Thursday, November 18, 2010


Today's selection of child entertainment is She-Ra.  I've learned a few things from watching this show so many years after I watched it as a child:

1.  Girl Power still rocks!
2.  80s cartoons required weird characters to undercut any possible serious undertones.
3.  The toys are still cool.
4.  The entrance music isn't as offensive as I thought it would be.  Here, take a look for yourself:
She-Ra opening theme

What about you?  Any particular cartoons or toys that you want to make a point of sharing with your kids?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Her Majesty's Treatise on Bears

This all started with the song Lorelai was singing on the way home from preschool, a song in a Native American tongue that I have yet to identify.  I swear I have to start tape recording these car conversations:

Lorelai sings her song
Lorelai:  I’m so hungry I could eat a bear.
Mom: You need to be careful because the bear might eat you.
Lorelai:  Do you want to eat a bear?
Mom:  No, they’re probably tough and all gristle.
Lorelai:  Indians ate the whole bear and the gristly skin.
Mom:  Yes, Indians believed in using every part of any animal that they caught.
Lorelai:  But you can’t eat bears.
Mom:  That’s right
Lorelai:  Because they will eat you.
Mom:  They might.  It’d be a good idea to stay out of any bear’s way.
Lorelai:  And bears will scratch you with their sharp fingernails.
Mom: Claws?
Lorelai:  Yes, bears have sharp claws, and they will scratch you.  Or eat you.  Or maybe scratch you.
Lorelai:  Some bears are mean.
Mom:  Just some bears?
Lorelai: [deliberates] No, all bears are mean.
Mom:  Okay, all bears are mean.
Lorelai:  Except gummy bears.  Gummy bears are nice.
Mom:  Okay, all bears are mean except Gummy bears.
Lorelai:  Some bears live in the jungle.
Mom:  Do all bears live in the jungle?
Lorelai:  Noooooo!  Yes, all bears live in the jungle.
Mom:  What about polar bears?
Lorelai:  [decides to ignore that exception to her blanket proclamation] But bears will eat you if you try to eat them first!
Mom:  [Noncommittal agreement noise]
Lorelai:  Can we go to Chick-fil-a?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Front Porch Prophet, or This Week's Reason My House Isn't Clean

I've noticed an interesting trend:  every time I get close to getting the house under control, a book grabs my interest to the point that I sit, read, and ignore the filth.  Therefore, I will start a new award for the book of the week that distracts me the best.

Last week, the "offending" book was The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins.  I took a class with Ray while getting my masters and greatly enjoyed the novel he was workshoping:  Camp Redemption.  It came as no surprise that The Front Porch Prophet was just as enjoyable if not more so.  So here's the premise:  A.J. Longstreet struggles to take care of his childhood friend, Eugene Purdue, after Eugene reveals he is dying of pancreatic cancer.  I know this premise does not sound funny, but I promise you I laughed out loud more times than you can count.  In the great southern tradition, The Front Porch Prophet finds humor and poignancy in the vicissitudes of life and the odd assortment of characters that endure them.  Atkins tells the story with all of the wonderfully entertaining digressions one would expect from a Front Porch Prophet, and the story contains several surprises I wouldn't dream of revealing here.  This is southern fiction at its best.

So, ignore the dishes in the sink and laundry on the couch.  I personally give you permission to sit and read The Front Porch Prophet because it will be good for your soul.  I promise, the mess isn't going anywhere

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's moment of truth...and a story!

So today I weigh 154 pounds.  I'm still trying to figure this one out because I had lost a pound as of Friday, a hard fought victory.  Two meals out in Knoxville--one of them a salad--and I'm up 2 pounds?  Grr.  To make matters more embarrassing, you gotta hear what happened yesterday.

Okay, so I have two pair of jeans that mostly fit, and now both of them are tight.  When we got home from the road, I draped the jeans over the side of the hamper and found a pair of pajama pants to wear until it was time to meet the girls for a dinner out.  I had put my driver's license and credit cards in the back pocket, so when I put the jeans back on to go out, I didn't think to get my purse or anything.  Everything was in my back pocket, right?  Wrong.

After supper, I reach back for my credit cards, and I don't have them.  I had to bum money off a friend as well as contemplate a hundred different scenarios of stopping both credit cards and going to the DMV for a new license.  I rushed home and there were the credit cards in the hamper where they had slid out of my pocket when I draped the jeans over the side of the hamper.

And the moral of the story?  If I hadn't allowed my weight to get out of hand, I would not have felt the need to take off my pants and thus would not have been embarrassed in front of a group of new friends.  Even worse?  That was the pair of pants that wouldn't stay up a year and a half ago. *sigh*

Oh, well.  Back to the drawing board with salads and egg white sandwiches.  I started lifting weights again in the gym and put in an extra 10 minutes of cardio while chatting with some of my lady friends who are trying to talk me into Monday morning yoga.  If I can just stay out of the Halloween candy, I think that would be an excellent start!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another Revelation

Okay, here's a post for all of the relatively new mothers out there.  Do you ever feel as though you can't go to the bathroom by yourself?  No, I'm not talking about when you go to a public place and take a friend just so you can have someone to entertain you while you wait in an insanely long line.  I'm talking about within the privacy of your own home.

It occurred to me earlier today that we have brought this phenomenon upon ourselves.

First, we put great emphasis on potty-training--and for obvious reasons.  We join our progeny in the bathroom and wait for things to happen, then cheer when things come to pass, or look sternly upon mishaps.  When the kiddies are young, they have to join us in the stalls of public restrooms because we are afraid someone will snatch them.  Is it any wonder they think they should always join us?  Even if we indicate we might like some alone time.

Like so many other things, though, we will have our sweet revenge when they become teenagers.  By that time, we'll  be used to the company, and we will follow them around often speaking through doors closed in our faces.  Not only that, but we will have finally overcome embarrassment, conquered it after being sprayed by ever bodily fluid known to man, after having a child scream bloody murder at the top of her lungs in a crowded store, after escorting a toddler back into a store with an item he has pilfered.  Yes, just as our teenage children reach the point that everything embarrasses them, we will have reached a point where almost nothing embarrasses us.

And that, I believe, is poetic jusice.  Or at least the great circle of communal pottying.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Missive to Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

I know that I'm on the verge of being a "woman of a certain age," and in light of that fact we need to have a little chat.  I understand that I'm going to have an accordion fan of tiny wrinkles around my eyes, especially when squinting into the sunlight or laughing.  I understand that I have deep lines etched into my brow and battle scars criss-crossing my belly--my kids put them there, and I wouldn't change those.  I understand that sitting Indian style isn't my forte and that it's completely normal to have one stop at the top of my quad that's given up on the concept of flexibility.

But, Mother Nature, what is up with the acne?  Does it not seem cruel to you to sprinkle me with acne even as you line me with wrinkles?  Seriously, I did my time back in my teenage years.  I'd love to be able to say, "Well, at least I don't have to worry about zits any more."  Is that really too much to ask?


Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday's moment of truth

152.  Otherwise known as Revenge of Halloween Candy.

On the bright side I have been to the gym 3 times a week for 3 weeks.  We have to run out of candy some time....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Over at the Healthy Writer

If you get a chance, hop on over to The Healthy Writer to see what I have to say about getting back in shape after a long hiatus from proper diet and exercise.  Then stick around because they're good gals with much more valuable info than I've been able to accrue thus far.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Moment about Fiction

I just took a survey about the npr book page.  Sure enough, when I finished the survey, they put up a list of books I might want to read.  I think there was a category about dog-grooming, but certainly no romance.

I know it's a dead horse.

I know it's a dead horse that's been beat to death.

I just want to know why romance is a genre so maligned?  Jane Eyre and Sense and Sensibility? Both romances.  The Thornbirds and Gone with the Wind?  Uh, romance.  Moreover, if you've been reading romances since the late 80s, you've seen the quality and intelligence of the books increase dramatically.  I can't speak to some of the categories from the 60s and 70s because I didn't read them, but I think women's fiction, in general, has increased in quality. 

To include science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and thriller, but to dismiss romance is a slap in the face.  Wake up, npr.  Smart people read romances, too.  All too often, "literature" includes an unhappy ending just for the sake of having an unhappy ending.  Just because I like to read books about relationships that end happily does not make me a simpleton.

Besides, optimists live longer.

Uh, Tuesday's Moment of Truth?

I weighed in at 151--hey that's a half pound down.  Or it was before I ate that hamburger and fries for lunch today.  Let's hope all the walking in Chattanooga off-set my poor food choice. : )

Monday, November 1, 2010


I am going to participate in NaNoWriMo. I am going to practice self-discipline in my writing. I am going to learn to tell my internal editor to shove it...when appropriate, of course.

At the very least, those are the things I'm telling myself as I gear up for the November novel writing challenge.  Today it was nigh upon impossible to log in, and I had to think of a 5K.  Think of all those runners already at the front of the pack. Then think of all of the runners who start with me but then leave me coughing in their dust.  Just like finishing a road race, however, the goal is to simply finish.

I'm not a pretty writer, and I'm certainly not a pretty runner, but I'm going to give this a shot.  If you break down the 50,000 words over 30 days, you're looking at about 1700 words a day.  I've already written 953 today--so, come on, folks.  Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step; a novel of 50,000 words begins with 1 word.

Want to know what I'm talking about?  Visit the official National Novel Writing Month web site at If you want to buddy up, you can find me under s_kilpatrick!

Let's write!