Archive for June, 2013

Paula in happier days

Dear Paula Deen:

I know you are going through a rough time right now. Even with the chaos in Texas (go Wendy!) and the Supreme Court decision on that stupid Defense of Marriage Act (you know how I feel about that), you are still in the spotlight.

By all accounts (from people who know you, worked for you, still work for you, were raised by you, etc.) you are not racist by definition. Hard-driving, stubborn and raunchy, perhaps, but not racist. The plaintiff in that year-old lawsuit (who is white, surprisingly) even admits she never heard you make racist remarks.

It’s never OK to use THAT word (or any derogatory word like that). But I’m willing to cut you some slack on a 30-year-old mistake. (Especially as you apologized. Repeatedly.)

I mean, let’s be honest here: Who hasn’t had some tragic lapses in judgment? Let’s look at some of the decades-old moments for which I need to atone:

  1. St. Patrick’s Day 1993
  2. Fancy Dress 1989
  3. That one time at drama camp …
  4. Dating the dude from Macy’s receiving department (My dad’s observation: “Doesn’t that guy own any shirts with sleeves?”)
  5. This dress:Prom 1985 (It’s no wonder I don’t have a stitch of lace in my closet now. I reached my Designated Lace Quota in 1985.)
  6. This hair: '80s hair(Aqua Net was my best friend.)
  7. While we’re at it, this hair too: Blonde ambition(The ill-advised blonde ambition phase. What the what?)
  8. Being a mean girl to a nice boy who asked me to a dance. And not being a mean girl to a not-so-nice boy who asked me to a different dance. (That boy ended up talking through dinner about all the times in his life he had barfed. I sure know how to pick ’em.)
  9. Not buying that house on Jones Street.
  10. Allowing Neil the Cockatiel to escape the dorm suite I shared with his mom.

I’m sure I’ve committed many more sins than I can remember right now. We all have regrets. We all don’t have to fess up to them in a deposition.

Good luck with everything. You know how people are when they decide to make someone a scapegoat. If you need a personal pick-me-up, read a blog post by Michael Twitty, a fellow who addresses the real problem in an eloquent way.

It’s not all about you; it’s about pervasive, systemic racism. It’s about the real challenges people who are not white face. And white people don’t see and understand these challenges precisely because they are white. (Contrary to common conservative thought, we all can’t get where we want to go through hard work. We are not all born equal.)

We need to get to a point as a nation where difference doesn’t come with judgment. My kids see difference in skin color, but they don’t attach “good” or “bad” labels to that difference.

For example, Dominic noticed that one of his camp counselors, a black woman, was married to a white man. I said that I hoped that didn’t bother him because his daddy and I are an interracial couple too.

Gideon piped up and said, “Oh I know. You are really white and Daddy is brown.”

Dominic replied, “Daddy’s not brown. He’s tan.”

(Note that photo in No. 7 up there and decide for yourself.)

Difference is good.* Judgment is bad.

But I think you know that.

Yours in love of buttery goodness,

* How boring would it be if we were all the same?

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Dear Procrastinators Anonymous:

My name is Beth and I am a procrastinator. Not all the time, but about certain things. Lately, anyway.

Forgive me, PA, for I have sinned. Repeatedly.

Here’s a rundown of my misdeeds:

1. Dawdled on an article for the local newspaper. I did all the interviews and the research, but couldn’t nail my butt to the chair to write the story.
Outcome: Success. It took 20 minutes. Why did I wait so long?

2. Avoided calling Delta to change flights from summer break to winter because I knew it was going to be a hassle and, possibly, an expensive exchange.
Outcome: Flights changed and I earned a credit because I threatened to cry and/or vomit from the stress and the expense. I was on the phone for more than an hour, though.

3. Dragged my feet on making reservations for a place to stay for the trip above because I’m terrified of getting caught by another rental scam.
Outcome: Made reservations. Still terrified. At least I paid with a credit card this time.

3. Put off reading feedback from certain people in a certain forum because I know one person (or maybe more) hates my guts.
Outcome: Haters gonna hate. Suffice it to say I’ve learned that holding people accountable is not the way to win Miss Congeniality.

4. Dallied in cooking the bacalao Eddie brought home.
Outcome: Have you had bacalao? It’s stinky and time-consuming. You have to soak that stuff before you can cook it. It’s not worth it. I threw it away today. (Don’t tell my mother-in-law. That’d be yet another black mark against me.)

5. Stalled on writing posts for this blog. I’ve had a few ideas, but no strong motivation. And I’m mortified that I’ve slipped to such infrequent updates.
Outcome: Well, you’re reading something, right?

You know what I need? Deadlines. If I don’t have a deadline, it doesn’t get done.

My deadline for this post was yesterday. Oh well.

See you soon,


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Dear Spammers:

Thank you so much for sending your robots my way. Allow me to respond to a few of your recent (attempted) posts:



Screen shot Thank you for that interesting bit of trivia featuring an artist I care nothing about. Did you know that she also is the solo artist with the most No. 1 hits? Fascinating. I’m not sure what she has to do with art, except that she is indeed some piece of work. Is this comment an exercise in the improvisation you seem to support? If so, perhaps you could work on that skill. Improvisation requires some cohesion.


Screen shot I appreciate you taking an interest in my blog. Allow me to return the favor of assistance: You need to proofread or ask someone to help you. That “O . k” really bothers me. Also, you need to learn the difference between “advise” and “advice.” (Here’s a hint: One is a verb and one is a noun.) And the traditional idiom is “change my mind.”


Screen shot I’ve never even seen the first “Tron” (I know, I know) so thanks for the heads-up about the soundtrack. By “board,” do you mean “mixing board”or are you talking about baseboards? If it’s baseboards, you don’t have to tell me: We have quite the issue in our bathroom. The prior owner didn’t know how to use caulk, so that room is a mess.


Screen shot Thank you so much for the compliment! I also think my blog should be shared across the Internet. And yes, shame on Google for not doing whatever it is you think it should have done. (Did you perhaps mean “post higher” instead of “publish upper” in that sentence? It’s not clear.) I have other questions, too: What is it that you want to discuss? Are we going to chat about Google rankings? Or something else? I assume you mean you want to speak with me one-on-one. It would be hard for me to talk with your site.

Thanks again, Spammers! There’s some great stuff here.


* Thank you, Weird Al, for “Spam” based on “Stand.”

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