Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NYT Article

This weekend I read this article in the New York Times about a family that inherited minority shares in an outdoor advertising company, which was sold in 1998 for around $600 million. The family was wired $14 million in 1998, which was around $10 million after taxes.

They had $10 million in cash after taxes in 1998 and today in 2010 they are bankrupt. I read this article this weekend, and I've been thinking about the family all week. The article is titled:
Family’s Fall From Affluence Is Swift and Hard, which is even a more unbelievable statement when you realize their fall from affluence was the result of their over spending.

I'm not judging this family; I think it must be a terrible situation to fall from wealth, and I hope they'll find peace. I've been thinking about this family because this situation fascinates me. I like to run the scenario in my head: if we received $10 million free and clear today where would we be 12 years later? Would we be broke too? I think not. I know we wouldn't, but I'm sure this family thought the same thing in 1998...

It's about hope...

Last night my husband was curious about Oprah's final Favorite Things shows from last week, and since they were still on the DVR he watched them with the remote in hand so he could fast forward the slow parts. I adore Oprah like she's one of my BFF's even though we've never met. My husband doesn't get it. He doesn't understand how I could possibly feel like someone on television is one of my friends, but she's been in my life as long as I've watched television. I feel like I know her. My husband doesn't get my love for Oprah, but he was curious and so he watched the giveaways and the audience frenzy and he enjoyed the Favorite Things shows.

I really like what Oprah said to her audience at the end of her final Favorite Things show, and I had to work the rewind button on the remote to catch it all:

"I know that none of you here expected that, did you audience? And that is really the point about these Favorite Things shows. This is the last one I will ever do. And I would like to say I know that we are a parody. You are all a Saturday Night Live skit in here. But that’s okay. It’s not really about all the stuff, although the stuff is fun and you’re going to love driving that Beetle, it really for me is about hope… It’s about knowing something really magical and joyful and wonderful can happen to you when you least expect it. Happy Holidays Everybody! Happy Holidays!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brother and Sister Bonding

My husband captured this moment this afternoon while he was working from the house. This photo defines the current closeness of Trigger and Dooley. Look at how far apart they are sitting in the sun next to each other.

Slowly and surely Trigger is warming up to his newest pack member. (Emphasis on slowly.)

We had a big break through today when my husband caught them playing chase with each other for the first time this afternoon.


I bought the last Harry Potter ornament from our local Hallmark store! SCORE. My husband doesn't understand why I would spend twenty bucks on a plastic ornament. "Did you need that or want that?" is the question he likes to ask me when I show up with this type of purchase. I NEEDED it because our tree is the coolest tree ever with Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore dangling from a branch.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


When we got out the Christmas decorations I noticed Martha Fauker's fur on the tree skirt. I'm so glad I didn't clean it before we put it away last year. It made me smile to think about how she always liked to sit under the Christmas tree. When I put the skirt around the tree today Trigger came and smelled it for a long time. I like to think he was thinking of his sister- his old pack leader.

First Impressions

Whoa. It's been a long time since we've had a puppy in our family. Dooley is an energetic ball of energy. She runs from room to room and around the back yard. She's curious. She must investigate everything: a leaf, an acorn, the shadows on the walls. She is exploring her new world. She's fearless. When a car makes a loud noise she charges the sound. The first time she heard the dryer beep she ran to the noise barking. She's a fearless bulldog. She's also smart. (Just like her namesake.) She already has mastered the dogie door, and she entertains us nonstop.

Brotherly Love

One member of our family that isn't smitten with Dooley is Trigger. He's scared of her. He gets nervous when she runs up to him. He likes to sit in places where she can't reach him: on our bed, on the chase, in a different room. He is starting to warm up to her and in time they'll be BFFs...I hope.

Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da...

Today I put away the sympathy cards that were sent to us after Martha Fauker died. I still have her blinged-out collar on display, but the cards have been put away...

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on.

Thanksgiving 2010

My parents hosted Thanksgiving and it was the traditional family feast. After we ate lunch we played games while others watched football. I love family time. It's nice to have moments like this. We're thankful for our time together- my grandmother's health is improving- and we're also thankful for all the time we shared with those who are no longer on this earth, and especially the ones that most recently left us: Glenda, Aunt Patricia, Martha Fauker.

All the way home...

Dooley rode all the way back from Oklahoma in my lap on Wednesday. I don't know how my husband did not wreck his Tahoe because every time I looked over at him he was looking at Dooley. She's beautiful, and we're already smitten with her existence.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Road Trip!

It's a road trip to Oklahoma tomorrow morning! The husband and I are going to get Dooley tomorrow morning; the current plan is to meet in the Cracker Barrel parking lot at 11:00 AM!

I'm so excited!!

I love a market economy

Speaking of my buddy Jordan (read the previous post):

During lunch we made a stop at Target because Jordan needed a coffee pot for his camper at his hunting lease. He bought a 12-cup coffee maker for seven dollars. I couldn't believe that you could buy a 12-cup coffee maker for less than ten bucks after tax, title, and license!? I was shocked. Jordan objected to my surprise. According to Jordan it's more shocking that you can buy a coffee maker for over $100 at Williams-Sonoma.

We're both surprised; we're just surprised at different ends of the coffee maker spectrum. I love the U.S.A. you can buy a coffee maker for less than ten bucks or over one hundred bucks.

No Need For Reverse

On the way to his west Texas hunting lease my buddy Jordan had to pull over and take this photo. He said it's real. In the back end they've turned around the seats, and in the back end where you think there should be another engine there's a trunk.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Poppy!

This weekend we celebrated my father's birthday at my brother's house. Somehow part of the celebration included putting up my brother's Christmas tree, but it was worth it because we got to spend extra time with the girls. Presley and Paxten wished Poppy a very happy birthday.

Favorite Things 2010!

Since it's the farewell season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah had two shows of her favorite things. She had one on Friday and a second on Monday. It's so exciting to watch her give away her favorite things to her studio audience. I'm not getting any of this stuff, but I'm getting all excited watching her give it away. Do you know what's one of my favorite things? It's this 25th and final season of Oprah; she's doing epic shows each week- her sets, her guests, her topics are all remarkable each week.

Thank you Oprah for 25 great years!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Trigger and Dooley

One of my beloved friends is named Sarah Dooley. A long time ago I told her I'd have to name my daughter or my dog after her, and it looks like the stars have aligned to make that happen in 2010. We're adopting (purchasing) a 5-month-old French bulldog on Wednesday that is already named "Sarah." However, Sarah is a name for a pretty lady- I know only beautiful Sara's/Sarah's in my life. I didn't think "Sarah" was appropriate for a pretty French bulldog.

When I mentioned to my brother that we were working to adopt "Sarah" he immediately said that we should call her "Dooley!" The idea was funny to my husband too. He likes both the person and the name Dooley! Once I got approval from my husband, I got clearance from the pretty lady Dooley that she'd be honored and not offended that her namesake is a four-legged Frenchy.

This weekend we've been preparing the house for the arrival of Dooley! The era of Martha Fauker and Trigger Monkey has ended, but we're starting the era of Trigger Monkey and Sarah Dooley!

"Trigger & Dooley" starts on Wednesday! Get ready.

I want to know...

...is it possible to be addicted to crunchy peanut butter? I would be 20 pounds lighter if I didn't require a daily spoonful of crunchy peanut butter. I've tried to not purchase the stuff, but that just leads to midnight runs to Target followed by midnight peanut butter gorgings.

I love crunchy peanut butter. SO MUCH!


I am happy to announce to the world that after 1) completing the online application, 2) succeeding in the phone screening process, and 3) surviving the house visit we have been approved to adopt (purchase!) our next French bulldog. She's a 5-month old beauty. We are excited! She lives in Oklahoma and right now we're planning to drive up on Wednesday before Thanksgiving to get her.

Like I said before, there is nothing that can replace the empty spot in my heart that was created after the death of Martha Fauker; however, getting this dog has created a new spot in my heart.

Life is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Me, I'll bounce right back

Dolly Parton's Hard Candy Christmas is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs. The lyrics are just as important as the music; this song is all about believing that you will "bounce right back!" When I have this song playing in my car I sing it loud and proud, and when it's over I hit the back button and sing it loud and proud again!

Dolly Parton, Hard Candy Christmas Lyrics:

Hey, maybe I'll dye my hair
Maybe I'll move somewhere
Maybe I'll get a car
Maybe I'll drive so far
They'll all lose track
Me, I'll bounce right back

Maybe I'll sleep real late
Maybe I'll lose some weight
Maybe I'll clear my junk
Maybe I'll just get drunk on apple wine
Me, I'll be just

Fine and Dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down

I'll be fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow get me way down

Hey, maybe I'll learn to sew
Maybe I'll just lie low
Maybe I'll hit the bars
Maybe I'll count the stars until dawn
Me, I will go on

Maybe I'll settle down
Maybe I'll just leave town
Maybe I'll have some fun
Maybe I'll meet someone
And make him mine
Me, I'll be just

Fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting throung tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down

I'll be fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down

I'll be fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down

'Cause I'll be fine
(I'll be fine)
Oh, I'll be fine

Where In the World

I make my husband proud.

Last Friday I was at an event and speaking with a new friend as we made our way through the lunch buffet line. We started chitchatting about studying abroad in college. I said I never did study abroad when I was in college, but I wish I would have. She said that she spent a semester in Spain and loved it. I said my husband studied abroad in Spain and loved it too! She asked where in Spain? I said Cinque Terre! She said that's in Italy.


Hey Ricky

I've really enjoyed watching Ricky Martin make the media rounds promoting his new book. Although he is a millionaire celebrity and I cannot relate to that part of him; he is also a proud gay man, and I can relate to that part of him. Ricky just had twins via surrogacy, and we hope to have children some day.

It's nice to see someone I can relate to making their way through this world...

Monday, November 15, 2010

House Visit

In honor of Martha Fauker and the enormous hole in my heart her death has created I decided last week to stop looking at pictures of Martha Fauker and start exploring the adoption of another French bulldog. Some days when I get home from work I have a difficult time accepting that Martha Fauker is gone for good. I know I won't replace her, but I'm ready to create a new space in my heart for another dog. Plus, the energy of the house with just one dog is not the same. Trigger needs a new pack.

In my search I came across a breeder that has a 5-month old female Frenchy named "Sarah," the breeder had planned to keep and show Sarah but her teeth aren't ideal in the way they developed and that would hurt her in competition.

In order to adopt this dog we had to complete an online application, have a phone interview, and tomorrow we will have a home visit by the breeder's friend that lives in Dallas. When I say we're adopting her I mean that we're paying money for her. This process is interesting. I like the fact that this breeder cares about where she places her dogs.

I'm ready to bring this pup home. She doesn't live in Texas...so if we pass the home inspection, then we'll have to go get her this weekend.

Life goes on...

Flat Tire

Yesterday after yoga we discovered my 4Runner had a flat tire. I have a mild fear of flat tires. There's no logic to my fear. I'm always worried I'll have a flat on the side of the highway and then someone will swerve and hit me. The End. Lucky for me my husband was with me, and he is a tire changing machine. By the time I walked to the front of the car and pulled out the owner's manual and flipped to the tire changing pages he was already lowering my spare tire from the undercarriage. We (I use the term "we" loosely) had that tire changed in about 5 minutes.

Today I spent my lunch at Discount Tire Co. They had my flat fixed and my spare swapped out by the time I walked back from Taco Cabana. They handed me my keys, and as I was reaching for my wallet they said there is no charge to fix flats. I didn't buy my tires from Discount Tire Co., but I will next time.

I would like to offer the following facts to prove I live a charmed life:
  • My husband (who should work in a pit crew for NASCAR) was with me when I had my first flat since owning my 2004 4Runner.
  • Discount Tire Company fixed my flat fast and for free.
  • Taco Cabana's street tacos were a delicious lunch.

Darlene Love

A cool front swept through Dallas today- or at least it feels that way. It was a cloudy and rainy day. It got dark early. There seemed to be more leaves on the ground today. This type of weather at this time of year makes me want to listen to Darlene Love's Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

I love this song. I love the way she sings this song.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Success = Family

This weekend I attended a gala (my husband's flight was delayed and he missed it) where three men were inducted into a hall of honors. It was a very lovely event; the room was full of good food and fun people. All three of the recipients had tremendously successful careers, which is one of the reasons they were being inducted in the hall of honors. They had video packages where friends talked about the individuals accomplishments. After the video the hall of honor inductee was presented an award and given a few minutes to speak.

The most significant takeaway of the evening was that all three men had been in 30+ year marriages. They all said in their own words how their successful careers were sideshows to the main event, which was their relationships with their family members and friends. The men took great pride in their wives and their children.

Their acceptance speeches which emphasized family really spoke to me, because my husband and I have been performing a "cost/benefit analysis" with regards to bringing a child into our family via adoption or surrogacy. After the gala I was more certain than ever that we will bring a child into our family some day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Verterans Day

I came across this photo on the Internet. The headstone reads:

"A Gay Vietnam Veteran
When I was in the military
they gave me a medal for killing two men
and a discharge for loving one."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gay is a positive word!

This morning I along with one of our tax directors were at my buddy Jordan's desk. This tax director is a 40-something hetero man that likes to hunt on the weekends, and I'm pretty sure he has never been around another gay guy before me. The first time I ran into him he called one of my colleagues a derogatory homosexual slur- in front of me! When he found out I was gay he appeared to regret that choice. Over time I actually have grown to appreciate this tax director and I like him as a person. He just is a bit ignorant when it comes to homos.

Today when we were at my buddy Jordan's desk this tax director asked Jordan in a derogatory way: "What's all that gay stuff on your desk?"

I looked at him and said, "Excuse me?"

The tax director apologized, and then he stated in his defense: "You should take it as a compliment when I don't edit my words. I forget that you're gay, and I just treat you like one of the guys."

I told him that he shouldn't change his words based on his audience. He should just remove using the word "gay" as an insult from his vocabulary. I'm gay and I don't like that word to be used as synonym for something negative.

I deal with these types of moments all the time. I have to correct people, because if we don't stand up for the homos in small ways, then who will?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Boardwalk Empire

We're fans of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Are you watching? The first three episodes were thick with character development, and they were a bit slow. I'd watch the whole hour-long episode, and then wonder what really happened? We kept watching, because HBO's True Blood had conditioned us to watch HBO on Sunday night. "It's Sunday night, we need to be watching HBO." I'm glad we stuck with it, because now that we know the characters in depth everything they do is interesting. This week's episode was intense. Watch it. It's good.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Too bad this "rustic romp taper holder" also known as a candle holder from Anthropologie is out of my price range, because it's so unexpected. I enjoy interesting objects. It makes me smile to think about the animals working together to balance so that all their candles will be appropriately spaced.

Somewhere my husband is reading this blog from his business trip as he's hurriedly checking our online credit card statement to make sure I didn't try and slip this purchase under the radar. When we first got married I had the ability to slip items under the radar when he was out of town on business, but he figured out my game, and now I can't get away with these types of purchases.

Turkey Time

It's that time of year, again. It's time for me to take our large white turkey from the closet shelf and proudly display him on our dining room table. My husband calls it part of my "ceramic zoo," and it amuses him that I find joy in displaying a large ceramic turkey.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Perry is not an elightened individual

When was the last time your state's governor insulted you? My state's governor does it all the time. Governor Rick Perry is once again proving he knows how to pander to the lowest common denominator, and he does it because it works for him since he was just elected to unprecedented third term as Texas' governor. Sigh.

In an interview with NPR Perry said the following:

"States should be free to make decisions regulating such things as taxes, marijuana and gay marriage. If you want to live in a state that has high taxes, high regulations — that is favorable to smoking marijuana and gay marriage — then move to California."

It pisses me off enormously when he says things like this. My husband and I are Texans. This is our state. We pay Texas sales tax, almost daily! Next month we will pay our annual Texas property tax bill, which is over $10,000! Perry is the governor of our state, and he's throwing out quotes like this implying that high on his Christmas wish list is for all the gay people in committed relationships to pack their bags and move to California. It's like we're not welcome in our own state- according to Perry who is the chief executive of our state?!

Are you a woman reading this blog? What if your governor had said that if you want to live in a state that is favorable to women, then move to California? Are you an ethnic minority reading this blog? What if your governor had said that if you want to live in a state that is favorable to [insert your minority], then move to California? If your governor had said this, then (I hope) he'd be run out of office; however, my governor can say things like this about gays and it's okay.

Is it okay to publicly degrade gays?

Loretta Lynn

The CBS Sunday Morning show just profiled Loretta Lynn and I thought she said something so simple and so profound that I wanted to share it with you:

"I ain't about to be nobody else. I am just me."
- Loretta Lynn

Wouldn't this world be a better place if everyone had the freedom (and courage) to be their true self without trying to be someone else?

Presley at the Park

Yesterday we had beautiful fall weather in Texas, and Presley wanted to play outside in the neighborhood park. So we did. It was spectacular.

Presley and Paxten Weekend

This weekend my brother and his wife got a 36-hour vacation. My father and I took care of the girls yesterday, and then my husband and my mother joined us in time for supper and bedtime rituals. Right now my mother and my father are still taking care of their granddaughters until my brother and his wife return from their weekend get away.

I had so much fun spending time with my nieces, but I'm always amazed at how all-consuming it is to care for young children. Every moment is devoted to them; it makes me want to give my brother and his wife more 36-hour vacations.

I really enjoyed my 12-hour shift with my father and the girls and my husband and my mom. The highlight was when Presley looked at me and said that she loved me as she squeezed my neck.

"Show me Dora"

When my husband is multitasking, as is often the case, and working on his laptop while we're hanging out with our nieces, Presley likes to walk over and ask him to show her pictures of Dora the Explore on his machine. My husband, the most patient person I know, always happily fulfills Presley's request no matter what critical work task he's performing on his machine. Presley checks out a few photos and then carries on with her mission...she'll return at some point and ask to see Dora again...

Thursday, November 4, 2010


My "no pork in 2010" New Year's goal is (once again) coming under attack. McDonald's is bringing back the McRib for 6 weeks! I am a fan of the McRib. I don't know why a pressed pork sandwich that looks like it has bones tastes so good, but it does. I enjoy the McRib.

The heat is on.

My husband turned on our heater today. I'm not joking. It's 60 something degrees in Dallas; but my husband thinks it's 40-something degrees. He's cold. I'm hot. Help! It's going to be a long hot winter...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Final Photo

Last Tuesday morning I snapped this photo of Martha Fauker before I went to work. After our eventful Monday night/Tuesday morning I thought she ended up in a funny position- so I took this photo. She was snoring loudly when I took this photo. It's the last photo I took of Martha Fauker.

One Week Without Martha

My mother sent this photo she took of Martha Fauker sleeping in the same bed with Scout. Annie is in the second bed. Isn't that sweetness? It looks like Martha Fauker is looking at the camera, but really she's looking at my mother. She always had her eye on my mother because she wanted to be in the same room as her.

One week ago I came home from work and discovered Martha Fauker was no longer living. Last night I was thinking about our last night together all night. Martha Fauker woke up 2:00 AM a week ago Monday night. I took her outside where she peed. For the next two hours Martha made laps in our bedroom. She wandered around our room and bathroom without a destination or purpose. She'd get caught in corners for a moment, and then she'd start making laps again. I put her in her bed, but she'd just get up again. Finally, at 4:00 AM I got in the floor next to her bed and held her down when she tried to get up to make laps. She finally went to sleep. I got up for work at 6:30 AM. I like to think about the two and half hours I slept next to Martha in the floor last Monday night. It's a nice memory. She felt the love. I felt the love.

I voted today!

I walked from my car through the rain to our neighborhood elementary school and voted tonight after work! To my surprise I voted on a paper ballot. Hello, it's 2010? Paper ballots? Really?

My husband early voted. We're two voting citizens of the U.S.A.!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Sigh. Last night my husband and I put his whiteboard to use and we mapped out a budget for the remaining months of 2010 and all of 2011. And I learned two things during our whiteboarding session.

First, I learned that we have an expensive next few months. Yikes! It's time to start our holiday shopping; we love sharing the season with gifts for our family and friends, and that "stuff" adds up. We also need to install French drains in the front of the house. I want to also buy (and plant) a Natchez crepe myrtle and a pecan tree for the front after we install the French drains. My husband's spirit requires him to be skiing down a mountain for a few days each winter; we need to plan for a ski trip in the budget too. In May, we're spending 10 days in Europe- mostly in the Republic of Georgia with our cousins; it's my fist time to visit Europe and I know it won't be cheap. I also have a never-ending wish list of "to-do's" for the house: bathroom counter tops, light fixtures, chandeliers, a new front door etc...as CFO of the house my husband's job is to not let me spend money. He keeps us saving so we will have more options in our future.

My husband doesn't like to spend money, really, which brings us to the second (and most important) thing I learned last night during our whiteboarding session: My husband loves me and he understands me. I know when we're ready my husband would rather go get a pound puppy mutt for our next dog. It saves a life, and it's not that expensive to adopt a pound puppy. However, my husband put the following words on the top of our list of expected expenses for the next 12 months "a French bulldog puppy."

Watching him write those words on his whiteboard in our office made me both sad and happy. I was sad to think about "replacing" Martha Fauker and I was happy that my husband proved (again) that he gets me; he loves me; he knows me; he embraces my silly priorities- it's important to me to have a French bulldog in my life, which isn't a cheap priority!

Nice Ride

Those Lexus dealers are smart people. My husband's mother is getting her RX350 tuned up, and they gave her a brand new RX350 as a loaner car. When I took my 4Runner to get its 100K mile tune up they didn't give me anything to drive. They just gave me a nice place to wait while my husband came to pick me up. Do you think if I take my 4Runner for its 110K mile tune up that I can ask to get a black RX350 with chrome wheels and black leather and navigation and heads-up display to drive? For free? For a week or two?


These photos make me happy. The two sisters went as two Tinkerbells last night to celebrate Halloween. Aren't they beautiful little fairies? I love Presley and Paxten. They look like they had an incredible evening in their neighborhood with their friends. Halloween is my new favorite holiday.