Thursday, December 07, 2006

No Whining!

I have long been of the opinion that Americans are the BIGGEST whiners on the planet. We are almost competitive about it – ‘my whine is bigger and more important than yours’. We use things like ‘civil rights’ and ‘separation of church and state’ and ‘free speech’ as our excuses for this heinous behaviour. This week… I have of course (consider the season) heard a lot of whining about people saying ‘merry christmas’ rather than the politically correct ‘happy holidays’ – which by the way it could be argued is also not politically correct – by saying that you are assuming that they are not for example Jehovah’s Witnesses – who do not celebrate holidays. When people’s intentions are good, why must we find fault with their methods??? … also, and this one is a doozy – apparently the sweet little penguin(s?) in the new movie Happy Feet are racist or prejudicial or some damn thing… I heard this from Whoopi on her new syndicated radio show… which is a bit off, but as I scan through the stations (oops my turn to bitch… there is nothing but talk on Denver morning radio, you just change from morning show to morning show in a vain effort to find music… unless you like to wake up to Mexican Polka music – which I happen to like while drinking – but it’s not always my preference with coffee)… as I scan through the stations, she is on one of those below 100 FM – maybe 95.7??? – anyhow, she was stating how absurd and ridiculous it is that people must find fault in everything and I thought – yes exactly – I was driving down the highway pointing at my nose excitedly – I’m sure passersby thought I was losing it! So apparently, I haven’t seen the movie, but do stop to watch the very very cute commercials and plan to see it – whoever is responsible for animating it intentionally masked this deeper hideous prejudicial message… yeah, I’m sure that was the point of the film – not to make money or animate something with great skill and entertain people. Can’t we just have entertainment for entertainment’s sake??? Can’t we have good wishes for good wishes sake – I would not be offended if someone wished me happy solstice, happy Hanukah, happy Kwanzaa, happy Christmas, happy holidays, or even have a great December! So… tell me your experience with the most absurd whine that makes ‘news’ (ha! – There’s a subject, is the media reporting ‘news’ or providing some sort of molested version of current events in an attempt to fulfill some other agenda?).

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Village Idiots

Something my husband said to me yesterday struck a chord. Let me start by saying I am actually going to attempt to eliminate all of my usual side stories and stick to topic – feel free to let me know how I do.

So – to begin (no this isn’t a side story, it’s background for reference), we were at King Soopers about a week ago buying some stuff that had to be retrieved from the back of the store. Well, they paged this woman to assist us (her name was Luann), and much to our surprise it was a mom from a baseball team our son used to play for. So while we were killing time waiting for some or other part of this whole process to take place we were conversing with Luann, oh crap – I have to add a side story, but it really is a sub-story – anyhow, so we were waiting for another of the King Soopers employees to arrive with a grocery cart that Luann had sent him to get and he never came and he never came and Luann went away and reappeared and asked me if he was back, by this point in time my husband had gone to retrieve a cart thinking that the other fellow had been abducted by aliens or something, and husband also hadn’t come back for quite some time. Eventually when my husband arrived with a cart he explained that a little girl was stuck in the bottom of the cart and that the other employee we were waiting on was rescuing her. This caused us to strike up a conversation about how stupid parents are when it comes to allowing their kids to ride in areas of the cart that are not designed for that or worse when they allow them to stand up in a cart and the hideous falls that occur much more frequently than you would suppose because of this (talk to a store manager sometime, you will be STUNNED). So, I of course told my worst horror story (this is a sidebar and part of the real story, not a digression) – My aunt who managed an Albertsons for almost my whole life told me of a woman who left her child standing in the cart at the deli and took off for the produce section to shop while waiting for her number to be called – my aunt who was in a checkstand at the time got to the child before the mother – that is how far away she wandered from her toddler! The child fell out of the shopping cart and literally scalped himself when he landed on the big metal bar that is mounted in front of the deli case to protect it from cart bumping. In addition to the hideous concussion, etc – this child required hundreds of stitches to sew his scalp back on. This led to us discussing how parents react when you approach them and sweetly warn them that the children they have standing in their cart are in danger. I have had the experience of having mothers tell me to butt out they are the parents and how dare I question them, etc. Luann, even as an employee of the store has had similar experiences. (This completes the background portion of this post).

So my husband said to me yesterday as we were walking into Safeway (it only seems fair that all three local chains get their due mention) that he had an epiphany! When those people that you approach and attempt to warn them out of the kindness of your heart, etc. say something along the lines of “it isn’t any of your business” he says, he now has a reply – “It is in fact my business. As long as you are putting your child at risk you are potentially costing me money and safety. If your child falls from the shopping cart and has to be treated medically this will cause your health insurance rates to rise – oh you are in a group, well if everyone in your group acted like you and the incidence of accidents within your group went up, your rates would indeed rise. Your health insurance rates may or may not affect mine, but if everyone began being careless and having more accidents it most certainly would affect my rates; also, whatever business you work for would have some sort of trickle down affect on my cost of living. You are also raising the rates of the insurance of this store, which in turn gets passed to the customer in the form of prices. In addition to that, God forbid your child have an accident that would pull the local emergency response personnel in here to respond and might prevent them from responding to another emergency as fast as needed (and what if it is me or my child that needs assistance), also everytime the local fire department or paramedics respond to an accident it costs me, the taxpayer money. So you see it really is my business if you choose to be careless in your responsibilities as a parent and citizen in keeping the children of our community safe from harm.”

Wow, isn’t he smart and brilliant! Who would have thought of all these ways of telling some dumbass that they are indeed really even more stupid than anyone thought when you started.

This also reminds me of something my mother has always preached about, “it may seem small right now because you are the only one doing it, but everytime you act, you have to ask yourself ‘what if everyone did this?’”

Mom’s advice in parable (?) form – (this may indeed be a side story but it illustrates mom’s point). Mom’s neighbor chose for several summers not to water his lawn at all. Living in an older neighborhood without covenants, but full of custom homes, most of the neighbors bitched among one another but no one ever actually reported them – they are the neighborhood eccentrics and the neighborhood is full of people who do little quirky things and wouldn’t want the rest of the neighbors reporting every little thing – besides it was only ONE yard among many. Finally Mom said to him, “Roger, why don’t you water your lawn” – and he said “to save money”. So Mom said, “Roger, what if everyone on the street did that, our property values would plummet, it would deplete the ozone by killing off plant life and make everyone’s home much hotter because there is no vegetation to help cool the earth” – Roger waters his lawn now – it’s not plush and beautiful, in fact it’s still a bit on the sparse pathetic side, but it is somewhat green.

Now think about just plain old fashioned manners – what if everyone stuck their dirty hands in the veggie platter, what if everyone left their dirty Kleenex wherever they happened to be when they blew their nose, what if everyone spit their gum on the ground (or just go to Elitch’s and this will be illustrated), what if everyone left the lids off of their trash on windy days, what if everyone parked in the handicapped spots, what if everyone merged onto the freeway doing 35mph, what if everyone bought clothes, wore them once and returned them, what if everyone allowed their dogs to bark all night (or run around the neighborhood w/o a leash), what if everyone spit on the ground/floor whenever they felt like it (are you getting a vision of Deadwood?), what if everyone was wasteful and never used the full amount of the product and never recycled, what if everyone decided they didn’t want the milk after all and left it on the shelf in the soft drink aisle to spoil, what if everyone didn’t insure their cars, homes, etc., what if everyone didn’t license their pets, cars, etc., what if everyone drove drunk… I’m certain I could keep going. It does indeed take a village, but not in the way she meant it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

tie dying and monkey shit coffee and the brat pack

I learned about monkey shit coffee this weekend, and I took this quiz that amused me.

So the tie dying, long over due I suppose, this being more than a week later. It is remarkable to me to observe how people's personalities reflect in their tie-dying style. The clean freaks, the little preppy perfectly ironed still skinny and fit "bitches" (I like them, I just hate them for not getting fat like me), they do little dots of color, the color never runs off of their shirts and all over every surface within 3 feet of them, they don't get it on their hands, and their shirts have a lot of white once they are untied and washed. In fact their shirts almost look "professional", and somehow I swear, they look ironed. The really hyper people, that bounce around from task to task, never quite finished with anything, they tend to soak their shirts, not a bit of white showing on the tied product (they still get some white when untied though), and use as many colors as they can, but, they are quick so they get it all around their work space, but they don't actually use half a bottle of dye and it isn't running off of the shirt like water. Then there were a couple of girls that really really really soaked their shirts, the dye running off of my driveway was almost comical, and I truly thought that they would end up with a solid shirt of one color... they didn't actually, the shirts turned out great (not white though)... heres the thing, these two girls have vastly different personalities, almost nothing in common. One is a toe head, hyper and bounces off of the walls, does little shitty things to get attention, over reacts to emotional upsets and gets overly angry and blames others when things don't go her way... under that though, she does have a very sweet nature, but she has to feel pretty safe to let it show. The other is a dark skinned, dark haired girl, with deep thoughtful brown eyes, mellow to the point of fading into the wallpaper, couldn't do a shitty thing on a dare, under reacts to anything emotional, so stoic you almost feel challenged by it, takes blame for things that aren't her fault, and wears her very sweet nature on her sleeve for all to see. So the shirts turned out quite cool... many different patterns, many different intensities of color, and yet similar because of the range of colors available to them. I am very excited to see people's reactions to their own creativity.

As to the monkey shit coffee (really you can google that term), a baseball mom told me about it (face it that phrase will be used ALL summer long, as those are the only people I have human contact with), I chose that particular hyperlink, because... the graphic of the civet poopin coffee beans was just delightful... I will tell you this, I might be tempted to try it (if someone else were paying, I'm too big of a tight ass to pay for starbucks, let alone $45/cup... if I pay that much for a beverage it had better have booze in it), but the main thing holding me back is, if the animal were an herbivore, then no problem at all.... but the thought of eating anything that a carnivore passed makes me shiver, and then if you look up palm civet, the little beast has stinky glands on it's rear, so we are talking a meat eating, skunky assed critter with a caffeine addiction ate and shit this stuff in a third world jungle and folks will drink it... this to me seems almost as dumb as trying to eat live octopus, except that according to all I've read it has a lovely taste, whereas octopus apparently tastes like nothing and it's really more the experience that people enjoy (wtf ever). Anyhow, this just goes to show that some things that sound like urban legend are true, and of course some things that sound true are indeed urban legend.

Now... the quiz, so my daughters were watching 'The Breakfast Club' - if you don't remember clearly for some reason (I'm not saying we all spent the 80's in a stupor, but if the shoe fits)... it is really a great movie, actually a couple of the 80's coming of age movies were... I also LOVE 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' - in fact more now that I am an adult. Anyhow, 'The Breakfast Club', btw, on family channel or whatever, Emilio Estevez and Judd whatever his name is get very dubbed, which was also amusing, especially when that geeky kid (Anthony Michael Hall?) tells the other one to watch his language and he just got dubbed to something you could utter from the pulpit of a mormon church... I laughed my ass off. So my daughters were watching the movie, and they asked me about 'the Brat Pack', and I really couldn't remember who was for sure a member and who was maybe a member and therefore which movies actually count as 'Brat Pack' movies, etc. So I googled it (GBG = God Bless Google, or Gotta Be Googled, or... make up your own?). Anyhow, I ran across this quiz, which I initially took as though it were still 1983 (ish), and I turned out to be 'Lisa', from 'Weird Science' - which really, if only I could have had hair like that... she was cool too, especially when she turned the older brother into that green hideous thing... that was 'excellent'. Then I took the quiz as I am today... and that was bad, really bad, I was sad and mortified... it (obviously incorrectly) told me I am 'Claire' from the 'Breakfast Club'... anyone who has seen me in the last 5 years or so knows that though I drive a much better car than ever before... my personal appearance could hardly qualify as anything Claire would ever ever do. I know he wasn't part of the brat pack, but I actually thought I might turn out as Spicoli, boy was I disappointed to be rated as a whiney superficial little pia princess.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I don't sit on public toilets...

And I can't beat this story with anything that I can write today. Be sure to take the survey, which amazed me because 68% of people apparently sit on public toilet seats!!! Now I suppose that there probably have been occasions when in a drunken stupor, and way too drunk to keep my balance or to care for that matter, I have sat down on a public toilet seat - let's just be clear though, that seat was NOT at Walmart in the middle of the day, more likely it was in some crappy dive of a bar and quite possibly even in the men's room (I can be impatient when I'm drinking) at sometime well after most Walmarts close (although there is one near me that stays open til Midnight at Christmastime).

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What is a blog?

I was asked the other day what a ‘blog’ is – not wanting to divulge my ‘dirty little secret’ of having a blog, I played half dumb, and explained that it is a sort of online journal to which people can leave comments, similar to a message board. This answer seemed to satisfy the person who asked (I honestly can not remember who that was at the moment) – however, as I heard myself saying the words, I realized that my ‘blog’ is really neither a journal, nor much of a message board. Yes there are other blogs that I read that have more of both of those qualities – but really… don’t you think it’s more of a personal editorial page – perhaps that would have been the better description. Alas, I digress from the point of this post (rofl, like I ever stick to the point), which is to try to bring MY blog into compliance with MY description of a blog (a journal/message board). Okay, so I’m a little handicapped on the whole “message board” portion, unless I make up several aliases (is that the plural of alias? – would it be aliai or some other latinish word?) and begin commenting to myself, which actually might be great for my self-esteem! (or bad depending on my mood and whether or not I beat myself up). As to the ‘Journal’ description, that I have complete control of – not that my life is AT ALL interesting to anyone but my immediate circle – in fact it is really very ordinary – but maybe I can write about the ordinary and make it interesting enough to someone somewhere that they will read it.

So my ordinary life this weekend (I was planning on doing this yesterday but had one of those I cannot get motivated to get up and pee type of days) – Let’s begin with Friday, because Friday was rather out of the ordinary and therefore makes a nice starting place – I had that opportunity to “receive” another volunteer reward from the Avalanche in the form of tickets for pom pom placement (we were cautioned that the seats wouldn’t be quite as nice as the Wed night seats, but really it was game 4 of the playoffs, like seat location was the foremost thing on our minds) – so I allowed two of my children to ditch school – that’s right they ditched, with my blessing, I called them in and everything – and they helped me with the pom poms – three people, 2 tickets each = 6 tickets – oh did I mention that the kids couldn’t go to the game and neither could the husband? – yeah so I planned a girls night out with the sisters-in-law and mother-in-law (she really loves hockey). So I called the MIL (mother-in-law) first and she was quite excited about the whole thing. Then I took the kids back home so they could eat lunch and I could pick up the phone numbers that I had forgotten in my morning haste – one for the tie dye store and one for the HS friend that I had a lunch date with. Then I hit the road again – on the phone nearly the whole time trying to arrange this whole hockey thing, find out where the hippy tie-dye store was, set a firmer time and location for lunch with friend, get back to the MIL re: the tickets a few more times, try to find phone numbers for SILS (sisters-in-law) while in the car, etc – I made it to the hippy store without a problem (good thing I called though, turns out they don’t actually have a sign on their place so you pull into the vacuum store and then keep going to the back of the building). The dye store was kinda fun actually, though I’m not sure I ever met a hippy / fascist before (fascist being loosely translated as dictatorial/belligerent and unhappy) – usually people are fairly happy in my company, I seldom get the impression that I have actually irritated someone – well I got the impression that I irritated him – maybe he didn’t like my “stupid” act – it wasn’t really an act, I really am stupid about tie-dying, because I don’t have to be smart about it, I have a friend who is an expert and I knew she would hold my hand. Actually he seemed to be very take aback by my use of the word ‘groovy’ which is actually my normal vernacular – I think he thought I was a poser – which really I’m not, I don’t pretend to be a hippy at all, I just like the word ‘groovy’ always have, probably always will, well I do have some Birkenstocks, seldom wear much makeup, never do much with my long hair, but I’m not a hippy, nor do I pretend to be. So anyhow, I got my dyes and my chemicals and I was off on my way to lunch with my HS friend. We met at about 1pm, really a little after, and we stayed until like 4pm!! I think I monopolized the conversation, and I was really hyped up for some reason, maybe all the exercise climbing around the Pepsi Center, maybe all the excitement of all the phone calls back and forth trying to put six people together for the game, maybe I breathed in something funny at the dye store… However, I really enjoyed my lunch, discovered that indeed we have an awful lot of the same ideas about kids, marriage, etc. – I learned some about her family, etc. – which now that I’ve had a couple of settled days, I have more questions about, maybe she will be willing to do a lunch again (unless maybe I was just irritating all day and I put her off also?) - well anyhow, I really enjoyed my lunch and it affirmed that some people, no matter how long you go between seeing each other, there is always that basic comfort, we told one another some kinda private stuff – so that trust from Jr. High was still intact, and that was nice to reflect on later. She also got a rare glimpse at my selfish side, that selfishness that didn’t want to stop having lunch to pick up kids, take them to the doctor, or arrange for those hockey tickets much. I managed to get the boy taken to the doctor by dad, the oldest daughter (the one that didn’t ditch) picked up by a friend, and the MIL arranged the 6th ticket. I sat and drank a glass of wine, had a cup of espresso, and thoroughly enjoyed my friend. After lunch, I raced home, got ready for the hockey game, got the girls a ride to their activity, wished the boy and the husband good luck at the baseball game, talked the husband into trading me cars so that all six of us could fit in one vehicle and not pay out the wazoo for parking ($20/car). Got myself to my MIL’s house only a few minutes late, everyone else was there, we had a beer and then we were off to the game. The game sorta sucked, but it was great fun being out with the girls and my MIL really enjoyed herself! HOLY CRAP – Friday took a whole page – and we still have Saturday and Sunday, hmmmph – and I have to get some work done, they are just going to have to wait until well… until whenever. Ciao.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Volunteer Appreciation Week

This is Volunteer Appreciation Week (well the tail end of it - 4/23-4/29) - This is probably something that most people are completely unaware of - and reading this they are saying... "next blog" - because, it's boring. Well it's boring to everyone that doesn't work with volunteers nearly daily. So... I work for a non-profit foundation, and we sent out a sappy little card to all of our volunteers saying "thank you" - it was nice, not fabulous but nice (I wanted to send them all candy bars with customized wrappers - maybe next year - I also wanted to send them all this little card that is 'tips for caregivers' - because most of them are indeed caregivers [aren't we all]) - okay so anyhow, this is volunteer appreciation week. Now, I stayed home for years, neither my husband nor I finished our degrees in college, we both had great paying jobs working our way through college and it was just so much easier to stick with that - we were making more than our friends who had finished college (btw to anyone thinking of quitting college - all those people we WERE making more than, are making shitloads more than us now), so we aren't just rolling around in cash that we are dying to give to organizations that touch our hearts. But we do volunteer, OMG do we volunteer, we are volunteer junkies - our accountant every year tells us that we probably shouldn't claim ALL of our volunteer mileage, etc. - so we don't. He coaches, mostly that's his gig - but coaching is a huge commitment of time and miles, etc. - I work with the girls organizations, keep score at ballgames (that would make a very good post), work at school occasionally, coordinate a team to raise money for ALS, coordinate volunteers for several other organizations, and of course working for a non-profit - I do my fairshare of volunteering there as well - so.... what the hell was the point of this? - oh yeah volunteer appreciation week... no I still don't know what my point was... crap. OMG duh! So, yesterday an opportunity to volunteer presented itself through the networking of the non-profits that work together - in other words a friend of my boss needed volunteers and contacted my boss because she is the most hooked up person in the city for volunteers - really she is, she has hundreds that will do almost anything for her - anyhow, this was a nice one, go put pompoms on the seats for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and get two tickets to the playoff game... yeah you heard me - TWO tickets to a PLAYOFF game (per volunteer) - well my kids didn't have school... so the kids and I - that makes 4 volunteers - took off and went on down - also my boss was busy, so I coordinated the volunteers that came through our organization - we worked for like 1.5 hours, watched the players skate, and had a pretty nice time, then we handed out all the tickets - really nice tickets. I took my husband and each kid took a friend - it was an outstanding game, and wow did I feel appreciated!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Love Songs are BS

An email to a friend (discussing her ‘party shuffle’ on her iTunes), and then some more….

I am pathetically a radio junkie - I need the radio to turn me on to new music - and I love listening to certain DJ's - I haven't even had a CD player in my last three cars. To be fair three cars ago, I was more interested in what sort of vehicle I could afford that would accommodate three car seats and I was glad to have a radio to drown out the whining from the backseats. I do have a tape player for road trips and days when you just can't listen to one more dick-joke, whiney-ass-fix-my-marriage-by-writing-an-email-to-the-morning-show, we're-so-hysterical, we're-so-smart, we're-so-irreverant moronic moment. However, last time I took a road trip completely alone it was to Casper Wyoming and I forgot my tapes at home and had to actually truthfully listen to the farm report - and even that got lost for a few miles and I had nothing but me! I learned a lot about some disease that cattle were suffering from. And I still hate ballads - I should maybe blog about that since I'm obviously in a typing mood.

So I hate ballads, I really really hate ballads – that does not mean that I haven’t swayed gently in my husbands arms looking sweetly into his eyes, maybe even tearing up at the overwhelming feelings of love that I had for him at that moment and listening to some ballad that makes me even more verklempt (it is the best word here). There are ballads that I love – but they are very few and very far between – amazingly I can think of two albums that have two ballads each that I love (Dire Straits and Neil Young). I LOVE the scan button, it prevents me from having to listen to sappy stupid tired love songs that are almost all bullshit. That’s right, love songs are bullshit – love does NOT happen the way it happens in love songs, oh sure it might happen that way in tenth grade for five minutes, maybe even 5 days – but the reality is, real true love, real honest love, does not come packaged with all that sappy sentiment and goopy crap – A. Men aren’t actually capable of a lot of the stupid shit they say they are in love songs – oh sure they might fake you out for a day or two – but they are eventually going to leave their underwear on the floor, fart while you are in the room, (maybe even while your nose is within 3 feet of their asshole), sleep through something you are saying to them, or tell you that they must watch golf on t.v. because it’s the masters or the open or some shit like that – and at those moments, they are not thinking, “I love her so much and I can’t live without her smile every morning”. B. Women aren’t actually that shallow and dumb that “I can’t live without your smile every morning” is enough. We need you to kill the spiders, change the lightbulbs, take out the trash, get up in the middle of the night and prowl around the house in your underwear (or less) looking for the pack of burglars that caused that “noise”. I’m actually having trouble making my point here, because I NEVER listen to ballads – so I can’t remember what the stupid pathetic lyrics are that make me so insane. I may have to actually put on KOSI (yes that’s pronounced ‘cozy’ and they do play sappy elevator shit that you know all the lyrics to, even if you never listen to ballads) – that’s the other thing… HOW do I know the words, HOW???? And while we are at it, the best, make you cry in your beer, make you feel profound sorrow and deep love song EVER (and I don’t do EVER, ALWAYS, NEVER, FAVORITE – and I can’t think of the term for those sorts of words) – ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ – just rip my heart out with a broken beer bottle, stomp on it with your dirty acme boots, throw your resistol down on top of the withering pile that is left of it and then sweep me off my barstool and have your way with me cuz I’m a puddle of pathetic sentimental goo. Also along those lines ‘Country Bumpkin’ – ridiculous, silly, sad, and so honest it’s agony. Honest love songs/ballads are about pain and sorrow in addition to love.

Biggest crap song I could think of at the moment: (Amazed by Lonestar)
Every time our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
Is almost more than I can take
Baby when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away
I've never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts
I can see your dreams
I don't know how you do what you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you
The smell of your skin
The taste of your kiss
The way you whisper in the dark
Your hair all around me
Baby you surround me
You touch every place in my heart
Oh it feels like the first time every time
I wanna spend the whole night in your eyes
I don't know how you do what you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you
Every little thing that you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Oh, every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you

Now maybe the first time you read through that (or heard it) you are thinking oh that is wonderful that’s just how I felt about the most important person I’ve ever been with – but please… if you really love someone ‘every little thing you do’ is not wonderful – cuz… they are going to talk in the middle of the dialogue of your favorite show, they are going to pick their teeth in the car, they are going to shit with the bathroom door open… these are not things that anyone loves about another person… ‘it feels like the first time every time’ obviously they are up to fewer than 50 times, because eventually, it doesn’t feel like the first time – it feels better sometimes and you are blown away, it feels naughtier (and you are either blown away or grossed out depending on your mood), it feels cheaper, quicker, slower, longer, more boring, more outstanding, incredible, obligatory, etc. – and I’m here to tell you right now, when you aren’t in the mood, cuz he farted in the car on the way home from a dinner at your inlaws where you felt less than adequate and you are feeling fat and a little bit overwhelmed by all the crap that isn’t done around the house and you are obligated cuz it’s freakin his birthday, and you do it anyhow… THAT’S LOVE! (and it might just turn out better than you are expecting). ‘every time our eyes meet…’ – I’m thinking they have not had any fights about the kids/money/etc. – because I know for a fact that my husband does not enjoy looking in my eyes when we are arguing. So, in conclusion… love songs are bullshit – except for maybe a few (and even those are part bullshit, but after all you have to have something to slow dance to, and… no matter how much you like the song, you can’t slow dance at your wedding to a song about a hooker, but you can pick another beautiful song off of the same album – one about love and happiness and sorrow and misery).

Dire Straits “Why Worry"
Baby I see this world has made you sad
Some people can be bad
The things they do, the things they say
But baby I'll wipe away those bitter tears
I'll chase away those restless fears
That turn your blue skies into grey
Why worry, there should be laughter after the pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now
Baby when I get down I turn to you
And you make sense of what I do
I know it isn't hard to say
But baby just when this world seems mean and cold
Our love comes shining red and gold
And all the rest is by the way
Why worry, there should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now

I don’t know how love comes shining red and gold, but I know this song is good and honest and not so damn sappy that I want to slap someone, and it has never been played on the radio to the point where I fantasized blowing something up.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Ice Cream and Ballplayers…

So last night the baseball ‘team mom’ (of sorts anyhow) wrangled us all over to the Cold Stone Creamery for a fundraiser. Actually it was a pretty good deal, they gave us 30% of the entire night (some of the other similar ones are more like 20% of those people that bring in their flyers… well if they space their flyer). In addition to that, the boys were back there serving the people… and they loved it, a few of them didn’t want to stop serving. They had practice earlier in the evening so they were all wearing (well almost all) baseball pants and jerseys and hats… there’s something pretty delightful about a cute boy in baseball pants and hat serving you ice cream on a warm evening! Yeah, that was a plus for us, it was definitely ice cream weather, and there were a lot of people in there. I personally think that Cold Stone is pretty pricey and a bit over rated – not that it isn’t fabulous ice cream, but the price kinda knocks me over. If my kids go to town and get whatever they want, then it can cost as much to have Cold Stone as it does to go out to dinner – and that just doesn’t seem right. However, as my two teenaged daughters continue to point out to me, and then validate with each visit… all the cute boys seem to work there. So for them at least it’s a dual purpose visit, candy for your ice cream and candy for your eyes. So this particular baseball team – and hey don’t misread this, I think we’ve covered this in a previous post – I am not a pervert, I just REMEMBER being 14, 15, 16 and I have daughters that age and I can recognize a cute boy… doesn’t mean I want to date him or anything of that nature… usually it just means I want to point him out to my daughters – so back to my point… this particular baseball team almost seems like it is a pre-requisite to be cute to be on the team. Of course some boys are cuter than others, and some are maybe kinda ho-hum to the more discerning teenage girl, but none of them are ugly, geeky, dorky, whatever is unattractive. So these cute boys, all about 14, some are still 13 but will turn 14 during this baseball season – are back there in their baseball garb scooping up delectable ice cream for several hundred people, and my two teenage daughters seemed to have cared less. Well of course these boys are their brother’s friends, so that knocks them down a peg, cuz ewwwww they might have brother cooties or something. But I observed that just about every other girl that came in from 8 to 80 was thoroughly charmed by the boys – it was rather fun to observe. I was dreading it, not a big ice cream person, think Cold Stone is over rated, and frankly, I’m so busy that hanging out at the ice cream store all night held little or no appeal to me. I was wrong, it was sorta fun (wouldn’t want to do it once a week or anything), and it was entertaining, and the boys seemed to just love it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Blogging v. BigChiefing

Not that I really have any random readers - but for those of you that didn't go to my High School - a brief little explanation (for those of you that read my blog, you are thinking 'yeah right, brief' and rolling your eyes) of 'BigChiefing' - hereafter known as BC'g (or BC = Big Chief). So when we were in tenth grade, what a fantastic year really - and mostly because of the Starkeys - outstanding teachers, at least most of us thought so (sorry Mitch, you were wrong and we were right, they were wonderful teachers). Take a quick survey see if you can find another person that didn't major in 'English' or some derivative that thinks that their 10th Grade English Teacher made the entire year wonderful. The Starkeys also gave us the Big Chief - I know your thinking, no they didn't the big chief was around when my grandmother went to school - well yes that's true, and if you pay close enough attention the big chief was the preferred source of writing paper for John Boy Walton. But the Starkey's gave their students the Big Chief in a way that might have stemmed from some secret obsession with John Boy Walton – though if that was true, it would be both surprising and they never confessed it to me or anyone I knew of. We were required to journal 10 pages per week in our Big Chief – it could be any form of free write that we chose – it could be the same word over and over, and some kids did that – it could be very formal, few kids did that. Another fabulous thing, the Starkeys actually read them – unless you wrote “Do Not Read” at the top of the page, then they would respect your privacy and not read it – and I really do believe that they didn’t read those pages. I had Mr. Starkey, and he would write comments – so you know he was reading it. Not corrections, comments much like a blog can get. Things like ‘Wow, you really did that’ – or ‘I wish I knew someone like that’. It was awful when you had to hand in your big chief and do without it for a couple of days – you felt naked and alone without your outlet. Every day you could find at least 6 students writing in their Big Chiefs in some common area of the school – and some of those were upper classmen – after one whole year as sophomores of journaling, it stuck, and most of my friends still use some form of journaling to this day (and we are all either pushing 40 or 40-something – 25-30 years is a long time to carry on a Sophomore English assignment). They also published a portion of the High School writing samples called ‘Best of Big Chief’ – you could submit what you thought was some of your most profound Big Chief entries for consideration – I remember that I wrote several pages about the Daphnia that we were studying in Biology – and that was published in Best of BC.
So the point of my blog – a clever fellow alum found my blog, and was inspired to begin her own – in an attempt to replace her BC (you see they aren’t made anymore, some sort of terrorist plot I suspect, but exposing my strange political paranoia’s is all for another day) – and she laments some of the differences in her own recent post. Her lamentations (how often do you use that word outside of a bible discussion?) inspired me to note the benefits of a blog.
A. Now that I have children, I don’t feel I have the same level of privacy that I had with a BC in tenth grade, I knew my mother wasn’t reading it, I knew my teacher wouldn’t read anything I didn’t want him to, I could be ‘free’. With kids in the house I don’t feel like if my journal were sitting around they would be able to control the urge to peek – and well with kids in the house – an awful lot of what I want to free write about involves them, and isn’t necessarily thoughts I want them to know that I am having. I have managed thusfar to keep my blog a secret from my family, though I do confess that much of what I actually write doesn’t end up having the publish button pushed – ya know, just in case someone decides to read it.
B. No writer’s cramp
C. Comments – like I said, one nice thing, at least to my mind, was the random reactions of Mr. Starkey – I get that now (well sort of, there’s a possibility of it anyhow)
D. Better for the environment – okay to many of you this will be a stretch, but… less paper, fewer lost trees – and for the power argument, my computer is on all day anyhow, so it’s not like I’m using that power, it would be used anyhow – there could be something said to those who want to be hyper-particular about the power used because of the increased bandwidth used because it resides on some server somewhere – and yes a lot of my posts are quite long – but I don’t do a lot of things that use significantly more bandwidth so I’m not buying that either.
E. I can’t lose it, I lose things, lots of things, often, I suck at filing, I suck at cleaning, and I lose things – I can’t lose something that is filed away from my home.
F. I can access it from anywhere – well practically – might be hard if I decide to run the Iditarod to jump on the web from the middle of nowhere Alaska to post how funny it was when my lead dog farted in the next dog’s face – but how likely is it that I’m going to be in the Iditarod?
G. I type faster than I write – my hands can almost keep up with my thoughts, in fact sometimes my hands actually regurgitate my thoughts more truthfully on a keyboard.

Yes I miss the Indian, yes I miss the texture of the paper, yes I miss the smell, and the way the pages flip over the top, and how you can always flip right to the next blank page because after you write on that paper it changes it’s texture and how it lays together in the pad. I also miss getting to the back of the BC and flipping it over to begin again on the backsides of pages – I never did front then back, I went front front front to the end then back back back to the cover. It was some sort of milestone to flip it over. I have probably filled at least 100 big chiefs with doodles and journals and thoughts and lists in 30 years, and I miss them too.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

All Over the Guy

It was a fairly normal morning around here – I woke up after everyone else, but before Hubby took the kids to the bus. As I was lying on the couch waiting for his return, I realized that his ‘paused’ ESPN wasn’t my bag, so I swapped tuners (didn’t want to lose his place in sportscenter) and it came up on a pay channel that required the parental code. Yes you can just go to guide anyhow, but somehow that little box blinking at me is like a dare – and I must enter the parental code because I know what the parental code is. Well, the movie on that channel captivated me in less than ten seconds, and as I told myself that
a. I shouldn’t get involved in a movie in the morning on a work day;
b. I shouldn’t get involved in a movie that is already half over;
c. hubby is never going to want to come home from the bus and watch a movie with gay men kissing instead of sportscenter
I kept watching anyhow, and… hubby watched too when he got home. He turned his head when the gay guys kissed, etc. – but we watched the movie through to the end. Now I am no gay movie aficionado by any stretch, and I’m certain to have any that actually read this (hey I have a reader now!) tell me how wrong I am. Here’s the thing though – my feelings can’t be wrong so pffffft! So I was completely captivated by this film – for those of you who have seen it, I joined in at the moment when the straight guy, played by Adam Goldberg approaches the straight woman, played by Sasha Alexander in the furniture store and begins his salesman routine, which is NOT routine. I really like that actor, even though I had to go and look up his name, and then when they had the discussion about ‘buttercup’ I was all in – no turning back, no matter what little warnings the voice inside my head was shouting at me. The point of my post by the way, was how refreshing it was to watch a ‘gay film’ that was NOT artsy, deep, philosophical, etc. It was a dumb trite predictable love story that could have been a 1950’s movie starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day – they get fixed up on a blind date, they hate one another, but there’s something. They see one another again, and eventually begin dating, but the one is afraid of commitment and the other has terrible self-esteem – and of course (I really am not ruining the movie, because I saw it coming even before I got up to get that first cup of coffee) end up together. I loved that it was trite and predictable and was not really so much about gay as about relationships – it was refreshing that someone wrote a stupid love story and just simply inserted a gay couple. Besides who doesn’t like stupid love stories occasionally. So if you are in the mood for a stupid love story and don’t mind seeing guys kiss each other, you should check All Over the Guy out. It has some clever dialogue, some typical angst, and no real life lessons – thank God.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Seventh Grade Science

What a flashback - Miss something or other - she became Mrs. Cantrell - when she married Mr. Cantrell - an 8th grade science teacher. I really liked her, and him - lots of kids didn't. I also had Mr. Tepley for awhile, don't remember if that was 7th or 8th grade... I do remember he had sweat stains down to his waist line and that I discovered that I was color blind in his class. I remember most of all, and I think just about every kid in Jefferson County does, dissecting a fetal pig. I was fortunate - I did not have a girlie freaking out kind of a lab partner, nor was I that way. We really got into it, we didn't freak out or gross out or get sick or giggle, etc. My nephew attends that SAME Junior High, and is in 7th grade, and now... 30+ years later, actually I think probably 35 exactly, but I'm too lazy to do the math - he dissected his fetal pig a couple of months back. He's a squemish kid and thought the whole thing was rather gross and was glad when it was over. He didn't want to answer my questions either. I also remember that I had the privilege of babysitting some classroom critter over I think spring break - so that Mr. & Mrs. Cantrell could go on a honeymoon. I think it was hamsters - but it could have been any hairy little rodent, I was just delighted to have that special connection with a teacher that I liked.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Raising A Reading Child

So I signed on to my messenger this afternoon, and the little box that pops up to show your most recent emails; some links to articles of varying interests (usually things about romance, work, and raising children) and then I believe the last tab is actual news (I never read the last tab).

Today, the little page of “human interest” stories included one that caught my eye – (there is usually one fairly frequently that does) – it was something along the lines of “how to raise a child that loves to read”. Because all of my little darlings (‘little’ being a bit ridiculous now that they are teenagers) love to read so much that I have had to ground them from reading. How ridiculous is that to most parents, “you are grounded from reading until you get out of this room and do something else”.

So I clicked on this fabulous tidbit of parenting advice. The five tips were ever so helpful (rolling my eyes). It’s not that they are bad tips, the thing is, with almost any parenting advice – it either happens naturally, or its so forced the kid is thinking (perhaps not consciously) that you have got to be smoking something if you think they are going to fall for that load of crap – and well maybe it’s my mood, but I read their five tips as classic this is going to come off as so forced and unnatural.

So I am determined, in my own less than expert, but it’s working out pretty well for me, style, to tell you what worked for me. It is not a suggested five steps to raising the next super journalist/author/editor – it’s what we did, and our kids are such avid readers that it actually makes other people shake their heads in wonder.

From the Article - #1 – Pay attention to their interests – my reaction, um “DOH” is this something that really needs pointing out to parents? If the only book on your bookshelf – oh here’s my number one – have books, have lots of books, have varied books, have them accessible, have them all over, I have bookshelves in EVERY room – even the kitchen and bathroom – granted the kitchen is for cookbooks and the bathroom is for magazines and in fact I get angry if I find an unattended book in the bathroom – it’s a very dangerous place for a book to be left unchaperoned – fair and kind treatment of books follows later. Alas I have digressed, which is my prerogative this is my rant… anyhow, have books, lots of books, and if they want to read the cookbook, let them, and if the two year old wants to read consumer reports, let them… so having books that “pay attention to their interests” – well hopefully, that will just happen, because you have so many books everywhere. You are saying, but an 18 mo.oOld will tear the book, a 9 mo. old will put it in her mouth. – and you are right… that’s why, God bless them the toy manufacturers have created nearly indestructible books – I really like the fabric ones. But the “chunky” books are pretty tough too, although you can’t run them through the warsher if they accidentally get spit up on. That’s right I said spit up on… I never said “have books everywhere after they turn 4 years old” – I said “have books everywhere”, and that means all the time. There is NO magic age to begin looking at books.

From the Article - #2 – Show your child that reading is fun – well much as I don’t think that naked human form is something to get all prude about, aside from reading playboy or comics, we don’t usually just burst out with outward expressions of joy. Frankly, I think reading playboy around the kids is probably better left for when they have locked you in the alzheirmer’s ward and you are shocking them with your lack of modesty. Also, comics are not bad, they just aren’t all that good either. They have their place, so read the comics on Sunday morning, and read some other books at other times. I think the main thing here isn’t so much to sit around reading Thomas Hardy and heartily laughing at the distress of poor young Tess, but not to bitch about “having to read this for work” – don’t make it a chore, at least not EVERY time, because face it, sometimes it is a chore – I think that some of those books that my husbands Sales Manager assigns, look like a huge chore. Also those parenting books, icky icky icky – have those people seen human children? They are on the right track, but they didn’t actually phrase it correctly, it should have read “don’t make reading a chore” – which could translate “don’t force” – oh wait didn’t we cover “force” up near the beginning?

From the Article - #3 – Use bedtime bribes – I may be one of THE BIGGEST FANS of bribes and threats – the antithesis of every parenting book ever written – like I said, have these people ever seen human children? – however, if you bribe your kid to do something, you are telling them that it is a chore, it isn’t fun, it is something they must do, sorta like my dad “making” us go to church EVERY Sunday – my mom said “why” and he didn’t know. He said it creates a routine, it gives structure, it’s a good habit – not one thing about spiritual growth – that’s when we changed churches, only went when we felt like it, or mom guilted us (holidays) – and dad was s.o.l. on the whole “routine” “habit” deal, not to mention that really killed the old catholic mass that was an occasional visit (he had been raised catholic). So aside from a whole opportunity for another rant on faith – I do bribe my children, to do chores, to do homework that sucks, to clean dog poop – face it there is no selling the dog poop scooping as “fun” no matter how you spin it – even Tom Sawyer wouldn’t have pulled that off. Threats too, but they didn’t mention those, so we will skip them for now. I will say this in response – THERE IS NO NEED TO BRIBE YOUR CHILDREN TO READ AT BEDTIME IF YOU READ with THEM. There is a novel concept that is NEVER mentioned in this article, reading bedtime stories to your children… just like our parents read to us, and their parents read to them, and just like the movies. If your parent didn’t read to you, I am sorry for you, but it’s not like you haven’t heard of it. We read to our children EVERY night from about 3 months at least until they began school, in fact I think until about 2nd grade, okay I broke down and outed myself for writing this to my daughters, the older one “doesn’t remember” (of course she also didn’t remember she had a term paper due) – and the younger one says that we read to them till they were about 6 and then for a couple of years after that we read chapter books as a family – and I do remember reading Charlotte’s Web in particular – my husband and I would take turns on who did the better voices… he would do Wilbur and the Rat and I would do Ariel and Charlotte, that sort of thing. “Voices” are very important when you are reading chapter books to children. In summary, for reading bribes suck, togetherness rocks.

From the Article - #4 – Practice what you Preach – though I preached this one to my husband on occasion while the kids were young, fact is, he could count the number of books he has read in the last five years on one hand, while I have been accused of faking back injuries in order to lay in bed and finish a particularly good read. Still, our children read like something out of a horror movie – sort of a “revenge of the killer tomatoes” with the tomatoes recast as my kids and the house recast as my bookcases.

From the Article - #5 – Set up family reading time – tell me this doesn’t sound like a chore again. This is bible study with a different book – oh hey while we are on bible study – um if that is the only reading that you do, or that you “require” your children to do – you are missing the entire point of the joy of climbing inside the pages of a wonderfully written story and joining the hero while he chases clues to the bad guys’ identity or adventures through strange lands and meets a woman who is not only wonderfully feminine but wonderfully tomboy enough to share his adventure and go off catching snakes and playing baseball and then becomes a huge success but then fails down below his worst nightmare only to climb back out again because of perseverance and the love of the one person that would never deny him. You can change all of that around to fit your favorite book.

So… my advice to anyone who actually wants their children to beg them to check for used James Patterson books on Amazon, because the book budget is completely out of control – have books, and have more books, and read them, together, alone, and for enjoyment. Never force it, never require it, and never ever make it into something scary. It’s not the worst thing in the world if a book is damaged by too much reading.

Oh yes, but if it is neglected or abused, well that is another story. Did my passion for kind treatment of books have anything to do with the love of them… I don’t know. I will tell you this, any book that was ever thrown, dropped, left alone in a bad area, had to be kissed and apologized to. You heard me Kissed and Apologized to. If you threw your book because you were pissy that it was dinner time, you had to retrieve it, kiss it, apologize to it, and put it on a shelf kindly. Books are a privilege and a treasure, they deserve to be treated as kindly as the family crystal. They will become an heirloom, really.

Monday, March 13, 2006

oops... forgot "my weekend"

had extra girls over - friends of both my daughters - funny funny, smart girls - we laughed all weekend - it was truly wonderful.

This part of parenting - I absolutely adore - it is so wonderful to help shape young people, and have fun all at the same time!

My stomach muscles actually hurt from laughing, and it amazes me that the entire world isn't as addicted to shamrock shakes as we are!

My weekend and my parenting nightmare last week... maybe

It seems everytime I "title" my post, it turns out to be rather different than I at first intended, but since this is just my random run-on thoughts, I don't go back and change either. So apparently from the comments on my friend Don's blog (see previous post) very few people fully understood what he meant. Turns out it had something to do with having a sense of humor - gasp... Don referring to humor - I should have known. Secondly, in my last post I mentioned my nightmare parenting moment -- you know this parenting stuff can really suck when really all you want to do is have some fun with your kids and help mold them into decent people. So maybe I had my children too close together, that is one person's theory on my dilemmas of recent weeks/months -- the other is that I am a bad example (whatever!).

My major recent dilemma is that my kids don't treat one another with respect, particularly when they are away from home, which generally means "at school". You see, my three little darlings do sort of have a few strikes against them in this... A. - they are only 15 months apart, each set - therefore the oldest is 2.5 years older than the youngest - yes I banged out three kids in fewer than three years - it can be done. B. - they attend a 7-12 school, this means that while one of them could be enjoying a portion of her high school years alone - she isn't, her brother and sister are right there on the bus, at the activities and in the halls with her - all day, every day (unless they are staying home faking sick). C. - they attend school outside of our neighborhood, so much of their social life occurs only during organized after school activities or during school - they don't really hang out with school friends because of geography, and they don't really hang out with neighborhood kids, because they don't go to the same school and therefore know very few neighborhood kids. I recognize that this makes for some challenges, but add to that, the boy is the middle child - you know all that crap about needing more attention, etc. -- only he is the only boy, therefore he gets all that male child attention to make up for not being the oldest or the youngest. He is however sort of an ass - okay if I were his 15 or 13 year old sister I would probably say he is a big ass - in fact they do say that. The oldest, my "sanguine" child - I don't know if she is obsessed with trying to be sanguine because the word sounds cool, comes from the root 'blood' (she loves anything bleeding - that whole wanting to be a surgeon thing), or because it's a great excuse not to have to learn to deal with emotion - she did get pretty slamdunked at an early age with death, dying, disease, and general shitty depressing times - anyhow, my oldest, well she can be kind of a bitch - it's her way of protecting her emotions - if she doesn't make friends, she won't have to get hurt - and she "doesn't care" (her idea of sanguine) - this causes problems with the friends that the others make - my youngest doesn't know a person that isn't her friend, she is gregarious, outgoing, friendly, open, to a fault -- she is friends with the busdriver, the janitor, the cafeteria ladies, and the grocery store clerks -- but, understandably, she doesn't like all of her brother's friends -- more friction.

So to the event of disrespect last week - apparently things haven't changed much since the 1800's when we rode the covered wagon school bus across the prairie to school -- the cool kids hang in the back of the bus, unless they are underclassmen -- or something like that. So, my oldest likes to ride in the back of the bus because she is an upper classman - but she has no friends on the bus to speak of. My son, who thinks he is supercool because upper classmen like him, and apparently nearly every 'sevie' girl (except his own sister) have the hots for him, feels both obligated and privileged enough to ride in the back of the bus in spite of being in only 8th grade -- apparently however, a lot of 8th grade boys ride the back of the bus - I think the little twirps (yes I condone name calling) think they are supercool. My sevie daughter, who actually is cool and popular, rides in the front of the bus, because she likes the busdriver and she and the seats are roomier???? -- also her friend prefers the front - however, due to some hideous behaviour by some boys (basically sexual harassment) - one of those boys is now required to ride at the front of the bus, and my sevie and her sevie friend no longer feel comfortable up there - so they have moved to the middle/back. Now I know this was a rather silly diatribe on bus position - but if you ever rode the bus in Jr. High or you have kids that ride the bus, you know how important it actually is...

So apparently ms. bitchy (oldest) refused to move up a couple of seats when asked by the boy's "supercool (translate jerk)" friends b/c she feels they only ask her to move to support another girl who sits in the back (this girl is in my daughters class, but hangs out with the younger boys and has tortured my daughter w/ gossip etc. since about 3rd grade) and to be mean to her - so to be mean right back she refuses to cooperate/compromise. Her brother, with his enormous lack of "family is a team" and his overwhelming typical adolescent boy immaturity, not only backs them up, but then assists them in torturing and teasing her all the way home. Her sister (now moved back, but used to be in the front), supports her because she doesn't like either the older 10th grade girls or the idiot 8th grade boys because apparently they also make fun of her friend (who is a tiny bit chunky - but to hear them talk you would think she was built like Orson Welles) -- so I pick them up from the bus and get blasted with what an asshole the boy is, to which I respond - "and you don't try to be friendly or nice or to compromise so you set him up to be an asshole" -- well this met with the usual iciness and disdain brought on my any criticism -- in my defense, I also slammed (verbally) the boy for his behaviour and I tried to allow the youngest to maintain her neutrality. Because they continued to be idiots and argue in the car - by the time we got home I had threatened (I am the idiot queen of absurd ridiculous threats) to put them all in different "neighborhood" (read lousy drug and crime infested slut hole) schools and I may have also said something about no more extra-curricular activities -- well this met with tears, even from the boy - who then said "it's all my fault mom" to which I responded -- too late for that (by now we have walked into the house, where my husband's office is, and have been overheard -- okay I was yelling) - my husband soon appeared - now, as of this writing, actually nothing is settled, he likes to go on complicated voyages of discovery, ours was shortened by evening activities, and never finished... however the next day, the oldest did confess that she tried to be nice, and the boy admitted that his friends were assholes but he didn't participate -- it's a start.

Apparently it is wrong for us to "require" that our kids be supportive and friendly to each other publicly and that family comes before anything else -- at least that is one message we are getting. Thoughts?

Oh yeah the voyage - write down ten characteristics of the ideal sibling - we got to about #3 (working from 10-1) in our follow-up roundtable discussion. The boy wants things like "is popular", "is smart", "likes sports" -- the oldest wants things like "knows when to leave me alone", "knows when to comfort me", "doesn't interfere in my friendships", "gives me my space" -- the youngest, (aka drama queen) "chivalrous", "kind", "generous". I think that the different approaches and the selfishness of some of the answers still needs to be addressed, as well as, what is going to change - b/c right now they are simply moving forward on fear that this absurd threat will be the one I will carry through on.

p.s. Our neighborhood schools are not ideal, but they are better than many, and education is all about how involved you are as a parent and how committed both parent and student are to getting an education -- but, my kids do feel very privileged to have the opportunity to go to the school that they attend - so they see the neighborhood schools as some sort of blight.

Friday, March 10, 2006

wtf is he talking about?

I was killing some time, and when I kill time, I like to read a couple of blogs that belong to people I personally know. One is the Colorado Conservative... however he found an 8-5 paying job and has basically become the blogger that once was... never any new material, um, I'm not calling the kettle black, I know I don't update much either. The other is fairly good about updating, although apparently has an audience that really goes into withdrawal if he doesn't post like practically daily - I am understanding of this lull or that... anyhow, it is his blog that inspired my post today. I say that I know him personally, really that is an exaggeration, I should say that I knew him personally (in high school - which is of course license to say that you KNOW someone - when in fact you know some 17 year old kid that moved away and grew up into an adult without any real influence from you or the adult that you became without their influence) I should say, I knew him, and I have fond memories of some of the times we shared as we tried to walk that tightrope between youth and adulthood... I'm going to send you to his blog, so naming him isn't really a violation of privacy... Don was a funny funny guy all through junior high and high school, and he had some off the wall ideas of ways to have fun (dawn of the dead parties, if any of you find this, I hope it makes you smile), that generally turned out to be some of the better fun of a given weekend. Don was friends with just about everyone, basically non-judgemental (except to judge those who were judgemental), and creative as hell... we shared a couple of classes that turned out to be major forces in either molding who I became (English) or that I wish my children could experience (Rock History)... so, Don went away, became a version of himself that was always there but that really blossomed away from our little "home town" and in the company of people who were far more like him than any of us could ever have dreamt of being. And Don, unlike most of the people we went to school with, became something of the man he wanted to become... and it is his blog that I enjoy so often. I sometimes go weeks or months without reading it, then I will read it devoutly for a couple of weeks -- I think I like it because I see myself as one of the few people who know Don in a different way than most of his readers... so, Don hasn't posted for awhile, he came home to Colorado (I didn't see him, we don't know each other anymore... ) and he didn't post while he was here... well today he is back, and his post makes nearly NO sense to me... the words just swam around on the screen and I couldn't digest them at all... I know he came to visit his sister and her children, but I can't figure out at all what he is talking about, then he jumps to this comment about some sort of starter page... to start what? a blog? a webpage? your own porn site? tracking people down? I went there, they have sticky notes... red ones even... I didn't stay long. I have this blog (very easy to use) and I have a website that I am the webmistress of for work (I love that term "webmistress" - it makes me feel like putting on false eyelashes, a leather corsette, and bright red lipstick and announcing spooky b movies (Elvira is from around here also, she and I did NOT go to highschool together), I have no desire to start some page that will take a bunch of thought and brainpower... I love the internet because I don't have to use my brain as much as I use it for work or for parenting... OMG I should have posted about yesterday's parenting nightmare... nightmare may be strong... but I did just mention Elvira.

Check out this post from Don and tell me what you think he is talking about. Is this a positive comment on family or a negative one?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lent and then some...

Well, I figured out what to give up for lent, and it's not working out all that well (yes less than a week into it) - I gave up computer games between 9am and 9pm (except for lunch break)... well I've taken some pretty long lunch breaks, and I've justified playing after 9am a couple of times because I began working before 9am, so I give myself that time (ie. if I work from 7:30- 9:15) then I can play games from 9:15-11:00), and then 11:00 could be lunch time. Also plugging up the whole system was that my daughter was home sick almost every day last week, and well honestly it's really hard to stay motivated on my work with another human so nearby-fortunately I had major deadlines and didn't have a lot of choice or it would have been even worse. Then yesterday my son stayed home sick (oh please, he was so able to be at school, he just wanted a little of what his sister had) and my boss said "take a couple of days off or just do the minimum this week to make up for the hours on Saturday" - um, I work 20 hours per week, and I worked 20 hours on Saturday - so I guess I pretty much get the whole week off, except of course that won't actually work because of things like people wanting to get paid, etc. -- anyhow between Mr. "I'm sick but I can eat cookies" sitting around watching Lord of the Rings and the total exhaustion of the weekend and my boss' free pass, I pretty much took about a 5 hour lunch yesterday - however the intent of giving up the games for lent was so that they would stop interfering with my work, and well as I had the day off, how could they interfere? -- this is going worse than the F word last year!

Top that off with a couple of very upsetting personal events and I don't really give a damn about lent, or any other damn thing, including work, housework, bills, etc. I thought I felt like blogging my feelings and venting to my "unknown" (and probably non-existent) audience... but I don't feel like it now that the time is here.

Hey... but Gameblast has a version of Qbeez available, and it's pretty fun, lots and lots of levels, and the cutest little "powerups" - I don't think that is what Qbeez calls them, but you get the idea anyhow. The little guys that become cannons have cute little helmuts, makes me giggle. I think I'll take lunch early today, lol... it's 10:20 now, hmmm how early can I justify? Okay I'll do a little work first.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Lent (again)

Next week Lent begins... remember I gave up the 'F' word last year, well I can tell you there is no fucking way I am doing that again. I am open to suggestions though, as if I've posted enough for any of you to have an idea what is my weakness this year.


So apparently MySpace has some sort of subliminal tactic they use or something. A few months back there was a big stink among the adults from a group that my daughters belong to, seemed that several of the other members from all around our region were putting up MySpace pages identifying themselves as members of this group and then also providing details about their personal lives that by adult standards were less than sweet and darling or moral and ethical for that matter. I'm a fairly laidback mom when it comes to some of that, kids will be kids, but it's a huge lesson to learn that you can be one kind of kid in one environment and another kind of kid in another (apparently some of these kids think that is akin to hypocrisy... of course it isn't if you are actually two (insert #) different sides of yourself and you don't actually scream loudly about people who drink beer in one personality and do keg stands with the boys in the other... not that an old person like me has had any experience with keg stands or even knows what they are... so these sweet young ladies (with pierced tongues and tattoos and crappy rude little attitudes shocked the adults when the adults read their my space pages and found out they had been drinking and shoplifting (gasp). I don't condone shoplifting or teenage drinking, don't misunderstand, I do remember being 16, I do remember saying I had done things I had only actually just heard about, and I do remember doing things that I knew a helluva lot better than to actually put into writing (my mother always said, if you don't want it on the cover of the Rocky Mountain News, don't put it in writing [this caveat includes photos]), and I do know that while there are girls with pierced tongues and tattoos and are rude little bitches that are perfectly moral sweet darling girls that the majority of girls who are going to the trouble and pain to pierce their tongues at least want the image of a bad girl... and they are going to do other things to promote that image (including publicly questioning their sexual orientation, not opposing group encounters, and claiming to have been "so shitfaced I don't remember" - [oh yea that's another post for another day] - these adults apparently either skipped all of their own adolescent years or ran into Will Smith with his little flashy light thingy that erases your memories and haven't got a clue... okay anyhow I've turned what was supposed to be a short little background set up into a rant... lets get back to my topic... so those several months back, of course some of the adults mentioned this to me, so I got curious and I went to MySpace... my gosh the things those little tramps were putting up, apparently their very sweet involved parents were clueless dolts and allowed them to have a computer in their room and stay up till 4am talking to pedophiles, juvenile delinquents, and their other friends who haven't decided what shocking road they will take... probably in the name of "homework"... and the parents probably never thought to look over the shoulder of their sweet daughter who's email is (paraphrased for privacy) to see what crap she was posting, but I did, I snooped and I looked over their shoulders, and my favorite part of this short forray into myspace was that the parents who were screaming the loudest had daughters who were posting about what a bunch of invasive judgemental sticks in the mud the "adults" of this particular group were. I of course responded that the lesson to be learned is to seperate the pieces of your life for the majority of your audience... know your audience, and know that in myspace your audience is every breathing creature that has the ability to operate a computer mouse. These screaming parents insisted that you cannot see the myspace posts if you are not a member of myspace (bullcrap, I didn't have a myspace, why would I, I already had this blog which I neglect), and a "Friend" of the poster (ditto). So... months later w/o having thought much about myspace since, except to tell my kids "no"... the news starts carrying on and screaming about how perverts can get in and get all kinds of personal information on these little nitwits (boys and girls) who are too naive and cocky to think a pedophile could possibly do a simple puzzle and then also come after them [at least our little half blinded group was ahead of the rest of the city]. In amongst these OMG aint it awful news reports, the newscaster states that they typed in "DipShit High School, Colorado - 17 year olds" and got 8 bazillion hits (actually I think it was closer to 200, but anyhow). And I'm thinking, hey, you can search by school... my previous foray was accomplished by putting in the questionable email address that had been distributed to every parent/member in the state and then going from her friends list to their friends lists, etc. - you know like the old Breck commercials. So I go back to myspace, and I try to search by school, well apparently to search by school you do have to "join" - I have a hotmail account, what the hell... I joined (btw, my myspace page is completely empty and boring) and not 20 seconds later I had some freak on my "friends"... that was creepy... then after a little clicking here and there I found the "browse" page (this is where you can try to find married men between the ages of 16 and 100 (or a segment thereof) that are interested in swinging and are bi-curious and jewish and have an athletic build and vegan diet... yes I was supremely grossed out)... but nowhere could I search for ABC High School like I had wanted. Eventually I found it and I started reading all of the myspace pages for the kids who go to my kids' school - or at least the ones that list they go there... you don't actually have to provide that, but I think most kids do, because most kids WANT to be found. Most of the pages were actually much nicer than the "nice girls" from the other organization... though a few of them were just plain idiots... and most of them (they are supposed to be at a "smart school") were careful about their entire identity... however I had this list by school... there's one id factor, and by age (I chose 16-20) another factor, and then the username might be "kitten", but somewhere in there it would usually say "my name is Kathryn, but my friends call me Kat or Kitty or Kitten" and then amongst the pictures or posts would be "Ms. Smith, you are looking very great today"... so now I know that Kathryn (Kitten) Smith is a sophomore at ABC High and lives in Anytown, Colorado and drives a white Jetta (cuz she has a picture of it on her site). I also have a picture of her, she's blonde, blue-eyed and loves to run cross country... man, Kitten is an easy target. -- If you're wondering at all... my renewed MySpace answer to my kids is NO. And I happen to know kittens parents and all the other stuff about being christian and not having been kissed and not having drank, is probably true, and her parents are probably monitoring her to some extent, but not enough to keep some creep from following her from school in her cute little white jetta to some remote park where she is going to go for a run....ewwwwwwwwwww creepy. Oh so the point of the post, the subliminal thing on MySpace... I am almost 40 years old, have no desire to stalk or id myself to any of these kids, nothing beyond a little parental curiosity (are my kids' friends sluts/nice girls - drunks/teetotalers), and I surfed myspace for hours last night, I wasted almost my entire night, my kids were not even interested in their friends pages, after I went through their school, I looked up alums from my own HS, then after that current students b/c I know some kids that go there (nephews, nieces, friends of my kids)... and then, I finally realized I had become a MySpace Zombie and I turned my computer off and went to watch television, b/c at least a television zombie is less frightening somehow. I think I will have to lock MySpace off of our entire network, it's not healthy, but not until I look up the boys from the baseball team - see if they are creepy little delinquents or nice smart kids, lol. I'm telling you if you want to blog, stay away from MySpace it will suck you in like a black hole in Space... and it's very hard to find your way out!

Friday, January 20, 2006


another secret revealed... when I was younger I told almost NO ONE about my little issue - then eventually, I learned that admitting my deficiency sometimes became necessary - anyhow, I have this bizarrely unusual colorblindness - don't even know the proper name for it - basically I cannot differentiate between greens and yellows - and I am female -- it's probably like one in 85 bazillion odds or something - so... here's the reason for the post, I spent the first 13 or 14 years of my life not knowing I was colorblind and just (because of my ego) thinking that people around me were dorks to say something was one color when I knew it was another...then I found out why we were seeing things differently. Also, by some lovely human capacity, I can guess fairly accurately what color something is, I think there is some reception of the particular 'light wave' or whatever it is that allows the human eye/brain to perceive color - or I've learned to compensate - okay getting way off track here... so (wow am I elipsis [...] happy or what today?) back to my point. I've been going around since I was in Jr. High school feeling very self-conscious and hiding my secret (I don't really have secrets, but this makes me feel so strange, it's not that I think it's a problem, it's that people find it so amusing to "test" me, and then they constantly make comments about it "oh that's right, you can't tell that the Broncos wear Blue and Orange!") first of all, I don't see all things in GREY - second of all, even if I couldn't tell, um duh, I know what color they wear, and third, I don't like to be their science project)... okay so, years of hiding, and feeling some anxiety when I have to focus and attempt to guess a color (oh yeah, this really screws with some video games - isn't that crap!). Well this morning I had an epiphany, there is an article in this month's Readers Digest regarding 'Dreams'. I realized that in my dreams I have no color vision anxiety! Now, I can't say whether I am colorblind in my dreams, cuz I'm awake right now, but... I KNOW that I don't fret about it - maybe I skip those colors to eliminate that stress??? maybe I see something that I can define??? maybe my dreams are about other issues and it isn't fair to have that added stress??? I have no idea, I would love to hear from others with colorblindness about their dreams.

Monday, January 09, 2006

4 Months?

4 Months - I am really putting up some interesting stuff to keep the peeps coming back (where the hell did the term peeps come from - WOW) for more... if they have the patience of Job [pronounced (jōb)] combined with the super duper computer power of oh say Fred Flintstones Keypunch "computer". Yes, I just quoted the Bible - not something you will see often here (oh yeah, I don't post often, so really anything I put up here, you won't see often - but were I to post with some frequency, you would not see a whole lot of reference to the Bible) - aside from quoting this great book of stories of wondrous miracles and devoted believers with unwavering faith - my own faith is a bit in the crapper lately. It's not that I've lost my faith, because really my core beliefs haven't changed any, it's not that I have doubts - it's more like I just can't feel anything spiritual - my vessel seems empty and neutral on just about everything - the holidays, the miracle of Hannukah, the beautiful lights of the menorah evoked no real spiritual awe as they usually do - the wonder of the beautiful gift of a great teacher, Christ, and all that he offered to us as lessons to help us achieve our best human expression - nothing, no amazement, not wonder - sadness of death and comfort of spiritual life beyond human existance - nope, nada... I went through all the steps, we lit our menorah, we listened to the Christmas story on Christmas Eve, I've been to a couple of funerals (one Catholic and one Evangelical), not a single spiritual moment - where is the me that had spiritual moments almost every moment - who was awestruck by the ability to draw breath or see the sunset over the rockies or smell a wonderful new puppy??? Well maybe if I attend church I will find that person, but really this person has been sleeping poorly and is too tired to manipulate the family into joining me at church on those rare sunday mornings when I am up early enough and don't have other commitments (you know like say Christmas morning???) Maybe next week?
We spent some time with friends this last couple of weeks, that was really great - we haven't been very social lately. Good friends are really a treasure - you know the ones you can talk with for hours and hours and never get bored...
Well I guess it's back to work - since I have nothing more to add to this pathetic whiney assed post - I'm certain that if another living being reads it, they will blown away by the laughter and joy. Maybe I will be amused about something tomorrow - or at least in the next 4 months...