Monday, April 27, 2009

Cat's on Leashes

I have this cat. His name is George. Anyone who's ever met George knows he's a typical scaredy cat. He's literally afraid of his own shadow. So fast movements not necessarily in his direction, just generally in the house typically send him into a panic and a frenzy. And he's off and running. 

Now I should also explain that he's got lots of issues. He's also not really a boy cat. He's a she. But I didn't know that at the time I adopted the super cute kitten from the feral cat litter at the rescue cat shelter. I didn't know that until several years and several vets later that George is really a Georgia. But he or she doesn't really know the difference, I think, and its just easier to keep referring to him as George so I do. End of story on that issue. 

So one time when I was moving from Tucson to California I decided to give George some "fresh air" and put him on a leash in my brothers back yard. It was one of those 20' retractable leashes and I pulled it all the way out, so he'd have lots of room to roam, locked it in place and let him out of the carrier. What ensued looked something like this.

Needles to say George does not like to be put on a leash. And the cat "Pinky" in this particular video looks a lot like George which is why I felt so compelled to share this with you. Don't even get me started about the time I tried to brush his teeth with an old electric tooth brush. I still have claw marks in my arms and stomach. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Karaoke Fundraiser

Let me start by saying I don't karaoke. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind going along and watching people sing aka make fools of themselves but  I don't participate purely for that fact that I can't sing. And no I'm not being hard on myself I really can't sing. Ask anyone who's ever heard me. I can keep a tune for about two verses but then it all goes down hill. Yet I do like singing in the car or at home or at my desk. Its safe, its discrete, its not for public display. Its not doing permanent damage to anyones delicate ear drums.  However I must admit that sometimes I even shock myself as to how bad I am. That being said I don't karaoke. I've tried twice in my life, felt like a total ass twice and decided not to do it again. 

I have a philosophy - try everything at least once and if the first experience was bad try it once more and if it was bad a second time then you have a permanent excuse to abstain. Hence the reason for my adamant anti-karaoke stance. However today I went to a fundraiser and little did I know part of the event included a rogue karaoke nomination contest that you had to buy your way out of. Hmmm you can see where this is going right.

Now I thought I was pretty safe because I made it pretty clear to ALL my friend that I DON'T KARAOKE!! But I got a little cocky. I thought I would be funny and nominate my friend Tattoo Will to sing Billy Ray Cyrus' Achy Breaky Heart for the bargain price of $2. And since he had blown all his money on nominating other people he didn't have the cash to beat the final bid of $7 to get out of it. 

Let me just set the scene - Will isn't a country fan. He's more of a heavy metal guy hence the Tattoo part of his nickname. His performance of Achy Breaky Heart was - epic!! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. It was hard to hold the camera still as he paraded around shaking his tush and acting out the lyrics. 

Unfortunately I didn't count on him seeking revenge - even as I assured him that his performance was quite exceptional. He still nominated me for not one but TWO songs - Summer of 69' and Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen...Doh!! I don't want to talk about my performance. I'll just say I'm glad there wasn't a huge audience to witness the embarrassment that was my screeching into the microphone. 

As for my is the video of Tattoo Will performing Achy Breaky Heart...enjoy ;)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hanging with the KSAT crew at Joey's

Its been awhile since I hung out with my TV family but whenever I do its always a blast and tonight was no exception. It wasn't exactly a tweetup but it was a meeting arranged earlier this week via twitter after some friendly banter back and forth between myself and @BigRedInTejas over our beloved SPURS.

And tonight I got to continue that banter in person as I talked with senior sports producer Brett Baker aka @BigRedInTejas.  But I also had fun joking with @adamthephotog. He even let me wear his top hat.

My other twilights of the evening...I finally met @joeruiz in person, added producer Trevor Zickgraf aka @yowhatupT to my tweeps lineup and laughed with Steve Roldan as he shared Fiesta horror stories.  

Its been said that us newsies have a strange sense of humor and anyone who happened to have heard our conversations on the patio probably would have agreed...especially the flying scissor kick-face plant story..hilarious. You take the cake on that one @yowhatupT! 

As the night wore on, we shared story after story and laugh after laugh, and I was reminded just how much I love my tweeps.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Viva Fiesta!

Its that time of year...FIESTA!!

10 glorious days of parties, parades, royalty and medals.

So far my medal count this year is pretty pathetic...I only have 8 but I consider them pretty good ones. 

My favorites is of course the coyote medal ;)

As for the parties, this past weekend I went to the Oyster Bake and Presidents reception. My fabulous date and I even got to meet the official mascots of the event Pearl and Shuckie. 

And yes that's me in a dress. For many people who know me it's not often you'll see me in a dress. I don't own many of them. But we had a great time. The weather at The Bake was perfect - not too hot and the rain was nowhere in sight. Although I skipped the oysters - I know practically a sin at The Bake - I did indulge in some roasted corn, chocolate covered strawberries, a paleta and a few bites off of a turkey leg. All in all Leo and I had a great time. We even got a nice blessing from the Rey Feo court as they left the reception.

Jumping ahead to Tuesday - the start of NIOSA, I was invited, via a very dear friend, to the Kings party. That was a fun event. Chit chatting with all the Fiesta Royalty and many other big names around town who were all as friendly as can be.  But alas the time grew late - not by NIOSA standards but by workweek standards and around 8:45 I was ready to call it quits. Besides my feet were killing me...thats what I get for wearing my 4 inch heels to NIOSA. Ahh the price I pay for fashion. 

The good news is the last night of NIOSA is Thursday and I have Friday off of work.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Remembering Cooking Grandma

When I got the call from my mom Friday night I thought I had more time. She told me Cookie Grandma was sick and in the hospital. She said Cookie was going to be released Monday for home hospice care. I said I'd book a flight and come out for a visit. She warned me that Cookie wouldn't be very good company, that she couldn't talk much but I didn't care. I didn't care if we just sat and stared at each other for hours. This was my Cookie Grandma.

Cookie Grandma, known by everyone else as Marian Strawn-Hurd, got her famous name because of the most wonderful cookies she makes. The peanut butter ones with the hershey kisses in them. She also makes the best damn strawberry jam I've ever tasted. She still makes me that jam. In fact its the contraband I've lugged from fridge to freezer, from state to state, adding 15 sometimes 20 pounds to my luggage after my holiday trips to southern California.

I never eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without it...the sandwich I'm eating right now is bursting at the seams with it. In fact, without that jam, I probably would have starved in my early years of being a reporter making slave labor wages, living on top ramen, tortillas, peanut butter and of course Grandma's jam. But Grandma always supported me in my career, lovingly sending me care packages of jam, a few $20 bills in holiday and birthday cards and words of encouragement to keep me going when I wanted to quit.

She always called me her #1 granddaughter. More about bragging rights it was also about heritage. I was the first grandchild, about a decade ahead of my siblings and cousins. Spoiled and loved, every year grandma would take me to the Lompoc Flower Festival. She would take me on the carnival rides, buy me whatever I wanted and show me off to all her friends as I proudly beamed as only the #1 grandchild could.

I remember her taking me to the Elks Lodge where she worked as a bartender and showing me off to her friends. I remember being so impressed with how many friends she had. I remember the lovely ladies at the salon where she got her hair done. I remember everyone knew my Grandma. I remember the apartment complex that she ran as the manager, how she knew every tenants name, how much they liked her and how much she cared for them.

When I think of all the thousands of people my Cookie Grandma came into contact with, her life intertwined with, who she helped and made laugh it amazes me she had any time at all to hop in the kitchen and bust out an amazing spread of tri-tip, deviled eggs, ham, baked beans and a host of other amazing goodies any time there was a family get together. But she did it with ease and with a smile on her face. All the while lovingly herding the pack of grandchildren that had come along in the 32 years since my birth.

She got remarried three years ago to a wonderful man named John Hurd. A few months after, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctor said she wouldn't last more than 12-18 months. This past Christmas she was still fighting and giving the cancer the ol' F-you...she could be a little feisty. We're like that in my family. So like I said I thought I had more time. I was wrong.

At 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon my step father called to tell me my Cookie Grandma had passed away...peacefully, holding my mothers hand. So I did the only thing I could do from several thousand miles away...I cried.

Its hard to believe as I book my flight for California there will be no jam to bring home on this trip.

Cookie Grandma RIP 6-19-1935 to 4-5-2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Bonham vs PolyEsters aka Acapulco Sam's

Its been a while since I last posted but its not like I haven't been going out...I have been. In fact last weekend I even tried to stray away from my signature Saturday night hangout, the Bonham. Big Mistake. 

It all started with my friend Diana, super cool chick who's my latest dance partner in crime. She heard I've been going out dancing every Saturday and wanted a piece of the action. 

Let me tell you about Diana: she's a super successful real estate agent with a zest for life, an amazingly awesome positive attitude and works out like a fiend. I am so jealous of her six pack stomach and buff arms. She does these Zoomba classes at the gym which make her perfect for keeping up with me on the dance floor. 

So we made plans to meet up at my house last Saturday night and head out to the Bonham for a night of dancing, she was a Bonham virgin. 

Lee, the manger, was super cool. He even bought us a couple of red bulls to get our dance engines going. And Diana got a kick out of watching the "man meat" dance on the poles in the upstairs bar. But around midnight she wanted to check out PolyEsters since she'd never been there either.  So we decided to walk over to the "other place."

Now I've been to PolyEsters before a few years ago and I even went recently about two months ago with a couple of girlfriends and it was a bad experience. It was hot, cramped, the cement floor made my feet hurt and I ended up in a conversation with these two racist jerks from Maine who couldn't stand gays and mexicans. I guess they didn't realize that the friend I was with was gay and that I was hispanic. Again very few people realize I am hispanic. They also barred us from the third floor because apparently one of my friends didn't meet the "dress code." Did I mention the drunk girl from the bachlorette party doing the worm with a large inflatable penis? It was an interesting night to say the least. 

But I figured this was Diana's night and hey dancing is dancing so what the hell PolyEsters it is or Acapulco Sam's or whatever it's called now. Let me just say...I hate paying cover...especially when its expensive. It cost us $10 each to get in the door. But we went in and hit the dance floor as best we could. And as I expected it was like trying to dance in a sardine tin. The funniest part was when the Cupid Shuffle song came on no one knew which way to go and everyone was bumping in to each other - mass chaos. Needless to say we didn't last long before we headed back to the Bonham. 

The best part was probably our walk back to the Bonham when we got to wave to the fire engine that passed by us. They blew the horn and waved back.

This Saturday there was not even any discussion of any club other than the Bonham - we hit it and hit it hard. We danced until our feet hurt and then some. There's nothing quite like coming home after a long night of dancing and collapsing into bed and thinking to yourself - Damn I had a great time...and yes...Damn I had a great time...I can't wait to do it again.