Thursday, September 27, 2007

He is Risen

When I was growing up, the Catholic view of children was that they were just miniature adults. There's catechism class, not Sunday school, there's a cry room, not a nursery, there's Mass every Sunday, not vacation bible school. There was nothing really for kids. So when I was around 13 or 14 years old, I was intrigued by an invitation to attend a church camp hosted by a local Baptist church. I know. Catholics and Baptists. Oil and water. Anointing oils and big dunking booths of water. But how bad could it be? We both shared basic beliefs. Right?

Everything went smoothly enough. So smooth that I actually only remember one thing about that week. The Holy Eucharist. As Catholics, we believe that the wafer we take during communion is the body of Christ. Not a symbol, but the body of Christ. So imagine my surprise when their communion consisted of a Pillsbury biscuit and grape juice. I went ahead and swallowed it down. Just like I did at breakfast. Don't get me wrong, having been an English major I'm all about symbolism, but really, canned biscuits?

So I finished out the week with no outbursts. Then came back home to the familiarity and comfort of candles, chalices, rosary beads, and statues of the Virgin Mary. Then I promptly said three Hail Marys for having negative thoughts about Baptists. Amen.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Say What?

One day while at the computer making out with photoshop--my latest fling--I was, consequently, ignoring the cries of my children. I can get lost in photoshop's eyes for hours. Magnificent, glorious, pixel enhanced eyes. And really, how can I think about changing diapers or preparing dinner when I'm trying to choose between the burn tool or the soft omni lighting effect? Finally, after the millionth "Mommy! Come here!" I hollered back, "Can you please just hold your horses?" That bought me about 5 seconds of silence then big pup said, "What horses? Do I have horses? Where's my horses?" I walked right into that one, didn't I?

I dropped little pup off at my parent's house one day and said "See you later, alligator!" He gave me a big smile, waved back, and said "Have a good day, Crocodile!" Close enough.

I decided to try out another saying on big pup the other day.
Me: "Hey, I have something to tell you."
Big pup: "What?"
Me: "A rolling stone gathers no moss."
Big pup: ::gasp:: "No moss?!"
Me: "What do you think about that?"
Big pup: "Well, I think it's butts!"

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Peanut Butter Sauce

Anyone looking for a good peanut butter sauce to serve over chicken? I was. Until I came across this one from the lid of a Smucker's peanut butter jar. I had to make a couple of changes to suit our tastes and now it's WD's favorite dish.

1/3 cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
red pepper flakes (I use one of the packets that Pizza Hut gives you when you order takeout--I think it's about 1/2 tsp)

Mix it all up until it's nice and creamy then pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. WD eats it like gravy. It's that good. The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup of water. Way too runny, but you could certainly add more than the 2 TBS I use to make it thinner. The original recipe also calls for 1 tsp of sugar but given my affair with Dr. Agatston I decided to omit it and it still tastes great. Try it!

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Monday, September 24, 2007


The Monster Mile. Dover, Delaware. Who thought Matt Kenseth was going to win this? I did. So I took a nap. When I woke up, he was out with a blown engine, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Petty had a spat, Tony Raines gave Robby Gordon a taste of his own medicine and Elliott Sadler still wasn't doing any better. I was actually glad to see that pile up towards the end of the race. It shook things up a bit and helped Elliott move up and finish 17th.

I had a mild panic attack the night before so I didn't get much sleep. Hence the reason for the nap during the race. My notes were sparse and I had no commercial reviews. Just wasn't into this race.

Carl Edwards takes the win (but fails the post race inspection) while A.J. Allmendinger gets the Red Lantern. Next race is next Sunday in Kansas.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

We've all experienced devastating moments in our lives. Whether it's someone breaking our heart, not getting accepted for a job or into a certain college, or suffering the loss of a loved one. Been there. Done all of that.

I can remember riding in a funeral procession years ago, passing grocery stores and laundromats, wondering how anyone can think of doing laundry at a time like this? But, for them, it was not an "important failure". The world doesn't stop for us when we're having a bad day. Life goes on. Whether we want it to or not.

Musee des Beaux Arts by W.H. Auden

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Go Away, I'm Eating

I've had it with all of the creepy crawlies around here.

We finished building our house in February. Since then we've had many different animals visit our backyard: fox, bobcat, wild turkey, deer, rabbit, raccoon (R.I.P.). And for you Dr. Suess fans, yes, I do feel like a big, fat Once-ler sometimes. But spiders and insects? They can go.

One night last week, I had just put the pups to bed, turned on the hall light, and sat down in the living room to recover from the ordeal of Bedtime. Getting a 3 and 5 year old to take a bath, brush their teeth, get into their pajamas, and turn out the lights is usually followed by a recovery period involving a tub of cool whip and some peanut butter. As soon as I sat down I noticed a scorpion crawling down the hall. Creepy and dangerous. I squashed it and flushed it and told WD that as much as I hate grandaddy longleg spiders, I'd rather have them inside than scorpions. Welllllllll, yesterday I came face to.....face(?) with a grandaddy longleg on the shower curtain. Hate. WD was in charge of killing that one. Right now there's 5 of them plus a praying mantis on the front porch, and 2 walking sticks on the back porch. Not to mention a hundred mayflys hovering everywhere. I think I'm surrounded.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Breakroom Incident

Angie and I used to work at a department store together. She still works there. I don't. Have I mentioned I'm lazy? Anyway, everyday like clockwork we would take a break at 9:30. We would head up to the breakroom, change the channel from Sportscenter to Ned & Stacey, sit at our table, and enjoy our morning snack.

Before I go on, I have to tell you something about being a twin. You don't have to spend your life honing your social skills to make friends because you were automatically born with one. A lot of people mistake this lack of sociability as snobbery. For this reason, we had some enemies. Well, that and switching the channel from ESPN to Ned & Stacey at exactly 9:30 every morning. That didn't help.

Anyway, one morning while enjoying the antics of Thomas Hayden Church and Debra Messing, two guys came into the breakroom and sat at the table next to us. It was no secret, they didn't like us, we didn't like them. Yet, we're adults, we were civil to each other. But one of them made the mistake of making a passive aggressive remark about our television habits. That's when Angie slammed down her goo goo cluster, turned to them and said, "That's right, you go ahead and start something, but I'm gonna finish it!"

Oh, yes. She did. It was an awe-inspiring moment. More so when you realize this is coming from a person who usually comes up with quick-witted responses 2 hours after the fact. Remarkable.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Oh, I love babies. Especially baby feet. I know, some people are all about their little hands, or their little baby head, or even that baby smell. Not me. My babies smelled like sour Similac. Not good. But baby feet? That's my weakness.

Both of my cousins had babies recently so I've had baby feet on the brain. On the brain not in my belly. Nope. Two pups are enough for me. Although I admit that whenever I see those cute little tiny baby sleepers I do get a hankering for another one. But then I remember the hemorrhoids, engorged boobs, sleepless nights, and the general everyday pain that comes from PUSHING A HUMAN BEING OUT OF MY BODY! But, of course, they are totally worth it.

Congratulations to the new moms and dads and welcome to the world Charlie and Lainey!

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Monday, September 17, 2007

New Hampshire

Elliott Sadler started 7th in yesterday's race in Loudon, New Hampshire. Can I just leave it at that? He started 7th. He always does great qualifying. He drives a pretty car. He has a dreamy Virginia accent. The end. Except. It's not.

What an up and down day for the former candyman. 7 to 13 to 2 to 29 to 5 to finally....38. Is that irony? 38? He was loose along the wall, had a lot of chatter in the middle, and experienced battery problems throughout the race. It was an uneventful race, really. Sorry to see Ward Burton hit the wall. Love those Burton brothers. More Virginia boys, I think. I've seen the Carl Edwards backflip and WD has seen Tony Stewart climb the fence but we'd definitely give those up to have seen the Bowyer's Burnout. Awesome.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to comment on commercials. There were none. Oh, except for one. The ABC affiliate in Arkansas showed commercials for the upcoming show Dirty Sexy Money over and over and over and....over.

Clint Bowyer gets the win, Brian Vickers gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Dover next Sunday.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

A Mammoth Poem

Good morning, class! Today's poem is The Man-Moth by Elizabeth Bishop. I would love more than anything to type this poem on this page with no rerouting involved. However, ever since reprinting Amanda Barker, I have had a recurring nightmare where a mob of dead poets are beating down my door with lawyers in tow. Pretty scary. So, please go ahead and click away. You won't be sorry. Read. Ponder. Blow your nose. And then I need a 20 page essay on human failure, ambition, loneliness, and vulnerability by Monday. Get to work!

The Man-Moth by Elizabeth Bishop

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

"Animals at Play"

If you read dooce then there's a good chance you've seen this already. It's a slideshow of a polar bear playing with a couple of huskies. Not my huskies. Mine would run away. Far, far away.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Game Night

I spent the past weekend visiting my sister, Angie, in Little Rock. Saturday night Billy came by to say hi and joined us in a fun game of Scattergories. It was pleasant enough. Not too many challenges. Here's how we play Scattergories.
Something "W" found at the beach:
Wind? Ummm....okay.
Watercress sandwiches? Well, sure, someone could bring watercress sandwiches to the beaches.
Lamps?, not really, it doesn't even start with a W but we're all friends, so that's a keeper.
It's an enjoyable game. It's also a scathing indictment of the Arkansas public school system.

The real fun began when Angie brought out the Uno cards. The first game was very civil. But the second game was another story. I somehow managed to win so Angie and Billy played for second and third place. We were hyped up on Diet Coke and Krispy Kremes and things got a little tense. It all started when Angie put a red seven on a blue six. Then all heck broke loose. Billy insisted that it was an illegal play. Accusations, insults, and threats flew across the table. If Angie was a dude, I'm certain punches would have been thrown. Billy's argument was that you can't make a sequence of plays in 1 turn. Angie's argument was that "the beauty of Uno is flop, flop, flop and I'm out!"

Well. There you go. How could you argue with that? They agreed to disagree and Billy went outside for a cigarette while Angie had 3 more doughnuts.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


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Monday, September 10, 2007


After starting 6th in his home state of Virginia, Elliott Sadler finished a disappointing 27th. His car couldn't keep up with the track all night. He told his crew chief (I'm sorry, team director) that every time they would pit to make changes, they would just make things worse. After repeatedly losing positions Elliott finally came on the radio and asked if there was anything that he could do to help them make better decisions. Guess not. Another frustrating race for Sadler fans to say the least. Here's something else to add to the frustration: the huge map of Arkansas in the corner of the screen showing counties under a flood watch. Lucky you, Rhode Island.

Thanks for the panic attack Montoya. Another fire again this week. I believe you owe me some Zoloft, Juan Pablo. The final 25 laps were really exciting. Kevin Harvick makes the cut, Jr. does not, and David Ragan shows what he's made of racing with Nascar's posterboys. Great job, David.

I have only one commercial to address this week. Pizza Hut. I love your stuffed crust pizza but really, dippin' strips, p'zones, bigfoot, cheesy bites, and the edge? I admire your creativity but enough already!

Jimmie Johnson takes the win. The Chase for the Cup begins next Sunday in New Hampshire.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Twenty Questions

Did you know that 5 year old's never stop talking? It's true. Never. Here's what I have to endure every afternoon on the ride home from school.

Did you see me on the playground?
Why did you pick me up at school?
Why are we getting on this road?
Are we turning left or right?
Are we going to me-maw and paw-paw's house?
Are we getting on the interstate?
Why are we getting on the interstate?
Why are we watching Spongebob?
Where are the DVD's?
Why does that truck have 2 trailers?
Are there shoes in that Walmart truck?
Why is that car in the ditch?
Is there a woman driving that truck?
Why did you bring your van?
Where is daddy's truck?
Where is daddy?
Is he at work?
Can we go to the park?
Did you bring my scooter?
Do I have to go to school tomorrow?"

His questions change from day to day. My splitting headache does not.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Perfect Hot Chocolate

Today I share one of my greatest discoveries: the perfect, the ultimate, the best hot chocolate recipe ever. Last winter, I was fed up with all of the mixes sold in the grocery stores. They tasted weak, watery, and had absolutely no flavor. After doing some research online I came across a recipe from Jeffrey Steingarten's book It Must've Been Something I Ate. It sounded good and looked easy enough so I gave it a try.! It's! So good. You know that feeling you get when you see Shepard Smith on Fox News? That inexplicable giggle like a school girl giddiness? No? Really? Well, trust me, you'll never go back to Swiss Miss again.

2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, loosely packed
1 3.5 oz dark chocolate bar, chopped (I used Dove chocolate and a mini chopper)

In a 2 quart saucepan, stir together milk, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add chocolate and cocoa. Whisk until dissolved. Put into blender for 30 seconds. Heaven.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Momma's Boy

When my youngest pup was born 3 years ago, he wasn't the easiest baby to take care of. First he would cry, then he would cry some more, followed by a little more crying. I don't even think we went to church for 3 months. Maybe it was nature's way of getting even with me for having a caesarean. Anyway, he wasn't into baby swings, bouncers, or Baby Einstein. He didn't want anything to do with his daddy or anyone else. All he wanted was for me to hold him. 24/7. He was a momma's boy from the get go.

Eventually he grew out of the 24/7 thing, especially when he discovered that Paw-paw will carry him everywhere. I was relieved. There were dishes that needed washing, huskies that needed feeding, and a toddler that needed potty training. He no longer wanted nor required my undivided attention.

That is, until a couple of weeks ago when school started for his older brother. Now it's just me and my little pup once again. I'm really enjoying this one-on-one time with him. He has grown into a perfect little boy. Well, except for the crying thing. He still does that. A lot. Other than that, perfect.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Caution: Contents May Be Hot

Welcome the newest addition to our pack. My Starbucks travel mug. He holds 16 oz and he has his daddy's chin. He was not planned at all but was born out of a love for espresso. Ahhhhh......espresso.

Rewind to 1995. The O.J. Simpson trial keeps viewers glued to the television while Toy Story plays on the big screen. A small town girl from Arkansas takes a job at the first Starbucks cafe to open in the state. As a barista, I learn the art of making the perfect latte and cappuccino. I offer up demitasses of con pannas and macchiatos. I introduce to my fellow southerners the wonder that is a mocha. The knowledge is overwelming yet empowering at the same time. I am able to expound on Ginsberg's obsession with Walt Whitman with confidence and passion while Dickinson dashes make their way into my own writing. However, customer service jobs stink to high heaven and do you know what's worse than a rude customer? Why, a rude customer who hasn't had his morning coffee, of course! So I left, taking all of their secrets with me.

Fast forward to 2007. As I drive my oldest pup to Kindergarten, Clifford the Big Red Dog plays on the portable DVD player and my travel mug sits in the cupholder. I quickly glance in the rearview mirror to make sure nobody sees me take a sip of my decaf 2% no whipped cream sugar-free cinnamon dolce latte. I'm too slow. My 5 year old sees me and yells from the backseat, "MOMMY! You CAN'T drink and drive!"

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Monday, September 3, 2007


I know that it has been awhile since ESPN has covered Nascar, but do you think they realize that there are 42 other drivers besides Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Oh, Elliott. How do you go from 6 to 42 in just 25 laps? He complained about the car being loose and darting around the track all night. Am I really missing The Girls Next Door for this? Elliott finished 35th. I don't care who the driver is, whenever a car catches on fire I'm usually screaming "GET HIM OUT! GET HIM OUT!" Michael Waltrip's Ghost Rider impression was really scary. Glad he's okay.

Now for the commercials. Nationwide Car Insurance. Boo. My bill kept going up until I called to cancel. Then you offered to lower the price. Too little, too late Nationwide. Boo. Always love the Napa commercials. Funny. Stop showing fast food commercials at 10:30 p.m. I'm talking to you McDonald's. Stop it. There's nothing I can do about it. You too, Subway. Knock it off.

Jimmy Johnson takes the win and we're under the lights at Richmond next week.

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