Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

Thank you Lin-Manuel Miranda

Dear Mr. Miranda

I feel compelled to write you and congratulate you on your successful first run performing Hamilton on Broadway. (note I said first.) Strangely, I first became a fan of you for being the guy who coordinated the best wedding toast ever. I’ve kept that video on my YouTube favorites as a pick-me-up for when I have a bad day. It took a ridiculously long time for me to make the connection that you were the Hamilton guy. I’m not going to confess how long except to say that it could be used as evidence that Superman could indeed only put on glasses to go unnoticed in Metropolis.

I did get around to listening to Hamilton and was impressed with the breadth of differing musical styles as well as the fusion of those styles within one song in this one musical. I could write a thesis geeking out over the music theory/composition styles of it all but I’m sure at some point a music major will do that. Besides technical brilliance, Hamilton is catchy as hell. Thank you for writing it.

I feel compelled to thank you for so many other things.

In a time when politicians are wanting to channel education budgets to focus on STEM, you showed the value in studying history and the arts. Thank you.

In a time when the media and the general public demand perfection from our politicians, you showed that our politicians have always been flawed humans and are still capable of greatness. Thank you.

In a time of toxic masculinity, you have been a man unashamed to laugh, to cry, to gush, and to love. You have publicly admitted seeing a therapist. You weren’t afraid to love a woman who is smarter than you and had the potential to make more money than you. Thank you.

In a time of anti-intellectualism, you showed the value in thinking and exploring nuance. You also showed the value in being an avid reader who chooses an 800-page biography for vacation reading. You also showed kids that you can love reading dense prose and devouring pop culture like Saved by the Bell at the same time. THANK YOU.

Even though you wrote the entire book of Hamilton, you have acknowledged the value in seeking help and advice from others. You have shown gratitude for every single person in the Hamilton company right down to the ushers in the theater. This kindness is rare. Thank you.

Thank you for being you. Enjoy these moments and have a great vacation filled with a bunch of naps. You have to be exhausted.



It’s happened again. A guy got an assault rifle, drove a bunch of miles, and killed a bunch of people This time it was over 50 people in a gay bar in Orlando. Another 50 or so people were injured.

I’m sorry for the victims. I can’t even imagine. I can’t imagine a bunch of gay people in their safe space, dancing and chilling out having their brief utopia ruined by the actions of an angry man. I can’t imagine having to tip toe through bodies to try to find your friend, only to discover that friend is now a bloody body on the floor. I really can’t imagine.

As much as I would like everybody to love each other, I know that is a big ask. But I think it isn’t too much to ask for each person to realize that no matter how much you hate somebody, you are not justified in killing them. Other people aren’t put on this earth to make you comfortable. They are put here to live their own lives. Their lives, for the most part, are really none of your business. You can choose to be friends or choose not.

I’m not sure what the answer is really. Right now, people on the terror watch list can buy guns. RIght now, certain research on gun violence is banned. This research might have the ability to answer some of these questions that keep getting asked every time something like this happens.

But I don’t know. I am just one person looking from a distance. People are messy. Society is messy. This is just a big mess and I’m sorry.

Long live the purple reign

Be so good they can’t ignore you– Steve Martin

I grew up on Prince. Purple Rain came out in 1984. I was 11. You can do the math. Prince’s music was always with me. It will always be with me but the maker of this music is gone.

Prince was a myriad of contradictions. He was profoundly religious and extremely sexual. He was intensely private yet wrote some of the most soul baring songs ever to air. He had his own distinctive voice and never let anyone tell him who to be yet was one of the most popular artists of all time. He sang falsetto yet had a deep baritone speaking voice. He wore lace and high heels. He was black and white. His music was R and B, and blues but his guitar solos made a metalhead weep. His sexuality was diametrically opposed to the age of AIDS where sexuality was demonized. His lyrics shared the crap out of Tipper Gore. His songs were timeless and yet they will always be associated with the 80s.

Many people have died this year but this one is the one that reminds me that I am no longer young. This was my childhood icon and he is gone. My musical Santa Claus has been exposed and the magic is over. But what a gloriously fun magical time it was.

So Long Sweet Love

When you’re Kelli Marks, you close your bakery by having a party. I’m in this picture. (can you see me?) It was a lot of fun Kelli. Thanks for the sweet memories.

Jessica Jones

I binged watched Jessica Jones, a series that is being shown on Netflix.

IT is based on a comic book called Alias and is part of the Marvel universe of characters. I have not read the books before and had little information about the story before watching. I was drawn to it because the idea of a female private eye dealing with trauma from the past sounds very reminiscent of Veronica Mars. Veronica Mars is my spirit animal. So I was down with all of it.

This show took you to a very dark place and didn’t really let up. It is a place where if you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you and even those who win will still carry the scars of battle. Krysten Ritter plays the traumatized and barely coping private sleuth. She is an orphan whose parents died in a car accident when she was young. She was adopted by a stage Mom whose daughter was the star of a popular children’s show. Somehow she got magical abilities and is super strong. She gets caught up with a mind controlling man named Killgrave who is obsessed with her. HE used his mind control to keep her captive and have her do his bidding. She is scarred by the things she did and the things she saw. The overall arch is Jessica coming to terms and getting justice for what Killgrave did to her with Killgrave making efforts to get her back.

The show does a great job at recreating the atmosphere of noir that permeated old timey crime dramas. No one is innocent and everyone gets burned a little. Krysten Ritter does a great job playing someone with baggage. For me, it was quite a departure from the Gia Goodman character that she played on Veronica Mars.

There are quite a few overlaps with Veronica Mars. A woman is raped and is coming to terms with it but this is a Veronica without a Keith. There is no father figure and Jessica is much more alone in the world. Her support system appears to be her adopted sister Trish. Jessica drinks and is surly. She knows it is not her fault but she is much more haunted by the events than Veronica. Then again, Veronica is haunted because she doesn’t remember what happened to her while Jessica can’t seem to forget any single second. Jessica manages to drink a shitload of whiskey.

Killgrave is an interesting character in the sense that he has this mind control that is definitely a super villan quality that exists only in fiction. He does, however, seem to be an exaggeration of the emotionally abusive narcissist who manipulates people to get what he wants and who is more interested in possession and control rather than love. That is the creepy. He is so close to someone real that he makes you stop and think. He is well dressed and charming but a complete psychopath. He forces a kid to sit in the closet and pee there because the kid was making too much noise. IN his own mind, he is a victim— just like every husband who has beaten his wife. I’ve heard it before.

The overall arch is about Jessica empowering herself and getting out from underneath from Killgrave’s thumb. She manages to do that. She also manages to prevent him from hurting anybody else but there are casualties in the war. It wouldn’t be noir without it. It’s a show that sits with you in the back of your head while you think about it. It forces you to think about the world you live in as well as the world of the show. For all its dark fantasy, it reminds you of the darkness in your own world. And that is the power behind the show.

A Holidailies post

Good night, Sweet Love

My friend Kelli owns a bakery. She made it from scratch just like her cakes. She took the empty space with black and white tile and turned it into a wood floor with pastel walls space filled with cookies, macarons, and specialty cakes. She named her creation Sweet Love.

More fall flavors from Sweet Love

More fall flavors from Sweet Love

Kelli made lots of tasty treats including these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes that she called Peanut Butter Yum that were crack. Seriously, Crack y’all. Kelli was also the baker known to make architectural cakes. She even made George Takei an Enterprise birthday cake. She always won two awards for making the best sweet potato pie. The girl had skills.

New fall flavors in mini cupcake form

New fall flavors in mini cupcake form

Today she announced that Sweet Love would be closing in early January. She cited the rising cost of butter and eggs, among other things. Running a business is hard. People who don’t have their own business aren’t aware of all the behind the scenes cost such as supplies, taxes, regulatory fees, and licenses. Depending on the business, these costs add up quickly.


Dick Clark said music is the soundtrack of our lives but I think food is the glue that sustains us. It nourishes our soul and gives us an instant bonding experience. Everybody has to eat and everybody has an opinion on what they think taste good. The conversations had over a good meal are the conversations that are remembered. Many rituals such as weddings and Christmas use food as an integral part. Kelli, through her treats, was a part of all of it.

How cute is this

How cute is this

2011 024

Thanks Kelli for being the pretty and tasty part of our lives. You really did have one of the cutest little shops in Little Rock and I wish you the best.

Procrastination as survey responding

What time is it?? 4:11 (yes I should be working. Hence the title)

At this moment in time, is there anything worrying you, that no-one else knows about?? I’m always worried about failure. I think people would be surprised at how obsessed I am about it.

Have you ever cried in front of the last person you texted?? I don’t text.

What was the last thing you watched on YouTube? I don’t remember but my educated guess would be Adele’s Hello video.

Have you ever voluntarily read the Bible?? I’ve read parts of it but not the entire thing.

Have you ever thought that your life was so bad you wanted to give up?? Yes. Then I went to therapy. There’s no shame in asking for help.

How old are you?? Old enough to not tell you.

When do you start school? I started kindergarten when I was 5.

Do thunder & storms scare you? Usually no, unless there is a lot of wind because tornadoes are scary.

How often would you say you take naps?? Not often enough.

How many times in your life have you held a baby? err…. not very often.

Do you like country music?? On the whole NO! There are certain songs that are exceptions but in general HELL NO.

What were you doing at 7:45 this morning?? I was groggy. NOt awake but not asleep.

When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought??

My hair is a hot mess.

Do you look decent when you wake up?? Decent for what?

Do you like to cuddle?

Were you single on your last birthday?? YES

Do you have any candles in your room??

How long does it take you in the shower? As long as it takes the hot water tank to run out.

Relationship between you and the last person you texted? I don’t text but the last text I got was from my local running store. They are having a Christmas sale.

When was the last time you felt unbearably guilty? I don’t feel like writing about it. Probably because I still feel unbearably guilty.

Are you currently looking forward to anything?? Freedom. I am looking forward to freedom.

What are two foods you think only taste good with whipped cream?? If you have to cover it up with whipped cream, it doesn’t taste good.

If you eat it, what is your favorite way to eat beef?? I like a good burger.

What foods go good with radishes?? Blech. Radishes taste like dirt.

Are you insecure about your height? What made you think this way?? No. With the exception of being angsty about being taller than most of the boys in 6th grade, I have generally been happy with my height. Being tall is fun.

Did your last significant other have a huge temper? No but he did hold grudges.

Do you usually close the door with your feet or with your hands?? Hands.

What age do you think girls should lose their virginity? There is no should. A person should lose their virginity when they are physically and emotionally ready but ultimately that decision is up to the individual and I am not going to shame them regardless.

Are you a fussy eater?? Still am.

Do you enjoy visiting your grandparents??I have one remaining living grandparent and she is my favorite person.

Is your hair hard to manage? Usually no but lately yes. I blame that god awful hair coloring foam for drying my hair out.

Have you ever shopped online?? yes.

Do you prefer gold or silver? Silver

What about diamonds or pearls?? Neither really.

Have you ever had surgery?? Yes

Have you ever eaten at Chik-fil-a?? Yes

Do you spray tan?? No.

How many hours of sleep would you say you got last night?? About 8. Adequate sleep is a priority in my life.

How many aunts and uncles do you have?. Currently living, I have 3.

Would you say your life is hard? I think I make it harder for myself. IN some aspects, my life is very hard. In others, I am extremely privileged.

Are your fingernails, and toenails painted if so, what color? no

Would you ever think about doing porn?? HELL NAW.

Would you ever cheat on someone if they cheated on you? No. Just dump the person.

Be honest. Ever gotten yourself off?? Who hasn’t? wait.That’s not how it sounds.

What did your last text message you received on your cell say??

What is something you need to go shopping for? I need bananas.

Little Rock (half marathon) love

One of my goals on my bucketlist is to complete a marathon. While I have yet to do that, I have completed multiple half marathons. The Little Rock half marathon was my first half marathon and it is still one of my favorites for many reasons. It is easy enough to finish but tough enough (with hills y’all) to make it a challenge. Every year it is a different adventure.

It is located in the state where I grew up so I always see new friends and old friends from high school and college. I always see someone I know that I haven’t seen in a helluva long time at this race. It is quite a reunion.

Another reason is that the route itself is quite a beautiful tour of Little Rock and North Little Rock. First, the race will take you across the Main street bridge and into the Argenta district of North Little Rock.

Look at beautiful Argenta. Isn’t it pretty? Hopefully it won’t be raining. Thanks photolitherland for this pic.

Then You run parallel to the Arkansas River for miles for mile 2. Then you loop around and come back over the Main street Bridge.

Then you get to go by the Clinton Presidential Library and Heifer International. Landmarks y’all.

And even more. Then you go by McArthur Park (but no cakes in the rain. Even the year that it was raining. No damn cakes). You cross an overpass and end up in the SOMA district of Little Rock, where you pass South On Main, the Esse Purse Museum and the Oxford American magazine office. You then loop around to pass the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion and then the infamous (but beautiful) Little Rock Central High School. Seriously Central’s building is gorgeous.

It’s a fun race with people along the route playing music in their front yards and tons of volunteers providing entertainment along the route. There is usually a marching band playing music in North Little Rock. There are churches giving out water. The whole city comes out to support the runners. It really is a good time.

Also, the medals for these races are some of the biggest in the nation. Come on down, y’all.

Here’s a link to the registration page because I’m nice like that.

Snacks at the most wonderful time of the year

The holiday season is about seeing your friends and family. And goofy Christmas specials on TV. And God and spirituality. (Baby Jesus if you’re Christian) And parties AND FOOD!

Oh the snacks. Party food is the best food. Some people get all ga ga over the Turkey and dressing. I, on the other hand, get all happy over the bites served at the parties beforehand. I like food that you can eat with your fingers while talking smack with your friends. Portable and tasty is a good combination.

Here are some of my favorites. In order to preserve what little girlish figure (HAHAHAH) I still have, I only eat these things during the Holiday Season. I am deliberately leaving out the veggie tray.

Buffalo Chicken Dip (I use the Frank’s Red Hot version when I make it)

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 (8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup FRANK’S RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or FRANK’S RedHot® Buffalo Wings Sauce
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese or your favorite shredded cheese


PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

COMBINE all ingredients and spoon into shallow 1-quart baking dish.

BAKE 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired. Serve with crackers and/or vegetables.

Please don’t sue me Frank’s. I make a complete jackass out of myself eating this stuff. It’s a less messy version of hot wings. I am not going to say how much of this I eat but I am going to say that i am grateful that I run. I have also used this as a way to get rid of leftover turkey.

Those white chocolate covered Oreos. Fortunately, the Oreo people only see these things during the Holiday season. Everybody is happy.

Those little brisket sandwiches served on a roll with hot mustard aka Brisket slider. Some random caterer makes these and many of the holiday parties in Arkansas serve them. I have found them at the bar association annual meeting in the summer. But yeah slide down my throat into my belly.

Sweet Love holiday sugar cookies. Sugar cookies shaped like Santa? HO HO HO

Back in the day, I would say Charcuterie plates was a holiday only but some of the local restaurants have started to serve some awesome appetizer trays.

HELLO? What the hell Adele?

I love Adele. That woman can sing. In a time of rampant autotune, this woman can stand there and belt out a ballad like few others. The few others that get listed as competition are people like Barbara, Whitney, Aretha. Names that are legends. Only time will tell whether or not Adele will herself become one of these iconic singers. I loved her previous albums and was happy to see that she released new stuff.


That “Hello” video is hella crazy. It’s up there with Every Breath You Take. Also, it doesn’t make sense in the days of smart phones. And why does Adele have a flip phone in her video?

Let’s go through these magic lyrics shall we….

(I am using “He” because there is a man in the video)

Hello, it’s me

Okay with caller ID. Homeboy knows exactly who you are. Everybody smart phone has one.

I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over everything

Wait. you just said “it’s me” to someone you haven’t seen in all these years. You expect him to just up and know who you are? Really now. REAALLY… Even with caller ID… That’s a little too informal for someone …

They say that time’s supposed to heal ya
But I ain’t done much healing

Obviously. This is okay. Sometimes wounds, especially psychological ones are tricky like that.

Hello, can you hear me?
I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be

He’s not talking. He don’t want to talk to you. Or you got voicemail. Now he knows what state you are in… Unless you are lying.

When we were younger and free
I’ve forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet

Yeah.. We all romanticize our youth

There’s such a difference between us
And a million miles

Hello from the other side
I must’ve called a thousand times

A thousand times. A THOUSAND TIMES. Surely you jest. A thousand times without someone answering is stalking Adele. Or you got the wrong number. Or the phone ain’t even ringing except in your head. Oh now I know why you got a flip phone in your video. its’ a burner because homeboy ain’t answering the phone.

To tell you I’m sorry
For everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never
Seem to be home

It’s 2015. everybody has caller ID. Most people have cell phones so it don’t have to be home. He don’t won’t to talk to you. NADA Zip. Not gonna happen.

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry
For breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly
Doesn’t tear you apart anymore

Yes you have tried. Good on you Adele. And it is clear he don’t want to talk to you. You’re sorry. I am sure he gets it.

Hello, how are you?
It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry
I hope that you’re well
Did you ever make it out of that town
Where nothing ever happened?

Yes. This whole trying to talk to him is about you. Not him. It’s about relieving your sense of guilt. It has nothing to do with him.

I am pretty sure after 1000 phone calls that this man is not going to tell you what town he lives in. He don’t want you to know where he lives. He don’t want to talk to you.

It’s no secret
That the both of us
Are running out of time

OH girl.

So hello from the other side (other side)
I must’ve called a thousand times (thousand times)
To tell you I’m sorry
For everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never
Seem to be home

Other side of what? I’m confused. Other side of mental health. It’s not about him being home. It’s about him not answering the phone. He don’t want to talk to you.

Hello from the outside (outside)
At least I can say that I’ve tried (I’ve tried)
To tell you I’m sorry
For breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly
Doesn’t tear you apart anymore

Ooooohh, anymore
Ooooohh, anymore
Ooooohh, anymore

Hello from the other side (other side)
I must’ve called a thousand times (thousand times)
To tell you I’m sorry
For everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never
Seem to be home

Hello from the outside (outside)
At least I can say that I’ve tried (I’ve tried)
To tell you I’m sorry
For breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly
Doesn’t tear you apart anymore

Outside. Otherside. Yeah yeah yeah.

This guilt and remorse is about you girlfriend and you need to borrow a song from the kiddos.

Let it go.

This is about you not respecting his boundaries. He obviously doesn’t want to talk to you. He could have picked up the phone. He hasn’t it. He has sent his message. He knows your sorry. He either doesn’t care or doesn’t see the need to rehash it.

I get that pain lingers. Even the wounds of the soul can get infected but wow. Please stop. I get reconnecting but damn. I am not sure these lyrics are indicative of that.

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