dirty birds

i am aware that saying i have a favorite part of the long drive down i-35 is the equivalent of saying my favorite part about a trip to the dentist is a sugar free sucker at the end. (which, i personally feel slightly strange about taking as an adult. i think i even try not to look like i care.) but i have made the drive a few times in my day, and as long as i have lived in austin, somewhere between dallas and waco, my favorite billboard has been standing in the sky. i don't know if it's the billboard that i enjoy so much, or just the hilarious place that it is advertising. i have not yet summoned the will to stop and actually purchase something, but with a bit of encouragement, i'm sure i will get there. try and take in as much as you can from the picture i snapped while trying not to run off the road:

got dirty birds? well you are in luck, because this place has birdbaths.
however, it could easily also read, "got a circus themed backyard? we have a 7 foot tall statue of a gorilla in pajamas!" if only my speedy driving did not blur the photo so much, you could see all the other gems inside these walls. there is an enormous rooster (fully painted) and a pig somehow suspended above the front door. there are a number of windmills (isn't that what those are?) and a bunny (possibly larger than the gorilla). to the right of all that is the largest selection of birdbaths i have ever witnessed. depression-shmession, if the birdbath place made it, i think we will all be fine.

in closing, i would like to salute the i-35 statuary. you make my 3 hour drive slightly less painful. now that i'm home, christmas may begin. gold christmas tree: prepare to exit the box.


fisher of treats

toby and i woke up this morning to quite a chilly day. the pond was perfectly still and we were anxious to fish. did i say fish? i meant, exploit toby by dressing him in dog-sized fishing gear and making him pose for photos. heather is my perfect partner in this scenario, for she also finds cuteness in small things and joy in photo-ing them. someday we will start a photography business in which i will business and she will photo. (more on that subject another day) on this day i will tell you, toby makes a fantastic fisher-dog. he caught nothing, but searched desperately for little swimming treats. reluctantly he turned in his pole and called it a day. but here is a taste of the greatness we captured:

kiss on the nose

thanks heather for taking such great photos!

alex hasn't made it in yet from chicago, but its safe to say that we are anxious for him to get here. the party is always bigger when alex comes in town. so hurry up brother!!
hope everyone else enjoys their thanksgiving as much as i am.


i'll never let go, tony. i'll never let go.

the enormous black hole of consumerism also known as the cowboy stadium, was hoped to become a symbol of new beginnings and a grand new start to a new chapter of cowboys history. owner, jerry jones, seems to have done everything monetarily possible to create the most perfect football environment ever. (cue blurry transition into a flashback) i seem to remember another historically great piece of construction that even all the bells and whistles could not save. (i am aware of the insensitive nature of referencing a disaster such as the titanic in comparison to my football team, but i am coldhearted and will do anything for a good analogy) as jack sinks into the water he pleads with the chick to "never let go." and sadly this is the image i conjure up when thinking about america's team. the mountainous structure is beautiful indeed, but perhaps as an act of karma, it is no power against a team that can't play the game. unfortunately, and even though a large part of my conscience cannot get past the wastefulness of this entire topic, i was raised to love the dallas cowboys. i cheered for them even before i knew what a first down was. now, having been fully educated in the sport, i still love every piece of my star spangled team. i write this now to say to wade, tony, jason, roy, flozell, and even nick folk: i forgive you. i apologize for my boo's today. i will always believe, and i will never let go. now let us climb back into the saddle and be the cowboys that all your old fans wish you still were.

moving on:
toby and i drove in for the game on saturday and as you can see, toby was incredibly excited. he jumped up to sniff and look outside as soon as we entered dallas. (he has incredible dog senses)

(cutest photo of all time)

what can i say, i have trained my dog well. i bought a sweatshirt, heather made me laugh and had a great time with the roll-up-sign, and patrick and i were possibly scrutinized for drinking whiskey at noon. andrew was greatly missed (and do not think those two sentences were sandwiched together by accident) for he was back in austin working on his enormo-paper from hell. which will forth be referred to as "e.p.f.h." i always miss andrew when he doesn't get to come to these fun things, but i am so proud of him. the e.p.f.h. is only hellish in size, and certainly not content. toby misses him too. there aren't near enough snacks and dropped food crumbs without him. i am greatly enjoying family time, which has only just begun. heather has zero school all week and crafts are already in the works. no one makes me laugh harder than my siblings, so i foresee quite a week ahead. holidays are always the best days for fun in my book. may this year be the best yet!


its beginning to look a lot like i can't figure out what holiday to celebrate

let me please begin by explaining that (as most of you probably know) i am obsessed with holidays. i told kristen the other day that i am like a single, childless, grandmother. (meaning, i'm not married- have no children- but spend most of my time decorating my house for holiday, baking things with gluten that i can't eat, and crafting) my halloween decor is still out on the front porch, and i think a large moth decided to nest inside of my lawn ghost. he has since passed away, but his little winged body is still visible through ghostie's white sheet. (bulk trash pickup anyone?) so today my dear friend, melissa, and myself went to the great land of garden ridge. they had a shockingly low selection of thanksgiving things so i came home turkey-less. all the halloween stuff was 60% off and it took every ounce of self control to keep from purchasing more ghosties (see halloween post if you're not following my logic). and yes i am aware that it is still early in november, but friends, you must understand the bargain shopper within. christmas trees were half off. melissa is now the proud owner of a giant pre-lit pink christmas tree, and i, obviously, had to have the gold one.
see photo below:


i know... gorgeous. (picture me saying that like the lady on garden state with the strong jersey accent "goy-jus") anywho, so the tree is now a part of our happy home, but will remain in the box until after thanksgiving (i hope). of course i had to accessorize with all the sparkly ornaments i could find and i left feeling a lot like christmas. i returned home however only to realize that my halloween stuff is still on the front porch and my bin of thanksgiving stuff is sitting in the living room waiting to be put up (don't you just always end up neglecting the pilgrims?) and the christmas tree is in box waiting for december. the following photo is a representation of the holiday confusion:
even tobe is confused.

i'm thinking that so as to not let thanksgiving feel left out i will cook a pre-thanksgiving meal for friends. everyone is invited- come have turkey at my house!!



the first step is admitting the problem

i'm going to let the photo do the talking first here:

now that you have taken it all in, i will explain. last year for christmas (at the peak of the snuggie phenomenon) my sweet mother (who seems to be as big a fan of the "as seen on tv" products as i- see fair blog post) got us all snuggies as joke christmas gifts. we rewound the commercial probably ten times during the thanksgiving football games, so you understand the hilarity of opening these gifts on christmas morning. however, she was either unaware of the "christmas special" taking place, or the snuggie people are just that generous; she ordered three and received six. so not only did alex, heather, and myself receive one, but andrew, the dot, and virtual sister katie lanier also became a part of this christmas miracle.
but back to the point. this morning i had to make an emergency toby food run to petsmart, because i forgot to yesterday. trust me, toby was fully aware of how late petsmart opens. he was also fully aware of the fact that some extra shopping was taking place. while browsing the aisle of dog shampoo and decorative poop pickup bags (which i bought) i came across cruel pet photography gold:

a toby sized snuggie.

toby is now a proud owner of this degrading piece of unnecessary clothing. it is the true test of how little dignity americans have, and how much money can be made out of a cheap flannel blanket with sleeves. so the next time the family is at a little league baseball game, or outside roasting marshmallows and toby seems cold- fear not. he too can be blanketed without his arms being trapped. he will never again have to sacrifice warmth to use the remote. and yes- i see the irony of a culture dependent on remote controls which has then forced a dependence on a blanket with sleeves. if only they could just come up with an iphone application that will microwave my dinner..
and do not think i mock you america, for i am one of you. i now have a 15 dollar deduction from my bank account because of this. i hope "dog snuggie" appears on my bank statement.

ps- if you did not see this video, please watch it. i salute bill maher's wit.


halloween party round two

thanks to me, andrew and jon had last minute costumes for the party on saturday night. they wore my giant adult size one-pieces from last christmas. i am ashamed to say that i own more than one, but i do, and jon and andrew became small sleepy children. jon carried jb (jammin bunny) all night and andrew wore a headband for an unknown reason.
johnny and haley both had fabulous costumes and both ended up in the same genre. mr. andrews was a news reporter and had a hilarious array of dated news-y phrases that he used throughout the evening. haley just looked really cute and did her best to get johnny's breaking stories to us on time.
sean was "early 90's guy." small ponytail, rainforest cafe t-shirt, plaid flannel around the waist. oh and tevas with socks. loved it.
me and h-bomb. i was batman, but due to the photography i didn't make it into many photos. so this is all you get of my costume. it had a cape though. and a belt. i was the hero halloween needs.
i looked over at andrew and jon at some point and found it funny how similarly they were sitting
did a little break-dancing in johnny's room.
then johnny came in and said it was time for bed. stories first though.
ryan and heather were airline employees. looking so very cute.
these were two of my favorites. may (left) is a sock monkey. she also is about the same height as me- giving you a general idea of how incredibly tall the man on the right is. he is a black white supremacist.
jon got into an epic wrestling match with bonnie. she might have won.
battle wounds.
papa smurf showed up!
it began as a small stick fire. slowly it burned down to coal and ashes. then some creative thinkers found geoff's grandma's old wooden table. it was slightly broken at one of the legs but geoff was in new orleans so that wasn't stopping anyone. after his thumbs up from the big easy, the table was thrown down the outdoor rock stairs. that did little to no damage. the empty keg was then brought out and used to break it down into smaller pieces. (reminder i was the designated driver for the evening, and had not had any alcohol.) the table was placed in the fire pit, and after a little extra lighter fluid it was a roaring pile of burning lacquer. everyone's lungs were nice and shiny.
andrew and may used the keg as a chair to watch the fire (which i found quite hilarious) and we recognized the photo-op.
good story: at one point in the evening a young man came up to talk to andrew. he said "hey man, what's your name?" andrew replied "my name is andrew." other guys says, "you mean, angie?" -andrew stares blankly- and then the guy says "well aren't you a girl?" andrew says, "no..." guy says, "why are you wearing a girl wig then?" andrew replies, "that is my hair."
jon is getting tired after all the wrestling and dancing. (and orange punch drinking)
wrapped up the night with a group photo. all my favorites in one picture. i'm back there behind johnny's ego. what? that was a joke! i love you guys!
andrew was too sleepy to make it home. daylight savings gave us one too many hours for party.
we finally got home and found toby still in his pumpkin. but the mouth was flipped around and made it look like he was bummed to miss out on the party. he was also really worried about jb- he smelled like foreign dogs, beer, and campfire.
all in all- great party! thanks to our hosts, danny, emily, and johnny.
hope everyone else had a happy halloween!