Monday, December 22, 2008

Hoo, boy! I know people say this all the time, but I don’t know where December has gone – or November, while we’re talking about it. I feel like yesterday was the election and tomorrow is Christmas. And that really stinks, because I am really stoked about ye olde Christmas Season this year. Which is not unusual, but this year I have just been Mrs. Claus all over the place. I’m not sure why this is, but I think it has something to do with the X-Entertainment Christmas Jukebox. Check it out. Here. I did not know that C3PO had a Christmas album, but it sure has made me giggle.

I am not a Star Wars geek, by the way. (My cousin Michael used to have this huge fabulous collection off figures, but
he’s a collector anyhow.) I know I’ve seen the first (or fourth, depending on your viewpoint) movie, and I’ve seen Han Solo in the carbonite, but once you start in with Billy Dee Williams I lose it. But C3PO singing “Christmas in the Stars” is just, simply, hilarious, and I don’t care how uppity you are.

The Christmas Season also brings with it my Birthday Season. Jesus and I were born less than a week apart. I’m not trying to draw any comparisons, I’m just saying that Baby Jamie came home from the hospital on Christmas Eve, Mary gave birth to Our Lord and Savior that same night, coincidence? You be the judge.

Obviously, I am being facetious.

Turning 31 is sort of a non-event. Turning 30 is a milestone, but I think I just get to drift along now until 40 hits. Geez. Typing that makes it real. Ouch. So, per usual, we had a lovely family dinner , which is always an occasion. Y’all just don’t know.

THIS year, however, the girls surprised me with THIS:

That’s right. It’s My Little Pony. The next best thing to a unicorn. I may not be a Star Wars geek, but my love for the Unicorn approaches the embarrassing and ridiculous. The only reason there are no Unicorns in my house is because Unicorn stuff is all either made of fake crystal or airbrushed on velvet and available only in truck stops. So you see how a My Little Pony cake really fits the occasion. was a cupcake cake.

So, go on about your business, I will be here rocking out to
C3PO (hee-hee - it's on youtube!)and eating cupcakes thanks to Nic, Pais, Angie & Sunshine. Thanks, ladies!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Time

Oh, gosh. I am a neglectful poster. And I have had a lot of posts running around in my head. Lots of posts with a point. Valid points, even, Perhaps my New Year’s resolution will be to post more regularly. However, I have excuse after excuse after excuse. Finals, Board Meeting, blah blah blah. But the MAIN reason is a super secret handmade Christmas gift which has taken up every free minute I have. Not that I minded, because it was SO MUCH FUN. In fact, I am already planning the next one. But, in the meantime, Merry Christmas from the Todd and me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Todd Turns 37.

This is my second favorite picture in all the world:

That pic was taken on the Todd’s 31st birthday, not too long after we started dating. We were at the infamous “Valley Bowl” where you could still smoke INSIDE until sometime during the past year. And I think it was $1.25 a game. Not that it was so long ago the prices were that low – this was only in 2002, the Valley Bowl is just REALLY cheap. That marked the end of my bowling career, by the way.

Also – just in case you are wondering, I am slightly less pale now. VERY slightly less pale, but definitely less pale. I think the camera flash is actually bouncing off my skin and blinding the person taking the picture.

Anyhow. Tomorrow is the Todd’s 37th birthday, and I just wanted to jot down a little post here saying that six years later I still love his crazy, book nerdy, skateboarding, bongo playing, crappy bowling self. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PETE!

Oh – just on case you were wondering about my FIRST favorite picture in the world, here it is. Gotta love Owen Mills.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chock Full O' Links!

As a woman who really stays as far from the political game as possible, I feel the need to write about it now that everything is over and there is no point in it anymore. You know, so the American people can hear my thoughts. Somebody call Anderson Cooper.

Actually, did y’all see him last night? He used to be so hot! When did he turn into a plastic grey-haired Ken doll? (Credit: Nicole) He and Val Kilmer must hang out because he, too, has lost the hotness. I think Val’s face is actually melting. Anyhow, back to Anderson Cooper, because he does get points for talking to folks on a
HOLOGRAM. Life continues to mimic the Jetsons. Next stop: flying cars.

Okay – first of all, I tried to semi-follow this election, which is unusual for me. I checked to make sure I was up to date on who was/was not wearing flag pins. I even watched TWO debates AND the Democratic National Convention with Angie and Brenton, her rabid Hillary-loving boyfriend. (Thatnks, Dr. Brenton. I will never get those hours back.) Never, during any debate, did I hear a clear plan. Lots of rhetoric, no reasoned discourse. Much like when I say I am trying to lose weight. I still eat french fries and don’t exercise, but by golly I am TRYING!

After the debates, I decided it was time to take the lead on this search for truth. So I began a little investigation to see how these candidates were going to help ME. Not the country, but me as an American woman. Because I am selfish like that. Plus, unmarried, middle-class, 30ish women with gainful employment are the black hole of the American political system. I didn’t care about McCain’s POW experience. Whoa, there. It’s valiant and honorable and I thank him for his service to the country, but I wanted to hear about what he plans to do today. I also did not care about Obama’s relationships with his mother – or his father, or whoever his books were about. I DID care that Hillary Clinton is in league with the Devil, so thank goodness we were spared that much.

Where, you ask, did I find my political information? An unbiased (or as unbiased as possible, McCain’s pro-life and anti-gay stances are never popular in the media, nor with me) interview with both candidates actually posing questions pertinent to women and putting the answers in print?

Glamour Magazine. No fooling. That's a link to the article, lest you think I am full of it.

So, long story short (too late!) I voted early for John McCain. Even though I don’t agree with everything he said.

But, now that it’s all over, here are the things I hope President-Elect Obama can make happen for me. Call it my three-pronged plan.

1. This whole “No Child Gets Ahead” thing blows. If you want my full diatribe on the values of leveling, see me privately. Personally, I think your first step should make the following titles required reading before age 6:
Curious George Goes to the Hospital, Where The Wild Things Are, The Lorax, The Giving Tree, and The Berenstain Bears and the New Baby. Just a thought.
2. Please mandate that all holiday decorations not be displayed for purchase until after the preceding holiday is over. This sanction should not apply to
Cadbury Eggs, which should be available year-round. (**EDIT: That link is to an x-entertainment article that, though I find it hilarious, is pretty nasty-humored. Read at your own risk.)
3. Get me a pony. Maybe even a unicorn. I’ve been waiting on that for years.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It ain't just for field trips!

This past weekend, Widespread Panic played in Atlanta. The Todd is a h-u-g-e Panic fan. I like them, but really I am more of a Phish girl myself. Well, I am more of a Carly Simon girl than anything else, but if you want to just talk just the jam bands, I lean more towards Phish. But I don’t really count as a jam fan in “true” circles, because I don’t do concerts. I mean I do concerts, but not 2 day festivals, etc. The bootleg will be perfectly fine with me, I'm not going to Hampton in March, you know? the The Todd, however, is a whole other story. So last Friday and Saturday he was at Lakewood Amphitheatre with some buddies. Sooo, on Saturday I had a lovely girls’ day with Nicole and Paisley!

Nicole had never been to
Callaway Gardens, except for one trip this summer to the beach, and Paisley and I had a blast taking her through the sites. It was officially “Garden Fest” but we just stuck to the usual stuff. It was MUCH fun, but we all agreed that if we had the staff and bank account that the Gardens obviously does, we could find something colorful to bloom besides mums. Giant, beautiful mums, but still just mums. See, look behind Nic and Pais – MUMS!

What I really should have taken pictures off were the fish. There is a gigantic Koi pond outside Sibley and I swear the title character from the movie "Big Fish" was in there. As soon as you walk out on the deck, all the fish come swimming up to you – sort of like the happy Callaway version of Shark Week. Anyway, this bad boy was so big that he sucked up one of the smaller fish and spit it back out. Perhaps Koi are not cannibalistic.

There was also an Enchanted Topiary Garden at Sibley…….it reminds me of something out of Dr. Seuss.

And here’s Nicole with an enchanted topiary flower –

There was also an organ concert going on over at the Chapel (where you aren’t allowed to play anything but hymns), and we could hear it all though the Sibley Center. This was good for two reasons: A) it made the flowers so much holier, and B) we didn’t feel so back not actually sitting in the chapel for the concert. I wanted to get some photos of the stained glass – because there are 4 panes on one side, each representing a season – but I thought that would be kind of rude to the organist. Instead, here’s Pais on a rock outcropping/waterfall next to the chapel –

And, finally, the last time I went to the Gardens, I was ticked off because I did not see any turtles. Usually there are turtles everywhere. And - TA DA! - just outside the chapel, swimming in the shallows, was this little guy. Can you see him?

All in all, a lovely day. The weather was perfect! Breezy, not too hot - although, Nicole was quite perturbed with the absence of festival food. No caramel apples means a sad Nicole! We had a fantastic time. I think we should make this a regular occasion. Next up.....Fantasy In Lights!

Monday, October 13, 2008

LeVar Burton would be so proud.

Ahhhhhhhh. That sound you hear is happy, contented little me after a most relaxing weekend. I went to lunch last Thursday with my friend Amanda, who loves to read, as do I. When I got out of the car at the restaurant (Which was Fatdaddy’s, for you locals. Best chicken fingers in town, no lie.) and Amanda had a BAG of books for me. Hello, Christmas in October! So – other than vacuuming and washing dishes – pretty much all I did, A-L-L weekend long was read. Pete was home, and he’s been trying to get through War & Peace for the past several weeks, with breaks for his nutso sci-fi in between sections. I don’t mean science fiction as in – wait, I don’t read science fiction so I have nothing to offer you. But several of these books he has bought for $1 at gas stations on road trips – you get the idea? There is also some Carl Hiaasen in there, which is not science fiction, but I tried to read it and thought my head would explode. So there you go. Russian classics, meet crappy pulp fiction.

Anyhow, I had just finished a ginormous (gigantic + enormous) biography of Katharine Hepburn (Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, by William J. Mann)so I was in the perfect mood to attack a bag o’ chick lit. By the way, this new biography has totally ruined my whole idea of Katharine Hepburn. Apparently the whole legend about KH and Spencer Tracy was much less a 26 year love affair and much more alcoholic codependency AND not even a romantic relationship. The entire book really portrayed Hepburn as sort of a frigid lesbian obsessed with fame. Screw you, William J. Mann! I’m going back to a crappy biographer who doesn’t check facts! So THERE! I’m getting off topic now….

I was really excited about these books! Nothing is better on a cloudy fall day than opening all the windows and curling up with your significant other and a couple of books. There is nothing more perfect than that. Well, unless your significant other walked in the door with a Cotton Candy Blizzard with extra Cotton Candy…..which mine did. Like I said, perfection. No kids, no meetings, no weddings, no parties, no classes, no studying, no volunteering, just books.

It took me all weekend, but here are my recommendations:

1. Names My Sisters Call Me – Hysterical. If you have ever been engaged (which I have not, but everyone else has) or if your family is the slightest bit –um- "dramatic" (I am not calling y’all dramatic, I am just saying that some of our family togetherness could be filmed and spliced into the reality show of your choice.) then you need to read this book. Oh, it cracked me up, and I could look at every character and say “Oh, I know her! That’s so-and-so!” In fact, I did call one of my best friends and took the book to her no less than 5 minutes after I finished it.

2. The Cinderella Pact – Lately there is a huge amount of big girl books, written for those of us who spend entire days on the couch with their boyfriends, a book, and a Cotton Candy blizzard. Lane Bryant should really have a book section, and then my life would be complete. So this is a Big Girl Book, and I think it might have been one of my favorites. Overall, I will say that usually Jennifer Wiener is my big girl author, and she’s always good, go try her – even if you’re tiny – Cameron Diaz made a move out off one of her books! But this chick (Sarah Strohmeyer) was just about as good. Besides, they mention Lane Bryant in the book, just as I did above. Awesome.

I also finished another one, and I forgot the name of it, but it should have been called “Crap With a British Accent.” (Sorry, Amanda.) I don’t know why people think that JUST because the Bridget Jones books were made into hit movies means that 75% of chick lit should be set in London. This one was so bad that I cannot even remember the TITLE – something about cocktails, which should have given the crap factor away. Because, I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually say “Let’s go meet for cocktails!” I just use the more generic “Hey, let’s go get a drink.” Actually, these days I don’t even say that anymore because “Are you going to Angie’s for Grey’s?” is so much easier.

So, go buy those books - or check them out at your local library. And then try War & Peace, because the good Lord knows Pete will not be discussing anything about it with me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Aw. Kitty.

It’s vacation time in my world. Not that I’m going anywhere special…it’s more of a noncation. So really, I’ve been just lazing around. I had these fantastic plans to hang some curtains and do the 87,000 projects I have around the house, but so far it has been just so much more pleasing to lay in my sister Lulu’s backyard and chat. So that’s what I’ve done for the past few days, mostly. Well, that and fight with AM, who has made a roaring recovery over at Poplar Creek and is now back at the top of her Jamie-baiting game. Monday we had an argument over why I should or should not take her old girdles home. Rest assured that said girdles are still in her possession, although whether I need them or not is still up for some debate.

I think God must have known how perturbed I was by Girdlegate ’08, because there was one heck of a rocking surprise for me Monday night. I came home pretty irritated from Poplar Creek, although AM tried to apologize by inviting me to dinner, but I refused the invitation by telling her it would be a cold, cold day before she saw me eat even the smallest bite of food in her presence. So I got back to my duplex, snapped the dogs’ leashes on, and went outside. As we were playing in the yard, I kept hearing this yowling noise. It was L-O-U-D. Once, when Pete and I were living in Greenwood Park, there was a rather “romantic” feline couple who went on a date outside our apartment. That’s about what this sounded like. So I forgot about it and took the dogs back inside.

An hour or so later, I was outside again with Fisher and Trey, and was getting ready to leave for Angie’s (Yay! More Angie!) and I could still hear all the yowling. The house next door to me, which belongs to my friend April, is empty and up for sale, and there’s a crawlspace under it. So then I decided that there must have been a mama cat having kittens under April’s house. I thought I had better go check – I mean, because I would totally have been prepared for cat gynecological surgery and all – so I put the boys back in and shut the door. When I turned around, there was this little grey head popping out of April’s yard. So I said, “What are you doing, cat?” and then…..

That cat ran across April’s yard, ran across my side yard, and jumped into my arms like a dog. And I thought, “Oh, maaaannnnn.”

So I called Mom, the Queen of Pet Rescue, and she came to check it out. It’s a little grey kitten –I think you call this color “Russian Blue” or some crazy name. My best friend (and former roomie) Chuck used to have a cat this color, and it used to beat up on Fisher all the time. Needless to say, Fisher has just sniffed at the kitten and left it alone.

I left the kitten with some water and the towel, left for Angie’s, and decided I would wait until the morning and see if it was still there. And the next morning, it was propped on its little towel waiting for me, and promptly bounded over the grass to twine itself around my feet. Apparently, I have an outside cat now. El Pedro hasn’t seemed mad about it, and the dogs aren’t really interested in it, so I’m waiting to see if it will stick around. It HAS already killed it's first mouse...or mole, or some furry critter...and I think that was a present thanking me for adopting it.

Naming the cat is becoming difficult. Baby Brother, unsurprisingly, suggested Azrael, after Gargamel's cat from The Smurfs. Since it’s getting close to Halloween, though, I was leaning more towards the cat from Miss Switch. For those of you who are not freaks like us, Miss Switch was an ABC After-School Special from when we were little, about Rupert and Amelia and their substitute teacher, who also happened to be a witch. Miss Switch had a cat and I liked the idea of naming my kitten after hers, but the name is Bathsheba. So for now we’re going with that, but what if it’s a boy cat? So I’m taking suggestions for boy cartoon cats. Or names for gender-free cartoon cats!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Clint Eastwood has nothing on me.

The Good

In an act of complete awesomeness, my cousin Michael surprised me by sending me an iPod in the mail, which pretty much rocked my face off. See, Mike is a B-I-G Grateful Dead fan. He has the greatest tape collection I have ever seen. Not that I have seen that many huge tape collections but I have a feeling his collection would still be pretty impressive even to someone who knew better. Let me give you an example: in 1964, the Dead were playing as “The Warlocks” and they had to change the name because there was already a band called “The Warlocks.” Who has a tape of the Warlocks? My cousin Michael.

I was once in Statesville, North Carolina visiting with my Mom’s folks and I begged and pleaded for Mike to burn me some copies of his tapes. And we have revisited the idea, but he’s never gotten around to it, as since then he and his wife have had a lovely daughter (Hi, Callie!) and in general had a life, rather than 8 billion free hours to make me some CD’s.

Fast forward to this Monday, when a mysterious manila envelope landed in my mailbox containing a brand new iPod with 360 Dead songs preloaded onto it. Pete is so jealous he could barely see straight, and our conversation that afternoon consisted to me ending every sentence with, “But I have an iPod.”

I realize I am the last person on the planet not to already have an iPod, but - what can I say, I am a freak. A freak who still drives a car with a tape deck. So my new iPod brings me into the 21st century. Yay!

The Bad(Ass)

Aunt Marian is progressing in leaps and bounds. When this last stroke landed her in the hospital, nobody expected her to make it. The family all came in for Seagraves Deathwatch 2008, gathered around the bedside and…..made fun of each other. Because that’s what we do when we get together, no matter how somber the occasion. But the force of our combined love, or perhaps a desire to shut us up, inspired Aunt Marian to have a feeding tube inserted. Believe it or not, she’s almost ready to make her move to “assisted living.” I’m seriously excited about it because the place she is at the moment reminds me of the Pound. There’s an old lady who sits by the elevator and asks my Dad if he’ll take her with him when he leaves. So we’re all happy that she’ll be over at the other place, which is called Poplar Creek. One of my LC Phi Mu sisters is in charge, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about Karen and her staff. An added bonus is that Pete’s grandmother, Helen, will be there, so we can visit both ladies at once. Helen has been slowly sliding into dementia for a while now, so I don’t know that she and AM (who is pretty sharp most of the time) will be hanging out a lot. At least there will be someone she knows there, though.

The Ugly

Who bounced a check? Jamiedidit. Somehow, I have developed a black hole in the part of my brain that covers personal finances. This is not some new thing that has popped up on the horizon. Once, during my freshman year of college, I bounced 14 checks in a row. Overdraft fees then were $15. They are standing at $32 right now. Just in case you wanted to know that. This is why I generally avoid automated payments.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fun with Printmaster.

So I know I'm a month behind on posting, but AM - she of the Old Maid insults - is still in the nursing home. And school started back. And I'm just plain lazy and out of motivation. But in the meantime until I get caught up with all the stuff I am supposed to do, and can concentrate on a post with a point, here are a few things I have been making in my spare time. That sound you hear is me tooting my own crafty little horn.

That was for my little buddy Hoop's 5th birthday party. I work with his Grandmother, and grew up with his Mom, and each year they are nice enough to let me get as cheesy as I want on his birthday invitations.

And those are some business cards for my good friend Tessa, cellist extrordinaire. I'm still fooling with the fonts.

And finally, one for Miss Angie Cotton, who we have not seen very often lately, as she is lost in New Boyfriend Land. I reside in Old Boyfriend Land, which has many charms of it's own, even if it's missing some of the newfangled amenities of NBL, where everyone is still goo-goo eyed and on their best behavior. When your friends are in New Boyfriend Land, there's always a period of adjustment until they quit walking around in a hormonal fog. And you celebrate the new relationship, and you are delighted that your buddy has found love. But in your secret, bitchy little heart, you just hope they settle down and come back to the outside world before the new season of Grey's Anatomy. We love you Angie! Come back soon!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Called Out.

So, my 93-year-old Aunt Marian is in the hospital after the latest in a series of strokes. She can't swallow. She can't walk. She has trouble talking clearly. BUT….she can still ride my ass. While she was getting some tests run this morning, Lulu's new boyfriend (Brandon) met some of my extended family. Later, after Brandon had left and Aunt Marian had returned to her hospital room, this is the conversation that occurred.

Lulu: "See, Aunt Marian, everyone else met Brandon and they don't think he's too old!"

Aunt Marian: "He looks too old. How old is he?"

Lulu: "He's thirty."

AM: "How old are you?"

Lulu: "Twenty-Six."

AM: "It's time for you to get married"

::All eyes in the room swing towards me, the thirty-year-old single sister.::

Lulu: "Jamie's not married and she's older than me!"

AM: "Well, Jamie's an old maid."

I will let you know when my new deck of cards is coming out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's okay, guys. I have faith in you.

Netflix is one of my favorite inventions, especially after the Video Warehouse experience noted below. There are over 200 titles in my queue (I love that word. Queue.) and I reorganize them obsessively. Every now and then, though, one slips through the cracks and I wind up standing in front of my mailbox wondering what the heck that movie is and why I wanted to see it.

So there I stood this past Friday, looking quizzically at the envelope containing
The Last Kiss. For one thing, I am not a big fan of Zach Braff. I have never remotely liked Scrubs and I don’t find him so much zany as I do annoying. But I seem to remember reading some review that said this was a bright and shining moment for new filmmakers, so realistic, so true-to-life, so I suppose that was how it landed in my mailbox and wasted two hours of my life.

Let me just give you a synopsis of this little gem of a film so that you can keep those two hours for better use. The Last Kiss tells the story of four lifelong friends (including Casey Affleck, always a bonus) facing 30 in Wisconsin. Guy #1 has a meltdown after his girlfriend leaves him and makes the decision that a road trip to Mexico will solve his depression – which is not such a big deal. Guy #2 hooks up with this um…”totally uninhibited”…chick at a wedding and discovers she is his dream girl, only to freak out at the thought of meeting her parents and join the crazy Mexican field trip. Guy #3 decides that rather than work on his marriage he will leave his wife and child and join the Mexican field trip as well – although (being Casey Affleck) he does bail on the road trip at the last minute and come back to be a father, if not a husband.

Meanwhile, Zach Braff becomes the world’s biggest idiot. He and his girlfriend (Who is Jacinda Barrett, who I have loved ever since she was on The Real World.) are expecting a baby. So as the level of responsibility grows, his mental age lowers. Find out you’re going to be a Daddy? Flirt with a cute college kid. Think about buying a house? Sneak away to meet said college student and make a date for that weekend. The drama comes to a boiling point when he gets busted by sweet Jacinda – who I might add is the perfect woman, and I’m not saying that as my opinion, I am repeating the opinion of one of the Doofus Brothers in the film. So Jacinda busts him, he gives the whole, “It didn’t mean anything…now I know how much I love you” line, she tells him to leave AND HE GOES BACK TO SLEEP WITH THE COLLEGE CHICK!!! And of course, Jacinda at last takes him back, because he slept on her porch for three days.

So this is true-to-life drama? I mean, these things happen. Cheating, divorce, idiocy. I get that. We’ve all been through it. But what this whole movie says is that men my age are stupid. I’m not saying I think men my age are stupid. I am a huge fan of men my age – maybe not Zach Braff, but most of them. But still - is this how Hollywood is defining the men of my generation?

Damn. If I was you guys I’d be pissed off.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Extend THIS, Out-Sourced Telemarketers.

So I'm having a crap day. The definitive "one of those days" days. Every question is asinine. Every phone call annoying. I answered the phone 7 times today only to find out - from a recording - that this is my 2nd chance to extend the warranty on my car. Keep in mind that I drive a 1995 Mazda. If the Clicks26 is under ANY sort of warranty, I assure you I am not aware of it. Not to mention the fact that I was at the office, so how did they know it was my car they were offering the warranty for? Finally, on the 7th go-round, I smashed down the number 1 button in a rage and a very nice Eastern Asian woman with a heavy accent and the probably ficticious name of Jessica asked me for how long I would like to extend a warranty that obviously does not exist.

At this point my head turned into a dragon and I insisted loudly and rudely that my office be taken off every mailing list in Eastern Asia, at which point Jessica hung up on me. You aren't going to sell me a warranty acting that way, little Missy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Too Sexy for My Sunburn

Embarrassing moment #1 Not in my entire life, just since this blog started, and that’s only if you don’t count the fact that I admitted my new affection for Over the past weekend, my friends Paisley and Nicole accompanied me to the amazing and wonderful Callaway Gardens. It was Nicole’s inaugural visit, so I originally planned to ride the paddleboats and see the circus and visit the chapel, the Sibley Center, the Butterfly Center…you see where this is headed. But we decided to stay on Robin’s Lake Beach. Which, by the way, was missing both the ferry and the little train, a matter I fully intend to investigate. What’s a trip to the Gardens without riding around the woods on a train? I can’t count box turtles without it!

This whole tangent made no sense to anyone who didn’t grow up in this area, and I am sorry for the confusion. And for your loss, by the way. Because if a child can’t grow up counting box turtles from a kid-sized train hurtling through the Georgia pine forest, what good is being a kid?

Y’all just don’t know - the beach was wonderful. I am the whitest woman in at least the state of Georgia if you don’t count actual albinos, so I loaded up on the sunscreen. We had a fabulous day. Lay out for a while, go swim out past where the kids were to lower the odds that we were swimming in baby pee (Thank you, Paisley for bringing that subject up.), then go let the sun dry you off. It was perfect, and the snack bar was serving up some pretty delicious chicken fingers! Chicken fingers are always an important part of the equation. And the sweet tea was stellar.

Somehow in all of this lazy day, I neglected to reapply the ol’ SPF to my upper back. Later that night, I was putting out close to enough heat to toast a Pop-Tart. I tried the aloe thing, the lotion thing, and I was all set to try the vinegar thing but that’s just no fun for anyone that has to be around you.

This morning the peeling started in earnest. I’m not trying to be offensive or anything, but it’s pretty gross. You know those snake skins your science teacher would keep on a shelf in her classroom? I feel like that snake. So this morning I was itching terribly, but my office looks like a goldfish bowl. It’s just not the best place to contort the body so that you’re able to scratch that little spot just under your shoulderblade yet above your bra strap. That little spot that you can almost get your hand on, but just not quite. And it was driving me nuts. Nothing would work. Not a pen, not my fingertips, not the corner of a file folder. And then it struck me – my boss likes to use this fun little machine (This might not be a big deal to you but I had never seen one until I started working here.) that makes little books with those round binders. Sweet, bendy, binders. Let me tell you, if you have an itch, those things will scratch it. So my poor, peeling, sunburned self is pushed into a corner where nobody can see me with a bendy book binder down the back of my shirt, scratching like fire…..when I hear a “Hello?”

I love the Todd and all, but there was the cutest little real estate agent standing there, looking at me like I was the world’s biggest freak. I mean, he totally busted me, and he was so polite, which meant that of course he had seen the whole thing and was just too nice to mention it. So I was totally humiliated, and too freaked out to use my wonder-binder for the rest of the day.

Case in point: if Callaway Gardens still had a train, I would have been in the SHADE, not gotten a sunburn, and then not been caught with a book binder hooked under the back of my bra.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The nose knows.

Random fact about my family: we are nostalgia freaks. My Christmas present a few years ago was the entire collection of Betsy-Tacy books in hardback. Throughout my childhood (and most of my adulthood) ol’ Betsy Ray was checked out from either Coleman or Memorial Library and in residence on my nightstand. In fact, one summer when I was in college I went through Italy and Switzerland, and packed in my little carry-on was "Betsy and the Great World". The same library edition I read as a kid. It just would not be permissible to go on my own trip into the Great World and not take Betsy along.

So I was totally unsurprised when Baby Brother called yesterday with a delimma. There was some construction going on in his office and when he returned from his lunch hour the smell of the hallway knocked him flat. Yet there was something familiar about the slightly mildewy stench. Baby Brother was just being driven crazy trying to figure out where he knew that smell from, and all he could get to was it was something from when he was a kid.

I answer the phone to this question: “Did I have a He-Man figure that smelled like a skunk?” I’m embarrassed to say that this also sort of struck me as familiar. So we ponder this for a while and finally decide he was remembering the smell of the figures after you played with them in the bathtub and the heads got a bit slimy on the inside. Don’t act like it’s gross, I know your toys did the same thing.

Somehow, I could not stop picking at the idea in my head. We had missed something. So I googled He-Man and discovered the treasure trove of information at I am always amazed and oddly excited at the lengths people will go to for stuff like this. But I needed exactly this information, so way to go, He-Man fans.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet STINKOR – Lord of Odor, whose
Wikipedia entry describes as “humanoid skunk whose superpower is the ability to release a toxic odor from his body that renders foes immobile.” The toy's description mentions that the actual figurine is infused with skunk scent.


I don’t know what the heck is going on over at Baby Brother’s office, but I think we ought to look into harnessing his nasal powers for the forces of Good.

Photo from

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ah, love.

Why the Todd and I stay together: he thinks this comic is as funny as I do. People like to talk about trust and honesty as the center of relationships. What works for us? Lunacy.

Note: This comic came from You should check her out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Old MySpace Blog 1: Alan Rickman Rocks My World.

I love Alan Rickman. It’s his voice. He first came into my life as the bad guy in that crappy Robin Hood movie with Kevin Costner. (Cue Bryan Adams singing “Everything I Do, I Do It for You.” Come on, I know they played it at your middle school Boss Hoss Jam…I was there. I saw you slow dancing in your Hypercolor Shorts.) Anyhow, for a perhaps better reference, Mr. Rickman is also Professor Snape of Harry Potter fame and the Metatron in Dogma (“Hit me with that….fish?”) and his sneering baritone just makes my whole day wonderfully British.

In addition to his sarcastic villains and Jane Austen heroes (see “Sense and Sensibility”), Mr. Rickman starred in Devon and Benjy’s favorite holiday flick, “Love, Actually” with every Brit you’ve ever seen in any movie. Being in the holiday spirit, I ran down to my local Video Warehouse in search of this lovely little film. Little did I know the journey I had begun….

Chapter One
I enter Video Warehouse and search the left hand side of the store in vain. Now, this part is my fault – I should have noted that that ENTIRE side of racks holds “New Releases.” I don’t exactly understand why the “New, Unedited, Director’s Cut” of “Van Wilder” counts as a new release when it’s sitting right next to the “Unrated, Uncut, Special Edition,” but I’m not in charge.

I then search, again in vain, for the nonexistent “Romance Section” and decide to consult Fat Albert, my favorite clerk. (His name is not really Fat Albert, but he looks just like him, except he’s a bit on the effeminate side. Being both a big girl AND a fag hag, I am allowed to lovingly bestow this nickname, so don’t give me any crap about calling him fat. In fact, I am thinking of setting him up with the equally sweet and portly Jason from the Wal-Mart Customer Service Department, but I digress…) Bingo! We have a winner! I happily carry my prize up to the counter and hand it over to Fat Albert. Even though ol’ Al checks me out EVERY time I get a movie, he continues to ask me for my account number. I give him the name, and Albert says, “Oh, girl! I don’t know why I can’t remember that. Y’all always got that dog in the car with you.” Then he looks me straight in the face, OBVIOUSLY knowing I use this account all the time, and tells me I am not listed on Pete’s account, and therefore cannot relieve my Alan Rickman longing. I try to use my fag hag skills, but no dice. Albert tells me to come back with Pedro and get on the card.

Sidenote: I realize I could use MY account, but it still carries a rather large late charge from when Austin Powers 2 first came out. Long story.

Chapter Two
Pete returns from South Carolina for Turkey Day. Deciding we are too old for the annual pre-Thanksgiving pub crawl, we load up (with the dog, per usual) and ride back down to Video Warehouse. I grab the “Love, Actually” DVD as my choice and we head to the counter. Fat Albert is once again our clerk. He asks if “Y’all got that dog in the truck again?” and tallies up our bill. We ask that I be added to the account, and Albert explains that, as Pete and I are not married, this is not possible. I remind Albert that he TOLD me to get on the account, but he holds his (considerably large) ground. Still though, we go home with Alan Rickman.

At the house, I make some popcorn and pop in my movie…..which doesn’t play. How much trouble can I possibly go through? Why won’t it play? Because Fat Albert failed to notice that the super-video-store clear coating has been ripped off, leaving stick gunk all over the top of the disc. Rather than Alan Rickman, we watch Pete’s choice, called “Gus Van Sant’s Last Days.” The title alone sends me into a tizzy. “Is this about Lynyrd Skynyrd? Do we ALWAYS have to get a band movie?” And Pete’s all, “Way to go, Todd. A – That’s Ronnie Van ZANT. B – Gus Van Sant directed “Good Will Hunting” and this is his take on the last days of Kurt Cobain. C – Yes, it DOES always have to be a band movie.” (Sadly, we really talk like that. I think it’s all the Grey’s we watch.) So, “Gus Van Sant’s Last Day’s” turns out to be WHOLLY unwatchable, even for Pete. It’s mainly the fake Kurt Cobain dressing in outlandish outfits (a black slip with a deerstalker’s cap) and carrying around a rifle. The Mormans come to the house and talk to random members of his drug-loving entourage. Hilarity does NOT ensue. I go to bed pissed, hearing Professor Snape in my head.

Chapter Three
Yesterday, in the midst of a hellacious head-cold, I go to the Wally to get some meds. While I am there, I think, “Hey, they have a movie section – SCORE!” However, the Wally movie section is much like the Video Warehouse new releases. They had both the “Uncut, Unrated” and “Director’s Cut – 3 hours of Commentary!” editions – this time of “Knocked Up”. Aw, Seth Rogan. So cute in his tubby little way. Mid-aisle, in the bargain sections, still NO LOVE ACTUALLY! Really. The closest thing they had at the Wally was “Love, American Style,” which was some super 70’s TV thing, NOT starring Alan Rickman. Oh – and you can also find a two-for-one special on “I’m Gonna Get You, Sucka” and some other Wayans Brother crap…..also not starring Alan Rickman. So I leave the Wally dejected, sad, and sick as a dog. Although I did have a Potter-thon, but it wasn’t the same.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My tears fall down like rain.

As if the cost of a gallon of gas exceeding the cost of a pack of Camel Lights is not enough, we finally have genuine proof that the world is, in fact, coming to an end. I heard the news yesterday on the way to Mountville for our weekly dinner with the Todd's folks. We were in the the Clicks, with its wide range of radio stations offering country, country, country and 107.3. You really can't ask much of a 1995 Mazda 626, you know? 107.3 was playing the general rotation of Music I Don’t Give a Rip About, so I was listening to the Country Countdown and laughing because somewhere along the line Mr. Festival has learned the words to Taylor Swift’s “Our Song.”

So the host of the Country Countdown announces some new, hot record by a young man named Darius Rucker. The name sort of (watch out) struck a chord (I warned you.) with me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And the song, titled “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” sucked. I have this theory that you really shouldn’t try for one of those long drawn out song titles unless you have a name that sounds like you could be a County Sheriff in a really bad Lifetime movie – no offense to any Deputies who may be reading this. I totally support you and I plan on getting one of those window stickers to prove it. Anyhow, I just don’t think Darius is up there with Porter, Conway or Merle in the list of appropriate names for country songwriters.

Back to the story…I’m about to change the song, my hand is on the dial, and Pete starts cracking up. “Oh, man! Do you know who that is?” I’m sure y’all already know who it was, because you have better name recognition than I do and all that, but…


Okay, it wasn’t Hootie. Because though Hootie IS a person, he is not in the band Hootie and the Blowfish. He was a friend of the band from the college choir at the University of South Carolina, check Wikipedia. Darius Rucker does not enjoy being called Hootie and he will tell you right quick-like. But still, for all intents and purposes, it was freaking Hootie.

I don’t think y’all understand how big this is: Hootie has gone country (look at them boots). He’s gone country, but not back to his roots! (Aw, snap.) I could be totally wrong, but I just don’t see Hootie, I mean Mr. Rucker, being raised musically on Waylon, Willie and the boys. This is a travesty.

You know, I could be totally off on this. Darius Rucker could have grown up in some po-dunk town wishing he was one of the Oak Ridge Boys. But he’s ruining my youth. Hootie was a big part of my Senior Spring Break, of countless Bonfire Parties, Cabin Trips and excursions through rock quarries. I don’t think I ever drank anything without either Hootie or Dave (only up to the Crash album, after that I left him forever) playing in the background until I got to college. Let Her Cry? Let ME cry, Hootie. You and your hot, long-haired drummer, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld.

So you go on and have your hot country comeback, Mr. Darius Rucker. Try to forget the Hootie in your past. BUT…Don’t Think I Won’t Think About It.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Whodidit? Jamiedidit.

So here we are, the first entry in what just may be words of wisdom that change the world as we know it, but will more than likely be ramblings from my snarky little mind that will only be read by my nearest and dearest. It might be important to warn you now of my love for the run-on sentence, as it is something you need to get used to. What do you need to know about me, I wonder. I'm a book whore. I live in my lil' Georgia hometown with the boyfriend (whose name is Pete, not Todd, yet will often be referred to as such) and the mutts. I'm in school and working, and trying to gracefully slide into my thirties. This is my journey.