dmv and high blood pressure


I go to the DMV today to tag my car and switch my MS license over to AR. Because I want this to be as painless as possible, I do my research.

Back in June, I tried to switch my license over, so I went online to find out what the requirements were. I found out all I needed to do was bring my license and my social security card. However, when I get there, I am told that they no longer accept social security cards as a form of ID (even though their website clearly states that’s all I need). Thanks to homeland security, my birth certificate is required now.

Okay fine. I go online and order a replacement birth certificate because it would take me weeks/months/years to find which box the one I have is stored in.

Birth certificate arrives. I go back to DMV very proud that I now have everything required to get my license. Except that I don’t.

Dude behind the counter, who apparently has a problem with enunciation, says:

dmv: Your name don’t match.

me: sorry?

dmv: your name don’t match.

me: (clearly exasperated) what do you mean my name don’t match? Here is my birth certificate as I was told to bring. Here is my MS DL… what’s the problem?

dmv: you weren’t told by me.

me: Sigh. No I was told by another lady that this was what I needed to change my license over.

dmv: yeah. but you need your marriage license too. So your name will match.

Okay, I don’t explode (proud?) I go home and tear up my house for the marriage license…which I finally find. I make myself some cookies and eat about a pound of cookie dough before I head back to hell the DMV.

I stand in line again. And of course, I wind up with Mr. lack of Enunciation.

me: (smiling because I have to) I’m back! Here’s all my stuff.

dmv: (eying both the marriage and birth certs carefully. He walks over to the copier with the certificates and my DL…then turns to me and says) Your name ain’t the same.

me: sorry?

dmv: your name is spelled different on the birth cert than it is on the DL.

me: yes. they misspelled my name on the birth cert. But everything else is right.

dmv: might be a problem. (he makes the copies then comes back to desk) You had a license in AR before?

me: yes.

dmv: under what name? You got both Francis and McKenzie and McKenzie Francis.

me: under both names

dmv: (gives me the raised eyebrow to fuck with me look)

me: I was born here. My first license was McKenzie. I got married here, so it switch to Francis. It’s now legally McKenzie Francis no hyphen)

dmv: (pulling up prior license) We gotta problem.

me: (totally exasperate) Oh? what’s that?

dmv: Your name is wrong. Your not McKenzie Francis in our system. You’re just Francis.

me: I didn’t change it on my SSN until about 5 years ago, but it’s McKenzie Francis now. Promise.

dmv: Hm. So which name are you now? cuz when I put you in, if you don’t match, there’s a problem

me: you have my MS DL in front of you! That is my legal name. THAT is what I want. THAT is who I am.

dmv: But it isn’t in our system like that.


dmv: Okay. so which name?


he does his thing. I take my piccie (actually kinda cute) then I ask him about voter registration.

dmv: I can register you. Which name?

Okay, can I just tell you, that man is lucky to still be alive? Seriously. It actually goes on from there, but I just can’t relive it. There’s not enough booze in the house to get me through.




If I lived in Whatifville, I would be in San Francisco, at the literacy signing hanging with my pals, Marley Gibson, Gena Showalter, Jill Monroe, Roxanne St. Clair…

And I’d be hanging with my other pals…Louisa, Kristen, Gina, Jen, Nic, Kate, Kwana… Sigh.

But no. I don’t live in Whatifville. I live in Arkansas. Little Rock freaking Arkansas. And I’m not in San Francisco…but I’m getting hourly updates from my pals…while I’m watching Project Runway and Shear Genius.

I’ve got it good.

dry counties are from the devil

As most of my rabid fans loyal readers know, I flew to Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday. I was picked up and transported to Steubenville, OH so that I could drive a recently wrecked and repaired car home to Little Rock.

It’s a long drive, but one I did gladly. Mainly because it gave me loads of time to think and plot and it must’ve worked because I came home and wrote 17 pages yesterday. Yes I put the AWE in Awesome.

Where was I? Oh yes, driving. Endlessly, driving. I was determined to get to Louisville, but about 30 miles before I arrived at my destination, I hit a wall. (figuratively. I did not literally hit a wall. Promise.)

So I see an exit for Ballardsville, KY which is actually only about 15 miles from Louisville. It’s a decent little area with some nice hotels and grocery stores. I see a Wal-mart right across from a fairly new Holiday Inn Express. I am exhausted and I want nothing more than to have a beer and go to bed. I go to Wal-Mart first so I can buy myself a six-pack, only to find out I stopped in a dry county.

WTF? WHY do we still have dry counties today? Why? I am an adult. If I choose to have a beverage adult in nature that’s my choice, not yours. Out of respect for all travelers, they should just do away with dry counties and no Sunday Sales. Seriously. Or at least post a ‘dry county’ warning on each exit sign.

Get this…where I stopped was actually considered a “moist” county because you could buy beer at a restaurant. Again, this makes no sense to me. I can go out to eat, get liquored up and drive back to the house, but I can’t go to a store, buy a six-pack, and take it home to drink myself silly. Whatever.

The desire to have a beverage superseded my exhaustion. I hopped back into the Saturn, and headed toward Louisville. I decided to drive about 10 minutes on the other side of the city, so that I would miss morning traffic the next day. I found a town, stopped at a gas station, bought myself a 6 of Guinness, stayed in a comfortable Fairfield Inn…drove to Nashville and had lunch with one of my Romance Divas (Hi Lauren!) and made it home Friday night around 6:30. (I slept a little late on Friday morning.)

All in all, it was an easy, uneventful trip. But I’m glad to be home.

and breathe

Our house has been living, breathing chaos for 2 weeks. And I’ve loved every minute of it. I am a social being and I thrive around people. The more the better. A week ago, when we had a houseful of hot young British soccer coaches, I was totally in my element. And then last week, we had family here for a few days and despite our battle with Mother Nature, it was a blast.

But I’m tired now. I need a breather.

So tonight, I’m cooking a pork roast, having myself a nice bourbon, and watching The Bachelorette in the peace and quiet. Is it sad that I am really looking forward to this? (actually, I can’t wait for the Bachelorette! seriously, I’m counting down….)

Who will she choose? The ABC boards are reeling with rumors that she picks Jesse. I love Jesse, so I can’t complain if that happens. However, I REALLY have a hard time believing that she would’ve brought a single dad to the very end just to yank his balls.

We’ll see. Either way, I do think she’s found someone that has made her happy, and honestly, that’s what it’s all about. If she’s lucky, she’ll pick her very own Fishdog.

BTW, there are pictures from Friday night circling around Facebook… sigh. Why do we think it’s fun to bring cameras to bars?

owned by a cat

Meet Ginger. We often call her “Up High Cat” because she loves to find the highest possible point in the house and sleep there. As a matter of fact, she loves the attic. She will stand in the hall, underneath the attic pull down and squall until we let her up there to explore.

Up High Cat also loves to explore our basement area. It’s a 3/4 finished space with a French drain and shelving, and a big mound of dirt for her to roll in. Since she’s an inside cat, this is her one place to go hunting, gathering, and exploring.

Monday, she found this:

Notice how small the opening is. (btw, that’s above the door frame. I can’t get photobucket to cooperate with rotating the pic)Yes, she’s a small cat–but she’s not that small. However, she was up for the challenge.

Monday afternoon Fishdog comes upstairs and asks “Have you seen Ginger? I swear I hear her mewling, but she’s not under the house.”

Nope. Hadn’t seen her.

So we start searching. We looked outside. Maybe she popped through a hole a screen and was on the roof or in a tree. Nope. We looked in every up high nook and cranny and even under the beds. Nothing. We searched in the dryer, in all the cabinets, in all the closets. Nada.

But we could still hear her faint mewling.

We were very still, listening intently. That’s when we realized it sounded like she was here:
Yes, she was in the drop down ceiling. Sigh.

We tried to coax her out with food, but she couldn’t seem to make her way to the opening. And the longer we listened to her mewl, the more we realized she was no longer in the ceiling…she had fallen down the wall.

So, guess what we did Monday afternoon? Here, let me show u it:

ah. the things we do for love…

So, who wants to caption my LOLCat Picture. The one in the wall would be a perfect choice, don’t ya think? The winner will get full credit on my blog and win a copy of Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Night and MarelyMarley Gibson’s (aka Kate Harmon) Zeta or Omega.

Caption away.
ETA: I’ll choose the winner on Cinco de Mayo! That’s Monday y’all!

weapons of math destruction

better known as: how algebra brought Mel to tears…and not for the first time.

I have a hate, hate relationship with all things algebra… I consider algebra and anything related to it, a form of torture.

The first C I ever made was in 8th grade…when we started the unit on algebra. In 9th grade, I made my first D on a test…in algebra. I never failed but I can honestly say it’s the only class I’ve ever taken in which I felt like a failure.

Fast forward to college. If I graduated by a certain year, I wouldn’t have to take college algebra, only intermediate algebra. My guidance counselor and I worked out my credits, figured out what I would need to graduate without having to subject myself to a full semester of torture…and when it came time to graduate, I was 3 hours short. Which meant, I was 6 hours short because I would have to take college algebra to graduate.

It took me two attempts. I dropped the first class because the teacher didn’t teach it in a way that I could understand it. (okay, I STILL don’t understand it, but he never taught me to a point that I could at least fake my way through.) Finally, I found the right teacher, signed up, and made it through College Algebra with a C.

Whoot! May as well have been a 110% as far as I was concerned.

Fast forward to last night. Fishdog is in Oxford. My brother is at home 20 minutes away…and I’m here with Ian, almost in tears. He has 50 algebra problems (don’t even get me started on the amount of homework, which I believe is outrageous) and he was told that the homework counts as a test grade.

Yeah, I’m about to freaking cry.

I emailed my brother a sampling of the problems and he called me and tried to teach me how to do them over the phone. This is 8th grade pre-algebra y’all, and I was nearly having a panic attack. Every bad memory, every horrid feeling of inadequacy came rushing back. I felt like such an idiot.

Somehow, my brother finally helped me to see the light, so I helped Ian as best I could. We worked until 10:30 last night. Watching him was like watching myself. It’s a shame that I’ve passed him the anti-algebra part of my brain. We didn’t even finish half of the homework. I think we managed 25 problems.

So we got up this morning and did another 15. I sent a note to the teacher explaining that we did work very hard on the homework but we were unable to complete all 50 problems and I asked her not to write Ian up, give him a mark, or a warning, or punish him in any way.

How sad is that?

Thank God algebra was not in my life plan. I’m pretty sure it’s not in Ian’s either…

checking in then checking out…

Hey y’all. I’m probably gonna be absent for a while. First of all, I’m neck deep in paint. Then there’s the whole Thanksgiving thing, where I’ll take a break from painting to eat. Then on Friday, the Hogs play LSU…the number one team in the nation right now. It might not be pretty, but I can’t miss it!

After the game Friday, we’re headed to Oxford. We’re gonna load up the truck and officially move. That’s right, I’ll sleep in my brand new house this weekend. Excellent.

Oh, and during all this, I also have to finish revising Bite Me! to send to fabulous editor by Friday. Yeah, I’m gonna be just a little bit busy.

I’ll see you next week!

Love y’all. Mean it!

somebody please save me from the hell that is walmart

I hate grocery shopping. Loathe it. Despise it.

And I thought I hated Walmart…but I didn’t, not really. I didn’t like Walmart. But it was not full loathing.

Until tonight.

It’s Monday night. Most people shop on the weekends, right? I mean, that’s why I stopped shopping on the weekends because everyone else in the tri-county region would happen to show up at the exact store, at the exact moment I would. I am the Mel-magnet. Mel must be shopping so every idiot must shop now.

I meant to go to the store earlier today, but it rained buckets and I just didn’t feel like getting out in the mess. So I waited until I was tired, cranky, and hungry. And of course, we were out of everything (beer) so shopping couldn’t possibly wait until tomorrow.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I should’ve turned right back around. The Mel-magnet had obviously been activated. (Wondershopping powers, Activate!) The lot was full, and there were several cars racing for parking spots. I momentarily considered yelling “Towanda!” while plowing forward knocking every hunk of metal on wheels out of my way. It was my turn to park, dammit!

I enter the establishment and begin my power shopping. I am determined to be in and out in an hour.

1.5 hours later I realize that was just a pie in the sky dream.

Always the dreamer, that’d be me.

What is it with women who were too much fragrance? And why do they spray themselves just before going to Walmart when they know I’m going to be there? And why, in the name of all things unholy, do they follow me around the store? It’s because they know how much that bugs the fuck out of me, that’s why.

And why do people meander and linger and talk on their cell phones in the middle of the g.d. aisles? Do they not see the rest of us, trying to get through? Do they think they are the dictator of the aisle in which they have taken residence?

Am I the only one who has a problem with all the kids running free amongst the buggies? Can I hit the little fuckers? Do I get a discount if I hit two or more?

Once I finished my shopping, I strategically cruised the check out lines. How many buggies were in line, how full were said buggies, and did the shoppers appear to be shopping for more than one family thereby asking for separate checks. (an aside here, DEAR WALMART, NO MORE FUCKING SEPARATE CHECKS. THIS IS NOT THE DIXIE CAFE. ONE PERSON, ONE BASKET, ONE CHECK. thank you.) After my strategic perusal, I found the perfect line. One shopper finishing up, one shopper unloading. Nobody else. Sweet.

Until the mysterious Mexican man appeared in front of me. Without a basket. I thought he was lost at first. I was in line. It was obvious. I’m moving forward, closing the distance between myself and the shopper unloading her buggy. And then the Manifesting Mexican Man just appeared. He stood there for a few minutes, then he started frantically waving to someone. “Aqui! Aqui!”

fucker. He was holding a place in line for his wife.

His wife who took 15 minutes to unload her basket because she had to unload it in sections. Frozen foods together; breads together; fruits together; bathroom supplies together…ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

I pull out my cell phone desperately seeking entertainment. Not one person texted me back. Where are you people when I need you? Sure you’ll text me at your convenience, but can’t you ever just respond when it’s at my convenience? I was in Warmart for Christ’s Sake!

Do you know what your lack of texting made me do while I waited for the senora to alphabetize her groceries?

I had to read the tabloids.

Did you know that Prince William is giving up the crown for LOVE?

Did you know that Ashlee Simpson is addicted to plastic surgery at the age of 23 and that her sister lost 25 lbs in two months?

Jlo is pregnant! Whoot!

Something dark and dreary has happened to Oprah and Stedman. (didn’t they already break up like YEARS ago?)

Apparently Justin has reached out to Britney. Can he save her?

The hell that is Walmart has taken me over. It’s like the Borg and I have now been assimilated. Of course, I’ll probably be rejected when they realize I don’t alphabetize my groceries…