Q is for…

QSo, I’ve been blogging every day for three weeks straight, and boy are my arms tired! (Ba-dum!)

Anywho… I’m obviously delusional from tiredness, but it’s now day something-or-other, the day for the letter Q. I thought about writing about quirks, but probably everyone participating in the #AtoZchallenge2014 is doing that, since us creatives are, by definition, quirky, so I’m going back to my tried-and-true dictionary method. Only this time I’m consulting my 1921 edition of Collier’s New Encyclopedia, subhead: “A Loose Leaf and Self Revising Reference Work” (which I’ve never quite figured out how that erm, worked, exactly), Book 7, Ochre to Resorcin.

And the winner for Q (boy, I had to flip quite a few pages to get to this section, and it’s all of 13 pages):

Q is for Quarles, Francis

AtoZ-posts_hdr-Q

An aside: I find the comma use in the Encyclopedia quite amusing. If I were its editor today, I’d be slashing them all over the place!

Anywho, Mr. Quarles was an English poet born way back in 1592; he died in 1644, after siring 18 kids. Interestingly enough, a couple of his descendants were American abolitionists.

According to Wikipedia, where I found his image, he wrote 21 titles, including his first one, the lovely-sounding A Feast for Wormes. Did I mention that his work was primarily religious in nature? You can read all of 17 of his poems on poemhunter.com, tho I don’t necessarily recommend it. My eyes glazed over after just a few lines, and I actually like poetry!

Apparently, he had quite a following by the common folk, especially for his book Emblems (originally published in 1635 with “grotesque engraved illustrations”). However, the critics didn’t like him one whit. The Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 47, as sourced here, says:

Most of his verse is diffuse and dull; he abounds in fantastic, tortuous, and irrational conceits, and he often sinks into ludicrous bathos…

Which I find hilarious. Poor guy’s been dead for 370 years, and the critics can still goad him, even tho those critics are also dead.

If you have a hankering, you can actually buy Mr. Quarles’ work on amazon! I am especially amused by this title (a reprint of his work done in 1777) – Quarles’ Emblems, divine and moral: together with Hieroglyphics of the life of man. Written by the celebrated Francis Quarles.

Poor Mr. Quarles. Dead. No longer celebrated, and being poked fun of on my blog.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, author, books, editors, history, humor, names, writing | 2 Comments

P is for…

No sense beating around the bush today:

P is for Pet Peeves

PThat’s right. I coulda saved this post for R, and made that letter stand for rant… I could have even used three other topics I thought of, all on my own (the most for any letter, I think!): popularity, procrastination, and perfectionism. On each of those, I’ll give a short graph, then get right into ye old pet peeves.

First: popularity. I was never the popular kid. No, not me: I was the weird kid with her nose in a book and no social skills. But now, as a teacher, I’m constantly asked questions. All I hear all day is “Ms. George, Ms. George, Professor George, Dr. Jorge, Ms. Jones”… as I tell my students, it makes me feel like the most popular girl at the school dance. And let me tell you, it is exhausting. Maybe being the weird kid in HS was actually a blessing.

Second: procrastination. I think this comes from being trained as a journalist. You work on the things that have deadlines… right before the deadline. Deadlines motivate me. Otherwise, I pay it no mind. This may be why, when I was working on finishing up my book, I wrote the last 6,000 words or so the day before the first draft was due to the publisher. (Bad me.) And why, although I worked on this post hours and hours ago, I’m just getting back to it.

Third: perfectionism. This is a habit I am attempting to break, somewhat unsuccessfully. I feel like if I’m going to do something, I need to do it the utmost best of my ability.  And of course, sometimes that’s not possible. Sometimes things just have to get done.

The blog posts are good example of dealing with number two and three, actually; I can’t be perfect on these posts, and I can’t procrastinate too long.

Anywho, on to the main event: pet peeves, most of which revolve around people driving. Or actually, their inability to do so properly.

  • Okay, people, when you are at a round-about, and someone is waiting to see what you are going to do, please, please, give us a little turn signal so we know if you are going to turn and thus whether or not we can pull out!
  • In general, use your {insert bad word of your choice here} turn signals! Despite my extensive training, I still cannot read minds!
  • You are NOT special. I don’t care whatcher mama tole you. You just ain’t. You ain’t got no right to park your car in front of a store and leave it running while you “go in for a minute”. Your stupid car is blocking traffic and pedestrians.
  • If someone clearly is trying to get in front of you in traffic, with their signal on and everything, please, for the love of all that is holy, slow your {insert bad word here} car down just a notch and let me in! I don’t have my {insert bad word here} signal on for my health, you know!
  • Don’t ride up my bumper so close you’re practically deflowering my car. My car and your car ain’t pals, let alone intimate relations. Especially don’t ride up my bumper and stay there when there’s miles and miles of space to go around me. (Having said that, cars doing that to me is my karma for riding up car’s butts when they were in the fast lane yet going slow… something I did when I was younger and much stupider.)
  • Don’t ride up my bumper, then speed around me, then get in front of me and slow down. Really? Really?
  • I know I’m becoming old and curmudgeonly, but, you people do realize that blazing past me at a million miles per hour when I’m already going over the speed limit may a) garner you a ticket and b) not get you where you’re going any faster, right? I simply luurrrrveeee, darlings, when that happens, and I get off my exit, and lo and behold, that car that just did that is sitting right in front of me.
  • Driving too fast in a parking garage. Dude. It’s a parking garage, not the autobahn. There are cars of various lengths parked alongside where you be drivin’, and lawks a mercy, I might be walking next to one of them there parked cars. Slow your {insert bad word here} down!
  • Speaking of parking… if you can’t drive it, don’t buy it. If you can’t park it, for sure do NOT buy it! If you’re driving, presumably you are not blind, and can actually see how poorly you’ve parked when you get out of your vehicle…  So hows about you get back in and re-position that there vehicle of yours so that it’s not taking up all the space another car might actually fit in!
  • If someone is waiting ~ like they should ~ in the right-hand lane to turn right, don’t go around them on the left to turn right! I mean, really!
  • If it’s a lane to go straight, don’t turn left!
  • If it’s a left-turn lane, don’t go straight!
  • And I can’t even begin to describe all the cray-cray things we saw drivers doing just today…

Welp, I guess that’s about enough ranting. Until (sometime) tomorrow, when we visit the letter Q

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, writing | 8 Comments

O is for…

O So, here I am, late in the day – yet again – for today’s letter, which happens to be O. My co-conspirator in this here madness, Chad Clark, wrote about a Okuri-inu monster. If you want to know what that is, you’ll just have to go read his post. I certainly have no idea.

The #AtoZchallenge2014 people wrote about obsession, aka our need to complete this quest.

An aside: I’m quite proud of both Chad and I for keeping up with the challenge, despite the odds: life, liberty, and the pursuit thereof. Plus the need to eat and sleep sometimes.

So, I’ll shaddup and tell you today’s topic:

O is for Obsolete

Yeah, yeah, I’m going there. In my day, I had to walk uphill both ways, in the snow, carrying a brick. You kids have no idea how easy you got it…

Yours truly in 1987. Working at United Way. Typing pledge cards on a typewriter. With a scrunchy in my feathered hair.

Yours truly in 1987. Working at United Way. Typing pledge cards on a typewriter. With a scrunchy in my feathered hair.

Actually, you kids do not know how easy you got it! Things sure have changed since I was a youngster… A ton of stuff considered super-important back then doesn’t even exist anymore. It’s obsolete!

My very first real job, outside of babysitting, involved using a typewriter. It was electric, but still… a typewriter! When’s the last time you saw one of those? And I had to take a typing class in high school. The only thing I remember from it was that our typing teacher wore such high heels, she actually had to have foot surgery.

When I was that age, only the geekiest of the geekiest worked on computers. I served as managing editor of my HS newspaper, and I was the best typist, so I had to type our articles on a typesetting machine, then go into the darkroom to develop it.

The first computer I used was in college, and the screen was not much bigger than an iPhone screen, and we created the layouts for the newspaper on it.  Then printed it out and used glue and stuff to actually, physically lay out each week’s edition.

Before my time, it was even more difficult to create a newspaper: a typesetter would literally put pieces of type together and then that would hit the paper.

This here is a box of printing press type I bought on ebay. I don't know how old it is, but on the cover is written "William Dart, Box 23, {something that I can't read}, KY".

This here is a box of printing press type I bought on ebay. I don’t know how old it is, but on the cover is written “William Dart, Box 23, {something that I can’t read}, KY”.

My ex-father-in-law told me that when he was a kid in the 50s, he was a newspaper boy and they still had people using the printing press type like this to put the paper together.

Heck, my hubby said he was a newspaper boy when he was eight. We don’t have newspaper boys anymore… that would be against child labor laws, or something.

Typesetters? Obsolete. Typewriters? Obsolete. Newspaper boys? Obsolete. Gas station attendants? Obsolete. Milk delivery drivers? Obsolete.

Hubs and I were listening to the radio the other day and the DJ said something like “caller 25 will win tickets” to something or other, and we started laughing about how when we were kids we’d sit by the phone and literally have to dial and hang up and dial and hang up and if the phone actually rang, it would ring for about 10,000 times. And we’d never win.

And then there was sitting next to the radio just praying they would play your favorite song, and then pressing record on the cassette tape and hoping you didn’t get too much of the DJ’s voice.

And speaking of phones, I got my first cell phone in 1994 after I had a wreck on the lovely interstates here in Atlanta. It was such a big deal that the sales man came to my office to bring me the phone and show me how it worked. That phone was as big as a shoe box, and in a bag. With its own pull-up antenna.  (I sure wish I still had that thing.)

Rotary dial phones? Obsolete. Radio DJs? Practically obsolete. I personally listen to my iTunes. Mixtapes? Obsolete. Landlines? Obsolete. Customer service? Obsolete.

For a cute, more detailed take on this topic, see the book Obsolete by Anna Jane Grossman. The title served as the inspiration, but not the content, of this post.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, books, history, memory | 4 Comments

N is for…

N So, you know what’s amazing about this challenge? Besides the fact that it is forcing me to write every day, after a six-month hiatus? Things that happen to amuse me.

For instance, today yesterday oh who knows when it was, I was chatting with my friend Guster on FB while we were both insomniacking. (Yes, yes, I know it’s not a word, but you know what I mean, so deal with it.)

His question:  “Do you know what you’re writing about for N?”

My response, without thinking about it: “Nope.”

His response? “Nice.”

Then we LOLed and he told me the perfect topic to write about.

I had considered writing about naysayers, but decided to hold that for when I write my “So You Want to be a Writer” series (whenever that is), or needlework, which is actually a pretty good topic for me, since I was trained in the fine art thereof. However, I decided to write instead about the topic my pal gave me:

N is for Night

photo by dSavannah

Driving into the city of Atlanta. At night. Photo by dSavannah. That means me, yo.

Oddly enough (or maybe not), my #AtoZchallenge2014 partner Chad Clark posted a short story on this very topic today.

I spend the majority of my waking hours at night, so much so that I half the time I’m not sure about the actual day of the week. Like now, is it still Wednesday? Or is it maybe Thursday? Or even Friday? I’m hoping Wednesday, so that I’m actually posting my “N” on the right day. But then again… in some parts of the world, it’s not yet Tuesday, while in other parts of the world, it’s already Friday.

Or perhaps I’m making that up.

And anywho, I digress.

I’m a night owl. Always have been, always will be. It’s rare for me to even be able to go to sleep before midnight, unless I’m taking a nap, and said nap has to start before 4pm, but grownups don’t get to take those often enough. Kindergartners don’t know how good they’ve got it.

I come by this tendency to be awake in the middle of the night quite honestly. I’ve always known that I learned to crochet (back to “needlework”, hurrah!) when I was five years old. But I only recently was reminded by my mother that I learned because… my dad was also a night owl, and he liked to go visiting people late at night, and the person who taught me to crochet did so in order to give me something to do. At 2am.

Of course, a lot of people in my past never quite understood (or accepted) my tendency to sleep late and stay up late. But I’m just not a morning person, and nothing you can say or do will change that fact. So yeah, maybe you’ve been up for five hours before I’ve cracked an eyelid. Likely I’ll be awake for five hours after you’ve gone to bed. Deal with it.

My theory is that I’m descended from the watchmen of the tribes. Back in the long-ago, before all this technology – when *fire* was the new big thing – someone had to stand guard at night and protect the other men, women, and children in the tribe. So much of what we humans do today is hard-coded into our DNA from way back then, why not being a person who functions better at night than during the day? Why can’t I be, instead of watcher-of-the-tribe, a night-writer/reader/etc.? Maybe all “insomniacs” really just need jobs that start at 7pm.

I like the night. It’s quiet. I can think then (well, right now, as I type this). No construction noises, very little traffic noise, no people… The house settles and feels contemplative. In the city, all the colorful lights are exciting and fun, guiding me from one thing to the next.

At night, I can see the moon and the stars. I can look into the sky and think of my grandfather, who was a meteorologist and showed me the constellations. Plus, I can look up and see what feels like the whole of God’s creation reflected up there.  It was even better when we lived in Arkansas – no light pollution to drown out the stars. We could even see the edges of the Milky Way.

And there are a million songs written about the nighttime. A quick search through my iTunes library shows me about 100 results in all kinds of genres, including All Through the Night by Cyndi Lauper, Saturday Night’s Alright by Nickelback, and one of my very favorites, Marc Cohn’s Don’t Talk to Her At Night.

So, that’s my N. And my night. And my blog post about it. Come back sometime tomorrow; I’ll bring you a perfectly interesting topic that starts with the letter O.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, age, childhood, crochet, dreams, family, insomnia, memory, photography, shining a light, the dark places | 10 Comments

M is for…

M Unless my counting skills are waaaaay off, which is possible, M is the 13th letter of the alphabet, which means I have made it half-way through this here #AtoZchallenge2014 challenge. YAY me!

Sadly, once again, I had a complete and utter blank mind when it came to figure out a topic for this illustrious letter ~ I had really hoped when I signed up for the challenge to find partners who might come up with ideas for with me ~ but alas, that was not to be. (Although I could copy my partner Chad Clark and say M is for Monsters, but he’s pretty well got that covered.)

So of course, in situations like this, one consults one’s bestie for ideas, and she came up with the following: Princess Maggie, my dog; money, tho all I can say about that is I always need more, tho I’ve learned to live with less; mountains, which are of course quite lovely; marigolds, same; murder mysteries, which is my bestie’s favorite genre; M&Ms, a secret ingredient in my special PB sammiches; and marriage. Well, that last one made me think of:

mawwage

Which led me to my topic:

M is for Movies

So, I give you, in no particular order, some of my favorite movies and my thoughts thereupon.

    • The Princess Bride. Duh. Like you couldn’t see that one coming. It has everything. True love, kissing, sword-fighting, magic, myth, humor, etc. And it’s one of the very few movies that is actually just as good as the book. I even remember when the movie came out – I decorated one of my high school folders with one of the print ads, which said something like: “The Pit of Despair. The Cliffs of Insanity. Dating sure was tough… once upon a time.” Brilliant!
    • The Boondock Saints. My ex-husband brought this home one night and said something along the lines of “you probably won’t like this… it’s gory and violent”… which, well, it is… but I love it so. Its goriness and violence are an integral part of the story… and the message is basically: “The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” Plus, Sean Patrick Flanery. Need I say more? Oh yeah, and Norman Reedus, but I myself am partial to SPF.
    • Sucker Punch. Okay, so a lot of people decry this movie as being anti-women or something, but to me, it’s a story of friendship and fighting and sacrifice, and those girls kick ass. I’m always a fan of girls kicking ass. (Unlike Princess Buttercup in TPB, who screams for Westley to save her, and ineffectually pokes at the ROUSs with a stick. That part always bugged me.)
    • Blue Like Jazz. A boy raised in the church by his mother gets a rude awakening right before he goes away to college, and instead of going to a Christian college like he planned, goes to the “most godless college in America”… and along the way, learns about himself. And this movie stars my friend Justin Welborn as The Pope; Justin currently has a recurring role on the tv show Justified. (Yay for Justin!)
    • Henry Poole is Here. Henry buys a house to get away from everyone and everything, but his neighbors intrude… a miraculous little story. I also love the soundtrack.
    • Bag of Hammers. This is a terrible name for what is ultimately a quirky, sweet story about friendship and love and growing up.
    • The Sweetest Thing. The ultimate chick flick. Hilarious look at friendship and love.
    • Nacho Libre. This falls under the o-m-g-this-movie-is-so-stupid-it’s-hilarious heading. With some lines that are so awesomely bad, my hubby and I often quote them to each other.
    • Everything is Illuminated. Of course, the book was better in some ways, but the movie did an amazing job of telling the most important parts of the book. Beautiful scenery, a beautiful and sad story, and a reminder of the Holocaust and what it took from us all.
    • Willow. An oldie but goodie fantasy movie that also has it all: love, intrigue, humor, and a sword-wielding Val Kilmer.
    • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. A girl kicking ass. A smart girl. A girl who is not afraid of anything. This movie almost tempted me to grow my hair super-long again.
    • Good Will Hunting. I still remember how pumped I felt upon seeing this movie.
    • Dead Poet’s Society. I saw this in the theater with a friend… I’ve long forgotten which friend, but I remember wiping tears out of my eyes as we left the theater.
    • Some Kind of Wonderful. The John Hughes 80s classic. A tomboy, cars, love, and diamond earrings. Oh, and a night at the museum.
    • Benny and Joon. A charming, quirky love story starring Johnny Depp.
    • Lucky Number Slevin. More kicking of asses.
    • Dogma. Kevin Smith’s awesome and humorous take on religion. Plus, there’s Salma Hayek. And also ass-kicking. And angels.

So there ya go. This by no means an exhaustive list… just ones that I don’t mind watching over and over. As for what this list says about me, what do you think?

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, actors, books, feminism, fiction, guilty pleasures, happiness, humor, inspiration, joy, movies, review | 8 Comments

L is for…

L

So on Saturday, I wrote about Kissing. Today, for “L” day, I shall write about a similar and related topic, but first, I’d like you to watch this video by the incomparable Brad Paisley from his 2003 album Mud on the Tires.

L is for Love and Lies

A lot of people would say that you should never ever ever lie, regardless of the circumstances, and that if you love someone, and even if you don’t, honesty is always the best policy.

However, I disagree with that sentiment, and agree with Brad’s philosophy (read the full lyrics to the song if’n you want):

‘Cause that’s love, you’ll see
We all commit a little bit of perjury
Ah but that’s no crime if you ask me, that’s love

Sometimes the truth can actually do more harm than good, whereas an omission thereof – or a “white lie” as some would call it – is the better way to go all around.

If your best friend’s newborn baby is just a tad homely, do you tell her so? No. You say that baby is precious, and sweet, and adorable, and look at that hair, and so on.

If your hubby is going on and on about parts for the AC or your car or his motorcycle, even tho you couldn’t care less, you feign interest and you listen because it’s important to him.

If someone asks you a question, you are under no obligation to give them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Quite frankly, all that truth may very well be nobody’s business. Or it may cause hurt feelings; after all, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

My mother seems to think you should do all that truth-telling. A while back she told me that when my father was serving in the Army during the Vietnam war, he was stationed somewhere secret that only she, as his wife, could know at the time. But when people would ask “Is your husband in Vietnam?”, she’d hem and haw and get all flustered, causing further questions and embarrassment on her part. (Again, this is what she tells me; I was only around for part of that time, and I certainly don’t remember it.) It would have been far easier for her just to nod and move on.

I am, as y’all know, an artist. I have a very artistic and cluttered studio space (in part because the house we live in wasn’t built for someone like me, and what space I have is too small and has no closet).  My darling hubby told his sister – in my presence – that he doesn’t like my space because it looks like “art vomit”. Now. Is he allowed to think/feel that? Of course. Does it actually look like “art vomit”? Kinda, yeah… I have lots of books and magnets and art supplies and a bulletin board covered in photos (including one of him as a little boy) and cards and ribbon and drawings and silly pieces of art. Did him saying that hurt my feelings? As a matter of fact, yes. So, in this case, telling his true thoughts on the subject was actually hurtful. (And of course, I’ve forgiven him, cuz that’s what you do, and he didn’t mean it to cause me pain.) (And I just might start telling people that when they ask what I do… I’ll answer “I vomit art”. Hee hee.)

So again I say, from the Gospel of Brad Paisley:

You’re starin’ at a burnt steak
You bite the bullet and you clean your plate
And then you go on and on about how great it was
That’s not a lie, that’s love


dSavannah note: Please understand that I am in no way advocating building a relationship on actual dishonesty and full-blown lies and deception. That kind of relationship will never last; it will simply crumble into a pile of ashes. Again, I am simply saying we need to practice kindness, and sometimes that includes not sharing everything in our heads.

What do you think?

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, dancing, family, friends, funny funny, happiness, humor, love, music, quotes | 10 Comments

K is for…

K

K is for Kissing

I know, I know what you’re thinking…

K-tumblr_inline_mjvoviHsLL1qz4rgp
And yes, yes it is.

But I’ll keep it short. The blog post, that is, so I can go kiss on my husband.

As the marvelous Jill Conner Browne said in one of her books, I don’t remember which (but it doesn’t matter – go read all of ‘em… you won’t be sorry) (nor do I remember the exact quote) (and buggeroo if I can’t find it right now), anywho, she said something along the lines that kissing is a fabulous way to release stress and show love to your loved one.

If you’re feeling mad at your spouse/significant other, go give ‘em a big ole smooch, right on the mouth, and tell me if you don’t both feel better about each other.

First kiss. Our wedding. 8.8.08.

Our wedding. First kiss. 8.8.08.

And if this picture don’t make you smile, nothing will! It makes my heart melt every time I look at it.


Sunday is of course our day off from blogging for this challenge, but I’ll be back (at some point) on Monday, April 14, with a post for the letter L. I’ve got a couple topics in mind… but I guess we’ll all just see what falls out of my head when the time comes.

And PS thank you to everyone who has been reading and commenting on my blog, and also stopping by and giving my blogging partner Chad Clark and his monsters some love.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, books, funny funny, giving to others, joy, love | 10 Comments

J is for…

JAs we wind our way through the alphabet (or should that be “jog“?), I shall use the letter J to jump on my soapbox (not that I actually have a soapbox, so I guess I’m actually jumping on… erm… my keyboard?) to discuss a topic that has been bugging me, as well as some of my facebook friends, where we have discussed this very thing.

And no, it’s not the lost art of juggling, nor that of dancing the jitterbug. Nor is it Jabberwocky, my very favorite poem by the wonderfully wacky Lewis Carroll.

J is for Judging

Now, as most of us know, the Bible has a verse that says “Judge not lest ye be judged”, but from my experience very few people seem to pay that verse any mind whatsoever. I find myself judging others too, even tho of course I shouldn’t, and when I realize what I’m doing, I try to stop and I say a prayer asking for forgiveness.

Essentially, this topic came up because apparently some people think that because you’re on food stamps or some other type of government assistance, you shouldn’t drive a nice car or have an iPhone or an expensive handbag and your kids shouldn’t have nice things. Besides being a form of poor-bashing, this is a horrible form of judgement that has no basis on anything except what you see right in front you. You have no idea why that person may be on assistance, or how they happened to get that car or iPhone or nice handbag.

Maybe they’ve been working odd jobs and saving every cent from that to be able to afford that phone. Maybe their mom gave it to them. Maybe they got it while living in a women’s shelter after leaving an abusive relationship. Maybe the kid with the expensive toy has it because their sibling collected and recycled aluminum cans for a year because they love their sister so much they wanted them to have that toy.

I myself have run into this judging thing – I have a nice car. A BMW. A car that I bought used at a super-amazingly low price, that I worked my butt off so I could pay off the note way before it was due,  a car that is now 11 years old but looks perfectly new. I have this car because it drives like a dream and I wanted one. And since I’m an adult, I bought one. (And for the record, it actually cost me less than my brand-new Saturn did.)

And then I lost my job. And I had to apply for unemployment, and I felt guilty driving up to the unemployment office in my nice car to get my guv’t assistance, which I needed or I wouldn’t have been able to eat or pay my mortgage. Not to mention, I earned due to working for 20 years and losing my job through no fault of my own.

And then there’s smaller judgements that get made every day. That girl who looks perfectly healthy but has parked in a handicapped spot? Well, she might have had ankle replacement surgery and can’t hardly walk, or she might have a bunch of autoimmune diseases that leave her in great pain. That middle-aged lady who does the same thing? She might have had four hip replacement surgeries. (And by the way, these three women are all people in my life who have those actual issues.)

Me in 1987. Shy. Nose in book. Skinny arms. But at least by then I had contacts...

Me in 1987. Shy. Nose in book. Skinny arms. But at least by then I had contacts…

The person driving too fast on the interstate? They might be rushing to the hospital because they found out a loved one had a heart attack. The person driving too slow? They might be crying because they just found out someone died.  (Those people might also be a**holes, but you should still treat them with kindness.)

The person standing in the corner at a party with a weird look on their face? They probably aren’t snooty – more likely they’re terribly shy and have anxiety in social situations. The girl who met you one time and doesn’t come up to greet you at an event? She’s not a b**** – she’s also shy and can’t remember your name to save her life.  Which makes her also feel embarrassed.  The girl with no fashion sense and her nose in a book, always? She doesn’t think she’s better than you, or smarter than you… she just has no social skills and is terribly afraid of getting made fun of, like she has in the past.  (And yes, the girl in all three of those situations happens to be me…)

Thus, I tell all of you… until you have walked a mile – or 10 – in someone else’s shoes, you have no right to judge them. Just show them kindness. In doing so, you’ll help make this world a better place.

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, age, books, childhood, depression, making a difference, shining a light | 8 Comments

I is for…

I It’s Day 9 of the #AtoZchallenge2014, and once again I am posting late. Late, late, late. (I sound like a character in Alice in Wonderland.) (And heavens knows I’m all mad here…)

I’m sure my three (or four?) faithful readers are wondering what I chose to write about today. Was it “I” as in “me, myself, and __”? Nope.  (Tho, of course, “I” shall creep in here, as it is “I” writing this post…)

Was it insatiable? Invariably? Indubitably? Illnesses, invoices, ill-conceived haircuts?

Nope, nope, nope. Nope.

I is for Interstates

I bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?

As I drove home today from school, on the lovely “connector”, as we Atlantans call the bit where Interstate 85 and Interstate 75 merge in the middle of the city, I pondered how different our country would be if good ole Ike hadn’t championed the system. Tho I’m sure someone would have at some point … after all, we Americans looooooveee us some cars.

The Interstate Highway plan from the January 1971 U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration Interstate System Route Log & Finder List.  Image from Wikimedia Commons. This was the map that was in force when I was born.

The Interstate Highway plan from the January 1971 U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration Interstate System Route Log & Finder List. (Try saying that three times fast.) Image from Wikimedia Commons. This was the map in force when I was born.

Most of my formative memories involve interstates, or at least being in a moving vehicle.

When I learned to drive, I lived in West Palm Beach, Florida, so I spent a lot of time toodling up and down I-95 (at far faster speeds than I should have been…).

The part where hubs and I lived in Arkansas had no interstates at all, which was a bit hard to get used to. If you wanted to go somewhere, there was pretty much one, or maybe two, ways to get there. And when the road leading up to our house literally fell down the mountain? Well… that was something, and took well over a year to get fixed. (The DOT built us one lane quite close to that mountain, and you had to drive ever so carefully, and pray no one had ignored the traffic light and was coming the other way.)

Hotlanta, of course, is plumb covered up in interstates. You’d think with all them lanes and all that “open” road, you could get places quick, but noooo….. The saying “build it and they will come” certainly seems to work for Atlanta and interstates – the more roads that get built, the more cars there are!

The worst example of this car-filled interstates phenomenon was of course the Snowpocalypse back in January of this year (when it wasn’t so much snow as it was ice), and it looked like a scene from The Walking Dead (check out a pic here), and the always-hilarious Jon Stewart skewered our fair city in a bit he called “South Parked“.

I found this informative time-lapse on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution website, which was provided by GDOT and created by Georgia Tech and really shows what happened on the interstates that day….

Thank heavens I didn’t get stuck out in it, tho I know a lot of people who did…

Anywho, as I was saying (what was I saying?), if it weren’t for interstates, we wouldn’t get our amazon packages in two days, and it would take me a heck of a lot longer to get to work.

In other news, my partner Paul Feeney threw in the proverbial towel on the challenge with “G”. Poor guy’s trying to move, so I can’t blame him. But let’s all send good vibes his way. My other partner, Chad Clark, keeps on keeping on…  His monster additions since I last mentioned him include Faeries, Gorgon, Headless Horsemen, and Ittan Momen, something I’ve never even heard about!

See you sometime tomorrow! (Or today…)

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, childhood, community, family, funny funny, history, technology | 6 Comments

H is for…

H H is for something helpful.

And the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

That’s all I’ve got.

Holla!

Posted in #AtoZchallenge2014, Uncategorized | 6 Comments