Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

Ghouls, Goblins And Countess Daphne

Daphne is a ballerina for Halloween. Maybe she should be called a Dapharina?

I did a test run and tried to put some angel wings on the Gabster. She informed me that her preference is to remain costume-less (or is it costumeless) for the celebration. I look forward to seeing her reaction tonight as the trick-or-treating ensues.

Hope you have a frightfully fun Halloween!

Happy Birthday, Mom

The Mom celebrates turning 80 today. A Halloween baby. As is the case with most moms, she's not perfect, but she sure is awesome. I am very proud of her and all she has done in her life. Growing up with Spanish-only speaking parents in El Paso, Texas, in a post-depression era society, she has seen and accomplished much.

She has told me stories about making wild onions into dolls and playing kick ball in the street. She has recalled nights illuminated by kerosene lamps since their neighborhood didn't have electricity 24-hours a day and actually having a chunk of ice to keep things cold in the fridge. She's told me about bomb scares and lights out programs during WWII and societal changes and race relations during the '50s and '60s, not to mention the hippies and drugs of the '70s, women's liberation and the sexual revolution. Oh my! Her seven children are wide-ranging in age -- 22 years from top to bottom -- that she has seen many changes just by witnessing what we have experienced.

Now, there's more than a dozen grandchildren (including Mia that was born this summer), as many great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild in a womb! Yes, I will have a niece and a great-great niece born within a year of each other.
I hate that I'm not there celebrating with her. She would have it no other way. She insists that the kids stopping by my place tonight requesting a handful of treats and well wishes from me need my presence more than she does. She tells me they're secretly celebrating her birthday.

In the pic here she is looking at over the scenery of northern New Mexico/southeastern Colorado while riding in the lounge car of our Amtrak excursion (Summer 2007). While enjoying the sites I bet she is wondering what will be on the other side of mountain, what adventure is next, what challenge is around the corner, what victory will be celebrated. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Taking A Plunge

A few pics from a fountain in the entryway of the place where Sheri and I ate in Atlanta. It was a fascinating, floor-to-ceiling fountain that featured rows and rows of divers. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it. Hope you enjoy the ones posted.

Just Another Example

I love those situations that prove once again how small the world is. We are all much more connected, I believe, than we ever can imagine.

Received an e-mail from the blog the other day with the subject line of "Ok. This is just a little weird...‏." It was from a lady who decided, as we all probably have done at one point and should do just to see what's out there, to google herself. She was born in Kansas City, lived in Lee's Summit when she was younger, now lives in Oklahoma and went to college at Oklahoma State.

Can you guess what showed up in her google search? That's right. "Wild Life" was there. It showing up in the results likely was boosted since a friend mentioned on "Wild Life" happens to share this lady's name.

She wrote in her e-mail, "Did you just hear that Twilight Zone music? I know…freaky! ... It is a small world after all .... "

Deadlines, Draft Posts, Etc...

Do you ever write a title for a post and save it as a draft in an effort to remember to write about a topic at some point in the future only to go to it and have no idea what the title/draft post was referencing? Surely I'm not alone.

The week has been hectic. First Denver, then came home to meetings, meetings, meetings and deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Throw in some United Way volunteering, Halloween decorating, occasional sleeping and lots of overeating to relieve the stress and that's been the week. The Gabarino always sleeps on top of me when I accidentally pass out on the sofa. I'm looking forward to the weekend. Maybe I'll do nothing but blog.

Not a word from MMcB since she left two weeks ago for Ireland. Maybe she's hooked up with some little green dude and making a new home and life for herself. Or maybe that green dude has her tied up and bound. Oh my!

Gas here is up to $2.63 a galloon. I anticipate higher prices around the corner. Yucky.

My thoughts and prayers have been with the folks in Southern California. I can't even imagine the scene.

Haven't watched any of my television shows this week. The vcr tape (maybe someday I'll have TIVO) is almost full. I didn't even see Marie Osmond faint and had to google to discover that Mark Cuban was eliminated. Haven't even watched one Nightline, with the exception of Monday night in a Denver hotel room because it aired right after the news. It airs at midnight in KC. Have even missed out on NPR listening this week because of being out of town and because of 7:30 a.m. meetings and the like. Extra yucky.

Just a quick one for now since I'm at the J-O-B. I must teach Gabby to blog so that way she can get it done while I'm at work.

Rocky Mountain High

There's a certain level of insanity in Denver right now. Something about some game with balls and sticks. Baseball it is called. Having moved to Kansas City in the early '90s, this is not really a sport with which I have much familiarity.

People do in Denver, though, and they are really excited about it. There was a ticket/Internet fiasco on Monday. The Rockies are going to try again Tuesday to sell tickets.

Among other things Monday, I took a tour through the U.S. Mint and saw state quarters being made. As well as pennies. Ate lunch at Hard Rock with the Wild Gang. Toured the Red Rocks Ampitheater at dusk. Ate a mighty tasty Mexican dinner in a quaint little town. It was a stellar day.

You know what that means ... pictures will be on their way over the next several days!

On a quick break from meetings now. Fly home later.

New Elevations

Arrived in Denver on Sunday. Was greeted by about six inches of snow. And it's like barely 30 degrees. It seems winter is officially arriving. At least in this part of the country!

Had a fantastic Sunday visiting with the Wild Gang. Very nice. We made chili and a cake and just had some great moments catching up. Wild Wife and I worked at McDonald's together in Tulsa while in high school. We had fun talking about some of those times, among others.

I brought with me for her birthday some "Camp Snoopy" glasses from McDonald's that I bought at an "antique store" in Kansas City. I think we could purchase them for 49-cents with a Happy Meal in the good-ol' days. That's not how much for which I purchased them. A free cup of coffee at the door was the only bonus. Wild Wife liked them much, though. That's all that matters.

Hung out Saturday night with the Schramwiches. We had fun. Listened to the Oklahoma State game via the Internet since it was not on television anywhere. The good guys won 41-39 with a field goal made with about five seconds on the clock. A dramatic ending!

In Sunday's football polls, we actually were down there at the bottom of the heap with those that are "also receiving votes." Sure hope we can win just two or three more.

El Schramwich created for me two fantastic OSU-themed drawings and a special card. Seven-year-olds are so endearing. It was fun hanging out with them.

Must sleep for now.

Breaking Bread In Atlanta

Wasn't able to make it to Stillwater this weekend for Homecoming. It's the first one I've missed in 10 or more years. It actually was a bit sad to me earlier this week when I accepted the fact that it would be impossible to make it all happen since I leave for Denver on Sunday for a work trip.

Having my own little reunion in that while in Denver I will visit the Wild Gang. Last in-person visit with this couple was Jan. 1, 1996 in New York's Times Square. I actually went to high school with Wild Wife. She's my only high school chum with which I keep in touch. They have two sons. I can't wait to meet them!

Including pics from the Atlanta reunion with a college friend, Sheri. The Atlanta trip was in early October. Our meal was at a fantastic Mexican place in a new development, Atlantic Station. The guaucomole was made table side and was worth every bit of $12. Very tasty. And the mole chicken enchiladas .... oh my yummy. No question that the pomegranate margaritas were good! The best part, though, was catching up with Sheri.

Dreamin' With Her Cowboy

Without a doubt when these pictures were taken Gabby was content with pleasant thoughts about her Cowboy's Cowboys winning the football game over the Nebraska 'Huskers. First time his Cowboys have won in Lincoln since 1960 and like only the third time to beat Nebraska in almost as many years!

If a picture was taken today she's probably dreaming of her Cowboy's Cowboys playing a really good game this weekend against the Kansas State Wildcats. Another win for sure. At least she hopes. Especially since it's Homecoming. Her Cowboy's favorite time of year.

Waiting For A Scratch

Lying next to her Cowboy, Gabrielle wonders why the hand is on the flashy box thing and not on her

A Video

Here's a YouTube video featuring Kristin Chenoweth. I've written about her before. She plays a character named Olive on the abc show "Pushing Daisies." She sings in the clip below. It's a great spot with a dog that can act with the best. He deserves an Emmy nomination!

Two Links

Here's a link to a story on The New York Times site about stray cats in Iraq. The article includes a few pictures. Titled "Nine Lives - What Cats Know About War" and written by John Burns, it's a good read.

This is a link to "Nightline's" page on abcnews.com. There was a story last week about the extraordinary care we take of our pets. The reporter said that more American homes have pets than there are homes with children. Unique stories included a mouse with a tumor, little dog with an anxiety disorder and another dog recovering from cancer. The report indicated that obesity is the No. 1 killer of felines.

This link might work. If not, I hope you can find it on the Nightline site. It is titled "No Expense Spared on Pets, or Vets."

Water Wonders

Not the fountains in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas, but nonetheless impressive. Here's a video of the fountains in Atlanta's Centennial Park. It was built as part of the 1996 Olympics. (Can you believe it's been over 10 years!) Unfortunately, there was a bombing incident that occurred in this area during the Olympics. I think I recall that a for sure culprit never was caught.

Made my first trip ever to Atlanta not too long ago and had a chance to catch up with a college friend I hadn't seen in years. After dinner she took me around to many of the city's downtown sites. You'll have to thank her, Sheri, for the fine video of the downtown Atlantla skyline and the dancing fountains at Centennial Park. You might notice that the fountains are in the shape of the Olympic rings.

I'll post some pics some other day.

A State Up North

Can anyone tell me anything about South Dakota? Would you want to live there? Why or why not? Just curious.

Wet Noses

I suspect that Gabby is tapping her nose against my glasses. Sometimes I doze on the sofa while watching television. Her habit is to create a spot (after kneading me a million times) right on my chest. Consistently, when I wake, there's smudges all over my glasses. Do you think it's her way to check if I'm truly asleep?

A Hot One

While attending work meetings not too long ago, I met a Jerry Lewis and a Michael Jackson that works for the company. I kept thinking a Cher or Madonna would walk into the room.

About 10 years ago I worked at a law firm and there was a Tina Turner. Everyone would chuckle when she was paged overhead. "Tina Turner pick up line one. Ms. Turner, line one."

Having a well-known name would be a riot. I remember seeing a movie where a character's name was Jennifer Aniston. Just think what it would be like if my name was Garth Brooks, Mel Gibson or Brad Pitt. I'd be popular at every party, I think.

I remember telling you once about a Boston Legal episode with a cat named Barry Manilow. I think Gabby's nick name might be "A Hot One." Or maybe Michelle Pfeiffer. I might be able to get out of work things easier that way.

Imagine statements like "A Hot One (Michelle Pfeiffer) is at home and needs me." "Woke up this morning and A Hot One was on top of me. It was so sweet." "I can't stay for this after-hours meeting, A Hot One is at home and has needs that only I can satisfy."

Tulsa Town

Was in Tulsa the last few days for work. It's nice "going home" and getting to stay at a swanky hotel on the J-O-B's nickel while there. I did get to jot over to Mom's. I had planned to go out but she decided I needed to enjoy a home-cooked meal. It was tasty.

I drove to Tulsa and back. A co-worker and a former co-worker now at a different company traveled with me. Small world ... as that former co-worker and I visited he mentioned he grew up in Tulsa. That led to talk about high schools and "do you knows?" Eventually we put it together that we know each other. We were Tulsa County 4-H'ers.

The look on my face was classic when it finally donned on me. Funny that I worked with him for four years and never knew that I know him. We've known each other since we were in our teens! We ended up "catching up" and talking about all our different folks in common.

He's an engineer and a race-car enthusiast. On the way home, he noted that I am an "early apexer." I replied that I'd rather be that than a premature ..... apexer. :)

I don't care how long he's known me, no one has any business criticizing my driving. :) Hey, I did both trips without once honking, getting honked at, going down the wrong way on a one way, or going over 90.

Lounging Around - This Is The Life

If I Could Talk To The Animals

Here's a pic of Daph, the Gabster and me hopping around in MMcB's car. Besides the freakish amount of dog and cat hair floating around the car, MMB thought it was truly a Dr. Doolittle moment. We just needed a bird, turtle, snake, maybe The Boyz in back and a lion to complete the picture. It was a very interesting ride, though, with just the two monsters and two beans.

Super Saver

While on my drive home Monday evening, most stations were at $2.46. Saw one at $2.41! Surely more declines are around the corner.

Spent more than an hour at Lowe's after work. Trying to find a new door handle for the casa. Didn't realize that it would be such a difficult task to find one that matches/complements the porch light fixture I bought just a couple years ago. Actually it was a Christmas gift from The Artist and The Wife. That is, I purchased it with the gift card they gave me.

Did purchase a mum and some other items. Putting out some Halloween decor tonight. Feeling pooped and hoping to hit the hay soon.

Mr. Demille

Additional evidence that Gabrielle is a real sweetheart.

More Condo Shopping Pics

Gabby keeps looking away just as Cowboy snaps the picGabby says - That condo there looks nice!

Checking out the sunflowers near a new condo development in northern Kansas CityCouldn't resist attaching a couple more pictures from the condo shopping with MMcB.

See related post from Oct. 7 ... that was first started Sept. 19.

When In Rome

This is the day's last post.

Oct. 4 was the feast of St. Francis, Assisi. To commemorate, many Catholics, Episcopalians and members of other faiths include a special moment to offer "Blessings of Animals." Because it is believed that St Francis of Assisi had a special love for all creatures, that is why the blessing is associated with this saint.

Even though the day has passed, it's never too late to offer a blessing! Especially for these little creatures that God has provided to share so much love with us.

Here's a link to blessings and other resources on the Episcopal Diocese of Washington website. This link is to information on the americancatholic.org site, which includes some do-it-yourself blessings.

Sometimes when Gabby is snoozing, the noises she makes leaves me certain she's dreaming. I think those dreams are of how happy she is now and of the blessings to come.

Here's hoping that you and any little monsters in your life feel loved and blessed.

All Thumbs

Right now watching Ebert and Roeper, the movie review guys. Ebert has been MIA for more than a year. He's had serious medical issues and has been unable to make a return to the show.

At first the show had guest critics. Each week a new reviewer took a turn in Ebert's chair. The guest critics were all over board, like Jay Leno and Aisha Tyler, but mostly professional movie critics. It was kind of fun discovering these various critics and hearing their opinions as they offered their up or down thumb.

The last couple weeks it has been the same guy joining Roeper. A dude named Robert Wilonsky from Texas. He seems pretty good, but I think I mostly agree with Roeper.

A month or so ago I noticed a strange lack of thumbs. Movies were discussed, but no thumbs were offered. I wondered what was up.

It seems that parent company Disney decided to pull Mr. Ebert's trademarked "thumbs up or thumbs down." Although negotiations are proceeding with Mr. Ebert and his participation with the show, anyone depending on a movie recommendation will have to do so with no thumbs.


Checking out condos from MMcB's carStarted this post Sept. 19 .....
The monster weighed 6.3 pounds. We stopped by the doctor's before condo shopping with MMcB. It was a welcomed sight to see that number pop up on the L.E.D. screen.

I have some pics to post of our condo shopping, but haven't downloaded them yet. I promise to post them later (they're posted now :). We also stopped to pic up Daphne that day. MMcB teased that she felt the car seemed very "Dr. Doolittle like" as I worked to keep both creatures calm. Plus, Gabby was shedding like you wouldn't believe.

Staring at Cowboy wondering what I'm doing stuck in this car.The Saturday-morning weigh in led to a Monday morning appointment for the rest of Gabby's shots. The doctor didn't want to give them to her until she hit the magical 6-pound number. On this visit, the doc noted that there was still a yeast infection in her ears. I hated hearing that.

We've stayed gluten and vomit free for more than a month. But during a recent moment of weakness while giving Daphne a treat, I gave Gabby a Pounce treat. Within 20 minutes she was throwing it up. Since she was right next to me when this happened, I got an up-close view of a white, squirmy creature in the mostly Pounce-fragment vomit. Gross.

It was a round worm. In our visit to the doctor this past Saturday, Oct. 3, the weight was up to 6.7 pounds. She also got some medicine that should help to eradicate the parasite worm issue.

Besides that, she's doing awesome. Very, very loving. She's also curious and a little playful. Her coat has gotten so soft and pretty. She's really beautiful. She seems to enjoy Daphne's company, except for when Daph gets all protective of the food bowls. It has been fun waking up from a sofa nap with both of them curled up beside me.

The Best Of Times

Another one of my unpublished-until-now draft posts:

This is a link to an NPR story about an independent bookstore in Los Angeles. The store, called Other Times, recently closed. Its demise was a shocker to the neighborhood.

In the story, NPR's Kenneth Turan talks about the closing of the Other Times and wonders if the same thing could start happening to independent movies.

Rainy Day Books is my bookstore of choice. Its in Fairway, Kansas. Just walking into the store truly is a unique experience. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a Barnes and Noble or some other super nice, huge store. Have even thought about seeking a part-time job at one. But, Rainy Day really is something special.

Not too long ago saw a very good movie titled "Once." It's essentially a musical movie in that there's lots of singing as part of the story line. But not a musical at all in the "Dreamgirls" fashion. The movie's end was not at all what I expected. I saw it at the Tivoli Cinemas, one of Kansas City's best places to see a movie.

Driving Along

Taking the bigwig to the airport went fine the other day. I think he intended to check his blackberry, make some calls while on our 30-minute-or-so ride. With this cowboy, though, it wasn't going to happen. I talked to him and asked him questions the entire way.

In his presentation to co-workers and me, he mentioned three (all good speakers have three, don't they) important points that all of us need:
- something to do,
- something to hope for,
- someone to love.

In the car ride I told him that currently the second one was my biggest struggle. I'm not certain what to hope for right now. Work is so confusing and in much transition. It makes things a little nutty. It's a downer.

I also told him that I appreciated that he said "someone to love" and not "someone that loves us." I believe the two go together, but loving someone else first is the right and helathy way to make it happen.

Me gabbing away with him likely worked his nerves more than tooling around in the PT ever did. And just like that, he was headed to the airport terminal and I was on my way back to the more work activities.

Never Enough Celebrity News

Just going through my stack of draft posts that I haven't gotten around to publishing. Some likely are better staying as drafts. For instance, this one:

I heard that OJ prepares for any potential trials, he's trying out new catch phrases. You might remember the famous one from years ago -- "If the glove don't fit, you must acquit."

The new ones are "If it's mine, it's not a crime." Another option goes "It's my memorabilia, I didn't want to kill ya."
Can you believe that was a draft post?

I haven't heard anything about OJ lately. I wonder how things are going for him.

Peaches And Herb

Remember them? "Reunited and it feels so good." My eighth-grade crush was a girl named Mindy. I fondly remember slow dancing with her at a junior high dance to that song. I was certain she was the love of my life.

In Atlanta. My first trip here (outside of the airport) since a high school band contest. Needless to say that was eons ago. Here for work, but did reunite with a fellow Oklahoma Stater that I hadn't seen in seven or eight years. We couldn't remember for sure. It was fantastic being able to catch up with her.

More later. I have just a couple hours to run up to the Hard Rock Cafe before heading to the airport. Believe me, I have several pics to post. And Gabby updates/life updates when I get back, including how it went taking the bigwig to the airport last week. I'm providing lots of teasers now, so I'll stop until later. If I'm not too pooped I'll post Tuesday night once back in KC.