Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Trick or Treat!  Happy Halloween!  Yep, I've been tricking all you folks lately with no blogs.  But now, I'm treating you to a good one!!!  Sorry for the lack of blog posting.  If you didn't already know, I have an incredibly busy schedule of working, driving to work, snuggling with Parker, watching Project Runway, reading my magazines, sleeping, eating, trying not to have bad dreams about the zombies in The Walking Dead, driving to Cracker Barrel to meet my brother, taking Parker for long walks in the park, practicing my beauty pageant poses for Toddlers and Tiaras, driving home from work, decorating for Halloween, ignoring the many emails and texts I get about why I haven't posted a blog lately, etc.

For example, this weekend was a wild one here in the Delta.  First, Parker and I watched The Alphabet Murders, a mystery written by Agatha Christie and starring Tony Randall.  Was really funny.  I'm into watching old movies lately and I spent a good portion of Saturday morning tivoing upcoming movies that look good.  Then we made Rice Krispie treats with candy corn in them.  Well, I made them and Parker watched me and occasionally ate any krispies that fell on the floor.  Its nice not having to clean up after myself when I cook.

Then the real fun began.  We loaded up, Candy Corn Rice Krispy Treats in hand, and headed up to another, close by, podunck County, for a Halloween bonfire!  My friend, Madeline (names and places have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent) invited me to come to her house, meet her husband and her cute kiddos and some of her friends to roast hotdogs and smores and hang out.  I was really excited-- I love doing stuff like that so I had been looking forward to this weekend for quite some time!

We got there about dark on Saturday night and the bonfire was already in full swing.  I got to meet a lot of Madeline's friends, most of whom I'd heard stories about previously, so it was nice to put a face with the name.  There were lots of kids there and several of them took a liking to Parker.  Unfortunately for Parker, she has an excited bladder, meaning that she goes to the bathroom, on purpose, when she's excited.  So Parker and her bladder got to hang out in the sunroom and watch all the fun from a distance.

After eating a huge bowl of deer meat chili, and getting to hang out with all Madeline's friends and family, the real fun began.  And by real fun, I mean, we decided to roll yards.  There were several young teenager/upper elementary kids that were there and at some point, it was determined that we needed to go roll yards.  Now, I grew up in Newton.  I've rolled many, many a yard.  And I'm entirely not afraid of getting pulled over by the cops while rolling yards.  But I was in a different county, different town, many, many hours from my town.  So I was a bit apprehensive about this.  My concerns seemed to be merited when Big Bird, the driver of our getaway vehicle (and local bank executive) asked me if I was up on my criminal law.

First we went climbed into the world's tallest blazer, where Madeline and I sat in the front.  It was so tall that it was necessary for us to literally crawl up on our knees and then pull ourselves up onto the seat.  We did that like a dozen times to let people in and out before we were smart enough to climb into the back for the rest of the night!

Down the road from Madeline lives some Teach For America people.  TFA is a really big deal in this area-- they are trained at Delta State and many wind up living in the Delta, teaching in local schools.  And while I'm sure they are a fantastic lot of kids, ready to save the world and all, sometimes, they come across, well, a bit snobby.  TFA deserves its own post another day.  Anyway, apparently, last year, Madeline and her crew went to roll a friends yard, and they actually messaged him to let him know, and he was totally fine with it.  However, these TFA people, who lived next door, called the cops.  So, this year was payback.  We hop out of the car, and I hop out as well, and I get to rolling.  And I'm doing a GREAT job.  I mean, really fantastic.  I'm standing near the vehicle and everyone else goes onto the other side of the house.  And then, all the sudden, someone says, "um, Jessica, that's not their house.  That's someone else's yard".  Whoops-a-daisy!  They gave me an "A" for effort, a "D" for "Follows Directions Well".  That's the point when I retired my toliet paper rolls.

After we left that place, we went over to another house-- Madeline's friend Mitzi has a brother named Neil .  Well, Neil lives nearby with his wife, and so we headed over to his house to roll it.  At this point, we've really lost all ability to even pretend that we are decent yard-rollers, so we literally pull into his driveway without our really loud blazer truck and 6 really loud women and 2 loud kids.  This isn't a long driveway, either.  I jump out, put out some Halloween decorations that we'd picked up along the way (sorta like the Robin Hood of ghost windsocks and carved pumpkins) onto the porch, while a couple people attempt to roll the super tall tree in his yard.  About 3 minutes later, Neil comes to the door, eating his dinner and laughing at us.  We continue.  He tells us we are really terrible yard-rollers and then goes back inside.  We "finish" wrapping the tree since we'd given up trying to throw high enough to hit the branches, and we get back in the car.  Which will no longer start.

So we have to call Neil back outside and he backs his car back up to jump us off.  Now, the wheels have fallen off the wagon and the kids we've brought along are beginning to realize that we aren't super cool, fun adults who are going to take them rolling, but are instead a bunch of weird, super loud annoying people!  We got a few other places, including to some dirt road where I accidentally almost slammed Madeline's leg in the door to avoid a dog that was apparently about half a mile away.  Madeline was laughing too hard to actually explain that I was closing her leg in the door.  Sorry about that, Madi!

After riding through the world's longest "shortcut" through the woods and mudpuddles at about 3 miles an hour, the kids lost all patience with us, and demanded to be taken home.   I felt so sorry for them!  But before we could head home, we decided to go roll the Hastings!  Don't know the Hastings?  Neither do I!  But they live close to Madeline in a pretty nice house and, apparently have like 13 kids, all of whom have alphabetical names, beginning I and going through Q or something.  By this time, Madeline and I have moved to the back with her friend Mitzi, and when we get to their house, the other three women jump out with the kids and start rolling.  They were doing a great job when... the police car comes by.  And stops.  Big Bird, our driver, gets out to talk to the police officer.  The police officer, whom apparently everyone knows.  In fact, several people go over to talk to the officer!  Who is parked in the middle of the road!

A few minutes later, some of the Hastings turn a light on or something, so the kids and a couple others jump into the car, and Madeline's friend, Grover, (who is the only adult dressed up-- as an oompa loompa, complete with orange face paint and green hair) jumps in the driver's seat and we take off, with one door still open.  And three people still standing in the street by the police car.  I'm like, "oh, um, should we go back and get them?"  And the consensus is that no, the cop will bring them back.  Sure enough, a few minutes after we get back to Madeline's the police car pulls up with our friends.  And the officer says, "they told me to talk to the attorney".  And I was like, "um, officer, can I help you?"  And he's like, "yeah, get these idiots out of my car!"  After a few complaints at the lack of leg room in the back, we were all safe and sound and un-arrested!  We had a great time!  I headed to bed soon thereafter and I think Madeline and her husband were right behind me.  It was a super fun time!

(BLOGGER'S NOTE:  This blog was edited, at Madeline's request, since she wants to keep her internet presence to a minimum when it comes to blogs about breaking the law.  After a short argument wherein I tried to convince her that the only people who read my blog are my mom and my siblings, I relented and changed the names.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Right now, I'm sitting on 9,973 views since I started this blog, whenever that was!  I'm smart enough to realize a correlation between how often I post a blog and how many readers I have, so I'm hoping to trick you people into reading this rather lackluster blog so I can hit 10,000!!!!  Come on, people-- 10,000!!  That's exciting!  It says a lot about how fun my blog is and even more about how boring the lives of my friends are.  Regardless, it says something and I promise to be a better blogger in the future, once we hit 10,000 together. 

I'm home this weekend after a wild and crazy week in Bay St. Louis for a Mississippi Child Support Association Conference with all my DHS colleagues.  It was super fun and I was really glad to meet some of the people whom I've heard their names or spoke with them on the phone.  An old friend from law school was there and we had a lot of fun hanging out, plus I got to meet a few new, fun people.  The conference was for DHS workers and the staff attorneys-- so we had separate meetings, which wasn't very fun.  It was especially unfun the last session when us lawyers were having a "roundtable" discussion about youth court and summons and contempt procedures and across the hall, the workers were having a "Family Feud" game-show thing where they could win prizes if they answered questions correctly.  Since they were across the hall, we could hear them cheering and clapping and laughing, all while we discussed the civil v. criminal contempt.  I was super jealous. 

Now I'm back in Laurel, and I got to go eat at Mi Casita last night with my family-- Aunt Ju, Mom, and Em and Em's boyfriend Joel.  We had a great time!  Mi Casita is THE BEST Mexican food there is.  And that's not IMHO (in my humble opinion for you non-texters), that's F.  Fact.  Cleveland is great.  Has lots of fabulous, fun places to eat.  And two Mexican places.  I've been to both and both are perfectly fine.  But they are no Mi Casita.  Laurel has a very high number of Mexicans in the area (thanks Howard Industries) and they know how to eat.  So, one of the things I miss the most is Mexican food and I got my fix last night! 


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Friends are Friends Forever...

Last Sunday, Cleveland and the Delta had some major bad weather.  All sorts of tornadoes and lightning storms and power outages and such.  Rumor has it that the Wal-Mart Tire Shop got hit, but since I despite Wal-Mart and avoid it at all costs, I'm not sure if this is true.  I do know that a house down the block from mine, owned by a guy I went to law school with, was destroyed by a tree that literally cut the house in half-- its really awful.  And its a cute house, so that's even worse. 

Sunday evening, I took Parker outside to potty in the most incredible lightning storm I've ever witnessed.  No rain, no thunder.  Just lots and lots of lightning.  And some wind.  It was actually quite beautiful and a bit scary.  How someone can see that type of thing (along with many, many other of nature's beautiful creations) and not believe in God is beyond me.  But then again, so is the fact that 20 million people watch Two and a Half Men, so obviously, not everyone is as smart as yours truly.

Right after we came inside, the rain began and didn't end for a really long time.  About 8 the power went out and I lit some candles and laid on the couch with nothing to do.  Its really super boring when you have nothing to read or watch or anything.  I went to bed quite early but the raging storm outside did keep both Parker and I awake for a while.  I generally don't freak out too badly at bad weather, but even I was a bit scared.

Early the next morning, the lights popped back on and of course, I'd forgotten which ones were actually on when I'd gone to bed, so I mostly likely turned a bunch on instead of off, and then at 2 am when they came back on, I had to get up and turn the back off.  The next morning I realized my internet was still out, but I didn't have time to worry about it because of work.  It was still out Tuesday when I talked to my neighbor about it-- his had been out as well, so we both decided it was still a problem with the storm.  It wasn't until Thursday that I realized that, in fact, his had gone back to working late Tuesday night but mine was still down.  So Thursday night is when this story takes a Reader's Digest Human Interest Story-type vibe.

Thursday after talking with my neighbor and a discussion with my friend Katherine who wanted me to look at her on-line pictures, I decided to call Cable One.  Of course, they make you go through the automated system directions of giving your account information, checking the phone number associated with your account, unplugging your modem, taking out the battery, waiting 2 minutes, adjusting the antenna, typing in some different stuff, etc.  And then, finally, when the robot lady voice is convinced that you actually do have a problem and not just calling her because you are bored, she will transfer you to the next available customer service representative.  That's when the story gets good (finally, you say...)

I get transferred to this guy, I'm pretty sure his name was Glen, but to be honest, I didn't know the journey our lives would take over the next few minutes, so I don't really remember.  Let's say Glen for blogging purposes.  Glen, of course, has to get my account information because apparently the robot lady voice doesn't give out that information.  Then, of course, we get to go through all the steps that me and robot lady voice JUST DID.  First, Glen tells me to unplug the modem and take out the battery and wait two minutes.  So, after I move the telephone table beside the plug-in and knock over a picture frame and start giggling, and then finally get to unplug the modem, and Glen and I listen to each other breathe for a minute, he says, "So, how was your day today?"

And I say, "It was actually quite good. Now if I can just get this modem on-line, it will be great.  How was your day?"  Glen replies that it was a pretty good day, except obviously, that he's now at work (and I think the unspoken part of that sentence ended with "dealing with idiots like yourself" but he was kind enough not to say that.  So then Glen starts asking me how long the internet has been down, and I tell him about the storm and my neighbor and his internet issues, and Glen suggests it could possibly be that the storm hit my modem and that is why its not working.  Then I say, "well, I'm sure that all my blog readers (shout-out to you guys!!) will be ready for me to get my internet back working."  And he says, "oh you have a blog?  What kind of blog?"    And I tell him all about my blog and all about you guys and how many of you fuss at me when I don't post and how I actually sometimes have 50 or so hits a day and he seems impressed.  And asks me the title.  And I tell him.

And then its time to plug the modem back in, so I think our time together is almost over.  But as fate would have it, we have to wait for a bunch of the little green lights to come on and then see what order they are flashing and what lights are not on and a bunch of other really technical stuff like that.  So while we are waiting for the green flashing lights to come back on, I decide to continue the conversation.  "So, Glen, where are you from?"  Glen's from Arizona.  Its really nice there.  Like 90 degrees even as he speaks.  And I say, oh well, its probably about 90 degrees here too, but that's not unusual in Mississippi.  He then says he's never been to Mississippi, have I been to Arizona?  And he thinks I'd really like it there.  Its beautiful.  Beautiful sunsets and lots of hiking and outdoorsy things to do and I should totally go there sometime.  Obviously, Glen and I aren't best friends yet or else he'd know that the closest I get to outdoorsy is walking Parker and watching my Rebels lose on Saturdays.  But its still nice that he's telling me all about it.

And we go on to talk about our jobs and traveling and the weather and how excited I am for fall cause I love to decorate for Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Glen, unfortunately, didn't seem to share my love of decorating.  I tell him about my home phone that came with my internet and tv, and how I never use it and he agrees that its funny that I even have one.  He tells me about his new cell phone thats already broken.  He asks if I have any fun plans for the rest of the evening and I tell him that I've got Project Runway DVRing even as we speak.  He has to work the rest of the evening. 

Eventually the lights came back on, though apparently not in the correct order of flashiness cause my internet never went back up.  Glen sadly tells me that it seems like I might really need to have someone come out to my house to check it.  But after telling him my work schedule and how it doesn't fit well with home visits, he suggests that since I have Monday off, I should call back Saturday and ask them to come out for an "emergency visit".  He'll put in the computer that its an "emergency visit" since it will be over a week since I'd had internet and it was probably due to the storm.  He'll also make a note that we've already done all of the automated stuff and done together all of the "turn off your modem" stuff.  He doesn't usually do that, but he will for me.  Then we talk about our plans for the rest of the weekend and how he hopes that I will get my internet up soon cause my blog readers probably miss me (that Glen, always thinking of other people, you know).  We promise to come visit our respective states one day and then, we say goodbye. 

And then, just like that, our friendship ends.  I'll probably never talk to him again.  But I love being a part of a world where two strangers, separated by miles of rugged terrain (Texas?) can form a bond over a phone and a broken internet service.  Its really wonderful, if not heartbreakingly sad.

I'll never talk to Glen again.  I'll never find out if he fixed his phone and he won't ever know if I was able to get all my Halloween decorations from my mom's house this weekend.  But we'll always have that Thursday night.

The next day, just when I thought the story was over, and, worse, when I thought I'd have to call back and go through all the steps again to get my internet working and get a service repairman out to the house, I walk through the hallway where the modem is, and I look up, and there, underneath the framed photo of my friends from college, I see the modem, with all the correct flashing lights that Glen told me to look for.  Working perfectly.  I know somehow, someway, Glen gave me the greatest gift of all-- the ability to write this blog.  Thanks, old buddy.  You're the best.