Me Likey

I have no idea what this is, but it fascinates me (thanks, Ruth!).

Thank you and good night.

Rabbit Trail

Every single night I’m dead-dog tired by 8:30 but push through until I get a second wind. The second wind usually lasts until 11:30 or 12, and then I sleep for five or six hours and wake up and start the whole process over again. I would never presume to claim that this behavior is “wise” or “healthy” or “recommended by experts,” but the start of a new school year combined with a new work schedule combined with a whole bunch of deadlines combined with a complete inability to resist new episodes of “House Hunters” and “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” means that I’ve spent the last couple of weeks teetering on the edge of annoyingly overtired.

Honestly, the only thing that’s been keeping me going has been Chuy’s.

Well, Chuy’s and the Lord.

But last night? Do you know what I did?

I will tell you.

I went to sleep at 9 o’clock. Not to bed. To sleep. And when I woke up of my own volition at 5:11 this morning, I felt like a new woman. A new, very rested woman. WHAT A NOVELTY.

All of last night’s sleeping meant that I was feeling very productive this morning, and at some point I clicked over to Pandora so that I could listen to worship music while I was getting some work done. After a few minutes I noticed that a lot of the songs were old school – “Open The Eyes of My Heart,” “Awesome in This Place,” “Above All,” “The Heart of Worship,” etc. – and before long I decided that I had to hear Sandi Patty and Wayne Watson’s “Another Time, Another Place” RIGHT THAT SECOND. Now granted, it’s not really a congregational worship song, but oh my goodness – it was my absolute favorite Christian song in the early 90s.

And do you know why it was my favorite?

Because I wanted to sing it in a pageant.

Deeply spiritual. I was deeply spiritual.

But no kidding: I really did love the whole “Another Time, Another Place” album. I was at the front end of what would be five pretty rocky years in terms of my faith, so the fact that the songs on that album resonated with me so deeply is sort of a wonder to me. I remember thinking when I first heard the album that it was like Sandi Patty got tangled up with the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, and do you know what? THAT SUITED ME JUST FINE. It was the early 90s, after all.

I especially loved the video for “Another Time, Another Place” because Sandi stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean while she was wearing this billowy jacket thing that was part-Stevie Nicks and part-Suzanne Sugarbaker. Her hair was at an all-time high in terms of volume, and her voice was perfection. The only thing that would have made it any better is if there had been some choreographed dance moves scattered throughout, but that would have probably been too scandalous for the early 90s. Plus, Sandi’s hand gestures are in a league of their own, and why mess with perfection?

So this morning I decided that I desperately wanted to find the “Another Time, Another Place” video on YouTube, but it was nowhere to be found during the .34 seconds that I searched diligently for it. However, I believe that I found something that may have delighted me even more. For so many reasons.

For so many, many reasons.

Now there’s no question that the song is beautiful. BEAUTIFUL.

But I’ll tell you what: I was mentally and emotionally unprepared for the sight of all that early 90s hair. SWEET MERCY. And I’m not throwing hairstyle and/or fashion stones, mind you. After all, I once wore a formal dress with such ginormous shoulder pads that my date spent a good portion of the night introducing me to people by saying, “This is my date, Sophie. And these are her sleeves.”

WE ALL HAVE OUR FASHION BAGGAGE.

After I watched the video I made a comment on Twitter that I didn’t know whose hair delighted me more, and I spent a chunk of time this afternoon laughing my head off at people’s responses. I didn’t know how to get all of them in one screen shot, and I have even less of an idea how to link to them, so here’s a sampling.

For the sake of clarity, you should know that Jennifer is referring to the fact that her ex-boyfriend ended up owning the very jacket that Wayne Watson is wearing in the video. THE WORLD IS A PEANUT, Y’ALL.

And then, to top it all off, there was this response from Dori:

So I clicked through Dori’s link, and here is what I found.

Do you know what that is? THAT IS A BLESSING.

And thus concludes the story of how I woke up rested and then the internet made my day.

You’d better believe that I’m going to have an early bedtime again tonight.

There’s no telling what bits of 1990s treasure will be waiting on me in the morning.

New Plateaus Of Mediocrity

I mentioned yesterday that I’m an English nerd. And it’s true. My favorite class in graduate school was called Transformational English Grammar, and every single day – for the entire class – we would put sentences on the board and diagram every single word. Sometimes we would put paragraphs on the board and diagram every single word. And for about two years after that class, I couldn’t read a single page in a book without silently labeling the parts of speech in my head (“article adjective noun adverb verb infinitive…” – you get the idea), and it didn’t even bother me. Because I love words. Words are my friends. Except when I’m playing Words With Friends. But that’s another story entirely.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that yesterday’s post was no doubt a disappointment to English nerds everywhere (or at least the six to eight English nerds who read here). I don’t know when I’ve ever been more off my game. I misspelled words. I attached the wrong links. I got my information wrong. I made corrections – and then the corrections weren’t correct. So basically what I did was to provide the internet with a blog post that any social media expert could use as an example of WHAT NOT TO DO.

See? It’s like it was a public service.

Anyway, to make up for my carelessness (not to mention my complete failure to proofread), I thought that the least I could do was to share a deeply moving video with you. And fortunately, sharing this video doesn’t require any sort of typing on my part. So there’s no way I can ruin it.

It really was a golden era, my friends. The choreography makes my heart sing, and OH MY WORD LOOK AT THEIR HAIR.

Please know that while you were watching, I was sitting here practicing my spelling.

Fare thee well.

I Have So Many Thoughts

So this past Friday night I went to a book club Christmas party at my friend Leigh’s house, and somehow we landed on the subject of pageants. Everybody in our book club is from Mississippi, and between the six of us we know a fairly freakish amount of Mississippi pageant trivia. IT’S OUR HERITAGE, PEOPLE.

Anyway, we had a blast talking about different Miss Mississippi talents throughout the years, and by the time my friend Gwen showed us how she walked in the poise and appearance preliminary of Mississippi’s Jr. Miss, we were laughing so hard that we weren’t making any noise. The whole night was just a treasure.

When I got home from the party I decided to do a little YouTube research, and sure enough, I found some great Mississippi pageant moments online. But what proved to be an even bigger treat were the clips from old Miss America pageants. David and Alex were out of town, so I’ll have you know that I took advantage of my Friday night freedom by sitting at my desk for two solid hours and CLAPPING MY HANDS while watching YouTube.

I mean, IS THIS NOT A WONDER?

It’s probably my favorite Miss America talent of all time, if for no other reason than how thoroughly she handles her “guns.” She takes them out, she uses them, she puts them away, she takes them out again, she uses them again, she blows off the gun powder, she puts them away again, she takes them out one more time, she uses them one more time, she blows off the gun powder one more time, she puts them away one more time, AND STILL SHE NEVER QUITS CLOGGING. I say bravo.

Somehow all my clicking around led me to the Parade of States from the 1974 Miss America pageant, and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I think it changed my life a little bit. I paused and rewound the clip more times than I can tell you, and I am so convinced that the entire world needs to bask in its brilliance that tonight before supper I made David watch it.

He just smiled and nodded and pretended to care. Clearly he doesn’t share my appreciation for fine American culture. Or bouffant hair.

I’ve been thinking for a couple of days about how I can possibly express the depth and breadth of my appreciation for this little nugget-o-70’s-gold, and I think it’s best to keep it simple. Which is why you’ll find a numbered list following the video.

1. I want to be friends with all of the dancers.

2. Dancer Kathy seems to have specialized in modern dance with a heavy concentration on the works of Bob Fosse. Well played.

3. Lisa, the former Miss Florida, likes to bust a move and isn’t afraid to break it down on national television. She also enjoys green.

4. Kevin Reynolds never figures out where he’s supposed to be looking. BUT HE KEEPS ON DANCIN’, BY DIGGITY.

5. About two minutes in, Lisa cranks up her moves again. It’s like watching Elaine Benes crossed with Ann-Margret in “Bye Bye Birdie.”

6. When Kevin decides he’s going to sing to the other camera, it’s still not the right one. But what he lacks in following stage directions, he makes up for with pure lip-synching effort.

7. Meanwhile the contestants continue to literally walk in circles. Over and over and over.

8. Around the 2:40 mark Lisa almost wipes out after a tricky spin, but thankfully she catches herself. That’s poise in action, my friends.

9. I can see somebody like Jessica Alba walking the red carpet in Miss Alabama’s complete ensemble. The hair, the earrings, the dress – the whole thing. Thirty-five years later, it’s all strangely modern.

10. Miss Georgia is DARLIN’ PLUS. I love her dress.

11. I bet Miss Idaho has wrestled with some profound regret about what she wore in the parade of contestants. It was an unfortunate choice.

12. Miss Kansas’ hair has some height and volume that frankly I find quite enviable.

13. Miss Michigan’s voice fascinates me. I’ve listened to her introduce herself at least seven times. It’s like some sort of golden harp.

14. Nobody has ever been less excited to be in Miss America than Miss New Hampshire. I want to hug her.

15. Ohio was fortunate to be represented by a very big bow. And also a cute girl with brown hair whose name I missed because OH MY WORD, THE BOW.

16. Miss Texas’ gown is divine. It looks like something Sue Ellen Ewing would have worn to a dinner at Southfork for the Cattlemen’s Association. Or maybe I’m projecting. But still: dreamy.

17. As Sister mentioned to me earlier today, this pageant was pre-implants, pre-Botox, pre-Restylane, pre-let-it-all-hang-out. And oh my goodness – these girls are absolutely beautiful. Natural. Unique. Real. And the clothes are FAB.

18. Reality television has taken the place of Miss America, hasn’t it? Girls don’t want to be Miss America; they want to be the next American Idol.

19. So before I start to overanalyze this whole thing, I think I’ll just watch the video again instead.

20. You can hardly blame me for wanting to practice some of those sah-weet dance moves.

Internet, A Techy Person Needs Your Insight

Y’all are going to think that this is the most random post ever, and that’s probably because YES. RANDOM. But a friend of mine who does computer-y / programming-y stuff needs some insight into how people navigate their way through blogs.

So. A couple of hypothetical situations.

Let’s say you’re clicking around on the interweb and you run across a blog you really enjoy. You know once you’ve read the first post or the first page that you want to read more.

Or maybe there’s a blog you haven’t visited in a while, and once you read a post or two, you decide that you want to spend some time catching up on old posts.

As a general rule, would you:

A) Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link that says “older entries” or “next post” or “next page” (if such a link is available).

B) Use the categories listed in the sidebar and read through old posts category by category.

C) Use the archives and read through old posts month by month.

D) Some other method (and it would be great if you could specify what that method is, oh thank you).

And if you answer B, C or D, do you ever use the “older entries” / “next page” links at the bottom of blog pages? I mean, I do, but I may be the weirdest bloggy weirdo in all of bloggy weirdville.

Thanks in advance for your help!

It’s Been A Pretend-Terrible Ordeal

Our internet and cable have been out for the last 48 hours. We don’t really know why, but apparently when we unplugged our router Saturday afternoon to move it three feet across the room and then plugged it in again, the router decided it didn’t like us anymore and therefore was uninterested in providing access to the web and the email and the HGTV and the Bravo.

We’ve been totally fine except for the times when we’ve held hands and bowed our heads and cried.

Anyway, this morning I went to the Starbucks and wrote my post for AllAccess, but since it took a sweet forever to upload video and, you know, make some sentences, I neglected updating here in the interest of providing lunch for my family. We finally got service again around 4 this afternoon. And I’m telling you all of this knowing full well that nobody really gives a rip, but two days of no interweb means that I now get to share even more meaningless information than normal.

It’s in the bloggy bylaws, y’all.

So now I’m going to fix supper (and by “fix,” I mean, “chop some things”) and hang out with my people and sit on the couch and flip back and forth between HGTV and Food Network. Why, you wonder? BECAUSE I CAN.

Hope y’all are having a great Monday!