Monthly Archives: November 2007

another one bites the dust

i’m feeling kind of sad. kevin dubrow has died. if you don’t know who that is, you will once i describe him. he’s that receding-hairlined, fro-haired singer from quiet riot. i actually loved this band because i found that whole glam metal band thing exceedingly fascinating (i’m intrigued by men who would want to use hairspray) and they had that awesomely titled song “cum on feel the noize.” so when i heard he had passed it was kind of a shock because i didn’t think he was that old.

i love the 80s and one of the things that amuses me most about the decade was the whole hard-rock, hair band phenomenon, and quiet riot was pretty much one of the first. these guys had a number one album that went platinum in 1983, which was a first for a heavy metal band.

the problem was they really only had about 3 hits and two of them were remakes of original slade songs. the other problem was this guy’s hair. check the video.

this guy was already sporting some serious forehead real estate back in 1983.

band.jpg 

… 

so i was stunned to see this picture in which he resembles an aging slash of guns and roses.

kevin.jpg

… 

and then apparently, something went really wrong here, and it’s not just the hair.

kevin2.jpg

… 

i’m hoping it wasn’t drugs, but this last picture may prove me wrong.

r.i.p. kevin.

thanks for nothing

every year thanksgiving brings with it the annual pilgrimage to visit the in-laws. which is both good and bad.

what’s really good is that my in-laws live about 3 hours away and they are getting old and they do not like to drive, so they do not drop in unexpectedly…ever. the bad news is that my mother-in-law is the quintessential snobby jewish new yorker with an unparalleled love for Barney’s, the legendary madison avenue mecca of luxury fashion. she can drink screwdrivers all day long without ever getting a buzz, and has mastered the art of the guilt trip. here’s a typical conversation:

me: so what are you guys planning for thanksgiving?
MIL: well, i don’t know. myron’s (yes, it’s really myron) eyesight is getting really bad and his circulation’s not so good so we will probably just stay home this year.
me: well, what if we drove up to see you?
MIL: oh dear, that’s really sweet. but you don’t have to.
me: well, we’d like to see you and the kids have been looking forward to it.
MIL: oh well, dear, if you insist. no pressure.

a red flag should have gone up when i first got engaged. the first words out of this woman’s mouth were, “so, when are you going to have grandchildren for us? no pressure.” apparently there was some pressure because i popped out the princess a mere 15 months after tying the knot, and since i’m not jewish by birth, i opted for a crash course in conversion, including the ritual mikvah (totally naked at about 8 months along) complete with attending rabbi and temple elder (trust me, it’s completely as bad as it sounds), just squeaking in under the wire so princess could avoid this whole nasty matrilineal descent issue.

i have been doing things without any pressure for my in-laws almost since day one.  it’s a game we play. i ask. they decline. i beg. they *finally* cave. it makes her happy. they love me. my husband owes me big time.

anyway, the saving grace is that my sister, dr. laura, lives about 20 minutes from my in-laws. god bless her. she actually sees them more than i do. and this year dr. laura volunteered to have turkey day at her house. our whole family plus the inlaws.

so we wake up early thanksgiving day and make the drive. dr. laura had most of the dinner catered, because well, she’s a doctor and she can afford to do that. everyone was supposed to make something homemade to bring. i made creamed spinach, which i lovingly scraped from the original HEB plastic container into a pyrex baking dish and presented as my very own.  

anyway, so the dinner was awesome. dr. laura outdid herself. 

all: who made the sweet potatoes?
dr. laura: i did.
all: who made the green bean casserole?
dr. laura: i did.
all: who made the stuffing?
dr. laura: i did.
all: who made the creamed spinach?
dr. laura: i did.

hell, i didn’t care. she can have the credit for that one too. i was just glad that she had the good sense to make sure there was a plenty o’ wine. of which i was drinking copious amounts to numb myself. as i laid on the couch with a nice buzz, food coma settling in,  i started wondering if there was really anything i was truly thankful for. and after a little thought, i decided there was.

  • i’m thankful that it’s no longer 100 degrees everyday.  now it’s only about 80 degrees.
  • i’m thankful that USA network will start showing “elf” in heavy rotation.
  • i’m thankful that me, sessie, and dr. laura have gotten over our petty childhood disagreements and can enjoy each other’s company as adults.
  • i’m thankful that HEB makes creamed spinach and that everyone actually said it was the best side dish there. (haha!)
  • i am thankful for great friends who can always make me laugh.
  • i’m thankful for my family, my health, my beautiful children.
  • i’m thankful we decided to stay in a hotel and that in a few hours we could gracefully make our exit (sometimes my husband is a lot smarter than he looks – another thing to be thankful for).

but mostly, i’m really glad that thanksgiving only comes once a year and that it’s over.

happy thanksgiving to everyone!!!

greed is good?

i haven’t been feeling fulfilled lately regarding work. i know work is just work, but i derive a certain amount of self worth from my career, and while spending endless hours sitting in front of a computer surfing the web and blogging while getting paid for it may sound like fun, actually it can get pretty boring.gekko.jpg

so i turned to some friends for career advice. i’ve heard some really interesting stuff ranging from “don’t ever be afraid to take a job where everything is effed up because if you can’t fix it, well, it was effed up in the first place, but if you can fix it, you’re a freaking hero,” (you have to be careful on this one because it can backfire) to my personal favorite, “embrace your inner mercenary.”

so i’ve been exploring my inner mercenary and i have to say, i’m feeling rather dirty.  exploring your options is so different when you don’t actually need a job and i’m new to this party. i feel sort of sneaky and manipulative, and i’m kinda enjoying it… but it sure beats playing games with an HR recruiter when you’re truly desperate.

gordon gekko had this interesting piece of advice: what’s worth doing is worth doing for money.  he was only half right. i say: what’s worth doing is worth doing purely for the hell of it.

just because you have a job doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t see what’s out there. don’t wait until you need a job to look for your next one. go on interviews for jobs you have no intention of taking and may be completely unqualified for. ask for an f*load more money than you’re are making. and why not? if you get a low-ball offer you just turn it down. why? because you don’t really need a job, remember?!

so while i don’t completely agree that greed is good, what i do agree with is… know your worth. control your destiny. you can decide where you want to work and how much you want to make. you have nothing to lose, but a whole lot to gain.

jamaican me crazy

about once a year, i suffer from a severe case of PMS, which in my world stands for “pack my shit.”

why would i be pissed off enough to run away from home?

typically this happens because i (a full-time, working mother with a daily commute of two hours – on a good day) live in a stupid-big, 4,600 square foot mcmansion with two children and a husband who think that the house fairy is responsible for keeping the place clean.

my family drops food, toys, school books, clothing, dirty underpants and assorted other crappola wherever they happen to be standing, and voila! everything is mysteriously returned to it’s original place in better-than-original condition.

i realize this is my own fault. i have fostered a make-believe environment in which things magically clean themselves, fold themselves and put themselves away. so about once a year, i get to the point where i am ready to divorce my family.

but this week, something wonderful happened. *cue hallelujah chorus* i am in love.

her name is janet and she is my new jamaician housekeeper. she came this week and cleaned from 7:30am until 7pm. embarrassingly enough, that should tell you the state of my house because she didn’t even finish. but i told her to go home because, hell, i was pooped from just watching her do all that work. so i gave her an extra $20 plus a bottle of wine.

all i can say is, i hope she wasn’t so disgusted that she doesn’t come back. i need her…really bad. she is my crack and i’m completely addicted.

janet came highly recommended but not cheap. but i say, you get what you pay for. and i just paid for another year of sanity.

i think i’m going to eat out of this thing.

extreme makeover

they say there are three types of women…and i think i may be the worst kind.  they fall into three categories: low maintenance, high maintenance, and those that are really high maintenance but think they are low maintenance.

don’t get me wrong. i do like to look good, but i never thought i was one of “those” women. but for the last few weeks i have been in the process of getting my teeth redone. i had some veneers done a while back and i wasn’t happy with the results. think gary busey. subtle, they were not.

since veneers are permanent (for at least 20 years or so) removing them required basically blasting them off my teeth. i spent four hours in a dentist chair while my natural teeth were shaved down until i resembled some sort of cannibalistic tooth-filing african tribe member.

anyway, like i said, typically i don’t stress about my appearance but for the last few weeks i have found myself purposely avoiding any type of social situation which would require me to open my mouth…and if you know me, getting me to shut up is nothing short of a miracle.

so yesterday, i finally got my new teeth. and all i can say is, the peace and quiet is over.

teeth.jpg

i also found out something about myself. i am, sadly, more concerned about my looks than i would like to admit.  and i think i may have discovered my new hobby: cosmetic improvements.

i am now officially one of “those” women.

80s fashion is an oxymoron

i recently enjoyed reading this awesome panty-wetting post

yes, the 70s were a groovy decade, but unfortunately, my experience with the 70s was more brady bunch than saturday night fever, so i feel a little gypped. but these great photos got me thinking, if style in the 70s could be reduced to an homage to white pantsuits, terry cloth, and chest hair, would history be kind to the 80s?

i began searching the internet for 80s fashion and realized that most people, like myself, are hiding their skeletons. so i decided the best place to go look was in my own closet.

i spent several hours trying to find where i had hidden the old photo albums and yearbooks, and after i found them, i remember why. despite my hopes of finding footloose, flashdancing girls that just wanted to have fun, i discovered what was really fashionable in the 80s was looking like your grandparents.

prepsthumb.jpg

to say we looked ridiculous is a modest understatement. but we were just buying into a lifestyle that the clothes represented. similar to how white suburban kids are deluding themselves into thinking that running around with their pants hanging off their asses and calling each other bee-yotch makes them gangsta.

anyway, after looking at these pictures, i have decided that what the 80s were all about (MTV videos to the contrary) is clothes as birth control. there is nothing overtly sexy about any of this and frankly, it’s a wonder there was any sex going on at all. which may actually explain the massive consumption of alcohol which generally preceded any physical contact.

so, i wanted to share these pictures with you. keep this in mind while you’re looking at them. i live in texas. it’s freaking hot here… all the time. 

these pictures were in a section labeled “yep, they’re yups.” there are a lot of things that amuse me about this whole era, including the fact that in lieu of actually being a yuppie, you could just wear the clothes and pretend to be one. but what’s most amusing is that the word yuppie (initially coined as a demographic term which stood for young urban professional) later came to be used almost exclusively with the word *fucking* preceding it. 

                          yups3.jpg yups5.jpg

… 

these girls are covered from head to toe, except for the tramp on the left who has exposed her knees.

groupthumb.jpg

click for larger photo

… 

the only thing that saved this poor girl from a britney spears moment is about 8 inches of fabric.

skirtthumb.jpg

… 

nothing says “hot” like peter pan collars, poofy sleeves and high-waisted pleated pants. no matter. this guy is just happy because this is the closest he’s ever getting to these girl’s clams. 

clamsthumb.jpg

click for larger photo 

… 

and because black and white just does not do it justice… 

if the clothes said virginal, then the makeup told an entirely different story. these girls did not believe in subtlety…or using a mirror.

party.jpg

 party2.jpg

… 

sailor suits were really in…and not just for 6 year olds.

sailorthumb.jpg

… 

nope, this is not an 80s party. this is vintage 80s college partying. wearing shorts instead of a skirt at a kegger allowed much more freedom and ensured that you were comfortable. plus if you drank too much beer and passed out on the patio furniture, no one could see your underpants.

kegthumb.jpg

i realized a certain amount of self outing was going to be necessary to allow for a full appreciation of this phenomenon. anyone who knows me knows that i never pass up a good opportunity to show off my rack, but back then, i had my priorities all screwed up.

do not ask me what the eff is up with my hair. i have no freaking idea.

sweatersthumb.jpg

aviators were the coolest.

aviators.jpg 

… 

i seem to recall that this type of pant was called a “go to hell” pant. which basically meant, “i’m going to wear these pants, and if you don’t like them, you can go to hell!” the more obnoxious the better. the guy wearing the “go to hell” pants (and the pornstache) was a four sticker (meaning he had a IV after his last name) and is now a gynecologist in the greater houston area, which i unexpectedly found out after picking a specialty physician from my healthcare provider. awk-ward.

madrasthumb.jpg

click for larger photo 

 sessie and dr. laura. sorry guys. love you.

rushthumb.jpg

sistersthumb.jpg 

wearing long skirts is completely impractical because they seriously inhibit your mobility and you can fall flat on your face. which makes them perfect preppy attire when you’re going to someone’s ranch to drink a lot of liquor and shoot off firearms.

huntingthumb.jpg

… 

  • white turtleneck sweater with shoulder pads? check.
  • pearl necklace? check.
  • alligator belt? check.
  • long tweed skirt past my knees? check.
  • gold coin ring and tank watch with alligator strap? check.
  • porsche carrera sunglasses? double check.

nothing says road trip quite like white opaque hosery.

roadtrip2.jpg

road_trip.jpg 

… 

and finally, it’s completely apparent from the look on his face that my date was not amused that i wore clothes under my toga. i never saw him again.

togathumb.jpg

sorry, wrong number

i work with idiots.

now, i know what you are thinking. most of us suspect that we are working with idiots but usually this is just a suspicion based on limited interaction with little in the way of any substantial proof. 

so it’s pretty awesome when some good solid evidence just falls into your lap. the other day i got this email:

From: Security-Houston-Reception
Subject: 911 Calls

The police department are getting numerous 911 calls from XXX, please be careful when dialing international calls. If you need assistance please contact me if you need help completing a call. Instead of hanging up on the 911 dispatcher, please be courteous and let him or her know you made a mistake otherwise they will continue to respond to the 911 calls.

Thanks,

Security Receptionist, XXX Corporation

ok, so first – apparently i’m working with software engineers who can write code in their sleep, but they can’t figure out how to use a freaking telephone.

and second – what kind of person calls 911 and then hangs up when someone answers, “911, can i help you?”

i will tell you what kind of person calls 911 and then hangs up. a four year old, that’s who. how do i know this? i know this because my neighbor’s four year old daughter called 911. not once, but twice. and then just breathed heavily into the phone and listened to the people on the other end try to figure out what was wrong. then she hung up. and about 10 minutes later the fire trucks arrived. the general problem here is that they did not really need any fire trucks to come out and the parents had to explain to the nice firefighters that it was all just a misunderstanding.

my children however, have been completely educated in the finer points of when and how to call 911. like when my son knocked his cars movie lamp off his nightstand and the shade fell off, and the bare bulb burned all day long, through the carpet and the padding and was in the process of charring the wood sub-flooring when we finally discovered it due to the smell of burning plastic emanating from his bedroom.

my children were running through the house yelling, “dial 911!!! dial 911, mommy!” and then they proceeded to scream directions to our house in the background while i was talking on the phone because they just wanted to help. i finally had to tell them to shut up because they were confusing the dispatcher.

but THAT, people, is how to teach your kids to call 911.

apparently no one ever taught these idiots.