Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pick a Date - Any Date

Last night was trick-or-treat here in Suburbia.  Two hours of sitting with my front door open and the glass out of my screen door to pass out treats to a total of seven trick-or-treaters.  Seven.  The funny thing is that's not even a record for the fewest trick-or-treaters to come to our house.  That record stands at one.  But it was nice to pass out candy to the kids who did come to our door.  Hubby was not in a very Halloween type mood.  He was quite disappointed that trick-or-treat was not on Halloween.  To be honest, I don't get it either.  Why not have trick-or-treat on Halloween?  Hubby says that without trick-or-treat, Halloween is just another day.  He's kind of right.  Today we spent five hours total in the car to drive half way across the state of Ohio to meet my parents for lunch.  (They like to do this.  I'll expain in a later post.)  They had Halloween gifts for us and that made it seem like Halloween but that was it.  Nobody at the restaurant was dressed up.  No wishes of Happy Halloween as we left.  Nothing on the radio to lead you to believe it was a special day.  Without all of the scary stuff on television to watch, it just seemed like any other day.  Rather disappointing I must admit.  I don't know what I was expecting but I agree with Hubby.  Trick-or-treating on Halloween is just the way it should be.  A friend of mine lives in Salem, Massachusetts on the road to Gallows Hill.  Maybe next year we'll go visit her for Halloween.  Somehow I think Salem would be a little more full of the Halloween spirit.  Happy Candy Day Everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Come On. You Know You Wanna. All the Cool Kids are Doin' It.

Happy Blogiversary to me!  I can't believe I've been blogging every day for more than an entire month.  Even more unbelievably, I have been able to uphold a level of non-coma-inducing topics and have not lost every "peep" I have gained.  I appreciate all of my readers and encourage you to share with your social networking friends the blogs that you find particularly amusing.  I would love to expand my audience, the next step in my pursuit of world domination - I mean, spreading humor and cheer.  I love the feedback that I get and would like to create a more interactive environment by addressing some issues supplied by my "peeps".  Blogging has been a great way for me to do some real soul searching and almost has a therapeutic quality about it.  (I say almost because if I admit it is truly therapeutic I would feel obligated to pay you each as I pay my real life therapist.)  I have realized some things about myself over the last month that I was not even aware of.  I have learned by the labels with which I categorize each post that I am often filled with "frustration" and there is a bunch of "crap I don't understand".  Remembering that every post is public has been a challenge but for every subject I tackle, I become more secure in who I am and what I stand for - a great way to progress in the world of self-improvement.  So, if you've ever had the inkling, I encourage you to jump on the band wagon and become a blogonista too.  I'd love to hear what you have to share.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

Yesterday, my mailbox was full.  Full of crap.  All I got were solicitations for donations to charity.  Now I guess this wouldn't make me quite so angry if they weren't charities I have already donated to!  Every year for lent as a family project, we save our change and donate it to a charity (last year's winner was Reading is Fundamental).  We also participate in other charities throughout the year (like Operation Christmas Child at Christmas time).  The problem is that once you donate to these organizations, they aren't happy with your one donation.  It seems like every week they send you something asking for more money.  If I had more money to give you, I would have included it in the check I sent you last week.  It makes me not want to give to them in the first place.  The donation I just made merely covers the cost of all the mailings they will send me in the future.  What is the point of me giving them my donation?  I might as well donate it directly to the postal service.  They are the ones that end up with the money anyway.  Or send the request in an e-mail (this is what the WSPA does).  It's cheaper, more eco-friendly and easier to ignore if I so choose.  And I wonder at what point a charity decides to bump you off their harassment list.  We donated to Heifer International (a GREAT organization) so many years ago that I can't remember when it was but we still get their solicitations in the mail.  I could call and ask to be removed from their mailing list I guess, but the point is I shouldn't have to.  Keep my name, but try only asking for more money like a year later.  News flash - You're more likely to get donation once a year than once a month at least from me.  Not all charities are like this.  There are some out there who graciously accept your donation and put your money to actual use and not more mailings (Donkeys of the Holy Land being one).  I guess I will just have to focus my giving locally and purchase items with my money.  I can then physically take these items to the charities.  We did that one year for the local animal shelter and they were so surprised with the gifts they were speechless.  I wish my donations could render some of these other charities speechless - or better yet stampless.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Knock-Knock! Who's There?

Since I am in a Halloweeny kind of mood, I'd just like to say one thing.  I know some of you will not understand this but - I hate Halloween.  I like the pumpkins and the cute little trick-or-treaters but the rest I could do without.  I'm just not into the whole fear factor that many people associate with Halloween today.  I don't even like going to stores in the month of October because of some of the gory decorations.  Heck, I was wary of taking my daughter out to trick-or-treat when she was little.  But I'm not a total party pooper, I do buy candy and pass it out to the trick-or-treaters (all five that actually come to my house).  But let me state this right off the bat, if you are 10 years old or older and you want to come to my door and you're not wearing a costume, just forget it.  It really annoys me to no end when I have to pause The Nightmare Before Christmas and answer the door just to find a bunch of teens in sweatclothes with face paint on.  If you're not going to make the effort, why should I.  I'm thinking about buying something like toothbrushes or healthy snacks to give to these young hoodlums.  Maybe then next year they won't come back.  Don't get me wrong.  If you are in a costume, you get a treat.  Doesn't matter how old you are.  Heck, I give treats to the parents with the guts to dress up and take their children around the neighborhood.  Grown-ups like candy too.  My motto is if you're going to dress up and go door to door in the most likely cold Suburbia weather, you deserve something.  Heck, I even give treats to people at my door when its not Halloween.  Ask the Mormons.  They always leave with caffeine free soda and snacks.  I wonder if the Mormons decided to knock on your door at Halloween how would you know if they were real Mormons or just trick-or-treaters dressed up as Mormons?  Hmmmm . . .

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Adventures of Gimpy Me

I am finally off of my crutches.  After a week of assisted walking and lots of resting, I am finally doing better.  My torn calf muscle is healing and I can start getting my life back to normal.  There is one thing that my eyes were opened to while I was hobbling along this past week - How rude people are to the disabled.  While there have been a few kind souls who have held a door open, there are just as many if not more ignorant people with either have no hearts or no awareness of the world around them.  The worst experience I had was the day that we traveled to see my daughter in a band/colorguard competition.  Luckily, after being allowed to park in the handicapped parking area and being led through the handicapped entrance (at the top of the stadium), we were able to snag a few seats in the handicapped companion seating area saving me from falling down the bleacher stairs in pursuit of a place to rest my rear.  However, I was amazed at the number of non-disabled people occupying seats clearly marked for the handicapped.  There was even a lady standing in the wheelchair spot next to my hubby while a lady IN a wheelchair waited behind her for the spot.  She didn't move giving the poor lady in the wheelchair a nice view of her butt instead of the show.  We only stayed for three performances and upon our leaving, the lady who had been standing next to hubby promptly took our handicapped seats.  Later when we stopped on the way home for dinner, I was stunned that upon leaving the restaurant that a group of twenty-somethings standing on the sidewalk outside did not have the courtesy to move when I approached.  I was forced to crutch my way down off the sidewalk onto the road and make my way around them.  Are you kidding?  I have a nephew who is permanently disabled and in a wheelchair or on crutches.  He is not afraid to nudge someone with his crutch and ask them to move because he is disabled.  At first I found this rather rude, but after seeing firsthand how poorly I'm sure he is treated, I say kudos to you nephew!  Wish I had the guts to nudge them with my crutch and ask them to move.  Then again, nudge wouldn't have been the term for what I wanted to do :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Tornados are scary.  I don't care what anyone else thinks, they are scary.  I think its one of those things like hearing a bone break or being in a car wreck, you don't understand just how terrible it is until you've been through it.  Having lived in Tornado Alley, I have seen my fair share of tornados.  So every time there is the threat of tornadic storms, I batten down the hatches and head to the basement.  Which is exactly what I did today.  The line of storms with tornado warnings was racing eastward so I took all three birds and some necessary items and camped out in the basement.  The TV coverage was great.  Since there were tornado warnings, they stayed on the air constantly for about three hours.  I appreciate this and their ability to predict possible tornados but I have to say that the weather warning system is so good that its going to end up hurting itself.  They issue warnings for everything.  They even issue warnings for doppler indicated tornados.  Now, I for one will always abide by the warnings.  Its the public in general that I fear for.  They issue the warnings so often and then nothing happens that I fear it will cause a "cry wolf" effect.  People will just get immune to the warnings and not think anything of them.  I already know people like this.  They scare me.  Granted from the time I was little if the wind picked up, I was dragging the patio furniture into the house.  But I feel its better to be safe than sorry.  The fear is in my blood.  Hmmmm . . . Maybe I was Judy Garland in a previous life?

Monday, October 25, 2010

O Bother, Its Your Birthday

Today is the 40th anniversary of my husband's birth.  I was going to have a nice, witty, sarcastic blog today, but instead I would rather spend the time with him.  Wait, he's on the couch with ESPN on the TV.  Maybe it's best to just leave him be to do what he wants.  He seems happy at the moment.  If I go over there and bother him, he will most likely want to turn the channel to something that won't put me in a coma.  I would feel bad if he did that when he seems so content watching his little sports channel.  But then again, I'm sure he'd love to have me over there snuggling with him on the couch.  He looks quite comfortable by himself though.  If I go over there, he's just going to feel like he has to resituate himself so that I am comfortable too and why should he have to do that.  It is his birthday.  There's only ten minutes until we have to leave anyway so I guess I'll just finish up this blog posting and . . . well, now I'm done.  But if I stop typing he'll wonder why I'm not coming over and I'll feel all bad.  Then he'll feel all bad and I don't want him to feel all bad on his birthday.  So I guess I'll just keep typing so that he hears the noise and . . . wait . . . he's coming over here.  Oh, its time to go.  Problem solved.  Happy Birthday Hubby!   

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coffee and Lattes and Booze - Oh My!

Starbucks has good coffee - overpriced but good nonetheless.  I like Starbucks.  I get sucked in on occasion usually by the scents wafting throughout the Barnes and Noble bookstore.  I just can't get with the program on their new concept though - booze at Starbucks.  Apparently, some marketing reject came up with the ridiculous idea of selling beer and wine at Starbucks and they are actually trying it.  They are testing the concept in at least one of their Seattle stores.  They claim their business is too slow in the evening.  Um, ok, then only stay open in the day.  What's so hard about that?  You are a coffee house.  Don't get greedy after 4 p.m. and ruin the place for those of us who like it the way it is.  I don't know about you but alcohol is the reason I don't go to bars and if Starbucks takes this nationwide, it will also be the reason that I don't go to Starbucks too.  The last time we went to a Starbucks, the service was awful.  We waited in line for five or ten minutes while the employee chatted with the customer in front of us.  Then, in front of an ever-growing line of people, she comped him his drinks.  And this gem was their "Barrista of the Month".  I'd hate to see the people who didn't meet that standard.  We left without any coffee and went to their website to complain when we got home.  About three weeks later, we got a letter in the mail with coupons for two free cups of coffee.  Two cups.  That's it.  It was barely worth the time we took to give them the feedback.  But hey, this is Starbucks so the retail value of those coupons is probably around $36.95.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Highway To Heaven?

Driving down Interstate 75 today to Cincinnati, I had a few thoughts like "Why is there a toaster lying on the side of the road?"  But that was put out of my mind when we passed the place where Touchdown Jesus used to live.  See, he was an icon around here.  A huge statue of the upper half of Jesus that stood many stories high with his arms outstretched to the sky (hence the name Touchdown Jesus).  He also went by Big Butter Jesus due to his creamy yellow color.  He was struck downin his prime, much like the real Jesus, when one night during a thunderstorm, he was hit by lightening.  Can you get more dramatic?  Jesus struck down by his father in his own front yard.  It made the local (and some national) news and was a temporary youtube sensation.  Touchdown Jesus got his fifteen minutes of fame.  The church where he resided says he will be resurrected.  There is much controversy surrounding this.  Often the comment is made that the money spent to restore Touchdown Jesus could do so much toward feeding the hungry or healing the sick.  I think their money is well spent for their cause.  Yes, it took him burning to the ground but Touchdown Jesus put Jesus back in the news.  People would pull off the interstate to take pictures of Touchdown Jesus.  People talked about it.  Whether they were for or against it, everyone had an opinion and was talking about Jesus and God and religion.  Great!  This is exactly what these people are trying to accomplish with their monument.  Goal achieved.  I hope they rebuild it.  I hope he brings about more controvery and more conversations.  I hope someday he will enlighten me on where that toaster came from.

Friday, October 22, 2010

WWGT - What Would Grandma Think?

My extended family is into gifts BIG TIME.  It's how we were raised.  Everyone has a birthday party where everyone else brings gifts that I feel are a little over the top.  Every year on certain relatives' children's birthdays, I buy, wrap, pack and ship gifts to them.  And when it is my daughter's birthday, she gets squat from these particular relatives.  Not even a card.  Nada.  Zippo.  Zilch.  I know they don't simply forget because other family members mention her birthday to them, and yet nothing.  The same seems to be starting to happen with Christmas.  Maybe it's because we live at a distance.  I can guarantee you that if she had a birthday party or was physically there at Christmas, she would be getting something because my grandmother would be there to see it.  What grandma doesn't see won't hurt her I guess.  And the worst part is when they see my daughter, they say "Oh, we need to send you a Christmas gift" (this was in June) "We'll double up on your birthday".  Yet her birthday rolled around and not a peep.  My daughter has been trying to understand this for all of her 16 young years.  Oh, and when we send our gifts, we don't even get so much as a little thank you note in the mail.  No thank you phone call either.  We have had similar situations with other people and eventually just gave up.  I am giving in and changing my rules starting in the new year.  No more birthday gifts for them.  I'll most likely still do Christmas next year but then my trial period is over and if they don't want to do it - fine.  I feel like Scrooge but its hard to go through all of that trouble when there isn't any reciprocation.  I know that its the thought that counts but when the thought is obviously not there, what's a mom to do.  So, as the holiday season approaches and you make your list and check it twice, be sure you're not forgetting anyone.  And at the bottom of that list add "Christmas Thank You Cards".  You'll be surprised just how much joy they can bring.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

And There is No Clearance Section

I am a shop-a-holic but there are two types of shopping I don't enjoy: grocery shopping and kid shopping.  I spent some time today, for lack of a better term, kid shopping.  Hubby and I have fulfilled all of our requirements, passed all of our tests and jumped through all of the hoops to complete our homestudy for adoption.  All we need now is the coveted seal of approval from our case worker's supervisor.  Once we get that, we are to give a list of children that we are interested in to our case worker.  This is where the kid shopping comes in.  I know that it sounds horrible, but that's basically what you are doing.  You get a wallet size picture and a few lines of type at an on-line site.  A child's whole life is based off of this little picture (often not the most flattering) and how good their case worker is at marketing them.  How are we supposed to say yes or no to a child based on this minimal information?  I feel like we would get more details if we were adopting a dog at the pound.  I definitely get more information about products I buy at the store and you can return them if you want.  You can't . . . well, I couldn't return a child.  (Apparently, there are some people who do!)  Of course, once we initiate the inquiry, we will most likely get more information, but you have to base your initial request off of the short blurb and a photo.  I almost wish they didn't have the photo.  That way you would base your pursuit of a child on their small biography and not on how visually appealing they are.  No matter how much anyone tries to deny it and no matter how good your intentions, the way they look in that picture does play a part in the decision.  I hate to think that we may miss the right child for us because she had a bad hair day and didn't take a good photo.  Too bad our case worker can't send out our homestudy to all of the children that meet our gender and age requirements.  Then the girl who is meant to be ours won't fall through the cracks.  I guess I'm just scared that as I kid shop, I will overlook her.  I like to shop but this just feels wrong.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Party of One Please

Group work sucks.  I don't care where you're at in your life or what you are working on - group work sucks.  I know that I tend to think that I can do everything myself and sometimes bite off more than I can chew but I just don't play well with others.  My daughter brought to my attention the other day a whole new concept in the world of education - the group test.  Remember when you had to study and take a test to prove what YOU understood and remembered about a topic.  My hubby has to work as part of a group at his place of employment on occasion.  He always ends up doing way more than his fair share of the work.  This is the problem with group work.  There is always one person in the group who simply doesn't care.  Someone always ends up picking up this person's slack.  Your choice is have a poor final product or do their work for them.  In my personal life, I am even encountering this even today.  I am planning a baby shower for my brother's wife.  Sounds innocent enough.  Then my mother, her mother and her sister all decided to "help".  Ta da!  Instant dysfunctional group.  Things were delegated and now we are waiting for the person handling invitations to actually send them out.  They were supposed to go out last weekend.  What am I to do?  I shouldn't have to call and check on this person but I know they are not doing their job.  It may be a baby shower but I shouldn't have to babysit a fully functional adult.  Maybe they should start to mark things like "excels at group work" or "happily pulls her own weight" on your driver's license.  Then you could ask someone to see their license and you'd know what you were getting yourself into.  There are so many possibilities that could be included.  "Shallow" or "tends to cheat" would be great ones.  Then we wouldn't have to worry about choosing a friend or even a mate.  Until that time, I will have to deal with group work.  But if asked how I would like to handle things, I will always request to fly solo.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Leave a Message at the Beep ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Beep!

Hello.  You have reached my blog.  My blog operates 24/7, 365 days a year.  If you are calling during this time, please pay attention as our options have changed.  If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911.  Press 1 if you would like to read my blog.  Press 2 if you would like to comment on my blog.  Press 3 for the location of my blog.  Press 4 if you would like to speak to a receptionist to make an appointment with my blog.  Press 5 if all of the above apply to you.  Press 6 if none of the above apply to you.  Press 7 if you are blond.  Press 8 if you speak english.  Press 9 if you are under 5'9".  Press 0 to reach the operator or simply stay on the line.  -click-  buzzzzzzz . . .  -  Can you believe something very, very similar to this is what I heard today when I called, of all places, the doctor's office?  I expect this when I call a school, a hospital, or Walmart, but the doctor.  Come on!  When you are sick, the last thing you want to do is push buttons trying to reach an actual live human being.  Luckily, I was not the sick one and had a small amount of patience which was quickly eroded by this wonder of automation.  All I wanted was an appointment.  If I wasn't getting disconnected, I was being rerouted back to the main menu or, even more frustrating, sent to the receptionist's voice mail.  She's the receptionist.  Her job is to ANSWER the phone.  Webster's defines the position as "one employed to greet callers".  What in God's name does a person that has the job of ANSWERING the phone need with voice mail?  What ever happened to answering the phone and putting the person on hold?  At least that way, you can hope they will return and talk to you.  Or even the dreaded busy signal, a thing of the past, would be more welcome than the receptionist's voice mail.  After twenty minutes of pushing button and starting over again, I finally reached someone who transfered me to the receptionist and made sure she would take my call.  I guess she was the receptionist to the receptionist.  I don't know.  All I know is my daughter was hacking up a lung beside me as I journeyed through the seven levels of automated hell.  But in the end, I got the appointment, she got the antibiotics and we got the heck out of there before I got sick and had to start calling all over again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The E.B.A. - I'm Not Just a Member, I'm the President

There is an evil force that lies in almost every home in the country.  It is addictive.  It is easily accessible.  It is ebay.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  Ebay, how can that be dangerous.  But for those of us who do not enjoy the public but do enjoy finding a bargain, it is a dream come true.  I admit.  I am one of those people.  But I have two other personality flaws that make ebay even more of a hazard - compulsiveness and competitiveness.  When I go out on ebay, it is like a hunt.  I have to find something, anything to bid on.  The one-of-a-kind-ness of an item just adds to the urgency to obtain it.  I will try to come up with any reason to rationalize a bid.  (Of course I need that clock shaped like R2D2.  It'll look great in my bathroom.)  Once the bidding starts, look out.  I have to have it.  I mentally set my price limit, shipping included, and when I reach that I change it to that price without the shipping.  When I reach that number, I usually will set a higher number.  When I reach that number, I set an absolute highest number.  This last number usually sticks until the final minute or two.  Then all bets are off.  Its actually quite a scary process.  I get a high from beating other people's bids.  I love having bids on more than one item.  I will bid on things that I definitely don't need and sometimes don't even want.  I need to start the EBA (Ebay Bidders Anonymous.)  When I am not bidding on something, I feel a sense of emptiness.  A sense of despair.  That is why there is a rule in my house that I am not allowed to go onto ebay.  Absolutely not at all.  It is a self-inflicted rule, but a rule that I must stick by.  The problem is this afternoon I had to do some shopping for my hubby's birthday and I was lured to the dark side yet again.  So far I have resisted the temptation to bid but the pull is there and it is strong as ever.  So when you think of all the dangers that lurk on your computer, don't forget the evil that is ebay.  It can suck you dry mentally, emotionally and, most important, financially.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some more bidding . . . I mean shopping . . . I mean . . . hell, I'm playing it safe and logging off.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm Dressing Up as a Christian for Halloween This Year

I am not a huge fan of Halloween but since when did Halloween become a bad word as far as the school system is concerned.  When I went to school, we had Halloween parties, we dressed up in Halloween costumes and we ate Halloween treats.  And guess what, most of us didn't grow up to become heathens.  I went to a catholic school and one year we even had a haunted house.  Now, I can't vouch for how frightening the entire thing was because I didn't get any further than the first room, but I do remember our priest at the time, dressed in a dracula costume lying in what appeared to my first grade eyes to be a coffin.  He didn't burst into flames and he wasn't struck down by lightening.  He scared the crap out of me but that was about it.  The thing that gets to me is they still have the parties.  Sometimes they even let the kids dress up in costumes.  The only difference is they call it an Autumn Party or something equally idiotic.  Apparently, Halloween is a pagan celebration and thus can't be celebrated in school.  But what about Easter and for that matter Christmas.  They are christian holidays that public school's happily give up their academic time for without hesitation or a ridiculous name change.  Maybe its because there is no Halloween icon.  Easter has the bunny.  Christmas has the big guy in the red suit.  Maybe Halloween just needs a representative to speak up on its behalf.  Or is it just that the christian religion has that much of a stronghold on the world today that any beliefs that differ from theirs need to be stifled.  Isn't this unfair to the pagans?  Why don't we celebrate jewish or islamic or hindu holidays as well?  Or maybe we should just have quarterly parties to celebrate - well to be politically correct - nothing.  I say either call them what they are or don't celebrate them at all.  Your child isn't going to turn evil because she wears a Dora the Explorer costume for an hour or eats a cookie with Happy Halloween iced on the top.  Lighten up.  I don't like the holiday but at least I call it what it is.  I can't decide if its the power christians have in society today or Halloween itself that scares me more.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fourth Down & Fifty Pages To Go

At the homecoming game last night, there was a woman sitting next to us reading a book.  Now. I like football.  Don't get me wrong.  But I hate going to high school football games.  There.  I said it.  And I'll say it again.  I hate high school football games.  Our football team does not give the community a lot to look forward to.  Our guys run into the opposition and its like hitting a brick wall.  The opposition runs into us and they drag our guys down the field.  We like to fumble and seem restricted to moving two yards at a time.  The homecoming parade summed it all up.  Walking down the street in the parade, our biggest, most ferocious looking football player tripped over his own feet.  Yeah, that's how good we are.  It is hard to sit through the games as there is really nothing to cheer for and nothing to watch because the score is 30 to 3.  But we are troopers.  We sit on the cold bleachers in the bitter wind and watch.  We have people crawl over us with nachos and pizza.  We witness the teenage mating rituals.  We bite our tongues because you never know who's mother you may be sitting near. We are polite and respectful.  We are waiting for the band.  The football parents on the other hand, go to the concession stand during half-time and leave before the performance following the game.  So much for mutual respect.  But when it is time for the band and color guard, we beam with pride.  We even get stage fright by proxy.  They come out and do their thing and it is flawless.  They are the pride of Suburbia.  We sit, outfitted in our Suburbia gear, and think wow, that is our baby girl. We have done what we vowed we would never do.  We were transformed into a breed all its own - band parents.  We come for one reason and one reason only - to see the band/color guard.  So no offense to the football parents but next time, I'm bringing my book.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Buffalos Don't Even Have Wings

Ok.  I have a silly declaration to make.  Its not monumental or anything but I would just like the world to know the truth.  Buffalo wings are buffalo wings.  If said buffalo wings do not contain the bone portion, they are still buffalo wings.  They are then called boneless buffalo wings. All buffalo wings are chicken but just because a buffalo wing does not contain a bone does not make it simply chicken.  If anything, it is the sauce that defines a buffalo wing.  If one orders buffalo wings, bone in or bone out, and chooses to get barbecue sauce on the wings, then they are simply wings or chicken.  It is the buffalo sauce that makes them buffalo wings.  So if one orders boneless wings but with buffalo sauce and another orders bone in wings with just plain barbecue sauce who is being more true to the buffalo wing consumption?  This will go down in history as one of life's great conundrums.  Which came first the chicken or the egg?  If a tree falls in the empty forest does it make a noise?  Is it the sauce or the bone that makes a buffalo wing?  I vote sauce.  So while I consumed boneless buffalo chicken wings, others were partaking in eating barbecue chicken wings.  'Nough said!

This blog is dedicated to my father-in-law.  If they were real buffalo wings, let's face it, you would have been sweating.  Mine were just as much buffalo wings as yours were.  That's my story and I'm stickin' by it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just a McThought . . . or Two

Today I drove through the McDrive-Thru and had two odd things happen: 

1)  When I arrived at the pick-up window, I was asked to please pull in one of the parking spaces off to my right and my food would be brought out to me when ready.  Ok, I thought this was fast food and this doesn't seem very fast but I pull into a spot anyway.  Then I notice that the parking spot and the one next to it are designated McParking spaces for drive-thru customers only.  I sat and stared at the sign thinking this makes no sense.  If I am a drive-thru customer, why am I not driving but sitting here waiting on my food.  There is a reason they don't call it the "you just don't have to leave your car line."  But at that point the McWorker knocked on my window with my food, so I stopped trying to wrap my mind around this brain teaser because I was distracted by the smell of grease.  Mmmmmm . . .

2)  When I looked in my bag, I found out I had the correct McOrder!  I was amazed.  This almost never happens.  Sometimes I think the drive-thru people give you the wrong thing on purpose just to see who will get out of their cars and come into the restaurant.  Taco Bell is notorious for this.  We are constantly counting the number of things that come in our bag.  We can't make sure they are correct because its Taco Bell - its not designed in any way for car consumption, but at least we can make sure we get the quantity of food we have paid for.  Yet they can't even seem to get that part right.  I don't want your free Cinnamon Twists.  I want what I ordered.  I don't think anyone actually buys those anyway.  I think they are made purely as a consolation prize for having to come into the restaurant.  The solution to this problem: I think that every restaurant with a drive-thru should be required to have one designated delivery person.  If you get home and have the wrong stuff, instead of you getting back in your car and driving across town, the delivery person should deliver the correct food items to your door. Ta da!  You'd always have the right food - even when you got the wrong food.

Just something that's on my mind and I thought I would McShare.  In case you hadn't noticed, I spent money on food someone else has cooked yet again.  Wonderful!  Day 5 of the Five Weeks to Financial Betterification plan is a failure.  Second McJob here I come :(

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You Are My BFFNBISYAFRFNRR (Best Friend For Now Because I Sent You A Friend Request For No Real Reason)

I have friends.  Facebook friends.  I am quite picky when it comes to this aspect of my virtual existence.  These are the people who have had some impact in some way however large or small on my life.  What I don't understand are some of the people who send me friend requests.  What are they thinking?  I am not going to give you access to all my personal information, pictures, thoughts, hopes and dreams just because you clicked on my name.  Don't get me wrong.  I have made a few friends through facebook that I consider soul sisters, but I have also added a few crazies to boot.  Some of my favorite catagories include:

"Collectors" - These people will send a friend request to anyone.  They have no idea who you are and they don't care.  As long as their friend count is in the thousands, they are happy.  Quantity, not quality.

"Commentators" - These folks seem innocent enough but they lurk in the background waiting, just waiting for you to change your status then - bing - new comment.  And the comments are often their way of redirecting any emotion evoked by your status to them.  They are the one-uppers of the social networking world.   

"Defendants" - These people get personally upset when you ask them why they have sent you a friend request.  Hey buddy, who approached who here?

"Non-Commitals" - These are people who send you a friend request just to end up dropping you in a few days.  Hello.  Why did you send me a friend request in the first place? 

"Refrienders" - Those who then send you another friend request in the future not realizing that they have already lowered your self-esteem by lowering your friend count.  Thanks for that.

"Friends by Osmosis" - When you make a new friend and immediately get bombarded with friend requests from all of their friends.  We have one friend in common.  Quick.  Let's be pals. 

Can you imagine if we acted like this in real life?  We'd be back on the third grade school yard.  I'm your best friend.  I hate you.  No, I love you.  You're not my friend anymore.  I guess some people never outgrow that method of thinking.  And the trust it takes to just friend someone you don't even know.  Call me too cautious but I just can't do it.  I value my privacy and will continue to routinely inquire about the validity of the requests and purge my friend list often.  Making new friends can be a rewarding experience but in today's virtual world you have to be safe rather than sorry. You never know what kind of nuts you'll find out there.  You found me didn't you :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is - Literally

What is it with me and people?  I have got to wash the writing off my forehead that says "If you are strange and most likely obnoxious, come, sit by me, bring your friends."  Yesterday's adventure involved a Panera, soup, me and a webcam.  <insert eyeroll here>  But that's not really what I want to focus on today.  Today I want to share our Five Weeks to Financial Betterification plan.  Yesterday was Day 2 of the plan.  FAIL!  See, this plan requires us to 1) be more financially aware, 2) create a budget, 3) track our expenses and 4) cut back on our spending.  So far, the only thing I have done is become slightly more financially aware.  I am aware that money is flying out the window.  And what do I have to show for it . . . a big, fat butt.  We are literally eating away at our savings.  My family has gotten into the habit of eating out for dinner 6 out of 7 if not 7 out of 7 days a week.  Actually make that about 11 or 12 out of 7 days a week because sometimes we eat out twice in one day!  I don't enjoy the eating out because the entire time I am thinking of depleting our savings.  I even imagine myself actually eating the bills instead of the food on my plate.  The problem here is I don't really like to cook.  I have this aversion to raw meat that rivals my aversion to puke.  I can't do it.  I just can't do it.  So that leaves Doug to come home from work and roll up his sleeves.  Now, I'm not one for traditional gender roles but there is a tiny bit of Donna Reed inside me that doesn't condone this.  He worked hard all day.  He shouldn't have to cook dinner too.  So we eat out.  The deal I have made with myself is that if the Five Week plan doesn't pan out in five weeks, I will start looking for a second job in week six - something I do not want to do.  Maybe I should look at it that way.  Cook versus work.  Raw meat versus dealing with people.  And I don't deal well with people.  Just ask those at the table next to me at Panera :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Theory of Relativity

Today, I had lunch with a dear, dear friend.  It was so nice to see her and hear what is new in her life.  We ate and talked about many different things, but the one thing that really resonated with me is that I think of this friend as a child of mine.  She is younger than me by 16 years but its not her age that makes her feel like my child.  I watched her grow from a fun-loving youth into a lovely, young woman.  Even though I am an adult, she was as much a part of my "growing up" as I was of hers.  I was friends with her as a child and have become friends with her as an adult.  I think of her as one of my own.  I have other friends that I feel similarly about.  I think of them as sisters.  In essence, I have a whole family that is not family as the dictionary defines it.  They are forever people, not fairweather people.  I know many of them better than I know my own blood relatives.  I hear from them more often than I hear from my "family" family.  I can count of them to be there when I need them and they can count on me for the same.   Not saying that I can't rely on my dictionary defined family, but I feel I can be more myself around these other people.  The judgement factor is not there.  I feel we often can be more judgemental of our own family members because it doesn't matter if we show our disapproval, they are obligated to still like us.  I love my non-family family.  They are not there out of obligation.  They are the ones who make my life better.  They are the ones that make my heart smile when I think of them.  They are the ones who accept me for me - no expectations.  So to all the members of my voluntary family - I love you all!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Excuse Me, Brittany, Could You Pass the Breadsticks?

And on a lighter note - Yesterday, we went out to dinner.  A last hoorah before we begin our self-imposed Five Weeks to Financial Betterification.  We do this.  We find ridiculous reasons to justify eating out: buying a new car, getting a good report card, starting a diet, or in this case, cutting ourselves off from wreckless spending.  But all of that will change with our Five Weeks to Financial Betterification plan (details soon to follow).  Anyway, we went to the Olive Garden to celebrate the ending of The Never-Ending Pasta Bowl (ah, the irony).  We no sooner got seated in the restaurant than we noticed the staff rearranging numerous tables in our room.  Great, a large party will be joining us.  And not just any old large party, we were lucky enough to get a party of teens on their way to the homecoming dance.  Oh, the joy.  They got seated and reseated and changed seats one more time.  All the while their tacky expensive dresses just skimming our table.  Who knew the Madonna look was making a come back?  The Olive Garden is not a small restaurant but apparently with teenagers their is no such thing as personal space unless its their own.  It started off well enough but then the volume level raised.  We had to shout to each other to be heard and of course, the moment we shout is the moment they pause making us look like "the loud talkers."  Then another table of classmates arrived and the inter-table conversations began.  Wait, it gets better.  Then came the pictures.  Sometime in the near future there will be pictures, most likely all over facebook, and I will be in the background in the numerous stages of pasta eating.  Now I know what Lindsey Lohan feels like . . . no wait . . . I was sober.  Now I know what Paris Hilton feels like.  I was living the Lady Ga Ga song "Paparazzi".  All in all a perfectly good evening was turned into a rushed gobbling of angel hair, eye rolling and trying to look unaware of the camera without looking stupid.  My hubby came up with a great idea.  There should be a database.  It should list all of the local high school activities where the children dress up and pretend to be adults.  Then we would know not to go out on those days.  They could even link it to the restaurant websites.  Easy access.  So next time you see me, you may be surprised.  Who knows where I'll pop up in a photo or what kind of pasta I'll be eating.  Thank God we're cutting ourselves off.  Why couldn't we have done it one day sooner?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cleaning Out Uncle Sam's Closet

I am confused.  I just saw a video from the "It Gets Better Project" with a gay cop and a gay marine letting the gay youth of today know that it does indeed get better.  But it is about to get much worse for the marine.  When I told my husband about the video, he commented that "He's not a marine anymore."

Me:  Why not? 
Hubby:  Because of "Don't ask, don't tell."
Me:  Why do they have that? 
Hubby:  Because people were getting thrown out of the military for being gay.
Me:  Why would they throw out someone just because they're gay?
Hubby:  I don't know.
Me:  So you're telling me that they are going to keep some poor soldier in Afganistan or God knows where longer because they're going to be short on prsonnel because they're getting rid of people because they are gay?
Hubby:  Yup.  Most likely.

I don't understand.  How does being gay affect your devotion to your country and your ability to support and defend it?  Now, this is the government we're talking about and I know that that alone means its not going to make sense, but to turn away help in a time of need just because of someone's sexual preference baffles me.  Personally I don't want to see sloppy PDA's from anyone regardless of the gender of the participants.  As long as you maintain a level of decorum, who gives a rat's ass what you do in your time off.  Does hiding who you really are make you more worthy to be a marine?  You'd think they would want a more psychologically sound person who isn't pretending to be someone they are not.  I didn't know when you went to boot camp you got issued boots, a uniform and a closet.  I can understand the US marines not wanting someone to represent them who is flamboyantly marching in a gay pride parade while wearing a rainbow thong, but that's not the goal of all gay people.  Deal with the actions of a person when they happen.  Do not assume future actions based on any stereotype.  A straight guy can do just as many things that the marines would find equally or possibly more embarrassing and offensive.  Yet they wait until it happens to deal with it.  And what of the gay cop?  Will he be fired because he's gay?  Most likely not.  Why?  Because as I understand the rights of Americans, its ILLEGAL!  So why is the military allowed to do it?  Seems to me that there is a double standard here.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe he can be fired.  Maybe discrimination of gay people is legal.  Maybe the military should hire me to sort through their applicants.  I have pretty good gaydar you know :)  "Don't ask, don't tell" should be banished.  Judge the actions, not the person.  "Don't ask, don't tell" should be replaced by "DON'T CARE!"

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm Putting the Fun Back in Funeral

I know that it may be morbid, but often times I wonder - Would anyone come to my funeral if I died today?  Funerals upset me and not just because someone has died but because they are sterile and generic.  Maybe the family chooses some readings and some hymns but overall they are all the same.  A bunch of teary eyed mourners in an uncomfortable setting where nobody really knows what to say.  Not my funeral.  My funeral will be different.  Instead of mourning the loss of me, it will be a celebration of my life.  I've talked with my husband at length about this and he knows my wishes.  To start, I will be buried in my pajamas.  If I'm going to the eternal sleep, I want to be comfortable.  I want everyone at my funeral to have good memories of me by experiencing the things I love.  There will be readings but at least one will be from the great Dr. Seuss.  There will be music but we're not talking hymns, we're talking Green Day.  Instead of debating on whether they are obligated to come, I want people to not want to leave.  I want there to be cotton candy and snow cones.  Oooo and an airbrush tattoo artist.  I have yet to figure out how to get the skeeball machine to spit out memorial prayer cards instead of tickets, but I'm working on it.  There should be goodie bags for all who attend.  Take away something more than wadded up, used tissues.  When I die I want people to say "Woo hoo!  Bring on the funeral!"  Planning ahead is key.  Some people may think its gruesome, but I think that if deceased people could rate their funerals from the great beyond most would probably be a bit let down.  I don't want to have regrets from the other side.  I want people to have fun.  I want to give people something to talk about.  I want to be a scandelous rebel - even in death.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm a White Polack Bitch But Only If You're One Too

I like to be politically correct.  I like to use corrent terms and address people the way they want to be addressed.  The problem in today's society is that in order to do this, you have to ask each individual person how they want to be addressed.  Each person has their own preferences.  There are people with darker skin that prefer to be called African American.  Then there are some African Americans who will tell you they are not from Africa and prefer to be called black.  I called someone an Indian the other day and drew gasps from those around me until they found out I actually meant Indian . . . from India . . . not Native American.  All of the descriptive adjectives seem to conjure up offense.  And these are only the blatent, visual examples.  It gets even harder when you take into account the adjectives you can't see.  If you know someone who is gay, and they are a woman, then they are a lesbian.  But if they are gay and a man, then they are just plain gay.  A friend of mine told me the other day that a friend of his finds the word gay offensive and prefers the word queer.  What?  And the fact that it is ok to call someone a slur who is within your own group is even more confusing.  Women can call each other bitches but if a guy utters the word it takes on a whole new impact.  If you use one term to describe a group of people of the same religion, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, you are bound to offend someone.  There is no such thing as politically correct anymore.  I'm done trying.  I will address people by name and if I don't know their name, I will simply point at them.  Wait.  Isn't that rude?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Listen To Your Heart But It May Mean No More Red Bull

My sister-in-law recently announced that she and her family are thinking of becoming Mormon.  My initial reaction to this was "Um . . . yeah . . . whatever . . . "  But upon talking to her more, I have realized that this is not a just a whim.  I am glad to see that they are considering this change by looking at it from many angles and not rushing into it.  I actually admire their search for the right religion. So often people just accept what they were raised with without truly looking at their religion and themselves to see if it is a match. I love theology and wrestle with my own theological views on a daily basis.  Its refreshing to see someone trying to sort out what they believe and what they want in their spiritual life as well.  Me being me, I asked a few questions and was happy to hear her answers.  They were well founded and well grounded.  If they do decide to change, they will be following the church's ways completely.  Kudos to them for jumping in fully if they choose that route. I say whatever religion someone wants to be is awesome as long as they're aware of what their religion is all about and what it stands for. Personally unsure of how I feel about a la carte religion, I don't classify myself as catholic any more. For years I've called myself a psuedo-catholic-neuvo-jew.  Go ahead.  Laugh.  Everyone does.  I seriously leaned for some time towards gnosticism and came closest with being an agnostic (not to be confused with atheist.)  Now I prefer the terms spiritual and enlightened over a slot in any standard religion.  There are so many religions out there but they all have one influence that doesn't jive with me - man.  Because of man's free will, his greatest gift from God, anything he has influence over can be contaminated in some way.  Its a risk I don't want to mess with.  My faith is in God not in what man has to say about God.  My belief is simple.  I don't need the middleman.  I go straight to the big guy (or gal) directly.  So take a look at your religion.  Does it fit your beliefs?  Do you agree with their mission, rules, and purpose?  Whatever your religion:  believe in it, practice it, adhere to it and if there is no flavor for you at the religious buffet, that's ok too.  Just remember to search your soul and search it often and when in doubt, use your own personal hotline to God.  We all have one ya know.  It's called your heart.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Say Cheese!

Today is picture day at my daughter's school.  When I was growing up that meant dressing nice, fixing your hair and smiling.  Nowadays, you can get the traditional pose in front of a gray background.  But wait, there are also blue, red, green and purple backgrounds to choose from.  Or if you're more adventurous, you can choose an untraditional pose with a computer generated background.  There are eight choices in that background category.  There's even a ladder that you can use as a prop.  And then there's the quantity.  Of course it is a predetermined fact that the mom will automatically know how many pictures are needed.  Not an easy task.  There are relatives and friends and people I barely know who apparently need a photo of my child.  I list and relist and look at the order form.  Of course there is no package that gives me what I need.  They have one that comes close but I also get photo magnets, keychains, calendars, and a 3D statue in the shape of my child's photo pose.  I don't need all that.  I love my kid but what am I going to do with all that.  I choose a reasonable package and add on about seven extra items.  Done.  And the grand total is near $100.  What?  $100 for school pictures?  When did this happen?  Then I remember, it happens every year.  And every year I vow not to pay that much the next year.  But this year is different.  I will not be paying $100 next year for school pictures.  I will be paying much, much more because my daughter will be getting her senior pictures.  We will pack up her, eight outfits, a color guard flag, a pet bird and whatever else she wants to include.  We will travel to upwards of five locations for the photo shoot.  We will even take out the bank loan it will take to cover the cost.  I can't wait.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Do Merry Maids Handle Gray Matter?

I'm nervous.  I found out today that we will be having our home inspected in 10 days for our adoption.  My house is by no means ready.  I have always been a bit of a clutter bug.  Ok . . . so my house could be nominated for one of those hoarding shows but it would NOT make the cut to be on the air or anything.  Its not dirty.  Just cluttered.  The problem here is not only do I have to clean up the stuff but I also have to move an old dresser and a full size bed to the basement - where there is no space - and I have to move two twin beds and a new dresser into my daughter's room  - where there is no space.  A quick tidy would be easy but no shoving stuff in closets this time.  They will be looking in every single corner and under every single bed.  I know that this is for the safety of the child but it is not for the sanity of the adopting parents.  We have nothing to hide but having someone evaluate every inch of your personal space feels . . . well . . . invasive.  This whole process is needed I'm not arguing that but we have been poked and prodded and questioned and judged and numerous other processes that would be deemed offensive by most people.  But we have weathered the intrusions because we want this to happen.  We have persisted but I can understand why some people do not.  We hear about the need for foster and adoptive parents but they never mention that you will be made to feel like you are a questionable person and need to prove otherwise.  They also never mention that you alone will have to be your own motivator.  All of this without a name or a face as a goal in the end.  We aren't allowed to inquire about any children till we've proven ourselves worthy.  Its hard for me to ask my daughter to give up half of her personal space without any specific child in mind.  I know that I started this post talking about cleaning out my physical closets but maybe I have a few closets in my mind that need cleaning out as well.  This process really makes you take a good hard look at yourself.  It makes you rethink who you are and what you believe.  I need to get past the bitterness over the process and just complete it.  We're almost there.  We can see the nameless, faceless light at the end of the tunnel.  I just have to tidy my house and apparently my mind before I can get there completely.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Great Christmas Tree Debate

My husband will not let me put up the Christmas tree yet.  I know.  I know.  You are most likely thinking "but its only October."  My reasoning is simple.  My parents are coming in two weeks and I want them to see my Christmas tree.  I love Christmas.  Love it, love it, love it.  I would have my Christmas decorations up all year if I could.  I understand that is not the social norm and I abide by this restriction imposed on me by society, but when you are the person in the house to drag out all of the Christmas crap and get it all set up, you really want to reap the benefits of your efforts.  You want people to see it.  I want my parents to see it.  My parents have only come to visit me and my family at Christmas once in the ten years we have lived here.  That is hard for me.  I know that the weather can be a factor in the five hour drive.  I also know that it is a hard trip on my dad being disabled.  However, they come at other times of the year and this year they are coming in the middle of October which is close enough for me.  I want to put up my Christmas tree so that they will see it.  Every year, I deck my halls in the hope they will come just to be disappointed.  All that work and they never see it.  Hardly anyone sees it.  My in-laws are my lone Christmas witnesses and I love them for this.  Maybe I should throw a Christmas party to show off my tree?  Anyone want to come to my house this Christmas?  Any time after mid-October would be good.  The tree will be up and waiting.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Deny Thyself

I am a woman . . . a female . . . a lady . . . a chick which means that I have something within my internal wiring that goes straight from my heart to my mouth totally bypassing my brain.  It is this routing problem that leads us of the fairer sex to frequently utter but rarely mean the word "yes".  Could you bake two hundred cupcakes for the school bake sale?  Can you watch my dog for the weekend?  Can you drive me to the airport?  Unlike most of my gender, I can produce the word "no" with ease.  I take great pride in this fact.  It has taken me years to perfect this ability.  "No" is a very freeing word and I relish that it is an active part of my volcabulary.  So then how have I ended up planning a baby shower, making a homemade blanket, starting up a library, and about a hundred other things.  Because I volunteered for them.  No request required.  Our need to mother and provide for everyone is why we often end up voluntarily putting everyone else first and ourselves last - a very unhealthy thing to do.  We all need to learn to use that word "no" and use it on ourselves.  Ideas of "I should" and "I could" need to be quickly and thoroughly evaluated before being produced outside of oneself.  Take care of you first and the rest will fall into place . . . whether you're the one handling it or not.  Its ok to say "no" even to yourself and if you find it too hard, when asked simply answer with "the opposite of yes".

Friday, October 1, 2010

8,935,200 Minutes With You

Today is the birthday of my marriage or my anniversary if you like to simplify things.  My husband is wonderful and my life is pretty darn satisfying, but there is one thing that I dread about my anniversary.  There are a few people who shall remain nameless who will wish me a happy anniversary and it will be followed by the silly question "What did you get?"  Um, ok, let's see.  I got to spend the last 17 years with my soulmate.  That's what I got and it's a wicked awesome gift if you ask me.  I don't really need to receive a tangible token of my hubby's love to mark this event.  He tells me he loves me and that's enough.  In fact, he tells me that every day.  I don't need to get a bauble or a trinket to know it.  I know it in my heart.  There's only one gift that I want today and that's to get to spend at least a portion of it with him.  I thank God that we can be together and cherish every moment we share, I thank the forces that brought us together way back when and I thank him for putting up with me and my antics for yet another year.  Hmmmm . . . maybe I should get him a little thank you gift . . .