Hello, Arlington

It’s Thursday…and that means it’s time for Mama Kat’s blog meme!  You voted on Facebook, so today I’m writing about my city. I’m entirely the wrong person to write a post about my city. I find amusement in the weirdest things…especially in Texas. I managed to come up with 3 of my favorite things about the area where I live. We’ll start with Arlington, Texas where I live.

A thousand hundred years ago before the cowboy pilgrims settled this unruly land, there were many trees. There are still many trees, but there was a very old tree. It was special because it was the oldest tree in Arlington. Some say its roots go all the way back to a time when the Dallas Cowboys were actually a good team – but there’s no one alive who can remember that far back.

Alas, modern times came upon Arlington and some jackhole thought it would be a good idea to move the tree so it didn’t get in the way of progress. So they moved it. And it died. Other towns might consider that the end. Perhaps they would make limited edition salad bowls from the wood and sell them to commemorate the killing of the mighty tree…but not Arlington. No, we cut a giant piece of the trunk off and slapped it up on a stand and built a memorial park around it to commemorate the death of the tree. And then we moved it behind Hobby Lobby so it wouldn’t get in the way of another strip mall.

For whatever reason, I love the idea that this is here. HMH and I have walked through this little park. We’ve paid our homage to the dead tree. After growing up in a state where they develop the ever-love’in-shit out of every spare inch of grass, I hate to hear that people can’t just leave some green in the world…but at least they built a park and put the dead tree on display. We’re trying to learn from our mistakes.

Rest in peace, mighty tree
Rest in peace, mighty tree…underneath trees that we didn’t actually murder

Next, I’m going to take you a little farther down I-20 into the magical land called Grand Prairie, Texas…to a place called Paragon Outlet Mall – because, after all, I am a handbag ho. Girlfriends, let me just say a few random words: Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Guess, Fossil, Bloomingdales, and Auntie Anne’s Frigg’in Orgasmo Pretzels!!!

It hasn’t even been open a year and I’ve already snagged 3 bags and a wallet from the Kate Spade store…a new wallet for HMH from Fossil…and I’ve got my eyes on a gorgeous leather bag from Fossil for me. And another one on the clearance rack at the Coach outlet. Seriously…a clearance rack…in an outlet mall. I love it when rich people get tired of stylish shit and they have to mark it down. LOVE!

Handbag Porn Central

Last, but not least, let’s venture a little farther east up I-20 to the land of corrupt city councils and just plain crazy shit: Dallas. Actually, this doesn’t even really qualify as Dallas because it’s only 10 minutes from my house. It’s Dallas County. I have no idea what city this is in. Probably the city of More Awesome Than Anything.

On any given day, as you’re driving along I-20, you’ll see cars pulled over to the side of the road and people milling about in the green expanse at the bottom of something I call “Mountain Creek Mountain”. It’s really just a foothill with kick-ass landscaping. Texas pride is everywhere here…especially on Mountain Creek Mountain. People pull over to get their pictures taken in front of this awesome piece of Texas landscaping. Here it is from Google Earth.

God bless Texas!
God bless Texas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here it is from Google Street View if you’re standing on the highway…risking your life for no apparent reason:

google2

Texas pride is an awesome thing. It’s one of the first things I loved when I visited here the first time. Last week when I passed it, a bride and groom were getting their picture taken in front of it. It’s that important. It brings a huge smile to my face every time I pass it.

So even though I’m not the best tour guide, I hope I made it interesting for you.

I should warn you ahead of time that I’ve purchased a book called “642 Writing Prompts” in order to continue flexing the fiction writing side of my brain. My intent was to blog my way through the book over on my author website…which I started yesterday with “What can happen in a second”. However, the next prompt is “Tell us about the worst Thanksgiving dish you’ve ever had”…and that’s really a post for this blog. It’s much more appropriate for me to talk about the Ass Turkey of 2012 over here than on my semi-serious author website. So be prepared…it’s coming.

Feel free to comment about what makes your city great!


642 Things to Write Journal

Quitting Ambien. Maybe.

Did you ever think I’d write a blog post about this? Me? The infamous insomniac? Well…don’t applaud just yet, but there’s hope on the horizon.

For the last nine years or so, insomnia and I have been in an unhealthy relationship. At first, I used Tylenol PM to make me sleep – but that stuff put me in a restless coma. After awhile, it didn’t work and I needed something stronger so my doctor prescribed Ambien.

I don’t sleep well for two main reasons. First, I hear everything. A flea could fart on my front porch and I would hear it. Second, my brain won’t shut up. I go to bed and try to relax, but thoughts stream unchecked through my head. Here’s an example:

I have to remember to throw my top in the dryer in the morning. Tomorrow’s Wednesday…why is it only Wednesday? Crap, I don’t want to go to work in the morning. Ugh…I need to clean the bathroom – it’s gross. I have to make sure I go to the gym on the way home. I don’t want to. I don’t care, I have to. I hate this. That chicken was really good I made for dinner. Did I hear Dyson getting into something out in the living room? No, he was just stretching and his toes hit the wall. I wonder if that thing I ordered will come tomorrow. That would be cool. I should have done dishes before I went to bed…crap. That squirrel I saw on the way home was so cute. I miss living in the country. I wish we could move. 

You’re welcome for that brief, yet disturbing tour through my head. Over the past week or so, though, things are different.

 

I mentioned a few posts ago that I’m venturing back into fiction writing in addition to  writing this blog…and the most amazing thing has happened: when I go to bed at night, I’m so tired of thinking about what I want to say and how I want to say it that my brain actually shuts the hell up. Between this blog and the stories I’m writing for Kindle, my brain apparently has enough to do. It’s a miracle!

Now, it’s not safe or smart to quit Ambien cold turkey (so my doctor says)…but I think I’ll see if I’m right about this. So tonight, when I would normally be tucking myself into mandatory sleep, I’m staying up…writing. Writing this blog. Writing fiction. Letting my brain wear itself out for once.

Sweet dreams.

Randomly Hot Mess

Peeps!

It’s Thursday…and that means it’s time for Mama Kat’s awesome blog meme! This time, you voted for me to write six random facts about me & Hot Mess Hubby. Sometimes I think y’all are gluttons for punishment, but here it goes:

1. HMH and I met on the phone at work. I lived in California, he lived in Texas – and part of my job was to call him and request archived documents. We were friends on the phone for five years before we met in person.

2. Four years into our phone friendship, I told him we couldn’t be friends anymore and that I didn’t want to hear from him ever again (he hurt my feelings pretty bad). He called me for about a week before I picked up the phone so he could apologize…and then he drove to California to kiss me.

3. HMH and I have the same birthday – and yes, sometimes we forget. Just the other day he was telling me that the reason he likes to take showers when he gets too hot is because HE is a water sign and it’s soothing to him. I had to remind him that…uh…DUH…so am I.

4. If we’d met in high school, HMH and I never would have gotten along. I was a goody-two-shoes…and he was getting drunk and running wild with his buddies. I give credit to the Marines for making him respectable marriage material.

5. See that American flag pen up there in the banner image on my website? It’s made from wood, believe it or not, and I saw the kit for making it in one of HMH’s woodworking catalogs. I bought the kit and begged him to make it for me in his woodshop. That was five years ago. I’m still waiting for my pen. The picture above is from the internet. But he’s not a complete yutz, I promise. He made the accent table that my Dad’s helmet from World War II is displayed on…and he made the frame for this piece of needlework I stitched the first year we were married.

Maybe someday I'll get the damn pen...
Maybe someday I’ll get the damn pen…

6. Guilty pleasure from California: police chases. The media in southern California really makes a big deal about police chases. I remember loading the dishes in the dishwasher one night when HMH yelled “POLICE CHASE!!” We both ran in the bedroom, snuggled up and watched. There was always popcorn.

And there you have it: six random facts about HMH and me. Now it’s your turn…tell me a random fact about you!

Skinny Folk & Judgy Bitches

Peeps!

Things have been exciting lately. I bought a new Dooney. I’m moving forward with the exercise thang (like a moose in molasses, but still moving forward). And Hot Mess Hubby has finally gotten his way after over ten years of poking and prodding at me: I’m writing fiction again. More on that later.

This past week, I’ve also suffered through a few stinging reminders that I am, indeed, a fatty…and I don’t know jack about living in a skinny girl’s world. That will always be the case with me even after I hit my goal weight. I was not blessed with Keira Knightley’s waifish frame. The best I’ve ever been is a medium girl in a small sized world – but that’s okay, because I’ve finally learned that it’s okay to just be me.

I have the very good fortune to be friends with dozens of awesome, kick-ass chicks…and one such kick-ass chick is someone I work with every day. She has the same biting, sarcastic sense of humor as I do. She gets me through the most boring of work days. She also weighs about 70 pounds soaking wet. She is all things dinky and adorable.

Last week she was telling me that she and her husband had dinner at Red Lobster and she was going on and on to the server about how much she loves their cheddar biscuits (who doesn’t). And then she tells me that as they were getting ready to leave, the server brought her a takeout box loaded with extra biscuits.

What???

I stared at her incredulously, which she first took to mean that I was just as thrilled as she was at the generosity of their server, but that’s not why I was amazed. I realized, of course, that my adorable friend had no idea what happens to the fatties when we go out…so I enlightened her. Here’s the conversation I acted out for her:

HMP: OMG, I just looooove these cheddar biscuits!!!

Server: I can see that.

Boom.

The End.

We both laughed, of course, but it’s true. The world wants to feed my skinny adorable friend – and they want to give me dirty looks when I eat a carrot. Understand, I’m not bitching about the fact that no server has ever joyfully offered me a box full of carbs…I’m just bitching about the judgy part.

And then there’s the executive I ran into at work…

Before I tell you this story, I just have to pat myself on the back for not getting fired. It was really hard not to open my mouth and let out some horribly awesome retort, but my entire paycheck flashed before my eyes (didn’t take very long, either) and common sense prevailed.

Let me just preface this by saying that I get a lot of my food angst out of my system by baking naughty things for my co-workers and bringing them in to share. So I kind of have a rep for that. A couple days ago, a teensy tiny little executive chick walked by my desk while my co-workers and I were enjoying the basil mint ice cream I’d made them. Mmmm!

Being the generous and thoughtful peeps we are, we invited the passing executive to enjoy some with us. She declined, of course. I suspect it’s because she only eats small children and baby kittens by the light of the full moon and ice cream just isn’t her thing. As she was flitting by my desk, she wagged her perfectly coiffed head at me and said “You’re so good. My girl is this big (holding her hands about 4 inches apart) and she never makes us anything!”

What. The. Fuck?

Let’s break it down.

My girl?

Perhaps I’ve just been lucky enough to work mostly for non-douchy people for most of my professional life, but I’m pretty sure executives stopped referring to their assistants as “my girl” after the days of Don Draper and Mad Men. That shit really pisses me off.

And then there’s the “this big” remark. Seriously. Hey, Judgy Judgersons, back away from my desk before I peg you in your tiny skull with my stapler. Honestly.

I don’t know why I’m surprised that there are imbeciles out there who still believe skinny people never eat and fat people eat truckloads of food, but it really grates on me when I run into one. Yes, I do understand that me eating mass quantities of food brought about my four asses – but that’s not the case now. You just can’t tell by looking at someone what or how much they eat…unless they have wing sauce all over the front of their shirt and then you can come to three possible conclusions:

1. They just ate buffalo wings.

2. They’re Hot Mess Hubby.

3. Both.

We have to stop judging each other. This is just getting ridiculous.

Before I go, I promised to finish explaining about the whole writing fiction thing. Hot Mess Hubby has been trying to get me to write fiction again almost as long as I’ve known him. Well, he finally wore me down and helped me tunnel a way through the walls I’d put up about it. I’ve decided that it’s time to start being brave about more than just food and the gym. It’s time to start living loud. Or, in my case, louder.

If you’re a reader and lover of fiction, I invite you to check out my official author website. I’ve started building my writer’s platform while I work on releasing my first piece. I will not be blogging as often on my author website as I do here. HMP is a way of life for me. Nothing will change here.

I plan to share tidbits about my creative process on my author website, release sample chapters, and of course announce my published works. I’ve also started a Facebook fan page for my fiction work – so stop by and like the page…I’d love to see you there. As a rule, I’ll be keeping HMP and my author website pretty separate – so if you aren’t interested in this part of my existence, you won’t have to hear about it here. HMP is about who I am, the author website is about what I create to escape.

One last thing: if you’d like to vote for next Thursday’s blog topic here on HMP, head on over to my Facebook fan page and vote on the poll. You decide what I write on Thursdays.

Here’s hoping we all have a non-judgy week ahead. Hug it out!

Awkward!

Okay, peeps, it’s Thursday again…and you know what that means: it’s time for Mama Kat’s awesome blog meme!!! Once again, I let all my Facebook fans vote on the topic I would write about. The one that won? “Describe a time when you made things…awkward.”

Before I get started on that, I do want to let y’all know that I’m having a GREAT time with this and I really enjoy letting my fans decide which topic I’m going to write about – so I’m officially announcing that you get to vote for the topic every week. Just make sure you’re a Facebook fan and then watch for the poll. Get your vote on!

So…you buncha sickies want to know about a time I made things awkward. Fine. Here we go.

We’ve all been to our share of home sales parties, right? Scentsy, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Silpada, ThirtyOne, Naughty Lady, Princess House…the list goes on. My girlfriends are a ton of fun, so I always try to go when one of them has one (and they’ve had plenty for me when I was a Pampered Chef consultant). Up until two years ago, though, I had never been to a Mary Kay party.

I’m just not a fan of beauty parties. I like walking into the store and buying my beauty products. I don’t like to wait for an order to come in, so I’ve never been tempted by Mary Kay parties – but when one of my girlfriends had one, I couldn’t say no. So I went.

The Mary Kay Beauty Consultant who was there was the absolute stereotypical Mary Kay lady. Perfectly coiffed, fabulously dressed, elegantly accessorized, and absolutely adorable…and annoying. She even drove the pink Cadillac. She was like a Mary Kay Fem-bot…but without the hot bod and sexy outfit.

I am not the sort of woman who should be allowed around that sort of woman. From the minute I walked in the door, I rattled her cage with my uncouth demeanor. (I swear, I really was trying to be good!) And I don’t know how much toner she’d been sniff’in, but she would just smile and giggle and tell me what a perfect beauty consultant I would be. That smile never reached her eyes, though, and she was clearly on crack for even suggesting such a thing.

We all sat down in front of our individual little make-up mirrors as she began her presentation and I continued to try to be good. It was just one of those nights where opportunities kept presenting themselves and smart ass crap was flying out of my mouth before I could put the brakes on my tongue. It’s not my fault. Usually I’m a lovely person. Really.

We took our make-up off with the amazing age reducing cleanser, we applied sunscreen and vitamins with peptides to our Mary Kay starved skin, and then it was time…for moisturizer. There had been at least five minutes of no smart assy remarks from me when my girlfriend squeezed the tube of moisturizer and SPLAT!!!

Moisturizer spewed out and splattered all over. Everyone gasped in surprise. The Mary Kay Fem-bot, always the picture of elegance and grace, started mopping up the white cream which, I’m sorry, looked an awful lot like semen. Yes, I’m a dirty bitch. That’s the first thing I thought of when it splattered all over my girlfriend’s top.

“That’s okay, sweetie,” the Mary Kay Fem-bot gushed. “You just squeezed it a little too hard.”

That was it. That was the shit that shut my filter down for good. I couldn’t let it go.

I grinned mischievously at my friends and said loudly, “Yeah, it’s okay…premature application happens to everyone…it’s no big deal!”

There was a lot of hysterical screaming and laughing from my friends. Not so much from the Mary Kay Fem-bot.  She nearly imploded. Her mouth closed primly. Her eyebrows got really high. I could actually see her fighting to maintain her butt clench. She grinned flawlessly and said to me, “You’re a hoot!

So there you have it. I may not have made things awkward for my girlfriends – because these bitches are just as cray cray as me – but I did make things highly uncomfortable for the Mary Kay Fem-bot, who turned out to be quite the delusional hosebag…so I don’t even feel guilty for it. Not one bit.

Now it’s your turn. Share your awkward moment or I’ll head to your house with a tube of moisturizer.

Olay Total Effects 7-IN-1 Anti-Aging Daily Moisturiser, 1.7-Fluid Ounce