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The BOMB

Welcome to the BOMB.



The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

My photo
My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my ten year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elder First-Time Parents: Not for the Timid or Shy

I saw a news story yesterday morning that got me thinking. The story was about a sixty-six year old new Mom of triplets via IVF, and it made me wonder how old the oldest "natural" Mom was. Answer: 59.  I'm only fifty and the thought of becoming a Mom at this stage in my life is a chilling one—so much so that my brain froze and I can't even comprehend being 9-16  years older and giving birth—I even have a hard time thinking about house-training a second Chinese Crested to keep Bandit company. Besides, I don't think I could handle a single child going through the terrible two's when I'm 61—let alone triplet terrible twos when I'm 68!

I shudder to think about being 64 or 79 years old at the start of the  trying years (teenage rebellion years)—when even my most favorite teens turn into aliens for six or seven years. During that time-frame, I haven't a clue as to what, or how—or even if they are thinking! Could I survive a teen with a learners permit when I’m 74 (or three of them when I’m 81)? Better yet, would they survive me?  Would we stay out of jail? Or the insane asylum...

And what about graduations: would I be able to stay awake for HS graduation when I’m 77 (I barely stayed awake for my own when I was a mere 17). With triplet HS grads, would I be able to rise to take pictures three times at 84, or would they gang up on the principal so I could take just one photo? What about the same scenario for College graduations at 81 and 88?

Then of course there are Weddings at 82 and 89, and Grandchildren at 85 and 92...

(Ages and sequence of events are arbitrary.)

I’m not sure I’m old enough to find out...or bold enough. Of course, that will never stop me from giving child-rearing advise—or cherishing the grimy hugs, sloppy-wet kisses, and original art work that I receive from my young friends—those are the easy, fun things—the things at which I excel!  Since it is highly unlikely that my brag books will become humanized any time soon,  you will have to content yourselves with my Bandit Brag Books...I know you can't get enough of them!  :~)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Men Are Frogs Theory: aka MAFT

(An out-of-order draft I never posted, written back in February.)

Several years ago, as I contemplated the actions of men, I realized that all men are frogs. (I also realized that all men are boys, but that's another post...)

Now, boys don't get your panties in a wad--being a Frog can be a good thing. Frogs come in many varieties ranging from common, everyday ground-hopping frogs to the more exotic red-eyed tree frogs. But, no matter the variety, they remain frogs. For the most part they are neutral (with the exception of a few poisonous ones-which we will pretend do not exist)...just as most Frogs are neutral, so are most of our guy-friends.

Our Frog may be the gay friend that gives us fashion advise. Or maybe he's the Frog that treats us like a pseudo-sister.  Perhaps he's the Frog who seeks out football-throwing advise from our inner-tomboy with the Staughbach-worthy spiral. These are all neutral Frogs--guys with whom we can be platonic friends. Frogs accept us--warts and all. Frogs do not become paranoid when we call them, ask them over, or visit them.

However, Frogs do have the capacity of becoming something else--most don't--and again that's okay, because we like our Frog friends. Frogs are safe. We can be our unmade-up, frumpy, pony-tailed, jeans-and-t-shirt-loving selves with Frogs...as long as they remain Frogs.

On a good day, a Frog may blossom into a soul-mate, our "one and only," our Prince Charming. This rarely occurs, but it can happen...on a good day...on a really good day.

Many Frogs may think they are a disguised Prince, only to meta-morph into nothing more than a poisonous Horny Toad. I'll take a nice neutral platonic Frog over a Horny Toad any day of the week. (Note: in MAFT, there are no Cougars--therefore, underageTadpoles are definitely off-limits!)

What brought this Frog re-reflection on? Starting to see a new beau? *Sigh* Sadly, no. Thinking of an old boyfriend? Gladly, no.  Observing the tail-tale signs of a Frog-turning? Nope, not even close. It's merely cold outside, and I'm sipping a double shot of "no sugar added" hot coco from an over-sized mug in an attempt to warm up! Still haven't made the Frog-Prince connection? Maybe I should tell you the mug is one of my newest acquisitions: it's PURPLE (my favorite color)--and it says "Still waiting for Prince Charming." :~)

Hope springs eternal.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Real Friends - 48 Hour Film Festival Houston 2010

Skeeters, and Possums, and Bats, Oh Deer!

I'm not sure how it happened, but my "garden" has gone from the breakfast bar of a pair of Mourning Doves and a family of three Cardinals to the tight-rope walk of a Possum and the  presumed final resting spot of a Bat.

Every year I see the birds and tell myself I'm going to have a garden for them. And every year I fail to follow thru...until this year. I finally remembered. I bought about $100 of well established draught resistant, sun-loving wildflowers only to have them disintegrate in the Texas heat. Each and every plant received the, "I'm sorry. You were chosen because you are strong and hearty and have a much better chance than your  peers at surviving my gardening inexperience" speech. They died during the ten days I was visiting family in Florida and Alicia and I went to Jazz Fest in NOLA. That was the death of my first garden of the season.

I bought more plants. I said more speeches. I was on to the second garden of the season.  I left the plants in pots that I could move around the garden to see where they liked it best. They not only survived longer than the first garden, they have actually made it through another trip to Florida, albeit a shorter one.  A couple have lost their flowers and a couple have lost their lives--well almost (they are slowly turning browner--and it's not because of Coppertone).  But for the most part they actually look like they may in fact survive. I got so excited, I planted several. In real planters. With real potting soil. The kind that says it will help me to not over water. And not under water. I'm thinking this is some pretty smart potting soil. I even tried my hand at planting multi-plant (mixed) pots. So far in every multi-plant pot, one plant is on it's death bed. But that means 2-3  plants in each pot is surviving!  The pots are 2/3 and 3/4 full!!!! Just call me positive-Pollyanna.

So, the reason I'm attempting to be a green-thumb? I enjoy the birds. Unfortunately, they are apparently boycotting my garden....I bought a bird feeder, and a humming bird nectar feeder and nectar,  only to have a fat little-pot-bellied squirrel--who I have never seen in my yard before, but who I'm sure has enjoyed more than his fair share of my lard encased bird seed--bless me out...royally!  I guess he wanted more sunflowers in the bird feed. The sunflower seeds are always the first to go.  I bought a squirrel feeder and huge bag of corn to appease the obese little bugger.  I also decided to sow  some grass seed--at 3am.  I thought I heard thunder  rumbling and we were slated to rain all weekend. I was planning to be on my way to Florida directly after work, and the rain would mean I wouldn't have to water the seed, so I sowed grass seed in my nightgown, by the shared light of the flashlight and the moon. My neighbors are used to my antics by now.

The only time I have been bitten by mosquitoes or flies this season, was at dusk, in Louisiana and Mississippi--in the Henderson Swamp and on a Bayou.  And quite frankly, the skeeters and flies were larger than some crocs.  With this in mind, I wanted to be able to enjoy my garden after dark--or at least as the sun went down, so I bought 6 solar lights last year (in preparation for my non-existent garden). Three of them didn't work. I bought an upgraded one this year. It doesn't work. I was even prepared for the non-existent Texas skeeters with an insect repelling citronella candle. I bought new cushions for my chair, placed a large stone for a foot stool, added a couple of tables and a ice chest, and placed a dog bowl for Bandit to drink water from. I was garden-relaxation-ready.

The end result of my garden experience this year: the promised rain never came. A mean Blue Jay who  I've never seen (either before or since) ate the grass seed. The Cardinals have only been back once. The Squirrel--or something (but I'm not sure what)--has eaten the birdseed and drunk the nectar. Only 7 kernels of the corn are missing after being out there for two weeks--but two days in a row the holder has been knocked off the wall. Two nights ago a Possum walked the top of my fence--I looked up and there he was within jumping distance of my head--and me without food to appease him or a weapon with which to defend Bandit and myself. And evidently the mosquitoes believe the citronella candle to be a welcome beacon because though scarce prior to lighting it, they now flock to it--in droves that rival the cloud of filth that follows Schroeder around.  Then last night, Bandit and I had spent a relaxing evening while he stared intently transfixed at the neighbors tree--the one I now believe the possum to be sitting in...watching us...plotting.  When I heard the flopping, and saw the moving shadow by the fence, I thought it might be a toad. Now the red toads in Florida are poisonous, so I didn't want Bandit tangling with a toad.  I was also remembering my neighbor telling me just that afternoon that he had seen the possum and a huge lizard. Not knowing the poison rating of huge Texas lizards, I went to investigate the flopping shadow...it was a bat. Flopping and fluttering on the ground. I wanted to reach out and right it, but I was afraid of rabies, so I left it there. When it started to rain, I didn't go make sure it was not drowning.  I still left it there. To live or die on it's own. It was gone this morning when I took Bandit out to go potty. There was no trace of it having been there, so if another animal got it, they took it off or consumed it in toto.

Oh, yeah, the mean Blue Jay missed a few grass-seeds so  there are a few blades of baby grass sprouting here and there--I'm kind of psyched about that. As for the Deer--they haven't made it across main street to my garden...yet...but I saw two the the other morning in the field. Less than 20 feet from my tender baby grass, salad bar of flowers, and squirrel-corn. I expect the Deer to join the other animal diners any night now. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It Would Have Been Perfect...Had it Been Different

During a recent driving trip, I was mentally reviewing a conversation  in which I had earnestly said something to the effect of:  "It would have been perfect, had it been different."  I became so tickled  I started giggling at the absurdity of the statement--until I realized it would make a great title for a song or a blog entry, etc. I can't remember too much of it, because I was driving and had no way of safely recording my thoughts, but the next line was, "It's an action-docu-comedrama, with a little Mr. Ree."  I of course giggled even more, because of the misdirection that "Mr. Ree" lent to the "mystery" genre.  I was practically blinded by the tears streaming down my face  as I giggled even harder at the realization that an even better "Miss" direction would be to turn "Mr" Ree into "Miss Taree." (Yes, I'm easily amused.)

Unfortunately, about that time my phone beeped at me, bringing me back to the sad realization that the car charger was not functioning.  I had let my cell phone become dangerously red earlier whist talking with my Sister. There was no way I wanted to drive from NOLA to central Texas without the safety net of a phone. While formulating re-charge plans (e.g. jiggling the cord, and if charging connection remained unsuccessful,  making a pit-stop to plug in my laptop and use it to recharge the phone),  I realized the sky had suddenly become ominously dark, due to the increasingly hard downpour. Even more disturbing  was the realization that the lightening was much closer than when I first boarded the bridge. In a flash of insight quicker and more brilliant than the lightening strikes before me, I realized I was now stuck in slow moving traffic, in the middle of a long, low-built, steel and concrete bridge, over an escape-eliminating  body of water. Not exactly the safest place to be.

Literally within seconds of realizing  the precariousness of my situation (and wondering at my "wisdom" in placing myself in harms way), as I--and the rest of the traffic--crawled along at 10 mph, the lightening struck the little white truck in the left hand lane one car in front of my position (less than 50 feet away--we were at least appropriately spaced).  Orange sparks flew from the truck as I let loose with a scaredy-cat-blood-curtling-scream worthy of any teenage-slasher-movie-star (think Jamie Lee Curtis). All thoughts of songs and blogs flew out of my mind and I concentrated in earnest on safe driving.

The white truck passed in front of me and safely pulled over onto the narrow shoulder. As I passed, I noticed a shaken, but physically unharmed guy with a bewildered look on his face. Evidently, I was not the only one taken by surprise at the fierce intensity and quick approach of the storm. I did not see him whip out a cell phone (and he appeared to be of a generation that might not be in bondage to technology). Unfortunately,  Bandit and I were by ourselves, and the SUV was packed to the gills, so I was not in a position to stop and render aide (at least not in the form of a ride to dry-non-steel land), so I did the next best thing:  I noted his location, and once safely off the bridge I called the Louisiana State Patrol and asked them to check on him.  Lucky for him, I read and remember the cell phone emergency numbers posted at the state lines.  Unlucky for me, I no longer remember any more of the lyrics or the even the jazz tune of the song I was mentally composing.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wobbly (48HFP Houston 2010)

Last year my friend Dave sent out an email telling us about a film contest he was going to enter. It was the 48-Hour Film Project (48HFP) in Houston.  48HFP is an amature film contest with it's own tour. Each weekend several cities hold a contest.  I was intrigued with how to take a 5-7 minute film from conception to completion in just 48-hours, while also involving several required elements. It's a rather daunting task and some teams are not able to complete a film within the alloted time. Although intrigued, I had plans for the weekend of last years contest, so I was unable to become involved; however, I told Dave I would like to observe one in the future.


The future has arrived, and I've had a blast this weekend! I did much more than just observe. I wouldn't trade it for a relaxing, do-nothing weekend...unless it was one involving Mama and Daddy...eh...and maybe the "baby sister," (she knows she's really on the list).


Anyway, a few months ago I received this years email telling us the Houston 48HFP (along with 5 other cities) would be this weekend.  I saved the weekend so I could participate and offered my services as an RN (we were blessedly injury-free) and Craft Services--that way I could observe some as well as participate by reducing some of the stress off the cast and crew. Additionally I became involved in Set Design for a couple of scenes--that was really fun, (and also entailed set-up/tear-down/clean-up--a lot of work--but still kind of fun). Dave tried to press me into on-screen stuff, but I begged off because it's June and we're in Houston, so all I packed were shorts. I'm thinking next year the email might remind everyone to come prepared with clothing for many different settings: gym, casual, date, and a professional look, etc. There is always a need for extras, so most of the crew also worked as cast. We were a very cohesive and versatile team.


"Wobbly"  is our team name and we are led by Dave, aka "The Studio." Dave is the Executive Producer, or as he likes to remind everyone, "The Evil Overlord." Because of the distance I had to travel there were several pre-filming activities I was not involved with: 48HFP mixers and screenings of past films at the Houston organizational level, and some Wobbly planning sessions, etc. at the team level. I did make it to our practice 12-hour film a couple of weekends ago. During that shoot, our Videographers camera overheated. After Mark packed up and left we sat around and brainstormed alternate plans in case the same scenario played out this weekend. Did you know you can actually rent professional movie making equipment? I suggested renting from Austin since their contest will be after Houston's (I thought the selection of cameras might be better.) The rental was not needed because John, the Director, went out and purchased a camera--he was looking for an excuse to buy one and when this one presented itself, he jumped on it--I love it when a man can  make a decision.


Friday night rolled around and it was "Kick-Off" time. At the Kick-off the required elements for the entries for your city are announced (they differ each weekend/city so no one has a pre-knowledge advantage). This weekend the Houston elements were:


Character: Sherman (or Sharon) Brown, recently unemployed.    
Prop: Book
Line of dialogue: (doesn't have to be spoken but does have to appear) "There's a $2 service charge."


Additionally, representatives for each team "draw" their genre.  Not quite as picturesque as a Harry Potter-ish Sorting Hat, but just as suspenseful. If a team does not want the genre they drew, they can request a redraw, but the second draw is final. Wobbly drew, "Buddy Film." Not exactly our first choice, but do-able. The information was texted to Dave and the rest of the team at Wobbly HQ (aka Dans house), and the 48-hour countdown began. (I was still en route). 


By the time I arrived, they had developed a story board. The script was written by 12:30 am Saturday, then we stood around talking until about 1am. We agreed to meet at our shoot site by 8am. David W.  had obtained permission to use his awesome Church as one of the possible shoot sites. (It's recommended to obtain as many different places as you can prior to that weekend since you don't know what kind of a story you will be writing/filming).


After the meeting broke up I was too excited to sleep so I set out with the GPS to find the Church and scope out Kolachie and donut places en route, then I went to WallyWorld to purchase some last minute supplies. When I finally got to bed around 4:30am I was exhausted.  Saturdays alarm went off wayyyyy too early. but by the time I arrived at the Church I was fully awake (a feat in and of itself since I am not a morning person even after a full night of good sleep).


While they filmed in other parts of the church, I assisted in the design and setup of both a coffee shop and a restaurant (the restaurant had shots in three different seasons--winter, fall, and summer, so the decorations were different for each shot). After we finished the church site portion of the film, we converged on Dans home for the final scenes. At 6:08pm John called, "It's a wrap." We were only 8 minutes past our self imposed time line. We were very pleased, although we did joke about one of the 3-second, non-dialogue, montage scenes requiring 12 takes. :~)


Before we sat down to eat dinner, "Real Friends," the name of our film, was in the hands of our editing guys. I'm sure that Jim was up most of the night viewing, cutting, splicing, and everything else that goes into Editing. After dinner, Greg (who worked the boom and is our sound guy) went home to take a long bath, and a short nap before working on a soundtrack. Greg is a Renaissance Man--there is nothing he can't do! Every time I meet him I am totally amazed at his many talents.


It's now Sunday afternoon and there has been no word yet how it is progressing, but we expect to make the Drop-Off deadline of 7:30pm. We will reconvene at Dans house for a "Wrap" party around 8pm tonight. I've ordered a cake that I designed to resemble a clap-board thingy (that's what I've been calling the slap thing they use to mark scenes/takes--and what I will call it until I find out and replace this text). As a joke I have it reading "Scene 10, Take 52" :~) It also has the name of our film, "Real Friends" and in the two bottom corners I have "48HFP" and "Wobbly"  respectively. I'll try to remember to take my iPhone and take a photo of it so I will at least have that to post. :~)


This year there were 70 teams filming. The teams have been divided into 5 groups of 12 and a swing group of 10. The film of each team in a group premieres with the other films in their group. The swing group will be divided among the other five groups; therefore, each of the five groups will have a possibility of 14 films to screen (remember, not all films will be completed or turned in on time). The Wobbly premiere of "Real Friends" will be Wednesday @ 5:30pm. I have a doctors appointment and had taken off the rest of the afternoon but still would probably not be able to make Houston by such an early time. The encore showing for our group is Thursday @ 9pm, which means if I attend I would be driving home after midnight and going to work the following morning somewhat bleary-eyed. If I want to see it (and my name in the credits) on the big screen that's going to be the one I have to attend--the sacrifices made for "art." . After the screenings it will be available on the Internet. I'll try to link to it when it becomes available. (I don't know why this is looking this way and I don't know how to fix it...yet.)