Help me go to the movies again

It had been five years since I reluctantly stepped into a movie theatre.

In 2012, my Mom and I watched the movie  Lincoln in one theatre, while my husband and brother watched something featuring Tom Cruise in another.

Lincoln was a good movie – an excellent one, even – but I still spent as much time in the lobby as the theatre because movies give me anxiety.

People don’t ask me to go to movies, because the answer is always no, usually preceded with me looking like I have smelled something horrible.

Only my mother continues to ask. About once a quarter she says, “you wanna go see (insert name of movie I don’t want to see here)?” The answer is no, always no.

I’m not a conflict person. The first sign of conflict in a movie has me leaving for an unscheduled bathroom break or a $15 package of Milk Duds. I’ve even hung out in the arcade in the lobby. I don’t fare well.

At my first viewing of the Wizard of Oz  and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang some 50 years ago, my bathroom break never ended and I would not come back into the theatre, beginning a life-long habit of avoidance.

Last week, a well-meaning friend who didn’t know of my allergy to actual movies told me about a movie that he thought I  must see.

On this rare occasion, I didn’t ask him if he understood who he was talking to. I didn’t make a face, start humming “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” in my head or run in the other direction screaming, “NO, NO, NOOOOO!”.

I listened politely. Then  I went home and looked up the movie and watched the trailer, which gave me goosebumps. That’s never happened before so I shocked my husband, my mother and our two friends Shane and Kelly and said possibly for the first time in over two decades, “I want to go to the movies.”

Saturday afternoon, we hit the matinee at Cinemark to see the movie,  Same Kind of Different as Me. Given the fact it wasn’t about war, the mafia or flying monkeys I didn’t even need a Xanax to go into the parking lot. It was going to be a banner day, l sensed it. Little Kari was growing up.

Cradling my super-sized popcorn like a toddler with my husband carrying my bucket of Coke, we carefully selected seats for maximum viewing pleasure, as well as a quick exit for me should war or any discomfort break out.

Just before the movie began a woman sat right behind us although there were plenty of other places to sit – plenty of secluded and private places.

I’ve only been to a couple  movies in the last 20 years, and never stayed in the theatre long enough to know, or even care, if anyone was talking.

That’s how good this particular movie was – I never moved, except to crane my neck to give this woman behind us the stink eye.

She set the tone at the beginning of the movie by engaging with the scene, “You gave me this painting for free. Now it’s worth a million dollars.” The lady, who lacked what we self-aware folks call an indoor voice, said, “Well, I’d ask for it back.” She was indignant and aghast.

The rest of the movie was spent with my husband’s patented and time-tested you have got to be kidding me look, Shane actually  muttering “you’ve got to be kidding me!,” and Kelly  saying “seriously?” – All in reaction to Chatty Cathy behind us.  I continued to crane my head in her direction and shake it in a slow, but firm, “no” direction.

To no avail. The lady continued to play out her internal dialogue for our row to consider, free with the cost of the movie.

I expected a cell phone to ring, not a play-by-play of Harry Carey’s private thoughts. A cell phone never did ring, not that I would have heard it.

Since I haven’t been to the movie in literally years, I need to know if this is the new normal?

I honestly don’t think she had a clue that everyone within earshot of her was plotting her demise. And by demise, I mean removal from the theatre – I hate violence, remember?

I seriously want to know how to kindly handle that situation by somebody who actually goes to a movie every once in a while, because I saw a trailer for a really good one about Charles Dickens  that I want to see.

And it’s probably illegal to carry a chlorophormed-soaked rag into a theatre anyway nowadays. But I’m thinking about it.

Share Button

Traveling B.O.B.s: That time we babysat a horse

Well, it’s that time of the week again.

The time where I bang my head against stationary objects until I think of something remotely entertaining to write. Sometimes I even bang it on stationery objects, like a pen.

That is just the first phase of the process for a writer like myself. Eventually I move on to sitting down at a keyboard and typing, crying optional.

It’s not that I lack subject matter – my life is usually highly entertaining, just not reportable to the masses.

Still, I am surrounded by the most amazing women – every one of them – and I have stories for days, maybe years. With that in mind, I gave the stationary objects a break.

I have a group of friends I travel with every year, and we just returned from our 16th annual weekend away.

We call ourselves the B.O.B. Club, pay dues every month and use that money to fund the weekend trips.

In the past 16 years we’ve travelled through Texas and Oklahoma. We have seen and done things that prove real life is, indeed, stranger than fiction.

One of those trip was to the Fort Worth Stockyards a few years ago. We stayed at a hotel in the the middle of the stockyards, all five of us in one room.

For some reason, there was no hot water that morning for showers, which was noted by a shrill scream of the first one in and followed by four more.

We left the hotel around noon, looking like we hadn’t seen daylight since 1642.

After lunch, we parked ourselves on a large picnic bench in front of the famous White Elephant Saloon armed with a Michael Jackson t-shirt we bought on a clearance rack for $2 and a fresh Sharpie. We then proceeded to ask strangers to sign the shirt as their favorite celebrity with plans to give it to somebody really gullible or list it on Ebay next to the Virgin Mary cheese toast.

One of our celebrities

B.O.B. Lynda pets the dog of another celebrity

We had more takers than anyone could believe, and thought we were going to get Wyatt Earp for sure when a cowboy rode up on his horse and dismounted in front of our picnic bench.

Shawnee, the clairvoyant of our group, said, “I hope he doesn’t ask me to babysit his horse.”

So, he did.

A reasonable facsimile of the horse we cared for

We babysat a horse in the Fort Worth Stockyards while his chaps and spurs wearing owner went into the White Elephant Saloon for a cold one. I guess we technically horsesat.

While Shawnee charged a fee for people to pet the strange horse, the rest of us continued asking strangers to sign the t-shirt that was eventually lost anyway.

Things like this are why we keep doing it year after year.

These memories, and so many more, are the tapestry my highly entertaining life is made of.

B.O.B.s Shawnee and Janice during one of our more serious discussions

Share Button

Iowa Park – 48 years in our hometown

It was 48 years ago this week that my family moved to Iowa Park and started this newspaper, the Iowa Park Leader.

I was four.

You could say I grew up in the midst of all things journalism and  Iowa Park, and both are part of who I am.

In these 48 years, we as a family and staff,  have been honored to serve this beautiful, quirky and proud town – what we call our hometown – through some bright and beautiful times, as well as a few dark and desperate ones. The latter is always hard, but history has a right to have honest record of those as well.

In this almost half-century, we have made, and a few times sadly, lost, life-long friends. We have been inside almost every business in town, attended close to every public meeting, and have served on councils and boards to do our part to inform and be a part of the fabric of  Iowa Park. We have recorded Iowa Park’s history as it has heppened and is happening, and it makes us proud.

Like most newspapers, we’ve have had death threats – luckily, few – and we have seen people at their worst. That makes us sober and I think, pragmatic.

More often, we catch people at their best – this is what keeps us in the newsroom, and around the community. The generosity and spirit of our students; the outpouring of love, time and resources I have personally witnessed consistently in my time here when someone local or not needs a helping hand. Iowa Park has quite a heart, we are happy to report.

Both are what keep the balance, I’m just glad the good side of the scales are always heavier.


Because this is my space, I get to brag on our staff just a little.

The publisher, Dolores Hamilton, has been at the helm the entirety of our existence. As she is my mother, I have seen her during this time not only raise five extreeeemely well-behaved children, but also work the tremendously long hours required to keep a budding newspaper afloat and feed a family. I am proud of her for this. She has, in her career, done every single job in this newspaper and done them well.

Some other things most people don’t know, but I do, make me even prouder than this. When I was young, in the middle of all of this, Mom also took painting and piano lessons for herself. She planted the seed that made the Gordon Lake Walking Track project grow, and then continued to water it. I know because she made me help. I don’t know if she has ever known how much those things impacted my life.

Kevin Hamilton, editor, sports editor, photographer and another heir apparent of many hats, is always the guy in the background with a camera. But never in a creepy way. He captures the best moments Iowa Park has to offer and records them here, each week. He is, I say with great confidence, one of the best photographers in the state of Texas and has the hardware to prove it. During his time here, Kevin has covered meetings, banquets, assemblies and spent thousands of hours at sporting events covering our athletes all the way to state competition, much of that in his personal time. In addition, he is a helluva writer.

Also, he’s my brother and he didn’t pay me to say any of that. Seriously, Iowa Park, you are lucky to have him.

Last but not least is reporter and feature writer, Sherrie Williams. She is also a photographer and circulation manager. We have a small office with many jobs, and she has managed to be worth five times her weight in gold.

Sherrie has worked with us for 20 years and covers events, writes features, serves on the city council and some state boards. Over the years I regularly see her work all day at the paper, then work several evenings a week either for the newspaper, or for civic organizations to raise money to help other people. She has headed up 9/11 ceremonies, July Fourth events, and worked more Whoop-T-Do’s than anyone I know. She truly loves Iowa Park. She also has the best memory of anyone I know – it’s scary.

This week also happens to be my 33rd anniversary at the paper.  For those wondering, I got a brand new iMac on my desk.

But, so did Kevin, so … I’m still working out what that means.

I also publish these columns on my blog, I encourage you to check it out.

I mention this because I was looking at my stats for the year this weekend, and I noticed that I have readers from literally all over the world.

I’m not bragging, though. It was cool because some of my most-read blogs are those about Iowa Park, which means people from around the United States and  dozens of countries around the world have heard of Iowa Park, Texas.

My hometown.

Our hometown.

Thank you for a fun and heartfelt 48 years with you. It is a pleasure to be a voice for our community.


Share Button

It’s not what you ask, it’s who you ask

I try, I really do. But I am ‘that mom’.

Last week after Hurricane Irma hit Florida and continued on a northwestern bend, I was talking to my daughter on FaceTime. She told me about how they were expecting high winds in South Carolina, a lot of rain and probably a tornado or two because there were “on the tornado side of the hurricane.”

The fact that a hurricane is a all-you-can-eat buffet of natural disasters did not escape me, which caused me to say the words no mother should probably utter.

“Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tornado?,” I asked my daughter as I caught a glance of my two-year-old grandson sprinting behind her with an apple he appeared to have just stolen in an effort to not starve in the aftermath of the tornado.

She gave me this look, one that lay steadily in the space between exasperation and anger management in action. One that I have had on my face before when I felt someone had underestimated my immeasurable skills.

“I’m 31. I have a plan,” she managed to say without opening her teeth.

In my defense, I contacted every friend and family member I had on both coasts to make sure they had a plan. I just can’t help myself.

Also, my son lived in Boston during historic snowfalls, so I eat worry for breakfast. This time, to her brother’s relief, it was my daughter’s turn.

I didn’t ask her to send me bullet points of her plan. Instead, I went over her house plan in my head and surmised the hall closet was the best place to go. I never told her because I’m sure she already thought of it, Plus … that look.

I just hope she remembers to move the bowling ball she keeps in there for posterity – to California or somewhere equally as far away from a tornado.

When I talked to her the next day, businesses in South Carolina had shut down, so her husband was home from work and taking a nap with their tiny force of nature and his emergency apple.

My daughter was calmly decorating cookies in this rare peace, except the wind was blowing like a gazillion miles an hour outside. Still, she talked to me on FaceTime using zen-like motions to decorate cookies, the bowling ball clearly not in her thoughts.

She was on top of her cookie game, so I assumed she would wake up her crew and calmly herd them toward the bowling ball-free closet in the event that a tornado meandered through their part of South Carolina. She was never called to do that, and I will never know about the bowling ball.

Two hurricanes of massive proportion within two weeks of each other is insanity. I am certain I’m not the only mother this month who asked their child if they were prepared in the event of  hurricane-related shenanigans.

And I won’t be the last, I’ll just ask my son-in-law next time.

Share Button

Welcome to Iowa, Park in Texas (where commas are important)

Although I moved to the fair community of Iowa Park, Texas when I was a worldly four years old, I consider it my hometown.

For some people reading this, it will be preaching to the choir to lay out the logistical nightmare of ordering something on the phone when the town you’re from has the name of a state in it, just not the state you reside in.

When the early settlers from Iowa arrived in what is now known as Iowa Park, Texas, their first inclination was to name the town Daggett Switch, which had something to do with the railroad but sounds suspiciously in the same neighborhood as Possum Holler.

Ultimately, it was decided that a nod to their home state was warranted, and tacked “Park” onto the end because the original city plat boasted nine. Iowa Park today officially has 8.

The year all that took place was 1888, and how were they to know that more than a century later it would cause people like … us … massive confusion any time you have to order something over the phone and have it shipped.

My experience while ordering things to be shipped to our office in the past month has been:

Order Taker: City, please?

Me: Iowa …

Order Taker: No, city first please.

Me: The city is Iowa Park.

OT: Iowa Park?

Me: Yes.

OT: (Deep sigh) Zip Code?

Me: 76367

OT: But, that’s in Texas. I thought you were in Iowa?

That my friends, is why commas are important. As are patience and forgiveness for our town fathers and mothers, in my experience.

For instance, I want to scream my zip code right after I give the company name but decorum prevents that. They also won’t let you give your zip code first and work backward. I’ve tried.

I thought one time about pitching the current city council a few different ideas for memorable, yet un-confusing names. My favorite, yet unsustainable, name was “I’m From.” That way you can answer anyone who asks you where you live with “I’m From, Texas”. It’s efficient, right in your face and equally confusing.

It just won’t work because the next question will always be “Where in Texas?” It would be like Abbott and Costello’s* Who’s on First routine, only with a heavy drawl and weaponry. I’m getting old and I don’t have any more time for that than I do the original problem.

So, Iowa Park it is.


Seriously though, we love visitors. Our official slogan is truly “The Town of Friendly Living.”

We don’t care where you park – Welcome to Iowa Park, in Texas.

In the spirit of give what you’ve got, your prayers, love and thoughts are sought and needed by those affected by Hurricane Harvey in the coast of Texas and Louisiana, as well as Puerto Rico, Haiti and Florida which is expected to bear the brunt of Hurricane Irma this week..

I have friends and family affected by both, and it is heart-breaking and life-changing. In that spirit, please give what you can of things people need. Lately when I’ve been shopping I’ve been asked if I want to give a dollar of my purchase to hurricane relief. I do, and I do. It’s not much, but if enough people do it, it adds up. And the need is great, and about to be greater.

Give what you can, when you can. It is showing me the good in this country in the midst of political discord. No questions are asked because people need help.

In that vein, I want to thank the people from Iowa Park who have worked to help people – some they might know, most they do not – in a time of dire need. There are far too many to name, and I would leave out a name (I know me), and they don’t do it for a pat on the back anyway.

Our city has given money, and generously. They have filled a semi-truck and more, and they have offered their homes for refuge, all of which is the primary spirit of this country.

Many communities are doing this, thankfully. But I don’t come from most communities,

I come from Iowa Park, Texas, The Town of Friendly Living. A town that is not in Iowa.


**** For six hours, everyone who read this knew that I don’t know my comedy acts from days of yore. My hero was Gilda Radner. Thanks to my now editor-at-large Richard for  setting me straight that it was not, in fact, the Three Stooges who did that brilliant bit. This isn’t the first time he has saved me from myself.

Share Button

Call that friend, today

The general foul mood of our countrymen continues this week, along with the ongoing shortage of unicorns and rainbows.

This kind of week reminds me  to keep reminding myself – as it did last week – that love bats last. It also laughs last.

So I call a friend, or two or three. It always does the trick.

I think we all should call a friend whose parents have been sick and see how everyone is. Or, call the one who has survived cancer because she reminds you she has faced death and your problems are not so bad.

Call the one who suffers from depression, because she is having a good day, or because she isn’t. Call the one who figuratively wants to wrap her fingers around the necks of her lazy children. All involved will thank you.

Or, call the one who lost her husband a few years ago, because she still misses him.

My friends and I have all these contingency plans in place because, life happens.

So we call each other, we travel, we meet for dinner, drinks and laughter.

When things get rough, we can throw together an impromptu weekend getaway with a text message, as we have this week.

We are just that good.

This weekend, a bunch of us are getting together for a weekend swim because the suckage of life has been great, according to us, and this is how we survive it.

We also survive it like this … (shout out to the Boston Fire Department!)

… and this. (shout out to Medicine Park….remember us?)

And this. (Shout out to a tipsy Christmas Lights trolley extravaganza)

The next weekend, I will probably repeat the same with another group of friends. One good thing about friendship is it’s totally polyamorous. You can have as many as you want or can handle, and it’s legal and encouraged. Win/win.

I also have a totally different type of rarified friends whom I know through the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop that only meets every two years in Dayton, Ohio. Our friendship is definitely long distance most of the time, but when we get together to write it is like no time has passed. We are just a bunch of hilariously and beautifully-matched friends who happen to meet every two years and will probably be lifelong friends.

Because of these wonderful women in my life I have experienced things I would not have otherwise. Many I cannot publish because of some statute of limitations mumbo-jumbo, but several priceless ones I can.

We’ve had a pre-hysterectomy going away party for a uterus.

I have been witness to the holding of horse reigns by one of us during a girls trip to the Stockyards while a thirsty and trusting  cowboy went into the White Elephant Saloon for a beer. You can’t make this stuff up.

I have hiked the Lost Lake in the Wichita Mountains, something I would never have done without a friend to say, “Hey, let’s do this.”

The ninth hole at midnight

We have hunted for ghosts here at home in Iowa Park, Texas and as far as Jefferson, Texas. We’ve  sung “You Don’t Have To Call  Me Darlin’ (Darlin’) at full volume on karaoke night five hours from home. We’ve taken selfies laying our backs on the ninth hole of the Cliffs Golf Course at midnight; and I have personally watched a woman laugh so hard she threw up in the bushes – it was a proud moment in my life.

Judy and Gina at Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop – they know about the bush incident.

This is all recently, and I am getting old, y’all. The older I get, the clearer it becomes that these women remind me the world does not, technically, suck and it’s because of them. In fact, the love is palpable.

I’m betting on that.

So get on the phone and call a friend, get together and laugh. Your world will look better instantly.

My happy hope for the future … my daughter and her beautiful tribe. Keep it going.

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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


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.”

Share Button