What you haz trying to say?

Bacon challenged me to share my verbal pet peeves. The “weird phrases or things people say that drive [me] bonkers.” Let me begin with a note: It doesn’t take too much to make me go bonkers. But most things that irk me are grammar-related. So, here you go. My top three verbal pet peeves:

Seen as the past tense for See


I lived in the midwest for long enough to know that this isn’t so much of an intelligence thing as a regional thing, but it still drives me crazy any time someone uses “seen” as the past tense for “see.”

Example: I was walking down by the lake and I seen a huge deer.

You did not. You saw the deer. Seen is a past participle. I won’t get into all the nuts and bolts, but unless you are using “have, has, had, was, or were” before it, you should always use saw.

Supposably instead of Supposedly


Supposedly you know that you are trying to say….

Double negatives. 

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When people speak in double negatives, it definitely drives me bonkers. This would include, but is not limited to “irregardless,” “didn’t see nothing,” and “ain’t got no.”

And this is semi-unrelated, but I came across it while I was meme-searching and I laughed so hard that I had to share. English is hard, guys.


8338876-131018604_10-s1-v1 Oleander

Bacon: You taught piano for many moons. Please, tell us, what might we not expect about the life of a piano teacher?

Perfect: A Chipmunk’s Trip to the Grocery Store

While I was a sophomore and junior in college, I worked as a grocery checker (amongst other roles) at a number of different grocery stores. I actually really enjoyed the job. But, as a result of doing that for a number of years, I have this…problem.

I am awkward as a customer at a grocery check out. Like, really awkward. I feel this bizarre need to be overly friendly. And I can feel it happening – like some sort of weird reflex.

Unrelated: I don’t have normal reflexes. Never has a doctor bounced that weird little rubber hammer on my knee and made my knee move. Not once. I might need to Google that

Accompanying my checkout weirdness includes: sweaty palms, a lot of laughing at jokes that aren’t funny, speaking in a high-pitched tone that is clearly not my normal speaking voice, and overstated pleasantries. Odds are you’ll hear me say the words “fantastic”, “no problem at all,” and “perfect!” at least once each.

Actual checkout conversation that occurred the other day after I had waited a very long time for the person in front of me to try to figure out the chip reader (and ultimately paid in cash because she couldn’t work it out).

Cashier: “Thank you for your patience. That machine is more trouble than good!”

Me: (voice high-pitched, like a chipmunk) “That’s not problem at all! I’m here without kids, so, in fact, it was, like, a freaking blessing because it got me more time out by myself.” (awkward, high-pitched, chipmunk laughing)


Cashier: “Haha. Boy, you have a lot of produce. I’m new…I’m going to have to look up all these codes.”

Me: (still in chipmunk mode) “Oh, that’s totally super. Glad I came in your line so you could get more practice.” (More laughing. And I’m definitely smiling too big. I can feel my cheeks) 

Note: Watching the checker look up every item makes me feel itchy. In my head I’m screaming 4011! The code for bananas is 4011! But on the outside, my face still hurts, so I must be smiling.

Cashier: “Your total is $106.15.”

Me: (still a chipmunk) “That’s perfect. Great. Thank you.”

Note: Why do I always tell the cashier my total is perfect? Always.good-its-perfect

Next time I’m going to try just nodding a lot. Maybe if I don’t speak I can ward off the impending chipmunk. Or, I’ll eat a candy bar while I’m checking out. Yes, more candy. That may be the answer to all my shopping woes.


Bacon: We know you were a spelling bee champion and chose chemistry over art in high school to ensure you got the “Easy A” (weirdo). But tell us, did you ever fail a test? How did you handle it?

Behind the Music: Community Theater Edition


While it has, admittedly been a :::cough::: few years since I was involved in a musical theater (theatre?) production, I have been in my share of them. And, let me tell you, backstage is both as exciting as as boring as you’d expect it to be.

Exciting: Quick Changes

I recall a particular production of The Sounds of Music that I was in. The Von Trapps (I played Marta, the second-to-youngest daughter in the brood) had to do a quick change. We had, literally, about 20 seconds to change costumes. I recall a whole crew of stage hands waiting with our costumes in hand to help us make the change. If you recall the Von Trapps have 7 kids – that was a lot of people to get changed). Most nights went off without a hitch. Except for that show where my left shoe was nowhere to be found. But, as you’ve heard, the show does go on, shoe or no shoe. So I Edelweiss’ed that night sans the left shoe.


Boring: Down Time

Unless you have the good fortune (or nepotism…pardon my still-too-real indignation) to be cast as a lead in a production, the odds are that you have a fair amount of down time backstage during a two-hour production. There are a number of ways to pass the time. While playing Pepper in [probably my favorite production I was ever in] Annie Warbucks (yes, Annie has a sequel, and it’s awesome), the orphans had a long stretch of downtime backstage.

So, we did what any self-respecting orphans would do, we played Scum (the card game). But we forgot to put someone in charge of watching the stage monitor. And we missed our cue. Yes, imagine the curtain opens on an empty orphanage. Not one orphan. Annie has come to us for advice…but we are nowhere to be found.

So we hear Annie on stage calling us by name. “Molly, are you playing hide and seek again?” and “Pepper, where are you?” Cue 10 orphans running as fast as we can from the green room to the stage and trying not to laugh as we all stare at each other trying to figure out which scene this even is.

Curtain Call. 


Bacon: If April shows bring May flowers, what to May flowers bring?


Timey-Wimey Stuff


But first, let me take a #selfie

So, Bacon has challenged me to share where when I’d go and with whom if I had a time machine. And I’m really hoping that the time machine is a 1983 DeLorean…

I’d like to note that I’ve watched enough Star Trek to know that time paradoxes are not something to be messed around with. But I’ve also watched enough Doctor Who to know that:
fd44921441d32e180a329eecfed54f1cAnd then there’s all that business about a butterfly flapping its wings in Toronto and causing a hurricane in Australia (wait…that’s not right…).

So, suffice it to say that I had to work through some stuff before I could determine an answer to this prompt. And here’s what I decided:

I’m going to the future! At least 100 years, but probably 150. I want to be well beyond my life span. But I want to know what shakes out with all this global warming business and if we all end up in scooter chairs like in WALL-E.

And I’m definitely taking Bacon with me. No one else will appreciate my snarky commentary quite like her. And she’s also the only person I know who would agree to half 2/3 of our luggage being taken up with Diet Coke. No way am I going to a future without Diet Coke.il_fullxfull.792656362_afhd

thirsty  Oleander

Bacon: Ikea

Tell me your Symptoms, We’ll Google it.

So, I’ve had this headache that has been lingering for a little over a week now. Every day I wake up and my whole head feels like it’s in a vice. It hurts really badly if I move too quickly or bend over. And it barely responds to over the counter pain meds.

Let’s see if Google can help me figure out what’s going on. 


Phew. I’m not the first person to Google this problem. Okay – which result to choose.

searchresultsWell, Google has been perfecting their search algorithm for nearly 20 years. Obviously they know which search result is the most relevant. I’ll click on number 1. when to callAwesome. Let’s see if I have any of these symptoms. Let me grab my green check mark to mark off the ones that fit. symptoms2

Oh my gosh. I have them all. What did they say that meant? Oh, good, there’s a link to Aneurysm. anerysmOh, no. This can’t be happening. I’m a mom. Okay. So, worst case scenario is stroke. What should I expect there?stroke

That’s it. I have an aneurysm and that’s going to lead to a stroke and death. It was lovely knowing you all. I’d better go call my doctor and tell him what I learned on Google.

“You know what, doc, now that you mention it, I’m actually feeling a lot better since I took that decongestant. Oh, so you’re saying I just have a sinus infection? Oh. Well, okay, then. That’s great news.”

I knew I was going to be fine.

8067708-131018604_10-s1-v1 Oleander

Bacon: As a woman who works as a caterer, tell us about your worst cooking mishap?


There are Tears and then there are Disney Tears

Imagine this scene, if you will: I’m sitting at our bar height table having a late lunch. Hub and the kids are sitting on the couch in front of me watching Toy Story 3. You know, the end part where they are all about to be incinerated (this can’t possibly be a spoiler alert, the movie came out in 2010) and they all hold hands, ready to go down together. And all of the sudden I shout “Stupid toys!” Hub whips around to find me sitting there, tears all over my face, my sandwich, my shirt. I’m a MESS, guys.

This is my Disney life. Something about those carefully crafted stories and songs is guaranteed to make me well up in tears. And each time, knowing how ridiculous I am, I call it out – “Stupid Nemo,” “Stupid Rapunzel and her ventriloquy,” (seriously, even that scene makes me tear up), “Stupid Up” (yes, the entire movie), “Stupid baby lion and his dead dad.” But, of course, I love them all. They also have magic, and hope, and friendship. And that’s what Disneyland has, too. Only on epic levels. You leave your life and stress behind and enter a world of magic, and hope, and friendship. I mean, Walt put it on the door: FullSizeRender_2And it’s true. Every where you go is a fully immersive adventure – be it a Haunted Mansion, Pirate Caves, Star Transporters, or visiting Radiator Springs.

After a day or two there, you start to realize that the magic has become a part of you and you start realizing you’ll have to leave soon. And that’s when it happens. You start hoarding souvenirs – because that’s the only way you can remember this feeling. By buying ALL the things. And as you lay in your hotel at night, belly full of Matterhorn Macaroons and Dole Whip, surrounded by stuffed Mickeys and [now] lightsabers, you feel safe. FullSizeRender_1But, then it happens, just as quickly as it came, it’s time to go home. No more nightly fireworks. No more parades. No more riding Astroblasters 15 times a day because your young son can’t get enough of Buzz Lightyear. No more hearing the magic of jaunty music everywhere you go. No more lines that are, kind of, a delight to wait in. And then, at least for me, the tears. FullSizeRender“Stupid Disney.”

9988335-131018604_10-s1-v1 Oleander

Okay, Bacon, we’ve been challenged by a reader and fellow blogger Quirky Girl to the 3 Days Quote Challenge with the topic of Memories of Yesterday. (She broke the mold and gave us license to do three quotes in one day – so that’s what I wanna see). 

These Pretzels are Making me Thirsty: 7 Life Lessons from George Costanza

George Costanza (of the sitcom, Seinfeld, played by Jason Alexander – and if you didn’t know that, I’m a little sad for you) is arguably definitely one of the best characters to grace our television screens.

Okay, I know that using the word grace and George Costanza in the same sentence is a bit overreaching.

But, somehow, Jason Alexander managed to make George, the neurotic, selfish, man-child into a can’t-miss character. So, without further ado, 7 important lessons we learned from George.

1) On perception from others:
“Leave on a high note.”
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2) On the art of the con:
“It’s not a lie if you believe it.”

3) On avoiding more responsibility:
“When you look annoyed all the time, people think you’re busy.”

4) On motivation:
“I love a good nap. Sometimes it’s the only thing getting me outta bed in the morning.”

5) On mustaches:
“I feel like an out-of-work porn star.”

6) On gratitude:
“Do you ever get down on your knees and thank God that you know me and have access to my dementia?” (here’s looking at you, Bacon)
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7) On perspective:
If you take everything I’ve accomplished in my life and condense it down to one day…it looks decent.

8811967-131018604_10-s1-v1    Oleander

Bacon: Turkeys. Go. 

Guilt: The Gift that Keeps On Giving

Note: Bacon got tired of waiting for Oleander’s post and hijacked it during the editing process. Bacon’s nonsensical comments are in italics, of course.

I h63916276ad the weekend to review my guilty pleasures…and I’ve come to one of two conclusions:

  1. I have a lot more guilt than is necessary. (Oleander would make an excellent Catholic)
  2. I am very easily amused. (Oleander would make an excellent three year-old)

So, without further ado:


Diet Soda. I drink too much. (Note: Oh, the strange irony of a teetotaler who drinks too much! ) By anyone’s definition (except for maybe Bacon and The Hub – they get me). My real weakness is Diet Mountain Dew, but pretty much any diet soda will fit the bill.

Where I live, we have this magical place called Sodalicious that is, literally, just a soda fountain drive through where they mix soda with delightful flavors (and sometimes half and half). My favorite is called Persephone and it’s Diet Dew with pomegranate syrup and fresh lime. Also great is the “Just Friends” which is Diet Coke with pineapple and coconut syrups. I might be drooling.

Donuts. Nothing cures what ails me like a good ol’ fashioned donut (literally, old fashioned are my favorite). (Note: Never mind the irony of pairing it with a Diet Soda.)

w310_calm3-1368572391TV Shows

DWTS (Dancing with the Stars). Okay, so I don’t know exactly what it is about this show. I could just be that Tom Bergeron is so great at his job. Note: Tom Bergeron is a freaking genius. I’d do him. (Just checking to see if you are paying attention!) And also…you really learn to care about the “stars”. Watching people learn to master something they never thought they’d be good at or would try is terribly inspiring. I know, I just used the word inspiring for DWTS…but, it is.

Pretty Little Liars. Yes. I’m a full grown adult who is still watching a teen drama. But, once you start…you have to see this whole thing through. (Note: In all fairness, you’ve been watching it since you were a teen. Talk about drawn-out!)  Even though it’s got more plot holes then you can count.


Taylor Swift. I was decidedly not a fan of hers when I was younger…but I’ve learned the error of my ways. (Note: Come on now, just shake it off.)

BSB. You all know my love for The Backstreet Boys has never waned.

Finally …

Bargain hunting. Hub and I have a known love for getting a good deal. He has trained me in his ways. If we have a date night, you’ll find us out at thrift stores finding hidden gems. There is hardly anything in my house that doesn’t have a story behind where/how we found it or got a good deal on it. It drives Bacon bonkers sometimes. (Note: Sometimes a deal isn’t a deal even if it seems to be a deal just because it looks like a deal. Back away from the deal.)


Bacon: How many pavers does it take to pave if the paving is done at Holly Hill?

Listen up ye Land Lubbers: There be Pirates in these blog pages

Most people wouldn’t know this at first glance, but piracy (the floating, looting kind, not the movie/music-stealing kind) is in my blood. It’s been passed down through generations of scalawags  1 generation of inexplicable pirate fascination.

Note: Perhaps this is why I gave the pirate/marauder category so much love

In fact, many moons ago I had an encounter that went like this:

I was heating up my lunch at work (in a microwave that, oddly, was in the middle of the room where everyone worked). I was looking around the room when I spotted an earring that I had lost about 3 days prior. I yelped with joy as I walked over to collect it and explained to my co-workers that I had lost it and found myself getting ready for bed to find I had only one earring.

To this, my co-worker replied, “Like a pirate?”

At which point, I got a little too chatty (what else is new) and proceeded to tell him that I had always wanted to be a pirate. And that it was my mom’s fault – she had passed it down to me. And that she almost got to be a pirate once because she had to wear a patch; but it was a white, gauzy patch and not the kind that pirates get to wear.

My food was done at this point in my pirate rantings, so I turned to leave the room and as I exited, I heard my co-worker responding to my story, “Of course, because we all know that the desire to be a pirate is genetic.”

And if you need proof, long before the days where Johnny Depp made being a pirate on fleek (did I do that right? Is fleek reserved specifically for eyebrows?), for my 4th birthday (you know, the first birthday you get to have a say in), I requested a Pirate Party.


Avast my pirate heart, I was one adorable young swashbuckler.

I’ve been working tirelessly to pass down my pirate love to one of my children. No notable success yet. But, they are young. There is time.

Because, after all, we all know that the desire to to be a pirate is, in fact, genetic.


Bacon: You are a woman of many talents. But, tell us, what is one talent you weren’t blessed with that you wish you had. And why?

Let’s Talk Backstreet Boys

I’ll admit that I gave a good, audible chuckle when I read Bacon’s prompt for me today. For anyone who may have missed it: Okay Oleander: Any preteen in the 90s had her favorite Backstreet Boy, right? Tell us about your favorite and what did that say about your personality? 

And, yes. I was a pre-teen/teen right in the height of the best version of boy bands. And I was 100% on The Backstreet Boys side of the BSB/N*SYNC battle.

Note: I could get into the merits of why…but heaven knows that even 20 years later, no one is swaying anyone to the other side of that debate.

So, the question is, who was is my favorite Backstreet Boy.

Note: YES the Backstreet Boys are still together and still make music. And, yes…I have every one of their albums.


Well, for anyone who’s not familiar, there are 5 Backstreet Boys (there were four for a little bit when Kevin went to perform on Broadway, but he’s returned).

Nick Carter: Arguably the most well known and well-loved Backstreet Boy. He’s the youngest and had that 90s bowl haircut that made any girl swoon (see: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Devin Sawa, early Zac Efron). He recently came in 2nd on Dancing with the Stars and I’d be mad if Bindi hadn’t been such a freaking delight. Also, check out this ridiculous performance he did during the season finale.

Brian Littrell: The southern charmer with the smoothest (and most prominently used) vocals of the bunch. He has a boy-next-door vibe and littrelly (see what I did there?) doesn’t appear to have aged.

AJ Mclean: The “bad boy” of the group complete with tattoos and a [past] drug problem (okay, we didn’t know about that when we were kids). His voice brings some edge and soul to the group.

Howie Dorough: The Latin flair of the group. For the early years Howie mostly brought vital depth to the top part of the 5-part harmonies. He was my best friend’s favorite of the group and has, in my opinion, gotten the most handsome with age.

Kevin Richardson: The eldest Backstreet Boy and cousin to Brian. He is the tall, dark, and handsome in the group and rounds out the low part of the harmonies.

My favorite Backstreet Boy was always AJ. According to this super legit Buzzfeed article, this means: “Others may see you as dark and mysterious. You may be a rebel and you certainly have a flair for bad boys or girls. Tattoos and piercings are your thing. You have a unique sense of fashion that rocks your world. But you are a real sweetheart with a goofy side.”

Which is hilarious. As you know, I’m not dark or mysterious. I am not a rebel. My ears are the only piercings I have. I think part of the bad boy appeal for me comes from the freedom that seems to come along with being the “rebel.” I don’t have it in me to rebel (and I don’t really want to), but it’s an alluring thing to watch. Additionally, AJ’s voice is pretty killer.

I mean, check this out and tell me he’s not your new favorite, too:

Wishing I never had to grow up,


Bacon! You’re up. We all overuse the term LOL these days. What are the last three things that really made you Laugh Out Loud?