Archive | May 2015

If Loving Willie Nelson Makes Me a Redneck, Then Pass The Canned Meat

Willie Nelson photographed for Rolling Stone, in his main building ... I think they call it the saloon, outside of Austin TX on November 4, 2013 Display or On Page credit: Photograph by LeAnn Mueller CAPITAL 'A' in LeAnn

Willie Nelson photographed for Rolling Stone, in his main building … I think they call it the saloon, outside of Austin TX on November 4, 2013
Display or On Page credit: Photograph by LeAnn Mueller
CAPITAL ‘A’ in LeAnn

Last month I was at a swanky luncheon for a birthday party.  Never very good at small talk, I leaned over to a virtual stranger and posed this question: “Does having an obsession with Willie Nelson make me white trash?”  To her credit, she blinked only once and gave me an emphatic, ” ‘Fraid so.” She wasn’t kidding.  She’s also ten years my junior and a thousand times hipper (like I’m pretty sure she doesn’t drive a mini-van or turn in at 9:30 at night), so I know she was telling the truth.  I shouldn’t have been surprised.  My friend Robert has been referring for years to the “redneck Willie Nelson thing” I do.

At summer camp one year we had a white trash day (is that racist? tasteless?) and I remember lots of jokes about canned meat, like Vienna sausages, and marrying family members with no teeth.  If that’s what people think of when they think of Willie and his music, well, I can’t stop ’em.

But let me say this:

It’s not easy being a fan of an 82-year-old country music legend.

First, people assume I like country music.  For the record, I hate country music.  Hate. It.  I’m serious.  As a genre it ranks just after Gregorian chant and only slightly above Yo Gabba Gabba.  I really only like Willie.  I can tolerate Johnny Cash.  Waylon Jennings is alright.  I enjoy Kris Kristofferson, but he’s a Rhodes scholar who studied literature at Oxford, and he has a gorgeous head of hair to boot.  There’s nothing trash about that.

But contemporary country.  Yuck.  I have no opinion on Miranda Lambert and that tall guy she’s married to.  Or Eric Church.  I’ll cop to a soft spot for all Texas-born musicians, which is roughly 4/5 of them, but I don’t want to listen to them.  I will also declare my undying devotion to Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith, but they’re not country. They’re “singer songwriters.”

Wait. I know what you’re thinking.  Yes, I’m a Dolly Parton fan, but that’s technically blue grass, so fuck off.

My point is that 99% of country music can go have a cocktail with Bill Cosby for all I care.

Second, and way worse than being mistaken for a country music fan (*shudder*), is that octogenarians who tour sometimes have to cancel their shows.  Like last Friday, when Willie’s undisclosed health issue forced him to cancel a show in Hammon, Indiana.  I had second row (center) seats for that show at the Horseshoe Casino.  (Classy, thy name is Christie.)

I got the email about the cancellation in the middle of the work day.  I pounded on my desk so hard and let out a barbaric yawp so loud and pathetic that my next-door neighbor coworker ran into my office to check on me.

It’s pretty amazing to tell someone who thinks you just erased a day’s worth of work or blew a court-ordered deadline that, no, you’re just having a conniption fit because Willie Nelson canceled his show. (God, just writing that sentence makes me well up.)

“Hi, coworker who is still trying to decide if I’m cool, don’t mind me having a complete episode of decompensation over the status of Willie Nelson’s health.  Move along.”

I moped around all night, then crawled into bed to read his just-released memoir It’s A Long Story.  I find comfort where I can get it.

There is hope: the show’s been rescheduled to September.  I’m saying the rosary every night that Willie is healthy and strong enough to play that night.   In the meantime, I’m picking up the pieces and moving on the best I can, but not eating potted meats or listening to twangy, Nashville country “music.”

 

Advertisements

Cake Balls Make You Popular

I’m popular right now.   Here’s why:

Mommy! We've never loved you more! We forgive you for yelling all the damn time.

Mommy! We’ve never loved you more! We forgive you for yelling all the damn time.

Those are chocolate-covered strawberries, and they taste like a farmers’ market collided with an artisanal chocolate stand in some remote South American country.  But these are better because they weren’t procured under the corruption of a FARC-like guerilla group that terrorizes the countryside.  And because my “treat policy” at home is ever-shifting, in violation of the number one rule of parenting– BE CONSISTENT!– my kids were shocked I let them pick one and eat it.  They’re not stupid, they popped them in their mouths before I could flip-flop on them and start talking about the evils of sugar in the American childhood diet.

For a brief sixteen minute period, I was not only their favorite parent, but their favorite person in the world.  (Besides their beloved nanny, who Sadie wishes was her mom, but that’s another post I promise I’ll write when I get that dagger out of my aorta.)

Since I like feeling like the most loved person in the room, I decided to take some to work.  Funny, when you tell your co-workers you have specialty cake truffles in your office, suddenly they’re all, “hey, can I get you some paperclips?” Or “Want me to create a fax cover sheet for you?”

We gathered around my desk and popped those truffles in our maws and never looked back.  The soothing effects of delicious, bite-sized confections distracted us from the flurry of emails about the “roach problem” in the office.  “Roaches? Who cares? I have an almond joy truffle in my mouth.”

Not gonna lie, it felt really good.  Like Oprah, I was all, “There’s a cake truffle for you, Marcie from accounting! And you, Jim from procurement! And you, Big Bruce from…(well, none of us know what Bruce does) the cubicle by the bathroom.”

 

Cake balls. Delivered.

Cake balls. Delivered.

 

The packaging was super pretty.  Sadie’s going to take the insert into here classroom for show-and-tell.  Not the actual food, but the pretty pictures, so she may not win friends and influence her fellow kindergarteners with that.  Whatever. It’s not about her, it’s about me.

Back to me.

I’m grateful that Shari’s Berries offered to let me pick out some of their products.  These opinions are all my own, but they did send me these treats gratis– they arrived in boxes with fun cooling packs (ala Blue Apron).

I got my 15 minutes of fame and stardom in my little circle.  I’m must saying that if you want yours, you could get your own goodies and head to work.

 

Each bite was MOIST (my coworker said I had to stop saying that or she would stop letting me feed her cake pops) and delish.

Each bite was MOIST (my coworker said I had to stop saying that or she would stop letting me feed her cake pops) and delish.

 

Do you deserve this? Yes you do.

 

Not quite a little blue box, but not too shabby.

Not quite a little blue box, but not too shabby.