Sunday, March 30, 2008

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Friday's play was hilarious with a fair bit of it ad-libbed due to the three guest spellers. The guests were an 8 year old boy and two grown men, one being a local radio celebrity, Michael Berry. I wasn't sure how well a musical about a spelling bee would go over, but I think they did a great job of it not just being an hour and forty-five minutes of nothing but them spelling words for us. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of spelling and some of the words they were asked to spell were some of the funniest moments.

But as funny and touching as it was, there were a couple of moments when I cringed. The returning champion of last years spelling bee sees a girl in the audience that he thinks is cute, thinks a little too much about her cuteness and develops an...well, use your imagination. Because of this embarrassing situation, when it is his turn he flubs the word he is supposed to spell and gets disqualified. Cringing over, yes? Uh, no! The play is too short for an intermission, but they do have a break where everyone goes off stage. During this 3-5 minutes, the lately disqualified kid comes back and entertains us with a song about the circumstances of his disqualification. Yes, several minutes of him singing about his embarrassing situation - over and over and over again!

Sadly, I don't cringe at innuendo too easily. I should, but I am fairly desensitized to it what with it being so pervasive in TV and film. This was not innuendo. This was blatant, in your face singing about the male anatomy and the embarrassing situations it can get a young man into! A lot of younger kids attended and I can only imagine that on the way home there were a lot of questions as to why the boy had to put something in front of his pants before he came up to the front of the class and what the words in his song meant. Hopefully it did all just go over their heads. It didn't go over mine and I CRINGED!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Why I Love to Blog

Have you ever felt like you have more to say than anyone in their right mind would ever want to listen to?

As a child and up until I was about 19, I was an introvert; I really didn’t talk a whole lot. I think some would call it shyness, but I’m not convinced. I don’t remember being afraid of talking to people, just that I didn’t feel the need to. Ask my mother and she will tell you stories of my saying only a few words to convey things to her and that was only after she could tell by my face that something was going on and would then get me to tell her.

As I became a teenager I think it did morph into out and out shyness. Oddly enough, I think I probably came across as being stuck up more than just shy, but either way, I was not about to stick myself out there and start a conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I had my friends and I did talk to them, but it wasn’t very many.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit to you that there were little glimpses of the person I was to become. In 9th grade my best friend and I had English together. The teacher who taught it was also the Home Economics teacher so instead of there being desks to sit in, two people would sit at a table. Darn right we sat together…for a while! Until the teacher got tired of asking us to stop talking! Poor woman didn’t have a fighting chance with the two of us in there. My friend got moved all the way to the front of the class, but did that stop us from talking??? Yeah, right!

On June 23, 1992 I signed a few papers, put my hand over my heart and said “I DO” to Uncle Sam. By late that afternoon I was on an airplane bound for Recruit Training Command, Orlando, Florida. Somewhere in those 8 weeks I unconsciously decided that I was no longer going to be that shy person anymore. Boot camp was very liberating for me. I found this very strong and opinionated person inside waiting to come out.

It’s almost as if I had a Talking Switch that was in the Off position for the first 19 years of my life and boot camp was the trigger that clicked it On. Almost overnight I became this person who wasn’t afraid to assert herself. I wanted to talk to people; I wanted to be in on conversations; I wanted to be included. I HAD TO TALK!

I still get nervous and sweaty palmed when I start conversations with people I don’t know (or don’t know well), but I do it anyway. I feel compelled to do it. I want to do it. Here’s a funny fact about me; I enjoy giving talks in Sacrament meeting. I’m nervous just like everyone else, but I get the biggest thrill from being up there, which is probably why I don’t get asked to speak very often!! “You’re enjoying this way too much, Mathews!!”

Now, back to my original question: Have you ever felt like you have more to say than anyone in their right mind would ever want to listen to?

Me? Yes!!

With my newfound need to talk, it’s as if a floodgate has opened inside me; I have 19 years of not talking to make up for. Anyone who has stood outside a front door with me knows that I can talk for as long as you’ll let me! Yes, I am long winded!!

Enter Blogging. I’m relatively new to the whole blogging scene having only started about 5 months ago. At first I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to write about. Was it some sort of online journal? I soon figured out that I could write about anything and everything I ever wanted to. Holy cow! I finally had an outlet for all the random things I wanted to say; all the stories I wanted to tell.

I wish I could tell you that this has cured me of keeping you standing outside your front door. I don’t think that will ever be cured, but maybe it will cut down on the number of really random things I say while we’re standing there.

Blogging: It’s a good thing!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Weight loss update - ConocoPhillips Fun Run

In the 4 months I've been working out at the gym, I have lost a sum total of 10lbs. I'm not at all satisfied with that seeing as I have another 100 to go, but at least it's -10 instead of +10.

To further complicate matters, I have made a commitment that I can't back out of even though a big part of me wants to. It's a good thing that an even bigger part of me wants to do it. The other day over lunch with two of my co-workers, we decided that the 3 of us were going to run the ConocoPhillips Fun Run (5k). I'm the one that's going to struggle the most with this, but will, I think, get the most from it. My co-workers are men, they're in fairly good physical condition and are used to running. Jonathan did a 5k a few months ago and Rene could be on the cover of Men's Fitness magazine showing off his chest and abs. That will be some nice eye candy to run behind!! That sight alone will keep me running for at least a mile! Doh, did I say that out loud???

Anyway, tonight I met Kim Martin at Fitness 19, where we both have memberships, and worked out for a little over an hour. I did about 20 minutes on the elliptical and then the rest of the time was spent working upper body; upper and lower chest and back. I am sooo going to feel that tomorrow. I already feel it tonight!

I'm excited that Kim agreed to train me. Can you believe she's run 6 marathons and 3 half marathons? Holy cow - that's over 200 miles of running!! I'm going to keep focused on my 3.2 miles! :-)

The Fun Run is held the weekend before the rodeo opens, so I have just under a year to get fit enough to at least finish. I have to say I'm pretty excited. Excited to accomplish something that has never been easy for me, even when I went through boot camp I just barely squeaked by so that I could graduate. That was 16 years and 75lbs ago! I will need all your prayers and encouragement.

I am so having a "I Finished The 5k Fun Run" party. Everyone is invited!! It may have to be a few days later after I've recovered somewhat and am able function again!


Stuff That Makes Me Happy

It's an incomplete list of the stuff that makes me happy, but a pretty good start. It popped into my head that I needed to make this list as a counterbalance to my Party of One entry.

  • Working in the temple
  • Seeing friends while working in the temple. Suzanne Orton came in last night while I was working in Initiatory and did Initiatory work. AWESOME!
  • Driving
  • Reading
  • Traveling
  • Reading while traveling
  • Traveling while reading
  • Photography
  • Finding beautiful landscapes to photograph
  • Spending time with friends
  • Being Nursery leader
  • Watching really long A&E/BBC adaptations
  • Owning said adaptations
  • Blogging
  • Helping my mom
  • Playing with kids
  • Being by myself
  • Going to the movies
  • Pedicures
  • Finding cloths that actually fit right
  • Storms with lightening and thunder
  • Cloudy days
  • Laughing
  • Figuring out what's wrong with a computer and fixing it
  • Cross stitch
  • Helping a friend
  • Hugs
  • Saying thank you
  • People laughing when I tell a joke
  • General Conference
  • Sleep
  • Reilly and Smokes (my cats)
  • Sleeping with the ceiling fan on high and snuggling under my warm blanket
  • Listening to music
  • The smell of vanilla
  • Reading my name in a friends blog
  • Fixing a friends computer
  • Refinishing wood furniture
  • Watching storms roll in outside my office window on the 11th floor
  • Fast and testimony meeting
  • Hearing people's conversion stories
  • Being a missionary
  • Playing softball
  • Sending snail mail to a friend
  • Getting snail/email from friends
  • Finding the perfect gift for someone
  • Being out on the ocean
  • Starry nights away from the bright lights of the city
  • Feeling the spirit

Good Friday was Great Friday

For two reasons -

1. Mindless Entertainment - It’s a term my family uses to describe sitting on the couch for hours on end watching stupid TV or movies because we’re too lazy to do anything else, but lately I’ve found a more positive use for the term.

I love the manual labor involved in refinishing a piece of furniture. It really is mindless entertainment for me. I strap on a sexy face mask and clip my hair back out of my face (should have taken a picture of that!!), attach the sandpaper to the power sander and off I go.

It took me about 4 hours to sand the two legs, the cross beam and the table top and the whole time I thought of nothing that had been troubling me for the past week. I don’t think I thought of anything except how nice the wood looked underneath the old varnish.

The table is Arlene Love’s dining room table.

2. Baby sitting – I use that term loosely since out of the 4 kids only one was a baby. I got to hang out with the Nerdin kids while their parents went and got us dinner – I mean, went on a date. Those are some awesome kids.

When I was a kid I used to look at families in the ward and say, “When I grow up I want my family to be like their’s.” As an adult I’ve looked at families and said, “If I ever grow up, I want my family to be like their’s.” The latest in the line of families I would love to emulate? Three guesses and the first two don’t count!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mathews - Party of One

CAUTION: This blog entry starts off ok, but quickly plunges into somewhat personal territory. I posted it so obviously I don’t mind you reading it; I just wanted to make you aware that this week my emotions took a dip in the deep end of the pity pool. Please put your floaties on before jumping in.

She had been forced into prudence in her youth; she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning. Persuasion - Chapter 4

I finished reading Persuasion the other day. Have you ever read a book and at the end felt sad that it was over? That's how I feel about Persuasion; I never want it to end. It's one of the very few books that I can read over and over again. Come to think of it, Jane Austen's books are the only one's I've ever wanted to read multiple times. The story of Anne Elliot grabs me and won’t let go. Probably because I can identify with being an old maid; Anne was seven-and-twenty when Captain Wentworth finally came to his senses. And while I am not yet five-and-thirty I feel the weight of it. Much like Anne who lived in a society that pushed marriage as the means of a woman “making her way”, I live in a society (religious) where I exist in a state of limbo. Both of us looked at as having something wrong with us because of our age and marital status. Don’t get me wrong, both Anne and I are loved by our friends and family (both families being seriously dysfunctional), but our “societies” views are a lot less forgiving.

Unlike Anne though, I do not have a Captain Wentworth who’s living with his sister and brother-in-law in my old home just a few miles up the road.

Entering pity pool -
Here’s something to chew on and something that bothers me when I think about it: I have never loved before. I love my mother; I love my friends but I’ve never even had a serious crush that I thought was love. If you’ve read my blog in the past week or so, you’ll have read that I was engaged once. Now obviously you would think that being engaged would require some feelings that could be (mis)construed as love; love, lust, infatuation, etc. You would think so, but no. Why did I engage myself to him? Good question. No answer.

Sharp drop into deep end -
I think my mom thinks I’m gay. She actually came up and asked me one day! Maybe it’s a defense mechanism for her to try and figure out why her only daughter has never married and produced grand children for her. (The same question could be applied to my brothers who’ve never married and produced grand children, but then again, they tend to sleep around with all kinds of women, and so answers their sexual preference.) When telling her about my previous relationships and broken engagement, she asked me why they didn’t work. Part of my answer to her was that I didn’t like holding their hand. Sounds like a funny little answer but it was how I felt (I have physical contact issues). I wish I’d never told her. She’s never meant to be malicious, but there have been times that she’s said it back to me in a sarcastic manner and even once said it in mixed company. It was quite humiliating. She once made a comment that went something like this, “I’m never going to have grand children.” I screamed at her to shut up and leave me alone. That went over well! Since then we’ve been in what you would call a truce; we ignore and step around the issue. Very healthy!!

Climbing out and drying off -
That was over 12 years ago. Feels like a lifetime. I hope my post doesn’t sound angry. If anything its disappointment with a tinge of fear that I feel. Disappointment that no matter how “normal” my life sounds when read in my patriarchal blessing, it hasn’t played out that way. Fear that I’ve done something to rewrite my life and that my patriarchal blessing is null and void.

So there you go; what I’ve been thinking about for the past week. For anyone who noticed that I hadn’t posted since last Monday, here’s the reason.

Stacey – Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! - for inviting me over Sunday. I was in the deep end of the pool and your invitation was the hand that helped me out and handed me a towel.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Cookies courtesy of Amber Love
She's a cookie genius

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Two Tag Thursday

I decided to do both of Jeanette's tags today. I know, I know, I should be working, but this is so much more fun. Yes, I have done some work related stuff today! In between blogging!

5 Things I was doing 10 years ago...
1. On the tail end of my Naval enlistment.
2. Getting my mission papers in.
3. Telling a guy I couldn’t marry him and him getting a little upset by it. He moved to Rhode Island a few months later and was marrid within the year, so I didn't feel too bad!! ROFL
4. Trying to figure out what to keep and what to pack up and take with me back to Texas before going on my mission.
5. Packing the Penske truck with the stuff I decided to keep, towing my car behind it and taking off for Texas with my two brothers. Imagine this, a 14ft. truck towing a ’86 Honda Accord and we decide to go the scenic route through the Blue Ridge Mtn’s! It was awesome!

5 Things on my to do list...
1. Clean my room.
2. Buy garments. I know you didn’t really want to know that, but it is on the list!
3. Go to bed early and try to sleep. I’m exhausted, but it doesn’t seem to matter lately.
4. Finish reading C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed.
5. Workout – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

5 Snacks I enjoy...
1. Oreo’s
2. Pretzels
3. Thin Mints when they’re in season! LOL
4. Chocolate Chip cookies
5. Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. It sounds weird, but the Wal-Mart brand is the best!

5 Things I would do if I suddenly became a billionaire..
1. Remodel my mom’s house for her
2. Set her up with a retirement fund so she didn’t have to worry about the one she’s getting from the Post Office.
3. Build my dream home. It’s only 3 bedrooms, but you should hear what all I want in it.
4. Travel, Travel, Travel
5. Pay for my friends to travel with me, if they want! I would love to show you the places I’ve been and the places I want to go. Anyone want to go to Positano, Italy on the Amalfi Coast? It’s
#6 on my list of things to do. :D

Bad habits...
1. Biting my cuticles
2. I leave my garments in the laundry basket and just pick out what I need every morning. LAZY!!
3. Getting mad at idiot drivers
4. Sleeping later than I should and always being late for work. I should be there at 7:30 and I usually roll in around 8. LOL

Places I've lived...
1. Bellville, TX
2. Salt Lake City, UT
3. Norfok, VA
4. Fort Wayne, IN
5. Houston, TX

Jobs I've had...
1. McDonald’s
2. Post Office
3. Navy
4. Family owned pizza place
5. Computer Technician

People don't know about me...

I listen to techno/rave/electronic/trance/dance music. The stuff that’s normally associated with people who take drugs and space out while listening. I can assure you I don’t take drugs, but there’s just something about the music that I love. Not all of it mind you, but quite a bit. It may sound weird, but the music speaks to me. I feel happy when I listen. I like Moby, some Orbital, Gigi D’Agostino and Robert Miles to name a few.

I listen to a lot of other kinds of music, too, but sense it was suppose to be something you don't know about me...

A little Persuasion - - is never enough!!

I grabbed this tag from my friend Heather who's just around The cORRner in blogger land before I realized that Jeanette had tagged me for it on her blog.

Here's the deal. Grab the book closest to you, open to page 123 and find the 5th sentence on the page. Type the following 3 sentences in the book.

"And I am sure," cried Mary, warmly, "it was very little to his credit, if he did. Miss Harville only died last June. Such a heart is very little worth having; is it, Lady Russell?"

It just feels wrong to insert these three little sentences with no other explanation or sentences to accompany them. It's almost like they're naked and I want to cloth them with the complete conversation so that you do not judge them too harshly. I'm fighting the urge to include the entire conversation so that my 3 little sentences don't feel lonely and exposed.

As though words on a page give a flip as to what is done to them. It's me who wants you to like the book and not judge if you will read it based on the heroine's thoughtless sister saying something stupid! Mary is not the main character, Anne Elliot is and Anne is wonderful!

Persuasion - My favorite book!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I use email a lot at work. It’s a great tool for communicating with all the different employees I work with. At the bottom of my email I have what’s called a signature. Its information that lets the person who is getting the email know who I am, what I do and how they can get a hold of me if they have questions. To personalize it a bit I decided to attach a quote I once read somewhere. Where I read this quote is beyond me, but I liked what it said, so I made it part of my signature.

“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” Anais Nin

After having used this quote for several years, I became curious as to who Anais Nin was. So, I Googled her (clicking her name above will take you to a Wikipedia article about her) and found some interesting and shocking things about her. Interesting was that she was a prolific journal writer. She began at the age of 11 and kept it up for more than 60 years. What’s contained in some of those journals and a lot of the other things that she wrote is not a genre that I, or most of my friends, would consider reading. From the little I’ve read about her (the Wikipedia article) it seems as though she was a prolific writer of female erotica. Yep, you read that right.

So, here is where I pose my questions and ask you for your opinion. I’m conflicted about whether to keep the quote as part of my signature (it’s an awesome quote) or nix it on principle. Would people assume that because I’m quoting her that I’ve read her stuff? Does anyone really look that closely at my emails? And if they do look close enough to read it, would they be curious about the person and Google her like I did? Should I shun all appearances of evil? Would you think less of me if I kept the quote?

What do you think? HELP!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

What a load of {{{raspberry}}}

A friend of mind had this on her blog and it was pretty much bang on describing her. I think mine's a load of rubbish!! All except for maybe the "suave, sexy, smart and strong" part! :-D Read it and let me know what you think.

What Dallas Means

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

How in the world can I be both a Type A personality and also be relaxed, chilled and willing to go with the flow??? Come on, you know you want to chime in. I can take it! LOL

Friday, March 7, 2008

You'll never believe what happened to me on the way to prayer meeting!

I still laugh when I think about it!!

In my almost 35 years of living and breathing on this earth, I can't think of any one moment that could be defined as my "most embarrassing moment." That's not to say I haven't done things that others would consider embarrassing, I just don't get embarrassed by them. Call me weird, you wouldn't be the first.

  • I've snorted while laughing
  • I've even had Kool-Aid come out my nose because I started laughing while I was drinking
  • Tripped and fallen in public places
  • Toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe
  • First OB/GYN visit (seriously oooooold guy with cold hands! ugh!)
  • Showering with 80 other women - you gotta love boot camp!
  • Bathroom stalls with no doors - boot camp again!
  • I have to physically get patted down at the airport because my bra's under wire sets off the metal detector. I don't mind though, since it seems to be the only way I can get felt up without having to go see the Bishop!!

I do sometimes feel embarrassed for others. A few years ago I was traveling with a friend in South Carolina and we decided to stop and eat at this seafood restaurant. There was a bit of a wait and a crowd had begun to gather at the front of the restaurant, just inside the door. In this same area were the restrooms, so not only were there tons of people just standing around, but also people coming and going from the restroom. About ten minutes into our wait, an older lady came out of the restroom and walked towards me. Nothing at all amiss, or so it seemed. As she passed me I noticed that she had tucked her skirt into her pantyhose. I quickly took her aside to let her know; all the while thinking to myself, I hope that never happens to me.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I work the Wednesday evening shift at the Temple and need to be there by 5:30pm to attend prayer meeting before the shift starts at 6. Well, this particular day I was running a bit late and was trying to hurry, but after an hour drive to get there from work, I had to use the bathroom something fierce. I got dressed and decided that there was no way I was going to be able to make it another minute, so I high tailed it to the bathroom, did what needed to be done and was on my way to prayer meeting. If you are familiar with the Houston Temple, prayer meeting is held in the room just to the right of the stairs you come up. Well, I was on my way from the dressing room and had just passed the Sister sitting in the chair just outside the chapel when she calls out in a soft, but emphatic voice,"SISTER!" I turn around and this poor sister comes up to me with this horrified look on her face. "Sister, your dress is tucked into your garments." This would definitely be #1 on my list of embarrassing moments...if things like that embarrassed me. Thinking back on it right now only has my co-workers down the hall wondering what's so funny. I'm laughing about it as I type! :D

YES! Another Cloudy Day!!

By raise of hand, how many of you are the type of person who feels happy on bright sunny days? You live for the sun and days that you can be out in it. Just to let you know, both of my hands are firmly planted on my keyboard typing up this blog entry. It's not that I dislike sunny days, I just happen to be one of those non-standard persons who gets really happy when the clouds roll in. The more clouds in the sky, the happier I become. The darker the clouds become, the faster my heart beats in anticipation of the storm brewing. I would love to go storm chasing with the folks who go hunting tornadoes. I get all giddy inside just thinking about it.

It does seem to go against all rational thought that I prefer a cloudy day to a sunny one. Sunshine is good for you. It's scientifically proven to make you happy. Vitamin D does all kinds of good things for your body. I have a dear friend who suffers from what's called SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. Her Dr.'s treat it with light therapy. Basically she has a very bright light that she turns on for so much time and it tricks the brain into the thinking it's sunlight; thus, I guess, decreasing the depressed mood caused by SAD.

The irony of our situations is we each live in a place that would be perfect for the other. She lives in Ireland where, for a good portion of the time, it's cloudy. I live in Houston, where, most of the time, it's sunny. Granted, we do get our fair share of rain here; Houston has an annual rain fall average of somewhere around 42".

My love of cloudy days goes beyond psychological and into the physical. My eyes do not like bright sunny days. I see more clearly on cloudy days or in the half light of dusk after the sun has set below the horizon. Colors are sharper and I am able to focus on more details. But just as my eyes don't see clearly in bright light, they also don't see well in the dark. Now you're saying to yourself, DUH, no one see's well at night. But I dont' mean at night; I'm talking more along the lines of watching TV in the dark or going to the movies. Everyone wants to shut off all the lights and I do much better with at least a small light on. The bright light of the TV or movie reflects badly on my glasses and having a small amount of light behind me counteracts the glare and helps me see better.

So, on days like today, when you're wishing the clouds would blow away and the sun would hurry back, know that at least one person in Houston is a happy camper.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Ok, so I'm a little late posting this. I had every intention of doing so Sunday, but as you see, it's now Thursday and I'm looking like a Texan who can't remember her state's history. For those of you not from around these parts, March 2 is Texas Independence Day and March 6 marks the end of the Battle of the Alamo; the entire Texian forces stationed there being killed by General Santa Anna and his Mexican forces during the 13 day seige.

I guess you could say I'm one of those proud Texans that people from other states think are a bit wacked when it comes to how much pride they have in their state. Maybe I am a bit wacked, but in the case of Texas Independence Day, I have a personal interest; a familial interest. My great great great great uncle Sam Houston signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836 and headed the volunteer army that defeated Santa Anna several weeks later at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. This defeat forced Santa Anna to sign the Treaty of Velasco, thus securing Texas' independence.

Further information - if you're interested.
Texas Declaration of Independence
Sam Houston
Take this test!
You're green, the color of growth and vigor. Good-hearted and giving, you have a knack for finding and bringing out the best in people. Green is the most down-to-earth color in the spectrum — reliable and trustworthy. People know they can count on you to be around in times of need, since your concern for people is genuine and sincere. You take pride in being a good friend. For you, success is measured in terms of personal achievement and growth, not by status or position. Rare as emeralds, greens are wonderful, natural people. It truly is your color!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm still upset by the whole thing!

It's been three days now and I still get mad when I think about it. Last week I went to Randall's just down the road from my office and bought expensive deli sliced turkey, some amazing sharp cheddar cheese and a loaf of whole grain wheat bread. I spent more money than I normally would on stuff like that because I knew it would make over a weeks worth of sandwiches for lunch. So on Monday this week I went to the fridge at my normal lunch time to make a sandwich only to find that my food had been thrown away. No strategically placed memo letting us know that any food items left over the weekend would be thrown away. NOTHING!! Just an empty spot where my food used to be. I called the owners of the building but what were they going to do? Refund my money? Yeah, right! All I got from them was a really nice chick on the other end of the line telling me she understood I was mad. Which made me even more mad!! LOL I suggested to the really nice chick that they should setup a schedule and let the occupants of their building know what it is so that appropriate measures could be taken. I'm all for them coming through and throwing out what's left in the fridge. Lots of times I want to do it; so many people leave food containers in there until they practically walk off on their own. I just would like a little heads up so that I can take my perfectly good food home with me.

And now that I've got a good little sweat going, here's something else that really chaps my hide. Drives me crazy when I'm sitting in traffic and people behind me illegally drive through parking lots to bypass the ton of traffic the rest of us are sitting in. Or they decide they don't want to be in the long line of traffic waiting to turn right, so they run up to the front of the traffic line and make an illegal right turn from the left lane. Don't get me started on people who won't use their blinkers but expect me to know they want to merge into my lane. If only they would use thier blinker, would make room between me and the car in front. The only clues I get are the frantic head swivels looking back at me and their car becoming precariosly close to the center line and consequently, ME! BLINKERS PEOPLE!! USE THEM!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Stories of old

I love it when my mother tells me stories of my ancestors. They were a lively and colorful bunch of people who lead very interesting lives. I guess, were I able to talk to them right this moment, they would probably say their lives were ordinary, maybe even dull, but to me they were remarkable. Much more remarkable than my life, but in hearing these stories, I have begun to realize where some of my personality traits come from.

After church I was checking my email and there was an advertisement at the top of the page. They have several ads running right now depicting how the lives of our ancesters affect our lives today. The ad I saw today showed a turn of the century race car speeding by with the caption, "Figure out where your wild streak came from."

For some reason, the ad reminded me of the story my mom tells of my great uncle Thomas Kilpatrick, known to me as uncle Tom. He wasn't a race car driver, but the story goes that one day he took off on his motorcycle to travel around the states and he was gone for quite a while. His mother, as most mothers would, became very concerned when she hadn't heard from him and called the Texas Highway Patrol to see if they could find him. When the highway patrol couldn't find him, they put out an APB nationwide. He was found near Yellowstone National Park and was admonished by the patrolman to write home to his mother!! From then on, when he would stop he would buy a post card and on it write, "OK, Tom K." I think I must get a bit of my wanderlust and forgetfulness from uncle Tom. I love to just take off and go where ever; I don't need a reason and I'm the worst when it comes to letting my mother know. Last year at the end of May, I traveled to Ireland to visit my friend Elaine. My mother's birthday came around while I was there so I called her. While talking she asked if I was coming out to see her and it was then that I realized that I had failed to let her know that I was traveling and not even in the same country. I need to become more like my uncle Tom and learn to let my mother know where I am. :-)

Uncle Tom

I have another ancestor to whom I can identify with, Mrs. Magee, my mom's grand mother, my great grandmother. I think I inherited some of my humor from her. During the Depression one of the local funeral homes was going door to door selling funerals. Kind of like an insurance policy; you pay a certain amount a month and when you passed away, your funeral was paid for. One day she called up the funeral home and was speaking to one of the young men who worked there; making sure that the policy was still good. After all her inquiries, the young man asked to whom he was speaking. Mrs. Magee, in a very serious voice, says, "This is the corpse speaking."

(Mrs. Magee looking to the right)

She was called Mrs. Magee because she ran a boarding house here in Houston and her tenents called her that. And in this enviornment was my mom raised; in a house on Larkin Street, just off Washington Ave and I-10 by a woman she called mama, her grand mother, my great grand mother, Mrs. Magee. A woman who, for whatever reason, decided that it was my mom she would tell all these stories to. So, thanks to Mrs. Magee, I know of my uncle Tom and many, many more of my ancestors. They are people to me; people I want to meet and talk to. People I want to know. People I'm so happy to be sealed to for eternity.

The above photo is not of the boarding house, but of a beer joint they also owned down off of Waugh Dr. and Allen Parkway, close to downtown.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Austenland by Shannon Hale

This is what I did from 10:30 - 2 today. :-)

Austenland is a delightful little book "For the woman with everything except a Mr. Darcy of her own." The heroine, Jane Hayes, is single and has a secret obsession with Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy; she actually hides the DVD in a house plant so that others won't suspect. A wealthy relative, knowing this, gives her a 3 week vacation to an English resort called Austenland where you immerse yourself in Regency era etiquette, dress and verbiage; including corsets, empire-waste dresses, bonnets, etc.

I enjoyed the book but there was one thing that bugged me. I didn't like the Miss Charming character or the way the author treated her, but thankfully she's a side character and doesn't have much page time. I won't tell you anything about her and let you make your own judgements.

Overall a good read and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Austen fan fiction. You'll enjoy trying to figure out which characters from Austen's books each of the guests and workers could represent. The author never comes out and tells you but if you're familiar with Austen's books it's pretty easy deduce.

Hello, Dolly!

Last night I attended the Theatre Under the Stars production of Hello, Dolly! starring Leslie Uggams as Dolly Levi. It was pretty good. Granted, not as good as the movie starring Barbra Streisand, but then no one in this world has Babs' pipes. The rest of the cast had fairly good singing voices, and a lot of them tried to imitate the accents and mannerisms of the movie cast. Mr. Vandergelder did a fair job of imitating Walther Matthau and Minnie Fay was hilarious talking about "cherries and feathers, cherries and feathers" that the customer wanted on her hat instead of the ribbons that were the fashion.

Overall, a very enjoyable night. Next up is Spelling Bee on March 28. Tickets are $20 in case you want to join us. Hey, sometimes one of us in the group can't make it and is willing to give up their ticket, so you may get lucky that way.

2008/2009 Season
The Color Purple
White Christmas
Legally Blonde: The Musical
Meet Me in St. Louis
Happy Days: A New Musical