Friday evening, I did what most hot, young single gals do...I started a pot of chicken stock and watched a PBS special on TV. #bejealous

When I woke up Saturday morning, I had big plans: photo shoot at 9:30am, Whole Foods for groceries, then home to prep food and edit photos and just generally enjoy being home in my "finally decorated the way I want it" home.

But, as I was pulling away from Whole Foods, I got a call that changed everything.

All I heard was the word "Fire." Of course, I thought of the pot of chicken stock I'd left simmering on the stove. Surely that didn't spontaneously combust or something. The whole way home, I cycled through various scenarios trying to figure out what could have happened, how bad the damage might be, and if I'd have anything left.

My experience with house fires had been limited to what I've seen on TV (flames flying upward through the roof) and the three other fire-related incidents I've had at home.

1. When we were kids, my brothers decided to play with matches in their room, because they are crack heads (not literally...that's just what I call them, because it fits) and set their mattress on fire. My dad was able to put it out and keep it from spreading and it was just a little smokey for a bit. We opened the windows and it was fine in a few minutes.

2. One holiday season I decided to do an advent wreath...and went to bed without blowing out the candles. I woke to a bright light and found that the wreath and my kitchen table was on fire. In my shock and sleepy haze, I went to the sink and filled a glass with water and poured it on the  fire. Obviously, that did nothing. So, I grabbed a blanket and smothered it and then ran from the smoke and soot. My house had to be cleaned from top to bottom and every stitch of fabric had to be washed. But, within a week it was as if it never happened...except that I didn't have a kitchen table...and swore off advent wreaths for-ev-er. (If you don't get that "Sandlot" reference, then...go rent and watch the movie, immediately before reading on. It's ok. I'll wait.)

3. About 2 years ago, I arrived home from work and was hit by the strong smell of electrical fire. As I got closer to my door, I realized it was coming from my home. Upon entering the house, I saw a bit of smoke still hanging in the air but couldn't determine the source. I called 911 and the fire department arrived and we discovered that my laptop battery had exploded. Again, my home had to be cleaned from top to bottom and linens had to be washed, but this time, and my coffee table and area rug had to be replaced.

So, as I stood outside waiting to go in, I was imagining something along these lines. Sure, I'd have to clean and wash everything, but I'd be able to stay in my house and go about life as normal.

Not so much...

As I waited outside, my landlord and I spoke a bit about how long it might be before we could go inside and where I might stay "because it might be a few days" before I was allowed to go back home to stay. I assured him I had ample couches to crash on and not to worry.

This was a small relief to him. He truly seemed more worried about his tenants than himself.

After about 45 minutes of waiting and wondering and standing in the hot June sun, the Fire Chief gave us the all-clear to venture in. Again, I was expecting it to smell and to need a good cleaning, that was it. I was not prepared for what I saw on the other side of my front door.

Just for reference, this is what it looked like before...



But, now I can add a few more items to the list of things I know about house fires.

1. Firemen are not gentle or careful. They don't care about messing up your stuff. They also curse a lot...in front of anyone.

2. The water they use to put out the fire, in many cases, actually does more damage than the fire itself. Between Katrina and this fire, water is inching further and further up my list of things I don't like a whole lot.

3. Renter's Insurance is da bom dot com. No joke. If you rent, make sure you have it. It may seem like a waste or whatever...it is not. My insurance is not only handling reimbursing me for what I lost to the fire and water, but it is also handling my temporary housing and the packing up, cleaning and storing of all of my belongings while I'm displaced. Plus, everyone is just being super nice and making me feel like it's going to be ok.

And, honestly, I really do feel like it all is going to be ok. For my part, every thing is working out way better than I thought  or imagined...except, of course, what I imaged was on the other side of my door that first day.

Though it looked horrible, the actual property/precious things lost was minimal. Nothing of great value (monetary or sentimental) was damaged. The living room ceiling caved in just inches away from my television and the computer I had connected to it. My laptop was across the room. My camera was with me. My refrigerator had to be shoved out of the way so the firemen could work, so that didn't get saturated. And, not one piece of my fiestaware was damaged. What's more, the fire was largely contained by the firewall separating my unit from my neighbors, so really only the ceilings were damaged. My insurance company set me up in a hotel room with a kitchen so I can eat real food instead of always having to do convenience food or eat out while I'm displaced. On top of that, my friends and family have just blown me away with their expressions of care and offers of help. It's really just been one blessing after another.

I can't say the same for my neighbor. She is elderly, semi-disabled and lives with her adult son...or rather, her adult son lives with her.  (#readbetweenthelinespeople) She did not have renter's insurance and lost a lot. They were able to salvage their clothing and many of the books and cds and such that were in the front part of the house, but most of what was in the back half is lost, including their bedroom furniture and most of their shoes. Their living room furniture is also probably not salvagable. What's more, she has been working tirelessly to salvage what she can and clear out their home, largely alone.

Several people have asked what they can do for me or what I need. My standard reply has become this "I'm good. But, my neighbor could use some help." Though she won't have a place to store any tangible donations like furniture until we are actually able to go back home, she can, I'm sure, use some monetary assistance in replacing items when the time comes and really just to get by between now and then in terms of replacing groceries and such.

If you would like to help Ms. Cora with a donation, I've set up the handy dandy pay pal button below for contributions. I'll pool together everyone's donations and put it all on a Visa card for her. I assure you, you couldn't help out a sweeter person...or one who would be more grateful.

If you'd like to send a care package or just a card or note letting her know you are praying, her info is:

Cora Coleman
4512 Park Dr. S
Metairie, LA 70001

I guarantee, anything and everything will be received with gratefulness and thanksgiving.

Through this whole thing so far, Lord has been so kind to me in this, I just want to funnel some of that over to Ms. Cora. If you choose to join in on that...God Bless You!



"Hi, my name is Tina and I've been on a diet for the past decade."
(Hi, Tina.)

They say the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result." 

I guess I can see where "they" are coming from. I mean, if one, say, bangs his head on the wall over and over and expects it to not hurt and/or bleed the next time...well...said person is, in fact, insane. Who beats their own head against walls except insane people?

Well, call me insane because I've been dieting and trying to shed my excess weight for at least a decade. I've done "Deal-A-Meal" by the incomparable Richard Simmons before he became a freak of nature, Weight Watchers, the Body Type diet, Sugar Busters, Atkins and every diet ever published in Ladies Home Journal.

How successful have I been, thus far? Well, here is a before and after for you.

If you think I look, um, plumper in the after photo, you're right. 

Yes, I know the point of a diet is to de-plump. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

But, this whole decade hasn't been a total loss. I've learned some valuable lessons from the fad diet merry-go-round.

1. Diet's don't work*. When you've failed at as many diets as I have, you really have to ask yourself "Is it me or the diet?" Just like in a breakup, we naturally want someone to take the blame...and for it to not be us. But, in this case, it really isn't me. (#winning) Yes, I do have the appetite of a linebacker and, sure, I can be lazy and, ok, I am prone to opt for take-out too much, and I do have a tendency to eat emotionally...what's your point? Ok, maybe diets just don't work "for me" and maybe I'm part of the problem, but there is a wealth of information out there supporting my assertions on a more global scale. Many diet doctrines have now been de-bunked as total myth; that, combined with my experience has led me to "call BS" on the whole concept of dieting. Think about that for a second. While the whole calories in/calories out thing might work on paper, we all know the reality is that the results often fail to bear this theory out as truth. And, what about the whole "low fat" or "sugar-free" stuff? How, exactly is making our food more processed, pumping it full of chemicals and turning it into something that is more food-like than actual food better for us? It's a trick, a gimmick, and worst of all, it's a lie. Fat doesn't make us fat, being gluttons and eating food our bodies aren't designed to consume and digest does. (#science) The other reason diets don't work is because they just don't satisfy us. Even if we don't walk around with grumbling tummies, that half an egg white sandwich on cardboard bread with side salad we had for lunch is just not going to cut it. Neither is that frozen diet entree. At the end of the day...or the end of our lunch break...we just want real, actual, flavorful food. Period. What's more, because we are hardwired to want what we can't have, diets only serve to make us want the food we are denying ourselves even more. I'm talking "I will punch an elderly person for some McDonald's fries right now" kind of want. Those strong cravings to have what is forbidden will only lead to giving in to them. Once we do, it's just a matter of time before we are back to eating the way we were. For all these reasons, diets just won't ever work or be sustainable long-term. Period again. (If I had a mic, I'd drop it right now.)

2. Change is just hard and is not sustainable long-term when fueled by negative thoughts and feelings. Most of my diet attempts were prompted by one of the following: seeing a photo of myself and reeling from the shock of reality (#mirrorsareliars), crushing on a person I was sure would never like me "as is", or New Years Eve. In these instances, my desire for change was fueled by regret, fear or a garden-variety pity party. These types of thoughts only create negative feelings which then fuel cravings which then leads to eventually diving face first into a gallon of ice cream (or pan of brownies, or bag of chips or whatever your binge food of choice is). What I've learned is that when "I'm gross" or "I'm not good enough" or "I need to stop being a failure" is not sufficient fuel for change. It is the equivalent of a bottle rocket. Sure, it will go some distance really fast, but as soon as that wick burns out, it's coming crashing to the ground...hard. To go the distance, more powerful fuel is required. Trying to sustain any long-term change on negative thoughts and feelings is like trying to get to work after topping off your tank with water. It just ain't gonna make it. The same holds true for those "bikini dreams". Vanity, envy, self-loathing, they are all the same. They create bad feelings about ourselves and will only lead to bad results. They just do. If you can't trust a dieter with a 10-year chip on this, who can you trust?

3. Change takes time. When I think about change, I immediately envision what my life will look like when I'm done. A whole movie-style montage plays in my head, complete with emotive music and the happily ever after. But, the reality is, life doesn't happen in movie montage speed, it doesn't even happen in movie speed...and neither does change. While our favorite movie character can go from dweeb to belle of the ball in approximately 90 minutes, we are stuck on the slow path, lamenting how things never seem to happen quickly and easily. But, real, true change is neither of those things. Real change takes commitment, determination, stubbornness, and, yes, a little bit of insanity (#bringingitbackaround). Ask any truly successful person their story and it won't be a 5 minute, reader's digest "I woke up one day and walked out the door and success was there waiting for me" story. It will involve setting a goal, resolving to see it to fruition, and working really hard to attain it. The story will also involve failures, disappointments and mistakes. If you're lucky, it will also involve some funny anecdotes about getting lost in Turkey without their passport or accidentally wearing their wife's jeans to work. But, mostly, it will be about trying and failing and trying again, and again, and again, until it happened. No overnight successes. No fairy godmothers. Only a dream, consistent effort, just enough insanity to never say "die", patience and some humility, because, let's face it, it's hard to get up after failing...again. 

(Author's Note: Especially when you document each attempt on FB.)

But, after these 10 years of trials and errors, and the lessons I've learned, I have no alternative other than to do the insane thing and get up, shrug my shoulders and soldier forth once again, hopefully, wiser and more determined than I was the last 75 times. 

It's a crazy idea, I know, but it's so crazy it just might work! ;)

*You might be wondering, "Well, if diets don't work, then what?" Good question! What I've found to be the most effective, most satisfying way to lose weight is this: Eat real, proper food (i.e. meat, veggies, fruit and keep dairy and refined products...such as white bread, pasta and sugar...to a minimum) and spend some time each day NOT on the couch. That doesn't have to mean a gym (#ihategyms) or a treadmill (#ihatetreadmills). It could be biking or jogging or walking around a park or exploring your city or running through the sprinkler with kiddos (or without, that's legal, too), or taking a Zumba class, or, if you're really hardcore, doing cross-fit. You'll be amazed how cooperative your body will be in terms of weight-loss when you are feeding it what it was designed to consume and using it the way it was designed to be used. #truestory The last time I "dieted" I used this method. I lost 60 lbs in 6 months. Of course my fuel/motivation was bad and I crashed and burned, but, while I was blowin' and goin' the weight just poured off of me and I almost never craved junk food! If you have been struggling with weight watchers or paleo or gluten free or whatever other diet, or if you see other diets as too restrictive, try this for a month. It will rock your world. #pinkypromise


Like most little girls, I grew up under the assumption that I loved cats. I believed this so much that I bought books about cats, hung posters of them in my room and even spent a good chunk of time cross-stitching and framing images of them for my my bedroom. The fact that my dad wouldn't allow me to have a cat was a source of great consternation and disappointment to me. 

As soon as I was out on my own and found a place that was cat-friendly, I set about finding my very own, very longed-for cat. 

Mind you, I knew nothing about caring for a cat. I'd only ever had a dog. But, I felt this was sufficient preparation for caring for a cat. I loved my dog. I wasn't afraid of her and would bathe her and check her teeth and trim her claws/nails and all that. So, I felt I was pretty well set to begin life as a cat owner.

I. Was. Wrong.

If Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, then Dogs are from Earth and Cats are from a Galaxy Far, Far Away. An aloof, at times angry Galaxy. They just aren't even in the same class of creature as dogs. The two have nothing in common whatsoever. Sure, they both, technically, have fur and claws and teeth and tails. But one is normal and the other is alien, possibly homicidal. I'll explain more later. But, first, let's talk about how I found my cat.

I was looking for a cat that was pre-owned and used to being home alone during the day. So, I hit the classifieds. This was back before Craigslist was a thing, so I grabbed an actual paper and got my fingers black searching for cats that matched my needs. 

I found one. 

The owner was going to be traveling a lot for work and needed to find a new, loving home for her precious pet. He had been neutered, de-clawed in the front, was litter box trained and would come with all of the necessary accoutrement. (I like saying that instead of "stuff". It makes me feel fancy. You should read "accoutrement" in a very bad french accent, by the way.)

It seemed like the perfect set up to me! 

The next day, I drove into the City to meet this cat and his soon-to-be former owner. 

She lived in a very high-class part of town and was also former Miss Louisiana (she also later became Mrs. Louisiana) and was super nice. The cat seemed nice, too. He came right out to say "hello" and rubbed on my legs and purred and performed tricks on command for his Beauty Queen owner.

Actual Beauty Queen. Not a simulation.

Oh, and his name was George, which I thought was funny.

"I'll hug him and squeeze him and call him George.", I thought.

He was, by no means, a kitten and was, in fact, very large. Miss Louisiana told me he was at least part Maine Coon. Now, I don't know if you know anything about Maine Coons (I certainly didn't at the time) but, they are one of the largest domestic cat breeds. To give you an idea as to size, here are a few photos.

Bigger than a Toddler.

Large and definitely in charge.

There's a human back there somewhere.

See? HUGE!

Now, George wasn't quite as big as the cats pictured above, but he was big enough. He was also free and nice (or so I thought) and house-broken and used to being home by himself. So, Miss Louisiana and I shook hands, and I headed out of her fancy apartment with my new cat.

As I drove home, I talked to George. I assured him he would like his new home and would be happy there. I imagined cuddling on the sofa watching TV with him after we got settled.  And, the thought of having someone/thing to come home to and say "good morning" and "good night" to made me smile.

SPOILER ALERT: That's not what happened. 

Once I got George and all of his "accoutrement" in my apartment, I opened his crate expecting him to look around and come over to me for some assurance or security.

He didn't.

He hissed and ran as far away from me as he could, eventually hiding under my bed. Well, you see, I forgot to let him know on our chat during the drive back that my bedroom was going to be off-limits. #mybad But, under my bed was where he wanted to be...and the stage was set for our first battle of the wills.

Helpful tip: Never go into a battle of wills with a cat without one of those chainmail suits divers use to swim with sharks.

It took approximately 2 hours of coaxing and hissing and scratching and finally a broomstick gently applied to his bottom to get George out from under my bed. By that time we were both frustrated and exhausted and done with each other. When George finally came out from the bed, he again ran as far away from me as possible and hid somewhere else. I didn't know where and I didn't care. I just wanted to vacuum my room free of what would turn out to be impossible to remove hair and go to bed.

And with that, I learned my first lesson on how cats are different than dogs: THEY don't really like people. 

When we first brought our dog home, she ONLY wanted to be with us, by us, on us, licking every exposed area of skin and wagging her tail the whole time. When we tried to pick her up, she got even more excited and peed a little. If we were outside of her field of vision, she'd bark (I presume our names) and set off to find us immediately. We were her world and she was there to love us as much as possible. 

Not so much with cats.

The next morning, I found George laying on the back of one of my sofas, looking at me as if to say "How dare you enter my domain."

He did chill out a bit though, eventually, and, at times would come over to rub on my leg and ask for some petting, but it was always on his terms. If I ever tried to spontaneously love on him without first getting express written consent, forget it. Consequently, I couldn't care for him as I needed to or when I planned to. If I had some time and figured he needed a good brushing for that crazy hair and tried to just pick him up and you know, just do it when I was ready, he'd fuss and hiss and try to run away. I'd have to wait until he came to me for attention and hope I had the brush handy...and then I'd only be allowed to brush for a few seconds until he was done with me.

(Author's Note: I got stressed out just typing that.)

Which brings me to lesson #2 on how cats are different than dogs: They couldn't care less about pleasing their humans. 

Sure, you can house train a cat, but don't be mistaken into thinking they are doing it to please you. Nope. You have given them their very own private bathroom and they will use it because it is their right, not to help you out. But, that is as far as "training" generally goes. They will do what they want, when they want and go where they want, no matter how many time you try to dissuade them. For example, George firmly believed he should sleep in my room. 


Every night, he'd paw at my door and meow in a demanding tone, insisting I let him in. One night, in exasperation, I relented. Once in my room, he expected to lay on MY pillow, not at the foot of the bed where I wanted him to lay. Finally, I had to start putting him in the spare room at night so I could get some sleep.

That's when the pouncing started...and Lesson #3 on how cats are different than dogs was learned: They always stay mostly wild.

As I mentioned above, I found my cat to be wholly un-trainable because he couldn't care less about pleasing me. In fact, he firmly believed he was the boss of me and had to beat me, or in this case, pounce me into submission. Randomly, as I was going about my normal routines in MY home, George would become displeased and pounce on my calf, even mock biting me at times. I never knew what I did to provoke him, except, you know, for the general disrespect of turning my back on him when I left the room.

Dude wanted me dead. No doubt. As far as he was concerned, life would be better with me out of it. Period.

So, basically, after a few months I became a prisoner in a home with a mangy, matted cat that didn't allow me to do anything, except his bidding of course and and the only thing I got in return was impossible to remove hair all over the place. 

Enter Lesson #4 on how cats are different from dogs: The hair! 

Now, remember, I had a dog. But,I didn't just have any dog, I had a golden retriever. They are big dogs with two coats of fur. That means they shed a lot. However, while my dog's hair would just sort of lay on the surface of whatever it touched waiting to be swept or vacuumed away, cats hair doesn't. I swear it has the elements essential for velcro or glue or static electricity because it just wouldn't come up.  I really think my vacuuming and lint brushing only served to weave the hair even more firmly into whatever fibers it was on. It was insane! But that wasn't the worst thing...

Which brings me to the final straw and final lesson on how cats are different than dogs: The. Litter. Box. 

Conceivably one of the grossest ideas ever! I don't know who thought "Hey, let's keep a box with a couple of days worth of our pet's poop and pee in the house!" But, they were clearly either complete idiots or unable to smell...possibly from the methane coming off of their litter boxes.

I don't care how often I emptied the box, which is gross enough all by itself, the smell lingered. It hung in the air like the stench of the one guy the waiting room with bad B.O. and seemed to never go away. 

Finally, I had enough of the smell and the hair and the pouncing and the sassing and the having to keep the pet I just wanted to snuggle with on the sofa locked in the guest room for my own protection. So, I decided it was time to break up with George. 

Before he left, I made sure he knew it was definitely HIM and not me. 

In all seriousness, I was so glad to see that cat gone and have my home back, I did a little weep of joy. #nojoke

Sure, it took a solid month to feel like I really had vacuumed up as much cat hair as possible and before I stopped having PTSD-induced moments where I was sure I still smelled that horrendous litter box. But, I got there and it. felt. awesome.

The experience wasn't a complete loss, though. At least now I know for certain that I do not - I repeat: NOT - love cats.

While, I still miss my dog a lot...so much so that talking about her sometimes gets me misty...I don't miss that darn cat one bit. What's more, the whole ordeal has left me so scarred that "must not have cats" is one of the few items on my list of things that would be a "deal breaker" for a potential boyfriend/husband. It falls just under "atheist", "racist" and "has an LSU tattoo".


After my first niece was born, I sort of became the family's defacto photographer. We were all obsessed with her and her cafe au lait cuteness and all the noises she made and the funny faces that often accompanied her having gas. Collectively, we must have taken 1000 photos of her in the first month, at least. Being the perfectionist that I am, I quickly became frustrated with my camera's ability to capture all of the cuteness I was trying to record for posterity.

If any of you have tried to photograph a small child with a standard point and shoot camera, you know how difficult it really is to get the shot you want. Not only are you attempting to shoot a moving target, so to speak, but the mechanisms in the camera just can't keep up with baby's fleeting smiles and silliness.

Finally, I caved and bought an SLR camera or, in layman's terms, a "fancy camera."

From that point on, I really developed a love for photography and, according to some, got pretty good at it. By the time my second niece was a toddler, I was booking photography jobs and teaching myself Photoshop in the process. It was around the same time that I started to realize what a pain in the neck weather was...or rather, how much it truly, passionately hated me.

You see, I do natural light photography, primarily. That means, my clients meet me outside and we use the sun, as opposed to a flash, for lighting...and that we spend a good bit of time walking and turning and sitting and standing to find the perfect light for our needs. It also means that, if the weather misbehaves, we can't take our pictures...and have to reschedule...and I don't get paid until later...and planned editing time gets bumped for said rescheduled session...and so then planned housework gets bumped to catch up on editing...and, so, dear readers, this is why I am often in danger of running out of gas and why my room is just never, ever clean. #thatsmystoryandimstickingtoit

So, today, as I checked the weather and saw "80% chance of rain" I thought: "Oh, weather, why do you hate me?" Because, clearly, it does. The only reason there is for rain on this day is because I have a shoot today and it likes to mess with me...obviously. I mean, we just had a ton of rain last weekend (which caused two reschedulings, by the way). It didn't have to rain today...except that the weather hates me.

It's not alone. There are several other things/people that hate me. For reals. Check it out...

1. White shirts: They attract salad dressing. #science And, wind up being equivalent of a sign on my back saying "needs a bib."
2. Bees: They chase me. I've been stung in the eye by them twice...on separate occasions.
3. Chair legs, moldings, or anything at toe-level: They just jump right out and smack my poor toes at any given opportunity. I swear, I stub my toes once or twice a week.
4. Ant piles: They, much like things at toe-level, migrate and spring up around my foot whenever I am nearby.
5. Estee Lauder: She puts something in her perfume that gives me an instant migraine, complete with nausea. #conspiracy
6. Turnstiles: Ti Ti got back...and they don't want it.
7. All chihauhuas everywhere: They bark insanely whenever I am within a 500-ft radius. Oh, wait, they do that to everyone? Ok.
8. Go-cup lids: They simply refuse to seal properly and always pour down my shirt (whether it is white or not) which winds up being the equivalent of a sign on my shirt that says "needs a sippy cup."
9. Chairs with arms.
10. Yawning: it always makes me look like I'm crying, which then leads to people asking "What's wrong? Why are you crying?" I then have to have an awkward convo where I try to explain that I was only yawning and really am ok, but I don't think they ever really believe me.
11. Math, in general, but especially anything involving theorems.
12. The State of Texas...but it's totally mutual, so it's fine.
13. Oh, and of course, point and shoot cameras.

With the exception of Texas, the hatred is totally undeserved.

White shirts are nice and the preferred shirt for family photos for some reason. Sure, it makes the family look like some sort of odd cult or scouting group, but...I mean, they're fine. I have no idea why they would hate me.

Bees are adorable and are the reason we have flowers and vegetables and fruits and honey. I love them. I love them so much, I used to spend hours catching them in jars. Oh...wait...I think I get why they hate me now.

I can't think of an "out" for chair legs, moldings and other things toe-level, though. I mean, it isn't my fault they are always in my way, causing me to slam into them with brooms or vacuums or luggage or free weights.

And, ok, fine, I used to poke at ant piles as a kid just to see them scurry. Fine. I get it. They must have ant lore that is told and retold to each generation warning of the girl who used to stick things in their homes and then stomp on them when they got to close in their attempt to escape the disaster.

But, Ms. Lauder, I cut you no slack. You have a dumb name and your perfume stinks, so much so it makes me physically ill. So...there. #stickstongueout

I do wish turnstiles liked me, though. It sure would make life easier. It would also be pretty cool if I could just jump right over them like people do in the movies. I think if I tried, though, I'd end up seeing that turnstiles hate me even more than I think they do...and then have to be rushed to the ER.

I've given up all hope of chihuahuas liking me, though. Our neighbor had one when I was a kid. Her name was "Baby." The dog hated me. No matter how often I tried to play with her or be nice to her or cuddle with her or smoosh her face and talk baby talk to her, she'd always just growl and snap and run away from me. It makes no sense. I'm delightful!

As for go-cup lids...jokes on you! I stopped drinking soft drinks or eating fast food. So...I win!

Chairs with arms, Yawning, Math and point and shoot cameras...you're dead to me. #ripsblouse #OTstyle

Next time, we'll discuss the cat that wanted me dead. You won't want to miss it.

National Donut Day

Dear "The People in Charge of Making up Fake National Holidays",
Today was National Donut Day. Thank you for reminding us to eat donuts. Or, in my case, making me really want a donut when I wouldn't want one otherwise.

Google the word "donut" and this is what you get.

You food industry and marketing people are really, really good at reminding us to eat every 15 minutes whether we are hungry or not. On the short drive between my home and my parents, there are 40+ restaurants and billboards and, yes, donut shops, reminding my senses to eat. My waistline is proof that your efforts have been successful. So, well done. 

If only there were 40 libraries and bookstores and museums within each 5 mile radius, we'd be kicking Japan's butt in the smarts department!

Which gets me thinking, maybe you could make up some holidays that help us as a people instead of ones that just encourage us to eat things we probably shouldn't each much of anyway? Maybe some like this:

National Eat Kale Because There are Starving Kids in Africa (and it's good for you, too) Day.

  • National Eat Kale Because There are Starving Kids in Africa (and *whispers* it's good for you, too)
  • National Walk Around the Block Day.
  • National Call your Mother for Heaven's Sake Day.
  • National Don't go to McDonald's Day.
  • National Wear Your Favorite Outfit Day.
  • National Get a Pedicure Day. (A.K.A. National "Girl Your Feet Need Help" Day)
  • National Sleep 'Til 10am Day.
  • National Bring Flowers to a Co-Worker Day.
  • National "Let it Go" Sing-Along Day.

 I'm pretty sure Michelle Obama be on board with most of these...if that matters to you at all.

Salivating on Her Sofa


Some of my friends and family kind of got upset by the jokes I made at my own expense in yesterday's post. They thought I was trashing myself and got a little defensive for me, just as they would if some big, mean bully were saying not nice things about me. So, just in case any of you other lovely readers felt bad or got the urge to rush to my defense, let me set your minds at ease. 

Well, first, let me just say, um...I AM fat and single and spend 80% of my time alone with only myself to talk to. Them's just the facts. Good, bad or indifferent. I know some SAHM's who probably think I'm living the dream (#imnot) and other people that think I'm among those most to be pitied (#itsnotthatbad), but the reality is, it just is what it is, or at least, it is what it has been up to this point. 

Every day those realities are there and are something I have to deal with as best I can. On a good day, I lean into God, take steps towards being the best me I can, and sing a lot. Some days, I admit, it is hard and I wind up throwing myself a kick-ass pity party. Other days, I'm having too much fun to care. But, every day, I have to figure out a way to deal. When life gets hard, my mom sometimes says "You can either laugh or cry..." and yesterday, I chose to laugh. Those jokes weren't veiled self-pity or attempts to fish for assurances or compliments; there was no pang in my chest or tears to choke back as I wrote them. They were jokes, plain and simple...jokes based on difficult and, at times, painful realities about my life, but, jokes, just the same. So, as I told my friends and family, #calmdown. I'm ok...and no nachos were consumed in the writing of yesterday's post, or afterwards.

To those same friends and family who did get upset with/for me...I love that you love me that much.



Day 30: #FAQ

Well, readers and friends, the #30daysofred experiment is over. I may post a summary of the month at some point when I'm feeling more introspective and less emotional than I am today, but, in the meantime, here are a few FAQs that should answer many of your nagging questions.

I don't feel like reading all of your other posts, so, can you just tell me what the whole #30daysofred was about? Oh, and by the way, who is Fred?
(cough)#yourelazy(cough) I mean, um, Hi...I guess. Thanks for asking? First, there is no Fred. Well, I mean, there ARE Fred's out there in the wide world, I suppose. Do people still name people "Fred?" Well, if not baby Freds, I'm sure there are Old men named, Fred, maybe even some ladies, and for sure some dogs. My friend once had a dog named Fred who was kind of a maniac. He ate hot bacon right out of the skillet as it was cooking. There's also Fred Willard who is a pretty funny dude. And, of course, Drop Dead Fred, if you believe in imaginary friends/people. But, my #30daysofred isn't about them, or any Fred, really. It is about RED, as in 30 Days of Red. One day, I wore a red outfit with red lipstick and red nails and I was a giddy sassypants all day. So, after a particularly trying month, I decided I'd wear something red, even if it was just lipstick or nail polish, every day for 30 days in the hopes of having at least a few moments of feeling like a giddy sassy pants each day. And, then, I blogged about it semi-regularly, and took a lot of selfies. A lot. Some people seemed to enjoy it (Hi Mom and (insert random FB friend, here).

Did wearing red REALLY make you happier?
What an obvious excellent question! Well, after crunching the numbers, it appears that the red was most effective between the hours of 6:30am and 7:30am Monday - Friday and also showed a significant spike at 5:30pm Monday - Thursday and 1130am on Fridays...which also coincides with the time just before arriving at work and the time I typically leave work. So...I may need to run the numbers again, accounting for the whole "not having to be at work euphoria" thing. I'll get back to you on that.

How many tubes of red lipstick do you own?
About 12. I really like red lipstick. 
I know you're shocked by that personal revelation.
What's your favorite red nail polish?
I was hoping someone would ask this question!! My most favorite red nail polish of all time is Rapid Red by Sally Hansen...it's part of their Insta-Dry line. It is the prettiest, happiest shade of red, dries super fast (which is important if you're like me and always have a need to fish something out of your purse or wash dishes or weed a garden immediately after polishing your nails) and is pretty shiny even without a top coat. The best part is, it doesn't cost $8 or $9 dollars and lasts pretty well, too! #notanad

Where does your red hair come from?
The drugstore. Loreal #6R - Light Auburn...because life's too short to walk around with dishwater blonde hair. #imworthit

Don't you have a life?
Yes. Of course. But, it is mostly online and via text. Shut up...that does too still count.

Are you medicated?
I am self-medicated, but like with nachos and chocolate, not anything hardcore like "the drugs." I grew up in the 80s and learned to "Just say no."

Follow-up question: What is wrong with you? 
First of all, #rude. But, I feel like that is one of those questions you might get at an interview where they ask you to list your weaknesses just to make you say bad things about yourself. But, any good interviewee knows you just say really good things (#lies) about yourself to try and impress the interviewer. So, I'll answer this question that way... I'm often too hilarious. I care too much about people that I love. I am, at times, too adorable and delightful. I am also unapologetically sarcastic.

Are you 12? 
Your mom is 12.

Have you ever been in love? 
Yes. Many times. Madly. Deeply. But, it was usually with a character in a movie or a plate of nachos...so...you know...it just never worked out.

What is your dream man like? 
John Goodman.

Why are you still single?
Are you patronizing me? Have you seen me? Let’s just say, if people were geographic regions, I’d need my own zip code, and guys tend to like girls who are more like cute little villages that aren’t even big enough to have their own police force. Slimsville - population 100-105.

What's your favorite movie?
I’ve never had one favorite anything. Not one favorite color. Not one favorite song. Not one favorite book. Not one favorite example of things I don’t have one favorite of. But, to answer the question at hand…The grown-up response would be: "The Color Purple." That movie guts me. Every. Time. In fact, I can only watch it once every 12-1/2 years because it takes me that long to emotionally recover. But, my "real" favorite movie would be a four-way tie between: Encino Man, Drop Dead Fred, Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre.

What's your favorite color?
You'd think that would be obvious on account of the whole #30daysofred thing. But, surprise twist, I'm a complex person. As I mentioned in the answer above, I’ve never had one favorite anything in my entire life. I do love red. It makes me happy in a special way, but I also really love turquoise and yellow a lot, too. I mean, I guess it depends on context, as well. For example, if I'm looking for a dress, well usually I'd go for black on account of still believing the whole “black is slimming” lie. (I've worn head to toe black and still looked ginormous. So, I've concluded that black is only slimming on slim people and all fashion people are liars. #totallyreasonable) Ok, so if I'm looking for a shirt, I'll go for jewel tones. If I'm looking for lipstick or nailpolish or hair dye, or desk accessories, red is definitely my default. If I'm looking for jewelry or purses, I always gravitate towards the aqua or turquoise. If I'm decorating my kitchen or wanting to buy flowers, yellow will win more than any other color. In fact, I'm writing a book on which color I prefer in any and every fashion or decorating situation. It will be titled "No One Cares: A love story."

Are you related to Tina Fey or Tina Turner or Teena Marie or Tina Louise? 
Um...that's not how that works.

Was the song "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" written about you?
Yes. #duh

Do you believe in aliens?
Not really. I mean, anything is possible, but, I’m not holding out any hope of finding a adorably ugly alien bff in the woods who I’ll then bring home to live in my closet and eat Reese’s Pieces. But, I also don’t believe in Dubai or Quinoa…so what do I know?

Are you Rob Base?
If I had a nickle for every time I was asked this question… But, no. Though, I pretty much always wanna rock right now and always come to get down and am known to rock a microphone, I AM, however, Internationally Known...so, I can't possibly be Rob Base.

Who is Rob Base?
Well, Grandma, Rob Base is a rapper from the 90s. He, and his partner DJ EZ Rock, are most famous for this song, the lyrics of which are cleverly quoted in the answer above.
I’ll leave you now to enjoy the rhymes of Mr. Base. #yourewelcome

Thanks for playing along these past 30 days.

Until next time, readers…

Peace, love and red lipstick,