Sunday, July 29, 2007

Water Restrictions Lifted, y'all

And there's nothing I like more on a hot summer day than getting outside in my daisy dukes and a white tank top to hose off the side of the house in my bare feet.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

I hate the Miniature Focusizer

Is anyone else completely disturbed by the Frosted Mini Wheats commercial where the kid is talking to a talking Mini Wheat while she is getting ready for school?

The more I see this commercial, the more questions come up for me about this situation.

Like, the girl's mom is in the background busy doing something, but she is clearly within earshot of her child. So, is she okay with the fact that her daughter is having a conversation with a talking piece of cereal?

And why is the Mini Wheat the one helping the kid pack for school, and not the mother? Clearly the mother is too busy with something else more important, and she has left her child in the care of a tiny piece of wheat and sugar.

How responsible is that?

Then, the Mini Wheat gets all obsessive and insists that the girl takes her new "miniature focusizer" to school with her. Next we see the Mini Wheat in the girl's backpack, talking to her on the way to school.

So not only is the kid taking advice from cereal, she has formed an unhealthy relationship with a controlling piece of food.

And, not only has the mom neglected her child to the point that the girl has turned to cereal as a secondary caregiver, the mom has let her child go off to school . . . carrying on a conversation with sugary wheat.

I mean, does the mom not understand that her child is going to get beaten silly by her friends the first time she opens her backpack to ask her "miniature focusizer" for help to focus on a worksheet during math hour? She's going to be known as the Cereal Whisperer for her entire school career, unless she can find someone who cares enough to get her into therapy, remove her from a neglectful home situation, and quite possibly put her into the Witness Protection Program so she can find a new family who actually cares about her, move to a new school, and assume a new completely cereal-free identity.

Parents, I see this commercial as a wake-up call for all of the deadbeat parents out there . . . NOT as an advertisement for a tasty cereal. In fact, this commercial really paints Frosted Mini Wheats in a bad light, and just a little bit crazy. Is it a hallucinogenic? Is it trying to warp the minds of our children, trying to control the kids to rise up and eventually take over the world??

We need to wake-up and take notice of when our children are so neglected that they are hallucinating love and support from the foods that we eat.

I implore all of the parents all over the world, the minute you notice that your child is interacting with cereal, or with any other food for that matter, we need to step in and take action. We need to teach our children that food is not people.

Cereal is not your friend.

No matter how convincing your Mini Wheats may be, a tiny piece of cereal cannot actually help you get through your school day, or learn anything, or even guide you through a healthy or happy life. And it especially cannot take the place of proper parenting, or healthy friendships.

We have imaginary friends for that sort of thing.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Better than Feng Shui

It's Tyrant Shui.

I don't believe in all that feng shui crap. But what I do believe in is making spaces work for me.

As one with a tendency towards anxiety and a tad bit of OCD, I can be particular about the spaces where I spend my time. I have to be, if I am ever going to be comfortable.

When I am uncomfortable in a certain space, I tend to be withdrawn and fidgety (more so than usual). When the feeling of comfort is abundant, I am more likely to engage, to entertain, and to fidget just a little less.

I think that's why I enjoy being home so much. I have complete control over the space, and it's perfect for me. Always safe and comfortable. And I am hardly ever fidgety around here.

In places other than my house, I'll tend to sit in the same chair in a room every time, choosing the chair that puts me in the spot I deem as most comfortable for me. Not that it's necessarily the most comfortable chair, or the best spot in the room. It's all about my comfort level in the room.

Don't worry, I'm not going to freak out if I don't get my chair, or if a room isn't entirely to my liking, or if I have to sit in a spot that isn't the most comfortable for me. Although . . . I might. So it's probably safest for everyone if you just give me my chair.

You just never know what might make me snap.

And yes, I pretty much sit in one of the two same spots every day in my house, too. Even though I do have more than two places to sit.

Anyway, I recently decided that Cupcake's office just wasn't working for me. And if I have to keep going in there to escape . . . . I mean, to seek counsel and direction on very serious work stuff, the room just really needs to be workable for me. As a protege, I need my protoger? protogette? protogee? to have an office that is comfortable place for me to . . . learn.

Since I have just a cube, there's really only one place for everything to go, and everything is usually covered in a substantial layer of paper anyway. So, even if I wanted to Tyrant Shui it, there's not much I could do.

The first cube I had at my office was a constant source of anxiety for me. I felt like I was out in the middle of the room, on display, all the time. My back was to everyone, which meant I was a prime target for sneak attacks from, you know, bad guys. There was nothing safe about that space. And consequently, it was a fairly unproductive year for me, I think for the sole reason that I was uncomfortable and on edge every day, just by being at me desk.

Who can work in those conditions?

The cube I have now is ideal for me (as far as cubes go, that is) because it's in the corner, I face the room (which makes me safe from surprise attacks from behind), and I'm by the window, so I get the natural light and the illusion of more space than I really have in my tiny cube.

But Cupcake's office is a completely different story. It was a shui nightmare. The furniture was all weirdly configured and arranged oddly, wasting space and just giving out bad vibes. It was dark because the furniture covered the window. And there was just no flow. No sensible way to be in the room and have a conversation without feeling just a bit on edge, or being obstructed by other objects in the room.

There was just little to no shui. And I just can't work like that.

So today, we Tyrant Shui-ed it. To make the room work better . . . for me.

And for Cupcake. Of course.

And I have decided that this Tyrant Shui is my new hobby. I need your spaces to work for me if I am to spend time in your spaces at any time.

Tyrant Shui is not based on any sort of logic or mystic spirit or spiritual mystery or really on anything deep at all. It is simply based on how I need the room to be to be comfortable for me. In reality, I have been doing this for years in my own home. I'm constantly identifying things in the house that I can move, or paint, or rearrange, or cover with a picture that will add a bit more peace into this space.

It can be as simple as moving a chair or swapping one vase for another to be the centerpiece on my dining table, or it can be more complicated like staining all of the doors in my hallway to get rid of more of the light-colored wood paneling that plagues my house (which incidentally, might be my next house project).

Last night, I worked up some schematics of possible arrangements for Cupcake's office. I came up with two very Tyrant Shui options, then a blank page and some furniture cutouts so that we could rearrange in ways other than my two options.

It was all drawn to scale, of course.

Today, we picked an arrangement based off of Option #2 (my personal preference) and we moved all of the furniture around the room.

At long last, I feel comfortable in that space. My angst lifted almost immediately . . . almost immediately after I lifted that ridiculously heavy printer and put it back on the Other Desk.

The key was to redirect the flow into the room, and to provide an arrangment that shifted focus to make full use of an unobstructed view to the window (for daydreaming, or hardcore strategic thinking). I optimized the space and I arranged the table and chairs for maximum cheeriness and peace when I have to be in there for, you know, official protege/prototype? protetician? protetographer? business.

The room is amazing, y'all. Too bad I don't get to keep it.

One room down, millions more to go.

Your room could be next for Tyrant Shui.

Don't worry. You'll thank me after you experience the difference that Tyrant Shui can make in your life . . . and more important, in my life.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why had no one told me about this?

Some of you have a very serious and important responsibility to make sure that I am watching all of the good TV shows in the world, all of the time, as much as possible.

But it appears that all of you have dropped the ball on one very excellent show that I had to find all by myself.

People, don't hold out on me. I'm serious.

I kept seeing ads for my new favorite show (before I knew it was my new favorite show), but I never paid any attention to it . . . until I saw that the season premiere was to be a spoof of American Idol.

I immediately decided that I needed to watch all of the previous episodes of the show for context before the season premiere. And I was NOT disappointed.

Um, y'all? Why has no one told me about Psych before last week when I found it on my own?

This show is genius. And I might be a little bit in love with James Roday.

I'm not going to lie about that. I'm not ashamed.


Monday, July 23, 2007

There goes Plinko


THAT guy??

Out of ALL of the people in the entire world, they pick DREW CAREY to take over for Bob Barker on The Price is Right?

I mean, they even passed over the guy who hosted the traveling version of the show. Ladies and gentlemen, Todd Newton:

And so you're telling me that after the Fake Bob, who went to literally almost FOUR cities in the U.S. with the traveling version of the show, the next best option was Drew Carey?

I mean, nothing against Drew Carey himself. I'm sure he is a wonderful fellow.

But is he really The One to carry on the yodeling mountain climber torch? I mean, we might as well just go ahead and send that poor yodeling mountain climber over the cliff every single time for all of eternity. What more has he really got to live for, anyway?

I mean, sure. Maybe I'm a little too emotionally attached to The Price is Right as it has been and always should be: complete with Bob Barker.

See, 35 years of Bob Barker created a cultural powerhouse that blows all other daytime television game shows away. It's just a lethal, and perfect, combination. Nothing will ever compare to The Price the way we have always loved it.

That beady little microphone. The tan that never quit. It's magic, people!

Sure, what really made the show was yes, Plinko. But also, The Bob. It was bad enough when Rod Roddy decided to go ahead and die, which meant he had to leave the show, giving us no choice but to come on down to someone else's voice.

But at least with Plinko and Bob left, the show could still go on while maintaining it's iconic charm and purity.

And now they bring in the guy who based his sitcom in Ohio? There's NOTHING funny about Ohio, y'all.


Will it even be the least bit believable when Drew tells us to get our pets spayed or neutered? Will we want to watch an hour of old ladies planting kisses just underneath those giant black glasses? Is Mimi going to be Carey Beauty?

I don't think I can handle even a few seconds of Mimi in a swimsuit showcasing a jetski. I just can't do it.

The only real value I see here is if he brings Wayne Brady on at the end of every show to sing a medley random songs in front of a green screen with something crazy going on behind him. I would watch that part, especially if that really tall skinny guy is there, too.

You know, the funny one. He could just stand by the big wheel with a funny hat on or something. I'd like that.

I don't know. I'm just having a really hard time with all of this.

They can change the host, if they must. Ultimately, I have no control over this.

But if they go and change Plinko to . . . Dinko, or Stinko, or something REALLY ridiculous, like Drinko . . . I am OUT.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Tyrant's National Geographic Channel

Seriously, my backyard is like the National Geographic Channel . . . all the time.

Today I noticed that some (ok, A LOT) of ants have taken up residence in my potted petunias. It's like my own personal ant farm.

Not that I ever wanted one. But now I have one.

I was outside quite a bit today, watching the ants. I'm quite baffled at the sheer number of ants in my nice petunias. Which, incidentally, are a lot less nice than they used to be. And I think that's because they are full of ants.

So, as I watched the ants in and around my beautiful blue pot of petunias, I saw something that I'm sure in nature is absolutely extraordinately. Extremely rare. In fact, I believe I have captured on film the FIRST ever . . .

Group of Ants Carrying a Bee UP a Potted Plant of Petunias.

You won't see THAT on National Geographic, I can assure you.

What you are about to see is, in fact, the never-before-seen live footage. Of the ants. With the bee. Today.

Now, it is blurry. But trust me, it is a group of ants carryiing a bee.

You see, nature is unpredictable. Once I noticed this amazing feat of ant strength (clearly it must be Ant Festivus), I went inside to get my camera, thinking this journey of the ants and the bee would quite possible take hours. I had plenty of time.

But when I got back out to the ant festivities, the ants had the bee halfway up the pot already. So I didn't have time to grab my film crew, set up the lighting, and properly frame the shot. I just had to get in there in the thick of it, with my camera, and watch the magic unfold.

Lady and gentleman, I bring you the international debut of Group of Ants Carrying a Bee UP a Potted Plant of Petunias.

I think tomorrow I will train them to live somewhere else other than my petunias. If they survive the couple of pounds of Amdro I loaded into the potted petunia with them.


I don't understand what is going on here.

This is the second day that I have found my Arch-Nemesis parked like a normal person in an actual parking space.

Granted, he's all over the white line. But, it's pretty close to a good parking job.

Is it possible that camera phones and blogging really can bring positive change into the world in which we live? Can blogging be used for good, instead of evil?

On one hand, I am glad to be able to make a difference in my crusade for non-lame parking. I just want to make the world a better place, a place where the way people park their cars isn't offensive, or obscene.

On the other hand, this new and possibly improved behavior from my Arch-Nemesis takes all of the fun out of our bitter rivalry.

What will I do at work if our rivalry is over?

This may present an interesting new predicament. For me.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Um . . . Pizza

My favorite food is pizza. In fact, I'm kinda just all about pizza. And I'm okay with that.

So, I'm just gonna blog about pizza for awhile.

Pizza is my comfort food of choice. Aside from M&Ms, that is.

I've had a lot of pizza and pizza-related foods lately.

Here is a list of the pizza items I have enjoyed lately, or at other times, as well as my personal review of each product. I do know a thing or two about pizza, so really, it would be a disservice to my readers if I didn't offer my guidance through the world of pizza.

1. Campisis
I've tried a lot of pizza from a lot of places. Campisis may not literally be the best pizza in the world, but it might be my favorite. It's just real good, y'all. Making a Campisis lunch possible for me will make me happy, anytime, any day. And I have no problem if each of you want to suggest lunch at Campisis . . . everyday. Take turns.

= 3 thumbs up (out of 2 thumbs - so good, it gets more thumbs than I have thumbs to give)

2. Pizza Hot Pockets
I'm not usually a fan of Hot Pockets, but lately I've decided to give them another try. I've found three varieties of Hot Pockets in the pizza genre, and after trying all of them, I can give them all a thumbs up. I can't say I'd eat these every day (like I would eat Campisis everyday). But they are decent if you need a quick pizza fix.

These items are: the regular crispy Hot Pocket with pizza in it, the Hot Pocket sub with pizza in it, and the Hot Pocket Calzone . . . with pizza in it.

= 1.5 thumbs

3. The Pizza Sandwich - Potbelly's
Now, if you ask my opinion on what we should do for lunch, or for supper, and sometimes for brunch (but never for breakfast - I am very strict about no pizza for breakfast, especially not cold pizza - cold pizza is pretty much offensive to pizza, and to me) likely I am going to enthusiastically vote for pizza, probably until it gets so annoying for you that you give in to my pizza desires.

But, during one team lunch at work not too long ago, the group overruled my pizza pushing and they forced a sandwich on me from a little joint known as Potbelly's. However, I still managed to overcome this obstacle in my quest for pizza that day. I ordered . . . the Pizza Sandwich. Don't tell me I can't have pizza. I will get pizza one way or another.

Yes, it's pizza . . . on a sandwich. And really, this is pretty genius. It combines two of my loves into one food item. Because if I can't have pizza for lunch, my second choice would be a good sandwich . . . because I love sandwiches. But not as much as pizza.

And what is a better sandwich than pizza on a sandwich?? COMBINING the pizza with the sandwich is just an amazing culinary delight.

I recommend.

= 2 thumbs

Also good in a pizza emergency when you can't get to a full-size, real live pizza.

4. The Pizza Cheesesteak - Texadelphia
I haven't had this in quite awhile, but it is similar to the Pizza Sandwich. It's literally pizza . . . on a cheesesteak.

I'll give this one-and-a-half thumbs up. It's not a full two thumbs because quite frankly, all that pizza on a giant cheesesteak sandwich is almost overkill. But, I'm not going to go so far as to say that they shouldn't have put the pizza on the cheesesteak, because honestly, it was good. I just can't eat that very often. In fact, I've only had it a couple of times.

= 1.5 thumbs

5. Combos Pizza Snacks
I tried these for the first time this week. They aren't great, but they do pack a pizza-flavored punch. I don't know how they do it, but it's pretty much some sort of pizza-flavored goo stuffed inside a hollow cylindrical pretzel. After a few of them, the pretzel part gets too salty. But the pizza goo really tastes like pizza.

I don't necessarily recommend these, but I'm certainly not going to not finish the ones I bought this week.

= .5 thumbs

6. Pizza Hut Pizza Mia
I ordered this two weekends ago while puppy-sitting the pups. I don't really know what makes this pizza any different than a regular pizza, but here's what Pizza Hut says:

NEW Pizza Mia pizza is made with whole milk mozzarella cheese, Old World Pizza Sauce made with vine-ripened California tomatoes and dough from fine white Great Plains flour.

Basically that means fat-full ingredients.

And let me just say, it was so good that I ordered it again this past weekend, while still puppy-sitting the pups. I mean, it's no Campisis. But for a Pizza Hut pizza, it's good pizza.

Apparently this is just a test pizza in a few markets (I love that I can read about pizza on the internet), but I recommend the Pizza Mia if you can find it.

= 1.75 thumbs

7. Sbarro
Apparently, Sbarro is a fancy pizza restaurant found only in Times Square in New York City. I hope to go there someday and try this amazing pizza that I've heard about from the television.

= ?? thumbs

So, there you have it. That's not the sum total of all of my pizza knowledge. And there are still plenty of pizzas, pizza-related products, and pizza places that I need to try. But as you can see, I am somewhat of a pizza enthusiast.

There is no shame in admitting that.

Especially since you just spent the last seven minutes reading about pizza.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I think they call it nutgrass . . .

. . . because it drives you nuts.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Close second to the Ninja Warrior Show

Joey Fatone
Honey Bee back-up dancers
People who can't sing
Karaoke with missing words
And . . . a trophy to the winner

What ISN'T right about all of those things put together?

If you aren't watching The Singing Bee on NBC, I'm not sure we can be friends.

If only it had Ninjas, it would be the perfect show.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ninja Reality TV

Um, it just doesn't get any better than this:

I finally got a chance to watch this show, and it is amazing. I don't know what is better: that is in Japanese with English lead-ins, or that people are really serious about this.

I mean, as a ninja, I can tell you that ninjas don't really need a reality show to qualify for ninja status. If you are a ninja, you know it. If you aren't, conquering an obstacle course is not going to make you any more of a ninja than you were before you started the obstacle course.

But, I appreciate that people have the desire to train to become a ninja. I mean, some of the people competing on this Ninja Warriors show (according to the Japanese announcer) have dedicated their lives to training to be able to finish this obstacle course, at which time they will be crowned as a Ninja Warrior.

Sadly, that rolling log feat gets everyone who attempts the first level almost every time. Seriously, if you can't handle that, you are nowhere near being a ninja.

But again, if you aren't already a ninja, hanging on to that rolling log isn't going to help you now.

Don't get me wrong, this show is amazing and highly entertaining. It just won't make you a ninja.

Thanks to Ninja Gmama for alerting me to Ninja Warrior.

Ninja C.T.

Friday, July 13, 2007

More Adventures with the Puppies

Today, I rescued the puppies from the place where we board them. They are mine again for the weekend. I don't know what they do all day at this place, but since they got home this afternoon, this is pretty much what they've been doing:

They are completely worn out. I brought them upstairs to help me blog about their adventures this week, but they are clearly not very good helpers.

Today's pick-up was pretty smooth compared to dropping them off last Sunday. THAT was a nightmare.

So, since the dogs are not awake to tell their stories, let me share that story with you. (It is MUCH funnier with my visual reenactments, but this will have to do for now.)

Of course it was raining when it was time to take them to the boarder last Sunday. So, everything was nice and muddy and wet when I got there The window of opportunity was from 4-6pm, and I got there promptly at 4:00 but still had to wait in line.

After I checked the dogs in for their stay, they told me to go around the corner and a man would help me with the puppies to get them into their kennel. At this place, you actually take your dogs to where they will live for their stay, you put them in the kennel, and you walk away while watching them look at you like you just abandoned them . . . forever.

It's heartwrenching.

(Daisy is snoring right now, by the way, as I type this. It is HILARIOUS.)

Anyway, I go out to where the old man who owns the place is directing people, and I wait. I tell him I'm bringing dogs in and they told me to come see him. I continue to wait as he keeps sending people back to get their dogs, but I just keep standing there.

Eventually he's like, "are you sure you have dogs with you?" And I said, "They told me inside that you would get someone to help me with the dogs out of the car."

He told me to go get them and he would send someone over if it looked like I needed help.

Keep in mind, it's raining. And they are PUPPIES who are not completely leashed trained, yet. And there are about a MILLION dogs all over the place, all of them barking at the top of their lungs. Oh, and CHILDREN running around trying to pet all of the dogs that walk by. And . . . lots of SUVs driving in and out of the parking lot.

It's like the obstacle course from hell.

So I go to the Jeep and start trying to get them out of their crate and hooked to their leashes. When putting them IN to the crate back at the house, they acted all pathetic-like, like they couldn't jump that high. They made me pick them up and put them in the crate.

They may be puppies still, but they are full grown. They can totally jump that high. Which they did as I got the OUT of the crate. Down and up. Up and down. In the Jeep, out of the Jeep. Like little Mexican jumping beans that are on crack and overstimulated.

They were all hyped up on the new surroundings and the BAZILLION dogs barking their heads off.

I finally get the leashes hooked on their collars, I get them both down on the ground . . . and Daisy's collar comes undone, leaving me holding the leash with no Daisy on the end of it.

Meanwhile, Duke has wrapped himself in and around my legs a few hundred times because I can't get the lock to catch on his leash so that he can't pull the leash any longer than it already is, while I am watching Daisy run around the parking lot out of the corner of my eye.

I start screaming to Daisy to come back while trying not to fall on my face in the mud because Duke has my legs stapped together with the unique pattern he has woven in and around my legs. Daisy FINALLY comes back and I hook her collar back together, fasten the leash, and I close up the Jeep.

Meanwhile, the old man has sent NO ONE to help me, while other people in line are watching and enjoying the show I am putting on in the parking lot for everyone. Think Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton. Plus, I have the paperwork for the dogs in my hand (which is in these plastic holders because it clips onto the outside of their kennel), and rawhide bones for them to enjoy during their stay.

So, we're off to where we're supposed to wait for the old man to tell us where to go . . . except there goes Daisy again, across the parking lot. Her collar came undone again.

Duke is still going nuts, by the way. And I dropped everything I was holding. And I'm wet. And muddy.

I call Daisy back, hoping she doesn't get run over by an SUV, or eaten by a big dog. And I decide I'm just going to have to carry her because her collar CLEARLY is not interested in staying on her neck, fastened. So, I pick her up with one arm. I'm holding Duke on his leash with the other arm. And somehow I manage to pick up the bones and the paperwork again, and hold all of this together. I may have sprouted an extra emergency arm or two. I can't really be sure.

We finally make it over to where I'm supposed to stand and wait (by the old man who STILL DOESN'T GET IT that I could maybe use a little help). By this time, both of my dogs are also barking their heads off, yet children still keep thinking it's a good idea to try and come pet the squatty, barky dogs.

I decided that if Duke bites off some child fingers while I am standing in the rain, in flip-flops, holding a 17 pound dog in one arm, playing tug of war with a 25 pound dog that is pulling as hard as he can to get away from me so that he can chase all of the other dogs that are walking by, while holding some bones, and paperwork, I don't really care. At least if he has fingers in his mouth, he might stop barking for a minute or two.

17 pounds of barking dog gets really heavy, really quick, by the way.

Finally the old man decides to stop waiting on his helpers to come help me, and he says he will take me down to their kennel himself. I assumed this meant he would also help me by taking one of the dogs. But I was wrong.

He did not.

So, Old Man takes off down the sidewalk, and I hobble along after him with Duke still twisted around me, and still carrying Daisy, hoping she doesn't wriggle free and make a run for the hills. Remember, she doesn't have her collar on. If she decides to bolt, she might be lost forever. And I would have to spend the following week tracking down a perfect replica of Daisy, then selling a kidney to be able to afford to buy her and overnight her to get her here before my parents get back from vacation, and then I'd have to train her to be just like the Daisy we currently know and love so that my parents won't notice that I lost their dog out in the sticks.

Fortunately, we made it inside the building with no escapees. But then, things got WORSE.

Stepping into the hallway of kennels just about blew my ears off. Think two solid walls of dogs in a narrow metal completely enclosed tunnel, all of them barking their heads off.

Plus, it stinks.

So, my dogs freak out even more. It is CRAZY loud in there. Another guy is in there picking up his two GIANT dogs. In fact, I question that they were even dogs and not some species of Kodiac bears.

Just as we get to where Old Man tells me is the kennel where my dogs will be staying, Daisy wriggles free and starts running up and down the hall, completely freaked out. The big dogs are out, and likely to eat her if she slows down, and she has no idea what to do.

Duke is running circles around me, still attached to his leash. My legs are kinda wrapped up like a mummy at this point. I had no idea his leash was 108 miles long.

But then I look in what is supposed to be their kennel (at least I assume it's their kennel since Old Man is standing over me and just repeatedly pointing into this particular kennel, which I can only assume is the sign for "please corral your animals and put them in there while I stand here watching you . . . without helping you), there is ANOTHER DOG still in the kennel where MY dogs are supposed to be. And as soon as Old Man opens the gate (Old Man is not exactly nimble, but he didn't even try to grab the dog), that other little dog squirts out and starts chasing Daisy around.

So, I'm screaming at Daisy to come here, but no one can hear me because of the chorus of dogs yelping like they've never yelped before. I'm also trying to ask Old Man if this currently occupied kennel is really where my dogs are supposed to be, but he can't hear me either.

I finally grab Daisy as she runs by again, and I shuffle myself and both dogs into the kennel (actually, it was more like a big flop that carried all of us in there), and I shut the gate behind me. I have just stepped into what is essentially a wet, stinky, prison cell with two manic puppies jumping all over me.

I have to believe the "wet" part was water, but since it was inhabited by another dog up until two seconds ago, I can't be sure I wasn't squatting in dog pee.

The puppies corner me and cling to me for dear life. I re-attach Daisy's collar again, knowing full well it will come off again in 5 minutes, which means we may or may not get the same dog back when I come back to get them in a few days. But at this point, I'm kind of okay with that.

I untangle Duke from me and his leash, and I manage to get all of the pieces of everything that isn't staying in the kennel with them, OUT of the kennel.

I kinda just cracked the gate open again and threw everything out, then I closed it again quickly behind me with me still in there with the dogs, trying to calm them down. Meanwhile, Old Man is just watching me, and if I'm not mistaken, starting to get annoyed with me that I am taking so long getting the dogs in the cage and me out of the cage. He finally grabbed that other dog, but still apparently feels no need to help the SKINNY WHITE GIRL WRESTLE WITH TWO HYPER PUPPIES.

Don't get me wrong, they are very good dogs. They were just completely over-stimulated, and I was completely unprepared for the chaos.

I eventually figure out that calming the puppies is just not going to happen. So, I inch my way to the gate and squeeze myself outside. Then I poke their rawhide bones back in through the gate holes, and I start to walk away.

That's when they gave me that look of, "why? how could you do this to us? what did we ever do to you? please don't leave us . . . "

Heartwrenching . . . I just knew they would hate me forever. Seriously, it was like a Where the Red Fern Grows, or an Old Yeller moment.

But, fortunately today was much simpler. I bought a new collar to bring with me for Daisy so that I didn't have to risk her other collar refusing to cooperate again. But when I got there, her old collar was magically staying on, so I didn't even need the new collar.

And they were VERY glad to see me. They haven't left my side all night.

Of course, Daisy has lost her voice from all the barking at the kennel. I think they just bark 24 hours a day while they are there, nonstop. It's hilarious. She's used to being able to make all of these cute whiney noises to win my sympathy for stuff, but now she tries to make noises and it just doesn't happen.

SO FUNNY. Her voice will be back in a couple of days, but for now, I'm just laughing at her. She's so cute.

Both of the pups got a bath when they got home because, well, they just stunk real bad. And since they seem to be glued to me for now, I'm not about that funk following me around all weekend.

Anyway, maybe they'll have some stories of their own later.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007


This is the number of DVDs in my Netflix queue right now.

Is it even possible to watch that many movies . . . ever?

Don't ask me what is in my queue. Because ALL of them are in my queue. Everything.

ALL of the movies.

There are probably less movies in the world that aren't in my queue.

I don't even know what's in there. I just keep watching whatever shows up at my door next.

Last night was something in Japanese. There was a war maybe?

I don't know.



I'm pretty sure that's the number of days it has rained in a row.

Today it rained so hard at the office that we all had to freak out for awhile. Rain, thunder, lightning, hail. We all had to run around and stare at the rain, and I won't lie, there were some shrieks of fear at the louder thunder claps.

I didn't shriek. I never shriek.

I have a primo window cube next to a wall made entirely of windows, which on a normal day is quite nice. But when it rains, hails, and with the lighting, it pretty much becomes an instant death trap. I mean, what if a piece of hail hurtled through the window, accelerated by wind, and then lit on fire by lightning, only to hit me in the head while I'm buried in a spreadsheet?

Sure, the hail would probably melt before it did any damage, you know, due to being on fire and all. But, it could happen. And it would leave a wet spot on my desk that I'd probably end up sticking my elbow in, which would get my shirt wet, leaving me annoyed and unhappy the rest of the day.

There was so much sudden rain today that I had trouble getting home after work. Lights were out and traffic wasn't moving. Standing water was, well, standing all over roads. I had to backtrack and take a different route. With gas prices what they are these days, I wish I could bill the weather for these kinds of inconveniences.

I saw new lakes, rivers, and even fjords that weren't there when I passed that way on my way to work this morning.

But when I got home, all seemed well. Albeit very wet. But my bed wasn't on fire or anything, so at least I had that going for me today.

There's not a lot going for me this week. So it's nice to come home to a bed not on fire.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You know what this face means

'Nuff said.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wild Kingdom

This weekend, I was left in charge of two wild and viscious animals. I was able to capture some of their natural behavior on film while in their native habitat.

In this first clip, the wild animals track and chase what appears to be an elusive red dot. Watch how the animals protect their environment from the potentially dangerous dot by running in circles and, sometimes, into each other.

In this next clip, the two animals battle it out over a coveted bone that was clearly found in the wild, possibly from the carcass of a raw hide. Who will win? Keep watching for a surprise ending.

Don't worry, no animals (or camera operators) were harmed in the making of these films.


Friday, July 06, 2007

If you blog it, it will come

It turns out that the Three Year Anniversary really IS the golden hole punch anniversary!

I totally had a golden hole punch waiting for me at work this morning, y'all. I know all of you are jealous. It is a very prestigious honor.

Hopefully during Year Four, people will learn how to spell my name correctly.

Shout out to Cupcake for making all of my golden hole punch dreams come true . . .


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cleaning the proverbial bathrooms of life (or your job)

Turk: The bathrooms around here are filthy.
Janitor: No one ever thanked me for cleaning them, so I quit cleaning them.

And . . . scene. From Scrubs.

Friday marks my three-year anniversary at my current job. Yep, three years. I'm really proud of that. It's the longest I've been at a job, with the exception of my church job that I recently no longer have. I had that job for five and a half years.

I'm pretty sure the traditional Three Year Anniversary celebration is a parade, and possibly a gold-plated hole puncher. I can report back on that after I get back to the office on Friday.

At the very least, I'm pretty confident that I'll get at least one thanks for doing what I do and for accomplishing three years of doing it. It's always nice to get even a little recognition for another year of service.

And a donut. I'm pretty sure I'll get a donut.

I'm kinda hoping for the gold-plated hole-puncher, though. I would trade the donut for that.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Tyrant's European Texas Tour '07 - Part 2

Today's trip was an adventure to Dublin . . . Texas

I decided to try to blend in better with the small town-ishness this time, unlike I did for Paris . . . Texas. So, I chose my camo tank top with my brown cargo pants for my outfit. You know, because camo helps you blend in with your surroundings.

I packed everything into the Jeep that I needed for the trip, including my very Small Friend.

Turns out, she wore camo shorts with a brown tank top. We did not plan this. And so much for blending in. Two girls in camo would definitely NOT blend in.

Our first stop was Starbucks. Because ALL roadtrips should start with Starbucks.

Then we realized we were missing one crucial snack item: Hot Tamales (heretofore known as Hot Ts, named after me, of course). All roadtrips should also have Hot Ts. It's a requirement.

So, we made a stop at the Kwik E Mart to get the Hot Ts. Yes, I said Kwik E Mart. Turns out there is only ONE 7-Eleven in Dallas that was turned into a Kwik E Mart over the weekend to promote the new Simpsons movie. I happened to know where it is.

And yes, one of the employees was wearing an Apu nametag.

After that, we were on our way. And honestly the rest of the day was less exciting than our camo and Kwik E Mart.

The big attraction for Dublin is that they still make Dublin Dr. Pepper, the only Dr. Pepper bottling plant in the world to still use Imperial Sugar in the recipe. It's different than any other Dr. Pepper. So, we toured the plant (10 minutes, and we were the only two people on the tour). I bought Dublin Dr. Pepper, and Dublin Dr. Pepper Beef Jerky (oh yes, I said beef jerky). And we had a Dr. Pepper float.

Then we were ready to go home.

Some other highlights include:

1. Rain
It rained off and on the whole way there and back. Which is odd, since it hasn't rained AT ALL in, like, WEEKS.

2. Juan 3:16
We assume this car refers to the Bible verse, but we're not certain it's not just Juan's address.

3. The world's oldest Dairy Queen tray
We found this at the Dairy Queen in Dublin. Complete with a misplaced exclamation point. Or perhaps it's just an oddly constructed sentence that was popular sentence structure 60 years ago when we think this tray was made.

Fun trip.

Thank you. Come again.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Vacation Progress Report

Even on vacation, I find it hard to stop making myself accomplish things and just relax, or keeping a list of to-dos. Today I've been thinking through everything I wanted to do on my vacation compared to the number of days I have left. Why are vacations never long enough?

European Texas cities visited = 1 out of 3 (but I'm going to Dublin tomorrow, so that will make 2 out of 3)

Number of books read = 1/2 (I had planned to finish 3 books)

Amount of tan and/or sunburn accomplished = 0 (I blame this on the rain that keeps happening all the livelong day, and not on my lack of accomplishment)

Amount of writing accomplished (other than blogging) = 0 (I still have plans to do this. It will be the beginning of my memoir.)

Number of Netflix movies watched = I lost count

Number of doors stained = 1 out of 1

Number of times I thought about Cupcake slaving away at work without me = A few (because it's the thought that counts . . . )

Number of good deeds done = 2 out of 2 (which is probably 2 more than I did last year, so I'm good for the rest of the year)

Number of other random projects that did not need to be done, but I did them anyway = 2 or 3-ish

Number of naps = only 2 (unfortunately)

Number of showers taken = far less than the number of days I've been on vacation

Not to mention, I've barely put a dent in all of the food I bought. I've eaten more meals out of the house than I planned to do. In order for none of my vacation food to go to waste, I will have to eat a WHOLE lot of food in the next three days.

Now I'm all stressed out about the rest of my vacation. Good thing I only have to work one day this week before the weekend. I'll need the break.


Sunday, July 01, 2007


Today I realized that I will never finish a marathon.

I am okay with that.


Lazy Sunday

I've been watching the Concert for Diana off and on today. It's been a good pick for a nice Sunday of doing nothing.

I've been off and on intrigued with Princess Diana for like, ever. You know, tragic story, quiet, shy woman plucked from obscurity and forevermore in the world's spotlight, life ended too early. That stuff draws me in every time. I learned today that she was 6'3" in heels. That's real tall, y'all.

I vaguely remember watching some of her wedding on TV when I was but a wee Tyrant. I probably had no idea then who she was or what I was watching, but I'm pretty sure I have memories of sitting on the floor in front of our giant box-of-a-tv-with-that-giant-knob-for-changing-channels . . . watching the Princess Di wedding extravaganza. I see clips of it now and it seems familiar, so I think I must have watching at least a piece of it then.

In college, I taped her funeral since it was on in the wee hours of the morning when I wouldn't be awake. I didn't watch all of it, but I wanted to see what it looked like. The whole thing was so tragic (there's that word again) and bizarre, and of course I figured a royal funeral was something to see. It was during the weeks surrounding her death that I learned more about Diana and all of her humanitarian work. I think college was when I first started actually paying attention to the world outside of my dorm room.

The other night I caught the interview with William and Harry on Dateline (or something). They're like, grown-ups now. Bizarre.

And then today I was reading the paper and flipping through channels (I have to have more than one thing going on at a time . . . ), and there was the Concert. I'd forgotten about it, but it just so happens that I'm on vacation and my big plans for today are . . . nothing.


It's an interesting line-up for the concert. I haven't watched all of it, but I'm sure Diana would have appreciated . . . Fergie. Not the Duchesss. The Pea.

And whether it's for Diana or not, I could watch Ricky Gervais run out of material and have to fill time, anytime, and I would find it hilarious . . . every time.