I wrote a new song on my guitar last night. It’s so cool to feel like a girl with a guitar. Like I’m all Sheryl Crow or something. But it’s hard to be Sheryl Crow when you only know about three cords. All my songs basically sound the same. Kind of like the old Def Leopard album or something. Without the head-banging, but with the big hair and make-up.

The bad part is that I stayed up until midnight playing my guitar. Suddenly, it was just fun and I was a creative genius. Or maybe I was just really sleepy and on some weird sleep-deprived trip.
How many songs are out there in the world? What if you write a song and it’s already been written? I used to write rap songs, but my friend T.Lo said I sounded ridiculous. I’m actually not a bad rapper. If you ever want to have a freestyle stand off, let me know. Maybe we could have it at the International Starbucks in the parking lot. I just have to figure out what to wear…

Believe it or not, I found a recipe on the back of my Gorton’s Fishsticks. The recipe is called Fish-On-a-Log. The ingredients are squeeze cheese, pizza-flavored Goldfish crackers, and fishsticks.

Prepare the fishsticks per the instructions on the box, squeeze on the cheese, and put the Goldfish on top. Serve while hot. Yummy!

I think I laughed for a good five minutes. More recipes are available at http://www.gortons.com/recipes/.

I thought of a new recipe called Bloody Fingers. It’s for Halloween parties. Cook the fishsticks, and apply ketchup. (Oh, this in no way is to make my brother feel bad for having that accident. I love my stubby-thumbed brother!) Maybe I'm more domesticated than I realized.

The Gap has done it again! Just when I thought I might be outgrowing The Gap, they’ve thrown a new bone (or clothing collection) my way. This time—a whole new concept: Forth & Towne. http://www.forthandtowne.com/#0.1

I used to think a cool way to describe the Trinity to shop-aholics was by using The Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic: three-in-one. Now they’ve added Forth & Towne, so my method is messed up. The clothes appear to be pretty classy. I don’t know if it’s a step between The Gap & BR, or if it’s a step above BR.

It’s going to be interesting to see the clientele. Will Dinah leave BR and now only shop Forth & Towne? Me? I’ve been a Gap Girl for a long time. For awhile, I’ve felt like I’ve needed to move on…to expand my territory (and wardrobe) in a new direction. I thought I was just going to have to settle for the BR Outlet at Katy Mills, but I can only get out there about once a year.

The new Forth & Towne opened Sept. 20 in the Galleria. I suppose I’ll drag myself there one day and check it out. Since my funds are low for now, I’ll just have to be a pretend shopper. And I WILL NOT get a Forth & Towne credit card –even if they promise me 10% off my first purchase and give me a kidney if I ever need it.

p.s. When will H&M ever come to Houston?? :(

Abs of Steel have eluded me for all my 31 years. But for my 32 birthday, I’m going to give myself, abs of steel. I can’t wait! I have less than 6 months to reach my goal.

I’ve been reading fitness magazines for a good 8 years now, and I know all the theories. Some people were never meant to have abs of steel. Also, you have to get through the abs of flab before you can reach the Abs of Steel. But I’m serious this time. I don’t have a definite plan, but I’m working on it.

After I have my Abs of Steel, I can go up to people and stay, “Hit me in the stomach! If you dare! Or are you scared your hand will break from my Abs of Steel?!” I will also wear half-shirts because I think there will be lots of them available on Ebay since Britney and Christina no longer where them (okay, this is definitely a joke! I’m a whole-shirt fan. Honestly, more of a turtleneck sweater fan.) If you want to join me in the Abs of Steel challenge, let me know. Maybe some competition will help my cause.

Have you ever felt the call of God? Like you check your cell phone and it says GOD 777-7777 (Yes, that's God's phone number.)

I really feel God has put on my heart to go to Kenya on a mission trip with my church. I really didn't want to even think about going because I have been broker than broke. Months ago, I had a big plan about how I was going to save up for the trip. And then, mysterious bills kept entering my mailbox and crazy extra non-planned-for costs. But God still called me, and has made me ask for money. I do not like asking for money. I'm the kid that couldn't even sell M&Ms for the school fundraiser. My brother ate them all and my parents had to pay.

Anyway, a former co-worker is determined that I will have enough money to go. Isn't it crazy that the two years I spent removing staples and making copies would have more impact on my life than I could ever imagine? Her kindness has touched my heart. And who knew that God would change me so much by accepting my helplessness and trusting Him? I'm sure there's more to come. Wow. I'm going to Africa. I will be going.

My friend, Kari, is in town visiting from Kentucky. She brought along her two-year-old daughter, Katherine. There aren’t enough meals available during their visit for me to introduce her to all my favorite Houston restaurants, but last night, we got to hit Chuy’s. (Isn’t it bizarre that Chuy is a nickname for Jesus? Note: This does not necessarily make the restaurant holy.) http://www.chuys.com/

Katherine was standing on her chair eating Creamy Jalapeno dip for the first time. I really wish I had my camera there. It was a precious moment. She’s a great chip dipper. Then, while Kari and I are talking, I notice Katherine has moved the C.J. dip right in front of her. After a few more minutes, Katherine is seated and then grips both sides of the bowl with her two-year-old hands and puts her lips on the side ready to drink the Creamy Jalapeno.

I can totally relate.

I’ve justified visiting Starbucks by thinking of it as renting space for the price of my coffee. I give them $1.41 for hot tea, and I get to use their space.

Do men like wearing cowboy boots because it’s kind of like wearing heels, but in a manly way?
How did Andy Gibb sing so high like in Stayin’ Alive?

I want to go on a date one day to Cleburne Cafeteria. I believe that being in the presence of 90-year-old couples with canes and oxygen kind of puts things in perspective for a relationship.

I was excited about Veggie Tales being on CBS, but I heard they’re making them take out all references about God. Will they post a message that says, “Content has been edited for TV”?

I'm scared to check out a book at the library because the last one cost me $24.00 in fees--including threats from the library. And I only got to page 43.

The Gap is having a big fall sale. They’re putting boot-cut jeans on sale. It can only mean one thing: skinny-legged jeans are here—boot-cut is out. One day you’re in. The next day you’re out.

On What Not To Wear, they said that skinny-legged pants make women look like ice cream cones.

I really don’t know what to do here. Do I buy the skinny jeans to wear with ballet flats so I can keep up with the trends like Sienna Miller (per InStyle)? Or do I get the bootcut jeans on sale and deem myself free from the chains of fashion, but totally not hip? Hey, maybe I can buy the boot-cut and figure out a way to roll them up where they look like skinny jeans. I just re-discovered tight rolling!

I think I have a hidden twin. I’ve never had my DNA tested, but I know when I do, my DNA will be different from my children that I birthed. Well I haven’t birthed them yet, but when I do, it won’t match unless they take my DNA from my thyroid gland, and only then will it match. All because I have a hidden twin. It’s called chimera. And you could have it, too. http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=2315693&page=1

By the way, my hidden twin made me watch a really stupid movie on LMN (the new name for Lifetime). I got sucked into a two-hour drama that spanned 11 years.

I just noticed these words on the lock on the bathroom door. It said "Hiny Hiders" with the "H" written in a special design.
Yup, that's what it said. Hiny hiders.

Who knew? And of course, google-to-the-rescue reveals the website.

After watching Super Size Me http://www.supersizeme.com/ , I declared fast food no longer a part of my life. But then I made a friend who was the poster child for fast food (not pictured). Perhaps it's because this person hadn't seen the door of age 30 yet, but somehow I was entranced by the carefree attitude he had about fast food. Not thinking about trans fatty acids and clogged arteries was a free feeling. When he asked me if I wanted a gordita or a taco, I had to ask what a gordita was, I hadn't eaten at Taco Bell in about 3 years. I chose the taco. It didn't taste disgusting. I liked it.

Then, one day at work, my boss of 110 pounds sopping wet came in with a Taco Bell sack, and I jokingly (but not really) asked if I could have a taco. She freely shared one with me, and, again, I liked it.

Last night, I purposefully searched a neighborhood for Taco Bell so I could have a taco. I had a tough time deciphering the menu, and then I decided on a kids' meal. I got two soft tacos, cinnamon twists, and they also accidentally gave me an apple empanada.

Now, as I sit at my desk the next morning with a stomach ache, I realize that the only border I need to be running to in the Canadian one. Mexico, your fast-food border is not tummy-friendly. Canada, let me in! I want to ski and dance with the elk! Oh great, now I'm hallucinating from all the trans fats because blood to my brain is being blocked!!

I've been walking to a bus stop about a mile from my office to avoid having to sit on the bus so long. I don't sit in the little bus booth because I've seen lots of vagrants hanging out in there, and I can just imagine it being used for a public restroom.

So, I'm standing outside the bus booth, when I see a lady that I've seen before (she never rides the bus, just sits in the booth) coming across the street. She's not using the crosswalk and has just made it over the median when she gets this uncomfortable look on her face like she's hot. Before I know it, I see the red t-shirt come over her head and then realize that this lady is indeed a lady, and not a man, and that she does not have on her over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder. Then, she keeps walking towards me and takes a seat behind me. I felt like maybe I should say, "Hon, let's put your shirt back on."

But I was basically standing there in shock. No one really seemed to notice. I might have easily been the only one to see this. (Is our world so blind to the homeless that we don't even notice them--NAKED?!) So, whether or not it was the right thing to do, I casually booked it by foot to the next bus stop.

When my bus driver picked me up, I said, "Did you see naked lady back there?" He looked at me with a crazy face (like I was crazy) and said, "No."

Am I living in NY or Houston?! My coworker and I (thank God for cell phones to have instant therapy after something like this) decided that maybe it's a new term for Houston weather, "It will be strippin' hot today with high humidity..." Another friend said, "I've never been that hot."
I was kind of hot that day, too, but I'll stay on the shirts team. Let's leave the skins to the mens.

I watched Fight Club last night. It was on TV so I think most of the really bad stuff got edited out.

One of my friends, Tyler (but not Fight Club Tyler), tried to explain the movie to me once, so I kind of knew the premise. I probably missed the first half hour or so of the movie, so I had some trouble figuring out what was going on. Finally, everything clicked and I thought I understood it. But I really don’t. I think it’s a guy thing. And I’m a girl. Maybe guys feel like this when they watch You’ve Got Mail or Emma.

The best thing that happened as a result of watching the movie was feeling like I was friends with Brad Pitt again. I’ve had a tough time since the break-up. I was actually impressed with his acting abilities in this movie. Now don’t think that I’m not putting posters up of him in my room or using him as my screensaver, but we’re friends. Just friends.

Last night, I found myself in Randalls’ shopping for dinner. NEVER shop at the grocery store when you’re hungry. My list and the budget got thrown to the side at the entrance near the apartment guides, and then things got crazy.

I had recently seen in a magazine that Ben & Jerry’s now has little serving singles (available in a grocer’s aisle near you). I really like things that are mini. On this fateful day at Randalls’, I found the little darlings! These things are too cute to resist. Before I knew it, I was shoving Ben & Jerry’s singles in my basket. And then, in another flash of time, I was shoving Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream in my face while I drove home.

The serving comes with a plastic spoon hidden in the lid that I believe was once a part of either the Mattel X-Wing fighter or my old pink Barbie Corvette. I got frustrated by the weird shape and size, but by the third bite, all I could think about was cookie dough and yummy-yummy. Maybe I could start a spoon collection…

I tried e-mailing a blog entry, but it didn't work, so I'll summarize my weekend.

Friday: Why do the people at the Amegy Bank in the med center wear scrubs on Fridays? Maybe it's to make me laugh, because I do every time I see it.

Saturday: After a difficult day, I then went to visit a total of 3 married couples. Living in a neighborhood where the bathrooms are as big as my apartment and there is a lake with a fountain in the center of every four streets is nice, but I was glad to come home and be single. Kind of. That's all I want to say about that.

Sunday: Why does Houston seem like the smallest city in the world? There needs to be a formula for the likelihood of running into people in Houston, or maybe just at Starbucks. If you figure out where someone's Starbucks is, I estimate your chances of running into someone are as high as 33 percent on a sunny day. If you've ever participated in the Starbucks singles' scene, you might want to avoid the establishment when the percentage is higher than 10.

I will not aim for the head.
I will not barf unless I'm sick.
I will not expose the ignorance of the faculty.
I saw nothing unusual in the teacher's lounge.
I will not conduct my own fire drills.
Funny noises are not funny.
I will not prescribe medication.
I will not teach others to fly.
A burp is not an answer.
I will not eat things for money.
I will not yell "She's Dead" at roll call.
I will not sell miracle cures.
I will return the seeing-eye dog.
I will not charge admission to the bathroom.
I am not deliciously saucy.
There are plenty of businesses like show business.

--I might be able to apply some of the above to my work environment. Hmmmm...

Last night I got to see my precious friend, Jonah Werner, play some sweet music. God blessed me with a friendship with Jonah back in the glory days of living in Asheville. It's been really neat to see him grow as an artist and to see how he makes all different kinds of people laugh and think. And to watch how fast he can pick his guitar! (faster than he picks his nose-hee-hee!)

Anyway, last night you missed out if you missed him which I think everybody but all of Kincaid's YoungLife group did. It was awesome. He brought a drummer, bass player, and his kind and wonderful brother, Aaron, too. Jonah's matured as a man and a musician, and I wish him all the best. His best song (in my opinion) on his new CD is called "Moonboots". There's a oh-so-precious girl singing with him named, Bailey. Check out Jonah at http://www.jonahwerner.com/.

I've wanted to go to the Houston Zoo for five years. I finally went yesterday. The zoo is free on Labor Day, so what better day to go? Through the years, I have asked friends, boyfriends, and acquaintances, etc. to go with me to the zoo. No one would go with me. So, yesterday, I went with my Nikon. And we had a nice, hot and stinky, zoo day.

As soon as I entered the zoo ready to hit the aquarium, I was a part of a crowd with a group of teenagers and this kid says to me, "Did you know the crocodile hunter died? Some thing " I said, "Are you kidding me?" He said, "No. For real." His friend with the grill shook his head in agreement. And I said, "Are you joking?" (I don't trust teenagers after teaching school.) Then another gentlemen with a bling-bling necklace who I think I saw in a Nelly Furtado video (not with the teens) sadly shook his head "yes" in agreement.

I had tears welled up in my eyes as I tried to look at the sea horses. So I silently looked at fish, and prayed for Steve, Terry, Bindi, and Bob. Keep Steve's family in your prayers. Even though I never met him, I loved that guy. He showed such a love of life, creation, and his family.

Last night I was so excited because my sixteen year old niece sent me a text. This was my first text from her--and it was a picture text--of my brother's cut-off thumb!!! Ewww! [He had a work accident last week.]

She said that she and her sister, Katie, got to see their dad (my bro, Troy) bandage his hand, and they tried to act really cool because they didn't want to make him feel bad. And then they went to the bedroom and said, "Ohmiga! That is soooo gross!!"

He's in a lot of pain. Please pray God heals his hand. Our hands are very similar so when I hold my thumb up next to the pic, it looks identical. Maybe I could be his thumb donor one day. Although it might be a little different than giving a relative a kidney or something.