Sunday, April 24, 2016

New Career Path?

First off, allow me to state that I am not currently in my most lucid state of consciousness. Sans mind-altering substances. It happens.

I would also like to state in my defense that I make every attempt to be a model parent. And I am pleased to humbly report that The Myrtles assure me (without much bribery on my part) that I am successful to a degree of minimal standards established by someone, somewhere and somewhen (I know it's not a word but see sentence #1).

By my definition of model parent, I have endeavored to be involved in The Myrtles activities as warranted. My philosophy is/was that if my children wanted to participate in an activity, then I should step up and help make it happen. Need a field trip chaperone? I can take a day or two off work. Children's Choir leader? Ok. Destination Imagination Manager or judge? Count me in. Need a female youth counselor? Sure. Blackjack dealer? Okie dokie.

Wait! What? You heard correctly. (Hence the reason for sentence #1.)

In case you haven't realized, Myrtle the Younger is a senior in high school this year and is having the time of her life and has been plotting and planning one of the biggest events of the year for several months. Yes, Folks, we are talking about Prom.

Ain't she pretty? (Those are the Hot Mess Shoes, by the way, so dubbed by the color and the height of the heel. Apparently they remained on her feet until she got inside the door of the event center. Why did we bother?)

Anyway...Our high school has what is known as After Prom. At some point in time, some parents got together and decided they didn't want their precious darlings going to parties for the usual, questionable, after prom activities with equally questionable supervision. So they came up with After Prom. Rumor has it that the kids look forward to After Prom as much, if not more than, Prom itself. Why, you ask? Inflatables! Door prizes! Games! Running amok with friends all freaking night! And the piece de la resistance (sorry, I don't know how to make the accents happen)-Dun-dun-dun!-the Casino! Yes friends, Let's teach our budding adults how to gamble in the sacred halls of public academia. Who says schools aren't teaching real-life, practical skills?

As with most children's activities, volunteers are necessary to make the night successful. That's where I come in. As with Myrtle the Elder's prom, I got roped into being a Blackjack dealer again. It's wasn't a bad gig 2 years ago. I sat at my little table all night, chatting with the lovelies while pretending to be able to count to 21, before leaving to crash in my little bed.

That be what I expected for last night. I be so very wrong.

Here was my "office" from 11 pm until after 4 am this morning. Notice something? Anything? Yeah. No stool. This THERAPIST stood on her feet for 5 solid hours with no break, dealing blackjack, then helped tear down, before finally getting home around 5:30 am. Needless to say my neck, back, arms, legs and other parts of my carcass are back-talking LOUDLY. To add insult to injury, my FitBit thingie only registered about 500 steps for the whole night. (#%$%&&*&*!!!!!!)

Now I will give myself a pat on the back: I did manage to stay sane and friendly throughout the evening (I only had to tell the supervising Pit Boss to get lost once) and I managed to count each hand with relative accuracy (although determining the winning hand between 20 and 21 took a few extra brain cells). I even spoke to the kids at my table and figured out that they might be human after all. Who knew?

After all was said and done, the evening was fun. The question innocently arose if I might consider moon-lighting as a blackjack dealer. (Hysterical giggles and hyperventilation galore.)

Uh. No.

G'Night, all (it's 2pm).


Sunday, April 10, 2016

I Love This!

Yesterday was awesome!

I held my first official book signing in front of The Book Gallery in McKinney, Texas. A friend is the owner and he specializes in rare and antique books. I'll come back to that in a minute.

Downtown McKinney is a lovely, historic square with old buildings and a great courthouse. The town powers close off the square once in a while to host festivals like Oktoberfest and Arts in Bloom. The latter occurred yesterday, so I was surrounded by artists, live jazz, and some of the best BBQ I've ever eaten (and that's saying something, y'all!). While I enjoy wandering around art festivals and would have loved to peruse the Texas Wine Garden or watch the beef grilling demo/tasting, I was working my little table so I didn't get out much. I did send family and friends out and about and lived vicariously through them.

Mi espouso was firmly ordered to attend part of the grilling demo. (It was a hint. A big hint. Grilling season is here. Me no cook. Comprende?) Instead of coming back with motivation and recipes, he returned with his eyes rolled back in his sucker-shaped head. Apparently there is a rare cut of steak from around the rib-eye called the spinatus or some-such, and the taste was orgasmic. At $26.99 a pound! In the words of my great-great-uncle Bunkie, "By God, it oughta!" (I couldn't tell you what Bunk's real name was, we all just called him Uncle Bunkie. I don't know why either.) Anyway, if my beloved behaves himself, he might get one for his birthday (and I do mean MIGHT 'cause $27 is outside the birthday budget). If I remember. Someone better mark a calendar and remind me, cause methinks I have to order that bad-beef-boy ahead of time.

Back at The Book Gallery, the book restorer guy was there and he does some fantastic work. He showed me a 1753 (?ish?) copy of Milton's Paradise Regained that he restored. Amazing and gorgeous! The fact that he found the book, sans cover, for $3 was pretty cool too. This guy also makes journals. All of them are made of leather and exotic papers. Some had Roman coins embedded in the cover. (Have I mentioned I love handmade, artistic stuff?)

Mimi bought me this as a 1st Book Signing Gift (Merci beaucoup, Mimi!). It was one I drooled over. I don't know who the Egyptian guy is but I think he might be Horus or one of Horus's goonies. The falcon over his head is a Horus symbol. (I think-me being an Egyptologist-NOT!) The trim is green leather and the restorer guy hand-sews the page binding. I didn't know there were different styles but he showed me about ten which he practices. He mentioned something about single-stitching versus double-stitching. This is double. (I think) No wonder old books hold up so well over hundreds of years. Paperbacks? Not happening.

 All I know is that I've got a pretty cool journal that I do not want to mess up with my ramblings. Anyway, if you need a different kind of gift for a journal-y, write-y or sketch-y (or sketchy) type person, call The Book Gallery and ask Jim about the journals or any old books you might be hunting for.