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...

Saturday, December 31

Thorns, Roses, Rosebuds 2011 edition

My tweepie @jana0926 is once again doing her annual "Thorns, Roses, and Rosebuds" post and I am going to participate again. You can read her full story of where it comes from at jana's thinking place. She challenged her readers to do a similar post, so this is mine. One thorn, two roses and three rosebuds.

Thorn = a not-so-fun/bad/sad thing that happened
Rose = the highlight, a wonderful thing that happened this year
Rosebud = something you are looking forward to for next year

Thorn- My thorn. Well, I think for me it is the disappointment in myself for letting so many things slide. This blog, first and foremost. I just haven't put the time, thought and effort into it that I was previously investing. But there are other things in my life I've let slide too, for instance exercising and going to the gym, taking classes, writing my daily pages, and keeping up with my google reader and all the blogs of all my buddies that I love reading every week. 
( I am purposely avoiding the still-a-thorn financial situation because I am just sick of thinking about it)

Roses- My first rose for 2011 is the writing opportunity I have had this year. I've been writing feature stories on a regular basis for our hometown newspaper. I actually started late in 2010, but I am still going to count it as a rose for this year. I know it's goofy, and it's just a small town paper, and it's nothing big or life changing or bank account padding. But you know what? I freaking love it! And I get a check. For writing! Wow, I just can't tell you how that is such a dream come true for me.

My second rose for this year is...well...it's hard to say. It just hasn't been an over-the-top year for us in any way. I guess the second rose is that my husband and I have opened up a line of communication and are being much more open with each other than ever before. We've always been extremely close, and reaching a new level after 17+ years of marriage isn't easy, but this has added a new level to our relationship and I am so thankful for this.

Rosebuds- My first rosebud for 2012 is that maybe, possibly, hopefully... there might just be a light at the end of the financial tunnel. I hope. I also hope it's not just the train.

My second rosebud is that I am looking forward to meeting new people, seeing new things and going to new places this year. My writing for the newspaper has allowed me to meet people I never would have otherwise and I LOVE it. I am learning that everyone really does have a story, and I consider myself lucky to be the one to tell it.

My third rosebud is an opportunity I have to do more writing in what is a new medium for me. I remember the days when I never wanted anyone to read the pieces I wrote. Now? I love sharing my thoughts. And I love getting paid for it.

And I love all my friends, bloggy friends, tweepies, and readers. Heres a glass raised to kicking 2011 in the ass!!! And I hope your 2012 is full of blooms!

Sunday, December 25

More Christmas Confessions

Well, everyone who has been around Tinfoil Magnolia for a while knows my stance on the holiday season. In case you've forgotten, or don't know, or are new in these parts, here's a link to last year's Christmas Confessions as a refresher. Christmas and I have a complicated relationship. 
I was raised in a "Christian" household. My parents were both really non-religious until they found God and were baptized as adults when I was somewhere around 4 years old. I still remember that night the preacher came to our door and stayed for hours talking to them. I wondered if he'd ever leave because I was tired and wanted to go to bed.
After that, we were packed up each Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening without fail to attend the Church of Christ down the block from our house in Franklin, TN. I was sent to kindergarten there. As a kid, I had already been celebrating Christmas as a time to get presents, see Santa, put up a tree, and have big family dinners. The church my parents chose to attend really did nothing special to celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. No plays or pageants, no manger scene on the front lawn, no special music (they don't believe in instrumental music anyway, all acapella), no Christmas Eve candlelight services. At most, it was recognized in the story of the "virgin birth" being told on Sunday morning.
Although I grew up to be a good Christian girl, studying my bible and attending regularly with my parents, caroling at the nursing homes and to shut ins during high school, and attending Christian college, there still remained in my mind a strange dichotomy about Christmas and the commercial, social holiday versus the religious aspect. 
Time spend in that Christian college pushed me away from religion, and over the years of my 20's, I separated myself from it totally.  I can't quite say I am atheist, mainly because I think it takes too much arrogance to believe 100% either way. I am definitely agnostic, questioning, learning, open, secular and skeptical. One thing I am not is a "Christian", nor do I embrace  the beliefs that go along with it.
So Christmas is a strange time for me. I think more people than will admit it celebrate it as a more commercial holiday. After all, it's really about the spirit of giving isn't it? It's about winter, and hot chocolate and spending time with family. It's about light and Santa and kids full of anticipation and excitement. 
It is also a time of pressure, stress, and going into debt for your kids to have the most and best. This is the part I have trouble connecting to the religious side of it. I just wouldn't think if you believe in celebrating Dec. 25 as the birth of a man who basically lived his life with no worldly posessions, one who went around with whores and lepers and doing good and preaching peace and basically being a hippie for 30-something years.... Oh, and lived in Jerusalem. Then how do pine trees, and gifts, and snow and a mythical figure like Santa Claus fit with this? I just don't know. But I am sure there are plenty of people who can justify it in their minds. I never could.
I was talking with someone at work the other day who knows I don't "do" religion. We talked about caroling to shut ins and nursing homes back in the day. He said, "wow, you were a good little Christian girl, weren't you?" I said, "yeah, what happened?" with a laugh, then added, "I actually still do a lot of volunteering and stuff in the community. You know, even though I am not religious. " To which he laughed and replied, "See? Hedging your bets aren't you? Just in case."
(I won't even go into how offensive this remark is to me) 
Not to sound too Pollyanna, or naive or whatever but I'm not. I'm not doing it for any reward, heavenly or otherwise. I do it, I volunteer, I give, I do, just because it's what we should do. And that's what I told him. "We are all here on this earth together and we are meant to help one another. If we don't, who will?" And I am not trying to be magnanimous or self-serving here. I really truly believe this in a real, humble, and valid way. I believe it with all my heart.
Merry Christmas, Y'all. 


Thursday, December 8

The First Installment

Well, today is the first installment in a new feature here at Tinfoil Magnolia called "What to do? Wednesday". It's an advice column because I am just so full of good advice I am bursting at the seams. It is not, as my husband pointed out, advice on how to spend your Wednesday afternoon. And it is being posted on Thursday morning this week.

I spent the entire day Wednesday trying to get caught up on some design projects that I'm behind on. Seems like when I think something will take an hour it takes five so what do I know, right? I have solicited questions and actually had two unwitting victims. Anyway, let us move forward to the first installment of....
What to Do?
Dear Ms. Marsha,

My husband has retired and makes fun of me because I have to get up and go to work everyday. How do I subtly tell him to stop this behavior before I have to kill him? Also, how do I get lipstick out of a silk blouse? Thanks in advance for your advice.

Don't-wanna-be-a-killer Kaye
Murfreesboro, TN

Dear Kaye, 

First of all thank you for submitting your problem to What to Do? Wednesday! You are my first letter. This is an interesting problem and one which I've actually been hearing from a lot of women lately.

My first thought is that perhaps your husband is jealous that you are still working.I mean you leave the house every day to be a working, productive member of society. Working people today are sick to death of supporting those who don't work! Most especially those so-called "retired" people. I mean really, they think they can spend, what, 30 or 40 years working and then just lay around all the time living off the government? Seriously. It has to be embarrassing for him.

I say first line of defense is to point out how lazy he is, I mean there are "retired" people all over the country working the slowest checkout lines known to man at Wal-Mart. Make sure he knows that you feel him to be inferior for taking advantage of the working man. If that doesn't work, suggest he start a business. I know he's a psychiatrist or something like that right? Have him start seeing patients in your home. With any luck, maybe one of them will do your job for you!

As far as the lipstick in the silk blouse, try sticking a piece of scotch tape over it, rubbing it down and then pull off as much of the lipstick as possible. If it is a washable silk, then spot clean with a bar soap and was as directed. If it is dry clean only then I can't help you there. Go to the dry cleaners nearest you and bring the lipstick with you so they are aware of what is in it.

Which brings up an interesting question. Is this your silk blouse or his? Because if it's his, as Seinfeld says, laundry may not be your biggest problem!

Ms. Marsha

Dear Ms. Marsha, 

Our son has broken his retainers TWICE! What should we do after the beatings?

Ever ready Eddie
Brentwood, TN

First of all I know you and I know you like to joke. I am sure you're kidding about the beatings. Although one never knows about those Southern conservatives....hmmmmm..... Just kidding, Ed.

I don't have kids so giving advice to parents is a bit tougher for me but I tell you what I think about this situation. This kid should be more responsible! Next time he breaks it make him pay for the new one if it takes him until he's 21. I am sure he can get out and hustle to mow lawns next summer.

Failing that, really the best punishment is just to not replace it again. I mean, he's the one who is going to have to flirt with girls with those crooked teeth, not you! What do you care, you've handled your responsibility as a parent by just giving him the braces and trying to make him less offensive to the female species. Now it's up to him. 

Kisses to your beautiful wife! 
Ms. Marsha

Well, that's all we have on this edition but please, write in. Let me know. You can link to my email under about me, catch me on Twitter or on Facebook. Send in questions! I want to do this every week and really? Doesn't everyone need my advice!?

Thursday, December 1

10 Things I Hate

I have to admit, I am not your normal everyday American citizen. I have had a strange and interesting life full of strange and interesting people, places, and events. And it ain't over yet.

I have opinions that are my own, and I am not afraid to express them. I have beliefs that are my own, and I am not embarrassed to defend them. I like things that other people find weird (apparently) and things that are embraced by the masses do not always appeal to me.

I will admit sometimes this is just a stubborn "I don't wanna be like everyone else" attitude (like with the iPhone) but sometimes it's just that I really don't get or like said thing. For instance, last night I was talking with someone who REALLY loves the Beatles.

Now, I know. They are iconic. Hallowed ground. I get it. Legends, changed music, society, all that. I give them respect. But I? Don't care for the Beatles. There I said it. Call me un-American or whatever. I just don't like them, particularly the later stuff.

I will admit, I have immense respect for Paul McCartney as a singer/songwriter, and I love his later music. I have so much admiration for John Lennon who I feel died way too soon and could have changed the world. I can't even THINK the lyrics of "Imagine" without getting a lump in my throat.  I have respect for the drumming of Ringo Starr and I loved George Harrison's solo stuff in the 80's. But seriously. Yellow Submarine? Could there BE a worse song?

Not that anyone cares, but I feel in a confessing sort of mood today. Here's a list of 10 other things I hate that most people like:

1. Glee the tv show not the emotion which I am very much in favor of.
I just do NOT get it. I don't. I've watched it, I've tried to like it, I even wanted to like it because everyone was raving about it. I just don't. No matter how much I love Jane Lynch, the show is irredeemable to me.

2. Fight Club the movie not an actual fight club which I am neutral on.
My blogger buddy Lance (over at MyBlogCanBeatUpYourBlog) will get me for this one. I don't get it. At all. I don't get it to the infinite boundaries of not getting things. I never saw it when it first came out, but husband and I watched it recently and I was just stunned at the fact that every man I've met worships this movie about randomly pummeling your friends. I couldn't help thinking the entire way through that it was the single most homo-erotic movie I've watched (and far less redeeming Brokeback Mountain, which I think is one of the most heartbreaking love stories ever). But that's just me.

3. NASCAR 'nuff said, you know what I'm talkin' bout
I can't even really write comments here. EVERYONE I know seems to love watching cars go round and round and round. It's a lifestyle here in the south and I promise you the most unexpected people are NASCAR fans, so I will just say. Again. I don't get it. And leave it at that. I do need a job at some point in the future, and I fear anti-NASCAR remarks showing up in a google search will kill my chances far quicker than any nude photo ever would.

4. Gone With the Wind yeah, you heard me!
This one will get my southerner card revoked. Quick. But I think that movie is a total snooze. Despite that, as a master procrastinator and lazy southern women who wants to be pampered, Scarlett is my hero! I wish I could be that clueless and impractical.

5. 16 and 17  18  what? 19 and Counting? seriously???
I could go on for days about the disgust I have for this family/show/husband. I see nothing admirable or attractive about these people and how they have  he has chosen to litter the world with their offspring, but it's probably best just to say. Again. I don't get it. Same with Kate plus 8 but for very different reasons.

6. Pretty much every old movie, like, ever. Black and white, color, it doesn't matter.
I will admit I am a product of my generation. Old movies move way too slow for me. I always tried to like them because when I was younger I tended to date guys who were into things like that. But it wasn't until I saw the movie Crash that I realized why. They are just too slow for me. I don't like them and it's....ok.

7. Brad Pitt the actor/heartthrob, not the activist
I feel somehow less womanly admitting this. I do not find Brad Pitt attractive in any sort of sexual way. He does wonderful work with his money, so good on him. I think he's pretty, and that's fine. And I've been told (mostly by People magazine) he's sexy, but I don't see it. And honestly? I don't think he's that great of an actor. . Angelina, however, goes on my list of girl crushes. She's amazing.

8. Line "Dancing" ...seriously...
White people. This is not dancing. Stop it. Immediately.

9. Twilight "tread lightly, Marsha. you WILL be attacked by Team Edward."
Ok. I really have to think through my hatred of all things Twilight just to realize whether I really dislike it or if I am merely reacting to the over the top-ed-ness of the fandom. The first I knew/heard about it was by watching a report on Stephenie Meyer on CBS Sunday Morning. I was amazed and completely impressed that she had picked up and written and gotten published her first novel. And had such overwhelming success, it's pretty amazing. And to hear her talking about the books, I was impressed and intrigued by her changes and the fresh take on the vampire world.

But then, I read the first book. Well, attempted to read it. It was very imaginative but I just didn't like it. I am no literary genius, and I hate reading books that are too wordy and complicated, but I just didn't like her writing. At all. And then, I was dragged to see the second installment in the movie theatre and oh, wow. What horrible acting, Bella. You need to eat something, Edward and oh, by the way, you are far too pretty. What boring dialogue. I couldn't stand it and I couldn't sit through another one. This however stands as a testament of my love for the 2 girlfriends who I went with to see it.

10. Ventriloquists
Seriously, this is just creepy beyond any explanation. I don't understand the fascination that led an America's Got Talent ventriloquist to win his own show in Las Vegas. Don't get me wrong. Out of all the ventriloquists out there? Terry Fator is far and away the most highly impressive one I've ever seen. But seriously, folks! It's a grown man with his hand up a puppet's ass pretending he's not just talking to some imaginary friend. It's not right.

So that's it. I could go on but let me just get in all the trouble I can get into with these first 10. I really do feel much better getting it off my chest. How about you? Anything the whole world loves that you hate?