Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'm feeling all Sally Field, but I'm really Shirley MacLaine

So, here's something interesting that happens when a parent dies.  People are nice to you.  Like, extremely nice.

I'm overwhelmed with how kind an supportive people have been.  Family, friends, colleagues, customers... near-strangers.

The whole thing is just so nice.

And it freaks me out.

I could pretend that I feel deserving of all this kindness, but kind of don't.  I mostly have no idea how to handle all the feelings.

For now, I'm taking lots of deep breaths and practicing saying "thank you".

Thank you.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

And in the end, part two.

It's been a long week. 

Without getting into way too many details, at least for now, I'll just come out with it.

Dad died this morning after a few short days in home hospice.

He went quickly, quietly, and painlessly.

Those of you who have known me for any time know that my Dad was my hero.  He was my partner in crime,  my emotional doppelganger, a fine husband and father, and I never went a day in my life without feeling loved because of him and my mom.

Tell me I'm not my father's daughter.

More soon.  Probably a lot more.  If you thought I talked a lot about Lola last year...

Stories of Dad would fill a blog for the rest of the year.

And might.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lots of stuff

So, I have to tell you, I think that Saturday Night Live isn't funny anymore.

I watched the episode hosted by Jim Parsons the other week and I was left with a feeling of ... meh.

I think Taran Killam is delightful, and I love Kenan Thompson (who, like me, hails from Atlanta, GA).  The gal that does Ellen Degeneres is funny, too.

But it's not funny like it used to be.

And by that, I mean the Radner/Murray/Ackroyd years, the Murphy/Short/Louis-Dreyfus years, and of course, the Carvey/Hartman/Lovitz/Nealon/Sandler/Farley/Spade/Meadows years.  And, I'll be honest, I loved the Fey/Poehler/Fallon/Hader/Myers years.

I love Will Forte, I thought Maya Rudolph was a hoot.

I love that they currently have a woman of size on there, after getting rid of Casey Wilson a few years back because she was fat.  I'm annoyed that they made a mercy hire of a black woman, after Kenan said, "No, I'm done dressing in drag."  To be clear, I don't disagree that they needed a black female in the cast, but it was a case of too little, too late.

Point of all this is, I don't think that SNL is the funniest show on TV any more.  It used to be.

It's not.

What's funnier nowadays?


I love me some Robot Chicken - if the sketch isn't working, it'll be over in 45 seconds.  It's like Pee Wee's Playhouse, Plus SNL, plus meth.

I've mentioned I'm a fan of Key and Peele.  Their comedy is smart, and they play so many interesting, funny characters.  Kind of reminds me of the Tracey Ullman show in intelligence, versatility and tone.  I loved Tracey Ullman back in the day.  There's one in particular that I think about every time I'm in Zumba Class:

I am a fan of both Squidbillies and Venture Brothers on Adult Swim.

Because who doesn't like looking at a slutty red-neck squid with Lee Press On Nails?

I still love Daily Show.   I loved Flight of the Conchords.

I really loved Mr. Show - and even watching it on DVD years later holds up.

Basically, I miss the old SNL of my youth.

I also miss my youth.  That might be the point.

Monday, March 10, 2014


So, on the Facebook, there's a thing circulating called 100 Days of Happiness, wherein for 100 days, you're supposed to take a picture of something that made you happy that day.  And apparently 71% of the people who undertake it wash out citing lack of time.

I actually have this clock in my kitchen.  It makes me VERY happy.

To which I say, "No shit."

Look, I'm happy 365 days a year.  Truly.  Even on the worst days of my life, I can find a reason to be happy.

A few examples:

I had to have a cancerous lump removed from my scalp, which required scalpels, gauze, hair loss and most of all CANCER.  But they got it all, and even though it hurt, and it took a while for the crater they removed to grow back in, I remember two good things from that day - one, the doctoral fellow that was assisting my surgeon was a really, really nice looking man.  And the second one is that Matt and I had lunch at Melrose before we went home, and I had warm, fresh-baked cookies.  I also remember Matt joking with me on the way home.  I was happy.

Lola.  Well, that was a terrible day, the day I had to have her put down, but I was happy that I got to say goodbye and be with her.  So even though I have grieved, I loved first - and that makes me happy.

Even while Dad has been sick, there have been happy moments.  The speech therapist told us we should sing with him to get him vocalizing - because songs are stored in a part of his brain that wasn't affected - so last October, Mom, Laura and I started singing all kind of things.  I jokingly broke into Dixie, and we all sang it with gusto, until we realized how horribly racist it was and then we laughed.  I can still think about that, and no matter how scary it was, I can smile.

I'm happy because I have love, work, shelter, food, clothing, and all the amenities of a good life.

That's not to say I don't have stress, worry, sadness, grief, anger, and every other item on the toppings bar of  the Fro-Yo that is my emotional state.

Here, the sour gummy worms represent happiness.

But I whistle and sing more than I cry and moan.

Why limit yourself to 100 days?  That's less than 1/3 happy. 

Now the picture taking and hash tagging.  That's a pain in the ass.  Just be happy and aware of it - you don't have to track it.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Which, What, Where, Whom?

I want to let you in on a little secret.  And it's a mind-blower, so hold on to your hats.

I feel pretty.

I mean, no, not compared to Natalie Wood...

I'm fat, my blood pressure's still a little wonky, and my house is the hottest of messes, but I'm doing OK.

I'm not breaking hearts all across the USA, but I'm holding my own.

And I'll tell you, in Houston, my class was filled with beautiful women of every size shape and color.    And I still felt pretty.

It's weird, but I like it.

Let's hope it lasts.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Now, we wait.

So, I appear to have my blood pressure under control, maybe.  I had a high read this morning after several low ones - I'm going to get it done at lunch to prove it's not an outlier, and maybe we're where we need to be on that front.

My new higher dose of happy meds seem to be working...

Because I actually feel hopeful and happy.

But tired.  Oh, so tired!

I got in late last night, but still needed to do laundry.  And then I started reading - nothing too important, but I didn't get enough rest, truth be told.

The other night, I had a dream that I remembered the next morning - I was running my hands through my hair to detangle it, or get something out of it like a barrette or something, and I began pulling my hair out in big clumps.

I was tearing my hair out...

If that's not telling, what is?

Apparently, I'm dealing with a little bit of frustration, here.

But, I'm happy.


Got to go to the Rodeo while in Houston - it was a magical night of brahmins, beer, barbecue, busting (mutton) and Brad (Paisley).  I had a great, great time.  I sent our sweet hostess flowers today.

She deserved that and more.

This was dinner:

Potato with cheese, sour cream, green onion, brisket, bacon and BBQ sauce.

 Ooohhh yeah!

Studly spudly.

Tonight hockey with my husband.

Tomorrow night; asleep by 9.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Manners and Shit

I went to dinner with customers tonight, and it was delicious.

We mentioned wanting Mexican, as we are in Houston, and come on, I'm going for Italian here?  No.


We ended up at a very fancy place;  a "Coastal Mexican experience" - the kind of place that doesn't do queso dip or frozen margaritas.

But I'm a foodie, as we all know - so I managed. Plus, seafood? Hells, yeah!

We got three dozen oysters - two dozen oven roasted (meh) and a dozen raw.  Yum.

I only recently learned to love raw oysters, but they are delicious.

For dinner, I ordered a shrimp cocktail appetizer - one of the shrimp arrived with his head still on.  And that's fine, really.    They were, as you can imagine, delicious.

I ended up entertaining my dinner mates with shrimp head finger puppetry.

Which is where my diatribe on manners begins.

Is making finger puppets with shrimp heads bad form?  Probably, but here's what's worse.

Complaining about the restaurant *AT THE RESTAURANT*.

I don't care how weird the menu is.  Find some thing on it that you can manage, order that and hit a drive thru on the way home.  But don't be rude to the hosts or the waitstaff.

There will be restaurants that don't have chicken fingers, learn to deal.

Here's one sure way to deal:

I hear you saying, "My word, Allison...what is this?"  It's El Coco.  A chocolate shell, dusted with cocoa.

I now hear you asking... what happens when you hit it with the adorable dessert hammer?

Well, amigos - you reveal the coconutty whipped foam that lies within.

Did I pretty much eat the whole thing by myself?  Yep.

Because it would've been rude not to.

For real though - it was fucking amazing.

If I can get a copy of me with my headshrimp, I'll pass it along.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Blocked, buster.

So, I haven't written because I have nothing to say.

I mean, I can't think of anything clever or interesting or edifying.

I'm working a lot, doing laundry, cooking and sleeping.

We went to a hockey game the other night.

In fact, I got off the plane, got my bag, threw on a scarf and cap and headed to the game - met Matt there - and the Preds beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, which was awesome.

But, honestly, other than that...

I have nothing to say.  I haven't posted on Facebook in two days, which is an eternity for me, because, I have...nada.

I'll see if I can work up something interesting on my travels this week.  Since the customer is taking us to the rodeo, I'm betting I can.