Thursday, April 30, 2009

Letter to the Editor

Dear Margo,

Lately, I have alot in common with Chad Kroeger and Santana....."every time I try to talk to you, I get tongue-tied, it turns out that everything I say to you comes out wrong and never comes out right...."

Do you ever feel like everything in your life is upside down and inside out? That it doesn't matter what you say or do it's always the wrong thing? I hate it when that happens. I feel as though there is a little imp following me around, wreaking havoc in my path. Lately, that is what my life has been -- everything I say or do seems to be the wrong thing. I'm told the best intentions count for nothing if the person on the receiving end doesn't receive it as such. So, what does one do? How do you approach a situation when you think that everything you say or do is being measured and taken the wrong way? You know your heart and what you mean, but how do you convey that to another person?


Nothing Seems Right

Dear Nothing Seems Right,

First of all, let me preface my response by saying that, in the future, when you send in your letter, please include the decoder ring. Sometimes messages get jumbled in transit and it's best to have a clear message to respond to. Rambling never accomplishes anything.

I understand your problem (if I've interpreted your message correctly) and would like to suggest the following as a solution:

  • Eat chocolate - lots and lots of chocolate. Chocolate has many healing properties and always gives one a clear perspective on life.
  • Drink real Coke; not that diet stuff. Real Coke stimulates the healing properties of chocolate.
  • Spend a day at the spa - don't worry about the balance on your credit card bill. It's amazing how much better one feels after a pedicure, manicure, facial and massage (by none other than Orlando Bloom's identical twin). Tip heavily. After all, money is no object when it comes to one's peace of mind.
  • Get highlights. Nothing like a new hair color to make a girl feel and look incredible.
  • Stop listening to Santana.

If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me again. But please, for the love of Mike, include the decoder ring so that I don't have to frazzle myself trying to decipher your message.

Hugs and kisses,


Thursday, April 23, 2009

View Through a Lens

I'm a photographer. I own a Canon SLR digital camera. I cannot use, nor do I like to use fake cameras. By "fake" I'm referring to anything that has "point and shoot" in it's title. I am totally unable to take a decent photo with one. Amazing isn't it. You would think that if you are a photographer you would be able to pick up any camera and take a great photo. Doesn't work that way. It's like eating steak all your life then one day trying a mini-burger....yes, they are both meat, but they do not look or taste the same. Right about now you are saying to yourself "she doesn't like fake cameras because she can't use one." You would be incorrect in that assumption. I can use one in the literal sense, per se, I just can't use one to take decent photos.

I like seeing things through new eyes (my camera) and through old eyes (my own -- which are in desperate need of contacts). The view through a lens is remarkable. You are given the opportunity to see things in a new way -- framed and hanging on the wall. You find yourself with a new perspective on life; you pay attention to details that you would never notice in the course of a day. It takes hours to drive from one destination to the next because you stop along the way taking photos of things that you glimpsed from your window. You run off the road, sometimes scraping a mailbox or clipping a fence (or two), because you are staring at something you want to turn around and take a photo of. You stop people on the street to ask if you can take their picture. You annoy people in their homes when you knock on their door to ask permission to take a photo of a leaf you spied in their front yard.

As a photographer, you find yourself visiting places you would not normally visit. For instance, a couple of years ago, I did a documentary photography project on inmates. A friend who works for the Jefferson County Sheriff's department helped me go where no woman has gone before (at least not as a visitor)....into an all male county jail. I had the opportunity to interview, without the safety of plexiglass and a telephone, five inmates. I sat in a cell with each one for a chat and photograph. Two murderers, one drug dealer, one assaulter (he almost beat a man to death for money) and one who wrote bad checks. It was a very interesting mix of that you would never believe could be or should be behind bars, except one.....the drug dealer, who, for the sake of propriety, we will call Leon.

Leon, in his interview, kept telling me "the man" owed him something. That it was "the man's" fault he had to deal drugs to survive. He couldn't get a job because of "the man" and "the man" always sent him home broke each time he left prison (not his first stint in the big house, obviously). I informed Leon that "the man" (which I assumed was the government) didn't owe him anything, that it was his responsibility to make his own way in life, to work to earn a decent living and not blame others for his shortcomings (I was brave in my speaking because an armed sheriff was right outside the door and I figured he could draw his pistol before Leon could stab me with the "shiv" he made from a shoelace cap. Apparently, Leon learned many skills from watching reruns of McGyver.) When I left, Leon and I were not friends, which was okay. I don't think it's a good idea to be friends with drug dealers, as they always draw you into their drama and, eventually, your own stint in the big house. However, it was an interesting experience. I've posted a few photos from "my jail days". Incidentally, I was told that I could not photograph their faces because their rights had to be protected. My response, "What rights? They gave up their rights when they changed their name to a number". As you can see, I was forced to comply.

I'm just sayin',


Friday, April 17, 2009

Pirates of the Caribbean….no wait, that was Pirates of Somalia

When one hears of a “pirate attack”, we automatically envision Johnny Depp in all of his glory boarding a wooden ship and taking the “booty” and the beauty hostage. Her lover plans an audacious rescue to save her honor, an exhilarating sword fight ensues with the hero winning (of course) and everyone lives happily ever after. We think it’s romantic and daring. Unfortunately, there is nothing romantic about modern day piracy. Through movies, such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Captain Ron”, we are led to believe the life of a pirate is somewhat glamorous, dangerous and exciting. However, modern day pirates are nothing more than terrorists, albeit not as high on the terrorist food chain as those who blow themselves up for the love of Allah and the 72 virgins they will receive upon entering Heaven, but terrorists nonetheless. They hold people and ships hostage to extort money out of other countries. Yes, I realize this is what Captain Jack Sparrow did as well, but it didn’t seem all that bad on screen! However, we know that in real life it is a nasty situation.

I was shocked to find out that the Prime Minister of Somalia is barely able to govern the country and he has little to no power. He stated the government barely had control of a few square miles inside the capital of Mogadishu. Several countries, including the United States, are making valiant efforts to put an end to piracy in the Horn of Africa, which is one of the busiest and most precarious sea lanes in the world. The United States brought their captured pirate to New York to stand trial, while the Netherlands and France are prosecuting suspects in their own courts. Other countries feel that a special court should be established for trying pirate suspects because normal court procedures won’t apply. I think a punishment other than “life in prison without parole” should be inflicted, as I do not want to support these people the rest of their lives. Maybe they could be sentenced to something like, I don’t know, being tied to the mast of a ship for the rest of their days and fed raw squid until they throw up? OR walking the plank – from a submarine? OR made to clean toilets that only men use? That’s a good punishment!

What shocked me even more was to find out that these pirates are not just “plundering” for the sake of “plundering” but they are actually being sponsored by powerful businessmen and politicians all over the world! WHY?? Doesn’t Ted Kennedy have enough to do with chemo treatments and ruining other people’s lives?

And for my final question: the pirates arrive in small speedboats….SMALL SPEEDBOATS! Will someone PLEASE explain to me how 5 smelly men and a small speedboat can capture an entire ship??? I know they are armed……but

I’m just sayin’,

Your favorite pirate -- Captain Jack Sparrow aka Johnny Depp!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Snakes On A Plane!

I don't like snakes, have never liked snakes. They are sneaky, slimy and seem to strike at the most inopportune moment. Of course, I can't really think of an opportune time for them to strike...but still....

What "skeers" me is that these were being shipped on a plane. Did the passengers KNOW they were traveling with snakes? Is this something that should be disclosed pre-boarding? I think so, as I would definitely make alternate travel arrangements. WHY didn't they drive them to their destination? Why would they subject passengers to crawly reptiles in an enclosed environment, where, if they got loose (which they did) there would be nowhere to run? Trapped, literally, like rats in a cage.

What is even more frightening is that said snakes were never found. WHY? According to the "reptile expert", the snakes [probably] somehow escaped outside the plane after it landed. No they didn't; they crawled into the passengers' luggage and surprised them when they opened their bags....."Hi, honey, I'm home. Mommy's got a surprise for you!"

My skin is crawling just thinking about the tragedy of it all. This is why ALL planes should be equipped with parachutes...for those times when you need a place to go!

I'm just sayin' (I'm skeered),


PS.....on this one --
what can one possibly say -- tastes like CHICKEN???!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If You Frown, Your Marriage is Going Down!

The internet has been around for a while. You would think there would be nothing left out there to astonish, shock or amaze me. But you would be wrong in that thinking. I recently read a story, as I'm sure you did also, that now, Clara Mosokowitz of, has determined your marriage will be successful if you smiled in your yearbook photos. WHAT? WHAT? If I smiled in my school photos, my marriage will be successful and less likely to end in divorce? WHAT? You have got to be kidding me. Do these people have NOTHING better to do than to search through school yearbooks that have been thrown into the recycling bin and create bizarre stories with statistics? How did they even come up with an idea like that? Oh, look, there's Matilda, she didn't smile in any of her school photos. She will be unsuccessful in her marriage endeavors with Leonard, George, Frank and Tom. Does it matter that Matilda didn't smile because she had just lost a tooth, got braces or heaven forbid, some mean little child told her she had bad breath or an ugly smile? Those things affect whether or not we smile that day. She could have just returned from having a root canal and didn't fill much like smiling because when she opened her mouth she drooled from lip numbness caused by the excessive use of Novocain. Maybe Matilda had a chipped tooth and her parents didn't have the money to have it repaired, so she never smiled in her school photos. AND, more importantly, what if Leonard, George, Frank and Tom all smiled in their school photos? What does that say for them if they marry Matilda -- the have a 50/50 chance of marriage failure? What their study determined was "overall, the results indicate that people who frown in photos are five times more likely to get a divorce than people who smile." What utter and complete foolishness and nonsense! Where is the love, people? The sad thing is that you can no longer say, "smile, you're on Candid Camera", you have to say, "smile, or your marriage ain't gonna last"!

I'm just sayin',

85% of you smiled in your school photos.....for those 15% who didn't, might I suggest marriage counseling?

Somalia - You Give Pirates a Bad Name

Good pirates (very good looking and a little smelly, which can be tolerated somewhat because of their looks)

Bad pirates (not good looking and very smelly, which is NEVER tolerated -- if you are unattractive and stinky, then you definitely have a problem)

Got it.....get it.......GOOD! Just want to make sure everyone knows the difference.

This is part 1 of my pirate rant. With today being April 15th, I bet you thought it would be on something taxes....

I'm just sayin',


Monday, April 13, 2009

You Don't Know Jack!

No, I may not know Jack, but I definitely know the speed limit around town. Two weeks ago, while still in my euphoric fog from visiting Cameras Brookwood (which it's really not in Brookwood anymore so they should probably change the name), a Homewood police officer had the audacity to pull me over....for speeding! It always amazes me how idiotic most police officers sound when they pull you over. They say things such as "did you know you have a tail light out?"....yes, I do and I'm on my way to purchase the bulb to replace it; "did you know you have an expired tag?"....yes, I know, I received the new sticker in the mail today and haven't been able to get home to paste it on over the old one, see, here it is; "did you know you were speeding?"....obviously not or I would have slowed down before I reached the location of your radar gun. SHEESH....if you are a police officer reading this, PLEASE come up with more original lines. You sound like the man from the bar with the worst pick up lines EVER! AND why do you scream at little old women to NOT get out of the car?? What could they possibly do to you...hit you with their cane? You are a cop, you have a gun; honestly, how much pain could she inflict upon you before you shoot her?

Anywho, this police officer pulls me over and tells me I was speeding. I told him I was coming off the mountain (Vestavia) and was downshifting to third gear, how could I be speeding? I inquired as to the speed limit. He replied it was 40 and I was doing 63. Now, for those of you who drive a stick, you know there is no way you can drive 63 mph in third gear, comfortably. I argued the point. I told him I wasn't going 63. Now, I suppose I should point out that I really have no idea how fast I was driving, but I do know it wasn't 63. He obviously "clocked" me as I started my drive down the hill, before I downshifted to third gear. He took my license and insurance information and walked back to his moped. When he returned to my car (I had my door open, thank you very much as it was hot), to present my gift of a speeding ticket, I noticed he had changed the speed limit to 35. I asked him again, what was the speed limit and why did he change it. He said he made a mistake the first time and that the speed limit was actually 35. I said, "you mean to tell me you are out here giving tickets and you have no idea WHAT the speed limit is?" He turned very red and became flustered. He said he did know what the speed limit was and that he made a mistake the first time and asked me if I had ever made a mistake. I told him "no, I'm perfect, can't you tell?" I again questioned his competence of handing out tickets when he wasn't quite sure about the speed limit. He said he worked in several areas and there were many different speed limits throughout the City of Homewood and he just made a mistake. He began fumbling with these little cards in his hand, almost dropping them. I'm thinking I have a rookie cop at my door and he's having to look up the speed limit on cheat sheets. Anyway, the argument lasted for a few more minutes before I finally started closing my door which was his signal to move on or get hit with the door. He chose to move on.

Now for the best part of this story (no, it wasn't that I got a ticket -- do you people always delight in another person's misfortune?). When I got back to the office I had a voicemail from said police officer telling me he made another mistake and that the speed limit was actually 40 mph and would I please change my copy of the ticket. I almost fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard. I immediately called his superior officer and lodged a complaint. I was transferred several times and made sure that I told my tale to each person I spoke with....they ALL laughed. I made sure I gave his name as well.

The only good thing that came of this event was that I won a blog giveaway from my friend Jamie. The contest was to use 5 words to describe yourself -- my five words: "looking for competent police officers."

I’m just sayin’,


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Run for the Border

Once every blue moon I will make a “run for the border” and eat at Taco Bell for lunch. A couple of weeks ago I had a craving for something from there, so I went downstairs to grab some lunch. I ordered my usual -- 2 crunchy tacos and a drink. Everyone that knows me well knows how picky I am about my food. I like tacos; I just don’t like them with cheese and lettuce. Bizarre, I know. I like them with meat only. In addition to my tacos, I also like a side order of nachos with peppers. When I received my order there were no peppers! An abomination, as what are nachos without peppers! They are notchos! They are chips and cheese. That would be like ordering a hamburger with no meat – which is actually pretty common because no one is ever exactly sure WHAT is between the buns at fast food restaurants. It resembles meat, but what is it truly? But I digress.

N E Way, I asked the cashier, who by the way had a nasty attitude, what happened to the peppers I ordered with my nachos. I didn’t have time to enlighten her on the proper etiquette of nachos, that without the peppers, they were just chips and cheese. She searched through the bag I handed back to her; I told her they weren’t there. She turned around and spoke to the “cook” and asked about the peppers. THAT person said they weren’t on the order so they didn’t add them to the bag. I explained to the cashier that I did request peppers with my side order of nachos. I was then informed that if you want peppers, you gotta pay for peppers. People, we are in a deep recession. Shouldn’t I be receiving free food because I stepped out on a limb and made a purchase at their establishment? After all, I did order my tacos without cheese or lettuce – is it wrong to expect peppers in return for my generosity?

I wanted to bring this fact to the attention of the cashier, but I didn’t want anything extra on my tacos, so I took my order, with said peppers - which I did receive for FREE - and made a fast getaway. That will be the last time, well maybe the last time, I eat at Taco Bell, where the peppers are NOT free and they never leave the light on for you. Now I ask you, is it wrong of me to expect peppers for FREE with my nachos? And what will they make you pay extra for next – the shell???!!

I'm just sayin',


Friday, April 10, 2009


I believe exercise is way overrated, after all, look at the number of toned, fit, perfectly healthy people who drop dead every day! As I sit here eating my Snickers® bar (reduced fat I might add – as I’m only eating half the bar, I ate the other half yesterday), I’ve been contemplating the pros and cons of exercise. Pro – if I exercise, I won’t have cellulite. Con – I’m going to sweat. Pro – I won’t be out of breath after climbing 2 flights of stairs. Con – gym memberships are expensive AND other people will see me sweat. Pro – I can go without hose in the summer because my calves will be toned. Con – I do that anyway and offend many. Pro – I will have more energy. Con – that translates to having the energy to do more work. Pro – I really can’t think of anything else, but my list of “cons” is endless.

Now, I’m not an advocate for being lazy and not exercising at all, I just don’t believe in the rigorous stuff. Bending down to put on my shoes constitutes exercise -- right, after all, I’m NOT just standing there, I am moving. Also, when I take the laundry downstairs, I am exercising by walking up and down the stairs. So, it’s not like I'm not getting any exercise and I figure when God is ready to bring me home, He’s going to take me. I just want to make sure it’s not while I’m on a treadmill or in the middle of my 42nd abdominal crunch trying to stay healthy!

I'm just sayin',