Sunday, July 27, 2008


Last week I was violated.

It seems weird to type that -- much less say it out loud -- but it's true. Of course, it couldn't come in some average, run-of-the mill way. It had to happen through a method that's basically unheard of, but I learned that the whole process makes you feel...bizarre, to say the least.

It all began when I started my car Monday. To my horror, the little white cotton puff sounded exactly like a Harley. I took it to a shop, only to learn the next day that my catalytic converter had been cut out and stolen. Apparently, there is a hot (pun intended) resale market due to the platinum in catalytic converters. According to my insurance company, this trend was very popular in northern states but limited to that region until the crackpot experts at 20/20 did a special on it. Then it caught on around other parts of the country as well. With my luck, of course Louisiana is a hot spot for it right now, and of course the less-than-a-year-long resident gets hit. After, I might add, moving from one of the nation's top crime cities and having never been a victim. Nice.

I think it's important to note that my car had been parked at work over the weekend -- which is located in a very nice part of Baton Rouge, similar to Ridgeland's new Renaissance area, for those who live in Jackson -- and as my daddy pointed out, the theive(s) had probably noticed a trend in my occasionally leaving it there overnight when I travel for work and use bank cars. So it's not like my car was in a bad part of town when this happened.

But back to the violation... Before I realized that my comprehensive deductible was so low on my insurance (IDK why, but I am now thankful it was!), the car shop called to say my violators had ruined my tailpipe and muffler when they took my catalytic converter. Of course, that meant more expense, more repair time, more frustration.

Around this time, other things started occurring as well. My cell phone rang with a call from an 800 number. I figured it was a telemarketer, but had already racked up so many voicemails that day that I knew I didn't want to listen to another one, so I took the call, which went like this:

RJ: Hello?
Caller: Hi, this is so-and-so from AT&T Wireless.
RJ: Hi....
Caller: Miss Johnson, this is a courtesy call. We've noticed that your bill is unusually high and wanted to see if you've been making many out-of-country calls from your cell phone?

Well, of course I had not, but wasn't that just the sweetest thing to hear, especially right then?

Five phone calls later (AT&T Wireless may have great customer service reps if they call you to point out something like that, but I learned they cannot transfer you to the person who can fix the problem worth a flip), I was finally speaking to someone who could fix the error. And when they figured out what the error was, don't worry, because the genius who switched me to my new 225 number gave me NO PLAN AT ALL. That's right - for the last two months, every time I have LOOKED at my phone (much less texted, placed or took a call from it), I have been charged out the nose. Of course, the customer service rep wanted me to tell her what plan I was on, when I had been with AT&T forever, through several company changes, and had probably had the same plan for at least five years. Ugh. When the error was finally corrected, I was credited more than $1,000.

The hits kept rolling from there - documents I had worked on for weeks were suddenly corrupt with no changes saved, things around me started breaking, the guy from the car shop who gave me a ride back to my repaired car was overly chatty, I caught every train in Baton Rouge every time I drove, etc. I tried to chalk it up to a full moon, but I must say, it was one tough week. Each evening I drug myself home and locked my doors, thinking it wise to put myself on house arrest. But of course, I learned a lot from my weird experiences, including (but not limited to):

  • Cars have catalytic converters.
  • Catalytic converters need their own alarms.
  • Getting a new haircut before a weird week is essential to a girl's self-esteem and self-preservation.
  • I should time my vacations to align with Liz's so I don't have to worry about not venting to her while she's having the time of her life.
  • Contrary to the way the world should work, bad things can happen during my sweet sister's birthday week.
  • Having a boyfriend and family who understand when you're all talked out is priceless. And essential.
  • God bless Angela, Shannon, and our penchants for getaway lunches.
  • Not having a cell phone plan is the silliest thing anyone could ever do.
  • Thieves watch 20/20.
  • I am good for nothing during a week like I just had!

TGIF took on a whole new meaning last Friday.


Wow. It's just Unbelievable how things seem to occur in a series of events... never just one little thing... an entire string of little things. I hope this weekend has proven to make it all better for you.This made me think of a quote I came across this morning:>Murphy's Law<"The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet."
Posted by Çhr阮ïñå on July 27, 2008 - Sunday - 5:23 PM [Reply to this] [Remove] [Block User]

the good news is you have a roof over your head...there were times in my life when i didnt! they took your catalytic converter not your car! as for your cell phone... its a damn shame they couldnt see how great you looked, with hot hair, while you freaked on the service call you had to make!~!!!!!!!!!!! lol i love you
Posted by Dyanne on July 27, 2008 - Sunday - 7:53 PM [Reply to this] [Remove] [Block User]

Okay, that is the week from H***. I hope that this week is going much better for you. After reading your blog, I think I'm going to go out and get an alarm for my catalytic converter (whatever the heck that is!). Also, just FYI, I love the bread quote from above! I'm adding it to my favorite quotes right beside Charlie Brown! Happy Brand New Week!
Posted by Amanda on July 29, 2008 - Tuesday - 9:48 AM [Reply to this] [Remove] [Block User]

.........BUDLIGHT PRESENTS.... REAL....Men of GENIUS...Today We Salute you, Mr. Catalytic-Converter-Platinum-Ripper-Offer Guy....- - (Mr. C-C-P-R-O-Guyyyy!!)Your Pit Crew speed and ingenuity, combined with up-to-date intel from 20/20 have resulted in the latest Feng Shui in urban crime(...We're-really-fast-like-Ninjas....)First; Copper..... Then it was lead.... Now Industrial grade platinum.... Your stealth-like automotive-mining skills place you on the top rung of the Can-Man's corporate ladder(I-Really-Need-Bail-Money)So Crack Open an Ice Cold Bud Light... Metallurgist-Of-The-Muffler......Because We know as long as we have catalytic converters..... You'll ALWAYS stink......In our book...(- - Mr. C-C-P-R-O-Guyyyy!!)
Posted by Jammit on July 31, 2008 - Thursday - 1:51 PM [Reply to this] [Remove] [Block User]

WOW omg what a week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Knight

Yesterday, C and I caught the matinee showing of "The Dark Knight."

I was curious as to Heath Ledger's performance for obvious reasons, but admittedly, once the film started and the acting began, I lost sight of who still is and focused on who was on screen.

In a word -- amazing.

I hate for anyone to lose his life, especially so needlessly. But after seeing this movie, I selfishly hate that I won't see his interviews about how he jumped into his believably sick role as the Joker, maniacally convincing me that he knew how to do, be, feel, LIVE in that mindset.

Absolutely incredible. Talk about going out in style.
Catch it if you can.

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We saw it while at the beach. Great movie. I liked it even better than the first one. I agree that Heath Ledger did a great job with the joker. I noticed that they didn't kill the joker off at the end of the movie. I bet they had planned to bring Heath Ledger back to play the joker again. So sad that he won't be able to do that.

Stranger Than Fiction

After holding onto the East Baton Rouge Parish library's copy of "Stranger than Fiction" for more than the allotted week, I finally watched it tonight, under C's encouragement that it was worth not falling asleep during. (He saw it on HBO a while back.)

I think it suffices to say -- without any spoilers -- that Will Ferrell and his bevy of cool castmates exceeded expectations, giving me more than I anticipated from him (which is generally a lot).

And it proved that life can definitely be stranger than fiction.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I debated on blogging about this not-new-anymore term...simply because it's not new anymore. I first heard it on the radio back in the spring and thought it would be a fun blog title. Then I forgot, and now everyone knows it.

But just in case you don't, here's the definition. A staycation is the survival-of-the-fittest mode of a vacation in these times of highest gas prices ever. The first radio narration I heard on staycations encouraged families to enjoy their own cities (or cities near them), leaving behind the worries and stresses of vacating, including the bills the ever-rising gas prices induce.

I still like the term, but since it's more common now, my main reason for blogging about staycations is to point out the immense emotional value of them....not just because you will cry less when you see more money in your wallet, but because one can really grow to appreciate where he's from (or is) when he explores that city rather than jaunting off to some great vacay destination.

I know this for a fact, because I truly regret never "staycating" in Biloxi and checking out Beauvoir as an adult. And Marine Life. Yes, I saw all the fun coast spots as a child, but never really chose to enjoy them once I got older and the field trip bus wasn't taking me there.
I can't tell you how many times during the weeks and months right after Katrina hit that I apologized to my boyfriend and friends for never insisting we forego Destin or Gulf Shores or New Orleans to just explore the Coast of Mississippi. It's more than just where I grew up -- there are some fun places there!

I am so proud of the place I call home for sustaining and rebuilding so valiantly. The courage and stamina is admirable, to put it mildly. But even with that wonderful determination and all the generosity of those who have given back to the land I love, the tourist attractions of the summer of 2005 will never be as they were before August 29 of that year. And I'll never be able to take the people I have met and grown to love in adulthood back to August 28, 2005....we only have the present and the future.

So yes, save the gas money and do a staycation. But also do it to be able to appreciate your town, city, county, parish, state or even region's touristy spots as you are now. Don't wait until the unthinkable happens and all you have are dreadful before and after pics.


Happy staycay.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Let it go, let it go, let it go?

One of my favorite bands in the world is Cowboy Mouth. And one of my favorite songs of theirs is "Jenny Says."

Lately, it's been easy to let things get to me. There's been lots of sadness around me, and subsequently, in me. I don't like that.

I know that without the sad times, I can't really experience the truest joy of the good times. But I'm beginning to think there's only so much sadness a girl can take.

So along with my all-time favorite Bible verse (John 10:10 - "I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly."), the help of wonderful friends and family, and being on the look-out for those day-to-day pleasures that make life more fun to live, I am going to make an effort to live by Cowboy Mouth's lyrics this week:

I've got no reason for the things I fear
The things that plague me when I see and hear
A dime's a nickel and a nickel's none
I throw myself into the Sunday sun
That summer Sunday when you went insane
You said you're going, but instead I came
I'm throwing oranges in an apple cart
The ties that bind are tearing me apart

Jenny says turn off the radio
Jenny says turn off the light
Jenny says turn off the video
You beat yourself up to bring yourself down

Let it go, let it go, let it go
Let it go, let it go, let it go
When the world keeps coming down on me
I let it go

I've got no reason for the things I say
She turned toward me then she turned away
There's lots of voices in a modern world
They take their toll upon a modern girl
I've got no reason for the things I fear
The things that plague me when I see and hear
I press my finger on an itchy trigger
What once was small right now is so much bigger

Jenny says turn off the radio
Jenny says turn off the light
Jenny says turn off the video
You beat yourself up to bring yourself down

Let it go, let it go, let it go
Let it go, let it go, let it go
When the world keeps coming down on me
I let it go

I've got no reason for the things I do
The dealer deals and then the deal is screwed
You throw your cards up on the playing table
My name is Cain and I am now unable
I've got no reason for the things I fear
The things that plague me when I see and hear
A dime's a nickel, a nickel's none
I throw myself into the Sunday sun

Jenny says turn off the radio
Jenny says turn off the light
Jenny says turn off the video
You beat yourself up 'cause you love it

Let it go, let it go, let it go
Let it go, let it go, let it go
When the world keeps coming down on me
I let it go

Let it go, let it go, let it go
Let it go, let it go, let it go
When the world keeps coming down on me
I let it go

I let it go, let it go, let it go
I let it go, let it go, let it go
I let it go, let it go, let it go

I am really going to make an effort with this (and living life more abundantly, and paying attention to those "small" daily delights God blesses us with) this week, and I'd really love it if those of you who pay attention to things like MySpace moods and statuses (or stati?!) would keep me accountable on this.

Just remind me -- when the world is coming down on me, I let it go.


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I have always *loved* this song! Thanks for posting the lyrics so that I can hopefully let some things go right now as well! You're the best :) Luvs!
Posted by *Michelle* on July 15, 2008 - Tuesday - 8:14 AM

I love that song too!!! I forgot how good it is and how much it says about life in general. Thanks for sharing it with me. I am going to join you too. MUAH!!!
Posted by RE RE on July 15, 2008 - Tuesday - 8:54 AM

hibbs is what they call me
you should change the name of your blog from "welcome to my world" to "Bekah Says...!"

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I just watched the movie "Bella" and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I was in the right mode for it, though...I like all kinds of movies and entertainment, but some are made for specific times. Like quiet nights alone, when introspection is welcome.

At any rate, I enjoy anything that has to do with real decisions, and of course, I like language variations and the occasional subtitle, too. (I know, I'm weird.)

Sweet movie. Good RJ time.

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I just Watched the Mini-series "Ice Road Truckers" in its entirety. I think I was in the right mode for it, though... I like all kinds of Hardcore, Crazy, Mindless shows, but some are made for specific times. Like veg'ing on the couch after a 3 day "Beer-a-thon" when watching mindless rednecks traverse frozen oceans and rivers in the name of Xtreme global transport is welcome. At any rate, I enjoy anything that has to do with loud, dirty, heavy machines, and of course, the only Language variations and subtitles would not be welcome on Bekah's Blog (How weird is *she*)...Great series! New episode next sunday night! Dane-O

Posted by Jammit on July 8, 2008 - Tuesday - 8:32 AM

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

summer lovin’ (straight from John Mayer’s blog)

I sometimes check out John Mayer's blog, because since I really love his lyrics, I figured I'd really love his freestyle writing, too. (I was right.)

I am reposting one of his tonight, because it says things I needed to hear:

summer 2008 is here 06/29 by JM

I'm laying in my London hotel room in one of my least favorite scenarios: the job is done today but the plane takes off tomorrow. The European tour was an absolute blast and I think I speak for the band and crew when I say that all sights are set firmly on the US tour and making it the best ever.

As a 30-year old with an eight-year mainstream professional music career, I couldn't be happier (and more thankful) to still have a gig. All I can think about when I'm on stage these days is how terrible it would feel to have learned how to make the most out of each and every show after the gig was up.

It's a funny time to be alive right now, in that I'm not quite sure we're celebrating like we should. I don't mean the "Hand me your keys, Dan!" celebrating. I mean the very innate act of celebration; human appreciation. Group reveling. A general sense of "This is my tribe and this is our fellowship." Like a concert.

I know I've written along these lines before, but do you know why it matters? Because someday you're going to be old, and things are going to change. Your body is going to turn on you. I already know where the L-5 and L-6 discs in my back are, because they're wearing down a little, and when I ask the doc how we lick this, he says "It is what it is. You're not 18 anymore." I have 3 gray hairs that I insist are "mutant clear hairs" but they're not. They're just gray. And right on time.

Chances are you won't get hit by that proverbial bus people always talk about when they're smoking a Lucky Strike and tipping back on their chair. Odds are also on your side (thank God) that you won't ever get the news from your doctor that you have only months left to live. But you know what he may very well tell you? That you need a new hip. Nobody ever says "live it up because someday you might need a new hip" but it's the truth. They don't say "Be good to one another because in time we'll all know a medical lab technician on a first name basis" but it happens every day.

My point is that whenever that someday comes, when I slide into the MRI scanner and the thing starts spinning up, spitting lasers and screaming into my ears, I may very well say to myself "I wish I had just one more of those summers."

Being a young man is kick-ass. Being a young man who knows that being a young man is kick-ass is what it's really all about. And as a musician, I'm finally learning to distinguish the notes that matter from the ones that don't. I'm also getting better at knowing those notes as a person, too. I'm excited to bring it all on stage, and even more excited to see you all out there.

Thank you for another one of those summers.


Granted, anyone who is dating Jennifer Aniston should be a happy guy, and appreciative of what he has. But seriously. Happy summer lovin' to you. Let's savor this day while we can.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

my daily plate (dot com)

In response to my whining and moaning about my need to watch my weight, a friend told me a couple of weeks ago about a website that might help raise my awareness about what I eat:

I tried it and guess what? It's really interesting, and definitely keeps me accountable when I see how many calories I have consumed by (and sometimes before!) lunch, and what the site recommends I eat (or don't eat) for the rest of the day.

Check it out if you're interested - it's free to sign up, and a great way to keep track of what's going in your body on a daily basis.

3:54 PM - 1 Comments - 2 Kudos

I always knew you were a goddess! I've used some other sites before but have never been thrilled with them! HUGE THANKS!!!

Posted by *Michelle* on July 1, 2008 - Tuesday 9:02 PM