Friday, November 21, 2008

Sibling UNRivalry - What's Your Favorite Sibling Story?

I am the oldest by three years. My younger sister and I have never had a fairy tale sisterly relationship, but there was a moment the spring of my sophomore year in college, that she and I could have played the leading role in any Sisterhood movie!

A decade before the AFLAC Duck was a household quack, we were AFLAC kids. One of the largest employers in Columbus, Georgia, our mother worked for the company. Every year during Employee Appreciation Week, AFLAC would close down Great Adventure’s SIX FLAGS Over Georgia in Atlanta and all the employees and their families took over the theme park for an entire day.

Relatively still a small town, in Columbus, neither of us could ever really hide… Like everyone who grows up in a small town, there’s never really any anonymity… We were always one another’s “sister” or “Angie’s daughter”… In the basically black and white town our features stood out; each of us with our wild, long, curly locks and caramel skin and hauntingly similar laughing voices, although younger, she towers above my 5’4 frame by several inches and has the personality to match her stature!

That Saturday in the park was just as jubilant as every year, special picnic lunches and festivities. While running through the park getting on every nauseating ride, we dragged her boyfriend with us in line to jump onto the Looping Starship. There is a ride like this in every carnival in the world – usually in the form of a Viking Ship that swings back and forth until it spins all the way around! Although the lines were long, they were not the customary hour to two hour waits of a usual park day. The lines were also manageable as monitors playing great episodes of Tom and Jerry and Animaniacs made the time fly by.

While my sister and her boyfriend watched cartoons something else caught my eye from the back of the line… a group of teenage boys were pushing past waiting families making their way to the front. You could hear fathers and some kids fussing and starting to yell, but they continued to snake their way through the line laughing and horse-playing. The boy in the front caught my glare as he neared where we stood.

We had been waiting about half an hour and I stood behind my sister and her boyfriend in line. She was standing facing me with her boyfriend facing her in between us, gazing up at the monitors when the boys reached us in the line.

I don’t know what got into me, I should have just stepped aside like everyone else was doing but I turned around to face them. The boy leading just smiled looking down at me and gave me a “move out of the way” nod as I smiled in my annoyingly sweet way back at him and obnoxiously clamped my hands onto the railings on either side of me and said,


He laughed mocking me and moved to grab my arm.

I felt the ground move under my feet as I was swiped aside and slammed into my sister’s boyfriend in front of me!

As I struggled to gain my footing I turned and realized that the force hadn’t come from in front of me by the laughing boy bully, but from behind me!

My sister had crossed over her six foot tall, all muscle – cartoon mesmerized man who was completely oblivious to what was going on. She had managed to climb over both of us in a fraction of a second and grabbed onto the boy’s threatening hand before he had the chance to touch me!

I couldn’t help but burst into a fit of giggles as I heard her scream shaking her head in defiance with one hand up in the air gesturing, and the other pushing the kid back in the center of his chest,


My giggles persisted as she pushed back her boyfriend who was still dazed and confused determined to handle the situation on her own!

She continued,

“Don’t you DARE think of touching her! Get your ASS back to the end of the line!”

The crowd around us was lit as the operators of the line finally sprung into action and ejected the boys from the line to a round of applause!

And I continued to giggle…!

And boy was she on FIRE!

I turned back to the line still laughing while she fussed at me for my boldness and her boyfriend for being so lost in Tom and Jerry that he was about to let his two girls be beaten up by a gang of bullies!

She turned to me still aggravated,

“You only did that crap knowing I’d be here to cover your ass!”

It hadn’t really occurred to me that she would jump to defend my stupidity, but there was this great bubble of pride and comfort that grew inside of me knowing that she would have taken on a whole group of boys to protect me!

We laughed and made fun of one another while finishing the ride and everyone in the line congratulated us.

When we finally stumbled off, we were greeted by our mother who had already heard countless stories from her coworkers of how her “daughters had stood up for one another to a group of bullies! How PROUD she must be of us!”

My sister rolled her eyes and yelled, “Next time mom, I’ll let her get beat up!”

Ok… so we’re not quite the Sisterhood that you see in the movies, but who needs that kind of sisterly love when you’ve got a little sister who will stand up for you when you have a BIG mouth?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


PRIZE: TWO PAIRS of myDesign Interchangeable Charms from!
To view all entries go to:



Thank you all for your entries and the laughter you shared with us over the weekend! I want to also send a HUGE hug to our contest RUNNER UP!

Please join me in congratulating both winners of my contest - they will each receive TWO PAIR of myDesign Interchangeable Charms from!

============================================== - "Never Go Diving Into Swim Trunks Blindly!"

On my honeymoon, we were at a hotel with a pool. Only new hubby and I were in the pool area, so I decided to get frisky with him. I swam under water to him. The chlorine was bad, so I only peeked a moment while swimming to find him, and then played a little feely-feely with him.

I stood up only to find a very surprised stranger who had my hand in his trunks. He had gotten in while I was underwater. - ""I CAN'T FEEL MY FACE!" - This story SUCKS!"(WARNING: Adult Content!)

Okay, well... lets see. This is graphic but no foul language! Beware!!!

1998, and I'm in college - and lets say - inexperienced. My boyfriend at the time and I were dating not too terribly long, but long enough where we were intimate. Well, one night he wanted a BJ... and I really had a bad gag reflex. So, he suggested that we go to the porn store, and get something to numb my throat. At this time in my life, I was pretty much good with trying anything once - so off we went to the porn store. We purchase this jar of stuff called "Gag reflex cream" and go back to the dorm.

There were no instructions at all on this - only said "apply to the back of your throat". So me, being stupid, take a nice big ol' wad of the crap and swallow it down. About a minute into the "Act" my entire face has now seized up and gone numb. My tongue wagging out of my mouth like a dog panting for water. I couldn't retract it. I'm hysterical. I can't feel my face. I can't move my tongue. Drool has now started to slither out of my mouth like a stampede of snails on the run from a predator. My boyfriend starts to freak out, which only upsets me more.

If you've never had the pleasure of experiencing complete face, tongue, and throat numbness, then you will never understand the trauma of trying desperately NOT to choke to death on your own spit while crying so hard you start to dry heave.

The only thing to do would be go to the hospital. But no, I couldn't possibly. What would I say? I over dosed on porn store gag cream so I could give my boyfriend head? Could you imagine this being told my Marine father and overly possessive mother? Surely, we couldn't go to the hospital. I feared for my life - and my face at this point.

I'm sobbing and my boyfriend is freaking out and yelling - which only makes me more upset. He's yelling, I'm crying, and heaving, which has now started involuntary farting. The more upset he got, the more upset I became - until the inevitable moment I dreaded.

I puked in his lap. Directly on Mr. Woo-Woo.

Thankfully, my face, tongue, and throat FINALLY recovered after a few hours - but the shame and humility of that night will live on forever.

I didn't see much of my former flame after that experience. And I'm pretty sure he's scarred for life from ever having oral again.

That, my friends, is my most embarrassing moment to date.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Laughter is the Best Medicine - A Vision

As the days become increasingly shorter and the air's bite gets sharper, and the day's endless list of tasks keeps getting longer - the opportunity for my daily walks with Lance, my 13 year old yellow lab, gets shorter and shorter. But I was determined yesterday to get away from work and the computer before the darkness settled in and when he saw me grab the leash off the hook on the wall, the "smile" on his face was priceless!

It was about 4:30PM EST and the afternoon sky was glowing a faint gray; not yet dark but the light of the sun had definitely been extinguished. Lance, who ordinarily gallops outside with no particular destination other than opposite where he's suppose to be in our yard, stayed close to my heel in anticipation of being strapped to his leash for our walk. As I fumbled with the clasp and his collar, my hands felt that momentary tingling of cold that makes you shake loose the sleeve of your shirt to cover your hands quickly from that shocking effect of the first realization that next time, you should remember to grab the gloves on your way out!

We avoided the traditional walk through the field and the park. While in bed the night before, I was shocked to hear the howling of coyotes pretty close to the development and the creepiness of it made me nervous so late in the day... I steered him up the main hill of our townhouse community towards the street parallel to ours. As we trotted up the hill I pulled on his leash dragging him off the curb while he tried to sniff every falling leaf and I fumbled with the wrapper of a snack-sized Snickers that I stole from the basket next to the front door left over from Halloween; fumbling of course, as I tried to open the wrapper with my hands, half hidden in my Old Navy sweatshirt!

As we turned the curb onto the next street, I let Lance win the tug-of-war as he pulled me onto the curb with him and I giggled as I caught the now freed tiny Snickers bite, before dropping it. I let him drag me along as I tried to dig my hands back into the upper warmth of my sleeves and I finally looked up to appreciate the lingering colorful leaves on their branches.

As we walked along I noticed a neighbor inside her lit garage packing the back of her SUV while her large black dog with a bright blue collar sat directly behind the truck looking out at us. I instinctively clutched Lance's leash tighter and looked down at him. When he was younger he would excitedly bolt after anything that moved! With age he wags his tail when he sees people, completely ignores small dogs as if he couldn't be bothered with them, but he still gets excited when he comes across large dogs...

He looked up, wagged his tail, pulled forward a little and then went back to sniffing the ground around him again. I stood there a little perplexed as I looked back towards the open garage door. The woman waved as I greeted her with a "hi!" and Lance and I continued walking as we reached the driveway where she stood directly in front of us. I turned towards her again and stood there in absolute SHOCK and audibly gasped when she grabbed the large dog by his bright blue collar and flung him over her shoulder and threw him into the back of the truck!

I must have blinked what seemed like a hundred times in the instant it took for her to throw the dog over her head and into the truck.

"Oh my god!" I screamed!

Awestricken and almost paralyzed by what I had witnessed, I walked forward towards her and in the first fraction of a second of thought, wondered quite frankly, if the Bionic Woman had been living up on the hill from me all this time and I had just witnessed her secret powers and in the second fraction of a second a strange haunting wave of fear took over me as I hastened my pace up the freakishly long driveway, worried about the dog that was just thrown like a rag doll into the back of the truck!

And then I froze.

It was as if I was having an out of body experience... seeing myself in a wide panoramic sweep of the neighborhood as I stood in the middle of this driveway with my left hand limp at my side, my dog standing there looking at me startled and my other hand clutching my chest in sheer shock and surprise.

And then it happened...

The laughter!

...the kind of laughter that starts deep inside you - in a place whose very existence because of the seriousness of everyday life, I sometimes question.

I laughed and laughed. I turned and started walking away as my laughter echoed through the neighborhood louder and louder! The tears started covering my face and my cheeks began to burn as I gasped for air in between my bursts of giggles! I bent down trying to gather my composure as Lance licked my face of my tears and the laughter continued!

When was the last time you laughed until you cried and just kept laughing?! The last time you laughed without covering your mouth or stifling the giggles - just opened your mouth and laughed OUT LOUD not worrying about anyone around you and what they must be thinking!

Lance and I started walking again as I continued my laughing and grabbed my phone to call my mom at work to tell her about the Bionic Woman who lives in my neighborhood!

If my laughter had begun to subside before calling her to tell her my story, the recollection of it renewed my hysteria! It took me forever to get out the details of my "vision" between my impolite laughter!

Finally, as the now infectious DLV (Dorana Laughter Virus) had taken its course, she asked,

"So, was it a stuffed animal?"

Her question renewed my fit of giggles as I manage to get out,




I spent the rest of the walk calling my friends and sharing my newly discovered diagnoses spreading the Dorana Laugh Virus for the next several hours, wondering if it would still be so funny when I could tell my story to my boyfriend hours later.

Three hours later as I drove home from running the evening errands, I pulled my car over to the side of the road unable to see through my tears of laughter, telling my story to my best friend, I gasped in hysterics,


Monday, November 3, 2008

Time Management - Can You Achieve Work/Life Balance?

I sat in a convention a couple of years ago and watched a gray haired man with thin rimmed glasses, a bright yellow Hawaiian shirt with red flowers and a bright green blazer nearing his eighties jump in front of the room and claim that every morning by 10AM, that he had done more in his business and made his family smile more than most of us in the room would accomplish by 6PM. I remember sitting there mesmerized by his energy and drive, and determination. He had reached success and fortune a million times over and had no sights of letting up on his life's work and unlike some other rich and successful men and women I have met, was still full of life and genuinely happy.

My grandmother calls me sometimes during the day knowing that I'll be immersed in my work and say, "There are 24 hours in a day, Dori. Eight for sleeping, eight for working, eight for friends and family..."

Bob reiterated those sentiments at that convention when he started talking about the key to his success. It wasn't a genius marketing idea or the best computer software program, it wasn't flashy brochures or business cards or the best graphic designs... it was his daily schedule.

Every night before he went to bed he would detail the following day first broken down into six hour increments and then to three, then to two, then to one hour and then into fifteen minute blocks. His jolly face looked up at us in the room so quiet that you could hear a pin drop! And then it lit up unexpectedly with his jolly laughter as he tauntingly said "first my dears, start with the SIX HOUR BLOCKS!"

We all giggled and listened as he explained how managing a detailed schedule and following it created a life of balance and expectations for both his business and his family. When he was working, he was working and wasn't feeling guilty about not being with his family and when he was with his family, he wasn't worried about work. There was a time for everything and everything had it's time.

He then detailed every hour for us to try to explain how much time we truly have each day. He described his first 6 hour block of time beginning at 6AM with his morning routine, how he first takes time for himself every morning - for his body and mind.

How often we go through the day neglecting how important the health of our body and minds are!

His hour on the treadmill while he listened to his favorite classical melodies or read a favorite book; the luxurious shower and the joy he took making his children breakfast in the morning and hearing about the schedule of their lives each morning!

The next four hours until lunch were impeccably detailed: calls, meetings, reports, call and wish the wife a good morning and wonderful day! Imagine scheduling daily calls to tell someone you love them! What could possibly be a better use of your time!?

I remember sitting there as he painted a ticking clock portrait of his day and how each task brought him closer to that final "tock" at 6PM where he shifted from work to home and family and friends!


If that wasn't impressive enough, there was a detailed weekly account of chores and shopping, family activities, dates with friends and extended family... Every aspect of his life, business and family was given importance.

He had a lifetime of joy because he gave everything and everyone the importance of his time. His wife and children expected him to be working when he was at work and home when he was at home.

In building his business of course there were disappointments and not everything always went as planned but there WAS A PLAN!

I know that in my perfect fantasy world, there is this magical place where my business and personal life somehow create a wonderful balance.

Could we all find this mystical place and that infectious joy I witnessed in that man by merely planning out the details of each of our days? Planning the time for our walks to the park with our favorite four-legged friend, making lunch dates with our children once a week at their schools, a date with our spouse where we dress up in our "first date finest" and anticipate that long kiss at the end of the night - all while climbing that business ladder of success??

I hope you take out that day planner - seriously I know everyone has one that's collecting dust somewhere - and
"first my dears, start with the SIX HOUR BLOCKS!"