Friday, November 30, 2007

Shut Up and Stand in the Back

This post is brought to you by the letter Q, the number 7, and my dear brother who let me break into his house and steal his internet while I have some downtime between the bridal brunch and wedding rehearsal.

I'm feeling particularly attention deficit today and the timing sucks. Most days I manage fine, but every now and then I have one of these days where I know the meds are working mostly because I'm acutely aware of how how poorly I'm functioning. On days I'm not medicated it doesn't bother me as much because I hardly notice it.

My biggest problem today is the sheer number of people that I've never met before that want to carry on coherent conversations. Normally this isn't a problem on the meds. Today, I'm having trouble finding words. Like, normal words. I'll get halfway through a sentence and forget the word I wanted to say. It's in my head I just can't get it out, so I stand there pausing for 10-15 seconds while I try to come up with something. Same thing with getting places. I know where I'm going, but all of the sudden I have to stop and think hard about turning right or left. I just can't seem to get myself together today. These are times when I want to hide. I don't want to be around people because I'm afraid I'm going to do or say something totally crazy. It's like watching yourself in slow motion; like you're yelling the obvious answers at the TV but the actor can't hear you. I'm hoping that taking this break and being still for a couple of hours will help.

I suppose it's better to do this today rather than tomorrow, which will be ten times as crazy! Lets just hope I can get through the rehearsal and remember my instructions. After that Greg will be here for the dinner, so that will help. He tends to be able to help me pull it back together, or at least ward off the meltdown that follows. If this spills over into tomorrow, getting through the wedding without a breakdown will be one of the hardest things I've had to do in a long time.

...And no sooner than I typed that I got a call from the bride asking me to run a big errand, which I am absolutely more than happy to do for her. I should be able to be still for another 30 minutes or so before I need to leave, so hopefully I can decompress. This is such a huge weekend for her, I absolutely will NOT be stupid. I need to write myself a note on the inside of my hand - "Shut up and stand in the back."

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Four and a half weeks ago I was notified that I would be moving to my new office in two weeks. Ppffttt. Sorry, I can't help but giggle every time I say that.

This morning I was told that I would absolutely be moving next week. I guess that's progress. If "two weeks" actually equals six weeks, then maybe "one week" equals three weeks, which means I'd be moving right around Christmas.

I told my boss this morning, after gaining control of my burst of laughter, that my money was on something closer to March. She ASSURED me next week. I told her that if I moved next week, I'd buy her lunch. I don't feel very threatened by the possibility. And, to put it mildly, I haven't started packing yet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Paris Is Burning

Well, not really, but they have had firey riots all week with youth shooting at the police and tossing molotov cocktails at random cars.

Don't get me wrong, I normally wouldn't even know that. I heard about it from a somewhat concerned bride-to-be who is supposed to be honeymooning there in a matter of days. Perhaps Italy would be nice this time of year...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fun With Rednecks

Allison's snickering at my redneck comment reminded me of something I'd intended to post last week and forgot about with all the food-related festivities.

Last Wednesday was pretty dead at work and I ended up having an unusual conversation with one of the doctors. He had asked about our holiday plans and I gave him the rundown of our travels. He then inquired further about where my family was and where I grew up. He was visibly shocked that I'd lived in Mississippi my entire life. He said that I didn't talk like I was from here, and he thought I'd grown up somewhere else.

I had to laugh at that. I really don't have much of an accent, unless I slip into auto-hick while on the phone or visiting with family. I don't remember when I lost my accent, or even if I ever had one (surely that's impossible), but I suspect it was somewhere between high school and college.

At the end of the conversation with this doctor he congratulated me on not having a Southern accent. After he walked off I contemplated whether or not I was a little insulted by that. I know he didn't mean anything offensive by it, but I don't find being from the South to be a bad thing. I don't consider being a redneck a bad thing. Some of the best people I know are rednecks.

Having said that, I thought I'd share some of my favorite "rednecks at weddings" stories featuring one of my redneck all-stars.

Many discussions were had before my wedding about who would be asked to do what during the service. My brother asked who was going to be assigned as security to search the guests for weapons, and which type of guns would be considered acceptable. This is the same brother who, the morning of the wedding, offered Greg his credit card and truck keys as one last chance to run.

Right before my wedding, as the minister and male members of the wedding party were waiting to walk into the sanctuary, my brother comments to Ross that he needs to make this short, then makes some comment about the church full of rednecks with guns. Ross, who you may recall is from South Africa, commented that where comes from they kill elephants, their guns were bigger.

This morning I emailed Sharonda to let her know that my brother would be coming to the wedding on Saturday AND wearing a suit (GASP!). She responded that he just wanted to wear something with pockets to hold the beer.

I wouldn't trade my brother, or my heritage, for anything.

Fun With Brides

Yesterday I got an email from Sharonda with a PowerPoint attachment. It was 8 pages of diagrams showing every stage of the bridal party's entrance, positions, and exits, complete with little people walking up and down the aisle.

Now please don't misunderstand me, we're not dealing with a Bridezilla here. We aren't expected to memorize them and as far as I know there isn't a quiz later. She created them so she could keep track and so that the person directing would have a reference. If I counted correctly, there's 22 attendants including juniors. Frankly, she's going to need a chart! Anyway, she sent it to me just to poke fun at herself and to illustrate how obsessive compulsive she is, which we already knew.
Just in case I get crazy busy and don't have any good pictures to post from the wedding festivities this weekend, I saw this as an opportunity to post some preview pictures.

So, here's me:

And here's Sharonda:

As a side note, she also included the church seating on the charts so she could lable where specific people are supposed to sit. On one row she had "readers." Well, it's pretty small text and when I first saw it I thought it said rednecks. I emailed her back and told her she needed more rows.

May the Force Be With You

Yep. That's my godson. Jedi Master Edwin, defeating the evil Darth Disney.

Aparently my dear sweet pooka bear, who literally accused me of trying to kill him when we were in the pool and I accidently bumped his raft so that his face touched water, is not only the last hope of the rebellion, he's also now a thrill ride junkie. Big Thunder Mountain was a favorite. I have to say I'm more than a little proud of him. He's always been a little more fragile and shy than most little boys but he seems to be coming out of it quickly. I figure starting school had a lot to do with it. Regardless of the cause, he proved he can defeat Disney World, and that's quite a feat. Way to go, Edwin. Wish we'd been there with you.

Oh, and rumor has it he totally hit it off with Cinderella. Such a flirt! He'll be breaking hearts the day he starts high school, which should be in about a year.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mad Cow Disease Infects USM Athletic Dept

Because it wasn't enough for the Ole Miss coach to get fired, and for Senator Trent Lott to announce he's "retiring," now USM has fired Coach Bower. Frankly, I don't care a whole lot about the first two, kinda happy about the first and conflicted about the second, but I'm downright pissed about Bower.

He's been at Southern Miss 17 freaking years. Winning season after winning season. Countless bowl games. No drama within the program. No investigations, no sanctions. And a downright good man. What the heck. I realize there are plenty of politics within college sports, but I just don't get this one.

I hope he gets picked up in a great deal for tons more money. And, I hope he gets to stay at least somewhat close to home. I remember when his daughter was killed in an accident many years ago. Rumor had it that he had seriously considered leaving a while back but chose to stay in part because he wanted to stay close to where she was burried.

Of all the hairbrained things my alma mater has done over the past few years... Geezum petes.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Goodness

Let the holiday season commence.

After lazily purchasing a bag of Chex Mix last week I remember why I don't ever buy Chex Mix. It's false advertising. The appropriate name would be Chex Flavored Pretzel Mix. After digging out all the Chex and feeding half the pretzels to the dogs, I still have half a bag of pretzels left. It should be a crime.

So I made an emergency trip to the store this afternoon to buy a couple of boxes of Chex cereal and my first batch of holiday goodness is in the oven as we speak. In years past I've been known to have every available baking dish in the house rotating in and out of the oven full of Chex goodness. Jennifer and I could eat it for a meal when we lived together. But for now I'm just whipping up about half a batch, just enough for snackers tonight and maybe a little left over tomorrow.

To put it mildly, there are no pretzels anywhere near my Chex goodness. Back when I shared with Jen, I would make it with Goldfish. Now that I'm just making it for me, I dropped the Goldfish and replaced it with more Chex. I don't even bother with nuts anymore. I replaced them with more Chex. This is what the holidays are all about.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

5 Things - Bad Plans

5 Things Considered a Bad Plan

1. Driving home the Sunday after Thanksgiving with half a million of your closest friends, in the pouring rain, with almost as many highway patrolmen daring you to merge without a blinker. Luckily we realized this ahead of time and returned home from my parents' house Saturday night instead of waiting until Sunday.

2. Spending 2 hours in a car, 3 days in a row, when you have chronic muscle pain. This is pretty much a no-win situation for me, but I just got out of a steamy hot bath and am over it.

3. Bringing a puppy to live with you for a week, then packing the puppy up in the car WITHOUT your own spoiled rotten pup and leaving overnight.

4. Doing #3, then having it rain on your spoiled rotten pup while you're gone.

5. Really, I'm in enough trouble from #3 and 4 without a #5.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday Shopping Frenzy

I don't know why I even try shopping on Black Friday. It just frustrates me and wears me out.

I've been trying to order two pair of boots online for OVER HALF AN HOUR, but the traffic on the website makes it run soooooo sloooooow that it takes forever to load each page. Sigh. I've made it as far as the checkout, but I can't seem to get checked out. I swear, if they end up telling me that my size is no longer available by the time it loads this next page, I'm going to be fighting mad! These boots are 75% off!

And besides, it's after noon, I'm still in my jammies, and need to take a shower and fix some lunch. Greg suggested going out for lunch and I told him he was crazy. All those shoppers who actually left the house today gotta eat, and I'm a little scared of them.

Still haven't gotten to the next page to check out my boots. Ridiculous. Looks like I'm not the only one who opted to do my Black Friday shopping from the couch. Even online shopping isn't safe on the day after Turkey Day anymore.

UPDATE: And now, exactly 1 hour after I started trying to buy 2 freaking pair of boots, while one page away from confirming my checkout, I get a "We're experiencing high traffic volume, please try again later" screen. Yeah, I'm not happy.

WAIT... WAIT... It's back, but my session expired and I have to start the checkout process all over again. I don't know how much more of this I can stand. All I wanted was new boots! SOB! Sniffle! I need a hot bath and some chocolate milk. Black Friday shopping has taken its toll, I'm just worn out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble Gobble

The parade is officially over and we're about to head out to the in-laws' for Turkey Day. As thankful as I am for so many wonderful things in my life today, I have one brand new one to add to the list.

I'm thankful that I'm not home to watch Drew Carey on The Price is Right every day. Seriously. What was he thinking? He sucks. They should have just shut it down when Bob retired.

Happy Turkey Day everybody. Go eat.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Just for Lauren

Tonight's Family Feud highlight:

Name an animal that swims.

The #2 answer - Platypus

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If Only We Worked for the City Instead of the State

The business manager for the program Greg runs has taken a new job and is officially gone as of this week. In light of the precedent set here, Greg has decided to appoint me as interim business manger for the next 36 hours so I can approve heafty raises for both of us. I have to step down before Monday when his boss gets back from vacation and finds out.

Oh wait, we work for the state, not the City of Jackson. Dang.

Over the River and Through the Woods

It's a holiday week and everybody seems to be traveling somewhere far away. I have to say I'm glad I'm not one of them.

My sister-in-law and nephew are in town visiting from Texas. It's been good to see them; they don't get to visit often. I've mentioned before that I've got great in-laws, and that definately extends to Misty and Randy. I like spending time with them. We've been able to hang out a couple of times since they got here over the weekend and will spend Turkey Day with them at the in-laws house. They'll make the LOOOOONG drive back on Friday.

Jen and Rob are taking an anniversary vacation to the mountains of Georgia this week, which is why we've temporarily taken in the cow. They'll continue a driving tour of the state to visit family in Atlanta and then probably head to check on her parents in Mobile, since her dad just got out of the hospital. I'm glad they've had a few days to relax before having to jump back into the insanity of the holidays. This is always a crazy time of year for both of them.

Lauren and Ed took the big plunge this week. They took the boys to the Mouse House. Yep. Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa with a 2 and 5 year old at Disney World, the week of Thanksgiving. I haven't heard any news, but I can't wait to hear all about it and see the pictures. I'm curious to see if Ian is traumatized by the characters. He's a pretty tough kid, so I figure he's probably adopted a couple of them to take home. And Edwin's been looking forward to this for months, pouring over maps of the parks. I know they're having a great time. Ok, so I kinda wish I could be there. A bit. Just to see my boys. And get a bucket of Disney Tater parts. But mostly to see the boys. Have I mentioned how much I miss the boys?

Speaking of my boys, last I heard my cousin Lynn and her husband were trekking from Arkansas to Georgia with my other two boys (Parker and Dalton) to visit Chris' mother for the holiday. I'm hoping to see them at some point before Christmas, but their families are scattered and it's hard to get our paths to cross. I'm glad we went to see them in August. So many little people, so little time to teach them bad habits! Sigh.

Greg and I will be literally heading over the river and through the woods this weekend, but just to my parents' house for one of our usual two day trip, enhanced by a mini-turkey day, non-turkey lunch on Saturday. In light of Misty & Randy's 12 hour drive back to San Antonio on Friday, I won't complain about the possibiliy of extra traffic on our 2 hour turkey trot to Philly.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Strategy for Keeping Your Pants

My father, who I adore and have been rumored to act JUST LIKE, has a bit of a thing about doctors. He doesn't like them. Ok, that isn't true. They're mostly fine people as long as they don't expect him to actually visit their offices. I only remember him seeing doctors twice in my first 30 years, both times for major surgery. Two years ago he started having serious shortness of breath, problems walking any distance at all, and a couple of incidents of chest pain. Dad waited about three months to see a doctorwhen my mom finally hog tied him and drug him to their local GP.

A couple of hours later I got a call from Mom, who was at Baptist Hospital, in the ER, a bit freaked out because they wanted to do a heart cath and possibly put in a stent. Dad was throwing a fit because it meant he'd have to stay overnight, which he did NOT want to do. She was afraid he would walk out.

Luckily for all of us, they'd already taken his pants. For two years now he's told anybody that's asked that that's how they get you. They take your pants, then you can't leave.

In the past year he'd gotten rather irritated with his cardiologist and quit going for checkups. Since I'm rather fond of my dad and just as soon not have him die any time soon, I got him an appointment with one of the heart docs here, on a day they were going to be here anyway for one of Mom's appointments (no excuses to not go!). That day was today. When they first got here I took them over to the Pavillion and stayed with them in the waiting area until they were called back (mostly to make sure he didn't bolt). While we were waiting another guy walked up to check in, with an extra pair of pants and shoes in his hands. I leaned over and told Dad, "See, he came prepared. He's got extra pants in case they take his."

It would not surprise me at all if Dad showed up at a future appointment with an extra pair of pants.

Moo - Updated

Disclaimer: I mean no offense to any leafy-styled bovine with this post. The term "cow" is simply used for size comparison. Basil love all animals, great and small, furry or leafy.

We have a cow living at our house. Not your usual cow, a canine cow. At least that is what Greg has named Wrigley, as at less than one year old, he is approximately the size of a calf, and is almost as graceful as one. There really isn't room for both is body and his tail in the living room, although the tail can be quite useful for dusting. Now if I can just teach him to gently remove the items on the coffee table rather than taking them all off in one swipe...

I will give him (and his people) a big gold star for bedtime routine. He sleeps in a crate and the minute I say, "Wrigley, night night." He gets in and settles down to go to sleep. (Unless of course I'm pestering him by taking pictures of his plight.) Last night he went right to sleep and didn't start moo-ing until he heard the alarm clock go off the first time this morning.

Last time we saw him before leaving for work he had Casper pinned down in the back yard. Greg was pretty sure it was instsigated by the little pup and the the tables were about to turn. It's kinda funny to watch them together. Casper barely comes up to his knees. I'll have to post some pictures if I ever have time.

UPDATE: Here's a picture of the puppy-cow. This was the only time he was still all night. He and Casper have since been exiled to the back yard for wrestling inside the house.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Roundup

Pre-wedding haircuts for all this morning. Whew. I feel about 10 pounds lighter.

My little 25lb pup, who has been a spoiled only-dog his entire life, has a 75lb less than 1 year old golden retriever visitor for the week. Wanna guess who's winning that war? Yeah. Size can be deceiving. Wrigley has no idea that he could squash Casper with his tail.

Our new Rabbids 2 game has a wi-fi component where you can see where your scores in each mini-game rank nationally. My dear husband is now nationally ranked NUMBER ONE for Ice on Ice, a game that requires a rabbid to deliver ice cream across an ice rink.

I still have to go to Walmart at some point tonight. Torture.

Friday, November 16, 2007

2MB of RAM

If you've never had any experience with anybody who has ADD, you probably won't find this overly funny and can skip it.

For the rest of us, I stumbled on this link and it cracked me up. It's 25 Things to Love About ADD. Number one is for Stacey. Numbers eleven and twelve are for Greg.

Note to those who don't really get it: most of the list requires taking with a grain of salt. It's part of number nine.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Remote Control Survey

Dear Remote Control,

It has come to my attention that of the 600 remote controls in our house, I am rarely able to find more than two at a time, and those two usually control electronic devices that we no longer own. In order to better understand your needs and to create a more comfortable environment, I am asking you to complete this brief survey. Your honest answers will help me serve you better in the hopes that we can work together without the need to hide.

1. Type of remote:

a. Television
b. DVD
c. Tivo
d. Game System
e. Stereo
f. Other ________

2. Location of device you control:

a. Living Room
b. Kitchen/Dining
c. Bedroom
d. Storage
e. No longer on premises
f. I've been hiding for so long, I no longer know it's location

3. Frequency of use:

a. Constantly
b. Frequently
c. Rarely
d. They don't even miss me

4. How many times have you hidden in the past six months?

a. zero
b. 1-2
c. 3-5
d. 5-30
e. Just this once, but only because they haven't found me.

5. On average, how long do you stay hidden per incident?

a. minutes
b. hours
c. days
d. heh heh. I'm covered in dust and they still haven't found me

6. Which of the following best describes your reason for hidding:

a. They don't use me, they don't love me.
b. Fear of the other remotes.
c. Overuse/on vacation
d. Batteries are low... must find a quiet place to die.
e. Watching people search in vain is just plain fun. Bwwahahaha!

7. Where is your favorite place to hide and what attracts you to that location?

8. What is the one thing that would lead you to turn away from a life on the run and remain in plain sight?

Finally, I would appreciate any information regarding the location of the remote for the TV in the bedroom. I only want to provide it with a copy of this survey so that I will have the most complete data possible. I know it was available this morning when Greg turned on the TV, and I suspect it hasn't gone far. I promise not to hurt it. I only want to honor it's opinions.

Thank you,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Name That Kitten

A friend of mine was adopted by this kitten while out walking one evening last week. She has just recently came out of denial and accepted the fact that she is now owned by the critter. However, after nearly a week, the poor kitty still doesn't have a name. I told her I would take suggestions on her behalf. According to the previously mentioned friend, it's a girlie cat. Anybody?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stalking - Updated

If you happened to peek into the employee lounge at the Clinton Walmart you'd probably see a poster with a security camera picture of my husband and me, with a warning to keep an eye out for these suspicious looking characters who have been seen casing the electronics department at least 4 times on Tuesday. If they had been communicating with other retail establishments, you might see a similar warning in Game Stop, Best Buy, and Circuit City.

Why, you ask?

Because since the end of April we have been counting down the days to November 13. The day of release for Raving Rabbids 2 for the Wii.

The day is here. My husband took off work today and was at Game Stop, then Walmart, then Best Buy, then Circuit City and Toys R Us shortly after noon. No rabbids. Inevitably, at each store, they hadn't gotten it yet but expected it on the truck later tonight. Meanwhile, they had Super Mario Galaxy if we wanted that...

Die, Mario, DIE! I don't want no stupid Mario Galaxy! I want my RABBIDS! I need to plunge a bunny!

We made a couple more trips back to Walmart after work, most recently about 9:30pm, to see if they'd stocked. No rabbids. We shopped a bit, then went back to further inspect the stock boxes in the aisle, but no rabbids. They'd restocked Wii's, but we don't need a Wii. We have one. WE WANTED THE RABBIDS!

Greg is off work again tomorrow and will try again. I am too blasted honest to call in sick, even with a severe case of bunnyitis. But I may skip lunch and leave early if he finds one.

Die, Mario, die.

UPDATE - I just got the call that the bunnies have been located. Luckily there was a manager standing nearby when Greg inquired at Game Stop, because they only had 2 copies and they hadn't been unpacked from the box yet. The manager, who deserves service kudos, found the box and dug out the game for him. Tonight, I defend my TV against bunny invasion!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Deck the Halls With Gnomes

Had a great time at Sharonda's "Deck the Halls" shower today. She got a ton of really cute Christmas stuff. The picture above is all the hostesses, with the bride (seated). You can barely see my mom peaking out from the back. The next set to the right are Jen and her mom, then Laura and her mom.

Since this was pretty much the last shower before the wedding, which is in THREE WEEKS, I decided now was the time to go ahead and give her that "special" gift that I'd had stashed since shortly after she got engaged. We had found another Ebay (the gnome) and bought it for her. She was at the shower where I got mine, and it had been such a fun thing for us that I really thought she needed one. Turns out Victor really likes gnomes and already had one living on the front porch, which Sharonda had been working to banish to the back yard. I don't think I helped her case any!


My dad has an old Studebaker car that he's rebuilt as a drag racer. Bill drives it on weekends when he's in Philly with the fam. They race at a track about 45 minutes away from my parents' house. The car's name is Frieda. Here's the before picture:

Friday night they were running test & tune (for those who don't speak redneck, that means it's a practice night) when Dad and Bill set the car on fire. According to my mom, who called me from the scene in a panic, the flames were several feet above the roof of the car and there were people with fire extinguishers jumping the fence and running from all directions. I asked her if they brought marshmallows. She said no.

Mom said the incident had something to do with them working on the carburetor, but I have a sneaky feeling the truth is that they brought Bill a birthday cake and lit the candles, which created the bonfire that set the car on fire, creating the car-b-que.

I had hoped somebody got pictures of the flames, but of course they were all to busy actually trying to put out the fire to take pictures. Drat. THAT would have been a great picture.

The good news is that in the 1950's they made cars out of steel, so with a little work it can be fixed. Any car made today would have melted.


One shower down, one to go. Ran non-stop until midnight last night, and have been going for a while this morning already. About to go gather the last pine cones out of my front yard for Sharonda. She's going to paint them and use them as decoration outside the reception venue, I think. Then I have to wake the rest of the dead, get to church, get home, pack the car, get to Vicksburg, get somebody else's house decorated, get Sharonda showered again, get Mom back to her car that we left in Vicksburg yesterday, then get home and take a nap!

I'll post some pictures and stuff later. Too tired to dig out my camera and edit them at this point. I think I'll make a batch of cinnamon rolls. That should be a good sugar boost to get me hoppin'!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Crawling Towards the Light

First off, Happy Birthday to Lauren! I hope you're at home being treated like a queen today. Or least not having to chase the boys all over creation.

It's been a long, painful week. I've left work with a headache 3 days in a row. That's not like me, I don't get headaches very often. Work doesn't really stress me out that often, but there have been a couple of monster projects this week that have wiped me out!

Luckily, it's Friday. Afternoon. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel like I'm crawling towards it on my hands and knees. I am so grateful that this is going to be a holiday weekend. I desperately need 3 days off. Except it won't REALLY be 3 days off since I have to be in Vicksburg for a wedding shower tomorrow morning and back for another one Sunday afternoon.

In between the two my mom is supposed to show up, since we're helping host the one on Sunday. Which means I need to go home and at least token clean the house a bit. I don't scrub it down for her visits, but I do like to clear a path. Luckily our guest room was the most recent victim of my crusade against excessive crap, so it's actually ready for a guest.

Hopefully having Monday off as well will give me time to regroup and cram all my usual weekend activities into that one day. But first, I have two and a half more hours to get through this one. Crawling. Slowly...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This Day In History

November 7, 1971

When our country woke up November 7, 1971 there was no way for it to fully understand the impact this day would have. Things were "normal" for 1971. Nixon was in the White House, a war was raging overseas, and the Grateful Dead were playing the Harding Theater in San Francisco. Gas was 40 cents a gallon, and an average new home cost $25,000. It was the year Walt Disney World opened. But on November 7th, the 311th day of 1971, something bigger happened.

Who could have imagined that on this day a child born at Mercy Hospital in Vicksburg would grow to become the voice of the redneck community; the poster child for "Hey ya'll, watch this!" In the years to come he would become a legend in his own mind.

He is creator of the pre-break, post-break, pre-lunch, post-lunch work schedule. He is arguably the first certified redneck (CRN) to ride on a private company jet while wearing loafers, and suffered the brutal calls of "Yuppie!" from those closest to him. He was also the first CRN to blow off a professional conference to ride a San Francisco trolley all day in search of answers to the age old question, "Do those little slats of wood really act as a brake for this thing?"

He is a role model to the youth of the community, teaching them the proper way to hide chocolate so that if one stash if found, half a dozen others would remain safe; teaching them the best way to construct potato guns and to contain experiments that will undoubtedly result in explosions.

He is an unstoppable political activist, well known for having staged numerous coups at the home of his grandparents, where he declared himself the favorite and hid all pictures of potential competition from view. He demands respect from those around him, as well as demanding not only the most Christmas gifts under the tree, but also the largest and most prettily wrapped.

He is a man of great sacrifice, driving across the state to rescue a damsel in distress with a flat tire on County Line Road in the middle of the night, and again to remove a dead frogs from the home of a panicked loved one. He has been a long standing volunteer with Habitat for Susan, completing numerous construction projects for the home repair incompetent.

He is a man of great talent, with the ability to move the entire contents of an apartment in one pickup truck, repeatedly, even without the aid of beer. He can remove tree limbs with a single jump from a ladder and cry of "YEEEEEE HAW!" without fracturing a collarbone or arm. He can race a studebaker faster than a tree-light can turn green.

Even during his teenage years he showed signs of greatness, undertaking top secret covert operations in the middle of the night, putting his own life in danger by climbing from his bedroom window via rope, and later facing the ultimate sacrifice by climbing back up the rope and through the window, only to find himself ambushed by the enemy, his own father. And yet, he survived to sneak out another day; to fight for the freedom of high school students everywhere.

Yes, I speak of that notorious monster truck owner, Bill.

Since I cannot officially wish my big brother a happy birthday today* I wanted to at least recognize the importance of this date. Today marks the anniversary of a true day of infamy, a day to be revered by Miller Brewing Company, and pillars of the dirt road communities everywhere.

*Due to improper procedure** in filing for birthday status, normal happy birthday recognition cannot be offered.

**Proper procedure for official birthday status includes the compiling of a birthday gift wish list and filing said list with the requesting parties at least 24 hours prior to midnight on the anniversary of the birth which is to be celebrated. If proper procedure is not followed, said birthday cannot be recognized and there will be no acknowledgement of any parties planned heretowith.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Voter Day Quiz

Without looking it up, who can name their elected county surveyor? For bonus points, who can tell me WITHOUT LOOKING IT UP, which political party their county surveyor represents?

I know I say this every Voter Day, but why do we have to elect these positions? And this time I'm adding the "Who cares what party they're in???" line. This applies to many, many local elected offices. Like coroner. Our county coroner is a Democrat. I know this because she's on the ballot today and since I'm on a soap box I paid attention. How would she perform her job any differently if she were a Republican? Or, for that matter, a Libertarian or a member of the Green Party? These are positions where, if the person is doing their job correctly, political party affiliation should be irrelevant and should not in any way influence their duties.

For the record, I have it on good faith that our county coroner is excellent, and even sent out letters of sympathy to a friend's family after the death of her grandparents.

Finally, in all seriousness, can somebody explain the purpose of the constable? What exactly does the constable do that the sherriff's office can't? I was asked that question yesterday and although I've known constables my whole life, I couldn't explain their purpose!

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Feud

The online Family Feud tournament is back.

The question: "Name an insect that bites."

My husband yells out, "Beaver!"

I love the Feud.

Going... Going... Gone.

Our minister announced yesterday that he is going to be leaving our church; his last sermon will be January 13.

This shouldn't be a big deal, I'm Methodist and our ministers get new assignments all the time, but this one is different. We got Ross on a 5 year loan from the Methodist Conference in South Africa, where he had been serving as General Secretary. We knew he'd be leaving, but we thought we'd have 2 more years. His mother's health has been declining this year and he announced that he and his wife felt they needed to move back to take care of her. Which makes it worse, because you can't get upset about him leaving when he's doing the right thing.

I was thinking last night about the impact he's had in the short time he's been here. I'd be lying if I said everyone in our congregation adored him. Change makes some people nervous, and Ross has been a constant activist for change. He likes to shake up the complacent. For an awful lot of us, he's challenged the way we think about religon, both on a organized church level and a very personal level. We have been exceptionally lucky to have him.

On a personal note, it was one of Ross' early sermons that lit a spark and led me to join the church through baptism a couple of months after his arrival. He did threaten to have me (and a few others) excommunicated after a certain incident that resulted in 30 plastic flamingos inhabiting his yard for 24 hours, but he forgave me enough to officiate my wedding a year later. He drove 2 hours to my family's tiny Baptist church in Nowhere, Mississippi, complete with white robes, to marry Greg and I. Believe it or not, our tiny Baptist church's congregation LOVED him.

A Methodist preacher from South Africa, preaching a wedding in a small Baptist church in Philadelphia, Mississippi and getting rave reviews. That's not something you see every day. But it's exactly why we're going to miss him so deeply. Christianity shouldn't be complacent, it should be energetic and shake things up with surprising results. I do hope that trend continues for our church after Ross leaves.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Memo to Casper


To: Casper

From: The one that feeds you

You were not killed, tortured, or abused. You were given a bath. You were getting stinky, and in order for you to continue to enjoy a life inside with your people, you had to be clean. I apologize for any insult you may have suffered, but please note that I to was subject to bathing myself, shortly after I chased you around trying to rinse off the soap while you whined like a baby; was soaked by you knocking me down and shaking all over me; and then chased you around the back yard trying to dry you off while you freaked out because you were wet. Now you smell much better, look pretty, and can sleep on the couch without smelling up the living room. And yes, I'm going to brush you later. Deal.

You do this once every few weeks, I do this pretty much every day. Think about that.

Friday, November 2, 2007


I got to work 20 minutes late this morning and will be leaving right after lunch to take care of some bridal errands with Sharonda. I think more Fridays should be structured this way.

Now I think I'll go get some breakfast.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Somebody important (i.e. not me) must blog from work, because 24 hours later the ban has been lifted.

I find this very strange, to be honest. At my last job they had online activity locked down so tight that I couldn't get to the IRS website at one point (I was trying to get the updated tax law changes for a client!). We couldn't get any outside web based email, no blogs, no nothing. When I came to work here it was weird to be able to get to pretty much anything. It's even weirder to have something blocked, then have the block removed! That would never have happened at the bank.