Monday, July 30, 2007

Bathroom Humor Part II - Best Bar/Club Bathroom

I’ve done a fair amount of research this summer on the Montrose area with occasional forays into downtown and the Heights, and Etro wins hands down.

Here’s a typical Houston area bar/club restroom. It’s has a little more graffiti than most and a little less grime but this is the women’s room for cryin’ out loud! I hate to think what the men’s room must look like in this particular establishment.

I won’t say where this is, because it is a fun place after all, and I’d hate for anyone to be scared away by the picture:

Here, on the other hand is the award winning bathroom at Etro. Isn’t it spotless?

And look at the men’s room! Women can use it without fear when both women’s rooms are occupied as they occasionally are. We won’t speculate as to why.

This guy could be responsible not only for the pristine bathrooms, but for the neatness of Etro in general. He is absolutely relentless, so don’t leave your cigarettes unattended. They’ll be thrown away faster than your lungs can say "Thanks so much!"

The owner, Reese, is good natured about fielding DJing questions for hours on end, and promptly restocks the toilet paper and mops himself.
I like Reese, because he denied that I’m a flake. He’s wrong of course, but at least he errs in a flattering manner. This is the type of conversation I have when I go into a club specifically to take a picture of the restroom.

Here's Reese:

Here's Bob:
Who knows what Bob’s exact occupation at Etro is? Perhaps it’s nothing more sinister than to flirt shamelessly with every female that walks in the door. I do know he occasionally ducks behind the bar.

I do know that a Bob Dylan song was playing when he was conceived, and that his mom loved Bob Seger, that his dad’s name was Bob resulting in his mother’s claim that there were four Bobs in the room when he was conceived. I know his cousin, Corey something-or-another played with Townes Van Zandt.

The first words I said to Bob when I met him were, “Where are the bathrooms, and are they gross?” Bob got a kick out of that, and I could see where he would, all things considered.

I told Reese that from now on I was going to stop in every time I was in Montrose just to use the bathroom. He respectfully requested that I buy a drink when I did so. So if you need a bathroom in Montrose, go see Reese. And, y’know, buy a drink. ‘Cause the guy’s gotta buy a lot of toilet paper.

Up next: Best coffee/tea shop bathroom!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bathroom Humor

Enough of these blog awards, pretty and pink as some of them may be…let’s get back to the subject of bodily functions and, more specifically, where to perform them. To that end I would like to invent and bestow my own award.

This award has several categories and will be presented in parts so that I don’t have to fool with my camera just yet. Rest assured bathroom pictures in other categories will be forthcoming.

Best Bathroom Award

Best Travel Bathroom
There’s really no need to take a rest stop anywhere other than Bucky’s on the San Antonio Houston route.
You’ll have no trouble finding it either, because their billboards advertise clean restrooms for miles in either direction. And why not? Because what on earth could go better with a seven gallon fountain drink than a clean restroom?

Best Port-a-Potty
Most people are well aware that port a potties can be pretty scary.
One can probably contract several diseases just by glancing around the general vicinity, never mind actually entering one. The port a potties outside the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York are an exception. They are not only hands down the most sanitary I’ve ever seen, they actually feature (*gasp*) toilet paper! I think they're even cleaner than the restrooms inside the actual museum.

To copy Ricardo (and Ms.Q & Irisi copying Ricardo I believe)…

Coming up:
Best Coffee Shop Bathroom
Best Bar/Club Bathroom

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Due to specific requests AND the fact that my purse looked particularly festive today...

This really is EXACTLY the way my purse looked this afternoon. And yes, ALL that stuff from the post below is still in there too. I'd tell the story, but it's better left to the imagination, since the truth on this one is kind of boring.

I labeled things I thought might give some perspective on size, while trying not to waste too long obsessing over the lack of arrows on the lines.

So there it is, as promised: smaller than a bread box, yet every bit as functional.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Would be Cross Section of a Purse

My friend Beth said that apparently no one ever sat me down as a young adult and told me what contents actually belong in a purse. All I know is, whenever I need pliers I always have a set. Sometimes I even have a full size screwdriver. And yes, I admit to keeping a hammer and a pair of socks in my purse occasionally.

During the school year, my purse can get a little out of control, because I put throw in whatever I happen to be carting back and forth to school. But I took this picture during the bare-bones season, though a few of the smaller items escaped the picture. Not only do I throw in less stuff indiscriminately during summer break, I actually clean the thing out now and again. The big day for purse cleaning is Friday at the bowling alley. Another mom does sewing, Beth sips coffee, we all chat.

Apparently we're known as "the wild group". I'm not sure why because we make at least a halfhearted attempt at prohibiting the kids from activities that will necessitate a visit to the emergency room, and the only person drinking is Beth and that's only coffee.

We were pondering how we could have acquired this misnomer awhile back as I pointed out to one mom that her son (who is taller than me, outweighs me, and whose shoes are too big for me) was crawling across a table. Meanwhile, I tidied up the following items in my purse:

  1. Camera – yeah, well…you can’t see that part ‘cause I’m using it to take the picture
  2. Wallet
  3. Nail kit that looks like a flip flop shoe
  4. Checkbook
  5. Eyeglasses case – the eyeglasses aren’t actually in there. Anyone seen them?
  6. Part of a magnifying glass
  7. Five contact lens cases - one with an actual spare pair of contacts
  8. Part of a toy jeep
  9. Top to a bottle of sprinkles/jimmies - the whole bottle used to be in there until Jared & Beth's son Max ate some and didn’t screw the lid back on tight enough. Now I get to add sprinkles/jimmies to the list of things spilled into my purse, which already included ice cream.
  10. Keys
  11. Four dreidels - this might possibly be too many during midsummer, but you never can tell
  12. Toy truck
  13. Bathroom kit
  14. All purpose tool - Very useful. The screwdrivers aren't the best, but you never know when the pliers or knives will come in handy on an airplane.
  15. Cell phone
  16. Package of pin backs – I guess they’re not going to want those on an airplane either
  17. Gum
  18. Two small plastic ice cream taster spoons - I picked these up either for my classroom or my kids last spring, but they turned out to be too small for preschool and my daughter wasn’t particularly interested. I think it was Beth that suggested that I give them to the next cokehead I run across
  19. Tictacs
  20. Newman’s Own organic mints all natural mints– they're gross by the way, but they don’t have any ingredients I can’t pronounce & those tins are really useful
  21. CDs
  22. Chocolate bar – had I bought this myself it would have been dark chocolate, but I'm not particularly choosy when chocolate just happens into my purse
  23. Ipod, ipod ear things
  24. Thing to plug ipod into a car cigarette lighter
  25. Mirror
  26. Sunglasses – I usually have three pair in there, but I left one at a friend’s house and I think the other pair is...somewhere
  27. Hand lotion
  28. Beach ball – I believe I’ve explained that this one is essential. Very handy, normally deflated.
  29. Gift certificates
  30. Two books (though sometimes it's one or three, or maybe a magazine)
  31. Planner/calendar
  32. Various bottle caps and beer labels - collected for the collages in the post below
  33. Bowling passes
  34. Hair tie
  35. Purse notebook
  36. Sharpie marker
  37. A picture hanger
  38. A screw - I'm sure this goes to something, if I could only remember what...
  39. and two pens...because you never know when you might need to write in the car.
Sure there can be drawbacks to carting around so much stuff, but I'll say this for my purse: just when I thought I was going to have to toss all my lotions and lip glosses at the airport yesterday, it turned out I ALSO had a clear ziplock bag in the depths. Suddenly, just by virtue of my having enveloped them in a clear plastic bag, my otherwise incredibly dangerous liquids were neutralized and allowed onto the airplane.

So you see, it's six of one half a dozen of the other. And the Boy Scouts DID miss out when they refused to let me join in '79...well, I'm prepared for something at least...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Something different

Since I'm going to be gone through the weekend, I'm putting these up just so my blog won't get all stale and oldy-moldy. You can see them much better if you click on them. The color's off on the one on the bottom, because...well...I'd call myself a lousy photographer, but any teacher can tell you it's not nice to call names.

I figure all the bottle caps can, as my ex-husband's grandmother used to say, "kill two birds with a rock" by giving an idea of the size and by helping explain the post I hope to put up as soon as I get back.

There. Now I've ALMOST done potty humor, and I've ALMOST done a real scrapbooking post, (since I did use all kinds of scrapping supplies for these).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Everywhere a sign, sign...

Where I go my camera goes.
And my music goes.
And my
beach ball goes.
And my multipurpose tool complete with knives and a wrench goes (yes,
even on airplanes).

Okay! So I carry a nine pound purse! Yes. I did weigh it. Well, my daughter weighed it, the better to poke fun at me.

In any case, my point is I always have a camera ready whenever wildlife shows its furry face in the city. Of course, I always get home wondering, "Why did I need a picture of a rabbit?"

These are a little better. At least I got pictures of my kids while I was at it...albeit lousy pictures of my kids. With a squirrel.

But no matter how many squirrel, rabbit, or duck pictures I discard, I still drag the camera out when some wildlife or another crosses my path.

Sign pictures are a different story. My dad often mentions the "brother in law" rule of road signs, which is the rule that says that many, many stupid signs are put up because somebody influential had a brother in law in the sign making business. Most of them really seem to say the same thing:

If you get maimed or killed or are otherwise unhappy, it's NOT our fault!

The Museum of Health and Medical Science is apparently quite the dangerous place. They needed all these signs just for ONE exhibit. They start out with a sign warning hapless museum goers that they will soon see a bunch of signs. It's nice not to have to worry about being accosted by a warning sign with no prior warning:

Definitely two of the "Don't sue us just because you're stupid!" variety:

You've got to love a sign that directly instructs people not to put a beans up their noses:

On the other hand, the sign is a tad ambiguous. It could be that they're only instructing people with allergies not to put beans up their noses. Perhaps the rest of us should feel free to shove beans up our noses as well as whatever other orifices seem practical for beans.

This is probably a really useful one as these signs go. I mean, had they not read this sign, who knows how many people were going to try and heal their open, gaping, weepy wounds with the same honey they spread on their sandwiches?

Perhaps the same people who needed this sign I saw in the park nearby. It's imposing, isn't it? One feels safe and secure knowing that the proper measures have been taken to warn us of the dangers lurking in a city park. I mean, some days the spray fountain alone is enough to strike fear in the faint of heart. So what is this danger that necessitates such a wordy sign?
Somebody saw a bat. Don't laugh! It can be quite dangerous to see a bat, apparently. When somebody saw a bat at my son's school last year, they had to send home notice. I'd like to be able to say I'm kidding, but I'm not. "Never mind weapons or the pesticides in your peanut butter sandwiches boys and girls! Just make sure you don't see a bat!"

Here's a last one from the park. If there were wildflowers growing, would a sign really be necessary?

I like sign pictures for just that reason though. They just seem to capture the absurdity of this crazy life so perfectly.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Summertime and the living is…

Summertime and the living is delicious! Especially when your freezer looks like this:

Well worth an extra sit-up or two...
Since I’ve already given detailed instructions on how not to pack, how not to plan a night out, and how not to heal a body pierce, I thought I’d offer an example of how not to make homemade ice cream. Instructions as follows:
Put favorite ice cream recipe in your pocket at 9:00 at night on the way out the door, hoping to get to a grocery store before 7:00 am.
Drop ice cream recipe somewhere in friend’s vehicle. Forget about making ice cream the next morning.
Get ice cream recipe back. Check for pantry for rock salt.
Choose a day when neither child has slept more than six hours. Make sure a friend who declares himself willing to EAT homemade ice cream, but not particularly interested in helping to make it is visiting.
Spend half an hour looking for shoes said friend is certain he wore to our house. Have him wear a pair of my son’s shoes instead. Find out only later that he did not bring shoes with him over to play.
Get into multiple arguments with pre-teen on whether or not she should be required to walk to the store or anywhere else that day.
In a stellar moment of parenting also known as reverse, reverse, reverse psychology demand that she stay home, as if it were some kind of treat to walk a half block in 90+ degree weather.
Buy $15 worth of ingredients (Okay! So I bought organic...) to make approximately the same quantity of factory ice cream one could have bought for $3.00.
Take a quick glance at ice cream recipe only to be reminded that the batter has to sit in the fridge for two hours before being frozen, meaning the friend will not even be here for the results of his walk.
Pull out the ice cream maker to discover the drum or “vessel” is missing. This might be where normal people and I part ways…then again it might have been much earlier in the instructions...
Call ice cream maker company to see if drum is available for purchase. Call ex-husband to see if ice cream drum is still exactly where it was over a year ago. Collect drum from ex-husband.
Mix the batter between two doctor visits, a museum visit, gymnastics, and hand stamping father’s day cards.
Turn the ice cream the following day, managing to spread freshly frozen ice cream over, among other things, the following surfaces:
A cast iron pan
The CD player
The microwave
A stud finder (stored inside the ice cream maker on the off chance that I might find myself awash in whipping cream and pictures that needed hanging at the exact same moment)
The phone (why does it always ring when both hands are occupied?)
My insurance card
Tear apart kitchen looking for lids and containers that match (here I think I reunite with normal people). Fill containers and make the freezer an incredibly happy place!
A few people have requested this ice cream recipe in the past because I claim it’s good even though the eggs are cooked. So here it is, salmonella free ice cream, coming soon to a freezer near you, but hopefully with less hassles.

Salmonella Free Homemade Ice Cream

2 ¼ Cups Sugar
¼ Cup plus 2 T Flour
½ t salt
5 Cups milk
4 eggs, beaten
4 Cups whipping cream
2 T vanilla extract

Combine sugar, flour and salt in saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat approximately 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Gradually stir about 1 cup hot mixture into the beaten eggs. Add egg mixture to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute; remove from heat. Refrigerate 2 hours. Combine whipping cream and vanilla in large bowl; add chilled mixture, stirring. (Here I added 25 Newman-oh cookies and all the leftover candy we had in the house). Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bet'cha Didn't Know...

Bet'cha didn't know I was a Rockin' Girl Blogger! So says Maureen/Stale Coffee...Thanks Maureen!!!

It's got all the prestige of a blog award (see nifty pink button, read PL Frederick's acceptance speech...) and all the anxieties of a tag (Tell me again how I know if I'm bestowing or inflicting? Who all did I leave out?).

If it's true that the instructions are to receive once and inflict/bestow five times, this cool award should soon be displayed on approximately half of blogdom...but at least it limits itself to one gender. Here are five Rockin' Girl Blogs I enjoy:

Ms. Q/QMusings: From prisons to mammograms - thoughtful and friendly!
Irisi/Ruminations: Fun & flavorful, it's still no cooking blog!
Of Cats and Cardstock: Those kitties are always up to something unexpected! Besides, where else can you take a field trip to a gas station museum?!?!? I love transportation.
Toners/Moved to the Mountains: She does some cool stuff with paper!
Lara/Overstuffed: Cute kids and likes to laugh! Plus, you can get to her site by googling "What's going up wassa".

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Misadventures of a Body Pierce

A couple of friends have asked now if I’d be writing about getting my belly button pierced. While getting holes poked in one’s abdomen does sound terribly exciting, it turned out to be pretty tame. The body piercer, Jesus, remained matter of fact throughout, despite my efforts to joke about how reliable a center point for his measurements could be when he appeared to be navigating directly from my chest. Still, I’m inclined to think that “matter of fact” is actually a desirable quality when it comes to people who are about to poke holes in my body.

Mostly it seems like people want to know if it hurt. Well, yeah it sort of did. While I’m not so much afraid of pain as I am of needles, I can never turn away. Luckily for me, my view was totally and completely blocked. Maybe men can see what’s happening to their abdomen while lying flat, I wouldn’t know. But once the fear of watching the needle was removed, it wasn’t all that bad.

No, most of the pain has come from my adventures outside of the piercing studio. I wouldn’t describe myself as a klutz so much as I would distractible to the point of not finishing sentences, forgetting to press “send” on emails, and letting whatever happens to be flitting by at the moment grab my attention just long enough for me to look like I’ve lost control of my limbs…that last one being how I came to walk into the security system of the public library, causing a whole new round of bleeding. You’d think that since the security thing is sort of tall, my chest would have protected me some, but no. Apparently I walked into it just so, the angle being absolutely perfect for a nice hard slam of the jewelry.

Within the first week of being pierced I learned my lesson about rollerblading with a new tummy ring: when you’re finishing up your rollerblading expedition on a busy street corner because the trail doesn’t arrive exactly at your doorstep and you’re wearing your favorite jeans ‘cause the junky ones go up too high for the new piercing and you swerve to avoid a pedestrian while watching to make sure your son doesn’t get run over by a car and your first thought when you realize that you’ve swerved a little too far over is, “MY JEANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”…

…so yeah…I’m not actually going to finish this story, ‘cause it makes me out to sound a lot less graceful than I actually am on those things. And as I’ve clearly stated here, I am ever so graceful. Well. I may or may not be graceful on rollerblades. I’ve been told I’m a graceful swimmer. Put me in a library, however, and I can’t be bothered to watch out for inanimate objects strategically placed so that I’m sure to smack right into them at navel level as I make a beeline for nonfiction.

Last but not least, let’s all remember the importance of sun safety. I had very specific instructions from Jesus not to put anything on the piercing besides plain ole’ Dial hand soap. Forgoing sunscreen altogether didn’t seem like such a great idea, so I took a swipe at it, careful not to get too close to the actual metal.

Did I mention I’ve never worn a bikini in my life until this year? Definitely not good enough for skin that has never seen the sun before. Maybe it was because I spent a fair amount of time napping on the beach, or maybe the jewelry itself made a little reflecting oven out of my belly button…either way I was so burnt it was still tinged pink a month later.

They say it can take four months to a year to fully heal a navel piercing. Somehow I don’t think that four months thing was decided with me in mind.


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