If you can't say something nice, at least make it funny!

Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Thursday, July 28

Here's to Hope!

Last night Nashville television viewers said goodbye to long time local sports anchor Hope Hines. Hope was a staple, having been on the air at Nashville's CBS affiliate since the early 1970's. I don't mind saying, that's about as long as I can remember.

For whatever reason, during all my years in Nashville I was a "News Channel 5" girl. If I turned on the evening news it was for then national anchor Dan Rather, and if I turned on local news it was to see Chris Clark, Amy Marsalis, Ron Howes, and Hope Hines. I am not sure what fixed this preference, although my parents still watch all their news on Channel 5 so it must have started there.

One thing I found interesting during our move to Pennsylvania is how attached we become to our local anchors and other news people. In the beginning it was disconcerting enough to have to watch news in an area I knew nothing about. I didn't get the traffic reports, I didn't know the townships or the local officials. Harrisburg was a much smaller market than Nashville and their newsrooms (and the on-air broadcasters) seemed like amateur hour in comparison to those in Nashville. Add to that being in a different time zone and having the evening news come on at 11 rather than 10....well, I felt like my life was in an uproar.

When you think about it, we allow these people into our homes every day. They bring us the information we need to plan, to live, and to be informed about what is going on in our community. Although now I am about an hour from Nashville, I still watch the Nashville news every morning and evening. There's something so comforting about being back and being able to watch those familiar faces again. Even though Chris Clark (legendary local news anchor since the 60's) retired while we were gone, they did me the favor of hiring a younger look-a-like version, just to keep us all comfortable.

I remember years ago hubby and I were in the Carribean, winding up the vacation from hell. (that's an entire post on its own) We moved into a nice hotel for the final 2 days of our vacation after sleeping 3 nights in an outdoor cabin on a mountainside with nothing but a concrete floor, a roof, and screened walls around it. When we arrived at our luxurious room and both took long, hot showers and each collapsed on our own clean fluffy bed. We were so delighted to turn on the TV and find who else but Chris Clark doing the Nashville news via satellite. There was something about that which provided comfort and allowed us to relax and enjoy our final two days. I can't explain it.

So here's to Hope Hines and all the other local news people. You let us all in. Let us all feel as though we somehow know you. Thank you for coming into our homes everyday and keeping us informed. And sometimes making us laugh. Watching the tribute show last night it seemed apparent that Hope was every bit as congenial in real life as he is on the screen. Always joking, willing to be humble and laugh at himself, and friendly with everyone around him.

What am I gonna do this football season? No Coach Fisher. No Hope Hines. It's not gonna be right. Mike Keith, you better not retire anytime soon. There's only so much change a girl can deal with.

We're gonna miss ya', Hope! And JB, too!

Thursday, July 14

Split Apart

Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challenge, hosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. Click the link to read the other entries–good stuff over there!

This week's prompt was “split”.

Doesn't she know her words cause me pain? Real, true, stabbing icy pain in the pit of my stomach. If she did, would she cast them so carelessly? Purposely? I feel my heart deflate as my eyes fill with hot, stinging tears. Suddenly, the realization hits me and I feel like I've been split apart by talons in my soft underbelly. 

What I want to say I cannot. Instead, I simply say quietly, “I feel so sorry for you. I really do." 

She is missing out on the real person I am by always regretting the perfect person I'm not.

Sunday, July 10

What Not to Wear: Summertime Vol. 1

OK people. Y'all know I am not one to make general proclamations. I am not one to judge people by their looks. I am not one......awwww screw it. There is something I want to get straight right now while it is fresh on my mind. Stop wearing muscle shirts.

We went out to dinner tonight and during the course of our evening, from beginning at the restaurant to the end at the ice cream place, I saw no less than 5 men wearing these abominable excuses for acceptable clothing. The muscle shirt. Sleeveless t-shirt. The first was a man in his 60's who was actually wearing a button-down, oxford cloth shirt, sans sleeves neatly tucked into his belted Tommy Hilfiger khaki's. Honestly. I don't get it.

The second was a man in his 50's at the ice cream place who was wearing shorts and a white sleeveless t-shirt. And the kids who were with him? In their pajamas. At 7pm. Third and fourth offenders were two little boys, also wearing muscle shirts. That's child abuse, ya'll, they can't dress themselves. The fifth? Was a woman. Still not OK. Worse, actually.

No man. NO man. NO MAN in the WORLD, DO YOU HEAR ME? There is not a man alive who NEEDS to wear those hideous t-shirts with the arms cut out. Or made without arms. Or whatever. There's just no call for it. I see it everywhere and guess what? It's not fashionable, it's not attractive, and I don't care if Paul, Sr. wears them and he's on TV and all, it's just NOT acceptable.
I mean seriously?
You want to look like this doofus?

If you are a grown man? I don't care if you are mowing the yard, or digging a hole or working out at the gym. Whether you are playing baseball, getting ice cream, or just walking around the block. Even in the fires of hell almighty it isn't so hot that you can not stand that extra 3 or 4 inches of material in shirt sleeves.

And if it's a fashion thing? I am sorry. I am sorry for you. I am sorry for your wife, your kids, and your parents to ever have to be seen with you looking like that. And speaking of kids? This goes for them too. Do not put your little boys in something that a 1970's porn star would even think twice before wearing.

or this doofus?
really? you want your kids inspired
by the likes of this guy?
Now I do want to specify that I am talking about muscle shirts. A t-shirt made without sleeves or with the sleeves cut out. Like this.

or this.
OK, well this guy is super cute, but still?
The shirt makes him look doofusey.
King Doofus of Meathead!

or heaven forbid, this.

I am not talking necessarily about an undershirt, tank top, or "A shirt" like this.

Mmmmmmm. Nice!

All of which are acceptable IF you have the arms to show it off. And even then there are really truly few occasions that truly warrant pulling out the "wife beater". And that's an entire other blog, by the way. Oh, and speaking of tank tops? String tank tops, well, just read this hilarious post which echos my feelings on that. They make me want to gouge my eyes out, too, dude.

I am sure this will offend some of you, but it's more than me just expressing my opinion. This is meant as a public service announcement.  There's no excuse. Stop it. Honestly...

Monday, July 4

Significant Events and the Time Space Continuum

I'm offering up a just a quick little thoughtful post today, as July 4th is a day of some importance to hubby and me. Last year on July 4th I posted "What Doesn't Kill You...." covering the events that happened to us on July 4, 2000. If you don't know our story, feel free to read it.

The following is an excerpt from a speech I wrote when I was member of a local Toastmasters group a couple years ago. It was an introductory "getting to know me" type speech in which I used my thoughts on the concept of time and how we measure it to introduce myself to the group. This portion shows a bit about my thoughts on how the accident affected us and our life.

We all have 24 hours in the day, 1,440 minutes. 4-6 minutes of time seems like not much in the grand scheme of things. Me, personally, it seems that I have an ongoing battle with time.

Here I am at 6:45 in the morning, rushing to leave the house to get here on time. 6:45 is my drop dead time, in the car, coat on, cell phone and purse backing out....but 6 am or pm, it is always the same scenario...damp hair, rushing around, shoes and keys needing to be located. It seems I am always rushing to be on time!!

I leave everything to the last minute, I am always hurrying to get here or there, I worry about being late, hate being early, because it is a waste of time. When you think of it, why is there such importance on something so really intangible? You can't see time, so how do we know it is there?

On the broad scale of time, I seem to get off easy. One of the most common ways people seem to measure time is by their children's ages. Because I do not have children, just 2 cats, I don't have that "mark" that requires me to admit my real age. Some friends and family members my age actually have not only grown children but grandchildren. I suppose I could, too, had I gotten married at 18, stayed home and had babies like everyone else in the small KY town where I grew up. I chose to leave home, go to the "big city" Nashville, TN, attend college, study business management, and go to work to support myself.

Another way we measure time is by use of that time, how much we get done. At age 18 I was living on a college campus, working trying to pay my tuition without any assistance from my family. Every moment of my day was scheduled. I had retail jobs, nanny jobs, catering jobs, classes, bible study and church. And there never was enough time to study and do research, homework, everything that was required. 

By age 22 I had my first real job, full time. I kept books for a company that owned a restaurant and nightclub. I worked my day job and 3 part-time jobs to pay bills. Until the age of 24 I literally left my apartment at 7am and most days didn't get home until 10pm. Looking back I don't know when I had time to sleep. But I made connections and developed a work ethic that would cause me to succeed later in life. 

By the age of 29 I had moved up the ladder into a the corporate position I had longed for. My job required long hours and a lot of travel. My days were full of project schedules, deadlines, airport schedules and a dayplanner was by now a regular part of my life, a necessary evil. I had no choice but to be on time.

We also measure by significant events. 27 years since I started driving, 26 years since graduating high school, 17 happy years of marriage.  My biggest significant event was that in July 2000 my husband was flying in a small-engine aircraft that crashed upon takeoff. He was trapped inside the burning plane for almost 10 minutes before being rescued. Time as I knew it would come to an end that day. 

When the accident happened I took a leave of absence from my job and sank into the ultimate time vacuum. The hospital waiting room. A place where every second counts, but time does not matter. There are no schedules, no appointments, no rules when you are in a hospital. Time, clocks, the calendar, days of the week are all indistinguishable when you are waiting for someone to wake up. I remember leaving the hospital for lunch one day with a friend and I remember looking around, and being amazed that life was still going on. Time still was moving on as quickly as ever.

Since this occurrence, I found it impossible to go back to the corporate culture I had been in before. Several years ago I decided to begin an entirely new career which would give me something I would actually enjoy doing, working with people, along with flexibility with my work hours, and not tie me to a desk 40 hours a week. From that career I gained the confidence I needed to return to school and complete a degree in graphic design, allowing me to pursue a career path I had been long wishing to follow.

Something like that can really change the way you look at time. My husband fought hard to get more time on this earth. I realized how precious time really is....time with your loved one, time with family, time spent on doing the important things, and things that make you happy.

Every moment is a precious commodity, completely non-renewable. And yet, with the dawn of each new day, every one of us once again has the same amount of time for that day, 24 hours. 1,440 minutes.

Today and every day, I hope you appreciate each and every moment of time you have in this world. Don't ever squander your time on things that don't matter, people who don't care, or projects that aren't important. Love those in your life but above all, love yourself.

Sunday, July 3

In Which I Admit to NOT Being a Real Girl

I am not really a girlie-girl. I fully admit that. I did all of that in elementary school, even junior high. I held big sleepovers and birthday parties, and I was invited to them. I was a girl scout, a baton twirler, and wore my hair long and in curls. But by the time I was in high school I got along better with the boys than I did with girls. I was never invited to any girlie sleepovers. I had friends good friends who were girls, don't get me wrong. I just wasn't into the group events of squealing, gossiping, hair do-ing, nail-painting or any of that other stuff.

As an adult I have accepted certain girlie tendencies into my life. I like a good haircut, mani/pedi? Yes, please! But there is one girlie activity I have never been able to understand. The bath. I am not a bath person. At all. I just don't get it. I love to read, watch tv, listen to music, shop, paint, I just can't see sitting in a tub full of tepid water for hours on end and finding it to be enjoyable.

Now, let me say that until I was about 12, we lived in a house that had no shower.  It was an old farmhouse and there was only a bathtub. I had to bathe and wash my waist-length hair in the tub, my mother pouring pitcher after pitcher of water over my hair to rinse out the shampoo. I hated it. Once we moved into a home in KY with a shower, I rarely took baths again.

A few weeks ago, I had to do a detox bath as part of my diet regimen. Epsom salt and baking soda. It's supposed to release all the toxins from your body. The bad part of it? 20 minutes minimum, 40 recommended. Ugh. Kill me now. So I put it off as long as I possibly could. Finally, I had to do it. I had a plan to help my enjoy it, make the time go more quickly. I would light some candles and turn the light off. Bring in my mp3 player and listen to some good tunes including, but not limited to, Social Distortion, Rev. Horton Heat, Billie Holiday and the Black Eyed Peas. (yea, I'm eclectic in my musical taste)

But this was not to be as my batteries were dead and for once there were no AAA's to be found in the house. I found myself looking at the prospect of 40 minutes in solitary with nothing but my thoughts to get me through. Okay, I think, I can do this. I need some time to think about my long neglected novel. Do some plot development and work out some new characters. I climb into the hot water and lie there.

My time in the tub, went something like this:

"OK. I can do this. I can. 40 minutes. That isn't that long. I am not going to go crazy sitting still with absolutely nothing to do for 40 minutes. I will be fine. I'll think about my novel. Work out some plot issues. Maybe try to come UP with a plot, even, that'd be nice. Yes. OK.

Man! This is so boring. Why couldn't I have found batteries??! Ok, forget that. Focus on the novel. 

How long has it been since I have written anything on that anyway? I tell people I am working on a novel, but it has been months since I've added one word to it. Can I count that? 

OK, the novel, the novel, the novel. Focus, Marsha. Thinking about the novel. Who can she meet next? 

Those writers I met at the SoKY book fest were really super nice. I can't wait to read one of Ad's books. I need to get out and buy one. I am so glad I got that book from Molly Harper, she has a great style. So easy to read. 

Who knew there'd ever be a werewolf book that I like. Hmmmm. Maybe I should add a werewolf girl to my novel. NO! No! Don't be ridiculous.

My blog is so neglected. I really really need to get back to a regular schedule with that. Maybe even just 2 or 3 times per week. I know I can come up with something that often. I hate that I have let it go. 

Stupid, stupid class, why did I ever take that grammar class. I'm hungry. I am starving to death. I can't wait until I am done with this 6 weeks. I am just going to be done. I don't care what the number is, I will worry about it later. 

Okay! It has to be at least 15 or 20 minutes. Looking at timer.....WHAAAT!??? I have been in here FOUR MINUTES. Ooooooohhhhhhh. HOLY HELL!!!! I am going to die in this bathtub. Just die of boredom. How the HELL do people do this? What is enjoyable about it? AAARRRRRRGH!!!! This. is. torture!!!!!!! 

Okay, okay, I need to focus. Maybe if  I move my legs up here...every time I sit in the bathtub I think about how people in the movies get their toe stuck in the faucet. Or maybe it was just that episode of Emergency back in the 70's. How embarrassing would that be. 

How would you ever even call for help if that happened?  Who takes their phone to the bathroom? Not me. Do people do that? Maybe I should have done that. I'd sure be less bored right now. Who would I talk to for 40 minutes? Other than my mom which would totally stress me out. 

WOW. Now I really want to stick my toe in the faucet. I didn't even consider it but now that I think of it, that opening seems plenty big. I don't think my toe could get stuck. NO!!!! Do NOT even think of it. 

How embarrassing would it be to have the paramedic come get you wet, naked, and wrinkled from the bathtub. Hmmmm. Well, if he looked like Johnny Gage from Emergency it might not be THAT bad. NO, no, no!!! Do NOT stick your toe in there. Think of something else. Right now.

Why is that song in my head? What is that song? I don't even know who sang it. Some 80's metal band that I didn't even listen to. Where have I even heard that song recently? 

RAAAAH! It has to be almost 40 minutes, yet the timer says 9. OH GOD. I am not going to make it. So. Bored. 

Hey!! that's cool!!! When I wiggle my feet like that it makes waves all the way around the edges. Neat! Wonder what happens if I move my legs up and down....oops. Yeah, won't do that again. Heh....Need to remember to clean up that water when I get out.... 

Gosh, I need to do a blog post.  I have got to start making time for my writing and stop letting other things distract me. Speaking of which I wonder if people thought my 100 Words post this week was from the novel or autobiographical. 

Oh, well, no matter...I need to get back into 100 Words every week. I have really been slacking on that. She's doing that Artist's Way think, I am already behind on that and it's only the first week. Okay, 10 minutes down.

Geez, (pushing on my stomach) how many layers of fat are over my hipbones? *Tap, tap, smoosh* I remember when it was concave, when I was first married and in my 20's. *drumming on stomach, splashing water everywhere*  

Maybe I should scooch down until my legs are sticking up out of the water and my shoulders are submerged...Oops. Won't do that again. Oh, well, had to clean up water anyway.....NINE MORE MINUTES!!???? AAAAAGGGHHHH I AM not going to make it!

Well, you get the picture. I don't like taking baths, I don't get it. Obviously I did live through it, lasting 22 minutes. But it will be years before I take another bath. Honestly...

Saturday, July 2

The Swing

Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challengehosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. Click the link to read the other entries–good stuff over there! 

This week's prompt was "resistance". 

She wrapped her legs around the rope and settled herself on the round seat. Her feet barely touched the ground as she pushed back and launched herself. The light breeze offered no resistance and she flew, high and long, over the green summer lawn.

Suddenly life was still for a moment. Caught in that millisecond of hangtime between flying up and falling down. The feeling made her giddy and lightheaded, then made her stomach lurch as she began the inevitable descent. 

Years later she would remember that feeling, and wonder how to capture that perfect balance between flying and falling.

Here I Go Again

OK... so... well... my intentions were good. Yesterday I got home and was surfing around wondering how I could kick my own arse into sitting down and writing every day like I used to. Taking that class this spring completely threw my life out of kilter, worst idea ever.

I don't care if it is a return to my partially completed novel, or the memoir I started this spring, renewing my commitment to this blog or actually posting the first thing on my other (and basically so far non existent) blog, "The Graphic Des-winer" in which (the idea was) I pick wines for the quality of their label design then review them and rate the quality of the wine to the quality of the design on the label. I need to do something. I need to be writing. Not just want. Need.

I had been thinking about this all week, and yesterday like magic a post shows up in my Twitter feed. NaBloPoMo. It's a project on BlogHer that started as a goof off  on NaNoWriMo. The goal is to post something to your blog every day for a month. The idea is to get you in the daily writing habit.

Well, everyone knows I am a sucker for a challenge like this, and it was the first day of a new month, so I immediately sign up. At 6pm. On July 1. Before I know it, it's 10 pm, time for bed, and although I have been thinking about what to post I have already missed the very first day of the challenge.

This time, though, I am going to try a new outlook. Rather than saying "I missed the first day, why bother?" I am going to keep going and say "Well, July still has 30 days and that's 30 days of writing, repetition, and habit-making." This will be a very new approach for me, this sort of mind set. I am the world's worst "all or nothing" type person. If I am going to do something, whether it is a job,  a volunteer commitment, taking a class, or just my silly challenges, I am going to do it well. If I can't I won't do it. I won't finish. I will quit if I can't be/do/give 100%. Why bother?

I am not at all suggesting that this is an admirable mindset. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It keeps me from trying and doing a lot of things. It slows me down and stresses me out. It causes me to be unable to shortcut anything.

Now, I am not at all saying shortcuts are good or admirable. However, sometimes doing a light 15 minute quickie cleanup on your office is better than being overwhelmed and not cleaning up at all. Letting things pile up for months because you don't know where to start or don't have the tools (or skills) to organize all the junk and papers that are piling up.

It's just like with my existing non-existent blog. I have to start somewhere, but the fear that my post will be less than great keeps me from posting at all. Meanwhile it's just been sitting there. For almost a year. Waiting on me. Much like this blog has been for months now.

Well, so here we go. I plan to post every day and not just scrap the entire month because I missed July 1 posting. I will use the daily prompts if needed. Also, I will get back into the 100 Word Challenge because I enjoy it. Because I need it. And because those peeps are the closest thing to a writing group I have right now.

I look forward to seeing you all a lot more and hope to have you comment on the things I am writing. I have a lot of fun things planned in my head, most of which I may throw out half-baked just to push myself. Check out the link on the right hand column of my page for more about NaBloPoMo and a blogroll of who is participating. It should be fun!