Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Whole New Blog

I know, I know. I hardly ever update this and you're all waiting with bated breath to know what I think about whatever thing I know about lately. Sorry I haven't delivered. But your wait is over! I am now co-authoring a shiny new blog! I may or may not still ever update this one, but you can find all sorts of awesome stuff over there, updated regularly. Check us out here!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Handsome

I know I've been quiet for a while. I haven't had anything noteworthy to tell, but there's something that's been weighing on my mind for a few weeks. It's time I got it off my chest.

I saw Harry Potter on opening night. I’m not an “opening night” kind of girl, usually, but I am also not one to pass up a babysitter when one presents itself (herself). The movie followed the book pretty closely and managed to make me cry about a thousand times, and so on, but that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about Neville Longbottom.

For years, my heart has belonged to Ron Weasley, mostly because of his good fortune to be played by Rupert Grint. This last installment, however, has left me seriously reconsidering my loyalties. I mean, did you see Neville? Holy Smokes. It's already nearly a miracle that the casting directors were able to pick so many kids and have so few of them grow up into complete uggos, right? But seriously, good on them.

So handsome.

That is all.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Here's what happened tonight.

I told JT that I have a new favorite flavor of ramen noodles. Pork. It tastes like how I always want the beef ones to taste but they never do. JT said, "That sounds like a good blog entry." So here it is.

When he saw I had my blog editor open, he said, "That's going to be really boring."

Make up your mind, JT.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I tried to write a post about how it's not healthy to be too hard on yourself, then use that as the introduction to a list of five things I do well, but a couple of things happened. For one, I couldn't think of a full five things. Secondly, it sounded really contrived. And fair play, because it totally was. I just wanted to brag about my baking abilities.

I can bake something serious, you guys. None of this fondant-covered Food Network stuff, but real, mostly-butter, crumbly-edged, somebody-get-me-some-ice-cream, essence-of-southern-grandmother goodies.

It's important that you know this about me because if you've ever seen me Charleston, you might think I'm not good at anything.


*Upon rereading this, I realize it's not much of a worthwhile post, is it? Let's make it a game. Leave a comment bragging about your awesome skill, then I'll reply with something that I think you do well. It's fun to brag, but getting a compliment too? How can you resist?.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Tale of Molly and Holly

A long time ago, I worked at Sam Goody in Quail Springs mall. I met a lot of interesting people at that job. Tony, the guy at the shoe store downstairs, and Jennifer, the girl from Claire's, wound up being a couple of my closest friends for a while. I had a coworker named Holly who was pretty cool, too. Holly was new to the store and liked all the music I liked and we had a good time working together. One time, she asked me to hang out with her outside of work.

She suggested Frontier City, an amusement park in Oklahoma City, because she had a season pass and there was some sort of special where season ticket holders could bring a guest for free. I told her I wasn't really that into rides because I'm a super scaredy cat and, though I'm sure she was a bit disappointed, we agreed to take it easy and only ride the rides I could handle. I did want to stick around until sundown and ride the Ferris wheel, though. I hadn't ever been on one before and it looked sedate enough for my taste.

The first time hanging out with someone is a pretty big deal. You don't know how much you will actually have in common or what you're going to talk about or anything like that, and if the meeting doesn't go well, you usually don't get a second chance. I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, but decided to just relax. I mean, we got along swimmingly at work, and we spent a lot of time socializing when things were slow, so it wouldn't really be that much different, right?

We met up at the gate and, as it was Oklahoma in the summertime, our first stop was to fill up Holly's special cup with something to keep us hydrated. She had purchased it at the park and it entitled her to cheap refills. It held about half a gallon of Dr. Pepper. We shared it while we walked around the park and refilled it once or twice throughout the day.

We had a great time. We chatted as we walked and never ran out of bands to agree about. Holly looked cool because she knew the way around the park. I looked cool because one of the regulars from work recognized me and let us ride the go karts for free. Holly, as it turns out, loved the go karts but never got to go on them because they usually cost eight bucks to ride. I knew we would be best friends after that.

The sun started to set and we headed over to the Ferris wheel. Unsurprisingly, there was a pretty long line. Lots of people had my same idea. The line zigzagged back and forth, cramming as many of us as possible into a small space, making optimal use of the bit of land allotted for it. After all of us had been in the 90-something degree heat and humidity that day, it wasn't particularly pleasant. The smell of hot people rose to my nostrils. The gallons of Dr. Pepper began to swirl in my stomach. Holly asked if I felt alright. I was determined to ride the Ferris wheel, and we were so close to the front of the line now. Maybe we wouldn't make it on with the next group, but we'd be high above the city and away from the crowd soon. I told her I was fine. But my stomach did not agree.

As the people in front of us moved to board the ride, I told Holly I needed a restroom. We turned and weaved our way back through the tightly packed people and, just before we made it out, it happened. Gallons of Dr. Pepper came spewing out of my mouth with the force of a thousand tsunamis. I ran for the toilet, stopping to barf over railings and into trash cans all the way across the park. I made it to the restroom in only enough time to wash my hands and make a pitiable effort at tidying up my shirt and hair. Holly waited for me outside.

"Sorry," I said feebly. She didn't know how to respond. We walked back to our respective cars and headed home.

And that is how I hung out with Holly exactly once.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Five Things I Love About My Mom

It's been a rough night for me. Friday will mark a full year's passing since I lost my mom to leukemia. But rather than wallow in grief, tonight I make the conscious decision to be happy that we had the sort of relationship that is so devastating to end. So here is a list of 5 things I love about my Dee, in no particular order.

1. She was hilarious. One time, she took my best friend Katie and me to see a movie at the drive-in. We stopped on the way to get a bucket of chicken to take with us. She left us in the car while she ran in the KFC, and when she came back out to the car she looked flustered and said, "Well that was a finger lickin' experience."

Another time her boss brought in his girlfriend, a model type with elongated features. He said, "Isn't she exotic?" to which she replied, "Yeah, she looks like a giraffe."

One time, she put icing all over a phone book and served it up as birthday cake.

2. She was spunky. In her younger days, she dated a guy named Johnny Lemon. Johnny drove a cherry red mustang with Woody Woodpecker painted on the hood. He gave her his drop, a gold pendant of his initials, to signify that they were going steady. He had given the same drop to all his other steadies and gotten it back when they broke up. When I helped her clean out her garage a couple of years ago, we came across it. Take that, Heartbreaker!

She got a memo one day at work that was addressed to everyone, but was really just for her. It said that everyone working there had to take up a full parking spot. She had been parking her motorcycle on the yellow line between the cars belonging to the president and VP of the company.

3. She threw great parties. Dee could put together a spectacular event on any budget. She helped me throw the best wedding anyone's ever been to, if I say so myself. But she also made her regular office meetings something to look forward to. In fact, they called her back for years after she retired to help plan conventions. Nobody could do it like her. She did things people would have never thought of. For my 13th birthday, back when I was obsessed with the local hockey team, the OKC Blazers, she helped me plan a bowling party. But when I showed up, my favorite player in the league was there to join us, as well as one of his teammates.

4. She wrote one hell of a letter. When someone wronged her or someone she cared about, she wrote letters so well-worded and scathing that I could hardly proofread them for her without feeling an amount of pity for the recipient, which was nearly always expressed as a nervous laugh because I cannot handle confrontation. When a friend of hers was asked to retire from her 30-year post as church secretary, she wrote a letter to the board of elders, naming names and listing in detail the ways in which this person had helped them. "She planned your mother's funeral. She taught your son in Sunday school. She arranged food for your family while you were in the hospital," and so on. Then she started a new church.

5. She retained her east Texas drawl. It doesn't say anything about her character, but this is the one that makes me cry as I write. Not being able to hear her voice has been one of the hardest parts of being without her. She had such a distinct sound that everybody knew her immediately by voice. People with whom she had only had phone contact knew her at once when they heard her speak in person. Once, back in the poor days, she wanted to apply for a line of store credit without our adorable salesman (who called her "My Dear" the whole time) knowing if she was denied. So we left the store and she called back to handle it all. Our little salesman answered the phone, and when she spoke her first word, he had the only appropriate reaction to hearing her voice: "Dee!" So much for being sneaky.

So there you have it. Five of a million things I cherish about our time together. I've said this same thing a thousand times over, but it still holds true. Anyone who knew her was fortunate; the only people who should mourn are the ones that never knew her.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Here's a story

Have you ever thought of something from your childhood and, for the first time, realized you've never properly reasoned out the events with an adult's mind? Not like you just forgot about it or something and then one day it popped into your head. I'm thinking more of something that came to mind occasionally throughout the years and you just never challenged your then-assumptions. Ever do that? Well, it happened to me once at least. I was embarrassingly old, maybe around 23, when it happened.

One year I was She-Ra for Halloween. This was in the early 1980s, so the costume was more or less a trash bag or, more accurately, a plastic pillow case with arm holes and a picture of She-Ra's body stamped on it. It was certainly nothing sophisticated. And it came with a mask, too. It was the kind of mask where there's a picture of She-Ra's face and then three ovals cut out so I could see and breathe. It was awesome. I wore it to the Temple, my Jewish preschool where nobody was Jewish except for one of the teachers, Mrs. Goldman. But we did sing a happy birthday song to the tune of the dreidel song any time anyone got older.

This particular year, I was going to fool everybody. I was going to leave my mask on the entire day and nobody would know it was me. And I really had them going, too. The highlight of my prank came while we were out on the playground. I very casually planted myself near a group of chatting teachers and listened in on their conversation. I heard my name, followed by inquiries as to my whereabouts. They said I would sure be sad to have missed such a fun class Halloween party, and that they wished I had come to school that day. Success! I was so proud of myself. I went home and told my mom.

Fast forward several years. I was telling this story to some friends one day in a discussion about Halloween costumes of our youth when it dawned on me that the teachers had put on that whole show about me missing school because they knew all along that it was me in the trash bag costume! You see why 23ish can be considered old in this case! It is not as though I was surprised to find that my teachers outwitted me at that age. In fact, it would have been surprising if they had not. But for some reason, I had never reworked my 6-year-old perspective. And how disappointing for me, now. I may never have a costume that convincing again.