Monday, December 27, 2010


I'm sitting on the couch looking at my nephew rocking away in his stereo-phonic swing. The base for his car seat currently resides in the back of my MINI. To my right, a diaper bag, to my left, pacifiers and a burping cloth. I'm loving every minute of it.

I walk by a mirror and I no longer recognize the reflection. When did I start liking kids? Correction: when did I start wanting to hold, rock, soothe and dare I say it. . . change small children (in particular, my nephew)? For those of you who know me, which if you are reading this blog, I imagine you do, you know that I do not particularly care for miniature-sized humans. They lack the intellectual stimulation that I crave with those that I interact with on a regular basis. Even when I was a wee lass, I never cared for children. I was the weird, precocious kid who would rather go over to a friend's house and enjoy a cup of coffee with their mom than play barbies. In fact, I decided at the age of five that I was too old for barbies and by the age of eight I made a conscious decision to close the Disney animated movie chapter in the book of my life. And for a non-sequitur, I am also holy opposed to children who are sticky. Sticky children are those who have a permanent kool-aid stain around their mouths accompanied by fragments of encrusted animal crackers and Chips 'Ahoy. I'm fairly certain you can Google the term. I will always love my nephew, but as soon as that sucker becomes sticky, he is no longer welcome at my home. Don't scowl, my sister and I have had this understanding for years now.

Back to the new man in my life. My nephew is the coolest thing since the other side of the pillow. Basically, from the first moment I held the little stinker, I fell in love. All I want to do is hold him and buy him clothes, both of which things have proven to be problematic because I live 1500 miles away and my sister has complained that her son has more clothes than she does. What concerns me about all of this is that I am kind of a natural. Is it possible for the girl who doesn't want to have children to posses maternal instincts? Moreover, could I be changing my mind about having kids? Stay tuned.

Another reason why I love my nephew, he just spit-up all over my little sister.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Yule-Tide Exterior Illumination

As a child, nothing brought more joy to my heart than the gentle glow of Christmas lights outside my bedroom window. My dad would tuck me in, kiss me on the forehead and turn off the light leaving me snuggled in my blue blanket while the hues of red, green, blue and yellow filled my room. The cold wind would gust against the glass panes, but the shadows of the tree branches would dance across my wall keeping me entertained until I surrendered to the warmness of my bed. To me, this is Christmas.

In the Lessly household, Christmas lights are an important part of the holiday season. The house is lit before the tree goes up and is a month-long source of pride for my father (even if he chumps out and doesn't outline the roof like he did on the old house). Last night, the crew took the 'ole 4 wheel drive sled out for the annual Christmas light looking/my sisters doing everything we can in our power to annoy our parents trip. For the record, I could be 80 and this will never get old. We typically end up critiquing, and by that I mean criticizing, the lights we see in the neighborhoods around North Texas. It is from these trips that I have formed a rather strong opinion about Christmas lights: they should be white, straight, C7s that outline the roof and other defining characteristics of the house.

Now I realize that this might be a bit extreme, but if you are going to display your holiday cheer to the whole neighborhood, why not do it with a little class and a hit if dignity? I've never understood why people think that crooked lights are socially acceptable, or moreover, why icicle lights are appropriate in places like Phoenix. It's 60 degrees outside, the jig is up, we know they are not real. And since when did icicles light up anyway?

Once upon a time, a friend of mine decided to put lights up on the residence hall we both worked and lived in. After a long, and unnecessarily intense discussion about what said lights would look like, I was under the impression that we had come to a compromise and though the lights would be multi-colored, they would at least be straight and function free. One evening while I was passing by his door, this friend of mine called me into his apartment. As soon as I walked in, he closed the door, grabbed my hand and turned off the lights. Being that this now friend was my boss at the time, I was a little confused and a bit nervous as to what he was up to. He led me into the kitchen and fiddled around until it was illuminated with a prism of colors. I was impressed by his selection. "Wait, there's more," he slyly said. Uh oh. Just the white lit up. Acceptable. Then the red, then blue, then they began to flash, then travel, then go in reverse. 24 functions later, the lights in the kitchen came on to reveal a very proud man and his disapproving employee.

Much to my dismay, the lights soon found their very caddiewomper way onto the roof. 24-hours a day for the next two weeks, the lights haunted and mocked me. When I would come home, I would readjust the lights so that they would look clean and crisp. The next morning, I would rise to the gentle flashing of green and red bulbs outside my window. Each day revealed a new function, each evening would provoke my animosity.

The morning after the students checked out, I headed out to do some last minute Christmas shopping. On my way out the door, I found myself sidestepping little pieces of colored glass on the sidewalk. I looked over to find my friend reaching up with his and and pulling the lights off of the gutter, allowing the twinkle lights shatter on the concrete. "What are you doing?!? We could have used those for next year," I exclaimed. "What," he relpied. "You never liked them anyway." And another strand hit the ground.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Public Service Announcement

Dear Persons of the Feminine Persuasion:

Tights are not pants! Leggings are not pants! Stirrups should never be worn and only used when riding horses and going to the doctor. And you can quote me on that!

Today I was walking across main campus and noticed that a young lady and I were sporting the same tights, the only difference is that I was donning them as an accessory to my pencil skirt and sweater ensemble, she was substituting them as pants to complement her longish-flannel shirt. I imagine it was a bit breezy, especially since I could see where the patterned stopped and the control top began (guys I know that just went over your head, but trust me, it was not a pretty sight). Heading up the stairs and turning the corner, I see another female student wearing black leggings and blazer. And nothing else. I asked her why she was so dressed up and she sad, "Oh, I'm giving a presentation in class, we're supposed to dress professionally." I'm not an advocate of nylons and shin-length skirts as the standard of professional dress, but VPLs and an exposed lacy bra do exactly scream CEO material to me.

Com'on ladies! What are you thinking? I too once balked at the idea of stretching up a pair of lycra infused material up my leg as a grown woman, but tights today are a far cry from the white and pink heart number that my mom would make me wear as a 5-year old going to church. I now embrace them as an extension of my wardrobe and quite frequently rock the boots, tights and sweater dress combo (I call it the triple threat), that being said, it does not mean that tights can be used as a substitute. Use this good rule of thumb: if when even on your person and your unmentionables are still visible through said article of clothing, do not use as pants. You are a Glamour DON'T waiting to happen.

And, oh, 1993 called, they want their leggings back.