Thursday, November 30, 2006

The stuff I somehow forgot to post about...

With a commitment made to post at least once a day this month, you'd think I'd have posted about anything and everything I could. Well, apparently I did not.

Earlier this month, NS's motorcycle was stolen from right outside our apartment. It happened either on a really rainy Sunday or a very vacant Monday; my bet is placed on the Monday. It's really not all that bad. Once it's gone 21 days without being recovered, the insurance payment will be made. Sure, he'll have to pay off the difference since he owed more than it was worth, but at least he won't have to continue making payments on something he won't be riding very much for the next year or so.

The night before Thanksgiving, NS and I went to see Cirque du Soleil. I think I failed to mention it because there isn't much to say other than Cirque really should be able to stake claim to being the greatest show on Earth.

My boys had daycare/school pictures taken, and they turned out fantastic. There is a positive side to having children that love to pose for pictures. I'm wondering how many more people telling me I should have them modeling it will take for me to give it any serious consideration. I'm sure they'd be great at it, but I'm not sure if it is something I want them involved in. Here are the pictures of the pictures...

This one of M was the worst of them since his smile was captured at the wrong moment:
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This was J's sitting pose:
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M's holiday background:
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J's holiday background:
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M's plain background:
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J's plain background:
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And saving the best for last, their brotherly love shot:
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Is it any wonder why I bought them all??

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

3 Coins...

Way back in the beginning of this NaBloPoMo journey, I read a post that looked like something interesting to do this month, and so I've finally done it.

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The year 2000 reminds me more and more that I haven't heard a peep or read a sentence from my dad since then. I got married that year, and for a while he seemed happy about it, but that changed quite abruptly. We were communicating via email at that point; he'd only re-entered my life as I graduated high school. Before then, it had been just phone calls made and gifts mailed for my birthday and Christmas. One of these emails asked if I was planning to do the traditional dad-give-away-the-bride thing. As gently and tactfully as possible, I let him know that my mother would be giving me away. He never replied to that response, never sent the RSVP for the wedding, didn't call or write after receiving birthday and Christmas cards and gifts from me that year. I guess he was hurt. He has the right to feel however he wants, but he wasn't a great father, and in my opinion, my mom was the only person that deserved to give me away. Like I mentioned, he was not a stable part of my life. He's not the sperm-donor that contributed to my creation, but he did adopt me when I was 7, so he is the man known as my father. He played that role in my life longer than any other man, from the age of 3 or 4 to around 9, which was when he and my mom divorced, so he is my father in my mind as well, just a poor one. He did the visitation thing for a brief period following the divorce; I'm not sure why it stopped, but at that point in time, I didn't mind...I didn't fully trust him still. He was not a good man; he abused my mother and me, albeit in different ways. So, it is not a great loss to me, but I sometimes wonder if he realizes what he's lost by not staying in touch.

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2004 brought a lot of new experiences into my life seeing as that was the first year of my boys' lives, my first year being a mother. A couple months in late summer are particularly notable; those were the months that central Florida was hit with three hurricanes between August and September. The first of those was Charley. That was the one we didn't leave for and the one that hit us the hardest. In the middle of the night, as the winds were picking up and starting to loosen panels from our fence and the speeding train sounds of tornadoes were getting to be frequent, IFKAMH and I gently lifted the boys out of their cribs and summoned Big Dog and Little Dog to join us in our closet. While it was a walk-in closet, it was crowded with two adults, two 8-month old babies, and two dogs. And since the power was out, it was also very warm, so warm that we were all sweating and finally had to strip the boys down to diapers and fan them so they wouldn't be awake for the rest of the night. Listening to the sounds coming from outside the house, the windows shaking and debris colliding and still the awful noise of tornadoes, was nearly terrifying, not knowing exactly what was happening and just praying that we would remain safe while huddled in our safe-room closet. The next morning we walked outside and found we no longer had a fence; we had some posts still up and less than a handful of panels remaining attached. Our neighbors across the street had their white vinyl fence pieces littering the grass of their backyard, seemingly more white than green; it looked like a giant's version of a pick-up-sticks game. Overall, we made out with little damage to our home, mostly just a majority of the soffit ripped off or bent. Later that day we drove around and saw much more devastating damage, usually to older homes, as well as tree after tree broken and lain across street after street and embedded in roofs. We were without power for just over a week, which was a miserable experience since it was August in Florida. When another hurricane threat loomed off the coast just a couple weeks later, we headed north. That one only caused a loss of power for a day. Then, a few weeks later, another arrived, and we went farther south and west but suffered no disruptions at home. For an area that is typically considered to be too far inland to receive a massive hit from hurricanes, we sure took a beating that year.

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Well, this year isn't even over yet but has definitely brought about changes. In January my divorce from IFKAMH was finalized. In March I started a new job that was actually a good fit for me and sold my house in Florida. Late June, I learned I was pregnant and told NS and my family and everyone else in July. Late August, I learned my Baby Angel had died and went through an induced birth to deliver her since my body would not willingly give up on her. Throughout September and October NS moved in with me and the boys. It's been a roller coaster of a year so far, having a great deal of impact on me and my family and creating everlasting memories.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sinusitis, maxillary...

I decided that my sinus pains needed to be kicked by some antibiotics and took a trip to my doctor's office this morning. Hopefully, they'll start working over the next few days and allow me to be feeling better by Friday for the company holiday party. After two in the afternoon, I'm wiped, so I'll work on a decent post tomorrow morning.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'd like to remove my sinuses, please...

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I started feeling a bit icky about 9 days ago, the same day I started the 365 Day Flickr challenge. I had started feeling like I was on the road to recovery Thanksgiving morning. Today, it's like someone is driving a bolt in between my eyes, down into my nose. My nostrils are useless for breathing, and all I want to do is curl up in bed and close my eyes, which is what I'm about to do, but I couldn't forget either of my current daily challenges;>

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Random thoughts of the weekend...

* Saw Stranger Than Fiction...wondering if NS and I have a fantastic sense of humor or just a weird one.
How can you not laugh at a scene where questions like, Have you ever been made of wood or stone?, Are you the king of anything? (elaborated on with suggestions of being the king of the lanes or trolls living under baseboards), or Do you have any magical powers? are asked with earnestness?
* Watched Love Actually...mostly smiling and gushing at the triumph of genuine love, but saddened to tears by a woman's purposeful and persistent pursuit of her married boss and the fact that he could consider risking his marriage for an obviously immoral and unscrupulous tramp.
* Why am I craving ice cream so much with the chill of winter so close?
* Pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, and egg nog are my favorite tastes of the holidays.
* Maybe losing all my previous Christmas decorations and tree isn't too terrible. Starting over can be refreshing.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wackiness...

I can't remember which blog I saw that linked to this Wacky Warning Labels site, but if I still had the curling iron with a wacky label, I'd definitely send it in.

The label on that curling iron read: "Do not use while sleeping." I guess someone once thought it was like a hot roller, but that would be a really ineffective way to style your hair since there's only one of them, and I don't really think you're supposed to sleep with hot rollers, either; that's why they make regular curlers.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanks...

Still in the Thanksgiving mood;>

Two boys who continually make me happy to be their mother
Handsome man who makes me feel special and proves again and again that he is special
Amazing experiences and memories from the past year
New experiences and memories to look forward to in the future
Kind mother who always supports me
Sweet dog who doesn't mind the boys taking over his space

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A time of thanks...

Simply a list of 10 reasons I'm thankful:

1. My boys are healthy, happy, and developing well.
2. I am recovering quickly from my recent cold.
3. NS is a wonderful man to have as part of my life.
4. I have a job that allows me the freedom to go to my boys' daycare to eat Thanksgiving lunch with them one day and attend a show&tell another.
5. My family is supportive and happy for me.
6. I have some great friends, both in real life and in the virtual world.
7. All my boys' birthday and Christmas gifts are crossed off the list.
8. My last post was received much more favorably than I'd thought it would be...must mean I did a decent job of communicating through my writing.
9. NaBloPoMo has given me a lot of good blogs to check out and add to my list of readings.
10. My life has continued to improve in the past year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Confession of my soul...

It is time to come clean.

I need to share about how much my heart breaks each and every time I come across a woman that is pregnant and getting out of the "danger zone" of the first trimester. It reminds me of how I seem to fall into the small odds of statistics so easily.

It wasn't likely that I have twins. I didn't have a family history; I was 22; I was white (well, still am); I used no form of reproductive assistance. All of those factors gave me a 1 in 100 chance of having twins; that's only a 1% chance.

It wasn't likely that I get pregnant with Baby Angel at all. I was on birth control pills, which are supposed to be over 99% effective.

It wasn't likely for that pregnancy to end like it did. I saw the heartbeat; I was out of the first trimester before I barely had time to realize I was pregnant. Having no history of miscarriage before, my chances were fairly low. The chances of miscarriage after seeing a heartbeat via ultrasound are less than 5-7% and are supposed to be less than 3% (if even that high without history or other factors) following the 13th week of pregnancy.

Sometimes I want to scream, "You can't stop worrying! Look what happened to me!" But, I can't warn anyone that they can't stop worrying because for most, they can, and I am so happy for them that I wouldn't want to cause them any more worry. Sometimes it isn't good to beat the odds, so I'll hope I can just be average next time around;>

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

27...

A meme I saw in candyland. Because? I'm a bit bored at the moment.

1. Explain what ended your last relationship.
He's an idiot. More detailed explanations of that statement can be found in the early archives of this blog, and occasional reinforcements of that statement can be found as recently as last week.

2. When was the last time you shaved?
This morning.

3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Waiting at a stoplight on my way to work.

4. Are you any good at math?
Yep, but hate it with a passion.

5. Your prom night, what do you remember about it?
How much I loved my dress;>

6. Do you have any famous ancestors?
Not to my knowledge.

7. Have you had to take a loan out for school?
Not yet.

8. Last thing received in the mail?
Thing? I guess it would be my second pair of jeans from ebay unless the Sensational Beginnings catalog counts.

9. How many different beverages have you had today?
3 - water, perfectly pear white tea, and pomegranate white tea.

10. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machines?
Most of the time (unless I know they don't usually check messages before returning calls) because I hate talking on the phone and have called for a reason.

11. Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
Color Me Badd...I'm not ashamed; I loved those guys, especially Bryan Abrams.

12. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
I have in the past, but I prefer burying my feet and legs.

13. What's the most painful dental procedure you've ever had?
The fillings never really bothered me. The only other non-routine procedure I've had was removal of tissue between my two front teeth {all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth...sorry}, and I had drugs for that, so no pain. I think my least favorite part of dental visits is the cleaning with the metal pick that always pokes me in the gums.

14. What is out your back door?
This question could've been worded more appropriately, I think. There may still be boxes out my back door, along with some broken glass from the light out there.

15. Any plans for Friday night?
Nothing special that I know of.

16. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
After I get out of the ocean? When it's dry and salty and tangled? I think not.

17. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
Unfortunately, yes.

18. Have you ever been to a planetarium?
Sure have, even volunteered at one for a couple weeks druing high school.

19. Do you re-use towels after you shower?
I was clean when I used it to dry myself, so yes, I do, many times. I have enough "real" laundry as it is.

20. Some things you are excited about?
My boys' 3rd birthday
Christmas
Trip to Whistler in January

21. What is your favorite flavor of Jell-O?
Lime. Can we add some tequila to that?

22. Describe your keychain.
I have a few: the remote-entry for my car, my YMCA pass, and a Purell hand-sanitizer thingie.

23. Where do you keep your change?
In the little outside zippered pocket of my wallet.

24. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
More than just saying my name? Probably been close to 2 years.

25. What kind of winter coat do you own?
I have a tan, below-my-butt coat that has a furryish lining and a hood. I also have a precipitation-resistant one, which is dark and light blue with white stripings and is thicker than the everyday coat previously mentioned. It's the coat I wore for snowboarding the one time I went last year, but I will have another jacket for that before January's trip.

26. What was the weather like on your graduation day?
I think it was alright. High school graduation day isn't a high priority memory for me to keep fresh.

27. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
Closed. My children sleep right.on.the.other.side.

How to express love without saying, "I love you"...

Tell me, with believable sincerity, that I was cute when I was sleeping.

By "sleeping", he meant that half-hour that I was laying nearly face-down on the pillow next to him, with my tongue falling out of my open mouth every few minutes because with the drones in the snot factory working so much overtime that my nostrils can't drain fast enough and are getting backed up, my mouth was the only means of gathering oxygen for proper brain function. Yeah, I'm sure I looked cute when I was sleeping;>

He either wanted me to go back to sleep with hope that the extra rest would cure me or was afraid if I didn't go back to sleep that I'd be complaining all night in a charmingly nasal whine. Since he keeps asking if I feel better, it may actually be the former.

Monday, November 20, 2006

How to handle a boss's request...

As I drove to my boys' pediatrician office to pick up physical forms for daycare, I passed by a small business college. The sign out front read (NOT in small print):

"My boss told me to change the stupid sign. So I did!"

There was nothing else on the sign but these words. That has to be professionalism at its finest.

Now, I must start taking my camera with me at lunch because it is much more jaw-dropping, followed by a little understanding smirk, with the full visual effect;>

*Update*
Took pic on way home...
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Sunday, November 19, 2006

One year...

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I wait for the phone to ring so that he can tell me the time we're supposed to meet. We're going to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants and might go dancing after that. Getting anxious and impatient with hanging around the house, all dressed up, nothing to do until he calls, I head out to the store for gum and maybe a necklace since my outfit seems it could benefit from one. I find a great butterfly necklace, one that I've worn most days since that night and have gotten compliments on so many times that I've lost count. I get the phone call while I'm there, so I pay for my items and drive down the street to the restaurant to wait for him there.

I call him after I arrive because the lights to the place are off for some reason, and I know he'll never find it unless he knows some of the other places around it since he's never been there before. He finally walks through the door...doesn't look like he lied about his height, didn't wear a t-shirt or tennis shoes...so far, so good.

We eat and drink and talk and laugh. I'm sure we spent more time at our table than our waiter would've liked, but at least we were still drinking. Once we'd finished the drinks, we decided to continue the date somewhere else. We settled on bowling instead of dancing; the bowling alley was closer than the nearest club, and I hadn't been to that club in over 7 years, so who knows if it would even be a good place to go.

I bowl in my usual granny-bowling style, which I'm sure he found more than slightly entertaining as most people do when they see a grown woman launching a 12-pound ball from between her legs, getting strikes sometimes and spares regularly. We finish a few games and a couple of drinks and call it a night. We trade cordial goodnights in the bowling alley parking lot without so much as a hug; he's been quite the gentleman...either he's not interested, is very shy, or knows how to be respectful and patient.

It only took a couple more dates to figure out that it was the last. When I first decided to respond to the message on Yahoo Personals he sent, it was because he seemed like a fun guy. When I made the decision to go ahead and meet him in person, it was because we'd had fun email and IM exchanges. I never imagined he'd be the kind of guy I wanted to be with for a long time; I've never been happier that I didn't let my stereotypical opinions of younger guys prevent me from making those decisions or from seeing that he is not one of those stereotypical younger guys.

Last night, NS and I went to the Melting Pot to celebrate the mark of one year since our first date. That day is technically today, but he has to work today, so last night was the night. It was a wonderful meal with laughing, dreams for the future, and a magnificent bottle of merlot, the meager remains of which are pictured above. I can't think of a better way to have commemorated this occasion than with those hours of quality alone time. I'm not positive when it was that I knew I loved him, but I know I do; I love how I know that he loves me without him ever having to say it, and I love how he treats my boys as if they were his own and how they call him, "daddy", and I love that he is smart and cute and funny and how he calls me, "lady".

One year...with plans for many more.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Do you think you want this?

Earlier this week, there was a post by kristine detailing her lack of parallel parking skills. A few of the comments referenced those "new cars" that do it for you. Those "new cars" are the new Lexus LS luxury sedans. You may have seen the commercials. You may have even thought that sounds like a super luxury to have. Well, you might have also thought it could be too good to be true. Want a demonstration? Take a look* at this video clip.

* Warning: You may find yourself shouting at your monitor, over and over, in between bouts of laughter, "Just park it yourself!" (and other more emotionally expressive variations;>)

Friday, November 17, 2006

The guidelines for this place...

I read this post of fringes and because NaBloPoMo is bringing many more new visitors, I thought it a marvelous idea to post about the "house rules" of our blogs. So, these are mine:

I blog about all sorts of topics. This is a dumping ground for my mind. There are personal experiences, thoughts, and issues posted as well as just random musings, ponderings, and observations. Despite being able to focus quite well in real-life, this blog is not focused on anything in particular. If I've been inspired by a post on someone else's blog, then I will often incorporate a link to it in the post, just like I did for this one.

I post pictures of my children fairly regularly and will sometimes include pictures of myself and/or NS or even my canine called Big Dog. I've found a new appreciation for carrying a camera with me at all times in order to capture some moments of time that I hope never to forget.

I welcome any and all comments. I've tried to make it as easy as possible to comment if you'd like...no word-verification required. You don't have to have a blog or even identify yourself. Anonymous comments are enabled, so use it if you are so inclined.

I do not always respond to comments. I read them all (even if it is a new comment on an older post) as they are forwarded to my email, but unless a question has been posed, I don't specifically make a concerted effort to respond. I am, however, attempting to comment more often on the blogs I read and to visit the blogs of those that leave comments here.

If your comment is mean-spirited, ill-informed, or just plain immature, it will not be deleted and *usually* will receive no further acknowledgment from me. The reason it will not be deleted is because it is more embarrassing for and defining of the person that left the comment than me, and the reason I won't acknowledge it is because this blog is for me, and me only, so I don't hold judgmental, outsider opinions of my life in high regard. I am aware that opening up my life for others to read opens the gates for comments like these, but they don't offend me, so they've never made me want to curl up in a ball in the corner or stop posting.

That being said, I rarely delete any comments but certainly have had reason to do so in the past. Those that have been deleted include: duplicates, spam, and those that might reveal more of my personal information than I'd like to have readily available here (e.g. real-life name or more specific location than my state, which happened once and only once).

I believe those cover the loose guidelines I follow. These will now be known as The Guide to Woo-Woo's Blog and will be posted in the sidebar. Great idea, fringes (and everyone else that had the idea before;>).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

At least I didn't have to lay on the bed...

Frustration overcomes me as I bounce my lower body into a pair of jeans that I'd won on ebay for a fraction of the original retail price. There is no reason these jeans should not slide right over my thighs and hips and button comfortably around my waist, yet I am forced to transfer every bit of air from my tummy to my lungs, holding it in, in order to accomplish this feat. They'd look fabulous...if only I could breathe.

I am disappointed. I can't believe how random women's clothing sizes are, not even just with different makers but within the same label. (I have another pair in a different color but same size by the same designer en route now; hopefully, the sizing will be more favorable this time.) I have sizes in my closet ranging from 3 (waaaaay off on sizing on their part, but damn that's nice of them to want to make me feel so skinny;>) to 11. Usually I can pick up an 8 or 9 or 10 and be safe...used to be 6 or 7 or 8 before that last pregnancy (which is still hard to handle; it's easier to justify extra weight when you've got the baby, but when you don't and the weight you gained to nourish another life just shifts away from the belly to the rest of the body, it's more difficult to accept as a worthy sacrifice), so when I find something that is just obviously produced smaller than it's sized, I am irritated at the very the least. Because this is most often noticed in more expensive, more "prestigious" labels, it seems that they're just trying to feed some unhealthy and irrational obsession with being super-thin. I don't want to be, and probably could never be, a skin and bones girl. While I would love to drop those pounds I gained in recent months, I don't want to ever drop my weight much below what it was then. I want breasts and hips and a butt, and I don't ever want anyone to look at me and think I could break if they hugged me or if I pushed an elevator button with any amount of force. There are some people that are truly a size 1 or 2 (or whatever) while not appearing fragile and bony, but they are not as common as designers seem to think they should be. If I wanted to sell my brand, I'd assume I should make a woman feel as good as possible about her real size. I understand not making your size 3 fit a size 7 (seriously...what are the real size 3s supposed to wear?!?), but come on, you can make the size 10 fit a 10.

I have a feeling this rant will only be related to by other women, and that's almost as frustrating.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Well, there you go...

I've spent too much time today thinking about what I'd like to post. I just ended a telephone conversation with IFKAMH that just gave it to me.

Since our custody agreement is technically "joint" rather than "sole" as it appears to be, I need him to sign and have notarized a document of consent for me to obtain passports for M and J. The reason for the passports is to make our trip to Whistler, B.C., Canada in LESS.THAN.TWO.MONTHS as easy as possible. So, I needed to get his current address to send the forms to him. After giving me his address, he proceeds to ask if I would mind if he claimed one of the boys on his tax return. I responded first with a simple "no", to which he asked why. Besides what would seem to be the obvious reason that he is not actually a care-provider of theirs and they are not just walking, breathing tax write-offs, I explained the irrefutable logistics of my answer: he does not supply more than half of their expenses.

In order to claim someone as a dependent, you must provide more than 50% of their financial expenses. The minimum child support amount that is paid to me still leaves me $100 short every week for daycare tuition, so that leaves me to pay the remainder as well as all of their food, clothing, shelter, and miscellaneous expenses. Even though they are on his medical insurance with his employer, it is a lesser cost to him than it would be if they were on mine, and I'm still the one that covers the co-payments and medicines and the charges that his insurance hasn't paid for, which as far as I can tell is all of them (hopefully that's just an error, though, and I can get reimbursed). All of those details are what I told him when he asked about it being 40%...not even close.

He said we should work something out. I asked if he was going to be supplying more money. No, he's not. Then, there isn't anything to work out. He makes more money than I do yet shoulders less of the burden from child-rearing expenses than I do; I fail to comprehend how there's a compromise in which I don't claim them as my dependents come tax time when they are, in fact, my dependents.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How important are social skills anyway?

Does it bother anyone else to get a puzzled gaze from a cashier when you give not-quite-exact change, such as $20.11 for a $5.06 purchase so I receive $15.05 back rather than $14.94 to limit the bulk of my wallet? Am I the only one that tries to keep my penny-count to a minimum since they serve me no purpose other than being able to occasionally provide exact change for those rare times I use cash? Or is it just that addition and subtraction skills are not valued or considered important anymore, so much so that the cashier doesn't realize what change I'm getting back until the machine spits out the calculation?

Instances like that make me worry about my children's future in school.

My officemate's daughter is a new middle school and high school music teacher. She can't write in cursive because some of the children can't read it, and forget about knowing how to write it...their signatures are just block-letter names or some block-letters with scribbles. Apparently, this skill is not deemed necessary since it isn't part of the standardized testing administered to children. Was I the only one that was taught to write checks using cursive for the spelled-out monetary value so they couldn't be altered as easily? And yes, I did learn how to write out a check in school; I'm guessing that's probably not part of the general curricula now, though.

I hear tales of the debilitating restrictions teachers must cope with to manage a classroom. No traditional or creative discipline is allowed. You can't have a child do a repetitive sentence-writing exercise to encourage a change in negative behavior. Some "not my angel child" parents probably sued a school system after they managed to get the kid diagnosed with carpal tunnel. (It's a serious affliction; I'm not trying to downplay its painful affects; I just have a hunch that there was some child who manipulated his parents into finding a way to get him/her out of a punishment rather than trying to correct the behavior that required punishment in the first place.) You can't have the child stand at the back of the class to ensure he/she stays awake during class. Well, that's just humiliating for the sleepy kid to have to stand while everyone else sits. The schools here (and I assume in most places) have a very lengthy documentation process for counseling disruptive children before the only punishment available can even be rendered...suspension. The thing is, most kids acting out at school really don't care about getting a few days off from the daily grind, so it's a highly ineffective means of resolving behavior problems, in my opinion. I haven't been out of school that long, but even in high school we had a government teacher that used her yard stick to slap desks, her own as well as ours, and launched erasers across the room at the chalkboard in order to get our attention and return our focus to learning. I'd bet she's not still doing that, or maybe she retired.

How can children really learn when others are blatantly allowed to interrupt class since there are no legitimate consequences given? I'm not going to rush to call my children geniuses, but I've always been in gifted and advanced programs, and despite his idiotic actions as an adult, their father was not a stupid child, either, so they are not likely to be at the lower end of the the learning curve. I am so very concerned about being able to be intensively involved in their schooling because I don't want to not be aware of things that might be going on at school that could inhibit their full potential for learning. I don't want them to be overlooked for possibilities of greater challenges because of a couple of clowns whose parents are clueless that take up the teacher's time, and I also don't want them to think that I don't know exactly what they're doing at school or that they won't be in trouble with me if they are disrespectful in class, regardless of whether or not the teacher's hands are bound by guidelines designed to coddle an overly litigious society. I'm building a portfolio of blackmail to unleash upon their peers in the future...that picture of J wearing my silver heels would make a lovely addition to his classroom's wall or the school's lunch room should he decide that he's too cool for school at some point; same goes for some awesome naked baby/early toddler pics of M; and I'm not at all above attending class with them if that's what it takes...I imagine they'll love that idea.

One of the districts in this area has even banned vending machines. While that may seem wise at first thought (hey, about time they stopped enabling children's eating nourishment-lacking foods all day), why not replace the usual stuff in vending machines with healthier alternatives to allow sensible snacking since snacks are actually a good idea? Forgo the Lays and Snickers and Coca-Cola? Sure. But to discourage snacks altogether? I don't think that's a brilliant idea (maybe lack of caloric fuel is what was making that kid fall asleep in class to begin with). Just put pretzels and granola bars, milk and water or juice in those machines instead. Those items are available in bulk, too. That particular school system also reprimands teachers if caught with any drink besides water at their desk. Water is a great staple of for hydration, but it is not the only good thing out there.

Good gracious. No wonder so many people are seeking to homeschool.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I just don't get it...

One morning as I drove into the parking lot where I work, one of the local morning radio shows was doing a segment on the apparent controversy of a Lyfe Jennings's song. While this song clearly spells out what it is about, it isn't about getting it; it's about keeping young girls from growing up too fast for no good reason. Even though the song references a 17 year-old, which I don't necessarily think is all that young for s.e.x. (I was 16 and still don't believe I was too young), it applies to all girls that are entering puberty and developing more womanly figures and being oogled and enticed by boys and men alike. Emphasis is made on not letting guys try to convince you to do something you're not ready for just because you think you're in love and also on thinking about what you're giving up because you can't get it back. I can't understand why there would be any reason to be upset that this song is being aired on radio stations when so many of us criticize the fact that girls are taught to act sexy from an incredibly young age, much sooner than the teen years.

Is it that those who are outraged at this song being allowed airtime on public radio waves are just not listening? Where's all that fury when it comes to songs that actually exploit women's sexuality as something casual? The #1 song almost every evening here has women acting like strippers and hookin' up with some random celebrity at a club to join the milehigh club on his jet. (I happen to love this song, so I'm not trying to say it shouldn't be on the air...it's just the principle of the argument.)

Is it only songs that incorporate colorful euphemisms with the word "sex" that are suitable radio songs? Things like "magic stick" and "rock the boat" are entertaining and amusing enough that we can overlook the parts where she's sexin' him so he'll pay her bills and buy her gifts.

I honestly don't understand why or how so many people find so many things offensive. More often than not, people should just tune out or turn off what they don't like and stop trying to prevent everyone else from making their own decisions about what's acceptable and what's not.

Unfortunately, I was only able to listen to the intro for that segment on the radio that morning and never got to hear anyone's reasons for disapproving of the song, but I doubt I would have gotten the point of why that particular song is obscene because I've listened to it closely and know that it is an accurate portrayl of a girl's experiences with a positive message:

Hold on, to your innocence
Use your common sense
You’re worth waiting for (You’re worth waiting for)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I know this might drive me insane...

I'm sure most of the blogosphere that takes pictures has been introduced to the Flickr 365 challenge, the one where you take a self-portrait every day for a year. A year is a lengthy commitment that I'm not quite sure I'm up for making, but I figure I'd give y'all a chance to tell me what you think. So, click away, up to once per day, to voice your choice for the next week;>


Should I join the Flickr 365 group?
Hell yes!
Absolutely not.
Are you kidding? No one gives a flying frak.
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Maybe not so girly afterall...

I read Rashendo's review of G NaBloPoMo participants yesterday. She mentions some of the statistics and notes how most of the bloggers are women, probably because we like to talk so much;>

While she's very right in that women have a reputation as the gender that enjoys talking and sharing our feelings, I can't help but feel out of place in that generalization of women.

I don't like to talk. I don't get upset if my significant other doesn't ask about my day because I don't usually want to talk about it, and if I do, I will. I'm the one saying my day was "fine" rather than elaborating on the details of all my encounters and projects. I don't feel the need to talk about "the relationship" on a regular basis (not that it's a bad idea, I just don't do it). I also don't like to talk on the phone. That is probably one of the main reasons that it's difficult for me to stay in touch with my friends. I'm an email and blog readin' and writin' kind of girl. I make phone calls when I feel it has to be done and not a minute sooner. While I don't regularly ignore phone calls coming in, I have definitely taken advantage of the silencer on my phone to put a looming conversation to rest for a while. Now, I can be a cackling little hen on the right subject, on the right days, but it's not one of my dominant traits, and I doubt anyone has ever described me as "talkative".

I'll post all about my feelings and thoughts on a blog...just don't expect me to talk about it;>

Shuffle Playlist from iPod...

25 randomly selected songs from my music library. Eclectic is good, right?

1. Freaky
Juelz Santana, classification: Hip Hop/Rap

2. Sugar, We're Goin' Down
Fall Out Boy, classification: Alternative

3.Rag Doll
Aerosmith, classification: Rock

4. Hysteria
Def Leppard, classification: Metal

5. Unpredictable
Jamie Foxx & Ludacris, classification: R&B/Soul

6. I'd Die Without You
P.M. Dawn, classification: Hip Hop/Rap (really?)

7. Everlong
Foo Fighters, classification: Rock

8. Brown Eyed Girl
Jimmy Buffet, classification: Pop

9. Jimi Thing
Dave Matthews Band, classification: Rock

10. Girl Talk
Kenny Burrell, classification: Jazz

11. Dimension
Wolfmother, classification: Alternative

12. My Mind is Ramblin
The Black Keys, classification: Rock

13. Shutterbug
Veruca Salt, classification: Alternative & Punk

14. My Fault
Eminem, classification: Hip Hop/Rap

15. Wet Sand
Red Hot Chili Peppers, classification: Alternative

16. I'm A Thug
Trick Daddy, classification: Hip Hop/Rap

17. Funky Shit
The Prodigy, classification: Electronica/Dance

18. To You I Bestow
Mundy, classification: Soundtrack (Romeo + Juliet)

19. Post-Modern Sleaze
Sneaker Pimps, classification: Electronica/Dance

20. Round Midnight
Thelonius Monk, classification: Jazz

21. My Sexual Life
Everclear, classification: Rock

22. Sunshine
Lil' Flip & Lea Quezada, classification: Hip Hop/Rap

23. Do It To Me
Usher, classification: R&B

24. Just A Girl
No Doubt, classification: Alternative & Punk

25. Someday After A While
Eric Clapton, classification: Blues

I sometimes wonder if my taste in music would be considered odd or if it is similar to most. There is certainly not any one type of music to which I'm devoted. I like songs based simply upon the song, but it doesn't mean they're always popular songs or even good songs. I haven't even figured out what draws me to any of the songs I like other than the R&B and Rap/Hip-Hop for the beats. So, am I a kooky, scrambled mess of a listener or just like everyone else?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Appealing to woman's logic...

I just returned from one of my visits to the office's ladies' room. I was disgusted to find used latex gloves on the floor next to the porcelain and drops of urine on the seat...and also with the fact that the woman in there with me turned the water on with a handle, washed her hands, turned the water off with that same handle, then used that same wet and recontaminated hand to repeatedly push the lever on the paper-towel machine.

You see, my post-flush routine (of course followed by the redress) is:

1. Push paper-towel machine lever once in order to produce a palm-sized paper-towel.
2. Turn on water.
3. Wash hands.
4. Tear palm-sized paper-towel produced in Step 1 from machine.
5. Use palm-sized paper-towel to turn off water and then to push machine's lever a few times to get hand-drying-sized paper-towel.
6. Tear away my hand-drying-sized paper-towel from machine with one hand, then use palm-sized paper-towel with other to produce another hand-drying-sized paper-towel for next hand-washer to be able to use.
7. Throw away palm-sized paper-towel.
8. Dry hands and leave ladies' room by using hand-drying-sized paper-towel to open door and then foot to prop door open as I throw hand-drying-sized paper-towel back to trash can.

This may seem a tad OCD on my part, but it just seems like a reasonable way to not waste the effort of washing my hands by re-exposing them to whatever germs I'd assumed were on them when I turned the water on in the first place.

And the pee spots on the seat...ladies, I'm thoroughly disappointed to encounter this sight in our own restrooms; we know better. Doesn't everyone check the seat before leaving the stall? It's the same rule I wish most men would follow: If you can't keep it inside the bowl, you clean up the overflow;>

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Frak...

I'm not sure how many people watch Battlestar Galactica regularly. Those that do usually have high praise for it. I'm not so in love with the show that I'm ready to go door-to-door trying to convert everyone into believing this is the best show EVER, but I don't consider it a collosal waste of my television-viewing time, either. There are some things that I do love knowing about because I've watched most of the shows, though.

First, I understand what all these CafePress shirts are talking about, and more than just a few are hilarious!! I would actually consider purchasing and wearing one in public except for the visions of people asking for an explanation and then shaking their heads at me while I dazzle them with my knowledge of a not-very-technologically-advanced future where we battle robots called Cylons, thinking to themselves things like: "Loser." or "Is she off her medication?" or "Why haven't her children been removed from her care?".

And mostly, I succumb to a swell little round of snickering from hearing them use the word "frak". This is apparently an ingenious method to incorporate profanity into television. Simply alter the original word that some find so terribly offensive and then abuse the hell out of it. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out what "frak" is. From now on, WTF is What the Frak (hint, hint;>).

Paging Dr. House...

I went to my doctor a couple days ago to have these red spots on my arms and legs checked out to determine if there was some serious problem or if there was anything to do to get rid of them since they'd been around for over a week.

These splotchy areas never hurt or itched, so I tried to just let them clear on their own, not really certain what they may have come from and having had them come on very suddenly. One afternoon while I was in the shower, I notice a patch of red spots on my thigh as I was shaving. After I got out of the shower, I caught a glimpse of my reflection and saw that the things were all over my arms and legs. They never got any worse but still hadn't gotten better after at least a week, and so I decided a visit to the doctor was in order, especially after my mom, the R.N., didn't have any idea what it was.

The nurse at the dr.'s office hadn't a clue what it was and couldn't believe they weren't at all itchy. A lot of them have a dry, scaly appearance (I know that's a super sexy image you've got of me in your head now;>), so I totally understand why anyone would think they should be itchy.

The first doctor didn't know right away what they were but thought they were probably a reaction to some virus. He searched his computer and came up with a couple of possibilities but none that really seemed to fit, so he called in the more experienced doc.

This one looked and asked more questions about whether I'd had a sore throat and what medications I've taken. At first I didn't remember having a sore throat, so he thought that my birth control pill may be the culprit since I'd just barely finished the second month. They both disappeared to consult some book of diseases and disorders to make sure it was what he thought it was.

As I sat for a couple minutes trying to think back over the past month or two, I suddenly realized that I had had a sore throat a little less than a month ago. I rushed out from my curtained room to tell them this. This meant I needed to be tested for strep since some poeple have reactions to strep with rashes or hives on their skin; in fact, my officemate's daughter can figure out when someone has strep before they do because she gets hives from the exposure before their symptoms ever appear.

If it wasn't strep, then it was erythema multiforme. My strep test was negative. I was advised to contact my OB/GYN in regards to the birth control pills in case they were the reason I developed this and to come back for a follow-up if more spots appeared. They said it should go away on its own in another week or two.

I spent a bit of time yesterday researching erythema multiforme. Apparently that sore throat I had was most likely the indicator of the spots' imminent appearance. Many people that develop this type of skin allergy have symptoms of a respiratory infection or sore throat or just general sick feeling 10-14 days prior to the rash breaking out on the skin. This thing could be my skin's response to any number of different stimuli: medications, bacteria, viruses, or even something like my latest tattoo. As far as I could tell, there aren't any tests to narrow down which of these were the instigator, so I don't know if I will just have to get a different birth control pill or if I won't be able to take them at all since the progesterone hormone that may have been the cause is in all birth control pills; that's how they work. The younger doctor didn't seem to think it was really the pill, though. He was still pretty sure it was exposure to some virus that brought it on.

Without knowing what my skin was reacting to, it's difficult for me to avoid exposing it again, which means I could have outbreaks in the future. While the spots aren't bothersome by being painful or itchy, they look weird, and I'd prefer they disappear and never come back again.

And on another weird note, I may have shrunk over the past 10 or so years. I first hit the height of 5'3" by age 10. I didn't grow again until 15, when I was measured to be 5'4" during a school physical conducted in the high school gym. People don't really realize that I'm actually only that tall because my shoes usually have about 3" in height. One day at work, the subject came up; I think we'd been discussing the length of pants since we're all less than average height. I took my shoes off to show just how short I was, and they were all rather shocked...and insisted they did not believe I was 5'4", more like 5'3". As it turns out, they were correct; I measured 5'3" at the doctor's office the other day. I either shrank or the measurement taken back in high school was wrong. Now, NS really is very close to being a foot taller than me, 11 inches instead of 10. I guess that's why it's easy for him to rest his chin on my head even with my shoes on;>

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some of these I have no intention of adding to my list of "things to do"...

Seen at ElleBee's blog. Bolded are checked off on my list;>

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone {candlelit has always been just me}
8. Said “I love you” and meant it {always}
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game {I'm assuming that regular season NFL or NBA games aren't included as "huge"}
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper {many, many}
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity {it felt like it, but I'm still not broke, so I guess not}
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk. {not as often as I've been taken care of, though}
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving {it's on the list...maybe next year}
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero {only child, remember?}
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day {last Sunday}
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken {so far, so good}
69. Toured an ancient site
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played Dungeons & Dragons for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days {only 2}
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo {5 times now}
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised (raising) children (child) {raising children}
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over {simply starting over wasnt' really the root reason}
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray {not in the wild, though}
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about {not that I know of}
130. Gone back to school {not yet, but that's the plan}
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream {not yet, but pieces of it are there and the rest will just take time}
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident {so they say}
150. Saved someone’s life {not to my knowledge}

Maybe I did miss out on something...

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As a child, I don't think I ever wished or asked or pleaded for a sibling. I was a content only child. It was perhaps a very selfish existence, but it was perfectly wonderful to me. I didn't have to fight over toys or share my mother's love and attention, and when I wanted something, my mom did anything and everything she could to make it happen. I do consider myself to have been spoiled, but not in an ungrateful way...my mom is awesome like that;>

On the other hand, seeing my boys grow up together, I realize there are things I never have and never will experience. They always have someone to play with, whereas I became quite accomplished at entertaining myself with imaginary friends when my friends couldn't play. They have someone with whom to brainstorm, and while that rarely has favorable results from my perspective, I can admire how creative they are with finding ways to get into trouble, bringing me closer to that moment when my head explodes. But mostly, the love they have for one and other is unique when compared to any that I have ever had. My two best friends are definitely the closest I will ever come to having sisters, but I didn't get them until I was in high school, and we never tormented each other like real sisters would have. Even though my boys duke it out over anything and everything, they also comfort each other and take care of each other. M will get J a pair of pants and even help him put them on; J will grab himself a cookie and make sure to get one for M, too. When one of them gets hurt, the other goes to him to pat him on the back and to tell him that it will be okay and even, sometimes, to kiss the boo-boo like Mommy does. To be a witness to this developing bond is an indescribable experience that is one I'm thankful for, even though I never expected it to be a reward of motherhood.

I now understand why people ask parents of only children when they'll give that child a sibling; they know about these things of which I'm only an observer.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A way to ensure I will cast my ballot...

Since today is election day, I feel the need to get on my soapbox for a bit.

The main reason I was obligated to go to the polls today was not because I particularly wanted to vote for any of the Senate or House candidates; it was because of one of the ammendments being proposed.

Ammendments such as this are being proposed all over the country, the ones trying to prohibit same-sex marriages from being a legally recognized union. I am vehemently opposed to excluding same-sex couples from having the legal rights of marriage. I cannot see any connection whatsoever to allowing same-sex couples being legally recognized as married when they fill out the same forms as any male-female couple with jeopardizing the "sanctity" of marriage. I am going to emphasize the word "legal" that I keep using because that is what this is about. If certain religions or certain churches feel that they cannot perform a marital ceremony for same-sex couples because of their beliefs, then I don't have as much of a problem with that; I do, however, have a major problem with these couples not being able to be given the legal status of married when they have, in fact, made such a commitment to each other. And realistically...how can other poeple having a marriage affect the sanctity of mine? I fail to see the slightest hint of a connection. If religious zealots feel that the term "marriage" has religious connotations and should be limited based upon those beliefs to a man and a woman, then the legal commitment of two people to each other should be called something else, like a civil union, and should not be limited as solely between a man and a woman.

But, wouldn't you know, the ammendment drafted for VA took it even further than that (as if that really wasn't bad enough). The verbiage of our proposed ammendment limits legal rights for any non-marital union, so even opposite-sex couples, such as those senior citizens that have made a commitment to each other but cannot "marry" for fear of losing benefits needed for survival, would lose the ability to act in the best interest of their partner if necessary even if that is the only person that knows what their wishes are. Can anyone give a good, legal reason this is not totally wrong?

The fact that our current Senator actually used his name to endorse this atrociously judgmental piece of garbage that's attempting to legalize bigotry definitely got me to the polls...to make sure I voted against him and against that ammendment. Somehow, I doubt that was his plan, yet sadly, I'm certain at least a few people reacted completely opposite.

ouch, Ouch, OUCH...

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Why must my quick line fail me? Why did it not stay strong and keep itself attached to my finger's skin? Why are my otherwise unbreakable nails so weak and vulnerable just below this line, so that they assuredly tear right there?

Oh! The pain!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

This is why blogging lacks on the weekend...

I just don't have sufficient brain-power or attention-span to spare on the weekends. I'm in full mommy-mode and usually taking the time to sit at the computer is taking away from them, so while I do that some weekends, it's not a lot and is rarely ever enough to post anything worthwhile here. Usually when I'm online on Saturday or Sunday, it's because I want to check email or feel compelled to post something that is actually important to me.

Plus, not much excitement goes on during the weekends for the most part...just keeping the apartment from accumulating more messes is enough of a task, and even that doesn't always get accomplished;>

So, this was about the funniest thing I can think of that happened yesterday. M, J, and I went to Trader Joe's for some stuff...damn that place is so much more crowded on the weekend than at lunch-time during the week. They flirted their way into check-out-lady's heart, so she gave them balloons. Talk about adoration, they wore them at Walmart, insisted upon taking them into the restaurant for dinner, and wouldn't even go to sleep without them...

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

A rather successful psychic...

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This is a photo of a psychic's place of business, and perhaps the psychic's home. All I could think was that she must be ripping some people off big time (um, I mean...successful), because this is not typical VA style. Not only is the design of the building very FL-ish, we don't really have too many palm trees here...much to my dismay. And although these are my least favorite type of palm, they are one of the more expensive varieties. I can't imagine how these things survive during winter time because this place is closer to the beach, where it gets a bit chillier than the more inland parts of this area.

Because the sight of palm trees makes me all giddy and jump.up.and.down.clapping.like.it's.my.birthday-ish, I rather like to drive past the psychic's place;>

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fresh AzHEiz...

Reading jonathan's post yesterday made me think about how strange some things that trigger distinct memories are. That's not exactly what his post was about, but I'm pretty good at stringing random thoughts together via some strange connections, and since it all goes on inside my head, silently, the statement or question that emerges from my mouth as a result of the final connection usually ends up making me giggle because someone gives me the look that says, "Where the hell did that come from?" (Sometimes, I even get the words with the look.) Trust me, this connection isn't nearly as far a stretch as some of the ones I come up with.

Anyway, the Bow Wow song, Fresh Azimiz, reminds me of NS. Every time I hear this song, I am back in his car, out on a date, laughing at his sing-along performance. This memory makes me smile. I don't know what makes this such a special moment, but it is a good one, so who cares why. So, when NS calls me, Bow Wow serenades me with lyrics about how I ain't fresh azheiz, and I smile, then answer the phone;>

For genuine side-splitting laughter...

This is why I read the blogs of complete strangers, strangers with whom the chance of ever meeting is infinitely minute. I had to pace myself in reading that post so that I could prevent myself from bursting with riotous laughter.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Where can I get personal, weather-controlled bubbles?

Having not checked the weather forecast this morning, I dropped my boys off without jackets at daycare. I didn't mean to do this, though; I meant to bring their jackets with me as I hurried out the door, but I didn't. I realized it as I was almost at the daycare but then thought it wouldn't be too big of a mistake since it was already a moderate temperature out and had been well into the 70's for the past 4 or 5 days...wrong.

By the time I got to work, 10 minutes after dropping them off, I think the temperature dropped about 10 degrees. Apparently, it is supposed to be cooler today than the past 4 or 5 days have been. Great. Now I've got my boys at school wearing short-sleeved shirts and no undershirts with no jackets. Poor-planning on momma's part...oops.

I rather dislike watching weather forecasts, though. This wasn't too much of an issue when it only mattered if I was freezing or suffocating, but not knowing what the weather is supposed to be like affects more than my comfort nowadays, so I really should pay a little more attention to these things, I guess.

I'm fairly certain I cultivated this disdain for weather forecasts about 10 years ago, which was when I did a high school science "experiment" (I basically watched the local news and checked the newspaper for a couple weeks) on the accuracy of local weather forecasts. At least back then, they were rarely ever accurate, and I do mean rarely. So, since then I have become quite accustomed to just suffering through the weather if I've misjudged what it would be like, never relying on the predictions of weather forcasters, or "meteorologists".

But again, since it isn't all about my comfort anymore, I feel it's probably time to give them a couple minutes of my morning and a little more trust that weather-prediction has been improved over the past 10 years...you know, like a real grown-up.

No scary boos here...

Halloween was a pretty good time this year. The boys were more aware of things this year than last, which reminds me of how amazing it is every time I realize how much they've grown.

Curious George has never been cuter;>
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Who wouldn't want to capture this Nemo in their fishing net;>

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We started the day off right by trick-or-treating the hallways of my workplace bright and early at 8 am. M and J racked up quite a bit of treats from this: chocolate chip granola bars, smarties, laffy taffy, crunch bars and crunch bars with caramel, and even a couple bags of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies. And since I was dressed as Ms Grammar (I'm employed as a technical writer, people...it was funny), I managed to snag a couple treats, too;>

A couple of the other girls I work with dressed up, too. One was Frodo Baggins (she's a fanatical devotee of Lord of the Rings and hobbits in general), and the other was a gypsy. We all posed for pictures in the lobby. M and J are not at all camera shy; perhaps they've been taught a little too well how much fun posing for pictures is...

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Of course, the sugar-high was starting to affect them, so I rushed them off to daycare where they were given more candy and other goodies during their Fall Festival party...whose idea was it to give so much candy to other people's children without anything for their parents?!?

Anyway, after picking them up at the end of the day, we set out a bowl of goodie bags for our trick-or-treaters and then headed to the mall for dinner and our own beg-for-candy walk. I was all excited as we sat, eating our Chick-Fil-A meals, watching other kids parade by with bags filled to the brim with treats; this was looking to be much more promising than last year.

But, it seems the stores were not well-prepared for this event because although we started barely half-way through the 3-hour scheduled timeframe, many of the stores were already out of candy. I was also very disappointed with the "children's" stores, except Gap Kids because they did have stickers to give out. Gymboree gave out a coupon for 30% off, limited to use one specific week of this month...and it was only one per family. The other children's clothing shops weren't even participating (unless they were part of the ones that ran out of candy early, which still leaves me with a disenchanted impression); neither was the Picture People store, who should so desperately want pictures of cute kids in costumes to advertise with that I'd think they'd offer a free 8x10 as they do so often. While we collected a decent stash for some not-quite-3 year-old boys, if I was an older child, I would have felt a little cheated, especially if my parents didn't get off work until later and couldn't get me to the mall until 7 or so.

J handled trick-or-treating like a pro. He stopped and held out his pumpkin bucket/bag (not sure which one it really qualifies as) and then kept moving. M, on the other hand, was totally wired. He's a tad smaller than J, so maybe the sugar from the earlier part of the day was just having an easier time taking over his system. He wanted the candy placed in his hand rather than his pumpkin, and once he got it, he wanted to stop and examine it and, if it looked good enough, hold on to it. Double-fisting his candy did not make it any easier to get more candy for him because then he'd have to figure out what could go in the pumpkin so that the new candy could be placed in his now free hand. And when we had to wait behind other children for candy, the boy just fell out on the floor. He wasn't upset or even causing a scene; he was just on the floor, rolling around and having fun, but when our turn came, he was too busy with this highly enjoyable activity and had to be firmly guided over to the candy-giver-outer, which sometimes held up the line (agghh...sorry). At some point he even decided it would be so much fun to run and then hit the ground on his knees and slide. Of course, it was probably a lot of fun; it looked like fun; J thought it looked like fun and started doing it, too. We somehow managed to convince them to just walk the rest of the way and finished up quickly.

It wasn't too late by the time we got home, and the boys got situated on the floor and passed out next to each other with pumpkins of candy by their heads (they couldn't eat it, so it had to be right. next. to. them. in order for them to fall asleep). I was a little saddened by the fact that I didn't get to take as many pictures of them trick-or-treating as I did last year, but maybe next year will prove a little easier now that they're beginning to understand what they're supposed to do;>

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

At least leaves aren't made of sugar...

Conversation J and I had during our short commute to daycare:

"I want more candies."

"You can't have more candies. You're going to eat breakfast at school."

"Breakfast at school."

"Yes, breakfast at school."

"No breakfast in trees."

"What?"

"No breakfast in trees."

"Yeah. There's no breakfast in the trees."

"I want breakfast in the trees."

(Oh. He meant, "No. Breakfast in trees.")

"But there's no breakfast in the trees."

"I wanna eat trees."

I guess eating trees could be considered an improvement on wanting candy, but why???

Let's begin...

As NaBloPoMo starts, I wonder why I decided to participate. Why do I feel the need to keep a blog and why would I agree to do it every day for a month? The short answer is: for me.

You see, I don't really care about getting comments (but I really like reading them when people do leave them, and so I'm trying to be better about leaving comments for others in order to strengthen my comment karma, so please, comment away;>), but I do want someone to read this besides me.

I could keep a simple, private diary or journal and never have anyone look at it, but that would not help me like this does.

I've recently realized that writing stuff out is my thing. When something is bothering me or makes me feel good, any emotion really, writing it down helps me work through it or keep it alive forever...and knowing that someone else has had the same thoughts run through their mind as they read my posts is the finishing touch.

Having someone else read what I've written about my thoughts or my experiences is especially healing when it's an issue I'm trying to get past. Writing it is the first step to releasing it from my mind; those words and thoughts being processed through someone else's mind once I've published the post is what puts the final nail in the issue's coffin, assuring it will be at rest for a while...at least until the zombie spirit invades, after which I must disable it once again (but it gets easier each time).

In the past, I would never have considered myself to be someone that enjoyed writing. I associated writers with people that like to create stories and write them (you know...fiction), and I have significant troubles with making up stories, so that type of writing just isn't fun for me. I guess that's why they say to write what you know...and what do I know better than my life as I live it and see it. This is enjoyable writing to me, and the fact that this blog has become a form of self-help therapy motivates me to continue.

Of course, this whole NaBloPoMo thing comes with a chance for prizes, so that's an added incentive to post every day;>