Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Space Madness - or How My Child Can Drive Me So Crazy That I Could Confuse a Bar of Soap With an Ice Cream Sandwich

Monday, January 25, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - I'm doing my best, amid backbreaking coughing spasms, to get Emmie settled into bed. We've had dinner, played games, read a book chapter. I am searching desperately for the Mucinex as I do our routine. Scott is coming down with what kept me in bed all weekend, and he has gone to bed. But she keeps calling me back.

"Hush, please; I'm going into the bedroom and Daddy's asleep."

And though she agrees, about seven seconds after I open the door, she starts.

"Mama?... Mom?"


"Oh, for crying out-"

I turbo-gimp out the door, shutting it behind me, enter her room with a fury and lean over her.

"Young lady, if I tell you to keep it down because Daddy is asleep, then that is your prime objective - do you understand?"

"Yes, ma'am," she answers, and wisely does not ask me to define 'prime objective.'

"He is sick, and he has to get up early, and you are not allowed to wake him."

"Okay, mama. But I jus' wanna tell you sumpeend really important."

"What is it, Doodle?"

"I jus' wish dat you an' I could ride on a bid kangaroo and hop into space and den get off on da moon and hab a picnic."

"... That's what was so important that you had to risk waking your sick father?"

"Wull, yeah, 'cause I wanna do it RIGHT NOW."

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

And So it Begins... Alert Ticketmaster

Augusta, Ga. - Emmie has changed into a shirt that's a little cooler.

"Dis says, 'My mom rocks,'" she tells me and Penny.

"Oh, that's cool, Doodle!" I coo. "Do I rock?"

"Psh! NO," she scoffs. "Because you not weareend a BAND shirt."

Obviously we had to help Penny up off the floor from her laughter.

I don't know where she picks up this behavior... Why is my husband hiding behind that chair...?

It's Not Trivial; It's Very Important Pursuit

Sunday, January 24, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - My friend, Penny, is visiting. She's like my wife, in that we can jump into random conversations - or back into old ones - with the ease of a comfortable bathrobe.

At the moment when Scott woke from his nap, we were on Phylloxera and water buffalo. He sat for a few minutes and then rose to leave when we tried to engage him.

"No, y'all are doing just a great job of making me realize how much of my life I'm missing by listening to you."


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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Good Morning Sunshine

Saturday, January 23, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - Emmie came shuffling from our bedrrom into the living room in her purple footie jammies, hair askew.

"Iss time ta giddup, Mama! An' guess what? I made a giant poot in Daddy's bed. It was so hilarious."

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Delusions of Grandeur

Augusta, Ga - Sometimes, when I'm playing Klondike Solitaire on my Blackberry, I imagine I'm in the World Solitaire Championships. Those TV commentators love me, but the pressure is unbearable.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Convergence of Technology Causes Confusion

B.O.: "You know you use your Blackberry too much when you expect your keyboard to do the same thing. I'm pressing the spacebar like 'Where's the period? What's going on?'"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Well, it Made Sense in My Head...

Monday, January 18, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - I'm trying to retrieve a memory from my brain, and it's not working.

"I saw this movie this weekend, that I saw when I was younger, and I realized that I had no idea what the heck it was about when I was younger," I told A.C.

"Really? What movie?"

"I can't remember the name of it."

"What was it about?"

"I don't remember."

"Who was in it?"

"Um, I don't remember."

"Are you sure you didn't get pain medicine for your broken foot?"

"I don't have any pain medicine."

"Maybe Scott got it and slipped it to you."

Hmm. That would probably be to his benefit.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010 By

Scott is talking to his grandfather, Lester Reed, who is an 86-year-old WWII veteran. He recently sat down with some historians to chronicle his story, as part of an oral history project.

"I'd like you to get me a copy of that DVD soon," he told Scott. "You know, I ain't got a lot of time left."

"Gran-Gran, Andy Rooney is 92 years old, and he's still on the air," Scott said.

Gran-Gran snorted. "Well, Andy Rooney don't have much time left, either."

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Well, I wanted Rachel, but I guess Leah will do...

Saturday, January 16, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - Lord knows that I know from personal experience how difficult food service can be. But McDonald's pissed me off today.

After a doctor's appointment, Emmie asked for a happy meal. She ordered the same as every time: "chickennuggetsapplesandcaramelchocolatemilkanatoy."

We paid at the first window, and at the second window a lady started to hand me the bag.

"We were out of chicken nuggets and apples and chocolate milk, so we gave you a cheeseburger and fries and regular milk," she said.

What - seriously?

"Um, no. I'd like my money back," I said.

"What for?"

Blink. For real?

"Because you can't fulfill my order," I said. "Y'all should have told me when I ordered."

If that wasn't ridiculous enough, she asked to see my receipt. Like I was trying to scam them.

"She didn't give me a receipt," I said. "Just my change."

"Well, I have to have a receipt to return your money," the window clerk said.

I just looked at her and didn't say anything. She sighed heavily and shut the window, returning five minutes later with my change.

"Thanks," I said.

She shut the window without saying a word.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

I Do All My Own Stunts

Augusta, Ga. - I waited two days to see a doctor about my toe because I refused to pay the ER co-pay. I needed to see a doctor on Monday, but first I had to keep a sales appointment. Luckily, it ended up being the awesome wife of a Facebook friend, who brought their adorable little year-old son with her. She had heard about my broken toe, so she was prepped for my stupidity. Crutches + me = DISASTER. I'm just glad I got there before her, and left after her.

I was psyched to get a parking space right in front of the cafe. I was not psyched that there was no handicapped cut-through. Thus began what I call the Turbo Crutch Boogie:

Step 1: Crutch up to the curb.
Step 2: Wonder if giants have been subcontracted to do construction in Columbia County, 'cause that's a frickin' high curb.
Step 3: Position crutches at bottom of curb.
Step 4: Using crutches as a fulcrum, launch body up and over curb.
Step 5: Land on un-injured foot. Ta daaahh!
Step 6: Feel tug of gravity.
Step 7: Crutch desperately backwards off the curb, to keep from falling on ample behind.
Step 8: Crutch in ridiculous wobbly circle, trying to regain balance.
Step 9: Repeat, to amusement of onlookers sitting by the windows of the cafe.
Step 10: Consider giving unhelpful onlookers a big hyah! of Crutch Fu.
Step 11: Give up, reconcile myself to embarrassment, crutch over to the fencing that surrounds the outdoor seating, and use it as a ladder.

The meeting was great. I really liked her, and I admired her family's story. I adored her smiley wee baby boy, and I felt confident that we'd have a good time working together to have a positive impact on a local business. And then we left. But I realized I'd forgotten a card from my purse, and went back in to get it.

Repeat Turbo Crutch Boogie.

I am a dancin' machine.

I retrieved the card from the table, shoved it in my sweater pocket. But as I neared the exit, my crutches - which are so old that Charles Dickens gave them to Tiny Tim, I'm pretty sure - slipped out from under me on the slick tile floor. "Uh oh," I thought. "Going down."

It was spectacular - and Ima letcha finish, J. Lo, but it was one of the great falls of all time. My keys went one way. My crutches the other. I made a noise like "huuuuuooooooomph!" as a hit the ground. It looked amazing, yet hurt not at all... unless you count the injury to my ego.

"....Awesome," I sighed mentally. "This is just how I was hoping my day would go." And then I realized I was talking out loud. Even better.

A cafe employee peered down at me with confusion and concern. "Ma'am? Are you alright?"

"Oh... yeah. Just napping," I replied, still lying on the floor. An entering customer stepped around me with a bemused expression.

The cafe employee - a friendly older lady probably supplementing her Social Security - gave a sympathetic smile. "Are you hurt?"

"Not anymore than I already was." My toe throbbed from the involuntary effort that every muscle in your body makes when trying to avoid a fall. But it was bearable.

"Do you need some help to get up?"

"Nah," I sighed. "I'm just going to lay here and collect my pride for a moment."

"Okay," she said, laid my keys next to me, and toddled off.

After a minute, when the icy blast of winter air from the door alerted me that I was still lying in the way of entering customers, I sat up. The cafe employees were going on about their business, and I was shielded from the customers (minus the two who walked in - hi there!) by a wall that ensured minimal mortification. And, luckily, I was wearing pants.

So, using a chair to help me off the ground, I gathered myself to leave. The car seemed light years away from where I sat. I briefly considered crying like a spoiled infant. Then I took a deep breath, berating myself with the knowledge that some people have to do this every moment of their whole lives.

"Besides," I thought. "Getting off the curb is easier than getting on."

A little inspiration

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Single-Handedly Financing Augusta's Medical Community

 (This is the story of my broken middle toe. If you can't stand the above image, do not read any further.)

Augusta, GA. - Spent yesterday laid up with a migraine. Because I spent most of the day in bed - Saturday gone bye-bye, dangit - I wasn't able to fall asleep until 1 a.m. Then, I was driven into Emmie's bed by Sir Snorz-a-Lot and the fact that Emmie, herself, was stretched out horizontally across our bed.

All of that converged when, sometime around 3 a.m., Emmie started shrieking. Shrieking like hot branding irons were being pressed into her flesh. Like someone said that she could never again have ice cream. Like all the unicorns had died.

"Must! Help! Baby!" That's the only thought that was in my head when I leapt out of her bed.

But my left leg was asleep, for some reason, and with its first step, landed on a page from a coloring book. My foot shot out from under me, lodged in the carpet, and kept going. I heard a snap! (and maybe a crackle! and pop!), lost control, and then my whole body hit the floor. Hard.

Emmie was still screaming.

"I'm - ow (expletive expletive expletive) - I'm coming, sweetie!"


I race-crawl to the bedroom, around the toys and coloring detritus on her bedroom floor, because I cannot stand on a leg that is asleep. And because my jammy pants are too big, they begin to slide down my behind. I try to stand, but a shooting pain in my foot stops me, and I leap forward as I fall, like a running back trying to score that winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. Another pain as my elbow hits the floor.

"Emmie, stop!" I hear Scott snap from a deep sleep. I can see Emmie sitting up in bed, face upturned in a full-on howl.

"WHAT is going ON?!" I cry, as I make it into the doorway, panting, on elbows and knees. It seems like I had to battle all the minions of the underworld to get there, but it really took me less than 20 seconds.

"I hab a bad dream!" Emmie yells.

Are. You. Serious?!

I stop. I hurt a lot. I reassess the situation. My instinct, now that I am awake, is that there is no immediate danger. Just call me Sherlock Holmes.

"Emmie. Come here to me now." I command.

"Yes, mother," she says, and is instantly before me.

"Why were you screaming?"

"Because she's a diva," Scott says, from where he is still comfortably ensconced in the comforter.

"No! Because I hab a bad dream! I dream dat you were my muvver, but den you take off your face and you be'd a robot!" she says, indignant.

I collapse on my back on the floor. My elbow is fine. My leg is awake, and tingling wildly. But something is not right with my foot. I feel it in the dark, groan, and pull it up to my nearsighted eyes to examine it. The middle toe is broken. A lot. It careens off to the left at an angle that is highly unnatural. Now that I see it and understand, of course it begins to hurt like mad. On top of that, the adrenaline begins to subside and I find myself wracked with shivers, teeth chattering wildly. To add insult to my obvious injury, my jammy pants have slid down to mid-thigh. I am lying on the floor, in the hallway, shivering, butt exposed, with a very broken toe.

"Emmie." I say, in a voice that carries with it the full weight of God's law. "We do NOT scream like that. Mommy was VERY scared. I thought the doggie was biting you."

"Oh. I so sorry, mama. I jus' hab a bad dream."


"Mommy is not happy right now. Mommy hurt herself trying to rescue you. Because Mommy is an idiot," I explain as I feel where I hurt for injuries.

"You not a idiot, mama. You a hero!"

Yeah, I really feel like it.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Public Speaking: I Does it

Friday, January 08, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - So I was flattered to be considered important enough to speak at the Centennial Celebration of the historic Partridge Inn, and to contribute something to the hotel's time capsule, to be opened in 100 years. It's SUCH an amazing property, with 5-star service, and yet it's a very comfortable place to relax. There's no other property like it in the world, I imagine.

But I was the next-to-last speaker, and I was sure that I would have nothing interesting to say.

"What am I going to say?" I asked their photographer and PR rep. "Partridge Inn good. I like it. Ugh."

"You'll think of something," she said. "You know: beautiful historic property, blah blah blah, congratulations."

"You think the 12 speakers before me won't hit on that idea?" I asked.

"You're right. You're screwed."


I thought about saying simply, "My husband and I spent our honeymoon night herer, but I'm not telling you about THAT. Here's my stuff. Hope ya like it."

In the end, I came up with something generic, but I think it worked.

Text of speech:
Thank u for inviting The Metro Spirit & Metro Augusta Parent Magazine, and congratulations on your centennial anniversary. The Metro Spirit is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and we were proud to partner wth The Partridge Inn for our Metro's Best party this year. The party that night was a quintessential Partridge Inn event: classy yet comfortable, and drew hundreds of people to this historic property.

I'm an Atlanta transplant, and I can attest that no property in that city inspires such feelings of goodwill and even homesickness. My husband and I spent the first day of our family life at the Partridge Inn. We considered no other choices.

(Something about the property being pretty at night, as I lost my place in the speech)

Because the Partridge Inn is the heart of the Augusta community, the larger family of our city. And for that reason, we donate copies of our magazine, Metro Augusta Parent Magazine, which has chronicled family life in Augusta for 10 years. We also include a copy of The Metro Spirit, to assist in adding historic perspective to this time capsule.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Author Charlaine Harris Talks About 'True Blood,' the Future of Sookie Stackhouse, and More!

Augusta, Ga. - Momnesia has new information from Charlaine Harris of Sookie Stackhouse and "True Blood" fame!

Yes, jealous bitches! That's right. I scored this interview. You may touch me.

Actually, Ms. Harris may have been the nicest, most dryly funny person I've ever interviewed on the phone. She's a Southern lady, after all, and after 29 years of publishing fiction books, has learned a deft way of handling interviewers.

When I called, she was running behind schedule - a rarity for her, she said. But she was picking up around the house before a portrait painter arrived. He has a technique where he takes famous writers and paints them in the guise of old masterpieces. His idea for her is "Death of Marat," by David.

"But I'm not going to be naked in the bath tub, so we're still negotiating that," she said, with an audible grin.

She spent about 30 minutes answering questions from readers of The Metro Spirit and Metro Augusta Parent, as well as Facebook friends and friends from years back who came out of the woodwork to satisfy their curiosity. The story ran in the Jan. 20 edition of The Metro Spirit, but I've included a few outtakes here.

Twenty-nine years is a long time to keep writing. What keeps you motivated as a writer?

I love doing it, and I'm not really good at anything else. I've always been a terrible employee. If I didn't do this, I'd have to find something else to justify my existence.

How would you characterize your career?

I got very lucky. I took a class from Shannon Ravenel, who of course is now the editor of Algonquin Press, but had just left Houghton Mifflin while her husband was doing an internship. She was teaching a (college) class on creative writing to make a little money on the side while she figured out what she was going to do.

Harris wrote her first book, "Sweet and Deadly," while a student in the class. Ravenel liked it, and was able to get it into the hands of the right people.

And how would you characterize your writing motivations? Are you drawn to characters, plots, immersing yourself in a certain universe?

I would say immersing myself in a universe. If I have to choose, I say that I am character-driven. Because my plots develop as I'm writing. How are the characters going to be affected? What's their growth trajectory going to be?

What do you think of the "True Blood" series?

I think of the books and the television series as two completely different animals. I like being surprised by what I see on the screen. It keeps it fresh for me. But Alan Ball doesn't tell me how to write the books, and I don't tell him how to write the series.

I love Tara being black. I wish I'd thought of that. And I love Jessica. I wish I'd thought of that. I really like those choices, and I can see where they're going and how they fit.

I also love Lafayette. In the books, he wasn't as flamboyant. But if he had been, and if I'd had Nelsan [Ellis, who plays the character], Lafayette would have lived.

Momnesia will post more from the interview later. But it's not fair to post everything before the story prints in The Metro Spirit. I have to give them a chance to share in the awesomeness.

I Love Patterned Tights - But Are These Too Much?

Shaving Time Off the Morning Rush

Augusta, Ga. - I was so proud of myself. Before I put Emmie to bed last night, we had lunches, clothes, bags, and breakfast all prepped and ready to go.

This morning, as I'm finishing getting dressed, Scott sprints by: "I have torn this house apart, and I can't find her coat or her backpack!"

"Did you look on the chair by the door?"

"...Oh. Found it!"

Good for you.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

"A Christmas Story" Ain't Got Nuthin' on Us!

Augusta, GA. - Scott is a well-known crappy gift giver. Some examples of gifts that he has given me:
  • A pair of birds in a giant cage - they were messy, the dog wanted to eat them, and they never shut up! Back to the store they went. $50 wasted, then regained.
  • A novel he bought under the misconception that I liked "historical romance" (I said "historical fiction," like "Artemesia" and "The Red Tent.") - that turned out to be a ridiculous romance. $13 wasted.
  • A prenatal massage gift certificate from a company that never could offer a prenatal massage and kept trying to turn it into a facial. The business then went OUT of business. $100 wasted.
Last Christmas, he kept it simple, with a beautiful beaded cocktail dress from a major department store. I loved it, and I told him so, and I wear it every chance I get. $80 well-spent.

This year, he really wanted to be creative... despite the fact that I set up an Amazon and an Etsy wish list, just to break him of this creative-gift-giving habit (and also because pretend shopping costs less than actual shopping - anyone know where to get inexpensive not-ugly curtains?).

And so, because GIANT HINTS could not get through his deflector shields, there was much secretive workshop-type-stuff going on, and I was very, very concerned. But, also, I was excited! There could be inexpensive not-ugly curtains taking shape in there!

Alas, it was not to be. Because one day he forgot to lock the workshop door, and the wind blew it open just as I was getting into my car. There I saw the lamp I had asked him to throw out two months ago... only it was obviously being worked on.

"Honey, you're not refinishing that old lamp, are you?" I asked, apprehensively, not making the connection between my present and some random project he was working on.

"Oh (expletive)," he said, and stomped over to lock the door. That's when I knew. Oh. No. He was not going to - (sigh).

BEHOLD: The Penis Lamp!

(It is even more hideous in the flesh, although it looks less like a martial aid made of chocolate. By the way, THAT was a fun Google search I just did - there are some messed-up people out there!)

You have to understand something about my husband: He gets an idea in his teeth and he shakes it 'til it's dead. He wraps himself in it. It fills his head. He wallows around in it like a pig in mud, and it becomes a part of him. Call it tenacity. Call it stubbornness. Call it insanity. It depends on how you look at it.

This is a great quality for an investigative reporter (see: ANIC corruption). It is a great quality for an activist (see: Aquaduct Park). It is not, necessarily, a great quality in a husband (see: Every argument we've ever had).

"Honey. I do not want a penis lamp in my house," I stated.

"It does not look like a - oh. OH," he said.

Turns out that Scott grew up with this lamp. It was in his grandparents' home for 50 years. So clearly he didn't think of it as phallic while playing in their living room at the age of 7.

"Oh, I guess if I had just gone to Windsor, and come home with a green box,  she'd have been satisfied," he complained to a friend recently. (By the way: Yes)

"Come on, Scott," the friend said. "You never saw a [crude word for penis] when you looked at that?"

"No!" Scott insisted.

"You're an idiot," the friend laughed.

Recently, Scott rediscovered it in their attic and decided to refurbish it for me, thinking I would love the unique design, the history, and the story behind it.

Well, I do love the story! Although, in all fairness, Scott remembers it differently...

Love, Actually

Sunday, January 03, 2010 By

Emmie was staying with my parents for the week after Christmas, and I called her every day. One day, she was all in a tizzy.

"I goeend out to Granny's room 'cause I hafta tell you sumpeend, an' iss a seeecret!" she whispered.


"Okay, I closeend da door. Mama? I gotta tell you sumpeend. I'm in lub."

"Oh, really?" I asked, amused - and mildly concerned.


"With whom?"

"... I don' brenembered his name," she thought.

"Um... (snicker) Well, where did you meet him?"

"I diddin meet him. I see him on da telebision."

"Ohhhh," I breathed, much relieved. No convent admissions packet needed - for now. "What show was he on?"

"I don' brenembered da name ub it," she said. "But deres four boys, an' a mean girl, and one of da boys is mean..."

"Uh-huh..." I ran a mental checklist of the shows on Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel. "Was is 'Big Time Rush?'"

"YETH!" she shrieked. "Dats IT! Mama, we godda go to dere concert!"

"Yeah, that's not gonna happen," I chortled.

There was a moment of silence on the other end, and I just knew - the way moms know - that she was about to erupt into hysterics.

"They're not playing a concert near us," I interjected, before she could unleash the fury.

"Ohhh," she sighed, disappointed.

"But maybe we can find something for your birthday," I mused.

And maybe, just maybe, if you're very good and very quiet, I'll let you watch mommy poke out her own eardrums.

Friday, January 01, 2010

My Husband Still Talks in His Sleep

Friday, January 01, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - My husband came to bed late, having been at a neighborhood block party for New Year's Eve.

Deep in the morning, dark outside, and all fireworks having ceased long ago, I heard him talking to someone.

"Mmhmm," he said. "Yeah."

I raised my head and looked around. There was no one in the room, apart from the three of us, and Emmie was fast asleep between us.

"Uh-huh," he said. His eyes were closed, but his face had an expression of polite interest.

"Honey?" I mumbled.

"No, that sounds great!" he said. "I'd love to try it."

I glared at him. I know it was New Year's Eve, but this is what happens when he drinks before bed. And I'm the one he keeps awake for half the night.

"No, I like sushi," he insisted to his invisible partner in conversation.

"No, you don't!" I exclaimed in disgust. "You hate sushi!

"No, really, I like it!" he insisted, a frown on his brow.

"Oh, shut up," I muttered, rolling back over to try to sleep.

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Just a Question or Two

Friday, January 01, 2010 By

Why does my daughter think my name is: "Stacey Hudson from University Augusta Aquarium?"

And why does she think the aquarium is filled with ice cream?

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Happy New Year!

Friday, January 01, 2010 By

How was your NY Eve? Emmie and I were asleep before 10 p.m. Livin' the dream, baby. Livin' the dream...

I started the first day of 2010 by being rudely awakened.

"MOOMMM! DAAADDD! IT'S TIME TO GET UUUUUUPP!" Emmie bellowed from the foot of our bed.

"ZZZZZZZ," Scott replied, lost in dreamland.

(Sigh) Good thing we have a nice stock of Diet Coke for me.

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