California, Here I Come!

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If it wasn’t going to break in half due to a massive earthquake, I would move to San Diego.  I just spent three days there for a meeting and man, is it a cool place!

I first noticed the difference at the airport.  I take people watching very seriously when in public places.  And the people I watched in California were all beautiful!  The women AND the men!  I saw very few who were overweight.  Folks were walking around the airport with skateboards in tow and muscles bulging.

I swear that the Dali Lama and Shirley McLean were on my flight from LA.  “Shirley” looked to be a healthy seventy-something-year-old.  She sat in an airport chair wearing culottes with her legs tucked up under her behind.  She was more limber than my 13-year-old daughter.  Although she had a bit of dangly skin on the underside of her arms, and who doesn’t at that age, her biceps looked as if they could easily hold the weight of her body in an upside down split on a balance beam.

These Californians dressed casually, had unusually bright colors of hair, and seemed to enjoy open toed shoes.  There weren’t a lot of wing tips strolling around LAX, it was FLIP FLOP haven.

The lush plantings all along the 15 minute drive to my hotel were beautiful.  While it was a balmy 95 degrees at home, we ate outdoors each evening with a slight breeze and a refreshing temperature of 70.

I will admit, the local newscast took some getting used to.  One reporter shared that a man had been shot by his car while meditating on the side of the road.  Thankfully, he was going to be OK.  I wonder why he stopped his car on a seemingly busy highway for quiet and relaxation.  Perhaps the traffic was stressing him out.

I haven’t seen that many people mediate on the Raleigh Beltline, but I might try it.

The weather woman for the morning broadcast wore a short, puffy, bright pink skirt.  Her black blouse was fitted – VERY fitted (and there was a lot to fit.)  I sort of felt like Katy Perry was delivering the five day forecast.  Oh, and I swear she was wearing medium length black socks with her high heels.   It was early, and they only showed her feet once.  Maybe that was just a dream.  High heels and socks?  That’s not something you see at the Fayetteville mall much less on the news in North Carolina.

I return next year for a conference, and I think I’ll stay a while.  Just breathing their air makes me feel all tingly inside.

The Dj’s Calling My Name

Bruce and Bailey Dancing 2

I remember several dances in high school – Elizabeth Hall was my girlfriend.  Like other couples at that odd stage of life, I put my hands cautiously on her hips.  Her arms were draped around my neck.  We weren’t like Sam and Diandra, they were clearly more comfortable with each other than we were.  I don’t think the Keywanett dance was the first time he’d cozied up to her.

In college, I took social dance as a PE elective.  There were more girls than guys in the class which was a bonus for a Freshman who was desperately trying to expand his social circles.  We learned the Fox Trot, the ChaCha, the Waltz and, most importantly, how to Shag.  Next to public speaking, that was the most practical class I took at NC State University.  I use the knowledge gained from Roxanna, our instructor, much more than my understanding and memorization of the Periodic Table in Chemistry.  Perhaps important for some careers, there is scant opportunity at the YMCA to put to use the fact that Berkelium has 14 known isotopes and that its atomic number 97.

One night after my class ended, I persuaded a group of friends to join me at Cheers, a local club, that had three distinct dance rooms:  pop, country and beach music.  It was there I decided I’d focus more on my beach dancing skills.

We were in the pop club and had run into my ex-girlfriend.  She had dumped me the week before, and it was important that I impress her.  I wanted her to get a real sense of what she was missing.  There was a large area where folks would congregate to show off their moves, but the pinnacle was to make your way to the front where there were several elevated stages, a place for the advanced to exhibit.   One stage was set apart with vertical bars as if you were dancing in a cage.  I grabbed a friend, and we forcefully jumped in front of others so that I could be on display for all, and particularly my ex to see.

It started out well but deteriorated quickly.

As Michael Jackson belted out You wanna be startin’ somethin’, you got to be startin’ somthin’, my red bottomed Dirty Buck landed on a piece of ice the previous entertainers had left.  My leg popped out from under me, and I did the most amazing, yet unexpected, split one could imagine.  I worked diligently to pop back up as if simply completing a planned John Travolta Saturday Night Fever maneuver.  It didn’t work.  It was clear to all who saw me this was ugly; a spontaneous accident.

My focus away from spastic, freestyle gyrations to more controlled movements led me to observing and working to perfect the more cautious Shag.  It is amazing how many genres of music this dance can endure.

Some couples learn to move in sync, to anticipate the other’s next step on the floor.  Lisa and I had gotten to that point.  We even practiced in the kitchen, killing time while waiting for the ground beef to brown.

There have been moments over the past six years when I thought I would never enjoy dancing again.  But, I am fortunate to have three daughters!  I have taught all three the basic Shag steps.  And now, they happily fill in when the dj calls my name.  With three, my dance card stays full all night long.

My niece told me that young folks her age don’t know how to dance.  I think, for the most part, she’s correct.  Hopefully my girls can pass along what I’ve taught them to future generations.  Without their guidance, I shutter to think of my grandsons trying to impress girls on the dance floor with my gene pool.

The Wedding Singers

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It has become sort of a Tanner family tradition to perform a song cracking on the bride and groom at family weddings.  I have to give credit to Lisa and Uncle Jesse for starting this custom.  My, has it brought joy to my life.

One of our first was Aunt Sallie.  This past weekend, my niece and now nephew-in-law.  It is so much fun to bust on your relatives when they can’t really respond…

My how we’ve grown…

For the right price, we will come insult you at your most tender moment.  Just give us the nod!

 

Feeling Naked

smithfield-s-chicken

Of course, I’ve been in many locker rooms in my life.  Some with separate showers, some “gang” style.  In middle school, I went through the typical 12 year old “mooning” stage, a male, pre-teen rite of passage where you bare your bottom in an effort to garner outrage from girls of a similar age.  I have no qualms going to the bathroom outside on a camping trip – seems like a natural, comfortable thing to do.  But this past weekend, I was shocked at the troublesome feelings conjured up while in a Smithfield’s Bar-B-Q restaurant off I-85 in Henderson, NC.

We were on our way to Lake Gaston with friends for the Memorial Day weekend.  Although I like North Carolina Bar-B-Q, I always feel a bit grease laden after visiting Smithfield’s.  Perhaps it is the fast food nature of their establishment or the fact that the nearest thing to a vegetable I see on the menu is a French fry.

After ordering, another adult on the trip decided to wash her hands prior to partaking in the meal.  Considering all I had touched since my last scrub, I followed her lead.  Instead of walking all the way to the bathroom, my friend stopped at a wall right beside the ordering counter.  As she rolled up her sleeves, I noticed there was a sink, like the one in your bathroom, attached to the wall… in the middle of the dining area.  Catherine pumped the soap dispenser and commented that it was weird to scrub with others around.  When she finished, I stepped up.  As I turned on the water, I immediately had the sense that I was doing something extremely inappropriate.

I reasoned with myself, Danny, you’re just washing your hands, there is absolutely nothing wrong with what you’re doing.  And yet, I felt as if I was exposed.  Naked.  Visually sharing a private piece of me that no one else should see.

The water ran over my palms.  I glanced around.  I swear a burly dude with a huge eagle tattoo on his forearm was eyeballing me.  I’d been looked at that way before – by a big cleavaged woman in Vegas.  She was looking for dollars.  I’m not sure what he wanted.

There are just certain things you shouldn’t do in front of others and not only the obvious.  You should not iron in front of those unrelated to you.  It is personal.  You should not pluck your eyebrows in public.  Cutting toenails is private, although I did that once in an airport on an unexpected flip flop day.

And apparently, washing hands is a no-no outside the comforts of a small enclosed restroom.  If I were Catholic, I would confess.  I just feel like I did something wrong.

These Horrible Teachers

Mean Teacher

It has to have something to do with the folks who are drawn to teach high school.  The elementary school teachers our family has encountered have been wonderful.  The middle school teachers as well.  And now that we’ve gotten through a semester of college, it seems that the only ones with the problems are that dag burned senior high bunch.  Somewhere around 9th or 10th grade, the people leading my children in their classrooms change.  It happened with DJ, and now it is happening to Stephanie.  Poor souls.

These people are apparently, “trying to kill” my kids.

I’m not clear on the method, but upon entering high school, almost daily, and for nearly four years without ceasing, a child at my dinner table informs me that at least one, and often more, of their teachers, are “TRYING TO KILL” them.

I am dismayed to discover that not only are they trying to get rid of my children, but they are also doing the same to EVERY other kid at their school.  This is a cruel group of adults.

“EVERYONE IS FLUNKING MATH,” I am told when my child confesses to a less than worthy grade.

School administrators should really do something about that.

“Is Ashley flunking too?” I inquire.

“Dad, SHE’S a genius!  But EVERYONE else is FLUNKING!  I know I only got a 73 on the test, but Ann Marie got a 62!”

“I’m so proud.  You weren’t the very worst.”

“Oh, and EVERY girl in that class has a tutor.”

“Mmm.  Well I saw Grace’s mom the other day, and she didn’t mention a tutor.”

“Well, I’m not sure about Grace, but EVERYONE else does.”

“Does Sarah?”

“I DON’T KNOW ABOUT SARAH!!  But Lilly does.”

“So how many girls are in the class?”

“Like 18.”

“So out of 18, you are firmly aware that one has a tutor?  That is like 5%.”

“I’m sure there are more.”

“Mmm.”

The other day I discovered that another teacher had given an exam and had not covered any of the concepts that were on the test prior to.

“Dad, I didn’t do very well on my math test.”

“Why?”

“Because she tested us on material that she had NEVER covered in class.”

“She didn’t cover any of it?

“No.”

“Well, she should be fired.”

“I agree.”

A friend told me his son got a B in PE.  Not unheard of, but this high school boy is one of the strongest athletes at the school.  When my friend asked his son how in the heck he managed to not ace physical education, his son informed him that the teacher was making them write down the rules of volleyball for a grade.

“Don’t you know the rules of volleyball?” his dad inquired.

“Yes I do.  But dad, you aren’t supposed to WRITE in PE!  So I didn’t so the assignment.”

My friend then informed his son that if he ever got a B in PE again, his life would radically change.  He son questioned what that meant.  My friend simply said, “Get that B, and you’ll find out.”

I am sometimes amazed at at what my children will do to lengthen a writing assignment.  Apparently you can go into a Word document and increase the font size of your periods.  On a five page paper, that adds about four 52 characters.  They only have to stoop to these elongating tricks because their teachers assign unreasonably long papers.

When DJ was a sophomore, I was so concerned at the ineptness of one of these instructors that I set a meeting to confront her unprofessional behavior.  It was interesting that she saw things differently than my daughter.  I was a bit embarrassed.  Now, I do a little more investigating before zinging off a terse email to our school’s headmaster about the lack of intellectual prowess of her staff.

I am a lucky dad.  I have three very smart and capable kids who do very well in school.  Thank goodness, considering the teachers.

It’s Quiet Uptown

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When in New York, we were fortunate enough to score tickets to the Broadway musical Hamilton.  I can’t really put into words how moving this experience was for the girls and for me – on a number of levels.

The story, the dancing, the historical lessons and the music were incredible to say the least.  One song particularly struck me.  It’s about grief.  It’s called It’s Quiet Uptown.

I’m assuming the writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has experienced significant loss.  I find it difficult to believe that someone who has not could possibly describe the hole this sort of suffering leaves.

The song starts:

There are moments that the words don’t reach

There is suffering too terrible to name

You hold your child as tight as you can

And push away the unimaginable

The moments when you’re in so deep

It feels easier to just swim down

I did not lose a child, but in my grief there were moments that the words didn’t reach.  There weren’t  adjective that could describe the pain.  It was so deep.  So different from anything I’d ever experienced.  Unique.  No one could provide consoling words, because there simply weren’t any.

The Hamiltons move uptown

And learn to live with the unimaginable

It isn’t about getting over a loss.  It is about learning to live with it.  Figuring out what place the one who has gone will now play in your life.  That may sound absurd, I mean they’re dead.  And yet, there is a role for them.  Memories.  Lessons learned.  Pieces of you that grew from them.  Sort of a spiritual connection that doesn’t just disappear because of physical separation.

I would guess that those who have lost parents feel that connection.  They see their mother or father in themselves.  I have so many traits of my grandfather.  As I age, they become even more apparent.  His legacy lives on.

Miranda describes the changes we encounter in ourselves:

I spend hours in the garden

I walk alone to the store

And it’s quiet uptown

I never liked the quiet before

I take the children to church on Sunday

A sign of the cross at the door

And I pray

That never used to happen before

Grief makes you ponder things that you haven’t considered before.  It makes you question.  It brings about doubts and fears.  You pray in ways that you never have before.  Or perhaps, for some, you stop altogether.

If you see him in the street, walking by

Himself, talking to himself, have pity

The conversations I’ve had – with me.  The physical changes.  Aging.  Maturing.  A loss of innocence.

His hair has gone grey.  He passes every day.

They say he walks the length of the city.

The guilt you find for living.

If I could spare his life

If I could trade his life for mine

The older I get, the more people I meet who fully understand loss. I’m thankful there are others.  I’m glad there aren’t more.

 

The Childbirth

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Thought I’d post an excerpt from my book, Laughter, Tears and Braidsfor those who have not yet read it.  My book describes good times before cancer, our journey through, and the beginnings of putting it all back together.  This was a good time:

Childbirth

I don’t specifically recall being told that we were expecting our first child.  Perhaps it was in September, just a pregnancy kit at home.  I do recall an overwhelming feeling of responsibility.  I enjoyed the process of trying to get pregnant so the news in fairly short order was a bit of a letdown.

We attended Lamaze classes at the hospital closet to our house.  There were about 12 couples in the course and all but two took things rather seriously.  Lisa and I were in that camp.  Our instructor, however, took it all very seriously.  Her classes were well planned, and she did not hold back one teeny detail.

One night our teacher had the soon to be fathers sit on the floor and prop back on pillows.  His spouse was then told to sit in his lap and practice breathing.  Lisa was struggling to get comfortable.

“What’s wrong baby?  Why are you wiggling?”

“Your belt buckle is jabbing me in the back.”

“Oh, I need to remember not to wear a belt on delivery day.”  I took out my pencil and pad and began to scratch a note to myself.

“No worries honey, this is just a breathing exercise.  I don’t think I’ll be lying in the floor propped up against you when the baby actually comes out.”

“Oh.  Right.”  I erased.

On the night they showed a video of the C-section, I began to get light-headed.  Before they even began the operation, I excused myself.  “I cannot watch this, I think I’m going to pass out,” I told my wife.

“YOU    ARE     PATHETIC!  Go drink some water or something.”

Lisa and I talked about our birth plan.  The instructor told us we needed to make decisions about what we wanted to occur during labor and delivery and write it in a notebook to share with our doctor prior to our final visit to the hospital.  She discussed natural childbirth and even suggested that we might want to use a tub or whirlpool during labor.

Who in their right mind would have a baby in a whirlpool?  Does the doctor get in there with you?   Are we all in our bathing suits?  Do you need a snorkel?  Perhaps you don’t have the baby in it; maybe it is a pre-delivery method or something.  Come to think of it, being in water can make one need to go to the bathroom, especially if it’s warm.  Maybe it’s the same phenomenon.

After the first night of class, Lisa looked at me and said, “Our birth plan is to get as many drugs in my system as is humanly possible.  I want them the second I walk into the hospital.  If we go to the hospital and they say I’m not ready to deliver, we will stay in the parking lot.  That is our plan.  You can write it down if you want.”

I fully concurred.  I did not want to see my wife moaning and groaning in pain while delivering my baby.  It’s just all so unnatural.

Lisa also told me that I had three other important jobs during delivery.  Job one was to stay up by her head.  She told me she did not need me down there checking things out.  It was private, between her and her doctor. 

I said, “Honey, I though that area was between you and me.”

“It was between you and me.  Now it is between my doctor and me.  I don’t need the image in my mind of you having that image in your mind.  Stay up by my head.”

That was fine with me!  I’d seen enough childbirth in Lamaze class to last time a lifetime.  I agreed it was probably best not to watch.

The second job I had was to make sure the nurse cleaned off the baby before she slapped her on Lisa’s chest.  

“When the baby comes out, have them wash it off before they give it to me.”

“Why?”

“Because I want a Gerber baby moment, and Gerber babies don’t have blood all over them.”

I’d seen the commercials.  She was right.  I didn’t even know they would try to slop a nasty, unclean baby on you.  I was glad to have something specific to add to the cause.

“Your final job, and I know this is going to be hard for you, is not to make jokes.”

I had no problem with jobs one and two, but no jokes?

When we left the delivery room with our first-born daughter, DJ, the inside of my mouth was as bloody as a Freddie Krueger horror movie victim.  I had bitten my tongue so hard all day to keep from cracking jokes that it was like minced meat.  

Laughter, Tears and Braids is available on Amazon.  Click here to order a copy.

 

 

Rachael Ray Airs Wednesday

Rachael Ray is pictured during the production of "The Rachael Ray Show" in New York on Thursday, March 28, 2016. Photo: David M. Russell/Rachael Ray Show ©2016 King World Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Rachael Ray is pictured during the production of “The Rachael Ray Show” in New York on Thursday, March 28, 2016.  Photo: David M. Russell/Rachael Ray Show  ©2016 King World Productions. All Rights Reserved.

I thought that perhaps they would mention my book, or perhaps help pub up my blog.  Or at a minimum have us help Rachael in the kitchen.  I mean, I can cook chicken nuggets and frozen waffles.

Nah – none of that stuff happened.

But… we did have a great time!

It has been a dream of mine to have a dude in a black suit greet me at the bottom of the airport escalator with my name on a sign:

“Mr. Tanner?  I’m here to transport you to your destination.  May I get your bags?”

I mean who are these people who are so important they don’t have to schlep through luggage and go stand in the taxi line hopeful not to get the one that smells like mothballs or old Chinese food?

Car NYC

Let me tell you… those people are us!

Well, close to us.  Like he wasn’t waiting at the escalator, he was outside.  But he did have a nondescript black sedan, and it did have our name on the side, and he did already know where we were going, because we were very important people, critical to the Rachael Ray Show’s success for the day.

When we arrived at the studio, we were taken to our dressing room.  It had our name outside the door and a bathroom.  And a sign that said hold down the handle when you flush (and not a tacky, hand-written job, it was classy!)  Felt just like home.

Hold handle

They ordered pizza and salad for us (Rachael was interviewing one of the Shark Tank guys so she couldn’t cook) and then interviewed us for a video they were working on to be aired the following day when we taped the show, IN FRONT OF A LIVE (not dead) audience.

At one point, we could hear Ms. Ray outside our door…

It was VERY exciting.

During my interview on the first day, she was talking in the hall, and we had to pause because of the background noise.  Yes, Rachael’s actual, real voice was wreaking havoc on my press time!  I just couldn’t work under those conditions.

That night Rachael’s kind staff hooked us up with two nice rooms at the Hilton on W 26th street.  We put our clothes in one and all slept in the other.

On the second day they sequestered us in a conference room and prepped us for what Rachael might ask.  We were poised, calm, ready for our big break!

We were escorted to makeup where the beauticians did the girls’ hair and applied a bit of makeup.  I went too but there wasn’t much she could do.  She did tell me I had nice hair and then she sponged some stuff under my eyes to hide the bags.  I felt like Boy George.

They kept us in a stairwell and as our taped interview began to air, they rushed us through sound check and trekked us through the set to Ms. Ray’s couch.  I sat right next to her.  She patted my knee to relax me.

When the video ended, all cameras turned to us…

Rachael has a new line of furniture, and we were sitting on her brand new couch!  My tush was actually one of the first tushes to touch that fabric.  Eee-yowza.

She then turned to us, asked where Uncle Jesse was, and I shared that he was working.  She asked the kids two or three questions and then… we had a huge surprise!  DJ Tanner, the real DJ Tanner Candace Cameron-Bure, came out from behind the set!  My girls almost peed their pants which would have been a mess, especially on the new couch.

At the commercial break, they snapped our pic with our two new besties, and then we got to visit with Candace who was extremely gracious.  She even invited us to come out to LA to see them tape their new show, Fuller House.  I gave her my card.  She hasn’t called yet, but we are hopeful.

The show actually airs tomorrow on ABC.  We weren’t on there long so you’ll have to watch quickly.

It was a fabulous experience for my girls and for me.  And the staff at the Rachael Ray Show were really incredible.  Warm, welcoming, professional – what a great experience for our family.

RR Girls Interview

 

 

 

The Male Period

Kotex Test

Michelle jarred my memory.

“Dad, do you remember when you chaperoned our middle school youth mission trip last summer?”

“I do.  That was fun.”

“Do you remember when you and Brooks convinced the boys that they were going to have periods, just like the girls?”

“Vaguely.”

She recanted the story.

Several girls were on their periods the week of the trip.  They were middle schoolers; it was a bit embarrassing.

At one pit stop, the boys saw the girls purchasing supplies, and the teasing began.  Smirks.  Whispers.  The giggles.  Typical male behaviors.

At the time, Brooks, a cool, young, male chaperon, and I were not aware of the ongoing conversations.  As the story goes, one of the girls approached an 8th grade boy.

“Shut up!  You don’t even know what happens!”

“Yes I do.  It’s when the blue water comes out.”  The laughter resumed.

Apparently he had seen the commercials advertising the absorbency of some of the most porous pads.  In it, a cylinder full of blue water is poured into the pad to show its effectiveness.  Not one drop of the Windex looking liquid leaked.  Pretty amazing.

Made sense that the young mind assumed that was actually what came out.  You wouldn’t advertise muffin tins by putting spaghetti in them, would you?

The girls busted out laughing, and the poor clueless boy was bewildered.

Later that day, as the story was unfolded to Brooks and me, the girls asked if we would convince the boys they too would soon be having a visit from Aunt Flo.  It seemed like a reasonable request considering the males had indeed begun the fight.

As we entered the bus after our afternoon outings, one of the males again chose to bring up the subject, this time in earshot of Brooks and me.

“Fellas, why are you bringing this up?” I questioned.

“Yah,” Brooks followed.  “You know, everyone has them.  Your turn is coming.  I just started mine last year.”

I added, “Boys start later than girls.  Usually around 18.”

A silence fell over the bus.  I’d never seen such big eyes IN MY LIFE!

The fact that the girls were rolling in the floor quickly gave our joke away, but if only for a few minutes, we had them convinced.

Now, in the guys’ defense, it is tempting to tease females.  It is our way of flirting.  As a kid, we hit you.  In middle school, we pick at you.  When older, we use lines that are meant to engage you.  And generally, regardless of age, the woman ends up with the upper hand.  My mother had it.  My wife had it.  And all three of my daughters have it as well.  We might as well give up.  We will NEVER know more about ANYTHING than they do.

CBS, Here We Come!

eggo tyson nuggets

Several years ago the girls and I ate dinner at Beasley’s Chicken and Honey downtown.  Mmmm.    They fry up this incredible hen and plop it on a homemade waffle, a little honey drizzled randomly over the bird.  A couple of weeks later, as I struggled with supper options, it hit me:  I could replicate Ashley Christensen’s (Beasley owner) entrée.  I already had the ingredients in the freezer.

I pulled out four Eggo’s and opened a bag of Tyson nuggets, a little Mrs. Buttersworth, and swala!, dinner was served.

I believe that may be how we were discovered.  She heard about my cooking prowess.

Last Thursday, I got a call around 5 PM.  The conversation went something like this:

“This is Jessica from the Rachael Ray Show.  Is this Danny Tanner from The Real Full House blog, the one who wrote the book Laughter, Tears and Braids?”

I assumed Uncle Jesse was punking me, but I chose to play along.

“This is Danny.”  Rachael must need some help in the kitchen, I thought to myself.  Probably working on chicken and waffles.

“I’d like to talk with you about your family.  If you’re interested, we would like to consider flying you and your girls up to be on the show.”

Well, I’ll have to see if I can fit you in between Ellen and dinner at the White house.  I’m receiving a Metal of Honor for my literary genius.

“We are finding that our male viewership is increasing.  We are working on segments that appeal to that audience.”

“So, this isn’t Jesse?”

“Jesse who?”

I didn’t get too excited.  I still wasn’t convinced this wasn’t some sort of elaborate hoax, and we’d had some odd offers before that didn’t pan out.  Three groups have talked to us about reality TV shows.  When I express that I’m not about to have open season in my living room with no editorial control, the conversations tend to wane.  A documentary on pushing through tough times I’d be interested in; the Raleigh version of Honey Boo Boo, not so much.

We’re supposed to fly out today.  I’m not exactly sure what will happen – I think they’re doing some videos of our family on Wednesday and the actual show will be taped on Thursday.  It could be a 15 second snippet with us pointed to in the audience, sort of like Funniest Home Videos, or perhaps we’ll get to sit at the kitchen table and sip on a cup-o-joe with the star.  Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to teach her how to make chicken and waffles.  Talk about a ratings bump!

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