Friday, October 28, 2011

Tattooed Eyebrows - Ladies, It Is Not A Good Look

One evening a few weeks ago during the course of conversation with my sister who lives in Iowa, I asked if she sees a lot of woman with tattooed eyebrows. She said no, but she would keep an eye out for women who felt the need for a permanent displacement of their eyebrows.  She called me back a few weeks later and reported no sightings.  She stated that although she was not blessed in the eyebrow department herself, she would not be getting tattooed arched brows that look like they were drawn with a sharpie.

It seems to be epidemic in the Texas Valley and the Mexican frontier.  I implore anyone who is thinking of doing it PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T!!!!

Ladies, it is not a good look.

Disclaimer: I took (stole) these images off the internet because I am not comfortable going up to women and asking if I can take photos of their ugly eyebrows. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Am American and You Are Not

The title of this post might seem like I'm spoilin' for a fight but I am not so read on...

Twice it has been brought up to me, once by a Mexican and the other by a Honduran, that Americans (meaning born in the USA) feel we are the only ones to own the label American.  They felt they should be called American too. I chewed on this for a while.   Then it hit me one day as I entered Mexico. Bienvenidos a Estados Unidos Mexicanos said the sign.  Welcome to the United Mexican States.  Therefore people born there are Mexicans. And North Americans.  And if you were born in Canada (official name is Canada - I googled it), then you are Canadian and North American.   I was born in the United States of America so I am American and North American.  Earth shattering news, right?

And my friend from Honduras?  I have news for him. He was born in the Republic of Honduras. He is Honduran and Central American (and Catracho because Hondurans are called that for some reason and, no, I haven't bothered googling it yet).   If he were born just a few miles away in Belize, he would have been Belizean and Central American.  But today I will label him Butthead because he is stubborn as all can get out. I like to get the last word and so I will say to my Honduran friend AKA Butthead.... "I am American and you are not. Nahhhh." (tongue sticking out).   

But it doesn't mean I am better than you.  Nor does it mean you are better than me because you are not American.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Article from The Monitor about my Reynosa experiences

I'm using the last minute of my 15 minutes of fame by self-promoting the article about my Reynosa experiences. It was in The Monitor, McAllen, Texas last Sunday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Texas DMV (Department of Motherf@#$ing Vampires)

I've been told that 2 major job requirements to work for the Texas DMV are one must pass a bitch test (both male and females) and pass a class on crabby-face making.

I recently purchased a 1999 Mercury Sable with a registration in Texas that expired a year ago. Not a problem in Iowa. I would just have to pay the registration to current, pay taxes, and get my registration transferred to my name.  Yesterday I went to the Texas DMV where they promptly rejected my application, confiscated the title, stated the title was bad, and gave me two phone numbers to call.  WTF?  Before leaving the building, because I knew that nothing could ever be done by phone, I called the numbers.  No answer to both of them.  Marching back to the desk of the confiscator and using my soft voice, I politely pointed out that no one answered and asked what should I do?  Feeling the steely eyes bearing down on me, she gave me an address where I may go to find a fraud investigator. Are you kidding me?  Holding up the line because I refuse to move until I am satisfied with the explanation as to what is wrong with the title, the woman lost patience and pointed to the empty space where a date should have been filled in..... TWO OWNERS AGO!!!!!   I should have seen this coming.  Back when I registered my old truck, I was given grief because the title was missing the dealer's ID.  That time I went out to the parking lot, made up a number, took it back in, was given more grief because THREE owners ago did not sign off the title using his middle initial. After several consultations, paper shuffling, hemming and hawing, they went ahead, probably against their better judgment, and registered my truck.  Not this time.  I would have gone to the parking lot and filled in the date EXCEPT they took away my title and gave me a photocopy.  They're on to me.

Off to another location (about 10 miles away) for fraud investigations I went to be informed that I could bring in the original offender and have them correct it.  Pointing out that it was 2 owners ago who didn't fill in the date and that the state of Texas had registered it even after the omission fell on deaf ears.  My other option (and this is where it gets complicated) is to pay $40 for a fraud investigation, fill out a bunch of forms, go to yet another location about 10 miles away, fill out more forms, get a rejection letter, go to my insurance office and purchase insurance for a bond, wait several days for the bond, and then go back to the same office of the fraud investigators. Make sure to bring license, proof of insurance, and current state of Texas inspection sticker.  All for a missing date.

I paid the bloodsuckers because my only other option is to make it a yard decoration. For $40 a man with a gun but no uniform (because car fraud investigations is a dangerous job) came out to the vehicle and looked at my door, the VIN, and glanced at the motor for a second. That's it.  Next stop 10 miles away is another DMV office where a sourpuss face woman shoved more forms at me and then shuffled papers for about a half hour pointing with her 10 inch nails information that I must fill in. Some of the questions were weird like "Was the vehicle manufactured for the United States?"  Uh, gee, I guess so.  Sourpuss told me that I must answer yes or no.  My favorite question, and I quote, "Address of where vehicle is currently located."  I ask Sourpuss if should use the DMV address because that is where it is currently located. Sourpuss looks grim as she informs me that I should not be driving a vehicle without plates. Really? No response from Sourpuss when I asked her if the fraud investigator with gun makes house calls.  Finally the paper shuffling is finished and she tapped the stack of papers to line up for stapling. AHA!  Finished at last. But, wait. NO!  She actually got the staple remover, removed the freaking staple, retapped everything to make SURE that the edges lined up perfectly, and restapled them.  Then told me to have a GOOD DAY.   I got even with her. I stole her pen.

Last stop was my insurance company to request a bond. It will take a few days, but these people are nice. Hopefully, by the end of the week I will have everything I need for registration. Hopefully, I will remember to take my tranquility pills with a couple shots of tequila before I go.  If I get booked for DUI, you'll know why.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sam (April 27, 1992 - October 6, 2011)

I remember the day you adopted us. It was a fairly nice October day in 1992. We were holding a funeral service for Barky, the hamster, under the big oak tree by the creek in our back yard in Iowa.  You showed up unannounced and did figure-eights around our legs as we laid Barky to rest.  You followed us home like a puppy dog.  You hung out on the front steps for three days eating the tuna the kids left for you. On the third day while I was cooking I saw a four-legged gray creature stroll across the kitchen floor.  I yelled at the top of my lungs (kids’ bedroom was upstairs), “Hey, what’s this cat doing in the house?”  Eric, then 6 years old, declared it was too cold outside and he begged to let kitty in. Uh, yeah, too late kid, you already did.  It was a cold, raw, rainy day just before Halloween.  How could I say no?  It just took an open door and you were home.  For the next 19 years.

I remember the days when you played Nintendo batting your paws to get at Mario and Luigi.  You earned many nicknames.  Mr. Sam Katze, Sammy, Samuel, Chester Cheeto, and my favorite, Samuel Satan Kitty. My sister Lynn gave you the last name because of the time you bit her on the ankle. I know you were pissed because we dared to go on vacation without you and left you home alone with Lynn tending to your needs. The name Chester Cheeto came from another time we went on vacation and Brian left a bowl of Cheetos in his room. We came home to piles of orange remnants all over the carpet from the Cheetos you consumed. You really did like people and didn’t like being left alone. Whenever the doorbell rang you were there to greet the company. 

Speaking of your favorite foods, besides tuna, how about all the cornbread you consumed?  Phil brilliantly thought he could cover the cornbread with saran wrap and keep your nose out of the pan. HA!  You sure showed him over and over again that saran wrap was no challenge to keep you out of that delicious treat.  How about the times I caught you stealing chicken wings and the kids’ pancake breakfast off the table? Oh, yes, we went around and around about you being on the counters.  I could hear you slinking about the counters, yell from the other room, and hear you plop your butt down. I tried all the tricks to keep you off.  Squirt guns, upside-down mouse traps covered with newspapers, sprays. Nothing worked. Even in your old age you still had the agility to hop up and look around for something delicious to eat.

We all thought you would live forever.  We noticed the weight loss a few months ago but you had a good appetite until a few days ago. You knew it was time to go.  I still wake up in the morning thinking I better  get up and hand deliver your breakfast.  After 19 years it is hard to change the routine.  But you are in heaven now and we will all be together again some day.  I hope God doesn’t mind you jumping up on his kitchen counters, eating cornbread and Cheetos, and stealing pancakes and chicken wings. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hmmmm. Something To Think About

The following is an anonymous comment posted on Borderland Beat about Texas as a combat zone in the narco-wars.

Why can't the US get the money the smugglers are charging? $5000 sounds like a good fee to come and work. Allow them to come for 18 months if they can pass a background check, give them a temp tax number that they have to pay into if they want to come back, we can offer them temp drivers license for work, we know where they are, and if they don't go home you floor the shit out of them.

I would be interested in knowing what the general America public thinks of this?