Saturday, December 31, 2011

Silence is Golden

I've been called out by my lovelies that my blog has fallen silent. True, with my winter vacation and visit with the family I should be full of both time and hilarious stories. So here the scoop: I don't have Internet at home and I'm relishing my late mornings and adorable bed head!

XO,
LD

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

In Houston with the family snuggling cats with the mum and imbibing with the dad (and mum, too). Tonight we open presents after a family Christmas dinner. Now that the day has arrived, I'm in better spirits than when I was just anticipating the holidays. My current holiday theme can be best described by Sir George Michael:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ring, a Ding, Ding

I'm officially off of work for the holidays and am now easing into vacation mode. This season I'll be making a tour of Texas's finest: Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Family, friends, and basketball are the highlights. I've had a strange holiday season so far with lots of sadness and emotion immediately followed by good cheer and excitement. Currently, I'm in great spirits and very excited about the time off of work with the people I love.

The thing about Christmas I'm most excited about it the NBA season opener on Christmas day. The Dallas Maverick's will be hanging the championship banner!! I'm so excited to watch. I've been a Mavs fan since 2000 and have waited and watched my boys play amazing basketball for 11 years hoping to see some championship rings on their fingers. It's a great Christmas gift and makes me completely forget about the season starting late due to strikes. I'm a Dirk girl all the way and even have a small line marked on my kitchen wall 7 feet from the floor just so I can daydream about kissing my unfrozen caveman basketball player boyfriend.

Dirk Nowitski

Of course, I'm also excited about seeing my dad, mum, father, step-mother, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew. My nephew, Stephen, loves cooking and baking and I've gotten him a set of cookie cutters shaped like tools as a gift. I should probably feel bad about not getting a present for sweet Audrey Ella, but since this is her first Christmas she won't even remember that her aunt is a cheapskate.

The gift giving started early this afternoon and I had a Tiffany's moment. What's a Tiffany's moment, you ask? It's what happens when this girl sees that blue box: goosebumps, squealing, air humping, fist pumping, and eeeeeeps galore. Gina witnessed it first hand as I opened Emily J.'s gift; a beautiful silver bracelet to match my 'Karen' necklace and the bracelet that she has that I adore. It's so dainty and beautiful and suits my jewelery style perfectly. It certainly makes my pickled green beans pale in comparison. I think I'll have to take her out on a Parkside champagne and oyster date after the New Year. Thanks, Emily. I love the bracelet as much as I love you!


In more gift news, yesterday I was called the best Hanukkah present ever, and I like the way that sounds. I still have my crush on my little Jewish boy, Eric, so we'll just play it by ear from here on out.

Dear friends, please keep the positive energy flowing for Aaron and his beautiful girlfriend, Alison. He will begin chemotherapy tomorrow (Bah Humbug!), which is such a scary thing to think about. He's one of the most positive people I know and has always been optimistic in the face of medical adversity. I'm not a religious person, so 'keep him in your prayers' doesn't seem fitting, but please keep him in your thoughts. I know he, and all of us who love him, will get through this, but it's just so difficult to think about. It isn't fair that these things happen.

I hope you all enjoy your holidays and I'm really looking forward to what the new year brings us all.

XO,
LD

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Bit of Heart

I love Jacqueline Susann. I know she was a hot mess, but she was a success; pure, simple, and true to herself throughout the entire journey. I'm not sure if I'd call her a role model, but I definitely find her inspirational. That being said, my favorite Jackie story comes from the Barbara Seaman biography, Lovely Me. Ethel Merman is quoted as saying, and I paraphrase, that when Jackie loved you, by God, you knew it! She also adds that when you crossed her you would never forget it. I'd like to hope that when I'm gone I leave my friends with a similar feeling. If I love you, you know it. And if you cross me, while I'm probably one of the easiest people in the world to apologize to, if I can't forgive you, you will certainly lose the benefits of being a part of my heart.

That story makes me think of all the years I've been friends with Alison; since high school. She is one of my oldest friends and I truly feel like I understand her as well as she understands herself. Furthermore, I feel like that closeness is returned and that she understands me as well as I understand my own self. There's no want for honesty in our relationship; perhaps trepidation at times, but no want for honesty. And, while we've had our fair share of ups, downs, ins, and outs, the bottom line is I feel more comfortable telling her that I love her than anybody else in my life. I use Alison as an example here, because we both have been upset and hurt by each other in the 10+ years we've been friends, but regardless of how long our standoff might last, we always make up through sincerity. She tells me 'how it is' and I return the favor. This is the same relationship I have with all of my dear girlfriends. I cherish it!

I present my feelings about Alison not only because I find that they are the most simplistic to describe, but because the last two weeks have been very hard on me and she has spotted that landscape of pain with pretty little daisies. I feel like I need to write about my two week cry-a-thon in order to move on...

For ease of description, I give you a list of the things that have been tugging at my emotions lately:

  • I'm having a ridiculous time accepting the fact that I will be turning 30. I know it doesn't change any of the wonderful things about my life, yet I still feel like turning 30 will be tantamount to hitting life's dead end. I've recently adopted a terrible outlook on aging and I desperately wish I could be young, thin, and beautiful again... but with the knowledge I currently have. Wishing for the impossible is sure to hurt your resolve.
  • Romantic comedies exploit the holiday season as a rough one for the single. I've never felt like it was a realistic notion, yet I am depressed about being single this time of year. Last Christmas goes down in my memory as one of my favorites and I fear this one will make me sad in comparison. I keep telling myself that I don't have any other option for Christmas except visiting my family and that is why I should feel sad. I love my family and am excited about spending time with all of them, but keep reflecting on the things that cause me emotional stress instead of celebrating paid time off work! Last Christmas I met my ex's parents for the first time and fell in love with them. We had a dinner with a house full of friends and it was reflective of the life I want for myself. It was just a moment in time and I remember how great I felt inside while forgetting that majority of the memories in that relationship made me unhappy. I'm falling into line with Hollywood's plan to make me sad for being single when I should be eager about kissing strangers under mistletoe.
  • I've gained 10 pounds since Thanksgiving and this really, really upsets me.
  • I was surprisingly upset by Greg's friend's suicide in Oakland last week. It brings up so many emotions on death, fear of leaving unsettled business, unaccomplished goals, fear of aging, and it forces me to look at my own unhappiness and wonder about why people kill themselves. 
  • I recently had the most exciting crush I've experienced in the last year and while our tryst didn't last very long, it brought out a lot of old emotions from the last time I ended a relationship.
  • I feel like I was uninvited to a friend's birthday party that I had been looking forward to and participating in the planning of for several months. I can't resolve my emotions on whether I feel hurt, jerked around, or if I should move on and just blame myself for not being open and honest enough. I never feel left out and pride myself on that social maturity, but... once again it is another thing that brings up sore emotions from my last relationship.
  • One of my friends, who happens to be my medical inspiration, is going through some very serious and intense medical things right now. Actually, two of my friends will be going through some big deal shit in the coming months. One is chartered territory and I'm confident everything will go smoothly, but it's just a crappy and unfortunate situation. The other, has always been so inspiring with his strength. We share diseases in the same family, yet he has such grace under fire where as I frequently get frustrated, vent to friends, and have some days where I feel weak and self-loathing. It's upsetting to me, but I know if anybody can get through it, he can.
  • Half of my comedy troupe, Vest Friends, are living in Dallas. I'm so excited for Jamie and Audra to be advancing their lives in positive directions. It's even more exciting that they are both able to do it together. I'm jealous. I still feel upset about not getting my dream job in Philadelphia and, even though I've always loved Austin and my job, I feel like this town may not be right for me anymore and I fear that I may be stuck here at the the same time.
  • Last week the ex emailed me. Sometimes it feels like every single time he comes into my life it's like a backhoe ripping apart the life garden I'm trying to plant for myself. This time, however, I was pretty hard on myself for letting it upset me so much. No matter how deeply and innocently I loved him, he is nothing more than toxic for me. There has to come a time when you no longer allow someone else to have power over your emotions. I think this is, essentially, the life lesson I'm going to have to learn.  

So, for the above-referenced reasons, I've been emotionally drained and highly stressed for the last two weeks. This weekend fixed it all even though it was the height of my sobbing. I have the most amazing women in my life!!!

Friday night I stayed home and cried until my throat was sore and my eyes were swollen. Jamie, on the other hand, who was to be my pity party guest of honor didn't allow herself to get down and, rather, went out and had one of the best nights of her life. I'm inspired. The next time I feel like staying home and moping I'm going to put on my favorite heels, prettiest skirt, and make a night for myself even if it is just to walk to Wendy's to get a frosty.

Saturday I found motivation in the company of Gina and Catherine. Yet, when I was left to my own devices later that night I once again fell into the funk I felt Friday night. Jamie, Andrea, and Anne were there to pull me out of it. Firstly, I feel like a wimp having Jamie console me when I should be her rock right now. Secondly.... I LOVE ANNE! I can't tell you one thing Anne has said or done to shake me out of my funk, but that woman is every bit of who she is every single second and I adore it. I have no reason to apologize for who I am and, personally, I think I'm pretty damn great!

Sunday evening was Jamie's farewell dinner party at Anne's house and it polished off a rough weekend with more reaffirmation of just exactly what I want for myself.

Celebrating the awesome that Jamie is!

Thank you Pam, Jamie, Anne, Alison, Julia, Stayten, Karen, Gina, JJ, Catherine, Avan, Lela, Tofte, and Andrea for providing support to me this weekend in ways that are as unique, genuine, and caring as each one of you beautiful ladies (and John) are. I learned that it isn't selfish to only allow the people who love and adore you to be a part of your life. I truly am so lucky to have found so many amazing, inspirational, and outstanding women who fully love and support all that I am and all that I do. And, more importantly, embrace the 'crazy' that I sometime exude and help bring it down to the healthy level that makes me the 'take it or leave it' woman I once was and have every right to be! I truly hope that you each feel the warmth of my love for you. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Perspective

2011 is closing and I'm in a highly emotional state. Being emotionally sensitive isn't something unusual for me, but this extended and ridiculous emotional fragility feels foreign. Can I really be this upset about turning 30? I fear the answer is yes.

The most ridiculous thing about having this pre-30 depression is that I don't know a single person who was upset about turning 30. Furthermore, my own girlfriends are surprised about how upset it's getting me. After all, I've already been saying I was 30 for most of the year and thought that would help with the tears, but it's a lot easier to humor yourself with a lie then learn how to accept the truth.

Personally, I don't handle unreasonable crying very well and I find that my mind is searching for valid reasons to feel sad other than the inevitable act of aging. I don't know if it's fortunate or unfortunate that the week has given me plenty of valid reasons that put my 30th funk into humble perspective. It's been a rough week for several of my good friends. And when I say rough, I'm not talking about trivial things like birthday anxiety, not being invited to a party, or PMS. Here I am crying out of vanity while the people I love are dealing with deadly freak accidents, cancer, suicide.... I love you guys and you mean the world to me. I feel so fortunate to have such incredible people in my life and I am always here to be your shoulder to cry on. Just know, I'll be thinking of ways to make you laugh through those tears in hopes that snot bubbles blow out your nose.

And in honor of Jay, a sweet man I had the pleasure of meeting a handful of times and making out with once, you're friends adored you...




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Christmas Tidbits

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas always seems to go by so fast, but this year feels like it has passed with the blink of an eye. And oddly enough, I think I've actually exterminated a lifetime's worth of bah humbugs. It's actually a running tradition in my family for my mum to give me a Grinch themed gift each year: socks, slippers, ornament, DVD, Pez dispenser, etc. So, in the honor of keeping old traditions and making new traditions, I present you with Christmas-themed tidbits:

  • My mum makes the best wassail! Red hots are the secret ingredient.
  • Traditionally I avoid family holiday visits in Houston, but this year I am without a single justification for avoiding my beloved family. This means that I am all but forced to spend my Christmas break with my parents. I am, however, looking forward to it in only a minor disgruntled way. After all, what's not to look forward to: presents, wassail, kitty cat cuddles, beers with my dad, visiting my father and Karen, playing with my niece and nephew, and moonshine with the brother-in-law.

My niece Audrey and nephew Stephen

  • In high school Karen and I used to anticipate the release of Blue Bell's holiday ice cream flavors each year and eat entire gallons of Peppermint ice cream at a time; straight from the bucket usually while watching Beverly Hills 90210. About a week ago I woke up with that familiar craving and polished off the entire carton in a couple of days. It's taking all the will power I have to avoid the frozen foods aisle at the grocery store... I can't be trusted.
  • Every year I watch Love Actually with Alison, JJ, Beth, and/or Emily O. It's been a tradition between several groups of my friends for about 5 years now. My favorite part is singing with Shanelle, but I haven't been able to do that in years since she lives in shit-hole Tennessee. This year I decided to add a turkey to the mixed and we made a 2nd Thanksgiving of it. I was so anxious to make another turkey after my first try in London went so well. We crowded into my little place on Sunday and stuffed ourselves with the 10 pounds of bird. I am, however, now completely turkey'ed-out and doubt I'll ever want to cook or eat turkey again. 
  • Christmas pickles are here, y'all! Every year (with the rare exception of last year in which I plead temporary insanity) I make pickled green beans as gifts for my friends. I'm a little surprised by their popularity and how demand has blossomed over the years. This year Julia and Stayten helped me, and after canning 25 pounds of green beans I'm finding it very hard to wait for them to properly cure. I want to eat the crispy buggers now! Hold your horses pals, your jar is on it's way.


  • Last week I got my Christmas bonus from the UT Club. YAY for bonuses. After 4 years of partime work there, I've finally developed enough tenure for the bonus to be large enough to be useful. My first bonus was just a few dimes over $20. Seeing as I was still a bit set back from my London trip, it just helps me stay afloat this month. Thank you, Santa!
  • The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia didn't hire me, but they sent me a nice little Christmas present and season's greeting. I now have a 2012 calendar full of medical specimens/oddities and my excitement isn't diminished in the slightest by the fact that November 2012 grosses me out. It's a stretched section of a cat's intestine that sort of looks like roasted garlic that has been died green.


  • I'm most looking forward to the NBA season opener on Christmas day between the Mavericks and Heat. I was hoping it would be a Vest Friends field trip since Jamie and Audra now live in Dallas and are originally Florida girls. It would have been a blast with Julia and I rooting against them and we all could have painted our faces in team colors. The game, however, sold out immediately and both Jamie and Audra will be spending Christmas in the orange capital of America with their families, so alas my great plan was foiled. 
  • This past weekend was the holiday party for the research group I work for. It's tradition for the newest member to dress up as Santa and pass out presents. Here are some photos of the 'ole LD and Ms. Claus:

Patiently waiting for my turn with Santa!

A present for me?!

You can't loose when you gift booze

I surprisingly feel lots of Christmas spirit and wish there was another week in between today and the big day. I want more gift exchanges, cocktail parties, pictures with Santa, stockings, and holiday time with my favorite people.



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Liver Spots and Burger Slots

Last night I was having yet another pity party, which seems to be the overall theme of my 2011 holiday season. I was bemoaning the year and begging for a do-over. Now, as the sun has risen on a new day I take it all back. This has actually been a great year for me! Sure, it was emotionally hard and dramatic, but I've had much worse years and the bottom line is that I've taken out more trash this year than I ever have in my entire life (and that's saying a lot). That is a success! 2011 will go down in my personal history as the year of the garbage lady... so if you're outta my life (and if you are you surely wouldn't be reading this), you can kindly consider yourself human rubbish... good riddance.

Here are some pouty things that acted as party favors to my little grump fest last night.

  • I'm so tempted to put out personal ads for old men looking for a young cutie to take out to dinner, buy pretty things for, give a car to, and compliment incessantly. In return, I will offer kisses and company. Hell, it's not likely, but I might even be willing to have the sex if I so chose to. It's kind of funny that I'm completely frustrated by Peter Pan men who are in their 30s and are living in a Never Never Land experiencing youth revisited. I feel like that lifestyle is only possible here in Austin; fueled by celebri-tards, hipster socialites, and a never ending population of 22 year olds willing to put up with such antics. Having said that, I'm completely willing to play that 22 year old role to a 40+ something man.... Hell, I wanna relive my adolescence too, but this time instead of shitty vodka, Jack in the Box, and schwag weed I want champagne, oysters, and day trips to Fredericksburg. 
  • I think I may be getting a liver spot. Either that or I have a mutant freckle that is slowly trying to take over my face. It's large and close to my ear. I guess if I was really concerned I'd simply make an appointment with my Dermatologist, but I prefer complaining and inaction.


  • When complaining about my upcoming 30th birthday a friend tried to cheer me up by suggesting that I am about to come into my "sexual peak." Ugh, that's going to be a nightmare!
  • Last night I asked my best friend, JJ, to marry me and he said, "sure." The best thing about this wedding is that we both agree on the catering. We want a Frito pie buffet with a chili fountain. Magical!
  • Dallas has stolen half of the Vest Friends. Both Audra and Jamie are now editors at the Dallas Observer (Audra- Music, Jamie- Culture). I'm a little heartbroken, but I now have more reason to visit Dallas, which I kind of enjoy: Maverick's games, Grandmother, and my favorite record and junk shop off I-35.
  • I'm even too old for Jack Nicholson to date. I love Jack Nicholson with Anjelica Huston! Take a look at some old photos of the couple:



This picture displays how I want to live my life! Bikinis, records
and rich, happy, old men in bathrobes.


  • Last night I watched this video and really wanted a hamburger. My favorite part is the folding of the burger in half.



That'll do for now....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Spinsterhood

My grandmother sent me an email today that primarily discussed her Christmas plans, but one sentence stood out amongst her words, "There are three spinsters now in my family: me, my cousin Betsey in San Antonio, and you." Apparently, months away from my 30th birthday and single after two 3 year relationships and one 9 year relationship I am doomed to a life of spinsterhood...

What is a spinster?

  • Wikipedia states that a spinster is a childless woman who has never been married. "For a woman to be identified as a spinster, age is critical. A 'spinster' is not simply a 'single' woman, but a woman who has not formed a human pair bond by the time she is approaching or has reached menopause and the end of her reproductive lifespan." Wikipedia also notes the following individuals as "famous spinsters": Susan Boyle, Susan B. Anthony, Ann Coulter, Condoleezza Rice, Lizzie Borden, Emily Dickinson, Florence Nightingale, Lillian Gish, Greta Garbo, and Jane Austen. I understand the concept of Wikipedia, but who comes up with this shit?! Let's learn a little bit about these women
    • Susan Boyle: unattractive Scottish lady who "sings like an angel" but looks like a troll
    • Susan B. Anthony: amazing woman and suffragette who shares the same birthdate as me
    • Ann Coulter: fucking cunt
    • Condoleezza Rice: former Secretary of State and uppity bitch
    • Lizzie Bordon: hatchet-yielding murderess
    • Emily Dickinson: reclusive poet
    • Florence Nightingale: lady-hating workaholic
    • Jane Austin: fantasized about romance rather than experiencing it
    • Lillian Gish and Greta Garbo: two beautiful and successful women who had their own money, power, and freedom

Lillian Gish

Greta Garbo

  • Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines spinster as a noun meaning: 1. a woman whose occupation is to spin 2a. archaic: an unmarried woman of gentle family 2b. an unmarried woman and especially past the common age for marrying 3. a woman who seems unlikely to marry
  • Here are some images that came up in my Google search for spinster:


...always dreaming of cats and Crocs

Jennifer Aniston?!


This is now my new screen saver

I replied to my grandmother's email with the following video:


Naturally, granny called me to tell me that she wasn't going to view the video because she thought it might have a virus.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gun Control

I like to view last night as a slight emotional roller coaster, but overall it was a good ride.

My evening started off with my mum calling me to share her excitement about the "power suit" she purchased me for Christmas. No, it isn't a navy blue pant suit with large shoulder pads that is paired with pearls and cream colored pumps. Instead, this single 30 year old gal with two cats (ME) will be getting her first girdle this year! In all fairness these are Spanx and I've only heard amazing things about them, but the principle behind the gift left me feeling emotionally fragile and very thankful that my mother couldn't contain her excitement for Christmas morning. I can only imagine that my reaction to a "tummy-tucking, tush-lifting, slim-maker" would begin with tears and end in the ruining of baby Jesus's birthday celebration.

Apparently girdles make for happy women!

My reaction to the girdle gift was certainly normal for anyone who fears getting fat and the other unattractive side effects of aging. First I broke out the cheese and then, while still on the phone with my mother, I purchased a Groupon for Botox. Yes, I paid $113 for 200 units of Botox, but it also comes with a $500 off coupon for additional cosmetic surgery!
Do I have wrinkles? NO!
Do I need Botox? No!
Did the purchase make me feel as pretty and youthful as a 32 year-old man feels when he sleeps with a 22 year-old airhead? YES!
And that, my friends, is all I needed last night. Have no fear. I told about 10 of my best ladies about my Botox purchase and only 1 of them didn't call me crazy (Thank you Stayten for being supportive!). This morning I requested a refund and, surprisingly, they will let me have my money back! I apologize to the handful of you gals who were hoping to get my Botox coupon as a Christmas gift.

My night only got better (and not in the sarcastic sense):

-While bidding my adieu to the lovely Jen Beaty and her charming new husband, I fell in love with the gypsy sounds of Winovino. Julia and Stayten suggested that I book them for my upcoming 30th Bar Mitzvah and I approached the trumpeter for booking details only to learn that he is also a member of the "top Jewish events band in Austin." Needless to say, Mozel Tov Cocktail will be playing at my birthday party.

-Lela presented Julia and I with matching Christmas presents.

Marcel the Shell the book!

and the book is signed by both Jenny Slate and Dan Fleischer-Camp. I'm absolutely thrilled about this as Marcel the Shell is pretty much the story of my life! I read it out loud to my kitties as soon as I got home! Here's the movie if you don't have the slightest clue about what greatness I'm referring to:


-After celebrating the awesomeness of the Christmas gift giving season, the girls and I searched out some late night grub and beer. I introduced Stayten and Julia to Verts and was so happy to see those gals enjoying the deliciousness of house sauce.

nom nom

-I've always hated this Robyn song:


but I just discovered that it's a Prince cover song and now I'm able to like it!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Soldiers

Pouty Friday

The weather outside is wet, dark, and chilly. It should be reason enough to be in a bratty mood, but alas there must be more factors aiding to my grouchy mood:


  • I left my electronic cigarette at home! 
  • I also left the insole to my right boot at home, so my feet are hurting unevenly.
  • I'm in the mood to go out, dance, feel fabulous, and be adored. I can't foresee this happening since I am already feeling bratty. It's damn-near impossible for me to recover without a decent bitch-fest with my ladies first.
  • I'm strongly considering buying today's Groupon for botox. 
  • I miss my mum.
  • I have the body of a 30 year old.
  • It's easy for me to get down on myself about not having a car in bad weather. I want to take a shopping trip to the dollar store, target, and Costco....
  • If I go another night without seeing Julia and Stayten I think I'll scream! 
  • I applied for a job today at the Wellcome Trust, which oversees the Wellcome Collection in London. It's a medical museum with exhibits inspired by medical oddities, medical marvels/innovation, and art inspired by medicine. There's no way I'm going to get this job and it makes me mad at the Mutter Museum for making me think I could work for them.

Brawwwwggggraaaaah!!! 

At least the weekend is starting NOW... love to my boos


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Deck the Halls!

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is just around the corner. The holidays are always a hectic time, and just getting back from vacation adds to my stress level. Take a look at all the important things I'm trying to accomplish!


  • Fight UT and BCBS for money
  • Resole grey cowboy boots
  • Transfer desktop computer to laptop computer
  • PICKLES
  • Make the following purchases:
    • slotted spoon
    • beer caddy
    • sweater shaver
    • mason jar lids
    • new coat (I've had the same one for 8 years now!)
  • Record Posey's Freckle Circus Album
  • Begin filming of my 30th Bar Mitzvah video
  • Cry because I can't afford to go to John Waters' Christmas program this Friday at the Paramount
  • Grocery Shopping
    • beer
    • cat food
    • bubbly water
    • cat liter
    • toilet paper
    • ecig cartridges
    • hand soap
    • tea
    • gum
    • hummus
  • Laundry
  • Put up Christmas kitsch
  • Email Grandma
  • Convince my friends to give this to me for my 30th bday: http://www.drivewayaustin.com/driving-school/formula-mazda
  • Fight the urge to go to Blue Hanger
  • Eat oysters!
  • Visit Grandmother, Audra, Mum & Dad, and Father this month! Ugh, family.... I love them.
  • Make another turkey! I had so much fun making my 1st turkey that all I want to do is make another one. So watch out friends, this means there will surely be a turkey feast to gorge upon.
  • Love Actually with the girls. For years I've been watching Love Actually at one time or another with Alison, Beth, Shanelle, JJ, and Emily O. This year won't be an exception. Especially since I own the DVD and it's playing at both The Paramount and Alamo. 
  • Give away presents!!!! I think gift giving is one of my most favorite things. This year it's gonna be my standard pickled green beans again with some special salsa, soup, and little goodies thrown in to sweeten the deal.

I guess it's finally time that I can begin saying Happy Christmas even though I usually feel very Bah Humbug during the holidays.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

... And I'm Back

Oh, it feels nice to be home again! I had a lovely time in London with Chad and Cousin Kat. I avoided the requisite tourist sights and we pretty much spent time eating great food, drinking lots of beer, catching up on old times, and preparing for our international "American Thanksgiving" in London.

Our Thanksgiving guests included:
-2 Americans
-2 English
-2 Hungarians
-1 Turkish
-1 Estonian
-1 Japanese
-1 French
-0 Kitties

My primary responsibility, besides consuming copious amounts of alcohol and saying outrageous American things, was to cook the 1st turkey of my life! Furthermore, it was the first poultry I've ever cooked before. It turned out delicious as well as all the other traditional dishes Chad assigned to his friends and our dinner guests. And, just like traditional Thanksgivings, we all argued during the preparation of the meal, went through bottles and bottles of wine, watched football (1997 Superbowl: Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots), and had a lovely time. Afterwards we headed to the local pub for more boozing followed by dancing at what was deemed the worst place in London. I couldn't have wished for a better Thanksgiving.

Here are some photos and captions:

My 1st morning started off with an English breakfast courtesy of Chad. Granted, I've had many of these before since my dad is English, but this is the 1st I've ever had in England! Also, it is really special for me when men make me food. It was yummy and the perfect hangover meal!


Much of my trip was spent exploring markets, which I simply adore. Unfortunately I was on a pretty tight budget, so I didn't get to buy any of the many things I wanted. I found some fancy sweatpants in the Brixton market and lots of kitchsy gifts in the Camden Town market. The Camden Town market has huge horse sculptures throughout that are anatomically correct and therefore humorous. I also was surprised to see a booth that offered fish pedicures! They eat the dead skin off your feet and massage in between your toes. I'm dying to try this!

Horse's ass

Fish foot station

Beer at Charles Dickins' favorite pub,  Ye 'Ole Cheshire Cheese  

KFC! There was also a Dallas Fried Chicken and Ribs

Looks like my turkey was a success!

Sexy face post turkey dancing

Cousin Kat, LD, Chad

The best thing about the pubs in England, besides the beer and food, has to be dogs! I remember this from my last trip to the UK. So many have resident dogs. The White Knight, where we ate our post Thanksgiving English breakfast, even had instructions on the menu telling you not to feed George. I need a bar with a dog!

With Taz at the Priory Arms in Stockwell

My favorite experience was hearing good 'ole English folks being outrageously blunt. At a pub that had been recently renovated, a regular bar patron flat out said she was leaving because the charm was gone and it looked like any other old pub. After a waiter took a pint glass from another patron that still had one last sip of beer in it, the grumpy man yelled, "Oy! I'm not finished with that." The waiter apologized and said he would bring him another full pint since he had already put his thumb in the glass and the old man yelled, "Right, but I want both!" I feel fond about a country so devoted to beer.

Two more incidences happened during rush hour on the tube. I had a man grab my ass for 4 stops. I was flattered and didn't want to scare him off by turning around to see if he was cute, but was pleased at my stop to learn that he wasn't a gross bum with English teeth. On the same train a posh bitch complained that a man in a business suit was standing too close to her and she could feel his weight. She was certainly being melodramatic because it was impossible to not cozy up to the 100+ people smashed into a small space. His response was, "If you have a problem with it maybe you should have waited 2 hours for another train." BURN!

On my first trip to England in the 8th grade I kept a diary with all the strange words, terms, and slang I heard. This time around, having lived with an Englishman since I was 13, I didn't go in so blindly. However, the strangest thing I heard was "sidewalk burger" which referred to vomit on the street. Oh, and trust me, there were sidewalk burgers everywhere! I think it would be fun to just go around pretending you were English making up outrageous phrases like "aunts a pickle" or "mushroom slam" for normal things.

My flight home was a bit of a nightmare with customs checking my luggage and saying that my face didn't look the same as the photo in my passport, but after 16 hours of travel all I wanted was a bubble bath and a snuggle with my kitties. Now to just catch up with all my favorite girlies!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oy, Bugger!

I'm halfway packed for my trip to London tomorrow and I don't have the patience to finish the job. So instead, I've decided to transcribe some of the 9+ lists I made for myself to help this job along. From now on I'm not going to pretend that my level of organization is directly proportional to the number of lists I create. I think it just fuels my anxiety and procrastination.

List for cat sitter (Jamie):
-The cats can eat as much as they want whenever they want. They're their own bosses.
-They can have as many treats as you want to give them. They're already overweight.
-The litter box is bullshit! I bought the wrong model while I was high. Here are the instructions on how to "rake" it should you feel the need.
-Make yourself at home and have as much gin, frozen pizza, boxed mac & cheese, and bubble baths as you'd like.
-Drink some of my fancy $80 tea.
-A boy that kind of looks like Ryan Gosling should be stopping by to pick up an item I've left for him on my patio. If you see/hear him it's okay and he's not robbing us.
-I love you!

List of items for my cary-on:
-Ambien, Xanex, and/or both.
-Popcorn
-Neck pillow
-Book
-Passport
-3 bottles of booze (1 ounce bottles in a plastic baggie)
-E cig

Don't leave without:
-Putting fogger out for Stephen
-Putting charger out for bug guy
-Returning Eric's rap cassette
-Setting "Out of Office" email
-Washing hair
-Learning how to turn off the phone part of my phone
-Calling my bank

Things I wish I had more time for:
-Finish reading East of Eden
-Wash hair
-Stock my house with sweet little surprises for cat sitter
-A nice farewell happy hour with Cara, JJ, Stayten, Audra, Julia, Jamie, Alison, Pam, Emily J., Lela, Gina ...... Why does leaving for one week make me feel like I'll never seen my favorites again?! I only had time for 2 beers with Matt and Beth.
-Making extra money so I could spend more in London

Don't forget to pack:
-Glasses
-Coat
-Tampons?
-Pills
-8 pairs of panties (day and night with extras for "accidents")
-PJs
-Shiner for Chad
-Toiletries
-Thanksgiving dress
-E cig
-Chargers

Pish, Posh, Cheerio

What a week so far!

Last night I had some ladies over for delicious pot-lucked soul food and Waiting to Exhale. It was the first time watching for Jamie and Julia and it was a great refresher for the rest of us gals. I think Angela Basset must be my spirit actress because I got goosebumps in damn-near every scene of hers. Letty had the brilliant idea of doing a reenactment of the famed fire scene (following below) with each of us playing a different section. I called dibs on the cigarette lighting portion and am pretty pumped.


Today has been a stressful work day preparing for a week off  and yet I still blog! Grants, appointments, editorial decisions..... oh my! It has kind of put a rushed damper on my London prep, but I only have myself to blame. I'll have to do some last minute work remote tomorrow before I can truly start my vacation.

Yippy, yankee, cheerio! I'm skipping the pond tomorrow and am going to eat so many vinegary things that my lips will burn for weeks afterwards. I'm pretty darn excited even though I have yet to check into my flight or pack a single thing. Tonight I will be packing and making the rounds of my beer farewells to Julia, Stayten, Beth, and Cara. I wonder if I can fit JJ in too?! I wish I could get one day of pre-relaxation before the holiday hubbub but alas....

Happy Thanksgiving my lovelies and I will see you in a week!

Whirlwind Weekend

I had a great weekend y'all and I'm just now catching up from it.

I had several things I wanted to do Friday night, but ended up going with the most pressing... BBC and I had been trying to connect since he got back from tour and I've been very aloof. I didn't want to say 'no' yet again. So, off I went to Emo's with Stayten after having some beers at her house with Julia. I was still feeling pretty awful due to arthritis and didn't really want to spend Friday night out, so I stayed for his set and then went home. BBC has such sweet eyes.

Okay, so there must have been something in the air Friday night! Perhaps I was dishing out a major dose of pheromones, but dudes were coming out of the woodwork. I'm completely smitten with Eric and have rescinded all of my crushes, but seriously.... I was shocked by the confessions I got Friday night and yet again overwhelmed with dating. I'm not sure if I was on certain peoples' bucket list or if they're just confident enough to tell me about their desires, but I'm not really looking to add any dudes to my dance card. That being said *wink, wink* I was feeling like pretty hot shit Friday night.

Tacos Saturday morning with JJ, Alison, Aaron, Emily J., and Eric. I saw a Mazaratti, Eric and JJ planned a Beta fish fighting circuit, I started early with beers, and then was off to work at the football game. Thankfully it was the last home game of the season and now I get all my Saturdays to myself! Once again, something must have been in the air because the game was full of incidents. There was a fist fight, a drunken slob hitting on me and then crying afterwards, someone had an epileptic fit and was somehow stabbed, and there was a heart attack. The heart attack actually really upset me. I had to run through a crowd of people pushing like a linebacker to get to the medic, but the man survived and the adrenaline was kind of exciting.

Saturday night was Audra's going away party at Anne's house. I don't think I've had that much fun in so long! Stayten, Eric, and I went together and many of my favorite people were there. Look at this amazing sculpture of Audra and her kitty Pee Wee that Anne made from Rice Crispies:


Anne is something else! I've met her a couple of times, but fell in love with her Saturday night. She let me borrow 1 of her 30 nail polishes and it's a beautiful grey purple color very similar to Audra's cotton candy hair in the image above. Also, we were casually talking about how I collect hair and she ran off and came back with her Great Aunt Noolie's Victorian hair receiver set and wrapped it up as a gift for me!


Sunday was a rough day for me. We partied at Anne's until 6:30 in the morning and I was nursing my hangover until Monday night! Eric and I had breakfast at Chapala, which I've avoided for far too long. I had my usual para los ninos verde cheese enchilada with a side of iceburg lettuce covering the entire plate even though we went for pancakes; YUMMY! And then, I crashed for 3 hours, ugh.... Sunday was a total bust with about 13 hours of sleeping, but I wouldn't change a thing because partying with my girl one more time before she moves was great!

Audra, don't go bitch!

Jamie's Hallmark cake

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pretty Pity Party

I'm thinking about my steroid face again! This morning my doctor, once again, wouldn't give me pain medication. He's glad that I'm happy to be off of prednisone, yet he still wants me to take a small dose daily. I told him emphatically that I will never take oral steroids EVER again, so now I am an "uncooperative patient." Anyhow, I am going to have a slight pity party right now..... okay, there it was. And now (for more positive thoughts) look how skinny my face is now!

With my sister on 50mg of Prednisone a day (July)

With "Gina" on 0mg/day (October)

Shot Through the Heart

I've been a bit of a homebody lately. This is my busiest week of the month at my 2nd job, so the work nights have been late. As a result, I haven't been feeling very well lately and went to bed before 10pm last night. Yesterday I called to schedule a "shot appointment" with my doctor to get some cortisone shots into my pained and swollen joints: shoulder, wrist, and sternum. While getting 8 shots in my chest this morning I couldn't stop humming this:


The worst part about steroid shots is that the pain usually gets worse before it gets better. So, it looks like I'm going to have another quite night at home. Honestly, there isn't much I wouldn't give for some pain medication right now... or perhaps some sexy company in a boozy hot tub.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Weezy Wednesday

I'm in a Lil Wayne mood, y'all.



I think this Halloween costume is freakin' hilarious!



Dear Haters,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nightmare on 43rd Street

Ugh, my nightmare is officially over! No more bedbugs.

Much of this weekend was spent preparing for my all day extermination today. Since my home was going to be heated to 120 degrees for 4 hours, I had to remove certain items: cats, vinyl records, taxidermy, combustibles, melt-ables... I also had to wash about 4 hours worth of clothing. Being fashionably obsessive has finally come to bite me in the ass and my arms hurt from all the folding. It has, however, been very fun refolding and reorganizing all of my clothes.


Industrial heaters used for my office/home treatment.

I found 3 bugs last night; the first I've ever seen in my home. It made it extremely hard to try to sleep, so I started packing up clothes to wash, removing records from my home, and all other last minute prep. Once Beth and Matt started their day, I took Cecilia over to their house for her all day play date with Cousin Nigel. She doesn't do very well outside so she went to kitty daycare while Boris spent the day outdoors.

Boris loves being outside!

Cecilia on the car ride to Auntie Beth's

After getting the kiddos situated I started the massive amounts of laundry! Since I have so many sweaters that cannot be washed in hot water or dried in a dryer without risking ruining them, I struck a deal with the exterminators: if I washed all the clothes in my dresser, they would move forward with the treatment without me having to wash my sweaters. They heated them up to 120 degrees along with my home.

Laundry exhausted me and I spent a couple of hours at Matt and Beth's napping with Ceci and drinking beers with Matt while watching him build a shed foundation. It was strangely relaxing, but I just wanted to be home to get on with the entire process.

Ceci felt at home at Aunt Beth's and napped in between
complaining about cousin Nigel eating her cereal.

I was finally able to go back home at 5pm, unloaded the pounds and pounds of freshly cleaned laundry, brought Ceci home, and began putting my house back together again. I'm done, everything looks amazing, I feel comforted (finally), and cannot wait to bubble bath and snuggle the kitties in an uncontaminated bed! This process has been a nightmare, but all my wonderful friends have been so sweet and encouraging. Between the girls (Alison, Julia, and Stayten) housing me over the weekend, Beth lending me her car and kitty cat daycare facilities without ever fearing contamination, Karen sending me cute little encouraging emoticon texts, Gina and Jessica worrying right along side me, and bitching to Ashley and Emily ad nauseum, I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I guess this could have happened to any of us, but it just feels very invasive and upsetting to have to deal with the treatment. In exciting news, my landlord has agreed to pay for half of the services and I'm still going to try to have UT pay for the remainder. Thank goodness the nightmare is over and I'm going to finally be able to sleep tight! Don't let the bedbugs bite, y'all!

Weekend in Review

Friday I had a blast with Beth, Gina, Jacob, and the girls at one of the last shows at Red River's Emo's with the Golden Boys, Crack Pipes, and Tav Falco. I had a rough week and really wanted to let loose, but didn't play too and hard finished my night with Eric, who stayed in Friday night to play grandpa and read Lonesome Dove. 

Saturday morning was divine! I drank early morning beers with JJ and then Julia while I tried to make my way home from Eric's. I wasn't very persistent and ended up spending the day with Gina and the doggies watching hammer choirs, eating BBQ, and drinking delicious beers. Julia and I were supposed to celebrate Audra's new job with some lady kareoke, but instead of getting rad with the gals, we stayed in and got lame. I took refuge at Alison, Julia, and Stayten's and slept on their couch with the handsome Merlin. His snuggles surely rivaled those of my Friday night's bedmate.
   
Merlin's morning mug

Sunday involved a lot of home prep work for my Monday extermination mixed in with play time. JJ and I grabbed some morning beers, hit up the Hope Farmer's Market (which I disliked very much), and wrapped up our hangout with more beers. I skipped out on EAST and chicken shit bingo with Ashley and Matt to finally watch Bridesmaids with Julia and Stayten. Afterwards Julia and I went to an impromtu Vest Friends meeting at Audra's. Damn, I love those girls! We're planning our debut/farewell performance so mark your calendars (if we ever follow through).

I had a really rough time sleeping Sunday night and I saw the first live bedbugs at my house. It was disheartening, so I just read in the bathtub and drank beer from 3am-8am. It also didn't help that the Vest Friends watched this video and I couldn't stop imagining the rape sex taking place in my home:



Friday, November 11, 2011

Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite

Can I just start off by saying....AAAAAAARGGGGGGHUGHGHGHUHUH! This week has been a hectic spectacle in both my office and life; I have bedbugs!

This all started back in September when I found a critter crawling on my desk. I smashed it with a tissue and called the University's Facilities Services, who came out and sprayed. Honestly, they came out and sprayed about 5 times and nothing really worked. I started collecting the buggies in a pill container for them to research and murder, but they never really seemed to take me seriously regardless of my weekly calls. On Monday I saw a bug in my desk, got very upset, searched on the internet, discovered the buggies that were renting out my desk drawer were bedbugs, and immediately called Facilities Services to throw a tantrum. The experts were in my office within 20 minutes! As the largest university in the country, with tens of thousands of students living in dormitories, they take bedbugs seriously. I was even able to insist that they send their experts out to my house to check there.

Here are some nutshell tidbits of my ordeal:

  • My office was treated last night by heating the entire room to 120 degrees. 
  • There's a bedbug sniffing dog (or so they say) and I was told I would get to pet it, but the pooch never showed.
  • My house has a very new and small infestation, but those adjectives mean nothing to me! One bug is one too many. I'm paying $750 to have my entire apartment heated to 120 degrees. I am going to ask the University to pay all or some of this sum, as I feel the cross-contamination could have been prevented had they taken me seriously before.
  • When the bug lady came to my house she told me she's never seen so many clothes before. This really, really embarrassed me. Although I've been told this multiple times, it wasn't until a complete stranger who inspects homes for a living says something that I start to feel that I have a problem. 140 sweaters, y'all. Her words, "Is that a wall of sweaters?" My response, "Um, no. It's um, sweaters. Um.... yes."
  • All of my Blue Hanger shopping partners are completely freaked out. In fact, there is some bedbug bite Stigmata going around and lots of home checks. I feel personally responsible for the stress this is causing on my sweeties and nobody can come to my house until after 4pm on Monday.
  • Taxidermy and vinyl does not withstand 120 degree temperatures, so I have some preparation to do this weekend.
  • If you have any worries or concerns, I'm very confident in the company UT has contracted to exterminate and they do free home checks. I would highly encourage this, because after all of my research I'm absolutely terrified of bedbugs and they seem to be an epidemic everywhere. Jessica even told me that one night stands are at an all time low in New York City because people are afraid of contracting bedbugs. It kind of makes me jealous that my ex only got chlamydia and not bedbugs. After all, antibiotics are cheaper than extermination fees.
  • My bug lady said I was very lucky to have not brought home more buggies after sitting at my desk all day for two months and that most work/home contaminations are caused by laptops since the buggies like warm electronics.

I am traumatized, y'all! Watch this if you're not afraid of getting the heebie geebies. It has some good quotes, "We're not at war with bedbugs. We're at war with Al-Qaeda."


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rhyme Time

Smitten kitten... November mittens



(I'm talking about myself, guys! I'm still smitten and have to wear mittens in this chilly November weather we've been having.)

Speaking of kittens and mittens, I'm reminded of this:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fatty Fears a Profile

I had a stressful day at work today, but not necessarily because I was overworked. Fortunately, I was able to bitch to my favorite colleagues and friends: Alison, Beth, Gina, Jennifer, Jessica, Julia, and Stayten (in alphabetical order). It was refreshing. I still feel the need to bitch about other issues... hence this post.

Instead of eating dinner, I observed the shape of my face in the mirror for nearly two hours. No matter how frequently I look at photos of my face on steroids, I can't stop myself from feeling like I still have a steroid face. Tomorrow I am going to take the time to find a photo of my fattest steroid face to compare it to my current face. I know my weight is now slimmer than before, but I can't help but seeing a cherub in the mirror. It really bothers me that I can't seem to move past this and I think it's really unfortunate that I had such a terrible and extended experience with steroids. I wonder if it would help me if I just carried around a photo of my fat face in my wallet. It's so disheartening to have an irrational fear with the knowledge that it's irrational. How do you fix an irrational thought?! Tomorrow I'm going to try wearing more mascara in hopes of resolution.

As much as I love my electronic cigarette, I'm a little annoyed. The light at the end does a strange blinking thing whenever you've had more than 5 puffs within a minute. The manual states that this is done to suggest that you stop smoking and determine if you really want more nicotine. YES!!! I really want more nicotine so stop this enforced pause and give it to me.

I feel absolutely exhausted! I'm off to bed and am going to force Cecilia to snuggle her mum regardless of the fact that she is currently snoring on the couch.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wedding Weekend Wrap-Up

My Friday night was as productive and effective as I had hoped it would be. Actually, I accomplished even more than what was on my list and my house looks amazing! The nicest part about Friday evening was having Eric come over just to watch me organize my clothes and chitty-chat. I am absolutely dumbfounded by an Austin man who isn't wrapped up in the party life, doesn't keep a second home at the bar, and won't skip from one "scene" to another trying to make sure he has a chance to see all of his 200+ 'friends.' And it isn't that Eric isn't as social as every other party boy I know, it's just that he doesn't feel the need for mass love, superficial approval from being "on the list", or requiring some form of social acceptance based on how many grey hairs he has in his sideburns. It's refreshing. 

Saturday morning just disappeared and I don't have the slightest clue where she went, but I was excited for Pam and Wells's wedding and I think I started preparing at 5am. The ceremony was held outside within the Zilker Botanical Gardens where Pam and her bridesmaids looked stunning. I'm not going to lie... I was sobbing at the ceremony. I'm not sure I've ever met two people more suiting for each other. Additionally, Wells ruined every mascara'ed eye in the house with his eloquent and emotional delivery of his loving vows. Ugh, I'm getting emotional just now reliving it. I feel so honored to be able to participate in their union and wish them a long and loving future, which they'll surely have.  Even sweeter, Mayor Lee Leffingwell proclaimed November 5th as officially Pamela and Wells Dunbar day in Austin. How cute is that!

Father of the bride.

Ladies in waiting.

After the ceremony, we caravanned over to The Dunbar's house for a lovely, intimate reception. All of last week's hard work hanging lights, fluffing up paper pom-pom decorations, and arranging bouquets  paid off because their home and backyard looked beautiful!

Mr. and Mrs. Dunbar

My wedding date for the evening was Audra, who looked lovely! We've decided to move to Connecticut, have a civil union ceremony, and adopt a Zimbabwean baby. We spent most of our night munching down on churros, queso, and tacos with Jamie, her BF Brandon, Jillian, and my old college friend Ruben! I was so excited to see Ruben. He, Pam, and I lived in the same dormitory in college and back then we didn't get in nearly as much trouble as we should/could have.

Brandon and Jamie
 
With Ruben. Accidental color coordination WIN!

Cutting the cake like sweethearts; only dollops
of icing on the noses!

Sade Kiss of Life first dance

My favorite part of the night, besides the cream-filled churros, was the dance floor! Why is dancing so much fun?! Originally, I was afraid I wouldn't get to dance very much without a male date, but low and behold I was very, very wrong. We danced in a train that travelled around the house and backyard, between parallel Soul Train lines, and in the center of a requisite booty circle. It was a blast! However, when En Vogue's Free Your Mind played the dance floor turned into diva karaoke. God I had so much fun reliving those singing diva college days with Pam and Rueben. I'm a little terrified to see photos of the faces I might have made while belting out the lyrics.


I couldn't have imagined a better wedding for my sweet Pammy. She's the first of my besties to get married. While I technically caught the bouquet, it looks like Jillian will be reaping the bouquet-catching-marriage-planning magic as the bouquet was intended for her hands. Best of luck Jillian!


With Pam in dress #2

I'm gonna miss our single gal hijinx!

Sunday morning I skipped out of ballet with Gina and went over to the Emilaurison legacy house for breakfast with the girls. I brought the pork and mimosas and Alison made delicious impromptu enchilada eggs. It was really great to have some girly time with my favorite house full of ladies. Stayten, Julia, and I continued with the festivities until 4pm while Alison actually took care of her business and did some school work. As always, I start the week feeling fortunate to have such wonderful girl friends!