Monday, March 30, 2009

Ooh, shiny!

Last week, as you know, was emotionally stressful and I simply existed in a fog. Rapid fire mood changes brought on, initially, by my Uncle Chuck's passing. Unfortunately for those within my line of fire, PMS or PMDD or what-the-fugever chickish hormonal problem also kicked in and ... I snapped ever so slightly at work. The computers kept crashing and no one bothered to call the tech line to find out if the issue was network related or just our location. Then, when I -- yes, I called the help line -- informed the powers that be that it was, indeed, a corporate server issue, they continued to use the computers rather than the 'system down kit' as instructed by the broadcast bulletin. UGH! Anyway, the lab computer wouldn't stay online ... no one was listening to me. My psycho vein on the left side of my head pulsated. I'm quite certain my skin was turning green as my flesh tore at the seams of my clothing. Thank God for Lycra infused fabrics. That's all I'm saying.

In my defense, I was also sleep deprived. Unlike some of my friends who are accustomed to insomnia and manage to function, I do not. My body aches. My brain feels as if it's twitching in my skull. My eyes were so red it was suspected I had pink eye. I would have gladly accepted that diagnosis as it's a fast ticket home. I need to work to earn my money, but being horizontal in my bed was all I could focus on. With sleep deprivation I am, under stressful circumstances, a bottle of ammonia awaiting a droplet of bleach.

I stuck it out and stayed my entire shift. Running solely on adrenaline and caffeine, I managed to not destroy everything that I touched. I'm sure there are hurt feelings, but I offered no apologies. When people are stupid they should suffer the consequences of their moronicness (not a word? I don't care. It suits my purpose for now.)

Today is a brand new day. OK, everyday is a brand new day, but let's not get hung up on details. Although I went to bed at a reasonable hour, can someone give me the make and model of the truck that hit me?

Time along with focus on the positive is required, I suspect. The news is on and nothing seems to be with an upturned note. Sadness abounds. The remote is my friend *click* I'm fully expecting that Lilliputian Glumdalclitch from Gulliver's Travels to let out his trademark groan, "we're doooooomed. we'll never make it."

I need a nap.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Nat did NOT sing "you're forgettable"

I was scolded only yesterday for making the statement that I do not possess the power over men that some women do. I have no lingering impact when all is said and done. Oh, a guy might remember my big hooters or the fact that I'm tall, but overall, I have a tendency to be the girl least likely to be a keeper. At least for the time being that is true. Save all your pep talks and reassurance that there is someone out there just for me. Nickelback ruined that concept with their power-pop-rock song.

A mere week ago, I was at work going about my usual routine of working, inputting paper work for the day. It was early evening and a name that was strikingly familiar popped up on the screen. Due to the familiarity, I cautiously looked out on the retail floor to see if a recognized anyone. The coast was clear. No faces that rang a bell were to be seen. The uniqueness of this name was undoubtedly the child of someone I've written about on this blog. ARM aka Asshat Running Man. He's the guy I met at the laundromat and dated very briefly. You can read about it in the archives.

Archives: Ancient history. Or so one would think.

After going on with the evening, an associate came into the lab informing me a tall, well dressed, good looking bald man was asking about me. In detail he described me and gushed as if he was carrying a torch. I knew, due to the name recognition from earlier, that it was ARM.

With a heavy sigh and reluctance, I made my appearance. With his back to his child (no introductions or acknowledgement of his presence), he says quietly, "I'm sorry I was a jerk." To that I replied, "I'm sorry you're a jerk, too." At that remark, he grabbed at his heart as if he'd been impaled with a dagger.

I made certain to never directly face him. I was consciously aware of my body language. With arms crossed and keeping a diagonal stance, he continued to talk as I looked around the store. My co-lab partner came out to discuss something with an associate and I averted my attention to that conversation.

Blah blah blah I turned back with a glance that would imply the question "oh, are you still talking?"

ARM asked if I still had his phone number. Yeah, right. The last conversation I had with him was me telling him to lose my number and to never seek me out again.

He inquired if I'd be willing to accept one of his business cards. He didn't have any with him at the time, but he'd drop one by at a later date. I told him with a shrug to do what he wanted to. Then, I insisted I needed to return to work. He thanked me for stepping out to say hello. As I went to open the lab door he bawked out, "don't forget!" To which I screwed up my face and asked, "don't forget what?" He pantomimed a rectangular shape, "My business card."

I shook my head and made my way back to work. GAH! Of all the nerve. The associate who had waited on his son came back to the lab to report that ARM is quite a shmoozer. She shared that he used her name frequently, made intense eye contact and asked that she tell me, once again, good bye.


I didn't figure he'd follow through on his suggestion to drop off a business card. He doesn't have a good track record for being reliable. I was mistaken.

On Wednesday evening, my day off, he returned to the store to leave his card. He, again, began describing me, but the young woman helping him tried to get him to say my name. She's no fool. I hadn't even told her about his previous visit. According to her, the nuckfut stammered and stumbled remembering my name. MY NAME! The asshatdouchebaggetynumbnut couldn't remember the name MARISSA. I spent hours with this man last summer and he couldn't recall my first name? I could remember his son's name, but he had no cognitive recollection of seven letters that make up my official moniker?

I'm pretty certain in all the books about wooing a woman, there isn't a rule stating that women love it when you don't remember their name. Nothing good comes from forgetting something as vital as a woman's name, guys. Jerry Seinfeld learned that.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When mourning and rejoicing coincide

Feel free to call me strange. Take shots at my philosophy on death and dying. Cry along with me as I take a journey of grief. Which ever view you take on what you're about to read, I welcome your input and thoughts.
On Monday evening, the man I wrote about in my previous post took his last breath. With a heavy decision to make, my sister Maureen (Unca Chunk's power of attorney) signed a DNR (do not resuscitate) order. Under consultation and advisement of doctors and family it was decided, but ultimately it was Maureen's signature that put the finality on easing our uncle's suffering. I cannot fathom the range of emotions she experienced as she put pen to paper. Once again, I admire her courage.
Sunday I spent the day with Maureen helping her clean out that which was once her family's home. While shuffling through incidental items, she discussed with me the plan for our uncle. His ventilator would be removed on Monday afternoon. Hospice (as well as family) would be there to ease his suffering and help him die with dignity. We intermittently wept through the course of the afternoon. I tried to empathize with her.
What happened to me over the next couple of days is what this emotional puking is about.
Monday morning brought out a torrential downpour of tears. I allowed myself to sob. A revelation came about when I heard myself mutter one word through the quake of my breakdown: Momma.
While I did love my uncle, I realized much of the grief I was shedding was that for my mother. She died in June of 1981. I was 15; a mere 1.5 months shy of 16. Without intention, I masked my loss. Only those already in the inner circle of my life were aware that she'd been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in March '81. Because school was not in session, few of my school friends were aware of our family's major loss. My closest friends at the time, Karen and Suzette, held me up for that summer. Their parents gave me much needed support and guidance and love. Their heavily structured home was always open to me. They were the refuge I sought out subconsciously.
As the years have passed, I've come to realize I shut out my grief back then. My anger towards my mother has eased. Rejecting the idea that she ever truly loved me helped me go on with my life, but it was a Band-Aid that would need to be ripped off eventually. With the help of Maureen, I've let the unpleasant memories of my mom be replaced with the joyful ones. She's let me express my hurt without passing judgement or quashing the notion that I felt like a second stringer in the eyes of our mom.
I've been healing little by little. In the not so distant past, I've chalked up my overwhelming sense of grief when someone who isn't even close to me dies to my hypersensitivity. As a kid and well into adulthood I was the cry-baby. I was the little sister who over-reacted. What's come to light is that I am NOT so overly emotional. For decades I managed to mask my emotions very well. I am not the drama queen as many would have me pegged. I may not put things as eloquently as some people would like, but sugar coating does no one any good. The manner in which I grieve may be irreverent, but it suits me. I'm extremely private. As open as I may appear, I tend to isolate myself in times like this. As my good old Uncle Chuck would say, "if they don't like it, tell 'em to go to hell."
So, as my grieving came rushing outward on Monday morning, and my eyes swelled, I realized that my gut wrenching internal pain was another step toward mourning my mother. UC was her brother. It's all relative, I guess. I sent Maureen an email telling her that it hit me why I couldn't stop crying. I think I shared that I yelped "momma!" as buckets of tears filled my hands. Within moments, she called and we vented. Mo hadn't read my email yet. It's like she knew already. We talked about the early morning when our mom died.
I felt composed as I drove to work. It didn't make sense to me that I should have felt that way. I'd tossed around the idea of asking to leave work to join family at the hospital to be bedside with our uncle. I didn't feel it necessary. I'd prayed and asked for guidance and I am very much at peace with having kept stride with the day as it was already planned.
I kept in touch via texts with Maureen. I surely expected to learn of his passing shortly after he was taken off life saving equipment at 3:30 pm.
Mancub and I carried on with our evening at home per usual. He knew his great uncle was hospitalized and unlikely to pull through this time. I chose not to include him in the information of the DNR order. Sometimes, keeping it simple is best.
I went to bed around 10:30 pm and quickly fell asleep after praying that Unca Chunk would pass from this earthly plane without discomfort.
Around 11:50 pm my phone rang. I knew before clicking 'on' that it was news of his passing. Maureen was on the line as I groggily answered. Our conversation was brief. I felt a great sense of relief.
As I tried to drift back to sleep, an image of my mom and uncle embracing filled my thoughts. Simon and Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" would serve as the soundtrack for the following day.
I cry for those who've left my life. I cry because I'll no longer feel their embrace or hear the sound of their voice say, "I LOVE YOU" but it's with great rejoicing that I celebrate their lives and how they've touched mine. I dance though the tears and skip along knowing that one day we'll reunite. In my dreams, I can laugh and sing in harmony with my mom while my dad painfully strums out a tune on his ukelele.
Death to many seems like such a dark place, but I prefer to skip on the bright side of the road.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Random thought alert!

Today my mind is like one of those carnival games where you spin the wheel and get whatever prize it stops on. Usually, it's some rinky-dink piece of shit you'll never use. Ooh! Chinese hand-cuffs! I'd like to think what I lay down here today will be of more interest. Plus, it won't cause dislocated knuckles.

This morning I awoke to find I had used the last of the coffee yesterday. I suspect the busy-ish workday caused a mushy mind. When it was my time to clock out all I could think about was going home to find relief from the spasms I had experienced most of the day. So, stopping by the store to pick up vitally essential items was not on the agenda.

I threw on comfy yoga pants, sneakers, a sweater and flew out the door. OK, make that groggily shuffled to the car. I realized that going to the store completely depleted of caffeine probably wasn't advisable. Therefore, McDonald's to the rescue! Non-fat mocha to go, please! K-Mart was the store closest to the McDonald's I drove up to. With bright red signs stating 3-day super sale I was drawn in. I never go to the big K. It was nearby and I wasn't ready to tackle Wal-Mart in my greatly altered, unstable caffeine-free state.

With my McD's java in hand, I made tracks inside the store. Grabbing a cart (because it's a big 3-day sale happening inside), I made a beeline to the coffee aisle. No thank you, Maxwell House. No thank you overpriced Dunkin Donuts in the appealing bright orange and pink bag. I don't need your bourgeois stuck-uppiness, Starbucks! I'll take the whole bean Folgers that is on sale. Perfect! Vanilla Biscotti! I go for flavor as I skip the sugary, flavored creamers.
I did wind my way up and down other aisles. I had no desire to grocery shop. I did pick up eggs and milk. Those are always needed and pretty much the same price no matter where you go. With my little eye I spied some cinnamon rolls I thought Mancub would like. I figured he'd appreciate some freshly baked yumminess on a Sunday morning. Little did I realize, in my now less foggy state, that the bag of bakery goodness would require preparation beyond wacking the tube on the counter and throwing them in a pre-heated oven. These gems would need to rise prior to baking. UGH! 'Tis alright. He can have them for a mid-afternoon treat instead.
In addition to the food items purchased, I picked up a couple Joe Boxer winter hats and scarf, and a pair of Jaclyn Smith suede (pink) gloves. None were priced higher than $1.99. I'm ready for next winter ... or the next couple months.
Without spending a king's ransom, I returned home ready to nap. But I came here first. I've been a blogging slacker and I apologize. Keep reading and you'll understand why I've been in a mental stalemate.

Last week I had two days off that were mid-week. On Monday, I had no real plans beyond enjoying the beautiful weather. I recall doing a little shopping. I'm wild and crazy! I took my cute, pink Cybershot out with me hoping to learn how to use the video option on the camera. Let's just say I am not giving youtube pros a run for their money. Of course, it would have helped if I wasn't driving while attempting to film.

The Canadian geese who were enjoying the swelled banks of the Kankakee River were more than willing to let me snap their photos. Ducks and geese alike made splashy time in the flooded corn and bean fields not far from my home. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture them frolicking as the shoulder of the road isn't wide enough; nor did I want to risk getting stuck in the mud.

It's been a very emotionally trying week. I admit that I've retreated as a result of being overwhelmed. My uncle (Unca Chunk) is very ill and we've been advised to be prepared for his death. I suspect I'm squeamish about visiting an ailing person in the hospital because I watched my own mother quickly decline. The first death I experienced was her's. So, I just try to remove myself all together of the physical and emotionally prepare without the grand overtures of saying good bye. I did visit him and, after being taken out of his sedative state, I told him how much I love him. His eyes welled with tears and he squeezed my hand. He reached up as if to attempt to hug me. With all the tubes, cords, monitors etc, I wasn't able to embrace him, but his hand firmly grasped mine. I felt the love of my entire life in that grip. No good bye is necessary. Love is all that matters.
Unca Chunk is the only uncle I've really known in my lifetime. There were others who were present on holidays, weddings or othe special occasions, but he was always a familial staple. Mom and Unca Chunk were the closest of the siblings in their family. My mother's children were his "kids." I feel it's due to my love for him that I easily accept people for who they are; not their sexual orientation. At age 10 or so, I was told my favorite uncle was gay. I recall shrugging and saying to my mom that it's no wonder why he never married or had children.

As a little girl, we always had gorgeous gowns to use for dress up. My mother always said it was a lady friend of Unca Chunk's who was donating them to our closet of goodies. I later learned that the satin and sequined frocks were those of my uncle's alter ego: Sophie St. Claire. I never had the pleasure of seeing him perform. I heard he was quite a riot and always a hit. Mind you, there is not a girlish bone in his body, but he sang, sacheted and wowed 'em! He donned the feminine persona for night club purposes only. He never showed up at Christmas dressed as anyone other than the man with terribly smelly feet. Hey, we all have a cross to bear and that was his! It was something we all lovingly teased about.

This man who unknowingly taught me so much about life and love will not be with us on this earthly plane for long. His words of wisdom, "Tell 'em to go to hell if they don't like it, " will always ring in my head. He learned to live his life truthfully and honestly. I find solace in believing he and my mother will be reunited in spirit.

Happy Birthday, Sean Daly!

I'm a celebrator of birthdays. I know a lot of people prefer to play down the anniversary of their births, but I find them all together fabulous. Sure, there are a select few I wish had never been born, but on the whole, I want people to know I appreciate their presence in my life. Even if I've never met the person, their existence on this planet has pertinence to my life.
With that being said, I want to wish SEAN DALY of the St. Petersburg Times a very happy birthday. I pray he makes more of it with his family than he did last year. I won't go into it (he blogged about it), but he found himself in the Daly household dog house. He's embarking on the last year of his 30's. For a guy with a glorious full head of hair, gorgeous gams (you should see him in Mantyhose), and an infectious laugh, you'd never know he was so close to entering the second part of his life. I'd be an idiot to gloss over the fact that he's the co-host of a wildly, world-wide popular Stuck in the 80s podcast. If you've not listened to it yet, you need to give it a try. One of my personal favorite moments on the podcast is when Sean breaks out into spontaneous song. He gives falsetto a new name. There's a magic that takes place during the sausage hang with creator and mastermind, Steve Spears. Spears will occasionally break out into song, too. I love when he does. For me, it means he's letting his buzzed hair down. It's a magic that can't be touched by even that creepy Cris Angel, David Copperfield or Siegfried and Roy put together.
Sean is responsible for making me a full on American Idol junky. It has nothing to do, as you may have read in previous posts, with talent. We snark. I've given him grief and he takes it like a man. Of course, as I learned in situational leadership courses, I always praise him doubly for any criticism I might give. I'm a drooling, gurgling fan girl on his blog. He's a gorgeous man. What's a girl to do? It's the role I play, but I do appreciate him and his readers for their insight on current music and pop culture goodies. And I do really think he's hotness exemplified. Of course, I don't have to live with him.
So, at the risk of drying the ink on that restraining order, I want to wish Sean Daly a most joyful and happy birthday!!

Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fat Lips, Birds & St. Patrick's Day

The sound you will hear on this video is not me passing gas. It's the magic of my butt moving on the big blue Reebok ball. I swear! Believe me or not. I don't care. I feel no shame anymore. I didn't realize the sound was that audible until I replayed the vid. Since I am all about shooting myself in the raw, so to speak, I felt compelled to leave it rather than ruin the spontaneous frivolity that is moi!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Give in to the Wild Hair!

Sometimes you have to give in to your wild hair. No, no. No one gave in to me. I'm still working on that aspect of my life. Blahville.
You know how you can be sitting on your couch or staring at your computer screen and it hits you? That thing you just have to do. That spur of the moment-if-you-wait-it-won't-happen situation. That's what I succumbed to today and boy, did it feel awesome!
I tend to over think everything. OK, not everything, but damned close. Like, I should have really over thought that marriage deal, but I didn't because I was scolding myself for thinking too much.
First of all, I ate at McDonald's for breakfast. Yeah, yeah, I know it's awful and I'll probably regret it later, but I was suffering from a serious Southern Style Chicken Biscuit from the house of Ronald. So, I caved. Yum!

I realized that I'd left my laundry detergent and softener at home. I had no desire to turn back. Wal-Mart wasn't too far out of the way and those items are always necessary and don't spoil. Whenever I brave that joint, I check out the clearance aisle. I found nothing I couldn't live without. However, I did pass a clearance end cap sporting hall runners. I grabbed one for the upstairs hallway. I'm such a maniac, aren't I? Tooling around trying to think of what else we needed brought me to the health and beauty section. Ped-Egg. It's been tempting me since I first saw the commercial. I haven't bothered with a professional pedicure since I left Georgia back in 2005. I have, mind you, taken my footsies into my own hands and sloughed and slaved to make them presentable during flip flop season. That apparatus requires its own blog entry. Seriously, it's wicked gnarly.

I finally got to the laundromat. With much delight, it wasn't bustling with dregs of society and screaming children. Just the hum of washers and dryers and, well ... I did watch watch Oprah and The View. Changing the channels at the laundromat requires climbing up on a chair and standing on my tip-toes. With my safety in mind, I didn't attempt to change the fuzzy station. At least the volume was low; therefore, suffering was decreased. I did get to see a heartwarming video about Christian the Lion. So, all was not lost.

I mustn't fail to mention that I returned to the laundromat where that ill-fated relationship with Asshat Running Man began. If you choose to check the archives for how I met ARM, July 2008 is a good starting point. The link I provided tells the tale of the end. Oy to the vey! The good news is the owners have installed all new dryers. They are shiny stainless models ... and take longer to dry clothing than the told ones. The upside? My acrylics didn't melt.
Once laundry was complete, I mosied home because I was hungry. That biscuit could only hold me over for so long, after all. Pillow Talk was on AMC again. It's funny, but it was in the same spot as the last time I caught it mid-run. The Internet amused me for a short time and that's when it hit me ... I was bored and checking out my newly colored hair and I noticed an endless amount of split ends. GAH! Talk about ratty and nasty. With plenty of time to kill before Mancub arrived from school, I hopped in the car and pointed the Saturn toward Great Clips.
Once there, I had no time to think of what I wanted. They checked me in and I had a seat. The young woman asked what I wanted done today. Without thinking I did this.
For me to do that, it was a bold move. I'm known for my long locks. This Leo sports a mane of curls from time to time (I know the male lion has the fluffy mane. Get off me!) I believe the last time I had hair above my bra line was before Monica and Bill committed scandalous acts with a cigar.
I have to say, for the time being, I am quite delighted that I let my wild hair have its way with me. Oh, I'm sorry it wasn't shocking, scintillating or life altering. Baby steps, my darlings. Itty, bitty baby steps.
Now, if some charming and delightful man is willing to help me pluck another wild hair, I'm willing to discuss terms. ARGH! There I go thinking again.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mancub's Angels

I've spent this entire week writing about my son's endeavor to raise money for Easter Seals. His goal was easily reached. Hooray! That in itself is cause for celebration, don't you think?

Today was the day of the telethon. Mancub woke up and immediately gathered his clothes and headed for the shower. He didn't even eat first. Hygiene was a high priority. We weren't to report to the telethon site until 2:30 p.m. It was only 11:00 when he excitedly clomped down the stairs. I suggested he take it easy and he insisted he wanted to be prepared. Who am I to argue?

The weather has been questionable, as of late. We've had lots of rain and threats of flooding. Yuck! The sky was alternating gloomy to partly sunny. I knew rain was in the forecast. No biggy! We won't melt.

As we got our things together to leave the house, it happened. The wind had already been picking up and gusting, but it was the sound of tornado sirens that set us both into a slump of disappointment. The sky was black and Aroma Park was the center of the warning on the Weather Channel. Greeaaat.

The clouds were moving quickly toward the northeast. There wasn't more than a slight drizzle, but the high winds made it seem more intense.

We forged ahead. By the time we got our seat belts buckled, the sky split open like a pinata and rain pummeled the car like hard candies. We were less than a mile away from the house and I decided the strong gusts that made the rain go sideways was just too much and not worth the risk of our safety. I turned the Saturn around.

Upon pulling the car into the garage, I noticed Mancub's face expressed mixed emotions. On one hand he didn't want to be in the threatening weather. On the other hand, he didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to help Easter Seals even more. Guilt sunk deeply within me, but our safety had to take the front seat.

We ran into the house and briefly discussed our options. The tornado warning was in effect until 3:00 p.m. That's when his school club was to take over manning the phones. I kept my eyes on the sky. Within minutes the sky was a glorious shade of blue beneath the towering, fluffy white clouds. The rain continued to fall. Hmmmm

Mancub had sunk into the couch. I asked a couple of times what he was feeling. Again, his emotions were mixed and just felt an overall sense of being defeated.
No sirens blew again. The sky remained clear. No extension on the tornado warning was issued.

"C'mon! Get your shoes on. Let's do this thing," I declared.

With giddiness, he slipped on his shoes and off we went. He was worried that we'd be reporting late. I insisted they wouldn't care. The idea was about community and showing up.

We made our way to the information table. There was a lot going on all around. On stage was the community youth choir. The Beta Club had taken their places at the phones. Our goal was to turn in our pledge money and help if necessary. Our situation was relayed to a couple of women before it met the ears of someone in charge. I told them how Mancub had a Champion page on the Easter Seals website along with the cash, checks and promised pledge sheet we turned in. She was incredibly impressed especially when I shared with her that several of the pledges were from people we'd never met, but had learned about his efforts via this blog. With that, she turned and said, "get one of the big yellow checks." She turned back to us and asked if we'd be willing to make an ON AIR check presentation. I shook my head no, "this is his hour."

Mancub would go on local television at the top of the hour. They asked us to sit in front row of the spectator seats. We did. His Beta Club sponsor flagged him over to take a phone. I tried mouthing to her that we were waiting for him to be called up to make his presentation. She got up and we told her of our weather dilemma. Thankfully, she understood. With a high-five, she congratulated him for his online fund raising.
Around the top of the hour (4:00 p.m.) one of the organizers came over to tell us how it would all play out. Then, the host came by to verify his name and how he raised the amount written on the check. With that, Mancub told him he didn't know what he was going to say or if he'd be able to contain his nervousness. He was reassured that all would be fine ... that was until Mancub learned Miss Champaign-Urbana would be next to him during the presentation. A lovely, petite blond who was very well composed during her interview with the hosts.

Once her moment in the spotlight ended, the man speaking to us (I believe he's a major organizer) busted in "Wait! WAIT!!! I have a young man who'd like to make a presentation with a check!"

It was Mancub's cue. He nervously walked in front of the bright lights and television cameras. With a big grin on his face he gained his composure. While standing directly next to the beauty queen, he shook hands and handed the check over. He spoke briefly. I fought back tears and snapped a photo. But I missed the most important shot! Miss Champaign-Urbana HUGGED HIM ON AIR!!! The host came over and asked if I'd managed a shot and I told him I hadn't. Graciously, the poised queen let me take a photo of them together. For her own scrapbook, she handed me her camera! She thanked Mancub for being selfless and raising money for one of her favorite charities. He beamed and sweated. His giggle was nearly drowned out by my own.
The Hawaiian shirted host informed Mancub that there were 3 other beauty queens around who'd probably love to thank him, as well. With embarrassment and a sweaty upper lip, he requested we just leave.

As we made our way down the hallway, we were stopped by various people congratulating him. I felt my own face on fire with radiance of pride. One of the hosts found us and insisted there were 4 ladies who'd love to have a photo taken with a champion. Yep! Miss Illinois, Miss Kankakee, Miss Champaign-Urbana (again) and another breathtaking beauty with a tiara. I apologize for not being able to recall her title.

Before he could decline, I said accepted!

There's a lot to be said for being on time. I'm usually punctual if not fashionably early. However, in this instance, I am overjoyed that fate had other plans and detained us.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille

I just received word that we're to report by 2:30 p.m. to Chalfant Hall at Olivet Nazarene University for training on the phones for the Easter Seals Telethon. Then, at 3:00 p.m. we'll be ready for our close ups! Well, I pray not. At least for me, I want to remain off camera. I'm simply going as a show of support for Mancub and to do whatever is needed to assist the telethon.
Grandma emailed to let Mancub know she'll be watching for him. He's fairly distinctive in a crowd thanks to being a head taller than the average kid. However, I want to make sure he's visible. Hmmm do you think a day-glo jumpsuit would be going too far?

For those of you within the Kankakee, IL viewing area, you can catch the telethon on channel 4 on Comcast. Mancub and the Kankakee Junior High School's National Junior Beta Club will be manning the phones from 3 - 4 p.m. If you want to tune in but are out of that viewership, try logging on to for live streaming.
We've exceeded the second goal of $300.00. How freaking amazing is that? Please pass the word along (and the link) to keep the tally rising. If you're holding off to call in to the telethon tomorrow, that's groovy, too! We're appreciative of any help you can give (even if it only means putting out the word about Mancub's Champion page).
We were afraid we weren't going to make it to the telethon because we misplaced the information sheet his group sponsor sent home. I had no idea of the time the Beta Club was to report. I had told Mancub that he raised the money and I'm sure they'd understand if we didn't show up. The look of disappointment on his face said it all. There was no question after that. We had to follow through; even it meant just arriving and getting the scoop once there, we would be present as promised. A phone number for the local Easter Seals office is provided on the website. A call was made and a message was left. The representative called me back and filled me in. WOO! Mancub is so excited and I'm thrilled that he's this ecstatic over something completely selfless.
Geez! Who's raising this kid? He's fabulous!
So, tune in if you can. You'll recognize me right away. I'll be the woman beaming with pride.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Goals -- Easter Seals

So, do you know what that means? We set a higher goal. For those of you who've already pledged your support, we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. In these economically challenging times, we understand, first hand, how hard it is to dig deep. Please don't let the fact that Mancub's original goal to raise $200.00 was quickly obtained. Don't let that hinder you from stepping up. He never settles for a B+ when he knows an A+ can be attained. So, we've tweaked the donation goal to $300.00. Are you up for the challenge? Can you help him reach that? I knew that you could.
Mancub's Champion page is awaiting you!!
In honor of those who give in many capacities to help those in need, we dedicate the tune up yonder! Give 'er a listen. Do a little dance. I hope you like it!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kindness that keeps on giving

Hello Dudes and Dudettes!

Tuesday is for kindness. There are many bloggers who dedicate each Tuesday to sharing random acts of kindness, means in which they strive to be kind, witness kindness, etc... Go to my lovely friend Claudia's On A Limb to find a list of such people.
Today I am asking to you review my previous blog post. My son is hoping your desire to do something wonderful and kind will help him in his endeavor to raise funds for the Easter Seals. If you're local, you can hold off and wait for the actual day of the telethon (Sunday, March 8), but we hope he'll exceed his personal goal. You don't have to feel obligated to donate a large sum. He managed to get each of his teachers to pledge $5.00 each. That's the cost of a venti, caramel machiato with a double shot.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Have a lovely day and remember to seek out kindness in your hearts, as well as, your daily lives. You'll be richer for doing so. Plus, you might be surprised by the amount of goodness and beauty that surrounds you.

God Bless!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Easter Seals Telethon

Mancub, as you all know by now, is an astounding kid. His compassion knows no bounds. He consistently demonstrates outstanding character. Possessing such qualities earned him an invitation to be in his school's National Junior Beta Club. This fine group of kids participate in various good deeds throughout the school year. So, it's only natural they'd volunteer their time to work our local Easter Seals Telethon on March 8, 2009. That's only a week away! I've committed myself to joining in the fund raising endeavor to man the phones or do whatever is asked of me. I can't wait! Working along with some truly amazing people will do my cynical heart a lot of good.
By now you're probably wondering how this has anything to do with you. If you aren't asking yourself that, now would be a good time to pay attention.
Have you often watched the stories of families touched by Easter Seals and wished you could do something? Now is the time, my friends. I am asking you to donate on behalf of my son and his group of fine, upstanding friends. It's quite simple. Just go to Mancub's Champion Page and click "make a donation." It doesn't matter if it's just a dollar or more. Every little bit helps when we all join together for an admirable cause. His personal fund raising goal is $200.00. It would totally floor everybody if he managed to exceed that prior to the actual date of the telethon.
We both realize everybody is strapped for cash and struggling to make ends meet. But if you'd just make a pot of coffee at home rather than stopping by Starbucks a couple of times this week, think of how much you'd help? Instead of splurging for the appetizer at TGI Friday's, donate the money it would cost to Easter Seals. Perhaps you've been considering a diet. Now is an ideal time to give up the fast food and pack a lunch for work. With that money you'll pocket, you can donate it to a most worthy cause.
Where does the money go? According to the information given to us, here's a small break down:

  • $25.00 can buy batteries for the month for toys used in therapy or two packages of swimmer diapers.

  • $50.00 will assist with the cost of the pool for an aqua therapy session

  • $100.00 will assist in the cost of two therapy sessions

  • $200.00 will assist in the scholarship of a therapeutic horse back rider

  • $500.00 can help cover the cost of sending a child to camp for a week

Thanks so much in advance for your generosity and compassion. My son's willingness to give inspires me. I hope it inspires you, as well.

God bless!

March comes in like a lion ... after being shot with a tranquilizer dart

Do not alert the media. This video isn't stellar nor awe inspiring. In fact, I just ramble. What a surprise! It's longish and there's no kitty howling in the background to add humor. Meowing can be heard, but it doesn't incite laughter.

I noticed a comment had been made about my "Detox and Fonzie isn't cool" video. Some dude on youtube told me I wasn't cool being a 43 year old talking about Fonzie. DUH! Hey nitwit, that's the idea. I know I'm not cool. I'm a self proclaimed dork who rambles on incessantly. A single rating star sat sadly under the video about Happy February. Clearly, most people can't appreciate my humor or lack there of. Take your pick. Do I care? nope.

Like I always say: It's my blog and I can do whatever I want with it.