Category Archives: Conversations

Why I Hate The Snooze Button: A Blog in Pictures

Alarm clocks. The bane of human existence since 1807. (I’m guessing. I don’t really know when they were invented. But 1807 has a ring to it, so I’m going with it.) Sometime in the 80s, a man intent on torturing wives invented the snooze button. And society as we knew it began to crumble.

I’ve never been a user of the snooze button. I think it’s silly. If you want to sleep until 6:02 a.m., set your alarm to wake you at 6:02 a.m. Don’t set it for 5:45 a.m. and then spend the next 17 minutes slapping the stupid thing into submission.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a light sleeper. Maybe it’s because I’m not a morning person. Or maybe it’s because there’s nothing more grating that that “BEEP BEEP BEEP” sound. Especially when it occurs much earlier than you’d anticipated.

See, here’s how the snooze button works at my house. My husband, ever on the go, inevitably has to be up much earlier than I do. So his alarm goes off before the sun comes up on a regular basis.

You will note that, at the time of the first alarm, the entire household (four cats included) is sleeping soundly. And most everyone will sleep through that first alarm. Except for me.

Brian pommels the clock into silence and falls immediately back to sleep. And I lay there, now wide awake, with the knowledge that over the course of the next 20 minutes, that alarm will go off again. And again. And again.

A million thoughts roll through my head in those first few minutes. “Did he really hit the snooze button? Or did he turn the alarm off completely? What if he turned it off completely—he can’t be late for class today. I guess I’ll just lay here and watch the minutes tick by, and if he’s not up by 6:15, I’ll wake him up myself. Great. Perfect. Just wonderful.”



Finally, I feel my eyelids begin to get heavy again. Deciding once and for all that he’s a grown man who can wake himself up for class, I allow myself to drift somewhere between asleep and awake. My body relaxes, my mind begins to quiet, and I float toward dreamland. And then…

Now I’m mad. Not only am I awake, but Cat #1 realizes I’m awake and begins his “Mommy’s Awake So Let Me Wash My Tail and Knead Her Pillow Into Oblivion Until She Pets Me” routine. And Cat #3, our most vocal feline when it comes to meal time, descends from his perch at the foot of the bed and begins yowling for his breakfast. And my husband stretches, yawns, and opens his eyes to the world that I’ve been aware of now for exactly 17 minutes.

Now Cat #2 joins Cat #3 in the “Feed Me Now” campaign, and Cat #4 begins the “Catch Mom’s Toe Under The Blanket” game. And Brian and I lay a moment in silence, both of us aware of what’s coming next.

*Full Disclosure: my husband has not used his snooze button since very early on in our relationship. When we first moved in together, he was a 3-times-a-morning snooze button user.  It became apparent a few months into our relationship that his addiction to the snooze button was a possible deal breaker. Eventually he came over to my way of thinking. And he does his waking up on the couch instead of in bed. Which is where I’ll be, sound asleep. Mostly. If Cats 1 through 4 cooperate.

Finding Inspiration Where You Least Expect It

As a writer, I’m often asked where my inspiration comes from. Where do I get my ideas? Do I have a favorite author that I strive to emulate? What is it that drives me to put pen to paper?

Source
Oftentimes, I don’t have the answers to those questions. I just know that words, stories, anecdotes live inside of me, somewhere under my skin, itching to be released. I wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea for a blog, and lay awake, stars peeking through my curtains, and write it in my head. Dreams lead to book ideas. Illustrations lead to book ideas. A beautiful day at the beach leads to book ideas.

The problem, for me, isn’t finding a way to tell a story, or jotting down a particularly clever turn of phrase. The problem is finding the motivation to do something with it. Share it with the world. Finding the courage to seek publication.
For years, I felt like a dog on a leash, desperate for escape. I had so many ideas tumbling around in my brain like so many puppies. A humor novel. A memoir. A children’s series. Each time I would sit down at my computer, ready to take that first step into becoming a true writer, that choke collar would pull me to an abrupt halt. Questions, doubts, fear would creep in and take over, sending my creativity into a retreat.
Source
Would someone really pay me to publish this story?
Are my characters under-developed?
Are there too many holes in the plot?
What if it’s not good enough? What if I’m not good enough?
One beautiful autumn day, not too long ago, I had a conversation with my brother, Adam, about this very subject. He’d asked me why I hadn’t ever seriously tried to break into the publishing world. And I shared with him those fears, those doubts, that I just shared with you.
In Adam’s crib, circa 1988.
And he said to me, in his less-than-poetic way,
You’ve got to tell that voice to shut the hell up and just get to it, sissy. Because you’re better at this than anyone I’ve ever known.”
I’ve received praise before–from glowing comments to awards and everything in between. My husband cheers me on every single day. I’ve had my Daddy pat me on the back, and my Mom tell me how much my words made her smile. I’ve had friends tell me they look forward to my blog everyday, and that they’ve passed it along to all their friends and relatives.
But those words coming from my little brother meant more to me in that moment than any praise I’d heard before in my life. Because finding out that your little brother actually admires you…well, that’s just priceless in my book.
A rare moment of sibling concord, circa 1997.
A month later, when I had the opportunity to join NaNoWriMo, I didn’t even hesitate. I jumped in with both feet and produced a manuscript that’s tipping the scales now at approximately 53,000 words. And while it’s a far cry from being a publishable work, it’s the first time I’ve ever put that much work into a book that is my very own.
And all because, when that little voice started up inside my head, I told it to shut the hell up. And I just got to it.
I have Adam to thank for that.
♥ Thanks, Bubby. ♥

Adding Another Resolution to 2012

Ever have one of those conversations that makes you stop and think? The kind that sticks with you hours, even days, after its conclusion? I had one of those conversations recently, with my husband and my friend, Dana.

Topic: The possible end of the world.
Question: If it all ended tomorrow, and you had a moment of knowledge that the end was coming, would you be ok? Happy? Satisfied?

When Dana posed this question to me, my gut reaction was NO. (Followed by my deepest hope that the end of the world doesn’t mean a zombie apocalypse. Because zombies creep me out.)

I have to much to do for my life to just end in a Too many things I haven’t accomplished yet. Too many dreams I haven’t fulfilled. Would I go into that moment kicking and screaming, shaking my fists at the universe? (Or the Mayans?)

 

Maybe the Mayans just had a warped sense of humor.

As Dana and my husband talked about how they felt about the (impossible) situation, I found myself listing all those things in my head. Those things that plague me everyday, just out of reach.

List of Things I Don’t Have Yet
(But still really want, thereby making the end of the world even more sucky.)

*Kids
*A job I love
*My own house
*A second car
*A published book
*A million dollars (yes, I realize that’s a bit of a stretch)

 
The thought of not fulfilling these dreams makes me a little panicky. I’ve waited so long! I’ve been so patient! It’s almost within our grasp! With the conversation still going on around me, I focus on steadying my breathing, calming my rapid heart rate. It’s not going to happen, Abby, I tell myself. The Mayans just ran out of rock. We’ll be celebrating 2013 with Ryan Seacrest and the giant sparkly ball with everyone else on the planet come December 31st.
Moments later, I confess my answer to the question to Brian and Dana. I feel guilty saying it. Ungrateful.
“No.”
 
I say that it’s not that I am not appreciative for what I do have, it’s just that I want more. “Everybody wants more, Abby,” Dana says wisely.
And that’s when Brian says it. The thing that I’ll mull over for hours, even days, far after the conversation has ended. The thing that, at first, hurts my feelings until I realize the truth behind the statement.
“Abby tends to focus more on what we don’t have. 
It makes it harder for her to see what we DO have.”
 
Oof.
And yet, it’s true.
I lie awake at night, imagining what my life would be like if I could turn off that maternal desire to have a baby. How much happier I’d be if I could stop yearning. I pass by houses with “For Sale” signs in the yard and am bitter that I don’t have one of my own. I get up at the crack of dawn to schlep my husband to and from work, grumbling all the way about my own lack of transportation. I talk about the book I’m writing, and the other one I’ve got floating around in my head, with gusto (even though I haven’t touched my manuscript since Thanksgiving.)
With his words bouncing around in my head, I’ve spent the day berating myself for this flaw in my personality. Asking myself if I strive too much (or plan too much) for the future, thereby letting today pass me by. And I started listing all the things in my life that I DO have, (for my reference, and Brian’s.)
List of Things I Do Have
(Thereby making my life awesomely awesome)

*A steady, healthy relationship with a man I admire and trust.
*A family that supports me, loves me, and makes me laugh.
*Friends who appreciate me for me, no matter my flaws.
*Four cats who let me hug them, even when they don’t want to be hugged.
*A job that allows me to follow my true passion–writing.

 
It’s not as if I don’t know how blessed I am in life. I just want more. More, more, more.
Does that make me greedy? Selfish? Ungrateful?
Or does that make me normal?
Regardless, I’ve decided to add a new resolution for 2012. I’m going to stop focusing so much on the things we don’t have and spend more time in the moment, loving everything we DO have.
Including, but not limited to, my Twitter follow by Donnie Wahlberg.

Because that belongs on the list, too.

I dunno. You pick.

Raise your hand if you’re married.

Now, raise your hand if you’re the decision maker in your family.

I’m not talking about major decisions–like what vehicle you might be purchasing, or where you’re going to live. I’m talking about the day-to-day decisions: what you’re having for dinner on Friday, what you want to watch on television, what you’re going to buy your parents for Christmas.

While Brian and I tackle most major decisions as a team, when it comes to the more mundane decisions in life, they’re left mostly up to me. A conversation between us may go a little something like this:

A: I’m making the grocery list for the week. I’ve got most of our meals planned out, but I was wondering what you might want for dinner on Thursday night.
B: I don’t know.
A: Anything you’ve been craving lately? Or something we’ve done recently you’d like again?
B: I don’t know.
A: Pick a country.
B: Errr….
A: Ok….pick an animal.
B: Ummmm…
A: *trying not to lose her patience.* Any ideas? At all?
B: Whatever you want, babe.
A: grrrrrrrrrrrr….

Now, most normal people wouldn’t be annoyed with that conversation. Most people would make the assumption that the person uninterested in making a decision about a meal plan is just that: uninterested in making a decision about a meal plan.

However, Brian is a professional at not making decisions about a lot of stuff.

B: I’m bored.
A: So let’s watch something on TV.
B: *flip flip flip* There’s nothing on.
A: Sure there is. You’re just not trying hard enough to find something.
B: *hands Abby the remote* I dunno. You pick.
A: grrrrrrrrrrr……..

And while out on the town:

B: I’m hungry.
A: So, let’s grab something to eat.
B: Ok.
A: Where do you want to go?
B: I dunno.
A: What are you in the mood for?
B: I dunno.
A: Italian? Mexican? American?
B: I dunno.
A: Pizza? Burgers? Burritos?
B: I dunno. You pick.
A: grrrrrrrr……

When in the store:

A: Ooh, these pot holders are cute!
B: Yeah, they are.
A: Mom would really like these. We should get some. Which do you think: cows or pigs?
B: I dunno.
A: I mean, the cows are here favorites, but the pigs are pink. And she loves pink. Right?
B: I guess.
A: I’m asking your opinion here. Which ones? Cows? Or Pigs?
B: I dunno. You pick.
A: grrrrrrrrrrr…..

Most of the time, I ignore it. It is in his nature to make sure everyone around him is happy. It’s sweet and endearing.

Except when it’s not.

Because sometimes, I want to NOT have to make any decisions. Sometimes I wish he would say, “Abby, tonight we’re going to go to here, eat there, and enjoy that.”

So, a few nights ago we were out Christmas shopping for our family. Which, believe me, makes my brain hurt from all the decision making. Upon finishing, Brian tells me he wants dinner. (Because Christmas shopping is tough in general…and it’s even tougher on a strict budget.) And he’s really craving pizza. Hallelujah! Decision made!

B: So, what kind of pizza do you want?
A: I don’t care, babe. Just get whatever you want.
B: *cannot compute. Brain shutting down. Abby doesn’t want to make a decision. System failure.*
A: Seriously. It’s up to you. I don’t want to have to make any more decisions today. In fact, any decisions made in the next twenty-four hours are solely yours to make.
B: … … … … Ok. I think I can handle that.

He whips out his smart phone, orders a pizza, and we begin driving. I’m utterly relieved that I didn’t have to choose our dinner, and I settle back in my seat to enjoy the ride of the unencumbered. Our conversation turns toward our Christmas haul, how we’ll wrap the items, and what reactions we’re hoping for from the recipients. Ten minutes into the conversation, Brian turns to me and says:

B: So, what do you want to do when we get home?
A: *face palm* You didn’t even last ten minutes.
B: … … … … I was asking your opinion, so I could make an informed decision.

What? He tried.

Photo Shoot with Nurse Brian

Yesterday, Brian and I took a trip to our local uniform outlet storm. And guess what we bought??!

SCRUBS!

(If you didn’t guess scrubs, you’re really bad at this game. Or else, you’ve never had cause to visit your own local uniform outlet store, and therefore, weren’t aware of their contents.)

Brian was so excited. His first real scrubs–YAY! I got to tag along because he’s semi-color blind, so he needs my help when it comes to matching colors.

Also, he’s a man. So…ya know…lack of fashion sense and whatnot.

There wasn’t much left to do when we got home, other than have a fashion show so I could take a TON of pictures for the blog. And that’s when things got funny.

I should also mention that we’d been out to dinner before the photo shoot began. And that I had a few glasses of wine.

So, Brian dons his first outfit, and I start shouting out directions befitting of a professional photographer at a magazine cover shoot.

Abby: Smile! Look happy! Carefree! Think about bunnies!
Brian: *weak smile*

Of course he’s wearing his badge. It completes the  ensemble.

When that doesn’t get a response out of him, I wait until his back is turned, then “accidentally” click the button when he isn’t looking.

Brian: You did NOT just take a picture of my butt.
Abby: Of COURSE not honey…*giggle snort chuckle*

Sorry, honey. I lied.

Still…nothing. So, I decided to opt out of the posed shots, choosing to snap candids instead.

Abby: HEY! LOOKIT ME!!!
Brian: Yes, dear?
Abby: *snap*

What he’s thinking: “My wife, she’s a crazy.” (Read as if you were Luigi.)

(Hopefully he will appreciate my framing, here. I TOTALLY included the Transformers Shelf in the composition of this photo on purpose. I swear.)

Suddenly, I’m struck with inspiration.

Abby: I know, Brian! Do something….nurse-ish.
Brian: … … …

Don’t worry, future patients. This is NOT the look he’ll give YOU when
you ask him what a hematoma looks like.

Apparently, he didn’t get my inspiration.

Brian: What the heck does “nurse-ish” mean?
Abby: I dunno. Try to look…collegiate. Do something a nurse would do.
Brian: I have no clue…
Abby: I KNOW! Get your stethescope!

Finally willing to play along, Brian takes out his stethescope, grabs a cat, and I get the awesomest shot of the night:

Brian’s interpretation of the words “nurse-ish” and “collegiate” in the same photo.

Scrubs Photo Shoot = Awesome of Epic Proportions.

Grace Is NOT My Middle Name

Once upon a time, giving me a compliment would most likely result in an argument. It didn’t really matter what the person was complimenting me for: from the color of my eyes to the A on a biology test. Compliments were never met with grace.

Complimenter: “Oh, Abby, I just LOVE that color on you!
Abby: “Really? I think it makes my skin look green.”
Complimenter: “You’re crazy! It totally brings out the blue in your eyes.”
Abby: “Ugh. I’m glad you think so, but I’m beginning to think you need to get your eyes checked.”
Complimenter: *huff* “I have perfect vision!”
Abby: “Well then maybe it’s just your sense of style that’s a little wonky.”
Complimenter: *storms off in a snit*

It wasn’t specifically trying to pick fights or annoy my friends (those who were kind enough to issue the compliment in the first place.) I just didn’t know how to receive kind words in a gracious manner.

Rather, when someone showered with me with praise, I immediately felt backed into a corner. My thought process:

*If I respond favorably, I will sound conceited and snotty, and I will immediately lose friends.

*If I respond negatively, I will sound disrespectful and unfriendly, and I will immediately lose friends.

So I turned to only weapon left in my arsenal:

My sarcastic responses didn’t always have to make sense, either.

Complimenter: “I loved reading your short story, Abby. It was really funny! Even my roommate got a big kick out of it!”
Abby: … … … “So’s Your Face.”

Sarcasm was my defense mechanism. It kept me from having to examine the complicated array of emotions I felt after receiving the compliment: elated, touched, undeserving, uncomfortable, unworthy. So rather than accepting the compliment graciously, I would raise the deflector shields and fire sarcasm back (oftentimes at random.)

Most of my friends either accepted the sarcasm as an Abby trait. Others stopped complimenting me at all, to save themselves from the argument.

Then I met Brian.

The first time it happened between us, he let it slide. The second time it happened, he raised an eyebrow. The third time it happened, he let me have it.

Brian: “You look pretty today.”
Abby: “Compared to what?”
Brian: “You know when you do that, you not only belittle yourself but the person giving you the compliment.”
Abby: “But…no…wait! That’s not what I’m trying to do…”
Brian: “Your insecurity shows through when you say stuff like that. YOU may not think you look pretty today, but I do, and you should value my opinion because you love me. Besides, it makes me feel good, too.”

(*Swoon.* He’s so smart.)

I’ve been very aware of how I react to compliments ever since that conversation. Granted, I still don’t always receive kind words in a gracious manner. But I’m much more aware of how MY reaction will make the complimenter feel.

In the last few days, I’ve had several compliments I’ve had to field, some which left me feeling overwhelmed and undeserving.

A complete stranger told me that I was one of the most beautiful people she’d ever met, and that it was the positive attitude I carried that made me beautiful inside and out.

At a recent book club meeting, I was showered with compliments about my blog–one friend commented that it was her favorite part of her afternoon lunch break. Another friend mentioned a blog that she stumbled upon on the very day she needed it most. Yet another said she’d printed off one of my posts to give to her mom.

I had life-affirming conversation with a friend yesterday who helped me relocate hope — hope that I didn’t know was missing until she spoke such words of kindness, it left me weepy.

I’m proud to say that I didn’t say anything snarky to any of these individuals. I embraced their kindnesses with open arms. I wrapped up their words and carried them home in my heart.

And I realized something pretty profound.

When a compliment is issued sincerely, and received sincerely, it warms the soul.

In short:

 

They do. They really, really do.


Today’s post is brought to you by the Letter B. As in Brian. As in, Brian is a genius and should have his own line of t-shirts

Saturday Mornings

What was your favorite part of Saturday as a kid? Not having to go to school? Racing downstairs to devour your Mom’s famous flapjacks? Getting up early and heading to the fishing hole with your Dad?

Who are you kidding? You know it was the Saturday Morning Cartoons.
A few of my faves.
I’ve mentioned before my admiration for Shera. And I know I’ve outlined my husband’s love of all things robot.
This past Saturday, thanks to The Hub, I got to revisit my childhood. My husband, ever the narrow-minded child and only interested in “boy” cartoons, totally missed out on one of my all-time favorite cartoons, ever. So the time had come for me to school him on “real” cartoons.
I was obsessed with this show. And before you ask, yes, I had the dolls, too. And the Rockin’ Roadster.
Since I’ve watched a gazillion hours worth of Transformers in the years I’ve been married to my husband, it only seemed fair that he get a taste of what my childhood was like. So we settled in and watched an episode of “Jem.”
The following argument conversation took place during the commercial breaks.
B: This is terrible.
A: So’s your face.
B: It is really really terrible.
A: Whatever. It’s the coolest cartoon ever.
B: Who do you think they hired to sing this crap? Do you think they told them to be bad? Like, they’re singing off-key on purpose?
A: They’re the Misfits. Like, the Decepticons of rock n’ roll. They’re supposed to suck.
B: Oh…
Next commercial break:
B: So you really watched this as a kid?
A: Yes.
B: And you never watched Transformers?
A: No.
B: Wow. Now you know what you were missing. Your cartoons were awful.
A: Whatever. I’d rather be a rockstar than a Transformer anyday.
B: WHAAAAAAAAT? How can you….
A: (Abby interrupts) SHHHH. It’s coming back on and I’m dying to find out if the Holograms are going to figure out where the Misfits hid the master tape for their new album.
B: (pouts)
Next commercial break:
B: HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY THINK THAT JEM IS BETTER THAN TRANSFORMERS?
A: Because I’m a girl.
B: So? Even girls know that robots that transform into sports cars are cooler than a chick with pink hair and flashy earrings.
A: No, I don’t think so. Girls would rather be rockstars and wear awesome clothes and tour the world with their friends.
B: Awesome clothes?
A: What? Leg warmers were the height of fashion in the 80s.
B: (GAG)
As if he needs further proof, I’ve devised a simple check list of all the ways Jem is cooler than Transformers.
Seriously, Bri…you can’t argue with that.

And if you can argue with that, you can’t argue with the
AWESOMEST THEME SONG KNOWN TO MAN EVER.

I win.

Conversations with my Husband: What a Difference One Letter Makes

Recently, my husband installed a new stereo in our car. This made me very happy, because now I can listen to my iPod without several hundred wires and cords hanging in my face.

This is a happy Me.

After a few days of radio bliss, the thing began to rattle. Not like a quiet, not-so-annoying rattle that made you occasionally wonder, “What is that?” But more like a loud, obnoxious “This is what makes it obvious that I’m not factory installed and ruins your enjoyment” rattle.

Brian and I have had several discussions about said rattle, but the one we had last night was relatively blog worthy, and so I’ll share it with you here.

Radio: *rattle rattle rattle*
Abby: *giant sigh*
Brian: “What’s wrong?”
Abby: “The radio. She rattles.”
Brian: “Yeah, I know.”
Abby: “It’s really frickin’ annoying.”
Brian: “Yeah, I know.”
Abby: “Why is it rattling?”
Brian: “I think it’s this little bit of flimsy plastic here.”



Abby: “Well I hate it.”
Brian: “I know, me too.”
Radio: *rattle rattle rattle*
Abby: “I bet you’re wishing you’d had it professionally installed now, huh?”
Brian: “Not really. It’s just that little bit of plastic that’s making the noise.”
Abby: “Well, it’s evil. It’s an evil radio.”



Brian: *snort*
Radio: *rattle rattle rattle*
Abby: “Seriously, can you fix it?”
Brian: “Maybe.”
Abby: “Maybe you can wedge something in there…like a piece of paper or cardboard or something. You know, like a shiv.”
Brian: ….  …..  ……
Abby: “Oh, no, wait…a shiv is what you use to kill someone in prison. I meant a shim.”
Brian: *ten minutes of insane laughter followed by…* “Oh what a difference a letter makes.”

To recap: you’d better watch out, evil car radio. I’m coming for you.

Today I Answer An Age-Old Question

Who would you invite to a dinner party? Dead or alive, famous or not, real or fictional—if you could have anyone over to your house for a meal, who would you choose?

I’ve heard so many answers to this question. Some names are synonymous with dinner party: Oprah, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus (especially if he does that water to wine trick), Marilyn Monroe, the President. I’ve heard others answer with their favorite celebrity crush, rock star, movie star, or person they’d most like to sleep with.

My answers might surprise you. But I’ve put a lot of thought into the people I’d invite, and why. Here’s what my ideal dinner party would look like:

Ah, yes. A motley crew. Let me explain my guest list.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Not only is she funny, clever, quick-witted and adorable, she’s downright mean with a knife. That takes care of the carving station. She’d also be handy to have around in case of a Zombie Attack. (What? Zombies like dinner parties, too.) I’d try desperately not to bore her with frequent comments of “You’re so awesome, Buffy!” and “Can we be best pals?” But I might not be able to stop myself. Not to mention, if she comes to dinner, then the likelihood that Spike will stalk follow her and hide in the bushes outside increases tenfold. Which also increases the likelihood that I’ll get to meet Spike. Score!

Howie Mandel:
I find him to be charming, funny, and a witty conversationalist. I’m sure if we swear not to touch him, and provide him with copious amounts of Purell, he might actually come and have a good time. If we’re really lucky, we might be able to convince him to do some voices from his 80s cartoon, Bobby’s World. Let’s face it, every dinner party needs someone to be the comedian. Howie is my pick.

My best friend and college roommate, Jenna:
First and foremost, I’d invite her because I love her to bits and she’s always fun to have around. But more importantly, if I invited Buffy, and didn’t invite Jenna, it may be the end of our friendship. You see, we both have a major love affair for all-things-Buffy. And I’d hate to lose my best friend by failing to allow her the opportunity to dine with our favorite super hero. (And also, if Buffy comes, the likelihood that Angel might follow her and hide in the bushes outside increases tenfold. Which also increases the likelihood that Jenna would get to meet Angel. Score!)

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore:
He is, hands down, my favorite fictional character of all time. I love everything about Professor Dumbledore–from his penchant for profound words of wisdom to his reverence for all things childish–and the idea of getting to sit beside him over a plate of fried chicken and pick his brain about all things magical sends tingles down my spine. It’s the closest thing this Muggle could get to real magic, and I’d be 100% on board. Plus, if the zombies get out of hand and Buffy gets swamped, Dumbledore could help out with a few Bat Bogey Hexes. And as an extra bonus, I bet if we asked him real nice like, he’d bring us some goodies from the Harry Potter world—Bertie Bott’s  Every Flavored Beans for dessert, anyone?

And finally, Paula Deen:
She’s sweet, she’s silly, she’s a wiz in the kitchen, and everyone loves her. Plus, I wouldn’t have to cook. But if I insisted on being in the kitchen, she’d be right there beside me, whipping up some of her famous hoe cakes and talking my ear off about her southern roots and sharing with me the secrets of truly fluffy buttermilk biscuits. I can’t imagine a more wonderful way to spend an afternoon in the kitchen.

Unless maybe my Dad was there.

Shoot, now I have to invite my Dad…I’m gonna need a bigger table.

Conversations with My Husband: Man Day

In the throes of birthday celebration last night, my husband and I came to the decision that we wanted to install a new car radio. In our excitement, we proceeded to our favorite store, purchased said car radio, mounting kit, and appropriate wires.

My husband, who currently works in a predominately female profession (restaurant business) and is also studying to begin a career in a totally different predominately female profession (nurse), is practically foaming at the mouth with delight. Finally, a project he can sink his teeth into that screams “I am man, hear me roar.”

As we were pulling out of the parking lot, my husband turns to me and says:

B: So I guess tomorrow is going to be a MAN DAY.
A: A man day?
B: No, a MAN DAY.

(In order to get the inflection right, drop your voice approximately 4 octaves, stand with legs akimbo, hands on hips, drop chin to chest, and draw out your vowel sounds. MAAAAAAN DAAAAAY.)

Amused, I asked him what MAN DAY entails.

B: Well, first of all I’m going to mow the grass.
A: Because that’s manly?
B: Absolutely. Maybe I’ll do it bare-chested.
A: Clutching a dagger between your teeth?
B: Well, no, but that would make it manlier.
A: What else constitutes MAN DAY?

Keep in mind, reader, that every time we use the phrase MAN DAY, we say it like I outlined above. MAAAAN DAAAAY.

So anyway, I had just asked him what other manly plans he had, and he responded:

B: I’m going to install this car radio.
A: I’ll agree, that’s a pretty manly task.
B: Yes it is. And then I’m going to fix that door knob.
A: The one that’s been missing for 2 weeks since it broke and I had to pull it out of the door with pliers?
B: Yes. That door knob. I’m going to take out my tool belt, rev up my power tools, and fix that door knob because it’s MANLY.

At this point I’m giggling like a crazy woman. As the laughter dies down I turn to him and ask:

A: Any other plans for MAN DAY?
B: (long pause as he considers….) I don’t know. Do we have any heavy furniture you want me to move?

I love this (manly)man.