Monday, July 31, 2006

just a small town girl livin' in a lonely world

Last night was Journey/Def Leppard. To make it from this part of town to the far other side it takes about an hour and 15 minutes on a good day. There was, of course, one accident that slowed us down. Then it seems everyone in the city was going to the concert. We were backed up on the exit. Understandable. We were backed up waiting for parking. Somewhat understandable. For something like 30 minutes. Not so understandable. Come on people...how hard is it to park? How hard is it to direct traffic? This wasn't your first show. Then the real journey (yeah, yeah, no pun intended) begins...the trek from the parking lot to the actual venue.

The concert was great. We missed the beginning of Journey, which was even more disappointing after we saw the end of Journey. They were pretty good. I had never seen them before. We did hear several good tunes including the one referenced in the title up there.

Def Leppard. Also great. I saw them two (I think--maybe 3?) years ago. I never noticed before but I think every song they sing includes the work "rock" in the lyrics. Not that I mind. And they do, rock that is. The place was jam packed. Busier than I have ever seen. I had no idea those two bands would pull in such a large crowd.

Then, being college graduates, we thought we'd hang out a bit after the show to give people some time to leave. A policeman came and told us to leave after awhile (as we were just getting ready to get up). He said they wanted to go home, too. That it was a long 3 days. Apparently Kelly Clarkson brought in tons of annoying 12-year-olds and Kelly herself needs to "lay off the pizza." We walk out and there are all the concert-goers still in line on the sidewalk trying to get to their cars. Lots of people just sitting on the grass because the line ISN'T MOVING. At all. We join the lawn-dwellers (from one lawn to another). We decide to join the now slowly moving line when the groundskeepers turn on the sprinklers. After finally making it to the car, getting out was a breeze.

We decide to stop at Taco Cabana. There were four in our little group. Maybe about three orders ahead of ours. It took FIFTY minutes to get our order. Oh. My. God. Guess who's getting a call on the complaint line? But we stuck it out.

It was all worth it, though. Good shows. Good friends. I'm exhausted.

Friday, July 28, 2006

yea for friday

I have no real topic today. I'm just glad it's Friday. I didn't go anywhere this week. It seems that no traveling typically makes the week go by more slowly. This week it actually felt like I really started my job. There were tasks to do, letters to write, problems to solve (and not just IT ones). It felt good.

I have phone service thru AT&T. I still just have one inside line working. Someone is coming on Tuesday to get the fax line in the house. I love AT&T. It's like finding your soulmate after an abusive relationship (or so I would imagine). :o) They are so nice. They communicate. It's a dream...

Anyone have big plans for the weekend? Tonight I'm going here with some lady friends. Still undecided about Saturday. I'd like to get some sun. I'm tired of all the rain lately (although there are plants flowering in the backyard I didn't even know could flower). Then on Sunday it's time for Def Leppard and Journey. Rock on.

Maybe I could work in a trip to Starbucks. Have I mentioned Starbucks Boy yet? I've been lusting after him for months now. So cute. Maybe this will be the trip I actually confess my undying love. Maybe not. It would make for good reading, hearing about how awkwardly it all went down.

Have a good weekend! Try to work in some adventure. Oh, and if there's something you're dying to read about, let me know. (Andrew, I'm having a hard time coming up with stories of living with a sibling. It's going much better now that we've gotten through that initial adjustment phase.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

can open, worms everywhere...

The Andrea Yates thing. It's an emotionally charged topic. I think most people have an opinion and it seems to be a pretty strong one. If you haven't heard, she was deemed not guilty in the re-trial by reason of insanity. Read Bubba's Sis's post on this one. It got me thinking.

I definitely think Rusty (the ex-husband) shouldn't have walked away with no punishment of any kind. I had a classmate at the time who was interning at the jail where Andrea was kept. The classmate knew more about Rusty and the situation than she could share due to confidentiality reasons. She led us to believe (as I already suspected on my own) that there were some fishy things going on there. I was interning at Houston Area Women's Center at the time. When you work there you can get into a different frame of mind. You see and hear a lot. Many people there were suspicious of Rusty, too. Regardless, I think there's more to it related to him than we've seen in the media.

Despite an advanced degree in Clinical Psychology, I have a hard time with labels. There are books written and courses offered about the definition of "mentally ill." If all my books weren't in storage I could quote some things for you here. How do you define it? One of the definitions was behaving in a way that was not typical of people in the society in which you were living. If that is the case, I think that holds true for Andrea. Not many (and yet too many) people kill their children in our society.

The insanity defense is weird in my opinion. It would mean that the person basically isn't held accountable for his or her actions. One can say the same thing regarding children. They don't have the cognitive abilities of an "average" adult. But with children we expect someone to be responsible for them. (Again, this is often not the case.) I think it was clear that Andrea suffered from postpartum depression. The media reported that she was diagnosed with it not just after the birth of her last child. She had it after the birth of child number 4 and yet was encouraged to get pregnant again. Who was taking the responsibility for her? For the new baby? For the other children?

Regardless of your position, the story is an incredibly sad one. One that I think could have been prevented.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

irresponsibility

I have a poll. Look! Over there --> a poll. I feel so cool.

So I've always been responsible. I think maybe since birth. I've always done what one is "supposed to do." Despite the fact that I'm younger than my brother, I am the more responsible one. It does not feel like being responsible is getting me anywhere.

I'm single. I have no children. I have access to a truck. I don't particularly love my reasonably new vehicle. Here's what I've been pondering trading up for:

Pontiac Solstice:


Saturn Sky:


Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder:


None are practical. Not at all. But how cute are they?! Seriously, how cute? Vote in that little poll over there. You can only pick one. For those of you who don't like to comment on a regular basis here's your opportunity to just click anonymously.

I think the poll may become a permanent fixture. Maybe a different one on a weekly basis or something.

the bandwagon

I'm jumping on it. You can now find a list of books I've read this year down there on the bottom right. Given that it is the end of July and I'm getting older, I can't remember all that I've read. It doesn't help that when I'm finished with books I pass them along to one of the people who lists herself as Anonymous. When Anonymous gets back from vacation she'll have to help me make the list more complete.

Just thought I'd acknowledge the change. Oh, and there's a new link under "blog heroes" for Geek. Visit her, too. And I spiffed up the hit counter down there. We're getting fancy around here. More later...

Monday, July 24, 2006

chasing cars

Every now and then a song comes on the radio that I love. I mean really love. I'm talking let's-listen-to-it-40-times-in-a-row love. Even-though-I-should-get-out-of-the-car-now-that-I'm-here-I-can't-because-the-song's-not-over love. Sometimes it's by someone I know. Sometimes by a person or group I never knew existed. The last one was James Blunt's You're Beautiful. Here's the current one: Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars .

Trapped inside this snarky exterior lies a romantic. How can you not love these lyrics?!

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

etiquette

I haven't looked this one up. I just thought I'd poll the masses. How do you feel about someone telling you what to wear to his/her wedding? I'm not talking dressing for the occasion (which I try to always do). I'm not talking bridesmaids. I'm talking guests. Guests are requested to wear black. Why? I don't know.

I've been in my fair share of weddings. I have no problem wearing crazy things or going to crazy events or handling crazy relatives in those instances. You love the bride- or groom-to-be. It is their day. You do what they want you to do. Luckily, I've had very reasonable friends and no ugly dresses. Well, if you don't count the pink taffeta one--in all fairness it was the '80s and I think I even liked it back then.

I don't really like people telling me what to do. It makes me want to do the opposite (i.e., wear white and maybe a veil, carry some flowers. Or wear black but look like a hooker or maybe go Goth.). But I won't. As much as it bothers me, I'm the kind of person who sticks to the rules. I'll wear black. I'll look appropriate.

The thing is, the person who is getting married is a relative. She is, of course, younger than I am (this happens frequently now). When we were growing up she was the pretty one. I was the smart one. Don't get me wrong, I love being the smart one in any group. And no one said I was ugly or had "a good personality." It just would have been nice to hear someone other than my mother compliment my appearance growing up. It has given me issues. And then because of other issues, it bothers me that this bothers me. Sigh...this is what you get when you major in psychology. So not only do I have to wear black but I need a dress that says "I'm not just smart, I'm pretty." :o) Oh, and did I mention that I don't have a date and my relatives are worrying about me because I'm still single?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

baseball music

I think I'm dating my brother's girlfriend. Last night we went to dinner and to the symphony. I know how to treat 'em, huh? Dinner was very good. It had been awhile since I had a reasonably fancy dinner with wine and dessert. Yumm.

Then we went to the symphony to see The Baseball Concert. It was very cool. If "The Baseball Music Project" comes to your area, you should check it out. You may not know all the tunes but they are all lighthearted and fun. The music is accompanied by projected photographs of Hall of Famers and some nice shots of ballparks, etc. You get to learn the real story behind "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." You get to cheer and clap and sing at the symphony. You get to hear Dave Winfield narrate "Casey At the Bat." If you hate baseball (shame on you), you know nothing of which I speak. It was a lot of fun. There were people of all ages and most were smiling as we left. How often does that happen?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

10 things--nashville

Ah, Nashville...how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

2. I really do love Nashville. It's one of the few places I could see myself living if I were to get out of Texas. So just being there ranks on the list.

3. Elevation. Most of the places I've gone lately have had rolling hills. I like seeing that. And it's green despite the heat. And it was freakin' hot there.

4. Actually doing work. This was technically a training trip. I was supposed to just sit there and watch someone do my job. Right. I did work both days but it was nice. I felt productive. I felt like I was learning but that I was also giving back a little.

5. The chocolate chip cookies you get when you check into the DoubleTree.

6. Down (or down-ish) comforters. It doesn't matter that it's hot outside because you can crank down the A/C. After all, I wasn't paying the bill. And, because my co-worker is kind, I got to sleep in a little.

7. The Green Hills mall. This is my Nashville mall. It's in what I've heard is the shwanky part of town. I ran across it when I used to go there for my last job. They have an Ann Taylor AND and Ann Taylor Loft. I'm in heaven.

8. Tied to said mall...I bought a cute super lightweight sweater thing for a swimsuit cover-up and a black shirt for work. Both on sale of course. And, oddly, at Banana Republic.

9. Finding out more about my job from someone who has been doing it for years. It seems like this may really be a company I can stay at for awhile. It appears that, get this, you can say "no" here. Like if people try to overwork you, as long as you're meeting your minimum requirements you don't have to take on any more. And the minimum requirements are quite reasonable. This is very good news.

10. Even though I love Nashville, I don't love getting home from the airport at 10pm. I scheduled the trip to be back home when it was still daylight outside. Woohoo! And it seems like this will now be more the rule than the exception.

Some pics from previous trips...






Would you like an MCI update? You know you would. I called them again today. Thursday. Way more than 48 hours after I talked to them on Friday. No one has been here. When I spoke to someone they said, "you have to request someone to come out." No kidding. I've done that every time I've called in the past 34 days (about 8 times now). I was always assured that a real live human being would be here. So I ask when someone can come out. You ready for this one? Mid-August. That would be 2 months from my initial phone call. I told them not to bother. I spoke to a Customer Service manager and ranted for awhile. He then asked what he could do for me. I told him he could do nothing for me but that he could provide better training for his staff so that the poor, unfortunate souls who try to get service in the future won't be lied to. I also told him that I would steer anyone I know away from MCI. Then I called AT&T. They said service could be in effect (complete with a human to take care of my jacks) within 5 days. The AT&T person actually spoke English, I could understand her, and she actually conversed instead of reading a script that didn't correspond to anything I was saying. It was nice. Will, of course, keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

i just can't wait

I'm currently in Nashville and don't get home until tomorrow. The "10 Things" post will come then. Well, 2-10 will come then because I can't wait to share number one. Ready? Today I saw my very first Elvis impersonator. How fun is that!!! We even exchanged pleasantries. :o) I didn't realize how entertained I would be on this occasion. The best part was the he wasn't actually supposed to be entertaining anyone at that moment. Just sitting on a bench. It was like "Everyday Elvis." And he was kind of old. Still too young to be the real Elvis (who would probably be dead by now anyway). So yea for him.

Monday, July 17, 2006

the devil wears prada

Like Bubba's Sis, I am now bothered by a few things but will ignore them to write about The Devil Wears Prada. (You can read about the flag stuff by clicking on the link for her blog that's over there on the side).

I have now both read the book and seen the movie. Most often I like to read the book first as I did with this one. TDWP is a quick read. Some people didn't like all the details the author used regarding the grunt work. It helped me feel bogged down for Andy. I can also relate to feeling bogged down with my own job. And with the job consuming me at times. That's one of the down sides of traveling for work. You miss out on things that you wouldn't otherwise. You feel tired once you get home and picking up the phone to check in on a friend can seem like too much effort. This, because I was raised Catholic, brings a lot of guilt. I guess that's why I liked the book. In some weird way it made me feel like someone could relate. Thumbs up for the book. For most people I think it would be a quick, little, mindless read full of fun fashion things. Unfortunately for me, when have I ever been mindless?

The movie...I love the divine Ms. Streep. She's fabulous in every role she's ever played in my opinion. I can always believe her as her character. The role didn't showcase her talent, but I didn't think it would. Some of the things left out of the movie worked fine for me but others I thought were poor choices on the part of the screenwriter(s). I thought her best friend was important in the book. I thought the personality of her boyfriend was important in the book (although the actor who plays him is quite cute). I thought the huge changes to the ending were uncalled for. But most importantly, I'm annoyed at how they changed Miranda. Her entire personality changed at the end. It was too neat-and-tidy-Hollywood for me. Overall, it was just ok. So there you go. I think I'm the only one who liked the book better than the movie. From what I could tell from the ladies in the airport who commented on the movie, one can enjoy it having not read the book (for you non-readers out there).

For those of you keeping up, still no MCI people...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

the saga continues...

Update: The dog mentioned yesterday seems to be doing well. Other than being really swollen (and somewhat embarrassed about that), he's pretty close to his normal self. He was wagging his tail to see me and his mother, he was sneakily trying to eat people food, he was playing with toys. Yea for him!

The MCI people are all spawns of Satan. I hate them all. I don't recommend them to anyone even if they are your only option of carrier. Use smoke signals, send pigeons. Your odds of communicating are better that way. I had someone from AT&T visit yesterday to do the work on the outside of the house (at around 2:30). He said someone from MCI would be coming to do the inside stuff. OMG So I called MCI since I love talking to them. They said someone from there would come out within 48 hours. Really? It's Friday afternoon. I highly doubt it. Do you think someone could call before they come out or am I now expected to be under house arrest for 3 straight days? Oh, sure, they'll call. Well, I'm leaving town for a 3-year-old's birthday party. They won't come this weekend. But even though technically I don't have phone service, I can plug the phone in and actually use it. This is nuts. And why I haven't had a landline for personal use in years.

Friday, July 14, 2006

odds and ends

I'm going to take a brief moment to whine. I had to set the alarm this morning. I know, poor me. And it was only for 7:50. Again, I know no one is feeling my pain but I'm tired (one day I will write about the pros and cons of working from home and traveling on business). Last night one of my favorite dogs in the world (whom I do not own, just visit) got bitten by a snake. We're pretty sure a cottonmouth. He was swollen and hurting. I haven't gotten any updates yet this morning. I went to bed late and didn't sleep well. I'm sure his parents are in worse shape this morning. Hope he's ok.

The reason I'm getting up early is because of the phone people. They are finally coming to install my work lines. Hallelujah! It has taken twice as long as promised. So sometime between 8am and 5pm today I should be in business. This would indeed be a miracle. I didn't think the guy would actually come at 8am but figured if I slept later he would certainly knock on the door and I would miss him. Then I would be put back down on the bottom of the list... So getting up early is a kind of insurance that he'll come at about 6pm today.

Also, one week ago today I bought an elliptical machine. Most people know that I have bad knees. I'm like an old person. I guess it's been 4 years now since I dislocated the left one last. (Knock on wood, knock on wood) For some reason it did not recover as well as previous times even with more treatment, physical therapy, etc. I don't know what that's about. I was told then that I shouldn't run anymore. I scoffed at it the PT (since one time I dislocated during the strenuous task of making the bed) but haven't ran since then. I've really missed it. One can do a lot of processing while running. You're in a crappy mood? Listen to bitter music while running and it can make you better.

Anyway, after lots of deliberating I thought that if I had to hurt myself it would be best to do it in my own home (last time I had to rely on the kindness of strangers to drive me back home--I hitchhiked?). Also, I have to wear 2 knee braces while exercising. Not exactly the way to lure in the men when out in public. I decided to buy a machine. I've been thinking about this a long time but they are so expensive. Well, when I got this job I got a stipend to set up my home office. I frugally purchased office furniture in order to save money for my "home gym." Even so, he's bottom-of-the-line but does his job. So that's the story. I think the first workout was actually assembling him. Geez. But I've used him (I guess it is male; gym=Jim?) 5 of 7 days so far, slowly building up time. I will not mention the paltry amount of time I can use him thus far but I'll let you know when I make it to 30 minutes.

The workday begins... I will chat about The Devil Wears Prada some other time.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

hair bands

Ok, yes, in addition to taking in the Astros game this past weekend I also went to the Poison/Cinderella concert downtown. Secret's out. Yes, I occasionally take in a nice little rock concert featuring bands with members who looked more like women in the mid-80s to early 90s than I did. Yes, I enjoy them. And, yes, there's good people watching. I think even the hearing-impaired could enjoy the concerts. (And there were actually tiny fireworks there, too.)

So most of the people there dig out their concert t-shirts that they've collected over the past 20 years. This is, in fact, the perfect time to parade your Dokken, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Ratt, etc. garb. No one at this venue will look at you strange or laugh behind your back because you are wearing this beat up shirt. In fact, many see them as badges of honor. You know what, I should have my brother guest blog on the subject. I'll see about that later.

But the special treats are the ones who go the extra mile. The ones who wear head-to-toe leather in Texas in July. The ones with Poison-green hair to match their aforementioned t-shirt. The ones with "witch" skirts that are surely part of a Halloween costume. The ones wearing ultra-tight skinny jeans (did I mention that one was male?). If I missed anyone notable, those of you who were there can please feel free to add. And throughout the crowd, you get a sense that many of these people never moved on from the 80s by their accessories and hairstyles (think "wings" people).

I must say, however, that if there's one thing to learn from these people it's that they have body confidence. Guys think they are the shit...I can't say it any other way. The women, even though they may be way too old and not the least bit fit, they pull out a tube top and mini skirt and strut their stuff. There's something to be said about that.

Just a note, there were some normal looking folks there, too. Even a few cute boys. Brown-shirt guy, if you're out there, I hope you make it to the Def Leppard concert at the end of the month... See ya there.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

10 things--kansas city

Flew there on Monday. Back late last night.

1. Only having to drive 30 minutes to the airport. While Hobby is the ghetto airport it's closer and sometimes worthwhile.

2. Hearing some little girl screaming Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in the airport. Ok, later I realized it was on one of the TVs. I have never seen that commercial before but now have seen it twice. In two different airports. Makes me think yet again how things that are perfectly normal, cute even, coming from a small child is scary if not mentally ill in an adult.

3. Making it to Kansas. Never been there before.

4. Staying in a relatively posh hotel. The travel budget at this job is much better than at the old. This is weird for me. Like Reba's "Fancy," I might have been born just plain white trash... Well, I don't think we were trashy but we were poor. I don't see why people need such fancy places to stay. I'm not a high end kind of girl. It makes me uncomfortable and I feel like an outsider. A more middle-of-the-road place is my kind of thing.

5. Meeting some more fellow employees. (Can you tell I'm really having to stretch with this one?) It is strange, though, to not have co-workers you see everyday.

6. Having one of the above-mentioned co-workers say, in reference to me, "Such a sense of humor, that one." Thanks, glad you noticed within a mere 6 hours of meeting me.

7. Getting finished with training early. Feeling relatively competent during said training.

8. Starting and finishing The Devil Wears Prada. Never in my life have I had more women start talking to me about the book I was reading. There may be a post about this book later in the week.

9. Buying a new snowglobe (for Kansas). The base looks like the yellow brick road and inside it has Dorothy's red slippers. I started collecting these when I started my last job. It's fun and slightly more than a little tacky.

10. Surely there's one more thing. It wasn't a terribly exciting trip... Oh, eating BBQ in Kansas City. They think they invented it I believe. It's not bad, but I still think Texas' is the best.

i'm puzzled

Seriously, no comments about the pirate character? Maybe it's more common than I think. More later...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

10 things--raleigh, nc

1. Seeing a rainbow from the plane. It never gets old. I love it. On the 4th of July there was a plane flying while we were watching fireworks. I love fireworks. Would love to see what those look like from the plane, too.

2. Getting bumped up to 1st class on the way there. Oh, the perks of frequent flying.

3. Eating pasta at Babymoon's. Great little Italian place we stumbled onto the last time I was there. Good salad dressing, too. And there's a half-wall with pictures colored by kids who eat there. One of them said "Emo kids love Babymoon."

4. That the Hilton people decided to put rocking chairs on the porches.

5. The inability to escape the rain. This is entertaining in a please-can-it-stop kind of way. I do love how green North Cakalaki is, though.

6. When on the road, I tend to watch strange TV shows. This seems to be common amongst people who travel a lot. When I say strange, I mean stuff you'd never watch at home. Maybe never tell people you would watch. I watched (KM, you'll be proud) "So You Think You Can Dance?" and was entertained by it.

7. Getting to wear cute shoes to work. I recently purchased some wedges that have ribbon-like straps that are predominantly pink with white, blue, and green stripes. Super cute. Open-toed. Could not wear open-toed shoes at the last job.

8. Having a cool supervisor for the project I'll be working on. She does not want to treat people like machines. This is a very good thing. She does not lower herself to stay in a Hampton Inn. Ahh, Hampton, you served me well...

9. Ok, seriously. When I was in the airport on my way back home, there was a guy sitting there presumably waiting on his plane (which was not my plane). He was dressed head-to-toe in Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow pirate garb. Complete with smudged eyeliner. I love Johnny Depp and that character but come on people. He was not, in fact, Johnny Depp. Just some guy. I wish we were waiting on the same plane. Later I started imagining him going through security. Or do you think he changed into the garb in a restroom afterwards?

10. Getting work done on the plane. I get to count my travel time as working so if you work while flying you have less work to do tomorrow. I love less work to do tomorrow.

That's my 10 things. Amazing what even a simple little 2 day trip can yield.

Friday, July 07, 2006

toes, etc.




Sorry, Joel (the toe conversation continues briefly). Apparently people have strong opinions about toenail art. After living with it for almost a week I have decided that I don't think it's for me. I don't mind it on some people. On some people it's not trashy. However, when I glance down at my feet my first thought is that a hunk of polish came off instead of thinking how cute the flower is.

So the week has been busy. Things are picking up with the job. I traveled briefly (North Carolina) and will again next week (Kansas City). I've found out that most of my traveling will be in Texas for at least about 6-9 months. Hopefully I won't get too bored with that. Hey, maybe I'll even want to travel for leisure...

When I travel I try to remember to write down at least 10 things that went well or were entertaining about the trip. I think I'll include them here, too (tomorrow maybe).

It's off to bed for me (or to watch some mindless TV). I took in the Astros game tonight. We had some bad pitching or the pitching was called poorly... Fireworks were good, though. Very well choreographed.

Hope everyone had a great week. More tomorrow...

Monday, July 03, 2006

one more thing

I have given in to peer pressure (again?). My toenails are painted (which is always the case). But now I have included nail art. I'm undecided about nail art. Just a subtle white flower with a sparkly diamond (I got them at Wal-Mart after all) center. One on each big toe on the coral background (I hear it's the "totally now" color). Any thoughts on nail art?

Any thoughts on anything? Shameless request for comments here. I like reading them. I like knowing that I'm not writing into a void. You can use them to make requests, too. As in, "please, no more writing about toes." Or "your posts are boring; please make up lies/stories."

kate.net

One of my favorite sites for wallpapers is kate.net. You can have pretty pictures for each holiday and she puts up a new calendar every month. I like the calendars. Just thought I'd share.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

frankly, my dear...

or, maybe, "reasons why I'm single." Regardless, here's how my day went down yesterday. I slept in (hallelujah!), read some magazines, and went to Wal-Mart. I hate Wal-Mart. I could write paragraphs on why but the reason I went is that sometimes saving money just wins out over getting joy from shopping. I guess it's a different kind of joy. Anyway, so after Wal-Mart I cooked dinner (a new recipe from Real Simple).

Then my brother and I ended up watching Gone With the Wind. Now, a little history...this was Mom's favorite movie and book. How often does that happen these days? The movie versions are often terrible. Or, like Forrest Gump, you wonder how they pulled anything redeeming from so crappy a book. But Gone With the Wind, sigh, it's dreamy. I love the soft lens. Not that Vivien Leigh wasn't amazingly beautiful anyway. I wish we could all be shot on a day-to-day basis with the soft lens.

As we were growing up we watched this movie whenever possible. Mom sorta forced us. Now here's the deal (and I was thinking about this last night). We had to wait for the movie to come on regular network channels. This was before I had been introduced to cable. (We lived in the country and did not have cable access and could not afford those ginormous satellite dishes.) This was before VCRs, or at least before everyone had one. Before video stores. It was a big commitment to watch a 3 hr 45 min. movie with commercials. Regardless, I've always loved the movie, too. My brother, as I found out last night, never paid attention. I mean, even to major story lines. So it goes...

My favorite line in the whole movie? Not the really famous ones but this, spoken by Captain Butler to his dear Miss Scarlett: "You should be kissed and often. And by someone who knows how." Sigh...