Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm so Ashamed

I'm a drummer you know.

Actually I'm a better singer than drummer.  I can play lead guitar passably, but if I had my druthers I'd leave that up to someone with more skill.

I've toured Amsterdam and London.  We got kicked off stage in New York because our vocalist sucked and the rest of us couldn't save him.


Little turns fifteen this weekend and since we're going to be at the lake, I gave him his birthday present early. The last item I bought with my discount before I quit the second job was...

Rock Band.

It was a completely frivolous and unnecessary purchase.  I'm racked with shame that I gave into his pleas.  I should be dumped into the Pit of Useless Mothers for even considering such a total waste of money and time.

...that is, until he asked me to sing.

Please, Ma.  You know this song don't you?  It's Dead or Alive.

Oh dear God.  He played the Bon Jovi card.


I knew that song and flat rocked Run to the Hills to the point I earned us a tour bus and several groupies.

I'm not a gamer, but I've got to tell you...

I will play this game till I have blisters on my ass and fingers.  

I'm obsessed. 

I can't get enough. 

I've stayed up until all hours because I will, by God pass 90% on medium drumming.  I go to sleep humming Say it Isn't So.  I drive to work with Blitzkrieg Bop running over and over in my head.

I have no time to blog because I'm

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Lost Land

I don’t write about all things entertainment much.

But I did here.

It’s an outrage of epic proportions and I’m still reeling over the initial announcement. 

But here’s another piece ala Diablo Cody.

I’m still not convinced it isn’t going to be disastrous bordering on blasphemous.

…but I’m keeping an open mind.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Thank you for calling Wal-Mart how can I direct your call?


I can help you with that.

Do you carry thong underwear for men?

Huh, I don’t think so, but let me put you on hold and I’ll go check.

At this time, I put the call on hold and remained in my seat because I knew full well we didn’t have any for me to check on.  I just needed a moment to catch my breath and swallow the bile that was rising in my throat.  There are two things a man should never wear on the lower half of his body. 

One is a Speedo.  

I don’t care if your body is a clone to Matthew McConaughey, (and let’s face it, whose is?) a man should never wear a Speedo.  Trust me, a nice pair of swim trunks will do nicely to showcase your legs and manly chest.  There is no need to knock me over the head with, huh, something else.  So trunks are in-Speedos are out.

Number two is a thong.

See above.  

And if I need to explain why Guys, you are in bigger trouble than I feared.  I will not make a designation between underwear and swimwear.  A thong is a thong.  This is equal opportunity ickiness.

We sure don’t.  The best I can do are string bikinis and low slung briefs.

Well, I’m a male stripper and I just need the skimpiest thing you’ve got. Are they solid or patterned?

Stripes and patterns.  They come in packs of five and sell for 9.95.

So tell me, out of those two choices which would you rather see me in and why?



Two words, Ya’ll.

Cree. Pee.

Monday, July 21, 2008


It is too hot to post.

I'm going to sit back with a glass of cold wine and read everyone else tonight.  

However, I'm going to give you an old post. 

It's funny I'm saying old post.  I didn't think I'd be around long enough to have old posts.

But...here I am.

It is the first one I wrote about my Granny.  Which reminds me that there are many more to be written about that ornery old gal.  She's on my heart tonight which is a pretty good indication I should probably give her a ring.

So, here ya go.

...and keep cool, Ya'll.

I talked to my Granny last Sunday. I call her every week after I visit Prissy, her daughter, in ‘the home’. Yes, Prissy is in a nursing home. But, I really don’t have the wherewithal to discuss it today.

Granny is pushing 90 and she’s sharp as a tack. That being said, she’s also been on death’s door my entire 38 years. She had constant aches, pains, and ‘spells’. She currently lives with my uncle in Arkansas and I can honestly say the only thing wrong with the woman is old age and orneriness.

We all should be so lucky.

Granny is as tall as she is big around. She used to waddle through the house with one hand on her hip and the other on her forehead and make this 
Sheeyew kind of sound followed by “My head’s just a swimming. I’ve got to sit down.”

She’d then sit down in her towel-covered, pea-green Naugahyde rocking chair on the screened-in front porch and drink sweet tea with a straw out of an old peanut butter jar and wipe herself down with the wet washcloth she always kept in a Ziploc bag.

She had these double-knit 
housedresses in crazy 70’s patterns that she wore every day for years. She had one particularly ugly one with yellows and golds and greens. It was her favorite. She knew I hated it and therefore wore it every time she knew I was coming.

So, on the drive home last weekend…

How are you doing today, Granny?

Awe, Babe, I’m just no good. Granny’s been sick. I’m sick at my stomach and my head’s been swimming all day. It’s just so hot I can’t get any air. How’s yer Mommy, Baby?

She had a good day.

You know I just worry myself to death about her.

I know, Granny Honey, but she’s doing really well today. She was playing Bingo when I left.

…begins to cry, “Oh, I’d love to come see her, but Granny’s getting old and I probably won’t see her again this side of Heaven-Your Mommy and poor old Grandpa.

I know, Granny.

You’ve got a birthday coming up next week don’t you, Babe?


How old are you going to be? 60?

No, Granny, I’ll be…

Wait a minute. 60? Do what?

Granny made a funny.

60? Why, you listen to me, Old Gal. I’ll come down there and kick you ‘till your dead!

Well, I’ll say worse than that if it means it’ll get you down here to see me! I gotcha didn’t I! You get down here and me and you’ll go to Canada.

Ah, Canada.

When I was a teen, Granny and I did something together that we both knew Prissy 
wouldn’t approve of. (She got the nickname Prissy for lots of reasons, believe me) I don't even remember now what it was-she probably bought me some music Prissy said I shouldn't have. Granny just said that we better not let Mommy find out or we’d both have to move to Canada. It just struck us both as so funny. We stood in the gravel driveway and doubled over laughing. Grandpa had to come out and check on us.

Well, Babe, Granny’s going to let you go, Raslin (not to be confused with wrestling) is coming on.

Take care, Granny and I’ll talk to you next week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Walk

I miss Big.

He's in St. Louis being his fabulous self.  This week is the big rehearsal for the Thespian All-state show that will be performed at the conference in January. He was cast as one of the 'rude mechanicals' in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

So he's having a ball.
I still miss him.  Lord knows why.  When he's home he teases me mercilessly.

Yeah, I know.  You're right, I do. 

So I took me a little walk.  I took my normal route, but this time when I reached the end of the road, I turned and walked a rural block and turned into the subdivision that has taken over the cow pasture.

As I turned in, I took in the sweet scent of manure.

Yeah, I said 'sweet'.   What of it, huh?

It wasn't the stench of sewage or, as much as I love my own dogs, nasty dog crap.

It was the scent of cattle.

I love that!  It summons up the county fair and touring the livestock arena with your new boyfriend.

Where was it coming from?  Was it a ghost smell rising up from the 'pasture that is no more'?

I looked behind me, across the road, and recognized the old homestead that's been there since before the founding of the town.  Its proud white paint glistening in the fading sun.  The roof is sagging and the brush has all but overtaken it.  Yet, it is still occupied and the old fart that lives there still keeps a few head of cattle in the side 'yard'.

That's where it was coming from.

I continued on my walk through the subdivision, mourning the 'pasture that is no more', but also hypocritically thankful for the sidewalks the town fathers had the foresight to provide.  In rural Missouri you take your life into you own hands when you step out onto a farm road. Cyclists and walkers are a brave bunch.  We can quickly hit the grass when needed to avoid the charging pickups and zipping SUVs.

But as I walked I envisioned the pasture as it was just a few years ago.  The mist would hang low over its grasses and as the sun rose, the fog would lift and the dew would glisten on the tips.  Swarms of bugs would hover over its surface and the occasional bird would get flushed out by whatever critter was hiding in its depths.  It was often the source of early morning lowing that when I'd leave the windows open in the spring, would awaken me.

As I made my way down the new sidewalk, I lifted my hair off the back of my neck, letting the breeze blow it dry, and I caught another whiff.

I stopped and smiled and suddenly wished I'd come across a steaming pile of bull pucky.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Missing Kurt Cobain

I’m catching up on my podcasts and just today got around to listening to NPR’s All Songs Considered.

Sometimes I get some good stuff.  Sometimes-not so much.

Today was a ‘not so much’ kind of day and also an ‘I need to quite listening ‘cuz it’s starting to piss me off’ day.

They were defining ‘music of a generation’-Baby Boomers, X’ers, Y’s, etc.  I immediately perked up when they mention X’ers, because I are one and I love to listen to anything that deals with me no matter how remote the connection because well, I am my favorite subject.

I wouldn’t have a personal blog otherwise would I?

Anyhoo, I was eager to hear what defined my generation.

Are you ready? 



Do what?!

Nirvana was the undisputed choice between the 33 and 35 year old music critics that were represented.

I looked up ‘grunge’ at Wikipedia.  Even there it says Nirvana and Pearl Jam define my generation.


Let’s review:

I am 39 years old, which means I was born in 1968.  I graduated high school in 1986 and college in 1990.  My formative years were smack dab in the middle of the 80’s and I pretty well define Generation X. 

That being said, the above mentioned artists aren't on my radar for defining my generation.

The one cassette I wore plumb out was Born in the USA. The Joshua Tree carried me through college, Purple Rain is iconic, and I swear to all that is holy I refuse to be embarrassed by my total and utter devotion to Huey Lewis and the News and Bon Jovi.

…and yes, I loved me some Journey. 

That’s the stuff I remember when I think of my formative years. 

I missed Kurt Cobain completely.

When Kurt Cobain died I was utterly unaffected. Pearl Jam means nothing to me.

Ouch!  Jesus that hurt!  Quit throwing stones at me, dammit!  (Rubbing my arm vigorously where the rock hit me.)

I’m sorry OK?  But the whole grunge scene blew completely past me.

Am I a bad person?  Did I miss the meaning of my generation because I didn’t walk around depressed and suicidal and, and, and


That’s it!

I forgot to be angry.  I know we were the first generation that expected to be less successful than our parents, but it never occurred to me to get pissed about it.

I was too busy shuttling my toddlers to day care before and after work to get angry.  I was listening to Mad About the Mouse and Disney soundtracks in my white mini van’s cassette player.

I guess when I graduated college and Big Daddy and I bought our first house and had our first baby I ceased to be a member of my own generation.  Did I drop out?  Did I get left behind? 

How did that happen?

I didn’t get annoyed at NPR because of the choice they made; I was annoyed that their number one pick was a ‘cool’ band that had nothing whatsoever to do with an entire decade of Generation X. This is substantial because Gen X spans less than 20 years.

I felt left out of my own generation.

I felt old, yes. But I suddenly felt old within my own generation.

Is that even possible?

Everyone is entitled to listen to what makes them happy and brings them joy.  If it makes you think-more so the better.  Isn’t the music of your generation supposed to transport you back to that time? 

What were you doing?  What were you wearing?  Who were you with?  Were you in love?  Were you fighting with your folks? Were you contemplating your future?  And for the love of God, did you have good hair?

I guess I didn’t use music as an angry release. I used it for escape, and fantasy, and healing.

It's been several hours since I quit listening, and I’m still a little angry.

Maybe I’ll download some Nirvana and Kurt can help me understand why.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Just a thought.

I walked out of work tonight into the cover of darkness.

I love walking outside in the dark.  I don't know why exactly. There's a secret involved perhaps? A secret just between me and the darkness that for as long as we are together we share?  

I love the smell of night, especially in the summer.  The odd flower floats along the breeze, the smell of the cooling blacktop, freshly cut grass.

Tonight, when I stepped out of my moonlighting job into the moonlight, the humidity was such that I swam under water to my car.  The air on my skin felt like the warm lake at midnight-that same air flowed through my hair as the water might when I dive under.

I reached the dry, stale air of my car and I chilled as the dampness evaporated off of my skin.

It made me melancholy.  Or as Big Daddy's Momma might say-I suddenly felt a little punk. 

It made me remember hot sweaty nights at my Granny's.  Miserable Arkansas nights that would have me sweating in my bedsheets, scratching at mosquito and chigger bites and wishing the window fan would pump out just a little more air.  If for no other reason than to get the musty smell of the spare room out of my nose.  But not so much air that the rattle of the fan would cover up the sound of the cicadas.

We must never, ever, cover up the sound of the cicada.

And even though the wet soup of air I had just left is miserable when combined with the bright, glaring, and intrusive sun-it is kind of comforting when combined with starlight.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Don't Think I Won't

Little started taking bass lessons today.


He inherited an electric Gibson from his Grandad and after months of successfully teaching himself, he decided he needed formal instruction.

Now on top of being a handsome, charismatic, charming young chick magnet, he’s going to learn to play bass so he can run off and join a rock band.

Super news.

He had droves of girls around him Monday at the company picnic.  He used poor Fred as a ruse.  He tried to tell me he was proud of his puppy and wanted to show him off to the girls.


A gorgeous musician with a puppy…it just keeps getting worse and I see no end in sight.

So listen up all you 15 year old tarts.  I have a baseball bat.

…and I know how to use it.


I was still recovering from the night before, so I make no apologies for my vegetative state, even if I do feel guilty. 

Last night I piddle-farted the night away by sitting on the couch and watching two hours of I Love the 80’s on VH1 Classics. 

1982 and 1983 to be exact.

Its bad enough I actually sat and watched, but I also lamented the fact I didn’t pick up a free pair of 3D glasses at Wal-Mart the night before.

Yeah, it was in 3D.  

I don’t know if I could have handled Weird AL in 3D, but I’d have given it a go.

This photo isn't in 3D either, but Kevin Costner is a sight more attractive then Weird AL.  

He’s older, but he’s still long and lean and hot as hell.  (Kevin not AL)

Springfield Underground was just as hot, but gentle breezes prevailed all day, keeping our picnic comfortable whilst we waited the arrival of our founder’s new friend.  Those of us on ‘the committee’ started setting up at 7:30 in the morning and ran a steady pace all day. There are games to set up and staff-brats to be cooked-inflatables to inflate-bingo tents to table and chair and fill with prizes-and porta-potties to be serviced.

Thank God that last item wasn’t on my to-do list, but we were standing down wind while someone else did the big job.

Ha!  Get it?  Big job?

Yeah, OK.

We ended the afternoon of activities with a concert by Kevin's Band, (We’re on a first name basis now.  I am at least. I don’t think he even knows mine.  Well, I know he doesn’t because I never gave it to him.  Nor did he ask for it.)


His band is a pet project and he does it, well, because he can and he enjoys it.

Don’t we all want that out of life?

He and his gorgeous young, very young wife and son came among us-the great unwashed-and played games and visited with folks.  I talked to his wife for a minute or two while guiding her to the kids’ games.  They took off in swirl of dust, leaving me standing-sweaty and forlorn-in the wake of their golf cart.

During the concert we tore down tables and chairs, collapsed tents and canopies, and dumped trash.

I finally collapsed me on the blessed, cool grass about sundown.  I was lying flat on my back, eyes closed, breathing in great gulps of sweet air and loving the damp smell of the earth. Startled, I opened my eyes and was rewarded with brilliant flashes of fire.

I loved every bright booming moment and didn't move until the last rocket's red glare.

Now...back to the office.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It Could Happen to Anybody

Sugar, you look like Wilma Flintstone with your hair all pulled up like that.

I'm thinking about wearing a bone in my hair tomorrow.  What do you think?

I'll give you ten dollars.

Twenty and I'll wear a necklace made of gigantic pearls.

You're on.  Sugar, why are you taking one tennis shoe home with you?

Ah.  Well, I grabbed my tennies out of the closet this morning.  You know, so I can take my walk at lunch.


Well.  I looked down and noticed my left shoe looked funny.  I rubbed my contacts around in my eyeballs, cuz this pair is on its last legs and everything looks furry.  I had on my right shoe and Big Daddy's left.  They are both white, see, and in the morning light and my haste I didn't look too closely.

Just when on your walk did you notice this?

About 30 minutes in.

Sugar you're hopeless.


An Observation

Listening to a radio show today, I heard a man continually use the word ‘summit’. 

“You should learn summit new every day.”

Summit’s been bothering me.”

“Do summit you enjoy.”

I take it since he’s from London, this is a dialect thing.

...sumpn’s wrong with those folks over there.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Independence Day

Sugar, how the hell are ya?

Darlin', I'm fat and sassy.

You git on outta here! 

No.  You git!

What's on tap for the 4th.



That's right.  I'm going to sleep in.  When I finally rouse myself at 5:45 am, I'm gonna take a leisurely 5.25 minute shower and then move myself to the kitchen.  While the rest of the house is still sleeping, I'm going to make a pot of coffee.  When the Kona has finished perking, I'm going to pour a cup, add the half and half and then go sit on the deck and have a heated discussion with the woodpecker that has taken to beatin' on my fascia.

Do what?

Sounds good, don't it?  After I commune with nature, I'm going to ignore the call of the Pledge can, and sit my happy ass down on the coach and watch anything on TV that suits my fancy.

You're going to watch TV on the fourth?

Yup.  When the rest of the house wakes up, I'm going to whoop up some breakfast.  After we've eaten, Little will have more than likely arrived home from a week of spiritual enlightenment.

Where's he been, Sug?

Church Camp.

Ah.  So he'll come back fired up for the Lord?

Well.  Maybe.  I imagine he'll come back fired up for the little blonde he made out with on the sly all week.


Oh come on!  I remember church camp.  Sigh.... Fondly.  His name was JR.  Anyway, back to the fourth.

So you are really going to veg all day?

Yup.  Along late afternoon, we'll fire up the grill and scarf down some red meat.  Then I'll make a batch of ice cream.

What kind?

Vanilla, of course.  But...I'll add vanilla bean.  That's the secret to awesome homemade ice cream. Ya gotta add the bean, boys.

That's it? You'll stay home?

Nope.  We'll load up and head to town for the fireworks.

Do you really like fireworks?

I LOVE fireworks.  I like the boom in my gut and how it bubbles over into hysterical, giddy laughter.

Are you done yet?

Nah.  Big and Little will present a show of their own  at home and the smell of the powder will stay in my nose for the next two days.

I guess your day is full after all.

Yeah, it is.  Even though I'll laze around the house, eat to excess and enjoy bright lights and shiny noises, I will take a second to reflect on my homeland.  We're struggling some right now, we're divided, we're fightin' and feudin'.   But we are still here.

...and that's worth celebrating!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Big Sweeties

I've been remiss in sharing the love of my life.

She's a darling, timid thing.  And even though she is shy and skittish, we like to think that after three years of being our baby, she's overcome the trauma of her early puppy life.  

This is Sadie.

We adopted her when she was an adolescent.  My sister-in-law, who used to foster children, would call her a 'career foster child' or 'hard to place'.

So... we placed her with us.  She's our sweet girl.  And when Little is away, as he is now, she pouts.

This is Sadie's little brother Fred.

He's just cute as a bug's ear.

We adopted him a week ago.  Let me rephrase that, Big Daddy brought him home because with one look, he fell in love.

...then the rest of us did.

There is never a dull moment or lack of love when a dog is around.

Don't they make you feel like the best person in the whole world?