The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

It’s 5 o’clock in the morning.  I’ve been awake since 3, but forced myself to stay in bed until now.  I slept a little fitfully.  My Uncookie Swap is today and I have some last-minute things to do, finishing touches, in order to get ready.  I suppose I’m excited.  I’m almost, but not quite as, excited as I get on Christmas morning.  You know as a kid when you’re certain you’ve heard Santa’s sleigh bells and reindeer hooves pawing on the rooftop above your bedroom?  You rush, with no concept of time, into your parents’ bedroom asking if you can go downstairs and  open gifts yet and they answer sleepily because it’s something like 2 a.m, “Not yet.  Ge back to bed.  We’ll tell you when it’s time.”  Promise not to tell, but I’m 48 years old and I still get excited enough to do that kind of thing.   Since I’m married with children of my own, instead of rushing into my parents’ room which would require a car ride, all I have to do is nudge Pat and whisper loudly with my morning breath, “Is it time to wake up the kids and open gifts yet?”  I’ve been doing that for 25 years.  Last year I circumvented Pat and ran straight down the hall into the kids’ rooms when I woke up.  It must have been pretty early because I was in that morning stupor where you can’t decide if you’re really doing something or if you’re dreaming.  “Mom, please…”  is what they both growled  sleepily at me,” Not yet.  Go back to bed.  We’ll tell you when it’s time.”  I’m pretty sure I wasn’t dreaming, but the kids don’t remember it happening, so I can’t be sure.  Plus, we opened gifts before going to bed on Christmas Eve last year so I have no idea why this memory is so vivid in my  mind’s eye, but it is.  Maybe we left our stockings for Christmas morning?  I hate it that I can’t remember details.  I need to start writing things down.

Three things on my To Do list involve a quick stop at the grocery store.  The store opens at 7 so I can’t do that yet.  I also need to vacuum the kitchen and family room, empty the dish washer and throw a load of towels in the washing machine.  All of those chores involve creating a fair amount of noise which is not a prudent thing to do.  I could go jump on the treadmill.  That wouldn’t disturb anybody, but it does involve putting on running shoes.  Frankly, it’s cold and  I just can’t  bring myself to slip my tootsies out of the warm, sherpa-lined slippers I’m currently  sporting.

Oh my gosh!  I just glanced at the clock at the top of my computer screen and it’s already 6:10 a.m.  My goodness, did it really take me an hour and ten minutes to write two paragraphs?  I suppose not.  I suppose  I got lost in reminiscing about Christmases past.  Ten days from today Jared will be done with exams and starting a two-week holiday.  Christian will be home from college in a week and it will be nearly a month before he returns to Greenville.  My emotions are mixed.  You see on one hand, I simply cannot wait!  Yet on the other, I can hardly believe another year has slipped through my fingers.  Slow down, I say to passing time.  Slow down!   Charles Dickens’ ghost of Christmas Yet to Come did not pay me a visit this morning so I have no way of forecasting what the future will bring.  I can only hope that as the years and Christmases come and go they  will continue to leave me with the precious gift of memories that put a smile on this face of mine.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a…  Good night.  Sleep tight.


Baby, It’s Cold Outside…

Good Morning.  I heard that song Baby It’s Cold Outside on the radio this morning.  I thought to myself, “yes it is and it feels like snow,” so I added snow to the blog.  It’s December.  I grew up in Connecticut.  I live in Atlanta (a.k.a Hotlanta) so it’s a safe bet we’re not going to have a White Christmas.  Snow on the blog makes me feel happy and warm and all full of Yuletide (whatever the heck that is, but it sounds good).  Plus snow on the blog is better than snow on the driveway and sidewalk.  It’s not going to impede my Christmas shopping the way the real stuff does.  Another change:  faithful followers will notice that, since it’s over…it’s finally over, I removed  the “To the People at Good Morning America and ABC News:  Make Antoinette Datoc Your New 21st Century Advice Guru” Poll.  94 of you voted, 93 of whom agreed I should be the GMA advice guru.  Only one vote to the contrary.  Not bad.  I was going to write a really funny piece via the results of this poll.  You see I’d plan to assume Robin Roberts was the person who had the nerve to NOT agree that I should be the next advice guru.  I was going to procreate my joke about Robin Roberts being threatened by me, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  However, as funny and entertaining as that would have been, I changed my mind.  See, as I was deleting the poll from the home page I discovered that the person who voted “OTHER” also left a comment which, thankfully was filtered into the spam folder.  I never noticed it before today.  So while that other post would have been really funny and entertaining, I decided to take a different route today.  Please indulge me, just this once, if I get a little preachy sounding.

Ahem.  Here’s what I discovered.  Like I said, 94 of you voted.  I’d like to thank the 93 of you who agreed that I should indeed be the next GMA Advice Guru.  To the one of you who voted “OTHER,” and left the comment, ” f*ck you,” please read my post dated September 23, 2010 titled If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Don’t Say Anything At All* (or IYCSSN Rule) .  You can access it via the archives. Furthermore, you need to get some manners and I don’t care how old you are, but if I was your mother, I’d wash out your mouth with soap.  I’m glad you visit and read the blog.  I believe in freedom of speech so please feel free to leave comments.  You don’t need to agree with me.  It would make the world a better place, but you don’t even need to follow the IYCSSN or Golden Rules.  However, let me give you a piece of advice.   DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT LEAVE PROFANE COMMENTS EVER AGAIN.  Oh, and if you do leave a profanity-containing comment, please have the courage to leave your name.  Let me tell you something, I am the administrator of this website. That’s right, Smarty Pants.  You think you’re clever.  You think you can say whatever you want and hide behind the veil of anonymity, but guess what.  When you leave a comment on my blog at, you leave an electronic trail.  Are you beginning to put two and two together?  That’s right.  I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!  If you ever try to use profanity on my blog again (and I say “try” because I filter profanity into a spam, or as I like to call it, naughty folder) , I will indeed track you down and wash out your mouth with soap.  Okay so maybe I won’t wash out your mouth with soap.  I mean I could probably get arrested for assault if I did that.  I will however, hunt you down and give you a face to face tongue-lashing that you will never forget.  I can be pretty brutal with the words.  Oh and remember this, while the rest of my readers don’t know who you are,  I DO.  I’m guessing, and actually savoring the thought that you feel pretty stupid.  And by the way, if you don’t feel stupid, you should.  Anyway, if you do, don’t.  I know. I know.  I sound like a lunatic.  We all make thoughtless mistakes, yours truly included.  You don’t even have to apologize.  I forgive you.  Just don’t do it again.  If it helps, think soap, not literally, but figuratively which from me is worse.  I promise.

Till tomorrow… Good night.  Sleep tight.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It’s the Monday before Thanksgiving.  From today through early January is my most favorite time of the year.  I don’t want to get all sappy on you, but really, I can’t help myself.  Shhhh.  Listen, can’t you hear Johnny Mathis singing?  Come on.  Humor me.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  There’ll be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” *

I know what you’re thinking, “Hey! Wait a second, Andy Williams made that song famous, not Johnny Mathis.”  Yep it’s true.  In fact, I have a very clear memory of the first time I heard that song, and while I can’t say for sure, it was more than likely good old Andy William who was singing.   Just the same, in my book, there’s nobody who can sing that tune like Johnny Mathis, with his cheerful one-two-three-one-two-three cadence that compels me to leap up and waltz around the house.  Anyway, the first time I heard it, I was just a little girl dozing off in the back seat of my parents’ car.  We were driving home after our traditional Thanksgiving feast at my Aunt Mary’s house.  It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year was playing softly on the radio.  It was a new song and I remember straining to hear the lyrics.  Even though I was just a little girl, I remember thinking how much I agreed with the man on the radio.  Right then and there, with my belly full of turkey and the doors of the advent calendar waiting to be opened over the coming weeks, I knew without a doubt, I was smack in the middle of the most wonderful time of the year.

Ever since that night, there ‘s a certain spirit that sweeps over me during the time between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.  Hearing  It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, especially the way Johnny Mathis sings it (and I can’t explain why except for the dancing thing), ignites a childlike spirit of excitement and anticipation in my heart like nothing else can!  It’s the Monday before Thanksgiving 2010 and Johnny Mathis is crooning once again.  I am dancing because tomorrow is the start of the school holiday!  Jared will be dismissed early!  Christian will be home from college!  By dinner tomorrow my heart will be glowing!  When loved ones are near, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!  I am so excited!  Now you’ll have to excuse me.  I’m headed to the grocery store to beat the crowds.  I have four glorious days with my family and I’m not going to waste a single minute of it standing in line behind some annoying person who refuses to bag his own groceries.  You know the type.

Till tomorrow…   Good night.   Sleep tight.

* Eddie Pola and George Wyle wrote It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year in 1963.  It was recorded and released in the same year by Andy Williams (Columbia Records) as a track for his first Christmas album, The Andy Williams Christmas Album. However, my favorite version is the one recorded and released by Johnny Mathis on his 1993 CD, The Christmas Music of Johnny Mathis (Columbia Records).  When I am on Dancing with the Stars, I plan to perform my waltz routine to this song.



The Proof is in the Pudding

“The morning after Brandy’s dismissal from “Dancing With the Stars,” the 31-year-old singer and actress said she was shocked that lower-scoring Bristol Palin trumped her and will head to the finals.” ( Brandy, Brandy, Brandy.  Didn’t your mother ever tell you if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all? (IYCSSN Rule)

Brandy has made comment after comment like this about her opponents all season long and yet, she has the audacity to wonder why people didn’t vote for her?  Let me tell you, Brandy’s ousting has nothing to do with racism or some Tea Party political conspiracy.  If Dancing With the Stars was purely and simply a dance competition, Brandy would be in the finals, no question about it.  However as we all know, Dancing with the Stars is much more than a dance competition.  We, the television viewers of the United States of America, are far less concerned with dance ability than we are with character.  We get to know the competitors by observing the way they interact with each other as well as the way they receive both positive and negative feedback from the judges.  We unconsciously take in subtle expressions and body language, which for most of us means the most important performances are often not the ones that take place on the dance floor.  The fact is, viewers perceive Brandy as an arrogant, condescending prima donna.  Period.  There does not appear to be a single convivial bone in her body, or an ounce of humility pulsing through her veins, and her attempts at graciousness come off as superficial.  From early in the season she conveyed an air of superiority, peering down her nose at the other competitors as if to say, “I am the clear frontrunner,” before the nitty-gritty dancing ever started.  And another thing, Maksim’s display of poor sportsmanship along with his unwillingness to accept responsibility for choreography missteps last week didn’t win their partnership any favors with the voters either.  Of course that is just the assessment of this loyal DWTS fan, but I must not be alone or Brandy and Maksim still would be vying for the mirror disco-ball trophy.

Speaking of loyal Dancing With the Stars fans, did you hear about the guy in Wisconsin who was so distraught over last night’s results that he shot his television?  It really happened.  I swear.  He was so upset that Brandy was booted and Bristol wasn’t, that he grabbed his shotgun and aimed squarely at his telly and fired away.  He apparently barricaded himself in his home threatening suicide because of the injustice Brandy suffered, citing that Bristol only received more viewer votes because she is the daughter of a former vice-presidential candidate.  He ended up landing in a standoff with a SWAT team until this morning.  I am not kidding.  This really happened.  Now I admit that I fantasize about being on the show and all, but this guy takes fanaticism to a whole other level, either that or he’s a Democrat.

Finally, here’s what I have to say about “teen activist,” Bristol Palin.  I am not going to dispute that Bristol (bless her heart) has been the weakest dancer in the pool for sometime now.  Mercy me, her judges’ scores have been the lowest in the pack since Carole Brady got the ax.  How then, you wonder, does she manage to dodge the bullet week after week?  I’ll tell you.  What she lacks in dance she makes up for in character.  Period.   One more thing, being Sarah Palin’s daughter may have gotten Bristol on the show, but her mass appeal has nothing to do with her mother and everything to do with the fact that she is just another ordinary person like the rest of us.  I’m not saying, “ I told you so,” but listen up Mr. ABC Television Executive, regular people are good for ratings.  That’s right.  Check it out.  The proof is in the pudding.  Go Bristol.  Go Bristol.  It’s ya’ birthday.  Go Bristol.  There’s hope for me yet.

Till tomorrow…  Good night.  Sleep tight.

My Parachute Is Blue. What Color Is Yours?

Tuesday, November 4 was the last time I discussed the status of my Good Morning America Advice Guru application.  If you are a faithful Just Another Ordinary Day follower you will recall that based on GMA’s Robin Robert’s and George Stephanopoulos’ on-air update, I calculated Monday, November 8 to be the date by which I should have heard whether or not I was still in the running.  Obviously, Monday, November 8 came and went without the hint of a phone call attempt by ABC (sigh).  I know you’re all tiptoeing around thinking to yourselves, “Ooooh, we don’t want to come right out and ask, but it looks like no news really was bad news after all.”  Yep, I was thinking the very same thing for three days.  I was walking around feeling sorry for myself, wondering if it was time to go ahead and break down; you know, start reading What Color Is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles and map out my next career move.  Don’t pity me yet, because on Friday, November 12 during Good Morning America, Robin and George (here we go again) announced  that ABC executives hope to have completed the process of telephoning all candidates advancing to the next round over the next three weeks.  WHAT!  So, we’re back to no news is good news!  Hallelujah!  I’ve still got a foot in this race!  I AM SO EXCITED!

Three weeks from last Friday brings us to Friday, December 4.  That seems so far away.  I CANNOT STAND THIS WAITING!  I take that back.  I’ll wait.  Last Tuesday when I thought for sure I was out of it, I would have traded my disappointment over not being contacted by GMA in a heartbeat for the chance to be waiting again, if only for the sheer hope of it.  The problem with waiting, though, is that I’m not hopeful all the time.  I know, it’s hard to believe, but I am having doubts.  There.  I said it.  I’m not always the “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” that everyone thinks I am.  The longer this whole search process goes, the worse it gets. Take for example, the little miniature versions of Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos that sit on each of my shoulders and plant thoughts in my head.  Mini Robin sits pessimistically on my left shoulder and says things like, “1 in 15000.  HA!  You’re never going to get this job.  Drop it and move on.  You’re a housewife for Pete’s sake.  Stick with laundry.”  Itty-bitty George on the other hand (or rather shoulder) is the optimist.  From his perch on my right he whispers sweetly in my ear, “You have just as much of a chance as everyone else and I think you’re wonderful!  Have faith!  Keep hoping!”

Now,  I don’t know why Robin manifests as the pessimist and George as the optimist, but I have a theory.   I can only speculate, but I feel certain that mini Robin’s attempts to hold my thoughts captive emanate from her own insecurities.  I can’t blame her for feeling threatened by the prospect of my joining the GMA team.  I mean, in her shoes, who wouldn’t be?   She sees her matriarchal position in jeopardy once I’m onboard, and is trying to discourage me to the point of withdrawing my application all together.  Then there’s itty-bitty George, who is my morale booster, “Mr. Positive.”  Of course, his agenda for keeping me motivated enough to stay in the competition is as transparent as mini Robin’s is for knocking me out.  I’m guessing old George got a gander of my photo, you know, the miracle photo that I submitted with my application.  If I do say so myself, I look pretty good in that photo and itty-bitty George is probably figuring something like, “Well, if I’m going to stick in my two cents, I might as well lobby for some early morning eye-candy for me and Sam (Champion).”

Anyway, there is this incessant struggle between optimism and pessimism going on in my head about this whole advice guru thing.  One minute I see the glass half-full and the next I see it half-empty.  IT’S DRIVING ME CRAZY!  The bottom line is, I really want the job.  There, I admit it, and if I don’t get it, I’m going to want another one like it.   So, to prepare for the worst case scenario and help pass the time while I wait for my phone call from the ABC-Powers-That-Be, I decided to do some soul-searching.  Actually, soul-searching was a little daunting so instead  I took a free on-line quiz based on the book What Color Is Your Parachute by this guy, Richard Bolles.  Now, I don’t go in much for that pop-culture-psycho-babble stuff that first started sprouting up in the 70’s, but Dick might actually be onto something here.  You are never going to believe the results rendered by my taking this quiz.  This is absolutely true.  I promise I am not kidding.  Following are the honest to goodness results of my quiz answers.

  • “BLUE – To Love and Be Loved Your heart-felt communication style creates peace and harmony in the workplace. You know how to bring out the best in others. As a Blue personality you are gifted with tremendous people skills.
  • You’re a heart felt communicator who has a strong need to make a difference in the lives of other people. This strength is immediately noticeable in the way you make connections and bring out the best in those you encounter. People usually feel relaxed and comfortable in your presence. 

You love to build self-esteem and make others feel good about who they are. You can easily motivate and inspire people to make changes in their lives and reach their potential. This natural talent makes you excel a counselor, teacher, social worker and journalist, but the list is far greater in the book.”  (

OH MY GOSH!  Helloooooo.  I was born to be the Good Morning America Advice Guru and let me tell you something Mr. ABC Television Executive, if you can’t see it, you must be blind.  I AM A NATURAL BORN ADVICE GIVER.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the bookstore to buy myself the latest edition of What Color Is Your Parachute. You can leave a message if you call while I’m gone.

Till tomorrow… Good night.  Sleep tight.