Southern Hospitality

 

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Drunk Jules went shoppin’ at Billy Bob’s Texas on Saturday night.  That’s a whip in the middle.  Why she thought I needed a whip, I don’t know!  

 

“Bless his heart!” is a Southern phrase used to mean everything from:

  • If he were any stupider, he’d be a stump.
    • Also known as, “When God was handing out brains, he was at the back of the line.”
  • If she were any uglier, little children would run screaming.
    • Also known as, “She was beaten with the Ugly Stick.”

When Southerners are little boys and girls, we learn the more direct insults.  But then our parents beat us to within an inch of our lives with a hickory stick (not literally, that’s another idiomatic phrase), and we learn to be more respectful.  Some of us take longer than others to learn the lesson, and have more bruises on our behinds to prove it, but most of us eventually learn that we can say, “Bless his heart!” without any painful side effects.

Why are Southerners more likely to likely to greet you when walking past?

I’ve been in California for 3 months now, and I am appalled when I walk down the hall at work.  My coworkers avert their eyes, as though they must—MUST—not acknowledge my presence.  At first, I thought maybe the company had gone a little overboard with Sexual Harassment Training.  After all, a good way to avoid getting trouble with a female coworker, is to not look at her.  But then I realized that even the ladies would look right past me.  This happens on the streets, too.  Hmmm, must not be the training; it appears to be a cultural behavior.

I mentioned this to one of my female coworkers, who always smiles a big smile and makes eye contact when she sees me coming.  She moved from Dallas about two years ago; she’s good people.

“My theory is population density,” she wisely informed me.  “See, in the South, people are more spread out, and there are smaller towns.  So the people that you pass by, you see all the time, and there’s a small number of people in that group.  Conversely, in a large city such as San Diego, there are a LOT more people.  Therefore, it’s more difficult to greet everyone and to know everyone.  If you tried to say hi to everyone, you’d never get anything done!  You’d spend all day making small talk.”

AH!  That makes sense!  The small town in Louisiana where I attend middle school and my first two years of high school was Sulphur, Louisiana.   At the time, Sulphur had a population of 20,000 people.  While I didn’t know everyone (obviously), I saw the same people at church, school, and around the neighborhood.  Plus, contrast that with the 1.4 million people in San Diego.  That’s .02 versus 1.4 million.  Sulphur had less than 1.5% of the current population of San Diego.  Yep, that’s a BIG difference!

Another way of looking at this is, imagine you live in that small town.  You have a fight with Millie, the baker’s daughter.  At church, your mom says, “How come you ain’t sayin’ hi to Millie like’n you usually do?”

You can blow her off by asking, “What’s for lunch, Momma?” But it’s your Momma; she’s going to find out eventually.

“Daryl told Emma Jean who told Bobbi Jo who told Elvin that you crossed the street to avoid her on Friday after school,” your sister will not-so-helpfully offer.

Brother chimes in (because this is the South and we believe in having large families), “She gave you the Evil Eye when you wurtn lookin’, too.”

Then your other sister will add, “I heard from Kelvin who said that Millie stole your beau.”

And if you manage to wiggle out of that conversation, you’ll see Millie at school the next day.  And at the grocery store.  And at the church picnic.  It’ll get to the point that it’s either the Hatfield and McCoys (i.e. a blood feud that lasts generations and involves a few gun fights), or you make the peace.

Face it, making the peace is easier.  So you may end up making a statement like this, “Millie, I’m sorry that I blew spit wads at you in class after you talked to Jimmy.  Even though I had my eye on him, I had no true claim—I mean, I didn’t brand him like a cow or anything—so let’s just be friends, ok?  Momma made some peach cobbler, come on over.”

And so, Southern people are friendly because they can (low population density) and must.  ‘Cause you see the same folks all the dang time, so to the keep the peace you smile and say nice things.  Bless their hearts!

Cheers!

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I have lived in the South most of my life: Alabama, Louisiana, and my beloved Texas.

This post was in answer to a question from Dr. Gary Lum, “Why are Texans so friendly?”  If you’d like me to answer your question, email JulesRulesStrawberry@gmail.com.  My specialty is dating advice, but I have opinions and theories on just about everything.   Thanks, Gaz, for the question!

Next up: a summary of all the places I’ve visited in San Diego.  There’s a long list, my friends, because I don’t like to sit still!

Be good.  And if you can’t be good, be good at it!

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Wipe your boots before you come in side, y’all.

Hello, Handsome

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Jules & Portia, 2004

San Angelo is a typical west Texas town: dry, dusty, small.  Most of the occupants work for Johnson & Johnson, like Portia.  They hang out at the bar, church, or go to San Antonio (the closest big city) for fun.  So special events are exciting and get big crowds.

The Texas Wine & Food Festival was at the Coliseum, which was an all-purpose building; even the rodeo was held there.  The vendors set up along the perimeter of the oval and tables filled the middle.  The dirt floor was uncovered.

*************

This story is set in 2005, the last semester of my undergrad degree.  I needed to find a job before I graduated, because I had two little mouths to feed (well, three if you count mine).  I couldn’t afford time to look around for a job.  I didn’t expect to find a lover, too.

*************

As we walked in, Portia remarked, “They have a live band!”

“Of course, this is Austin, Texas—Live Music Capitol of the World.”  I looked at Portia’s questioning face and burst out laughing.  “I’m not in Austin, am I?!”

“Nope.”

“Well, I have my best friend from Austin with me, so I feel at home, I guess!” I told her.  She smiled at the compliment.

As we walked around, Portia introduced me to the people she knew.  Which meant that every three feet we stopped to say hello to one of her coworkers.  I didn’t mind; they were all friendly Texans.

At the Capstone Wine booth, one of her friends begged her to help.  “Just for an hour, then Jamie will be here,” the woman said.

Portia apologized to me, “Sorry.  I volunteered to help with this a month ago, and then they said that they had it covered; anyway, I need to help them.”

“No worries, I can amuse myself,” I said.

Harry

I wandered over to the cars that were parked nearby.  A car salesman was getting people to register for a drawing and advertising the cars at the same time.

A handsome man about my age was looking the cars over, too.  I said, “Yep, looks like a car.”

He replied, “Four doors, windshield, tires…yep, looks like the cars that I’ve seen, too.  What a coincidence!”

I laughed and introduced myself.  “I’m Jules.  I’m a friend of Portia,” I pointed at Portia, who was pouring wine about 20 feet away.  “I’m from Austin.”

“Pleased to meet you,” he said, “I’m Harry Handsome. I work with Portia.”

Yes, you are, I thought, and shook his hand.  “Everyone here works with Portia.”

He returned the smile and nodded, “This is J&J Country.”

We continued our perusal of the vehicles.  Harry is about 5’7”, brown hair, brown eyes, and a wedding ring on his left hand.  Sigh.  He’s married.  Oh, well, at least I had someone to laugh with for a little while.  I almost wish that I didn’t have a date; I could hang with him all night.

Harry and I joked around some more, then he wandered off to get some food.  I wouldn’t see him again until October; but that’s another story for another time.

Girl Talk

“Dawn said that Harry really liked you,” Portia told me.  Dawn is her best friend in San Angelo.

“How does she know?  Did he tell her?”

“No, Dawn said that she could tell by the way he looked at you at the Texas Wine and Food Festival.”  I thought back to April and the funny guy that I enjoyed talking to by the car on display.

“I liked him, too.  Tell me about him.”

“Harry is about Pirate Boy’s height and build.”  Pirate Boy is 5’7” and petite (that’s a nice way of saying he’s skinny and small for a guy).  Since I dated him for over two years, Portia knew that I didn’t need a tall guy.  “Brown hair, brown eyes.  He’s a mechanical engineer and well liked.”

“And single, right?”  I asked.

“As far as I know.  Since you’re interested, I’ll make sure.”

I was visiting San Angelo for a job interview with Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon), the company that Portia worked for.  I wasn’t sure that I wanted to live in West Texas, but since Portia was like a sister to me, I’d have “family” there.  Also, Austin (my current hometown) was only 4 hours away.  That’s close enough for a weekend visit.  With nothing to lose, I accepted the interview.  At worst, I’d get an all-expenses-paid visit to see Portia.  At best, I’d get a job, and not have to worry about interviewing/job hunting –I could concentrate on finishing school.

I didn’t know that Harry was going to be one of my interviewers.  I was a little taken aback when I saw his name on the agenda that Kathy, the Human Resources (HR) representative, handed me the morning of my interview.  My mind raced; I could tell Portia not to invite him out with us.  ‘Cause I didn’t want him to think that I was hitting on him to get the job.  Then again, he was one of a dozen people that I talked to that day, and they all voted on whether to extend a job offer; so he didn’t have much pull as to whether I got hired.  Jeez, I hate being in this situation!

I put it out of my mind and concentrated on the interviews.  The whole day was packed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Harry was part of my second interview, along with Ed, the HR manager.  When Harry shook my hand, he said, “Good to see you again.”  Shocked, I was momentarily at a loss for words.  He remembered meeting me in April, 6 months ago?  Cool!

I pulled it together and smiled at my interviewers.  Now was not the time to flirt, it was time to be charming, intelligent, and dazzling.

Harry said, “One of the advantages of working with J&J, is that they have different locations.  I could transfer to Tennessee if I wanted.”

I hope he didn’t want to move; I was looking forward to getting to know him.  Shifting my focus, I concentrated on the human resources rep, because my thought about Harry were too distracting.

After the interview was over (I nailed it, btw), Harry walked me to the next interviewer.  At the door, he shook my hand formally, but smiled warmly and winked.  I blushed and totally wished that it was time for happy hour.

The rest of the interviews went well.  The last interview was the most challenging.  Three interviewers (two engineers and one HR rep) sat with me in a small room and asked me more behavioral questions.  The last question they asked was, “Describe a time where you failed and how you handled it.”

I said the only thing that came to mind.  “My divorce signaled the failure of my marriage.  The root cause, I believe, was communication.  So after the divorce, I studied communicating.  The most helpful books were How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray, and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber.  The last is a parenting book, but it helped me to talk to other adults as well.”

The interviewers seemed to appreciate my answer and thanked me whole-heartedly for my time.  A couple looked like they wanted to hug me.

I was done and thoroughly exhausted at 2 p.m.  Went to the library to check email, called Mom.  I told her, “They have some cool machines, but I don’t want to work there.  Manufacturing is not what I want to do.”

Mom said, “That’s why you do these on-site interviews, to find out that you don’t want to work there.  That’s not a wasted trip.”

“You’re right,” I said, because Mom usually is.  “Still, I felt guilty, especially because Portia was so excited about the possibility of us being neighbors and coworkers.  We wouldn’t work directly together, we’d be in different departments in different parts of the complex, but we could still have lunch together.”

Mom sympathized with me, “Yes, that would’ve been fun, but you’ll find friends to have lunch with, at a job that you like better.”

“I guess.  Thanks, Mom.  I love you,” I said.  She echoed the phrase and we ended the call.

Happy Hour

The pool hall was the next stop.  Portia said that she invited several people, including Harry.  We drank, played pool.

An old man flirted with me, half-heartedly.  “We don’t see too many pretty women in here,” he said.  “You must be new in town.”

I laughed.  “You may be old enough to be my grandfather, but you just made my night!  Thank you!”

Harry showed up with two friends (Jeff and Mack).  Jeff was a hunk: tall (~6’0”, muscular (obviously worked out).  I was tempted, but stayed focused on Harry.  After all, Jeff wasn’t an engineer.  I’ve dated guys without college degrees and they just don’t understand my nerdiness.  I couldn’t talk to Mike the Plumber about physics class and the disparity in our educations made him a little defensive.  So now I’m looking for a guy as nerdy as me.  With a little sigh of regret, I tore my eyes away from Jeff’s pectorals and concentrated on Harry.

He seemed surprised by the attention.

Jeff was miffed that I wasn’t more interested, evidenced by how much he teased Harry.  “Come on, Harry!  Have a drink!”  Then to me he said, “Harry gets drunk after 2 beers.  Once, we drove to the edge of town and drank in the park.  He was falling down after 2 and a half cold ones!”

I just rolled my eyes; like I cared whether a man could hold his liquor.

Portia let her boyfriend Frank lead her onto the dance floor (the open area by the juke box).

“Wanna?” I asked, and nodded in that direction.

“Nope, I don’t dance,” Harry answered.  “But I like watching.”

So I went on the floor by myself.  I’ve never been very shy, and I love to dance, and so I did.

Later, we exchanged numbers and hugged goodnight.  I didn’t have a good read on how well the night had gone.  Sure, he had stuck around until Portia and I said it was time to go; but was he just being a gentleman, so that I wouldn’t be a third wheel?

Saturday

I didn’t have long to wonder.  The next morning, Harry called me about 9 a.m.  I took it as a good sign that he didn’t wait a day or two to call me.  I agreed to lunch and he picked me up promptly at 11:30 a.m.

After the usual, “Where do you want to go,” conversation, we wound up at Chili’s.

“I love Chili’s,” I told him, “It’s a good, American restaurant with a variety of foods.  You can a hamburger or fajitas, a salad or flatbread pizza – which means that you can decide while you look at the menu.  It’s a great place to bring kids, too.”

“So you have kids,” he said.

“Yes.  Jack is 11 and Sally is 8.  They are blonde-haired, blue-eyed little angels—though I may be a little biased,” I said, and we laughed.

“When did you get divorced?” he asked.

“We separated in August 2000 and our divorce was official in October 2001.  We waited over a year to give the kids time to get used to the idea.  What about you, ever been married?”  I always hold my breath when waiting for someone to answer that question, ever since one guy told me that marriage was forever and he was only doing it once.  Well, duh, don’t we all hope for that?!

“Yes, I was married for just over two years.  She was young and we rushed into it.  We just weren’t compatible,” he said, then quickly changed the subject.  I’m glad; I didn’t want to spend the entire meal commiserating about failed marriages.  “So you went out with Joe back in April, is that right?” he asked.

“Yes.  We got along fine, had a good time.  Talked on the phone once or twice since then.  Guess we just didn’t like each other well enough to have a long distance relationship.”

“That happens,” Harry acknowledged.

“We’re friends now.  Had dinner last night, even.  It was nice.”  I paused, not really knowing where to go from there.  So I did what I always do when I’m nervous and don’t know what to say: I babbled.  “Portia set me up a couple of times before that.  Once was a plumber who left me on my 30th birthday.”

“No!  On your birthday?!” Harry exclaimed, shocked.  He was so animated that, had it been anyone else, I would’ve thought that he was being sarcastic.

“Ya.  And then there was the guy that bought me jewelry and poetry after our first date.”

“What?!”

“I know I’m beautiful, but he went a little overboard.” I rolled my eyes.  “Of course, I was the first person that he dated after his divorce.  Now I have a rule that I don’t date a guy within a year of his divorce.”

“Really?” Harry seemed interested.  I swear his ears perked up.

“Ya.  Guys—girls, too—go a little crazy after a divorce.  They aren’t centered.  Even people like me, who were separated for a long time before the actual divorce, need time to get their heads together.  You know Portia; she really went wild.  She hadn’t been with anyone but her husband, and was kinda of a prude.  Since the divorce, she’s been with three different guys.  She’s like a new person.  I’m ready for her to calm down and go back to normal!”

“You’re right, she has been different since her divorce.  I didn’t know that she was that wild.”

We paused for a minute while he struggled with what to say next.  He surprised me by changing the subject entirely.  “What do you think about San Angelo?”

“Well, I like what I’ve seen so far, which isn’t much!  Are there any parks where we can go hiking?  Or at least go for a walk?”

“Parks, yes—but they’re not big enough for hiking.  I can show you, if you like.”

The park was representative of domestic West Texas: mostly grass, some trees, with an unexpected garden oasis.  We talked and walked for a couple of hours.  The flowers delighted us, we swung on the swings, and in a magical moment under a canopy of green trees, he kissed me.  It was a perfect moment.

“What do you think about joint checking accounts?” Harry asked.

“I had one when I was married.  Not at first; in the beginning, I was writing checks out of two checkbooks and balancing two checkbooks.  That seemed silly; it was just extra work; so we combined our accounts.  Why do you ask?”

“When I got married, I wanted to keep our accounts separate, but Dad said that married people should have joint accounts.  He talked me into it.”  Harry made a face like he just tasted a sour pickle.

“What about the kids?” he asked.

“What about them?  They have a father and a father figure (in my father).  I’m their mother.  They’re good.”

He thought about that for a moment.

“I’m not looking for a dad for them.  I’m looking for a partner for me.”  He accepted that and looked a bit relieved.  I can only imagine that going from single with no kids to being a step dad of two half-grown children would be intimidating.

That night he had a prior engagement and invited me along.  His friend Tanya was in a beauty pageant.  Tanya is a beautiful 20-year-old college student intern at J&J.  She’s about 5’6” with shoulder-length brown hair, brown eyes, and dark that skin implied a Mexican ancestry so common to Texas.

The pageant was interesting: besides Tanya, the contestants included a large girl who barely concealed her nervousness as her family and friends cheered her on and a couple of professional contestants who (we later learned from Tanya) traveled to different pageants.  One of these last women won.  She was a bleached blonde, tanned beauty who looked more like Ms. Santa Monica than Ms. San Angelo.  Afterward we went to a restaurant for dinner with Harry’s family and friends.  She confided how the new Ms. SA had stretch marks and cottage cheese fat that looked awful up close, but weren’t visible in the audience.  Plus it didn’t seem fair that residency wasn’t a requirement; the winner was from Houston, an 8-hour drive away!

Harry dropped me off at Portia’s house with a kiss good night.  I floated in with hearts in my eyes.  I might have to rethink whether I’d accept the job, if I were offered it; San Angelo just got a lot more attractive.

**************

What a great memory!  Come back next week for the second half of this flashback.

Cheers!

Don’t Speak to the Norms That Way

 

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“You can’t talk to the Norms that way,” Samuel tells me.

We stand on a bridge overlooking the lake, gazing at the Austin, Texas, skyline.  “She asked,” I tell him honestly.

The lady had, indeed, asked a question and I had simply answered.  The exchange went something like this:

The Lady says, “I wonder what kind of fish those are.  Do you think they’re catfish or cod?”

I answer, “Cod, because of the position of the lateral fins.  Catfish are bottom dwellers, so their fins are parallel to their stomachs and the ground, while cod have lateral fins that are perpendicular to facilitate moving through the water.  Of course, that’s just what I can observe from here; I’d have to see their mouths to be sure.  Catfish have a sucker mouth which is on the same plane as their stomach, while cod have mouths which are pointed out.  Catfish have the whiskers, too, which earned them their names, of course.”

The lady’s mouth hangs open slightly as she listens to this deluge of information.  “Ok, thanks,” she mumbles, and continues down the path.

Samuel calls out to her, “Sorry, she’s an engineer!”  That’s when he delivers the edict, “You can’t talk to the norms like that.”

“But she asked!” I say with a pout.  “And I thought you liked it when I talked nerdy.”

“I do,” he says, taking my hand and leading me away from the mystery fish (which was almost certainly a cod).  “But normal people don’t understand.  How did you learn so much about fish, anyway?”

“Huh, I don’t know.  My dad and my ex-husband love to fish, and my ex had a 300-gallon aquarium full of fish.  So I guess I picked up a few things,” I say, shrugging.

Samuel shakes his head and repeats, “You just can’t speak that way to the Norms.”

“I guess that’s why I like hanging out with you, Nerd!” I tell him, and stick out my tongue.

He smiles and says, “Yep, that’s it!”

Cheers!

This has been a throwback to 2013.  If you’re wondering why I’m not still dating Samuel, read, “Romantic Vacations.”  I’ll be back on Monday with another chapter of HIMYF: Chapter 16 ~ Valentine’s Day.  Have a great night!

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The Date Started So Well (TBT)

 

“Passivity,” I say, because to me the answer is as obvious as the nose on his face.

His very handsome face looks expressionless.  Even blank, he is soooo hot!  “What?” Ethan Elderberry asks.

Ok, so ignorance isn’t very sexy.  Let’s back up a few minutes, so that you can see how not ignorant this man is.

“My design company has this challenge,” Ethan tells me.  Ya, he owns an engineering design firm; now that’s sexy.  “We’re testing the Canadian arm—you know, the large robotic arm, like the one on the space shuttle?—we test it in a swimming pool to imitate weightlessness.  But it keeps rusting.  We can’t figure it out; it’s made of stainless steel, which typically doesn’t rust.”

Sounds pretty smart, right?  But this is where I bust out with, “Passivity.  Stainless steel works because the chrome in the steel reacts with the oxygen in the air, and the resulting molecules are large enough to close up any cracks and stop rust propagation.  However, you have the stainless steel in a swimming pool, where there is no (or very little) oxygen, so instead the chlorine in the water attacks the steel, causing it to rust.  You need to coat it with a thick paint, or switch to a steel that is chlorine-resistant.”  I’m not sure if there is a chlorine-resistant steel, but he is staring at me, so I may be babbling.

Ethan looks at me like he might kiss me.  “You just solved my greatest engineering challenge.  Engineers at my firm have been working on this for weeks and haven’t been able to figure this out.  Thank you,” he says, then laughs.  “I would have bought you a nice steak and ordered champagne if I had known that you could solve this problem!”  He looks so happy, that I beam back at him in return.

I gesture to the tacos on my plate and look around at the patio where we sit.  “I love the tacos, and I love the patio seating.  It’s such a beautiful day!  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now,” I say, then blush, smiling up at his soft brown eyes.  Did I mention how handsome this man is?  Strong chin, high cheekbones, great hair…

“Want to go for a walk?  My place is just up the road.  We can leave your car here,” he says.

“Sure,” I say.  “I love that this isn’t a typical, dinner-and-a-movie date.  This place is beautiful—the trees surround us, like we’re not even in the city!  I may be repeating myself, but I love Austin.”

“So do I!  This is the Balcones trail.  I like to take my mountain bike out on it, but you walk it, too—just get out of the way when you hear a cyclist coming.  Here’s my townhouse,” Ethan said, walking up on a wooden deck and unlocking the back door.

I’m not sure what to expect.  It’s early afternoon, about 1 p.m., so he can’t expect us to have sex.  Or could he?  Usually that’s an evening, after-a-glass-of-wine sort of thing.  AND this is a first date, so sex would be presumptuous.  But then, we’re at his house, so…

“This is my living room,” he says, gesturing around a nice-sized room.  The brown leather couches look more comfortable than stylish, which screams, “A bachelor lives here!  No woman helped pick out this furniture; it’s too ugly!  (But very comfy.)”

“Great painting,” I say, not really meaning it.  It is impressionist; I prefer realist.  It looks like someone used the canvas to clean her paint brush, after dipping it in bright red, green, and blue paint.

“I found that in a boutique in New Mexico,” he tells me.  “It really spoke to me.  Anyway, there’s the kitchen, and here’s the bar…Let’s go upstairs, so I can show you the view.”

Uh oh.  Upstairs.  I bet his bedroom is up there.  What is this man thinking?  It’s a first date, in the middle of the day…why are we here?!  I obediently follow him up the stairs.  “Oh!  There’s an aquarium set into the wall!”

“Like it?  I saw one at a club, and thought it was cool, and had this one built in,” he tells me.

I smile in response.  I hate it; it reminds me of my ex-husband, who had a 300-gallon aquarium.  “Very pretty,” I say.

“There’s my view,” he says proudly, stepping out onto a wooden balcony.

I avoid heights.  I’m not, like, scared of them or anything.  I just get…well, kinda anxious when I look down and it’s further than, say, three feet to the ground.  My mom liked to say that she wasn’t scared of heights, she was scared of falling.

But I also don’t like to flaunt my hang ups on a first date; let him get to know me a little before I give him a list of things that I don’t like: bungie jumping, sky diving, roller coasters, and boats.  Don’t even ASK me to go on the Cliffhanger at Six Flags*.  Shudder.

Anyhow, I looked over the wooden rail of the balcony at the beautiful trees, the nature trail, and down to the wooden deck below me where we had come in.  Before I could think, my mouth was talking.  “You could throw things on someone down there.  Say you had a party; you could throw water balloons on someone.”

His brow furrowed, like a disapproving father.  “Why would I throw water balloons on my guests?  On my friends?

OhmyGod why did I just say that?!  Have I been spending too much time with my kids?  Did I just see the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and Elaine are throwing things off the roof?  Or have I played too much D&D, so that I think of high ground as a tactical advantage?

Quick, recover!  “Um, or, like, confetti.  You know, for fun,” I said lamely.

“Let me walk you back to your car,” Ethan Elderberry said coldly, unimpressed.

And that was the end of the date.  I had impressed him with my engineering knowledge (which had been learned the week before in class), then turned him off with my impulse to bombard people with objects from the second story.

*******

My date with Ethan was in 2006.  I told my coworker, Animal, about it today, because we were discussing rust.  His name isn’t really Animal, but he reminds me of Animal from the Muppets.  He often opens his mouth and waves his arms around while making noises, just to be funny when he expresses frustration.  It’s more socially acceptable than screaming.  Animal the Muppet has wild red hair and fur all over his body.  Animal the Coworker is bald.

Animal says, “Eh, you don’t want to date someone who can’t have fun.”

“Ya.  I bet anyone in this building would throw things off the 2nd story balcony with me,” I say, referring to my fun-loving coworkers.

He nods.  “And then we’d help you design a catapult to throw things better.”

“So what if he’s handsome, rich, successful, in incredibly good mountain-biker shape?  If he doesn’t want to throw water balloons off the balcony with me, we’re never going to get along,” I say.  “Wait, have you thrown things off the roof here before?  You came up with that catapult comment awfully fast.”

Animal smiled his big, Animal smile.

I smile back.  Anyone wanna throw things off the roof with me and Animal?

Cheers!

*That’s just a sample of my hang ups, not the complete list.  I also avoid scuba diving, skiing, snow skiing, swimming in public (I don’t like to be splashed in the face), cruises (remind me to tell you about the Honeymoon from Hell sometime), horseback riding (see previous comment), etc.  I’m not as neurotic as Sheldon Cooper; at least, I don’t think so.  Sally, hush; I can hear you wanting to say something from here!

I won’t run from a spider or a cockroach, that’s for sure!  Now, a cockroach riding a horse which is swimming across a lake and occasionally scuba diving…well, I’d let him do his thing.

Block Party

 

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My neighborhood in a suburb of Dallas had a block party on Saturday night, complete with bounce house and freshly grilled hot dogs.

Jack performed a quality check on at least two hot dogs and gave them his seal of approval.  The chef said, “I usually quality check my own work, but then, I’m biased, so I appreciate a second opinion!”  He smiled, a warm, friendly smile.

Kids ran around, scribbled on the concrete with sidewalk chalk, and sucking on popsicles.  They were all adorable and well-behaved.  Two baby girl twins rode in a double stroller, with beautiful fat cheeks and dark brown hair.

Since I’m a mechanical engineer (nerd alert!), I geeked out over the firetruck, which had an aerial ladder on top with a bucket (which I’ve always called a “cherry picker”).  The fireman were there to answer questions and help us climb up in the cab.  I tried to stare at the truck instead of them.  I was mostly successful.  Firemen should not be objectified; however, if the Frisco Firemen sold a calendar, I would DEFINITELY buy one.

Neighbor Bob was there, wearing matching Mustang hat and shirt.  He showed off his custom-made paddy wagon, which he built from scratch, starting with a ’99 Mustang engine and an old truck cab.  Bob proudly showed off his creation, which is beautiful, and the model car that it was fashioned after.

“I stared at that model so long, that the paddy wagon had to be blue—it just had to,” Bob told me.  “My favorite color is maroon, but…it had to be blue.”

Thanks to everyone who made Jack and me feel welcome.  I’m looking forward to the next party, and seeing the firemen again.  ; – )

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BobsPaddyWagon.jpg

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Sunset behind the Lonestar Flag (State Flag of Texas) in Frisco, Texas.

 

Lilly and Lucas Landed Locally

Lilly was here in my kitchen! Eating my enchiladas! YAY!

Lilly was here in my kitchen! Eating my enchiladas! YAY!

Lilly and Lucas are HERE!  Well, not here exactly.  That is, they’re in the States.  In Texas!  In DALLAS!

I wanted to greet them when they got off the plane, but, well—Security at DFW (that’s Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, to you non-local types) is pretty tight.  I could have waited at the baggage claim, but they rented a car, so I would have seen there to say, “Hello!” and then “See you later!”

So instead, they rented their car at DFW and drove to my house.  I was in the kitchen, preparing genuine Texan enchiladas.

I hugged Lilly up!  It was so weird—like she’d only been gone a day.  Then I met Lucas in person for the first time.  But it didn’t feel like the first time; we’d Skyped and emailed so much that he was already an old friend.

I had a bag of Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips waiting for her.  She grabbed them and torn into them!

“OhmyGod I missed these soooo much!” she said.

Lucas ate a few, but she said, “You’ll spoil your dinner!”

I think that was just a ruse to get him to stop eating her chips.  When I said as much, she winked at me.

I’m sexy, AND I can cook!

I’m sexy, AND I can cook!

Lucas pretends to like the enchiladas, but…

Lucas pretends to like the enchiladas, but…

They were waaay too hot for him! 

They were waaay too hot for him!

His first impressions of the US include, “Discovered Sonic today. Mind blown. Love Walmart. Candy is epic! Your drivers are fucking maniacs, I would fit in well! Your Internet speeds are phenomenal as is your cable TV!  Your health care so far has been outstanding, and can’t get over the traffic, it’s insane! Your people have been so polite and nice so far!”

He also said that I’m just as beautiful in person.  Although I may be putting words in his mouth, that he agreed to out of reflex!  Hee hee

He continued, “Can’t get over how hot it is!!!  And I love the yellow school buses! They’re so awesome, just like the movies!!! Haahaha”

I answered, “Hot?!  It’s cool right now!  It’s below a 100!”  I checked the temperature.  At 8:30 p.m, it’s 79F.  Hmm, must have been in the 90s today.

“Pfft!” he answered, then added, “I love how Lilly’s accent changed back!  I love it!”

I laughed.  She had been mistaken for an Australian on the plane!

Speaking of Lilly, how does she feel being back in the States?

She told me, “It’s weird being back with my husband!  It’s like going back to my life but oh wait, I have a husband here with me now!  I’m loving seeing people and showing Lucas my life!!!  He gets so excited about yellow school buses lol.  They don’t have them in Australia.  I’ve missed some of the food!!  And my face wash!!!!”  It’s cute that they both mentioned buses.

I added, “And Sun Chips?”

“Omg yes and sun chips.  And Mexican food.”

I’m glad I cooked the right meal!

Post-Midterm Confidence!

Post-Midterm Confidence!

In other news, I took my Last Midterm Ever.  Mission accomplished!  I’m pretty sure that I aced it.  Which means that I at LEAST passed it.  Either way, only two months left of school, then it’s Graduation, Baby!

And if I’m lucky, a date with Professor Mercury!  WOOT!

I’ll see Lilly and Lucas again soon.  Their wedding reception is on Saturday, so I’m sure I’ll get one or two pics and another story.  Crazy things happen when Lilly and I get together.  ESPECIALLY when we’re drinking!

Did you like Naughty Nadia’s sexpliots?  If so, leave her a comment.  Maybe she’ll return more stories.  She’s told me some juicy ones from her high school days.  And then there’s the Spring Break trip to New Orleans!  And OMG, the summer that she spent with the swingers.

I love Lilly and Lucas!  ❤ ❤ ❤  So glad they’re here!!!!

Cheers!

Lemme Addams Stardust Revue Presents Hollywood Legends: Part II

Jules Strawberry at Mable Peabody's Beauty Parlor and Chainsaw Repair, Denton, Texas.

Jules Strawberry at Mable Peabody’s Beauty Parlor and Chainsaw Repair, Denton, Texas.

“Animal Crackers, in my soup…animal crackers, loopty loop!” Shirley Temple’s voice sang, as Gitsie St. James walked out on stage looking cute and innocent in an apron, pink skirt, and gloves.  She held a box of animal crackers.  She sang along to the music, tossing animal crackers into the audience at one point.

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When she started to strip, though, she looked grown up REAL quick!  She had multiple bras layered on—three, I think?—and she kept her pink skirt attached by foot-long ribbons.  Her act was very different from others that I’d seen, and I loved it!  From Shirley Temple to Madonna, Gitsie rocked it!

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The other performers were awesome as well.  Ginger Rockafella had expensive-looking, amazing costumes.  Ophelia had some nice ones, too; I really wanted to steal her purple dress, which has sequined trim similar to Jislana’s corset.  Then again, Anna Mulhouse had a cute little red dress with flowers on the sleeves…

I need to go shopping.  No, I need to raid these ladies’ closets!

Nick T’Vegan had a Clockwork Orange-inspired act (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066921/ ).  That movie was so offensive, that I cringed when I saw his outfit.  By the end, though, I was laughing as he pummeled his victim with a penis-shaped pillow.

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This was the first act that I’ve seen by a male performer.  I liked it.  Thanks, Nick, for being my first!

Ophelia’s music was misplaced for her second act, so the producers pulled out another song and Ophelia danced to it.  Cold turkey, without knowing the song.  She looked beautiful, confident, and as amazing as always.  However, later, when I saw her perform the act to the correct music, it made much more sense.  And it was GREAT!  Imagine a beautiful woman dancing to James Bond’s song, Diamonds are Forever, pulling diamond necklaces out of her gloves and g-string.  Then imagine that the performer had perfect timing and rhythm.  That was Ophelia.  AMAZING.

Carmel Sutra, extremely sexy and talented, starred in several acts.  Her tango was so freakin’ sexy that I really wish I had a video.  Carmel, if you want to give me some pointers, send me a PM!  I’d love to see more of you!  ; – )

Chordella_MissPiggie2 Chordella_MissPiggie

Chordella Smash, whom I love, portrayed Miss Piggy.  I would have never thought that Kermit’s ex-girlfriend would have been so much fun to watch!  I do wish that Chordy would have smiled and made more eye-contact with the audience.  Can you believe that she sewed that dress herself?  I love it!

Some of the patrons threw dollar bills on stage.  The dancers ignored them.  I would, too.  I mean, I’m not stopping my dance for anything less than a 20!

I could write pages on the other acts; they were all fabulous.  Here are some pics.  Thank you to all the performers!

Cheers!

Alessandra Noir and her Fan Dance

Alessandra Noir and her Fan Dance

#Ginger3

Ginger Rockafella

Ginger Rockafella

Anna Mulhouse

Anna Mulhouse

Rick Raspberries, Ophelia Wood, Jules Strawberry

Rick Raspberries, Ophelia Wood, Jules Strawberry

#Cast5withNick

Read Part I here.