My future may not have hair, but it has hope

Between the general foul moods of my countrymen and discovering recently that female pattern baldness is a thing, I needed a break. I needed unicorns and rainbows; and cotton candy and kittens.

Disappearing hair notwithstanding, national and global news seems to have everyone on edge this  week.

With no unicorns, rainbows, cotton candy or kittens handy, my relief came in a phone call about a little girl whose actions remind me that good always bats last.

The feature picture on  the front page of this week’s issue of the Iowa Park Leader is a result of the phone call that pulled me out of that funk.

Little McKyla turned seven years old last week and the only gifts she wanted for her birthday were those that could feed people who are hungry.

This week, she gathered up all the canned goods and non-perishable items she received for her big day and took them to the Iowa Park Food Pantry for distribution in emergency food boxes.

McKyla gets it.

Her mother tells us she has been volunteering her time to help distribute commodities to local families. She is a little girl with a big heart as it says in the photo caption on page 1.

And I pray she represents the future of our community and nation.

Only seven years into her stint of being human, she understands that other people sometimes need a hand up; and that other kids might not have the abundance of food in their home that she enjoys.

A little girl after my own heart, McKyla reminds me that good remains in the world and the best part is it is coming from her young generation.

It reminded me of last year when a young man named Tanner asked for money for his 10th birthday. While that’s not uncommon, what Tanner wanted to do with the money was.

Tanner took his birthday money to church and gave it as an offering so “other people learn more about Jesus.”

We need to learn how to act again, folks. These innocent, generous minds haven’t been taught to only take care of their own; or to judge the why of someone’s circumstance.

They each understood a need and filled it in the purist way they know. By giving, by sharing.

There is a book out there by Robert Fulghum titled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The first thing on the list is to share everything. The last thing on the list is to be aware of wonder, which is what I’m doing here because it is indeed a wonder to see that degree of selflessness.

We all need to read that book, twice.

If we took the book seriously, Facebook and Twitter would look different; our country would look different; and if we took the lessons to heart, we would look different.

I hear a lot of people griping about the millennials these days, and to be quite honest, the millennials are the people raising these children who are so generous in spirit. They must be doing a lot of somethings right.

If this is the case, we should all just act like children again, because these kids seem to have their act together, and they also still have their hair.

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Hang on to your spaceknickers

It’s not often you get news of global interest from a small blogger in north Texas, so hold on to your spaceknickers.

I’ve been watching the manned International Space Station (ISS) fly overhead almost every night since Saturday, and you can, too.

In fact, I encourage it and will tell you how.

I’ve been looking up more than usual lately, by design.

By looking up, I mean less social media and more engagement with what is going on around me in real time.

My sister, Kay, called me Saturday night to let me know the  ISS would be visible overhead in north Texas in just a few short minutes.

I watched for it, not really knowing what I was looking for since this was my first (but not last) time searching for this thing.

What I found was a beautiful light, steadily moving across the sky. Only this light was travelling 17,200 miles an hours had been in orbit 20 years, and was currently occupied by three American astronauts, one of whom is a woman.

In fact this woman, Peggy Whitson, is not only the commander on this mission, she is the first woman to command two expeditions on the ISS.

It took seven minutes from when I first saw the space station until it disappeared from sight, and according to an app on my phone, it travelled from Mexico to Michigan in that time. It took a while for that to soak in.

Monday night, Kay alerted me again, causing me to pause my Shark Week alien shark episode to see it the space station yet again. The flyover would be at 9:33 p.m.

I was already dressed for bed, which in laymen’s terms means I looked homeless.

Since this time the ISS would be flying southwest to northeast, I decided to watch it from my front yard which gave me a better vista. I don’t go out front much, and I’m not sure the neighbors would recognize me on a bet.

So, I sat on the curb in the dark wearing leggings and old t-shirt with no shoes and no makeup, just looking up at the stars.

I noticed a woman a half block away walking her dogs toward me. As she passed, she looked at me funny and said “Hi,” in that tentative way that says, “have you been approved by the home owners association?

So, in my quick thinking I said, “Hi! I’m not weird. I’m waiting on the space station.”

For some reason, I opted not to expound, which has probably made me public enemy number one in the home owner’s association. As if on cue, the lady hurried away and probably alerted the neighborhood watch on Facebook.

Since it makes 15.54 orbits around the earth each day, there are several opportunities for everyone to catch it. In fact, according to my research, the next time to catch a good visual will be at 9:22 Friday night, when it will be travelling from the northwest to the northeast.

Look up, y’all. I didn’t watchthis on Facebook, or even learn about it there.

Also, wave at ‘em. Even if you look homeless.

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The chickens didn’t deserve it

                                                                                                                                                 It always begins with an earworm, right?

“It” being impromtu concerts, questionable columns and insanity.

An earworm is a psychologically disturbing way to describe a song that gets stuck on terminal loop in your brain, until something even worse (preferably not by Neil Sedaka) replaces it.

Please dear God, not Neil Sedaka.

This week my personal earworm is a song called Hot Potatoes. Only the name of the song is actually Rock Me Amadeaus.

In this song sung by Falco back in the 1980s, the only recognizable words to me are ‘hot potatoes,” sung many, many, many, many (Lord God) times in a row.

Only, those two words are not actually in the song. I’ve known this for years, but when I hear the song today it is once again reduced to a song about a side dish that goes with beef.

Enunciation can be your friend, Falco.

It’s hard to believe that a teenager would accept that a song was specifically written about potatoes, but it was the 80s, which also gave us Xanadu and MacArthur Park, a song about leaving a cake in the rain, so cut me some slack.

Misunderstood lyrics have been a point of conjecture and embarrassment since the Star Spangled Banner was written by attorney and poet Frances Scott Key and first sung in front of  The Mrs., who promptly misunderstood the first line – “O say can you see?”   to say “Jose, can you see?”  Not having any mutual friends named Jose, Mrs. Key was understandably confused.

My cousin, Kevin Slimp, admits that as a young kid he was also confused about Jose’s role in this song. This kind of confusion has become a tradition, and expanded to other, more frivolous songs like Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) and You Picked A Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille.

What’s refreshing is to find out everyone has lyrical malfunctions and that makes for great comedy. My friends and readers are the most refreshingly hilarious, and they gave me a sampling of some of the best misheard lyrics this week:.

Lucille was over it, seriously

Everyone’s favorite seemed to be You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille (circa 1977) by Kenny Rogers. I found it to be the most misquoted song lyric in my circle of beautiful people.

The line in the song that says, four hungry children and a crop in the field was misquoted by many of my friends in the following, fairly similar ways:

400 children and a crock and a seal, or my personal favorite version,

400 children crappin’ in the field.

In a logical sense, unless they lived in a hotel, where else would they go?

Even Rock Stars Gotta Sleep

My friend, Cindy, said her most embarrassing lyric failure was from Kiss, when they sang I wanna rock and roll all night (and party every day).

She thought they were singing, “I wanna rock ‘n roll all night, and part of everyday.”

We all get to that point right up until we hit the “sleep is so underrated” phase of our lives.

Howard is a fine name

Both a mother and sister of the same man told me this man grew up believing God’s name is Howard, because in The Lord’s Prayer, it says “Howard be thy name.” His sister candidly told me “I have no idea if he still thinks that. I’ve never corrected him.”

I bet their reunions are a hoot.

Rude, but kinda catchy

Another friend thought Phil Collins’ hit single Sussudio” was saying Sue, Sue, Sue you’re old. She also thought the song Duke of Earl was Duke a Girl. Both rude and unnecessary, the thought.

Fashion Don’ts and Poker Etiquette

Tracy thought the song, Desperado by The Eagles, went Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds boy, she’ll beat you with a bow tie.

Which is almost as brutal as the original lyrics “beat you if she’s able,” but with a little more panache.

Define ‘Dirt cheap’

Julie, Cyndi and I were driving around on a Saturday night in 1982 when we plugged an AC/DC 8-track tape into Julie’s state of the art stereo system in her classic Mustang. We were singing the song Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) like we were at an arena show when Cyndi belted out Dirty Deeds and the Thunder Chief.

Another friend, Debi, remembers she and her sister floating in the pool and her sister singing  “Dirty Deed and the Dundle Cheek,”  in a German accent.

Dirty Deeds are notoriously difficult to understand.

Why chickens can’t  walk in paradise

I’ll end with my favorite.

Keith Vaughn, a DJ at The Bear 104.7, gave me what may be the best misheard lyric of my lifetime.

The same year Lucille left her 400 children to do their business in the field, Eddie Money was on the radio bragging about Two Tickets to Paradise, which may or may not have been a coincidence.

However, according to Vaughn, that is not what a few people heard. Instead, they thought Eddie Money had “Two chickens to paralyze.”

Jose, the chicken

I have the best friends. They give me earworms that aren’t even accurate and I’m highly entertained anyway. Even Jose can see that.

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Don’t feel guilty about your pleasures

I am the unofficial queen of guilty pleasures.

Unofficial because while I have the guilty pleasure thing down pat, I’ve never seen hard numbers on how others waste their days.

I have so many, it’s a wonder I find time to do anything. I like to think that since I consider much of my day full of guilty pleasures, I must have a pretty good life.

One of mine is Super Soul Sunday on the Oprah channel. A lot of people I know hate on people who watch that show. Those episodes are as essential to me as westerns are to my husband. We ignore that about each other, or at least one of us does.

Others  I claim include singing and dancing in my car (carcerts, y’all), the movie Congo, fountain Cokes so large I would be considered three people in New York City, and naps, so many naps – these are my guilty pleasures, at least the ones I will admit to.

Even though my recent discovery of Destination Unknown with Josh Gates reminds me that live local music has been replaced by the Travel Channel on Friday nights, I’m strangely content and not the least bit guilty.

But the very definition of guilty pleasure says it is something that other people judge you for doing, not the guilt you have for actually doing it:

guilt·y pleas·ure

noun

Something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.

example: “everybody has a guilty pleasure—for me, it has to be mid 70s disco”

I copied and pasted this off some website and for full disclosure, the comment about disco is not my own.  Not publicly and not privately.

We all have guilty pleasures. Some we talk about, and some we don’t, both for wildly different reasons. We each have our shame.

Guilty pleasures are important, I think, because they allow us to relax, even for a few minutes, into what we really want to be doing without regard for someone else’s opinion.

In guilty pleasures lie our personal power, at least in some ways. It’s not impulse control issues, it is actually saying ‘yes’ to what makes you happy.

And if we really think about it much of our days are spent in obligation, which isn’t a bad thing but a fact of life.

I’m not ashamed to say, this girls needs breaks. I take naps when I want to and can on the weekends, without apology or shame. This might be one of my favorite guilty pleasures, mostly because I am unconscious for the judgement.

I’m addicted to the movie Congo and a few others. If that movie comes on any time of the day or night, I’m your huckleberry. I can’t not watch it.

Congo, I believe, has a whole one-star rating, and is about gorillas. I would tell you the setting, but you’ll have to watch it. This is maybe my most true guilty pleasure because I do feel kind of guilty about it, like I could be writing, doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, sleeping, or spraying organic pesticide on the tomato plants I don’t have.

Actually, I only feel guilty about one of those things, which is why we’re here today.

I polled some friends on Facebook (yet another guilty pleasure) and found that we are more alike, than we are unalike.

My friends gladly shared their guilty pleasures publicly on my Facebook wall, and most centered around food, television and movies, music and pastimes.

Sherree’ and Gaye admit they read bodice-rippers, or what well-heeled people call historical romantic novels, as a palate cleanser between ‘respectable books.’

Gina likes drinking Diet Coke while eating Melano cookies, and also is a fan of Abba.

My friends are addicted to chocolate, peanut butter and fish sandwiches, entire boxes of cookies, Barry Manilow, Nickelback, singing in the car,  YouTube, fishing and provoking people on social media for their own entertainment.

It was like group therapy on a page and nobody cried.

I personally know people who watch Dr. Pimple Popper on YouTube more often than they floss their teeth.

People judge you for all of these things, and yet they have a guilty pleasure somebody else (who also has a guilty pleasure, by the way) is judging them for having. It is a vicious circle.

Embrace your guilty pleasure. Unless it’s bad for you or others, it is part of what makes you wholly human. Admitting those is essential in connecting because it’s a boon to the soul to say, “you, too?”

Like Maya Angelou so beautifully said in her poem Human Family, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

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The nostalgic streets of a small town

I’m a huge fan of music, and its many genres.

And because music affects my moods – or maybe it’s vice versa  – I tend to binge on an artist for days at a time.

The first time I heard Beyonce’s Lemonade album, I was hard to be around for a couple weeks because I wanted to get in Formation and talk about Becky with the good hair.

I act like I’m Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers if I listen to too much Maroon 5; and I am the most empathetic being on the planet after a day with Adele.

Last week, after meeting Lynyrd Skynyrd and Carlo, I was feeling a particular amount of southern pride and gorged myself on their music, with T for Texas hitting me in  feels.

Of course it did.

This week began my in-car relationship with John Mellencamp, which has made me nostalgic, particularly about my early days in Iowa Park.

I made out to many of his songs when I was in high school, because that’s about all there was to do in small town, USA, on non-football game nights. But that is both a different and highly-edited column.

Coincidentally, his song Small Town is what made me think of Iowa Park – both how it was when I was growing up, and now – in that our town can be incredibly simple and charming.

My friend, Gary, was talking  to me this week about growing up in the 1970s on Kathleen Street, just off the access road.

He said the place to be back then was the ditch between his street and Louisa. It was where he and several others I know spent vast amounts of time swimming after a rain; building forts when it was dry;  and reading girlie magazines and committing  other nefarious acts undetected.

They are likely the reason parents  today are worried their kid will end up in a ditch.

I don’t see kids in ditches here so much these days. Probably because we have a top-notch water park and beautiful lake with a walking track, playground, basketball court and pavilion in our town now. Our city is literally keeping kids out of the ditches, in my opinion … good work, city and taxpayers.

But back in those days, without video games, cable TV or computers, our version of Facetime was showing up at a friend’s house  in the morning while their parents were at work to eat burritos and watch Green Acres before the swimming pool opened. That’s what I was doing, anyhow.

We played on our neighborhood streets  in the evening like small, harmless gangs organizing pickup football and baseball, until just past dusk when our parents forced us back inside.

Things are different now, only not so different.

We have nicer public offerings for our youth, for sure. Also, technology, social media and summer sports camps have changed what summer looks like in communities like ours, at least on the outside.

But our youth still need contact, fun and room to grow, which they still get even if they aren’t getting it in a ditch or from watching Green Acres.

The same, but different.

Thank you, John Mellencamp, for the reminder of my years on earth, and particularly in this small town.

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Desperately seeking Lynyrd’s bus driver

I was in it for the bus driver.

After watching for three days, Saturday morning found me and my co-workers overseeing the final stages of the set up for the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert that would be held at Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso that night.

One of those co-workers happened to be my Publisher/Mother.

We had time to kill before a final brunch of a newspaper leadership conference, and decided to spend it on the fourth floor public balcony of the hotel that overlooked the concert area beside the beautiful mountain-surrounded lake.

Being a good southerner, I knew that it is required to know not only who Lynyrd Skynyrd is,  but know most of the words to at least three songs including Free Bird, Sweet Home Alabama and Simple Man.

Which I do. I just have no idea what the band looks like.

While we were watching the roadies and crews efficiently and happily putting up a huge portable amphitheatre, barricades, lighting, speakers and police tape (which should be my kryptonite, but isn’t), we noticed black tour buses pulling up the length of the concert area, which was longer than a football field.

LS_setup

Not happy, one of the the bus drivers backed all the way back out – without taking out the fence or porta-johns. Then, they turned the bus around and backed all the way back in, successfully.

I decided right then that I had to meet that bus driver.

I’ve never been terribly shy, which serves me better than those around me.

Since people had been asked to leave the area at the back of the venue a few minutes before, the anxiety was palpable when I announced I was going down to meet the bus driver, and if there was a God in heaven, get my picture with him or her.

Some of my compadres not only believed I would get thrown in jail, but proactively refused to pay my bail.

But the woman who said she wouldn’t bust me out of jail didn’t raise no wallflower.

So, I headed down and took several pictures of nature with my iPhone when my trained eye spotted a roadie at one of the barricades continuing to guide the bus driven by my new personal hero.

I engaged him in light conversation that included first name and city exchanges, a little religion, the grueling pace of touring, the fact I thought watching the set up might be as much fun as the actual concert, and by the way, is it possible for me to meet the bus driver?

My new friend, Johnny from Florida, tells me it will be no problem to meet the bus driver and he will even take a picture of us together.

I now love Johnny, too, even though my heart is still #teambusdriver.

After 20 minutes of probably doing whatever celebratory practice one does after backing up a huge bus 120 yards twice without mayhem and death resulting, Carlo the driver stepped out.

It was then that I finally asked Johnny what his job was with the band.

“I’m the lead singer,” he said with a slight hint of a smile.

Boy, was my face red.

Pictures were taken. Johnny Van Zandt took my picture with Carlo; Carlo took my picture with Johnny, and I headed back upstairs thrilled that I met the best bus driver in the universe.

LS_K&C 

Mission accomplished     #teamcarlo!

LS_K&J#teammanagoodsouthernerwouldrecognize

Johnny got on the elevator with me, pointed to the poster of Lynyrd Skynyrd on the wall and said, “Look! It’s me!”

“Thank you for twisting that southern knife,” I told him.

He got off on the fourth floor with me, and I asked if he would go out on the balcony to meet my Mom, even though she had planned to let me rot in jail if things had gone south.

He did, graciously, and took pictures with all of us before going to his room for a nap before the show.

LS_group#teambackinmymomsgoodgraces

After the brunch, we started the nine-hour drive back to flatland and listened to Lynyrd Skynyrd, who my Mom was not as familiar with. She really enjoyed the music and decided she might go to their concert in Irving in October.

“I wish we could have met the head guy, though” Mom said, after Simple Man finished playing.

“What head guy?”

“Lynyrd,” she said.

That is a hard picture to get.

Lynyrdsbus

#butigotit

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To all the dads I love

Father’s Day hasn’t been celebrated the same for me since 2008, when my own Dad died.

Now, instead of buying him something he really didn’t need or want, but would graciously smile at and thank me for anyway, I reflect on the 42 years I had him.

I think he would think that was an even better gift, and no returns are necessary.

It’s a paradigm shift to go from celebrating to reflecting, and while it’s not my preferred way to spend Father’s Day it is an unwavering fact of life.

In this reflection, I’ve learned to appreciate what he brought to the table more than I did before, both literally and figuratively.

To honor my father, I now celebrate a couple of special men in my life whom I revere and are also fathers – my husband and son-in-law.

I spent the past week in South Carolina with my daughter, her husband and son and got to witness first-hand what modern parenting looks like in their natural habitat.

My heart is happy to report that my son-in-law, Branden, is everything I could ever ask for as a husband for my daughter and a loving, patient Dad for the little man he and my daughter brought into this world.

His unabashed love for his son, his patience, willingness to be an all-hands-on-deck kind of man are the kinds of things worth acknowledging and celebrating.

As a mother and grandmother, the blessing of him in our lives is a gift in itself.

Then, there’s my husband. Like many families are now constructed, Bobby is not the biological father of my two children. But it would be difficult to tell that from looking.

I am one of the luckiest people I know to have a husband who takes my kids as an extension of myself and loves them fiercely, and genuinely.

My Dad would be proud, he would smile and consider it his gift, too.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads – biological and step, granddads and special uncles. Celebrate those who are still here, doing their work to love the next generation; and reflect on those who made us who we are.

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It’s been a weird couple of weeks, y’all

It’s been a weird couple weeks, y’all. 

We’ve had a whirlwind of new words, inexplicably redundant health foods and silent assaults.

First, I found out two things I did not know.

“Covfefe” is a word. 

I don’t know what the definition is because its meaning is known only to an elite few as well as God, who is undoubtably shaking His head slowly right now. Also, in case you think this is fake news, it is officially worth 18 points in Scrabble and accepted in Words with Friends. So there.

In other news, organic Gatorade exists. I only know this because I saw it on the Ibotta app on my phone, right there next to the Twinkies. 

I offer no opinion on why one would want to make electrolytes more organic, just letting you know in case you have a condition that requires organic electrolytes or something.


But the news that is likely to resonate with locals is even more alarming. After a 20-odd year absence, buffalo gnats are back.

That’s right, those tiny flies on hallucinogens and steroids have returned to our neck of the woods with their toxic saliva.

If you you do not know what a buffalo gnat is, it is a regular gnat on steroids, whose bite can leave a baseball-sized welt if you happen to be allergic to buffalo gnat spit. 

(Note: this is not a scientific explanation. I didn’t even Google it.)

Buffalo gnats, in my estimation, are the mafia of the flying insect world. 

They swoop in and leave you battered on the curb, with a new determination to buy some Skin So Soft. Also, nobody ever sees what happened.

I still remember the great buffalo gnat invasion of the 1990’s. So many people were allergic to them it looked like Iowa Park had an epidemic of domestic violence. I saw burly men with their eyes swollen shut; people with swollen lips and ears, and God knows what else.

Golfers cracked the code on this one, and found that Avon’s Skin So Soft is a deterrent, and yet smells so good. Golfers are a motivated bunch when an insect they can’t even see makes them look like they switched from the putting green to a boxing ring. 

Luckily, buffalo gnat spit and me are copacetic, but I have a friend who looks like she owes Avon some money.

Twitter as my witness, the weird weeks aren’t over. I can almost covfefe it.

*You are welcome Avon distributors, and by the way, one of you please come see me.It’s been a weird couple weeks, y’all. 

We’ve had a whirlwind of new words, inexplicably redundant health foods and silent assaults.

First, I found out two things I did not know.

“Covfefe” is a word. 

I don’t know what the definition is because its meaning is known only to an elite few as well as God, who is undoubtably shaking His head slowly right now. Also, in case you think this is fake news, it is officially worth 18 points in Scrabble and accepted in Words with Friends. So there.

In other news, organic Gatorade exists. I only know this because I saw it on the Ibotta app on my phone, right there next to the Twinkies. 

I offer no opinion on why one would want to make electrolytes more organic, just letting you know in case you have a condition that requires organic electrolytes or something.

But the news that is likely to resonate with locals is even more alarming. After a 20-odd year absence, buffalo gnats are back.

That’s right, those tiny flies on hallucinogens and steroids have returned to our neck of the woods with their toxic saliva.

If you you do not know what a buffalo gnat is, it is a regular gnat on steroids, whose bite can leave a baseball-sized welt if you happen to be allergic to buffalo gnat spit. 

(Note: this is not a scientific explanation. I didn’t even Google it.)

Buffalo gnats, in my estimation, are the mafia of the flying insect world. 

They swoop in and leave you battered on the curb, with a new determination to buy some Skin So Soft. Also, nobody ever sees what happened.

I still remember the great buffalo gnat invasion of the 1990’s. So many people were allergic to them it looked like Iowa Park had an epidemic of domestic violence. I saw burly men with their eyes swollen shut; people with swollen lips and ears, and God knows what else.

Golfers cracked the code on this one, and found that Avon’s Skin So Soft is a deterrent, and yet smells so good. Golfers are a motivated bunch when an insect they can’t even see makes them look like they switched from the putting green to a boxing ring. 

Luckily, buffalo gnat spit and me are copacetic, but I have a friend who looks like she owes Avon some money.

Twitter as my witness, the weird weeks aren’t over. I can almost covfefe it.

*You are welcome Avon distributors, and by the way, one of you please come see me.

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Use your voice

“Tell me I’m the Queen, y’all,” I begged everyone in the office Wednesday morning.

No takers. Yet again.

It’s a slippery slope when four people work in an office, and all four watch The Voice. It’s even more slippery when it gets down to the final four grand season finale and all four of us wanted someone different to win.

It was a bookie’s dream.

I called Chris Blue as the winner from the blind auditions. Even Sherrie, who is a Jesse fan, will admit that. Kevin was #teamAliyah, while Dolores liked Lauren the mostest.

It wasn’t even tense until somebody got snippy because I had played Chris Blue’s cover of  Rhythm Nation from the night before only three times on YouTube, the volume not even on 10-ish.

Those who know me best will not be surprised at this.

But no bets were placed as we quietly left the office Tuesday night, each one of us secure we knew who the winner of The Voice would be. (Spoiler alert coming)

They did not know.

Not to gloat, but “winner, winner, fried Spam and potatoes dinner.” The office winner gets to choose, right?

Still, we haven’t unfriended each other on Facebook. Yet. I should check.

This just in – most of us haven’t unfriended each other on Facebook.

We haven’t had caps and t-shirts made noting the other’s obvious inferiorities as human beings because of our respective opinions; and I don’t anticipate Thanksgiving being awkward this year, unless somebody messes up a key dish then all bets are off.

It’s how we roll. (Pun should be noted, strongly.)

Now, on to more important things.

Graduation at our area high schools will be held this weekend.

My oldest great-nephew, Jordan Amador, will graduate Rider High School, and the children and grandchildren of some of my best friends will graduate Iowa Park HIgh School and Rider as well.

What I want to say to graduates of both high schools and colleges is don’t believe some of the hateful things being said about your generation. I say this because I have two children not too much older than you, and I find them to be thoughtful, intelligent and fair human beings.

You are not snowflakes, or irresponsible, or without a voice. You are young, yes, and so were the people who would have you believe those things.

Please dare to dream, to form your own opinions and use your voice – but use it so very responsibly. And use it in a way that heals and promotes growth,  and not as a weapon.

When I graduated Iowa Park High School 34 years ago, my principal, the late and legendary Bob Dawson, said in a speech to our class, “If I am looking at the leaders of tomorrow, stop the world because I want off.”

We actually did better than one would have thought as a class (shout out to IPHS Class of 1983!)

But there is work to do,  and you have to do it together.

The disrespect I’m seeing on social media among people of my generation is alarming. But I don’t see it so much with yours’ and it gives me hope. Keep working for positive change. Keep an open mind and open heart. And choose your words carefully. They do not go away, nor does the damage they can cause.

Blessings to the Class of 2017. It’s a big world, and you are up for the challenge.

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The Peace Treaty rages on

As a woman with curly hair that would make Mother Teresa lose her religion, I am no stranger to trying every hack out there designed to make my hair more socially acceptable.
I tried the “plop” method where I wrapped my hair in a soft t-shirt and slept overnight in it, giving me soft, yet still sociopathic curls.
My friend, humor author and proffessah of English,  Dr. Gina Barreca, who has beautiful curly hair and wears it with pride and pizzazz, gave me this advice when I was whining about my curly hair: “Sleep in a scrunchie!”
If you read that in a Brooklyn accent, it’s even better advice.
I tried the scrunchie advice and it works. However, it did something to my bangs that I can only describe as dazed and confused. When I explained the problem with my bangs, she gave me a response not publishable in a family newspaper, but it had nothing to do with hair.
So I continued my search for the perfect panacea for curly and crazy hair.
Enter some device invented to give a woman “perfect beach curls.”
Of course I bought it, copiously read the instructions and began the process of looking like I was running along the beach at the age of 30, only with a 50 year old body.
This …. device …. resembles a long, padded Slim Jim that you place over your noggin like a halo and lovingly wrap every strand of your hair around it, then sleep.
I fully expected to wake up the next morning ready for an audition for Baywatch, The Golden Years.
It was not to be.
After I wrapped the halo with my damp hair, my husband was surprised to find me reading a book, and walked around me in a wide path with his signature  “Please, dear God, no” look on his face.
I said, “That’s right, big man. You’re sleeping with Princess Leia tonight.”
And he did, but he didn’t wake up with her.
He woke up with me, who looked like I had gotten a perm around a bowl placed over my skull. It was decidedly not sexy, and neither Luke Skywalker nor David Hasselhoff would have any part of it.
The epic battle between good and evil continues to play itself out on top of my head, while the peace treaty with my hair rages on.
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