Tag Archives: random

Love, Small Screen Style

One of our kids is going to be President. Maybe not my kid or your kid, but one of their friends, or Instagram followers, or someone they met at football camp will become the President of the United States one day. This should scare the crap out of you.

Do you follow your kid on Instagram? What about Snapchat? Don’t worry about Facebook, that’s for old people (like me). Do you follow their friends? I do. And it is eye-opening. My youngest son is a mess and he posts silly things that make me roll my eyes. His friends send me snapchats of themselves with goofy faces and I send them back. I double tap their Instagram photos from time to time. Sometimes I will comment about how pretty they look or that I am proud of them. The other 90% of the time I am mortified.

Studies have shown that so many online relationships result in marriage because 1) the people on dating sites are serious about having a relationship and 2) relationships formed and developed over the internet escalate faster that traditional dating relationships. There is a boldness fostered by the the computer screen. There is a disconnect that makes it easier to share opinions, reach out, flirt, bully, etc. Couple this with the trend of selfie-taking, self-centered young people who are all but attached to their electronic devises and you have a recipe for disaster.

Remember when you couldn’t go on a date until you were old enough to drive? Remember when there had to be a reason to go somewhere, like a school dance? Dating now consists of staking a claim on someone and promoting it on social media. Ten-year-olds are dating. They claim a girlfriend/boyfriend in the classroom, and then have an electronic relationship right under your very nose. Nothing irritates me more than middle school aged children proclaiming their love on social media. (Actually, that’s not true. Reading comments on Instagram where one boy will comment on another boy’s photo, “UR so gay” like that’s an acceptable way to participate in playful trash talk makes my blood boil. Especially when they come from families that have enough sense to teach their children that it isn’t appropriate to use language that demeans any group of people. Change the word from gay to retarded and I will also flip my lid.)

Back to young love. Young girl posts selfie (with or without duck lips) with some overused, cliche hashtag, such as #blessed, and immediately their 14 year old boyfriend will comment something like, “I’m so lucky, bae” [heart-eyed emoji, heart-eyed emoji, heart-eyed emoji]. Or young boy posts photo of he and girl together (usually in the school parking lot) and captions, “Can’t believe it’s been two months” [#blessed]. The girl will quickly comment something like #bae #truelove #justthrewupinmymouth. Oh, wait, not that last one. That was me.

Are you as a parent watching this? Are you showing these exchanges to your own child and explaining to them that this is not how life works? These kids don’t even talk to each other. They text each other. All the time. Have you read a text exchange between a tween-aged couple? Do you read your own child’s texts every day? If not, you should. My twelve year old has a cell phone. Or I should say, he has the use of a cell phone. I pay for it. It is mine. The content on said phone is my responsibility. I check his browser history, text messages, Instagram direct messages; you name it, I’m reading it. But I see these conversations happening openly on Instagram all the time. Where are the parents? Do they really think this is productive behavior? [Sadly, I have seen parents actually condone this by commenting heart-eyed kissy-faced emojis on these posts instead of telling their kid that four months of incessant texting at 13 years old isn’t actually what love is.]

If your 11-15 year old is having three week anniversaries, celebrating their love, texting a significant other four hours a day, and is feeling #blessed in general because of another human in the same age group; start cleaning out your basement. Little Johnny is going to be living in that basement about two semesters into college because he is either A) about to enter into the world with completely unrealistic expectations B) about to be involved in a teen pregnancy C) completely unaware of what happens twenty feet beyond himself D) all of the above. I used to wonder what parents were doing while their kids were behaving like this. But the answer is more than likely staring at a screen themselves. Just this morning I was looking at a Snapchat story consisting of a video taken in a common area. You can clearly hear the parent of the child in the background talking to someone else. They are completely unaware that they are being recorded.

This brings me to my next rant: adults who constantly interact with things/people on their cell phone instead of the living, breathing human next to them. But I will save that one for another day…

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The Auburn Football Creed

I believe that this is a terrible game and that I can count only on better games to come. Therefore, I believe in liquor, hard liquor.

I believe in sarcasm, which gives me the ability sit through an afternoon of bad football.

I believe Vern and Gary need to retire, without which I cannot continue to watch football on CBS.

I believe that if I eat enough chips and dip that I can slip into a food coma and forget an entire game before it has even ended.

I believe in a fence or hedge around a field because it protects the lives of the coaches from drunk fans.

I believe the players on my television can hear me, therefore I will continue to scream at them, as well as the coaches.

I believe in my team, because they continue to play their hearts out even when it seems like all is lost, and even when armchair coaches like me are slamming drinks, shoving chips in their face, and screaming obscenities at Gary when he criticizes all of college football during plays under review.

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.

**Originally penned as a Facebook status during the Auburn loss to LSU on 09.19.15

Zumba: 1, Corey: 0

If only we could look on the outside how we feel on the inside.

If only we could look on the outside how we feel on the inside.

I have a varsity letter for cheerleading. I dead-lifted 155 lbs for time at CrossFit. I own really nice running shoes. And I’ve watched two whole seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. So how hard can it be to wiggle around to some music? So hard that today, I came to the realization that I will never, ever, even remotely, be considered cool. Hell, cool probably isn’t even cool anymore. Now it’s sick. Or maybe sick was yesterday’s term. I’ll tell you what’s really sick. Sick is that Zumba crap. And I don’t mean sick like cool. I mean sick like you’d have to be out of your ever loving mind to want to try that stuff once you’ve hit the back side of forty.

Back to my demise of cool. It started when I would joke with a young waitress and she would fake laugh like I was witty and scurry off to get me another diet Coke. I figured she just didn’t get the joke, right? Then, one day I made a clever comment to a few college age kids at a gas station. I honestly think I saw one of them roll their eyes. Seriously? I am cool. I do not look my age. I can still do the splits. I’ve even got rap music with explicit lyrics in my iTunes. But today was the final epiphany. Today, sobbing in the parking lot of the community center, it finally hit me: I am my mother’s age. I will never be cool again. I am old.

What brought me to this stark realization? Zumba. Actually, it wasn’t even Zumba, because this class doesn’t bother with the licensing fees. It was “dance fitness.” I got my ass handed to me by something called dance fitness. Oh, I hear you, sister. It took you two months before you could get all of the choreography. I’m catching your drift; it was the hardest thing to figure out that body roll. But here’s the thing: I didn’t leave dance fitness six minutes into the class because I felt like I couldn’t physically handle the grueling arm movements. No, this class gave me a mental beat down.

I would describe to you in length the intricate series of kicks and flicks and popping and locking that was going on all around me in dance fitness, but it would only underline my ever loosening grasp on the modern world. This body roll thingy? Honey, rolls go on a plate. If a roll is going to be a part of my body, it’s going to be from the inside out in the form of cellulite. My body rolls hang over the top of my pants. They peek out from beneath the backside of my bra strap. They are not part of any sort of rhythmic or graceful movement. And this pelvic thrust action with coordinating arm movements? Listen, I’ve got two kids, and a stork didn’t leave them on my door-step. I have been privy to some pelvic thrusting in my day. But not in front of a giant mirror and six other spandex clad thrusters. It’s awkward when I’m watching TV with my kids and the dance to Greased Lightning from Grease comes on. Do you really think I’m going to jerk my baby maker back and forth with clenched fists at my side in front of God and everybody? I don’t think so.

I went to the Zumba website, just to take a look. Maybe I was looking for a chat room where I could find some sort of support group for Zumba drop outs. You know what I found? They had the nerve to describe their “fitness-parties” as “easy to follow.” Well, turn out the lights, that party is over. Maybe I should have dipped into the kids’ ADHD meds before I went, because I was totally lost. Better yet, maybe I should have brought some for the instructor because as soon as I would get one part of my body moving the same way hers was, she would totally change what she was doing! It would be like asking your grandmother to climb Mt. Everest and just about the time she’s making it to the top you yell, “Never mind, Grandma, we’re going to climb this mountain over here instead!”

So if you’re wondering where you’ll find me in the morning, it won’t be at dance fitness. I’ll be somewhere totally uncool like drinking coffee and talking about the weather, or at the Piggly Wiggly buying some Activia. This old broad won’t be shaking her way into shape. Sign me up for Silver Sneakers. I’ll go sit on a folding chair and do arm curls with 12 ounce cans of vegetable soup.

No Air

There may be a knob, but nothing's coming out of this sucker.

There may be a knob, but nothing’s coming out of this sucker.

Far be it from me to gripe about anything, but as long as we’re talking about how hot it is outside, let me just tell you how hot it really is. My trusty Camry has been in the shop for several days now, and I’m fortunate enough that my parents are letting me borrow the “farm truck.” The farm truck is a navy blue 1990 Isuzu Rodeo that my sister bought when she was in law school many, many moons ago. When she became an adult and got a real car, the Rodeo went to where vehicles go to die; our family farm. Flash forward about twenty years and five billion degrees and here you have me, driving the farm truck around town, with no air conditioning.

Now if you happen to be reading this above the Mason-Dixon Line and think you know what hot is; you don’t. Hot is walking around barefoot on fresh, black asphalt holding a large piece of metal on a highway that runs directly on the invisible line of the equator. Now add six gallons of boiling split-pea soup to account for the humidity. Take all of that, shove it in a pint size Ziploc bag and throw it in the microwave for sixty seconds. Now you have what it feels like in Alabama on any given day in June around 9:30 a.m. Take the bag out of the microwave and immediately open it with your bare hands, and you’ll have what it feels like by 9:45 a.m.

Anyway, when I dropped my Camry off at the mechanic’s shop and picked up the farm truck, I was just happy to have something to drive. The kids were in the back, we had the windows rolled down and I was raising my hands and bouncing up and down, “No air. Don’t care.” Let me tell you, that didn’t last long enough for my boys to finish rolling their eyes.
Imagine a metal box filled with coal.
Now imagine it on wheels.
Now imagine that it is on fire.
Now drive it.
Mother of all things holy, the only thing less ventilated than a 1990 Isuzu Rodeo is a gas chamber.

Ever the optimist, I decided to make driving the rolling convection oven fun. And what screams fun more than a sing-a-long!?! So if you happen to pass me on the road and I’m actually still lucid enough to maintain brain function, I will be singing my own version of the sort-of hit song, No Air, by American Idol winner, Jordan Sparks, and World Welterweight Champion, Chris Brown. If you’d like to sing along with me, you may find the karaoke version of the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ESPjnsWJQY and my personalized lyrics below:

“No Air”

Tell me how I’m supposed to drive with no air

If my car stays in the shop
I’ll get so hot that I may drop
It’s nice to have something to drive around but damn
Oh

My hair looks like it is half wet
Shirt is stained with under-boob sweat
Wish there was a way that I could turn on a fan

But how do you expect me
to drive around stuck to the seat
‘Cause my world revolves around air
It’s so hard for me to breathe

[Chorus:]
Tell me how I’m supposed to drive with no air
Can’t smile, can’t live with no air
Can’t wear makeup when there isn’t air
It’s no air, no air
Got me out here in humidity
Tell me how I’m gonna be lookin’ pretty
If there ain’t air, I just can’t be
It’s no air, no air

No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air

I walked, I ran, I jumped, I swam
Tried to forget the heat but damn
The South’s hotter than hell in mid-July

But somehow I’m still holding the wheel
Foot on the gas, burning my heel
Praying for wind, that will keep me alive

So how do you expect me
to drive around in this heat
‘Cause my real car is broken down
I’m stuck driving this big heap

[Chorus]

No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No more
It’s no air, no air

[Chorus]

No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air

Tell me how I’m supposed to drive with no air
Can’t eat, can’t sleep with no air
It’s how I feel whenever there’s no air
It’s no air, no air

Got me out here in the Rodeo
In the shade it’s one hundred and fo’
If there ain’t air, I can’t even go
It’s no air, no air

No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air

It may not be swanky, but it gets the job done. Unless the job is staying cool.

It may not be swanky, but it gets the job done. Unless the job is staying cool.

You’re Doing It Wrong

In the wake of the Zimmerman trial, I have seen articles from respected news forums about teens being slaughtered for having a Free Zimmerman bumper sticker on their car and a Hispanic man being beaten “for Trayvon.” These reports have been further investigated and have been exposed as false. But I saw the article on Facebook. One of my college educated friends shared it. It must be true, right? The sky is falling and many are blaming mainstream media sensationalism.

Can you blame them? I like to get my news from E!, personally, but you can’t walk into a coffee shop or waiting room without pretty, polished talking heads discussing the latest trial. They have countdown tickers at the bottom of the screen with the hours until the verdict is anticipated. They have forums to argue what the defendant should have worn to court. They profile the attorneys. They analyze juror reactions. They interview neighbors, old girlfriends, cousins-once-removed and fifth-grade teachers. And none of this stops when the verdict is reached.

I argue that it is not the mainstream media that perpetuates a legacy of stupidity, but it is social media that creates a frenzy of ignorance. Let us first agree that people who take the law into their own hands and perpetuate violence in the name of justice are ignorant people. Sure, they may be passionate. They may even be dynamic. But the bottom line is; they are ignorant. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of these ignorant folks didn’t spend the bulk of their week watching continual trial coverage on HLN. Instead they saw a “news article” that one of their buddies shared on Facebook or a retweet of their favorite reality star’s “official” Twitter account.

 It is so easy for us to hit Like or Retweet or Share anything and everything. With the slightest touch of a finger, we perpetuate false information. We copy and paste quotes from articles via The Onion like they came from CNN. And even more scary is that this same internet is being used by college interns to sort the facts from the fiction before head writers and producers plant the information in front of the anchor or into the field reporter’s ear.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of social media. My addiction to Twitter, Facebook and now Snap Chat is only rivaled by my dependence on diet sodas mid-morning and white wine at bedtime. The thing is, I earned a college degree back in the stone ages when you had to actually go to a library and open a book. There was no internet. If you googled someone back then, you’d probably get slapped in the face. But even then, a cursory glance around the fraternity social would make it painfully obvious that the world is peopled with idiots. The only difference was, if we wanted to create mass hysteria, we had to get out a phone book and call all of our friends individually and hope to God we didn’t get a busy signal. It took days to plan what we would do on a Friday night and where the hell we’d meet. Heaven forbid you get the time wrong. You’d never figure out where everybody was!

Now don’t get all riled up and think I’m being mean to the younger generations. As hard as I had it in college, at least I didn’t have to walk to school in the snow, up hill both ways like my parents did. I could go on and on about how today’s college kids are more active and proactive in the direction of their own lives, our country and our world; due in large part to social media. (For instance, did you know that young Libyans organized their revolt and eventual eradication of Gaddafi via Twitter? It’s true. Google it.) It’s not just my younger counterparts who are oozing virtual oafishness. Out of my 900+ Facebook friends, it’s hard to find more than a handful of thoughtful, intelligent posts on any given day, and this likelihood decreases exponentially during football season. Sometimes, it is the older generation that leads the charge toward mindlessness. It’s called Snopes, Grandma. And if you don’t know how to use Photoshop, then you probably shouldn’t share a bunch of really unbelievable pictures that you saw on Facebook.

If Betty Sue came to your house and told you that your mother had lost her leg in a freak price check incident at the Piggly Wiggly, you’d probably pick up the phone and call your mama to make sure she was okay. But if Betty Sure posted an article on FaceBook about mutant monkeys holding twelve hostage at a Wal-Mart in Tuscaloosa, fourteen people would share it coupled with their non-spell-checked commentary on the state of our world due to Obama (if you’re South of Atlanta) or Paula Deen (if you’re North of West Virginia). Is it really too much to ask that we think for 3.4 seconds before we click Like, Share or Retweet? Far be it from me to tell anyone how to live, but if you give more thought to what you want on your pizza than you do the articles, images and statements that you are exhibiting to the world as a representation of the person that you are; then you are doing it wrong.

Another Man’s Guitar

With a subtle shrug of his shoulders, responsibility fell to the floor. He gently grasped history and began to strum the tune of his dreams. Timidly at first, soaking in the moment, he picked out the notes of his childhood. Soon the notes became chords and the chords became a strain – a symphony of aspirations suppressed but not forgotten. His awe of the instrument began to blend with his joy of the music and soon the two were so intertwined that he could not make a distinction between the harmony of his wonder and his revelry. Time that seemed to speed up as his body slowed down, suddenly came to a halt, and he was suspended in the moment. He clung to the old guitar just as the great ones before him. They had walked the line and triumphed through fire and fear and miles of hopeless desperation. Every sound – whether from the fingers of the man in black or the hands of the crowds that cheered for him – led up to this singular occasion in time. Every tear, every bead of sweat, every sleepless night or drunken stupor, every confession of love or rush of angry emotion; now lay softly on his lap. The melody swirled around him, awakening the child within, and renewing his passion. But time, cruel as she is, put life back into motion. And as the chorus faded into the air, he found himself back in his office. His profession beckoned; there was much to be done. Deadlines and details waited in tidy stacks for him to handle. Phones chirped and voices echoed through the halls. The guitar case was closed like a vault before he even had time to grasp his surroundings, much less bid the instrument farewell. But the strings of remembrance could still be felt on his fingertips and the contentment of his first love still rang in his ears. As he slowly stood up, dutifully ready to get back to the trappings of adulthood, the lyrics of his anthem  danced once more through his mind, “I’m old enough to have drawn blood, yet still young enough to bleed.”

My old friend, Dutch, had the opportunity to play Luther Perkins' guitar today. It was the guitar used by Johnny Cash to record Walk the Line. For one of the most incredible musicians to never make the big time, I'm sure this was an awesome experience. I wasn't there to witness it, but this is how it went in my mind.

I Can Handle That.

There is something about being honest with yourself. Sometimes I think we are more honest with other people than we are with ourselves. But then again, there are those of us that just hear whatever we want to hear regardless of what is actually being said. Generally speaking, there are a few phrases that tend to be confusing for many people. These phrases are “I just want to be friends” and “I can handle that.”

“I just want to be friends” is a phrase often uttered by a male to a female. What the guy is really trying to convey to the girl in this situation is “I just want to be friends.” But in many cases, what the female hears is “I just want to be friends with you right now, but I bet if we were to continue to hang out together, like all the time, and you did a bunch of nice stuff for me like my laundry or cook things for me or have sex with me a lot; I bet I would wake up one day and realize that I’m actually in love with you and that nothing would make me happier than making you my wife.”

Similarly, when a woman is in a conversation with a man and he says something like “I just want to be friends,” she may reply with the phrase “I can handle that.”  Now what the female really means in this instance is “I can tell myself that I can handle that and I can do my best to constantly suppress my true feelings for you while falling deeper and deeper in love with you, and then I will beat myself up over the fact that you were honest with me from the start and I was really the stupid one to think I could handle it even though I can’t so it’s really my fault and not your fault at all; and now the only real question is whether I should totally loose it emotionally and go off the deep end in a public place, preferably in front of your new girlfriend and your coworkers, or if I should eat nothing but Ben and Jerry’s until I’ve gained fifty pounds and only leave the house when I absolutely must go to the grocery to buy food for the seven cats I’ve adopted from the local shelter, most of which are mange ridden and unlovable – just like me, or if maybe I should just start using meth and become a back alley hooker.” Although this seems implied, many men do not actually take this away from that simple phrase. What they incorrectly hear and understand is, “She can handle that.”

So is it that we are not honest with each other? Or is it that we seem to just hear what we want to hear and say what we think people want us to say? I think guys and girls do this equally. Or maybe girls do it a little more than guys do. I’m not sure where I’m going with this except maybe this: If you love someone and they tell you they just want to be friends, just be honest with yourself. You can’t handle that. Just walk away. If you haven’t really changed, but you want to; don’t say you’ve changed. Say that you haven’t changed, but that you want to. I’m all for that “if you can believe it you can achieve it” bull-crap, but you know what? Saying it doesn’t make it so. If it did, I’d be a size two, tan person living off my monthly interest payments on my vast fortune amassed from sales of my best-selling novels.