Tuesday, April 29, 2008


No, this post's title is not referring to my GMAT score (thank goodness), rather, it's referring to the nasty little rodents that have infiltrated our attic.

The Bug Guy just stopped by to see if he could identify what's chewing up the wires in our wall. I led him to our walk-in attic where, flashlight in hand, we searched for signs of rats. Almost immediately I spotted the droppings on the floor which, coincidentally, happened to be right where I was standing (I was wearing flip-flips because I'm bright like that). I squealed and danced my way back to the attic entrance. Once I had one foot safely outside the attic, I used the entrance door as a shield as I peered around looking for rats. "What's that?!?!?!" I shrieked as I pointed up towards the attic trellises; I was certain I saw a rat up there, hanging by its tail. The Bug Guy's eyes bugged out of his head as he whipped around and fixed the flashlight's beam on the ghosts of my imagining. This went on for a while before I realized that I wasn't being helpful. In fact, I had some concerns that I might cause this poor man to have a coronary.

For the record, rats don't generally scurry about during the day and they most certainly do not hang by their tails. Them's 'possums that do that!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'll be back!

Sorry no postings lately. Been studying for the GMAT like mad which = no life. Will resume posting in a few days.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wah Wah Wah Wipeout!

Today my friend "Mississippi" and I met for our bi-weekly walk around Town Lake. As always, we were enthusiastically chattering away, minding our own business, when all of a sudden we heard a commotion on Mississippi's left. We both turned to see a man in his fifties stumble-running by. Stumble-running is when you're running and your foot catches on something, say, the back of your ankle, and the forward momentum forces you to stumble along at the speed at which you were running. This advanced form of running often entails flailing your arms 'round and 'round like a windmill.

Either time stood still or this poor guy stumble-ran for a long time--I'm not sure which. All I know is that approximately 1 billion smart-ass comments flashed through my mind, but for some reason I resisted the urge to articulate any of them. I'm not cruel, I just honestly thought that he was trying to get our attention by way of physical comedy (I blame my thought process on all the Dick Van Dyke episodes I've been watching on Hulu). Any smart-ass comment uttered on my part would have been my way of going along with the joke.

Why do events of this nature tend to happen in slow motion? It seemed like an eternity before he finally bit the trail directly in front of us. The worst part is that I *still* thought this was some sort of weird way to flirt with us. Thankfully, Mississippi has more sense than I do.

"Are you oka-ay?" she drawled. The poor guy looked up, shaken.

"I'm fine, I'm fine. I just couldn't...I couldn't stop."

Recovering my senses and noting the lack of skin on his knee, I offered my hand. "Here, let me help you up." (I've often seen basketball players do this on the court and I always thought it was a nice gesture. I was excited to be like a basketball player.)

He looked at my hand, then down to his left, then back up at me. "Uh...that's okay. I think I'll just stay down here for a while."

What--did my hand smell or something? Why wouldn't he take my hand?

"Let's go," Mississippi muttered under her breath, "Let the guy behind us help him out."

Huh? That is so unlike Mississippi. I was confused but I followed her like the follower I am.

A few steps away Mississippi said in a low voice, "His pants came down."

"Wha--what? His pants did what?"

"They came down. His pants came down when he fell."


Glad to know it wasn't my hand.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Boogeyman Comes Out at Night

You know that when I start a story with, "I was minding my own business when..." it means that some weirdo decided to start messing with me. Yesterday was no exception.

I was at the neighborhood 7/11 gas station, minding my own business, when I heard a man ranting. Actually, he was screaming.


"Don't look, don't look," I told myself, "Just pretend like you're invisible."

I shrank into the driver's seat of my truck and peered around the gas pump. It was a large, wild-looking homeless man. He began directing his rant at the first person in his path: another wild-looking homeless man. Why do crazy people always seem to hang around 7/11's?


"Okay man, okay! I hear you! I HEAR YOU!! I HEAR YOU!! I HEAR YOU!" the other homeless man raged in return.

Great, now both men are screaming at each other and they're standing ten feet away from me, on the other side of the pump. Heart pounding, I decide to squirt them with the gas hose if they turn their attention my way.

Homeless Guy #1 keeps walking but starts apologizing. "Sorry man, I wasn't talking to you. I'm talking to those other people. I AM SO SICK OF THOSE OTHER PEOPLE!"

"I HEAR YOU!!! I HEEEEAAAAAR YOOOOOUUUUU!!!!!!" Homeless Guy #2 screams after him.

And then there's silence.

Homeless Guy #2 finally spots me plastered up against the side of my car.

"Sorry ma'am, sorry about that guy. A lady like you shouldn't have to listen to that sort of thing and I apologize. He's just crazy and he's always ranting like that. I seen him before and he's always ranting like that. Again, I'm sorry ma'am"

Huh? Was this the same guy screaming his head off not two seconds prior? I realize that he's waiting for a response so I squeak out, "It's quite alright and I appreciate the apology." I replace the gas hose and get out of there.

Fast-forward fifteen minutes later: I'm pulling out of the grocery and my attention is drawn to a man sitting at another bus-stop.


It was Homeless Guy # 1 and he was talking to me, of course. I couldn't help it, I started to laugh. I've never been called a "stuck-up, worthless b--ch" before. At least, not to my face.

Later on I found myself considering Homeless Guy #1's situation. How did he wind up in our neighborhood? Clearly, he took a bus, but what led him here? There's not much for crazy, homeless people to do in these parts. And why was he at another bus stop mere minutes later? Did he get kicked off the original bus for his rantings? If that's the case, would another bus allow him to board? If not, how would he get home? Would it be possible for him to be marooned in our neighborhood?

Fast-forward to later that night, around 10 pm. Helicopter Butt (our middle dog) was following me everywhere, gently imploring with his eyes for me to please, please take him for a walk. I cannot say "no" to Helicopter Butt for he is the sweetest, most easy-going dog of our trio.

Side bar: we call him "Helicopter Butt" because when he's excited, his tail twirls 'round and 'round like the rotor blade of a helicopter. He has yet to go airborn, but I'm confident that, given the right stimulus, it will happen one day.

Back to the story.

Helicopter Butt melts me. I turn to Husband and declare, "Looks like I'll have to take the dogs for a walk. I don't have the heart not to."

"Okay, but I want Le Pooch Grande to sit this one out. Her paws are still sore from chasing the tennis ball on Sunday."

"Will you please go with me?" I ask, eyes batting, "I'm scared to go by myself."

This is crap, of course. I have no fear whatsoever of walking the dogs by myself at night. My neighborhood is safe and besides, it's just around the block. Granted, "the block" is half a mile long, but I've never felt threatened. Still, I really just want Husband there because, quit frankly, I love his company. We have some of our best, most fun conversations when we're out walking the dogs.

"Sure!" he says, ever the gentleman. We head out.

Mid-way around the block we decide to cut through a yard and make our way home. Little Husband is making me very tired and I need to drop into bed ASAP.

Chattering up a storm, we cross the yard and pop out on the other side of the block where I note, out loud, that it's incredibly dark.

As if on queue, a male voice calls out to us.

"Hey! HEY!"

We whip our heads around. It's Homeless Guy #1. I scream. Loud.

"Oh, I didn't mean to scare you. I just wanted to know if you have a cigarette." His voice is rough and gravely. He lumbers towards us. He's like The Boogeyman.

"Run! Run, Husband! It's the crazy guy I told you about!"

I start running, top speed.

I turn to see Husband lightly jogging behind me.

"RUN!!!!" I call to him. He picks up the pace.

Homeless Guy #1 is offended. "Awww...I'm not gonna hurt you. I just wanted a...LOOK AT YOU BUNCH OF SCAREDY-CATS! RUNNING LIKE A BUNCH OF SCAREDY-CATS!"

Knowing the effect these cat-calls might have on Husband (nobody calls him a "scaredy-cat"), I turn to see that he's slowed his pace to a walk. Again I direct him to "run".

He runs, but he's pissed. He's no scaredy-cat. Running's for girls! It's clear that he's only running to keep up with me.

Naturally this happens on the ONLY NIGHT that we don't have Le Pooch Grande along on the walk. Le Pooch Grande would have let this guy have it!

We run all the way to our garage door where I frantically enter the unlock code. The door groans, cranks upwards and we scoot underneath. Husband shoots me a dirty look as he dashes over to the button that will close the door. I lean against the wall, relieved to be safe.

"We probably should have run around the block and tried to lose him so that he wouldn't see where we live." Husband says, a trace of irritation in his voice.

"Maybe so," I reply, "But I think I would rather be safe inside our house near a telephone than running around the block with that crazy guy out there."

Husband says nothing which means we are not in agreement. Fair enough, his point is a good one.

Still, at the end of the day I feel much safer behind a locked door with three loud dogs and an alarm system than outside running around at night.

What do you think? Were we foolish to lead him to our house? Should we have kept running?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Introducing Baby Femme!

Here is the first sonogram picture of Little Husband. "We are officially the proud parents of a blob!" was my husband's comment when he saw it. I took the liberty of labeling things for you since right now he looks like an indistinguishable blob. Aw heck--even with the labels he looks like an indistinguishable blob.

I also outlined the baby in black 'cause I have all kinds of time right now.

Also, I think I will start referring to the baby as a "he" until I am proven otherwise. I know, I know--that's asking for it, ha ha!

Friday, April 11, 2008

American Airlines Blows Chunks!

I knew I didn't like American when they stopped cleaning their lavatories with any regularity, and I especially didn't like them when they dumped my platinum status after I didn't fly with them for a month, but cancelling thousands of flights because they failed to adhere to safety regulations is ridiculous and irresponsible! Do I care that they pointed out their own mistake? No, I do not! That was just a preemptive strike to hold at bay flak similar to that which Southwest received when their mechanical shortcomings were uncovered. Am I impressed with how AA I handling the situation? Of course I'm not. I am of the firm opinion that American had the rudest, surliest flight attendants so they have a pretty deep hole to dig themselves out of where customer service is concerned. Why I am especially upset is because they have RUINED our surprise trip to go see M2K2 and her family this weekend.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, M2K2!

With all good intentions I was going to search all of Austin for the *best birthday card ever* to send to my dear friend, M2K2. The baby got in the way of all that when my energy took a nosedive this past weekend. In the place of a fabulous card and birthday gift arriving on her doorstep today, I opted instead to copy Melek and her sister Kay's fabulous idea of writing a tribute blog. So here it is.

I first met M2K2 many years ago when I was working for an international telecommunications company. I remembered wanting to scratch her eyes out the first time I saw her because she was tall, thin, blonde and *very pretty*. What really pissed me off was that she was incredibly smart as well. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" I once read, and this is true. I decided right then and there that I would not, in fact, scratch her eyes out. Instead, I'd study her, figure out what made her so perfect, and vow to become just like her.

She foiled my plan when she ambled over to my cube one day to talk about something work-related. I was an ethical worker; she caught me shopping for furniture online. We got to talking, began trading stories and the next thing I knew, I was laughing so hard I couldn't catch my breath. Our relationship has been that way ever since. How could I be jealous of someone so fabulous?

M2K2 has had an illustrious career. She was a leader in the Air Force (yet can curse like a sailor). Some of the smartest people I know came out of the Air Force. She was appointed to manage a team of network engineers (almost all male) when she was in her mid twenties (and she ran circles around these guys, intellectually speakng). When we met, I was a service representative and yet she saw in me something that no one else did and launched my network engineering career. She is *the* reason why I worked in my dream career for so many years.

M2K2 coined a phrase that I still repeat regularly: "If you don't know, say you don't know!" In other words, don't make up an answer to something just to sound smart. People will catch onto you and you will lose credibility. This is especially important when working in the high-tech industry. M2K2 taught me many things, the most valuable of which is that it's okay to say, "I don't know. Let me find out."

M2K2 is kind. And funny. And smart. And sincere. You can tell her anything and you will have her full attention. She will not judge you. She's so beautiful on the outside but her heart is more beautiful than the sum of all her parts. And this tremendous heart created two tremendous little people. Of course it did. How could it be otherwise?

So, Happy Birthday, M2K2! You know I love you and am so happy and proud to call you my friend!

Monday, April 7, 2008


So...as it turns out, drunken men of questionable address seem to like Le Pooch Grande. Lately when I take her for a walk it seems that one will materialize out of nowhere and strike up a conversation. The conversations usually go like this:

Drunken Man: Heyyyyy...I (mumble mumble slur) your dog. That's a very sweet (mumble mumble). What's her name? Is it Cocoa? My dad (mumble slur) a dog named Cocoa. Is that Cocoa? What's your dog's name?

Me: Er...Cocoa! (I never, ever give out real names to drunken strangers--not even my dogs'!)

Drunken Man: Wowwwwww....(mumble mumble) soooooo cooool. Cocoaaaaaaa (mumble slur slur).

Me: (Trying hard not to retch from the alcohol fumes wafting towards me during my first trimester pregnant state. I mean, I don't have morning sickness or anything but this could have set me off. Easily.)

Drunken Man: (Round two of the same conversation) Soooooo....I like your dog. Watsher name? Cocoa?

Me: Er...yes. (Desperately wishing the light would change so that I could enter the crosswalk and get away from this guy).

Drunken Man: Coooool! Thash coool!!! My dad had a dog named Cocoa! (Laughs maniacally). Hi Cocoaaaaaa!

The light changes. Le Pooch Grande and I get out of there. Fast.

I have a neighbor like this as well except he has a fixed address (I think) and his psychoactive altering substance of choice is pot. We call him "Santa". Whenever anything goes wrong in the 'hood (graffitti, littering, newspaper theft) Husband blames this poor schlep. I both love and despise this tendency of Husband's. I mostly love it because it gives me yet another opportunity to enter into a debate with Husband. The debates go like this:

Husband: Somebody stole our paper again. I think it was Santa.

Me: Why on earth do you think it was Santa?

Husband: Because he always cuts through our yard and besides, I saw him sitting at the bus stop reading a newspaper.

Me: Ummm...honey? The bus stop is right across from a convenience store. Don't you think it's possible that he got his paper there.


Next Conversation:

Husband: Someone threw food into our backyard again and the dogs are eating it. I bet it's Santa. We should setup a camera and catch him.

Me: Why do you think Santa would chuck food over our fence? Perhaps a raccoon was raiding the dumpster next door and dropped it when he climbed the tree.

Husband: I've never seen a raccoon in a dumpster.

Me: I've never *not* seen a raccoon in a dumpster.

Husband: Well...I think it was Santa. Besides, he smokes pot.

How can I argue with that logic? More importantly, how could I *not* argue with that logic?!


I'm selling stuff on Craigslist again. Most recently it was a king-size mattress for $200. Here's the first email I received on the subject:

From: r.a.d
Sent: Saturday, April 05, 2008 10:09 AM
To: Femme
Subject: King Mattress Set - Excellent Condition - $200

"give you 75.00 cash for this

let me know

this is not a joke"

Is it just me, or does this email sort of remind you of a ransom note? I didn't respond. I don't respond to people with creepy initials and poor grammar. It's just one of my many Craigslist rules.


Today I went to my little cousin's school to help her during "Kite Day". Now, most of you probably don't know this about me, but I've got some mad kite flying skrillz. I made sure that my, I mean, my cousin's kite was flying the highest among all the other kindergartner's' kites. Amidst all the accolades she was receiving from her classmates, I noticed a woman twenty feet away frantically shooing us. Noting that she now held my attention, she shouted, "Get back! Get away from us! Get your kite away from ours!"

Okay, so let me paint the picture for you. There were roughly 25 kindergartners in a field surrounded by power lines. The field wasn't very large so we were all concentrated in the same general area. These are kindergartners so no one can fly, let alone steer a kite very well. This chick just didn't seem to get it as she continually yelled at everyone to "keep their kites away from hers!"

Finally, as she once again turned her wrath on me and my cousin, I'd had enough. "Lady," I yelled, "these are a bunch of kindergartners and it's a windy day! They can't help it if their kite gets too close to yours. You're not the only person on this field!"

She just glared at me. I, in turn, realized that I had caught most everyone's attention. Not wanting to ruin "Kite Day", I took my cousin's hand and led her to a spot away from this wench.

Meanwhile, some little boy with a Spiderman kite ran right by us and his kite became hopelessly entangled in ours, causing both to come crashing to the ground. Laughing, we all began trying to untangle the kites. Apparently this was enough to prove Kite Nazi's point. "You don't know how to fly a kite!" she sneered at me from across the field as she struggled to get her own kite airborn. "You don't know what you're doing."

What I thought was, "Says you whose kite is currently laying on the ground!"

What I said was nothing. I didn't want to be "that adult" who ruined kite day.

Did anybody read The Kite Runner? I *so wished* at that moment that I knew how to cut her kite string with mine!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Welcome to the World, Baby-Boo!

My niece was born yesterday. Here she is, kicking back under the heat lamp after her first bath:

Glad to see that she's already perfected her "laying out" pose.

Dreams, Dreams

I'm having those pregnancy dreams you hear about. Vivid, frequent and weird. In fact, I spend a great deal of time sleeping (14 hours yesterday!) which is probably why I'm having these dreams and definitely why I haven't been writing as much.

A few weeks ago I dreamt that I was in a CVS, writing on the mirrors behind the display shelves with black eyeliner. When store personnel caught me and threatened to call the police, my old boss materialized and threw a pair of shiny, silver scissors at my shins. They stuck as if my shins were made of tree bark. It only hurt a little.

Lately I keep dreaming about my son. I know, I know--all you naysayers out there are going to tell me that I'm having a girl but how about, for the sake of kindness, you humor a tired, pregnant woman?

Thank you.

Onto my son. I keep having dreams that I'm this irresponsible, negligent mother. In my dreams I ignore him in favor of, well, everything. For instance, in one dream it was far more important that I blow dry my hair than tend to his cries. In another, I forget all about him as I run out the door to a friend's backyard cookout. Mind you, these dreams don't freak me out; they're just unsettling. Kind of like that dream where you forget to wear pants to your Geometry class.

It's easy to climb aboard my soapbox and declare that I would never forget or neglect my child but watch--I'll be that crazy woman on the news who left the car seat, baby and all, on top of the car as she drove around town.

Sadly, it's 9 am, I've been up for an hour and already I'm worn out. Back to bed...