Monday, March 31, 2008

Win and Place!

It dawned dark and dreary for our weekend adventure. We had sunshine aplenty last year, so I guess we were due a wet day at the track. Lucky for us we managed to stay dry at the finish line.

First race. Brighton bet horse number two to win. He came in second.

…without a rider. The jockey fell off the moment his got out of the gate. The horse just ran the rest of the race for fun I reckon.

What’s the name of the fanfare that is played? The fanfare that gets everyone’s blood pumping with excitement. Everyone shimmies to the paddock to watch the horses come in. It is Call to the Post.

Original, huh?

Such a distinguished looking man laying on the trumpet before every race. I wonder if he ever tires of it?

My race came up next. I bet Tollgate Molly to win or My Sassy Girl to win. Two separate bets. TM won and MSG placed.

Do I know how to pick’em or what?

How you asked?

I like their names. That’s how I pick my ponies, People. And it has served me well.

I won six bucks. You can’t tell me that was blind luck.

Drunk with my success (and my success only) I decided my betting days were over. Brighton and I took an informal survey from a few men eating corned beef sandwiches and washing them down with copious amounts of Bud Light. Evidently the best sandwich-the one labeled ‘world famous’ was made with the marbled rye bread and had sour kraut on it. (Wouldn’t the addition of sour kraut make it a reuben by default? Or is it the thousand island dressing?) I had to admit, the two bites I had were pretty tasty, but I still don’t know what the devil corned beef sandwiches have to do with anything.

People watching is usually a dandy way to pass the time between races. Today was no exception. This man is Bubba. I call him that affectionately because he is a stereotypical Ozarks man. Bubba has trimmed his hair and beard and is wearing a clean pressed shirt, a good pair of jeans, and his best boots. His shirt is tucked in and he’s wearing his good hat. Well, it's actually his grandson's hat. But this one is clean and his wife ‘Irlene’ told him to wear it because they were going out in public. The others are stained with the sweat of his brow. Sweat earned from making an honest living at a blue collar job. The job that allows him to bring ‘Momma’, the aforementioned Irlene, to Hot Springs for a couple of days in March.

I’m the very picture of stealth when I take my photos. I’m very nosy you see, but shy and reserved. So I sneak pictures. I find my subject and then starting in the opposite direction, I scan the crowd, stopping periodically faking a picture. That way no one thinks I’m shooting them. It’s all very random and non-threatening.

See? Stealth.

Stealth and cowardice.

None was needed with this next shot. I kind of think this fellow was asking for attention. It’s also ironic because just a few posts ago I shared my encounter with another man in a fur coat. Imagine my excitement when I saw this.

You could have knocked me over. Two in a month? What are the odds? (odds-racetrack, heh, heh)

Here's a few more just because...

My favorite-the tractor races!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Flood 2008

Mother Nature has surely given us a lot to think about this year in our little corner of the world.

…ice, snow, and now rain.

I have many pictures of the destruction caused by the floods last week, but posting them doesn't feel right to me.

Sadly, there have been a lot of displaced people do to the flooding.

But as with the ice storm I won’t show you horrible devastation, but I will show you, how should I say it?

The power?

This is our favorite campsite. You usually have to navigate a steep down-hill climb to get to the water. Now the water comes to you.

The swimming hole just down the way.

The Marina


Powersite Dam. Five of the ten gates are open-a rare event. Anytime water pours out of Tablerock Lake into Lake Taneycomo, people come in droves to watch it.

A closer view of the gates

Those dam dummies!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Win, Place or Show

We're going to the races this coming weekend with Brighton and her favorite husband, Bruno.

Last year was my first ever time at the horse races and that’s fairly unheard of here. Even though we are a good five hour drive away from the activities, horse racing seems to herald the arrival of Spring around these parts and everyone sojourns to Hot Springs to take in some history and wager a dollar or two at Oaklawn.

Even though I wasn’t blogging this time last year, I wrote down some things intending to put it on MySpace.

It never happened.

I never got the hang of social networking. My Facebook languishes also.

So you lucky ducks get to read my musings about last year this year and I will post about this year next year. I mean next week.

I might even take a photo or two.

The following post perfectly showcases my utter lack of class and breeding and demonstrates why I’m rarely asked to go anywhere with anyone.

Here’s the thing about going to the horse races in Arkansas. After driving the Hell that is HWY 7, you are so happy to arrive you will kiss the ground.

…literally not figuratively.

I'll stop here to tell you I get car sick. Not to the point of losing my cookies, but I get green around the gills and have to stop and walk around till it passes. So curvy roads can sometimes get me. Especially if I have to ride in the back seat. Which, when I'm with Brighton, I do. Since they do the driving in their rig, she makes the men sit up front and we sit in back.

I feel like we are a carload of bluehairs heading to the Moon River Theater for the Sunday matinee. We'll be done by 5:00, hit the early bird senior citizens special at the buffet and be in bed by eight.

Sorry...that has nothing to do anything.

But one more thing before I continue.

Bruno drives with his foot constantly hitting the gas...letting off...hitting the gas...letting off...hitting the gas...letting off.

I'm sick thinking about it.

As a first timer, here are my observations:

  • Dramamine
  • Sunscreen is a good thing even if it’s overcast and much too cool to contemplate a burn.
  • Middle aged men should NOT wear their shirt unbuttoned to the waist
  • Neither should middle-aged women
  • Try the corned beef, but only from a particular vendor. Evidently, we chose poorly. So I can’t recommend the good one because I don’t know who it is. And why does the racetrack feature corned beef anyway? Is it a horse thing or an Arkansas thing...
  • Those jockeys really are tiny little guys
  • Know how you are going to bet before you get in line. People behind you get testy if they have to wait on you to ask the teller what “box it in” means. (You didn’t have to swat me with your racing form, Lady! A simple ‘hey dumb-ass make up your mind’ would have sufficed)
  • Don't call them ‘horsies’ - It’s never cute no matter how many beers I've had...I mean you've had
  • The same people who play Bingo play the ponies-I think they bus them in from the retirement home
  • Watch where you walk-trust me on this one
  • You can pee between two open car doors and no one will ever know (or is it no one will care, I don’t remember)
  • The word is ‘furlong’ not ‘furlough’
  • An old woman will smack you down if you elbow her out of her place at the finish line
  • Everyone is drunk as Cooter Brown
...not me of course.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Story

Just 'cause I love it.
A chick rock love song for a woman of age.

And since my 4-0 is just around the bend...

So, Ladies. I highly recommend you sing this at the top of your lungs on a sunny day whilst driving home from work. Windows rolled down and the wind flapping through your hair, of course.

As I did today.

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

School Lunch

I was planning the week ahead, food-wise, and remembered this is spring break.

That means I don’t have to make the boys’ lunches.

And yes, before we read any further, they are perfectly capable of making their lunches themselves, but half the time they ‘forget’ or they ‘ran out of time’.

They take their lunch three times a week and buy it at school the other two.

If they ate at school everyday, we’d be in the poor-house. Everything in the school cafeteria is ala carte. It has a grill to special order burgers. There are chips, fries, mozzarella sticks, smoothie machines, and a baked potato bar.

It’s insane what they can buy for lunch.

When I went to Jurassic High, you had one lunch. And everyone ate the same thing. When I was a Sr. we got a salad bar. With three, mind you, three types of dressing-French, Ranch, and Thousand Island.

Big doings, indeed.

It cost extra though, so only the rich kids got to eat the salad bar.

The rest of us had rectangle pizza and corn.

I know, I know. Everyone talks about the rectangle pizza.


Because we loved the rectangle pizza! Everyone ate school lunch on pizza day.

Prissy always threw a fit that the school served corn with pizza.

Why that’s nothing but pure starch! Corn isn’t a vegetable, it’s a starch. I’m not paying for you kids to each starch for lunch!

Mom, Bubby and I qualify for free lunch, remember?

It’s still garbage!

Chili day was also pretty sweet. I remember sitting in Algebra class and about 9:00 in morning you’d smell the onions cooking down the hall.

I can still conjure up that scent whenever I walk into that building-onions and the smell of the gym. What is it about the smell of the gym? I could be blind-folded, flown thousands of miles, turned around in circles with a sack over my head and give me one whiff of a high school gym and I can tell you exactly where I am.

But I digress. That’s another post.

So chili day was a treat. But it wasn’t the chili that was so amazing. It was what they served with the chili that brought everyone to the cafeteria in droves. The frenzy would start about 10 o’clock.

Kids who never ate school lunch started borrowing money. Fights would break out because there would be ‘cuts’ in line. Excuses to go to early lunch period would be imagined in case the cafeteria ran out.

This food item still remains one of my favorite in memory.

I’ll give you a hint, it’s just as incongruous with chili as pizza is with corn, but they served this item with chili every single time. (You think Prissy griped about pizza day? You should have heard her with this one.)

Go ahead. Take a stab at it. (Get it? Lunch-fork-stab? Ha!)

I’ll give you some time to digest. Ha-Ha! Ha! Ha. ha. um. uh.


Friday, March 14, 2008

The Five Senses experienced just this evening while moonlighting.

Seen: In the cookie aisle, a woman stuck in the 80's. She wore jeans with a waist so high her boobs lopped over the waistband. They had not tapered legs, but peg legs. (Gentlemen, there is a difference) They were acid washed. However they looked brand new. So either she bought ten pair in 1985 to last her the rest of her life or someone has resurrected this look.

Please, God. No.

Smelled: A grocery stocker hosed down in Patchouli. Not a blend or an essence thereof, but pure, straight patchouli.

I hate patchouli.

Heard: On the Muzak, that titular song (tee-hee, I said tit) from 1979 Lead Me On by the incomparable Maxine Nightingale. I had that damn piece of crap stuck in my head all night.

Of course, I knew all the words.

Make it stop!

Felt: While collapsing boxes, a cardboard paper cut. Kinda like a normal paper cut, but worse.

I cursed.

Out loud.

Also Felt: Hugs from my two favorite little girls while they were skipping by the fitting room looking specifically for me.

OK, the cardboard cut of death is feeling better.

Tasted: Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper and a bag of pretzels from the vending machine.

Yum! Dinner of champions

Also tasted: Red wine at midnight after arriving home.

That last taste was my favorite of the five senses this evening.

...the hugs weren't bad either.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rah! Rah! Sis-Boom-Bah!

Big Daddy and I went grocery shopping.

Big Fun!

We rounded the corner and at the end of the laundry soap aisle we saw a man wearing a floor-length raccoon fur coat.

My hand to God.

It’s one of those things you see that you’re not really sure you saw. Big Daddy and I stole a glance at each other out of the corner of our eyes just to make sure that we were indeed seeing the same thing.

We were.

We waited until we passed him and then doubled over with laughter. It was the most ridiculous thing we’d ever seen. BD said, “All he needs is a banner and a megaphone.” He was right! Except for being several years too old to be a traditional student, this guy looked like he’d rolled straight out of 1920’s college football stadium.

Now, granted, there was snow on the ground and it was a tad nippy, but a floor length fur coat?

He wasn’t making a ‘mountain man’ statement either. His hair and beard were trimmed nicely, he wore conservative clothing and there wasn't any chaw nor a possibles bag in sight. I think that’s why his coat looked so danged odd.

We had to detour around the store to make sure we didn’t run into him again. It was too dangerous-who knows where all that uncontrolled laughter could lead? We didn't want it to lead to a fist fight out by the bike rack.

We didn't pass by him again, but we knew when anyone else had.

In the soda aisle we heard, “Did you see that?” and passing through the produce was “Where would you get something like that?”

Wal-Mart was a cheerful place that evening-full of laughing people.

I don’t think the man noticed. He seemed oblivious to any comment and not the least bit self-conscious.


No beard on this one, but it's as close as I could find.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Are We There Yet?

I posted about this topic last summer.

The last couple of days have been disturbing.

I question motives. I question attorneys. I question morality.

I question sanity.

I read about change of venue.

Conversations are rehashed.


Experiences relived.


Tears re-shed.


Emotions are still exhausted 23 years later.

Nobody will rest until this is settled.

…especially Jackie.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Get So Emotional, Baby!

Mom, you’re emo.

Do what?

You know, an emo…an emotional.

How do you figure?

Your music.


Yeah. You have two songs by Death Cab for Cutie on your iPod.


They are very emo. Especially that song “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.”

I happen to think it’s very romantic.

I also found some My Chemical Romance.

That’s a bad sign, huh.

‘fraid so.

Isn’t emo just goth lite?


But I don’t have black shaggy hair and dress all in black or paint my nails black or my lips black or line my eyes in black. And I have been accused of being pale, but I don’t think my skin has reached pasty yet.

It’s not all in the way you look.

Well you know, I do love to sing “Cancer” at the top of my lungs. It’s such a cheerful pick me up on a gloomy day.

I’m very worried you’re going to start cutting, Ma.

Well, it’s like this. You know how I love parades, right?

Uh, yeah?

Well, that My Chemical Romance song “Welcome to the Black Parade” is all about marching bands!


That song. It’s about marching bands.


I take it back.
You’re not emo.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Big's going to state for a third year in a row. For three performances. He's going for his mixed ensemble, his men's ensemble, and his solo.

He rocks!

I got to listen to Big's solo for district competition tonight.

He's good.

Oh, let's get real.

He's freakin' fantastic!

I know he's good. He's been to state twice, so this isn't just blind parental pride.

Here's the thing.

Why do I still literally, not figuratively, gasp with surprised wonder every time he opens his mouth on stage?

I do understand why I am moved to shed those God-awful embarrassing maternal tears.

I don't understand why I'm so awed when I listen to him sing. It's as if I'm hearing him for the first time -each and every time I hear him.

Even after listening to scads of his performances.

After all this time, the new hasn't worn off of listening to him.

...maybe it never will.

Today was...

one of those days.

I kept nodding off at my desk.

I don’t understand.

I went to bed early. I slept well.

I did wake up at one point this morning dreaming I was brushing a strange man’s teeth. Strange as in I didn’t know him. As in a stranger. He could have been strange too I suppose. Most likely he was strange seeings how he was letting me brush his teeth and I am a stranger.

…as in strange.

It was unnerving.

The man in question wore thick black rimmed glasses and his teeth were equine like and grayish. I don’t remember much about it other than I was taking my work very seriously and was concerned at the time how I was going to floss them. I’ve never flossed anyone’s teeth but my own you see and I was a little flustered at the thought.

I woke up gagging a little.

...actually a lot.

That dream led me to this thought.

When I finally make my debut on ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ and James Lipton asks me “What profession other than your own would you NOT like to pursue?”, I’ll know the answer.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Whadaya Think?

I’m saving my pennies.

Well, actually I’m earning extra pennies to pay off a few sundry items.

Then I’m paying for Little’s braces. Which will take a day or two.

So, I’m looking to treat myself come autumn and perchance purchase a laptop.

I know. I know.

Big doin’s.

I’m tired of being blocked to some of my favorite blogs (Including my own. I mean, not that my blog is one of my favorites, but that I can't access it. Oh! You know what I mean.) and blogs I've yet to discover by my company’s firewall.

I’m tired of writing posts on napkins, the backs of old Wal-Mart ads, and toilet paper.

I’m tired of having to sit at home in my kitchen (favorite room in my house though it may be) to watch You Tube.

I’m tired of not being able to Solitaire myself into a stupor or work myself into a Freecell frenzy wherever and whenever the need arises.

Don't even get me started on Bespelled.

I’m tired of not being able to sit in Starbucks and look pretentious whilst sipping a $10 latte and 'working on a spreadsheet' when I’m really reading Perez.

I’m tired of…I'm tired of...

Well that’s all I’m tired of.

I just want one. OK!?

It’s technology.

And to me, it is the be all end all of portable electronic gadgets. (Seeings how I’m not a gamer. Are you terribly disappointed?)

Here’s the dilemma. Other than the fact I am hopelessly behind.

Good God in Heaven which one?

I can’t see the forest for the trees.

I’m slightly overwhelmed, but in a fabulous way. It’s going to be tons of fun shopping. (Or just for you , Eolai, too much fun.)

There is a recommendation center on the Best Buy website that was kinda sexy. It narrowed the choices down based on my needs/wants.

But what about glitches? Which one sounds good in the offering but in reality is a lemon?

Which one looks sophisticated, futuristic and other worldly, but sucks functionally?

Which one answers the call for me to use here at 'The Garment Factory' as well as anywhere else I dang well please?

I need guidance.

whadaya think?