Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Giveaways!

And you totally thought that I was running one when you came sprinting over here didn't you? Got a little cramp in your clicking finger huh? Sorry.
And now that the contest stalkers are gone...The rest of the story.

I used to enter giveaways. Sure did! As a matter of fact it might have been the second or third reason I started blogging. I would stalk the contest sites and the review bloggers to see what they were reviewing in hopes that I could win something awesome like a phone or a camera or a new set of cookware. And I won a few contests. I got some really cute stuff for my family for Christmas and I was happy.

Now I avoid reviews and contests like the plague. Unless it's something really awesome. Would you like to know why?

Anymore to enter a contest you have to pick your favorite item from the site (which I completely have no problem with - that's the point), then blog it - with a link back of course, tweet it, follow the blogger, grab their button, add them to your twitter and clean their toilet with your toothbrush. Then you have to go back to their page and put all that stuff in their comments. Of course for every comment you have to fill out the captcha word verification to prove that you're not a computer generated contest spammer. And inevitably it's the person who cleaned their toilet AND their sink who wins.

I'm just saying there's a place for gathering link love, Twitter and Blog followers. I was lamenting my traffic stats the other day and several bloggers told me that while yes they get big traffic on their contests and giveaways, those people don't ever come back until the next giveaway. Wouldn't it make more sense to grow your site genuinely and reward your readers with giveaways as a thank you?

You are asking yourself where this little tirade came from aren't you? Well I was considering going out and trying to find some sponsors for a little blogoversary party for my blogs. After all I'll be celebrating the blogoversary and 300 posts at about the same time (if not THE same time). But then I wondered if that might not be more trouble and chaos than I have the patience for. I'm still deliberating - I'll get back to you when I reach a decision.

In the meantime go ahead and weigh in. After all it IS Two Cents Tuesday. So spill it! Do you still enter contests? Are the requirements reasonable to you? Are you a Giver? Can you explain all the hoops?

Two Cents Tuesday: Workin' my Nerves!

I did it! I've been threatening and I did it. I vlogged Two Cents this week. Sorry to those of you who read me from work and can't bust yourselves. It'll still be here tonight. In the meantime you can all go read the other Two Cents over at Jen's place. There are some really great writers over there and you could be among them. Because let's face it, we all have Two Cents about something!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Random Updates on Random Stuff

Yes, I managed to completely offend my one French reader and scare them away. I think we all saw that coming!

No, I still have not decided how I am going to celebrate the blogoversaries that are coming up. Yes, you may make your suggestions.

Yes, I am still up in arms about the auto makers bailout. The bailout can buy bad debt and throw more and more money after the financial sector without even the first argument from the public. But the idea of passing more money to the automakers is reprehensible. If you are so outraged by it go buy a car from the automakers and let them get their money the "honest" way. What? You don't have the funds to do that? Why don't you go get a loan? Oh yeah! Because the banks aren't loaning money. So what is happening to all the funds that are supposed to be freed up by the buy up of bad loans and the continuing interest cuts? I forgot. It's being used for bonuses. Silly me!

Shove it! Can we please do something to keep people in jobs? Beloved told me this morning that 30% of FedEx's business comes from GM. Still want to let GM go under?

I'm supposed to be updating you aren't I? Sorry. Let's see. Thank you to everyone who commented on my rant Saturday and on my faith tale yesterday. I'm still not sure what the point of my writing yesterday was.

I found Nadya Suleman's vlog yesterday although I can't remember where. Can we talk about selective information? You have to give her credit. She sure knows how to paint a good picture. And now that there is no one objective hanging around I guess that's the picture everyone will see. Good luck.

Oh and if you are needing a great chuckle today you absolutely must pop over to Jiggety Jigg's place and watch her movie. The Lego people are cracking me up!

I think that's about it for now. I'l probably be back in a while for a real news round up. Or not. We'll see.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just Because it Happened

I had an experience this morning in church and normally I wouldn't blog it because it was...well, unusual and very personal. But for some reason it keeps replaying in my mind and I have to let it out. I don't know what the point of my sharing is or even if there is one so don't think too hard on it. Unless of course you want to.

I went to church like usual this morning even though I woke up feeling just under the weather enough to wonder if I should. But I rounded up the children and got everyone ready and went anyway. I dropped everyone off at their usual classes and took my normal seat in the sanctuary. I sit in the very back pew off to one side with an older couple who adopted me. We're a pretty quiet trio.

Worship was it's usual inspiration and I was very peaceful. Announcements, doxology, offering. The offeratory song was one that I have always loved and quite honestly I can't remember which one it was right this second because what happened next completely changed the whole service for me. Remember how I sit at the very back of the sanctuary off to one side? From the second row directly in front of the pulpit I saw a woman stand up and start for the back of the church.

I couldn't take my eyes off of her and she was obviously crying. She hadn't made it to the middle of the sanctuary when I was suddenly standing up and dashing out the back door to meet her in the gathering area. I don't know why I did it; I just knew I had to. We took one look at each other and she grabbed me in one of the tightest hugs I have ever had.

I am an introvert. I really try to fade into the background of every scenario I find myself in. To suddenly find myself hugging a sobbing stranger was unbelieveable and in any other circumstance would have been painfully weird. I walked with her to the bathroom with absolutely no expectations except to grab some tissues and wipe eyes and noses. It was none of my business why she was crying; it was just obvious that she needed someone to be with her at that moment.

She suddenly opened up to me and shared her story. I don't think it's critical to know what was going on but she was in some very real pain. Two other ladies in the restroom at the time started to pour out advice to her and prayed with her and provided encouragement and I stood off to the side. I honestly didn't say a word.

When the other two had left she and I stood in the gathering area and just looked at each other for a minute. I of course had to make some witty crack about the fact that I want to go to kids heaven when I die because it's all about picnics, swings, slides and sunshine and she laughed and smiled. I gave her one more hug and went back to service.

After service I went to communion and was on my way back to gather my stuff and go snag the kids. I ran into her again and just smiled and shared a few more words. My church is pretty large so the chances that I will see her again next week are 50/50. I didn't give her any contact info to get in touch - not because I didn't want to but because it really didn't seem like the thing.

The whole experience was fleeting at best. I didn't really offer any profound advice or life changing encouragement. The only thing I really shared was a hug and a smile. So why did this have such a huge impact on me? Why is it replaying in my mind over and over? What am I supposed to do with this?

My faith tells me that there was a purpose. That somehow I helped her just by being a friend when she needed one. My faith tells me that someday I will see the outcome of this interaction. My faith tells me that I was compelled to write this out for a reason too. I don't know.

Maybe the story will inspire someone to leave their comfort zone for the sake of another. Maybe someone will write a letter to a long lost friend. Maybe someone in pain will read this and take hope that they aren't completely alone.

Maybe it was just for me.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Inquiring Minds Want to Slap People Around.

Which should have a subtitle of "She Took The Leash off her Brain."

Sorry. It's been raining for four days again and I'm grumpy again tonight.

I want to know from my fellow bloggers, how often do you read through your reader? I mean REALLY visit the bloggers that once upon a time you liked enough to follow or add to your reader.

I honestly try to read through at least twice a day. Now my reader isn't that big and let me tell you why. Because I want to read through it. If you lose my interest I will blip you from my reader and that will be that. I am not afraid to unfollow.
It's not fair to you to have a bajillion followers who never read your stuff. And here's why I feel that way. I have 29 followers on this blog. I think a handful comment regularly. When I check my traffic trackers (yes, I'm spying on you) over half never really come by. Why? Did I suddenly go boring and you decided you didn't want to hurt my feelings by unfollowing? Don't do that! Be real! If I am boring rocks to sleep, feel free to unfollow my beige behind.

And it can't be because I never post new stuff. I post at least once if not twice a day. Except on the weekends. I try to take those off sometimes.

Here's my theory. Blogging is a very narcissistic project. You talk about yourself, your opinions, your "stuff," and to gain traffic you have to promote the fool out of your blog and in essence yourself. I think some people start to become so obsessed with the promotion and in essence themselves that they quick looking around.

Maybe that's why my Show me the Funny doesn't work so well. Because people are only looking at their own stuff for contributions instead of reading and sharing what made them laugh. I have to give a wheelbarrow full of kudos to Jen at TuTu's Bliss because the last two weeks she's been playing Funny with me and she actually links to other people on her blog that make her laugh. She gets it.

So now I ask again. How often are you reading through your reader? Should you even bother adding blogs to it if you're never going to read it?

Maybe I need to add another aspect to my blog - The Weekly Rant. People seem to like to be mad more than they like to laugh. Bet a ranting meme would rock the house. Once again the optimist is trapped in a pessimistic world.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hey Georgia! Take Driver's Ed!

The residents of my personal work camp fixed my soap box yesterday so I'm back up on it.

Georgia residents must take drivers ed. They have to. If they don't I demand that they turn in their car keys for bike helmets. You would think that people would be a lot more careful when they are pushing tons of metal around on the highways and by ways but not here in Georgia.

Let me give you a crash course people.

#1. When it rains you reduce your speed, turn on your wipers and headlights and you follow at a greater distance to allow for more stopping time. This does not mean drop to 20 miles an hour nor does it mean continue to barrel along at 70 like you normally do.

#2. A yellow light does not mean "Gun It!" It means slow down or maybe actually stop ahead of time so that you are not blocking the entire intersection thus snaggling traffic for people in the three roadways.

Especially do not block an intersection in front of a fire station. When stupid people like you get behind the wheel accidents happen and guess who gets called to the scene. The emergency personnel that you know have pinned down in their station. They have no qualms with plowing you out of the way and since they are bigger than you, something tells me you are going to get the short end of the stick.

#3. On the left side of your steering column there is a lever. You are probably familiar with it - it has the knob to turn on your headlights. But apparently there is something else you didn't know about it. If you push it up or down it locks and completes an electrical circuit that makes some lights on your car flash. You know what those flashing lights tell the rest of the drivers? That you intend to turn your car one direction or the other. Let me simplify it a little more for you - up is right; down is left.

One thing you should know about this wonderfully useful lever. It is most effective if you use it in advance of your turn. See, then the people behind you know what you intend to do before you do it. Using it in midturn is perfectly worthless.

#4. This one is a little tricky so I'll type slowly and use small words. The Yield sign means that you slow down or maybe even stop and give the right of way to the people coming down the road that you are turning onto. It does not mean that you should charge onto the six feet of roadway that you have left and shove your bumper in my wheel well while giving me one way directions with the appropriate finger. If I take your bumper home with me as a souvenir, guess who is getting the ticket for failure to yield. One hint. It ain't me.

And finally #5. And this is aimed at the lady in the black Audi who takes her children to the Creme de la Creme across the street from my subdivision. There is an enormous sign that says "No left turn." If you insist on continuing to make a left turn into the center, I will insist on removing your front bumper when I'm trying to get into my neighborhood without having my rear bumper and back seat ripped off by the people coming down the hill.

I will also be forced to sue the rings off your grill if I get T-boned because someone decided to use my turning lane as a travel lane trying to get around you and thus avoiding having their rear eaten by the cement truck that is barrelling down on them from the other side.

I'm sure there are about a million other rules of the road that you are oblivious to like how to merge, highway courtesy, and the definition of "speed LIMIT." Tip - they didn't print the sign like that because the word "suggestion" was too long. For now I will let you deal with our first five rules. Maybe next week we'll have another "Driving for Morons" course.

Until then, try not to kill anyone.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Show me the Funny! My Fantastic Finds!



Welcome back Funny Fans! It's Thursday (and thanks to the pollen I'm zonked out on Benadryl - this should be fun!) and that means it's time for Show me the Funny! We didn't have a theme this week so if you are wondering if you missed something I assure you you did not.

It's a Free For All! Woo Hoo!

I did a little rooting around and scouring of the web this week to find you some new funny bloggers and sites. Let's hope that you find them as much fun as I did.

My new favorite bloggers to stalk are Dana and Joe over at Life is Good. Technically it's Dana's page but Joe is obviously a reliable source of fodder so I give him credit too. Join me in wishing them luck with their new plan to move to Florida - if they can take the neighbors.

Then I found Jeff Tomkins. His take on the worls is so similar to mine that I was thinking about asking him if I could send my clone to contribute to his blog but then I wondered what I was going to do with all my spare time. Anyway, if you want an idea of how similar we are you really must read his take on President Obama's recent gaffes. I should be on that PR crew.

And how could I turn down a blogger who refers to herself as Vodka Mom?! Uh oh! Mommy's drinkin' again! I Need a Martini Mom is probably not what you would expect from a kindergarten teacher but it just reminds you that teachers are sick twisted people that you trust your children too every day - good luck sleeping with that thought! Remind me not to join her circle of housesitting friends would ya? And you have to see what she's teaching her Kindergarten class about letter recognition.

This next one is for my pal Nut. We were just having a conversation about how the homework in elementary school has nothing to do with the children - it's parental competition. Well, Anna at Life Just Keeps Getting Wierder shared her take on it. Just watch your fingers; those glue guns can get HOT!!

And for our parting shot you have to check out J Jiggety. I am so frightened about sending Tuck to school now that I am shopping for homeschooling supplies. What am I going to pull out of HIS pockets next year?!

What did you find this week? Can you make me guffaw and laugh out loud? Try me! Or snag the button, blog your own and link back with linky! Don't forget to Live, Love and Laugh!!


Wordless Wednesday - Sudafed Season!

Look at all the pretty flowers that are growing and blooming!
Add a little rain and you get to see what they brought with them!


Happy Sudafed Season everyone!

If you want to see what some REAL photographers were up to this week, check out more Wordless Wednesday at MomDot!

On a side note, it's another Free For All for Show me the Funny this week so I'll see you all tomorrow, right?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Two Cents Tuesday: Givin' It Up!


Tuesday, Tuesday! (da da. da da da dum.) So good to me! A time when I can rant all I want for freeeeeeeee! Ok I'll spare you the rest but you should probably know that one of these days I'm going to vlog Two Cents Tuesday and you'll be stuck with the real songs throbbing in your brain all day long. And that is your warning.

Want to play Two Cents Tuesday with me? Well you can't. Not unless you vow to play Show me the Funny too. Ok, so that was a completely made up rule because TCT isn't even mine - it's Tu Tu's and she says that there are no rules and since it's her game she can do that. Because she's cool like that. And I'm really jealous.

What was I saying? Oh yes! Today's Two Cents - Giving. Now it's funny that this should be the topic this week. This week is the Rhino's birthday. And I have no present lined up. As a matter of fact his birthday is TOMORROW and I have no clue. And I have no chance to go snag one without him in tow.

Did I mention that this Mother of the Year candidate had to schedule his four year check up complete with shots ON his birthday? I honestly didn't have a choice people! He has to have the shots to register for school and registration is tomorrow and Thursday. And before you ask me why I didn't do it early, it's because the peds office wouldn't let me, OK?!?!

So for my son's birthday I'm giving him a trip to the pediatrician, shots and an audience as the girls have to go with me. This is going to ROCK! (You got the sarcasm, right?)
Let's take another spin on giving shall we? Lent and giving it up. I didn't do Lent this year. A) I'm only Catholic on paper and until my husband decides to take a real interest and teach me that's all the further I'll get. And B) the economy has pretty much shot all my little luxuries (all three that I had) already so there wasn't much more to give up. Except blogging and my sister would get the shakes if I quit for a while so that was out for the sake of family. (I can blame it on her, right? That's allowed?)

But my husband did give up some things. Soda - an annual favorite. French fries and fast food in general - no biggie since I've been packing lunch anyway. And sweets - pretty big considering me and my baking fetish. I don't really understand Lent that much. Aren't you supposed to give up something and in it's place spend that time and energy focusing on God and His sacrifice? Something tells me the fries weren't really what the church had in mind, but fries aren't that important to me so it wouldn't be a big sacrifice.

And how about one more take on giving. The phrase "givin' it up for..." I don't understand that phrase. Is it that strenuous to applaud or cheer for someone who has done a good job? Why do I have to "give it up?" Can't I just share a round of applause? How about show my appreciation for? Oh wait. That's not slang-y enough. But that's a whole different blog post. I don't get a lot of slang talk but we can talk about that later.

In the meantime, give it up for my pal TuTu and her Two Cents Tuesday! (aaaaaah, woot woot, cheer, roaring applause, etc.)

Social Commentary Day - Woo Hoo!

I know how you all feel when I get on my soap box. Well, I really don't because you are a bunch of lurkers who won't comment unless I say something completely outrageous or confusing. Speaking of, did you hear it? I heard it for the first time this morning.

So back to soap box day and once again I am taking on the financial situation. I know it has been dubbed "the crisis" but I refuse to call it that. We all know that the economy has taken a serious hit. We all know that it was because of greed on a lot of people's part.

People who were eager to own a home even though they couldn't afford it took the plunge. Mortgage companies who knew they were taking a gamble decided that making what you can when you can was a great idea and they did the lending. Stock brokers and Wall Street execs who wanted to inflate their own stock prices and make more money decided to bundle these bad loans into investments. Guess who bought those stocks. The neighbor of the people who shouldn't have bought in the first place. Why? Because they thought they could make some money off of it.
So we all know that greed caused the problem. Can we stop covering it left and right on the news now? We know what happened. We don't need 2 Datelines in one week spelling it out for us. How does that help? We don't need everyone repeating the words "crisis, recession, Depression."
In case you didn't see the headlines this morning, February existing home sales were up 5.1%. Guess what happened on the market when they got that news? Oh look! The market went up. What can we learn? Stop being so pessimistic and dramatic about the whole thing. Focus on the good news and start teaching people to be responsible. Yes, I understand that it's serious and we can't paint it pink and call it healthy. But so far painting it black and calling it dead hasn't helped either.

But that's what happens when an optimist gets political.
In other news you should really pull up the odd news section of Yahoo today. I kid you not when I say that there are four toilet, bathroom or behind stories. Seriously! Brussels set a record for the longest line at a FAKE bathroom. Something is up with Bob Dylan's toilet and its smell. Clorox is taking on a Port-o-Potty arsonist. And an Australian kid got fined for accidentally flashing a female police officer.

Wait! Make that five if you count the lady whose dog ate $400 last week. Apparently she has recovered a lot of it. You don't really want to think about how.

I think the most fascinating story is the lady with the flaming water. I'm honestly a little scared for her. The most ridiculous part is that she has to wait until FRIDAY to talk to anyone about the problem. Sure. I'll live in a liquid bomb for a week while you take care of X, Y, and Z.

One more little brain junk bit for you. I came to a realization this weekend. You know who is REALLY responsible for the Nadya Suleman situation? TLC. Have you looked at their programming line up lately? We have Jon and Kate who started the whole thing. Add the Duggars and now the Hayes family with Table for 12. Is it any wonder Nadya (I refuse to call her the Octomom - that's just a horrible name) thought she was going to get all kinds of support and publicity for her family? Just one more railing against reality TV. Not everyone needs to be famous for being average.

From the Research Room this is T.B. Maid saying "May your water be blue and always go down."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm Rethinking my Summer Plans.

It was sheets day today and as we all know when I clean I start to think strangely. I was revisiting my Summer Plans as outlined at the Zoo. After checking all of my various e-mails (which very few REAL people ever use), I found that I had no offers from my multitude of corporate choices. "Why?" I was wondering to myself. And then I realized.
Anyone can ask a bunch of corporate sponsors for this, that, or the other thing with selfish purposes behind the whole thing. How was I going to let them know I was a unique selfish person? So I decided on something. I am going to take a page from Bobby Flay and I'm going to set up the Redo the Zoo Throwdown!

Phase one - The Landscaping!
Throwdown participants - Lowes and Home Depot. They'll flip a coin to see who gets front yard and who gets back. Then they can set their dollar limit and redo their section. Then we'll have all of you vote on who is the landscaping headquarters! You can judge them on cleanliness while they are working; color; efficiency; and overall result. Winner gets my yard for any type of ad layout free of charge!








Phase two - The Remodel!
Throwdown participants - Behr vs. Glidden and Pier One vs. Rooms to Go. I think those are fair match ups, don't you? And when I said remodel I wasn't talking about tearing out walls or anything like that. I want rooms repainted and new furniture and decor elements. One can have the livingroom and one can have the playroom/office. I'll even let them buddy up with Ikea and The Container Store for storage solutions. Tell me that's not an awesome Throwdown! Same stakes and you get to judge them on the same criteria.





Phase three - The Road Trip!
This was a little tougher. On this one I think we have to have Winnebago and WalMart vs. Airstream and Target. I'll take one trip. One team will supply us going north and one coming home to the south. This will be judged on economics, comfort and ease of travel. You'll get the same number of stops and days on the road. Readers, you will be able to weigh in but it will ultimately be up to me and my fellow travelers.









I can't believe my mailbox has yet to explode. Maybe I was right. Maybe I should stick to the blogging and leave the PR and reviews to the experts!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Show me the Funny Has Been Cancelled.


Since no one felt like playing along or adding linkies, I have decided that I will just pull the plug.
April Fool! Yeah I know it was a lousy attempt but how can you pull an April Fool's prank in print? I'm sure some of you will figure it out now that I've thrown out the challenge.

I was sorting through my personal memorie stores of pranks pulled and I realized that very few had anything to do with April Fools. There was the B & B sign we put on the front of a friends house claiming that it was Peggy Sue and Norman Lou's Bed and Breakfast - Free Breakfast starts at 4 AM. They were farmers - they were up anyway! The best part was that they didn't see it when they went to the barn first thing. It wasn't until people driving by started honking and they crossed back to the house that they saw it.

When we went by on the bus later Peggy had strung Christmas lights around it, donned a frilly apron and was waving to everyone with a feather duster.

We couldn't let them get the best of us so for Halloween the next year we made scarecrows of them, parked them in thier swing in the front yard and put up a banner that said "Peggy Sue and Norman Lou sittin' in a Tree." We used some food coloring to make polka dot toilet paper and TP'd their tree all around the swing. This time though we made sure to do it on a Saturday night so they couldn't do any clean up before church Sunday morning.

I failed to remember that half of my church drove past their house on the way and got busted before 10 AM. My friend and I found "severed" scarecrow heads in trash bags on our door steps Sunday afternoon. But we DID get an "offer" from a made up toilet paper company to help them market their toilet paper.

I have to give my dad credit for The Best Turn Around. One April Fool's I put a black rubber band around the sprayer on the sink - you know the ones you pull up? When my dad turned the water on it of course shot him in the face. I was outside doing chores when he was had so I missed the whole thing. Dear old Dad put the rubber band back and then when I came in for dinner asked me to fill the water cups for the table. Who forgot about her own prank?

Then you have the Great Prank War of Simpson Hall. My suite mates filled a pair of my jeans with the funk out of their fridge then hung them on my door. When I tried to pick the jeans up the mess spilled all over our newly mopped floor. We in turn put clear nail polish on the bar of soap so it wouldn't lather, red cool aid in her strawberry shampoo and a couple of tea bags in the shower head. Oh, yeah! And saran wrap on the toilet bowl. Then we went out.

Somewhere in there all of someone's personals got scattered through and locked in their car while it was parked beside her boyfriend's car but I honestly had nothing to do with that! I had called it quits with the tea bag and saran wrap.
So fess up folks! Grab the button and blog away. It's only two weeks away and I know some of you will need to do some planning!
Now remember, live, love, and LAUGH!



Brain Junk on an Empty Brain


You thought that was impossible didn't you? Wrong!

It is Wednesday and that means Garbage Day. Who wants to take a guess at who took the trash out and to the curb? Frickin', frackin', mumble, grumble, gripe.

If you have missed The Pushers, you need to head over to The Zoo and check them out. Gena made the point that they really are what Rhino referred to them as - pushers. Upon further reflection, she's absolutely right. We push doors open, drawers closed, children out of the way when our hands are full of grocery bags and heaven only knows what. A mother's "pushers" are her extra hands. Don't think about that - just go with it.

Big pressure is headed my way. Sissy has asked me to do a guest post for The Martians while she undertakes a move next week. There's something about guest posting on someone elses blog. It can go two ways. If you are really great at it you can maybe steal - I mean SHARE - some traffic. If you louse it up too bad, you not only trash the other person's blog but you totally torpedo your own while you're at it. I never thought I would say this, but I sure hope my kids can channel a little Aiden and Asher this week.

In other news, I did a e-mail interview for Parenting Magazine about our road trip with 3 under 5 last summer. At the end of my response I offered to take a road trip with the munchkins and provide video, blogging and other nonsense for them if they wanted an online compliment to go with the in print article. Think it will work? How awesome would that be if I could take three children by myself to Boston with someone else footing the bill? I say I would make it there and then feed myself to the lobsters.

Don't forget that tomorrow's Show me the Funny is all about April Fools Pranks you've pulled, had pulled on you, or have managed to turn back on the prankster. Snag the button over there and add it to your post. I'll probably put up Linky tonite so that you can get your links up first thing in the morning. Come on gang! You have to have some good ones.

Told you you could get brain junk out of an empty brain!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Two Cents Tuesday: Role Playing


Welcome back to Two Cents Tuesday - the day when I get to ramble about anything I darn well please and people actually read it. On purpose! Make sure you pop over to Tu Tu's Bliss and check out all the other Two Cents. And feel free to snag the button and play along. After all, everyone has two cents about something! The theme this week is Time Management but I've been bothered by something all week and have to let it out.


Now I know that we have established that I am a little old fashioned. So when I announce that things are a little Cleaver-ish around here no one is going to be TOO surprised right? I mean I do the cooking and the cleaning and the childrearing. I pack lunches and yes, loser me, I DO own an apron. It's not frilly and pink and stuff (a girl's gotta draw the line somewhere!) but I do own one and I wear it on a fairly regular basis.

Since Daddy-O has such long work hours I do end up doing a lot of the yard work too but he is still the guy with the lawn mower and the leaf blower and the weed eater. We share the whole mulching thing. And of course he is the grill master (most of the time). That's a sacred thing that even I know not to mess with.

But there is one role that I absolutely MUST address. Garbage Day. I don't know why it bothers me so. I mean I change stinky butts and clean up barf when it happens. How much grosser does it get? Maybe that's why it gets to me. I have my fair share of gross already.

I don't mind gathering the trash. That's not a big deal right? It's the taking it to the big can in the garage that annoys me. So you can imagine how I must feel about taking the big can to the curb. I know it's no big deal. I know that dealing with the stuff that goes into the can is more disgusting than dealing with the can itself. It just aggravates me when I have to take it down.

And I'm always freaked out about falling. I know that sounds bizarre but let me explain. Our driveway is pretty steep. You have to "gun it" to get up the driveway. One happy Wednesday I was taking the trash out and there was the smallest of slick spots on the driveway. I hit it and went down while holding onto the garbage can because (and this is exactly what went through my brain) I would be so embarassed if our garbage can went rocketing down the driveway, across the road, down across the neighbors' lawn and into their front door. Of course the lid flew open and came back over the top and smacked me in the face with one corner catching me right below the eye. Ever been smacked right above or below your eye? Then you know that blinding, tear flooding pain that makes you wish you could just pass out.

I walked around with a black eye for two weeks. It was all I could do not to tell people that Beloved gave it to me. Afterall if he had fulfilled his "man role" of taking out the trash I wouldn't have fallen or gotten smacked in the face. Since then it has become my absolute least favorite chore.

I hate cleaning out the fridge. I'm not a tremendous fan of bagging leaves or cleaning the toilet. Laundry makes me twitchy sometimes but I would do it all all day every day if it meant that I never had to take out the garbage again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm Moving. To a Magical Land.


We are officially into Day 4 of Bleary Gray and Rainy. I am solar powered and that little snack of sunshine and 80 degrees I had last week has now run out. I would love nothing better than to crawl back down under the covers to the bottom of the bed and just laze the day away. We could read books and nap and starve. It would be wonderful.

(This is the weather I have!)


Unfortunately grown up life being what it is, I am required to come out of my cocoon and do laundry and de-fur the kitchen floor and feed people. Geeze! But I have decided that I will be moving. As soon as I figure out the where to part. Here are my thoughts.


I would like to move to a place that has four seasons. Spring and Fall of course are the longest two of the four. Summer can have two months and Winter gets exactly 30 days. Christmas should fall about 10 days into winter. I won't be burnt out on the cold and snow (which my magical land will have) but it will provide the perfect atmosphere for the holiday. The other 20 days are for the children to play. I'm such a considerate mother.


Now the weather. There are two options here for the rain. It can either rain at night with clearing about 90 minutes before sunrise. Or it can rain on Wednesdays. I decided that a nice soft soaking rain all day on Wednesday was a good idea because in my magical land Wednesdays will be Nap Day. And when do you sleep better than when you are listening to the soft steady soothing sound of rain. One day a week should be sufficient to keep us out of a drought condition but if it isn't I reserve Sunday afternoons for support rain.

(This is the weather in Magical Sarah Land!)




The temperature. Will seldom get above 90 and never below 15. Winds will blow in March and April for the purpose of kite flying but the rest of the year will have intermittent breezes. Grasses will always be soft and there will always be a pleasant smattering of fluffy white clouds.


And then lollipops and chocolate will grow on trees. Did I mention that the weather is getting to my brain? Man, I need some sun.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

You May Have Noticed

that my writing has slowed down a little lately.

I was losing my inspiration. I was tired of Bloggy Land and all the nonsense that goes with it. On top of that the entire family (dog included) managed to catch the flu. Add the financial crunch that everyone is finding themselves in these days and I just could not shake the funk.

So I took a day off. I went out after church and did some dream shopping for a laptop/netbook at Best Buy and priced the oh so necessary external hard drive. Not that the entire family who was all trying to look at the same box slammed right up against the shelf even noticed me on my tip toes trying to see price tags and sizes over their heads.

Then I headed over to JoAnn's to see if I could find a pattern for a skirt for Easter (only a month away! Eeek!) and ended up talking to my parents from the pattern counter (weird) and walking out with nothing.

So then it was to Target to get the famous clippers (or they will be when the post goes up at The Zoo). And then I looked at the clock. I've only been out of the house for an hour and a half?! I can't surrender yet! I hate shopping and the mall makes me break out in hives so where will I go next? How will I make this brief recess last? I refuse to go to the grocery store. That's not recess.

And there it was. Beautiful B & N. Resist the urge to go snag a caramel machiatto. I was struck with some inspiration as I wandered through the stacks of books. There was a child laughing in the children's section and I thought, "I could use a good laugh!"

Tucked back in a corner there was the humor section. Entirely too small and not nearly enough copies of any one book for my tastes but at least it was still there. Smashed in behind the religious fiction and wedged in front of the "teach yourself to play the oboe" book.

So I started to scan the titles. An entire section of the shelf was dedicated to bathroom humor. You would think from the title of this blog I would be more appreciative but a whole rack of books about bathroom humor? I kept scanning. Now we come across Lewis Black and Dennis Leary and their cohorts railing against all things political. Here are two full racks of comic strips. I will not speak against them. My faves were there. Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Baby Blues, Fox Trot and of course the Classic Peanuts. Bless you Mr. Schultz.

But just general musing about life humor was scarce. And then I saw them. Down on the bottom shelf in small pocket size paperback form were the four titles I was looking for. There was my muse for seven dollars a piece. Erma Bombeck. I picked up a copy and started to read and while I was not laughing out loud there was a poingnacy in her writing that made me smile. A real connection that just made me feel at home. A quiet humor that did not speak of bathrooms, or politics, or naked bodies (unless you count feet). It was not angry. It was not laced with foul language or explicit suggestions.

Call me old fashioned. Call me a prude. I'll wear both ideas with pride. Life is weird. It's strange and it's funny and when you really look at the nonsense that happens every day you have to laugh. You HAVE to. If you don't laugh about it your only other options are to get angry, give up, or cry. I picked one of the four titles out for myself and brought it home with me. Every time I pick it up I only allow myself to read one short chapter at a time. Like I'm savoring a bag of Lindor truffles one small bite at a time.

I have been inspired again. I have decided that how many posts I get out to you is not the critical part. I have to make sure that I make you laugh or at the very least, smile. I have to make people see that anger and vulgarity aren't necessary in life. There is enough ugliness in the world. It's time to laugh at just the general strangeness of it all.

You HAVE to laugh. You have to laugh because when you can laugh and you can share that laughter with other people, they get to laugh. Life is just too weird not to laugh and share the laughter.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Almost Forgot Pie Day!

Dear Foodimentary! Thank you so much for reminding me! It's Pie Day!! Woo Hoo!!


What? You don't know what Pie Day is? 3-14. 3.14 is Pi in mathmatical terms. Today is 3-14. Therefore it is Pie Day!


Now the big dilemma. Apple or Cherry? Discuss and weigh in my 4 PM would ya? Maybe Marie would have been spared if she had said "Let them eay Pie!" I would have liked her better.



By the way Photobucket admins and morons.

I really wanted a picture of a cherry pie. Just the dessert item that is a crust that contains cherries. Just because other perverts searched "cherry pie" in hopes of finding something lewd or nasty doesn't mean the whole world is. And if you don't host images like that anyway, why would you feel it is necessary to limit my ability to search for a piece of cherry pie? If you don't host them they won't be there and therefore when I search for cherry pie I should only find pictures of the dessert, right?

And now you have ruined my Pie Day. Thanks a lot you knuckleheads!

I still love you Cherry Pie! I think Apple cheated in the whole "As American as..." debate.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Can We Talk about Social Networks for a Minute?

**Please note - this has been a lousy cloudy, gray and moody day. On top of 2 weeks of flu and other ailments in this house. I'm crabby, cranky and in need of a serious day off or several drinks. Move on if you aren't in the mood to read about me whining.**

How many are you part of? Can you count them all? Do you remember all your passwords to all of them? When was the last time you logged into each one?

I have to confess that I am a part of the social network nightmare. Facebook, MySpace (which I haven't accessed in ages), CafeMom, Twitter, MomDot, Launchpad, and probably some that I can't even remember. And I make the rounds daily (except for the forementioned MySpace). On top of that you have the whole blogging thing where I'm posting and reading and commenting.

Ask me why I'm part of all these things. To gain traffic for my blog. And why do I blog? Because someday I would love to find my writing in a newspaper article like my hero Erma Bombeck. Or in a magazine. I would love to be paid to do what I love - write.

Somewhere along the way someone sold me the idea that if I network with all these other tech savvy people and I put my name out there and I share my links everywhere I can and I comment and post, I would grow my traffic and therefore gain "a presence" on the web and have a better chance at making my dream a reality.

Ask me if any of it has worked. Not so much. Even among the networks centered around blogging, so many people are working on their own publicity and writing that they don't have time to comment and visit and share driving traffic. So what is the point?

And if the whole lack of effect wasn't enough lets get to the issue of how small of a ripple I actually make in the social network world. Facebook friends - 6 from college and 2 sisters in law. Friends from high school? 0. Bloggy buddies? 0.

I wasn't cut out for this whole online life.

Grouch Alert!

video

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Show me the Funny: Spring Fever Edition


Between the time change and the weather, there has been a raging case of Spring Fever around Bloggy Land this week. Sorry gang but spring break is still a few weeks off. To tide you over I thought these might help!

First let's take care of some business. Remember on Saturday how I asked what your guilty TV pleasure was? Remember how I said whoever confessed to Murder She Wrote or Matlock got free linky love? Turns out you are all reality TV weenies but Kim did confess that Angela Lansbury makes her a little twitchy. Angela Lansbury was Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. Does that mean teapots make Kim twitchy? I dare you to ask her. Just wear your goggles.

What? You don't have goggles? Well, then I would suggest a trip to WalMart with J Jiggety. May I also advise that YOU pick the cart and beware of the clowns? Just saying!

While you're at Wally World you may pick up a new copy of Single Ladies. But before you do make sure you study up on Chris's dance moves so that you can do the song justice. I think Chris advises stretching first?

Now I wish there was more Funny to go around but folks just haven't been able to battle their Spring Fever with funny. So go! Go into the blogosphere and bring back a bounty for Mr. Linky! Fly like the wind my humor spies!

BTW, who figured out the band responsible for the $1.2 million dollar drug round up? If you remembered that Phish is back on tour after a five year sabbatical then you probably guessed right. Gotta love good old Phish!

Now, for next week's Funny I need you to help me with a little research. I know that it's still a few weeks off but I want to hear all about April Fools Day. Best prank you've ever played. Best prank you've ever been victim too. Have you ever turned a prank around on someone? Snag the button over there and take it with you to post. Come on people! Show me the Funny!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Faces

Finally getting some hair!

Just resting in the shade


Could she be more serious?

Snag some more Wordless Wednesday over at MomDot.
And don't forget to search out your funnies for Show me the Funny here tomorrow!
(Did you figure out the band yet?)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Are You Missing Your News Review?

I knew you were so I thought I would just spin around the headlines really quick and let you know what is going on in the world.

Nadya gets to start taking her children home in the next few days. There is an organization that will be helping her along (per Dr. Phil this afternoon) and the children will be coming home two at a time with an adjustment period between each addition. No matter what our opinion of her, we need to really pray that ALL of the children are able to adjust and be cared for as they deserve.

Let's see. What next? Oh yes. French friend, please tell me that you know about this website that is allowing children to farm out their homework to older students. I would love it if someone could explain to me WHO this is benefitting. Not terribly thrilled with that story.

The Vatican is cranking out the news this week. Camaroon tore down a slew of it's street stalls for the Pope's visit. Because in today's economy, shutting down people's livlihoods so that the city "looks good" for the Pope is a good idea. Especially in poverty ridden Africa of all places.

And then there's the story from the Vatican's newspaper (I didn't even know they had one honestly!) that purports that the biggest move for women's lib in the 20th century was...Can you guess? The Washing Machine! That's right ladies - the Maytag man has set us free. Thanks big guy! Supposedly we put in the detergent, close the lid and go have our nails done. Well, that's what I do! Don't the rest of the ladies in the audience?

Ooooh! Here's a kicker (no pun intended). An Australian couple thought they were in the middle of a home invasion when they realized that the "intruder" was a kangaroo and he was jumping on them in their bed. Now I am bad about hitting the snooze button but let me tell you that is the RUDEST awakening I have ever heard of. Even my children know you don't jump on sleeping folks.

Let's hit up two more stories just for funsies, shall we? And since Fer accused me of being on something other than caffiene and Excedrin earlier this week we'll make it drug related. A 66 year old man in a leg cast was arrested when he tried to go through customs in Spain. Would you care to know why Gramps was picked up? Because the cast was made of cocaine. Nah. The drug dogs won't pick that up at all. But did you go read the story? He was stashing a 6 pack and two folding stools in his luggage. Tailgating is over until fall senor.

And our last druggie news tidbit. Police raided a concert and snagged $1.2 million worth of illegal drugs. Can you tell me what band it was? Guess you'll have to tune in to Show me the Funny this week to find out! (Did you see how I didn't link that last story? THAT is how you drive traffic people!)

From the Research Room - This is T.B. Maid saying "May your water be blue and always go down!"

Two Cents Tuesday: Choices, Choices.


Got Two Cents? Head over to Tu Tu's Bliss and snag your own pennies. And remember while Jen is generous enough to give us a topic, you can really share your two cents on just about anything you feel inclined to spout off about. Have fun!

And in case you didn't have enough inspiration to participate she's hav ing a rocking contest this week too! Check it out and give your two cents!

This week is all about Choices. Yes, it is a wonderful topic and heaven knows I have plenty of fodder that could take us to a deep dark place. But we all know that's not my speed. Let's instead talk about some of the choices I've made this week shall we? Yes, I know it's only Tuesday but I have already racked up some doozies.

Good choice - dog sitting for neighbor while he was out of town for two weeks.
Bad choice - not making sure I went out to the yard every few days to clean up after him.
Worse choice - not paying very close attention to where I was walking in my already smashed down flops.

Good choice - eating a garden salad with grilled chicken and a low fat Asian dressing for dinner last night.
Bad choice - having a heaping bowl of ice cream for dessert.
Worse choice - adding sugared strawberries, chocolate syrup and cool whip to the ice cream.

Good choice - finishing up the yard cleanup this morning
Bad choice - not looking where I was grabbing while I was trimming monkey grass (remember the whole dog thing?)
Worse choice - not wearing any gloves while I was working.

Good choice - being compassionate when Beloved woke up with my flu this morning
Bad choice - encouraging him to stay home from work
Worse choice - not finding somewhere else to be today while he is home with the flu and nothing to do

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dear French Visitor,


(This is going to be quick tonight because we are into day five of this headache that will only be controlled by Excedrine and vast gallons of coffee.)

Dear French Visitor,
Who are you?! You stalk me - I mean pop by every time a post goes up so I have to think you might be getting e-mail alerts. And while I appreciate your readership - BIG TIME! - because you make me feel important what with creating an international following and all, I'm just curious as to who you are!

BTW! OC, I know you stalk me too and while yes, you are international, you really count as family now because I "see" you all the time. But this isn't about you although if my French friend decides to respond in his or her native tongue I may need your services. That is if you even speak French. Hey! This isn't about you!

Dear French Visitor,
Or person who routes their searches through France to throw the government spies off your trail. Wow! You're even cooler now! I feel like maybe you might be Matt Damon as Jason Bourne? Ooooh! How awesome would that be? I should put on dark glasses and buy a disposable phone just in case you finally decide to contact me. I can sing the Mission Impossible theme. Does that qualify me to join your spy ring? Ooo! And if it helps I can kill stuff with my thumbs (bugs mostly) and pick things up with my toes! Hey, I'm a mom. We run out of available body parts sometimes!

Dear French Visitor,
It was nice knowing you before I went off the deep end and drove you away with my sideways tirades and outlandish ramblings. I like the word "outlandish." Don't you France? I bet you guys use it to describe the American loonies (aka me) all the time, don't you? "You zimplee must see zis bogg-aire! She is zee most outland-ISH pairSON I 'ave ever seen!"
And if you hadn't run at the spy bit I'm pretty sure my hideous (another fun word) phonetic depiction of your accent just threw the shoe at my head. Well, enjoy your wine and cheese. I was hoping for a airline ticket so that I could come ramble to you in person but who invites a psycho to their house?

Au Revoir (and that's probably spelled wrong too!)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Well, Now I'm REALLY Confused!


By the time you read this it will be old news but I am profoundly confused just the same. Tonight is the annual torture of switching back to daylight savings time - ye ole spring forward, if you will. And my brain being what it is started to question the whole notion. I understand making the most of the daylight hours and conserving energy and all that stuff.

What I didn't get was why the "Big Switch" happens at a bizarre hour like 2 AM. Who waits until 2 AM to change their clock? Don't most of us change the clock right about now (10 PM EST - pre switch for those of you who have already done the switch and gone to bed) and hit the hay and wake up when the alarm sounds an hour too soon in the morning? What is the point of the whole 2 AM deal? So I, in my infinite wisdom and with my high tech researching skills, went to the almighty Google in search of the answer. Here is what I found.

Daylight Saving Time goes into effect in most of U.S.
By Michael Kitchen
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Most of the U.S. will move to Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. Sunday. Arizona, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa are the exceptions, as they do not observe the shift in time. The U.S. previously switched to Daylight Saving each year on the first Sunday in April, but in 2007, the start date was moved to the second Sunday in March. Standard Time is slated to resume on the first Sunday in November.

Please tell me you saw the part where the exceptions are listed. I get the outlying islands. They are in their own little time zones or aren't even full states anyway which brings Alaska into question but we'll get back to that. But what is up with Arizona? It IS still part of the contiguous 48 right? So if I fly to Phoenix tomorrow I'll get my hour back? Or did they not give it up in the first place? How do Arizonians keep track of it if they are on completely different time than the rest of us? There have to be a lot of missed flights for the first couple of weeks, wouldn't you think?

Now Alaska, do they change time? I mean by now they are coming to the end of the really long nights anyway so do they even bother with all the time changing?

I'm so completely confused. I did some more searching after I got around the whole brain bender about who has to change time and who doesn't and found out that the whole thing was a war measure used to conserve fuel and energy in World War 1. So now I know the why it happens in general.

But I still don't know why it happens in the middle of the night. I guess I'll hit up Wikipedia next. Wait. Nope. Wiki didn't know either. It's like someone just threw a dart at the clock and said "2 AM it is!" I mean, I don't really care. It's the middle of the night and I sleep through it anyway or at least I did before I had children. There's a very good chance I'll actually see the time change this year. What was I saying? Oh yeah. 2 AM.

Well, either way. Sleep well and go to bed soon. And don't forget to schedule a nap tomorrow.

Real Housewives, My Big Apple!

Do they really want me to refer to all these women as "real housewives?" And why is my husband the one in this house that keeps getting sucked in?

Real Housewives of Orange County, Atlanta, and now New York. I don't know what annoys me most. That they have their own show to show off their self indulgence, egotism, cattiness and nonsense, or that they refer to themselves as "housewives."

I am a housewife. I scrub toilets, wash dishes, mop floors and take out the garbage. I rake my own leaves, do my own interior decorating, and haven't gone shopping in almost a year. The last manicure I had was for my sister in laws wedding (right after I went shopping) and the last meal I had in a restaurant was before Christmas. I pack lunches and cook for my family. A dinner party at my house involves a grill and aluminum foil.

And all of that annoys me because these "housewives" do none of that stuff - at least not on camera, which leads me to believe that they don't do it at all.

But let's address Beloved's bizarre ability to find it everytime it's on. I don't know how it happens but I promise you the only time he lands on Bravo is if it's West Wing or Real Housewives. Could he land on the Johnny Depp episode of Inside the Actor's Studio? Of course not! Does he change the channel as soon as Inside the Actor's Studio comes on? Yes. But if I even look cross eyed at the remote while his Housewives are one he gets all twitchy.

He's going to have my hide for outing him like this
but I find it very
strange and I have to ask. Everyone has a guilty pleasure TV show so in honor of Beloved and his Housewives, what is your guilty pleasure show? The first person to confess to Matlock or Murder She Wrote will win free linky love in next week's Show me the Funny (even if you aren't!).