What Happened to Deborah

Dammit I’m not one to poke around online and see what is going on with classmates from high school, but I was looking for an old friend and ran across a class roster that mentioned a classmate of mine was dead. Not the one I was looking for, hell, I haven’t even thought of her since high school.

It doesn’t say what happened to her, and I don’t know anyone who would know, so I Googled her name and got nothing. She might have died before there even was a Google.

Deborah J. was my first school friend, and we started first grade during the early years of desegregation in the South. Our teacher had just come back from maternity leave and asked us two girls to stay in for recess to do some makeup work. That is when Deborah and I made friends, during that recess period. When the teacher returned and caught us giggling, she accused us cheating.

I don’t even think we knew what that was, cheating, but Mrs. S pulled out a wooden paddle and called us to her desk. She looked at me and said I could go outside. She didn’t spank me. I waited just outside the door, out of sight, and I heard the three loud smacks she gave Deborah. The little girl came out of the classroom, stoic, but when she saw me waiting for her, a smile stretched her face. I didn’t understand why she got hit and I didn’t, but I had a pretty good idea it had something to do with her being black.

No one liked Deborah, not even the black kids. Everyone told me she was just too damn mean. She might have been mean to them, but to me, she always had my back. She’d also sit behind me in class and braid my hair over and over again. She was studious and didn’t like it when any of the kids misbehaved in class, so maybe a bit too straight laced and strung up too tight. But a cheater she was not.

Anyway, I hadn’t thought about the paddling since it happened. The knowledge of her death brought back that memory. I’m just realizing now that the teacher had probably been on maternity leave for a couple of years as pregnant women were not allowed to teach back in those days. I’ve read they had to take two years off for that.

So this day she returned and kept us in for recess? Her first day teaching in a desegregated school. Deborah, I think, got spanked for more than just being black. She got it for having the nerve to make friends with a white kid.

That is what happened to my friend Deborah. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

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Unearned Burden

One of my best friends, a guy I have known for over twenty years, grew up in Iraq. He and his family (he married an American) used to live here near Dallas until just after the first Gulf War started. He had the misfortune of having the last name, Hussain. 

Try living around here, a place that is known for developing and manufacturing military equipment with a name like that during a war with a leader of the same name. My friend worked in the field of encryption. He briefly considered changing his name to avoid all the hassles, then decided to just move from here to another city out west. 

If you’d have told me fifteen years ago that people would become immune to that name, that one of the coolest guys on the planet would also carry that name and that burden, I’d never have believed it. It is probably one of the most amazing cultural turnarounds I’ve ever witnessed. 

This is a friend we’ve kept up with despite the fact that we haven’t lived in the same state in over 15 years. He and his wife are like family to us.

His mother and siblings still live in Baghdad and I can’t imagine the years and years of mindfuck that must be for him, the bombings every day, and other hardships. He’s tried several times to get them out of the country, to move them to safer places in the Middle East. He’s spent a lot of money, made some long and dangerous journeys, but each time his plans fell through in the end. 

Last summer his father had to have surgery. He’d been shot in the hand at some market but ended up with some other complication with his abdomen. He couldn’t just go to a hospital. The way it worked, he had to pay for a room at a hotel and pay a surgical team to come out there and do the operation in the hotel room. He did okay from the surgery, but died of a heart attack the next day.

Despite all this, my friend has managed to maintain his sense of humor. We visited with him just after 9/11, and he was feeling the heat of being an arab. He’d say, “I’m going to try to start passing myself off as hispanic.”

I just talked to him today and he mentioned how he was excited about Tuesday. I’d been calling it “The 20th,” so didn’t catch on right away, “What you got going on Tuesday?”

Oh Tuesday! Hell yeah!

I asked him how it felt to share a name with the President-Elect.

He said, “There is a God,” and laughed.

So for all of you out there who tacked the name Hussein to your screen name during the election to make people stop being afraid of that name, I thank you. My friend’s unearned burdens are less heavy today.

sock it to me

Years ago while Blane and I were in school we took a friend over to my parent’s house for Christmas. He was Jewish and all of his family were gone, so he didn’t have anything to do that day.

This guy came from super wealth, like industrial strength money, and we weren’t used to having guests like that over. My parents house was this little wooden one by the railroad tracks. So close, the house would rock when the train passed.

Anyway, when he walked in everyone was quiet for a while. They knew who he was, knew of the family he came from.

It was sorta funny, the house was full of people, our people, and this guy, he didn’t stick out like you’d think. His appearance was a bit on the sloppy side whereas we were all probably wearing new Christmas threads. But mostly, it was his background that made him seem so different. Right now I have this little Sesame Street tune in my head, “One of these things is not like the other…”

We didn’t have enough chairs for everyone to sit, so this guy, when he got tired, he just sat on the floor. When he did that, everyone realized he didn’t have any shoes on. AND, his socks didn’t match. Not even close. One black one and a white.

It was so quiet at that moment, maybe everyone was expecting the guy to have on designer socks.

My older brother Shane broke the ice, “Oh, you have a pair of socks like that, you, too, huh?”

All I can remember from the rest of that day was everyone laughing nonstop. It was that sort of good time.

Which brings me to this:

socks

I finally found a use for all those mismatched socks that have been hanging out in the washroom. My kids have been stealing my good socks and I had to have something lest I get blisters on my feet. Can’t believe I never thought of this before.

I’m on my ninth day of the treadmill thing and am sore all over, I tell you. The exercise habit is well set and I’ve lost a couple of pounds already. Maybe a little more, not sure what is water weight, but my jeans are fitting a little better already.

How are you guys doing with that? Don’t make me come over there, now.

Why Debone?

People who have not had a turkey this way ask “why debone?”

Besides it being a new twist (I’m a writer, I’m big on twists) on an old tradition, it’s great if you have a small oven and a big turkey. It also cooks faster, doesn’t tend to dry out, and the seasonings are more uniform throughout. When it’s time to carve it up, well, there is no carving. You just slice right through it like butter and everyone gets to eat it while it’s still hot.

deboned-turkey

Here’s a photo of the deboned turkey I roasted for Thanksgiving.

I didn’t stuff it since I don’t like my stuffing all sogged up with turkey drippings. After deboning, I rubbed it it with Cajun seasoning (Tony’s is good), some minced garlic, and about a stick of melted butter, then let it marinate for a few hours. It only took three hours in a 325 degree oven to cook. Considering this was a 26 pound turkey (bone in weight), I’ve lessened my carbon footprint along the way.

Here’s a good tutorial on Youtube if you want to know how to debone a turkey or a chicken. If you like to cook, you might want to consider trying it this way. Just make sure you have a sharp knife.

After a lovely dinner with my family and some friends, we all watched Wall-E. It’s a CG animated film, but I don’t think it was made for little kids. It’s about a robot that lives alone on Earth 800 years into the future, when humans have destroyed the planet with garbage and God knows what else. The humans have all gone to live in outer space on a luxury cruise liner where everything is so automated they have all gotten obese and can’t even walk because they’ve lost bone density (that’s what happens if you don’t exercise).

Anyway, poor Wall-E is on Earth cleaning up all the trash and trying to get the Earth inhabitable again for the humans to return. It’s an excellent movie and is out on DVD now.

A couple of our guests mentioned that they saw people were already lined up at Best Buy for their after Thanksgiving Day Sale. This was a full 16 hours before the store opened.

So we all took a ride out to the Best Buy near our house and sure enough, people were really lined up. Some of them had tents. Here’s a photo.

bbcamp

I rolled down the window and asked a guy in line what he was buying. He said a plasma tv for $599. A woman farther back in line said she was buying a laptop computer for $399.
Everyone seemed to be in a wonderful mood, I guess it was sort of like a party out there for them, something different to do.

Blane couldn’t wrap his mind around it. “Why don’t they just go work somewhere for a few hours to make up the difference and buy it at regular price?”

Although I’ve never camped out at a store for deal like that, I have punched a time clock. I can see not wanting to do my regular job, rather hanging with other bargain hunters for the night instead. Also, these people might not have the opportunity to put in extra hours at work. I can understand that.

At about three this morning Scrappy had a panic attack. That means one of two things. Garbage man or big storm. Looked out the window and it was like a monsoon rain.

I feel for the people in that line right now. I hope there was someone in that store to let them inside the first set of double doors to wait out the storm.

Some Things You May Not Know About Me

I got hit with a meme twice this week, once by Gabriel, and again by Max.  They are similar, so I’m marrying them (the memes, not the bloggers) and making one. A mutant meme.

Seven things you may not know about me:

1. I had freckles but had them removed with a laser.

2. When I was a nurse I never wore the matching scrubs with my unit. I always wore whites. Not one person ever said anything about it.

3. I also wore high heeled nursing shoes that killed my feet in my first year.

4. I love people. All of them.

5. I have a bad habit of scraping the callous off my feet until they bleed. I am always on my feet, it makes no sense.

6. I was on the basketball team in middle school.

7. I am not ashamed to admit I can be the most boring person at a party. Sometimes I’m just not feeling it and I often find myself where i don’t belong. Look at #6 again. See?

Since I was tagged twice, I get to hit 12 people total. I did a special math to choose these blogs, don’t ask me to reproduce that math, it is my worst subject.

Oygirl Michele, Inked Blots Michele, Melanie, Pooks, Ginny, FinPenLea, Frances, Linda, Clare, tpgoddess, Bunk. 

If you were tagged you have to do this and link back to this blog and then tag six other people. Do that and I’ll take you for a ride in my car.

Oh yeah, this is what I drive:

Zoom zoom zoom.

Shoes!

One of Blane’s work buddies and his wife, Carolina, a Brazilian designer, just started a new fashion company, Carolina Pagano.

They’ve just introduced their first line, women’s shoes, but are only selling to retailers at this time. Check out their website and if you like what you see, ask your retailer for Carolina Pagano. I love that name.

The Slide Sonia is my favorite, I’d buy that shoe right now.

Congrats to Byran and Carolina! (I’m so jealous and wish I had a shoe company, dammit I’m slacking)

Twins!

Two big cheers for my friend Sophia and her husband Christos of Greece on the birth of twin girls. She had them on July 25th and they each weighed about four and a half pounds.

I am still awaiting more details and photos, but just wanted to let you all know the wonderful news. Sophia doesn’t have a blog but used to leave a lot of comments here before she was put on strict bedrest.

Congratulations again to Sophia and Christos.

Slurpee Day

Did you go to 7 Eleven yesterday?

That is one day every kid has marked on the calendar. If they have one. July 11th (7/11) is free Slurpee Day. We piled in the car, all of us and headed out there. We heard earlier that Little Blane already had eight free Slurpees, the green Hulk flavor. He also claimed his pee had turned green.

The first place we went claimed their machine was broken. Yeah, right. Second place claimed they were out of the free cups. Uh huh. They offered all other cup loads of Slurpee for 25 cents. Okay.

This kid was prepared:

Little fucker drained the cherry Slurpee machine.

But that’s okay. We wanted the Monster Black Ice flavor.

Because you can’t beat having a black tongue.

Here’s something fun if you missed out on the free Slurpee Day. A pissed off Amy Winehouse beating on a fan while she sings:

As drunk/high/busy as she was, she didn’t miss a lyric. Man that’s funny.

Bobbie Faye Is Back

Anybody like free stuff? How about signed copies of books? Yeah? 

My Cajun friend Toni McGee Causey announced today a new contest to roll out her latest book, Bobbie Faye’s (kinda sorta, not exactly) Family Jewels, due out this month.

In her blog post Random Things I Do Not Understand, Toni says:

And starting today, every Sunday until my book release, end of this month, as in May 27th, I’ll be giving away two signed copies of both books — Bobbie Faye’s Very (very, very, very) Bad Day and book 2 — Bobbie Faye’s (kinda, sorta, not exactly) Family Jewels — to one of the commenters  (US/Canada), 18 years old and up. (Hey, there is cursing and murder and mayhem and sex, almost all at the same time. I am not getting in trouble here.) So post anything you do not understand in the comments and next Sunday, I’ll announce a winner… each Sunday for four weeks.
 

I haven’t read this one yet, but the first one was absolutely hilarious and chock full of Cajun mayhem and adventure.

I just love the cover. And Toni, of course. But that’s not why I recommend her novels. And I swear it is not to brag that I have a friend with a couple of published novels. 

No, Toni is a Cajun and she writes about the culture as only an authentic cajun could. Reading her stuff is like signing up for a laugh fest. I promise.

Now go click on that link and leave a comment there.  Let me know if you win. Good luck, everyone.

Nine In The Afternoon

AJ, this is a direct hit from Spanky for making fun of her band.

I second it since you can no longer sleep late.

Check it out, Panic! At The Disco. If you don’t like this sort of music, at least watch it without the sound (the singer sounds like he’s had too much cooooooffffeeeee). Reminds me of Sergeant Pepper…

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCto3PCn8wo]

Happy Valentine’s, Love

I just adore the way some Brits end a sentence with “love” just as Southerners end theirs with “darlin.'” Once, I asked for directions from a complete stranger with about fifty piercings in his face and ears and he said, “It’s not difficult at all, love…”

Anyone notice all the wild Valentine’s gift commercials out there on late night television? There’s the one for lingerie that suggests if the guy gets his girl some of this stuff he will get a strip show, maybe even a pole dance. The stuffed teddy bear gift one (those start at $80) shows a bunch of ladies in an office oogling a teddy while some clueless dude in a cubicle eavesdrops, then runs to his computer to place an order.

Poor bastard.

Over at Fog City Diva’s, Toni McGee Causey did an excellent guest post just in time for Valetine’s Day, “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”

She goes over a little history of the holiday as well as the commercialization of it. You’ll laugh too, there’s humor in just about everything Toni writes.

You can find Toni blogging mostly at Murderati these days along with a slew of other published writers. Oh Toni, how do you do it all?

Wanna Dance?

One of my best friends, Helene, is the Parisian I talk about here from time to time. I met her about eight years ago while renting a vacation property she owns. We became such good friends that I see her at least once or twice per year. She has even come here to visit us once. She’s like a sister to me.

When I am in France, Helene always passes out great advice about things we should do to experience off the beaten path French culture.  She often takes us to some of these things.

Last summer she took us to small festival out in the country. It was like a barn dance with live music, a fireworks show, and a huge bonfire at the end of the evening. What surprised me most about that evening was how the dancing was exactly the same as Cajun dancing.

Lately, Helene has been encouraging me to take dance classes. She started taking them about two years ago and says this is one of the best things she has ever done. A few days ago she sent me some video links of this French guy, Thierry Desequelle teaching country line dancing. You’ve got to go see this:

You don’t need to speak French to understand the guy, mostly it is just counting steps. Go see.

If you want to see more of his dance lessons, there are tons of them here.

Coming Down

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone stayed as sweet and cheerful as they were around Christmastime? Isn’t it funny how people open doors for you, smile for free, and help random strangers during the Holidays, then go back to being their same old nasty selves as soon as December 25th is crossed off the calendar?

Just a thought.

So here is my turkey deboning ordeal. It wasn’t that difficult, I used that link in my Cajun Christmas post and pretty much just shaved meat from bone.

I stuffed it with garlic and cornbread dressing, sewed it up with some unflavored dental floss, and put it in the oven. It turned out to be the best turkey we’ve ever had. It’s nice not to have to fight the bones when carving it.

The girls and I made a strawberry cake in the Christmas tree Bundt pan:

We exchanged gifts:

That was Sweetpea’s gift to Spanky. It cracked me up that she didn’t wrap the present. She says it’s what’s inside that counts. I agree. I know she spent four hours looking for the right gift and used her own money. Her thoughtfulness on that end is what’s special about it. That she didn’t waste any money making it look pretty and was bold enough to hand her sister something in a bag, well I just love that. It also reminds of the broke days when we used to wrap presents with the comic section of the newspaper.

Blane and Angela came over with their new puppy, Loo-B, and we all played Catch Phrase. It’s a fun game if you have a lot of people. Some of Sweetpea’s friends came over, so we had a crowd. In fact we had a hard time shutting it down.

Loo-B passed out on Spanky’s lap.

I hope you all had a great Christmas.

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Drunko

About ten years ago my friend Michelle B. started a neighborhood group. She posted fliers on everyone’s door for all the ladies to meet at her house and at least thirty people came. From this meeting, we formed two bunco groups that met monthy.

Bunco is a game with twelve players, three dice, a bell, and a prize (click here for the rules). For our prize, we did money, five bucks from each player.

During the early years, we met at each other’s houses. Each member would take a month and one night they would shoo away the husband and children for the night, do some light snacks and a few bottles of wine. Since we all lived in the same neighborhood and were on foot, that meant we got plastered and wobbled back home on foot.

Before long the game became less and less important. Now we just meet to socialize. Still once per month and we no longer call it bunco, we call it drunko. Even though we don’t even drink that much because most of us have moved from the old neighborhood and must drive home.

Funny thing, I started this post earlier today and can’t remember what exactly it is I wanted to say about it. Maybe it was about the ornament exchange our drunko group had this week.

Oh well, it was probably something about long term friendships. How people that go way back are usually your best friends, the ones who knew you during your “nobody” years. I do keep an eye out for new friends,  I’m not closed to that, but I haven’t joined the bunco group that is starting up in this neighborhood.

Cookie Baking Mammas and Pappas

Yesterday I said Holidailies was not all about cookie-baking moms. Today I’m singing a different tune because I am part hypocrite and I have no shame. Besides, this is also about cookie baking dads and cookie baking people who have no children yet.

Today was Michelle B’s infamous Christmas Cookie Extravaganza. This is her fourth or fifth year and it is crazy competitive. The word is contestants practice and perfect their recipes for months before the actual party.

Blane and I and the girls were not in the competition, so we got to be judges along with a few other lucky cookie tasters.

The tasting part was easy. Scoring the cookies was excruciating. They were all beautiful and delicious. It looked like they all belonged in a fancy glassed in bakery case.

The “Singing Snowmen” cookies, by husband and wife team (Cindy and Mark) scored best in three categories: prettiest; most Christmasy, and most non-cookie-looking cookie.

Did you notice the little snowdog? img_0945_2.jpg Or was that a snowcat?

Since one cookie was not allowed to win more than one category, the snowmen got the prize for the prettiest.

Other winners (click on link for recipe): Ginga’s “Rolo Surprise” for most non-cookie-looking cookie; Julie and Rick’s “sugar cookie candy canes” for most Christmasy; Katie’s “S’mores” for most professional looking; Mel’s “Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies” for best tasting; This is Mel’s second year in a row as a winner at Michele’s annual cookie shindig. Cindy’s Singing Snowmen recipe is here.

So what are all the kids doing with a belly full of cookies?

BOUNCE HOUSE!

This little dude is learning to breakdance.

This Dudette is practicing to become an astronaut.

No one leaves Michelle’s empty handed. Everyone got to bring home some goodies.

This is one of the best Christmas parties I’ve ever attended. I really loved it that my teenage daughters thought it was cool and wanted to go.

Peace Out.

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How The Grinch Stole Holidailies!

I know, it sounds lame, Holidailies. That’s what I thought when I first heard it about a couple of years ago. Bloggers promise to post once a day for the month of December. Probably a bunch of cookie-baking stay-at-home moms who think of nothing all year long but food, decorating and rosy cheeked children.

Oh, and who despises that Season more than me? And how can it be of any value if a couple of days ago, on this very blog, there was only a brief post about it?

You know that hole in the wall restaurant you love? That is what Holidailies is like. You’ll see.

I was new to blogging last year, had just lost my brother, and was getting ready to face the darkest holiday season of my life. I needed to force myself to do or witness one positive thing every single day. Then write about it. If I didn’t show up one day to write about it, all my blog friends who knew about this “challenge” of mine could ridicule me. That couldn’t happen. (Okay they threatened, but they would never have done that to me).

So I set up these posts before going to bed and the next morning, there were comments from complete strangers. Every day was like waking up to presents under a (cough) tree. So I clicked on these commenters’ links and read their blogs. Wow. These people weren’t cooking-baking ladies. These were people from all backgrounds writing profound things such as, “Fuck Me, I’m Finished!” (That was a post by a girl in London who had just typed the last word on her novel.)

I made it, 31 days of posting. I realized at the end of the project that Holidailies was the biggest thing that helped me pull through that season.

Now who is this Holidailies Grinch? I won’t tell you her name, but she was “with” me through the big challenge last year. Cheering me on to the finish. This year, however, just after I’d posted that I committed to the challenge again, she had something on her blog about Holidailies, that it has writing prompts and if someone needs ideas on what to blog about, they shouldn’t be blogging. (not those words exactly, if I used her words, I’d have to rat out her name. No.)

KABOOM! (that’s my bubble bursting)

She didn’t mention my name, but wow, did she think I used crib sheets last year and was not really blogging?

I didn’t. Not once, not that there is anything wrong with it. Most posters only use them only when stuck. We want to be original, we want our posts to be in “The Best of Holidailies.”

I believe Holidailies is for people just like Grinch. So I challenge her to sign up and just TRY it for 10 days. No posting quizzes, either. Real posts, new ones, not something from a previous blog or website. It is not too late to sign up.

This post was highlighted today in The Best of Holidailies!

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The Nightmare Song on Rock Band

So we get the game, Rock Band for XBox 360 on the very first day it comes out. We were going to get the one for the PS3 because those instruments are wireless, but Capone (my nephew) said he was getting it for his XBox 360. We go with that system so we can play him online. Blane II gets a setup at his house also.

Day one, the girls challenge Blane II to an online drum battle. They are certain he is cheating, that he has Angela working the pedal for him. He wasn’t that good and suddenly he was beating them. More battles later, Angela and Blane II accuse Blane I of cheating in a guitar battle. They are certain it is really Spanky playing.

On Thanksgiving, we all go to Blane II’s and have a “jam session” on this game. There’s lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, and singing. The way it works is there are multiple levels of difficulty, easy to expert. Your band starts out with a beat up piece of shit van and if you get really good, your band gets a jet plane. The more points you score, the more fans you get, and more songs you can unlock.

That’s where we were, the band had just gotten a jet plane. We call ourselves “The Lucky Charms” and our name is in lights. We unlock this new song and swear it is the last one, we’ll call it a night after we beat this song.

Everyone’s playing on the “hard” or difficult level. Sweetpea’s on lead guitar, Spanky on bass, Blane I on drums, and Angela on vocals. The song is by Deep Purple. Now you’d think the song would be “Smoke on the Water,” right, that is THE song EVERY kid plays when they get their first electric guitar.

But it’s not. It’s “Highway Star.”

And talk about a bitch to play. To sing. To beat.

Everyone switches instruments, different people try vocals, even me, to try to beat this damn thing. Every time we fail, we lose fans. We are losing fans by the thousands. We HAVE to beat this song.

And this song, the lyrics, they are hilarious.

Nobody gonna take my car
Im gonna race it to the ground

I love it and I need it
I bleed it yeah its a wild hurricane

Finally after a looong night of crazy laughter and singing (I never knew my hubby could sing like that!), we beat the thing. As we’re shutting things down, we make up our own lyrics to that Deep Purple tune stuck in our head.

Nobody gonna sing my song, I’m gonna run you to the gro-hound.
Nobody gonna beat my game, gonna run you outta to-hound.

Since that day, we’ve been joking around about that nightmare jam session, singing that song to each other when we least expect it. And then I just saw the commercial for Rock Band. I almost hit the floor.

THAT SONG!

Check it out.

If you are thinking about getting a game for Christmas, for yourself or for a family member, I’d definitely recommend this one. It’s a ton of fun, especially if you have a crowd.

I’d say this counts as a post towards Pooks musical meme. It has a video, some lyrics, and it inspires me to write (blogging is writing, shullup).

But first, tagging: Anita Marie, Jen, Daily, Michele, and AJ.

Here’s the plan:

So here is your assignment for today, dear readers. Find a song that inspires you to write something, whether it gives you an idea for a script or just puts you into a better frame of mind. AND/OR (don’t you love choices) peek into the lyrics and find a stanza that sums up the theme of whatever script you’re working on. It’s quite uncanny how the two circumstances go together.

If possible, post a video of the song to really get people into the mood. (Yep, I’m aware of the irony of using Internet clips during the pissing contest. I like irony as much as bitchiness.)Then, send the assignment (by e-mail or posting to one of their blog entries) to 5 other writers to do.

Cookies!

The Christmas party invitations are beginning to roll in faster than I can say “Ho ho ho.” Here’s an interesting one my friend is having. It’s in it’s fourth year and is so popular, people invite themselves to it. It’s a cookie contest and exchange and I’ll be one of the judges this year. Here are the details:

Please bring at LEAST 4 dozen cookies (1.5 dozen for eating during the party, the other 2.5 for others to take home). Please only make ONE kind of cookie, so you can claim it as yours.

OH YES, there will be cookie contest again this year. Here are the rules:

1) NO store bought or slice and bake cookies.

2) Bring 15 copies of the recipe you used to make your cookies to share with others.

3) Bring them all in a container (or two) that will allow you to bring home 20 or more cookies that others have made.

4) You can not repeat a cookie from last year’s contest (but Year 1 or 2 cookies may return).

5) No TEAMING UP unless you submit only one cookie to the competition.

6) Give your cookie a name (but it cannot be yours). This is so the judging is fair.

7) If your cookie contains nuts or peanut butter, please mark it as so because of those with food allergies.

This year’s voting categories are: Best Tasting, Most Christmas Looking, Prettiest, Most Professional Looking, Most Non-Cookie Looking Cookie.

We will serve finger foods, sodas and COOKIES! Kids can play outside in the Bounce House if the weather permits.

My friend also sent out an email with a link to a mountain of cookie recipes.

Cinemagypsy Must Be Destroyed

Eventually, I suppose, that is what’s going to happen. Bloggers drop out like flies after just a few posts, some last a year, some a little longer. Few go on for years.

I never thought mine would last this long. At first, it was an uncomfortable thing, putting up things about my personal life for anyone to find. I knew people would judge me, my family. My writing. That’s what people do.

These days, I don’t even think about that anymore.

So many people out there say, “My life is not interesting enough to blog about,” when I encourage them to start one. I don’t believe this. Everyone’s life is interesting. Not every second of it, certainly not mine. Cut to the good part and share. Or the bad part. You don’t have to write just about your life, you could write about something you saw. The lives of people you know. Teach somebody out there something.

I try to stick to my own life here because friends and relatives read to keep in touch. Most of them have never left a comment, perhaps they are afraid they, too, will be judged. I get a lot of emails from them, and that’s cool. (Keep them coming)

Now for something interesting.

Tonight, Tonight. We are taking the girls to see a Smashing Pumpkins concert. It’s a show that was supposed to take place on Nov. 3rd but was rescheduled. It’s their last concert on this tour and I’ve read the Pumpkins do some special things at their final shows. We’re excited about it, have had the tickets for months. Either Spanky or I will tell you all about it in the next few days.

If I outgrow and decide to destroy this blog one day, there will be plenty of notice. It won’t be any time soon.

Support the Strike

In case you haven’t heard, the WGA (Writers Guild of America) is on strike and you need to support them.

Yes, YOU.

Think you don’t know any WGA members? Think again. Max, who frequently leaves her words on this very blog is a member. She is a friend as well as a mentor, not just to me, to many who are trying to break into screenwriting.

And what does she have to say about all this?

First, she says to go read Toni’s post about why this strike matters to everyone, not just the writers. You know Toni, she’s that Cajun chick who wrote that book about Bobbie Faye. Toni also writes screenplays and works in film. I’ll be able to tell you more about that later when she is not so busy and tells me more about it.

What else does Max have to say? Go see, she is blogging about it at her place, Celluloid Blonde. Make sure you at least read this post she wrote.

Please support the writers. Don’t hate them because you are going to have to watch some reruns for a while. Hate the greedy corporations that refuse to pay them for their work.