Cross THAT Off the Bucket List

1 Comment

I’ve been playing musical instruments since 4th grade, starting when my mom brought me back a little silver fife from Williamsburg, Virginia. I played it for hours. My brother Sean, a first grader at the time, tried to play his but he couldn’t and said it was “stupid” and “girly” and then I had two fifes.

(He would later go on to be a fantastic trumpet player that could hit the highest of high F’s after not playing for a year, but gave that up for FOOTBALL…)

I played flute in 5th grade, then Mom then dusted off her clarinet and I started playing that in 7th. I couldn’t stop practicing, I loved it so much. I would tape myself on a cassette recorder (for the youngins, it was something we old-timers used to record music with) playing one part, then rewind and have a duet with myself.

Good times.

I played all through high school, then packed the clarinet away before leaving for my freshman year at Kent State where I was majoring in elementary education.

That year, I was MISERABLE without playing.  After 6 + years of playing my clarinet, I missed it, but what could I do? I was too shy and figured everyone at the music building were Juilliard caliber players.

Then it happened.

I heard the soundtrack to “The Little Mermaid” and decided right then and there to change my major to music. I went home, got the clarinet, and practiced in the dead of night at the music building so none of the music majors could hear me in case I sucked real bad.

I auditioned, made it into the school and got a scholarship to boot. I was so excited to change majors.

I met my best friend, Diane, the 2nd day of my sophomore year, the fall of 1991. I walked into the band room, and had NO clue where to sit. You have no idea how terrifying that is…everyone knew everyone, and I was freaking out that I would accidentally sit in the flute section, the HORROR.

Thankfully, Diane recognized me from our clarinet class the day before, and yelled: “Hey, come sit by me!” I loved her that moment, and 24 years later we are still best friends.

In college, I played clarinet, then became the Eb clarinet player (it’s like a piccolo clarinet) for the school. At least I played it for most of the pieces, unless a greedy clarinet grad student took my part because there was a great solo in it. BUT I’M NOT BITTER.

I’m still bitter. 

With all the opportunities,  I wasn’t satisfied with just playing clarinet, I needed to play everything I could get my hands on. Luckily I was indulged greatly by the music faculty, and during my years as a music major I played: piccolo, flute, alto flute, bass flute, oboe, Eb clarinet, Bb clarinet, Bass clarinet, contra-bass clarinet, alto, tenor, and baritone saxes, and accompanied soloists on the piano.  I was the person that played what no one else wanted to.

One thing I really wanted to do, though, was direct sing. I thought I had a decent voice, but was so unsure of it that I botched all of my singing auditions in high school. One time, I pretended to have a cold when auditioning for “My Fair Lady” and ended up getting the role of a MAN with 3 lines.  My singing was then limited to a few karaoke sessions at dive bars but only after a few wine coolers.


I eventually sang in church for a few years, but was always uncomfortable. I decided that one day, I would find the opportunity to sing with a band and belt out something before I die.

Then the community band director mentioned needing a vocalist for “Blue Moon.” In a rare moment of “OMG I WANT IT, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LEMME HAVE IT!” I asked if I could audition right there. He looked startled and had an “oh-crap-what-if-she-sucks-then-I’ll-have-to-figure-out-how-to-say-no” face, but he let me, and next thing I know, I’m in.

I made it!

So the concert was June 20th, and I got up on stage in a middle school auditorium and sang my heart out. I was not even a little bit nervous, and I’m not sure why. Before a clarinet recital in college I would be ready to hurl 3 seconds before going on stage then break into uncontrollable yawning.

Not this time. I had a lot of friends and family come to see me. The best parts were my husband waving to me like a goober from the very back of the room, my twins yelling: “That’s my mommy!”, and my own mommy beaming at me from a few rows from the front. (She told everyone afterwards: “This is my BABY!”)

Scratch that off the bucket list.

I need to get started on my other items, such as finishing my novel and making millions of dollars, meeting Jon Stewart, and getting my 5 year olds to wipe their butts consistently.

That last one is going to be a doozy!


Bird Mocking – You Know You’ve Done It…

1 Comment

There was one day last week (just one) where I could actually open my windows without dying of Ohio humidity induced sweat-death. It’s so nice to have fresh air. As I was standing in my kitchen, breathing in the scent of, well, air, I heard a bird whistle.

“Dee, doo.”

Without thinking, I whistled back: “Dee doo.”


Then a quieter “Dee, doo?”  (I swear I heard the question mark at the end.)

So I thought I would try to converse and gave back a “Dee, doo!” As in, “YES, I was whistling at you!”


Then a pissed off sounding: “Dee, doo, doo, dee, doo!”

Well! I never! I gave it right back to him, adding an extra “DOO!” at the end.

Next thing you know we’re engaged in a birdcry whistle battle fight. This went on for a good 5 minutes, getting more and more heated as the whistling went on.

The bird got closer and closer to the house as we were fighting, then suddenly it ended with Mr. Bird yelling a final authoritative: “DEE. DOO!”

I’m not sure what we were talking about, but either he was going to send his minions after me, or we’re going out for drinks later.

The strangest thing about all of this, was a day or two after my bird fight, I noticed a new resident on my front porch…I think it’s a sentry to keep me in line. Unfortunately, it won’t stick around to chit chat…probably because the kids named it “Dolly Bear”…so embarrassing.

photo 2photo 1

I Started a Contagion

Leave a comment

Mr. Who and I have killed hundreds, possibly thousands. Selfishly, gleefully, and more than once.  We have poisoned, maimed, and lured many of the unsuspecting to their deaths.

In our defense, they entered our home without permission, and the police are no help.  They do not care that hundreds of sugar ants have committed a home invasion.

In the winter. In  Ohio. What self-respecting ant comes out of their warm abodes in -10 degree weather? They deserve their little ant fates.

Mr. Who and I use the tried and true Terro Ant Killer for our little friends. They are attracted to the delicious Borax laden liquid and before they are slowly killed, they take it back to the colony to share it with their besties. It works well, and 2 days later our kitchen infestation is over.

It reminds me of the movies Outbreak, Quarantine, and Contagion. I can’t help but wonder what it was like in the colony when the ants come back with their infectious, little ant selves.  Here they are, the best of the best, sent out by their leaders to find some food. The starving colony anxiously awaits their return. Wife ants hold their baby ants close while waving goodbye to their heroic husband ants.

Then they return. But they are not the same. They are Dead Ants Walking.

One by one, they start acting strange, coughing a lot, sneezing uncontrollably, high fever, aches, chills, etc. Doctor ants are perplexed, and the ant hospitals are gaining more patients by the hour.  Other ants that touch those that came back from beyond are getting sick, too. Slowly they die, one by one.  The CoD (Center of Death) cannot pinpoint the origins, and soon they die, too.

They will never know that it was I, CarrieLou Who, like the rhesus monkey, the plague ravaged rat, and the guano infected banana eating piglet, who started the Contagion.

I’d like to say I’d never do it again, but I hate those freakin’ things.

Snow Bullying – Ohio Style


Ok, I’m from Ohio, so I can get away with some of the things I’m going to reveal about Ohioans.

We are skeered of snow. There, I said it.

So maybe not ALL Ohioans are afraid of the snow, (after all doing donuts and making snowmen are fun) but it certainly seems that way when the wet, white fluffies start coming down.

“What is this magical white, wet stuff that falls from the sky like manna?”

“I don’t know, but I think it’s EVIL!”


Same thing with rain, too.

I have lived in Ohio all my life, and it’s always the same. It snows or rains heavily and it’s like we have no idea what to do with ourselves. Granted, this year has seen a lot of snow, and I’m afraid Teen Who is going to have a summer break of exactly 1.5 days for all the school that has been cancelled, but it’s OHIO. WE HAVE SNOW!

Sometimes we have snow all WINTER!


Now, the irony is how we make fun of the southerners whose towns shut down for .08 inches of snow.  We snort, roll our eyes, and marvel at how people could be so afraid of white water. We brag about walking 20 miles uphill (one way, of course) in the snow naked and yodeling because we are so used to it.

We are lying to you.

There is no naked yodeling. At least not out in the open. (It’s actually very freeing…so I’ve heard, uh…from a friend).

Now, maybe I’m just jaded because I have the most amazing studded snow tires that ever was. Mr. Who totally hooked me up, and I am the Snow Amazon Queen. Fear me, worship me, bow down if you will, but I’m going wherever I want with these babies.

Just this morning as I’m taking Twin Whos to preschool, I am barreling down my 2 foot of snow-covered street like the Mad Max that I am. A poor schmuck in a Hummer was stuck in the intersection I needed to get to, so I put my minivan in reverse, backed into a driveway, and barreled my way down the opposite direction. WINNING!

I told Mr. Who I was going to start a charity called “Stud Masters” where I will go house to house and personally Bedazzle everyone’s tires so they, too, can be royalty on the roads. The roads won’t seem as scary when you’re driving on shark teeth.

But I digress.

My fellow Ohioans, be nice to our southern friends who don’t have the luxury of seeing snow all the time like we do.  They aren’t prepared for such weather.  I liken it to the rare weather phenomenon of Skittles falling from the sky. We wouldn’t know what to do with those, either.

Although, I would totally volunteer myself to collect all the pink ones.


The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World

Humanity Death Watch

The Future Is Funny


I Have No Filter!

Dear Crazy Kids,

(A note from Mom)

Greg Gotti

The writings of an American somebody


prattles on the pathos of parenting

Jenny Kanevsky


Pick Any Two

Because moms can do anything, but not everything.

Love Marriage Worms

and other absurdities

Storytime with John

Pull up and listen...I've got a funny one for ya...

From diapers and tutus to meetings and boardrooms

Trying to keep my sanity one blog post at a time

Perpetually Irritated

Barely Containing My Inner Indignance

Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops

Motherhood, Mental Health, Moving Your Body

Overthinking my teaching

The mathematics I encounter in classrooms

established 1975

stories to read while pooping

"I don't know so well what I think until I see what I say; then I have to say it again." -Flannery O'Connor

Journeys of the Fabulist

Adventures With Family. (Making it up as I go along.)

%d bloggers like this: