Category Archives: General Hoo-Hah

I live in a penis

Just about every week, I meet up with my “bloggy/writey bitches”. It’s a small group of friends who share a love of writing. Some of us write blogs, some write fiction, some are just getting started. One thing has become crystal clear: meeting regularly helps us recharge our creative batteries. We tell each other our writey woes and share our ideas, we give each other encouragement, and we reinforce each other. We also talk about shit that has absolutely nothing to do with writing…and tonight’s blog post is about a conversation I had with one of my writey bitches last weekend.

I don’t remember if it was before or after the very strange man walked sideways in front of us, grinning from ear to ear so creepy that I was sure one of us was showing a nipple or something. The guy was freaky. And who walks sideways when there’s a ton of room to walk normal? Don’t get me started on that crap. Anyway, we were sitting there at Starbucks with our coffee and the worst tasting pretzel ever made in the entire universe, when my buddy tells me that the Dallas/Fort Worth area is a giant penis.

HMP: What???

A: Yeah! Just look at the weather map. DFW is a giant penis.  We live in a penis.

HMP: No way!!!

And that’s when she whipped out her tablet and outlined it with her finger.

HMP: Oh my God…we live in a dick!

A: I know!!! Ever since Bill told me about it, I always see it.

HMP: It can’t be unseen. It’s a dick. Holy crap…

A: I know!

HMP: And it’s pointing west. Why is it pointing west?

A: I have no idea.

And then we just sat there and stared at the DFW penis.









I live in a penis…and Dallas is the balls. Figures.

*** And several weeks later, we DROVE the DFW Penis, peeps. That’s right! ROAD TRIP!!!!! Click here to go straight to the blog post that tells you what happened…with pictures AND video. You’re welcome.

Super Fun Penis Candy

I Love Not Camping

Okay, it’s Thursday and that means it’s time for Mama Kat’s blog meme! Last week, you voted on Facebook…and you voted for the topic “That one time I went camping…” – and you’re in luck because I’ve been camping exactly one time.

Here’s the thing: I’m the product of a City Girl Momma and a Country Boy Daddy…and the City Girl won. I grew up in Orange County, California – which actually had orange groves and strawberry patches in it when I was a kid. It was not the concrete & stucco encrusted, smog filled monstrosity that it is today. There was a dairy behind our house…with cows and everything. My big brothers used to stand me up on our picnic table in the backyard so I could feed the baby cows carrots. It hasn’t been like that for a very long time, but when I was a kid there were still wide open spaces and plenty of opportunities for kid-sized adventure.

When I was ten years old, my Girl Scout troop was working on our “Outdoor Fun” badge…and one of the activities we had to complete was camping. I remember being so excited that I was actually going camping. My Mom took me out to Kmart and bought me my official “mess kit”. I thought I was totally badass…until she found a sleeping bag on the clearance aisle.

I wanted the super cool red plaid sleeping bag that looked like something out of a western flick – but my parents were raising 6 kids on a single income, so if there weren’t any hand-me-downs I was pretty much stuck with whatever was on the clearance aisle. Imagine my ten year old eyes rolling in disbelief when my Mom bought me a red-orange fabric sleeping bag off the clearance aisle. The worst part?  It smelled like rotten cheddar cheese. Seriously. Perhaps the red-orange color wasn’t intentional. Perhaps the sleeping bag absorbed it in the back of an ancient Cheetos factory and that’s where the rotten cheddar smell came from. Actually, it was more like a combination of rotten cheddar and stinky feet. Mom must have washed that damn thing 20 times, but it was no use: I was about to go camping with a stanky cheddar cheese feet bag.

Camping day came and I hugged my Mom goodbye at the drop off with the enthusiasm of a true adventurer. I had no idea how long it would be before I would see her again, but I was certain we would trek many miles through mountain and prairie before coming to the most perfect camping spot I’d ever seen. Yes, I was sure of it. I climbed into our Scout Leader’s van with my squealing friends and we were off. Oh, what a grand adventure it would be! Imagine my chagrin when we drove ten minutes through the city before pulling into the parking lot of a Kiwanis campground that was probably all of 3 acres in size…next to a mobile home park and a strip mall. What?

The sun was setting as we set up the tents and I did my best to immerse myself in the illusion that we were camping in the deep woods. Unfortunately, the damn neon Schlitz Beer sign at the liquor store across the street kept reminding me we’d all been ripped off. Our camp site was next to a tiny lake about the size of three swimming pools – complete with a genuine artificial waterfall that fell over a pile of fake boulders. It was pretty cruddy, actually, but it was ours.

We took turns striking a flint and lighting a fire as our Scout Leader diligently checked each of us off on her clipboard. We grilled burgers and a big pan of potatoes. Then we made hot cocoa by the fire and I learned about one of the greatest things in life. Ever. S’mores.

Then it was time for ghost stories…and then bed. Unfortunately, this was always where my away-from-home adventures went sour for me. I wasn’t good at spending the night in strange places – something that would benefit me greatly in my twenties. The only ho DNA this Princess possesses is Handbag Ho DNA, peeps.

Whenever I tried to spend the night away from comfort of my own home, I developed the worst tummy troubles. I worried non-stop. I was afraid of everything. And I wanted my Mommy. I had never successfully spent the night away from home at this point in my life.

I crawled into my rotten cheddar, stinky feet sleeping bag and tried to be brave. True to her word, my Mom had packed a sleeve of Saltines crackers in my bag so that I could munch on them if I got a “sick tummy”. I peeled open the wrapper and blinked back my tears. I was going to do this.

It wasn’t easy. My tent mate fell asleep in three seconds. I laid there, stinking of rotten cheddar and wishing I had more s’mores to wash away the fear. And then there was the waterfall…

The majestic, mystical waterfall on the fake boulders was somehow powered by whatever you call the thing that flushes toilets. Not even making this shit up. It was on a timer, too, so the water would slowly trickle to a stop and then WHOOSH the toilet would flush and water would pour out over the top of the boulders again. Oooh, magical waterfall! And then WHOOSH…What if the wooshing sound was drowning out the sounds of something really dangerous approaching our camp. Like vicious bears and angry witches. And also the farts coming from my nervous tummy. Between the farting and the rotten cheese toe smell, I wasn’t sure if my tent mate was sleeping or simply passed out from the vapors.

Some time during the night, the soft glow of the Schlitz Beer sign and the rhythmic flushing of the waterfall actually managed to lull me to sleep. Before long, it was morning and our Scout Leader was getting out mini boxes of cereal for all of us to eat. We sat in our jammies and coats in the cool morning sun, talking about our big adventures. The squirrels we saw, the birds we saw. We were sure we could start a fire faster than any of the stupid boys at school. We were survivalists.

After breakfast, we explored the park until our parents came to get us. Mom picked me up and I hugged her hard. I hugged her for that sleeve of Saltine crackers that got me through the night…and I hugged her because I was proud I finally made it through a whole night away from home. I packed up my mess kit and my cheesy feet sleeping bag and we trudged off to the car as I regaled her with the ghost stories I’d learned that night…and told her of the terrible toilet fountain. We laughed that no one seemed to notice the cheese funk was coming from my sleeping bag.

And that, my friends, was the one and only time I went camping.

I’m much more of a hotel girl. A hotel room with a big jacuzzi tub and lots of fun things to do. Sign me up. You can keep your camping…this Princess needs a bed.

So how about you? Camp or Hotel? Lemme hear it!

camping lol

Ten Things I’m Afraid Of

Hey, peeps! I haven’t done Mama Kat’s blog meme in a few weeks, what with all my landmark announcements, so I thought we’d have a bit of fun this week. Those of you on my Facebook fan page voted…and this is the blog topic that won…so here we go. I’m gonna do this countdown style.

10. Bridges. I’m actually a lot less scared of them than I was before I moved to Texas. Becoming a “naturalized Texan” has given me courage I thought I’d never have. And balls. Big slapp’in balls. Not literally, of course, but I already wax quite a ‘stache off my upper lip every few weeks…I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suspect that I’ll have actual testicles when I hit my golden years.

9. Parents who raise their kids without teaching them consequences…and that everything won’t always go their way. I weep for the future.

8. Bugs. That’s not really a big shocker if you’ve read this blog for a while or you follow my fan page on Facebook – but here in Texas we have bugs so big they can fly away with a Poodle in their mouths. I love Texas, but the creepy critters scare the crap out of me.

7. Never having a clean house. Seriously, it’s just Hot Mess Hubby and our mini zoo here…and yet I can never get this house clean. I used to be able to do it. I would spend all weekend cleaning and then I’d sit back on Sunday afternoon for an hour or two and admire it all before we started messing it up again. Now I can’t even get halfway there. I would love to be able to sit on the couch and be able to see the surface of the coffee table…or not see a laundry hamper in the hallway. Is it too much to ask to have a home that always looks like a page from the Pottery Barn catalog?

6. Snakes. Do I even need to explain that one?

5. Farting loudly at work. One of my girlfriends sent me a text one day from work and I’ve never gotten over it. She was listening to music on headphones while working at her desk when she snarted (that’s a sneeze that triggers a fart for those of you not in the know). She had no idea if anyone heard her. I laughed so hard I cried…and I’ve been petrified of the same thing happening to me ever since. So much so that I pull an earbud out before I let any sneakers go at work…just to be safe.

4. Pickles. Okay, maybe I’m not exactly afraid of pickles…but I am disgusted by them. They’re revolting. Unfortunately, Hot Mess Hubby loves them. I won’t even kiss him after he eats one. Yuck!!! If he wants a kiss he can brush his teeth with a bottle of bleach and a wire brush. Or wait till tomorrow.

3. Embarrassing myself in front of “important people”. I’m not typically accident prone at work, but if there’s an executive within 10 feet of me I’d trip over a hair laying on the carpet. The same thing goes for anyone I’m trying to impress…or hunky famous people.

It was my job to read a Bible verse at my girlfriend’s wedding one summer not too long ago. As it so happens, her husband’s family is very close friends with Kiefer Sutherland. I was assured that he probably wouldn’t be there, yet guess who walked in five minutes before the ceremony? I was a sweaty mess, uncomfortable in a giant pastel pink suit with a gaudy scarf tied around my neck to conceal the angry red gash in my throat from the thyroid surgery I’d had two months before…walking on grass in stabby heels, trying not to sink into the wet ground before I got up to the gazebo where the bride and groom were – or worse: catch my heel on a sprinkler doohicky and do a face plant into the father of the bride’s crotch. It all turned out okay (and Mr. Sutherland is even yummier up close, y’all!).

2. Having weight loss surgery. It would be stupid of me not to consider it as an option at some point if I can’t get this done on my own…but I’m afraid of the shit storm I would bring on myself mentally if I ever actually did it. I’ve been close to it. I’ve seen countless friends do it. Surgery takes a kind of courage I don’t think I’ll ever have. Being obese is risking my life enough…I don’t want to risk my life to hit my goal weight as well.

1. Never hitting my goal weight. I know many of you can relate. Yet as much as I fear it never coming true, I still believe it will. I can see it on the road ahead…far in front of me. I can imagine it. When I fall asleep each night, I dream of it.

I see myself riding a rollercoaster with Hot Mess Hubby for the first time in forever. I ride a bike. I rollerskate. I fit into a seat at The Ballpark in Arlington to see my beloved Texas Rangers play…and the seat doesn’t leave bruises on my legs. I wear dresses. I buy a pair of high heels to match every designer handbag in my arsenal. And I can’t stop smiling.

Fear of never hitting my goal weight is the biggest fear I have, but the more I think about life at the other end of this road the smaller that fear gets. So down this road I go…afraid or not. ♥ I’m grateful that you’re with me.

Now it’s your turn…what are you afraid of?

Oh, the Places I’d Go

It’s Thursday! It’s Mama Kat’s blog meme day!! Woohoo!

This time, you voted on Facebook for the topic “8 Places I’d Go This Summer If Money Wasn’t an Object”. Easy enough, but a bittersweet topic for me because I work in travel. I get killer discounts on airfare – like you seriously would slap me for – but it comes at a price. I took an entry level job just to get in the front door with my company…so I make 50% less than what I can make somewhere else. That cuts into any travel budget we have pretty bad. And although I get discounts on airfare, I don’t get killer discounts on hotels – so I can afford to get there, I just can’t afford shelter. Kind of a problem. So if money wasn’t an object, these are the 8 places I’d go. (In no particular order because I couldn’t possibly decide.)

1. The United Kingdom: England, Ireland, Scotland.

In England?

The Tower of London…in fact, anything to do with the Tudor family. Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I – they all fascinate me. I mean, c’mon…Henry VIII has a daughter (Bloody Mary) by his first wife, then invents a religion so he can get a divorce. He marries Anne Boleyn and they have Elizabeth…then he has Anne beheaded. Then he just goes nuts and starts marrying everyone. Bloody Mary grows up determined to return England to Catholicism and marries Prince Philip of Spain, ok? She dies childless…no heir…and almost has her 1/2 sister Elizabeth killed for treason, but doesn’t. While she’s dying, Philip proposes to his sister-in-law Elizabeth. What an ass munch! Elizabeth doesn’t accept his proposal – in fact, she never marries. Instead, she rules England and goes to war with her brother-in-law and kicks his ever love’in ASS all the way back to Spain. You can’t make this stuff up. (Apologies if I got some of that screwed up…I provided enough links for you to check it out, though…it’s amazing.)

I want to stand in the places where these people stood (especially Elizabeth) and I want to think about what happened right there…where my feet are planted.

I want to see the Moors, Stonehenge, and the white cliffs of Dover…all of it. And Nottinghamshire because I have ancestors buried there. And my friend Michael…because I haven’t seen the dude in ages.

In Ireland?

I want to see the countryside and kiss the Blarney Stone. I could just drive around the countryside the whole time and be happy.

Blarney Castle


I want to head specifically to Aberdeenshire and Dunnotar Castle. My 3rd great-grandmother is a Keith. Clan Keith has an amazing history. They lived at Dunnotar for a time. Mary Queen of Scots (Elizabeth I’s cousin…not even kidding) visited there. I want to go see it, touch it, feel it. Pretty much all of Scotland looks gorgeous and interesting, but this place in particular calls to me.

Dunnotar Castle

2. Australia & New Zealand

Everything. I want to see everything. And then I want to see every place where they shot the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit movies. Yes, I want to stay in a Hobbit hole. And I want to have dinner with my friend Bruce, the Kiwi, and his family.

3. Machu Picchu. How can you not want to go there? It’s really really old…and cool. And beautiful.

4. Switzerland. I hear they make Saint Bernards and chocolate there. Seriously…I want to go to the monastery where my favorite dog breed in the universe started…and I want to hug a couple hundred Saints. I want to get Swiss Saint drool and slobber all over my clothes. I don’t care if I get on the plane covered in dog hair. I want to go hug on these babies. And then I’ll go have some chocolate and see the rest of this gorgeous country.

5. Austria/Hungary/Germany. My mother’s family is from these countries – and some of HMH’s as well. I want to put flowers on the graves of my ancestors (is that gruesome? Sorry…) And the castles…oh, boy…the castles. I want to get allll up in those castles. Gorgeous.

6. France. Yeah, I hear a lot of stories of rude Frenchies – but I don’t care. Their country is gorgeous and I want to see it. Paris, certainly. The Louvre alone is enough to make me want to tolerate their pissyness. The Eiffel Tower. The countryside. If I have to wear ear buds to keep the nasty remarks away from my ears, I will…but I want to see France.

The Louvre

7. Italy. First on my list? Venice. Such a place is incredible to me. I have to experience that. Rome…Tuscany…the Amalfi Coast. Is there any place in Italy that’s not gorgeous? If so, I’ve never heard of it.

8. Easter Island. Yeah, you heard me. There’s only one flight in and out each week – so if you miss it, you’re there for another week. But I want to see those giant heads and sit and ponder who put them there and why. I’ve heard the people are absolutely lovely and that Easter Island is amazing even without the heads.

So…where would you go if you had all the money and time in the world? Tell me.

The Ass Turkey of 2012

Yeah, you read it right: it’s time for me to tell you about a culinary catastrophe that will go down in the Hot Mess Household Hall of Shame. I’m talking about the Ass Turkey of 2012.

Why am I writing about this? Because I recently purchased a book called “642 Things to Write About”. It was my intention to blog my way through it on my author website, but as luck would have it the second prompt is something I would never write about on my author website:

Describe the worst Thanksgiving dish you’ve ever had.

I went to bed last night wondering whether I should skip the topic all together or write about it here. When I mentioned this to HMH last night, he said “You’re gonna write about the Ass Turkey, aren’t you…”

See? There’s only one serious candidate when it comes to the worst Thanksgiving dish ever…and that’s the Ass Turkey.

HMH’s grilling and smoking skills are legendary in our family. We were living in California when he bought our first smoker and introduced me to the wonder of smoked meats…particularly turkey. One year he smoked the turkey for our big family dinner and there wasn’t any leftover turkey…that’s how good it was. From that point on, we bought and smoked multiple turkeys to ensure that there would be plenty for leftover sandwiches and tryptophan hangovers.

When I was younger, I used to fantasize about roasting the perfect turkey for my husband and children. Kind of like a Norman Rockwell painting but with less gray hair and suspenders. One bite of HMH’s smoked turkey and those dreams went willingly flying out the window. Screw that! HMH can do the turkey every year…I’ll spend my time on the side dishes. And that’s exactly how we’ve spent every delectable Thanksgiving since. Except last year.

The problem with HMH’s cooking skills is that he thinks it’s fun to experiment – whereas I’m more a creature of habit who lives by the motto “don’t fuck with perfection”. There’s just no reasoning with HMH, though, so last year he decided to use a marinade injection on our turkey.

Other than the pickle flavored potato chip he tricked me into eating once, it’s quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever tasted in my life. Even now…if I close my eyes I can still hear the screaming. Why, God! Why!!!!

How can I adequately describe it? Think of the turkey they served in the cafeteria at your elementary school. Now put it in a dirty sock and throw in the dryer for an hour. Then take it over to the dog dish and use it to mop up the kibble encrusted drool from the side of the bowl. Now fart on it.

Ass turkey.

It was so bad that I couldn’t even eat the portion that was on my plate, let alone have seconds. The dogs got most of the turkey last year. I posted this picture on Facebook later that night…with the caption “Guilty of crimes against Thanksgiving!”

I'd rather eat a hair sandwich
I’d rather eat a hair sandwich

At least my festively fabulous cornbread acorns were a hit…

I don’t know who that Mr. Stubbs guy is but he needs to stop hurting turkies. Bunghole.

Nordic Ware Platinum Acorn Cakelet Pan