Dani Stone

I Hear Laugh Tracks


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Kansas, We Need To Talk

kansas wheatfield

Kansas. You’re killing me.

As a lifelong resident I’ve played on your prairie land, attended your schools, hidden from your tornadoes and always maintained a sense of pride about hailing from the boxiest  state on the map. Over the years, I’ve cringed when the media called you, “backward,” “slow” “unhealthy” and that time you were named the worst city to live in for allergy sufferers. *reaches for another Kleenex* Even though I think that one is. . . *sniff*. . . totally true.

I’ve endured countless jokes about the Wizard of Oz connection and when I’ve traveled beyond these flat plains, I’ve laughed politely when people in other states reminded me, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, are ya?” Ahhh, that never gets old. *whisper* It totally does. Hell, I’ve even paid tribute to and capitalized on Kansas’ kitsch by making it a central theme in my short story, “No Place Like Home,” as well as, my novelette, “Next Left.” *ahem* Shameless plug.

But now, Kansas, you and I have a problem. Lately your lawmakers have been drinking the crazy Koolaid and once again, the world is taking notice. Last night I saw this tweet from The Daily Show:

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Doughnuts, Lesbians on the Disney Channel and Other Things That Make Me Smile

Disney Channel Shows Lesbian Parents on Good Luck Charlie

Since we have 7,000 cable channels, my children watch their fair share of television. Though I can’t stand  most of the shrill little characters, there are a few shows that I will admit to having a vested interest in over the years including iCarly, Victorious and Good Luck Charlie. The writing is clever and while there isn’t always a lesson woven into the storyline, these sitcoms are entertaining and contain less violence and flatulent humor than the animated crap they zone out to in the morning.

This week the Disney Channel made my heart happy when they briefly introduced a set of gay parents. When you watch the short clip, notice how everyone acted weird and awkward and the kids were confused and frightened and . . . wait. . . nope, that didn’t happen at all. Instead, everyone acted like it was no big deal because, come on, people, IT’S NO BIG DEAL.

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I Believe in WestJet Santa Claus

Christmas magic! It’s my favorite part of the holiday season. Stories about families in need being surprised with groceries and gifts, wedding proposals in front of Christmas trees (thanks Dougie), pets who find their way home on Christmas Eve, George Bailey finding Zuzu’s petals in his pocket after he thought he’d never see them again, the face of a child after receiving the, “I never thought I’d get this,” gift. The list of things that make me weepy this time of year goes on and on. Today, weepy turned downright gushy after watching the “Christmas Miracle” video from WestJet Airlines.

WestJet Surprise 2

Some people are calling it an “icky” PR stunt, and I hope Santa Claus puts coal in their jaded stockings for saying so. In case you’re not familiar with the story, Canadian airline, WestJet, recently created a surprise event where unsuspecting passengers on two flights were asked by Santa what they wanted for Christmas before boarding the plane. When the flight took off for its destination, WestJet elves dashed out to purchase the requested items. Then they were wrapped, tagged and waiting for passengers in the baggage claim area when they landed. *sniff* So good, right?

Raise your hand if you’re already crying? Note – If your hand is raised, grab your box of Kleenex, frosted sugar cookies and comfy PJs, then come to my house so we can watch a marathon of Christmas movies including Love Actually, The Holiday, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Family Stone because clearly, we are destined to be BFFs.

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Is My GPS a Silly Prankster or Trying to Kill Me?

A few years ago, Dougie gave me a GPS unit as an anniversary gift. Be jealous, ladies. At the time, I accepted it with a mix of appreciation and bemusement. Ohhh, sure, I tend to get lost sometimes. Okay, a lot. Okay, I’ve actually gotten lost so many times that it’s become a running joke with my family. But an anniversary gift? Come on, man, where’s the romance?

Me with cute and practical, Dougie

Me with cute and practical, Dougie

The king of the practical gifts had struck again. Then he said, “So you can always find your way back home to me,” and I melted. Of course he was also probably thinking, “and cook for me, because I only know how to reheat leftovers” but still, the sentiment was there.

Countless times I’ve pressed the “Go Home” button simply because I had a full bladder and needed the most direct route to my bathroom. The GPS became my friend. I named her Jill. But now, I’m convinced Jill was simply trying to gain my trust – so she could KILL ME!

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KWB – My Phobia – Little Wasp of Horrors

For October, the theme for Kansas Women Bloggers centered around phobias. As a member, I knew it was the perfect time to write a cathartic piece about my biggest spring/summertime fear – WASPS!

head-of-wasp-with-text

 

Little Wasp of Horrors

In the summer of 2009, my husband spent a stretch of time in prison. To clarify, he was not an inmate, he was a subcontractor installing the alarm system on a new prison being constructed in Dodge City, a town three hours away from our home. For two months I was a mostly single parent to our two children and three cats. Only a few of these creatures had complete control over their bowels and personal hygiene. It was a busy summer.

One day while calling to check on the kids and find out how I was doing, you know, having to open all the tough jar lids by myself and all, Doug noticed tension in my voice.

Doug: “What’s wrong, Babe?”

Continued. . . . . 


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You Can’t Try Out If You Don’t Go In – Why I Never Shook The Poms

My son recently auditioned for a singing part in Rock Band, the extracurricular middle school activity that begins tomorrow. He’s already in Jazz band, Choir and knows he’ll be seated prominently at the drum set when Rock Band begins but he wants it all. The Phil Collins of Rock Band, the drummer who anchors the performance while simultaneously belting out lyrics that will have the audience chanting, “Su-Su-Sussudio.” Can anyone tell me what that song was about? Almost 15 years later and it’s the earworm I still sing along to yet have no idea what I’m actually saying.

class of 89

Me rockin’ some high-waist jeans with my friend, Shelley E on graduation night.

At 12 years old I admire his pluck. Sure, it’s the same pluck that often has me pulling my hair out and asking myself what I did in my youth to deserve his pluck-ing nonsense but as my husband often says, I’d rather have a kid with character than one we have to pull out of his shell.

As parents we never know what kind of impact we’ll have on our children and to be honest, that scares the hell out of me. If they inherit my ability to face adversity with an inappropriate joke or their father’s knack for numbers – fantastic. However, if they learn to eat their feelings like their mother or see life from a pessimistic slant like my husband, then we could be creating a couple of hot messes right now.

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“Please Don’t Be Such a Creeper” – How My Son Says Good Morning

jakie crib cropThis morning I had to rouse my son early, well, early by summer vacation standards. I sat carefully on the edge of his bed so as not to startle him, then gently shook the lump that was snoring soundly under the blanket.

“Good morning, sweetheart,” I chirped. “We need to go shopping for Dadoo’s birthday and maybe pick up a few school supplies, remember?”

He groaned, flipped over on his back and within seconds, the snoring continued.

Instead of waking him up again right away, I sat in the filtered sunlight and looked at the face of my sleeping boy, though at 12 years old, he’s starting to look, and certainly smell like more of a manchild.

His bed sits in the same place his crib sat all those years ago. Instead of stuffed animals, a colorful mobile and small blue blanket, his headboard now contains Lego pieces, an MP3 player, Rick Riordan books and his Nintendo DS, which I suppose late at night is the modern equivalent of a colorful mobile. There might be one tattered stuffed animal hidden in the corner of his bed, just for old time’s sake. But you didn’t hear that from me.

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