Friday, December 30, 2016

Do not pass Go.



On Monday, my mom and I went to see La La Land (very cute and colorful, btw). We pulled into the parking garage in her giant Xterra, and she asked if she could go up instead of down. I said yes, but then noticed the big yellow height clearance sign said 5'8". "No way will your car fit under this!" I yelled. "I would barely fit under this!" But my mom, being my mom, decided to give it a go. And sure enough, the top of the car hit the yellow beam and it swung ominously for about 15 minutes, but we got through and it remained hanging. (Please note that I have personal experience with this, circa 2009, when I drove a U-Haul into a parking garage and the beam came crashing down, shattering the windshield. So I know these things are no joke.) After we parked (in a "compact car" spot, no less), we noticed all the signs. "No Trucks or SUVs!" "$50 Fine!" "Compact Cars only!" But clearly they didn't mean my mom. I was so nervous during the entire movie - we would most certainly have a ticket; would we still have a car? Would the windshield shatter on the way back out? When we got to the car, there was in fact a ticket on the windshield, but it was just a warning - probably because of my mom's Colorado plates. And although we once again hit the beam and it once again started swinging, we made it out of there alive. Can't say the same for the roof of the car, however.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Masterchef

This weekend I decided that it was time I learned how to cook some simple things - grilled cheese and French toast. (Yes, I realize that at 39 I should definitely have cooked both of these things before, but...) However, I eat healthy, so I decided to try both without butter. Perhaps this was my downfall.

The grilled cheese started out okay - bread cooked nice and evenly on the Pam-greased skillet. However, I also chose to use low-fat cheddar cheese, and it seemed so flimsy I put three slices on. Perhaps THIS was my downfall. The cheese never melted all they way through and I don't even like the taste of cheese so taking a bite almost made me hurl. Mental note: one slice is plenty.

On to the French toast. In this case I used skim milk and egg substitute (found a recipe online), but the bread was so wet it never cooked all the way through. I would like to blame the fake eggs, but I fear it was mere user error and maybe I didn't need all that milk? (But I followed the damn recipe!)

Sadly, I was unable to master either "easy" dish, and would probably give myself a C- on both. Guess I'll wait on attempting a soufflé for a bit longer.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

This year has been brought to you by the grim reaper.


Seriously, 2016. I feel like so many significant figures from my childhood have passed away this year: Prince. George Michael. David Bowie. Alan Thicke. And now Carrie Fisher?? This one has hit my particularly hard. I mean, she was so hilarious and smart - her damn dog was named Gary Fisher, for pete's sake. #brilliant

I like that some guy has started a GoFundMe to protect Betty White until 2017. Probably a good idea.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Claim to fame. In my mind.

Been having some strange dreams lately. Yesterday I watched three out of the four Gilmore Girls "A Year in the Life." I have heard that the last four words of the last episode are how Amy Sherman-Palladino always wanted to end the show. Guess that was in my subconscious, because I dreamed that I did in fact watch the last episode and the last four words were, "Sarah Stockton made this!" That would be a cool, but very unlikely, ending. I won't hold my breath.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Nintendo musings

Why do I want the Nintendo classic so badly?? Probably because I never had a Nintendo as a kid and always wanted to play Super Mario Bros until I couldn't press the "jump" button any longer. And now it's only $60 but it's sold out everywhere. I did buy one off Amazon for $250 for our work holiday party (obviously where I will be putting MY raffle tickets), but there are several languages on the box so who knows what I actually bought. Still, it would bring back very fun childhood memories to hear that "ding" when Mario gets the gold coins. In case anyone is looking for a last-minute gift idea for me.

#shamelessplug

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Call me crazy...

...but I simply cannot imagine White House staffers doing this to President Trump:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/obama-snowman?utm_term=.juB69ookx#.ghl5vkkYm


In the first place, he'd probably tweet some anti-snowman rant. And someone would obviously be fired. Sigh.


Hooked on Phonics

We have this new food delivery service at work that offers a different restaurant every day Pretty cool concept, if you ask me. The problem: no one knows what the name is. It's "Foodsby," which most people are pronouncing "foods-bee." But apparently it's supposed to be "foods by" like "foods by Cowboy Chicken," etc. I guess either way, they're getting buzz, so it's working.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The percussionist even brought jingle bells! SOLD.

In our continuing saga of visiting churches, we went back to the church I grew up in on Sunday. And man, did we feel like they wanted us back. First of all, the church was all decked out for Christmas - poinsettias, Christmas trees, lights, etc. Then all the music was Christmas carols. (So I didn't even need to pull out the hymnal). PLUS they brought in a damn orchestra to accompany the ginormous choir. It's possible that I cried during "O Come All Ye Faithful." I blame the IVF hormones, but it was literally a religious experience. Guess I'm going to start going back to church. Who knew.

Friday, December 16, 2016

I should clearly get out more.

My mom and I went to Highland Park Village last night - both to see the beautiful lights and to have dinner. After waiting almost an hour, the super cute bearded guy at the bar who I couldn't stop staring at got up and told us we could take his seat, so we decided to just eat at the bar. And then these other three older men talked to us for the next two hours. One went to St Marks (class of 78, however), and he said he thought I was 29. His friend guessed 25. (It was dark in there, obvi.) The Marksman was hilarious, telling me not to settle but he had a friend's son he thought I should go out with - but he was a little younger. When pressed, he said he was 23. Um, no. But thanks. Anyway, the whole night was a huge ego boost and made me realize I don't necessarily have to stay home all the time. And maybe my mom is a better wingman than I thought? #sayitaintso

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gross.

I was at Sam's the other day, and thought I felt something sticky on my hand. Figuring it was just the shopping cart, I went along with my shopping. A few minutes later, I looked down to see a huge booger on my finger. I truly don't know what is worse - if it was mine, or if it WASN'T (which is what I fear - it was on the cart and then it was on my hand!!!). I gagged briefly, then wiped it on a display and got the hell out of there. #everythingsbiggeratbulkstores

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

This blog post brought to you by McDonalds.

Interesting that someone who never watches commercials anymore (thanks to my trusty DVR) sat down and watched an hour-long special of the "Greatest Holiday Commercials." It was fairly painful and reminded me why I do not in fact watch commercials anymore.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cough, cough

I met friends at a bar in Addison over the weekend - big mistake. HUGE. Completely forgot that you can still smoke inside up there. I think I may have developed an allergy to cigarette smoke - my chest felt tight and I coughed for hours. So gross. Never again, Addison. Fare thee well.

Monday, December 12, 2016

And WHY is the carpet all wet, Todd? I don't KNOW, MARGOT!

Went to a screening of Christmas Vacation at Alamo Drafthouse Friday night - it was hilarious. Not just the movie, which of course is hilarious - but Alamo does the most fun things for the least amount of money. Case in point: everyone got a cheapie Santa hat. Looking around and seeing an entire theater wearing Santa hats was a sight for sore eyes, I can assure you. And they also gave out yellow glo sticks - which everyone waved around during the scene when Clark lights up the house for the first time. Freaking genius. People were quoting along with the movie (and by "people," I mean me) and there was even an eggnog chugging contest (though not with moose mugs) and a "toast" where everyone said the Pledge of Allegiance. Good times had by all.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Me-ow

I'm sorry, but nothing beats putting on a robe warm from the dryer right after a shower on a cold morning. Might have to become my morning ritual. I'm becoming more and more like a cat in my old age.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Too many cooks in the kitchen

We had a teambuilding event yesterday with Tre Wilcox (local celeb chef who appeared on Top Chef) - we broke into four teams of 8 and had 40 minutes to create two dishes that used lemon, cilantro and quinoa - one with pork tenderloin and one with scallops. Needless to say, I was fairly useless - managed to make a salad and a salad dressing, but that's about all she wrote. Our team did come in second place, so at least I didn't poison anyone.

Tre was so adorable though - I got a photo with him at the end, and he told me I reminded him of Miranda on Sex and the City. Guess all redheads look alike. Ha.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Emancipation of Mimi

I watched Mariah's World last night, and I have no idea why. First of all, the outfits the woman wears to "lounge around" are idiotic - bustier and fishnets, anyone? And then there's the whole awkwardness of planning a wedding to a man she ends up breaking up with. And is now dating her back-up dancer, who "happened to" make an appearance in the first episode. Gotta hand it to the editors - way to build a completely new story out of nothing! Surprised MC even let the show go on after her engagement ended, but I guess if she is photographed at the right angle, all is well in the world. Mariah's world, that is.

Monday, December 5, 2016

I could do well in Europe.

Not trying to brag (well maybe just a little bit), but I think the guys in Europe like me more than the guys in America. Or at least the ones who work in airports over there:

  • When we arrived in Athens, the customs guy (the one who likes Donald Trump) was totally flirting with me and escorted me to my mom (who he had also helped).

  • Then the guy working the security screening in the Athens airport beckoned me to get into his line, and after I went through, he yelled out "you're beautiful!"

  • And there was a nice one-armed man in the London customs area who let my mom and I go into the fast check line, skipping in front of about 100 people.

Just saying. There's always Europe...

Thursday, December 1, 2016

In case you were wondering what they're thinking across the pond...

I was one of the only Americans at the intranet conference in London. And about 5 people from different countries asked me about Trump. And not in a good way. They were horrified and laughing and the Brits were relieved it made Brexit look less terrible. They are aware of EVERYTHING - including his recent Twitter war with Hamilton - which made me feel like a dumb American because I have no CLUE what's going on in other countries. I kept apologizing for the USA like some sort of PR clean-up campaign.

To be fair, the guy in Greek customs said he liked Trump. But only because he would "bring women."

#thereyouhaveitfolks

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No sleep til Greece

Flying from London to Athens on Aegean Airlines was interesting, to say the least.

First of all, the flight left at 10:30pm and arrived at 4:30am in Athens - and it was COMPLETELY FULL. My mom and I were both stuck in middle seats, and let's just say we were the only blondes on board. The girl next to me had a baby (clearly Greek - he had amazing eyebrows at just a few months old), and she whipped out her boob to breastfeed several times throughout the flight. No blanket covering her or anything. (I have no problem with this; it was just a bit awkward because I was RIGHT NEXT TO HER.)

You would think an overnight flight would be dark and everyone would be sleeping. You would be wrong. The full cabin lights were on the whole time, and they served dinner. At 1am. And my mom ate the whole thing. (Some sort of couscous and lamb concoction that made my stomach turn. Or that could have been the insane turbulence.)

And similar to my experience last year on Austrian Air, they talk in their native tongue over the loudspeaker for like 5 minutes, then provide an English summary of about 10 words. I'm like - I KNOW you are giving the good emergency advice to the Greeks, and the Americans are just going to be stuck swimming for their lives in the ocean!

We then had a 6 hour layover in Athens before our 30-minute flight to Santorini - and again, the airport was PACKED. DFW at 4:30am would be a ghost town. Not so in Athens. We tried to sleep on the floor, but a guard told us that wasn't allowed. Plus I was too nervous about someone stealing my suitcase to get any sleep. So technically my 65-year-old mother and I pulled an all-nighter. Such rock stars, I tell you what.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It's all Greek to me

We head back to London today after two days in Santorini - then back to Dallas tomorrow. Ready to get home/see my dog, but MAN. This place is so beautiful. It is off-season, so not everything is open, but it's really nice having the place almost all to ourselves (aside from busloads of Chinese tourists). Apparently the population goes from 50,000 in the winter to 1,000,000 in the summer. Opa!

We have had amazing weather - 65 and sunny - and the views are just ridiculous. I would think it was fake if I didn't see it for myself. The people are really nice, although the Greek accents are so thick we can't even understand them when they speak English. Have to admit I have eaten both Greek yogurt and a Greek salad - both of which I could get in the states (but both of which were delicious here). No ouzo, but Santorini makes it's own wine and we've tried some.

We are staying in the village of Oia, but ventured into the capital city, Thira (Fira) today. We even took the city bus! #brave

I bought some yummy hand/body lotion made from olive oil and other Greek finds, plus some balsalmic vinegar with figs and honey in it, to ensure that the Greek vacation doesn't stop when we get home.

Antio! (goodbye in Greek, according to Google)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gives new meaning to "royal flush"

Had tea on the 35th floor of the Shard, an all-glass tower in London that has amazing 360-degree views. The food was amazing - a tray of sweets, a tray of scones and a tray of savory snacks (all of which were bottomless and refillable), plus the actual tea. The location could not have been cooler, and the food was super fun. What made it even better? The bathroom. The amazing views continued, PLUS heated toilet seats and phone chargers in each stall. Adopt me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Across the pond

Off to Europe tonight - we're having tea in the Shard building tomorrow and "Thanksgiving" dinner at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants before heading to Santorini for a couple of days. Looking forward to getting away for a week - hope my mom is ready to travel a la Sarah (I am a big planner; she's more "I'll see what I feel like.")...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Unisex name problems

I get that my dog Charlie has a boy's name, but it's still a bit disconcerting when the groomer calls to say "he's ready for pick-up." Didn't you JUST give her a bath and haircut? And not see any male dog parts?? #itsshortforCharlizepeople

Friday, November 18, 2016

Halls? Decked.

May or may not have put up my Christmas tree and (bought and) wrapped all my packages. And it's November 18. Too embarrassed to do any outdoor decorating yet, but I can enjoy my little inner holiday sanctum. (Really it's because I'll be gone for a week over Thanksgiving and wanted to get a head start, but honestly I kind of love it.) #sorrynotsorry #maybealittle

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fights next door

The Next Door app is great for plumber recommendations, security alerts and lost dog notices - but when people start fighting on there, it cracks me up and saddens me at the same time. Here is a recent dispute - note that God is mentioned multiple times, and one calls the other out for having "dementia." #sigh

                                                                                                            
I have had recent experience with the Sprinkler Guy. Both times it turned out to be negative. He promises a lot, but when he runs into a problem, he leaves, promising to come back, but doesn't and won't return phone calls. He recently disrupted my gas grill, resulting in a bill of over $144.00 to a plumbing company because it was left spewing out gas for at least overnight without my knowledge. I am now left waiting to hear from him because he couldn't get a valve to work. He left, promising to come back within an hour, but hasn't, and won't return my phone calls. It has been two days. I have paid him over $800.00 with these results.
           

    That's not true I haven't ever got paid from you because you want to pay through PayPal. I fixed your entire system for free and you want more, what do you expect me to do? I will never work for you again because of how you treat people. God sees how you treat people that are good to you, and he doesn't like it
                 
      The money went directly into your bank account from PayPal, as your mother recommended, and you know it. I also wrote you a check for materials for $144.00 which you have cashed. So don't try to View more say you weren't paid because I can prove that you were. Plus my system is still not working. God also know that you are not telling the truth. You know that you solved the problem of payment through your mother, who told you that I should send you the money through your PayPal account and I did which sent cash directly into your bank account. So don't think I can't prove it. And I still don't have a working sprinkler system, after all that. You really have a nerve saying that you fixed my entire system for free.

        I am hoping not to have to take legal action. All it would take would be a good faith effort to fix the problem and not promise to do it and then run off.
          Yall are only hearing one half of the story. I've done over 100 jobs in our neighborhood alone and have never had a bad review. Please go sit down and talk with her for five minutes and you will View more understand. I'm a very Christian person so I hate to say this, but Mildred has dementia, she has her good days and her bad days. Please be understanding that I did everything I possibly could to make her happy, and even with everything fixed she's still upset and bitter. I feel sorry for her so I tried as hard as I could to satisfy her but with some people it's impossible. God bless all of you and have a great night.
                             

          you sat right in my office and high fived me when you figured out a way to extract cash from my PayPal credit card which was deposited directly into your bank account. I had View more originally told Blake that I would need to pay with a credit card. I have receipts, plus the check that you cashed. I really do not want to have to settle this in court, but you are pushing for it. All I want is for you to make good on your warranty and fix my sprinkler system that I have already paid you to do. To my neighbors in St Andrews, I most certainly do not have dementia, but I have recently been in the hospital, so I wasn't able to walk around to keep a check on what the Sprinkler Guy was doing. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way from his disruption of my gas grill, which spewed gas for at least a day and a half, and could have resulted in an explosion affecting the neighborhood, until it was discovered by a friend of mine who was helping me, and and who shut it off. I did inform Blake about the problem and he did try to light my water heater but didn't know how. He left and promised to come back after consulting with his grandfather, but I didn't hear back from him and couldn't reach him by phone. I needed hot water so I had to call a plumbing company which resulted in another $144.00 charge. He came back once after that, but ran into a valve problem, left again and promised to come back in a hour, but didn't and won't return phone calls. If Blake is the real sprinkler Guy, let him respond to my request. Meanwhile, this is a true account of what has happened to me so far.                
            This is Blake not lauren, and don't message us anymore. Your bitter and mean and you are one of the rudest people I've ever met. I was just trying to explain something to you and you would yell and View more tell me off. Do you really expect people to work for you when you treat them so horribly. Your a mean bitter person, we tried so hard to be nice and accommodating. Yet all you would do is tell me off, for what, answering your question? Please leave us alone your system works fine, this is harassment.

              If you are Blake, not Lauren, sign into Nextdoor using your own name and photo. I will continue to expect you to honor my two year warranty. Sorry if your feelings are hurt, but business is business. I do not want to have to pursue court action.

              Wednesday, November 16, 2016

              I'm going to need a card from Hallmark for this.

              Apparently yesterday was "Sarah Day" and I missed it. I'm sure it was a made up day, since every day seems to be "National Something Day," but still. There's never a Hurricane Sarah - this might be the closest we get to our 15 minutes of fame.

              Happy Sarah Day, everyone. Drinks are on me.

              Tuesday, November 15, 2016

              Is there that much traffic on a Sunday morning??

              My mom was trying to get directions on her phone to Rockwall, which is about 15 miles from my house. Her phone said it would take an hour and a half to get there. Then we looked up churches (see yesterday's post) - one that was 7 miles away said it would take 45 minutes. Confused, I asked to see her phone. She had somehow set it on "biking," not "driving." So of course it would take over an hour to ride your bike to Rockwall! Serenity now.

              Monday, November 14, 2016

              You just got churched.

              My mom and I have been testing out churches close to my house. And it kind of makes me feel like Goldilocks - this one is too small. This one has weird music. And this one might be a cult. (Kidding on that last one) We went to one yesterday that was pretty nice - I liked the female pastor, and the choir, although small, wore robes and seemed legit (I was raised in a traditional church, so that's what I'm used to). The congregation was very small, although not as small as the last one we visited (seriously, there were like 20 people) - which was nice because people stood up to ask for prayers, a cute 93-year-old WWII vet stood up when asked if any veterans were present, etc. - but fairly embarrassing for us newbies, because it was super obvious we weren't members. Everyone came over (including the pastor) to introduce themselves and welcome us. Very nice, but I was kind of hoping to just blend into the background for a while. But then a man came over and offered us official church umbrellas. You get swag at church now?? Count me IN. #amen

              Friday, November 11, 2016

              These boots were made for walking. And THESE boots were made for shopping. And THESE boots...

              I have probably 6 pairs of brown boots. Each one is slightly different, of course - one has a wedge heel, one has fringe, one has a red stripe, one camel-colored, one more saddle-colored (yes there is a difference), one is woven, one is a cowboy boot...(and I think that's already more than 6).

              And then there are the OTHER boots. Black. Red. Blue. Gold. Gray. Galoshes. Booties. I could go on and on (and on). My poor mother has to share her closet with most of my boots. (She'd be singing a different tune if we wore the same size, but alas.) I should probably count them, but I think that would just be depressing. For all of us.)

              Thursday, November 10, 2016

              Jeanious

              Always scary to pull on jeans for the first time every year (yes, it's been a warm year in Texas) - the fear of will they fit? (Thankfully I was able to get them on and securely buttoned, but one never knows.) Now let's keep those temps below 80 so the fun can continue!

              Wednesday, November 9, 2016

              Searching for answers

              Because I'm still in shock and can barely put sentences together, I decided to show what some light searching results in on Google.




               
              (I am asking myself most of the questions that auto-populated, btw.)

              Good luck to us all!



              Tuesday, November 8, 2016

              What will I DO with myself after tomorrow?? (Sleep soundly, probably)

              Election Day is finally here. I feel like I have aged 10 years over the past 16 months. But regardless, it ends tonight. I keep thinking of the line from Titanic when the mother hugs her babies in the bed and says "It'll all be over soon. It'll all be over soon." Of course, they ended up going down with the ship, so perhaps not the best analogy...

              VOTE!!!

              Monday, November 7, 2016

              Ancient. I am ancient.

              Nothing makes you feel old like going to a college homecoming 20 years after you were in school. That happened to me this weekend at SMU. All I did for three hours was look around and gawk at how the girls were dressed. Like hookers, to be frank. It was BROAD DAYLIGHT and these girls were in skintight dresses that barely covered their asses, with over-the-knee boots like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. WHO WAS A HOOKER. Even saw one girl in a tight short velvet number (and thigh-high boots). Velvet? Again - it was 3pm.

              Now, I'm sure these girls were looking at me with the same horror: "OMG that woman is so old! Look at her lame jeans and puffy vest - trying to be hip but SO NOT.

              UGH

              Friday, November 4, 2016

              A sign of the times

              So after a few drinks during the presidential debate, my mom went outside and took my neighbors' Trump sign out of their yard. Luckily I was able to return it without anyone noticing - or at least, I don't think anyone noticed...

              Mind you, this couple is the unofficial head of the neighborhood watch and are kind of always watching my house - thank goodness they don't have a security camera! (Although they've been out of town, so who the hell knows what happens when they get back.)

              If Trump wins, I may have to chain my mom to the bed. Otherwise she might burn the neighbors' place down and President Trump will have her exiled to Mexico or some shit.


              Thursday, November 3, 2016

              You gotta think about these things, people

              Saw that Kevin Jonas (aka the oldest Jonas brother who no one really liked) had a second baby - a daughter named Angelina. Angelina Valentina. Angelina Valentina Jonas. Just let that sink in for a second. She trots into kindergarten with her cute pink backpack monogrammed with her initials - VAJ. Yikes. #initialfail

              Wednesday, November 2, 2016

              Maybe I should set up a P.O. Box. You know, just for shoes.

              It's possible that I keep buying things for myself, but to avoid the disapproving looks from my new roommate/mother, I tell her the boxes that keep arriving are Christmas gifts. And then open them in my room and put them away before she's the wiser.

              This evil scheme won't be as easy to pull off in March, however.

              Tuesday, November 1, 2016

              Zero trick or treaters. More Kit Kat for me.

              I don't get it - no kiddos last night! And I literally have kids that live next door and across the street. Where did they all do? Perhaps it's a Halloween mystery. Or perhaps they knew that better candy awaits in the richer neighborhoods. They're no  mummies dummies.

              Monday, October 31, 2016

              Plastic costumes need to make a comeback. But they would probably be labeled a safety hazard. Certainly a fire hazard.

              This. All of this. (Aside from the prevalence of cigarettes)

              Today’s Halloween vs. a 1970s Halloween

              1. Halloween Costumes.
              1970s: The night before Halloween, your tired mom takes you into K-mart, where you look through the picked-over plastic masks with matching costumes. You clutch that $5.99 Cinderella or Spiderman mask and matching costume to your chest on the way home as you slide around on the bench seat without a seatbelt in the back of your parents’ wood-paneled station wagon, while your mom smokes in the front seat. There were no costumes left in your brother’s size, so when your mom gets home, she pulls out an old stained sheet from the musty bottom drawer and cuts two eye holes in it so your brother can go as a ghost. She then puts four frozen salisbury steak TV dinners in the oven (and this time, she remembers to pull back one corner of the aluminum foil on top so the sauce isn’t frozen popsicle gravy).
              Today: Three months before Halloween, your mom starts researching politically correct costumes and narrows it down to three choices. A family meeting is held for everyone to vote on their costumes, in order to allow the children to exercise their decision-making skills. Your mom then spends three days on Pinterest planning the components of the non-genetically-modified corn costume. Afterwards, she spends $279 at the local craft store to purchase non-allergenic material and locally made glue, only exchanging the green material twice to get the exact shade for the corn husk. She has you model the finished product with a series of 17 photos so that she can blog about the steps to making it. Then, she posts it to Pinterest and Instagrams the photos.

              2. Getting Ready On Halloween Night.
              1970s: You bust through the door from school and run straight to your costume, pulling it on over your school clothes. You try the mask on, knowing its tiny breathing hole will in no way facilitate oxygen exchange while you run around like a crazy person during trick-or-treating. You lie to your mom and say you can breathe just fine. The mask eyes never fit perfectly, so vision is limited, but you lie and tell your mom you can see, even though she doesn’t care by then because she is too engrossed in her “stories” on TV to be worried about something as minor as breathing and seeing at night. You run around in your costume in the yard, getting sweaty, until it’s time to go right at the moment it starts getting dark outside.
              Today: You come home from school and your mom has a tray of organic vegetables fashioned into non-scary Halloween shapes like smiling pumpkins and happy ghosts with a side of homemade hummus. You have dedicated quiet time in your room reading a book or drawing so that you don’t get over-stimulated. Your mom double-checks the neighborhood association’s newsletter to ensure that she’s right about the designated trick-or-treating hours of 6:37 p.m. to 8:01 p.m. One hour before the designated neighborhood time slot, your mom tells you to pee, wash your face and brush your teeth. You open the package of new organic thermal underwear that perfectly matches your costume. Your mom gently helps you into your costume and carefully paints your face with dye-free, organic tint. Your mom takes two selfies of you and her and posts them on Facebook with a countdown clock. She then positions you into 12 different poses in front of the recycled farm background that she made during her lunch hour earlier that day. She posts those pictures to Instagram.

              3. Halloween Night Trick-or-Treating.
              1970s: As the streetlights click on, your mom rips two pillowcases off of the pillows and hands one to you and one to your brother to put the candy in. She hands you an old flashlight that weighs about two pounds, but has to shake it first to get it to work. You immediately shove it into the pillowcase as you run down the sidewalk, your mom waving from the front door as smoke from her cigarette encircles her head. You meet up with some friends from the neighborhood and run like maniacs from door to door until your mom yells for you or the scary widow lady tells you it’s time to go home. You drag your full pillowcase of candy along the road and into the house. It’s 11 p.m. Your mom is asleep on the couch with a cigarette burning in the ashtray.
              Today: Your mom presents you with an organic tote bag on which she’s stenciled your name, the holiday and the year with dye she’s made from soaking organic fruits and vegetables. She clips four flashing orange lights shaped like small pumpkins onto your costume and bag. At 6:34 p.m., your mom buckles you into the back of the Range Rover. She drives to the first neighbor’s house and waits in front of it until precisely 6:37 p.m., when she gives you permission to unbuckle and go up to the first door. After the first house gives you a sugar-free, organic sucker and a toothbrush, you get back into the Range Rover and your mom drives you next door, where you repeat the process until precisely 8:01 p.m. when your mom drives you home.

              4. The Candy.
              1970s: You rush into the house and dump the candy from your pillowcase onto the floor. Your mom immediately takes the apple (because it has razor blades in it) and the Pop Rocks (because they make your stomach explode, especially if you mix them with Coke in your mouth). She hands you one of the homemade popcorn balls from your stash so you can eat it while you sort through your candy. Your mom puts the pillowcases back on your pillows and tells you to check the chocolate for pin holes in case someone injected something into it. You and your brother eat candy to your hearts’ content while you watch Halloween. You pass out on the floor in front of the TV with a stomachache, still in your costume, at 1 a.m.
              Today: Your mom carefully helps you out of your costume. You go upstairs to take a shower while your mom swabs your candy wrappers for signs of drugs, explosives or other illegal substances. She throws away the products that are not organic and separates the candy into chocolate vs. non-chocolate. She unwraps the 17 toothbrushes you received and puts them into the dishwasher to sterilize them. When you come downstairs, clean and in organic pajamas, you are allowed to pick one piece of candy to enjoy before you go to bed. You brush your teeth with one of the sterilized toothbrushes and you are in bed by 9:17 p.m. You got to stay up late for the special occasion and are excited! Your mom searches Pinterest for healthy ways to use leftover Halloween candy and looks for local dentist offices that will trade candy for another toothbrush.

              5. After Halloween.
              1970s: You wear that costume every single day until it falls apart. The cracked plastic mask lasts a little longer because your mom keeps replacing that broken rubber string on the back of the mask with a rubber band. Next year, you’re bummed because your plastic Cinderella mask is too cracked to wear. Your mom asks you to hold her cigarette while she tries, one last time, to replace the mask string with a rubber band. It doesn’t work.
              Today: After Halloween, your mom carefully rinses your non-GMO corn costume in the organic homemade laundry detergent. She discreetly hangs it to dry in the laundry room so it doesn’t waste electricity in the dryer. After, your mom carefully folds it, places it in a recycled bag made of hand-sewn fibers and donates it to the church for next year’s costume exchange. She then immediately starts researching handmade Christmas gifts on Pinterest to make for the 42 extended family members who will be at your house for the holidays.



              Friday, October 28, 2016

              A Day in the life of a Storm Trooper







              Stormtroop Beverly Hills

              That day you drive to work in a Stormtrooper costume and pray to God no one rear-ends you so you don't have to get out of the car on the highway when it's not yet Halloween. #runonsentence

              Thursday, October 27, 2016

              Wednesday, October 26, 2016

              Can I get an amen??

              That time I went to church and my mom and I got into the WRONG CAR in the parking lot. I mean, people shouldn't leave their cars unlocked. You know, in case CRAZY PEOPLE GET INTO THE WRONG CAR. Sorry, Lord.

              Tuesday, October 25, 2016

              Dreadful sorry, indeed

              Found a recording of me at age 18 months, in which my dad is trying to get me to sing all the songs I know. At that age, I knew a surprising number of songs - and a random assortment at that. Everything from "Do Re Mi," "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" to the more obscure tunes my grandmother taught me: "Pony Boy" and "Oh My Darlin' Clementine." (NOTE: Many of these songs are CRAZY sad when you really listen to the lyrics!! See below...) But a super random addition to my repertoire: "Macho Man" by the Village People. To be fair, it was 1978 and one of my dad's tennis buddies taught it to me, but still.




              Tragic lyrics to Oh My Darlin' Clementine:

              In a cavern, In a canyon,
              Excavating for a mine,
              Dwelt a miner forty-niner,
              And his daughter Clementine.
              Chorus:
              Oh my darling, Oh my darling,
              Oh my darling Clementine,
              You are lost and gone forever,
              Dreadful sorry Clementine.
              Repeat chorus
              Light she was and like a fairy,
              And her shoes were number nine;
              Herring boxes, without topses,
              Sandals were for Clementine.
              Repeat chorus
              Drove she ducklings to the water,
              Every morning just at nine;
              Hit her foot against a splinter,
              Fell into the foaming brine.
              Repeat chorus
              Ruby lips above the water,
              Blowing bubbles, soft and fine;
              But Alas! I was no swimmer,
              So I lost my Clementine.
              Repeat chorus
              When the miner forty-niner,
              Soon began to peak and pine,
              Thought he oughter "jine" his daughter,
              Now he's with his clementine.
              Repeat chorus
              In a corner of the churchyard,
              Where the myrtle boughs entwine,
              Grow the roses in their poses,
              Fertilized by Clementine.
              Repeat chorus
              In my dreams she still doth haunt me,
              Robed in garments soaked in brine.
              Though in life I used to hug her,
              Now she's dead, I'll draw the line.
              Repeat chorus
              How I missed her, how I missed her
              How I missed my Clementine.
              So I kissed her little sister,
              And forgot my Clementine.
              Repeat chorus
              Now you Boy Scouts, there's a moral
              To this little tale of mine.
              Artificial respiration,
              Would have saved my Clementine.
              Repeat chorus

              Monday, October 24, 2016

              Nailed it

              My mom and I went to the nail salon yesterday. I asked for a classic mani/pedi combo, and my mom opted for the deluxe spa pedicure. We sat down next to each other, but immediately I wondered why my pedicure seemed so much fancier - paraffin wax, rose petals, a tray of various scrubs that looked edible, etc. Then they started on my manicure, but also tried to do my mom's hands. She said she just wanted the pedicure, and they pulled out her order form to show her that she selected the combo. Of course, it was MY order form. So I got her fancy pedicure AND my manicure, and she only got my plain pedi. I paid for both of us, so I guess it all shakes out in the end. And my tootsies are very happy, thankyouverymuch.

              Friday, October 21, 2016

              Adult bibs, anyone?

              How is it that I manage not to spill anything on my WHITE PANTS all day yesterday, and then come in today in a new green dress and spill yogurt all over myself. #karma

              Thursday, October 20, 2016

              #teamfakeRingo

              Taking my mom to the Arboretum tonight to see a Beatles cover band. And next week I'm going to see a Michael Jackson cover band. Oh, cover bands - why do I love thee? (BECAUSE I DO.) Maybe it's because when you see a good cover band, it's like seeing the actual band but for a lot less money. Which also explains my fondness for consignment stores. I'm cheap, folks. So be it.

              Wednesday, October 19, 2016

              This is Awesome

              I cannot say enough good things about "This is Us" on NBC. Seriously - it is soooo good. And not just because it fills the "Parenthood" void (which it does). Mandy Moore? Love. Milo Ventimiglia? LOVE. 80s flashbacks? Duh. Here's hoping it won't go the way of Freaks and Geeks and get cancelled after one glorious season. Please?

              Tuesday, October 18, 2016

              Yes please

              I love that a hotel in Boston is offering an "Election Escape" package - they remove all news channels from your TV, and they clip all the articles out of your newspaper. Not gonna lie - it sounds rather magical. #ptes (post traumatic election syndrome)

              Monday, October 17, 2016

              Fair Dinkum

              Made it to the State Fair yesterday. It was hot, ridiculously expensive and occasionally smelled like vomit, but that's all par for the course. Saw a bunch of Taylor Swift's outfits and marveled at how tiny of a person she is, got a henna tattoo, got a bit nauseous on the merry-go-round and lost at several (rigged, to borrow a Trump phrase) midway games. A bit shocked by how "modern" it's gotten - Big Tex tells you to check out his Facebook page, and there are free charging stations throughout, but all in all, good times. #howdyfolks

              #darngoodcorn

              Before I felt sick


              Rode this Love Bugs ride when I was at Fair Day in middle school. Scary/cool that it's still there.

              Friday, October 14, 2016

              My one-acting debut

              Met up with a high school friend last night, and we giggled remembering the infamous one-act play we were in freshman year - 75229 (thanks, 90210). She played the slutty girl (whose costume was so small it fit into a Ziploc baggie) and I was the dorky freshman - fairly accurate for me, I guess. I had to kiss two boys (possibly my first kisses, although not sure it counts if it's for a play), and she kissed one of them as well. One day after practice, she asked, "did Gordon slip you the tongue??" Sadly, my answer was "no..." Story of my life, people.

              But the one-act was a huge hit, and we were like celebrities at the arts festival where we performed it. In fact, I think we weren't allowed to perform the play at my high school after that and we had to find an alternative location. Scandalous!

              Thursday, October 13, 2016

              Dumb as a box of rocks. Literally.

              All of my mom's stuff arrived via movers on Monday. The other night I started bringing in boxes to try to be helpful. One said "books" and was ridiculously heavy. Knowing books can be, I didn't think anything of it and dragged it into the house. Upon opening it, I realized it was rocks. A box of rocks. (My mom wants to create some sort of rock garden/water feature in my backyard, so wrapped them up and brought them from Colorado. I guess our Texas rocks aren't good enough??) So anyway. After a brief Se7en "what's in the booooox?" moment, I realized that I literally opened a box of rocks. And so it begins.

              Wednesday, October 12, 2016

              Bone. Ken Bone.



              I am obsessed with Ken Bone. And love that his red Izod sweater has sold out (Halloween, anyone?). And clearly I'm not alone:

              Just 27 Really, Really Good Tweets About Debate Hero Ken Bone

              Tuesday, October 11, 2016

              Candyman

              This election just keeps getting weirder. (I can't wait for the TV movie!!) Particularly amusing to me is the fact that two candy companies have taken offense to Trump's comments, and have had to make public statements:



              Please, Donald - don't offend Red Vines. I really really like them. #thanks

              Monday, October 10, 2016

              What would Jessie do?

              My mom randomly suggested "Slater" would be a cute baby name.

              I agreed at first, and then thought of this:


              Nope. Not gonna do it.

              Friday, October 7, 2016

              Signs signs everywhere there's signs

              So my neighbors across the street put up a Trump/Pence sign in their yard. It's actually the first one I've seen (although I've seen a bumper sticker or two), and of course my mom wants to now put a Hillary sign in my yard. Which I will not do - no need to make this the Hatfields and McCoys. But I will admit that I'm secretly hoping Charlie decides to poop next to the sign. So I can take a picture. And then clean it up. I'm not completely insane.

              Thursday, October 6, 2016

              Queen of the low-ball offer

              So part of my job is to find a location for our holiday party. (tough job, but someone's gotta do it.) We booked Emerald City as the band, and were super excited to have the party at Southfork Ranch. The theme (Dallas, obvi) is built in, and lots of people haven't been there, so it would be perfect! Except it got nixed by the higher-ups who wanted something "snazzier." Enter a popular new bar in Uptown. Great views of downtown, but a Friday night buy-out costs $150K. Our budget is $50K. Somehow they were willing to come down to $50K, which includes venue, food, open bar AND valet. What the what?? I keep checking the contract to see what I'm missing, but it seems legit. Sure - just drop the price by $100K. No biggie. #expectingwatereddowndrinks

              Wednesday, October 5, 2016

              Starting a petition

              I miss the E True Hollywood Story. There, I said it. I feel like there are a ton of scandals/shows they could do a THS about (and yes, I call it THS. Sue me.) - but then again, I found this list and clearly I have not seen all of these. And now I really want to...

              #bringTHStonetflix

              Tuesday, October 4, 2016

              Single White Female

              (let's hope not) Guys it's happening. My mom is moving in with me. Thursday. Not forever, but for a while. I'm actually not dreading it (and not just saying that because she reads this blog). She stayed with me for about a week before my nephew was born, and it was kind of nice having someone to talk to. And having home-cooked meals ready when I got home from work. And having someone to look after my dog while I'm gone. And someone who enjoys gardening try to tackle my yard. Of course, I say this now - try me again in a week.

              Monday, October 3, 2016

              But half of "treat" is "eat"

              Took my dog to the vet on Saturday - all of her vaccinations were due (bummer). She weighed in at a whopping 16 pounds, and the vet told me she needed to get down to 15 at the most. Bummer again. I mean, she's not completely  sedentary - we walk twice a day during the week and 5 times a day on the weekends (she is not only fat; she is spoiled) . Of course, she gets a treat after each of these walks, so I guess it adds up. Plus she gives me the sad eyes when I'm eating and I tend to give her a lick of my yogurt lid. She's very good at the guilt. I can feel her eyes on me, and when I don't acknowledge her she moves to the other side of me. And then hops up on the couch next to me. GAH! You win, devil dog!! let the dieting begin. For the both of us. Say it with me: BUMMER.

              Thursday, September 29, 2016

              Please don't remake Friends (unless with the original cast)

              I was reading about new fall TV shows, and noticed MacGyver, The Exorcist and Lethal Weapon are all on the schedule. Combine that with Hawaii 5.0, and you have to wonder if Hollywood has completely run out of ideas. I mean is nothing sacred?? I will say Designated Survivor is AWESOME. Jack Bauer can lead the country any time he wants.

              Wednesday, September 28, 2016

              39 going on 80

              Just finished adjusting to the iPhone 6 (yes, I am behind the times - sue me), and now I'm trying to maneuver my way through the latest ios upgrade (10?). Sending a text just got 100 times more confusing. I'm too old for this. Just leave well enough alone, Apple. (and get off my lawn while you're at it!)

              Tuesday, September 27, 2016

              Shake what your mama gave ya


              Best part of last night's debate? The shoulder shimmy. You know what I'm talking about. Go on, Hillary. GO ON.

              Monday, September 26, 2016

              I put the GRRR in surgery (if it was pronounced "surgrrry")

              Survived the surgery, although I don't remember much about it (which I guess is the whole point of anesthesia, no?). I put on the stylish purple paper gown, purple socks and ugly-ass shower cap, and then they plugged my gown into this vacuum cleaner-like hose and said I could adjust the air - warm or cool. What in tarnation?? So that was cool. What wasn't so cool - my surgery was delayed like an hour, and the patients on either side of my curtain kept getting wheeled back. I was hoping no one forgot about me, and felt particularly bad for my ride, since she has three kids and I doubt she wanted to sit in a waiting room for six hours. But finally it was my turn, and after my doctor embarrassingly asked the anesthesiologist if he knew of any single guys for me, I was wheeled into the operating room and that's the last thing I remember. Until I woke up and ravaged a graham cracker. (Turns out not eating or drinking for 15 hours will do that to a person, although I was more aware of thirst than hunger.) Rested all weekend, and I'm feeling AOK aside from some bleeding here and there. And thanks to my massive hospital bills this year, this entire thing cost me zero dollars. Plus I have leftover painkillers to give out at Christmas.  Tis the season.

              Thursday, September 22, 2016

              Paging Dr McSteamy

              I have to go in for a little day surgery tomorrow - nothing major, but I have to go under. Which means I can't drive myself, and they won't let me take Uber. And therein lies the worst part about being single (and having no family in town) - I have to ask a friend to take me. And my friends are all busy with kids and jobs and husbands and well, having lives. (I did find someone to take me, but it was torturous to ask. At least, torturous to me.)

              Also torture - the fact that my surgery isn't until 11:45am and I can't eat or drink anything after midnight. Do you know how long that is? And how hungry hangry I will be by then? And also thirsty?? Yikes.

              The online paperwork was no picnic, either - "do you have a living will?" (NO - should I??) "Will your ride be staying with you for 24 hours following the procedure?" (NO - but I checked YES) NOTE: I've never had anesthesia before, so perhaps this is all just bupkis. But it's a little unnerving. Particularly jarring: the rule that I can't wear makeup. WHAT. I don't go anywhere without at least mascara, guys. If I'm going to die, I don't want to look like death beforehand. A teensy bit of mascara won't hurt, right?

              Wednesday, September 21, 2016

              On lockdown

              I know it's a #firstworldproblem, but I find it super annoying when you go to the drugstore to buy something only to find it's under lock and key. And then it's nearly impossible to find a clerk to come unlock it for you. (Plus once they do you feel obligated to buy something!) I mean I get that razorblades are dangerous. But so are pills, and those are right there in the aisle for you...but why blank CDs and earbuds. Is there really that much of a shoplifting epidemic that we have to lock this stuff up? Sorry. Rant over.

              Tuesday, September 20, 2016

              I've really got to stop deleting phone numbers

              Once again, I have accepted plans with a number that I don't know. Why must I continue to do this. Why can't I just say "sorry - who is this?" Nooooo. I have to accept and then show up hoping I will recognize someone in the crowd. Like some sad blind date. This will teach me not to delete numbers anymore. #godforbidishouldsayno


              Monday, September 19, 2016

              The ultimate Swipe Left

              Ummmm this guy is like my arch-nemesis. I sort of wanted to swipe right, hopefully match and then send him this message:

              "GO HILLARY!"

              But opted to just swipe left. Easier for both of us.

              Friday, September 16, 2016

              chills.

              I was watching an old episode of Frasier last night (although I guess they are ALL old at this point, aren't they?), from 1997. In it, a woman leaves a message on Frasier's machine, saying she is arriving on American flight 11. I gasped - four years later, one of the show's creators, David Angell, would die on American flight 11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11. Eerie, no???

              Thursday, September 15, 2016

              Going for the gold.

              I follow Team USA on Facebook, so I'm getting daily (if not hourly) results from the Paralympics, going on now in Rio. I wish these were more visible on television - these athletes are so inspiring. You can read some of their back stories online - one was born with spina bifida. Another lost a leg to cancer. And yet they are incredible athletes, setting world records and making it look easy. Color me impressed. And awed.

              Wednesday, September 14, 2016

              Jazz Hands

              I'm loving the "My Favorite Song" segment on Radio Andy on Sirius XM. Celebrities come on and chat about their favorite songs for an hour, and the songs play and they reminisce, etc. Everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker to Gwyneth Paltrow (who of course included a Coldplay song) to Gena Rowlands, who included a Christmas carol and an operatic aria. It's so different than anything else on the radio, and fun to get a glimpse into their lives. NOTE: I am not getting sponsored by this station to promote its programming. I wish I was.

              Makes me think about what I would pick for MY favorite songs, though. It's harder than you think!

              Definitely would include:

              Luciano Pavarotti singing Oh Holy Night
              Whitney Houston singing the national anthem
              Let it Be (Beatles)
              Oh God Our Help in Ages Past (more from high school than from church)
              The River (Garth Brooks)
              True Colors (Cyndi Lauper)

              #megamix

              Tuesday, September 13, 2016

              #pizzanazi

              My mom has been in Austin visiting my new baby nephew, and she stopped in Dallas last night before heading back to Colorado. She decided to order a pizza, and after a failed attempt at the first Domino's, who said they won't deliver to a house with a five-digit address (WTF), we finally got a pizza. And my dog went BANANAS. I never eat pizza, so she was in wonderment over this amazing smell in the house. In fact, she followed the driver back out to her car, and probably would have gone home with her if I hadn't gone to get her. And then stood up on her back legs to beg for a bite from my mom. (Who finally obliged.) Poor deprived doggie. All I give her is bites of granola and occasionally let her lick my yogurt lids.

              Monday, September 12, 2016

              Tinder Nightmares

              I have been "matching" with guys on Tinder who I have never seen before (and would not normally swipe right on). So either these guys were "liked" by my married friends who find apps like Tinder sheer entertainment, or I swipe right in my sleep. I used to dream that I updated my Facebook status in the middle of the night (and would nervously check my phone in the morning), so I guess this is the next logical step...

              Friday, September 9, 2016

              SPELLCHECK, people!

              I am super anal about grammar and spelling, and have been noticing spelling mistakes more often lately. For example:


              • A few typos in the closed captioning during Bachelor in Paradise (for example, "Ashley" spelled "Ashely." I realize that's a tiny error, but man did it bug me.
              • The large traffic sign by my office announces "Nihgtly closures" and it drives me nuts daily.
              • A truck in front of me with signage promoting a business spelled "Maintenance" "Maintenace." I almost honked to let him know.
              I feel like I'm helping people when I point these things out. But really I'm pissing them off. I should probably be a proofer as a profession. It relaxes me to find typos. #thisiswhyimsingle

              Thursday, September 8, 2016

              Things that make you go Hmmm

              Couple of ponderings I've had lately:


              1. If I get a blister every time I mow the lawn, I'm either doing it wrong or my body is telling me I shouldn't mow lawns. I prefer the latter, obviously.


              2. Why can bees see color but dogs can't? (Not looking for the scientific rods and cones answer here; more of a hypothetical.) I wish my dog could see color. Although it's not like she knows what she's missing out on. You would just think if a freaking bee can see color, your dog should too. #caninerights


              3. This came up at work this week - since Singapore is a city-state, do you address a letter to Singapore, Singapore? (Again, I know the answer. Just spitballing here.)


              Finally, in Bachelor in Paradise news (I clearly can't stop), Ellen had Jared, Caila and Ashley I on yesterday's show. It was ridiculously awkward. At least bring out the couples who are still together...(and thank god Ashley didn't cry. Although Ellen was ready with a box of tissues.)

              Wednesday, September 7, 2016

              Bachelor in Paradise recap: The Ultimate Trifecta

              Unbelievably, three couples got engaged last night on the BIP finale. After knowing each other for like two weeks. I mean more power to 'em, but I kind of doubt all of these relationships will last:


              Evan and Carly. Let's remember, she puked after kissing him. But maybe they are weird enough to make it work. She has met his three kids already, and apparently they are moving in together in Nashville. Good luck on "happily evan after."


              Josh and Amanda: He's a moaner, she's a mother, he's trying to improve his image and desperate to stop sweating. He has moved to Orange County to be with her and "loves" her daughters. I'm sure Andi Dorfman rolled her eyes at this whole exchange. As did I.


              Grace (Grant and Lace): They are drama - lots of tears, lots of second-guessing, but in the end they have matching tattoos - so they gotta make it work. She has moved to San Fran to be with him, Here's hoping she left those crazy spider lashes at home.


              Jen and Nick broke it off (obvi, as he is about to seek love on The Bachelor), and we get some fun updates about everyone else. Including Chad, who producers reassure us will never be the bachelor. #thankgod


              Here's hoping for a triple wedding, but again I give these guys all about 6 months. For the sponsorship deals to dry up and for reality to set in. But I'm not bitter...


              We survived Paradise! More Jorge next season!

              Tuesday, September 6, 2016

              Bachelor in Paradise recap: Grace under fire

              At this point, you would think they were done bringing in new people to Paradise - it's the last week, after all. But noooo - in walks Tiara, the "chicken enthusiast." (At first I heard "Tierra" and was hoping for THAT trainwreck, but apparently she's engaged or something. Dang.) With protein enthusiast Chad being long gone, Tiara is pretty much SOL. Nick convinces her to give him her date card - he and Jen need to figure out where they're at. (Well, mostly Nick needs to - Jen knows she is falling for him but wants him to come clean about his feelings.)


              They see a fortune teller, who turns over a card that eerily resembles Nick  - and has one foot in and one foot out. Nick admits he has walls up - this is not his first (or second) rodeo - but he does see a future with her. (NOTE: clearly not a long future, as he is the new Bachelor.)


              Brett (lamp guy)  decides he has a better connection with Lauren H than Izzy, and tells her he won't be giving her his rose. Izzy decides to try again with Vinny, who she rejected when Brett arrived, but thankfully Vinny (who has to ask who is calling - ouch) doesn't want to be the rebound guy and is not "Vin it to win it." Izzy then pukes out of the exit SUV window. Ah, young love.


              Also dealing with feelings of vomit is Wells, who is in a love quadrangle with Shushanna, Ashley I and Jami. He's comfortable with Jami, a bit afraid of Ashley and her potential to have an emotional breakdown, and doesn't know Shu that well although he tells her he'd like to get to know her better. The Russian isn't having this - Shu waits for no man! - and gives him a "nyet" as she marches to the exit SUV.


              At the rose ceremony, the "steady" couples remain:
              Grant and Lace (Grace)
              Amanda and Josh
              Evan and Carly
              Nick and Jen


              Brett decides not to give out a rose after all - sorry Lauren! And in a bold move, Wells decides to give his rose to Ashley I. Sorry Jami!


              The next day, Chris Harrison meets with the 5 couples left, reminding them how "everything changes" and they need to be ready to commit in the real world or get the eff out of Paradise. Carly is a bundle of nerves, since this was the exact moment a year ago when Kirk dumped her, but she is fairly confident Evan wouldn't do that to her. (And if he does, she's going to cut off his balls. So there's that.) And the guys start teasing Wells about taking Ashley's v-card. She is ready for all things fantasy suite (and even hopes to get engaged - to a guy she's been on ONE DATE with!) All of this freaks Wells out too much, and he bails. Leaving Ashley to do what she does best - cry.


              And then there were four (couples). Each embark on their final dates, complete with fantasy suites, and prepare to maybe get engaged. Grant and Lace get "Grace" tattoos, and she is the most annoying, whiny person EVER. She calms down a bit when hearing that the tattoo artist and his wife got engaged after 12 days, which is about as long as she and Grant have known each other. She finally tells him she loves him, and neither one regrets getting that tat. Yet.


              Nick and Jen try paddle boarding, and are both fairly terrible (shout-out to the dog on the board, who looks terrified but manages to keep it together better than either of these two). Nick says he is willing to try a long-distance relationship (he is in California; she in in Florida); Jen doesn't see this as the declaration of love she was hoping for. (Foreshadowing, methinks)


              Evan and Carly are weird, and of course their date is weird too. A large woman invites them to strip down to their skivvies (although she herself takes off her top altogether) and slather each other with paint and paint something with their bodies. Kinky, but then again the guy handles erectile dysfunction for a living. Evan admits to being in love with her, and she feels the same. She is NOT getting "Kirked" again, dammit!


              Amanda and Josh find some kids playing soccer and join in the game. Amanda likes seeing him with kids - she has two (how quickly we forget), and wants to make sure she doesn't get "Benned" and introduce a man to her daughters just to get dumped. Josh keeps moaning when kissing her, and it seriously makes me ill. I can't even watch this anymore. Just one...more...episode...

              Friday, September 2, 2016

              Lazy is as lazy does

              We have started bringing in a team of nail technicians every other week so employees can get manicures and pedicures at the office. And there are food trucks every week or so so people don't have to go out for lunch. And now there's a company that comes and fills up your gas tank while you work, so no more trips to the gas station. We're also looking at a mobile car wash company to stop by every so often. So my question is, HOW LAZY HAVE WE BECOME. I mean, really. Of course, I did get a manicure this week, so I don't exactly have room to talk. But still. Once again, I blame millennials. :)

              Thursday, September 1, 2016

              "That's Sarah with an "h""

               - me spelling my name to the conference organizer...because I've somehow been asked to moderate a roundtable discussion at an international intranet conference in London in November! Still not 100% sure I can go, as travel budgets have been slashed at work, but the conference is free since I'm participating, and pretty cool to even get to fill out the paperwork with a blurb about myself (which was harder to write than I thought it would be) and attaching a photo. Of course it was a Facebook profile pic, as I don't have any professional headshots. But hell - should my "speaking career" take off, maybe I should get some! #dontholdyourbreath #betterbelievethisisgoingonmyresume

              Wednesday, August 31, 2016

              Bachelor in Paradise recap: All's Wells that ends Wells

              Caila is leaving and Jared is sad. And mad - at Ashley, who claims she sabotaged the relationship to help him, but that's as fake as her eyelashes. In a bold move, Jared says adios to Mexico and leaves with Caila. (UPDATE: apparently they dated for about six weeks, she met his parents and they are no longer together. #istillblameashley)


              In more bad news for Ashley, Wells and Jami return from their date holding hands. And in MORE bad news, an adorably-dressed Lauren H and potential Russian spy Shushanna (both Ben's season) arrive with double date cards. "Shu" goes in for the kill and invites Wells. Damn, Wells. Ladies Love Cool Wells. Lauren asks Brett (lamp guy), and they have a foursome surf date, complete with makeout sessions - even after Brett says "I brought my beetches to the beaches." (cue eye roll) Wells compares Shushanna to a sexy Bond villain. I love this guy.


              In other news, Amanda and Josh are back to being solid as a rock - she's in it to win it, against all practicality. He should be a great influence on your two young daughters - good call.(cue eye roll)


              Next week's two part finale promises multiple proposals. Tears. Heartbreak. And Ashley crying. (cue eye roll)


              I did find the last shot of Brett slamming the lamp against the rocks to be a bit odd. Drunk? Angry? Anti-electricity? Intriguing.


              AND we learn that Nick is the next Bachelor. So I'm guessing he and Jen don't work out...



              Tuesday, August 30, 2016

              Bachelor in Paradise recap: Ashley I puts the I in EVIL

              We once again open with Ashley I crying. I feel for Jared, since most of the time she's crying to/about him, but it seems he may be the only one who can understand her through the sobs. Apparently she's not only distraught about Jared/Caila, but also her dead dog Lucy, who she prays will send her a man. And Lucy, bless her, delivers - in walks Wells!


              Everyone loves Wells, so much in fact that they force Ashley on him and what choice does he have but to ask her out for tacos. Or as Wells says, to "taco bout it." Love him. She wipes away tears and is actually excited about this. Jared is VERY excited about this. Over tacos, the conversation leads to music (Wells is a DJ in Nashville). He says his favorite band is the Talking Heads. Ashley says she knows who they are because she took a History of Rock and Roll class. Sigh. And who is HER favorite band? Hanson, of course. (Hate to hear what her favorite movie is. Actually, I really want to know.) Wells asks if she's serious, but luckily they are interrupted by a stray dog, and their mutual love of dogs leads to a kiss (clearly Wells learned not to wait so long like he did on the Bachelorette). Let's just hope the music discussion stays on the back burner.


              Lace tries to push Grant away by flirting with Carl (?), but Grant loves her and won't let her go that easily. They fight, she cries, and of course they make up. They're GRACE, after all. Amanda heads to sleep and tells Nick and Jen they can use the room with the fan (a hot commodity - literally). But Josh is pissed - he and Amanda are sleeping there, and he put the fan in the room for them! He even goes so far as to wake Amanda up and thanks her for the "good talk." What a charmer.


              Carly and Evan are falling in love with each other, which is odd to me because she literally vomited after kissing him, but hey. Who am I to judge. Canadaniel drags a lamp over to chat with Izzy, but she's giving her rose to Brett (the original lamplighter), sorrynotsorry. The twins throw a wrench into the rose ceremony when they announce they haven't found love and are leaving, which means Canadaniel, Carl (?) and Ryan are leaving too. And they don't even get the dignity of an exit SUV. The twins have one final play before they depart, though - they talked to Nick about their Josh/Amanda fears, and Nick told them he certainly has aggressive tendencies (duh). Andi's book comes up yet again, and I'm sure her publishers are relishing this free publicity. I mean, I want to read it now! The twins tell Amanda to be careful, the book is true, watch out for him, and Amanda begins to cry. She is now starting to have doubts - why would her best friends lie to her? Josh senses doom and swoops in and forces her to talk, even though she doesn't want to. (Nice) He is pissed, packs his bags and must find out who is responsible for potentially ruining his two-week relationship! Everyone gathers on the beach (after he commands them to do so) and Nick fesses up that he's not sure Josh is here for the right reasons (the magic phrase!). After all, a book just came out making Josh look not so great, and here he is in paradise coupled up with "America's sweetheart." PR campaign, perhaps? Josh is pissed (again), packs his bags and somehow convinces Amanda that he's a good guy and all of the red flags are just jealous people. Alrighty.


              The next morning, everyone sleeps it off except Wells, who is hanging by himself at the pool when in walks Jami (Ben's season), who was hoping Wells would be in paradise. How fortunate that no one else is around, and they start chatting about broadcast journalism and she asks him on a date before anyone else is even awake. Everyone is nervous about how Ashley I will take it, but she's fine - she's not worried about it. In fact, she'll use this extra time to drag out her ginormous makeup trunk and put on her face. Red lipstick and all. 


              Jami and Wells have a great time in matching bathing suits, and Wells is in awe of her Batman tattoo and kisses her. Wells done, sir. Ashley is clearly not doing "fine" and starts to unravel (again), this time telling Caila that she can't make out with Jared in front of her and can't trust Caila (who she has called a backstabbing whore several times now). Caila tears up and decides she is done - she can't get to know Jared with his ex around, and frankly it's not worth it. She tells Jared she's leaving because of Ashley.


              This can't bode well. To be continued...

              Monday, August 29, 2016

              92 years young

              Today is my Nana's 92nd birthday. She's moving into an assisted living facility today (helluva birthday present) but broke her hip and has been in rehab for the past four weeks. I got to see her last weekend, and as usual she was full of (unintentional) one-liners.
              • She sleeps with her Keds on - "just in case"
              • She is afraid to turn on the "black box" (aka television) because she kept it on once and it woke her up in the middle of the night
              • We asked if she had made any friends in the rehab facility, and she said not really - "it's a bunch of little old ladies!" (um. okay.)
              • She introduced one of the nurses as her "lover"
              • She told another one during physical therapy that she would "cut her throat" (twice)
              Ah, classic Betty. She's certainly one of a kind. (And I'm sure the nurses are relieved.)
               

              Friday, August 26, 2016

              Getting trashed

              While in Colorado, my mom told me we were going on a trip to The Dump. I thought she meant the furniture outlet, but no. She meant the actual dump. Landfill. Giant pile of garbage. (To be fair, this wasn't just a fun outing: my mom is moving, so has a lot of crap to get rid of.) I tried to shake off the sign directing people with "animal carcasses" to the right as we drove past the giant pile of tires and mountain of refrigerators (too bad there was also a sign saying "no scavenging"). We finally pulled up to the trash heap to toss our trash, and almost got crushed by a falling red couch. Plus I saw a half of a sandwich and gagged. Hopped back in the car - no more trips to the dump for me. Please and thank you.

              Thursday, August 25, 2016

              Winter is coming...

              Watched my first two episodes of Game of Thrones over the weekend (my mom and brother are obsessed). My thoughts:


              • Violent
              • Gory
              • Lots of sex/nudity
              • Peter Dinklage = win
              • Love the wolf/dogs
              • Kind of want the dragon eggs to hatch
              That about sums it up for me. Since I know I won't be watching more episodes (it's not my scene and I don't have HBO), I made my mom fill me in on the past six seasons. Poor thing talked for like 45 minutes. But I'm all caught up - and I finally get some of the references people make on FB. #worthit

              Wednesday, August 24, 2016

              Bachelor in Paradise recap: she'll cut a bitch

              Izzy makes it (un)official with Vinny, who decides to bail on Paradise altogether. So Izzy cries. And Ashley cries (again) over Jared and Caila getting picked by Jade and Tanner (the prom king and queen of Paradise) to go on a romantic date. Ashley keeps trying to get in Jared's head - she will just DIE if they go to the fantasy suite - and finally Caila confronts her - like "back off my man, bitch!" Ashley isn't particularly scared off, which doesn't bode well for the future of Jaila.


              Carly and Evan get a date card just in time - Carly is only about 50% interested. But throw in a sweat lodge and some detoxing, and BOOM - back on the Evan train. Whatever. These two are weird.


              And there's some weirdness brewing with Lace and Grant, because she won't say "I love you" back. Ohhhhh hell no. Also not looking good: Jen and Nick, who tells Tanner he's going to punch him in the nuts for saying "third time's a charm!"


              Why do I watch this crap. Someone please tell me.



              Tuesday, August 23, 2016

              Bachelor in Paradise recap: a yes or no answer. Or yes. Or no.

              Coming back to work after a few days off means totally slammed and sadly I don't have an hour to recap BIP. So here's an abbreviated version - I think you get the gist.


              Ashley I cries. A lot. (And yet somehow her fake eyelashes don't budge - impressive!) She's in love, Jared's not (at least, not with her), and she fears she's getting kicked off the island. Which is kind of true - she and poor Sarah don't get a rose since Canadaniel opts for the twins (one of whom - honestly can't tell them apart - plants a kiss on the Canuck for luck and clearly it worked). But Ashley refuses to leave this way, and somehow convinces the remaining couples to let her stay. Poor Jared is devastated - kind of puts a damper on his budding relationship with Caila.


              And so does the appearance of Brett and his (magic?) lamp, from Kaitlyn's season. He came here for Caila, and asks her out. She says yes. And then says no. And then says yes. And then says no. I'm about to start fast-forwarding - this shit is ridiculous. If you like Jared, stay. (Since she apparently only likes him 75%, she agrees to the date.) Which turns out to be a double date on a booze cruise with one of the twins (seriously, no idea) and Carl. Who no one can remember. Best line of the night: Carly admitting she can't remember his name: "Kevin? Carl! CARL! Same as me."


              But Caila returns and chooses Jared, much to Ashley I's dismay. (Because she's over it, but she's not really over it.) Izzy decides that Brett is her dream guy (with or without the lamp), and breaks it to Vinny that she is going with looks over substance (since she has barely spoken to this guy), because that's what you DO in paradise, peeps.


              In other news, Grant tells Lace he loves her and some new guy I can't remember asks one of the twins I can't remember on a date. She wears short-shorts and they go horseback riding and all I remember thinking is ouch.


              More tonight...sigh

              Thursday, August 18, 2016

              Back in my day, we had to walk a mile to school uphill in the snow - each way

              Scary thought: if I were for some reason asked to speak to a class of high school sophomores (just go with me here), in talking about myself I would probably include when I was born. And to them, I would be someone "born in the 1900s."  Because they were born in 2000 and up. Dear god. DEAR GOD.

              Wednesday, August 17, 2016

              Bachelor in Paradise recap: There's no crying in Paradise. (Unless you're Ashley I)





              Ashley I has arrived - she claims Jared is her boyfriend who won't touch her (although apparently they have gotten to second base). She loves him and can't get over him, so she is here to tell him, dammit. (As if he doesn't already know from last season, but whatever.) And hell if he is still just not that into her. And is in fact into Caila, who Ashley (tearfully) confronts:
              A: "You said you weren't coming to Paradise!"
              C: "I only decided two days ago."
              A: "You said Jared wasn't your type!"
              C: "But then I talked to him."
              A: "I'm done with this!"
              C: "Finally."


              And poor Jared is just so uncomfortable with this whole situation - thanks producers - but talks to Caila to make sure having his psycho not-even-an-ex-because-they-never-dated in paradise could be...distracting. (duh)


              Since Jared is unavailable, Ashley decides to ask out Canadaniel, who is intrigued by the fact that she's a virgin. And goes so far as to ask the camera (thankfully not Ashley herself) if perhaps she wants some Canadian bacon. Ohhhhh lord. And then she is whisked off by a tribal dance group as if they're going to sacrifice a virgin. Weirdest date ever?


              Nick is still bummed about the moaning twins (Josh and Amanda), but thankfully Jen (from Ben's season) shows up and asks him out. They have a very flirtatious, innuendo-filled yacht date where we learn that dolphins are the only mammals to have sex for pleasure. You know, aside from humans. #thanksjen


              We next need to check in on the "patient," Evan, who is told by the doctors that his ankles are swollen and he needs to go to el hospital. He decides to once again use this as an opportunity to spend time with Carly, who sees him in a more normal (read: not weird) light, and is back on the Evan train - toot! toot! (sad - I think she's just nervous about not getting a rose.)


              And it is indeed almost time for the rose ceremony. Ashley gets some tough love from Nick - "he doesn't love you. He will NEVER be with you!" But chooses to ignore it (bad idea!) and go talk to Jared directly (great idea!). But the convo is super confusing - she tells him she loves him and how can she ever find another him, but in the same (sobbing) breath, says she came to paradise to meet someone else. Poor Jared. Poor, poor Jared and his crazy ex whatever she is.


              To Be Continued...