Just in time for (insert name of occasion you’re celebrating)!

Just in time for Christmas! Or Hanukkah! Or Winter Solstice, flu season, your cat’s birthday … whatever you’re observing this time of year! Mel and I have a gift for YOU, our wonderful readers.

Have your heard of the film entitled The Good Lie starring Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon? It’s coming out on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 23. But YOU don’t have to battle the malls to get it. Because, thanks to our friends at Grace Hill Media, YOU could win your very own copy right here!

I know, right?


The movie tells the true-life story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, their lives torn apart by civil war, left to grow up in refugee camps, then given the opportunity through the efforts of church groups and other charities to embark on new lives in the U.S. And, in addition to Reese (Seriously, I can call her Reese by now, right?), the film features actual former Lost Boys from Sudan. Talk about injecting it with a huge dose of authenticity. But enough of my blathering on. Watch the clip. I’m sure it will hook you just like it did me.

And don’t just take my word for it. In addition to all of its positive press, when The Good Lie opened in theaters earlier this year, audiences polled by Cinemascore rated it an “A+.” In the last thirty years, only about 50 movies have received that prestigious honor. This is a good one. You want to see it.


Click here to win.


* * * * * * * * * *

So Happy Whatever-You’re-Celebrating. Please keep reading.

And thank you for your support.

(Hey, Mel, we sound like those old wine cooler dudes. Ooh, I call Bartles!)

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Random Fun Facts from My Wedding – TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY!

I drank NOTHING. From my rehearsal dinner to my wedding night, I literally had nothing to drink. I even faked my champagne toast picture. I was so afraid I was going to have to pee in that dress that I completely boycotted liquids for 24 hours.  (Good plan, Michele.)

It was drizzling on my wedding day. Drizzling! Isn’t the whole point of a December wedding cool, dry, humidity-free weather? (Stupid curly hair.)

My dress was new and modeled after a picture I saw in a magazine. My veil was my mother’s made by my grandmother. My garters were made by my aunt. And because it was Christmas, the one I threw was holiday-themed. And my shoes and purse were just some cheap, vintage-looking stuff I found on my own.


I still have them. And I’d still wear them if I didn’t think they’d disintegrate into powder the first time I put them on.

The band played the wrong song for our first couples dance. It was supposed to be Harry Connick Jr.’s I Could Write a Book. (Ironic, right?) But instead they played Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love. And I was fit to be tied. (What an idiot.)

The band (AGAIN with the poor band) was instructed not to play any line dances. Dave and I don’t like line dancing. But they played Strokin’. My guests loved it. Dave and I did not. Nor did we dance. (Couple of jerks.)

The slice of cake I cut for the traditional photo was so ridiculously thin that we almost didn’t get the shot. (Seriously, was I dieting that day?)


 I got better on the second one … also known as the one I never even tasted!

The photographer was determined to get the traditional handholding close-up shot with our new rings. Dave and I declined. More than once. The result was worse than any of us could ever have imagined. Between Dave’s nail-biting and my failure to get a wedding day manicure (or even paint my own stupid nails!), the picture was doomed before the button was ever clicked. (And I call myself a girl.)

As we ran out of the reception for our big exit, the last person I saw was my father. He had tears in his eyes. (I get it now, Dad.)

From the horse-drawn carriage ride we took after the reception in the French Quarter, Dave saw an old friend on the street. “Hey. Whatcha been up to, Dave?” called out the old friend. “Nothing really.” Then Dave stopped to think. “Well … except getting married!” he called back. (Nice save, Dave.)


There we are, leaving the very same hotel we would be returning to later that night. Because you need to make a grand exit, right?

It seemed so uneventful to have everybody throw rice at us in the elevator. 

Of course, one of the coolest things about my wedding day was sitting around in the bar at the hotel in my wedding dress with my parents and other immediate family … after all the festivities were over at the end of the night … just having a drink. Finally!

I can’t believe it’s been TWENTY YEARS.


Happy Anniversary, Dave.

(Photo #2 was a near casualty of Hurricane Katrina.)


Here’s what 20 years looks like.

(What? Nobody ever said it would be pretty.)

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6 Unusual Things That Happened to Me Since My Last Post

1. Eric Lefkofsky at Groupon has ignored me. For now. But, in his defense, it is the busiest season of the year. Perhaps he’s just bogged down in holiday parties and shopping. Or maybe it’s his responsibility to move the elf in his house at night. That’s enough to make anyone crazy. Anyway, I’m sure he’s just trying to figure out what little gift he’s going to send along with his glowing reply. That’s GOT to be it. I am not giving up. Yet.

2. I attempted to rescue a small dog to return it to its family. I failed.

3. I attempted to help an elderly couple whose tire exploded right in front of me on the interstate. I succeeded.

4. My computer crashed. Utterly and completely. The one with ALL my written work, short stories, novel segments, articles, pictures, videos, etc. on it. Was it backed up? The next person who asks me that question loses an ear. Take my advice. Go back up your computers. Right now.



5. I seem to have developed a minor tic in my left eye. Truthfully, it first presented itself earlier this fall. But, it’s been so pronounced lately, my eyelid could effect a category three hurricane. I’m not a therapist but I’m pretty sure it’s directly correlated to #4. (I need another cookie.)

6. I almost won $10,000. I wish I was kidding. 300 tickets were sold. And, one by one, each of those tickets was pulled from a barrel until only one remained. Guess what number I was? (I will pause here to build suspense) Number two. Number TWO! I’M NUMBER TWO! (Yes, I realize the irony of that statement.)


So these were the final four. The two green squares were the last men standing. (Insert expletive here) My sincerest congratulations to the winner.
Because, seriously, who doesn’t need the money? (Sigh)


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A Letter to My (Crossing Fingers!) New Friends at Groupon

ATTN: Eric Lefkofsky, CEO

RE: Job Opportunities at Groupon

Dear Mr. Lefkofsky,

First of all, please allow me to pander, bootlick and gush obsequiously over your impressive organization. I love Groupon. I’ve been a loyal customer for years now. From indulging my inner turophile at the local fondue restaurant to nourishing my overworked tresses with the restorative proteins of Keratin to feeding my very soul with the musical stylings of the Polyphonic Spree, Groupon has been there for me. Putting my money where it should be … back into my pockets … thus enabling me to (duh!) buy more Groupons. In short, I believe in your company.

And isn’t that what this season is all about, Charlie Brown?

Oh, and speaking of the season, I’ve been perusing your site a good bit lately, on both my laptop and my phone. I’m savvy that way. As technology (and not “Annette”) is my middle name. Not surprisingly, I’ve found several different offers I’m considering for myself as well as for my loved ones this holiday. Groupon consistently boasts such a delightfully eclectic menu of choices. I always enjoy reading them, because they are written with such character and (yes, I’m just going to say it) color!

As a freelance writer for a broad representation of clients, I pride myself on creating editorials, articles, profiles and even product reviews that people actually want to read. After all, what good is the written word if no one is there to read it?

Right? Of course, right.

Which brings me to my next point. I have been nudged for years by several friends and colleagues to reach out to you, Groupon, for professional writing opportunities. I am certain I would be a welcome addition to your ranks. I can promise you the same level of spirit, pluck and unique personality to which you’ve become accustomed. I can also promise you error-free copy, the likes of which have no place in offers targeted (ironically) to the writing community.


Now, before you dismiss me as a lunatic … yes, I did fill out the standardized form for career opportunities on your website. I just thought I’d put in an extra good word for myself. I felt I deserved it. I’ve known for me for years and I am willing to personally vouch for myself for just about anything.

I anxiously await your response.

Michele “Technology” Robert Poche


P.S. As a personal favor (are we at the point yet that I can be asking for favors?), I request that you not reprimand the staffer who crafted the new word for the writing course. Perhaps he was tired, perhaps he was distracted or perhaps he was  going for something existential in his description. In any event, without him, I would likely not have taken the time to write this correspondence. So I personally consider myself indebted to him. Or her. Either way.

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How I Spent My “Last Day” on Earth (Spoiler: I didn’t die.)

So I didn’t die yesterday. What does Facebook know anyway? Still, it was a  crazy way to spend a day. Wondering hour by hour if my number was suddenly going to come up. How did I spend my projected death day, you ask? Did I cower under the covers with my hands taped in oven mitts to prevent an accidental scratch that could result in a nasty infection that could kill me?

Hell to the No.

You guys know me better than that. I am a HUGE daredevil. Far be it from me to let fear get in the way of leading MY life on MY terms. I wasn’t going to let it slow me down for even a minute. Here are just a few of the things I took on yesterday … death day be damned.

* * * * * * * * * *


1. Drove recklessly. Okay. Maybe this is a little exaggerated but I was late for a surprise birthday lunch for a friend so I may have been leadfooting at least a little.


2. Ate carelessly. Let’s see. Because yesterday’s activities included the birthday lunch, my daily intake included things like chocolate cake, pastry, fatty cheeses, butter, artificial sweetener and bacon. (Fine. It was turkey bacon.) (P.S. This is a portrait of Kevin Bacon made out of bacon. I couldn’t resist.)


3. Ran with scissors. I should probably mention that the scissors were in Vivien’s school pencil pouch at the time. But I was running. Because I was hurrying to wrap a present for the birthday lunch.


4. Operated a branding iron. Actually, it was more of a flat iron. For hair. But I’ll still bet it could leave a pretty good mark on the skin if necessary.


5. Handled a razor. Hello? Hairy legs. Just as important as the clean underwear rule if I was going to die that day.


6. Played with fire. What? I lit a seasonal candle. That’s fire. And I enjoyed it. So it was playing.


7. Wielded a knife. Does it matter that it was a butter knife? No, it doesn’t. It’s still a knife. And I WIELDED it.


8. Experimented with drugs. I threw back five consecutive pills yesterday without so much as taking a breath. Never mind the fact that two were vitamins, two Midol and the last an herbal supplement.


9. Skydived. Actually, I jumped down from the kitchen footstool I was using to get a holiday cookbook. But I could have twisted an ankle.


10. Grappled with wild animals. Yes. He does SO count.

* * * * * * * * * *

Looks like I’ll be around to dumbass (and make up my own verbs) for another day.

(Whew! That was a close one.)

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The Stupid Facebook Quiz Result that Actually Bothered Me

If you’ve ever played around on Facebook for even a minute, you’ve likely taken at least one mindless quiz to determine what Saved by the Bell character you are or what type of cheese most complements your skin tone. Have I ever taken one? Sure. Just a few though. Because most of them look pretty stupid and I don’t always identify with the parameters (Game of Thrones characters, aura colors, etc.) being measured.

Until I ran across one designed to determine the date of my death.

I can’t remember who shared it first but he or she had the year 2056 as the result. The quiz was trending so I saw lots of death dates in years like 2037, 2042 and even 2076. I was in Memphis visiting Graceland with my mom and Vivien at the time waiting to get something to eat when I pressed “Start the Quiz” (or whatever the stupid button said).

Imagine my surprise when I got THIS result.


If I’m being honest, I’ll admit that it freaked me out a little. Of course, it also embarrassed me that it freaked me out at all. I mentioned it to my mom and she did exactly the right thing. She didn’t make fun of me. But she did assure me that these things are all crap. Which I know. So why in the hell did this ridiculousness bother me for even a second?

Maybe it’s because I’d just learned I had less than three months to live.

Maybe it’s because I wouldn’t even be making it to Thanksgiving. (Dammit. I usually host Thanksgiving!)

Or maybe it’s because the quiz didn’t even respect me enough to give me a cause of death. “Due to some health problem?” Thanks, Quiz Makers. How do I know what habits I should start/stop doing to prevent my looming demise?

But it’s all poppycock, rubbish, hogwash …. right? RIGHT?!!? (faking smile)

* * * * *

What do you guys think? Should I live the next five days as though they’re my last? Or should I be ashamed I even wrote this post?

What would YOU do if you only had five days left on Earth?

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10 Things That Entered The World in the 1940s



1. Bikinis. If this was all I was up against these days, I might actually consider swimming again.


2. Kitty Litter. Instead of sand. … SAND!!


3. Polaroid Cameras. Believe it or not, this was supposed to be easier.


4. Penicillin. Finally! A cure in just four hours.


5. Slinky. My brother and I typically each got one of these in our Christmas stockings. And we typically destroyed them by New Year’s.


6. Elmer’s Glue. From the same company who gave us milk, butter and other looking-suspiciously-like-glue dairy products. 


7. Electric Blankets. Read this ad … seriously.


8. Tupperware. Because tuna casserole freshness was reason enough to have a few midday martinis back then.


9. Morton’s Salt. “Help Keep Your Family Goiter Free!” Ah, the merits of increasing your salt intake.

And last but certainly not least …


10. My dad. He doesn’t help with disease prevention, simplify cat care or even make a slinkity sound. Yet he still manages to be the hands down favorite on this list for me. Because he’s my dad. And today is his birthday.

* * * * * * * * * *

So wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, won’t you stop and take a moment to raise your glass to my dad? I couldn’t ask for a better father. It is my privilege to share him with the world.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

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