Sunday, April 26, 2009

Slap this guy with the "hand of God"...

Some dude thinks this is the hand of God (a six-fingered hand of God) and he's selling it on eBay. It's a rock slide in his backyard, but if you want to haul it out, it's yours!

You'll need to number the pieces so you remember how to reconstruct it in your own yard. And you'll probably need a Uhaul. And a couple of really close friends. Ones who won't mock your sorry ass for buying a ridiculous six-fingered rock slidin' hand of God! Good luck and happy bidding!


Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm freaking out...

OK, I'm having one of those days. In fact, I can't even do my regular FRIDAY FAVORITES because instead, I'm having a FRIDAY FREAK OUT! It's one of those days where everything is snowballing all at once. Maybe after I freak out about it out loud, I'll feel better. So here goes...

Tomorrow I'm taking a state licensing exam. It's going to be hard and several hours long. I need to know the entire history of universe and its geography! AND I need to know everything about the United States government, too. And we all know that's pretty effed up. And if that's not bad enough, I'm smack in the middle of grad class. I have an assignment due tomorrow also. :-/ And then on Monday, I have TWO assignments due. ACK!! Plus, I'm trying to get the school newspaper laid out. It's late. No surprise there because I'm up to my eyeballs in grad work, plus regular ol' life. And we're also heading into the busy season for swim team. I'm missing our big registration day tomorrow, but I've had to squeeze in the making of signs, printing registration forms, updating the web site...and some other shit. And as of right now, I have NO idea what's for dinner. Everyone might be fending for themselves. :-/

So yeah, today is one of those days. And I have a feeling it's going to be on of those weekends. Grrrrr. But, here's the bright won't last forever. And at least I'm on the right side of the grass, right? Because the alternative would be way worse! :-)

Do I feel any better now? Hmmmm. Maybe a little. But it's time to study for my test tomorrow. I hope I don't die of it. ~freak~ Wish me luck!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Pulitzers

The 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners were announced this week. They are the highest honors in journalism and the arts, in fields of writing, photography, illustration and music composition. I look forward to them every year, even though I am no longer in the "real" world of journalism. I always go first to the "Breaking New Photography" category. I don't know why, because the images are always so haunting they make me cry. This year's winners are no exception. And as it turns out, the man who won is the son-in-law of a former co-worker. They must be so proud!

If you'd like to see all the winners, here is the link. If you'd like to see Patrick Farrell's breaking news photos, go here (click on the "works" tab), and take a tissue. He documents last season's devastating hurricanes in Haiti. The death and destruction are horrific.

I enjoy laughing and being silly, but when the Pulitzers come out, I am always reminded of the tragedies that are all around us.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You're sticking that pencil...where?!

Have I griped today that grad school is sucking up all my blogging time? Because it is! And I'm a little bitter about it. I want to blog. I want to visit other bloggers. I want to plaaaaay!

OK, there. I feel better after having a little whine. And I'll feel even better after sharing this precious little objet dΚΌart with you. I found it in a catalog and damn near sprayed coffee out my nose when I saw it.
WTF?! You shove a pencil up the animal's ass, and it barks? Or meows? If I were a dog, I'd do a lot more than just bark if you shoved a pencil up my ass. Poor little darlings. Look at the cat. He looks REALLY tense doesn't he?

Do you know someone who could use this great gift? (Mother's Day is coming up! LOL)


Monday, April 20, 2009

Mom = 1, Pediatrician = 0

Last week, Baby broke out into a rash on her hands and feet, which spread to her arms, legs and face. I took her to the pediatrician on Tuesday, and she was diagnosed with Coxsackie virus (AKA hand, foot and mouth disease).

We've had that in the family, and as the rash progressed this didn't seem like other cases I'd seen. Baby's face was terribly red and troublesome. So I decided it needed to research it further online. In my family we have a saying WRT my Googling prowess, "If mom can't find it, you don't need to know it." And this instance turned out to be no different. I determined it was Fifth Disease over the weekend. (Another rashy childhood disease.)

Well, guess what note came home from preschool today? That a number of children have been diagnosed with Fifth Disease. :-/ So, let it be known that I have mad research and diagnosing skillz.

I'm not a doctor, but I could play one on the internet. So tell me, what seems to be the trouble? LOL


Saturday, April 18, 2009

What the hell was I thinking?

We've all heard the terms "soccer mom" and "hockey mom." Well, I'm a "swim mom." Bella is a swimmer. She's managed to go from a mild interest in swimming, to TWO swim teams. And I have somehow gotten sucked into the world of Directorship on the summer league. I honestly don't know how it happened. I wasn't even drinking when I agreed to "help out" with the team suits a few years back. Then ~BAM~ next thing I know, I'm coordinating the team's communication, web site, printed material and PR. WTF? Why can't I keep my mouth shut? Why can't I fade quietly into the drapes and mind my own business?

You know what it is? Its karma. When Bella was a toddler, we lived in a neighborhood with a pool and a swim team, and on Saturday mornings I'd run errands. In order to get out of the neighborhood I had to pass the pool. I used to snark at the dumbasses who pitched shade tents at 5:30 am to watch their precious punkins swim in cold water on a perfectly good Saturday morning. So I am *positive* that the universe has rammed swimming right up my own dumb ass. Good one! Hahahaha! Next time I'm in the mood to snark at something, I'm going to snark at people who get to sleep in late on Saturdays. ("Look at those idiots! Sleeping! Who SLEEPS IN on a Saturday?!")

So now I'm stuck in the land of t-shirts that say things like:
When the earth floods from global warming,
the swimmers will rule the world.

Oxygen is overrated.
Chlorine: the breakfast of champions!
If you’re dating a swimmer raise your hand.
If you’re not, raise your standards.

We bust ours to kick yours.
Instant Swimmer, Just Add Water.

I buy goggles by the handful, tiny towels that magically suck the water out of Bella's hair, bottled water and Gatorade like it's going out of style, and Air Head candies because they ensure a wicked good sugar buzz for beating your opponents.

And now, I'm fully immersed in updating our team handbook, our registration form, the website and all our promo material. I've got two registration events in the near future. Other parents are starting to email me on a daily basis to ask all sorts of questions. And starting in June, I'll be back to eating cheeseburgers on Saturday mornings at 9:30 am by the pool. There's usually some sort of nacho chaser around 10:15 and an Air Head at 10:30. (I feel ill just thinking about it!)

I know I'm in good company though. You feel my pain, right? Tell me...what crazy things have you gotten sucked into in support of your child's sports or activities?!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Favorites

Wireless internet. I love being able to crash on the couch with my laptop (otter style!) and mess around online.

Laughing. I like doing it, and making others do it, too.

Buy One/Get One Free. Free stuff is my favorite stuff! I love my grocery store's BOGO deals.

Turning in assignments early. I got all my grad stuff done, so I can blog on Friday night. Yay me!

Birthday cake! See next blog entry.


You've come a long way, Baby!

Today is Baby's 4th birthday!

Baby is who we loving refer to as our "difficult child." Bella was easy in every sense (until the current teen years!). But, bless her heart, Baby has been more of a challenge. I had a more difficult pregnancy with Baby; she was sideways for nearly the entire ride. Ouch! I had three nights of false labor with Baby before my water broke...two weeks early. When it was time to get down to business, I tried my hardest to force Baby into the world, but she's a tough cookie and didn't want any part of it. After hours and hours in labor, the doctors decided to go in after her and she was finally born via c-section. And that was just the beginning. Have I mentioned she's a redhead? This Baby's all attitude!

But Baby has also taken us on a crazy, wonderful journey. I was 38 when I got pregnant with Baby, and it's true what they say about appreciating things as you get older. We do. Baby has also flourished into a bright and delightful little person who amazes us on a daily basis. We couldn't be more proud of her. (Even though we admit to being concerned about her bag lady look last summer. LOL) ------>

Happy birthday, Baby! We love you.

--Mom, MacDaddy and Bella

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mom's gone back to school

I started a grad class this week, and I'm feeling a little bitter about it. Not because I don't appreciate higher education, but's cutting into my blogging and social online time.

Right now, as the clock is nearing midnight and I'm slogging my way through my first paper, I'm beginning to feel grouchy and whiny. Those of you who are teachers or parents of school-aged children will probably recognize these particular brands of whine:

I don't get it.

What are we supposed to do?

Is this for a grade?

Do I have to put my name on it?

When is this due?

I can't find my pencil.

Can I turn it in late?

Why do we have to do this?

I need to go to the bathroom.

And that just about sums up how I feel right now! So wish me luck, as I gripe my way through class and long to blog instead.

OK, time to buck up and get back to business...


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pirates? Are you kidding me?

Can someone please remind me, in which century are we living? Because I feel like we've taken the Way-Back Machine to the "Golden Age of Piracy" and we're now living in the late 1600s. Is it just me, or are we hearing about pirates taking over ships on a daily basis?

I'm wondering if this is going to be a new way of life? Is it because of the economy? Are people going to just start taking over other peoples' stuff? And I'm also wondering if I've stumbled onto something here...and if I should get a jump on it myself! You know, beat out the common folks at pirating. And if so, I need to start making plans, ASAP.

My neighbor has a sweet new Beamer. I may pirate that this weekend. There's a new family around the block, and they've got such a cute dog! He ran into our yard the other day, and the next time he does, he's mine. I'm pirating his furry ass! Oh, and the next time I'm feeling burdened by a trip to the grocery store, I'm just going to pirate someone's (full! paid for!) cart out in the parking lot. Screw the hassle of picking out my own meat and produce!

But I think I'm going to need some new clothes for my pirating gig. Don't you think? I was looking in a catalog the other day, and I mocked these boots. But now, I'm thinking they might be perfect for pirating. Should I get the red or purple ribbon? "Both" you say? OK! And I'll need a pirate bustier, because, according to movies, that's what lady pirates wear. OH! And a puffy shirt, and some jodhpurs. Not the kind equestrians wear, but the special pirate jodhpurs. I want them to tuck into the kick ass pirate boots.

Actually, this is probably the look I'm going for. Cool, huh? ----->

So you've all been warned. Be on the look out! I may come 'round to pirate at your house (or your blog!). Arrrrgh!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Smart cars? Not!

Here's one for the "No shit!" file. Smart cars and other micro autos aren't safe in an accident. (Duh!)

Small Cars Get Poor Marks in Collision Tests
WASHINGTON — Micro cars can give motorists top-notch fuel efficiency at a competitive price, but the insurance industry says they do not fare well in collisions with larger vehicles.

In crash tests released Tuesday, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that drivers of 2009 versions of the Smart "fortwo," Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris could face significant leg and head injuries in severe front-end crashes with larger, mid-size vehicles.

"There are good reasons people buy mini cars. They're more affordable, and they use less gas. But the safety trade-offs are clear from our new tests," said Adrian Lund, the institute's president.
Really? Crash tests had to be done to determine that a automobile not much bigger than the person driving it isn't entirely safe in an accident? Wow. I wonder who footed the bill for that brilliant research? Because...who couldn't see that coming!?

Smart cars are actually a pet peeve of mine. I don't understand the attraction. They don't look safe or comfy. There isn't enough money in the world to put any of my family members in a car that small. I have shoeboxes bigger than a Smart car! You know the boxes that knee-high boots come in? Yeah, those! Hell, Baby has a Little Tykes coupe roomier than a Smart car. In fact, they look almost identical!

It's hard to tell the difference, isn't it?

I like to be opened minded about things, so I can see a benefit to city living. Tight parking spacing. Easy to zip around parked cars and traffic jams. OK, fine. But to family 'burb dwellers? Nuh-uh. I don't get it. Give me a mom-van or an SUV anytime! My loved ones are too important.


Monday, April 13, 2009

What would Mom do? Not fly the plane!

I'm a little weirded out by a recent emergency aircraft landing. I'm talking about the recent prop plane with a dead pilot.

I think it's essential that there are are many auxiliary pilots as possible on a plane. In fact, the next time I'm on a flight, I intend to canvas the passengers upon embarking. "Excuse me sir, do you know how to fly this?" "Ma'am, do you happen to have a pilot's license on you?" "Hey kid, you play enough flight simulator games to get this bitch back onto the ground?" I mean it. This isn't a bicycle built for two. This is an aerodynamic flying machine that's going to take me a mile off the ground. I want a qualified individual to get me back down again. Hell, two or three spares would be nice.

The whole thing's also got me wondering what my role on a doomed flight would be. I don't know how to fly a plane, so that's out. I know how to be a smart ass. And I know how to make dinner and serve it in under 30 minutes. I can have three conversations going at one time during a party. And I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue. But, I don't really see any of those as being terribly beneficial when the chips are down.

At my school however, we do a number of safety drills to keep everyone safe. I can quickly flip off the lights and shove everyone behind desks as we all rush into lock-down, should a crackpot with a weapon burst into the school. I can heroically chase people out of a building during a fire drill in under a minute. Mostly I need to get the hell away from the deafening siren sound, but, it's the end result that counts, right? And in the midst of a tornado drill, heads are tucked and bottoms are up like nobody's business down my hallway. So I'm thinking a back-up safety coordinator might just be my gig.

I've watched the flight attendants' emergency instructions dozens of times. I do this religiously because I want to know exactly what to do in case that bird goes down. I'm clear on how to put my seat in the upright position. It's not hard, just push the button and that seat snaps right into place with precision accuracy. All three inches of reclining comfort zoom magically into place! The tray table is a breeze also. Push it upwards, turn the thumb lock. Piece of cake! You know which tray tables can fuck with your head though? The variety that folds out of the armrest. They're tricky! You have to perform a fold, a lift, a twist, a downward shove and a lock. How am I supposed to get my flotation device on AND get my head between my legs if I'm messing about with that kind of crazy tray table?! I'm sure in an emergency though, I will rise to the occasion. Now that I think about it, it's probably not much different than the fold-over/head-down/bottoms-up tornado drill, right?

I think I'd be pretty good at strapping the margarine cup over my nose and mouth first, and then onto any younger passengers flying with me. Grab, pull, snap. I do that every morning with bras! Sort of. But I think I've got elastic down pat. I might need to take a breather before attempting the floor light puzzler. "The lights will guide your way to the nearest exit." Really? I hope so, because I had trouble the other day manipulating the "street view" map on Google. The arrows were a little slow, and I couldn't make my way down a side street and I zoomed in way too far while trying to peer into someone's window. Perhaps I need to master Google maps before taking on the yellow light road. But I like moon bounces and slides an awful lot, so you can bet I'm going to be one of the first to expertly demonstrate the exit technique. I've studied the emergency cards in the seat-back pocket, so I feel pretty confident in flinging myself and my fellow passengers out the door to safety.

Let me just say though, I'm not going to waste time worrying about my soda can. So the flight attendant really shouldn't be concerned with making yet another pass down the aisle with the dripping trash bag. If I'm going down and I'm already trying to right my seat, get the tray up and locked, slip on my snazzy orange vest, get the margarine container strapped onto my face and the faces of those around me, plus pay attention to the floor lights while heaving myself out the plane and onto the moon bounce, the last thing I'm going to worry about is a soda can bonking me in the forehead. Sure it'll be one more thing that sucks, but fuck it. I want out!



It's Monday. Again. Spring break is over and I headed back to work today. My bitterness knows no boundaries.

Quick, someone try to cheer me up!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A good day for this journalist!

I did the tourist thing today and took a trip to Washington, DC. I've been wanting to see the Newseum. Today was its first birthday, and the founders were hosting a par-tay!

I went to school to be a journalist. Worked in the newspaper industry for almost 20 years. And now I teach journalism, and man, I felt at home. ~happy sigh~ I really love my trade industry. The media often takes a lot of grief, but without it, we'd be one ignorant and ill-informed society. As former Washington Post publisher Phillip Graham said, "Journalism is the first rough draft of history."

The Newseum houses amazing exhibits. Each day someone changes every newspaper in the "Front Page Gallery." There's a memorial to the fallen journalists who have died in action. A tribute to 9/11. An interactive newsroom where I filmed a news video. Hundreds of original newspapers featuring hundreds of our most important events in history. There are a dozen theaters that feature news events from the last century. Several sections of the Berlin live at the Newseum, along with a guard station from Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie. There are exhibits about the First Amendment, world press freedom, the FBI, Lincoln's assassination, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs, and much more. I could have spent days there! DAYS!

This is a portion of the "News History Gallery"...

Journalists caught up in the violence at the "Time Warner World News Gallery"...
First freedoms at the "Cox Enterprises First Amendment Gallery"...
Sections of the Berlin wall, torn down in 1989, in the "Berlin Wall Gallery"...
In these hard economic times, it makes me sad to see newspapers failing due to steep declines in advertising revenue. It feels like pieces of history are dying. Thank goodness for the Newseum and its ability to preserve and present the news. And for the First Amendment for its ability to protect the news. I can't wait to visit DC again to see everything I missed!


P.S. If it weren't for media technology and the migration to do-it-yourself journalism, our beloved blogs wouldn't be possible! ~hugs the laptop~

Friday, April 10, 2009

The stuff of nightmares

Taking The Obnoxious SAHM's lead, I feel the need to get something off my chest. I feel a little bad griping about it because it's a children's show, but those of you who know me, know I am vehemently opposed to "Yo Gabba Gabba." It's incredibly obnoxious and I won't let my children near it.

So Obnoxious SAHM, I'll see your "Max & Ruby" and raise you an orange wig and a red nubby dildo. You wanna talk crazy? This show is all kinds of crazy!
First, I feel a violent need to bitch slap the main character. I don't even know his name, I just call him Queer Dude With The Orange Wig. There are SO many things wrong with his character. (A) The tacky ass orange wig. Or is that a hat? Who knows. (B) That orange leisure suit. Ugh. Hey Queer Dude, the '70s called and they want their clothes back! (C) The stereotypical over-sized boom box. Do people even own these anymore? (D) His inability to dance worth a shit. Go to YouTube and search up a video, or better yet, just take my word for it and save yourself the eye bleed. And finally (E) The songs he sings make me want to rip my ears off and stomp on them. "Don't bite your friends! Don't bite your friends! Don't bite your friends!" WTF?! Just...WTF?

Second, on what planet did this show look like a good idea?! Because the characters that hang with Queer Dude With The Orange Wig all looks like dog toys. Freakin' DOG TOYS! Who did the market research on this and said, "Hey, kids LOVE shows about dog toys!"?? Because whoever thought it, should be bitch slapped, too. The show is just so wrong and grating. All you Barney haters, check out Queer Dude With The Orange Wig! Barney looks like Justin Timberlake compared to Queer Dude With The Orange Wig.

Third, let's talk specifically about the tall, red, dog toy. Does it or does it not look like a giant red dildo? It totally does! Admit it. A friend pointed out that it's not any kind of dildo she'd be interested in...because of the teeth. LOL. And she's right. Yikes!

So gimme the cute, chubby, irresponsible bunnies any day! You can have Queer Dude With The Orange Wig and his giant, biting dildo.

Am I right, readers?! Is this nightmarish or what?!


Friday + my favorite stuff

This is some of my favorite stuff, just so you know. It's a feature I want to try for Fridays. Let's see if I have the attention span to keep it up.

Easter colored M&Ms. These are a family tradition. Well, all M&Ms actually. We have them at nearly all family functions. I even had M&Ms at my wedding reception. But this time of year, we're all about the pastels.

Picnik. This is my favorite online source for altering photos and creating graphics. It's easy, fun and free!

Xtranormal. As you can see, I have a gift for video production. Another easy, fun and free website. You'll be able to kill hours of your life on Xtranormal.

Fritos Scoops. These are my dip chip of choice. We'll be having some this weekend with family, as we snarf my kick ass pizza dip.

. This is a wicked cool visual dictionary/thesaurus. It creates a web of words, phrases and related concepts for writing and research, right before your very eyes. Check it out!

So what is it that you can't get enough of lately?!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bella's Braces

Bella has an orthodontist appointment today to get the bottom set of braces. This will complete the full $5,000 set.

~breathes into paper bag~

At the last appointment, as I sat in the waiting room contemplating the expense, I admired the lovely furnishings in the waiting room--the leather chairs, Queen Anne side tables, the artwork. I noticed an expanse of children's toys and a play center for the younger siblings who come to wait. And I was impressed by the variety of magazines. He had not only the typical grocery-store variety, but also scholarly journals, trade periodicals and niche publications. I could have earned college enrichment credits by perusing the mags for an hour in his office. And the most stunning bauble of all the items in the waiting room, was the large flat-screen TV hanging on the wall. The picture was crisp and the definition was high. And I was thinking it would look sweet hanging on my own wall...and I could probably get one for half the price of what I was shoveling at the orthodontist.

Last fall, the orthodontist hosted a skate party for all the kids he's wired up. We were new clients then and there is no doubt in my mind that my husband and I single-handedly paid for that junket. There was cake and soda, every brand of chip under the sun, gifts and giveaways, contests, not to mention the cost of four hours on the ice. A friend asked why my ortho wasn't hosting a wine + cheese for the PARENTS who, after all, were making all this frivolity possible. And...YEAH, where is MY orthodontia party? Where are my lobster tails and shrimp cocktail? My champagne? How about some stuffed mushroom caps or a dessert tray?

I'm feeling gypped and bitter! Does it show? I calculated the overall cost of the braces, and figured that I'd need to snag 50 magazines from the waiting room at each visit in order to break even. That's a lot of work, and I'm not sure if I have time to read that many magazines. Instead, after today's appointment, that friggin' TV is coming with ME!

So...chick flicks and a sleepover at my house on Friday! Who's bringing the shrimp and lobster tails?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

All that, fo' shizzle

As I've mentioned, it's spring break, so I thought I'd get with my homeys and lay down some rap tracks. With my journalism background, I have camera and script-writing experience so this is a good outlet for me. What I didn't realize was my amazing ability as a choreographer. The boys really seem to dig my groove, and are hip to the shorter remix. They think I'm pretty gangsta for a white chick from the 'burbs. (Props to Sir Mix-A-Lot for the original.) Check out my mad rap video skillz.

So, what do you think? Are me and the boys fly or what?

To make your own video, hook yourself up at xtranormal.

"50 Things To Do Butt Naked"

That was the headline blazing across the front of Cosmo magazine as I stood in the grocery store check-out line yesterday. Seriously? Things to do sans pants? WTF?

I admit though that I contemplated buying it, mainly because it's been years since I've looked at Cosmo. And even this morning I'm thinking I may go back for it. But then again...why do I need a list of 50 activities that don't require pants? Am I seriously going to seek out these butt-naked situations? Uh, no.

Still, I'm curious to see what's on the list because I can only think of a few bare-assed activities, and one I don't want to do with anyone else around. So that pretty much leaves showering, skinny dipping and sex. What could the other 46 things possibly be? If I decide to go back for the Cosmo, I'll let you know, just in case you find yourself bored, without your pants.

What I can do though, is come up with a number of things I DON'T want to do with my ass hanging out. So here we go...

"10 Things Not To Do Butt-Naked"
  1. Go mountain climbing while wearing a strap-on rope harness
  2. Ride a crowded New York City subway train
  3. Be the anchor in a four-person nude luge sled
  4. Slide into home to make the winning run for the softball team
  5. Sit in a nudist colony movie theater seat for two hours
  6. Fall on a hill of fire ants
  7. Ride a unicycle in the circus
  8. Go down a metal slide on a hot day at the playground
  9. Sit on a old wooden picnic table at a highway rest area
  10. Join the prison wrestling team

So, what did I miss? Anything?


Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday, again

It's Monday, and it's raining. Typical, huh? The only thing that's saving this day from a total hating is that I'm on spring break, and how bad can a Monday be when I'm not working, right?

We'll see if that attitude changes when I have to drag Baby out in the rain for groceries. More importantly, how 'bout when I have to drag that all that shit from the car into the house? :-/

Say, what do you hate about Mondays?


Hey there!

I'm the Mom. I work. I have a family. I blog.

I've been on the internet practically since All Gore invented it. I started surfing the web when my oldest was born, so we're talking 1995. I was originally interested in baby and parenting sites. But those got old after awhile.

Within a few years I'd met a number of friends and we still post on a private bulletin board, daily. I've taken up blogging because I have so much to say. And I'll say it to nearly anyone who will listen. So, dear readers, you're next!

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