Saturday, August 10, 2013

EPIC FAIL. (8/10/13)

Welcome to the August 10th edition of Kelli's Epic Fail:

Woke up and read that a farmer's market would be open today.
Drove there and found 4 booths, none of which sold produce.
Saw I was almost out of gas.
Stopped at the gas station.
Couldn't find my debit card nor my cash.
Realized I left it all on my dresser at home.
Knew I'd never make it home with my car almost out of gas.
Contemplated who to call to come to my rescue.
Oops, I have no phone either!
It's on the dresser with the debit card and the money.
Surely I could make it a few miles over the bridge to my bank.
Son of a biscuit eater, it's Saturday.
Now counting dimes and pennies in the car.
"Yes sir, $2.30 on pump four...sorry about all the change."
Home, with nothing to show for the last hour.

This epic fail has been brought to you by Kelli. Tune in next week to read about her next inevitable epic fail. Same bat time...same bat channel.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Goodbye, Singing River (A Mississippi Mall Story)

http://www.wlox.com/story/23024317/gautier-mall-tenants-get-lease-termination-letters-to-move-out

Thirty-three year old Singing River Mall in Gautier, Mississippi prepares for demolition, where a 390,000 square foot open air mall will arise in its place. While this should bring in much-needed revenue to the small town, south Mississippi residents have mixed feelings about local businesses being evicted in favor of a new shopping center which will include yet another Walmart. I have a few feelings of my own, as this establishment provides a flood of memories of my childhood and beyond.


Singing River Mall was practically my second home. When I was a little girl, my mom, grandmother, and I would buy a Mary Ann's ice cream bar or a Dough Rollers giant cinnamon roll and "people watch" on the bench in front of Service Merchandise. We used to show up before the doors opened in the morning, and we didn't leave until it was closed at night. With people from all walks of life in the 1980s to be seen, rarely a dull moment ensued.

As a middle-schooler, I spent every weekend in Yesterdays game room, later known as Power Play. My favorite: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Donatello, if you're wondering). I remember being overwhelmed when redemption games were brought in, especially when they installed Ski Ball. I was terrible at Ski Ball, but I had fun trying. A few years later, I found myself working in that very arcade. It was surreal to be behind the scenes after being a loyal customer for so long. My brother was jealous, and I am still undisputed air hockey champ, thank you very much.


Shortly after leaving Power Play, I spent a week in Chick Fil A training. Nice people, but my puny arms weren't strong enough to handle their cooking equipment, so I had to quit. I eventually moved on to sell computers, appliances, and electronics at Cowboy Maloney's Electric City. It proved to be the biggest mistake of my life, but that's another story.

I befriended many of the store managers, studied health and alternative medicine at GNC on my lunch breaks, bought dozens of Beanie Babies at Coach House Gifts, saw epic movies at the theater, turned down dates and job offers, and power-walked the mall for exercise more times than I could ever guess. My last two relationships could be blamed on this place, since it's where I met them, and I gained a few pounds when La Fiesta Brava debuted down the hall from my job. It was my first experience with authentic Mexican food.


On a December evening, I had to be carried out of the building by co-workers when I collapsed after standing on my feet a little too long. I credit this incident, which followed a decade of symptoms and mistreatment, in finally receiving a diagnosis of systemic disease, including Familial Periodic Paralysis. I returned to work, but it was a struggle. My life was being redefined by this rare form of muscular dystrophy, and I eventually resigned and moved away.

When I heard that my favorite old stomping ground was meeting its doom, I made my way to Gautier for one last visit. With my trusty rolling walker in tow, I snapped a few photos and reflected on days gone by. The mall and I being almost the same age, we sort of grew up together. And as life has always been quick to inform, change happens whether you like it or not.


Yes, we had quite a history together - some good, bad, and ugly. While its end is not a surprise thanks to the area's economic battles, it is bittersweet to see it erased and replaced. I guess you could say it's being redefined, and I certainly know a little something about that. To the friends I made, the jerks I met, the many things I learned, and the moments I won't forget at Singing River Mall...farewell.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hidden Treasure


I have been devastated for 8 years over thinking that I lost this medal in Hurricane Katrina. Even while sorting through things in storage for the past 2 weeks, it was on my mind. I tackled a box today that contained items that were salvaged after the storm, but hadn't been touched since then. I had no clue what I'd find, but didn't think any of it would be sentimental.

I had considered many times writing Skills USA (VICA) and asking if there was any possibility of a replacement, but I never found the nerve because I thought they would say no.


Representing Pascagoula, Mississippi in VICA State Competition was one of the most incredible moments of my life. At the age of sixteen, I finally felt like I was good at something. I had discovered my niche. I wanted to work in the field of Graphic Arts and Commercial Printing all my life, but my dream was cut short only a few months later thanks to Periodic Paralysis.


I was so shocked and thankful when I ran across it, I burst into hard, ugly sobs to the point that I thought I might collapse. I don't cry often but I'm exhausted from crying over finding this treasure. The medal means a lot to me and I regretted so much that it was gone. I can't believe it was in the bottom of a box all this time. It is badly tarnished and molded from flood water and sewage, but I hope I will be able to have it restored someday. When I do, I'm getting it professionally framed.


 Now I'm crying all over again. I'm going to go send a card to my Graphic & Print Instructor now.