Thursday, December 29, 2005


I want to take time to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. Jimbob and I are off tomorrow headed to Galveston. This may be my last blog for the next week. I’m not sure whether I’ll have internet service or not. I’ll miss reading what’s happening in your lives as well.

I left California more years ago than I want to tell, but the one thing I miss is the ocean. The gulf coast isn’t exactly the Pacific, but at least it’s wet. I know, no frolicking in the waves because it’s too cold, but it’s wet.

I once freaked out a native Chicagoan when I said that Lake Michigan stinks. It has nothing of that wonderful sea breeze you get on Malibu, Marina Del Ray, Pismo Beach, Redondo Beach… By now it’s probably all houses anyway.

Maybe the gulf won’t have that salty tang to the air, but it’s wet. I haven’t seen a sandy beach in so long I can’t remember what it was like to go walking just out of reach of the lapping waves.

Oh to camp on the beach at Carpentaria again and listen to the tide shushing over the smooth sand, bringing treasures from foreign shores. I long to hear the mournful cry of the harbor buoys and the distant bell of warning as they ride the gentle swells of the ocean.

Okay, enough of that nostalgia stuff. Tomorrow bright and early, or as soon as I can get Jimbob on the move, we’re headed down highway 45, past Houston to Galveston and the ocean. It’s not the Pacific, but at least it’s wet.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I said I was gonna get on with life now that Christmas is over, so here goes. Would you believe that I’m taking a webpage design class online? What makes this so amazing is that I am the most politically incorrect computer idiot in the world.

I want it to do what I want when I want and beyond that I don’t give a rat’s ass. That’s why we have IT people in the office to deal with us retards. At home I call JC and tell him the stupid thing doesn’t work. Very scientific.

Back in the good old days when the kid’s dad and I were still married, we got our very first computer. He wanted to teach me how it worked and I didn’t care (horror, horror). We wound up in a big argument over it. He complained to our marriage counselor that I refused to listen to him (oh poor me). There was no way possible I could learn to use a computer if I didn’t know how it worked. The counselor’s reply was, “Why?”

Needless to say, I still don’t know how they work and still don’t want to know. Just give me a keyboard and a mouse and I’m in hog heaven. But I’m ruining my record. Pretty scary, isn’t it?

Friday, December 23, 2005

My Panties Are in a Wad

When I left the house at 6:00 AM, it was no closer to being ready for a get together than it was Monday when we were elected to have the family over for a Christmas chili dinner.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having everybody for dinner. But it takes Chinese water torture to get Jimbob to pick up his clutter. Paper of any kind petrifies him. He refuses to throw anything away even if it’s junk mail. Instead we have numerous piles of paper he doesn’t know what to do with scattered about the house.

We have boxes and boxes and boxes of old mail and receipts in the attic that he’s saving for something. I just don’t know what. That’s only a small beginning of things up there that should be discarded. It does no good to tell him it’s a fire hazard.

In addition our garage looks like Sanford and Son’s junk shop. We have 3 saddles, numerous ugly chairs, and art work out the wazoo. AND ZERO CARS!!!!! I like my car in the garage.

And I’m anal about CLUTTER. I figure if you haven’t worn it or used it in the last year, get rid of it. Goodwill and Salvation Army love me. Not only that, I abhor being late and waiting until the last possible moment to leave the house.

Now, back to dinner tonight. As you can imagine by now, the fact that Jimbob has not picked up or put a single thing away even though he knows we are having 16 relatives for dinner tonight IS DRIVING ME CRAZY.

And you’re probably thinking if it doesn’t bother him, why should I get my panties in a wad. If you read my last blog you’ll remember me saying that Jimbob runs around the house stuffing paper into grocery sacks at the last moment.

I also mentioned that he gets rather owlie because the house isn’t perfect. I went home Wednesday and first thing out of his mouth was, “Where is the prescription for my new glasses?” I didn’t have it and that’s what I said. Then he gets pissed at me because he was positive I had it (not). So he’s ranting and raving that he can't get new glasses without the prescription.

Well, you know, pick up the phone and call the optometrist for another copy. DUH!

Same night, different scene. We were due at church for caroling at 6:00 PM and we were late because it took longer than he expected to pick out glasses and all that BS. Caroling did not go as he anticipated and we were not back at church by 7:30 for choir practice. And he hadn’t had dinner yet.

So it was a miserable drive home and a silent dinner at IHOP. Yesterday he called and wanted to go to dinner because we’d had so little time together lately. Damn, he was still crabby. Another wonderful evening shot to hell.

What I haven’t mentioned is our choir is singing for two services Christmas Eve and he doesn’t think we’re prepared. Okay, so add messy house to an unprepared choir and I’m ready to stake him out in the yard with the rest of the dogs until Christmas is over and done for another year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tuesday Fare

Arath stared into the flickering fire, mouth pursed. He was off in his own private world of half forgotten dreams. His eyes never closing, he drifted further and further from his mortal self.

Then he was circling languidly over the tops of the forest giants. He rode the cold air currents, searching for game in the mottled snow. Spotting a tiny furred rodent, he shrilled a call to his mate and then plummeted to earth like a falling rock. The feel of the wind racing through his wings brought an unexpected thrill.

The tiny creature was easily his. It died as the great taloned feet closed unmercifully to force the life from the frail body. Arath soared in the blue sky again. The rodent dangling from his foot would make a good meal for him and his mate.

The female kehawk rode her own currents, not a hundred yards away. She was beautiful to behold, the pale sunlight glinting gold off her well groomed plumage. She would give him strong, healthy chicks come next spring.

She bugled her hunting cry, and then imitated her mate’s precipitous descent to earth. The pair would eat well this day.

The perfect stillness of the forest was broken by the frantic cries of the smaller bird. He could hear the wild beating of her giant wings, and the deep throated growl of a wolf. She was in trouble.

He found his frightened mate sprawled in the snow. One wing extended from her body in pain. Standing over her was a lone, black wolf trying to work past her defenses.

The battle weighed heavily in the wolf’s favor. Arath dropped again. This time not a sound left his throat. He dove for the wolf's eyes, determined to save his mate. The wait was interminable. The chilled winter air screamed in his ears.

There was no exhilaration this time. Instead, a stone cold fear drove him. If he wasn't careful, they both would die before it was done.

And then he hit! The wolf was mad with pain, the creature’s left eye ripped to pieces by his gouging talons. Arath held on for dear life, raking his great beak at everything within reach.

The immense wolf bolted from the injured bird, back tracking into the deep forest. Arath reluctantly tore himself from the beast to return to his mate's side. Just as he wheeled away, he caught the unmistakable dark form of a hooded figure in the distance. It was to this figure that the wolf retreated.

Friday, December 16, 2005


This is in response to Karyn ‘s meme tag to say fifteen things about books. I don’t know that I can add much to those who have gone before me, but here goes.

1. I discovered the school library when I was in third grade. I made a vow to read every book they had by the time I finished sixth grade. Of course I didn’t quite achieve my goal, but I gave it my best. I especially liked what was labeled “boys’ adventure” books.

2. Books were my escape from an unhappy family situation when I was growing up. I could go anywhere, do anything and be anyone and not be confronted with the less than pleasant realities of life.

3. I don’t think I can tell you the best book I ever read, but the worst was “Imajica” by Clive Barker. I kept wondering, “How did this get published?” I thought it had to get better, instead it went steadily downhill.

4. On second thought, two of my favorite books were “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry and “The Laments” by George Hagen. I got so involved in both stories that I had to put them down at times because I knew what was coming next and I didn’t want it to.

5. Okay, let’s add a few more favorites. “Green Darkness” by Anya Seton. “Aztec” by Gary Jennings. “One Thousand White Women” by Jim Fergus. “That Man Cartwright” and "Five Smooth Stones” by Ann Fairbairn. “Hammerfall” by C J Cherryh. “Rendezvous With Rama” by Arthur C Clark. “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A Heinlein. “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Kidd. “Insomnia” by Stephen King. And one last one, “The Honk and Holler Opening Soon” by Billie Letts.

6. Never read Michener’s “Hawaii” when you’re twelve and your mother hasn’t read it first. Bad move, especially if you know the meaning of all “those” words.

7. When my son was in junior high (middle school) he would purposely start an argument with his teachers until they made him go sit in the hall. They didn’t care what he did as long as he didn’t move and was quiet. He always had at least one book with him for those occasions.

8. I once worked as a bookkeeper. Talk about creative financing. I won’t be going back to that anytime soon.

9. Writing a book is a lot harder than most people think, but it’s even harder to get it published. If you're already famous, it’s a snap even if you can’t write.

10. I originally wrote a book nearly twenty years ago with a character named Jessup. Now J K Rowling has Hagrid who is very similar to Jessup. Of course if I happen to get a contract for my book, I’m going to have to reinvent Jessup so it doesn’t look like I’m copying.

11. Books are one of my favorite this to give as gifts. You can never have too many books. They are also great to read and pass on to someone else.

12. I have this secret affair going on with cookbooks. I don’t actually make anything to their specifications, but I get lots of ideas. I can sit and read a cookbook like a novel.

13. There’s a “how-to” book on the market to do almost anything. And where there’s one, look for a dozen. Everybody jumps on the bandwagon when they smell success.

14. I’d rather read than do almost anything. I wrote a story called "The Bookaholic" about a girl named Callie who read all the time. It was actually about me as a child.

15. Regardless of how much you love a book, not everybody will like it. I gave a friend “The Laments” and she thought it was ho hum and I thought it was one of the best I’ve ever read. She gave me “The Virgin Blue” and I’m still trying to figure out what the plot was.

Okay, that’s my fifteen. Now I have to figure out who to tag. Those who I know who are writers and readers have already been tagged. I’ll have to give this some serious thought while I go about the day’s business.

I actually wrote this last Thursday and still haven't come up with anyone to tag, so alas, I'm still tagless.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

In the Spirit

Saturday was our annual Choir party. While I’m not real big on parties because I’m such a social retard, I did have fun. Mostly because these were all people I know. We’ve seen each other at least twice a week for the last four years.

Our gift exchange was of the albino pachyderm variety. Obviously some people weren’t sure about what this meant. I on the other hand, unabashedly take credit for the size XXXL, Sponge Bob silk shorts.
I mean, where else can you find such a wonderful treasure exchanged between guests? In my opinion (which doesn’t really count), they were the best contribution to the night’s festivities.

At one point, a cop invaded the party to partake of the groaning tables (not just one) of food before continuing on his way. I guess he thought we were a bad influence on his wife. He said if we weren’t good, he steal all of our presents.

Oh dear. What would D&J do if he took their Sponge Bob undies?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Waddle Watching

I’ve been so horrendously busy at work (not) that I decided to entertain myself. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, so I’ve been cruising the hallways watching waddles.

That’s waddles, not wattles. For those who do not know what a wattle is, I’ll take a moment out from my important and interesting mission to explain. Wattles are basically a double chin in humans, but in turkeys it’s that red thing that hangs over the beak. There are a few other definitions, but I choose to ignore them.

Now, back to where I left off. Nobody (at least in our office) has an elegant sway like a model striding down the runway feet crossing on skyscraper heels. In fact that can’t be classified as a waddle. First, these girls are so skinny most of them don’t have a butt in order to waddle. Second, who the hell can walk like that and not crash and burn? Besides I’m insanely jealous.

I’m talking about your everyday, short and dumpy, gangly tripping, sexless, gliding waddles found in our office. There’s nothing like a shirt or sweater that’s not tucked in to accentuate a waddle. Some look like two bear cubs fighting in a gunnysack; more up and down than side to side. I know that’s trite, but ho hum, who cares?

Then there’s the gliding, no action waddles (is that an oxymoron?). Mostly these are women who for whatever reason don’t wiggle at all. Their boobs don’t jiggle either. Maybe they don’t lift their feet when they walk, creating an illusion of gliding down the hall.

How about a caboose, or also known as a bumble butt? These are the very full, round gluteus maximus I’m referring to. These posteriors seem to have a life of their own. Be careful, this type of unrestricted activity might be dangerous if you get too close.

My conclusion of this scientifically correct study of derrières is that they come in all shapes and sizes. To obtain the waddle, is a function of how one foot is placed in front of the other. To prove my point, I’ve witnessed some runners who have more up and down action then forward locomotion. And this is true of your everyday waddle.

I cannot reveal all of my brilliant deductions in this one post, because I might get bored again and have to do more research. As an aside, I did not exclude male waddles in this study.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I could never be an eskimo. I hate being cold. I grew up in California and moved to Illinois when I was 27 (oh to be 27 again). Everyone told me I’d adapt to the cold winters. WRONG!!!

I lived in the Chicago area 18 years and never adapted. So when I was asked if I wanted to move to TX, I asked if they wanted me to tap-dance all the way there. Warm weather here I come!

So, is it any warmer in Dallas? Well…most of the time. Illinois had some 100 degree days and 100 % humidity and it wasn’t even raining. Texas has lots of 100 degree days, but the humidity is only around 30-40%. After all, we do live in a desert.

Am I in hog heaven, or what? Sort of. In the summer I come to work and shiver all day because the air conditioning is cranked to maximum. During the winter the heat is turned to nonexistent. The theory is that the 4500 bodies in the building will provide sufficient warmth to keep the water pipes from bursting.

Great theory. I wonder who the yahoo was who came up with that bit of silliness. Problem is, Texas weather is rather unpredictable. Last Saturday we had 86 degrees and this morning…17, with icy roads.

Okay, I dragged out my genuine fake raccoon coat from Chicago, warmed the car and tottled along the great white highway at an amazing 30-40 mph.

Surprising enough there weren’t any idiots in their four-wheelers driving like maniacs. I’ve seen these guys who think a four-wheeler can go anywhere. And they do…flying into a ditch, field or opposing lanes because there ain’t no traction on ICE!

It was relatively warmer in the office, but I’m a desk jockey and cold-blooded. I don’t work up a sweat…and I’m frigging cold. My hands are like chunks of ice. I have my trusty little fleece blanket wrapped around me and a heating pad on my back to generate warmth. Next, out comes the gloves and the genuine fake raccoon coat.

You’d think they’d get the message…but noooooo. Yes, I know it takes time to heat a building this size, but the other end of the building is cozy warm. What, are they just hogging it all?

I get really crabby when I'm COLD!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Oh my aching head!

There are some mornings when I get out of bead with a headache. I have yet to discover the cause of this phenomenon, but it sucks. No, before you ask, I haven't been drinking.

Anyway, this is one of those mornings. I feel like someone stuffed it full of cotton and used it for a bass drum. If I don't get it under control quickly, it can escalate into a migrain. What a bummer.

Was it something I ate for dinner? Maybe something in the air? Or...Could it possibly be from staring at a computer 8 hours a day?

On a different note, I talked to Britt twice yesterday. She calls me on her break at work (her cell phone). Most of the time she has nothing to say, but I guess she gets lonely. Then she called again last night when she got off work. She said she forgot to tell me she'd gotten a refund from her previous insurance company. Obviously very big news.

Regardless of the reason, I'm glad she calls.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Here is another offering from the book I'm working on. As always I'd love feedback from anyone so inclined.

Soft crackling of the surrounding underbrush first broke Wimple's deep, dreamless sleep. Moonlight filtered through the low overhanging clouds to shed a luminous glow upon the strangest scene the little man had ever witnessed.

He knew what he saw could only be a dream, but his eyes told him otherwise. This surreal spectacle could not be a product of his imagination. All his life he’d secretly believed the rock-like trolls of the fantasy world were real, live beings.

Until now, he had no proof. Three of the lumbering creatures stood less than two feet from his shelter. They were oblivious to the elf sized man hidden among the bushes and thickets of the forest.
Wimple lamented that Jessup was not there to share this marvelous vision.

He inched forward to hear the words the rock-men spoke. The slow resonant voices sounded more like the rumbling of a distant earthquake than human speech.

He ached to rush head long into the middle of the group. His only desire being to meet these spectacular rock-men face to face. If Jessup was along, he might give in to his impulse.

Stunned he espied the dangling corpse clutched tightly in the monstrous fist of the nearest troll. The blood ran cold in his veins as he realized what they held. It was the crumpled body of a spotted, mangy wolf, crushed to a lifeless pulp within the troll's grasp.

Wimple shrank back becoming an integral part with the forest. He had waited his entire life for just such a moment, but instinct screamed that this was neither the time, nor the place. He would not share the wolf’s fate.

A fierce argument erupted between the hulking rock-men. Wimple could understand nary a word, but he didn’t need to. Massive granite arms thrust skyward in the direction of the peek-a-boo moon, emphasized their anger. Grunts and inhuman clicking reinforced what he witnessed.

They ceremoniously offered the lifeless corpse to the crescent orb drifting overhead. Whether in sacrifice or a proud display of the troll's strength, Wimple could not tell. At last, the lifeless hulk was thrown to the forest floor and stomped into shapeless ooze. The soft squishing of flesh punctuated by the sharp retort of splintering bones nearly caused the little man to retch.

He could not begin to understand why the trolls displayed such loathing. Wimple was ever more grateful he had not intruded upon their ritual. Ever more frightened, he strove to melt into the very ground beneath him.
Legend did not portray this race of men as the appalling, murderous beings he now watched. Many a child's storybook cast them as the benevolent hero. Why? He wondered. Are the wolves and trolls at war?

His thoughts returned to the behemoths as one of them began a slow, ponderous dance around the clearing. The remaining creatures watched in disgust, but eventually gave in and joined their companion.

Faster and faster they whirled, destroying everything in their path. Wimple rubbed his eyes as he realized there were now five of them instead of three. He had not noticed when the new rock-men had joined the group. Now, they formed a counter balance spoke to the already gyrating monsters.

Oblivious to the outside world, the trolls continued to dance to music unheard by anyone else. Every so often, one, two or as many as five or six rock-men came to join the revelry. The whole of Canth reeled under the combined weight of these whirling, stampeding behemoths.

Early morning and the first dubious rays of the sun pierced the scudding layer of clouds. The rock-men scattered in every possible direction, some barely avoiding the hidden Wimple as he lay exhausted in his hidden lair. Cries of anguish assaulted his ears as the infirm sun struck them into a frozen world of their own.

Even if Wimple had wanted to sleep, the deafening, heart throbbing thud of the trolls' feet had made it impossible. The very foundations of Canth shook to the rollicking rhythm of their riotous behavior. Never would he be able to sleep in the forest again without remembering this special night.

He crawled on hands and knees, emerging into the opening the rock-men had all but demolished. The sad vision of trolls frozen where the sun had caught them tugged at his heart strings. These were the same creatures who had whirled and cavorted joyously throughout the night.

An unexpected tear coursed down his smooth cheek as he approached the closest statue to lay a gentle hand upon its surface.

He didn't really expect to feel anything, so the faint dissipating body heat of the creature caught him off guard. Barely did a cry of alarm escape his lips, when he clapped the same hand over his mouth.
It did not hurt, but the undeniable life within had touched him. Alien as the slight brush had been, it was human.

There was deep intelligence in that brief encounter, and anger, too. Anger so deep that it scared Wimple out of his wits. Hate welled into him as he touched the strange being again. This time he did not pull away. "If only I could understand," he whispered.

"I wish Jessup were here, he’d know what to do. I wish I could help you. I simply don't understand."

Dejected, he turned to retrieve his pack. With a last soulful glance toward the scattered trolls, Wimple resumed his journey.