Haute Flash Contessa

Rants, ramblings, raves of a woman who blames everything from road rage to undercooked pork chops on a hormone imbalance.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Contessa a Guest Speaker????

The PTA at Cat's middle school has asked the Contessa to be a speaker at their career day. They want me to talk about my career and how my education helped me get to where I am today.

I began preparing for my career as a Contessa quite early, learning to sniff corks in elementary school. By the time I hit high school, I was up to licking the last drops out of wine glasses left over from my parent's dinner parties. During college, I made sure to sample a mix of reds and whites every night and spent extra hours on weekend fieldtrips to local taverns.

There was a lot of physical training involved, too. Early on, I practiced lounging on the sofa in front of The Brady Bunch, then moved on to All My Children. Let me tell you, that was not as easy as it sounds. To get to the sofa, I had to dodge piles of laundry my mother had left for me to fold AND pass a sink full of dirty dishes.

As the years went on, the coursework grew more demanding. I nearly caved under mental duress. How could anyone expect a Contessa to learn what all those dials on the stove stood for? And which way to turn - right or left? You'd think I was studying to be an engineer. Thankfully, I discovered take-out and with that, I turned the corner. In fact, I excelled in my post-graduate work. My professors had never seen anyone handle a corksrew with such finesse.

Oh, what an inspiration I can be! They can't all be doctors or lawyers, you know. Why fill their heads with such futile goals when with a little determination they can all be Contessas?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nostalgic Toys Making Comeback

Interesting news item recently: In hard times, nostalgic gifts strike a chord. Parents remember how much fun they had with certain toys and want that same happiness for their children.

Makes sense. Maybe I’ll get the kids Jarts, that lawn dart game from my childhood. A cross between tossing horseshoes and slinging daggers in a circus act, the game was a thrill a minute. What could be more fun than impaling the neighbor kid’s foot? OK, maybe bloodying his nose with a Clacker ball.

Dolls were, and still are, popular items under the tree. A perennial fave on Contessa’s wish list was Chatty Cathy. Just pull a string and she spoke, saying simple words like “hello.” Chatty didn’t do much else, other than raising her arms straight up in the air over her head. She looked like a UT fan tossing up her hands in disgust after the College Bowl Championship Series bids were announced.

rest of the story

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Home for the Holidays

Pinot & Grigio are home from college and I'm reminded of life with them as baby grapes just home from the hospital. They've got their days and nights mixed up, going to bed at 3 a.m. and sleeping the rest of the time. Feedings are every two hours, whether they're hungry or not. They're growing young men, you know. At least I no longer have to burp them. They've got that down cold. Well, almost. Sometimes they spit-up and leave a bit on their chins. Bongo takes care of that.

Having them home again has brought tears to my eyes. I can't help but cry when I stumble over stuffed laundry bags they dragged home and dropped in the doorway. Who woulnd't get misty-eyed over seeing grandma's heirloom quilts streaked with macaroni-and-cheese? I never knew an exploding microwave could spew stuff so far. I guess I need to send an apology to their dorm residence assistantfor that stain on the hallway wall.

Besides bringing me to tears, those boys leave me speechless, especially when I sort through the laundry bag. I may be dumbstruck when I come across the never-been-washed sheets and t-shirts tinged in mold but those grimy socks, encrusted with two-month-old mud, bathroom slime and something that may have once been alive, leave me breathless.

I'm so glad Pinot & Grigio are home. I'm going to enjoy them every one of the FORTY days their home. Then, it's just a few short months until summer break.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ode to One-Hit Wonders

Hot Flash in the City
Hot Flash in the City
Looking old, tired, not-so-pretty
Hot Flash in the City

More to come...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Studying a new language

I'm thinking about studying a foreign language: Tweenspeak. I don't think "Chillax, dude" means "I'll fold those clothes right away." Just a hunch

Friday, December 05, 2008

Whining About Christmas Gifts?

You had planned to give out fruit cakes but they all defrosted around day 4 of post-hurricane Ike. Or was it day 6? Maybe day 15. Those things are indestructible.

You had planned to use your Christmas bonus to buy presents but decided to buy a generator, only to discover you had enough for a battery-operated fan. Without the batteries.

You had gotten accustomed to your family room not smelling like a Texans locker room after an early September game played with the roof open because your teenage boys were away at college and now learn they’re due home for a FORTY-DAY break.

Don’t Whine – Give Wine!!

I’ll make it easy for you – just visit my wino website and select from limited-edition, artisan wines from small wineries in California. I signed up to be an independent wine consultant (since I have soooo much experience) several months ago and, although I’ve yet to schedule an in-home wine tasting event, I have at least taken care of people on my Christmas shopping list. You can buy as little as one bottle or by the case (with personalized labels, if you wish). There are a few neat wine accessories and glassware, too.

Enjoy your holiday shopping: Pour a glass of Cabernet and click away. Heck, order a few bottles for yourself. I did. A bottle for my sister, a bottle for me; a bottle for my brother, another for me…

Merry Christmas,


P.S. This was an unpaid non-political endorsement of which I approve. Feel free to forward to your friends and colleagues.

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