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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Insert Sigh of Contentment

Published by cck at 1:03 PM

Y'all. I have had the best weekend -- fo' real. Where do I start?

Thankful. Man, am I thankful. I know I've been complaining a lot lately. I admit I will never be one of those people who suffer in silence or sacrifice gracefully. If I have a terminal disease, I'm going to have a down day or week or month. I'm human and fully embrace my fragile optimism.

This weekend - four days off in a row - I have feasted and rested, mounded and soaked up sunshine, walked and stretched and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I've decided two Thanksgivings is really the way to go, you should try it yourself.

Gabbing about the gobble -- the Cooks Illustrated recipe is amazing -- simply the best turkey I have ever had the pleasure to eat. And, oh - we had pies. PIES. And mushrooms and green beans and freshly fried onions (never shall I return to canned soup in that holiday tradition).

I've watched movies, and watched the Gamecocks kick some tiger ass. I've read books and started decorating my home for Christmas and am ready for December (mostly). And I wish this was a little more substantial - had some greater message than "Man-oh-man, I am so content right now." However, since it has been some time since I can honestly admit my contentment - I'm ready to march in a parade.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I Am Thankful For...

Published by cck at 9:31 AM

So let's just flip yesterday's post on its head, shall we?

I am grateful and thankful for the many blessings in my life, like:
1) good parking places at crowded shopping areas (I'm looking at you Publix)
2) folks who comment on my palmetto tree sticker or say "Go Gamecocks!" when walking past my car
3) the fact that the state of Florida charges so much for a divorce
4) new technology to play with
5) a steady hand when applying nail polish
6) a boss who brings Starbucks (almost) every Tuesday
7) my family who understands - usually without me having to fully explain
8) cold weather that makes it actually feel like Thanksgiving
9) Auto Tune the News (yes, seriously)
10) my ticket for New Moon this afternoon
11) great foodie blogs that make my mouth water and inspire my culinary exploits
12) the Leon County Library where you can check out text books from the CIA (no, the other one)
12) rain checks for free 12-packs of Diet Coke
13) catalogs from places where I will never shop
14) imagination that doesn't stop
15) and friends who share new music
16) more than one keyboard
17) people who make me laugh
18) kids who - by still believing in Santa - light up their parents' eyes in the depths of the toy department at Target
19) hair color and industrial strength conditioner
20) the $1 fountain Diet Cokes at McDonalds
21) the fact that I can *still* make this list

I'm thankful for my home, my car, my family -- all those "typical" things. I'm glad I'm healthy. I'm glad I find the humor in frugality. Heck, I'm glad I find the humor in most things, even though I might need an FBI detector and a flashlight.

I am grateful that I have a relationship with my God, and that it gives me something sort of like strength and peace combined.

I will be heading to New Moon this evening - and then prepping for a small Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday (and a much larger one on Friday). I hope you have a very thankful holiday - be safe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What I Am NOT Thankful For...

Published by cck at 5:14 PM

In a few days, everyone will be gathering around tables groaning under the weight of plenty. And they'll hold hands (or maybe not in Swine Flu Season), and they'll gaze lovingly at their family and friends and share the many blessings that deserve their thankfulness.

And while I'm sure I will also profess my blessings on Thursday (and Friday), I'd like to take a moment at M&MD to also share what I am NOT thankful for.

I am NOT thankful for the following:
1) sacrificing pedicures
2) having a spouse who thinks working less than 20 hours a week is enough
3) the extra tire around my middle that seems to think it's in a monster truck rally
4) my pitiful collection of business casual clothing
5) weird hormones that think the drop in temperatures is justification for frequent hot flashes
6) not having the ability to spend Thanksgiving with my family
7) the state of Florida charges far too much to dissolve a marriage
8) no one has figured out a way to ingest the greatness of Diet Coke intravenously
9) lack of direction in Afghanistan (c'mon - let's figure out what we're doing)
10) Charlie Crist (and see, Mark Sanford would be on a list of those I am thankful for)

Before you get your panties in a wad (dear me, did I just write that?), I am thankful for many, many things. In the depths of winter and all that. But today? Today I am definetly NOT thankful for a few things. It can't be good without the bad, right?

Ahhh, thank goodness I've kept my sense of humor.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tell me a story.

Published by cck at 5:22 PM

This is one of the coolest things I've seen of late: StoryCorps. Friday (Black Friday to all you shopping people), November 27th is the National Day of Listening. To celebrate, StoryCorps is asking you to record family and/or community history.

Whoa, you're thinking. Have you seen what's going on at Best Buy at 5:00 AM? Duuuude, Target is even having Black Friday sales.

Yes, yes -- but trust me, this is way cooler. During the Great Depression, writers were dispatched across the nation to record stories. It's why slave narratives were recorded, why Gullah was recorded (and some say saved) and was the start of authors like John Steinbeck and Zora Neale Hurston. The Federal Writers' Project seems like something you'd dream about -- and die to be a part of.

As a blogger, I know I'm in some small way contributing. But, my grandparents don't blog. And my aunts don't blog. And I'm pretty sure the old lady across the street doesn't blog (although I could be surprised). So this Friday, I'm calling up my grandparents - and maybe even K.'s - to ask them to tell me a story. And I'm going to record it. Check out the DIY kit here to get ideas on how to record the conversation.

You can do it. Be part of history.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Part One

Published by cck at 4:03 PM

Do you stress about big family meals? I certainly do, and not only because there's too many faces around my table. I stress over cooking. Okay, I stress over just about everything -- but cooking? K. thinks I'm like one of the mothers from The Joy Luck Club -- you know the one, my food is never good enough.

I'm sort of a closet, wannabe foodie. And, while I can remember playing in the kitchen as a kid, once I got old enough to make a big mess, I was banned from joining the madness. I didn't know how to cook a chicken breast before getting married. I'm ashamed, yes. I've vowed to make up for it.

Our Thanksgiving is relatively tame this year. No groaning table, no duo de gravy, no multiple wine glasses. We're celebrating with our small family of two on Thursday, and then our friends on Friday. You read that right -- TWO THANKSGIVINGS!

Originally I'd planned on contributing to Friday's festivities, but not making Thursday a big deal. Well, K. almost had a heart attack when he realized he wouldn't be watching Thanksgiving football with a turkey leg and I bent under the pressure. TWO THANKSGIVINGS!

Here's my menu - I'll try to update you mid-week:
Thursday Thanksgiving:
- Turkey & Gravy
- Sausage Stuffing
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Cranberry Sauce

Friday (real) Thanksgiving:
- Brie Stuffed Mushrooms
- Smoked Bacon & Corn Gougeres
- Grown Up Green Bean Casserole
- Dinner Rolls

Notice the lack of dessert? K. wants a cherry pie, but cherries are nearly $7 per pound right now and I just can't do it. Maybe I'll pick up a store-made one, or I'll convince him that chocolate ice cream can be just as perfect. A friend brought up the idea of a coconut cake, which thanks to Paula Deen, I now consider one of my specialties. Something about it doesn't seem autumnal to me, but I'm willing to consider it. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Years & Counting

Published by cck at 9:12 PM

Today marks a strange anniversary. It's been two years since I have seen or spoken to my parents.

Take a moment. [ moment ] Whew, glad that's over. Still, seems a bit strange - two years is a rather long time. Now, don't worry -- they still call and send postcards and strange packages and rain crazy all over the house. But I haven't opened those doors, nor do I intend to anytime soon. Or, y'know - ever.

Is it strange? Yes. Do I miss them? Not really... I miss the memory of them, but not them really. It's complex. As is the case with most families. I wish I could have a relationship with them -- but the best advice I got regarding estranged family is this: if it's meant to be fixed, it will get fixed. Don't force it. Some families are just broken.

Mine is. And the forecast for Year Three? Crazy-free skies, yo' -- just the way I like them. I always thought if your life is crazy, it should at least be the kind of crazy you make yourself.

On another note - nothing like complicating already complicated posts - do you think Dancing with the Stars is our generation's version of the Lawrence Welk Show? So not, like, really - but the variety show aspect of it is sort of interesting.

Also, this is my 501st post. Goodness! I started blogging in January 2006, can't believe I'm still writing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Shiz.

Published by cck at 7:11 PM

It's only Monday, right? Are you sure? Because OH MY GOD, it feels like it should be the day before the Apocalypse.

I've been dealing with some serious Shiz. That's right, I capitalized. I always knew my twenties would be packed with events: graduation, career beginnings, marriage, maybe even starting a family. I was right! My twenties have been tumultuous and oh man! they aren't over! I've got one more year.

And neither is the Shiz. I keep thinking it couldn't possibly get any worse -- and then WHAM, the Shiz hits me in the face. I know what I have to do. It just sucks.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I SO wish I was there

Published by cck at 5:14 PM

Ahh, Williams Brice. I can hear it, I can smell it, I can feel it. The student section is on their feet, bouncing on the aluminum stands. Across the field, season ticket holders and raising their arms -- high-fiving and smiling from ear to ear. It's buzzing in there - louder than the Swamp, I don't care what you say. Nearly 100,000 people in the stadium and close around it -- most cheering for the boys playing in garnet & black.


We're playing Florida today, which is big. What's bigger is we've dedicated the game to the Wounded Warrior Project. We have special uniforms, honorary game captains - and you can even leave a message for our troops. Click the image below.

I love the University of South Carolina and I adore her supporters. It doesn't matter if we're losing, WE ARE THERE. If we're winning, it's just the icing on the cake. There are no empty stands at Williams Brice. We come to play.

Here's a toast Carolina, forever to thee.


Published by cck at 12:38 PM

Yes, I realize it's the middle of November and my planning spreadsheets now have turkey cooking schedules and multiple links for the perfect pumpkin pie. But let's take a quick moment to chat about Halloween costumes.

Surprisingly, I wanted to go as Facebook, despite my own lack of an account. Simple, easy - and the only investment is probably something you have in your home: a marker board. Wear the marker board around your neck and throughout the night add status updates. Harass folks at the party to be your friends and write on the board. If you had a fake blue bird, you could wear it on your shoulder and go as Twitter.

I know, I'm a genius.

Actually, this girl is a genius. I realize I am a geek for even thinking this is cool, but c'mon - this is pretty sharp.

The 8-Bit Low Res Image

Friday, November 06, 2009

On Sesame Street

Published by cck at 2:08 PM

Have you noticed the Google header lately? I thought it was cute -- featuring Cookie Monster, Big Bird's legs, and today - Bert & Ernie. And then, NPR featured an interview with various actors and performers from over the years. And instantly - I MEAN INSTANTLY - I was back, sitting on my shag carpet in the den of my house on 206 Anglewood Drive, watching Sesame Street with my brother.

I'm sure I never realized it at the time, but later my mom told us that she sent us down to the den to watch Sesame Street in order to calm us down before my dad got home. Sneaky? Yes. Effective? Definitely.

I loved Sesame Street as a kid. Who didn't? I loved Oscar, and the Count, and oh man - the Cookie Monster. I know I learned the basics from other sources, but I can't deny that Sesame Street shaped and formed my early learning experiences. And while I'm not planning on my own family anytime soon, the idea that my kids will watch Sesame Street too is sort of neat.

Y'all have any memories from Sesame Street? Turning 40 is a big deal...

Monday, November 02, 2009


Published by cck at 9:36 PM

Not to overdo it on the wedding photos... but tomorrow is a big day for our family.
Good things seem to happen on the Third of November. K. swears that Grami is responsible for the FSU/BC 2007 victory. (Personally I think she may have been a little busy going through intake, but whatev. Let him have it.)

I miss my grandmother fiercely. And while I know it's been two years, it doesn't feel like it. And it's been nearly two years since I've spoken to or seen my parents, but that's really another post for another day.

This is about two of my favorite people in the entire world. I know Grami is aces. And I hope by mid-afternoon on Tuesday K. feels the same way.

The nose.

Published by cck at 9:06 PM

I was an awkward pre-teen (we were pre-teens then, not tweens). No really, I was. It took some time to grow up into my features -- my huge ears, lips and nose. I was super tall, and ridiculously skinny and dripping with wannabe attitude -- complete with Limited sweatshirts, sweater tunics and patterned leggings.

My family loved me through it - and that includes my no-bullshit Grami. I remember her failed attempts to pay me to grow my fingernails; I'm a still a biter. She would take me shopping, but refused to buy me black - telling me I looked like death warmed over. It took years to figure out whether death could be nuked in the microwave or required reheating in the oven.

During this period - affectionately called the Year of the Snoz, I found a picture* of my grandmother. She might have been in her early twenties - she could have been younger. And she was beautiful. Gorgeous. Lovely. And best of all - I realized I had her nose.

Not my father's slim nose or my mom's cute slightly upturned one -- I had Grami's nose. And I knew it was going to be okay. Just one of the countless times my Grami made my life okay.

I miss you, Grami. Thanks for the nose.

*Nope, don't have the picture. Wish I did. Carol was a looker.