The {Guest} Post About Mind the Locals

Today's visiting blogger comes from a magical place. A place far, far away in a land called Canada. It brings us Trivial Pursuit, socialized medicine and the delightful Amanda from Mandie Marie. Amanda became my new adopted sister when I bumped into her in Knox McCoy's Awesometown. And she's just that. Awesome.

Amanda loves God, writing, improv, and many things that most people think are dumb

The city I inhabit is famous for BlackBerrys. You may have heard of them. On the north edge of this city, there is a tiny town famous for the other kind of blackberries (not just blackberries, but saying famous for fruits and vegetables really didn’t fit the whole BlackBerry thing I was going for). The town is known for its Farmers’ Market, Mennonites and quaint little shops. People travel from all over the world to get a glimpse of this beautiful place. I live approximately two minutes from said Farmers’ Market. I have all my life. On one side of a street is a subdivision. On the other side, a straight up, no electricity or running water, Mennonite farm. I’m probably related to them (but that’s another post altogether). Even though I technically live in the city, it’s not uncommon to walk outside and be bowled over by the smell of manure. World famous manure.

In the summer, I move up to my cottage for two months. It is in an area of the world famous for shipwrecks, diving, Canada’s oldest and longest foot trail, grocery stores so small it’s impossible to fit two carts side by side in the aisle and an albino groundhog named Willie. Wiarton Willie. Throughout high school and university, I worked at a campground that was minutes away from all of these sights. I spent 44 hours a week playing tour guide to the hundreds of campers who visited us every summer. The number one question they asked was, “There aren’t really bears here are there?” After I explained to these city slickers that they were in the north and yes, bears do exist and no, you cannot leave food lying around your campsite and expect it to be there in the morning, they asked “So what’s there to do around here?”  I would pull out the day tripper map and point out every beautiful spot they should visit. I got really good at this. But (and here’s the kicker) I had never actually visited the places I was raving about.  

Because I am not a tourist. I was too busy working and telling other people how to be a tourist to go visit them myself.

Living amongst touristy places without being a tourist, I have noticed several patterns.

Asking “Are there really...” questions. Yes, those are Mennonites. Yes they drive horse and buggies. No, they’re not just putting on a historical re-enactment. Yes there are bears here. No they will not eat you alive. Probably just maim you a little. Yes Wiarton Willie exists. No I haven’t seen him since they moved his house from in front of the Inn and put in a pool. No I don’t think he lives in the pool. I’m not sure if albino groundhogs can swim but I have an internet connection and I can show you how to use Google.

Taking obnoxious pictures. I already told you, the Mennonites aren’t re-enacting anything! You can’t just take their picture like they’re animals at the zoo. You’re at a Farmer’s Market, not Disney. Posing with vendors selling asparagus just doesn’t have the same magic as Mickey, no matter how hard you smile or how many peace signs you thrown down. Yes that is a boat. It floats on water. You want me to take your picture in front of that boat? Yes, the water is always this blue. I’m serious, there aren’t any artificial colours in that water. That’s nature for you. All blue and stuff.

Losing all common sense and decency. You are still in a city, so please act like it. You can mosey all you want, just try not to have a family meeting in the middle of the road. Mennonites drive horse and buggies, but the rest of us drive cars. I know you’re on vacation and are up north and you likely won’t know anyone on the beach, but we have mirrors here, too. Please don’t wear that bikini again. For the sake of the children.

Saying “You’re really lucky to live here!” I suppose I am. I’ve lived here all of my life and I don’t know any different. As a child I remember being dragged to the Market and totally not understanding why everyone was peeing their pants over a quilt shop and a pile of apples. We have more exciting things here than a market. We have an iMax and some sweet malls. We have some really great entertainment venues. We even used to have a roller skating rink until a kid got stabbed there (1999 was not a good year for roller rink gang activity). We have all of these things and more, but people are fascinated by our livestock and bonnet babes. I do understand that I cottage in a beautiful place and that I just used the word cottage as a verb. Any job that I can be done with work and on the water in under ten minutes (I timed myself once) is a pretty dang good one. I suppose I am lucky.

But it’s not easy being a local.

So dear internets, if you are ever a tourist in a place that is not your home (and you will be, even if you think you’re “blending in”), take pictures, relax, sightsee, be in awe of what we have to offer. But please think of the locals. Don’t block the road, or make horrible wardrobe choices. Try not to ask too many dumb questions or you will be at the mercy of Wiarton Willie. You don’t want to mess with a caged albino groundhog. 

It won’t end well. 

What struck you the most by Amanda's post? Are you guilty of any of these tourist sins? Were you startled by her spelling of the word "colors?" 

P.S. Follow Amanda on Twitter and subscribe to her hilarious blog. She assured me she's put out the fancy guest towels today just for you Rabbit readers.


The Post About Posts You Should Read To Understand Me Better

This weekend, I received an email from a Rabbit reader:
"Hi Jamie!!!

You're a crackpot! I can only imagine what made you this way. I wish I had a window into your past. I also wish I had been reading your blog from the beginning. If I wanted to read some of your past posts, where should I start?

Love, Mira."

Well, Mira....you've asked a question I can answer. Unlike if you had asked me "Why is he called Donkey Kong if he's not a donkey?" 

Here are 9 posts for you and others new to the blog which provide critical intel on me, myself, and I.

1. The Post About No Shirt, No Service. My most embarrassing story ever in which my neighbor may have gotten his mortgage's worth.

2. The Post About Me and Your Newlywed Needs. Nope, THIS is my most embarrassing story ever. Ever.

3. The Post About Ron and Picabo. An insight into my parents and why mom may be voting for Ron Paul in 2012.

4. The Post About Ladybugs and Why They Should Go. A traumatic experience in high school led to one of the characteristics for which I'm most well-known: ladybug phobia. 

5. The Posts About Pretty, Parts 1 & 2. One of my biggest pet peeves is drama. Especially behind-my-back drama.
6. The Post About Standing Outside the Fire. I'm a proud Emory alumni. I'm not proud of how I tried to fight the administration in this most ridiculous way.

7. The Post About You Are a Looser. My favorite conversation transcript with Caryann.

8. The Post About Ten Worries on Tuesday. These are all things that still furrow my brow.

9. The Post About The Beach Family Photo and Why It's Wrong. Most read post of all time. It's quite controversial. 

Do you have a beach family photo you can link to so I will know awesome ones exist?

If you're a blogger - do you have a quintessential post you can link so I might wrap my head around you better?

{image: Jamie}


The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.98

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate.

Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here.

I suggested you snatch this up when the author, Knox McCoy guest posted here about the teasers and realities of weddings. But now, I've finished it and I really mean it. Jesus and The Bachelorette is a reminder that God isn't just found in a choir robe singing "I Can Only Imagine" at your church on Sunday. He can also be found in a hot mess reality show. So put down your Oswald Chambers and pick up this far more entertaining literary masterpiece.

P.S. I'll buy a copy of Jesus and The Bachelorette for the 1st person to correctly answer each of the following in the comments (2 winners!)

1. When I die, I'd like a swag bag given to each person attending my funeral. The first item is Cheez-its. What are the other 2 items to be included?

2. When I attended Emory University, you were required to take 4 PE classes to graduate, one of which had to be swimming. What other three PE classes did I take?  


I discovered Steve Moakler when he opened once for Dave Barnes. I was hooked. NoiseTrade says Steve is for fans of Matt Nathanson, Mat Kearney, and Matt Wertz. Umm...some of my favorite Matthews ever. Moakler has a new album, Watching Time Run, releasing this week. Downloading it will be Tuesday's first task while watching coffee brew. His last album, All The Faint Lights which includes my favorite track Hesitate featured above, is currently available for free at NoiseTrade.

Recommending Disclaimer: I don't suggest anything because I get it free or because I have some sort of illicit relationship with Chris Harrison or musicians named Matt, Mat, or Steve.


The {Guest} Post About Baby Mama Drama

Today's guester is Caryann. She's my best single friend. We both have best friends who are married, however, it's always good to invite someone to your friend shindig who can understand dating and parenting plants and managing a one income household. Caryann was an on-air radio punk for 15 years in Texas, Alabama and California. She now makes her home in Nashville and works at a swanky record label. Its swankiness is defined by the Starbucks machine in the break room.

Caryann flipping her hair near some rocks.
If you are single and in your 30s, or have been, then you are probably very familiar with the formula questions that come from well-meaning family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. These questions usually involve an investigation into whether or not you're dating anyone, want to date anyone, or how many cats you currently have and whether or not that number seems to be trending up.

One other very common question came recently, from the lips of a very cute, amazingly talented dude, of whom I’ve grown quite fond…"So do you ever want a family?"

The portion of my brain that banks all of the things that married guys tell me are dating cues, started going off like an alarm. He’s trying to figure out if I want a family with HIM someday! This means he must be interested in me. He might propose in a few minutes. 

Never mind this is only the third time we’ve seen each other.

If you know anything about single women, you know we are very creative.

Before I even answered this guy’s question, I had formulated what diamond cut I would hint toward, how my first name would gel with his last, and with whose relatives we would spend next Christmas.

Ridiculous. But it’s in our DNA.

And from my mouth came the biggest lie I had told in all of my life. “I’m not sure.”

What? I had just uttered the words "I don’t want children" to my roommate two days prior. Such a hypocrite. 

But he was so cute... It was necessary, in my mind.

Once he got to know me, he would fall so crazy in love with my personality and heart, that my lack of desire for children would no longer matter. So I should not scare him off now. This is what I convinced myself of in the nano-second before I lied to him.

Then I went on to explain how I definitely desired to be married (which I might have said with a wink and flip of the hair), but my uncertainty came from whether I wanted my own biological children; to give a home to kids who needed one; or just to love someone else's children. (Because I'll deal with baby-mama-drama if he's hot enough.)

The wild thing is that as I was formulating my fabrication, I actually felt like it was true. Maybe I did want kids someday. Maybe the falsehood is really in what I told my roommate, not what I told super-hot-rock-star-looking-guy.

The prideful part of me cannot admit that maybe, just maybe, I do have that maternal instinct kicking in. I guess I’m just a little late in the game.

But I cannot let this be known. It would cause me to lose some major cool points, mostly with my friends who are mothers who love their children dearly, but would give anything for neverending alone time. Plus, I would be forced to act like a grown up, eat more vegetables, and remove my facial piercings. 

No can do. 

Have you ever kept something on the down low for the sake of saving face?

Note from Jamie: Answer that question and then... Well...you can't read Caryann's blog because she doesn't write one. She has a Facebook, but doesn't check it. And she's on Twitter. but her account is protected. So...there you go.

{image: Caryann}


The Post About A Gadget Loving Giveaway

iPhone 4
3 Facts:
1. My flat iron is designed for African-American hair and tops out at 400 degrees.
2. My microwave doubles as a toaster oven.
3. My DVR knows me and loves me.

Since I find these gadget truths to be self-evident, let's have a giveaway.

$35 Best Buy Gift Card

How To Enter:
Leave a comment answering the question:
What's a gadget you love or gadget you'd like to love?

**2 Extra Entries**
Each of the following will give you 1 extra entry.

1. "Like" Jamie's Rabbits on
2. Follow Jamie's Rabbits on
Make sure to leave a separate comment for each, whether you're doing it for the first time or you've already done it in the past. 

Important Details: Open to anyone in the US or Canada. Must enter before 11:59pm CST on Monday, August 29 to qualify. Winner will be chosen randomly using Research Randomizer and announced next week. Obviously, anonymous folks can't win unless they leave a name in the comment. Disclaimer: Although I'd accept all the free gadgets Best Buy would mail to me, no one in a blue polo knows about this blog or this giveaway.

 {image: Jamie}


The Post About The Myth of the Driver's License Weight

My driver's license expired. November, 2010.

First, I procrastinated. 

Then, I noticed my listed weight. Then, I asked myself "Wouldn't it be cool if you were that weight instead of this one?"

Myself agreed.

So I began to lose weight. Slowly. 

The "slowly" was a result of Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred continuing to be only a 2-day shred. And the first of those days was always the one where I simply watched the video while eating Cheez-its.

Rabbit Sidebar: Am I the only one who wants to follow the "advanced" exerciser in the workout video, but can barely keep up with the remedial exerciser ostracized to the back? Am I the only one who therefore spends the majority of the workout marching in place because I can't manage the grapevine while holding 2 cans of spaghetti sauce?

After the 60-day grace period for expired licenses passed and I was no longer supported by the Department of Transportation to operate a motor vehicle, I considered getting it renewed.

Then, I asked myself "Wouldn't it be cool if your hair was long?"

Myself agreed.

So I began to grow out my hair. Slowly.

The "slowly" was a result of the lack of nutrients in the 10 foods I eat the most.

After reaching the expired DL weight AND growing my hair out, I considered getting it renewed.

Then, the county in which I live realized it had been spending more money than it earned and closed all courthouse satellite offices.

Back to procrastinating.

Yesterday, I finally caved. I wanted to be a law-abiding citizen. I also wanted to get on a plane to Hawaii in 25 days. 

This was my exchange with the courthouse clerk:

Me: It's expired because I wanted to reach that weight. It took longer than I thought.
Her: What's your new goal weight?
Me: Are you saying I'm still fat?
Her: (eyes huge) Umm...no, what? I didn't mean...I'm sor-
Me: Just kidding. My new goal weight is 140.
--She takes the pic, I verify my information, we laugh about long I had to wait in line, etc.--
Me: (after reviewing my new card) Did you mean to put 140 as my weight?
Her: Yep. Don't worry, you have 4 years to get there.

Confession time: Is your driver's license accurate? Have you ever lied about something like that? And most importantly, do you follow the remedial exerciser?  

{image: Jamie}


The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.97

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate.

Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here.

When an author I fancy suggests a book he fancies, then I'm in. Stephen King recommended Laura Lippman's I'd Know You Anywhere and he chose a winner. But holy mother - it's a tense thriller that required regular freezer breaks to ease my anxiety. It's the story of Eliza, a suburban wife and mother who's hiding a dark secret. At age 15, Eliza was kidnapped and held hostage for 6 weeks by Walter. He has unexpectedly written her from death row in hopes to meet. What unfolds is a hypnotic tale of danger and manipulation that will grip you from page to page. Seriously, so good.

In attempt to save some pennies, my TV satellite is on the $25 "family" plan. Sadly, that is essentially Nickelodeon and the Hallmark Channel. Add in the summer hiatus for network programming and I'm grasping for entertainment. Hulu has saved the day. One show I've bear hugged is Happy Endings on ABC. It's a ensemble comedy about a circle of friends whose primary love language is sarcasm. Plus, I might be Penny Hartz. For better and worse.


Colbie Caillat just screams summer. Without the screaming. Her newest album, All of You, is a light mix of acoustic, pop and a teaspoon of country. My favorite track is "Brighter Than The Sun" featured above with hats off to "Make It Rain" and "Shadow." All of You currently available at Amazon for only $4.99.

Recommending Disclaimer: I don't suggest anything because I get it free or because I have some sort of illicit relationship with Cujo's dad or ABC.


The {Guest} Post By Joseph Kinnaird: Writing With Passion

This week's guest blogger is someone I know in real life - Joseph Kinnaird. I was in his wedding. I am fairy godmother to his rugrats. I am also his political and organizational arch nemesis. His faults, which are many, can all be forgiven after one taste of his superior grill skills. 

Do not be afraid to confront him in the comments. I will.
To Thine Own Self Be True.
Don't Be Kenny Chesney.

If you are reading this little blog then you may be a blogger yourself. Some of you blog for fun. Some of you blog for money. Some of you want to blog for money but haven’t yet figured out how. If you are looking for tips on how to write a good blog that is going to make you a lot of money because you have a jillion followers then you are in the wrong place.

I could, however, write a very successful money-making blog about how not to write a blog. I freaking love irony!!

This post started with a question I asked myself one day.

Why do I hate Kenny Chesney?

I’m pretty sure Kenny Chesney, the person, is perfectly delightful. But Kenny Chesney, the country music recording superstar, annoys me to no end. If I had to choose between a colonoscopy or going to a Kenny Chesney concert I would chose the colonoscopy 9 out of 10 times.

Could it be his voice that annoys me? Maybe. I do hate the way he holds out his “sss” at the end of phrases. But Willie Nelson has a much worse voice and I like Willie Nelson. Kenny is also kind of funky looking. Again I go back to Willie Nelson.

Then it came to me like a ray of light piercing the darkness.

He’s a panderer. He is one who panders.

I was curious if I used this word correctly to describe Kenny Chesney, the artist. This definition is from the 1st Google definition I clicked. I research because I care.

“To cater to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploit their weaknesses.”

I can imagine Kenny going to a meeting with the higher ups and the Satan (because the only way I can figure he procured a lucrative recording contract is through a deal with old Big Red) and he says he has a song about genocide in Uganda. I can imagine them laughing about such a crazy idea and asking him if the song made any mention of sand, high school glory, beer, sand, or days gone by. The song about Uganda probably only mentions sand but it is only desert sand not the kind at the beach. Then they tell him they have the perfect song written for him. The working title right now is “I’m On the Beach Drinking Away the Girl I Lost at a High School Football Game to Terrorists God Bless the U S of A.”

“Isn’t this a little too subtle for my fan base?” asks Kenny.

“We’re working on that right now. You go on and listen to the radio and see who else you can rip off and make a hit” says Satan.

What does any of this have to do with writing a blog? I don’t know what it has to do with writing your blog, but I know what it has to do with writing mine. I wrote a post several months back with the intent of upping the views to my page. I deliberately put pictures from “The Notebook” in hopes the pictures would lead people to my blog. I pandered to the lower tastes and desires of humanity by trying to draw people who Google search images for The Notebook.

Simply put, I “Chesneyed.” 

Instead of being true to myself, I wrote something I didn’t really believe in to get people to take an interest in my blog so I could feed my World of Warcraft habit. And it was awful.

My best posts have been about what was on my mind at the moment.
My early posts are honestly whatever came into my brain at the time. I was not really aiming at getting an audience. I was just writing.

There are three things I would like to see come out of this guest post at Jamie's Rabbits.

1. You should get to know Jamie better. E-mail me and I will give you her digits and address.

2. I really want 100 Twitter followers who aren’t trying to tempt me to sin or sell me something. Follow me (@JWKinnaird) and I’ll follow you.

3. To thine own self be true. Write about what you are passionate about because you are passionate about it. If it’s cupcakes, then write about cupcakes. If it’s kittens, then write about kittens. If it’s global warming, then stop. 

We really don’t have all that much time left. 

Jamie's 1st Disclaimer: The views here do not necessarily represent the views of this blog. ILOVEYOUFOREVERRYANGOSLING. 

Jamie's 2nd Disclaimer: You really should follow Joseph on Twitter. He tweets crazy like this: "People plotted to give Hitler estrogen to make him less aggressive. A lot of people blame estrogen for their insanity. #seemedlikeagoodidea"

{images: alacoolc; New Line Cinema} 


The Post About Your Favorite School Tool

Label Maker
Today was the first day of school for my nieces and nephew and godson - my favorite minors. I adore this time of year. I fancy it almost enough to enroll in something.


Today is also a second New Year's. For me, it's the day I resolve to be organized. I recommit to all things labeled and alphabetized and sorted for the good of my mental health. 

The late summer resolution is mostly playing itself out in this space - my blog. I'm currently behind the scenes dusting and purging and crafting a new pretty face for my Rabbits. I assume when I've stopped muttering curses at the HTML/CSS coding required for this task, then it will be complete. And we will all love it.


Meanwhile, let's relish in organization in my most favorite way - school supplies. You already know I love pens. But there are some other loves. 
  • 3-ring binders
  • highlighters
  • pop-up post-its
  • tiny staplers
  • trapper keepers
And the ark of the wide ruled covenant? Label maker. Could there be a better school supply?

Well, could there? What school supply could you not live without?

{image: Jamie}


The Post About What You Should Never Call A Minister

I've already written about my church's weirdo staff. I know...pot, kettle, blackness...

Last month, Pastor Mark Driscoll posted this Facebook status: “So what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed?"

Needless to say it stirred up a bit of controversy on these here internets. 

I brought up the quote in a meeting with my pastor, Steve, and worship leader, Shawn. I wanted to pick their brains on whether I should key Mark's car or even care about it at all. It was a great dialogue and I gained a boatload of clarity. 

This is when I should have wrapped it up and proceeded directly to my Sunday nap. 

However, I made one last closing comment: "You both make sense....Plus, you're both sort of effeminate and you're great at your jobs."

You know what is NEVER a compliment to a man? 

It doesn't matter if he's rockin' undereye concealer, plucked eyebrows and recounting the difficulty he had embroidering a pink polo he's planning to wear to his show choir recital where he'll be singing 1st soprano.

As soon as I saw the looks on their faces, I started back-peddling. Hard.

"I didn't mean you are EFFEMINATE. I meant...uh...you're not afraid to...umm...you know...I mean you're really more geeks than girls."

A moment of silence for my inability to know when to shut it.

Two weeks later...

I texted Shawn after seeing fire trucks gathered outside our church where he was working. The transcript is below. At some point, he thinks he's conversing with his wife, Kristi. And still thinks that even after my first response. She has given me permission to share it with you.

Rabbit Sidebar: If Kristi had a Twitter account, we'd all follow it. She's that funny.


The {Guest} Post About A Love Hate Relationship With Weddings

Today's guest post is brought to you by best-selling author, Knox McCoy. "Best-selling" when comparing the number of books he's sold to the number I've sold.

He's the best.

A few months back, I added Knox's blog to my Google Reader and filed him in the "If You've Got Time After Everything Else and Dirty Dancing Isn't On TBS" folder. It only took two posts for him to be upgraded to the "Read These, THEN Figure Out Why The Carbon Monoxide Detector Is Sounding And You Feel Sleepy" folder.

Knox's first book, Jesus and The Bachelorette: Finding Christ Among Roses, Tanned Bodies, and Hyperbole released this week and the Rabbit Recommends you buy it

Rabbit Disclaimer: I paid cash for my copy of this book, so my opinion is not influenced by anything sketchy. Although I'm open to sketchy if it involves a handsome, funny and God-loving single guy. Or a new roof.

Now to Knox.
I recently traveled with my wife to the wedding of a very close and old friend. The ceremony was very nice and the reception was excellent. The father of the bride gave a speech that was one for the ages. It was basically the best thing ever all around.

But I'm not here to talk about how dope my friend Mark's wedding was. I'm here to talk about something more serious. Something more insidious.

And that is the perpetual tease that is the typical Wedding Day. 

Anytime cumberbuns are prominently involved, you just know something hinky is going on.

The Tease
You get to dress up and look awesome like Brad and Angelina. Or George Clooney and Brad Pitt. (Basically anyone remotely attractive with Brad Pitt.)

The Reality
You get to dress up, but good luck finding something that looks good on you.

I'm just naturally not a dress up guy. I work with a screen printing company so if I'm not talking to customers about printing a t-shirt featuring Dale Earnhardt riding an eagle while carrying baby Jesus, then I'm probably sweating like Jared Fogle after a Meatball Sub. So I don't exactly gravitate to the Don Draper look if you catch my drift.

So when I do need to do my best Don Draper imitation, it always ends with frustration and me yelling mournfully into a pillow. Nothing is ever ironed that needs to be. Nothing fits right because you've either lost weight or gained it and all it does is send you into a tizzy about how you need new clothes.

Do you know how many shirts and pants I took with me to this wedding? 54. I rented a U-Haul and just attached my entire closet because getting dressed is such a process. My wife is like MacGyver because of all the hoops she has to jump through to get me dressed and out the door.

The Tease
Platters of delicious food among friends and family

The Reality
Platters of delicious food among people you don't want seeing you gorge yourself while wearing nice clothes.

My friend Mark's wedding had some kind of hor d'oeuvres that were like state of the art. I'm pretty sure since the astronaut program closed down that designing hor d'oeuvres is what NASA is doing because these things were just majestic. One of them was like the pigs-in-a-blanket we've all come to know, love, and lust after, BUT WITH A TWIST!

It was on a stick and the bread was cooked to a crisp. It was almost like a corn dog, but it was a more cultured corndog. Like one that would drink martinis, read Chaucer, and summer in Italy.

Do you know how hard I wanted this affluent and cultured corn dog / evolutionary pig-in-a-blanket?

SO hard. I wanted to track down the gatekeeper of this goodness, shove him out of the way and palm that tray of blanketed pigs all the way back to Table #8. But I couldn't, because the only people who can get away with bird-dogging food in a social setting are anorexics.

That's the problem.

For one thing, you've got all these people around to discourage you from taking the platter off of the waiter's hands. The possibility of public humiliation among friends and family is just too much to truly indulge.

Secondly, you're in nice clothes and do you know how much dry cleaning costs? I mean seriously, do you know how fun eating food in a suit and tie is? About as much fun as sitting next to a woman breast-feeding her baby on a bus.

Yeah, I know it's something that has to happen, but it doesn't mean I have to be thrilled with it.

The Tease
Dancing at the reception means moving around like they used to on Soul Train or like the ballroom routines on Dancing With The Stars.

The Reality
Listen, when I was 8, my Aunt Jan had a wedding and I was so hopped up on sugar that I danced the ENTIRE time. I had no formal training mind you, so essentially what I was doing was semi-profane gyrations and what people look like when they're having seizures. Twenty years and thousands of therapy sessions later, I still go catatonic every time I hear Shout by the Isley Brothers.

So you can imagine my hesitance when the dance floor opens up during a reception.

Conga line? No thanks. I'm good here kicking it at the table with the 12 and unders and 80 and overs.

And listen, chill out on the electric slide stuff. I know it's probably so much fun and yeah, it does look easy. But it's not so easy to electric slide when you are shouldering a hulking bag of insecurity.

What teaser did I miss?

You can buy Knox's new book, Jesus and The Bachelorette here. It's also available here through Amazon for your Kindle. You should also visit his website, subscribe to his blog, follow him on Twitter and pray for his wife.


The Post About 8 Mistakes I Keep Making

Some people make a mistake and then do the work necessary to never repeat the error. They admit the blunder, visualize a new outcome, and then write a best-selling self-help book.

Some people are me. 

This is a short list of 8 mistakes I make over and over and then once more to grow on.

1. Consuming the overrated. Granola, Marshmallows, Pop-Tarts, Nicolas Cage. I keep expecting something fantastic. It's never fantastic.

2. Lifting heavy stuff. John Eldredge clearly explains in Wild At Heart that men want "to be heroes, to be warriors, to live lives of adventure and risk." Why am I not letting them carry the hefty things when they offer? Why am I not letting them sport the sweaty brow? 

3. Eating at chain restaurants with food in the name. I will do this for friends who bask in a bottomless bowl of salad or revel in waiting for a table while camped out in a rocking chair playing life-size checkers. However, you can't go wrong choosing local. They really do it better.

4. Hitting my snooze button. I can easily brainwash myself to think that 9 minutes can be shaved off a routine that's ALWAYS taken 40. Which is why I'm often 9 minutes late to work.

5. Putting down my keys. An ADD diagnosis does not support this habit. Combine #4 and #5 and I'm 14 minutes late to work.

6. Getting irate about passive-aggressive Facebook statuses. I fly off the handle when folks post things like "I don't understand why you can't find the key to the lock you placed on the door to our love." OR "You're a skank and I know about you and my cousin." I'm learning to hide the cowardice and the crazy.

7. Buying oranges. So much work. And then they mold.

8. Thinking emoticons convey sarcasm. My email wit and whimsy doesn't always translate by simply tacking <@@> to the end of a sentence. Can't you see those are my sarcastic rolling eyes? I’m not sure what’s wrong…but it’s probably your fault. <@@>

What mistakes of yours seem to be on repeat?


The Post About Weddings, Voting, and 3 Anti-Aging Tips

A few things on this overcast Monday morning. "Overcast" meaning "overslept."

1. Wedding Recap:
While eating dinner with my family, I brought up a wedding I attended on Friday. I explained the mothers of the bride and groom seem to be quite upset, hence the ugly crying as they recessed back up the aisle. I theorized this was because they were their youngest and last to get married in their families.

My mother quickly and enthusiastically interjected: "I would be doing a happy dance if my youngest got married."

My apologies to my mother on delaying her joy.

2. Shameless:
Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta
This photograph has been included in the August 2011 Food Photography Contest on the Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier's Facebook page. The most "likes" wins the book Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling. A swoon-worthy addition to my color-coordinated library.

If you're a Facebook user and feeling particularly generous, I wouldn't mind a "like" on my photo. You have to "like" the page to be able to "like" the photo. I'm currently in second place. 

Thank you for high fiving me in this way! UPDATE: I won. You rock.

3. Guest Posting:
Wonder Woman notebook
I'm guest posting today at Shannanigans on my Top Secret Top Three Anti-Aging Strategies.

Spoiler: Wonder Woman and Cheez-its play critical roles in looking at least 5 years younger.

Scurry along over there and share your own tips.

{images: Jamie}


The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.96

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate.

Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here.

Read & Watch
Have I mentioned my love for all things Jane Austen? Well, the Brontë sisters are not far behind in my affection. One of my favorite novels and literary heroines is Jane Eyre. Set in early nineteenth-century England, it tracks the journey of an orphaned young woman who becomes the governess at Thornfield Hall, an estate owned by the mysterious Mr. Rochester. I think it sets itself apart by featuring a female protagonist who is thoughtful and articulate and sees herself as more than a societal pawn. Jane balances a deep trust in God with a remarkable self-reliance. Best part? She's not waiting to be rescued. Bestest part? Since it's a "classic," it's free on all major e-readers. 

There have been 12 English film and TV adaptations of Jane Eyre since 1934. Having seen 8 of them, I think the one released this year is by far the best. Visually stunning direction by Cary Fukunaga and the perfect casting of Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. FASSBENDERFANFOREVER. I'm not the only who fancied it - the Rotten Tomatoes rating is 83%. DVD releases August 16. You can also rent it online at Amazon and iTunes.

I've been a Mat Kearney fan since I discovered singer/songwriters in vee tees and skinny jeans. His new album, Young Love, is a snapshot of his 1st year of marriage. Rabbit Sidebar: Matt met his wife at Anthropologie. Where should I be shopping? His first single, Hey Mama, was one of my summer anthems. Now I also adore the tracks She Got The Honey, Rochester, and Sooner or Later (featured above.)

$40 Amazon Giveaway Winner
It pays to have fans who will show the love! Winner Kristieckm wrote "I am all for my friend Katie Green www.katieagreen.blogspot.com

Congrats Katie! Email me at jamiesrabbits@gmail.com to collect your prize!


The Guest Post About Pictures Telling a Different Story

Today, I'm swapping spaces with Sharideth from A Woman's Guide to Women: A Blog for Men. She tells guys what-for, but wraps it in wit. Sometimes the readers get grumpy, but always educated. She's a wife and homeschooling mom. You might think we'd have zero in common, but I'm confident we have matching DNA.

Jamie takes pictures. really good pictures. pictures that actually mean things and have some sort of intrinsic value.

i do not do either of those things.

if i didn't have a camera on my phone, my children's childhood would be entirely lost.

but when we decided to swap posts, i figured i'd not only out myself for the awful photographer that i am, but also give you a taste of my life in pictures. 

really, really terrible pictures.

here we go. captions are below the pictures.
1. is that not the most horrible baby picture since the dawn of demons? and in case you're wondering, yes, that is actually me. my husband, Craig, breaks it out at parties. he likes to point out the bow, like that somehow makes it better.

2. this is what i look like now. sometimes. but most pictures taken of me look more like...

3. yep. that's more like it.

4. this is my husband, Craig, in his lair (aka his recording studio). looks pretty badass right?

5. this is also him...with a Peep sticking out of his face.

6. this is my daughter, Alex. she's 13.

7. this is also my daughter, Alex. did i mention that she's 13 aaand almost 5'7"? yeah. kill me now.

8. do you think she'll let me do her makeup like this for her all the time? her comment upon looking in the mirror was, "so i'm guessing my funeral was closed casket?"

9. this is my son, Carter, as he is right now. and this...

10. is the greatest kindergarten picture ever taken. but this...

11. is what happens when the boy is left alone and bored.

12. i do this a lot. someone was bound to get a picture of it. and last but not least....

13. my cat, Toby. just because he's that awesome.

okay, so why does my family seem to only take pictures with stuff sticking out of our faces? i have no idea. but apparently my kids come by it honestly.

people seem to think Craig and i have a lock on the cool factor, i hope this has set them straight.

so what about you? do your pictures tell a different story about who you are compared to what people think?

P.S. After you answer Sharideth's questions, go directly to her blog A Woman's Guide to Women and subscribe. While you're there, you can read my post on postponing my search for a husband and the must-haves in a woman's handbag.

Whatever. They're related.

{images: Sharideth}


The Post About Twitter High Fives and Down Lows

Facebook and I have started seeing less of each other.

I'm the problem. My tendencies as a friend request floozy have caught up with me. My newsfeed is cluttered with 147 extra people I'm sure I don't actually know.

The problem is part of high school is a blur. No drugs, just self-centered.

Silver lining of this Facebook break? I've dedicated that part of my social media heart to working out Twitter.

I signed up for a Twitter account in February 2009. Two thousand tweets later and we've traded class rings.

If you're not already tweeting, do it now. 

And to get you started, I'll point you to my favorite go-to Beginner's Guide to Twitter by Jeff Goins (@jeffgoins).

Twitter Screenshot
Before I get to my rabbit rules of Twitter, can we take a closer look at this screenshot?

1. Profile Pic: Since I joined, my avatar has been my chocolate bunny (see blog header). I changed it yesterday after my not-in-real-life-but-still-snazzy-friend @brandiofbham nudged me. She and every social media guru seem to be pro-face.

2. Similar To You: Twitter will suggest tweeters for you to follow based on your 46-page eHarmony questionnaire. Or random chance.

Today, it suggested Swanson Broths. Isn't broth just the run-off from real food? Thumbs down.

It also suggested @mandiemariebee. Not impressed since I already follow her. And we were separated at birth.

Twitter High Fives:
1.Tweet. Just that...say stuff. But before you post, ask yourself: Is this tweet useful or funny or insightful or interesting? Your morning eye gook does not meet any of those criteria.

2. Follow. Try and find those you already know and then consider new friends. Search for topics you're interested in like crafting or golf or Debbie Gibson.

3. Follow back. If someone interacts with you by replying to your tweet or retweeting you, consider following them back. I may be projecting to those who aren't following me back. I LOVE YOU A WHOLE LOT ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.

4. Share. Retweeting someone is the best gift ever. Unless you don't credit them, then you're what the French call "chez nitwit."

Twitter Down Lows:
1. Long conversations. Keep the public back and forth to a minimum. Your followers don't care about you ironing out the details of your upcoming trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond with your mom.

2. Tweeting without ceasing. Posting more than 10-15 times a day is a lot. Step away from your computersmartphonetablet and pluck your eyebrows. Or parent your children.

3. Obnoxious tweeting. If it would be hurtful to say it in person, then it's hurtful here. Exception? Commenting on college football teams outside of the SEC.

4. Going over. Honor the 140 character limit. You can do it. It's why God made contractions and ampersands. 

Do you agree? What are your Twitter good ideas & bad ideas? Are you following me? Why not? Am I following you? Why not?

*If you comment, include your twitter username and I'll be there.


The Post About a Thursday in the Life

A reader messaged me last week with the following:

"I want to spend a day with you since it's probably all caffeine, frosting, and shiny objects."


I'm in a wish granting mood, so here's a rabbit recap of Thursday, July 28 for Michael.
DITL Collage 1
My parents are the type who linger in the AM. A cup or two of Folgers, a newspaper scan, some laundry, and maybe re-tiling the bathroom. Hours pass and only then do they consider dressing for work.

I'm a sleep-until-you-cannot-stand-it-any-longer morning person. Getting ready is timed to the tee. Iced coffee inhaled while layering a 2nd coat and rerunning some legen-{wait for it}-dary television. No room for error. 

Or a nutritious breakfast.

DITL Collage 2
I consider the car a perfect place to multitask. However, my attention deficit is sidelined when faced with the worst of moving violations: slow left lane driving. In that moment, I manage a laser-like focus in attempts to will you to move to the right. My mutterings and stank eye rarely seem to work. 


I'm able to recover from the commute by serving families at my day job at Children's Aid Society (CAS).

Rabbit Sidebar: CAS is also the name of the public child welfare department in Canada. This leads to daily skirmishes with Toronto Facebook users who abuse their children and don't know Alabama is in a different country. STOP YELLING AT ME, EH!

DITL Collage 3
My workspace is 100% feng shui. 

Doesn't "feng shui" mean stashed with candy, comfy chairs, and Star Wars memorabilia? No?

Then it's feng shwanky.

DITL Collage 4
This specific day pushed me 2 hours north to a conference for foster care teens. My passenger ADD kept company with Google Reader and my new boyfriend: Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones. A coworker shared this delight and I fell hard. 

So hard that I'd drive to Panama City Beach and buy us matching airbrushed tank tops.

DITL Collage 5
I'm a hotel fan. Poolside, in-room coffee maker, and someone makes my bed.

Another traveling highlight is breaking bread with snazzy coworkers. Please enjoy a transcript of one dinner topic from that evening:

Roseann: What moisturizer do you use?
Me: I use Philosophy's Hope in a Jar.
Roseann: {points to bottle of Chilean wine} This is my hope in a jar.

Another topic:

Me: I take melatonin to help me fall asleep.
Rod: You should try liquid melatonin.
Roseann: {points to bottle Chilean wine} This is my liquid melatonin.

This day's life lesson? Always sit by Roseann.

What would you change about your average day because it's less-than? What would you supersize because it's like-wow?

{images: Jamie}
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