Sunday, May 9, 2010

An allergic's nightmare

So one of my kitty's favorite passtimes (besides randomly growling and darting about or sleeping in my leg) is eating flowers. This is her after a recent grazing, covered in pollen:


Saturday, April 24, 2010

I love my boss

I kept up a pretty constant Twitter stream about my Nascar experience, and once I get the pictures I'll do a proper blog post, but for the moment I'm going to just quote my new boss's comments on Nascar. Needless to say, I love this guy.

"Are you sun burned? That's the other thing I forgot to mention about a NASCAR weekend…you are not supposed to put sunscreen on, so you get that "early season" burn just below the back of your Red's Tractor and Pump Supply mesh baseball cap, and on the part of your arms not covered by your sleeves, which were cut off with a pocket knife last year when you went to the race at Martinsville, VA and got "too haawt" during the time Busch series race on Saturday before Sunday's main event…although you'd never say "Virginia," because any fools who knows anything about racin' knows where Martinsville is."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You know you're a redneck when...

Thank you to Teresa for this amazing blog post, in honor of my deep f*cking red weekend (more on that later).


http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2009/01/you-say-redneck-like-its-bad-thing.html

Saturday, April 17, 2010

AM at the trailer park (they're calling it a campground) and I smell bacon cooking. Wonder if you can make it on the grill. Apparently we forgot to erect a flagpole on our trailer and fly a TX banner.

Friday, April 16, 2010

This is a test... Blog, can you hear me from my bberry?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yummmm


Yesterday a few co-workers and I went to KFC for lunch to experience the launch of the Double Down. As visible in the picture, it's a cheese & bacon sandwich with fried fillets in the place of bread... basically, my ideal snack.

However, there is a big difference between how KFC photographs this item and how it actually shows up in your paper bag. The cheese was only barely melted in the very middle between the hottest parts of the fillets (forget the edges) and was tasteless to the point of being unidentifiable, the bacon was sparse (although I didn't actually want it), and the special sauce (a zesty mayonnaise) was even harder to find. All this aside, after getting a side of the special sauce it was delicious, obvi. It was also ENORMOUS. I do not think I will be switching from my usual 3 Crispy Strip Meal order.

More amazing than the sandwich, however, was what I learned during lunch. First and most shocking - the KFC in Rogers, AR has an unlimited buffet. EEEEWWWWW. I love KFC and even I think that DISGUSTING. And it was full of Amish men - so, so random.

Secondly, I was the only person in a group of 8 relatively normal people that was not a HFFU. A HFFU, as explained by my co-worker who came from Yum! brands, is a Heavy Fast Food User - someone who eats fast food at least 2 times a week. As I said, I'm a fan of KFC, but I go maybe once every 2-3 months - I'm not crazy.

Thirdly, McDonald's is the only fast food place whose sales are split 30/30/30 breakfast/lunch/dinner. Which means people eat that crap for dinner. This info may turn me off fast food forever. Aided by the stomach ache I still have 36 hours later.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hmmm...

With old age, heels and hot yoga comes tired achy feet, so today I went on-line to look for some sort of home spa machinery. (Just typing that made me feel 40 years older.)

Anyway, this is what I found under "massage," on a TOTALLY WHOLESOME store website, that I will not mention by name because I may or may not be connected to it in some way:

I cannot be the only one who thinks this is NOT a g-rated device.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Acting the goat

I'll spare everyone the long and uninteresting story (for once), but I have only just gotten my Benton County Fair pictures from this summer loaded onto my computer. Fairs down here are more than just sausage & onion hoagies and cheap silver jewelry - they have farm contests where they give prizes for... well, a bunch of things that I'm not sure how they judge.

There was the bovine area - these things were enormous. Much, much bigger than my neighbors' cows. Like over 15 hands tall... or something.

Of course no Northwest Arkansas event is complete without the hogs. They were surprisingly cute, and very friendly. And surprised to see me out in sneakers - rightly so.


I did kind of feel under-dressed when I saw the goats in their fancy but weird stretchy coats... they looked like sleazy wrestlers... complete with holes in their unitards, skinny legs and patchy body hair.


The most fabulous attraction, and the reason we went to this fair, was the goat costume contest. And I don't just mean the wrestler costumes - those are apparently functional and not at all tongue-in-cheek. There was a goat costume contest where not only the goats but their owners/chaperones/friends/half-siblings were also in matching costumes. As expected, it was mostly children... but there were some really old children who didn't seem in the least embarrassed at what they were doing. Probably all that meth numbing their senses. These were some of the most amazing specimens, but there were actually a lot of good contestants.

Sheriff (they look like cowboys down here) and bandit.

Dorothy and the Tin Man.
Skunk - it's a toss up as to whether skunks or possums are the state animal. I'm keeping a roadkill tally - possums are winning at the moment, but it's neck-and-neck.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

to open the heart, only a little at a time

I've obviously never done justice to this in my blog, since I wouldn't, but Nicole sent these poems over today and they were perfect:

A Man Alone
by Stephen Orlen

I hated breaking up and I hated
Being left, finding myself in an apartment
With an extra set of silverware and a ghost,
Impatient to be gone. Then to summon up
Who I was before the bed was full with woman.
To shift the street-mind from getting to
To slowing down and window shop. In the bar down the street,
To let my eyes simplify again, and make no judgments,
And breathe in the smoke that drifts
Through one body then another,
And find myself close enough
To whisper into a woman's just-washed hair
And inhale that ten thousand year old scent.
To memorize a phone number.
To learn to say goodnight at her door.
To keep my hands in my pockets, like a boy.
To open the heart, only a little at a time.

If There Is Something To Desire
by Vera Pavlova

If there is something to desire,
there will be something to regret.
If there is something to regret,
there will be something to recall.
If there is something to recall,
there was nothing to regret.
If there is nothing to regret,
there was nothing to desire.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just enough cooks in the kitchen

Last weekend I had my first dinner party chez moi. Actually, it was chez moi but really it was hosted by the fab four: Kat, Ashley, Kristy and myself. Kristy brought chocolate-dipped strawberries topped with nuts and coconut AND soaked in rum. Ashley and Kat and I "cooked," aka arranged various Italian ingredients onto serving platters.


Regardless, it was quite a success. Aside from my cat, who spent most of the night hiding under chairs and trying to keep her sleepy eyes open to guard the apt against the invaders, everyone seemed to have a good time.

This is part of my grand plan to become a fabulous chef during my time here. (In addition to a golf pro, a karate black belt... I've got a lot of weekend hours to kill.) Maybe next party we'll actually put something in the oven - besides pre-mixed bruschetta.




Sunday, January 24, 2010

Team Glock

A few weeks ago - before the unbearable frost but after the pleasantly mild Southern fall - I went to the driving range with Tom & Ryan. First we had to restock our ammo, so we took a stroll through downtown Rogers to get to the gun store.
I did a little window shopping on the way...


The gun store - no surprise - was about as crazy conservative as you can imagine. Someone tried to sell me a handheld that would "fit into your evening bag." I tried to explain to this there was no need for a handheld in this town - or an evening bag.


We finally got to the freezing cold range in Hobbs State Park (a 15-minute drive away during which we ate fried chicken from the grocery store from a paper bag - bc you might as well act the part) about an hour before sundown. I didn't start shooting until 15 minutes in, when we finally figured out why I couldn't hit anywhere near the target. Apparently you need to close your left eye in order to see through the hole with the lines; but I can only close my right eye or both eyes - no solo left eye action. So I came up with a brilliant plan - use one glove to cover my left eye.
The problem with this plan was that my hand started to ice over in the cold and after about 10 minutes of shooting at a 60s-looking man line-drawn onto a paper target I was too bored and cold to continue. So I went and read in the car until Tom & Ryan managed to hit their quarters a few times and called it quits. Turns out I'm not going to become a champion shooter. More time to devote to my golf career, I guess.

video

This is why you're fat

So all the stereotypes are true - people are generally fatter in the South than in NYC. I have vetted this claim with my own eyes, and have even come to discover the source of the issue. The two sources, in fact - somewhat interrelated.

1) They get married very young and have more kids on average. Because they get married so young, they have more time to pop out children and more time to get comfortable with each other - so comfortable that the let themselves go by many tens of inches. I feel like this hypothesis is irrefutably proven by the fact that most people under the age of 21 (that's around marriage age) are skinny-minnies while their parents are hippopotami.

2) They eat/drink things and in quantities that are simply unbelievable to a NYer. For example: The Stacker at my company cafeteria - two grilled cheese sandwiches with a burger patty in between; unlimited buffet ANYTHING - seriously any type of food you want is available in unlimited buffet form. And then there's the soda, which is commonly held in containers larger than my face.

The normal response of a NYer to this picture is: "I can't believe they drink that much soda in one day!" The sad reply is: "They don't just drink one a day - that's why they use refillable containers."

Jamaican-me-crazy






I need a vacation. I finally got my pics uploaded to my computer and was flipping through the ones from Emma's b-day in Jamaica. I missed my flight and lost a day, it rained all weekend and
I was somewhat depressed, and yet it was still relaxing and beautiful. I miss the johnny cakes and ackee, falling asleep on beach chairs, and staying up all night on our villa porch drinking pineapple Ting and rum. (Ok, who am I kidding - I never made it all night. But others did.) I even overcame my fear of deep water and snorkeled for a few minutes (it took so long for me to work up the courage that's all I had time for - and really the only reason I finally dove in was because I was being so annoyingly harassed by the teenage boat driver).

These past 2 weeks have been completely out of control. What was already a 10-hour-a-day (minimum) job turned into 14 hours. And I mean a straight 14 hours. 15-min lunch breaks, no time to even think about snacks, no time for cereal the morning I slept through my alarm... craziness. Thurs morning at 6am, as I was driving to work, I actually considered how relieving it would be if I got into a car accident and just missed this whole deadline - and came back to a completed project. The lack of food was clearly starting to get to me. The strange thing is, for the first time, I'm in a job that appreciates it. I don't think I've ever been thanked or complimented as much as this past week. It's almost embarrassing.

But the point is - I need a vacation. So Dena, if you're reading this, you better come through on your promise to have your 30th in Jamaica. Treasure BEACH!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Regrets

Match.com was a terrible, terrible idea. I have yet to pay any money or view a finalized profile, yet I received two "winks" today. Knowing all the options in my area from last night's browsing (more like rubber-necking), I am terrified. So as soon as I finish checking which trolls winked at me, I'm off.

Meanwhile, my co-worker/friend has taken to endlessly teasing me about dipping a toe into the on-line dating swamp. Then while he's driving me home he lets drop that he is going to Fayetteville this weekend to meet someone... THAT HE MET IN A CHAT ROOM. It gets worse: it's an FJ Cruiser chat room (that's the car he just bought - it's like a Japanese Hummer). So apparently there are chat groups for car interest groups, and now he is going to meet someone who has suspension that is apparently fascinating. This is after he spent last weekend changing his tires from normal ones to all-black ones that look like he just drove through the ghetto and got his rims robbed.

Something must be going wrong in my life if he is making fun of me.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"For papa, make him a scholar..."

So I returned to Match.com to make sure my profile was not mistakenly there and I was not somehow going to be billed while not actually being on it. Of course I ended up getting sucked into checking out the options in my neck of the woods - and the results were so incredible I had to share.

First of all, the vast majority of them have profile names that immediately disqualify them. As in: gohogsgohogs, pigsoooooey, singledad158 (I like that this one can't even be more original than 157 other dads).

Second, the cute ones seem to be horribly corny. As in this headline: "an honest, thoughtful, great guy looking for a wonderful girl to snatch me up." He didn't even think to hide that cry of desperation in his profile text!

Third, pretty much everyone has at least one absolutely eggregious deal-breaking characteristic. Like the 30-something who is "trying to make a living writing." Or the guy who is 32 but looking for a woman 21-30. Or the ignoramus whose favorite author is Dan Brown.

And finally, there is the grammar. You would think people would re-read their profiles before publishing them, which leads me to the firm conclusion that some man thought this was correct English: "I have never married and I do not have children in which someday I will hopefully get to have when I meet my special someone." And yes, I checked - this one was American-born, from the South. My favorite incorrect quote was from a foreigner, so I guess we can chalk some of his mistakes to ESL, but even so...: "I lookign for a right Woman who I can give my Hard" (this winning candidate also has THREE kids).

Tulsa


At this point I think I've told everyone I know about my trip to Tulsa, but as I've found this picture of our night I figured I needed to post a recap.
First stop on Valerie's Tour of the South was Tulsa, OK - 1.5hrs from Bentonville. We decided to drive up Sat afternoon, do some shopping, go out "big city style," sleep over, watch our friend run her half marathon Sun morning, have a delicious foodie brunch, do some walking around the town, then return Sun afternoon/evening.
We started strong - leaving B'ville late but still managing to hit a boutique and Saks before the stores closed at SIX PM. Saks was only a few square feet larger than the boutique, which was disappointing and yet still a breath of fresh fashion for us AR girls - I ended up with fabulous booties.
Afterwards we met up with our marathon-running friend and her husband for pasta dinner. We were enjoying ourselves there until we found out liquor stores closed at NINE PM, at which point we had to throw back our drinks and run out to purchase pre-bar bottles. Since we're amazing we managed to find a liquor store in 10 minutes and then spent some quality girl time getting ready in our hotel and shooting vodka. All afternoon we had been asking around for the best clubs in the city, and everyone seemed to agree that Pink would be a good place for the four of us to go - which ended up meaning everyone thought we were lesbians. Because Pink was definitely a lesbian bar - or at least overtly lesbian-friendly. I was the perceptive one who realized this when, shortly after our arrival, one girl got down on her knees on the dance floor and mimicked giving head to her female dance partner. (Her dance partner trumped that by whipping her breast out of her tank top and letting the first girl lick her nipple.)
It turns out that lesbian clubs are full of guys and FUN. So fun that we slept through our friend's marathon the next morning and only just dragged ourselves to the restaurant for our brunch reservations with her. While the rest of my friends regaled her with photos and videos of our fun night, I went back and forth between the table and the bathroom vomiting up everything I put into my mouth - including water. Needless to say, our Sunday plans were shot and we got directly into the car and drove back to AR - I slept the whole way.
Not that I'm coming from a place of extensive knowledge, but the city seemed kind of lame. There was never anybody around no matter where we were driving or at what hour. The streets were empty and there didn't seem to be much of a downtown area anywhere. The club was really the only place we saw any kind of crowd the entire weekend. The search for southern cool thus continues...

Moving on and going out

This week I've realized that the only trend I haven't jumped on is on-line dating. And I've been horribly remiss with my blogging. So in an attempt to fix both these problems in one fell swoop, I am going to start meeting people on-line and hopefully accumulating some entertaining stories for my audience (all 3...4...5? of you). Although this could really get in the way of watching Miss Congeniality for the 50th, 51st and 52nd times, I feel like it's something I need to do as a single person in 2010.

The only problem is that I just went on Match.com and it is almost $20 a month - WTF? I kind of felt like I was going to be paying for escorts. So I closed out of the site... except I just got an email saying my profile had been accepted, so now I'm confused and a little concerned as to what truncated description of myself is visible to other singles in my area. The good news is that I think there are no singles in my area. But still I need to go back and check. And I need to find a cheaper site. Not that my love life and eternal happiness isn't priceless... but I'd need to be guaranteed results in exchange for that amount of money, and I just don't think rural AR can deliver.