Flies and Frogs


Jack and Sally 11/27/15


“I was just a fly on the wall in that meeting; it was too far over my head,” said Ryan.  He plays softball with me on the company team, so I know that he has a longtime girlfriend.  Between that and the fact that we work together, I try to ignore the fact that he’s a hottie.

“You should work harder to be a frog,” I said.  Before the words came out of my mouth, I meant that he should try to participate in the meeting.  After I said them, though, I realized that I was telling him to eat the flies.  Uh, could that be taken as a sexual innuendo?

Damn it.  I haven’t been sent to HR yet.  All it would take is a little slip of the tongue—frog-eating-fly pun intended.

Picking up on the frog reference, another co-worker flew in with, “If he’s a frog, then you should kiss him and make him a prince.”

Ryan blushed.  And since he has fair skin, his cheeks were a bright red.  And damn it, from the sudden heat in my fair cheeks, I’m sure that I looked similarly sunburnt.

I don’t have much of poker face.

He replied, “Don’t let HR hear you saying that!”

Whew.  He was talking to our coworker, not me.

We laughed it off and went our separate ways.

Speaking of things for which I am thankful…


Thanksgiving was delightful!  I enjoyed a nice, lazy run in the morning (5 miles).  Then I took my time eating breakfast and getting ready.

I’ve discovered the TV show, “Lost Girl.”  It’s a lot like Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files (books), to the extent that I wouldn’t be surprised if Jim were writing for the show.  Except that the Lost Girl has a lot more sex than Dresden.  I’m talking, every episode she has sex, and she switches partners an average of every episode.  I say, “average” because sometimes she stays with the same guy for 2 or more shows.  But then she has a three-some to make up for it.

I watch the show for the plot.

Ya, like some people read Playboy for the articles.

Anywho, Jack and I attended a Thanksgiving feast at Elizabeth and Daniel’s house.  They are the best of friends.  They had taken pains to provide gluten free side dishes for me: steamed green beans, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, and a crustless mini-lemon meringue pie.  Now that’s friendship!

I dropped Jack off at home and went to another friend’s feast.  I nibbled on salad and a small piece of turkey, which was perfect after my huge lunch.  I had told my hostess that I wouldn’t be eating at all, so I made up for it by being helpful: serving pie, clearing the plates, etc.  I’ve discovered that the more helpful you are, the more likely you’ll be invited back.  And just to be sure, I had brought a couple of bottles of wine with me.

Hey, I’m like NASA: I believe in redundant systems.  If one doesn’t work, the other will.

And as an extra back up, I brought the charm.  Who can resist me when I’m being cute?

Reality check: I’m still single.

Damn it.  Good thing I brought wine!

Before and after dinner we played the game, “Code Name.”  One person is the spymaster and he has a team of spies.  He can’t tell us who else is a spy directly, but instead gives us a code word which will lead us to one or more spy.  That is, he/she says a word and number like, “Peter, 3.”  There are cards with words on them, and the spies (team members) look at the random nouns and pick out 3 that connect to Peter somehow.  When I said that clue, I meant for them to pick out Pan, Kid, and Theater.  I had to be careful that they didn’t pick out something unintentional, like “Peanut Butter” or “Penis.”

Ok, neither of those was on the board, but unintended connections can and do happen.

We took turns being spymaster.  I was happy to be part of the team guessing what the clues meant, but I warned them that they didn’t want me as spymaster giving the clues.  My brain makes obscure references.  For example, when the spymaster said the word, “Monster,” I pointed to the “Rabbit” card.  Everyone was confused, until I referenced Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail.

“Bring the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch!” I quoted.

The peeps who hadn’t seen the movie were still confused.  Ya either get it or you don’t.  Like I said, my mind has obscure references.

This became even more apparent when I became spymaster and used the clue, “Q.”  My team looked for Star Trek nouns: Bridge, Space, etc. which connected to the character of Que, who was an omniscient being who liked to make trouble.  Like the Norse god Loki.  There weren’t any cards like the ones that they were search for.  When I said, “Q,” I meant the scientist who made gadgets for Maxwell Smart in the old television show, which was a parody of James Bond.  I was hoping they’d choose “lab,” “scientist,” and “research.”

Ya, no one got that one.  I may be smart, but that doesn’t mean that you want me to hand out clues!  Plus, I was so busy thinking of connections that I neglected to notice that “Peter” led to spies for the other team.  Oops.

I’m super glad that I brought wine!

Thanksgiving Part II

My darling daughter Sally and her girlfriend of two years (!!), Penny, visited from Austin the next day.  I am ALWAYS glad to see my mini-me!  This year, her blue-purple hair matches our Christmas tree.  How many proud mamas can say that?

Um, how many proud mamas want to?

At any rate, we watched Hot Fuzz and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, followed by How I Met Your Mother Thanksgiving episodes.  We decorate the tree and hung stockings on the mantle.  I used to wait for December 1 before decorating, but since Sally drove back to Austin the next day (today, Saturday), I took advantage of her presence.  It feels more like the holidays with her here.  She and Penny decorated my study with silver mesh fabric, too.  The place feels absolutely ready for Christmas now!

When we were making plans for her to come up, she said, “I have three Thanksgiving dinners on Saturday.”

I answered, “I’ll make homemade pizza.”

She said, “Mom, I love you!”

While here, we told Penny funny stories: why I don’t have a tattoo came up, as did the Greek tale of Oedipus Rex.  The last was mentioned on How I Met Your Mother, so I paused the show (at Sally’s behest) to tell the story.  That led, naturally, to one of Sally’s own.

“Mom and I were about to watch this show,” she said, referencing HIMYM, “And Mom said, He’s going to talk about how he met YOUR mom!  Not MY mom, but YO mama!  So I looked at her,” Sally nodded at me for emphasis, “and said, He’s going to tell me how he met YOU?!”  She LAUGHED!  “I had to remind her that I’m her daughter, and she’s my mom!”

True story.  I have so much fun with Sally Ann that she feels more like a friend than family.  I love you, Baby Girl!

Now, go out there and be a frog, not a fly!

Uh, still not the best metaphor.  I mean, go get ‘em!



Jules Rules: A Single Girl Gives Thanks



Strawberry Pie!  By Sally Strawberry, 2011

Let us take time to rejoice that we are single!

  1. I’m thankful that I’m not getting laid on a regular basis. Sex can result in soreness, walking funny, and UTI’s.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
  2. I’m thankful that I’m not getting married. I’ve seen Bridezillas, and I don’t want to become one, no siree!  I’d rather NOT obsess over place cards, the perfect dress, or why some people are so inconsiderate that they won’t return the stupid RSVP cards, which were self-addressed AND stamped for GOODNESS SAKE!!  (Don’t get me started on the seating chart – which uncle is an alcoholic and should be sat furthest from the bar?  Which cousin is mad at which aunt?  And where the hell will we sit Naughty Nadia, that she won’t steal someone’s date?!)
  3. I’m thankful for friends that cook. I was invited to two friends’ homes for turkey.  TWO!!  That means that I buy a couple of bottles of wine, and I don’t have to do a damn thing: no cooking, no cleaning, no dirty dishes!  Seriously, my friends are all like, “No, you’re the guest.  Please, sit.  We’ll do the dishes later.”  And, “We have a ton of food.  Please, just bring yourself!”  SCORE!
  4. I’m thankful for a paid holiday. My company wants to pay me to not work?  Yes, please!
  5. I’m thankful that I don’t have to shop for The Perfect Gift for a boyfriend. “Is it too soon to get him something really nice?  If not, what should I get him?  If he was a girl, I’d just buy jewelry.  A stuffed animal is so junior high.  A nice shirt says that I don’t think his wardrobe is good enough; and what if he hates it?”  Ha ha, none of that drama for me!

But in case you’re curious, I adore earrings for any holiday.  I could use some diamond studs.  And a matching tennis bracelet.  And a necklace would be nice.  Ya know, nothing too expensive.

  1. I’m thankful that I don’t have to juggle time with relatives. One of my coworkers said, “We alternate years.  This year, we’re spending time with my family.  I have five brothers and sisters, and between them, they have 20 kids and step-kids.  My wife and I don’t have kids, so we’re really not used to all the noise and activity.  It’s a little much.”  Uh, ya!  Like, the state fair is just a few rides!
  2. Along that same line, I’m thankful that I don’t have to make small talk with relatives. Seriously, have you tried talking to someone that you only see once a year?!  “Are you still working at that dead end job?  Oh, you were laid off.  Sorry to hear.  Oh, you have a new dead end job, and you hate this one worse?  Oh, sorry to hear that.  I mean, I’m glad you’re employed.  Excuse me, I have to go top off this glass of wine.”  Then I throw back my head and drain the mostly-fully glass.
  3. I’m thankful for time for bubble baths and chick flicks. That is, I’m thankful that I’m not forced to watch action movies in exchange for watching chick flicks.  Although I really enjoyed, “Shoot ‘Em Up.”  OMG, there are some AWESOME quoteables in that film!  “Bring me every lactating whore in this city!”
  4. I’m thankful that I can check out any cute, hot, single men that happen to show up to any soiree I attend. Which is to say, I’m thankful for my over-active imagination.

I am a writer, after all!  It could happen – we see each other across the room, and my friend says, “Have you met my brother, the incredibly talented neurosurgeon?  He’s been single for about a year now, and is ready to get back into the dating scene.  Maybe you could give him some advice.”  And that’s the story we’ll tell at our wedding the following year, around this same time…

Wait, what was the question?

  1. I’m thankful that my friends have plenty of good wine, and aren’t afraid to share it!

Seriously, though, I am thankful that I get to spend time with friends and my two darling children.  We’re going to get together after Thanksgiving and put up the Christmas tree, which is blue with purple lights.  Nothing about my holidays are traditional, I’m happy to say.

I hope that you have the very best holiday, whether it’s with family or without.  Whether it’s with a significant other, or without.  And most of all, I hope your face is sore from smiling, and your stomach is full of good food, at the end of the day.  And may you have a long list of things for which to be thankful!


Gobble Gobble (Bacon!)


A Strawberry Thanksgiving

Zack showed up with flowers in hand. The turkey was on the table, perfectly cooked to a lovely golden brown. He made the stuffing while I threw together the green bean casserole and gravy.

Of course, he whined about having to work. The instructions were, “Boil Water. Add Mix. Stir.” He whined about having to boil water. But he didn’t mean it, so I slapped his butt and told him, “Get to work!”

He answered with a smile and a, “Yes, Dear!”

Seated at the table, we listed our top three blessings.

“You,” Zack said, looking at me. “My health. My job.”

“You,” my son Jack said, looking at me.

Wow. I was overcome by emotion. These two men counted me as their number one. Wow. I truly am blessed!

Jack continued, “The fact that Thanksgiving only comes once a year and that this is my last bite of turkey!”

“There’s always leftovers,” I reminded him.

His shoulders sunk like I had told him that his puppy died. “I really don’t like turkey,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” I said, wondering if I should have cooked something else.

“It’s nothing against you, I just hate the holiday,” he reassured me.

“What’s your top 3?” Zack asked about my blessings.

“My friends and family who are dear to me,” I said, including Zack and Jack in my number one. “My health and job, of course. And the material things that I have, which are much less important but which make my life so much easier, like my wonderful little house.” Silently, to myself, I added God. I figured that the atheist at the table would roll his eyes and the agnostic might feel uncomfortable, so I kept that between me and Jesus.

Per my strict diet, the meal was completely free of gluten, garlic, and soy. This is trickier than it sounds: I had to go to two different grocery stores to find gluten free stuffing. Gluten free (wheat free) cream of mushroom soup is also difficult to find; flour is often used as a thickener. And instead of fried onions, I used crispy bacon. I really think that I like bacon better. Thank you, Sally, for the idea!!  (Chex mix, though good otherwise, sucked in green bean casserole last year.  Fail!)

Like all holidays, the meal was imperfect. The green bean casserole was cold; I hadn’t cooked it long enough. The gravy was a little lumpy. Since I only make it once a year, I don’t get much practice. But everything tasted good and I loved having my guys at my house. And unlike last year, nothing burned!

Last year’s fire wasn’t my fault. Someone didn’t watch the sweet potatoes closely and the marshmallows caught fire—in my brand new toaster oven! It was put out quickly though, and no one was hurt, so it was a minor incident. Still, it was one of those moments when I was torn between taking a picture or helping. I kinda wish that I’d taken a pict.

GTG – we’re going to Elizabeth’s and Daniel’s for pie. (They’re the ones that fixed me up with Billy Ray, remember?)

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you list all your blessings and find your heart as full as mine!