Thursday, April 28, 2011

Perspective: Helping, Not Hurting.

While one side of the pond celebrates a royal wedding between a prince and his Cinderella, the other side faces catastrophic loss after what many are calling the worst tornado outbreak in nearly forty years. 

While so many of us watched t.v., talked with friends, cheered for our teams, or just thought about life....people in the deep south were losing their homes, their loved ones, their livelihoods, and even their lives. Nearly 300 innocent people have lost their lives, and that number is expected to rise.

This morning, all I could think about was helping those who have lost everything. In times of tragedy, you always hope to see the very best in people.

While every headline, whether on the television or online, focused on the devastation across the south, someone decided--after so much human tragedy--that this morning was a critical time to send me a rather pointed message about how I (and others like me) am wasting my time waiting for the right man...that I should, in essence, chalk my life up to this point as a massive mistake and give up.

My response? Delete. I don't need to defend who I am or what I stand for, not anymore.  Comments like these, I assume, are meant to tear people down, yet, for me, they only make me that much stronger. It's a sad day when an individual makes it a priority to down someone they don't even know for their beliefs, rather than taking that time and energy and using it to aid fellow human beings who are suffering.  Shame. 

For every individual such as the above message-sender, there are far more who are ready and willing to provide hope.

Please, let's all send prayers, hope, and love to the victims of these horrific acts of nature. 

If you would like to help further, please visit the following sites to learn how:

1. American Red Cross

2.  Salvation Army

3.  You can also visit the Alabama Governor's Emergency Relief Fund.

God Bless all those impacted by these devastating tornadoes.

When you have some free time, please take a few minutes to listen to the lyrics of this song--this is the South, and they need all the love and hope we can give them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

American Idol: Carole King Week

My ears were so happy with tonight's familiar songs of the one, the only Carole King.  My parents raised me on Carole King, James Taylor, and Carly Simon, among other greats. Their music is like sitting by the ocean--calming and comforting. 

Tonight's mentor is also one of my favorite artists from the 1990s, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds.  To this day, I can still tell what songs are produced and/or written by Babyface.

With high expectations and seriously fantastic music, the idol contestants took to the stage.

Jacob, Oh No, Not My Baby: YES! This is the type of song I have wanted to hear from him! Like Jennifer said, there were some sharp spots, but his energy was great, the high notes he hits are incredible, and the scatting was groovy.

Lauren, Where You Lead: THERE WE GO! Lauren performed the heck out of this song--she brought a boy on stage to serenade, danced, pushed herself vocally, and it paid off! She was just adorable!

FIRST DUET: Haley & Casey singing I Feel The Earth Move--Honestly, I wasn't feeling it. Parts of the song were good, while others sounded off to my ear. Maybe I'm just spoiled to the original version--for me, it's one of those songs that is very difficult to redo.  They gave it their best, though, no doubt. For their respective vibes, I would have loved to hear them give some attitude to It's Too Late.

Scotty, You've Got A Friend: Personally, I thought this was his best performance to date. Babyface suggested starting the song soft and tender--he was absolutely right on target. As Randy said, it was flawless.  Many have been complaining that he hasn't shown enough range. Well, tonight he did. And if I may take a moment: To all of those angry at Scotty for making every song country--that's his genre, he does it well, so why change what works? There is NO question who this young man is as an artist. 

James, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?: The beginning was beautiful, the middle rocked, and the end solidified his talent.  Simply put, he is special.

SECOND DUET: Lauren & Scotty singing Up On The Roof.  One thing is certain: these two country crooners compliment each other nicely in a duet. Lauren really sang her little heart out, and Scotty seemed extraordinarily comfortable channeling his inner Garth Brooks.  Great song choice for these two!

Casey, Hi De Ho: Bluesy brother! LOVED the beginning--soft, a little tickling of the ivories--very smooth. Towards the middle, some would say it was too much growling-talk, and I can see their point. However, it was at that moment when one glaring realization flashed across my mind: This guy is unique...and what is music without a little unique?

Haley, Beautiful: I'm with Randy, the beginning didn't thrill me. The middle bored me a little.  She really started hitting it towards the end. I'm not sure this was the right song for her style, to be honest. A little Jazzman or Smackwater Jack would have been really interesting with her voice.

THIRD DUET: James & Jacob singing I'm Into Something Good.  And it was good. However, the song just didn't seem to suit them. For some strange reason, I wanted to hear their unique styles and mega-note hitting on Brother, Brother.

Overall, I thought it was a strong night, which could have been even stronger with a few tweaks in song choice. Carole King has such a wide-range of powerful, powerful songs--I wish they had explored those a bit more. Of course, this is coming from a Carole King fan, so, naturally, I'm a little picky.

Who was your favorite of the night?

Virgin: Code Name For Alien.

So, according to Friend, virgins are no different than aliens. You read right. 

Friend: "You know, virgins, especially older ones, are a lot like aliens."

Me: "How do you figure?"

Friend: "Well, they're rarely seen...

Me: "Actually, they're seen everyday. They're not hiding in spaceships, viewing human life from afar. It's just that most people don't know to scream, 'Hey, look, there's a virgin! Run for your lives!'"

Friend, chuckling: "That blows the whole visual I had involving virgins and little green aliens."

Me, smiling, while shaking head: "You're sick, and I don't want to know."

Friend: "Anyway, okay, let me modify things: virgins could be like the aliens on V--pretty damn hot, but scaly creatures underneath."

Me: "Yeah, that's just fantastic. Exactly what virgins need--the idea that we hide scales and gooey grossness under our flesh. Really, just super. --brief pause-- E.T. phone home." (said in my best E.T. voice).

Friend, laughing: "Hey, maybe the government will want to take virgins in for scientific study!"

Me: "It's called a hymen. Hardly a scientific breakthrough."

And so ended the whole virgins-aliens comparison. Good times. Actually, it was pretty dang funny.

Oh, and just one more thing....

Be Good.

Hmm.  I'm hungry.  Think I'll grab some Reese's Pieces and daydream about how exciting Independence Day will be this year.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Innocent Isn't For Over 30

Recently, while watching one of those quasi-corny, yet strangely addicting Syfy super-storm-destroys-the-world movies, I thought I recognized one of the actresses from an old show I used to watch when I was younger. Over to IMDb I surfed, only to find that she wasn't the same actress. However, I discovered something much more interesting.

The actress is set to star in an upcoming film called, Scents and Sensibility. There is very little information on the film, but it seems to be a twist on the Jane Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility.  While glancing over the page, I spotted the following on a message board: "Actresses are too old."

Upon clicking the message, I was astonished to read a slight rant on casting actresses born in '78 and '80 to portray Jane Austen's young, virginal heroines. Simply put, if you are a woman over 30, you cannot possibly pass as a virgin, much less a young one. I believe the individual used the word "ridiculous" to describe such casting. 

As far as playing a youthful character, well, many women (and men) 30+ can pass for much younger.

Certainly, he/she is entitled to feel the way they do. There is no denying that an over 30 virgin in today's society is a scarce finding. Still, I tend to believe that innocence isn't defined by virgins, nor is it reserved for the under 30 crowd.  While virgins, like lambs or angels, are symbols of innocence, it's an individual's heart and soul that define it.

Maybe he/she has never met one of those "ridiculous," scarce oddities..., yeah, hiya!  How ya doin'? Ridiculous scarce oddity here, dang glad to meet ya!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Mavericks WIN GAME 5!!!!!!

Whoop! Whoop! Despite my slightly tight tummy...that is churning...with lingering game-time nerves...and too much chocolate...I'm bouncing! Now the series is 3-2, Mavericks.

I KNEW they could overcome Saturday's loss--that game was a gut check game, and they checked, cleared, and cashed in. Way to go, MAVS!!!!!!!!!!!! That's heart! Man, I WISH I could be there. Did y'all see those empty seats? Dang!

My mom called during the 4th and this is what I get:

Me: "Hello?"

Mom: "Shhhhhh."

Me: "Huh?"

Mom, whispering: "Have you seen the score?"

Me, whispering back: "Oh, yeah."

Mom, still whispering: "Okay, now, shhhhhhh. Maybe if we don't cheer loudly, they won't realize they have a massive lead."

I just burst out laughing. Only my mama.

Mavs, Please Win & Monday Awards!

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Sunday!!

Now for the hard part: I must acknowledge the mind-numbing collapse of my Mavs in Game 4 on Saturday. *deep breath time* Just say it and get it over with.  Okay. With my Mavs up by more than 20 late in the game, Portland came back to win. Oh, Lord, that was hard to think, much less type. While watching what many are dubbing the "ultimate choke," I sat very still, much like the eye of a category five hurricane. By the end of said game, I was left wondering how on God's green earth the Mavs just coughed up a win and a 3-1 lead in the series.

Credit to Portland, of course, but I simply do not understand what happened.  With the series now tied at 2-2, I'm guessing the Mavs will have to battle themselves more so than Portland if they are going to win this series.  They can do it...I know they can. Next game: tonight. *copious amounts of Cadbury Eggs will be consumed*

Monday Awards:

How nice is it to awaken to awards on a Monday? Thank you so much to the wonderfully sweet, funny, and supremely talented PencilGirl, who added some sun to a really gloomy day, actually (hey, sun, where are you? Tired of the cold, now!). Please take a moment to visit her blog and be prepared to stay--it's that enjoyable. :)

The first award is one she created for anyone who has commented on her blog--how amazing is that?! I would like to pass this award to every single one of you! You might already know this, but it's worth repeating: your comments are like the white gravy on chicken fried steak--without the white gravy, the chicken fried steak wouldn't be nearly as good. *Hugs*

There are no strings with this award, except to bring smiles. :)

The second award is the Versatile Blogger Award!

For this one, I did not see any rules posted, apart from passing it along to 7 fellow bloggers.  But, just for fun, here are 5 random factoids:

1. Not a fan of clowns. Overall, they creep me out. My mom dressed me as a clown for Halloween one time.  Admittedly, the costume and makeup looked unbelievable.  However, when I looked in the mirror, I wigged myself out. Never told her that, though. The only clown I ever really liked was Ronald McDonald. Why? Because he's the one with the fries and Happy Meal toys. Duh. Still holds true today, truth be told. ;)

2. Diverse Music Selection: One minute I'm singing Gotta Be Somebody by Nickelback, and the next I'm chillin' to La Vie en Rose.

3.  My favorite James Bond movie is The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger Moore as Bond--it is the very first Bond film I remember watching with my dad. It's a special-memory-movie. :)

4. Sean Connery, however, is my favorite Bond. Each actor to play Bond has brought his own unique flare to the role, but Sean Connery was just...sigh.  I could never quite gel with Timothy Dalton, however.

5.  Dobby: I loved Dobby from the Harry Potter books. I know he annoyed some, but I thought he was such a true, honest friend to Harry. And, um, I cried like a baby at the end of Deathly Hallows, Part I. There, I said it.

As always, I would like to pass this award to everyone reading (I'm such a softy)! ALL of you deserve these awards! Hopefully, they will make you happy. :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mopey Mavericks Fan, NASCAR Needs, and Bunny Wishes

Mavs: I am never eating nuts the night before a Mavs game again. My Mavs lost last night, Mark Cuban was hit in the face by some airborne object, and the refs robbed Jason Kidd of a three-point shot. Sigh.

Dear robbing refs, please note: When the big black line stays solid on replay, it means the player's foot is not on it or over it, but BEHIND it.  If there had been a break in the big-bad-black line, it would mean the player's foot was....wait for it...on or over it.  Perhaps it would not have made a difference in the end, but fair is fair, and Kidd hit a 3. Plus, you totally devalued my Tigger-like bouncing after he made that basket. *said in slightly whiny voice*

My impersonation of an inanimate object post-game rant was quite impressive, if I do say so myself.

It's game. 

NASCAR: Off weekend for Cup racing. What will I do without a full weekend of revving engines, the vroom-vroom, and those nifty little firesuits?

Happy Easter, my friends: May bunny day bring you much happiness and a boatload of Cadbury eggs (or whatever your favorite Easter candy may be). ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bad Nut

Late Last Night: After watching Ghost Hunters on Syfy, I shuffled into the kitchen for my nightly handful of nuts. (Go ahead, insert the virgin/nuts jokes here).

I poured a small amount of nuts into a napkin, returned to the comfort of my La-Z-Boy, put on a little Angel, and began munching the nuts.

Somewhere between the desire to have Angel save me from, well, anything, and laughing at Spike (yeah, he's sexy, too), I chomped down on a God awful, sour-like nut.

I have no words for the flavor of this thing, but if I had to guess...hardened-sour-horse's pee might cover it. 

God help me. It was the most disgusting little...GAG.  And so began the gagging.

I promptly removed said vile crap from my mouth and began chugging milk.

Very. Bad. Combination.

Note to self: Hardened-sour-horse's pee flavored nut + milk = horrific taste befitting an ogre.

Mental Image: Tom Hanks, circa Big, just after eating the caviar. Yeah.

After some increased gagging, I grabbed a bottle of water and drank that thing like I'd just eaten dirt.

Did I purchase a jar of nuts manufactured by the makers of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans?

What can make a nut taste THAT bad? Just the thought makes me put a finger to my mouth. Ewy.  Anyone ever had that happen with nuts?

Sometimes you feel like a nut...sometimes you don't...sometimes you never will again--at least not for a little while.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

American Idol-Songs from the 21st Century Week

Tonight, our American Idol contestants selected songs from the 21st century. Overall, I thought they did well, but some of the song choices left me wanting more. 

Scotty, Swingin' by LeAnn Rimes: He sang it well, though not as strong as in past weeks. Now, you know I love Scotty--I think he will be huge in country music. BUT, I just didn't dig the song choice tonight. Why not a little Tim McGraw--I Like It, I Love It or Something Like That? His deep voice paired with those songs would have brought the country fans to their feet, big time.

James, Uprising by Muse: One word--Incredible. He BROUGHT it. Muse is just amazing, and James tackled that bad boy with ferocity. His performance really stood out for me.

Haley, Rolling In The Deep by Adele: I'm not sure about this one. She sang it pretty well, but I just didn't think it fit her.  The lyrics required an intensity that I didn't feel from her performance.  If she wanted to stick with Adele, maybe Chasing Pavements would have been a better choice, or a little King Of Anything by Sara Bareilles. 

Jacob, Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross: His voice and styling may not be everyone's cup of tea, but he's got talent. His performance was emotional. I do feel like he could have put more into it, vocally, but perhaps his emotional connection to the lyrics made it too difficult for him.  He also suffered an earpiece malfunction right from the start. Personally, I would have loved to see him take on Power of Love or Here and Now.

Casey, Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5: You know what? I really liked this performance! I was worried because I love me some Maroon 5 and Harder to Breathe is one of my favorite songs.  He's edgy. I like that. Performance wise, he knows how to sell the audience. He's different. Different is good. Dare to be different.

Stefano, Closer by Ne-Yo: Much better week for Stefano. He has a good voice, but his performances have been a little lacking. Tonight, he brought the energy...and some dance moves. Good for him!

Lauren, Born to Fly by Sara Evans: Another favorite song of mine, and sweet little Lauren did it proud. However, I have to agree with the judges, she needs to stretch her voice and really reach for it. She can do it! She just needs to believe and trust in her abilities.  

The mega-highlight for me tonight? Johnny Depp. Yes, they showed the trailer for the new Pirates of the Caribbean film, On Stranger Tides, and, yes, I love Johnny Depp...reckon I'm not the only hot-blooded girl.

So, for those of you watching Idol, what did you think of tonight's performances? Who do you think is in danger of going home?

Bored Now

It's one of those blah days where I have tons to say, but don't want to take the time to say them. Is that bad?  Probably is, but, eh, it's a blah day...anything goes.

I need to do a mind dump. Lucky you.

Anyway, here are some things I don't get:

1. People who have NO CLUE what it means to be a friend.

2. It's called following through, keeping your word, or simple common courtesy--look it up.

3. It's called manners--look it up.

4. When the same annoying commercial airs during EVERY break.

5. Trash talk--unless it's the fun, flirty, sparring brand...not the malicious, idiotic, you-look-like-the-backside-of-donkey kind.

6.  People who desperately want to control YOUR life.

7.  Mind games--for the record, they aren't cool...they're lame and highly detectable.

8.  Lacking accountability.  It's really shocking how many people refuse to take accountability for their actions.

9. Venom spewers. Really? What's the purpose? Namely, I'm thinking about people who decided that their world would come crashing down if they didn't tell me how it only makes sense that someone like me would cheer for Dale Jr. I won't go into detail on what was said about Dale.  Apparently, according to XYZ, if I cared about my status, I would switch to Kyle Busch.

A. I'm happy and proud to cheer for Dale the driver and Dale the person.
B. I'm not a fair weather fan in ANY sport.
C. You don't even like racing...and I have a middle finger on each hand.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Whoop! Whoop! Can I be any more excited, especially after all the trash talk they received?!

Dallas played brilliantly, dominating both sides of the ball.  Now, they have to go on the road and play the Trail Blazers on their turf.  The series is far from over, but I'm loving this start! Let's keep it up, Mavs!

Side note: Um, did I see EMPTY seats at a playoff game? Huh, did I? How painful is that?! What I wouldn't give to have been sitting right there!!! :( Ugh. Makes me think about the one time I could have seen them play...I would've had to be something and someone I'm not in order to see them, so...I didn't. I watched from home. It was the right decision, I know that. Still...waaaah. I hope I get to see them play in person one day...when I can just be me, a cheering fan.

Dale, Dallas, Dad, and Dumbledore

Dale Jr.:  You would have thought Dale Earnhardt Jr. had won the race Sunday at Talladega...and he kinda did. He and teammate Jimmie Johnson stayed paired up all day long, even leading for a time. By the end, everybody was looking at Jeff Gordon/Mark Martin, Clint Boyer/Kevin Harvick, and Edwards/Biffle for the win...then, on the inside, a bullet 48 car was being pushed like hell by another bullet, his teammate, Dale Jr. If it wasn't for some strong hands and good pushing, Jimmie probably wouldn't have won that race. It was a helluva finish.

After the race, Jimmie credited Dale for the win, even handing him the checkered flag. When he finished 2nd to Harvick at Martinsville, all of the talk was how Dale should've shoved Harvick out of the way for the win.  Anyone who has followed this sport knows that Dale is not that kind of driver--he's a gentleman driver, much like Mark Martin.  People love to point out his winless streak, intimating he should have been someone he isn't just to get that win.  That's not him, and I hope it never will be. There are more important things.

Now, as far as this two-car tandem-style racing? Not really sold on it. Yes, it made for a fantastic finish, but it's just not the same as the old style. I dunno. Just my gut reaction. 

Dale finished 4th and moved up to 3rd in Spring Cup Standings.

Dallas Mavericks: Gotta tell you, I, like many Mavericks' fans, am annoyed by players and even a coach (I'm looking at you Karl) dogging my Mavs! So, it was sweet satisfaction to see the Mavs win the first game against the Trail Blazers. I know we've got a long way to go--and I know it's been a tough go here for a while--but that first win was a step in the right direction...and a boot up the bums of the smack talkers. Game 2 is tonight.

Dad & Dumbledore: I loaned Dad my copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince the other day. He wanted to refresh his memory before watching Deathly Hallows, Part One.

Dad: "This one's about Dumbledork, right?"

You read right.

Me, eyebrows raised, unsuccessfully trying to hide a smirk: "Dumbledore, you mean?"

Dad, smirking: "Yeah, Dumbledork, that's what I said."

This is a time-honored tradition, or so it seems.  When I was a toddler, it was Mickey Moose.  I'd stomp my footy-pajama-foot like there was no tomorrow.  My love of Scooby-Doo prompted him to turn Scrappy-Doo into Crappy-Doo, guaranteeing wild amounts of foot stomping. 

This is my daddy. :) Characters run in the family.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Well, after Friday’s Taxes And Singles post, I figured I better clarify a few things for any follower-friends (and new follower-friends) who may question my outlook on the single life. 

On Friday’s post, I received this comment from Anonymous:

Normally, I don't post anonymously, but I don't want your fan base yelling at me.

I love your blog. I honestly do. But it makes me so sad when I read posts like this. The premise of your blog, most of the time, is being a virgin and being proud of the fact that you're not just giving it up for free.

But the rest of the time? You just come across as one of those bitter, bitter single women. I'm sorry you don't have someone in your life right now. I'm sorry that other people in the world do. But just because you're single, I don't think the people who read your blog who are dating/engaged/married/whatever should have to feel badly about that fact.

Bitterness just isn't an attractive quality. The tax form isn't out to get you, or anyone else who's single. It's a one-size-fits-all form.

Let me say right up front: I am not bitter in any way, shape, or form; if for some reason you feel I am bitter, then I am truly sorry you feel that way—it’s not who I am.  I’m just a character like my mama—I joke about being single (like the tax form stuff) and being a virgin (like the cherry juice incident on New Year’s Eve). 

I’m not writing these posts with a horrible outlook on the world or foaming at the mouth from some deep-rooted hatred of being single. Heck, I write with a smile, not a scowl. Maybe it's an issue of my sense of humor not translating on occasion or for some people.

Of course I know the tax form isn’t out to get me like some pencil-sketch-monster from the Power Puff Girls (yeah, I was bored one night—cartoon network can be highly informative).  I reckon you can only know so much about a person through words on a blog, so it’s hard to tell if they’re serious or not. I get that. In person, I would have said the same, but with an added sprinkle of Texas drawl and a smirk to boot—y’all would get me then…hopefully. ;) 

Open Admission to Bitterness: The only thing I’m bitter about is Valentine’s Day, and that’s only because of crappy past V-Day’s (like getting stood-up when the guy found out I was a good girl—that stuff hurts, you know?).  Deep down, I know full well that one good V-Day will erase all those ickster feelings. Does that scream of bitterness to anyone? 'Cause it sure doesn’t to me.

To the Married/Engaged/Relationship Couples: I’m really sorry this commenter, who I assume may be in a relationship, felt sad when reading that post or other ones like it. I never want anyone who is in a relationship or married or engaged to feel sad because I’m single. It’s certainly not my intention. Hell, I’m not sad, so don’t you be, ya hear? ;)

I write about being a virgin…a single virgin. It’s all I know. I don’t know the other side of the coin—I don’t know what it’s like to be married or in love…I haven’t been there yet.  I reckon it's not so different from what the single characters did on Friends or Sex and the City...well, except that I'm a virgin in the single dating world. Good times.  Anyone who is happy with someone else is like sunshine to me because it solidifies my belief in finding the real thing out in this big old world.

The only time I call out a married/relationship/engaged person is if they blast me for my choices or do the whole belittling thing…and I do so because, well, they’re being downright cruel. So, yeah, I’ll post about those instances…but, again, I’m not crying in my milk.

I guess what I’m saying is this: For anyone who may think I spend most of my time cursing couples, while sitting in the corner of my room, crying my eyes out because I’m still single…you’re mistaken. I’m smiling my way through life, just like my mama taught me.

Will I shed a tear or two? Yes, I’m human.

Will I feel sad from time to time? Yes, I’m human.

Do I have days where I wish for someone special in my life? Yes, I’m human.

Will I ever hate on happy couples because they have something I want? Never, I’m human.

My hope runs deep—I wouldn’t be who I am and on this path if it didn’t.  I believe in something extraordinary—I believe in love. And if for some reason it never comes my way…I’ll still be smiling. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Taxes and Singles

Taxes are usually a pain for everyone, but there are a few things on those bothersome forms that may feel like a bee sting in the eye for singles.

1. Check the Box: Just what singles need--a yearly reminder that nothing has changed and you're still single. I'm talking about the dreaded "single" box. 

2. Spouse's Information: Get past the box, face the "if filing jointly, please enter your spouse's name here." Why don't they just put, if you're married or part of a happy, little sunshine-y couple, brag about it here? Really, it's like one of those plus one invitations when you don't have a stupid plus one. Sidebar: Can your plus one be a handbag? If so, I have lots of plus one options...ones that will carry all my stuff and match my outfit.

3. Phantom Signature Box: Once you work through the math and tax tables, you're ready to sign and send. BUT just as you sign your name, you have to face the Phantom Signature Box, otherwise known as the spouse's signature box. It's such a joy to see your lonely little signature right above a cold, empty box. For once, I wouldn't mind seeing something underneath me.  Maybe next year they can add little florescent flashing lights, just for the heck of it.

Oh, and I'm not even going to get into tax breaks, or lack thereof.  I move that they create a form solely for singles--no spouse info. boxes, no phantom signature boxes, and no checking of the "single" box.

Taxes. Foe of mankind, sarcastic enemy to singles.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Smile Time: Dale Jr. Has Some Fun!

I know not all of y'all are NASCAR fans, but I figured you wouldn't mind some laughs, especially around tax time.

Not only has Dale been having some fun on the track (he's up to 6th in Sprint Cup standings, after another top ten finish at Texas this past weekend), but he's also joking around behind the scenes.

When you get a chance, and if you need a smile or two, check out the video here: Dale Jr. & The Prank

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Award Time

I don't know about y'all, but this week has been jam-packed with stress and general ugh. I blame tax time--it always seems to put people in a cranky mood.  So, in an effort to tackle tax grief, I have an award to give out!

Award:  I have to give many, many thanks to Starlight, who surprised me with the Blog With Substance Award! It couldn't have come at a better time! If you haven't visited her blog, please do so when you have the chance--she's so creative, kind, and fun!

Rules: Reveal 7 random things about yourself and pass this award to 7 fellow bloggers.

For the reveal:

1.  Bring It On Home by Little Big Town is one of my favorite songs. I love to turn it up, rest my head, close my eyes, and hope.

2.  Football Tears: When another season passes by (both college and pro), I feel a sense of deep and profound emptiness. How will I spend my Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and sometimes Thursdays? Thank The Good Lord NASCAR starts pretty quickly thereafter. ;)

3.  Dance With Me and Cocktail are two of my guilty pleasure movies. Salsa, sand, and two handsome leading men--need I say more?

4.  Gross Grass: I can't stand the smell of freshly cut grass--literally.  It's not that it smells particularly bad, but the minute I catch a whiff, my nose and eyes react something awful!

5.  90s R&B: Honestly, those years produced so many AMAZING songs. I actually miss R&B like it was in the 90s.

6. Rudolph & Frosty: When I was little, I used to cry at the end of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer--I didn't want Santa to fly away. I cried during Frosty the Snowman as well--two words: Frosty Melts.  

7.  Chipmunks: I love 'em. They are the cutest little peanuts! I have one that likes to sleep on my doormat. He just popped up for Spring and was back on my doormat the other day. I love him. His name? Duh, Chip!

Pass to 7 bloggers: You know what I have to do--EVERYBODY! If you want this award, pick it on up, and have fun with it! Everybody needs smiles, right? :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mildred Pierce v. Mildred Pierce

Ever since HBO announced their epic five-part miniseries event, Mildred Pierce, the inevitable comparisons to the original 1945 Joan Crawford classic began.  Both adaptations offer a unique perspective on a rather remarkable character.  What some may not realize is the film version is actually quite different from the novel, whereas the miniseries remained faithful to the written word.

Like any film lover, I’m going to look at how both versions take the viewer on a similar, yet remarkably different journey into the Great Depression, family struggles, greed, envy, strength, and what it means to stand tall as a woman under immense pressure.

Setting: Though both adaptations of the classic novel highlighted the struggles of a single mother during the Great Depression, the film version was lighter in a way, almost glamorizing Mildred’s stint as a waitress and subsequent move into the restaurant business. The film, shot in noir fashion, was unquestionably flashy.  The miniseries, however, showed the time for what it was: dark, stressful, sad, and uncertain. Mildred’s move into restaurant ownership was exceptional—from her shopping for goods to the restaurant itself, everything felt real. Bottom Line: The film is Hollywood glamour; the miniseries is gritty.

Pace: Much has been made about the slow pacing of the miniseries. Undoubtedly, this comes from the familiarity with the incredibly quick pace of the original film. Again, this comes down to two different styles. The miniseries spans ten years of Mildred’s life. Bottom Line: The miniseries is extremely detail-oriented. The film moves like a film—fast, yet effective.  

Sex: This is HBO—you have to expect sex and nudity. If you are expecting a “clean” rendition of the original film, you are not going to get it. The film merely alluded to “making love,” but the miniseries does the whole show-and-tell bit--fair warning for you.

Music: The music in both versions can only be described as refreshing, but in tonight’s final two installments, the music comes to the forefront.  The vocals displayed were truly breathtaking, even soul-stirring.  

Ending: As you may recall, the film involves a classic murder whodunit. Not so with the miniseries. Like the novel, there is no murder.  Instead, you have classic betrayal, deceit, and emotional pain. It's a fascinating contrast to the original thriller version of Mildred Pierce.


Mildred: Both versions present an immeasurably strong, determined woman amidst many obstacles and unforeseen tragedy.  Mildred desperately yearned for Veda’s approval, yet always failed to gain. Oddly, I found miniseries-Mildred less of a victim than in the film.  For example, when Joan Crawford slaps her eldest daughter, Veda, she famously says she would rather cut off her hand than strike her child.  When miniseries-Mildred does the same, she does so more than once without apology.  It was delicious to witness the growth of a less-than-perfect Mildred versus her increasingly sinister daughter.

Veda: In the film, Veda moves like a shark, smoothly coursing through the water, searching for her next victim.  Though she is the same in the miniseries, I found her a little less icy and a little more emotional…until the very end.  In the scene where Mildred discovers Veda and Monty together, Veda was completely devoid of human emotion.

Monty: I felt both versions were actually very similar. Miniseries-Monty seemed a little slimier than in the film, however.

Wally: From the boisterous salesman-type in the original film, you get a dull, stinky, wet rat in the miniseries, which fit fantastically well for the end sequence.  You instantly knew not to trust the film-Wally; but this miniseries-Wally was almost pathetic and unassuming, until he unveiled his sneaky rat self.

Bert: Steady, solid Bert. Both versions portrayed a flawed, yet soulful man.

Overall: Though I will always love the original film, I found the new adaptation beautifully detailed and seamlessly acted. Kate Winslet was flawlessly understated as Mildred, while Evan Rachel Wood made a brilliantly devilish Veda.  Tonight, as the curtain closed on the HBO miniseries event, I felt like I had been on a journey back in time to witness the life of Mildred Pierce.

If you watched, what did you think of Mildred Pierce?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Drive-by Snarks

Snarks--Those nasty little backhanded comments shot over the net and into your face when you least expect them. Sometimes they're coated with a dusting of brown sugar; other times they are smacking in your face like bug guts on a windshield.

Being single predisposes us to snarks from a certain kind of married and/or relationship person. You know the kind I'm talking about--they are akin to the now grown-up bullies we knew in high school.

Behold the snarks:

The I'm-Too-Busy-For-Business-Married-Woman: "I completely appreciate that you may not understand what all this means, but I have a toddler, an infant, and a husband to take care of."  Um, I simply requested a business document.

The Make-Fun-Of-Older-Singles-Younger-Woman: "You must watch a lot of Bridget Jones." Yes, I love watching the plights of our favorite 30-something singleton but, good grief, I don't sit around and watch it on a loop.  My comeback? "No, but I have watched a helluva lot of Buffy." Very effective comeback. Note to single women: When faced with a "you must watch" snark, select a strong, wouldn't-want-to-mess-with, kick-a** heroine.

The Single-Attention-Seeking-Woman: "I can get any man, anytime, anyplace. Take it from me, just use your back. It's about time, don't you think?"  She undoubtedly gets the men, although keeping them is an entirely different matter.

The Happily-Ever-After-And-Now-Out-To-Make-All-Single-People-Suffer-Woman: "I'm so glad I'm not single anymore. Being with someone is like finally feeling alive, like I can breathe at last." Uh-huh. Can't you just hear the dang cartoon birds tweeting all around her while tying ribbons in her hair? Ugh. In my world, those birds aren't tying bows...they're dive-bombing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Tonight, American Idol saw a shocking elimination--Pia! I'm stunned. I haven't been this floored since Jennifer Hudson was voted out of season 3.

Arguably the best voice in the competition is now off the show.  Once her contractual obligations with Idol are complete, Pia Toscano will undoubtedly have numerous record deals awaiting her. 

BFF called immediately following Pia's elimination, thoroughly annoyed and vowing to never watch Idol again. It seems he is not alone. One glance at Twitter shows a fairly large number of viewers claiming to be done with Idol.

So, why did she get voted off? Here are some possibilities, based on random Idol chatter:

1. Personality Plus?: Despite her powerhouse voice, some viewers worried about Pia's "one-dimensional" personality.  Apparently, some fans simply could not connect with her.  Personally, I always thought she was very disciplined in her craft, incredibly sweet, and a little shy. Sadly, these qualities don't always translate well.

2. Ballad Girl: Perhaps viewers grew increasingly tired of Pia singing nothing but ballads.  Unfortunately, she is sent packing the one week she stretches beyond her comfort zone. I didn't care if she performed a ballad every darn week. Idol has always talked about the big three: Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston.  All of them are primarily known for what? Ballads! Sure, they have some mid-to-uptempo tunes in their library of timeless music, but when you think of the big three, you think powerhouse ballads: We Belong Together, My Heart Will Go On, and I Will Always Love You. 

3. Judges Aren't Judging (Soft Judging): Well, tonight BFF finally acknowledged that Idol without Simon simply isn't the same, and it may be having an effect on how the audience votes. During his rant, he said, "If Simon was sitting there, Pia wouldn't be going home." Granted, I didn't always agree with how Simon served his opinions, but he was usually spot on. He may have told Stefano that he's too theatrical or warned Haley against so much growling. But, alas, he is not there. Instead, we have a sort-of soft judging going on, where everyone seems to fall within varying degrees of greatness.  The beauty of American Idol is to develop the contestants, challenge them, help them learn their weaknesses, and grow into an artist.  This can only come from hearing both the positive and the negative. I really like Jennifer, Randy, and Steven, but the Simon-factor brought balance to the judging panel, helping the contestants go from good to great to phenomenal.

So, can the country crooner take it?  Maybe the resident rocker will shake up a win. One thing is certain: without Powerhouse Pia, the title of American Idol is truly up for grabs.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

American Idol--Rock & Roll HOF Week & A Drive With Dad

Tonight, the Idol contestants belted some iconic Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame tunes. How did they do? Overall, I thought it was a strong night for them.

My top picks of the night:

* Scotty, singing That's Alright, Mama, by Elvis. Honestly, this kid brought it tonight. Little country boy can sing Elvis! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Scotty will be huge in Nashville. I have no doubt someone is just waiting to sign him up.

* Casey, singing Have You Ever Seen the Rain?, by Creedence Clearwater Revival. One of my favorites of the night. Playing the stand-up bass, Casey delivered a smooth, relaxing rendition of this classic song.

* Pia, singing River Deep, Mountain High, by Tina Turner. Pia finally turned up the tempo, and it worked. Vocally, she was strong, but she didn't appear as comfortable singing up-tempo as she does performing a ballad. Still, she has the complete package.

* James, singing While My Guitar Gently Weeps, by The Beatles. While I missed seeing him rock it out, especially during Rock & Roll week, James really tugged on the heartstrings tonight. His emotional connection to the song came through in his performance. 

Who were your favorites tonight? Who do you think may be going home?

A Drive With Dad

Not long ago, I went with my Dad to pick up some food for a BBQ he and mom were having that weekend. On the way back, he picked up some tacos at Taco Bell.

Me, watching as he flew by the main entrance to their neighborhood: "Um, Dad, why didn't you pull into the neighborhood?"

Dad: "I go in the back entrance now."

Me: "Why?"

Dad, in a slight Texas drawl: "So I don't have to wave and say 'hi' to neighbors."

Me, mouth dropped: "Dad! That's awful!"

Dad, major Texas drawl coming out: "Well, hell, I wanna eat my food while it's hot, and if I go through the front, I have to smile, wave, and maybe stop and talk. They're nice and all, but when I'm hungry, being nice back takes effort. I want my gosh darn food!"

Me, laughing: "You know, one of these days you are going to have to smile and wave to someone walking along the back entrance."

Dad, smirking: "Never happens."

He's actually really laid back and personable...just not when hot food awaits him.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dale Jr. & Moments With Mom

NASCAR, Martinsville: After Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead from Kyle Busch late in the race, the crowd--both in my house and at the track--jumped to their feet. But with a handful of laps remaining, Kevin Harvick passed Dale for the win. Some drivers may have bullied past Harvick to regain the lead, but Dale didn’t…and this may come as a surprise, since it is racing, but I’m glad he didn’t.  He showed great self-control by not trying to turn or bump past the 29. 

After the race, Dale seemed a little disappointed—he wanted that win, tasted it…and he wanted that darn clock, too (the trophy for the winner at Martinsville).  He’ll get that clock, and much more, I have no doubt.  Why?  Because, once again, the 88 team showed consistent, competitive, strong, and cohesive teamwork.  Steve Letarte, Dale’s crew chief, is encouraging, supportive, and knows how to improve the car for his driver.  It’s great to see.

Highlight of the race: During an in-car interview on a red flag stop, Dale gave a shout-out to his mom, bringing loads of smiles to his pit (and everyone listening). Is it any wonder why he is so well-liked?  

Speaking of moms, I thought you might like a funny mom moment from over the weekend.  

The Crossbody Handbag

Mom: "Oh! Honey, you have to see this cute little handbag I got in the mail."

Me, my handbag buzzer sounding off: "Oooh, lemme see!!!"

Mom, holding something I can only describe as a crinkly mess: "See, it's just big enough to fit my essentials in when I pop over to the craft store! Now, I don't have to haul that big old bag of mine around everywhere."

Insert awkward silence.  Insert crickets.  Picture my eyes, glazed over, staring at the tiny wannabe-handbag-impostor. 

Mom: "Honey? What do you think?"

As she moved the bag to show me how it would look on her, a flash of bright white print caught me eye. 

Me, slightly alarmed: "Mom, what does it say on the front" I couldn't bring myself to call it a handbag...creature from wannabe-handbag hell, more like.

Mom: "AARP.  They sent it to me. Wasn't that nice?"

Me, vigorously shaking my head: "Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no." 

Mom: "Honey?"

Me: "Mom, do you really want to walk around carrying a bag with AARP printed on it?"

Mom, contemplating things for a moment: "It's like saying, 'here comes the old fart,' isn't it?" I grinned and nodded. "Oh, Lord. You're right. I really did want a crossbody bag, though. Just something I can carry when I need to make a quick trip somewhere."

Me: "I'll keep an eye out for the perfect crossbody handbag for my mama...and it won't have AARP on it." 

Laughter ensued. 

Guess who will be getting a crossbody handbag for her birthday.

Friday, April 1, 2011

An April Fool, Text Spam, & The Single Gal

April 1st is traditionally a day where tricksters like to pull pranks on the unsuspecting person.  However, it is not a welcome idea to try and make a fool out of the single least, not this single gal.

Late today, I received three text messages back-to-back. Without initially looking at the number, I glanced at the first few words and saw the following: "...U requested daily mymobilelove texts."

Me: "Huh? I didn't request daily love texts!"

At first, I thought it might have been an April Fools' Day prank.  However, I didn't recognize the sending number.

Before I could read the whole message, another text came through.  This one, I assume, was one of their sample daily love messages, which focused on forgiveness and regret.

Me: "Um, no, they did NOT just send me that!"

As my temperature began rapidly rising, yet another text jingled my phone: "Enjoy your daily love texts, daily alerts billed at $9.99 per month!"

Me: "Ten bucks a month for something I NEVER REQUESTED! Oh, I don't think so!"

I immediately did a little Google surfing and discovered that this is quite a widespread problem. Apparently, this third party can charge your phone without you ever having to participate and/or request the service. Having your number is all they need to charge you.  Basically, I could expect a $10 charge on my bill at the end of the month. 

With the research in front of me, I called my service provider, who immediately knew what was going on.  She put a block against them and a note on my account; should the charge come through, she informed me it will be removed. 

However, she did tell me that some people simply ignore text spam as you would, say, e-mail spam.  Unlike e-mail spam, charges will likely appear on your phone bill. 

Details: If you receive text messages from 34095 or 340-95, My Mobile Love Texts--and you did not register for them--call your service provider immediately.

Now, the irony: No single woman, in her right mind, would EVER subscribe for daily reminders that she is single, much less pay for said reminders. I mean, really? You think you are going to get $10 bucks out of me...that I am just oh-so-desperate to receive love texts? Darlin', I may have my moments, but a fool I am not.