Sunday, July 27, 2008

Austin to Saudi Arabia

A friend of mine was in town last week for a quick get together. She works for the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia. Wow! How many people can say that! Anyway, it is so interesting listening to stories of their life in the Kingdom.

As someone who does virtually no cooking, I was surprised to learn that they seldom eat out. If you are invited to dinner it means to their home.

Recently, the embassy has hosted President Bush, Dick Cheney, and a long list of other dignitaries. Saudi Arabia gave the U.S. a rare and endangered oryx. I had to go home and google oryx to see what they look like. (It is a large antelope with swept-back horns. See photo.)

What would a celebration be without T-shirts and mugs? But trying to get them on short notice in Saudi Arabia is another thing! Apparently, they don't print up T-shirts for all occasions like we do. She promised to send the logo that her husband designed for a US-Saudi event.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mamma Mia!

I saw Mamma Mia over the weekend and loved it! I'm not embarrassed to admit that I have been going around humming old ABBA songs. I know some reviewers think it is simple and not realistic, but, you know, I'm not sure it is more unrealistic than a rich guy dressing up like a bat and fighting crime. Of course, I still think film history was made by Pillow Talk with Doris Day.

Best of all, Meryl Streep dances and does huge jumps on a bed. I'd like to think that could be me but I was squirming in my seat with a pinched nerve in my back. By the way, remember the steroids they put me on for shingles? I'm back on them. But if I ever get rid of the back pain, I'm going to try doing a saddle jump on my bed and climbing on tables singing "Take a Chance on Me." I'll let you know how that works out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Introducing: Victoria

Several people have asked me who Victoria is. Victoria is my cat and editorial assistant!

She looks big in the photo but she actually is very small. You can see that she sits on the back of the chair and watches me write.

Victoria and I go for walks in the evening. She goes on a leash! Sounds weird but she puts up with it. She's a rescue kitty and part of the deal is that she cannot be allowed to wander outside.

I also have an ancient horse... 33 years old. She's not ridden any more, but that's OK because I don't know how to ride anyway! My daughter (the jockey) used to compete with her in hunter-jumper shows.

If any of you own horses, you'll know what I mean when I say that my economic stimulus check went directly to the barn! Who knew you had to "float" horses' teeth. Really?

The horse is one of the main reasons I have become so good at seeking out good deals!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The 9th form of intelligence

This week I have been listening to another motivational CD that encourages you by saying that there are eight types of intelligence. Just because you're not good at one type, you might be great at something else.

1. Bodily-kinesthetic- These are the athletes. Finely tuned bodies. Definitely not me.
2. Verbal-linguistic - Great speakers such as Martin Luther King and Kennedy. And me? Please! Let's move on.
3. Logical-mathemetical- Technology leaders and Albert Einstein. I don't really even understand what E=MC2 is. I don't think so.
4. Spacial - These are the engineers and architects. No, but that's OK; there are lots more to choose from.
5. Intrapersonal - Highly self-aware persons such philosophers and psychologists. Well, we're getting closer but if I'm so self-aware I wouldn't be listening to all these CDs.
6. Interpersonal - Empathize with others & communicate well, extroverts - politicians, teachers. Maybe...but not really
7. Musical - Now we're getting cold again.
8. Naturalistic - Great sensitivity to nature. The last time I went camping I was 10 years old and got chiggers.

Was this exercise supposed to be inspirational? Now I know that of eight forms of intelligence, I have none. I'll just have to define a 9th!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

There's a price for a great shoe sale

My mother told me so. Don't lift heavy things; you'll hurt your back. Well, I didn't really lift the furniture. I just pushed it around my living room. And I was careful.

Unfortunately, now I am on a muscle relaxer (which isn't all bad, by the way) and a painkiller. I was doing much better and could even sit up straight, but then I went to a shoe sale. Lalo (Designer Clearance House) got in a new shipment, and I spent two hours trying on shoes. The problem with this is that the place is more like a place to sit. So you are always bending over to find the shoes and balancing on one leg to try them on.

So now I am back in pain again. But worth it... I got a great pair of Olivia Rose Tal shoes for $62 (retail $275). I just can't tell my mother. She's already said, "I told you so!"