Thursday, December 27, 2007

Glimmers of Hope

It's difficult for me to go home without thinking of New Orleans, since it was somewhat a second home for me as a young adult. And if one typically dances on tabletops and drinks dacquiris at 9 a.m. at their second homes - you do, don't you? - then I'm sure you'll relate to my feelings of nostalgia.

And since my friends Joe, Allen, John, and Chris reside there now, I'm happy to hear that things are marginally looking up. Each time I've visited since Katrina it's seemed a wee bit better, though there is still much to be done and it certainly isn't like visiting Disney World.

While I was home my mother encouraged me to watch this documentary DVD called "Hurricane On The Bayou." I found it most interesting and very compelling. The stories are all around us regarding the decimation of the wetlands at the mouth of the Mississippi River and what that has done to our environment. And because my company also has a division that sells mitigation banking credits for wetlands, and offers wetlands restoration, I was even more fascinated by the serious role of protective barrier from seaborne storms our wetlands portray.

Get thee to Blockbuster or add to your Netflix list. This is a really worthwhile investment of 45 minutes. Plus, you get to hear Meryl Streep narrate in her not-quite-Miranda-Priestly voice. Everyone wins!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tragic Christmas

I don't want to hear anyone bitching about their Christmas.

This story is downright frightening.

I returned from the Gulf Coast last night, having spent a fantastic morning and early afternoon with the family. In typical Mobile fashion we awoke to a heavy rainstorm and very cool temperatures, only to have it all blow out by noon and reach a really nice mid-60's. My uncle received a skeet thrower so most of the family was on the levee shooting clays when I left. I really wanted to stay and shoot but time was a factor.

Thankfully sugar free Red Bull was in the cards and reversed the effects of my two glasses of red lunch sleepy. My body will likely be in shock this week as it shifts from 4000 calorie-per-day constant grazing to it's usual you-don't-deserve-to-eat steamed veggie and mild protein existence.

I feel terribly for the victims of this tiger attack. Too many of these as of late. Makes me wonder if perhaps the animals are trying to say something to the world?

Friday, December 21, 2007

I'm On My Way, Just Set Me Free ...

... home sweet home!

(Was that Motley Crue or Guns-N-Roses? I don't remember. What I do vaguely remember is being at that concert. Come to think of it, it was the same concert. OMG, now I remember, yes, it was Guns-N-Roses opening for Motley Crue, ca. 1988. Shit. That's nearly 20 years ago. I haven't held a lighter up at a concert in YEARS. Note to file for 2008: catch a reunion heavy metal show.)

I am heading down to the coast tonight for MSJ's birthday party, and staying of course through Christmas. Will return to Ttown on Tuesday evening.

Merry Merry y'all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

American Apparel

My new favorite place to shop is American Apparel. I thought I'd pass along their special offer for free shipping but the thing is, today is the deadline. I was not intending to buy 3 t-shirts and a tank top on Monday morning but their email offer enticed me and, voila, the next day it was here, no shipping charges! Merry Christmas to Robby Johnson from Ronny Thompson, the package said! Ronny is so thoughtful. I heart him. Really.

So back to American Apparel. I really want that gold lame' windbreaker but fear I might look like a homeless person or, worse, too old, so will respectfully forgo in lieu of something else. You should also know that my new skinny jeans are seriously, seriously, too skinny. I'm so mad I could chew nails and spit screws.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Cocaine

I had a vision come to me yesterday morning after I awoke from a highly-active dream sequence (as I did this morning). My new mantra is "Make My Dreams A Reality." I know, I know, it's not original. It's not even particularly catchy. But it is what it is and it's symbolic to me as it's clearing the way for me to stop thinking about what I want and start claiming what I want. I guess that's a normal part of evolving, right?

So 2008 is going to be about loosening the notch on my perfection belt and accepting that conditions don't have to be perfect or ideal in order for me to make an effort.

My friend TAN - a kindred spirit in this little town of uniqueness - and I had lunch yesterday. She is amazing and an hour flies by when we're together. She gave me a book entitled "Writing Down The Bones: Freeing The Writer Within," and I took it as a sign that my waking mantra was bang-on.

And today's mantra? Just say no to Christmas Cocaine Candy. You guys I'm not even kidding. The skinny jeans I bought at Urban Outfitters on Sunday called me fatty when I tried them on at home. They be like, "OOOOHHHHHHHHH, u ain't fiddina' wear me, Candymama."

Is it my dream to be a little fatty-fat hat? No. And so today I say no to CCC. No. NO!

Monday, December 17, 2007

We Have Got To Get Together ...

This is the photograph I alluded to a few weeks back. If you look to the left in the mirror you can see Derelicte working his magic. Just wanted to share the inspiration for my holiday greeting with everyone who reads my blog.

It's been a really active, interesting weekend. Some people I really love and consider family are going through a surreal experience and are in great need of pure thoughts and intentions, prayers, and commitments by their friends to offer their unwavering support over a horrid event that will not soon be erased from their existence.

I had the opportunity to hang out with many friends and it makes me feel warmth to have people around me who share this journey. As we wind down the final working week before Christmas, I hope everyone will remain compassionate to those whose burdens are heavy, and do whatever they can to make the load lighter.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Cup Runneth Over ...

I was going to post something about how much I have to do, blah blah blah, but remembered something more important that I received from a co-worker via email yesterday.

This is a true story. No need to go investigate snope.com. My co-worker came into my office late last week and confided in me how heavy her friend's story was weighing on her heart and how she wanted to do something to help. I am happy she sent the email out and wanted to share it here.

I am donating my former mobile phone, as well as getting some gift cards for the family this weekend. I have also recommended Dress For Success, which I know about because of my awesome friend KD Reep who does significant work with the Arkansas chapter of this organization.

If you're moved to the point of helping, please feel free to comment here or email me privately. I will put you in touch with my co-worker.

Just remember, no matter how bad we think we may have it, we really are all very blessed.

You might remember a deadly weekend of murders in Birmingham last month. On November 16, 2007, the Birmingham News printed the following:

Birmingham police find man fatally shot in Kingston areaNovember 16, 2007 10:54 PM Birmingham police are investigating a man's fatal shooting tonight in the 4400 block of 11th Court North in the Kingston area.Officers were called about 8:50 p.m. and found a man suffering an apparent gunshot wound. He was taken to UAB Hospital but was later pronounced dead. His name was not available.A green car in which the victim had been an occupant sat in a yard along 44th Street. Residents said a woman was seen screaming outside of the car when police and medics arrived.No further details were available. The death, if confirmed as a homicide, will Birmingham's 80th of the year.

The victim, Ashley Stratton, was a friend of our family. What the Birmingham News failed to report is that Ashley and his fiancé, Shelley, were out for a night on the town just days before their wedding. They left their two children, Dillon (2) and Joseph (8 weeks) with a sitter and were on their way to dinner and a movie. Unfortunately, they were low on gas and made a fatal decision to stop at the Birmingham Airport Exit to fill up. While there were still in the car, two men approached in an apparent robbery attempt. Ashley tried to put the car in reverse to speed away. One of the attackers fatally shot Ashley through the windshield. The car, with Ashley's foot on the accelerator, darted across a busy street before coming to a stop in a yard. Shelley jumped out of the car and ran around to the driver's side to check on Ashley. He took his last few breaths just moments after she opened the car door and he eventually died in the ambulance. Ashley, 30, worked a full-time job and attended college part-time studying electrical engineering. He was set to graduate in 2008. Shelley, 26, dedicated herself to staying home with their two children - Dillon, 2 yrs old and Joseph, only 8 weeks old. Ashley and Shelley were to be married on December 1st. This senseless tragedy has been so heavy on my heart. In addition to losing her fiancé and childrens father, Shelley does not have a job, is going to lose her apartment at the end of December, has no health insurance, no money and is truly in a dire situation. She was in the hospital for several days due to a mental breakdown. Family and friends are doing what we can to help her and the boys. In all honesty, both of their families have very limited resources. Nevertheless, they are helping as they can. I am sending this story to all of my friends and asking for any help you can provide for Shelley, Dillon and Joseph. If this tragedy touches you and you feel led to give, take a look at the list below and please consider helping this family. I am visiting Shelley next Thursday evening 12/20 to take a few presents for her and the children. I would love to give even more from others who share my sympathy and sorrow for the family. I simply couldn't go through this season without asking for help. Thanks for taking time to read this plea for help.

· Prayer - lots and lots of continuing prayer
· Christmas gifts for the boys§ Dillon loves Thomas the Train and cars; § Joseph - baby toys, soft books§ Clothing would be helpful for either (2T and 6-9 mos)
· Shelley will need appropriate clothing for job interviews
· Gift cards for groceries, Walmart, etc.
· Cell phone (new or used) and minutes (The police kept Shelleys for the investigation. They may have it for up to 1 year.)
· Food
· Help with rent, utilities, etc.
· Assistance with finding a job
· Assistance with locating childcare and paying tuition until she gets on her feet
· Any gift or donation, no matter how small or large, would be greatly appreciated

Please keep this family in your prayers.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The C-L

I need to sell Kiwi because he has been in Daddy's garage for 15 months now and you know, he really doesn't deserve that. He sent me a telepathic message last night and do you know what it said? "I know why the caged bird sings!" He did. True story.

So I have put his pics up on Craigslist and someone needs to buy him. I love him, but I am skeert to drive him over the river bridges here in Ttown - land of erratic drivers who would take a brother out while putting on their makeup and talking on their cell phones.

I will pay a referral bonus if you can help move Kiwi along. Email me for details!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday's Child Is Loving And Giving

I was born Wednesday, July 7, 19771.

Learn more about Wednesday by reading this Wikipedia entry.

Happy Hump Day, bitchez!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Wanna Know What Love Is ...



Recipe for Tears

2.5 - Wynonna Judd
.5 - Ashley Judd
1.0 - Naomi Judd
1.0 - Oprah Winfrey

Dim the lights, inject liberally with Botox, sing a cover song about heartache, and bring on the flood baby!

I LOVE me some Wynonna and think this performance was beyond amazing. She kicks ass.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Official ...

For me, the holiday season officially begins once I've heard "Feed the World" from Band-Aid. You remember that big charitable effort from 1984, right? Organized by Sir Bob Geldof to aid famine in Africa, it featured all sorts of Big 80's singers, like Wham!, Boy George, Duran Duran, Kim Carnes ... you name them and they were there. So, at my office they pipe in this Christmas music and the other day I was having a slash in the men's and what did I hear but "It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid ..."

And thusly it began.

I have also taken another great big step and drug out my Christmas tree and Christmas decorations. That's a long, long story but I have a friend who convinced me I needed to decorate, and I'm now glad I did. I had a brand new tree that I purchased Christmas, 2004, that was still in the box and I didn't want to unpack it because you can never get them back in the box correctly, and that's tough for an OCD like myself. But who cares, it's Chrimma booooyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Archives



As part of my search for my contacts file, I unearthed some Rhodey videos from the vault. And you know you have to watch them. Please people, please, no comments on my buggered up lead changes (or lack thereof). This was actually the first clean SJ trip I produced on him at Novice level and I was just focused on keeping my rhythm consistent and getting him to the right distances. And by right distances I mean pay no attention to the one I left out at the last fence. Granted, of the 100+ people who jumped that day, only the little boy on the pony and me, on my big 17hh+ Thoroughbred, did six in the five on the first line but hey, you start with an add you finish with an add. Those are the rules!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Contacts ...

I'm not even going to lie when I say even though I'm pretty sure I did copy/export my contacts from my PC back in Arkansas to a CD before I moved, I now I cannot find them. Please don't scoff or judge me since that was, in fact, 18 months ago. But it's Christmas and I'm trying to send some bitches a card.

Just email me your address if you're not currently obtainable through internet stalkingAnywho.com.

Muchas gracias!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Yellow Cake Batter

I have this friend who I'll call Ronny Thompson. And Ronny Thompson really does mean well. At least that's what he says. But interestingly, he also says he is a stress eater, and that sometimes he's over-indulgent and obsessive and definitely believes that if a little is good then a lot is better.

Which is why I wasn't surprised yesterday when he told me that he'd mixed up some yellow cake mix - leftover from a homemade Christmas gift project - and ate it for breakfast. And then had some more when he got home last night before dinner. Because Ronny Thompson LOVES him some yellow cake batter. My God, when we go to Cold Stone Creamery - twice each year because it's deadly on the calorie scale - he always gets cake batter ice cream with chunks of yellow cake and strawberries. I have to hand it to Ronny, he has excellent taste.

I did some Googling and found this reference to a yellow cake batter martini. Does anyone know the exact proportions to make this cocktail? I am sure one could/should only consume one of these potentially sick-inducing martinis but damn I, I mean Ronny, would love to try it just once.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Boot Camp

Lord have mercy, child, I have had me some weekendz.

I was feeling a little puketastic on Friday night so I had to regretfully decline an invitation to a performance of The Nutcracker, but am glad I did as a.) sick not good in crowded theater and b.) I felt mo' betta on Saturday morning.

I went to the pilates studio to practice, and the awesome that is Derelicte came by and took a few photographs of me for my Christmas card. Don't worry, it will be revealed soon ... all in good time! I just have to say that Derek is amazing and I am lucky to count him as a friend and creative comrade.

While there I agreed to do a new class that the studio owner is offering with a strength training coach from one of the local colleges. OMG, my butt is so sore, still! We did a pyramid build-up of a squat/shoulder press, from 1-10, so I did 55 squats with a toning ball on my back, then went out and power-walked a mile, doing all sorts of interval work (including hills) with that. We finished off with some plyometrics. Always a good way to shock your hiney into muscular engagement!

From that point on I was a shopping fool. I have effectively licked the holiday shopping - and not that I have much to do, thankfully, but I'm doing homemade gifts for co-workers and had to obtain lots of supplies/ingredients.

One of my friends invited me to a really rad party Saturday night. A huge movie screen set up in the backyard continuously looping National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, great food, including a spoof of the crazy old aunt's Jello salad complete with cat food, and fun people.

Yesterday I fired up the baking machine and finished the evening with my homegirl Nicola at our new Sunday beat, Chipotle. I'm about to burn some calories. If you've not downloaded my new favorite song - "I Want Your Soul" but Armand Van Helden, you're missing out!

Happy Monday and have a great week!