Sunday, September 27, 2009

Y'all two sisters.

My 5-year-old nephew has taken to calling his mom and me "y'all two sisters."

I think he's grasping the concept of siblings, and of course the number thing, and I just love that he's tying "y'all" in with it.

Some of the ways Mr. Man will use this and similar phrases are:

  • Are y'all two sisters about done talkin'? Dad and I are ready to go.

  • Yep, that's what I thought y'all two sisters might say.
    (especially after we say something in unison, which we sort of do a good bit)

  • Leave it to y'all two sisters to come up with that.

  • Your OTHER sister said the same thing!

  • Etc.

It's really too cute, and I've definitely added it to my list of things I wish he'll never self-correct, like "Behbeh" (first "Bekah" term, which is long gone), "lello" (kids' infamously adorable "yellow" pronunciation, also quickly self-corrected), and "zee-ert" (Caleb's very own term for dessert, which thank heavens, he still says).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Banana.

When my cousin was student-teaching in history, he was across the hall from the high school's Spanish teacher. He would tell us about how low the quality of Spanish was that the students were learning because of the Spanish teacher's poor pronunciation, but I'm not sure we ever believed him until he told us this:
One day as class was wrapping up, he could hear from across the hall the Spanish teacher instructing her class about their homework. I believe her words were similar to, "Ok, be sure to have all that finished by the muh-nan-uh."
(As in, rhymed with "banana.")
Ever since, as a joke, I'll refer to manana (tomorrow) as "the muh-nan-uh," or sometimes, when under the influence of my silliest friends, "the banana."
So, goodnight, peeps. See y'all in the banana.
p.s. The pic was a total fluke. I searched Google Images for "manana," and pow! Cracked me up.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Strep = Love/Hate

In the past 3 days, strep throat and I have developed a love/hate relationship.

Here are the things I hate about strep:
1. Not being able to be productive -- at work or at home.
2. Feeling achy all over. Especially fingers and toes and bottoms of feet.
3. Random coughs.
4. Not being able to laugh or talk.
5. Being tired always.
6. Being shut in when I'd rather, as Caleb used to say, "get down and run around."
7. Getting worn out from a bath.
8. Having my face hurt.
9. Missing everything that's going on around me.

Here is what I love about the last few days:
1. Catching up on my new addiction that is "Lost."
2. Eating lots of popsicles.

You do the math.

Top 10 Southern Novels

My cousin Russ recently included on his blog a post about The Oxford American's Top 10 Southern Novels.

I'm reposting here, and strongly agree with RDM's comments about recently deceased Southern novelists Eudora Welty and Willie Morris:

The Oxford American magazine recently asked 134 scholars to vote for the ten best Southern novels of all time. The Nashville Tennessean has an article about it here.

Now, first of all, I haven’t forgiven the Oxford American for moving from Oxford, Mississippi, to Arkansas. Still, it’s a good magazine.

The top ten novels picked by their team of scholars:
1. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
2. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
3. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
6. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
7. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
8. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
9. Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
10. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

I agree with many of the choices, especially the Faulkner, O’Connor, Percy, and Ellison picks. I wouldn’t count Mark Twain as a Southern author, although I would agree that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the best, perhaps the best, American novels of all time. Faulkner is, of course, inimitable and significant. Percy is likewise.

My main complaint is that Eudora Welty is not on this list and neither is Willie Morris. They should be.

FLASHBACK: April Fool's

As promised, I'm flashing back to some significant moments / trips / ideas / experiences as I have time. And when better to do so than when the meds kick in and is doesn't hurt to type?

My first flashback ties in with my most recent blog post, "A New Look."

On April 1 of this year, I decided it was high time to unleash 32 1/2 years of my mischevious nature the world. (Can you believe I'd NEVER done a for-real April Fool's joke till then? Such a waste.)

Anyway, with a little help from the awesome ALong, I decided to post on Fbk that I'd gone blonde.

Those of you who don't know me very well may not realize what a significantly big deal this was for peeps around me. My hair is red -- or as my Grandma Johnson always said, "auburn" -- and it's natural. I've never minded it, because a) I never got picked on about it, and b) always got plenty of positive attention for it. To boot, my hair is naturally curly, so I still get grief every time I straighten it and happen to be around my Nan or my Daddy. (Because heaven forbid a girl have more than one hair option after 22 years of the same old thing.) But get the picture.

I thought when posting the statement on my Facebook status (Rebekah is blonde, and has decided that they DO have more fun!), I'd just get some fun feedback from my friends.

Well, that's pretty much an understatement of the results. The whole scenario was hilarious. A lot of peeps didn't believe me, so I (confidentially) begged every graphic artist type I knew to puh-leeze photoshop Reese Witherspoon's hair on one of my pics. Thankfully, Shannon's friend was about to do it quickly, so up it went.

Well, from there, the comments exploded. They included:

The skeptical:

  • "This is fake! I see mountains in the background."

  • "Is that a wig? That sort of looks like a wig..."

The incredulous:

  • "You really DID it?! Wow!"

  • "That red hair was so unique...but this looks good, too."

And the complimentary:

  • "Whoa! You've never looked so good in your LIFE!"

  • "Amazing! You should've gone blonde YEARS ago!"


Finally, it was the complimentary that did me in. After a couple of days of gushing raves about how I looked better than ever, I became depressed at the same old dog staring back at me every time I passed a mirror. So I admitted it was a joke, and that was that. (Or so I thought.)

Somewhere around the-jig-is-up time, I was on the phone with my mom, who had found a great deal on some expensive towels I like and was seeing if I wanted any. My sister called in while we were talking, so I told my mother I'd call her back. My conversation with my (usually ridiculously sweet and mild) sister went something like this:

  • RJ:
    Hey Kim!

  • KJW:
    WHAT?! I cannot BELIEVE this. After all the pushback I got for a few highlights to cover my GRAYING hair, you go and DYE YOURS BLONDE????? TELL ME this is a joke.

  • RJ:
    (laughing) Oh, you saw Facebook?

  • KJW:
    YES, I saw FACEBOOK. This is unbelievable!!!!

  • (in the background) Kim's husband Steve: Is it real? Well, IS IT?

  • RJ:
    Kim. Of course it's not real. Can't you tell that's a Photoshopped pic? Why would I do that and not tell you?!

  • KJW:
    Oh! Ok.
    (yells: Steve, it's not real!)

  • RJ:
    If you saw it, do you think Mother did? Maybe I should call her back now...

So call my (typically sweet and gentle) Mother back I did. And that, my friends, is when the REAL fun began. THAT conversation followed THIS general line:

  • RJ:
    (laughing) Hey Mother! That was Kim -- she'd just seen Facebook. She thought my April Fool's joke was REAL!!!! Hahahahahaha!

  • Mother:

  • RJ:
    Um...are you still in the department store?

  • Mother:
    YES, I'M STILL IN THE DEPARTMENT STORE! Buying towels for YOU! Who almost gave me a HEART ATTACK. I told them at the office: "That is the WORST frost job I have EVER seen in my LIFE!"

  • RJ:
    Mother, it was a joke.

  • Mother:
    A joke? A joke. It was a JOKE?! Well, I hope you got a good laugh out of it, little missy. Do you know what people would DO to have your hair color? And you have it NATURALLY!

  • RJ:
    And it's still its natural color. That was Reese Witherspoon's hair Photoshopped on my face.

  • Mother:
    Little lady, ANYONE can be a blonde. ANYONE. But not everyone can have your shade of red hair. If you EVER get a frost job like that...

  • RJ:
    I don't think they call them frost jobs anymore...

  • Mother:
    It doesn't matter WHAT they call them! It's awful, your hair is perfectly FINE like it is, and ANYONE can be a blonde.

  • RJ:
    Um, are you still in the store?

  • Mother:

  • RJ:
    And there's probably one or two blondes who can hear you?

  • Mother:
    :: sigh :: Well, maybe. But THEY KNOW. They chose that hair color because they didn't have hair like YOURS. NATURALLY.

  • RJ:
    Should we talk later, maybe?

And on it went. For about two weeks.

The hits kept on rollin' -- I actually got a CALL from a cousin whom I NEVER hear from personally. I didn't even have the number he called from in my PHONE. I've basically communicated with his wife or his assistant for the past five or so years, unless we were in person, at a family gathering. But he called all by himself...for this?! Oh, but yes.

My Nan gave me about the same drill as my mother, but louder.

(And people, I'd just like to say: blonde hair is beautiful. As is straight hair. My family just has some sort of...obsession?!...with curly red hair. So do NOT take it personally. As Angela says about this and the ex-boyfriend who flipped every time I got my split ends cut, "Apparently, it's really not your hair after all. It's everyone else's, to tell you what you can or can't do with it.)

So from this experience, I learned why it took me 32 1/2 years to do an April Fool's joke. And why the next one probably won't come around till I'm 64 1/2. Those suckers are EXHAUSTING!

Also, actually getting highlights this summer to cover my gray strands was much less painful than it could've been.

Thank you, April 1, 2009. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

A New Look

As a grandiose welcome to Autumn 2009 (and a result of being homebound with strep throat), I've decided to play around and give this ol' blog a new look.

Whaddya think? I'm liking the color scheme so far...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pretty good for 60.

Early this month, my Daddy celebrated his 60th birthday.

To our surprise, he actually let us actually CELEBRATE instead of pretending it was just another day, or becoming quiet and withdrawn about "getting older."
(I put this in quotes because my Daddy's NEVER seemed old to me, but has also never loved those "milestone" birthdays. And I understand that numbers can make a person feel this way, so I'm not judging. I'm just sayin'.)
So, all this said, we were excited to host a small birthday celebration for him in Gulfport, and were thrilled to have our whole (immediate) family there, and many of his brothers and sisters, as well. (He's the youngest of 11, so with location and schedules, getting 2 or 3 there is really good!)

Among my favorite parts of the weekend and event were:
  • Daddy's love for the theme my mother, sister and I came up with via email:
    Kent's gone from 0 to 60 in no time!
    (Daddy loves cars, and is amazing with them, and still mourns the '55 Chevy he gave up after he and my mother married.)

  • The delight on my daddy's face as he enjoyed his brothers and sisters, our immediate family, the entire gathering, and (I think) just knowing that we all made time for him on his special day. He's not a natural attention-seeker (I know; I'm totally adopted), so it was fun to see him enjoy this facet of life that I've been promoting for years!

  • Caleb leaning over to me during the bday party and intiating this convo:

    Bekah, how old IS Grandpa?

    You should go ask him.

    Caleb (looking at Daddy surrounded by his brothers & sisters):
    No, thanks. I thought I'd just ask you.

    Well, why don't you guess?


    That's right -- that was a REALLY good guess.

    Well, I might've heard it at home or something.

    :: pause ::

    :: leaning in ::

    Ya know, Grandpa can do perfect push-ups. Not just one, but a LOT!

    Yes, I know -- Grandpa's in really good shape!

    Yep. That's pretty good for 60.

As usual, well said, Mr. Man. The wisdom of a 5-year-old. :-)

And happy 60th birthday to my wonderfully kind and talented father... I love you so much!

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

I'm so thankful for so many blessings in my crazy life (despite my attempts to mess it all up):

1. Friends in many places -- high and low (geographically, of course) -- who actually want to spend time with me. Wha?!


3. Good music. I do love a good lyric, and set to fun tunes, even better. And LIVE..... ::happy sigh::

4. The option to look at a situation, make the best of it, and find ways it can be improved. For whatever reason, this never gets old for me. (Ok, maybe some days at 4:45pm it gets old. But usually, I'm all up for it.)

5. Pop Ball. I talk a lot in conversation and in writing about my Nan, and many times include stories about The Colonel, but I know for a fact that I don't give him the "air time" he's due. Mr. Cliff has not only been wonderful for my Nanny and for our family, but he has led a rich, full life in which he's done #4 on this list tirelessly, and has done it with gusto and without regard for age, life hindrances, or disasters of any kind. I admire this man more than I could say, and thank him with all my heart for being the only grandfather I can remember ever knowing. It can't be easy to jump into a family like ours, but he did it, and last weekend he turned 87. God bless him.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sounding the Barbaric Yawp: Publicized or Privatized?

Robin Williams said it best in "Dead Poet's Society" when he quoted Walt Whitman to his class -- sometimes we just need to sound our barbaric yawps, and it often feels really good to do it over the roofs of the world.

My own barbaric yawps have been known to sound like a wide variety of things: delirious, deep-bellied laughter, principal's-office-sobs, screams, shouts, top-of-the-lungs singing, and even silence. (And if you know me, the last one is the most unbelievable. But for real. It's happened.)

Lately, quite a few public figures have gone on their own special rants and have been publicly sounding their barbaric yawps.

Unless I'm missing something before this instance, Representative Joe Wilson (South Carolina - Rep.) kicked off The Public Barbaric Yawping by screaming "You lie!" to President Obama during a speech about Obama's infamously controversial healthcare plan.

Acclaimed tennis player Serena Williams soon followed suit with her less than ladylike suggestion of what the referee who called her foul could do with the tennis ball during the U.S. Open.

And most recently, Kanye West gave America yet another sequel to what seems to be a bad habit of Public Barbaric Yawping when he stole Taylor Swift's microphone (and moment, and ability to speak) after she won a VMA, letting the audience know his opinion that Beyonce' should have been awarded instead.

President Obama didn't realize he was publicly yawping when he spoke his mind "off the record" to a reporter about Kanye's actions, but it turned all too public, thanks to an errant (?) tweet by a CNBC reporter (whom I now feel pretty sorry for).

Beyonce' Knowles followed up Kanye's rant with a LOVELY public (but not so barbaric) yawp when she gave Taylor Swift her much-deserved moment to shine. (As if we could possible love Beyonce' more these days!)

There've been plenty of other Public Yawps: Tom Cruise's not-soon-to-be-forgotten couch dance on Oprah's show about Scientology, post-partum, and who knows what else; Mel Gibson's untimely drunken rant on the Jewish community while being pulled over for a DUI... and the list could go on.

You should know as you read this that I'm all about a barbaric yawp. Truth be told, sometimes it's the only thing that saves my redhead from insanity. And Lord knows that when I'm feeling less than sane, I have a LOT to yawp about. And it's often quite barbaric.

My question is: Is public yawping ok?

While I'm embarrassed to admit I have definitely done it, my opinion is no. Public ranting is NOT ok. I look at it much like PDA (public displays of affection): keep that private. Show the world your best, because you have plenty of time to be overly detailed when you're alone.

So why are so many public figures these past few weeks ranting...and doing it in front of cameras, audiences filled with dignitaries, and in an age where everything is instantly YouTubed, Tweeted, Facebooked and texted? Is it a full moon? Or have we simply lost our value for privacy?

I know my opinion's not the only one, so I welcome yours, too. Is public ranting ok? Should we -- public figures and peons alike -- feel free to say whatever, whenever, to whomever?

I'd love to know what you think.

Let the flashbacks begin!

In an effort to catch up on some very procrastinated blogging of trips, life events, etc., I'm shamelessly ripping off my friend Presley's idea of Flashback Blogs.

(Ok, she sweetly gave me permission, but still -- it's NOT an original concept by RJ!)

So watch this space... Hopefully the catching up will begin sooner as opposed to later. :-)

Monday, September 14, 2009

This time of year.

This week, I'm going to see Better than Ezra in concert for the first time ever! This is shocking for many of my BR peeps, since Ezra got their start in Baton Rouge, went to LSU, and played at Ole Miss a good bit, but it will be a fun first for me.

I've been re-familiarizing myself with many of my faves, including "Good," "Desperately Wanting," and the great fall classic, "This Time of Year," which I've posted the video and lyrics of here:

"This Time of Year" by Better Than Ezra

Well there's a feelin' in the air
Just like a friday afternoon
Yeah you can go there if you want
Though it fades too soon

So go on, let it be
If there's a feelin' coming over me
Seems like it's always understood
this time of year

Well I know there's a reason to change
Well I know there's a time for us
Think about the good times
and you live with all the bad
You can feel it in the air
Feelin' right this time of year

Well there's a football in the air
Across the leaf-blown field
Yeah, and there's your first car on the road
And the girl you steal

So go on, if you fell
If there's a feelin' that there's somethin' else
Seems like it's always understood
this time of year

Well I know theres a reason to change (this time of year)
Yeah I know theres a time for us (this time of year)
Think about the good times but you live with all the bad (this time of year)
You can feel it in the air
Feelin' right this time of year

Well theres a feelin' in the air
Just like a friday afternoon
Yeah you can go there if you want
Though it fades too soon

So go on, let it be
If there's a feelin' comin' over me
Seems like it's always understood
this time of year

Well I know theres a reason to change (this time of year)
Yeah I know there's a time for us (this time of year)
Ya think about the good times,
and you live with all the bad (this time of year)

You can feel it in the air
Feel it in the air
Yeah I can feel it in the air
Well I can feel it in the air

Yeah you can feel it in the air
Feelin' right this time of year

Nobody puts baby in the corner.

Today, Patrick Swayze lost his battle to pancreatic cancer. Besides being a fantastic actor in so many coming-of-age movies, Swayze seemed to be a great all-around kind of guy, and lived a lotta life during his 57 years.

Some friends and I are considering a "Dirty Dancing" night -- complete with appropriately named refreshments and, of course, suitable 80s attire.

Long live the ghostly king of dance....because as we all know, nobody puts baby in the corner.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Game Day!

It's college football game day across the nations, and I'm headed to Death Valley to watch the Tigers stomp Vanderbilt. (At least I'm hoping that will be the outcome!)

Southern Miss has a home game today, too... I'm hoping to make at least one of those this season.

So Geaux TIGERS! And Southern Miss, To The Top!

Rah! :-D

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Full Heart.

Five things I've been thankful for this week are:

1. Having a job. That pays me. Especially in this economy, but period.

2. Getting to see my family last weekend. My heart is ridonculously full from my time with my parents, grandparents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew -- not to mention the million other relatives I received hugs and happiness from, plus a few friends, too.

3. Where I'm from. I don't care where we rank on national scores for every last thing ever; I'm so proud to be a Mississippi girl. (Ok, I DO care, but I'm just sayin'. That doesn't diminish my pride at all.) Where I'm from is amazing, colorful, full of life, and the absolute heart and soul of kindness. Without home, I obviously would and could not be me. Going back there is just like taking a long, hot shower after a month of sponge baths.

4. My puppy, and how sweet she is, and what she means to my family. I could -- and surely will -- write a whole blog on precious Tractor, but for now, I'll just say that especially for an outside, stray, mutt-of-origin, squirrel-chasing, happened upon our family little runt, that Tractor sure has made the Johnsons' lives sweeter, more protected, and more loved all these years.

5. LSU FOOTBALL. Welcome back, my friend. Sure has been lonely here without ya.

Independence Day.

I do love the feeling of putting things that have passed in the past.

I can learn, and grow, and love the memories I want to hold onto.

IMHO (in my humble opinion), Nichole Nordeman does an excellent job of capturing the essence of my day -- along with the freedom offered us by our Savior -- in "Finally Free."

Video is here; lyrics are below.

Finally Free by Nichole Nordeman

No chain is strong enough,
no choice is wrong enough
No mountain high enough
that He can't climb
No shadow dark enough,
no night is black enough
No road is lost enough
that He can't find

And if the Son has set us free,
then we must be free indeed
Let the chains fall away, starting today

Everything has changed...
I'm finally free

No pain is deep enough,
no heart could bleed enough
Nothing but Jesus' love
can make a way


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Heart of Life.

I have a new favorite happy-place song to add to Gabe Dixon's "All Will Be Well":
"Heart of Life" by John Mayer.

I'm pasting the lyrics below the video; hope you enjoy, too!

"Heart of Life" by John Mayer
I hate to see you cry
Lying there in that position
There's things you need to hear
So turn off your tears and listen

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

You know it's nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
Then the circle of your friends
Will defend the silver lining

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who's misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good

I know it's good

Sunrise: Part II.

*** I'm adding the video to this post now that I've gotten past my remedialness and remembered how! ***

I am a longtime lover of Nichole Nordeman's music, and came across the song "Sunrise" this morning.

Perfect timing, perfect lyrics:

If I had the chance
To go back again
Take a different road,
bear a lighter load
Tell an easy story
I would walk away
With my yesterdays
And I would not trade
what is broken for beauty only

Every valley
Every bitter chill
Made me ready to climb back up the hill
And find that . . .

You are sunrise
You are blue skies
How would I know the morning
If I knew not midnight?

You’re my horizon
You’re the light of a new dawn
So thank You, thank You
That after the long night,
You are sunrise

There’s a moment
when Faith caves in
There’s a time when
every soul is certain God is gone

But every shadow
is evidence of sun
And every tomorrow
holds out hope for us
For every one of us

You are sunrise
You are blue skies
How would I know the morning
If I knew not midnight?

You’re my horizon
You’re the light
of a new dawn
So thank You, thank You
That after the long night,
You are sunrise

You alone will shine
You alone can resurrect
this heart of mine

You are sunrise
You are blue skies
How would I know the morning
If I knew not midnight?
You’re my horizon
You’re the light of a new dawn
So thank You, thank You
That after the long night,
You are sunrise

You are sunrise

Monday, September 7, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009