Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Tyrant's European Texas Tour '07

Part of my vacation is to visit cities in Texas that are named after European cities. Or perhaps the European cities are named after Texas cities . . . who really knows.

It's my European Texas Tour '07.

In honor of celebrating Paris's release from jail, I took a roadtrip today to . . .

Paris, Texas

It was a quick trip. Turns out Paris is um, kind of a creepy little town. But, there are still stories to tell.

The highlights from Paris are:

1. Dairy Queen
I grabbed lunch at Sonic. But then I needed a bathroom. So I stopped at Dairy Queen for a pit stop. I walked in with my big sunglasses and my empty Starbucks cup to throw it away, and I realized after I walked in and everyone was staring at me that there probably isn't a Starbucks in Paris. I was clearly not from those parts.

I made it a QUICK pit stop.

But the best part of Dairy Queen was the two cops having lunch. They both had mullets.

2. Eiffel Tower
One of the reasons I am taking my European Texas adventure is because I like to take pictures of stuff. Just for fun. Especially random stuff. I take pretty decent pictures. It's fun.

So when I read that in Paris, TX there is an Eiffel Tower with a cowboy hat on it, I knew I had to have a picture of it.

Now, while that may seem pretty awesome and impressive, it actually wasn't. It's not really that tall. And it's hidden beside the Paris Civic Center on the outskirts of town.

But it does have a cowboy hat. And I have a picture of it.

3. Back in 1881, Jesus wore cowboy boots
The other big attraction for me in Paris was a cemetary. But not really so much the cemetary itself, although it is really old and kind of impressive with lots of huge headstones. But the Evergreen Cemetary in Paris has a gravemarker with a 12-foot statue of Jesus, wearing cowboy boots.

So of course, I had to have a picture of this.

The statue is from 1881, during Jesus' cowboy phase.

After that, I was pretty much done with Paris.

On the way home, I passed a golf course that was completely flooded from all the rain lately. It was just little hills with flags, poking up through a lake. I didn't get a picture of it because there was no place to pull over, and it was raining again anyway. But I would like to have seen someone out there golfing in a canoe.

I found where tractors go to die.

There were goats roaming amongst the tractors. They seem to live in harmony.

And, I don't really know what's going on here, but I definitely needed a picture of it.

It's apparently where this plane went to die.

Next stop: Dublin . . . Texas.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Has this ever happened to you?

Have you, or has someone you love, ever wanted to leave your house through the front door, but instead you find yourself consistently using the back door, then the gate in the fence in the backyard to get around to the front of the house?

Have you ever wondered why people come over, but they never leave?

Have you ever realized that it's been four years since you've seen your front door and that you have four years' worth of mail in the mailbox that hangs by where you thought your front door used to be?

If any of these things have ever happened to you, it could be a sign that your front door blends in with the rest of the wall, making it impossible to tell the difference between the wall and the door.

Even with today's technology, finding a door next to a wall that is exactly the same as the door can be a challenge. And not being able to tell the difference between the wall and the door can leave you feeling trapped, and alone.

But, before you give up on finding your front door, and before you resign yourself to the life of a hermit, cut off from the world and from those who love you most (but who can't seem to help you find your door), there is a solution.

Make the door show itself to you with The Tyrant's simple and proven Paint Stuff Method.

With a ten dollar can of wood stain and a paint brush from Home Depot, you can set yourself free from the prison that your home has become ever since your front door disappeared.

Of course, the hardest part of the Method is still . . . finding the door to paint it.

But, if you can find a way out of your house to buy the products, then locate the door (often looking for the doorknob is a helpful way to determine which part is wall and which part is door), The Tyrant's Paint Stuff Method can work for you, too.

Take it from The Tyrant herself. She is not only the president of the Paint Stuff Method, she's also a client.


Blogging in the middle of a work day

Daring? Sneaky? Asking to get fired????



When I rolled out of bed this morning at about 9:45, I did have a brief moment of panic when I realized it was 9:45 on a Wednesday and I was still in bed. I spent the next few minutes repeating to myself, "I'M ON VACATION!" to ward off the panic feeling of having overslept by a longshot and thinking I was very, very late for work.

Nope, I'm on vacation.

And yes, I am sitting on the couch, on a Wednesday, with my coffee, watching The Price is Right . . . while the rest of the world works.

I also just saw a commercial for a brand new Elvis CD and DVD collection . . . with never before seen footage!

Really? He's been dead for a lot of years now. Seriously, how can there possibly continue to be newly discovered footage of Elvis that has never been seen before?

Sure, I probably haven't seen it. But is it footage that I even WANT to see?

Is it Elvis sitting on the couch in his pajamas, drinking coffee, watching The Price is Right? Because that's pretty much what I look like now. So I probably don't need those new Elvis CDs or DVDs to see that.

And no, you are not getting never before seen footage of ME sitting on the couch in my pajamas watching The Price is Right at this very moment. That will remain never before seen.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Vacation Eve is over

It's Vacation now, ya'll.

Is it coincidence that my vacation starts the same day that Paris got out of jail?

I don't think so.

It's like a new chapter in our lives . . . for both of us.

I think this is a sign that my vacation will be especially awesome.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Arch-Nemesis Watch: An Update

I haven't done an Arch-Nemesis update in awhile. Here's one from the other day.

There's just no room at all for the Holy Spirit between his bumper and the curb.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

My paranoia

You may not know this about me, but underneath my everyday calm exterior I can work myself into a paranoid frenzy about almost anything.

My parents stopped by yesterday and we had a picnic out on my fabulous patio. They showed up with food, so who am I to turn away food and/or family? Especially after just finishing several hours of yardwork. I put away my yard tools . . . and then there was food waiting for me. Genius.

After the folks left, I took a shower to clean off the yardwork. And before the end of my ten minute shower I had convinced myself that my front door was unlocked (not being sure if I had locked it after my parents left), and that during the ten minutes while I was in the shower someone had likely walked in the front door and taken everything that was valuable, yet small enough to walk away with in ten short minutes.

I was shampooing and going over where everything was in the house, including remembering that for some odd reason my wallet was sitting on the couch, about ten steps away from the front door. I was calculating how much of my stuff I thought a burglar could get out of my house before I got out of the shower. And then I figured he probably had a helper, so that meant he could probably grab the TV, too.

I shampooed faster. I guess I wasn't SO paranoid that I thought I should interrupt my shower to go check on the burglar. But of course, everything was fine when I got out of the shower.

And I have no idea why my wallet was on the couch. It just doesn't go there.

I also lost my cellphone yesterday for about ten minutes. I looked ALL OVER the house, the garage, and the yard. And then (for whatever reason) I thought I should probably check the giant bag of grass clippings from mowing, just in case.

And there it was.

That has nothing to do with paranoia. But my cellphone doesn't go there and I have no idea how it got there (much like the wallet on the sofa).

I may never stop finding grass clippings in the crevices of my phone.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

I'm already on vacation

I don't officially start my vacation until Wednesday. Tuesday after work, actually. But, I'm already in vacation mode.

My vacation plans are to fart around and do nothing that resembles any kind of work (no housework, that's for sure). Some day trips will be involved, which will be blogged about. And I have a few projects in mind for the house (I enjoy doing these kinds of projects, and this joy in projects means that the projects do not qualify as work).

Last night I bought enough groceries to last me at least two weeks. I hate grocery shopping and I do not want to have to do that while on vacation.

The most important items I bought were coffee creamer (I need a good supply since I'll be able to enjoy my own excellent Costa Rica coffee everyday). And I bought stuff to make several batches of queso to eat as much as I want.

I'm on vacation, y'all. I will eat what I want, when I want.

I did extra yardwork today so that all I will need to do next weekend during my vacation is mow. I enjoy mowing, so again, this is not work and is therefore legal during vacation. I trimmed bushes, mowed behind the fence, and did a few other annoying things in the yard today so that I will be able to enjoy my yard for the full extent of my vacation.

I'm doing laundry tomorrow so that I have enough clothes to last for a couple of weeks.

I started my Netflix subscription last week so that movies would already be going to and fro the home without me having to go get them. I still can't get over how genius that is . . .

I went to Home Depot and bought the supplies to stain my front door. I am SO excited about this project. So excited, in fact, that this project will take place during the first day of my vacation. As opposed to during my Vacation Eve, which I am enjoying right now.

I've already got a sunburn from my yardwork today, which is key for vacation. I always end up with a sunburn, and frankly, it wouldn't be vacation without a good, oddly-shaped sunburn. So, in honor of Vacation Eve, I've already got the burn.

I also decided today that I am not flat-ironing my hair for the next two weeks. It's just gonna be whatever it's gonna be. We'll see how long it takes for that to drive me nuts. But, I also may shower only when absoluetely necessary. Which means I could go days without a shower. I don't have to shower on vacation if I don't want to. And you can't make me.

But I'll wait to start that one until my vacation actually starts, so as not to frighten my coworkers Monday and Tuesday.

I haven't taken vacation from work since about this time last year. It is a MUCH needed break. So even though I don't have a big trip planned this year, I plan to let my office assume I am as unreachable as I was when I was in Vietnam a couple of years ago. My work Buddy was like, "Wow, it will be hard for you not to check email for that long." And I was like, "Um, no. No, it really won't be hard at all."

This evening of Vacation Eve, I am reclining on my new bamboo patio sofa (um, it's BAMBOO, y'all!), outside, on my patio. I've got a shield of citronellas candles, close enough to keep the bugs away, but far enough away so that they aren't burning or melting me. My yard looks amazing right now, so I'm out here enjoying the evening with lemonade, a good book, a good blog, and my bug zapper racquet (should any bugs make it through the citronella force field - I'm not about catching West Nile on my vacation).

This is my view from my bamboo sofa, including my toe:

Vacation Eve, y'all.


P.S. Anyone wanting in on the Vacation Eve or the actual vacation festivities, just holla. I might even let you use my bug zapper racquet.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Rules are made to be broken

I am breaking a very serious house rule right now.

I am home, alone, at night . . . watching a scary movie.

Blogging may be the only thing that gets me through this.....


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Two things I don't understand

1. Why do old people hate sidewalks?

I've noticed at least three different old people in my neighborhood who walk the streets on a regular basis, all independent of each other. But they never walk on the sidewalk. They're always out in the middle of the street, constantly looking around for cars and staring us down as we have to slow down and get WAY over to the side of the road to pass them without hitting them . . . . as though the cars should not be driving down their road while they are clearly trying to walk down the middle of it.

Are sidewalks a relatively new invention? Are old people uncomfortable in a time when they don't have to play chicken with cars in the road, as perhaps they had to do when they were children? Are we only allowed to use sidewalks until we age-out at the age of 65, then we are forced to use the middle of the road if we dare step outside for a pleasant walk through the neighborhood?

I just don't get it. It seems the potentially less-stable walkers of the world would see the value in teetering along down the sidewalk, rather than taking their chances with the potholes and the traffic. I mean, we always yell at kids to stay on the sidewalk because it's not safe for them to be in the street. Why are old people suddenly exempt from that?

Seriously, I've seen one guy walking right down the middle of the street . . . with his CANE.

How safe is that??

2. Why do some pants have that third button?

You know, you have one, sometimes two buttons, right above the zipper. But then sometimes there's that extra button inside the waistband, to the side. It holds that extra piece of fabric inside the pants.

I guess my first question should really be why is there sometimes that extra piece of fabric inside the waistband? That seems to be where the madness begins.

But.... why? My pants that don't have that extra button don't fall down. It's not like the other one or two buttons would come off at the same time, or simultaneously cease to function, and the only thing keeping my pants up would be that one extra "emergency" button on the inside of the pants.

And in every pair of pants that I own with that extra button, that button always comes off of the pants. It's always the first button to go. I go to button the pants and the button just isn't there anymore, and the only thing left is that string shrapnel that used to hold the superfluous button where it used to be.

So, it's pretty much a useless button anyway. But you can't leave that extra fabric hanging there without a button after the button falls off. So, you either have to fix it, or just abandon the pants completely.

It seems like such a waste. Why can't we stick to just one good button, directly above the zipper, and leave it at that?

These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night.

I bet some old person invented that extra button. He thought of it one day while he was wandering down the middle of the street for his afternoon walk.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm just going to come right out and say it.

I hate that big-headed, curly moustached, tights-wearing, big shiny-headed dancing Burger King king.

And I hate the tune that he dances to.



Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Where have you been all my life?


I realize I am probably one of last two people on the planet to not have already signed up for Netflix. But I am now proud to say that I am on the wagon.

Yes, my DISH network, DVR, highspeed wireless internet, DVD player, Macbook, iPod, and multimedia cell phone no longer provide me with enough entertainment for one day, rendering me virtually without the need to ever leave my house. No, now I have to have movies literally put in my lap on a daily basis.

Well, the mailman actually puts the movies in the mailbox. Not so much in my lap. But that's not as dramatic as the imagery of me sitting on my couch, surrounded by too much stuff, just sitting there as DVDs land right here on my lap.

Seriously, y'all. Movies come to my house . . .

I spent much of the last two evenings obsessing over all of the movies to rate and to choose from. I loaded my que with everything that came on my screen that I have not seen, which is pretty much everything on a DVD. I'm WAY behind on movies (I hear that they have sound now).

I wasn't even paying attention to what went in my que, or in what order. So, the first movie that arrived today was Babel. I realize the first Netflix movie should probably have been a more amazing pick, and I should probably have been a bit more ceremonious in my selection to mark this auspicious occasion. But I just got so excited about loading up the que that I neglected to think of the order of the movies and how that would impact my life.

I'll spend more time on it later. After all, the movies that come in and out of my house in the coming weeks could be the most influential things that affect my life over the next few weeks. These are major decisions.

As for Babel, all I can say for it is that it was a well-made film and I didn't hate it. But MAN was THAT a bad day for everyone, like, in pretty much the whole world. Seriously, it was like an international Case of the Mondays that spanned the globe.

But when I got home it was right there in the mailbox! It appeared as if from nowhere! So that makes me love the movie just a bit more than if I'd had to go get it myself.

I might be ready to marry Netflix.

If you need me anytime soon, I am probably in my house watching the movies come and go.


Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm bringing sexy back . . . AGAIN

This time, on a bike.

I am recanting my promise about not posting any pictures of myself during the bike ride I did a couple of weeks ago. Turns out they had professional photographers at the event taking photos of EVERY LITTLE THING. They were pretty much like paparazzi, lining the roadways in clusters, sometimes around corners, and I'm pretty sure disguised as bushes and lightposts, too.

(hmmm . . . now that I think about it, maybe they really WERE paparrazi, fighting for shots of The Tyrant on a bike . . . )

Today I received an email letting me know the photos are available. I didn't expect to find any photos of myself in the mix. But I decided to dig in and have a look through the literally thousands (no exaggeration) of photos. I fear that in trying to find myself (literally) I may have lost myself (figuratively). I know there are more photos of me out there, but I had to stop looking. It's just too much . . .

Let's face it, thousands of people dressed in brightly colored spandex/lycra outfits and helmets all look exactly alike.

Exactly alike. See?

Now, be aware that this is a family blog, and as a general rule, I try to keep the overt sexiness to a minimum. But I feel that we should all see what I look like on a bike, as proof that yes, I do, in fact, bike.

In fact, this is the first time I've actually seen myself on a bike. Being the one riding, I never really get to see what that looks like. So until today when I found myself in these photos, even I wasn't entirely sure that I actually do bike.

Turns out, I do bike. I look somewhat like I have decent equipment and perhaps like I know what I'm doing. And, I'm not too terribly disgusting in all that spandex.

This first shot was just a few minutes after the race began, getting ready to take a turn while I was still in a pretty compact group of cyclists. We were just begnining to thin out. Hence the appearance that I may not be going very fast.

Also, it is a still photo. Not a movie. Hence, the stillness of it.

I noticed as I looked at the photo today that I seem to be expressionless even on a bike, just like I am in everyday life. I enjoy the bike, and at this point in the day I wasn't bored or tired, yet. So, I can only conclude that I am meditating deeply about the couple of hours ahead on the bike, about what is playing through my iPod (probably Fergie or something deep like that). And I'm also concentrating on not running into other people that are around me (but not in the shot).

Also, I notice in the photo that the guy behind me has quite an unfortunate view of my arse in front of him. I hope he wasn't back there for the whole ride.

But then I remember how I broke away from him in this next photo, creating quite a bit of distance between us.

Totally smoked that guy.

Later, I looked like this:

I believe this was after a pretty decent hill, which you can see written all over my face. Or perhaps this is the very moment I was ready to go home.

But moments later (as you can see below), I was fine.

Towards the end of the ride, this old guy blew past me. As he came up behind me he said, "Are you okay? You look tired." I replied that I was fine (in the most chipper voice I could muster), like that was a ridiculous question to ask me. And then I was offended (secretly to myself) that he would dare ask such a thing. I felt pretty good, albeit a bit tired, but regardless I am definitly a WHOLE lot younger than he was. I should be asking HIM if HE was tired!

Of course, if I looked then like I do above, I guess I can't blame him for asking.

Also note my complete lack of tan. And yes, Rhea, I wore sunscreen that day. Mark my words, I will not arrive at your wedding with a ridiculous sunburn....

Nah. I can't promise that. The sun tricks me into making the weirdness with the bad sun lines.

Anyway, that's me on a bike.

I do have at least one pretty sweet arm muscle. Everyone should focus on that before making any ridiculous comments about my lycra-clad arse.



Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Dad Day, y'all

To all the dads out there.

Especially mine.

Your C.T.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fig Watch '07

It's going to be a good crop this year, y'all.


It is you I have loved all along

Anyone who can name the movie that song title is from gets a hug from me. So, if you don't want a hug from me, I suggest you get the movie wrong.

Hint: It's not from the movie I'm about to mention.

I'm sorry, but one of the most genius movies of all times is.... Undercover Brother.

However, it's not such a genius movie that I would ever pay full price for it. But today, after years of keeping an eye out for it, I found it super cheap at Halfprice Books, and it was the only copy.

So of course, I had to buy it.

Afros, funk, and Doogie Howser as the whitest black dude ever. What's not to love?

I am more than proud to own this movie.


PS: If I do not know you and I have never met you, you do not get a hug from me even if you get the movie song right. In fact, only people who I have hugged before will get another hug if they correctly guess the movie.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I might have mulched a snake today

In my yard. While I mowed.

Within the pages of this blog are the sordid details of the poor critters of The Tyrant's yard, past and present. Animals of the wild just don't tend to survive for long in my yard. With the exception of the rabbits. Somehow they manage to cheat death everyday.

It's nothing intentional. It just happens.

There was the bird that seemed to spontaneously lose it's head in the yard one night. Feathers everywhere, bird body in one spot, bird head in another. I'm still not sure how that one happened, but I swear I was nowhere near it while it was still one complete bird.

There was the frog that accidentally ran into the business end of my weedwhacker. One day we were friends, then the next day I mangled one of his legs... COMPLETELY unintentionally. He did not want to be my friend after that. And somewhere out there wanders a one-legged frog.

There was the squirrel that met an untimely end underneath my furnace inside the house. Again, not my fault. I did not tell him to crawl under there. I did not even invite him in to my house. He chose to take that adventure, all on his own. He knew the risks. I can only hope he died doing what he loved.

I really don't know what that would be, since he probably much prefered roaming freely outside, eating nuts and stuff.

Today, I mowed. With my mulching mower. And I think what I thought was a twig out of the corner of my eye was not so much a twig, as it was a tiny snake. Like a grass snake. I get those in the yard sometimes.

As I got closer to it, I saw that it was shiny, and maybe had a head? It suddenly looked a lot less like a stick. I can't really be sure. Because by the time I got close enough to it to see that it looked more like a snake than a twig, it was too late....

When I ran over it with the mower (I swear I was too close to maneuver around it without destroying my perfect, straight, yard-lines . . . and really, does it make sense for me to ruin my yard to swerve for what may or may not be a snake?), it did not sound like a twig being run over by a mower.

It didn't really sound like anything. Which was good. I don't think I could have taken it if I had heard tiny snake squeals pleading for it's life as it was sliced and diced by the mulcher.

I went back after I finished mowing to look for either twig shrapnel, or shredded snake carcass. I didn't find either one . . . and I'm pretty much glad about that.

And in conclusion for my defense, without a snake body no one can prove that I mulched anything.


P.S. If I didn't already have an Arch-Nemesis, THIS would be it:

That extension cord ruins a perfectly relaxing yard experience for me just about every week. How can it be tangled two seconds after I take it off of the reel??


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Something wasn't quite right with me...

.... today. I was just a little off or something.

1. I wore a sleeveless shirt today, which meant I needed to bring my jacket to work with me for the inevitable moment when I would get cold in the afternoon. Of course, I walked out the door without it, so I had to go back in and get it before I could leave for work. And then I never got cold at work today.

I later resented the jacket. And possibly my sleeveless shirt.

2. Someone made us have new coffee at work recently. True, it's better coffee. But I was so distracted by the new-fangled coffee packets this morning (I never adjust well to change at first) that I accidentally made decaf in the regular coffee container. This mistake could have single-handedly brought the company down within about 20 minutes... people drinking decaf but thinking they had regular in their cup, and people drinking regular who don't normally drink caffeine.

Had my boss not caught my mistake, it would have been a crisis of epic proportions. I quickly fixed it, but by then we had about 4 pots of coffee sitting on the counter (some labeled with sticky notes to direct people to the appropriate coffee). It was pretty much coffee mayhem, all caused by me in the approximately three seconds of losing focus on how to make the coffee.

People shouldn't talk to me in the morning until AFTER I've had my coffee. Talking to me before or during getting my cup of coffee clearly leads to disaster.

3. I forgot to put a band-aid on my injured thumbnail this morning. So, (being always prepared with bandaids stashed in just about every possible place imaginable - safety first, y'all) I made plans with myself to get a band-aid out of my purse and put it on the battered thumb after I made it to work.

But, I forgot. All day. Until just now when I noticed that the thumb hurts when I type.

I'll get a bandaid later. I'm busy.

4. I ran into the island in the kitchen at work. Tripped over it, actually. Yes, the island that has always been there, in the same place, every day that I've worked there.

Walked right into it. This, of course, took place in the midst of the Coffee Emergency mentioned above.

5. When I got home tonight, my macbook was open. Which means this day of being "off" actually started last night before I went to bed, because I never forget to close my laptop before bed.

Or perhaps the person that I sometimes think lives in my attic forgot to close it after surfing the web and making purchases on my Ebay account while I was at work today.

6. Last night I also kept leaving lights on all over the house everywhere I roamed. I never do that. I'm very habitual about turning off lights that I don't need.

To make up for it, I'm sitting in the dark all night tonight. Except for that 4 Watt nightlight over there in the corner.

That's it.

Might make it hard to get that band-aid on my thumb later. Maybe I'll wait until morning.... when the sun comes up.

7. I painted my toenails tonight (which I hate to do because I hate feet and toes and all that they have to offer). It's a process for me. I'm very thorough so that I don't have to do it again for at least a few weeks. Or until it is sock and boot season again when it doesn't matter what my toes look like.

Tonight I put the Top Coat on as the Base Coat, but I didn't realized it until I made it all the way through all of the other steps and arrived at the Top Coat stage. Then I realized the Base Coat was still in line to be used, while the Top Coat was already back in the toe polish container, which meant I had already used it.

So, I put more Top Coat on, but now one toe on my right foot seems to keep sticking to the toe next to it, and all of the toes feel a bit gummy.

I hope it dries better than that, and soon. I'm not due for another painting for at least 4 weeks. It takes that long to work up to it again.

Of course, being "off" today begs the question: Am I ever really "on"?

Don't answer that.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Weed Watch - False Alarm

I'm constantly on the lookout for weeds in my yard because, well, I constantly have weeds in my yard.

And I hate them.

I can say that my yard is finally more grass than weeds this season. And it's very pretty grass, too, I might add. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I have an actual lawn this year, y'all.

It's awesome.

But weeds still pop up in the yard from time to time, and in my flower beds. It's just a way of life.

This week I noticed a new kind of weed sprouting up around the rocks by my front door.

I get lots of weeds in that spot at about this time of year. But after I spray them a few times, they go away until next year.

What I saw there this week, however, was something I hadn't seen in that spot before. I put big rocks there for the main purpose of smashing down any potential weeds. So really, there's not a lot of room for anything to grow there.

That's my plan.

Last night I went out with my jug of Round Up weedkiller to hit the weeds in the flower beds, in the cracks of my driveway, and in the cracks of my sidewalks. These are the things that I obsess about as a somewhat OCD gardening-yardening enthusiast. Included in my weed rampage for last night was the rock section by the front door. I've been meaning to do this for a couple of weeks, but I keep forgetting.

I made my way around the beds, sidewalk, and driveway, then I made my way over to the rocks.

And then, I looked closer.

It's not a good picture, but y'all, those are BEGONIAS peeking out from around the rocks.

Um, what???

First, I LOVE begonias. I plant them every year in the planter in my front yard, and they never let me down.

But second, um, I've never planted ANYTHING by the rocks, much less UNDERNEATH the rocks. I've lived here for almost four years and all that has ever been in that spot during that time are rocks, and weeds. Plus, gallons of Round Up in that spot over the course of the past four years, which according to my gardening expertise, should kill everything that would even think about trying to live there.

Other than weeds. They never get the hint.

So the mysterious appearance of begonias in the rock bed, while I am THRILLED about it, I am also asking the question: How did they get there?

I'm perplexed.

Begonias don't typically germinate (is that the right word?), like pollen. They also don't tend to... procreate. You know, in the sense of making begonia babies that one day go off, leave the nest, and begin families of their own.

So it's unlikely that the begonias in the nearby planter jumped overboard, landed (again) UNDERNEATH the rocks, and decided to wait for four years to show themselves.

Begonias do grow quickly and spread where you plant them to make healthy, full shrub-type pieces of floral magnificence. But again, they don't typically sprout off from where they are contained and start new villages in the New World. They aren't explorers.

Also, squirrels and rabbits don't typically carry begonias from place to place, planting them for me. I do have rabbits and squirrels in the yard. But I don't see them taking it upon themselves to work in my rock bed to make up for all the years of digging holes in my flowerbeds.

I wonder if begonias were planted there before four years ago, went into hiding right before I moved in, worked out a pact with the weeds and sent weeds up for the past four years just to see what I would do, THEN decided to surprise me by peeking out from under the rocks this week.

Yep. That's gotta be it. It's the only thing that makes sense.


P.S. I did not spray the non-weed Begonias with Round Up.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I don't really have anything to write about tonight

So I'll just write a haiku about the fudge bar I just ate.

I call it, Fudgebar.

Fudgebar, I ate you
Tasty, chocolatey goodness
I'm sad you are gone


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Paris hasn't slept or eaten since she went back to jail...

And neither have I.

It's all just so overwhelming, I can't eat or sleep.

I mean, this may be the hardest thing I've ever done, watching Paris go to jail. I've just been crying and praying a lot.

I may have even screamed out this afternoon, "Mom! Mom! It's not right!"

I hope she starts eating soon. I'm hungry.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

On the bike again

I got up early this morning and did a 34-mile bike ride.

There are a lot of things wrong with that sentence. Namely EARLY.

Today was the first ride I've done since my last attempt at a century ride two years ago. That's the one that went down in flames when my cleats fell off of my shoes, the wind, the horror.....

I've been contemplating getting back into cycling for a few months, then talking myself out of it, then catching my tiny gut in the mirror and recommiting my life to bikes yet again. So, I signed up to do the Collin Classic this morning as a test run.

See, "signing up" was the key moment. I finally made the commitment and sent in my registration check a few weeks ago. I can't let myself out of something I've paid for. That's a rule.

I had every intention of getting in some sort of shape before today, but I only managed to get out on the bike twice in the past few weeks. Dang.

So, last night I was not very happy. I really didn't want to get up early this morning. I really just didn't want to do the ride. One thing that I look forward to every week is my weekend mornings, sitting in my chair by the window, enjoying my cup of coffee. I would have to miss that this morning. I had a long week. I was tired. I'm not in good shape. And I had quite a bit of anxiety coming back from my last terrible biking experience.

I'm just at the age where I really value sleeping in to a decent hour on the weekends and sitting with a good cup of coffee. These are the important things in life.

Anyway, I got up at something like 6am this morning, threw all of my stuff in the car (including my bike... good thinking, right?), and I headed off to the ride.

I have to admit, it's pretty cool arriving at these events, the long lines of cars with bikes in the back of trucks, on racks, stuffed in trunks. Brightly colored jerseys and the sea of spandex-clad men, women, and children....

(NOTE: There will be no photos of the Tyrant in her spandex bike gear for this post because no one needs to see that.... it's just TOO sexy for this PG-13 blog)

I gathered myself and joined the other 3,000 bikers at the start line, and then we were off. As the race began, my anxiety was at an all-time high. Every ride I've done before was to push myself. Intense training before the ride, watching my diet, checking my time, working to increase speed and endurance, checking distance. If I was going to pay attention to any of that stuff today, I would be seriously disappointed. I'm just not in shape to be close to any of my past performance when I was at the top of my game.

Basically, I don't know how to ride just for fun.

So, for the first 10 miles or so, I came up with a list of stuff to do (or not do) to make this a pleasant ride for myself:

1. Never look at my speedometer.
I need to not care how slow I am today.

2. Since I'm not looking at my speedometer, I should look around.
One thing I love about these rides is that they cover rolling hills (yes, North Texas has some rolling hills) over backroads. And it's actually really pretty. Today was a beautiful, sunny day. Stuff is green and blooming from all the rain over the past monthl. I tried to take in everything that was around me.

3. Enjoy my tunes.
I've developed an ingenious way to bike with my ipod. I only listen through one earphone so that the ear that's on the road side of my head is still free to listen to other bikers and traffic. I developed a road trip mix for my upcoming roadtrips, and I figured today would be a good day to test that out.

I make no claims to know good music when I see it. But I do have somewhat of a talent for making sweet mixes that are appropriate for a variety of occasions. The roadtrip mix includes:

Maroon 5
Britney Spears
Bobby Brown
Alanis Morissette
Corinne Bailey Rae
En Vogue
The Fray
Black Eyed Peas
Justin Timberlake
Kelly Clarkson
KT Tunstall.... and many, many more.

Today's road test was a success. It's a genius mix.

4. Stop at EVERY rest stop.
My general rule is to skip at least the first rest stop, and only to stop if I really need to. Today, the rule was to stop at every stop, and take plenty of time.

5. Only do 34 miles.
Originally, I planned to do the 47 mile route. But the more I thought about it last night, I decided that was too lofty of an ambition for my first time back out on the bike. I don't like to go to these events for anything less than 30 miles or so, so I decided that I'd do 34 miles and make myself be happy with that.

With these things in mind, my anxiety finally started to go away and I started having some fun. The next problem, though, was that I got bored somewhere around mile 17. I just wanted to be back home, taking a nap. Not because I was too tired, or hot, or having a bad time. I was just over being on the bike.

But the thing about being at mile 17 was that it's the halfway point for me today, which means that I have to keep going in order to get back to my car and be done with the whole thing. Like, when I play tennis, at the point I decide I'm tired and bored, I just stop and go home. On the bike, halfway out means you still have halfway to go to get back. So, I kept going.

Overall, it was a good ride. My legs felt pretty good, except on the hills. I made sure to take everything in as I rode (see Rule #2), taking the time away from phone, email, work, etc. to just release and enjoy the peace of the cornfields. (seriously, what's with all the corn??? It was like Field of Dreams the whole way).

If anyone is wondering, I found where mulch is born. While taking everything in (again, Rule 2), I was taking in deep breaths that suddenly smelled like cedar mulch. To my right was giant piles of mulch-esque tree bark as far as the eye could see.

"That's, nice. It must be where mulch is born," I thought.

Then a little further on as the mulch smell drifted away and I continued to take in deep breaths, things suddenly started smelling really, really terrible. And folks, I'm here to tell you that Stoney Point, Texas is where poo goes to die. The ride took us right past a giant Texas Pure mill (or whatever they call those places where manure is, um, percolated). For about a mile, all we could smell was hot, rotting poo. Mounds, and mounds, and mounds as far as the eye could see.


Anyway, long past the poo I was nearing the end of what was looking like an incident-free ride, when catastrophe struck. I was bumping back over the railroad tracks from the beginning of the ride (this meant the end was near), and I had almost cleared the tracks when I lost focus for a mere second and my hand came down hard on my handlebars, thumb first.

Pain SEERED through my thumb. Was it broken? Sprained? No longer attahed to my hand??? I hated to look. But I did.

I broke a nail.

But it was a DEEP break and blood was quickly filling underneath the nail and dripping off of my thumb.

Oh no. I'm losing blood. I still have about 4 miles to go.... CAN I MAKE IT???? What if I bleed to death? Or at least to unconsciousness?? Or I get blood on my pretty jersey????

Should I call the SAG Wagon to take me back in? "Help me! I broke a nail! I don't.... think... I can... finish....."

No, I'd get laughed at.

Should I stop and check on my thumb? I kept glancing at it, each time seeing more blood. Would I be able to carry on if I stopped?

NO. Just.... keep... going.

Fortunately I carry a First Aid Kit in the car (safety first, y'all). So if I could just make it back, I could save my thumb and stop the bleeding.

And, I did. I made it back to the car and I felt pretty good (except for my TRASHED thumb). So, we'll call it a success.

But I'm not entirely convinced I'm back into biking again. It's nice to know I can still do it, and without any training I can make 34 miles. But it was almost too exhausting just making myself not compete with myself.

Bug Count:
3 bugs inhaled by mouth
1 bug inhaled up my nose
1 butterfly to the shoulder

I totally rewarded myself with a two-hour nap, followed by Whataburger.

And I'll just take it one day at a time with my thumb recovery.


Friday, June 08, 2007

My audience

Once upon a time, I was an anonymous blogger. That was about 4-ish years ago when I was but a wee, naive, infant blogger.

Gradually, people found and read my blog, starting with people I didn't know. At times, I've had quite a following overseas, including some glory days when I was mentioned on a radio station in Australia as a favorite and frequented blog. Shout out to my Australian fans... G'day, mates! (that means "Hello, friends." in American)

Then I let a few friends into my blog, and from there my audience of friends grew. It was strange at first, having people I know read my crazy thoughts. But, it grew on me. And I'd like to go ahead and take credit for inspiring the blog-blog-revolution that erupted amongst my friends at the time, soon thereafter.

One day, when I least expected it, my dad found my blog. He's a whiz with Google. Having the parents on the blog took some getting used to, but we have all survived and I can now say that I'm glad they read me.

From there, my family audience grew to aunts, uncles, and possibly cousins. Maybe distant cousins. Perhaps ancestors. Possibly a future husband that I haven't met, yet. Maybe some kids I don't know I have. Who knows.

But, as I've gathered more variety in my reading audience, and through the phases of my life and my blog throughout the years, I've developed what I like to think is a stranger-, friend-, family-, and kid-friendly (for all the kids who might possibly stumble on a blog, or any blog, for that matter) blog. I was pretty sure that covered all of the bases.

Then today I find out that my blog has entered MY WORKPLACE.


I mean... welcome New People who may or may not be in charge of me at work.

I'm not going to lie, I've got quite a bit of anxiety about that at this very moment. Seriously, as though I don't already have enough things to be paranoid about and stress out about on an average day. (Like, will Paris survive jail...the second time??? WILL SHE??? I'm worried.)

However, coincidentally, and as luck would have it, today's planned blog was to be about how much I love my job and where I work, and how the almost three years that I've been at my company have been some of the best years of my life..... EVER. I would then go on to say that I strive day in and day out to be the best Account Executive I can be, always hoping for more growth within the company and looking for better ways to serve my company and my clients.

I had also planned (coincidentally) to mention how much I enjoy, respect, admire, and learn so much from all of my supervisors, bosses, directors, VPs, and president, in particular two very important (and might I say) handsome and pretty VPs who have mentored me from day one. Their guidance and leadership benefit me day after day to make me the woman I have become today, and I always look forward to gleaning as much as I can from them. Every. Single. Day. Of. My. Life.

I would possibly also mention how much I like cake.

And I think tomorrow's blog was probably just going to be a free-form creativity session that may or may not cover all of the reasons why I deserve a nice raise this year for my three-year anniversary coming up in a mere 28 days.

How weird that I was already planning to write about that stuff today.....

But, instead, for today I think I will just say that much of my life for the past 4-ish years is on the pages of this blog. Highs, lows, ups, downs, laughs, tears, anger, hurt... almost all of it VERY, very, snarky. But, not quite all of it. Some of it's real.

I do not feel today what I felt a year ago, or six months ago, or two years ago. And honestly I probably don't remember what I wrote last week. Although I'm pretty sure it had something to do with coffee.

But I like my job. A lot. I'm happy there. Let's all focus on that today, and everyday.



Thursday, June 07, 2007

I was Tagged by Ninja Gmama

I was tagged by Ninja Gmama. I don't usually do these kinds of things, but when Ninja Gmama tells me to do something, I do it.

Always listen to a fellow Ninja.

Here's the deal:
You have to answer the questions with one word (and one word only).


2. RELATIONSHIP?: hopeful

3. YOUR HAIR?: shaggy

4. WORK?: enjoyable

5. YOUR SISTER?: gone


7. YOUR DREAM LAST NIGHT?: interrupted


9. YOUR DREAM CAR?: mine

10. THE ROOM YOU'RE IN?: living

11. YOUR SHOES?: barefoot

12. YOUR FEARS?: death




16. MUFFIN?: blueberry


18. WHERE YOU GREW UP? louisiana

19.LAST THING YOU DID?: blogged



22. YOUR PET?: none

23. YOUR COMPUTER?: macbook

24. YOUR LIFE?: comfortable

25. YOUR MOOD?: joke-y

26. MISSING?: friendships


28. YOUR CAR?: Liberty

29. YOUR KITCHEN?: outdated

30. YOUR SUMMER?: working



33. LAST TIME YOU CRIED?: tuesday

34. SCHOOL?: Baylor

35. LOVE?: much

Traveling with the Tyrant - Work Edition

If nothing else, when traveling with the Tyrant there will always be stories to tell afterward.

I went to Florida again this week for work. Where I work, we OBSESS about our seating assignments on the plane. It's always a competition to one-up each other with a better seat. I have ZERO status, so my flights are always booked after my bosses' flights and seats. So I never win this game. Most of the time, I still get my aisle seat. But as was the case this time, I got assigned to a middle seat for both flights.

As is common, we get our seat assignments, then we immediately glue ourselves to to watch for new seats to open up. Fortunately, one of my supervisors who I travel with was looking out for me. We've had a crazy couple of weeks getting ready for this trip, and needless to say, I've been a little stressed at the office. She was trying to do me a solid and help me get a better seat.

She was keeping an eye on my seat availability while I was also keeping an eye on it (and even when I wasn't). But then when the travel agent sent us both an email that my supe had gotten upgraded to First Class, but she hadn't been able to move my seat to my supervisor's previous aisle seat, things started to unravel.

My Supervisor then came to tell me she had tried to give me an upgrade to First Class with her, but First was full. We talked through the value of "it's the thought that counts" and I told her she could make it up to me by baking me a cake (she's a world-class baker and she makes AMAZING cakes).... and then I kept watching online to try and change my seat. But wouldn't let me do anything.

At one point I clicked on an aisle seat and told me that my seat was confirmed and to check in at the gate so they could get me a seat assigment.

That confused me. I didn't trust that my seat was moved. Why not just show me the new seat online?

Then ten minutes before we have to head to the airport, we discovered an error in our meeting packets that I had already prepared.... TWICE (they were not my errors, but I'm the one who gets to fix them....). So we literally ran around the office trying to find the powerpoint, fix the slides, print the correct pages, and run out the door.

After we got to the airport, there we sat, at the gate, unbinding and then rebinding meeting packets. Again.

I then went to the attendant at the gate to check on my seat change, like told me to do. But she just looked at me, then looked at my boarding pass (middle seat, Exit row), and said, "Nope. That's your seat."

What?? Say it ain't so.

Fortunately, my supe and I are laughing. We are wound up, stressed out, redoing meeting packets, and I have a terrible seat on the plane. Snark is at an all-time high. It's like one hilarious bad turn after another. We decided I just hadn't flirted with the attendant enough. Yes, she was a woman.... a bit manly, but a woman, nonetheless.

The one thing my supe could do for me was let me board with her, since she does have status. She gets to board before the groups. As we lined up to board the plane, the gate attendant called my name!! Yay! We were both very excited. This could ONLY mean good things.

I went to get my new seat assignment.... and it was WORSE. She stuck me FURTHER BACK in the plane, by a window.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I actually got DOWNgraded, from Coach, to WORSE Coach.

The attendant said, "Hey, at least I got you out of that middle seat." Like I should be grateful to her. But the aisle seat was an EXIT row, albeit in the middle of the row, and I didn't ask to be moved in the event that a window opened up. I just wanted to move to an aisle, if it came available. Now I'm crammed in the corner at the back of the plane.

I went back to wait with my supe. She went in front of me and handed her boarding pass to the SAME attendant to get on the plane and said, "She's traveling with me."

The attendant said, "Yup." It was the most annoyed "yup" I've ever heard.

I left my supe in First Class and crawled back to my window seat. I ended up sitting next to a couple who were very open (and loud) with their communication. The woman part of the couple was very interested in everything I was doing.

I was sitting quietly, in the corner, doing my Sudoku puzzle, when I suddenly notice the woman sitting next to me is watching what I'm doing over my shoulder. Then she turns to her man-friend and says, "Hey look. She's doing one of those sudaaakkkaa.... sudooooookaaakaaa... how do you say it.... sodakkkkkuuuu..... I don't know. But I've done one once. Look at her, she's doing one...."

She said this loudly, and apparently thought that the armrest between us was a sound-proof barrier that would keep me from hearing her every word.

On the flight home tonight, I got stuck in the middle seat again. But I just didn't have the energy to try and change it. And I didn't want to risk being downgraded again. At least I still had the Exit row....

Other highlights include not being able to log in to our company server the whole trip, which means I will have approximately 9,000 emails when I get to the office tomorrow. Fortunately my supervisor also serves as my personal Blackberry when we travel. She screens my emails for me obn HER Blackberry, tells me what I need to know, tells people at the office that I am not available at the moment, and I dictate other responses to her for her to send on my behalf. I'm thinking I should take her more places with me. It's kinda nice to have a human Blackberry...

We ate dinner last night and lunch today at the same restaurant, because our clients like that place. A lot.

And when we landed today, we got the message that we can't wear jeans for Jeans Friday tomorrow. This made us very sad.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Arch-Nemesis - The Movie

I'm in Florida for work this week. But, I can't log in to our server to do any work outside of our meetings with a client.

So.... I've made good use of my time in my hotel room by putting my ongoing battle with my Arch-Nemesis in video form. Complete with a soundtrack.


Finally putting my Film degree to work, one YouTube video at a time.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

What I did tonight

My dad got me this:

It might be the most wonderful thing he has ever given me.

So, naturally the obvious thing to do tonight was to sit outside on my parents' patio and swat at bugs with my new tennis racket-shaped electric bug zapper. This provided a good hour or two of entertainment.

First, of course, we reviewed all of the safety information:

Product Features (as found on the packaging and online product information)
1. THIS IS NOT your regular WEAK "AA" powered Electronic swatter. Our Electronic swatter uses 2 "D" batteries which gives off a POWERFUL 1,500 bug exploding volts!

2. Simply push the button on handle to zap away those annoying bugs.

3. Protective THREE LAYERED Screen Keeps you from shocking yourself. The top & Bottom screen is for your protection. The middle screen give a whopping 1500 VOLT Shock.

Of course, I found that the three protective screens still allowed room for my pinky finger to get down to those 1500 volts. And of course, I had to try it. (yes, it does have a sticker on it that says not to do that... and I quickly found out why)

Y'all, it HURT! I touched it with only the tip of my pinky and I felt it in THREE of my fingers.

Plus, it made a big spark.

I later read online: "The output power is relatively low, constituting no real hazard to humans or pets at all."

So I'll probably be okay.

And tomorrow night I'll probably be out on my own patio, zapping bugs.

Y'all, they light up when they zap....