Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Christmas present dilemma

The summer flew by, and I was so excited about football season starting back up (which, by the way, is going pretty well for my LSU Tigers). The excitement of football was refocused to our Thanksgiving trip to my dad's in Tennessee. Obviously, I have been aware that Christmas is only a little over two months away, but my brain has apparently been blocking it out.

I woke up yesterday in a panic - what are we going to buy the girls for Christmas?! I have no clue. Of course we'll buy them clothes, that's a given. I want to give them fun presents too, though. Something that they will be excited about and play with and enjoy. I'm faced with a dilemma, however, in that I don't know if we should get them each one big present and a few small toys, or get them three or four pricey toys, or just small gifts and get them a tv/dvd player to share....

I know that it's ridiculous for me to stress out over this. They're 21 months and 10 months old. It's not like they will remember the first two or three Christmases. Everyone says, "Just get them small things. Don't spend a lot of money. They won't know the difference." That's true, but I will know the difference. I'll know that I went cheap for my kids. I hate that.

I don't want to be one of those parents who spoil their kids and give them every single thing they want, but I do want to know that I gave them great presents, that I put thought into their gifts. Especially on Christmas - it's my favorite time of year.

I'm also faced with the dilemma of their birthdays - one December 16 and the other January 14. Right now it's not a big deal if I combine their Christmas/Birthday presents, but eventually I will have to wow them on Christmas, and then wow them on their birthdays. I can't help but stress out already about it.

I guess I could just narrow the list of possible gifts down to one or two small presents and then one "big" gift for each of them..... or one "big" gift for each of them, and then one "really big" gift for them to share..... AAAAHHHHHHHH

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Welcome to the Club

I sit in my chair looking down at my feet. I can feel the eyes on me, hear the whispers. I'm the new one. The man up front clears his throat loudly, calling everyone to attention. I glance up and realize that he is staring at me. He raises an eyebrow, waiting impatiently for me to make my move.

I rise slowly, ignoring the stares as I walk to the front of the room. I step behind the podium and raise my head to face my peers. I open my mouth to speak, but my throat is dry, so instead I cough. How do I do this? I've never been in this position before. I never thought it would be me standing here, in this room filled with people I've always mocked. I half expected rotten tomatoes to start flying towards my face as they realized who I was, and that I had finally joined them. I've already come this far, so I might as well get it over with. I look around the room, take a deep breath, and reveal my darkest secret: "Hello, my name is Jess, and I'm a nerd."

I know. Me? A nerd? No way. Not possible. Not sensible, witty, intellectual, sarcastic me! How did this happen? I have no answer for you, because I'm just as stumped as you are at the moment. It came out of nowhere....

It was on a Saturday, only a few weeks ago. All was well in Jess world. I sat high on my self-satisfied throne, reveling in the fact that despite living with the absolute dorkiness of Gary for the past three years, I had somehow managed to hold on to my refusal to do all things nerd. I saw Star Trek, but seeing as how it was a blockbuster hit, that was okay. I watched the Star Wars movies with Gary, but Ewan MacGregor and Harrison Ford starred, so that was okay too. I still refused to watch the Star Wars cartoons that Gary loves so much. I wouldn't play the ridiculous computer games that Gary wasted so much time playing.

If I was being honest, I somewhat resented those games for taking Gary's attention from me for hours at a time. Of course, he made sure to make plenty of time for me, but playing those games was his release from the world. He could relax, forget about the stress of life and just focus on killing monsters or whatever it was he did. I really couldn't have cared less. When he tried to tell me about some "new and exciting" addition to one of the games, I half-listened and nodded unenthusiastically until he gave up and dropped it. So that became our routine: put the babies to bed, then "us" time, followed by Gary on the computer and me in the recliner either watching Ace of Cakes or reading.

On this particular day, I was messing around on my laptop, checking facebook and myspace. I realized that I had failed to check my email for a few weeks, so I logged in and started scrolling through the mail. I paused when I saw an email from Gary. This was unusual, because Gary and I never email each other. Ever. I clicked on the email that reavealed a link, followed by a message: "Gary has sent you a free trial of World of Warcraft." Under that message was a personal message from Gary. I won't quote it, but it more or less stated to me that it would mean so much to him if I would "just give it a try." Aww, come on! Not the guilt trip! Now, Gary doesn't often take advantage of my tenderheartedness. This time though, he did. Shameful.

I finished reading his message, then looked up at him. He, of course, was playing on the computer. I waited for him to feel my eyes boring into his head, then gave him my best unamused face when he finally looked at me. "Really?" I asked. "Warcraft? I know you're not serious." He shrugged. "I just thought I'd try," he said, then turned back to the computer. I stared at him for a moment, then looked back at the message he had sent. He meant to sound like it was unimportant, but after reading his message again, I knew that it really was a big deal to him.

I must have stared at the email for twenty minutes, warring with myself. It was against everything that was me to play this ridiculous game. It went against all my principles. I had spent THREE years weaseling my way out of golf, star trek movies (the old ones), Star Wars Halloween costumes, and every other dorky thing Gary had tried to convince me to do. All of that rebellion, only to cave now? It seemed like failure. Surrender. Was I to give up and wave the white flag? Embrace the nerd that Gary just knew was buried somewhere deep inside me? Or would I rebel yet again? My fight or flight urge screamed at me to flee immediately.

I started to delete the email, when a small nagging voice stopped me. How could I disappoint Gary? Gary, who had endured God knows how many shopping trips, chick flicks and emotional outbursts from me without a single complaint? Who had bravely eaten every meal I ever cooked, even when they were awful? Who always did anything I asked him to, even if he didn't want to, because it would make me happy?

Eventually the guilt won out over the defiance, and I decided to try World of Warcraft. It was only a ten-day trial. I could certainly endure ten days...

Fast forward to today. I am certainly not going to indulge information about my participation in this game. I do have some dignity left, after all. I will admit though, that I was astounded to find that I do, in fact, have a little bit of nerd in me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Disney is holding my movies hostage

I'm very angry with Disney right now. Yes, that Disney. The very communists who refuse to let me buy the movies of my youth.

When I think back to the movies I loved as a child, the majority were Disney features. Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, etc. I watched some of those movies so many times that the VHS tapes won't even play anymore. They were great! They fueled my over-active imagination, allowing me to pretend I was a princess locked in a tower by my evil stepmother. I was Snow White, living with a bunch of short guys and singing to animals who helped me clean my room. I could fly off to Neverland and stay forever away from ridiculous adults and brussel sprouts. Disney movies were golden to me.

So of course, now that I have children I want to pass on my love for these movies. I want them to watch the movies over and over again until they've memorized every line, every song. My first act was to join the DMC (or Disney Movie Club for those of you not in the loop). As I made my first few selections, I was disheartened to see that many of my favorites were not available. I figured that once I met my "commitment" to the club, I would be able to buy the classics. Alas, it was not to be.

My favorite movies are "locked in the Disney vault." Excuse me? You mean to tell me that my daughters cannot experience the joy of Bambi thinking a skunk is a flower because the film is being held hostage in some motion picture prisoner camp? Hidden behind concrete walls, never again to see the light of TV screen?

Now, I'm aware that every once in a while Disney will feel generous and pull these classic treasures out of the vault for a "limited time." This usually happens around Christmas. So what? I have to wait until December for my child to enjoy The Lion King? What if it's freaking January? I have to disappoint my daughter, telling her that Mean Mr. Walt Disney's replacement won't let us buy Bambi? No dear, they don't want you to see the movie.... at least, not until December. Who comes up with this crap?

So now, instead of Disney making twenty dollars from me, some lucky person on Amazon made $24 from me. At least now my kids can watch The Lion King and Bambi. Kiss it, Disney.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Lesson from the less fortunate

Working as a church secretary, I feel privileged to be a part of something great. My tasks vary, but I am quickly learning that the interactions that I have with people now - both members and non-members - have the potential to affect me greatly. There are the everyday interactions, such as prayer request calls, and people who come in to speak with the Pastor about personal matters. Then there are different situations...

Every so often people will come to our church seeking help. Our church is where other churches in our area send people asking for monetary aid or other assistance. Some of the people who come in give me the impression that they are just taking advantage of the goodwill of Christians. Sometimes, though, someone will come in and after speaking with them for a while, I get the feeling that they really are in need, and are embarrassed to even have to ask for help.

Friday was supposed to be a fairly slow day. I finished the weekly bulletin, ordered supplies, made up a few sign in sheets for various church events, and chatted with the Pastor about a youth conference. I took two calls about prayer requests for the same person (word travels fast where I live), watered the plants and started browsing the net for new worship music. The phone rang again, and it was a secretary from a nearby church asking if she could send over a family in need. Of course. I informed the Pastor that we would have guests in a few minutes, then sat back and waited for them to arrive.

I heard the door open, followed by soft footsteps approaching the office. I looked up, expecting to see - what, exactly, I'm not sure. I certainly wasn't expecting to see the very young boy dressed in old holey jeans and a shirt that was obviously meant for a grown man. He smiled timidly at me, then stepped up to my desk and stuck out his hand. "I'm Roger," he said softly, and as I shook his hand a feeling welled up inside me that almost took my breath away. He couldn't have been more than thirteen! I asked him if his mother or father was with him, and he said yes, that they were waiting in the van, and neither of them could speak English. His English was perfect, with only a slight hint of Spanish accent. I told him to please go ask his parents to come in, and that I would let the Pastor know they were here.

When he returned with his parents, I took a moment to observe them. The father was in worn out jeans, much like his son's. His shirt was old and full of holes. His hair and face were dirty, and his eyes were tired, but not sad. He smiled hugely at me, extended his hand and nodded as I shook it. The mother was small, maybe 5'2" and very slender. She, too, wore old baggy clothes with stains on them. She looked up at me shyly, and smiled a small, embarrased smile. I suddenly had the urge to hug her, but I just reached out and shook her hand instead. I told Roger that I could understand very little Spanish, but I would try as best as I could to answer any questions his parents might have for me. The Pastor came into my office then, and he asked Roger to tell us their story.

Roger's parents left Mexico and moved to Texas sixteen years ago, and had him two years later. His father and mother worked in the fields until there was no more work, so they began moving this way, stopping wherever they could find work. Once the work ran out, they moved on. They had been in our area for the past six months or so, and all three of them had been working at a farm for $20 a day. Obviously, that's not nearly enough for a family of three to live on, and they couldn't convince the boss to give them more money. More and more workers showed up, and eventually the boss told them that he couldn't pay to have all three of them work anymore. This whole time, Roger hasn't been in school because he needed to help take care of his family. His father finally decided that they would just go back home to Texas, get Roger back in school and do whatever work they could find.

The Pastor informed them that we had Ministerial Alliance set up for situations just like theirs, and that we would help them any way we could. The parents went back out to the van to find their picture IDs, and the Pastor began asking Roger some questions. He asked Roger where they were staying, and Roger informed us that they had been living in their van because they were spending all of their money on food and gas. Pastor asked Roger to tell us about himself, and Roger said, "I want to go back to school. I want to be an officer someday. I don't want to pick strawberries all my life." I wanted to cry. I asked him if they needed anything in particular, like food or clothes. He gestured to his clothes and said, "What we wear is what we have."

Pastor decided that he would take them to lunch at the nearby deli while I made some phone calls about the monetary aid. I promised Roger and his mother that I would do whatever I could to help them. As soon as they were gone, I started calling people, asking if they had any hand-me-down clothes they would be willing to donate. I had gotten their clothes sizes from Roger before they left, so I had particular people in mind that I thought might have clothes in their sizes. I called and called, praying that somehow we could get something for them before they had to leave. Within thirty minutes people had donated four large black bags of clothes; pants, shirts, socks and underwear for all three of them. I looked at the bags of clothes, and felt like there had to be something else we could do for these people. I was overwhelmed by a feeling of dispair that they might leave and we would be the only help they could get. I couldn't stand the thought of them sitting in their van, hungry with no money. I ran to my house and grabbed as much canned fruit juice and dry food as I could spare.

When they got back from lunch, the mother was the first to walk into the office, and when she saw the bags, she looked at me in shock. I grinned and gestured to the bags. I told her (in terrible Spanish) that we had clothes for all of them, and food as well. She ran to me and hugged me, saying "Gracias, thank you, gracias" over and over again. When she finally let me go, I noticed Roger standing in the doorway grinning at me. He didn't say anything, he just walked up to me and took my hand. He held it for a moment, just smiling, and I couldn't stop the tears then. "We are okay," he finally said to me.

The Pastor had to step into his office to make more phone calls, and while we were waiting, Roger's father began talking in his quick language. Roger translated to me, and after a few moments I realized that the man was witnessing to me. My first reaction was surprise - I am a church secretary, after all - but then I realized that maybe there was something for me to learn from this man. This man, who had been in much lower places than I could ever imagine, who had to watch his wife and child work alongside him in the heat day after day. This man, who sat up at night while his family slept to make sure no one came to hurt them in their "mobile" home. This man, who had every reason to not believe that God loved him, wanted me to know that God loved me. He said that no matter what we face, the hardships, the ups and downs, none of that matters, because when we get to Heaven, God will reward our faith. We must always be happy; happy for our health, happy for our family, happy that God loves us.

Eventually we got everything sorted out, our church was able to help them, and they got ready to leave. They loaded up their "new" clothes and their food, then came back in for a word of prayer before leaving. I hugged them all, and part of me didn't want them to leave. I racked my brain frantically, trying to think of somewhere, anywhere they could stay for a few nights. Somewhere with beds and showers and air conditioning. Not knowing how they would fare distressed me. I knew, though, that our job is not to keep tabs on the people we help. We help them, pray for them and wish them well.

In all honesty, I can't remember most of the faces of the people who have come to our church seeking help. I do know with certainty, though, that I will remember this family, and that I will often think of the sweet young boy with the big brown eyes, and hope that he gets his wish.

Matthew 25:35-40
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me'.......
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Attack of the killer ants!

Okay, so they're not really killer ants, but they are so annoying. For the past two weeks we've been dealing with these tiny nuisances, who are attempting to eat everything in our house. I've had to throw out over half of the food in our cabinets. It's so frustrating!

Our nemesis first appeared by the front door after a few days of consistent rain. It wasn't a big deal at first - it's expected for bugs to try to find dry land when it's wet outside. We sprayed, got rid of them and assumed it was over. Three days later, Gary noticed something moving on our chocolate suede sofa. Closer inspection revealed that ants had made a home in our couch! Apparently Hayden had been hiding her leftover goldfish in the cracks of the couch, and I had failed to notice. We got them out of the couch, and I crossed my fingers that they were gone for good.

This past Sunday I opened the cabinet to get some ritz crackers, and to my dismay the ants had found them first. There must have been a few hundred of those little bandits feasting on everything that wasn't sealed airtight. I had to throw out bags of corn chips, my ritz crackers, and most of Hayden's snack crackers. Got rid of those ants, and the next day more showed up in the bathroom! (The bathroom???) Sprayed again.

Yesterday they migrated to yet another of our cabinets, which didn't have any food in it but held all of our teabags. Threw those in the trash. Sprayed AGAIN. Finally Gary got under the house last night and sprayed some serious poison. Then he sprayed along the walls, windows, in every crevice, any and all possible points of entry. When Gary got up for work this morning, he discovered that they had somehow bypassed the poison in the laundry room and were crawling all over our clothes! AAAAHHHHHH! I'm starting to think they're indestructible.

My main concern is that they'll end up in the babies' beds during the night and I'll wake up to my children covered in ants. It's enough to give me nightmares.

Maybe I should buy some bugs that eat ants and set them loose in the house. Or we could just move...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Words I love

While watching the ESPN guys discuss the possible outcomes of college football games for today, one of the commentators said "Ridonkulous." I couldn't help but grin. I love that word! Then, of course, I started thinking about all of the other silly words (some of which aren't even actual words) that I can't help but love.... here they are:

Entendre (of the double variety)
Jabberwocky (the word and the poem)
Riccoculous (also, Riccoculosity)

If any of you have any strange/funny words that you just love, please share them with me!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reading the Twilight Saga.....for the THIRD time!

I know what you're thinking. I've lost it. My concern is that you're right.

I love to read, always have. I remember reading dozens of books during my summer breaks from school. Of course, as a teen I read the Sweet Valley High books, Fear Street series, all of the garden-variety youth fiction. When I entered high school, my tastes matured, and I started reading classics. I loved The Great Gatsby (which is still one of my favorites), The Canterbury Tales, The Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice, pretty much any and all literary gold. The older I got, I prided myself in that I preferred reading literary classics instead of whatever bestselling book everyone was discussing at the moment.

Then came Twilight. Oh, I put it off for a while. Over a year, actually. I groaned internally while my coworkers, friends and others went on and on about this "amazing" saga. I couldn't understand it. My coworkers and many of my friends are well-educated, witty, fairly brilliant people. Yet there they were, raving over this TEEN fiction? Made no sense at all.

When the movie came out, it was nearly impossible to escape the frenzy. The books began flying off of the shelves, posters everywhere, barbie dolls portraying the characters. It was Twilightpalooza. Ridiculous. Finally my younger cousin convinced me to watch the movie. I tried my hardest to be open-minded, but there was no use. The lead actress was awful. She can't act her way out of a paper bag. Edward was a little better. The rest of the cast was fairly decent. I found myself interested in the story, overlooking the dialogue that was obviously written with teenage audiences in mind. When the movie was over, I was suddenly intrigued. I know that novels are always better than movies. I realized that I wanted to read the saga. I convinced myself that I should read the series, if only to have something to read. I had nothing to read at the moment anyway, having recently finished everything in my small collection (some for the third and fourth times). My cousin gave me the first book, Twilight, and I started reading...

I couldn't put it down! I was captivated. It wasn't the topic of vampires that got me, nor the forbidden love issue. It was Bella and Edward's intensity for each other. The need to be near each other as much as possible. The aching desperation when they couldn't be together. I couldn't get enough of it. I must admit, though, the rest of the story was fascinating in its own right.

Before I knew it, I had read the entire saga. I was suddenly depressed that the story wasn't going to continue. I wanted more. More of Bella and Edward. I watched the movie again, just to get a fix. It's still hard to watch the movie, despite my love for the story. I can't get past that terrible actress...

I distracted myself for a few months by taking on some different novels and a new series. Eventually, though, I found myself wanting to get lost in the story again. I bought the collection and read it for a second time last week. After a few days, I was still daydreaming about the world of vampires, werewolves and romance. I realized that I don't want to let go of that world yet. I tried to make myself start reading something else, but I couldn't get my mind to shift from the Twilight world. So yesterday, I started reading it AGAIN. Have I lost it?

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'll have what she's having...

I've been harassing myself (is it even possible to harass one's self?) lately about my diet. After being pregnant for 20 out of 24 months - I had two babies eleven months apart - I took on what some could call a devil-may-care attitude toward food. I was quite proud of myself throughout my pregnancies. I stayed away from Coca Cola, which I love. I followed all of the recommended eating habits and calorie intake guides. Basically I suffered for months, dying for a Coke Icee and Reesy Cups. Once I had Anna though, all bets were off. Dinner out two nights in a row? Sure! I'll have the steak and loaded baked potato please. Coke, chocolate, fried chicken, bring it on!

I'm from the South, which explains my love of food. I can't help it. Most family and church get-togethers are planned with the understanding that food will be present. Massive amounts of food. If you've ever been in a room filled with food cooked by a dozen Southern grandmas, you know what I'm talking about. If not, I highly recommend moving. Immediately.

So anyway, I was looking in the mirror, judging myself, when I decided that it was time to get my act together and get my ghetto booty in shape. (Note: If the term "ghetto booty" is offensive to anyone, I apologize. There's just no other term to describe my butt.)

I cut out bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. Basically, all of the good stuff. I lowered my calorie intake. I started working out more. I used to run all the time, and I loved it. Now I ride a bike for an hour and my legs feel like they're going to fall off. Regardless, I'm doing pretty good so far, but I now hate watching television. Every time a commercial comes on promoting a new burger at McDonald's or the mouthwatering steaks at Outback, I start to salivate. Literally. I turn into Pavlov's dog. I want food! NOW! I'm tired of chicken and fish.

Maybe I'll win the lottery and then I can hire a hard ass personal trainer to whip me into shape...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ignorant Bliss

I was browsing earlier today, as it is my preferred news and information site of choice. I noticed that they had a link for "Ten years of 'Week in Pictures'" (, so of course I had to check it out. I love photography. I love how a good photographer can capture so many emotions and such beauty, freezing it forever to gaze at over and over again. However, once I started clicking through the pictures, there were so many that were of bodies - from war, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurrricanes, tornadoes, etc. I was disappointed. I wanted to see rainbows, exotic animals and scenery, not blood-spattered children wailing over the bodies of their murdered parents.

I began to self-analyze (yet again). The majority of us Americans tend to let ourselves forget about all of the terrible things that go on in other countries. We settle into our oblivious little bubbles of work, sports, church, shopping and television, and we choose to remain ignorant to the awful things that some people (and a lot of children) face every single day. The fact that these horrendous acts are not being done in our backyard make it so much easier to ignore.

Is it selfish to spend so much time worrying about what we're going to wear to our friend's wedding or where we'll meet our coworkers for lunch next week? To be so completely absorbed in all of the superficial things that go on in our lives while children die of starvation because their mothers were killed by rebels in some war? Part of me wants to stay ignorant. I don't like to think about the atrocious things happening to innocent people, especially children. Part of me wishes that I never had to see a news story, view pictures or read an article involving any of those awful things.

I would be perfectly content to just go about my happy little life, unaware of any and all tragedies going on elsewhere. I could blissfully tend to my home, raise my children, keep my man happy. Go to work, have coffee, gossip, shop. Watch movies, go to karaoke and dinner. Now that it's in my head, though, I'm afraid it will not leave. I will dwell on it, think about it, dream about it. It will consume me until I get off my ass and do something, anything to help. What can I do though? I can't very well start adopting orphans from Uganda. I don't have the means or the living space for that.

Maybe I could start a charity or walk a mile or something....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Inspiration and Intimidation

I've been reading quite a bit lately. I've always loved to read. Fiction, non-fiction, romance, comedy, mystery, autobiography, history, anything and everything. I have always tried to limit myself to one book at a time, but recently I've been reading two or three at a time. Makes for interesting dreams...

I also have always loved to write. Because of that, when I read an excellent piece of literature, I feel so inspired. I admire the author, and his or her ability to take a brilliant idea and put it on paper so eloquently. Yet at the same time, I also feel completely intimidated.

When an idea for a story comes into my head, I grab a notebook and start writing. The problem, though, is that the ideas move so rapidly through my head and get so jumbled that I find myself overwhelmed and frustrated. It makes me second-guess my ability to write well. Am I too scatterbrained to be a good writer? That's a very good possibility. Sometimes I feel like my brain is really a train station, and my inspired thoughts trains that move in and out of the depot at a rapid pace, never staying long enough to stick.

Maybe I should go out and buy Writing for Dummies...

Just last night I was conversing with a very dear friend of mine about writing. He discovered that I blog, and understandably requested that I let him read it. It's always interesting to get a glimpse into your friends' minds. He read a bit of my stuff, and began to encourage me. His opinion was that I am a talented writer, and have a way with words. Flattering, obviously. It made me feel more confident of myself. It's always nice to know that someone appreciates what you do and believes in you. Maybe I'll find a way to sort my crazy thoughts and someday I'll actually finish a novel....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I was pleasantly surprised to see a comment on my last blog informing me that someone actually enjoyed reading my posts. Not only did I receive that bit of flattery, but the commenter also said that I write about things that they did not previously know about. Me? Interesting and informative? No way. I almost wanted to print the comment and frame it.

The instant feeling of gratification washed over me in waves, which was immediately followed by curiosity. Why is it that we, as everyday humans, crave acceptance and recognition? Why is it that so many of us go about our daily lives in the hope that someone, somewhere will realize what a wonderful contribution we are to society?

The rolodex in my brain starting flipping furiously, back through time, randomly selecting memories that I have of times when I did a good deed or accomplished something specifically for the acknowledgment that I would receive. Sports during school, essays for the high school newspaper, sucking up to coworkers and bosses, on and on the list went. Am I really so shallow that I crave recognition? Approval? Acceptance? Wait, is that it? Acceptance? Is it more that I want to be accepted by my peers? Or do I simply want to leave a legacy of accomplishments? I have no idea. Maybe it's too early and I haven't had enough coffee for this kind of self-analysis. Either way, I know that from time to time I will go back to that post and read the comment again. Indeed.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Over the course of the past six months or so, a friend of mine has rambled on incessantly about a show called "Dexter." He went on and on about how brilliant the storyline is, how awesome the characters are, et cetera et cetera et cetera. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me, so I ordered season 1 on Netflix. Imagine my surprise when I found myself completely engrossed in the show! It's fantastic.

Dexter Morgan, blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro PD, who just so happens to be a serial killer. Its fabulous. How creative! Who thinks up this stuff? About halfway through the season, for some reason I was paying attention to the credits and saw that the series is based on a novel called "Darkly Dreaming Dexter." Of course, I had to run out to the library to find the book. I was happy to learn that there is not one, but four novels about this Dexter character.

Gary and I finished season 2 last night, and I just can't get enough. I'm infatuated. I want to know more about Dexter. I want a better glimpse into who he is. The fact that this character is a serial killer disturbs me a bit. I've always been interested in forensics, murder mysteries, crime stories. I considered going into forensic psychology in college, but chickened out. I don't know that I could deal with dead bodies in real life. In books and on television, however, I am fascinated with it. I can't get enough of this stuff. Is there something wrong with me???

My only comfort is knowing that obviously I'm not the only person in the world who enjoys this stuff, otherwise there wouldn't be a millions shows, movies and books about it. Still, sometimes I wonder.....

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Well, I have completely neglected my blog for almost a month now. I'm ashamed of myself. The past month has been crazy. I finished up my two week notice at my job (I reniged on the 3-week notice). I start the new one tomorrow. I went to Tennessee for a week to visit my father, sisters and family. I came home and spent a week with my best friend since birth, who was visiting from Maryland. He stayed at my house, and we spent some good quality time together. He left on Friday, and today is Sunday.

Despite the many things I could talk about, I'm at a loss for words. Mostly because I'm consumed by one repetitive thought. Rather, one situation. It's a flurry of thoughts surrounding this situation, beating me to death slowly. My brain is exhausted. I can't focus on anything else. I have lost all enthusiasm for anything and everything else. It has consumed me. Obviously, I cannot go in to detail about this situation, because people who know me read this. As open as I have always been about my feelings, this is the first time, for as long as I can remember, that I cannot allow myself to reveal the thoughts in my head.

It's frustrating to not be able to confide in anyone. To not have any kind of relief from the constant struggle within. I keep hoping that with every passing day, it will get easier, that I will find some sort of resolution. Alas, nothing comes. With consciousness in the morning comes the situation, mocking my inability to come to a solid decision. It taunts me as I try to go on with my routine, interrupting every conversation, distracting me every second.

Oddly enough, the only comfort is knowing that no one else knows.... how strange that I yearn to be able to share, yet I do not want anyone to know?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Things That I Just Do Not Understand

I have always taken pride in that I am quick-witted and considerably intelligent. I am always quick to come back with sarcastic comments, always get the jokes, and can hold interesting conversations with knowledgable people. There are some things, though, that I just do not understand. Here's a few:

1. Public interest in Heidi and Spencer.
2. The fact that the location of Michael Jackson's will is more important to the news websites than war, famine, political scandals and our current economic situation.
3. The fascination with Perez Hilton.
4. A new reality show being created every five seconds.
5. Grissom leaving CSI last season.
6. Donald Trump's hair.
7. Animals dressed as people and/or other animals.
8. Girls fighting over Bret Michaels.
9. Girls fighting over Flavor-Flav.
10.How that Madoff guy got away with it for so long.
11.How Joan Rivers is still able to blink.

So that's just a few of the things that I just simply do not understand. Maybe someday...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

THREE Weeks Notice......?

So I gave my notice yesterday. I stood up in my chair, raised my fist into the air and yelled "I QUIT!" Well, not really. But I did give my boss a resignation letter. The first thing she did was gasp, then a string of unpleasant words came out of her mouth.

I gave her a detailed list of reasons as to the whys of my quitting (most of which she was already aware of), then waited for her to calm down before we discussed my departure. Suddenly she was Mrs. Guilt Trip. Did it have to be only two weeks? Couldn't I work just one extra week? On and on she went, until I caved. Why did I do that? I had only a moment before stated that I was done, refusing to subject myself any further to the injustice that was being done to me, and suddenly my two week notice turned into a three week notice. How the hell did that happen?

I feel that I am justified in quitting for a number of various reasons. One of the most obvious is the fact that I have to drive 60 miles one way to get there. Another is that I want to be able to spend more time with my daughters, and with Gary's salary it is feasible for me to work only part time now. The biggest reason for me, though, is the fact that for the past two and a half years I have busted my a$$ at my job for nothing. I have learned everything I possibly could about not only my job, but the jobs of my peers and leaders. I have been the go-to girl for my superviser, her supervisor, and other various leaders in my office. I have taken on special projects again and again, trained new employees, filled my supervisor's position when she was out, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

Three times in the past year, new positions have become available in my department. All three times, I was encouraged by all of the supervisors to apply, INCLUDING the person responsible for making the decision on the position. Of course, all three times I did, and all three times I was passed over for someone else. The reasons I was given:
1. He has more experience than you (he had been there 1 month longer than me).
2. She's single and can rearrange her schedule more easily (translation: you have children and we don't want to have to worry about you missing work because of them)
3. She handled everything so well while you were on maternity leave (SERIOUSLY?).

My supervisor was miffed each and every time I didn't get a new position. She did not understand it. She made sure that I knew everything there was to know. That I was capable of being a leader. Yet somehow....I remained in the same position. Same pay, only now I had more responsibilities (since I already knew all of the extra stuff, might as well be put to use right?) . I was expected to continue to be the go-to girl, without any recognition whatsoever.

For the past five months I have been stressed, annoyed, and just completely over my job. I was tired of being taken advantage of. Then one day about a month ago my cousin called me. She had just found out that she was accepted into nursing school. School, which starts at the end of this month, will be full time. Unfortunately that means that she can no longer be the receptionist at our church. *lightbulb goes off* The church will need a new secretary.... interesting. I mentioned to her that she should drop my name to the Pastor the next time they discussed her leaving. She did, and the next day I got another call, this time from the Pastor. He informed me that he would love for me to take my cousin's place. I could work part time, choose my hours, and they would match my current hourly pay. I was ecstatic!

So, now that I have given my THREE-WEEK NOTICE, I can relax. Except that I don't want it to be three more weeks. At all. Two max. Why did I agree to that?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm having an emotional affair with college sports

Last night Gary and I were watching ESPN, eagerly cheering on our LSU Tigers in the College World Series. In the first game of the best-of-three finals, we knew the importance of a win. Securing the win of the first game would give our Tigers a little less pressure for the second game. However, LSU played in typical Tiger fashion: wait until the last possible millisecond to pull off a victory.

Somewhere during the 10th inning, I pulled my eyes away from the television to look at myself and Gary. There we were, two responsible adults, sitting on the edge of the sofa and leaning towards the TV in agonized frustration. I was SO into the game! I hung on every word from the commentators. Watched every pitch. Noted the expression on every Tiger's face whenever a close-up was provided. I realized that if our team could not pull off a win I would be upset, disappointed, maybe even a little depressed. I pushed these thoughts into the back of my mind and decided that I would analyze them AFTER the game.

Our Tigers somehow managed to get a single run and hold off three Longhorn batters to secure the win in the eleventh inning. We were ecstatic! We both jumped up, high-fived each other, and grinned like a couple of idiots (we could not yell victoriously because the babies were asleep). So the second game is tonight, and I find myself eagerly awaiting the chance to go through this torture again.

After thinking about this for most of the morning (it's been a slow day at work), I realized that I get this way not only when my Tigers are playing football and baseball, but any time I start watching a sporting event. I remember specific times - the 1996 U.S. Women's gymnastic phenomenon (Kerri Strug landing on one leg to win the gold), the Michael Phelps hoopla, the NY Giants - Indianapolis Colts superbowl, on and on the list goes. If I get into something, I pick my team/athlete, and I'm in it. I become superfan. It's as if I am a part of the team competing, and any loss will affect me greatly. Why is this? Why do I let myself get so emotionally involved?

My coworker friend - who is a Yankee - informed me that I am the way that I am because of where I grew up and currently live: the South. She went on to explain that people from the South are serious about three things - church, food and sports. I have to admit, she's partially right. They aren't the only things we're serious about, but they're right up there at the top of the list. I'm also not the only one in my family (or among my friends) who places sports as a top priority in life. Maybe I'm not entirely crazy. I do, however, think I may have a problem.

On the day of my very first date with Gary, LSU played Auburn (I'm talking football now). Sadly LSU lost the game. I was so upset about the loss that I considered canceling the date. Seriously! I felt like maybe the loss was a sign, and it would not be a good day to initiate a possible relationship. Luckily for us, I decided that the show must go on.

We schedule get-togethers, parties, outings, etc. around important games. It is necessary that wherever we will be, there must be access to a television or radio so that we do not miss a moment of said game. Granted, we don't get nearly as involved with any other sports so much as LSU football, but still....

Am I sick? Is it wrong that I invest so many of my emotions into these games; that I allow myself to feel dejected and wronged when my team loses; how I feel so elated when they win?

I don't know. I guess I never will. One thing I am sure of, though, is that come 6:00 tonight, I will be in front of the television, ready to cheer on my LSU Tigers!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Unvented Frustrations

I am frustrated (this is already obvious from the blog title, but I needed to write that).

I have had blog-block for the past few days. Not because I didn't have things I wanted to blog about, but because I felt that it would be inappropriate to write about them. I'm reminded of a blog posted recently by a blogger buddy of mine about her dilemma of writing blogs that were too personal and might offend people. I commented on her blog that people shouldn't read her thoughts unless they were willing to risk reading something they didn't like. Coincidentally, now I am in the same blogging boat.

Everything I have wanted to write about would either seriously offend certain people or hurt feelings. So I am now faced with the same problem: do I make my blog private/unknown so that I can freely vent the feelings that have been stressing me out, or do I just keep it inside and stick to the funny and random?

Things I love

I think if you were to ask any of my friends to describe me, one of the phrases they would all use to describe me is "easily amused." I can't help it. I laugh at the most ridiculous things. I enjoy the cheesy. The difference between me and others I know, however, is that I am not embarrassed to admit that I love something considered cheesy or childish. I cherish the child in me who still likes to eat Captain Crunch and watch cartoons on Saturday mornings. So, in celebration of my easily amused self, I am compiling a list of some of the things that I love, cheese or not!

1. Spongebob Squarepants
2. Chocolate Milk
3. Movies by the Olsen twins
4. Knock-knock jokes
5. Disney/Pixar movies
6. ABC Family movies
7. Slinky
8. Cookies and milk
9. Magic tricks
10. Dressing up for Halloween
11. Themed parties
12. Pool handstands
13. Snowballs
14. Musicals
15. Jingles
16. Decorating for every possible holiday
17. Christmas specials
18. Etch-a-sketch
19. All of the 'Bring It On' movies (except for the second one)
20. N'Sync
21. Saved By The Bell reruns

That's just a few off of the top of my head. Sadly, I could probably go on for days listing the cheese that I enjoy.

Anyhoo, my hope is that this post will make everyone who reads it feel that they don't have to be ashamed of their corniness. We all get a little cheesy sometimes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cheating Death?

Yesterday I read a story online about a woman who luckily missed the ill-fated Flight 447, only to die days later in an automobile accident (see It made me wonder: is it possible to cheat death?

Being of the younger generation, it was necessary to see all three Final Destination movies. Now, these Hollywood-created stories bring the unfortunate characters to meet death in extremely odd and horrifying manners, obviously to up the gore quota for increased ticket purchases. Watching said movies only caused me to hesitate before entering a tanning bed, boarding a plane or riding a roller coaster.

I am a Christian, and I believe the Bible's promise that everyone is appointed a time to die (Ecclesiastes 3:2), so I've often awakened and wondered "is today my day?" When I'm driving on the interstate to and from work every day (an hour and a half commute) I find myself worrying that some inept driver will cause an accident and BAM - end of me. Having anxiety disorder doesn't help with these thought processes.

Knowing that I have a specific date with death, I also am aware that there have been instances when I should have been in an accident but something or someone delayed me. We got lost. I was running late. Whatever the reason, I missed a tragedy. One example that sticks out in my mind was late one night during college. I was working at Books-A-Million, and left around midnight (as was normal) on my way home. I was speeding, just like I did every night. On this particular night, a State Trooper pulled me over. He let me go with a warning, but we spent about five minutes chatting. I continued on my way, only to come upon an accident. The only person on the scene was an off-duty police officer who had happened along right behind the wreck. I stopped and asked if he needed help. He said that backup was on the way, and then asked what I was doing out so late. I responded and informed him that I had just been stopped by a Trooper only minutes before. "You're lucky then," he said, "because your being pulled over probably saved you from this accident." The weight of his words hung on me for days. Had I really been spared from injury, or worse? I thanked God for His mercy (just in case), and went about my merry way.

I have been told numerous stories by friends and family about how they just missed being in an accident, missed a doomed flight, etc. I read news stories after 9/11 about people who had called in sick to work, or were running late for work, and were spared from certain death. So, if we have an appointed time to die, and we somehow miss it, will death find us later anyway? It found that poor woman.

That thought/fear led to another - If you were supposed to die, let's say by smoke inhalation in a house fire, but somehow you escape, would you only die later in a chainsaw accident that turned out to be much more painful and gruesome? My point is this: if you miss your somewhat peaceful death, would the follow-up attempt be much worse?

I know this is twisted and probably disturbing, but I can't help myself. I think about these things. I guess I worry about my own death more since having children. I worry about Gary trying to raise two girls; I worry that my mother won't be able to handle the loss of another daughter. When these thoughts try to consume me, I find myself praying to God and asking Him to give me more time, to let me watch my children grow up, to have more time with my family. I feel selfish for making such requests, but I can't help it.

I guess the next time I'm somehow spared from death, I will keep a close eye out for faulty wiring and bad drivers....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ridiculousness and automakers

The other day a coworker and I were discussing GM's big bankruptcy. I was voicing my opinion that the whole problem was caused because there are simply too many versions of the exact same vehicles in about eighty different unnecessary colors. I mean really, do we need this many choices? Civic, Accord, EX, LX, Corolla, Maxima, Malibu, Altima, etc. You can buy these various but clone-like cars in white, black, bright blue, navy blue, blue-grey, ash, red, maroon, bright yellow, bright orange, lime green, forest green, pine green, silver, grey, midnight (which is the same as navy blue if you ask me), shell, purple (WHY?), pink, the list goes on and on - and that's only cars!

From that speech, I continued on with what I considered wrong with automakers in general, as if anyone actually cared. Let me share some of my thoughts with you...

First off, is it necessary to make one model car in so many colors? The industry probably wastes millions of dollars making cars in colors that people don't even buy. Really, who needs a lime green car? My idea - make vehicles in white and black. That's it. If you don't like black, buy the white one and take it to the body shop to be painted. Let that be included in the warranty and price if you want. That would save money. I know, I'm brilliant. You don't have to say it.

Second: do we really need automatic windows? Have we as a population become so lazy that we don't have the energy to roll a window down? And what if you crash your car into a lake? Do you think the automatic motor will roll the window down so you can get out? Nope. You're stuck in there.

Third: Sunroofs. I have never quite been able to force myself to appreciate a sunroof. Unless you're in a limo and want to hang out of the top yelling at people, a sunroof is not necessary. Don't get me wrong, I like sunlight as much as the next gal. However, what happens when you get in an accident and roll over? The glass in the sunroof shatters, raining down shards of glass onto you and whoever else might be unlucky enough to be in the vehicle with you. Also, I was once on a date in a car with a sunroof. We went into one of those automatic car wash places. Whilst the car was being rinsed (and a little PG-13 activity was going on), a shower of water burst through the sunroof onto said date's lap. Quite hilarious at the moment - for me, anyways.

Last, and most importantly, I think people put too much emphasis on the whole car status. People judge other people based on what vehicle they drive. It's ridiculous. I actually overheard the following conversation between two people at work one day:

Girl 1: "Mark asked me out."
Girl 2: "Really? That's great! He's so cute!"
Girl 1: "Yeah....I don't know though. I don't think he's my type."
Girl 2: "Why? What's wrong with him?"
Girl 1: "Have you seen what he drives?"

Guy in question drove an old Chevy truck. So what? Does that make him less dateworthy because he's not in a Hummer or some ridiculously overpriced sports car? P.S. I love listening in on the conversations of the shallow. Free entertainment. Plus, it always makes me feel better about myself.

I'm going to end this love fest by giving you something to ponder:

Why in the world did the HUMMER 2 I parked next to yesterday have a bumper sticker on it that said "Live Green"????

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Family Reunions......blah

WARNING: The following blog may contain massive amounts of whining, moaning and complaining.

Let me first say HI to my new followers. Welcome to the crazy world of me. Also, hi to my early followers - I've been absent for a couple of weeks. I apologize!

This weekend I had to accompany my man to the reunion of his mother's family. Said reunion took place on the outskirts of Monroe, which is a good four-hour drive from our home. In the week leading up to this event, I found myself stressing immensely over not only the drive with two small children, but the packing that was to be done. Bottles, formula, diapers, wipes, toys, snacks, juice, milk, blankets, clothes, shoes, baby tylenol, baby tummy medicine, cereal, pacifiers, and the list goes on and on - and that's not even the stuff needed for Gary and myself! Luckily I did not have to work on Thursday, so I had a little bit of extra time to prepare.

Friday morning: the bags are packed and in the car, babies in car seat, Gary in reasonably good mood, we're off! Five hours later (we had to make a few stops) we arrive in Monroe at our hotel. Immediately we are reunited with Gary's parents (who we haven't seen in over a month), Gary's mother's two sisters and one sister's husband. Then it starts....

Before I can get the car unpacked, the barrage of questions begins - "How have you been?" "Are you still working?" "Should she be drinking juice?" "Have they had naps?" "When do you want to go to dinner?" On and on.....and on. Now, let me just say before people assume incorrectly - I love Gary's parents. I do. Really. I'm just the type of person who doesn't care to be bombarded with questions rapid-fire. Give me a moment to gather myself, to articulate an appropriate (and not rude) response. At least let me answer ONE question before asking another!

Fast-forward (car is unpacked, babies changed) to dinner. Fairly uneventful, which I was quite happy about. My only problem was that the LSU game was on the television across the room and I couldn't see the score. Anna was happy, so no fussy baby dealings. Hayden was merrily dipping anything and everything into honey mustard sauce (the majority of which ended up on her shirt). We retired to our rooms and thankfully had the rest of the evening to put the babies to sleep and rest.

The actual reunion took place on Saturday. We had to drive about 40 minutes into the backwoods to the home of someone's mother, I'm not entirely sure who though. We had our faithful Garmin leading the way. We were doing great until Garmin directed us to make a left onto PR### (Note: PR means Public Road - a road without a name yet). Said road was gravel. We drove down it a while, and the gravel turned into dirt. A few hundred yards further, the dirt disappeared and we were driving through grass. Suddenly, trees. Nothing but trees. The garmin showed the checkered flag for our chosen destination only a short distance away. How was this possible? Gary realized that the Garmin was picking up the public road that was not quite finished yet. Awesome. So we turned around and headed back, hoping for an alternate route to appear. "Recalculating," said Mr. Garmin as we headed down the dead-ended road. It instructed us to turn left down another public road. Gary obediently turned, and after about a half mile, another dead end. I began laughing hysterically until tears were streaming down my face. We had a quarter tank of gas, no cell service, and no idea where we were. Fabulous.

We considered laying on the horn until someone came to save us (or we attracted a starving bear or another equally horrifying animal). Finally, we decided to go back to the asphalt road and hope for the best. TA-DA! New route, and down a paved road (mostly), no less. We finally made it to the reunion, about thirty minutes after everyone else. Jokes all around, hardy-har-har. Yes, we're idiots. Moving on...

Personally, I have always been a fan of family reunions. My grandmother's family hosted reunions every single year since before I can remember, and we always had a blast. Three days together, laughing, eating, staying up late, and catching up. Wonderful memories. However, it's a slight different when it's not YOUR family with which you're reunioning (not sure if that was an actual word, but you get me).

If you're lucky, you know a handful of people there. Extremely lucky if you know ten people. Myself, I somewhat knew about 9 people. Other than that, complete strangers. So, of course you get the "who is that girl?" stares. People asking you a million questions about who you are, what you do, where you're from, blah blah blah. Then if you're a parent, any time you do anything at all with your child(ren) you get the looks that say "I would never let my child do that/give my child that/etc." These people don't even know you and within ten minutes they've decided that you're a terrible parent and can't understand why in the world someone in their family would be with someone like you. Then comes the advice. People want to share their wonderful parenting skills with you.

I'm not saying these aren't good people. They are all probably wonderful people. My thing is this: if you don't know me, please don't attempt to enlighten me.

I endured four hours of uncomfortable conversation and strangers holding my children before Gary - thankfully - decided it was time to go. Back to the hotel for a rest, then dinner AGAIN with about twenty-five people. We sat down at six and ordered. At eight, we were just receiving our dinner. My girls were restless, we were tired. Gary decided we would get the food to go and just leave. Apologies all around, goodbye.

So last night everyone gathered in Gary's parent's hotel room to tell stories and hang out. I luckily needed to stay in our room to tend to the babies. After putting Anna down, I got in bed and drifted off into a peaceful sleep, dreamily awaiting morning and our return home.

Back to today. We're home. It's fairly late, both babies are asleep. Peaceful. I'm sure I've rambled quite ridiculously here. I don't even know if it all made sense. Hopefully I made some sort of point. I can take some joy in knowing that these reunions are only every OTHER year. Yay.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Old Navy.......or a glimpse of hell?

It is well known that I am a lover of all things flip flop. Multi-colored, wedge, leather, rubber, I love 'em all. So imagine my delight when I saw a commercial for Old Navy this morning promoting a one day only sale of flip flops. $1.00 - any color you like. I was so excited!

I promptly began the process of getting my children and myself ready to leave the house; this takes a good hour and a half. I got them dressed, took a shower, got myself dressed, made bottles, packed diapers, loaded Anna into her carseat, and my cousin and I put the babies in the car, buckled our seatbelts and hit the road.

When we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed an unusually large number of vehicles parked in the vicinity of the store. I looked on either side of Old Navy. To the left is what used to be a grocery store that is now closed. On the right is a shoe store that never has more than a handful of shoppers in it. I realized that all of the passengers from these cars were in my store........buying my flip flops.

We searched impatiently for a parking spot less than quarter-mile from the store, finally lucked out when someone pulled out of a spot near the store, parked and went in.

Wait, this is not Old Navy......this is hell. There were people everywhere. Everywhere! Kids playing with the dog mannequin in the front of the store (which I must say I see no use whatsoever for a dog mannequin, it's simply a waste of hard plastic and also kind of creepy), people browsing over every table, every rack. Every register was open with lines going all the way to the very back of the store. I'm not kidding. It was like flipflopalooza in there.

We forced our way through the crowds, maneuvering the ridiculously oversized stroller carrying Anna around people and clothing. We reached the flip flop wall, stopped and stared. Where were the flip flops? They were gone. An entire wall of flip flops, nearly barren. The only remnants were a few pairs of size 5 and 6 flip flops in light pink and purple. Those didn't remain long either; a couple of 12ish year-olds came barging past us and grabbed those off of the wall in a flash of ponytails, plaid and giggles.

I glanced at my cousin, who looked just as shocked and appalled as I was. I sighed, dejected, and began walking towards the baby clothes. Despite this terrible turn of events, I was determined to spend at least a little bit of money. I wandered aimlessly through the racks, grabbing a few pairs of shorts, some shirts, and a cute bathing suit for Hayden. Feeling slightly better, I turned to face the checkout line. The end of the line appeared to be in the exact same place it had been when we first entered the store. I looked from the line to the clothes, then back again. Did I really intend to spend precious minutes of my life standing in this nearly motionless line? No. I put the clothes back, fought my way back through the crowd and exited the store.

Next time, I'll just pay the extra $1.50.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dare I conform to the fads of technology?

This whole thing started over an iPhone.

It's that time again....time to upgrade. The ads are everywhere, people preach at you as if they're faithful followers of some iPhone religion. "You have to have it!" "It's AMAZING!" "I can't imagine not having one now that I've seen what it can do!" Why do people insist on shoving this advanced piece of technology at me? It's as if I will been seen as a disappointment if I refuse to spend an obscene (to me, anyway) amount of money on a piece of equipment that I will most likely lose, or that will be dropped into the toilet by my 1 year old.

I guess I'm what you would consider a baby as far as technology goes. We didn't get the internet at my house until I was a sophomore in high school (1999ish). The world wide web blew my mind. Before that, the only playing I did on a computer was Oregon Trail day in junior high school. But once I had a taste of chat rooms, email, online games, I was hooked. I do have to admit that I always seemed to be just a slight bit behind all of my friends. They had figured out chat rooms long before I even knew what one was.

Then came webcams. Now, the mere idea of this freaked me out. Strangers watching you doing.......what? Typing? Eating potato chips? Little did I know that there was an entirely different use for these little peep show products. I won't elaborate on that one.

As far as cell phones went, they were pretty much nonexistent at my high school. If you had any type of communication device, it was a beeper. And for the most part, the people with beepers were dawdling in some less than legal activities. The only people who had cell phones were the super-rich kids. The ones who carried Coach purses to school. (Only later in life -and by that I mean very early 20s - did I learn the wonderfulness of a ridiculously expensive handbag)

Only when I graduated high school and began an hour-long commute to college did the idea of me owning a cell phone even present itself. After an extremely tiring conversation with my parents about the responsibilities of taking care of a cell phone and paying the bill on time, I was given my very first cell phone. It was a Nokia 5110. The main purpose for me having said phone was in case of an emergency (flat tire, accident, kidnapped and locked in the trunk, etc). However, once my friends introduced me to the world of text messaging, I quickly learned that cell phones were much more useful than I had ever imagined.

From that point on, I kept a cell phone until it was broken. I recall tearing up two cell phones myself by dropping them into glasses of sweet tea. It didn't really matter back then what kind of phone you had. As long as you had a cell phone, you were in. Be honest, we all know what that means.

This technology, which began as a celebration of how far we've come, how advanced we were, started to change into something else..... enter pop culture.

All of a sudden no one was listening to good 'ol AM/FM radios anymore; satellite radio was the new thing. Laptops everywhere, bigger screens, lightweight, HD, Blu-ray, wireless, blah blah blah. Something new would come out, and the old stuff wasn't good enough anymore. Everyone just had to have the newest version of whatever piece of equipment the advertisers were shoving in our faces.

Welcome to iPod world: all of your music shoved into this teeny, tiny, miniscule product that could easily be lost if not for the earphones attached to it. I rebelled against the iPod, just as I had with satellite radio, HD and blu-ray (I did cave and acquire a laptop, which I love). Before I knew it my sisters, friends, even my DAD had iPods. They continuously insisted that I would be so much better off if I would just give in and purchase this wonderful thing. Nope, not me. I refused.

In all honesty, I truly had no interest whatsoever in having one. Could have cared less. Although, being a music lover, I had in my possession over 700 cds that were somewhat of a burden to carry around all the time. Still, I couldn't see myself keeping up with one of those things.

Despite my outspoken refusal on the subject, Gary bought me an iPod touch for Christmas this past year. I was apalled. Me? An iPod owner? Noooooo. I spent a good three weeks in protest before I finally gave in and began tinkering with the thing. Suddenly I found myself engrossed in the many wonderful features that this tiny piece of technology had. I copied every one of my cds onto the thing (which I was amazed at - how could it possible hold that many songs?). I put pictures on it. I downloaded books and games. I have to say though, that I felt justified in that the games I downloaded were designed to exercise the brain. I still have morals, after all.

So, having broken down and accepted that I, too, could be persuaded to actually like this advanced technology, the time came for the upgrade. My current cell phone is a Samsung Sync. I love it. The menus are easy to navigate, I can text well on it, I can always hear people I'm talking to, etc. It's a great phone. Sometimes, though, when I'm out in public and talking on my phone I get these looks. The looks I get are similar to looks of pity, like the one you would give a stray dog on the side of the road. It's as if they are all thinking, "Oh, poor thing, she's technologically retarded." I feel like the ugly duckling. All because of my not-top-of-the-line cell phone. Am I really so shallow? Do I actually care if people look down on me for the type of phone I have? Not so much, no. However, I do need to upgrade. Whether subconsciously I yearn to be socially accepted or I just really do want a new phone, I'm not sure.

After rambling on for the past few paragraphs, though, I think I have decided that I do not, in fact, want an iPhone. I'll settle for something less......fad-like.

The little joys in life

  • my 16 month-old daughter trying to dance along with music playing on the television
  • puppies
  • a large fountain coke
  • rocking chairs on a front porch
  • cuddling :)
  • singing at the top of my lungs in the car
  • DVR
  • my 5 month-old giggling at her older sister
  • flip flops
  • LSU football
  • boiled crawfish
  • sweet tea
  • music
  • rain on a tin roof
  • reading a good book
  • roadtrips
  • sunflower seeds
  • romantic comedies
  • roller skating
  • fishing on a hot summer day
  • bubble baths
  • coffee
  • Sunday lunch at Mawmaw's
  • Springtime
  • Snow days
  • slinkies
  • walking through a museum
  • karaoke
  • board games
  • sushi
  • a day at the park
  • walking on the beach at night
  • 80s films
  • raw cookie dough
  • fortune cookies
  • F*R*I*E*N*D*S
  • double entendres
  • Disney films
  • drawings by children
  • photography
  • sarcasm
  • Simon Cowell
  • "Saved by the Bell" reruns
  • live bands
  • roly poly bugs
  • toe socks
  • driving down the road with no particular destination
  • bookstores
  • coffee shops (I'm talking small-time shops, not Starbucks)
  • flea markets
  • yard sales
  • sock hats
  • themed events
  • poppyseed muffins
  • hoodies
  • Egyptian cotton sheets

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I'm sitting here at work.

Quite often I find myself with great amounts of free time while I'm forced to endure eight long hours here at this place that enables me to live somewhat comfortably. Most of my free time is usually spent on facebook, which I'm sad to say I have developed an addiction to. I decided yesterday that I would no longer allow myself to waste away so much of my brainpower and precious free moments attempting to save the rainforest by sending and receiving imaginary plants (and little people with plant clothing on, which is kind of creepy) with my facebook pals.

I decided to mess around with my blog, which I have neglected since starting it only a few weeks ago. A friend of mine has one, and after reading a few of her posts I was inspired to create my own. Of course random strangers would love to read about the everyday thoughts and moments that are my life. I wrote two blogs, and then....nothing. What's wrong with me? I always excelled in writing during my education. Heck, I was even offered a journalism scholarship to ULL, which I regrettably declined. I have written short stories, poetry, even made a few attempts at novels over the past seven or eight years.

Writing is part of me. It's who I've always been. Yet somehow, I read the blogs of others here and I feel intimidated. Ridiculous. Almost as if I'm some pretender trying to be cool and keep with the times. The way that people express their thoughts and feelings fascinates me. The wording just flows, humor shows up unexpectedly. I've even felt the urge to cry while reading a few of the more personal blogs. How can I even attempt to be as creative as the others? Will I spend hours writing out blogs that no one will ever read? Will my words just float around in cyberspace for eternity (or until Mr. Gates creates some more advanced form of communication), wasted and useless?

After spending much time obsessing about this, I decided that it didn't matter if no one reads my stuff. Besides, the short stories and poetry that I have shared with friends and family have all been embraced completely. They think I'm funny. Creative. Imaginative. That's all that matters, right?

What's funny to me, though, is that I titled my blog quite fittingly without even knowing. It may not be a big deal to anyone else, but if it's a big deal to me, by God, I'll write about it!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rearranging furniture.....or rearranging life?

So, for the past two days Gary and I have been moving furniture around in the girls' room and in our living room. No matter how I set up the rooms, I am not happy. It's as if there is some magnificent solution to the clutter that we have accumulated, but it remains just slightly out of my grasp.

After finding myself disappointed for the third time yesterday, it occurred to me that this attempt at order in my home could be a reflection of some inner turmoil that my subconscious may be dealing with. I decided to stop and meditate on my current place in the universe. Am I happy in my relationship? Definitely. Am I happy being a parent? Absolutely. Do I love my job? For the most part. Are there any problems that I am aware of? Not really. So what is it, then, that escapes my conscious mind, but disturbs my sleep at night?

I went to bed last night still hoping for a light bulb to go off, for some sudden realization to present itself to me. Alas, nothing came. My sleep was interrupted during the night, but not due to an inner conflict. It was my youngest daughter, Anna. Maybe it is she who has a problem, and I am reacting to her sympathetically, unknowingly. She was gassy yesterday...

Despite this situation, I have managed to find an arrangement in both rooms that is suitable to me. For now, anyway.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Your hidden creative talents will soon be revealed."

That was the fortune cookie I received on Wednesday when Kiley and I got take-out Chinese. It made me wonder: at the age of 24 (almost 25), shouldn't I already be aware of any/all "hidden" talents that I may possess?

Naturally, as a person grows from a young child into an adult, various talents become apparent through different experiences. Some people are blessed with an array of talents (ie: musical, athletic, artistic), while others possess only a specific gift. Sometimes the talent can be strange, even extremely odd. I, myself, have a few "interesting" talents.

So, as I'm thinking about the talents I am already aware of, I begin to wonder if I do, in fact, have somewhere deep within the recesses of my mind, some brilliant ability that could change mankind, cure a disease, or win a Nobel prize? Do I contain the answer to some age-old question? Am I really as smart as Einstein and just simply not exercising an extra 5% of my brain?

How do we really know what all of our special talents are unless someone provokes it from within us? How many of us go through life not using the gifts that we've been given? What if at a particular moment, in one instant, a talent that we have could be used for greatness, but we aren't even aware that we possess it?