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...

Friday, January 27

Rain, Rain

Thank you so much to everyone who has sent me supportive email, comments, and messages. I am so excited about my new job and although there is some fallout as a result of my taking it, I am hoping that the situation will resolve itself with a little bit of time.

Last night I had two events to attend here in town. I would have attended them anyway, but I agreed to take pictures for the newspaper while I was there. The first was a reception at our local art gallery. This year marks their 20th year of bringing art into this small town.

Now, y'all. If you had asked me when I was in high school if I ever thought there would be an art gallery in Franklin I would have laughed in your face. Our town is a small town divided between agriculture and manufacturing, a typical rural southern small town. Although in my day, the mid 80's, we had some amazing talent teaching art in the schools, it wasn't really something that was encouraged or included in many activites.

Back in the 90's a group of local artists, including my bff Amy, had the foresight to work toward what we have today, which is a beautiful, thriving, community inclusive gallery featuring work by area artists and Kentucky made gifts, classes and workshops, and a small coffee shop. Well, it's a seating area with one of those brew-by-the-cup thingies but still.....they have wi-fi.

Anyway, despite the unseasonably warm weather, it was gray and rainy all day yesterday. Husband dropped me off at the front and drove on to park the vehicle. I didn't bother with an umbrella because of the awnings over the businesses.

As I entered the gallery I noticed soemthing I hadn't seen before. Inside the doorway there were rows of umbrellas where people had left them to dry. "Wow, I'd never leave my umbrella just randomly out here like this!" I thought. Inside were a few more umbrellas, apparently owned by untrusting souls such as myself.

We enjoyed the gallery reception, visited with friends and moved on around the corner to the annual banquet of the local Chamber of Commerce, of which I am a member. It was held at the local Boys & Girls Club, and as we entered through the glass doors I noticed again, rows of umbrellas. Through the second set of doors and around the circular front desk the colorful parade continued on both sides of me.

Shaking my head in amazement, I left our two umbrellas at the tail end of the parade, next to each other, hoping they would still be there upon our departure. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, some amazingly good bluegrass music by a local family, and the surprisingly quick business meeting and awards ceremony of the Chamber.

I had to round up winners afterward and get pictures as well as the new board members. It took a while, and of course we were among the last to leave. As we walked back out to the lobby I muttered, "well, I guess I should have more faith in humanity."

Husband asked "What?"

Our umbrellas sat, all alone, right where we had left them. "I should have more faith. I didn't expect our umbrellas to be there." I told him.

As I was waiting for him to pull the car up to the front door, (no I am not normally one of THOSE women, we had boxes to load) another gentleman came through the door saying "Wow! I can't believe my umbrella is still here!"

It is such a small thing, one that most of the folks here probably take for granted. This is a town where many people leave their cars unlocked and their back doors open. But for someone who lived in a large city for so long, it was a very simple pleasure. A very nice feeling.

(Blogger's note: I have this umbrella distrust because I have had an umbrella stolen in a similar situation. In a church. On my wedding day. Yes, it was pouring rain and yes, it was the last really good, expensive umbrella I ever owned. Now they are all highly disposable.)

Monday, January 16

A New Year, A New Chapter

Yes, that's Charlie-the-editor behind me.
His excitement at having me around is palpable, isn't it?

Well, here it is. My official first-day-of-work photo. I am now a desk-sitting, daily-showering, non-pajama-wearing, travel mug-carrying, time clock-punching worker drone. With a bi-weekly paycheck. And benefits.

Today was my first day as a cub reporter at my hometown newspaper, the Franklin Favorite. Yep, I am getting paid to write, take pictures, and ctrl-c ctrl-v all day long, 5 days per week, 8 hours a day. Or 40 hours per week, which ever comes first. Overtime is forboden. I was told that before I ever had the job.

But who cares?! I have a deadline driven, nights and weekend working, every event in town attending job in which I get to do something I love.

I've been writing freelance for the paper for over a year now. When this job came open, I was asked to fill in on a temporary basis. I couldn't resist applying although honestly I sort of thought my lack of a journalism degree and I dunno, any experience whatsoever in the newspaper business would keep me from getting it. What can I say, the editor likes me, the people like me, and I pretty much told them that the longer they kept me around the harder it would be to get rid of me. Plus, I was already pretty much trained after 6 weeks of filling in....so.....I had that going for me.

Anyway, that was my day today. That's my life. Honestly.

Sunday, January 15

Wrap it up already!

For someone who was so ready for 2011 to end, I sure have a lot of loose ends that need wrapping up. I got unexpectedly busy after Thanksgiving and was working outside the house part time. Great, because I needed the money, but a lot of stuff went undone at home.

Every year we send a funny picture for our holiday card. On November 11 we dressed up in this year's theme and went to make pictures. My calendar said on November 30th that I should "put cards in mail". Which would have been fine had I ever gotten them printed, addressed and stamped.

I had a bit of photoshop work to do this year, and just didn't get around to it. On December 23 they were still not out and I realized they would now have to be New Year's cards. Which was fine. Get me through Christmas, and I will get them done.

So here it is, midway through January and STILL I haven't gotten them mailed. Or addressed. Or even printed. I will be lucky if I get them out by Valentine's day! It will be nice to get that off my list for the year and move on to something else.

But while I am doing a bit of housecleaning so to speak, this post has been lingering for a while. Here are some hi-lights and low-lights of 2011, from my point of view anyway.

Best Tebow-Block of the Year: 
Great-nephew, upon opening DS3 for Christmas, (at the top of his lungs, holding it over his head) “Thank you, Baby Jesus!!!  Thank you Jesus!!!!” 
His mom: “Yeah, well...You better be thanking your father and me!”

Worst Commercial of the year: 
The “shrinkage” commercial...whose commercial is this? I can't even remember because I am so busy cringing at the inappropriateness of it.

and yet.....

Person I'd most love to flip off?:
The cocky-ass d-bag on my facebook who posted: “There are some things that just shouldn't be televised. The current Lane Bryant commercial is one of them.” Suck it. Girls who have curves rule. You're a real winner and the kind of guy who give women in general all those complexes about their bodies.  And that girl? On that commercial? She's about a size 12 maybe at most. Hardly representative of overweight in America. There's nothing wrong with it, if it were VS models I am sure you'd have no issues whatsoever with them parading around while you are chokin' your chicken so get over it jerk. 

Best Quote of the Year: “it's only an issue if they make it an issue” on breastfeeding in public. Really? I mean, couldn't you say the same about porn? Let's all go sit in target and read books and watch dirty videos on our laptops. What's the problem? Please get a grip on reality.

and my personal favorite, for so many reasons.....

Best Advice of the Year: “I understand what your friend may think, but what was a used up dead end job for her is an opportunity for you.” Yeah, thanks. I appreciate it. But I get your sentiment.

More on that later but for now, I am just going to say that I couldn't be happier to see 2011 in the rearview. In 15 days 2012 has already surpassed.

Friday, January 6


About a month ago one of my bffs Amy, made a huge decision and a huge change in her life. After 21 years at the same job, as photojournalist for our local newspaper, she left to take a wonderful new opportunity as the Executive Director of our local Arts Council.

21 years is over half our lives. And it is the majority of our adult lives. I can not imagine doing the same job for that long. I started my first real job in 1988 and have moved around as new opportunities for growth have presented themselves. I am on my third career change, going back to school at 38 to complete a degree in graphic design.

Until my first graphic design job as an intern with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, I never knew what it was like to love going to work every day. Not just that but to get up and NOT dread going into work. I knew immediately that I had made the right choice. And it didn't hurt that I had a supportive, eternally patient boss and hilarious co-workers.

My friend struggled with her decision. For me it would have been a snap, but she loves what she does at the paper. She has her own photography studio and always is running from place to place. As the single photojournalist at a small town newspaper, she has covered every town event, from school board meetings to football friday nights to baseball to graduations and ribbon cuttings. She routinely worked far more than 40 hours per week, and gave up evenings and weekends to take pictures at sporting events and other activities.

When she first interviewed for her new job she told me and I said, "did you tell them YES!?" and she said, "well....." and listed a litany of reasons she didn't want to leave. When she told another friend of ours the friend said, "did you ask them when can I start?!" And still she couldn't resolve taking the new job. Even though it was less stress, less hours, and fewer weekends.

In the end, she painfully left her 21-year career at the newspaper and has settled into her new job at the Arts Council. She is going to be amazing. She has encouraged the arts in our small town over the past 20-some years and I think it's only natural for her to be where she is now.

Change is tough for all of us. I challenge everyone out there to think about change in 2012. Shaking things up. Making things different. It stimulates you, keeps you on your toes, keeps you learning.

One of my big pet peeves is people who just complain all the time. If you don't like something make a change, offer a solution, or walk away and find something else. Complaint without action means nothing. And y'all. Complaining all the time is so unattractive. Seriously.

I found this image about a year ago and it's on my desktop. I look at it every day and I encourage all of you to read it and think about it. Think of what's wrong or unacceptable in your life and what you might do to change it. Try to put away the negative this year, it's so draining! Make 2012 your best year ever!

I found this somewhere on the interwebz.
I have no idea who to give credit to. Sorry,.

Tuesday, January 3

What the H-E-Double Hockeysticks

So far, 2012 has been an amazing year! All 72 or so hours of it. However, being the tv-phile that I am I have to make a quick observation/statement/complaint.

Hollywood! What the f*ck, dude?

Work It. ABC.
I mean seriously. Is it that time already? A sad and random remake of the 1970's sitcom Bosom Buddies. Men dressed as women.  To get a job. Do we really need this?

The only thing remotely interesting about the original was how it was so bad it made even the talented Tom Hanks look like another hack actor. But other than that, it was men dressed as women at work and at home so they could have a cheap place to live. Really? That has EVER happened? Is men dressed as women at work so they can have a job during the recession really happening?

I'm going to be honest. The only time I care to see men dressed up as women is if they are transitioning or entertaining me at a drag show. No one needs it on TV. Seriously. Unless it's a showing of The Birdcage. Cause I'll watch that every time.

Celebrity Wife Swap. Also ABC.
In a competition between Gary Busey and ... I dunno, anyone else in the UNIVERSE, I would never bet on Gary Busey to be the sanest adult in the room. Until now.

Ted Haggard is out of his damn mind. Really that's all I have to say about it because I so despise him and his brainwashed piece of crap "wife" that I feel I really really shouldn't get started on it. All I have to say is that I don't like liars, and most specifically I don't like people who won't admit the truth about who they are.

I knew when the show came on that it would raise my hackles, but I watched anyway. Just like you would a train wreck, it was impossible to look away. Yet utterly frustrating watching the Haggards sidestep, double talk, and talk in circles to save face while at the same time obviously craving either the spotlight or the money involved in this clusterf*ck of a television show to draw them back into the media that somehow just "wouldn't leave them in peace to deal with their crisis".

And why did I watch this sideshow in the first place? There was really nothing on and husband and I were preoccupied with things on our computers. I guess we could have just turned off the television but that just wouldn't be us if we didn't have 3 things going at once. So it reminded me of the days, back before we all had remote controls and cable boxes full of 100's of channels and nothing on. You'd just lie there on the couch and watch whatever came on next simply because you were too lazy to get up, walk across the room and switch the channel.

Now that I think of it, Tuesday nights have been a television wasteland for a while now and the common denominator in this story? ABC. I give them the same moniker as the old grade school joke about ABC Gum. Already Been Chewed. And spit out. Move on!