Sunday, April 22, 2007

Please forward. NOT AT THIS ADDRESS

First, THANK YOU to everyone for your wonderfully supportive comments. And rest assured no apologies are ever necessary for visiting w/out commenting - we all do it. I read a lot of blogs that I rarely leave comments on. I make it a habit to never comment unless I feel that I actually have something to add. Other times I just don't feel participatory.

(For the record, I'm a feed-reader too.)

So please update your bloglines to find me at my new spot. I've got a few posts up already because I wanted you all to feel welcome - like I'd laid out a few hors d'oeuvres for you. See you there!



Friday, April 20, 2007

I am the soul that lives within

So here's the thing.

I don't really have any readers anymore. I know that. And I don't write too much anymore. Know that too. When I went back to work last year I was working reallllly loooooong hours doing creatively exhausting work and I had neither the time nor the brain power to write much. And the thing about blogging is, you don't write, people quit dropping in.

Which is cool. I figured I'd just keep my blog and write whatever whenever the urge hit me. Because when I go back to why I wanted a blog in the first place, it was a very simple answer: I wanted to write. I don't think I had any delusions of being the next online Dave Barry. But you get sucked in pretty quick with trying to build a readership. So I developed this online persona and I went to your web sites and commented with my link, and went to the web sites of your commenters, and commented there too. Because that's how you get readers. Which had become my blogging objective.

And then something life-altering happened to me. Which most of you probably didn't really want to hear about, so I never talked about it here much. I found god. I KID! But not really. I got sober. And unlike some celebrity party-girls, I actually quit drinking when I started going to AA. I admitted I was powerless over alcohol and I came to believe in power greater than myself. And gradually my life began to change. And the changes I've gone through don't really support my overdressed image.

I turned 40 and suddenly my health and my lifestyle habits became more important than my handbag.

I heard India.Arie's song "I Am Not My Hair" and I related to it.

I traveled to Boston in that one pair of 3 3/4-inch heels and ended up practically crippled by the time I got home. I realized that convincing us that we could walk around the city in high heels was just one way that Carrie Bradshaw nearly ruined my life. (See also: Cosmos)

When I bought the Skechers flats expressly for the purpose of wearing for travel, I realized that my life had turned a corner. I had exchanged cute for practical.

I still love shoes. I still hope to own a pair of Manolos one day. But I don't really feel like writing about that anymore.

I still wear the heels to work everyday. I still enjoy shopping. You can have my Benefit make up when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. But none of that defines me anymore.

I am not my hair.

I will write. But not here. I'll let you know where I land when I get there. But don't bother overdressing. We'll just be chatting in our pajamas at the new place.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Thankya, thankya very much

My in-laws are celebrating 65 years of marriage this weekend, and the whole family is in town. We took several of the nieces, nephews and cousins from Southern California around Memphis today, including the Peabody Hotel, Beale Street, and Graceland - which Big Daddy, a lifelong Memphian had never been to.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Best Years of Your Life, Dammit

So My Kid is in his last semester of middle school. One of the reasons we moved out to the 'burbs is so he could go to decent public schools and we could feel good about sending him there. And we've been totally pleased with his elementary and middle school experiences. The high school district we're in, on the other hand, has some problems.

It's overcrowded and the student population has turned a little sketchy. Several drug arrests and even a few weapons busts. So last year we started preparing for his private high school education. Filling out forms, testing, saving up the $5,000 a year tuition. We went through all the preparations. Got him accepted, paid the $400 deposit. Everything was right on track. He seemed to be pretty excited to be going to his dad's alma mater.

Then the school board went and fucked everything up. They built another high school in order to relieve the overcrowding. And they redrew the district lines, to take students from School A (which we were in) and School B to put them in School C (the new school). And when the drawing and erasing was all done, we were no longer assigned to School A but suddenly found ourselves in School B.

Now School B has traditionally been a very good school. It's older than School A. But in the past couple of years it has suffered from many of the same problems - overcrowding, some gang activity, drugs. Although, to be fair, I've not heard of any weapons being carried into School B. And this new school, School C? Yeah, that's where they're shipping out all the questionable students. So, on paper, School B is going to be cleaned up pretty good come this year.

And then, it turns out that School B is where all his friends form Middle School were going anyway. So all of a sudden, Kid doesn't want to go to private school. He wants to go to School B. With all his friends.

My initial concern was that School B is going to be an unknown this year. You know, let's let it all shake down a bit and see how it turns out. Give it a year or two and then move him over to public. He brought it up again. I considered that he could probably use a little more structure academically. He cried. He cried. He said he didn't want to go to school where he'd be all alone (meaning, he wouldn't know anyone). And I realized that one of my best friends in the world, I met in 8th grade. When I was My Kid's age. These truly could be lifelong friends for him.

Then we went to the private school orientation on Sunday. And the decision was clenched.


Oh, that Kid is soooo going to School B.

You'd think for $5,000 a year they could serve them a fucking tray of spaghetti. For $5,000 a year, they oughta get lunch. And it ought to be hot, healthy and tasty.

So I drew up a contract.

We [the parents] agree to allow you [the student] to attend School B as long as the following conditions are met:
1. No drinking
2. No smoking
3. No drugs
4. No fighting
5. No cheating
6. No cutting school or skipping class
7. No unprotected sex
8. No phone/computer privileges until homework is done
9. Maintain a reasonable grade point average
If these rules are broken, you will lose the privilege of going to school with your friends, and we will take you out of public school and put you into private school.

He signed it. I signed it. The deed is done.

And Big Daddy is not crying over that $5,000 I just saved him.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My First Time

I was brought up in the extremely conservative - in more ways than one - Mormon faith. As very young children, we were taught to worship "Reverently, Quietly." [That was the name of a Primary song that taught us how to properly and respectfully worship the Lord.] So imagine my experience last weekend at an African-American Pentecostal service.

One of our clients is the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) demonimation, which is headquartered here in Memphis and has about 6.5 million members worldwide. Last week, the leader of the COGIC church passed away. And let me just say that the man was a pillar of Godliness here in town, across the nation and around the world. Very much well-loved and well-respected and admired. So this was quite a loss for COGIC. I was kind of expecting a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I was not expecting dancing in the aisles.

When Mormons pray, they do so solemnly, with their heads bowed, their eyes closed and their arms folded. Prayers are always ended "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen" to which the congregants respond with a quiet "Amen."

When Pentecostals pray, people in the congregation holler out to God. "Yesss, Lawd!" and "Thankyou, Jesus!" and "Praise God!" Yelling. And CLAPPING. They clap DURING the prayer if they like what the preacher is saying! Mormons never clap in church. For anything. Not even musical performances. Certainly not prayers.

The music is deafening. The choir was so large it spilled off the stage and into the first whole section of seating. Singing and clapping and praising Jesus. Gospel music at its finest. I wish someone had told me I could bring my own tambourine. I didn't know.

And the dancing. When the Holy Spirit moves you, you just can't sit still I guess. They go out into the aisles where they have more room. And they do this "stepping" kind of dance. And this was a funeral. I can only imagine how they must juke and jive on, say, Easter morning.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

So Sad.

It's madness, I say

Here's the thing that gets me every year when I'm watching the NCAA tournament: These kids are 20 years younger than me, which means I'm old enough to their mother. Seriously, which one of us looks middle-aged?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Stranded at the Drive-In

I was supposed to be on a flight to New York this afternoon, but it was cancelled, along with about 900 others. And I was kicked out of the crappy hotel I was staying in at the airport, because they were "overbooked," what with all the stranded travelers. Luckily, we are rewards members of one of the hotel chains, so I called them and said, "I'm a rewards club member, and I'm stuck in Ft. Lauderdale and I need a room because I am NOT sleeping at the airport" and they hooked me up.

I checked into my new hotel and watched "The Queen" in my room.

Afterward, I went down to the front desk and asked if there was somewhere I could go, some shops, restaurants, maybe I could walk around a bit? They told me there was a place across the street just beyond the McDonald's. I walked a mile to find that they sent me to a strip mall with stores like Home Depot, Office Max, Marshalls and something called BJ's which I don't even know what that is but you gotta love that someone would put those two letters on the front of a building.

My restaurant choices were Red Lobster, Dave & Buster's, TGIFridays or something called The Ale House. I went to D&B and actually had a pretty good salad. When I came out, it was getting dark and there were two police cars parked in front. Now, I don't mean to be assumptive; they might have been in there having a bite of supper for all I know. But the people coming in were looking pretty ghetto, so I called the hotel and told them to send their shuttle to pick me up b/c I think I may actually be staying in a pretty sketchy part of town. Actually, I think I'm in Hollywood rather than Ft. Lauderdale proper anymore. At least that's what the side of the police cars said.