Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Austin Chronicles - Part 4

You ever have one of those moments where someone says something seemingly innocent and insignificant, but later on you realize those words were the most profound statement EVER?

Yeah, well that picture up there reminds me of one such moment.

Back in August 2001, Stew and I were living in Washington. State, not D.C. We selected a local breeder and drove out to Puyallup (pronunciation: pew-al-up) to go select our brand new, 6-week-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy (translation: money pit). Everyone had told us to choose the puppy that runs up to you and wants to play, because that is a sure-fire sign that the puppy will grow up to be vibrant and full of energy (translation: a combo plate of hyper and stubborn. with a side of crazy). Sure enough, one cute little brown furball wobbled right up to us and started licking my hand and chewing my thumb (translation: Pick Me!). I scooped him up, he snuggled up to my neck and I. Was. Sold. The breeder's young daughter exclaimed "That one's named Buster. Cause he'll bust your house up!"

Pause for a moment to let that sink in. Because I should have. And didn't. However, Little Buster (translation: Austin) had already stolen our hearts. And our common sense too, apparently.

On our way back home, we stopped at the pet store to pick up some last minute essentials (translation: stuff we forgot to buy BEFORE getting a dog). We browsed through collars and leashes and toys for a few minutes until Austin spied an employee tediously stacking VHS tapes (it was 2001, remember) to display on the end of the aisle. Austin jumped straight out of my arms and proceeded to haul his tiny, 10 lb. body right towards the 4-foot-tall tower of videos. At NASCAR speed. I yelled his name, "AUSTIN!" (translation: stupid move on my part because the poor dog probably still thought his name was Buster). I rounded the corner just in time to witness him plow right through the display and send 300 video tapes crashing to the ground all over the place.

The kicker? Those videos were DOG TRAINING VIDEOS (translation: irony. and shame).

We purchased one out of necessity (translation: guilt) and sadly it didn't teach us how to prevent Mr. Buster Brown from eating the baseboards off the wall. Or to poop standing still. Or to stop eating Irish Spring Soap. That would have helped. However, with the aid of that video, Austin can now sit, lie down and stay, all by commands given via sign language (translation: cool party trick).

Moral of the story:
Pick the fat, lazy puppy who pays no attention to you. Then have his teeth and legs removed just in case.

I'm just sayin'

Chipotle: It's chi-pote-lay. NOT chi-pole-tay.

That's all for now...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


#6 - Hansen's Sno-Bliz

I'm pretty sure that when I get to heaven one day, heaven will have its very own Hansen's Sno-Bliz. It is THAT good. I could ramble on for a while like I sometimes always do, but this time I won't. Plus, they have their own website here which is something you should totally check out.

My Strawberry Shortcake with Condensed Milk was to die for. Similar to heaven.

Go to Hansen's. Wait in line. It's worth the wait. Similar to waiting in line for the pearly gates.

Extreme Makeover: Stewzie's Garden Edition

This is the listing photo from before we bought the house 2+ years ago.

This is what it looked like the day we started the whole shebang. I refer to the overgrown bushes as The Four Afros. Kind of like The Four Tenors, except without the popularity or vocal range.


After we failed to yank out The Four Afros via ropes tied to Stew's trailer hitch.

After we (Stew) failed to remove The Four Afros via chainsaw. And axe. Simultaneously.

After our neighbor succeeded in digging up The Four Afros (and 1/3 of our lawn, but not his fault) via Bobcat. (Thanks neighbor!)

After 5 trips to Lowe's, 4 yards of dirt, 3 tipped over wheelbarrows, 2 long weekends, and 1 change in color scheme....


Window Boxes:

Herb Garden: Mint and Rosemary

Herb Garden: (from top) Basil, Cilantro, Sage, Chives, Green Onion

In case you're a garden nerd and want to know specifics, here's what we planted. Firepower Nandina, African Irises, Ascot Rainbow Eurphorbia, Guara, Aztec Grass, African Marigolds, and of course, Loretta.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Whoa, Black Betty, Ram-a-Lam

Because she's a Chevy Blazer and not a human, I'll never get to photograph her losing her first tooth, going to prom, or any REAL milestones. Keep on truckin' Black Betty!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rock of Ages

Ahhh, my brother Jeremy (a.k.a. Brotherford B. Hayes), (Hi Jeremy!) Where do I begin? Let's start here. In the 1980s...

Being the oldest child in the family, I often used my wisdom and power to torture manipulate my younger brothers. Specifically the red-headed stepchild middle child - Jeremy. Since I practically invented the whole "work smarter, not harder" way of thinking, I developed quite a few INGENIOUS techniques along the way.

For instance: To get my little bros to perform miscellaneous household chores that otherwise would have been my responsibility, I invented what I like to call "The Point System". In actuality, it was more of a scheme than a system, but whatever. IT WORKED. Whenever I needed my bed made, the trash taken out, etc., I'd con the little sheep into doing said chores by promising that I'd give them POINTS! Vacuum my bedroom? 500 points. Bathe the cat? 1,200 points. Take the blame for spilling a whole glass of Caffeine-free Pepsi behind the sofa? 13,752 points. And guess what? They fell for my evil little plan, because, let's face it. Who doesn't love POINTS!? After months of me shelling out hundreds of thousands of meaningless points, Jeremy finally wised up and inquired as to whether or not these points would ever add up to any sort of tangible reward. Crap, now I had to come up with a prize on the fly. So I offered him the choice of either a rock (that I found in the driveway), or a Hot Wheels car (which was already his to begin with), because I'm generous and resourceful like that.

He chose the rock. Which he proceeded to shove up his nose. And could not be removed via home remedies such as picking, blowing and/or shoving a pair of kitchen tongs up there. This was followed by a trip to the ER. Which was followed by precise medical extraction of the rock. Which was followed by (I assume) ridiculous medical bills for my parents to pay. Well Mom & Dad, in lieu of payment, you should have offered the health insurance company POINTS! Problem solved.

Fast forward to 2010. Jeremy and I were going through a rather large box of mementos (not to be confused with Mentos-The Freshmaker!) that my mother had saved for each of her children over the course of our childhood. We browsed through old kindergarten photos, finger paintings, sports medals and the like. That's when we stumbled upon what looked like, well, MEDICAL WASTE, and we were all "Mom, why does Jeremy's box have a shriveled up bag of MEDICAL WASTE?" My dear mother, sharp as a tack, took one look at that bag of MEDICAL WASTE and was all "That's the rock! THE rock!

And folks, here it is, in all its post-nasal glory. Behold, THE rock:

Warning: The stunts described above were performed by Jeremy Mohr, who has extensive experience of doing dumb stuff that lands him in the ER. Jeremy is practically a trained professional. Do not attempt to try this stunt at home.

Mysterio Predicts

My awesome friend Lisa (Hi Lisa!) is due to have her first child any day now. Actually she's measuring like she'll possibly give birth on her Aunt SUZIE'S birthday, but that's a whole different story...and just for the record, if Baby Lisa Jr. decides to arrive on my big day, I will be OVERJOYED to share such a fabulous birth date with this little one...

So because I'm not exactly the type to buy a baby anything remotely cutesy, and if I ever come across any gift that even so much resembles embroidered pastel-colored teddy bears, precious moments figurines, or WINNIE THE FREAKING POOH, my gag reflex immediately goes into action.

My solution? MYSTERIO. Apparently he predicts your baby's future profession. With like 37% accuracy. Pretty good odds if you ask me. But you really shouldn't be asking someone so horrible at math.

Lisa may not know the sex of this baby yet, but he/she already has a solid future. Lisa can rest assured that her offspring will have a sought after career as...drumroll...

Dear Future Baby Hog Calling Champion, I can't wait to meet you. And have Stew teach you the fine art of hog calling.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Internet, meet Loretta.

Loretta is an Red Emperor Japanese Maple. She enjoys decaf coffee, long walks on the beach, and chatting with her best friend Blanche about their favorite Soap Operas.

Loretta is the newest addition to Extreme Makeover: Stewzie's Garden Edition. More info regarding said makeover, along with inspiring before and after photos will follow in a later post. But for now, back to Loretta...

Loretta's introduction to our lives was a tiny bit symbolic for me. You see, my 30th birthday is in less than 2 weeks (hint, hint). Since THE BIG THREE OH is a milestone of sorts, I wanted to do a little something for myself to mark the occasion. Something that would last longer than the usual gift. Something I could look back on years from now and say "That. THAT happened when I turned 30." A time capsule of sorts. A living memory. Planting a tree seemed fitting. It's me putting down roots. Literally and figuratively. It's something that, like me, has been maturing for a while now, but will continue to gain strength and evolve. Let's all hope.

P.S. That wooden pole standing behind Loretta, holding her up and supporting her while keeping her grounded? That's totally, 100%, symbolic of Stew (Hi Stew!) Sorry for being so sappy (no pun intended - maple tree - sap - get it?)

I did some reading up on Loretta's species, and was intrigued by the following descriptions:

...thrives in a Southern atmosphere...

...handles the hot summer sun easily but prefers shade in the afternoon...

AND developing a reputation for good overall performance in difficult situations...

Loretta, I guess you and I have more in common than I ever imagined. Welcome to the family.


#5 - The Big Chill

That's me enjoying the latest, a Velvet Elvis. I do a good Elvis impression, no?

The Big Chill is slowly becoming one of my local faves. They have a good variety of outside-the-box-flavors. Guanabana anyone? Apparently, good ol' Elvis is a SECRET RECIPE...or so the girl working the stand informed me. She descibed the Velvet Elvis as "nice and fruity." Vague answer, if you ask me. Here's my assessment: 2/3 red cream soda, 1/3 unidentified, yet pleasant, fruitiness. Surprisingly refreshing.

The Big Chill is located right outside the gate of the walking/jogging track of Lafreniere Park (York Street entrance).

Austin thought this snoball was particularly delicious. He ain't nothin' but a Hound Dog...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

That stinks

So it's 11:49 on Friday night and I JUST REALIZED that I totally forgot to apply deodorant this morning.

The end.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 16, 2010

Die Vampire Die

*Disclaimer* If you're looking for the usual Stewzie carefree wit - proceed with caution. This post might get a bit introspective. Deep, even. But I'm probably overdue for a post that has more substance. Not that my dog wearing fake boobs doesn't qualify as substance, but you get the idea.

One more warning: Deep often equals LONG WINDED. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Last night as my pal Frances (Hi Fran!) and I took in a performance of [Title of Show] I was struck by the lyrics of a particular song.

Listen closely,
a vampire is any person or thought or feeling
that stands between you and your creative self expression,
but vampires can assume many seductive forms.

When I started writing Stewzie, my anxiety-prone mind (more on that later) immediately went into self-doubt mode. What if I share too much? What if I don't share enough? What if I should just shut out my thoughts and not write anything at all? Nobody cares what I have to say. I'm not good enough, interesting enough, creative enough, amusing enough, confident enough, witty enough, intelligent enough, committed enough, etc., etc., ETC. What if nobody reads my writing? Or worse. What if people read, but think my writing sucks? What if my mother disowns me because I just typed the word SUCKS for the entire interweb to read? And now her only daughter, pride and joy, has written a naughty word in a post that's archived forever for the whole world to see. Or double worse. What if I use the word SUCKS in a grammatically incorrect sentence? Some things are unforgivable.

At times, I can't wait to spill the juicy details of a story with all of you. Other times, it takes me weeks of worry before I can hit "Publish" and unleash the latest post. Writing is a very personal expression for me. I don't take it lightly. No matter how trivial the post. I poke fun, use a bit of too much sarcasm, express opinions, share photos, transcribe conversations. What if someone takes my words out of context? Gets offended? Or worse. Gets BORED. What if my husband gets his feelings hurt because I tell the world about his incessant SNORING? This is the live feed that plays 24/7 on my conscience.

Why is it that if some dude walked up to me on the subway platform
and said these things, I’d think he was a mentally ill a**hole,
but if the vampire inside my head says it,
It’s the voice of reason.

Until now, most of my writing has leaned toward the lighter side. Mostly entertaining, not too revealing. GUARDED. But, because I strive to become a better writer, I vow to share more. Because I want you to know the real ME, I vow to share more. Because I shouldn't be ashamed of the real me, I vow to share more. Rest assured, however, that a large majority of my posts will still discuss pointless yet riveting topics such as my hatred of Walmart and my love of all things Snoball. The bottom line is that there is more to me than humor and lame attempts at humor. Much more. I hope.

I'll likely still contemplate the what ifs. I'll likely still be cautious, scared even. But I will try my stewziest not to let myself sabotage.......myself.

Today, I'm staring my doubts in the eye and declaring "Die Vampire Die."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Austin Chronicles - Part 3.5

Update: This is what's left of Austin's BONE!

Only a nubbin of its original HUGENESS of a week ago.

Pretty impressive, considering we had to confiscate said BONE! for a couple of days due to the fact that Austin's farts were starting to smell like HOT GARBAGE.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Please explain "Rollback"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 12, 2010


Stew: We really need to put that basil plant in the ground. It's starting to look WILTERED.

Me: You mean WILTED?

Stew: No, WILTERED. Like the old fat weather guy on the Today Show. WILTERED Scott.

Me: You mean WILLARD Scott.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Austin Chronicles - Part 3

Austin has a best friend. His name is Eric. Eric lived with Stewzie for 6 months following Hurricane Katrina and Austin fell into a deep bromance with Eric. Eric isn't a dog. Eric is a human. Eric used to be Stew's best friend, but Austin changed that. Now when Eric comes over, it's not uncommon for me to have to perform the Heimlich on my dog because he went and choked on his excitement. Again.

The other day, Eric not only came over, but came over WITH A GIFT! for his buddy Austin. Pause for a moment to visualize the heart attack Austin had when he saw this:

This is what I like to refer to as the MOAB (Mother of all Bones) - pictured above next to Stew's truck tire for size reference.

Not sure if I've mentioned just how OCD Austin is before, but his reaction to this rawhide monstrosity was similar to his reaction to anything out of the ordinary. The look in his wide brown eyes quickly turned to panic because THE BONE! THE BONE IS NOT A REGULAR SIZED BONE! His anxiety quickly became unbearable and he cried like a baby because THE BONE! I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START CHEWING THE GIANT BONE! He was completely exasperated. Once he had received sufficient parental reassurance and instruction to SHUT UP AND LIE DOWN WITH YOUR BONE, his fear turned to excitement and he was all THE BONE! I GET TO CHEW THE BONE! BONE! BONE! BONE!

Then, guess who made the mistake of kneeling down next to her little brown pup to share in the fun, only to get smacked in the cheekbone when said brown pup raised the MOAB up and swung it around like a light sabre?
You guessed it. Ahhh, the joys of pet ownership Austin ownership.


#4 - Juju's

To celebrate the completion of my last session of boot camp (thus the sweaty unattractiveness of me in the above photo), I drove on over to Juju's and sampled a Mr. Freeze. The lady at the snoball stand described it as a "light mint" flavor. I'd say not quite. It tasted more like a mojito, if mojitos were made of mint-flavored body wash with a slight sour aftertaste of synthetic "sour mix" rather than actual lime. The ice was top notch; the flavor, not so much.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Smallest Winner

Whew, first session of boot camp = DONE.

And the results are in. I won't tell you how many inches I lost, because lost is the opposite of win, and well, it's just my personality. I don't like to lose. I like to win.

I will tell you, however, that my waist is 1.5" SMALLER. Also, my hips are 1" SMALLER. Haha, take that waist and hips. You can both SUCK IT.

Am I bragging? YES I AM. Not in an "I'm better than you" kind of way though. Although I did get up twice to do the 5:30 A.M. class. And me waking up before the sun comes out is like, well, the sun waking up before the sun comes out. So lets just say I'm better than the sun.

I think I'll reward myself with a snoball. Or twelve.

Friday, April 2, 2010



After doing a BootCamp cardio workout outside in the parking lot of the VFW Hall (seriously) I was all sweaty and hot and well that just BEGS for a snoball. I hit up my all-time favorite RO-BEARS in Harahan for a Blue Hawaii (by recommendation from my pal Trevor - hi Trevor!)

The Blue Hawaii is a cream flavor combination of coconut and bubblegum. Smelled a bit like suntan lotion (in a good, beachy way), and was pretty delicious. I don't normally go for cream flavors because they tend to screw up the ice texture, but this held up well and wasn't too thick. I also usually go for fruity flavors so this was a nice departure from the usual. Thanks for the recommendation Trev.

If anyone has other recommendations, send them my way!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy April Fool's Day from Walmart

He makes a valid point

Stew: They said on the news that only 47% of Lousiana residents have completed their 2010 Census forms. If they can pin down that percentage, why do we need a Census?