Thursday, December 31, 2009

My 7-year-old wants to be a sniper when he grows up.

I blame it on HALO.

And he got a NERF Tommy Gun for Christmas.

So my soon-to-be-ex-husband set up targets for him to shoot at outside.

Paper Christmas cups.

Does everyone's sons shoot guns on Christmas?

And heaven help us, the older son got a semi-automatic.

I don't know whether to run for the hills or just coat the house in velcro.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Muletas on Karakorum & Why the Dictionary rocks our house.

Around the holidays, when large groups of family are gathered, we play a game that we call "Dictionary."

All you need it a dictionary, pencils & paper.

We tear the paper into little squares and pass them out to everyone along with the pencils.
And then the fun begins.

Whoever goes first opens the dictionary...and picks out a word that they think no one knows.
Then everyone writes down what they think the word means...on their squares of paper.
The paper is then gathered and the person reads out all the defintions.
We all try to guess who wrote which one...and then we find out the real definition.
The person who was the closest gets to choose the next word.
It's so much fun.

Someone in my family choose the word "Karakorum."  [kahr-uh-kawr-uhm]
Here are some of the guesses:

- a distilled spirit made from yak milk and carrots - burned in volcanic ash for 10 years before drinking.   Popular in Papa New Guinea.

- a gathering of cars sufficient to vote.

- a tropical fruit that tastes like burned toast.

- a ruined city in central Mongolian People's Republic.

- an ancient tirual involving, among other things, decor of carrots and steamed beets.

- the sound a green beetle makes when someone steps on it.

- a very rare liquor found deep in the karakangaroos' veins.

Another family member choose the word "Muleta" [moo-ley-tuh] and here are the definitions:

- a mule that "et" too much.

- a tie that is made of cow skin found in Africa.

- a red cloth on a stick used by a matador

- slang for "meet ya later" used by gangsta munchkins.

- an east African bread, commonly served with fried sandfly soup and cinnamon green sauce.

- a social afternoon party gathering of mules where tea is served.

- a big glob of mucus stuck together.

- a little boy mule after the Big Surgery!

This game will make you wonder who your family really is!

Can you guess the REAL definitions of Muleta & Karakorum?!!
(without cheating!)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Toy Joy

On Christmas Eve, in Austin, Texas, I ended up at Toy Joy
with my two sons and my soon-to-be-ex-husband.

We let Donny & Remy buy their Christmas gifts for each other.
which is an interesting experience, to say the least.

Toy Joy is an amazing store.
I've never been anywhere quite like it.


Every inch of the store is filled...
with musical instruments you can play with your nose,
collectibles, wind up toys, stuffed animals, Japanese toys, disguises, balls of every kind.

Fake ice cubes.
rubber insects.
blow up aliens.

They  hang toys from their ceilings as well...

Disco balls,
stuffed animals,
Japanese lanterns...

It takes hours just to see a tiny corner of this store.

You could get lost for days exploring every inch.

It's the best novely toy store ever.

They had robots on their Christmas tree!!

I'll have to show you what the boys picked out for each other in another post.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Greyhound Bus Travel - LIVE

I decided to save money and take the Greyhound bus to Austin and back for Christmas.
It was either a $68 bus ticket, $100 gas for my own car (plus wear & tear), or a $148 plane ticket.

Having never traveled through Texas by bus, I decided this was too good a blogable adventure opportunity to pass up!

So, I told friends and family that I was going to text them by phone LIVE my adventure.

and about 9 people were interested (my mom, two sisters, my 12 yr old and a few friends)

Here are my texts from the beginning of my journey, north of Dallas, all the way to Austin.


 - On bus now & driver was surprised I had a ticket. Apparently most people dont.


- I have two seats to myself but something smells funny and I dont see seatbelts.


- looks like we are stopping in Richardson and that wasnt on the itinerary. crap wonder how many other stops we have.


- I had to enlist the help of my neighbors to figure out how to adjust my seat.

- should I be worried the driver sits in a bullet proof booth?!


- if anything goes down, i am jumping in there with him.


- in big bus station in dallas now to transfer buses. station packed but has gift shop cafe and potties and an arcade.


- i want to take picutres but fear being mobbed.

(at this point, one of my sisters recommend I not use the toilets on the bus and not to make eye contact.  And a friend told me to take secret photos with my camera phone, which I did, but have no idea how to get those to this blog.)


- my arcade choices are house of dead, mrs pacman and cruisin exotica.

(my 12 yr old son texted me back saying "pacman" thank goodness)


- now in line to get on next least i think its the right line.


-an asian girl in line behind me told everyone this was her first bus ever.  newbie.


- hope the himalayan salt lamp in my suitcase isnt broken yet.


- driver just told us that there is no smoking on the bus and that the bathroom is part of the bus.  duh


- this bus sounds like it is passing gas every 5 sec and i am not kidding its every 5 secs i timed it.


- crap where are we stopping now?! oh, dallas south station.


- passenger behind me is snoring...that may be me in about an hour.


- update on annoying noise every 5 sec: i figured it out its the bus windshield wipers!


- made it to waco! nice station here with clean bathroom and the snow has followed me


- finally made it to austin

To sum things up...bus travel was OK.  It was nice not to worry about traffic, and I was able to read, listen to my iPod, nap and text up a storm...but it has some disadvantages.

Half the time it wasn't clear which bus I was supposed to be on.
A lot of time was spent waiting.
But it was an interesting experience.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I have a very vivid imagination.
My dreams are bursting with color and action and weirdness.

(Remember the ghost mermaid dream?  Or the God frogs?)

I was at Third Monday Trade Days recently and saw this carving out of tree fungus.

I can't decide if he's good or bad.
Surprised or angry.

But, he's ingrained in my memory now,
and it occurred so instantaneously that I knew the moment I saw him I had to take his photo.

I'm searching for a good name for him.
I didn't buy him, but he needs a name.
He just does.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I have a strong desire to go build a school in Pakistan

I've had a weird Christmas holiday.
I let my boys go to Austin for two weeks, since they were out of school,
and I had to work,
and they wanted to spend time with their dad.

But, I still wanted to see them for Christmas Day.
So, the day before Christmas, I rode the Greyhound Bus down to Austin
to spend less then 48 hours with my boys, staying at my-almost-ex-inlaws' home.

It was weird.

No one was rude or inhospitable.
But things were definitely different.
No matter how uncomfortable I was, I'm glad I went to be with my children.
That was most important.

And while traveling (I have a post coming up tomorrow about my bus experience) the five hours there and six hours back, I read a book called Three Cups of Tea.

And now I want to run off to Pakistan and help build schools.

Because the chlidren there are the true casualties of all this fighting and war.
And they deserve an education.
So that there can be change.

What I've read has inspired me.

Greg Mortenson, someone with very little money, made a HUGE difference.
and continues to do so.

And to me, that is motivational.

The True Meaning of Life.

Giving what you can.

So, while I am in a difficult time in my life.
Going through a divorce,
living with my parents again,
trying to figure out how to make it on my own,
while raising two boys...
there is so much worse out there in the world.
and I need to remember that.
And be thankful for what I do have.
I need to find my path.

Figure out what I need to do to find purpose in life.

So, really, I think I spent my Christmas in Pakistan.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holding Santa Hostage

I have a brilliant idea for a Christmas card.

It would have a photo of my boys holding Santa at Nerf gunpoint...
and the inside of the card would spell out a "Merry Christmas"  hostage message in cut out letters...

and somehow, I'd have to include aliens. 
Or blame it on aliens. 
Or prove Santa was an alien.

Cause that's how I roll.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Frackets: A New Level of Cheap & Tawdry

While listening to NPR this weekend, I learned a new word:


Want to guess what it means?


Here's the definition from the Urban Dictionary:

A jacket you wear to frats because you don't mind if at the end of the night, it is covered in beer, frat sludge, or other unidentifiable liquids. Also, it is not a big deal if this jacket is lost during or stolen during the course of the night.
Person 1: Ah, I made the mistake of bringing my J.Crew pea coat out last night and now its covered in beer!

Person 2: You should have brought your fracket instead!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cows kind of look like Aliens

I was driving down a country road today
and had to pull over when I spotted a large group of cows.

No one suspects cows of anything.
They're so big and sweet and innocent.

They could be plotting terrorism for all I know.

One of them decided to come check me out...

Look at this bizarre hump on it's back.
What's its purpose?

I think I know...

And look at these ears!

Why do cows need such large ears?

Radar detection?
flying capability?

And then I saw the tongue.

It was the tongue that sealed the deal.

Anything with a tongue like that...has to be alien!!

I'm on to you, ALIENS!

I'm keeping an eye on them.

Grab a camera and a critter and join Camera Critters!

Camera Critters

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I think my mom's cat is really a Mexican Lucha Libre wrestler in disguise

I've mentioned King Kachi before.
He's my mom's cat who has 90 lb dogs terrified of him.

He drinks water with his paw...and freaks out if he can see the bottom of his food bowl.

Well, now I know his secret.

He's a Mexican Lucha Libre wrestler!!

El Gato Loco!!

He pulled a move the other night and practically took down my 90 lbs. dog.

He stood on his hind legs, wrapped his front paws around my sweet Annie's neck and pulled.

It was impressive.

I tried really hard to catch it on camera, but failed.

But here is the stare off right before he went all freaky on the dog.

And then he took out...the newspaper in one hell of a feroucious move.