Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm Still Here

The holidays have ended my habit of posting daily, temporarily.  I'll come back and get caught up soon.

I did have a fantastic weekend with Poker Guy in Louisiana.  I'm not giving all the details because this is not that kind of blog.  I will tell you that I remember falling asleep in his arms then waking up several hours later - still in his arms. 

Hope everyone's holidays were happy and that the coming year holds new and wonderful things for all.       

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


You chat with me online...tell me I'm someone you'd like to get to know...send me a friend request on Facebook.  When I comment on one of your status updates you delete my comment?  What's up with that?  I don't have to be your one and only when we first meet, but I won't be your dirty little secret.  You should be showing me off, not hiding me.

FYI:  This was NOT about Poker Guy.  He not only does not delete my comments, he wrote, "Thanks, Jennifer.  I'll see you Saturday."    

Image from Photobucket.

One Last Present

Tuesday, December 22

I got my last present from Santa.  The floor saver arrived.  It's a little wider than the tent, but I can fold it.  Leaving it a little larger so you can have a "porch" area outside the door only seems like a good idea until it rains...

It doesn't have grommets or any way to secure a rope, so it can't serve double duty as a tarp.  I can get a small one from Wal-Mart.  I'll probably want both if it rains, anyway. 


Monday, December 21, 2009


Days like today make me miss my job and my benefits.  My daughter and I had dental appointments.  Cleanings, exams, and x-rays were free when I had insurance.  Today I paid 250 dollars just for the cleanings and exams.  I opted out of x-rays.  Thank goodness neither of us get cavities very often.  I was 30 before I had my first tooth filled and she has yet to experience the drill.

I like my smile and would like to keep it.   I never had braces and I still have 2 of my wisdom teeth, so I have some crowding issues. I can't miss appointments. I've invested a lot of money in my daughter's smile so she's not missing her appointments, either.  I didn't spend all that money on Invisalign braces so her teeth could fall out.

Many years ago I had an appointment to have my wisdom teeth removed but they are sitting right on top of the nerve and I was told I was at very high risk of nerve damage.  I would have the same numb sensation that you have after a novocain shot, but it wouldn't wear off.  I was in tears just thinking about it.  I like to eat.  I can't imagine not being able to taste my food for the rest of my life.  I like to kiss.  How can I enjoy kissing if my lips are numb?  A new romance would not be the same without all the kissing and snuggling.

I couldn't do it.  I cancelled the surgery. 

Sunday, December 20, 2009


My daughter and cheer friends (2006):

I just watched the Survivor final.  I didn't watch much this season so I wasn't familiar with anyone, but after the first 10 minutes I already knew I didn't want Russell to win.  He may have played a good strategic game, but arrogance is a huge turnoff.  I'm glad he didn't win.

Does anyone watch Survivor any more?  I used to watch it all the time.  If I couldn't be home, I'd record it.  I lost interest somewhere.  Next season will be the Heroes vs. Villains of the past.  I may have to tune in to see it.  I'd like to see Rupert play again.

If I could be on a reality show, I'd choose Amazing Race.  When my daughter was on a competition cheer squad I tried to get one of the other moms to go on it with me.  We could've been the Texas Cheerleader Moms!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa Came Early

The first 3 of my presents are here and I couldn't wait until Christmas to play with them.  I set up the tent in my living room.  Anyone over 5'3" or 120 pounds would be crowded, but I'm small enough to fit comfortably with my pack at my feet.  It's easy to set up and take down solo, and it's got a generous door on the side so I don't have to be a contortionist to get in and out.  Even with the rainfly on I can peek out one of two windows to see what's happening outside.  I can't wait to test it outdoors. 

I rolled out the sleeping bag, crawled inside to test it, then rolled it up and stuffed it back in the compression sack.  It took several minutes to figure out, but after I've done it a few times I think it will be easy. 

I tried the new backpack on.  The straps need adjusting.  I don't think the chest strap is supposed to go across my boobs.      



School Dayz

Friday, December 18

I went to the school and took my placement tests.  I stood in line so the advisor could enter my scores into the system and I was supposed to be good to go.  I tried to register online and it's still blocking me.  I have to go back to sort it out, but they're closed for the next two weeks.  Early registration doesn't end until January 9, so I still have time.

I finally got my H1N1 vaccine while I was there.  I'm in the high risk group that is supposed to get the shot because of my asthma, but I was not going to drive across town and stand in line for hours to get one.  They were giving shots at the school with no charge, no waiting, and I was already there.  I was out of excuses so I got mine.  I haven't had any side effects so far other than a slightly sore arm.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Bon Jovi Hawaii 1987: Part 2

Click here to read part 1.

We woke early the next morning (actually, I'm not sure I slept) excited to be going to Hawaii.  Our friends from the night before called our room and told us that the fan club personnel were in the lobby and we could pick up our boarding passes then instead of waiting until we got to the airport.  I ran downstairs to get them.  They actually had "Bon Jovi" on the boarding pass!  I still have one of mine.

After we were done jumping up and down and screaming, we finished getting dressed and headed to the airport, where we joined the other members of the fan club.  In all, there were 150 of us headed to Hawaii.  The majority were teenage girls.  Those poor flight attendants... 

We weren't too bad, other than refusing to stay in our seats.  We hung out in the aisles with our new friends.  That's me in the hat.  Someone stuck it on my head just before snapping the picture.  I tried unsuccessfully to convince her she really wanted to let me keep it.  We didn't wait to get to Hawaii to start taking pictures.  I took a bunch out the plane window.  This might be leaving San Francisco.  Does that look like Alcatraz?  We missed the food service because we weren't in our seats.  We had to ask the flight attendants if they would make another pass.  They said they would but we would have to wait until they were done serving everyone that had stayed in their seats where they belonged.  Finally, after five hours over the ocean, we began our descent into Honolulu.  As we touched down onto the runway, 150 girls screamed and cheered.  The flight attendants breathed a huge sigh of relief.

We had each been allowed to bring two bags on the trip: one to check and one to carry on.  Being an inexperienced teenage traveler, I crammed each suitcase as full and as heavy as I could possibly make them.  We had assistance claiming and transporting our checked baggage, but were on our own with our carry on bags.  My bag was so heavy I couldn't carry it. I began to drag it. We went down a flight of stairs and it thump, thump, thumped along behind me. 

We were herded out to a garden area where we would receive our leis and take our first tourist photograph.  Every time we boarded a vessel, visited a tourist attraction, or bumped into a man with birds we were photographed and the pictures were offered for sale at a premium price.  I don't remember buying any of them.  I was on a budget.  I had only 300 dollars in spending money for the week.

We were transported by bus to our hotel.  We stayed at the Queen Kapiolani.  It was across the street from the zoo and about a block from the beach.  In the lobby, we were read a long list of rules and given our room keys.  My roommate and I were one of the lucky few who had a room with a view.   From our lanai we could see the ocean and Diamond Head.  Our friends had a view of the alley and the hotel rooms next door. 

The view from our balcony:

My new friends and I walked along the beach to find dinner.  I had never seen water so blue.  Even though the water is actually pretty clean in Galveston now, the Mississippi churns up so much sand as it empties into the Gulf of Mexico that it will always be a brownish green color here.  

I was exhausted by the time we got back to our room.  I was too excited to sleep in San Francisco and barely got any rest on the bus, so I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Part 3 next week.   

Today's travel tip:  Never buy luggage without wheels. 

For more virtual travel, visit Pseudonymous High School Teacher.  Link up if you have a travel story.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If someone blogged about you...

I've had a few questions and comments about whether Poker Guy knows about this blog and what he would think if he did.  No, he does not.  If it ever gets serious between us, I'm sure I'll tell him at some point.  I don't tell my family and friends not because I'm embarrassed, but because this is my online diary.  You guys don't know me personally, so it's not the same when you read it.

It's not full of viscious gossip and slander because that's just not my style. 

Do your friends and family read your blog?  What would you think if you were Poker Guy and found this?  I'm not likely to change what I post, but the comments have made me curious.      

There are some new faces that may not know who I'm talking about.  If you'd like to catch up on Poker Guy: 
Texas Hold 'Em
Poker, Cemeteries, and Bikes
Ren Fest
A Date?
Hmmm...What to Wear...
Snow Daze
Viva Las Vegas
Small Town vs Big City Dating
Making Plans

Wow.  I didn't realize it was so much...

Making Plans

I received a text from Poker Guy today:  "Thinking bout you.... And Vegas.... And Louisiana...."  He's been waiting all this time for a firm response from me.  We still hadn't made actual plans, just talked about going. 

I called and told him ok, I'm going to make reservations for Louisiana at a hotel near the casino for the day after Christmas.  He said that's fine if I want to make the reservation but he's paying for the room.  So, should I reserve one room or two?  We've been together at three poker parties, on two bike rides, at Ren Fest, and to the show.  Is this our second date or our eighth?  Does it even matter?

I made a reservation for one room with two beds. 

Yes, I know I overthink everything. 


Monday, December 14, 2009

My Energy is Returning

Did you know that difficulty sleeping, waking up tired, feeling grouchy, low energy and even an inability to concentrate can be symptoms that asthma is not under control? I just learned this.

I've been using my medication without fail, even when I'm not experiencing the classic symptoms like chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath for several weeks and my energy levels are finally returning to normal. I'm not sitting around staring at the clutter thinking I really should clean up. Blogging is fun again. This is worth 200 dollars a month.

The Packing List

I've been doing some research online about what to pack.  I found the following list, among others:

The Basics:
Backpack (3,000 to 5,000 cubic inches)  Ordered online
Sleeping bag (rated to 20 to 50F)  Ordered online...layered with a lightweight liner and outer shell will be good to is a very rare day in Houston that even gets below freezing.
Sleeping pad  I have two: an ultra lightweight 1 inch foam pad, and a self-inflating pad that doesn't weigh much more.  I'll try both and see which I like best.
Two-person tent/tarp  Ordered online

Eating and Drinking:
2 one-liter water bottles  Or one bladder that holds 1.5 liters?  They sell 3 liter bags, too, but that's a lot of water...
Water purification (filter, iodine, or bleach)  I think I want a filter system.  The thought of drinking water treated with iodine doesn't thrill me...eeew...
Stove and fuel  Have one, but looking for something lighter.
Wind screen (to protect the stove flame, constructed out of aluminum foil)  I don't know how to make a windscreen, but I've got foil.
Pot/pan with lid  Check.
Waterproof matches and lighter  Added to shopping list.
Cup or mug  Added to shopping list.
Lightweight bowl and spoon  Check.
Multi-tool or utility knife  Added to shopping list.
Scraper for cleaning pot  Do I really need this? 

Trail-running shoes or hiking boots (broken in and waterproofed)  Need to do some research on hiking boots. 
Sandals and fleece socks or lightweight camp shoes I really need this?  Will a pair of $1.99 flipflops work?
Wool socks  Allergic to wool.  Not gonna happen.
Sock liners*  What are sock liners?
Synthetic long-underwear bottoms and tops  I'll skip these.  I'll layer my running clothes like I do for distance runs.
Synthetic shorts or convertible pants  Check.
Underwear  Don't wear 'em with my running clothes.  They just get damp and stay damp.  Smelly and uncomfortable.  Most runners and bikers I know don't wear them. (TMI?)
Synthetic/wicking t-shirt  Check.
Rain/wind jacket and pants  Both are added to my shopping list.
Wool or fleece jacket (or vest if warmer)  My running long sleeve shirts / jackets are very warm.  Under Armour rocks!
Wool or fleece hat*  Check.
Wool/fleece gloves or mittens*  Check.
Bandanna  Why?
Gaiters*  What are gaiters? 

Directions, trail map, or guidebook  If I can't find a map online, I'll visit the information center before the hike.
Headlamp  Check.
Toilet paper in Ziploc bag  I wouldn't have thought of the Ziploc bag.  Good idea!  If I get the biodegradable kind I don't have to pack it out, right?
Plastic potty trowel  Added to shopping list.  What does poison ivy look like again?  I've never had it in spite of spending lots of time in the woods so people tell me I'm probably not allergic.  I'd rather not take any chances. 
Extra Ziploc/trash bags  Check.
Lip balm  Check.
Sunscreen  Check.
Hand sanitizer  Check.
Toothbrush and toothpaste  Check.
First-aid kit (Band-Aids/bandages, Aspirin, antiseptic wipes, poison ivy treatment such as CORTAID® Treatment Kit, moleskin, tweezers)  Check.
Pack rain cover or garbage bag  Check.
Bear-bagging cord  We don't have bears here, but we do have other critters like raccoons.  Do I still need to hang my food?  I'll get it and do what the others do.

Optional Items:
Trekking poles  I think I want one.  Added to shopping list.
Sun/rain hat  This is not optional. 
Sunglasses  Neither are these.
Journal and pen  Check.
Camera, extra memory cards  And batteries.  Check.
Ground cloth  Check.
Duct tape  Check.
Watch  I'll wear my GPS watch.
Whistle  Check.
Small strainer (for filtering food particles while cleaning dishes)  I'll skip at least for now.

Special Considerations:
Women: bring a few tampons even if you don't expect to need them; backpacking can do weird things to your cycle.  I think most women do this without being told.
Contact lens wearers: bring solution and back-up glasses  How about extra lenses?  Ok, ok, I'll pack my ugly glasses.  Wouldn't want to accidentally crawl into the wrong tent one night...

*Indicates optional/depending on climate and geography

Anything else?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Christmas List

My campsite in Yellowstone National Park:

All I want for Christmas is backpacking gear. My current tent is great for car camping. It's way too heavy to carry on a backpacking trip, though. Santa took me shopping online at Amazon and I should get my presents in time for Christmas.

I just found out that BCO is going to be hiking the Lone Star Hiking Trail in Sam Houston National Forest starting in February - one weekend at a time. It's part of the Texas Forest Trail region I've been wanting to explore. I was excited to see that I won't have to do this part of it alone. I have no experience backpacking, so this is a perfect learning opportunity. It's good practice for the Appalachian Trail I'm going to hike one day.

I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on ultra light, ultra heavy duty equipment and conditions in Texas are not likely to be severe even in February, so they are not necessary for a weekend trip. The cheapest gear falls apart after a couple of uses or doesn't perform as required even for ideal conditions, so they are not a bargain. I settled for light enough, good quality, and affordable.

I found a tent that weighs just under 4 pounds and got good reviews from users for keeping them dry, easy setup, and durability.  I also bought a ground tarp to place under the tent to keep it drier, warmer, and make it last longer.

I found a sleeping bag that weighs just under 3 pounds which is rated to 30 degrees, so it's probably comfortable to 40 degrees. I can add a silk or fleece liner to make it warmer if needed.

I ordered a backpack that smaller women reviewers loved. I'm only 5'1", so that's a big plus.  It has a space for a water bladder.  One of the comments was, "Most quality packs are well over $100 and some even approach $200 for this kind of quality. I was so blown away with the quality construction and all the "extras" that I'm still a little speechless." I didn't see any bad reviews for the pack (and Amazon buyers have no problem handing out bad reviews), just a few minor details that could be improved upon. I'm thinking it will be more than adequate for an overnight hike.

My bill, including shipping, was 250 dollars. I still need to buy a few more things, but I think I got the most important items.

Any suggestions from experienced hikers and backpackers out there are appreciated.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Small Town vs Big City Dating

I grew up in the middle of nowhere - literally.  We were 6 miles outside the city limits of a tiny little town with a population today of 1111, according to the latest census.  That is probably double what the population was when I was living there. 

It was not possible to date more than one person without being labelled a slut.  Everyone knew what everyone else was doing.  Once you agreed to a date with someone, you didn't talk to any more guys until you broke up.  If a guy was asking several girls out at once, they all found out and became angry.

When I got divorced and re-entered the dating pool, I was living in Houston - population 4 million.  People here routinely date several people until it gets serious.  Only then will they feel compelled to stop meeting others.  That took a long time to get used to, and I'm still not completely comfortable with it. 

It's completely unreasonable for me to tell Poker Guy he can't talk to that girl any more when I haven't known him very long and still am not sure if I even want him to be my boyfriend.  I hate when I see her comments on his Facebook page, but I say nothing.  I don't know why it's so weird for me, it just is... 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bon Jovi Hawaii 1987: My First Solo Vacation

In 1987 I was 19 and a bit of a groupie.  Bon Jovi was my favorite band at the time and I had joined the fan club so I could get good seats for the concerts.  The fan club put together a trip to Hawaii that included airfare from San Francisco, 7 nights accomodations in Waikiki, a party cruise, tickets to two of the band's shows and a backstage pass for one of them.  I was working part time in a grocery store at the time and living at home.  Fortunately, my father was not living at home because he would never have let me go.  My mother thought it was a little crazy, but said if I earned the money myself, it was okay with her.  I know I was of age, but my parents were of the notion that as long as I lived at home I had to do what they said.

I saved my pennies and managed to earn the 750 dollars by the deadline.  Then I had to figure out how to get to San Francisco.  I couldn't afford a plane ticket, so I took the Greyhound Bus.  They had a special of 59 dollars each way to anywhere with as many stops as you wanted.  I wasn't interested in stopping, but the price was right.  I spent 2 days on a bus.  No showers.  No bed to sleep in.  No clean underwear.

The fan club had paired me with a roommate for the trip.  We had talked on the phone and decided that we would also share a room in San Francisco the night before our plane left for Hawaii.  I took a taxi to the airport, then called for the hotel's free shuttle service.  When I got to the room I told her, "I'm sorry.  I've been on a bus for 2 days.  I need a shower.  I'll talk to you in 30 minutes."

After the shower, I was ready to explore San Francisco.  We again took advantage of the hotel's airport shuttle service, then caught a bus from there that was supposed to drop us off near the Hard Rock Cafe.  We didn't see it.  We walked into the Meridian hotel (I think) to ask directions.  The concierge gave us directions and a map then told us we should take a taxi because it was really too far to walk.  We had the doorman call us a cab.  Very friendly service for 2 people who weren't even guests.

We got to the Hard Rock Cafe ten minutes after they stopped letting minors in.  We were extremely disappointed, but arguing with the doorman did no good.  We walked around for a while people watching instead.  As we passed a restaurant, my roommate said, "Is that Dennis Quaid?"  It sure was.  He was sitting at a table with a blonde looking very cozy.  I know now that it was Meg Ryan.  They looked very into each other and were oblivious to us staring at them through the window.  Neither of us was willing to interrupt their date. 

Before we knew it, we were back at The Meridian and our bus stop.  It wasn't too far to walk, after all.  We caught the last bus back to the airport.  On the shuttle back to the hotel, we met 2 more fan club members headed to Hawaii.  One of the women had a 15-year-old daughter that she left at home.  I don't remember why the daughter didn't get to come, just that she was not happy about it.  All four of us had a pizza party back at the hotel.  We didn't get to bed until 4 am, but I was too excited to sleep anyway.

Part 2 next week...

Travel Tip:  You may be too old for fan clubs (WHAT?!  No WAY!!!), but joining a group is a great way to travel and make new friends.  Also, don't take the Greyhound Bus.  Hitch hiking is more comfortable and may be safer.

For more virtual travel, visit Pseudonymous High School Teacher.  Link up if you have a travel story.

Images from Photobucket.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Border Run

I was surfing the web and looking for prices on Symbicort. If I order from a Canadian pharmacy I can get a 90 day supply for 200 dollars. I'm paying that much for a 30 day supply right now. I know some of them are legit, but I'm not sure which ones. I have to do a little more research.

I need to check the prices in Mexico, too. If I could take a vacation to Cancun and come out ahead by picking up a few refills while I'm there, how cool would that be? I wonder how many inhalers I can legally bring across the border for personal use.

How is it that the pharmaceutical companies justify charging us so much more for our prescriptions? I knew there was a price differential, but this is ridiculous.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

Poker Guy and I had talked about Las Vegas on our date. As much as I like to gamble, I have never been. He said we should go sometime. Guys say things like that all the time. It doesn't mean you're really going - especially if it's discussed on a first date. I said we should, not thinking he meant soon (or ever).

He's already planning the trip for February. He asked what would be a good time for me to go and suggested 3 different hotels.

At first I thought it was way too soon to be planning a trip like that. We've only known each other since mid-October and even though we've hung out with a group many times, we've only been on one official date. Then I remembered he's in Ohio now and if we want to see each other, one or both of us is going to have to get on an airplane. Hell, might as well make it Vegas.

I will be making my own travel arrangements.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Good News!

If you don't know about my fender non-bender: 
Something Rotten in Austin
Fender Benders, Festivals, and Freaks

I received a letter from my insurance company.  They settled with that woman who says I damaged her car.  I'm annoyed that they gave her money, but thrilled that I'm not obligated to pay any of it.  Not even my deductible.  Hooray!

Hopefully one ultra minor accident in over 20 years will not make my rate increase.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rescue Me

My daughter started her community service this weekend.  She got caught shoplifting and was ordered to work 10 hours and pay a fine or work 30 hours and not owe a fine.  She begged me to pay the fine for her.  I didn't steal anything.  Why should I pay the fine?  No.

She's cleaning cages at one of the local animal shelters.  She told me the first room they had her work in was full of the sick dogs.  One of the cages had 2 puppies.  Puppy number 1 was asleep, and puppy number 2 was cuddled up next to him.  At first she thought "it was so cute because he was like saying, ' I love my brother.  I'm going to snuggle with him.' "  Then she realized puppy number 1 wasn't sleeping.  When they took him out of the cage, puppy number 2 started whimpering.  She was heartbroken. 

I wish I could go to the shelter and rescue all of the animals.  My two cats are rescues from the SPCA.  The next time you are looking for a pet, please check out your local shelter instead of the pet store.  Even if you are looking for a specific breed, please don't visit the pet shops.  Those animals are not healthy.  They come from puppy mills.  Go to to find animals available in your area, including the re-homing groups for specific breeds.         

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Woohoo! My first award!

The first time I saw one of these I thought, "Blogger chain mail.  Great."  Then I took a closer look and decided I like the idea.  I don't have to forward it to 50 people or the world will end, it's just a nice way of letting people know they are appreciated. 

I got my first blogger award from UberGrumpy.  This is even more of a thrill than seeing my follower number increase by one!  I have to admit I did a little happy dance when I saw it.  Thank you!

Now to pass it on to 5 people.  This is a tough decision.  I follow way more blogs than I could ever possibly keep up with because there are so many good ones.  I have more than 5 favorites.

I'm hoping none of them view it as annoying chain mail.  Pass on to 5 people is the only rule.  And apparently the award only has Santa until after Christmas, then it's just the lemonade stand without Santa.  Alice made it more festive for the holidays.  

Blissseeker: Rider of the Storm  Don't be afraid of the adult content warning.  It's not x-rated.  The most moving, poetic blog on my list.  Start with her writings about the black butterflies.    

Kate: Calamity, Kids and Other Stuff   Not your typical mommy blog.  Yes, her kids are cute.  Yes, she knows how to discuss other subjects as well.  Go congratulate her on remaining in remission and wish her good health, luck, and success with her writing class.

Kate: Secret Office Confessions  Her stuff is better than The Office - British or American version. 

Poppy: Poppy's Dream Fields  Visit her blog, then send her a postcard even though the contest is probably over.  I promise I'm sending mine this weekend.  I'm such a procrastinator...

Tammy: Sugo and Sunshine  This woman is living my dream.  Ever since I watched Under the Tuscan Sun, I've been dreaming of picking up and starting over someplace new.  My hero. 

Now to figure out how to put it on my sidebar...


Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Daze

The date went pretty well last night.  The show was entertaining, the company good, and dinner after was delicious.  He did not invite me just as a friend.  He held my hand, hugged me, gave me a little kiss on the lips, but didn't grope.  He says he wishes he had met me a couple of months ago.  He's flying back to Ohio on Sunday.  He'll be back in two weeks and is already wanting to make plans.  He's talking about a trip to my favorite casino - says that's one of the things he's been wanting to do before he leaves.  He'll be back and forth for the next 8 weeks, and then he'll be permanently relocated to Ohio.  In this economy, it would not be a wise decision to not go where his company sends him.

He is having another poker party tonight and I was supposed to go, but they are warning us not to get on the roads unless we have to.  He just called again to see if I changed my mind.  I would go anyway and take my sleeping bag in case we get stuck there, but I have my daughter this weekend and would not want to be unable to get to her if I need to.  We're both staying in tonight.  I've got a pie in the oven.  It's perfect weather for baking.

Houston never gets snow like this.  I wish enough stuck to the ground so that I could build a snowman.  In my neighborhood, it melted as soon as it hit the ground.  Some areas got 4 inches, though.  I'm watching people on TV use wake boards and boogie boards as sleds.  Who would have thought that South Texas would get snow before Detroit?

It freezes so rarely here that we have to run the water all night or our pipes will burst.  They are not properly insulated.  There are no snow plows in the city of Houston, or salt for the roads.  It's a good thing there was not significant accumulation on the streets, or the city would shut down until it melts.

I got my first blog award!  Yay!  Thank you, UberGrumpy!  I have to figure out how to post it to my blog and to whom to pass it on.  I'll get to work on that and have it up soon.          

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Haircuts, Hats and Hampers

I didn't buy any new clothes for my date.  Whether it's a friendly date or something else, it's still a chance to go out and have some fun.  I did get my hair done (it needed a trimming anyway) and bought some new accessories - earrings, a bracelet, and a hat.  I love hats.  I probably have more hats than I do shoes.  I won't wear the hat unless it's very cold tonight.

Me in my new hat:

I had a small moment of panic when I couldn't find the pants I want to wear.  I finally found them at the bottom of the hamper.  I'm washing them now.  Yes, I know I should already have these things done.  I could promise to become more organized in the future, but I'd be lying.

Me and some of my hats...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hmmm...What to Wear...

I've never had a guy call to coordinate outfits before.  Poker Guy called to say it's downtown in the Theater District, so we can dress anywhere from casual to almost black tie.  I forgot his exact words, but you do see pretty much everything at these events, so I know what he meant.   He wanted to know what I'd be wearing so he could do the same and we wouldn't be mismatched.

I actually think that's very considerate.  Unusual for a guy to do...but very thoughtful...


Maybe the appeal of posting daily has worn off.  I can't think of anything to say and my list of blog ideas doesn't look promising today.  I need to get caught up on reading anyway, starting with the people that comment on mine.  You guys are my FAVORITE.  Thank you!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Marathon Photos

My marathon photos are available now.  I haven't decided if I will purchase them.  They look better this time than they have in the past, but I don't think there are many people that actually look good in them.  How cute would you be after 13.1 miles?

At least this time the camera guy didn't take a crotch shot or catch me doing something stupid like running with my thumbs out.

A Date?

Sunday, November 29

Poker Guy called and said he had an extra ticket for a performance at Jones Hall.  I think it's called Bowfire.  I said yes.  I think it's just as friends...I didn't ask...

The woman I thought was his girlfriend won't be there.  Does the relationship status on Facebook really mean anything?  He put one up very recently and lists his status as single.  Looking for friendship, dating, a relationship.  She is one of his Facebook friends so I know she's seen it.  Do guys even pay attention to those things?     

Ren Fest

Saturday, November 28

I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival with free tickets from BCO.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Poker Guy and his girlfriend there.  They went off on their own at first, and I hung out with a couple of the other people I met at the poker games.  I'm starting to run into the same people now.  It's nice that they're not all strangers any more.

We saw a lot of interesting costumes...

...and a few shows, including belly dancing...

There was a male belly dancer on one of the stages.  He was very in touch with his female side.  I wish I had a photo of that one for you, but my battery died and I didn't have a spare.

It began to rain and my friend made a dash for a covered gazebo.  She started to climb in through a space between some vines and noticed a minister giving her a stern look.  There was apparently a wedding happening and she was about to crash.

About that time, Poker Guy texted me to ask if I was still there.  He joined us and suggested a very good show.  It was a magician and his two apprentices that didn't speak.  He handed one of the assistants his capes, hat, and cane.  She gave him a WTF look and threw them on the ground, then stomped off.  They gave each other that kind of attitude throughout the entire show - never speaking.  They communicated through facial expressions and hand signals, which I think made it funnier.

When it started raining again, Poker Guy gave me a program to cover my head.  He gave his girlfriend nothing.  Am I the only one who thinks that is a bit odd?  

We had another poker tournament in the evening.  This time we decided to drink, so I did not win.  I didn't even play well.  Drinking and gambling don't mix well for me.  It was only 10 dollars to buy in and I drank at least that much worth, so it's all right.  Some people have wine tastings...we made it a tequila tasting.  Patron is still my favorite.

Yes, I'm drinking again, but only with people I know and trust.  

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hitch Hikers

As I returned to my apartment this evening my new neighbors introduced themselves.  They are two very sweet girls in their early 20's who wanted to know if I'd be interested in sharing the bill for wireless internet service.  I have wireless and they offered to help pay the bill if I give them my access code.  I have no problem with sharing expenses, but how much risk is there to me if I give them my WEP?  Can someone hack into my computer that way? 

Top 5 Things for Which I'm Thankful

Thursday, November 26

1)  I am thankful for my daughter.
2)  I am thankful for my friends.
3)  I am thankful for the roof over my head.
4)  I am thankful for the food in my fridge.

I normally hold my tips until after I'm done at a table instead of betting them like a lot of people do.  Whenever I bet them, I usually lose.  The dealer this time told me, "You are a lucky woman.  And you never tip."  She was very rude, not like most dealers at my favorite casino who are friendly and a lot of fun.  How does she know I don't ever tip?  She had never met me before and I had not yet left.

I still tipped her because I don't aspire to be like her.  I took ten dollars off the top of my winnings before passing them to be colored up.  Instead of thanking me she rolled her eyes and muttered that I must have lost count - I'm assuming because the total was 390 dollars instead of 400.    

5)  I am thankful that I am not as miserable and hateful as that blackjack dealer.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Blues

My daughter is leaving tonight to spend Thanksgiving with her father.  I will be miserable alone without her, so I'm leaving.  I don't know where I'll be, just that I won't be here.  I know the casino will be having a Thanksgiving buffet, so I'll start there.  I'll stay if I'm winning.  If I'm losing, maybe I'll get started on exploring the Texas Forest Trail. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Other One

Meet the other feline that owns me.  Isn't she adorable? 

I haven't had too much trouble with her.  She used to scratch the couch, but the watergun method works very well on her.  I also used to pet her and tell her what a wonderful kitty she was whenever I caught her scratching the post.  She still comes and gets me sometimes so I can watch her scratching where she's supposed to scratch and tell her how wonderful she is.

She used to climb to the top of her kitty condo and then climb the drapes.  I trimmed her nails as short as possible.  She grabbed the drapes, was not able to sink her claws in, slid all the way down to the floor, and sat looking confused.

My daughter and I are the only ones that get to see the sweet face. She cuddles up to me and purrs, she tolerates my daughter, she terrorizes everyone else. When we have company, she fluffs up, hisses, and spits. My daughter goes into the bedroom with her friends. The cat will make a point of going to the bedroom door to growl and hiss, reminding them that she does not want them around.

It's worse when we're not home. She becomes a furry ball of claws and teeth. She chases maintenance men out of my apartment. I had one of my friends stop in and feed the cats while I was on my roadtrip. She howled and hissed at my friend and acted like she was about to attack. My friend said she thought my cat was going to shred her legs to pieces when she walked in. Fortunately, she was all talk and no do, so my friend was able to take care of the kitties.

I have to keep this one.  No one else will take her.



Monday, November 23, 2009


I was looking at the list of guys that have viewed my profile on Match and saw a musician.  I am a sucker for them, so I had to check him out.  One of the pictures is of him with a bass guitar.  Here we go again?

He says he has solid black tattoo "sleeves" on his arms.  Only one picture shows these sleeves, and it really looks like shirt sleeves to me, so of course I had to send an email asking if it was a test to see if we were reading his profile or if they were really tats and what is the significance of solid black sleeves.  I have never seen that before.

I want a tattoo, but I don't know where I want to put it.  I want a Polynesian shark.  Not exactly like the one in the pic, but similar.  The shark is sacred to the Polynesians, and the tattoos are worn for protection.  To me, it is a reminder of inner strength.  Since it's not something I can change easily, I need to be sure of the exact location before I even think about finding an artist.     

Sunday, November 22, 2009

God Made Him Cute and Lovable so I Wouldn't Kill Him

He's a real cutie, huh?  He's the reason I haven't had a Christmas tree for the last couple of years.  This is why:

We didn't put him in here.  He jumped in himself:

His latest trick is to paw my television screen.  He doesn't put his claws out so he doesn't do any damage, but he does leave smudges.  I tell him no and put him in another room.  It doesn't make him stop.  I thought maybe he was trying to get my attention to tell me he needed food or water.  That does seem to be true sometimes, but it's not always the reason.  He may need something else and he knows that gets my attention but I can't figure out what it is.  I would prefer he find a different method of communicating.

I've tried the watergun method, but he just thinks it's a fun new game.  He stalks the watergun.  He waits until he thinks you're not paying attention and attacks the gun.  He enjoys it!  Retreats briefly when he's sprayed, then comes back for more. 

This is the sme crazy cat that sometimes jumps in the shower and once jumped in the washing machine as it was filling with water.  He didn't panic, just sat in the washer looking at me.  When the water started to get too deep for his comfort, he calmly climbed out.

I don't know what else to try.  Sticky tape, you say?  Tried that when the other one was scratching the couch.  Worked for her.  He pulled it off and played with it.  Foil?  Doesn't bother him a bit.  He'll take the foil off of something on the counter and eat it.  We can't leave any food out, covered or not. 

No, I'm not going to get rid of my cat.  I would like to break him of this habit, though.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Feast or Famine

I either have 11 blog ideas or zero.

I either have 3 interesting guys talking to me or none.

I either have 5 different things I could do on a Saturday night or I have nothing.  Tonight I was supposed to play Texas Hold 'Em with Poker Guy, go see my friend's band play, and get a campsite so I could be at the park the night before our hike.  Poker Guy didn't have enough players so he cancelled, I've learned my friend is not going to be playing with that band any more, and it's too ugly outside for me to want to pitch a tent.  My feast has turned into a famine.  This is the first Saturday night that I've slept in my own bed in over a month.  It's kind of nice. 

I'll go ahead and work on those Christmas projects that have been calling me and get up early in the morning for the hike.      

Friday, November 20, 2009

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

I've been trying to wait until after Thanksgiving to pull anything Christmas out of the closet, but my unfinished projects from last year are calling me.  I'm getting the urge to finish the felt applique stocking and make some more ornaments.  I read Rebecca S.'s post on craft fairs and started wondering if anyone would buy any of this stuff that I make, and if the money I made would be worth the time spent sewing them.  I would like to make some extra money to stretch my savings but I've gotten used to having nights and weekends off and don't relish the thought of being a waitress or a checkout girl. 

I thought about selling Avon, or misc. items on Ebay.  I've seen some of the stuff people sell as art and wonder if I could paint something silly and get some money for it, too.  What about jewelry?  Do people buy jewelry made from those beads you find at craft stores?  My daughter rolls her eyes at me and asks if we're really that desperate.  We're not desperate at all yet, but some income would not hurt.  

Maybe it would be easier just to sign on with a temp agency.  I can quit those jobs when I get tired of them.  They expect that from temps.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Again? Are you kidding me?

How is it possible to not think about someone for months at a time and then suddenly start missing him again?  He's not a good boyfriend, but heck of a fun date.  Never date a musician.  Especially bass players...

The image was stolen from my crush's myspace page...I never actually dated this one...just drooled over his pics...