Friday, December 31, 2010

So Long (For Now)

I've hit the wall again.  Maybe not even a wall, because what I'm talking about happens every year around this time.  I guess it's more cyclical.  Every year after Christmas and the holidays I get this big urge to draw myself in, take stock, and find a little quiet.  I don't experience it as a negative thing, more like the backswing of a pendulum.  The holidays are so extreme.  A lot of people, a lot of food, a lot of places to go, a lot of drinks, a lot of fun, a lot of things to do and say and make and give.  A lot, a lot, a lot...

See, Mr. Hawes, I did learn that "a lot" is two words.  All that red pen from sixth grade still hurts abit.

Last year when this feeling hit, we cut out TV for Lent.  Since Lent is coming a little later this year, I've decided to deactivate my facebook account temporarily to kind of declutter my mind a little.  Baby steps, right?  I'm an internet junkie, a ham, and pretty nosy, which is the perfect storm for losing hours of life on facebook.  I use it to keep in touch (a plus), but I also tend to measure myself by what other people are doing.  Of course I know that's not an accurate measure of success.  I'm so full of it most of the time, that if other peoples' profiles are similar, there's no reason to worry about it.  I don't lie, but I'm not posting double chin, smudged mascara,burger in the hand pictures either.  I'm not going to talk about having a cough or needing to replace the air filters.  I don't portray myself as somebody who can't remember the last time I had my hair trimmed and is scared of the dark. I don't let people know the effect baby shoes have on me.  That I thought a ham was a bird until high school.

Or, maybe I do.

I want people to think I've got my act together a solid sixty-five percent of the time, but I probably don't, which really isn't the point. I am only trying to say, in a most characteristically roundabout way, that every now and then I need to unplug from one thing or another to bring it all back to center.  It's not about the things I'm getting distance from, but more about tuning back into myself. 

I have no idea if anyone will ever read this site without me posting it to facebook.  I have no idea if I'll stay deactivated for more than a couple of weeks.  Length of time doesn't really matter. I have no idea how I managed to use the word ham twice in this post.  Ham, ham, ham.  I'm gonna start blogging only about ham.  Ham Happenings.  First up, a post entiled, Things Ham is Not.  The whole post will consist of the words, "a bird."

I've been on the ol' fbook for five or so years, so it'll be weird to be disconnected for any length of time.  I'll be glad to return to it when my mind has had a little time for R and R after this Season of Too Much.  I will still be posting here.  I realize that may not seem to make much sense.  It makes sense to me.  But, a spiral cut bird made sense to me too.

Bye bye

Photo here:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Memento: One Very Embarassing Christmas List

This Christmas list reveals a few things.  First, I've always been this way. Second, the scanner is smarter than me.  I don't want to push my luck by trying again to make a better copy. 

Where to begin.  Well, the only thing I can really say in my defense is that I almost always made my Christmas lists from stacks of catalogues, so most of the stranger things are proper names for toys listed in those.  Other than that, this is a look into the mind of any only child who watched too much Mr. Wizard and believed there was a legit possibility that I might be the first child entrepenuer to make millions; hence, asking for so many craft items and business supplies.

A few highlights:

First, that the list is numbered and seperated like it is.  Awww. Look at the sweet wittle baby neuroses.

#7 "Rubies Cude" was a Rubix Cube, which, as I remember, I wanted very badly because my cousin was a whiz kid and could do them in like five seconds.

#15 Work Bench--what?? I just don't know. 

#19.  These weren't postage stamps, but a stamper and ink.  You know, to label my wares.

#26.  So help me God, Santa, do not bring me a large chalk board.

#34.  Magic Fax Machine--I seriously considered covering this up.  So weird. 

#35.  What tiny mogul would have a fax and not a copy machine?  No one would be surprised to learn that I had a stomach ulcer at nine.  It's amazing I didn't have a receding hairline and a prostate problem, too.

#43.  Again, Santa, don't get it twisted.  That would be two, not one, and definitely three, trolls.  TWO.

I hope you all have safe travels and a wonderful Holiday!  I hope you get all the nutty little things on your list.

P.S.  Let's all say a special thanks to our Moms (and Dads) for all our Christmas memories and for not laughing at us for things like this.  Come on, do it.  I'll save your milks and cookies.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wedding Bloopers, Part II

The second, and final installment of wedding bloopers.  Pardon my cheeseball captions.  If you can bear with me, I recently found an old, super shameful Christmas list of mine that I'll share to make up for it.
Sorry, Craig, it's all genetic...

It looks like we're singing, "If I were a rich man..."

The world's whitest white girl dancer finds her soulmate....

and couldn't be happier about it.

Don't be jealous of my charms and feminie wiles.

Craig as a one of those singing mounted bass.

Oh no!  I wasn't listening when you told me how to be an adult.  Quick, tell me again.

I think maybe we should've eloped...

But Laura, we have enough George Dickel to fell an army.

Craig: What's our Dickel countdown?

You're never taking the trash out again?

Making my mother uncomfortable since 1984

Dickel success.

Craig, if you spit out that champagne our marriage will be cursed by misfortune and children who grow up and write about us on the internet.

Our first judgement passed as a married couple.  Awww.  We've gotten even better with practice. 

I Need Your Help!!

There is a homeless shelter here in Memphis that is unlike most.  We both volunteer there and Craig is on the Board of Directors.  It was definitely a grassroots start, founded by two women with no experience in nonprofits or running a shelter.  You may be surprised to learn this--I was, but most shelters won't take intact families.  By intact family I mean either a single parent family or a family with two parents.  Almost all shelters separate women and children from men.  Most that take women and children, won't take teenage boys.  That means that families are split up in the most traumatizing time of their life.  Husbands are separated from wives, women are separated from their teenage sons. 

The Dorothy Day House of Hospitality is different.  It takes the whole family.  The facility is a large old house that can only take 3-4 families at a time, depending on how many children there are.  All of the furniture is old and most of the linens are used and/or donated.  To us, it doens't look like much.  To these women who, by the time they arrive, have sold everything they own, having a bed for the children brings them to tears.  It's warm and cozy and mostly importantly, safe.  Many of them have been living in their cars, or worse.

The stereotype that most of us have about the homeless doesn't usually include families.  I think we just can't stomach the idea of homeless children.  There are so, so many of them, though.  In this time of financial crisis, the face of homelessness is different than in the past.  People that you would never dream would end up without a door against the weather are finding themselves in that very position.  How many of us, if we lost our jobs, could pay our bills more than 3 or more months, at best.  What would you do?  Chances are, you'd cut back, work as many small jobs as you could, sell your things, go without for you kids.  If you were lucky, that would be enough to get through the hard times.  For many people, it just isn't.

Thank God, there are a lot of people who work to help the homeless.  The Dorothy Day House works a little differently.  It takes families in, usually for eight months or so, and helps them get work, their kids in school, the help them find safe, affordable housing. They set them up with furniture and plates and all the things you lose when you lose everything when. They give them tools to help them get on their feet again like jobs and useful contacts, often staying in close contact for years after the familys' stay.  There are many homeless men and women who are unable to ever take that step, and my heart breaks for them.  Unfortunately, so many people dismiss them as lazy or too stupid to know any better.  This place isn't for those who can't help themselves, but that is exactly the population most shelters serve, fortunately. 

I'm helping organize the second annual Family Fun Ride Benefitting The Dorothy Day House of Hospitality.  I know that among my friends of such varied talents and backgrounds, I can help raise money to support the house.  I'm not one to just jump on the bandwagon of causes.  This one is very close to my heart, which is why I'm sharing it with you all.  Donations will go to the upkeep of the house, and to clothes, school supplies, and necessities for these very deserving kids and their parents.  If you have connections, or have a boss you think might help us out.  Please let me know.  We're looking mostly for corporate sponsorhips, but Anything Helps!  See the link below for info about the Ride!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wedding Bloopers, Part I

As promised, the wedding bloopers.  Engagement edition here.  I'm gonna go ahead and say, friends and loved ones, there were some real doozies of you all, too.  After a thirty second deliberation with myself, I realized that my relationships and personal safety are not worth the potential funny of dragging everyone else through the mud with me.  So, relax.  Those pictures are either deleted, or safely squirreled away in my computer where even I can only access them when I'm not trying to. 

This first part is of pictures taken before the ceremony and the second will be a few more of those and some from the reception.  There aren't any from the ceremony because that would be wrong.  Plus, participating in one of the seven sacraments gave me a lovely glow and all those pictures are nice, if I do say so myself.  And I do.  This is my blog.

Why so nervous, Craigo?  Is that a sweaty brow?  You don't even know that I'll write about you on the internet yet. 

What? I thought this dress was very modest.

Wait, this is like forever forever?

Shh.  Don't ruin it.

Dear God, I'm sorry I made this ugly face at your house.

In a few minutes, I'll never have hold back a burp again...

she just doesn't even know!

About that football helmet lamp....

Happy weekend. Part II coming soon!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Brought to You by the Side Effects of Pseudoephedrine

I was pretty sick earlier this week.  I can say that now.  Sick.  Tuesday I would've told you that you could take my DVD player and anything else you might want, because I was starting to see the light.  The real turning point for me was Sudafed.  Not the mickey mouse stuff they sell in the aisles, but the stuff you have to wear a trench coat and sunglasses to buy from the pharmacist. I don't know who these people are that are being helped by the stuff they sell over the counter, but my nose looks down its, um...nose (?)... at such things. I need the real stuff. You see, I have baby ears. No, not like tiny disproportionate ears. I mean that I get ear pain and infections from colds as frequently as a toddler. I've heard that it has something to do with the angle of my ear canal and that most people have less sharp angles by adulthood than I do. I think I've heard that. I've had too much pressure in there to be sure.  So I sort of nod at Dr. CharlieBrownTeacherVoice and resign myself to a trip to the pharmacy.

I can't stand the shame they force on you by making you sign your name, show your ID, register for the draft, and provide your credit score just to get a little relief.  You walk up to the sinus speakeasy and put on your best I don't use and/ or manufacture methamphetamines face and hope that they believe you.  I have to bite my tongue to not scream, "I don't do drugs.  I don't know what meth looks like. I'm not really even fun!"

It just really irritates me that we have criminalize things because some hillbilly misappropriated it.  By that logic, you better say goodbye to your four wheel drive and pork products.  Oh, and cousins.  They're gone too.

That is why I sent Craig to Walgreens. 

The End.

The WORST Christmas Pageant Ever

I seem to have a lot of Christmas related mementos. Maybe I'm just noticing them because it's the season, or maybe I'm just more prone to save things from Christmas.  Either way, I've found several that I want to share over the next little bit that are all Christmas themed.  The following is a photo, but I think that I might need to draw your attention to the most important for the purpose of this blog post part of the picture.  Allow me to direct your eye to the far left of this little scene.  There, in the green sack with the weird black head wrap, is me, aka, the mother of our Lord in the Christmas play at my school.  Not so full of grace was I. 

Those poor kids look mortified

The Story:

 My school, preschool maybe, put on a Christmas play.  I only remember the faintest bit, because I was so little.  My memory has been supplemented by hearing the story.  In any case, it couldn't have been much more than you see here.  I doubt that we had a lot of lines.  Chances are, we sang something.  Maybe we were just supposed to dazzle the audience with our authentic Nazarene bed sheet cloaks.  What I do remember is why I lost my shnizz in this picture.  You see, I was Mary in the play and I was supposed to carry the baby Jesus doll onto to the stage/ the area in front of this ginormous tree.  I panicked and didn't want to do it.  I didn't want people to LOOK AT ME, as I recall.  Our handler teacher tried to convince me that I had to, Mary would've carried her newborn son and the Light of the World.  The Diva could not be persuaded.  I never quite recovered from the trauma, as you can see above.  My best childhood friend played Joseph and that poor sucker had to be the one to carry the baby and be STARED AT by the throngs of onlookers our parents.

Some might say that I ruined the play.  I say that I made it into hip, modern interpretation of the Nativity story.  I am woman, hear my cry. 

Incidentally, I hold firm in my memory that Jesus was supposed to be a doll.  I have no idea who that apparently live human child is in the bassinet.  Surely nobody wanted me to carry a baby.  It makes me question the facts of this story. 

Just not enough not to post it on the internet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mementos: Fiddler Crab

I've mentioned this before, but I'm a total pack rat.  I've kept tons of little mementos and trinkets my whole life. With some of them, it's obvious what the significance is, like letters from my Dad and my college acceptance letter.  Some of them, though, are meaningful because they evoke a feeling that might not be so apparent from looking at the object.

I thought I might start sharing some of them occasionally here.  In reality, I'll probably barage the internet for a week or so and then forget how to use the scanner again.  We'll see.

My Mom has a box at her house with a lot of my old treasures.  Some of my favorites are all stories that I wrote as a kid.  One day I'll talk her into letting me bring them home to scan onto my computer.  She didn't just keep the markers of my achievements, though.  She also kept my write-up slips from high school for all the times I didn't tuck in my shirt and my progess notes from the speech therapist working through my childhood lisp.  Now that is a proud mother.

The first memento  that I want to share is one of the most inconspicuous of them all.  Honestly, I'm surprised it's survived so many moves and Spring cleanings. It's small sheet of paper, not quite the size of a 4x6 photo.  Its edges have started to yellow.  I had to put a darker sheet behind it, because the paper is so thin.

The Story:

When I was a little girl and would visit my grandparents with my Mom, I would usually wake up really early.  The only other person awake was my grandfather, Bobby.  Bobby died when I pretty young, only eleven, so my memories of him are those of a child.  I see him in my mind's eye as a giant of a man.  His hands were the size of dinner plates.  He had this big voice and a low, belly laugh. 

First thing in the morning I would pad down what seemed like a runway, but was only a small hallway to the kitchen.  Bobby would already be there drinking coffee.  Sometimes he would fix me my own cup, which was a mug of milk with about three drops of coffee in it.  I would sit in the chair next to him, my knees curled up underneath me, and imitate what he was doing.  Watching out of the corner of my eye, I'd blow on my cup of cold milk when he blew on his coffee.  When he turned the newspaper page, I would turn the page in my book.  Sometimes we would stay there, talking and drinking our coffee until I'd go back to bed and wait for everyone else to wake up.  Other times we'd go for a drive around the Capitol or go look at old Confederate cemeteries.

The morning we made this was like the rest of them, only a day or so after Christmas.  In my stocking that year I had gotten one of those battery operated pens that write squiggly.  We were taking turns seeing what different words looked like and how many different kinds of lines we could make.  He grabbed a pad from the table and wrote this little note, which, naturally, illicited a fit of giggles.  It still makes me smile now.  Now, I smile not just because it's cute, but because it's a sweet reminder of a time when I could sit on my Bobby's lap and try to wrap my arms all the way around him for a hug, his whiskers tickling my cheek.  There were always so many people around that house and it was loud and fun and I loved it, but I treasure memories of those early morning that were just for me.

Friday, November 26, 2010

To Do, er, To Didn't

At the beginning of this year I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish instead a New Year's resolution.  Wanna see?  Check here.  If you don't care to, it went a little something like this: self-deprication, my dog, a list.  I am nothing if not consistent. 

I thought I'd repost the list itself and include an update on my progress.  The italicized lines are last year's list.

1. Complete my BAR application. No real choice here, but I've been putting it off.

Um, applied, accepted, studied for, taken, and passed.  Hazaa!  It would be even better if I could say that I was rewarded with a job, but all things in time, right?

2. Make bread from scratch.

This was a bit ambitious for someone without a stand mixer.  I know it probably could be done, but I haven't really found that kind of commitment yet.  I did make banana bread, though, and that has bread in the name, so it's legit. 

No, it is. 

3. But seriously, teach Max some commands.

Ok.  Well, this is somewhat subjective.  I taught him to "park it" for treats and to get his food, but we don't have "come," "stop barking," or "quit staring at my cereal" mastered yet.

4. Keep my car clean (after I clean it).

Done!  Granted, I've probably clocked the least miles per year in my life, but still, Gertrude is neat as a pin.  My mom will be so proud.

5. Write in my journal more (this isn't it, don't worry).

Yes and no.  I did write a few times, but I only ever felt compelled to do it when I was really irritated.  With my morbid imagination and overblown sense of self-importance I got worried that if I died tragically one of my loved ones would stumble upon it and think, I always knew she was a petty little bitch. Such language!

6. Take more pictures.

Absolutely not. I've taken less. In fact, Craig, if you're reading this, where is the camera?  Now I just take nonsense pictures on my iphone to entertain myself in waiting rooms.

7. Print out our wedding photos.

No, but considering I am still unemployed since making this list, this fell dramatically in my list of priorities.  Besides, I'll just friend my grandchildren on Facebook one day and make them look at pictures of granny's bouquet on their futuristic mind computers.

8. Take better care of myself. I have specifics under this category, but I won't bore you. Why stop now, you say? Not nice.

Meh. Not so much.  I do like how general I was with this one, though.  Call me a psychic, but it looks like I knew that I wasn't going to be hitting the gym regularly.  I have tried to be more forgiving of myself this year, which is good.  It's not helping my waistline, but I'll keep trying. 

9. Get a job.

Ha ha haha.  This will happen.  I know it will.  I never dreamed I would still be waiting around after passing the bar, but I've still got high hopes.

10. This last goal I'll keep to myself. I'll update if and when I accomplish it.

Not terribly shocking, but I have no idea what I was talking about.  Since I'm only averaging about a fifty percent completion rate, I'm gonna go ahead and say that I accomplished this one.  It was a run away success and I was the envy of all who tried to accomplish it.  Well done, LB!

I'm letting next year's list marinate and I hope to complete some of these before then!

Image from here:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, You Silly Thing!

This blog is that silly thing.  It's been one year of ranting, raving, snickering, boring, and baring it all.  Thanks to those of you who have encouraged my little hobby and thanks to those who have chosen instead, to politely look away while I embarass myself.  While I've been a little disappointed by the resounding silence in my comment section, I do get giddy when I see the number climb on my hit counter at the bottom of the page.  I love getting Facebook feedback and have just generally enjoyed finding a steady outlet to laugh at my own jokes.

Warning: The following paragraph is a veritable minefield of links to old posts.  Be careful, deeply stupid and/or personal posts may pop up if clicked. 

I've written fifty-five posts, averaging about one a week.  If you read this regularly, of course, you know that that's not really how it worked out. I post in spurts and then ignore it for weeks. I may or may not treat my diet the same way.  I read back through all fifty-five.  Some are more personal than I ever thought I'd write when I started this, like this one, this one, and especially this one.  The career highs and lows were a little hard to read because of where I am now.  I accomplished some of my dreams like graduating and passing the bar.  I had to put some on hold until I find that right job.  With faith I've been able see my blessings and survive my struggles.  Humor always helps, too.  This, this, and uh, this were fun for me to write.  I should probably be more embarasssed than I am, but since my usual audience is my squirrely little pup, I've lost touch with my better judgment.  I've been surprised by this little hobby.  Even more than I've revealed about myself, I've revealed a lot to myself.  For someone of my temperament, it's been rewarding, but hard at times, too.  Other than being nuts, there are very few things that I've stayed committed to for a year.  That has to count for something!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Eugene Walter Revisted

I mentioned Eugene Walter once before here. A description from IMDB reads

"Alabama-born Eugene Walter lived a magical life, reportedly running away from home at age three, living in the back room of a bookshop at ten, painting coffins in rural Mississippi while in the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s and serving as a cryptographer in the Aleutian Islands during World War II. That was before he took an ice cream freighter to France in the late 40s, met and worked with the American born princess who published the world famous literary journal Botteghe Oscure, helped found the Paris Review and acted in the films of Federico Fellini while translating most of the latter's screenplays into English. Along the way he won the Lippincott Prize for first novelists, a Sewanee Review Fellowship in poetry, and became the epicenter of the expatriate community in Rome, where his parties were legendary. Not bad for someone who barely graduated high school and never had a bank account. Eugene Walter was truly an original, a man who made up each day as it came, one of thelast of the true Bohemians"
As with all Southern legends, I'm sure that both all and none of this is true. I love Walter, though, because he didn't care and neither do I. The South that he lived and wrote is one that bridges my reality and imagination. I love his colorful words and the texture of his images. Anyone from the Alabama Coast who isn't familiar with Walter should, first, be ashamed of yourself, and second, read every single thing you can find by him. I love, love, love the Southern Gothic tradition, but, to quote my Craig, this ain't that. His stories are like those told in the corner of a party. A small circle of slightly over served guests leaning in for the real story behind the gossip du jour.

The South is a strange place with many faces. I recently saw a commercial for a new show airing on TLC called "Bama Belles." What they showed may happen in Alabama, but there is nothing Belle about it. That's an altogether different Alabama than the coast. In a wikipedia entry Mobile's cultural history is described,

"Mobile is home to an array of cultural influences with its mixed French, Spanish, Creole and Catholic heritage, in addition to British and African, distinguishing it from all other cities in the state of Alabama. The annual Carnival celebration is perhaps the best illustration of this. Mobile is the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the United States and has the oldest celebration, dating to the early 18th century during the French colonial period. Carnival in Mobile has evolved over the course of 300 years from a sedate French Catholic tradition into a mainstream multi-week celebration across the spectrum of cultures. Mobile's official cultural ambassadors are the Azalea Trail Maids, meant to embody the ideals of Southern hospitality."

Walter described Mobile as a "separate kingdom, North Haiti." When I saw that commercial, I wondered whether the earth around Walter's grave was still intact after all the rolling over he must have done. I don't want to say that the show isn't representative of one face of the South, one face of Alabama. It's a state that still has blue laws, and yet has a state drink, and that state drink is Conecuh Ridge Whiskey. There are so many oddities and contradictions and while I know that few, if any, people would care about the distinctions as much as I, I thought I'd let Mr. Walter himself describe our Alabama Gulf Coast. Check out this link:
Eugene Walter

"Mobile is sweet lunacy's county seat."

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Common Thread

It's all about perspective, right?  I have always, always loved biographies and documentaries about people's lives.  When I was in grade school I always gravitated towards that section of the school library. It seems like every year until early high school we were assigned to do a report on someone.  I always LOVED that assignment. I never cared who I would write about.  I remember writing one on Rudyard Kipling, one on Lenin, one on President Hayes, one on Robert Frost, etc., etc.  I can tell you that I usually didn't even know who my subject was when I picked the biography to read.  My selection proces wasn't exactly esocteric.  I never wanted to read about people I already knew a lot about, so that left out The Beatles and Napolean.  I've always been a weird one.  Other than that, it was more of picking a cover that appealed to me and it not having those weird untrimmed pages.  I hate those.  Anyway, off I'd go to plunge into the life of some long dead person that I never knew existed. 

I guess some might characterize all this as nosiness, but I've always loved people and all the minutiae that makes us who we are.  It's amazing the little things you learn about someone that completely change how you see them.  I'm just sort of moved by ordinary humanity. 

Ok, I'm coming back down to earth. 

I say all of this to make a little recommendation to anyone with a similar fascination.  If you go to the top of this page and click "Next Blog," Blogger will take you from one blog, to the the the next.  Sometimes it seems to go with a theme and there will be, for example, a number of blogs about babies.  Sometimes it seems to focus on cooking blogs, or political blogs.  Today, as I clicked through it spun off into the universe of blogs written in some Northern European language I didn't recognize.  I never scroll through them, but I just love to see the first few lines and maybe the pictures.  After looking at ten or so, the most amazing thread becomes apparent.  I can't really say what I think that thread is, but they all start to seem connected.  It's really very cool.  See what you think.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What I Didn't Know before I Got Married

Among a few other unhealthy habits, I like to self-diagnose any and all of what ails me. I can't tell you how many times Craig has said, "Wait. Before you get on WebMd, just breathe and take some tylenol."  Then I tell him that if my internet research is correct, I've either got a tension headache, or I'm at risk for a major stroke. I either ate something bad, or I have an obstruction. My shoulder aches. Maybe I slept funny. Maybe it's a heart attack. You know, a backache is often a woman's symptom of a heart attack. You didn't know that? Good, you must be sane.

Hypochondriac? Sure. That's fair.  I can assure you that I get it honest.  It skips a generation.  This is just one of the many things that Craig has to deal with around here.  He came with his own unforeseen quirks too, though, but there's a strict no return policy.  I'd miss him too much, anyway. 

We didn't live together before we got married for a number of reasons and I'm really glad that we made that choice.  I read a study once that said that cohabting before marriage results in a higher divorce rate.  I think there are probably a squillion factors that went into those results that were unaccounted for, but it did make an interesting point.  It said that couples who share a home before they're married may see it as a trial run that can be abandoned.  Once you are married, if marriage means something to you, you just figure it out when things get a little hairy.  There are no trial runs and the author suggests that that mentality is hard to shake.  I think the less sunny way to look at that is to say, I'm gonna live with this person forever so I better figure out how to make it good for both of us or my head may pop off.  Plus, I think the wedding is so much sweeter when the couple has yet to learn what the other looks like two days into a stomach flu. 

There are things I've learned since getting married that I'm glad I didn't know.  It wouldn't have affected my decision one teeny, tiny bit, but I wouldn't have had the sense of humor to view them for what they are. 

  • Contrary to what I feared, men don't really leave the toilet seat up all the time.  No.  In fact it's very rare.  Like only in the middle of the night when the temperature in the house has gotten to its lowest and you're not wearing contacts.  Even though it's rare, one moment of that blind hysteria is too much. 

  • I'm allergic to white gold.  What, aren't your wedding rings white gold you ask?  Why, yes.  Yes, they are.  Were.  I now have a yellow gold set.  My swollen, welpy ring finger wasn't very attractive or comfortable.  While it was definitely a testament to my commitment level,  I didn't want to have a permanent wedding band made out of scar tissue. 

  • An old container of leftovers in the back of the refridgerator turns into an Old West showdown over who's gonna throw it out.
  • From Craig, I learned that all tools run on profanity.  So does college basketball.

  • He's learned that a large pack of toilet paper isn't a once a semester purchase like at the fraternity house.  Actually, I'm not sure that he's learned this.  He's still eyes me suspiciously like I'm sneaking rolls out every few days.

  • I've learned that when he says that we'll go soon, the game only has ten more minutes, that that means thirty minutes.  I will never understand time warp football minutes.

  • Craig has stopped asking what I want to have for dinner the following night forty five seconds after we've eaten the current night.  He now understands that I will always want to look at the menu at the McDonald's drive thru, even though the menu has been the same my entire life and I always get the same thing.  How could such a person know what they want to eat in 24hrs?  Unless it's cupcakes. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Status Update

I haven't posted much lately.  The old, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't blog anything at all.  That's where I've been, and honestly, where I still am.  I'm in the same boat as tons of other people, but it feels very personal and painful to me.  I still haven't found a job.  I was lulled by a lot of false hope and thought that I didn't need to be looking, that I was a few rubber stamps away from employed.  I was even being "trained," for whatever that's worth after volunteering for nearly a year.  Last Monday, I was told that my status was low on the priority list and that I should continue to be patient.   Long story short, I decided to take my toys and go home.

The first afternoon I cried and cried and felt sorry for myself.  Okay, I was downright morose.  I'm back at it, though.  I have to think that someone will appreciate the experience I have.  I have a fair amount for someone at this early point in my career.  I work hard and I would never, ever steal staples.  I want to work so bad and I have faith that the right opportunity will come eventually.

The hardest thing for me is the let down from where I thought I was.  I really, really loved the work I was doing and felt (and feel) called to do it, probably more than some who already do. I loved the people I worked with.  Leaving makes it feel like all of the sacrifices I made by volunteering so long weren't worth it.  Making matters worse, it's forced Craig to make a lot of sacrifices, too. In a lot of ways, more than me.  That hurts.

I'm past it, though.  That opportunity may still turn out to be viable, but in the meantime, I'm hustling like always.  I'm wallpapering the law offices of the Greater Memphis area with my resume.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Remember when I wrote this?:

Dear Mice,

Our intentions may not have been entirely clear with the blue pellets in the black plastic trays. They were not intended as offertory morsels. It is clear to me now that you enjoy, nay, prefer them as a tasty treat. Evidently, they give you vigor and a sense of purpose. While I envy this new found pep in your teeny step, knock it off.

Again, the plug in with the flashing light was not purchased to guide your way in the dark of night to whatever you are after. It was supposed to emit frequencies to irritate you into moving to greener pastures, or at the least the neighbor’s house. I hear they have a veritable rodent buffet over there.

I will be more direct. Leave us alone you tiny terrorists.

From this point forward, I will view your droppings as open hostility. If you do not comply immediately, I will insist that you pay your share of rent and use the toilet. Additionally, you will be expected to perform adorable tricks for company.

Please be aware that this notice takes effect immediately.

Laura “Mousekilla” Locke

Well, apparently they were summering on the coast because they are back and mocking my efforts again.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Little Perspective on a Thursday

This morning I woke up in a little bit of a funk.  Not a bad mood, exactly, but not feeling my usual self.  Yesterday wasn't the best at work and I was still ruminating on my job prospects and why I went to law school and why, of all the millions of ways my DNA could've sorted itself, it chose to give me hair that is, let's say, spirited.  At the half way point of my commute I went from unenthusiastic to irritated.  Every light was out in midtown and traffic was heavier than usual  because of a fire a few streets away.  You and I know that when the lights are on the fritz, everyone is supposed to treat it like a four-way stop.  In Memphis, it's a gladiatorial show down of bravery and brawn.  I have neither.

I got to work and everything was fine and my mood eventually improved.  I completely forgot about the traffic.  During a break, I checked the local headlines.

Midtown Memphis power outage caused by squirrel this morning

By Kevin McKenzie

Perspective comes in many forms. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This Doesn't Reflect My Taste in Music (Much)

Craig is rarely wrong.  It's a very annoying trait, but he really is right about things most of the time.  I don't mean big decisions.  I'm talking about things like word spelling, which street something is on, math. You know, the little stuff.  He's right so often that when we differ on something, I usually to defer to him.  My version of things can be a little fuzzy. I tend to fill in the details of reality as I go.  I focus on what I think is interesting, and not necessarily what's important.  I've mentioned this before in this blog, but I truly believed until a few years back that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was called The Abomidable Snow Man. I'm sharp at work, but in the rest of my life, it's a little more Harold and the Purple Crayon as far as minor details go.

Because of his sometimes irritating habit of being right, it can be very funny when he's not.  Song lyrics are one thing that he's flubbed a few times.  Once, in the car, Steve Miller Band came on and he was singing along.  It took a few bars for me to realize what he was saying.  More importantly, what he wasn't saying.  "Big Old Jet Airliner" went a little something like, "We don't Carolina."  Huh?

I mess up lyrics all the time, but I mess up all kinds of things.  I even have the awkward underappreciated talent of changing the words to songs intentionally, a la Weird Al.  If I'm ever drugged up for surgery or otherwise out of my mind, ask me to sing my song about a manatee to the tune of "Iron Man."  Anyway, my goof ups aren't funny because they're expected.  Or, maybe that's exactly why they're funny?

Moving on.

 Yesterday we were driving home and Craig was humiliating me being funny by blaring Huey Lewis through our neighborhood.  The Heart of Rock and Roll (as in The heart of rock and roll is still beating) came on, and I kid you not, The Ambassador of Endless Trivia and Spelling Extrordinaire was loudly singing, "Because the heart of rock and roll, the heart of rock and roll is in Cleveland."  Again, huh?  Carolina, Cleveland.  I'm not sure why he thinks geography is such a common theme, but it cracked me up.  I've obviously made him self-concious about it, though.  One day he was singing to himself the Paul Simon Song, "Slip Sliding Away."  The line goes: "He said, "Delores, I live in fear.""   Once I got close enough to hear, I heard Craig sing, "Delores, meh meh meh me-eh."  It was to the tune.  I'll give him that. 

As a final note, I should mention C's defense to his Huey Lewis mix up.  He said that he wasn't really wrong because the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is, in fact, in Cleveland.  Other than the fact that the song predates the Museum, I think that's a pretty good counter argument to the facts staring him in the face.  Maybe he should be the lawyer instead.

Craig and his brother from another mother, Joe.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Blog Post About Privacy. Irony?

My Dearest Restroom Companions,

I am grateful to you for all of the "Good mornings," "Hellos," and "Hi theres" offered from the stalls.  While I cannot express to you the level of discomfort it causes me, I even appreciate the sentiment behind the questions that require response, "How are you?"  "Are you an attorney?"  No one could ever fault you for a sunny disposition.  Try as I might, I cannot reciprocate.

To avoid further restroom avoidance on my part and the medical issues that will surely insue, allow me to explain my comfort level with restroom banter and what I feel are reasonable parameters.  First, it is my firm belief that the walls partitioning off stalls are not merely for visual privacy.  We all know what's going down next door.  Instead, they are there to provide some fiction of solitude, similar to one's own personal facilities at home.  This is where you and I seem to differ.  Evidently, you think the space above and below the walls is there to allow for some real get to know you time.  It's like speed dating.  For friends.  On the toilet.  Well, I could not like it less.  Maybe I'm uptight, and maybe I'm just a bit unfriendly, but that is one place I will always be at a loss for words.

Where I can be more sociable is by the sinks, or at the door, or on the sidewalk, or really anywhere beyond the inner sanctum of the stall.  We can talk about your shoes, your dog, your heart murmur, your wayward son, your dinner plans, your no good husband, or the man outside that may or may not be Sean Connery.

I tell you this so that I won't be misunderstood.  I will continue to offer only the weakest oh, hi or complete silence in response to your salutations if they are offered from behind the walls.  I will continue to wait you out and stare angrily at your shoes because revealing myself to you is not an option.  Then you would know, for sure, that it's not a deaf person you are speaking to, but that overeager whatshername with a complicated relationship with the common printer.

Yours certainly aren't the gravest of public restroom sins.  I can't even begin to understand how someone could do the unthinkable in a public restroom.  I would sooner commit hari kari.  All the same, please accept my neuroses for what they are and, if you would be so kind, accomodate them.


Yes, that's me who opens the outer door of the restroom, sees someone else is in there, and quickly leaves, turning the corner to avoid discovery.

Photo from:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Just as I have learned to like squash and taking naps, I have also learned to love and look forward to Fall.  Until recently, I always entered into it with a vague feeling of anxiety and a sadness over the loss of long summer days.  I awaited the impending doom of an insurmountable test that never came to be.  Every year of school was more similar than not to the year before it, but I was a sucker for the threats of my teachers, "You just wait 'til next year, this'll never cut it." "If you think this is hard, wait until you have to diagram a sentence, learn long division, algebra, SATs, AP history, college term papers, senior projects, civil procedure, appellate advocacy..."  I bought it hook, line, and sinker and found myself anxious each August as the syllabus ominously foreshadowed what would surely be the year I failed out of school.  Of course, I never did and I always ended up happy and adjusted into my new class, managing my assignments just fine.  Unfortunately, the anxiety was never quite enough to keep me from losing track of the notes I'd taken and end up with wads of undoubtedly important paper in the bottom of my bag by the end of October. Along the way, I found things to like about Fall like new school clothes and supplies; and later, sorority parties, house decorations, recipes to try, but I would always have traded those for a few more weeks of my beloved summer.

I don't know what exactly has changed. It might be ending my lifelong career as a student, or maybe it's, and don't tell Craig, a passing interest in football.  Probably not, but it's possible.  Maybe it has to do with living in a part of the country now that actually has Fall.  On the Coast it's more like, Warm, Muggy Hot, Still Pretty Hot, and Three Weeks of Cold.  You can never put your t-shirts up.  I have spent Thanksgiving in 80 degree heat, followed the next day by a hard freeze.  In any case, I find myself actually looking forward to this change of season.  This time last year I toyed with the idea of a positive attitude, but decided against it.  This year, I'm all in.  I finally get why people say that Fall is their favorite time of the year.  Personally, I will always be partial to Spring with it's technicolor green, mild breezes, and mardi gras, but I think I may be coming around to Fall as being more than the harbinger of chilly short days. 

This past weekend, I spent the labor day holiday on a lake with Craig's family.  I spent as much time as I could in the water.  Growing up on the Coast and with an avid swimmer for a Dad, I spent many hours somewhere between pruned and waterlogged.  It's been several years since the last time I had the chance to dive in.  It was almost baptismal to float around with my ears under water, hearing only my breath and the gurgling of the lake.  We woke up, after spending the night on a screen porch, to a cool Autumn morning.  I am so glad I was able to have one last lazy summer weekend, but I'm looking forward this year to the leaves' third act. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


These pictures are from Southern Living and House Beautiful