Monthly Archives: November 2010

Fight the Stereotype

I didn’t know what to blog about this morning. The weather is atrocious right now, but it’s supposed to clear up…eventually.

So I just had a moment of utter disbelief. A lady was trying to back out of her parking spot. Someone had parked behind her by several feet. Like six feet or so. She cut her wheel to the right and started to back out…then she pulled back in. If she would’ve kept going, she would have been fine. She tried to go in the other direction, stopping three feet away from the vehicle behind her. She pulled back in. Got out of the car, looked at the distance and tried the same move again.

Eventually, she got one of her male co-workers to back out and what did he do? He cut the wheel all the way to the right and pulled right out. I wanted to run down the steps and move the car myself because her inability to pull out of that parking spot when she had plenty of room just firmly proved the stereotype that women can’t drive.

This infuriates me to no end. No, I wouldn’t say that I’m the best driver there is, but I at least try my best not to prove those “superior” men right. I had a lot of practice backing out of tight spaces when I first started driving. My best friend’s yard was always packed with cars and if you wanted to get out,  you either had to ask everyone to move, or you had to learn how to manuever around those cars. I learned.

Now, I can’t parallel park to save my life. I can get pretty close if I’m under no pressure, but most of the time, I look for a spot I can just pull into. Luckily for me, there aren’t a lot of places around town where parallel parking is necessary. However, if I get stuck between two cars…well, I can get out. Trust me, I will get out.

I’m not saying you should back into someone’s car if they’re parked behind you, but look at all the angles and check the distance before you call the big, strong man in to move your car. Please? Pretty please? For me? It would make me sooo happy. And we all want me to be happy, don’t we?

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A Hot Mess

Oh, I do so hate to see the long weekend come to an end, but at least it gives me a chance to share another funny story. My family was at it again. No, I’m not talking about my uncle with the weird pie eating habits, and no, my brother didn’t fling potato salad at his godmother again. No, this time, my funny story happened before Thanksgiving and yet entertained us all.

I know I’ve mentioned my cousin before. The one who wants to be called Lynn because she doesn’t like her first name? Yeah, well every time I think of that, I’m remembered of Monty Python. You know the scene where King Arthur and his knights meet the enchanter?

Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tender?
Tim: There are some who call me…Tim.

Anyway, Lynn likes her wild hair colors (she takes after me in that aspect). Except she’s also in high school which means she can’t go too far out-of-bounds otherwise she’ll be sent home for having “distracting” hair. Meh. She was off from school all last week, spending the time with her oldest sister, Jenny, who’s 28. Jenny, being the nice, supportive, anti-establishment older sister, helped Lynn to dye her hair. Not the whole thing, just part of it. You see, Lynn has colored her hair like I do. I have color streaks on top and black beneath. She went opposite with black on top and color at the bottom.

My mom was working that day. (At this point I should mention Mom used to be a hair stylist and has fixed many hair disasters in her lifetime even though she no longer practices.) So Mom was at work and she sees Jenny pull up. She gets out of the car. Not long after, Lynn emerges from the car wearing Christmas tree flannel pajamas, slippers, and a hoodie. She’s also sobbing her little heart out.

When they walk into the office, Jenny is cackling like the evil older sister she is (we raised her right), and Lynn is…well, a hot mess. Her hair is still black on the top, but beneath that layer of black, her hair is beyond bright hot pink. She’s snotting, sobbing, hysterical because she has to go to school the following week! Jenny, of course, is insensible because she’s about to pee her pants from laughing.

My mom finally got the story out of them while trying to calm Lynn down. It seems Jenny gave Lynn the exact color she wanted, but was worried their mother would kill both of them (the mom’s in this family put the fear of mother in us all). So to prevent their mother from killing them, Jenny decided they would tone down the color.

They headed over to a beauty supply store to look for dye. It was packed with stylists gearing up for the up-coming holiday. The area with the dye is in the back corner and that’s where my cousins headed. As Lynn looked over the color choices, she’s sobbing. Loudly. Heartbreakingly. So much so, that every stylist in the store gravitated towards her to help this poor child. Meanwhile, Jenny is still laughing. Why? Because now the stylists were giving her dirty looks like she was a horrible mother (did I mention there’s a 14 year difference between them?). This just set Jenny off even more and made Lynn cry harder because now she was actually getting sympathy.

Ah, gotta love those girls. Eventually, my mom had to send Lynn to the cosmetology school to have them fix the hair color because Lynn would not listen to her suggestions. I asked Mom why she didn’t take a picture of her hair, but she said she was worried Lynn might throw herself in traffic, or something like that. She did confess though, that after my cousins left the office, she was overcome with a fit of laughing she hadn’t had in years.

Yeah, she’s sick and Jenny is just like her, except without the little cushion of compassion Mom has. I saw Lynn yesterday and her hair is now a subdued burgundy color. I asked her if her hair problems were now solved and the look she gave me promised death.

Oh well, I never said I didn’t have a sick sense of humor as well.

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Fantasy Man Friday

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can all breathe a sigh of relief…or not. God, how could I forget? Today is the most horrible day of the year! Except…wait a second, it’s also Fantasy Man Friday, which means it’s…good and bad? Eh, okay, I can work with that.

I changed my mind about braving the Black Friday crowds. I just don’t have the energy to be mean to people today. I mean, if I were motivated enough, I’m sure I could put some pushy people in a world of hurt, but meh. Is it really worth it? If my sister calls me and demands I show myself at the mall, we might have to have words. We’ll see.

But enough about depressing stuff. I have news. Ready? Next Friday, that would be December 3rd, I’m hosting a Fantasy Man Friday and Author Interview with Jillian Chantal! Yay! Jillian is a wonderful, wonderful person I’ve been lucky enough to meet and her newest book, Solo Honeymoon, was released on Tuesday this week by Siren-Bookstrand. I’m so excited for her! She’ll be giving away a shoe charm to one lucky person who comments on the blog that weekend, so be sure to stop by and learn more about Jillian!

And now…for those of you waiting in line somewhere for a five dollar television, or a buy 1 get 20 free deal, for those of you who are looking around your house after the holiday disaster and thinking “my life SUCKS”, for those of you who actually have to work today, for those of you who are still in your pjs because you don’t have to work…This is for you:

I think he’s on a boat…and all I want him to tell me is, “Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with meeeee!” Cause I so would. I’m really bad on boats and water, but if I had this beautiful man with that lovely happy trail to rescue me from my own silliness…I wouldn’t even hesitate. Nom. Oh, yes. I suddenly feel the urge to go..sailing.

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

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Our Thanksgiving

Well, Happy Turkey Day to all of my fellow Americans, wherever you are. It’s time to stuff yourself with food, argue over dessert, search the sales papers and make your game plan for Black Friday before you pass out on the sofa in front of the television. Or is that just my family?

Actually, I’m leaving a lot out. Every year, no matter if the entire family is together or not, it’s always a circus. Three of our relatives live in Baton Rouge which is at least a 2 hour drive away. Every other year (usually), we’ll pile into cars to go to my uncle’s house where we hope to find Korean food waiting for us. Oh, and turkey and stuff. Sometimes, we’ll do Thanksgiving at my sister’s house, sometimes at my aunt’s house, and sometimes at our house. This year, we’re hosting.

Except the whole family won’t be there. My aunt and her brood of 3 daughters, 2 son-in-laws, and 3 grandchildren are staying home. My brother and his wife are spending Thanksgiving at her father’s hunting camp down the bayou, and my brother-in-law is offshore. But it isn’t like we’re going into this with a skeleton crew. Oh, no. We’ll have plenty of loud mouths to make it seem like the house is full.

Food is the primary goal here…my sister’s turkey, my mom’s roast, my uncle’s ham. I have a frozen pie and cookies. They’re lucky I have that much. I really shouldn’t have bought the pie though because it’ll only lead to staring.

See, my uncle -bless his heart- has no manners. He’ll cut a slice of apple pie and eat it with his hands. Full finger slurping. Probably the worse part of it is he sort of loses touch with reality when he’s eating his desserts. Like they’re so good, he astral projects to another plane of existence altogether. His eyes glaze over, but his hands never stop returning to his slice of pie and his jaws never stop moving. It’s…disturbing. And my nephews love to watch it.

Without the day being over, I already know we’re going to go through a pound of coffee (my uncles and mom can drink the stuff all day and will), old, embarrassing stories will be rehashed, politics and religion will be discussed (but since my cousin won’t be there, we won’t have a full-fledged argument), my godfather will talk about his bad leg and his money problems, my sister will make me put ESPN on, my nephew’s girlfriends will not talk, or look at each other, while making nice with everyone else, my nephews will mock everyone, and I’ll be praying for the day to end so I can curl up in my bed with a whimper of relief.

And then we’ll do it all over again for Christmas. Oh, the joys of the holidays. No, really. I’m thankful for my crazy family, otherwise I’d never have anything to blog about!

Happy Thanksgiving all. I hope you have a safe and marvelous holiday weekend!

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What’s Playing Wednesday

Hm, so this is my very first What’s Playing Wednesday post. I wasn’t sure what to expect from my Magical Music Player, but I’m not disappointed. Of course, this is all my music, so if I were disappointed, it would be my own fault, wouldn’t it?

Anyway, the song that popped up today is by a band I loved when I was in college. Most people know them by their biggest hit, Sex and Candy, which is a pretty great song. However, my favorite song by Marcy’s Playground, is St. Joe on the School Bus. I’m not sure what I find so great about it. It’s kind of weird, kind of dark, and the video is…um, well I’d never seen the video until this morning. It’s interesting, I’ll say that much.

Every time I hear either today’s song, or Sex and Candy, I’m reminded of spending far too much time in front of the library on campus (because God forbid we actually go inside) when we were supposed to study. Yeah, all of my plans to study well before exams were never realized because cramming is a much better way to go! Yay for staying up 48 hours during finals!

So without further ado, here’s What’s Playing today!

What do you think? Did the kid deserve it? Did the dog become mean because of the kid?

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Expectations

I was musing this morning about something my mom said not long ago. Actually, she says it once every couple of months. She’ll look at me and say, “You know, I always thought you were going to be my girly-girl and Melody was going to be my tomboy. You swapped roles on me.”

I suppose she has sound reason to feel this way. When my sister was little, she was rough and tumble, playing football and baseball with the neighborhood boys (there was only 1 other girl and she played as well). She never wore dresses and hated to have her hair brushed. When I was little, I didn’t have any choice but to be everyone’s doll. My hair was brushed (against my will) by my aunts, my mom. I was shoved into dresses and kimonos (again my Korean aunt had her way).

But things started changing when my sister hit twelve. I was six. She discovered boys. My mom remarried. I became my stepdad’s “son”. I learned how to scrape mud off my cowboy boots, rode in his 18-wheeler with him, learned to fish, and by the time I was 10, I was learning to shoot. My sister was well into the big hair, make-up, skin-tight jeans (you know, the ones that looked like you had to jump off a roof to get into them), and shirts with shoulder pads.

Twenty-some odd years later, and things haven’t really changed. Oh, sure, I do the girly thing and get my hair fixed, my toes done, wear make-up, but my sister takes it to a whole new level. Where I’ll only get my nails done for a special occasion, she gets hers done all the time. She gets her hair fixed more often than I do and she still spends at least two hours in the bathroom preparing for her day. Me? Fifteen minutes max and that’s if I fix my hair.

Of course, sometimes this difference causes friction between big sister and me. Like yesterday. She wants to go to the mall on Black Friday to hit up Victoria’s Secret. The conversation went something like this:

Sister: “But you deserve a new bra now that you lost weight! C’mon!”
Me: “I haven’t lost that much weight yet and I don’t want to be surrounded by rabid, hormonal women who want a good sale. You know I hate crowds.”
Sister: “Yeah, but you’ll go to those metal concerts and mosh!”
Me: “That’s because I can push people and not get arrested!”
Sister: “You are so not fun.”
Me: “Fine, I’ll go, but I want Thai food!”

So yeah, as un-girly as I am, I’m going *shudders* shopping on Black Friday. I wonder if I can get a prescription…like lithium or something to keep me from becoming violent? Hm.

Anyway, Mom just doesn’t get it. My sister and I have puzzled her and I don’t think she likes it much. I suppose we all have huge expectations of others whether we mean to or not.

Have you thrown your parents’ expectations upside down and inside out? If you have children, have they thrown you for a loop?

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Treat Yourself

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m in dieting hell um, mode. I have been for the last well, four weeks today. I’m counting calories and all that mess, but I’ve made a deal with myself. I’ll be good all week, but at least once a week I’m going to enjoy a good, non-healthy meal.

So when my sister and I started talking about how long it’s been since we’ve been to Olive Garden, we made plans to hit the restaurant on Friday night. I searched the menu online to see what meals have the better calorie value because I was going to be bad on Saturday instead. I had my whole meal planned out, but when I got to the restaurant, I decided to make Friday night my “bad” meal. With my sister, aunt, cousin, brother, and sister-in-law around the table, it was easy to decide to simply enjoy myself.

Oh sure, I did the shrimp Primavera which is within my calorie range, but then I had to have the breadsticks…and that cheese fondu stuff…and end my meal with the triple chocolate strata. I didn’t finish my entrée, saving it for lunch the following day, but that chocolate cake had my name all over it. And I enjoyed it more than should be legal.

I’m not the most disciplined person when it comes to food. Hello? I live in south Louisiana. Our food is…well, it’s just downright addictive, but giving myself that one day to break away from my diet keeps me on the straight and narrow. Since I’ve started the diet, I’ve lost about 12 pounds and that’s without working out. Which I began today. Meh. But hey, it’s for a good cause.

Anyway, I started pondering how treating yourself to something decadent can strengthen your willpower. I don’t just mean in dieting, but also in writing. We spend so much time worrying about word count, editing, revising, and the whole submission process, it can sometimes take the fun out of writing. And that’s what writing is supposed to be: fun. So why not apply the “decadent rule” to writing as well as dieting, exercising, etc.?

Pick one day, or night, a week and just put the manuscript aside. Watch a good movie, or a bad one to mock. Read three books, or one. Go out to dinner and laugh with your friends and family. The manuscript will be there when you get back just like my diet was waiting for me on Saturday morning. It wasn’t easy to get in the swing of things again, but it was the memory of that chocolate cake that kept me on an even keel. Decadence can be good sometimes.

How about you? Do you treat yourself when you’re on a strict regimen? Does it help to reward yourself once in a while with something you really want?

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