Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Ramblings

Happy Halloween to one and all!

This trick-or-treat day finds me happily working away from home in my flannel gown (and every time I see that commercial where that couple is engaged and man wants the woman to promise never to wear flannel? I amuse myself by shouting at the screen...."PICK THE FLANNEL, PICK THE FLANNEL--TRUST ME ON THIS--YOU'LL NEVER BE SORRY!" To no avail. But I digress.) my trusty westie sleeps curled into a warm ball pressed against my side, my sporty retriever frolics just beyond the deck in the back yard. A raven crows in the distance--just the right note of menace for the occasion, Edgar Allen Poe.

Oh, but the weather is heartbreakingly gorgeous. Sunny and warm, but with a hint of chill in the wind. And, of course, there is the fall foliage. I will be unable to resist the call of my hiking boots today.

I purchased the set of dishes pictured above with the help of gift certificate from my cousin, Mary (THANKS!). I have been coveting them for some time and took the plunge last night. I now find myself obsessed with the love of them, unable to tuck them away in a cabinet. So I display a set here in my dining area.

The dishes are by Corelle, a brand I have a soft spot for. I have a vivid memory of my Grandmother receiving a set some thirty-ish years ago when the brand was new. Back then, as now, they are famous for their light weight and chip-resistant durability but still china-like quality. I can hold a plate up to the light and see the shadow of my hand through it. This is something I recall my Grandma doing with a plate from the set she received on that long ago Christmas.

Grandma's set of Corelle is white, like mine, but round where mine is square. Hers is ringed with a blue flower pattern. From that Christmas in the very early seventies, to this very day, those dishes do double-duty as both her every-day and special occasion dinnerware. At the very least, that's upwards of 35 years of meals on the same set of plates that, last time I looked, were good as new.

If there's a better endorsement for dinnerware anywhere, I don't know what it would be. I can only hope my set proves as faithful as hers.
[Edited to add: You totally need to have your "plate-o-scope" read.]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We interrupt this blog to bring you the following special report...

The crime: Disappearance of 20+ golden mini-Snickers bites, last seen in a bowl on living room coffee table on 29, October, 2008, 0900 hours.

The suspects:

Tallulah Priscilla.
AKA: Snowflake

Former convictions: Destruction of toilet paper by aggravated shredding, 04 September, 2008; Kibbles -n- Bits hijacking from neighbor, Dudley, (10 convictions--regularly risks arrest number 11); cyberterrorism via bitten laptop cord (2 convictions resulting in $200 damage, embarrassing blog posts and general mayhem and foolishness on the home front).

Special skills: Looking innocent; creating a distraction via explosively odoriferous, lightening quick excrement sculpture; selective hearing.

Suspect should be considered armed with extreme cuteness including little pink ears and stumpy widdle legs.

Alibi: Suspect claims to have been incarcerated by handler at the time of the golden Snicker mini-bite incident.

AKA: FurGirl, FurBag, FurFace, FurBall

Former convictions: Prison breaking 10, December, 2007; , impersonating a lap dog (10+ convictions); terroristic threatening of defenseless Steak-Out delivery person (regularly).

Special skills: Smelling funny, systematic shredding and ingestion of sticks and twigs, breaking and entering via wedging snout between door knob and jam.

Suspect should be considered capable of short-lived ferociousness followed by prolonged outbursts of napping and extreme disinterest.

Alibi: Suspect....ah...well...was...ah...didn't do it. (Officers report this statement was followed by a belch that left a faint trace of the scent of milk chocolate in the air).

If YOU have any information that might lead to the arrest or conviction of the perpetrator, there's a golden Snicker mini-bite in it for ya.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Is there anything more dazzling than fall foliage?

I'm taken away more and more by it every year. Driving down Jefferson Street yesterday, I agreed again to myself that fall is, indeed, the most gorgeous season of all. But, even as I said so, a little voice in my head whispered that I will think the same of spring when it arrives. I always do.

I know there are plenty of people out there who are fans of summer and winter. And, indeed, the beauty of all seasons is not to be taken lightly. But, for me? It is the spring and fall that are truly breathtaking.

So I thought about spring and fall being the transitional seasons: those that turn warm to cold and cold to warm. The in between that is neither completely one or the other.

Maybe these seasons are best because, like in life, it's not really as much about getting there as it is the process of becoming. It is, maybe, more significant to weather changes--to live through the transition--than to actually arrive on the other side.

Maybe it is the journey to the transformation brings out the most beautiful in everything.

Today? I will hope so.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Okay, I can’t take it anymore. I have to blog it or explode.

In a world where cars are no longer “used” they are “pre-owned”, and people are no longer “fired” they are “downsized” and we no longer wipe our asses with toilet paper, we have to use “bathroom tissue”, we’ve finally moved on to what, in my opinion at least, is the final euphemistic insult.

That’s right; a person can’t “die” any more. Oh heavens no!

These days? You have to “pass”.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I realize when I am told that someone “passed” that the person giving me that information is on some level trying to lessen the harsh reality of the news. But to that I say that dead is dead. And when a person dies, they deserve the full, serious, somber, (and forgive me) grave word to describe their status. They’ve experienced the ultimate adventure; they’ve gone into the void. They are Dead. And to call it something else is to, on some level, lessen the significance of that experience, isn’t it?

Losing a loved one sucks and it’s hard to accept and deal with, but I would argue that “dead” is not a dirty word. And I, for one, am a little sick of everyone acting as if it is.

I would also argue that when a person is in the physical process of approaching the end of life, what are they doing? Are they pre-passing? No. They are dying. And when the end comes? They are dead, plain and simple. Why can’t we say it?

To say someone is dead is sad, for sure, but it leaves no doubt as to their ultimate status. I don’t know about you, but when I’m told someone has “passed”? A multitude of scenarios tend to run through my head. Granted, I’m not quite right; we’ve established that here. But to me, at least, “passed” does not denote the process of having moved on from mortal existence.

No, when I hear someone has “passed”, I can’t help but ask myself…what does that really mean? And then I’m forced to imagine that person having gone through the same process as an inconvenient kidney stone. Because a kidney stone is something that truly is passed .

Worse? Upon further consideration of a person’s “passing” I then have to think (completely against my will) that this poor sod may have actually been farted from this world. Because bio gas—unlike people-- is something that is, without a doubt, “passed”.

I say to you today that people do not pass. They die. And they are dead. And in my opinion? They deserve the correct descriptor be attached to that final experience.

Consider the opposite: birth. We don’t say the baby “emerged” do we? Why? Because we have a word and it’s an okay word because birth is a happy thing. When you hear a baby was born there is absolutely no doubt about what happened. You know for sure that a new person has entered this world. Conversely, when someone dies and you are told that they are, in fact, dead? You know for sure that person has left this world. There should be no shame in it.

And, fyi, in case you’re wondering? I do realize the peril that writing this piece has put me in. I know there is now a fairly good chance that someday, somewhere, in a funeral home far, far away (let’s hope) I may very likely be the guest of honor one day and on that day there may be a program and on that program, maybe on the back cover, this here bit may be reproduced.

But you know what? That’s okay. Because when I die? I want to be dead, plain and simple. I would like all the freedoms and privileges that death implies thankyouverymuch. Feel free to tell everybody.

That I am DEAD.

Because I, for one, absolutely refuse to be farted into the Great Beyond.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Don't dream it...


RHPS comes to the MAC (page down) complete with with a goody bag (I'm guessing...rice? water gun? TP?) this Saturday October 25th at 9:30 p.m. Whether you're a virgin, a Frankie devotee, or just feeling the need to take a walk on the wild side, dig out your best ripped fishnets, put away your inhibitions, and experience the cult classic that will leave you feeling a little sexually ambiguous and positively shivering with antici....


See and be seen at the after party. Present your ticket stub to get in at Etcetera Coffee House where you'll enjoy themed drinks, discounts, employees in drag, trivia contests and loud music all night long!

Do we love a Theme or what? If I didn't know better, I'd actually think our little town is getting somewhere.

View the trailer.

The Lashed to Know

It wasn't so long ago, that while getting ready for an outing with my posse (yes, I'm too old for that term but WTF), I whipped out my trusty mascara: Maybelline Great Lash in the pink and green tube.


I still have not lived it down.

You'd have thought I pulled a sanitary napkin and elastic belt set from my make-up bag that day, judging from the way the girls reacted. While I do fancy myself somewhat cutting edge in the product department, it seems I didn't get the memo: MAYBELLINE GREAT LASH IS SO OVER. No, I mean REALLY over. Over as in--A Flock of Seagulls called and they'd like their mascara back--kind of over.

Sheesh. Last I heard? Maybelline Great Lash was the best kept secret of runway make-up artists the world over.

It's just another good example of why a girl's gotta have friends. I mean, I could, to this very day, be applying a totally, embarrassingly outdated product to my very own eyelashes.

It just gives me the shivers every time I think about it.

I'm happy to report that this outrageous wrong has been set right with a Lancome product which, while I can't pick up a tube at Walmart? I have to admit really does work better than Maybelline. Great Lash. In the pink and green tube.

All this is to say if YOU are still making Bette Davis Eyes with the MGL? This may be the offer for you:
From Sephora, 10 travel sized tubes of the latest mascara technology for $35 (according to Seph an $85 value. And judging from the price of mascara these days? They probably aren't lying.) Here's your chance to compare some best selling brands (like Urban Decay and Smashbox) on your very own self. Here's what's included:

0.12 oz Smashbox Bionic Mascara; a 0.10 oz Sephora Atomic Volume Mascara; a 0.11 oz Vincent Longo The Curl Mascara; a 0.10 Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara; a 0.13 oz Too Faced Lash Injection Pin Point Mascara; a 0.10oz Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara; a .32 oz Urban decay Big Fatty Mascara; a 0.13 oz DuWop Lash Venom Mascara; a 0.13 oz Korres Deep Colour Mascara; and a 0.17 oz Cargo Texas Lash Mascara.

Get it here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Major Award

Thanks to Miranda for bestowing this lovely award.

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Where is your significant other? Cosmos
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Brenda
5. Your father? Carroll
6. Your favorite thing? Love
7. Your dream last night? Whisper
8. Your dream/goal? Peace
9. The room you're in? Office
10. Your hobby? Writing
11. Your fear? Helplessness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Degreed
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Fake
15. One of your wish-list items? Fulfilled
16. Where you grew up? Normal (ha!)
17. The last thing you did? Chat
18. What are you wearing? Flannel
19. Your TV? Flat
20. Your pet? Isabelle/Tallulah
21. Your computer? Dell
22. Your mood? Optimistic
23. Missing someone? Shhhh
24. Your car? Subaru
25. Something you're not wearing? Commando
26. Favorite store? IKEA
27. Your summer? Exciting
28. Love someone? Naturally!
29. Your favorite color? Black
30. When is the last time you laughed? Often
31. Last time you cried? Seldom

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Personality DNA

[Edited to Add: Thanks to Neurotic Grad Student, herself a Generous Visionary, for the link on this!]

Read way TMI about my Personality DNA (honestly, aren't you dying to?) below and map yours by taking the test here. (No, you don't have to sign up or wait for results.)


You are a Creator

Your imagination, confidence, willingness to explore, and appreciation of beauty make you a CREATOR.

You are independent, and you enjoy your self-sufficiency.

Defying convention, you are very innovative, and you have a vivid imagination.

The look of things is important to you, and you have a keen eye for aesthetic beauty in multiple arenas.

You have a strong interest in what is new and exciting—and that includes forging ahead with new ideas, not simply discovering what is already out there.

Your eagerness to seek new and varied experiences leads you into many different situations.

You're not set on one way of doing things, and you are creative when it comes to finding novel solutions to complex problems.

You trust yourself to be innovative and resourceful.

Your confidence allows you to take your general awareness and channel it into creativity.

Your independent streak allows you to make decisions efficiently and to trust your instincts

You have a strong sense of style and value your personal presentation - friends may even seek your style advice from time to time.

Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

how you relate to others

You are Advocating

Being social, empathic, and understanding makes you ADVOCATING.

Some people find being around others exhausting—but not you! You are energized by spending time with friends, and you are good at meeting new people.

One of the reasons you enjoy conversation as much as you do is that you often learn about yourself while talking things out with a friend; you realize things about your own beliefs while discussing them with others.

You have insight into what others are thinking and feeling. This ability allows you to be happy for others, and to commiserate when something has gone wrong for them.

You are highly compassionate, and being conscious of how things affect those close to you leaves you cautious about trusting others too hastily.

Despite these reservations, you are open-minded when it comes to your worldview; you don't look to impose your ways on others.

Your sensitivity towards others' plights contributes to an understanding—both intellectual and emotional—of many different perspectives.

As someone who understands the complexities of the world around you, you are reluctant to pass judgments.

(But, enough about me. What do YOU think about me?)

Chatting with Mom

The other day, I woke up in the morning and Dudley was snuggled up next to me, and I hadn't opened my eyes, but I kept smelling this...funny smell.

Oh yah?

Yah, and I couldn't figure out what it was. And then? I opened my eyes and realized that Dudley wasn't snuggled up to me in the way I thought.


When I opened my eyes, I realized that what I thought was his head? Was actually his butt.

Dear God.

I bet my nose wasn't an inch away from his a$$.

Oh, gag. Musta smelled pretty bad.

You'd think so, wouldn't you? But, really, it didn't smell all that bad.


No...not exactly...

Okay, I'll probably regret this but, what did it smell like?

(Gets a faraway look.)

(Becoming a little worried.)

It smelled....well, it smelled like...


It smelled just like Ancient Buried City.

(Immediately convulsed into a prolonged fit of uncontrollable hysterical laughter.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Big Sister

Okay, the Real Life level of concern about FurGirl is getting a little out of hand.

I can't go anywhere and talk about my baby puppy without whoever, (and I do mean just about everybody), saying something like,

"But what about FurGirl? How is FurGirl doing? All you ever talk about is Tallulah, Tallulah, Tallulah." (<---to be spoken with Marcia, Marcia, Marcia inflection.)

Honestly, people. Do I seem to you like the kind of person that would neglect her dog?

Okay, don't answer that.

I'll just give you the straight dope for the record.

First, FurGirl (real name: Isabelle) continues to live the Life of Riley. In the summer, she lounges in air conditioned splendor. In cooler temperatures, she lollygags in my toasty warm hideaway on plush carpet. She has a large, expensive, fluffy dog bed and an endless supply of Milk Bone Dog Biscuits in size small.

Aha!, you say. Why are the Milk Bones "small" when FurGirl is most definitely NOT small?

Well, I'll tell you, while Tallulah is a big dog in a little body? FurGirl is a size XL dog who thinks she is a petite flower. I raised her from puppy hood to be a lap dog. This worked out fine when she was a baby and would actually fit in my lap. As she grew larger, however, FurGirl somehow stayed small mentally and continued to leap deftly into my lap each day and catch a few z's and think of herself as a lap dog.

At the time, I was in possession of large leather furniture that looked like it came out of the ranch house on Bonanza, so when FurGirl reached adulthood, my big leather chair would still accommodate her 80-lb highness in my lap, albeit with 75% of her hanging off both sides, her chin resting comfortably on one ridiculously tall, wildly over sized leather side arm.

I bought FurGirl her first box of Large Milk Bones when she reached adulthood. The first time I treated her with one, you'd have thought I handed her a deep, fried turd. She let the biscuit slide off her tongue, once she realized its enormous size, and looked at me as if to say,

"You expect me to EAT this? I could LIVE IN ITS SHADOW, Lady."

She would have nothing to do with Large Milk Bones, and would accept HALF a
large Milk Bone only in the most dire of treating circumstances. I've never bought anything but size small since, and trust me, that's the way she likes it.

Lately own mother, if you can believe it, has actually become worried that poor Isabelle may not be getting the attention she deserves. Mom (located conveniently next door) has taken to handing out her dog, Dudley's, treats to Isabelle whenever she finds Isabelle looking pitiful and skulking about outside. As you might imagine, she finds Isabelle looking pitiful and skulking quite A LOT since she started handing out pity treats. It works out swimmingly for Isabelle, especially since Dudley, at a robust 12 pounds, is roughly the same size as Isabelle's mental image of herself and Dudley's itsy treats are just the thing to make a "dainty" Golden Retriever's day and reinforce her cross eyed body image.

As for how Isabelle has reacted to Tallulah's arrival? The same as any big sister who has enjoyed the spotlight for nearly seven years all to herself: not the greatest. Not many first and only babies look forward to giving up that position and FurGirl is no exception.

The adjustment period continues. But, I assure you, FurGirl is no less loved even if she does have to occassionally play second fiddle to a feisty, energetic, ruin sh!tting, allergy-ridden, Zyrtec taking, and, most recently, dirt eating, Westie puppy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Southern Festival of Books: The Swag

As threatened, we made our first exploratory visit to the Southern Festival of Books. And, although we have some quibbles: the venue was a little warmish, session rooms were a bit hard to locate, and dang, where IS the publicity on this event, we'll be making this an annual pilgrimage. It is, after all, FREE.

Although we sneaked in on the last day, we were able to get into readings by Bobbie Ann Mason and Ann Patchett, browse through books, wade through swag, and squeeze in an unrelated side trip to Noshville for lunch. We would have gotten books signed by Patchett and Mason if we had been just a bit more patient.

But, honestly, who has time for signings when there are cool tee shirts to be had?

You gotta have priorities in these situations.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I had a great day Friday.

She plunges under her desk and waits for lightening to strike after writing that sentence. The Billy Club of Destiny? It is out there, this minute, being smacked against a meaty palm in steady, deliberate, warm-up strokes. She just knows it. It can't find her under here...can it? Wait. What the... It smells like poop down here. DAMN that Tallulah. She climbs back into her chair. Resumes typing.

Through a set of circumstances that link my work taking photos at Barbecue on the River that included a shot of a certain prominent someone who then later found himself, quite unexpectedly, in need of this particular photo and found me coordinating an event that I felt would benefit from a logical sponsor for its central prize...well.

Let's just say the whole situation ended up with everyone feeling very, very fortunate indeed.

And if you're asking yourself whatever happened to the Suzanne who didn't mix work and blogging, you can join the club. I suppose when I made that rule I didn't envision doing work that was quite so rewarding. And, heck, I'll admit it, just plain old fun. Looking back, I realize the rule was made at a time and place when my work was quite the opposite.

Many of the readers I have now (probably around a third) were with me in those days, back when I just up and quit and embarked on the odyssey that has lead me here. The odyssey that is ongoing. The chapter of my professional life where, instead remaining in steerage, seasick and storm tossed (and nowhere NEAR Leonardo Di Caprio), I climbed up to the deck, wobbled across it, and grabbed hold of the helm for myself.

As it turned out? I would maneuver my little ship out of the storm and head straight toward Vacation Island. A peaceful little spot with a palm tree and a wireless internet connection where I spent six months blogging away and, for the first time in 25 years, for the most part, absolutely not working. It was difficult, but I somehow managed to survive it. (Ahem.)

It is here that I finally owned up to it: I am a writer. Writing is what fulfills me as a person, is probably the "highest and best" use of my talents, and if I'm to be happy, is a thing I need to be working at it in some form or fashion. You would think this a simple truth, maybe even an obvious one, and something that would have been sooner and more easily grasped. Especially since someone has been telling me as much, basically, all my life. And then someone I married told me as much over and over.

But it wasn't easy, oh, it so wasn't.

The good news? Is that while I spent the first part of my life in the dark about who I am, some would say ridiculously and needlessly so, the good news is that with that simple realization, or more like "shift" in my consciousness, everything began to change.

I don't mean I got published and became wealthy and lived happily ever after. It's something like this: confident, finally, in the work I was ultimately meant to do, what I do for a living started to come more easily to me.

Maybe because the pressure to define me is no longer on it. At my core, I know, I am a writer. And I now see everyting I do through this filter. I believe the work I do to support myself now comes to me more easily as a direct result of me coming to terms with this basic truth about myself. It has given me power. It has made me more effective. It has freed up a great deal of my energy for other things. Sometimes? I even get paid to write.

Recently, I went to the funeral of a ninety-nine-year-old man. His name was Falgar. He was a farmer and lived on the same plot of land that had been in his family since the mid 1800's. He lived in a simple small house and worked his fields, he raised chickens, he worked his garden, he went to church. At some point, it was realized that his land likely held oil. And a great deal of it at that. And so, an oil well was erected and the drilling began. And in not too long, the oil came in.

It came in very, very big.

It came in so big that it was almost unbelievable. Falgar was netting crazy amounts of thousands of dollars per day. And this went on for years. Falgar became a millionaire. And still, Falgar worked his fields, he raised chickens, he rode his tractor and planted his garden. He went to church, he lived in his small, simple house, he shared the fruits of his garden with his neighbors.

Because Falgar had been a millionaire all along.

Falgar had lived the life he was meant to live from the very beginning. He knew, without a doubt, who he was and where he wanted to be. His son loved him, his grandchildren loved him. He radiated goodness. He was a wonderful neighbor. I knew him because he was my Grandma's significant other for eleven years.

And I sincerely hope I am headed in that direction.

Because that, friends, is success.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Revolutionary Road

The buzz on this one is huge.

Once again, Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet team up in what looks to be a way meatier film than Titanic ever thought about being. And, PS, Titanic would be the movie that, when it won the Best Picture Oscar, nearly caused me to spontaneously combust. Seriously overrated, in my opinion.

Anyway, "Revolutionary Road" is directed by Winslet's husband, Sam Mendes (Jar Head, Road to Perdition, American Beauty, The Kite Runner, Little Voice). In it, a married couple struggles against the narrow confines of 1950's society. The film also features Kathy Bates. All of these artists have the chops for greatness and the preview looks really raw. I like raw. Life is raw, after all. And, God knows? Marriage is raw.

Definitely on my list.

Southern Festival Of Books

How is it that I haven't heard about this sooner? This three-day festival in NashVegas with over 200 authors will feature, among many others, Ann Patchett and Rick Bragg, for God's sake. Oh! And Rob Rummel-Hudson, one of my favorite bloggers, now a published author.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Note to Self: Do Not Mock the Universe

Yesterday, right after hitting "publish" on my pensive little musings on what message the universe might be trying to send me, I logged off my computer and walked into my hallway.

Where I found another message.

Ya'll? Tallulah, my four-month-old Westie, actually sh!t Stonehenge in my very own hallway.

Oh, don't get me wrong, it wasn't to scale or anything. It was, in fact, a very small approximation of Stonehenge. But it was Stonehenge nevertheless. One little turd surrounded by a perfectly spaced semi-circle of six other little turds, on some of which of she'd actually managed, with a jaunty finishing swirl, the look of that cross ways stone on the top.

Don't page down or anything. I didn't get the money shot with the camera. Because while standing there contemplating The Miracle and wondering whether to call the Pope or E-Bay, or Ripley's Believe it or Not, or The Discovery Channel, or, heck, just my Mom, the smell hit me.

Stonehenge brought tears to my eyes. And I'm not talking about in an awesome Stonhenge-ish sort of way.

It was only then that I glanced around and noticed my little darling had made a few, shall we say "practice runs" before commencing to bring forth The Miracle that sprung from her ass. From the looks of things, it had taken three or four (over sized) practice pipings before she got the hang of it for real. These turds were the sad, smeary, mis-shapen prototypes of what clearly later became the final more streamlined version, which was, ultimately, perfectly sited and spaced and located just a few short feet away from the practice arena.

And if you're at this point wondering just how big my hallway is, let me enlighten you: not very. It is a small (windowless) hallway and not the sort of space that that can easily accommodate a pound of extremely toxic poop (one-seventh of the puppy's total body weight if you're counting) whether in the form of an ancient ruin or not.

So, nope. No camera. Color me cynical, but by this point? Getting the sh!t outta my hallway was kinda priority numero uno.

FurGirl, apparently foreseeing the show, had positioned herself as far away from The Miracle as possible while still having a vantage point from which to enjoy the action. She was at the front door, her own ass pressed against it. Every time I looked over at her she winced as if to say,

"Damn, woman do you SMELL THAT?! Don't just stand there, get out the PET FEBREEZE, I'm DYIN'!".

I can only imagine what effect this nuclear assault of stench was having on her sensitive canine nose. I guess in the end you'd have to note that it wasn't bad enough to force her away from her post. This, if I had to guess, is not as much a testament to her sense of smell as it is her desire to see Tallulah finally get what's coming to her.

Tallulah, herself, was nowhere in evidence.

I guess she figured her work spoke for itself.

I began the clean-up by covering my nose and mouth with a dishcloth and securing it in the back with a clothespin. I covered my hands with Ziploc bags, then set about scooping up the practice arena cast-offs within wads of toilet tissue.

By the time I worked my way to The Miracle, I'd gained a new appreciation for how quickly Tallulah seemed to have perfected her craft. As I scooped up the tiny, perfectly spaced monoliths, I began to think I actually might not kill her.

Rather, I began to wonder (in my sexy, sexy garb) how had she spaced these out so perfectly? I tried to imagine her, her tiny white brow furrowed in concentration carefully counting out, what, maybe two paw lengths and then working up more material? And, anyway, had she produced the tiny monoliths whilst staring straight ahead and working, ahem, by feel? Did she lift a leg and sight the things from underneath? WTF?

By the time the job was finished and I was stripping off my Ziplocks, it occurred to me: What if she sh!ts the Sphinx next week?

We'd...we'd...why...we'd take it on the road, of course! We'd be RICH!

This is how Talullah survived the day and is, at this very moment, enjoying a high-dollar Eukanuba Dig Biscuit.

And this is also why, now, a full twelve hours later, FurGirl is all "talk to the paw" and still refuses to speak to me.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Not to alarm anybody?

But I seem to have become something of a punching bag for the universe.

A big success? Followed by a quick, well-aimed vicious blow to the temple from the billy club of destiny.

Just in case I'd forgotten who's boss.

This has happened so often lately--the journey from pinnacle to pit of despair accomplished with such nauseating speed and efficiency--that I find myself asking the universe:

What's the message here?

As someone I know put it recently,

"You're starting to remind me of Charlie Brown trying to kick that football."

Ah, well.

Maybe the message is that Charlie just keeps on trying.

Love Struck

I can't stop laughing about this.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tipster Tuesday: It's Baaaaack!

Just when you thought I'd fallen off the face of the earth, right?

As promised way back when, I offer up my favorite serum. In case you missed the post that shook the blog, serum is one of the new generation must-have skin products. And, although I'm certainly far from having perfect skin (quite the opposite in fact), I do know a good product when I slather it on. I love Primordial Cell Defense from Lancome. I don't know how this stuff works, but it does visibly improve the quality of your skin, in my case, without irritation (and I'm sensitive).

Not sure why they call it "primordial", I'm doubting that it sprung forth from the earth at the dawn of time. It's priced as if it did, though, at $64 per ounce.

Remember, if you do want to try this product and don't for some reason like it you can and should return it. I think women are conditioned to suck up the price of make-up and beauty products that don't, for whatever reason, work for us. Remember: you don't have to. Virtually every major line will refund or give you an equivalent exchange if you return the unused portion. And it's usually a full refund.


Moving on.

On the other end of the scale, my pick for a gentle daily mini-peel is another new comer to the must-have products for the skin care inventory. Olay Regenerist Daily Mini Peel . Available at your neighborhood drugstore or Walmart, this product is both strangely satisfying and totally addictive. It squirts into your hand as a light blue cream with some gentle cleansing grit incorporated, and the stuff somehow actually heats up when it makes contact with your damp face.

I know. It's weird. But, trust me, it really feels good and it's oh so satisfying to know that it is gently burning off the dead skin cells to reveal the newer, dewier skin beneath. Unlike the serum, it can be had for less than $20.

Another tip from Jill now (who clearly needs her own beauty blog, rather than allowing me to always benefit from her wisdom). You know how you've got that blouse that's super cute and you love to wear it, but when you button up you still have that small, irritating gap at the bust line? Well, take a tip from the stars.

Hollywood Tape is how JLo kept than one green dress cut down to THERE from flapping open on the red carpet--she had it taped to her skin. With Hollywood Tape you can tape your clothes to your skin or your sleeveless tee to your bra strap or tape your blouse together. Sagging hem? Tape that sucker up. Best of all: it holds. Hollywood Tape is two-sided and at $7.50 per cute retro tin, would be cheap at twice the price.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Luck o' the Irish

It is Thursday, October 2nd at about 3:45 p.m.

One hour and fifteen minutes to go until the ribbon cutting, the ceremony that will kick off an event I’ve been planning since August. It’s an outdoor event and includes ponies, pumpkins, borrowed hay bales, bunnies, ‘smores, a free power tool giveaway and a llama. And that's a partial list. The petting zoo (the feature that includes most of the aforementioned animals) has not yet arrived, neither has the Cinderella carriage that will ferry festival goers around Circle Park.

But they aren’t expected yet.

I am wrestling 20 or so helium filled balloons out of my car. These will decorate and highlight the various activity stations. Nearby is Ben, my co-worker, wrestling the other 35 or so helium balloons out of his car. Balloon wrangling is actually a whole lot more complicated than it sounds when you’re talking about such a large quantity filled with helium. They don’t want to go anywhere but up.

Still, as I finally jerk the last balloon from my car and start toward the festival site, even I, negative self-talker that I am, have to silently congratulate myself.

Everything is, miraculously, right on schedule.

Ben, having finished wrestling his own huge balloon bouquet from the car, joins me.

“Hey, while we were driving here what looked like a wallet or a billfold or something flew off the top of your car”, he tells me.

I stop dead still, a horrible memory washing over me like a bucket of ice water. Me and my balloons in the parking lot back at the balloon store. I put my billfold on the top of my car just before I started Round One of the balloon wrestling.

In one sick second, I know for certain I never retrieved the billfold before driving away.

“So…now where did you see it fly off?” I ask, beginning to feel a little nauseous.

“Right in front of Hooper’s,” he answers.

Hooper’s is a sporting goods store on a busy four-lane highway very near where I live. On a Friday afternoon near quitting time? It is, let’s just say, VERY busy.

“Did it land…on the median?” I ask hopefully.

“Nope. Right in the middle of the highway,” he answers.

“In the middle? Of the highway?” I repeat.

My heart sinks to the ground.

And then the panic sets in. I can’t leave. I’m expecting a petting zoo and a horse drawn carriage any minute for God’s sake! I have an event starting in a little more than an hour. I CAN’T LEAVE.

But, I have to go. I can’t just leave my billfold with…well, god knows what personal financial crap in it, floating around Highway 60. I give hasty instructions about the balloon placement plan, hand off my balloons, and jump back in my car.

As soon as I start the car, a realization hits me:

I’m going to get my billfold back.

The knowledge is so ridiculous, so improbable, that it makes me feel a little dizzy with both relief and incredulity. Is this how it feels to crack up, I wonder?

I continue to worry about how quickly I can get back to the festival site, but from then on? If I tell the truth? It’s that I know I’m getting it back.

I drive quickly to the site of the disaster, park in the nearest parking lot, and check with the old man selling mums there. Had he seen a wallet in the road or anyone stop and pick something up in the last fifteen minutes?

He hasn’t.

Reluctantly, I head toward the highway filled with constantly speeding vehicles in both directions. Staying in the shoulder, I walk the length of the Hooper’s strip mall parking lot and beyond, carefully scanning the road for any sign of what I’m looking for. When I see nothing, I turn and walk back the same way. Should I now get back in my car and drive to the other side and do the same?

No. I’ll check inside Hooper’s on the outside chance that someone picked it up and left it there for me.

I walk over and grab the Hooper’s door handle, just as a small Toyota whizzes up, parks near me, and honks his horn. A man in his thirties rolls the window down and asks,

“What’s your name?”

I smile.


I say it as a question.

He raises his left hand. In it is my billfold.

“I thought you looked like a woman who had lost something,” he says.

Apparently, the billfold had flown off my car nearer the gas station before Hooper’s. Both Chris, the man in the car, and another woman, Colleen he thinks her name was, spotted my stray billfold near the same time. Chris tells me they worked together to gather up my things: cash, insurance card, birth certificate. Inside Chris’s car, two small boys sit, both so young they are strapped in car seats. I imagine it was hard for him to leave them as he retrieved my things.

I offer Chris a bill from my wallet. He won’t take it.

“What’s really amazing,” Chris tells me, “is that I had the billfold part, but this other lady, Colleen I think, found all the cash. She just picked it up, handed it to me, and then drove away.”

As far as I'm concerned? It's all pretty amazing.

In the end, I made it back to the event in plenty of time to take care of all my duties, my billfold completely intact.

A Bizzyville Super Snap for Good Samaritans, Chris Rhimes and Colleen, who, Chris believes, works at the Olive Garden.

You guys are the bestest. Thanks for paying it forward on my behalf.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.

I've written before about the Fountain Avenue Project, the first completed home, the incentives available through the city, and the event that happened Thursday, October 2nd. I'm beyond pleased with the turnout for the festival and the incredibly positive feedback we've received since. Click the photos for a larger version of the slideshow of photos I took at the Fountain Avenue Home Tour and Festival.