Monday, July 24, 2006


Well, I'll be back, folks. I will have NO INTERNET ACCESS for a WEEK!! My dad's computer is down, and I don't have a laptop. So, unless I stumble into a 'net cafe on the beach, I'll be MIA...I'm sure to have withdrawals.

OH! And we got the photos back! So enjoy this photo of the Lane clan, and pray for our safe return from the wilds of Southern California!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Orifice Chronicles - Incident 1

It was a typical busy day at the orifice (office). Crazy busy, agents rushing around, customers and clients filling our 2-story building, and the phone ringing off the hook. I am inclined to hang around the front desk in times like these, helping out the client coordinator. Lanna is extremely capable, but there are only two of us, trying to handle a team of 10 agents and numerous clientele.
The young son of one of our customers comes racing towards the front desk, holding a box of matches in his hand. He exclaims excitedly, "These were in your bathroom!!!!" His tone was of sheer panic, as if our lives were in danger, because they were in plain view, IN OUR BATHROOM. That SMALL CHILDREN might occupy. Such as HIMSELF. It was as if he had discovered a hornet's nest in there - along with a rattlesnake and two tarantulas thrown in for good measure.

Lanna and I try to keep from bursting out in laughter, and I calmly tell the boy, "It's alright Sweetheart, they belong in there. That is their home." All the while, trying not to lose complete control, while witnessing the abject horror on his face.

Thankfully, his mother was not one of the complacent parents we often encounter. She had overheard the conversation, and swooped in to save us from our plight. "It's okay, **** (name deleted to protect the innocent/panicked), they probably use those to light candles in there from time to time. Just go put them back where they belong."

As Lanna and I almost collapse from the effort of stifling raucous laughter, the mother watches lovingly as the lad leaves to return the matches to their proper place on the back of the commode. She passes us this knowing look, with great kindness, as we share the common "assumption" of what great benefit matches can be for those who choose (or are forced by nature) to use that facility for more "odorous" bodily evacuations. This bathroom is dangerously close to the lobby, and though we have three bathrooms - this particular one has the perfect ambience to get the bowels moving. Sometimes, the Febreze spray just doesn't do the trick.

Shortly thereafter, I hear this loud voice from the bathroom: "I've looked all over in here, and I CAN'T FIND CANDLES!!!! Where are the CANDLES?!?!?! How can they light candles?!?!? THERE AREN'T ANY IN HERE!!!"

The mother, obviously mortified, apologizes with, "I guess he's just at that age where you can't put one over on him." Sadly, we could barely respond, as Lanna and I finally collapsed and burst out laughing, tears streaming down our face.

I don't envy that poor woman, as she will have to finally explain the matches. I can envision her future, as her son will undoubtedly one day "do his business," light a match, stick his head in the toilet to take a whiff and exclaim, "MOM!!!! This DOESN'T WORK!!!! I've lit the match, and how come I CAN STILL SMELL S**T?!?!?!?!"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Conversations With Songbird

My good friend Songbird and I recently had a discussion about Davey Havok, the lead singer of AFI. I love their video, "Miss Murder." I sent photos to Songbird, noting that he was as beautiful (if not more) than some women. At first, she didn't think him too hideous...but as our conversation continued, things turned sour. We often disagree about men; she thinks Matt Damon looks like a child, while I think he's HAWT. I despise Matthew McConaughey, but she'd like nothing more to be all wrapped up in his muscle-laden arms. She says I'm attracted to "girlie boys," or some similar phrase, since I prefer a more slender build over a big hunk. She describes certain men as "oily." Davey isn't my type - but there's something attractive about him. Kinda like Tim Curry in "Rocky Horror," you know? He's looking 80's retro - like Depeche Mode, New Order, Erasure - reminding me of the days when I was clubbing continuously and discovered The Cure.

So Songbird and I engage in an email exchange, as we often do. Her latest rant HAD to be shared, and put the "nail in the coffin" of the Davey Havok topic:

Me (after sending her a photo of Davey with long hair): I love grossing you out!! He does clean up though - in a Robert Smith (from the Cure) kinda way. Do you think he's oily???

Songbird: He doesn't really meet my criteria for oiliness, but I don't find him attractive in the male sense of the word.

First, he wears more makeup than I do.

Second, I can't take the lip piercing. It has the same effect a giant, yellow zit on his face would have with me. It mesmerizes me. I would try to look into his eyes as he spoke to me, but my eyes would keep cutting to the heinous lip mutilation ( or the giant, yellow zit ). Gross!

Third, I hate his hair. And what are you talking about "he does clean up"? I've never seen a picture of him cleaned up. He is always a painted "lady" with a bad haircut and a mutilated lip!! I am embarrassed that I thought he was relatively good looking in the first pic you sent me. I must have been under the influence of too many sinus capsules.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More Linkage, Dude

I gots new stuff! (Dem der's dat Arkansas enflu-ants, comin' out 'n mah writin'.)

My friend and I are fairly new to blogging, so we share other blogs that we find interesting. (You MUST read her posts about Disnementia and Parental Pride.) We've made some new discoveries that we are both adding to our sidebars!

One such discovery is Pioneer Woman. If you want to read some hysterical posts, check out Ree's site! She is the mother of four, and lives on a real ranch where they slice off calf testicles with wild abandon. Ree takes wonderful photos, too. Her fireworks photos are not to be missed.

Our next discovery is Eric at Humble Beginnings. Now, you might think it odd that we check out the site of a deacon-soon-to-be-priest, but he's funny! Besides, if he was wearing a hat like Elwood from the Blue's Brothers, can't you just hear him saying, "I'm on a mission from God?" He might even be able to dodge bullets, Matrix-style. Check out his blog - you might learn something. For instance, I had no idea priests went out on dates. Or had duck-covered shower curtains.

Lastly, I had to add IMDB,, for all things movie-related. I can't stand it when I forget an actor's name, or what movie he/she was in, this site allows me to get some sleep at night!

Hope you enjoy our recommendations - go check 'em out!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Tormented Soul

After taking a trip out of town yesterday to buy a swimsuit (horror of horrors!), I spent a relaxing Sunday just bumming around. The swimsuit experience was humbling, and even though ladies my age/size (and many that are older/larger)are bravely sporting two-piece swimwear this season, I remain too modest for such trappings. After finding a cute one-piece that reflected my sexy-yet-still-someone's-mother status, I felt triumphant, yet exhausted. What better way to spend my time Sunday than watching "Mommie Dearest?" I've been a cinematic neophyte for far too long.
Just look at the beauty of Joan Crawford in these photographs. Gorgeous. Yet, after watching this movie, I realize she was a haunted woman - and most likely suffered from some type of psychological disorder (OCD?) coupled with alcoholism. Though I cringed at the pain she inflicted on her daughter, Joan's own emotional turmoil made me take pity upon her. I had to read her bio on IMDB to get some sense of who she was. Amazing how such a stunningly beautiful and successful woman could self-destruct.

At any rate, I'm glad I finally saw the film. And Faye Dunaway scared the hell out of me with her performance. (I'm removing my wire hangers.) As a sidenote, a friend from New Orleans (thanks, Gary) sent me a link to some incredible photos out of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. These photographs were taken by a local photographer, who happened to have many "before" shots of monumental buildings in the area. He later returned to these sites after Katrina to document the transformation. Some of the most stunning are of the interior of the Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church, and you can see them for yourself at Wilkerson Photography.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Entering the Black Hole

It's official. Roger and I are about to embark on an adventure that has torn many a loving couple apart. No, I'm not talking about the upcoming vacation. Worse. We have decided to build.
We've found just the right builder, the bank is ready to hand over the money, and we have totally agreed on the floor plan. Now, as people entering this dangerous territory do, we are tweaking it a bit. See that back wall? Moving it out a few feet. Probably going to rearrange the master bedroom and flip the bathroom to the other side, so we can have french doors leading out to the back deck. The tile (12x12 porcelain - a warm terra cotta hue) will extend into the entire kitchen/eating/living area. The only carpeted areas will be the bedrooms. What you can't see (though you might have caught a hint of it by the staircase to nowhere) is the bonus room above the garage. That's where Roger's music studio will reside. Finally, I will live in a house where guitars and amps don't fill the dining room!

Speaking of dining rooms, to us, having a formal dining room is silly. Yes, we entertain, but our friends prefer casual dining with their beverages. Dining optional. Interestingly enough, so many house plans have formal dining rooms tucked somewhere - along with a dining area like you see in this plan. Ridiculous waste of space. How many places can you possibly eat? This plan also has 10' ceilings, a requirement now that I have lived in a house with them for 13 years.

In the end, we should have over 2200 sq ft. Plenty of room for family and friends. Only one small hitch. We are now looking for the perfect piece of land.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Blogging Chicks - Aren't They Cute?

Now, how could I not join a group called "Blogging Chicks?" I am still so new to this blogging genre and HTML in general, I didn't understand a good portion of what the kind Michele of the Blogging Chicks Blogroll Metablog said in her introductory letter. A Metablog? Is this like a regular blog on steroids? At any rate, if you check out the "blogroll" in the sidebar there, seems as if I have entered an amazing line of code into my blogger template (thanks, Michele) that allows you to magically access the blogs of many a chick. You're welcome. I feel even more Neophyte-ish than ever. But I've joined with the hopes that by associating with these chicks (and doesn't that term beg to have the word "hot" in front of it?), I'll learn something in the process. And Michele, I'll do my best not to embarrass the group. If you need to punt me, I'll understand.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cinematic Neophyte

There are good and bad things about having a husband 15 years older than myself. The bad things include hearing phrases such as, "You've never seen that?" Good things include Roger's attempts to educate me so that I can catch up to his generation. And this education continued the other night as I watched the original MASH movie from 1970 - which was EXTREMELY FUN, given there was war involved! (Yes, I have one of those History-Channel/Military-Channel-loving spouses - who watches all war, all the time. I have yet to understand his fascination with this genre.) Also - cut me some slack - I was TWO YEARS OLD when this movie was originally released.

I loved the comedy and overlapped dialogue. I discovered how "Hot Lips" got her name! "Spear-chucker" makes sense! The daily announcements were hysterical! And, even though I might be committing some sort of cultural blasphemy here, I liked Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould better as Hawkeye and Trapper John. The absence of a "laugh track" made the humor even better.

Next up: "Mommie Dearest" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Yeah, I know, you can't believe I haven't seen those either.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Family Photogenics

This was the last family photo we had professionally(?) taken, on a family vacation in 2003. So I was thrilled when a family friend asked us to be guinea pigs, as she needed subjects for a photo shoot. Our friend is thinking of trying a second career as a photographer, and since her daughter already owns a studio and is well-versed in the business (and was on hand during the shoot) - it was a no-brainer to participate.

It was so much fun, and I found out that I am very comfortable in front of the camera. No shots yet, as they have yet to be computerized and processed, but I will share them as soon as possible!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Belle in the Making

I've never considered myself a "Southerner," though by virtue of living in either Texas or Arkansas for the past 30 years, I suppose others might disagree.

My parents hail from California, so I had never eaten a fried vegetable until high school, when one of my mother's friends introduced her to fried okra. It was a completely foreign dish, and I distinctly remember almost gagging from the grease content the first time she made it for me. Never before had I consumed a vegetable that had not been steamed - as that is the most perfect way to retain all the flavor, crispness and vitamins. I also had never eaten a vegetable served from a can - the BLASPHEMY of such!!

My friend prides herself on being a true Southerner, and I'm constantly reminded of her prowress in all things domestic, horticulturistic, etc. (Did I just make up a word there?) She brought me some freshly picked blackberries this week, and I decided not to let them go to waste, but instead to make a cobbler. My introduction to the cobbler came a few years after I moved to Arkansas. One of my agents brought one to my office and was just flabbergasted that I had no clue what one was, nor how to make one. "It's so SIMPLE," she professed, and immediately, I could tell she had lost a great deal of respect for me. Well, to redeem myself, I purchased one of those "Southern" cookbooks (one compiled by locals) - and found a recipe that looked as simple as could be. The "magic" of cobblers appears to be the dumping of the chosen fruit onto the batter, and the batter magically rising around the fruit, forming a crust on top. I refused to believe this phenomenon, until tonight. It's not quite done yet, but as evidenced by the picture to the left, this is indeed the case. (And yes, my anal retentive nature required me to check on the process, every five minutes during baking.)

Though Songbird may disagree, I am well on my way to conquering this strange Goliath that is the "Southern Culture!"