Archive for January, 2008

It’s so… Fabuloso!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Pardon my language, but I fucking love our cleaning lady.  Not in a “I-want-to-jump-your-bones” kind of a way… but more of a “promise-me-you’ll-never-leave-me”kind of way.  Her name is Rosario and she is the only woman for me.  Not just because she does all the crap around the house I don’t want to do (however, that is key), but because she cleans with the sweetest smelling nectar my nostrils have ever inhaled (and that’s a LOT, my friends).  She cleans with some stuff called Fabuloso and it’s like purple Heaven in a bottle.  No, make that purple Heaven… wrapped in kisses… dipped in hugs.  I think there are even other “flavors” or colors - but I don’t care.  It’s all. About. The purple!  I’ve never smelled the other colors - and I have to admit, I’m a little scared to.  Especially given the intoxicating rush the purple washes over me.  I mean, I might explode if I ever came to know anything could smell any better.  I just don’t think I could handle it.  I love to walk downstairs after she’s been mopping and cleaning and smell that sweet, sweet, smell.  The smell of clean.  At least, in my mind that’s what clean smells like.  After all, that’s what I’m paying for, right?  Clean.  In fact, maybe that’s what I love more.  It’s not that the purple smells so great (though, it does)… but that it’s clean and I didn’t have to do it.  Now, that’s what I call happiness, ladies and gentlemen. 

Hell, I think we can change the world here today.  Can I get an Amen?  In the very least, we can definitely change everyone’s attitudes and quality of life.  All with one sniff.  You all need to run right out and get your own Rosario - and insist she cleans absolutely everything with Fabuloso (but only the purple).  Treat yourself right.  You deserve it.  Trust me, after you hit 30 years old - cleaning without a Rosario of your very own is just stupid.  

Imagine my surprise

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

A few days ago I popped by my doctor’s office to have a yearly check-up… new blood work done, etc.  As we’re going over the past year’s going-ons, I happen to glance down and notice the date on my watch.  January 5.  “Huh!”, I say, sort of out loud, and in mid-sentence.  Of course, this gets a curious look from my doctor and pretty much prompts an explanation.  It had been seven months to the day that I had stopped smoking.  Now, HOW did THAT happen?  Purely by chance - I can assure you.  It’s kind of funny… but it’s something I don’t even think about now and haven’t been keeping track of. 

However, in going over my year’s history - I explained how on June 5th, my appendix ruptured while I was in LA on business and that’s what caused me to quit smoking.  Not that I was particularly happy about quitting, at the time.  However, when you’re near-dead and practically immobile in the hospital for days on end - they don’t exactly wheel you outside for smoke breaks.  I had been looking for a reason to quit for a while, so this was a God-send that worked out perfectly!  My sign.  My reason.  By the time I was released and allowed to fly back home, I figured I was already five days into “clean lungs”, so I might as well ride the wave. 

For some of you, the fact that I smoked might be big news, too… but yes, I started smoking again.  Kill me, alright? After a few years of living the “clean life in Los Angeles and not smoking - it’s off and on with me - I moved back to Texas and started back.  After my move, I figured I no longer lived in LA and had to weigh in every dayreport to Vodka 101 or go to a minimum of two spin classes a day so I had a lot of extra time on my hands for another bad vice or two.  So, since I already drink in the afternoons… smoking sure seemed like the easy choice, so it won hands-down!  It was easy, really - like riding a bike.  Perhaps that’s the problem? 

However, here I am… more than seven months after quitting - and still no smoking.  No pills, no gum, no patches… and no smoking.  I just quit.  Sure, I’ve quit before… but this time it’ll stick.  It was time - and I was ready.  I just needed a sign and that was it.  I mean, I’m getting older and with all the genetic bullets I’m dodging… I need all the good health on my side I can get! 

PG-13 (and that might even be pushing it)

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

You know you are care- (and child-) free when you speak out-of-turn in front of children, not thinking.  You know… fuck, goddammit, hell - that kind of shit.  See… there I go again.  However, children are like mini tape recorders, but with cute blond, curly hair and a Gap t-shirt.  Yep, all cute and sweet and just waiting to embarrass the hell out of you when you least expect it.  Sure… it’s kind of funny - until you’re the one who gets busted. 

So, there I was… walking through the grocery store on my cell phone and, really, completely oblivious that the mini tape recorders are all around me.  Sure - I know they’re there, but you forget their little tricks.  My nieces and nephews are older now, so I kind of forget how honed in they are on everything and everyone around them.  Eavesdropping - like a well-hidden wire, planted by the best Private Detective a Highland Park housewife can buy. 

Me:  “Oh, we didn’t do much last night.  We just went over to J&K’s place to hang out while they packed for their big move to LA.  I had a drink or two (or four) and before I knew it - I was so DRUNK!” 

Mini-Recorder (practically screaming):  “MOMMA, WHAT’S DRUNK?!  HEY!  HEY, MOMMA!?  MOMMA!?  MOMMA, WHAT’S DRUNK?!”  

Mother:  *shooting me a hateful look that could wither a pine tree* 

Nice.  That’s me folks… proudly ruining innocent childhoods since 1973. 

Hair today - gone tomorrow…

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Speaking of the Hillbilly Hair Butchers, (see previous entry) my sister was formerly a victim of that  trap.  However, with my sister rolling into 2008 and quickly approaching her Big 4-0, she took stock of her life (and hair) in a very ‘Bridget Jones’ kind of a way and decided to make some drastic changes.  In fact, she made a list (see below)

#1 - Must get divorce (and trust me folks, this one has been a long, LONG time coming - and was my personal Christmas wish for 2007).  

#2 - Must lose weight (okay who doesn’t start the year off with this one?). 

#3 - Must get new ‘do to match my new attitude (love this one and wish I could do the same). 

So, by January 4th the sister has already filed for divorce (on the grounds of Abandonment from her estranged, deadbeat husband), joined Curves gym for women (and has already lost 11 pounds) and, finally, took my sister-in-law up on her offer to book her an appointment with her gay hairstylist, Mack, in “the city”.  Talk about a Christmas miracle! 

She just emailed me a picture of her great new little stylish cut and color and I must say, it matches her sassy 2008 mantra:  It’s all about ME!  It’s great - AND it makes her look at least ten years younger… and thinner.  It’s been a long time coming and I love watching her spirit ramping up.  After all - her Big 4-0 is just around the corner... and she’s going to need all the spunk she can save up.     

Red Sauce that ROCKS!

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

A friend recently had a few of us over for dinner and it was incredible!  As in, we all scarfed down our patsa and then dove back into the loaf of bread so we could sop up the rest of the sauce.  Of course, I’d love to pass it off as my own, but the props go out to Alex - and thanks again for having us over for dinner.  We had a great time - and love your place!  

Here’s her recipe… and keep in mind it makes a lot, so put the leftover sauce in small bags and freeze it (taking out a bag when you want it). 

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 cup chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
10-12 sliced fresh basil leaves
2 cans whole tomatoes (28 oz)
2 cans tomato sauce (29 oz)
Salt and pepper to taste
-In saucepan, add olive oil and onions - cook until onions are transparent, but do not brown.
-Add garlic, parsley and basil, stir.
-Add whole tomatoes, chopped or pulsed in a processor (I like to add them whole into the sauce and use a hand blender that you can disperse into the sauce to chop them up - leaving some small pieces) and tomato sauce.
-Bring all to a simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes, until slightly thickened.
-Add salt and pepper to taste.
-At this point, you can add browned meatballs or pork, ribs, chicken, or sausage.  Make sure all meat is browned first and increase the cooking time to 1 hr.

Hillbilly Hair Butchers

Friday, January 4th, 2008

My sister has had the same version of haircut since 1986.  Awww… and 86 was a great year, wasn’t it?  You know I’m right.  And after all, the sister was Prom Queen on that big night (and her hair proved it).  Big.  The 80’s were the years of big hair, poofy bangs and highlights.  It was everywhere - and it was a great time.  Now, how my sister got stuck in it, I’m still not sure.  I don’t think she even knows.  And how this happens to a woman with a (worldly, sophisticated, and did I mention handsome?) gay brother… I really don’t know.  Oh sure, I’ve tried staging an “Intervention” or two in the past, but nothing worked, so I gave up.  I mean, I can only make her cry about her hair SO many times before I start to feel bad. 

I guess it’s pretty typical of small town women, really.  Small towns aren’t exactly the Mecca of the fashion world and, let’s face it, most don’t even have the benefit of a gay hairstylist… so these women are screwed.  Left to their own devices of hair magazines and friends who decide to go to hair school.  Not a pretty combination.  No, I don’t mean Jose Eber Hair Training Salon - I mean, the County Beauty College (and I’m using the word “college” REALLY loosely here). 

These are the women I call - Hillbilly Hair Butchers.  God love ‘em, they try.  They do.  I REALLY think they do.  They want to do good work and make women look amazing and I’m sure some do just that.  However, I think the Hillbilly Hair Butchers are guilty of simply giving the same cut and colors their clients keep asking for time after time, year after year.  Most women want to maintain the same look they’ve had for decades.  You know… since that time in their life when they felt they looked the most beautiful - and were the most happy.  They try to hold onto or recapture that time - that feeling of happiness, beauty and youth.  Now, let’s tell the truth… if none of us ever had to change anything, we probably wouldn’t.  Change isn’t easy… and the unknown can be scary, but NOTHING dates women faster than tired hair, old clothes or out-of-vogue make-up.  Nothing!  Making them look much older (and much less stylish). 

Us men have it easy - I’ll be the first to admit it… and I love it.  For example, I’m practically bald and have been since I was 22, so I buzzed my hair right out of college.  A no-brainer there.  Men’s clothes and shoes are a lot less complicated and, surprise… no make-up.  Any man can walk into a Gap anywhere in the world and be pretty sure he’s not going to walk out looking like an idiot.  Piece of cake! 

The mauling of Christmas decor…

Friday, January 4th, 2008

img_1507.JPGLast month, we celebrated our two dogs birthdays - yes, we’re that lame. I can’t believe Nash is now three and our sweet little Knox (pictured above) isn’t a baby anymore - in December he turned one. Of course, this past year hasn’t been without it’s new puppy hiccups. Nash is never an issue - but with Knox comes a little puppy fun. For example, this year Knoxy seemed to have a fascination with the Christmas Tree Shirt. Actually, more like EATING the CTS! But then again, he’s so cute it’s tough to stay mad at him for very long. Don’t get me wronghe still got a time-out, but I was laughing while putting him in it.

Initially, there were three incidents of Knox abusing said Christmas Tree Skirt while we were out (and considering he only “graduated” to being left out when we’re gone within the last month - and not being crated, that’s a lot). Clearly, he was not quite ready for free-run of the house - like his big brother, Nashville - while we weren’t home and this well-laid out plan needed a little work. PAROLE DENIED!

So, a few weeks ago instead of crating Knox when we left we started putting him in the kitchen with a baby gate closing him in (expanding his space of trust). The little genius somehow figured out how to jump OVER it. Yeah… how he scaled it with those short, stubby little legs I’ve no idea. Go figure. I mean, is he a fucking pole vaulter, or something? Amazing. However, I must say he is quite skilled with his legs. I mean, how often do you see an 11-pound Shih-Tzu trying like the devil to mount your neighbor’s Rotweiller? He does deserve good marks for trying - and initiative is key.

Early one morning, just before Christmas, I ran to the gym - once again I tired leaving Knox gated in the kitchen, this time raising the baby gate just a little (where he couldn’t fit under it, but also couldn’t clear it by jumping either). As it happened, it was Knoxy’s 1st birthday - and he must have wished for strong, spring-like legs, becasue once again, I came home to an abandoned kitchen. That was the the first sign of trouble and I knew something was up. Houdini had escaped his prison again, but the question now - what was the damage?

Usually both dogs are in a dead sleep when we return, leaving our home an easy target for even the most inept burglar. However, that morning I was quickly greeted by Knoxville with a very sweet and innocent look on his face, greeting me to tell a story… as if to say, “It TOTALLY wasn’t me, Daddy… but I think I saw Nash over there near the tree earlier - but, now, I’m not sure. Please, go easy on him!“… *feverishly wagging his tail - his big pink tongue panting, sweetly* Mind you, all of the while white fuzz is hanging from Knox’s mouth and black beard, clearly the incriminating evidence leftover from the mauled white, fuzzy balls of fringe from the edge of the now tragic CTS in question. FUNNY! I wish I had a picture of him just wagging his tail like he was just so good and we should be so proud of him - like nothing happened (with all that white fuzz hanging from his mouth).

It was too funny for me to put him in time-out, so I decided to let it slide. After all, it was his birthday. So Happy Birthday Knoxville - that was your free pass! And the moral of the story is - don’t spend a lot of money on a Christmas Tree Skirt.