Sunday, May 29, 2011

Too young to croak: a tadpole's story

Happy Memorial Day weekend all!

Let me start by saying... I'm Back!!!

I took a break from the blog while we were working on a podcast, internet radio show... but I'm very happy to be back behind the keyboard!

Let me assure you, there have been months and months of strange happenings... odd events... and I have truly missed telling the world about them.

But SINCE it's the "official start to summer" I'm going to start with something timely... our pool.

Our pool is an above ground pool that is entirely surrounded by a deck... you know... to "class it up".

Last year, after a 10 hour HGTV marathon, Glen and I talked about tearing the deck, ripping out the pool and creating a Jamie Durie inspired "outdoor room"

Now, that decision was made as we peered out the window at our weathered pool with it's earth tone water.... as snow piled up on the deck.

We started pricing our supplies to build our outdoor oasis... and quickly learned that it would almost be cheaper for us to just enclose our back yard and attach it to the house!!!!


Have you PRICED deck materials since the world went "GREEN"? RIDICULOUS!!!!

I think we figured out that if we wanted to rebuild the deck we have NOW with that fancy shmancy "enviro wood" stuff... it would have cost us in excess of 20-thousand dollars!!!! FOR A DECK!!!!

CLEARLY we put that plan on hold... and as each day brought warmer and warmer temperatures... we caved... "Maybe we can just keep it ONE MORE year!?!?!"

Now THAT decision was made just about a month ago... and since we were planning on getting rid of it, we really didn't so ANYTHING to prepare it for the winter/spring months.

Ahhhhhh spring... with it's warm days... crisp nights... the beautiful songs of the tree frogs... OH LOOK! There's another frog!!! OH... and THERE TOO!!!! They're so lovely!!! Oh... there's a couple more... and THERE'S LIKE 5 OF THEM OVER THERE!!! GET IN THE HOUSE!!! GET IN THE HOUSE!!! THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!!!!

And with that, the plague began.

Each night, our back yard/pool area became a hotspot for lurid tree frog activity!

I sort of likened it to "Spring" being "the 1970's" and our pool being "studio 51".

I KNEW what was happening out there... but like the 1970s New York City Police... I ignored it! I IGNORED IT!

So .. the day came that Glen and I had to go out there an just see what we were up against... This was maybe 3 weeks ago.

"WOW! Look at those cute little tadpoles!!! I see one... two...three, four, five... GLEN, THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!"

This was not an issue for Glen, he was ready to just pour bleach in there and kill them all... but I had JUST returned from listening to the Dalai Lama lecturing on living a peaceful life... so I was a bit torn. Plus... I mean... Tadpoles are cool, let's all agree on that.

As Glen is readying his forces... making a plan for the Tadpocalypse... I... Perhaps moved by the Dalai Lama's teachings... or the fact that it was May 21st, the alleged day of the end of the world... felt the need to SAVE as many as I could.

I found some old flower pots and filled them with water from that pool... and I fished out... probably THOUSANDS of tadpoles from that pool that would have meant certain doom.

As I was carrying that 4th flowerpot FULL of tadpoles to their new safe home UNDER the deck... I smelled something VILE! I did the usual sniff pattern... shirt, pits, hands.. I even checked my shoes... that's when I realized it was the WATER!

That water was WRITHING with TadPoop!!!!!! It's was TERRIBLE! And I was SAVING it so those horrible... ugly little frog bastards could LIVE?!?!?!

My good will was at a cross roads! Do I KEEP interacting with that water and become Arkansas' first cholera patient ever? Or do I stop the relocation process and be THANKFUL I saved... like 9 or 10 thousand of them?

As I gazed into the pea green depths of that pool and reflected on my options... I saw the tiniest little tadpole! He must have only recently hatched... As he swam with all his might up to the surface to gaze outward on the world that one day he would WALK in... I was touched.

I leaned down... peered closer to that little tadpole and as I reached toward him... to lift him to safety.... then... one of his older brothers or sisters swam up and BIT HIM!!!! REPEATEDLY!?!?!?!?!? I DIDN'T KNOW THEY WOULD DO THAT?!?!?!

Thankfully, after witnessing that attempted murder... I realized that it was time to CLEANSE the tadpole population.

Turns out... 5 bags of "Shock" cleansed it nicely!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Want a better America? Then DO something about it!

almost daily I get e-mails from people spouting off something about how Obama isn't an American.. or Palin is a snake handler.

I've often wondered... what are these people on the left or right of? I'v recently decided... they're on the left and right side of life's path holding giant signs and screaming craziness while the rest of us are just staying ON the path so we can get to work!

Here's our problem... We all GAVE them power! We played along as they put themselves in places of power at OUR expense! All the while, we're complaining about how things aren't getting any better and we want government to stay OUT of our lives.

Do we really?

We have become a generation of people who can't LIVE without the help of the government!

I mean... we all agree that senior citizens should receive special treatment... but are any of us willing to step in and actually HELP a senior citizen? Would any of the people who keep telling me "the Dancing with the stars producers are working to make sure Bristol Palin wins" actually go to nursing home and spend a couple hours a week visiting those people who society has forgotten?

What has happened to us?

I remember a time when people HELPED one another!

There was no real need for food stamps... because almost everyone had a garden and people SHARED! If someone had fallen on hard times... they didn't have to go to some agency filled with hateful, judgemental government workers who made sure the person got just enough help to TRAP them in a vicious cycle, securing their own jobs!

In those times, the world news came on once a day... and the anchor man (it was always a man) kept his political views to himself... because he knew no one really had time to CARE what he thought... he was lucky to HAVE viewers who could spare 30 minutes to listen to him!

Our parents parents were a busy, self sufficient generation... a generation that survived countless challenges... but kept fighting for THEIR american dream.

My grandparents actually were the ones who taught me to care for my neighbor... To give my time freely to those who needed a helping hand KNOWING that I could expect the same when *I * needed it.... And they taught me to take care of everything and everyone in my life rather than just tossing it all out for something new.

So, after you've sat in front of your television and allowed your head and heart to be filled with someone else's views and agendas.... As you sit there, wallowing in your anger that a candidate that's not even KIN to you won or didn't win... As you consider forwarding that email about how Obama is actually the devil... or Palin actually used to be a man before becomeing the whore of babylon as mentioned in the bible... think again... and take me off your list.

Quite honestly... I don't want to give of that propeganda my time!

Instead, I WILL step in and volunteer for community based organizations... to help ELIMINATE the NEED for Government ones!

If you want to keep government out of your life... don't give them a reason to come into it!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Insomnia or "taking creative license with sleep"?

Well, here I am again!

This time, it's kind of my own fault. I fell asleep in the recliner while watching "Mission Impossible".

Too often have those recliners been my demise! I need to replace them with hard, wooden chairs... or maybe a "chair of nails"!?!?

I KNEW I was in trouble when I woke up and thought " I could sure use a drink of water". Let's face it, there's no easy way to get a quick "sup" of water, as my grandma used to call it, while maintaining that delicate balance between "sleep" and "awake".

I mean, if you ever have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, there's a relative certainty that you can "squint" your way through it... as a rule, you never have to fully break that "sleep seal" on your eyes, right?

But when you have to get a drink, there's a whole extra level of dexterity required.

For me, it starts with that "tight eyed" glance toward Holli's "Bed Pile". I call it a bed pile because somewhere along the way I decided that neither of the beds I bought her were comfortable enough for her. But I wanted her to still have options so I left them BOTH down in her corner.

THEN, there must have been a cold snap or something, because I decided she also needed her "Blankie" in the mix... and apparently she DID because she sleeps under it year round.

See, there's the first problem... Holli is extremely protective and likes to "Kung Fu Projectile" herself toward anything that moves ANYWHERE in the vicinity of "me".

This problem is compounded slightly because she can't see very well WITHOUT a blanket covering her... But if it IS blocking what's left of her vision, all of her other senses are heightened!

So at the moment my foot makes the angle to step firmly on the ground, I have to PRAY that I can stave off the "sounds of aging"... you know... the crackling and popping sounds that one day a doctor is going to tell me " those were the first signs... if only you'd have come in THEN".

If, at any time, you produce a sound that Holli can't reconcile in her head as a "normal sound".. .then you're faced with a charging, snarling, barking pile of comforter! I have to say, THAT sight is NOT for the faint of heart! It's sort of a cross between a charging rhinoceros, and those little people from Phantasm.

Once you make it past Holli, or "level one" as I like call it, you have a very important decision to make.... "do I just go get a drink from the bathroom faucet, or should I go from something in the fridge?

Somewhere along the way, I have been lead to believe that the water that comes out of the bathroom sink isn't as clean as the water that comes out of the kitchen. I'm not sure if there's any truth to that... but it's deeply rooted. I think it must have been something my brother Chuck told me when we were kids just to mess with me... but he never said "just kidding" and I never asked anyone... so now I just assume that somehow the bathroom faucet and the toilet are somehow closely connected...

So, 9 times out of 10 I just go to the kitchen. That ONE time out of 10 is when I'm really tired and I'm relatively sure I'll be able to get back to sleep once I've gotten a drink.

But, as a rule, I generally venture to the kitchen.... or Level two.

Anyone who has been to our house knows we live with the house cordoned off by a series of gates. It's been the easiest way to keep the peace between the animals, giving each of them their own "sleep zone".

Tucker's sleep zone is the living room/Kitchen/Dining area... also known as the areas which are tiled!

So once Tucker uses his sonic hearing to pick up on the sound of me opening the bedroom door, which I THOUGHT was nearly inaudible, I hear him bounce OUT of my recliner and onto the floor. That same recliner does him in too!

As I try to keep Tucker from getting too "jumpy" so as to avoid Holli getting "Barky" I step OVER the gate and make it into the kitchen.

This is when Tucker is SURE it must be time to go outside... it must just be REALLY cloudy out... but since "daddy" is awake, it's "pee pee/ poo poo" time.

I try to reason with him... "No, son... it's too early... it's still nigh nigh! go back to seepies... go on!"

Of COURSE he'll have none of it! He gets even MORE excited... turning briefly into a horse and REARING up on his hind legs... getting closer to mustering up a "day time bark".

Meanwhile, back in zone one, Holli is watching the WHOLE THING and I hear the guttural "pre bark" building!

QUICKLY I remember the ONE SINGLE WORD that renders them silent, obedient and loving! "do y'all need a SNACKIE?" I ask.

Peace is restored!

While they're enjoying their snackies, I know that I have to get my drink ready and get back over the gate BEFORE they finish or else I'm trapped!

It's not as easy as it once was now that we've given up sodas!

USED to, I could thrust my hand into the fridge without looking and locate that all too familiar icy cold can of diet coke! Now, it takes a minute...

I have to look around the jugs of filtered water, the cartons of milk or juice, to find that last bottle of sugar free, caffeine free, calorie free, sodium free "flavored" seltzer water.

I grab it and head to level 3... the computer room/ cat's room.

As I step over HER gate, I open my bottle and it makes that carbonated "HISSSSSSS" sound that we ENJOY hearing because it means the drink hasn't gone flat.

The CAT however, wasn't expecting it... so as I open it, I hear knocking about and papers shuffling in the general direction of where she sleeps.

Apparently, the sound that signals my refreshing drink is going to be delicious... is very similar to the sound the "Cat Devil" makes when he's coming to "GIT" them.

As I sit down at the computer, I hear Lovey's faint, scared but thankful "mew" as she comes toward me to make sure it's actually ME ... and once again... not the "Cat Devil" who apparently takes on other shapes. See that's a very common misunderstanding... apparently cats are EXTREMELY religious... but it's one of those odd "The Devil's gonna get you for that" fundamental churches.... It's not the MEAN kind... I mean, I've never seen Lovey picketing... but given some of the "surprises" she has brought into the house... she may be a "snake handler".

Anyway, by now, I've fully accepted that I am not going to get back to sleep... so I sat down and wrote this sad but true tale of how I got to this point this morning!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

political e-VENTing

Am I suffering from a concussion?

I feel like I recently saw a guy who is paid to bring in ratings for a national "news" channel actually hosting a mass sermon?

What is going on?

Look, I have no problems with people voicing their proclaimed faith... but lets face it, this was a blatant use of faith for political gain.

It's the equivalent of cigarettes coming in a pack that has a bible verse on it... Addictive poison, wrapped in faith.

For a long time, I didn't really address this whole increase in Glen Beckism.... I thought, like yoga, it would pass once people realized it's just too much of a stretch.

But... alas, it seems it's here to stay.

Let me say, I think it's great we live in a country where Glen Beck can say whatever he wants about whoever he wants... but, I think it's terrible we live in a country where he is speaking the obvious as if he INVENTED it... and people are too stupid to realize it.

I mean, at the core, his alleged message is for people to be self reliant and to pray to the god of their choice.... These are good things right? But do we really need anyone to TELL us this?

And lets face it, he wasn't talking about ALL faiths... I mean, this was just for TV, right? And it really HAD to be a bit more "middle of the road" since it was held at a national landmark.

This IS the same guy who coined the "obamanation", right? He IS the same one who continues to claim Obama is Muslim, right? Yet we are to assume he also wants his islamic followers (if any) to pray to Allah?

Most educated people can SEE this... but it's not the educated I'm worried about.

One quick search of Youtube provides a multitude of unedited interviews with some of the people who attended the rally... and ... well... they're a special bunch.

Some of them blame Obama for taking prayer out of public events... some of them claim, Obama is letting the foreigners come take our jobs... REALLY?

As I see it, these people are pissed that the country isn't what it once was... they're mad because more and more jobs are being eliminated and no new ones are coming in.

For this, they want someone to blame! So rather than blame Congress, the governing body ultimately responsible for any law or policy in the country, they blame the President.

And why do they do this? Because they lack basic education in the way our country works! And rather than take time to understand it... they ACCEPT any viewpoint that it spoon fed to them... especially when offered by a charasmatic media figure or a tiara wearing "politician".

So instead of working hard and going to college and fighting for the american dream... it's easier to sit in a lawn chair at a rally, puffing a cigarette and complaining that all the foreignors have the good jobs.

Ya know what? There may actually be some truth to that.

Because while many americans sit back waiting for the Government to make their lives better... many of these "foreigners" are coming to America, attending colleges and becoming doctors. All while Americans wait for the Government... or the media to tell them what they should do next.

Meanwhile, the "foreigners" are working and paying taxes which pay for those SAME AMERICANS welfare or food stamps?!?!?

If you think I'm wrong... Just look at any hospital directory!?!? Reading those names is like reading the ingredients of paint! ;-p I can't pronounce ANY of it!

I think we're just at such a dangerous crossroad.

I mean, is it a good idea to put our faith in a charasmatic speaker who has risen from obscurity to lead a political movement aimed at reclaiming the former glory of our fatherland? Let's ask any of the survivors of the Jewish death camps what they think?

People... THINK FOR YOURSELVES! Don't let someone TELL you what you believe!

As I told a friend earlier tonight... the same people SCREAMING to "TAKE AMERICA BACK" are the same ones who gave it away, piece by piece!

OK... and here is where I reuse my joke from earlier... I can do that since I'm 38 now... I also told her I was going to start my own political party... the "Tupperware Party"... so I can put a lid on it! ;-p

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Please... please, just don't!

I have recently come to the conclusion that I may actually be rotten to the core.

I'm finding that with each additional day that I'm alive... something new grates on my nerves.

the latest culprit... whistling!

I totally understand that the first person to ever whistle was likely lauded as the hero of the tribe... and honestly, I can see that it probably came in handy to the cave people who needed to communicate across long distances... or who simply needed it as their sole musical instrument...

but... now, we have cell phones and too many musical instruments to even count!!! In Fact, MANY of them are represented in apps on my phone!

last week, I was walking though Wal-Mart... so you can assume I was already at "World Hatred Level 7" when across the store I heard it! That airy, keyless, uncontrolled mouth warble!

This guy was apparently extremely happy to be walking through Wal Mart!

I tell you, I could hear it across the entire store...

At first, it was just a slight annoyance... but as it continued, I felt the RAGE FILLING MY BODY!

I HAD to track this guy down!

So I began my hunt... slinking though the racks of 5 dollar jeans and t-shirts that attempted to capture the trends of last year....

Then, across the bra section... I caught a glimpse of him...

I QUICKLY ducked so he wouldn't see me... then it occurred to me that I'm a 38 year old man bobbing and weaving in the BRA section!!! So I quickly mad it to the pets section.

All the while, that tuneless... off pitch abomination CONTINUED!

I mean, ever so often I'd hear a tiny section of his puckered performance that sounded a little familiar... "Ohhhh... that's Amazing Grace... wait! No... it's Lady Gaga..."

I just couldn't imagine how someone could be so unaware.... so full of themselves that they must pollute the ears of the world with this wretched harmony.

As I continued my hunt... weaving down aisles and around people who were hogging entire walkways with their apparent FAMILY REUNION going on!!!!

This is when I started thinking about what I would say to this tonal terrorist! Working the whole conversation out in my mind..."What the HELL do you think you're doing!?!?!? If we wanted to HEAR that whistley crap, we'd pop in a Mariah Carey CD!!!""" Yeah, THAT'S what I'll tell him!

Finally, I could tell I was getting closer... "He MUST be heading to the checkout!!!

At that moment, I felt more determined than I EVER HAD.... I wheeled around the Cards aisle and set my sights on him.... at that moment... I finally focussed on more than the pulsating rage that was giving me tunnel vision... The whistler.... was a priest! A PRIEST for God's sake... literally!

I couldn't spew forth my planned script of strong words and snide comments to a PRIEST!?!? I started checking for boils or other signs of plague considering all the INCREDIBLY IRREVERENT thoughts I had about him! I mean, in the old testament, people were smote for less, am I right? Besides, I have pretty much lived with the belief that there is a giant "lightning bolt attracting" target on the top of my head... That's why God made me so tall!!!

At the end of the day, I realized 3 things.

1... as much as I hate to accept it... I am not the supervisor in charge of all things acceptable in the free world.

2... I am not Catholic.

and 3... Never go to Wal-Mart without taking Xanex and my headphones for my iPod!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Southern Musings...

Have you ever noticed how, in the south, we accept so many strange phrases and improper uses of tense?

I was outside working on the pool when I realized I go Mosquito bit.... see? That's totally acceptable! Even though in the rest of the free world people would likely say they had been bitten by a mosquito.

Or how about those people who have no clue about the anatomy of a southern critter... they just come in and say "I got stung by a mosquito"... WHAT? Silly Yankee...

There are so many things that have become part of our language that just seem odd sometimes...

For years, when people asked me to do something I didn't want to do, I'd say "I'd druther not". DRUTHER? That's not even a word, is it?

These southernisms have permeated even the most sacred chapels of the written word... the news room.

I can remember SEVERAL conversations over the years about words that may or may not exist... One example comes to mind.... "Tump" ... (Can you use it in a sentence) Be careful, you're liable to tump that pot over! (can i have a definition?) to force or cause something to fall over.

See, even without my definition, you totally knew what I was talking about, right? I bet you even pictured the hand motions that go along with the warning that you might tump something over...

And then there are the REAL words that we give a new twist! Who hasn't had to go get some "warshin powders" for an older family member? I mean, without them, how can they rainch out their clothes?

I remember my little pentecostal Nanny had a whole SLEW of words she made her own...

For years I thought the act of quickly bringing something to a boil before chilling it was actually called "Blainching" ... As in ... "to make poke salet, you have to rainch it... blainch it... rainch it again then bawl it... otherwise it's pison"

You know, I joke a lot about my backwoods heritage.. but I love it! I absolutely miss the days of hearing that all too familiar cadence and drawl.

Before the world told me it sounded silly, I thought it sounded warm... wholesome... it meant I was home, with people I love!

I often write about my time in Waldron, Arkansas... I didn't actually "grow up" there. We actually lived in Barling, Arkanasas most of my childhood.

But whenever there was a break from school... a holiday... or just a week when times were tough for my Mom and Dad, we raced to Waldron for our salvation.

Whether my cousin Sandy and I were playing in "Memaw's Branch" (our great grandmother's ditch that occasionally housed a snapping turtle or some wayward silver bellies) or I was walking with my cousin Angie from my Nanny's house out on East 80 to Walmart out on the bypass! (trust me, that was a much longer walk than we expected) All of the memories I have of Waldron are safe ones!

Waldron is where we went when things got rough! It was sort of like base, once you were there... you were safe.

So even now when I'm feeling down... when I'm longing for lost days... I think back to the days of Bethel's Dry Goods and Ben Franklin... and I always smile.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Things that make me want to punch someone in the neck!

Hello All! yes, it's been a while since I've posted anything... I've been working on another project and it seems to take all my creativity...

That said... What the HELL is happening in the world?

OK, so first... We are now nearly 2 months into the worst disaster in US History!

I can NOT believe that we can land probes on other planets... That we can clone animals... that we have MAPPED the entire human genome... but we just can't keep Lindsay Lohan from drinking!

Ok... I'm kidding... Unlike EVERY mainstream media outlet in the country... I couldn't care LESS about that skank! I mean, so what if she's a pill popping Alkie?!?!? Is that REALLY so odd in this day an age? Don't we all have at least one "Lindsay" in our lives? And what do we do to OUR "Lindsays"? We AVOID them, right?

If we are truly disgusted by the " Lindsay Spears Hiltons" of the world... we should all just pledge to ignore them! The really WOULD go away!

Ewww... can you imagine if there really were a "Lindsay Spears Hilton"? That bitch would be messsssssssssed uuuuuuup!

I may take a cue from Oprah and start asking all the guests on my show (also known as all the people who just come over to my house and sit around & watch TV) to sign a "No Skank Zone" pledge!

I MAY also have them sign a "No Oprah Zone" pledge... I mean, who the heck is she to have ME stop using my phone? It doesn't even APPLY to her.... When do you really think was the last time she drove herself anywhere? When was the last time she got finished with her show... hopped in her Hyundai Accent, that she's 2 months behind on.... whipped through McDonalds... where she paid with the change that was in her console? She's SO far out of touch! I mean... that's why she has to give away "Her Favorite Things" because none of the rest of us could AFFORD them!?!?! Favorite things.... Good Grief.... I'll TELL you some of MY favorite things.. Electricity, Water and Gas!

This brings me to my next topic... People who are too damn rich for their own good running for office for "my good".

REALLY??? you're serious??? This isn't some crazy reality show?

At last count, Meg Whitman... the former ceo of Ebay had spent more than 68 MILLION DOLLARS of her OWN MONEY for her "bid" for the California Governors Office!?!?!?!? 68 MILLION?!?!?!? I don't know what kind of world SHE lives in... but in MY world... if I had 68 million dollars... Fixing the government would be the LAST of my concerns!

It would have been cheaper for her to start her OWN state and just run THAT! Hell, she could have bought that island from Lost!

I keep thinking that maybe she's just confused? That maybe she thought she was bidding on the office, Like on Ebay? And she just put in some ridiculous amount, thinking SURELY someone else will out bid me!

I mean, People with that much money have NO CLUE about the types of issues that affect and concern me!

The last politician, and maybe the only one in my life that I've felt actually UNDERSTOOD America... and CARED about it, was Bill Clinton.

You can say whatever you want about what did on his "time off" but when he was on the job, None of us had time to be pissed off, because we all had jobs! We didn't freak out about the war in the gulf so much, because gas was 98 cents a gallon!!!!

Bill Clinton was like that friend that always shows up at the family cookout with a couple cases of beer.

But you know what... he always got the job done!

In fact, have you noticed that whenever there's a big ole mess going on... the first thing the president does is send Bill Clinton?

Think about it... Katrina, Haiti... and I'm willing to bet by the end of the week we'll him walking along a beach on the gulf.

Why is he so popular? Because he was the last president who was one of us. He knew what it was like to live on a tight budget with a single mom. He knew that you don't buy something until you're sure your check is gonna be there! And he knew that every decision he made didn't just affect how he would be remembered... but it would also affect each of our lives!

I mean, lets face it... I voted for Obama... but this has certainly been no picnic. I think we all know now that we should have gone with Hillary... If SHE were in office, BP would stand for "Bitch, please!" !!!