Saturday, February 24, 2007

Franklin's last dance.

Mike and I chaperoned Franklin Middle School’s final dance last night. I was all snuggled up with my laptop and a mojito and some panang curry from Ann Thai Kitchen [sic..see below!] when Mike told me that he had to go back up to Franklin to help with the school dance.

I replied, “Tell her I said hello.”

“What? Who? Oh, dadgum it, Kristy, I am NOT having an affair. There really is a dance. Wanna’ come up to Franklin and see?”

“Sure. Let me get my clothes back on.”

I’ll bet he wasn’t expecting THAT answer! :-)

It turned out to be really fun. I saw old friends and even a couple of former Madison students who now attend Franklin. (They knew they could trust me with their digital cameras so I ended up snapping photos! Sure wish I’d taken *our* camera…)

The theme was Black-and-White (Huh? Stinkin’ Lincoln colors? Will Lincoln’s last dance have maroon and white balloons?), but it turned out to be great because I wore black-and-BLING to work yesterday! The sparkly “Library Goddess” shirt looked great in the gym-turned-dance-floor lighting, plus I had on my fake-diamond dangly earrings and my fake-diamond “glasses on a chain” necklace.

Kirsten likes to call this photo "The Haves & the Have-Nots." ;-)

Here are some pics of this morning’s work party and dust storm. Oh, and one of the red sand that accumulated on my windshield wipers in just *minutes* while I was inside Bealls. (I won’t post the pics of the dead pigeon in my parking place…or its head fifteen feet away near the front doors. You’re welcome.)

Oh, and I found a couple of places where you can see the Presidential Kiss video! It’s not the good one that CNN showed where Debbie (who is exactly my age) even hugged and kissed the reporter covering the story, but it will give you an idea of how sweet she is… and then click “Play Video” (the audio is kinda’ messed up on this one…)

And here: Click “Watch the Video.”

Update: After I left work at 6 p.m. (Ms. Merrill & Ms. Batts were still there!), I saw this amazing spectacle...a tree branch blown into the flagpole chain by today's 65 m.p.h. winds.

And now the sun's gone down, and Mike is making mojitos and nachos...with an attentive audience!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mood swings

Okay, so it’s nearly 5 a.m., and I’m making Melanie Cray’s muffin recipe, but I’m substituting two nasty bananas (that were starting to draw fruit flies!) for the blueberries and replacing the chocolate chips with nuts. All is going well until I start unexpectedly CRYING because of the sweet CNN story about the mentally-challenged Chattanooga lady who didn’t think a kiss on the cheek from President Bush was good enough and made him smooch her on the lips. She also scored a first-rate bear hug from the clearly amused Commander-in-Chief as she received her Volunteer Award!

So, I’m wiping my eyes with the back of my stirring hand and dripping muffin batter all over my pajamas when they go to break and Bonnie Tyler’s “Turn Around...Total Eclipse of the Heart” comes on in an Avis commercial…and I begin laughing, remembering Falisha and Bethany at the ‘Eighties Sing-Along in Austin.

Good thing I work in a middle school with 1,000 other hormonal train wrecks, trapped in the throes of adolescence! No one notices mood swings when you're surrounded by schizophrenic teens... :-)

(At least today I’ll be armed with the comfort of banana-nut muffins.)

Hey, go to CNN and see if you can find the video of the Presidential smoocher. You'll be glad you did. She even kissed the reporter covering the story!

EDIT: Exactly WHAT is going on in that Bonnie Tyler video? I just watched it again, and it makes no sense whatsoever. But if you're a fan of the movie Bandits like Bethany or Karen, this song has a special place in your heart...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Spring has the bathroom.

Mike was sick on Valentine's Day so we decided to put off our celebration until this weekend. He wanted to take me to see Ghost Rider; I was voting for Breach. Either way, we were both excited to go *out* on a real date...something we haven't done since my birthday. (Although our 10th anniversary on Christmas Eve was romantic and wonderful, we stayed *in* and watched It's a Wonderful Life.) The plan was to save money by going to the Saturday matinee so we could spring for popcorn.

So how'd that go?

Not too good.

Instead, we pulled weeds IN THE BATHROOM! A load of laundry somehow made the guest bathroom explode unspeakably disgusting stuff all over the bathroom floor and in the tub and in the potty bowl. Senor Grouchy had taken Misha to the store for milk (of course!) so I cleaned things up as best as I could while GAGGING.

How did black stuff get two and a half feet up the wall? Did the potty projectile vomit? The little gas heater between the toilet & tub had black "dirt" in all of the little vents! Oh, and the tub...shudder.

Later, Mike went to the rental place and rented a snake thing; lucky I'd just been to a BodyPump class--that machine was HEAVY! He moved the potty into the kitchen onto a tarp (the dogs were amazed...and so was I!) and snaked that thing for all it was worth. Imagine our surprise when he cleaned ROOTS out of the pipes! He ended up with handfuls of roots on the bathroom floor.

Somewhere, one of our pipes has broken and is allowing roots to clog the system. We clearly have an expensive plumbing bill ahead of us (probably to be expected in a house that once served as Camp Barkeley barracks).

OTOH, at least our house smells great. It smells like we've been gardening in the bathroom! Seriously. It SMELLS LIKE SPRINGTIME in there...which is a whole lot better than how it smelled about 24 hours ago. :-)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Attack of the Killer Peanut Butter!

Misha, May Bee, and I eat peanut butter every day. (Every. Single. Day. ) Bethany knows this, and it prompted the email exchange below:

Bethany: if you have peanut butter that has a code that starts with 2111, don't eat it. cnn says that you, misha, and may bee will get a dog?

Mom: WE HAVE SOME OF THAT KILLER PB! Thank goodness we hadn't opened it yet. (See attached photo.)

Bethany: my favorite part of that picture is misha, who looks terribly confused. "why is she photographing it? paper? put that peanut creamy goodness in my mouth!"


So, anyway, we're all okay. We finished the old jar of peanut butter *the very day* the warnings were all over the media; we would have opened the 2111 jar the next morning for the dogs' morning spoonful of PB so the alert came just in the nick of time!

Killer spinach. Dangerous green onions. Salmonella-laden PB. Yikes...which food is gonna' strike us next? (My money's on lima beans. Lima beans are the nastiest "food" on the veggie spectrum, and we should avoid them like the plague. Which they probably already carry...)

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Happy birthday wishes to my momma...
who turns the golden 65 today! :-)

Impeach the Groundhog!

The prophet of Gobbler's Knob owes everyone a giant apology. The big news on NPR this morning is the terrible "Valentine's Day Storm" of 2007...state workers told not to report in two states, 11-foot snow drifts in New York, and lots of "on the street" interviews with those crazy enough to venture out in the weather to buy gifts for their sweethearts.

(Early spring. Ha!)

Or maybe, Phil got it right. Perhaps ear muffs aren't the *best* wardrobe choice when listening to a weather oracle not known for his clear enunciation...

And it's not just the Northeast, either. Last night, I had enough snow on my car after church to have to use the windshield wipers before I could move...after only one hour...and this is TEXAS. With snow AGAIN. Let's hope that this was the last icy gasp of winter because we've had plenty.

It's been fun and lovely, but we are ready to quit doing Hall Duty in scarves & mittens...

UPDATE LATER IN THE MORNING: The dogs and I could only play "basketball" outside for about 10 minutes before we were frozen solid. Turns out that it was 21 degrees out there with a wind chill of 11! Oh, and we have snow on the ground, too.

Here's the first period boys jumping rope in the snow...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I <3 the '80s.

Okay, Austin in a nutshell…

Conference: GREAT! Learned a ton. More than a ton. (Be sure to use Google’s Advanced Search page. Check out the results when you just search the .edu domain!)

Alamo Drafthouse: FUN! Falisha described the ‘80s Power Ballad Sing-along as the most fun she’s had in ages. Then on Friday night, we were also the FIRST EVER people in the stairwell to see Master Pancake Theater’s “maiden voyage” (*snork*) as they made sport of the movie Titanic! Here’s the beer they handed us for being the first customers in line…

Kreuz Market: DELICIOUS! Bethany and Falisha watched me go Crazy Carnivore Cavewoman on the brisket & jalapeno cheese sausage while they split a bag of Cheetohs. They think Kreuz Market has too many rules (see sign).

Love Tester: INACCURATE! The thing the girls liked best about Kreuz’s was the Love Meter on the way out the door. Falisha scored a WILD, Bethany was branded HARMLESS--and the librarian was rated UNCONTROLLABLE. (Insert hilarious laughter here…)

The outlets: TOLERABLE! I hate shopping more than some of the MEN I saw reveling in the materialistic frenzy of consumerism (or is it “consumerasm”?).

Bethany’s apartment: CUTE! We had so much fun watching SNL on tv and DVDs of The Office…thank you to Falisha for remembering to pack those. We laughed until we cried…

My girls: SPECTACULAR! They aren’t just sweet. Or just funny. They are simply wonderful. This morning, they surprised me with a hilarious breakfast in bed…complete with their own rules and the world’s worst coffee and little characters they built out of toothpicks and fruit and a paper sombrero…Miguel and Pancho were delicious, btw.

The trip home: RELAXING! The long drive from San Marcos allowed me to get to CD #5 of The Cry of the Icemark, and the non-fat/sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce latte I picked up in Brownwood kept me awake all the way to Abilene. I got back too late to make it to church at 5:00…oh, and my makeup is still in San Marcos! (I rounded up enough to get to work tomorrow… another tube of foundation and one brown eyeliner. There’s no eyebrow pencil or lip liner. No eyelid shadow primer, either, but that’s okay since I don’t have any eye shadow to use, anyway!) ;-)

The Grammy Awards: FANTASTIC! Anyone who knew me in the ‘80s will verify how much I loved The Police. It was so cool to see them REUNITED to open the awards show tonight!! Here’s hoping they will take this reunion on tour this summer! (This whole weekend has been a celebration of the 1980s, now that I think about it--the Power Ballads and The Police and two special girls born in the Aprils of 1984 and 1987…)

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I'm in Austin for the Tech Conference...and it's so fun!

Presenters taught us tricks in PowerPoint (bookmarks! action buttons!) and Google searching (go to the Advanced Search page every time to set those domain names and file types), Erin Gruwell of The Freedom Writers was our Opening Session speaker!! (Everybody needed tissues.)

Oh, and ten years after Trey Forkerway told me how great P.F. Chang's is, I finally got to eat there when we celebrated The Boss's 50th birthday.

Tonight, the girls and I are going to an '80s Power Ballad sing-along...with a Worst Love Story contest right before. (Tomorrow night will be the second sinking of The Titanic as the Austin comedians "make sport" of this cinematic behemoth.)
Friday or Saturday we're going to hit the outlets as we try to find cool pants...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Media Magic

Will Shortz’s NPR puzzle AND Garrison Keillor’s “The Joke Show” AND hymns on the big screen AND the Super Bowl? All on the SAME day? GLEE!!!!!

Let’s begin…

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The word from today’s on-air puzzle that I didn’t know: MUON. (Huh? What’s a muon? And how did that lady pull it out of thin air? Seriously…ACU owes me a refund if this is a common word that everyone knows!!)

Next week’s Sunday puzzle challenge: “This challenge is literally a brain buster. Think of a word that can follow brain and precede buster, in each case completing a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. What word is this?”
Submit your answer at:

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***The PHC joke that made me laugh out loud:
Did you hear about the dyslexic who sold his soul to SANTA?

(Brief. Elegant. Alliterative.)

***The other joke that made me laugh out loud:
Q. How can a woman rid her apartment of cockroaches?
A. Ask them for a commitment.

***Another good one:
Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?
A. To show the deer how it was done.

***And another:
Q. How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
A. How many therapists do you think it takes to change a light bulb?

***Stupid, but still funny:
Q. What did one fly say to the other fly?
A. Hey, fly, your dude is open.

***The GOOD way to tell the one they botched:
Q. Did you hear about the two blondes who froze to death at the drive-in?
A. They went to see “Closed for Winter.”

***And finally, the one the jokesmiths stole from my dad who used it in a sermon A WEEK AGO:
Someone said that "The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse is that you can't post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians…it creates a hostile work environment."

For ALL of the jokes:

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Tonight’s best hymn? They were all good, but I had to get up and go get tissues during “He Is Wonderful.”

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I missed the first forty minutes of the Super Bowl, but here were some of my favorite commercials:

The Taco Bell lions and the Carne Asada (I can’t say it, either!!! I’ve never rolled a joint *or* an R…)
Bud Light (and the axe…and the chainsaw…)
Emmitt Smith dancing through the HEB
K-Fed’s “Rollin’ VIP”
“The Promotion Pit” by CareerBuilder

Another great moment: The Bears did something right, and I screamed “NOOOOO!” Misha (who had been sleeping) ran to me to see what was the matter…and then sniffed at the still-dozing May Bee, wondering what she’d done wrong *this* time.

Ooh, and Prince’s half-time show was great, too. (Quit mocking me.) I feel guilty for liking Prince, but he is ninety pounds of pure kevorka and talent.

Oh, and here’s a challenge for Bethany and Falisha: I want some cool pants like Prince wore tonight…but they have to be cheap. While we’re together in San Marcos this weekend, let’s go to the outlets and buy some pointy shoes like the ones Bethany bought for her job interview in Houston (the heel doesn’t have to be as high as Prince’s since we’re all Amazons!). Then we’ll get some cool extra-long pants that are skinny at the thigh, but flare around our cute new shoes. Since I’ve already bought our tickets for TWO nights of entertainment at the Alamo, we’ll have to stay on a strict budget…but it just makes this Prince Fashion Challenge even more interesting!

Currently reading and liking The Echo Maker! This one will go to the Technology Conference with me…

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Goodbye, Molly. My dad misses you already...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Medical Mysteries

A haiku describing yesterday's Bloodmobile visit to Madison:

Stab. Stabby. Stab! Stab!
Can't get blood! Vein keeps rolling.
Free shirt, anyway.

Well, that was a bust. It wasn't the blood tech's fault, bless her vampire heart; she got a skin plug on the way in with her giant garden-hose-sized needle. At one point, she asked if I were okay, and I told her that she could have "one more minute." She tried two more times and gave up.

In the meantime, I'd gone completely pale, and they offered me juice THREE different times. (They wouldn't let me leave until Charlotte finished her donation and could walk me back across the street.)

Love the bandage...but is that FAT poking out? Egads.

After school, I was helping two sixth-grade boys with our persnickety copy machine, opening and closing all the drawers and pulling all the levers trying to get the error message to go away. My left arm was hard to bend because they told me to keep the pretty purple elbow bandage on for four hours. When I told the boys my problem--and how they couldn't get any blood out of me--one of them, wide-eyed, suggested that I didn't have any blood. Laughing, I told him it would be our little secret and that if he told anybody, the librarian robots would come after him. Hope he didn't have bad dreams last night! :-)

Another medical mystery...this morning, on NPR's "The People's Pharmacy," they did a report on how scientists solved a medical puzzle regarding young boys sprouting breasts. It turned out that all of the affected boys had either used lavender or tea tree oil shampoos. These substances can mimic the effect of estrogen on the body, and the scientists warned parents about exposure to these products. Here's the crazy part...I wash my face every morning with tea tree oil and have NEVER been cursed with this annoying

So, anyway, I'm blowing off the gym this morning because they told one lady on the Blood Bus that she couldn't lift weights at Curves for 24 hours because it could reopen her wound site. (And that's just the Curves thirty-minute circuit! Can you imagine what a Gold's Gym hour-long BodyPump class would do to my repeatedly-stabbed left arm? I'd look like the gushing, armless Black Knight from Monty Python...)

Currently reading: Gave up on Meg Cabot's Size 12 Is Not Fat at five o'clock this morning. Funny title, but not my cuppa a Princess Diaries book with murder and cursing. Instead, I'm gonna tackle Richard Powers' The Echo Maker, which just won the National Book Award.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Snow (yawn) again.

We only played for a few minutes before the dogs wanted to come in for breakfast. They're bored with all the white junk that keeps covering all their toys in the backyard!

Still pretty, though, with big giant flakes (Karen's new FIL calls it "raining chicken feathers")...this has been THE BEST WINTER I've ever had in Abilene!

(But a girl can still dream of having a garage someday, right?)