Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crosby: Short for Bing #4 (And praise God, the LAST....until next year)

   What the heck was I thinking when I brought this dang elf home from my beloved Books A Million?! Dear God, next time, I promise to listen to You when You say, "You're in over your head, Griffin."
   Oh, how I love bedtime around here. Our house is warm and inviting, comfy and cozy, and fifty years worth of love lives in the walls. I snuggle into my big king size sleigh-bed with the love of my life nuzzled next to me, that cheap Wal-Mart ceiling fan blowing a light breeze and buzzing softly overhead, the glow of the Netflix shining on my cherub, MAC-less cheeks. My body has settled and with a smile on my face I begin to nod off......

CROSBY!!!!! 

  May the cussing ensue. "BUMPASSES!!! SONSA.....!!!!" Yes, this is usually how this works. Once again, I'm not perfect and I do, as adorable as I may seem at times, get REALLY irritated in any given irritating situation. I roll out of my bed, and quickly (if not dumbly) fumble for an idea for that darn elf. I will say this much: I am SO glad we didn't get that thing until December 11. Oh, and I was SO excited about it, too. Why didn't you people say something to me?! Not that it would've mattered; I was clearly on a Christmas mission....that lacked planning.....and thought.
   Not only did I forget to get Crosby into certain compromising positions, but I also forgot to take pictures. I used my phone for a few, but some I didn't even get on film. Dang it.
   After Crosby took over Lil's room and nativity set, he also took over Barbie's hot pink VW Bug. It was fabulous. Lilli found Crosby joyriding through the kitchen with Lilli's new Christmas Barbie that Mimi had purchased for her. (No, not the collector's Christmas Barbie. Really? Would one even ask me that?) Miss Lilli found this to be absolutely riotous. He then moved on to one of our Christmas angel ornaments on the tree. Lilli found Mr. Crosby hugged up to her, his arms around her glittery and winged body, hoping to steal a kiss, I presume.
   The next morning, Lilli awoke to find Crosby in the same position as before: still in the arms of that angel. She was very disapointed, and I went from Mom of the Year to Dud of the Year in .2 seconds flat. What did I do to redeem myself? I shoved him under a Mason Jar.
   What an 80s baby I am. All I could think of was Anthony Michael Hall trapped under that glass table in Sixteen Candles. His nerdy braces shining under the beer cans and pretzels; then I heard that horrible girly scream in my head. Perfect. I would now scar my child the way Mr. Hall did me. I realized this all too late when she came be-bopping down the hall, skipping to her own soundtrack she composes as the days go on.
   "MOM!!!! Look at Crosby!!! He's STUCK!" She laughed with glee. My glass table fear from moments before was eased. Yeah, it was a cute idea.
   On Crosby's last night, Christmas Eve, we entered Lilli's playroom that afternoon and wouldn't ya know it: that little booger had every stuffed animal that wanted to listen to him in the floor, whilst he sat perched in the Disney Princess Rocking chair reading none other than, you guessed it, The Night Before Christmas
  Even though keeping up with this little devil has, at times, been a pain, I enjoyed every minute of it. Seeing Lilli's smiling face and that special Christmas light that only children possess made every middle of the night fiasco worth it. Here's to next year with ole Crosby.....I hope I have more ideas by then..... 

  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Your Questions Answered

   I have received endless questioning about the How I Met Your Daddy posts. It's very strange (and fulfilling) that most of my audience consists of the male species. My hat is off to you, guys. I'm impressed! I'm also very happy that I'm connecting with more than just teenage girls; my goal is not to be a Stephenie Meyer but a Brandi Griffin. Many others have been asking about the series as well and I'm writing this post to answer your questions.Here's what I've gotten so far:

1. Where is How I Met Your Daddy? It disappeared!
     How I Met Your Daddy has been removed from the Dawnville Dollar Days blog and posted on a private blog. I have a select number of readers, only 5-7, who are serving as my audience for now. These are people I trust; they read it for what it is, knowing full well I have a long way to go. They also serve as a sounding board: usually the chapter(s) I'm not happy with is the one they love the most. Their feedback is HUGE! They are a range of sex, age, and background, super close friends, distant friends, and of course, family.

2. Why did you remove it?
     I removed the series due to copyright reasons, for one. This story is my art, my work, and my heart. When someone felt the need to plagiarize it, I felt the need to protect it. This was one of God's many little hints that it was going to be more than just a bunch of blog posts. I feel God moving me in the direction of publication with How I Met Your Daddy, therefore, I must keep my readers to a select few and exercise my rights as an artist. Even though it's all true, people are ruthless and will steal for their own glory. However, this story won't be used for anyone's glory but God's. Therefore, it's my job to protect it.

3. Are you going to finish it? 
    YES! It is a work in progress and I'm incredibly emotionally and spiritually attached to it. Therefore, it's taking longer for me to write it. It can take me an entire day to finish one chapter, or it can take me weeks, sometimes a couple of months. Besides this, I'm a full time college student now. I don't have as much time to write as I did before. However, the way my Spring semester is set up, I'm hoping I'll have just a little bit of leeway with writing it. It will be finished, and when it is, you all will be the first to know about it. I still have a long way to go: LOTS of proofreading and tweaking will be done to it. I'm also adding details that I didn't mention because I simply forgot or, as with any piece of work, because this is only the rough draft. The title will also be changed. As of right now, I am on Chapter 26.

4. Did you set out with plans for this to become a book? 
    No, I did not. Some people said they enjoyed reading what I wrote, that maybe I should try a blog. So I did. Those same people, and more, were always asking how I met Jordan. I set out to write a blog post about it one day and the rest is history. God takes us on some wild rides, and due to this one in particular, I'm learning more and more about what He wants for my life. Yes, writing is part of it....


5. When will we be able to read How I Met Your Daddy again? 
    How I Met Your Daddy will be available for you to read when it's published and it becomes a book. Until then, stay tuned to the blog for Nontraditional College Student posts, and of course, Dawnville Dollar Happenings posts. This is why I encourage you to become "followers" of the blog: so you're not out of the loop with the book and you're not out of the loop with every other post. 

   I hope this answers your questions; these are the ones I've been asked so far. If you have more, feel free to ask me and I'll do my dead level best to answer them. Keep me in your prayers in the meantime. God is showing me some great things right now and I have some special projects I'm working on. It's enough to say that I will not be a one book, or one type of book, woman. Jordan and I are excited to see what God has in store for us; we're excited to see where all of this will take us in our ministry for Him. And we can't WAIT to share it with you guys!!! Stay tuned....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The BIG 3-0....May God help me....

   Tomorrow, December 28, 2011, I will be 30 years old. This is it: the last night of my twenties. It's weird. I thought it would be different....like I'd grow sparkly wings or something. Okay, seriously, I didn't think I'd grow wings or any other extra appendages, but I did figure something amazing would happen....a revelation, a moment of poignancy that would change me as a person, a glow....a ding!.....something.....ANYTHING???
   Waiting. Waiting...............Waaaaaiiiiting..........
    TA-DA! It hit. But not the way I thought it would.
    I took my grandmother to her primary care doctor today; on the way to pick her up from my parents' house, I realized that tomorrow is my birthday. It's already here. That was fast.
   I asked for all of this Harry Potter stuff and that was pretty much it. (And some MAC, but that goes without saying.) I mentioned a birthday party, but I don't know what purpose that would serve if it's not someone else's idea, so I shoved that aside. In the end, I just told Jordy, "Time with my family is what will make me happy. Just give me that and I'm good to go." And I meant every word. And I think that's all I really meant by the term "party" anyway. But this is the the "big one," isn't it? The Year of the Dirty Thirty, as my friend Natima calls it. The Beginning of the End, as Keri Leigh calls it. Shouldn't I be celebrating HUGE? Shouldn't we all just drop what we're doing for moi's special day? Um, well....no, Bran. We shouldn't. But.....why not?
   This is where, how, and when it all hit: This day, this week, this month, this year, this life, is not about me. It's about God. It's about what He's done through me and to me over the past 30 years. It's about His glory, His power, and His life for me.
   There's my revelation. There's my moment of poignancy. There's my glow. Ding!
   I have been through some crazy ups and some freaky downs. I've learned so much in 30 years, however, it's not a drop in the bucket compared to what God is continuing to reveal to me even in this very moment. And I hopefully have a good 30x3 more in my bucket of goodies from my ever giving and blessing Father. In just a couple of minutes I was able to compile a list of "learns,"  "aha's,"  "Momma told me so's,"  and  "oh, craps." And in just a couple of minutes I realized that my Big 3-0 birthday was going to be the best birthday ever, regardless of recognition, regardless of presents, regardless of me.
   In no particular order, just how it came to me, is my list....be it ever growing. Please bear in mind that I skip around through ages....I might've been 16 when one lesson was learned, I might've been 27 in the next, I might have been 4 in the next. Not everything mentioned happened directly to me; in some instances I was observing. Either way, I learned something. Go with it and maybe you can learn something, too. 

  1. Why lay in the sunbed for 20 minutes when one hasn't been all year long? FAIL. Why lay in the sunbed at all?
  2. Frogs will die if you throw them into the air repeatedly.......and catch them in a box.
  3. A cup on the edge of a table equals a slick, sticky floor.
  4. Breastfeeding is flippin' awesome!
  5. I won't be eating peanut butter the next time I get pregnant.
  6. Praying for God to remove my "feelings" from boyfriends long ago was a GREAT idea.......would've been       greater if I had listened to my heart when I grew bored of Mr. Wrongsky.
  7. Mascara on a 6th grader is a no-go unless she's in a dance recital.
  8. Never shave before going out to the ocean. Never shave when it snows. And most importantly, never shave before a pap-smear. The pelvic exam goes without saying.
  9.When you point to each other and in perfect harmony say, "HE/SHE did it" you're BOTH going down.
 10.NEVER put your hands on your butt when the paddle is headed toward it.
 11. PBR, the brother, and Jordan do NOT mix. Although, they do make for some great dating memories.
 12. The Chattahoochee by Alan Jackson is the best song in the world to play Name That Tune with!
 13. Giving birth hurts. A lot. In fact, it hurts worse than your mother could ever describe to you.
 14. I'd give birth again in a heartbeat.
 15. A disease or handicap NEVER defines a person. I now see this from a whole different perspective.
 16. Projectors, carpet and pew color, committees and business meetings do not a church body make.
 17. Jobs never last.
 18. God is always moving, but never changing. He's kinda REALLY awesome like that. Psalm 102:25-27
 19. Some people just aren't meant to live forever on this earth with me. I'm still learning to accept this one.
 20. Money doesn't buy happiness. Come to think of it, it doesn't buy class either. I learned this the hard way with my high expectations of some wealthier acquaintances. Just throwin' that out there. 
 21. Those who write, write. Those who don't will steal your crap so prioritize and privatize!
 22. The book is always better than the movie.
 23. Marriages don't seem to last as long as they once did: forever. So I look to my parents' and my in-laws' as examples of what a real marriage is all about. (30 years a piece and still going strong.)  Jo and I build on that and the blessings from our Father so that our marriage will last forever. Our faith remains in Him that gave us this precious gift. 
 24. (I'm saying this because I can, dang it.) Sex has got to be the BEST thing God EVER created for the husband and wife team. He was having an exceptional day when He came up with that idea. Thank You, Lord!
 25. Fried chicken is the next best thing.
 26. Turning 30 brings a whole new life to one who's rapidly approaching it. For instance, life without a gall bladder. Now I poop every time I eat something Southern and deep fried, dang it.
 27. Most people said my butt would start to fall after 25. They were wrong. I don't foresee them being proven correct, either. EVER. Everything else, however, is migrating south....for all seasons....forever.
 28.Plastic surgery on the face: just, no.
 29. Wanna make God giggle with pleasure? Tell Him all about the plans you have for your little life. I guarantee they don't match up with His. Jeremiah 29:11 "*I* know the plans *I* have for you." I think it's probably wise to just, ya know, go with that.
 30. It's so much easier to do what God says the first time.
 31. Being drunk is not as great as it looks on TV. (One time, people. ONE. TIME.)
 32. Saying goodbye can sometimes be good. Other times, it's too hard for words.
 33. Friends come and friends go, but best friends are forever.Proverbs 18:24
 34. My momma and daddy were ALWAYS right......about everyTHING, and everyONE.
 35. If you dream it, if you feel it in your heart, if you ask it, He'll make it happen. John 14:14
 36. Weed eating a ditch is more difficult than it looks.
 37. Fender benders scare the absolute crap outta me.
 38. Staying up late is no longer as easy as it was in the third grade. Neither is doing a cartwheel. If it's been 15 years since you've done a cartwheel, you probably shouldn't try it in your living room floor.
 39. Throwing up seafood is worse than throwing up anything else in the entire universe.
 40. Texting, Facebooking, Tweeting, and of course, emailing, are never good ways to tell someone off, end a relationship, or give your opinion.
 41. Don't talk about others, good or bad, in a small town. Your life will come to an abrupt halt.
 42. Fighting over a seat is never good.
 43. Telling off your boss is never good.
 44. Kissing a boy who uses tobacco products of any kind is never good.....even if he's a gentleman and digs it out of his jaw first.
 45. Running away to college to leave the place you know in your heart of hearts you love more than your own life will only make you want to return even more.
 46. Face your fears. They're not that big after all. 2nd Timothy 1:7
 47. Fat chicks do not want to hear, "Have you lost weight?" every stinkin' time you see them. They know they've put on some poundage; your reminder doesn't help them in their never ending search of a healthy body image.
 48. You can cheat on your diet, but you're really just cheating on yourself.
 49. Never fan the covers after your husband farts. It just spreads the "love" all around the room. 
 50. Allow your husband to be "the man" in the marriage no matter how big your personality is. Proverbs 25:24
 51. It may feel really good at the time, but being mean to someone who's been a real jerk to you won't make the situation any better. Just kill 'em with kindness, as my Granny Stella always said. Proverbs 25: 21-22
 52. Gay men make great friends....until you get on one's bad side. Always trust your Gaydar; if it walks like a gay man, if it talks all hours of the night with you on the phone like a gay man, if it's more stylish than you like a gay man, IF HE KISSES LIKE A GAY MAN, he probably wants to date your brother.
 53.Competition isn't worth the energy you waste trying to win. Move on. You're an adult now and even better, everyone's gifts are different.
 54. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again....if you screw it up the second time, don't quit your day job.
 55.Ya can't win 'em all, Bran. And you can't always be the best.
 56. Perfection I am not.
 57. Lack of perfection can never be an excuse to not do your best in your walk with Jesus. We walk on water WITH Him, not by ourselves.
 58. Don't trust computers.
 59. It's so flippin' cool to be a Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter nerd. It's so flippin' cool to be a book nerd. It's so flippin' cool to be a nerd.
 60. If you're gonna give your political opinions, be prepared to back them up....and know just how passionate the opposing side may be. In other words, for your MS' sake, just stay quiet before you hurt someone with your cane.
 61.Cartoons will never be as awesome as they were in the 80s.
 62. Buying a cane and having to use it isn't that bad. Fat Girl falling is more of a blow to my pride that pimpin' a grandma cane.
 63. Some dreams aren't meant to be, so God replaces our heart's desire with HIS heart's desire. The old dreams pass away and the new ones take flight. I guess I'm getting wings for my birthday after all.
 64. A return to college can be intimidating for the "nontraditional" woman.....until she realizes what God is doing through her and to her with such a leap.
 65. Getting straight A's feels incredible. And they look great on the fridge, too.
 66. Glitter makes everything pretty. Glitter makes everything happy. Glitter makes everything better. Glitter also makes non-crafty people feel crafty. Glitter: the herpes of craft supplies. The gift that keeps on giving.
 67. When the world is caving in around me, God never fails to swoop in, my own personal super hero, and save the day.
 68. Birth control pills are for the birds.
 69. I've given birth, therefore, I can conquer the world....and pleurisy....and MS....and Algebra.....and definitely any other ailment.
 70. Giving feels way better than receiving.
 71. Leading our sweet baby to Jesus was quite possibly the most humbling and trusting experience I've had these 30 years.
 72. Take pictures and record EVERYTHING in the life of your marriage and your child.
 73. I'm not good with death; I never have been. Last year, a friend of mine suffered a great loss, far beyond anything I could ever fathom going through myself. Through it, she taught me to just listen. Be there, listen, and most of all love.
 74. Death is painful, but can also be beautiful.
 75. There's always someone higher up. And yes, big bully boss man, there's a Someone higher than you, too.
 76. Having a brother made life more interesting than not. I discovered it's okay for Barbie to marry short man GI Joe, that kid brothers can not only eat dog food and survive, but fit into the dryer....with the door closed, that taking up for yourself results in a whipping for both parties, the floor beside your bed is made for late night brother-sister talks, and the bond shared between the two can never be broken.
 77. I am so blessed to make it to 30. MS and all.
 78. The relationship with the daddy makes all the difference. Moreover, the relationship with the Father makes the real difference.
 79. Church attendance doesn't make you a Christian.
 80. Being a Christian isn't a religion, it's a relationship.
 81. No one should be exempt from the love of God. NO. ONE.
 82. Moses was in an interracial relationship. Aaron pitched a fit so God plagued him with boils. I don't think God minds "interracial" relationships. Isn't it all just about sun exposure anyway?
 83. I've been reading the Bible for 30 years.....and I'm STILL finding new goodies in this love letter from God.
 84. Once you start coloring your hair, you can never turn back. It's like when Anakin Skywalker was sucked into the dark side by the Sith Lords. And when he finally decided to give in to the Jedi in the end, he just died. If I ever stop coloring my hair, I'll probably just die.
  85. Men NEVER grow out of the Couch Commando stage. Or the fart stage. Or the burp stage. Or the sex stage. Or the scratching odd places in odd places stage. And this is all right with me. It distinguishes them from us....the humans from the apes.....well....
  86. Being Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy is WAY cooler than your parents tell you! And it's the ONE lie that's totally okay.
  87. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I've learned: the first time is a charm.
  88. Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. Romans 12:19. And nobody does vengeance like the King. BUT, in your love for Him, you'll feel pain for the one suffering from the Almighty's vengeance. And you'll pray for them.
  89. Black mold can break the walls, stain your wedding dress, and almost ruin your life. Then it can show you how blessed you are, make you fall on your face before God and say, "Thank You."
  90. Hairspray and a humid bathroom make your hair fall flat. But all things are made well again with eyeliner and mascara.
  91. God does a better job of getting your spouse's attention than you ever could.
  92. Encouragement and support go a longer way than you can imagine.
  93. Adolescent crushes are nothing compared to the love you have for your man.....and it just keeps growing.
  94. 30 isn't too old to break out in acne like you did when you were 13.
  95. Needles are just as scary now as they were 25 years ago.
  96. You're just like your mother. Accept it. Embrace it. Love it.
  97. If you ever decide to do it on a side road, in the car, to spice things up with your spouse, make sure you're not on posted private property.
  98. Carry a gun, but learn to use it first. Also carry a nail file, fingernail clippers, an umbrella, and Band-Aids. It never fails; you'll have to use one of the 5 sooner or later.
  99. Thank God every single day, for every single moment, for every single person, and every single blessing.
 100. Worship, honor, glory, and magnification of the Father is what this life is all about.....is what this birthday is all about.

   So I wrap up my twenties having learned these and so much more. I have 10 minutes left of 29 and I'll officially be 30 years old. Those who've gone before me into this uncharted territory have left a legacy and some markers along the way. I must say, I am quite excited about this new journey. It's not just an age. It's not just a number. Here I am with new visions and plans from God. There's so much I'm praying about and so much He's showing me. He has awesomeness up His sleeve for me and for my family, and for our ministry. And I have so much for Him. Who says life ends after your twenties? Heck, life BEGINS after your twenties. I've just been warming up.

 101. Where He leads me, I will go....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Adventures of BPG: Nontraditional College Student #3

  My first semester is officially over. Done. Gone. Zip. And all I have to show for it are 12 hours and straight A's. "Wait....did you say 'straight A's, Bran?'" Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I did. (She says with a Cheshire Cat grin spreading across her proud face.) I did it. My first semester back to college, with a husband and a kid this time, and Multiple Sclerosis, Jesus and I conquered the Beasts, and made straight A's....and the Dean's List. The crowd goes wild....

Monday, December 19, 2011

Crosby: Short for Bing #3

  The past few days have been a little hectic....to say the VERY least. Our church Christmas play was Sunday night and Jordan and I have been practicing as well as finishing our Christmas shopping....and helping friends to finish theirs. Actually I have been finishing the Christmas shopping. Hey, it's every woman for herself during Christmas shopping; as a result, every man for himself stays home and out of the way. Bless their hearts. Throughout all of the hustle and bustle, Crosby has been a very busy little elf.
   After school Thursday, Lilli found that the little ape cleaned her bedroom. Now, some of you mothers are
thinking, "Are you flippin' NUTS?!" No, I'm not. Lilli's room stays clean-yes, I know. "Where can I get one of those?!" She rarely has a mess in her room. The playroom? That's another story. Anyway, the only mess she had in her bedroom was her bed. She makes it up, with her thousands of stuffed animals, when she gets home from school and if there are any clothes or toys out she takes care of that, too. Instead, this time Crosby had already taken care of it for her! We then found him sitting on her dresser, in the center of the nativity scene, holding the baby Jesus. PRECIOUS! This was Crosby's subtle reminder of what the Christmas season is really about.

  We had a Christmas party for Jo's office Saturday night, sans kiddos. Lilli, therefore, stayed with the Griffins. And Mommy and Daddy, therefore, got a night free of Crosby duty.
However, I knew that when Lilli got home after church Sunday, she'd be expecting a prize. And boy did she ever. Crosby was joyriding through the kitchen in the pink Barbie VW Bug....with Barbie in the passenger's seat. I didn't get a photo because I was trying to be stealth when I moved Crosby to his next destination: the refrigerator.
  This morning Lilli woke up in my bed. Just because school is out for us doesn't mean work is out for Jordan, although we sure wish it was. It's nice having him home with us. After he left for work this morning, Lilli climbed into our bed with me. We slept late and when we awoke she was on the hunt for Crosby.
  "Where is that elf?" she asked me.
  "I don't know, baby doll....you'll just have to look for him," I said with my knowing grin plastered all over my sleepy face.
  She searched high and low; praise God she didn't check the high bookshelf cabinets where I hide the Santa presents! She finally just gave up, defeat written all over her adorable face.
  "Maybe he's still gone to the North Pole, Momma. Yeah....that's gotta be where he is." She was confused and her crinkled little brow told me how frustrated and worried she was about her new little friend. Like any momma would do, I gave fate a little push.
  "Are you thirsty? You want some juice?"
  At this point she was standing right in front of the fridge.
  "Sure."
  She opened the fridge and her little face lit up like a firefly. "MOMMA!!!!! He's drinking my eggnog!!!"
   Crosby had helped himself to a glass, er, the whole pint, of Mayfield's eggnog. Oh, well. As I always say about Mayfield's eggnog, " 'Tis the season to be jiggly!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crosby: Short for Bing #2

  Last night I spent my evening helping out my friend Natima with a project for her son Hank's class at his little school. See, when one obtains a creative friend, one must use said friend to her advantage. Be it for free stuff or just the artist's creative prowess, it does not matter. So long as she uses her. Er, I'm talking about Natima getting all the free artsy crap outta me that she can possibly receive until I finally die. Ah, 'tis the life of the struggling artist. She knows I don't mind, but she is also overly grateful for being allowed onto the incredibly short list of friends and family who get freebies and discounts from Lilli's Painted Trees . Due to the creativity overload, my brain was yet again reduced to mush. Therefore, Crosby left a note last night instead of chaos. This went over very well with Lil because she specifically said, "I wish he'd leave me a note...." So, he did.
Please ignore flour mess and Mason jars in background. Thanks-Mgmt.
                                  
                                 The letter read: "Dear Lilli, Thank you so much for adopting me! I love your home and your family! You're being very good! Keep up the good work! *Santa* is very impressed and happy with you! Remember: I'm always watching you! Love, Crosby." She was a tad bit overjoyed this morning and, again, couldn't wait to get to school to tell her buddies. And it meant so much to her that he loved our home.
   When I went to eat lunch with her today she handed me a tiny colored picture. "Mom, it's a card for Crosby. I want him to know I love him. Will you give it to him?" She is SO stinkin' precious! She had colored a reindeer on the front of it and had written a message in her tiny second grade handwriting on the inside: "I hope you have a good Christmas with Santa Claus and your elf friends. Love, Lilli, Brandi, and Jordan. P.S.--> Do not get in the laundry again!" Then on the next page she wrote: "Merry Christmas Crosby! Love you!" And she really does love that little elf. She asks about him first thing every morning and first thing when she gets home school. I can't WAIT for her to see what he's going to do tonight....













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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Crosby: Short for Bing

   The Griffin Clan has started a new Christmas tradition this year: Elf on the Shelf. Lilli's little buddies at school are doing the activity. She comes home talking about it all the time with visions of chaos that can't be blamed on her dancing in her little glittery head. Naturally, like all amazing parents, Jordy and I purchased an elf for adoption.
   I was a little late this year; it's my understanding that the elf comes to your home from the North Pole on December 1st. Well, that part's not in the book that I read when I purchased this creepy little guy on December 11th.....unless my MS brain just forgot it....and we'll go with that for now.
   I bought the new little Christmas family member for Bug and she named him Snowy. Snowy? "Lil, baby....let's work on that," I said. She was persistent. "But I want him to be SNOWY! If he is, it'll snow this year!" She said, very adamantly. "Well, we can find a snow themed name...." So I thought. Praise God for Sunny 92.3 radio station! "White Christmas" came on the radio while I was in deep thought and driving us home from Mimi's house. "What about White Christmas, Momma?" She said and proceeded to try it out: " 'Hey, White Christmas! How's it going?' ............Well....no. That's not cute." And so she thought some more. I could hear her hamster wheel squeaking when I said, "What about Bing for Bing Crosby?" I mean, HELLO! Who doesn't think about Bing Crosby, snow, and Christmas all at the same time? "CROSBY, Momma!!! His name is Crosby Griffin!" So Crosby Griffin the Elf on the Shelf it is.

CROSBY THE ELF
  I love my kid. She knows how to name an elf. I might let her name the next kid. (Hope her first thought isn't something like, Tree.)
      Now that we have Crosby, Thing 1 and Thing 2 (Jordan and I) must come up with ideas for this little guy in order to bribe our child to behave. (As if that's very hard-she's kinda perfect.) For those of you who are unfamiliar with Elf on the Shelf, allow me to give you a synopsis: Your family adopts an elf who shows up every year for Christmas. He works for Santa at the Pole, and basically, he's Santa's eyes and ears for kids all over the world. Your new little adoptee comes to live with your family and keeps tabs on your child's (children's) behavior for Ole St. Nick. In the night, while your little dumpling is fast asleep, Mr. Elf makes a quick trip to the N.P. to give the Fat Boy the behavior report for the day. He comes back to your house and has a little fun while you're all asleep....'scuse me, while the munchkin is asleep and you're staying up all night, every night, to make a mess......that you will have to clean up. Ah, but it's SO worth it when you see the glow in that sweet baby's face-so if you're a "good" parent you'll DO IT! On Christmas Eve the elf heads back to the N.P. (or a dark closet) only to return NEXT year. Pretty cute, huh?
The first night Crosby spent at Griffin Manor he went fishing......in our toilet.  Crosby apparently didn't have his Fly Rod 2000 on hand. He, therefore, made do with a candy cane from our Christmas tree and some of my ornament string. Nice, Crosby. Of course there are no fish in Booty Pond, so he also helped himself to some of the Goldfish in the pantry. They were everywhere: on Lilli's nightstand, on her dresser, on the bookshelves in the hall, on the bathroom counter, and of course, the toilet. As you can see he used blue food coloring to give the toilet water a more deep-sea-adventure feel. You little rascal, you! 
   Lilli flipped out when she saw him there, perched on the back of the porcelain throne as if he owned the joint. Her screech of "EEEEWWWWW" was enough satisfaction for Jordan and me. We knew immediately that our new tradition was a great idea! 

   Sunday night was shot night so I was pretty much toasted the rest of the night. (For those unfamiliar with the MS shot, it causes flu-like symptoms.) Therefore, Crosby remained at his toilet post for the evening. Lil was disappointed when she awoke this morning, so I knew I had to do something for her arrival home from school this afternoon.  I ran to school to pick her up and as we walked through the door to the house, this is what we found: Lilli's undies covering our Christmas tree. (Sorry, friends. I just can't bring myself to post a pic of my child's underwear on a public blog. But yes: undies EVERYWHERE.)  She completely bypassed the tree, totally unaware of what had taken place. I had to act quickly; I pulled out my very best Meryl Streep: "Oh, my GOSH!!! My TREE!!!!!" I stood in the doorway and dropped everything that was in my hands and froze. What a performance! And the Oscar goes toooooo.........BRANDI GRIFFIN for best portrayal of Overly-Excited-and-Surprised-Elf-on-the-Shelf-Disaster-Mom!!! The crowd. Goes. Wild. 
   Lilli's face was priceless. PRICELESS. Her eyes were the size of dinner platters. They sparkled in the tree light as she spotted Crosby: head first in the clean laundry pile. She burst into laughter and shouted, "Wait till my friends hear about THIS one!!!" 
   Take a bow, Mom. You have succeeded again. I hugged her and kissed her, happy that she was happy. 
   As for the rest of the Elf ideas, I will post every single one we get along with pics. Feel free to borrow some ideas and check back tomorrow for the next post! We're all excited here at Griffin Manor to see what lil' Crosby will get into next! Now....who wants to fold my laundry?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Maybe I'll Get a Top Hat...

  Wednesday, November 21st. started like any normal day before Thanksgiving: NO SCHOOL! This meant I could do WHATEVER I wanted to do to prepare for my ONE dish, sweet potato souffle, for our family Thanksgiving feast. The grueling preparation took the following steps: sleep late....mosey around in my jammies for awhile....get ready around lunch....take my time in doing so....head out the door around 2:00 to Hobby Lobby and the mall.....come home......and think about making that fabulous souffle.......tomorrow. I had a few loose ends to tie up for my FBC Ladies' Christmas Brunch table decor, and I'd planned to paint all day and clean up my tornado of a house later in the afternoon. This would be the day I would finally be able to pull myself out of the pleurisy rut I'd been in for over a week.......again.
   Last year's bout of "side pleurisy," as my Nana calls, was literally a burning pit of hell in my left lung for 16 oh-so-glorious days. Pleurisy is basically this: inflammation of the lining around the lungs. It's incredibly painful and makes breathing difficult as well as singing and talking. How did I get this old timey sickness? Oh, just my friend MS the autoimmune disease. I had it shortly after Christmas last year and didn't know it; I thought I had a sinus infection that was causing a cough. I went sledding in the snow and played out all day with my family in that magical wintery weather which only made my condition worsen. After a night of excruciating pain and short, rapid breathing, Jordan rushed me to the emergency room where they found that I clearly had the Old English ailment. I was in bed for the next week and a half. Ugh. This year, however, I read the telltale signs early (three days in) and ran to the doc with a diagnosis, making her job easier. "Write me a scrip, Maggie. I know what this is, so let's get the road on the show." She ran the appropriate tests to cover her bases: listened to my lungs, did some blood work, and ran an x-ray as well as a CT scan. All was clear with the exception of what she heard which is about all a doc gets when searching for pleurisy.
   I wasn't about to sit around in pain for two weeks, doped up and vomiting pain pills for days. Yes, this is how it works with MS. Nothing jihas with MS or Avonex. NOTHING. Seems like any narcotic type pain meds throw me over the moon and back again and not in the fun way. They make my head spin, make me paranoid and itchy, over-the-top emotional, and make me barf........like a linebacker with a state championship party hangover. It's not very attractive and chartreuse is not my color. A quick diagnosis to pleurisy is the best kind; since there's no definitive test for it other than symptoms, there's not really a process for getting over it either. However, the faster one gets on an antibiotic to cushion the already compromised immune system, the better. My doc gave me a Z-Pack, 'round the clock double strength ibuprofen for pain, and orders for rest....LOTS of rest, as this is about the only thing one can really do to get over pleurisy quickly. It runs for a good two weeks before a patient can get back on her feet.
  Pleurisy makes me think of Doc Holiday. I know, that was TB (tuberculosis), totally different, but I'd like to think that with my heating pad, pain pills, swollen chest, and hacking cough, I look as cool as Val Kilmer did in Tombstone. He totally made pale the new "hot," and even though it's not in my blonde color wheel, perhaps I could match it up with some pastel PJ's on sale at the WalMart. There is a light at the end of every sweaty tunnel, ya know. It's called the MAC Counter.
  After the pleurisy cleared up last year, I got a new visitor: BLIP. It was a very stressful 16 days so it was no surprise to my family and me. However, it was a surprise when after a month this blip was still going strong. It had also made its way to my leg and I found myself cane-bound. In true Barbie fashion, albeit on the third attempt at buying one, I found myself a pretty pink cane. I brought it home and bejeweled it. Hey, if I've gotta carry that hideous thing around it needs to be cute. And pink. On March 16 my blip finally ended and Candy the Cane has been collecting dust ever since...........until now.
   I've stayed as stress free as I possibly can this year, especially because of school. I'm a full-time college student now and have 13 hours worth of classes this semester. I've kept my grades up and my stress level down by making sure I don't overload and wait until the last minute on assignments. Jordan and Lilli have been a huge support and have helped me in any way they can to make sure I achieve my dream of becoming Dr. Brandi Griffin, English/music teacher/writer extraordinaire. I'm doing well, if I say so myself. With Jesus leading the way, I'll be finished in 3.5 years.....then I'll have more to go for a Master's degree and a doctorate. I'm going to die a professional student, but my tombstone will say DOCTOR. I want it. Something fierce. Getting on meds and resting with the pleurisy this time has also helped; my teachers, my choir directors, my friends, and my family have all helped me tremendously. I figured I was pretty much in the clear.
   Back to November 21: After getting myself and my Lilli Bug ready, we headed out the door. In the 10 to 12 steps it took me to get from the door to the car, I felt my right leg give out. Oh, crap....not now, I thought. I shook it out and reached for the car door handle.....weakly. Okay, just hold yourself together. Deeeeeeeep breath......(iiiiiiiiinnnn......and oooouuuuut.....) I opened and closed my fist a few times, started the car, and pulled out of the driveway. I was breathing deeply and calmly, trying to clear my mind of all things negative, worrying, and most of all stressful. My phone rang and it was my mom. My parents have been dealing with some stress of their own. I'm always there for them, but this day was not the day. I could only be there for me and at that point in time, Lilli.
  About 15 minutes later we pulled into the Hobby Lobby. I stepped out of the high 4-Runner and slid down the side of my seat until my shoes hit the pavement. I could only feel my big toe on my right foot. Nice. We hobbled into the store, Lilli holding my hand and trying to steady me, my left leg carrying all of the weight it could muster. Our trip to the Christmas section was fast, for I was fading fast. We got home and I crashed on the couch, unable to keep my head up. This is how fast and sudden a flareup comes on. That night we ate dinner at my in-laws' and I helped my sis in law with some babies she was sitting for. By around 7:00 I was feeling better and no longer weak-sided, however, I don't remember much about the conversation that night and  I slept like a rock.
   The next morning, I woke up and all was well. I was spry, hyper, and ready to roll over Turkey Day with my family. We were to be at Jordan's grandmother's house at 1:00. By then I was hobbling again and so fatigued I could hardly get it together. We finally made it at 1:45. It was official. 24 hours later and my Turkey Day had brought with it a plethora of reminders of why I hate this disease so much.
  I was able to have a great week nonetheless. The weakness and numbness waxes and wanes. It's kind of a pain because it's so unpredictable. Yesterday, Black Friday, I officially broke out Candy the Cane. What a drag. (no pun intended) Again, I tackled the Hobby Lobby parking lot, and again, I tackled the Hobby Lobby Christmas section. Only this time there were five gazillion people there to take advantage of the 50% off Christmas decor. All I needed were tree lights. If I can just get those lights I can get the heck outta here.  It wasn't that easy. 
    Every which way I went in that store, every human stared in amazement. I was wearing a rose colored top with a black scarf, blue jeans, and my pink New Balance tennis shoes. My makeup was done up, as always, but nothing dramatic, and my blonde coif was curled because it's faster to roll than to blow dry it under. There was nothing abnormal about me other than that darn cane. (I would love to have written the other D word before cane, just so you know.....) People would look and smile because this is the Southern way of life. We always make eye contact and smile pleasantly. Then their eyes would follow my outfit and find my cane. Then, DUN, DUN, DUNNNNN!!!! "GASP!" And their pitiful eyes would yet again meet mine saying, "Oh, you poor dear! FOR SHAME! It's a...a...a....c-c-c-CANE!" Cue the minor chords.
   One can imagine my horror when it fell to the ground after I had leaned it up against a shelf to grab some tree lights. The woman standing next to me looked like she was watching a homeless man make his bed under a bridge. I was waiting for her to break out the anointing oil and lay hands on me while she prayed......not that I'd mind.
   Why are you telling us this, Bran? It's awful. You bet it's awful; it's downright pathetic and humiliating. I broke in the car, I'll be honest. There was only ONE person who didn't look at me funny and that was my friend Kristy, the cashier. Praise GOD for this gal! I felt like a circus sideshow all day yesterday. I literally wanted to hide, but I didn't.......because gimps have Christmas decorating to do, too. In case your momma isn't southern, and I'm going to pray that everyone in the Hobby Lobby yesterday was of yankee descent, allow me to teach you some etiquette: It's not polite to stare. (Wow, now I know why.) I ran into a lady I know from my church yesterday and she flat out asked me, "What's going on? Are you feeling okay today?" She knows about my MS and I explained to her that I felt fine I was just having a rough time getting around. She reassured me she'd be praying and encouraged me to get better then we moved on to another subject. It was nice, and I appreciated it. This is me personally: I would rather you come and ask me, "Why do you have a cane? What the heck's wrong with you? What happened? etc." than for you to just stare, pity me, and then turn to your girlfriend and shake your head like I'm a "case."  Really? People with canes or wheelchairs, walkers or crutches, are not going to eat you or hide under your bed in anticipation of stealing your feet from your body. I've gotta use a cane sometimes because I can't feel my leg or foot, or it's too weak to hold me up. It's no big deal. You can ask and I won't be offended. If you already know, don't ask because that's just annoying. And please don't treat me like I need special attention. If I need your help, I'll ask for it, don't worry. (insert cutesy wink here)
   I don't write this for my readers who know me, but for my readers who don't know me and the other MSers who often find themselves in the same predicament. However, I know there will still be those who gawk and stare, and ultimately, I guess I'll get over it. Life's too short and I don't always need Candy the Cane. It's like someone once suggested: maybe you should get a top hat. Well, maybe I will.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Misadventures of Brandi: Nontraditional College Student #3

   I just read my last post. WOW. Grammatical errors GALORE. I don't think I even proofread that mess. I can tell I was irritated when I wrote it. Hmmm....Let's move on, shall we? Ahem....


    The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. It's midterm time. I've got 2 A's and 2 B's. This is one happy nontraditional. So on to a few more introductions and an update on the Toddlers.
   First of all, I don't call all of them "Toddlers" anymore....just most of them. My English class, for example: these kids are amazing. I went into my 3rd college experience with the following attitude: don't make friends. Do your job, get out, and graduate. Who am I kidding? I'm just the most social person alive and when I see someone that looks lonely, stressed, or down in the dumps, I feel that it is my job to spread the Jesus love. So that's what I've done.
  I've given half of my English class nicknames....because I can't be expected to remember my own name let alone theirs. I've already introduced Ben and Allyson. They're still sitting next to me...and they're still as precious as ever. Allyson's belly is growing every day, and Ben finally removed his hat and frequently updates me on this love life. I adore those two kids. Since then, I've met and grown very fond of several others as well.

Kipp: There's Kipp, who sits behind me. What a DOLL. This kid is the typical all American high school Homecoming King and one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving little puppies I've ever met. He barrel races horses and always has tons of questions like, "Hey, Brandi! Will you check my homework?" They all apparently think I'm an English whiz......aaaaaaaaaand they would be correct. I've named Kipp "Skipper" as a nod to my Barbiedom, and as a spinoff of his other nickname, "Kipper". I think he likes it. With his sweet boyish looks, shaggy brown hair and cowboy boots, Skipper lights up every Tuesday and Thursday morning when we shout his new nickname; his cheeks blush bright red as his gleaming white smile spreads across that Peter Pan face of his. He's so sweet and mild mannered. I could adopt that kid and feed him biscuits every single day.

  Wes: I heart red, yellow, black, and white kids. They make me happy. I want to be friends with all races and ethnicities; these friendships, however fleeting, remind me that we're all a part of God's creation and is that not the way God made it? Growing up in Murray County I never really had many black friends. Come to think of it, I only had two and one of them moved away in middle school. Our little pack in English has three or four black kids and a few Mexican kids. I don't really know them all because they're very quiet and don't engage with me and the others too much; there are two or three who are usually late so I never get a chance to talk with them anyway. But there is one particular kid: Wes. We call him "Chris Rock".....because he looks exactly like Chris Rock. In fact, half the time we just call him Chris. Sometimes, though, we call him "Houdini." He has all sorts of magic tricks; he'll walk into the classroom with his saggy jeans and big T-shirts, strut over to my desk with a deck of cards in his hands and perform for us. The guy is a riot!

Skynyrd:  I have NO idea what this kid's real name is. He's told me, but I can't remember. All I know is that he dons some sort of rock and roll T-shirt every single day, wears his gorgeous mousy brown locks in a ponytail which offsets his amazing blue eyes, doesn't shave, and looks EXACTLY like Ronnie Van Zant. Enough said.

Lou aka: The Hulk: It's a lot to say someone's incredibly muscular arms are as big as my thighs. My thighs are huge. No, gargantuan. Cody sits in the back of the classroom; he doesn't say much, he just laughs at the entertainment the rest of us provide. He's fair skinned with his curly blonde hair always covered by a flat billed hat........And his muscles are scary huge. As a result, we call him either Lou (for Lou Ferrigno) or Hulk. I was sitting outside of the room one morning, waiting for class to start. I stood up as the previous class was emptying and when I arose, Cody was standing in front of me where a line had formed in through the room. His huge arm was at eye level with me, only inches from my face, and I could see nothing else. I flung back against the wall, a tiny bit petrified. My eyes were equally as big as the guns before me. How do people do that? I wondered. After we all got into the classroom I told him, "Your arms are scary big. You kinda scare me, dude." In his shy manner he grinned and said, "Thank you!" Wow. The class roared in laughter. I have a feeling sweet Lou's not as intimidating as he looks.

Lesslie: The gal doesn't say much, but when she does it's downright funny. She sits next to Chris Rock and engages everyone around her. She a spitfire, but a laid back one, usually clad in a sweatshirt, jeans, and a cute headband or hairbow in her medium brown mane.

Dr. Davis: The English professor extraordinaire. We all get a kick out of the way he says "commas." It's KYAAAAAHMUHS. I really like Dr. Davis; and he looks just like Dustin Hoffman. No doubt about it, the guy is a clone.Oh, the hilarity. Last night I watched The Graduate, a movie in which Mr. Hoffman doesn't look too shabby and walks around for a good hour and a half shirtless. Yeah, watching that movie was the wrong thing to do because now I'll be thinking of Dr. Dinosaur, shirtless, and get all confused in my daydreams of the graduate himself. They'll be ruined forever. Ugh. On the plus side I think Dr. Davis pretty much thinks I'm wonderful. (Insert big cheesy smile and brown nose here.) And I have an A in his class. I heart words and the people who teach the structure of such.

Jasmine: No, she doesn't look like the cartoon, but she's just a wonderful. Jasmine sits to my left in math and hasn't a clue what she's doing numerically. But she works her little tail off and soaks up my friendship in the process. She's sweet, smart, and I love her preppy style, how she pushes her Polo glasses up from the tip of her nose, and how she carries loads of books and a huge to-go cup of coffee no matter what time of day it is. We eat at Panera together and laugh louder than anyone in the restaurant, where she tells me being Mexican is cool, since she is Mexican. She seems a little unsure of what she believes as far as her faith goes and wants to visit church with me. I love the gal to death and can't wait to cultivate the spiritual side of our friendship.

Brandon: Tyler Jones introduced me to Brandon...sort of. I looked up in History one day and there was a familiar face: Tyler's buddy Brandon, whom I'd only seen in pictures. So, I kinda introduced myself in a very loud and awkward way....across the classroom. He got the picture. When I walk into History he makes it a point to say "hey" and we usually find a Facebook post to chat back and forth on. He's a character, proud of his "brown" skin and enormously perfect smile. He seems kinda lackadaisical about his grades, staying on FOX News network and Facebook during class, which even further cracks me up. His dry wit and personality make him totally unpredictable. I like unpredictable, but I never know what's gonna come out of his mouth as a result. However, I'm never in doubt that it will be side splitting.

  Yes, I have three other professors, but I'm not up for giving their backgrounds today. Maybe I will in another post. For now, my days have consisted of my new routine: school, school, and more school. That seems to be all I do, having no time to write (unless it's an essay that's being graded) and not really any time to paint either. But I'm learning so much that this English Nazi is actually afraid to go back and read any previous posts; I am the queen of commas...and placing them everywhere, even in unnecessary, spaces, just, for, the, sake, of, using, them. Of course, I must remember that this blog isn't for a grade, it's for entertainment. The commas add to that entertainment. I'm also kicking some tail in Math 98. Don't judge. That's huge for this word girl. Sociology is quite wonderful as well. However, I'm learning some things in there that absolutely appall me. I could write a book on it, but I'll spare the readers. History? Well, I have a B in there....I like my professor....I like the material....I'm just kinda ready for it to be over. 
  As far as the Toddlers are concerned, things are a little better. I figure if I treat them like adults, they'll act like adults. They won't have a choice. 
 


Saturday, September 24, 2011

National Lampoon's Anniversary Weekend

  For a couple of weeks my amazing hubby has had something incredible up his sleeve for our 8th wedding anniversary; a surprise to beat all surprises, one of which I had no clue, was headed my way. I figured it at least included dinner but as for anything else I was in the dark completely. However, I was already excited. Bless Jordan's precious heart! He works so hard to make me happy and just wants to see me smile. As I've said a thousand times, it doesn't take much for him to make me smile; all I have to do is look at him, no, think about him and my face contracts into spasms of happiness. Sometimes I take for granted how really blessed I am with this incredible man as my other half.
  Our anniversary was September 13, however, the goodies started coming in on the 12th. Jordan called me that Monday to tell me he had plans for the weekend, to arrange for Lilli to stay with the grands Saturday night, this would be an overnight trip. We were texting back and forth all morning due to my excitement which is never containable. I asked what I needed to wear and he in return asked if I needed something new. He then said to run on over to the TJ Maxx to get whatever; he knows how I LOVE that store! While in there I got a phone call from him.
  "Whacha doin'?" he asked me.
  "I'm at TJ looking for something to wear," I replied happily.
  "You need to leave TJ Maxx; it's been taken care of," he responded proudly. I was a little bumfuzzled.
  "Jordy, did you buy me something new?!"
  "I can't say, just know it's been taken care of."
  Like any chunky girl my heart sank. I love my husband, but he thinks I'm perfect and perfection, as we all know, is usually a size 6/8. This chick hasn't been a 6/8 since she was 6 or 8 years old. Not wanting to burst his little bubble I was careful to tread lightly.
  "Jordy.....you don't know my size, baby....." I gnawed my lower lip.
  "It's okay. Your mom said if it didn't fit you could slap on some Spanx or whatever those things are called." (Well, there went my sexy undies for the night.) Oh, dear Lord. SPANX. Also out the door with the undies went that great meal, for when one wears SPANX one is also limited to water and only a few short breaths every few minutes.
 "Jordan.....what size did you get....of whatever it is you've 'taken care of '?"
 "I got you a 10."

WOW. That was PRE-baby Lilli, POST baby Lilli due to breastfeeding and......dang it, I wish I still had a nursing kid. I'd be so stinkin' skinny and hot. Let's just say I haven't seen a 10 around my waist in a few years.

  "Oh, baby....you're SO sweet to think I'm SO thin....but there's NO way I can get into that size." I almost cried I felt so terrible.
  In all of his preciousness he responded, "I think it'll fit, Bran, I really do. If it doesn't, you can keep it and use it as inspiration." (He knows I'm about to start a 'lifestyle change.')
  I couldn't help but beam with pride. He loves me so much, doesn't he, God....thank You!
  That evening Jo called on his way home from work: "Stay in the bedroom until I come in to get you," he told me.
  When he arrived he and Lilli both came to retrieve me from the bedroom; they led me downstairs with my eyes closed and sat me on the couch.
  "Open 'em," he said and he was standing in front of me, having set two bags down at my feet. One was labeled Baker's the other Cache. I grabbed the Cache bag first and laid the box from within on my lap. He beamed as I removed the paper from the most perfect hot pink silk dress I've ever seen in my life. It was short with only one frilly strap. A matching hot pink belt wrapped around the waist. I held it up in front of my face; no, it wasn't going to fit......for at least 4 months, but by crackies I wanted to run a mile that very minute! It was gorgeous and looked as if he zapped Barbie's wardrobe to fit a real person. I was speechless and he said, "I saw it on the rack, the only one they had, and it screamed YOU." I was so proud of him and squealed in delight.
  Next I opened the Baker's box; inside was the latest season version of the glittery pink shoes I'd been begging for. They were more hot pink with flecks of gold and purple. I literally came undone. He had also purchased the matching clutch, huge dangly gold earrings and four pink studded gold bracelets. I was all set for this night on the town.
  In total shock and awe I kept hugging and kissing him and asking, "How did you do this? How?! You're amazing! HOW?!"
  Through all of the laughter and excitement and my arms wrapped around his neck he replied, "Well, I had my own personal shopping assistant: a gay man worked in Baker's and he basically helped me with everything." We cracked up! I've always told Jordan when in doubt about fashion, find a gay man.

TRUST ME. I know. 


  The week dragged on and it seemed Saturday would never arrive. In preparation for its arrival I did what any wife wanting to woo her husband all over again would do: I cleaned the house and made myself over. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach….but ‘they’ failed to add that he likes to eat that phenomenal meal in a spotless house at a well set table next to his pearl and lipstick clad wife.
  All week I worked on ME. I shaved, I waxed, I self tanned (not the orange kind), I highlighted my hair, I bleached my teeth, I worked on any facial blemishes and made sure my skin was super soft and clear. I cleaned the house all day Friday amidst breaks from getting ahead on all of my school work. Then I treated myself to a MAC Me Over at the MAC counter in Chattanooga including some new eyeshadow for the big day; I was all set for this day to beat all days, this weekend of perfection. Any outsider would’ve thought Saturday was going to be my wedding day.
  Friday night I went to bed with visions of Jordan, makeup and those fabulous glittery shoes dancing in my head. Oh, a night alone and one out on the town to boot! A fluffy hotel room that I didn’t have to clean and some quality time with Jordy! I was so excited I could hardly sleep. 


AND THE STORM BLEW IN.


  I rolled over with a pain in my gut. What the heck? My stomach is KILLING me! Opening my eyes I saw the numbers 3:00 shining from the Hello Kitty alarm clock on my night stand. I got up to make a potty call, and what to my wondering eyes should appear…..A crime scene, only no cops would be coming to my rescue.  
  Dang it.
  Jordan was just as disappointed as I was when I popped 4 Ibuprofen and downed some Benadryl for my crazy legs and warring ovaries. However, we were determined not to let this ruin our weekend.
  I woke up fairly early Saturday morning, my tummy buzzing with only butterflies thanks to my cocktail a few hours before. I had my day all planned out: First, get Lilli packed and take her to Mom and Dad’s house. I did just that and then drove over to the Buddha people to get my nails done. (That’s what I call them because they have a fat Buddha statue that they give coffee to of a morning. Yes, I’m serious.) Jordan insisted I have acrylics put on since I hadn’t had them in years, but I was still out of the nail shop by 1:00. I had planned to get in the shower by 1:30 since we were leaving at 3:45. I made it home in plenty of time.
  I showered and shaved and did my tanning/teeth whitening routine, then sat on my bed to get my makeup going. This was the part I’d been so excited to start. Then I ironed our clothes and curled my hair. By the time I finished Jo and I both noticed how behind we were running; I’d been doing everything by the book and so had he, but somehow we were late against all attempts to be on time. He called the restaurant and moved our reservation and all was fine. Still, we were a little rushed.
  We finally made it out the door around 5:00, an hour and 15 minutes later than we had planned. My hair was also falling. I wasn't thrilled, but Jo was looking at me like a Barbie doll so I couldn't complain much. I was beginning to panic about the time, however,and so was Jordan. Amidst his panic he let part of his big plan slip: “I just don’t wanna be late to the Fox.” AAAAHHHHH!!!!! THE FOX THEATER IS MY FAVORITE!!!! Just the same, I had no idea what we would be doing at the Fox so we both let it slide. We made it to Atlanta and I saw my surprise restaurant which was also my surprise room for the night: the Sundial and the Westin Hotel. I was immediately thrilled since Jo knows the Sundial is one of my favorite places to eat.
  It took forever to find parking but we finally did….on the 6th level of a nearby parking deck. This was no problem only the elevator was incredibly slow and we spent about 15 minutes waiting on it to make its way up to the 6th level. Again, we were panicky. I insisted we go ahead and eat against Jo’s pleas of, “Maybe we should wait.” We had a little over an hour; surely we’d be okay. We finally made it to the 72nd floor the Westin and walked into the Sundial.
  Our table was right next to one of the floor to ceiling windows that surrounded the restaurant. Our view was perfect: a sunset over downtown Atlanta, GA. It couldn’t get anymore perfect than that.
  A rather petite, with the exception of her chest, light skinned black woman waltzed up to our table and almost flew into my lap. Her light brown ringlet hair shaking like Fraggle Rock she exclaimed, “GIRL! Where did you get those SHOES?!” Her eyes were as big as saucers as she wrinkled her nose. “Where the camera be? I gotta get me a pic of them shoes!”
  Jo and I almost fell over with laughter. She chatted with us for a few moments and apparently let it slip where Jordan was taking me but I never heard her. Jordan was very quick to tell her it was a surprise and that I was still in the dark. He also told her we were in a bit of a hurry since our plans started at 8. Jo had purchased parking online so the waitress said we’d be fine but she’d “get on it.”
  We had the best meal for dinner; Jordan had pork and my lack of a gallbladder and I had chicken. I even had a glass of wine which is HUGE for a teetotaller.
  We left the Sundial and Jordan handed me two sheets of paper when we got in the car.
  “These are the tickets. Look at what we’re going to see.”
  I took the papers from him carefully as if what was written on them would fall off of the page, wondering what he could’ve done. I read the heading: “Broadway Across America.” Well, this’ll be fun, I thought, still wondering why this would be such a shocking surprise to me. Then the line under it screamed silently at me: "WICKED." I literally came undone. Clapping my hands like a seal and squealing like a girl, I bounced in the front seat of Jordan’s tiny Honda Accord, completely elated. My heart pounded in my chest and tears sprang to my heavily made up eyes. “Oh, my gosh!!! Oh, my gosh!!!” I breathed in and out rapidly and was lost for words. I’d been wanting to see this show for a few years now; it’s only every singer’s DREAM to be a part of the cast of Wicked, let alone sit in an audience and watch it come to life onstage!
  “Brandi, for real," breathed a laugh. "Calm down now; your face is gonna be numb.” I told him how grateful I was and how much I loved him; I also tried to squeeze and kiss him as much as possible while he was driving. “Let’s go!” I said excitedly and shook my hands in the air.
  I was flying high as we made it to the parking right at 8:00. We knew we’d be fine since our parking deck was right next to the Fox; all we had to do was park and walk in. Sparkly clutch and camera in hand, I was all ready to go…...except the parking deck was closed, coned off and there was no attendant. Parking should not have been closed and wasn't there an employee? The butterflies in my tummy took a nose dive for my colon. We couldn’t get to our parking spot we had already purchased. We then drove around downtown looking for parking……..for 30 minutes……
  Jordan finally dropped me off at the Fox so he could go look for a parking spot. I asked an attendant for directions and also about parking. "Are you here for the reception?" 
  "Um, no....for 'Wicked'." He gave me directions and then I told him about our parking fiasco. The guy face-palmed himself and exclaimed, "$#*@!" I just stared. "They're not supposed to do that!" 
  "Okay, um, thanks anyway," I smiled and waved as I made my way into the theater. Before I did anything I had to pee; I found the ladies’ lounge and from there went into the restroom as the music to Wicked rang on the stage above my head. If any of you have ever been to the Fox you’ll know it’s not exactly this easy in the restroom. I got a little lost in the ladies’ lounge; it was a little strange that all of the toilet seats were upright, but I just figured they had just been cleaned. I sat in a stall, did my business and walked out. However, when I walked out I noticed the urinals…..and ran smack dab into a MAN.
  “OH MY GOSH. I just used the men’s room, didn’t I?”
  “It happens all the time, sweetie,” he replied as he laughed and walked on by.
  I got up to the steps of  the theater and no one would help me as the employees were clearly enamored by the show. One woman showed me my seat and was beyond the definition of rude, so rude that I said to a slouchy greeter lounging in a Fox seat, “Isn’t she a ray of summer sunshine,” and continued on my way. I was very surprised at the lack of manners and hospitality that usually came with the ambiance of the Fox Theatre. I finally made it to my seat: the VERY TOP row of the 2nd balcony. Jo had warned me that we had nosebleed seats, but I could still see the entire stage. I made it to my seat right before the song “Popular” but was completely lost on all that was happening in the show.
  Fifteen minutes went by and my heart was breaking because my husband wasn’t sharing this amazing experience I’d been dying to be a part of with me. We were late for everything, on time for the show but parking sucked for the SECOND time, Mother Nature imposed and now this! ANYTHING ELSE? Suddenly my phone vibrated. It was Jo. Oh, crap. He’s been mugged by a homeless guy with a broken Budweiser bottle, I thought. After all, it was dark……and it was downtown Atlanta……and my husband, just this once, wasn’t packing. The attendant eyeballed me so I made my way to the ladies’ room right behind me. I know how to act in a theater setting so this was abnormal for me.
  “I’m here,” he said. “But I don’t know where you are.”
  I tried to give him directions to our seats but he couldn’t find them and the attendants were literally ignoring him. I called my mom.
  “I’ve ruined everything, Momma! I thought it’d be okay to eat! He’s worked SO hard and here we are: APART!” She calmed me down as I cried in the Fox ladies’ room.
  “He’ll find you,” she said. “It’s almost intermission time, just have a good time and wait.” We said our goodbyes and hung up the phone. I went back to my seat very quietly, which was thankfully on the end of the row, when it hit me: All theater etiquette aside, my man is down there waiting on me. GO. GET. HIM. I wanted Jordan to know that HE was more important to me than Wicked, no matter how badly I’d wanted to see it. I also wanted him to know that no matter what, we’d make the best out of the weekend. I knew I wouldn’t make it down the steps in those 6 inch glittery heels; I grabbed my clutch, slipped my shoes off and walked barefooted through the Fabulous Fox to find my husband.
  There he stood at the 2nd level balcony waiting for me, handsome as ever, and clearly not bludgeoned by a vagrant.
  We sat in our seats and when intermission came he told me his story.
  “There was no parking, so I had to park 3 blocks away. I couldn’t get the parking meter to work. I tried everything!”  He was stewing by now. “We’re gonna get towed,” he said flatly; his debonair and happy attitude had worn off.
  We found an attendant immediately and told her our parking story. There was no one there with the power to help us the way they felt we needed, so they put together a Fox goodie bag for us and we finished the show. We were then given the number of a head honcho to call Monday morning who would hopefully reimburse us for parking and if we were lucky, tickets.
  What we saw of the show was wonderful, but we were both heartbroken. I was due to not getting to see the whole thing and Jordan was due to his plans for us being blown to smithereens.
  Afterward we sulked our way back to the car, my tired feet now carrying very unhappy blisters. Sure enough, Jordan had a $25 ticket posted to his windshield. On our drive to the hotel traffic was horrendous. We sat bumper to bumper as a couple of cars had their radios and bass turned up so loud that it was hurting our ears. Then I looked to my right and a male driver was hanging out of his window from his waist, while driving with his buddies, staring a hole through me. He almost wrecked, and I almost puked.
  We arrived at the Westin ready to park, however there was, AGAIN, no parking. If we wanted our car to stay within reach we were going to have to pay the valet parking company $29. Completely out of ideas and emotionally worn out, we did. 
  We checked in which seemed to take forever and this wasn't helped out by the incredibly drunk, New York Yankee bridal party that was ahead of us, all groomsmen. They yelled "Hava nagila!" and "Opa!" with their upturned wine bottles and annoying Bronx accents.
  Jordan had talked our room up pretty big; we’d have a great view, no doubt and the shower was a walk-in with dual shower heads. After this night, a hot shower was what we both needed. Overly excited, we slid the card key into the door and walked into our room. While it was nice and the bed was big and comfy, it was a little out dated…..and there were NO dual shower heads, let alone a walk-in shower. They had replaced the furniture with a modern style and had done the same with the wall art; however, the carpet and other decor could have used a Nate Berkus touch. The view, however, was out of this world, so we settled on that. We slept in a California King bed facing a wall to wall, floor to ceiling view of downtown Atlanta, lit up like a Christmas tree. I laid there with my head on Jo’s chest, listening to him breathe in the dark, feeling the stress of the evening drain from us into the mattress below. If this is what it was all for, I’m good to go.
  The next  morning we both woke up fairly chipper. Jordan had ordered a package with our stay which included a buffet breakfast. We showered and readied ourselves before heading to the 5th floor for food. A nice spread was laid out with plenty to choose from. Immediately I noticed the many nationalities in the hotel, but quite a few were from China. I knew it was China due to the Air China flight attendants roaming around in their little uniforms. I thought nothing of it until I was reaching for the gravy at the buffet. My hand was literally an inch from the spoon when slender hand shot forward grabbed it. Caught off guard because there had been no one in line ahead of me I turned to see what the matter was. 
  Now, here are several rules we have here in the south; my favorite: Don’t ever come between a fat girl and the gravy.
  “Oh! Soddy!” exclaimed the little China doll. “Glavy?”
  Yes, that’s gravy. And yes, you need to move it……or lose it. Of course, she didn’t. Did she even know what “glavy” was? Good grief.
  We sat and ate and enjoyed our breakfast after that. Then we packed our things and headed home. Upon pulling into the driveway Jo and I both agreed that we were total homebodies and wouldn’t be going to the city again for some time. We laughed and then Jo said, “Where are the house keys?”
  I looked at the key chain and they weren’t there. The valet boys at the Westin had taken our keys off of the car keys. By now, we were livid. We had to drive to Chatsworth for our spares from the landlord and camped at my parents’ for a while. I’d had it, and spent the better part of the day on the phone with the powers that be at the Westin.
  When I finally got hold of who I needed, I let it rip. I give you, the basic rundown: “Here’s the deal. You’re gonna find my keys. NOW. Then you’re going to overnight them to me. Then you’re gonna march your tail into the Westin, get my credit card number and refund that $29 I gave you entrusting that you would not only park my car but take care of it and everything inside of it.”
  “Yes, ma’am,” said the owner of the valet company. “We have a policy that if there are extra keys attached we take them off.” I sat silently waiting for it to sink into his thick skull just how stupid that policy was. “Uh, but we’re about to change that, ma’am.”
  “Yes, that would be a good idea; the best one you’ve had all day, I think,” I said to him.
  Later that night I had a voicemail from him: “If you like, Mrs. Griffin, I can send someone up to Dalton to deliver your keys personally. Again, I’m very sorry.”  This was about the 4th time he’d apologized and the keys arrived Tuesday.
  After everything had calmed down I called the Fox Tuesday afternoon. I told a very nice woman named Shelley our story. She called the parking company next to the theater and had them refund our money; she then offered us 2 free tickets for Sunday’s showing of "Wicked", 8th row orchestra seats.
  In the end, the weekend was a total wash, but somehing about going through it with Jordan made it all worth it. We both had worked for DAYS to make sure the 24 to 48 hours we had to celebrate “US” were absolute perfection. The evening had fallen apart. The weekend had fallen apart. But knowing that the world could crash around me and I’d still have him by my side was all that really mattered. And that is where perfection was found.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Misadventures of BPG: Nontraditional College Student #2

I'm usually a positive person and I always will be but today, I'm taking sick leave from the glittery unicorn fart I apparently live on.  First, school was delayed for Lilli so I had to make other child delivery arrangements. Then I lost my wedding rings.....because those aren't like my organs or anything. Then my van was invaded by piss ants.....teeny tiny smell-funny-when-ya-squish-em piss ants....which made their way to my book bag.....and then made their way to me....and then to my desk in English....and my comrade to my right in English. That was at 9:25am. I'm still finding them on me.....everywhere. Then some toddler almost knocked me down the steps at school.....because that color coordinated tie and shirt made him all too important to say "Excuse me, ma'am. I didn't see your incredibly HUGE butt STANDING RIGHT BESIDE ME. Is that an Army issue duffle bag? My bad! That's your book bag with your many books you must drag around. Sorry I ran over you!" Then I almost strangled 6 of the history 2112 boy toddlers because they don't ever shut up during lecture time. Have some respect, punks! Then I bit a girl toddler's head off in the bathroom for passing in line. Last time I checked age came WELL before beauty and first came before next. The next time I get passed in the toilet line I will hike my leg on said passer's books. Don't. Push. Me. However, after my rant in the Lorberbaum  ladies' room, I doubt anyone will walk in front of me again. Then I ate a salad that made me sick. I see how you freaks lost weight after your gall bladders were yanked out... Then a tree was down on the power line across the street, but thankfully, our power was still on. Then there was a car accident and to be a good Samaritan I called 911 because the crazy Mexican involved was literally freaking out about his wife. Then I left the crickets for Sandy the gecko at home and was late getting to my MK lady for my brow pencil and concealor. Now my face is numb I am so dang frazzled. I'm going to sleep. Don't bother me unless you're bleeding or on fire. Just pray no one suffers my wrath because I am a ticking time bomb. (I promise to be all smiles upon waking.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Misadventures of BPG: Nontraditional College Student #1

  Many things have happened at the Harvard on the Hill in the past two weeks. Over the course of the next four years I will report them here on the blog, as they are too darn funny to keep inside. You, my amazing audience, will no doubt hear hilarious stories of conversations with complete idiots, mishaps in parking lots and let's not forget the occasional crazy professor that I will have to win over with my smarts because personality just won't cut it. I'm sure you'll also hear stories on a more serious note........but let's be honest, ya don't get much of that from Brandi so don't count on it. I must warn you: the past few days have drawn a bit of cynicism from the depths of my glittery pink soul. Beware that many smart alec comments will ensue. It will at times be very facetious, very tongue in cheek and possibly a little raw, however, don't worry, it will always be CLEAN. And yes, I'm keeping Jesus in mind. (Don't I always?) Embrace the cynicism and, as always, enjoy!


  It's amazing how much one can learn in the first ten days of school. Oh, no, I'm not speaking academically, although I have experienced and learned much in that area as well. So as not to make anyone feel small with my amazing academic prowess, I'm going to stick to the social aspect of all that I've learned, indirectly, over the past ten days of school.
  First of all, apparently high school/college kids know EVERYTHING. When I say EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING UNDER THE BLAZING SUN. There's nothing one can teach them. There's no use in trying. Just give up. There really is no purpose for them to attend an institute of higher learning because they themselves should actually be the ones teaching. It's amazing how smart they are, really. They're 18. They're free to ascertain and make their own decisions, to be independent. They're adults. However, I like to refer to them as "toddlers".....as this is how they seem to act.
  Now, I will give credit to the few that have extended their little paws and acted like humans, acted like adults. I've met about five, the other new little friends I've made are closer to my age. I'll get to the toddlers in another post. This is, after all, just an introduction to some of what you'll be reading. It's only appropriate that I introduce you to the cast of characters.

   The Toddlers: The children who attend Dalton State College.....especially the ones who annoy me.

   Jamie: An adorable young lady who is, I promise, Disney's Pocahontas. She's painfully sweet with dark skin, high cheekbones and long, flowing, shiny, Pantene Pro-V perfect dark brown hair. No, she doesn't wear animal skins, but I swear the gal has got to be dating the John Smith of the Roadrunner soccer team. She's smart, well mannered and I appreciate her willingness to ask for help as well as her innocent and wide eyed demeanor.

  Allyson: Oh, Allyson....in a word: talkative. I love this beautiful gal, partly because she's SO friendly it's just too hard not to love her to pieces. The other part? I never thought I'd meet someone who could talk more than me. Yes, she has won the "Chatterbox of the Year" trophy, hands down. We have one class together: English. How appropriate, right? On the day we met she plopped down in the open seat to my left and in her red headed, freckly, bubbly self said, "HI! I'm Allyson!"

We hit it off immediately, however, it was hard to slow Big Red down; she kept talking even as I stared straight ahead at Dr. Dinosaur, which is what she refers to our English professor as. She informed me she was getting married in two weeks and was five months pregnant. She's not even showing. Her tummy is completely flat. Mine wasn't that flat before I got pregnant so I get a little green as I watch her doodle "I heart Mike" in different colored gel pens throughout her English notes and syllabus. I feel right at home when I'm sitting next to Red and I'm pulling for her get that RN degree she's after. 

   Ben: I thought I'd escaped typical teenage boys when I graduated from high school. I was wrong. Ben's pretty quiet with his curly brown hair and ice blue eyes. He hides under a ball cap every day....come to think of it, I've never seen him without a hat placed on that thick head of hair. He doesn't say too much; he basically sits and laughs at every word that comes out of my mouth. And when he does his perfectly straight toothed grin lights up his entire face. His dad's probably a dentist. Ben sits to my right in English. In passing conversation he informed me that he is dyslexic. I don't know if he realizes what an impact that made on me: if he can do school with dyslexia, I should be able to do it with MS. Ben clearly likes the F word and the S word. He also claimed that he was going to "rape" his sentence homework we were assigned a few nights ago. Again, I'm learning something new every day.

  Kieme: Her name is pronounced Kee-AMY. Yes, she wrote it phonetically for me on my Math 98 homework. Kieme is only part of her name.....only two syllables in the eight she acquired in her first name alone. Kieme is a gorgeous, dark as night African-American girl. She's gotta be 5 feet 10 inches tall with curves that will knock any man down. Her long braided black hair is usually thrown into a ponytail or loose bun that always looks stylish. And I've never seen eyebrows that perfect on any human in my life. (She has them threaded.) Her daddy is Nigerian, hence the eight syllable first name and she's from Stone Mountain, GA. Kieme cracks me up thinking I'm so great at math; she's always asking me if she's doing something right like I've got all the answers. We work together as a team in class, helping one another to understand the purposes of the alphabet being mixed with numbers.

   Amanda: *GO RON PAUL!* This and her daughter are apparently all that matter in the world to Amanda. Just get a mental of this gal: I walked into History our for our second time in class together and there she sat at the table we occupy with two other girls. Amanda has an aura about her; she's headstrong and determined; fearless and independent. She reminds me of Red Sonya. When she's in a room she soaks it all up commanding not attention, but respect. I bet she makes any man that crosses her path her........well, you know what she makes him. Anyway, she was sitting in class, red hair flowing down her tan and freckled back, wearing a fitted white spaghetti strap tank top. Her tribal looking green tattoo on her upper right arm was more visible that the last time I'd seen her. Her acrylic nails were long and French manicured with American flag blue  and white. I crossed to the other side of our table and read her shirt: I HEART RON over a picture of Dr. Paul himself. I knew then: This gal is my new best friend. She's super right wing and I bet she carries a Glock in her glittery pencil case......right next to her large game hunting license. Yes, I believe God placed me in a class with her for a purpose.

 I have a few other characters I've talked with but not been formally introduced to. I'm sure we'll meet eventually. I've also found a few that I hope to never meet such as Vegan Boy in my Sociology class. I have nothing against vegans; I've got good friends who are vegans. This one in particular just thinks he knows everything it's clear he's not teachable. Again, why is he in school if he knows all of the answers? He uses unnecessary big words every time he opens his mouth and has zero respect for others' opinions; he doesn't take "that's incorrect" for an answer and has a very cocky attitude although I have yet to discover why. He came out of the veggie crisper in class one day, using himself as an example for the teacher. His family is not vegan; he just doesn't like meat. I see a little more in this kid: he's trying overly hard to be his own person and make his own choices, to be a "real live adult".

Son, the way to be an adult is not to change your diet. It's in the way you conduct yourself. Being an adult isn't even about paying bills, getting married and popping out a few puppies. Just be responsible. Just do unto others. JUST BE YOURSELF and the rest falls into place.

Kids have made this whole adult thing into something it isn't when in reality all the world, including your parents, expects of you is for you to be a responsible contributor to society.

Enough of that mess. I'm now moving on to what I've experienced the past two weeks. Aside from being run over by overgrown toddlers every day, the parking hasn't been as bad as everyone has said. "How did you score that?" you ask. Easy. Remember the Swagger Wagon? Yes, the one I often complain about because it's just not cool to be this young and have to drive a BarbaraVan....with a wheelchair ramp and handicap tag....

Oh, yes it is.

Guess who parks in the same open handicap spot every single day? And it only takes me .3 seconds to get there. Boo-Yah. No, I don't even care anymore. If those brats are gonna run over me, act like they know everything and be so disrespectful it makes me wanna slap their mommas for allowing them to leave the house, finding a parking spot in no time at 8am on Monday morning right next to the building is perfect revenge, despite the freshly painted birds that fly my way. As I pull into my spot I throw my head back in maniacal laughter and like Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes I say to myself, "Towanda, the Avenger!!! Righter of all wrongs!!!" I can do this; I'm older and I have more insurance.

To close my post I'll give you the end of my day on Thursday, which is my last day of classes for the week. After I almost had it out with Vegan Boy on Wednesday, I was numb faced and ready to pounce.....come to think of it, I'm still a little riled which makes me look forward to Monday's class that much more. Anyway, I'd been steamrolled by the Toddlers; my butt, the oddity it apparently is, was constantly watched; an 18 year old clearly has a crush on me since he stares all through History and lights up like a firefly if I look his way, bless his little heart; two kids were making out in broad daylight in front of my Swagger Wagon, clearly a family friendly, rated G vehicle. Just take your NC-17 movie elsewhere! After this I was followed out of the Stupid Center (aka: Student Center) by a hippie with dreads who wore a beenie, played an out of tune guitar and sang badly only to find a pair of hot pink and black gingham silk panties on the sidewalk next to my van. So this week I will pose this question:

What about that dern van just screams "SEX"?