Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Get Drunk, Go Caroling, Game On!

Not much going on in the land of Jax today, the work day has been a little slow, and it is raining here in the Mid-South. I'm still holding out hoping for a bit of snow on Christmas. I heard a report that we might get some snow. If so, maybe it will be enough to make a snowman?

We shall see.

Anyway, today I find on the calendar three weird holidays.
1. Games Day,
2. Sangria Day, and
3. Go Caroling Day.

I thought it was kind of funny, these three holidays seem to go quite well together. You can throw together a big pitcher of Sangria and get drunk, play some games and go out drunk caroling. (You can put these in any order you'd like, really, whatever works best for you. Now there are other little holidays, but those were the 3 that I found for today, December 20th.

Can you imagine the hilarious possibilities? Tell you what, YOU go out and try combining these, while I stay home and play my Sims 4 game, how about that? I'm too lazy to get out in this weather and go do much of anything after I get off work.

Let me know how it turns out, and party on! ~Jax

Still Better than Nickelback!! Hahaa!!!

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Holiday (2006) - A Regurgitation

I'm a pretty heavy movie buff, but I don't usually go 'ga-ga' over the movies that other people do. My tastes are eclectic for the most part, yet somewhat trite and cheesy for many people's tastes. It doesn't really bother me, I am not someone who has to follow the pack. I enjoy what I enjoy, and I am the weirdo who watches my favorite "comfort movies" over, and over, and over again.

One of those favorite comfort movies is "The Holiday".

I have read a lot of articles and notes blasting it for thinness of plot, overdoing it by having more than one central romance in the movie, or just general complaints about "why they did this, but didn't do that" with the characters or plot. Many have given this movie a low review, one or two stars... but why? It's actually a comforting movie, one of my favorite holiday movies in fact. It's like the over-sized fuzzy sweater that you feel a little guilty for wearing two days in a row but you do it anyway because it's just too comfortable.

Just because I love a movie, doesn't mean I don't have questions or things about it that irritate me too, however. I have several issues. I find myself analyzing it every time I watch it, and then looking through forums and sites for "movie goofs and mistakes" like IMDB (Goofs - The Holiday) and Movie Mistakes. These cite factual errors and continuity mistakes that have been spotted by various people. Very interesting indeed as I will go back and play and pause, trying to match these up, and find others. Then I'll find myself angry for not having caught these things on my own... am I THAT BAD AT OBSERVATION? Attention to detail?

Aside from those movie goofs and questions already addressed, I still have my own questions as I go along. Feel free to chime in, or help out if you're reading along with me.

The Holiday touches at my heart strings, I guess because I've been on that "unrequited love" bus more times than I would like to admit. Then I'm always a sucker for the love story, the one that apparently works out, because it is such a mythological creature in my own life. I like the characters in this movie, they feel real to me (even though "Amanda Woods' character has a dream job and huge house, and seems a bit unbelievable), her issues are still realistic, so I think I still identify with her feelings.

Before writing this I was reading through other articles that touched on this, and one good one I found below touches on some of my questions and issues, and I found it to be a good read (though I couldn't find a spot to leave a comment, which made me feel slighted):

See 30 Questions I Still Have After Re-watching The Holiday
(Re-watching The Holiday - thank goodness, I'm not the only one)

So now, I'll touch on those points about the movie that bother me the most. It doesn't mean they are errors, or real problems, just a personal issue for me.

First, when Iris finds out Jasper is engaged, she's so upset she cries all the way home. Once home, she turns on the gas at her stove, inhales deeply trying to end it over Jasper. (I've read that this is not the way gas works, as the UK changed to Natural Gas decades ago. The previous Coal Gas would put you to sleep with a couple of breaths and kill you in minutes. Natural Gas is not toxic at all and could only kill you by displacing all the air in a room, which since it is lighter than air is unlikely... so um, unrealistic).

Plus ladies, NEVER try to end it over some idiotic jerk. Period!!!

Cameron Diaz didn't cry, in fact she evidently CAN'T cry, she dramatically tries to no avail. This is very irritating because she goes so overboard trying to 'force out just one tear'... Hey, she can borrow some of mine if she's that desperate to go weepy. I have plenty to spare. Ahhh, SO--Good Ol' 'rejected' Cameron Diaz goes away with the intention of finding herself, and being alone, but in a few short hours she gets bored and can't even give it one day to get adjusted, before she plans to leave. Only when she meets Graham is she happy to be where she is, once again "WITH" someone, not alone for the holidays (thus kind of sending the message you can't be happy by yourself, and jumping into a relationship right after another one ends). **me being nitpicky**

Someone else mentioned the fact that you leave your dog to be taken care of by someone you've never met (in the home exchange situation). Iris doesn't know if Amanda will actually treat him well... again, me being nitpicky, this is a movie and all.

Speaking of which, Charlie the dog seems to be the most well-adjusted character in the movie aside from Arthur (awesomely played by Eli Wallach).

Miles (Jack Black), while a lot of people didn't like the pairing between him and Kate Winslet, saying he wasn't a good leading man, I actually enjoyed their growing friendship. They don't jump into anything, they begin as really good friends who get along and are good for one another, and though they don't blaze forth in some unbridled passion that sets them on fire and drives them crazy, I find it very sweet that they begin what is quite possibly, the smarter relationship in the movie. What they have might, in fact, grow to be something solid, plus they have both found someone who is actually good to them for once, instead of yet another self-destructive, co-dependent relationship... that gives me a feeling of a happy ending.

Cameron Diaz's stuffy driver refuses to safely get her to her destination, stating that he'd 'never be able to turn the car around from there'. However, when you see the place it's pretty open space and it's not THAT much snow or ice, why couldn't he turn around? Then at the end, he has somehow miraculously come all the way down and turned around to pick her up, so what's going on here? Is he just trying to be a dick? Do your job!

Cameron Diaz goes driving recklessly to the shops to pick up goodies, driving down the same road that her driver, just hours earlier, said he couldn't manage (I mean yes I know it wasn't as big a car, but still). She got there in one piece, without killing anyone by some miracle of God. Then she goes in on a shopping rampage and they allow her to drink straight from the bottle of wine in the store? (Where do they do this?)

Speaking of the car(s), when she first arrives at the Cottage, I don't see a vehicle anywhere in sight, but there is evidently a car. Later on, when she and Graham are hanging out together his Range Rover is there and you also see the smaller car in the drive-they park somewhat in front of the cottage. Later, when Amanda leaves to go back to US, no vehicles are in sight. So where are these vehicles? Around back? Just kind of inconsistent... keep them in one spot. Also, if Iris does have a car, why doesn't she drive all the way to and from her job at the Daily Telegraph? She's shown taking the bus after being heartbroken over Jasper's wedding announcement in the beginning, and then you see her walking up to the cottage when she finally arrives... How far did she have to walk? Where did the Bus drop her? Once again, where's the damn car?

This thing about the cars is what has bugged me more than anything, and I don't see anyone else posing this question about the movie.

Graham (Jude Law) goes bustin up into the house unannounced (which I know is something his Sister is fine with), but the fact that Amanda so quickly jumps into bed with him (for her, a total stranger). Yep, she starts drinking and making out with him within 30 minutes of meeting him. She doesn't know these people at all, they could be a family of serial killers! Sorry, but someone beating down the door in the middle of the night would cause me to call the cops... but given the apparent feelings about the roads, the cops would probably claim they couldn't turn the squad cars around when the arrived, and not show up. Then again, if the serial killer looked like Jude Law, well... um...

The part where Amanda (Diaz) doesn't ask Graham (Law) to come in after their day on the town, apologetically saying she plans to take a nap, and then takes a bath in the tub that she so heavily doubted earlier, and kicks herself for being stupid, she decides to go and show up at Graham's house. How does SHE know where HE lives? Did she go through some address book of Iris's? Or had he told her where he lived? It doesn't seem that he would tell her where he lived, really since he was trying to keep the fact that he was a single father a bit silent. So can we say "Stalker Alert"? Maybe I was worried about the wrong character.

Movie Inconsistencies in general:  All the little continuity errors, factual errors and the like... Why? These are not low-budget films. Why can't they take the time to ensure that things match up, and that there aren't any inconsistent pieces (you know, the things that stick out like a sore thumb, like the shifting or change of scarf from scene to scene, or other wardrobe malfunctions. Or how candles are burned down to the nub in one frame and suddenly big again, then back to being burned down. Amanda holding a wine glass while dancing and in 1 breath, 1 lyric, suddenly it has been placed somewhere else.) Though the people who find these little movie issues wouldn't have anything to do if they were to pay attention to detail and fix these issues, it leaves me to wonder if they just don't care about the quality, or someone truly thought they were covering all the bases, and made mistakes. Who checks these before the movie is finalized and sent out? Don't they have some sort of QC?

Now all in all, as I said before, I am a fan of this "comfort movie". It's a good holiday feel good movie, I enjoy the characters, and I'm not bothered by the dual romances going on like many other people who have written about this. I also don't mind the "Iris and Miles" romance being somewhat 'friends first' and awkward... because if you think about it, real life romances sometimes start this way, meeting and spending awkward moments before asking someone out officially or letting their affections be known, and probably not operating very smooth to boot. It is very rare if ever that someone (aside from the movie stars and movie characters) to experience such a glamorous and starstruck type of situation. Therefore, Miles and Iris give a little hope to some of the ordinary friends and couples who don't necessarily start off with the glass slipper and the fairy dust and fanfare. They're sweet, they're comfortable and they've both been through their share of heartache and bad romance. They appreciated FINALLY finding someone who was happy to be with them and who would treat them well.

Finally, as the movie comes to a close I am left a little empty-hearted wondering what becomes of the newly formed romances of both of our couples. They finish off the 2 hour long flick with a very joyous New Years Eve all together with Graham's two children to the tune of "You Send Me" by the legendary queen Aretha Franklin, dancing around having snacks and looking like a family. I want to know what happens afterwards. The all have established jobs... Miles and Amanda in L.A., and the brother and sister, Graham an Iris, whose family is heavy into the publishing industry, very dedicated to their jobs. Do they attempt the long-distance relationship(s) wherein they do okay for a couple of good months and then begin to fade out due to schedules and lack of effort on someone's part? Do any of them decide to make a big life change and move to the other country and make a real go of it?

Help me out here...

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Until Further Notice

The following quote, which I first ran across some time ago is one that merits daily reminder, but we get so caught up in our day-to-day grind and are so busy 'white knuckle gripping' the things we are so hellbent on worrying and stressing over that we allow it to fall to the wayside.

"Until Further Notice... Celebrate Everything!"

Now I am not certain the origin of this quote, though I have seen it repeated many places, and also seen it as the title of published materials. No matter, the concept is one of the best pieces of advice we could receive. As most of us have experienced, or will realize soon enough in life, nothing is certain, nothing lasts forever, time flies and as Stephen King said it best in his novel '11/22/63' (which I highly recommend reading, by the way), "Life turns on a dime. Sometimes towards us, but more often it spins away, flirting and flashing as it goes: so long, honey, it was good while it lasted, wasn’t it?" So celebrating everything that we're blessed with whether that is some material gift, relationship, family, love, life, still being able to breathe and do daily tasks, or what have you _____ (fill in th' muthacluckin blank)... appreciate that, be grateful, remember it and celebrate it on a daily basis.

So a lot of these superficial holidays, the ones that have been over-commercialized, and exist in their current form now more than ever to feed the pockets of the already rich and greedy... their true meaning has been lost anyway. Can we take a moment to think of the reason behind these holidays? Some of them you wouldn't celebrate anyway due to a cultural meaning, a clash in beliefs, or just for the mere reason that it is nothing but a materialistic marketing ploy in itself. Many holidays are celebrated by people who don't even apply, and they do it just for the big delicious food spread, or the binge drinking, etc.  Now I'm not one to discourage any honors or celebrations, as that is sort of 'anti' what I'm saying here. I'm just saying that on these big commercial holidays, remember what they stand for and be 'awake' in that respect, you might be celebrating and supporting something that you're opposed to... instead, celebrate those important things, and the real moments of life. The little things that we let slide by while we're allowing those big, empty non-important distractions take us from what's real that deserves to be celebrated.

Take these thoughts and good vibes going forward through the holiday season that is upon us, and beyond. Perfect time to do at least one positive thing, or good deed, or project good thoughts and celebrate a moment today, right now, this minute... If we practiced this "Celebrate Everything" philosophy (yes, even the bad stuff, because it builds strength as well as helps us appreciate the good stuff) then we wouldn't even need those ridiculous New Year's Resolutions, most of which we don't stick to anyway. Good habits, the successful ones, are usually the small steps we take, daily that become habits. When you set outlandish goals and bite off more than you can chew, what happens? You likely choke and quit... Baby steps, little things, celebrating everything, big and small but setting realistic goals for ourselves will give us so much more to celebrate, and admit it, make you feel more accomplished in your daily flow. Plus, it gives you a reason to party everyday?? Ha, that's fine, just don't overdo it.

As my Mom always preached, "Everything in moderation."

Our society doesn't really grasp that very well. We are a modern generation of greedy, thoughtless, over-indulgent and gluttonous beings. It's why we're so unhealthy (for the most part) physically, mentally and emotionally for that matter. Not many of us like to admit we are not perfect or that we could really use improvement in these areas, but we get so caught up in ONLY what we see from our own perspective and never force ourselves to look around and see what anyone else is going through or needs, besides what we need and want. What goes around comes around, and that applies to good and bad, so I'd much rather have goodness flowing back to me... yes, I have really gone off the 'philosophical deep end' today, but hey, deal with it. Maybe it's the green tea. Either way, not a bad  message. Yesterday was cupcakes and over-indulgence (on my own part) and today I'm trying to be a better me, and pay it forward. :-)

Speaking of pay it forward, that happened to me in the drive-thru the other day. This was the first time it has ever happened to me, so I must make note of it. I was quite shocked, I must say because of that fact. I of course decided to pay it forward as well. My bill had been close to $8.00 (USD). Before I committed, I inquired the amount of the person behind me. The cashier checked and it was $5.20. So I paid for the person behind me. Please note that the amount wouldn't be an issue if I hadn't just begun working again (things have been a little rough lately) so I wasn't being cheap, I just wouldn't have been able to pay, say, a fifty dollar tab!!  I'm not sure if the people in the car behind me continued the gesture, I hope that they might. I think that 'pay it forward' is sweet... it is a small thing, of course and isn't curing world hunger or helping the homeless, but it is still a nice gesture and it filled my heart with a giving spirit. That's why I say, even one or two small gestures of kindness a day, even if that is just uplifting someone who seems to be going through something (perhaps with just a smile), they truly make a difference.

These are all great ways to 'celebrate everything'. Parties and celebrations don't always have to be for us, they can be selfless.

Enough of my psychobabble, you're probably not still reading this anyway... I don't think I have much of an audience, really. If I do, you guys never leave me comments. I would love to see more comments and more readers again. So if you're still here with me, please leave me a few words.

Though I'm trying to write more, I can't be sure I'll blog again before the week is through so I thought I'd make note of the upcoming 'unusual' and odd holidays from today through maybe Sunday (12/10). If you're looking for fun things to celebrate (as if you don't already have enough from just still being alive and kicking!) then you can use these little amusing dates below as prompts to laugh, and maybe start some tradition, or have some fun with your children and family. Be sure to read a little more about the ones that catch your eye, some of them stem from history, and some have some interesting stories behind them... so we learn a little something as we go. So read about them and enjoy! (I get these from a couple different sites, google "odd holidays" or check out the site Fun Holidays (click here).

For instance, this "Microwave Oven Day" (Dec. 6): I didn't realize that the "Microwave" was Invented by American engineer Percy Spencer during World War II, or that they were first commercially sold in the United States in 1946 under the name 'Radarange'. They rapidly became a coveted kitchen appliance and spawned a whole section of the food industry. Now, they're a common appliance in most homes. I remember our first microwave. My father brought it home when I was about 12. It was a Litton, I think, and the thing lasted until just a few years back before my parents' passing. That's pretty remarkable these days, as not many of our modern tools and appliances have a very lengthy lifespan!

Anyway, I guess I better get back to work, but in the  meantime, check out the next few days, there are some cool little funky holidays, and of course Christmas is here (12/25), Hannakuh (12/12 - 12/20), Kwanzaa (12/26 - 1/1) and more things going on. Do yourself a favor, get to know someone else's traditions and cultures, talk to people about the things they celebrate, educate yourself, practice diversity, understanding and kindness. The world is so much bigger than just your tiny little bubble of perception. Remove your cubicle walls. ;-)

  • Microwave Oven Day - December 6
  • Miners' Day - December 6
  • National Gazpacho Day - December 6
  • National Pawnbrokers Day - December 6
  • Special Kids Day - December 6, 2017 (First Wednesday in December)
  • St. Nicholas Day - December 6
  • International Civil Aviation Day - December 7
  • National Cotton Candy Day - December 7
  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day - December 7
  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8 (Catholic)
  • National Chocolate Brownie Day - December 8
  • Official Lost & Found Day - December 8, 2017
  • Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day - December 8
  • Gingerbread Decorating Day - December 9, 2017 (Second Saturday in December)
  • International Anti-Corruption Day - December 9
  • International Shareware Day - December 9, 2017 (Second Saturday in December)
  • National Pastry Day - December 9
  • National Wreaths Across America Day - December 9, 2017 (Second Saturday in December)
  • Weary Willie Day - December 9
  • Dewey Decimal System Day - December 10
  • Human Rights Day - December 10
  • National Day of Animal Rights - December 10
  • National Lager Day - December 10
  • Nobel Prize Day - December 10
  • World Choral Day - December 10, 2017 (Second Sunday in December)
  • Worldwide Candle Lighting Day - December 10, 2017 (Second Sunday in December)


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Let Them Eat Cake

Being back to the grind is an awesome relief after another stent of unemployment. I am so ready to find a more permanent place to hang my name tag and hairnet (so-to-speak). At this time in my life, I really need job security and something dependable.

Although office environments vary, one thing is usually common. Unhealthy sweets brought in by various employees, either as a treat, or for special occasions. Sometimes these are planned occasions such as birthdays, work anniversaries or going away "goodbye" cakes. The cursed evils can range from doughnuts, professionally sculpted cakes and pies to cupcakes and sweets based on various cultures and countries. The temptation is hard to resist, and there always seems to be some reason to celebrate. "Bob's Birthday", "Susan's Last Day", "Marcus's Promotion", etc. Since I am currently working in the field of Hospitality, it can be even more difficult to avoid the nefarious nom-ables, since there will be special promotions and sometimes celebrations or 'welcome' luncheons for new notables and such.

Today was just such a day. I was gliding through my day successfully avoiding sugary confection, and then she who was in charge of promotional fanfare summoned me... I was on my way back from the break room where I had elected to have a cup of hot chocolate and allow that to be my only 'sweet' for the day, when I heard her angelic sounding voice announce "Cupcakes! From Georgetown! Plenty left, go get one while you can!"

Georgetown Cupcakes (could you resist?)

I gave myself a stern "No!", I tried with all my might to steer myself towards my office to the right instead of off to the left to the evil land of demonic pastries... to no avail. I spotted them, all layed out with their little decorations and perfect frosting boasting Christmas cheer... and I crumbled.

Here are the ingredients to the evil little bastards:

Now I was sitting at my desk with a cup of hot chocolate and cupcake, feeling like a pig, wallowing in regret. Then of course came the sleepy aftermath of the sugar rush, that 2:30ish insane need for a nap. There was no way I was going to get through the rest of the afternoon and accomplish Jack S***!!  All Hail the Cupcake... Devil in Disguise.

Elaine Explodes of the Office Cake Ritual (Seinfeld):

Then Once She Scorns the Group, She Begins
To Miss The Cake and Eats Her Boss's Collectible:

Laugh, just laugh, and don't condemn me... The deed has been done. Maybe I'll do better tomorrow.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Memory

I've been unable to get to sleep tonight, although I felt very tired when I went to lay down and attempt to go to sleep. You see, I've been doing my Thanksgiving cooking, so maybe it's just all the memories preventing me from actually getting some shuteye.

Me, Giving Y'all The Bird
Right now, as I write this, it is 3:45 AM (Thanksgiving Morning). Those childhood feelings and memories of my parents have been woven into each dash of seasoning, every stir of the spoon or whipping of the batter.

As I chopped, saute'd and pureed, all I could see in my mind's eye were visions of my Dad and Mom working together in the kitchen, days before and all the way up to Thanksgiving morning getting everything ready for our big dinner together. 

Holidays were always exciting to me growing up because it was the only time that all of my siblings would pile in at the same time (mostly) and all the kids and we had a true houseful. I would wake up early to the succulent smells of Mom's pies cooking and the dressing browning gorgeously in the oven. The house was just ablaze with love and warmth.

I remember it thrilling me so much to go in the den and find Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on TV, and I would dream about NYC, then other great holiday-time programs would always be on. Still, I couldn't rest because I was so amped up waiting for everyone to come home and be together.

Just feels so funny, even though it has been several years since my dad passed, and now three years since my Mom left us... like I should still be waking up to that magical time, that wonderful, safe feeling that, to be quite honest, is really indescribable.

I can post about it but, can't do it justice.

So anyway, after procrastinating early in the week, I finally got through the grocery shopping and being in a crowded store with human beings, and got all my ingredients together. I was set. Took everything home, and I put everything away and of course needed a little break. So I made myself a steak and a baked potato, and I sat down and ate honestly my first meal of the day (I should not have gone to the grocery store hungry, but I didn't do too bad... can't do much damage since I am on limited funds at the moment, times being tough as they are right now).

After a little R&R, I jumped up and began preparing my poultry selections and getting ready to put together my traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing (as close to what my Mom and Dad made as I can). Then I prepared my pasta for my Rotel Chicken Spaghetti, and cleaning as I went, I was pretty proud of myself.

Still, I ached for my Mother and Father... how I wish I could be in my childhood kitchen with them, having coffee and laughs, and putting together a true dinner and still waiting for my family all to arrive so we could be together again, like it was back then, in my eyes, perfect.

As we grow up, we realize nothing is really perfect, and I'm sure this was only my own perception of if all... but what matters is it was perfect to me. I've taken many things for granted in my life, and I have lost many things that I took for granted. We learn lessons all-too-often the hard way. Not that I would change (much of) anything. I'm no fool, I know if we change anything we'd be changing everything. But I wouldn't be human if I didn't think from time-to-time what I wouldn't give to go home.

If you're reading this, I wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving; not what the holiday is based on, in history actually, but what Thanksgiving means to me, which is being grateful for every day, and everything that we have not lost. Remembering not to take the small moments and the little gestures and gifts in our lives for granted either... because it's those tiny little fleeting moments that stitch together and form our big ol' 'Quilt' of a life, patches of joy, love, pleasure, pain, abundance, loss, grief and magic.

Who we are is nothing more than where we've been and who we love and have loved us, those who walk with us for a little while, and those who are with us for the entire journey... and that, though it may not seem like it at times, is real magic.

Be blessed, and don't forget about the magic.

Just Me,

Happy Thanksgiving Mom & Dad, I Miss You Forever <3 p="">

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thirsty Thursday

Well apparently today's good for a few interesting celebrations. Most intriguingly, there is "Ask a Stupid Question Day" paired up with "International Right to Know Day". I guess that means if people ask us stupid questions today, we're pretty much obligated to school them... ahh the thirst for knowledge, and of course beer.

Yesss, Drink Beer Day is also today, which is more than likely at least partially responsible for many of the stupid questions we get on a regular basis (cheers!).

Thank goodness for drunk people, am I right? They provide us with comic relief due to so many burned up brain cells. Those mighty little brain cells had so much potential, yet they were struck down in the prime of their life. Can we have a moment of silence for all of the brain cells that have died for the cause of the almighty beer belly and the quest for the perfect buzz?

**For a moment we can only hear crickets and the central AC blowing**

Here is a hilarious video to honor super drunk beer drinkers, this poor guy is trying to buy beer but is having a very hard time doing so... It is funny as hell, watch it.

I have quite a few stories about drunk people, some of them are indeed funny, but I'll leave you with that today, as I have a good bit of "adulting" to get to.

On that note, don't be afraid to ask stupid questions, as it is your 'international right to know', and when all else fails, have a few suds and just Chillax (keep your faculties about you though, I mean for your own safety. I need you around to blog about).

Quick little recap of today's 'off-the-wall' holidays... Enjoy! Celebrate!
  • Drink Beer Day - September 28
  • Ask a Stupid Question Day - September 29, 2017 (Last School Day of September)
  • International Right to Know Day - September 28
  • National Good Neighbor Day - September 28
  • National Teach Ag Day - September 28, 2017 (Fourth Thursday in September)
  • Strawberry Cream Pie Day - September 28
  • World Maritime Day - September 28, 2017 (Last Thursday in September)
  • World Rabies Day - September 28
  • Fish Tank Floorshow Night - September 28

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I've Got a Crush On You

In getting back to my 'muse research' for posts, I ran across today's "Fun Holiday". September 27th is "Crush a Can Day"! This is kind of cool, and who doesn't love the exhilarating feeling of crushing a can between your fingers, or even stepping on them to 'smush' them as I enjoyed doing growing up. What an environmentally friendly way to have a little fun. Then you can take all of your crushed cans to the recycling center to give them a new life! See further below for tips on how to celebrate this little-known holiday.

This next song is called
Crushing cans reminded me of course about "Crushes". I tell so many stories involving crushes I've had on others growing up, and throughout life, guys I stalked and whose lives I made a living hell. But, have I ever shared any where someone had a crush on me? If memory serves me correctly, I'll have to say... probably not often, because it was a phenomenon so rare, it ranks right up there with the 'Gooty Tarantula' (Also known as the 'Metallic Tarantula', not to be confused with the Metallica Tarantula (which of course, sleeps with one eye open, gripping YOUR pillow tight).

Well, let me think. It's really hard, because I've never had anybody come to me later in life and said "Oh my god I had SUCH a crush on you in High School", and I was never the "Molly Ringwald" character with her best friend Ducky, who silently watched as his secret crush ended up with the most popular guy in the entire school. So, what does that leave me with? Hmmm, OH WAIT OOOH OOOH!! I've GOT ONE! Let's call him "Kenny". Kenny was a relatively cool guy, who was not really good looking in the classical sense. Well, who am I kidding he wasn't really good looking in any sense. He was tall, skinny, a bit awkward looking, and there was no chemistry whatsoever (from me to him). He was a really nice guy though, and he liked me... he REALLY liked me.  I know what you're thinking. This is the classic case of perfectly good guy, 'stuck in the friend zone' by some dumb girl who took him for granted and didn't open her mind to the possibility of someone who truly liked her, and could have made an amazing boyfriend (or husband, etc).  Well, I'm here to tell you that, well... you're absolutely right. I can't deny any of the above, and I should be ashamed of myself for how I treated the Kenny situation. I just couldn't make myself like him, though. No matter how I tried. I hung out with him, we had coffee and talked late into the night at the local truck stop, sometimes with his best friend at the time, who I kind of had a tiny crush on, but that's neither here nor there.

Admittedly, I may have given him false hope at times in spending time with him. I allowed him to kiss me, gave in to his romantic overtures sometimes. I didn't do it to be cruel, and I wasn't trying to lead him on intentionally. Life is just a big confusing pile of shit sometimes, and we handle it the best way we can I think, especially when we're young and stupid.

Humor, oh yes, I was planning this as a funny story, I digress. So with all the ups and downs, with Kenny trying to win my affections, he would often beg me to go out, do something, see a movie maybe. So on one particularly boring night at home with my parents, I caved. I called him up.

"Helllooo?" he crooned with his Mississippi redneck accent.

"Hey, what are you doing?" I quacked.

"Nothing." he replied.

"Wanna go see a movie then? You been trying to get me to go to one so, let's go."

Kenny, "Hell yeah, come on, let's go!"  His exhilaration nearly singed my phone receiver. I sighed, got dressed, drove into town and picked him up at his dorm. We drove over to the little ol' local theater that had been in the town for ages, nothing by Malco standards, but growing up probably the most exciting thing we had to do in Tobie Town.

The evil rose within me, and I came up with my deliciously sadistic plan. He wanted to take me to a movie? Well I had been wanting to see "Too Wong Foo" for the longest, and by golly I got me a sucker to sock it to!  "To Wong Foo?" he asked curiously.  "Oh yes, it's a comedy, supposed to be great, you'll love it." I replied sardonically, snickering under my breath.

Now for those of you who have ever seen "To Wong Foo", you might be wondering what the big deal is, or if there is some hidden meaning or joke that you just didn't catch on to? No, not really. It's just the plain and simple fact that you don't find many regular redneck southern boys who enjoy movies about Drag Queens, and this guy was no exception. He was your average wannabe macho homophobic guy who thought that he might catch something from simply watching a gay love scene.

So the movie starts, I'm deep into the colorful storyline, and enjoying every magical cinematic moment. After some time passes, I remember to look over and check on my victim, and just as I suspected, he was gazing forward with a horrified look on his face, wide-eyed and dumbfounded. Occasionally, I could hear expletives being expelled from his mouth such as 'G***mn, what tha' hell!?' and 'Aww F**K Naww!!' Finally, as one particularly intense scene came about, he exclaimed rather loudly, "Oh my gawwd, if they Kiss, IMMA BE SICK!!"

I cozied down into my movie theater seat with a satisfied grin on my face, as my 'date' powered through the drag queen drama and survived like a champ.

I'd like to say this was the last time I 'inadvertently' tortured the hell out of the poor guy, but I kind of ended up breaking his heart a little bit by falling for his other best friend a little later in the story. Hey, it just kind of happened. We'd met once when we all visited him at his apartment. They later lived together in a house with one other roommate.

So legend: Kenny is roomate #1, therefore we'll refer to the others as roommate #2 and #3.

Roommate #3 was severely obnoxious, by the way, and thought he was God's gift to women. As well, he was a redhead, which made him extra obnoxious and unattractive to me (I had a rule against redheaded guys because my Dad was a redhead-hey don't try to understand me from back then, I don't even understand me from back then). So to shorten a longer story, roommate #2 and I dated for about three months before breaking up over some stupid b.s., and for a while, Kenny tried to console me, even though I had dated his friend. He still had his crush on me, I could tell... and he passionately compelled me to 'please just promise that I would never go out with 'blahblahblah' (a.k.a. roomate #3, I'm not giving out #2 and #3's names just to keep it clean).

So, due to some insane turn of events, roommate #3 started being really nice to me, and consoling me, offering 'heartfelt' support. He let me confide in him about my heartbreak over roomate #2, and also offered information that was intended to make me feel better in regard to the breakup between roommate #2 and myself. As you can see, he was snaking his way into a 'bond' of sorts with me, and giving me a false sense of confidence and counsel.

Seriously, he was Satan himself. So, what do I do? I go out with roommate #3, who I had sworn to God, Myself and Kenny I would never in a gazillion years do. For one, because he was despicable to me, and secondly because I considered myself being a good person to not date yet another one of his roommates. (makes a throat slicing motion at self)

Appalled with myself was an understatement. I had led Kenny down a long and winding primrose path of thorns, tormenting him, and breaking his heart not once, but twice, even though it was not on purpose, I swear. It just goes to show you that at times in our lives, especially in youth (before all of the chaos and true hard lessons mow us down with Mack trucks) that we seriously do not think of the consequences of our actions, or how said actions affect other people. We can't be bothered to think of how what we say and do could really hurt someone whose only sin was caring about us. Some of us never grow out of this, and continue to demolish every heart in our paths. I learned, though I admit I have learned many lessons the hard way.

Moral of the story? I don't know, really. You could say that it might be something like 'Open your heart, treat people the way you want to be treated, and give love a chance, even in the most unexpected places.'

But I think it's a little more like 'We can't control who we love, so next time you feel brokenhearted that you're a victim of unrequited love, just remember you've done the same thing to someone at some point, and I guess it's just coming back to you because hey, Life is just a Bitch'.

To 'To Wong Foo', thanks for Everything!
-Aunt Jackie
Sorry. The End... were you expecting something a little sweeter? Doh!! What a DRAG ;-)


Crush a Can Day - How to Celebrate?  Start collecting cans in anticipation of this day. On the day of, host a can crushing party. Use cans to decorate your venue and serve food and beverages – just make sure they have been cleaned out thoroughly and are not rusted. Then gather around in your backyard with friends and family and get crushing. Line up those cans and go crazy on them. Hold a can crushing contest – whoever crushes the most cans gets to take all of them to the recycling center! Be very careful when you crush cans. If you are unable to crush them leave them at your closest recycling center – let the experts deal with it. Did You Know… …that recycling one tin can save enough energy to run a television for 3 hours? Read Full Article and More Here!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Checking In

Took another Hiatus, and this happens sometimes unintentionally. I've been trying to work on a book, so I've done some writing "offline" (if you will). Things brewing, and of course it is officially fall, so I am ready to perk back up and get back to the blog a bit more regularly.

Things get hectic and sometimes I get distracted by life itself, just daily struggles and trying to make ends meet and I allow my favorite things to take a backseat.

"Favorite things?" you say.

Yes, you know, my writing (here), my music, my art and myself.

We must remember never to neglect our favorite things for very long, lest they move on and find other favorite things themselves.

"Life Turns On A Dime." -Stephen King

(Be back a little later, with more of my world-famous "word vomit". I know you all enjoy!)

Sharing This Gorilla Drinking Coffee For No Reason

Aunt Jackie

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Doctor, My Eyes

Well I have had a little gap, as my schedule changed up a good bit when my last contract position ended, and I've been doing a lot of work on the house, and of course trying like heck to find my next position and hopefully a long-term to permanent position. So a bit busy, and at times, lazy, but with the transitions of things in the house, I haven't had a good "computer spot" set-up which is comfortable for me to sit for long period of time so that I could spend much time on my writing and blogging. I need a new laptop or something to be honest, that way I'd be able to set myself up pretty much anywhere and write more conveniently. Yes, I used to have one, but it broke some time ago, and without my former roommate, I have no access to one. So, once I get settled into my new job (which I have faith is coming soon), I'll safe up and get me a small, cool little notebook or something.

My Cat Has This Attitude
I was happy with myself for getting posts up pretty regularly, and it was inspiring my creative side a good deal. It still is, I just need to get the computer set up more comfy, then it'll all be back.

Since I've been lax, for 'shits n giggles', I'll go ahead and include the May 30th oddball holidays and observances.
2017 Daily Holidays that fall on May 30, include:
  • International Hug Your Cat Day 
  • National Mint Julep Day 
  • Water a Flower Day 
Those things seem relatively doable... I will say that I get so annoyed by my cat at times that I don't feel like hugging her. She might not appreciate the gesture either, she likes affection on her own terms, let's just say. Sometimes I have to remind her who's boss. So let me try hugging my cat (Verfang Izabella), afterwords I might need a Mint Julep. Suffice it to say I have never in my life had a mint julep, so I don't really even know what the hype is about, or what they taste like at all... I'd rather a couple of shots of tequila if I am going to consume any alcohol at all. It's easy, simple and cool, plus Tequila has health benefits.

Watering flowers is something that I applaud though, so since it is still spring, if you're inclined to garden, or have a green thumb, then please go out today and plant some flowers, or plant a tree or two. I like that Idea... the world needs more plants and trees, and the state of the world is always in need of repair. For that, I will dedicate today's song by Jackson Browne "Doctor, My Eyes"... Everyone enjoy the rest of your day. I'll be writing more shortly.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Chemical Warfare and Thanks

(originally for May 9th)
2017 Daily Holidays from May 9, included:
  • National Moscato Day 
  • National Teachers Day - May 9, 2017
    (Tuesday of the First Full Week in May)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Day 

Funny that the above holidays are all listed on the same day, that they're the ONLY holidays listed on this lovely day, here in May (the 9th to be exact). Funny, why? Because they COULD be related... humorously. So no offense to anyone who might be mucking around and stumble across this. I have many friends and family members who are Teachers. So I was just thinking about today being "National Teachers Day", how they get so stressed out that they probably wanna clobber the kids, and also there are so many communicable diseases that "Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Day" plays a part in there, and then when everybody's done dealing with all of the chaos, they probably really DO need a glass or two of that Moscato (please not the whole bottle lol).

Teachers rock, though. I always liked all of mine as far as I can remember and I very rarely got into any trouble at all. I liked school, and I did quite well without even having to study that hard. If I failed at something, or made bad grades, it was all my fault, to be honest, as I would allow myself to be distracted, or just wouldn't apply myself. Looking back, this is something I really would change if given the chance. I could kick myself for some of the things I allowed myself to slack on.

Never had a crush on any teacher through high school, but when I got to college, I sure did. I developed an insane crush on my English/Literature teacher. I wrote an entire story about this, which you can read here if you want.

As far as my own family, my lovely and brilliant nieces, Stacey and Kristie are amazing teachers. I get to hear horror stories quite often from them through the experiences they've had thus far in their careers. Stacey is a Kindergarten teacher currently, so she gets a bit more of the innocence and child-like joy that still exists in the little ones. Kristie gets more of the High School nightmare. Since she once remarked that she wanted to read some stories about herself on my blog, I'll dedicate this one to my lovely PhD-wielding niece and bff, "Professor Kristie" (i'll just call her that for fun).

She is totally awesome. As you can see in the above photos, she has done some fun projects, and when you put fun into the mix, learning is so much more attractive to everyone involved. Teaching is not an easy job these days, unfortunately with many parents being apathetic to their child's life, or education, so that's why it is so important to recognize those educators that stick through it thick and thin, do their best to help any child, despite the difficulty that the system gives them.

They have fun, they learn, and I know teachers like my Kristie make an impact, at least wherever they can... Once, a few Halloweens back, she actually staged a 'Fake Suicide' with the fake blood and everything, completely scared the crap out of her class. She has that morbid sense of humor like her Aunt Jackie... I was so proud.

Yes, if she can't teach them traditionally, she will at least make them soil themselves... and that's almost better than a diploma, don't you think? ;-)

**Originally wanted to post this specific to the date, but let's just recognize teachers for the whole week... If you know one, thank them today. It's important. <3 p="">

Monday, May 08, 2017

Sock it to Me

Today's May 8th holidays to check out, I have included below. Since I use them often for 'writing prompts', I got a little giggle out of "No Socks Day". Interesting... Wish I'd known this morning, but alas I have socks on. Well, that's okay. And tomorrow's list includes "National Teachers Day" so I may pay homage to my nieces who are excellent teachers... and great teachers are hard to come by these days, because they just have such a hard time being allowed to do their jobs. I digress, though, let's get back to the foot coverage.

Socks, ah yes... it takes me back to a time, quite a long time ago when I still worked at good ol' Wal-Mart (Wally World as we sometimes affectionately called it). The father of one of my friends whom I worked with at the time, used to wear those funny ankle socks with the little "puff ball" on the back of them. I think they may be called "pom pom socks". The first time I saw this I thought I was going to die laughing. I thought to myself, 'Aren't these for little girls?'

Happy No Socks Day!
What you have to understand is that this guy, S's father, drove his hot car, had money, walked around like he thought he was God's gift to women so to wear these socks (his styled back salt-n-pepper hair, with his khaki cargo shorts and either sandals or sneakers, polo shirt, y'know the works) made him look just a tad bit tragically unhip. I guess either he was just that confident and dared anyone to question his masculinity, or he was oblivious and did not realize his fashion faux pas. Either way, it was a sight to behold, and I never quite looked at him the same. Don't get it twisted, I never looked at him "that way" anyway as I always thought he was kind of a overly egotistically-equipped 'blowhard', fancied himself a ladies' man. Wasn't that he was a bad looking guy, I think it was just the way he presented himself made him more comical to me, as well as the fact that he was my insane friend's father.

So whenever he would stroll through the store, and I happened to come face-to-face with "Pom Pom Daddy", he would always smoothly belt out, "Helllo Kiddo!!!" in a sharp Midwestern accent, to which I would have to shrink inwardly to contain my laughter. Then I would maintain my composure, muster up that sweet, southern charm (that we Mississippi girls are famous for) and make friendly conversation, keeping my cool pom-pom-ERRRR poker face strong. ;-)

In conclusion, it would seem that there are occasions when celebrating "No Sock Day" would be best... yes, so to all of you fine ladies and especially gentlemen out there? SOCK RESPONSIBLY!

Here are the rest...
2017 Daily Holidays that fall on May 8, include:
  • Free Trade Day
  • Iris Day 
  • Mother's At the Wall Day - May 8, 2017
  • National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
  • National Coconut Cream Pie Day 
  • National Empanada Day 
  • National Women's Check-up Day - May 8, 2017 (Monday following Mother's Day)
  • No Socks Day 
  • Truman Day 
  • V-E Day 
  • World Ovarian Cancer Day
  • World Red Cross Day

Friday, May 05, 2017

Turn It Off, Oops Too Late

Been a busy week here at work, I guess you could say. Seems like the more I try to get done, the less I end up doing, however. No matter, it is FRIDAY, and also the 5th (Feliz Cinco de Mayo!) 

Hopefully, most of you REALIZE that Cinco de Mayo is not Spanish for "Get Drunk America!!" though it seems as though, much like St. Patrick's Day, the sentiment of the actual holiday is lost and people just think it's time for Happy Hour and chaos... So if you don't know, Cinco de Mayo (literally "5th of May") commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).  It’s a holiday not celebrated much as much though, or is it? Here the U.S., it’s become a day to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage (a.k.a. booze hounds go drinking, sadly). However, if you must use it as just an excuse to indulge in alcohol, please be safe, and try to at least think of the culture and the history of it, even if it is just in a quick toast. Get a designated driver, and be respectful to yourself and others. Enjoy.

In taking a peek over at the Holidays and Observances page, I noticed that I missed out on the fact that this week (well, May 1st through 7th) is supposed to be "Screen Free Week (Formerly T.V. Turnoff Week)". That's funny, guess it's moved with the times, from when we had just mainly televisions, and nowadays this applies to so much due to technology... It would affect not only our T.V.s but our computers, game systems, smartphones, tablets, iPads / iPods, etc. Not that any of us would be able to adhere to it, am I right?

So I have a few more ideas for stories to tell, as my Sister and I were discussing more funny things the other day over the phone. I will put one together for my  next post. In the meantime, there is plenty of reading to catch up on here at "Deep In The Forrest". Go catch-up on my last few posts, or hit the sidebar to the right and check out poss from "Best Of Aunt Jackie (Must Reads)", and you'll surely not be disappointed. I am pretty awesome, after all.

You'ins have a fantastic weekend... Don't forget to comment below!!!


Your Favorite Aunt, Jax

Monday, May 01, 2017

Digital Prisons and Mayday

Happy Mayday! Mayday can either mean "Mayday! Mayday!" (as a distress signal used by ships or aircrafts, etc) or it can be all about May Day celebrated on the 1st. For me, it's today, although we could always use a little help and support, right?

The last few days, I've been in "Facebook Jail" (so affectionately named) That means I have been locked from being able to post, like or comment from my timeline. This was due to some weird incident where someone reported my profile, and they made me verify the page and some content. These types of things are ridiculous to me since I never put anything THAT offensive on my FB page, but you have people out there that just want to cause you issues, and sometimes hackers and Internet Trolls that do these things. There are also angry significant others who get mad at something in regard to their partner, and do this in an attempt to stop something they're angry about. What they're not thinking about is that if their Significant Other is doing shady activity, or cheating on them, etc, going after the people that they think the person is attempting to talk to (if that is the case) is basically like trying to put a small band-aid on a huge open wound. It's an attempt to fix a symptom, but is never going to cure the disease. The only way anyone can begin to fix a situation like this is to take it up with the "main culprit" (a.k.a. the Cheater). The truth is, you can block, report, threaten and cuss out a thousand people, in an attempt to get your partner to be faithful to you, but your partner will keep finding more. They're not going to stop the behavior unless they truly have something to lose (that means something to them), and are at a point in their life where they want to change... sad, but true. So if you're in a situation where your partner is hurting you by flirting, pursuing others and doing things that hurt you, address it with them because 9 times out of 10 the people that they are talking to have no idea they're taken, and do not know there are boundaries because your partner has not set boundaries, and is encouraging the communication. You gotta treat the disease itself, not just the side effects... okay, just a quick PSA.

I am not saying that was the reason for my situation. To be honest, I have no idea why my profile was reported, as stated I did not have anything on there that was offensive, maybe a bit of dirty humor here or there, but nothing that would merit being reported. After all the x-rated content and hate groups that go without being resolved or reprimanded on social media sites, they choose to pick on their long-term, loyal clients and give us a hard time. Whatever.

So, even though I never feel like anybody is really reading or paying attention to anything I post, share, write or whatever when this happened I had several people worrying about what happened, and evidently missing my presence there on their timeline. This was good, but I tried to let them know that I am blogging and that they can come over and read, keeping up on their dose of Jax here. Well, I'm doing my best to keep this up--and so far, so good. I've been writing a pretty good deal, and enjoying it immensely, even if it wasn't but a blurb or two, and as well when I get out a good story.

So if you're reading this and you've come from one of the social media sites, great... Hello! If you're one of my regular readers, hello as well. I'm always glad to know I'm being read, to be honest. I would love for you to leave a comment so that I know you're here, and feel free to share your thoughts on what I write. It makes me happy... yes it's selfish, I love comments and acknowledgement. I'm admitting it, please comment for me.

Funny how we become what you could consider "slaves" to our social media, and digital tools... Video games, blogs, Facebooks, Twitters, Instagrams, all those things. It's good but it's bad. We sometimes wonder how we ever made it without all these things, but I honestly look back and think it's possible that I was way happier then than I am now. Pros and cons, really, but looking back it feels like such a simpler time before these digital prisons came along. Everyone's different. Oh well.

So it's May 1st, that gives me pause to want to read all about the things that are recognized and celebrated in May. As I started keeping up with this, I searched a lot of sites and found this link, which I've been using pretty consistently, to keep up with these observances (seems to be the one with the most thorough list).  Here it is again for you all to peruse. Holidays and Observances

Holidays that fall on May 1st (bolding my faves):

Batman Day
Global Love Day
International Worker's Day
Law Day
Lei Day - (U.S. State of Hawaii)
Loyalty Day
May Day
Melanoma Monday - May 1, 2017 (First Monday in May)
National Chocolate Parfait Day
National Purebred Dog Day
Save the Rhino Day
Silver Star Service Banner Day

Guess that about wraps'her up for your Aunt Jax today... besides, I have a lot to get done, and a lot of people depending on me, right? So then...

Friday, April 28, 2017

Kiss the Ring of Truth

When you're a teenager, there is this little 'magical, electrical' feeling you get sometimes when you're excited about something that, in my own personal experience, just doesn't happen later in life, or at least not past the 20s. Maybe it's just me. Crushes and fun moments always felt that way though. Originally, I started this post yesterday to recognize "Remember Your First Kiss Day", but I got busy and didn't get to finish. So we'll still say that we are celebrating "First Kisses", and you get a fun story to boot.

You see, during High School, when we got our class rings, there was some sort of ritual about 'turning our class rings', which I believe I misunderstood. I thought it was that you turned your ring when you received your 'first kiss'. How I came to this conclusion, I am still not sure. Because in searching a bit about it on the internet, there is a 'ring turning tradition' but it has nothing to do with first kisses. I sure wish I had known this back then, as the turning of the rings, might have given me some better luck (I say, sounding very superstitious, thanks Mom!). As it is supposed to go, per my research into this tradition, you'd begin by wearing the ring facing yourself (if you have some sort of crest or verbiage on the ring, I guess this makes it easier to determine). With the ring facing yourself, it denotes impending graduation (meaning you have not yet graduated). Then, as we all know on your Graduation Day, it is customary to turn your tassel to the other side once you've officially walked and received your diploma, and as far as your class ring goes, it would then be turned outward, facing away from you, which lets everyone know then that you have graduated.

Now on the subject of "Turning the Ring". This is the truth of the tradition as I have found, and as mentioned above, this is something that goes on once you receive your class ring, but before graduation. I'm not sure about the direction, I believe that depends on what you choose, or a specific school might determine the direction you turn it. Most likely it is more about the social side, doubtful that the institution would make a ruling on this, unless it had to do with specific traditions of the school involved. Once you choose the direction, however, you continue to turn the ring in that same direction. Anyways, your friends or classmates, family and even your teachers can take part in the turning of your ring. There are cases where you set a meaning to the number, like the first person could be a parent, or your BFF, etc... and you might set a specific number for your significant other. In most of the references I have read, however, the most significant is the very last person who turns the ring... for this, it is almost always stated that you would choose someone very special or significant to perform the final turn.

This must be where my confusion came in during high school. I always felt behind in the romance department anyway, always felt like a late-bloomer, left out of the dating game and never really had a boyfriend, and never had anyone 'crushing' on me (to my knowledge). I was painfully shy, and also felt awkward, fat and unpopular... Looking back, I have discovered it wasn't exactly as I saw it. That's the way we all feel I think, and then discover later that we were wrong.

Well, even though nobody ever seemed to have a crush on me, I certainly had my fair share of crushes on others. One of them, in fact turned out to be my very first romantic kiss. I discovered him in the midst of some shenanigans my best friend and I were getting into. She dragged me along to visit this guy that SHE had the hots for, much to his dismay I am sure, as I always felt that we often showed up unannounced, and in a somewhat harassing manner. It is pretty funny looking back, and she and I often laugh about this when we recall our teen adventures over lunches and what have you.

As the story goes, on one particular occasion, as we were busting up into RR's apartment so that she could harass him, we were met at the door by my soon-to-be crush LR. He answered the door, fresh out of the shower in nothing but a towel. Bear in mind that what might not stir us as adults (having "seen it all" if you will) was sensory overload to my then 16 year old brain. He had auburn hair, and lifted weights so he had quite the build at the time, and I was instantly smitten. (Looking back I can't imagine why, as I laugh--seriously, he was not that good looking). Oh how crazy are those teenage hormones, they can make you think you're in love with Shrek. But for the sake of my story, imagine he looks like one of those dudes on the cover of a sexy romance novel.

I'll curb the long, drawn out details for now, but basically you know that Bestie and I, now both having a vested interest in harassing this specific residence, were full force in what we thought happened to be perfect seduction techniques. So we went by every chance we could, and I'm sure we wellllll wore out our welcome. In fact, I am convinced that they packed up and moved to get away from us, as they never told us the plans, but we happened to "pop by" one day when they were in the middle of prepping a waterbed and packing for the move. Reluctantly, they told us they were  moving to Coldwater (which was just a town over), and did not tell us the address, shockingly. Once they were gone, of course our trouble-seeking urges took over, and we were obligated to ride around the town until we figured out exactly where they moved. Keep in mind this was before you could actually "Google" and zero in on the whereabouts of someone with the tiniest piece of information. In defense of the county we grew up in, it's no New York City. So it didn't take long, nor did it take much gas to discover one of their trucks parked in a driveway on a narrow road off one of the main streets in town. So what do you think we did? Stealth around and gather more information just to be on the safe side, as well as not to look like complete stalkers? WRONG. We immediately descended upon their new abode with great fervor, as if we had been invited to a housewarming party. Yes, where did all of that boldness and confidence come from? I would be petrified to do anything of the sort now. Kids will be kids, am I right?

So here we all are, in the same situation as when they were living in the apartment near campus: Us dropping by whenever we felt like it and most likely them trying desperately to think of escape tactics. You know how men are, though, they will take advantage of a situation or a naive young girl as quickly as they'll order cheese in their grits. While in the midst of one of these unsolicited visits, my crush happened to be out late, and my Bestie was in full seduction mode with RR in the back of the house. According to her story, they had some fun, and some making out happened, but it did not go all the way. I, myself sat patiently on the couch, watching some weird t.v. show, and an hour or so later HE finally arrived home. Some flirtation and conversation was exchanged, he complained about his back, and bold young me somehow worked in a half-joking suggestion of performing a massage to help him feel better. This was, in my mind, a way to finally make physical contact with him, and get him where I wanted him.  Well he beckoned me back into his bedroom, took full advantage of my offer, and for a while the situation was going along as smoothly as a Danielle Steel novel, of course if you know me, you know the story had an awkward moment, or a bumbling sort of ending, and also did not go all the way, but let's just say I got some experience that night, thrilling to me and I wasn't even at Band Camp! Zipping to the magic moment, however and avoiding the most juicy of the details (sorry guys, another time?).

The Kiss!!! (cue climactic music)

LR slowly leaned up, grabbed me with his strong, muscular arms and pressed his lips to mine. Floating on a cloud, I felt like I had to be dreaming. Was this real? My feverish crush, here, holding me, actually kissing me, definitely an adult kiss, just like in the novels and the movies. I was in shock, disbelief and heaven all at the same time. His mouth moved over my tender and inexperienced lips, his confident tongue found my timid one, and for several moments we were locked in an embrace  that for me, at least was the stuff of my teenage dreams. In the midst of my bliss, and due to the misconception about the ring tradition, with my eyes closed and a little 'thank you' silently spoken.

I reached over and I turned my ring... what a lovely, fairy tale ending, I thought.

Just then, I came to my senses and realized that I was tasting something gritty, bitter and disgusting... It was being transferred from under his tongue and inside his lip into my mouth. I was fully back into reality at this point as I sickeningly realized that the boy dipped SNUFF (Skoal, you know that tobacco product people put right inside the lip)!!! I was completely horrified and turned off, and to this day it affects my attraction and/or decision making about who I would date. Yes, oh you read it here, ladies and gentlemen, my first kiss, and part of my innocence, "Snuffed Out" in mere seconds. Ain't it the way life goes?  ;-)

Have a romantic and Skoal-Free weekend y'all!!!

Your favorite Aunt,


Read the Wiki Article on Class Rings

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Special Brownies

We talk about our Moms a lot here on the blogs, but that's because to Chelly and to me, our Mothers were such role models and strong, hard to forget women, just like we aspire to be.

Now, to know me as an adult, you would never even imagine me outdoors doing anything remotely close to building a fire, setting up tents or learning to cook in the ground or over a flame. Stepping on a snake, or lying awake all night under the stars while getting eaten alive by Mississippi's state bird (Mosquito) are things that I avoid with every ounce of my soul. I mean, my gosh. Girl Scouts are always doing things like cleaning up trash on the highways and getting stung by bees, singing "Kumbaya", hiking in the swelter, mucking around outside in the stinky, muddy, sweaty outdoors. However, there was a time that I, Auntie Jax braved the elements and did my time learning survival skills, earning patches and of course, selling those famous cookies we all know and love. Things have changed a lot over the years, I know, but once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout (if nothing else, by being traumatized by the experiences, or being thoroughly enriched by some of the strengths and habits we were instilled and left with).

My sweet, adoring and sometimes fanatical Mother, you see, was a Girl Scout Leader, eventually earning herself a lifetime membership. She was all things outdoors, loved the lifestyle, adored primitive camping and was in my honest opinion, the epitome of what a true Girl Scout should be. "You always leave things better than you found them." She delighted in passing these values and skills along to us, her daughters and grandchildren too. However, some of us were not quite as enthusiastic about it (mostly me, I think lol). But the principles and lessons learned in Girl Scouts, I admit are wonderful building blocks for us as young women. We could do with a lot more of that today. But alas, I wasn't that happy about it back then. I felt forced, but I appreciate now what my Mother was truly trying to do, ain't that the way it goes?

A word about the Girl Scout Motto: The Girl Scout motto is "Be prepared." In the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook, the motto was explained this way: "A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency." The same holds true today. We began our meetings, always, holding up the Sign with our hands, and reciting our Girl Scout Promise:

On my honor, I will try: 
    To serve God and my country,
    To help people at all times, 

    And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

(Read more about Girl Scout Laws, Promise and Traditions)

Day Camp, for me was a particularly dreaded nightmare. All the interaction with other troops and the chores, outdoorsy events and tasks we were charged with, all in the name of scoring those badges to go on our sash. These events were always in the dead heat of a Mississippi / Memphis summer, which you've heard me tell before is something akin to Malebolge.

One particular summer, we were attending our usual Day Camp at Arkabutla Lake. It was the usual uncomfortable 'fun' and fanfare, when we planned that Thursday to be an overnight camping stay. Needless to say, I was less than enthused about this. However, that evening rolled around, and our sleeping quarters were set-up, supplies in place. It was not just our troop, but girls from others as well. My niece Stacey (1 year younger than me as I always remind you guys because I was an Auntie at such a tender young age) was in attendance. Once the campfire songs were over and we had cleaned up after our dinner, everyone set out for bedtime. All was quiet until one of the girls from Tunica, Mississippi pulled a knife on another girl, and had to be dealt with. My Mom moved us out of the tent with the 'violent Tunica girls' as she referred to them, and Stacey and I ended up having to rough it outside on a picnic table. As the night drew on, the Mosquitoes descended upon the camp and Stacey and I were both prime targets.

My Mom, The Forever Girl Scout
I am struggling to remember if we had any "Off" or other spray. I know that my Mother also knew of the merits of Avon's "Skin So Soft" bath oil, that repels the little blood sucking varmints for some odd reason. However, we must not have had any at our disposal as they were literally trying to carry us away. It was a miserable night. One poor girl was covered in big 'whelps', even worse than me.

This ordeal got so bad, that my Mom pulled out these packs of industrial cleaning rags that she had packed away, and began to burn them in pans in an effort to smoke the hordes of mosquitoes out of camp. At one point the Park Rangers came over to see about us and thought we were performing some sort of weird rituals since they spotted the burning rags. Haha! Eventually, the night was over, and we had to power through the very last day of camp on virtually no sleep, little energy and wanting to go home and get back to the comfort of our central AC so badly we could taste it! (or was it the taste of smoke?)

Either way, I think that was one of the last times I remember going camping with our Troop. Mom somehow kept me in Girl Scouts up through Brownies (which is around middle school level). I never went further than that.

Though these experiences were harrowing while we were going through some of them, we really did have a lot of fun times too--I just rarely admit that since I am not much of an outdoorsy gal. There were many laughs, good friends, good food (like S'mores, I adore them to this day!) and of course those famed Cookie Sales. Girl Scouts really is a great thing for many women, and I hope it continues to be something meaningful for girls everywhere throughout the ages, just like it was for my beautiful forever Scout Mom. Hope you're up there in heaven Mom with your fire ring and roasting marshmallows, because I still miss that, and always will miss everything about you. What I wouldn't give to have a weenie roast out in the pasture with you right now.

Enjoy these shots of my Mom, a little later in her life, still playing with her fire ring, and reveling in her love of all things outdoors. Kumbaya Mama, Kumbaya anytime! xoxo

My Mom, while she and I were walking back to her "Fire Ring" she kept at home. 

Mom with one of her mighty
German Shepherds enjoying the day

A Scenic Spot off the highway near my home in
Northern Mississippi, Home of my Girl Scout Mother