Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Important Stuff

Have you ever passed by the same piece of paper on the floor over and over again and thought to yourself, "Somebody really needs to throw that paper away," until you finally realize no one else is going to do it?

So you pick it up, throw it away, and wonder why you just didn't do that to begin with?

Yeah, I think that's why I've been sleeping so much. I'm avoiding taking out the trash.

So, I went swimming with my kids today.

We played chase, and did underwater handstands, and took turns standing on each other to see how long we could hold our breath. They swam under me and between my legs and did amazing running cannonballs off the side of the pool.

Afterwards Savannah, my 6 year-old, and I showered together. In between me teaching her the important stuff like shampooing and conditioning your hair first so the conditioner can sit in your hair while you wash the rest of you and how to work up a good lather on a loofah, she asked if we would ever move again.

If my 6-year old had asked me that fifteen years ago, I would have had all the answers. I would have said, "No, of course not. We'll always live here, sweetie."

But my 40 year-old self knows better.

"I don't know," I said today. "Sometimes God has plans for us we don't know about yet." Then I thought I better throw in something parental, so I added, "Besides, you'll move when you grow up and go to college and get a career. You'll have a home of your own to move into."

I left out the part about how most of the people I know with college degrees make less money than the people I know who barely made it out of high school. And how she might meet a guy with a nose ring and a guitar who could possibly side track her with a mini-van a four unplanned pregnancies.

But by then she was fascinated with the layer of suds covering her belly anyway.

Best to stick with the important stuff.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A little whine, anyone?

I'm beginning to think I could sleep for a week and it wouldn't be enough.

I didn't wake up this morning until almost eleven. I took a nap from from two this afternoon until six, when I had to force myself to get up. I'm ready to go to bed now and it's just after ten. THIS IS CRAZY.

And I've been a total whiny baby all week. I can barely take myself.

Where do you go to get away from yourself?

I guess you go to sleep.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The land of plenty

I covered a pretty interesting story this week.

Monday night some of our guys got sick after fighting fire at a house owned by an ex-Special Forces transsexual.

He/she'd been arrested earlier that afternoon on an outstanding warrant for making a terroristic threat against some SHECO guys when they came out to disconnect the electricity a while back - evidently he/she met them at the gate in a bikini and was stacked on top and bottom.

Anyway, at the fire Monday night, the neighbors said the place was booby trapped - no pun intended - so Paul pulled the guys back and let it burn.

ATF came out the next day but didn't find anything. Investigators think it's probably arson, the result of a lovers' spat.

See? You don't have to go to the movies or New York City to find screwed up ex-Special Forces dudes with breasts.

East Texas has something for everybody.

Monday, July 24, 2006


There is a particularly cool female I really enjoy in my life. She is tall, beautiful, funny, totally together, and I have no idea how she came out of me. She is my daughter. And she amazes me every day of our lives together.

The first thing I noticed about her was that she sounded like a girl when she cried. I'd only been around baby boys when she was born, (she has two big brothers), and I was surprised that her voice sounded so feminine.

She used that voice from a very young age. She was singing before she could walk and her first sentence came at the ripe old age of a year and half. That's
when I discovered she actually listened to my prattle as I went about my housework. I always talked to her, even though I thought she couldn't understand a word I was saying, so one day I asked her, "Now where did I put my broom?"

She looked up at me, shrugged her shoulders and said in her little girlie voice, "I don't know!"

I was so excited I called my mom, "Katie said her first sentence!"

"What was it?"

"I don't know!"

"What? What was her first sentence?"

"I don't know! That's it! I don't know!"

True story.

My daughter has a regal bearing and a strong sense of herself. I suspect if anyone doesn't realize her worth, they either soon will or will be left behind.

She's almost twelve now. We wore the same shoe size for about six months when she was eight. She is infinitely more stylish than me and I raid her closet on a regular basis. But don't tell her, ok?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday night after a long week

I'm listening to a song right now a good friend of mine e-mailed to me this week. I love it. It makes me think of sunny days and country fields and happy times.

Pretty sappy stuff.

I wonder how it is that some friends will stick with you through thick or thin, no matter what. Nothing would ever make them abandon you or just walk away. Nothing.

And some don't.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Good semi-clean fun

We had a little get-together at my mom's house in Houston on Saturday. And by that I mean me, my mom, my sister, two of my female cousins and my aunt, two childhood girlfriends - who are also sisters - and their mother.

It was wild.

There was plenty of drinking, dancing, singing, eating, chatting, more dancing and general carousing of all kinds. Women in my family love to party. It's a genetic thing. We don't need men to do it and we don't have to go out.

On the down side, I'm sore in places that shouldn't be mentioned in a respectable blog. And I think there soon may be a black market video surfacing on the internet of me dancing to "Tell Me Something Good." Women in my family can also be entrepreneurial and vindictive. (Clever wenches, I hope they let me in on a cut of the profits.)

Oh well, a good time was had by all and no one threw up, got pregnant, or went to jail. What more can you ask?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Voodoo Boat Guy - the saga continues

So my boss at the radio station finally got wind of what was going on with VBG.

He was not amused.

Bill called Voodoo Boat Guy himself. "Hello, is this the gentleman who's been calling here at the radio station with some items for the Trading Post?"

Evidently VBG said yes, because Bill continued. "I'm the station manager and it's come to my attention that you've been calling the show for quite some time now and tying up the line with a long list of items which is really not the purpose of the show or it's intention." He went on to explain how the Trading Post is for individuals to sell a few things every once in a while and not for people to use on a daily basis. He also told VBG that people were complaining about him and not to call back for at least a month - and when he DID start calling again to only list a few things.

There was a pause while Bill listened to VBG politely, then said, "Well, even if you're moving, you'll have to find another way to try to sell your items."

The next morning I got a caller who wanted to leave some stuff for the Trading Post ahead of time. It was early enough, so I agreed. But as I started to type the list there was something disturbingly familiar about the caller's voice. Then I noticed he was selling boats. And sports "memorabilia". Trading cards maybe?

"Hey," I asked. "Is this the Boat Guy?"

Click. He hung up.

I threw away the list.

Today at precisely 10:25 am, I answered line 1. "Trade Post please."

"Boat Guy?"


"I know my boss told you not to call for a while."

"But I have some other stuff to sell."

"It doesn't matter Boat Guy, you have to stop calling for at least a month."


The lines started to light up and I got busy. I took my last pre-call, printed Eric's list and got the faxes together. The last open line rang before the Trading Post started. It was line 1.

A deep voice said, "I have some things I'd like to put on the Trading Post."

"Sure," I said between doing 40 other things, "hold please." As soon as I pushed the hold button, I knew. It was him.

Eric came to pick up the stuff and I told him. "I'm pretty sure Voodoo Boat Guy is on line 1."

Eric let it go and VBG only listed 3 things, but I'm still pissed that he got past me with the fake voice.

He's like the Terminator. A dweeby, weenie-headed, creepy, pain in the @$$ Terminator. With Britney Spears collectible trading dolls still in the box.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Time travel

Have you ever been driving down the road with so much on your mind that you get where you're going and have absolutely no memory of the trip? Welcome to my summer.

I was really looking forward to taking a field trip to the doctor's office yesterday because it meant I got to be out of the office during the day. Kind of like playing hooky.

Instead it turned out be 3 hours wasted in a waiting room when I could have been getting my work done, just to hear that my thyroid isn't causing the stupid headache so I'm back to square one.

Then it was a 2-1/2 hour drive back to the office that wasn't fun. There wasn't any good music on the radio and I couldn't get my stupid shoe off because it had an ankle strap. After which I ended up having to work late so I could get all my stuff done that I could have gotten done if I hadn't been sitting in a frickin' waiting room for 3 hours.

Playing hooky was never like this.

Of course, these days I'd never get away with kidnapping my best friend, buying a two-layer birthday cake, getting stoned and eating the entire cake while watching music videos either. And I probably wouldn't want to. Probably.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

But will I still respect myself in the morning?

Some days are meant for eating, sleeping, reading, marathon tv watching and other outrageously self indulgent activities.

I must confess I had an unhealthy encounter with a Boston Cream Pie today. It was fantastic and I don't regret a single moment of it.

It started with a book I was reading.

The heroine in the book was stressed out and stopped for Boston cream donuts and it made me think of the Boston Cream Pie in my refrigerator.

The house was quiet. I was lying on my bed and the light was dim. Rain was falling outside and my mind wandered to the creamy confection that was just a few feet away, waiting for me in the kitchen.

The cake would be cool and perfect, moist from the thick cream tucked between its layers, crowned with a glorious covering of fudge that begged to be licked - just a taste - before I plunged a fork into the midst of it and popped it into my mouth.

I couldn't take anymore. I ran to the kitchen, threw open the refrigerator and plundered the Boston Cream Pie. It was magnificent.

It's a good thing my heroine only stopped for donuts.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Voodoo Boat Guy - Part Two

I got a phone call at work the other morning from a guy with a deep voice and a thick, good ol' boy accent who wanted to lodge a complaint with Eric.

Well, Eric wasn't in yet and most complaints have to do with the Trading Post and I handle those anyway, so I asked Good Ol' Boy if he wanted me to take a message.

"Yes, ma'am I do," he said around a wad of chewing tobacco. "Me and my buddies listen to y'all's Tradin' Post show ever day, and there's this guy that keeps callin' and takin' up the whole dang show with all his inflatable dolls and sailboats and flea market crap and Eric needs to hang up on this dweeb."

"Oh," I said. "You're talking about Voodoo Boat Guy. It's not really Eric's fault. See, we try to weed the dweeb out, but he has some kind of weird mo-jo thing going where he gets on anyway. It's a mystery."

I explained to Good Ol' Boy how we'd resorted to confining Voodoo Boat Guy to line 1 when he called, otherwise he was just a loose cannon - no telling which line he'd show up on or how often.

Good Ol' Boy said he and his buddies were going to start calling Voodoo Boat Guy and harrass him until he stopped calling the show. Harass being my choice of word - not good Ol' Boy's.

I probably just should have taken a message.

The next day of course, Voodoo Boat Guy was on line 1 as usual. But when Eric opened up the line, a lovely woman's voice said, "I'm calling for my brother. He has a 16 ft. sailboat for sale, a pontoon boat, some Britney Spears collectible dolls still in the box..."

You could have heard a pin drop in our office.

About ten minutes later, we heard a familiar nerdy little voice again, as always, with the same list. I couldn't believe it. Not only had VBG gotten his "sister" to do his dirty work the first time, he got on TWICE in the same day. It was creepy.

Good Ol' Boy called after the show and said he was going to continue his campaign against Voodoo Boat Guy, but honestly I don't think VBG can be stopped. He is a force to be reckoned with.

An icky, nerdy, annoying, force - but still...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

All in a day's work

We have a little call-in show at the radio station called the Trading Post.

Every Monday through Friday morning from 10:30 to 10:55 anybody who wants to (as long as they're not in the business of selling) can call and get on the air with Eric - our long suffering daytime announcer - and try to sell stuff. It's a free-for-all. The lines stay lit up the entire time and we get calls for the rest of the day asking for phone numbers from the show. It's a pain in my @$$.

But I digress.

People love the show, but they complain. They try for weeks to get on, the phone lines stay busy, they can't get through, yadda, yadda, yadda. I feel their pain, but what can I do? It's a popular show. You get what you get, better luck next time.

In the midst of all this, there is one guy who has made it on this show every day for as long as anyone can remember. He came in low on the radar, like an insidious noise that was so quiet at first no one noticed; he just was. His list of items always includes a 16 ft. sailboat, a pontoon boat, some other kind of boat, a bunch of other crap, and at some point he added Britney Spears collector dolls still in the box and baseball trading cards.

People started to gripe about him getting on and taking up so much time with his long list of stuff he never sells 'cause it's always the same and even Eric started just writing the guy's list down once a week, so after a few months I decided to take action.

I recognized his voice one morning as the first caller for the show. He always says "Trade Post, please" and I finally got it. "Hey," I said. "Are you the Boat Guy?"

No response.

"Hey," I said again. "Aren't you the Guy with the Boats???"

He completely ignored me. I could hear noise in the background and his little nerdy breathing. And no reply. So click. I disconnected him.

All the other lines were on hold for the Trading Post, so there was no way little weenie-head Boat Guy could get through again that day. Hah! Ignore me, will you?

The disconnected line rang again almost immediately, as I knew it would. "All Nine Radio."

"Trade Post, please."

I now call him Voodoo Boat Guy.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lawrence of Arabia, I'm not

Well, last night wasn't nearly as bad as I though it was going to be.

Because of rainy weather, the military salute was moved to the Trinity Valley Exposition, which is a covered rodeo arena with a packed dirt floor surrounded by concrete risers.

The Liberty city manager was injured earlier in the day, so I was volunteered to help hand out certificates during the ceremony. This worked out perfectly since I would be participating and not just wallowing; activity is a good thing. I went over straight from work in my strappy black heeled sandals, ready to go.

Did I mention the packed dirt floor?

My first trip across wasn't so bad. I eyed the distance between the table where I was supposed to be and the concrete stands and just did it. Weight forward, I only sunk a little and made it across.

As soon as I got there I met everyone and was plunged into folding folders and affixing certificates. Good. I like busy work.

But then we needed the county judge to sign something, could I go get him? He was only just over there. Across the sea of packed dirt.


Leaning forward on my tippy toes in my cute little strappy heeled sandals, I started the trudge across the sinking sand arena to get the judge.

Could he turn around so I could get his attention without walking all the way over there? No. Could anyone around him tell him I was trying to get his attention so I didn't have to walk all the way over there? No.

I finally made it to him, smiled nicely and escorted him back to the table as gracefully as possible without sinking into the muck up to my knees.

There, I was done. The judge walked away and the lady who was working with me casually said, "Oh here's another one he needs to sign." And she looked at me.


I looked from her to the judge, who by now had returned to the furthest point he could be from us, with his back firmly in our direction. I looked at my feet in their cute little strappy black damned heeled sandals and I looked at that sinky sand floor between us.

The band started to play the music for the ceremony. The box of certificates was sitting in front of me and I was horrified to think one of those boys would get a certificate not signed.

So, I smiled and said, "I'll go get him."

I walked a million miles across that sinking quicksand on tiptoes with my calves screaming and my heart pounding. The judge came back with me and signed all the certificates in time - there were more than a few that still needed signing- and all of those boys (and girls) were honored.

It was a good night after all.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Much easier in the saying than the doing

I'm reading a book right now by an author I really like. The book is 14th in a series I've really enjoyed, although the last two or three are not as good as the previous ones. I like the author so much though, I make allowances for the not-so-good-ones.

Some of the most profound truths I've ever come across are in works of fiction.

Surprisingly enough, the best definition of love I've ever found was in a fantasy novel a very dear friend recommended:

"'s a bit more than mere profession of some nebulous feeling for another human being. It's also accepting --- accepting everything about that person, even though you don't approve of all of it."

That's a tall order. And a test not many can meet. Good thing too, because then love would be a common thing, wouldn't it?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

My own little way of dealing with things

I'm going to an Independence Day celebration in Liberty on Monday. Yippee-skippee.

So many things I'm doing because of this job I would never do otherwise.

I guess it's good for me. You know, getting me out of my comfort zone and all that rot. My comfort zone is the couch, a good book and a box of Russell Stover cream centered chocolates. If I don't get out of it they're going to have to burn down my house around me when I die because I'll be too fat to remove.

It's not a job related requirement to go this thing; it's like the Liberty Jubilee a few months ago. We don't have to go, but because we work in this quaint little town with all this picturesque Americana crap going on, sometimes you just have to give in to the dark side and participate.

Plus my kids really like this stuff.

All this to get around to the big troop salute they're going to have to honor military personnel and their families.

I spend a lot of energy not thinking about Zach in Iraq. I don't even write him as much as I should, because that requires me to think about it. It is my selfish way of dealing with things.

I am going to sit through at least two hours of patriotic music, fireworks, military honors and speeches, and be given a coin and flag for Zach. All of that is wonderful. I think it's great the town is doing this for our military.

It's just that until he's back, I don't want to think about it.