Friday, February 24, 2012

How I Brought a Weapon, a Bomb and Terrorists Into the State Capitol

Sometimes I form ideas.
Entertaining an idea can be very dangerous.  It is not unlike entertaining a hungry pride of lions or a baby cousin. You have to be careful what direction your idea decides to go in.  At times, I think too fast and let my brains go to my head. 

Several years ago, I came up with this rather intoxicating idea to save the wetlands.  I learned at a young age that you can do anything that you set your mind to, except maybe be an astronaut,climb a mountain or change the world and a whole bunch of other stuff.

That one idea started to reproduce at an alarming rate.

I wrote a book about saving the wetlands.

I wrote a television pilot based on the book.

Went to Hollywood.  Met famous people.  Walked on the red carpet...
after the movie stars, paparazzi and cab drivers went in.

I was invited to appear on several major television shows, including Ellen DeGeneres and The Tonight Show.

My idea had morphed itself into an amalgamation of every dream I had ever had.
Don't get me wrong.  My fifteen minutes of fame was amazing and I will always treasure it, but ultimately decided to take my idea a step further.  I had an ephiphany, which is like an idea jacked up on a massive amount of steroids.

I decided that since the alligators were losing their wetland habitat due to coastal erosion that I would take one to live in my house (I couldn't leave an alligator outside...that is just dumb).  I got with the right people (yeah, I got people) and they granted me a license to have an alligator to bring to schools and functions and speak about coastal erosion.

I stoically became known as "The Alligator Lady."  It sounds way cooler when you say it outloud in a slow, deep, mesmarizing voice, not just reading it.  And, just in case anyone is wondering, it does hurt if you stick your finger in an alligator's mouth...just sayin'.

One day, I received a call completely out of the blue.  I was invited to the State Capitol to meet with the Governor for some publicity shots and simply had to fill out some documents naming the people who would be in my party,etc.  I recall that, but don't recall any  documentation about not bringing weapons.  That is something that they should send in the paperwork and make very clear upfront.

So, the big day arrived and I was very excited.  I brought my son and another child (professional actor/musician) who was in the book, the child's mom and myself.  Of course, I brought the alligator as he was the star and I knew the Governor would love him.

The child musician decided to bring in his accordion, which was in a big, black case.  He had played his accordion all the way up to the White House for the President, so it was nothing new to him.

We were a great sight.  A lot of people stared at us.  I am pretty sure they thought we were famous.

We arrived at the door, alligator and accordion in tow.  We met a grumpy man at the door in a security uniform.

He took my paperwork, looked it over and then whispered some sweet, secret whisperings into a handheld radio.  I don't know what he said but before I knew it there was either a swat team or poison control people searching us.

They proceeded to call a bomb squad because of the "bomb" the 10 year old musician was carrying and wouldn't let him open the case out of fear that it would explode.  They couldn't understand why we would be walking around carrying an accordion.   Why would we walk around carrying a bomb?

Apparently, alligators are weapons (exact words) and 10 year old boys holding a bomb and a weapon are terrorists.

Also, I was supposed to have listed the alligator on the documentation under "People in Party."
Don't get me wrong.  I am usually very proud to live in Louisiana.  We have the Saints and...Ok, that is all we have.  Texas is our sidekick, so that counts as something, but this was not one of those moments where I was real proud to say where I lived.  I pretended to be a tourist in handcuffs and did the "whistling walk-away" like I didn't know any of these people or alligators.

Eventually, contact was made to the Governor and I think she told everyone that they were nuts as she permitted us through and OK'd us (and the alligator) to come up to the upper floor.  We got our photos, after all.  I just can't leave the country...ever.

 I do have to mention this before I go:

And for the record, don't ever try telling an alligator your problems.  His advice is usually dumb and meat related.  

This is a video of one of my "terrorists" playing with Hank Williams, jr.  

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Significant Award

Well, apparently I spoke too soon.
In my last post, I mentioned that during my lifetime I only received "insignificant awards," such as:
Well, I am happy to inform all of you that since that post, I have received a "significant award" that has nothing to do with my freakish jumping skills:
or the fact that I am a towering inferno of beauty:
My calculated plot to take over the blogging world is finally starting to take root.   (Something sinister won't plant itself).
My pal over at Randoom Blog! has so graciously passed on the Liebster Award to me! I would like to thank him because this is the second award he has given to me.  If I understand awards, and I am pretty sure I don't, you must reasonably deserve them.  I feel that there are so many more deserving  blogs than mine, but will accept it with gracious humility.

So, like other "Liebster"  recipients before me, I will accept it properly according to the rules:

1.  Link back to the person who gave you the award.  Please show your love to my friend over at Randoom Blog!.  He is a very funny fellow and I love reading his posts!

2.  Pick 5 deserving people and notify them on their blogs.

This was my conundrum.  I don't feel comfortable at all picking from so many great blogs! It has to be blogs with less than 200 members so that narrows it down a bit.

Making important decisions is not something you can run away from like paying your cell phone bill or a crying baby.
I actually have to do something! So, I sat down and had to choose from over a hundred blogs that I love and have narrowed it down to 5:

    I. makes me smile, makes me laugh and is a great commenter on my posts.

   II.  Stephanie at does with clay what I do with drawings only she is good at it.  She has something that is very original and she is actively involved in my blog.  Thank you Stephanie!

  III. just love him.  He has a dire seriousness about his posts, yet trims it with funny.  I don't event think he does it on purpose and I see so much potential in this blog.  By potential, I mean he's awesome!

  IV. makes me laugh...a lot!  Also, very good about commenting on my blog.

   V.  Brett at love how Brett describes the ongoings of his day.  Maybe I am just nosey or maybe it is how he pulls me into his little world and keeps me there.  Check him out!

Like I said, the worst part is that I couldn't choose you all, because I would have.  You have become my second family and I love how you accept me and my blog into your lives.

3.  Post the award on your blog and spread the love.

Well, to you five, I am passing this lovely award onto you for you to place on your blog and I hope it means as much to you as it does to me.

And as for the crying babies, just remember that they are here for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to replace us all. submit to reddit

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blood Chocolate

No one in this world loves chocolate more than I do.  NO ONE.

I didn't give myself Type II diabetes out of my deep-seeded love for okra (which I hate).   Every time I take a breath, I secretly hope that somehow scientists have invented chocolate air.  Once, I thought they had, but it turned out to be something in complete contrast to what I had hoped.  I believe that at one point in my life I ate through half of the world's supply chain of cocoa because of my suffocating, unbridled love affair with the stuff.

Even the word itself tastes good!  When I hear the word chocolate, I think of love, goodness and of every foxy day of my life.  But, take a word like "spinach."  It is like green terror, fear and all things not stamped "Nestle" blasted into a leafy flatness that is completely despondent and tastes poorly like sadness.
Don't get me wrong.  I'm not pimpin' chocolate.  OK, maybe I am, just a little...
At one point, I wanted to build a house made completely of chocolate, fatally slathered in rich cocoa frosting and completely furnished with dark fudge furniture.

But, after weighing all of my options, I realized I would be homeless within two months.  I would have to choose between chocolate or shelter.  Obviously, shelter is optional...
There have been (sad times) in my life where I have thought about giving up chocolate, but then that would make me a quitter.  Maturity, though, has taught me one important lesson in life and that lesson is that quitters never win, unless you are playing the game, "Who Can Quit First."

Lately, though, I have felt bad about eating it.  Oh, how I wish I could believe or understand that!

But, it is true.  And it is not just because I can't fit into my jeans anymore, which I can't.  Studying history and world events a bit more early on probably would have saved me from being an exhaustive human chocolate vacuum completely unaware of the excess burden that I was placing on the world's cocoa industry.

Recently, I really have had some issues with supply chain practices that chocolate companies are using.

In our heads, we probably imagine a whimsical man dressed in purple-garb skipping through fields of dripping chocolate patting tiny people on their heads.

In reality, it is a bit more like this:
Child labor (slavery) bothers me a lot.  I'm not sure if it bothers me too much or not enough.  I know it bothers us all, but I feel this stabbing need to be a part of the solution instead of the problem.  I have never been good with solving things, which is why it is such a difficult conundrum.

I realize that I have metaphorically made a deal with the devil.  By the devil, I mean Hershey or Nestle or whoever is in the cocoa bean buying business.  By metaphorically, I mean, "Put down the bag of M&M's, Tracie!"

I look at myself in the mirror now and it is like looking directly into the sun...a really, really awkward sun.  How can I be proud of myself sitting over here in my blogging chair, feet propped up, snacking on snickers while some poor kid is carrying around a sack of cocoa beans weighing more than he does in 100 plus degree heat, barefooted and getting beaten every time he falls or slows down?

Wow. Something that makes me so happy makes someone else so sad.  Life is full of ironies that daily trample on the weak or poor, but being the astute mathematician that I am, I did the math.

It doesn't make me happy, anymore.  If something that I do makes someone else unhappy, it doesn't matter who it is or where they or at, then that is my cue for me to stop in my tracks and examine my actions and the consequences they have on others.

I have officially nominated myself for a new award and I am accepting it on behalf of myself.  I suppose I am behalfing it:
I can honestly say I deserve this one.

During my childhood I never won any significant awards, as I suppose I didn't deserve them.  I did, however, proudly win a handful of insignificant ones such as:

Apparently, the large chocolate manufacturers are aware of the child labor practices and continue to do business with these plantation owners. An awful lot of heads are being turned.
Well, here is where I come in.  I am not a head turner, well, I don't look away.  I suppose that I could over-expose them to my awesomeness and they will be solidly blinded into oblivion by my awesome rays and not have to turn their heads anymore on this blood bath of chocolate that they have created.
Or, I could pull out my secret Kung Fu skills, which by the way, are the stuff of legend. 

But, I think I will solve this issue with my usual style of grace, class and diplomacy.  

Mark my words, if I ever get out of my blogging chair, off of my sofa, or out of my bed before noon, I will be completely unstoppable! Until that time occurs, I hope that you take the time share this message and educate your friends or family, especially any choco-holics you may know and help put the pressure on the big companies to take more responsibilities for their supplies by not rewarding ruthless plantation owners with loaves of cash.  Be a part of the solution.  In the meantime, I am leaving you with this:

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Hey guys! I collaborated on this project with a friend.  His site is if you get a chance to check it out.  Wasn't sure if I could pull a "headbanging" piece off, but it works! Hope you like it! And this was my first time drawing yeah, I'm kinda proud of them!

Headbanging is an exciting form of entertainment that has been around since cavemen times.
Thankfully, over the years it has evolved into a much more enjoyable experience.  However, it is not to be confused with Repetitive Motion Syndrome.  This condition usually occurs at work.

Remember, this is not a form of headbanging.  It is a desperate cry for help.

Have you ever been to a crowded concert and it gets hot fast and starts to get miserable, but you really want to be at the concert?
Try headbanging. If everyone practices the headbanging technique, there would be no need for air-conditioning.  This is a win-win situation for you, the person sitting next to you and the environment. That would actually be win-win-win situation, which is even better.
Have you ever been speaking to someone in a real conversation and all of a sudden neither of you has anything to say and the seconds tick on and you are standing there not real purposeful and then awkwardness starts to set in like E Coli on warm beef?  Then the beef gets warmer.  There are a few things you can do to help take the edge off of the awkwardness:

 1.  Tapdancing

  2.  Pull a rabbit out of a hat
Pulling a rabbit out of a hat does work to ease the awkwardness.  The only problem with this technique is the average person doesn't wear a hat...or a rabbit.  

  3.  Pull fire out of a hat
This is one of my favorite techniques, however, it carries the same problem as technique #2.  Most people just don't wear hats.

4.  Headbanging
There seems to be something about the gentle, repeating motion of headbanging that relaxes everyone and distracts away from awkwardness and unlike the hat issues, most people have their head on.  The subtle, but rapid movements, also keeps blood from pooling in the back or side of your brain from any bad posture issues you may have.  You will never have to stand up straight again!

As a result,headbanging could save your life and is highly recommended by the American Posture Association.  Headbanging could be your ticket to a healthier, more eco-friendly life and the worse-case scenario is you will fall face first into a wall or the cement, but remember at times, cement can be very giving.

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