Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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About these ads

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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Just call me Renee Zellweger

Oh, my God … I did it!

I’ve been threatening to change my look here at ODNT for well over a year now. I hate that stupid green screen. (Even though I’m pretty sure it’s what finally connected me to Greenland.) What took me so long, you ask? Let’s take a look at that list, shall we?

1. Laziness. Please. What’s the hurry? My nails need painting AND this Jif Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter isn’t going to eat itself. 

2. Fear. What if accidentally I erase ODNT? Or WordPress? Or the whole freakin’ information super highway?!!? Seriously, it COULD happen.

3. Stupidity. Honestly, this should probably have been number one. But I was too stupid to think of it until I got to number three.

4. Busyness. Contrary to what you might think, I do actually do other things besides write for ODNT. (see #1)

5. Sleep. Since it accounts for 30% of my time in the last year, I thought it merited mentioning. Because I can’t change my theme while I’m sleeping. Duh!

ODNT is a little over two years old now. I’ve written 632 posts on scads of topics about scores of people, places and things. What if I lost it all? What if no one recognizes me anymore? What if, after changing to a new theme, the formatting for everything got totally screwed up? I don’t want to go back through 632 posts and fix everything, do you? (awkward pause) I didn’t think so.


But then I thought about Renee Zellweger.

She wasn’t afraid of losing her fan base. Or too busy filming chick-flickity blockbusters. Or too lazy to see a plastic surgeon. She just took the plunge and got herself a whole new image. No looking back. No regrets. And, if Renee can do it, then damn it … so can I!

So tonight I just decided to throw caution to the wind … to leap before I look … to pull the trigger. I scrolled through the WordPress themes, found one that didn’t displease me and pressed “Activate!” (Actually, I think it said “Use this theme,” but that’s not nearly as electrifying.) And it worked! Well, it worked for the most recent post anyway. I’ll check the other 631 later. (see #1 above)

Until then, remember when you see Renee Zellweger and/or me, know that just because we’ve changed on the outside doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve changed on the inside. I can’t speak for Renee, but I still promise the same meaningless, inconsequential, you-never-learn-anything-important dumbassery that we’ve always served up here at ODNT. So stick around and bring a friend. I’ve got more than enough for everyone.

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20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30 (Here’s how I scored.)

I ran across an article recently entitled 20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30. It was featured on a website called Rant Chic and has been bouncing around Facebook. And, since I am (cough) a little bit over 30, the title intrigued me. ‘Cause I’m quite the trend setter. (smoothing wrinkled Target pants with hole in knee) I’ve got this.

To read the original article, click here. To read my take on the original article, just scroll down. When you see :), it means I’m following the rules. When you see :(, well … Let’s just take a look at my fashion prowess, shall we?

* * * * * * * * * *

20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30

1. Leopard Print. :)

Not now nor ever will I wear leopard print. I don’t know what cat-nailed, smeary-lipsticked, chain-smoking old broad scared me away, but animal prints scream Zsa Zsa to me. Or Mrs. Roper. Or Peg Bundy.


Ooh! Or Endora.

2. Sparkly Pants. :)

There is no time period in my life that I would EVER wear these. My butt is the LAST part of my body I want to illuminate and bedazzle. I’d be a walking disco ball.

3. Oversized Sunglasses. :(

I proudly wore a pair of Jackie O’s well into my 30s. And I’d do it again. Since when is obstructing your aging face a bad thing? Speaking of which, does Old Navy carry burkas?

4. Non-matching socks. :)

Is this a thing or am I being punk’d?

5. Hoop earrings. :(

Wait … what??? Sure, I traded yesterday’s grapefruit-sized hoops for today’s plum-sized variety. But nobody can tell me I can’t wear my hoops. They make me … if you will … who I am.


I’m adjusting the rule. If you can fit your boobs through them, you shouldn’t be wearing them after 30.

6. Furry boots. :)

Only as house slippers.

7. Furry anything. :(

Aww, man. I have a fuzzy black vest I just bought a couple of years ago. And I love it. I thinks it adds a splash of Oh-No-You-Di’ent to any outfit.

8. Tube tops. :)

Always hated them. I need clothing that allows me to be confident that I’m not one yank from being naked.

9. Short dresses. :)

The conditions that ALL must be present for me to wear a short dress:

A. I must remain standing for the entire evening.

B. Eating and drinking are not an option.

C. I must wear heels high enough to alter the skeletal structure of my foot.

D. My ensemble must accommodate either black pantyhose or (better) black tights.


E. Victoria’s Secret and/or Sports Illustrated must have named me a Supermodel.

10. Mini skirts. :)

See #9.

11. Overalls. :(

Hold the phone. Women should only wear overalls before age 30?!!? Well, that doesn’t make any sense at all. Seriously, overalls are all the rage for new-mom, I-can’t-lose-the-freaking-baby-weight, drop-one-strap-for-easy-nursing-access fashion. This one’s got to be a typo.

12. Crop tops. :)

I wrote and deleted the blurb for this one three times. I just kept using words like slutty, loose and Kelly Kapowski. And I didn’t sound nice. Not at all.


Seriously, was Lisa Turtle the only one whose mama raised her right?

13. American Eagle. :)

The only thing I ever bought there was a green jacket that everyone said looked like the one George Costanza wore on Seinfeld. Needless to say, I chucked it immediately.

14. Booty shorts. :)

Not unless you’re an In Living Color fly girl. And it’s 1992.

15. Sneakers. :(

But I LIKE old and raggedy. I AM old and raggedy.

16. Cheap bras. :(

WhatEVer. Who has the money desire time to shop at Victoria’s Secret?

17. Glitter eyeshadow. :)

Not unless it’s Halloween, Mardi Gras or Vivien is at the wheel for my makeover.


Although, sadly, I must confess that it’s likely ability and not fashion sense that’s keeping me from replicating this awesome technique right this minute. How awesome would I look at carpool today?!!?

18. Platform flip-flops. :(

Hello? Are Volatile flips not THE most comfortable shoe in the world? Bite me, fashion list.

19. Abercrombie & Fitch. :)

I hate this store. HATE it. Always have. It’s dark. And loud. Two qualities that make it hard to read price tags and badger friends for their advice.

20. Scrunchies. :(

I probably have about ten of these in my house. They’re perfect for throwing your hair back for a quick face wash. Now, do I sometimes forget they’re in and venture out into public spaces? Well …

* * * * * * * * * *

I scored a 12/20. In other words, 60%. Meaning I failed. Guess the closet and I have a date with a hefty bag. What about you?

What’s YOUR score?

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It’s the Great Parental Fail, Charlie Brown!


Picture it. The girl and I had just snuggled up together to watch a beloved holiday special for, presumably, the 12th year in a row when this happened.

* * * * * * * *

HER: Why does Susan keep moving the football and messing up his kick?

ME: Who?

HER: (exasperated) SUSAN. Or whatever her name is.

ME: (surprised) You don’t know her name?

HER: I guess not.


HER: Oh. Sounds like Susie.

ME: Who???

HER: The little blonde girl who likes Linus.

ME: (dumbfounded) You mean Sally?

HER: That’s right. Sally … Susie. They both sound the same.

ME: You thought two of the characters’ names were SusAN and SusIE?

HER: What??? I know Linus and Charlie Brown … and Dirt Bag.

ME: (under my breath) Oh, my God. (flabbergasted) DIRT BAG?!!?

HER: Yeah. The dirty kid. What’s his name again?

ME: It’s Pig Pen. PIG! PEN! How do you not know this? (chastising myself) I feel like I’ve failed you as a mother.

HER: (laughing at me) It’s fine, Mom. As long as I know Snoopy … and Woodchuck.

Me: (face-palm)

* * * * * * * *


Is she just messing with me?



This post was written in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt asking us to share a favorite fall view.

Sure, I might have stretched it a little. And taken a few liberties. But, since we live in the Deep South where the changing of the leaves indicates more of a mold problem than a new season, I decided to discuss one of our favorite things to view this time of year.

Oh, whatever. It does SO work.

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A Fair to Remember (Nine of them actually …)

Fair Weekend. It’s always a fun time at our school. 2014 marks my ninth consecutive year working, playing, binge eating, drinking, and dancing at this fun-filled three days spent with some of my favorite people. It’s also my last year there as a card-carrying parent. My girl will be changing schools next year. I didn’t expect to cry at the event over this fact.


Last night, I looked like I was channeling Alice Cooper peeling onions while watching a Beaches/Old-Yeller/Dead-Poet’s-Society movie marathon littered with sappy Hallmark commercials. Pathetic. (Thanks, Melissa, for starting the water works.) I’m going to miss it. A lot. And I will certainly be back next year, but just as someone who lives in the neighborhood coming to support my children’s alma mater. Yes, Holly & Leslie, I will still work the beer booth. Yes, Jennifer, I will work the drinks booth. Yes, Karla, I will work the snack booth. Just let me know when I’m needed.

For now, in the interest of preventing another ugly display of emotion, I’m just going to keep it light here with a few observations and pictures from one of my favorite weekends of the year.

Things I’m not proud proud I ate:

  • fried cheese
  • fried pickles
  • fried shrimp
  • fried oysters
  • fried Oreos

Beers consumed – 5 (Not bad for three days. Thanks, Lauren.)

Mixed drinks – 2 … or was it 3? (Thanks, Melissa, Mignon and Leslie.)

Activities that kept me busy – selling crab balls with Ashley, slinging basketballs with Vanessa, helping kids in and out of sweaty sofa-cushion-unitards for the velcro wall with Joseph, peddling beer with Kirk, gambling/losing money with Tim, singing Neil Diamond like no one was watching with The Rockenbraughs, parenting electronically with Dave, overeating with everyone in attendance and other assorted acts of PG (and sometimes PG-13) rated tomfoolery.

Favorite text of the weekend – “Sorry, Mom. I accidentally won three goldfish.” – Vivien

Number of live goldfish won by daughter – 5 (Her personal best was 16 in 2009.)

Number of live goldfish won by daughter that actually made it home – 3

Number of children being raised by the two moms in charge of the event – TWELVE! (How can they manage this huge, time-consuming job when I can’t even get my legs shaved? – Thanks, Denise and Jennifer.)

Number of priests I saw perform with the live band – 2 (Which is two more than I’ve EVER seen before)

Number of times my daughter asked for money – 7? 8? I honestly lost count.

Number of times my son asked for money – 1 (He’s my favorite.)

Number of times my parents gave my kids money, brought someone elsewhere to a simultaneous ballgame, purchased someone food, shuttled someone to the fair or back, etc. – I actually have no idea. (Thanks, Mom and Dad. Not sure what we’d do without you.)

Number of times I should’ve been fired from my volunteer position for giving too much change – 3 (I think. It’s not like I can really count.) (Thanks, Kirk, for spotting me from then on.)

Biggest problem I’m having today – I can’t stop peeing. But I did have one beer, two Diet Cokes and about 17 bottles of water yesterday so I guess it’s not really a mystery.

Thanks, SCS, for a great nine years of fair weekends.

We’ll be back next year. As alumni!

(Please let us in.)


I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, Michele … WHERE’S DEAN?!!?” Remember, he just turned 15 last Thursday. And can you show me one fifteen-year-old boy who wants to let his mom take his picture? Nope? I didn’t think so.

* * * * * * * * * *

Did I ever write about any of the other fairs? Well, of COURSE I did. Click the following links to read about past festivities in 2011 and 2012.

(What the heck was I doing in 2013, by the way?) 

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15 Reasons I Love My Son (on his 15th Birthday)


Dear Dean,

I want to tell you a secret. I know it’s your exam week and you probably hate that. But (I’m so sorry to admit this) I really kind of love it. I love that you get dismissed early each day after your exams are completed so you can come home to study for the next ones. I love the private time we get together and the opportunity we have to grab lunch and just talk without anyone else around.

Remember yesterday when that sweet, older lady saw your Jesuit shirt and came over to our table to ask about the school? I wanted to hug her and kick her all at the same time. (Don’t worry. I would never actually kick an old lady.) It was clear she was sad. It was clear she missed her grandson (a Jesuit grad) who was now halfway across the country. And it was clear she wanted me to ‘Carpe Diem’ my time with you. She needed a hug. Still, I wanted to shout at her …

“Thank you, well-meaning stranger. But you are KILLING me! I KNOW he’ll be gone in a just a few years. I KNOW it all goes by so fast. And I KNOW one day that he, too, might move across the country. So PLEASE LEAVE and let me enjoy these few minutes while I can!”

Of course, as you know, I just smiled and nodded. Because I could see the sadness in her face. And the tears in her eyes. Well, that and because I’m not the meanest person ever.

Anyway, I think I AM going to take this opportunity to ‘Carpe Diem’ and stop what I’m doing to appreciate you on your 15th birthday. (Seriously, you really need to stop growing.) I did it for Vivien on her 12th birthday. Now it’s your turn.

15 Reasons I Love My Son … on his 15th Birthday

  1. You have one of the most contagious laughs I’ve ever heard.
  2. When other people really need your help, you give it … without having to be asked.
  3. You’re close with your sister. She loves you more than you will ever know.
  4. You’re neat. Don’t think that inherited trait isn’t appreciated by me.
  5. You’re a much better student at this age than I was.
  6. You have an athletic ability that I’ve never had. I envy that.
  7. You’re curious. And you have been for as long as I can remember. You want to know why things happen, why they don’t or sometimes just why.
  8. People naturally like you. I’ve heard it all my life. Other parents roll their eyes when I talk about problems involving you as if to say, “Dean??? Please.”
  9. You repeatedly put up with my requests to help pick out a Halloween pumpkin, Christmas shop and watch movies with Vivien and me.
  10. You love your cat and genuinely want to help with his care.
  11. You really talk to me, your dad, your sister, your grandparents, etc. Never stop doing that, please.
  12. You remember things. Sure, this might not always be in my favor. But, ultimately, it’s what earned you one of your earliest nicknames (Rain Man) and it lets me know you’re paying attention.
  13. You like cooking and preparing food. We used to think you were going to grow up to be a chef. I like it because it’s something we can do together.
  14. You’re polite. Which makes me feel like I’m doing something right. Even though we both know I probably had nothing to do with it.
  15. You’re a constant reminder to me that I need to slow down. Thirty minutes to brush your teeth? Why not? (P.S. You’ve never had a cavity. Thanks for that.)

After I made my list, I realized I had actually come up with too many reasons and I had to cut it back. Now THAT’S a good kid.

IMG_8272.JPGHappy birthday, Dean.

I loved you then. I love you now. I’ll love you always.

Love, Mom

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