Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ever have one of those days?

It wasn't a bad day, just not a very good day.

* Tater and I pulled the kids out of gymnastics. Too much tension, too much neglect. Well, I say we pulled 'em out - they're going to class through April because we've already paid and they won't give us a refund. However, if the coach neglects them even more after this announcement we'll pull 'em out immediately no matter how much money we lose. It's ridiculous how people act sometimes.

* Paul dropped a bombshell on me yesterday that will require an entire post of its own to tell. I'm okay with it, but it just makes me think and you know how I hate to do that.

* Abby broke her toe today at gymnastics. (No, that is not the reason we pulled them out.) It was her - God bless her - clumsy little self that caused the toe to break. Her legs are about 4 miles long and she has about as much control over them as a newborn fawn. She reminds me of Bambi on ice. Anyway, she caught it on a chair and Tater and I made fun of her for being such a baby, told her to suck it up, that she was fine. She hobbled through Wal*Mart while we got groceries, but didn't complain. Probably because she was afraid her horrible mother would make fun of her again. *sigh* After we watched a movie this afternoon she complained again and took her sock off. Oh good heavens, her toe and the side of her foot is black! I waffled back and forth as to whether to take her in for an x-ray. After a call to the nurse advice line for their insurance, a page to the PA on call and a call to my dad the RN and Paul telling me I was being ridiculous, I decided to keep her home and not have the x-ray. I just hope that I don't regret that decision and she doesn't end up with a deformed toe for the rest of her life.

It's so hard to be alive sometimes. I guess being dead wouldn't be much fun, though, so I'll continue with the living.

But pardon me while I go cry awhile.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A little here and there

I haven't been the best blog poster here lately, other than the occasional movie review or dropping blurbs about the Writing Challenge. So this morning while I sit here and shovel Cheez-its into my face because that's just about all there is left to eat in this house, I will write a random bunch of drivel about what's been going on. I know y'all were enjoying the reprieve from the whining about school, but I promise I won't whine too awful much.


Last night I had turned on the dryer before I went back to take off my makeup. When I came back up front I could hear this kind of crinkly, crackly sound in the utility room. Of course, I instantly think "FIRE!" because trust me, when you've heard that sound coming from your attic AND your utility room on other occasions, you automatically think that upon hearing a quiet crackly sound. But turns out it was just the trash bag which was up against the dryer and was kind of vibrating against it. So, doing what any half-wit would do, I kicked the trash bag. Not like a full-on soccer kick, but kind of nudge-kicked it with the top of my foot. Well, the corner of a pizza box was in the direct path of my foot and poked me. It really wasn't traumatic and in the dark of the utility room I saw no blood and frankly, it just really didn't hurt that much.

This morning when my feet hit the ground outta bed, I nearly hit the floor. I think I've broken my foot! All around my cute little yellow rose tattoo is this awful looking veiny bruise thing and a scrape down the side of my foot. So much for wearing shoes today. It hurts like an big dog.

If I had been less lazy, I'd have reached over with my hand and moved the trash bag to where it wasn't in contact with the dryer, but noooooo, I had to be all cool and kick the durn thing. And you know where my priorities are because upon feeling the pain eminating from my foot, I had to inspect my tattoo and make sure it was okay. Hey, that sucker cost me $70! I'm not keen on the idea of having it reinked. It was the only tattoo I have that hurt when I got it.


I had to be a big girl this week and write a History paper about something I totally do not agree with. (No, it wasn't about ending sentences with a preposition. I'm obviously okay with that.) Just like our last paper in this class, we had to choose a chapter from our book, write a no more than two-page summary of the chapter. Then, depending on the chapter we chose, the instructor listed historical documents/speeches/etc. in our other book and we had to summarize and write about how it tied in with the particular chapter we chose.

For the first paper I chose the chapter about the establishing of the railroads and the tensions with the Native Americans. The document I chose for the second part was about Wounded Knee, where hundreds of Sioux indians were slaughtered. I thought I did a pretty good job on the paper, but only made a 78%. Live and learn, I at least knew what he wanted for the next paper.

This go'round I chose the chapter about the Roaring 20's. I enjoyed writing that part of the paper. It was a decade of many changes and it's always intrigued and interested me. But then, when I finished with the first part, I discovered that there was only one document listed for the second part of the paper. The document was the first chapter of Margaret Sanger's book "Woman and the New Race."

Now, if you are a liberated woman that is fine by me. I'm happy for you. More power to ya, sister, and all that. I am not. A liberated woman, that is. I have a personal belief that my husband is the head of our household and he's pretty much the boss. I say "pretty much" because there are times that he just flat refuses to get involved (i.e. when Abby is having an emotional fit and I ask him to step in. He's scared of her and the power of her hormones when she's like that, lol.) and I have to make the decisions. But when it comes to major decisions, etc., while we work together to make the decision, the final say is his. I don't feel I am inferior to him, but I respect him as a man. I take great pride in the fact that I am a mother and a wife. Yes, part of my identity stems from those two things. I have stayed at home for 12 years and don't regret a minute of it. My husband has been the sole breadwinner at many times during our marriage.

That being said, I read Margaret Sanger's words about women being slaves to motherhood and that having children is a burden and that women should break free from man's rule and I got mad. If you feel that way, fine. But don't sit there and try to tell me that I have made an unconscious decision to be inferior because of my sex and the history of my sex. I was borderline angry by the time I got ready to write. Tater told me that the sign of a truly good writer is when the author can write about things they wholeheartedly disagree with and never let the reader know their opinion. Lori told me to write two papers - one for class and then let my real feelings fly in another. I am totally going to take her advice on that one. And that paper will sit in my computer and probably never be seen by anyone else, but I'll feel better.

The paper has been written and submitted to my instructor. I didn't write much over "Woman and the New Race" and felt like I did a fairly good job in staying benign and neutral, but made sure that throughout the paper I said, "Sanger felt" and "Sanger's opinion was..." I'd better get higher than a 78% on this one for the trouble I went through.


I wrote last week that Paul had been on the job two days when he got a promotion to Assistant Supervisor. Monday, having been on the job still less than a week, he got a raise. I am utterly dumbfounded at this new job. And his attitude and self-esteem have raised, too. He is not only more confident in general, but his demeanor towards life, the kids and me is different.

The other day he told me he loved me when he was hanging up the phone. That never happens. Don't get me wrong, he tells me he loves me, but usually when he's on the phone he just wants to get off the phone and emotional goodbyes aren't part of his agenda. I've gotten accustomed to this and when I said good-bye to him he paused and said, "I sure love you." I asked him to repeat himself, thinking maybe we had a bad connection. He repeated it and I hung up with a huge grin on my face.

And he has a desk. A desk! He's never had a desk in his life. I offered to get him a picture frame with the kids' pictures in it, but he said that since he has to share the desk with the other supervisor, he'd wait and see if the other guy put out pictures first. So while it's not all his desk, still he has a desk!!!!


I am a mere week away from being able to call WildBlue and getting the appointment to set up satellite internet here at Diva Ranch. It's expensive, but I can't help but think it will be entirely worth it. I am so sick and tired of trying to do homework and research when my internet runs in at 26.4k. My neighbor's hasn't run in over 14k in a week. It's pathetic. So I'm dropping $300 on the equipment and the install is free. I am so excited!

I'm shopping for a laptop, too. I thought I had one picked out, but I don't think it has the software I want. It has Vista Premium, but I don't think it has much more than that. I don't want to have to install all of that separately, so I'm looking around some more.

A laptop.... broadband..... my gosh, it'll be like living in the 21st century.


LOST last night had Tater and I literally on the edges of our seats. I had my hand over my mouth in those last few minutes and Tater's mouth was just hanging open. I never saw it coming. Paul seems to think they'll dig their way out, but I think their lungs are already full of sand and well, sand is heavy when there's a whole grave's worth of it on top of you. I'm just glad they didn't show hoardes and hoardes of the male spiders coming at them....I was worried enough about nightmares as it was. Seeing many more would've done me in.


I have a new friend! You know, my track record with keeping the old ones lately hasn't been so good (My theory is that my friends from high school and I reached a cap on Years Friended and well, our time was up. It's a comfort to me, even if it's ridiculous.) so I have to go out and find new ones. Actually, she found me. And I am so thankful.

Lori and I have struck up a long-distance email friendship that truthfully has been such a blessing to me already I can't begin to convey how much I'm enjoying it. We both have an avid interest in All My Children that, while comically sad, is great for me because I've never had a friend who watched the same soap as me. We share the same basic values on childrearing, out-of-season clothes and husbands. We have emailed back and forth so much that I am actually nearing 3% of my max space in my Gmail account. I was at 1% last week. I could just go on and on about her but that comes close to that freaky internet stalker line that I don't want to cross and make her, too, fly the coop and join the ranks of all my other non-friends.

So anyway, go check out her blog and tell her I sent you, k?


Tomorrow I'm going to do a little filling-in in Tater's office while they break ground on the new courthouse. I'm kind of excited. I haven't answered a phone professionally since I was pregnant with Kady and working temp in the college library. Here at home, you're lucky if I answer at all. So to sit behind a desk with a counter and greet people and answer a phone in an office that I'm honestly not entirely sure what they even do, should be fun. I just hope I can wear shoes by tomorrow. I don't think they'd look too kindly on their go-to girl coming in barefoot.


The Weather Channel says there are supposed to be some wicked storms hitting here this afternoon and evening. All I have to say about that is: IT'S ABOUT TIME. It's nearly April and we haven't had one tornado warning in our county which would make us feel it necessary to run for the 'fraidy hole. Dadgummit, the Taters have a 'fraidy hole and we don't even get the opportunity to run into it!


The Writing Challenge Super Tiger Dragon Edition is open at Write in the Thick of It. We had six entries last time and we need more this time! Come know you wanna...all the nerdy cool kids are doin' it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We have a winner!

Go here to congratulate Cap'n Neurotic on his victory in Writing Challenge Numero Uno!

Cap'n's already completed his winner's task and a new list of The Words will be up either tonight or early tomorrow on the other site.

Limber up those typing fingers, fire up the word processor and get ready!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I don't think it's just me, but I could be wrong

My last post was reviewing the two movies I'd taken my kids to see in less than a 24-hour period. I seem to be watching a lot of movies lately. How unlike me. Anyway, this post is not going to go into detail reviewing the movie I just finished watching, but I do feel it necessary to say a few things about it.

Last Sunday Paul, the kids and I hit Video Giant to partake of some movie rentals because we seem to be the last family in the universe who doesn't NetFlix.

*I got Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas because I read the book and sobbed like a baby. I still haven't watched it. They're due back tomorrow. Not looking good at this point as far as me watching it.

*The kids got Zoom: Academy for Super Heroes, Open Season and Matilda (For the 97th time. We really should just buy it.) They laughed like loons through Zoom, as always were mesmerized during Matilda and frankly, Open Season didn't get the hysterical responses I was expecting.

*Paul and I together decided on Saw III because we're just a couple'a crazy kids. There's just never going to be a Saw like the original, sigh.

*He picked out See No Evil starring Kane. Hey, he's a redneck, he likes professional wrestling, it was a natural decision.

*He also picked out Borat.

I'm going to put that.....that....thing in the same category as I put that abomination, RV:

That is 2 hours of my life that I am never going to get back.

I spent most of the movie looking like I'd been sucking lemons because of the utter disgust I was experiencing. At one point I actually stood up and told Paul that there was no way I could finish it. He told me to relax and quit being a wuss. I stayed and continued to look like I'd been sucking lemons. My forehead aches now. Literally the only time I laughed out loud in the movie was when they were driving the ice cream truck and had turned on the annoying Pied Piper ice cream truck music and kids were flocking to them in drones and then the bear stuck its head out of the window and roared. Now that was funny. But one isolated moment of childish BWAH! humor does not make up for the absolute stupidity that is Borat.

In my defense, when the movie was over, my husband, lover of stupid humor attempts like Jackass, announced, "Okay, okay, enough of that bullshit. I've had enough. Turn that thing off before I puke."

And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

The Last Teenage Mutant Mimzy

Spring Break is almost over and I managed to regain a firm place in the running for Mother of the Year when I took my kids to two - count 'em TWO - movies in the theatre in less than 24 hours. Yes, I am awesome.

We met up with the Taters last night at the theatre and settled in to watch TMNT. The boys just HAD to experience it together, they said. I'm sorry I experienced it at all. I was way not impressed.

I was a Junior in high school when the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out in 1990. My best friend DeLisa and I hotfooted it to the ol' Thunderbird Twin in Miami where you could not only see a good movie you could get tetanus and possibly lead poisoning along with a healthy dose of mold that was growing in the ventilation system. Ah memories. Anyway, for two teenage girls we totally went berzerkers for the original TMNT. I still have my original copy on VHS and my son watches it quite often. We were pretty excited as a family to go see the new version.

I was so disappointed. During the opening scene, there was so much violence that I honestly thought "If this is how the entire movie is going to be, I will walk out." Well, while it was still pretty violent, the rest of the movie wasn't as bad as that opening scene. It wasnt' just me, either. Bub and I talked today and he said the same thing. The story line was a little too involved for kids, what with conflict among the brothers that ran deeper than "Dude, you totally ate the last piece of pizza!" It was not a kid movie, in my opinion.

Of course, by 9am this morning I had heard my son quote the most (un)memorable lines from the movie about 1400 times.

Today after gymnastics I took my three kids to see The Last Mimzy. *sigh* I love a good magical, kid-friendly, science-fiction fairy tale. Kady got really bored half-way through, but Abby and Sam were mesmerized from start to finish. So was I. Okay, so the acting, in parts, wasn't the best I've ever seen, but the story itself and the effects were magnificent. I cried at the end and shhhh, don't tell, but my girls are getting Mimzy dolls for Easter. I may even get one for myself. If your kids are below 7 or so, I don't recommend it, unless they are precocious little geeks in training (and I mean absolutely no offense when I say that). It's just a little too hard to grasp for anyone too young. Kady spent more time flipping her seat up and down, picking her nose and saying, "Momma, are you cowd? 'Cuz if you awe, I cood wawm you up!" and then would climb onto my lap and off my lap and onto my lap repeatedly. She did warm me up, although, my heart was already warmed by that incredibly cute little girl with the adorable stuffed bunny on the screen.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Wednesday started Paul's new job at The Casino That Shall Not Be Named. He didn't have much to say about it when he came home that evening, other than he was bored most of the day. Since it's not open yet, there's not a whole lot for Security to do. When he got home from work last night I was in Abby's room hanging up the endless amounts of summer clothes that she has (yet still complained that she didn't have NEAR enough). He came back and stood in the doorway for awhile and when I didn't do more than just say my usual, "Hey, dear. How was your day?" he finally cleared his throat at me. I looked up to find my husband quite near beaming status. Have you ever seen a redneck beam? Well, somewhere other than at a tractor pull? Yeah, it's a rare thing.

His second day on the job he got promoted to Assistant Supervisor. He worked for 7 months at The Other Casino, never got a promotion or a raise and two days on the job at the new place he's already been promoted? Methinks it was a good decision all around.

My training was postponed until April 2nd. I'm not foreseeing any promotions for me. Frankly, I don't want one. I just want to work my part-time hours for now and get a paycheck. Not that I don't want to be good at my job, I just don't have the desire to supervise, manage or babysit. I just want to dig your receipt out of your machine when it jams, maybe get you a soda if you need one. And I'm really looking forward to being around all those slot machines and not worrying about losing one red cent in them. It's like gambling by proxy. No need for a meeting that way.

Redneck Diva wants you

To vote! (I tried to superimpose my face in that picture, but I'm obviously going to have to take PhotoShop lessons from Hillbilly Mom who put my face on a Fitty t-shirt last year.)

Voting is now open in Writing Challenge Numero Uno at Write in the Thick of It. Go check out the six submissions this go 'round and then vote for who you think is the best! Voting is open until Monday night.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Three stinkin' words

The rule of this meme is simple, answer each thing on the list with no more and no less than three words:

01. Where is your cell phone? On the couch
02. Boyfriend/girlfriend? not enough energy
03. Hair? Needs a miracle
04. Your mother? my best friend
05. Your father? wish was different (leaving out words makes me sound like a cavegirl)
06. Your favorite item(s)? love my computer
07. Your dream last night? insomnia, no dreams
08. Your favorite drink? mmmm sweet tea
09. Your dream guy/girl? leaves me alone
10. The room you are in? my cluttered office
11. Your fear? spiders, water, clowns
12. What do you want to be in 10 years? rich bestselling author
13. Who did you hang out with last night? my wonderful family
14. What are you not? i'm not skinny
15. Are you in love? sometimes I am
16. One of your wish list items? big perky boobs
17. What time is it? All My Children
18. The last thing you did? loaded the dishwasher
19. What are you wearing? pajama pants, t-shirt
20. Your favorite book? Catcher in Rye
21. The last thing you ate? leftover chicken casserole
22. Your life? very, very busy
23. Your mood? still kinda sleepy
24. Your friends? i hate people (don't have many) (antisocial, that's me) (not so close) (left me hanging) (take your pick)
25. What are you thinking about right now? survey almost over?
26. Your car? green Astro van
27. What are you doing at this moment? taking this survey
28. Your summer? gonna be awesome
29. Your relationship status? married with children
30. What is on your TV screen? All My Children
31. When is the last time you laughed? during stupid LOST
32. Last time you cried? it's been awhile
33. School? semester half over

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ah, family.

Friday night, being Cousin Stacey's first day in town, we left the kids with Mom and we all went out, them, the Taters and us. I drove the van to High Winds casino, but when we decided to leave there and head to Seneca I gave the keys to Paul. I don't have the best night vision and Highway 10 scares the piddle out of me at night. We were heading down the highway, him driving, me in the passenger's seat, the Cousins in the middle and the Taters in the back. We were chatting and laughing until we got the place in the highway where it jigs sharply one direction then immediately jogs back the other I said "Ooh! I just HATE this part of the highway!" And that exclamation alone wouldn't have been so entertaining had I not been fluttering my hands in front of my face like I was defending myself from a herd of wild moths batting their wings at me. I punctuated the hand-fluttering with more squeals and oohs! as well. Bub, a man of very few words, a man also not known for his quick wit and sarcasm abilities, said, "Man, I am so glad you're not driving. Otherwise we'd all be sitting back here saying 'Jesus, take the wheel!'" I thought Cousin Stacey and Tater were going to need medical attention. He so rarely comes up with zingers like that, it was the fact that he said it at all, not that it was all that hilarious.

Saturday night Mom and Uncle David came out, as well as the Taters, for dinner and Family Game Night. We had planned on playing games, but what we ended up doing was just sitting around in the living room, talking. That is literally all we did. We told stories on each other, Mom and Uncle David told us about the time when they were kids and a tornado hit the farm, we told about the kids when they were little, we talked about Papa - we just visited. Mom has said many times that people have literally lost the ability to visit. Not us. Boy, we are the visitin'est family around.

We started talking about driving and of course, the story from the night before came up. We all laughed loudly when Tater imitated my fluttering hands and Bub saying, "Jesus! Take the wheel!" and Uncle David, being the most innocent and precious man to ever live besides Jesus Himself, said, "Hey! That should be a song! We should all let Jesus take the wheel!" It took us all awhile to be able to tell him that indeed, it already was a song.

Monday, after the funeral, we went to town to eat lunch with Mom, Uncle David, Cousins Keith and Alyssa (who are going to be parents soon!) and the Taters. We lingered long after the food was gone, laughing and telling stories and again, just visiting. Somehow during the conversation I said the phrase, "I can't believe you said 'sonofabitch!'" and Tater said, "And I can't believe you said 'sonofabitch!' in front of Abby!" Cousin Keith, being somewhat deadpan at times, calmly said, "It's okay, Tater. Sometimes tells me that isn't the worst thing those Diva kids have ever heard." Abby, who was coloring on the tablecloth at the time, looked up over her glasses and shook her head seriously. "Nope. I've heard much worse. Tuh-rust me."

When we stood up to leave, two tables full of EMS workers and police officers thanked us for the entertainment. I'm going to truly believe we entertained them and not believe what Paul said - that they were taking down our license plate number as we left so that they could call DHS.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Today was my first of two dentist appointments this week. I've mentioned that my first appointment in eight years didn't go so well because of my general fear and loathing of dental offices, so I was nervous this morning from the moment I got up. And today was just my cleaning.

I have had three vaginal births - the first one with an epidural that only took on one side, the second with an epidural that took so long for the anesthesiologist to put in that by the time they laid me back down Sam's head was crowning, and the third with not so much as a Tylenol (my choice) because it was quite obvious that epidurals and I are not friends. Not once during any of those births did I scream, holler, bite, curse or anything like that. At one point during Kady's unmedicated birth I do remember hissing "OH JUST MAKE IT STOP BURNING!" but that's it. Not bragging, just stating a fact. I have had a kidney stone as well and while that one did make me writhe and cry and vomit quite a bit, I still didn't cause a big ruckus. What I'm getting at is this: I have a fairly high tolerance for pain.

But the dentist - she makes me cry. Most of the time before laying a hand on me.

Don't get me wrong, she's absolutely precious and sweet and looks like she's about twelve. She giggles with the patients and just seems like the kind of gal you could invite to your Tupperware party. She's soft-spoken and explains what she's doing as she goes along and I like really do like her. But I personally would not want to be in a profession where I am feared. The fact alone that she is a dentist makes me have nightmares about her. Usually the nightmares involve her arriving at my Tupperware party with a bloody scaler in one hand and that sucker thingy in the other, laughing manically and chasing me around the room.

I walked into the office this morning and greeted my hilarious hygienist and we exchanged the usual chit chat and I seemed all calm, cool and collected, but my insides were the consistency of oatmeal. She put the little paper bib on me, being careful to not catch my hair, she blah-blahed about the weather and I blah-blahed back. Then she left to go assist the dentist in pulling a tooth in the chair right next to me! The guy was trying to be brave, but you could tell he wanted to cry like a little girl. So did I. I was really regretting not bringing my MP3 player. I tried counting the holes in the ceiling tiles. I looked at all the St. Patrick's Day decorations and said the alphabet backwards 5 times, all the while listening to her calmly talk to him while she yanked out one of his teeth. Right then I vowed to carrying a toothbrush with me everywhere I go and brush 5 times a day for the rest of my life.

When the dentist finished the extraction next door, she and the hygienist came over to my little cubicle and tilted me back till I was all but standing on my head. I heard the hygienist rattling around above my head and I just about had a runaway because in my mind she was preparing to fill my cavities today and holy shit, I wasn't ready. I hadn't written my will, I hadn't told my husband I loved him that morning, I hadn't climbed Everest! No kidding, my heart was beating so fast I felt a panic attack coming on. Then the dentist, in her calming voice, patted my shoulder and said, "Okay, hon, today we're doing your cleaning" and even though I had been nervous all morning about it, those words were a verbal Xanax for me and I calmed right down, opened wide and let her cram both hands into my mouth.

I admit that I have been lacking in my dental responsibilities in the last eight years, but I had no idea that stuck to my teeth was the dental equivalent of sheetrock mud. She proceded to scrape and pillage my poor teeth and all I could do was blink rapidly in order to avoid being blinded by the hardened bits of concrete flying out of my mouth. I was so embarrassed and again reaffirmed my vow to brush five times a day for the rest of my life.

When she finished chipping away at eight years worth of hardened goop, she left me in the very capable hands of the hygienist who was going to polish and floss my teeth. She started the polishing with that little rubber cup full of wild cherry flavored sand-laden putty and then it started making a strange noise. She hastily jerked it out of my maw and said, "Well, I wonder what's wrong with this thing?" I said, "I'm no professional, but it sounds to me like the transmission's done gone outta that thing." She laughed and whacked it against her palm. It revved up again and she continued polishing away. She did tell me that my teeth were very pretty and white and asked if I knew what had caused the stains on the front teeth. I said, " addiction - sweet tea." She nodded and said, "So pretty much you're telling me that when you leave here you're going to go home, pour a glass and begin staining them up again, huh?" I had a whirling metal instrument in my mouth at that moment, but did grunt the affirmative. She laughed again and said, "No problem. That's what I'm here for."

When she started flossing my teeth said asked, "So do you ever have any trouble flossing your teeth?" Well, she had both hands in my mouth and a piece of floss between two molars so I just grunted. She said, "Wow, that's really tight! Did you say you have trouble flossing?" I said nothing. If I could've done that looking up and whistling bit like they do in the cartoons when they're trying to look innocent, I'd have done it. She stopped flossing and said, "Ah. So what you're saying by ignoring me is that you don't floss?" I gave her the thumbs up and she said, "And again, that's what I'm here for. To pick up the slack." Then she added, "But you really should floss, hon."

I'm not sure when I'll find time in my busy five-times-a-day brushing schedule to floss, but I'll have to try and work it in somewhere.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Busy, busy, dreadfully busy

Many thanks to all of you who commiserated with my lack of ability to get a header graphic on my blogs. Collin and Todd provided the magic information and I managed to get a graphic up on Tater's blog (which she never updates). Whoo hoo!


The deadline looms for the very first writing challenge over at Write in the Thick of It. Get to writing, ya slackers! I've gotten two whole submissions so far. (No, mine is not one. Did you see the title - I'm dreadfully busy!) If only two people submit stories then we'll only have a first and second place and then I'll get my feelings hurt that no one wanted to play with me.....


My great aunt passed away this last week which is very sad, of course. But the good thing about it all is that Cousin Stacy got to come out here for a few days. We've caught up a little, laughed a bunch and of course, gambled some. In a situation like this you never get to have the fun you want to have during a visit, but we've all still enjoyed seeing her.


Paul still has pneumonia. Or something. Hell, it could be Typhoid at this point. That $95 antibiotic sure doesn't seem to be doing $95 worth of good yet.


I *heart* flea markets. The kids and I had a wonderful day today just visiting flea markets in the area. I enjoyed seeing that other people have junk they want to get rid of, too, and that it's not just me. Kady was overjoyed to get a 50 cent book with a torn covers and "Kaitlyn Arnold" written in crayon on the cover. Abby got a Babysitter's Club book and a gymnastics tshirt. Sam was pissed that he couldn't get the Star Wars thingamajig that looks like a huge robotic camel. He owns not one single Star Wars action figure, yet felt like his life would not be complete without it. I didn't get anything, but enjoyed the day out of the plague house without Mr. Coughypants.


My training at the new job doesn't start this week, after all. It's been postponed until April. I guess I'm glad. Spring Break is a rotten time to spend in training, but I kind of was excited to get started. So instead of spending a few days doing that, I get to:

1. attend a funeral
2. catch up on my homework
3. write a story for the writing challenge
4. write a few articles for the campus newspaper
5. create a media plan for a stupid product I created and now regret immensely
6. rearrange my office
7. reformat my hard drive
8. mayyyyybe take a nap or two
9. get my teeth cleaned
10. get 5 cavities filled
11. take the kids to see TMNT (YES!)
12. AND get my taxes done.

I remember in high school I just slept until noon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why and oh why can't I?

It seems everyone these days has a personalized header for their blogs with cute graphics or a photograph taken personally by them or something like that. So I sat down with PhotoShop the other night and created several uber cute headers for Tater's blog (which she never posts to) and the writing challenge blog, just kind of playing around. Oh, they turned out so cute!

Now if I could just get them onto my blogs!

I have Googled, I have Asked, if I thought eHarmony would help I'd try there. I still can't figure it out. The common thing I'm seeing on the help sites is that I'm supposed to replace $blogtitle$ or $blog description$ with something, but what that something is, I'm not sure. Is it the image tag or the HTML stuff that Photobucket provides? And while we're on the subject, I can't even FIND $blogtitle$ anywhere in the code!

Todd, I know you have replaced your header. And the content even rotates! Color me WAY impressed over that one. Annaland has a kickin', gangsta-lookin' header. Dare I dream of one day achieving Dooce's graphic greatness? Dad Gone Mad? More like Dad Got Great Graphics. My long-distance friend and quite possibly long-lost sister, Carrie has an adorable little girl with a balloon catching our eye at her site.

Me? I just want to show the world what I did with a tater.

And again, she was right.

Sometimes it is just so hard to not assume a position much like an NFL running back in the end zone, bending one's legs exaggeratedly, waggling one's butt and quite possibly raising one's arms up in the air in obvious victory and shouting, "I SO TOLD YOU SO!"

Like today when the doctor told my husband he has pneumonia.

Yes. Pneumonia.

He's had this stuff since we got back from Disney World and kept refusing to see the doctor even though he FINALLY had insurance for the first time in like, 6 years. Oh no....we mustn't squander that $20 co-pay on things like medical care. We must spend it on numerous bottles of Mucinex, Mucous Relief, Mucous Blast!, Mucous Free, Mucous-B-Gone or whatever else some helpful customer at the casino had told him to get when they heard him hacking his lungs up right there on the playing floor. We're going to have to get a bigger medicine cabinet now, but there should be no mucous in sight.

Ah....but now he is blissfully sleeping the night away thanks to the narcotically enhanced cough syrup coursing through his veins.

I *heart* the controlled substance sitting in the little brown bottle on the kitchen counter right now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Family of Five Blinded by Kitchen Appliance

A family in NE Oklahoma was blinded yesterday by the light bulbs in their refrigerator. Apparently, it's been awhile since anyone bought groceries. When asked about the incident, Redneck Diva, the wife and mother in the family said, "You just don't realize the intensity of those bulbs until there's no food in there to soften it a little. If there's anything we can teach you, it's this - BUY GROCERIES." The family tried to use their exisiting pet, a Chow/Lab mix dog named Jake, as a seeing eye dog, but it seems that they couldn't get the neighbor's lawnmower seat out of his mouth in order to put on the harness.


7 & 8-year-old Sooners End Season

The Miami Youth Basketball league is coming to a close. Last night ended the season for the 7 & 8-year-old Sooners with a heated match against the Spurs. While their final game was a loss, the score stayed close, with the Sooners matching the Spurs basket-for-basket until the final minutes of the game. One mother was heard shouting, "JUST TRIP HIM! HE WANTS TO PLAY DIRTY, THEN PLAY DIRTY! USE THAT ELBOW, SON!" The Spurs, as a team, are not known for polite playing ettiquette. Their coach is a jerkface, too.


Spring Break Approaches

Who is that coming down the bunny trail? Is it Peter Cottontail? No! It appears to be The Spring Break Fairy! Known for her benevolent warm weather wish-granting, she is scheduled to stop in NE Oklahoma next week. With temperatures in the upper 70's, it would seem she is already here. When asked about the arrival of warmth before the traditional week of break, the only comment she would give is, "Silly people, the warm weather is because of El Nino. Y'all are nitwits to think that I would have anything to do with that. My only job is to assure lots of naps." She also reminded us of the two years not too long ago that there was 2+ feet of snowfall during Spring Break. Regardless of the weather, she assures us that the naps will arrive as scheduled.


LOST still leaving us lost

A too-long several month break in the popular TV drama LOST just wasn't enough torture for fans. Now it seems that the show's producers are going for a sure kill by keeping the plot as utterly confusing as possible. For two-and-a-half seasons watchers across the world have sat on their sofas on Wednesday night, looking helplessly to those around them, asking WTH? The last half of this season is no different. It makes one wonder just WTH we're all still watching.

And who are those two new dudes and that appeared on the beach anyway? During last week's episode, fans everywhere applauded when Sawyer finally asked "Who the he** are you, anyway?" to one of the new characters who seemingly wandered onto the set and were given jobs well after the plane crash that set the plot for the show. Apparently their job was to make viewers wonder who the h**l they are. Give them a paycheck, ABC - they're doing their job well.


Writing Challenge Numero Uno is Underway

While the reading audience of the kinda popular blog "Redneck Diva" has dwindled down to apparently nothing, the sister blog, Write in the Thick of It, has launched its first writing challenge. Blog-readers from across the 'net are invited to take part in the challenge. "Prizes? Who told you there would be prizes? I can't pay my electric bill, much less buy prizes for aspiring writers. I want that rumor NIPPED!" was the response from Redneck Diva when asked for comment about awards and prizes for winning a challenge. "Winners should just take pride in being a winner. Gaw, y'all are so spoiled!" she said.

Monday, March 12, 2007

In the beginning....

...there was The Words and The Words were good.

Now, use The Words to write a story, by cracky!

Go on.
It's okay.

Write in the Thick of It

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Words! The Words!

As promised, I am ready to post The Words. Thankfully, I've had a chance to take a bit of a break because a few hours ago all of The Words would've dealt with Nathaniel Hawthorne and Psychology terms about the four sexual cycles according to Masters and Johnson. (No, Nathaniel Hawthorne had nothing to do with Masters and Johnsons' sexual theories.) So lucky you, I cleared my head.

Start writing those stories, boys and girls! Save them as an email draft, save them as a RTF file, whatever, but don't send them to me yet. I am SO not ready. I'm just letting you get started. Keep checking back for the address to the Official Writing Challenge blog, as well as the email address where you're supposed to send your stories.

Without further ado, The Words:

poop (for Carrie)

There is no length specification, no genre specification and no other rules other than keep it clean and use all of The Words.

Have fun and stay tuned!

Yep. I am.

Employed, that is.



Lots of changes have occured this week at Diva Central. Paul and I both got new jobs. In the same place. How cool is that? Of course, we'll be working opposite shifts because well, while Abby assures us that she can "control" her two younger siblings, we're just not all that comfortable with leaving our 10 year old in charge and frankly, DHS isn't either. We're okay with the oppositeness of the shift thing. I'm only working part-time and on the days we both work, our paths will cross in the drive-way. This may help us to avoid a lot of fights. Unless we resort to leaving nasty notes to each other in the break room...

The hope is that he'll get to work the day shift (we hear he will) and then I'll take the swing shift, working abbreviated shifts from 6 to midnight a few nights a week. He's full time and I'm part time. He's working Security and I'm a glorified computer geek with a walkie and an earbud. I say "to-ma-toe" and he says "'mater". I say "po-ta-toe" and he says "tater".

Wish I could tell you where we're working, but that Nondisclosure Agreement we signed kind of has us by the cajones, ya know. I will tell you that it is in a Native American gaming establishment, though. It's up to you to figure out which one. Gamble often, gamble much in search of us, my friends. Those of you who are local should be able to find us fairly easily. And if you're not local, well, then I guess it kind of really doesn't matter which one because you're not like, all here and stuff, huh?


I am smack dab in the middle of furiously writing two papers for Comp II and have one for History and one for Psych to write as well, but to those of you who are interested in the writing challenge, I am going to tackle setting that up over Spring Break. In fact, before today is over, I will post the list of words for the first challenge here on this blog. You can write your stories this week while I try to pull my life together into some semblance of sanity and we'll start posting stories late in the week, week after next.

Got it?
Get ready!
Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Me: "...when the kids and I were discussing the Rapture the other night..."

Tater: "Woah. Wait a minute. You were discussing the Rapture with your children? My nieces and nephew? The Rapture??? My gosh, Kristin, what were you thinking?"

Me: "What? It's gonna happen and they might as well know about it. I mean, they're gonna be a part of it, I hope. What would it hurt for them to know what's going to go on during the Tribulation and stuff? What's wrong with discussing it with them?"

Tater: "Are you TRYING to screw them up?! me here."

Mom: "Well, it's good to see that the Baptist in you hasn't worn off yet, Kristin. You still believe that we must scare everyone into Heaven."


"Sam, you played a good game tonight, son. I'm really proud of you."

"Thanks, Mom."

"Seriously. Have I told you lately just how awesome I think you are?"

"Yeah....I sacrificed my body for the ball. I am awesome."


Me: "Abby, QUIT THAT! For the love of Pete, stop it!"

Tater: "Harp, harp, harp.....quit harpin' at her."

Me: "Well, if she'd just pay attention...."

Tater: "She's gonna have issues because of you."

Me: "She already does. The other night she said she hated me."

Abby: "What do you mean the other night - I still do."

Me: "Okay, girls....when you use the paint pens, test them first on this scrap piece of paper..."

TotOne: (gasping , eyes wide) "Aunt Kiki! She just said something really mean to you! Aren't you going to do something?"

Me: "I am choosing to ignore her."

TotOne: "Man....when I said that to my mom once I got talked to for a lonnnng time."


I have a job interview tomorrow at 9am.

I haven't interviewed for a job in about 14 years.

I am terrified shitless.

If I walk into the job interview apologizing for the fact that I had to wear jeans because I do not own a pair of slacks because hell, I've been a stay-at-home mom for 12 years and sweats are so awesome why would I need slacks anyway - is that bad?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Get to know me! The answers....

So if you were planning on taking my test, don't read any further. Just calmly back away from the screen and no one will get hurt. You can still go take the test, just don't cheat here first. If anyone from this point on scores higher than Cousin Stacey, I know will know you cheated and Jesus doesn't like it when you cheat.

Without further ado.....the answers to the questions on the test that pretty much everyone sucked at. (Gasp, I ended a sentence with a preposition. Darn you, Hillbilly Mom and your influence over me!) Am I that closed of a book? Or do y'all just not pay attention?

Question #1
My middle name is __________.
a. Lynn

b. Dawn (My dad gave me my middle name and unlike Tater, it was not after a former girlfriend of his.)

c. Marie

d. Elizabeth
Question #2
I've been married to a redneck for how long?
a. 12 years

b. 13 1/2 years

c. 11 years

d. 14 years (We celebrated our 14th anniversary on New Year's Day this year. Okay, not so much celebrated as just kind of acknowledged it and went about our business.)
Question #3
Which club/organization was I NOT a member of in high school?
a. Band (Hello, I was Drum Majorette, queen of the glockenspiel and the shortest bass drum player ever. I was in Band from 5th grade on up. I originally played the flute, but really was just horribly bad and switched to percussion.)

b. Competitive Speech (I lived for Comp. Speech. It became more important to me than Band and that's saying a lot. My first semester of college, I was actually a Theatre major.)

c. Chorus (NO! I tried, but when the teacher asked me to sing a scale so he could figure out if I was Alto or Soprano, I got the giggles, ran out of the band room and hid in the bathroom. Really. No, I'm not kidding. Sadly, I could actually sing back then. And for the record, I'm actually closer to a Bass than an Alto. Got that from m'dad who also gave me hairy arms and gray hair. Thanks, Dad. I'm the son you always wanted - with boobs.)

d. Student Council (I ran for President, was humiliated in front of the entire student body by someone I thought was my friend and later the advisor made the class vote me in as a class representative as, I guess, a consolation prize.)
Question #4
I have gotten how many speeding tickets?
a. 1

b. 2

c. 3

d. 0 (I have gotten 3 warnings, but never a ticket. One warning should've been a ticket because I was seriously hauling ass, but the trooper that pulled me over had been my sponsor at Cadet Lawman Academy the previous summer and let me go with a warning.)
Question #5
I wanted to be a ____________when I grew up.
a. mommy
(Always. From the time I was little bitty.)

b. teacher (My mom wanted me to be a teacher and still does, but I really just don't have the desire. The only thing I would remotely consider teaching would be college, but that requires a Masters and to be honest, I think an Associates is going to kill me so I'm not chancing it by attempting a Masters. I know, "Way to aim high, Diva." I know.

c. doctor (Iew! And touch oogey body parts? I think not. Actually I have a love for medical knowledge, but the practical application makes me woozy.)

d. president (No, but Jay Parmley said he was going to make me his First Lady when he got into office. Jay, I got tired of waiting and married a redneck. Your loss.)
Question #6
(Hopefully) The first book I publish will be of what genre?
a. Horror (No, but somewhere down the road I might give it a whirl. I've written some pretty dark stuff.)

b. Romance (Egad! What kind of a woman do you think I am? Romance books are horrible and if there was ever a valid reason for public book burnings, romance novels would be it.)

c. Mystery (It was Colonel Mustard in the parlor with the candlestick, right?)

d. A compilation of short stories (Basically, my some of my longer, better blog posts with turnable pages.)
Question #7
My least favorite sport is __________?
a.Quidditch (If I only had a broom....)

b. Basketball (I love watching Sammy play and of all the sports, it's the least horrible, I guess.)

c. Gymnastics (I was in gymnastics when I was little and my kids are now budding gymnasts, so I kind of have to like it.)

d. Baseball (Baseball is from the debbil! In high school I dated a baseball player obsessed with the sport and he instilled in me a deep-seated, all-consuming, fervid loathing for it. Just one of the many things he did to mess me up.)
Question #8
Until I got married, I slept with a stuffed teddy bear. He still sits on my bed every day. What is his name?
a. Ross (Nope, that was my friend Stacie's stuffed dog.)

b. Brad (Nope, that was the boyfriend that messed me up in the head.)

c. Einstein (Yep. I was a nerd back then. Wait, I still am.)

d. Gummi (Nope, but that's a pretty cute name and I think I'll name one of the new kittens that.)
Question #9
I'm a bit of a daredevil sometimes. What stupid redneck sport have I participated in?
a. Mud run (But I can dream.)

b. Greased pig (Iew! Pigs are so....piggy!)

c. Demolition derby (Read all about it and see the pictures here, here, here, here and here on my old blog.)

d. Jello wrestling (Methinks that jello in certain umm.....areas is a bad, bad thing.)
Question #10
I can do a pretty decent impersonation of a former TV personality. Who is it?
a. Cindy Brady from The Brady Bunch (Kady used to have the cutest little Cindy Brady lisp....but not me.)

b. Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street (Hey there, Bird...wrong answer.)

c. Mork from Mork and Mindy (Nanoo, nanoo, nope.)

d. Geri from The Facts of Life (Yep. It's true. And Mom says I'm going to hell for it.)
Question #11
According to my husband and my sister, what is my most repulsive physical feature?
a. my toes
(Personally, I see nothing wrong with my toes, but Paul and Tater ride me about them constantly. They're little and chubby and cute. At least they're not a yard long like theirs.)

b. my tongue (No, I've got a pretty average-looking tongue, actually.)

c. my elbows (Normal elbows, too.)

d. my crooked pinky fingers (Crooked pinky fingers aren't repulsive. Weird maybe, but not repulsive.)
Question #12
I ran away from home when I was a teenager.
a. True

b. False (Oh, but hell no. My dad would've hunted me down and beat me to death. No, not really. But I'd probably still be grounded.)

Question #13
I used to have a mullet.
a. True
(Sadly, yes. I had a mulletish looking 'do in the 6th and 7th grade. It was back when everyone had "feathers" in the front and a curly perm in the back, so really I was just keeping up with current trends! Nothing is more attractive than short layered wings in the front and long, chemically produced curls in the back. Seriously, why did we think that was a good look? Hair parted right down the middle, cemented with AquaNet into wall-like layers that would stand straight up in the wind, and then oh, the curly perm that we all would use a pick on between classes. Oh hells yeah, we were stylin'. I'll have to find a picture because the mental picture I just left with you isn't enough, is it?)

b. False
Question #14
Which of these do I NOT suffer from?
a. Arachnophobia (fear of spiders) (The movie Arachnophobia just about did me in. I was a wreck when I left the theatre. Just another one of the moments where "the boyfriend" convinced me that something detrimental to my psyche was going to work out just fine and dandy. I still check under the sheets before I get in bed.)

b. Coulrophobia (fear of clowns) (Stephen King's It. Need I say more?)

c. Claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) (Stick me in a 55-gallon drum and I'm perfectly alright. Well, not literally. But you know what I mean.)

d. Hydrophobia (fear of water) (Good golly, indeed I do suffer from this one. I am more scared of water than I am of clowns and spiders put together. It might help if I knew how to swim, but I seriously doubt it. I can't watch Poseidon, parts of Titanic make me hyperventilate and the season opener of ER a few seasons back had me in the fetal position.)
Question #15
What was the first job I held after I got married?
a. Cocktail waitress (Nope, that came after I got pregnant. Man, I loved that job.)

b. Pharmacy technician (Yep. The job just kind of fell into my lap, thanks to my mother-in-law who worked at the hospital. I really enjoyed that job because I got to be around the medical stuff, but didn't have to touch oogey things. I considered pharmacy school, but didn't want to leave this area to get educated. At the time, the closest pharmacy school was in Weatherford. It may still be. Doesn't matter, I'm gonna be a writer now!)

c. Daycare teacher (That was in my pre-married woman days.)

d. Secretary/Receptionist (I secretaried in the summer for an attorney in junior high and high school.)
Question #16
I am pursuing a degree in what?
a. Journalism
('Cuz I'ma gunna be a fansy writer sum day!)

b. English (No, but that's a second choice.)

c. Secondary education (Iew! Snot-nosed, hateful teenagers? I think NOT.)

d. Library science (Mmm...books...)
Question #17
Of the following music artists/groups, which one have not I seen in concert?
a. Rascal Flatts (Saw them in October, 2001. I was mui grande pregnant with Kady and the ride to Branson made my ankles swell to the size of small farm animals. I got Gary's and Joe Don's autograph, but Jay overlooked me in all my pregnant girth somehow. My camera died and I have no pictures of me with the guys, though. *sob*)

b. Trace Adkins (I still get all tingly when I think of him gyrating mere feet from me....good gracious how did God make him so HOT?)

c. Garth Brooks (Saw him in Joplin in May 1991, my Senior year. I was incredibly hungover from my very first ever drunk. Mom let me go to the concert because she was afraid I'd never get to see him again, but after that I was grounded for like, ever. In fact, I may still be...And I never did get to see him again, so thanks, Mom.)

d. Lynyrd Skynyrd (I missed out on Skynyrd when they were at Buffalo Run last fall. Queen Tammy and I had planned to go for a long time, but for some reason I can't remember why we didn't get to go....)
Question #18
I have ______ tattoos.
a. 3

b. 4 (A ladybug over my left breast, a yellow rose on the top of my left foot, Tinker Bell on the right side of my back and three forget-me-nots on the back of my left shoulder. Number four comes when we get our income tax return in a few weeks. Yes. Seriously. Screw investing or paying bills - Paul is getting a massive celtic half-sleeve and I'm getting Sam-I-Am from Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.)

c. 6

d. 5
Question #19
Paul and I went to ____________ on our honeymoon.
a. Eureka Springs, AR (We've never been there together. We're hoping to go with the Tater and Bub this spring and stay in one of the haunted hotels.)

b. Cancun (Iew. That would require swimsuits and water and stuff.)

c. Branson, MO (That was the plan, but a massive ice storm that rolled in the afternoon of the wedding kept us from leaving town.)

d. The Super 8 in Miami (We literally slid into the Super 8's parking lot, slipped and slid from the truck to the building, got a room, ordered pizza [that poor delivery guy], watched WWF and fell asleep. Yep, we've always been romantic.)
Question #20
My dream job is to be a __________.
a. Syndicated columnist
(In my dreams, my column is read by bazillions all over the world.)

b. Playwright (No, too much thinking and planning and stuff.)

c. Novelist (That's obviously what I'm planning on doing because there we go again with that "aiming high" thing and I figure that while novelist isn't going to be easy, it's more attainable than syndicated columnist.)

d. The person who writes the scripts for porn movies (Well, while I'm not the highest aimer around, I can aim higher than that.)


And now you know.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Calling all writers!

A long time ago - about a billion and a half years ago - a group of folks here on the internet got together and had little writing challenges amongst themselves. It was mui grande funito and I want to do it again. Now, back when we were doing it before, one of the guys had a whole forum thingy set up and he probably paid money for it and like, I am SO not doing that, but I think we can do it from a blog if anyone's interested.

Basically the jist of the challenges go like this:

*There is a list of words given at the beginning of each challenge - anywhere from 5 to 8 words. The words are random and don't have to be remotely related to each other. They don't have to be common, but they do have to be actual words.

*Your story has to include all of the words on the list. Work it into the title, the plot, the characters, etc, just so you include them all.

*There is no set genre for the stories. Mystery, horror, romance, general nothingness, whatever. While we were writing on the other forum we got a little raunchy and at times and I think I'll draw a line there for this one since it's public and there might be young'uns who want to write. Don't want to offend anyone, now do we? No, we do not. I don't want to do jail time.

*There is a set time limit for each challenge. Most should be around a week or two from the announcing of the words to the submission of all entries.

*On the deadline date, all submissions that have been sent to me via email are posted individually on a blog set up for this writing challenge only. The stories will be public and you will be given credit for your writing. Comments will be left open so that readers can well....comment. If things get nasty I will shut them down.

*The winner of each challenge is voted upon by you, the reader. If you submit a story you can vote as well, but not for yourself.

*The winner of the challenge picks the word list for the next challenge.

If this sounds like fun and something you'd like to try, leave a comment. If there's enough interest I'll set up a blog in the next few days and we'll see where this goes. It's just for fun and will give those of us who fancy ourselves creative, a chance to stretch our literary legs a little and see what we're capable of accomplishing. Plus, it will give everyone one more thing to do while they're dodging housework, school work, or

Alright know the rules - wanna have some fun?

pink blog basketball hawthorne school debt consolidation

Okay, so the only person to say anything about my new layout is my friend Cedric who I miss so much and dude, email me, did you just read that I miss you? Cedric says it's too pink. Methinks I agree.

But here's the thing...I have only enough computer/blog/HTML/internet knowledge to be reallllly dangerous. I really know nothing. I can type, but everything else is a crapshoot. So over the weekend I decided that I was tired of my redneck pin-up girl and decided to go with a generic Blogger layout. I saved my diva template in WordPad and hoo doggies, do I NOT recommend that. It didn't translate well. When I decided that the pink was making me nauseous yesterday and was going to plug back in that old layout.....well, it didn't work. Blogger kept telling me that it wasn't tidy or neat or something and kept telling me to correct my XML and in my mind XML means "extra medium large" so I'm clueless.

I recently have gotten back in touch with an old friend from my Comp. Speech days at WHS and sent him a desperate message on MySpace begging him to fix it for me because that dude is scary smart. Turns out, that's the ONE THING he knows nothing about. He offered to do electric work for me, but said the code issue was all my own.

So.....looks like pink is all the rage this spring.


Sam has three basketball games this week. The entire season he's played one game a week, but last week played two and this week it's three. I'm sort of glad the season's almost over, but in a way I'm not. He has three more games to play before it's all over and he played better tonight that he has all season. He really got in there and fought for the ball - fought so hard once he fouled a guy. You should've seen Mom, Paul, another mom and me all up on the stage going "It's okay! It's okay! DON'T CRY!" Poor thing. He tried so hard. He shot twice and came SO CLOSE to making it that there was a collective groan from the crowd when the ball just barely missed the basket. He's going to make one before it's all over. His coach is determined and so is he.

This morning I was looking through is school papers from last week and found a page of sentences he had written in class using spelling words. The last sentence - albeit completely devoid of spelling words - was "Will I ever make a baskit?" I wanted to cry. He's so hard on himself and strives so hard to be perfect. I can't make him see, no matter how hard I try, that it's okay to not be 100% perfect all the time. But it's hard for him to grasp that concept when I'm griping and whining about my school work and grades. I am such an awesome mom. Must learn to keep mouth shut around the children.

I think he played so well tonight because we told him to pretend that every player on the other team was his sisters.


I am doing my author biography in Comp II over Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was a toss-up between him and Poe. I went with Hawthorne because I knew less about him and frankly, he intrigues me. We read "The Minister's Black Veil" and "Young Goodman Brown" last week. He was such a haunted man.

I turned in a literary analysis over Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" today. I enjoyed writing it once I got started. It took emailing Mrs. E and getting a sense of direction from her before I could start. Once I got going, though, I enjoyed writing it. The symbolism he used was interesting, even though I'm not a big fan of his writing in general.

I had a meeting with my advisor last week to kind of get a sense of where I was going and how I was going to get there. She went over the course requirements for a Mass Comm degree with me and now I feel a little more directed. Not a lot, but some. She told me she loved getting my articles for the paper because she doesn't have to edit them. I loved hearing that, considering the editing I do to them myself. At least it's not in vain. Maybe I should just be a copy editor...


This morning, because I had a plethora of homework, Paul took Kady to town when he went to work and dropped her off at Mom's. Mom was going to take her to Lab School to save me from having to come into town then hang around for 2 hours. Around 8:15 the phone rang and it was Mom. I figured she was calling to ask me if Kady had eaten breakfast, but instead when I said hello she said, "Now Kristin, normally I try to stay out of your business and you know I think you're a good mother, but well, I'm a little concerned that right in the middle of Clifford the Big Red Dog my 5 year old granddaughter just stood up and quoted me an entire commercial about a home equity loan. And she even knew the phone number!" I just laughed and said," Well, did she tell you that it's a combo loan and you can consolidate your first mortgage, second mortgage, car loan and all your high-rate credit card bills, too?"

Comin' at ya a thousand different ways

Friday I borrowed a friend's laptop in order to copy all of the pictures that are still sitting on this computer's hard drive because I have yet to reformat the emmer effer. (I ended up burning one CD of pictures, but I don't like how I did it. It was more of a test than anything. Now I know I can do it and will continue on henceforth.) But while I had her OH SO LOVELY laptop I fell in love.

Completely, head-over-heels IN LOVE with that thing.

Since the semester has begun I have spent way too much time in my office, hunched over the computer, typing in a frenzy of flying fingers and cursing (and a few tears more than once or twice), out here all alone while my family frollicks and cavorts and generally lives in the living room while I slowly die out here in this office that used to beckon to me with it's Napoleon Dynamite posters and Rufus the naked mole rat bobble head and hidden box of Thin Mints behind the box of blank CDs. Now, ol' Nappy D is leering at me through his overly large and freakishly square glasses, Rufus' head bobbles while in my mind I hear his little mole voice going "You're alone....allllllll alone.....and they're having fun and you're not.......MUAH HAHAHAHAA" and frankly, the Thin Mints are starting to give me heartburn.

So Friday night the laptop allowed me to write a whole entire paper, sitting on my couch watching The Naked Brothers Band with my kids while my husband snored loudly in his recliner. I had reached student mom nirvana.

Until last night.

I have two more papers to write for English this week (What does the instructor think this is, a Literature class or something? Geesh!) and was going to begin tackling one when the kids and I got home from gymnastics. Except, just as I fired up the precious and wonderful laptop that had been sitting on the dining room table so lonely all afternoon, all hell broke loose.

Paul came home from work and began telling me about his day, something he NEVER does, mind you.

Kady and Sam decided to continue an argument that had begun and, I thought, ended during gymnastics. This argument soon involved the throwing of couch cushions and pillows.

Abby came down the hall in sweats, her robe, a sock hat and gloves declaring that she was cold, did she have a fever,and did I think she might have leukemia. They're doing a penny drive at school for leukemia patients and she's now convinced that every bruise on her body is a sign that she has it and the fatigue is just another symptom I'm blatantly ignoring because I don't love her as much as I love the other two. And a great big thank you to whoever was in charge of showing them the video where Linus' girlfriend gets leukemia and loses all her hair and Mom will you get me a wig when all my hair falls out after the chemotherapy?

Paul then decided to fill out a job application ( didn't read that here) and had to read every farking question to me and then see if I would answer any differently than he was planning to answer. Then he also used me as his own personal SpellCheck. And really honey, if you can spell "maintenance" all by yourself then why must you ask me how to spell "wage"? Oh yeah, because I had just started typing my paper again and my attention was not focused on you. How silly of me to not notice that you needed me to wipe your ass, too.

Then Kady was "stawwwwwving" and could I make her a sandwich. No, you can make your own sandwich. *sigh* Just yesterday you bawled when I told you that you couldn't make your own sandwich and now you're crying because you can? No, your sister does not have "woo-kee-mee-uh". Now hush and quit licking the jelly spoon!

Then Abby began crying because I was "making fun of her" and couldn't I see that she was really worried she was going to die? Why do I have to be so mean? Umm....because I'm miserable and I can't be happy until you're all miserable, too? Oh. Wrong answer? Then I don't know why I'm so mean. Go ask your dad to a-n-s-w-e-r that q-u-e-s-t-i-o-n for you.

The laptop goes home today.

And I have some Thin Mints to eat. Anyone got a Rolaids?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Book meme

The ones I’ve read are in bold.
The ones I want to read are in italics.
I've left alone the ones that I'm not interested in.

(Note: I've also - in typical Redneck Diva style - given my own little comments on some, too. Because this is my blog and I can. Nyah.)

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) - Absofrickinlutley no desire whatsoever to read this one.
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) - One of those I have always wanted to, but never have.
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) - Read it in high school. Loved it. Own it. Treasure it.
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) - I tried. Just couldn't do it.
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien) - Agh, another one that I simply could not wrap my head around the utter bleh of it. I hear they're all very good if you can get past the first half of the first book. So far I just don't have time for that many words anymore unless I'm being graded on it.
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (J.R.R. Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) - I own every book that L.M. Montgomery ever wrote. Someday I will visit PEI. I could get lost so easily in the stories! I wanted to BE Anne! Oh how I wanted red hair and freckles......
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling) - I *heart* HARRY POTTER!!
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) - This book was incredibly interesting to me. I was drawn into it from the first chapter and was disappointed when I finished it. I didn't want it to end! The movie was such a disgrace to the book.
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King) - I started reading SK when I was 13. I think I read The Stand when I was about 16. There were several of us at school reading it at the same time and we were all mesmerized by it. I sold about 25 of my SK books a few years back when I went on a cleaning tangent, but kept this one.
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien) - Mom bought me the boxed set of LOtR and a copy of The Hobbit for my birthday one year. I got further in The Hobbit than LOtR, but still lost interest before I was halfway through.
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) - I have lost count as to how many times I have read this book. In my opinion, it is one of the best books ever written. Ever. Stacie said she read it once and couldn't figure out why I liked it so much. I hear that from a lot of people. I don't know why I was so captivated by it as a teen, but it hasn't lost any of its magic for me now that I'm in my 30's. I have passages highlighted. I can sit down and read it in mere hours because I know so much of it by heart.
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) - I was all of about 10 when I read this. Bawled for days. I mean, seriously - when I finished it I walked up to my mother, threw my arms around her and sobbed into her shoulder for half an hour, calmed myself down only to start up again off and on literally for days.
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) - How I managed to miss this one when I was a kid, I'll never know. I read A Wrinkle in Time and you'd think I'd have hit this one too, being all into fantasy and stuff like I was.
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) - I've read The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day by Albom and both books touched a part of my soul that I wasn't all that comfortable with at first. I was deeply moved by both. I read For One More Day, at the urging of my mother, right after we found out Papa's cancer was back, about a month before he died. I didn't sleep that night because I was so busy thinking and crying. Tuesdays is on my list for this summer.
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) - Half a box of Kleenex was involved in the reading of this book. The other half was invested in the reading of The Wedding, which followed.
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (George Orwell) - My Senior year, Mrs. Sharbutt had us do one book review a little less-than-orthodox. There were several options, but I took 1984 and made it into a children's book. Seriously. I still have it in my cedar chest. It even had a clock with moving hands so that children could have a tactile experience while reading one of the scariest books ever written.
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) - I read this in high school and have no recollection of one single aspect of the book other than the title.
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) - Ah, there it is. This is really one of those books that you simply must read. I'm not going to say that I wholly agree with the book, but it's beautifully written and thought-provoking.
45. Bible - Not in its entirety, but parts here and there. James and Revelations are my favorite books.
46. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) - 9th grade. Probably should re-read it. Don't remember much about it.
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens) - I have no desire to read Dickens. I think that might offend some people, but I don't like his writing. I just plain don't.
55. The Great Gatsby (Scott Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J.K. Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) - Another one of those that I've read and can't remember a thing about.
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) - Only because it's referenced in the movie Dirty Dancing.
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy) - I bought a copy of it back in high school. I have no clue what happened to it.
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice) - *shudder*
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo) - That's another one I bought in high school. Read it, don't remember it. I think I enjoyed carrying around a book the size of my car more than actually reading it.
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Helen Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (John Steinbeck) - Oh, how I cried. Sobbed, even. I get misty when I think about it still.
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams) - Hands down, one of the best books ever written. I've read it nearly as many times as I've read The Catcher in the Rye. I saw the animated movie when I was probably 5 years old and never knew the title of it. It stuck in my head for years and as a teenager, for whatever reason, I asked my mom about this rabbit movie I remembered seeing as a child. Truly entertaining, sad, chilling and at times, disturbing.
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) - The foreign exchange student from hell that lived with us my Junior year read this and loved it and for that reason alone, I will never read it because I associate it with her and I well, I kind of hate her.
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In the Skin of a Lion (Michael Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (William Golding) - My ex-aunt was a high school English teacher and was very impressed at my reading abilities as a child. It was on my 10th birthday that she told my mother I needed to read this book and got me a copy. I was haunted by it for years. I've gone back to read it several times and have NO INTENTION of letting my 10 year old read it.
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) - My mother tried to read this one after I just gushed over how wonderful it was. She said she got about 10 pages in and abandoned it, wondering if she had picked up the wrong book. I never expected it to be such a great read when I grabbed it on a whim one summer day at the public library. I don't buy many books anymore, but I own a copy of this one.
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) - *sob*
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

There are several that I was surprised to not see on the list- Fahrenheit 451 and A Clockwork Orange are the two that I was most surprised at not seeing. Both of those are must-reads. Seriously. I had never heard of Fahrehnheit until a year or so ago, checked it out of the library last summer and have every intention of buying a copy. I already bought Clockwork. It gets confusing at times, but it is thought-provoking in a 1984 kind of way.

If you want to play along, consider yourself tagged. (Just let me know in the Comments section so I can go see your list!) Also, if you have any recommendations, leave those in the Comments, too. I want to see how many books I can devour this summer.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A real toad strangler of memories courtesy of a former drama geek

(That's what we call those bouts of sudden downpours that occur in the spring - toad stranglers. Just in case you weren't familiar with that one.)

I was sitting here eating a Sno-ball and got hit with a rush of memories. A veritable toad strangler from the past. (Don't you love redneck metaphors?) Anyway, y'all know what a Sno-ball is, right? A delightful creme-filled cake, covered in a layer of marshmallow and then sprinkled with colored coconut. Yum-my! Usually they're pink. Right now, they're green for St. Patrick's Day. Anyway, a phrase from high school just smacked me right in the subconscious and then I decided to do a whole post about some of the more memorable quotes from my past.

(You can also check out Todd's take on a few of these, too. Here and here, if you please.)


"We're out of Sno-balls, Jessie!" - From the movie, 'Night, Mother. When I was a Senior, Cyndi and I did a scene from this movie as a Dramatic Duet for Competitive Speech. She played Jessie, the epileptic who was going to commit suicide before morning, and I played her elderly mother who was trying to talk her out of it. At one point Momma just blurted out "We're out of sno-balls, Jessie!" like the absence of sno-balls was going to keep her daughter from committing suicide. The line always made me have to stifle a giggle even when I was trying to be all elderly and sad and stuff.

"Harold's got a girlFRIEND! Harold's got a girlFRIEND!" - Okay, this is also a Comp Speech reference. My friend, Todd, got paired up with a girl named Michelle who, for the life of her, could NOT comprehend that the line was supposed to read in a sing-songy voice. She was supposed to be taunting him. Instead, poor Michelle could only blurt out "Harold's got a girlFRIEND" emphasizing FRIEND only and egad, it was just painful. Painful. Ask Todd. He still has nightmares over it.

"I know that sounds simple and stupid..." -Okay, these are all pretty much Comp. Speech quotes. This line is from Steel Magnolias. Cyndi and I did a Dramatic Duet from this play, too. I played M'Lynn and she played Anelle. (Or if you've watched the movie version, I was Sally Field and she was Darryl Hannah.) It was the scene after Shelby died and Annelle was fixing M'Lynn's hair. Cyndi played the character well with this adorable Southern drawl and the line to this day resonates in my head as "see-imple and stee-yoopid".

"Com-puh-LEETly out of character" - This is another one that Todd and I share memory of. We were novices and our teacher was making us watch some kids from Picher, the End All Be All Of All Thing Competitive Speech For All Of Perpetuity. They were well-trained, those Picher kids and OH SO dramatic. This one gal was giving the introduction to her piece and out of the blue waved her hand in front of her and said that someone did something "com-puh-LEETly out of character." I think all of us Wyandotte kids managed to throw "com-puh-LEETly out of character" into all of our pieces that year.

"THE BABIES! THE BABIES!" - I became famous over this line. Well, famous as far as the realms of our team went. Again, we were watching a Picher kid do a monologue. Monologues consisted of a humorous and a dramatic piece, melded together with relatively no seams. You had to go from humor to drama or vice versa with nothing more than a brief pause. This guy's humor piece was from A Midsummer Night's Dream and he was a very energetic Puck. His dramatic piece was a rather dark speech about a doctor who had done hundreds of abortions. His voice was low and rough, his mannerisms were foreboding and suddenly, while describing a nightmare he had, he screams that he saw "THE BABIES! THE BABIES!" Oh, the hours of fun our team had asking me to perform "the babies!" for them. I think I even have me on video doing it. (No, Hillbilly Mom, I do not have the technology to convert it to digital so you can see it.)

"He just leaned over the side and he was gone. Gone. One minute he was there and the next he was gone." - I think it was my Senior year, but it might've been my Junior, that I did a Monologue that the dramatic piece was about a gal who went on a date with a guy who commited suicide by jumping over the side of the ferris wheel while she was sitting there beside him. (Anyone noticing that I had a serious preoccupation with death and suicide? YIKES! I'd scare me now.) The piece was shocking and I loved the fact that no one saw his suicide coming and more than once someone in the audience would gasp when I would announce that "he was gone. Gone."

And then there were the SNL quotes. Ah, back when SNL was good and didn't suck. I couldn't tell you exactly when any of these skits originally aired. We all watched the anniversay show and took our quotes from that tape.

"Hey! You! I know you! I know you!" - This skit involved Martin Short and a guy (I don't remember his name) who were male synchonized swimmers. Martin Short was rather daft in this skit and freakin' hilarious. I still have the tape of that show - taped it right off TV the night it aired. I can't even rewind it in the VCR anymore, that's how much it's been played. I have to rewind it with a pair of scissors. Anyway, part of their swim routine involves them pointing at each other in time with the music. Martin Short points at his partner dramatically and their coach says, "No, you're not mad at him" then directs him to point as if he were saying, "Hey! You! I know you! I know you!" Tater and I are prone to pointing at each other and saying that line still.

"Choppin' broccoli" - Ah, Dana Carvey. Talk about comedic genius. In the skit he was a musician obviously failing at making the record exec buy into his songs. I can still sing it today just as he sang it on the show: "M'lady....she went downtown....she bought some.....broccoli.....she brought it she's choppin' broc-col-eee.....she's choppin' broc-col-eeeeee.....she's chop - UH!......she's choppin' broc-col-ee-eeee.....SHE'S CHOPPIN' BROC-COL-EEE!......SHE'S CHOPPIN' BROC-COL-EYE! SHE'S CHOPPIN' BROCCOLI! shechoppinbroccoleeeeeeeee...." Trust me, it's really funny. And good for you, too!

"I. am. outta here!" - Who can forget Dennis Miller's classic sign-off of the Weekend Update? Well, those of us in Student Council ran The Morning Program out of the school's TV studio every morning when the bell rang. It consisted of the Pledge of Allegiance, the reading of the lunch menu, announcements, etc. Cyndi and I had hosted it the particular morning that I - totally unrehearsed - signed off with "That's the morning news. And I. am. OUTTA HERE!" I scribbled on my notepad and knocked it off the table. When the camera finally cut off, she looked over at me and said, "You. are. such. a dork." Mr. Medders, the teacher who watched over us and made sure we didn't break anything, was standing in the control room with his arms crossed, shaking his head at me when we left the set. I thought it was clever and no one agreed. So much for extemporaneous newscasting. It's probably a good thing I'm not going into TV journalism.

I hope I haven't bored y'all too much with obvious memories that none of you will get, but these days I'm taking blog posts where I can get 'em.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...