Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Pox on Zhu Zhus!

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 6 months, you know that this endearing little critter is a Zhu Zhu Pet. Unarguably the hottest toy of the 2009 Christmas season. They come in several colors (so you can collect them all). They chirp, squeak, purr, and run around little mazes (sold separately) or just on the floor. They are hamsters without the mess. People were losing their minds trying to score one of these things, and opportunists were hawking them online for $80, $90 or more.

Incrediboy had seen the commercials and knew what they were, but had not especially asked for one. I considered myself fortunate.

I had to work a few hours on Christmas Eve, and while I was in the office my boss called me, telling me the store in which she was had announced they had a limited supply of Zhu Zhus available in the automotive department (of all places) and did I want her to pick one up for Incrediboy. I told her "Sure" - I mean, after all - if you CAN get one, why NOT get one? She brought back the little darling for me, and at the actual suggested retail price, God love her.

Pipsqueak (this particular Zhu Zhu) was waiting for Incrediboy with his stocking on Christmas morning. He was indeed happy to get one, despite his not requesting one. We took it out of the box for our first round of Zhu Zhu fun.

The damn thing doesn't work.

It chortles and coos and makes all the cute noises. But it doesn't move. It doesn't even make an attempt to move.

The piece of crap.

Now Incrediboy is sad and perplexed that Santa would give him a broken toy. When had I not fallen for the hype he would have been perfectly happy without a Zhu Zhu at all.

I'll never fall for marketing pressure again.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Buckeye Mishap

Sometimes, it seems like the eating gods are against you. Other times, things just work out.

My friend and coworker gave me a nice batch of buckeyes that his wife made for Christmas. For those who are unfamiliar, buckeyes are a somewhat regional treat, made of a peanut butter and confectioner's sugar mixture rolled into balls and about 3/4 submerged in chocolate coating. They are FABULOUS. Easily my favorite treat ever. I could eat about a thousand of them, which is the problem.

I took them home and placed the bag on the kitchen counter. Later on I got that certain sense possessed by mothers that something mischievous was going on.

To my chagrin, Most Beautiful Dog had snagged the bag of treats from the counter, had torn it open and helped himself. He only actually ate a few before I busted him, but left a toothmark or two in each remaining one. This may not bother some dog moms - and believe me, I love buckeyes so much I almost considered looking over them. But knowing his penchant for butt-licking I decided otherwise.

That's a damn shame, having to throw those luscious jewels away. But I'm sure MBDog had my best interests in mind and was merely trying to help me stick to my healthy eating plan.


Merry Christmas, my friends!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Resolution Making, a little early

My husband's uncle passed away last week. He was a Viet Nam Vet, lived life a little dangerously, smoked like a forest fire and wore out young. He was handsome and funny. Family loved him, women loved him, people in general loved him.

We went to his memorial service on Saturday. He was cremated per his wishes, so everyone brought pictures to share and laid them out on large tables. My husband's family is large and full of characters ... the mood was somber, but there were a lot of stories shared and laughter enjoyed with the memories of this ornery youngest uncle. In my opinion, this is a much more beneficial way to remember someone's life than to hover around a box containing the dead body of someone you loved.

The whole experience got me thinking about how short our time here is. It's a cliche, but already I'm a year into my 5th decade of life and much of it passed in the snap of a finger.

I've struggled with varying degrees of depression for much of my life, due to many reasons. Large chunks of my life have been stolen by it. I hate that. I've also had a large portion of being hurt by people I care deeply about. This has conditioned me to be very cautious about not only exposing my inner feelings to someone but in many cases allowing a natural closeness to develop at all.

In 2010 I am resolving to take both of these issues by the horns and turn them around. Each of us is living on borrowed time, and there are no do-overs. It is time for me to step out of the darkness that always seems to bog me down, shake off the heavy burdens laid on me by the mean spirited actions of others and openly embrace the people I love.

It's up to me to make an impact.

Friday, December 11, 2009


My brother was into building models when we were kids. He mostly built cars - very intricate, beautiful classic car replicas. To this day when I smell Testors Paint or epoxy of any kind, I am transported back to those days when I'd stand next to him and ask him insufferable questions about what he was doing while he built things.

One time he built a model ship. It was a fairly large, sailing "pirate" style ship, and the sails and lines were all done in string. It was super intricate and he worked on it forever. When he was done, my parents relocated the school photos from the top of the television so it could be displayed there in our living room.

I bet that thing wasn't even there a day when our border collie got jazzed up about something and careened into the TV stand. The ship teetered and fell to the ground, smashing into a giant, irreparable tangle.

My brother about had a grand mal seizure.

Memories are a funny thing ... I can say with surety that this happened over 30 years ago and was rarely if ever spoken of afterwards for obvious reasons. And for some reason this came to mind this afternoon.

I emailed my brother to see if he remembered this, and if he ever recovered emotionally from the trauma of it all.

He has yet to respond.

Friday, December 04, 2009

I love this letter.

I've received this by email and think it's worthy of a blog post. Thank you, Harold.

This venerable and much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii for his seventy-plus years of service to patriotic organizations and causes all over the country. A humble man WITHOUT a political bone in his body, he has NEVER spoken out before about a government official, until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president.

Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don't believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert. I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos'n Mate. Now I live in a "rest home" located on the western end of Pearl Harbor , allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.. One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish. I can't figure out what country you are the president of.

You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like: "We're no longer a Christian nation", " America is arrogant" - (Your wife even announced to the world, "America is mean-spirited." Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.) I'd say shame on the both of you, but I don't think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said," America hasn't lived up to her ideals." Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn't mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom. I don't think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man. Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don't, I'll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue . You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more.

You mean you don't want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight? You don't mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don't want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you're the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you're not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you're thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president. You're not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That's not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now. And I sure as hell don't want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.

Harold B. Estes

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mysterious Letters

I ran across a story on Yahoo about this ambitious social project being undertaken by two artists from England. My first reaction, perhaps oddly, was jealousy. In the way that I wish I had as much time on my hands as these people.

I mean really.

But then I decided it was kind of neat.

Read their sidebar for details.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Still hanging on ...

I swear on my funderoos that I have every intention in the world of breathing new life into this blog. Honestly, has the hour count in the average day been reduced? I just can't seem to get to everything I want to.

Not that anyone still checks in here, but if you do - thanks, man. It's good to know that not everyone has given up on me. :)

I'm getting old and fat. The old part doesn't bother me as much as the fat part. I mean, I'm not shopping at Abdul the Tentmaker or anything, but it's getting pretty tight in the waistlines of my wardrobe. I'm trying to figure out how I can forcibly implement a workout schedule into my life. I suppose I could forego sleep.

Christmas is stressing me out. I'm just not in the mood this year. I've purchased about 8 moderately to severely priced gifts and a handful of stocking-stuffer type things for Incrediboy so far and it doesn't seem like enough. But I'm flat out of good ideas for other things. Hopefully I'll be graced with some wondrous epiphany.

It's only the second, but I'm pleased to announce that I have yet to hear Bruce Springsteen's Santa Claus is Coming to Town this year. Veteran readers of my blog will remember that this is my most hated Christmas song ever. I try to get through every season without having to suffer through this annoying, irritating, off-key, not fun for anyone but Bruce abomination of a Christmas song. I got to about the 23rd one season before some store's muzak punked me. Maybe this is my year, though. I have to keep believing that.

Happy holidays ~

**Post Script** ... wouldn't you know I got SNUCK by a radio station in the car on the way home today with that stupid song? CURSES!!! Me and my big mouth! ...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Autumn Fire

Autumn is the second spring,
in which every leaf is a flower.
- Albert Camus

Fall is my favorite time of year. It also seems to be the shortest. The peak leaf season is so brief - like a precursory rainbow before the deep dark night of winter.

Usually in my corner of the world, the bright fire of the autumn foliage is doused by a consistent rain until nearly all the leaves have fallen. This year I was blessed with a reprieve on a mild Sunday afternoon. I grabbed my camera and Incrediboy, and we headed out on the golf cart to take in the splendor.

We enjoyed a drive down our quiet country road and headed into the nature preserve. There we took a walk along the nature trail. Many leaves remained on the trees, blazen against the vivid azure sky, and those that had fallen were still vibrant with the pigments of the season. I soaked in the beauty.

The above photo was taken on our outing. Isn't it delicious?

Soon all the chromatic chaos will fade into the brown-gray of midwestern winter - and my eyes, craving color and beauty, will feel malnourished in the long months following. If only I could capture and keep some of the rich and exquisite passion of autumn's splendor, to take out and enjoy whenever I needed it, I would be one happy camper.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Never thought I'd see the day.

Seeing as I'm getting old and fat and can't drop a few pounds just by thinking about it anymore, I haven't eaten a donut in months. It doesn't seem to have made much difference ... I still have muffintop over my waistband and nothing fits right ... but perhaps I'm not expanding, at least.

But I digress.

My boss brought in a box of donuts today. Among them was a beautiful, perfectly proportioned, artistically glazed cinnamon cake donut.

I decided that, since it's been so long, I'd treat myself just this once.

It smelled heavenly. As I returned to my desk, I pre-emptively licked the glaze from my finger. My brain flooded with endorphines. I took a deep anticipatory breath and sunk my teeth into the sweet dense pastry.

It was disgusting.

The sexy flavors were all there. The cinnamon, the sugar, all the good stuff. But they were crowded out by something else.

Lard. Thick, smeary, gross lard. I could feel it coating the inside of my mouth, as if I'd taken in a spoonful of Crisco. Ugh.

I couldn't even finish it. I threw it away. I've since been trying to get the greasy film out of my mouth with scalding hot coffee and gum. But it's still there.

Never thought I'd see the day that I found donuts disgusting. I guess I've been away from them for so long that my body's cleared out the gunk and now says, no mas! But I never thought I'd see the day.

Monday, October 12, 2009


9 days after application, my tattoo is looking exceptionally crusty. I don't recall my previous tattoos taking so long to heal, nor getting so icky looking in the process - but I've also never had such an elaborate one done. (Not to mention I was much younger when receiving the others - perhaps I can't heal as quickly as I used to). I've taken extremely good care of it per my tattoo artist's instructions, so I'm trying not to panic. But the linework is really scabby and while some areas are now peeling and fresh new skin is revealed, it appears that a lot of the color is gone.

I combed some internet information last night and read a few sites addressing tattoo healing. It seems that temporary loss of color is common until the skin fully heals and the ink pigment once again emerges. I sincerely hope that's the case. I see what I consider to be a lot of pink fleshtoned area amongst the blues and greens, and I don't want to have to get touchup work and subsequently go through the healing process again. Not only in the interest of avoiding pain, but it's already getting too cold for capri pants.

Wish me luck.

Among other events of late, I've returned from the semi-annual BFF gathering in the state up north. It was a lower-key weekend than others have been, but wonderful all the same. I love those girls.

I'm still trying to get back to more creative (or at the least, more interesting) posts. So ... see you soon.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

More Promises

I've really been missing my blog hobby more than usual lately. I haven't had the time, energy, nor inspiration to post anything worthy in a long time ... But I'm going to try and remedy that in the near future. Stay tuned to see some new things, hopefully soon. I've also probably all but lost anyone who used to read me regularly, so if you can, spread the word so I don't have to pimp myself directly.

All this will probably take place after this coming weekend. I'm going out of town to hang with my Girls on one of our bi-annual weekends. Until then, here's an interesting little blog I ran across. Letters of Note. Those of you who know me know I LOVE this kind of stuff. It will henceforth be on my "fun diversions" blogroll.

See ya soon ...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

New Ink

My new tattoo.
I absolutely love it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Under the Needle

When I turned 21, I got a tattoo. I'd wanted one for a long time, and by jingo, in the spirit of doing what I wanted to do and not what anyone else wanted me to do, I got one. It was a black widow, on the back of my shoulder. Back then, not many chicks had tattoos - so it was quite a statement. It was cool, and a great conversation starter. I loved it. All these years later, I still love it.

Any inked person will tell you that tattoos are addictive, and it's a rare person who gets just one. A few years later, I found myself back in the shop for another tattoo. It was a crescent-shaped swirl with a chikara in the center - a symbol for strength. It's also a symbol used by my favorite rock band and incorporated into many of their album covers and set designs. I loved it. All these years later, I still love it.

Not long after THAT, I got a third tattoo. It's something I scribbled on a piece of scrap paper, just messing around while my ex got a tattoo. He thought it was neat. I thought it was okay. He encouraged me to get it, but I was retiscent. Eventually he persuaded me - I climbed in the chair and had a whim-doodle etched into me.

Big mistake.

We divorced within a year after that - mainly because he cheated on me, but that was just the icing on the cake. I'm not going down that road today. But the point was, I was stuck with a tattoo I didn't even really like, and the one who supposedly did like it didn't like the rest of me enough to stay with just me. Nice little souvenir.

Once I got ahold of myself mentally and emotionally, I promptly designed a new tattoo with the goal of covering the mistake tattoo. I really dug it if I say so myself.

By the time I got around to doing anything about it, I'd met the Hub and we'd begun a new life together. He isn't real wild about tattoos and strongly disliked my mistake in particular. I showed him my new design, which he seemed to think was kind of nice - but he really wasn't keen on me getting any more ink under my skin at all.

Perhaps tattoo removal would be better?

I looked into that and promptly shat my pants at how much it cost. Needless to say, I decided to just live with the mistake and count it as a battle scar.

After so many years, I really don't see it anymore - it's just become a part of me, like an ugly birthmark. But occasionally someone will ask me about it, and then I become embarrassingly aware of how much I dislike it and all that is attached to it in my memories.

Through several moves and rearrangements of storage and such, I continued to hold on to my little coverup design sketch. Sort of like holding onto that pair of size 7 jeans, even though you know there's just. No. Way. But, maybe someday ... hell, a girl can dream ...

This summer we befriended some people out on the lake, one of which is a tattoo artist. He's very good. He even impresses the Hub, and that's saying something. I mentioned recently that I still wish I could get the mistake tattoo covered up, and to my absolute shock, Hub seemed receptive to it. WOOHOO!

So. This weekend we gathered with our friends for a football game and to let the kids play. I talked to Tatguy and showed him my mistake, and the sketch I had managed to hang on to all this time. He liked it. He seemed genuinely geeked to do it for me, as we discussed colors and ideas. In short, I'll be heading his way this Saturday to go under the needle.

I couldn't be more excited, and I don't think I've ever loved the Hub more. ;)

Now that the appointment is on the calendar, reality is sinking in. Though it's been a good 15 years or more since I've been under said needle, I still have a vivid recollection of the searing pain involved with this particular one.

Like someone touching a red hot match head to your skin.
Or being stabbed with an acid-dipped porcupine quill.
Or having a very focused colony of wasps play target practice on you.

It's gonna suck. Especially because it's a bit larger and way more involved than the original.

But, I am cool with that. It's all to fulfill my dream of obliterating the last outer remnant of my painful past with some lovely new skin art. All my own. All my decision.

Maybe since I've passed a melon-headed kid now, it won't seem so painful as it did back then.

I hope.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Care Packages

Much like the changing of the seasons, I seem to be around every three months or so anymore. Sorry ... I've gotten away from blogging. Anyone who's still actually checking in from time to time knows that. And thanks for still checking.

I always mean to get back to blogging. I miss it and I enjoyed it a lot when I was actively posting. So far I haven't been doing too well with it, but I still keep vowing.

Meanwhile, I recently adopted a soldier. I learned of a project going on that is matching willing senders with some deployed men and women in Afghanistan. These soldiers, for whatever reason, get very little to no deliveries at mail call time. Can you imagine being 18/20 years old, on the other side of the planet, fighting for your country, and while your buddies get letters and packages from home, no one - not a single soul - writes to you or seems to care?

Well I'm a rather patriotic gal, and soldiers always get me right there (knocking on chest). They're making the ultimate sacrifice of spending years out of their lives, and maybe their lives altogether, in order to protect our way of life and keep the world a safer place. So I signed up to "adopt" one. The wonderful lady organizing the project has made sure we all understand that these guys (and girls, but I'll just say guys in the slang way) work their arses off and at the end of the day are exhausted and may only have enough oomph in them to take a shower and fall into their cots. So as a sponsor, we may not hear back from them much and possibly never will at all. (Let's face it - your average guy is horrible about correspondence anyway, right?) But rest assured from the feedback she gets from those on the inside, the letters and care packages they receive after months of nothing are a huge morale booster at every mail call. The only thing requested of your commitment is that you send at least a note or card once a week, and every so often maybe a treat or two tucked in. Magazines, a deck of cards, a bag of microwave popcorn, whatever.

I figure it's the least I can do for one homesick freedom fighter.

I got my soldier's name and sent my first care package yesterday. Just a brief note thanking them for their service, and with a puzzle magazine, auto trader, and multi-pak of gum enclosed. Already I can't wait till it arrives and brightens their day - though I probably will never know exactly when that will be. I don't mind. I just want them to not feel so far away from our wonderful America, and to know there are those back home praying for them. I signed my note, "Your newly adoptive mom -- well, let's just say, older sister". ;)

I'm thinking of sending a bag of Halloween candy next week. That should make them very popular. :)

If anyone's interested in adopting a soldier, let me know and I'll shoot you the info for the gal running this particular project. Many thanks to my pal Coffeypot for putting me in touch with her.

I really will try to post more. Until next time ~~

Addition: For further snoopiness on this topic, please visit my new sideblog, My Soldier.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson

So, Michael Jackson died a few days ago. He was 50 years old.

Like many people, I have mixed emotions about MJ. In countless ways he defined the music of my generation. He almost singlehandedly made MTV the success it became in the 80s. And his vision, talent, and showmanship were unmatched. Additionally, he was a huge-hearted and admirable philanthropist. At the same time he was indescribably strange. Obsessed with surgical alteration, larger than life surroundings, and the company of children. Plagued by lawsuits and accusations of unthinkable offenses.

Most disturbing are the charges of child molestation, all of which he vehemently denied and were settled out of court. I'm not saying he's innocent, because I really don't know either way. But I always found it suspicious. If someone molested my child, I'd want their sick ass in jail, end of story. But these people accepted a buy-off. Was there a chance it was really about money and not molestation? Just wondering.

Those who know me know I'm not a bleedingheart. But after watching several interviews over the years, I truly think Michael suffered from an extreme stunting of his emotional growth. The combination of superstardom at such a young age and the abuse he received in his younger years stripped him of any semblance of a childhood ... resulting in a completely dysfunctional adult. He spent his adulthood desperately trying to recapture the childhood he missed. Had he been an average Joe, I'm confident he'd have been categorized with some sort of severe and tragic mental illness. Perhaps his fans were his saving grace up to this point. I always felt bad for him in a way - I think he tried to be a good person. He just couldn't seem to function properly.

I hope he finds the peace in death that eluded him in his life.

Friday, June 05, 2009


My Mom hasn't been doing well for a few years. She's suffered debilitating migraines and has been becoming progressively more disoriented. She sometimes has lost motor functions temporarily and her equilibrium has been off kilter. She's seen doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, and endured test after test. She's been checked for brain tumors, strokes, diabetes, lyme disease, and everything in between. Meanwhile, her physical and emotional wellbeing has deteriorated considerably.

Finally, a conclusion has been reached. My Mom has Parkinson's Disease.

In some ways it's a relief to know. I mean at least we know SOMETHING now. And while there is no cure for Parkinson's, it can be slowed down and somewhat managed with medication therapy and nutrition. But it's also a devastating pill to swallow.

My Dad was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer a few years ago. During surgery, his doctor found the cancer had spread to his liver and gall bladder. The prognosis was concerning. But after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, my Dad has since received nothing but clean scans. It seems he's beating the odds. But while it's highly likely she will enjoy many more fulfilling years, my Mom has a degenerative brain disease from which she will never recover.

It's a very surreal experience to watch your parents grow old.

Friday, March 27, 2009

So Much to Do

So, it's Friday and there's pretty much nothing going on. I thought you'd all love to hear all about it.

Actually there are things going on in a little while - just not right now. Those who read my last post will remember we've been looking for some fun and schedually doable activities to get the boy into. Barring the fabulous suggestion by Coffeypot to get him involved in some potentially lucrative purse snatching, tonight we're taking Incrediboy and we're all going to sit in and observe a karate class at the local dojo. I talked to the Sensei last weekend and really liked his approach and philosophy toward martial arts training for the younger kids - focusing more on development of the individual and their self-confidence, positive attitude and focus, rather than scrambling from one belt to the next. A new beginners' class is starting up next friday, and he invited us to come observe tonight's class and talk to some of the other parents and students - so we are. Then tomorrow morning we have a meet-and-greet for flag football, with the first game scheduled for next Saturday.

Incrediboy is so excited for both of these things he's about to lose his mind. The Hub and I are excited, too. :) This will be enough for now ... and as for soccer, the people organizing the flag football also do soccer in the fall, so I'll be updated on that accordingly. Yay!

I had to go see my doc today about some stupid thing I'm not even going to get into, and he wanted to remind me that since I'd reached a certain milestone birthday recently that I should really make an appointment for a complete physical. As you can imagine, I was so anxious to tend to all THAT entails that I made my appointment right away. (NOT.) Ugh. But NOW, see, I'm on their radar screen. DAGNABBIT! What a drag it is getting old.

I'm really trying to figure out how to work my bellydancing classes back in. I quit going a while back mainly due to gas being so expensive. I have to drive about 30 miles one way from the BFE homestead to the class, and so despite the incredibly affordable price of $5 a session, each class was costing me roughly $60 to $100 a month after you factored in the fuel. Now that gas is back down I'd love to get back there, but now I'm out of the habit. The belly classes are Tuesday nights and Sunday afternoons ... The Tuesday classes pretty much kill my whole night and any time I can spend with Incrediboy for the day, but then when Sunday rolls around I really just feel like sitting on my big arse instead of straining my rock solid abdominals inbetween half-hour car drives. I'm so freaking lazy, right? But man, I'm telling you, I love bellydancing SO MUCH. I really miss it. I have DVDs but it's not as fun as a class.

So apparently in a few short years I've gone from a very inspired creative writing blogger who samba'ed daily with the muses, to this boring person who talks about her kid's sports and visits to the doctor. I even bore MYSELF to tears! So if you're still here hanging out with me, let me just say, I LOVE YOU, MAN!

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Challenge of Sports

So we've been looking to get Incrediboy into some youth sports to see which he develops a liking toward. I'm a firm believer that getting your kids involved in positive activities - like sports, music, church groups, scouting, etc. - will help keep them out of trouble with negative activities both now and later. And the way the athletic community is today, you can't wait to choose a sport until you're in high school or even junior high - because everyone else has already been playing since they were 5 and will blow you out of any sort of competitive chance.

There are two main problems in this quest. Number one is we live in the middle of what is affectionately known as BF Egypt. The Big City has lots of alternatives, but it's a really big haul to do several times a week, running back and forth from work to home, home to practice or games, and back home again in a constant rush, not having time to eat or anything. I don't think that's a good atmosphere for any of us. Too much stress!

This leads me into the second main problem. The Little City, which would be WAY easier for us to run to, has all kinds of cool things offered through their parks and recreation department - including summer survey camps where kids are introduced to several sports and can get a little taste of each one. That is PERFECT!

Except that it's only offered 9am - noon during the week.

Apparently if you need to work for a living, you have no interest in developing your kid's involvement in organized sports. I ran into the same problem when trying to find a Mommy & Me class when he was a toddler. It's infuriating.

Incrediboy is in constant motion - knowing how he is, we are confident that he wouldn't take to baseball/softball/teeball, considering all the waiting/standing around/downtime there is between individual action. I recently signed him up for flag football, which starts in a few weeks ... he's excited, but we want to expose him to more sports than just that. He's also expressed an interest in soccer, but naturally the convenient spring league for us has their game schedule at the EXACT same time as flag football. What do you know. I've signed up for updates on the fall league, but I was pretty disappointed.

Karate/Tae Kwon Do are a possibility ... I remember when I was growing up, the kids who took karate were kind of made fun of ... but maybe it's not like that anymore.

The most recent brilliant idea we came up with is wrestling. From the time Incrediboy could crawl, he's enjoyed rigorous wrestling matches with Daddy and me in the intimidating ring of our living room area rug. He's actually developed some great balance and strength skills, and getting into a youth wrestling group would be a place where we feel he'd really blossom. Unfortunately, the only thing I've found thus far lists mainly clinics in the northern section of the state, and through one of the catholic schools in the Big City - both way too far for us to be practical.

So I'm trying to be proactive. While searching anything I can think of on line, I am contacting the webmasters and coaches for guidance and suggestions - I'm joining mailing lists and am keeping an eye on community papers. Still, I feel like I'm groping in the dark.

Sadly, I don't have many local friends with kids Incrediboy's age, so I don't really have any personal resources from which to glean advice. If y'all have any ideas or suggestions, please share.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I know. I suck.

I'm just the world's worst blogger these days, right? Well ... the thing is, nothing much is going on. And I'm sure you don't want to read about that, right? Oh, you do? Well, okay ... just don't say I didn't warn you.

The weekend with the girls was wonderful as always. A rather low-key affair - we hung out, worked on our scrapbooks, drank some booze and ate a bunch of food that was nowhere near being good for us. And we laughed. A lot. So it was a great time!

Since then, I can't seem to get my internal clock aligned. First of all, it was daylight savings time this weekend, so we were losing an hour. But we certainly weren't going to lose an hour of fun time! No sirree. It was deducted from sleep time. Of which there wasn't a whole hell of a lot to begin with since we stayed up till 4am giggling like idiots. I've been completely exhausted ever since. Not that it wasn't worth it. I'm just sayin'. My old body and brain don't fare as well with sleep deprivation as it used to - UGH! :)

I'm in week 4 of my get-ready-for-summer-no-matter-how-much-it-sucks diet. I didn't lose anything last week, but I didn't gain either. So considering how much I ate and drank with wild abandon with the girls, I'm okay with that. But much like sleeping, eating screwy can get me off whack for a long time. I was doing okay before, but now, all week I've been fighting the urge to just pull a chair up to the open fridge door and have a nosh mosh. *sigh*

I'm failing at the 365 book. I was sick with some kind of flu a few weeks ago and got out of the habit of taking pictures. Now I'm just shooting 2 or 3 to make up when I actually remember. Not how I wanted to do it. But I'm not giving up yet.

So are you on this Facebook bandwagon? My Blogarita girls are all on there and persuaded me to do it too. I signed up a while ago but hated it so much I blew it off for months. Lately I've been back on and am learning the ropes. I'm not really in love with it, and neither is Nellers. But considering everyone hangs there now, that kind of makes up for it for me. And I found a dear friend from high school on there (who now lives in SPAIN! How cool is that?) - so that's pretty cool to be back in touch with her. Don't tell Ches and Naive I am saying anything nice about Facebook, though - because they'll just say, "told ya so!"

Have a great weekend, darlings.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Girls Weekend!

I'm off to chill with Naive and Chesneygirl for the weekend!

We plan on just hanging out and scrapping, but as with all of our get-togethers, I'm expecting unexpected shenannigans as well. You never know what'll happen when we're together - other than laughing until we pee our pants. And what's more fun than that?

See y'all next week!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Unexpected Guest

Earlier this week, the Hub announced that his brother C was going to be in town on business and was going to stay with us Friday night.

Normally I wouldn't care, but this was a hassle on so many levels. First of all, our house is a wreck as usual. Secondly, we were going to be out on Friday night - all night - celebrating the Hub's birthday. And family or not, I'm not real down with having someone in my house while we're out. Thirdly, C barely even talks to us. He never calls, never contacts us when he's in town other times, never even sends Christmas cards. In the 14 years Hub and I have been together, I've seen and/or talked to C MAYBE 3 or 4 times. He's a nice guy, but seems to have decided to distance himself from the family for whatever reason. And now he wanted to blow into town and stay with US instead of at a hotel while we weren't home? I found that very rude, and even stranger that my Hub would agree.

I'll admit this was bitchy, but I was trying to get him to call C all week and get him to stay at a hotel. I couldn't even believe Hub agreed to it (and without even asking me), when he's never been particularly fond of C's snubbing all these years. All week long I'd present questions and protests - But all he'd say was, "What could I say? He's my brother!" It was all very weird and to be honest, I simply didn't want to deal with an estranged brother-in-law who makes 20 times what we do and would be squatting in my house instead of a hotel while we were out trying to relax. I was pretty pissed at both of them for the imposition.

So I spent last week's evenings trying to get the house presentable, figuring out where C could sleep comfortably, trying to keep MBDog from rolling in mud after his bath, and quietly internalizing a stroke.

When Friday came, I'd finally accepted my fate, though I still wasn't happy about it. C was due at our place right about the time I normally get home from work - Hub left his office a little early just to make sure someone would be there when he arrived. I pulled into the driveway, noting that there wasn't a strange car present, but as I pulled in another car was coming up the road with its turn signal on. I sat and waited, watching the car pull in my driveway, trying to put on my most hospitable smile before I came into view. I glanced in my mirror, looking for C's face.

I didn't see C though. Instead it was the smiling faces of my BFF Naive and her hubby. I thought I was going to pass out!

I sprung out of the car with my mouth hanging open. Naive opened her door and said with a grin, "C is here!"

It took me a good half hour to regain my composure - it was truly one of the best surprises and the biggest fast ones anyone has ever pulled on me. Hub knows how much I adore her, and planned a surprise for ME even on HIS weekend. Is it any wonder I love him? I feel bad for being pissed at him all week now, though in my defense I think I had a right to be with the facts I knew. Now I'm mad at myself for being so gullible. LOL.

So Naive and Mr. Naive joined Hub and I and some other friends for his birthday party at a mystery dinner theater to share some laughs, drinks, and great food - and we had the best time. They left the next morning after a nice breakfast out and some comfortable fat-chewing over coffee. Their visit wasn't long but it sure was enriching. Saying goodbye wasn't near as hard knowing that we'll be hanging out again in 3 weeks for an actual planned visit :).

Hub? Naive? I love you both so much. And you better watch your backs - I'll get you back. Both of you. >;)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Urban Dictionary

A friend sent me a link for the Urban Dictionary, which has been loads of fun. I entered Clew in there and learned it's a slang term for dog - an acronym for the following:

Canine Lipstick Engine Weasel!

For some reason, that's amused me all day.

Go have fun with the link and tell me what you learn. Meanwhile, happy Valentine's Day! I prefer soft center chocolates. ;)

Monday, February 09, 2009


I have been feeling pretty blue today. Normally I feel I'm a fairly decent person, but sometimes the fact that people I once loved and trusted have turned on me, and the occasional brutal reminder of character flaws make me seriously doubt that self-perception. For whatever reason, today has been one of those days.

Luckily, my dear friend Donna woke up today with the burden on her heart to email me a devotion she received. It was so poignant, and made me realized I am so blessed with plenty of friends who do care - and that I am wonderfully made and devinely inspired, flaws and all.

An excerpt (name replaced by me):

I can just picture my loving Lord several decades ago thinking to Himself, Hmmm...the 1970's are quickly approaching. It’s time to create Clew. I'm going to make her tender-hearted and full of compassion. I know she'll have a leaning toward laziness and inconsistency, but I'll give her victory over that when she's ready. I want to use her to point people to me and to the power of prayer. I want her to be there to lift up the downcast and point the defeated to triumph through My power!

If you are feeling less-than-precious today, pray these words based on Psalm 139:13-14 out loud, and take comfort as you their truth them into your heart and soul:God, You created my innermost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I’ll praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The works of Your hands – including me – are wonderful, help me know that full well.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

New Decade

I had a significantly important milestone birthday yesterday. And I feel pretty chipper about it! Getting older has never much bothered me, which I figure is a blessing considering so many people fall into a grumpy funk when they reach certain ages. As for me - I'm alive, I'm healthy, I'm blessed, and I only have one or two gray hairs ... what's not to be pleased about?

I've decided to take on a project this year starting with my birthday as day one: I'm going to make a 365 scrapbook. The idea is to take one photo a day for a year: Important, mundane, subjective, abstract, whatever - but one picture a day, specifically for this project. Then scrap them in groups of 7 days (on a 2 page layout) complete with a little bit of journaling for each one. It's just a little blink of a moment of every day for that year. I thought this big birthday year was a great point to try this. Someday when I'm twice this age (if I'm lucky enough to still be alive and functioning) - I can look through it and marvel at how young we were today - and how interesting the otherwise unnoticeable fine details of everyday living can be.

Of course, it will take the deceptively tricky commitment of actually taking a photo every day. For 365 days straight. And I already forgot to take a picture yesterday - on the VERY FIRST DAY! In my typical fashion, I'm off to a roaring start. So, don't tell anyone yesterday's picture is actually from today. Okay? Thanks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I was going to try and get back to regular blogging in 2009 ... obviously I haven't been doing too well with that just yet, but that's the great thing about resolution-type things: You have a whole year to complete a goal. :)

I miss blogging. There was a period in time when I'd post every day, and oftentimes more than once. I was overflowing with ideas for creative writing, observations, and anecdotes. Then, my well ran dry. I know that I don'thave to write a brilliant, creative, thought-provoking post every time I log on ... but I do feel I need to have some sort of inspiration. Tonight, I'm just going to jot down some thoughts. Sometimes you just have to start walking in no particular direction to begin a new journey.

Speaking of new journeys, today is Inauguration Day, and Barack Obama is the new President of our great country. Anyone who knows me knows I have mixed emotions on this. The election of an African-American (or half anyway ... I am annoyed by the fact that he exploits his heritage in this manner) to the highest office in the country is indeed a monumental, impressive and exciting development in socio-economics. I certainly appreciate the milestones we have reached with this. However, I would love to get Dr. Martin Luthor King Jr.'s opinions on all of it (another embarrassingly over exploited pawn in this whole occasion.)

I have always loved Dr. King's statement of judging a man not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. Amen to that. Sadly, I believe that to some (certainly not all, but for way too many) Obama's color was considered way more important than his character. I'm sure he's a very nice and sincere man. But I don't trust him. His associations do not sit well with me and I strongly disagree with the majority of his political and moral views. Much of what he stands for and believes, I think would bring shame and sadness to Dr. King - not to mention that so many of his supporters didn't care WHAT his platform was - only that he was either a.) "black", and/or b.) not Bush. Those are both poor cornerstones. King is a civil rights hero, and rightly so. Alan Keyes' politics and ideals align with King's far more closely than Barack Obama's, yet Keyes is thought of as an "Uncle Tom". Why? I don't understand.

But, it's neither here nor there at this point. Obama is now the President of the United States of America, and I am an American first and foremost. I love America and want nothing more than for her to prosper and for Liberty to reign. So I am giving Obama a chance to for lack of a better way to put it, prove my instincts wrong. The power of democracy - one of our most precious priveleges - has placed him at the helm, and I support him with my prayers. But rest assured I've got my eye on him, and will hold him accountable for any, what one might refer to as, bullshit. I hope the rest of America will do the same if occasion calls for it. He should not get an infallibility pass on his whole administration simply because he inherited a mess, or because it might be seen as racist. It's not racist to expect someone to do their job with integrity and within the perameters of the foundation our country was built upon.

But enough of that.

In other news, Ricardo Montalban passed away last week. That made me really sad because I loved that guy. He was handsome, had a great voice, and was a real class act. I loved watching him as a kid, not only on Fantasy Island, but as the enigmatic Khan on Star Trek and in the great movie, Wrath of Khan. He was downright sexy. Was he really 88 years old?

The bizarre thing about realizing that your favorite stars (and even worse, musicians) are getting old, is it's simultaneously admitting that you are as well. I've got a significant milestome birthday coming up. I often forget that I'm as old as I am, although I do have more aches and pains than I used to - my knees sound like Rice Krispies when I squat down - and I can't seem to get off the couch without grunting. Most people guess me to be several years younger than I am (God love them), and up here (pointing to my temple), I'm still young. And God knows my sense of humor is often sophomoric. You're only as old as you feel, right? But which is more accurate when your body and your brain don't match up? Somewhere in between, perhaps?

Eh, who cares.

American Idol is starting up again. Are you as excited as I am?

Okay, that's all I've got for now. Have a great week, my darlings!