Saturday, December 15, 2007

The gift of memory.

I was eating a bowl of cereal today and got up to do something so that by the time I returned, my Cap'n Crunch was completely soggy. I ate it in memory of Charlie and was struck by how wonderful it is to have our memories, especially if you have an elephant brain like me. It also gives me a greater appreciation for the frustration and suffering that goes along with memory loss, short-term or otherwise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I swiped this for amusement's sake.

It was on the sign-in table at the North Texas Mensa Feast of Pleasures and Delights, which convened at the same hotel where I stayed for work. Initially I naturally thought, "Finally! An opportunity to be among my own kind!". This however, was a little too ridiculous, even for Sarah Ridiculous.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why Social Security should NOT be privatized.

Coworker: I put a ton of money into my 401K.

Me: What is a ton?

Coworker: 5%.

Yikes. People don't have a clue about how much retirement costs and need to be saved from themselves.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Overheard in Fort Lauderdale

"You're a pig, ma'am."

Where did this man attend etiquette school? I thought it was a nice combination that he would berate and abuse a store employee, calling her names and finish it up with a 'ma'am'.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hard work

I was on call at work today for four hours. There is a big screen television there and typically a dozen people sitting around it, so there is always awkwardness if you want to change the channel. Today featured Sylvia Browne on Montel answering peoples' questions about the future and past. This woman asked, "What can you tell me about my career in the future?" I looked up and she had the worst fe-mullet I've ever seen. I thought, come on people, make it a little difficult for her. She could have asked me, whose only psychic ability is evidenced by my prediction that Long John Silver's would declare bankruptcy (I called it about two months beforehand). I would have said to this mulleted woman, "What do you do now? Because that is what you will be doing for the rest of your life."

Speaking of bad hair, you have never seen so many scrunchies in your life outside of the check-in desk at my work.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Uncle Rico

I was just fooling around with the Photo Booth function on my computer and saw 17 pictures that Patrick took of himself when I was visiting Nacogdoches for the Chili Cookoff. They were a nice surprise to see.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I am thankful this year that I spent Thanksgiving Day with my dear cousin Amy in Boston. We ate dinner with her friends in Cambridge (Marty, Alicia, Julie, Besserat, and Felicia) and then went to a party at the French restaurant from which she recently retired. At Petit Robert Bistro, we had yet another Thanksgiving dinner with her former coworkers and had fun drinking and dancing with French people.

All in all, a top night. I love Boston. I also love how in this picture I look like Ina Garten with a Dilbert-like skewed scarf playing grab-ass with my significantly taller cousin.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

God bless YouTube.

It has The Frog Prince and The Boy Who Could Fly, both in their entirety.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Turning into our mother.

It happens to everyone sooner or later. Sooner, in the case of me and my siblings. A sampling of what we adopted:

Shannon: chilly barbarino, Tinkle Time, I LOVE MY FAMILY!, staring at the computer with one hand in front of mouth and nose
Sarah: chilly barbarino, clapping, giggling and squealing with delight when I get into bed
Brigid: Tinkle Time, a love of coupons (exaggerated to the nth degree), clapping
Kelly: repeating every single behavior from mom's youth
Patrick: 'comfy clothes', Popsy la Wopsy

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This week's celebrity sightings

1. 4 members of Blood, Sweat, and Tears

2. Alice Waters

Also, I was in Albuquerque on Saturday morning, in time for the Mass Ascension of Balloon Fiesta, the city's annual hot air balloon festival. There were sooooooo many beautiful hot air balloons, all going up in the air at the same time. I felt very fortunate/in the right place at the right time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Debbie Downer pt 3

The following is an exchange between me and this lady I worked with last week:

Her: I was out on disability for 10 months last year. My dog ran into me and I fell at just the wrong spot, breaking both legs.

Me: Did you have the dog put down?

She looked at me like Cruella Devil. Speaking of, winter (i.e. fur season) is approaching.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sick hobbies

I cannot fully explain why I enjoy the following two utterly tactless hobbies any more than I can rationalize my love of Maury Povich and William Drayton Jr. (commonly known as Flavor Flav).

1. I visit Nacogdoches' newspaper website and looking at engagement announcements in order to laugh at ridiculous-looking couples/pictures. I can kill a couple of hours easily doing this, and I generally laugh until I cry. It is a gem.

2. When a couple I know is getting married, I check out their registries to see if their selections are in good taste.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


When the Iranian president spoke recently at Columbia University, I asked Rachel if it was bad that I think he is attractive. "I do too!", she replied. In the past, I mentioned the same thing to my Iranian-American friend Rouzheen, who answered, "Well, he is the anti-Christ, so yeah, it is bad."


I just returned from spending two days in our nation's capital. Pops was there to receive the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service for a case which resulted in the largest-ever criminal penalty for a case involving deliberate pollution from ships and the intentional falsification of ship records- more than $37 million. We attended the ceremony at Constitution Hall and also visited the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and the Holocaust Museum. I was so thankful to be able to attend and get to see my dad receive his award.

The acting attorney general thanked the families of the prosecutors for giving up their loved ones for all of the time and energy commitments. As the applause began, my mother answered, "De nada."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Uncle Jesse

I left two cans of hairspray at Shannon's house and my can in New Jersey ran out and my hair is hurting. I am realizing just how much like Jesse Katsopolis I am becoming.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Immorally cheap

A few years ago, the company froze pensions. Some pilots and wives got divorced right before this happened in order that the wife would receive half the pension in the settlement while it still existed. After this, they would either get married again or simply stay together. Out of control- what kind of man would ask his wife to do this, what kind of wife would agree to this? Evidently, some of these couples talked about their fraudulent divorces, and now the company heard about it and there are firings, if not lawsuits, taking place.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I want more hair.

Recently my sister told the horrifying story of how I, as a small child, mentioned to a mother that 'if I had a knife I could stab your baby'. To emphasize how out of character this was, she described how cute I was with an adorable wedge haircut, very innocent-looking. We then talked to Mom later, who asked if we said how cute I was with my little wedge haircut. While the point of the story was my shocking/evil quote, it made me wish that I now had an adorable wedge hairstyle.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stereotypes, jokes

Hopefully these are not offensive to you:

My Italian-American friend Linda posited this question: Why don't Italians have freckles?
Answer: Because they slide right off!

This woman Rachel and I had classes with in college prefers to date black men, one of whom warned her that 'once you go African, you never go black'.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My favorite meal

Brunch: It's not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end. You don't get completely what you would get at breakfast, but you get a good meal.

Yesterday I bought a twenty pound bag of rice. Can't really explain it. Today my arms and shoulders are sore from carrying it home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

That Audrey's so hot right now.


September Resolution

I removed Tetris today. Now I can begin the process of making myself a whole person once again.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Miss Manners

Audrey is practicing 'Yes sir', 'thank you', etc. She is quite the little lady. Yesterday Shannon brought home groceries and Audrey saw a few of her favorite items, including Frosted Mini Wheats. "Thank you, Mom. You bought orange. I love it!" She then picked it up out of the grocery bag and clutched it to her chest, saying she loved it again. She is super excited and appreciative about little things- it is like her birthday whenever you give her anything.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thank you note.

Dear Genetics,

I found my first spider vein this week. Just wanted to say thanks.



Sunday, September 9, 2007

I am in San Diego.

Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale's vagina.

Celebrity sightings:

Last week I met Scarlett Johansson at a dinner party (I was eating lobster and watching the Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd playing over it).

Last night I hung out with several of the Astros at Foley's Pub in Manhattan after their loss to the Mets.

Also last night, I met the famed writer and movie director T. Sean Shannon, who gave me a private viewing of his movie Harold.

I'm kind of a big deal. People know me.

Update: On September 10 I met George Hamilton.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

New phone

I FINALLY have a working celly. I walked to downtown Newark to the Sprint store (about a mile and a half away from home) and decided to take the bus home. As I was boarding the bus, I turned around and saw a man on the step below me lifting my wallet out of my purse. I said, "Excuse me." and he dropped the purse and got off the bus. I feel like Cher in Clueless, being robbed at gunpoint. What a creepy feeling.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Foot in mouth

So this guy on Facebook scored 10 trillion something, and I was suspicious. I sent him a note with the subject line 'Tetris Trickster' and the message was "I'm on to you."

His reply:

i'm really really good at tetris
i have aspergers and it's all i do all day

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! Let this be a lesson to all my loved ones not to harass strangers.

Irritable today.

We do need to remind you that the fasten seatbelt sign is illuminated. Do ensure that you carry-on luggage is stowed and secured. Do turn off your portable electronic devices. - a sample of today's announcements- the 'do' was making me nutso today.

Then as I was collecting trash before landing, this man called me 'Garbage Lady'. Unbelievable.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


While visiting Noor in Galveston, we both realized that she has a grandfather James Shannon. They share:

1. birthdays
2. a love of Bill Clinton
3. both spent a good chunk of their lives in Houston

There was more, but I can't remember.

My phone

I lost my phone in an airport, so I bought a new one today. This means I probably don't have your number, so call me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two Things

1. new haircut
2. new eye makeup Noor brought back for me from Chanel in London

The King's English (READ ALOUD)

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, slough and through.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word,
That looks like beard but sounds like bird.
And dead: It’s said like bed, not bead --
For goodness’ sake, don’t call it deed!

Watch out for meat and great and threat…
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.
A moth is not the moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, nor broth in brother.

And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there’s dose and rose and lose --
Just look them up -- and goose and choose.

And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword.
And do and go, then thwart and cart,
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!

A dreadful language? Why, sakes alive!
I’d learned to speak it when I was five.
And yet, to write it, the more I tried,
I hadn’t learned it at fifty-five.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

As heard on the local news...

Sources call the singer a 'recreational lesbian'.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ADA Malcolm Bales

Conversation which just took place between Rachel and me:

Me: I asked my dad just how serious he was about this 'War on Drugs'.

Rachel: I was not aware that the 'War on Drugs' was still on.

Me: That was a blog-worthy quote, my friend. My dad will enjoy that.


On Sunday I added Coors Field to the list of stadiums I have visited (Astrodome, Minute Maid Park, Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, Petco Park). My family was in town for vacation (Pops was clever enough to check the Rockies' schedule), and I realized how long it had been as soon as I saw them- the last time was at Kelly's high school graduation, far too long. Molly is so big and cute and sweet, eating pickles with her six teeth (3 on top, 3 on bottom- I thought they came in 2 at a time) and laughing. Kelly Belly is gearing up to move to Austin and live at Kinsolving dormitory. Patrick, Betsy, and Brigid are about to begin another year of school, and Molly is going to start preschool in the fall. Luckily she is learning to walk in time, as Mom's preschool has walking as a prerequisite for admission and no one can accuse Miss Betsy of bending the rules or showing favoritism to her grandchildren.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tetris Tournament

If you are on Facebook, get in on the Tetris tourney. Thus far, I own the game and am looking for some real competition (ranking at this writing: 265th of 52444).

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I went to Amsterdam, got some culture.

My favorite word there is 'lucifers', which is Dutch for matches.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I was in Lisbon the first half of this week, staying at Sofitel. My room had this super great shower head that is like a chrome disk on the ceiling and delivers a rain shower effect. After googling it, I discovered that they run from four hundred to a thousand dollars per.

My bathroom was also outfitted with a bidet, which I understood in theory but not in practice. Could I find someone immodest enough who wouldn't mind giving a demonstration? I figured this might prove difficult, so I looked up a demo on YouTube, which I thought was pretty funny. Next trip to Europe, I am prepared.


I'm doing the work. I'm not a slacker! I began to take steps in order to save the planet. The following pretty much make me a hero:

1. Turning the water off while I shave
2. Using cloth grocery bags
3. Public transportation all day, everyday

Marks against me: I don't recycle and I use aerosol hairspray. Baby steps.

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Little Women

Betsy Wetsy on this silly picture: "Ugh. I hate Susan Sarandon."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I was able to video chat with Brigid, Kelly, Patrick, and Molly last night thanks to a program called Skype. I woke up this morning wanting so badly to be in Texas. Boo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I am super excited today. Rachel is flying in this evening and is coming to stay with me during her Zac Posen fashion design internship. Since I moved up to the Northeast, I have been craving face time with my friends and family. With my erratic schedule, I often end up with a weekday off when my friend Stephen is working or is in class, so having another close friend here will be so fetch. I hope that I can be a little slice of home for Stephen and Rachel in New York as they are to me.

Noor is leaving Austin for med school in Galveston, Rachel is moving to New Jersey with me, and Kevin is headed to Bournemouth, England for graduate school. I feel that if I were to move back there tomorrow it would seem an entirely different city to me as the last vestiges of my best friends are all gone (many left a year ago after graduation). However, I am certain that I will still be making trips into Austin as my little sister Kelly begins her Freshman year at UT and will be forming her own memories of the city and making new friendships.


I saw Michael Moore's latest installment last week, just two weeks before my own health insurance begins. His movie, which features his typical clever editing skills, posed a really interesting question: Why, if you accept some socialized programs (like police, fire, and military protection, libraries and public schools) is so outrageous to accept socialized medicine? Hmm.

Another endorsement: Jarhead by Anthony Swofford was really excellent. Poetry.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Debbie Downer pt 2

Yesterday I flew to Orlando and back with a woman who told me her boyfriend was very tall (6' 8"). My immediate reaction: Does he have Marfan Syndrome? I kid you not. After a beat, I said, "Sorry, that was the most glass-half-empty response I could have possibly had. Everyone else in the world probably asks if he plays basketball.

One more example to throw into the nature vs. nurture debate. I don't know if if makes it better or worse that my instincts are potentially correct: her boyfriend is having medical tests done.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Stephen and I went to a 7-11 near Times Square last night that is converted to a Kwik-E-Mart, selling Buzz Cola, Krusty-O's cereal, and Squishees. We got drunk on Squishees and Stephen joined the Junior Campers. Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Batter up

Last night I went to an indoor batting cage place, where I did not fare quite as well as I remembered from my heyday. The 50 mph might as well have been 200 mph, considering my percentage. I brought my cashmere-lined leather gloves that the Davis family gave me for Christmas as substitute batting gloves.

Did I ever mention that when I was twelve years old I snapped an aluminum bat in two? Hmmm. Maybe I needed someone in the background last night to repeat the mantra of "Head down. Elbow up. Bend your knees. Choke up on the bat. Eye on the ball. Elbow up."

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Birthday Month

This month is chocked full of birthdays. Shannon's falls on the 9th, Josh and Betsy's are on the 17th, and PawPaw and Noor round out the month on the 30th. Shannon and Josh's fifth anniversary is on the 13th. Happy Birthday to all of these.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

recently-encountered oddities

1. Flew with a guy who was a Showcase Showdown winner on the Price is Right. Each of his prizes were silver (a truck, a gown, and a tea set). He recounted the story with the clarity typically reserved for one of my elephant stories.

2. Met someone who is fifteenth out of eighteen children. His mother had her first child at sixteen and now at fifty-six has a two-month old. This family also includes three sets of twins.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Puerto Rico

I had the nicest day at the beach in Aguadilla yesterday. The water was clear and blue (where you could see your toes) and the perfect temperature. I tried not to get too much sun, really. I rented an umbrella and put on sunblock, everywhere except my armpits, which are now a curious shade of pink in direct contrast to the rest of my body. Attractive? I think so.

Monday, June 18, 2007

My favorite e-mail in my whole inbox.

Just a note to tell you that I had my first exam and blood work for my PSA reading on Monday since my cancer treatments ended in mid March. The doctor called me yesterday and said it appears that my cancers are gone from my body! God is so good and I thank you for your prayers and good thoughts during these very stressful times for me and Ma-ma. I love you and can hardly wait to see you again.


Even better, I picked up a working trip that had a layover the very next day in San Antonio. Ma-ma, Da-da and I lunched at Silo, a cool restaurant with delicious food and then at dinner they set me up with my Mexican food fix. It was a really wonderful visit and I am so thankful that I was able to go celebrate his recovery with them.

A and B the C of D

Noor Zwayne, M.D. did her best to ruin my brother-in-law Josh's Father's Day by being accepted into medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch (I am assuming that is what UTMB represents) in the fall. She is on her way to becoming a REAL doctor, not some pimple-popper MD. Yay!

Shannon- I almost forgot.

This is me, exhibiting joyous surprise.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Acting class.

You don't know what you're doing.

You're bored out of your mind.

You need adult supervision.

These facial exercises serve to demonstrate why it might not be so terrible if the camera inside my computer were to break. Clockwise from top left: Worried, Confused, Happy, and Bored.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I love you.

My previously empty three-bedroom apartment now has no vacancy. One of my new roommates, Olamide, works as a financial analyst for Ralph Lauren. The other, Linda, is a new flight attendant.

Two days after moving into her new place, Linda was leaving on a trip. She said, "See you later." I was almost completely unconscious at this point and Linda's voice sounded like Laura, my dear cousin. So naturally, my response to this casual acquaintance is, "I love you."
Her response, naturally, was dead silence. She weakly said, "Bye." and left. I am sure, sufficiently creeped out.

I am not typically so casual with the L word (no, not that L word), but I felt that a retraction would be more awkward than the initial event. So instead, I wrote Laura a note at the YMCA of the Rockies, where she is working as a camp counselor. I am also using my blog as the platform by which I set the record straight.


I am looking forward to a summer in New York. T. Sean will be here, preparing for and shooting his new movie, Harold. Google it and be impressed by my connections- he is all over the place. The most difficult part of my new job was moving away from my loved ones; family nearby will be wonderful.

Today is the first day that I am back in my apartment in at least ten days. I have been all over the place (most recently London, Belfast, Dominican Republic, Seattle, and Orange County). What this means is that I have had a tougher time than usual keeping in touch with everyone, but I am working on that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Congratulations to Kelly Belly, who graduated second in her class on Friday. I was lucky enough to be able to attend and hear her speech. Next up for her is the University of Texas in Austin, my alma mater.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Or...Why I am the queen of public transportation.

Keep in mind that this route was accomplished with two suitcases. This is how I arrived at my home in Newark from my family's home in Nacogdoches today:

1. Drive from Nacogdoches to Houston with Patrick.
2. Fly from IAH to LGA (all of the flights to Newark were oversold by more than fifty).
3. Take the M60 bus from LaGuardia to 125th St.
4. Take the 2 red line subway to New York Penn Station.
5. Take the 1:37 am NJ Transit train from New York Penn Station to Newark Penn Station.
6. Taxi cab ride home, only to discover that because I turned off the air conditioning prior to leaving town on Thursday, the apartment is now a sweltering 85 degrees.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Land of a Thousand Lakes

I returned recently from visiting my dear friends Brett and Ameara in Minneapolis. The last time I had seen them since we all graduated from UT was at their wedding on December 30. Ameara and I spent lots of quality time together shopping, getting haircuts, and just being together. We went to the U (what the natives call the University of Minnesota) and saw its art museum and then later went to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, home of Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Ameara and I went to see Brett in a cycling race at the National Sports Center in Blaine. That this velodrome was in Blaine got me all excited, Waiting for Guffman-style. The Blaine in Waiting for Guffman is in Missouri, but I feel that they are sister cities on some level. "There's a saying, if you don't like the weather just wait five minutes. In Blaine, with hard work, I think we can get that down to three or four minutes."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mi Familia

This is my parents, nephew, and myself. I would be remiss if I did not also note my sister Shannon's hand. This picture is Clark about an hour after he was born. It was quite providential that I was able to be present when he was born as I scheduled my trip to Texas a week after his due date. I can only assume that he was waiting for me. After this picture, I saw him the next week, but haven't been back to Texas since. What this means is that he will have doubled in size and that I will burst into tears upon seeing him and seeing how much that I have missed. This scenario will almost certainly take place.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Calling you with a joke

I always look for a woman who has a tattoo. I see a woman with a tattoo, and I'm thinking, okay, here's a gal who's capable of making a decision she'll regret in the future.
(Richard Jeni)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Toilet Paper

“I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting.” Encouragingly, she continues: “I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required.”

This is a recent quote from Sheryl Crow, which she claims was a joke (I am dubious as I fervently believe that a joke requires an element of humor). It did, however, make me nostalgic for a former roommate who uses more toilet paper than anyone I ever met before. It also reminded me of my recent environmentalist roommate who exclusively used organic soaps, household cleaners, makeup, and food products and bought Seventh Generation recycled toilet paper. As soon as she moved, I went to the grocery store to buy paper towels (shameful) and two-ply soft toilet paper (deplorable).

"Read in order to live." Gustav Flaubert

My dear sister Shannon invited me to a website called GoodReads. lets you set up a profile and rate books you've read and see your friends' ratings. An excellent find on her part, particularly for those of you who read books for bragging rights and so that you can complain about movies, "The book was better." Along those same name-dropping lines, I hope that someone appreciates my rather pompous quote that I selected for this posting. features many full-length classics without (a big plus for me) any of those pesky late fines libraries are so fond of levying.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Brigid Bales pose, circa 1994

Luckily, the chiropractor was able to straighten out that kink in her neck.

My surrogate boyfriend Patrick is in the city tonight. Good times.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Spoiled, continued.

Tonight I saw a homeless man dip a rag in soapy water runoff from the maintenance crew's sidewalk power-washing. He then took off his hat and washed his hair, face, and hands with the rag, grimly reminding me of one of T. Sean's jokes (I saw a man digging in the dumpster and you just hate to see things like that. So I closed the lid.). The stark contrast between the way this man lives and my own pampered existence underscored how lucky I am and forced me to consider how many people live this way, in the United States and abroad, by accident of birth or otherwise.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

New slur

Guido- A sad pathetic excuse for a male of Italian descent; usually native to the NY/NJ Tri-State area. I gleaned this word from a driver's expletive-laced road rage. Two Jersey residents explained that guidos are 'the worst people on earth'. As I am always a sucker for a new stereotype, I consulted others. Stephen on guidos: "They are the most homogeneous group I've ever seen." My mother: "That Italian subculture is something else."

WARDROBE: tight zipper shirts, tracksuits, designer jeans, tiny hoop earrings, fake gold chains, and related Euro-trash garb and tacky cheese-wear.
NATURAL HABITAT: Known to frequent malls looking for club gear. During the day when not at their food delivery, telemarketing, or construction job, guidos can be located at their local gym or tanning. Can be found nightly at dance clubs. Most notable for cruising the Jersey shore (techno booming) in an old car which has been tinted and painted and sports rims.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Once your dinner arrives, exactly how bad is it when you catch yourself thinking, "Why does everyone seem to overcook lobster!?" At any rate, the crab stuffing my lobster was tender and succulent.

I almost forgot the most ridiculous song from the most ridiculous musical (Camelot), ushering each of us into May:
The lusty month of May!
That darling month when ev'ryone throws
Self-control away.
It's time to do
A wretched thing or two,
And try to make each precious day
One you'll always rue!
It's May! It's May!
The month of "yes you may,"
The time for ev'ry frivolous whim,
Proper or "im."
It's wild! It's gay!
A blot in ev'ry way.
The lusty month of May.
A libelous display!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Do your taxes.

Delinquent though I was, yesterday when I filed my taxes I was rewarded with a nice refund. A bright spot in my afternoon.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Rekindled Friendships

I just got back in touch with my very dear friend Shannon Kelly, which makes me super happy as I love her so much and she is at all times hilarious. Her advice in a recent e-mail cracked me up:

"Keep up the good work ordering drinks on the rocks, and don't let those skeezy pilots try to buy you a cheap and cheesy drink ("No sir, I'll have a Martini...dry...shaken not can put that order for a Sex on the Beach up your ass"). I always knew you'd make me proud."

Debbie Downer

After hearing about a woman in Texas who recently committed suicide, my mother, the perennial optimist, had this to offer: "I read a book on suicide. Women don't usually do it, but when they do, it's not violent. She probably took pills." (waa-waa) "The prototypical person to commit suicide is a 40-year-old white male." (waa-waa) "The most popular days to do it are Monday and Friday. So if you have a friend who is on the edge, you can leave him by himself Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Hang out with him on Monday and Friday...Ed killed himself on a Monday." (WAA-WAA!)

Friends of Betsy- if you are feeling ill, this is a sneak peek of her bedside manner. Call someone else if you are hoping to be cheered up, like Marilyn Manson.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Audrey left me the SWEETEST voicemail yesterday. There is not much nicer than hearing a two-year-old tell you that she loves you, misses you, and wants you to come see her. I have finally found someone who enjoys taking pictures of herself as much as I do; this is how our comic book characters will look.

In other news, someone did an impossibly good casting job on the Get Smart movie. Steve Carell is filling Don Adams' shoes while Anne Hathaway will be 99. Can't wait.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I learned yesterday why my subconscious brought me to Newark (with all its charms). My boyfriend, Paul Simon, was born here.

Rite of passage

For most teenagers, turning 18 means that you can vote, buy porn, and smoke cigarettes. In my case, it meant being able (and allowed) to go to comedy clubs, where I met three men who each bore strong resemblence to my uncles T. Sean, Charlie, and Patrick. Only with more debauchery and profanity than I ever witnessed before. Thinking about that now makes me smile because it shows a certain level of respect- initially for my innocence and then later for my increased maturity.

A Charlie joke from my formative years: Did you hear about the corduroy pillows? They're making head lines everywhere!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Brigid's Soulmate

I flew with a man who quite possibly enjoys coupons more than my little sister. Never except on her face have I seen such exuberance regarding the art of coupon clipping and tricks of the trade. Evidently the secret is that grocery stores in Texas double and triple coupons under a certain sum (say, 50 cents). Coupon manufacturers are aware of this practice and so distribute 55 and 60 cent savings, rendering them ultimately less valuable than those with a lower face value. At this point in the story, this man is poised to burst with excitement. The trick, as a flight attendant, is to collect the circulars from around the country in regions where stores do not multiply coupon face values- these will be under the threshold and therefore will be multiplied in Texas. Also, he advised me to pay attention to the local ads as stores will typically put coupon items on sale a few days or a week after the coupon appears in the newspaper.

Brigid, my dear sister, you are a mere amateur.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


While driving around in Austin this morning, Rachel's boyfriend Roy pointed out 'truck balls' to me on the vehicle in front of us. If I had any confusion of where I was, this innovative new product definitely screamed 'Welcome to Texas'. If you missed the bullet hole sticker decal rage, I urge you to jump on the truck ball bandwagon. Those truck balls are so hot right now. Truck balls.

On an entirely unrelated note, Happy 18th Birthday Kelly!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Clark Austin

My new nephew, Clark (whom Audrey adorably calls 'Clarky'). He sleeps ninety percent of the time...shown yawning here.

Butt Buddies

I miss my uncle. Mucho. Lately I've been rereading e-mails that he sent me when he was alive. I found one that he sent me on April 20, 1999- when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot up Columbine High School. His note has the same meaning today following the Virginia Tech massacre:

"I hate violence. I think any student who uses violence at school, should be beaten, poked with a pointed stick, burned with a branding iron, poked in the eyes with a straw dipped in hot sauce, hit in the family jewels with a aluminum baseball bat, given a wedgie, kicked in the shins with a steel-toed boot, and pulled their hair. That's what I would do to anyone who uses violence. And that's what I think.

Your Anti-Violence Uncle...Charles OUT!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I feel that I must plug my nieces' blogs. Click on them on the right side of the screen. Audrey's features new pictures of my nephew Clark. My niece Molly definitely has crossover appeal as she makes her way onto the Morrison blog in a matching dress and looking impossibly adorable.

Can there be anything cuter than Audrey holding a flower to Josh's nose? I defy you to show me anything more awwww-inducing. I recognize that a sizeable part of the appeal of Shannon and Brigid's blogs is the pictures and as such will attempt to include more photos on my own. Wearing clothes and everything, just for Shannon.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

UT Fashion Show

For those of you in and around the Austin area on April 20, I strongly urge you to check out the UT Fashion Show at the Frank Erwin Center. One of my very dearest friends, Rachel, has designs headed down the runway. I will be there and hope you will too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I laughed riotously at this.

Shan sent me the funniest link with the lead-in "i think he was expecting a VERY important call...


A Most Exciting Development

I have a new nephew! Clark Austin Morrison was born at 2:10 pm today and weighed 7 lb 13 oz. Shannon and Clark are both doing well; I will post pictures soon.

Out of appreciation for her parents providing her with a new brother, Audrey is learning to say, "Fahther, you've made me the happiest gahl who ever lived!" (At no extra charge, I've also corrected her diction.)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Pee-wee: You all remember what to do whenever anybody says the secret word right?
All: Scream!
Pee-wee: That's right. For the rest of the day, whenever anybody says the secret word, scream real loud. Ready? Let's try it.

As a recent e-mail subscriber to's Word of the Day, I invite you to join me. Even if you are only an abecedarian. Sorry- no topers allowed as I am trying to obviate this vocabulary club from turning into something uncivilized.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Genetic Traits

My little sister Brigid (pictured here with her Lucky Charm Molly) humorously complained that she never drools more than when napping in public. It is perhaps no coincidence, then, that her daughter drools more than anyone I ever met, which is evidenced by the photo of her in her bear suit with an intact line of saliva all the way to the ground.

I remember in fourth grade that kids would have contests on the bus to see who could get their spit to dangle the longest while still able to slurp it up. If she continues at this rate, Molly will own this game and be able to hustle her way through school.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

New Addition

My family is still anxiously awaiting the arrival of Shannon and Josh's new baby boy. My nephew was due on the first but has been playing an extended April Fool's joke on his parents. This means, however, that Shannon will be able to continue on the family heritage of procrastination and tardiness. As a kindergartener she believed her nickname was 'Tardy' because that is how her teacher greeted her each morning as she walked into the classroom. Our grandmother likes to remind us that our father (her firstborn) 'was late when he was born and he's been late ever since'.

I will be flying to Texas on Monday to see this new baby. Please say a prayer and hold a good thought for a safe and healthy delivery for both my sister and her son.

The Onion made me laugh. And then cry.

I find The Onion to be generally trite, full of hackneyed sarcasm and obvious (generally sexual) jokes. Recently I wandered over to their site (as I have seemingly discovered everything else of interest on the Internet already). Their news briefing read 'Strip Poker Ends Solemnly With Scar Explanation' and I had to laugh, albeit painfully. For those of you who do not know, I have a wicked scar in the center of my back which not only mars the impact of any swimsuit or strapless ensemble but also has ended countless games of strip poker.

So that I might never explain it again, let me tell you the story of my Phantom of the Opera-like disfigurement. I was stabbed and cut open by a butcher. End of story.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Open appeal to Miss Cooey

Patrick did not deserve a zero on that assignment. We both know it. Stop bullying twelve-year-olds and make this right, please.

Noor in New York

I am excited this morning because my bosom friend Noor Zwayne is coming for a visit this afternoon. This is a break that she needs because she is graduating from UT in May and has been feeling very stressed and worried about the uncertainty that lies beyond university. I have confidence in her future as she is very bright and talented. At a certain age, virtually everyone you meet has a few 'If someone told me ten years ago that I'd be ____, I'd have told him that he was crazy' stories. This remains true for me on a much shorter time frame. If someone told me six months ago that I'd be living in Newark, I'd have told him he was crazy. I did move from lovely and warm Austin, Texas to slightly-less-lovely Newark, New Jersey. It is I who must be certifiable.

Sunday, April 1, 2007


I spent late Saturday and early morning Sunday in Las Vegas (which I highly recommend- particularly if you are able to find a high roller looking for a 'companion' for the evening). At one point in the evening, a flight attendant friend of mine named Christina received a phone call from her friend Travis, who was calling her from jail to say that he was arrested for his third DUI. She got very upset and asked where she could wire money from her savings and then asks, "What does this mean for it to be your third DUI?" His reply was that it meant it was April Fool's Day.

My instinctive reaction was that this was a particularly cruel April Fool's joke akin to making up a divorce or death. On second reflection, however, I concluded that whosoever is clever enough to warrant two DUIs in the first place is most decidedly and without question the Fool, in April and every other month of the year.

Friday, March 30, 2007

That's chow-da. I'll bash you good!

For the first time since I arrived in New Jersey, I cooked yesterday. This has been a part of my life that I have missed sorely since becoming a drifter in September. When will I realize (after five years away from home) that I no longer live as the third of six children in an eight-person household and therefore no longer need to cook as such? I now have eighteen cups of soup that I prepared yesterday in my freezer. Each of my loved ones is now welcome to as much crab & corn chowder as he prefers.

I was attempting to eat biscotti while preparing this post. Now I am left hoping that I fall under that esteemed category of persons who would not be kicked out of bed for eating crackers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New library card + new friend

I christened my new card at the Newark Public Library today, where I made a new friend named Nilda. This is particularly exciting because she is the first friend I have made since moving to Newark. Today was a good day for three other reasons: I checked out a Melissa Etheridge CD from the library and I have the next two days off of work, and my down comforter came in the mail today. There is obviously never any replacing of my loved ones in Texas, but knowing people here makes me feel more like I am starting something new and real (instead of being away at summer camp, waiting to come back home and see my friends).

Monday, March 26, 2007

I bought a new laptop with a built-in camera; a horrible device for someone struggling with Romy and Michelle-esque vanity issues (I can't believe how cute I look. Don't you love how we can say that to each other and we know we're not being conceited? No, we're just being honest.)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

One-act play

When my little sister tells you something, I recommend that you do some fact-checking because she is a great actress. In fact, she is the Best Actress. Kelly won this award this weekend for her role (which brought the audience to tears) at a high school competition. Congratulations, Kelly Belly.

Patrick's Birthday

For those of you who did not have a chance to celebrate St. Patrick's Day (like me, holed up in a hotel in Cleveland), you had another opportunity today. All those who love him (and that is everyone since Noor bestowed upon him the title of Coolest Guy Ever) wish him a happy birthday.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Unbridled hostility

I observed yet another difference between the North and the South (extending beyond the obvious historical rift over slavery). At one of the stops my bus made last night, approximately ten people got off. Instantaneously, passengers got up and moved so that they could sit by themselves rather than with the people they originally were near. It seems to me that you can easily choose an unoccupied seat when you board the bus. However, moving mid-trip across the aisle sends a clear cut message that you feel repulsed by your seatmate. Also, men don't offer their seats as regularly to women, children, and the elderly here.

Continental prepped us for this in Houston by explaining that it doesn't mean that people are mean in Newark but these behaviors are simply an element of their culture. This is no consolation- I would greatly prefer a rude individual to a rude community.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fun website

Check out It makes for an enjoyable minute. The site evoked sentimental memories of the Spin Art that we Bales children used to create with the exception of Patrick. As with Saved by the Bell, Spin Art, my knitting machine, and Perler beads, he arrived on the scene a beat too late. I almost forgot the Bedazzler. If I had one today I believe that I would be every bit as dangerous as I was the first time around the block.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Favorite Snob Adjectives

childishly foolish; immature or trivial.

vulgar or indecent in speech, language, etc.; coarsely mocking, abusive, or irreverent; scurrilous.

lacking in vitality, imagination, distinction, etc.; commonplace; prosaic or dull.

indecent; somewhat obscene; risqué.

My experience is that these words generally work best when you say them with your nose in the air. Try it: "I found that author's writing to be rather pedestrian." Add a sniff after the close for added impact.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Morning commute

When I returned this morning to Newark Penn Station I decided to walk home. Reaching a destination (like my apartment) is my best motivation to exercise. Ordinarily a brilliant idea, less so when there is nearly a foot of snow on the sidewalk and one is attempting to pull a rolling suitcase through it. Inevitably, my high heel sank into a puddle, drenching my foot. I walked the rest of the way home with a wet foot in 20-something weather. Hold a good thought for me, friends, that I might not go the way of fellow Texan Baby Jessica in that I will be able to retain all of my toes.

Tonight I will rest my head in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

On an unrelated note, Yahoo is messing with my head. Thus, my new e-mail address is