Monday, October 29, 2007

I "Heart" Boobs

This past weekend was full of many wonderful things. And I'll probably write several posts this week about them.

One of the highlights was one I didn't expect at all.

When I took off for my run on Sunday, I got SO lucky. I happened to be running at the lake at the same time that hundreds, probably thousands, of people where on the final day of the 3 day, 60 mile walk for Breast Cancer.

Gobs of people, mainly women were dressed in pink- Many had shirts on with pictures of loved ones that said, "In Loving Memory of..." There were groups of people- Families, friends... There were even men, altho they were far out numbered by the women.

I saw a shirt that said I "Heart" Boobs. If I had seen someone wearing it anywhere else, I might have sort of rolled my eyes. But on THAT day, that shirt had such great meaning.

I also saw a few people with hat/visors made from bras- I also saw a guy wearing a helmet that he made look like a boob by putting a nipple in the middle of it. I saw a group of men wearing matching t-shirts that said, "Team Husbands".

People carried signs and banners- "Hope", "Healing", "Love",....
Hundreds and hundreds of people. I ran for 5 miles, and I never ran out of people to look at that moved me. I was either smiling, or fighting back tears during my entire run. To see a huge group of people, walking together for a purpose- It's powerful.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Old Yeller

The weather has finally turned a little chill and that is such a welcomed thing. It seemed wrong to be picking up pecans that had fallen but sweating in 90 degree weather and being bit by mosquitoes at the same time.

I always love this time of year when we can pull out our sweaters, sweats, etc- LOVE it. But it also means I'm about to be seeing way too much of my husband's favorite fleece sweatshirt.

When this shirt was bought, way back in the '80's, it actually wasn't that bad. But over years and years it has faded, become unstitched and restitched, gotten pill-y, shrunk up in and stretched out, and gone WAY out of style (altho, it probably was never really in style). But my otherwise metro-sexual husband, for whatever reason, still loves it.

He even named it years ago. Old Yeller. I've been hearing him sing that song when he wears it, or is looking to wear it, for years. A long time ago, probably 7 years ago, my mom tried buying him a replacement, but New Yeller just didn't stick. Old Yeller is to Fermin what the blanket is to Linnus. He will not give it up.

He called me on his way home from work yesterday. Like everyone else in town seems to be, we're excited about this big weather change. I told him I was making tortilla soup. I also said maybe, "Hey, maybe we could make a fire tonight!" He asked me if I thought it was really that cold. "No, it isn't that cold, but doesn't that sound nice?!" And then he said, "Yeah, hmmm. Hey, I think it's time for Old Yeller!"

Really? Do you think it's REALLY that cold?

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I went to my High School Reunion last weekend.
I had a graduating class of something like 850 people. Other than my husband and my oldest and best friend, Kelly, I've barely kept in touch with anyone in all these years.

Ten years ago, my husband and I went to the reunion and Kelly didn't make it in town for that one. Afterwards, she had regrets that she missed it, so we vowed that when the next one rolled around, we'd all go together. So here it was, the next one.

Kelly came into town for a long weekend and THAT was awesome! I love her and her family because in a way, they are my family and I'm a part of their's. And now she's got this 4 year old daughter, Sarah, that is really just the coolest little chick around. Kind of like a little Kelly. Nothing and no one, in my opinion, could be better than that!

Kelly, Fermin, and I all had very different experiences with high school with different memories of it. But we were all sort of anxious to go but also curious. (And I'm pretty sure I was the most anxious of the 3 of us.) On top of that, we made a pact that we'd go, so when Saturday night rolled around, we were off.

It was pretty much chaos from beginning to end. So many faces. Faces I sort of remembered, faces I'm pretty sure I'd never seen before, and faces that looked a lot older than they did last time I saw them. (And yes, I realized, my face is one of those older faces.)

In the midst of it, it felt fun. Or at least somewhat exciting. We got there quite late, but we stayed until the bitter end. It was obviously something I'd never experienced before.

I love analogies and I finally came up with one for my High School Reunion. Seeing all of those people was like eating popcorn. There's tons of it, you can keep eating and eating, but in the end, did it really fill you? I realized I talked to many people that night without having one real connection with anyone. When Kelly and Fermin and I got in the car, other than saying, "Did you see _______?" there was really not much beyond that to note.

Days later, I told Kelly about my "Popcorn as Reunion People" analogy and she added, "Yeah, and if you eat too much, you start to sort of feel sick." She had an early flight to catch the next morning, and perhaps the night ran a little late. It seems if I had stayed only an hour and looked around the room from person to person, it would have been nearly as much information as I got in the several hours that I had of cocktail party conversation. I learned nothing, and I revealed nothing.

Will I go to the next one? Probably. Who doesn't like to indulge in a buttery tub of popcorn every now and then no matter how unfulfulling it actually is?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Yesterday afternoon my brother's Bull Mastiff, Deville a.k.a. Nillie DeVillie somehow got out of his yard. My dog's have run away on several occasions- and even worse, my first Husky, Chloe- ran away and was run over by a car. So when a dog runs away from home, I take it very seriously. Anyone who's been thru it knows it sucks. It's a helpless, anxious feeling.

My phone rang early this morning and I saw on caller i.d. that it was my brother. I was hoping he was calling to report that Deville was safely back home. But instead, he was calling to ask me to help him make posters and put them out. Everywhere.

He lives in a loft downtown. In the seedy part of downtown. So all sorts of bad things might have happened to little Deville.

My brother, my Dad and I worked all morning on the Search and Rescue Squad. As we'd put signs up, a few people said encouraging words and wished us luck. Others told us possible scenarios of what they thought happened. One man said someone had probably picked him up and had already sold him. A woman told us that her dog had been stolen by mean people and when she finally got to see him, he had become vicious. Those were the people, altho they might have been good-intentioned, I really didn't want to hear from.

I kept feeling like we still had a good chance of finding him. My brother had put out a $300 dollar reward. Lots of homeless people live in his 'hood and that sounded like a great motivator to keep everyone on the lookout. We must have put out about 50 or 60 signs all together. I patted him on the back and said, "I really think we're gonna find him" and within a minute or two my brother's phone rang.

I could tell that the caller had Deville. My brother had goosebumps on his arm as he listened to the caller tell him that her husband saw him wondering around in the street yesterday afternoon and had brought him home to their house in Cedar Hills. She saw our signs while she was on her way from work to run some errands. SHE SAW OUR SIGNS. They worked.

I'm not a person who uses prayer as often as I probably should. But I kept saying little prayers yesterday and today. And this time, it made a big, big difference. At least it feels that way!

My brother and I just got off the phone. He said Deville's been on his best behavior this afternoon, and he kind of has that look on his face like, "Whoa. I know I almost really messed up our lives! I won't run again." And of course, my brother learned his lesson too and is taking EVERY precaution that this will never happen again but securing his property, making Deville wear his collar (even tho he hates it), etc.

And Zoe and Scout have gotten about a thousand extra kisses today- and now...a big, long walk!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Annie's Got Soul!

I'm here to give you my report on the Annie Lennox concert I went to on Sunday that I had previously mentioned on my blog.

I think it was so smart to go by myself- I think I appreciated it all the more. I didn't have to think about if the person I was with was happy... I was completely sucked into the performance and the music.

Annie started with "No More I Love You's" and I sort of started crying. Actually, there were several moments I sort of felt like crying. She is just such a cool iconic figure. And she's really dramatic and commanding, and just everything you'd expect. And of course, her voice is phenomenal. The whole thing from start to finish was very awe-inspiring.

Almost every song you associate with Annie, she performed. Even "Thorn in My Side"!!! And the older ones she made sound a little newer. And she sang about 3 songs from her new cd. And now after listening to the cd each time in my car, I'm realizing I love that cd as much as her others...

I'm currently sort of Annie-obsessed. I've brought out my old Eurythmics cds, and all of Annie's solo stuff. And it's all just so great! I'm even considering chopping off my hair and bleaching it. I recently bought the IPOD shuffle and so today I've been loading Annie on there. So I can't wait for my next run.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Licking Champion

This weekend I attended and performed at a cool benefit for Weimaraner Rescue (as well as so many other dog rescue groups I think, because many were there) called Mutts, Mystics and Moon Pies.

I got to bring my two biggest fans, Zoe and Scout. I sort of felt like I finally got to have my "Take Your Daughter(s) To Work Day".

While I was singing, there was a Face Licking Contest. The human partner squirted whipped cream all over their face, and then the dog partner was to lick it off. Whoever licked off all of whipped cream first was the winner. I felt so honored to get to play during such an event. But the most exciting part of it was that my dog Scout and my husband, Fermin, were the winning team!!!

Scout was awarded a set of 6 balls. My dogs, for whatever reason, have never understood the fetch concept, and just don't really play with toys in general. This morning, I got out all of the balls and started throwing them around. My dogs just watched as they rolled by.

The real reward for Scout was just getting to eat the whipped cream! She never gets to (a) eat human food or (b) lick Fermin's face. When she was a puppy she was very licky. Fermin use to have to tell her "NO" in his "I'm-the-boss-of-you" voice. So yesterday, she was at first reluctant to break what have always been the rules. But even with the several second delayed start, she was still the crowned The Licking Champion.

I am such a proud parent!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Book I Found On My Shelf

Sometimes, I buy books, and apparently, I just put them away on the bookshelf before reading them. Then, months or even years later, I rediscover them...

Today I was working on a tedious little task and was staring off into space, or rather, at my bookshelf. And the book that caught my eye was called "Why We Love"- I just started flipping thru it and now here I am, 52 pages later. And that tedious little task still has to be finished. But first, let me digress even more.

This book is written by the "renowned anthropologist", Helen Fisher, Ph.D and so far it's pretty fascinating. If asked to define love, it seems impossible. But here's actually some science behind it.

I know when people are in that "falling in love" stage, they might think, "THIS is a love like no other", but that is really false. It's science. It's the way the brain and the chemicals react not just in humans, but even in some animals!

"Why read this?" you might ask. Well, because the first part (and most of) the book are chapters that delve into the chemistry of love, the evolution of love, etc. which is interesting enough... But then towards the end of the book, there's a chapter called, "Making Romance Last"- Not just love...ROMANCE! And THAT's the stuff that I wanna know more about. From a scientist. Not just a therapist or a bad magazine article.

Chapter 8. I'll be there in about 130 more pages. Some skimming to get there may be involved, so I don't think it will take me long.

The other reason I want to read this is, well, at some point I bought it and clearly something about the book grabbed my attention. And then today, it caught me again. Love is a wonderful thing. We all know that. It's also sometimes painful. We already know that, too. And maybe there's even more to know about it than just those two simple and complicated facts.

Friday, October 5, 2007


I have never gone to a concert by myself before, but that will be changing next weekend for Annie Lennox. Her album called "Revenge" got me thru my first heartbreak, and I feel I owe it to her to be there.

She's playing at McFarland Auditorium at SMU. I've performed there as well. How cool is that?- I will have sort of shared the stage with Annie! Altho, when I performed there, I was about 7 years old and it was a tap dance recital, so it's not as cool as it might have first sounded.

Anyway, she's playing the Sunday after my high school reunion- next weekend. I wanted my friend, Kelly to go with me, since she'll be in town for the reunion. But she's flying out earlier that day. So, as my husband was taking a nap on the couch last weekend, I was on the phone with Ticketmaster reserving tickets, assuming he'd want to go. However, when I got the sort of pricey total of the tickets read out to me by the robotic operator I said, "Honey!! Wake up: FAST! Annie Lennox $180!!! Wanna go?" (we had no previous discussion that Annie Lennox was coming in town or anything, so I think my style of invite this time perhaps wasn't all that enticing) and he said he really had no desire to see her at all and went back to sleep. I guess Annie didn't mean to him what she means to me.

Like I said, "Revenge" got me thru my first broken heart back in the 80s. So after thinking it over later that night in the bathtub, I decided I'd love to just go to this concert alone. For just one ticket, it's about the price of a massage. And if I can treat myself to a massage every couple of months, I can certainly treat myself to ANNIE LENNOX!

She just released a new cd, which I of course bought the day it came out. It's no "Revenge", but it's Annie! And if she could just sing "Thorn in My Side" it would slide me right back into the 80's, my heartache, my anger, and it would be the perfect ending to my high school reunion weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Police Report

After seeing a report on the news about the increased crime at White Rock Lake, I started thinking more about that whole beer-bottle-thrown-at-my-head incident. The news report cautioned that women, in particular, should go in pairs when they're walking or whatever at the lake. Or to at least take a dog. Well, I don't have friends that I run with, and my dogs are now 11 years old, and I'm not sure they'd be down with a 5 miles run- Or rather, I'm afraid they might, in fact, be DOWN with it...

The news report also said that the Dallas Police Dept. didn't have any plans to put more security out there. Even tho crime has increased at a reportedly alarming rate. WHAT?!

So my husband and I talked it over and he encouraged me to report "the incident" so the police would have yet another statistic to add to perhaps get the necessary beefed up security.

I asked my neighborhood crime watch person who to call for a non-emergency report. She told me to call 911 and just tell them, "I have a non-emergency I'd like to report." My neighbor also added, "Be careful if you run at the lake by yourself! There've been sexual assaults reported!" Oh my! I'm hearing it again. It must be true.

So I called 911. The operator asked me what my report was, and I told her. And then she said she'd be sending out an officer. I replied, "Can I just talk with someone on the phone, rather than them coming out." And she that no, she'd be sending an officer out. And I thought, "Well, I guess this is just procedure."

When an officer arrived at my door, he said, "Mrs. Arista, I was told you insisted on having an officer out to your house to report a crime that happened to you-"

URGH. I felt so embaressed and wronged by that 911 operator. I told him I didn't at all insist on having him out, and that the crime wasn't even necessarily a crime. I then went on to tell him that I got hit in the head with a bottle over a week ago. I told him I was only now reporting it after seeing the report about crime at the lake on the news last night.

He asked me some more questions and we sort of resolved that it was a little late to even really care about what I was telling him. He went on to tell me that the crimes at the lake were actually car break ins. Primarily of people who had items in plan site- Like one guy who had his laptop on his passenger seat. I asked him about the sexual assualts. He said there was ONE report of a women being chased and grabbed by her ex, or something like that...Nothing that puts me or other women at any alarming kind of risk. (Which explains why the DPD doesn't plan on upping the police presence at the lake.)

So again, the news and me just don't get along.
I think it's main objective is to put fear in all of us- I'm not sure why, I guess all the hype is exciting.

The officer said my beer-bottle-in-the-head, was more than likely just a litterbug throwing the bottle from the bridge. And I'll add, to remind me to be aware of my surroundings when I'm out on a run. I still feel safe out there on my own. As long as I don't watch the news reports.