Anna May

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They prepared to leave in the morning when it still felt like night.

Four women in cloaks and hoods gathered around the heavy door. Within their fold stood a child barely seven years of age. Standing closest to the door was Mother Prudence, or so they called her, and she was the elder who had arranged this meeting. Her grey eyes made contact with the face of each woman and nodded before leaning over and kissing small Anna May’s forehead. An unlit lantern rested at her side to be used later. Another nod and the door was opened.

Hurried legs in long skirts shuffled through the soft fog. Anna May’s legs were shorter and she acquired assistance every few seconds to keep up. She thought it odd that, even through the dark and the fog, her sisters feared exposure and their eyes darted around continually. No candles in windows were visible and the sun was barely on the rise – they were safe.

Eventually their weary breaths and aching legs could calm. Twigs began to snap under their feet and Mother Prudence announced they were nearing the wood’s edge. The lantern clanged about her side as she fetched a match. A creaky small door was opened to expose the wick. A strike. A flash. The flamed steadied itself and rested within the lantern. Little Anna May’s face was illuminated and the sisters all saw the worry that clung there.

“You must be brave my little Anna May,” her sister with the long red hair whispered from underneath her hood. Then, from her cloak, she produced a small doll of yarn and cloth and added, “We made this for you. Your sisters and I did.”

A smile crept from underneath Anna May’s fear and she hugged her new doll tight. Mother Prudence gave a nod and a look of approval at the sister that went along with it. Indeed she was young, but Anna May had seen that look from the mother before. The glow of the lantern revealed stains upon the doll and stitches where the fabric had been once torn. This was no new doll.

“Let us begin.” Mother Prudence announced. The sisters fell into a single file line. Anna May walked behind the lady with the lantern with one sister’s hands on her shoulders, prodding her forward.

Along their travel, the sun slowly crept up into the wood and Anna May was now being carried by her sister. She had grown tired but her doll remained clutched in her small hands. The sway of her sister’s hips as they trodded lulled her to sleep.

“Sisters!” a distant voice cried with delight. Anna May jerked awake. Her heart pounded. Deep in the wood there were more women gathered. All in the same cloaks. More sisters. They met each other with hugs and kisses upon each other’s cheeks. Bushels of flowers rested behind them. And behind the flowers stood the man who hummed a song.

Anna May stood silent against a tree, always keeping an eye on the man, and the sisters rehearsed their lines. They repeated after each other where exactly they picked the flowers, recited songs they would say they sang in unison on their walk and even practiced their laughter when telling of a sister’s incident involving a briar bush.

“Anna May?” the man called with a gentle wave of his hand. He was grey, and his features wrinkled but he wore very fine clothes. Mother Prudence gave the man a nod and his shiny shoes carefully shuffled to the tree.

“That’s a nice little doll you have there.”

No response.

“Do you like dolls?”

She wouldn’t look up from the ground.

“Are you afraid, Anna May? Don’t worry if you are. I would be too. We don’t know each other yet,” He gave a kind smile. “My name is Mr. Manley but you can call me Timothy. Your sisters tell me you lost your mommy and your daddy. You must be very sad. I lost mine as well. So, I’ve been sad too. I’m hoping that maybe I can take care of you. We will have lots of fun together. Promise!”

Anna May continued to be silent and the man continued to hum his song.

“My little sweet girl,” Mother Prudence sighed with her hand lifting Anna May’s chin, “Mr. Manley-”

“Thomas.” he interrupted politefully.

“Thomas,” she continued, “has come to take care of you. Now, we don’t have much time, so be a sweet thing like always and give him a hug”

Crouching low, his arms opened wide and Mother Prudence insisted her in his direction. Anna May obliged the man but as she stepped away from Mother Prudence she felt the doll be taken from her grasp. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Mother Prudence tuck it under her cloak. 

It was time to go.

The flowers may not have been for Anna May but one sister made her a crown and rested it upon her white blonde hair as she stood there next the man, her hand in his. Everyone smiled and some even tossed flower petals in the air.

They were celebrating, joyfully.

“Goodbye, Anna May!” the Sisters repeated over and over. Eventually their boisterous farewells, along with their dark cloaks, disappeared in the distance. Some went to the south and others to the west. Timothy led her north, humming along the way.

As the sun warmed the earth and the summer breeze rattled the green leaves, Anna May began to feel content. It was a beautiful day and the man – Mr. Manley – Timothy – or whichever – had a somewhat soothing singing voice. From time to time, while humming, he would release a word or two though never truly audbile.

“How did you lose your mom and dad?” she finally spoke to him.

“Breaking the silence eh?” He chuckled. “My mother and father got very sick a very long time ago and they didn’t live long after that. How about you my sweet Anna May?”

“My mommy and daddy aren’t sick. They told me to stay near but I got lost and-” she was cut off by his hand across her mouth and a cheerful grin.

“Let’s talk about something else! How about it?” He insisted, “Ah! Looky here!” They had reached a clearing where an old rusted truck sat. Like a gentleman, he opened the door for the child and helped boost her into the passenger’s seat. While he helped with her safety belt, he continued to sing and Anna May asked another question, “Timothy what song are you singing?”

“My dear! It’s one I wrote this very morning on my way to meet you!” He proclaimed loudly in the wood, “Would you like to hear it?”

A silent nod allowed him to continue. He slammed the truck door and made his way around the truck. Leaning into the open window on the driver’s side, he serenaded Anna May with a smile from ear to ear and the most boisterous of voices.

They say she’s beautiful
They say she’s sweet
Anna May! My Anna May!
So I sing this song
And I move my feet
To prepare for our wedding day!

Sun & Sand

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Prefacing a birthday with a beach bonanza of sorts requires a list of MUST-HAVES
-$$$ to make it possible
-SPF 2,000 for the ghost friends
-A variety of refreshments to keep the weekend in full swing
-The brightest and/or tackiest beach giddup you can conjure
-Skanky beach aliases to make things more interesting
-Those that have been around to witness your transition to seawitch

And maybe the most important… a playlist to serve as the soundtrack to all your forthcoming shenanigans.

While my playlist is still growing and changes are being made you can follow it’s progression on spotify by clicking the link below. 100+ songs so far!

This playlist was made to set the stage for summer with plenty of Indie Pop, Afropop, Soul and R&B. Selections from the past are sprinkled in with hits from today. Tastes may vary but I feel this cluster of songs will be like your beach buzz: smooth… upbeat… a little funky at times… and ready to keep going!

Give it a listen today! 

[Sun & Sand Playlist – Click to Listen ]

Also make sure to follow me on Facebook where I link my blog posts and share other interesting items I find. Currently I’m sharing music videos for songs on my playlist to help you get through your work day!

[The Misterhood of the Traveling Pizza on Facebook]

Dear Pensacola: A Love Letter

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Dear Pensacola,

My nerves are about to drive me crazy as I prepare to meet you for the first time. I hope you are just as excited as I am! These feelings, those that promises of sun & sand stir up, are something I haven’t experienced for a long time but… you have changed that. You’ve changed me.

It is my hope that you don’t mistake this overflow of excitement for vocalized, unrealistic expectations. As wonderful as a perfect and picturesque weekend would be… our brief time together means more to me than you could ever imagine and more than overcast skies and rain could ever stifle.

So, please, don’t feel the need to impress me. You already have. You are what I need right now. Without the sun, the sand will mean just as much.

“What is it that I am anticipating then?”, I’m sure you’re wondering. But I assure you there is no timeline or schedule that needs to be planned and strung along during our special time together. With you I feel there will be no boredom, no voids or slots to be filled… I’m sure you think I’m just putting you up on a pedastol but… this is just the truth.

All the little things. That’s what I yearn for. They are what I need.

I need sunsets with you and even more importantly I need sunrises with you. I need to wage a war with this thing they call sleep deprivation and prove that you, my Helen of Troy, are worth every yawn and dark circle that force themselves upon my face. I need to permanently imprint the tastes of you upon my mind so I will always have our time to revisit. I need to forget this simple world that I’m leaving behind and just let time stand still while I embrace everything that you are.

While it seems somewhat impossible that you would feel even remotely as deeply about me as I do for you… I hope that you will wait for me patiently and at least allow a small smirk from your lips when you think of me.

Soon, my love, we will have each other.

Soon.

Xoxo

Ya wanna do somethin’?

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On my morning commute I came across an idea. It was just there, sitting on the side of the road all overzealous and wearing a shirt that said “You’re Going To Fail”. I chuckled and gave him a ride anyways.

One of my favorite passtimes is to go through my Facebook feed or even my friend’s list and look at each person and say… does this person even care that I exist? Or if they appear to be posting things I don’t agree with on a scale that I just can’t handle… I simply ‘unfriend’ them. It sounds juvenile but it’s actually quite a spiritual experience. You are finally ripping down the pretense that we’ve created over the years. We have been led to believe that if I work with this person, have class with this person or even meet this person at a party… I must add them on Facebook.

Some people it even goes further. They add people they don’t even know, haven’t even met, friends of friends that they find cute because… well come one… that’s what really matters right?

(Insert eyeroll)

I refuse to be a person that just collects individuals though as back ups for when everyone else is busy or when I need a self-esteem boost via a new selfie upload.

Still, as I look at my dwindling amount of Facebook friends, I realize that is still quite the large amount of people. Do I have anything to do with them though? My core friend group seems to waver around a 6-8 number and I have many more friends than that on social media.

So I have an offer to make. Instead of sitting and wondering why I never see this person anymore or wondering if there is a night that a blackout took over and I possibly ruined their life… I’m going to do this…

If you want to be a part of my life. If you want to hang out or cross each other’s paths. Here I am.

It can be a lunch or a dinner or drinks or a movie or something crazy random or even slightly outdoorsy (insert heavy breathing).

For the past however many months I have been attempting to be happier and live my life how I want rather than how is convenient.

This doesn’t have to take place soon or even this month. We’re all adults with busy lives… but I am going to make a list of each person who takes me up on this and I am going to sit and plan and I’m not giving up on anyone unless you give up first!

Facebook, instagram, text, wordpress comment… here I am folks… we were friends in some way shape or form once. Do you wanna hang out?

Addendum: JD sir you are automatically on this list because you made every effort to hang out with me over the holidays and those plans got shunned. I will find a way to make it to you although Jamie O’Neal says there is no Arizona.

Sun & Sand

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I take playlists very seriously.

It’s just a well known fact.

And as I prepare for what will most certainly be my best birthday adventure yet I am also preparing what I hope to be a summer playlist like no other. Sun and sand go hand in hand with the appropriate music.

As a child my eyes watched countless films depicting epic Summers that both the young and the not-so-young (I’m looking at you Stella) experienced. While these films were great on their own, what I really paid attention to was their soundtracks.

The tunes that played when they popped the cap off their soda in glass bottles.

The beats that drummed while they let go of things in their every day life that were holding them back.

Those melodies that made us want to fall in love with a stranger or a strange place we were hesitant to explore.

I’m attempting to collect the perfect tracks for the warm seasons of 2017. The old, the new, the inbetween… a soundtrack for the dog days of summer.

Once I’ve made enough progress, and have a hefty enough list, I will post a link for you to enjoy the collection.

Until then though follow along through my Facebook page as I link music videos of my selections.

Follow The Misterbood on Facebook
Stay tuned!

Only The Gods Are Real.

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My newest obession isn’t new at all – only new to me. It’s actually an over-a-decade old obession for some.

Let me pause to say: I read a book.

This is a big thing for me. As a child I took part in a competitive reading program. Accelerated Reader. I mean… it worked. Prizes were awarded but I did also enjoy reading and did a lot of it for a 10 year old but by the end of fifth grade I was done reading. Suddenly, reading became painful to me. The last book I remember that I chose to read, completed and retained it’s information was ‘Dracula’ and it still remains my favorite book.

Well… maybe.

So here I am, some 10+ years later, and I’m finding it a necessary comfort to tote a book around with me where ever I scurry.
This entry in The Misterhood of the Traveling Pizza isn’t just about a book though. No, this is something much larger.


I am so thankful a handsome, tall and cheerful fellow waltzed into work one day with a passion for the imaginary and a path to set me on. This soulmate-esque coworker spoke often of what I believe is his favorite author and highly suggested the best seller “American Gods”. Sure, it took me a couple years but, I’m finally wading into the waters that cause one to fall madly in love with Neil Gaiman.
The moment I sat in that silent gym and first opened the crisp pages of my newly purchased book… I knew it was for me. The tone, the characters, the subject matter, the pop culture references. They all made it seem like this book was written just for me.

Suggesting it to others is a new hobby of mine. “American Gods” is a novel about a man, imprisoned, who gets out a little early due the death of his beloved wife. He’s made some poor choices but he’s soon to find out so have other people in his life. On his way to her wake he comes across a strange man who wants to hire him for odd jobs and… security? Our main character is then thrown into this world that exists without our knowledge and yet stands nexts to us in day to day life.

As we all immigrated to America we brought our culture, our lore, our gods. They took root in America as we created what we now call ‘the metling pot’. Times change though and today our greedy society is taking power from the old gods and new ones have been created. Technology, media, money – all the things we give unlimited power to today.


Without giving away too much I can say our main character ‘Shadow’ gets to explore these gods, this… other world (so to speak) and gets caught in the cross fire of that tale as old as time where the past fights the future. Now that I’ve completed the tenth anniversary edition of ‘American Gods’ I can definitely see why it was an international best seller.
What made me finally go out and buy it was the fact that Starz had created a television series of it that was soon to air. Having given up on reading, I’m normally one of those usual suspects who hasn’t read the books that television series are based on. This time was going to be different. With a trustworthy recommendation and content that closely related to my interests, I felt an urgent need to complete this book before it made its way to my t.v. screen.

That’s what else this entry is about. My obsession doesn’t end with “The End”. Watching both trailers for the upcoming series has become a daily religious practice of mine. You can watch it at the link below. Or go back to my Facebook page where I will post it immediately after this.

[American Gods: Season 1 Trailer]
Neil Gaiman himself approves of Starz’s creation and the cast has me giddy like a school child. Now, I know our main character ‘Shadow’ from Keri Russell’s “Austenland” where he played a horribly over the top soap opera actor but from what I’ve seen it doesn’t seem like serious, stoic characters are absent from his wheel house. You’ll know the others though:

Ian McShane
Emily Browning
Kristin Chenoweth
Gillian Anderson
Orlando Jones
Crispin Glover
Cloris Leachman
Dane Cook

and… wait for it… Pablo Schreiber aka Pornstache from “Orange Is The New Black”.

As you watch the trailers and read the novel you get unspoken promises of blood, sex, mythology and sheer epicness. But.. maybe you don’t want to commit to reading it though because the show is just a month way.

Well you’re in luck! The first season is said to cover a third of the book with episodes giving you backstory not found in the text. Watch the 8 episodes… if it tickles your fancy… read the book. You can find cheap copies on Amazon or even get the audiobook free with Audible’s 30 day trial. I bought the $20 tenth anniversary edition at B&N and then found a Neil Gaiman double feature hardback for $25 that I added to my collection. This one is a good idea because you get Anansi Boys as well, which tells the tale of another character.

If you’re just interested in the show though I will leave you with this nifty chart Neil Gaiman shared himself. Starz obviously isn’t known for it’s AMAZING shows like HBO or Showtime so they want everyone to know their options. Thank the gods for Amazon Prime!