Monday, December 24, 2007

I Love Global Warming


Well, I'm still not sure if I actually believe in global warming, but I love this Christmas Eve weather! It feels like a lovely, fall day. The sky is a clear blue with hardly any clouds--my favorite! Most people dislike this weather because it is not very "Christmasy," but I'd rather see the sunshine and feel a cool, gentle breeze than shiver under the bitterly cold, white sky. Also, this sunshine reminds me of life and joy and rest, which is what we receive in the birth of our Savior during this time of year. Seeing God's beautiful creation on a day like this puts me in the true spirit of Christmas all the more.

Tonight Kurt and I will attend our first Christmas Eve service at our new church. We are looking forward to it. Kurt's parents are coming with us; then we will go to their house for dinner and gift-giving!!! Tomorrow morning Kurt and I will exchange gifts in our own home (first Christmas in our new house!!!), then head to West Point and Starkville for lunch with my family. Christmas is always a whirlwind day for us, but we enjoy resting and enjoying our loved ones after all the festivities have ended.

Also, Christmas sometimes causes violence. After work today (yes, I worked on Christmas Eve because I have nothing else to do. I finished all my shopping and wrapping two weeks ago. Record timing.), I stopped by Wal-Mart to get some stocking stuffers for Kurt. It was, of course, packed with frantic last-minute shoppers. I was thankful that what I wanted was at the front of the store near the checkout lines. However, a lady cut in front of me at the self checkout machine, and I imagined that if I were stressed out with last minute to-dos that I might have harmed her. Or tried to. I thought to myself, "This is why people go on shooting sprees." Jokingly, of course. But, you never know when it could all pile up at the self check out line in Wal-Mart and a person just lose it altogether right there. Beware of last-minute holiday shoppers. They are an evil to be both feared and respected.

With that, have a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!


Why do you look retarded? Kurt and I put up our Christmas tree a few days ago. His aunt gave us this tree (which we greatly appreciate), but it is rather difficult to assemble. The branches must be added one by one, and they are color-coded. So, we took the tall “pole” part out of the box and also took out all of the branches and separated them into their color-coded piles. First snag: We couldn’t find the color-coded regions on the pole to match to the branches. So, we then decided that most Christmas trees are generally smallest on top and largest on the bottom. Therefore, we decided to attach the branches in this manner, starting from the bottom. Kurt attached the branches, and I followed behind him stringing the lights. (A friend advised us to put on the lights as we attached each layer of branches.) Well, we finished attaching the branches and the lights, and we stepped back to view our masterpiece. Thus went the conversation:
Marty – Wow, it looks really sparse at the bottom. I see some big gaps.
Kurt – Yeah, and we have some branches left over.
Marty – What should we do with those? Did we leave some off?
Kurt – I guess they are just extra in case you lose some. I’ll spread out the branches on the bottom limbs to hide those gaps.
After doing so, Kurt left to play in a church basketball game. Well, the tree gaps still existed and still bothered me. I didn’t want to remove all the lights and start over, but I felt sure that we were supposed to have used all the branches. So, I took off all the lights and began removing the bottom branches. I then discovered that we had skipped the entire 2nd-to-last layer! That’s where the leftover branches belonged! This news was good and bad. I simply left the branches on the floor until Kurt came home. Thankfully, he discovered where the color-codes were hiding on the pole during the first go-round and was able to re-attach all the branches correctly. Since then, I have re-strung the lights, put the ornaments on twice, and changed the bow on top a few times. I think it turned out well, though. Perhaps next year one will be the lucky number.

This morning during church, I whispered these words to Kurt: “Thanks be to God for the comma.” I said it to humor him, but I really do mean it. Grammar is one method that God uses to help us better understand his Gospel. I find this truth both beautiful and very fulfilling. What sparked my rapture was the hymn “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” Most people don’t know that a comma sits between Merry and Gentlemen in the song title and verses. This comma indicates a separation of the two words, and therefore changes Merry from what most people assume is an adjective to an adverb. Merry does not describe gentlemen in this song. Merry describes the verb “rest.” “Gentlemen” is the direct address or the subject to whom the writer is speaking. In modern speech it might read, “Gentlemen, may God give you merry rest.” When we trust in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation and to provide our deepest need, forgiveness of sins, for which he was born—when we rest in God’s provision, the rest that we have will be merry (mirthful, cheerful, peaceful). That simple, little comma changes the whole meaning of the song. Instead of God giving rest to already happy people, He becomes the rest that his sorrowful people so desperately need, which is why Jesus was born—to carry out the work that would accomplish the rest that God so longs to give His people.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This just in...



The Bulldogs won! Well, that's not news. More like "olds", right? Kurt and I had a great time at the Egg Bowl, aside from the freezing weather and losing most of the game. I spilled hot chocolate on myself and some guy behind me also spilled coke on my hiney. But, it was all worth it when the score was 17-14 at the end. I also got to see some friends, like Becca!

I thought of 2 things to add to the list of things I don't believe in:

1. Hayrides - Two words: cold and itchy! I have never understood the joy in hayrides. Please explain it to me. You pile on a trailer full of itchy, smelly, often damp hay with your peers (or younger) and you slowly ride behind a tractor in the cold, dark night. Another bad part about it is that there are usually people stationed along the course who try to scare you, and I absolutely despise being startled. (That's for another blog entry, but Kurt can attest that I am very jumpy and I frighten easily). So, don't waste your time inviting me to a hayride. Not gonna happen. I know, you must be sorely disappointed.

2. Yoo-hoo in a can - Disgusting. I was standing in the checkout line at Sam's today and I saw Yoo-hoo in a can! I mean, what is Yoo-hoo? It's called a "chocolate drink." What is that? Chocolate-flavored what? According to yoo-hoo.com, it is an all-natural chocolate-flavored drink that cannot spoil, has 5 vitamins and minerals, is 99% fat free, and is caffeine free. I'm very impressed by that information; however, the can packaging is still gross. Carbonation usually comes in a can, not chocolate water. Count me out, Yoo-hoo.

I'm going to Jackson for the day tomorrow with Barb, Bonnie, and Becky - my beach buddies. Deja Vu. Hopefully, I'll get to see some friends and do some Christmas shopping! I only have a couple of more gifts to buy. If you want to receive a Christmas card from us this year, please send me your address at martylcooper@gmail.com.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's Boot Season!



Hooray for boot season! I have just realized how much I love boots. I should have seen it coming, what with all the clues: 1. I've worn only boots for the past 5 days in a row 2. I have one pair of tall leather brown boots, one pair of tall leather black boots, one pair of short leather brown boots, and one pair of short leather black boots 3. I might get another pair of boots for Christmas. Boots, boots, boots! I can't get enough of them. I think I might actually wear boots every day until March 1 (I consider March a Spring month), and I won't even do it on purpose! I just naturally gravitate toward boots in the Winter. My feet get cold easily, and boots, being stronger and sturdier than tennis shoes, seem better equipped to keep out the cold and keep in the warmth!

Speaking of seasons, I believe we have officially reached Winter. Here's how I divide the seasons in MS:
November - February = Winter (4 months)
March - mid-May = Spring (2.5 months)
Mid-May - September = Summer (4.5 months)
October = Fall (1 month)

That's right. Sadly there is only one month of Fall for Mississippians. Only one month of blissful, crisp, weather with light breezes, crunchy leaves, and clear blue skies. Only one month of weather perfection. On the other hand, February is the worst month in existence. It is cold, rainy, and downright depressing. Feel free to send me warm casseroles, flowers, and a sundry other nice gifts in February. Your generous contributions are the only way I'll make it through that wretched month...well, those and an umbrella, boots, and chocolate on Valentine's Day.

Anyhoo, I want to share with you a story that my lovely friend Anna Duggan shared with me earlier this week. Anna tutors elementary school children weekly at a public school in Memphis. She was reading her students a story that featured Roman Numerals. She asked the class, "Does anyone know what Roman Numerals are?" One little boy replied, "Oooooo yeah! That's the pasta you cook in the microwave and then pour the seasoning on it." Classic. Teachers have fabulous stories to tell. Keep 'em coming, Anna and Claire. [Answer: Ramen Noodles...in case ya missed it.]

Also, the American music scene has been on a rapid decline for years. I am willing to bet that most of you have heard the song "Tattoo" by Jordin Sparks, who won the sixth season of American Idol, which I learned from Wikipedia because I do not watch the show. Here are some lyrics featured in this recently penned jewel of wisdom:

Don't look back at a new direction/I loved you once, needed protection
You're still a part of everything I do/You're on my heart just like a tattoo
Just like a tattoo, I'll always have you/I'll always have you, I'll always have you

I almost have no words to say on the subject...Just kidding. It's me. Of course, I do! This song is a sign that American music has hit rock bottom. Or, to quote Rachel from Friends: "There's rock bottom, fifty feet of crap, then [THIS SONG]!" I have various problems with the lyrics and ideas portrayed in this song, but the tattoo allusion is the worst. Are there no better analogies for love, love lost, or love forgotten than body art? What she really means is, "When I'm 67 years old, I'll see this saggy, maimed butterfly on my lower back while I'm looking at my butt in the mirror and remember the week we dated in junior high school." Being a part of someone in the same way you'll always be stuck with tattoo is not exactly a form of flattery. "Gee, I wish I could get rid of this wrinkly barbed wire tattoo on my bicep now that I'm 85." Tattoos are generally not remembered fondly. They are normally regretted more with age, and a person usually tries to hide the evidence that it ever existed on his or her body. Apparently the guy she wrote this song about (if she even wrote it) will soon be considered a mistake and she'll try to cover up the fact that she ever knew him! In trying to find a catchy, common icon through which to relate her feelings, Jordin is actually insulting people. Maybe she should just sit the next few plays out...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

At Long Last: A Book Review



J. K. Rowling asserted last month that the character Albus Dumbledore in her Harry Potter series is gay. That is, in short, freakin' bull crap. Here's why:

1. She decided to "out" Dumbledore after she finished the series. Way after. Give me a break. I have read all 7 fabulous books (despite some grammatical and punctuation errors), and there is no allusion to Dumbledore's sexuality in any of them. Yes, he's a single old man. Yes, he wears purple robes with stars on them sometimes. But, being stereotypical or judgmental is the opposite of what Rowling is trying to teach through her books. Her heroes in the books are an orphan, a "mudblood" (someone who doesn't have magic parents), and their really poor friend. The typical victor, the one with "infinite power", is the one who loses in the end. Dumbledore has simply devoted himself to a lifetime of service to his true love: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. People in real life do that all the time. They're called priests....ok, bad example.

2. Even if Dumbledore were gay, which he is NOT, it has no effect on the story. And, the story itself even refutes it. The only mention of a suspicion about Dumbledore's sexuality occurs in the 7th book, when a slimy reporter named Rita Skeeter asserts that an inappropriate relationship could exist between Dumbledore and Harry. Everyone (the book's characters as well as the readers) knows that she is lying. It's part of the plot. So, there ya go.

3. Rowling is doing it for attention. Publicity stunt. It's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. She is already a multi-millionaire from writing this series and selling the rites for movies. I don't exactly think it's a wise marketing move to say that the "God-figure" of a book, the moral hero, the "good wizard" is a homosexual. In summary, one article I read says this:
But it is possible that Ms. Rowling may be mistaken about her own character [Dumbledore]. She may have invented Hogwarts and all the wizards within it, she may have created the most influential fantasy books since J. R. R. Tolkein, and she may have woven her spell over thousands of pages and seven novels, but there seems to be no compelling reason within the books for her after-the-fact assertion. Of course it would not be inconsistent for Dumbledore to be gay, but the books’ accounts certainly don’t make it necessary. The question is distracting, which is why it never really emerges in the books themselves. Ms. Rowling may think of Dumbledore as gay, but there is no reason why anyone else should.

I heard that Rowling may soon publish a book of short stories that are off-shoots of different minor characters' lives from the series. I'm definitely going to get that...But she better not try to say that one of the characters got a nose job or had a navel ring or did something else that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE STORY after the book comes out. If so, it's over between you and me, Rowling. Kapeesh?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I saw the sign...


And it repulsed me beyond belief. Ok, I realize that may sound a bit extreme. In case you can’t read the sign above, it says, “When things seems to go wrong, try smiling.” Please read it closely. Catch the error? Well, if you are a Grammar Nazi like I am, you did. When I read this atrocious attempt at written wisdom on Jackson St. in Tupelo, I nearly lost control of my car and slammed into the sign. Things seems?....Things SEEMS??? That would be incorrect, Sir or Madam. Things, a plural subject, requires a singular verb. The correct wording would be "things seem." Here's why I disagree with this sign:
1. Because I disagree with and make fun of most church signs. I would like to meet the person (and would probably pay to do it) who says, "This church sign changed my life. Now I am complete. Now I am whole. All my troubles have disappeared. Thank you, church sign maker." I would like to assign a task to the person who is brave, funny, and creative enough to do it. Please make a "Real men of Genius" or "Real American Heroes" version of a song for "Mr. Church Sign Witty Phrase Maker." I would love to post some on here if anyone wants to do it. Hilarious!
2. Because, as I mentioned earlier, it is grammatically incorrect. It even bothers me that there is no comma after the dependent clause "When things seems to go wrong," but I doubt they make commas for cheesy church signs...just another downfall of that industry. I don't think I'll ever set a foot inside that church building because of that sign. I just cannot support the misuse of our beloved language. I bet God is a grammarian...He's just not as judgmental about it as I am.
3. Because I also disagree with the sign's advice. Let's say, hypothetically, that I rear-ended Kurt one day at a stop light because I was trying to change it to track # 7 on my rap mix cd...which wouldn't be all that uncommon if you've ever heard his comments about my driving capabilities. So, he gets out of the car and is pretty angry...nay, livid! Fortunately, I remember this jewel of wisdom I received once from a church sign. So, I smile at him. Do you think that would work? I doubt it.

For your convenience, I left the phone number visible in the picture in case you wish to call the church and complain about their grave mistake. You're welcome.



Also, here are some pictures from Halloween. I dressed in a child's costume. I'm a cowgirl with a horse growing out of my stomach and back. Kurt dressed as Mario! He was really excited about it. Also, the youth group rolled and forked our yard that night. "Forking" a yard is when numerous plastic utensils are stuck forcefully into the ground. Loads of fun to clean up.


And, I realized this evening as I was grocery shopping that I apologize to people more at the grocery store than anywhere else. Since it is usually so crowded (apparently I do not pick the best times to go), I usually have to move this way or that and squeeze through the clogged aisles, apologizing all the while for my inconvenient presence. The next time I come home with tons of grocery bags and Kurt asks me, "Where've you been?" I'll say, "Apologizing. You hungry?"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Long Live The KING!


...Bob Barker, that is. This morning I turned on the television, and I saw Drew Carey hosting The Price Is Right. DREW CAREY?!? I admit, it's better than Rosie O'Donnell. But, a walking slice of rotten, putrid cheese is better than Rosie O'Donnell. Drew Carey hosting my favorite game show of all time might be old news to some people. I remember hearing rumors about potential new hosts a few months back, but I did not know until this morning that one had been chosen. Well, he stinks. Big time. Bob Barker is irreplaceable. That's who Beyonce' wrote her song about. "You must not know about [Bob Barker]"...Anyway, I completely disagree with choosing a replacement. No one could ever measure up to Bob, even if he was kind of a perve and went to court a few times for alleged sexual harassment. I'm still mourning his retirement, and CBS interrupted my grief process with even worse news! Drew Carey already hosts Power of 10, which I've only seen twice and haven't loved. Why let him flaunt his failed career on daytime television, when he clearly proves its downfall during the evening? I give him a year on The Price Is Right...maybe. Surely God won't allow this blasphemy to continue for much longer.

It was always my dream to be a contestant on The Price Is Right when I turned 18. But, my grandparents got me a car instead...I wanted to hear those words, "A new car!" from Bob's mouth, but I settled by hearing it from my grandparents. Actually, they would've said, "A used car!" Oh, well. Life goes on, I guess. That's just one thing on my wish list that I'll never accomplish. I'll never get to kiss Bob's tan, leathery cheek. I'll never get to hear my name called over the loud speaker followed by "come on down!" I'll never get to run down the aisle chest-bumping complete strangers and giving them high fives. I'll never get to make a bid and hear "the actual retail price is..." or say, "One dollar, Bob" or get evil glares from my neighboring contestants for bidding one dollar over their bid and winning. I'll never get the chance to play Dice Game, Hole-in-one, Plinko, Cliff Hangers, Clock Game, Hi-Lo, One Away, Squeeze Play, Range Game, or Punch-a-Bunch. I'll never get to spin the wheel in the bonus round and win $1,000 or an additional $5,000 or $10,000. I'll never get to go to the showcase showdown and pass the sucky showcase to my neighbor and bid the perfect number so I win both showcases and celebrate with my friends on stage while Bob tells me: "Bob Barker reminding you; help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered. Goodbye, everybody!"...Alas, none of this will ever be. But, I can still dream about what might have been...In my own heart, I'll always be one of Barker's Beauties.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm a turbo vet...


Guess what happened at MSU on Saturday? Sweat. That's right. Sweat sweat sweat sweat sweat. Unbelievable! Well, not really, considering it's been "as hot as blue blazes" outside, as my dear mother-in-law would say. She would also say that we were "slap dab burnin' up" on Saturday! We were. However, all the sweat that covered The Junction (which, by the way, freaking rules!) could never have drowned out all the fun being had. I got to see tons of friends that I haven't seen in a while and still managed to "rock-n-roll all night and party every day" even though my poor, sweet husband was at home sick. (I offered to come home to take care of him, but he wouldn't let me.) Back to The Junction. I love it. I thought MSU couldn't get any better when I was a student there. Two years after I leave, they change it all up, and it gets even more awesome. How can this be, you ask? Because God is good. Can I get an "Amen" for The Junction?!? Below is a haiku i personally penned, and I now unreservedly dedicate it to The Junction:

Malfunction Junction,
What is your function? It's this:
To party on, Wayne.

Friday night I ate dinner at City Bagel and hung out with some friends I haven't seen in 2 years. Saturday morning, I ate breakfast at City Bagel and hung out with some friends I haven't seen in 2 years. Some guy in a swamp-man outfit roamed around Starkville and MSU all day Saturday. Anna and I saw him at breakfast, and Anna saw him again during the game. I wonder if he got paid to do that...if so, I might consider purchasing a swamp-woman outfit and hittin' the streets.

As soon as I finish this blog entry, I'm going to finish reading Harry Potter IV: The Goblet of Fire. It is my favorite of those books so far. It has the most suspenseful opening and the most creative twists and turns of them all. Kurt says it's his favorite as well and that it has the best ending. He's read all 7 books. Blimey, it's 9:45! I must go continue to witness Barty Crouch, Jr., spill his guts from the truth serum Dumbledore just gave him...Night, all.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mr. Pibb and Red Vines equals crazy delicious!


So, I was sitting at my desk today at work in downtown Tupelo, and a ruddy man in a light green tank top and cut-off denim shorts walked by my window and hocked a loogie right outside it! Um, no thanks, buddy. ('A "loogie" is a slang expression used in North America to refer to a mass of sputum that is ejected from the mouth after being expelled from the throat of a person with nasal congestion. The expression "hocking a loogie" refers to expelling the phlegm in an obviously noisy manner involving violent vibrations of the uvular, producing a low, guttural, rumbling sound.' Thank you, Wikipedia. Also, according to Wikipedia, the loogie is cousin to the "snot rocket.") I have never been a hocker. Even when a person is sick, and others believe he or she should just "cough it up," I disagree. It's gross. I'd rather just swallow it and allow it to leave my body in its own way, in its own time. My grandmother on my dad's side (she passed away a few years ago and is not the grandmother who raised me, though I do love her dearly) used to open the car door at stoplights and hock loogies whenever she felt the need. That definitely did not get passed down to me. No, siree, Mama Lynn.

Also, if you are like me, you have been a bit disappointed since the SNL glory days of Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, Molly Shannon, Mike Meyers, etc. I have watched it a few times since then, and I have been pretty bored--nay, saddened. However, Andy Sandberg writes some funny short films and Chris Parnell is pretty hilarious, too. So, there is some redemption. My favorite one is called Lazy Sunday. It's not a new one, but I just love it. Keep the Sabbath, fools.

Monday, September 24, 2007

No, your eyes are not deceiving you.



That’s right. I have a tan. I went to the beach last week with 3 pretty cool ladies [See previous blog.]. It was wonderfully relaxing. The beach is undeniably my favorite place on earth. If Starkville had a beach, it would be paradise. At Orange Beach, we enjoyed great seafood andbasked in the warm sun all day. The sound of the waves lulled us to sleep during the day, and the lush condo kept us fast sleep at night. The love bugs came in full force on a couple of days, which was yucky. But, love bugs need love, too, I guess. Also, the Foley outlet mall was excellent, too. I got some great deals, and I mean GREAT! All in all, it was an almost perfect getaway. As perfect as it gets this side of Heaven. Right? Cheers!

Well, as a Christian, I believe it is good to confess sin. So, here goes: I used to watch Survivor instead of The Office on Thursday nights. I’m sorry! I’m so…sorry. And embarrassed. We used to just watch Survivor at its regular time and then get The Office dvds on Netflix after the season ended. Well, we got season 3 today. As we were watching it and laughing our heads off, I asked Kurt why we ever watched Survivor instead of The Office. Why would we do that?? Crazy! So, I plan to repent now. You know, if Kurt wants to, of course. One of my favorite lines from Michael Scott today was: “There is such a thing as good grief. Just ask Charlie Brown.”

Also, one of my favorite FRIENDS episodes came on TV today: The One Where Eddie Won’t Go. It’s on season 2. You should see it ASAP. Chandler does some of his best acting in it, and I love the Be Your Own Windkeeper book parts. It’s all so funny!

Another exciting development today is Halo 3 coming out! Kurt went with some guys from the youth group to get it tonight. They are going to hang out at the store till it comes out at midnight and then play it on XBOX Live all night. He will have so much fun. Also, just a word to the girlfriends, fiancĂ©es, and wives out there: once a video gamer, ALWAYS a video gamer. Thankfully, I’m one of the few wives who don’t mind. Sometimes I even play video games with Kurt. I do wish we had a Wii. Oh, well. Maybe next time…

By the way, the new Bachelor looks like he has about as much personality as a patch of dead grass.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oh, the irony!

Oh, the irony!

As I was cleaning my house the other day, I left the television on for some background noise. I heard a woman on a commercial candidly say, “Being careful is important to me, because I have genital herpes.” Hmmmmm…really? Is that right? I repeated it in my head a few times to make sure I heard her correctly. Um, I’m going to go with “no” on that one. I thought, “Ma’am, I’m going to suggest that being careful is, in fact, not as important to you as you might claim…hence, the presence of the STD. By all means, correct me if I’m wrong, but….” There’s another STD commercial that Kurt and I heard once that featured a man saying, “I mean, who has time to take 7 pills a day?” Kurt’s response: “Um, you do, sir. You, with the genital herpes.” [Side note: Neither Kurt nor I carry any infectious diseases.
Also, please, no West Point jokes. Kurt and I do, in fact, notice and enjoy commercials other than the ones that advertise STD medications. We really like the Domino’s Oreo Dessert Pizza commercial, and Kurt really likes the Bluebell ice cream commercial that begins: “I remember our old country home…” But not because he remembers his old country home. He just likes to impersonate the singer.]

On a hopefully lighter note (you never know what you’ll run into in Alabama), I’m headed to Orange Beach tomorrow with 3 really fun ladies! Bonnie Hardin (mother of Claire, Sam, Hailey, and Maggie; mother-in-law of Katherine Skinner Hardin), Becky Baxter (mother of Bo, Ben, and Brent; mother-in-law of Lane Napier Baxter, and also “the mouth of Tupelo”), and Barbara Cooper (mother of Kurt; mother-in-law to yours truly). I know what you’re thinking: “Marty, won’t you be the only premenopausal person on the trip?” Yes, in fact, I will. But that will only add to the fun. Allow me to give you a quick profile of these lovely ladies:

Bonnie is one of the most
generous people I know. I have never known anyone who serves others better with her time and resources. She decorated my whole house. I had a ton of accessories that I didn’t know where to place, and she made not one, not two, but THREE trips to Tupelo to help me get my house settled. That’s right, totally settled within 4 months of moving. Record timing. She is also always looking out for her friends to make sure their houses look nice as well. In addition, she threw Kurt and me the best engagement party of them all at her house by the pool. She gave us wonderful wedding gifts—notice the “s” on the end of gift. She contributed to our cause while Kurt was in seminary. She’s just a downright good person. I am sure she does many more things to serve God’s kingdom that people don’t see or know about. She is also a marathon shopper. Wear arch supports if you are going shopping with her. You might as well be hiking the AT. Oh yeah, and the condo at Orange Beach is hers, and she invited me to stay!

Becky can be summed up in one word: hilarious. Well, actually, she can’t be. She’s wildly outgoing, a touch crazy, very opinionated, has never met a stranger, knows the dish on everyone in Tupelo, is one of the most caring and sacrificial moms I’ve ever known, and has been a faithful friend to the Cooper family for many years. I absolutely adore this woman. There is never a dull moment when she’s around! I’m definitely looking forward to spending this trip with her. I know I’ll learn a lot…whether I want to or not!

Barbara…oh, Barbara, Barbara, Barbara. Where to begin? Well, she’s the best mother-in-law (I prefer the term “second mom”) a girl could wish for. I know for a fact that some of my friends are jealous that I have her and they don’t. When I came on the scene, Kurt immediately became a subordinate, and she’s treated me like a princess ever since. She is fiercely loyal, an extremely hard worker (She was the best teacher Saltillo high school ever had. She’s retired now.), loved by many (ask all of her former students, Becky being one of them), hated by none, writes novel-length emails in size 16 font in strictly question format, wants to know the scoop on who’s “getting up a case” with whom, and talks on the phone for at least 5 hours a day—mostly either to Bonnie or Becky.
She also knows and recites clever little quips and nursery rhymes daily. She is known to be “slap dab burning up” even in subzero temperatures and, when the opportunity arises, she’ll “be suh-lung out!” She is a giver, too. When Kurt and I first started dating, she gave me a gift each time we visited her home. And, one day in the next score or millennium, she’ll be a wonderful grandmother to mine and Kurt’s children. When she dies, she’ll be reincarnated as Nicole Kidman. She's also on Facebook or, as Kurt's dad calls it, "facelift." Here’s a quote from a recent email from Barbara concerning the upcoming beach trip: “I bought a Taboo game today to take to the beach. I am also taking candy corn because it is so delicious and nutritious.”

We’re also going to the Foley outlet mall! I’m going to go to an actual JCrew
store, something I’ve only done about 4 times in my 23 years. I know, total loser. Hopefully the next time I write, I’ll be really tan with flowing blonde locks and a whole new wardrobe; so basically, not myself at all.



Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Critical Thinking Campout

Lately I have heard a few people lamenting the recent scandal and exposure of the Man vs. Wild show deceiving its viewers. I personally don’t understand why everyone is so stunned by this revelation. Here’s why:

1. It’s REALITY television. Hello??? Reality television is about as far from the truth as you can get. From watching my friends, the Allison family from Starkville, film “Wife Swap”, I saw that the producers of reality television shows will go to great lengths to create illusions about the show’s subject(s) to attract viewers. Do you think that on Survivor they really go a month without eating anything but pineapples and nuts? There are cameramen on site who film the show. They gotta eat lunch, too, and I’m pretty sure it’s closer to McRealFood than what they portray. Ever wondered why they don’t show where the contestants use the bathroom? One word: Port-a-john. (Or should it be 3 hyphenated words?) Don’t get me wrong. I love Survivor, but I know that it is a show where they choose a cast to play roles.
Just listen to them talk. It definitely sounds rehearsed. Now, if only they'd let the women shave. Anyway, “reality” television can’t be trusted. It’s sinking sand, folks. Sinking sand.
2. The host of Man vs. Wild is clearly crazy. For starters, his name is Bear. We could spend
quite some time on that one alone. Sure, you’ve heard that he is a Christian and a family man; however, the man VOLUNTARILY drinks his own urine!! Christian or not, there are some real issues there that need to be identified and dealt with. Sick. His own urine. Seriously. Also, the show’s premise is unrealistic. Yeah, the next time I go camping in Iceland, I’ll let you know how it felt to gouge out a sheep’s eye and boil it on my shoelace in a hot spring for dinner! C’mon! The most extensive camping trips that occur around here are to Alabama somewhere or hiking the AT. Let me know how your next ordinary weekend adventure goes in Antarctica and how the frozen, raw penguin wing tastes when you gnaw on it VOLUNTARILY for a light afternoon snack. Sure, Bear gets a nice paycheck for holing himself in a makeshift snow cave for the night, but why would anyone endure all of this self-torture for a buck…or lots of them?? It’s just plain silliness. With, perhaps, a dollop of lunacy.

I’ll tell you a good place to test the skills you have learned from this educational TV show: the
Buffalo Park in Tupelo, MS. That’s right. It’s less than a mile from my house, and it houses buffalo (obviously), zebra, birds, monkeys, and probably a giraffe or two. You just buy a ticket and spend the whole day there. So, after you have snapped a bird’s neck and roasted it over a flint fire for lunch and ventured into a dark cave with your burning lard flashlight for a trickle of fresh water…all of this done, of course, VOLUNTARILY, you can come spend the night at my house in a clean, well air conditioned place with your very own guest room, shower, and toilet….just like good ole Bear does when the cameras turn off.

Before my soapbox crumbles beneath me, I have a “disbelief addition.” I don’t believe in double dipping. For instance, sharing chips and dip at the Mexican restaurant. I might as well kiss everyone in my dinner party on the mouth as soon as I walk into the restaurant to get the fellowship started…which is obviously the attractiveness of the whole chips and dip affair. You chat each other up while sharing “free” chips and salsa before you order. Oh yes, my friends, it’s a social ploy on behalf of the restaurant owners. They’re not fooling me one bit. Most Mexican restaurants actually have gotten better about giving individual bowls for the dip. However, just to prove to you how strong my convictions are against double dipping, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t even double dip in my own personal salsa bowl. Now that’s loyalty.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My Kind of Funnel

I spent the day in good ole West Point on Saturday. The radio once told me that West Point is “the city with great history and personality.” Well, actually, the radio told Anna D., and she told me. Anyway, somehow I missed that message growing up. But I keep going back, almost yearly, for the Prairie Arts Festival. This shindig takes place annually on the first Saturday of September, which some people call "Labor Day weekend." It’s a time to see people I used to know and decide whether my life is more successful and important than theirs now…er… I mean, it’s a time to catch up with old buddies from high school. This year I decided to capture the experience in the following photos. You see, the Prairie Arts Festival draws all types of people. There are a handful of decent people there, but some really strange-looking folks crawl out of the woodworks for this event.

Exhibit A: Old-timer with a bum leg. But the leg is ok because it’s wrapped in a rebel flag, which has healing powers.



Exhibit B: Super classy BAMA fan. Nuff said. As my friend Carrie Anne pointed out to me, his shirt is hemmed. That means it was intentionally altered to be that length. He didn’t just cut it off. Oh no. He sewed it there. Couldn’t dare let us miss out on that saggy overhang. No, siree.



We’ll call Exhibit C “Old lady club shirt.” Dude, I hope I never find her in the club.



Exhibit D: No you didn’t. (Can I have this many exhibits? Some lawyer tell me, please. Kelvin?). This lady has 3 apparent issues, but her outfit displays that there just might be some on the inside as well…Afro, cut-off jean shorts WITH INTENTIONAL SLITS, and white tennis shoes. Rollin on the river.

Exhibit E: Poor kid. Someone wrote on his nice collared shirt with a Sharpie. A sharpie?! Why ruin a nice shirt like that? It says: "Don't you mess with dis Jr. Policeman." There were an abundance of airbrushed t-shirt stands that would've come in handy...



The real reason I go back to West Point for Prairie Arts Festival isn’t to walk around sizzling in the hot sun, or to window shop for overpriced knick-knacks, or even to fake smile at all my old classmates. It’s to eat a Funnel Cake. Yep. That’s why. It’s the best $5 I spend every year. Every succulent bite of fried batter with powdered sugar sprinkled on top (which, I’m sure I could make at home with some batter mix, a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off, some hot grease, and some powdered sugar) is worth every penny of that $5. I look forward to it because where else will I get one? (I guess I could go to the State Fair in Jackson and get one, but all I can think about are the germs that inhabit all those carnival rides. Hence, I do not attend.) I always wait to get it at lunchtime because
1. I apparently love to wait in line for 45 minutes under the scorching sun & 2. I build it up in my mind for a few hours before I let myself give in to the suspense & 3. Lunchtime is when people normally eat. To show all my admiration for the Funnel Cake, I dedicate this haiku to it:

I love Funnel Cakes.
I’m having a love affair.
Do not interrupt.

And this one…

Hello, Funnel Cake.
I am going to eat you.
Get in my belly.

And this one…

You are just fried bread.
Hot, greasy and sugary.
I don’t care. Come here.

And this one…

You cost me five bucks.
Oh, Medusa of batter.
Hey, no forks allowed.

Kurt likes them, too. And, yes, I gave him a bite. One.

While I’m here, I’d also like to defend my stance on hand sanitizer (Laurette and Kelvin). I do believe it is 99% alcohol and does kill germs. However, it leaves invisible dead germ boogers on your hands that get on your food, which you consume. Ugh. I prefer to wash my hands like this (the way Laurette taught me):
1. Pull down paper towel for availability.
2. Turn on faucet.
3. Lather hands with soap and rinse.
4. Dry hands with paper towel.
5. Turn sink off with paper towel protected hand.
6. Open door with elbow or paper towel protected hand.
7. Hold open door with hiney.
8. Toss paper towel into trashcan.
9. Swish!

All the cleanliness I learned growing up was from Laurette Clark Wolfe. She taught me how to lather a wash cloth, and how to use a payphone – carry rubbing alcohol and cotton balls in your purse so that, when you want to call someone, you can swab and cleanse the phone, keypad, and your own ear. (This was before cell phones, a.k.a., junior high school). I guess the saying should actually read, “Laurette(ness) is next to godliness.”

Cheers.

Utter Disbelief

Since some of my friends have blogs, I wanted to start one of my own as well. I have been saving up certain ideas for a month or so...you know, to have something to write about. Lately I have found myself often saying, "I don't believe in that." So, I decided to make a list of things I don't believe in...you know, to set the tone, if you will. Here goes:

-Hand Sanitizer
-La Sharelle - some white guy in Tupelo who calls the local radio stations and acts like a black lady

-Waking up moist...or what some people call "camping"

-
The Notebook.It's a point of pride for me that I've never seen it.
-Email forwards
-Kierra Knightly. Put your chin back in! And stop pursing your lips!

-School shirts that aren't school colors
-Under eye cream. Just doesn't help me.
-40 hour work weeks
-Plastic surgery
-Buying anything at full price
-People who "don't read"
-Alanis Morisette's interpretation of irony

-Pimento and Cheese

-Referring to pregnant women as "preggers"


-Fanny Packs






-Denim shorts

-Women who drive trucks (not suvs...trucks!)

-dog clothes
-padded bras

-
Dirty Dancing - what kind of sick jail-bait relationship promotion is that?
-
Saying you have an "unspoken" prayer request
-Dipping cookies in milk

-When a couple sits on the same side of the booth/table when they are the only 2 out to dinner

-When a guy is driving a truck and the girl sits in the middle seat next to him instead of on the regular seat by the door where normal people sit

-The following names: Dawn, Misty, Stormy, Sunny...you get the idea

-Sprouts

-The BeeDazzler








-Black fingernail polish

-Vanilla Frosty

-Chic Intuition and Venus Breeze

-Chewable medicine...yuck.

-Pork rinds
-Breakfast burritos
-Pancake on a stick
-Store bought crustless bread - now that's just lazy!

-Guacamole

-Popped Collars



And the biggest of all...

-IMPROPER GRAMMAR (we all knew that was coming)

I know this list makes me look like I have no fun and don't enjoy life, but I assure you, I do. Please stay tuned for more utter disbeliefs as God brings them to my attention.