Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm no Queen of Sheba but my Resume Looks Good!

White socks tie dyed and made into monkeys!

Dear Diary,

My momma told me one time that when people ask you how you are doing they really don't want to know how you are doing. I tend to agree with her. I usually say "FABULOUS!" when anyone asks.

Not that anyone is asking but......
Summer is here and my motivation and life is being sucked out of me. Dare I be dramatic? I'm listless and bored. I have no drive or ambition. But, enough about me.

"I'm a displaced southern "Timba Heiress"presently creating in the dry, arid, moistureless, outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona. I find inspiration in family, friends, quilts, antiques, fabric, children, my dog, and nature. I am a fiber, doll, and collage artist but must also have a paying job. 50% of all money earned from sell of art is squandered by my children, 25% goes to art supplies and the remaining 25% is deposited in a jar marked plastic surgery. This money will pay for a much needed face lift, boob lift, and tummy tuck."

I was sorting through some piles of stuff and found the above bio I had written - A while back I taught a sock monkey class and was asked for an artist resume. That was not what I turned in. I wrote one more polished and professional. Recently I have had to update my resume since I received my Arizona Teaching Certification for kindergarten through eighth grade. I am 53 years old so it could have been quite lengthy but I was told to only highlight the last ten years. I wrote a cover letter too. I used many colorful, energetic, high powered adjectives to describe myself. I found it exhausting later to read how phenomenal I am. Reading it made it hard for me to believe that there ever was a time when I had low self esteem.

The Scar Book

Speaking of self esteem, I drove to Birmingham with Daddy and Momma back in March. Momma had an appointment to visit the heart surgeon at St. Vincents hospital. Sista Lucy drove from Nashville and met us there. Before our appointment we had time for a leisurely lunch. We found an Arby's right away but that is not my idea of leisurely. Luckily a few minutes later we came across a Fish House. It was decorated so cute and had great atmosphere. Even the restrooms were quaint.

Momma ordered grilled fish, Daddy had gumbo, I ordered fried scallops and oysters and Lucy had fried oysters. I am telling you this because I bit into one of the scallops and out spurted fishy juice all down the front of my cute outfit. When I got in the elevator at the doctor's office next to the hospital a nurse joined me and made the comment that they must be having fish in the cafeteria today. She startled me when she said that. I immediately asked her , "Do I smell like fish?" She was taken a back by my question and replied, "No, I smell fish from the cafeteria." I meant to go online after I got home and find out if they were serving fish that day or if she smelled me. But I am getting off track.

Momma signed in for her appointment and right by the sign in sheet was a photo album. I picked it up and took a seat next to Daddy. I started flipping through it and much to my surprise it was a picture album of scars. I was startled and got the giggles because I thought I was going to be viewing company picnic or holiday party photos. The pictures were mesmerizing! I stopped randomly flipping and viewed the first photo in the book. I couldn't believe what I was seeing but I had to see them all! The more I saw the more I giggled. Hysterical, uncontrollable giggles. Tears were flowing from my eyes. People were starting to stare. Sista Lucy said, "Sista whatcha lookin at?" I said, "I'd tell you but you wouldn't believe me." She came over to sit by me and got her eyes full too. Then she started to giggle. We called over to Momma to come have a look. She said no. She did not want to see any scars. I said - It's not just scars! Each of the pictures were taken of men or women naked from the neck to the waist and these people were old. In fact I swear a few of those pictures resembled me but I don't have a scar. Some of the people in the photos were more modest than others and had used an arm to try to cover their bosoms. Others just let it all hang out. Talk about high self esteem!

Daddy took the book from us and flipped through it. Isn't this sweet! He had paused on a picture of a man and a woman with matching scars. They were sitting on a bench and holding hands in the photo. The woman had 82 written on her with marker and the man had 84. We suspected by the looks of things that this was their age. We were all giggling now and getting a little loud and rowdy. All but Momma. She refused to participate in our fun.

I don't often give my Momma advice but that day I thought it would be wise. I said Momma don't sign anything until you read it. You may be giving them permission to take your photo! Then I got to thinking. What would possess someone to pose for a picture like that. There had to have been something in it for them. I said - Momma, they may offer a discount on your surgery if you pose for a scar photo later. Are you tempted? Momma said she didn't need a discount, she'd pay full price for her surgery. I asked her if she would do it for 20% off? How about 30%? I doubted that the surgeon would go much higher than that.

There were three other ladies obviously together in the waiting room while all this was going on. One of them asked to see the book. I walked it over to her and she and her friends started pouring over it like grade schoolers with a National Geographic Jungle Native edition. We watched them closely to catch their reaction to the photos. They gasped, then giggled. The lady who was the patient called out for all to hear, "I'm paying full price too!"

Momma, Daddy, and Lucy went back to that doctors office in Birmingham after Momma's surgery. They said the book had been removed from the waiting room.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Dear Diary,

My older sista and I were talking the other night and and she brought up the delicate subject of flashers. Not the ones on your car but the ones that used to display their naked bodies in public to unsuspecting females. Not as an expression of youth as the streakers did but to make a statement as in showing you my pecker really gets me off.

We shared a similar experience of this sort in the spring of 1974. She was in college at Mississippi State and I was a junior at S.D. Lee High. Below is my recollection:

A friend of mine and I were in the Lee High parking lot at the beginning of 5th period. She was off that hour and I should have been in French but was stalling because we had a test that day and I had forgotten to study (or some similar excuse). We were talking when we noticed a vehicle come cruising slowly into the parking lot. I looked to see who it was as the car drove by. The guy looked to be about 23 or so and I don't know how he was able to reach the gas pedal with his foot or maneuver the turns because he was in an awkward driving position. One hand was on the steering wheel and the other he was using to grease his piston.

My eyes were as big a saucers because I had never been exposed to the like. I asked my friend if she saw what I saw. She said no so I said look now - here he comes around again. He was driving pretty slow so we virgins got an eyeful. A spontaneous thought popped into my head. Laugh Marion, I said. He won't be expecting that. Marion and I tossed our heads back and laughed like mad men. We slapped our knees as we chuckled and all but rolled on the concrete. I have often thought back to that occasion and wondered how I knew about this particular psychology. Was it instinct?

He didn't come back around for a third time but luckily I now had a witness to back up my story if it should come to that - and it did. Minutes later a teacher came out and asked us why we were hanging out in the parking lot. We didn't say why but launched into the exciting event we had just witnessed. Mrs. quickly ushered us to the office and the police were called. Unfortunately, my friend and I had been checking the exhibitor out so intently that we had failed to get the license plate and make of the car so the perpetrator was never found. The principal and sweet Mrs. Quinn were so sure we were traumatized by the event that we got to hang out in the office until our Mamas picked us up!

Sista Lucy's experience was entirely different but she is so sure that it was the same guy. Put her on a witness stand and she could convince a jury it was the same guy. I'm not convinced though. I told her I needed to do a little background research to ascertain just what the average number of flashers there was per capita for that area in 1974. Plus the mode of exhibition was entirely different. She was thirty miles away on a college campus in her dorm room when she was approached - indoors and no car. But thirty six years later she is still so sure they were the same guy even though she only heard my account of the story.

I will tell this as best I can second hand: Sista Lucy was packing in her dorm room when she heard screams in the hall. She looked up and there was a naked man! He paused in her doorway to give her the full effect, then ran away. Not thinking of her own safety, she ran out of the room. In the hallway, she met up with the other traumatized co-eds. Let's get him! she yelled. I think she had grabbed a weapon of some sort from her room but don't remember for sure. Some of the girls were probably carrying torches, sticks and stones. They were rallying behind her, their fearless leader. He was nowhere to be seen in the hall so they bravely checked the bathroom and just like in the movies Lucy forcefully kicked each stall open but alas they were all empty. She has often wondered what they would have done if they had found him.

A few years later I was in front of the Army Recruiters office on Hwy 45. A young man pulled in and asked for directions. As I approached the car, I noticed he was sans pants. This time I did get the license plate number and complete car description. Lucky for him but unfortunate for me, he was from Alabama and the Columbus City Police were not interested in following up on my lead. I insisted that they find him and arrest him immediately but they assured me that he was probably out of their jurisdiction by the time I made the call. "Ms. Moore, it's not like you see on TV." This made me pause and wonder, Why not?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Special Guest Writer

Dear Diary,

From time to time it is good to remind myself that my memories are very one sided. Some times it is good to hear the other side of the story. This can be fun especially is you are not in a court of law. Below I respectfully submit Kathy's memory of our trip:

Being Kathy from Mississippi, I must share some of my memories.

To say he had buck teeth is slightly embellished. The few yellow rotten teeth remaining in his mouth were sticking out in all directions. He could have never eaten even one carrot stick.

Lisa forgot to tell about my attempting to steal a rock. One was only supposed to take one rock with a gold flick and I took two rocks. I was collecting rocks so I thought that would be OK but "Buck" said I could only have one rock.

The "Gift Shop" was an overstatement. To keep Lisa's children (my son was a perfect angel) from whining all the way to the gold mine, Lisa promised gifts from the gift shop and there were no gifts or souvenirs of any type. The only available "gifts" were just old dusty candy bars and expensive rocks for sale.

When Lisa and I meet in Sedona in June, I am sure that my self acclaimed best friend and I will have more delightful stories.

Indeed we will Kathy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Get him to show you his teeth!

Dear Diary,

I got to see one of my good friends last week when I was in Mississippi. In fact she is such a good friend that it is recorded in a legal document in the Lowndes County Court House that I am her self- acclaimed best friend. She told me about her new favorite drink - Sweet Tea flavored vodka. She said to add water and lemonade to it and a spig of mint. How refreshing it sounded.

Tonight, after taking a hiatus from alcohol for six months or so I decided to try one of these. I went to Fry's and checked out the Vodka aisle. There were three different Sweet Tea Vodkas but none of them were SKYY (My vodka of choice). I buzzed her to find out which one she used but she couldn't recall, but then passed on some great advise. She said, "Buy the most expensive one because you don't want to have one of those Gawd Awful headaches in the morning!" No kidding!

I got home and fixed my drink and was sipping it and thinking of her when a field trip she and I took our children on when she visited us one summer came to mind( Please note that we are studying similes and descriptive language in school).

The long bumpy road seemed to go on forever. Dust rolled like fog over the windshield. Whose idea was it to visit a gold mine?

From the backseat came the wail of a hyena in heat. I reached back to swat whichever child I could reach and still keep the wheels between the ditches. My hand collided with something wet and sticky. It's a good thing we were in Frank's new truck! I don't want that stuff on my car seats! Where was the turn. We had to be close.

Up ahead in the distance was a sign too difficult to read what with the shimmering heat waves and the mirages. We slowed to a halt like a dehydrated snake. Gold Mine Next Left.

A pack of wild animals that curiously resembled Kathy and me stampeded from the vehicle. They ran hither and yon from the parking lot to what looked like a grazing field/out door theater.

Kathy and I were the adults here and were in total control. We looked around, our eyes surveying the area. Up ahead we spied what looked like the entrance to the gold mine. There were two men besides us on the premises. One was dressed like what anyone would think a gold miner slash prospector slash dry goods employee (aka Mr. Drucker) would wear. The other looked and dressed like he was taking a mental health day off from Honeywell or General Dynamics.

The kids stopped rolling in the grass long enough to notice the goldmine/gift shop entrance. They rushed to it like deranged leprechauns and screeched to a halt in front of the sign "Miners under 12 must be accompanied by an adult". We were quickly summoned. The gold miner slash prospector slash dry goods store slash gift shop employee sauntered into the store and gave Kathy and me a smile. If we needed a bottle opener we had just found one. I say this not because I would make fun of someone with buck teeth ( I had buck teeth for a good part of my development years) but because it is relevant to the story.

The set up and design of the gold mine were perfect. The owner must have gotten the idea from Disneyland. All guest had to enter and exit the gold mine from the gift shop. The tunnel of the goldmine made a half turn and after an extremely short wind you were at a dead end. There blocking progress was a miniature rail road car full of ore. A sign suggested that we search through the pile of rubble for gold.

Our new friend, the dry goods store slash gold prospector helped our children find a nugget with a speck of gold. They left quickly, following the light at the end of the mega short tunnel to the souvenir shop. I picked through the rocks and immediately found my fortune in gold but Kathy was having a more difficult time. Our new friend, let's call him Mr. Drucker, was very attentive toward Kathy. She was getting all ruffled and pissy because every rock she picked up was a rock. No gold. Mr. Drucker patiently shifted through the ore and found her a golden nugget. She didn't like that one so they pawed through them till she found one that suited her.

After spending way too long in the gift shop with the children, we made it back out into the fresh air. The corporate looking guy (Dilbert) joined Mr. Drucker in chatting us up. Dilbert owned the gold mine and the property for as far as we could see. He had really big plans for developing his spread, like adding an out door theater, or amphitheater as they are sometimes called.

Kathy and I were trying to round up the wild mustangs and corral them into the truck when Dilbert told us about one last feature we shouldn't pass up. He had just acquired a mule. Dilbert said that Mr. Drucker would take us down there to see it and while we were there we should get him to show us his teeth. Kathy and I looked at each other with dropped jaws. Sure the guy had bad teeth but why call attention to them like that. We had both been trying not to focus directly on his teeth during the whole gold mine experience. Mr. Drucker grabbed some carrots seemingly unphased by Dilbert's rudeness. Our large party followed Drucker to the pasture. There was the mule. When he saw the carrots that Mr. Drucker had he tilted his head in the air and ruffled up his lips proudly showing us his teeth. My faith in mankind had once again been restored. Dilbert just wanted us to see his mules new trick.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rusty Pickle Class with Lance

Dear Diary,

This is Lance of Rusty Pickle. I took a class of his at Mystic Paper. It was from 8:00 pm until 11:00 pm! I could not believe I could even think of staying out and awake that long w/o alcohol being involved but I did! The class was fun and the teacher was fun - You can tell by his smile in this picture. I learned a new tactic. When the going gets tough - go to the bathroom. I excused myself to go to the potty and he picked up my project and started working on it - using it as an example. Lance would work on my Paradise book every time I left to go to the bathroom. He did a great job on it. I love it! I recommend you take a class from him. He is very entertaining.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Quit your whining and take ballet! Tap dancing gives me a headache!

Dear Diary,

When I was a young, my sistas and I took dancing lessons from Miss Betty's English School of Dance. Momma let us choose what lessons we wanted to take but put her foot down when it came to tap dancing lessons. She said tap dancing gave her a head ache. I really wanted to learn to tap. I loved watching the old movies where Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, or Fred Astaire danced. I loved those black patten leather tap shoes with the black ribbons too.

Sista Lucy took ballet and eventually learned to toe dance. I took a year or two of ballet then got obsessed with John Phillips Sousa and decided to learn to twirl the baton. Sista Janice stuck with ballet and so did Sarah Ann (for a while anyway until momma gave in and let HER take tap dancing lessons).

The memories of my unrequited desire to learn to tap dance came flooding back the other day when Sista Sarah Ann called to say she was taking tap dancing lessons with her girl friends. She wanted to borrow my black patten leather tap shoes with the black ribbons.

I had forgotten or repressed the memory that I had attempted to learn to tap dance as an adult. It was back in 1992 or 93 and I was working at a veterinarian clinic. The Doctor's wife, the head receptionist and I were talking and it came out that we all had a secret desire to learn to tap dance. We made a pact that day to take lessons together. I was pregnant with Elizabeth at the time. I didn't look pregnant, but my butt looked way obeast. The lessons were fun and the three of us had a good time tapping and laughing at our miss steps. Over the weeks we learned a tap routine to Micheal Jackson's Rocky Robin. At work we practiced in between patients and during lunch. We were good! Then, one night in class the teacher spoiled it for us. She started talking about "The Recital", our costumes, deposits and the tickets we would have to sale. Recital! I had no idea when I signed up that we would be performing on stage! I could not wear a skimpy red sequined costume with black fishnets in my condition in front of an audience. My friends had their own personal excuses for quitting that night.

A few years ago, one of my friends at the elementary school talked me into taking tap with her. It didn't take much talking because we were going to learn at the community center and there would be no recital. When we showed up for our first class, it surprised me that only three of us were taking lessons. The song we were learning to tap to was "All that Jazz" from the musical Chicago. It was a lot faster than "Rocky Robin" and I was about 12 years older but I felt like a professional dancing to an authentic dance number. After a few lessons I began to realize that there was a misprint in the catalog because there was no way this was a beginning tap class. The teacher was on my back constantly. It became a chore to go. I couldn't remember the steps and sometimes I would be tapping real good and feeling good then get a glimpse of my self in the mirrors that covered the whole wall in front of me. I would get startled and forget my steps. "Who was that gray haired chubby lady with no rhythm staring at me?" Eventually I just quit going. I made up some lame excuse to my friend every week for the duration of the class. I think it was that I had a headache.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I haven't gone anywhere but I have been away.

Dear Diary,

I think I'm getting eccentric. Yesterday I went to PET SMART to get Buddy some treats. I left the store and was in the parking lot looking for my car and I said out loud, "Buddy, where did I park my car?." I do talk to Buddy a lot but I have never talked to him when he wasn't with me. It stunned me for about a 1/2 minute. Good thing too because as I stood there in the parking lot thinking about what I had just done, I spotted my car.

I was walking towards it when I heard a sharp toot of someone's car horn. Was that toot directed at me? I turned and stared in the direction of the sound. There was a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. She asked me how I was doing. I told her, then I asked her what she had been doing and she told me! She had had a heart attack! She is about my age so this was surprising. She said two of her arteries were clogged and she actually had to be revived! I thought immediately of "the light". I wanted to ask her about "the light" did she see "the light"? What else did she see? Did she see her life flash? Did she have last minute regrets? Had she since changed anything in her life besides the doctor's requirements? She began to tell me about her open heart surgery but I couldn't focus. What is the etiquette for asking about the light? She got my attention back when she said, "Yes, the heart attack was a surprise because I am not o'beast or anything. My senses sharpened. Did I hear that right? Did she say o'beast? I agreed, "You certainly aren't!" Then she said it again. "I am not o'beast." She is correct, yes, that is true. She is not o'beast.

I wondered if I was. February is my one year anniversary with Jenny. I have lost and gained the same two or three pounds over and over, but, I have managed to keep off 6 pounds. Surely these results are not typical!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Dear Diary,

I had a teacher in high school that was really exceptional. That is what teachers strive to be - I am learning this in school! I don't know that I knew at the time she was exceptional or even if she knew she was exceptional but looking back - she was exceptional. I'm trying to picture her in my mind- close knit perm, cat eye glasses, momma clothes.....but I'm getting side tracked. She taught me 10th grade English and Journalism when I was a junior or senior. She was the sponsor for the school Newspaper. I hung out with the newspaper staff so I was sort of a honorary staffer that never wrote anything but posed for pictures when they needed someone in a pinch. Another perk was getting to go to their parties! She had a ranch off the Highway between Columbus and Starkville and raised Brahma Bulls of all things. Passing by in the car at sixty miles an hour you wouldn't get to look twice if you thought you saw a Brahma bull instead of a Holstein or a Jersey. But she had them. The ranch had a lake, and those big hay bales that are round and tall and fun to climb on when you aren't overweight and arthritic.

I really liked my teacher and we got along just fine so I guess it was no surprise when we remained friends after I graduated from high school. I still called her by her adult name, Mrs. Pittman. I never thought of calling her Jane. She was older than my Momma and that just wasn't done!

After high school, I went to an all girls University which was in our home town. They let boys attend now but that's a different story. I could tolerate most of my classes that first year but had an awful time in freshman English. The professor was an old sour woman who wore dark clothes and was virtually unapproachable. Actually the memory of that class is vague. I'm sure I tried my best in class but I had a very busy social life and there was free beer for ladies every Thursday Night at the Welding Works. Every paper I got back graded looked like the drop cloth for a sacrificial lamb (or some similar analogy). That old biddy used a red pen and would just mark all over my paper. I knew I was an A or B student so what was this with the Cs and Ds? I decided to try a little experiment. I asked my exceptional former teacher if she would help me with a paper for my college class. She said she would be happy to and that her husband was working all night at the local small motor factory (Which coincidentally I got a job there after college graduation and worked there too for a year, then got laid off) so why didn't I spend the night Friday?

That Friday I went to her house and she said, "Lisa, there is this movie I want to go see at the Varsity. Do you want to go? I said sure!" So after she wrote my paper for me we went. She said the movie was called Mandingo and it was set in the deep south before "the conflict". We got popcorn and drinks and settled into our seats. I had no idea what I was about to see and I don't think she did either. Through out the movie she would whisper to me I need to go smoke a cigarette. I was glad I didn't smoke because I didn't want to miss any of it! I got my eyes full and quite an education. After a particularly moving scene, I got worried about my exceptional teacher because she had been smoking longer normal. I hated to miss any of the action but...I walked backwards up the popcorn grease stained red carpet to the lobby, pushed the door open and quickly glanced out, there she was pacing and smoking. No need to interrupt her. She spent the majority of the movie in the lobby, smoking.

About eight or nine years ago when I was visiting my parents, I went by to see Mrs. Pittman. We immediately took up again where we left off. We didn't go to the movies, and she didn't write papers for me (She got a C too!) but we did correspond by email. She loved receiving and sending funny emails. I visited her every time I went home and one of my visits I took the kids and my husband with me. Frank took a picture of us. I need to find it. She died of cancer a few years after we reconnected. I sure do miss her.