Archive - October, 2010

Shirt of the tiger

School field day, various and sundry practices to attend and working on the set for my girl’s 4th grade musical, et. al. — It was a pretty busy week for me in the non-virtual world, but I still managed to enrich a few lives through the power of social media. Or not…

I also had a rather riveting twitter conversation whilst preparing this post, but alas, it will have to wait until next week.

The best of me (or not) on the twitter this week:

@CandySteele Dude. I’m totally making me one of those. (in reply to CandySteele @katdish Did you get one? Angry Birds costume bawwwk!)

@kelybreez I think @LainieGallagher’s favorite word is “I am always right”. Even though technically, that’s 4 words. (in reply to kelybreez @katdish But it would have to be her favorite word, not yours. She has the 3rd letter “i” in her name.)

@mdgoodyear Yes, but vurp is a much funner word. (in reply to mdgoodyear @katdish I thought that was called acid reflux…)

@kelybreez I think my favorite word is “irregardless”. Mostly because @LainieGallagher says it’s not a real word, & I like to make her mad.

Vurp: vomit/burp. You’re welcome.

@Helenatrandom @SBeeCreations @kelybreez VURP!

@Helenatrandom Um, right. Credit. That’s what I meant. (in reply to Helenatrandom Don’t you mean credit, not blame?)

@SBeeCreations Okay…Neti Pots I’ll own, not head cheese.

@kelybreez I believe what @weightwhat means is that I am the catalyst for all things good. (in reply to kelybreez @katdish “I take no blame for pirate festivals or head cheese. That’s all @helenatrandom” / But you’ve been blamed for everything.)

@kelybreez Okay. Tangent. (in reply to kelybreez @katdish “Twitter” is above & beyond the English language. Doesn’t count. You’ll have to try again.

@kelybreez Twitter. (in reply to kelybreez @katdish Twitter peeps. I love words. What’s your favorite word in the English language that’s starts w/ 3rd letter of your first name?)

@weightwhat The worst part is that my friends used to sing it to ME. Inconceivable! (in reply to weightwhat @katdish At least you were singing loudly – makes it more believeable.)

Confession: I thought the name of this song was “Something Conceited”, which I sang at the top of my lungs.

Spent most of the day with paper and a stapler. Hope to be mostly done by tomorrow.

Why, yes…I AM easily entertained…

“It takes me a week to build my website. It looks heinous & insolvent & so I call your admonition to rally it.” – spam comment

Excerpt from spam comment: “I found your excellent text in the twitter.” (Snort!)

What would happen if everyone really did Wang Chung tonight?

@TchrEric That would be interesting. And horrible. (in reply to TchrEric @katdish It would be much more interesting to hear YOU playing the French Horn)

@kirstenwilson Snort! (in reply to kirstenwilson @katdish My boy also plays French horn. (Not sure why I’m telling you this. Perhaps so we could start a support group?)

I’m off again…French horn lessons (no, not for me, for the boy)

Nothing says welcome to fall like 94 degrees and humidity. Blech!

@dlrayburn Who doesn’t love a good katrant? (in reply to dlrayburn @tonyjalicea Love the Katrant’s huh? (cc: @katdish )

@tonyjalicea Aw, really? Thanks Tony. (in reply to tonyjalicea I would say @katdish // RT @dlrayburn If you could only recommend one person to follow on twitter, who would it be?)

So, here’s what I’ve been doing for the last 2 hours…

@cathylynnl @tonyjalicea @kelybreez There are few life situations where I’m at a loss to compare them to an episode of Seinfeld.

@cathylynnl Now you’re supposed to say, “Oh, it be…”

@cathylynnl It annoys you? That can’t be! (in reply to cathylynnl @tonyjalicea @kelybreez Seinfeld totally annoys me. I thought it was a “guy” show. Evidently not, @katdish)

@kelybreez I don’t think you’re a loser, but you probably won’t ever understand some of my tweets. (in reply to kelybreez @katdish I hesitate to admit this… But I’ve never seen an episode of Seinfeld. I know, I know. People think I’m a LOSER.)

@tonyjalicea I thought everyone watched Seinfeld. I found out differently last week. (in reply to tonyjalicea @katdish It feels so good to be understood.)

@tonyjalicea Worse than a RAGING anti-dentite! (in reply to tonyjalicea @katdish That’s worse than an anti-dentite!)

@tonyjalicea An anti-grace-ite? (in reply to tonyjalicea If you don’t give grace to someone because they don’t give grace to others, what does that make you?)

@weightwhat Who knew? Guess you can never be too prepared. (in reply to weightwhat @katdish That’ll teach you for leaving the house unprepared.)

@weightwhat I was wishing I had my old curling iron. (in reply to weightwhat @katdish Did you feel the need to feather your hair?)

@weightwhat @BigMama247 I had a temporary flashback to 1979.

You’ve heard of eye of the tiger? I give you…shirt of the tiger.

“The truth isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it’s a big boy…” ~ Stephen King (Duma Key)

“If you tell yourself the great lie of bad art–that you are in charge–your chance at the truth will be lost. ” ~ Stephen King (Duma Key)

You don’t mix together all the ingredients to get love. All the ingredients are already there.

I think people often mistake 1 Cor 13: 4-13 (Love is patient…) for a recipe rather than a definition.

@billycoffey #SnowDayBook is still doing very well on Amazon. I think everyone should buy at least 2 copies. One to keep & one to give.

My son is playing “You and Me” by Lifehouse on the French horn. (smiles)

Pardon me while I rant incessantly: Martha Stewart (repost)

Hey y’all. I apologize for the leftovers. I’ve been a little overwhelmed this week. This was originally posted in March of last year, so it may be new to some of you.

There are many reasons why I don’t watch Martha Stewart on television. Here’s another one. The following is an excerpt from the opening of her show yesterday. I recorded it and typed what she said verbatim, with the exception of a few uhs and ums. The comments in parentheses are my thoughts as I’m watching this touching little dog tribute.

“I think all of you have heard this already. There was a tragic propane tank explosion at the Pazazz Pet Boarding Kennel in Carbon County, PA. (Actually no. My satellite provider does not offer the 24 hour All Dogs News Network.) And it resulted in the death of at least 17, probably a few more dogs. Among those who perished was Paw Paw’s grandson, Ghenghis Khan who I picked to become one of my own dogs. (Who is Paw Paw?) And fortunately Karen Tracy the co-owner and trusted Chow breeder of the kennel did not sustain any injuries, but her home was very badly damaged. (Well, praise God that she is not injured.) She is currently living with her brother nearby. I spoke with Karen yesterday and she told me that three of her Chows are at the veterinarian in intensive care. I think two more died yesterday of injuries. But the good news is that there are still a few dogs remaining from Paw Paw’s lineage, and I’m very grateful for that. Paw Paw was such a great dog. (Oh, Martha! That’s great. We need to keep breeding lots and lots of dogs, especially dogs with bloodlines from a dog that was special enough to be owned by you. It’s not like thousands of dogs are being euthanized everyday because nobody wants them.) Despite the horrific tragedy, Karen remains hopeful and optimistic and plans to rebuild her kennels. (By the way, what happened to the driver of the propane tanker? I’m sure he’s okay, since you haven’t mentioned him yet.) So I’d like to wish a speedy recovery, also to Timothy Kleinhagen, who was the truck driver who was delivering the propane that somehow exploded, and he is in critical condition since the explosion. So, anyway (SO, ANYWAY?!?) – Timothy courageously attempted to remove the dogs from harm’s way before narrowly escaping very serious tragedy himself. (You mean he’s still not out of the woods, and will probably spend several months in the hospital undergoing painful rehabilitation? Well, that sucks. But at least he saved some of your precious dogs.) So, Karen wanted me to tell you how touched and grateful she is by the tremendous outpouring from the public. Yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah…”

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not a dog hater. Dogs are great. And I was actually sympathetic as I watched and listened to her outpouring of sadness and regret about the loss of her puppy and the other dogs. That is, until she mentioned a HUMAN BEING who is in intensive care as a result of this tragedy almost as an afterthought! Give me a freaking break! If you check out her blog, there are more tributes to dogs past and present with lots of pictures, and approximately one sentence devoted to the man who risked his life in an attempt to save them. Ridiculous! Almost as ridiculous as that stupid woman who publicly mourned the loss of her pet chimp while her friend clings to life in the hospital with her face torn off. (But don’t get me started…)

Cleaning up our messes

Lately I’ve been having what seems to be a never ending struggle with my daughter and her room. Every day I ask her to clean it up and every day she assures me she will. I believe she believes herself when she promises to do so, but I think she suffers from what I often suffer from. The feeling of being overwhelmed by all the stuff. So rather than taking on small tasks and doing a little at a time, she gives up and simply lives in the mess. I’ve been tempted to clean it for her on several occasions. Have done so, actually. But I want her to take ownership of her space.

Alas, we are at an impass. Because if I allow her to take ownership of it, I must also accept that her room will never be as neat as I want it to be. I have to surrender control to her. Lately, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve simply avoided being in her room for any extended period of time.

Until this morning.

After she had left for school, I took a deep breath, promised myself I would not come unglued, and ventured into the land of unseen carpet. It was bad, but I’ve seen it in worse shape. I decided that rather than doing a major overhaul, I would simply put everything into manageable piles.

I’ve decided on a new plan of attack. Rather than demanding that she keep it clean all by herself, rather than getting fed up and doing it all myself, we’re going to sort through the mess together.

Because sometimes little girls get overwhelmed. Small messes become bigger messes and try as they might, they can’t ever seem to get to a place where things are right again all by themselves. They need someone who has been where they are to say, “It’s okay. You don’t have to do this all by yourself. I’m here to help you find your way out of this mess, and once it’s clean again you can manage it on your own again. But just remember, you’re never really alone. I’m always here to lend a helping hand. All you have to do is ask.”

Be brave (repost)

How to Draw a Picture (Part Eight)
(Excerpt from Duma Key by Stephen King)

Be brave. Don’t be afraid to draw the secret things. No one said art was always a zephyr; sometimes it’s a hurricane. Even then you must not hesitate or change course. Because if you tell yourself the great lie of bad art–that you are in charge–your chance at the truth will be lost. The truth isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it’s a big boy….

The bravery is in the doing, not in the showing. The truth can be hidden away again, if it’s too terrible for the world to look at. And it happens. I’m sure it happens all the time.


 When an idea comes to mind, an artist will often be consumed until he or she can breath life into it. But what about writer’s block? Or the feeling of being overwhelmed by a white canvas staring back at you? Or the chord progression that just isn’t quite cutting it? Why do you suppose that happens? How do you get past it?

I have a theory.

Would you consider the possibility that there are moments, emotions and feelings you dare not share? Things dark, sinister or shameful? So incapacitating that if you could hide them from God you would?

I’m fairly open here in my writing, but there are some things I simply cannot share; or maybe just refuse to share. I know, I know…confession is good for the soul, but some things are between God and me. For now, anyway.

One thing in particular. A story that’s been locked away for too many years. So, I’m going to heed the words of the great sage Stephen King: “The bravery is in the doing, not in the showing.” I’m going to sit down and write a story that will never be told, because “the truth can be hidden away again, if it’s too terrible for the world to look at.”

So, how about you? Do you have a story that will never be told? That you’ve hidden well?

It seeps out, you know.

Through the cracks in your heart.


Eight women sit together Sunday evening
I know all by name, but most not much more than that
Tonight’s topic? Wounds.

We watch the DVD.
I see women on the screen as they share past hurts
And while these are real women with real hurts
I am largely unaffected
These are strangers to me

I wonder if I’ll be willing to share any part of my story
when we turn off the DVD.
I’m expecting awkward silence

But instead, the woman in the group I know best
shares something I never knew
I marvel at her courage
because knowing her as I do
I understand how difficult the sharing must be

One by one we each share something painful from our pasts

I see my own past hurts mirrored in other stories
Not the same scenarios so much
as the weight they’ve carried
because they’ve seen themselves
as damaged goods
unworthy somehow
of their heart’s desires

I say a silent prayer
I ask God to help them see themselves
for who they are
and worth fighting for

Dare I ask Him
to help me see
the same in me?

Things that scare the heck outta me (by Billy Coffey)

In light of the fact that Halloween is just around the corner (and that a certain blogger/author is a little busy right now), I’ve decided to re-run a post Billy Coffey wrote for this blog last year. I certainly enjoyed this peek into Billy’s secret fears just as much this time around. Besides, it’s given me some great Christmas gift ideas. Here’s Billy:

It’s a little ironic that though I tend to be a bit picture kind of guy, it’s hours and days I’m more interested in than months and years. What’s happening down the road doesn’t really concern me. What’s happening now does. This is why I tend to pay much more attention to my watch than my calendar.

This is also why it’s a good thing God made department stores. Otherwise, I would not know what holiday is upon us.

The department stores here say that Halloween will be soon. There are costumes and candy and ghouls and, even, greeting cards. You know you’ve arrived as a holiday when you get your own greeting cards. Halloween is getting big.

And I think it should be big, if for no other reason than it focuses upon one of the great issues of our lives.


In the interest of writing-frees-the-soul, I can confess that I normally do not talk about my fears. I’ll even go so far as to say that I go to certain lengths to maintain the lie that I do not have any. I do have fears. Many, in fact. And I don’t care who you are, how tough you happen to be, or how much faith you have, you’re scared of something, too.

However. The thing about fear is that it’s often a very big shadow of a very little thing. Dragging it out into the light and seeing it for what it is can be a liberating experience, or so I’ve heard. So it’s along those lines that I will blaze the trail for anyone else who might read this and admit those things that send a shiver up my spine and force me to sleep with the light on.


Ghosts? Ghosts don’t bother me. And I laugh at monsters. Vampires run from ME. But zombies freak me out. I think it’s the slow but steady movement. Zombies are patient, and I don’t understand patience. Honestly, the whole taste for human flesh thing doesn’t really bother me as much as the ratty clothes, the pale skin, and that “AAAHHHH” sound they make. Zombies are the worst creatures in the world. I don’t care who you are, if you turn into a zombie and come at me, I’ma killin’ you.


The fear of clowns is shared by so many people that it actually has a clinical name—coulrophobia. Stephen King wrote about Pennywise the Clown in It. John Wayne Gacy, one of the worst serial killers in history, dressed as Pogo the Clown for children’s birthday parties. And who can forget Crazy Joe Davola on Seinfeld? He dressed as a clown, too. And he was crazy.

Ventriloquist Dummies

When I was a kid I dreamed that I got a ventriloquist dummy for Christmas, but instead of using it, it put me on it’s knee, shoved a wooden hand up my back, and took me on tour around the country. He kept me in a small wooden steamer trunk and all he’d give me to survive on was Nilla Wafers. I’ll never forget that dream. And to this day I can’t eat Nilla Wafers. Nuff said.

Along those lines, dolls freak me out, too. I was watching Destination Truth the other night and they visited a place in Mexico called Isla de Las Munecas. Island of the Dolls. Legend states that the spirit of a drowned girl haunts the island and the dolls are there to appease her. Evidently that’s not working, though. Because now the dolls are haunted, too. Wanna see a picture of the lovely surroundings? (photo by esparta courtesy of Flickr)


Ice Cream Trucks

Those of you who have never seen the movie Maximum Overdrive may not truly appreciate how utterly mortifying ice cream trucks are. As much as I believe Stephen King to be a genius, he’s ruined more than one seemingly innocent thing for me. This is one. There’s an ice cream truck that drives around our neighborhood in the summer (blaring Christmas music, by the way), and every time I see it I make a hasty yet dignified retreat back into the house. This, by the way, is not that ice cream truck. I get too shaky to take a picture of it, so I borrowed this shot from the movie off the internet.Yes, I know this one may be a little stupid. No, I don’t care. Ice cream trucks are evil. You’re just gonna have to trust me on that.

So there you go. All my fears laid out for your reflection and mockery. I figure I’m good so long as I never run into a zombie clown whose ventriloquist dummy is driving an ice cream truck sporting a doll as a hood ornament. Chances are that won’t happen.

But I figure most fears are like that, anyway.

To read more from Billy Coffey or to hyperlink pictures of zombies, clowns, ventriloquist dummies, dolls and/or ice cream trucks, visit him at What I Learned Today and follow him on the twitter at @billycoffey.

Bring me to life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” ~ John 10:10

Twitter Update No. 66 – Lawsome

image courtesy of

Yeppers. Twitter update number 66. Apparently, I have a lot to say. A real mixed bag of nuts on the twitter this week: baseball, Walmart and a dreaded neighborhood garage sale. Also, approximately 28,000 tweets which mysteriously disappeared have now returned. Perhaps I can publish them in a book afterall. But most likely not…

The best of me (or not) on the twitter this week:

Son just bought a music book for French horn that came w/CD. Just heard My Immortal played on French horn & died a little inside.

@NikoleHahn Duly noted. (in reply to NikoleHahn @katdish @CassFrear I’d want the secret police double agent position to help the peasants escape the Supreme Commander of the Western Hem.)

@CassFrear @NikoleHahn Congress? Not for me. If there’s an opening for Supreme Commander of the Western Hemisphere, I’m all up in that. (in reply to NikoleHahn @CassFrear @katdish That’s probably a good que to be careful what you tweet. If any of us runs for congress, we’ll eat our own words)

@CassFrear I would, except twitter ate most of my tweets. I think they’re in a vault somewhere. (in reply to CassFrear @katdish Ha! I figured I’d get a reaction. I wonder, could you put your tweets in a book and sell them?)

@kelybreez That was Al Gore. (in reply to kelybreez @katdish I thought you invented the interwebs… Or was it that other guy…?)

@kelybreez I’m like the Kevin Bacon of the interwebs. (in reply to kelybreez @katdish “Aren’t you glad I intoduced you to @weightwhat?” That was you?! I wondered who started this madness.)

Just cut and pasted tweets for my next twitter update. Anyone care to guess how many I’ve done?

@kelybreez Aren’t you glad I introduced you to @weightwhat?

@TheMikeEllis Now see…if you were a fan of Seinfeld, your response would have been “Oh, it be…”

@TheMikeEllis You never watched Seinfeld? That can’t be! (in reply to TheMikeEllis I’m so unhip. I never watched it.)

@TheMikeEllis Is that anything like The Maestro on Seinfeld? (in reply to TheMikeEllis Prince changed his name. So did I. @MarketerMikeE is now @TheMikeEllis)

@marni71 @CandySteele @buzzbyannies Can I get an Amen?

My thoughts exactly

At the girly Ace Hardware store. Some pretty creative Christmas trees here.

@billycoffey Thanks. Don’t you have some ironing boards and grapes to deliver? (in reply to billycoffey @katdish Well, good luck with all THAT.)

Today’s agenda: Buy 3 birthday gifts & help hubby de-mold boat seats. I know, glamorous, no?

@fatcatdaddy Like I’m gonna go digging thru my neighbor’s crap… (in reply to fatcatdaddy @katdish hey I need some props for Halloween if you see something I can turn into a fighter pilot helmet let me…)

@weightwhat I live in Nebraska. (in reply to weightwhat @katdish Where is your neighborhood again? I was thinking about getting you some ceramic clowns for Christmas & I’m sure someone’s sellin’.)

@weightwhat No, but I’ve got my pressure washer set up in case any of them try to come up my driveway. (in reply to weightwhat @katdish Got your fanny pack and small bills ready?)

My entire neighborhood is having a garage sale. I’m in second hand crap hell.

Only 2 copies of #SnowDayBook by @billycoffey on Amazon Today’s special: Buy 1, get 1 for the same price.

“You know, son – a giant bowl of potato chips is not what I would consider a healthy after school snack.” #thingsIshouldnothavetosay

@kelybreez Who apparently all have the day off. (in reply to kelybreez @katdish “Violent protests in France against changing retirement age from 59 to 62.” That’s a lot of furious 59 year olds!)

Violent protests in France against changing the retirement age from 60 to 62? Seriously?

Caller ID is wonderful. Who knew there were so many people I didn’t want to talk to?

Here’s 4 seconds of your life you’ll never get back. Sorry/you’re welcome:

@pwilson Give it up NOW, Wilson! You’ve been on thin ice for some time now.

RT @pwilson Few things relax me like watering the flowers and drinking a cup of hot mango tea. Should I give you my man card now or later?

It’s your life: Live it or live in it.

@lainiegallagher I just RTed that so everyone could see how ridiculous you are.

RT @lainiegallagher @mattiehopper If Lance Berkman were in the center of God’s will, he’d be a Ranger. I’ll pray for that one. @katdish

@lainiegallagher Who died and made you queen of Texas? (in reply to lainiegallagher @mattiehopper FALSE. Once a Yankee, you’re dead to TX. (Unless you’re Pudge. Then we extend grace when you come to your senses.) @katdish)

RT @mattiehopper: @lainiegallagher @katdish a true Texan always cheers for Lance Berkman!//Amen!

@lainiegallagher Okay…that’s a pretty cool shirt. (in reply to lainiegallagher @katdish Yes. Over THERE. Not here. Yankee.

@lainiegallagher Yankee? Virginia is hardly the North, and my family has been there since b4 the Revolutionary War as well. (in reply to lainiegallagher @katdish My ancestors were here before the Revolutionary War. It’s in my BLOOD, Yankee. (And whatever. You don’t remember when I was born.)

@lainiegallagher I’ve lived here longer than you’ve lived here, because I’ve been here since before you were born (in reply to lainiegallagher @katdish Oh wait — then you’re not a Texan. You just made an easy job even easier, foreigner!)

RT @beckfromfrogandtoad “What happened? You used to be such a pretty girl.” – some old lady at the tea. Too bad I can’t barf at will.

Hey, @prodigaljohn is giving away a signed copy of Braveheart, but don’t leave a comment b/c I want to win.

Sitting here at my computer & just realized the back of my jeep is still full of Walmart bags. #easilydistracted

Seriously, y’all. That picture did not capture just how many hornets are in that thing…Or were, anyway. Mwha ha ha!

@Helenatrandom Acts of violence upon stinging insects? It’s always a good day for that. (in reply to Helenatrandom @katdish But it’s not Wednesday!)

Bird feeder full of hornets. Scuse me. I’ve got some killin’ to do.

Just heard new music from Peter Frampton & Heart. Didn’t realize Sirius Radio had an AARP channel.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Walmart. But not nearly long enough.

Gotta go interface with the non-virtual world for awhile. Have a great morning,

@duane_scott And yes, she emptied it the last time.

@duane_scott In a happy marriage, it’s always your turn to empty the dishwasher.

@duane_scott Also? Your pants pockets are not tiny garbage receptacles. Clean out your pockets before you put them in the hamper.

@duane_scott Here’s my unsolicited marriage advice: Never let the sun go down on your anger. Stay up and fight

“When you combine ignorance with leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.” – Warren Buffet

@kelybreez Dang it. I was about to tweet your phone number. (in reply to kelybreez
@katdish I think she means she just HAD a phone conversation… Don’t want everyone calling me all of a sudden!)

PB&J: It’s what for lunch.

Just have a great phone conversation with @kelybreez. Y’all should follow him. And stay tuned.

Son: Who won the Texans games? Me: Texans Son: How’d they do that? Me: They scored more points. (I crack myself up.)

I just got a request for me to teach yoga to a group on 2 week holiday to my country. It’s like they don’t even know me.

I really should check my spam email more often. Hilarious.

RT @RobbBailey “Facebook was created for counting how many people left to be roundhouse kicked.”

RT @badbanana To be honest, that presentation was awkward looooong before we accidentally set the client’s hair on fire.

Halloween Costumes or Prostitots in training wear? (Repost)

My 8-year old daughter informed me last week that she wants to dress as a devil cat for Halloween. What’s a devil cat? I have no idea. But it sounds sort of slutty to me, so she will most likely NOT be dressing as a devil cat.

Did I miss something? Since when is it acceptable for pre-pubescent little girls to dress like hookers? Or as Erin, winner of my first ever Super Skanktacular Saturday Giveaway might call them, Prostitots?

I suppose I could play the blame game here. Kids are constantly bombarded with inappropriate images from TV and other media outlets. When was the last time you tried to buy your daughter a pair of shorts? It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find plain, knit or cotton shorts without words like “Juicy” or “Jail Bait” emblazoned across the butt. Lovely…

But here’s the thing – if you don’t want your daughter to dress provocatively, man up and put your foot down. Don’t give in to their incessant whining. Just say no to skanky kids costumes.

Update: This year, my daughter chose to be a “goth vampire”. Which is basically a long burgandy and black dress. I’m very happy.

Anyone dressing up for Halloween this year? What are your kiddos going to be?

What was your worst/best costume ever? Me? Madonna: The high ponytail era. It’s a shame I have since burned misplaced the pictures from that particular year. But I remember showing up early to a Halloween party hosted by my friend whom I have known since the 3rd grade. She didn’t recognize me. I had pulled my long hair up in a ponytail and used that spray-on hair (blond) sold to cover bald spots. Three cans later, my almost black hair was concealed and I was a platinum blond. And yes, the rest of the costume was very much in keeping with Madonna’s look at the time. My friend’s husband was a concert promoter, and she thought I was a band groupie. Good times…


My friend Matt Appling posted an interview with Billy Coffey over at his blog, The Church of No People. He asks some not-so-typical questions. You can find the interview here.


image courtesy of

I’m a big fan of words. Not individual words per sea, but when words are strung together in such a way as to affect us deeply. Whether the results manifests themselves in a good laugh, a good cry, a call to action, or some combination of all of the above. Words are powerful.

Two forms of word play I have particular affection for are quotes and song lyrics. I don’t know why. I’ve just always admired a good quote. A small collection of words that conveys a powerful concept. As for lyrics, I think there’s something magical about combining thoughtful words and music, especially when it seems as though the songwriter has somehow peeked into your heart and found a piece of your own story.

Yesterday, with a song that’s been playing in my head for the past several days, I came across a quote that was in opposition with said song. It left me feeling conflicted, because I tend to agree that the words in the song and the words in the quote were both true, even though they were at odds with one another. Here’s the quote:

“It’s better to keep grief inside. Grief inside works like bees or ants, building curious and perfect structures, complicating you. Grief outside means you want something from someone, and chances are good you won’t get it.”
~ Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)

As I spoke these words aloud though, they felt bitter in my mouth. Grief outside often does indeed mean you want something from someone, and the stiff upper lip side of me tends to agree. “Stop whining,” it says. “Don’t burden someone else with your problems.There are certain things that must remain unsaid. Bury them deep and no one gets hurt,” and on and on.

But those aren’t the words I want to believe. The words I want to believe are these:

Say (by John Mayer)

Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems,
Better put ’em in quotations

Say what you need to say [x8]

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead,
If you could only . . .

Say what you need to say [x8]

Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You’d better know that in the end
Its better to say too much
Then never say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open

Say what you need to say [x24]

I’ve thought about both the quote and the song quite a bit. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the quote comes from someone who builds walls around herself. Walls built in an effort to insulate her from getting hurt again. I understand that. But I also think those walls don’t really insulate you from pain. They just keep others out, and by doing so, allow you to focus on yourself almost exclusively. (A sure recipe for misery.) They’re also pretty painful for those who are trying to get through them to reach you. And sometimes words left unsaid are every bit as painful as the ones that are. Sometimes moreso.

Are you holding back words you need to share?
“I’m proud of you.”
“I believe in you.”
“You make me smile.”
“Thank you for being there for me.”
“I know this is difficult, but I’m here for you.”
“I wish things could be different.”
“Things are going to be okay.”
“I love you.”
“Hang on.”

I think I’ll vote for reaching out and saying what needs saying. It just might be exactly what someone needs to hear today…

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