Category Archives: Random Shits and Giggles

Just random topics that make me happy.

19 Things About Me

I stole these question from an author I adore, R.L. Mathewson. She posted these on Facebook and challenged everyone to answer these 19 questions. It’s been a while since I blogged, so I figured I’d post my answers here. Without further ado, my answers to the post…

19 random facts about yourself that may surprise people.

  1. Do you make your bed every day?

Nope because if I did, my husband wouldn’t be able to breathe under there. He gets to roll his self-employed ass out of bed whenever he feels like it—the struggle is real, y’all.

  1. What’s your favorite number?

67—my old ATV racing number and the year model of my favorite Camaro.

  1. What is your dream job?

Billionaire—preferably obtained legally; the lotto would probably be the best option.

  1. If you could, would you go back to high school?

Absolutely! I get to know what I know now and have my high school body, right?

  1. What is something no one would ever guess about you?

I’ve had to battle insecurity my whole life.

  1. A job you had which people would be shocked to know you had?

I used to work at a roller skating rink—stop laughing! Fat chicks skate, too.

  1. Do you think aliens are real?

Clearly, you’ve never been to an Americana music festival if you have to ask this question.

  1. Can you drive a stick shift?

Yep, I do it every day—well, that is when the POS will actually run.

  1. Guilty TV pleasure?

It used to be Sons of Anarchy. Now it’s Preacher and Lucifer.

  1. Tattoos?

No, but as soon as I work up the nerve, I know what I want.

  1. If the world ends do you want to be one of the survivors?

Hell no! Haven’t you read The Road by Cormac McCarthy? I can’t eat babies.

  1. Things people do that drive you crazy?

I HATE it when people promise to do something, but then they don’t do it.

  1. Do you have any birthmarks?

No—just scars from childhood.

  1. Favorite childhood game?

This isn’t really a game, but after they paved my road, I used to take hardened clumps of clay and draw on the pavement—life before the Internet, y’all.

  1. Do you talk to yourself?

Every day. I like to have at least one intelligent conversation per day.

  1. Do you like doing puzzles?

Only if they don’t involve numbers and/or ridiculously obscure vocabulary.

  1. Music genre?

Mostly, I like what I would call outlaw country—Jamey Johnson, Chris Stapleton, Aaron Lewis, Hank jr., Eric Church, etc. Also, I like strong women singers—Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Nettles, the Dixie Chicks, etc.

  1. Tea or Coffee?

Both

  1. First thing you remember wanting to be when you grow up?

A fashion designer, which is hilarious considering I shed my work clothes as soon as I get home. I love yoga pants and t-shirts. Work clothes suck!

I Can’t Drive 55!

Speed_Limit_55_sign.svgWay, way back in the days before pizza apps and severely deformed Snapchat photos, a smart-mouthed, seemingly confident (yet secretly terrified) teenager started her in-car drivers ed. Despite the fact that she was assigned to drive with two stinky boys—ew—her nerves settled and she did quite well under the wheel . . . That is, until the day her instructor turned to Stinky 1 and Stinky 2 (both smirking in the back seat) and said, “She’s doing pretty good, ain’t she boys? She’s one of the better drivers I’ve had lately. There’s just one thing she’s doing wrong . . . Know what it is?”

In the rear-view, she watched both stinks shake their heads and grin (assholes). The instructor then posed the question to her. “Do you know what you’re doing wrong?”

Her defiant nature took over. “No, I really don’t. I keep checking my mirrors. There’s nothing behind me . . . I’ve not run out of my lane. I don’t know . . . so just tell me what it is.” She was obviously annoyed with his little game of guess what.

She could feel all six of their eyes—their male eyes—on the back and side of her head, but she didn’t dare take her eyes off the road. She wondered if they were playing some kind of sick mess-with-the-girl game. Were the stinks in on it? Did they know what was going on?

A sudden loud voice to her right made her jump. “You’re speeding!” her instructor barked out as he jerked up the emergency brake to slow her down.

“Crap,” she said under her breath as she lifted her foot from the gas pedal . . .

That, little speed demon . . . yeah, that was me—true story—and that whole scene replayed in my head this morning as I sat in courtroom number 3 waiting to learn the consequences of my 70 in a 55. It is entirely possible that I missed my calling. Someone should have strapped me in, put a helmet on my head, and pointed me toward the track a long time ago . . . Oh well, I guess it’s too late for that career change.

On the bright side, I still hold a valid NC driver’s license.

 

No Freaking Rest for the Wicked

no sleepOkay so I’ve been sick with this cold, upper-respiratory, and sinus crap for a month. To say I’ve not been sleeping well is an understatement. But, now that I have some antibiotics, I was really, really looking forward to a good night’s rest (and hopefully sleeping late). So much so, that the hubby and I went to bed around 9:00 (yep, 9:00, on a Friday night) to get that good night’s sleep. Ha ha, silly me, what was I thinking? Oh yeah, did I mention we decided to sleep with the windows open because of the unseasonably warm weather? Here’s how the night went:

10:15 pm: Our little canine diva rouses me from my peaceful, albeit short, rest because she needs to go outside, again. At least I think that’s what she was saying. The saucy little bitch never communicates clearly. Anywho, I get up (mainly because my adorable husband is sawing logs and hasn’t so much as bobbled in his rhythm of sucking all the air from the room and whistling as he blows it back out). So, I let the dog out. She goes tearing from the door and runs around the house like she’s after something. Who knows? The dog is nuts. After about 15 minutes, she cuts a meandering path back to the house, stopping to smell of two trees, a bush, and a rock because, you know, she has all the time in the freaking world.

11:00ish: I start hearing the most unnatural and disturbing sound. It honestly sounds like one of the neighborhood kids is getting murdered (which is not an altogether unpleasant thought—don’t judge me). I lie there listening for a few minutes trying to decide what I’m hearing—“okay, it’s not a kid. Is it a bird? God, I don’t know. Well, it sure ain’t a cow or horse doing that kind of screeching.” After much thought and getting up from the bed to listen at the window, I was sure I had it. “It’s a goat. It has to be. So now what? Is it a baby goat (is it a kid after all)? Is it a momma goat? Are coyotes attacking or something?”

11:30 pm: The hubby finally breaks his peaceful slumber to get up and pee. By then, the bleating had become less frequent. As he crawls back into bed, I ask him to listen, but we only hear the strange screaming sound two more times. Then it stops all together. “I wouldn’t worry about it,” he says. Easy for him to say.

12:30 am: I’m still lying there trying to figure out what could have been happening to that poor little goat to make it cry like that. I consider getting up and walking through the woods, down through the creek, and up to the place where I think the goat must have been. But that’s just stupid. I mean, I’d have to get up, find my good waterproof boots (you know, so I could walk through the creek), etc … You get the point right? My brain was in overdrive.

1:45 am: This is the last time I remember looking at the clock. At some point, thank God, I finally fell asleep.

7:00 am: “Bam, bam, bam. Get up everybody, get up! Na, na, na, get up, get up.” I’m startled awake to this catchy little tune. My husband says, “What the hell is that?” Once I realize what I’m hearing, I get up and go to the window opposite the goat fiasco. There, across the street, are two kids (human ones) running around the neighbor’s yard, singing their little get up song, and banging a stick against a trashcan lid. To beat all, those kids don’t even live there. That’s their grandpa’s house. I answer my husband’s question. “Well, babe, it seems Bob’s grandkids want the whole damn neighborhood to get up [name changed to protect Bob—even if his grandkids are little asshats].”

So now, I can’t go back to sleep. I’m up at 7:15 writing a blog post to keep from marching across the street and choking out two kids (human ones). I’ve learned three valuable lessons from last night and this morning’s festivities: 1) never sleep with the windows open when you want a good night’s sleep, 2) keep your waterproof boots beside the bed just in case, 3) it’s a good idea to invest in a tranquilizer dart gun—preferably one with a pretty long range.

True Love & Biscuits

A love story…

This morning, I was craving a steak biscuit and some dirty rice from Bojangles’, so I went. As luck would have it, I arrived at the peak time to dine with the retired and elderly crowd, or as they’re known around here, the old coffee drinkers. What I didn’t expect was for one of them to remind me of why I write romance novels, nor did I expect for one of them to make me cry.

I was tucked away at a corner table playing invisible woman and tap, tap, tapping away on my tablet screen when I overheard one sweet little grey-haired man talking about the loss of his wife. I didn’t hear him say how long she had been gone. I didn’t hear what she died of. What I did hear was him saying, and I quote (I recorded it on my tablet so I wouldn’t forget), “You know, when my wife died, I actually though about pitching a tent up at the cemetery, up at the edge of the woods, so I could be right there with her.”

I’ve been writing some emotional stuff the last few days, so I’m sort of a wreck anyway. Hearing that sweet little man speak of his grief broke my heart right in two. I actually had to turn my head, so they wouldn’t see my eyes welling up. That’s right, I cried over what was left of my biscuit and dirty rice. Shoot, I’m getting misty-eyed now just thinking about it.

The rest of the conversation only drew more tears from me. One of the ladies at the table asked him what he does to keep busy during the day. Of course, he said he visits his wife’s grave every day, sometimes three times a day.

“Do you, really?” the woman asked.

He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sometimes I stay up there for 30 minutes or more just talking to her. I know it’s just her body, not her soul, but that’s all I know to do. I just talk to her.”

I believe my unintentional eavesdropping this morning confirmed for me what I already knew—true love does exist. I would even argue that, aside from the need of food, water, and shelter, the human need to love and be loved is basic to our existence. This is why I write romance novels—because they chronicle the basic human quest of finding that one true and devoted love and overcoming adversity to make it work.

Naysayers of the genre speak of romance novels as if they are ridiculously corny, completely unrealistic, and not representative of real relationships. All I can say is, tell that sweet little grey-haired man that his devotion to his wife, a devotion that had him considering living in a tent in the cemetery just to be close to her, tell him that his love for that woman was/is unrealistic. And me…I cried all the way home from Bojangles’ because that sweet little man made me consider what it would be like to live on this earth without my husband of twenty-four years. Just the thought takes my breath and wrenches the heart in my chest.  The thought of losing him—my partner, my best friend, the love of my life—kills me. I’m sure I would be lost, just like that sweet little old man. Tell me the love I have for my husband is unrealistic?

When I write, it’s not from some fantasy land of emotion. It’s from a real place in my heart. I don’t pretend relationships are easy. Whether real or imagined, they take work. But to say that adversity cannot be overcome, to say that people cannot work through problems to achieve a real and lasting love is just stupid. So to the naysayers I say, it’s okay. Perhaps you are not emotionally ready to find meaning in my writing. Perhaps the current state of your relationships will not allow you to have hope in your heart. Don’t worry, when you’re ready, the romance genre will still be around.

Would you like some Iggy Azalea with your shrimp?

Why blog ideas come to me at 1:00 am is beyond me. Further, anyone who reads this is probably going to think I’m nuts, but this is the kind of thing that enters my mind and rouses me from my serene place of rest in the wee hours of the morning—okay, not entirely serene with one beautiful but snoring husband and one cute as hell cover-stealing doggie diva between us. What is this profound topic, you ask? What could be of such import as to drive me from blissful sleep? Well…restaurant music is driving me crazy!

Keep Calm Eat FishNo matter where I go or what I do, I always notice the background music. This is nothing new. I can hardly help it; music is in my blood. It’s as much a part of me as the leg that bounces automatically to anything up tempo. So when a restaurant pipes in a continuous stream of the wrong type of music, it bugs me. Case in point: last week, my husband and I decided it was time for our bi-monthly dose of  greasy, deep fried goodness overload. That’s right, Long John Silver’s—great on the taste buds; hard on the arteries. Any who, we were the youngest people in the restaurant, and we’re in our early forties. So, what music do they choose to play for this geriatric grease-feast? I can only describe it as a continuous stream of dance-mix hell. Talk about missing the mark on your demographic. I don’t know about all LJSes, but I’ve never seen a long line of twenty-somethings waiting behind a velvet rope to get in. I don’t mind a little club music when I’m in the mood to party, but, last time I checked, LJS doesn’t sell martinis and DJ Davy Jones wasn’t set up in the corner. What the music did accomplish was making a bunch of already grumpy old people even more hostile. Like I said, I was the youngest customer in there, and even I was about ready to borrow the cane of the guy next to us and beat the hell out of the speakers.

Pizza Hut is another restaurant with identity issues. I had lunch there on Wednesday, and was treated to forty minutes of non-stop contemporary Christian music. Now, everybody knows Pizza Hut sells beer. This is the Bible Belt, okay. Around here, it just ain’t right to be a hypocrite. I was so confused. I mean, beer just seems to go with pizza, but maybe I’ve been misled. I wanted to get down on my knees right there and pray about it—no, not really. What I really wanted was to order a beer, but, dammit, it was only 12:30. If I had twisted a cap off that early, especially while listening to Christian music, I’m sure I would have received no less than ten invitations to church on Sunday.

All I’m saying is, I wish the restaurants around here would take some time to study their customers. I don’t know who makes the final call. I just wish something would be done about it. All the anxiety from obsessing over this issue is messing with my digestive system—or maybe it’s the deep fried cod. I guess I’ll never know. [whohit]Iggy[/whohit]

“Well…it ain’t Ozzy and Harriet.”

“Say, that reminds me . . .” My husband and I were still in high school when we first saw Raising Arizona, a movie which has infiltrated the very fabric of our lives. (By the way, we weren’t married then. We were just dating. We may be backwoods redneck, but damn, we ain’t that backwoods.) Anyway, “Here, I’m startin’ over.” Between our first viewing in 1987 and now, we have watched the movie more times than I can count. I knew it was something special in 1987, and it has proved worthy of our devotion every year since. So woven into our vernacular it is, hardly a conversation passes at our house without one of us dropping a quote from the film.

For every occasion there is a quote. For example, when we were newly married, my husband got a job changing oil and whatnot at a quick-lube type establishment. He hated the work and the bratty boss’s nephew he was teamed with. When the brat forgot to put oil back in one big ol’ boy’s truck, the big ol’ boy threatened the boss, and my husband was the one who lost his job. Logically, a caring wife would say, “Honey, it will be okay. You’ll find another job.” But did I say that? Hell no. I said, “You’re young and you’ve got your health. What would you want with a job?”

You see, the last twenty-seven years has been an endless string of these quotes, from “…when there was no crawdad to be found, we ate sand” to “Son, you’ve got a panty on your head” to “Healthy white baby? Five years? What else you got?” to “Riley, you take that diaper off your head. You put it back on to your sister.” And we don’t just keep it in our house, because, you know, we can’t stay in the house forever—“So many social engagements, so little time.” It never fails that we pull our friends into the game when we’re with them. If a friend starts to tell us a story about some unknown Bill, my husband grins at me and says, “Bill Roberts?” To which I reply, “No, not that mother-scratcher.” Our friends already know we are nuts, so, apparently, they no longer view our behavior as weird. At this point, they just continue without missing a beat.

What they don’t realize is our little inside jokes are much more than just playful banter. Spouting off these random quotes from a movie we watched twenty-seven years ago is a reminder of our commitment to one another. It’s a reminder of how very well suited we are together. It’s a reminder of why we fell in love in the first place. So it’s more than just a movie; it’s more than just a source of witty quotes—it’s a symbol of our lasting love. Through everything, all that’s happened in our lives together—like small paychecks (“Gov’ment do take a bite, don’t she?”), ATV accidents, losing loved ones—all we have to do is quote Raising Arizona and we remember we are one in this trek through life “light as the ether—a floating spirit visiting things to come.”[whohit]Ozzy and Harriet[/whohit]