rain boot alert

I've never worn cowboy boots, but I need these cowboy-style rain boots from Fleurty Girl.

Yhst-79296742945634_2131_7549364   Yhst-79296742945634_2131_6981767

I like both.  I dig the leopard print, but the pink in the "French Quarter" design is fab.  A cowboy rain boot = love.  I can't take how cute they are.  Must have.

one weak week

It's been an odd week for this chick, so I'll start there because it's always nice to start at the beginning. 

Monday was normal.  The hubs was sick, but everything in Kerry world was fine otherwise.

Iphone 003 copy Tuesday sucked.  The munchkins and I were on the way home from the club and I got into my first car accident.  I rear-ended a woman, pretty much knocking her bumper off.  Go me.  Before I go on, everyone was fine — no need to worry or start a telethon for donations or anything.  The middle child asked if I would get a ticket, followed with the question "will we go to jail?"  So far (fingers crossed) I can say I've never spent time behind bars, but I told her we'd go to jail if we didn't behave.  The police show up and I hand over my license, registration, and expired insurance card — of course my card expired on my birthday and I hadn't put the new one in my car yet.  Awesome.  Then deputy Megan shows up, jumps out of her car asking if I want her to take the kids or if there's anything she can do — I was expecting her to say she was once a traffic cop, because as those close to her know, Megan has had every job on the planet.  By the way, I'm not exaggerating here — Megs has done everything from designing kitchens to taking newborn photos in the hospital — I never know what's next.  We will be sitting in a restaurant or something and I'll wonder aloud if the paella is any good and she will bust out with "you know, when I was Castro's personal food taster, I had great paella."  And I'm all "I didn't realize that was a job or that you'd even been to Cuba."

So, I told Megan everything was under control and she left.  I got a citation and the middle child asks if it was a ticket.  I said yes and the four year-old goes "yea!"  as if it were a prize.  Once I get home, Frugal Beth calls and tells me her mother saw me after the accident standing on the median.  Later, on Facebook another friend tells me she saw me too.  I felt like a minor celebrity.  By that night my neck and head hurt and I've been popping Motrin since.   Oh, the pic is of the car I hit, notice the bumper.  And I didn't know they still make Lancers.

Wednesday night we took the kids to see Thomas Live in New Orleans.  Driving across the Causeway, the hubs asked where I'd like to go for dinner and he suggested Chevy Chase's place.  My hubs is a very bright man.  He can do all kinds of math, knows the ins and outs of complicated computer programs, and is great at what he does.  He's not so good with names.  Make that horrible with names.  I informed him that Chevy's Tex-Mex restaurant is not Chevy Chase's place.  It is not an understatement to say he was shocked.  His reply "but it's called Chevy's…" made me question his brilliance.  I went into analogy mode –because my hubs is the king of analogies — and told him that the toilet paper brand Scott's doesn't make it automatically his.  I think he understood, but I'm still not sure.  No doubt I could not endure that conversation if it were not for medication.  This blog should be sponsored by anti-depression/anxiety meds, I'm telling you. 

Summer 09 046 We ate dinner at Chevy's (not Chevy Chase's place) and went to see the show.  Once we found our seats, I started reading the tattoos of the woman sitting in front of Andrew.  The back of her neck said Sarah.  Her hand read Ms. Pink in swirly letters and there were different sized stars going up her arm.  She turned her head to talk to the woman sitting to her left and to reveal more stars coming from below the bra area (she was wearing a very low-cut top) and going up her neck to behind her ear.  Another family shows up on their row and informs Sarah that her family is in their seats.  Color me surprised because Sarah seemed like the type who knows her way around an arena.  The show began and ten minutes in a 50something lady is asking me to move my purse from her seat and I obliged, then she says they've paid good money to be there and want to sit down.  Huh?  Are we gonna have a throw down?  I moved my purse, grams.  Grams, Gramps, and a kid sit and don't stop talking the entire time because apparently they felt the show needed to be narrated.  Intermission.  Grams tells her hubs, who is named "Dammit George" to get them drinks.  He asks what type of beverage, she replies "Dammit George, I said Cokes!"  He walks away, returns with said Cokes.  Grams says "Dammit George, I thought I told you to get cotton candy."  He walks away, then turns around, maybe 15 feet away and yells "red or blue?"  In my head, I'm thinking that it's pink and not red, but I'm not going to interject.  Grams yells "Dammit George, get the blue!"  I start to wonder if he was Dammit George as a child or if he got the pet name once he married Ms. Congeniality.  

Thursday was a day spent on the computer from morning 'til way past sundown.  There was a bit of work to be done on the ScrapFest! website, just cleaning up a couple of things that most people woudn't even notice — then I decided to make a favicon (that's the little picture you see next to a website in your address bar and in your bookmarks or favorites).  I made a pink scalloped circle with a blue fleur de lis inside, uploaded it, and put it on all the pages of the site.  When I got to the FAQs page I saw an empty page.  Somehow there was no saved version of the FAQs page, so I remade the whole thing — it was time consuming.  I fully intended to write a post Thursday night, but instead had work to do.  Gosh, I sound like a real grown up.  Ugh.

So, this has been an odd week, complete with my first ever car accident.  I know, hard to believe I haven't caused more accidents, right?  That's what I thought. 

With ScrapFest! looming I'll be quite busy for the next several weeks, but since practically all my work is either in Photoshop or the Interwebs, I'm hoping to post more since I'll be on the computer anyway.  The hubs thinks I'm on this thing a lot now — he hasn't seen anything yet.  I hope he likes the new nickname I'm giving him, "Dammit Scott!"

a brief personal history of summer (or why I hate summer)

There is a psychological disorder called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is described as a pattern of
depressive or manic episodes that occurs with the onset of the winter
months.  As the days become shorter, and the weather colder, there is
an increase in vegetative depressive symptoms.  In pronounced cases, they say significant social withdrawal occurs as
well. Some have described the pattern as a hibernation during the
winter months. 

That's all well and good, but what about summer? 

Here are the SADS (Seasonal Affective Disorder, Summer) symptoms according to Kerry: As the days become longer, and the temperature unbearably hot, there is an increase in vegetative depressive/rage symptoms.  In pronounced cases, significant social withdrawal occurs as well.  Some describe the pattern as a "it's hot as hell outside, I'm staying in the air conditioning and yes, my hat is a bag of frozen peas!" 

MaxT1_louisiana 

Did I mention I live in Louisiana, which has been featured on the Weather Channel's special "Louisiana: Forget the Cayenne, It's a Seasonless State."  We have summer and a few months that aren't summer.  These months cannot be referred to as autumn, winter, and spring, as they are not marked by typical temperatures, precipitation, or foliage changing colors.  No, not here.  Not Louisiana.  I remember moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 1997 and something the natives there called "fall."  First the leaves turned glorious colors, then the temperature started to drop.  Before I knew I it, I was buying a coat.  Not a jacket, an actual coat.  

I became jaded when it came to summer as a young girl.  I was probably seven when I realized it was because I had a summer birthday that more kids didn't come to my birthday parties.  Besides having a summer birthday, it's also the same week as the 4th of July when many people go on vacation.  So yeah, summer sucked. 

What most people love most about summer was the thing I knew nothing about: vacations.  A vacation in my family was traveling to a relatives' house or going to Six Flags in Dallas.  I heard stories of friends going to a mythical place called Disneyland.  Usually after summer break, I'd return to school only to have the thing I dreaded most come up: the what I did on my summer vacation essay.  

Somehow I didn't think my experiences were essay material:

One year we went to Tennessee to my aunt's house and had to return early because my 80something year-old great-grandmother accidentally overdosed on her eleventy-seven medications.  

The next year we returned early from another aunt's house when my dad fell off of a scaffold and injured himself.  At least I got to tour Graceland, thankyouthankyouverymuch.

One summer during the wonderfully horrid time known as puberty, I had a swimming birthday party.  After the party, when I was changing out of my swimsuit, a family friend's son my age walked in on me naked and looked just as disturbed as I was. 

The summer before I started high school, I was trying to be sporty — bike riding with a boy I'd liked for a year, went to a dance with, you get the picture.  We'd had a nice afternoon, it was June 18th (I remember this because I have some sort of idiot savant memory that hasn't been documented yet), very hot and very humid.  Because I'm nothing that remotely resembles sporty, I got overheated and threw up in front of him.  Yeah, the boy never called me again. 

The following summer, my parents took a vacation together and I stayed with my grandparents for a couple of weeks.  I was changing the water in my fishbowl and my fish, Ringwald (it was a Black Molly, get it?), jumped out and down the garbage disposal, committing suicide.  Sure, it was a fish, but I was a girl with major allergies and my parents wouldn't let me have a cat and I was going to have a pet, deadgummit.  And despite what Nemo said, all drains do not lead to the ocean. 

User-image-1180593066 The summer that I turned 16 was just a prelude of crap to come.  Guess what I got for my birthday.  Go ahead, guess.  A Caboodles.  Girls of the late 80's/early 90's — do you remember the Caboodles?  The make-up case that was made of more plastic than Joan Rivers.  The Caboodles contained a t-shirt with the columns of ancient Roman architecture and a faux Russian watch.  Sweet sixteen?  Not so much. 

20060420231011-everything-i-do-bryan-adams I dated a guy named Fred (yes, that was his real name, it's so generic I don't have to change it for the blog) who was much too old for me and dumped me for not being experienced enough for him — well, hello, I was 16 and he was in the air force.   What was I doing dating a guy in the air force?  He had a mustache for cryin' out loud.  I'd seen Top Gun once too many times.  Picture this, it's my birthday, late in evening in Bossier (where we hung out for some reason) and a few of my friends, dudes, and Fred are in the Airline High School parking lot.  My good friend has her car's stereo playing Bryan Adams "Everything I Do (I Do it For You)" from Robin Hood: Prince of Theives over and over 'cause it's one of those cassette singles and damn, if that song wasn't everywhere that summer — even on my birthday make-out night with Flyboy Fred.   Here's the rub, he broke up with me the next day.  I KNOW.  Oh, and I had to go to summer school that year because I'd failed math and my teacher was the same teacher I'd had all year because that's how my life is.  And I went to driver's ed, but my mom wouldn't let me get my driver's license just because.  Ah, memories.  What a great summer 1991 was. 

I've blocked the year after that from my memory.  Okay, I wish I'd blocked it from my memory. I honestly had such a bad year that I do not remember much of what happened after Thanksgiving '91 and I couldn't tell you what the next summer was like.  I'm guessing hot.  I'm pretty sure I rode with some friends to Mississippi for no reason overnight that summer without telling parents where we were, but I'm only guessing it was that year.

The summer after 11th grade was a mixture of a great deal of hurt and a good bit of happy.  I finally got a cat for my b-day from a great friend and I didn't care about my allergies or that my mom said no cats.  So what if I had to have allergy shots twice a week?   

After graduating from high school I had the worst summer of my life. 

The summer after my freshman year at Louisiana Tech brought back the crazy.  I was dating the man who later became the hubs and I babysat three boys two days a week for the whole summer.  Their parents were going through a divorce and the mom was having a terrible time, which she would tell me about while driving me home.  Lovely.  I started taking Accutane for my stupid acne and felt as attractive as a dried up raisin when the future hubs asked me to go to the August wedding of his aunt in New Orleans.
  That was my first flight, I was a nervous wreck.  After arriving back in S'port, I found that no one remembered to pick me up.  Awesome.  I knew my life was the makings of a wacky sitcom.  Masterbedroom

 The next summer I worked at Kirkland's in the mall by my parent's house and hated every minute of it.  There is something unsettling about a place that smells of that much eucalyptus.  And I had to look at this Andrew Wyeth giant framed print called "Master Bedroom" everyday, which I referred to as "Dog on a Bed."  Oh, and since I didn't know the real name of the print, I Googled "dog on a bed print" and it came up — how good am I?  Do you know how much this print annoys me?  Every time I sold this print to some art lover I'd say "oh, it's Dog on a Bed, good choice!" in my loveliest tone.  The highlight of that summer was going taking a bus to Baton Rouge to visit the future hubs and having to come back early because of a hurricane in the Gulf.  Stupid hurricanes.   Guess what?  When I returned on a Greyhound bus at 10 pm there was no one to pick me up.  In downtown Shreveport.  At night.  Yep, two years in a row stranded. 

I've written about my college summer school experience on the blog before, also known as Stalker Summer.  Ah, good times.  It was Lifetime Movie material, not that I've ever seen a Lifetime Movie, because I have not.  I've got the perfect Lifetime Movie title for it too, because those movies have names like "She Woke Up Pregnant," "Someone to Love Me: a Moment of Truth Movie," and "Mother, May I Sleep With Danger" (no, I'm not making those up).  Because my movie would definitely be Moment of Truth material, I'd title it "S'talking Too Much: Kerry's Story: A Moment of Truth Movie."   I would've been played by Tracey Gold or Kellie Martin back in the day because I only want the best.  This would be the stuff Emmys are made of.  

Come to think of it, all of my summer stories should be made into a movie, but it may be too big for Lifetime.  I believe this could be a big budget Hollywood screenplay.  Maybe directed by Woody Allen in little vignettes.  Or it would be a Michael Bay summer blockbuster with robots and explosions.  What?  I didn't tell you about the summer my friend's car turned into a robot and the feds showed up and there were explosions that lit up the town like the 4th of July?  Man, that was a summer.  

So, we're halfway through Summer '09: Forced Vacation.  It's too hot to live, the kids are arguing, there is a thunderstorm every other day, and the boy is finally potty trained.  I've donned my bag of frozen peas hat, played lots of wii, ran through the sprinkler, and sat by the pool.  There's only so much a whiter-than-pale girl can do.  And we're in a recession, I can't be at the nail salong getting my toes done as often as it takes to maintain a Kerry level of glam.  It's only a matter of time before SADS gets the best of me and I fill the tub with ice, declare it winter in my bathroom and invite Sarah Palin to come ice fishing with me.  It's not like she's got anything to do the rest of the summer. 

connect the dots

Here’s the latest computer models of the possible paths of Gustav by professional hurricane experts. I like the purple track that looks like how I doodle when I’m on the phone.
So, you’re guess on Gustav is as good as any at this point. Stay tuned.
clipped from www.nola.com

blog it

Go away Gustav

Gustav’s up to a Cat 4 and we’re on the way to Flowood, MS – near Jackson. I’ll be blogging and keeping y’all updated through the storm. Pray Gustav isn’t another Katrina.

Gustav and the cone of uncertainty

People are starting to freak over Gustav down here. We’ve already made our evacuation plans, should we need to get outta Dodge; I filled up the minivan with gas today (all but 2 pumps had run out of gas at the station I go to); my MIL says Wal-Mart is out of bottled water, etc.
I’m hoping we won’t have to evacuate. Normally we don’t have to because we live north of I-12 (that means New Orleans & everybody on the coast, Mandeville, most of Madisonville, but not us). Evacuating for Katrina was awful and that’s when everybody didn’t leave!
Just in case you’re wondering and you don’t live in this area, the levees “protecting” New Orleans aren’t ready, they’re still working on them. And as a reminder, I’m posting photos of the storm surge barriers from London, the Netherlands, Providence, Rhode Island, and New Orleans from johnmbarry.com
I’m praying Gustav fizzles out and no one is put in danger. Every time there is a storm in the Gulf we hope it doesn’t come near us, but that means someone else has to be affected by disaster. So go away Gustav, we got a 3-day weekend ahead of us and I’d like to spend it at home, not in a hotel watching the Weather Channel to see if we have a home to go back to.
clipped from johnmbarry.com

blog it

Why write?

I read today article on Nola.com about a man who didn’t leave New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, choosing to stay in a public housing complex instead.  He kept a sort-of diary on the walls of the apartment in the two months that he stayed after the storm.  You read that correctly, two months — no water, no electricity.  Here’s the first few paragraphs:

Elton Mabry offers a guileless explanation as to why he picked up a black Sharpie pen and started writing on the walls: “I had run out of beer,” he says, “and I thought writing might relax me in a way.”

But this is only one of many reasons he offers for the diary he kept on the walls of an apartment in the B.W. Cooper public housing development after Katrina. Looking back nearly three years later, his explanations vary, depending on his state of mind, his train of thought and his ability to focus.

“I was feeling lonely,” he said on one occasion.  “Expressing yourself is kind of like a breath of fresh air,” he said on another.  It gave me something to kill the time,” he said on a third.

Chances are, there is truth in all these explanations — and many more. He was afraid, he was alone, he was hungry, he was worried, he was bored, he was uncertain, he was uncomfortable, he was unhappy. He was also evading the Housing Authority, dodging the National Guard and hiding out from a Trenton, N.J., police unit. And most important, he was trying to stay put in a place that somehow, in spite of the 2 feet of water inside and the utter silence outside, felt secure and comforting to him.

He got the urge to write when he ran out of beer.  Isn’t that true of all great writers?  Well, maybe Hemingway.  Anyway, the guy ran out of beer and started writing a line or two on his walls everyday for two months.  The article goes on to say he’s had run-ins with the law and spent time in prison, was an alcoholic, crack addict, and homeless before the storm.  The apartment he was in was an elderly woman’s he was staying with.  There are several pictures in the article and a well put together video featuring the Sharpie marked walls.  I looked at all the photos.  I paused the video to read the writings of Mabry.  Sadly, many of the entries recall Mabry’s drinking and hangovers.   It’s a mash-up of his writing about the heat, who he’d seen, and drinking.

Conservators from the Louisiana State Museum  actually removed the paint from the walls of the apartment (before its demolition) to recreate in a permanant Katrina exhibit in Jackson Square.

I’m dumbfounded by this.  I’m not a heartless person.  I understand that there are circumstances that leave people homeless, but it should not turn into a lifestyle.  Mabry is originally from Jackson, MS, where he learned to work with sheet metal at Hinds Community College.  At one time he was in the working middle-class.  The article talks about how Mabry shoplifted over the counter drugs and sold them on the street, but had to stop shoplifting because of foot and leg problems.  He then started collecting cans and sold them for recycling.  It goes on to say Mabry hasn’t had an income since 1984 when he lost his job and went on unemployment.  1984.  Katrina hit in 2005.  Mabry says he’s been sober for 8 or 9 months, but the article doesn’t say what he’s doing presently.  He lives on $132 a month in food stamps.  Okay, but it says he had backup plan (it actually says that):  “So occasionally I try to pick three in the Powerball. On Wednesday and Saturday, I get my little lottery tickets. It’s a morale booster because you keep thinking today could be your day.”

Times-Picayune writer Elizabeth Mullener, now you’re just messing with me, right?  No one else kept a diary during Katrina?  In a culture-filled city of artists, no one kept a diary worth putting on display in Jackson Square?  Maybe even a police officer or fire fighter?  Nobody?  Okay.  Not one of the politicians in the area?  They were all there.  A city employee?

Certainly Mabry was lonely and needed an outlet, the walls.  I sympathize with him.  I just wonder how much the Louisiana State Museum is spending on this project.  I only know about preservation from the History channel, but I know it’s not not cheap to preserve and restore things, so I wonder if it would have been better to help Mabry find a place to live and a job.  Help him learn a skill so he can support himself.  Get him off food stamps.  Maybe I’m crazy.

We do need to remember Katrina, but we need to get the people of New Orleans back on their feet first.  I live on the Northshore across the lake from New Orleans and the area my family lives had little damage from the storm, mostly tree damage.  My husband’s grandparents lost the home in New Orleans where they had lived for 50 years; we know many other people who lost their homes as well.  Like I said, I sympathize with Mabry, but Louisiana can do better than putting his walls on display.  With this kind of thinking we’ll never do better than we were pre-Katrina.