WHAT did you just say?

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My oldest daughter’s birthday was  yesterday. My parents gave her a set of little chicks. (Random? I know.)

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Two are missing because they’re in need of repairs. Their wings fell off. I wonder how.

All three girls were playing with them for a bit when I heard my seven-year-old say something that sounded horribly suspicious.

“Here’s your (something starting with an f and ending with -king) chicks.” Read the rest of this entry

Getting frisked for the second time in three days

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airport-1895173_640At long last, part two. (If you missed part one, you may want to catch up.)

So, two days after flying into Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., for my big speaking debut, it was time to fly home to the reality of my mommy existence. First order of business would be feeding my kids the vegetables they were likely missing for the past three days.

Walking into the airport with my trusty companion, I said to her, “It would be nice if I didn’t have to get frisked this time. I’m just not feeling up for that again.”

But it soon became apparent that security at Dulles was no joke, and the likelihood of me not getting frisked was dwindling with each TSA security agent we saw, the first ones being immediately upon entry.

Two were poised and ready to check our boarding passes and wave us through. Then we located our gate number and headed in the proper direction, only to come to security check number two. Here TSA used machines to scan our boarding passes.

Then on to security check number three. Despite the seriousness this place clearly gives its safety, I still held on to some hope I could avoid the pat-down. But once we entered the waving sea of security lines, all hope was lost.

Let me describe for you the security line in San Diego, my beloved city of origin: That’s just it–security LINE, as in singular. And it pretty much takes you to half the airport. Plus, even calling it a line is a bit much. We hardly had time to remove our shoes before it was our turn to go through. I suppose once people arrive in San Diego, they don’t want to leave.

aircraft-1526567_640But in Dulles there was an ocean of people in sixish lines weaving and winding to the point where you couldn’t tell where your lane was letting out. (Insert your own joke about trying to get out of D.C. here.)

When it was our turn to put our stuff on the conveyor belt, I noted that the posted TSA agent was literally getting paid to sit on a chair and people watch. He wasn’t making any announcements whatsoever about liquids, laptops, OR lozenges. (If that makes no sense, see previous post.) I told him I was preggo and didn’t want to go through the body scanner.

“There’s no x-rays, Ma’am.”

“So you’re able to see under people’s clothing by harnessing Superman’s powers?” Is what I wanted to say, but I know you don’t mess with TSA any more than you do TX, even this lazy TSA, so instead I answered, “I’d still rather not.”

“Then you’ll get a pat-down.”

“Couldn’t I just go through that?” gesturing in vain to the poor nearly discarded relic of a metal detector, left standing there just to mock the likes of me.

“No.”

And so I waited once again in disgrace to be called back for my humiliation. Then I caught sight of my tormentor. Read the rest of this entry

Fun writing contest from a fellow blogger

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All you writer types: Mike Allegra at “Hey look a fellow writer” is holding a writing contest for 200 words or less with a prize of $50 in various gift cards. Go here for all the details. And OMG, it’s actually “Hey look a writer fellow.” All this time I thought it was “a fellow writer.” Apparently I need to work on my reading as well as writing skills. Sorry, Mike.

Anyway, y’all, check it out!

Getting frisked twice in three days

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Technically, they call it a pat-down when it’s done at the airport, but from what I’ve seen of people getting frisked on TV, cops have nothing on the TSA (Transportation Security Administration, in case you were wondering) when it comes to invasion of privacy in a public setting.

So here’s the thing, those blasted full-body scans are everywhere now. I remember when some poor saps got stuck in those lines while others skated through your standard metal detector, but no more. The putting your hands in the air like you really do care while x-rays check your personage for concealed weapons is now the norm.

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From wikipedia’s TSA “How it works” video.

Sure, they still have the metal detectors standing there like old relics at a museum for people to stare at in awe and yearning as they wait in long security lines, but those are only for people who apparently travel frequently enough or can afford to pay to not have to raise their hands if they’re sure. Those people also get to keep their shoes on. Apparently rich, well-traveled people don’t conceal weapons in stilettos. Though, truthfully, the stilettos could be used as a weapon. Why am I the only one seeing this? Nail clippers are verboten, but pointy-heeled shoes? No problem. I know which I’d rather have in a fight should I need to poke someone’s eye out.

Not that I spend time thinking about these things.

The other lucky souls who got to used the metal detector were those carrying small children. To this I protest. I’M carrying a small child! He just doesn’t happen to be visible yet!

Even the random lady during my friend’s and my pre-security bathroom break, washing her hands at the sink between us, agreed with me that I shouldn’t use the giant sweeping arm contraption while pregs. [Sidenote: I love when strangers join in your conversation, and I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s just friendly and shows a camaraderie among women. Particularly when it comes to being pregnant. And being in the bathroom.]

So, with shoes off, paraphernalia in the little white bins, and suitcase on the conveyor belt, I waited for the TSA man to take a breath during his routine announcements to those in line about liquids, laptops, and I don’t know, lozenges? Are those forbidden too?

I thought surely he must be finished, but he held a blue-gloved finger up to me (the correct finger) until he completed his litany. Read the rest of this entry

Well, I survived.

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I started throwing stuff in my suitcase days in advance and at one point thought, I rather like how that looks. I think I’ll take a picture. You’re welcome blog world! (Those aren’t the actual books, just hard-backed blow ups, in case you were wondering.)

I’ve returned from my cross-country trip to D.C. where I, Betsy Kerekes, spoke at a conference and have lived to tell the tale.

When I whined about having to give a speech in front of a boatload of people, many of you said, “You’ll be great!” And I thought, “How do you know?”

But in truth, well, you were right. 🙂 It went really well, and the feedback was warm and positive. As I walked back to my book table, several people said nice things to me along the way. I forgot to turn my recording device off right away, so my husband was able to hear proof of that.

The man who spoke ahead of me and who does this sort of thing all the time, gave me the best compliment. He looked at me in all seriousness and said one word: “Fantastic.” That was validating, y’all.

Let me back up a bit. We’re talking months of nerves leading up to this one hour of public speaking. As my dear friend who volunteered to accompany me and I pulled up to the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD, I said, “What am I doing here? I can’t do this!” Read the rest of this entry

Have I mentioned my husband is funny?

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While lying in bed, exhausted, nauseous, and useless this first trimester, I said to my husband, “You know how in the movies when a woman is in labor she’s screaming, crushing her husband’s fingers and shouting, ‘You did this to me!'”

“Yes,” he replied with a healthy amount of caution.

“Just in case I’m too busy or I forget, I’ll say it now: You did this to me!”

He said, Read the rest of this entry

An article of sorts

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I don’t write on here much about getting articles published now and then or that I did my 20th radio interview this morning, but I thought I’d share this little tidbit of an article with you. For National Marriage Week, Feb 7-14, our publisher asked all their marriage authors to answer the question: What is a marriage lesson you’ve learned, and what story illustrates this?

What I sent back was brief, so it was turned into a short article to flesh it out. I thought I’d share because it’s a funny story, and it teaches a decent lesson on making marriage work. Have a read!

Always Keep a Sense of Humor

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While they probably won’t admit it, every married person holds on to some little things that annoy them about their spouse. It may be the way the other person brushes their teeth, or makes the bed, or chews their food. It is always something minor, yet irritating that can turn into something very annoying.

Betsy Kerekes, author of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage, learned a valuable lesson when it comes to these little annoyances. Read the rest of this entry