Monday, April 30, 2007

My Biscuits Exposed!

Ok ok, you guys have been begging to see my biscuits... I was a little hesitant, because once you see them, you know you're going to want to butter them, but I'll take my chances. In all seriousness though, I was very proud that they turned out even close to my Mom's because she has the best biscuits anywhere... (wait that didn't sound good, did it?? Oh man put my foot in my mouth again). Fuggidaboutit!! Here they are (closes eyes and gets ready to flash biscuits):

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Like It

Well, I had a milestone today. When I woke up this morning at my Mother's house, after very little sleep to begin with, I volunteered to make breakfast for her so she wouldn't have to--That's not the milestone, however. Do you remember a couple months ago when I posted about My Mom's Biscuits, and how I ruined them by suggesting she use Canola oil instead of her trusty ole 'Crisco' shortening? Well this morning I made my very first batch of biscuits (in the honorable Crisco tradition, in my Mother's footsteps) and she gave me her 100% stamp of approval! I will post a photo of these biscuits later... I swear. Must prove this!

Anyways, I got all caught up on family time, and my spirit is once again recharged like the dead battery it was from this past week... But it's sunday, and that only means one thing--Work starts again tomorrow... (Wait, make that two things because Heroes comes on tomorrow night too thank goodness!).

So in honor of my dread for Monday I have to warn you that I am about to break out into full DeBarge meltdown by posting a video I ran across of these cute kids doing a quite amusing video to "I Like It"... It made me smile, and dance so I hope you enjoy... yes, every once in a while I have a "DeBarge Moment"... and I don't feel a damn bit guilty! :D


Cheers guys and gals!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Frustrating Friday

Once again, I must complain about Customer Service.

First of all, let me ask you if you are a Cashier or work in some other Customer-oriented type job, do you enjoy it? If not, what are you doing there? Surely in today's anti-social day and age where there are limitless possibilities of making money with online endeavors and with Ebay and Amazon in high gear, you can literally stay home making money and not deal with a soul face-to-face.

That being said, I assume that if I come into your establishment, or a store where you work in a Customer Service position (such as a cashier, attendant, manager etc.) that you are there of your own free will. Yes, I think that you actually applied for your job and choose to wake up and go to it each day. Am I wrong in assuming this?

Even so, I continue to encounter the foulest, "sourpuss" cashiers imaginable.

The girl at the Walmart Neighborhood Market last night couldn't find it in her heart to even cough out a "How are you today?". So, of course I do the "reverse customer service maneuvers", and I extend the olive branch to her only to have it snapped off by her lemon-puss expression and mute state. Oh, wait, obviously she had to have lost her tongue in a disasterous shelf-stocking accident and therefore she can't speak. She's literally mute? How horrendous--I'm such an ass.

Really.

So then, she continues to scan my groceries, and I put them in my basket as she gets done with them. She can barely whisper my Total under her breath. Thank God that they have little digital screens to tell us this because it makes their antisocial job so much easier for them--they don't have to speak... right? So I scroll my debit/credit card through the machine (this is even easier for them so that they don't even have to reach out and get any money from you... even less interaction imposed upon them.

Oh wait, I forgot. She's required to hand me my receipt but that still made no difference. She hands me my receipt with a cold blank zombie-like stare.

It's all up to me again... I say hopefully, "Thanks, you have a good evening."

((silence)) followed by moving sourly along to the next customer.

Me, responding even LOUDER, "...OR DON'T!!!!!!!!!!"

Pissed, I roll the shopping cart away with all my stuff... the little haint didn't even check to see if I was forgetting anything, and go the extra 'inch' to assist me in any way, so I ended up leaving my bag of apples.

When did treating people nice become such a huge inconvenience for you cashiers?

Is it just me that feels this way?

Passing along a smile actually makes you feel better, not worse. Even if you've had a bad day and you don't think you can even hang in there one second longer, you're working for the public. Their business pays your salary. By passing along your sour attitude it really does have an affect on everyone involved.

Things are tough all over, but there are a million people out there that would be happy to have your job and serve me with a smile. So please, go somewhere else and do something that you actually enjoy so that we (the customers) can at least get treated with a little humanity.

Oh and, "Thank you... Have a Nice Day."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursdays Need Love Too

I've been trying to get some things done today, but alas the temptation to slack has won again. Today is the next to the last day of the week, which happens to be tomorrow... I'm so glad. I'm merely sitting here wondering what I can get stirred up for the weekend. I feel rather mischievous, but don't know exactly what I want to do. Definitely, i'm going to visit Mom and Dad... not sure if I will do that Friday night or Saturday night though (I think it is essential that I enjoy a nice, quiet relaxing visit for my soul). It's an escape for me.

Aside from that, it would be cool to have some sort of an adventure!

Great visits that I had today were with Dan over at Dan's Blah Blah Blog, and we both discovered some very uncanny similarities in our personalities because of our 'Cancerian Heritage'. He shared some great photos with me from the many travels he and his wife Laura have experienced. It's very breathtaking some of the places they have been, and I only wish I could travel more. Thankfully, we have wonderful people like them to share their voyages with us through the magic of photography.

Also, got to briefly chat with Rockdog, and we discussed our trying to find the time to get to our writing projects, but it's been so very busy for everyone lately. Responsibilities come and go, sometimes they're heavier than others, but I am a firm & procrastinating believer in the old "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (it's all small stuff)" philosophy... and that we only live (this life) once and some things can just wait, and you have to make time to do the things that you enjoy immensely.

So tonight I have band practice with my band, SAP. Other than that, I want to get to bed early enough to get up and go walking in the morning before work. Then I have to finish digging around to find something great to do this weekend... any ideas?

Enjoy the rest of your day, and if you don't get back through the Forrest again soon then remember to have a Happy Weekend.

I'll be back tomorrow with maybe something Funtastic for Friday. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Satisfaction and Stuff

Daily Horoscope for Cancer
If you are satisfied with your life now, then you will be easier to get along with. Even if you have been wounded in love, this is a time when you can move past the pain of your own past. Letting go, though, can sometimes require forgiving someone else first. But you cannot stop there; you must also forgive yourself.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Well, satisfied... are any of us really satisfied with our lives... completely? Some I guess more than others. As for me, I guess I would grade myself "somewhat satisfied"... maybe enough to be easy to get along with this week. The horoscope is pretty decent advice for any of us though in the way of forgiving ourselves in the process of forgiving others... Letting go can be hard, but I do know it is essential for any long-term satisfaction out of life. Life is nothing short of the laughter, love and happiness that we squeeze out of it... that's up to US as individuals.

So it is Wednesday (a.k.a. Hump Day) once again... That means I need to REMIND you guys to check in with Meggy Moon for this week's edition of 'Meggy Moon's Crazy Talk'... Wednesdays every week at 6:00 CST! Great Hump Day treat... go and visit with her tonight, I'll try to be there and she encourages audience participation... Do it!

After that, if you still need something to occupy your time, catch up by reading my excessively long story... don't bitch and complain, soak it all in. There's much worse reading out there and besides, it won't take you more than 5 minutes if you have finished your Hooked On Phonics Program. And if you need help, you can always Email me, and I'll be glad to 'splain it to you... Come on! Do it!!

Your final assignment for the day is to go and have an extreme and hardcore giddy Hump Day... I'm going to... DO IT!!!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Story That Bears Repeating

**Updated: Italics Removed by request of Rockdog.**

Haven't had much time lately, but since spring is once again in full bloom, I thought the story might once again apply... This is a long one, so get some popcorn and a soda... maybe a cup of coffee. Forgive the length (that's what he said... lol j/k)

Originally written in spring 2005 by yours truly!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Procrastinator is my middle name. In fact, I’m sure my mother told me that when she was in labor with me, that I curtly asked her 'if we could take a rain check for tomorrow'. Who could blame me now, seeing the current state of our world? Seriously, Ozzy Ozbourne "The Prince of Darkness" is now the King of Fathers--and a Reality TV favorite, Led Zeppelin and Iron Butterfly can be heard on finer elevators everywhere. The 'Thriller' is gone as Michael Jackson goes from 'King of Pop' to the Jester of Molesters. Crime and punishment is all around us but yet somehow, spring is in the air. The season's just not quite the procrastinator that I am.

When I started to write this, spring had sprung, but as usual, I was a little behind. You see, I've been pondering a question lately, as the birds have been chirping louder and the days growing longer. This question, I could only answer by taking a break from reality, and the old dead news that we grow weary of reading day after day, life's burdens. I decided to pause and smell the roses and appreciate the new life and spring of hope that we have been given; yet another second chance, if you will, to begin anew...

Yes, spring had sprung. The sleeping leaves awoke once again, alive and bursting with jubilant colors, animals flitting around ceremoniously with mad equinox fancy. But wait, this is Memphis Tennessee… Home of 'The King', Sweat, Swine, BBQ, Muddy Waters, “The Blues” and mosquitoes so big they’ve recently been named Tennessee's ‘State Bird’.

So, my question to you is: “What does ‘Spring’ mean to you?”


Is it the fresh smell of hay and freshly cut grass, or coming in from the humid outdoors needing to jump right back into the shower? The birds and bees? Tourists, maybe the buzzing of the city crowds?

Setting out to answer my own query, my mind filtered through so many memories, music, faces and laughter, and loves (so many loves). I tried to think about how Spring is always a chance to start all over. No matter what has happened, it is dead with the fall, frozen and washed away by the rains that came and Life... it blooms anew. Spring denotes youth, energy, manic infatuation and fun… children on the playground, no worries for miles. While raging ‘everything’ sends young lovers into the throws of never-to-be-seen again passion… In this fool’s folly season of youth, we truly believe every dream is obtainable. Yet, no matter where I flew in my little time machine, I still landed turbulently back in Reality. Yes, right smack-dab in the middle of Reality—land of all that’s opposite those things.

It was spring, 1990, and full of promise, I was catapulting head-first towards my dream, to become a great Graphic Artist. I worked hard at it (sometimes)… the problem was, I had a bad habit—the habit of having a little too much fun. There was time… I had plenty of time… I had forever if I needed it. (And The Rolling Stones said so… hit it Mick!):

"Time is on my side, yes it is

Now you always say
That you want to be free
But you’ll come running back (said you would baby)
You’ll come running back (I said so many times before)
You’ll come running back to me--

Oh, time is on my side, yes it is..."

But forever is just another deserter, like all the others… As well, my childhood crushes were merely kids’ stuff now as I peered into the grown-up world of real love. We met at the Mall of Memphis in the food court. He was a bright, shiny Marine with big, puppy-dog eyes and hair of the finest spun gold (oh so ‘high-n-tight’ as the hairstyle boasts). He and his buddy invited themselves to sit with us, and we eventually invited them down to check out our small-town paradise. He had a girlfriend back home, but she was history. We’d been dating only a weekend, drowning in the void of careless youth. He said he knew it was sudden but that he knew he wanted to marry me. I told him I felt the same and that I would marry him and follow him anywhere. He was going to send me to art school whenever we got to the place we were going. No thoughts entered my head of my family, and when or where would I see them again. I was in love with a capital “L”, and time was on my side. I had even broken it off with the rough and raunchy “Mr. Right Now” whom I’d previously been wasting time with.

About a month and a half later, the dream ended as I awoke to a crash-course in Reality… my first real dose of it. His girlfriend back home (who was supposed to be history) had come forward with her pregnancy. He said he had no choice… he said he would never forget me. I said "Please Don't Go..." I spent a week in my mother’s lap, crying. And while I definitely had some trouble letting go, and there were those incidents in between, I held up fine and eventually I moved on (To bigger and better things of course).

School continued and my motivation to excel waxed and waned, and part of my college time, was spent with a roommate in the dormitory. There was too much fun to be had and before I knew it, it was 1991 and I was moving on just fine. He was a local favorite; I knew his face (his pretty tan face and his glimmering green eyes). Some might have called him a wild boy. My mother knew his family and she considered them 'no good'. But I came to know him as my friend. We had exchanged waves and glances in passing, there in our small town. Taunting looks and out-the-window commentary we shared. I was even encouraged by the sessions that my dorm mates and I spent experimenting with the Ouija board that the two of us would get together. Then one day a mutual friend, who my roommate and I had stopped to talk briefly with, urged me to go over to his house... "Just go on over... he's home and he doesn't care." As I said before, youth is made up of such brave concoctions of invincibility and omnipotence.

So I went back to my dorm, picked out the most suggestive outfit I could find and there I went. We sat up all night watching videos, talking and laughing about where the world went wrong, how he did love juke joints and how I had ‘some thick legs’. Our visit was interrupted by a knock on the door (my roommate, out drinking with some guy had been dropped off and had stumbled up the steps to meet me). However, she passed out and unable to think of any other place to dispose of her, he put her in his bed and chose the water bed in back of his house as the place we would spend that night. The song that was blaring on the radio the next morning still rings in my ears... "Standing on top of the World." by Van Halen.

("Standing on top of the world... for a little while... standing...")

And I guess at that moment I was. Careless and dangerous, what I had done, but I was exhilarated and once again,
in love.

He had other ideas--being the free-spirit that he was. It wasn't the last time that we were together, but I came to realize, that there was in fact, a difference between sex and love. Believe me, I tested this theory adequately. Free spirit he was, but he remained a friend of mine and even now, when we see each other somewhere, he's the same old guy... older, with more leathered tan skin and eyes that I can't quite remember just what it was about them that thrilled me so.

Recently, I got some bad news that he had gotten into some trouble with the law... That he was arrested and this time they found a pretty big amount of Sudafed among other things. As long as any of us have known him, he's done a bit of this and a little of that, but I never expected to hear that news. A friend of mine, who knows him as well, reported that he may be looking at 20 years... (20 years? That's 20 springs... and summers... falls... winters). If he did 20 years, he would be around 61 years old when he got out. I don’t quite know why, but the news depressed me a little. Maybe I would never see him again... Our lives always grow and change. Every day someone comes into our lives for maybe a minute, or for years and we never really know just when goodbye means “goodbye” and not just “see ya later”. At any rate, I felt as though a little piece of my youth would be going away with him.

The many things that I have been thinking about through this spring, and in trying to find the words to finish this story, I have watched people... listened to people, observed.

My husband and I have recently gotten in the swing of a healthy lifestyle, and at first I resisted--it's always hard to start. But I looked at myself in the mirror and I saw three people glaring back at me. First, there was the young girl of spring waving goodbye, blowing me kisses, smiling freely…her hair blowing in the wind.

Second, I saw me as I am now, not that great (I thought to myself... not that great at all), but in a head-butt battle with her was the third person--Someone who has been fighting to take over for most of my life. She is upper-middle aged and greasy, with wrinkles and saggy bad skin. Her hair is a disastrous mess--she finally got her way and cut it all off... She replaced my creative happy eyes with old cynical ones that required glasses and she was wearing hideous plus size clothing--you know the kind--The ugly Hawaiian print shirts and the sickening green, double-knit reversible slacks (and orthopedic shoes that would put fear in the hearts of anyone). I have known about her for a long time, but never really thought she would come. Maybe I doubted that she was real... time being on my side as it were. But she was there trying to fight her way in. ("I have to put a stop to her!" I thought in a panic.)

So, thinking rather quickly, I soaked her in gasoline and lit the match, giving her a swift kick in those hopelessly wide (fat assed) green double-knit reversible slacks. The screams were unbearable... but it had to be done. She's not coming back ever again, I know for sure this time... I had to do it for myself, for my family and for god sakes I had to do it for womankind!

We're healthier for it--I'm not giving up this mission that I have: To meet up with that girl from my spring in the middle somewhere, maybe late summer or maybe fall (I will look a lot like her, except that I'll be skinnier and prettier *smirk*). But we're going to be best friends forever. We'll get together and we'll laugh about all of those old times... the careless times. We may even shed a tear or two. But this time, nothing will tear us apart. The monster in the green slacks is gone. We are on our own now, but I’m fairly certain that things are going to be just fine.

Spring is a time of renewal... of second chances. It's never too late to catch the fever. As I looked at the time on my cell phone, it was time to get back to work... Here in this Memphis heat, summer is well on its way and the barbecue is simmering, smoke and music floating through the air down by the river. Some of the blossoms from the early part of the season can still be seen by someone wearing the right kind of eyes.

The summers are hot here but it's not all that bad. I guess I better enjoy it while I can because fall and winter, they sneak up on you... they really do.

~So, what does "Spring" mean to you?



Jackie D. Wood

Monday, April 23, 2007

Subterranean Homesick Blues

I'm feeling completely homesick today... I have old songs in my head, spring temperatures all around me and the smell of the warm summer grass beckoning me back home. I would like be sitting out in the middle of the pasture at Mom and Dad's house in my favorite spot there just where the pasture begins to go downhill-the best spot in the whole world, on a big fluffy homemade quilt, sketching or writing poetry, then lying back and watching the clouds roll over an azure blue sky... Just miss home so bad sometimes, miss my folks and miss pure, wild youth. Time is truly an overachiever...

Yep, that's all I have to say today. Take it away Bob...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Silence of Stars - Chapter 1

Surprise!! I decided on a story... I spewed out the first chapter today. No warning, no details... dig in... let me know what you think.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 1

February 19, 2006

Alexandria my Love,

You have every reason in the world to hate me, I don't blame you at all. I am truly sorry things had to work out this way. I tried... I honestly want you to know that I had every intention of leaving, I wanted to with my whole heart... the heart that you stole from me, but I can't do it. Not right now.

The truth is that things are just not so simple. It has only been a month since Becky's father's passing, and she is just too fragile right now. Our relationship has been strained for so long, I told you that but with circumstances the way that they are right now I have no other choice. I have to protect my son. Tyson has to be my priority right now...

Please just give a little more time. As soon as things are stable, once I get everything straightened out, I am going to fulfill my promise to you. I know there's no good reason for you to believe me, but everything I say is true. This time, I am going to make it all happen for us.

God, Alexandria...I thought I had loved, then I met you and now I know that everything else that has happened in my life has been solely to light my path to where you are... Please know that I won't go a moment without thinking of you, and wishing that I could be right by your side.

I won't be able to breathe until I can see you again. When the time is right, I promise you that we are going to start all over, and spend the rest of our lives as one.

All My Love,
Aidan

-------------------------------

Alexandria Prince never once dreamed of being this far away from home. There was a time when she thought she would live in Ashvale forever. She grew up there, graduated there, it was where she had her very first kiss. It was the place she'd planned on someday raising her very own family. But now, as she read Aidan's letter for the thirtieth time, the melancholy sense of hopelessness descended upon her. Her heart was filled with wild panic and bitterness.

She'd heard it all before, and each time she continued to hang on, believing that he really wanted to get away and start a new life with her. How could she have been so naive? When they first met, she was nothing more than a petrified girl, still trying to figure out what to do with her life. They were only friends, and it started out so innocently. But Aidan Donovan Morse changed everything; he had awakened something within her that she never even imagined existed. He had ignited a fire of passion so electric, that it burned down in flames the world as she knew it.

Nothing could ever top something that strong. She knew she would always compare everyone and every possibility to that one perfection--the one that ruined her. There was no going back after that; there was no reason to even try. That's why she was here now, in Memphis. No memories lived here, no connections and no past. There was only a future of change, a slate she could wipe clean. She was finally going to be the one in control.

"This is for the best." she whispered, softly under her breath. Better for her, and better for the unborn child growing inside her womb... Except for the seashell she kept with her at all times, this was the only thing of Aidan's she brought with her. "He can never know" she reassured herself, "and he can never find me."

*********

Sentimental Journey

Tastes, smells and sensations that strike up memories and make me sentimental...

  • Oscar De Larenta cologne, it reminds me of all the wonderful times spent with my sister, Vickie growing up.

  • Old Country music in restaurants, I can see my Dad, straight and tall and strong as an Ox walking into a Truck Stop on a long haul, or a family trip with us.

  • Juicy, red ripe watermelon, takes me straight to a hot summer day at home. I can envision my Mom in her 'work jeans', sitting outside in the heat still drinking coffee, we sprinkle a bit of salt on the melon, and I can almost smell the freshly cut summer grass.

  • Insense and certain air freshener, reminds me of living at Bo's house.

  • Wind Song perfume (by Prince Matchavelli), I can close my eyes and see Mom getting ready for church on a sunday morning in her best suit or dress, looking like a billion dollars, me still sleeping, squeezing every last moment I could and hoping she wouldn't make me go.

  • Classic Old Lysol (the Hospital smelling kind), makes me think once again of Mom disinfecting the house early on Saturdays when I was still trying to sleep off the night before, usually followed by loud vaccuming.

  • "Realm" Cologne, and Pine scented candles remind me of "Z".

  • Eternity Cologne makes me think of Manuel.

  • Corn Dogs and grilled smells take me back to the Mid-South Fair.

  • The smell of roasted peanuts and almonds, etc remind me of a time when my parents used to take us to Sear's in the Southland Mall before the neighborhood turned completely bad.

  • Aussie shampoo and hairspray, remind me of my first trip to Florida on spring break (where I got the weirdest haircut of my life).

  • Edie Brekell and REM songs, remind me of Commercial Art and Design classes with my most inspirational teacher, Kim Varnadoe... Sitting in class working on our projects listening to music. Ms. Varnadoe showed me that a woman could be anybody she wanted to be if she just followed through.

  • Theme song from "The Wonder Years" (Joe Cocker's "A Little Help From My Friends") reminds me of my sister, Jeanne's house, spending time with Ginger, Brandy and Chrissy before they too grew up and left me, playing Mario Bro's, watching kids movies and laughing.


  • Here's to the times when life was young and so were we,
    there was nothing we couldn't do...
    we were fantastically free.
    No chains, no worries just mysteries to solve.
    We had all the time in the world to evolve.
    We laughed and we loved, without thought we sang our song...
    Please take me back before the world went all wrong.
    Give me back those smiling eyes, summers and times full of glee,
    return all the magic, my family and me...
    (by Jackie Cutler Wood)

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    It's Friday and the Rent is Due!

    Happy Friday everyone... I'm elusive the last couple days, got lots going on and not really feeling 'bloggy' so I wanted to share this hilarious video that a coworker shared with me... Starring Will Ferrell and possibly the meanest landlord I've ever seen... go ahead laugh, you know you want to!

    Will Ferrell vs. The Landlord



    I tried to embed it, but it wouldn't act right, so do yourself a big Friday favor and click the link... watch the video.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Taking Care of Business

    News Update: Virginia massacre gunman named

    It is really easy for us to read these news articles and feel apathetic towards things. We see violence, death and disease every day on our beloved television, and yet sometimes we become so desensitized to it... it's so surreal for us because we're watching it safely behind those little 'windows' to the world (t.v., computer screen, etc).

    I just happened across the above link this morning browsing my Google Homepage, and although I know that yesterday's horrible Shooting at Virginia Tech isn't exactly breaking news at this point, something just struck me... this morbid, odd feeling.

    If you look at the photos of the people, the students, the victims, the loved ones of those who were massacred, they began their day just like any other day the same as we did. Maybe they stopped off at the gas station, and maybe had their morning cup of Starbuck's Coffee, they prepared for their day with that same early morning daze that most of us do, with a renewed spirit from the day before and with plans and hopes of what to accomplish that day.

    They may have washed up their morning dishes, or they may have left some things disheveled in their homes thinking "Oh, I'll do it when I get home." Their affairs (legal and otherwise) may or may have not been in order. They may or may not have left things on a good note with those closest to them.

    We lecture ourselves and our fellow bloggers all the time about things like this, but sadly it's only when we are reminded by these unforgivable and unforgettable tragedies that it once again 'writes home'.

    Perhaps you left the house this morning in a mad rush, had an argument with your parents/spouse/children or others, made the morning commute while sipping your coffee taking for granted that the day would be long and you would return tonight accomplished. Maybe you left this morning, taking for granted you would finish your day satisfied after a good meal with your family, maybe you too thought that whatever you'd left undone, whatever hard feelings there were, you'd take care of it and surely make up for it tonight when you return home?

    To all those who didn't make it home yesterday as planned, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family... for the rest of us, here are some 'points to ponder'...

    Life is eternal, and love is immortal,
    and death is only a horizon;
    and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
    ~Rossiter Worthington Raymond

    If tears could build a stairway,
    And memories a lane,
    I'd walk right up to Heaven
    And bring you home again.
    ~Author Unknown


    Instead of weeping when a tragedy occurs in a songbird's life, it sings away its grief. I believe we could well follow the pattern of our feathered friends.

    Corita Kent: Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.

    "My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music." -Vladimir Nabokov

    Monday, April 16, 2007

    What A Trip!!!

    This is my Monday morning gift to you. Kind of funny, I thought you'd get a kick out of it. First of all, go to Google Maps, and go to 'Get Directions'. Type in "New York" for the first blank, and type in "Paris" for the 2nd (or the destination). Then Click "Get Directions"

    --OR (for the lazy)--

    Here is a Direct Link for Directions from New York to Paris, Click It!

    Pay special attention to Line #23 in the written directions (gotta make sure you're in shape for that one!)

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Close Encounters of the Dork Kind

    Happy Friday the 13th / Dorkteenth. Yes, that's right it's finally here. So go enjoy it and watch for the freaky things that you might see all day long. There's a magical feeling in the air, and I think it's going to be a memorable Friday... even if it is just because I posted one big dorky story to remember. It's not too late for you to get involved and post your very own Dork story in honor of this big day.

    I think you can Vote Here. Don't forget to vote for me!!!



    As a child, I technically had older siblings, but they were already grown and out on their own by the time I was four years old. So, there I was growing up out in the country, pretty-much an "Only Child". My parents did not indulge in cable television, so I had no MTV, I had no HBO or Comedy Channel, or video games. To get those things I usually spent time at my sister, Vickie's house.

    Visiting Vickie was a whole exciting adventure for me because it was so different from home, and although they were not exactly "in Memphis" it was close enough to me to feel like a trip to the city.

    A great deal of my time was spent playing make believe with the chickens and the horses, singing to the animals, planning weddings for them and weaving this fantasy world that was my childhood.

    When my two closest in age nieces, Stacey and Kristie got to come for a visit, I was overjoyed. We would always have the most fun, and I would lead them through my neighborhood of make-believe.

    Since kindergarten, I had been "boy crazy", and in fact once I hit first grade and dumped "Little Larry" (my first boyfriend), I moved on to crushes on the older boys.

    In fifth grade, I was consumed by mad passionate love for our neighbor's (and subsequently my parents' best friends) son, Ken Coleman. He was a senior with sandy blond hair and grayish blue eyes straight from heaven, his skin was tan and he sported a rich Texas accent. He drove my fifth-grade mind wild and I dreamt of marrying him and becoming Mrs. Ken Coleman. Wrote his name everywhere, on every notebook. Stared at his photograph in the school yearbook (our yearbooks housed 1st through 12th grades).

    Since he and his family lived just down the road from us, every once in a while my parents would go and visit them, or they would come visit us and drink coffee, play dominoes and have their adult fun. The good part of when my parents would go to their house was that I had an extreme chance to see Ken.

    One particular evening after all of the Christmas fun was over, they invited us over to visit. I was ecstatic! But oh what was I going to wear?? This was my chance to really dazzle him, so I didn't want to look shabby. I had to look like a woman! I picked out my best duds, and tried desperately to untangle my unruly mane of hair. Then I carefully applied my bird's egg blue "Crayola" brand eyeshadow.

    I was convinced that I had it going on. I was certain this would blow him away and he would finally realize his love for me.

    We arrived. I was extremely nervous. 'What if he wasn't even there?' I thought. I mean, he did have a girlfriend, her name was Lynn (an 11th grader). Maybe they were out on a date or something. So I sat in the living room chair, shaking with anticipation. All of a sudden, he emerged from the Kitchen with a plate of food and looked straight at me and said "Jackie? Do you want some Chicken and Dressin?" (Oh that Texas accent!) But he spoke to me!! He really did!

    I managed to pitifully squeak out a "No thank you", quickly looking away as my heart palpitated a thousand times a second it seemed. Had he noticed my make-up?? Maybe he'll sit by me and strike up a conversation. Later, I think Lynn showed up and they went off together and my chance was over.

    We went home and I checked my reflection in the bathroom mirror. My trusty, blue "Crayola eyeshadow" had slid completely off one of my eyes, and I only had make-up on the other, so I must've looked like a complete and total Dork! What Ken must think of me now... Not that he ever did before.

    A couple of weeks later, we had a pretty good snow storm. My Dad was driving us to town, and we passed Ken, who had driven off the road into the ditch. Since we were on our way, my father pulled over and picked him up. He got into the back seat with me. I was frantic and flushed... I was surely blushing. Ken slid onto the cramped back seat and his leg was touching mine. I could barely move let alone speak. The shame from the Crayola eyeshadow still on my mind, I never uttered a word. The searing warmth of his leg touching mine only fueled my maniacal school-girl crush.

    The shame of course, did not end there.

    The months went on and finally summer was there. The weather warmed up nicely, and my niece Stacey had come down for a visit. We were outside in the yard making mud cakes (we were working on a special mud cake for the wedding of our geese, I even included horse feed (a.k.a. 'sweet feed') as I knew that the geese would just love that). Such pride we took in the details of our wedding mud cake. We were up to our waists covered in glucky mud when I see a car pulling up our long gravel driveway. Once I was able to make out the car, I wanted to die. It was Ken!!! What the heck was he doing coming over?? What was I going to do? I was so covered in mud I could never face him. He would definitely think I was a hopeless loser now... my chances were over. We run and try to hide, but it was too late, he waved as he was passing. No man in his right mind would marry a chick covered in mud, making mud pies nonetheless.

    Ken went into our house, and was gone in all of two minutes. After he left, I went and prodded Mom for the details of why he had come by. She said "Oh, he was coming to borrow some milk for his Mom." (Borrow some milk?? This never happens, and now because Ken's need for milk, my life was ruined!)

    What was this Mayberry? He couldn't just drive up to the store like a normal person? We were just 10 minutes from the closest Wal-mart! For Christ's sake, it's all over now. (I sulked)

    Some years later, he and Lynn married, had children, and to my knowledge they are still together. As for me, I went on to have more silly little crushes on other poor, unsuspecting guys like Ken... and of course went on to enjoy a very successful career being a big time dork.

    Friday Masked

    It is officially Friday the 13th. I posted my 'Friday the Dorkteenth' story above, so enjoy! I fixed the date on it thanks to a helpful pointer--I didn't even realize you could do it--so that's cool, now it's marked Friday the 13th as it should be! :)

    For more Friday the 13th fun, if you have nothing better to do you can Go Reflect on a previous post about Mr. J and his Jason Mask. Hope everyone has a wonderful and lucky Friday. Watch for the black cats crossing the road, take heed and all that!! :) And above all else, have a wonderfully crazy-fun weekend! You all Rock!

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    This Is For The Dork In You

    Well, I've just pretty much decided what I'm going to present for my Dork story in honor of Friday the Dorkteenth. Yes, that's right-it's a great day for horror stories, or huge stories of embarrassment so I've decided to take time out from my "extreme coolness" to join all of you dorks for a day of fun and celebration. :) If you're wondering what on Earth my story might be about, I'll give you a hint: Childhood Crushes, Mud Pies and Crayola Eyeshadow. Me a lowly fifth grader, and he a sexy senior in high school (I liked em' older back then). So tune in for it... tomorrow.

    If you haven't checked into this event already, then do so and think about posting your very own tale of Dorkishness. I'm doing it, Rockdog's doing it, and some others I'm sure... so Join Us!!!



    Therefore, today I'm preparing my thoughts to share with you all tomorrow, a dorky side of me hopefully like none you've ever seen... While you're waiting, I'm sure there's plenty around 'the forrest' for you to read and catch up on... so enjoy! See you on the dork side!!!

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    The Best Way Out

    Well, it's time to prepare as Friday the 13th is closing in on us... hmmm, that's interesting... Hope it goes off without a hitch. Sounds like a good time for good horror movies or stories... Makes me miss Halloween a little.

    Still been catching up on deadlines and commitments so that can be stressful. In fact, I finally just finalized my taxes today (How do you like that Dan?? lol). But I guess it's all good. Nobody likes to feel stretched too thin but I was just touching base with my friend Jinks today. She said she'd been wondering about me, why we hadn't been able to really have ourselves a good chat in a while--I explained to her about my pressing matters and all and just kind of told her how I'd been feeling so discouraged and disgusted sometimes, not even wanting to look in the mirror. I mean, we're getting back on track with our fitness and back to healthy eating, but I catch myself comparing the image I see staring back at me more like a Big Loud-colored Blimp (anyone else ever feel this way?) . I wake up in complete dread of what I'm going to wear, being totally out of any decent clothes and nothing looks good on me... I just want to hide in a dark little cave somewhere.

    But I always feel better when I write... I enjoy it so much, it provides me with greatly needed therapy. This is something I know I've touched on many times before though. Honestly, I don't believe in squelching feelings, yes things can boil up and fester within our bodies, and minds when we do try to cover it all up. They have to come out sometime... I won't lecture either on taking care of ourselves, we know how to do it, we merely have to get back on the road again.

    As Robert frost said (and I quote) "The Best Way Out Is Always Through." I guess that's really true isn't it?? So we have to go through things, and simply fight it out... we'll come out on the other side to a sunny new day soon... with renewed spirit and energy.

    Jinks continued telling me how she had felt under the weather this week, a touch of a virus maybe... so of course, we all know how grueling that can be. She said she had thought so much lately about being able to just to stay home and work on things that made her happy, and to just be satisfied living with her husband's salary and being a homemaker, tasting the fruits of her labor and trying to enjoy life... then she turned around and shrugged it off saying "Oh, I've probably still got a fever."

    I told her "Well, If you have a fever, we all have a fever because that would be ideal to be able to be satisfied just being at home, trying to take care of the already full-time job of being a woman/wife/mother/sister/daughter/human being and finding ourselves, doing the things that we are really here for besides stressing and worrying over all this nonsense that we end up doing because we put too many irons in the fire (everything from trying to be a success at our chosen jobs, making others happy, and getting to the point that we ourselves consider true "Success") That would take the life out of any of us really... So get the fever--keep the fever, let it burn us out of this reality and make us go for the cool, clear water of our dreams... we deserve it... Why do we wait so long to become what we really want to be??? Why do we always make excuses about what we have to do when all we really need to do is pursue happiness...? I'm 100% with ya sister."

    Then I basically knew I felt like sharing those thoughts with all of you today... Hope you didn't mind :)

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    All Signs Point To Yes

    I began my day with a bowl of cereal and a banana, waking up to what began a surprisingly easy-going start to my day. All of the lights eerily turned green, seemingly 'just for me', and all the roadways were unusually clear. Fate just seemed to be on my side! Not even one slow or 'tormenting' driver jumped in front of me. Struck me as a little 'too' nice almost. The radio programming was to my liking, there were no clueless first-time visitors to my garage to make the quest for parking impossible, and there is even the promise of a nice rain on the horizon. Then I cranked the day up a notch by checking out This Week In Pictures from MSNBC, pretty interesting.

    Basically, though, isn't it terrible that one might be inclined to sit back and appear cautiously skeptical when things go right? Shouldn't we be able to embrace a "good day" with open arms?? Why was I so taken by surprise by this? I know I tend to feel like I have 'not-so-great' luck on a daily basis, and there are millions of tiny things that always appear to be out to get me. So, I'm not going to question it, but rather enjoy it.

    But, let me just say this: "I don't understand what's wrong with everyone these days (many in the world, but mainly those around me). The whole world seems to have fallen on its face!!"

    That being said, I would like to hear from YOU guys today. As I've been in my "Dark Place" (Stuart from Mad TV) lately, I've been reflecting on loss, grief and how others deal with it. My family doesn't seem to deal with it very well.

    What is your experience? Have any of you experienced or dealt with a major loss or extremely traumatic event in your life? If so, how did you deal with it? Did it make you a space-alien version of your former self? Did you learn to appreciate the family or loved ones that you had left and make the most of time with them? Or did you obsess over the loss and let it eat you alive inside, and begin to take for granted those people that you were still so lucky to have, thus separating yourself from them?

    If you haven't been through any such grief as of yet, how do you think you would handle it?

    Let me hear from you... maybe something that you say will elicit a much-needed renewal of spirit for someone. Maybe it will wake someone up from their senseless stupor.

    **Updated**
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Strangely, my horoscope says...

    You may be feeling out of sorts with yourself, as if you are being pulled in two directions. One current is pulling you and your thoughts out of your shell. The other current, however, could draw you into your own psychological drama that is likely fueled by your fears. Don't try to solve the dilemma now. Just be aware of your own reactions to the various courses of action.
    Tuesday, April 10, 2007
    more from tarot.com »

    Sunday, April 08, 2007

    On Easter Mourning

    *This was written this morning on my Mother's screened in front porch, where I went to meditate, hoping for a few moments of solitude, and so I began to write freely and without scrutiny as I would prefer it be read...
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It's Sunday morning, Easter. The sky is blue, and the birds are singing their Mourning [sic] tune. This slight chill in the air is all that is helping me make it through. I'm sitting out on the front porch, looking out on the yard where I grew up--this place that I've called 'Home' since before I even had memories. So, why do I feel like a stranger here? It's like all of a sudden, I'm a passerby in a foreign land. Maybe I have slipped through a wormhole and fallen into an alternate plane.

    Maybe the 'other Me' is happy, smiling and worry-free with no stench of death surrounding... not posing in anticipation of the darkness to come, reflecting on the darkness already behind the way that I am.

    On my third cup of coffee, I try to relax. The caffeine doesn't even try to torment or challenge me anymore, we're like old bitter friends, listening to the vulture's cry. I wish I knew what the birds were trying to say, their ancient tongues hold secrets of the universe, perhaps? While I, only flounder in madness living by the teachings of the insane and whispers of the wicked.

    This is the brightest, most scenic sepulchre I have ever laid eyes on, it is no wonder why we may linger here for as long as we can. Who knows what's beyond that broken window? (The one covered in dust and debris from the acid fog and tainted dew of a billion years). There are forty shades of gray which make up this sky that we nicknamed "blue". My heart is ten years old, but my soul is a thousand and two.

    The watchers in the clouds, sometimes bore of these ripples, reflecting in the sands; this Illusion of "Time" has me racing for the unreachable cure. A cure, but for what? We're all afflicted with that which has no name but we've come to know only as Life. The mysteries therein no more simple than the soft, velvet dust of a moth's wings.

    It won't be long, perhaps that we look down and laugh at this tiny fishbowl and wonder why... 'why did we waste so much precious energy' trying to get out of it... trying to see what it really was--when little did we know that we were going to be the lead fool of this big and silver screen all-too-soon.

    There are some roads that ought not be taken, and not all words were meant to be spoken. For the ocean waves inside the tiny seashell, hold open the doorways to a whole other universe; one we will soon enough know. Until we meet again on the other side...

    Jackie

    Saturday, April 07, 2007

    Have A Dog Gone Happy Easter!!!



    Gotta be truthful here, I've been racking my brain and nothing THAT interesting ever happened on Easter for me to really write up a story about it. Plus, I'm still going through a bit of a block. Gotta go dye some eggs and have some family fun, so I'll leave you guys with this, and my very best wishes for an ecstatically Happy Easter!!!

    **Aunt Jackie will return after these messages**
    Please enjoy a very funny portion from "Old School" the movie.

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    Congratulations, It's A Blog!!!

    First of all, my apologies if I haven't made it by your blogs lately, I have tried and have been by as many as I could, but I have been so bogged down by business... Guess I've done o.k. considering. But today is Good Friday, so I will spend some time this morning catching up with you all.

    Looking at my Archives today, I realized that I have been nurturing and developing this blog for around 9 months. So, in a way it's sort of like a baby that has barely just been "born", so-to-speak. Well, it still has a long way to go I guess, just like any of us do... maybe one day when it grows up it could be a Novel! Imagine that! But for now, it's just a bouncing baby blog that needs love and care while it develops. ;)

    Now, that may sound silly to many of you who are of the opinion that being on the computer, is wasting time or taking away from your life (the other more meaningful one). But for someone like me, who has always taken pleasure in the written word, and enjoyed writing journals, stories, and poetry since I was a young girl, it only enriches mine. I believe that you can find time to do whatever you enjoy in life, and that there is nothing at all wrong with enjoying technology... and using it to express ourselves. That can be tremendous therapy. Plus, the multitude of wonderful people that I have made acquaintances with in the blog community have made it all such fun. So, some of you bloggers that have 'gone astray', and you know who you are, re-think at least sharing a tiny speck of your (otherwise fun) life with us, it doesn't steal but maybe a few minutes here and there... we miss you! Then we can all go out into the world and do something that's 'actually' meaningful, right?? Good.

    Wait, our absentee bloggers probably wouldn't even be reading this anyway so who am I lecturing? Probably nobody then! So I'll end this post now, and go finish preparing my special Easter treat, which is a story that I am going to waste valuable time blogging to you guys today!! Come back and read it with caution, and remember that the 5 minutes wasted on the computer taking time to read it are 5 minutes that you will never get back!

    Have a waste-free, fun-filled Friday everyone!

    Oh, and for those who do enjoy writing, and even blogging for the sake of expression and enjoyment you might find This article about 'Morning Pages' interesting and helpful.

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    Does Truth Have Handles?

    Although Memphis is well known for its great musical history and talent, the city is not devoid of its political history, or dark times. The south itself carries a reputation for racial strife, and in some parts of the south it still runs high. But make no assumptions, whether you know it or not, racial tension is not just in the south alone... it can be witnessed in many other places in this world.

    At any rate, as I mentioned in my other post below, today, April 4th is Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial day. I was not around when Dr. King was killed, of course, but its effects are still all around me, in song and in remembrances of our city and its vast history.

    I Invite You To Read Jink's post for today, entitled "Who Can Handle The Truth?", which shows us Dr. King's death among other political events at the time through the eyes of one 11 year old girl. I found it to be very moving, as I think you will too. It all makes you think... and wonder... what IS the truth??? As Barnze posted today, "Veritas vos liberabit." or "The Truth Shall Set You Free" (basically)... Sometimes it seems truth can make matters worse, and sometimes the truth does indeed set one free--sometimes just in time to get hit by that Mack truck right down the road. ;-)

    Caution: Psychotic Bunny Crossing


    Yes, hippity hoppity Easter's on it's way... so I will be bringing you some fun Easter treats, and I plan on bringing up on of my stories for you all... so hope you come back for that... Meanwhile, try to look both ways before 'hopping' across the street, you never know what might be hurdling down the lane... yes, that's right--especially in Memphis!

    I'm off work today in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial holiday, which is a big deal here in Memphis-as it is the City it all happened in, so lots going on in the River City today... Everyone that is off today, please have a peaceful and trouble-free day as well.

    I have to go and take care of some stuff, go grocery shopping, and i'm meeting up with my best buddy Tamra, who is going to hang out with me for a while... It is Hump Day once again, so please be safe whatever you do!!! And as an old friend of mine used to say, 'If you can't be good, be good at it.' Be safe out there!

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Tuesday's (Almost) Gone

    Well, I have truly been a busy little bee lately and haven't had much time to plan stories or put up anything worth reading. I see you all liked my "Mr. T" April Fools sign, and I'm glad!

    It is definitely spring around Memphis, the humidity is rising, everyone's abuzz with the spring events that we have around here, such as Africa in April, featuring the Republic of Liberia this year. Then there's Memphis in May coming up, featuring Spain. Along with that of course, is the vast array of Barbecue cooking contests, music festivals and sights galore. Lots to see and do--I just hope maybe I can force myself out into the land of the living long enough to go and see a couple of them...

    April is also special because yesterday, April 2nd was my beautiful Mother's birthday. I will respect her and not give away her age online. She's ageless and a classic beauty anyway, so the number does not matter... I just know that I am so lucky to have been able to have both Mom and Dad in my life for this long, and can only hope to keep them for as long as possible... and cherish every moment... One day, those moments will all be treasured memories that will live on in my heart.

    Now to immediate things, I have to get ready for Easter, which has always been a traditional holiday for my family... even when we were little kids, we got all dressed up and had Easter egg hunts and baskets full of candy. Nowadays, it isn't like it was then--we still "attempt" to have family over to my Mom-n-Dad's house, and we try to do the holiday dinner, and I still cling on to the habit of dying Easter eggs with my Dad... I just can't let go, I'm too sentimental. So I'll do that this weekend, in an attempt to convince myself that it is all still special... but as I said before, You Can't Go Home Again.

    Have a few things to finish up today, and then the rest of the week is pretty much holiday around here, I'll be off work tomorrow and Friday, and of course the weekend so hang around... you never know what I might present next... I have some special things planned so tune in!! :)