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Your Thanksgiving Gift…John Williams November 27, 2008
I am thankful today for many things… healthy children, a warm home, a safe and loving husband, family and an abundance of food and gifts from God. I am not trying to take away from the import of the day, but instead add a little levity. What I am most thankful for is the gift of laughter. In a world that seems grim, sometimes just having a good laugh is better than most everything else. So, here is my Thanksgiving gift to you…laughter. Do yourself a favor and hit play. For the 2 million of you that have already seen it, laugh again. Presenting, in four part acapella harmony…John Williams is the Man…performed by Corey Vidal. And if you are wondering what he just sang, here are the words… http://www.moosebutter.com/lyrics.php/3 Happy Thanksgiving!
What, no shoes? November 20, 2008
As a special treat for my daughter last week, I took her to the mecca of fur-tastic capitalism for the under 10 set…Build A Bear. Actually, to be specific, Friends 2 Be Made (their doll division). We were on a hunt for the elusive Jayden, a celery hair fashion doll. Now, I am not completely altruistic in my motives, I am tired of hearing “I have to have it in order to have the Gem Band with my purple, pink, blue and orange jammin’ jewel dolls…plleease.”
So, to get you “in” the doll only costs twelve dollars. Big deal right? Totally do-able, I mean twelve dollars, you can’t even get a Barbie for that much. Then they up-sell you on the extras that your doll simply must have to live a fabulous life. Being a savvy customer, I am wise to their ploys. Between my own guilt purchases, and grandparent’s sprees we could probably host a decent table at a collectors show. We walk into the bubble gum pink and candy blue store. Hannah Montana is playing softly, and the store looks like daylight on a 1000 watt binge. I steel myself for the saccharine doll salesmen pitch from the teenage doll-ologist.
Bring on your best….we are only getting the doll.
My daughter be-lines for green yarn hair. She knows what she wants…five trees have been chopped down to make the promo mailers featuring “Jayden” that flood our mailbox alone. “Her Perkiness” bounces up to us and asks my daughter what her doll sounds like. My daughter looks up at me, I stand firm. No way! I know this trick, I am not buying the five dollar voice box that sounds like Cheerleader Chuckie when the batteries start dying in a month. Her perkiness looks a little miffed when I say:
“She doesn’t need one.”
“All jammin’ jewel girls need a voice!” reproof from a teen queen.
I let this slide. It is after all, supposed to be a happy day for my daughter, not a lecture in the cold reality of the world. Her perkiness starts in on the ritual of endowing the doll with attributes like artistic, talented, responsible and my favorite … superstar. She hands my daughter a satin taffeta heart and commands her to rub in on her tummy so the doll will never hunger, rub it on her brain so the doll can be brilliant like she, kiss it to let the doll know she is always loved…and on…and on. Finally, she stuffs the darn thing, and we can go onto the all important wardrobing.
I have already given into my daughter’s protest that you can’t bring home a naked doll. Why not? was my argument. The minute you get it home the clothes come off anyways, I am saving you time and me money. I concede though, but not the expensive one…. the outfit that cost more than the doll. We pick through the possibilities, it takes an hour. The doll has more clothes in her wardrobe than I have owned in my entire life.
Her perkiness has now turned into a personal shopper for our new acquisition, newly dubbed Clover. She trots out Lycra, satin, bags, glasses, dresses for cocktail and for the prom, karate Gui’s and soccer outfits so that Clover can be a well rounded girl. I glare at her. No I don’t think we need the Lycra rock star suit, and we don’t do karate. I find a cute little green satin shirt and capri’s. Feeling a little cheap under the accusatory eye of her perkiness, I turn my back to check out the price tags. I breathe a sigh of relief, we can still get out of there for under $30. As long as I can talk my daughter into it.
My winner argument…if we pick this outfit out, maybe we can find you one to match.
Bingo! We negotiate. She now likes the outfit, but really wants the shoes and guitar that matches the rock star outfit. She barters like a trial lawyer.
I find myself almost agreeing to the plastic guitar that does nothing, not even make a noise. Even Happy Meal toys make noise… I am sticking to my guns.
“No way! You always lose them 10 minutes after we get home, and all your other dolls have never worn their shoes past the parking lot.”
“Mommy, pllleeeease.” Blink, blink.
“Guitar or shoes….not both,” did I just say that?
I smile. We hug. Relieved that I have won the battle…I think… at least stood some ground. I go up to the register, and look around for her perkiness. She has given up on us long ago. We obviously are not her kind of customer.
She bops up, ignoring me…the one with the credit card…and hands my daughter a “special invite” for Bella Blue’s Birthday party. She is the blue yarn head doll. “You get to sign a big birthday card to her, and even get a special gift if you come!”
Recognizing me…finally… she tells me that there is even a special party dress for the doll we can buy, only twelve dollars. My arm starts hurting from the entire 60 pounds of my daughter pulling on it….”Pllleeeease.”
“Just the doll today.” I hand her my card decisively. I won!
Her perkiness looks into the box, and looks up at me with a horrified expression…as if I have abused the poor doll.
“Is there something wrong?”
“What,” she says disgusted. “No shoes?”
We finally escape. I feel like a bad doll mom. I let the poor piece of material stuffed with fluff leave the store without shoes on. What will all the other doll moms think of me?
My daughter looks at me, what about her outfit? She always remembers that stuff. The stuff that I say hoping she will forget it. But I won, so I am filled with largess. I steer her into the kids gap. We found this great shirt and capris to match…on sale…twelve dollars. I am euphoric. My daughter thinks I am a great mom.
We get up to pay.
“You know, we have great shoes that match this.”
…says her perkiness 2.
Just Go Naked April 17, 2008
Well, now that I have your attention…(I feel the click counter go up even now)….
I don’t get 20 somethings anymore. I always wondered when the disconnect would happen, and here I sit…memorializing the moment. My husband refers to the realization of aging as “going to the dark side”. Okay, so I am not old…this year I turned 34. (I hear the collective cyber-groan around me… you know who you are.)
The pull of the “dark side” started two weeks ago on spring break…
One of my childhood friends brought her three sons and ….gulp…. nanny (sorry, Personal Assistant) to a beach house we rented for the week. Her PA, a lovely young woman… I mean, really lovely…. was cold on our little tromp down the jetty. Having nothing at her disposal, save her 5 year old charge’s sweatshirt… she did what I imagine all 100 lb nannies CAN do…. slid her arms into it and zipped it up. It made for a charming bolero gap sweatshirt.
My husbands eyes popped out… not in a lewd way, but in the shock and disbelief the feat deserved. If Jude Law’s nanny can do that, well, no wonder….
“It’s a good way to save money, children’s clothes are so much cheaper…” says she.
…funny, as a mom, I think kids clothing prices are outrageous…and refuse to spend more on their t-shirts than what my wedding dress cost.
…but, as usual, I digress…
the second slash of the light saber came two nights ago. I, as most writers are, am an insomniac…(I used to say night owl…but now that I am over thirty… it is called insomnia) Up late… can’t look at the sentence I have rewritten 50 times again…flip on the television…and am treated to a “Retrospective of Spring Break.”
Holy cow…have you seen what goes on these days? Gone are the simple great legs and bikini contests your parent’s warned you about. No kidding if the “g-string margarita wrestlers” and “who can rip each others clothes off the fastest” contests don’t make it for you, how about the “best simulated sex” and who has the “best make out with a complete stranger” competition should convince you that….we are missing a link somewhere…
I began channeling my parents…. Not in a million years will my daughter (or son) be allowed to wear a swim suit that looks like strings and quarters… go on Spring Break anywhere near sand… and none of that…. “staying at college to study”. I am wise to that….
“But mom, I love it in the dorms so much, how can I leave…”
“But mom, we’re just going to Disneyworld in Florida…honest.”
So to combat we go. My kids are 5 and 7, perfect ages to start a full on assault. My husband and I devise a gameplan… Spring Break is family vacation time. Later, if our kids refuse to go on vacation with us….it will be the perfect opportunity to visit them.
“Oh honey, we won’t hang out all day with you…we will just take in the sights… and then we can all have dinner together each night. And then…on the weekend…you can show us all your favorite places. Don’t worry, you stay at the dorm you love so much, and we will stay at that great (insert favorite swanky hotel here) down the street.”
Since we have a few years to perfect this battle plan… here is my thoughts for those who fall under the above category… now…
just go naked already…okay? Why bother buying scraps of clothes at all. You might as well enjoy showing off those quarter bouncing abs and barbie boobs while everything is in it’s anatomically correct place.
You can use the money you save to pay off your college loans…
the national debt….
enjoy it while you can…
gravity is the great equalizer of all!
American Idols Shout to the Lord April 14, 2008
Praise God! Christ was preached.
I had to rewind my TIVO several times before it sunk in, then I called a bunch of friends to verify. I have mixed reactions to it…and I have heard downright Pharisee”ic” reactions to it. The bottom line for me is this, American Idol is the biggest venue and “pulpit” on the planet these days. Take it for what you will, but one of the most powerful testaments to the majesty and redemptive grace of the Living God was sung in front of a needy and spiritually dry world. I was praising!
Let’s invite people to jump into this fantastic adventure with us, instead of walling them off with spiritual piety. Christ came to the sick… needy, downtrodden, unloved, unworthy… hmmm…us. When did we as Christians stop making Christ accessible to all?
When God is glorified, it is worship. If we won’t, God will raise up rocks… or tv contestants?
Christian music falls into two categories for me…Worship to God…singing directly to Him in praise and adoration… and Songs about God… Songs about God, stir the heart, talk about how great and wonderful He is, testify into our souls….and can serve as a wonderful evangelism tool. Shout to the Lord, in my mind, falls into both categories…
and who knows if that song wasn’t written…for such a time as this.
I don’t know the condition of the souls that sang it. I don’t know the motivations of who chose it. (I would have liked to be a fly on the wall in the production meeting when it was selected.) I am not going to “judge” the musicality. Only God, is to judge the heart. What I do know is the Bible says:
Philippians 1:15-18 (NLT)
15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.
And, if you are looking for a great read about making Christ accessible check out Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis…highly recommend it!
I didn’t hear the “Idol gives back” track, so I am just going to lay a shout to the next evenings full version, check it out….and hey, leave a comment…taking all comer’s.