Monday, June 26, 2006

These Days...

What I'm reading.

What I'm watching (also, this).

What I'm listening to.

Most recently seen at the theater (noise on that link).

I highly recommend them all.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Summer Yumminess

I don’t know about you, but my sweet basil (thanks Christa!) is madly productive these days. So much so that MisterT and I have trouble keeping up with it and it is in constant danger of bolting.

I developed this delicious recipe yesterday and it’s too good to keep to myself.

Sweet Basil Quesadillas

4 Flour Tortillas
Handful of washed, dried, chopped sweet basil
½ large or one small chopped onion
1 large clove garlic
Your favorite shredded cheese blend (I used Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar and Parmesean, but whatever’s handy will work)
Some sort of two sided grill i.e., pannini, George Foreman, I suppose a waffle iron might work too

Place chopped onion in a bowl, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and paprika. Microwave on high for two and a half minutes (instant grilled onions!). Slice garlic clove in half and rub one side of the tortillas with it for flavor. Sprinkle cheese mixture on one half of each of the tortillas and top that with the onions and chopped sweet basil. Fold the empty half of the tortilla over the loaded half forming a half circle. Grill for three minutes each in a two-sided grill (you could probably do it like a grilled cheese in a skillet too). Cut into triangles and serve with salsa for dipping.

The dish makes an excellent summer lunch or appetizer with your favorite draft beverage! I can hardly stand my cooking self.

And now for a couple of secrets just between me, you, and the fence post.

First, I’ve taken matters into my own hands and stolen MisterT’s hummingbird feeder. After all, Harold (and now Maude) were MY friends and it’s just, well, NOT FAIR. So, the feeder is filled, mine, and installed on my balcony. Expect pictures soon.

Secondly, and I can’t say this too loud in case the universe might take notice and devise some cruel joke on me, so I’ll whisper...

Vewry, vewry quietly...

(Today I am happy.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Random Chattiness

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve put up a post of random updates about myself. Today is the day.

Hmmm, firstly, there’s been a lot of backlash about my decision to rename the spouse MisterT. Frankly, nobody, Nobody, NOBODY likes it. Most everyone says it “doesn’t flow” like it used to since the switch. In fact, MisterT himself has had second thoughts about the decision having received calls AT WORK protesting the change. It got to the point where MisterT was ready to give up and give in and approve my going back to calling him the S-word.

On the other hand, it wasn’t the greatest experience for MisterT when upon entering a crowded movie theater somebody yelled, “Hey look! It’s S---n!” and all heads turned in our direction. Well, so it WAS funny, but only if you’re me and not him, right? Also, he had a meeting recently where some of the principles were calling him the S-word. Which, of course, TOTALLY makes me snicker, but probably isn’t the best idea for him, truly.

And so, I’m sticking with MisterT, apologies to everyone. Even though he DID steal my hummingbirds! The little junkies are still zipping by my balcony, completely ignoring my lantana, petunias and pink geraniums, not to mention ME in favor if MisterT’s big bottle o’ bird crack.

Update on the cell phone situation—MisterT, fueled by indignation over his perceived shoddy treatment at the hands of me and Dave the Cingular Guy, through some complicated maneuvering, ultimately managed to get a new razor phone for about $50. He spent a few days waving it around and asking me when I was going to CALL MY FRIEND DAVE and tell him ALL ABOUT his NEW $50 RAZOR. HA!
Also, randomly shouting (after hanging up from a cell call), “TAKE THAT, DAVE!” Which, you know, was a little spooky when it happened in restaurants and parking lots and stuff. I suspect MisterT may still be making these out-of-the-blue pronouncements when I’m not around, which probably looks pretty bazaar to the uninformed. But the good news is that he’s feeling much better about the whole thing in general.

I know ya'll have just been on the edge of your seats about my personal situation since I posted the "Wednesday Night Breakdown" entry. Truth is, I'm still in the midst of an existential crisis. Unfortunately, SURPRISE, I am not getting the support I would like to during this delicate time from MisterT.

Take today, for instance. I was once again discussing Drastic Action C on the phone with MisterT. And, would you believe? ONCE AGAIN, he wasn't saying the RIGHT things to me, but rather he was again making EVIL MISTERT statements.

So, since I know he reads this blog, I'm going to post that particular phone conversation noting his actual responses to my statements and also, for his personal growth and development, what he SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAYING. In this fashion, perhaps, he can grow as a person and become more successful in life.

Seriously, I think I'm going to take Drastic Action C

Actual Response: You are just going to finally have to make a decision here.
Ideal Response: Maybe I should take some time off work, and we should take a nice long walk with FurGirl and talk it over.

Okay, I COULD make a decision but it might not be the decision YOU like. Then how will you react?

Actual Response: We all gotta do what we gotta do.
Ideal Response: Honey, whatever YOU want is also what I PERSONALLY want. Most of all I want you to be happy.

Can't you, for once, be a little more supportive?

Actual Response: I can't make the decision for you.
Ideal Response: How about I call the spa and book you a massage while you think it over?

No, but you could HELP me make the decision.

Actual Response: I've got another call.
Ideal Response: I'm clearing my calendar until we get this resolved.


Actual Response: *click*
Ideal Response: NEVER LEAVE ME, I BEG YOU!

So, really, I'm fairly optimistic since we're not very far apart here.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Chasing Harold (and Maude)

Last summer, I made a new friend outside on my balcony. Harold, a hummingbird, was partial to my bright pink petunias and angel wing begonia. Harold was a pretty regular visitor all last year and, once or twice, darn near flew into my eyeball.

So, this year, when I put my plants out, I was naturally hoping my little friend would come back.

Unfortunately, someone else was too. A very competitive someone else.

That’s right, the uber competitive MisterT.

And so, when Harold made his first appearance of the year on MY balcony hovering around the Lantana, it was big news around these parts. And, not to be outdone a second year in a row, the cheating, black hearted MisterT ran right on out to the store and bought himself, guess what:

Yep, a hummingbird feeder. He hung it on HIS balcony and, sure enough, not two hours later I spied MY Harold, the sugar eating slut, all a-twitter and orgasmically slurping on MisterT's gaudy cheap-assed plastic flower:

That was yesterday. Today, as MisterT and I sat on his balcony enjoying the storm, a frantic rain soaked Harold flew up to get another fix.

Only THIS TIME, he brought along his girlfriend, Maude:

And, all I have to say about that is:

Don't call ME when it's time to check into the Betty Hummingbird Center. Call your "good friend" MisterT who, I assure you, WILL NOT be around to pick up the pieces.

Friday, June 16, 2006

In the Still of the Night

You should know that my very own mother has a short story up at a new e-zine called Southern Hum. Check it out. We are beside ourselves with excitement! As Mom and I were discussing this exciting development over the phone yesterday, we agreed that writing is more a sickness than a talent. You need to do it, but you don’t want to do it. And sometimes you want to do it, but then you’re embarrassed about it. And then, finally, you write the perfect sentence and it’s fantastic. And then you’re proud of it, but you don’t want anybody to actually SEE it. Unless they’ll like it and then, of course, yes—please do read it! It’s an affliction. Truly.

And, while we're on the subject, what is it about southern writers anyway? Why so much better, so much more colorful? Face it, there's not a yearly volume of short stories published called "Best of the North". No, only "Best of the South". And, hello? Oxford, Mississippi? "Tennessee" Williams? Face it writing's all about the south. And, don't go making some smart-assed "Kentucky isn't the south" comment, either. 'Cause there's a whole state full of southerners here ready to smack you up-side the head with their country hams who think differently.

My POINT, however, is that Mom has come up with something wonderful. Read and enjoy. I hereby predict that this is just the beginning.

Go Mom!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Scene from a Salon

Yesterday, I got my hair “Alvinized” by my favorite stylist and long time friend, (take a guess) Alvin. While I was in the waiting room, I decided to give my Mom a call on my cell phone and discuss a recent short story I’d written that she’d read. Here’s what happened:

Yah…no, that part really happened.

Another woman enters the waiting room, takes a seat, and begins reading a magazine.

Seriously! He got struck by lightening.

(laughing hysterically)
I know, I was totally laughing about it and then I realized the man was ACTUALLY STRUCK BY LIGHTENING. I guess that’s why he was always going around in rubber glasses. And a trench coat, come to think of it. That surely had nothing to do with the lightening strike! Do you think?

I don’t know. No. They never said when he was struck.

Yah, he probably died there. (laughing) Yes! In his trench coat!

No, I didn’t actually steal it. I wish I had!

The file? Yah, I threw it at her.

Yes! Just like a Frisbee.

Oh, PLUS forgot to add that Stacy thought I should take an ax and even Lois’s toes up with her sandals! Yes! (laughing hysterically)

Oh, I know I should. I probably will.

Yah, she was always so much fun to be with, wasn’t she?

Okay, now I’m scared.

(Suddenly noticing the woman)

(Looking seriously frightened)

Okay, Suz, I’m ready for you.

Gotta go…

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Hill

So, as evidenced in my last post and in a few previous posts, many of you may remember our friends Mark and Beth. Just this past January, they set off for a new life and new opportunities in the frozen north.

As most of you know, it’s not easy starting over in a new community. It’s sometimes hard to meet kindred spirits and to develop a new social circle in a far away place. It can be lonely without the friends and family we are used to having, in some cases, just next door.

And I think it has been tough on Mark and Beth. Huddled around their small wood burning stove as the howling winds of winter blew in blinding snowstorm after relentless blinding snowstorm, they wondered many a time—had they made the right decision? Was moving away really the right thing to do? Is it really the law that everyone must own a snow-blower in this god forsaken place? And, what the hell wrong with Britney Spears anyway?

As they pondered these and many other important questions, the winter winds finally subsided. The snowdrifts began to melt. The ice receded, the birds sang, the trees began to bud, and the freezing temperatures gave way to a balmy breezy spring.

And, a few months later, something else blew in on the warm pleasant winds of summer.

A friend. A kindred spirit. Someone to hang out with, to tell your troubles to. Someone to call for dinner and a movie. Someone to, you know, say plot your political strategy with?

And people, it just so happens that that friend is Hillary-freakin-Clinton:

(As I understand it, Mark has his eyes closed because he's so shy.)

Dang, guys, we thought it would take you at least a year to make it to the top!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wednesday Night Breakdown

It is Wednesday night. I’m not feeling good about. Well…Things That Cannot be Spoken of in the Blog. MisterT and I are at the bar in the kitchen eating a delightful dinner of soup and salad that I have prepared.

Oh….WOE is me woe is me I’ve got Problem A and Problem B and, boy does it ever suck!

(eating salad)


I tell you, I cannot stand Problem A OR Problem B for another second!

(eating soup)

I’m going to take drastic, DRASTIC action about Problem A and Problem B just any minute. I SWEAR TO GOD I AM!

(back to the salad)

Oh, WOE IS ME! These problems are overwhelming and life altering and I’m dying inside. DYING. INSIDE.

(sips his tea)

Maybe you didn’t hear me? In fact, I’M SURE YOU DIDN’T HEAR ME. I’m DYING INSIDE. ME. INSIDE. DEAD.

(Pats my shoulder).
Wow, that’s really too bad.

HEY! Listen. I’m not kidding here. Soon I will be taking DRASTIC ACTION C. I will! Drastic Action C! It will happen!

Wow, Drastic Action C, huh? That sounds serious. Is there anything I can do to help with Drastic Action C?

Oh, FUNNY! HELLO? I am SERIOUS. This would be ME being SERIOUS.

The phone rings. I grab it in mid-screech.



May I please speak to the male of the house?


May I please speak to the male of the house?

Let me get this STRAIGHT. YOU, a telemarketer, DO NOT want to speak to ME.

I’m sorry ma’am, but this is a health insurance survey for the male of the house.

(I slam the phone down)


The TELEMARKETERS don’t even want to talk to me! NO! I am not GOOD ENOUGH for the telemarketers! Here I am STRUGGLING with Problem A and Problem B and EVEN CONSIDERING DRASTIC ACTION C and, along with being IGNORED by my HUSBAND, I am simultaneously being REJECTED by TELEMARKETERS?! Can I make this SH** UP? No, NO I CANNOT!

Sounds like a blog post.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Miss Thang

It’s six a.m. when my alarm begins the obnoxious beeping that signals another work day. I crack open an eye just long enough to locate the snooze button, smack it, and snuggle back under the covers in a vain attempt to pretend another early morning isn’t happening. On the floor in her “bed” (a shaggy white 100% extra large cotton bath mat) next to me I hear FurGirl stir, make a noise that is the doggy equivalent of a moan, and settle back in. She, too, is hoping this is really a weekend.

After several more slaps of the snooze, I reluctantly swing my feet to the floor. This is FurGirl’s signal. She stirs again, stands, stretches her front paws as far as possible in front of her while poking her hind end high into the air, and yawns. She then straightens up, trots to the door and waits expectantly.

Time for her morning potty.

I pull on my robe, sleep walk over to the door and open it. She canters toward the back porch with me half awake stumbling behind. I open the back door and give her the command,

“Go potty”.

Fully awake now, FurGirl springs out the door and hurls herself at the metal spiral staircase as if reaching the ground were a timed Olympic event. I’m never quite sure if she runs or rolls down those stairs, the noise could indicate either. But, whatever, I swing the door shut and begin my morning routine.

A few minutes later, as per usual, I revisit the back door and give a little whistle, FurGirl’s signal that potty time is over. Most of the time, within a few seconds or a minute she’ll be climbing back up the staircase and then trotting back in the house.

For whatever reason, today is not the usual day. A minute or more passes…no FurGirl. I sigh. Walk over to the window. There, a floor down and a yard and a half over is FurGirl. Not pottying. Lollygagging.

I sigh again. It IS a beautiful day.

Life, however, must go on. From the window, I whistle again and give a few quick sharp claps. FurGirl glances up ever so quickly at the window and then back down at the ground which she is sniffing intently, rapturously.

She hears me, she just isn’t listening.

I begin to get annoyed. I cross the back porch again, open the door, and begin whistling, clapping and calling FurGirl’s name. I glance back at her through the window and see she is in full-blown denial mode, my calling and clapping having absolutely no impact whatsoever. She is now doing the “Ain’t life grand!” wallow in the grass, all four paws pointing at the sky as she spastically and ecstatically wiggles on her back.

“[Expletive Deleted], FURGIRL,” I shout, louder this time, and begin clapping like a madwoman again.

I am startled from my cacophony by a noise in the family room. It is MisterT, bleary eyed having been roused from sleep by the commotion.

“WHAT in the HELL is going on here?” he hisses.

“FurGirl is ignoring me,” I say dejectedly stopping in mid clap.

“For the love of God, people are trying to SLEEP around here, would you mind shutting the hell up for a minute?” he says and then heads back toward the bedroom, giving a quick whistle just as he disappears through door.

From my vantage point, I have a perfect view of the effect of that particular whistle on the dog. She freezes in mid-wallow and springs into an upright position, all four paws on the ground now, her eyes wide with panic. Her face says,

“Oh NO! It’s THE MAN! Dear God! THE MAN is NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, awake this early! I am so, SO screwed!”

She blazes back toward the house at top speed, and frantically claws her way up the metal steps.

By the time she comes through the door, however, she’s in her best “I’m a good girl” form. Her tail points jauntily at the sky, her ears are cocked attentively as she trots by smartly (nothing to see here!). Breezing by me as if I were invisible, she sails back into the bedroom.

By the time I get there, both FurGirl and MisterT are back in their beds. FurGirl is pretending to be asleep.

“Oh, I’m just SURE”, I say surveying the scene with my hands on my hips.

“You need to get control of your bitch”, MisterT remarks sleepily flipping over as he pulls the covers to his chin.

“Gee, thanks, Smarty-pants.”

Little Miss Not-So-Innocent.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Left the Building: The Prince of Darkness

In a rare reversal of my earlier ruling, I am today taking back the term "Satan" as it applies to my husband here in the blog.

It has been pointed out to me by a certain anonymous and occassionally devilish party that there are those that could possibly take the whole "Satan" thing the wrong way. As in the biblical fire and brimstone "epitomy-of-evil kind" of way. Someone, God forbid, could actually confuse my very own husband with Lucifer himself, causing a whole host of non-merry mix-ups possibly culminating with actual real life consequences for very own selves.

And, while I concur that the pen is certainly mightier than the sword, I really don't think that even the most fundamental and/or pentecostal among us would read my writing here and actually come away thinking the whole "Satan" thing is anything other than what it is. And, people, what it is is (now hear this): A JOKE. Me! Kidding! Not serious! But kidding! I did not marry the dark lord of hell! No! But rather I married an entirely lesser demon who, at best, can merely be categorized as possibly (and only occassionally) "meaner than a junkyard dog" which, as we know is not really mean as much as just in need of a good flea dip, a fresh bucket of water, and a scratch behind the ears now and then.

Which is not to say that I don't take these things seriously. Because I do. When the certain unidentified party brought his (or her) concerns about the term "Satan" to me, I became truly alarmed and conducted an informal poll of all five of my readers. And, lo and behold, ALL FIVE were aware that the whole "Satan" thing was A JOKE! Not serious! But a joke!

When questioned further on whether or not they thought ANYONE would actually SERIOUSLY be offended by the term "Satan" as it has been used in my blog they were all surprised at the thought that ANYONE would see it for anything other than what it is which is a joke! Not serious! But a joke!

Of course, we must take into account the fact that all five of my readers are of above average intelligence and exceptionally quick witted and thus catch on rapidly to the unspoken subtext of the JOKE. So, (according to the unidentified party) there could be OTHER, UNKNOWN PERSONS reading this blog who are actually coming away thinking, yes, this poor woman is in fact married to the Prince of Darkness.

A worst case scenario would go something like this:


Ethel! This here girl married the devil!


(faintly) What?!


Says so right in this here blog thingy. Says "my husband Satan".

(now truly alarmed) Oh, no, Joe Bob, the poor thing!


Yep, been married to him a while. Look, this here's his pitcher.


Haven't we seen him on TV?


My God, Ethel, I think you're right. Call the preacher! We got to do something about this here situation!


(hits star 1 on the phone--Ethel and Joe Bob have the preacher on speed dial)

Brother Billy Joe? Yes, this here's Ethel. We think we have located the devil and he's right here in our midst!


My God, Ethel, we must convene an emergency prayer meetin'!


Me and Joe Bob are just fit to be tied! We've seen the devil on TV and also on the innernet!


What does the Dark Lord look like?


Just regular. Except! He's a-wearin' some of them there Birkenstocks!

That's him for sure!


And, well, you can take it from there. In my own defense, all I can say is: I DO NOT BELIEVE IN SATAN. Therefore, the term does not have a whole lot of power for me and, frankly, I find it a bit amusing. In a kind of a cartoonish sort of way. Which is why every time my cell phone rings and the caller ID actually says, "Satan Calling", it never fails to amuse me.

But I digress. The point is this: I will hereafter never again refer to my husband in this blog as "Satan". And, resisting the temptation to re-christen him "Lucifer" (har!), he will now forevermore be referred to here as