Thursday, July 30, 2009
But I was never the funny one in high school. I got in the occasional good one liner, but not often. Then I went to college and I sort of found myself. I mean, I didn't realize I was lost until I really came into my own personality. Now don't get me wrong, I was your typical pompous, self-saturated little girl away from Mommy for the first time. I made mistakes - big ones. I pissed off people who were really important to me and broke bonds and did all the terrible stuff one usually does in college, but I did it as me. Not as the facade that I presented in high school in a desperate attempt to maintain my not-quite-bottom-of-the-social-heap status.
And I was moderately popular. Not in the way the cheerleaders are popular (although at Bethel the cheerleaders are not popular but you get what I'm getting at) but I had lots of friends, everyone knew me, a few hated me (which is imperative to popularity). And why? I wasn't suddenly gorgeous, if anything I felt less intelligent there than I had in high school. But I was funny.
Then, I came home. Back in Georgetown, I assumed that I would still be funny. It was me, after all, right? Wrong. No one here laughs at my jokes and people often just stare at me like they don't get me at all. My husband (who is the king of complimenting me) reminds me occasionally that I am not funny.
That's one of the reasons I started blogging. I wanted to funny again. I figured if I opened up the pool, the people who liked my brand of humor (whatever it is) would gravitate toward me and I would find some common ground. Get some lol's in my comments. Feel like I had brightened someone's day. Sunshiney and all, you know?
I also wanted to track things. Mom was constantly telling me to write down the funny things Brynna said. She called me mum-mum until she was almost 2 and said set for yes until she was 3. I knew that if I didn't write them down, I would lose them. And I am not a writer-downer of things. I mean, I write things down and stick them in a drawer or a computer file and don't have any sense of why I want to keep them, so I don't know where to put them. A blog, I figured would be my there. I could stick all the cuteness, all the humor, all the frustration and love and skinned knees into one hole in the internet. People would tolerate me because I was "mommy blogging" and in the future, I could look back on my mommy blogging archives and say "Mum-Mum. I loved that. I felt sort of Brittish whenever she said it and I loved that."
That's another. The third reason I started blogging was to write. Just to put fingers to keyboard and write. Get something out. Extract words from my skull in hopes that getting back in the habit would hasten the appearance of the Great American Novel.
Then I started. I found that I never seemed to write down all those things here, and that I was still only sometimes funny, but instead I found I needed the outlet. I needed to pour something out into the keyboard and see where it landed. Some days it's my soul, or sort of my soul and some days it's something else entirely.
But no one read it. No one. I mean, like my mom and that was it. So, I started promoting it. I joined some sites and I posted announcements sometimes on my Facebook and I read other people's blogs and commented and linked to my own. And I started meeting people. Some were new to me and some were estranged. And then I was blogging for a whole new reason. Now, I was community. (Blech - that word is so overused.) I met people I would never have met in real life and I reconnected with people who may or may not have forgotten who I was. And I thrived off the feeling. Better than laughter, that feeling of belonging. Which, if we want to get all psychoanalytic about it is probably what that making people laugh thing is all about is feeling like I belong, like I can contribute.
Redneck Mommy wrote one time that we blog to feel like rock stars. That we are the high school geeks, the nerds, the ones who were denied attention and we come full circle when we are writing and being published on the interwebz! I never felt like that, until today. Today I ran my analytic tool (which is www.statcounter.com, by the way) and I felt like a total rock star. Okay, to put things in perspective, I am not a rock star. Redneck Mommy and Pioneer Woman are rock stars and I am the girl who sells t-shirts for the opening act, but still, rock star related, me.
So, today, and today only, I am rock star material. I am rock-star-esque. Tomorrow I will again be writing about ghosts or four year olds or baby milestones or not wanting to leave my house ever again, but not today. Today, I write this missive to the universe for a plethora of reasons, one of which is that I am rockstaresque.
Stephen King (my most favorite rock star writer) wrote once (and I am totally paraphrasing) that he retired because he wanted to enjoy writing without the deadlines and book tours and yadda, yadda, yadda, but he found he couldn't write without an audience. He needed someone to read the book for the process to be complete. (Again, this is more my reading of what SK said than anything he actually said.) And I wanted to just write, with no ultimate goal. But found, that I couldn't.
So, since of most of you guys (at least the commenters among you) have blogs, why do you blog? Why do you put yourself out there and chance ridicule? Do you feel like a rock star? Do you do it for the audience, for yourself or for some amalgamation? Just curious.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Why is there poop on these jeans? I washed these didn't I?
Why can't I hear the TV, it's turned almost all the way up?
Why did it take me three weeks to read a 200 page book?
Why do I love being alone so much?
Why can't I find any of my measuring cups?
Why are all of my bras in a 4 year old's toy cubby?
Why am I making macaroni and cheese again?
Why is the first half hour of work the most pleasant half hour of my whole day?
Why can't I sleep?
Why are there marbles on the floor?
Why do I know how to dress Polly Pocket?
Why are there more stuffed animals in this house than penguins in the arctic?
Why do I know all the actor's names on Suite Life of Zach and Cody and it's spin-off, Suite Life on Deck?
Why does Hannah Montana wear the same stuff Debbie Gibson did when I was your age?
Why do we go through milk so fast?
Why do I only bake from a mix now, when I used to make stuff from scratch?
Why do we always need more laundry detergent?
Why are there more clothes in the pink/red pile downstairs than all the other piles combined?
Why do I buy hairbows when you won't let me fix your hair?
Why am I the only who ever cooks dinner?
Why do I have to give up caffeine, when I really believe it's the only thing keeping me sane?
Why can't I remember anything anymore?
Why do I suddenly consider leather flip flops dress shoes?
Perhaps this will cause her to come up with her own list of becauses. Or maybe she'll just get frustrated and say "Because God made it that way," like I do when I can't take it anymore and I've defined 13 words in my sentence about why the sun shines.
"The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace. Where hydrogen is burned into helium at a temperature of million degrees." Thank you, They Might be Giants!!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
My mom just told about another of her experiences in Grandma's house here and I want to tell you about my Abraham Lincoln story. First off, I should explain, my ghost isn't really Abe. For one thing, he's younger than any picture of the Linc-man I have ever seen. He looks softer, too, less serious. But, he wears a black suit, with a jacket that is longer in the back than in the front, but which I wouldn't quite call tails. He has a white shirt and a black, skinny tie and a hat. A tall, round hat.
I saw him for the first time when I was fairly little. He was standing in the doorway to my bedroom. I looked up, feeling someone watching me and thought mom must be home early. I looked up and it wasn't her watching me play. I knew who should be in the house: Grandmommy, Grandddaddy and possibly my mom. Meaning that no one else should be. Certainly not a creepy man dressed like he was reenacting something from one of Grandmommy's movies. But, he seemed to belong. He also seemed unwilling to move or talk. So, I went back to playing. Later, when I looked up again, he was gone.
I was probably 6 or 7. I knew he was dressed historically, although I didn't associate him with Lincoln until later. But I was in the pink room (the one that didn't talk), so I was older than 5.
Since then, I have seen him only a handful more times. Most memorably, when I was twelve or thirteen, I woke up, and saw him watching me sleep. I talked to him, but he said nothing back. This was the first time I called him Abraham Lincoln. Later, when I woke up, I was sure that it was a dream, but I also very clearly remembered waking up, sitting up even, never taking my eyes off of him. At this point in my life, I usually slept with the TV on. I would set the sleep function to turn off not long after Letterman, and fall asleep sometime during the monologue. The TV was on and there was singing, so it must have been at the end of the show.
I will tell you my lady in the mirror story another time, because there is so much to get into, but I stopped "seeing" her when I was about 15. I haven't seen Abe since about a year after that late night TV encounter.
I believe that children are more susceptible to sitings than adults. I'm not sure why. I think it most makes sense that as adults, we have developed the ability to reason away what we have seen. I saw a woman reflected in my dining room window not long after moving in and spent probably two months trying to catch my reflection in the window the same way. Nevermind the woman was wearing jeans and a light blue calico shirt and I was wearing black dress pants and a pink sweater. Oh yeah, she was blond. But, whatever, I am 90% sure it was me in that window.
I think that there is a critical age for everyone where believing in ghosts becomes harder than believing (against all reason) that multiple small factors lined up perfectly to make you see/hear/feel something that wasn't there. I know plenty of adults who believe in things that go bump in the night, but even we, the believers tend to try to disprove ourselves the way a child wouldn't.
My favorite ghost story ever happened to the sister of one of my best friends and her son. We'll give them fake names: Annie and Taylor. (As you may have noticed I have little interest in trying to protect the innocent and often use people's real first names. The main reason for this change is that I can't quite remember the child's name. Also, I feel like it really isn't my story to tell.)
Annie and her husband lived across the road from a family cemetery. In my neck of the woods, these small cemeteries are fairly common on the back roads. They mostly used to be on people's farms and as their farms were divided remained as a piece of one part of the property or were never sold off and are now all that is left. This one was surrounded by a chain link garden fence and opened up onto the road.
The family paid Annie and her husband a small amount of money to keep the cemetery up. The husband went over and mowed after finishing his own yard. Later that day or sometime the next Annie would take Taylor over and she would do the cleanup work. Tend to the flowers, weed around the stones, make sure they weren't covered with grass clippings, etc.
Taylor had a favorite stone in a back corner and he often took a few small toys and played around in that area while his mom worked. One day, instead of his usual quiet playing, Taylor was bugging Annie to death. Finally, exhausted, she said, "Why aren't you playing over there like you normally do."
"Because he's not here today." was Taylor's reply.
"Who's not here?"
"The little boy I usually play with." Taylor went on to describe how a little boy sat on the top of that "rock" and waited for him and when he came over they would play in the grass, making up games. Annie tried to convince him that no one else had ever been there, but Taylor was insistent. Finally, she walked over to the headstone in question and read that it marked the grave of a small child.
What followed was a list of what she did (took the kid away, didn't let him play there while she was working again) that is unimportant. The point of this story isn't what happened after, but that she worked there for years, tending to the stones, taking care of the lost ones there whose loved ones were mostly lost now too. She spent hours there and never saw a thing. Not a single thing. But her son, by all accounts, did. He was four, not reading. He could have made up a story and that stone could have been a coincidence. Or perhaps there was some carving there that led him to believe a child was buried there. Of course, if this was from the period that most of these family cemeteries were, then I doubt there was anything other than name and date carved there.
My daughter often points out things to me that simply are not there. The tractor in that field, the child playing over there, the dinosaurs in the house. Truthfully, I know that I can't believe all of her tall tales. Because she is a tale-teller. Some kids are. I want to foster that into a love of reading a writing that mimics that her parents share. And I know that at four the relationship between fantasy and reality is fuzzy. She knows that Scooby Doo isn't real and that I am but there are shades of gray that she hasn't been able to identify properly yet.
But sometimes I wonder. I wonder if maybe the dinosaur story is made up and the man and boy riding the tractor are not. I wonder if she just sees things that I cannot. I wonder when it will stop. I don't draw attention to it because children aren't scared of the things they see. Oh, sure, they are afraid of ghosts, because we teach them to be, but they aren't afraid of the things they see, the unusual kids they play with, the people watching them play from the hallway. And maybe that's another reason why kids see more than we do. Because they aren't scared to process what their eyes tell them is there. They haven't learned to be yet.
Coming soon - Ghost Stories, the Conclusion: The Woman in the Mirror
Friday, July 24, 2009
1. Reading is happiness.
2. Doing laundry is sadness.
3. People listening to Ann Coulter is a sign of the apocalypse.
4. Anything I didn't cook is gourmet cuisine for me.
5. Brynna's giggle is the sound I most wish I was hearing.
6. Stranger than Fiction is the song that will play in the opening credits of the movie of my life.
7. Santa Claus is my most cherished belief.
8. My minivan (and my mom's house) is my home away from home.
9. Getting to write for work is the cherry on the sundae of my day.
10. The smell of baby is hope.
So, hey, sorry for the cop out and all, but this is what you get. Perhaps, if you behave yourself, there will be rare weekend blogging to make up for it. Don't hold your breath, though.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Okay, on with the show.
I've written about my friend Missy's house before. It's in the middle of nowhere. When you get to the house, you turn into a long narrow gravel driveway. Drive past a barn that looks like it may collapse right onto the drive and through a couple of curves and over a couple of hills, then you get to the house. There are a couple of little buildings around the house, a walk-out shed, a garage, etc. The house sits a little above the drive and there is a wooden plank sidewalk and porch leading up to the front door. The house is old. Not old like my grandma's house, but it's still a nice, old farmhouse.
Missy's family calls their ghost Bob. I found this exhilarating and a little worrisome when I was in high school. That kind of familiarity freaked me out a little, but suggested that there was a way of living with ghosts that didn't involve a constant denial of their existence.
Every workday between 5:20 and 5:30, gravel crunched. Someone within the house would look at the clock and say, "Bob's home." Not with any particular emotion, just to notify people that they didn't have to peek out the windows to find out who was coming up the long drive. (If that sounds paranoid, you've never lived somewhere secluded. It's always for you when you have a mile long driveway.)
The gravel would continue to crunch as it sounded exactly like someone was driving up to the house. Eventually, the car would come to a halt right outside the living room window. Then, a car door would slam. Footsteps would start in the gravel and then move to the wooden sidewalk, up the sidewalk, up the three steps to the porch and across the porch proper. The screen door would screech. The big door would open and then shut and the screen door would swing shut. The problem with this was there was no car, no person and no movement of the door. Just the sound.
I heard Bob come home on a few occasions, at least 2 or 3. Most of the time when I was there at the right time, it was Saturday, but I don't remember ever being there when Bob should have come home that he didn't.
Missy and her parents made jokes about Bob and sometimes blamed missing items on him. I would catch Mamadoo (yes, we all called her that) every once in a while talking to him. Almost like talking to herself, but not quite.
Missy had a lot of slumber parties. Her place was the place to be. All summer long, there would be parties with a bunch of us camped out under the stars. Sometimes we would stay at her sister's house instead. There was a haunted bridge there, but we never saw anything on it. All of her siblings were grown and married and she had the whole upstairs to herself.
One particular party (I can't tell you who was there besides me and Missy and maybe Sharlene) we had stayed up late watching a movie. I don't remember what it was, but apparently we had all fallen asleep with the TV and VCR on. I woke, late, probably 2 or 3 a.m. and the TV was showing snow as the VCR had cut off. There was that static sound, too, but not very loud.
As I laid there, trying to go back to sleep, I saw something move. Since I wasn't alone in the room, this wasn't unusual. I turned my head and saw a hanger drop to the ground. I was puzzling where it had fallen to, when I saw another hanger drop. Missy kept a stack of empty hangers on her closet doorknob and I turned to the closet to see hangers, one by one, flying off the doorknob, around the room a little, then falling to the floor.
It wasn't particularly violent, but they were wire hangers of the Mommy Dearest variety, so it wasn't like throwing feathers around the room. I laid, unable to move for what seemed like hours and then finally reached up an arm and grabbed Missy's arm hanging from her bed.
"Missy, Missy, wake up." I was afraid to move too much. I have always had this feeling (perhaps prompted by girls in horror movies running upstairs in heels) that if I don't move, it'll be okay. Missy woke up, sat up, rolled her eyes.
"Quit it Bob." She didn't yell or sound panicked or worried. She said it the way you chide your younger sibling when they are being annoying. Annoyance. That's all that was in her voice. Without even waiting to see if Bob complied, she laid back down and fell back asleep.
The last hanger fell to the floor. I looked back at the closet door and saw that there were still quite a few hanging on it. I tried to count in my head how many hangers had fallen, four? Five? Not many, anyway. I don't think I got back to sleep at all, but I may have dozed. At some point I sat up and stared out the window, watching the sky go from midnight blue to summer sky blue.
The next morning when I heard stirring in the kitchen, I slipped out of bed and headed downstairs. Mamadoo made pancakes and eggs and biscuits and gravy and bacon and sausage, because she knew how to do breakfast up right. I don't think I ever had a little breakfast in that house. She asked me why I was up so early.
I opened my mouth to tell her the story. I was ready to ask if Bob often did things like that or ask if she thought it was a dream. I was ready to tell her I wanted to go back upstairs and see if there were hangers on the floor. She was standing in their large cubbard area, getting something off the shelf. I heard her mutter something and remembered all the times I had heard her talking to Bob.
"Well, have some bacon, sweetie."
I never asked her about it. Never talked to Missy about it. Never asked any of the other girls if they had woken up. Didn't go back upstairs until after everyone else had been up and down a few times. The fact was, I didn't want to know the answers to any of my questions. If it was a dream, it was a damn vivid one. If it was a dream, I wasn't sure about what else was real. And, although I wasn't afraid of Bob, I felt that if it was real, it was better for me if I didn't know it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I kept staying over at Missy's. I kept hearing Bob come up the drive. At one point, after a particuarlly nasty break-up in Missy's life I saw the curtains move as if someone were pacing while she told me what had happened between her and S. But I never saw something so blatantly surreal. I never felt threatened or scared in that house again.
That story, like Steph's, has fallen into the realm of story. I can tell the story and I remember silly details, like the wallpaper in that room and what pajamas I was wearing, but I don't have a clear memory of the occurrence anymore, just the story of the memory.
As with all my ghost stories, it would be easy to write this off as a dream. As something that never happened. My fear of talking about it as fear of embarrassment. I was easily and often embarrassed at that age. I can't pinpoint for you why I believe that really happened anymore. But I do.
Next up: Ghost Stories: Part 3 - Kids and Ghosts
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
For my mad writing skillz and my critical viewpoint on modern cinema, I received one free movie ticket to the movie which I would be reviewing. This was bestowed upon my by the local theater, not the paper. From the paper I received the occasional thanks, and sucky assignments. But I still miss it.
At the time, I was the only female reviewer. So, I got the chick flicks. Have you people met me? Chick flicks, really? (Okay, I admit to liking The Notebook and crying like a girl and possibly, just possibly, writing an annoyingly gushing review of it.) And kid's movies. Which I didn't mind as much. But, I didn't get anything I was dying to see. SciFi geek girl extrordairre, here, and I got neither Star Wars nor Lord of the Rings nor Harry Potter. Self proclaimed scream queen got not a single, solitary horror movie. I got The Lizzie Maguire Movie. I am not making this up. And yet, miss it I do. And it's not only because I now only see three movies a year.
Writing movie reviews is sort of the perfect job for me. I love movies and I love writing and to combine them both is just pure heady perfection. But what I miss even more than the movie watching and review writing is the part that came in between. The part where I walked out of the theatre and began to analyze the film's merits. Because what reviewing came down to, for me at least, was telling people if it's worth it.
Lots of reviewers look only for what I'll call artistic merit and don't pay enough attention to details like watchability. While other reviewers hate artistic merit and only care about explosions and sex scenes. I wanted to be the voice of reason in the middle. I wanted to be able to say, wow this movie was really heavy and great and deserves awards, but it's kinda draggy and not that great for a date night. But this movie, while funny and sort of enjoyable will leave you walking out wondering what the hell happened to the last two hours of your night.
I liked being able to discuss characterization and cinematography in a setting where no one looked at me like my head was on fire. I love weighing the artistic arc of the story against a clear, unmuddled plot. See, while books create the same sort of magic, (but better) they don't need a clear, unmuddled plot. There is more freedom in a book, to do what you wish, but there are certain rules to movie making (like they can't be 14 hours long) that limit a film maker's ability and change the style of art. A movie is more akin to a short story, easy to write - but incredibly difficult to write well - than a book.
Which is why I am always confused by people's desire to make books into movies, generally they are too long and detailed to be done justice and then everyone complains because the book was better. Serious tangent here, but Stephen King's best books are at least 500 pages long and sometimes (It) 1,000. But the movie, It sucked. It sucked big time - and it was a miniseries, so it was actually 6 hours long. What are King's best movies? Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me and The Green Mile. Two short stories and one of his shortest books (written in serial style which also lends itself better to movies). Okay, sorry about the tangent.
Last night, we saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I was thrilled. I loved it. I cried like a baby. I was enraged. I hated it. I was disappointed. I cried like a baby. After the movie, we stood outside and talked, the whole book club, and discussed what was good and what was not good and what was (SPOILERS IN NEXT TWO LINKS) totally left out and what was totally made up. And while I enjoyed that conversation immensely, it reminded me of why I miss writing movie reviews. Because even people you love will look at you like your head's on fire when you say that the cinematography was much more subtle than the last installment and should be commended. And also because discussing a movie just won't ever buy you the same sort of clarity as sitting down with pen and paper and analyzing the crap out of it.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday night we went to Sadieville Music Fest (okay, deep breaths, Jessi, dispel the paranoia) in our tiny downtown. The Husband sang Karoke - which was weird. I didn't. I kept going back to the whole, I'm-not-a-very-good-singer excuse, but really, I'm better than a lot of people who did sang. The truth is that although I could speak in front of seven million people, I couldn't sing in front of three, let alone the thirty or so that were there.
There was dinner, because we're southerners, there's always dinner. Included in this dinner was something called Moonshine Corn. Don't try to google it because I spent almost three hours searching for it and it's just not out there. (Do me a favor, if you do google it and find something, please email it to me and tell it's your grandmother's recipe so I don't feel stupid, k?) There's brown sugar and cinamon and butter and roasting in the husk, and I kept myself in check, but I could have eaten the whole big roaster full.
Saturday, we went to the Sweet Corn Festival. It's at a local farm and it's big fun. There was more corn. This corn was pulled, upon your order, from a pot of boiling water, stuck on wooden stick and dipped in a crockpot of butter. Mmmm.... If it hadn't been for the night before, I wouldn't have known that corn could be so good. Two fabulous corn on the cob dishes in one weekend.
There was also a petting zoo, a fabulous playground, wagon rides, sand art, and a vendor's village including the cutest hairbows on the planet. Trust me, that site does not do them justice, but go anyway.
Sunday, we celebrated my Granddaddy's 84th birthday. (I think.) It's funny, but my grandparent's birthdays are almost as momentous to me as my kids. It's like they really count in the beginning and toward the end (although I demand at least 16 more for Granddaddy) and not so much in the middle. Weirdly, I didn't get any pictures. I mean to. I took the camera, meaning to get a picture of Granddaddy with his grandgirls, but it just didn't happen.
And, even though it's not the weekend anymore, tonight... I see... Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I am so excited. (I have 90 pages of Empire Falls to read by 6 and I am at work, but I am still excited.) See the rest of the pics in my Flickr stream.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Note about Jessi's Emmy picks: Jessi in no way claims to understand the minds of whatever idiots vote for awards shows. Jessi feels that the best people are never nominated and then the best people nominated are never awarded. Jessi believes from the depths of her heart that it's all just an excuse to dress up anyway, but she can't stop rooting for the people she loves or crying when they fail. Jessi is also more than ready to stop speaking of herself in third person, so here we go:
Each category will contain a should have been nominated but wasn't, a should win and a I bet will win.
Best Comedy Series
- ''Family Guy
- 'Flight of the Conchords' - Should win
- 'How I Met Your Mother'
- 'The Office'
- '30 Rock' - Will win
- Should have been nominated "Big Bang Theory" - am I a total geek because every week I cry laughing at this show?
Best Actor in a Comedy Series:
- Alec Baldwin, '30 Rock'
- Steve Carell, 'The Office'
- Jemaine Clement, 'Flight of the Conchords'
- Jim Parsons, 'The Big Bang Theory' - should win - really love this show
- Tony Shalhoub, 'Monk'
- Charlie Sheen, 'Two and a Half Men' - will win
- Should have been nominated - Josh Radnor "How I Met Your Mother"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series:
- Christina Applegate, 'Samantha Who?'
- Toni Collette, 'United States of Tara'
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 'The New Adventures of Old Christine'
- Tina Fey, '30 Rock' - should win/will win - Tina Fey rocks. She could win every year and I'd never get sick of it.
- Mary-Louise Parker, 'Weeds'
- Sarah Silverman, 'The Sarah Silverman Program'
- Should have been nominated - Sarah Chalke - Scrubs
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
- Jon Cryer, 'Two and a Half Men' - will win - Why does Emmy love this stinkin' show so much. It has sucked since Rose left.
- Kevin Dillon, 'Entourage'
- Neil Patrick Harris, 'How I Met Your Mother' - should win
- Jack McBrayer, '30 Rock'
- Tracy Morgan, '30 Rock'
- Rainn Wilson, 'The Office'
- Should have been nominated - Kunal Nayyar "Big Bang Theory"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
- Kristin Chenoweth, 'Pushing Daisies' - should win - and then the show should be brought back. Such a loss.
- Jane Krakowski, '30 Rock' - will win
- Elizabeth Perkins, 'Weeds'
- Amy Poehler, 'Saturday Night Live'
- Kristin Wiig, 'Saturday Night Live'
- Vanessa Williams, 'Ugly Betty'
- Should have been nominated - I got nothin'
Best Drama Series:
- 'Big Love'
- 'Breaking Bad' - should win
- 'Mad Men' - will win
- Should have been nominated - Supernatural - The horror/sci-fi shows never get their props
Best Actor in a Drama Series:
- Simon Baker, 'The Mentalist'
- Gabriel Byrne, 'In Treatment'
- Bryan Cranston, 'Breaking Bad' - should win
- Michael C. Hall, 'Dexter'
- Jon Hamm, 'Mad Men'
- Hugh Laurie, 'House' - will win (but I don't begrudge him)
- Should have been nominated - Jensen Ackles "Supernatural" Okay, I know that he's really probably not Emmy good. But, look at him...
Best Actress in a Drama Series:
- Glenn Close, 'Damages'
- Sally Field, 'Brothers & Sisters'
- Mariska Hargitay, 'Law & Order: SVU'
- Holly Hunter, 'Saving Grace' - will win
- Elisabeth Moss, 'Mad Men'
- Kyra Sedgwick, 'The Closer' - should win
- should have been nominated - Lisa Edelstein "House" - It was a big season for Cuddy!
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
- Christian Clemenson, 'Boston Legal'
- Michael Emerson, 'Lost'
- William Hurt, 'Damages'
- Aaron Paul, 'Breaking Bad' - should win
- William Shatner, 'Boston Legal' - will win
- John Slattery, 'Mad Men'
- Should have been nominated - Jared Padalecki, "Supernatural (I know, again. I blush in shame at my inability to control my obsession.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: - Whatever, you know women play on shows other than Grey's. I have no patience with this crap.
- Rose Byrne, 'Damages'
- Hope Davis, 'In Treatment'
- Cherry Jones, 'In Treatment'
- Sandra Oh, 'Grey's Anatomy'
- Dianne Wiest, 'In Treatment'
- Chandra Wilson, 'Grey's Anatomy'
Reality Competition Program:
- 'The Amazing Race' - will win, because it's all feel-goody
- 'American Idol'
- 'Dancing With The Stars'
- 'Project Runway'
- 'Top Chef' - should win
- Should have been nominated - Iron Chef America
- 'Antiques Roadshow'
- 'Dirty Jobs' - should win
- 'Dog Whisperer'
- 'Intervention' - will win
- 'Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List'
- Should have been nominated - Deadliest Catch, I can't stop watching this
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Haunted isn't quite right, though. Many people conjure up images of horror movies, poltergeists, attacks when they hear the word haunted. Or, perhaps, ramshackle houses at the end of the street. The kind that children run past and hushes adult conversation.
My grandmother's house is none of these. The haunting is of a benign nature. The ghosts like us, I am sure. They don't appear to be dangerous, and seem to have no "abilities." Things don't fly around the house. I have never turned around to find all the dining room chairs stacked on the table.
They are there, none the less. I don't talk about my experiences with the ghosts in Grandma's house much, because... Well, because... Well, because they are intangible. They could all be explained away as dreams or hallucinations or misplacing things, or scaring myself. Often we do that. We think there are ghosts and so we "feel" something in the room, and it can only be a ghost, right?
That's the kind of thing I have at grandma's. Recurring dreams that feature the house, that show me things that I couldn't know. Waking up to a man dressed as Abraham Lincoln standing by my bed, silent. The feeling that someone has walked in when no one is there. The feeling that someone is right over my shoulder, reading what I am writing. I was a teenager for many of these experiences, and a child for the rest. A victim of an over-active imagination and hormones.
But, then, there were the voices.
When my mother and I moved into my grandparent's house (I think I was 2. Was I 2 mom?), I was given my uncle's old room and my mom went to her old room and my aunt was still living there. I believe. I was very young, in any case and don't remember the initial details. What I do remember is the complaining.
I complained to mom for years (until I was 5? or 6?) about the voices in the room. And I do remember that. Me of little memory, will probably live forever remembering the voices. Not that they were scary. I think I complained because they kept me up. But, I was little, I might have been scared. In any case, they weren't scary.
There was a fireplace in the room (just like all the rooms of the nearly 200 year old house) and a very scary painting over it. People tell me the picture isn't really scary. It's a little boy sitting in a green velvet chair, but as a child, I saw another child perched on the edge of a precipice, staring down a mossy cliff. It was creepy, even though it was mostly my child-brain is what I'm saying here.
Every night, the fireplace would talk. Not in the comical way that you are envisioning. The opening was covered, so there was no moving mouth, no single voice, in fact. Instead, what I heard, each night, was a party. Downstairs somewhere. My bedroom was directly over my grandmother's bedroom, so probably not there, but the formal living room was nearby. I heard many voices talking and laughing. Muffled enough that I couldn't pick out a single voice or even a single conversation, but loud enough that I could hear the waxes and wanes of a group of people. No music, though. No undercurrent, just voices talking and discussing.
My mother didn't believe me when I said the fireplace talked. I mean, who would. Then one night, she was in the bathroom (the upstairs is a loop so from the hall you could walk to my room, then into the bathroom then into my aunt's room, then into my mom's room, then back to the hall) and the door was open and she heard the voices. I can't take her story and tell you how she felt or what she thought. I can only tell you what happened next.
And what happened next was I never spent another night in that room. Well, except for a time that I invited all my girlfriends in high school to spend a night in the big bed in the haunted room and the only thing that happened was Missy kept moving the rocker on the chair near her and Sara kept crying because the ghosts were back.
Since then, my aunt and uncle lived in that room for a while as their house was being built, and no complaints of voices.
My grandmother swears that the chimney picks up radio transmissions. She often brings up how my uncle built a transistor radio in there as a kid. Perhaps some parts were left behind was her rather unconvincing explanation.
I can swear to what I heard, even though I shouldn't be able to remember it. I can swear that it was there, although I have no idea what it was. Let me say, for the record, that I have been scared of ghosts, of places that were, or seemed to me, haunted. But I have never been scared of that house or of any of it's otherworldly inhabitants.
My uncle saw my great-grandfather (by all accounts, a wonderful man) there once. I take comfort in that. Nothing there can scare me. Except for the woman in the mirror, but that's another post entirely.
See? See how unconvincing that was? This is why I don't tell ghost stories, or at least not mine, because they're just not all that enticing. This is why I am always suspicious of tales like Amityville. Because in my experience, this is how ghosts are. They are just there, watching and listening and existing. Not driving people mad or making the walls weep with blood or anything. Although that makes a much better story.
Next up: Part 2 - Missy's Ghosts
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Because they don't know me. Because my words don't matter to them. But also because you can never hurt with eloquence the way you can hurt with simplicity.
"You're ruining my life"
"I don't want you here."
"I can't wait to get out of here."
"If you want to go, just go."
These are the things that cut us to the quick. That wake us up in the middle of the night, filled with fear, with remorse, with regret or with a renewed sense of hurt.
I could say that we should be more careful with our words, that we should all be more careful with our words, but who among us doesn't already know that? Who among us isn't trying and failing to be more careful.
There are things that people have said to me that I can forgive, but have never, and probably will never forget. It is not a bitterness or an anger that is making me hold onto those moments in time, but a fear. The fear that nightmares are made of, the fear that you can never banish no matter how hard you try. In most cases, my world, my life, would be better if I could forget those moments, expunge them from my memory and move on to a happy future devoid of past injury. I try. And I fail. Just as, I am sure, I fail to not create those moments for others.
I am trying harder and harder each day that my children grow to watch those moments, not just with the girls, but with everyone. It's not enough to save them from scars if I can't save them from seeing their mother cut. I am trying to hold my tongue, to put others' feelings first, to ignore my hurt and stifle my anger and continue to speak in a rational voice, continue to use kindness as my first defense.
It's hard for a loud, opinionated woman like me. I was born in the last century for a reason, because surely, in any other I would have been burned at the stake. I have always prided myself on my strong opinion, my indefatigable will, my fierce independence and my refusal to back down. Now, I wonder if any of that is worthy of my pride. And yet, I can't quite bear the vision of the alternative.
It is natural to me to strike back when struck. It is not natural to me to kill with kindness to catch flies with honey or to madden with my sense of calm. I don't know if it is enough to try and fail. But I believe I've finally begun to realize what Gandhi meant when he said, "Be the change you want to see." It's not about writing your congressman or voicing your opinion. The fact is that world peace needs to take a backseat to peace in my living room. That world peace will only be accomplished when there is peace in every living room. And that, I'm afraid, I now can see, means compromise in every heart.
And that is the sticking point my friends. That is the fly in the ointment of my ramblings. Some things are compromise-able. Some things will not be hurt and will possibly be improved if diluted. But some things, cannot be allowed to let slide. Some things you have to stand firm about. Some times you have to dig in your heels, put your fingers in your ears and la-la-la you're way through. And it is not enough to have both the strength to compromise and the will to stand firm. It is the wisdom to know which is needed.
* No one worry about my weird waxing tonight. It's late. I'm strange. I'm only philosophical when I really, really want to go to bed. Some of my best self-discoveries have come in that glider rocker at 3 a.m. with an inconsolable infant in my lap. This one is just a little early. Or, I am a little older.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Now... Not so much. Which just goes to show, you should never brag too loudly about your kids, they will shoot you down in a blaze of engine oil and severed wings.
She's not really what you would call a bad eater. She's not one of those kids who will only eat mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. But she has some pretty firm limits. Her favorite foods, other than mac and cheese (from a box - she will not eat homemade mac and cheese) and chicken nuggets are green beans, scrambled eggs, string cheese, and jambalaya. Yep, I'm not making that last one up. Jambalaya - with sour cream on top. (Okay, I know that's not exactly traditional, but she thinks it's too hot without it and kinda, I agree, and she will eat a whole freaking bowl with just a little dab of sour creamy goodness, so I'm not saying no.)
She hates french fries. And caramel dip. And cheese. I don't get the cheese thing. She like cheese on her tacos, she likes string cheese or cheese cubes, but don't even THINK about putting cheese on a sandwich or, I don't know, a cheeseburger, because she will totally melt down.
She hates new things. I made gazpacho (because I am a glutton for punishment) and she ate the world's littlest bite and declared she would be having peanut butter and jelly.* The thing is, if I had called it cold tomato soup, she might have eaten it. If I make up a name that makes it sound more familiar, she's usually okay. She won't eat Mexican casserole, but she could live off of Mexican lasagna and they're the same damn thing.
Nine times out of ten, she eats what we eat, but when I've got something I know she'll love (not like gazpacho - that was just stupid) and she won't even try it, it's frustrating.
I know that kids are just like this. I know that kids go through these stages. I also know that I had a roommate in college who would not eat any vegetables period, except corn and potatoes. Can you even count potatoes? I imagine she's still like that.
The thing is, I don't care if she has strong tastes and doesn't eat what she doesn't like. I get that. I don't like red meat and I don't care what you put on top of it, I'm not eating a steak. But I want her to be an adventurous eater. I want her to try new things and enjoy food. I don't like brussel sprouts, but I will gladly try a new preparation, because I might like it better than the last. I want her to be able to make healthy choices, or you know, just choices.
* The rule is that if you take a bite of everything and don't like any of it, then you can have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after everyone else has eaten.
Monday, July 13, 2009
There's nothing like accountability. So, here's my update on my weekend promises:
- Read 200 pages of Empire Falls. - OK, I read about 100 pages. But, I thought it was about a 300 page book and it's a 500 page book, so I'm going to be frantically reading the night before just like every other book.
- Crochet something that I like. - interesting story - I don't own any patterns or yarn for me. OK, not so much a story as statement. I didn't know this about myself and my stash until I was at home desperately trying to come up with something. So, instead, on Saturday, mom and I went yarn shopping. I got some yarn for leaves for my flowers, but I also got enough for a sweater and a shawl for me! More on these projects soon, I promise.
- Have a big breakfast on Saturday with waffles and the whole nine yards. - Check! Best waffles ever! I made my regular waffles and then covered them with cream cheese and sauteed raspberries. Heaven on a plate. I am a culinary genius!!!
- Have a small breakfast on Sunday so that I don't have to think about church clothes and getting the kids ready until the last possible moment. - Check
- Sleep in at least one day. - Not so much. The Husband and I switch off sleeping in days on the weekends and this weekend, Sunday was my day. But I was up from 5:45-7:00, so I don't really consider sleeping until 8:30 sleeping in.
- Watch a movie. - I finally saw 1408! It was everything I expected. I love Stephen King and I love John Cusack and nothing makes me happier than heckling a horror movie.
- WRITE!!! - I wrote four pages, which, not great, but hey more than I wrote last weekend, so win! Except my jump drive seems to be hating me with the passion of a thousand suns, so I can't access said pages and I may not have them any more. Fail.
- Spend at least 2 hours not caring, even a little, about laundry. - I spent most of the weekend not caring about laundry, which was not a good thing. Now I have to care desperately about laundry all the time I'm home. Like getting up in the morning in time to get a load through before work kind of caring, so again - Fail.
It's actually getting pretty hard to keep my location under wraps, as everybody wants me to link to them. Brynna's Montessori has figured out the power of the Internet, you know, less than a decade late, I guess. And they want all the parents to put a link on their blogs. Which is cool, you know. I'm also doing the website for my church through Blogger, because, you know, free, easy, whatever. And, kinda necessarily, the freakin' address is right on the page, so I am wondering what you guy think about anonymity.
I don't care about me. I would publish my cell number if I thought it was at all interesting, but I want to do what I can to protect my kids. So, here is what I am thinking are my options:
- Stubbornly refuse to admit where I live no matter what who wants.
- Make up cute little monikers for the girls and go back through the archives and get rid of their real names.
- Say, what the hell, nothing will probably happen if people know my kid's first names and the town they live in.
- Cower in fear and cry hysterically.
Friday, July 10, 2009
My weekends now are filled with laundry, house cleaning, prep cooking for the rest of the week. They are filled with crying girls who want you to watch TV at 6 a.m. Filled with an extra two meals a day to cook.
There's a lot to be enjoyed about weekends, too.
They are also filled with girly giggles, with Polly Pocket and her amazing rubber wardrobe, with baking cookies with my girls, with dozing on the couch while Max and Ruby fight over world dominance.
I just wish I looked forward to weekends the way I used to. Am I a bad person? Is it terrible that I don't look forward to 48 uninterrupted hours of family time just because I know that the laundry pile is threatening to take over the basement and "Holy Stuck On Cheese, Batman, how are these counters filled with dirty dishes when we JUST washed dishes!!"
This weekend, I promise that I won't make myself miserable and long for Monday's sanity. This weekend I promise to do the following without feeling even a tinge of guilt:
- Read 200 pages of Empire Falls. That should be enough to finish it and get it back to the library by it's due date. And be prepared for book club before the night before.
- Crochet something that I like. Something for me. I will probably have to make a couple of flowers to relieve my guilt, but I am starting a project all for me, darn it. I haven't made anything for myself in about four years.
- Have a big breakfast on Saturday with waffles and the whole nine yards.
- Have a small breakfast on Sunday so that I don't have to think about church clothes and getting the kids ready until the last possible moment.
- Sleep in at least one day.
- Watch a movie. Even if it's on TV. Even if it's riddled with commercials. Even if it's something I thought I'd never watch.
- WRITE!!! I should be able to write ten pages in a weekend, right? Right!
- Spend at least 2 hours not caring, even a little, about laundry.
So, do me a favor and use the comments section to make a promise to yourself about what you are going to do this weekend. I'm sure that a lot of you are like me and need to make yourself do something fun. Not because you're all martyr-y but because you just get so wrapped up in doing what has to be done, that you forget it's just gonna have to be done tomorrow, too. Some of you may have the opposite problem and maybe you should promise to spend two hours caring about the laundry pile. Or maybe there's just something you've been meaning to do like take more pictures of the kids or go to the park or take a walk at dusk.
Whatever. Just do it to make me feel better.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Anyway, back to The Plain White Tees (band singing above song). It's a beautiful song. Even though it saw more play than the YMCA. It's just so calming and quiet and it's a love song, but when I listen to it, it doesn't make me happy. It makes me feel like I've walked into something private and overheard something that I shouldn't. It feels so real, so personal, so private.
I've heard that the songwriter wrote it about a girl he'd only met once and never had a relationship with. I don't know if that's true, and I'd rather not. I don't want to hear the story behind it. The story behind it will ruin it and take away it's magic, I just know it will. So many songs in my life have been ruined by the "real" story. I have often said that Story is eternal. It's something bigger than any of us. Nothing important has ever happened that wasn't surrounded and bathed in story. Sometimes the event came first, sometimes the story came first. It doesn't matter. When the dust settles and time passes, the story is all that is left.
I've never liked classical music, because it doesn't have words. I'm all about the words. I know this makes me seem juvenile, but I think it's just because I've always been obsessed with words. I care much more about the words than the melody or the rhythm. I don't know music, but I know words.
I can find beauty and amazement in the typical three chord punk song, because I barely hear the music. But I have to struggle, really struggle to find beauty in Bach because, well, it's just music to me. I love musical people (maybe because I am so un-musical) and they have always been astounded and a little offended (?) by my inappreciation of a medium they find rife with beauty and depth. And I can't explain it. I can't put my finger on it, but I always wonder if when they read they stop sometimes and turn a word or a phrase over and over in their head just appreciating the rhythm of it, the imagery, the perfectness. How that word is the only word that would have worked there, the only thing that made that phrase, which made that sentence, which made that paragraph, which made that chapter, which made that book.
My love of words, of character, of story is deep, it is ingrained on my soul. I don't remember being read to much as a child, but I remember my mother reading all the time. "Historical romances." I remember my grandma picking up Guidepost or one of the myriad health magazines which landed on our doorstep every week. I remember there being books - so many books in the house that I wondered if it would be possible to read them all. I think this meant more to me than reading myself. Seeing a quiet, unpretentious appreciation of it.
I wonder if my love of words and story came from that, from the books around, from my mother curled up in her reading chair tuning out the evening news. Or if it's genetic. Something no one had to work to inspire. Something that was just always there.
I wonder if I'm doing right by the girls. I read to Brynna, any time she asks. And I'll start reading to Maren soon, I'm sure. I read her books that the librarians think are too old for her. Books where the main character is at least twice her age, books with chapters and very few pictures. But, she doesn't see me read often. I don't curl up on the couch and tune out Pinky Dinky Doo. I hide in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, or I work in the living room on one of my million projects. I am never there just reading. Just showing her how much I love the thing I love the very most.
The blog I was reading, listening to The Plain White Tees tell Delilah that distance would not separate them was Sweet Juniper. Today, he wrote,
"Sometimes I go back and read cringe-inducing things I wrote over a decade ago, occasionally encountering a particularly delicate line and wondering where it came from. Did that come from me? I wonder. The same dope who wore his pants at his knees and listened only to the Wu Tang Clan? Have you forgotten how powerful it feels to stand in awe of what hasn't yet been written, that limitless universe of language in front of you. Have you forgotten how fun it was to be bold and reckless with words?"
Other than past fashion choices and musical tastes, I could have written that.
I have forgotten. I have forgotten. I want to remember. I want to write. Every day that goes by without me writing is another nail in the coffin. I'm not sure what I'm burying: my creativity, my soul, my ability, my love. But whatever it is, I'm not ready to let it go. Yet, every night I go to bed exhausted, without writing a single word. Without making even a tiny bit of progress on the Great American Novel. Or the Other Novel. Without doing anything.
I wake up thinking about all the things I have to do and I never think about what I want to do. I want to read, I want to write, I want to craft. But those things are inevitably the things that fall by the wayside. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of hoping that one day, I'll retire and have a wicker chair on a sun porch and get all of this stuff done, while sipping homemade lemonade. But I don't know how to change. There isn't enough time to do the things I need to do, let alone make more room for the things I want to do. I wonder if it'll be better when the kids are both in school, or when I get through with VBS. But I don't think it'll ever "get" better. I think I have to make it better. And I don't know how.
Writing is always what I have wanted to do.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Some of you may be throwing confetti in the air every time I don't post a crochet post, who knows.
But, there is a reason I have been neglecting my crochet posting duties. Are you ready for it?
My finished items keep disappearing.
You may remember that I am currently spending most of my crafting time on chemo hats for my church group's project. I went to a few meetings and made hats and felt pretty proud of myself. Then, suddenly, I stopped feeling proud. Why? Because an 80 year old woman in my group who claims to have never crafted in her life had made 30 hats to my 3.
Okay, so I have work and kids yadda, yadda, yadda. But, really 10 to 1. It's embarrassing. So, I quit making hats and started making flowers to stick on the hats. It's crochet again, instead of fake knitting and I love doing it and not many women in the group know how to crochet or knit for real, so it's not something everyone can do.
So, I have made about 7 flowers and 2 bows. The flowers aren't hard and they are quick. I have a bunch of patterns for different ones, but I've found one pattern that I really like that only takes about a half hour, and so I am just making them until I get tired of it, then I will move on to the next flower patter.
So, where are the pictures of these flowers and bows and cute, cute goodness? Good question. Every time I go digging in my crochet bag to find them and take pictures they are gone.
A little mouse is stealing my crochet flowers and feathering her nest with them. (Was that a mixed metaphor? Mice nest, but I guess they don't feather their nests... Verdict, please.) And that mouse's name is Brynna. Tonight, if she won't tell me what she did with them all, I'm going to have to ransack her room. It won't be pretty, but I am getting tired of working and working and having nothing to show for it. That's why I don't knit. :)
Monday, July 6, 2009
But the fireworks were cool. First of all, do you have a minivan? If your answer is no, start shopping. Okay, okay, I know. Infinitely uncool. I get it. It's all soccer mommish. But, seriously, if you drove one for a while, you wouldn't care about all the soccer mom jokes in the world.
It rained all day. Which meant that our plan on sitting on a blanket to watch the fireworks went flying out the window. Quickly. And, since we had left our camp chairs out on the deck, we didn't really have a great alternative. Except for the van.
We popped up the rear end, laid down the back seat (which makes a table top complete with cupholders when you lay it down) and all four sat comfortably out of the rain.
It's like a living room that goes to the park with you.
The kids had really cute fourth of July themed outfits on. Not because I bought them but because I love hand-me-downs. But, alas, you couldn't see them. Because, despite the two prior weeks of near 100 degree days we've had, it was like 60 at the fireworks. I may be exaggerating, but I did have to go dig in the basement for jackets.
I planned on taking some nice shots of the fireworks, but my battery died before they started. It turns out that's what that weird light means. So, my last pictures before dead battery were of Hubby and Brynna having big fun. Which, I guess is better because you could just google fireworks and see some very similar to what we saw.
However, there was one new firework. One, the likes of which I had never seen. It was like a really, really deafeningly loud strobe light. Most annoying thing ever. Plus, I only have two hands and four little girl ears to cover.
Hope you all had great fourths and no deafening-strobe-light fireworks!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Tradition 1 - My Family - We sit around all day complaining about how hot it is, cook out some food and eat and then go to the park to see the big fire work show. Only, we don't like the crowd and, you know, myriad fun stuff to do at the park, so we go to the little park (which is weirdly right next to the big park - we call it the park annex, but we're the only ones) and set up camp chairs and sit around talking about how hot it is.
Tradition 2 - Hubby's Family - We go to his Aunt's house. Her house is about the same size as mine, except with more, smaller rooms. But she has all the family gatherings. No one is sure why. On the fourth, she turns off the air conditioning so people won't be going in and out and letting all that nice cold air out. She has a pool, but I have somehow never managed to go to an event where the pool was open. We sit around and complain about how hot it is. Then, typically, one of us gets heat poisoning - me-1, Brynna-1, Hubby-0 and we go home before the fireworks. It's very exciting.
This year, we are going to our local parade (which is twenty minutes away) then after 11 hours, we'll go back to see the fireworks. I think it's weird that these two events aren't better coordinated, but hey, maybe it's just me. I hope there's some new music at the fireworks this year. I'm getting a little tired of Thank God for the USA. It's not that I don't like the song, it's just that it's not the world's best music to go with fireworks. Although, I always get a big kick out of it when they use Born in the U.S.A. You'd think the rest of the world would have learned from Ronald Reagan's mistake, but I guess they figure, hey he got elected. What's the worst that can happen.
Hope you all have a happy fourth.