Sunday, December 31, 2006


The approximate number of calories I have consumed since December 21st.

Long live peanut butter balls and sugar cookies.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Merry Christmas from Illingworth Manor...

Christmas 2006

Christmas 2006

Christmas 2006

Christmas 2006

Christmas 2006

Christmas 2006

May your Christmas be Merry and Bright!

P.S. Here's Minnie hoping Santa doesn't forget about her....

Waiting for Santa

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Welcome to Office High

I graduated from high school over 14 years ago. As much as I feel like high school was just last week, it also feels like a distant memory. Like I need to squint to remember it clearly. And this is ok with me. Being an adult, while overrun with bills and responsibilities and giant life decisions, is at least free of the need to be popular. The need to achieve status among the elite. I've come to a place in my life where I don't care (all that much) if you like me or not.

Until yesterday.

For a few weeks now I've known some information about a friend that not many other people know. I was asked to keep this information a secret for a few weeks - and I did. It wasn't my news to spread. Yesterday, this information was finally revealed to our mutual friends. Most of these friends shouted YAY! and CONGRATS! since this information is of the good variety. Although one friend received the news by saying, "Jo knew before me? SHE KNEW BEFORE ME!!!"

Later in the afternoon this One Friend and I were discussing the information when she looked at me and said, "I can't believe she didn't tell me first. I can't believe she told YOU before ME." Like somehow it should be obvious that I rank WAY below her...and that I should know that it was obviously ridiculous for me to know information first. Information of any kind. Like I should know my rank in the office friendship queue - and stay there.

I can't explain why...but this stung a bit. Like the popular girls telling me with a smirk that the last seat at their lunch table was taken.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Don't you hate it when you've been so sick that you've had to blow your nose every 32 seconds and now it's raw and cracked and irritated but you finally have some drugs thanks to the shiny walk-in clinic where all the mean people work and you are starting to feel better although you still have to blow your nose only now it's not every 32 seconds but more like every 32 minutes and more of a maintenance than a nuisance but now that you aren't blowing your nose so often when you do actually touch cracked nose to scratchy tissue your ears EXPLODE with a force only matched by the pushing and shoving at 5am at Best Buy on Black Friday.

I hate that.

Also, I'm wearing a long sleeve t-shirt today (my fav) and a wool sweater (it's cold) but the sleeves of my t are quite longer than the sleeves of my sweater so I look a bit like a six-year-old with a ten-year-old sister who hasn't grown into the hand-me-down t but has already grown out of the last season sweater.

I hate that too.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bedside Manners

I live in an area that's in constant development. Constant newness. We're on the outskirts of "town" but we're trying very hard to become town. To become destination worthy. We just got our first sit-down chain restaurant, a Home Depot, Lowe's....even a walk-in clinic. We are becoming so urban Minnie will soon start sagging her pants and writing rap rants about her smothering Mother.

For the past month everyone in the office has been sick. I had secretly started to pride myself in my resilience...taking my multi-vitamin every day and drinking my carrot juice. I thought I was somehow the germs trembled in my healthy presence.

Then on Sunday - I got sick.

Today I broke down and went to the brand new walk-in clinic. I called ahead to find out their hours, checked online to make sure I knew where it was. New clinic!, I thought. Should be fast and easy!

I walked in the shiny new door (no hand prints!) and breezed through the empty waiting room, smiling as I skipped. Well, half-skipped.....I am sick. As I dutifully signed in, the pinch-nosed nurse behind the sliding glass asked me if had been there before. No, I smiled. You haven't!, she shivered. Ummm, no.....aren't you new? Well, she sighed throwing her hands up, you'll HAVE to fill out ALL THESE FORMS and you'll HAVE to GIVE ME your INSURANCE CARD you know. Ok, I smiled.

After I was called back the nurse carrying the small laptop pointed for me to get on the scale. Given my recent weight loss I was happy to oblige. She started me out at 200+......note to the reader.....even at my heaviest, her choice was a bold one. I smiled lightheartedly and said, Oh No! I'm way below that. She growled suspiciously and slammed the weight counter down a notch. Then, almost as an intentional jab, she shouted my weight while typing it into her laptop. She shouted it. Now...I think all ladies know the universal Don't-Shout-Another-Ladies'-Weight Rule....don't we? I don't care if I weigh 105 - don't shout it. Ever.

She then grunted me into Exam Room 1 and checked my vitals. I tried to make polite conversation but she wasn't having it. I ended up leaving with an infection, a prescription and an irritated demeanor.

I ask you, when going to an Urgent Care facility, shouldn't I deserve a little (in the immortal words of Michael Bolton) Time Love and Tenderness?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Just Shoot Me

Our record company collected thousands of emails all summer on the Warped Tour. Understandably, we got some fake emails. My personal favorite is:

Rowdy punk kids.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Sometimes I forget that The Glamorous Life is open to the public. That anyone on planet earth with an internet connection or a library card can access my personal-ness. Not that I'm writing anything embarrassing per se.....but on the occasion someone from my murky past comes back to haunt me. Or to say hello. Or both. Sometimes it's alarming...and sometimes nice. But it always makes me feel like some creep flasher - stunning onlookers with my private bits and pieces. This is one of the main reasons I haven't fully disclosed The Medical Condition I'm wading through. That's what I'm calling it now - The Medical Condition. Or TMC. Or The Thing That Hurts: Season 1. Or......anyway.....I say all this to's a weird thing, writing about your life in such a way and not knowing whose eyes are watching. It makes me want to censor. Cover up.

But at this point, why bother.

P.S. Hello to you Bryan Currie.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Duck Says:

The Duck says Happy Halloween Ya'll.

Happy Halloween

And just so Minnie wouldn't get jealous we let her join in on the Halloween fun. But for some reason...she wasn't enjoying it. In fact, I'm pretty sure she now has it out for The Duck.

The Kids

Dino Minnie


P.S. I said I would...and I did. Color me twenty pounds lighter. Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Costume Quiz

It's almost you know what you're going to be this year? I'm still help me out.

1. What are you going to be this year?
2. What is the best costume you're ever worn?
3. What was your favorite childhood costume?
4. If you are one of those "Non-Costume-Wearer" type people....shame on you. Please shape up.

My answers:
1. I don't know yet...
2. Maybe Poison Ivy - although I couldn't sit down in it
3. Raggedy Ann with lifesize doll to match
4. YEAH!

Here are some of my past contributions.....

2005 - Highway Robbery
Boo Bunny

2000/2001? - Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy

College - Wilma Flinstone
Monster Mash

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm Lost

Things that drive me CRAZY:

1. HenryGale/Ben and his lack of eyelashes. The man doesn't have any eyelashes!
2. Charlie acting like he doesn't know why Locke is freaked out and doesn't know anything about the hatch blowing up - wasn't he THERE when it happened??
3. The fact that Echo didn't get eaten. I mean, I don't WANT him to get eaten....but how the heck did he not get eaten?
4. Naked Desmond and his sudden ability to foresee the future.
5. The fact that The Others appear to have the ability to leave the island and rejoin society, but choose not to do so.
6. The fact that every time I see Jack in that cell I freak out that there will be a leak and he will be eaten by a Dharma Shark. I am afraid of sharks.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Quite possibly my favorite TV quote of ALL TIME.

"I can't wait to meet your daughter Jasmine....and you've already met my daughter Jasmine..."
-Flavor Flav

Friday, October 13, 2006

Reason #88

Reason #88 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:

He brings the party.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tunnel Vision

If you've been reading this blog with any degree of regularity and with any amount of know that for the last fifteen months I've been going through an unidentified health situation that has caused me more distress than when Family Ties went off the air. Lately there have been tears and trips to the doctor and tests and more tears and SUR-GER-Y and more tears and more tests get the idea. Seemed like no one in the medical community could figure me out which left me feeling crazy. Like I was making it all up. Like I was a liar.

But I wasn't. The pain was real.

A few months ago my friend Nivah gave me the number to a specialist in town...a special specialist if you will. A specialist so special my exact problem was written right on the front of the brochure. A specialist needle in the haystack of docs. The brochure terrified me immediately and I shoved it to the bottom of my purse hoping to never have to think about it again.

But then I got a new purse.

Making the call to the Special Specialist was hard. You might wonder why I wouldn't jump at the chance for a solution. Charge right in and demand answers. Dial the least. But I couldn't do it. After everything I've been through, every difficult test with a negative answer, I didn't think I was up to another "We don't know what's wrong".

So I waited.

But let's face it, problems rarely solve themselves. There's work to be done, therapy to be had, drugs to be swallowed....or something. So on Wednesday I called the S.S. Save My Life Please. The chirpy girl who answered the phone seemed all too pleased to hear about my issue. The very same issue that's hounded me and clawed at my heart and left me in an unrecognizable puddle. Instead of horror and disbelief, she expressed pure joy.

"THAT is exactly what we do here! We help people just like you!"

Help? People? Just like me?

So today I went to see the Special Specialist, sure that I would hear another sad sigh. Sure that I would be told yet again (after a series of invasive and embarrassing tests, of course) that no answer could be found. I was nervous. Suspicious. Cynical. Scared.

And I was wrong.

I heard new words this time. I heard "Your pain has a name" and "This is completely treatable" and "It's a medical are not crazy". I heard "There is hope". I heard "You could potentially be healed in as little as three months". And I cried and cried.

I'm still in the tunnel....but now....I can see a light.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Flavor

We all know I've been dried up lately as far as words go.....but I feel the need to write something so that "Screech Sex Tape" doesn't remain at the top of my blog.


So...I will now tell you five weird things that I've seen or heard lately.

Weird Thing #1. Today I heard about a firsthand story about a guy who said the following: I love books. When I go into a bookstore, I feel so comfortable that I just have to poop. I read books when I poop.

Weird Thing #2. Episode #2 of Heroes on NBC. The gore. The horrifying gore! So, it's definitely not ok to show a bare breast for all of .05 seconds but it's definitely very ok to show horrifying graphic frightening gore on a show that appeals to little kids. Uh-huh.

Weird Thing #3. Minnie Dog trying on her Halloween costume.

Weird Thing #4. My bathroom scale when it read that I'm fifteen pounds skinnier than I was mere weeks ago.

Weird Thing #5. New York's Mom.

(Secret message to those of you who got Weird Thing #5: I KNOW RIGHT????? And I love you for knowing. Serious love. NEW YORK love. Okaaaaayyyyy???)

Friday, September 29, 2006

No....Not A.C. Slater

I'm watching Nashville's news leader Channel 4 News with Dan Miller and Demetria Kaladimos. Suddenly (and uncomfortably) they are talking about Dustin Diamond and his sex tape. You might know Dustin by his former persona, Screech Powers from Saved By the Bell. That's right...Screech has a sex tape. Eww. But then Demetria says something I just might qualify as my favorite news comment ever. With great severity and sincere news-reporter-ish-ness, Demetria looks into the camera and poses this question to all of Middle Tennessee:

"What would Mr. Belding think?"


Friday, September 22, 2006

Good Times

Good Times

Good Times

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thinking.....Or Something

There are reasons for post rareness here at The Glamorous Life. Reasons for my silence. My disregard. But I've missed you.

I'm still not sure what exactly it is that I should be saying. Maybe I'll give you a brief run down of the last few weeks. You can then deduce for yourself why I've been so silent.

-Someone close to me lost a second pregnancy - a pregnancy I didn't even know about until it was gone and yet I cried like it was my own.
-Three friends told me they were pregnant.
-One is expecting twins.
-My health problem-whatever-it-is-that-I-still-won't-fully-disclose still looms large. Still overshadows me. Still has an unimaginable grip on me.
-It makes me feel hopeless.
-My beautiful sister-in-law got married in the most beautiful dress with the most beautiful smile you've ever seen.
-I beat Ryan at Dr. Mario.
-I was in Lexington when that plane crashed and all those people died. Some of the family members of the crash victims were in our hotel and we witnessed them hearing the news. It's an experience I don't want to think about ever again.
-Minnie Dog got a shocking haircut.
-A close friend lost her mother.
-I kicked myself for not filling out that Do or No Deal application.
-Ryan got a new job making more money with better hours and better treatment.
-I struggled between deciding which season premier to watch: The Biggest Loser or America's Next Top into that what you will.
-I had to tell more people that my publisher dumped me. More gasps. More Bless-Your-Hearts.
-I quit physical therapy for my Plantar Fasciitis.
-I lost twelve pounds.
-A large, hairy and sweaty man in my office cornered me by the bathrooms and stood so close to me he almost sweat directly onto my face.

I guess the answer to my weirdness doesn't lie in the list. Truth is, I just haven't had it in me to post anything, even anything ridiculous. Good things happen and bad things happen and at the end of the day there's nothing left for me to say I guess.

I guess.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

But this one goes to ELEVEN.

Raise your hand if.... are so fat you have Plantar Fasciitis in both feet
...and the only reason you are so fat is because it's been a BAD year so you've eaten a lot of ice cream
...and you're not really upset about that
...but you are upset about the fatness you decided to do something about it you joined Weight Watchers
...and gave yourself a goal of losing Twenty Pounds by Christmas
...and for the first week, every time you thought you would cave and eat those heavenly fries you chanted: Twenty Pounds by Christmas
...Twenty Pounds by Christmas
...and during the first two weeks of your diet, while you were chanting Twenty Pounds by Christmas, you lost ELEVEN POUNDS you changed your mantra to Twenty Pounds by Halloween

Hand Raised

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Posts: An Explanation

And now...the top three reasons why I haven't written anything lately.

#1 - I
#2 - Simply
#3 - Cannot

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sasha: Not the Ice Skater

Here's Ryan and Sasha....World's Smallest Dog. I'm not sure why she looks so freaked....Ryan is the only one she likes. Including The Duck.

Ryan and Sasha

This is my hand next to Sasha. And no, I don't have giant man-hands. She's just that tiny.

World's Smallest Dog


Jo and Sasha

Sometimes Sasha and Minnie get along.
Sometimes they do not.
Sasha is not a new member of Illingworth Manor, she's just been hanging with us for a few weeks while her mom Karina takes care of her mom Myra. My favorite part of this arrangement is watching Ryan walk Sasha the Tiny down the street. He almost looks....sassy.

And here's a picture of Minnie laughing....I hope it makes you as happy as it does me.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

21 We've Just Begun

I could say I've been too busy to write lately...and that would be true.
I could say I've had tons of company at my house and work has been crazy and my kitchen was flooded with a sudden tsunami of soapy water that took three hours to clean up....and that would be true.
I could say I've just been too sad to write...and that would be the most true. Nobody wants to read Sad Jo. I don't want to read Sad Jo. I want to read Happy Jo.....I want to BE Happy Jo. But these days it's too hard to fake. So instead of going on and on and on about the downward spiral I'm currently spinning...I'll do a meme! Hooray!!

Meme stolen from the luminous Hula. Hers is more interesting than mine will be.

Are you still reading? Sucker.......

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says.
Dull sequels, stale 'toons, comic-book tales and unexciting laughfests: to paraphrase The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy, "worst summer movie season ever."
-Entertainment Weekly: Issue #891

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can...what do you touch first?
Minnie Dog - currently lying on her back with all four paws straight in air. She's asleep.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
I'm watching America's Got Talent right now. Some of these people have oodles of talent. Some of them have oodles of guts to perform on national TV when they suck so terribly. (Also...if you were going to dance on national TV in a twirly skirt....wouldn't you realize that all of America was going to see your underwear? And wouldn't you then try to wear cute underwear?)

4. Without looking, what time is it?

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
8:04 (always rushing....)

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
David Hasselhoff's blah blah blah blah.....he is a strange strange man.

7. When did you last go outside?
When I got home from work. I took Minnie Dog out to potty. Then she got a treat. I'm considering adopting this policy for myself....anytime I use the potty...I get a treat.

8. What are you wearing?
White t-shirt under a blue t-shirt and grey pajama pants. And socks. Which is odd because I never wear socks.

9. When did you last laugh?
At dinner with Ryan...I was regaling him with tales of all the funny girls from work....and I giggled right out loud. But I need to laugh again so please tell me a joke.

10. Seen anything weird lately?
Yes, most of the acts from America's Got Talent. And that email from CNN News that said they arrested a man in Thailand today suspected in Jean Benet Ramsey's murder. And my own nudity.

11. What did you dream last night?
That I was fat free.

12. What's on the walls of the room you're in?
Picture frames and more picture frames. And a giant mirror (for viewing the nudity). And more frames.

13. What do you think of this survey?
I think it's a good way to blog without telling the truth about what's really going on. I's fun.

14. What's the last film you saw?
Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. And I'll say, I laughed. Sometimes I even laughed really loud. But it was no Anchorman. But then again, what is. (I'm in a glass cage of emotions!)

15. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
Better nudity. And debt-free-ness. And a boyfriend for Minnie Dog. And jeans.

16. Tell me something about you that I don't know.
I have a degree in French. I talk sexy real good.
But some of you know that sooo..........the word "podcast" gives me the heebie jeebies. And in my line of work, I have to say that word and respond to that word many many times a day. Therefore, my days are filled with heebs and jeebs.

17. If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change?
Selfishness. It's the root of all evil.

18. Do you like to dance?
Yes. Unless you mean country line dancing...and then I would have to say no. No I do not.

19. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
Pegasus, of course. Because there's nothing better than saying "Is this Pegasus's sweater?" "Are you Pegasus's sister?"

20. Boy?

21. Would you ever consider living abroad?
Yes? No. Yes. No. Will there be treats?


Thursday, August 03, 2006

If It Ain't Broke

Remember that scene in Pretty Woman when Richard Gere takes Julia Roberts to the opera and she's looking very unprostitutional wearing The Jewels and The Dress. Remember when they're sitting in the opera box and Richard hands Julia a pair of opera glasses and she keeps trying to hold them up to her eyes but they keep flopping around and she can't quite figure it out. "They're broken. My glasses are broken..." she says. Richard leans over and turns the glasses the correct (and obvious) way. "Oh" she says.

Ryan and I have become quite good at having "oh" moments. First there was the garbage disposal incident that made us both feel like complete incompetents. Then a few weeks ago Ryan's car got smashed. He took it to the auto body shop and they fixed it right up. Except for the radio. After Ryan got his car back he noticed the radio no longer worked. All of the stations were fuzzy. "It's broken. My radio is broken..." he said. He took the car back to the auto body shop where they promptly....raised the antenna. The antenna that had been lowered while they worked on the car. Oh.

Then today at lunch I commented to Ryan how our favorite talk radio station had gone off the air. He said he hadn't noticed? I said, yes, since last week I haven't been able to get the station to come in. "It's broken. Something at the station must be broken...." I said. So Ryan went out to my car and adjusted my antenna that was apparently bumped when I had new tires put on last week. And magically...the station came in clear as a pregnancy test. Oh.

I can only imagine what will happen if we ever have a child.

THIS JUST IN: Sorry to report, but I am not pregnant. I also did not mean to give off the vibe that I was....I guess my subconscious leaked out onto my blog.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Thinking: Fiction

The record company I work for was recently bought out by a larger (read: Ginormous) company which means I now work in a big building full of people. For the past five years I've worked in a small building with few people, all of which knew all of my stories. Now that I'm in the new shiny building with the all the new shiny people, all of my stories are new and interesting. least new. I forget sometimes that I've had a semi-crazy life - but I'm reminded when my new friends say "YOU WHAT?" Let's review....

1. Met a guy in Maine via a close friend.
2. Fell in love with said guy
3. Got engaged to said guy
4. Gave up fabulous life in Nashville and moved to Maine to marry said guy
5. Said guy dumped me weeks before our wedding
6. Moved back to Nashville with my head hanging low
7. Got a publishing deal by accident
8. Wrote a book about Said Guy in Maine and how he broke my heart
9. Turned thirty
10. Kissed the intern who was eight years my junior (and still a college student at the time)
11. Fell in love with the intern
12. Married the intern

The other day, someone mentioned that I should write a novel loosely (or closely) based on my life from that past few years. I laughed. Then I thought....a novel? Could I do that?

I know some of you who read this blog are I'm asking. Do you think it ridiculous to attempt such a feat with no formal training as far as fiction goes? I mean, I have a manuscript (non-fiction) already doing this would mean chucking it and starting over. REALLY starting over. could be fun.
Or a nightmare.
Or insane.
Or awesome.

So let's hear it...reasons why I should/should not try my hand at fiction.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Be Fri vs. st ends

I just read on Amazon a new review of my first book. Here's my favorite quote from that review:

However, I did have a couple of minor issues. First, it was a bit much to read about how absolutely perfect her girlfriends are. I'm glad she has some solid comrades, since that fits with her advocation of community for bearing one's burdens. But c'mon - everybody's screwed up some way, and it bugs me to see folks portrayed as so great that Christ could've outsourced His crucifixion to them. That bit of sugarcoating detracted from the book's honesty.

Guess what I say to that? HOGWASH.

My friends are consistantly the lights of my life. So much so that tonight I cried at Bunco. You should know, there's no crying in Bunco. But. My friends, some of which are the very same ones I talked about in my book, all of which I COULD have talked about in my book because they are THAT SUGARCOATED AWESOME.....those same friends took time out tonight to pray for me and my struggling heart. Because they are selfless and know what friendship really means.


As I was sobbing and it was awkward and no one knew what to say, Angela said:

"Yaaaa'llll....did ya'll know that some people don't have tear ducts?? It's truuuuueeeeee."

My friends can beat up your friends.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fatty Fatty Two by Four

Hey remember The Boot? No really, do you remember that? And remember how it was so annoying and came at the worst possible time? Remember the crutches that cut into my armpits and how much I complained and grunted and sighed and heave ho'd around? I do. I don't think fondly of those days. Instead, I say Fiddle Dee Dee and walk around in flip-flops like I'm the Queen of the Shoe Carnival. Guess what?

The Boot. Is Back.

While Ryan and I were in Las Vegas my left foot started hurting again. And what I mean by "hurting" is that I limped through three casinos and almost ripped Ryan's arm off trying to make it back to our hotel room while crying and freaking out. It hurt. Now, two weeks later, still hurting. Sometimes it's just an annoying pain, sometimes excruciating. So I went back to the 'ole foot doctor to see what the problem is. Turns out, I have Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-tar fashee-EYE-tiss), which is basically a fancy way to say my foot hurts. So, I'm back in the boot. And therapy. And such. When the Doc said I couldn't wear flip-flops anymore I laughed and said Good One Doc. He inhaled severely and emphasized that he was totally and completely serious. WHAT? You might as well tell me I can't have children or that I can't drink Diet Coke. Preposterous!

Just for kicks I googled Plantar Fasciitis to see what I could see. I found a site that listed several treatments for my condition, including this:

*Losing weight if possible, especially in overweight women because our survey of 5,000 visitors shows overweight women are 6 times more likely than men to get plantar fasciitis. This is probably because fat deposits lower on the body in women than in men. This lowers the center of gravity which will cause excess tension in the planatar fasciitis if there is not also greater flexibilty in the calf muscles.


That cheerful paragraph was followed up by this:

I would rank losing weight higher, but it is too difficult for most Americans to reduce the amount of food they eat.

Oh. My. Word. I have a CAST on my FOOT because I'm FAT.


Apparently the sheer girth of my thighs has caused my feet to just give up. I could address this issue in several ways most of which would involve lettuce and bans on ice cream and anything that tastes good.

I've decided to address it in this way.
Concerned co-worker: Jo what happened! Were you in an accident?
Me: Nope. Just fat.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Warning: Do Not Read This Post

Why am I sitting here watching some re-run episode of House about some crazy woman and all her crazy problems that are turning out to be liver cancer? This can only lead to me thinking I have liver cancer. There. Now I'm thinking it. You see why I should shut off the TV and vacuum the carpet....oh, the carpet.

I keep trying to climb this rickity ladder, trying to make it a little higher. Every time I seem to miss a rung and trip over myself and fall back down. Since January I've been climbing this ladder. Trying to get to the top. Waiting for the woosh! of the slide down. When will the woosh come? I've been climbing and climbing and so far, no woosh. Since January, the following has happened.

-Mystery injury to toe which resulted in boot cast, crutches and very large bill that insurance wouldn't pay
-The pointless surgery that left a gaping hole in my heart, a scar on my belly button and another hefty bill
-Job drama you don't even want to know about
-Got dumped by my publisher
-Have to go...

Look....I'm done with the list. Who needs to read a big long list of my woes when you've got your own. The point is...I need the woosh. Bad. This climbing is wearing me celebrity thin.

So thin that last night for dinner I ate two ice cream cones.


Deal. With. That.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Duck Says:

The Duck says...Summer's hot. Keep cool.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


This is the face Minnie makes when she's in trouble. Or when Ryan is out of town.


She's been making this face a lot lately.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday: As Sad

This month's SPT theme is "As". So this is me as...a sad girl who lost her publishing deal.


Sure...I'll hopefully find another publisher. doesn't necessarily mean that I'm a failure. Sure...there will be more opportunities and more books and more words. It's not the end.

But the truth is, I'm sad.

For more the nifty button in the sidebar (since I don't know the link and don't have time to look it up.)

Monday, July 10, 2006

But Did We Become Wayniacs?

Sooo......Vegas. In true Illingworth style, our trip out to Vegas was a bit bumpy and included irritating waiting and flooded floors of hotel rooms and exhaust inhalation and the usual travel drama. But there was some other stuff too.

We stayed at the MGM grand they put "grand" right in the title!
MGM Grand

Then we went to New York City, ya'll!
New York hotel

Then we went to Paris France and saw a big fountain.
Paris Fountain

Then we were caged like the wild animals we are.....

Then Ryan fought a mighty dragon!

Then the mighty dragon forced Ryan to play the Slot Machine So Big only Dragons Can Play It.
Giant Slot

Then I won!........................(one cent)

Then Ryan lost.....................(all our money)

We also ate free Nathan's Hot Dogs and watched the fountain at the Bellagio and walked 52 miles and gawked at the high rollers and were crushed by all the idiots on top of the Eiffel Tower and saw a bizarre show in the middle of the Forum Shops at Ceasar's Palace and went to the Shark's Reef and almost got suckered into a two hour time share presentation and saw a dude drinking two beers on the elevator at 9am and ordered room service. It was definitely better than our original honeymoon which is another story for another lifetime. We laughed a lot. We ate a lot. We lost a little.

But friends....there's more. Perfect Ryan did something for me that will get him out of trouble for the next ten years. Something so out of character.


And now....I can die happy.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

One Down...

Wedding 103

Ryan -

It's hard to begin a post like this one...a post about our first year as man and wife. I was 31 when we wed. I had heard all of the stories about how the first year is the hardest, how it's difficult to adjust to marriage. Even Tom the Frightening Marriage Counselor warned us that it's not all romance and sex.

Turns out, crazy Tom was right. This year has been so unexpected. I've experienced intense physical and emotional pain that has shaken me to the core. We're broke. We've had car troubles and yard troubles and family health troubles and let's not forget the honeymoon from hell. We've been through things that would cause other couples to throw their hands up and cry annulment. We've had some days that would cause some to end the night with slammed doors and hurt feelings.

But not us.

Wedding 101

If someone asked me to pick the best year I've had so far, I would have to say my first year being married to you. Even in the madness, the ugly parts of life that show up at the worst moments, I've never been happier. Every single day with you is the best day. There's never been one single second in this crazy year that I've wanted to throw in the towel. In fact, the reason I survived this year is because of you. Because of your love. Because of your face. I truly didn't know someone could love me so much and that I could love someone else so intensely. All those easy listening songs are right (you know, the ones they play all day at your work...the ones that stab you in the ears and make your vision go blurry). Love conquers all. We go together like a hand in glove. Love lifts us up where we belong. When I see you smile, I can face the world, ooohhhhh.

You get the idea.

Wedding 110

You are my best friend. You are the one person I run to when life gets too overwhelming and scary. You are the calm in the storm that is me. You are wise and sure and safe. You hold me and you hold me up. You are a hard worker and so unbelievably thoughtful. You are the nicest person I know.'re hot. You surprise me every single day with just how amazing you are. I am blessed beyond words.

On our wedding day, when they announced us man and wife, hundreds of red and white streamers burst out over our family and friends. And to me, that's how it's been ever since. Every day is a sudden burst of color. A surprise of delight falling down around us. I can't help but smile. I am more in love with you today than I ever have been before...and I can't wait for tomorrow.

Wedding 83

So in the words of Snow Patrol: All this feels strange and untrue and I won't waste a minute without you.

I love you
I love you
I love you

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Beware the Crocs

I hate to fly. Not so much the flying as much as the close proximity to so many strangers. Yeah that's it. I hate mass transportation in small seats. Here's why.

I view flying as a means to get somewhere. I'm not interested in hanging out or learning something new or making a friend...I just want to get where I'm going. When the awkwardly shaped girl with the perm from 1986 tries to make an obvious joke in my direction about how waiting in line for the flight is like a "cattle call", I inwardly yawn and outwardly...well, yawn. I'm not into tired comments with nowhere to go but the next obvious boring comment (It sure is crowded in here! I hope the flight isn't delayed!). I just want to board so I can de-board and get on with it.

This morning I was flying back to Nashville from Chicago. I had been in Chicago with one of my bands and oh, I love Chicago. It's where Ryan and I fell in love. That city's got life. Hustle and bustle, if you will. If I were young and single and ridiculous I would totally move there and get a job driving the trolley for tourists wearing fanny packs. And I wouldn't even make fun of them.

I made it all the way through waiting and boarding without too much invasion of my personal space. I was in Boarding Group B so I knew seat pickins would be slim. I quickly sat in the first available aisle seat (windows were all taken by the A Group - jerks) next to a safe looking woman in a rayon shorts ensemble. She had a short brown bob and milky, wrinkly knees shaped like a wobbly post on the stairwell.
She wore black footie socks in her turquoise Crocs that matched her vericose veins.
Right away, or at least after it was too late for me to change seats, I sensed that she was the high maintenance type. She had an entertainment bag just for herself. You know the one...Moms always have one handy to entertain the kiddies. Hers had a book, pillow, neck pillow, Diet Coke, magazines, prescription pills (labeled AM/PM), yogurt, apple, hand lotion, make-up bag, jewelry pouch, tissues, extra black footie socks and gloves. I know all of this because she got everything out of her Entertainment Bag and then put it all back in. Then she took off her watch and her bracelets. Turquoise Crocs off then on. Neck pillow on then off. Then on again. Then off. Then she turned off the air above her head. Then on. Then she ordered a coffee, black, and water, cold. And a napkin. Don't forget the napkin. That's black coffee and cold water and a napkin - did you get that? The very second the seatbelt sign went off she got up to go to the bathroom. This meant she had to squeeze past my very long legs which made for some awkward touching on both our parts. What is it with people who wait until they get on the plane to take a potty break? I go to great lengths to prevent EVER having to use the airplane bathroom.

I'll spare you more details...because they only get more tedious. There was more packing and unpacking of the Entertainment Bag. Putting the watch back on. Take it off again. Asking for a second napkin, don't forget the napkin. Taking a second....I said second....bathroom break.

And people, the flight was only 45 minutes.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Goodnight Sweetheart

Have you ever fallen into an empty well and landed with a painful thud?
Have you ever been kicked in the face by a mule?
Have you ever gotten an Indian burn that lasted for an entire day?
Have you ever had your toe stomped on so hard that your toenail broke off?
Have you ever read an unexpected letter and felt your heart stop?

For me, one of these statements is true...although all of them feel true. I definitely felt a loud thud. The burning hasn't subsided. I got an ovenighted letter delivered to my front porch today. It was from my publisher. It was a break-up letter.

I thought getting married meant that I wouldn't have to break-up anymore. I thought I had hung up my "Break-Up Queen" sash for good. I thought I had heard "you're not pretty enough to be my wife" and "I'm depressed because you're here" for the last time. (For you newcomers...both of those statements were actually said to me by men I stupidly loved.) But today, the day that started out horrific thanks to the Maury County DMV, turned out to be the day I got dumped...again.

I'm sorry.....what? Come again?

Yup. I got dumped. Sure...the letter said things about financial blah blah and wrong timing whatever. But what it really said was "We don't like you anymore so we're sending you this letter that says psuedo nicety nice things that are really just a clever disguise to say that we're over it. We're over you. Don't call us." After I already turned in my manuscript. After I already signed the contract. After I already had a release date for the book. Apparently my first book was "disappointing" although all I ever heard was that it was "exceeding expectations". Funny. Were their expectations so low?

And I get it. I've been on the Dumper side of things when we've had to let bands go due to financial blah blah and wrong timing whatever...and it sucks. It hurts. You try to say things that will help or soothe or correct. But nothing works. It just hurts.

So that's it I guess. The book I worked so hard on, the book I cried over and prayed over and then cried some more over....dumped.

I am heartbroken.

I haven't really told anyone yet. It's too fresh and too humiliating and too.....horrific. I realize that my friends and family will be nothing but understanding. I realize that none of them will laugh at me or judge me. And I'll tell them...I will. I'm just too chicken at the moment. I'm not ready to say, "Hey, by the way, I'm a huge failure." And I do have friends who read this blog - I know that writing this will blow my cover. But this is my only way to deal at the moment. Somehow, it feels safer to tell The Internets (friends included). Like typing my letter of woe to no one in particular will send me a collective hug of comfort.

And dude, I need a hug.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Portrait of an Angry Dog

I gave Minnie a bath.
She didn't like it. the portrait of an angry dog.
(Narrated by Minnie Dog)

Let me out Let me out Let me out Let me out LET ME OUT
Looking for an Escape

Let me out Let me out Let me out Let me out LET ME OUT

Let me out Let me out Let me out Let me out LET ME OUT
Let Me Out

Wipe it off Wipe it off Wipe it off Wipe it off WIPE IT OFF
Shake It Off

Ok, I've told you I don't like baths...more than once. And I'm serious. I do not like baths. Stop with the baths. I'm going to stand over here by the door and stare meanly at you until you agree to no more baths. I mean it. I'm mad.

Monday, June 19, 2006


So the other night Ryan and I walked out the front door to take Minnie for a walk. Before I took one step onto the porch, I saw it. The biggest, most disgusting HUGE LARGE spider. It was enourmous and pulsating and threatening. I screamed for Ryan to step on it immediately. He hesitated. I shrieked that I DID NOT WANT THAT THING IN MY HOUSE. So he stomped on it and in that moment...

...wait for it...

.....THOUSANDS of teeny tiny baby spiders shot out from the squashed guts of the Giant Spider from Hell and ran all over the porch in every direction. I am not exagerating when I say that I nearly vomitted and passed out all at once. It was terrifying and disgusting and unreal. U-N-R-E-A-L.

And The Duck didn't even flinch. He's brave.

(P.S. New digs thanks to Heather. It's good to have friends in tech places, ya'll.)

Friday, June 16, 2006

H to the B

Hello World, I'm Thirty Two-Riffic!!

So Friday was my birthday. My thirty second. I can't recall a thirty-second anything I've ever done unless we're talking chips-and-salsa or cupcakes. Or Diet Cokes. I'm now in my thirties. I'm now in my thirties. I always imagined The Thirties to be much different than they actually are. I'm much less grown-up-ish than I pictured. Much less woman-ish. I wear jeans to work every day. I market rock bands. I dance in the kitchen and watch American Idol and hang out with my friends. I don't know if I'm what I was supposed to be, don't know if I turned out to be more or less. I'm not a giant success at anything, not a VP, not a best-selling author. I'm not a mother. But I am a wife. I do have a great job and I did write two books. I'm me. I'm 32. Get used to it.

For my birthday Ryan took me to the aquarium in Chattanooga. A friend asked me who we went with and when I said "each other" he looked quizzical. I asked why and he said "didn't you go with someone who has kids?" NO! I went with Ryan because aquariums are cool! YEAH! (And Ryan IS technically.....uhh....)

Here's how the day went:

1. Ryan got thirsty.


2. We saw the shell of a big turtle.

Big turtle

3. We saw some little turtles. (How....did....they.....?)

Little turtles

4. We saw some Killer Otters.


5. We saw an eel that haunts my dreams.


6. We went on a 3-D safari at the Imax.


7. And drank razzzzzzzberry icees. The End.

Blue Razzzzzzberry

But here's the best part of my birthday. Zeke Eckert came into the world. Welcome little friend. I'm glad you're here.

Words/Phrases/Actions I Will No Longer Tolerate

1. Passion: as in "I have a real passion for music."
2. LOL
3. Britney Spears
4. Amnesty
5. Past Due: as in "Bills"
6. Approval: as in "All things must be approved by X, Y and Z and then Z again to make sure."
7. Relevant: as in "What is the most relevant thing we can say to kids right now"
8. Smiley face icons on AIM
9. Liars: as in people who lie
10. Brangelina (this also applies to any other overly talked about celebrity off-spring, including the alleged TomKat baby)
11. Eavesdroppers: I've said this before but I'll keep saying it until I'm 100 years old and mostly deaf. If your life is SO boring that you have to CONSTANTLY eavesdrop on my conversations and then comment on them (commenting includes making noises or laughing or clearing your throat at parts in MY conversation you think need an audience) (and they do not) ......I will stuff your ears with cockroach eggs while you are sleeping. I will do it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thinking Again...

Is it just me or is life nothing but a series of stops and starts and waiting in line. We're waitng for a raise, mad we got fired, waiting to get married, mad we gave up the single life, chopping off our hair, impatient for it to grow back, waiting to have a kid, horrified at the impending responsibility and so on and so forth. Sometimes we talk about the good 'ole days but that's just a lie. My good 'ole days were frought with waiting for him to call and waiting for the right job and waiting to be a grown-up and waiting to finally feel like I belonged in my body. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to coast. I'm ready to just set sail and be free of the stopping and the starting and the constant waiting for something better to come along. I'm ready to wake up and say YES! This is my life and LIFE. IS. GOOD.

Because that's true, it's good. Sure, I'm plagued by enourmous doubt and feelings of failure and the current size of my thighs (a direct result of the doubt and the failureness). Sure, there are things I'm waiting for and wishing for. I have hopes for a someday. I just want to make sure I don't miss today for all the worry and audible sighs that last for days. I want to make sure I look around and drink in today. Because today I have the love of a man I never even dreamed existed. Today I have friends worth more than a winning lottery ticket. Today I have a family and a job and a second book and a home and the chance to laugh every single day.

Today I have it all.

P.S. Guess who's blonde again?
Blonde Again

Friday, June 02, 2006


Can anyone tell me how Imogen Heap can be so glorious and transcendant and luminous on CD and so frightening and odd and confusing and terribly bad bad bad live?


My blog has been so boring lately. I would have stopped reading already....if I were a reader. If you read, and then you stopped, I don't blame you. I'm almost inclined to tell you to run for your life, it's only going to get worse.

I feel like I should tell you something although I don't know what. I feel like there's something lurking in me somewhere that needs spilling. There's a bubbling up of unnamed ideas or thoughts or confessions....something. I told Ryan tonight that I'm a complete failure - and I meant it. When I said those words I meant them through and through. I feel like I'm failing at every turn in my curvy life. This week has been the worst. The. Worst. He proceeded to give me 20 reasons why I am, indeed, not a failure all of which I shrugged off. Dismissed. And even though that's true, I feel like a failure, that really isn't the true issue. I don't know what it is....this cloud. I'd call it a funk but it feels more susbstantial than that. I'd call it fatigue but that excuse is wearing thin. I'd call it change/adjustment at work but the truth is, I like change. I thrive in newness. I'd call it frustration, anger, fear, depression, a headache, cramps, blah blah blah blah blah..........

Nothing seems to fit. Maybe if I could name it, it would release it's deathgrip on me.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Faces that Heal

Remember this? Even though I haven't exactly been forthcoming with all the details (still too personal for me to divulge) you should know, the problem hasn't gotten any better. It's been almost a year and it's starting to really weigh on me. Starting me to make me feel a little insane. I think about it every single day. It's upsetting to me every single moment. A hidden pain I carry with me everywhere I go.
And sweet Ryan...he's amazing. I couldn't ask for anyone sweeter or more amazing. I truly don't desrve him and his wonderfulness.
There's nothing quite like a girlfriend's face to right some serious wrongs. I played Bunco tonight which is really just a ruse to get together with my friends. None of them knew what a hard weekend I had. None of them knew that on Sunday I cried more than I've cried in a long time. I haven't really talked to anyone lately about this darkness. This pit in my stomach. This pain and this worry.
But their faces.....
They light me up inside. They make me forget my troubles, even if only for an evening. And you can't replace that or bottle that or even expect that. It's always a surprise. Always a joy. And I can get through one more day because of their faces. Their eyes and their smiles. Their voices and their arms that are always open for me.
Such friends I have....the kind of friends who rescue me without even knowing it.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Old Navy: Tastes Like Chicken

I went to Old Navy today to get Ryan some new work pants and I noticed......
90% of the people shopping in the crowded store were already wearing clothes from Old Navy. Some of them were even shopping racks with the same shirt they were wearing. As someone possesing an inner homing device that forces me to buy white t-shirts and black t-shirts by the overflowing closet-full, I'm not here to judge, just to observe. As I waited in line to buy Ryan's pants (and a new shirt for BLUE!!) the woman behind me noted to her friend, "They have such nice clothes at such reasonable prices!" She was wearing a green Old Navy shirt and buying the same shirt again - one in pink and one in black. As a child, I remember thinking that in the future we would have flying cars, robot servants and a national uniform - all walking around wearing the same thing everyone else was wearing. Today I realized...the future is now man, the future is now.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Reason #38

Reason #38 Why Perfect Ryan is Sometimes a PUNK:

Backstory - I have been cleaning the house tonight for two hours.
Backstory B - Yesterday Ryan replaced some lightbulbs in the kitchen

Tonight when Ryan got home - tonight after I had been cleaning the house for two hours to avoid watching Lost so we could watch it together once he got home - Ryan said....

"Man, those new lightbulbs sure make it look clean in here."




The Idols
Paula's Drunken Dancing
The Awards
Seeing the little cowboy dude again
Mary J. Blige
The Moms and Dads
Especially Elliot's Mom and Katharine's Dad
Toni Braxton?? What??
Puck and Pickler
The Clay Aiken dude freaking out about seeing Clay Aiken
David Hasslehoff crying
Taylor Hicks winning


Monday, May 22, 2006

Why I Shouldn't Have Gotten Out of Bed This Morning:

-Almost to the minute that Ryan and I booked our anniversary trip to Vegas, some idiot slammed into Ryan's car and we now have to shell out $1,000 to get it fixed
-Almost to the minute that Ryan and I booked our anniversary trip to Vegas, some idiot forgot to rotate her tires and now she has dangerously thin front tires and needs to get them replaced in the next 30 seconds or else
-It's rainy for the 100th day in a row (and I have bald tires that love to slip-slide in the rain)
-Almost to the minute that Ryan and I booked our anniversary trip to Vegas, some idiot caused the power to go out in our neighborhood and now the power won't go back on in our bedroom or bathroom
-After tonight I will have to wait at least seven months to see Jack Bauer save the city/country/world and point a gun in the President's face demanding justice. It's just not right.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Meme A Lema Ding Dong

Here is a Meme.

Accent: Tall Southern woman. I say fixin’, ya’ll and when asked if I want sweeturun, I take sweet please.

Booze: I don’t drink the spirits but sometimes I wish I did so I could come home after a long day and have a “cocktail” in a glamorous glass with an umbrella in it. But let’s not kid ourselves, if I were a drinker, I wouldn’t be the cocktail type...I’d be the wino embarrassing drunk type. (thus...why I avoid)

Chore I Hate: Yes, I hate chores.

Dogs/Cats: Minnie Dog, the greatest pet ever. And why would anyone have a cat? Cats are pointless and snobby. I don’t like snobs.

Essential electronics: TV – my second true love. I have a life-long love affair with TV. TV makes me laugh and cry. TV tells me secrets and teaches me about things like how celebrities can’t cook and the Hanso Foundation. I love TV. I’m pretty sure I would give up my washer and drye...and my microwave oven...before I’d give up TV.

Favorite perfume/cologne: Just walking within fifty feet of the perfume counters at the mall gives me an ugly migraine. I hate the smelly smells. I use soap and a smile. If that isn’t enough then that is just too bad.

Gold/Silver: Silver (or white gold) exclusively – although in high school I rocked a GOLD NUGGET class ring and a giant gold coin necklace YO.

Hometown: Wherever I park my car – currently the outskirts of Nashville, TN – home of Dolly Parton and the Christian Music Industry. One of these things THRILLS me. Guess which one?

Insomnia: Not necessarily, but lately my body is calling out for sleep in a primal scream that only my dog can hear. I need it. I need the sleep.

Job Title: Director of Sales and Marketing for a semi-indie/semi-corporate rock label. This means I now work for The Man and share a bathroom with 35 other women. But it also means that I have kick butt health insurance.

Kids: Someday soon – which fills me with fright and delight and panic and dread and extreme happiness – equally.

Living Arrangements: Illingworth Manor – a small house in the suburbs with Perfect Ryan and Minnie Dog. We love our house even though we are surrounded by neighbors so obsessed with their yards that they use leaf blowers and weed eaters and lawn mowers at SEVEN IN THE MORNING.

Most Admired Trait: Adaptability

Number of Sexual Partners: One, although I won’t tell you who.

Overnight Hospital Stays: One – when I was in college. I had dehydrated from excessive vomiting and diarrhea from excessive stress from excessive life situations. My college roommates came to my hospital room and washed my hair (which was FOUL) and put deodorant on me. I will never forget that.

Phobias: Sharks and people with abnormally tiny hands. And losing Ryan – I’m terrified of that.

Quote: “That’s one of my jobs when I go home…grooming my parents.” -Charity the Intern

Religion: Christianity – the one true constant in my life.

Siblings: One brother, Drew. He’s the kind of brother that surprises you with his astute observations and mature outlook on life while maintaining the wackiest sense of humor known to man. Drew rules. Period.

Time I usually wake up: Too late. Or when Minnie Dog, who weighs 16 pounds, stands directly on my breasts and stares at me while breathing loudly...I also wake up then.

Unusual talent: I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue.

Vegetable: Potatoes. Ok, look, I don’t really like “vegetables”. I know that makes some of you gasp and fall down dead, but I just don’t. I don’t. But I do drink carrot juice every day and I take a multi-vitamin. Give a girl a break.

Worst habit: Not eating vegetables.

X-rays: You might remember a few months ago when my pointless surgery was rescheduled due to a freak toe incident? Yeah, that toe incident cost me more money than my entire surgery. Stupid x-rays.

Yummy foods I make: Grapes (trust me) and cheese dip and lasagna and chicken pot pie and chicken enchiladas.

Zodiac Sign: I don’t know? My birthday is June 9th – HINT HINT – and I will be older than I’ve ever been before.

Tag, you're it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Duck Says:

The Duck says Happy Graduation Ya'll!

The Duck Graduates

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