Hardly Evil at All

I bet if you took all the evil people in the world and laid them end to end (but not in any dirty kind of way), you would be surprised to find that not one of them was Me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Am I right?

Not me, the skeleton in a bottle. Doesn't he look like maybe he's a stand-up comedian gesturing after a sweet punchline? 
Can you be a stand-up comedian if you cannot, technically, stand? Can we get an ADA ruling on job titles, because I'm quite certain I've seen this in real life.  The comedian sitting down thing, I mean, not Jerry Skeletonfield in a bottle, sitting down, wondering if that thing is even on.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Good job, Princess. Now, go do that at college.

We just road tripped (1500 miles) our firstborn to college.  If I remember correctly (and believe me, I will write the part of Me much better in my autopseudobiography), what she wanted to be when she grew up was, "taller than Mommy."  (We quit asking that question.)  Good job, Princess.  Now, go do that at college.

Daughter in the Middle's early elementary (Isn't this the group traditionally known and appreciated for their capacity for over the top, tritely praiseful, to the point of occasionally blatantly untrue, sentiments in the pursuit of declaring their love for, and attempting to garner the favor of, the adults most present in their lives?) Mother's Day project for, and about, me included the phrase, "and a pinch of mean."  Honesty is a family value that, when taught early and well, will end up teaching you a thing or two back.  Probably two.

Baby's earliest voiced career aspirations ("Awww."  Silently congratulates self.  "My baby admires me so much she wants to be just like me.  I must be pretty great after all.") turned out to be based entirely on a desire to "sleep all day," which is a real option for grave shift healthcare workers, but not so much for traditional teachers, librarians, etc.

Maybe a good family is just bad enough to make adult kids want to leave, and/or just good enough to make those same adult children want to come back and visit later.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Did this man confess to masterminding the Heartbleed security breach that has left almost everybody vulnerable to cyber criminals? Watch this video and see for yourself!

If you can't easily see the video, try copying and pasting the address into your browser.  I don't know why clicking on the link isn't working for me right now.  Probably due to the Heartbleed thing.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Your Mom Goes to College!"

Well.  Just solved the inevitable Empty Nest Crisis.
It sure was smart of me to have the foresight to plan my offspring to be two years apart in school.
Number One starts college this fall.  I simply go with her for the first year!  If all is satisfactory, I return "home" for one year.  Number Two starts college.  I go with HER for one year.  Rinse and repeat one more time.
Foolproof.  Or, is it "approved by/for fools?"  (Always get those mixed up.)
*Inspired by the book, Nobody's Mother is in Second Grade, by Robin Pulver

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ninety Percent

One time I was holding court (enthralling whilst educating) on my children with frank education and discussion about a common thread on the TV detective shows we love.  Specifically, I was explaining why the initial primary suspect in a woman's murder was the male partner.  Again.  Always.  Always.
"It's because in Real Life, ninety percent of the time when a woman dies, it's the husband who did it!"  (pause for effect)  Then (slowly and clearly, to ensure they understood the magnitude of this shocking true statistic), "Ninety percent of women are killed by their partners or former partners." 
"You mean ninety percent of murdered women, right, Mommy?"
Details, details.
Just another reason it's probably for the best that I didn't officially homeschool them after all. 
We laughed for a while, considering together the hilarious hypothetical implications.  Legions of hundred year old men being removed in handcuffs from hospitals and funeral homes following the demise of their also hundred year old wives who succumbed to heart attacks, strokes, and other natural causes.
Oh, children, thine ability to appreciate humor in even its most macabre and inappropriate forms doth astound me.  Stay you forever.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dave Elliot's Surprise Gaycation Adventure

#1.  Dave Elliot has been a (admittedly, bland) fixture on our local news as long as I can remember.  I always assumed Dave was gay, but I never consciously gave it much thought.  Y'all mean he's not?  (A it.  You don't know for sure, which is appropriate.  Why does everybody have to be publicly classified?)
#2.  This remark, by itself, has got to be one of the least offensive "offensive" statements I've ever seen people get riled up about.  What's up with that? 
#3.  Not long ago, Paula Dean called black people "niggers" and was wildly defended by many of the same people attacking Dave today.  (Don't bother denying it.  You know who you are.)  When I dared express my opposition to the near-rabid defense of poor little Paula, I heard, time and again:  "I may not agree with what others say, but I will defend their right to say it!"  Really.  That's what you said.  Go back and look it up.  Really?  You support free speech, even when you don't agree, huh?  Because the evidence says otherwise. 
A person can't express that he is weary of constant "news" coverage about any group or topic?  (You don't have to hate children to be unable to tolerate Nancy Grace marathons.)
#4.  As for all the Missippians who think Dave Elliot is what makes us look bad...  I'm sure you can find something on Netflix to cheer you up.  There's plenty of discount beer and tobacco stores right down the street.  They probably take EBT and, if not, I'm sure there's a payday loan (shark) place in spitting distance.  You can gamble and eat BigMacs 24/7.  Liquor stores still close at ten, but your dealer doesn't.

There seems to be some confusion surrounding the south.  This is Mississippi.  Mississippi is in something called the United States of America.  Americans have the right to free speech.  That means Mississippians have the right to free speech.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How to Survive the Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse By J.McAllister, for The Spear Head newspaper, 2013

How to Survive the Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse
By J.McAllister, for The Spear Head newspaper, 2013

What will you do if the zombie apocalypse breaks out today- tomorrow-or next week?

In the event of a zombie outbreak, statistically speaking, most of you will either die or become a member of the undead right off the bat. No offense, that’s just how it is. But a lucky few of you will be able to survive and even thrive in a new undead world… If you know what you’re doing of course.

How many of you have seen Warm Bodies? Yeah, it’s a good movie (if you like love stories)… but let’s face it: a zombie apocalypse will probably be more Walking Dead style. “Oh,” you ask, “How then do I survive the dreadful, dreadful horror that will descend on me when the zombies rise?” Well, thank you for asking.

Imagine: The zombie apocalypse has arrived and everyone is in a panic. Where do you go? What do you do? How will you survive?

Most people’s first instinct will be to stock up on food, water, and other supplies. Where have we all gone for those things before? The stores. The bigger the better: Winn-Dixie, Target, Wal-Mart. That’s where we have grown up knowing: They have whatever we need. So here’s you first rule: AVOID the stores. Don’t even think about considering the possibility of going anywhere near a shopping center. The first reaction of our consumer driven society will be to shop, so these places will be packed with people. Zombies, as it turns out, are attracted to the places with the most people. So wherever there are large crowds, there will be zombies. And it only takes one zombie to spread the infection, or a group to surround a store and trap hundreds inside indefinitely. So if you don’t have supplies of your own, smaller, family owned, stores will be able to provide you with the basics: water (lots and lots and lots of it), canned foods (don’t forget the opener), and dried/ packaged foods (think granola bars and dried fruit). Dairy products, fruits, and vegetables are good for only a limited amount of time before they spoil, so if you do stock up on them, make sure you only get what you can use; the rest will just go to waste. What works for us in the Southern states in the case of a zombie invasion are hurricane supplies. Most likely, everyone has at least a small stash of bottled water and canned and packaged food along with batteries, flashlights, candles, matches and wood. Everything that can be used during a hurricane will be vitally important during the zombie apocalypse.

So now you have supplies… but where do you go with them? If you’re in the city part of d’Iberville or Biloxi. Get out. Zombies will swarm to where people are and there is a higher concentration of people in the city and the subdivisions surrounding it. If possible, the best case scenario would be to find a place in the woods, easily defendable and with clear escape routes. But, let’s be honest, you’ll probably be stuck at your house with your family, friends or neighbors.

How do you now protect yourself in your home? You board up windows and block entrances. If you’re house is hurricane or tornado proof, then your already a step ahead! Whatever you do, do NOT, under any circumstances, stay in the basement. Basements might seem like the safest place to store your supplies or hide, but if zombies do break through your defenses, you’ll be trapped with no escape. Special consideration is made for two-story homes. You should keep your stockpile of food and supplies on the second floor and prepare to demolish the staircase if zombies show up. You’ll be safe, but you’ll also be trapped if zombies surround you. Always make sure you have an easy escape route from anywhere in the house.

You might even be at school when the apocalypse breaks out. As a hurricane shelter, d’Iberville High School is easily defendable and stocked with supplies. The only problem is that, as a shelter, more people will run here for help than can be supported. And if someone is bitten, and hides it, the shelter becomes a death trap as the infection quickly spreads through the inside as well as the outside. Strict measures will have to be enacted to prevent a catastrophe like this from occurring, but even the most fool-proof plans somehow have a way of falling apart.

Home, school, other shelter, always be sure you can defend yourself from your position. Don’t go running off killing zombies because you’ve seen ALL of the Walking Dead. You’ll be the first to turn and we’ll miss you terribly… until you try to eat us. Most of us, who have no clue how to fight at all will be more adept at hiding and running than actually fighting off the threat. But there might be an instance where you will be required to defend yourself or your family or friends from the undead. How will you go about defending against zombies? Remember, short hair and tight clothes will keep zombies from grabbing you and consequently spreading the infection. You might think you need a gun to “kill” zombies, but that’s not so! ANYTHING can be used to smash a zombie’s head or decapitate it. Just make sure to destroy it’s brain stem. It takes a very good shot to incapacitate a zombie because only a direct hit to the head will even affect it. An amateur shot will just waste valuable ammunition.

If you do end up “killing” a zombie, you have to properly dispose of the body. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask at all times when handling the undead corpse to avoid the spread of infection. Burning is the only way to completely destroy a zombie, but be sure to only burn during the day when you’ll be able to spot zombies and defend yourself better.

So now that you’re successfully freaked out, you can prepare for the upcoming apocalypse before it actually happens. You can stockpile supplies and plan escape routes. You can start a defense plan and research more than was provided for you here. Once the zombies rise, you’ll be ready… I’ll be hiding under my bed.

Once the zombies rise, you’ll be ready. Maybe you’ll see me… I’ll be the one trying to eat your brains.

*This original article by J. McAllister was first published in The Spear Head newspaper

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Enormous Drops of "What If"

They're surprisingly big and full when they fall, aren't they?  Tonight's tears escape one enormous drop at a time, each full from original grief and longing, each now filled past bursting before visibly and audibly splashing from our faces. 

The tears are not bigger because of growing sadness (really, I think I'm on to something), but because for many, many years, the associated love continues to grow...   How does that even happen?  It can't be possible, yet we see, hear, and feel the proof for ourselves.

The years and tears are absolutely crowded with all kinds of enormous moments.  Moments when we knew she'd be so proud, moments she'd share our joy like only she could, moments she would let us cry to her, dry our tears, cry with us, care with us... as only she would.

What if...   Who knows in what ways our lives, and we ourselves, might be different?  We can really only try to imagine, and we do, using those dreams we have sometimes as a starting place.

If asked, most of us won't need to pause before relating just one instance of how she enriched our lives in a way that endures.  Some of us could tell those stories for hours, and have, on more than one occasion. 

I wonder how many of us measure ourselves by her example.  I always fall so short, do you?  But I think I will keep trying anyway, will you?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Meet Reluctant Farmer

Dear Martha Stewart,

Approximately 32 bazillion (a little over half a container) of these "glass seed beads" spilled between the bed and nightstand. 
My question is, how long do I have to prepare- before the crops start coming in?  Also, now that I've become a Reluctant Bead Farmer, do I have to water them, or will they automatically absorb the correct amount of moisture from the environment?

A Reluctant Bead Farmer

P.S.  PLEASE tell me that these are the kind of beads that grow on neatly harvest-able vines!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The other old new house (more true stories that I wish weren't)

She started crying quietly as she stared out the window at our little house that we had to give up because of a predator. 
Our poor house, she wept, as I drove slowly down the dark drive, past the house we had loved and called home for eight years,  obscured now by broken down vehicles, old toys, and trash.
What warm light through yonder windows shone when she was ours...

Here lie the ruins of
what once we called Home.
Crowded, yet empty now,
because the light has all gone.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tentative title for tentative family autobiography

How Hunters Accidentally Created a Gatherer:  The True* Story of the Goats of Christmas Past
*Although I'm pretty sure it wasn't actually Christmas, I AM one hundred percent certain it was goats.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Most Dangerous Chicken is Me

All the serious hiding and not showing up I've been doing has finally gotten me the result that I maybe deserve, but don't really want.
First, I missed some things, some phone calls, texts, emails, then some more things, minor and then moderately important things and events until it was too late and awkward to try to make it up and eventually nobody brought them up again. 
That's why I still have all three copies of that book I liked so much that I got one for each of my old best friends.  For Christmas over a year ago.  And the birthday presents for their kids that same year, now residing somewhere in the kitchen, festive wrappings long destroyed and discarded due to months of being knocked about in trunks and on car floors and trips back and forth between house and car, never delivered.
That turned into last-minute texts for holidays and birthdays.  Which turned into even laster-minute FACEBOOK MESSAGES for special days.  Which turned into a sort of game of chicken:  who will acknowledge the other's existence first?
I think I'm winning, because I remember them all, and I'm consciously not reaching out...
The truth is, I'm only winning because I play one stupid game so well I've been forgotten.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Revelations

It's kind of too late now, seeing as how G1 is off to college later this year.  I am quickly running out of opportunities to casually instill not-quite-normal "totally normal" ideas, habits, and traditions in my group of captive (so to speak), susceptible, highly moldable, human specimens.  Because it will make their adult lives more interesting.
Thanks a lot, Father Time, for bringing it up again, really.  "Happy" New Year, Time Daddy!
P.S.  This is kind of why that nursing home you are headed for is gonna suck.