Since leaving my D.O.S. (dress of summer) at my mom's house, I need to find a temporary replacement. I searched the racks of Target today, which is where I purchased the D.O.S., but I left empty handed. I suppose I could peruse the online version of Target, but when it comes down to it, I'm not an online shopper.

I prefer to shop the natural way--fighting for that space in front of the salerack and then trying on armfuls of clothes until my hair is a halo of red frizz.

I went for a quick visit home to Kentucky this past weekend. I forget how amazing Kentucky looks in the summer. Everything was so green and nice.

I had to quickly revert back to my sharp-curve-over-the-hill-and-two-lane-driving-with-no-shoulder-on-the-road skills. I doubt if most of my Houston friends could handle it. I even had a bit of nervousness driving when my mom and I drove out to the cemetery where my materal grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. Since my mom has moved, we went a back way that was a back way to the back way that we always used to go.

My mom and I took a shovel and an old butcher knife to the cemetery (I realize most people just bring flowers or flags). My mom has had knee surgery recently, so she needed my woman power to help with the overgrowth around my grandfather's veteran plaque that rests at the foot of the grave. I cut and shoveled until all corners of the plaque were visible again. My mom said she could hear my granny saying, "I'm so glad my sweet little Bethie worked so hard today!"

My youngest niece (8) and I spent some time out in my mom's yard doing cartwheels. She was so impressed that I could still do a cartwheel that she ran inside to tell my sister. I could barely believe it myself. My mom asked me if I thought my old gymnastics teacher saw me out in the yard. The cartwheel was about the only gymnastics skill I ever perfected. But I still got it.

On one night, my whole family (minus my bro and bro-in-law) went to watch Night at the Museum 2 at the local theater. My brother's kids refer to it as "Sticky Floors." The tickets are super cheap, along with the popcorn and coke, so the lower level of ambiance can be looked over.

I had a really good time just chilling with my family. Hanging out with my family is always an adventure even if we're just having a normal day of taking a shovel and a butcher knife to the cemetery.

When my mom and I arrived at the airport, I realized I had left my luggage at her house. I think my mom was kind of touched, because that act solidified my initiation into our family's craziness.

I can't stop dreaming about the Tex-Mex food I'm eating tonight.

I love creamy jalapeno dip. It's cool, smooth, and spicy (very similar to my personality). I try to alternate between the dip and the salsa.

Baja tacos are also another one of my favorites. My niece, Christan, loved them, too, when she came to visit. She can't find them in Kentucky, but I believe that Puerto Vallerta in Bowling Green had shrimp tacos, because I remember the waiter taught me the word "camaron" when I was in college.

If I could eat the Tex-Mex meal of my dreams, it would consists of lots of guacamole and queso, and also enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas. My entire plate would be covered in melted cheese. Then, I would finish off the meal with some sopapillas and fried ice cream.

Ahhh...if there was a pool of queso right now, I might dive into it--which would probably be a horrible mistake, but it would be a good story to tell.

I'm thinking about doing something that borders on fanatical. I've been toying with the idea for awhile, and now I think I need to be brave and do it.

My problem is that I'm a chipaholic, and I live in the home of Tex-Mex. I always thought the bread basket was so much fun, but I've learned that the chip basket is so much better. Before the waitress has even said bienvenido, I have stuffed a whole basket of chips into my mouth. Each little chip takes the trip from dip to my lips in less than five minutes. [I think that is one of the most fabulous sentences I've ever written!]

It's like an instant reflex of eating. The chips come out, and suddenly, I'm working on that basket of chips like I was a robot made to clear out chip baskets.

To slow down this process of chip purging, I've decided to sneak some of my own Guiltless Gourmet chips into the restaurant. Some may say they taste slightly better than thin cardboard, but they have a lot less calories, and I don't mind them. I might even mix them in with a few of the regular chips to help fool my brain.

I figure by doing this, I could save myself 10,000,000 calories in a year. And probably 5,000,000 for just the summer. Then, I can spend my time eating more gelato! It's a perfect plan!

I just have to figure out a way not to appear like a freak sneaking chips out of my purse. Maybe I could feign a food allergy.

I saw a car on the way to work that made me jealous. In the city, I pass all kinds of fancy cars, but this car has the most appeal to me because with this car, I wouldn't become pretentious, I'd just become tough. I can see me getting out it with my pleather jacket and temporary tattoos and my discount shades. I might even be carting around some candy cigs for this car. And I would definitely think about a personalized license plate.

It was an interesting weekend. Needless to say, after some strange events, I'm glad I'm still alive.

Yesterday, I strained a muscle in my arm while putting my bible in the backseat.

Today, I broke a bottle of perfume on my floor.

Are there a hidden messages from God in these occurrences?

On Saturday, I slipped and did a pirouette in my bathtub and landed outside of it on the floor with only a tiny bruise. Maybe God is telling me I need grace.

Last night, I had to do some very important paperwork (VIPW). I have issues with paperwork. I hate reading rules and regulations. And I hate thinking that if I do it wrong, I could go to jail. That pressure just doesn't sit well with me.

So, to avoid the paperwork, I surfed YouTube and watched lots of Flight of the Conchords videos. And then had a great idea! I made tons of generic ringtones off of the music on YouTube. So now, all my friends have their own individual Flight of the Conchord ringtones. I used this one for my friend, Matt. Since he's a musician and Canadian, I thought he'd like it.

Hopefully, I won't go to jail for making generic ring tones. I just can't win.

Watch this.

I'm not savvy at posting video, so you have to click the above link. So watch it, and then learn it, so you and I and a few more friends can sing it together. But I forgot to tell you one thing, once you learn this song, it never leaves your head. Sorry.

Nothing keeps a little one busy like a pair of shades.

She'll be a model just like her momma!

You may be a Doubting Thomas about the picture you are about to see, but it is for real.

Do you keep God in a box? I guess Target does. I really don't think Jesus as a doll is a good idea. Does he witness to Barbie and Ken? No, I bet he would reach out to those Brat dolls first. Regardless, I think this is a really bad idea.

As usual, I am always behind in getting holiday gifts. The holiday in question for this weekend is Mother's Day.

One of my only options was to call a business from home, and try to get a gift certificate. I called a friend to get a good spa name, but that particular spa did not take credit card info over the phone for a gift certificate. My next option was to call a more local establishment in the town of 2,000 my mom lives in (now she's in the city since leaving our 100 person town) and hope they would take my credit card for a gift certificate. The spa had a real website, so I was hopeful.

An older lady with a strong country accent picked up the phone, and so our journey began. We'll just call the lady Ida Mae.

Me: "My name is Beth, and I would like to get a gift certificate for my mother to pick up. Is that possible?"

Ida Mae: "Are you pickin' it up?"

Me: "No. I live out of state. My mother will need to pick it up."

Ida Mae: "Well, it'll be late? Does that matter?"

Me: "No ma'am. She will understand."

Ida Mae: "What's 'er name?"

Me: "Judy."

Ida Mae: "Betty?"

Me: "No, Judy."

Ida Mae: "Alright. And what's your name?"

Me: "Beth."

Ida Mae: "Sarah?"

Me: "No, Beth."

Ida Mae: "You wannit to say 'With love'?"

Me: "Yes, ma'am, that's fine."

Ida Mae: "Alright. To Judy from Beth with love."

After this exercise in phone communication, I knew that giving the credit card number might turn into quite an ordeal. I began telling her my credit card number. After four numbers, she stopped me, "Wait just a minute..."

When I was finished, she said, "Is that all of 'em?"

Me: "Yes, ma'am."

Ida Mae: "Alright, honey."

I went on to give my address and phone number. It might have been easier to fly home to have purchased it. After every number I gave her was repeated slowly, she said, "She comes in here all the time, doesn't she?"

Me: "Yes, ma'am. I think she does."

In a small town, maybe everybody does know your name, but they just might not recognize it quite at first. I bet you the price of the gift card that this lady is probably a relative.

It also made me realize that perhaps living in the city has made me speed up a bit without realizing it. But if I stayed at the same speed of home and expected to survive here, I would still be sitting at the feeder trying to edge onto the freeway.

I saw my boys, Jemaine and Bret. They are very funny. They won me over--again--when they entered the stage in robot suits. If I ever get proposed to, I would immediately say yes if the guy was dressed in a robot suit. Neither Jemaine or Bret proposed, but if they would have, I would have said yes on the spot--but I believe one of them is married, so then, despite the robot suit, I would have to say no.

The lights went out, and in a flash, they appeared again. This time, they were their normal, adorable selves.

Jemaine and Bret are very talented guys. Bret could play as many instruments as one of the Mandrell sisters, and Jemaine made some high-tech musical noises using something that looked like a space-age drobo. Their songs are so funny. If you've never heard of them, check out Flight of the Conchords--and laugh. Oh, they are funny! I am so glad I got to see them, and sad my plan to meet them didn't work out. But one day, maybe fate will bring us together again.

A lot of my favorite bands are dead, so it's pretty impossible to go to the concerts. Tonight, I will be seeing one of my favorite bands that is not dead.

I found out they were coming to town last Friday, and frantically searched for a ticket. The cheapest tickets were about $100. That was a bit too much to pay, so I finally found cheaper tickets from Ticketmaster. My plan was to buy two tickets and make someone go with me.

My plan didn't work out very well since Ticketmaster would only sell me one ticket. I bit the bullet and purchased a single ticket. So, now my plan is to go and hope that the one guy in the band that is not married will see me in the crowd, alone, and decide he must sing a song to me and date me. We'll see how it works out.

I didn't get to wash my hair this morning, because I had an early conference call. I was going to leave work a bit early since I came in early, but that plan didn't work out either. I had to fill in for a co-worker who had to leave for a family emergency.

So now my hair is a pulled back in a bun, and I've been accused of looking librarian-ish. I'm not sure I'll have time for a washing before the concert, so I might have to go with the librarian look and hope that the one single band member likes that look.

I also have another dilemma with my glasses (which add to the librarian look). The glasses I have on were picked out by my 89 year old optometrist. They were also one of the only pair that fit into my insurance plan. They are not the most attractive glasses. I don't look cool or possibly German in them. I need these glasses to see long distances--which will be the distance the band is away from me because I bought such a cheap ticket.

I just don't feel my cutest with dirty bunned hair and glasses. And everyone knows that feeling cute is half the battle.

What to do. What to do.

Perhaps I am a tad bit behind the times. Maybe I am a Renaissance woman.

It's hard to keep up with technology. There is not a way to be ahead of it--unless you're Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. I wonder if either of them has experienced what it's like to have the coolest toy of the moment, and then find out that your bro next door just put his name on the waiting list to get something that's .1 cooler than what you just bought.

On this occassion, I'm frustrated with DTV. I tried being a paying cable customer. It was a semi-satisfying experience, but after my special offer for being a new customer expired, I realized that the inflated fee was too much for the too little I would get from being a cable TV user.

Now, I'm back to watching local channels, and I'm actually okay with that (I do still want my MTV). I didn't grow up with cable television. We lived too far from the cable station to be eligible customers. My cousins' solution was to have a huge dish in their yard that could also be used to track UFOs.

In the town where I grew up, cable is still not available. Dish network did offer services (and the dish was much smaller than my cousins' old school one), so my family took advantage of it for several years before my mom moved to a town with cable access.

I finally went to the site and figured out that in my current zip code, I can get about 23 channels using a converter box. Just for curiousity's sake, I checked on my homefolk in my old hometown. The results weren't as promising. The only station that was listed above being a weak signal was PBS. If this a government ploy to educate the people of Kentucky, it's not a fair way to do it. They need MTV, too, but actually this would mean that ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX might not be able to be viewed.

I guess like we were once forced to sell Trigger, our horse, to get a car to fit into society, eventually, we will all have HDTVs. The technology pushes seem to come faster these days.

In my lifetime, I've seen a ton of new gadgets added into what the typical American household should have. It gets really blurred between the needs and the wants in our society. For fun, here are technologies that I've seen added during my lifetime (and that my family or I actually purchased):

-Cordless phones
-Cell phones
-Fuzz buster
-Apple IIe
-Home computer
-8-track player
-Cassette player
-CD player
-DVD player

--That's a lot of tech junk! And I consider myself and my family to be pretty modest purchasers of technology!

I went to the beach, because I wished to live. Well, I went to the beach, because it was Girls' Weekend. And I had a good time.

The movie that was brought to watch was Bride Wars, which I had already seen. I promised that I would not mind watching it again (while I read a magazine), but we still didn't watch it.

Bride Wars was a movie that I wished had been as my mind had pictured it when I saw the previews, but it wasn't. The first time I watched it, I played Sudoku on my phone for most of it. I think I may have laughed once, and I laugh pretty easily.

Back to the beach...
We caught up on each other's lives. We sat on the beach for a very long time, so now I have a permanent white necklace displayed on my neck with a backdrop of hot pink skin. We drove up and down the beach looking at Hurricane Ike destruction and close-calls. We let the waves soothe us.

I forget that it's only a short hop, skip, and a jump past the chemical plants to the beach. It's not the most beautiful beach, but a beach, nonetheless, with real waves, shells, and occassional sea creatures that get washed ashore.

And I only busted out "Wind Beneath My Wings" once. I was stopped before I made it to the chorus.

Good Ways to Avoid the Flu

1. Wash your hands with soap while you sing your ABCs--at least 20 seconds to kill the germies with friction.

2. Take your vitamins and eat your fruits and veggies.

3. Get plenty of rest. Don't watch late night t.v. (this is for me, personally).

4. Clean your house a lot. Sweep the floors, clean things that people touch, and use strong cleaning agents. It helps if you say "Germs, away!!" while you clean.

5. Avoid Eskimo kissing--or any other type of nationality kissing.

6. Sneeze into your elbow. Requires a small amount of reflex training, but it's quite effective.

7. Check out the kitchen before you eat somewhere, and examine the staff for the sniffles or shakes.

8. Don't watch the news. It's meant to scare you which will lower your immunity.

9. If you feel any symptoms, get to the doctor within 48 hours to get Tamiflu--and if you just feel a tiny bit sick, take some Oscillococcinim. I have no idea how to pronounce that word.

10. And remember, no matter what happens...sometimes even bugs need a hug.