about her this morning. Because, believe me, at this hour she's not awake to remind me.

Downstairs, all I had to do was toss my toiletries into the luggage, unplug the cell phone, then drag it all down to the car. This part went as planned. Then I noticed that my phone showed I had missed three calls. My phone rang this morning? Really?

Yes, apparently, I missed three calls between 4:50 and 4:55 am. In fact, the third call was my wake-up call. My phone's tone comes from a Monty Python skit that starts with "Answer your phone, you big bugger!" And that is what woke me up.

Which was a good thing, since the alarm clock never clicked on. As I zoomed off to the airport, my brain finally began to function. Just why hadn't the clock woken me? Ah, most likely because I had adjusted it to 4:15 but not 4:15 AM. Occasionally, I forget that I have to scroll past the PM settings to get to the AM ones on the clock. Last night was one of those times.

So, as I raced down Route 1, I figured that if the phone hadn't rung, I would have slept at least another hour, maybe longer. And most definitely missed my flight! How fortuitous! I thought. I got a wake-up call from God.

I made it to airport. Circled the parking garage for a good 10 minutes to find a parking space close to Terminal A. This terminal is probably the furthest from the Central Parking garage, which means late travellers (or those who actually worry about being late--more on this subject in another post) have to sprint to the ticketing area.

Thank goodness they have the automated tellers to check in. Because the personable check-in line was waaaaay too long. I shortly learned why that line was long: my flight had been cancelled.

Yes, my flight was cancelled!

I got up at 4:55 am for a cancelled flight. And I had to get in that long line to get new tickets and check my luggage. And I would have to wait four and a half hours for the next one to Cincinnati.

I started to curse that wake-up call. Which, being a Catholic (lapsed or not), made me feel quite guilty. (God is Good, and all that stuff.)

Then the fellow at the counter next to me asked the burning question. Why hadn't we been notified of the cancellation? The agent said, "Sir, you didn't provide us with a phone number."

I almost slammed my head against the counter upon hearing her response. I thought it was God giving me a wake-up call this morning. But it was only Delta airlines.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Short Shameful Confession 2

I gave up my Texas driver's license today. And my Texas plates.

[I'm so ashamed!]

Friday, March 23, 2007

Short Shameful Confession

I never mailed the tin of Walker's All Butter Shortbread...because I ate them all.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Marcia Marcia Marcia

Every week, while watching Heroes -– okay, really not every week. I recorded most of the episodes because I played ball on Monday nights, and thus one weekend I caught up by watching about about 10 of them one after the other -– I get distracted by Claire the Cheerleader’s hair.

Even after all these months, I still haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly why her hair bothers me quite so much. But it certainly causes me to frown every time she appears on the screen. I end up going through a mental check list in the course of each episode in which she appears:

Bouncy? Yes, it is. But that’s not the issue.
Shiny? No, but bitch.
Color? Huh-uh. Ooh, Eric Roberts. Wow.
Longer than mine? Yes, but no.

And then...EPIPHANY! As I watched the swirling snow thicken into a full-fledged nor'easter this evening, it came to me: The Side Pony Tail!

Oh the flashbacks of this and this from my childhood.

Ack!  The Cheerleader actually is Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Stop! No, don't save her--otherwise, Jessica will spend the rest of the season swishing her long locks indignantly as she runs away.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

UK Week Wrap-up

I'm spending my last night in the U.K., after arriving at 5 am Monday. I spent a long travel day getting from Boston to my final destination, two days in Northamptonshire for a podiatry exhibition, two days in Croydon at the company offices, and two nights in London.

They had me booked for those last two nights in Croydon -- which does have rail acess to the City. But whoa! who wants to spend any extra time in Croydon when they could be across the Thames? So, I made my own plans for Friday and Saturday nights, and found a hotel near Kensington Palace.

I got up early this morning, and girded my loins. Er, I loaded up on the usual tourist accoutrement: camera, phone, purse and map.

I headed out to explore the area. I promptly got lost, going the wrong direction out the hotel. I managed to get to my proper location within a half-hour, though. Of course, halfway across Kensington Park or Gardens, or whatever, I realized that I'd forgotten 2 vital items. I quickly found a Dr Pepper at a local store -- because no caffeine, no happy day for me.

However, I finally purchased the other vital item about five hours later. Luckily, the delay did not cause any problems. But only just!

I was able to explore Kensington as well as the Victoria & Albert Museum. Correction: portions of these places. 'Cuz there's no way I could see all of either -- much less both -- in five hours!

At the museum, I viewed the Medieval and Renaissance exhibits with the plaster casts of so many other classical pieces. In typical Victorian style, the sections were overcrowded to the point where I had a hard time deciding where I should look first. The museum gave me a wonderful surprise: a fantastic Leighton sculpture at full size and two halls showing his "cartoons" and their resulting murals, which were part of a 1878 exhibit at the museum.

And then, there stood Harrod's. The store called to me! I managed to restrain myself and only bought a tin of shortbread. Which I intend to ship to La Grange. Sooo, those reading this might know what you're getting in the mail. That is, if you're reading this.

As is typical for me these days, I took pictures and have posted them to my Flickr site.

After more than seven hours on my feet, I gratefully flagged down a taxi. The route back took me through Nottinghill. Unfortuantely, that's the only glimpse I had of the trendy district. One day in London is not enough time!

Now it's dinner, BBC TV and posting. That is, after changing rooms since my prior locale had a problem with Internet access.

An adventurous and satisfying day all round. I'm off to bed soon...gotta catch a flight home in the morning!

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Poem for L

wants to see snow,
so here we go...

For more of this show
Click here now

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Leck. Big leck."

In a fantastic marriage of two wonderfully witty methods combining poor translation with dumb-ass signs...we get this.

Peeing in your pants is optional, of course.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Best served warm

I will never enjoy being cold.

My townhome has warm spots but, overall, it is far chillier than I would like. I have to dress in layers to stay comfortable. God knows that mornings are best while still under the covers rather than outside them.

My place mostly faces north, which doesn’t help. Last winter I sought multiple strategies to stop the incessant cold from creeping through the windows. However, nothing really worked, and the thick curtains blocked the view.

This year, I chose to use temperature-blocking curtains, which work fairly well. And I only inserted them halfway up the windows so that I still can enjoy the scenery.

Because, despite the cold, I do like the snow. Which means that every time a snowflake threatens to fall, I catch myself nose-to-window watching for it. And this is what I know…

Sleet rarely happens. But when it does, it is boring. And it hisses.

Flurries, despite the rhyme to hurry and scurry, are neither. Instead, they’re indepenent, drifting little flakes that don’t know where they’re headed or where they came from. And flurries really are not worth watching.

But snowfall, with or without a wind, is fasacinating. It’s silent. Gentle. Peaceful. The endless variety in shapes and sizes captivates me. I can stand at the window and watch the snow for hours. Better still, I want be a part of the snowfall, to immerse myself in the silence, to share its peacefulness.

Only one little issue keeps me from doing so. Snow also is cold.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hands at 10 and 2

I spent an hour and a half this afternoon driving from the Amtrak station to my home -- a 40 mile drive.

The snow had started earlier this morning. By 12:30, when my train finally rolled into the station from New York, it had been snowing, sleeting and raining for hours. The interstate was covered in some of the nastiest slush that I've ever seen. Drivers crossing lanes -- if you could see lanes, that is -- stirred up massive amounts of dirty ice to coat windshields. I saw a lot of snowplows, except that they all were clearning the other side of the highway.

To add to my driving pleasure, the sleet turned to blurry ice that my wipers couldn't clear off fast enough, even at the highest speed and with the defroster running at full-blast. I had to lower a back window to reduce the amount of smothering heat within the car.

Travel speed ranged from 15 to 40 mph. Twice I passed small cars that clearly had lost control. One of them actually protruded into my lane. Luckily, the 18-wheeler next to me had the presence of mind to swing wide enough to allow me to avoid hitting the other car's rear-end. Thank goodness I have an all-wheel-drive vehicle; and that I'm cautious enough to control my speed (yes, one of those very rare moments!).

Those 90 minutes rank among the longest of my life. And it probably was the first time since driver's ed that I kept my hands at the 10 and 2 positions on the wheel.

I can't wait for tomorrow morning 'cuz all this precipitation is expected to freeze solid over night. Do snowplows scrape up ice as well as snow?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thank you!

I had planned to spend a few days in Houston after the pain management meeting this past weekend in New Orleans. Instead, I have to be in the Big Apple on Tuesday for a workshop. Kinda totally screwed my plans, as well as my Valentine's Day--oh. wait. I've only ever had two good February 14ths...

But that's not what's important about this posting.

Rather, I wanted to stress my very short timespan in Houston. Which was enjoyable nonetheless because of two very special people. So, a hearty

Thank You

to Rhonda and Lindsey for spiriting me away from Bush Intercontinental Airport for the night. Thanks for the company, the bed, the breakfast and the ride back to the airport.

Oh, and was Terminal E, after all. But that's OK 'cause it has the better President's Club and was worth the walk.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cold, Beads, Screams, Elbows, Dark

I'm staying at the DoubleTree in New Orleans for a pain management meeting, and the Pygmalion Mardi Gras parade just rolled past my hotel. Impressions of the last half-hour.

Cold wind because a front is coming to town. Dammit. Thought I'd gotten away from that weather.

Floats pulled by old-fashioned tractors. Not the big fancy floats one would expect to see for a New Orleans parade. But respectable ones -- with the possible exception of the float with all the people making out. The crowd yelled 'Get a room!' as that float passed.*

Peering into the darkness down the street to figure out what goodies the next float will be giving away. Should I photograph, video or just try to grab what I can without wrestling the woman next to me who's already so loaded down with beads I'm amazed that she can even move?

Whistles. Crappy-little-plastic-barely-make-a-sound whistles! This is why I jammed an elbow into the mass of beads that was the woman next to me? Jeez, freakin' idiots.

Screams for beads and baubles from the crowd that grew larger as the parade went by. In fact, I'm convinced both the DoubleTree and Double-U** hotels had emptied of guests by the time the last horse passed our block.

Camera flashes. But no tits.

Oh, and there was a band!*** (this sentence is for Robert S)

And now I hear sirens. Definitely time to go back to my room.

So, I will post pictures once I'm home and can download to my Mac. And, if I can get it to run right, I'll post video of the struttin' High-Steppers and other drill teams that passed by. And possibly of the make-out float.

*Okay, so really it was just me yelling that. But it made for great video.
**W - what a silly glyph-name-symbol for a hotel.
**Actually there were several. But Robert has only ever commented on one.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Squeaky almost totally squeaky clean

Via Rhondar through TheQuiteTalented by way of tunagirl

My fine is a mere $195.60 -- I am so very boring, yes?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What was white and glittery and now brown?

"It's a wonderful white world of winter!"

Or, sorta was.

The snow started as I drove home from work yesterday. And continued through this morning as I drove to work. Nothing heavy--just lovely little snowflakes drifting down. They gave the ground, rooftops, and tree branches a sweet coating of glittering white.

But now that the sun has come up, and cars are driving in and out of the parking lot, the snow has begun to melt on the tarmac and from some of the vehicles. It's a shame really -- all that work to coat the world in a lovely shade of white, only to have it slide away into gray and brown slush.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Still Gimpy

One twisted ankle -- painful
One ice bag that won't stay in place -- annoying
Half-hour hunt for Advil in the house -- exasperating
2 Pamprin eventually found in a purse pocket -- PRICELESS

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

6 degrees above 10

As I walked out to the parking lot this evening with my classmates, I turned to speak to the one walking behind me. My foot slipped off the edge of the sidewalk, which twisted my ankle and knee in definitely opposite directions.

I stumbled. But I worked hard to stay upright. After all, I have great balance and strong legs. But since I was carrying my purse and notebook in one hand and, more important, a half-full Dr Pepper in the other, balance wasn’t all that easy. But I did try.

Bad idea. Because my other foot caught on my wide pant-leg. And I went down, dropping the notebook and spilling the precious life juice all over the cement. As I caught my breath, two thoughts came to mind (other than, “wow, don’t I look like a prize idiot!”):

1. So, like, how long does it take for a puddle of Dr Pepper to freeze anyway?
2. Thank God it’s 16 degrees out here.

My classmates helped me to my feet and handed me back the mournfully almost empty Dr Pepper and a rather wet notebook. We all laughed and went our separate ways. As I drove home, two thoughts came to mind (other than, “get out of my effing way, idiot!”):

1. How much Advil will I need to take to relieve the growing ache in my knee and ankle and still be able to sleep tonight?
2. Did the designer of downfilled parkas intend for their wearers to bounce when they tripped on sidewalks?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Holiday and Year-End Recount

I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas alone…except for the company of an Angel, of course. But she wasn’t interested in me so much as the turkey and ham. Oh, and the catnip present she got for Christmas. That's my Christmas dinner in the picture.

In many ways, I was satisfied with my company – when you spend vacations and holidays by yourself, it vastly reduces the opportunity for family arguments, long drives in bad weather and having to say you really love the wallet they gave you.

On the other hand, you can’t share your enjoyment of the good weather, the tasty food or how silly the Angel looks with tinsel stuck to her rear-end.

So I took advantage of both situations: I had Christmas to myself, but entertained guests from December 26 to January 2. My niece joined me thru Friday, and a long-time friend visited from Saturday to Tuesday morning.

A Very Surprised Courtney
Since my niece had never been to this part of the country, and since she’s a teenaged girl…I took her shopping. In New York City. It went like this:

“So, how much sightseeing do you want to do while you’re here?” I asked as we walked out to the car at Logan.
“Not much,” she replied.
“Then I guess that means you don’t want to see the Statue of Liberty?”
She stopped walking. “But isn’t that in New York?”

It took Courtney a while, but she finally stopped saying “No way! We’re going to New York?” At least, I think she’d stopped by the time we got on the plane the following day.

We did the usual tourist activities. Our hotel overlooked the WTC site, so we saw that immediately. We glanced at Lady Liberty from Battery Park (she's the speck in the distance) – it was much too cold to take the boat out for a closer look.

We shopped along Canal Street, where I purchased a fake Movado. We rode the subway. We visited Times Square and 42nd Street. She had to buy a t-shirt at the MTV Store. We took dozens of pictures of ourselves with the figures at Madame Toussad’s. (I need to get the rest of those shots developed.)

When we got back to Boston, I gave Courtney a whirlwind tour of the Freedom Trail before dropping her off at the airport.

All in all, it was a truly flying visit. The weather was windy and quite chilly. I look forward to her visiting again, in warmer weather so she can see more of Boston’s sites on foot.

The Goodwitch Arriveth
The day after I put Courtney on a plan to Houston, I picked up the Goodwitch arriving from Austin. The weather surprised us both…it snowed at least an inch that day.

Our first real activity was to make a snowman…using the special kit sent me by the Contis. Goodwitch and I are not very adept at creating snowmen, as you can see. It’s not that we suck, it’s that we have no clue how to make snow bind together into large spheres. Hence, the rather unimpressive result. But we did enjoy sniggering over the ways we used the kit contents. Er, we didn’t photograph all of them. And we never did really use the carrot. We swear.

On Sunday, New Year’s Eve, we chose to be literary tourists. We walked around the farm where Robert Frost once lived, and which inspired many of his poems. Luckily for us, the weather had not warmed enough to melt the snow, providing a picturesque setting. And numb toes.

It was Goodwitch’s suggestion that took us there. I hadn’t realized just how close I lived to such a lovely location. Frost’s Farm is less than an hour north of my home. I can’t wait to walk through again in the Spring and Autumn.

From Derry, New Hampshire, we headed south to Concord, Mass. to walk the paths at Walden Pond, immersing ourselves in the wilderness that inspired Henry David Thoreau.

We had been alone to contemplate Frost’s poetry. But here we encountered many others along the path. I have to admit that the Walden Project and the park’s system have done a fine job of preserving the beauty of the area. However, I agree with the Goodwitch that the number of visitors lowered our enjoyment of Thoreau’s woods. But we did get some mighty fine shots of the pond as the sun set.

Goodwitch and I toasted the New Year at midnight, drinking the champagne my boss gave me for Christmas. After sleeping late, we spent New Year’s Day shopping and enjoying some excellent steaks (if I’m allowed to compliment my cooking). For once I didn’t watch all the bowl games. It felt quite weird. Then again, there are more games to come…but I may not visit with my good friend again for months.

As it was, I was quite saddened to drop her off at Terminal C and drive home today.

It’s back to work tomorrow. Another year has passed me by.

To view the rest of my holiday pictures, click HERE.

Monday, January 01, 2007

It's a real GIVI !!

Goodwitch just gave me some motorcycle bags
...said that Rhondar told her to do it.

It's a a very odd gift.

By the way, Rhondar, she says she used your credit card.