Dragons, snakes and shakes

Well, since it’s Valentine’s Day which is King of All Made Up holidays, I might as well start by sharing my tale of lost love.

Especially since it just happened five minutes ago.

No, P didn’t pack up and move to the ranch forever. He’d miss me and the way I can heat up a frozen pizza like no one else.

It’s almost as tragic though.

I just realized I dried one of my oldest and most favorite pair of jeans in the dryer. I’m going to be honest, it doesn’t look good for them. Mainly because they now appear at first sight to not be a whole lot bigger than a pair of Caroline’s jeans.

At some point I guess I’ll have to try them on and assess the damage and the muffin top ratio, but my self-esteem can’t take the hit right now.

I know it’s just a pair of jeans but they were my very first pair of 7s. It was the first time that I decided to give in to the madness of paying too much money for a pair of jeans and they have served me well. I’ve worn them at least once a week for the last FIVE years. Which means they basically ended up costing me less than a penny per wearing.

(Disclosure: I have no idea if that’s real math or if it adds up. Just go with it. I’m trying to prove a point.)

(I have no idea what that point is, but I think it has something to do with paying a little more for quality.)

In other stories of true love, I need to share that Gulley finally bought Will a bearded dragon for his birthday yesterday. His name is Hank.

 photo photo-17-6_zpscf404742.jpg

She texted me that picture earlier and asked, “Is it just me or do you think he’s smiling at me?” I think she’s smitten. Which is remarkable since I’ve never known Gulley to really care about a pet that much.

However, she has let me know that I’m basically the one responsible for the bearded dragon since I told Will about them in the first place. And I didn’t ever feel bad about that until I went over there yesterday with Caroline to meet Hank and realized having a bearded dragon as a pet also requires maintaining a cricket habitat because you have to feed Hank live crickets twice a day.

Which means you have to feed the crickets. And apparently you also have to sprinkle them with vitamin powder to keep Hank healthy.

Honestly, it might have been easier if she’d just decided to have a third baby. At least that doesn’t require insects living in your home. But I’ve assured her it will all be worth it once Hank sits on her shoulder every night while she watches T.V.

I also need to mention that the expected lifespan of a bearded dragon is ten years. Gulley said, “That means I’m going to have this situation until I’m fifty years old.” She and Hank are going to grow old together.

(Not that fifty is old. I didn’t mean to imply that. Especially since I’ll be there in nine years.)

(Now I feel kind of depressed.)

Anyway, I had big plans to write a post and make a list of the worst love songs ever in my opinion, but now it’s late and the only song I can think about that really gets on my nerves is Sergio Mendes “Never Gonna Let You Go”.

I can’t explain why. I just know I’ve never liked it.

And, while we’re discussing love songs, I was looking at various lyrics on the internet and did you know that REO Speedwagon’s song “Keep On Lovin’ You” says “You played dead, but you never bled. Instead you lay still in the grass, all coiled up and hissin'”?

How have I never known that’s what it said? I mean, dude, he calls her a snake. That is rough. REO Speedwagon isn’t messing around. And I have no idea why I just called you dude.

Anyway, I think the problem is that I’ve always been a sucker for a good love song, especially a power ballad. I’m looking at you, “Forever” by Kenny Loggins.

But I know there are some bad ones out there. However, all I can think of at the moment is “Shake Your Love” by Debbie Gibson. Which you have to admit is a terrible song and I’m not just saying that because I did a pom-pom dance to it in high school.

So you tell me. What are the love songs you don’t care for? Which ones really get on your nerves?

And, most importantly, will you be singing “Shake Your Love” in spite of yourself all day?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013


  1. Tara says

    I’m a huge fan of cost per use assessments and quality over quantity. I’ve carried the same two purses (both that cost over $300 each) for over 5 years. They both look brand new. My $300 purses cost less per year than most Target purses and look better too. :)

    I can’t think of any love songs that really get on my nerves except Lady Gaga’s “You & I”. Three guesses why that song irritates the life out of me and the first two don’t count.

    Hope you get something nice for Valentines Day…a pair of big sparkly emerald earrings! I think I’ll finally get some flowers. Haven’t gotten those in years! Last year I got cutting boards. Woo!

  2. says

    So sorry about your jeans! It’s an awful feeling to open your dryer & find a piece of clothing that was never intended to be dried. I’ll never forgot when my step-dad accidentally dried my Hypercolor shirt and it never changed colors again. It’s been over 20 years and I still don’t think I’m totally over it.

    As far as bad love songs, I think I’m going to have to go with “Every Step You Take” by The Police. “Every breath you take, Every move you make…….I’ll be watching you.”
    Hearing that song makes me feel like I should shut all my blinds and call for help from the ACTUAL police.

    • Maria says

      I so agree about this song – I thought it was “stalkerish” when it first came out and not in a good way…lol

  3. Amy in Italy says

    Pintrest is full of “unshrinking” pins! May be worth trying, so your jeans end up paying for themselves.

  4. says

    My jeans feel a little tight in the hind quarters these days. Maybe I inadvertently dried them? Yes, that’s it. It’s not the chocolate I indulged in recently, it’s the dryer.

  5. lindsey says

    This morning I had two choices: a) Watch another episode of Real Housewives (of whatever city) or b) Finish your book … I chose B. This says a lot about how awesome you are.

  6. Jody says

    I *knew* I should have told you about my experience with a (collared, not bearded but almost the same) lizard my son had, named Quincy. I know all about the cricket habitat. That was kept in the garage – where we had to keep them warm in the winter – but it would stink.

    The bad part though? Quincy got some sort of infection and could not open his mouth to eat. This was 20 years ago, so finding a vet that treats reptiles is probably easier now. The best we could do was to call the Houston Zoo for advice.

    Twice a day – I had to take that lizard, pry open his mouth, and put a live cricket in.

    Quincy was not long for this world, I’m afraid.

    • Sue S says

      On this day we celebrate love, it was so sweet to read your story. If that is not the perfect picture of the sacrificial love of a mother, I don’t know what is. That you would even try to pry open a reptile’s mouth or pick up a cricket is admirable! Bless! No wonder Quincy’s days were numbered!

    • traci says

      I was just going to post this. It did work for a sweater. Hopefully it will do the jeans. It can’t hurt to try.

  7. Vicky says

    This is old school – but worst love songs.
    Mandy along with pretty much anything Barry Manilow ever sang
    Muskrat Love along with pretty much anything Captain & Tenille ever sang
    Billy Don’t Be a Hero (I actually sang this song on a call-in to a radio station and they played the blip over and over and over and over and over……well you get the picture. They had a list of top 100 worst songs and it wasn’t there so I had to educate them……just had to).

    There are more but those are the only ones I can think of right now.

  8. Sally says

    Tops on my list:

    “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack

    It grates on my nerves.

  9. Lavonda says

    I don’t know if it even comes close to qualifying as the worst love song ever, but I have some bad skating rink memories to “I Just Called To Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder. Just seeing the title makes me hear the song, which takes me right back to Skate Inn East.
    No thank you.

    My sister had a bearded dragon named Steve. It was all fun and games for 4 years til one day Steve got out of his tank thingie. All of a sudden he wasn’t a friendly reptile but a giant dragon loose in her house. (I think she called to tell me he was missing while standing on her kitchen table.) Once her husband and son got home and found Steve, it wasn’t long til he was relocated to a friendly lizard lady in the country who had a long standing love for bearded dragons and cricket habitats.

  10. says

    I can’t think about Debbie Gibson without thinking of Tiffany. I was never a fan of “I Think We’re Alone Now” or “Could’ve Been”

  11. Sallie Baker says

    Yes, just saw on Pinterest the other day. . . . how to ” unshrink ” things.
    Certainly worth a try……

  12. Sue S says

    I laughed so hard when you said it would be easier for Gully to have a third baby, because at least it would not require live insects in her home !
    My most despised “love song” is really played at Christmas – which makes it especially annoying!! I don’t even know the name, because I hurriedly turn the radio off! But it starts by saying, “Last Christmas I gave you my heart, the vey next day you gave it away.” Hate it!
    If a Chritmas song can’t be about Jesus, it should at least be fun and cheerful!

  13. Jill says

    I so totally did a pom routine to Shake Your Love in high school as well. Shudder.
    The one I hate is Celine Dion – I’m Everything I Am Because You Love Me…probably not the title, but come ON? That much dependency on a man?

  14. says

    I will see your “Forever” and raise you a “Heart to Heart”, which IMO comes out on top due to backing vocals by Michael McDonald. Michael McDonald always makes a song better. Of course Kenny wrote HtH about his parents divorce, so maybe it isn’t as Valentines-friendly as the title suggests.

    I might have owned Kenny Loggins Greatest Hits on cassette at one time, and I might have worn out that cassette.

  15. Debra D. says

    I totally agree with BethA…Havin’ My Baby. Seriously? That’s the ONLY way she could convince him that she loves him? Sheesh. Talk about needing a grand gesture.

  16. Liz says

    So tell me… do you always hang dry your jeans? I just started doing this about 2 months ago because my weight went up during the holidays, and I’m nursing those jeans for all they’re worth until I can get back to “normal”. It really does make a difference.

    • Maria says

      I do…and I didn’t start doing it for the “size” factor so much as the “cotton” factor…cotton always, always has longevity issues in a dryer

  17. says

    Dang! Not the good jeans! Hate that!

    I’m still trying to take the plunge of buying an expensive pair. I have this fantasy that they will miraculously make me look smokin hot!

  18. Juliette says

    I am feeling very sorry for Gully right now. I too finally succembed to buying 2 spotted leopard geckos for child #2 for Xmas which have become to this point the most long term expensive present ever!!! Crickets, mealworms, powder, moisture spray( maybe i’ll spray it on me and see if it helps me!!) and don’t forget light bulbs, heating pads, and cage decorations. Oh and by the way i don’t live in the tropical weather that you do and the power will go out with a snow storm so add that freaking fear of them freezing to death is so not fun. Add to the fact that he’s already “over it” and the fact that he’s 16 so he’ll only be in my house a few more years. Not one of my brighter moves.

  19. says

    I’ve noticed that heavy metal is glaringly absent from the bad love song list so far . . . so here’s one that will make you go “eeeeww” . . .
    “Pour some sugar on me, in the name of love” by Def Leppard.
    BAD. Very bad.

  20. Peggy Freyholtz says

    nothing to do with Valentine’s Day–but I got your book yesterday and read the whole thing–crying in some places and laughing out loud, at home, alone, in others. Laughing til the tears ran. I am buying it for all my daughters and daughter-in-law–and my two sisters. It has been a lot of years since I had babies (I’m 63) but things haven’t changed all that much–except I had no option of an epidural. Loved-loved-loved your book.

  21. Jessica says

    I wanna know what love is by Foreigner. Ugh. You wanna know why you don’t know what love is Foreigner? Cause you sound like king whiny in that song!

    • Maria says

      Try having this play every day in the lunchroom when I was in high school…I have some serious hate for Foreigner courtesy of the lunch room now

  22. says

    I have to say that “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.” I realize that I will probably get stoned (as in the rock throwing way not the illegal drug way) for saying that, but the whole “Dirty Dancing” movie reminded me of a dirty old man (Swayze) seducing a little girl (thus the name Baby). I realize this is a bad love song and a bad romantic movie, but they go hand in hand.

  23. says

    When I was in middle school we had a Valentine’s Dance and the only slow song anyone thought to bring for our record player was “Muskrat Love” by the Captain and Tennille. And since it was the only slow song and the boys would only dance to slow songs, it was played over and over and over and over… Not that the girls minded dancing to slow songs with the boys. Of course we all looked like two zombies rocking back and forth on straight legs with straight arms, touching each other at the neck and at the waist. But I have never been able to listen to the song again since that night.

  24. says

    “Islands in the Stream.” Dolly and Kenny. NO thank you.

    I got my first pair of Seven jeans when I was pregnant with my daughter who is now seven. It was an aspirational purchase. I bought them used on eBay because I wanted a button fly and couldn’t find them anywhere. Also, I think they were “only” $62. For a used pair of jeans. Anyway, I always dry them and they are starting to seem a little thread bare in the bottom region. Putting them in the drier is the only way to avoid the crispy jean though, isn’t it? I think I’d prefer a few minutes of a touch too snug in order not to have crispy jean.

  25. Robin says

    No, no, no. Shake Your Love is a fantastic song. I recall taking the very, very large stack of memo pads that my parents had next to the telephone, pretending I was Debbie Gibson and signing her name on each and every single one of them. Needless to say, all of our phone messages had a poorly written Debbie Gibson on the back of them for years.

  26. Alyson says

    OK, so everyone will be quite upset with me for listing these two songs but I can’t stand Let’s Make Love and Breathe by Faith Hill. Yuck! But to everyone………


  27. Teresa says

    Islands In The Stream….kill me now
    To All The Girls I”ve Loved Before….blech
    When We Make Love…double blech

    OOOh someone just brought Lamme’s candy to work…gotta go!!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  28. Susan B says

    “If Loving You is Wrong”…I HATE cheating songs…They’re not about love, they are about lust and broken hearts. :( Just sayin’…

  29. says

    OK, I always thought the line was ‘you played dead, but you’d never be led.,…(unintelligible murmurings…)” And I LOVED that song. It puzzles me that I was not more curious about the lyrics…
    And I have to agree with Patty about Islands in the Stream. Ugh.

  30. Holly says

    “I’ve Got Tears In My Ears From Lying On My Back In My Bed While I Cry Over You” – artist unknown. :)

    My current fave, and I realize you are not asking, is “That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas” – Lyle Lovett

    Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  31. Debbie says

    At the risk of getting “stoned” (as in rock throwing) …..
    Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you”.
    No matter where I am, when it is played I have to leave the room. Can’t stand it.

  32. Barb says

    “Lovin’ You” by Minnie Riperton is the absolute worst song I have ever heard, in any genre, not just love songs. I am shuddering just thinking about it. Please, I must hear a Barney song to take it out of my head!

    • AngAK says

      I will call that, and raise you one “I know this much is true” by Spandau Ballet or Tears for Fears—take your pick. both so very annoying and ear worms and “what the heck are they talking about?”

      • Barb says

        Ummmm, I don’t know. They are definately missing that distinct la, la, la, la, lah that I find so annoying. Come to think of it, Barney sang a love song. So now, I will take my tinnitus over all of them.

  33. says

    Normally I would be able to think of a song title at the drop of a hat, but my brain is not working at all this morning. I blame it on the fact that I sat down last night to read a chapter or two of your book and before I knew it, it was 2:30. My lack of brain functioning, however, is a small price to pay because I love-love-love the book. :)

  34. Honey says

    I already love Hank and I won’t even meet him until tomorrow! I had better love him because we are sharing the same room occasionally! So, if the crickets are chirping and keeping me up…..I may be on YOUR doorstep!! Also I think it is ok to pay whatever you want for jeans. They are definitely one of those items that “you get what you pay for”! Nena told me once that when Roy found out how much I paid for my Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, that he should divorce me. Then, when I put them on…she recanted and said they were worth every penny. So there you have it! Love you!!!

  35. Brandi says

    Just finished your book, loved it ow passing it on to friends!
    I cant stand “I just called to Say I love You”, it always sends me into a depression of sorts, since I would rather have it be some type of happy holiday !

  36. says

    I think I might have that pom pom dance on video…just sayin. It’s not a bribe or a threat or anything. Just POTENTIAL blackmail. I’ll be reviewing the evidence tonight while everyone else is enjoying this made up holiday that makes me want to smack people.
    Sorry…I’m a bit testy today.

  37. marjie says

    Thanks for putting “Shake Your Love” lyrics in my head. Let me repay you with “Lady in Red”.
    Just shoot me now.

  38. Courtney says

    I finished your book last night and I absolutely loved it! I hope you decide to write another one at some point – I laughed out loud and also cried – I’m pretty sure my husband thought I had lost it….

    I love your blog and wish you all the success with your book!

  39. Stephanie Zapata says

    “Every breath you take” by The Police….
    Someone needs a restraining order…
    I always used to like Valentine’s Day (in my head I say it Valentime’s Day because that’s how my 2nd graders always say it) but now it’s just kind of ehhh…
    On an up note though it’s one of the few days of the year I can eat as many chocolate covered strawberries as I’d like and not feel guilty about it.
    Oh, and everything is my favorite color-RED!

  40. Carol says

    The first one that comes to mind is “Last Christmas” as originally sung by Wham! and EVERYONE ELSE in the universe that felt necessary to make a recording of it. My kids love it….. Yuck!

  41. says

    This is too easy. There’s a plethora from which to choose! But since I heard this one after I finished reading your blog this morning, I had to include it:: “A Little Bit More” by Dr. Hook.
    There are many levels of wrong to this song, the first being that he’s not even a real doctor so why use the title? Overcompensate much?
    And ….. speaking of overcompensating, here are the first lines to the song:

    “When your body’s had enough of me
    And I’m laying flat out on the floor
    When you think I’ve loved you all I can
    I’m gonna love you a little bit more”

    Ummm …… really?!!
    Doncha think?

    The other song that popped almost instantly into my mind is “Muskrat Love” by Captain and Tennille.
    There’s really nothing to add after the title, except …… Seriously?

    Happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoy the love.

  42. says

    Oh, I hope your jeans pull through! I always hang mine to dry. I know the feeling of despair over finding something in the dryer that should not have been in there. “Nooooooo!”

    Hank is actually kind of cute.

  43. Kimberly/OKC says

    “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I Got Love in my Tummy” = Bad
    Saw some folks who mentioned pinterest “unshrinking” advice…okay, but what I do is rewash the jeans in cold, yank out of the washer, get a friend, she takes one side of the waist and you take the other and start pulling all the way down…HARD! Then pull at the hem on the inside and outside seams if you are worried about the length. I’m telling you, this works!

  44. says

    Bearded dragon story: My daughter is in 6th grade and they have a few class animals with one of them being a bearded dragon. His name is “Spike” and he is big. Apparently he has been having some medical issues in which Lisa, my daughter, has taken upon herself to diagnose. One of his ailments has been constipation. Who knew? Well Lisa did. We were leaving church and she saw her teacher across the parking lot,rolled down her window and yelled out “Mr. Hamann, Spike isn’t constipated anymore.” Well, OK then. I wanted to know exactly when is a bearded dragon considered constipated and what did she do to remedy the situation?

    • Jess from Jersey says

      A bearded dragon will become constipated if his temperatures are not high enough. It’s not constipation as much as improper digestion. Frequently mistaken for what is really impaction… Which can be very serious and happens when a dragon eats food that is too by or more frequently when he is housed on improper substrate like sand or crushed walnut shells.

      You can help the dragon do his business by putting him in a warm bath up to his shoulders, and then rubbing his belly from the chest to the vent (anus)… Gently but firmly. The heat and the massage should encourage a movement. If not within a few hours, then a vet should be in order.


  45. Marian says

    I found this tip on Pinterest, after my mom shrunk my black turtleneck while trying to be helpful: pour a teaspoon of conditioner into lukewarm water in a sink. Soak the garment in the sink, making sure it is worked in well. Lay the garment out on a towel and roll the towel up to absorb most of the water. Unroll it and then tug in the direction you need length. The conditioner helps relax the fibers that were shrunk. I tried this on my tn and it really worked! Good luck!

  46. Anna says

    ‘I’m never gonna dance again, guilty feet ain’t got no rhythm ‘, oh, George Michael , no no no.

  47. Carol S in Florida says

    Everything I do by Bryan Adams. I hate it so much I get angry when I hear it. It even ruined the Robin Hood movie for me.

  48. Tam says

    I don’t know who recorded it, but the song “Afternoon Delight” was pretty annoying. I don’t ever need to hear “I Got You, Babe” again, either. Why is it so liberating to name the songs you hate?!? Too funny!

  49. says

    This all sounds familiar to me. We had two geckos when my boys were growing up. You can actually just go to the pet store once a week to get your crickets if the store is nearby. I tried keeping them at home once and let me tell ya…crickets stink.

    The song that makes me crazy is Faith Hill’s “love the way you love me”. Truly, it makes me gag!

    Nothing sadder than accidentally drying your jeans or a favorite sweater. They are never the same after.

  50. Megan says

    “Forever” is on the 80s station on I heart radio right now!!!! I forgot how awesome this song is but am having strange smell memories of the high school gym…

  51. Jess from Jersey says

    I know you’re an insanely famous author now, and I’m a potential internet crazy, but…

    I have a bearded dragon. I’m a self-educated semi-expert.

    If you want to have Gulley shoot me an email, I can fill her in on all things Beardie.. things the pet store probably didn’t tell her. Pet stores are notorious for giving bad information on these gorgeous lizards. I wouldn’t want to read about Hank not doing well or.. worse. So even though I’m a potential internet crazy, I’m pleading for the chance to make sure Gulley knows what she needs to know :)

    If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to me, PLEASE send her to http://www.bearded-dragon.org. There is a forum full of Beardie owners and even a vet who can help out.

  52. Kelly says

    Wash the jeans again and hang them, stretching while wet. You’re hilarious. Can’t waitfor mybook. I read Erma as a child too. Have all her books.

  53. says

    Are you trying to tell me that you’re not supposed to put jeans in the dryer??? Mine are ALWAYS in the dryer….fortunately I buy what I like to think of as disposable jeans from Forever 21…they are nice and stretchy. I would like a pair of sevens…but am never at the size I think is appropriate to spend the money on….perhaps this will be my year.

    And, I guess it turns out Gulley WILL be walking around with a dragon on her shoulder!! Please post a picture when that happens!

  54. Nicole says

    Well God bless Gulley! I couldn’t even handle ONE Beta fish. Once, while cleaning the tank, he actually slipped down the garbage disposal. I did save him with a pair of tongs, however.

    Endless Love and anything from Celine Dion

    Good luck with the jeans. I WISH I could buy all cotton jeans these days – thank goodness for the stretchy jeans.

    Peace out~

  55. Angelica says

    What is this “don’t dry your jeans” rule that you speak of?? Did I miss a laundry lesson somewhere down the path to adulthood? I’m gonna be really irritated if i’ve been wasting all these years doing actual laundry when there was a way out. I bet y’ll cant even imagine how many times i’ve burned myself on those pesky metal snaps.