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.