October 31 Editorial

Editorial
By: Kelly Woodard

This week I had a great time celebrating my favorite holiday, Halloween. Why is it my favorite holiday you ask? What’s not to love about dressing up to be whoever or whatever you want, all while drinking heavily and scaring young children before bribing them not to tell on you with candy?
This year I began my Halloween planning in August, generally a late start for me. I searched the internet for the best decorations for my house, and contemplated what crazy character I could come up with to retain my crown as Halloween and costume contest queen. (Five years running, and still champ may I add!)
I settled on my favorite controversial chef and butter buddy, Paula Deen. For the next few weeks I searched for the perfect wig, studied her interviews to mimic her mannerisms, practiced a southern accent with a Savannah drawl, and sought out the perfect outfit that would make Paula herself say, “Whoo wee!” I even went so far as to get colored contacts. No self-respecting Paula Deen lookalike would be caught dead in brown eyes.
When the Friday before Halloween rolled around, my husband and I dressed up and headed to a party thrown by his co-workers. When we arrived, true to form, every girl at the party was wearing an off the rack handkerchief with the same tired theme. Slutty nurse, slutty cop, slutty school girl, etc.
With pride I stepped out in my chambray shirt, mom jeans, ballet flats, full white wig, and giant stick of butter. Instantly, people I didn’t even know were telling me how awesome my costume was, and kept asking how I come up with things like this. I watched in satisfaction as the girls who so obviously craved attention were getting upstaged by the girl who was dressed as an overweight grandmother and butter lover.
As the night went on, the party progressed to a bonfire that was burning just outside. It was a rather chilly night, and I giggled once again to myself as I watched several of the 90lb half-naked waifs huddling together in desperation for warmth. When their eyes met mine, I simply held out my stick of butter and asked if they wanted a lick. As Paula would say, “A little extra meat on your bones is good for you.”
As the fire wore down and the night got colder, the nurses and referees were dropping like hypothermic flies. My husband and I, all toasty and warm, decided that it was time for our party to end. With the flick of my wrist, I threw what was left of my now melting stick of butter into the fire and said “Bye ya’ll” in my best Paula voice and headed for the hills all the while thinking, “Now that’s an exit that would’ve made Miss Deen proud.”
I’m pretty sure they all found me amusing because my husband said we were all anyone was talking about the next day at work. No matter how amused his co-workers were, I’m sure that no one amuses me more than…well, me. If I was to one day find myself on a deserted island or in a padded room, I’m fairly certain that I would be just fine. And I learned from one of the naked girls at the party that palm frawns and coconuts can in fact be made into a costume. That may come in handy.
On Halloween night my husband and I will suit up once again for our annual costume contest smack down, and I have a title to defend. All I can say to my competitors is don’t bring margarine to a butter fight. Game on.
Happy Halloween ya’ll!!!

October 24 Editorial

Editorial
By: Kelly Woodard

There are moments in life that make you realize that not only are you old, but remind you of what an idiot you once were. I recently had one of those moments while shopping at one of Pensacola’s hottest boutiques, Indigeaux.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and I had just taken care of some business downtown. I still had another 20 minutes on my parking meter, so I decided that I would take a leisurely stroll across the street to the cute little shop that I always stop and admire through the window while making my way from place to place on Friday nights.
I made my way through the doors and instantly knew that I was going to be grounded when my husband got our credit card bill. I browsed the racks of beautiful, trendy clothes, picking nearly one of everything to try on. On a side note, I realize the salesgirl probably hated me but I did end up buying about half of what I tried on.
I entered the dressing room/ curtain, and began my self-loathing fashion show. A couple of minutes in, I heard the front door to the shop open, and two seemingly hyperactive sorority girls from the valley blew in.
“OMG! I am totally, like, there! I’m so glad you called. I, like, can’t wait to see you,” said the first girl. “Like, who are you talking to,” said the second. I rolled my eyes and smiled as I struggled to get my large chest free from a dress that clearly wasn’t my size.
As the first girl hung up the phone, she answered her friend by saying, “That was Stacy. She wants me to go to some photo shoot with her later.” Apparently baffled by this new information, her friend snapped back, “So, like, are you going to go to dinner with us tonight or what?” Clearly having forgotten her previous plans, girl #1 replied with an answer that left my head reeling.
“Um, yeah. Like, this is supposed to be earlier or something. I mean, I probably won’t even go. I don’t even like her. I don’t know why she, like, always tries to talk to me and invite me places. Then I have to, like, be nice to her face and everything. Uhhh…I hate fake people.” I looked at myself in the mirror and couldn’t help but laugh after seeing the involuntary look of disgust on my face.
Soon the conversation between them shifted to girl #2’s ex-boyfriend. Having apparently done her wrong the first time around, she was considering giving him a second chance by letting him move into her apartment….rent free. “It’s just until he can find a job, and he says he’s really changed so I believe him.” Her friend responded in a way that any good friend would by saying, “Well he totally cheated on you, like, a hundred times last time, so maybe that isn’t the best idea.”
While in the dressing room, I had been envisioning what the girls might look like, and couldn’t wait to see if my instincts were dead on. In my head, they were very early 20’s, stick skinny, blonde, sporting perfectly tousled hair, and spoiled rotten with a hint of stuck up. I emerged from the dressing to find that my intuition had been nearly perfect, except one of the girls was a brunette.
I returned to a rack to find a shirt to match the tweed and sequin skirt that I loved only to see one of the girls pick up the same skirt and say to her friend, “Uh, the Golden Girls called. They want their skirt back.” Sick burn ladies. I promptly put the skirt back on the rack. The last thing I need to add to my Botox induced stare is a skirt that makes me earn the nickname, Sophia.
The final conversation that I couldn’t tune out even if I tried began with the two chatting about how immature college guys are and how stupid they find girls to be. “I mean seriously. Girls are just so two-faced. Maybe it gets better when you get old,” said girl #1. Girl #2 promptly answered, “Yeah, we should start hanging out with people in their 30’s.” I felt like a knife had just been jabbed into my pace maker.
Later that day, I sat there staring at my every tiny wrinkle and imperfection in the mirror while I thought about the two young girls. Had I been so shallow, ignorant, and annoying when I was their age? Are all 20 something’s so fond of the work “like”, and most importantly, is 30 really old?
There are days when I forget that I’m not 18 anymore, but I quickly remember when I attempt to relive my cheerleading days by doing a toe touch and pulling my groin. Then there are days when I feel so incredibly grateful that I no longer feel the need to dress skimpily and parade myself around every night of the week trying to attract the attention of a potential husband. Then there are others where I wish I could get angry without my face looking like a Shar Pei and someone telling me I’m acting like teenager.
In all actuality, I’m sure in my younger days that I complained about my bad boyfriends, said “like” too much, and thought I was grown and knew everything. Since then, I have learned that there are things in life that are worth worrying and complaining about, and trivial things don’t matter. What matters most is the health of family and friends, and living everyday to the fullest of your abilities.
If that is what makes your 30’s classify you as “old”, then call the nursing home. This Golden Girl is moving in.


October 17 Editorial

Editorial
By: Kelly Woodard

In my head I envision the perfect life, in the perfect neighborhood, surrounded by perfect neighbors. Think Wisteria Lane meets any neighborhood from the TGIF lineup in the 80’s. In reality, I live in a nice neighborhood surrounded by houses full of people that I have yet to meet. But that all changed early yesterday morning, when I had the pleasure of meeting one of them in the most unfortunate way. And the perfect neighbor, I apparently am not.
After a long day of running errands and straining my eyes looking at the computer, all I wanted to do was curl up in some freshly washed sheets and catch some zzz’s, but apparently my fur children had other ideas.
The three of them tore through the doggie door over and over as if they were playing a rousing round of tag. As I looked at the clock ticking past midnight, I decided that it was time for us to all have a “talk”. I called them all in and calmly said, “Come on guys. It’s time for bed,” as if they had understood a word I said.
Fast forward to 3:30 am. My eyes flew open at the sound of Jake, my Australian Shepherd’s, vicious barking coming from the back yard. I sprang from the bed, grabbed a flash light and headed for the back yard. When I opened the door, I was cautious, not knowing if I was going to encounter a rabid raccoon I needed to run from or a prowler looking to sport some fresh new lead.
I soon realized that both of my Aussies were engaged in a ferocious game of “who can bark the loudest”, and clearly there was no winner. I called them to come to the house which they happily did until they realized that they were about to be scolded. Leia ran for her life to jump into her “diva bed” while Jake hid quietly under the kitchen table. Back to bed I went.
At 4:30 am, my eyes once again popped open when, yet again, Jake was barking like a mad man in the back yard. I sprang from the bed, called him back in with a tone of voice that let him know that this time I meant business, and led him to the bedroom where I closed the door with all three dogs and I safely tucked inside. I thought, “This will surely solve the problem.” I was wrong.
My heart skipped a beat when I woke up to the sound of my bedroom door opening. Thinking that an intruder had finally made his way into my home due to me silencing my alerting dogs, I prepared myself for battle. That is when I noticed that Jake was standing on his hind legs with his front paws on the door handle. In a flash, he actually opened the bedroom door and made a beeline for the yard. This dog is a diabolical genius.
I ripped the sheets off of myself and sprinted like a mad woman towards the back door. The sun was now almost up, and I was officially over this rambunctious behavior. I tore through the door, ready to show Jake who was in fact the pack leader around here, when I realized that at some point in my restless sleep I had removed my pants. There I was in all my bottomless glory, chasing a dog that was having the time of his life.
I instantly froze, then managed to pull my tank top down, hoping to slink back to the safety of my living room when I saw my neighbor looking out her bedroom window. Positive that she was going to be angry over the constant commotion that had occurred throughout the night, I expected a dirty look that I was going to have to later apologize for, but felt my face turn red when her smile turned to full blown laughter. I grabbed Jake’s collar to lead him inside, allowing a full moon to shine before giving her a defeated wave and retreated into the house.
Once I was inside, the shock of what had just happened began to hit me. I closed off the doggie door in hopes that I would never, ever have to go into my backyard again to retrieve these furry maniacs. I mean, I had never even attempted to meet my neighbors, but apparently they now know more about me than they ever cared to.
I spent the rest of the early morning hours contemplating how to apologize for not only the noise, but for my peep show. I thought of baking cookies or buying a lovely pie but once someone has seen you flailing around your yard like a psycho naked, I just don’t think baked goods are the answer.
When my husband finally woke from his Rip Van Winkle-ish sleep, he could see that I was distraught. He asked, “What’s wrong with you today?” I looked at him square in the eyes and gave him the only answer to the problem I had come up with in hours. “We have to move. Immediately!” Welcome to the neighborhood.

October 10 Editorial

Editorial
By: Kelly Woodard

It’s my favorite time of year again. A time where I can dress up in the most ridiculous outfit I can fathom and wander into a public place without ridicule. A time where I can be whoever I want to be. A time where I can scare the beejezus out of neighborhood children on my own front porch without anyone calling the cops. That’s right kiddies! It’s HALLOWEEN!
As a Halloween costume guru of sorts with yet another contest win and $500 cash under my belt, this year is sure to be no exception. Once again, my poor husband is along for the ride, and his only request for my crazy concoction is that he doesn’t have to dress as a woman….again.
People always ask me, “How do you come up with these things?” To which I can only answer……use your imagination people! It’s easy to win a costume contest when your only competition is store bought “yawn fest” wear or a gaggle of skinny 20-somethings dressed like hookers.
So this year, to get everyone in the running for the first place trophy (and honestly to keep me from punching uncreative people in the face) I will share some of my top secret tips on how to have the best costume in the room.
Remember to keep it current- Check the headlines and work off of something people are buzzing about. Scandals are always fun. Find one and make a mockery of it. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of little Miley Cyrus’s running around out there, so try to be creative if that is your choice.
Do keep sexy costumes creative- So you’re the girl who has to dress as something slutty for attention? Ok. I get it. But remember one thing….If you are going to dress skimpy, make it count. For instance, don’t go to the costume shop, buy a tutu, some animal ears, pair it with your bra and call yourself a lion. Instead, paint your face and tease your hair until the cows come home. Add some ridiculously long “claws” and some vampire teeth for fangs. Now you are a lion. A skanky one, but hey, at least people know you are a lion. This tip also works for sailor, Girl Scout, fairy, nurse costumes, etc. If you must be so generic in your costume choice, at least be a zombie version or find a way to make it funny. Otherwise, you look like you are trying too hard.
Never dress up as human genitalia- It’s not funny….ever. Not even the light socket and plug combo costume. Don’t do it.
Do find a costume buddy- It’s always more fun to dress up as a duo or even get a group together and find a theme that works for everyone. You’ll grab more attention that way, and your costume buddy can help you get creative with makeup and accessories that will set you apart. Besides, it’s always better to look like a complete idiot at a party with someone else looking equally as stupid by your side.
Plan ahead- People who generally scramble around for a costume two days before a party usually end up with leftover supplies. Start shopping now for the best selection, and check online sites for the best accessories. Just make sure to start now so that your package will have time to ship.
Most of all, just have fun with your costume- When you find something that works for you, you’ll feel more inclined to make it your own. The more creativity you put into it, the more of a conversation starter you’ll become. And who knows? You might just end up the guy or gal that everyone just has to have a picture with.
Follow these tips and you may just have the best costume out there, but just be warned……I’m ready to take you down once again. Bring it on Halloween costume contest!

October 3 Editorial

Editorial
By: Kelly Woodard

Last week while on vacation, my husband stumbled upon my stash of books that I brought to read while by the pool or while he napped. Not normally one to open a book without pictures, I was surprised to find that he was a chapter or so into The Hunger Games.
I had already read the entire series, and had been begging my husband to read them so that we could talk about what we thought might happen and compare opinions before seeing the movies together. To me, a self-proclaimed bookworm and literature nerd, this sounded like the best night ever, but he expressed that he would rather set himself on fire. But to my surprise, there he was reading away.
“What’s gotten into you,” I asked expecting a snide remark. Instead, he replied like an eager little boy, “This book is so good!” I thought about adding an ‘I told you so’, but I’m learning to choose my battles.
For the next five days, he barely came up for air. His afternoon naps got shorter and his bathroom trips got longer. Much longer. Everywhere he went, The Hunger Games went too.
Although I was glad he was reading I was feeling kind of lonely. I did however find solace in the casino where I learned a few important lessons like how to count on my fingers and toes at lightning fast speed and that Blackjack is not my game.
When the trip was over, I thought that he would lose interest in the book and return to his normal self. I was wrong. Within a day or two of returning home he was finished with book one.
When Saturday rolled around, I donned my normal football gear and dressed the dogs in their “rally jerseys”. I opened two beers and headed to the living room for our usual college football marathon, but stopped in my tracks when I rounded the corner finding the LSU vs Georgia game on the TV and my husband’s face buried in the second book, Catching Fire, oblivious to excitement on the field. His man card was in serious jeopardy.
Although I know the books can be consuming, I had to stage an intervention. Like a child who hasn’t finished his homework, his “toy” had to be taken away. He pouted at first, but came around to the guy I know and love after being force-fed a few beers and some Velveeta cheese dip. Oh the things a woman has to be prepared for.
When Sunday morning rolled around, I gave my little reader’s book back and watched in shock as he turned the TV off and sat in silence for hours, reading away. I was almost startled when he broke the quiet time to ask, “So who does she end up with?” A warm feeling that I had never experienced welled up inside me. “I can’t tell you that! It would ruin it for you,” I replied, all the while hoping he would never stop reading so that I could share more moments like this with him.
It’s funny how when you’re with someone for so long you think you know everything there is to know about them. That week, I learned something new about my husband. It may have taken a while, but the dream of sitting there snuggled up in a blanket reading our books and discussing them finally came true.
It is refreshing to know that we can still surprise each other, and although reading has always been my thing, we can now share the hobby. I guess it’s my turn to try something new for him. I just hope the activity he wants me to pick up doesn’t involve excessive scratching or killing something.