One. Funny. Broad.
I took it as no coincidence that I received the annual Victoria’s Secret swimsuit catalog around the time I began whining about turning 49.
Flipping through it, I was reminded that I’m not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. And by Kansas I mean a two-piece, and by Dorothy I mean myself.
It’s further proof that God has both a sense of humor and a passive-aggressive way of telling me to get in shape.
So, I got me a Hip Hop Abs video series last week, hoping to get abs that are, at the very least, “hop”.
There’s nothing like waiting until the last minute to dismantle the layer of fat I’ve spent 10 years collecting, but I look ridiculously hip doing it.
So hip, in fact, that my sweet husband has no idea I have the video because I refuse to exercise like that in front of anyone, including the one who has seen me in action while I spastically tried to get away from a wasp. Same difference, actually.
The whole point of the videos, I now believe after doing one 30 minute session, is to make people move in a way that would displease their grandmother or get them thrown into Turkish prison. Either way, you look like you're humping an invisible dog most of the time.
But because I want abs that look more hip hop than hokey pokey, I waited until the Bobby had left for work on Friday and I had the house all to myself. Well, all to myself plus two dogs.
I knew from a while back while I was doing yoga, that they would try to save me from exercise by licking me awake. But I figured all of my amazing hip hop moves would scare them and they would end up on the bed and under the coffee table, which are their current coping mechanisms.
They didn’t do that. They were pretty sure I was having a seizure and they were having none of it. One dog ran around me, very nervous about the situation, and the other tried to restrain me. I think they wanted in on the humping the invisible dog thing.
What the hell, man?!?
I finally stopped 20 minutes into it – covered in sweat and dog slobber – and gave them a biscuit and me a pint of ice cream.
After I came down from my Hip Hop Abs high, I realized I don’t need a bikini, I need a dog training bite suit. It covers more and cost less, and it’s very forgiving of the Ben & Jerry’s.
When you turn 49 years young, a lot of really weird stuff happens.
The first thing that happens is people start to actually say you are “49 years young,” which really means you have reached an age that doesn’t include shopping sprees at Victoria’s Secret.
The next thing that happens is people start delivering things to your office that only exist in horrible old movies and your nightmares.
Well, guess what? I’m 49 years young and I’m now sharing my office space with life-size full-color cutout of a flying monkey, compliments of two friends who seem to have forgotten they will have another birthday.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but “The Wizard of Oz”, in my humble, yellow-bellied opinion, is the worst movie of all time, due in part to flying monkeys.
The only thing more horrifying than receiving a flying monkey for your 49th birthday is having pictures taken of your reaction.
And pictures were taken because my two former friends and flying monkey delivery masterminds, Sherree’ and Julia, requested them since they couldn’t be there to watch me wet my pants when I saw him.
I’m going to keep this post short – mostly because my hands are still shaking – and share a couple of pictures.
When I first saw the little guy:
Two words: jazz hands. And not the excited ones.
My second look at the little guy:
Shoving curse words back in my mouth.
And the obligatory “thank you” shot:
Thank you. I’m going to dress him in Victoria’s Secret.
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It’s been an interesting week, y’all, underscored by attending and covering a Greg Abbott/Ted Nugent gubernatorial campaign stop at the 8th Street Coffee House in Wichita Falls.
My sister, Kim, and her daughter, Jeni, own what I like to call “the best coffee shop on the planet,” so when Greg Abbott’s people asked to use their business for the stop, I thought it was terrific. And I would feel the same if Wendy Davis’ camp had wanted to stump there.
To have a candidate for Texas Governor come to your small, growing business is a big deal and I’m proud they got that opportunity.
At close to the last minute, it was announced that Ted Nugent would be hitting the trail with Abbott, and my first thought was “Cat Scratch Fever.” I can’t help it if I’m a child from the 70’s.
I actually – due to that one iconic thing – wanted to have my picture made with a man who wears a soul patch and a camo hat and Crocs.
Photo by Abbie Scott, Tightshot Photography
I purposely didn’t look up anything on Nugent prior to going, because I wanted to have an open mind on him and Abbott.
Since I am positive you aren’t interested in my stand on political issues, I’m going to give you short version of how it went.
Ted Nugent had the same effect on me that a man wearing an evil clown mask has on a two-year-old. There was a lot of yelling (some people would call that passion), blanket statements (some would call that efficiently covering political ground), and what I would call self-agrandizement.
It left me feeling like I was having something shoved down my throat by force, while wondering what thought process the Abbott team used when they asked Nugent to join them.
Speaking privately with Nugent later did nothing to change my mind.
On the other hand, I found Abbott to be a genuinely nice man, and not in that politician-like way. Being in a newspaper family, I’ve met more than my fair share of politicians, and found many of them to have a very low sincerity level.
I liken Abbott speaking following Nugent to what it feels like to be bombed, then watch with relief as the Red Cross approaches.
With that said, I am still undecided who I will vote for in the race and have lots of studying to do. And close to no one will know who I decide is best.
The biggest lesson in all of this is to have respect. And I mean respect of candidates and ideologies of other people, regardless of whether or not you agree with them. I think that is still possible even in the political climate we live in. It should be.
I chose not to have my picture made with the legend of Cat Scratch Fever. Instead I photobombed him while he was being interviewed by KAUZ-6.
I think that makes me a conscientious objector.
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I was going to write a short blog this week, asking a simple question:
Who are the top five ice skaters of all time as listed by men?
I got that far and thought, ‘Whew, I’m spent . . . my blog is finished.’
Then I decided to include my completely uninterested husband in my Olympic Fever, and this blog grew wings.
I’ve been watching the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi since the opening ceremony, when myself and hundreds of other Twitter enthusiasts dubbed Team USA’s opening outfits “suitable for an ugly Christmas sweater party.”
Bobby, who does not share my enthusiasm for Olympic sports, was in the other room watching something equally as riveting, probably Bonanza or Gunsmoke – shows I’m pretty sure he watches so he can be alone.
And it works.
Still, I felt the need to report the ugly sweater faux paux to him and was greeted with a less-than-horrified response. I blamed it on Matt Dillon-induced testosterone poisoning.
I watched the Olympics all weekend long mostly focusing on ice skating, which I have since come to realize is a sport (yes, it’s a sport) men love to hate.
In fact I would go so far as to say that men and ice skating are the oil and water of the sports world.
Bobby pretty much ignored the ice skating until he could take it no longer – with “it” being my need to keep him current on how Team USA is doing on the ice.
Our last official Olympic communication Tuesday night underscores that point.
It came when I gave the Bobby an update on Olympic pair ice skating, and got the same reaction as I would have had I lit a stink bomb in the living room.
“Why are you giving me all this useless information?” he asked, in all seriousness.
“Because I just think you should know that the U.S. is suckin’ it up in the pair figure skating short program,” I answered, with one eye on the Russian pair who, in case you care, performed flawlessly with a hint of anger.
“You shouldn’t tell me those things because I don’t care. I really don’t care.”
For the record, I believe him.
I, the meanwhile, I found this YouTube video that adds a little fun to the sport and is added proof that I will never grow up.
It should help you enjoy the Sochi Olympics, even if you're a dude.
In the last few hours, I have gotten emails offering medicine to enhance body parts I don’t even have; offers from women named Michelle, Lily and Adriana who want to make my life less lonely; and a promise from a woman at an unspecified location that she would like to give me “$11.5-million US dollares” since she’s dying and I am obviously a good person.
If you, too, get spam emails like this you should be aware they could be coming from a refrigerator.
I know this because I read a news report this week that said so. And this is shocking news because as we all know, refrigerators don’t have thumbs.
Apparently, some iceboxes – “smart refrigerators” is what they’re called – are computerized now, and as such can be hacked by jackasses, making your cheese an accessory to a crime.
I wouldn’t so much mind if my fridge sent me emails as long as they are productive, like “ Congratulations! The produce you bought when you were on a health kick last month is ready to be recycled into penicillin!” That would totally work for me.
But that’s not what they’re sending. They’re sending stuff that makes your computer need cyber-penicillin.
And as a public service I’m going to be serious for a moment and let you know that cyberattacks of this sort aren’t just relegated to laptops, and um, refrigerators.
A cyberattack that involved the hacking of “smart” home appliances connected to the internet sent out more than 750,000 malicious emails between Dec. 23 and Jan. 6, according to the security firm Proofpoint. “Hackers broke into more than 100,000 gadgets, including TV’s, multimedia centers, routers, and at least one fridge” (not mine!), a news story said.
So, those of you with all of these smart appliances should make sure they’re set up correctly, and asked not to use the default passwords.
There, I have done my job and can sleep tonight knowing that your fridge won’t tag you with the alter ego of Michelle, Lily or Adriana.
My refrigerator is currently unable to send emails, as it isn’t even smart enough to make ice go through the door. Someday, though, I hope to have an internet relationship with it.
Someday we will look back on this and laugh.
Until someday comes, we will mourn the loss of a $2,000 towel while sitting in awe of the ordinary household items that didn’t kill our dog.
I write about Erma, our Weimaraner-Piranha mix, when she destroys something of value, which is often. If you’ve kept up with her through this column, you’ll know she has eaten and/or destroyed credit cards, actual cash money, paper towels, ink pens, socks, houseshoes, coat cuffs and the entire arm of a couch. And that’s just in the last six months.
She ate all of these things with seemingly little effect on her, physically. And then she ate part of a beach towel – a red beach towel – one string at a time.
The towel, though. The towel kicked her butt.
We woke up last Saturday morning at the unheard of hour of 5:00 to the sound of Erma throwing up. I think we can all agree that is the worst possible noise to wake up to.
After many minutes on my hands and knees with a fat can of carpet cleaner, a scrub brush and a roll of paper towels, I fed Erma some canned pumpkin, which is what I give her for ‘south end’ issues, so to speak.
It worked, and I put her back in her kennel.
It worked for 15 minutes, actually, because that’s how long it took her to wake me up again with the same wretching noise that woke me up earlier.
Only this time, the pup-chuck was orange and had wads of red string in it that I incorrectly identified as ‘an organ of some sort” or “stewed tomatoes”.
There is no hurrying a puking dog from her kennel to the back door, and now our taupe carpet looks like a pumpkin stain patch.
Erma, while getting her butt kicked by a towel.
We took her to the vet, where X-rays showed no blockage, and we went home with the special $2 a can food for dogs with stomach issues, which she promptly threw up all day.
She finally stopped being sick around 7 o’clock Saturday night, which was good because I had used two rolls of paper towels and an entire can of Resolve Carpet Cleaner.
The fun began again at 4 a.m. Sunday, but instead of stewed tomatoes she just had tiny bits of red string that I somewhat incorrectly identified as “what is left of the beach towel.”
Another trip to the vet, three X-rays, a sonogram of her gut and an overnight stay later, it became apparent to me Monday that Erma had become a cliche – she was sick as a dog. They ended up doing surgery, and removed towel strings from her stomach to her lower intestine.
And that was the most expensive beach towel I have ever thrown in the trash.
I may be making light of it now, but at the time I cried like a small child.
Erma, one day post-surgery. Three days after this she tried to eat another towel.
She is fine now and laying under my desk as I type this, unaware that she alone elevated the value of an eight-year-old beach towel to that of the Louis Vuitton purse I will never own.
My final thought for those of you wondering: That which does not kill you might not make you smarter. Erma would still eat a towel in a heartbeat.