Friday, September 29, 2006

For Those Keeping Score at Home ...

Exactly one week from today,
Blogarita Festiva
~ ~ ~
Naive, Chesney, Nelly, and I
will drink a toast in your honor.
Each and every one of you.
Maybe even twice.
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Letting Go

During the course of summer’s fresh air and exercise, Incrediboy has lanked right out of last year’s cool weather clothes. I spent last weekend weeding out his closet so as to assess his fall and winter wardrobe needs (can’t have the poor boy running around bare-wristed and ankled), and this seemingly little chore quickly escalated into a massive project.

I still have every piece of clothing Incrediboy ever wore. When Naïve was expecting her youngest, I passed on a whole first year’s worth of clothes to her, but instead of paying them forward she gave them back to me when she was done, and they have since resided in their shipping boxes in our garage. Meanwhile another year’s worth of sizes have compounded and have been outgrown. I’ve put off going through them all, but as Incrediboy closes in on his third birthday and we have no plans for another, it’s time to move these things on. Cleaning out last winter’s sizes led to hauling out the boxes of yesteryear, and soon baby clothes overtook my living room.

This task was more fun than I anticipated. It was neat to see all of his adorable baby things again, remember how small and sweet he was and marvel at how he’s grown and how time has flown despite the fact that it felt like forever when we were living (barely) through those early months of no sleep and no clue of what we were doing.

It was also much sadder than I anticipated. These little outfits were once huge on the tiny being we brought home, though we can barely remember it. Had we not a slew of photographs of the boy wearing them, we might think it was all imagined. He just couldn’t have been that small. But he was. We might as well have dressed him in a pillowcase with some of the items, as big as they were on him. How is that?

Surely these things shrank while they sat in storage.

I looked at each piece with a wistful smile, sorting them into piles by size, and after hours of work I had a stack of 0-6 month, 9-12 month, 18 month, and 24 month clothes.

There was one more stack as well. A stack of special things – outfits that were especially cute or were given by special loved ones. Things Daddy and I aren’t ready to let go of yet. This last stack is a bit larger than it should be – But in another year or so perhaps we’ll weed through them again and be more prepared to let some of them go. For now though, we’re not quite ready. Along with photos and memories, these are all that is left of our baby boy. It’s nice to hold the soft, snuggly, sweet-smelling clothes in our hands as the baby who once wore them grows smaller in the distance as he grows bigger in front of us.

I packed them all up, except for that last stack. The boxes are still sitting in my living room. Not for long, but for now.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Reality Rants

I missed the big fight on The Contender last night. The finale. After investing every Tuesday night in these kids all season long, getting to know them and love them, I missed the championship event.

I could kill myself.

Okay, not really. But I’m pretty spittin’ mad about it. The thing is, I didn’t forget The Contender was on. I just thought it was another episode. I was really tired so I let myself fall asleep and didn’t even tape it. I didn’t realize it was the championship night. I knew championship night was the 26th, and I knew yesterday was the 26th, but somehow my exhausted little pea brain didn’t put those two facts together.

Even though I hear my favorite, Berto Bravo, didn't win, I still need to kick my own butt for that one.

While we’re on the subject of reality TV … Look, I’m sorry. I know lots of you don’t care and are even sick of reality TV. But bear with me. Why is the race thing such a big deal on Survivor? I mean really. It’s no big secret that there are different races. And it’s no big secret that often races will draw to one another by nature. It’s not prejudice, it’s just a natural reaction of being drawn to people you have something in common with. I’ve seen that happen on Survivor even when the tribes are multicultural. So why is anyone raising an eyebrow over this? To me, it’s just another angle. I see nothing to get offended about.

You know what I’d like to see? Someone like Charlize Theron ending up on the African American tribe. She is from South Africa, you know, which last time I checked is part of Africa. To me, if you have roots in Africa, that qualifies you as African-American.

Now THAT would get some panties in a bunch I bet. ;)

Last but not least, I wonder when the AI tour will be over. I'm ready for Taylor Hick's new CD in a really big way. I know there's a November release date slated, but it'll be ready when it's ready - and the sooner he gets in the studio the better. I'm ready for some new SOUL!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Birthday Boy

Four years ago, ten puppies came into the world. Borne to beautiful champ sporting breed parents, each puppy was cuter than the next. But one puppy – he was the cutest of them all.

When he was old enough to eat solid foods, he came into the arms of a family who had not specifically planned to have him. His new Momma had been grieving, and his new Daddy brought him home to fill her heart – their hearts - with joy.

And that the puppy did.

He also brought much strife and chaos. The puppy almost never slept, and never stopped racing from one misbehavior to another. He wasn’t inherently bad – he just suffered from inexhaustibly busy puppy mania. Rather I should say, his parents suffered from it. No sooner was he corrected on one bit of mischief than he was on to the next. Many possessions were destroyed. The puppy was so impish that there were days his Momma and Daddy cried out of sheer exasperation. Raising any puppy is hard work, but this particular puppy was a real challenge.

But he was mighty sweet. Big blue eyes, soft velvety ears, and paws so big that friends swore Momma must have Photoshop enlarged them in his puppy pictures. And they loved him more than anything in the world.

The darling puppy grew into a regal and most beautiful dog. Blue eyes gave way to fiery amber, and amazingly he grew into those giant paws. He brimmed with love and affection, and while still (and probably always) excitable, he settled – becoming an enjoyable companion, protector, and teacher. When his Momma and Daddy brought a new two-footed baby into the family, he rolled with it, knowing that this was a very special addition. It took some adjusting, to share Momma and Daddy’s time and love, but he accepted the adjustments with grace. Being a big brother was a lot of work. But he knew it was neat, too. Momma and Daddy always made sure he still got plenty of love and affection – which was enough to make him happy.

And no great chore for Momma and Daddy – he was, is and will always be their first baby.

Happy Birthday, Most Beautiful Dog. You make our family complete.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Scenes From a Restaurant

I went to a local restaurant the other evening and placed a carryout order. I waited for my order at the counter while enjoying a cup of good stiff coffee – and being that they apparently had to run to Idaho to pick up my husband’s potato, I had the time and opportunity to do some extensive people watching. Mainly the restaurant staff.

It was a fairly busy evening, and there was a lot of hustling going on. With some of the staff anyway. And it was interesting to see the dividing lines.

The older waitresses were really moving. Racing in and out from behind the counter, dropping off orders and picking up plates to be taken to their hungry patrons. While they waited for straggling sides or an order of rolls, they’d help each other with getting condiments or arranging serving trays. They really knew what it took to make things run smoothly.

The younger wait staff was a different story. A clump of half a dozen high school girls congregated around the drink station, chatting about girly things. Occasionally one would wander in and stick an order ticket in the kitchen window, and then would go back to the clump and continue chirping. The older waitresses – the ones with kids to feed and bills to pay, continued their duties with synchronized efficiency.

A young waitress shuffled behind the counter with a clear plastic container of filthy water with a floating rag and said rather loudly, “what should I do with this dirty water?” The sight and very thought if the sloshing mud puddle in a pan so close to the food stations kind of creeped me out. Someone discreetly guided her to a sink where she could dispose of the water. One of the older waitresses looked at another and said under her breath in a mocking tone, gesturing with a wadded up paper placemat, “What do I do with this trash? Throw it out, what do you think?” They chuckled. So did I.

A manager burst through the saloon style doors and had a look around at the goings on. I thought for sure that would get things moving. But the young waitresses continued to chatter without the slightest bit of interest nor effort in assimilating. The manager asked the older waitresses how things were going and told the young ones that some tables needed bussed. A couple of them shuffled off listlessly and the rest continued talking. The manager disappeared back into the kitchen area again, apparently not concerned with the on-the-clock loiterfest.

I worked in the restaurant industry for years as first jobs and while I earned money for college. We worked hard, partly because our managers wouldn’t take any screwing around like that. But mostly we worked hard because that’s what you did. The duties sucked, but we took pride in them, and we had a good time despite it all. Above all we subscribed to the adage, "Many hands make light work". We all pulled our weight, we all helped each other out, and in turn made all our jobs easier. Witnessing the operations at my local restaurant was surreal based on my past work experience.

My potato was finally ready. My waitress (an older one) apologized profusely and offered me a complimentary slice of French silk pie for my troubles. The young waitresses continued talking and hanging out.

I went home, scratching my head.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lyric of the Day:

Is there anyone who ever remembers
Changing their mind from the paint on a sign
Is there anyone who really recalls
Ever breaking rank at all
For something yelled real loud one time

- John Mayer
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I bought a new CD recently. I have been waiting for its release for a long time, and I love nearly everything about it. Except for one thing.

Frankly, I’m pretty bored with anyone in the entertainment industry giving me social and political advice. I feel like giving them a good shake and saying, HEY! I pay you to entertain me. Entertain me and leave the filibustering out. I’m not quite the smartest woman on the planet, but I am indeed no idiot, and certainly not clueless enough to rely on entertainers for any sort of social or societal guidance.

I’m not going to get into dialogue about my stand on the war right now. Those who know me know what it is. I have been on both wings of our country’s political bird of prey, and wisdom gained through observance and study have guided me from utopian pipe dream politics to what I believe to be the “right” view of the world. (Play on words deliberate). My stand on current events is not important in congruence to my thoughts today. But my stand on unity is. The decisions have been made. It is immeasurably important for our country’s citizens, regardless of their personal feelings, to come together and support the actions of our leaders in a unified front. To present oppositions and lack of support shows the chinks in our chain-mail. It shows our enemies where to strike, and that any strike will further weaken us. It shows America as divided and defeatable.

I’m troubled that this artist, whom I have loved and respected for years, has become part of the self-deprecating decay of our country’s strength. Subtle as it is, it troubles me. They are entitled to their opinions, yes. But I disagree with the timing. I don’t think anyone really wants war. But we are at war. The decisions have been made and it’s time to put differences aside and band together. Those we are at war with are ruthless. Why is it so difficult to understand how crucial unity is right now? Must we tear ourselves apart and become weak by our own hands? The entertainment industry especially is doing America a grievous disservice. At times even encouraging the enemy.

Will I stop listening to this artist? No. Will I stop listening to this CD? No. Boycotts aren’t really my style. I can separate such things and simply take this music as what it is – entertainment. Words. Nothing else. I just pray it will not fall upon the ears of those who plan harm to our country and her citizens – our friends, our families - lest they see light shining through the thin spots of our armor.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Probably True!

Back soon with a real post that I really wrote. I promise. Till then - I got this in an email today and thought it was pretty cute. You know this is exactly what's going on up there! ;)

Miss ya, Croc Hunter!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Yes, more nonsense to entertain you until I can get back here and spend more time on a decent post.

Be it known that September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day! Brush up on yer pirate terminology here and annoy your friends and co-workers. Lest be it down to Davey Jones' locker with ye.

And no, that was not me and my family on Wife Swap last night.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Music Music Music ...

I've been meaning to get back here and chat with you all about the myriad of scintillating thoughts in my head, but it's been a busy week. So in the meanwhile I snagged this music meme from Rebecca. Enjoy, and snag it for yourself if you want!

1) A favorite political track.
Have You Forgotten – Darryl Worley

2) One of those tracks that make you dance on the dance floor no matter what.
Atomic Dog – George Clinton

3) The song you’d use to tell someone you love them.
Beautiful in my Eyes – Joshua Kadisson

4) A song that has made you sit down and analyze it’s lyrics.
Dust in the Wind - Kansas

5) A song that you like, that a two year old would like as well.
Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin (well, my 2 year old likes it anyway!)

6) A song that gives you an energy boost.
New York Groove – Ace Frehley Solo Album

7) A song that you and your grandparents (would probably) like.
My Gramps’s favorite song was Amazing Grace. It always chokes me up whenever I hear it because of that.

8) A song that you really liked when you were 14-16, and still really like now.
Photograph – Def Leppard

9) Two sad songs that would be in the soundtrack of the movie about your life.
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues – Elton John
Troy – Sinead O’Connor

10) A peppy song that would start the opening credits of the movie about your life.
Imperfection – Saving Jane

11) A good song from a genre of music that no one would guess that you liked.
Let Me Touch You for a While – Alison Krauss and Union Station
I love bluegrass! Who’da believed it?

12) A song that you think should have been playing when you were born.
Hmm … Something Everly Brothers. My Mom likes them :)

13) A favorite artist duo collaboration.
Heaven Tonight – Joe Lynn Turner and Yngwie Malmsteen

14) A favorite song that you completely disagree with (politically, morally, commonsenically, religiously etc.)
Dontcha – Pussycat Dolls

15) The song that you like despite the fact your IQ level drops several points every time you listen to it.
We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister

16) Your smooth song, for relaxing.
Why Georgia – John Mayer

17) A song you would send to someone you hate or are mad at.
I don’t know who sang it … that bar song that goes “were you born an a$$hole, or did you work at it your whole life?”

18) A favorite track from an outfit considered a “super-group.”
End of the Line – Traveling Willburys

19) A song that makes you reminsce about good times with a family member.
Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo. It’s on the Back to School soundtrack. I saw that movie with my Dad and we laughed our heads off.

20) Your favorite song at this moment in time.
Ghost of a Rose – Blackmore’s Night

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blogarita Festiva

I don’t want to alarm my dear readers, but there’s going to be an extreme concentration of simultaneous hotness and coolness in the general area of western Michigan in about a month. Heaven knows what might happen as a result. I’m sorry to scare anyone – just doing my civic duty in warning you.

I'm being cheeky of course. But there is excitement afoot.

Yes, two of my favoritest blog buddies, Nelly and Chesney and I are descending on my very best friend Naïve-no-More’s house like a plague of cackling locusts. We are planning on doing some scrapbooking, but it’s hard to say what will ultimately transpire. Particularly since we are all so innately ornery and large amounts of margaritas, wine and home brewed beer will be involved. Naïve is already emailing hints as to what she’s cooking up for us to get into … I think I’ll suggest that we TP Martie’s house while we’re at it too. Or maybe sneak in while she's asleep and cellophane her to the bed.

Here's the thing, kids. I'm not exactly a tee-totaler, but I really don't drink much anymore. And when I do, the outward manifestation of my hangover is almost worse than the internal turmoil. So! I'm thinking maybe I should stop in the po-po station when I get into town to have pre-emptive mug shots done while I will still be looking good and unweathered ...



Hopefully we’ll all have enough bail money saved up. In fact I’m going to start checking the sofa cushions right now.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Point of No Return

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lyric of the Day:

Offer up your best defense
This is the end of the innocence.

- Don Henley
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I was trying to remember the moment my innocence ended this morning. I don’t mean in the carnal sense, you sickos. I mean that point in time where a person’s mind and reflection shifts from dwelling exclusively on the musings of unjaded youth to those of more serious, grown up matters. A point of harsh no return.

My immediate thought was my first heartbreak. I was 13, he was a couple years older. He’d told me from the start that if his previous girlfriend would take him back, he would go back to her – but that he liked me and would like us to spend time together. I agreed to the arrangement and took it for what it could be. It still hurt when he went back to her, though. I thought my heart would never mend.

But that wasn’t really it. The year before was pretty rough. My brother, who had always been there, went away to college – and though we drove each other nuts I missed him a lot. I got my “little friend”, which is always earth shattering (sorry for TMI, my male readers). Before that a boy in my class had been killed in a fire. And before that my grandfather, my favorite person in the world, passed away. It was the first time I had to process the death of a person I loved on a cognitive level.

But that wasn’t it either. A year before that, John Lennon was murdered. I had thought everyone loved John Lennon. It was very difficult to wrap my head around that. Around that same time, my best friend was from a family which observed a very strict faith. It was a real experience, learning and trying to remember that she could not eat animal products or celebrate any holidays. Pretty heavy for a grade schooler.

The year before that a great pal of mine moved away. It was the first time I had to say goodbye to a daily figure in my life.

Even before that I remember a gruesome news story. My folks were very careful to protect us kids from traumatic topics. My first 5 or 6 years were during the Viet Nam War – I remember many things from those years but have no recollection of war images from the television or discussions. I’m sure my folks kept that stuff at bay while I was around the tv or the radio. I was not allowed to go to R-rated movies until I was officially old enough, and my parents didn’t have cable tv – so my exposure to the evils of current events was limited. But one day there was a story that rocked my city. A woman had murdered her 3 little girls, chopped them up and placed their parts in dumpsters all around town. I don’t know when that was, but I remember the oldest girl was my age. I also remember that while I could sort of read the article, I had trouble with the big words. I knew that killing existed, because it was important enough for God to make a commandment about it. But that was the first time I realized that people actually killed other people and it wasn’t all in Bible stories. It was also the first time the thought ever entered my head that a mommy would ever hurt her children.

I can still see the photograph, a family portrait, as clear as day. They were all wearing yellow. The youngest, still a baby, had platinum curls. They all looked so happy.

It’s a crazy world, isn’t it?

Do you remember the point in time when you first took on awareness of the world’s darker, more painful side? Was it a heart breaking? Was it the death of a president, actor or social figure? A divorce?

Do you even remember living in a mental state of complete innocence?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin 1962-2006

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Lyric of the Day:

I'd rather die while I'm living
than live while I'm dead.

- Jimmy Buffett
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“The Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin died today. Contrary to what you’d think, he was not killed by a crocodile or snake, but was stabbed in the chest by a stingray barb while filming a documentary. Stingrays’ barbs are venomous but cause more discomfort than mortal danger. Deaths caused by ray stings are very rare. But Irwin was not killed by the venom - in a strange twist of improbability, the ray’s barb pierced Irwin through the ribs and subsequently punctured his heart. He was 44 years old and leaves wife Terri and two young children behind.

Since we moved to the country, I have not watched the Crocodile Hunter. Our new cable system does not carry the channel on which his shows air. But I used to love watching him and his manic ways. He was fearless yet respectful. He cared about nothing more than raising awareness for wildlife and coexistence. I can see how he might get on a lot of people’s nerves, but I always got a kick out of him.

I was sorry to hear of Steve Irwin’s untimely death. But you can’t ask for more than to go doing what you love doing. And that he did.

Rest peacefully, Croc Hunter. Thank you for all the fun.