Archive for September, 2010

I’m home sick today. I have a horrible combination of laryngitis and an upper respiratory infection, which should make you glad that I’m typing this blog and not reading it out loud.

The ONLY good thing about being sick is it forces me to just sit still for a day or two so I can get better. Sometimes I don’t even do that, but I’m going to this time because I have a very busy few months ahead, and I don’t want to be nursing this nastiness throughout the season. So I hope you’ll excuse my laziness as I forego the usual photo montage in the middle of the blog–I just don’t feel up to it, and I have bad daytime television to watch. I did put a picture of Sevrin, though, because he’s so darn cute.

Enjoy the list, and have a great week!

top 20

  1. My youngest nephew Sevrin, who turns four on Wednesday. He’s getting a Darth Vader costume, a Bobofet Gun, and a Buzz Lightyear toy from his adoring aunts, which should give you a clue about the imaginative, fun-loving kid that he is.
  2. My brother-in-law Joey, who is 38 today.
  3. the Texans’ win over the Redskins on Sunday–so exciting!
  4. The Rally to Restore Sanity (Seriously–take it down a notch!)
  5. The intrepid squirrels and ducks at Burke-Crenshaw Park. Our disc golf game doesn’t phase them.
  6. Zithromax (or Z-Pack), the wonder drug
  7. posole
  8. fall-ish weather in Houston
  9. the Reliant energy commercials
  10. George Clooney
  11. rain
  12. the countdown that Carnival Cruise Lines puts on our cruise itinerary (41 days!)
  13. My sister Kellie’s blog. It’s mostly about baking, but also about other things. Don’t read it if you’re hungry–it will only make it worse!
  14. this past weekend’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me broadcast on NPR–it had me giggling first thing in the morning which, if you know me, you know is a pretty unusual phenomenon
  15. Bill White
  16. gold rush sundaes (one scoop coffee ice cream with hot fudge and one scoop chocolate ice cream with hot caramel)
  17. TED
  18. municipal goats, in lieu of lawn mowers
  19. orange juice
  20. being lucky enough to have health insurance so I can get well when I’m sick

bottom 10

  1. disenchantment
  2. Being sick. It just sucks all the way around.
  3. my athletic non-abilities
  4. waiting in line
  5. cough-syrup-induced lethargy
  6. calories
  7. The price of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (the packaged kind that you buy at the store). Seriously. STARBUCKS coffee is two dollars cheaper!
  8. laziness (my own)
  9. cobwebs
  10. Fever–not the cool, sexy kind in that Peggy Lee song, but the nasty, upper respiratory kind that makes you feel, alternately, like a shivering, freezing dog left out in the cold and a lobster put on the pot to boil. Not fun.

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In case you aren’t aware, it’s Football Season.

Football Season is a big deal to many people in the United States, but in Texas they take it to religious proportions. Because some fans of this blog are not from Texas, let me explain why those two words are capitalized. If you are from Texas you already know–go ahead and skip down to the top 20/bottom 10.

In Texas, probably more than anywhere else in the world, Football is Life. From September through January the entire world revolves around the local, college, and NFL football schedules. If you don’t believe it try scheduling something that doesn’t involve a touchdown or a field goal. If you want anyone to show up besides you, the foreign exchange students, and the three other people in town who think a tight end is something you achieve in yoga, you’d better schedule  it for Thursday. That’s the only night of the week when you won’t conflict a game or a practice or a scrimmage.

I used to resist football. For the first 10 years that I knew my husband he spent every Friday night at various high school football games, doing field reports for the local radio station. Then he came home and stayed up until 1 am updating his website so that the rest of Texas (who was on Central time) could know the scores of the El Paso teams (who were on Mountain time). Then on Saturdays he’d spend the evening in the press booth for the UTEP football games, serving as spotter for the local broadcast of the UTEP games. We didn’t have an NFL team in El Paso, or I’m sure I wouldn’t have seen him on Sunday or Monday, either*. I thought his obsession was a little odd, until I compared notes with some of my friends and realized that everyone in Texas is that obsessed with football. Most people just watch the games–they don’t actively participate in them like Jamey did–but they are equally obsessed. * Now he’s managed to get himself in with Westwood One, who covers the Houston Texans, and he’s often called upon to do stats or help with production assistance for the game. But that’s ok–I can follow along just fine now.

I grew up with three sisters, and while my dad tried to make us all sports fans, we mostly ignored him while we fought over the bathroom and shopped him out of house and home. So when we lived in El Paso I coped with Football Season by getting season tickets to the Symphony and earning a Master’s degree. But when we moved to Houston I didn’t know anyone (and I already had my degree), and Jamey wasn’t as plugged in to the local and college football scenes–he merely watched the games on television. I quickly learned that if I was going to have any part in any conversation during football season in this part of the country I’d better learn something about the game. So I took advantage of him being home, and asked him to explain the rules and what was happening on the field. After many inane questions and more than one evening of stopping the television mid-play and having him explain what was happening to me again and again, I now feel that I have a working knowledge of how to speak Football. I’ve been a sports polyglot for three years now, and I feel almost like a native Texan. Almost–I still pronounce my g’s and my d’s, I don’t yet own a pair of cowboy boots, and I have a hard time saying (let along writing) “y’all.” But I can at least now converse with people for five months out of the year.

So now you understand why Football Season is a proper noun in Texas. And if you’re still reading, you can now enjoy this week’s top 20/bottom 10. Go Texans!

top 20

  1. The Houston Texans opening game–way to show the Colts how to start a season!
  2. actually understanding what’s going on on the field
  3. My late mother-in-law, Joan, who would have celebrated her 67th birthday this Tuesday. I was blessed to have known her, and not a day goes by when I don’t think about her and wish she were still with us. I’ll be drinking a Bellini in her honor.
  4. the word “triscadecaphobia
  5. a clean car
  6. Stephen Colbert’s Been There: Won That: The Returnification of the American-Do Troopscape
  7. Almond Hershey’s Kisses
  8. Helen Mirren
  9. a new fall television season
  10. Autumn. I don’t get to really enjoy it in Houston where it’s still over 95 degrees during the day, but it’s nice to know it’s happening somewhere. (see bottom 10, item # 10)
  11. reaching out to others
  12. tolerance
  13. environmentalism
  14. payday
  15. apples and cheddar cheese
  16. The Employee Appreciation Picnic presented by the City of La Porte Special Events Committee. These types of picnics can be really un-fun but this one was actually really nice.
  17. Twitter
  18. test-driving the Honda CRZ
  19. David Sedaris
  20. Five Guys and Fries

bottom 10

  1. AP Photo/John Raoux


  2. the Zoosk commercial with the really awkward dating scene. While we’re at it, the new Old Spice commercials. Bring back Old Spice Guy!
  3. The corner on my desk. I hit it almost every day with my thigh, and I have an enormous bruise there because of it.
  4. stunts for political gain
  5. KFC’s Double Down. Shudder.
  6. people who abuse privileges
  7. shady mortgage companies
  8. Stirrup pants (stirrup pants!) back in fashion. Seriously–did we learn nothing from the 80’s?
  9. horror flicks
  10. The fashion dilemma that happens when it’s fall in the fashion world but still summer for all practical purposes. You just can’t dress for sweater weather when it’s 95 degrees and 80 percent humidity–but linen skirts and sandals feel silly in mid-September.

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I love Labor Day weekends!

This weekend was such a needed break from everything productive that I’ve done in the last few weeks. Last week was technically a five-day weekend for me, but when I’m traveling and visiting with my sisters I have an absolute blast–but we don’t rest much. Plus the time change messed with my already sensitive sleeping schedule, so by the time this three-day weekend rolled around I was ready for a restful few days.

I should mention that this past weekend began with the celebration of our 10-year anniversary. We’re going on a cruise to celebrate in November, but Jamey did all the things a good husband should do to mark such a momentous occasion: flowers, jewelry, fabulous dinner…and then he did all the things a good geek does to mark a special occasion: tweeted about it and posted messages all over Facebook.

The rest of the weekend was fabulous. We slept in every morning and did absolutely nothing of importance…and had a wonderful, wonderful time (not) doing it! I think the best part is that we only have to work for four more days before we get to do it all over again for two more days. October, November and December are traditionally kind of insane, schedule-wise, so it’s best to soak up all the free time we have now–before we wonder where it went!

This week’s lists might reference not just the events of this past week, but the week before as well since last week I made you contend with the Quick and Dirty Hiatus Edition. Enjoy!

top 20

  1. celebrating 10 years

    September 3, 2000

  2. three-day weekends
  3. my sisters, who successfully balance raising children, work obligations, Church obligations, keeping track of their husbands, keeping track of their finances, and making their homes warm and friendly places to visit, all while maintaining a fantastic, wry sense of humor and an awe-inspiring style and grace
  4. overspending (see also bottom 10, item #4)
  5. roses
  6. 826 Valencia, Dave Eggar’s Pirate Supply Shop/Tutoring Center in San Francisco
  7. watching 5-year-olds play soccer
  8. feeling the effects of a hurricane without having to actually experience it
  9. surf & turf
  10. the film Toy Story 3, which we finally saw a couple of weeks ago
  11. not having to water the plants
  12. the new Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin scented soaps at Bath & Body Works
  13. Steps of Rome, a fantastic restaurant in San Francisco
  14. Talbots
  15. Having the iPad on a trip–no need to pack books, a computer (and accompanying cords), magazines, guide book, notebook, or a gps. And my nieces and nephews thought I was super cool because I had it.
  16. going to the movies
  17. the Houston Motorsports Park–we went on Friday night and it was quite the experience
  18. baby ducks
  19. the salad bar at Jason’s Deli
  20. headphones

bottom 10

  1. Glenn Beck. I’m sorry if any of my fans are his fans, but he drives me insane
  2. time differences
  3. the 8 – 5 work week
  4. overspending (see also top 20, item #4)
  5. breaking a nail–so cliche, but SO annoying
  6. solipsism
  7. never-ending laundry piles
  8. going up a size
  9. super stylized renditions of The Star Spangled Banner
  10. dust

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Jaxon and Sevrin in Corona

The Top 20/Bottom 10 is taking a brief hiatus this week. I went on a mini-break for five days to beautiful California (Southern AND Northern, if you were wondering) to visit my lovely sisters Kellie (Southern Cal) and Sarah (Northern) and their ridiculously adorable children.

Olivia on the beach near San Francisco

I had every intention of doing my list on Sunday while I was traveling from Southern to Northern California, but that didn’t work because I was sharing the back seat with my niece and nephew and we were watching Annie on their DVD players and playing “I’m an Animal” and punching each other when we saw a Volkswagen Bug. Then I was going to try to sneak it in on Monday, but I was very busy visiting the Beach, San Francisco and a fantastic restaurant in North Beach. Then I meant to do it yesterday on the plane, but I’m not great at writing HTML code, and I couldn’t use my nifty little WordPress Editor on the plane–and I got distracted by the book I was reading on my iPad. Then I was going to do it at work this morning but I jumped in to a pile of messages and a calendar full of meetings and that put an end to that idea.

Now that I’m home I have to unpack, clean the house, clean the litter box, do giant piles of laundry…you get the picture. By the time I got my lists done it would already be next week! So I’ll just give it up and wait until Monday to give you a proper List 9.

HOWEVER…because I know how much you love the lists, here’s a quick and dirty Hiatus Edition just for you:

top two

  1. going on vacation to visit my sisters, nephews, and niece
  2. coming home to Jamey

bottom one

  1. cleaning the litter boxes

I would leave you with some music at this point, but YouTube is NOT cooperating. So hum some elevator music–preferably something Billy Joel-ish, because everyone likes Billy Joel–until next week.

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