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12 posts categorized "How lame am I"


Focus on the Present

This isn't a blog about baseball, but give me a moment and I promise I'll tie this all into the title. It happened, it really did. The Cardinal's started September almost eight games out of the Wild Card chase and on the last day of the regular season, an hour after the last pitch of their successful game against the Houston Astros, they made it to the playoff's. They didn't do it alone. They had a little help from the Atlanta Brave's as they choked and crashed over the last month of their season, but they made it. Die hard fans watched and moaned to themselves about another year without playoff baseball. Fair weather fans gave up and started counting the days to football season. Now we're all wearing Cardinal red and trying not to think past today's game. Because if we don't win today, we won't move forward.

I know it's a playoff series, we have to win three, but first we must win today and that's a lot like accomplishing anything. You have to complete what's happening right now before you move on.

I have to do laundry today to have clean clothes tomorrow. I have to get groceries today before I can cook dinner all week. I have to write today, to end up with a novel. It's easy to get so focused on the future, that you neglect what's right in front of you. Have you ever seen a shortstop make an amazing play to snag the baseball then fumbled the ball on the throw. He's so focused on throwing the runner out he didn't have a handle on the ball to begin with. I do this all the time. Not failing to throw runners out at first, I've never done that. It could be said that I fail to that all the time. What I mean is I get so focused on what I'm trying to accomplish I screw up what I'm doing right now. Here's an example.

A couple of years ago when I travelled for work, I was leaving a completed job and heading for a new one. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I left to find a new motel and set up for weeks ahead. One of those was a manicure. I know, I work construction, but dammit sometimes I like to have nice nails. So I went to get a manicure. I took my Kindle and read while I was getting my nails done. It was a lovely break in a schedule that had been nuts for weeks. But I had a dozen things to do before dark, find a place to stay, drive to the new worksite to make sure I knew the way and how long it would take to get there. I needed to get groceries, do my laundry, well you get the picture. I had a lot on my mind. I paid for my manicure, jumped in my car and drove south for sixty miles or so. I had another thirty miles to drive to find a place to stay, but I was hungry and wanted lunch and I needed to stop in the mall and find a new raincoat, because it was tropical storm season and I was going to need it. I walked into the restaurant thinking about getting a coat, eating a nice lunch, finding a place to stay...and opened my purse to get out my Kindle. AND IT WASN'T THERE! 

I went back to my car, searched all my bags, but my Kindle was sixty miles north in the nail salon. Because I was so focused on what I needed to get done, I messed up what I was doing right then and had to drive back the way I'd just come to get my Kindle. Almost all my plans for that day shattered and clattered into the trash and the only thing I accomlished was driving a 120 mile round trip through LSU football traffic and ending up still thirty miles from where I needed to be searching for a place to stay in the dark and no I didn't get a chance to get a raincoat either.

Have you ever focused so much on what your final goal is that you missed out or messed up the thing you were doing right then. Share in the comments or I'm gonna think I'm the only one this stuff happens to.



You know how when you're a woman working in a predominantly male field and you say something edgy and forward to try and fit in and then all the guys look at you as if you've suddenly sprouted an extra head? Oh, I guess I'm the only one stuff like that happens too.


Overrun by Sports

I'm not a huge sports fan, I'm a kind of sports fan. Well, that's not completely true either. I'm a rabid St. Louis Cardinals fan. It's a genetic illness passed down through the generations of my family. And I'm a Kansas City Chief's fan. But not rabid. I mean, how can you be a rabid fan of a team that sucks nine out of every ten years. But they're my Chiefs and I keep up with them most of the time. Oh and I keep track of NASCAR a little bit cause Carl Edwards doesn't live too far from me and it's kinda cool to watch someone you almost know. What I'm getting at is it's almost playoff season in baseball so I have to keep up with the Cards, and football season is just getting started, so I have to keep up with the Chief's, and the race for the chase has started in NASCAR so I have to keep track of Carl, and honestly, I can't keep up with all these sports and get anything done on the weekends. It get's easier after the World Series, then NASCAR finishes up and by that time the Chief's are usually sucking so bad that football isn't very interesting either, so if I can just get through the next month or so, it'll all be okay. 

Gotta go get my laundry started before the first pitch.

What outside events keep you guys from doing all the things you're supposed to get finished on your weekends?


Missing In Action

So I dropped by my blog looking for an old post and realized I hadn't posted since August. I knew it had been a while, but I didn't realize it had been that long. I took a little tour through all my old posts just to see what was what and realized that about ninety percent of my posts were about writing or reading. And I don't really have much more to say about that. I'd be glad to answer questions if anyone has any, but I just don't have a lot more to say about the act of writing, or the writing business, or the publishing industry. I'm also not organized enough to keep track of guest bloggers on a regular basis, so that method of keeping new blog posts didn't really work so well either. What I've decided is this. I'm going to blog whenever I can think of something entertaining to share. I'm hoping I can do that once a week.

Once a week? Yeah, well since I only had about five loyal readers before I disappeared, I don't think it's going to hurt blog ratings too much, so I'll hit the blog once a week or so and try to let everyone know there's something new here.

Thanks for dropping in.




You've seen those ads on facebook I'm sure. The one that assured you companies can not wait for you to try their product and write reviews. The bonus is whatever product you test and review you get to keep. A long long time ago, before Al Gore invented the Internet, I joined some kind of handyman club. It came with a magazine with lots of good information. Along with the first copy of the magazine was a chance to join their review team. Let me just say here that I love tools. Hand tools, power tools, antique tools. So, I thought hey cool, they send me a new cordless drill or a table saw that would be freakin awesome. I probably didn't think freakin, I don't think that word was invented yet, but you get the picture. So with dreams of free power tools in my future I signed up and waited anxiously for my new tools.

Here's what they sent me for my first review.


In case you can't identify it. It's a sanding block. Basically it's a sponge with a piece of sandpaper glued to one side. Now don't get me wrong, sanding blocks are handy tools to have, but they cost about 2 bucks, so it wasn't like I was leaping with joy to receive one in the mail. And seriously, what kind of review can you write about a sanding block.

The new Acme sanding block is one of the finest I've ever used. The sponge is soft and protects the delicate skin of my fingers from damage as the sandpaper smooths the surface of my work with a gentle grinding sound.

I used the block, but I'm not sure I wrote the review. I was very depressed over the whole idea of reviewing a sanding block. Maybe I should have stayed with it. It would have been great writing practice.

Have you looked forward to something only to be underwhelmed when it finally arrived?



Writers and Internet Dating

I tried an online dating service. I wanted a date. Sheesh, give me a break okay.

I must say that it's improved a hundred percent since the last time I gave it a whirl way back in it's infancy. See, the first time I tried it, I was doing research for a story. I posted a real profile, used my real photo and hey if I'd met someone, that would have been cool, but I wasn't invested in the process, I just wanted to see how it worked. I got hit on by twelve lesbians and six detroit gangbangers. My profile specifically said I was a woman looking for a man. Sorry ladies, nothing against you, just not the way I roll. My profile also noted that I was looking for a white guy. Nothing against interracial relationships, but my track record is pretty bad without any extra roadblocks thrown into the mix. Needless to say I wasn't impressed with the results and kind of lost interest in the whole story idea.

A while back I decided to give it another shot. This time seriously looking for someone. A friend, a date, who knows. The possibilities are endless and lord knows I spend more time in front of my computer than out around real people so maybe that was the answer. I must say the process is much improved. I met and chatted with maybe 15 or 20 guys. None were in the geographical area that my profile mentioned, but that wasn't really an issue. It was going well, and I met a guy that I wanted to get to know better so we retired to the relative privacy of Yahoo Messenger to continue chatting.

I'm not sure Internet dating is a good choice for writers. I mean, we chat with strangers all the time. It's our job. Yeah, the strangers are mostly in our heads, but they have real conversations and love interests and fights. In our world, they are real people. So I'm chatting with my new friend, and a few days in he dropped the L word. I freaked. We'd been chatting on the internet for only a few days. I couldn't type myself away fast enough. Then I began to wonder if it was my fault. Did I give this nice man reason to think that's what I wanted to hear? Did my words paint an unclear picture of our budding friendship? I weave stories from thin air all the time. Did I write myself into that situation? Maybe writers should be banned from Internet dating anyone except other writers. Then at least the field would be even. What do you think? Have you Internet dated? What was your experience like? Apparently it's working for people. If it worked for you tell us about it in the comments section. Or if it failed spectacularly and you'd like to share, we'd love to hear that too.


Was it Karma or just bad luck?

I was over at Tawna Fenske's blog, Don't Pet Me I'm Writing, yesterday. If you haven't been you should drop by, I promise you will laugh. Anyway, yesterday she blogged about Dog Poo Karma.

Dog Poo Karma works like this, if you don't pick up after your pup, at some point, you are going to trod in someone else's derelict poo. If you don't believe this, read the post and comments section.

I don't have a dog poo tale, but one of the comments mentioned someone getting bird poo bombed and that made me remember a story. No I didn't get bird poo bombed, but the comment reminded me of a story.

Pictures this, a ladies high school track team on a mandatory field trip to the University of Missouri to witness a Lady Tigers indoor track meet. I really, really sucked at track and on top of it, thought watching one was slightly less exciting than watching grass grow, but it was mandatory, so I was there even though it was the Day of Prom

It was a beautiful May Saturday and our gaggle of high school girls were walking through campus to a restaurant for lunch. We had to walk between the dorm buildings and that was cause for much preening and prancing, because there were college boys yelling and whistling at us. We were hot. We were rocking our Candi's shoes and parachute pants.

As we pranced and preened for the yelling collegians something squished onto my head. I was startled. My teammates let out a collective gasp. Then something started running down my face.  That was cause for a get it off, get it off, get it off moment even though I'm not normally a girly, get it off, get it off kind of girl. 

What plopped onto the ground from my head was an ice cream cone. Normally I would have thought this was funny. I mean seriously, some guy (you know it was a guy) dropped an ice cream cone out of a eight story building and it landed on my head. What are the odds? It should have been funny. But it wasn't, because like all the other giggling, preening, prancing girls in my gaggle, my hair was already done for prom. All it lacked was the application of flowers. This was a disaster of unimaginable magnitude for a self conscious 16 year old. Doomed, I was Doomed. I still remember standing in the bathroom with my head under the hand dryer trying not to cry, because I didn't want my face to get all blotchy. It was my junior prom dammit.

Here's where the Karma question comes in. What could I have possible done in my 16 short years that deserved an ice cream cone on my prom hairdo? 

Has Karma ever slapped you around by mistake? 


Shipping with Brown

 Back in the day, they were the tightest ship in the shipping business. I am a regular customer and the big brown trucks stop by my house on a regular basis. I love internet shopping. I don't have to get dressed, I don't have to shower, I don't have to leave the house, I don't have to talk to anyone. Um, but his is about Brown and not about my social inadequacies. I stopped by Brown today to ship something quite fragile to my sailor stationed halfway across the country. It would have been cheaper to pack and ship it myself by USPS, but I didn't have the correct size box, and I am basically lazy and wanted someone else to mess with the bubble wrap, peanuts and packing tape. That may have been a mistake on my part. I'll find out Friday when the package arrives at it's destination and we find out if it is still in one piece.

See the reason for my concern is that the young man working the counter was about twelve. When my son's were twelve, they would have dropped a Ming vase into a box, taped it shut and forgot about it. They would have been surprised to learn it arrived at it's destination in pieces. So I'm a bit concerned about my package.

Of course, I sent Christmas cookies to my sailor boy and bubble wrapped the fragile one's individually so they wouldn't get broken before they arrived. I might be a bit OCD about it.


The Trouble With Tornado Warnings

The idea for this blog post came to me because I am currently sitting inside my house listening to the rumble of thunder and watching the rain. South of me severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued and we are currently under a tornado watch. This is not uncommon in this area as I live on the edge of tornado alley.

I know the goal of weathercasters everywhere is to be able to warn of tornados early enough that people can make it to safety before the twister actually arrives. That's awesome and the results of the improvements in tornado forecasting have saved lives. But here's my problem.

I live on the periphery of the tornado alley, that results in lots of watches, many warnings and few actual tornados. I try to take any warnings seriously. I'm a weather junky and I know when bad weather is in my area or headed for my area. If the sirens go off, I'm headed for the basement with my family, my laptop, and my kitty's in tow. Then we sit and watch the weather until the power goes off. Then we sit in the dark shooting each other with our flashlights until the power comes back on and the warning is released.

Or that's what I'm supposed to do. I do head for the basement with said family and stuff in hand. I do turn on the basement TV and watch the weather until the power goes out. I'm good with that for about fifteen minutes, then I'm ready to get on with my life. In the old days, before early they could offer early warning for tornados, by the time you hit the basement, the twister had taken your house or moved on. Now you have this interminable wait and I just can't stand it. I'm a weather watcher. I want to be outside watching the storm roll over, ready to dive into the basement if it approaches. I can't stand to be cooped up underground while all that awesome weather is happening above my head. Didn't use to be a problem when the warning coincided with the arrival of the tornado, but with the new early warnings, it's killing me. 

I'm afraid one of these days, I'm going to run downstairs like a responsible adult, then after about ten minutes I'm going to poke my head outside just in time for the twister to swoop me up and toss me into the next county, cause I just can't handle the early warning.

Have I seen a tornado? Do I realize the damage they can cause? Well, yes, several, yes I've seen the aftermath. Doesn't matter, when the big weather starts, I want to be outside where I can see it.

How do you handle severe weather warnings around your part of the world?


The Day We Burned Oklahoma Down

It Was an Accident, I Swear

My dad bought a new truck in 1994. Big red and gray ford with a long bed and dual fuel tanks. Did I mention in August of '95 it was two months old? Two months. About the same time my dad purchased his new pickup truck, my grandmother had a stroke. She was in rehab for quite some time and when she went home, she was told someone needed to come stay with her and help her rearrange things because she was going to remain weak on her left side and wouldn't be able to live alone unless changes were made. 

My mom ran booths in a couple of antique malls at the time and could be away for an extended time without much trouble so I drove her Oklahoma City to stay with my granny for a month or so, then I came back home. They rearranged cabinets, purchased new storage, put handholds in bathrooms and close to doorways and basically set the house up so Granny could continue to live alone. She was there about a month. At the end of that time, I drove to Oklahoma City to pick her up in my dad's almost brand new truck.

Over the course of the month that Mama had been in the city, they'd had several clean-up days where people could put anything they wanted out at the curb and the city would pick it up. Mom and Granny spent many many days driving around and picking through other people's trash to unearth treasures for her antique booths. When we loaded all of her treasures into the truck the entire bad was packed with antique tools, old wood furniture, and my mom's favorite piece, a pair of antique hand made sawhorses. 

As we finished loading our suitcases amongst the crap, the random thought crossed my mind that all those old wooden things sure were dry and would burn really well. I didn't voice this thought out loud and didn't give it another thought. We went to the gas station and filled both fuel tanks on the truck. We could go five hundred miles without stopping. Consequently, that's exactly how far it is from Granny's house to ours. We were set to make a flying trip home.

We wended our way through the road construction, (there's always road construction in Oklahoma City) and finally headed out of the city. We were on the turnpike maybe twenty miles from the city when I looked in the rear view mirror and saw black things flying up out of the truck bed. I slowed down and looked closer and realized the black stuff I was seeing was ash and everything in the back of the truck was on fire.

I swerved onto the shoulder, jumped out of the truck, climbed into the truck bed and started tossing burning crap out of the truck bed onto the shoulder. I had one goal, get the stuff out of the truck before two full gas tanks erupted. My mom hopped out on the other side and started stomping out flames as the grass beside the road caught fire. Soon, flying embers had also ignited the median between the two sides of I-44 and grass fires were racing in all directions. People were slowing to stare, Mom was wringing her hands and stomping on flames, the dog was in the cab of the truck barking at this great new game we had devised and no one stopped to help.

Finally a good samaritan that was also a firefighter wheeled in behind us. He grabbed a bottle of pepsi twisted off the cap, covered the mouth of the bottle with his hands and shook it until it turned to foam, then he sprayed the remaining fire in the back of the truck. I jumped in and moved the truck forward away from the fire and jumped back out to help mom and the firefighter stomp out the flames. The the fire department arrived.

There had been some rhyme and reason to the way I tossed things out of the truck bed. Flaming things hit the shoulder, not flaming things went in the grass. I was trying to salvage a few of Mom's treasures. The firemen scrambled from their trucks and started spraying water and stomping on flames and mom and I stepped back to get out of their way. 

As we watched the firefighters work, we noticed that one of the things I had saved by tossing it down the hill away from the fire were the two antique sawhorses. As we congratulated ourselves on saving at least one treasure, a firetruck bounced down the hill and ran over them. At that point we started to laugh.

Then I walked up to the truck to get out water bottles for mom and I, and found that Max, Mom's Jack Russell Terrier, had been excitedly running from window to window keeping track of all the firefighters. As he stood on the armrest on the door, he'd stepped on the the door lock button and locked us out.

We were five hundred miles from home, Daddy's brand new pickup truck was covered with charred and bubbled paint. Three fire departments frantically worked to stop the natural cover fire that we'd inadvertently started. We were locked out of our vehicle and Max was locked inside. And worst of all, at some point in the very near future, Mama was going to have to call Daddy and tell him we'd trashed his brand new truck.


The Fruit of My Organic Labor

I have a garden. It's beautiful. I had a wonderful time building it, deciding what to plant in it and watching it grow while dreaming of eating succulent vegetables that I grew myself.

Here are pictures of my hard work.


    IMG_0058  IMG_0059

 I don't know why this one is so small. Sorry

 Now the results of all that hard work and a shot of my gardening partner, Luna.

IMG_0097  IMG_0098

An now BEHOLD the fruit of my organic labor...The Mighty Bean 


Yes, one green bean. Anyone have a recipe that calls for one fresh green bean?



I Wish I Was Cool

Last summer I broke my foot. Okay, I broke my fourth toe. But since a toe is a part of the foot, I choose to say I have a broken foot. People laugh at you if you have a broken toe. Of course people laugh at me regardless of what my injury is. 

Why you ask?

Well, because I'm not cool. I've never been cool. I will never be cool, and, I've never had a cool injury.I've never crashed my bicycle, fell off my skateboard, or cartwheeled down a mountain while skiing. Okay, I've actually done all of those things, but they've never resulted in an injury. I only get hurt while doing uncool things. Here's an example. I broke my arm when I was eight. How you ask? Okay, you didn't, but I'm gonna tell you anyway, cause it's my blog and I can do that. So, back to the story, my eight year old broken arm. That doesn't really sound right, but you know what I mean, right? Good. I'll continue.

Our school janitor used to tease those of us who worked in the cafeteria. (Yeah, I know, no one cool ever worked in the cafeteria to get free lunch. Just kind of reinforces the whole story really.) Anyway, on to the janitor, a sweet old guy, okay maybe he wasn't old, I was eight, he seemed ancient. He used to threaten to drop us into the trash can. He'd act like he was going to chase us, we'd squeal and run, he'd go back to mopping the floors.  He chased, I ran, he mopped, I tripped on my gigantic pant legs, fell, and broke my arm. It was the '70s, pant legs were gigantic. They really should have put warning labels on those pants.

When I was fifteen I was practicing for cheerleader tryouts and broke my arm doing a one handed cartwheel. I should have known better. I wasn't cool enough to be a cheerleader. I could have saved myself eight weeks in a cast if I'd just faced the inevitable and joined the debate team. 

Three years ago, I tripped over my own feet, fell onto a concrete floor and damaged my shoulder so badly that I'm still suffering with it. My latest accident...last summer, I kicked the couch as I was walking through my living room and broke my toe, foot. Yeah, my foot. 

What have I learned from my life experiences??? I'm just not cool.