Thursday, March 31, 2011

Suburban Diva goes country

"Are you ever going to update your blog?"

I get that a lot.

The answer is, I guess.

I've been writing this blog since 2004 when no one even knew what a blog was, including me. It sort of started as a way to journal motherhood, life--in a publicly-censored sort of way. Then it became a bulletin board to family and friends who knew me and wanted updates into what was going on. I even started to get sponsors who weren't paying me for posts, but who invested some cash and prizes for my readers.

Lately, though, it doesn't do much except attract visitors who want to know what Kenny Chesney looks like without a hat. (That's one of my top Google searches.)

You're welcome.

I'm lucky that I get to journal motherhood over on Whoa Momma a few times a week. I get to talk about my love of books in the World Of Westchase. I get to post my column there and still on my own site which I love. I keep up with people I know on Facebook and email. That leaves this blog as a very lonely bandwidth collector of late.

As blogging has evolved, so has my family. It's not always easy to write of the latest happenings in a public forum without potentially embarrassing or disclosing something that has no business being out there. I leave out 98% of real life things (shocking that I do have a filter) because that's just how it needs to be. And that's okay.

So I started really thinking of what the next step is in this blog, and I realized that the one topic I don't really have an outlet for at the moment is this move--this town--and life as a suburban mouse who goes to the country.

Which is not to make fun of Nashvillians or Tennesseans at all. That would somehow elevate Florida to a position of normalcy which is absolutely the biggest lie ever, because Florida is the capital of Crazy, USA. No, in fact, everywhere I've ever lived or visited has its own unique form of crazy and part of the challengefun is navigating through native crazy with foreign straight jackets. So I think I'll focus on this place for a while.

I think all I've really talked about our new home is the weather, which is technically crazy, but redundant after a while. (Florida, you win on that score.) And since the weather is breaking a little (still was 44 yesterday which felt like -28 when you're ready to see tulips) there is a lot more to talk about.

Like driving 10 miles to find a gas station. Or our never-ending quest to find the best BBQ. (Coincidentally also in a gas station.) Or road-kill. (On the way to the gas station.)

And even stalking country music stars.

Hat or no hat.

So meet me in Nashville for the next few weeks. I'd love to show you around.

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's DST o'clock, do you know where your sanity is?

How are you doing, Buddy?

I’m just checking in on this Monday morning after Daylight Savings Time to see how you’re holding up? It looks like that lost hour of sleep was a bit hard on you. No offense.

The important thing to keep in mind is that you survived. The initial cardiac arrest threat when you woke up in the middle of the night instead of your normal too early alarm has passed now, so you can just skip right to the being pissed off part. Hit the snooze button just a few more times out of spite, and then make a big pot of coffee while scowling. It’s perfectly normal.

I know it’s hard, but you’re going to have to move those clocks ahead now. All of them. Even that one that you keep hopefully on the real time so that every time you look at it you can remember why you feel so crappy. It will be difficult, but it’s time to rip the Band-Aid off.

And no, you can’t move to Indiana or Arizona where they don’t participate in Daylight Savings Time. You’ve got responsibilities here--a life--albeit an hour shorter one. Besides, you don’t want to be a contrarian. People in those states are just sleep-deprived from the fall when we all got our extra hour.

Look at the bright side. (That won’t come until about 11:00 a.m. when the sun finally comes up, but still.) You can use this as a perfect excuse to your boss, teacher, spouse or IRS agent. “I was going to do ___________ last night about 2 am, but the government took that time away from me so I couldn’t. It’s a conspiracy.” Because it totally is.

No one ever said messing with the space time continuum was going to be easy. Did you think Christopher Lloyd looked like that before he invented the flux capacitor? It’s an ugly, messy business. There’s bound to be some sleeplessness with that. Just ask February 29th.

Wow, this is worse than I thought. Look, I wasn’t going to mention this but since you’re so bad off just think--only 244 more days until it ends! Fall Back! You can sleep in again in November.

I didn’t mean to make you cry.

Ok, how about a joke to cheer you up?

Knock knock.
This is the part you say, Who’s there?
Spring ahead.
Spring ahead who?
Some spring a heads are going to roll if I don’t get a nap soon.

You’re right. That wasn’t funny.

At all.

But with all of my nonsense combined with that extra hour we’ve been grieving, it’s almost Tuesday.

You can repay me by doing the same for me tomorrow when I’m still running late and sleep-deprived and realize the joke is on me.

Happy DST.

©2011 Tracey Henry

Here’s where to send your support tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


The after effects of a concussion are remarkably similar to normal teenaged behavior.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The fun of fundraising

File this somewhere between "I should know better by now," and "Guaranteed to offend everyone I know," but I am about to get loud over Silent Auctions.

Unless you're a native Aborigine (and then the word is gabi gabi tok tok, meaning, "to screw your fellow villager",) you’re certainly familiar with the Silent Auction fundraising model. Strategically located near the open bar, several donated goods and services are lined up with bid sheets below. The highest bid at the end of the evening "wins" that particular item, and all of the proceeds go to that charity.

I am not singling out any organization or abused chairperson--everyone does it the same way and if I criticize too much, I run the risk of being saddled with the hapless job of coming up with a new method. Which in my case would most certainly involve several high interest loans, a border run, and a guy with no last name who always refers to himself in the third person. This is probably not what the founders of the Orphaned Baby Alpacas had envisioned for their 50's night at the Holiday Inn. So we are all stuck with this this auction-based form of fundraising for the very far future.

We've recently attended a number of these events, and from what I remember of them, they are a unique experience. The best part of any auction is that you don't "buy" anything, you "win" it. Curiously, the "winner" is the guy that paid the most money for crap he didn’t want in the first place. This would be the purchasing equivalent of finding an item at a store that you had no interest in, waiting for it to go off-sale, and then checking back three or four times to make sure you had paid the highest inflated value. Sort of like shopping at Pottery Barn.

If you insert the phrase, "But it's for a good cause," in front of any item at an auction, you can rationalize your way through the most ridiculous purchases. If you punctuate the sentence with another glass of punch, you will end up to be more charitable than Mother Theresa. As you probably have guessed, I have recently "won" a set of cookware for a good cause. And because "it goes to charity," a teeth whitening session from a local dentist. And a Cracker Barrel rocking chair with a bunch of signatures on it. And a leaf blower. And eleventy-billion Legos. And a case of off-brand Riesling. And a gift certificate for a car wash. And a decorative clock. And buyer's remorse. And a hangover.

But it was for a good cause, right? RIGHT?!!??!

And so will my defense fund when I break in to the Orphaned Baby Alpaca Headquarters and steal my check back.

Give generously.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

My fresh hell as a mother


Twice the hits and half the pads as hockey.

Two minutes into his very first game and a grade 2 concussion.

I can't believe I'm saying this--but hockey is a gentlemen's sport.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Intern Returns...

I don't think we can technically call him the Intern anymore since he's had full time (and salaried) employment for years now, but he'll always be the Intern around here.

And he's back!

New job, new city, but familiar living arrangements as he stays with us while he gets settled in Music City.

So we're loading up the fridge and adding a few routes to sporting events to his new landscape.

And nothing says welcome like a murky fish tank, so guess what his room-warming present is?

(This fish flakes are under your pillow, Dan. Welcome to Nashville.)