I have recently been accused of overusing the phrase, “here’s the thing…”

I believe I say this all the time because I like to get things down to their essence, distilled to the very core. I also like to tell people what to think.

I’d always thought that my overused phrases were limited to “awesome,” “hey, man,” and “double Jameson’s on the rocks, please.”

But here’s the thing (har), it seems fitting that I should concoct a weekly blog address, a means to call attention to my favorite obsession of the week. I’ll greet each Monday with a declaration of what captivates me rather than a Cathy-esque “ack!” and complaint about swimsuits or somesuch.

This week, I shall christen this space with my current obsession: quotes from little girls featured on TLC’s “Toddlers and Tiaras.” I don’t care for the pageants, nor do I care for the slovenly stage moms (who redefined “jacked up” when it comes to teeth and who I also suspect are unaware of flakes of Krispy Kreme icing in their rat’s nest hair…). But I do looooove those poor little gals and their hilarious one liners. And I really love peppering my own conversations with them.

There’s this little wonder and her announcement in a very bourbon and Camel Wides voice that she is a “living doll.” Then she informs us that she is very tired and proceeds to keel over.

careful, now…

Result: I occasionally announce in a husky, get-me-my-oxygen-tank moan, “I’m a living dolllll.” (NB: I am very much not.)

Then there is MaKenzie. Yeah, that’s how she spells it. She is fantastique. With her pacifier-damaged jaw and dead, cold eyes, there’s nothing this little angel can’t do. I seriously want to raid her mother’s ‘lude collection, by the way. Anyhoo, she provides us with two more of my favorites.

Let me introduce you to the nini:

epic meltdown

Result: If someone crosses me, I usually conjure up my inner MaKenzie and drawl, “Don’t ever do that agaaaaaaiiiiiiiin.”

Now that we know what a nini is, we need to know how to classify said nini. Is the nini a lazy bum? Is the nini an international jewel thief? Lowly scoundrel?

Let’s let MaKenzie tell it like it is:

hard workin’

Nini is a hard workin’ lady.

Result: I refer to everything, from felt pens to mugs to sandals to tweezers as hard workin’ ladies. Because, let’s face it, we and everything that surrounds us are hard workin’ ladies. Even the guys. Just let go into it.