Monday, January 29, 2007

The Coffee Talk Companion: "Sovereign of the Seas."

The Coffee Talk Companion is an ongoing feature in which we dissect and discuss former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel's online journal entries.

Lisa's on a cruise this week! Not only did she pick the laziest kind of vacation a human can take—a cruise—but, of course, it's a Christian cruise. AND she's still on the frickin' Daniel fast which totally negates the only reason EVER to take a cruise: to eat until you cry cheese. AND she forgoes writing about the cruise, which would have made for the best Coffee Talk entry, like, ever, to give us some more Bible-themed reflections on 2006. Can you imagine?

Eh. Well, there are pictures of Justice included (old pictures, but we'll take whatever Justice we can get), so we'll let her start yappin'.

I’m writing this from my cabin on a cruise ship. Now, before you get too jealous let me just remind you that I’m STILL on the Daniel fast! Yes, on a cruise. Actually, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Although, I have no intention of eating one more piece of fruit in any form: raw, cooked, dried, preserved, rolled up, or chocolate-covered for the whole month of February. And, I can’t wait for my first cup of coffee on Sunday morning! Yea!

Hey. Sometimes it's the little things. You know? Yea!

This is the K-Love Friends and Family cruise. Premiere Christian Cruises puts this all together and they are the same people who will also be putting together the Music Boat cruise to Jamaica in April of this year. If that sounds interesting to you please click on the banner on my home page and find out more about the trip.

Oh, god, we are SO tempted to book passage on the Music Boat cruise. Actually, no, we're more tempted to try to get Rosie's gay cruise to book the same schedule and follow the Music Boat cruise around all week.

And do we think all the Caubles will be on this cruise? Well, we know Steve will be somewhere else, but what about the kids? We ask only because it would be the perfect opportunity to put into effect Operation: Donut Rescue. Anyone on board? (On board—we're so clever! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.)

I took Clancy on their Girls’ Getaway cruise two years ago and she celebrated her 13th birthday on board. So, I’ll be taking Haven on that cruise this year to celebrate her 16th birthday.

Ah. Never mind. Operation: Donut Rescue will have to wait until the Rapture.

So, I got to thinking, I would really like to take Tucker on a cruise, just the two of us, before he leaves home. Since this cruise was scheduled for the same week as his 17th birthday I called up my friend at Premiere Christian cruises and asked if I could hop on board even if I wasn’t speaking on the cruise. He shocked me when he said, “Lisa, I just sent my last son off to college and I so believe in what you want to do I will give you a cabin and all you’ll need to take care of is the tax.” Oh my goodness, what a gracious and wonderful gift of time and memories with my son.

He shocked her?!?! Imagine our shock to learn someone let Lisa on a cruise ship for free. Is it decreed in Revelations that, Come the turn of the new millennium, one woman above all others shall be selected to ruineth the vacations of millions? You know, Christ was crucified about 2000 years ago. It's time to move on, people. Geez.

But that’s not all, my best friend in the whole wide world,, was to be speaking on the cruise so I would also get to spend time with, which is too rare since and live in different states and both have crazy busy lives. (By the way, you really must check out her website, to see if she is speaking near your home town. And sign up for her Mailing List while you’re there!)

Oh, what hysterics! Lisa refers to her BFF as a URL and implies that her BFF refers to her as a URL, too. Because they don't have time in their busy lives to actually speak to each other! So they just end up reading each other's journal entries! And then call each other their domain names! Oh, that is rich. Well, we'd like to play, too, and From now on, please refer to us as

Right this minute, Tucker is waiting for me to walk upstairs for dinner. That, plus the fact that I made a promise to you last week, means I will be posting a few more random journal entries from my 2006 personal Bible study journal for this week’s Coffee Talk. (The rest of the pictures this week are from the same time period my personal ramblings were written.)

And this is the place where seriously contemplates Since 2007 began, we've lost our job, had back surgery, have run out of milk TWICE and lost our maid Clarita to a random INS sweep. (Fine, one of those things didn't happen.) Alas, we don't have the strength to analyze Lisa's Bible Code this week. Sorry! So we'll just go ahead and list five key words from her monkey business that we feel best sum up her thoughts. Dot com.

1.) Zerubbabel
2.) warfare
3.) sacrifice
4.) sufferings
5.) death

Actually, sorry, those five words best sum up how we feel when we subject ourself to Lisa's thoughts. Her list of inspiration would probably look something more like this:

1.) Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich
2.) Bloomin' Onion
3.) Diet Dr. Pepper
4.) Appeteazer
5.) Michael's

Which is interesting because if you take letters from all the words from the Biblical portion of this week's Coffee Talk entry and put them together, you can form the above list. Well, you do have to add your own "z", but still. However, we will mercifully forego reprinting here this week's Biblical blather. (This act of kindness could best be compared to driving from Tallahassee to Miami without having to go through the seven hours of bullshit in between.) Should you want to subject yourself to the full Coffee Talk entry, knock yourselves out. But don't say you haven't been warned. Repeatedly. Like every week since July 2006.

That out of the way, let us get to this week's most important 2006 Revelation for us: We were not aware that before his hosting job at Chili's, Tucker was a drive-thru attendant at Chick-fil-A!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are thus assuming that Tucker finally got his cruise at 17 (as opposed to Haven's 16 and Clancy's overachieving 13) because of this Chick-fil-A/Chili's bifecta. Nicely, played, Tuck. See, this leads us to once again aver that Tucker is totes working a master plan. He's reaping the benefits (meager as they may be) of growing up Cauble without catering to his mom's Christian needs. Rather, he's catering to his mom. Literally. Tucker's smoke-and-mirrors use of chain restaurant employment is nicely distracting ol' Leese from the fact that he's, well, wearing a Led Zeppelin T-shirt.

In the words of Deniece Williams, Let's hear it for the boy! We are THIS close to emailing Tucker on MySpace and asking him to spearhead Operation: Donut Rescue. But, no. We don't want to fuck up Tuck's plan. We are now convinced that as 2007 progresses (and stops being the asshole it's been so far) and Tucker approaches 18, we'll be seeing some very interesting Tuck-related changes.

Stop. Justice time.



Oh my goodness, I can’t believe that in two “Coffee Talks” I’m still only through May 2006 of journal reflections.

Yeah, us either. Have no fear, folks, we'll be treating the subsequent 2006 reflections much as we treated this week's—by not treating them at all. Though, we of little faith have little faith that Lisa will actually complete her reflections. She left us hanging midway through last fall's "Churches I Have Known" tour, and we couldn't have been more pleased. Well, we could have if she'd never begun it at all, but that, unfortunately, wasn't up to us.

Well, I guess I’ll have to continue another week (or two.)

Well, if you're going to threaten us yet again, lady, we'll respond, yet again, accordingly: PERIOD OUTSIDE THE FUCKING CLOSE PARENTHESIS.

By the way, I’m back from dinner and now I have to pack my bags, set them outside the door and meet Tucker for a late-night concert by “The Afters.”

Hmmm. The Afters. Yeah, they're Christian, but remember, Tucker had no choice. He was trapped on a boat. This was all part of the plan, people. Trust us, after the Afters, Tucker put mom to bed and sneaked down to the staff bar. The booze is cheap down there and the staff barely speaks English. Meaning, they're drunk and have no idea they're on a Christian cruise. Oh, and we know these facts only because we lived and worked on a cruise ship for four months. But that's another story for another time.

“Thank You, God, for the gift of this cruise, a son who still wants to hang out with his mom, a best friend I can’t get enough of, cyber friends who care enough to read my personal ramblings, the treasures you hide in Your Word just for me, the promises attached to fasting, and the hope of coffee in only two more days! I am lavishly blessed by Your generous Father’s heart.”

And, if we may...

Thank you, Lisa, for the gift of the cruise portion of this week's Coffee Talk entry, a woman who still wants to hang out with her son, a best friend who's a Web site, the insistent use of the term "cyber friends," the treasures hidden in such sentences as "And, I can’t wait for my first cup of coffee on Sunday morning! Yea!", the promises attached to more unhealthy fasting and the hope of another Coffee Talk entry in only seven more days! We are lavishly blessed by your generous, unsolicited accounts of visits to what most of us refer to as reality.

Or not.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Coffee Talk Companion: "iGod."

The Coffee Talk Companion is an ongoing feature in which we dissect and discuss former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel's online journal entries.

Ladies and gentleman, it's the first proper entry of 2007! Well, kind of. Well, not really.

At the beginning of this year, rather than make New Year’s resolutions, I looked backwards at 2006.

Sounds about right. Resolutions require more work in that they're vows still to be broken. Easier for Lisa to look back on what's already been ruined.

I spent one whole afternoon reading through my journal and thanking God and marveling at so many promises fulfilled and areas of growth through challenges.

We're pretty sure god was the one marveling here when he heard Lisa say "promises fulfilled" and "areas of growth." Unless she was talking about her waist. If that's the case, we, and god, stand corrected.

I thought I’d simply share a few snippets from my journal to give you a snapshot of my heart in 2006 and God’s faithfulness to care for it so tenderly, yet powerfully, especially through His Word. (I’ve also included a few pictures from the same time frame.)

Nothing about Tucker's 18th? Jeez. Pics from last year DO NOT count.

Fine. Let's see what she has to say.

“God, I want to be whatever size and weight you want me to be. I relinquish my opinion on what that should be. Whatever the weight, I need your help to get there and stay there. Like everything else in my life, I am unable to do anything in my own strength. I admit my inability. Please have Your way in me as I submit to You. Please fill me with Your power as I admit my weakness. Give me faith to believe you have heard and are faithful to answer. Thank You.”

OK. Forget that we were ever interested in Tucker's birthday.

BWHA?!?!?!?!?!??! First of all, THIS is what she chooses to be at the top of her 2007 prayer priority list? Is that, um, OK? Seriously. We don't know. We've fortunately never read the entire Old Testament. And all we really know of the New Testament is that for the movie version, Andrew Lloyd Webber added an unnecessary second-act song for Yvonne Elliman. But, common sense would have us believe that when one asks something of god, it's probably holiest to start off with something, well, selfless and non-refreshment-related.

Second of all, please note here that Lisa Whelchel is relinquishing her inability to eat non-fried foods to the mercy of god. We just want to make sure you totally understand what's happening. Got it? Good. That clarified, we'd like to inform all readers of this site that we have just put ourselves on Lisa Whelchel's Heavenly Diet™. We'll even share our first dietary prayer (chocolate-hued, thank you) so that, should you be interested, you'll be able to join us.

God, even though we don't believe in you, we're willing to make an exception so that, like your disciple, former child actress and current self-appointed bike ambassador Lisa Whelchel, we can eat this entire box of Ding-Dongs in front of us and not feel an ounce of guilt. Certainly if you're open to taking the blame for Lisa, and now us, turning into Poseidon Adventure-era Shelley Winters, you're cool with us believing in you just for this one item. See, Lisa likes to teach others about Christianity, and if we've learned anything from her, it's that the tenets of said religion are to be interpreted as one wishes and at one's convenience. More importantly, these Ding-Dongs are de-licious!

“I felt led to fight for the peace of our family. There is so much strife between the kids. I asked God what I should fast from. I was surprised when He told me to offer the sacrifice of praise. Bummer. I wanted to fast food and lose some weight as a side bonus. I have been going into my closet with my ipod and portable speakers and singing and speaking praise and worship. It makes sense. I’m learning that the root of the strife in our home is pride. So worship directly combats that pride. Also, elevating and exalting Jesus puts our puniness in perspective producing humility. Also worship enters the spirit realm and it permeates the atmosphere of our home driving out the prince of this world with the presence of the Prince of Peace.”

As if it couldn't get better, Lisa is now surprised that god didn't tell her to give up food, but, instead, told her to quit bugging him. Need we again stress how convenient this is? And, why on earth did she want to "fast food," as she says (which we obviously think is more than a Freudian slip)? She just cleared it with god that her huge hips are going to be his fault, so why would she think he gave a shit if she gobbled down the entire state of Texas? She's put him in a lose-lose situation, much as she does with her family. And us. So, clearly, everyone, including god, is going to be all, Bitch, stop talking!

After the part about where she goes into the closet to talk to her iPod, we have no idea what's happening, so we're going to move on...

“Genesis 19:16 – “And while he (Lot) lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord, being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.” Two things jump out at me in this verse. First, it is so encouraging that even when we drag our feet in obedience, God in His mercy, will grab our hands and lead us to safety if we are His. Secondly, once again, God saves the whole household. I love that about God’s ways and I’m grateful.”

So now, not only has she unloaded her fatty tendencies on god, but she's just, like, Oh, yeah, my family's a mess, but "God saves the whole household"! Perhaps god should have spelled "Stifle it!" in French fries for her to have gotten the picture because, clearly, she hasn't sacrificed an ounce of praise. You know, the mommy in me thinks the mommy in her should take some accountability for the way things are in her house. Especially if she's going to go so far as to not only be the kids' mom but also their teacher.

Ah. Fuck it. What have we learned so far? God's good for convenience and denial.

“Genesis 19:29 – “And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.” What comfort. God honors and answers our prayers for our relatives. God will save and rescue our loved ones even if they are in the middle of sin of their own volition. God will send rescuing angels to grab them and pull them out of their sin and provide a place of safety for them. All because of our prayers.”

Call us crazy, but it sounds like here god's just destroying a bunch of crap.


We forgot.

Convenience and denial.

For those of you who might still be confused at this point, let us attempt to further clarify:

One of our favorite books is Dracula. A brief synopsis of said book could be, "Jonathan Harker goes to work for Count Dracula in Transylvania, learns he is a vampire, escapes and brings back to England a world of trouble."

With Lisa's method of thinking, the same book could be synopsized as "The candy factory funs out of sugar and every fairy, elf and unicorn on the planet is called to make the moon stop crying."


“In my Bible study today Beth Moore wrote something that struck me with deep conviction. “Sometimes we do only what we must to get by on a project because we have 15 other projects nipping at our heels. We’re pushed too hard and too fast to go the extra distance excellence demands.” Wow! This is so true in my life. I was feeling pretty discouraged and like I had been letting God down with all my crazy busyness. I quieted my soul and asked God to search my heart and show me how to serve him with excellence rather than barely keeping it all together. While mulling it over, the word “contrapuntal” came to my mind. Since this isn’t a word I’ve thought of since I first heard it from a musician I was dating over 20 years ago, I figured it must be the Holy Spirit. I went to to look it up. The definition is “having two or more independent but harmonically related melodic parts sounding together.” Musically, this means rather than the more common way to write music which is one melody strengthened by corresponding harmonies, contrapuntal is having more than one melody that work together to create their own harmony of sorts. “So, what does that mean in this context, God?” I think God is telling me that I’m not creating a cacophony with a bunch of discordant responsibilities in my life but they really are all working together. I perceive my main melodies to be: wife & mother, ministry (public & personal,) relationship with Jesus, stuff that must be done in life. Steve suggested to me that God was giving a word of encouragement. My life was not out of tune or out of control, rather God was doing a complex work that all worked together to create something with a unique depth of beauty.”

Oh, god, remember when we said before we'd only believe in you for the food thing? Well, it would be really convenient if you let us believe in you again so that we could ask you to please make Lisa stop using music terminology to try to explain her denial. See, we spent many long hours at frickin' FSU to attain a degree in music. This prattle right here is a.) giving us nasty flashbacks to our 10:45 a.m. 18th-Century Counterpoint class and b.) meaningless. Well, more meaningless than usual. It's as if we started using words from a physics textbook to explain The Wiggles. Or Dracula.

And if you, dear reader, didn't feel like even bothering with the above paragraph, for which we don't blame you at all, it involves Lisa blaming her mess of a life on god's busyness with his plans for her. Surprise!

For a bit of relief from this all, here's a pic of Justice and Maria minus Maria:

“Luke 1:71 - Zacharias Prophecy “That we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.” What struck me about this passage was the fact that I’m sure the Jewish nation had in their minds what this prophecy meant – they would have a king who would deliver them from oppressive rulers. But God had something different in mind. I think I probably do that often. I assume I know what God is going to do or how he’s going to do it. It would be better to lay down my expectations and simply open myself and surrender to His will, whatever it is.”

Sounds like you're doing an A+ job at surrendering your will to god, Lisa. But let's be scientific about this and take a look at the responsibility scoreboard just to make sure:

God = 100%

Lisa = 0%

Very good, indeed. Oh, and you get extra points, Leese, for taking Bible verses out of context and using them as they suit your needs. Sure, that practice is as ancient as Mindy Cohn's career, but you take it to a new level, lady. Four Stars of David to you!

John 16:13 – “However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth for He will not speak on His own authority but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” This verse seems to refute what many teachers preach, that God doesn’t speak to us, except through His Word and that prophecy is not for today. I get the opposite from this Scripture. It seems to me that Jesus is specifically saying that He will send His Spirit and He will speak to us and guide our steps and even give us a heads-up on the future.”

Well, it didn't take Sylvia Browne to predict how this was gonna wrap up. God made the mess, and now he's certainly gonna spritz some holy water and clean it up. In fact, he's gonna bring his son, too! (Well, the place is a mess!) Lisa can just sit back, stuff her face with a Bloomin' Onion, let the kids do their book reports in crayon, spend more of her imaginary money, allow Donut to ruin the carpet, and scrapbook till daddy falls off the roof. No worries!

Here's the thing: of course Lisa Whelchel's not making any resolutions. She doesn't have to. It's all out of her hands.

Except it's not. And therein lies the problem with these laissez-faire religious shenanigans. God's not there to work FOR you. He's there to work WITH you. Guadalupe is there to work FOR you, and Guadalupe doesn't feel like fucking cleaning up your mess any more than you do. ¿Comprende?

Golly, I’m not even through March yet. I’ll continue reading and share some more next week. Happy New Year! (I know it is a bit late but I’m running a bit late in every area this year.)

No, please! Make it stop! There are only so many marginally clever ways we can come up with to explain the convenience-and-denial method. Just tell us about Tucker's 18th, lady! Was it at Chili's so Tucker could get god an employee discount? Or did god spring for Applebee's? And what did god get Tucker, Lisa? Did god make Tucker save the wrapping paper, or was he content to let it be thrown out? Did god even do anything for Tucker's 18th? Or was god too busy apologizing for the Orbit gum on Christmas?

We'll have to wait until next for none of the answers to these and many more questions. In the meantime, god bless you, Charlotte Rae.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Coffee Talk Companion: "Food, Vainglorious Food."

The Coffee Talk Companion is an ongoing feature in which we dissect and discuss former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel's online journal entries.

Well, you know what they say. Once a derelict, always a derelict. Which is why this week Lisa once again hands us off to her good friend Sarah, as if we're some inconsequential plush toy to be bandied about an orphanage.

Listen, lady, we've got a job to do here, and it depends on you. We're sure Sarah's a great gal, but she wasn't on one of our favorite childhood TV shows, so, to put it as nicely as we can, we don't give a born-again lick about her. And, we're not interested in giving her any traffic. There are a billion-trillion crappy Web sites out there, Lisa, and if we start shuttling people over to Sarah's crappy site, we risk the chance of losing readers of this crappy site. The point is, Lisa, yes, you can silence us by invoking the Sarah Shield, but we know you far too well to believe you can do this more than once or twice a year. You'll be writing about yourself again in no time, sweetheart. Trust us.

Alas, Lisa couldn't even just hand us over to Sarah this week. She wrote a few introductory paragraphs. See? There's always something. To which, we say...

Game on!

I’m heading out the door to drive down to Houston, Texas to visit my best friend who is speaking at a church just north of town. She lives in Knoxville so if she’s anywhere in Texas I will be there. Of course, I realized too late that I hadn’t written a journal entry for this week. I breathed a quick prayer, “Dear Lord, I don’t want to let my cyber friends down again but I don’t have a spare minute to write this before I leave town and I don’t want to be writing while I’m with Angela. What can I do?”

We can just picture god yet again ripping out his Lisa-to-English dictionary and being like, "What the fuck is she talking about now? Cyber friends? Jesus Christ, can you believe this woman? No, really, my son, can you?"

I immediately thought of my friend, Sarah, whom I introduced you to last year. Of course, she always writes such a delightful blog and she will probably have something to share about toddlers. I logged onto her blog and discovered she had recently written about our church wide call to a “Daniel Fast.” Perfect!

Wait, why would we care two iotas if Sarah had something to say about toddlers? Hold up. Is that what this is all about? Is Lisa writing her Coffee Talk journal for the playground set? 'Cause that would, like, make so much sense.

Wait. No. None of this would even make sense to a three-year-old. Never mind.

And here we go again with the fasting. What is it with these people and their frickin' fasting? How about instead of fasting, they take a vow of silence? Forever.

Oh, and because Lisa does not provide photos with her entry this week, we'll just go ahead and post pics of famous Daniels to go along with this Daniel Fast business. Trust us—pictures of any kind make blogs so much easier to digest. Especially this one.

Since we go to the same church we are all participating in this fast. (Although, as you read down below, just note that I am “the friend” who was reluctantly participating but who had a bad attitude about the fast at first. By the same token, I am also the one who came home from hearing a great pastor and shared the phrase, “Extreme obedience brings extreme blessing,” which has become our mantra around here.)

No. Lisa is reluctant to participate in a fast? That's crazy talk! She's usually so good with fasts. How else could she have gone up two sizes last year? Must be all that fasting. Time to change that mantra, Leese. Maybe something like, Extreme eating brings extreme clothes. Or, If you find yourself shopping at Lane Bryant, you have only yourself to blame.

After I had my attitude adjustment the whole family jumped in with both feet.

Did they? Really? And what does "whole family" mean, here, exactly? Steve's probably off somewhere doing something with someone. Tucker's showing Herndon party of six to their table at Chili's. Donut's reading The Bell Jar. Which leaves Haven and Clancy. Poor Haven and Clancy. Girls, if you get hungry, do what your mom does during a fast: eat.

I must say that I’m not really hungry but all this food preparation is what is the hard part.

What food preparation??? Please be aware that we referred back to Lisa's site to make sure we hadn't skipped a paragraph. We hadn't. It's yet another Whelchel non sequitur. Or, quite possibly, she ate the paragraph in question.

And there is absolutely no where we can go out to eat. We are allowed to eat: fruits, veggies, legumes, brown rice, soy milk, nuts, oats, and honey.

Wait, wait, wait. This Daniel Fast allows for eating? All right. We didn't want to have to do this, but here's the deal. (God, we HATE it when her nonsense forces us to do research.)

(Foods We May Eat)

Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Oats, Barley

Legumes: Dried Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas, Lentils, Black Eyed Peas

Fruits: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantelope, Cherries, Cranberries, Oats, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew Melon, Kiwi, Lemons, Limes, Mangoes, Nectarines, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Rasberries, Strawberries, Tangeloes, Tangerines, Watermelon

Vegetables: Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Gingerroot, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Potatoes, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Squashes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini

Seeds, Nuts, Sprouts

Liquids: Spring Water, Distilled Water, 100% All-Natural Fruit Juices, 100% All Natural Vegetable Juices

(Foods to Avoid)

White Rice
Fried Foods
Carbonated Beverages
Foods Containing Preservatives or Additives
Refined Sugar
Sugar Substitutes
White Flour and All Products Using It
Margarine, Shortening, High Fat Products

Uh-huh. So, there they are. The guidelines for this so-called Daniel Fast. We're gonna go ahead and let a good friend of ours handle this one:

Dear Daniel,

Your fast is not a fast. IT'S A DIET.


We are not allowed: caffeine! Diet Dr. Pepper! Beef, poultry, fish, all dairy, sugar or sugar substitutes, eggs, flour and all breads.

No Diet Dr. Pepper!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! This Daniel character is out of his fucking mind! Clearly he's never been a Pepper, too.

Oh, by the way, this is all supposed to help you, according to this page that we regret to have to reference again, "lead to spiritual insight." How? Something to do with Daniel objecting to the common Babylonian diet. Clancy and Haven? RUN. We're not kidding this time. RUN LIKE THE WIND. This shit is beginning to sound totally Jim Jones-ish. Listen, girls, if you haven't escaped by the time mommy suddenly commands you to drink the Diet Dr. Pepper, DON'T DO IT.

We're praying for you, girls, in the only way we know how. By eating Mallomars dipped in melted chocolate on a pastrami sandwich from Katz's Deli. It's called the Look-What-Judaism-Did-to-Us Fast.

I gotta tell you, Sarah’s attitude is still better than mine. The reason I’m doing this is because I do sense God wants to do a new work in me and my life this year and I would love to start 2007 off with a divine breakthrough.

Here's something, lady: how about not alternating between eating at every chain restaurant in Texas and going on these ridonkulous "fasts"? It's not good for your body. A steady healthy diet is. Some fruit here. Some legumes there. Some fish here. Some beef there. And, every so often, a Diet Dr. Pepper! All in moderation, Lisa. Unless you have specific health issues, like high blood pressure, for which you should be put on a special diet. BY A DOCTOR. Not Daniel. Not god.

I am also recently being challenged in the area of submitting to spiritual authority (not our own church; something else.)

Ho ho. What could this little nugget of intrigue be? We'll leave it to our readers to come up with the answer. We'd have a contest, but we've already given all our unwanted crap to Katrina victims. And by "given," we mean "sold."

So this has been a really good opportunity for me to walk in obedience to my covering, trusting God to bless my desire to walk with a yielded heart.

Right. So basically, the moral of this story is that by eating only veggies and nuts, god will help you be less loving. (You know, folks, that may have been the first time we've ever attempted to really make sense of one of Lisa's thoughts. It took about 15 painful minutes.) Wow. What a thoroughly Christian sentiment. Oh, sorry. Did we say "Christian"? We meant "fucking insane." It's so easy to confuse those two.

Alas, not only is that where Lisa tells us of her desire to withhold love, but it's also where she withholds the rest of her thoughts and hands it over to Sarah. Which means this is where we wish you a good week and remind you to eat your fruits and legumes so you, too, can be a less loving person.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

All because of you, friends.

Thanks to some recent comments, we have some Whelchelian links to share with you.

As has been discussed on this site several times, Lisa recorded an album in 1984. It's called All Because of You, and it's occasionally available on eBay. Howevah, you need not spend your hard earned dollar on the LP itself should you want to subject your ears to a torture too severe even for Lynndie England. Sitcoms Online has been kind enough to post every single track from the record in mp3 form for your, er, enjoyment. We've so far managed to make it through 1.21326482211 of those tracks (we are in the middle of trying to get through it all for a subsequent post), and, we have to say, if there really were a god, Lisa, he/she would never have let this happen. Not only is the music some of the worst wannabe New Wave crapola we've ever heard, but we've never quite heard reverb used to the extent it is here. It sounds as if Lisa had fallen into a well. If only...

Anyway, if you feel you need to listen to any of this, check out Good Girl. Not because we know it's any worse than the others (see above) but because it's the only one we've listened to completely. Oh, and please know that your ear will, in fact, heal after you try to cut it off. There's just going to be some scarring.

Oh, also, here's your ammo for ruining next Christmas: it's Lisa singing I'll Be Home for Christmas. She gets most of the words right.

(And, yes, we did notice the Kim Fields single directly underneath the links to the Whelchel mp3s, but as we don't keep tabs on Tootie's life, we are not at liberty to discuss it.)

The second link we'd like to bring to your attention (after it was brought to ours) is an in-depth review by Brains on Film of a made-for-TV film called Twirl in which Lisa starred in 1981.

The film apparently chronicles two friends' struggles to get to the "Miss Twirl" Pageant. It's perhaps the only movie ever made about baton twirling, and, thusly, we do not understand why it is not available on DVD. And not only that—this classic also stars a Chachi-less Joanie, Erin Moran, and the curvaceous, delectable Connie Stevens! Seriously, we know at least two people who'd buy that DVD. Well, one. And we'd burn it, not buy it. But still.

Interestingly enough, or, wait, sorry, Not interestingly at all, Erin Moran also became a born-again Christian once acting was done with her. There must've been something in the water on the set of Twirl. Like PCP. Anyway, we look forward to Erin Moran's eventual a.) Margot Kidder-esque shrubbery breakdown or b.) her writer, producer, director and star credits in the made-for-TV movie Joanie loves Christ-y.

As for Twirl and Lisa, for now, you'll just have to make due with the review and this photograph of our favorite born-again homeschooler in...a...helmet.

For, as the moral of Twirl and, interestingly enough, most Coffee Talk entries, inevitably go, sometimes we forget to take stock of what we've so hastily thrown up.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Coffee Talk Companion: "On Target."

The Coffee Talk Companion is an ongoing feature in which we dissect and discuss former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel's online journal entries.

Happy new year! We see you've kept yourselves busy whilst we were ringing in 2007. And, apparently, so has Lisa. For her first Coffee Talk entry of the new naught, she fills us in on her Christmas activities. And you thought the holidays were over! Ho ho. Ho.

Because I’ve been such a derelict these last few months when it comes to serving up a fresh brewed cup of Coffee Talk, I’ve decided to catch you up on at least the random happenings of December.

A late Christmas miracle! Lisa calls herself out on her transgressions! Lisa HAS been a derelict, and the Coffee Talk entries HAVE been stale. And that introductory paragraph promises... this entry will be no different.

After the MomTime party, which I wrote about two weeks ago, it was time for our annual “Target Party” for the Cauble kids.

"Target Party." Could this be what we think it is?

Each year, they invite their friends to the local Target store for a party.

Of course it is! Lisa has used Christmas to force her children to worship at her most precious altar, the one devoted to chain stores and restaurants. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, indeed.

This month Tucker had to work so he couldn’t join us.

Way to go, Tucks! You know, we kind of made fun of Tucker for getting a job at Chili's because it seemed he was maybe living out some unfulfilled dream of his mother's: to work at a chain restaurant. But now it may very well be that Tucker is using fire to fight fire, or, more precisely, using chain to fight chain. Very good, dude. VERY good.

Another deviation from tradition, albeit a great one, was the fact that all of the girls spent the night with us the night before. So, I went to Target early and bought $5.00 gift cards for every girl, Sharpee’d their names on them, and hid them for the morning Advent Calendar hunt (another Cauble tradition.)

First of all, period outside the close parenthesis, please.

Second of all, "Sharpee'd"? Oh, no, no, no. The Xerox Effect has not had its way with markers, Lisa. And certainly not in the verb form. You "wrote" their names on the gift cards. You did not "Sharpee" them. (Oh, and please be aware that if we did accept the use of "Sharpee'd," which we do not, we would insist it be spelled "Sharpied" and, more importantly, pronounced "Shar-peid." Like the past tense of the dog.)

Third of all, FIVE BUCKS??? Sure it's Target and all, but come on, lady. That's pushing it even with the clearance racks. And we know the clearance racks. We were raised by Jewish women.

Later that morning we carpooled to Target where we put all of the gift cards into a hat, the girls then picked out someone else’s card and they had 15 minutes to go through the store and buy something for that person. It is always so much fun to see which kids actually try to find something good and which ones buy the biggest gag gift they can find.

With five bucks, we're assuming it's mostly gag gifts. As in, "Gee, Clancy, this gift makes me gag."

We usually have a party for our neighbors but that was just one of the balls I dropped this season.

Surely that's one of the rare occasions when someone did not mind the loss of a ball. Hi-o!

I have been so overwhelmed with deadlines that we all have had to admit that our Christmas celebrations were less than spectacular this year. It was also really slow because my brother, Justice and his wife, Maria were not able to join us. So, most all of the family celebrations were small, just the Cauble family and my mom and step dad.

A Justice-less Christmas?!?! That's like a Christmas without snow. Great. Now global heating is limiting the appearance of even hotter half-brothers. Damn you, Al Gore. Damn you.

But we had fun just hanging out with them. Lot’s of cooking, movies, church, game-playing. Just being together without thinking about what work we all should be doing was wonderful in and of itself.

We love how she snuck "church" in there. Especially followed by an astonishing instance of a correct use of a hyphen. We were almost distracted, Lisa. Almost.

Steve had to be out of town for a couple of days so I piled the kids and their friends into the van and we made a quick road trip to the lake in East Texas to visit my relatives there.

OK. Now we just have to go ahead and say it. Thus far, we've been biting our tongue and making unfunny quips about master plans and global warming, but we can no longer do it. It's just not fair. So we're going to lay it on the line, lady...


That's just how it is. And we're guessing it's because you plan things like mall food hunts and Target parties. And, worst of all, you make people go to church, Lisa. For the love of god, it's Christmas.

My cousin, Nancy, was in town from Florida so it was good to see her and just hang around, eat my Aunt Barbara’s sugar cookies, and enjoy being together.

Clearly Nancy made a wrong turn somewhere in Texas while on her way to another relative. Not "a" wrong turn. "The" wrong turn. Don't worry, Nance. We commiserate. Better luck next year. Here's a tip, Nancy: avoid Texas all together.

Christmas day was as magical as it should be. Full of gifts, home movies. traditions, homemade biscuits, naps, movies, Mexican food, dominoes, just enjoying family.

OK. Let's all sing it together:

One of these things is not like the other.
One of these things just doesn't belong.
Can you tell which thing is not like the other
By the time I finish my song?

And here's a better, if not so tuneful, question:

What fucking Mexican chain restaurant is open on Christmas??? Like, Texas can't even give the illegals a day off? Here's a tip, Mexicans: avoid Texas all together.

Oh, and, please enjoy the photo below. The Cauble children were lucky enough this year to get delicious Orbit gum. Apparently Santa also got a $5 Target gift card from Lisa.


Now, here comes the grand finale of this Coffee Talk entry. We preface it only because it's honestly the perfect conclusion to the 2006 of Whelchel. Like, so good that Mitchell Hurwitz or Larry David couldn't have come up with a better ending.



My mother bought me a new bike for Christmas.

Yup. Can you believe it? Mom's back. With a bike. Like the Great Vermont Bike Disaster of 2006 never happened. Which, in Lisa and her mother's mind, pretty much didn't.

So, we did something wild and crazy on New Year’s Day. We joined a local bike club for a “New Rear’s Day” 40-mile ride.

Yuuuuuuup. We told you it's perfect. So perfect that we kind of don't know what to say here. Again, Vermont, anyone? Lisa and mother, you both ruined a 29-mile bike trip for a group of actual bikers so you could lick the state dry of every sugary drop of maple syrup, and now you have the gall to join a local bike club for a 40-mile ride?


We actually ended up getting lost and riding over 40 miles. It took us forever! We were the last bikers to come in and they had to send a search party out looking for us.

Perfect. Perfectperfectperfect. Another biking event for which we assume people actually prepared ruined by two selfish, out-of-shape nincompoops. We don't really want to distract the new Democratic congress because it's difficult enough to trust they all know what the 50 stars on Old Glory symbolize, but could we get a bill passed that bars all Whelchels from any subsequent events that involve more than one person and bicycle?

My mom said it was the hardest thing she’s ever done. Oh, but did we ever have fun and make a memory! I can’t wait ‘til the “Freeze Your Fanny in February” ride next month.

Another memory made for Lisa, another memory ruined for everyone else. And that, dear friends, is the moral of the year in the life of Coffee Talk.

We'll be back next week with hopefully the first Cauble news of '07! Right now we have to go deal with this strange gas smell that's permeating our apartment. You know, we woke up earlier and thought we left the oven on, but now it's stronger than ever and wef jknjvkmxc'vl;'l,,ll'zl;;;;;;;;;;........................................