Friday, December 29, 2006

And Then Reality Sinks In

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurting-- even the mouse.

The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while
Upstairs the family continued to snore.

And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
Went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.

The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said "U.S. POSTMAN."

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox,
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.

Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:

"Now Dillard's, now Broadway's, now Penney's and Sears
Here's Levitz's and Target's and Mervyn's -- all here!!

To the tip or your limit, every store, every mall,
Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!"

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.

He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,

---many thanks to Cousin Candee.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm Dreaming Of A Beige Christmas

I've seen all the snow I want to see for another year. I mean it. I absolutely will not accept any more frozen precipitation.

I told Emily I would post an entry tonight, so now I'm obligated. I'm leaving Saturday morning to go home for Christmas and I'm so excited! I've got all my shopping finished, got all the gifts wrapped, and finally put away the mess, so now I can relax.

Had a great weekend. Saturday I went shopping with my friend, Dawn. She's really a sweetie. We had such a good time. The weather was wonderful and all the shops downtown were full of happy people and we ate a great lunch, then we went to see The Queen and yes! it was as good as all the reviews. Helen Mirren was Queen Elizabeth. The acting was superb all around, but I don't see it winning Best Picture. I'd see it again, though, just for the settings and the acting, and if you get the chance, don't miss it.

Sunday night my friend Sandy's husband cooked dinner for us and we had a great time watching him do all the work. He baked a ham and cornbread and even make mashed potatoes from real potatoes. I'd forgotten that they don't have to come from a box. Sandy has a couple of really cute little boys that are close in age to Reece, which made me miss him even more. When I was getting ready to leave their house, we were talking about food and I said that I loved ham and all things pork, especially bacon, and Sandy's husband said, "Oh, Sandy, I'm so glad you have a friend who likes bacon." Sandy, you got funny hubby. You keep him.

Reece is going to see Charlotte's Web tomorrow during school (what a great deal that is) but he told me that he would probably be willing to see it again with me over the holiday break. I'm dying to see it. That's one of my favorite stories.

Got my grades; made two As and one B. I simply could not have made an A in managment class. The instructor nitpicked my papers to death, so I didn't stand a chance for an A. I'm just happy to have one semester over!

If I don't post anymore this week, then you guys know I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate. I love you all!!!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Some Thoughts That Popped Into My Head This Afternoon While I Was Writing A Paper

I wonder if figure skating is on TV today.

Does Abby need food? Okay, she’s sleeping soundly right now, but I still should get up and check her bowl. And while I’m up, I could pour myself a diet coke. Or some coffee.

You know what would really be good? Some green tea. But, all my mugs are in the dishwasher. I could wash one by hand, but I’m too busy writing this paper to take the time to wash a stinking mug right now. Geez!

Who wrote the first dictionary?

How did language begin?

I should have become a linguist.

I really hate it when someone says “gonna.” It’s not a word, but, I hear it all the time.

And “probably” has THREE syllables.

Why am I such a bitch?

I can write a paper and watch TV at the same time, sure!

No, I can’t.

I really need to take a break and iron my pants. I hate ironing.

I need some new pants.

I wonder when my library books are due. I need to check online and see.

I need some Advil.

I’d better make a list of everything I need to do over the next month.

I need to find a new dentist.

I’m tired of new. I didn’t realize how much, or how comfortable, familiarity is. I have been out of my comfort zone for so long, I’ve forgotten what it’s like.

I need a cookie.

And another one.

I should eat more fruit.

I’m going to start going to the gym after the New Year.

I say that every year.

Monday, December 04, 2006

More Talk of Snow

We had the "Snow of the Decade" on Friday, so I stayed in all weekend. I'd missed most of work last week even before the snow due to the worst sinus/bronchial infection I've had in ages. I was happy to be back among the living today, but the drive to work and home today was horrenodus. Never seen snow like this, evah, evah, said Miss Scarlett.

So, anyway, back to the week being homebound. I didn't have to do any schoolwork, so I lounged around and watched the We station, not the WE, but some chic station, that was having "Royal Weekend" all weekend and they played forty-eight hours of royalty, British of course. It was great! And, when I needed a break from that, there were Harry Potter movies playing, too. It was the best lazy, stay-in-out-of-the-cold, weekend you can imagine!

Speaking of royalty, if one of my local theatres does not show The Queen pretty soon, I'm going to have to hurt someone.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Forget Everything Negative I Ever Said About Summer

Big, Big, Big Snow! This southern doggie is not enjoying it in the least. We're sort of confused about what all this bright, cold stuff is! And what is its purpose? We're just not sure! And danged if it doesn't make our feet really, really cold.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Thank you. Thank you very much.
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving holiday. My mom and I took Emily and Reece to Memphis to see Graceland on Friday. We had a great time! They had a Christmas lighting ceremony that night and we got to see all the lights turned on for the season and then Santa appeared (in a long, white limo with a police escort) and the entire experience was absolutely the most fun you can have. Period. I was with Emily and Reece, after all.

They were like this all weekend - yeah, didn't fight, were sweet and precious and made it very, very difficult to leave them!

(More pics on Flickr and I'll post more about the weekend later.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Getting to go home. I haven't seen the darling kids since the first of August. I hope I recognize them. I'm staying at my mom's and we have all sorts of things planned for the next four days. I'll be back to report soon.

Have a good time and eat lots of good stuff - it's all calorie- and fat-free on holidays, so don't you fret none about that.



Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Antisocial Self

So much to do around here, but I needed a break before I hit the paper-writing tonight. Paper's due at midnight tomorrow, so I have plenty of time.

We had two social functions at work today. First, we had a Thanksgiving luncheon. Our entire building, the Alumni Center, gathered for lunch and I've never seen so much good food. I think I tried twenty items and that doesn't include the desserts. I sat next to Lisa, our newest employee in my department, and I found out that she is addicted to blogs! I should NEVER have told her about mine, of course, but she'd find it anyway, so "Hi, Lisa!" We laughed at ourselves about how we know so much about people's lives by reading their blogs.

At 3:00 we had a social function at the head of University Affairs house and it was one of those things that you get an invitation to, with an R.S.V.P., and yet it's mandatory. I don't like that. Why don't they just say, outright, that you are required to attend? Anyway, it wasn't too bad, but I only allowed myself a half glass of wine, since I have to write a paper tonight. Oh, and the food was good, so basically, I ate and socialized all day and don't have to do that again until next year.

I've been riding to work all week with my coworker, Dawn, because my car is in such sad shape it's too awful to discuss, but we've had a good time getting to know each other. She even made some doggie treats and gave them to me for Abby. (I'll write more about the car and how I got screwed by the repair people later.)

Do any of you guys own a pair of Dansko clogs? If so, do you love them? Another coworker (I'm learning so much at work!) has a couple of pairs and they're all she ever wears. She loves them and tells me that they are worth the money.

I don't want to get to work on this paper, can you tell?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Final Installment of "The Car Woes Saga"

I had to take my car to the mechanic's this morning at 8:00 for them to check it and find the leak. It's got some sort of leak of transmission fluid, which makes it slip out of drive and into neutral while I'm at a stop light, and it's very irritating. So, I took the car in and waited for over an hour to find out that I'd have to leave the car all day. Of course. I was talking to the guy at the place and Emily called, so when I left the place, I called her back and we talked the entire time I was walking home, which was about three miles. I actually wanted to walk; it is cold and sunny and that's the only condition in which I enjoy walking outside. I don't like to sweat anymore. Must be something to do with getting older, but I absolutely hate being hot these days. Winter cold weather: bring it on. Anyway, back to Emily, she and her family are driving to Branson, MO this morning and asked me to drive down and meet them, but they didn't extend the invitation until this morning, as I was walking home, hence CARLESS, so I won't be making a trip to see them. Thanksgiving weekend is coming up, so I'm not terribly upset about missing an opportunity to see Emily and Reece. Emily told me all about the school dance she'd attended last night and how much fun it was, and then I talked to Reece a little about our plans for Thanksgiving weekend. They are both happy and healthy and smart and perfect kids. Yeah, I sort of love them.

I was reading at the mechanic's this morning and I think my taste in literature is tainted forever. I don't seem to enjoy simple, straightforward fiction like this anymore. It's just too predictable and doesn't challenge its reader. I loved the shit out of this one, however! This is only the second one of his works I've read, but now I must read them all. For my love of weird, difficult literature, I blame one of my professors for teaching a fascinating course on postmodernism. We read all sorts of stuff from writers around the globe and it really opened my mind to the offbeat.

I now must return to writing a paper. I have two due next week and I need to make some progress. That, and I have more "Curb Your Enthusiasm" I want to watch tonight. I love Netfix!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hodge Podge of Stuff

Now I know all two of you were holding your breath today waiting for me to post the sequel to the car trouble story. It's just entirely too boring to go into detail, but I'll say that I had more car trouble and hopefully it's fixed now and I don't have to put any more money into it, nor bum a ride from one of my coworkers.

Have you seen any good movies lately? I haven't been to the movies since I moved, primarily because there's not been anything released I've really wanted to see, except for "The Queen," which STILL isn't playing at any of the theatres here. I'm dying to see it and have already planned to buy it the nanosecond it's released on DVD. I also want to see "Babel" when it's released. Kate Blanchett's one of my favorites, and you can't go wrong with a little luscious Brad Pitt, and I read that he is wonderful in the movie. But then, who really cares if the boy can act?

I got my hair cut tonight after work. I've been going to Marka for ten years, and that was one thing I was really fretting over, trying to find a new hair stylist, but I think I found the "one" with Gina. My hair looks so good and it feels great. She put some really good products on it, and as soon as I run out of my old stuff, I'm going to buy some of her mousse, gel, and everything else she used. The only problem with Gina is that she talks nonstop. My appointment was at 5:45 tonight and I didn't leave the place until 7:15. Yikes. She did, however, take several minutes to talk to me about my hair before she washed it, and I got the feeling that she knew what she was talking about, so I guess I can suffer the stories about her husband, three children, best friend, new pastor, mother, father, get my get a good haircut. Plus, she's lived here in Columbia all her life and gave me good directions to some places I haven't been yet. So, I'll tolerate the yakety yak yak and just plan to go on Saturdays from now on.

I'm starting a new book tonight, so gotta run!

P.S. When I did spell check, the recommended replacement word for "yakety" was "yeasty" - hee hee.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Trouble With Cars Is...

Did I mention that I've been having a little car trouble lately? A couple of weeks ago, I had filled up with gas and got back in my car and it wouldn't start. Thank goodness for Cingular's Roadside Assistance. I called them and they had help to me in twenty minutes. And, the first thing they asked me was, "Are you in a safe location?" I appreciated that. So, the tow truck guy checked the battery and said it was fine and told me it was the starter and he'd have to tow my car. I got to ride up front with him in his tow truck, since I didn't know anyone to call here in my brand new home. I was thinking, "what the hell did I go and move away from home for?" By the time we got the car to the auto repair place, it was almost 6:30 p.m. and of course they couldn't look at the car until the next day, but when they did, they told me it needed a new battery. Again with the "what the hell?" It seems as if every single time I have car trouble and I have to deal with more than one man about it, I get conflicting diagnoses. It definitely was the battery, because I had it replaced and it starts fine. I will say thanks, however, to tow truck guy for bringing me home that night. But that's all. He was a dumbass about my car and he should have known better.

Oh, and it was funny, I'm sure, seeing me try to heave myself up into the tow truck.

Tomorrow: Part II of the Car Trouble Saga...stay tuned!

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Little TEEVEE Talk

I was pretty bored a couple of weeks ago, so I signed up for Netflix. Bored, and the nearest movie rental place has a poor selection. Over the weekend I finished watching Season Four of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Can't wait for Season Five to arrive now. I laughed out loud for three hours. If you've never seen this HBO series, you owe it to yourself to rent the DVDs, beginning with the first season. I have a cousin who didn't like "Seinfeld" (can you imagine?) yet loves "Curb" so don't let the fact that it's written by the "Seinfeld" creator turn you off to it, unless, of course, you just don't have a sense of humor. I think it's the funniest TV show I've ever seen.

My adorable friend, Mary, recommends "The Wire," which is a crime/drama series that's also by HBO. The first season's DVDs are in my Netflix queue, so I'm excited to get to watch them soon. I'm also looking forward to the last season of the Sopranos. Talk about funny. Yeah, a murderous mafia series that's so over-the-top you just have to laugh your head off at least once an episode. I'm so in love with the show, I've searched for articles about it and read extensively about the series. Yeah, I am a little obsessed.

As for network television, I haven't found much I like to watch anymore. I do watch Nip/Tuck every week, and think it's another over-the-top show that makes me laugh. It doesn't even pretend to be real, which is why I like it so much. Nevermind the fact that Julian McMahon is the prettiest man ever to breathe on this sweet earth, oh yes, sister he is. Just go HERE and look and then tell me what you think.

I really need to stop now and get to work. I'm supposed to be writing a paper on digital libraries. Anyone know what a digital library actually is???

Friday, November 03, 2006

Just Doesn't Feel Like Friday To Me

Friday; woohoo! Three more weeks until I see Emily and Reece. I'm going through withdrawal. Seriously, I have a sick feeling in my stomach because I miss them so much. They sent me Halloween cards this week and enclosed recent photos and I think they have both grown a couple of inches since I last saw them in August.

I'm taking two classes online, and one "face-to-face" class, which meets about once a month on Tuesday night. Not a bad schedule, except for one of the online classes, which requires we meet twice this semester on a Saturday from 9 to 3. You guessed it - tomorrow is the second Saturday class. There are about 20 students in my class and one of them, Sandy, is becoming a friend, but I still don't want to go. Except that Sandy and I get to have lunch together. I always enjoy that. But other than that, it's a total bore of a day and by 1:00 I'm squirming in my chair and ready to scream.

So, that's it for Friday. I'm getting ready to heat some of that delicious soup I mentioned a couple of days ago. Might add a slice to cheese toast to the menu tonight. Then, I'm going to read a chapter in library management and watch a movie. This is so boring, I'm going to have to have a glass of wine just to get through it!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sometimes It Takes A While To Get To The Point

Two days in row, I know. Staggering, isn't it?

I had planned to write about my favorite TV shows, but I have something funny to tell you, so I'll save the TV entry for later. Since I've declared I'm going to blog more often, I'm going to have to start hoarding ideas.

Anyway, it's not cool to blog about work, I know, and I won't bore you with it, usually, but today's an exception. The mail comes to our department around 9:30 every morning, and I sort it and distribute it. After all, what else should someone with a master's and another in progress be doing with her time? My boss, Linda, received a Harry & David catalog, you know, the one with the gorgeous-looking pears and chocolates and all those adorable gift boxes. When I handed it to her, I said something witty like, "You've got a new Harry & David here." And she looked at it and began a thirty-minute story about a particular incident when her husband was driving along and got extremely dizzy, and started vomiting all over the place and had to pull into a parking lot and honked his horn...long story short...he ended up in the emergency room and it was determined that he had a severe inner-ear infection. As she was telling this story, I made the usual concerned looks with my face and added a few "Oh, no, how awfuls" just to stay awake mostly, but all the while I was wondering what the hell this story had to do with her new Harry & David catalog! After she finished, she said, "So, anyway, after W-- got better, I sent the ER doctor a basket of food from Harry & David."


Made my morning.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

When In Doubt, Blog About FOOD

Regarding this blog, I've been trying to decide whether to keep posting or just simply let it go, since I've been so terribly negligent, and today I knew I either had to swim or get out of the pool (I was going to say "Shit, or get off the pot" but Emily doesn't like it when I say "shit," so I'm not going to say that) and I decided I would SWIM. So, regardless of how boring my life actually is right now, I'm going to post more often and if I bore the absolute crap out of you, then I'm sorry. But you have to read it. That's an order. All five of you who read this blog, that is.

I think the reason I have such a difficult time posting is because this is a BLOG, which, in my opinion, should be truthful. And I'm better at writing fiction. I have never told even a scrap of a lie on this blog and I won't. However, it's a lot more fun to make shit up.

Halloween came and went with little to no excitement. A couple of dear coworkers brought their leftover candy to work today and we all acted like a bunch of second-graders and there was scarcely a piece of candy left by 4:30 today. Have you guys tried the new Reese's crunch bars or whatever they're called? They are so good. You have the peanut butter and chocolate, and then you have a layer of crunchy goodness in there somewhere and it's just a delight to your mouth when you take a bite. Way better than a Kit Kat.

I just finished eating a bowl of soup. And you thought this was going to be a boring post. Shame on you for thinking that. This is the best and easiest soup recipe and you should try it. You'll thank me for it. Dawn makes it quite often and Reece and Emily love it. It's a Weight Watchers' recipe, except I improvise some, and it's one of those recipes you'll adapt to your own tastes. So, here it is:

1 can of turkey chili w/beans (I use Hormel)
1 can of turkey chili w/out beans
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 can of sliced carrots
1 can of sliced potatoes
1 can of mixed vegetables, like Veg All
1 can of Campbell's Old Fashioned Vegetable Soup

I had a half of a bag of frozen green beans, so I added them to the pot.
I also drained the corn, carrots, and potatoes, then added a couple of cans of water, you'll know how much water by looking at it. That's it. Just heat it and leave it on Low for an hour or so and then enjoy. It's even better the next day. I also put some of it in the freezer in individual containers for later. You wouldn't believe how good this soup is! And I hardly ever used canned food, but this is really deeeelish. You're welcome!

Tomorrow: my favorite TV shows! Can you handle all this fun???

Love you guys!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Reece caught a big one!

Reece 10-7-06
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
Reece made a special request that I post this photo on my blog. I think he's quite proud of his catch. And yes, he caught it; he's not just holding it. Good work, little nephew! I posted a few more of both little darlings on Flickr so go take a look.

7th grade volleyball

Volleyball 7th Grade 10-06
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I love this photo of Emily. Yes, volleyball is over for the year, and so is softball, so now it's on to basketball. Good luck, sweet Emily!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rainy Days and Mondays

Whenever I go to’s website, or Amazon’s, the page I see on my monitor shows items I should be interested in purchasing due to their relationship to items I’ve previously purchased. I just clicked on Amazon to look up some information on a book and it was covered with books about bipolarism. They must have me mistaken for someone else in my family. Or they know something I don’t know. I have, indeed, been off the antidepressants for over four months now and I feel fine. Not gloriously happy, but well enough to not feel the need to take meds anymore.

Last weekend, not this past weekend, but the one before, my mom and Auntie Linda and Roxy came for a visit. We had such a good time. The weather was beautiful and Roxy didn’t poop in my shoe this time and we found The Chocolate Factory and what else could we have wanted from a short weekend?

I am quite homesick. Not for Arkansas, but for a couple of really cute kids who live there and call me Aunt. Emily’s so busy that I only get to talk to her about every seven or eight days, and Reece is almost as busy. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving break. Those poor kids are going to have me hugging and kissing on them until it’s past the point of ridiculous.

It’s cold and rainy here and I’m tucked into my blanket, sipping coffee, and feeling ever so cozy. I want to stay this way forever.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Book Talk

Here's my latest bedtime readings:

Edith Wharton's tragic story

This new one that I absolutely loved. It's written in strictly narrative form and the speaker is one big crazy nut of a woman and I love her.

A Vietnam War novel. I took a Vietnam War lit class as an undergrad, then one in grad school and I'm so hooked on this war. I read everything I can about it. This is a highly-praised novel, but not as good as Tim O'Brien's two about the war.

I started this crazy novel a couple of days ago. It reminds me a lot of Barry Hannah's writing and oddly enough the writer doesn't claim to have been influenced by Hannah.

Next up is Ward Just's newest. Never read him, but this one looked like a good one.

What's everyone else reading?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Funny Genes Run In The Family

Ahhh...that's what I'm doing right now, sighing with relief because I just turned in an assignment that's been killing me. Turns out I don't like HTML and web page design too much. It's just too technical and it's WAY too easy to make mistakes. I'll stick with Blogger.

I just received an e-mail from my recently-retired uncle, Gene, and he said, "Somebody asked me the other day, 'What do you do all day long now?' I told them, 'absolutely nothing and I don't start that until around 3 PM.'"

Keep up the good work, Uncle.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I wish I could be there to celebrate your birthday with you, or as the occasion is known, the All-Night Gambling Extravaganza, but I do hope you're having a good day anyway. Can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks, and in the meantime, stay out of trouble!

Your Darling Niece Ness

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What Else Would I Be Doing On A Saturday Night?

Hi. How are you? I was sitting here doing my school work and I got an e-mail from Luann, my adorable cousin who lives in Austin and I only see about once a year, but we keep in touch via e-mail, and I'm digressing, too much studying, oh lordy I wish she would get to the point , you are thinking, right? Oh Kay Then. Click on this: I Love Emily and Reece - and just see what all the fuss is about and then let me know which commands you typed in (you'll only understand that if you click!)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Now THIS is a real fisherman!

Reece with Fish
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
Yes, Reece loves fishing and he caught this one all by himself! Wonder if he cleaned it, too? I'll have to ask his dad about that. You know, though, how boys like "guts" and stuff.

Reece is keeping busy with school and fishing and just being a boy. He also LOVES football and he's one of the big guys on his team this year, so he's loving that.

Hey, Reece, I miss you little buddy!!

Aunt Vanessa

She's not so sure about this...

Emily with Fish
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
Looks like Emily's been a very busy girl lately. I asked her if she actually caught this fish, and she said she didn't think so, and by the looks of how she's holding it, I don't believe she did, either. She likes eating the finished product much more than the whole catching process.

Emily, I tell you everytime we talk, I know, but I MISS YOU!!

Aunt Vanessa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Settling In and Doing My Thing

Hi! So much going on right now. I like my job. Those are four words you've never read on this blog before. I work in Alumni Publications and I'm with creative people all day and it's a lot of fun. One of my coworkers used to work for Bon Apetit magazine and she also used to be in the Peace Corps. She lived someplace near Afghanistan. She's great. We're having lunch Monday and I'm going to ask her a million questions. There are also writers and photographers and I get to meet people from all over the place who come in for photo shoots. I love it. School's going very well, too. I'm learning how to create web pages and learning about HTML, which will maybe inspire me to improve this blog someday! I'm also learning about library management. Sounds boring, but it really isn't. But I won't go into detail on that subject.

Labor Day weekend was great. My mom and Auntie Linda came up on Friday and stayed until Monday and we had a wonderful time. Linda brought Roxy and we laughed at the two dogs all weekend. Abby was so afraid Roxy was going to eat all of her food and everytime Roxy moved, Abby would be right behind her. They were so cute! On Sunday, we went to a winery in Rocheport, MO, and then went to some antique stores there. It's a tiny little town on the Missouri River and it's home to several B&Bs. One of these days I'd like to go stay in one of the B&Bs and spend the day just walking around the town. There are artists there and some good restaurants and a general store, even. We also spent some time on campus, going to the bookstore and we did a little shopping, but mostly we ATE. Yeah, ate and drank and even went out one night for ice cream at 10:30. Had to put on my stretch pants Monday!

That's about it. Just working and going to class and studying and writing papers. Although I'm busy all the time, it's not much to write about, I'm afraid. I'm trying to talk Emily's family into coming up for a visit, and they're trying to work it out, but both Emily and Reece are playing sports, etc., and have very little free time. We're aiming for sometime in October for a visit.

So, after my class Tuesday night, maybe I'll know some fabulous HTML stuff and will post something awesome here! Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quickest Update In History

Just finished my first paper and turned it in online. Now have to wait and see.

I got a job on campus and it's in a wonderful department and in an excellent location and the pay is pretty good and that's all I'm going to say about it. For now, anyway.

I have been a zombie for the last couple of days. After being off work for a month, I'd returned to my teenage schedule, you know: staying up until 1:00 or 2:00, sleeping until 9:00 or 10:00. So, when I went back to the full-time working life on Monday, my body wasn't ready to cooperate and I've been trying to adjust to that, and my classes, and a new town, and no family around, and a new job and IT HAS REALLY BEEN DIFFICULT.

I'm happy, though. Tired, but happy. And, my mom and Auntie Linda are coming up tomorrow night and staying for the Labor Day Weekend. Words can't express how excited I am to have some company.

Have a good holiday and I'll check in next week. Love to you all!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

If I Didn't Like Shopping Before, I Loathe It Now

In order to begin a new job, which I’m thinking I have and will know for sure early next week, I needed some work clothes. The last few months I lived in Arkansas, I didn’t care what I wore, and therefore never shopped for clothes. Wednesday I went shopping. I’ve lost a few pounds lately, so I was unsure of my size when I walked into the store. I selected a pair of pants and a shirt and went into the dressing room to get an idea of how they would fit. I thought, why drag twenty items into the dressing room if I don’t know what size I wear? So, off I went with my selections. Remember, it was Wednesday afternoon at around 1:00. Store shouldn’t be too crowded. Hate crowds. I walked into the dressing room and heard a man and woman talking and a baby crying in one of the dressing rooms. The baby never stopped crying and the couple never stopped talking over the crying. That would have been bad enough, but what was a man doing in the dressing room? He was critiquing everything “his” woman tried on. “Oh, no no no no no!” He would say. Then she would whimper, “doesn’t look good?” Then he’d snarl, “No, your butt looks HUGE in those!” I have never heard anything quite this disturbing in my life. His tone was hateful and evil and I half-expected to hear him hit that woman. This went on the entire time I was trying on the pants and shirt. I left the dressing room with my clothes and went to select some more things to try and was gone at least twenty minutes. When I returned, they were still in the dressing room. The man kept up the compliments the entire time, as did the crying baby. “There’s no way I’m going to be seen with you in THAT.” I remember that one verbatim. Then, they argued about how to pay for all of her items (although I never heard him approve of anything she tried on) and he said, “well, did you remember to pay the Visa bill for once?” Thankfully, for his sake, I finished trying on all of my clothes and left before they came out of the dressing room, because the entire time I was in there I was thinking of things to say to that guy. Things I won’t publish, but things you are probably thinking, too!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Haven't Kissed These Cheeks In Over Three Weeks

I know, cute, huh? Dawn took this Monday morning just before they left for their first day of school. Reece is in the third grade and he loves it. He told me his teacher was really nice and he ate corn dogs the first day. That's about all I got out of him, but Tuesday morning he told his dad that Monday was "the best day, so far!" So, he's happy. Emily is now in junior high school. I'm dying over that. She's loving every minute of it, though. She's playing volleyball and is also on the basketball team and there are lots of boys to look at and she has a great locker, so yes, she's as happy as she can be, too! She did, however, get scolded by a teacher for wearing leggings. My guess is, that teacher is jealous of Emily's gorgeous legs.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Slow Simmer Is Finally Beginning To Boil

You'd think that with all this time on my hands right now I'd do lots of writing, huh? Nope. Stuff actually has to happen in order for me to write about it. I've been so bored the past two weeks, but I got my assignments for my classes last night and this morning and now I have so much to do I'll never get it all done. Completely overwhelmed. And, I have a second interview tomorrow morning for a job that I think I would actually enjoy. (I can hear you laughing all the way up here, Auntie.) So, wish me luck and I'll keep ya posted.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Happy Birthday, Cousin Will!

Will and Auntie Linda
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I love this photo of Auntie Linda and her baby boy, Will. Or, as I call him, Cousin Nephew. Linda's in Alabama right now visiting Will and celebrating his birthday. Wish I were with them; I know they're having cake. Kisses to you, Will!

My New Little Kitchen

My New Little Kitchen
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I finally found the cord that connects my camera to my laptop. I'd put it someplace safe, where I wouldn't lose it, of course, but then couldn't find that safe place. This is my generic little kitchen. There are more photos over on Flickr, so if you want to see a few of the apartment just click on the photo here. I haven't hung any pictures in the other rooms, so I'm not going to photo them until I do. I sort of have to get a feel for my place before I start placing pictures on the walls.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How About A Joke Instead Of Anything Worthwhile?

Still not much going on here. I met with my advisor today and he's great. He's the assistant director of the program and he was very helpful. Not only did he answer all of my questions, he put me at ease and offered some suggestions regarding my areas of interest, so I was very pleased. So far, everyone I've met has been friendly and helpful. No complaints.

My cousin, Rebekah, sends me tons and tons of jokes every day and this one was particularly appropriate, since I'm no longer an Arkansan. Well, technically I'm not, but you'd never know by my Suuuuthern Drawl.

Things I learned living in ARKANSAS:

1. Possums sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.
2. There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in ARKANSAN.
3. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in ARKANSAN plus a couple no one's seen before.
4. If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites.
5. Onced and twiced are words.
6. It is not a shopping cart; it is a buggy.
7. Fire ants consider your flesh as a picnic.
8. People actually grow and eat okra.
9. "Fixinto" is one word.
10. There is no such thing as "lunch." There is only dinner and then there is supper.
11. Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two.
12. "Backards and forwards" means "I know everything about you."
13. "Jeet?" is actually a phrase meaning "Did you eat?"
14. You don't have to wear a watch because it doesn't matter what time it is. You work until you're done or it's too dark to see.
15. You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them.


1. You measure distance in minutes.
2. You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
3. You use "fix" as a verb. Example: "I'm fixing to go to the store."
4. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect or animal.
5. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
6. You know what a "DAWG" is.
7. You carry jumper cables in your car...for your OWN car.
8. You only own four spices: salt, pepper, Tabasco and ketchup.
9. The local papers cover national and international news on one page but require 6 pages for local gossip and sports.
10. You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
11. You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit "a little warm."
12. You know all four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer and Christmas.
13. You know whether another ARKIE is from the north or south as soon as they open their mouth.
14. Going to Wal-mart is a favorite past time known as "goin' Wal-martin" or "off to Wally World."
15. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good pinto bean weather.
16. A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola or pop; it's a Coke. Example: "You want a coke?" "Yeah." "What kind?" "Dr. Pepper."
17. Fried catfish is the other white meat.
18. We don't need no stinking driver's ed....if our mama says we can drive, we can drive.

Not EVERYONE can be an ARKIE, it's an art form and a gift from God!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Trying To Get Back To Normal

Finally got my internet connected at 7:30 last night. I waited all day and called them to make sure Cable Guy was coming, and finally he showed up. I was telling Auntie Linda about it today and I told her that I was so happy to see him, I could have kissed him on the mouth and she said it’s a good thing I didn’t say that to him or I never would have gotten him to even walk into my apartment. She’s getting funnier in my absence, huh? I was about to die without the internet. I hadn’t read a blog since last Friday! What are all my blogging buddies up to?

The move was dreadfully hot. It was about a hundred degrees here last Saturday, and we were hauling furniture and boxes and about to pass out with every step, but somehow we managed to get it all done. Auntie Linda and I drove up here together, with my mom in her SUV, and David driving a truck pulling the trailer. Linda and I took a wrong turn, or, actually missed the correct turn and drove almost two hours out of the way before we realized what we had done. We are idiots. Panic set in and we drove like maniacs to get here, leaving David and my mom alone to begin the unloading. I felt like a dog for that and apologized a hundred times, and they were quite forgiving, but I still feel terrible about it all. After we got everything moved in, David put some furniture together for me (thanks, Dave!!) and then he took off for home, driving the truck and pulling the empty trailer. I tried to get him to spend to night here, but he needed to get back home, so he left, not arriving home until sometime after midnight. Bless his heart. I still haven’t figured out what to do for him as a show of my gratitude, but will definitely think of something good. We continued to work like dogs for the rest of the day, and poor Mom and Linda were as exhausted as I was. They were really the worker bees, though, and helped me significantly with the unpacking. I don’t know how to thank them enough. I also should thank my brother, Don, for helping me load the moving trailer the day before the move. He and Mom and I worked on that all Friday morning and that wasn’t fun, either. Thanks also to Uncle Fred for the truck and Uncle Geno for the trailer. You guys saved me some serious bucks by not having to rent a Uhaul.

Mom and Auntie Linda stayed with me until Sunday after lunchtime, and then I was alone! What was I thinking, wanting to move away from all of them, I thought? It took me a few days to recover from the shock, but I’m okay now.

I had a job interview Wednesday and I have another one Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Meanwhile, I’m still unpacking boxes and taking little jaunts around town, trying to find my way around, but it’s not that difficult. I’m about a fifteen-minute drive from campus. This is really a pretty town, and it has a small-town feel to it, although it’s twice as large as what I’m used to. I’ll take some pictures soon.

That’s about it regarding the move and everything else up to this point. I think Abby and I are about to take a walk. She’s enjoying getting to know the other dogs in the apartment complex and all the kids around here already know her and speak to her every time we go out. She loves that. And, I love you guys and will check in soon!

Monday, August 07, 2006


I got moved on Saturday, and I still don't have internet in my apartment, but I found the library, so I wanted to say hi to everyone! I'll write more later, but for now, my time's almost up on this computer, so I gotta run!

Take care, and love to you all!!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Kids, Food, Gambling, and Poop

Had a good time at the casinos celebrating my birthday. Sorry, Candee, but NO PICS of the bash. I only took a couple and they are not so hot and Auntie Linda and my mom would come over and murder me in my sleep if I published them. Anyway, we had the best meal, with the best steak I've ever eaten, and I had too much wine and blabbed to the waiter that it was my birthday, and he brought me a cheesecake with a candle after the meal, and I know I cried a little. I am SO weepy right now. After the food, I gave all my money to the casino and went, with my head hanging, to the room and crashed. I was exhausted, but in a good way.

I spent yesterday afternoon running errands with Emily and Reece in tow. Bless their hearts, they were so sweet and didn't complain at all about having to run all over town in 96-degree weather. I hated to drag them out with me, but I absolutely had to get some things done and I wanted to spend time with them, so I bribed them with the promise of a trip to the newest frozen custard place after I finished all of my errands. I hugged and kissed on them all day. They have no skin left on their cheeks.

Last night we celebrated with a little belated b'day dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant. Emily looked gorgeous in her new outfit she bought in LA. She's the only girl I've seen who looks great in leggings. She's 5'7" now, and five feet of that is legs. Reece was adorable, too, of course. I posted a couple of pics below. My mom was there, too, but the only pic I have of her has me in it, also, and I look atrocious right now, so that explains that.

Reece made me read his b'day card to me out loud and both he and Emily gave me cards they had selected themselves, and since I don't have a scanner, I'll tell you about the cards.

Emily's was a drawing of two women eating ice cream sundaes with the inscription:

A Birthday Thought: If you put a crouton on your sundae instead of a cherry, it counts as a salad.
I love that! Thanks, Em!

Reece's was drawings of a dog, and read:

How Dogs Celebrate Birthdays
1. Rise at 5:30 a.m. Wet-nose the master.
2. Go out and pee on the world.
3. Make poopy.
4. Sniff poopy.
5. Seriously think about eating poopy.
6. Eat funny-looking bug instead.
7. Throw up bug parts on living room rug.
8. Drink out of magic well. (This one really tickled Reece.)
9. Sleep for 17 hours. Start all over again.
10. Roll around in filth, then lavish Master with kisses.

After I read that card, my brother said, "there's nothing funnier to an eight-year-old boy than poop!" How right he is.

Dawn and Emily

Dawn and Emily
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I love this photo of my sis-in-law and niece. Hard to believe Emily's only twelve when you see a photo like this.

Reece and David

Reece and David
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
I took this last night at my belated birthday/going-away dinner. Is Reece not adorable?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

An Escape From Reality

Today was my last at work. It was strange leaving by choice, with a sweet card signed by all the people in Oncology. Usually, it’s, “You have ten minutes to clear out your desk, Vanessa!!” So, now I’m getting all purtied up for tomorrow, which is my BIRTHDAY, and I’m going to celebrate in Mississippi at the casinos with my favorite Auntie and my favorite Mom. We’re going to go to one of the fancy-shmancy restaurants and eat a big, juicy steak and have a bottle of good red, which will give us all the nourishment we need to hit those slots and clean 'em out. Plus, I’ve been practicing my poker online, so I’m going to try my hand at that, too. Oh, and I’ll drink lots of vodka and smoke lots of cigarettes and generally just be a degenerate sinner. I only wish the three of us had matching gold wind suits and fanny packs. That would make the weekend a real winner!

(Note to brother, Dave: just because you're out of town doesn't mean you don't have to buy me a present.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Filter Between Brain and Mouth: Broken

Last Sunday afternoon, Auntie Linda and I went to Walgreens to look at hairstyle magazines. We were looking at different magazines and were showing each other the hairstyles and making comments when this redneck woman walked up beside me. She listened to our conversation for a few seconds and said, “Mah husband wud keel me if ah cut mah har.” My first thought, (well, my second thought because Emily reads this and therefore I cannot publish my first thought) was, “well, we don’t have to worry about that, since we don’t have husbands.” What came out of my mouth instead was, “Well, you need to get rid of that bastard.” Poor ol’ redneck gal didn’t know what to think. But Auntie Linda thought it was funny, and that’s all that matters.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pathetically Optimistic

I haven’t been home much lately; trying to squeeze in all the family I can before the move. While at dinner one night last week, my brother, Don, mentioned that he was flying to Venezuela on Sunday, August 6. He’s already promised me he was going to help me move on August 5 and now he tells me he’s got to catch a flight from Memphis at noon on 8/6. There’s no way he can help me move the six-hour drive up to Columbia, MO and then make a flight the next day in Memphis, unless he doesn’t plan to sleep. Of course, he made his travel plans after he’d promised to help me move, knowing all of the above information. I don’t know why he couldn’t just come out and say, “I won’t be able to help you move, dear sister, because I’m going out of the country at that time.” Of course, that would be the sensible way, and so non-passive-agressive, which is not his way. So, luckily, I have a spare brother who is willing to help me make the move. You know the thing about family is, no matter how much you want to choke them sometimes, you still love them. And yes, I’ll miss my brother, Don, even though he’s pissing me off right now. And Venezuela?? Alone?? I’m trying not to worry about him going to S. America alone with no hotel reservations and very little knowledge of the Spanish language. His Ph.D is in philosophy, not common sense.

Last week, at one of Reece’s baseball games, Dawn revealed to me why Emily’s been acting as if I’m no longer on the planet. (She’s been ignoring me for the past couple of months and it’s been upsetting me terribly, but I’ve been thinking she was just becoming a typical preteen.) Anyway, Dawn told me that Emily has been thinking that I would forget her once I moved away. Bless her heart. All this time she’s been hurting and I’ve been hurting and we haven’t communicated and lost all that time we could have been spending together! We quickly patched it up over tears at the ballgame and then she spent a couple of days with me over the weekend and all is well. I, however, have turned into a huge baby and cry every time I think about leaving Emily and Reece. Up to this point, I have been in denial about leaving them, and I have deduced that denial is WAY better than reality.

Later today, I’m driving Emily, Reece, Dave, and Dawn to Memphis to catch a flight to LA, where they’re going to be vacationing for the next ten days. They’re going to have a great time and I’m so excited for them! I have to get all of my packing finished during that time so that the three days after their return I can spend it hanging out with the niece and nephew.

Auntie Linda has decided that she’s going to move with me. She’s actually going to help me move, along with my mom and brother, and she offered to stay with me for a few days after the move. Good Lord. I don’t know who’s the bigger baby: Linda or I. We cry and hug all the time. We are pathetic.

I am pathetic right now.

However, I am trying to be optimistic.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Time Is Drawing Near

I finally got registered for classes today. It took me all afternoon to figure out how to register and decide which classes, etc. Mizzou has the most complicated registration system I've ever seen. In fact, everything I do through their website is complicated. I have about five different log-ons for all the crap I have to do online and I have such a terrible e-mail user name and password that I have to look them up everytime I use them. Oh, and they don't allow students to change any user names, etc. Enough complaining. What am I saying? I'm going to complain every day until I'm pushing up daisies. It's my nature. Enjoy the posted photo. It's where my classes will be. I'm majoring in Library Science, and so I assumed my classes would be in the library. Logical, right? Nope. I'd forgotten how ridiculous universities seem after having been in the "other world" for a while.

I'll post later about my weekend with Emily. Be sure and have tissue on hand for it.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Champion Softball Player

While Reece and I were busy skateboarding and watching movies and eating candy last weekend, Emily and her softball team were busy WINNING FIRST PLACE in a tournament. Congratulations, my darling niece!

Emily catches another one!!

Yeah, you're too cute, Em!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

If There Are Nine Kinds Of Tired, I Have Ten

The garage sale went really well and I got rid of a lot of stuff that I don’t want to move with me. My books didn’t sell, however, and my mom said they were a little too “high brow” for the crowd buying junk at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday. I thought that was funny. I sold every single “I Love Lucy” video and I think I had twenty of them.

Reece stayed the weekend with me and we had such a great time. Mom and I took him to see the new “Pirates” movie and he loved it. We, the adults, were bored with it, but Reece thought it was wonderful, so it was worth sitting through to watch his reactions. Unless you are taking a kid with you, don’t bother with the movie. One of my coworkers said she dozed off during the movie, but her little boy loved it, too, so based on that I’m declaring it a flop. The thing made something like $132 million over the weekend, so what do I know.

Here’s where all you moms of little ones get to laugh out loud: I kept my eight-year-old nephew from Saturday morning at 8:00 until this morning at 9:00 and I AM EXHAUSTED. No idea how you mamas do it every day of your life and still manage to speak in coherent terms. And, Reece is the perfect boy. He’s polite. He thanks me for the fruit punch, even. He is an absolute delight and not at all demanding, so I guess it’s just the responsibility that wears me out. And the going. We went to the movie (and I’d been up since 5am that day) and the pet store and twice we went to the skateboard park and I sat on my butt while Reece played, yet I am pooped. I’d do it again in a split second, though. I adore that boy.

I told him the only thing I insisted I get to do all weekend was watch the World Cup final Sunday afternoon, and I dozed off during the first half of the game. Sitting up. Reece came into the living room and saw my eyes closed and he got right up in my face and said, “hey, Nessa! Are you asleep?” I jumped out of my skin, all embarrassed, and recovered with, “oh, thanks for waking me, Reece! I sure don’t want to miss this match!” He gave me one of his precious grins and said, “you’re welcome! You got any fruit? I’m hungry!” So I got up and fed him.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Very Lame Post Written Because I Feel Guilty For Not Writing Sooner

I spent most of my four-day holiday going through my stuff and deciding what to sell at my carport sale I’m having Saturday. I have about a hundred paperbacks and half that many literature anthologies that I’m selling. Some of these are great books, and I’d love to keep them, but I’m trying to be realistic about it. I don’t want to keep packing these and unpacking them until I’m ninety years old and STILL haven’t read them. Or, I’ve read the books at least once and will never read them again, so why keep them?

Did manage to get to the movie and see “The Devil Wear Prada” over the weekend and I loved it. Meryl Streep made the movie. Anne Hathaway was good, but Streep playing the Boss From Hell completely overshadowed everyone else in the movie. If you haven’t seen it, get thee to a moviehouse now! I also rented "The Producers" - so good! - and "A History of Violence" - excellent, too.

There’s so much I want to write about now, but I don’t have time. Plus there’s a mosquito gnawing at my leg and I must go kill the little sucker.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

My Trip In A Nutshell Because I'm Too Tired To Elaborate

This is the only photo I took of the campus, but the University of Missouri is beautiful. There are flowers and kittens all over the place. It's also HUGE. I did find the library, however, and I think most of my classes will be there or a building nearby.

I found a great apartment, too! It's two bedrooms and in a safe part of town and I get to take Abby with me. We didn't have much trouble getting around town, either, and even found a great place to have burgers and beer. Yes, there are great pubs all over the place, so now I have to find some drinking buddies. Did I mention there are also ice cream places everywhere? What more could you want! And speaking of the place, Auntie Linda and I couldn't get over how friendly everyone is. They go out of their way to be helpful. We were driving through the mall parking lot (Emily, the MALL is near my apartment!) and we couldn't find a parking space, and this dude walked in front of our car and pointed to a car and said he was leaving and we could have his parking space. We were stunned. People talked to us while we were in line at the ice cream place, and everyplace we went we felt welcome. So, to wrap it up, good apartment, beer, ice cream, and friendly folks. Who wants to come and visit me?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

How To Get Out Of Town Without Losing One's Mind

Auntie Linda and I are leaving tomorrow morning for a trip to Columbia, MO. I’m going to find an apartment and look at the school and leave a few resumes there, which will hopefully lead to a job on campus. I’m so excited! Except for the drive. It’s about a six-hour drive, according to Mapquest, which means a seven-hour drive for us, since we drink a lot and therefore have to stop frequently. Yes, we drink and drive. First, it’s coffee, then a bottle of water, then a diet coke, then we start the process all over again. I have to have some form of liquid within reach at all times. I'm also bringing a bag of Tootsie Pops. These are the best when taking a car trip. If you look in the back seat of my car, you’ll find at least three or four wrappers.

Taking a three-day trip is a hassle. Auntie and I were planning to take Abby and Roxy with us, then Linda decided she didn’t want to take Roxy, but I was still planning to take Abby, then Linda reminded me that if, while on the road, we see an antique store and wish to stop (do I hear a nine-hour-drive, now?) what will we do with Abby? It’s too hot to leave her in the car. I heard this revelation from Linda (who was on the phone with me) while I was at my grandmother’s yesterday, so I asked my mom (who is living with Grandmother Bera right now) if she would keep Abby for me. She said she would, but Bera would have to let Abby out during the day on Monday and Tuesday, since she (Mom) would be at work. Bera said, “I don’t want to.” Hell, she’s almost ninety-one, so the woman doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do, right? You should have heard the conversations going on, simultaneously, then. Linda was on the phone with me, telling me what to tell Bera: “tell her Abby isn’t a pain-in-the-ass-dog like Roxy.” And my mom was saying, “all you have to do is open the back door and let her out a couple of times.” And Bera was saying, “I know what I have to do, but I don’t want to!” I was cracking up and thinking how lucky some unborn girl is NOT to have me for a mother and these women as her family! In the end, however, Bera confessed that she would “probably” let Abby out during the day, and we decided that since Abby sleeps all day anyway, my mom could leave the dog in her bedroom, with the door closed, and let her out when she gets home everyday at 4:30 and now I can leave town and not worry, much, about my poor little nine-year-old dog.

Have I mentioned that I’m writing a play about Southern women? (“Loosely” based on my family.) Bera told me she wanted to read it and I said, “Well, it’s been nice knowing you.”

Now, where was I? Oh, yes, my trip to Columbia. I have five pages of apartment listings and a map and an atlas and some letters of reference from my landlady (my mother, but no one has to know that) and tons of liquids, so I’m just about ready to go. All I have to do now is polish my resume, a.k.a. creative writing, and give Abby a bath and pack. Wish me luck with the apartment hunt.

Speaking of luck, good luck to Emily and her softball team this weekend. They are playing in the state tournament and they have a good chance to place. Go Rage!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

No Like Change

There is absolutely nothing going on right now and I shouldn't be complaining. It's going to get pretty hectic around here next month, when I have to begin packing for my move. I'm planning to start sorting out all the stuff next week and I'm going to have a garage sale, or carport sale in my case, in July. Oh, how I dread it. I hate having those sales. My mom, Auntie Linda, and I have had several sales and I get so aggravated with the people who come to them, I want to explode before the day is over. First, we begin the sales at 7:00 a.m. On a Saturday. That, in and of itself, should explain my attitude. Then, we have people come to our sales and turn up their noses and ask stupid questions like, "will you take a nickel for that stereo?" Or, "five dollars is too much for that purse," when it's a freaking FENDI bag. If you've ever had one of these sales you understand. I'll be sure and report back after it's over.

I did get good news: I got the financing for school. I have to pay out-of-state tuition, so the financing will only be enough to pay tuition and books, but at least I got that. I was hoping not to have to pay out-of-state tuition, because often bordering states have this Academic Common Market thing which allows someone like me to go to school in Missouri and pay in-state fees. But no. I checked on this and found out today that it doesn't work that way with Arkansas. I will be able to establish residency in twelve months, but until then, I'm out-of-state. I'm a little bummed about that, but I'll get over it. The good news is that I'll be able to go full-time to school and have my master's in two years.

The moving away is starting to hit me. I know, everyone moves away from home at one time or another. Well, huh uh. Not in my family. We (95% of us) are tied to our hometown with the strongest apron strings you've never seen. All five of my grandmother's children live within a ten-minute drive of her house. Both my brothers live here. Practically all of my cousins live here. Did I mention Emily and Reece are here?? I can't even THINK about leaving them. That's going to kill me a little. Therefore, I'm getting homesick already. I've been dying to get out of here for years and see how it would be to live away and have a different life. But now that it's fast approaching, I'm a little reticent. Maybe if I'd done this when I was in my twenties or thirties it wouldn't be so difficult, but the older I get the less I like change. I think most people are this way. However, it's time to get out of my comfort zone and get on with life and see what's out there.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Get Your Catchy T-shirt Titles Here

Auntie Linda called last night and I was telling her about the Methodist catching me in my undies (see previous post) and she was really laughing hysterically and I said, “You know, he would catch me sitting my fat butt on the sofa and eating, not exercising,” which I’d been doing twenty minutes earlier, really! I then said, “I wanted to say to him, ‘hey, I don’t eat all the time!’ ” “That’s a great idea for a t-shirt,” Auntie L replied, “one with huge letters that says, ‘I DON’T EAT ALL THE TIME!’ ”

Which reminded me of another t-shirt I saw on a guy at a bookstore once. The guy was hideously above average in the beer gut department. So grossly huge was his tub o’lard that it was visible under the hem of his t-shirt, which looked to be about three sizes too small. On the front of the t-shirt, in big, bold, red letters was the statement: “I BEAT ANOREXIA.”

Monday, June 12, 2006

How To Meet Men Without Even Leaving Your House

Last year, my mom moved in with my ninety-year-old grandmother, and I moved into my mom’s house. It was a way for my mom to keep her house and for me to get away from my crazy, nasty, chain-smoking neighbor and her boyfriend, Dr. Pepper. (See July '05 posts for stories about my neighbor if interested. Blogger won't let me link to my archives.) Anyway, it’s been great. I love the house and it’s close to all the jobs from which I’ve been fired since I moved in. The only complaint, and it’s really nothing, is that my mom still gets all of her mail here, where I live. I feel as if I need to get her mail to her within a couple of days of receiving it, and it’s a bother. Hey, I’m single and I don’t like responsibility, so it gets on my nerves, but I’m overlooking it since I’m going to be moving away in August. Tonight, however, something happened that made me quite upset.

As I was sitting here, on my sofa, braless of course, in a t-shirt and panties, eating my bowl of bran (single person’s meal in bowl) there was a knock at the door. I looked up and there was a man grinning at me through the window at the front door. I jumped! up, almost spilling my cereal and ran to put on a robe. When I returned from the bedroom and answered the door, the man said he was from a local Methodist Church and was delivering a goody basket to me and he thanked me for visiting his church yesterday. I told him I didn’t attend his church yesterday and he said that this was the address on the Visitor’s Card. I then realized that my mother must have gone there yesterday and used this address. She’s been church-shopping for years and so I wasn’t surprised. I was, however, aggravated that she used my address!!! Poor guy, just out delivering nice little goody bags of fresh baked bread and coffee mugs and candy and gets flashed by Vanessa and her very white cellulite thighs. Do I hear a Holy Shit?

Friday, June 09, 2006

With This Ring

Banning gay marriages for the reason W gives is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.*** According to Mr. President, marriage, in the traditional sense, is the cornerstone of our society. How so? Don't over half of all marriages end in divorce? Doesn't that mess up the children in one way or another? Don't a lot of divorced mothers have to apply for government assistance? How is that good for society? I don't see why anyone would be overly praising marriage as the great societal cornerstone it isn't. (I'm not writing this as a way to express my disdain for traditional marriage. I realize some marriages are good, just not that many.) Yes, I'm divorced. So is one of my brothers. So are my parents. So were my paternal grandparents. So are ALL my aunts and uncles. So are just about all of my friends from high school, college, and my twenties, and my situation is not unique. I don't think society's values (the good ones) stem from marriage of a man and woman. I also don't see how the marriage of Adam and Steve can harm society. If they want some security for each other in case of the death of one of them, let's let them have it. It isn't going to harm society in the least for them to receive the same benefits as their neighbors, who are a traditional, married couple. I have no complaint about same-sex marriages. However, gay people be warned: with marriages come divorces. Gay people, listen to me: Are you crazy? Why would you want to get married? You'll only end up divorcing. I don't care if you're as gay as a picnic basket, or as straight as the edge of a new dollar bill; I'm just saying that marriage isn't all that great, so why bother? Just wait and see. The number of divorces is going to increase if same-sex marriage is legal everywhere. Don't say I didn't warn you.

***Of course, I know that the most obvious argument to make in opposition to W's view is that same-sex marriages do not lessen the number of traditional marriages. This point is so obvious I didn't see the need to mention it in the above paragraph.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thirtysomething and Holding

Well, little brother, as of tomorrow you've got one more year to enjoy your thirties. You'd better hang on to them as tightly as you're holding Reece in this photo.

You've come a long way from your snot-nosed, sister-irritating youth to the wonderful guy you are now. I can't think of a single person on the planet who does NOT like you. I really love you, and not just because you are the father of Emily and Reece. You're alright on your own, too.

Happy Birthday and enjoy this little treat.

Love you,


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Best Line I've Heard In A Long Time

"If you are serious about wanting some diversity, how about making a super hero who's ugly?" - said by some d.j. on a.m. radio today in reference to the fact that Bat Woman is coming back into print in comic books and the publishers are going to make her a lesbian.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

In order to stay out of the oppressive heat today, I had the family over for a cookout and we ate indoors. I'm still full. There were hamburgers, hot dogs, and Polish sausage thanks to my brothers and their stellar abilities with a gas grill. There was cheese dip with chips, uh huh, and some very dry homemade macaroni 'n cheese. Dry, because I baked it and didn't use enough cheese sauce, but live and learn. There was apple cobbler thanks to Mom. And, there was...get this...homemade ice cream, thanks to Dawn. Oh, with chocolate and caramel toppings.

Did I mention there was chocolate sauce for the ice cream?

We had the best time playing with Tia, the little darling Chihuahua Emily and family are dogsitting for a week.

Hope you guys all had a great holiday weekend! I absolutely must go now. Yes, there's cobbler in the kitchen and it really needs to be eaten. Right now.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Under the Influence

My brother, Don, had to have some medical tests run yesterday, during which time he was going to be anesthetized, so he needed me to be with him in order to take him home afterwards. (Everything was negative, which is good, and he’s going to be fine.) I adore both of my brothers and think they are hilarious, but I wasn’t prepared for just how hilarious Don could be while coming out of the anesthesia.

When I walked into his curtained-off section of recovery, he was lying on his side, and immediately arose when he saw me and asked, “Are we in heaven? Where are my glasses? If I need glasses, then this must not be heaven!!! ERGO, this MUST be HELL!!!” He was all crazy. I could hardly keep from falling on the floor from laughing. The nurse was laughing, too, and told me she hears some amazing things come out of the mouths of the most prim and proper people after they’ve been sedated. “It sure makes this job a lot of fun sometimes,” she said. She was a doll and took very good care of Don, which wasn’t easy.

For his next act, Don removed the heart monitor attached to his finger and started making it talk. I kept trying to tell him to put it back on his finger, but he was too busy with his One-Man Show, and so the monitor started beeping, which brought in the nurse, who gently asked him to keep the thing on his finger. As soon as she left, he started up again. Out of what little respect remains for my brother, I won’t tell you what the little finger-clip-turned-puppet said, but it was quite disgusting and I was crying from laughter.

When he seemed a little more coherent, the nurse asked him if he’d like some water. He looked at her and said, “you know what would really hit the spot? Some CREEEEAM SODA!!!” I don’t think he’s ever drunk cream soda in his life. When he realized he wasn’t getting any cream soda, he said he’d take some coffee. He got his coffee and marveled about how absolutely delicious it was and asked the nurse what brand it was. He had us in stitches, that boy.

I decided he was okay, so I went across the hall to the bathroom and when I returned, he was sitting up, slumped over and asleep, and his coffee was dripping out of the cup all over his blanket. I caught it in time to prevent it burning him, and when he felt me removing the cup from his hands he awoke and looked at the blanket and started laughing. “It’s not the drugs, Ness. I do this at home, too!!!” he said, “I’m-ready-to-go-home-want-to-go-get-some-lunch-I-have-a-bunch-of-movies-we-can-watch-what-time-is-it-that-was-a-piece-of-cake-lets-get-some-cream-soda-on-the-way-home!”

After sixty minutes of this, he was declared ready to go home and started putting on his shoes, all the while singing “It’s hard out here for a pimp!” Terrence Howard has nothing on my brother.

We made it back to his house and he was puttering around, making coffee, telling me he felt pretty normal, and he stopped and said, “Oh, I forgot! I had this great line I’ve always wanted to use when coming out of anesthesia and I forgot! It’s: ‘Is this heaven? If it is, then why do I need glasses?’ ” “You did say that, Bro,” I said. “Ooh, what else did I say?” he asked, rather sheepishly. “Oh, nothing,” I replied. I’m saving it for the family picnic.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What I'm Doing Instead of Working

My brother, Don, and I have been e-mailing each other all day. What could have been accomplished in twenty minutes over the phone takes all day via e-mail, but that's the way we like to do things. So, during this e-mail session we determined that he might have a staple gun that I could borrow to recover some dining room chair seats, after I find some fabric I like, and also that we want to have Mexican food together tonight at a place which neither of us can recall the name. We know it's on the busiest street in town, and it's next to the empty building that used to be a Lowe's, so we're meeting there tonight in hopes that it's still a Mexican restaurant. If it isn't, I hope it's at least some sort of place that serves food, because I really don't want to try to decide on another location. This one took all day to determine.


What I've been reading lately:

Finished the Harry Potter series. Emily kept telling me how great the series were and I loved the movies, so I read them and she was right. They are great. I kept imagining I was twelve while reading them and it made the reading a lot more fun. I'm also amazed at Rowling's imagination and use of Celtic mythology. There's going to be one more novel in the series and I can't wait to read it.

Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking - best nonfiction I've read in a while.

Elizabeth Dewberry's His Lovely Wife - made me very sad because of the references to Princess Diana, but otherwise not really a good novel. I was very curious to read it, and my curiousity is satisfied. I think the best one-word description for it would be "cheesy."

Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude - Zzzzzzzzzz, I know, I have a master's degree in literature so I'm supposed to realize how great this novel is. Sorry, but I only made it through about a third of it and couldn't take it.

Stephen J. Carter's The Emperor of Ocean Park - my current read and I'm enjoying it. Should finish this weekend.

Up next: Freakanomics, then Wendy Wasserstien's novel of which I can't remember the name. It has a hot-pink cover and I think, oh, wait, it's The Elements of Style I think. After that, it's Faulkner's Light in August - maybe.

Anyone have any more recommendations? (As if I don't have at least twenty books piled on my nightstand already.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Couple of Drops of Brain Matter

If you ever call me at night, after I've been home for more than thirty minutes, and you want me to go someplace with you, the first question you need to ask is, "Do you still have on your bra?" Once that baby's in the clothes hamper, I'm not sticking my big toe out of the front door.

I have this really good idea for a short story and I've been outlining it for several days. I got the idea from watching a "South Park" episode. It's about a road trip, so in order to write it, I need an Atlas, and I can't find mine, which means I need to go to the store and get a new one, but, alas, the bra is no longer on, so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.


Last week, when I had dinner with my fabulously funny cousins, we were drinking margaritas and talking about drinking. We all said that we loved gin and tonics, but we wanted our martinis made with vodka. And we liked them very dry. I said I had gotten lazy and usually just drank the vodka straight, since it was easier than pretending to add vermouth to the mix. Then Janet said, "just waive the vermouth fumes over the glass and it's dry enough for me." We all laughed at that one. THEN Lisa said, "just bring the bottle [of vermouth] in the room, and that'll be good enough for me." I adore my cousins.

Friday, May 12, 2006

My Nephew, Abe Lincoln

Guess which second-grader is my nephew? That's right, Reece, er, Abe Lincoln performed in a school program last night. He was so cute I wanted to put him between two slices of bread and just eat him up. (He loves it when I say that.)

Emily's playing in a softball tournament this weekend and the weather is perfect. It's actually cold at night, but during the day it's cool and humidity-free, so I'm looking forward to spending tomorrow outdoors!

Now, I must go pick up my Avon order at Auntie Linda's. I've started buying from her Avon woman since the one I was using at work is an idiot, and it's totally worth it to drive over to Linda's to pick up my order and not have to deal with the girl who's as dumb as a box of hair.

I was talking to Emily earlier today and she said, "If you don't want to blog anymore, just say so." I told her that, from now on, I am only going to blog when I have something interesting to say. Well, that didn't exactly work, now, did it? (Except for the part about Reece. He's always interesting!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I know it's just two-fifty, but that's not the point...

Before I tell this story, you need to know a little about my hometown, where, minus a time away for college years ago, I’ve lived for forty-three years. You’ll ask yourself why after I tell you more.

I live in a “dry county.” What is that, you ask? It is a dreary, boring place where you cannot buy a bottle of wine around the corner, nor can you pick up a six-pack at the local Kroger. If you want hooch you must drive to the County Line, or “The Line,” as we say here in these parts.

There are ways around this, however, with the loophole called the Private Club. Private Clubs include a couple of country clubs and an Elk’s Lodge and up until a few years ago, a couple of really seedy joints north of town. Recently, however, we’ve been blessed to have five or six new places open that feel more like restaurants and less like clubs. These are actually places where normal folks want to go have a nice dinner and a glass of wine. You can even take the kids along!

Julio’s is one of these places, which is on Main Street, right across from an over-priced Italian restaurant that recently acquired its liquor license, too. In order to eat in such places, you must buy a membership, because they are still considered “Private Clubs.” There’s the loophole, I guess.

I went to Julio’s Monday night. My cousin, Luann, was in town from Austin, so she and her two fabulous sisters, Auntie Linda, my mom, and I met for dinner. When my mom and I walked in, the hostess told us the membership was $5.00. She said, “If you’re married, it’s just five dollars for both of you.” “What if you’re NOT married?” I asked. She said, “then it’s five dollars just for you.” “That’s discrimination,” I complained. She just looked at me. My mom gave a little nervous laugh, which she does when I have embarrassed her. But really, isn’t that unfair? Shouldn’t I have to only pay $2.50, since I’m a single person?

Just another thing that gripes me about the attitude towards single people.

Friday, May 05, 2006

How Do These People Get These Great Jobs?

This was on MSNBC this morning:

"During the first three months of the year, Bush has been the punch line of 307 monologue jokes by Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O'Brien, according to the Center for Media and Public affairs, which studies this sort of thing.

That compares to 197 jokes during the same period last year. For all of 2005, the center's statisticians counted 544 Bush jokes."

First of all, who cares? Secondly, I would LOVE to have that job! Imagine getting paid to watch Dave, Jay, and Conan! Gah, I definitely studied the wrong subject in college.

Further into the article is one of the jokes that made me laugh:

"Did you know former President James Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other at the same time?" Leno said. "That was Garfield. When President Bush heard about it, he said, `We had a talking cat for president?'"

What's everyone doing this weekend? I'm having breakfast tomorrow with my brother, Don, and then I'm going to clean house and look for grad assistantships at the schools I'm considering, which will take most of a day to do, and then I'm going to get some reading done. I'll post the latest books I've read later. Abby and I are going to go walking at the park, too, unless it's raining. I'm skipping Emily's softball tournament. Bad Auntie. Did I tell you guys that the University of Oklahoma sent me an acceptance, too? Now I have three schools to consider and more chances of finding a job!


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It's Official

While driving home from work today, I had my first Suntan-Hose-With-White-Sandals Sighting. Summer is here.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Softball Player Turns Debutante

Spring Cotillion was last night and this was my family's contribution to the big party. Not bad, eh? Hard to believe she was, only hours before, covered in mud on a wet, squishy softball field. More fabulous photos of Emily on my Flickr, so go take a look.

Funny story: Emily called me Friday afternoon, while I was at work, and she said she had good news. She'd broken up with Matt (her first boyfriend.) I asked her why it was good, and she said she'd found out that he had been lying to her. He'd been telling some other sixth-graders that he was going to break up with her, and she had been hearing these rumors. She said that Matt denied this, of course, but she said, "I decided to beat him to the punch, so I broke it off with him." Thirty minutes later, cute-guy Wes asked her out. She told him to give her a week, then she'd be his girlfriend. She told me that she really needed a week off from having a boyfriend. Lesson to all men: do not mess with Merrell women. We don't need you. You're just toys to us and if you don't behave yourselves, we'll replace you so quickly your heads will spin. We'll need a week off, of course, but then we'll be back with full force!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Nothing Much

It was a busy weekend. Reece spent the night with me on Friday and we had a good time eating Subway sandwiches and chips and cookies and watching movies. Then Saturday morning we went for donuts. I don’t know who enjoys the sleep overs more: the child or the aunt. Saturday and Sunday I spent watching Emily play softball. Her team won first place in the tournament. Go, Emily!

I just received an acceptance letter from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. I’d received an e-mail from my new advisor at UT on Friday, but I didn’t get a letter until today. Now I’m actually going to have to decide the best place to go. Ultimately, however, it will be money that will be the deciding factor. I’ll go wherever I can go and work while studying for my masters. But, anyway, yeah! It’s good news that I sort of have a choice. It’s also stressing me out trying to keep all the e-mails straight, and trying to find a job and everything else that I can possibly worry about. I especially like to worry about all the things over which I have absolutely NO control.

It’s beginning to thunder and it looks like rain. I’m paranoid about being on the computer when it’s storming. Afraid the lightening might zap the life out of my laptop. So, on that note, I’d better turn this thing off and run for the covers!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Avon Calling? I'll call your Avon...

While in the casino hotel a couple of weeks ago, I tried some of Auntie Linda’s makeup that she has recently discovered. It’s Avon foundation, of which I wear very little, just enough to cover the really scary places on my face, but anyway, I was glad to get to try it, because I liked it, and I decided to order some. I found a girl at work who sells the stuff, so I e-mailed her that I wanted an Avon book, and within ten minutes I had the latest Avon book on my desk. “Wow,” I thought, “she’s going to be easy to deal with.” I’ve had a long, aggravating history with Avon people and that’s too bad, because they make the best hand cream and lip liners in the world. I know, because I’ve tried them all. You don’t get to be my age without some sort of useful knowledge, even if it is just about hand creams and lip liners. So, I placed an order with my new Avon representative, R.C., about fourteen days ago. Again, I know a little something about this process, and when I still didn’t have my products yesterday, I e-mailed her and very nicely asked her when she’d have my order for me. When I got to work this morning, there was an Avon bag on my desk. I should have known better than to get too excited. Inside the bad were three of the five products I had ordered and no receipt. I e-mailed R.C. and asked her how much I owed her, and that I didn’t receive the two lip liners I’d ordered, and would they be coming later. I was very nice and restrained in this e-mail, although I really wanted to let her have it = NO MEDS ANYMORE. She replied to me with three little words: “I have them.” I guess she meant she still had the lip liners. She didn’t indicate how much I owed her, or if she was holding the lip liners for ransom, or what. I didn’t reply, because I would have gotten fired for the nasty e-mail I would have sent. I also didn’t hear from her again today, so now I don’t know what to do. I do know, however, that from now on I’ll order the shit online and pay the extra postage. It will be far cheaper than getting a lawyer to defend me for what I’d really like to do.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Better Late Than Never

While cleaning out some old e-mails today, I found this joke that I'd saved to post on St. Patrick's Day. It's still funny, however, so enjoy and have a great weekend!

Jacques Chirac, The French President, is sitting in his office when his telephone rings.

"Hallo, Mr. Chirac!" a heavily accented voice said. "This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Clare, Ireland. I am ringin' to inform ye that we are officially declaring war on ye!"

"Well, Paddy," Chirac replied, "this is indeed important news! How big is your army?"

"Right now," says Paddy, after a moment's calculation, "there is myself, me Cousin Sean, me next door neighbor Seamus, and the entire darts team from the pub. That makes eight!"

Chirac paused. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100,000 men in my army waiting to move on my command."

"Begoora!" says Paddy. "I'll have to ring ye back."

Sure enough, the next day, Paddy calls again.

"Mr. Chirac, the war is still on. We have managed to get us some infantry equipment!"

"And what equipment would that be, Paddy?" Chirac asks.

"Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy's farm tractor!"

Chirac sighs, amused; "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 6,000 tanks and 5,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I have increased my army to 150,000 since we last spoke."

"Saints preserve us!" says Paddy. "I'll have to get back to ye."

Sure enough, Paddy rings again the next day.

"Mr. Chirac, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We have modified Jackie McLaughlin's ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Bar have joined us as well!"

Chirac was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100 bombers and 200 fighter planes. My military bases are surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I have increased my army to 200,000!"

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" says Paddy, "I will have to ring ye back."

Sure enough, Paddy calls again the next day.

"Top o' the mornin', Mr. Chirac! I am sorry to inform ye that we have had to call off the war."

"Really? I am sorry to hear that," says Chirac. "Why the sudden change of heart?"

"Well," says Paddy, "we had a long chat over a few pints of Guinness, and decided there is no way we can feed 200,000 FRENCH prisoners!"

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Holy Moses

I've watched the old "Ten Commandments" movie, the one with Charleton Heston, at least thirty times in my life. I just love it and can't NOT watch it whenever it's on TV. (Same goes for "The Godfather" and "Braveheart.") Last night, a new production of Commandments premiered on ABC. I was curious, so I watched. The second, and final, part is tonight. So, my big question is, What's up with the BRITISH ACCENTS??? It's terrible! These are desert-dwelling Hebrews and they all have British accents. I'm writing to ABC to complain. Plus, Moses has fair skin and blue eyes. And, Omar Sharif? Give me a break. Whenever there's an ethnic part to be played, they always call on him. Like they always used to cast Ricardo Montalban, remember?

Speaking of Moses, did you hear about Gwyneth's little baby Moses? Aside from being really, really funny to me, I just don't care. Nor do I care that he has a big sister named Apple. What is it with this fascination with celebrities and knowing all about their personal lives? Of course, the fact that I just wrote this paragraph perpetuates their fame, doesn't it?

I will say, in defense of the fascination with celebrities, I was glad to know one little tidbit when I was watching "How To Marry A Millionaire" the other night. I've seen the movie probably five times and never caught this line: When Lauren Bacall's character, who is twenty-five, is trying to convince her fifty-five-year-old suitor that she prefers older men, she says "the old guy in 'African Queen'? I love him!" (African Queen - Another superb movie, by the way.) Anyway, I thought that was cute and if I'd not known anything about Lauren Bacall's private life, I'd have not enjoyed that line in the movie. I just can't believe it took me that many viewings to catch that!