Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much, but blogging is trippy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Photos next time

I swear, I must take photos. I must take pictures of my tomato plants and my herbs, because I worked on making them feel at home in my yard Tuesday, even though we had record-breaking heat here in the Sunny South. I have no idea why I'm awake after all the work I put into my yard today. Argh!!!!!

After the manual labor in the sweltering heat and humidity, I didn't take a walk. But when I do take my next walk, I'll take my camera. I must take pictures of my three favorite old-houses-that-need-me the next time I take a walk. I want all three of those houses so badly. Two of them are former row houses from the heyday of the tiny Philadelphia Hosiery Factory (circa 1920). One is a gorgeous old antebellum brick monstrosity that makes my husband cringe in horror. I think he's most upset because the current owners have chosen to decorate the front porch with broken appliances.

I swear, if I ever fall into a bucket of money, I'm buying that brick monstrosity and saving it. It needs me the way warm, fresh gingerbread needs lemon sauce. Yea, verily, that house needs me as Rhett needed Scarlett, as tomato plants need MiracleGro, and as a Prius needs its third-generation gas-electric hybrid engine.

In the meantime, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that this link works. It's a short British film, starring one of the supporting actors from one of my favorite movies Shaun of the Dead. It makes me laugh and cry. Laugh: Because it's hilarious. Cry: Because it reminds me of a writer I knew who is exactly like Bernard!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Unfold me; I am small

My birthday present last fall was a CD. I'm sure I must have gotten other things, but right now I can't remember them. Hmmmmm. Maybe I should check my own blog?

Anyway, I got "Colour the Small One" by Sia. The only way anyone will know of her is if you were as big a "Six Feet Under" fan as I was, or if you live in the UK and think the band Zero 7 is the bee's knees.

I was actually pretty darned depressed by the time I got this CD, and the lyrics on "Breathe" didn't do me any favors. "Help/ I have done it again... Hurt/ Myself again today...." Yikes. Reminds me of being a freshman in college, y'know?

But it's so utterly beautiful, and when the producers of "Six Feet Under" used "Breathe" for the entire four-and-a-half minute track to end the whole series -- well, that was it, I was a goner. I loved that CD, even if it was depressing as all get-out.

Then -- I discovered I really was clinically depressed, and I had to go through so much before I could be somewhat normal again, and somewhere in the interim, I lost my Sia CD. I still can't find it. But Emily had downloaded it onto her computer. All we needed was a blank CD to record it on --

--And tonight she brought me a CD and said, "Tah dah! Sia."

Once again, I can crank up "Breathe" and really appreciate it, not as a totally hopeless, depressed, "I am never going to accomplish anything so I need to quit trying" person, but as a whole, mostly mentally healthy, striving-to-be-OK mama.

This evening, after we ate nice, normal, all-American tacos for dinner, Wesley, Woodrow, and I took a walk around town. I need to get in shape for vacation in four months. In the meantime, even though it's way hotter than it should be at the end of May, the world smells magnificent -- like privet hedge and honeysuckle and warm earth and sneeze-inducing pollen.

This is cool. Unfold me. I'm not so small. But I remember what it was like -- both literally and figuratively.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hall Pass needed....

Remember when we were in school and you had to have a pass to wander around the hall during classes?

Oh, OK, fine, I'll tell the truth. I was the *queen* of being able to wander freely without a pass. It's all in the attitude. If you look like you know what you're doing and you have every right to be in the hall -- even though your schedules says you're supposed to be in World History -- no teacher, principal, or guidance counselor is going to bother you. Besides, I sometimes had a legitimate hall pass and a reason to be wandering the halls. So I got away with it a lot.

Anyway. Now I want a permanent Hall Pass. For the interstate. And I think, really, I deserve one.

Here's the deal: Five counties surrounding Knoxville, Tennessee recently reduced the speed limit on the interstates. I wasn't keeping up with the newspaper, so I didn't know they were even considering lowering the speed limit. And they certainly didn't ask for my permission to put such a damper on my road trips. Just all of a sudden, new signs appeared saying that the limit for cars was 65 mph, and poor semi-trucks are reined in to 55 mph.

Fifty-five! Miles per hour!!!! On the interstate!!!!!!! We haven't seen turtle-like speeds like that since the Reagan administration, for crying out loud!

I bet Sammy Hagar is enjoying a resurgence of sales of his 21-year-old hits among truck drivers, don't you think?

Ooo -- bunny trail. If a speed is so low as to be imperceptible, shouldn't we call it a MEANDER limit?

Can you tell I'm not a fan of the new, lower speed?

So I got on the handy-dandy internet and did some research. (A history major's lifetime motto is: Research makes it happen in stacks.) It turns out that some rocket scientist, concerned about the environment, decided the key to clearing up the air in the Great Smoky Mountains is to make cars on the interstates drive SLOWER. I don't know who voted -- because it wasn't put to a popular vote -- but some genius said, "Yeah, that's the ticket! Lower speed limits! Make it so, Number One."

Yea, verily, and the Starship Blunderprise grinds to a screeching halt because the 18-wheelers in front of it are taking up all the interstellar lanes at a stunning speed of 55 mph. Argh.

Now, I'm alllllllll for cleaner air. I bought a Prius last year, and I still get out and hug trees every once in a while. I think cleaner air and pristine Smoky Mountains would be the bee's knees.

But since I already drive a car that takes dirty air and turns it into air so clean an asthmatic could literally suck the emissions from my exhaust pipe and actually breathe better -- LITERALLY -- I think I as a conscientious hybrid owner should get a Permanent Hall Pass to Drive 90 MPH on the Interstates in the Five Counties around Knoxville!

And if the powers-that-be want to clean up the air, instead of raining on MY parade, they should just make it illegal to own SUV's!

Yeah, I said it!

I'm just sayin'. Is all.

Now. How do I set up a PayPal account where well-wishers can make donations to my speeding ticket fund? Because I just know I'm going to get caught doing 87 mph one of these days, and I'm no longer cute and young enough to flirt my way out of tickets.

Dang it.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Writers, beware

Look, I'm not an expert. I'm a hopeful, a neophyte, a wanna-be. I write, but I have not yet finished the book nor even begun querying agents. I may never be published. I might be the next Harper Lee. I just don't know. (And I really suspect ... *not*.)

However, if you're here because you're a lit-blog surfer, then you know what the latest scandal is about. It's about Absolute Write's site being shut down because they posted the Top 20 Worst Scam-Artist "Agents" List that was compiled by the incredibly reputable and smart Writers Beware site. One of the "agents" included in this list is the infamous Barbara Bauer, who may or may not have other names in other careers, including theatre.

(The very idea that an actor can be so horrid... I cannot even begin to rant about this travesty!)

Miz Bauer has a habit of rattling her cage bars and trying to scare those who have exposed her as the scam artist that she is, and she wrote to the webserver that hosts Absolute Write, and accused Absolute Write of spamming her. The host panicked and pulled the plug on Absolute Write, which is completely ridiculous. Barbara Bauer has as many legs to stand on as a double amputee. She has as much legal right to complain as a blackguard. In other words -- none.

The good that comes out of this is that every lit blogger on the Web is outing Miz Bauer for the fraud and charlatan that she is.

The evil is that writers in search of a beloved community are bereft while the host takes time to figure out that Miz Bauer cannot possibly cause them as much damage as she causes innocent newbie writers.

What I cannot help but notice is that unlike the scrapbooking community, the writers have come together as one to decry Miz Bauer's unscrupulous tactics. In scrapbooking, you could get maybe 20 people to agree, "So-and-so is a plagiarizing bitch," or "Such-and-such Inc. is ripping artists off to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars." You couldn't get the whole scrapbooking community to rise up righteously as one to out a thief or a tyrant. But the writers can. Isn't that odd? And... endearing?

P.S. -- To any aspiring writers out there -- the Top 20 List of "agent" scammers is just a Top 20. There are plenty more where they came from. If you are in search of an agent, be sure to check out Writer Beware and AgentQuery to find an agent who is both reputable and trustworthy. The rule of thumb is that the agent earns money when he/she sells your work to a publisher. You don't pay an agent up front. Period. End of discussion. If in doubt, read Miss Snark. She's the best.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Closing the polls...

Since I've found my reading glasses and can now thread the needle, I need to be moving along on my crafty project. Ergo, I'm closing the voting on the bon mots for my accessory. Sadly, not one person voted for my favorite, "I [heart] my Prius." The clear winner from the comments and mail-in votes, although she broke late in the race, was "Own the Bombness."

Yea, verily, and so should we all own the bombness!

Thank you to everyone who helped me decide!!! Your votes were crucial!!!

More important business (what's more important than tasteful accessories?) in the next post....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

BEFORE

Inspired by re-reading the Fabulous Las Vegas trip report (Jan/Feb 2006), wherein I held a genuine Judith Leiber handbag in my very own hands, I am embarking on a new crafty adventure. This is the "before" pic. You will have to wait for the "after" pic.

If you would like to guess what I'm going to do to this poor thing, first you must guess what it is. Then you have to surmise the torture in store for it, knowing only that the reason I haven't already started on the clever endeavor is that I can't find my [expletives deleted] reading glasses, which I will need, because I can't even SEE the eye of the tiniest beading needle that I own.

I'm considering writing something upon it, too. Please vote for your favorite bon mots:

1. "Really Trashy At Heart"

2. "Own The Bombness"

3. "I [heart] My Prius"

4. "Out of Your League"

Votes may be registered in the comments section or in my email, which you can find in my profile, as always, because I suck at being anonymous. Oh, hey, that might be another possibility...

5. "Can't Be Nameless"

Insert the usual disclaimers here. Probably not legal in parts of Utah. Blah blah blah, et cetera. Gotta go find my blankety-blank glasses!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Shopping For Fun & Profit


Friday afternoon, before her boyfriend's graduation from high school, Em and I went shopping.

Just a bit.

Just a teensy-weensy little bit.

I'm a chick, and a fairly normal chick, so I have long had a love-hate relationship with shopping. On the one hand, I adore acquiring cute new stuff. On the other hand, depending on how much I weigh or what turn fashion has recently taken, I might have a very bad time looking for clothes that both fit and satisfy my inherent need for cuteness.

I love it when a shopping cart comes together.

Emily, of course, has long been a source of stress when shopping. See, I am the mother, and it is my job to play dress-up with my kid, right? I mean, it's only fair. It's the only reason I ever had a daughter in the first place -- did you ever see such adorable things as baby girl clothes? Toddler clothes? Adorable little apple-appliqued smock dresses for first grade? I mean, come on, surely there is no greater gift a daughter can give a mother than to let her dress her for the first 21 years of her life!

Emily has not always been so accommodating. Oh, no. Emily rebelled somewhere around third grade. The darling little dresses were wrecked upon their first trip out of the closet. The cute matching outfits were dragged through mud; the embroidered sweaters were lost. Emily started preferring black. She wanted long pants, long-sleeved shirts, the scruffier the better, and she absolutely refused to play with make-up or hair.

It's almost enough to make a mother give up.

This year we've seen a shift in Emily's priorities, though, and suddenly -- suddenly -- she actually says things like "cute" and "ooooOOOOooo" when she sees a darling little rhinestone-encrusted pair of capris.

Now she's gone an extra step further -- she actually asked me to help her pick out a purse. A purse!!!!! Just like.... every other chick on the face of the earth!!!!!!

So Friday afternoon, we had a marvelous time shopping for and finding some darling silver sandals, a purse, a scarf -- a scarf, y'all, with a lovely little scalloped edge and some eyelet embroidery! -- and a pair of earrings. All of these things are undeniably feminine! And not one of them is black!

So enthralled were we with our booty that we went back Saturday afternoon and got Emily an It's Happy Bunny tee. (If you're unfamiliar with It's Happy Bunny and the incredibly saucy bad attitude it exudes, check out artist Jim Benton's website.)

Em's new t-shirt says, "Give me your number. Like I would ever call you."

And... yeah, I got some cute stuff for me, too. Capris with painted, beaded flowers and a couple of shirts... stuff I can wear with my Crocs, of course, and be the height of old fat lady fashion! I don't mind getting older; I don't mind getting fatter, just as long as I can still find cute stuff in my size, I'm perfectly happy.

As long as Emily's shopping with me!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dirty Old Readers

I almost entitled this post, "What is this obsession with youth?" Then I realized, it's not the obsession with youth, it's the dirty old readers who are obsessed with youth.

As I've been surfing lit blogs lately, I've come across a number of references to "best books of the last 25 years." Someone asked Miss Snark what her favorite books of the last 25 years were, and I was incredibly depressed to see her list comprised entirely of books by men.

I can't help it. I'm a feminist. I was becoming aware of the world from 1970 to 1974, a time during which feminism was a hotly debated topic. Mama was not a bra-burning feminist, but she was a straight-party-line Democrat, which meant she instilled in me a burning desire to find equality for everyone. Everyone. Regardless of race, religion, sex, IQ, wealth, or whatever other division you can think of, everyone should be treated equally. Equal pay. Equal voting rights. Equal education. Equal opportunity. Dang it. You don't have to set a match to your undergarments to know that women should be treated equally.

So if a tasteful and erudite woman like Miss Snark can completely ignore all the books written by women in the last 25 years, why can someone like me -- a total nobody -- get upset about that?

Then I realized, dang, all my favorite books are written by women. OK, actually, I realized that, like, ages ago. Look at my profile. To Kill A Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind, The Bluest Eye, The Awakening. Go back to my childhood -- Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women. I prefer women writers. Poets -- Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Sylvia Plath. Sure, I loved The Catcher in the Rye, but it never touches Kate Chopin's hems in the "best books of all time" race.*

Am I not guilty of some sexism myself?

And then -- and then -- I realized that none of my favorite books were written in the last 25 years. Oh, it's much harder to come up with a list of the best books of the last 25 years. If I were to dig down deep to find really great, timeless books written in the last 25 years, I can really only cough up two that I just loved. And I'm not sure that my loving them means they're great. I loved Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Yes, that's a Stephen King novella. But did you read it? It's so delicate and beautiful. The ending is ... well, let's just say that I didn't like the part where the girl meets the monster. But the rest of the book is sublime.

Then there's The Love Letter by Cathleen Schine. I was the only person I know who didn't find it completely hilarious. Yes, there was humor in it, very gentle humor, I thought. It mostly struck me as a sweet, slightly sad story with a great deal of hope at the end. Hollywood tried to turn it into a romantic comedy. I'm pretty sure the movie flopped.

But neither of those books can compare with my top four. So what is this recent obsession with "the last 25 years"? Is it just dirty old readers looking for a shiny, new lovers? What's wrong with the old lovers?

Oh, I can't answer these questions. I'm just asking them. I mean, I'm just sayin'. Is all.


*Authors in order of the books I mentioned: Harper Lee, Margaret Mitchell, Toni Morrison, Kate Chopin, Laura Ingalls Wilder, LM Montgomery, Louisa Mae Alcott. Catcher was, of course, penned by JD Salinger, lamentably not a woman.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tagged by Yamy

Y'know, it occurs to me as I start this post that one of the pastimes of serious birders is to help "tag" birds so that they can be counted and tracked. OK, really, they use leg bands, not tags. Still. The comparison still applies. I feel like I have a figurative tranquillizer dart in my butt.

Ahem.

On to business. My sister Yamy was tagged by Gwyn, and she returns the favor by tagging me. Now I have to try to come up with ten beautiful birds. This is not easy, because I am not a serious birder. I love birds. I do. I love the little songbirds and I get very excited by the more exotic birds, but I can not, in any way, be confused with a serious birder. I envy serious birdwatchers, because those people really know how to stop and smell the roses.

So here's my list, such as it is........

Ten Most Beautiful Birds
10. Mourning Dove
OK, the mourning dove may not seem totally beautiful to everyone. But I can remember moving to Tennessee and how delighted Mama was to see and hear the mourning doves that lived in a maple tree next to our new home. Our second-story bathroom was right next to that tree, and every morning she would exclaim, "Listen to the mourning doves!" It took me two years to figure out it was "mourning," not "morning." And the thing is, their call is mournful and soft, a gentle coo-hoot. But their color -- divine. I defy anyone in the upper echelons of haute couture fashion to devise a color as soft and demure as the soft buff-tan of those doves' feathers. Just gorgeous! I want gloves in that color. They would go with *anything*.

9. Cardinals
I am 39 years old, and I still thrill each winter to see male cardinals flitting around the yard in cheery defiance of the cold weather. I feel sorry for the females with their dull brown garb, but those boys -- wow! They are the supermodels of the common bird-feeder world, aren't they? I remember one Thanksgiving in particular, when Amy was at my house and we went outside to escape the hot, hot kitchen and watched a cardinal flying around my yard in a snow flurry. Do I have pictures? No. But I carry the memory in my heart, and it is as warm and beautiful as the male cardinal's red feathers and as proud and happy as his jaunty crest.

8. Canadian geese in formation
Every fall, I get to see geese heading south for winter. Their feathers I do not notice, nor can I really even see. The thing that gets me, year after year, is that they fly in such perfect, beautiful formation. As soon as I hear their tuneful honks, I run outside to see them fly overhead. They are reliable. They are trustworthy. And that makes them beautiful.

7. Red-bellied woodpecker
When I hear a woodpecker in my backyard, I can be sure it's probably a red-bellied. They're the most common woodpecker in my part of the world. The thing is, I have never seen a red belly on these birds -- what I see is their brilliant red heads. And I love woodpeckers in general. I know lots of people think they're pests, and maybe they are for some people. But here, they are eating the bugs out of my trees, and for that I am grateful.

6. Goldfinches
In summer, these little gems are bright yellow, swag-flying jewels. I adore them. I just love everything about a goldfinch. I get so excited when I see them, I've been known to stop and pull over on a roadside to try to get a better look at them. How can anyone not love a bird that flies so artistically and eats weed seeds?

5. Indigo bunting
Yamy listed the Indigo bunting, too. But she has better memories of it from our childhood. As far as I was concerned the Indigo bunting was a mythical creature -- until the day one landed in my tomato patch. I had no idea any bird could be so incredibly purple-blue. It was gorgeous. I hope to see another one someday!

4. Peacock
My neighbors down the road keep a small flock of peacocks. I take delight in their loud, strident mating call, as it totally drowns out anything my little parrots emit on a daily basis. But really -- when I see them in the field down there, whether they're dragging their tails or in full posture, fanning their tails out, these are absolutely undeniable showstoppers. Those birds are gorgeous. Every single color on them is showy and luscious and beautiful. No, they're not indigenous to the North American continent. But man, those are beautiful birds.

3. Black-capped chickadees
Anyone who keeps a bird feeder during winter has seen these darling little birds eating millet in the snow. The thing about black-capped chickadees is their formal attire and their polite demeanor. Unlike cardinals, they're never strident. Unlike woodpeckers, they aren't destructive. Unlike peacocks, they're never deafening. Black-capped chickadees don their tuxedos sometime in their youth, and they never take them off. They're tiny, polite, sweet little Fred Astaires, in their top hats and tails, nibbling on whatever you leave out for them. I just don't see *enough* black-capped chickadees, that's all.

2. Eastern bluebirds
That blue, blue coat and that soft, rosy breast -- who can resist bluebirds? They really are the bird of happiness for me.

1. Ruby-throated hummingbirds
OK, I'm prejudiced. I admit, I confess, I have a dog in that race. I have loved hummingbirds as long as I can remember. When I was 7 years old and at camp for the first time, one of the directors pointed out a hummingbird to me as it hovered at the sugar-water feeder she had hung just outside the dining room's screen windows. I'll never forget the awe I felt as that little hummer sipped and slurped at the nectar. It was tiny. It was brilliant. Surely no bird had ever been so elegant and so lovely. Then I grew up and discovered the other side of hummingbirds -- they're so mean! I love that a bird can be both dainty and so tenacious!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day

I'll tell you the truth -- Mother's Day kinda bums me out. I don't think of it as a day that I should get props, but as a day that I should be able to hang out with *my* mother. That hasn't been possible in 14 years. I still miss Mama.

And honestly, Mama wasn't all up in a dither about Mother's Day, anyway. Her philosophy was, "If you don't treat me nicely the other 364 days a year, why should you put on a sham that one day of the year?" I would like to think I *did* treat Mama nicely the other days of the year. I hope. Fingers crossed. Can't go back and re-do them now, after all.

This morning, Woodrow prepared the coffee maker for me before I woke up. That's pretty big. And man, it shouldn't be!!!! He's almost 14!!!!!! The boy should know how to prepare a coffee maker! But he got Wesley on the phone to talk him through the steps of putting in the water and coffee and everything. So I didn't have to do anything except hit the "on" button when I got up.

After that, I didn't have a big day. I surfed the Internet, I watched some TV. I can't remember doing anything important. I went to Knoxville and soothed Emily's boyfriend, who had a huge fight with his father. (My advice: "Go home, apologize, and clean your room.")

When Wesley got home, the kids sang "Happy Mother's Day" and gave me three bags of Starbucks coffee. I am an African bean addict. It's awful to be addicted to African beans. They're sooooooooo expensive and not easy to find. So I'm very happy with my gift!

Then it was a night of important (snort!) TV. "The West Wing" took a bow, so I cried. Tom Hanks was on "The Actor's Studio," so I cried. And then -- and *then* -- Grey's Anatomy. Wowsers, I *bawled*!!!!! Great show!!!!!!!! I can't wait for Monday night's two-hour season finale!!!!!!!!

That was my Mother's Day -- I hope all the moms out there had a good one, too!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Tales of Bravery

As if it isn't frightening enough to be the mother of teenagers, I decided to take my life into my hands last night.

Yep. I went to West Knoxville on an errand.

Not only did I have to travel on a weekend-choked interstate, but I had to stop at an ATM.

The first half of the trip was uneventful, but the ATM proved troublesome. I asked it to give me $50. Instead, it gave me $60. This is a big deal because Wesley counts every single penny we spend, and I had been instructed to retrieve ten dollars less than the amount the machine gave me.

Alarmed and concerned, I counted the cash and waited for the machine to give me a receipt, which I hoped would tell me why I was holding $60 instead of $50, and so I could show it to Wesley and say, "See??? It wasn't me! I didn't do it!!! It was the MACHINE!"

The screen said, "Please wait for your receipt."

I waited.

The machine did absolutely nothing.

For.

Two.

Minutes.

Do you remember how slow two minutes really are when there's nothing going on and you're waiting for something as tiny as a receipt from an ATM?

I am recently reacquainted with that sensation. Since it just happened last night. Finally, after the agonizing two minutes had passed and no receipt popped out of the machine, the screen flipped over to, "Welcome! Please insert your card for service!"

WHAT???? Where's my receipt? What's the excuse for giving me the wrong amount of moolah????? How am I going to explain this to Wesley, the Counter of All Things Financial???? He's never going to believe I didn't deliberately sneak an extra $10 out of the checking account!!!!! What if he grounds me?????

OK. That's just ridiculous. Wesley hardly ever grounds the kids, much less *me*.

Ahem. Anyway. Now that there was nothing else I could do, I finished running my errands and headed home.

On the interstate. Again.

There was even more traffic on the way home. Friday nights are pretty scary, aren't they? I'm not accustomed to being out in them.

About ten miles from home, I was in a clump of vehicles traveling south. A truck in front of me darted right -- right! -- to pass the slightly slower SUV in front of him. The SUV freaked out and started driving off the road to the left into the median, swerving rather dramatically. I slammed on my brakes, the vehicles behind me slammed on their brakes, and the SUV recovered and toodled back into the left lane in front of me. Since I was slowing down, anyway, I moved to the right lane and got behind a little old lady who was going about 64 mph. I figured she was safer than the maniac in the SUV.

All the cars that had been behind me in the left lane zipped past me and cozied up to the crazy SUV. They could have him. I didn't want to be anywhere near that guy. Goodness only knows when he was going to decide to just throw the transmission into reverse and plow into everyone.

What have I learned? I learned that I should never run errands on Friday night. It's safer to stay home and pop some popcorn and watch a movie. More importantly, I have learned that life is sweet and that I really do want to stick around and appreciate it a little longer. I have faced my mortality and certain financial doom, and I find I prefer to be alive and well, rather than bankrupt and crunched in a car wreck behind an SUV....

Well, OK, that's a little exaggeration......

Oh, and Wesley accepted the leftover $10 from the ATM misadventure. He'll put it back into the checking account, I guess.

Monday, May 08, 2006

All right, already!


Geeeeeeez, you people are picky! OK, here's a photo of the happy Prom couple. Are you happy????

OK, then, are you half as happy as these two are?

Fine! Be that way!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Survived Prom night...



Sure, maybe *most* people would upload pictures of the happy Prom couple. Me? It's all about me. So I had to include a picture of me with my baby girl!!!!

Notice how her head is ever-so-slightly higher than mine? I swear, it's just the high heels.

Snort!

Emily and Jef did, indeed, attend the Prom tonight. Well, last night. It's 2:40 in the morning of Sunday, so when I say "tonight," I mean Saturday night.

Her hair and make-up were done by our next-door-neighbor's girlfriend Cindy. Cindy is a girlie girl, and she has sooooooo much more modern style than I do. I hardly recognized Emily at all, and we were all thrilled with the art that Cindy created on Emily's visage!

Jef -- Emily's boyfriend -- could hardly keep his smile under control while his mom and I took thousands of pictures and hooted at him. Jef likes to project an Eeyore kind of attitude, but trust me, he was *thrilled* when Emily saw him in his tuxedo and exclaimed, "You're beautiful!"

They had dinner at a Japanese restaurant -- lots of sushi (California rolls, tuna, shrimp, salmon, and one caviar roll).

And this is the weird part. I know most parents just sit at home and wait during Prom, but Jef's parents and we went out to P.F. Chang's for dinner. WOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!! It was *sublime*. I had the wonton soup for the first time ever. And lettuce wraps, and Peking dumplings, and that magnificent wok-seared lamb. Mmmmmmmmm, yummy!!!!! And of course you *know* that Woodrow and I shared the Great Wall of Chocolate for dessert. Wowzers!!!!!!!

(Hey, I have leftover lamb in the fridge for tomorrow. Yay, me!!!!)

There were four Proms in Knoxville Saturday night, so we saw lots and lots of teenagers in formal attire. What fun!

But we had not nearly as much fun as the Prom-goers themselves. Emily was asleep on the way home, but at home, she sort of woke up while I pulled 80 bobby pins from her hair. She said she *had* to wash her hair right then -- I guess her scalp was killing her? So she washed her hair and face, and then she told me all about the Prom. They had a tropical theme, and they got t-shirts. Hey! I never got a t-shirt at Prom!! Hmph!

The food was far more substantive than the party mints and peanuts that I had at my Proms. These kids these days! They had cheese & crackers, as well as a massive dessert bar of cubes of pound cake and angel food cake, cut-up fruit, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream, and even freshly baked cookies, all warm and gooey, straight from the oven. Geez!!! I wish any of my Proms had had such a splendid spread!

She talked to a lot of new people. After all, Em is a homeschooler, and this was a public school Prom. Everyone she met, she liked. There was nothing that she didn't like.

Em reports that she and Jef didn't dance -- much to my and Jef's mom's disappointment. We were so hoping they would dance! But Emily was shocked at the fast music dancing, and she couldn't get over her shock during the very few slow dances.

I really should post more pics. I took a ton of pictures before Emily and Jef left for dinner. And Emily is beaming happily in all of them. You can't help but be happy when someone you love is that happy. Y'know?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Generational delights



When I was a teenager, Mama used to take me to Baskin Robbins.

I don't recall that she took me a lot when I was younger. It's just that when I was of the mall generation, we were there, and the Baskin Robbins was close.

Tonight, I shared that tradition with Woodrow. He's 13. Emily was at church, and I had errands to run. Woodrow came with me, and enjoyed the largesse of a stop by the popular ice cream emporium entirely by accident.

We agonized over which flavor to choose - as I recall that I did when I was 13 with Mama -- and I finally got a double scoop. The World Class Chocolate was right next to Lemon Custard, so I got two scoops of that on a sugar cone.

Woodrow got peanut butter and chocolate in a sugar cone. We argued all the way home about which one was best.

I'm still sure that mine was best.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Prom angst

Emily and I realized quite suddenly today that the Prom is five and a half days away. I rushed her dress to the dry cleaners for a good steaming. I ordered a boutonniere. We made lists of things to do. We talked hair, nails, and makeup. And shoes. And undergarments.

I realize I should have done all these things weeks ago, but I was distracted by the pain in my feet. Oh, yes, and you can't really do much about anything if you're standing behind a cash register.

We looked at Prom magazines. Why? I'm not sure. It's far too late to be thinking about dress styles, which seems to be the main order of business in Prom magazines. It's too late to rob a bank and order a limousine. It's far too late to make Emily grow her hair out really long so I'll have something to work with.

But at least I looked at the magazines. I didn't buy one. Oh, no. I was afraid if I actually bought one, I would suddenly realize how absolutely unnecessary all this stuff is.

I spoke to Jef this afternoon -- he's Emily's main squeeze and proposed Prom date. He's a nervous wreck about the whole thing, the poor dear.

And Emily doesn't even want me to do her hair and make-up. The next door neighbor's girl friend is way cooler than I am. Sheeeeeeeee's going to do Emily's hair and make-up. Hmph.

In other news, the word count as of this moment is 6,571. About 6000 of those words are complete garbage. OK, that's a lie. About 6500 of those words are absolute dreck.

I'm going to go try to read some chick lit now. I hope none of it was plagiarized.