Archive for February, 2020

Dear Friends,

I basically keep this blog to amuse myself and you. As always, I give you permission to laugh at my expense. I hope this post makes you laugh as much as I did when it all happened.

Here’s the setup:

Eddie and I went to see Soul Asylum last night.

Side note: I always go early enough to see the openers. Local H is great; I highly recommend.

Anyway, after their set, Center Stage turned up the lights. Not such a great move. Lots of middle-aged folks out on a school night. (Many drinking shots, but that’s another story.)

I asked Eddie if we looked as old and used-up as so many of the people around us.

He looked horrified and practically yelled, “No!”

So I tried to take a photo of us to make sure.

So I tried again.

So clearly, Eddie is wrong, and I fit in well with the crowd.

I either take decent photos or really bad ones. This night was the night of the living dead, photo-wise. Apparently. No good would come of my attempts.

Y’all know I have no shame.

So I leaned into it.


Does this angle make my lip look big?

Beth = Ghostface from “Scream”

Maybe if I find my light …

I started laughing.

And you know me: Once I start, I can’t stop.

I started doing that wheeze laugh I do. I laughed so hard I started crying.

I laugh-cried off all my (nickel-free) eye makeup. The people next to us moved. For real.

Once Soul Asylum started playing, I shuffled my dried-up husk of a body to the front.

Dave Pirner has some miles on him too, but he brought his A game.

Not as much energy as the gondolier guitarist, though.

One good thing about a show with lots of old people around: You can get close to the stage without worrying about compromising personal space. Or finding yourself in a mosh pit.

Soul Asylum played their new stuff plus all the hits. Of course. Including that song EVERYBODY knows.

It was a good show with good photos of everyone but me, apparently.

My loss is your gain.

Are you not entertained?

I know I was.

Your not-so-photogenic friend

* Look! A “Seinfeld” reference

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Dear Doctor,

Thank you for working with me to get to the root of my Hitch eye.

The verdict?

I’m allergic to nickel.

I prefer gold, silver and platinum anyway.


I had narrowed my problem down to one of three eye shadows — my favorite, most expensive ones, of course.

All shimmery.

And what’s in shimmery eye shadows?


Ruh roh.

Your patch test proved it.

The patch test.

That medieval torture.

Testing for 36 different things.

On my back.

From a Friday morning to a Monday afternoon.

It was terrible.

And I knew I was allergic to something almost immediately because of the itching.

Itching on the top left.

That’s right.

Weird how I never had this problem before.

But, as you said, my body just had enough.

Hitch eye was its way of saying, “Stop that.”

I guess I’ll have to find some folks in the market for some bougie, nickel-filled eye shadow.

But now I know, so thank you.

Hope I don’t see you soon,

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Dear Gideon,

Thanks for hanging out with me at the AEW event Wednesday night. I know it won’t be long before the last thing you want to do is hang out with your mom.

To be honest, though, not many of the moms we know would want to watch professional wrestling. Er, RASSLIN’ (as it is known in the South).

(You know, if I knocked out some of my teeth, this and the taxidermy would give me the redneck trifecta. You would never know I had a doctoral degree. Yes, I know I’m stereotyping.)

But you and I have watched AEW since it started last year. We HAD to see it live.

Luckily, we like the same characters.

Jungle Boy (i.e., Luke Perry’s kid), Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt (Jurassic Express)? Yes.

Kenny Omega, whose hair looks like sea coral? No.

The Young Bucks, who look like they were coughed up by a Myrtle Beach T-shirt shop? Yes.

MJF, someone’s bratty prep-school little brother? No.

Orange Cassidy, who doesn’t wrestle but roams around looking like a cool knockoff of Macklemore? Sure.

Cody Rhodes, who started AEW, still wrestles and tries to be cool? Sorry, but no. (I know, I know. He’s homegrown. Still.)

Chris Jericho, with attitude to spare? Yes, please.

Sammy Guevara, who always has his tongue out? Hell no.

Our seats were decent, and we got to sit in a group of folks who were ALL IN for Moxley and Hangman Page, whose beer-grabbing is killing us (in a good way).

When they chanted, “This is AWESOME,” we did too.

When they chanted “Asshole” as Wardlow appeared for the cage match against Cody Rhodes (oh the cage match), we didn’t. You’re 13.

When one dude behind us shouted to Rhodes getting his butt whooped in the cage match,” Do less of that!,” we laughed.

We both marveled at Rhodes’ epic finish.

It was a great night watching men in panties fight each other.

I’m so glad we spent it together.

I’ll meet you on the couch for AEW Wednesday night, unless you have baseball practice.


At the Marta station, we spotted the lucky fan who scored the shirt Cody Rhodes ripped off his body.




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Warning: This post contains graphic images of a dead animal.

Dear Eddie, Dominic and Gideon,

Thank you so much for giving me the best Christmas gift ever: a taxidermy class at Rainy Day Revival down the street. It is the gift that keeps on giving, as I learned two things:

  1. I really like practicing the art of taxidermy and not just admiring it.
  2. It appears I’m good at it.

You know I’ve been trying to take a taxidermy class for years — since before we moved to Atlanta. The ones at Graveface kept getting cancelled as they didn’t fill up.

Not so with the RDR one: It sold out quickly.

Revell, the man in charge of my hair, and I have similar interests. His boyfriend bought him a seat in the class for Christmas too!

We practically rushed into the room as soon as it opened. Revell chose a fluffy black bunny, so I picked the one across for convenience.

The instructor, Nina, had us start with painting or staining our plaques. Then we had to massage our still-partially frozen yet “ethically sourced” rabbit. (No, I don’t know what that means. Various websites say various things. I didn’t ask. Ignorance is bliss.)

Here’s my rabbit, Roger (of course), lying in state — massaged and thawed.

Next we had to turn our rabbits inside out to remove the skull.

You would think this would be gross, but all the Borax we put on them helped dry things out. Plus, you know I watch plenty of medical and forensic reality shows.

Nina came by to check on progress and gave me props for not popping the eyes and keeping my lids intact.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.19.26 PM

See! I’m a natural!

Nina then announced this, which is something I never thought I’d hear:

Once you take your face off, stop: We’re going to take a break.

So we took a break.

Revell and I had fun with our gross puppets.

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After the break, we made a new skull out of the kind of foam stuff that goes in the bottom of funeral arrangements. Apropos, no?

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.18.30 PM
Roger starts to look more like himself again.

But see how his nose is a little mushed in? I got the bright idea to plump it up with some clay. Nina’s mom, who helps with the classes, was skeptical. Then she saw the end result.

Oh! You were totally right! That looks much better.

I’m an artist, I tell you.

Once we were done, we lingered in the shop waiting for Nina to mount them on our plaques. (Power tools + expertise = much quicker to get through all 30)

I had plenty of time to admire the wares — and dream of bigger projects.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.18.16 PM.png

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Finally, Roger and I were reunited.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 1.17.45 PM.png

It will be two weeks until he “cures” completely and his bandages come off.

And you three will be forced to look at enjoy him in a place of pride at home.

So thank you for this gift. I had a great time, and I’m proud of myself.

The Novice Taxidermist

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Dear Cupid,

Your big day is over. Thank you for your service.

I know you worked overtime with my sons. Each has a girlfriend.

Dominic has been with Anica a little while — long enough to get into trouble for skipping class to kiss her in the multipurpose room at school.

(The phone call with the assistant principal was mortifying for both of us.)

Now he wants to take it to the next level.


Not just no. HELL no.

I have to hand it to him: He was brave to ask.

But not THAT brave as he asked his father, not me.

Thankfully, Gideon is still in the kiddie pool. But he’s practicing his strokes.






This is new — very new — for him. In fact, it almost didn’t happen.

Him: There’s a girl at school who likes me.
Me: Yeah? Do you like her?
Him: Yeah.
Me (Spidey senses tingling): So what’s the problem?
Him: I don’t know if I have time for a girlfriend with jujitsu and baseball and homework.
Me: Well, just talk to her about it. Let her know.
Him: Okay.
(Waits a beat.)
Him: I’m glad I can talk to you about relationship stuff.

Anyway, you did your thing. And now I have to do my mom thing — the thing where I notice everything but pretend not to, let alone say anything.

They’re feral cats: I have to let them come to me.

Thanks again. I think.


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Dear Simon, Rob and Nick, aka Jesse’s Divide,

It was exactly a year ago that you played Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta as part of the U.S. leg of your Space Wolf tour — a leg I planned with no prior tour-planning experience.

(Good GOD. WHAT were we thinking? A leap of faith all around.)

One year ago, I badgered all my friends to come hear you play.

One year ago, these friends seemed surprised I had good taste.

One year ago, these friends bought you all tequila shots.

Photographic evidence

And one year ago, Rob drank so much tequila, he still had the liquor sweats 24 hours later.

More evidence

Now the four of us are talking about U.S. Tour 2: Electric Boogaloo for October, and I couldn’t be more excited.

This tour will be fortified with more Jesus, more vegan food, more gigs, more fans and likely more tequila.

Crucially, this tour also will feature less driving, less crappy equipment and (I hope) less barfing on the side of the road.

I am forever grateful to Clair for inviting me to go with her to see you that February night in 2018.

Love you guys! You’re simply the best.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Touriversary!
Your No. 1 American Fan

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Dear Lottery God:

I still haven’t gotten a response to my May 2019 plea. I didn’t really expect one, but I DID hope.

Here’s the thing: What I really want are not material things.

Instead, I want experiences.

Like a blogger friend of mine (edyjournal), I’m not so concerned with status symbols. In fact, sometimes they come with more baggage than they are worth.

For example, I drove a BMW convertible for a while. I bought it used for $4K under the Blue Book value because the seller had already ordered a brand-new one for his kid as a replacement (!).

It was in great shape, and I take care of cars. That’s how my current car (a 2008 VW Eos) has managed to last and still look good.

Anyway, I got so sick of comments like this:

A BMW? Insert name of employer at the time must be paying you well!

[Eye roll]

It was a fantastic car, but I didn’t seek another BMW after it was totaled when I was broadsided at an intersection.

I feel myself growing apart from another friend whose job working with the 1 percent has her chasing the same Richie Rich tokens of success to keep up.

That’s not interesting to me.

You know what IS interesting to me?

Scream-laughing with my youngest on a roller coaster.

Watching people slam dance.

Day drinking in the Harry Potter section of Universal Studios Orlando.

Edit: Having brunch and getting my hooves shaved down with a long-time friend.

When I travel nowadays, I tend not to come home with tokens. (I Marie Kondo-ed my life since moving to Atlanta.) I come home with consumables: snacks for the kids, chicken hoops for me (when I can find them), random condiments, etc.

I don’t add to my physical footprint (not even in weight as I’m still maintaining).

So I’m asking again, Lottery God: Please smile upon me. These experiences aren’t free.

Best wishes and warmest regards,


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Dear Corporate Folks:

One of the best things about my job is meeting new people and finding cool opportunities for students. As a result, I’m getting to know my hometown of Atlanta and its residents even better.

There is a big difference in terminology in the higher education world versus the professional world. I go back and forth between the two, so I hear plenty of jargon in both.

I went to a presentation about Atlanta’s workforce last week. Plenty of discussion of past, present and future.

While it was interesting and productive in general, I heard a ridiculous amount of lingo.

Here’s a taste:

  • “We have to incent someone to learn new skills.” Please. No. Can we just provide an incentive? Or encourage someone?
  • “I talked to someone offline.” Good LORD. Can you just talk to someone? Let’s leave “offline” for tech.
  • “We wanted to internship these students.” Internship is a noun, not a verb.
  • “Pre-skilling,” “re-skilling,” “up-skilling” and “out-skilling.” Oh. My. God. Can we just say “training” instead?
  • “Workstream.” I’m OK with “workforce” (barely) but not “workstream.”
  • “Internal ecosystem.” Really? This is unnecessarily complex. Company culture is slightly better.
  • “Thoughtware.” Barf.
  • “Growing social capital muscles.” Can we not?

The visual aids were just as ridiculous.

I’m not a fan of cloudy communication.

In fact, one of my dissertation advisors yelled at me for not “elevating my language” like standard scholarly journal writing. I replied that the “elevated language” is why most people don’t like to read these journals. Especially professionals in the industry of interest.


No need to be clever.

No need to obfuscate. (Hee hee!)

Just be clear.


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Dear Student Sniffling in a Common Area:

I care about your well-being. I do. And because I care, I need to tell you to do something immediately:

Go blow your nose.

Oh my GOD — please. Sucking up your snot every 30 seconds is so annoying to hear. How is it not annoying to you to do it?

Really, you should take your clearly infirm backside home where you can be sick in peace.

If you MUST do homework in a common area where others are present, then at least have some awareness.

  • Keep tissues and hand sanitizer handy.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to recover quickly. (You have a water bottle, yet I haven’t seen you take a sip in the two hours I’ve been here.)
  • Take care of yourself.

There’s only one you, and you need to be in peak performance for the rest of the semester.

Get well soon,

Do this now.

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