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Friday, April 28, 2006

Don't Write-Off Waco

Over the past month I've had the privilege to spend some time in Waco, TX (a place I always referred to as "wacko" when I was a kid). And I have to tell you, it’s better than you think. In fact, this place has so much to offer you’ll forget about that little branch davidian mishap from a few years ago. Here’s what they’ve got:

-Shopping: Old Navy, Ann Taylor Loft, Best Buy, Target
-Restaurants: Ninfa’s, some Italian place we ate at last night, a steak house, Elite cafe
-The Arts: a Museum (so what if it’s all about Dr. Pepper?)
-Crazy co-eds: I’m sure they’re around here somewhere
-Scenery: Brazos river…okay, that’s all
-Good folks: Seriously, it’s like everyone works for Waco tourism here and they’re making some kind of commission off of how many visitors they can get.

Really, I would have no problem living in Waco. I could get a lot of house for my money and walk to Ninfa’s every weekend. That’s not a bad life. Even if it is a little bit wacko.

We went running across this bridge yesterday!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The 50 Most Beautiful What in the What?

Sure, they call it the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World but if the list consists of: Julia Roberts. Brad Pitt, Jessica Simpson and Patrick Dempsey how can it be called anything but "The 50 Most Beautiful Celebrities in America?"

Are any of the people regular Matt's? ("Joes" is so overdone). And are any of them from outside of the U.S? Exactly.

So, here's to you, the 50 Most Beautiful Celebrities in America. I have to say that I agree with the choices. I just don't agree with the title. But then again, you don't really care. You're beautiful. And I'm a blogger. Hey, wanna make a "50 Most Beautiful Bloggers in the World" list? And no, People magazine, I don't think Jessica Alba has a blog.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Sure, Brit's knocked up again but everybody's focusing on the wrong probs: "Oh, no. She's preggers too soon after her first!" OR "She's never gonna have abs like she did in her 'I'm not a girl; not yet a woman' video" AND "Brit can't have more kids; she'll forget to put them in the car seat too."

But the real issue? K-Fed is going to be the father of FOUR children!! I don't have four children. You don't have four children. K-Fed should NOT be allowed to have four children! Can you believe there will be four human beings on this planet who look at that greasy-haired, pot-smoking, bad-rappin', freak-dancing fool and say, "Da-da?"

What's up with this guy? Is he like the most fertile man in America? And why have two women (one of whom I've been compared to) allowed him to impregnate them? I ask you, does he have even ONE redeeming quality?

-Good looking? Hardly.
-Charming? He can't even speak correctly.
-Talented? Have ya heard his latest "song?"
-Rich? Can you say "reposessed?"

I mean, back in the day, Brit had her pick: J.T., Colin Farrell, damn, even her Las Vegas groom was better than this guy! Now she's damaged goods. Make that damaged mommy. I think we need to stage a protest. Come on, chant it with me:


And by the way, I do offer my condolences about her abs.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tollway Wavers

Yesterday as I drove through a toll plaza I almost knocked over a woman standing in front of the booth, waving. Since I managed to miss her, I went ahead and waved back. Then I glanced down the row of about twelve booths and they were all waving! It was like the Rockettes but instead of kicking they were waving. And instead of being tall and gorgeous they were short and frumpy.

And it's not like they just stepped out of their booths to wave; there were people in the booths too! So who were these wacky wavers? I have some theories:

  • One of the other toll plazas was closed for construction and the toll company needed something to do with these extra people for the day.
  • The toll company heard that Wal-Mart had greeters and thought they should try it out too.
  • They're Fear Factor contestants. I think I'd rather eat a bug.
  • The toll company is laughing at us: "You pay us so much to drive on these roads we can hire people to just stand there and wave!"
  • They're prisoners--the last one who doesn't get hit by the end of the day gets an extra 10 minutes of recreational time. And macaroni.
  • They're toll booth workers in training and they're getting hazed.
  • Beauty pageant contestants? Yikes. Have ya seen these wavers?
  • Conversation at toll company management:

Toll Pres: We've been getting a lot of emails that our toll booth workers are just not friendly enough.

Toll Associate: We could send them all off to a customer-relations boot camp in Lake Tahoe. I think all associates should attend. It's for a week.

Toll Pres: Nah. Why don't we just issue a mandatory waving rule?

Toll Associate: They'll never do it. They're part of a non-waving union.

Toll Pres: Well then we'd better get some other people to do it for them.

Toll Associate: You mean like scabs?

Toll Pres: No, just some cheap labor in addition to our regular workers.

Toll Associate: Got it, chief. Ill call the homeless shelters and community colleges right away.

Yep, I'm pretty sure that's it. But I'm gonna stop waving back until I get some answers.

Monday, April 24, 2006

While Elsa's Away...

So I hadn’t been home in two weeks and when I walked in on Friday, I was pleasantly surprised: house was in order, bed was made and the toilets had some blue substance in it! I’ve never even used a blue substance! I was very pleased.

But my content soon turned to contempt when I opened the pantry to find…

The return of the poops! What were they doing here? I thought I had rid Frank of his poop-tart habit! When I questioned him he said, “I went to the store to buy those Oatmeal To Go Squares but they were out.” He claims he’s been alternating them with his Smart Start cereal.

I decided I didn’t care if he wanted to ruin his intestines; as long as mine stayed in tact. But then, the next morning as I went to eat my Kashi crack, I found this:

Where was my skim milk? The way I see it, why have 1% when I like skim just as well? I like to put A LOT of milk on my cereal so I just can’t justify anything with a percent in it! Again, I questioned him. His excuse? “They didn’t have any skim milk!” Where is this guy shopping?

So those were the only two issues I uncovered this weekend. Well, that and the fact that I’m missing a Jess Weekly. Now I have no idea who she’s hooking up with this week. But whoever he is, I bet he’s not nice enough to put a blue substance in the toilet.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Language of Liz

Those of you who know my friend Liz know that her dialect is a little bit wacky. But for some reason it’s also really contagious. Now that I’ve been around her for the last few weeks I’ve started to pick up some of her lingo. In case you ever encounter Liz, I’ll prepare you with a list of definitions and examples.

Dundies: adj. To be done; to be drunk, to feel stupid, to feel sad, to feel frustrated. It means just about anything you want it to mean. “I’m dundies with this project!” or “I got so dundies last night.”

Shite: n. An expression to be used in place of shit. “Oh, shite. I can’t believe I left my cell phone at home. I’m dundies.” (Sometimes they double up).

“Stress me out and call me Thelma:” "I have so much work to do. Stress me out and call me Thelma!" I don't know who Thelma is.

Missee: adj. Miserable “You’re hungover today because you got dundies last night? That’s missee.”

Muffin: adj. Cute, perky, sweet. “You’re such a muffin!”

Frie: n. (pronounced 'free'). It means Friend “Liz is my frie. She talks funny.”

“Which we love:” An expression used in response to something you really love or really hate: “I’m going to have margaritas tonight…which we love” or “I have to go have a root canal…which we love.” This is an expression you really need to hear to understand. Call me and I’ll say it for you.

Dundaleeza Rice: adj. This is like the ultimate dundies:

Dundie Rumsfeld: adj. She likes to involve the whole presidential cabinet when possible.

“UN-BE-LIEVABLE. But totally believable.” An expression meaning “I can’t believe that. But wait. Yes, I can.”

“That’s a sad story.” Okay, this one I made up but she uses it all the time so it’s practically hers. It’s a response to someone complaining about something trivial like “I fell asleep on a lawn chair and got waffle face.” You would say, “That’s a sad story” or perhaps even “That’s the saddest story I ever heard.”

I know there are plenty more where that came from so I’ll let Liz comment with an addendum. Cause right about now I’m Dundaleeza Rice with it!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Another Lesson from my Dad

It’s a busy Writinggal day so you know what that means: Another quote from my dad! Or perhaps you just read the title and came to that conclusion. Either way, here it is:

“Hand me my ski mask”
-my Dad’s response when I would ask for something expensive; he had to go rob the Stop N Go.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Bed and Breakfast it Ain't

Sure the Extended Stay has a bed and you can eat breakfast here (got my trusty giant box of Kashi from Costco sitting right here) but that’s where the similarities end.

At a B&B, you have a cozy room.
At the Extended Stay, I have a cramped room.

At a B&B they change your bed linens daily.
At the Extended Stay, they pretend to change your bed linens weekly. I know because I hid a crumpled tissue in my sheets and it was still there after “cleaning day.”

At a B&B they provide warm eggs any style
At the Extended Stay they provide pastel-colored lifesavers that are probably leftovers from Easter ‘05

At a B&B when you eat breakfast with your spouse you each get a bowl.
At the Extended Stay when Frank came to visit we had to take turns eating cereal because we only had one bowl. One morning I didn’t want to wait so I ate my Kashi out of a mug. Hey, it was either that or the frying pan.

At a B&B they vacuum your room.
At the Extended Stay they vacuum most of your room except for the Cheetos crumbs under the bed (which would be fine except I haven’t eaten Cheetos the whole time I’ve been here).

At a B&B you may encounter a few of your own stray hairs from your head.
At the Extended Stay you may encounter a few stray hairs. But they’re not your own. And they’re not from anybody’s head.

Maybe I'll go out for breakfast.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

How Elsa Got Her Shoes Back

I went to spin class on Friday morning and on Sunday night when I went to set out my spin shoes they were gone. I searched the Extended Stay, my car, the Extended Stay some more (there weren’t that many places they could be) and then I called the gym. Surely, if I had left them there the instructor would have noticed and would have put them in the lost and found. Here’s our conversation:

Gym Employee: “It’s a great day to work out at Lance Armstrong 24 Hour Fitness, my name is Lisa, how may I direct your call?”
WG: “Hi, I think I left my spin shoes there. Did anybody turn them in?”
Gym Employee: “No, I haven’t seen any and there isn’t anything in the lost and found.”
WG: “Oh, okay…Um, bye.”

The more I thought about it the more I was positive I had left them there. I called back:

GE: “It’s a great day to work out at Lance Armstrong 24 Hour Fitness, my name is Lisa, how may I direct your call?”
WG: “Hi, I just called about leaving my spin shoes. I’m sure I left them there. Could you leave a message for the instructor to call me if she found them?”
GE: “Um, I guess so…”
(insert me giving her instructor’s name and my info).
GE: “Okay, have a good day,” (LAUGHING)

So she either was flirting with front desk boy or she thought that me losing my spin shoes was hilarious.

And let me point out two important details:
1, As a spin instructor myself, I’m somewhat of an employee of said gym. Therefore I am not using this girl’s real name nor do I wish to launch any sort of media slander campaign against my semi-employer.
2. Spin shoes are really expensive!!

Yesterday, I went to the gym anyway (despite my lack of appropriate footwear) and asked the front desk girl (different girl) if she had seen any spin shoes. She immediately said, “Oh, yes. I found them on Friday and put them in the lost and found. They’re right there.” She pointed to the top of a file cabinet where my shoes were perched.

Now I ask you, why couldn’t “Lisa” take a little glance that way and realize the same thing? She didn’t even try! And there I was, Sunday night, frantically searching for spin shoes online, emailing other instructors for advice and downright panicking over not getting to say goodbye to my trusty kicks.

So the moral of the story is, don’t trust people when they say they can’t find your spin shoes and they don’t sound like they’ve even looked. You’ve gotta look for your spin shoes yourself.

Or maybe the moral of the story is, “If you set your spin shoes free and they come back, they’re really yours. If they don’t, they never really were.” That was on a poster in my friend Jaime’s room growing up. Except it was about a unicorn. I’m pretty sure it still applies.

But probably the moral is don’t leave expensive things lying around for other people to take.

Nah. I like the unicorn one better.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Plane Puzzlers

I have never once in my life purchased or even drank tomato juice. I don’t know anyone who ever has it in their house. And at restaurants I’ve never heard anyone else at the table say, “Tomato juice for me, please.”

Yet whenever I’m on a plane the person next to me inevitably orders this concoction. What is it about planes that make people want to drink the catsup paste?

And while we’re on the subject, I’ve never been at someone’s house where they said, “Hey, ya want something to drink? How ‘bout a Ginger Ale?” Yet on planes passengers suddenly get a hankering for it.

Here’s another one: Bailey’s and cream. I love the stuff. But again, really just hear about it on the plane.

Oh, wait, Frank has one to add: “What about those warm towels they give to first class? Even in the fanciest restaurants they don’t give you warm towels before you eat. Wassup with that?”

Good point, Frank. Although we'd probably have to go to a fancy restaurant to actually confirm that. And when we do I dare you order the catsup paste. I call the Ginger Ale.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Convertible Confessions

Let me set the scene: yesterday I was driving around in my Bug (not a leisurely drive but a quick trip to downtown Austin to pick up Frank’s wallet which he left in a cab—another blog). So I’m driving around in my Bug and it’s a warm 82 degrees, sun’s shining, etc. That’s when the convertible guilt sets in.

Those of you who drive one know what I mean. If it’s a really nice day and you’re driving around with the top up, you look like a fool. Everyone glares at you just like they would if you had a pool and didn’t use it. Or if you lived next door to a Chick Fila and doesn’t get a chicken sandwich and lemonade every day. Or if you could speak fluent Turkish but never went to Turkey.

So in an effort to avoid being a Turkish-speaking loser, I pulled over and put the top down. It was hot. But I looked cool and people even honked at me so it was worth it. And then, a convertible miracle—a kick-ass song.

Really, almost any song sounds good when the top is down but this song was particular perfection—Toto’s Africa: Gonna take some time to drag me away from you. There’s nothing that 100 men or more could ever do. I caught some rays down in Africa. Gonna take some time to do the things we never could. Mmmm….mmmm…

It’s about that time that I thought, “I really need to write a blog about why Toto rocks.” But then I remembered that the only two songs I know by Toto are this one and Rosanna (which is about Rosanna Arquette—a little fact I tell Frank every time it comes on even though he doesn’t know who she is. I have to say Courteney Cox’s husband’s sister).

But then I experienced another side of convertible guilt. I pulled up to the light and one of my homeless friends was there with a pretty good sign: “Layed off. Single Mom.” Poor gal. With those spelling skills I believe her! There she was standing there in the hot sun begging for money and here I was, jamming out to Toto in my silver bug: I caught some rays down in Africa…”I couldn’t decide if I should give her money or not. Will she spend it on drugs? Or a junior bacon cheeseburger at Wendy’s? (I was just gonna give her a dollar.) Luckily, the light changed and I could move on (and so could my guilt).

By the time my drive was over I had some sweaty legs, the beginnings of a sunburn and some nasty, tangled convertible hair. But I least I didn’t feel guilty. And at least I didn’t waste my Turkish skills. And at least I knew all the words to Courteney Cox’s husband’s sister’s ex-boyfriend’s song.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thursday Night Lights

Thursday is my favorite day. You probably like Friday. How original. Or Saturay. What a cliché.

I'll take Thursday any day (and it's not just for the Must See TV although that's a big part of it). You see, I like to look forward to things. So on Thursday, the weekend's almost here. But on Friday, it's already here and that means it's on its way to being over. As far as I'm concerned, Friday might as well be Sunday night.

So that's why I like Thursday. And that's why tonight I'm looking forward to watching some Must See TV and popping open one of my mini-bottles of wine from the four-pack Cabernet I bought at HEB. Heck, I might even have two. It's Thursday!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Home Sweet Extended Stay Home

I thought staying at an extended stay hotel would be glamorous—my own little apartment with a kitchenette, a living room and perhaps some decent detangling conditioner (none of that shampoo-and-conditioner-in-one crap).

I was quite delusional. Let me just say that I would LOVE some of that shampoo-and-conditioner-in-one stuff right about now.

There’s no living room, the carpets are stained, the front-desk people are rude and the halls of my non-smoking floor are, in fact, quite smokey.

Here’s how the conversation went when I called to inquire about this:

WG: Aren’t I supposed to be on a non-smoking floor?
Extended Stay Front Desk Person: Yes, you are.
WG: Well it’s really smokey on this non-smoking floor.
ESFDP: That’s because we’re renovating the fourth floor (which is the smoking floor) and we had to move all of them to the third floor.
WG: So now since smokers are on the third floor I guess it’s not really a non-smoking floor, is it?
ESFDP: It’s still a non-smoking floor. It just has smokers on it.

How do you argue with that Extended Stay logic?

Apparently over the weekend when I was in Dallas they began renovating the third floor too. I was the last to know. I arrived at my quarters to find—in addition to the carpet stains on the hall floor—paint chips everywhere and plastic covering all the doors. Well, all the doors except mine. Ah! I felt so Flatliners, having to stay in this room amidst all the remodeling. Luckily there was a message on my phone telling me to move.

So now I’m on a new floor with not-so-many carpet stains and new, non-smoker neighbors. I think I’m starting to like it here. In fact, I think I’m going to invite my Extended Stay mates over for a little happy hour. I’ve got everything we need: a four-pack of those mini-wine bottles, a giant box of Kashi and a TV with several channels. Okay, fine; I’ll invite the front desk girl too. Maybe she can hook us up with some free shampoo-and-conditioners-in-one.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Subway Switcharoo

I know; I know. I give our friends at Subway a hard time. But that’s just because they have so much potential! They just always seem to screw up a good thing.

Quick update on mayo and then I’ll move on to my latest beef (I love unintended puns that turn out to be intended):

I’ve switched to spicy mustard. I think that’s the same as deli brown. Deli brown is only FIVE calories. Five calories? Hold on. Let me do the African Ant-Eater dance for 30-seconds. Bye-bye, spicy mustard. I would have to do the AAE dance for five minutes to burn off my light mayo (if that is really what it is).

Okay, so now that I’m down with the brown, you’d think all my Subway situations would be under control, right? Nope. Yesterday on my scenic drive from Dallas to Austin I stopped at the Subway in Waco (almost bumped into Dick Cheney who was there for a speech—had to run for cover). Before I got there I started wondering what the daily special would be. I was impressed with myself for knowing Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. (Did I say IMpressed? Make that DEpressed.)

Anyway, I knew about Sunday because Frank and I always get the roasted chicken after spin class. I knew about Wednesday because that’s turkey and that’s my second fave. I knew about Saturday because Frank and I went the other day on a Saturday and it was roast beef and we sang that song about piggies and toes and one going “wee wee wee” all the way home. Don’t worry; we kept our shoes on.

Anyway (again), I gotta tell you how I know about tuna. The other day Frank and I were at a different Subway in Waco (on a Saturday but not the same Saturday that we sang the piggy song). This guy in front of us said to the artist, “Well, I guess I’ll have the tuna,” and then he sighed. He seemed very reluctant to get the tuna and I wondered why he couldn’t find a sandwich to be stoked about (has he not tried the oven roasted chicken breast?) Then he asked, “So what’s the deal with the daily special?” The artist explained that the special of the day is $2.49. I then realized that this dude thought that TODAY was tuna day and that’s why he ordered it. But it was roast beef day! You know, piggies, goin’ to market, staying home, wee wee wee…I struggled with whether or not to tell him but in the end decided to not make more scenes than I was about to make with all my questions and special requests.

Okay, but back to yesterday in Waco: The daily special was turkey and ham. Here’s the conversation between the artist and me:

WG: What’s the difference between the turkey and the turkey and ham?
Artist: The turkey and ham has ham.
WG: But I don’t want ham. I just want turkey. Could I have the turkey and ham without the ham so it can be the daily special?
Artist: No. That would be the turkey special which is on Wednesday.
WG: I know the turkey special is on Wednesday. It’s my second favorite sandwich. I’ll probably come back on Wednesday but to a location in Austin. So I’m definitely a loyal customer. Now what if I order the turkey and ham, pay the $2.49 for the daily special and then take off the ham?
Artist: That’s fine.
WG: So you’re gonna put ham on my sandwich even though you KNOW I’m going to throw it out? Isn’t that a waste of ham?
Artist: Look, the daily special is turkey and ham. Do you want that? Or do you want a regular turkey sandwich?
WG: I’d like the daily special please.

I totally thought I had found a loop hole in the Subway system.

But that artist was too smart for me! When he put my spicy mustard on my soon-to-be-just turkey sandwich, he made sure to put it all on the ham! So basically, I had a turkey sandwich with no dressing. I learned later from some inside sources (advertising friends who work on the Subway account) that because I got the turkey and ham I actually got LESS turkey than if I had gotten the regular turkey sandwich. No wonder I was hungry two hours later! I was so bummed I cried “wee wee wee” all the way home.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Baby Shower Shenanigans

On Sunday Frank and I went to a couples’ baby shower. It’s funny because this was only the second baby shower Frank had ever attended and the first one was just a few weeks ago.

Oh, wait. There was that one in 2000:

Frank and I were invited to a couples’ wedding shower in Austin one Saturday evening. We were driving down the street, looking for the address, when we saw some balloons on a mailbox. We weren’t positive this was the right house until we saw lots of cars. One of those cars was our friends Jason and Eric’s. They drove up beside our car and said, “We’ll be right back. We forgot the card,” and they gestured towards the house with the balloons.

So Frank and I walked up to the house, knocked on the door and nobody answered. Well, it’s a party so we could just walk in, right? So we did. Many smiling faces greeted us and I said, “Hi, I’m Elsa!” to everyone who made eye contact with me. I thought to myself, I don’t recognize anybody here but I guess I really wouldn’t—just the bride and groom (and Jason and Eric who had left their card at home).

I was holding this big present (I know, how rude of Frank to not carry it) so I went to set it down with all the other gifts. As I set it down I noticed something odd. All of the presents were pink. My present was silver. I slowly turned around and everyone was staring at me.

Then one girl confirmed what I had already suspected: “Um, I think you’re at the wrong house."

I froze with the big, silver present. I looked over at Frank and he looked equally surprised as he started to make a run for the door. I thought about how Jason and Eric had pointed at this house. They were so lucky they had forgotten their card and…wait a second.

“Don’t feel bad,” the girl said, “You weren’t the first people to do it. These other guys came in here with a big keg! They carried it through the house and said, ‘Which way to the back yard?’”

So at least we didn’t do that. But after that fiasco it would be six years before we would be invited to another couples’ baby shower.

Hmmm…I’m starting to think Frank may have been in on this after all.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Kick Me, Katie

She brightens our mornings, touches our hearts and even convinces us to let strangers probe our buttocks. She’s Katie. And we’re bummed that she’s leaving Today.

At our house Katie is a morning fixture (like Kashi and poops). In fact, when the alarm sounds the first thing Frank says is, “Is the remote on your side? We gotta watch Katie.” That’s right. We don’t even call it the Today Show. We just call it Katie.

We even discuss what she’s wearing: “Oh, she’s doing that whole Asian thing again,” Frank will say. Or I’ll yell, “Get in here! Katie’s got on fishnet panty hose!”

Once I even got into an argument at a restaurant about the greatness that is Katie. This girl said, “I hate her. She so biased.” I said I liked her and that I thought she was a good journalist and the girl said, “Good journalist? She’s so liberal.” I began ranting about what a great mom she is and how she’s turned the tragedy of her husband’s death into significant progress in colon cancer research, not to mention she knows how to ask the hard questions in interviews. It got pretty heated. I don’t like it when people dis Katie.

I’ll miss her toothy grin, the way she awkwardly flirts with that “where in the world” guy and her story transitions: “Now, on a much lighter note…”

Sure, I could watch her on the CBS Evening News but you know what that means? I’d have to watch the news. Who am I? My parents?

Now the question is, will we still watch the show formerly known as Katie? Will we start calling it Meredith? Nah. And by the way, I can’t believe they picked Meredith Vieira for this gig. She’s older than Katie! This is the same way I felt when Pope Benedict stepped in. Why not get some fresh, young blood in there?

You can imagine Frank’s disappointment when I had to explain to him that it wasn’t “the hot girl from The View.” He was appalled: “What? Why wouldn’t they pick that Survivor girl?” I had to then teach him the difference between a TV personality and an actual journalist. I’m not sure he understood because by the end of the conversation he was lobbying for Kristin Cavallari: “Think about it. She’s got the SAME INITIALS as Katie.”

So Katie, we wish you well. I know it was a good career move for you and as your biggest fans, we’ll always support you. And as Frank says: “Guess we get to sleep in a little later now.”

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Anniversary Aftermath

Yesterday was Frank and me’s (Frank and I’s? Frank’s and mine? What is it? Hey, I’m the writer here) anniversary. Yep, three years. And as Seinfeld once said, “Well, three years is a long time to be married.”

But this anniversary we were apart. I’m here in A-town and Frank’s in Big D. So I don’t have any fun Fiesta Trio, TGI Friday Feasts to tell you about. But we’re going out on Friday to celebrate so surely there will be blog-worthy tales. Except now that I think about it, our anniversaries always seem to be ripe with controversy:

On our first anniversary we went to Gruene. We started a tradition of taking a picture and holding up the number of years we’ve been married. Cute, huh?

But then I got this killer tummy ache and Frank ended up touring the town on his own and taking more random feet pictures like this one:

For our second anniversary we went to the Oasis and took this picture.

Excellent dinner. I had a veggie burger. But then a few months later the whole darn place burned down.

And speaking of disasters, even our wedding day included chaos. As we were driving away from the reception in our limo, we stuck our heads out the sun roof long enough to wave when suddenly golf-ball sized (they’re always golf-ball sized, aren’t they?) hail began to pound on us. The limo driver had to pull over under a carport in a random parking lot where we sat for about half an hour, watching Texas lose in the Final Four. The next day Frank’s back car window was completely blown out. Our second day of marital bliss involved taking his car to get the window replaced.

But even though our anniversaries aren't always perfect, at least they're real. I mean, you can have your chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne and dinners with two forks, I'll take a hearty meal at a large chain restaurant and a Vitatop. And that, my friends, is the secret to a good marriage. Well, that and a new bag in the trash can.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Brain Freeze Fact v. Fiction

I got a brain freeze last night--off of a Baby A's margarita. I immediately put my thumb on the roof of my mouth to stop the freezing:

Someone else said you're supposed to put your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

And another claimed you should lick your lips.

When somebody said a cartwheel usually cures it, I knew we needed some clarification.

What works best? And are we just doing these things to distract us from the real problem at hand? (or at brain?)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Writinggal on the Road

It’s me, Writinggal, coming to you live from Austin, Texas. I’ve got a little project I’m working on here in Austin for the next few weeks so I’ll be blogging from the capital city.

People have told me that I won’t like driving back and forth between Austin and Dallas so much but I say, “Are you kidding? Have you seen the sites on I35?” Let me give you a little tour:

First, right out of Dallas you hit Red Oak. I don’t know what it is but I always think of Aunt Honey. That’s Doug Clayton’s aunt and all I remember is that she lives in Red Oak and sometimes they go there for Thanksgiving or Easter. I say “Wassup, Aunt Honey?” when I go through it.

About an hour outside you’ll hit Italy. When I drove through it this weekend I was on the phone with Liz and I said, “We’re in Italy…the city.” Just had to clarify. I should have said, “We’re in Italy, you know the place with the monolithic domes?” One day I’m gonna visit those domes. Who’s in?

Speaking of places I keep meaning to visit, how ‘bout Carl’s Corner? From what I hear it’s like the Four Seasons of truck stops. And Willie Nelson plays there sometimes. But as long as I can get some chocolate zingers, I’m sold.

Once I did the I35 trek with the Womacks (before they were the Womacks) and boy, do they know how to take a road trip. Every time one of us would casually mention something like, “Hey, a Blizzard sounds good,” Scott would immediately pull over and we would get one. Same went for the Czech Bakery in West. Tami said, “I could use a kolache” and bam, we were there. The kolaches were big and cheap, just the way I like ‘em!

If you look down to change the radio station about half an hour outside of Waco, you’ll miss Troy, Texas, hometown of the Loyd’s! And if you miss it, well, that’s probably okay.

Just North of Georgetown you’ve got Salado, an antiquer’s paradise. I’m not into antiques so I think of it more as a clutter-phobic’s worst nightmare.

So as you can see, there’s never a lack of things to see on your trip from Big D to the Live Music Capital of the World. I’m making the trip again on Friday. If I get too tired when I’m almost back to Dallas, I’ll probably just crash at Aunt Honey’s. Word is she’s got a monolithic dome. Yes. Two birds, one stone. I love this state.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Catching up with an Old Friend

In college, no matter what, we had three square meals a day—lunch, dinner and the 2 a.m. run to Taco Cabana. There is nothing like a bean and cheese burrito and a cup of queso in the middle of the night. It just tastes better for some reason. Perhaps that reason has to do with the cocktails that usually precede it.

Some people preferred other late night haunts like Wendy’s or Taco Bell. And others got all fancy with their late night at Kirby Lane. I don’t want a waiter—just a scratchy voice comin’ through that speaker.

Did you ever watch that short-lived show on MTV, Sorority Life? The girls at UC Davis had a weird late-night food addiction: green beans. They’d get home after 2, turn on the burners, pop open a can and feast on vegetables! Candace would be stirring them up while Amanda would whine about her problems. I don’t know which is worse: the fact that these college girls preferred green beans over refried or the fact that I remember that their names were Candace and Amanda. Fine. I know Jordan and Mara too. But that’s all.

For me, I had to squash that habit when I got out of college. I rarely make trips to the Taco C drive-thru anymore. It’s not because I don’t WANT to; believe me, I want to. But I rarely go out until 2 a.m. (when the queso craving kicks in) and Frank is really weird about it. He always says, “I’d just rather go to sleep.” No fun.

This weekend in Austin, however, after a night of wine and ¾ of a Mexican martini—1/4 went to Frank; we were supposed to split it—I gave in. We were with Liz and Daniel and I heard rumblings from them about going to Taco C. We were staying out their house so WE would HAVE to go. We had no choice. Frank couldn’t argue with it! And to my surprise, Frank was all for it.

It was good to see my old friend, bean and cheese burrito. Frank had a chicken burrito and get this: after he ate that he went BACK up to the counter and ordered something else. That is not like him at all. Spending MORE money on something he doesn’t usually want? Who was this guy?

And speaking of out of character, I didn’t order any queso. I just mooched off of Daniel’s. But when I started to scrape the queso off the plastic lid, Liz had to stop me. Thanks, again, Liz. That’s what friends are for. Oh, and friends don’t let friends eat green beans in the middle of the night. It’s just not right.