Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 in 30

And it's ooooover (in my best Kitchen Stadium announcer voice). NaBloPoMo has come to an end once again. I learned a few things this time around:
  1. I'm much better at photo blogging than word blogging.
  2. I'm very good at procrastination.
  3. I should write more so I won't be quite so rusty.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In the zone

In one of our rapid-fire text messaging sessions, Ken said stability is my comfort zone and that is why I stay put. I guess that's true in that I don' like change. But I find it odd since I rarely feel like things are stable. There is always some sort of chaos swirling around me and it seems like it has always been that way. Maybe it is time to take a leap of faith and see where I land.

Monday, November 28, 2011


When some people ask for help or advice, they really only want you to agree with them.

You can only do so much for another person. Some things they have to do themselves.

You can only change yourself.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

For you

For you by chrissanna68
For you, a photo by chrissanna68 on Flickr.

When I was little I used to go junking and driving around with my Papa in his old pickup that we affectionately called bloop bloop. I often wanted to pick these purple "flowers." Papa would stop the truck and pick me a bouquet. Several sprung up in our yard before the recent cold spell. Ken picked this one for me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


My taste in music is to say the least eclectic. I may listen to classical one minute and punk the next. Sometimes it depends on my mood, other times I just let iPod shuffle me so tunes. Here's a few of my favorites:

Drive-by Truckers: Any of their songs are OK by me.

Etta James: Wish I could wail like she does.

Social Distortion: Mike Ness's voice makes me want to sing along at the top of my lungs.

Johnny Cash: A true classic and when he sings this one with June it makes me smile.

The Dead Milkmen: Punk with a sweet touch.

Friday, November 25, 2011

In review

One of the highlights of the week when I was a kid was "The Muppet Show." I loved the skits, loved the music and loved the guest stars (even though some of them I had never heard of before.)

So today we skipped the Black Friday shopping insanity I hate and went to see the new movie with Kermie, Piggy and the gang. My personal favorite is Gonzo. If you liked the show as kid and just want some sweet entertainment this is a safe bet. I loved it. The plot didn't ignore that the Muppets had been away for a while and was crafted true to the original shows and early movies. Watch for some famous faces at random intervals. The songs were fun, light frothy fare. The Muppets still dance, and the opening theme will still make you smile.

We made the right choice. Two hours with The Muppets beats two hours of fighting the crowds for cheap stuff we don't need.

P.S. Filmmakers, not every villain needs to be an oil man. Luckily, this wasn't over done as much as I have seen in other shows. But as the daughter of a father who works in the oilfield and a mother who works at a coal-fired power plant, I don't see the energy industry as the great Satan that some think it is.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's hoping you didn't get bombed by live turkeys.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Tonight I am making cornbread. It's better for the dressing that way -- not stuffing, dressing. It needs time to sit and dry up a little so it can so soak up the chicken broth. There used to be a whole houseful of people in this very house on Thanksgiving. My grandmother would cook for days. Pies, cakes, huge turkeys, vegetables and all that stuff. Tomorrow I will be working, and there will only be two of us for the feast, but there will be granny's cornbread dressing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Word of the day

Today's word is frustration. Everything I have tried to do has taken longer, required more effort and annoyed me more than it should have.

Monday, November 21, 2011

In review

It's day four with the Nook Tablet, and I'm absolutely thrilled with it. In fact, I'm writing this review with it. I was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of free and inexpensive books available. My first download was Jules Vernes' "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" for free. It is an excellent e-reader, but its web and video capabilites beat my high expectations. I watched a free Smithsonian documentary and have done plenty of web surfing. I've had trouble with previous touch screen keyboards (I'm looking at you, iPhone), but have had none with the Nook.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday night coming down

It's going to be a short but busy week. One of the flaws of working for a seven day operation is holidays aren't really holidays. Someone will need to cover, much work will need to be done before days off and you don't always get the actual holiday off. This year I am working Thanksgiving, which isn't a big deal really since there will only be two of us here. I'll try to get some turkey and dressing done Wednesday with plenty of leftovers for the big day. My grandma's cornbread dressing is always better the second (or third) day anyway.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Some random thoughts:
  • I become easily obsessed with things, especially in miniature.
  • I deconstruct swiss cake rolls and eat gummy bears in order from least favorite to most favorite.
  • I prefer odd numbers to even ones.
  • I don't like to make eye contact unless I know someone really well.
  • I like kung fu movies with Bruce Lee.
  • I have a hard time letting go of paper.
  • Talk shows make me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed for the guests.
  • While I do some of my best work on deadlines, I hate them.
  • I am quicker to cry when angry rather than sad.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The medium

I'm a fan of print. I love paper and ink. I will search for the most untouched copy in the stack, but this has created a clutter issue. So to keep getting the books I love and avoiding the hoarding I hate, I bought a Nook tablet today. Review to follow.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

People are strange

With everything going on in the world, can someone explain to me why "Twilight" and the demi-ashton divorce are in today's top stories?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No queue

Two things I won't be standing in line at midnight for:
  1. The latest episode of the "Twilight" saga
  2. Black Friday shopping

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

20 years

Photo bomber by chrissanna68
Photo bomber, a photo by chrissanna68 on Flickr.

Happy anniversary, honey! After two decades, you still make me laugh. Love you past, present and future.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Monday

in addition to various other proof i have received that it's monday, my blackberry won't type capital letters. i wish i could have stayed in bed with a good book. it's been one of those days.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Get walking

Last year we lost someone very dear to my family. My cousin was a teacher, a friend, a column writer a chili cookoff competitor and a world class scrapbooker. She had a smile that lit up a room and I miss laughing with her until my sides hurt. But one of her most important roles was as a fierce advocate for her two boys with autism. I walked in two Autism Speaks walks last year in her memory, and I am so glad I did. The hug from her oldest was such a special moment, and watching her youngest play made me smile. I will be walking again this year: one for the Permian Basin and one for San Angelo. You can click on either link to donate. Thanks!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good times

Being sweet by chrissanna68
Being sweet, a photo by chrissanna68 on Flickr.

I sure miss these moments. I never imagined 14 would be so different than 9. He's growing up, and I'm sure we will all eventually adjust. But in the in-between time is surely difficult. I have a greater appreciation for what my mom went through when I hit that age.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Those who serve

"Better to fight for something than live for nothing."
Gen. George S. Patton

If you enjoy any of the freedoms of this country, thank a veteran. As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and the granddaughter of a World War II veteran, I am amazed and inspired by the courage of military men and women.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What I'm reading

Right now I'm just getting started on Michio Kaku's Physics of the Impossible. I'm already in love with its concept of what is impossible today may not be tomorrow.

Kaku is rapidly becoming my favorite physicist. Although I'm not sure I had one before him, maybe Einstein. I must confess that I have a little crush on Kaku for watching him talk sexy about physics on all those science shows. Science can be fun.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Be careful for what you wish for

I typically avoid writing about politics because I believe in that old adage. You know the one that says you shouldn't talk politics or religion if you want to keep friends and avoid arguments. So this isn't going to be too political, but you can't talk about health care in this country without a small dose.

It's that time of the year when most companies are offering re-enrollment in their health insurance plans. Most change from year to year and not all companies have them, but if you are working you typically have some sort of coverage. With the president's health care reform, you are supposed to be able to get insurance if your work doesn't provide it or you are still in college. If you are living in poverty, retired or disabled, you likely have Medicaid or Medicare. So we should all have access to health care in some sort of form, right? Well not exactly.

The insurance companies or the government get to decide what is best for you -- not you, not your doctor. Oh there is choice involved, but only if you have the funds to pay out of pocket. If you don't, you don't get much choice.

A few examples:
  • If you get injured through no fault of your own, the insurance can make you pay out of pocket for an MRI. Or they can say you have to do x, y, z before we will cover an MRI. Hope you don't do any more damage while we are saving money.
  • A maintenance drug that works great to control diabetes is determined too costly. The insurance company makes you pay more for it. Want to get it at your local pharmacy instead of our mail-order pharmacy, no problem just pay five times as much.
  • Your doctor thinks you need to be screened yearly for cancer. We will pay this year, but not the next. The government says you only need to get checked for certain diseases every other year, and surely, they have your best interests at heart.
I sometimes think it was easier to get care when I didn't have any insurance. So everyone having access to health insurance might be a good thing, but it doesn't equal better care. Let's not kid ourselves. It just means following doctor's orders may cost you more. The other alternative is allowing the government or the insurance company to make health decisions for you. It's not about providing care, it's about the money.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's the end ... or not

Have you heard about the aircraft-carrier-size asteroid that is passing between the moon and the Earth tonight? I'll be at work, but I think it might be worth stepping outside for a look.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hard work

I've hit the seven-day slump. It happened last year, too. I have all these great ideas that I just can't formulate. Tomorrow will be better. It's been a long time since I've written a column so I think I'll start Wordy Wednesday. I'll pretend I still have a print column. This week I'm thinking health care and insurance. Blogging is hard work.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eye of the beholder

Leaning by chrissanna68
Leaning, a photo by chrissanna68 on Flickr.

I see beauty in decay -- the texture, the colors, the new shapes created by thing falling apart. In this house were a human family once lived, new life thrives. Baby birds were safely in a nest in the closet, a pack rat or some other small animal had built a nest in the kitchen cabinets. Nothing is wasted; everything has a purpose even when we don't see it at first glance.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

R.I.P., Andy Rooney

Journalism lost a beloved curmudgeon today. I remember watching "60 Minutes" as a kid after the late Sunday football game. Andy Rooney's matter-of-fact manner was kind of comforting after a the harder news stories. I was a news geek even then. I also liked watching a young Geraldo Rivera do undercover investigations on "20/20." I think any journalism endeavor can use a dose of both. You want the brash young guns who are willing to take risks, but you also need the wise, sometimes grizzled veterans to balance with a healthy serving of common sense. After reading Rooney's news obituary, I realize he got a chance to be both in a career that spanned seven decades.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Somebody needs a head butt

March 3, 2007 by chrissanna68
March 3, 2007, a photo by chrissanna68 on Flickr.

He looks like he could be useful as head butter. That doesn't look right, but you know what I mean.

Via Flickr:
Hook 'em

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's not real

I find it interesting how some people get drunk with power - even when they don't have very much. It's a little like Cartman from "South Park" running around saying "Respect my authority." It's hard to respect someone who doesn't earn it or have any meaningful authority.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life Unchained list update

I still need to finish my Life Unchained (aka bucket) list. But while I was looking it over for ideas, I discovered I had crossed something off. No. 7 was get a freelance job, and this week I finished my first one! It was a real sense of accomplishment with the promise of more work. Now I need to finish the list up, and get to work on making more things happen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


We went to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" on Saturday night and had such a great time. I threw toast. But the best part was I picked up some new catchphrases. The two kids seating next to us had plenty of gems. They were obviously were Rocky virgins, but didn't go up for the ritual hazing.

Some of the highlights:
"This isn't exactly a movie. It's a sing-a-long."

"Is that John Belushi?" (It was Meatloaf)

"I liked it better than that Patrick Swayze movie."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I'm still getting updates on a child I don't have from a place I've never been -- now they come in Spanish.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Different strokes

I let the dogs in early this morning because it was bitter cold. West Texas temperatures should never reach negative numbers. The basset laid down and took a nap with me. The junkyard dog? She ate a book.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One of those days

It's been on of those days where inspiration has been fleeting. I think my creative battery needs a recharge. I struggled during work to come up with two pages that I didn't hate. Finished products just made me think, "meh."

Monday, January 3, 2011

It made me smile

Last night, my husband was watching a show about Diane Sawyer while I was at work. He sent me a text message that said I was like her and should have been a reporter. It was sweet and made me smile that he could see me in that light. I don't really see many similarities, but when I graduated all I wanted to be was writer. I envisioned a career as a political reporter or a nature journalist, traveling to wherever the story took me. Sometimes life doesn't work out the way you plan. Sometimes I regret not following that path, but then I remember all the things I wouldn't have in my life if I had spent it jet-setting around the globe. Everything happens for a reason.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I've mentioned my affinity for odd numbers before, so it's probably no surprise that I am hopeful about 2011. During 2010, I spent a lot of time reacting and worry to situations that I have little to no control over. This year is going to be the year of focusing on what I can control. I can do better things for my health. I can make changes to my job skills and my work status. I can put effort into getting my finances in order. I can clean up and clear out clutter to give us some breathing room. I can avoid toxic situations with grace and love. I've deliberately avoided "resolutions" because I am great at making lists and not so great at crossing them off. I am just going to make this year one that is dedicated to making things better and find a little peace and happiness. Small steps are the way to make it in the long run.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Her royal lowness

The basset hound came into our lives seven years ago - a cute puppy that captured my heart with an online picture. I had recently lost my rottie that was the great dog in so many ways. Let's just say the hound was different. The rottweiler was house trained in less than a week. The hound not so much. It's something we are still working on. The rottie could spend the day in the house and not touch a thing she wasn't supposed to; the hound leaves a path of destruction in her wake. The rottie loved to ride in the car while the hound is confused by the whole process. They couldn't have been more different. I spent a lot of time comparing them. The hound had a recent health scare and it reminded me of something. I would miss her funny ways. I need to love her for who she is and not hold it against her for who she's not. I think I should apply that to people, as well.