Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Five

So, today is my birthday. Happy Birthday to Me! No cake, except for this one, because I'm off to the in-laws for some quiet time and mountain air. In the meantime, here is a birthday Friday Five.

Five Women with Whom I Share A Birthday

(and I look like none of them)

1. Janeane Garafalo, SNL veteran. Alright, maybe I look a little like her.

2. Brigitte Bardot (enjoy the pic, guys, she doesn't look like this anymore)

3. Janet Munro, British actress and glamour girl. I guess I look a tiny bit like her, too.

4. Mira Sorvino, Oscar winner. Meh, maybe around the eyes.

5. Dita Von Teese, burlesque performer, and now the Ex-Mrs. Marilyn Manson, so she's available guys! I look nothing like this woman. Not even a tiny bit. Oh, and don't do a GIS for Dita at work without "safe search" on, just a little tip.

Okay, that's it. Have a lovely weekend, and tell me who you all share a birthday with.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

She is watching the detectives...

I love Elvis Costello. Always have.

So, I was tootling around the stats for this blog the other day, giggling over how many searches were done for "roadkill in Georgia" on the day of my quiz, when I got to noticing a rather disturbing trend.

People stumble across this blog for all kinds of reasons, usually a Google search that has nothing to do with what I'm writing about. Why they click on this blog, I'll never know, since they never comment.

But can you guess what the most common Google search was that led people to my blog?

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and the song FIRE!

You might remember a while back I did a post about the Great Wake Up Crew Fire of 2004, and I used that song as the title. Well, it turns out, there are a whole lot of people in Germany who are intensely interested in the song, or my story. One or the other. Because so far, I've counted over 150 page loads from that search alone, and they all originate in Germany, usually in Berlin. I'm at a loss to explain why, and I'm not sure if I should find it creepy, or incredibly hilarious.

Of course, I also get a lot of hits from people looking for song lyrics, and they've usually gotten them wrong. My favourite is someone mistook "You Can Leave Your Hat On", for "You Can Leave Your Head On", and they spelled head wrong. Gives the song a whole new meaning. Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken" is always popular, with a lot of searches coming out of Poland, for some reason.

Some other fun Google searches:

"Suggested pregnancy well wishes", which brought them to "What a lovely way of sayin' how much you love me..." I can only imagine their surprise and disappointment.

"Bad highlights" or "highlighting cap" has been polled over two hundred hundred times, and of course brings up my disastrous run-in with said highlighting cap. I can only imagine how many people have decided against having their hair done because of me.

Another favorite is "Lad I don't know where you've been", which has clocked an astonishing four hundred hits since I wrote the post.

There's also this PR firm that comes over to my blog every time I mention Duke's Mayonnaise. So, since you're here guys, I'd be happy to be your spokesmodel, or blogmodel. Really. I work cheap.

But the Google search that makes me laugh the most is for "Rotten Correspondent". RC, do you have any idea how many people are searching for you? I've had over fifty hits from people searching for "rotten correspondent". And I'm starting to wonder if it isn't RC herself doing the searches.

Friday Five tomorrow, and then I'm taking a very short vacation to see the in laws, so don't expect to see a post this weekend. But feel free to stop by. Maybe you can convince the guys from Duke's to hire me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

She's Having a Baby...

Baby X, 8 weeks and three days gestation.

And as you can see, there is only one. We made sure to check. There is only one.

And it's healthy, and I am healthy, and everything is fine.

I really like our Nurse Practitioner, Nurse C., who is also a midwife. She is earthy and funny, and makes me feel at ease.

And TFYO is now at school telling everyone she's going to be a big sister. She also says she's going to help change the baby's diapers, even if they're stinky, which I find hard to believe.

The only thing I hate about going to the OBGYN (and guys, feel free to leave) aside from the speculum, of course, is the ridiculous paper towel they give you to cover your dignity. Or what's left of it.

Seriously. I know some cultures make walls out of rice paper, but I think they would know better than to try to make a kimono out of a Bounty Paper Towel. My poor husband just looked confused when I asked him to help me unfold the thing. I was afraid of ripping it, and thereby destroying the only thing I had to shield me from the world. It also came with a thin white plastic tie that didn't even begin to go all the way around my waist. Needless to say, I didn't even try. Ray asked me why a practice devoted to women and women's health issues would do something so humiliating. I told him that at least they weren't making me walk down the hall in it. And bless his heart, he even stayed in there through the pap smear. I love my husband.

Again, everything is fine, the baby is right where he/she is supposed to be in terms of development, and all is right with the world.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the news.

With much thanks to the late, great Robert Palmer for that one.

So, quick update on yesterday. We love Dr. G. Dr. G has guinea pigs, which completely won over TFYO. Oh, and TFYO is just as we suspected. I was told she is brilliant, incredibly bright, and probably has a very mild autism spectrum disorder, but nothing at the moment that warrants pulling her out of a classroom in which she appears to be thriving. I am relieved. And I now have someone to go to bat for me if the county school system decided to interfere. Dr. G says TFYO has a few quirks, which may need more attention as she gets older, but that compared to other Aspie kids she treats, this is really nothing to get worked up over. I'll have a full written report (with IQ scores, Asperger Diagnostic Scores, etc.) in a couple of weeks. Did y'all hear my big sigh of relief all across the world yesterday?

Also, I have my first OBGYN appointment today. And I'm also scheduled for my first ultrasound. I'm still getting sick several times a day. So far, well meaning people have told me this means: I'm having a boy; I'm having another girl; I'm having twins; or I had too much Mexican food last night.

One of those.

I am a little nervous. The first ultrasound is where you get to see if your little jelly bean is normal. So, of course I've been having bizarre nightmares (which come with being pregnant anyway). I've dreamed the baby has two heads. I've dreamed the baby has my head, staring out at me from the ultrasound. I've dreamed I was pregnant with a cat, which may have been because a cat was standing on me at that moment, trying to get me out of bed to feed it.

So, by the end of the day today, I'll know. And I'll have pictures to prove it's not a cat. Although, those first pictures usually look more like a tadpole.

Monday, September 24, 2007

So let's go on with the shoooooow...

Just picture Ethel Merman singing that title, and you'll get the idea.

It seems I am awash in awards again. Both Jo Beaufoix and Rotten Correspondent have seen fit to give me awards.

I have to say, it would be nice to give them awards occasionally, and since we know all the same people, it also makes it tough to pass these awards along sometimes. But here we go!

From Jo, I got this:

And as she says on her blog, "Excellent, dude!" I'm not bodacious, my blog is. I'm going to put it on my resume. For those of you who have forgotten your 80's slang, Merriam-Webster has this to say:

Main entry: bodacious

Pronunciation: bO-'dA-sh&s
Function: adjective
Etymology: probably blend of bold and audacious
1 Southern & Midland : OUTRIGHT, UNMISTAKABLE
3 : SEXY, VOLUPTUOUS - bo·da·cious·ly adverb

So, my blog is sexy, and I can live with that.

I'm giving it to (where's an embedded drum roll audio clip when you need one?):

Bellevelma at Running with Books. She's a runner and she likes books, too. She must be bodacious, and her blog surely is.

I've also decided to give one of these to Willowtree. Not because he needs the ego boost (he really doesn't), but because I'm on a quest to see how many of these things he can squeeze in his sidebar. He's got an interesting recipe for baked beans over there today.

Rotten Correspondent gave me this:

I'm calling it the Splat award, because that's what it looks like. But it's actually for blogging that "hits the mark".

I'm giving it to Dumdad at The Other Side of Paris. He's got a series going on his early days in Fleet Street, and I love reading those posts. That, and he's wonderfully funny and plays a mean game of ping-pong (table tennis, depending on where you're from). So, Dumdad, that one's for you.

Today, we are off to the child psychologist for testing, but I'm feeling much more relaxed about it now. Had a run in with the school psychologist last week, and we exchanged some words. The best part about her visit to the school, though, was that my child was a perfect angel the whole day. TFYO sat still for the entire forty-five minutes of circle time, raised her hands to answer questions, quietly helped her classmates complete their projects after finishing her own and played nicely on the playground with all of her peers. The only way the day could have been better is if she'd had a giant middle finger sticking out of her head and aimed at the school psychologist who is so hell bent on putting my child in a "special ed" class. I know that's petty, but she was really putting the pressure on my to let her do an evaluation. She was incredibly unhappy when I told her we were having an independent evaluation done. Both me and TFYO's teacher, Mrs. P, are on the same page with this. TFYO wold likely wither and die without being mainstreamed. Mrs. P doesn't like the school psychologist, either, which tells me something.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Five

All right, I'm a little late with the Friday Five. TFYO didn't have school today, and she and I both slept in. Well, she slept in for an extra fifteen minutes, and then rousted me out of bed. Sorry.

We're going to keep it simple today.

Five Things That Make Me Happy

1. Fresh, warm apple pie. Not a la mode, but with fresh whipped cream.

2. Hearing TFYO laugh outside while she plays with her Daddy.

3. Monday and Wednesday mornings, when I get to do whatever the hell I want to. Which usually involves a cup of tea, making the AC as cold as I can without feeling guilty, a blanket and the newspaper.

4. The ocean. Hearing it, smelling it, feeling it.

5. My husband, who never expects me to do the dishes or the laundry on Mondays and Wednesdays.

There, simple, sweet, to the point, and just a little sappy. Perfect for a hormonal pregnant woman who has started weeping at Hallmark commercials.

What makes you happy?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jive Turkey

I got busted on Wednesday.

For looking at turkeys.

You see, it was really all very innocent.

I always take the back roads to take TFYO to school, because then I avoid most of the school bus routes. The roads are paved, but not marked. It's mostly farm land and trailers, very quiet, very little traffic. It's perfect.

So, I was winding my way back home from dropping off TFYO, past the local peanut farm, when I saw a small head poke out of the grass alongside the road about 30 feet or so in front of my car. I slowed down, thinking it was someone's cat or dog, since they all let them run loose here.

Imagine my surprise when a wild turkey emerged. Followed by another. Then another. Ten turkeys all told parading across this little country lane. Naturally, I stopped the car, since I'd already almost collided with a deer last week. I didn't think a bunch of turkeys would do my little station wagon any better.

And it was kind of fun watching them. I'd never seen wild turkeys up close before, so I just pulled over to the side, and watched them pick their way into the grass on the other side of the road. They're quite dumb, really. You'd think they would have run away from my car. I could have had a gun.

But I suppose they were clever enough, as they did scatter quickly when a car carrying a man with a gun pulled up behind me.

I looked in my rear view mirror, and there was an Effingham County sheriff's deputy walking up to my car, hand on his pistol.

I rolled down the window.

"Hands on the wheel, please, ma'am."

I complied.

"Are you okay, ma'am?"

"Um, yes, sir."

"Can I ask why you're stopped here?"

"I was just looking."


"At...turkeys, sir." I scrunched up my eyes, not wanting to look at him.

"Turkeys. Where are they now?"

"They scattered when you drove up. There's a couple over there."

"Turkeys." I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, and he had his head in his hand. He shook his head.

"Ma'am, please remember to use your four-way flashers next time you stop." He started to walk back to his car. And I called after him.

"Don't you want to see my license or registration or anything?"

He waved his hand over his shoulder, and just kept shaking his head, trudging slowly back to his cruiser. I felt bad for him. He probably thought he'd found a mobile meth lab, or a prostitution ring among the peanuts, or at the very least a stolen mom-mobile.

But instead he found me, the stupid Yankee woman who'd never seen wild turkeys before. I imagine it was probably a rough day back at the station for him that afternoon.

There she is, your ideal...

I'm running out of songs about awards. That line from the Theme Song to the Miss America Pageant.

The lovely Jo Beaufoix, apparently in another fit of fever, has chosen to bestow this award on me:

She got it from Leeandaluu at Wit's End, who nicely said every time she sees a slug she thinks of Jo.

I don't know that that's a criteria for giving out this award. I hope not. Because the following two people don't make me think of slugs. Quite the contrary.

So I'm awarding this to:

Willowtree over at A Dingo's Got My Barbie. His blog title alone gives me fits of giggles. And, like my husband, he likes baseball, so that's endearing. And I noticed he didn't have this award on his sidebar, either.

I'm also awarding this to Mike over at The Grand View. Even though he's a golf nut, I still like him. He's thoughtful, and he always has nice things to say about his wife, which makes me like him even more.

So, those are the awards, and I promise, my turkey adventure is coming forthwith.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

To everything, turn, turn, turn...

Lyrics courtesy of Pete Seger, The Byrds, and Ecclesiastes 3, verses 1-8. I think I covered all the bases there.

The picture is of autumn in North Georgia.

Fall is finally coming to south Georgia. How do I know? Well, I haven't been running the air conditioner for the last three days. The highs here have only been in the low 80's (that's upper 20's to you Celsius types), which is almost twenty degrees cooler than it is in the summer.

It's so nice to have the windows open during the day, and into the evening. It's so nice to get up early and open the windows and feel all of that cool, fresh air fill the house. It's so nice when the overnight low, is actually, well...low.

Fall is the one thing I really miss about living up north: that cool crisp air, the bright colours filling the trees, being able to wear a jacket in the morning, and short sleeves in the afternoon.

I can't help but laugh at the Yankees who have moved down here, and try to "autumn up" their homes in late August. They buy wreaths made of artificial fall coloured leaves, they try planting mums long before they can tolerate the heat. They put out little pumpkins and gourds harvested from up north, that always end up rotting out long before Halloween or Thanksgiving. A neighbour put out a couple of square hay bales on her lawn, and then was aghast to find it crawling with bugs and spiders eating the bugs just a few days later. And of course, her lawn underneath was dead.

But the last few days have actually felt a bit like fall. I can almost imagine drinking warm apple cider and eating cinnamon-sugar covered doughnuts at the cider mill, bringing home bushels of Michigan apples all ready to make a pie. The leaves have even started to turn on some of our early maples here. We generally don't get a magnificent display of colour this far south. Usually, the leaves just turn brown, and cling to their limbs until a winter wind blows them away. But, here and there, I'm glimpsing little breaks of russet gold amidst the green of our pines, and it gives me hope. Hope for what I'm not really sure. Maybe just hope for some fresh warm apple cider and a doughnut.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Knowing me, knowing you....ah-haaaaaah.

Title suggested by the lovely Jo Beaufoix, and courtesy of ABBA.

Well, the results are in, and I have my winners. And because only five of you participated, everybody gets something. First, the answers to yesterday's quiz:

1. What is the title of the first post on this blog?
Indeed it is.

2. Where is Jen originally from?
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

3. What is the name of the phone operator from the TV show Green Acres?
Sarah, who apparently also works for Planters Phone Co-op

4. What kind of virtual pet does Jen have and what is its name?
Boris the Spider, named for the Who song, and adopted after the untimely demise of a spider in front of TFYO.

5. What is the first blog on Jen's blog roll?
10001110101, which by the way is binary for one thousand one hundred forty-one ( I think, go ask Robot Lord of Tokyo, it's his blog)

6. What was the date of Jen's first Friday Five?
June 22, 2007. A couple of you got this wrong, but that's okay.

7. Who came first, Rotten Correspondent or Jo Beaufoix?
Rotten Correspondent did, but only by a bout a week.

8. Which county in Georgia does Jen live in?
Effingham County, the southern part to be exact.

9. What do most of the post titles have in common?
Most are song lyrics.

10. What is Ray's favourite sport?
Baseball. But I'm slowly converting him to hockey.

11. What animal is the most common type of roadkill in south Georgia, according to Jen?
Armadillos, see an entire post on the little critters here.

12. What does TFYO stand for?
The Four Year Old. As RC, and some others, have pointed out, I don't have to change her handle when her birthday rolls around next year.

13. What brand of mayo is the most awesome mayonnaise known to mankind?
Dukes. Duh.

14. What are the names of Jen's two cats?
Zoe and Chloe, both prenamed by someone who obviously terrorized them on a regular basis.

15. Who was the 1000th visitor to this blog?
Rotten Correspondent.

That was the quiz, and the winners are:

Grand Prize: Rotten Correspondent. She was the first to e-mail all of the correct answers to me, and she wins:

A box of pralines from River Street Sweets (chocolate or regular, your choice)
A copy of the Lady and Sons first cookbook (Paula Deen, y'all)
A smattering of tour maps from around town
A sno-globe (because I love them and collect them)
A key chain
A scarf crocheted by me (or a set of coasters, whichever you prefer)
A copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (book, not movie)
An assortment of postcards
And (if I can find one) a little tiny Bird Girl statue.

She has opted not to receive the mayonnaise.

Second runner up: Jo Beaufoix. Jo had all of the answers correct, she just came in later than RC. She wins: A key chain and a fridge magnet.

Third Runner up: My Two Cents, who also had all of the answers right.
She also wins: A key chain and a fridge magnet.

Fourth Place goes to Willowtree, he was first in, but answered one question wrong. He will get a Savannah Sand Gnats t-shirt, if I can find one, as the season is over. Otherwise, he'll get a generic t-shirt from Savannah.

Fifth Place goes to Dumdad, who also answered one question wrong. He gets to choose between a key chain, and a fridge magnet. If he wants the mayo, I'll see if I can ship it to him.

All you winners will need to send me an address to send your stuff to, if you'd like to claim your prizes. Thanks again to everyone who took part! It was a lot of fun to watch the statcounter, and some of the things you were searching for.

And now, a pause for a musical interlude.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

100th Post

Okay, y'all. Here it is, the 100th post.

And here is the "A Snowball's Chance in..." pop quiz.

You will find all answers to these questions somewhere on this blog. You may have to hunt for some of them, but they are there.

First person to answer all of the questions correctly wins the grand prize. There will be prizes given for second and third runners up.

Please e-mail all answers to me (my e-mail is in the profile), so that others will not see your answers.

Got your Number 2 pencils all sharpened?


1. What is the title of the first post on this blog?

2. Where is Jen originally from?

3. What is the name of the phone operator from the TV show Green Acres?

4. What kind of virtual pet does Jen have and what is its name?

5. What is the first blog on Jen's blog roll?

6. What was the date of Jen's first Friday Five?

7. Who came first, Rotten Correspondent or Jo Beaufoix?

8. Which county in Georgia does Jen live in?

9. What do most of the post titles have in common?

10. What is Ray's favourite sport?

11. What animal is the most common type of roadkill in south Georgia, according to Jen?

12. What does TFYO stand for?

13. What brand of mayo is the most awesome mayonnaise known to mankind?

14. What are the names of Jen's two cats?

15. Who was the 1000th visitor to this blog?

All right, keyboards/pencils down. Your quiz is over. I hope you all did well in my little exercise in narcissism!

No song title, because this is only half a post

Rotten Correspondent made a comment on my last post about how everyone should get Georgia Goodie Packs in honour of my 100th post.

Well, I've got a baby on the way, and I don't have that much money.

But I got to thinking....

What if I had a little "Southern Snowball" quiz and gave a really kick-ass prize to the person who got all the answers right?

All the answers could be found on this blog, and people who've been reading for a while would probably already know all the answers.

The prize would include the following:

A jar of Duke's Mayo.

A box of pralines from River Street Sweets (chocolate or regular, your choice)

A copy of the Lady and Sons first cookbook (Paula Deen, y'all)

A smattering of tour maps from around town

A sno-globe (because I love them and collect them)

A key chain

A scarf crocheted by me (or a set of coasters, whichever you prefer)

A copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (book, not movie)

An assortment of postcards

And (if I can find one) a little tiny Bird Girl statue.

Plus anything else I feel like tossing in there.

If the winner is from overseas and I can't ship the mayo or the pralines, I'll figure out something else to give you.

Let me know if this is a good idea for you guys. If it is, the next post will contain a quiz with instructions on how to play. I will post in the comments here about when the quiz will take place so everyone has a shot at being first.

If not, well then it will be something suitably random.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Five

I don't know if y'all noticed or not, but I'm just a couple of posts away from 100. I'm not sure really what that means for me. Am I supposed to celebrate? Dance the night away? Or just explode? Hmmmm. I'll let you know when it happens.

Today's Friday Five is...

Five Things I'm Embarrassed to Admit I Like

1. Rick Astley

Yeah, I said it. Anyone who knows me, or has looked at my profile will realize that Rick Astley doesn't exactly fit in the with the Ramones. Cue that Sesame Street song "One of These Things is Not Like the Other". But I was in love with him when I was 13, and the song "Never Gonna Give You Up" still makes me smile. And he was cute, damn it. The music was insipid, but he was cute.

2. Mayonnaise

One of my very first posts on this blog was about the glories of mayo, but not just any mayo. Dukes Mayonnaise. A product of the south, and the best mayonnaise ever made. Most people look at you just a little funny when you say you like the stuff. I had a friend who once told me mayonnaise was nothing more than "sandwich lube". Maybe, but I actually just like it spread on a piece of whole wheat bread. Granted, it's better when you add a fresh tomato, but I like it on it's own too.

In order to finish this list, I may have to continue writing under the desk, just from the shame of it all. Okay....

3. Ghost Hunters

This is an American show, so I'm sorry if my UK/UK transplant friends don't know about it. Of course, it's so obscure and silly, many Americans probably don't know about it either. It's a "reality" show on Sci-Fi channel that follows around a paranormal investigation group from New England. Really, I don't watch it for the alleged investigations they do. I watch it for the interaction of these bizarre people. It's like candy. I can't get enough. I love watching Grant and Jason get fired up over hearing a bump in the dark. There's lots of head swivelling, and "Did you hear that"s going on. It's silly. But I like it.

4. The Daily Mail

This one my UK friends will know. I read the Daily Mail online. I read classical Latin. My major in college was anthropology/archaeology. My minors were history and comparative religion. I am an educated person. But I read the Daily Mail every day. It has the most deliciously tawdry articles about who's too skinny, who's too fat, which woman lost six stone in an effort to get a sex change operation. It's absolutely amazing the number of bizarre stories they can feature. And I read it, because it makes me feel better about my wonderfully normal life. I do admit, I don't read the Posh and Becks stories, though.

5. Pink

The colour, not the singer. I'm not a girly-girl. I never have been. I had a lot of pink when I was little, but it never really seemed like me. So I rebelled. I still wear mostly black. My favorite pair of shoes are Converse high tops with flames painted on the sides. But, I have a secret. Half of my underwear is pink. And I have a pink cell phone. And even though I cringed when people bought pink clothes for my daughter as an infant, I joyfully painted pink flowers on her bedroom walls when we moved into this house.

Whew. That was tough. I'm feeling a little light headed from the strain. Make me feel better by entering the confessional, er...comment section, and unload your deepest darkest secrets.

And have a good weekend, y'all.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mommy's alright, Daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird...

With much thanks to Cheap Trick for the lyric...

It was serendipity yesterday for me when, after a behavioural evaluation from the pediatrician I stumbled across this article at Newsweek/MSNBC online.

It's all about the recent rush to diagnose quirky kids with Pervasive Developmental Disorders or Autism Spectrum Disorders.

We had a long talk with TFYO's doctor yesterday, who I want to say again is the best pediatrician we've ever had. Dr. R is a star in every sense of the word. She's a little tiny woman who puts my child at ease, and I am ever so grateful for her. We talked about what the school psychologist said, how she felt that maybe TFYO needed an hour of "off site special ed class" away from the pre-K she's in now. We also talked about my new discovery that the school psychologist hadn't discussed her belief that TFYO had Asperger's with either of her teachers. I found that out this past week. Dr. R. looked at me like the psychologist was nuts.

The current consensus among TFYO's teachers and her pediatrician: she might, might, have some kind of developmental disorder, but that it doesn't really seem to be a problem. Her teachers all say that she's settled down remarkably, and that there was NO hitting, despite what psychologist woman said after seeing my child for a grand total of seven hours. TFYO doesn't like people in her personal space, and pushes other kids away when they get too close. However, she's four, so it might be tough for her to say "Um, excuse me, get the hell out of my face." Although, when she finally does, I imagine I'll be having another talk with the school psychologist. I can't help it if my child is like me.

The other consensus: TFYO is gifted, possibly a genius. That makes me happy and a little scared at the same time. They all seemed to be salivating at seeing her I.Q. test results.

Dr. R. suggested a local child psychologist who specializes in kids with developmental disorders, but also specializes in highly intelligent children. She said if anyone could tell us what exactly was going on, it was this woman. And that it could help put all of this to rest once and for all.

So, now we're just trying to get in to see herand her battery of tests. And, no, I haven't given my consent for the school psychologist to do an evaluation, yet. I'm just a little ticked off that she didn't discuss any of this with TFYO's teachers, one of whom actually taught special education for seven years, and doesn't think there seems to be too much wrong with my child.

I want to see what's going on in my child's mind, for sure, and if she needs help, that's fine. But, now that I've settled down a bit, I'm wondering if the sudden jump in numbers for kids with Autism is more about an increase in labelling, and less about there being more kids. I can't help but wonder if some kids who are generally fine are being told they have an Autism Spectrum Disorder just because they meet a few of the criteria.

I guess we'll see. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One likes to believe, In the freedom of music...

With thanks to Rush for the lyric.

Radio stations go off the air for lots of reasons: transmitter problems, computer problems, power failures (with lousy backup generators), even operator error (as I discovered this weekend, no not my error).

But I have to say the most interesting way I've ever known a station to be knocked off the air involves appliances.

Back when I first started in radio, I worked in Birmingham, Alabama. It's where I met my husband. I had recently been a traffic reporter and got hired across town to be an actual news anchor for a group of stations. One of my tasks was to do a quick live news cast each morning for our AC (Adult Contemporary) station down the hall. Then I'd record one and they could air it the rest of the morning.

Rob and Shannon were pretty big in the building. They got things their own way, because they brought in revenue. And something that Shannon got was appliances. She'd brought in a toaster, a microwave and a coffee maker just for their studio. Fortunately for them, they had the biggest studio in the building, second only to the talk studio. I was often the recipient of toasted pastries or microwave oatmeal in the morning, which was good, because I usually didn't have enough money to buy breakfast.

One morning, about 4:30 or so, the whole building got rocked by a power surge. We thought maybe someone had hit a power pole, so I dutifully started calling the power company, the cops, anyone who could tell me about a power surge up on Red Mountain where the studios were located. No one had any idea what I was talking about.

Then the building maintenance guy rings the news room.

"Are you guys on or off the air?"

"Hang on a sec....we're on," I say. "Why, who's off?"

"Well, you might have a few stations off, that surge came from inside the building, a bunch of breakers have tripped up there."

I checked with Ray, and most of our other stations were fine, just little blips in the programming, but everyone was still on the air.

Except Magic.

Shannon had tried running the toaster, coffee maker and microwave all at the same time. She had also added a small table lamp "for ambience" that morning, and apparently overloaded a circuit. She'd also made the mistake of plugging these items into the power bar with the computer that ran the music software.

Magic was dead, and had the smoking outlets to prove it.

Why there was no back-up system to prevent the equipment from blowing up is beyond me. How she managed to short out the board is also beyond me, since I'm not an engineer. But I do know our engineer said it wasn't his fault, and that Shannon never should have had all her food equipment in the studio.

And then the phone started ringing.

"Do y'all know you're off the air?"

"Yes, we're aware of the problem, thank you for calling."

"Well, then why don't you say something?"

"How can we tell you we are off the air, when we are off the air?"

And, that, by the way, happens every time a station goes off the air. Someone inevitably tells us, we should get on the mic and let everyone know. It never occurs to them that if we could actually transmit something, we would be playing music.

Eventually, a CD player was brought in and new mics, and a makeshift show happened a few hours later, but it took a while to get the board fixed.

I really missed having breakfast every morning, too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

...and the home of the brave.

It's September 11th. And I've been fighting the urge to do a memorial post for a couple of weeks now. It was a horrible day, and I'm not sure I want to go through it again. But maybe if I do it now, I won't have to do it again next year.

Just like everyone else, it started as a pretty normal day. I was working as a traffic reporter for WSC-AM in Charleston, SC. Our morning host was out, and the program director was filling in. The regular morning show guy had been diagnosed with cancer and was going to be out for a while having chemo but his prognosis was good. We hadn't figured out a permanent solution, so Nate, the PD was sitting in the chair for now. Ray was in his usual place in the newsroom. I was in the control room with the producer. It was all normal.

We had started to wrap up the show, as it was approaching 9 a.m., when Ray cracked his mic and said "Nate, check out CNN." Every studio has at least one TV, ours had three, so we could monitor news and weather. One of the World Trade Center Towers was burning. I took off down the hall to tell the other stations. All of the morning talent in the building came into our studio as we watched and talked about what had happened on the air. And then I opened my big fat mouth and said "What's that other plane doing there?"

And then the second tower was hit.

It was at that point that we began to simulcast on all the stations. Eventually, the morning talent went home, and was replaced by the afternoon folks, still on the air, still relaying news, still taking calls from people who had loved ones in the towers. But my husband stayed. He didn't go home when the morning people went home.

He was involved in a discussion with someone on the air about the structural integrity of the buildings, when he said "Those towers have been burning for hours, I don't know how much longer they can stand". Which was met by a scoff from someone, who replied "They're steel, they're designed to burn."

And then the first tower fell.

I was at home with a our program director's wife and her son. We spent most of the day crying, and trying not to watch the television.

But my husband was still at work.

At seven o'clock that night, as Nate came home to see his family, he looked really tired. He walked up to me and said "Please. Please, he's going to drop if you don't make him come home. He hasn't turned off the mic for hours."

I went back to the station. I asked. I pleaded. I had to drag my husband from his chair. He went on the air that morning at 5 a.m., and he didn't leave the building until almost 8 o'clock that night. He'd barely eaten all day. He was surrounded by half empty cups of coffee. I tried to convince him that someone else could do the news the next morning, but he wouldn't listen. We both got up at 4 a.m. and went to work.

Two days later, Nate said he wasn't sure if he could host the show anymore. He was looking for someone else to do it. I told him Ray should be the one. And he told me it was going to be me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I don't know any songs about memes.

Picture courtesy of Gaping Void. Go see him and his other clever cartoons.

The lovely Jo over at Jo Beaufoix has included me in a rather interesting meme. We used to do these in my gifted English class many years ago as a creative writing exercise, and I've always liked them. Here are the rules:

1. Copy and paste the story below, and the rules, on your blog.

2. Find out who you’re going to tag. (2-3 people, or more, if you wish)

3. Write one or two sentences to continue the story, and use the titles of the blogs you’re tagging or any word(s) associated with them as keywords in the links you include in your part of the story.

4. Remember to tell your taggees that you’ve tagged them!

5. Feel free to use this and start your own viral link story. I’d very much appreciate a link back to Mother’s Home! if you do. (Or a tag, if you prefer!)

The story is below. The last paragraph is mine and it has links to the 9 friends I have chosen. If you got tagged, feel free to do the meme or not. It could be fun, if you decide to continue the nonsense story.

Here’s the beginning:Mother’s Home! the cave troll yelled. I have been out all day strangling chickens like CRAZY! for the evil Empress. All i want now is a MOment to myself, but i keep getting Linda talking Drivel, but that is better than a certain someone Mooing. Then suddenly what should appear but the NOT evil Empress and all her strangled chickens and Mags cooked them all up and made us a lovely cake to eat. Gracie wanted all the cake for herself but the NOT evil Empress was able to hack off a good sized slab for herself!!! Ha ha ha, Gracie belched loudly after eating all the scrumptious cake that Mags had baked and watched Callie scrappin’ with Sarge about who was gonna win Big Brother 8. Sarge started humming “Dixie,” and almost choked on the bite of cake in his mouth! So he got some coffee to go to wash down the cake. The coffee helped a bit but he had to vocalize before he started singing again so he began, “Mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi…”

…who heard him all the way from Bloggingham Palace and said, “Where is that awful noise coming from? Is there a sick wailing Wacky Mom loose in the woods?” She said, “I’ll bet Songbird can teach him to sing!” but she was busy BONDing in the desert with Kathleen who sat writing heresy in her diary. She was absolutely no help. So Mi-Mi asked Kat to put him on the PP&P list to save his sorry soul. Alas, Ralph the Airhead made a new batch but the Patti-cakes fell in Polliwog’s Pond and nobody got to eat cake after all! It was all Bee’s fault (somehow). Feeling sorry for herself, she pranced over to Odat’s for a dance but she only heard strange mumbling…

That mumbling, however, resulted from The Alien Next Door trying to clone Justin Stanely’s Weblog. The meticulous and risky cloning occurred throughout several millennia, past, present, and future. Or so it seemed; no one could keep count. It was just too much. The mind-numbing years had finally sublimed the earth into a pristine Bobbarama. All well and good, said Bob, but whatever happened to the rules? Before anyone got hurt, however, enough stars fell and crashed to alert Sci-Fi Girl, who grabbed her laptop and returned to the woods, where Mimi’s Dating Profile popped up, allowing a lion to lie happily next to a lamb…

Now, the insane writer burst into the forest, kissing the dogwood and sat on the lion, spinning tales about sci-fi girl’s boyfriend, sci-fi guy, who had his eye on [her] DNA, which he was hoping to sell for anything goes. But just then the mad goat lady and the drowsey monkey pranced into the forest and sang a truly quiet symphony, which annoyed the insane writer.
“What’s that funky sound?” screamed sci-fi guy.

“Well, it sure isn’t a raspberry-latte!” grumbled the insane writer. “Get a grip, sci-fi guy! You’re my main character! I expect you to know how to split an atom! Ignore that woman and her indolent pet! Now, go and do your dastardly thing!”

Kissing the dogwood had been a lure, a trap set by the Mighty Morgan to take control of the BlogWood. Those petulant witches disguised as writers must be eradicated, them and their man slaves. She stuck her talons into the lion with A Twist and a Skewer till it rolled over and laughingly pleaded to go back to Neverland where it had been extremely happy. Her faithful followers, the Gargons grouped around her skirt folds, drooling and kissing her hem in adoration. “Here, take this poison” she commanded, “why? (asked) paisley“, the only rebel in the camp. “To blight their computers my little friends, it’s a special potion A Bit of This and a Dash of the Other“…she smiled mysteriously in her best Mae West accent and set off in search of the Englebert Humperdink Fan Club.

Well they searched all over boricua in texas….till they found just write road… aha this was the place… if they could just get in the front row,, surely that was the place that screamed “flash your knickers here“… and oh yes… they would… in doing so they could only hope to distract the masses long enough for the twisted sisters to sneak in with the special potion they had cooked up………

But the potion did not work. They were missing the secret ingredient… Papaya!!! There was no use hiding in public. Off they went in search of an abyss to gaze into, for they had heard the place was haunted and they could find Pyreflies there. Picking up pieces of somebody else’s memories was a habit they enjoyed very much. Live and love!

The new memories straight from the mouths of babes were the ideal target - they were so much fun. The Gargons started to get dizzy as they gazed through the looking glass in search of the right abyss that would be full of little nurslings. Suddenly the world began to spin and they fell down, the only sound was the sorta crunchy fall leaves crunching below their backs, and if no one was there to hear it - did the sound even exist? If these Gargons had any hope of surviving they would have to pull away from the peaceful nap that the spell was laying around their tiny little minds and run for their lives to Cafe ala Mode where the Fairytale Godmother kept her super secret brew hidden behind pots in the dark deep industrial kitchen (next to the MSG). It was their only chance to break the spell that held them in her control.

When they arrived, the Fairytale Godmother was in her kitchen whipping up a brew. It was one to wake a sleeping prince. It seems that someone had switched the roles in the famous princess tale. When she was done she went to work on the secret brew for the Gargons. But, she had a question, brown or gray for the bottle? It was quite a loaded question. The could not agree. It was quite the dilemma, indeed! The decided to go with the gray, which was definitely the wrong decision because…..

…everybody (except the fairytale Godmother), knew that the Gargons were allergic to all things gray. It brought them out in hives and left them smelling faintly of mulberries which everybody (except the Fairytale Godmother), also knew was considered extremely rude in many of the upper Gargon circles. Of course the Fairytale Godmothers lack of knowledge could be blamed wholly on Bellevelma who was known across the land, and in other places too, to be a rotten correspondent. There wasn’t a snowball’s chance that the Gargon’s would drink the gray liquid bubbling away in front of them, so she fed it to her friend Ingenious Rose who immediately sprouted acorns from her head. Mya, who had popped in for a croissant thought this was hilarious, but then all Kaos broke out as….

(This is my part, y'all) Dumdad swooped in from the other side of Paris to confiscate the croissant. You see, he believed that Mya really needed to be eating turkey on whole wheat, as it was much better for her, and for the Gargons as well. At that point, Diana shouted "Piffle!", and ate the croissant herself. It was precisely as she gulped down her last delicious morsel of pastry that

Okay, so there I tagged Dumdad, jrh from Turkey on Whole Wheat, and Diana over at Piffle. And I tried to include as many tags from the previous stories as I could, but some of the sites kept locking up my computer. Sorry if I left anyone out. Most of the links are intact back over at Jo's site.

I'd be interested to see what happens after Diana eats Mya's croissant. I'm not sure I'd have let that pastry go.

Jo also tagged me for the "Middle Name Meme".

So, here are the rules for that:

The Rules:
1) You have to post the rules before you give the facts.

2) Players must list one fact that is relevant to your life for each letter in your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name then use a name that you like.

3) When you are tagged, you must write a post containing your own middle name game facts.

4) At the end of your post, you must tag one person for each letter in your middle name. Don’t forget to comment them telling that they are tagged and to read your post to get the rules.


My middle name is Lynn. It's a family name, both my parents have the same middle name.


L is for Laughter. Well, duh. Most people like to laugh, but I've always gotten through life by making jokes, mostly at my own expense. I've found a bit of self-deprecation goes a long way. I once thought of being a stand-up comic, but then I realized I was too thin skinned.


Y is for Yellow. It's a colour I've never been able to wear. It's not that I don't like it. Really. A sunny yellow room is very uplifting, especially when paired with white and blue. But if you put a yellow shirt on me, I usually look like I'm about to be violently ill, or I have jaundice. So no yellow for me. Strangely enough, yellow looks pretty good on TFYO.


N is for Nest. Obviously I don't live in a grouping of twigs up in a tree. But I am a homebody. I spent a lot of my childhood moving around, and since Ray and I have been together, we lived in five different cities. It's the nature of radio. But I secretly crave a home base where I can hide out from the world, and I finally have it. It belongs to me and the bank, but I can still call it mine. My own snug little nest of a home.


N is also for Nepotism. It's a charge I've dealt with ever since Ray and I got together. With the exception of my last job, where ever Ray has chosen to go, I have followed and gotten a job at the same group of stations. And inevitably, someone claims I only got my job because I'm married to Ray. After a few months, it usually dies down, but it still pisses me off that I have to prove myself time and again to a bunch of jealous, lazy, crabby do-nothings. Wait, did I actually write that out loud?

So, now I'm supposed to tag the same number of people as in my middle name, but I'm not gonna. If you want to do it, cool! Either in the comments or on your own blogs. If you do it on your blogs, just let me know so I can go see.

Happy Monday, everyone, if there is such a thing.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Pictures came and broke your heart, put the blame on VTR.

That's a lyric from a classic song. And since I'm feeling generous, first person to tell me the name of the song and the artist will win a Georgia prize pack, including a map, a crappy key chain and maybe a snow-globe from Savannah. If I'm feeling really generous I'll find find a copy of the Lady and Son's Cookbook.

First of all, I just want to thank everyone who took the time to comment yesterday. As far as a diagnosis, nothing formal has been done. However, both our previous pediatrician and our current pediatrician had already suggested a possible autism spectrum disorder, with Asperger's at the top of the list. While I'm understandably worried, I'm not really surprised that the school psychologist brought this up, either. TFYO has shown symptoms for quite some time. Eye contact has been the biggest flag. It makes her very uncomfortable, and she gets very anxious if you try to look her in the eye. She has sensory issues as well, whether it's tags on her clothes, people touching her ears, or how some kinds of food feel in her mouth. More than a normal four-year-old. She's also a compulsive counter, and likes to count things like fence posts, and ceiling tiles. Perhaps the Count from Sesame Street was an Aspie! At any rate, she will have a formal evaluation and then will likely have play therapy to help her learn how to interact with her peers. She doesn't have too much trouble with adults, but regular play with other kids is sometimes a challenge for her. But as Jennifer noted in the comments yesterday, by the time she's ready for regular school, she'll be mainstream, and probably just continue to see a therapist once or twice a week.

And I meant to post all of that in the comments last night, but our cable was out for the better chunk of yesterday.

Which led Ray to tell me about when they first got cable in his hometown of Trenton, Ga. I've mentioned his hometown before, it's the county seat of Dade County, located in the northwest corner of the state. Here's some info on Dade. The most interesting thing about Dade County, is that there was no direct road that linked it to the rest of the state until almost 1950. If you wanted to head over to Dalton, you had to drive up into Tennessee, and then back down. Likewise, if you wanted to head to Atlanta, you had to drive southwest into Alabama, and then back into Georgia to get there. The picture is of Cloudland Canyon, right next door to Trenton. Hang gliders love it.

Ray said cable finally came to Trenton when he was about seven or eight years old, so it would have been 1978 or 1979. Some of the local preachers opposed it of course, but it came nonetheless. I don't know how many channels they had, but the local cable access channel was in black in white. And all it showed were little typed hand held placards announcing church events, high school football games, and specials at the local restaurant in town.

Then, just as suddenly as cable came, it went. They had city wide outages within just a couple of weeks of firing it up. No one could figure it out until they went out to check the junction boxes placed around the town.

And they were all shot up.

Someone had been using them for shotgun practice. Now I don't know it was target practice for a fact. It could have been some irate preacher annoyed b y the presence of HBO. This was the town where a local preacher led his flock to the top of the ridge so they could cast their "devil TVs" off the mountain. The eventually had to stop because they local sheriff threatened to fine them for littering, since the people who lived halfway down the hill were tired of finding smashed up televisions in their back yard. They now content themselves with the occasional Harry Potter burning, and stomping of rock CD's.

Finally, they managed to get the boxes all fixed, and presumably newly armoured.

And on the little black and white cable access channel, this placard appeared:

"Dear Trenton,

We apologize for the recent spate of cable outages. Someone has been shooting the cable. We have taken steps to prevent this from happening.

Trenton Cable Company"

And as far as I know, no one ever shot the cable again.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Friday Five

I really am sorry for not posting yesterday, but it was kind of a rough day. I had every intention of telling you about my cat, the lumberjack, who loves to scale door frames with her massive claws and Popeye-like leg muscles. But I just couldn't. I got to talk to an Effingham County school psychologist yesterday morning. She's been called in to help with my child. Why?

They, and the pediatrician, believe my daughter has Asperger Syndrome.

For those not in the know, Asperbger Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, and there's a fairly accurate Wiki write-up here.

Some of the characteristics of Asperger's include inability to grasp social skills, avoiding eye contact, fixation on a specific field or group of things, and a habit of using repetitive motion or language. TFYO meets all of these criteria. Fortunately, she wants to be social, so the army of therapists that are about to become part of our lives have something to work with. We're also told that TFYO is incredibly intelligent, even more than your run-of-the-mill Asperger's patient. The other good thing is that she's being diagnosed early. Many children aren't diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome until they are ten or eleven. Which means early intervention can help TFYO learn coping strategies in social situations.

But she's having trouble dealing with the other kids at school. She has no concept of personal space, and she has a tough time starting conversations, and she really doesn't like looking people in the eye. She also has this hitting thing lately, where when she can 't figure out how to join a group, she just smacks someone on the shoulder.

You probably know an adult with Asperger Syndrome. There are a lot of them working in technology fields, as scientist, or as musicians, or sometimes even professors. Dan Akroyd recently said he was diagnosed with Asperger's as an adult. They probably seem a little quirky, they're a little obsessed with sci-fi, or trains, or...well, any one thing. They have friends, but not large groups of them. And you'll see them at parties, but often in the corner talking to only one or two people. They're normal, but not...quite.

Looking back on my own childhood through the lens of Asperger Syndrome, it makes a lot more sense to me now. My inability to blend in, my obsession with learning, and not always picking up on social cues. I always just thought I was a nerd. Turns out, there was a label for it.

So, today's Friday Five is a bit of a rip off of my new friend Joy T. over at Spot of T. She did a "Thankful Thirteen" last Thursday. So, today's Friday Five is...

Five Things I am Thankful For

1. I am thankful for my child.

Even though she's been given a label that could hold her back, she's bright and funny and smart. And she's mine. I'm thankful I have her to worry about, when so many other people don't have kids or can't have kids.

2. I'm thankful for my husband.

No doubt, like all couples, we've had our ups and downs. But he's always been an awesome father, and he's always tried to be the best husband he can be.

3. I'm thankful for my home.

We moved around a lot when I was a kid. That's nobody's fault, it's just the way it was. I was never so grateful as when I got to own my own home this year. I can paint the walls chartreuse if I want...and TFYO's room is proof of that. I now have a sense of home and belonging.

4. I'm thankful for all the great people I've met so far blogging.

Every single last one of you. Rotten Correspondent, Jo Beaufoix, Mya, WillowTree, Dumdad, JRH, My Two Cents, Bellevelma are the old(er) timers. Mike, Diana, and a few others are recent visitors. And you're all awesome. It's good to know there's a place I can come to regain my sanity, and read about all of your lives.

5. I'm thankful I made that fateful decision to move to Alabama in 1996.

It seemed like madness at the time, and it almost killed me. But if I hadn't, I wouldn't have met Ray, I wouldn't have found my career, and I wouldn't have TFYO. I'm not sure where I would be now, but it can't be better than what I've got.

Okay, there it is. The incredibly maudlin Friday Five. Hopefully you'll forgive the philosophical meanderings, but I just thought it might be nice, on a crappy day, to remember what I'm thankful for. Okay, it's y'alls turn.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Take us forever, a whisper to a scream

With thanks to Icicle Works for the lyric.

There is nothing worse than having a cold when you're pregnant. Except losing your voice when you work in radio. So having both happen at the same time kind of sucks. But it also helps, especially since I couldn't think of anything else to blog about.

Diana over at Piffle recently had a cold and lost her voice. I know I didn't catch it from her (that would be a great trick!), but I certainly feel even more sympathy for her now.

Why is it that everyone in the world wants to call your phone when you have no voice? I started out with a squeak this morning, but by the time I got done talking to family, friends, people at work wondering where I was...I was left with a whisper. And people were asking me what was wrong with my voice.

And I've discovered that both children and animals know that this is a weakness and go out of their way to do things they shouldn't do, because how threatening is a woman in her bunny slippers screaming in a whisper?

Cat scratches the sofa (again).

"Zoe, knock that off!" She looks at me quizzically, and picks just a couple more times at an errant thread to see if I'm serious. And then I find myself whispering, "Damn it, your hearing is better than mine! I know you heard me!" Normally, she'll take off and run around the house like a mad cat when I scold her for clawing the furniture when she has not one, but TWO perfectly good scratching posts. Today, I got a slow blink, a yawn and a stretch, and a casual saunter into my bedroom. You think they've settled in?

TFYO yesterday afternoon.

I'm trying to sort out dinner and her homework and trying to clear the detritus that inevitably collects on our kitchen table. And she immediately runs back to the office and hops on the computer for her favourite activity of typing random words in Notepad, which she knows she is not supposed to do without permission.

"TFYO! Get off the computer, you know you're not supposed to be on there!"

At least, that's what I meant to say. It came out more like "Hiss, hisss, scrtich, hiss, damn it, ow!"

She can't hear me, and my husband chuckles quietly.

They're all against me.

I think I may resort to writing in LARGE letters with a Sharpie marker on brightly coloured index cards. It would make for great conversation. Kind of like Wile E. Coyote. Given the way the last couple of days have gone, I'd probably be using "Yipe!" "Help!" and "Suuuuuuper Genius", a lot. I'd also have one for "Vanilla Chai please", "No, I don't know what happened to that production order" and "Can I please just go to the bathroom by myself for once".

For a person like me who talks for a living, this is murder. It's torture. It''s...listening to Britney Spears.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Shock the Monkey

Lyric courtesy of Peter Gabriel.

There were a lot of things that shocked me about my move to the south eleven years ago. The aforementioned sweet tea, the fact that everybody in Alabama moved sooooo slowly, and that there seemed to be so many people living in trailers. But nothing prepared me for a trip to the drugstore one day.

It wasn't too long after I'd made the move to Tuscaloosa from Kalamazoo, and I was still finding my way around town. I'd stopped in at a drugstore to buy some things, and while I was ruminating over more shine vs more body, this older white lady came up to me.

"Hey, let me ask you something."

I have since discovered in the south that when someone asks you this question, your best response is to run. Why? Well, because they don't really want to ask you something, they're just in a mood to spout off about something that's bothering them. But I was barely 21 years old, and still a newbie, so I had no idea what this woman wanted.

"Um, alright, go ahead and ask?"

"Why do you suppose they have to have two whole aisles of products for black people?"

And, no she didn't say black people, she used the N-word, and I'm not going to use it here. Cue record scratching in my head.

"Say what?"

"I mean, look at all that crap. What do they need it for? They too good to use our soap and shampoo? Or maybe they's just too dirty?" And this point she let out a raspy chuckle that sounded like a carton of cigarettes.

So, I decided to answer her question.

"Well, now you know, you got a whole store full of products for you white folks. I guess it's only fair we get a couple of aisles to ourselves."

"Do what now?"

"Well, I mean, I never much had this problem with my hair being the way that it is, but my Dad's white. But my momma, she always had a tough time finding stuff to use on her hair after she'd had the hot combs through it. Her hair was so coarse, and once it's straightened, it can break so easily. And most of the regular soaps she used left her skin all ashy. I know she loves the Queen Helene line, 'cause it's got cocoa butter in it. So, I guess it's nice that they've got a few products here. Up in Detroit, where I'm from, they've got whole stores. Makes it so much more convenient."

And I walked away.

Now, most of you are probably aware my mom is not black. But that summer, my hair was dark, and I was pretty tan from being outside. And that stupid old bitty made me mad. I know I'm a bad person for telling a lie.

But the look on that woman's face will be worth the price of admission to wherever I end up going.

Monday, September 3, 2007

With my head in my lap...

Lyric courtesy of Squeeze...not really about morning sickness, but close enough.

Morning sickness. I wish I had it. Don't get me wrong, I'm kind of happy I'm not heaving my guts out every moment of the morning, but I've discovered what so many other women who have more than one child have figured out: every pregnancy is different. Sounds like a no-brainer, I know, but it really just didn't dawn on my until now.

When I was pregnant with TFYO, I had the most regular, compartmentalized morning sickness, ever. Six a.m., right on the dot for three months, beginning when I was three weeks along. It was so easy.

I was doing morning drive radio in Charleston at the time, and it fit perfectly into the show clock. I hosted the show, and Ray was the news anchor. I'd start to feel queasy around 5:58 a.m., so I'd wrap my segment, say "WSC news-time is 5:59, here's Ray with the news." I'd close the mic, run down the hall to the bathroom, be sick, rinse my mouth, wash my face, grab some water and be back in my chair in time to say "WSC news-time is 6:06". I'd go on with the show, and I didn't have to worry about being sick for the rest of the day.

So what's different?

Well, I'm not actually getting sick for starters. I'm just queasy from the time I get up until about one o'clock in the afternoon. So, I'm probably not eating as much as I should in the morning. Right now, I can usually choke down a bit of juice, a piece of toast and my prenatal vitamin. I just can't face food.

But come one o'clock you better get the hell out of my way, because you might get eaten along with everything else in my path. Even the cats start getting a little wild-eyed around 1 p.m. I'm ravenous. I eat everything. And that's a problem when I'm at work, because we can't have food in the studios.

After I stuff myself for about six hours, then I'm exhausted. And the process starts all over again the next morning.

The good news is, unlike last time when I had a serious pie and burrito habit (I promise, I'll explain at some point), I haven't really started gaining any weight yet, which means I'm still fitting into my clothes.

So thank you all for your kind words of concern. I'm actually not spending much time praying to the god of all things porcelain. But I kind of wish I was. At least it would be done.

And I promise, no more posts about being ill, okay?