Monday, October 10, 2016

Tickets are selling fast for the 5th Annual Charity Boo Bash

Have Fun - Win Prizes - Help Kids with Chronic Illnesses! 
  •  Date:  Saturday, October 29, 2016
  •  Time:  6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  •  Place:  Constellation Field – Insperity Club, 1 Stadium Drive, Sugarland
We never grow up, do we?  Remember the fun you had as a kid around Halloween?  A time to dress up in whatever outrageous, crazy costume you wanted and go out at night with your friends, in search of treats?  Now that you're all grown up, the fun doesn't have to end.  The annual Charity Boo Bash gives you an excuse to dress up and go out at night with friends and play fun games, win cool prizes and it's all for a good cause.  You are in for a scary good time!
Don’t miss the best time you’ll have in a costume.  The 5th Annual Charity Boo Bash promises to be a Halloween soiree like no other.  Tickets for the Boo Bash are on sale now at  Admission is $55 and includes dinner, a welcome bag of goodies, and a spooky good time.  Sponsorships for the event are also available.

Nick Bourdoumis and Mikaela Aschoff at Boo Bash 2015

The party will feature a delicious gourmet dinner with dessert, drinks, casino games, prizes, a photo booth, costume contests and DJ Johnny Bravo.  Boo Bash 2016 will be held at Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters, in the Insperity Club, a unique party space behind home plate on the deluxe skybox level.  All proceeds benefit Mik’s Hidden Hearts Alliance (MHHA), a charity for teens and young adults with Dysautonomia and other debilitating illnesses. 
The Boo Bash provides ample opportunities for party-goers to win prizes, both big and small.  There will be silent and live auctions with a variety of items including a Destin Florida Condo get-away and round-trip airfare for two to any location in the continental US.  Raffle tickets will be available with prizes of date-nights for a year, a year of gourmet coffee or a family movie-night out.  Costume contests offer cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.  There will be plenty of other chances to win including a prize pull and a 50/50 cash drawing. 
With the Boo Bash growing in popularity every year, it is becoming the social event of the season.  In previous years, the event has been held at various locations in Katy.  Keri Aschoff, President of MHHA, said, “Boo Bash has sold out for the last three years straight, we moved to a bigger location to accommodate more guests.”  The Insperity Club features large windows overlooking the field and a fun, inviting banquet space for up to 300 people.  “Having our special 5th Annual Boo Bash there will not only allow us to have more guests,” Aschoff said, “it also lets us go bigger and better with decorations and entertainment.  Boo Bash is a can’t-miss event for all adults in our community who want to have a great time and help out a very good cause!” 
The venue at Constellation Field also provides a separate lounge/party space to accommodate the special needs of the chronically ill teens that MHHA serves.  Aschoff said, “it’s a way for them to socialize with others who understand their world.”
MHHA is a non-profit organization dedicated to outreach to homebound and hospitalized teens with dysautonomia and other hidden, life changing illnesses. MHHA was founded in 2011 by Mikaela Aschoff, after she fell ill with dysautonomia in her freshman year of high school. The organization provides gifts, hope kits, and monthly socials for these chronically ill young people as well as the annual Anti-PROM, a formal dinner and casino-night party for teens affected by hidden illnesses. MHHA also works to spread awareness of Dysautonomia.
Dysautonomia is considered a “hidden illness” because the sufferers often look healthy to the casual observer. It is, however, a complex condition caused by a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system and can affect the cardiovascular, endocrine, metabolic and gastrointestinal systems. Dysautonomia can cause very painful and debilitating symptoms. For more information, visit
If you are interested in donating an auction item or would like information about becoming an event sponsor, please contact Lisa Marlowe at or call 713-261-8727. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Help MADD fight drunk driving at Walk Like MADD October 15

READ THE LABEL: Local deputy warns that certain medications can impair driving

Help MADD fight drunk and drugged driving at Walk Like MADD October 15

Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants to educate drivers about the consequences of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Many people don’t realize that this includes a number of prescription medications. It’s important to be aware of the effects of any drug before getting behind the wheel.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Bartoskewitz has had many roadside conversations with drivers who did not realize that prescription drugs had impaired their driving. “Prescription medications absolutely can affect driving ability,” Bartoskewitz said. “Anti-depressants, pain relievers, blood pressure medications, and even cough suppressants are capable of dangerously impairing your driving ability.”

Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy, Brandon Baroskewitz

When taking prescription drugs, it’s important to heed the warning labels. “If the medication states that it could cause drowsiness or dizziness, could cause changes in sleep patterns, or warns against operating heavy machinery,” Bartoskewitz said, “cars are very heavy machines – you should absolutely not drive until you are sure of the effects the medication has on you.”

Bartoskewitz advised that over-the-counter – or OTC – medicines are generally safe if taken according to package directions. He warns against combining OTC medications with prescription drugs and with alcohol. “Taking any prescriptions or OTC medications outside of the package’s specifications or in combination with other drugs, alcohol, or illicit drugs can cause dangerous effects,” Bartoskewitz said, “not only for driving but for your personal health.”

The consequences of driving under the influence of drugs, whether prescribed by a doctor or OTC medications, are the same as driving impaired by alcohol or any other substance. “The first offense is up to six months in jail, a $2,000 fine, license suspension, probation, and other potential sanctions,” Bartoskewitz said. In the event of an injury, the sentence is more severe. “If someone is seriously injured, the penalty goes to 2-10 years in prison with up to a $10,000 fine,” Bartoskewitz said, “and if someone is killed, the penalty is 2-20 years in prison with up to a $10,000 fine. It’s absolutely not worth it.”

One way to help spread the word about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving is to join Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) this year at the 6th annual Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash in The Woodlands on Saturday, October 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Northshore Park. This is the major fundraising event for MADD. Walk Like MADD is a 5K walk and MADD Dash is a family-friendly 5K run to raise awareness and funds to eliminate drunk driving and keep families and communities safe.

Corporate walking teams are a good way for companies to get involved. “It’s not too late to get together a corporate team,” said Heather Smith, Special Events Manager for MADD Southeast Texas Affiliate. Participation can create visibility for a company. “It shows the community that you care about the issues affecting them and their children,” Smith said.

Smith said, “Companies that participate in Walk Like MADD benefit in a variety of ways, including an award of recognition for the top corporate team at the walk.” Other benefits include:
  • ·         Volunteering fosters teamwork, creativity and leadership
  • ·         Customers are more likely to buy form companies perceived as good corporate citizens
  • ·         Your company is positioned as a leader in the corporate community
  • ·         Your involvement increases awareness on drunk driving and underage drinking
  • ·         It’s a way to honor and memorialize the victims of drunk driving crashes
  • ·         Your company and employees raise funds to support the lifesaving work of MADD

Smith encourages corporate teams and individuals to register now for Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash. “Join us in the fight against drunk driving and play a key role in keeping our roads safe,” Smith said. To form a corporate team, register at

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cool Feelings - Summer Edition

So, back in the day - 104 KRBE had a morning guy, Psycho Robbie, who did a segment called, Cool Feelings.  It was very subtle humor and I loved it.  Here's one I remember:
  • When you're at a party, and you set your glass down and walk away, then when you come back, you can't remember which one is your glass - that's a cool feeling.
The cool feelings were neither negative nor positive.  They were just kind of meh.  Those moments when something slightly interesting happens or when things don't quite go your way.  Little ironies. For the record - none of them actually make you feel cooler in any sense of the word, especially not in the way iced tea would.

The beach in Gulfport Mississippi - shown here to indicate Summertime 

So, I've come up with a few Cool Feelings of my own:
  • When people tell you that you used to look cute - that's a cool feeling
  • When you drop your book in the pool - that's a cool feeling
  • When you nag everyone to wear sunscreen, then you're the one who gets a sunburn - that's a cool feeling
  • When you're half way through unloading the dishwasher before you realize, nobody ran the dishwasher and you've just put a bunch of dirty dishes away - that's a cool feeling
  • When you see the first Back To School sale at Target - that's a cool feeling
  • When it's so hot outside that you're glad to see an overcast day - that's a cool feeling (even though it's hot)
  • When you see egrets on the side of the road - that's a cool feeling
  • When people forget to complain - that's a cool feeling
  • When the phone rings, but you can't get to it before it goes to voice mail - that's a cool feeling.
  • When the waitress refills your iced tea, but she pours out of the side of the pitcher so you get ice up to the top of the glass and only about two gulps worth of tea - that's a cool feeling.

Cissy and I saw this Egret by the road.  We named  him Gerald.

Maybe some of mine are a tiny bit negative.  Little, miniscule complaints that aren't worth bothering about.

What are some of your cool feelings?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Perils of the Pool - Vacation Ailments to Avoid

Vacation is over and I'm back at work again.  How I long for those lazy days of last week.

We were a little dubious about visiting Galveston, Texas amid reports of beach lice, shark attacks and the flesh eating virus.  So, we stayed out of the water - the ocean water that is.  We did have a few walks on the beach to collect sea shells and we did sit on the balcony of our condo and gaze out at the ocean, enjoying the sound of the waves - and the sound of the cars whizzing by on San Luis Pass behind us.  Our condo was on the beach, past the seawall.  It's a great place with a big pool, two jacuzzis and even a kiddie pool for the very young.  We spent most of our time in the jacuzzi or in the pool with a couple of forays into Galveston's Historic District.

I managed to avoid the perils of the ocean but I did not take into account the perils of the pool.
  • Ear Infection - you can call it swimmer's ear if you like but once I got home, the hurt got worse.  One expensive trip to Urgent Care revealed an infection in both ears, requiring a tiny bottle of prescription ear drops that retails for $250.  Thank you insurance.  
  • Sun Burn - Honey Bunch and I both discovered the hard way that the can of spray-on sunscreen from last year just doesn't cut it in the blazing mid-day sun.
Add to that the following, little-known conditions you can pick up at any Gulf Coast vacation destination.  Beware of these ailments, there is no known cure.  
  • Redneck-itis - Part of relaxing for me is not having to talk to people.  I just want to sit quietly and enjoy the rushing water, or read my book.  We met one young woman that was bound and determined to be our friend, whether we liked it or not.  Honey Bunch and I are too polite for our own good.  In under five minutes I knew where this woman lived, several personal details of her family life, all about her debilitating calcium deficiency, her television viewing preferences, her religious affiliation, her favorite songs, her family's plans for the next few days and where her Aunt worked.  All of this before she even told me her name.  Yep, TMI.
    It's okay though.  She was a nice girl (I say girl because she was 24-years-old) and we were able to break away after awhile.  Plus, it gave me something to complain about, which is always a bonus.
  • Redneck Noise Virus - This is probably worse than over-friendly rednecks.  This is all the loud hooting and hollering and carrying on that rednecks do when you get two or more of them together and add alcohol.  Or, sometimes no alcohol is required.  Once the sun dips below the rooftops and it starts to get pleasantly cool by the pool, the redneck teens and pre-teens begin a raucous game of Marco-Polo.  What, I ask is the age limit for hollering out, "Marco!"  I think it should be 10.  
  • Tattoo Putty Affliction - Every day at the pool was like an art show I didn't want to attend.  I can't un-see those tattoos.  Plenty of people have too many tattoos.  Tattoo Putty Affliction is worse than that.  Imagine the old commercial for silly putty.  Remember when the kid presses it on the comics page in the newspaper and the image gets on the silly putty.  Then the kid stretches the image out a little, making it look weirdly misshapen.  So, like that, only the silly putty is somebody's back or stomach and it's a leathery reddish, brown and the image isn't Dick Tracy, it's something like a dragon or a demon that used to be an angel.  Am I the only person on the planet that doesn't have tattoos?  I know I sound like an old lady, but I do not get it.  For what people spend on tattoos, they could get some really nice jewelry, which they can take off when they get tired of it.  
  • Little Kid Infestation - They gather at the steps, making it impossible to use the steps for getting in and out of the pool.  They swim into you while you are standing in your corner of the pool, minding your own business.  Worst of all, they are unaware of your presence and will jump in right next to you, splashing water all over your paperback.  (yes, I read in the pool, doesn't everybody?)  But, I suppose if I didn't want to get wet, I wouldn't be in the pool.
  • Wet Paperback Malady - Splashing aside, most of the damage came to my paperback when I dropped it into the jacuzzi my own self.  It's okay, the words were still intact.

All that aside, we had a very fun time.  Mom and Dad came and took us out for lunch, we played some board games when it got too hot to be outside and I finished reading the entire book!!  (the aforementioned paperback)  Granted, it was an old Agatha Christie novel with less than 300 pages, but still.  For me, having time to read is a precious thing.  And I would gladly trade in my working week for another week at the condo...  once my ear heals up that is.  

Wicked Awesome!

So, we went to see Wicked at the Hobby Center and it was - Ah May Zing!!  Buffy and I went with our friends Ginger and MaryAnn.  We had a blast.  My face hurt from smiling so much.

First let me say that I love the Hobby Center and their Access Team.  If anybody in your group has mobility issues, these wonderful volunteers in yellow shirts - they've got you.  They can provide a wheel chair and a volunteer to whisk you away to your seat - no problemo.  No charge either.  Without them, my arthritic knees and I would have had a tough time navigating the steps and crowds.

Anyhoo - back to Wicked.  It was truly awesome!  The production was stunning - visually a sight to behold.  The sets had a turn of the century industrial look, lots of gears and clockwork.  (Note:  I mean the turn of the Century from 1899 to 1900, not the year 2000).  The costumes were similarly Steam Punkish but with a bit of a Hunger Games Capital City vibe.  Amidst all that, the Emerald City did not miss out on the Art Deco feel of the classic Wizard of Oz movie.  All these styles combined to make the magical world of Oz come to life.

But what really brought it life was the performances.  The two leads were perfect in their roles.  Emily Koch as Elphaba has a powerful singing voice and gave an equally intense performance as everybody's favorite green witch.  She brought an inner strength to Elphaba, making her more complex than just a nervous college freshman who didn't fit in.

Glinda, or Gah-Linda with a Gah, as she kept correcting everyone, was adorable and funny but no less complex.  Expertly played by Amanda Jane Cooper, Glinda transformed from a "popular" blonde college cutie to a government official dealing with a myriad of contradictions.  She is a friend to Elphaba but also has a public persona in opposition to the "Wicked" witch.

Madam Morrible was delightfully horrible.  She looked like the original illustration in Alice in Wonderland of the Duchess.  This formidable villain was played by Wendy Worthington.  Jake Boyd played the dashing, handsome Fiyero, the subject of the main love triangle in the play.

Yes, there's a love triangle, actually two if you count Boq and Nessarose.  There's lots of other excitement, magic and flying monkeys - but the underlying theme is the unlikely friendship of these two powerful women, which grows stronger as the story unfolds.

Years ago I did read the book that this play is very loosely based on, Wicked:  The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.  Let me just say, the Musical is better.  The plot is very different from book to play, a lot was changed.

Go see Wicked - it's in Houston through August 14.  You'll be glad you did.

PS - Prior to the start of the play, a voice will come over the sound system, advising you to turn off your phones etc.  You will also be given a verbal warning to unwrap your candy prior to the start of the performance.  I always get a kick out of these warnings.  I never realized that people unwrapping their candy during a play was such an annoyance for others.  If you were at the Alley Theatre - you would receive a written warning at the bottom of the program - like this:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Vacation - it's not for the faint of heart

What should you do on your Summer vacation?  GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!

When I said "Get out of the house" I meant it like the end of a ghost story told around a campfire - very intense, almost yelling - "GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!" Because, ya know ... The call is coming from inside the house!!!!

The word vacation starts with "vacate," which means to LEAVE!  This means, no staycations, no working vacations.  Leave.  Tell everyone that you will be unavailable and then MEAN IT.  Don't check email, don't return phone calls from work.  You are on vacation - dammit!

Here is my name, written in the sand at the beach

Go, somewhere.  Anywhere.  Even if it's just the Holiday Inn Express in the next town.  Get out of your own house before you blow your entire vacation cleaning house and making repairs and laying around watching Netflix.  See new things, try new restaurants, take photos of your family posed in front of landmarks.  But, most of all, buy kitschy souvenirs and t-shirts.

So, having said that, we are planning a little family get-away of our own.  We were thinking a Texas beach, something not too expensive.  So, we shopped around on-line for a condo and made a decision that's not too far from home.  It's a nice, relaxing little condo where we have been before a few times.

No sooner had we put down our non-refundable deposit, than we began to hear news reports of a troubling nature.  Guess which one is a lie and which ones are true:
  • Beach Lice
  • Fatal Shark Attack
  • Flesh Eating Bacteria
It's a trick question.  They're all true.  So, now what do we do?  We can't walk on the beach.  Not without Hazmat suits.  And don't even think about getting in the water.  Did I mention the deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE.  Yeah, they're sticking to that policy.  

At least there's a pool and a jacuzzi at this condo.  (heavy sigh)  Chances are we will have it all to ourselves.

Maybe that staycation wasn't such a bad idea after all.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Breakroom 101

Cross Referenced Under:
  • Breakroom Rules 
  • Didn't your Momma teach you anything?
  • What is wrong with you people?

It appears that some of us need a refresher course in how to act in the workplace so, here are some basic rules for the breakroom.  Why this is not just common sense, I really don't know.
  1. Items in the Fridge are not up for grabs - Do not take anything out of the refrigerator unless you brought it yourself. 
  2. Items on the counter are up for grabs - If you have leftover cake after a party, put it on the breakroom counter.  It will be gone in under an hour.
  3. If you take the last of the coffee, brew some more - This rule is in effect until 10am.  After that, you may take the last of the coffee without starting another pot.
  4. Clean up after yourself - This should be a no-brainer but it bears repeating.  Also, the following details need to be addressed:  
    1. If your food explodes in the microwave, you have to thoroughly clean the inside of the microwave.  
    2. Do not pour the remains of your soup (or whatever) into the sink and just leave it there.  Corn, peas, rice or whatever.  Wash it down and use the disposal.  If there is no disposal - DO NOT DUMP YOUR FOOD IN THE SINK
    3. Don't leave dirty dishes in the sink.
    4. Don't leave your stinky leftovers in the refrigerator for weeks on end.  
Now we need to talk about pot-lucks.  Anytime there is food for everyone, whether it's a potluck, a catered buffet, birthday cake or breakfast tacos - Do not be greedy, do not push your way to the front of the line and do not take more than your fair share of the food.
It is unacceptable to pile your plate high but, worse than that is to pack up any portion of the food to take home to your kids.  NO - NOT EVER.  Your kids, or family, or dog - they do not work in that office, they do not get cake!!!  It isn't fair for you to pack up some of the food when there are co-workers in line behind you patiently waiting for their piece of cake.  
If, at the end of the day, there is still food left and nobody else wants it, then and only then may you take some home to the kids.

You are not an animal.  You do not have to forage for food.  If you want to bring home cake, stop by the HEB on your way home and buy some cake with the money they pay you.  

Thank you for your time.