Saturday, April 30, 2005


I am angry so I am going to rant, and then it will all be out of my system so I can get back to practicing patience and tolerance.

1. Yesterday I took my car to the Buick dealership because the driver's side-view mirror, which they replaced in October, fell off again. I told them to please fix it again, and then change the oil and do my state inspection. So they fixed my mirror, and then told me the car wouldn't pass inspection because the oxygen sensor needed to be replaced and that would be about $400.00, please. So we called Ken's Mufflers and the guy said if I needed a new oxygen thingy it would be about $150.00, so we picked up my car from the Buick dealership and went to Ken's. So the nice man at Ken's plugged in a thing that reads codes and tells you what your car's problem is, and the code that came up was not the oxygen sensor at all, but the evaporative somesuch, and I should take my car on over to Belmont garage where they are good and fair. So I went home and called Belmont Garage and had the pleasure of talking to the world's rudest man who said I'd just have to bring my car in on Monday and leave it and that it could take hours (he said "arrs") to fix and he was just a real jerk and he made me so mad, but I will take my car there anyway because I don't know anything about evaporative somesuches and neither does Kev, so what else can I do? Why do we let people get away with being so rude? If someone called my office needing help with their kid, and I talked to them in such a hateful and condescending way, I would not have any clients and I'd be out of work pretty quick. But for some reason, many (NOT ALL) mechanics have this terrible attitude and poor social skills, and we just let it go because they know the magical secrets of cars. So now, after a whole day of car hassles, I still don't know what's wrong with my car, how much it will cost to fix, how long it will take, and meanwhile my inspection sticker expires tomorrow and I have to go see the mean man first thing Monday. So that's one thing I am mad about.

2. I found out that 7 democratic congresspersons failed to show up for the vote on the budget. Had they shown up, the budget would not have passed, and the Artic would be safe for now. Is it not a congressperson's responsibility to his or her constituents to show up and vote on stuff? I am so disgusted.

3. People drive too fast down my street.

4. Humans seem hell-bent on blowing each other up, abducting each other, and covering the planet with oil refineries and strip malls and Wal-Marts. Plus many of them are hateful, rude, and condescending. Dogs don't do any of those things.

5. Mosquitoes.

6. I am dismayed to find out that a house across the street is going to be the latest tear-down, meaning I have months of construction noise and big trucks blocking the street to look forward to, resulting in a new ugly giant McMansion.

OK, I think that is all I am mad about right now. Hopefully I can be nicer to Kev now. None of this is his fault, but he is the one who has to put up with my grouchiness. So, sorry to Kev, and to all of you who had to read all this negativity. Better days ahead I hope.

Friday, April 29, 2005


Well, Congress has passed the budget resolution, making things look grim for the Alaskan Artic Wildlife Refuge. I feel very sad. I have a giant pit in my stomach. I am very disgusted with short-sighted people and politics and oil companies and so forth. If you like me and the LRHS and wildlife at all, please go to my Sierra Club link on the right and sign the latest petition. Maybe there is still hope. It would mean a lot to me. I have pasted the statement from our side below, please read if you want to learn more about this. Thanks.

April 29 , 2005
CONTACT:Annie E. Strickler (202) 675-2384
Alaska Wilderness League * Audubon * Defenders of Wildlife * Earthjustice * Gwich'in Steering Committee * League of Conservation Voters * National Wildlife Federation * Natural Resources Defense Council * Sierra Club * The Wilderness Society * Trustees for Alaska * US Public Interest Research Group
Statement on Passage of Budget Resolution Conference Report
April 29, 2005
The passage of this budget resolution means that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still at risk. A budget conference report need not say the words “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge” to pave the way for Arctic Refuge drilling. At the same time, we are encouraged by the strong bipartisan opposition to this budget resolution. In particular, Rep. Nancy Johnson (R, CT) deserves the gratitude of all conservation-minded Americans for her leadership in making the vote in the US House of Representatives a strong bipartisan statement against drilling.
The budget process is not over, and we will continue to fight every step of the way, using every procedural and legislative option at our disposal, to ensure that Congress ultimately listens to the majority of Americans and rejects every effort to include Arctic Refuge drilling in the reconciliation bill.
Although the resolution that passed today does not mention the Refuge by name, it is clearly intended to provide the chairmen of the House Resources and Senate Energy Committees everything they need to push drilling through by circumventing the normal 60-vote requirement for controversial legislation in the Senate. Both committees’ chairmen, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), have made it clear that they will try to use these instructions to force Arctic drilling through the reconciliation bill.
By requiring those committees to “reduce spending” by $2.4 billion over 6 years, the budget conferees are sending those committees a clear and unambiguous signal to “drill away.” It is no coincidence that $2.4 billion is almost exactly the federal share of the unrealistic projection for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge leasing revenue released several months ago by the Congressional Budget Office. Pressed by reporters at Thursday’s press conference, Senator Gregg was forced to concede that this budget would allow the Senate to consider drilling in the filibuster-proof reconciliation bill. [CALL (202) 266-0409 to hear a recording of the reporter’s question and Sen. Gregg’s answer.]
This vote is another example of the extraordinary disconnect between public opinion and Congressional action. Americans have remained steadfast in their commitment to keeping the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge wild, unspoiled, and free of oil drilling. To an even greater extent, they are overwhelmingly opposed to sneaking drilling the Arctic Refuge into the budget process. Over the past several weeks, hundreds of thousands of Americans have called, written letters, e-mailed, and faxed their representatives in Washington to voice their opposition to Arctic Refuge drilling. And starting today, they will be letting their Members of Congress know how unhappy they are about this vote and encouraging their representatives in Washington to continue to fight to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
There are some places that should be off-limits to oil drilling and industrial development, and the Arctic Refuge is one of them. Drilling would do nothing to reduce gas prices or alleviate our dependence on foreign oil, yet the harm to wildlife habitat for polar bear, caribou, and millions of migratory birds and to the people of the Gwich'in Nation whose subsistence culture is based on the caribou would be permanent and irreparable. We have a moral responsibility to save wild places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for future generations. That’s why our country has remained committed to its protection for nearly 50 years.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Those Bee People

OK, after doing some minimal research, I have discovered that the Chicken Payback band is called The Band of Bees, and they have stuff you can get on the internet, so I will be putting them on my birthday/Christmas list unless Larryfeathers would like to burn some stuff for me before then. This is music that will make you feel really happy, at least that's what I can tell from the samples on Amazon. I rarely get excited about any new music because it requires too much research to find any good stuff. In fact, the last new music I heard and liked was the Shins and that's only because my friend Curtis had it on at a pumpkin carving thing a couple of years ago. So thanks to Roberto Mintez for helping me find out about the happy bee people, and some other good stuff too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What on Earth

has happened to the Mavericks?

Keeping the Positivity Going

If I was a mean and nasty person like Noreen from Emeraldbile, I would write about how much I hate people who talk about sushi a lot, and how tired I am of poker being on TV all the time, and all of the violent things I will do if I hear any more songs about rain.
Instead, I will write about the greatness of Central Market, my happiness to see a new Mr. Rogers book at Barnes and Noble yesterday, and the fact that there should be lots more songs like "Chicken Payback" by some people called Bees.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Feelin' Like a Freak

Today before it started raining, it was a really nice day, so we decided to go to the lake for a picnic. We packed some stuff, and went to get sandwiches. Kev said the grocery store's deli will make sandwiches. I didn't believe him but we went to Kroger anyway, and there near the deli were some pre-made sandwiches with turkey and lettuce and tomato and it was difficult to tell what else. Now, I was not going to spend 4+ dollars on a sandwich with lettuce and tomato and possibly one or more of my kryptonites (mayo, mustard, pickle), so Kev said to ask at the deli counter if they would make me a sandwich. Now, the deli counter was crowded with people who were there to do what one is SUPPOSED to do at the deli counter, which is to purchase the necessary things you need to go home and make your OWN sandwich. And naturally, the deli counter lady was somewhat taken aback by my request, but said she could make me a sandwich, and what would I like on it? I said I would like black forest ham and provolone cheese and that's all, thank you. No mayo? she asked. No, I replied. So she goes about making my sandwich. Then she comes back and says,"Are you sure you don't want anything else on this?" No thank you, I say. She finds this baffling.
"Don't you want a pickle?"
By now, all the deli counter customers are having a good laugh. I look around, and Kev is nowhere to be found, clearly embarrassed to be with the Crazy-Nothing-on-the-Sandwich Girl. It was humiliating. I shan't ask for a sandwich in the grocery store deli ever again.

Things got better. We had a nice picnic, and guess what! The ice cream man was at the lake, so I got a fudge bomb pop, and it was so great.

Corridor of Happiness

I wish this was a better picture of the Corridor of Happiness...but see how happy this lady is with her pizza? Other people in the background are sitting outside having lunch surrounded by nice trees. Only bad part is the smokers. Posted by Hello

Baby Mockingbird

This baby mockingbird lives in our yard. Yesterday we watched it learning to fly. It is very cute and loud and I hope it learns to fly soon so the cat doesn't get it. Posted by Hello

Friday, April 22, 2005


Even though I am mad at Kev right now, because when I got home he said, "How was Dork-fest, I bet you got a stress-ball and some pencils," I need to inform the readers of the LRHS that Kev does not think about math all the time, and he is nothing like the Rain Man, in spite of what I may or may not have written in a previous blog. I think that what he really thinks about is new ways to make fun of his wife. That's OK. I can take it.

Haus Frau

Today I also cleaned my oven. Easy-Off my ass.


Today I went downtown, and I liked what I saw. There is a lot more going on down there than there used to be. People everywhere, shops, restaurants, etc. I met my friend John at Earthfest, which was pretty cool...I signed a pledge to help keep Dallas beautiful, and I got some free Cliff Bars, a notepad, a couple of magnets, and some other stuff, and I met an Opossum named Arnie, and I saw a really bad Elvis impersonator. John and I ate lunch at Campisi's, which is in what I have decided to call the Corridor of Happiness, because it was long and thin, like a corridor, and all the people there were happy with their pizza and gyros and coffee and patio seating. Then we went to Magic Magic Dollar Store, where a very nice man sold John some gum. Downtown used to be dead. Not anymore. That's a good thing.

I celebrated Earth Day by hanging up my new flag and filling all my bird feeders and learning about Hybrid cars and riding the train. Kev is mowing the lawn and cleaning out the gutters.

Have a good weekend.

Happy Earth Day

Go Team Earth! Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Yesterday I was alerted via email of the upcoming North Garland High School Class of 1986 20-Year Reunion. This does not make me happy. I am old. In an effort to make me feel even worse, my silver hairs are all standing awkwardly at attention today, away from the rest of the hairs, as if to say "Look at me!" Thanks, humidity.

I haven't decided about going to the reunion yet. There are only a handful of people I have any interest in seeing that I don't already see on a pretty regular basis. Plus, it costs a LOT of money for a ticket. And I am pretty sure Kev wouldn't have much fun being paraded around and introduced to a bunch of Garlandites. Then again, it might be kind of like participating in a real-life episode of King of the Hill. Which could be fun. We could play "Spot-the-Dale," or "Find-a-Bill," or "Who-Looks-the-Most-Like-Peggy." My friends and I crashed the 10-year reunion, meaning we showed up at the end of the night wearing jeans and not paying. Pretty typical behavior from the "Iron Maidens," as Bryce used to call us. It was kind of weird and surreal. Well, I guess I have a year to decide about this one. Ugh.

I don't like being old, but I sure am glad I'm not in High School anymore.

Swiss Miss

On our road trip, we were listening to the great Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. One song has a lady doing some fine yodelling. I said I wish I could yodel, and Kev said even if I could, I wouldn't share it with the world. That's not true. If I could yodel, I'd yodel all the time. Maybe I'd even go over to Mockingbird Station and yodel next to the blind guy who plays harmonica, or the guy with the vibes near the fountain. So, today when I was in my car all alone, I tried with all my might to yodel, and I will tell you I have a better chance of becoming the fourth tenor than a star yodeler. Someday, I'll find my talent...

Something to Do for Thursday

Cool Marty alerted me to this:

I think LarryFeathers should start working on his entry for next year...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The other day I was thinking

about my friend Carla from high school. She had a loud cackle-y laugh and a cat named "Extra." I miss fun Carla.

Who Wants to Play a Game?

Name FIVE people with funny beards.

What's so Funny About Arkansas and Oklahoma?

Ah, the soothing sounds of jack-hammers in the morning! In an attempt to recreate my vacation serenity, I took a walk in my neighborhood this morning. In spite of all the city noise, it was pretty OK. There were birds and flowers and it was misting, which created the illusion of fresh clean air.

I know most people's vacation destination lists probably do not include Arkansas and Oklahoma, but I'll tell you what, these places have a lot going for them. They both have lots of nice State Parks, and lakes (real ones that weren't made by the army corps of engineers), and wildlife, and mountains. Not big mountains, but mountains nonetheless. Where we stayed, at Mt. Nebo, I think the elevation was about 1200-something. That reminds me, on our way home yesterday, we drove through the confusingly-named East Texas towns of Mt. Vernon and Mt. Pleasant. These are places where the speedbumps and the fire-ant mounds are competing for the honor of highest elevation. I imagine a long long time ago, the town's founder saying to his wife, "Hey, Marge, maybe if we call this place Mt. Pleasant, lots of people will pioneer themselves on out here and we'll have ourselves a town!" And who wouldn't want to live in a place called Mt. Pleasant? If I was in charge, these kinds of bad town-naming practices wouldn't be allowed. It's just false advertising.

Anyway, at Mt. Nebo, it was delightfully cool and had REAL fresh clean air, and big tall trees, and no noise except the wind and the birds. You don't realize how loud the city really is until you are in a quiet spot in the woods. And right now, Arkansas is covered in Indian Paintbrush. I recommend a drive in Arkansas on State HWY 7 between Russellville and Hot Springs. The road winds up and down hills through the Ouachita (Wa-chi-tah) National Forest. Very very pretty. Arkansas is doing something right. It used to smell like cabbage, so improvements have clearly been made.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Holidays are Nice

We returned from our trip this afternoon, and I feel relaxed and serene. Rather than bore you with every detail of the trip, here are some highlights, followed by a few pictures which you can scroll through quickly, as I know other people's vacation photos aren't fun for most people.
  • Had fun in Paris, grilled, played music in the yard all day, went to the Tower, played with good dogs and nice kids, watched BAD HORRIBLE AWFUL "Sheer Dallas," and went to a diner for special waffles with a side of grits. Oh, and had strawberry pie.
  • (Not so) FUN FACT: In Paris, you can still smoke in diners.
  • Drove through Oklahoma (Cherokee Nation) to Mt. Nebo, hiked, made corn chowder, saw 3 new birds and lots of old birds, met a good dog (see photos), played kazoo accompanied by Kev on guitar, saw lots of wildflowers, got slaughtered at dominoes, and mostly just didn't think about bad stuff.
  • FUN FACT: The state bird of Oklahoma is the Scissor-tailed flycatcher. This is a really cool looking bird that you will see on telephone wires, especially near open fields. If you want to see how pretty they are, go over the the Audubon Link. There is a picture on the home page.
  • FUN FACT: Mt. Nebo State Park has really nice clean cabins and a friendly staff! I hope one of the Rangers will adopt the good abandoned dog.

I missed reading everyone's blogs. It is good to be home. Whitney says she will blog more.

Extra thanks to Whitney and Bob for hosting...we had lots of fun.

Ralph Monkey Goes to Paris Posted by Hello

Whitney and her nice family. Posted by Hello

Future Member of the PPHPHB Posted by Hello

Dog on morning walk. Posted by Hello

The Rim Trail Posted by Hello

Kev as Danger Man (Tara (not pictured) as Unhappy Fretting Wife) Posted by Hello

Turkey Vulture Posted by Hello

Ralph watching the sunset. Posted by Hello

Dog enjoying Sunrise Point Posted by Hello

Friday, April 15, 2005

Being a Dork is Cool!

Last night I told Kev about EarthFest 2005. Do you know what he said? "That's dorky." Now them's fightin' words. I want to know who it was that decided that caring about the planet is dorky? Why is it dorky to watch birds, but cool to hunt and kill birds? Why is it dorky to ride around on a clean quiet bike while wearing a helmet, but cool to drive around town on a big loud pollutey motorcycle with no helmet? Why is it dorky to play a violin, but cool to be able to throw a round orange ball through a hoop? Why is it dorky to read books and learn stuff, but cool to shop-lift, be unemployed, and smoke cigarettes? I am on a campaign to make dorky the new cool. Who's with me?

And I'll tell you what else, while I'm at it. I LIKE MANY HALL AND OATES SONGS!

Hey, we are going on little trip this weekend, first to Paris Texas to see my friend Whitney and her nice family, then to Mt. Nebo State Park in Arkansas to stay in a cabin in the woods and hike and look for birds and critters. I am hoping to have tales of adventure upon our return. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Deep Thoughts

My friend Whitney just started to blog and said she is intimidated because she feels like she needs to have something profound to say. I think that's funny. I don't think I could have a profound thought if I tried. I'd rather read people's amusing stories than their deep thoughts anyway. Today while I was doing some of the work I do for my parents, a really mindless task of tearing off perforated checks to deposit, I monitored my thoughts to see if they were profound. Here is a little peek into the conversations I have in my brain (it should be noted that I was listening to Classic Alternative on Sirius radio at the time):

I like INXS. Poor Michael Hutchins. This sucks. Damn, out of sticky-notes. Where are the extra sticky notes? Here they are. Ooh! Look at all these great colors! I love what they've done with sticky notes. I want to go to Super Target and get some sticky notes for work. Maybe these cool blue ones. Why couldn't I have invented sticky notes? Gene Lovese Jezebel! I saw these guys at a party in the Hard Rock cheese club. They were nice. Boy, that guy is really trying hard to stay in tune. This song is pretty bad. Joy Division! I hate this song. They played this last time I was here. Why do all these singers kill themselves? I could really go for some cinnamon toast. Oh, the Go-gos! I need to get a Go-go's CD. Maybe Jeff can copy me some stuff off...what's that thing called? I can't remember. Dang, that's gonna drive me nuts. I wonder if my parents have any bread....

And so forth. REAL profound.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like inside Kev's brain. He says he can turn off his thoughts anytime he wants. I don't believe him. In my world, there is no such thing as head silence. It is constant chatter in there. Kev, I think, thinks about math a lot. And sometimes, he has real Rain Man moments and will say something like, "Did you know golf spelled backwards is flog?" I would have had to write that down to figure it out. He invents songs in his head, too. I wish I could do that. But the thing I most envy is the head silence. I'd give anything for that. I don't think Kev would like to try going into my brain. I think it would make him really tired, and probably confused.

Fine Young Cannibals!

Well, I am going to go watch American Idol before I go to work. My dad Tivo-ed it for me. I already know that the girl with the big round hair got voted off, but I'm gonna watch it anyway. It is good to watch the Tivo'ed version, because you can FFWD through the crappy bits. It oughta take me about 10 minutes to watch. Then maybe I can go to Super Target for some sticky notes!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


To set an example for the LRHS Challenge, I took the train to work today. It created lift for several reasons. First, it made me feel good about not driving my car and creating pollution. Also, I didn't have to deal with the stress of driving on Central through the high-five. Also, I got some exercise, as it is .8 miles from the train station to my office. Also, it is a beautiful day and not at all hot. When I got off the train, I went to the coffee shop for a sandwich. (By the way, if anyone is interested in a profitable venture, you should put a Smoothie Factory at the Dowtown Plano station.) Then I walked through a nice neighborhood, where there is a good house I like to look at, with a wrap-around porch and a swing and some rocking chairs (at 17th and Ave H.) Then I got to work and I wasn't stressed out from driving or sweaty from walking.
On the train, I found out via the scrolling ticker, that next Friday there will be an Earthfest downtown. (If you want info go to )The ticker also has Fun Facts. Today I learned that originally, all M-n-M's were brown, until 1960. I also learned that not drinking enough water can cause anxiety. I wish they would put me in charge of their Fun Facts. I reckon I could come up with some better ones.
Our train driver was cool, and announced each station with great gusto. He also had to scold a passenger who was standing in the doorway at a station, keeping it from closing. I remember once when Kev got scolded on the streetcar in New Orleans for putting his feet up on the seat.
There were not really any interesting passengers to talk about, like the lady who smelled like balogna, or the other lady who told me I had witchcraft in my shoes, or the cartoon slipper-wearing gang members, or the guy who kept shouting out YES! because he knew the answers to the trivia questions on the ticker. Maybe on the way home.

Take the LRHS Challenge

Earth Day is coming. April 22. So I am challenging all 2 or 3 readers of the LRHS to do at least one small thing every day that is nice to the planet between now and Earth Day. Here are some ideas:
  • Take the train to work.
  • Bring your lunch to work so you don't have to drive to get it.
  • Pick up some litter
  • Shut down your computer for the day, or at least overnight.
  • Get an oil change
  • Buy some organic produce
  • Plant something at your house
  • Turn off the lights
  • Take a super-fast shower
  • Wash the dishes by hand
  • Feed the birds

There is a lot you can do.

Last night I saw a good program on KERA called Journey to Planet Earth, which was very informative in spite of being hosted by Matt Damon. It is a series, and I recommend it.

Go Team Earth!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Dark Days at Mayham

Some of you may be thinking, that Tara is always trying to be so cheerful about stuff, it's so annoying, blah blah blah. But I will tell you I wasn't always like this. Here is a story of dark days.

The summer after high school, my friends Whtiney and Bryce got an apartment in a very questionable complex on Mayham Road at LBJ and Central. It is shocking that their mothers let them live in this place. But they did, so we all had a place to hang out. It was a bad summer for me. I was transitioning away from heavy metal and into the unknown. I was getting ready to go off to UNT in the fall to study - get this - business. I had no ambition. I was 17. I think what I probably thought I wanted to do at the time was work my way up the Sound Warehouse ladder of success, and maybe if I was lucky I could weasle my way into a job at a record company as the girl who goes around to the Sound Warehouses to put up posters. Everyone wanted this job. Those people got a lot of free stuff like CDs and tickets to big rock shows and backstage passes.
Anyway, every night, a bunch of people would gather at the Mayham apartment, because it was the only place to go. At any given time, there could be 15 or 20 people over there. There would always be a couple hours of doing hair and make-up. This was the guys. I can hear Bryce now..."It wasn't was European Theatrical Grease-Paint." I stand corrected. Before grease-paint was applied, mohawks had to be achieved. Those guys kept Aqua-net in business through the late 1980's. I don't know what the primping was all about, because I don't actually remember ever going anywhere except for Denny's.
One night this guy Dino came over. I don't know which cat dragged him in. I think Bryce or somebody met him at the mall and thought he was cool or something. Dino was all bedraggled and punk, with a 12 inch mohawk and the most horrific B.O. you have ever smelled. Dino had a posse of two or three semi-normal guys whose names all started with "J". Once Dino found out about the apartment, he was there ALL the time. One night, Dino and the J's went to the mall and returned with a Ouija Board and a giant machete. Nobody in their right mind would sell any sharp object much less a machete to someone who looked like Dino, so that tells you about the kind of people who worked in the knife store at the mall. During play with the Ouija Board (such utter nonsense) Dino mentioned to someone that he often had homicidal thoughts. It was about that time that someone, I think Bryce, told Dino he was no longer welcome at the apartment. Mayham became slightly less interesting, but smelled a lot better.
Several video tapes were big players at Mayham. The ones I remember most were "Another State of Mind" which was the story of the first Social Distortion tour. It had lots of curse words. Most of my friends had the thing memorized. Another was "The Great Rock and Roll Swindle" which featured Malcolm McClaren and his tiny friend, and a song whose only lyric was "Who killed Bambi" which was repeated over and over in increasingly annoying silly voices. I am pretty sure that both of these films are terrible, and not worth watching, even for nostalgia.
Most of the time, I would get to the apartment early and find a spot on the couch, and watch the goings-on until it was time to go to Denny's.
I was not cheerful then. I complained a lot. If you would have told me I'd eventually like puppies and birds and little children, I would have thought you were nuts.
At least I learned about some good music during that time.
And in case you are wondering, everyone turned out OK. They all have jobs and families and normal hair now.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Waiting for Cameron

Here I am in my flourescently-lit office once again, thinking about how green my skin looks in here, waiting for my last kid of the day, and blogging. Now, I blog for my own personal fun and satisfaction, and not for anyone else. With that said, I have to admit it sure is fun to get lots of comments like on my last entry. Thanks for participating in the LRHS!

Thanks to Tall Guy for listening to the PPHPHB, and for telling other people to listen to it. Sorry you have a cold.

Marty - Funny, I thought bee-keeping would be right up Kim's alley for some reason. Maybe because, like Kevin, she is good at everything, and I figured DIY honey would be something she'd go for. I am SO hoping you guys really will come down for the July baseball games. I promise there will be lots of fun and big southern breakfasts. But it will be really really horribly unbearably hot.

Robert M. - Squidward is funny. Did you see the one where he tries to get a band together? Genius.

K.- You may be a little ornery at times, but not as whiney as Squidward. Thank God.

I have recently become fascinated with Hitler documentaries. There is no end to the madness with this guy. If you can handle a very heavy film, check out Downfall. Very interesting, and extremely well-acted.

I have also become very depressed to discover that I am getting old-lady hands. The silver hairs are OK, but the hand thing is upsetting.

I think the makers of razors and razor accessories are conspiring against the American people. They keep changing the razors so we have to up-grade. First there were two blades, then three, then FOUR. I guess they figured five blades wouldn't fly (Americans are too smart for that!), so now there is a button you can push on your razor, making it Turbo, or some such. I recently had to trade in my Venus razor, which I was perfectly happy with, for a Venus Divine (for crying out loud) with an extra moisturizing strip. I imagine there are people with names like Frank, Bob, and Liz, sitting around a table in a board room, trying to come up with the new big thing in razor technology. I think these are the same people who keep coming up with more and more ways to put extra cheese on your pizza pie. As if Americans need more cheese. So, let me know if you would like to join in my fight against better razors, more cheese, and higher parking fees at rock shows and sports events (previous blog). We CAN make a difference!

Also, LarryFeathers has returned to blogging.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Sunday Blog Melange

Greetings. Kev is taking a nap, and I am having some quiet time. Today has been a fun day so far. My brother came over for some breakfast tacos. Then we played Scattergories. Then we all went down to the SPCA to look at Melvin and the other good dogs and cats. Melvin is HUGE. At least his head is huge. He has really short legs. And he was very sad. I think maybe he might be sick. He was very nice, and I assured him that someone would come to take him home soon. I hope I'm right. There were tons of good dogs there. There was a litter of really nice Australian Shepherds. Very docile. So we played with the puppies, and produced lots of seratonin and lowered our blood pressure and went home. I love going to see the dogs, but it always makes me sad. I am worried about what will happen to Melvin if he doesn't get a home soon. There was also a cat there that looked just like Archie (before he got fat), and that made me sad too.

Right now I am typing in the dark with the blinds closed because the in-danger-of-joining-a-gang kids who go around selling magazines to keep them off the streets are coming. Yesterday, we had to hide from the Jehova's Witnesses. I'm thinking about getting one of those "No Soliciting" signs. Is that unfriendly?

Kev has been working on a song about Barbec's that I already told you about. He has a little clarinet part in mind, which he said he wanted me to play. (We brought home my sister-in-law's clarinet at Christmas because she never plays it). Anyway, yesterday he went to buy some reeds, and came back with a book called "So You Want to Play the Clarinet," but should be called "So You Want to Torture Your Neighbors and Make Your Own Head Explode." Before I was past page two ("Squeaks Happen") which was all about learning to produce one nice long clear note with just the mouthpiece and barrel, Kev had the whole thing assembled, and I'll be damned if he wasn't playing Row Your Boat, Frere Jacques, and Fly Me to the Freaking Moon. So much for my big clarinet solo in the Barbec's song I guess. Have you ever lived with someone who can do EVERYTHING better than you? I reckon I could take him in a tap-dancing contest (did you know I can do a quadruple time step?!), but that's about it. Good thing I'm not competative.

Note to "LarryFeathers" and "K" - according to, a capitol is a building. a capital is a city. That gives me another scattergories point, which means I WIN! YES!

Note to "Marty"- Thanks to a video tape we received in the mail, we have now seen every last nook and cranny of your house (very nice by the way - especially the record player), not to mention the Pfaltzgraf store and someone named Carrie's house, so we may no longer need to come to Long Island. I did not see any bee-keeping supplies on the tour. By the way, does Tim still play for San Antonio? I think they are coming up here in a month or so to play the Rough Riders.

Well, the Sunday Crossword is calling me. Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Oh! Almost forgot. Shout Out to Kev's soccer team for making it to the final!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Here's how Melvin can help YOU!

May 21, 2004 -- Giving a dog a good tummy rub may do more than just make Fido feel better. New research shows people may also reap the benefits of petting a pooch, and you don't even have to roll over.
Researchers found petting a dog prompted levels of the "feel good" hormone serotonin to rise in humans and may help fight depression.
"Our preliminary results indicate that levels of serotonin, a hormone in humans that helps fight depression, rise dramatically after interaction with live animals, specifically dogs," says researcher Rebecca Johnson, professor of nursing and veterinary medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia, in a news release. "This hormone is critical in the psychological well-being of an individual. In addition, we have discovered that there is no substitute for the real thing."
The study also tested the effects of petting a robotic dog and showed interacting with an electronic dog actually caused serotonin levels to drop.
Researchers say the findings provide further evidence that having a dog as a pet can offer valuable social support and companionship.
Johnson presented the findings at the Companion Animals: Fountains of Health conference at Barcelona Autonomous University last month.
One More Reason Dogs Are Man's Best Friends
The study involved 50 dog owners and 50 non-dog owners. Each of the dog owners interacted with their own dog, an unfamiliar dog, and a robotic dog. The non-dog owners visited with an unfamiliar dog and a robotic dog.
After the interactions, both the canine and human participants had their blood and mood (or behavior in the case of the dogs) analyzed.
The study showed that serotonin levels in humans rose significantly after playtime with the live dog.
"In addition to serotonin, we also are seeing increases in the amounts of prolactin and oxytocin, more of those 'feel good' hormones," says Johnson.
"Our research also is trying to determine what types of people would best benefit from being with animals," says Johnson. "By showing this benefit, we can help pet-assisted therapy become a medically accepted intervention that might be prescribed to patients."
"We also need to study how the animals react to this attention," says Johnson. "It's important to know when we take dogs to nursing homes or hospitals for therapy if they are feeling any kind of stress. We need to find the right balance where both animals and humans can benefit from interacting with each other."
The study was funded by a grant from the Skeeter Foundation from Veterinary Pet Insurance.
SOURCES: Companion Animals: Fountains of Health conference, Barcelona Autonomous University, April 2004. News release, University of Missouri-Columbia

Friday, April 08, 2005

Melvin! Posted by Hello

Good Dogs Alert

If you want to see some good dogs, go to my link to the SPCA and click on the search for dogs. Then search the gallery for the Dallas location, and you will see some great dogs including Melvin (or Caesar or Buck or Lucille). If any of you adopt Melvin, can I come over to visit?

In other animal news: Today I was at work and saw my American Kestrel on the wire behind my building. Then his wife came by, and if I am not mistaken, there may be some baby kestrels on the way soon! I feel a little sorry for them that they live on Central Expressway in the Ramada Inn signage. But it's lucky for me I guess.

Note to Tall Guy: Cane Toad is a documentary about the Cane Toad problem in Australia. It is very funny and well-done. Some people are FOR cane toads and keep them as pets. Others are AGAINST cane toads, and try to run over them with their trucks for sport. I think that's mean.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Question for the Lama

Dear Your Holiness,

First time writer, long-time listener.

How am I supposed to practice patience and tolerance for people who recklessly zip in and out of traffic lanes during rush hour on Central Expressway, nearly side-swiping my and several other people's cars, thus endangering the lifes of many just because he/she is in a hurry or wants to show off?

Respectfully yours,

Concerned in Dallas

P.S. I enjoy your books!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

My Abduction

While I am waiting for my last kid of the day, I thought I would tell you a story, rather than playing computer solitaire. Here it is: The other day I was driving east on Mockingbird Lane because I was headed to my parents' house to do some work for them, which I do twice a week. So, anyway, I travel this route at least twice a week and sometimes more. I have done so for several years, as I like to always keep to the same route whenever I'm driving someplace I've been before. (Walking is a different story, but that is for another time and blog). So, there I was on Mockingbird Lane, only suddenly, I had no idea where I was! Panic ensued. It must have taken me at least 30 of the longest seconds of my life to figure out where I was. I also could not remember how I got where-ever it was that I was. Imagine how completely dorky I felt when I realized I was about a mile from my house on a well-traveled route. So I figure I must have been abducted by aliens. Because, frankly, the radio program to which I was listening wasn't really engrossing. I think it was about Bush's Social Security plan or something equally as boring. So I don't think I lost time from being caught up in public radio. I am also almost positive I wasn't asleep. There was no sensation of nodding off, nor was there the usual upward head jerk that one would expect when waking from falling asleep sitting up. Alien abduction is really the only reasonable conclusion I can draw.
Plus, a couple of nights later, I had a dream about a tree full of owls. You all know what that means.

I have inspected behind both ears for probes, but there don't appear to be any. Perhaps the aliens read Whitley Streiber's books and have become more clever about covering their tracks.

Funny thing is, I don't believe in aliens.

Tips from the LRHS

1. If you want to do something fun on a Tuesday afternoon, go to the bowling alley on Plaza Drive off of NW HWY in Garland for some bowling. We went there yesterday, and there was almost nobody in the place, so it was not crowded or smokey. In fact, there was only one other couple in there...a little old man and lady. The weird thing was that even though there were like 50 lanes in there, the dude put the old couple in the lane right next to us, so we had to watch out not to say any curse-words when we got gutter balls. I got several gutter balls, which was disappointing because I am usually better than that. Kev did really well. I had to wash my hands a lot when we finished. I felt pretty grimey from the bowling alley.

2. If you want some good Italian food, try Carrabba's on Abram's in Lakewood. We ate there last night for our anniversary because my brother gave us a gift card for Christmas. I had the "Chicken Bryan' which was grilled chicken with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes (which I scraped off - no problem) and basil lemon sauce, with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and lentil-sausage soup. VERY tasty! Kev had "Pollo Rosa Maria" which was grilled chicken stuffed with fontina cheese with mushrooms and basil lemon sauce on top. His was great too. Then we shared a creme brulee for dessert. All of the food was great, the service was great, and it wasn't crowded. So Carrabba's gets a big thumbs up from the LRHS. Plus it's not that expensive, and it's pretty casual. They have more locations. One is in Plano, dangerously close to my office.

3. If you want to save money on your anniversary, adopt a "no gift" policy, go bowling ($3 per game!), and use a gift certificate from Christmas to go out to dinner.

4. If you are already full after dinner, skip dessert or you'll be sorry. (Sorry Kev, my fault).

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Today is Kevin's and my second anniversary. I took the day off from work so we could have fun. This morning we took a bike ride. I think we are going bowling this afternoon, and out to dinner tonight with a gift certificate we got for Christmas. Kev is having a hard time celebrating because he is fretting about jobs and taxes. He is working on a couple of good new songs. I am supposed to be writing the lyrics, but I am having a hard time. I need to be really worked up about something, and then the lyrics just come out, like with Pancho, and Sock Monkey Man, and Gay Tim Duncan (which sadly was never recorded due to Kev and I can't rap). Anyway, those songs took about 10 minutes to write. The new song is about Barbec's, which should be easy right, because everyone knows how much I love breakfast. But I'm struggling.

Anyway, I just don't know about poetry. We saw some poets at the Deep Ellum arts festival on Sunday. They were bad. One guy's poem went like this: "Get up, eat breakfast, fight traffic, work all day, fight traffic, eat dinner, go to bed, get up..." you get the idea. Another lady did dramatic readings from Dr. Seuss books. Don't get me wrong. I am a big fan of people who have a way with words. But I think I prefer prose. I like it when people can say something very ordinary in an extraordinary way. My friend Bryce can do this, and he doesn't even try. James Thurber is a master of it. Larry Feathers can do it. I studied a lot of poetry in college. I don't know. Maybe it's just not for everyone. Dorothy Parker's pretty good I guess. The poet laureate of the US was an insurance underwriter all his life because poets don't make any money.

So, happy anniversary, Kev. Don't fret. At least you aren't a poet. Or an insurance underwriter. Now, who's ready to bowl?!

In Response...

Hello! and thanks for all your recent comments. Sorry I haven't responded until now. Long day at work yesterday.

To "Tall Guy" - Thanks for commenting all the way from Australia! Good point about the Steve Martin movies. My favorites are the Jerk, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and both of his novels are good, so maybe by the time I'm in a coma, they will be movies. By the way, "Tall Guy," are you a cardboard stand-up? Also, what is your position on Cane Toads? I enjoyed that movie quite a bit.

To "Marty" - Thanks for reading my blog! Actually Kev wasn't supposed to tell any of you guys about it, because I was hoping you wouldn't discover just how much of a complete dork I am, but that's OK I guess. I don't think I was hiding it very well anyway. Thanks again to you and your wife for the cool flags for Team Earth. I hope to find more postings at Elephants on Parade. The picture is very funny. And by the way, I am a Texan who has been to Long Island exactly twice. And I plan to return, so prepare the bee-suit! Hi to Kim, Jazz, and the great Rosco!

To "Robert M" - things having to do with the lama should never be considered "fightin' words." Also, Kev and I would love to go with you guys to an FCDallas match sometime. We have percussion instruments we could bring. Also, I am saddened by your hatred of baseball.

To "John Clarke" - If my neighbor can run a power sander all day on Sunday without blinking an eye, then I'm not gonna feel too bad about keeping bees. Maybe you and Karen should do it. I'm sure your yard is bigger than ours.

To "LarryFeathers" - please blog more. Readers want to know about gravy and motivational speakers.

To "K" - if there is one thing that will get me out of a coma, it's the snake noise.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


The other day when we were hanging out in the back yard, I asked Kev if he ever thought it might be fun to have some bees and make our own honey to use at home or to give as Christmas gifts. He thought this was just another one of my wacky schemes. But I thought it would be fun, especially when you get to wear the bee suit, and when you get to put your very own home-made honey on your toast or in your tea. The problem is our small back yard though, so bee-keeping may not be the hobby for us. Now, if we had a nice big piece of property on say, Long Island, then maybe bee-keeping would be more practical. So, if you happen to live on Long Island and have some space in your yard, then maybe you should try bee-keeping, and make sure to let visitors from Texas, who have small yards with no room for bees, wear the bee suit and taste the honey!

By the way, bees are most attracted to the colors yellow, white, and blue. And a queen bee can live up to 6 or 7 years!

Living Will

Due to recent events, my mom has asked me to put something in writing regarding my wishes should I become disabled and unable to speak for myself. I don't know if a blog is considered a legal document, but it's the best I can do since I can't afford ridiculous lawyers' fees. So all of you readers are my witnesses. Here goes:

First of all DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES starve me to death.

If I am in a coma, check for brain activity. Get at least 3 opinions. If there is no brain activity, for let's say 3 years, then remove me from machines that are keeping my organs going, but DO NOT REMOVE FEEDING TUBES! If keeping me going for 3 years is going to cost more than insurance will pay, then Kev and my parents are to sit down and come to an agreement in writing that everyone can live with (except me..haha). NO FIGHTING. If an agreement can't be reached, you guys will just have to fork out the dough for the three years.

If I have brain activity, but am not consious, try the following things to get me up and running again: bring in a puppy, make the room smell like coffee, warm chocolate chip cookies, or freshly baked bread, get Kev in there with his guitar to play some good songs, show DVDs of King of the Hill, Scientific American Frontiers (no submarine or disaster episodes please), Steve Martin movies, or Winged Migration, tell me about the trips to Alaska and the Galapagos Islands that I will get to go on when I wake up, and other things known to stimulate me. Let me listen to NPR on weekdays from 10am to 1pm. If you are desparate and have extra cash, see if you can get Elvis Costello in there to sing. That'll probably work.

If I have brain activity, and am concious, get a team of rehab professionals in there to work with me. I want PT-OT-SLP, and make sure they are good people who like their jobs and are not experiencing burn-out. Tell them I will respond to the above list of things I find stimulating.

While I am in the hospital, I want to be wearing house-pants and one of Kev's Calvin Klein white t-shirts. No hospital gowns, and PLEASE no frumpy quilted zip-up old lady house-coats. Make sure there is plenty of lip-balm handy, and hand lotion (fragrance-free!). I want a good pillow, preferably the ones they use in the staterooms on Royal Caribbean ships. Put me by a window, and put bird feeders where I can see them. Do not let anyone try to make me eat anything with mustard, mayo, onions, cabbage, veal, squid, etc. Kev knows what I like to eat, and more importantly, what I don't like. PLEASE DO NOT LET MY FEET GET COLD!

If I can't be saved, please bury me in the house-pants/t-shirt outfit. And clean white cotton ankle socks. No shoes. Put some pictures of people and dogs and cats I like in there with me. And if there is any way you can afford to keep me above-ground, please do.

Well, that's all I can think of for now. If I need to change anything, I will add amendments or something later. Thanks for being witnesses!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Bird Report for Friday

American Kestrel - Plano

This is one of the American Kestrels that hangs out near my office building. I wish I had a better zoom lens so you could see how cool it is. If you want to see them, go to the Benigan's parking lot on 75 between 15th and Park, and look for them on the power lines and lamp posts. They are the ones that aren't pigeons or grackles.

This morning, Kev and I went for a walk at White Rock Lake. We saw grackles, cardinals, doves, mallards, wood ducks, redwing blackbirds, cowbirds, killdeers, coots, gulls, great egrets, geese, a pelican, and mockingbirds. The coolest thing we saw was a bunch of barn swallows near the spillway. Very fun to watch, as they are fast and swoopy. This is a great time of year to go to the lake with people you like. Never know what you will see.

It will be kind of sad when Kev gets a job and we can't go the lake on a whim anymore. Plus, then I will have to return to being the cooker. I like cooking, but it has been so great coming home to Kev's fabulous meals.

In preparation for summer, I got a pedicure today. Oh, how I love getting a pedicure. I recommend it to everyone who wants happy feet. I fear the coming of summer. It is my goal to spend as much time as possible outside before the temperatures and mosquitos become unbearable. I have recently discovered the joy of lying on a blanket in my back yard. This is especially fun if there are chips and salsa (I prefer salsa verde), and not much wind.

If Kev and I go to Baja, CA for a friend's wedding in September, I am considering paragliding in San Diego. This involves jumping from a cliff (with a tandem pilot) and soaring above the Pacific Ocean for 25 minutes before landing on the beach below. Can you imagine how much fun that would be? I bet you anything I chicken out. It sucks to be such a wimp.

Well, sorry this blog is so bird-intensive. I tried to get some baseball talk started, but not much came of it. I hope everyone has a nice weekend. Posted by Hello