Ramblings of a single chick...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Location, Location, Location

Tongue in Chic is moving! Our new location is here.
If you subscribe via email or RSS feed, please come on over and re-subscribe. (Because, I think all of that will be lost when I export this blog.)
The Great Blog Transfer will occur shortly. You're welcome to come help back boxes, etc. ;-)
See you on the other side!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Chick Survival Guide

I hate horror movies. I see absolutely no reason why someone would pay good money in order to be scared out of their minds. However, since I have four brothers and a brother-in-law who have absolutely no concern for my tender nerves, I've seen my fair share of scary movies.
I am always amazed by the stupidity of chicks on these movies. (Cue an ultra-feminist girl-power rant here.) So, lest you find yourself in the midst of a horror movie unprepared, I've compiled this handy little guide for you:

1.) Don't be married/related/friends with any celebrities/politicians/scientists.
      This seems like a no-brainer. We all know being connected to important people is hazardous to your health. If your relative is a celebrity, you'll be kidnapped for a vast ransom. A politician? Kidnapped for political leverage. If you're related to a scientist, your imminent danger is directly proportional to the importance of their work. He's studying the mating calls of endangered loons? You're probably safe. But if he's just discovered a new biological weapon, you're toast.
(Fair warning: If any of you people become famous, I'm cutting my connection to you.)

2.) Quit the cheer squad.
     Let's face it. Unless you're living in a Heroes-type universe where the future of the entire world depends on your survival, being a cheerleader seriously jeopardizes your life-expectancy.

3.) Stay in the car.
      Do you know why they never make movies about chicks who stay in the car when their fella goes after the bad guy? Because those girls don't get killed/captured/tortured/used-as-leverage-against-said-fella. And in all honesty, that would make for a crappy movie.

4.) Don't babysit at remote locations.
      We all know I don't like to babysit. But on the rare occasions that I do lower my standards, I always babysit at my house. (I have legos, babydolls, 36 hours worth of Pixar movies, and I make a mean PBJ. Bonus: I don't have to do my makeup.) You want me to watch your kids out at your extremely large and extremely abandoned lake house with no cell phone service? I don't think so.

5.) Don't enter the alley.
      I actually read this in a book once, but I was so impressed by the logic that I've added to it my own personal repertoire of advice. If someone points a gun at you and tells you to enter an alley, abandoned building, or other secluded spot...say no. I'm serious. Say: "Look, I know you think you're smart and powerful, and all, but I am not about to make this easy on you. If you're going to shoot me, then you're going to have to do it in front of all these witnesses. If you're not going to shoot me, then you can just wander on your little way, no hard feelings. But no way am I going to enter that alley."

6.) Always carry.
     I'm all for Second Amendment rights, but this point has a more practical application. A masked villain is likely going to think twice about trussing you up when you pull an Uzi out of your back pocket. (Confession: I have no idea what an Uzi really is.)

7.) Don't investigate strange noises.
      Again, a no-brainer. If you hear a strange noise in the basement, on no account should you investigate. You should especially not investigate said noise armed only with a flashlight. (Remember that Uzi?) If you hear a strange noise, grab your cell phone - which has full service because you are not babysitting at a remote lake house - and barricade yourself in your bedroom until daylight.

...If I've missed any, feel free to add them in the comments.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Of Coffee and Choir Risers

I sat in the pew during the testimony time of our Wednesday night service. Discouragement and discontent pooled at my feet. One by one, members of my church family gave testimonies of healing and victory. It had apparently been an amazing week of God's working. But each new revelation of God's power, instead of encouraging me, sent me farther and farther into my puddle of pity.
I grumbled in my soul. Why isn't God meeting MY need?! Are my needs not important, too? And it's not just for me. It's for my students. It's for my ministry! Shouldn't that get some sort of priority??
(I need choir risers. The cheapest I've seen them is $1500. Since I can't just snap my fingers and make them appear, I've been trying to raise the funds, but every thing I try seems to be "cut off at the pass." It's rather frustrating, and more than a little discouraging. Ergo...the grumbling.)
I would love to be able to report that I immediately repented of my sin of discontent and doubt, but that didn't happen at all. I wasted the rest of the service pouting and whining to God about my problem.
Finally, I offered Him an ultimatum (because that always works out so well): OK, God. I know you are capable of providing this - all in your own good time. But I'm really, really discouraged right now. Couldn't you just do something to help out my faith? It could be something little. ...anything at all??
Apparently, God didn't feel like answering.

Two days later, I was sitting in the drive-thru at my favorite/local Starbucks - pretty much my home away from home.  It seemed to be taking an inordinate amount of time. Finally, it was my turn to approach the window, and the sweet little barista handed me my order with a smile, an apology for the wait, and a voucher for a free coffee...which struck me as ironic and rather humorous since the coffee I had been waiting for was already free. I reflected on the fact that I had been getting a lot of free coffees lately...and then God hit me in the face with a ton of spiritual bricks...

I love Starbucks. I love my Starbucks. My students know this, and invariably I receive quite a large number of Starbucks gift cards for Christmas. Last Christmas was a record year. My kids gave me so many Starbucks cards that I figured I would be caffeinated for months. However, we were having a troubled year. There were miffed attitudes and hurt feelings and misunderstandings that were beginning to build a wall between students. I was praying for wisdom and direction.
Take your students to Starbucks.
Spend time with them. Outside of school. Let them know you care about them.
   But. That costs money. You know I'm poor.
Use your gift cards.
   But those are mine. 
What's more important? Free coffee? or reaching your students?
I don't mean to say that God and I had that exact conversation, but it was something along those lines, and the moral of the story is that I ended up taking my students to Starbucks and spending my gift cards on them instead of on myself. (It worked, by the way. Walls came down. Relationships were repaired. Obstacles were overcome. ...but that's another story.) I knew I was doing the right thing, but I pouted about losing my free coffee - apparently, I need to work on that "cheerful giving" thing...

As I left the drive-thru and pulled out onto the main road, I began to think back. How many vouchers and free and complimentary coffees had I gotten in the past few months? Too many to remember. A dozen at least, and here was one more. I felt about as tall as a squashed gnat as the answer was gently whispered in my heart:
Oh ye of little faith...I've been paying you back for that coffee, and you didn't even notice. Don't you think I've got a handle on your other needs too? Why, oh why, do you doubt?

So...I guess I'll get those choir risers after all...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Pennies on Politics

The old adage must be true - you should never discuss religion or politics - because I haven't seen this much division among friends since Scarlett and Rhett danced at the Twelve Oaks Barbecue. The name-calling and mud-slinging has been endless. Opposing sides have accused each other of everything from near-sighted apathy to single-handedly ushering in the apocalypse. Lines have been drawn. Stands have been stood. Gauntlets have been thrown. Ridicule has been flung. ...and that's just the voters.

I have heretofore kept my distance from the arena. Not that I don't have an opinion - I always have an opinion - but...well...I guess I really just didn't want to get spit on.  And, in all honesty, even though I had pretty much decided how I was going to vote, for a long time I wasn't at peace with my decision. I didn't feel ready to go to battle on a position whose particulars I hadn't entirely worked out in my own head. ...that, and spit...I really hate spit.

So I kept my mouth shut, and my thoughts to myself. I watched the incessant baiting and badgering on Facebook - often amused, sometimes annoyed, and occasionally affronted by the vitriol that was freely doled out on all sides.

I am amused by the assumption that so many seem to hold that if one posts what one believes loud enough, long enough, and in ALL CAPS often enough, then everyone who holds an opposing belief will be so astonished and impressed by the poster's ability to use caps lock that they will instantly capitulate.

I am annoyed by the apparent inability of Americans to check their facts. A simple web search will inform you that, no, you could not purchase gas for ninety-seven cents a gallon when Bush was in office. Also, it is impossible for anyone (yes, even Obama!), to turn off the internet.

I am occasionally affronted by the downright hostile attacks that are directed at those who hold my position in the upcoming election. Just because I don't vote the same way you do on November 6th does not mean that I am single-handedly destroying our country. I don't hold that much power. If I did, I certainly wouldn't exercise it in the destruction of America.

I said before that I haven't always been sure of how I was going to vote. I've settled that decision through much prayer and research. If you want to know how I am going to vote, feel free to ask me. In person. I will tell you...and if you're nice about it, I'll probably tell you why. I am not afraid of my position, and I am not afraid to defend my position. I am, however, fully aware of the folly of public debate. Attacking people doesn't solve problems; it creates them.

So, in closing, I support your right to vote for the candidate of your choice. And I assert my right to vote for the candidate of my choice. And lest you call me a coward for refusing to fight it out: "Sometimes, the greatest courage is shown, not when you fight, but when you walk away."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ode to an Idiot

Tomorrow is October. That means speeches. And stress. And sleeplessness.
October is when I begin preparations for Fine Arts Competition in March. ...I say "begin" as if I'm actually starting. As if I actually stopped preparing after last year. I didn't. I prepare all year. But October is when I "officially" begin working on speeches. October is when I put the list on the board and bully and beg and cajole students into signing up.
October is also when I pull out my handbook from last year's Nationals and go through my notes and ideas.
You see, every April, we go to National Fine Arts Competition. I spend hours watching students and schools from all over the States perform. I write down what they do, how they performed, and what my opinions are. Every afternoon, while my students are sleeping or shopping or just goofing off, I look over my notes and contemplate the next year's competition. I reflect on what I've seen and brainstorm new angles and new ideas. The majority of what we will perform the following year is decided then. ...and I write it all in the Nationals handbook.
A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out my office. Every now and then, I get the urge to purge, and I go through the massive piles of paper that I manage to accumulate. (I swear, those papers are getting together and making paper babies. There is just no other way I have all that stuff.) I found the purse that I carried at Nationals and was clearing out the papers. (It's one of those big, roomy deals that I can stuff everything in.) I came across the handbook from that week and thought, "Oh, I don't need this," and I threw it away.
...I'm going to repeat that because I don't think you caught it. I threw it away.
All of my notes. All of my ideas. All of my strategies. All of those authors from all of those speeches.
I. Threw. It. Away.
And the worst part is that I saw it in the trash can every day for about a week and a half and it never once hit me that I needed that. Not once did I have that small niggling something in the back of my brain that usually alerts me when I'm about to do something stupid. Nada. Nothing. My brain betrayed me. It let me casually destroy all my hard work.
I feel as if someone has died.
I feel as if I'm the one that killed him.
I really think I could cry.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cleaning Out the Filter

Many, many times I think of witty and/or cutting things I would like to post on Facebook. However, there's a filter in my head that often stops me. (Oddly enough, that filter seems to have my mother's voice...) It saddens me to realize that my sharply or succinctly worded zingers will never be appreciated by the world at large...or...you know...my 53 Facebook friends...
But nothing is stopping you from using them... I make you free of them... Borrow to your heart's content...

Friday, August 10, 2012


I...am a conspiracy theorist. There. I've admitted it. I am not ashamed.
However, I do not believe in such mundane ordinary conspiracy theories as, "The CIA was behind the attack on the Twin Towers" or, "American Bankers started World War II" or even, "Jefferson Davis sold the Confederacy to aliens from Mars and fathered little alien babies...and that's why we lost the War." Nothing so boring will do for me.
I am a believer in The Great Pancake Conspiracy.
Yep. Pancakes. It's a trap.
It goes something like this:
Little Miss Perfect over at the "How to Make Picture Perfect Meals and Pictures of How I Made Them Picture Perfect" blog will post about this totally awesome, mouth-watering (I mean, seriously drool-inducing) pancake recipe. And she'll post pictures. And they'll be perfect. Beautiful honey-gold disks swimming in warm butter (because these pancakes are sooo good, they don't even need syrup).
...and I fall for it...every time.
I'll be convinced that this time - this one time - the recipe will work. My pancakes will be as perfect as the picture. I'll just know that when I have flipped that perfectly flippable flap-jack, angels will sing. I expect gorgeous pillowy pancake goodness.
But what I invariably end up with is a messy, smoke-filled kitchen and a plateful of charred gooey glumps. (You read that right...charred and gooey. I am so talented, I can burn raw pancakes.)
And then the realization hits me. Of course. It's the conspiracy. Why didn't I see it before?
In red-faced shame (that has nothing to do with slaving over a hot griddle trying desperately to turn a quickly hardening disk of destruction that won't even get on the spatula, much less flip over!) I'll realize what must have happened behind the scenes...