Thursday, May 28, 2009

Analyze THIS

I had every intention of getting up at the buttcrack of dawn and going to the gym this morning. Of course, I never tell Neal of my intentions because most of the time that's all they are. But I thought long and hard about it last night and decided "yes, yes I would!" With Rocky music playing in the background, I turned off my reading light and snuggled in. When both of my alarms began blaring at 6:30 this morning, I had no idea where I was or who I was or why Michael Phelps was so angry with me. So, the reason I did not make it to the gym this morning...
Exhibit A: I dreamed I owned a horse head for a pet. Just the head, no body, no tail...just the actual head that fit in the palm of my hand. The horse head had been at the vet's office because apparently it was not receiving enough oxygen. I went to visit him (I'm assuming it was a him, although it was a white horse head so maybe it was a her) and wanted to take him for a little field trip to the zoo. The veterinarian was hesitant but agreed because after was my horse head. So, off we went. I had a horrible time keeping up with him and not dropping him and when I brought him back, he had a gash across his cheek...but was still breathing! And then the one and only thing that could pull me out of a dream like that...Michael Phelps.
Exhibit B: I was working at a department store (which is not that far-fetched. I paid for many a cute skort with the money I earned working at Lazarus) and Mr. Phelps was my customer. We were very busy with 4 or 5 employees lined up behind a counter as if we were department store clerks working within a bank. Each person's line stretched all the way back to the door. Everyone had come in to pay their credit card balances on their store cards. Michael gave me another credit card to pay his balance. The balance was like $127.07. I slid the card and then he said "oh wait, I have 7 cents". So I had to void the transacation and ring it again with his 7 cents. He kept doing that until he had paid the entire bill pennies. It, obviously, took me forever to complete the transaction so he started talking smack about my cashier skills...all the while swinging a gold medal around his finger. By the time I woke up, he had taken all of his pennies back and threw the credit card at me. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I didn't make it to the gym this morning. There is a valid and acceptable reason why I'm strung out on Starbucks most of the nights are very busy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Complacency kills

Last week, while Neal was showering for work and I was lying in bed trying to adjust to daylight and drink coffee while horizontal, I saw a story on The Today Show about a couple who had narrowly escaped death in a scuba diving accident. The couple were experienced divers who had decided to go for a dive alone, without informing anyone of their plans (they obviously did not grow up with my mother). They jumped in the water and headed for the reef while their boat drifted away. Far, far away. When they emerged from the water, the boat had drifted too far for them to swim (and apparently upstream, although logic would tell me otherwise). There they stayed in the water all night, until a father and his 2 sons arrived for a dive the next day and found them. When Meredith asked them what happened, the husband said "we became complacent." And the congregation said "amen". Complacency will kill you (if the sharks don't).

Neal and I got very lucky. We were able to live a year as a married couple, then be apart for a year, then be back together again. While deployments are never ideal and can be so stressful that you begin drinking boxed wine, we have been able to make limoncello with our lemons. Even as a newlywed, I had become complacent about our relationship - assuming all sorts of crazy things. I assumed that he would fix the lawn mower when it broke or dig up a tree when it died. I assumed he would empty the dishwasher every morning and make dinner when I was running late from work. I assumed that he would come get me off the side of the road when the Mustang broke down. I never assumed he would be deployed again. So, in celebration of breaking the streak of complacency that had built up over a year of marriage, I made a list of everything that is easier since he came home. I no longer take for granted that I live in this house with these 2 cats and 2 cars and that what he provides is easily provided.
10. vacuuming the floor. This would be easy except that due to the creation of another cat in the hose of the vacuum, apparently I haven't really cleaned the floors in probably 6 months. After Neal had his hands on the hose for 10 minutes (that sounds so much dirtier than it really is) that baby really, really sucked - like the day I bought it!
9. mowing the grass. I can appreciate his willingness to do this because he doesn't just mow. He also weed-eats and blows the grass clippings off of the sidewalk. That's entirely too much manual labor for me. I say grass clippings are my gift to the neighborhood.
8. having car work done. If you can successfully leave your car at the repair shop and drive yourself back home, call me - I want your cloning technology. Why do llamas get to have all the fun?
7. knowing where everything is in the house. A lot of calls from Kuwait went like this:
A: I can't find the stovetop cleaning detergent. Where is it in the house?
N: I can't remember. It's been so long. Look in the...(and then he would name a place that was so random I never even bothered to look the hall closet).
6. operating a pressure cooker. Although I could probably have figured this one out, I decided that pressure cooker + cabernet = kitchen disaster. He drinks water when he cooks...much safer.
5. noticing when things are broken/not working properly/missing/dying. Examples would include irrigation sprinkler heads, rosebushes, ice machines and computers.
4. fixing things that are broken/not working properly/missing/dying. Examples include replacing the head, spraying the landscaping and digging up trees. None of this ever occurs to me.
3. the preparation and clean-up that goes into a meal. I now understand why I needed a nap every time I cooked a meal for 1 and then cleaned the dishes. Even with a dishwasher. I also understand why I lived on boxed mac and cheese and ham sandwiches my entire college career.
2. moving furniture. When I got the wild hair a couple of weeks ago to swap the furniture in the 2 front bedrooms, it took all of about 15 minutes to complete. It would have been much more disasterous without him (most likely involving words that shouldn't come from a lady followed by a trip to the Urgent Treatment Center).
1. planning the future. When a spouse is deployed, it's sort of like being suspended in jello. Nothing moves forward, nothing gets planned. There's just the wait. Now we can plan a trip to the beach or plan a picnic or plan to have dinner with friends. And as we all know, Virgos are BIG planners. We keep Daytimer in business. A day without planning is like a pen with no tip. There's just no point.

This is just a short list of 10 examples, it's probably not even the top 10. Everyday I am reminded of something that's 400% easier now that he's home. I may be complacent about a lot (the august heat and chipped toenails) but I am now appropriately grateful for everyday that I have with Neal at home.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Getting all nostalgic for a decade I don't remember

Three copies of Pretty in Plaid: $60.00 (thanks to the B&N discount card)
Cooler full of Coke Zero Cherry and Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry: $5.00
Gas to get us to Nashville and back: $50.00
Woven gold belt, black leggings, stilletos, huge hoop earrings, a skirt that I would normally never wear in public and a can of White Rain: $8.00 (because our Goodwill ROCKS!)

Hearing Jen Lancaster read from her new book Pretty in Plaid....
and showing her our '80's?? PRICELESS!!

We heart Jen Lancaster. We heart her so much that we are willing to put a sinful amount of product in our hair in an effort to make it hover horizontal for at least 3 hours. We heart her so much that I ran out of blue eye shadow. But it was all worth it. Jen's new book, Pretty in Plaid explores her childhood, at least how she chooses to remember it. And that's fine. I will swear to this day that I have never been to a circus and that Melanie Hockensmith held me down and cut my hair. She waxes nostalgic about earning Girl Scout badges and going on road trips with her family...all of it with the typical Jen-sarcasm-meets-tear-inducing-laughter qualities that make it OK to read chick lit. I was actually more excited to meet Jen than I was to read her new book. She was bigger than life for me - like Epcot or Alex, the Kroger butcher. I couldn't wait to tell her about how she had saved my sanity during a long and arduous deployment. I wanted to shower her with praise about how wonderful her books were. What came out was: "gosh, you're so great...saved my life, y'know. My husband (gasping for air) your book...all happy now." And bless her heart, she just went along for the ride. "Oh, I'm so sorry. Is he home now?" she asked. "Huh? Oh, yeah...home." "Good. How long is he home for?" I never really know how to answer this question because it's not like the Army issues us a calendar each year with 13-month deployments marked in the margins. "Oh, I'm not sure... y'know.. Obama.." and then she says "yeah" and we smile, take the picture and off we go. What's so ridiculous about this is I voted for Obama. And up until the whole "tax you until you can't see straight" extravaganza, I was head conductor of the O Train. Even now, I think he's doing a better than average job. And yet, I threw our beloved President under the bus for a laugh out of Jen Lancaster. So, if any of the Big O staff happens to be reading this, sorry about that.

After the signing, we headed back to the hotel to tame the hair and put on something less whore-ific; although as it turns out that wasn't really necessary to cruise downtown Nashville. Had we stayed dressed, we may have felt a little more comfortable hitting up Graham Central Station. Maybe next time. All in all, it was well worth the trip. But I think next time I see Jen, I think I'll just bring along the champagne-in-a-can.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

If I had a million dollars

2 genius ideas: priceless
start-up capital for genius ideas: $0

We have the best ice cream truck in the city. It's not the 1980's white electrical truck that's riddled with rust and belting out Blondie's Greatest Hits performed on the xylophone. It's a Jon & Kate + 8-looking van with penguins eating popsicles painted on the side. It plays all reggae all the time - which is obnoxious if you're sitting in Nicholasville Road traffic in your convertible with the top down and trying to explain to your husband what kind of salad dressing to get at the grocery store. But it's super-fantastic to listen to while swinging in your hammock and having a slightly chilled glass of pinot grigio. Even better if it's a margarita. As the rockin reggae truck made its evening rounds (at 7 pm...a little late for ice cream...unless you eat dinner at 5 but what American family does THAT anymore??), I started thinking "what's better than an ice cream truck? A frozen drink truck!!" And thus, a star was born. Keep the reggae, keep the ice cream even, just toss it in a blender with some rum and charge double. I'm thinking Wet Willy's on Wheels. I are salivating just thinking about it. Let's say it's a balmy 98 degrees and since I live in Kentucky, I only know a humidity level that's higher than 80%. The kids are getting short-tempered, even your sweat is starting to sweat and off in the distance you hear "I shot the sheriff"...but of course all instrumental on the steel drums so as not to increase thoughts of violence in the neighborhood kids. Although, I guess in some neighborhoods it wouldn't really might even be a positive influence since he DIDN'T shoot the deputy. Anyway, it's frozen salvation with a straw at only $5.00 a piece. If you do not want in on the ground floor of this golden opportunity then you're a nut. Or sober.

Fantastic Idea #2 (this is the result of me getting very sporadic work for the past 2 weeks. The world can thank me later). I shall not reveal how I came up with this (after all, I don't have Billy Mays screaming in my face "HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS IDEA??") Let's just say, out of necessity comes invention. When you take a pregnancy test (a hypothetical "you" for the men in the house) generally there appears one pink line or two. Thus, the reason for the country song Two Pink Lines. Lately, I have seen the ones that say either "yes" (well, I personally haven't seen that one, but I'm assuming it's a "yes" although I guess it could say "hell yeah") and "no". What I propose is a kinder, gentler pregnancy test, because really what hopeful woman wants to just see "no"? As a woman, this is how we read that: "Of course you're not pregnant. You are a failure at this, just like you were in Psy 101 and dating Paul Wildt. Put the stick down (and wash your hands for crying out loud) and go get a glass of cabernet because honestly you are a much better drinker than you would ever be as a Mom." So, I would like to see a pregnancy test that says "I'm sorry, you aren't pregnant this time, but don't stop trying! You are getting closer every month and you're doing great. Go pamper yourself and take a week off work when you do get the "monthly visitor" because girl, you deserve it! You're beautiful and you're having a great hair day." And then it would flash a picture of George Clooney blowing a kiss. Is that so much to ask? Apparently, it is because as Neal said when I brought the idea to him, "you would need a stick this long" and then proceeded to stretch his arms out as far apart as possible. Well, some women...well nevermind.

I don't really anticipate either of these ideas to materialize, partly because there's no money in the coffers and partly because I don't want to explain to Billy Mays how I came up with it. But if anyone out there makes it happen, could you hook a girl up with just a little bit of credit? It would be a great resume-builder.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's not just about Uncle Sam anymore

First of all, I'm pretty sure my father would go into heart failure if he knew I had posted this picture on the world wide let's not tell him, shall we? Secondly, I apologize for the crease across his face - I'm pretty sure this photo has had a hard life. However, this is to inspire the good folks in bloggerworld to participate in Military Mission's upcoming program, Steps to Honor (Memorial Day - Sept. 12).

Steps to Honor is the brainchild of Beth Pennington, founder of Military Missions. She credits her participation in the Run for the Fallen for giving her the inspiration to create Steps to Honor. It's not a contest, there are no prizes. It's all in the name of awareness and recognition of our country's heroes. And participating in it is easier than making ramen noodles: you walk, run, ellipticize for X amount of miles, then if you would like to publicly honor someone who is a soldier, firefighter or police officer, you can log onto the Steps to Honor blog and write about them. It doesn't have to be eloquent, it doesn't even have to be long - just write what it is about them that inspired you to exercise. I always think about those soldiers who are literally sweltering in the desert heat right now who STILL get up in the morning and do PT. If they can do PT in the desert, then surely to goodness I can do a few miles in the Bluegrass. That's all there is to it. The individual can be currently serving, retired, or one of our fallen. All that is asked is that you do it.

To add to your already packed social calendar, if you are interested in participating in Steps to Honor with an entourage, we will be walking the Bluegrass 10K on July 4th in downtown Lexington. Beth has Steps to Honor t-shirts for sale (and I have to say, I wore mine to the Arboretum this morning and got lots of approving looks - I know the difference, I get disapproving looks when my girlfriends and I take up the whole walking path - and got a wave from a retired veteran) and we encourage walkers participating in the 10K to wear 'em if you got 'em. I'm personally going to find the hottest picture
of my husband in uniform and tape it to my back for the race just to give the girl behind me something to work for. If you think 6 miles is about 5.5 miles too long, then you're invited to join us on Saturday mornings as we work up to 6 miles. We have 6 Saturdays to train..that's a mile per Saturday and I know we can do that!! If you're interested in joining us - shoot me a comment and we'll make sure you get all the info.

And my shameless plug for Military Missions: this woman is doing great things and she always needs help doing more great things...whether through donations of money or time or word of mouth. The link to the organization's webstore is">Military Missions Webstore and the link to the site is">Military Missions
This is my first attempt at using BFF's link strategy so if it looks all funky, then..uh, sorry about that. But, you get the point. We look forward to getting as many Steps to Honor participants across the US as possible and I look forward to seeing some Lexingtonians on the trails!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I am just going to go ahead and save my husband the trouble of setting up a blog and recruiting followers - I totally whipped out a Neal-ism on Saturday.

Setting: Allyson and Neal finishing off the yard work and admiring their collective art (also known as neatly mowed and weed-eated grass)

Allyson: So, how much does one of those...lawn straighteners cost?

Neal: (silence). Lawn straightener? (hysterical laughter)

Allyson: uh..what's it called?

Neal: (between air-gasping laughter) a lawn edger.

Allyson: Right (while just walking away).

Well, sometimes this much perfection comes with a price.

Wake-Up Call, WiiFit-style

I am 32 years least according to my Wii-Fit. I won't actually celebrate my 32nd birthday until 2010 but my BMI says otherwise. After owning a Wii-Fit since February, I decided to set up my Mii and enter all of the age, weight, height information and take the balance tests. As a former Yoga and Pilates instructor, my thinking was: "I SO got this!!" Not so much, apparently. I will reveal the numbers because I need to be accountable to someone, even if it is just me and my ego on the internet. So, height: 5'7", weight: 180 (but I was wearing Army sweat pants which are proven to be heavier because soldiers don't have much bodyfat and therefore get colder faster. Plus, I had eaten a 1/2 pan of organic brownies that hadn't had a chance to process through yet), BMI: 28.75 (but a pleasant surprise because my BMI used to be 32). This doesn't save me from being considered "overweight" but at least I'm no longer considered "obese", SCORE! As a former personal trainer, I actually abhore the BMI scale and never used it on my clients because it's NOT accurate. My husband is 5'8" (although he argues 5'9") and is built like a brick house. BMI does not accurately reflect this. However, things now jiggle in places where they used to not so I can't necessarily argue the idea that some things haven't "softened". (20 points for those of you who only had to read that sentence once. So many little time). Anyway, I have a gym gym donation system that is NOT tax-deductible and it's obviously not helping the situation. So, I'm devising a new plan. Last night, Neal installed a heavy-duty hook in one of the bedrooms, perfect for thera-band suspending. I also have a stability ball, a weighted ball, and a Wii-fit that makes me run in place for 3 minutes at a time. I SO got this! Plus, I am doing Steps to Honor with Military Missions. There will be a whole post on Steps to Honor because, quite honestly, it deserves its own post. Plus, I feel obligated to figure out how to include links in my posts (BFF is helping me with this but I for some reason am having a hard time grasping the tech side of things). But 1 mile walked = the chance to honor 1 soldier, police officer, or firefighter. And there are a lot of folks that need honoring these days. So, Steps to Honor + Wii-fit running/kickboxing/weak step aerobics/yoga poses + bands hanging from the ceiling + stability ball = sleek and svelt Allyson, just in time for cable knit sweaters and long wool skirts!! Hooah!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vineyard Part II

Carrie's PDA
Everyone else's PDA. If you are unsure how I feel about this, please scroll down a couple of posts and inform yourself.
Yes, it got cold down by the river. All those who were in various stages of ripping each other's clothes off had to leave.
Yeah, I don't know. She's a brick house or My Girl or something...The point is, I know the words and Carrie doesn't. Ha. Just kidding. She was very focused on her dance moves.

And that concludes the first annual Central Kentucky Vineyard Tour and Concert Outing. What a fine time it was.

Fresh from the Vineyard

Unfortunately, the computer uploaded these in reverse order...AND I could only do 5. While I appreciate that everything wonderful in life occurs in odd numbers, I have several more than 5 pictures. 5 pictures just doesn't do Saturday justice. So there will be one more post to follow shortly. And I will upload in the reverse order so as not to confuse the audience.
#5 (or #1 if you just have to have it that way): Neal and Ranjit reenact God and Adam. I will let you decide who is whom.
#4 This was taken at the Heirloom restaurant in Midway. Neal chose this picture because it's supposed to represent the tracks of our past as we look down the tracks of our future or something like that. There was a lot of eye-rolling after this was taken.
#3 Jean "snooty" Farris. That would be all of their awards on the wall behind Carrie's left shoulder. La-tee-da.
#2 Talon Winery - fave of the day!!! We had absolutely no legitimate reason for wearing sunglasses as it was still threatening rain....but y'know, our future is so bright...
#1 Carrie enjoys her first glass of the day at approximately 10:55 am. Happy Birthday to Carrie!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Circle of Fashion

On Thursday, a BFF and I will be heading to Nashville for a book signing. But this is not just any book signing. It's not a random horticultural author or writer of rules for couples. This is Jen Lancaster...Queen of Sarcasm, Lady of Lacoste. I was made aware of Jen last year when Queen Elizabeth (not her real name, but may as well be at this point) loaned me Jen's first memoir, Bitter is the New Black. I think it had something to do with a pit of despair and a deployed husband. Anyway, for about 4 days I totally forgot that I was living alone with a great big house and roof shingles that kept blowing away in mighty winds. Then came Bright Lights, Big Ass, which is extremely hard to request in a public library while still maintaining your class and dignity. I read that on the trains across Italy during Neal's R & R. And while running for a plane in the Atlanta airport from Italy to Lexington via Boston then Cincinnati then Atlanta, I had just enough time to swing in to the Barnes and Noble and pick up the 3rd and last memoir, Such a Pretty Fat. Well, it was the final memoir until last week when Pretty in Plaid hit bookshelves. So, when BFF and I found out that she was doing a book-signing in Nashville and that was the closest she was going to be to us (unless we found some reason to hit the ranch in Montana), we booked our hotel and put in our vacation requests.

Pretty in Plaid is all about Jen's time in high school, which just happens to be encapsulated by the 80's. So, she has requested that those who attend her book-signings do their best to come in 80's attire. I was all about it. BFF: not so much. But I put my thinking leg warmers on yesterday and headed to Goodwill to assemble outfits for both of us. An hour later, I had one belt and one shirt. Not the greatest start, but a start nonetheless. I had to pick up some things at Target so I headed over there with absolutely no intention of doing any clothing shopping. At all. But then, while walking past the women's clothes, on the way to Scrubbin' Bubbles, I found 80's Mecca...complete with fishnet shirts, purses on chains, and lacy tights. It was as if the skies opened and Madonna had smiled down (the Material Girl, not the Holy Virgin). Admittedly, some of this was on the clearance rack, meaning that they could not sell it for one reason or another. Perhaps the general public in Lexington, KY is not ready to wear finger-less gloves, arm-warmers, or 20 bangle bracelets on each arm again. Maybe they shutter at the idea of banana clips and lots of horizontal stripes with a smattering of slutty short skirts. But for my purpose, it was heaven. Not as cheap as Goodwill, but the amount of money I saved by not having to wash all of the Goodwill stuff twice in scalding hot water means it all works out in the end. Even BFF is in the game. She found jelly shoes at Walmart for $1.00 last night and is on the search for an oxford shirt with a tie. Yes, boys and girls, fashion truly does come around. I can't wait. 2020: the year of the 90's. Get ready for it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

We Got Hugh, babe

And I will officially leave the men alone about Kate Beckinsale. We have Mr. Jackman, which totally makes us even. We may even be ahead by a bit..

Re-counting the Weekend

Ark-building floods: 1
Tanning beds ruined by above flood: 5
Vineyards hit on Saturday: 3
Vineyards hit twice on the same day: 1
Wine clubs joined: 1
Smooth jazz/R&B concerts attended: 1
Amount of PDA witnessed after the general public drinks 2-3 bottles of wine: countless
Hours it took to write this post: 1.5 (so get a glass of wine and get comfy)

Friday started off with a bang...literally. Right in the middle of giving what is literally titled a "RELAXATION" massage, the room illuminated and a crash of lightening that would wake the dead followed. I felt like I should have given her back the $65 and charged God. Then the water came...first flooding Sun Tan City, then Gino's, then us. Apparently, we made out good compared to the front of the shopping center but there was still enough water to fish from a reformer (footnote: Pilates equipment that will make muscles that you didn't know you had hurt).

Saturday proved to be a much better day, both weather-wise and activity-wise. I had arranged a vineyard tour of Central Kentucky's up and coming vineyards for my BFF's birthday. Because there are no rules on your birthday, we were bellied up to the bar at Talon Winery by 11 am. Armed only with Hershey kisses and yummy buttery crackers, we attacked the wine list with fervor and attitude. I believe this was around the time that one of the attendants who was drinking a delicious wine called Bluegrass Blush said "sometimes I'm a little sweet...and sometimes I'm a little nasty." And that was only the beginning. Next was Jean Farris Winery - also known as the tasting room with weird, inappropriate decor. Not as in, nude statues of robust men, but more like "huh? that doesn't even remind me of drinking..." Tuska art is being seen all over Lexington these days and I absolutely salute Seth in his quest to share his father's art. It's at the UK Theater, Mia's Restaurant dowtown, The Massage Center, Pilates Place, and now, apparently, inside the tasting room of Jean Farris. When I see that art, I want to move, not sit on a bar stool and drink gewurztraminer until I start hitting on the bartender. But perhaps that is just me. They were also a little staunchy to be so far out Richmond Road and located in a succession of barns. Starving, a little drunker than we meant to be, and needing to have the corn cob surgically removed from that special place, we headed for Midway. Lunch at Midway was at a "contemporary cuisine" restaurant called Heirloom. I have mad love for the other modern faire restaurant in Midway, The Black Tulip, but they only do dinner. So, there we were, ordering hamburgers that, according to legend, were so enticing that a man drove from Baltimore to Midway to have one, and surrounded by giant paper cut-outs. OK, I'm sure I'm not doing this ANY justice so I will just say that the paper cut-outs were super cool-funky-modern and the burger was just excellent enough for me to drive from Lexington to Midway in the future. And it was about $15/person for lunch and a dessert, which we made the Birthday Girl get in order for her to have a candle to blow out on her birthday (which I unintentionally blew out in an effort to sing "Happy Birthday" very quietly. Who knew I had such a airy light singing voice?)

Lastly, we hit Equus Run. We came, we saw, we got the lightest pours I have ever seen on a vineyard tour (and having been to Cali, I think I can speak to this subject), and got our wine glass. Their biggest concern was not serving under-age drinkers so if you're thinking of flashing your fake ID at their bartender, don't. We were going to stick around for the vineyard tour, but were so utterly unimpressed that we headed out and back to Talon for a $5 concert, featuring Superfecta.

The music was good, lots of R&B covers with a sprinkling of Justin Timberlake (don't ask, it was weird). The food was BBQ and the wine was on sale. The boys (Neal and his BFF) brought back 3 bottles from the tasting room and we burned through those while we people-watched and gossiped about how some people should NOT wear halter tops, under any conditions. But perhaps the most interesting entertainment of the evening fused the train-wreck-I-can't-stop-looking factor with the oh-my-goodness-please-put-your respective-tongues-back-in-your-mouth element. And that is: apparently, when couples consume X amount of alcohol (I realize it varies, the first couple hadn't even downed 1/2 a bottle while the 2nd couple probably rounded out Talon's alcohol sales for the evening), there is some chemical change that causes them to go blind except for the person directly in front of them. As with couple #2, she literally just attacked the first person to cross within her sight of immediate vision...on someone else's car. Couple #1 had probably been dating about 7 days. They were still in the share-the-same-plate-stare-at-each-other-intently-kiss-between-sentences-even-if-swallowing-of-BBQ-hadn't-occurred phase of their relationship. And the woman of couple of #3 simply turned around and thrust her Texas-sized rump up against her man during some "sort of grinding, sort of R&B" song. Children are now blind from seeing that. I think that love is a beautiful thing. I think that dancing is a form of self-expression. I think that mounting your partner on the hood of a stranger's car at a concert held in a field during daylight hours is just WRONG. Nor do I want to catch extended glimpses of your tongue fighting someone else's tongue while I eat cole slaw. All I'm saying is enjoy your wine, dance the night away and for goodness sake, please spare the rest of us from your bedroom antics. I don't need your ideas, I've got plenty of my own, thank you.

Re-counting the

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spaghetti with a Side of Slasher

Neal made dinner tonight...spaghetti, which was actually a nice change from stir fry (or "Mongolian" as he calls it to make me feel like I'm eating all fancy-like). And he was watching Underworld: Evolution. Let me re-phrase that: he was mesmorized by Underworld: Evolution. Why? Maybe it was the rapidly increasing body count. Maybe it was Kate Beckinsale. No, it was definitely Kate Beckinsale...which means he is another victim to her feminine mystique in a black catsuit. Is it because she can pull off jet black hair with blue eyes and a hint of a British accent? Or because she throws a helluva right hook followed by a roundhouse combo? I want to know what makes Kate such a hypnotizing actress. I'll admit, I n0n-sexual crushed on her a bit in Serendipity but I've never fallen under the Beckinsale trance. Neal is just one in a number of men I know who would throw their wife under a bus for the opportunity to touch Ms. Beckinsale. Why is that? Why is she hotter than Jessica Alba or Ashley Judd or Halle Berry? If you're reading this and you're a guy, I would really like to know. Perhaps I can find a bottle of that je ne sais quoi in a flea market somewhere.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Oh my could I forget?? HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!! A regular-sized margarita has 700 calories. Enjoy. ;)

Proud, Crazy, and Sad

Actually, no...these are not the long lost Dwarf triplets...this is the range of emotions from the past weekend. And it all started on Friday, as most good things do. As a massage therapist, I am a member of the Kentucky chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association. During our business meeting and continuing education conference last August, the chapter president suggested we adopt a charity or community service action plan. Someone from the crowd said "what about our veterans?" and then I couldn't keep my mouth shut, of course. I spoke up, perhaps a bit too loudly because suddenly I was the chairwoman of the committee. We have been slow-going, starting with offering discounted massages to anyone with a military ID and attempting to extend outward. As mysterious things happen, I randomly got an email from a deploying soldier's mom asking if we could provide massage at the deployment ceremony. This was the "in" I had been hoping for! Although we only had 2 therapists providing massage, over half of the soldiers took advantage of the opportunity to receive a 20 minute table massage before deploying. Even some of the leadership signed up. I organized the sign-ups and tracked down soldiers when it was their turn so I saw them as they went in and then as they came out. When I say "transformation", I mean "TRANSFORMATION". Most of this unit had never been deployed overseas. They had that I-am-so-frightened-out-of-my-mind-that-I-just-look-really-excited look. When they got off of the table, though, they had the everything-is-going-to-be-OK look and that, boys and girls, is what "fulfillment of your life's purpose" is all about (it is NOT about spreading your seed, as The Jerk would have you believe). My only regret is that I was not one of the ones providing actual massage, but instead had to organize the event. But what I am most proud of is the 2 ladies that took time out of their day to bring their tables over and put a healing touch on these scared, young and courageous men and women. Bravo to you! And Bravo to the 3 units from Maysville, Morehead, and Louisville for doing what you do. May God bless you and keep you safe. We will keep you in our prayers and our thoughts and will look forward to your return.

What makes me crazy is the fact that the newest contestant to be kicked off of Biggest Loser is now offering Bootcamp classes in his backyard. (How's that for a total shift in gears??) So, Fillipe: I think it's awesome that you lost that much weight. I think it's equally as awesome that you lost another 13 pounds on your own. You have inspired many Americans to put down the Lay's, turn off 24 and go for a walk around the neighborhood. And that is freakin fantastic. Now, because you most likely do not have any sort of background in Exercise Science or Kinesiology, I need you to cease and desist. I know that we exercise professionals make it look so easy but it's sort of like watching ER for 6 years and then deaming yourself prepared for surgery. I'm sure you could probably deliver a baby in a pinch, but I would rather you not replace a kidney. Get a little knowledge under your belt (with like real textbooks with real tests about the attachments of muscles and what a proper quadriceps stretch looks like) and then use your passion to motivate even the unmotivated. Although, apparently Jillian pushed a contestant so hard this season that she ended up with a hip stress like 25 years old. So, maybe passion without knowledge is OK in the Biggest Loser world...but not when you run with the big boys (or girls).

And lastly....what makes me sad...right now is a time for endings. Not many beginnings are taking place, although there are a few. In the past 4 or 5 days, there have been many endings for much of my family and some friends. And while we always remember that nothing lasts forever, it is always difficult to live through the end of something. What we must try to take into consideration is that the end of something is also usually the beginning of something else. So, we remember what was good, try to learn from the bad and move on. I am staring down my own "ending" and trying to stay calm about the unknown. Remembering that life has a funny way of working out is certainly helping and I hope that it is some words of comfort to those of you who are not comforted by much else these days.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sweet dreams are not really made of this...

My husband doesn't understand why I can sleep 9 hours and still mumble a string of naughty words when he tries to wake me up in the morning. When his head hits the pillow, LITERALLY, he may be lucid for about 4 minutes. Then anything he says cannot be held against him in a court of law. And there he stays until the alarm goes off at 5 or 6 the next morning. I wouldn't say he necessarily springs out of bed but he definitely doesn't hit the snooze button so many times that the letters have begun to rub off. What he doesn't understand is that my nights are VERY busy. I frequently walk from the French Quarter in New Orleans to the open-air market in Savannah. I also swim across bays and drive cattle. These are just 3 examples of what it's been like for me in the past week:
1. I dreamed I was on a cruise with a smattering of sorority sisters. I was drinking a Bloody Mary that was less blood and more Mary and ended up dumping it over the rail of the ship. What woke me up was the sound of the water hitting the carpet when I dumped the cup that always sits next to the bed. I immediately stopped - not because I was pouring water on the carpet but because I didn't want to wake up Neal. And then he commented the next morning "aren't you glad your laptop wasn't sitting there like it always is?" Uh, yes...yes I am.

2. I had a very illicit affair with a friend's husband in the garage of my deceased grandparents' house. Neal knows the details on this dream because I woke up feeling irrationally guilty and did not want to carry that around with me for the rest of my life. And my mom knows but she's a psychologist and I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't losing my mind. Anyway, I totally blame this dream on the combination of going to Hustler that evening and reading a late-night email from the friend about her husband. I am almost certain that she doesn't read my blog..she doesn't even have a Facebook profile. So, I feel OK about telling the rest of the world.

3. And to top it off last night, I dreamed that I was at a friend's house and we were taking his pets for a walk. I was in charge of Lola. Lola had a pig's face and body but the fur of a chocolate labradoodle. He was walking Simon. Simon looked like a miniature pony but instead of a tail, he had my parents' teal grean canister vacuum from the late 70's attached to his hind end. Eventually we found a way to disconnect the canister so that only the hose was left dragging.

I have tried everything to keep these nightly escapades from ocurring. I quit watching TV at night altogether for awhile. I quit reading before bed. I tried meditation and listening to Gregorian monk chanting. Nothing helps. So, I simply accept the fact that each evening I will be knee-deep in something until Neal leans over and asks me to stop reciting "If you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it".