Monday, October 31, 2005

Emily Post Would Be So Proud

Emily dressed as Marilyn Monroe for her Cotillion Halloween Party Saturday night. I went over and helped her with her makeup before the party. She really looked gorgeous and it was hard to believe she's four months shy of being twelve!

We were talking about the dance and I asked her if they served any food at the party (of course I asked that) and she said, rather glumly, "Nothing but hard cookies and punch."

My brother, Dave, also her father, chimed in, "for what we're paying for Cotillion, she should be served Filet Mignon."

I then asked, "is it really expensive?"

Dave replied, "heck yes, it is."

Exactly a half second later, Emily let a huge burp that rattled the windows and woke up the dog.

"And as you can see, we're really getting our money's worth," my brother said.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I am a Little Scary

I've got a nice edge to me. I should use it more often.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Somebody 'splain how this works!

I just don't get this!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
Fire is the theme this week at Mama Says Om, so I wandered around the house looking for ideas and thought this would represent fire effectively. Something I've often wondered is what made that first Cave Woman decide to put her food over a fire and cook it before eating it?


Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
Fire is scented candles. Scented candles remind me of the holidays, particularly those days before Christmas when you are wrapping gifts and listening to Christmas music and enjoying the familiar scent of cinnamon that comes from your new Christmas candle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My One True Love

Work is getting better. It's still not fun, but I'm getting used to the hectic atmosphere and I'm really tapping into my multi-tasking ability in order to keep up with everything I need to do at once. There are about ten doctors in the area where I work, and not one (except the one I've known most of my life) has bothered to introduce him- or herself to me, nor even speak. That's typical, I guess, but I don't like being invisible. One of these days I'm going to show up in a neon-colored tube top and platinum blonde wig and see if any of them speak to me then! I will say one thing that makes the job great: there is candy everywhere.

In other aspects of my life, there's nothing much to tell today. I went Halloween candy shopping today and that was fun. I just hope I don't have any Trick-Or-Treaters, 'cause I want all the candy for myself.

I guess my life boils down to one thing: searching for candy. It could be that I was addicted to crack or heroine, so really it's not that bad. All that stuff I said in a previous post about always having candy for Emily and Reece at my house was a lie. Yes, it was. The candy is/was/always will be for me. I will, however, gladly share it with you if you ever come to visit me. Just call first so I can go to the store and buy more.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Little Monday Fun

Your Daddy Is Mike Tyson

What You Call Him: Papi

Why You Love Him: He takes you to church

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Strange Dream

My mentor, who is a well-known, well-published, highly-respected Renaissance Professor (have no idea why she takes such an interest in me) has been pushing me to get a paper published. She’s heard me present the paper and thinks it’s pretty good. I have been thinking that I needed to add one more novel to the paper. The paper is about the characters of Beverly Lowry’s novels. My absolute favorite Lowry novel is Come Back, Lolly Ray! - you should read it, it’s wonderful. Since that novel, I’ve read all of Lowry’s other novels except Crossed Over, which I finished yesterday. It’s a nonfiction story about Karla Faye Tucker, the first female to be executed by Texas in over a hundred years. Yes, Idiot Boy was still governor of Texas at the time and did nothing to stop the execution, but let’s not get me started on my dislike for “W” and the Death Penalty. I have far more personal matters to discuss right now.

I seldom remember my dreams, however, I awoke this morning remembering last night’s dream with vivid detail. I was in a talent contest and the judges were Beverly Lowry, David Letterman, and some guy who was really hip-looking but I didn’t know him (in the dream). He was famous, but I didn’t know who he was. That part is still bugging me. Before the contest, I approached Lowry and told her about my paper. She liked what I was writing and agreed with my idea about her characters mostly possessing a common trait. (No need to go into all that right now.) Once the contest began, I realized that I was going to be singing an old Jefferson Airplane song, but I had to sing it in French! I also had to sing it while standing on this really rickety old twin bed that made me wobble when I stood on it. I couldn’t stand on the bed, so I sang the song while standing on the floor and lost a lot of points by doing so. I was sure I hadn’t won the contest because of that. I can’t sing, either, but in my dream it was all because of the bed that I lost the contest. That’s all I remember about the dream. Isn’t that strange?

I can understand Lowry being in the dream, but Letterman? I hardly ever watch his TV show. And why was the song in French? I spent three hours yesterday working on lessons for my class this afternoon, but my students are Columbians. They speak Spanish, not French. And Jefferson Starship? I haven’t listened to them in forever. And, finally, the standing on the bed? I just don’t understand any of this.

Anybody out there know how to interpret dreams?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Tag, You're It

My dear friend, Irene, tagged me to give her twenty. I know, I just gave thirteen yesterday, but hey, it's Friday and I have survived a hell of a week and I don't want to have to think again until tomorrow.

1. I, the one with the MA in English, am Comma Challenged when it comes to my own writing.
2. It’s F-O-R-T-Y, folks, not F-O-U-R-T-Y.
3. I remember visiting Santa when I was three and asking for a Baby First Step doll.
4. I really, really, really do not like pop-ins. Call me first. I mean it.
5. I would rather be home with my dog and a good book than almost anyplace in the world.
6. I drink soy milk.
7. I don’t do well with high-maintenance people.
8. I never learned to roller skate.
9. I have been on a diet for twenty-five years.
10. I am most miserable when I have to be around someone I don’t like.
11. I regret that I quit playing the piano.
12. The first thing I’d do if I won the lottery would be to hire a full-time housekeeper/cook.
13. I feel powerful when I’m able to repair something myself.
14. I never liked sports until my niece started playing softball.
15. I like to boss people around.
16. I don’t like to be bossed around.
17. Realistic art does not impress me. Picasso’s does.
18. I recognize passive-aggressive behavior when I see it.
19. I look sick in lavender.
20. My second toes are a lot longer than my first ones.

To my Blogging Buddies: play along, please! I love reading these types of lists and I think a lot of people do, too.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's Thursday Thirteen Again!

Thirteen Things about VANESSA

1. I talk to myself in a British accent.
2. I’m good at mimicking voices.
3. I can tell you anything about an “I Love Lucy” episode before I’ve watched the first one minute.
4. I was in a sorority for one year in college. I thought it was stupid.
5. I have never felt that I fit in completely in any environment.
6. I am ready to move away from the South.
7. If I could time travel, my first stop would be sixteenth-century England.
8. I’ve had four surgeries in my life.
9. When I was ten years old, our house was destroyed by a tornado. We were huddled in the bathroom, which was the only room that was intact after the storm.
10. I believe in God. (See #9)
11. The worst spanking I ever received was right after I decided to be Tarzan and swing from my mom’s bedroom curtains. I broke the curtains and my mom broke my hind end.
12. My grandmother Bera used to bake me a pumpkin pie every time I spent the night with her.
13. I’m writing a play based on my mom’s family.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Woes Of Wednesday

I have survived a week at my new job. It’s hell sometimes; other times it’s not that bad. I will never like it, but it is a way to survive, so I’m going to make the best of the situation. That’s the mature thing to do, right? When I walked into work, last Wednesday, I was introduced to my new coworker, Mary. Picture Felicity Huffman. Yeah, she’s very pretty, and she has the best laugh I’ve ever heard. The first thing Mary said to me was, “I hate this job.” Well, she’s definitely my kind of girl: speaks her mind. We instantly hit it off and I have been learning a lot from her and look forward to working with her every day. She has a couple of kids and a husband and she’s normal. She’s quitting. Tomorrow is her last day. I’m still waiting for someone to throw me that bone.

In other aspects of my life, I made a quick trip to the grocery store after work. I only had to pick up a few things, so I went to the store nearest my house. I grabbed a shopping cart and started on my way and saw a mouse run across the aisle. There were at least fifty people in that store at that very moment and no one saw it except yours truly. After I finished shuddering, I got my few things, all of which were packaged items that a mouse could not get to, which is the only reason I didn’t run out of there without my groceries, and went home to begin my nice, quiet evening. As I was stocking my refrigerator with the twelve-pack of diet sodas, I noticed that there was an empty can in the box. It had a hole in the bottom of the can. I only got an eleven-pack. I guess that mouse likes Diet Rite, too. BONE, people.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Yeah, that's all I'm sayin' Posted by Picasa

I am SO phoning this in today.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Craighead Forest Lake

Emily and Reece at the lake
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I took this photo last weekend of Emily and Reece standing on the bank of the lake. Where they are standing used to be water, but the lake has been partially drained for the purpose of cleaning it and restocking it with fish. This lake holds many memories: Girl Scout retreats, learning to waterski, lazy afternoons with a fishing pole, countless picnics, and exploring the forest with my niece and nephew. My brother, Don, visits this lake almost every day to run. I love to drive out there ocasionally and take a book and lawn chair and stay for hours. I'm hoping that city officials will continue to improve it, as they are doing now, so that everyone can enjoy it for many years to come. I posted this in honor of's water theme for the week.

Friday, October 14, 2005

What's Going On With You Guys This Weekend?

Happy Friday! It's been a long week, and I am planning on doing very little this weekend. Emily and I are going to see her future husband's new movie sometime this weekend, and I'm teaching some English classes on Sunday to my Columbian students, but that's about it for me. I need to recuperate from this new, wonderful, job.

Here's a little fun for you, my friends:

My Blogging Type is Logical and Principled

You like to voice your well thought out opinions on your blog.
And if someone doesn't like what you write, you really don't care!
Serious and blunt, sometimes people take your blog the wrong way.
But you're a true and loyal friend to those who truly get you.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thursday Thirteen on Thursday the Thirteenth

Thirteen Things about VANESSA

1…. I added two more books to my reading list: The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter, and In America by Susan Sontag.

2. My new job wasn't quite as bad the second day as it was the first. Still not thrilled with it, but I'll survive.

3. Emily won her volleyball game tonight. She made some awesome serves!

4. I lost SIX pounds the first week of my mega diet.

5. I got fired last week and went off my diet.

6. I gained seven pounds last week.

7. I am back on the diet this week.

8. I think I am an emotional eater. (duh)

9. A friend sent me a new Ryan Adams/Norah Jones song today that's really good.

10. It took me three attempts to pass College Algebra.

11. I am left-handed.

12. I have no interest in ever attending a high school reunion. I skipped the last two.

13. My only real fear is driving on an icy road.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The One In Which I Do A Massive Amount Of Complaining

I started a new job today. Another crappy, just-to-pay-the-bills job. The reason I started a new one of those is because I got fired from my old job last Wednesday. We’d been taken over by a new director and assistant director who know absolutely nothing about running a medical clinic and they got tired of me pointing that out to them. I never know when to keep my mouth shut, so out I went! Actually, it was a huge relief and I got this new job almost immediately, thanks to my former boss. It sucks, though. It’s extremely stressful, since the phone rings about a thousand times in a day, and I am lucky enough to get to answer all the calls! Can’t express how exciting it is to listen to old people complain about themselves. And the patients who come in are all fussy and complain about having to wait for two hours to see the doctor. I want to say, “Hey, I don’t care how long you have to wait, so shut up and sit down and stop bothering me!” I don’t say that, of course, I just look all apologetic and in my mind I’m saying, “Pretend to care pretend to care pretend to care.” This is working wonders on my patience level. My new coworkers, however, are all quite sweet and helpful and I enjoy them, so I can certainly handle the rest of the job because of them.

Next August I am leaving town and going elsewhere to obtain another master’s so that I can actually do something I will enjoy. I’ve scratched the PhD plan, since it’s almost impossible to find a tenure track position as an English professor anywhere in this country. So, I’m going to get an MLS degree, also known as Master of Library and Information Science degree and hopefully specialize in archives. There are actually jobs out there! (Why am I telling the internet? I don’t want everyone else jumping on this and competing with me for jobs!)

Anyway, this post has no humor, I’m sorry about that, but I’m not feeling very humorous right now. I’m just pooped out and sleepy and ready to veg for a while and read a book. After I read my favorite blogs, of course.

I promise to think of something funny or stupid to write about tomorrow, my friends!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pleather? I Think Not.

I am so glad this guy sold his pants. We should all be rewarded from time to time for our fashion mistakes.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Saturday At The Park

Hello, Sweeties!
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
Saturday afternoon the family embarked on our third annual family picnic. We wait until summer is over and the weather is nice, then we load up our vehicles with tons of food and head to the lake for an afternoon of playing and eating. Don cooks the burgers and Dave tells jokes and Mom and Dawn laugh at him and I take photos of Emily and Reece. After eating, we play football, or sit and moan about how full we are. It's always a great time and we all look forward to it every year. Mom brought the best banana pudding I've ever eaten this year. E-mail me if you'd like the recipe!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ten Signs You Drink Too Much Coffee











Thursday, October 06, 2005

My Reading List For The Time Being

I always have a stack of books on my nightstand. I would welcome any comments on the following, which are ones I’ll be reading in the next few months:

Crossed Over by Beverly Lowery (I’m writing a paper on Lowery and need to see if this book should be included in the paper, so I’m reading it now.)

The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin (Read many times, but still think these are some of the best short stories ever written.)

Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Stories of Elizabeth Spencer

The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner (Feel a little guilty that I haven’t taken the time to read this one yet.)

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Billy Ray’s Farm by Larry Brown (I love Larry Brown. LOVE him.)

The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories

Madame Bovary by Flaubert

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (Seen the movie about forty times. Sexiest movie ever.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Oh, Happy Day

There are certain events that occur in your lifetime that are beyond comparison. Your first trip to Europe. Your wedding day. The birth of your baby. Your graduation day. The ultimate job promotion. Whatever. You hope, fantasize, and dream about the day while wavering between emotions of disbelief that it will actually occur and excitement about finally experiencing it.

Today is one of those days for my sister-in-law, Dawn, and I want to be the first person to say, "Yeah, Dawn! It's finally here!

Target opens today.


Don't want you all to forget to click here to save the boobies.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Anticipation of Autumn

I sort of got all giddy when I read this. It made me excited about the upcoming holidays. Of course the best holiday is the one that lets you GET CANDY.

Now Elaine's post from today made me squeal a little.

Reece is doing much better today and gets to go back to school tomorrow.

Got my car back today. I had to fork over a ton 'o money for new brakes, and, although I don't mind it since I don't have a monthly car payment, it still irks me that I have to spend money on something that just gets me from point A to point B. I have no interest in cars whatsoever. They are an evil necessity as far as I'm concerned. I'm hoping one day to live in a city where I can take public transportation and not have to deal with an automobile. Of course, after about a week of buses or subways, I'm sure I'd begin to complain about them, too.

Got look at Elaine's darling and I'll be back tomorrow. "Nip/Tuck is beginning in an hour and I must do some chores first in order to earn my Hour Of Decadence!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Reece at The Nature Center

Reece at The Nature Center
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
Update: my little darling nephew is home sick today with a strep infection and an ear infection. Bless his little heart! I wish I could be sick for him.

Reece, I love you and hope you get well very, very soon, Sweetie!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Quality Time With Darlin' Nephew

Reece wore me out. We went on a quest for the perfect sneakers for Nephew Emelda on Friday night. The boy has more shoes than I do. After seventeen stops, and I now know that all grey sneakers are not the same, we found the shoes he was coveting. As he was lacing them, I said, "Well, if you get a pair, I get a pair." I thought he would start saying he was hungry or something, but NO, he asked me what size I wore and he took off searching for Auntie Nessie the perfect sneakers as well. He found a pair that were pink and grey and I loved them. They were cute and comfortable. I have struck gold with this boy.

Saturday, we went to the Nature Center (see my Flickr on the right) and went to look at puppies and lizards and tarantulas at Petco, went to a birthday party, and then I took him to my mom's. By the time I got home, around five o'clock, I could hardly make it up the back steps. Next thing I knew it was nine p.m. I had napped until dark and was really out of sorts. Great weekend with the nephew, though, and I would do it again anytime!