Sick Sick Sick!!!

I made it to the end of NaBloPoMo!! One post every day for an entire month. Good Job, Me!

I'm celebrating by overdosing on various cold medicines and attempting another challenge: using an entire extra-super-sized box of tissues in 24 hours. I'm right on track so far...

Does anyone else aim towards their pet when they feel a sneeze coming on? Is that mean?

I think it's technically a law that you can't deface U.S. money, but these are fun:
(found via WildAmmo)

ninja turtle
funny money
art money
decorated cash You can see more at Joe D's flickr site. He's really quite good!

Back to me.....why does some cold medicine help my head, some helps my nose work, some stops the sore throat and some stops the sneezing...but I can't find one pill that does all of that at one time? I did end up staying home today. I may do the same tomorrow. I hate getting up and making the effort to pretend to be well and go to work and have people continuously say, "why didn't you just stay home??" Answer: because I have a job to do and I don't want to get fired.

Andrew update: he supposedly broke up with his girlfriend last week. I found them canoodling on the couch after school today. I think they are back together.

Weekend Wrap-Up: Dirty Tissue Edition

I'm sick.
But I'll play along, I know everyone gets really antsy to find out about my weekend.

It was a super-long weekend, which would have been great-if Andrew hadn't brought some germ into my life and contaminated my every pore. I spent most of Saturday and all of today in bed. Kids are great.

So Thursday was turkey day. I made this beautiful bird. I ate not one bite of it. I can't even remember what turkey tastes like, but I don't really remember loving it, and I really have no urge to eat it.

But I hear this turned out yay me!!

There was just the right amount of people over - we had plenty of variety in foods, lots of helping hands, but not too many that people were in the way.

Dean carved the turkey. Janet (sitting down) didn't really do much but drink wine. Amy drank wine but spent a lot of energy fretting on her stuffing and the gravy. Michelle (in the blue) was wonderful and asked to borrow a headband to get her hair back and didn't even blink when the only headband I could find was the kitty cat ears I wore at Halloween.

It was a good group. We played games and talked and talked and ate and ate.

Did a little shopping Friday morning.
Watched movies.

Started sneezing.
Blew my noise a million times.

Saturday - repeat above.

Sunday - repeat, but I didn't actually leave my bed until 2pm. I'm sick!!!!

I did finish my book about Afghanistan and I'm horrified that our country is so selfish in its foreign policies. And I'm disheartened to think that Obama will be continuing on the same path as Bush in this regard, unless he really surprises us all on Tuesday when he unveils his Afghanistan plan. Sad.

And now I've started the Diana Gabaldon book and would love to just crawl into bed and do nothing but read, but the book is so big, too big to hold-I'm sick!! And weak. And reading is making me sleepy and I want to try to stay awake for a good 6 hours.

Will I make it to work tomorrow? Who knows....if I don't go, I'll feel guilty for not being in the office (though a lot of people work from home and it's not a big deal), but if I do go, I'll feel guilty for infecting others. Lose-lose situation. I might just sleep in and spend the entire day blowing my nose.

Life Is Not Always Peaches and Cream

I just feel so fortunate lately...let me share some personal information with you: I don't have a savings account. Not at all. This shocks some people, however, I have no debt beyond a very small credit card and my student loans. Oh, and that new home mortgage, but that doesn't count right? I don't even really count my student loans either because I feel like I'll be paying those until my very last breath, as I'll have to take out more loans to get the kid through college. Student loans are a lifetime expense for me.

So....with that said, I am one major crisis away from homelessness, right?

Am I worried? No. I was basically homeless in the past and I have lived part of life of just barely surviving month to month --the kind where you juggle whether you pay the doctors bill or the gas bill, the daycare bill or buy food. Hard choices. Nothing I am going through now can compare to the days of struggling as a single mom with a child in daycare, receiving no child support. Or even when I received child support, it never covered even half the daycare costs, much less provide for any necessary support.

And I feel so fortunate right now. Look at sweet Selma, my recycling friend. She spends hours collecting recycling and can't possibly be making much money doing so. And I know several people who have huge medical bills looming over them and just do what they can to keep on top of it all. For me to be able to go buy some curry for dinner, or a new set of 400-thread count sheets (half off the day after Thanksgiving!) - I just feel good about where I am. It could be much better, but it could be much, much worse.

Malalai Joya Afghanistan womenI'm reading this book about an Afghanistan woman, Malalai Joya and it just amazes me how fortunate we are. In her land, they struggle to just make it through each day alive. Not only from lack of food, medical care or day-to-day expenses, but people are just killed every day. For reasons they don't know, or for unjust reasons that they have no control over. They are picked up off the street by criminals who are supported by a corrupt government (that the US helped put in place), they might be tortured and killed immediately or just tortured and imprisoned for a lifetime.

It's just all so unfair. And unfortunately, the more I read, the more I learn that my own country -the one who claims to be trying to help the Afghan people- are actually part of the problem. More on that later...or maybe's very depressing. I'm not sure I'm educated enough (yet) to really convey the information, but just know that the U.S. made some very selfish moves involving Afghanistan.

Cleanin' Blood and Guts and Stuff - Sunshine Cleaning

I just watched this indy film called Sunshine Cleaning.

It's about a girl who is working as a cleaning lady who stumbles into this opportunity to clean up crime scenes, which is a fairly lucrative business it seems.

I have actually thought about this before - when someone dies an unfortunate death, there's going to be a mess. And someone, a normal person, has to go in and clean that mess. Who are these people?? Apparently, they are just like you and I. It's a job they do. And someone has to do the job.

The movie has a behind the scenes special feature report on two sweet little ladies who actually do this for a living and they are totally normal, very sweet ladies who just do this job and are proud of the work they do. They help out where there's a need. It's very interesting...

It's a cute little movie. Nothing really spectacular, but an easy movie to watch. It stars Amy Adams, who is wonderful.
Anyone see this yet?

And A Happy Thanksgiving to You, And You, And You, And Especially You!

said the Pilgrams to the Indians as they accepted the feast that was presented to them...and as they plotted the need to slaughter these "savages."

As I've said before, this holiday of ours is somewhat misleading. Yes, let's give thanks, blahblah, but let's not forget what happened to the Indians. This was their land ya know...those were their buffalo, those were their gene pool (thanks for the new diseases Europe).

So I won't mention it again (this year)....we've covered the travesty of it all.
Not much more to say except:

Thanks to my family.
Thanks to my friends.
Thanks to my blogger-friends (who deserve their own category).
Thanks to my teenager, who I was angry at last night but have forgiven him (as always) and love him more than anything.
Thanks to Ginger, the cutest girl cat in our house, for cuddling up on the couch with me every time I sit down.
Thanks to Whiskers, the best boy cat in our house, for being so obnoxious it's cute sometimes and for his fun dog-like personality.
Thanks to Honda - I love my CRV and Andrew loves his Civic.
Thanks to the handyman friend who came to my house at 11pm last night when I discovered my oven was not working and I thought I would have to alert Obama to cancel this holiday.
Thanks to Comcast for the music channels, which is necessary since Mtv has failed us in the music category (for a variety of reasons, but mostly for not playing any music).
Thanks to Selma, my recycling friend who wanders the streets and who gave me the most grateful smile and handshake I've had in ages.
Thanks to Peter Gabriel for "In Your Eyes."
Thanks to the inventor of yoga pants, the most comfortable thing in the world.
Thanks to all the U.S. Military and their families.
Thanks to Samsung for making the best phone ever.
Thanks to all my volunteers, who make my job as a Volunteer Project Leader way too easy.
Thanks to Gmail (no explanation needed-it's that awesome).

Just Screw It All

Anyone want to guess why?

Let me give you a hint: I gave birth 17 yrs I'm the mother of a teenager. Nuff said, right?

Guess how thankful I feel right now?????????

I have edited this about 4 times now. I'm glad we didn't all share the first version I wrote.

Notes From Korea - Welcome to Asia 01.23.02

Once upon a time, Andrew and I lived in Korea. I wish I had thought to have a blog at the time, I guess I wasn't that geeky back then. I also wish I had enjoyed more of the fried egg sandwiches in that one back-alley in Seoul. And I wish I would have bought more Korean "stuff."

While I was there, I wrote long (sometimes boring) emails to family and friends.
My mom and my ex-mother-in-law thought to save these and print them out for me. Great idea!! Thanks Mom!!! I haven't read through them...but I am going to.
Care to join me?

Info you should know: Andrew was 9 at the time. I homeschooled him while there. We took his cat with us (RIP sweet Tasha!). I sometimes write like a 5th grader (but you might have already noticed this). When we first moved there, we lived with my school director's family for the first 2 wks.

My plan is to revisit the binder of emails at least once a month and post some of the email content along with pictures. Fun, right? Well, we'll just'll be fun for me to relive anyway. The rest of you can just humor me.

Here's part of the first email:

Hello from Korea!!

Well we have been here one week now and feel at home, as much as possible. Yesterday we went and looked at our new apartment and we will be moving into it on Saturday. It is very small compared to American housing, but it is a standard size for Korean apartments. We have a two bedroom, but the bedrooms don't have closets - so small as they are, they will be getting smaller once we move our stuff into them! The kitchen is almost non-existent, but it does have two sinks and lots of cute cupboards....There is a nice sized private "deck" with glass doors, so you can still go on the deck on a windy day-good for cats! The deck has concrete walls on each side so we don't see our neighbors next to us. The view is of the other apartment buildings and the parking lot. Just next to the parking lot is the apt office building. In this building is a video rental store (all movies are in English with Korean subtitles), a hair salon, a medical clinic, and a Tae Kwon Do class. There is a little market there as well.

The school is down the road aways, not really walking distance, but it's on a bus route and the director said he would us up most days anyway. The school is small as well, but it's going to be pretty nice. They hope to open it by Feb. 15th, when our tourist visa runs out. That way we can fly to Japan and get our E-2 Visa stamped. The school has to be open before we can get our E-2 though, so they are rushing to get it all done. I am excited to start teaching. We're going to have five classes a day, starting at two, so it will be almost a half a day of work! Andrew will be with me all day, except that I am hoping to get him in piano and art classes-which are both on the same block as the school. There will be a media room so he can hang out and watch a movie if he's done with his schoolwork and doesn't want to be in the class.

Things are so different, but there is a lot that is the same. We ate lunch at McDonalds yesterday! That was just like having lunch at home - except they serve you your meals, you just order and sit down!

We're off to Seoul to visit Andrew's cat in quarantine. The rabies shot was supposed to be over thirty days old-though the Korean consulate in the US said otherwise, so now she's stuck in some cage in Seoul until the ninth of February. It's irritating because we've been planning this for so long that we easily could have gotten her shot a while ago. I just hope they have good conditions, otherwise it will be more terrible leaving her there than it already will be. Andrew has taken it all very well and we both agree that it's best that she get to come straight to our new apartment instead of having to move from one house to the next.

Not much homesickness yet. We found M&M's, peanut butter, spaghettios, Pringles (they're everywhere), and Mt Dew (yuck) yesterday - what else could we need??

Sing Loud and Proud, My Froggy Friends!

My son can a little Liberace (in a non-opera way), or a Jimmy Buffet (in a non-drunkard way), or a young Frank Sinatra (in a non-romantic way)....get it? He's got pipes.

His mom, Me....can not. Not really at all.
I don't think it's a curable condition. I've tried many times to hit a note, or a pitch, a scale, or whatever singers "hit," but it's just not possible.

What's really fun for me, since I know I'm not ever going to sound the normal way regardless of how much I drink try, is to sing regular songs in different ways.

Tonight's songs in the shower were sung in the tone of: Kermit the Frog.

With a little bit of Satan-sounding demon thrown in.

And it makes that one Taylor Swift song that you hear any time you turn on the radio, at any given time of the day much more tolerable.

I like Alanis Morissette in the demon voice - she's great normally, but in demon-voice, she's extra vindictive sounding!

I usually really like to do rock or metal songs in an operatic way. Those are great!

Unfortunately, my young perfect-note/pitch-son is forced to listen to it. Sorry Punkinhead, Mama loves her music.

Anyone else do this? I think it's totally normal. Please do share in the comments. Confirm I am normal.

Weekend Wrap-Up - Another Boring Weekend

This weekend, in the preferred bulleted form:
  • Andrew grilled steaks for two of his friends. He made the marinade, he marinated it for 24 hours, he grilled it himself, he did great. The other boy made mac-n-cheese, with a full stick of butter (gross). They did it all themselves. What they did not do is clean. Not at all. Not in the slightest. I'm mad at all of them. All teenage boys everywhere.
  • We had a windstorm and it blew over one of the two potted trees that live outside my front door. I blame the boys. It may or may not have been the wind, but really, it could have been the monstrous teenage boys.
  • I went to a holiday craft bazaar named "Every Husbands Nightmare Holiday Bazaar," with my friend Amy and her two kids and one of their little friends.
  • As we pulled in, we were in the middle of a discussion about whether it really was a nightmare for all men and we were in the midst of saying that the only men who would attend would be men who bow down to whatever their wife wants or they are gay. As we turn the corner in the parking lot, going about 2mph, with a window halfway down, Amy points to a man with his wife crossing in front of us and says MUCH too loudly, "There's a man - GAY!" And the children all yell, "The window is open!!" It didn't help that she was pointing as the man turned our way.
  • In the building adjacent to the holiday craft bazaar was a medieval craft faire, complete with people dressed in medieval robes and calling each other m'lady and m'lord. They had some battles going on with pretend swords....and spoke in the olde language....and well, we had to try really hard not to laugh. These are grown men, pretending they are defending their honor to the death.
  • I raked leaves for 40 minutes and only got about a third of my backyard done before the yard debris was packed tight. Is it really necessary to rake them ALL? I really want to, just because if it snows and we go to make snow-people, I don't want them to have leaves dirtying up my snow.
  • I worked about 6 hours this weekend....for no overtime. Just because I really want to do my job well. And not stress out about getting my stuff done during this short week. AND I like having a movie playing in the background while I work. I know some people get distracted - that's not me. I am the Multi-tasking Queen.
  • Did I mention that my son and his friends for some reason had my coasters on the floor in the hallway? Why? Oh, nooone seems to know...but I imagine they are fun to throw like Frisbees.
  • I'm in the midst of another great book and I must get back to it.

I Just Can't Do It All...

Google reader is stressing me out. I have a gazilion blogs to catch up on!
Apparently my reader stops counting at 1000 and just adds a plus sign.

Google Reader

I wonder if eventually it will say 2000+.
Anyone know if Google Reader just gives up at 1000?
Anyone know how to add in an extra 7 hours of each day so I can get caught up?

I usually first try to go visit the blogs of the people who comment. And when I get a minute during the day, I check out my RSS feeds, but even those are far behind. And then when I can sit down for about 30 minutes, I move on to my Google Reader. And clearly, I have neglected it.

Book Review: The Unlikely Disciple -Kevin Roose

Wow - this book has been an absolute joy to read!

Kevin Roose was a student at Brown and somehow came to have this grand idea of a writing assignment of being a student at Liberty University, the very Evangelical college founded by Jerry Falwell. I love stories like this. I think this type of thing is what really sparked my interest in sociology in college, just studying people is so interesting to me.

Kevin's book is called: The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America's Holiest University. I love the cover:

Kevin Roose The Unlikely DiscipleWhat I enjoyed about the book from the start was that this didn't come across as an anti-Liberty college book, or an "I was converted and you should be too" book. It was just good ole sociological research! I love it. I would love to do something like this sometime - not at a religious college, but somewhere out of my normal comfort range.

Anyone ever see that show 30 Days? It's exactly like what I'm talking about: Morgan Spurlock (the guy who is known for just eating McDonalds for like 2 months and almost dying) picks something and does it for 30 days, like live "off the grid" with no electricity, living as a Muslim, or living on minimum wage. It's a GREAT show - I highly recommend it. It was on the air for three seasons, long ago, but it's available on dvd. Make note.

Back to my man, Kevin. I really like Kevin. I like his writing, I like his style, I like his sense of humor, I like his pretty face.

As most of you know, I'm not a very religious person. I'm definitely more agnostic than anything - which my sister informed me actually means ignorant (to her). However - as those of you who know me also already know, I like to read and learn about other cultures and religions. I have read quite a number of books about China, Korea, Buddhism, Muslims, Mexican culture, Dungeons & Dragons, Harry Potter, etc...I'm pretty open to what I read, but I don't like reading things that are totally one-sided and are trying to convince me to believe something specific. I just want a good informative book based on facts and real stories.

Kevin met my reading needs. He was very open-minded and this book is about his experiences and thoughts about his time at Liberty. He writes of the classes he attended, very atypical classes then you would expect is mandatory at a college. The people he meets are happy and sweet and totally accept him. He talks about his feelings of guilt for misleading them while he goes about his semester. I think he does his research in a very ethical way - he really was taking his courses seriously, he really did participate in the bible studies, prayer circles, etc, including joining the church choir. And he's still in touch with some of the people who he met at the school, so obviously he was a good friend to those he met (except for the roommate who thought he was gay and he could not convince otherwise).

I don't usually quote books, but I actually made note of a few things I thought were fun:

...the roots of the environmental movement are linked to the devil himself, "This is Satan's attempt to redirect the church's primary focus." (I think Falwell said this quote-do you see why I don't quote things?? Too much work involved)

Quiverfull movement is a small, highly controversial subgroup of Evangelical
Christianity whose members attempt to have as many children as is biologically
possible, as fast as possible. The movement takes its name from a Bible verse
that praises a man "whose quiver is full" of children.

Every Man's Battle, Liberty's on-campus support group for pornography
addicts and chronic masturbators. (masturbating is lustful, lust is a sin. The story about this support group made me laugh out loud, literally.)

..I've developed a numbness to homophobia. I don't like it, but it's
unavoidable when you're in a climate like this, where homosexuality is talked
about at near-Tourettic frequency. ...I've heard ten times as many conversations about homosexuality at Liberty than I ever heard any place where gay people existed in the open. (sad, where's my gay friends at...HOLLA!)

There was a lot you might assume the author did not agree with, like all the homophobia when he has a lesbian Aunt he's close to back home, but he doesn't write about things in a negative manner. He just tells you what is what - and you can take what you want from that. He shares his feelings about things in a way that isn't trying to influence you, but rather just sharing what he's feeling when in that situation. It just oozes the importance of tolerance, tolerance of religion, tolerance of lifestyles, tolerance of mankind in general. I like tolerance, it warms my little black heart.

Anyway, I could go on and on and on about this book. It was just really interesting and I feel like I am much better educated on the ways of the Evangelicals of the world. And I am quite certain I am not interested in being one, but more power to them for believing in what they believe in.

You should read this book if:

  1. You like reading about religions but don't want to feel like it's completely one-sided.
  2. You are not part of a religion and want an inside look into what goes on inside one.
  3. You are part of a religion and want to rejoice in the goodness of this man's experience.
  4. You like reading a book and feeling more intelligent at the end of it.
  5. You have any interest in attending Liberty College.
  6. You just want a break from your world - here's a chance to delve into someone elses. Do it.

My Son Is Leaving Me!!

And I am trying to help him?? It's weird, right? He's my one and only child.

But in 18 short months, he'll be done with high school and I am going to pack him up and ship him off somewhere. Some college somewhere.

I've been looking at websites that help your student get matched up for colleges, based on their interests, their majors, their grades/activities, etc.
Then you can select colleges you are interested in and send your information to them. Each college you select has criteria and the website tells you your chances of getting in.

This is what Harvard has to say to little Andrew:

Ouch, indeed.
The search continues.
Andrew is open to going to almost any college. His criteria is: whatever college offers me the best financial aid.
.....and as long as it's not in Texas.
He feels that Texas is too republican of a state. That made me laugh.

Hello....Hello......Where'd You All Go???

Why is it so easy to lose touch with people? Are we really so busy that we can't just write a quick letter, or even easier these days-send off a short email?
No, we are not.

I lose touch with everyone. If you start to drift away at the same time that I happen to be drifting away...we're lost, that's it, we're through.. and then we'll need to let five years go by before we reconnect on facebook. I'm not blaming anyone else, it's as much my fault as it is yours

I moved a number of times while growing up, big moves, not moves across the city. First we moved three hours away, then we moved from Minnesota to Washington state, which is like 17,000 miles. Then I moved to Korea, which is like on the moon. Then I moved to Washington. Then I moved to Oregon.

Each time I moved, I hugged my friends goodbye and we swore that we would stay in touch. And each time...we tried for a bit and then we both just kind of drifted off into our new worlds. Sad.

And even the friends from my last job and I - we were just getting to be good friends when I was offered another job in a nearby city. I didn't move. They didn't move. But we don't talk or see each other. Sometimes we will send a quick email to say hi. Or invite each other to an event we're going to...but the connections just don't happen.

While cleaning out my old photo albums, the kind that eat your photos (did you all take care of those?? I warned you!!!), I saw this on the back of one of my friends school photos (maybe from 7th grade):
grade school photo
She said the word Always three times. How sweet is she?? It's like she really meant it----but we just drifted our own ways, cause that's what happens.

And then there's this BFF (on her 10th grade photo, I think):

middle school photoHeidi is a school teacher now. But you probably already guessed that by the prose she used on this photo she sent me a year or two after I moved away.

Anyway - to all my friends in the past: I miss you all.

(I bolded it and that means I'm serious!!)

Random Thoughts Tuesday - Stoned Like A MoFo

It's Tuesday! I like random thoughts, but sometimes there's a theme. Today's post is brought to you by the letter M & the letter J, as in MJ. (not the singer)


  • I had a donut this morning that had a frosting that tasted dead-on like grape soda. It was intentional. Ever hear of Voodoo Donuts? They are stoned-all the time. They must be. Other offerings were a butterfinger flavored one, complete with crushed bits of candy on top, fruit loop-covered, oreo cookie covered, and captain crunch covered. We didn’t have them offered today, but you can also get a selection of naughty donuts, such as a very large penis shaped (complete with testicles) donut and boobies. Donuts shaped like female breasts….a big hit any time, I’m sure. Stoned those people are, definitely stoned.

  • I went through McDonalds for a medium Hi-C, light on the ice. I drove away and 4 minutes later, I took a big gulp and found I had a medium Iced Tea, light on the ice. I don’t go to this place often and have forgotten why I used to order it by stressing ORANGE Hi-C. I wish I could say my drive-through girl was stoned, but she was too rude and nasty to be stoned. Stoned people aren’t generally that mean.

  • I have smoked pot**. I did inhale. I hated every second of it.

  • I have had sugar cookies made with pot. They were the best sugar cookies I have ever had. I was already drunk so have no idea if the cookies made me feel any higher than I already felt. Sugar cookies are ALWAYS good so it's hard to say if the pot made a difference.

  • My ex-boyfriend smoked pot. A lot. It irritated me. Me being irritated with him probably made him want to smoke more pot to tolerate my irritability. It was a vicious circle. He was a wonderful guy though!

  • Marijuana smoke (supposedly) contains 50–70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke. Marijuana users usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which further increase the lungs’ exposure to carcinogenic smoke. Puff puff pass, sucka….aren’t so cool now, are you!

  • My girl Yaya has been trying to have a baby and/or adopt a child for like a gazillion years. The adoption agency called her and said a birth mom had selected them and she was giving birth very soon. Yaya and family - over the moon excited. Then the birth mother changed her mind and went home with the baby. Yaya and family – devastated. Yaya, an avid blogger, blogged about her thoughts/feelings and some mean (again, non-stoners) people left very mean and negative comments about what she blogged. Yaya and family – more devastated. It’s so ridiculous. I try not to ever get outraged about something I read on someones blog—unless they are affiliated with something like a newspaper or a magazine, in which case they are not just writing their thoughts-they are representing an agency of some sort. Somewhat true right?? A personal blogger though—blog away!!! Your blog is your blog!!! Leave Yaya alone!!!! If anyone knows anyone who wants to give up their baby (like any mother of a teenager 50% of the day), please contact her (I also have a button on my sidebar linked to her). They want to parent!!! They don’t smoke pot. (well, I don’t think so…there are a lot of closet smokers out there)

  • I am on the fence about the legalization of pot. I think it's probably a good way for the government to make some money. But I'd prefer my eye doctor or plane pilot not be legally stoned before they tend to my needs. I don't get that whole "it's natural, it grows from the earth, it's almost good for you!" argument, but doesn't cocaine also grow from the earth? So do mushrooms. And heroin..wait, maybe not. I have no idea really..but maybe if I was stoned I would.

**disclaimer: If you are my mother or my child - this was all fictional and I have never ever done any kind of drug.

No drugs were used in the writing of this blog (today).

Hey Sailor, Congrats - Your Wife Had a Baby

Let's say that you are 24 yrs old and you are in the United States Navy.

Are you picturing it? You are stationed on a large boat that is never ever called a boat - it's a SHIP, thank you very much. You get very angry when someone calls you Squid, but you proudly wear your blue bell bottom work pants (they convert into a life preserver-handy!).

And let's say that you happen to get married to a very sweet and innocent 18 year old and she happens to be pregnant (we'll leave out the math on the pregnancy vs marriage debate, but know that it is a fine line between married and pregnant and not married and not pregnant).

And let's say that your contract/agreement/punishment with the military is due to end in just 6 weeks.

And that in just three weeks your young child-bride is due to give birth to her wonderful bouncy baby.

And then let's say that your it's-not-a-boat Ship is due to leave port for six months IN 2 weeks.
YES - did you do the math on that one everyone?

That means that your boat/ship is leaving port one week before your baby is due to enter the world. Oh, cruel world...why....WHY!!!!

You try to do what you can and there is no way that they will assign you shore duty for your last three weeks and instead, you are ordered to leave with the not-boat in two weeks whether that baby is born or not. Nice, thanks United States Navy for showing compassion (and we should make note that it happened to be the one week time period in the last 3 decades that we were not at war).

Luckily, your child-bride's mother happens to work at the medical clinic and she pleads the case to the baby-doctor and the baby-doctor doessome baby-doctor-checking and determines, hey-this bird can come out now, it's good enough! SO - let's put some drugs into action and get this baby OUT. This is the week before you are set to leave port.

However, boys are difficult, and this bouncy baby boy was not quite ready to come out. Exit hospital, stage left, no baby born.

And the next week, amidst a LOT of tears and begging and crying and teen mother must get on your stop-calling-it-a-boat-Ship and sail away....

Then one day, in the middle of some ocean get this message:

red cross birth announcementyou can click to enlarge - really, it's interesting!

I tried to blur out any pertinent information that might be sensitive to the navy and might possibly cause Russia or to be able to attack us. I hope this was sufficient blurring. If not, I apologize in advance to Alaska (cause we all know they are closest to Russia and as such, will be the first to go under).

**and on a funny (to me) note -the first time I saved this blurred version, I missed blurring out my not-beloved ex-husband's social security number. It would be a shame if anyone out there happened to get his social security number and wreck havoc on his life...cause someone as wonderful as him should only have roses and furry kittens surround him for every breath he takes until the end of time. I corrected it because I am a good person and don't wish ill will on anyone (though if I did, he would be candidate numero uno).

Weekend Wrap-up, Did I Promise a Giveaway? I Lied.

I'm not quite ready for the giveaway...but this week for sure!!

My weekend was long - I took Friday off of work and am really considering how I can retire early and never have to work again. I just love not working five days a week! Five days is at least one too many. Maybe two. Yes, I would be happy to work three days a week. That sounds more reasonable.

Here is the weekend wrap-up, in bullet form because that makes it look less cumbersome to read, doesn't it?
  • Friday, I played bingo with my friend and her son. Uneventful except for: Bingo is located next to the dollar store. The dollar store sells condoms, like this little jewel:Toosh condomsTake note of their slogan, "it's the very best, for all the best reasons." Nice. Simple. Timeless. It's a DOLLAR for a pack of three. I'm not saying that I wouldn't trust these condoms...but I definitely would NOT trust them. I could be wrong...(but I doubt it)
  • Friday night I did a whole lot of nothing...just cleaned the house and prepared for a visit from my beloved parents.
  • Saturday - see above - the parents came to visit!!! We continued our picture taking series of "Grandma is Shrinking." Here's a shot from Dec 2006:
grandmaCute! Look at my baby! He's on the right. I love him! And look at my little mini-mom. She's super-cute! I love her too!

Then this is a shot from November, 2009:
grandmaYikes, who is that handsome man-child?? Ugh, he's going to leave me soon (less than two yrs) to go to college...sigh....but the point is---Grandma is Shrinking!!! Isn't she cute?
She gets smaller every time we pose Andrew next to her.
  • So my dad helped Andrew work on his car, my mom and I shopped. Then my mom and I spent about 90 minutes scanning some really old pics and documents. We're starting a family genealogy project soon and I'm trying to get started on things.
  • Saturday night I watched two movies, Something about Pelham something-numbered, about a subway thing, very exciting, it was really good. If you go to the video store and tell them you want the Pelham movie, they'll find it. It was good!! I also rented Orphan, which reminded me a lot of that one movie about the bad kid played by McCauley Caulkin - until the end. It was a bit spooky overall, a bit violent. It made me a little afraid of my dark and quiet house...but I survived so it's all okay.
  • My beloved Ginger cat pooped on my bath mat. I am appalled that she would do this!! She is grounded - I am not petting her at all this week!!!
  • Sunday was a lazy morning, taking a long bath, finishing a good book (which you must read and I will review later this week).
  • Today was also Love Letters - a good crowd, lots of cards made for kids. I need to get them in the mail, I still haven't mailed the cards we made two wks ago. I have 6 large manilla envelopes to be mailed to sick kids. Yay for us!
  • Oh - Saturday I also pulled all the photos out of my childhood photo album and scanned them. More to come on that later, but omg---do this NOW everyone over the age of 30!!! Remember how we all made sure to buy those photo albums with the sticky pages so that the photos would stick in place? Well those pages are now eating your photos!!! Seriously--what a disaster this is for the photo-lovers of the world. And seriously-go save your photos now!! Don't make me come to your house and take control...just be an adult and go save your memories!! SERIOUSLY!

Generic Bloggers Unite!!

I may have mentioned this before, but I started blogging as a way to pass time at my pointless job - my old job, not my current job. I didn't share my website with my friends/family and I didn't ever talk about it.
It was just blogging, just for bloggings sake.

I didn't have a "follow me" button and I didn't even know what an RSS feed was.
There was no facebook back in the day (not for most of us anyway), and I'm not sure whether the term Mommy Blogger was known outside of the Mommy Blogger circle.

I don't feel like I fit in a category, I am not really a mommy blogger - though my son is the highlight of my life, he is not the highlight of my blog. He's too old. We're too boring. He'd kill me if I publish any more than I already do. He's seventeen...he really is only interested in girls, his friends and his car (maybe in that order).

So here I am the generic "personal blog" category.
With less than 100 followers, just barely over 100 subscribers, and very few networked blog friends on Facebook (I just thought to add that recently cause it seemed the latest cool thing to do). I'm not sure if I care if I'm a popular blogger....but I do appreciate each and every one of you. Sorry I bore you. Sorry I insult you. I hope you sometimes read my blog and smile, maybe even laugh a little.

I'm generic to the internet...
I wish I would have planned better and picked a theme or topic and totally wowed you all to pieces.

Oh - did I mention that maybe about 65% of the time that I go to blog, I sing a particular song to myself. Do generic bloggers sing old hip-hop/rap songs when they blog? No. I am definitely beyond generic.

I hope we don't all sing the same song when we embarrassing.

Digital Underground: The Humpty Dance.
I only sing the good lines - the bolded blue below - I have no idea why this song is not still a number one hit with these lyrics (no, I'm not serious):

All right! Stop whatcha doin'
'cause I'm about to ruin
the image and the style that ya used to.
I look funny,but yo I'm makin' money, see

so yo world I hope you're ready for me.
Now gather round I'm the new fool in town
and my sound's laid down by the Underground.
I drink up all the Hennessey ya got on ya shelf
so just let me introduce myself
My name is Humpty, pronounced with a Umpty.
Yo ladies, oh how I like to hump thee.
And all the rappers in the top ten--please allow me to bump thee.
I'm steppin' tall, y'all,and just like Humpty Dumpty
you're gonna fall when the stereos pump me.
I like to rhyme, I like my beats funky,I'm spunky.
I like my oatmeal lumpy.
I'm sick wit dis, straight gangsta mack but sometimes I get ridiculous
I'll eat up all your crackers and your licorice
hey yo fat girl, c'mere--are ya ticklish?
Yeah, I called ya fat. Look at me, I'm skinny
It never stopped me from gettin' busy
I'm a freak I like the girls with the boom
I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom

I'm crazy. Allow me to amaze thee.
They say I'm ugly but it just don't faze me.
I'm still gettin' in the girls' pants
and I even got my own dance
{Chorus:} (edited because it's not part of my blogger
People say "Yo, Humpty, you're really funny lookin'"
that's all right 'cause I get things cookin'
Ya stare, ya glare, ya constantly try to compare me
but ya can't get near meI give 'em more, see, and on the floor, B,all the
girls they adore me
Oh yes, ladies, I'm really bein' sincere
'cause in a 69 my humpty nose will tickle ya rear.
My nose is big, uh-uh, I'm not ashamed
Big like a pickle, I'm still gettin' paid
I get laid by the ladies, ya know I'm in charge,both how I'm livin' and my
nose is large
I get stoopid, I shoot an arrow like Cupid,
I use a word that don't mean nothin', like looptid
I sang on Doowhutchalike, and if ya missed it,
I'm the one who said just grab 'em in the biscuits
Also told ya that I like to bite
Well, yeah, I guess it's obvious, I also like to write.
All ya had to do was give Humpty a chance and now I'm gonna do my dance.

And when I mention that I'm a blogger to anyone ever - EVER, I just sing this one line repeatedly:
Well, yeah, I guess it's obvious, I also like to write.

Recycle More to Earn Good Karma Points

In my beloved state of Oregon, we pay an extra nickel for every can/bottle of any drink that we buy in the store. The state dutifully holds those nickels for you and will reimburse you your baggy of nickels when you bring them back to the store and recycle them.

I tend to just save all my recycling and do one long, arduous trip to the recycling center (which is outside almost every grocery store). I don't rinse out my cans/bottles, but I do try and get every drop out when we are done. Then we put the cans back into the box they came from - so for instance, if I buy a 24-pack of diet coke, we empty the box out into the fridge and then when a can is emptied, it goes directly back into the box. Then when the box is full, I put a little piece of tape on the opening to keep the cans all in there - very organized, right? And then we just stack the boxes in the back corner of the garage. Like a decoration.

I have been living in this house since the last weekend in May.
I have not taken recycling ONCE since I lived here! That's a lot of nickels saved!!!

About $35.00 in nickels.

It took almost an entire hour to unload the boxes into the recycling bins to be counted, but I got my nickels back!

AND - I live in a fairly affluent suburb (not that I'm affluent, I'm totally here by accident and the town council don't know I'm here-please don't let my secret out). We have a few regular homeless guys who you see about, sometimes we get a scraggler off the freeway nearby, but for the most part, it is just the same couple of guys who wander around with their big backpacks. They are friendly, except for that one shooting incident, but I think that was an accident.

Anyway, we also have this sweet little old lady who I see at least weekly wandering about with her grocery cart. I met her at least two years ago. She kinda hangs around the recycling area at Fred Meyers. She doesn't really talk - just stands about.

One time, she came up to me as I was crushing my empty boxes and she asked if she could have the few bottles that the recycling machine didn't take for some reason. I said, of course-but the machine won't take them. She told me that they are still recyclable and she knows where she can take them to be turned in. So I said, oh, that's great - definitely you can have them! And then she said to me: You are a good girl - that's good you are crushing your boxes.
I replied that I wouldn't feel right just leaving them there... and she told me that she sees a lot of people who just leave their garbage all about and again told me that I'm a good girl.

She's sweet.

So I saw her today, she was standing near the machines while I was doing my thing and when one machine got clogged, she was right by my side and said, "use the one over there" and pointed me to the other one. Then when that one was full, she told me to go push the call button nearby and have someone come fix them. She'd come over and speak, and then she'd step back to her cart full of cans and bottles and look away.

I had to make three trips to the car to load up my cart full of cans. I asked her at one point if she was leaving soon and that I would have some rejects if she wanted them and she said, Oh yes, I'll be here awhile and will take all your rejects.

Mind you, it's REALLY cold out - like 55degrees maybe? And the wind was bitter cold. My hands were frozen. And she's just standing there - for who knows how long. Wrapped in a bunch of clothes and mittens and boots and just standing there watching over the machines.

I don't know her full story. I want to.
I know she lives in an apartment almost a mile away. I know she pushes her cart back and forth to the recycling place frequently. I know she is nice.

I gave her a full bag of cans and told her that I forgot my gloves and my hands are frozen and would she like the last of my bags. She said, I'll take anything you want to leave here with me.

And then I said, great, here you go....and then I started walking away and stepped back and said, I've seen you here before, what's your name? And her little wrinkly old lady face lit up like a ray of light and she said, Selma...I'm Selma. And I said I'm Kaylen and she repeated it, and then spelled it and then was very excited that she spelled it right and then she said it again. And then she said, it's very nice to meet you - and she sounded more genuine than 95% of the people who tell you that throughout your life. I shook her little dirty gloved hand and then we shared a smile and I told her to take care....and then I picked up dinner and came home to my warm home.

I wish I could make more of a difference in the world. For all the Selma's out there who just want to be acknowledged and who just want to be treated humanely - I should do more. I worry for her. I think I will keep a little package in the car for her and keep an eye out....I'd like to offer her a little holiday cheer...more so than just a bag of nickels.

I Got Nothin

Just not much to say are you guys? How's everyone doing? Anyone sick lately? Anyone have anything wonderful to share?
Talk amongst yourselves....please, entertain me. Cause I've got nothin....

Giveaway W....Wi....WINNER!!!!!!!!

Congrats to the winner of the General Mills Movie & Cereal Package...

Unknown Mami is our lucky gal.

Here's a little info about our winner:

I am a bilingual Latina mother, wife,and actor in my late 30's and live with my Unknown Husband and daughter, "Put Pie", in San Francisco, where I take care of my daughter, work from home, work outside of the home, and go on auditions.

Unknown Mami is great, but I especially love her picture:

Is it cool if I steal someones profile pic? I think it should be...apologies if not.
Check out on that lady! She's beeeee-utiful, eh?

On a side note: at the bottom of her blog it says, Si Se Puede!! That means Yes we can in espanol for you non-spanish-literates. I love that saying better in spanish.

I really love the spanish verb puedo. You can do so much with it!, lo siento no puedo hablar espanol is one of my favorites (I'm sorry, I don't speak spanish). Or: no puedo bailar contigo (i can't dance with you). Or: Se puede comer pollo todos los dias! (we can eat chicken every night!).
It's really easy to say a lot of things in spanish just by that one verb! Did I mention: no puedo hablar espanol? Si, es verdad.

ANYWAY....Unknown Mami, winner, blahblah, Congrats!!!

She's a great blogger, go check her out!

Thanks for playing folks...stay tuned - I have another giveaway coming up on Sunday! Two back to back giveaways? I know, it's getting Crrraaaaaazy ovah here! Hollah!!

(note to self - spellcheckers highligher has a stroke if you type in half english/half spanish.)

Thanks to MyBlogSpark and General Mills for sponsoring this giveaway!

RTT - Started Out Strong, But Then it Got Ugly.Thanks Jerry Falwell for Ruining Tuesday


It's Tuesday, and that means I have the license and permission of the internet (or at least Keely and her friends) to just type random thoughts.

I have a flannel shirt I have owned since my son was almost four. As we learned yesterday, he is now 17. That makes this particular flannel shirt 13 years old. THIRTEEN years old!! It's frayed around the edges and now it has a slight hole in the elbow area. I love it. It's super-comfy (it used to be SUPER big and baggy but is now just about the right size....clothes shrink over time right? I mean, not me of course---but clothes do). I've had it for so long, it's like comfort food but without the calories.

I remember when I bought it and my very-soon-to-be-ex-husband told me he hated it and it looked a bit "white-trash"-ish. That made me love it even more. He hates it? Perfect-it's my new favorite shirt. But now it looks like it might be coming to an end. It will be a sad day when we say goodbye....there might need to be a sacrificial burning of the flannel to the flannel gods to say a respectful goodbye. I'll keep you posted.

I can't wait for Thanksgiving to get here so I can have some super-yummy garlic mashed potatoes with chives. I don't even need to eat anything else but mashed potatoes, the family corn casserole, and creamed peas. Thanks pilgrims for sharing a feast with the Indians before you killed them all and took over their land so we can celebrate with a feast!!

I've laid the law down with my 17-year old and let him know that I don't want to be the party house where all his friends go to be with their the new rule is that only two kisses are allowed between any two people, they cannot last longer than 48 seconds each kiss and they do not get more kisses if they step out of the house and come back in. I think that's realistic - and I gave a freebie as well - one kiss goodbye at the door, lasting no more than 14 seconds. Rules are rules!! I'll be sure to let all his friends know as well. I might just crochet this on a few pillows and place them sporadically around the house....

TMI for the month: One time I ate almost an entire package of Oreos in a 48-hr period and my poop was black for three days. I haven't eaten Oreos since then.

I don't have to work Friday!! Yay!!!

I'm reading a book about Jerry Falwell and his's scary, and sad, and absurd. I'll write more on it when I'm done. But just know that I am not one of "Jerry's Kids." Not at all!!! Remember how two days after we had a national tragedy, forever known by the date it happened, September 11th.....and the country was in shock and disbelief....Jerry Falwell went on the 700 Club and said he"viewed the attacks as God's judgment on America for "throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked." The host, Pat Robertson agreed with him, praying ""We have sinned against Almighty God, at the highest level of our government, we've stuck our finger in your eye," said Robertson. "The Supreme Court has insulted you over and over again, Lord. They've taken your Bible away from the schools. They've forbidden little children to pray. They've taken the knowledge of God as best they can, and organizations have come into court to take the knowledge of God out of the public square of America."

Doesn't that make you need to vomit??? Me too......I'm going to vomit. Right now. Here I go....

Guess Whose Birthday is TODAY??!!!

Not mine - even BETTER ---it's my baby's day today!!

The good moms out there probably plan a wonderful, glowing, loving and heartfelt letter to their children on their birthday.
We can't all be good....however - let's all wish me a happy anniversary of giving birth.

Oh - And a HUGE Happy Birthday to the light of my life, my one and only, my first and best, the greatest and most wonderful son I could have ever hoped for.....

Andrew was a great far as babies go, I mean. He cried when he needed to, but luckily, he had this logic streak in him from year 5 and on. He was easy to deal with because he accepted logical answers.

Andrew loved to read from the start, which is how I knew he wasn't switched at birth. There was nothing greater than cuddling up in bed with my 4 year old and having him toddle in with so many books he could not see around them and plan to spend a few hours just reading. We would alternate between us reading together and us reading our own books (which usually consisted of him telling a story around the pictures in the book and me reading my own book -mothers learn early on how to block out noise!).

He's also always had a love for all things furry and feathered. He's had a heart of gold and is sweet as can be...and if dogs didn't smell and jump and lick everyone, I would totally have fulfilled his forever-wish/whine/demand/pleas to get him a dog, cause I know he would just love to have one (and he's welcome to find his own when he moves out in 2 yrs!).

He's got a great smile and a wonderful laugh and it has been my favorite sound for the last 17 years.

He has been a great travel-partner, a wonderful companion, a joy to be around at least 90% of the time (he is still a child!). I just love him to pieces!!!

I bought this Happy Birthday sign for his first birthday - best $20.00 I have spent as it has been our primary birthday decoration for 16 years (we did not take it to Korea with us so I had to make a homemade sign that year). Every year I get a picture of him and his friends and/or family in front of it. Some day I will be organized enough to compile all those photos and it will be a nice watch-him-grow collage. Next year might be a good time to do that, as I'm not sure I can get him to stand in front of this sign after he goes off to college.

Andrew in the front.

Andrew on the far left.

He does wacky and crazy faces, poses, behaviors, and sounds.
He asks hilarious questions (is cheese a vegetable?).
He's a great singer (though won't do so on command), he can play a mean guitar (sigh...more guns-n-roses? Really?).
He is persistent about making sure his hair is in exactly the right spot ALL the time.
He is not enormously smelly, considering he's a boy.
He is a great person to play board games with - though he consistently tells people I cheat (and I don't have to - I'm just REALLY good).
He does ridiculous things (like training his cat to lay down).
He can't pick up his socks to save his life. Wait...edit that last one.
He's super-amazingly smart and great at figuring out ways to get A's in almost all his classes without having to stress out all night over homework.
He has been grilling since he was 14 and has done better than any child ever should - he makes his own marinade and is great about washing his hands while cooking (the moms out there can appreciate this!).
I could go on....but the moral of the story is: Andrew is WONDERFUL.

And he's mine all mine!!

Happy 17th Birthday to my baby boy!!!!!!!!!!

Little Clansmen, Bugs Trapped In Machines and Lazy Writing

There's this great little place called SCRAP in North Portland (or NoPo as many lovingly call it), and you can go there and find a wealth of recycled mish-mash: paper, matting, yarn, fabric, plastic thing-a-bobs, and holiday decorations, just to name a few of the items. If you are really crafty, or have small children who like to create things (don't all kids do this), then this is THE place to go.

Things are mega-cheap there, like the large gift bag I got for a quarter, or an entire roll of designer-style wrapping paper for a buck. I get used cd's there for 25cents for an inch thick of them (like 30 maybe) - they are great for my holiday ornament project. And ribbon - who doesn't need ribbon?? But you don't want or need a full thing of ribbon, then this is perfect-you can get the leftovers of someone else for just a small amount...

Anyway, SCRAP gives me a small donation each month for supplies for my volunteer project. They are awesome. I can get some great supplies to supplement my volunteer donations and never need to buy anything myself. Love it, right?

Young Natalie and I went to the new SCRAP store in NoPo yesterday. It's kinda like a garage sale in many ways--it's just a hodge-podge of stuff, some of which are just thrown in bins and you have to dig through. Prices are not always clear and you never really know what you find. This month they had some huge boxes of blank airline ticket paper to be printed on. And big heavy signs that say WebPulse - you can buy these and cover them with a personal picture of some sort and it would be cheaper than having it made professionally - AND you are saving the earth by helping recycle-bonus!!

So we found a bunch of stuff - Xmas decorations are out. I got some ornaments, a little holiday tree that is perfect for some miniature ornaments I bought at a school fundraiser 5 years ago (yes, five-never been used), and a bunch of random things for the holiday ornament project next month.

AND - I stumbled upon this little guy in one of the bins - someone please tell me that this is not the type of character that it looks like:

clansman toyI went to the drive-through ATM at my bank yesterday and saw this:
creepy crawly bugs It's a creepy-crawly bug, right.....but what's really special about him, and what isn't necessarily visible in the picture, is that he is INSIDE the ATM machine. I put my hand up to see if it was real-it was--and he crawled a little when I touched the screen. How is this possible????

The weekend is almost over, and alas, I will have to go to work tomorrow.

Oh - and did you notice how incredibly frequently I'm blogging?? It probably feels like I'm blogging all day, every day, right? Yeah, it does to me sometimes. I'm taking part in the NaBloPoMo tradition and posting a blog post every day for the month of November. It's my second year partaking in the fun. It's a good way to get motivated to write. It's really just for the lazy people who can't step up and join in with the National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo.
I'd love to write a novel, maybe next year I'll try it. I think I would need to have a time restraint on my novel like this provides, otherwise I might just procrastinate on doing so (as I have done the last 10 years).

Good Morning, Saturday!!

Nothing better than going for a crisp walk first thing in the morning....and then an hour later, snuggling down on the couch watching a big thunderstorm roll through!

morning walk bird sanctuary

I Am Not Sweating, Sticky, or Smelly

Remember Puerto Vallarta?

Remember wanting to take cool showers twice a day?

Remember wishing the air-conditioning could go to a temperature colder than "More Cool"

Remember wanting to change your clothes every 6 hours but pacing yourself because you only had so many clothes to wear over the span of a week?

Those are just memories....because this is where I am now:

cold weather
I am okay with the cooler temperatures, and I like a bit of rain (I really like not having to water my grass), but at some point I want to be dry. At least for a little bit.

I think the worst part of the rain is having the bottom edge of my pants wet. Yeah, that's not fun. Why hasn't something been invented to fix this?? Like a hand dryer, but for your pants! And you would put it just inside the door to your company and as someone comes in from the torrential downpour that is my existence for 5 months out of the year, they would just stick their foot under it, the pants would be fairly dry within 20 seconds and people would be happy and workplace tensions would be decreased.

How can I be expected to work with wet pant legs???

And don't think you can steal this idea and patent it - cause this post is dated and that serves as a legal date of idea generation and I can and will sue you if you start profiting from this idea!!!

The One Where I Don't Discuss Ft. Hood, Texas

Scary things going on these days.
I actually have an old friend who is stationed at Ft. Hood. I haven't spoken to him lately but I know that Ft. Hood is a HUGE place and the odds that my friend was anywhere near that mess on this particular day is low, right?


I don't want to discuss it, as I'm sure the rest of us are feeling just as overwhelmed with it as with any tragedy, being played out over and over in the news all day and night and probably will be for the next week, month, 3 months, maybe more...especially since the shooter lived and now we'll have to have a trial and all that.

It's so sad. I know there are so many families hurting and's sad. That's all.
But I don't want to discuss it.

Back to Anderson Cooper....

**Update: Heard from my friend - he's fine!!**

If You Aren't Ready For The Responsibility of a Tail....Don't Pretend to Be a Cat

I think it's no secret that I love cats. I might someday be a creepy cat lady....maybe.
So it's logical that for Halloween, I wore cat ears and a clip-on tail.

It was a cute tail - very fluffy, full of was adorable. I wore it to my volunteer event and would have worn it to the store and then the rest of the night...

If not for this tragic tale:

I forgot I had the tail on when I went to the loo....and sat down (as girls do) and didn't think twice to just pee away to my hearts content.

Until I stood up and realized that my tail, attached to my jeans, had flopped INTO the toilet. The toilet that I had just urinated into...

And I was a cat no more.

Come on - like you haven't peed on a tail before???

Feel free to comment below and share your embarassing urination stories. Unless they involve alcohol--cause everyone has those stories and yours won't be special.

Random Thoughts Tuesday - Just the Randomness, Nothing but the Randomness

I missed two Random Thoughts Tuesdays in a row!! I love random thoughts!!
I'm sure Keely missed me...luckily there are others who sign up for her random thoughts. Check it out here:

But I'm back in the groove....hold on to your Ugg slippers everyone....

I still have some sharp tooth pain, but it comes and goes and I think it might just be my receding gums. Self-diagnosis....DONE! My way of feeling better is to use the sensitive toothpaste and just suffer during those small periods of time where it hurts.

I hate Halloween and all of the stupid calories that come with it!! Why do we have a holiday based around candy??? Lame. When I was teaching in Korea, I tried to convince the children that on Halloween, children bring their teachers chocolate. Only a couple of them did it because they really weren't sure if I was kidding. I love kids...they're so easy to influence.

During my speech at my volunteer events, at the part where I tell the group about the teen program we have available, I have taken to using the word "Holla" when I talk to them. For instance, "the teen program is really great, it's led by teens and is filled with teens and is a lot of fun...HOLLA! The usual response I get is blank stares. I feel like they might think I'm old....I hate kids...they're so snotty.

I absolutely HATE that show Two and a Half Men, with Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer and that pudgy boy who can't act at ALL...HATE it. Charlie's character is sooooo offensive and that kid is a HORRIBLE actor. HORRIBLE. I don't care that he's a child---there are some great child actors out there. But wait--that's not even the point - focus----the show itself is horrid, with the characters being the worst on any show ever. There's the playboy uncle (charlie) who just sleeps around and makes lewd comments. There's the single dad, who has horrible parenting skills. And that kid...ugh....that poor kid - who is rude and snotty and is not funny EVER. The one episode I saw was while I was trapped on a plane and I couldn't sleep and in it, the 14 yr old boy got drunk. Uncle Charlie Sheen thought it was funny. The dad didn't really care-he was busy dating two girls at once and having fun about dating two girls at once. UGH - I can't stand that show!!!! It upsets me. It really does. Let's not discuss this again, okay?

I'm in the middle of reading The Calligraphers Daughter by Eugenia Kim. I wasn't that into it until I got about halfway through, and now I'm actually quite interested in it and must get back to it. I may or may not have taken it in the car with me the last two times I went anywhere so I could read at red lights. I don't know where I heard of it, but I find myself pulled to most things Korean (as long as it's not kimchi) and this book spans the life of a Korean girl and the struggles she went through growing up. It's really quite good. I'm not done yet, but I would recommend it!! Add it to your list.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway - you have to comment to win! You have to win to get free movie tickets!!

Who Says The Earth Is Round?? They Are A Liar!

I miss Mexico. I miss not working. I am ready to partially retire.
Not that I don't love my job!

My job allows me to work from home once a week, or if I'm not feeling well, or if I need to meet the cable guy.

On those days, these are my officemates:

They are MUCH quieter than my officemates the rest of the week!

I've also been working (on my bloggin busyness) from this new office locale:
Otherwise known as My Treadmill.

I've wanted to do this for a long time. I got back from Mexico...sigh, Mexico......where we walked a mile or two every night on the beach and my knees didn't hurt at all! So I was anxious to keep walking, but alas, my knees do still hurt when I walk in the States. And this means that the earth is not round!! Gravity is obviously not as strong in Mexico and so my knees do not hurt when I walk!!! What an interesting unplanned scientific study I just did!!! I think I need to investigate further...maybe try someplace like Cuba and see if the results are the same. I'll keep you posted.

But anyway - my treadmill is now a workable desk!! I have seen this before, from a blogger who set up an elaborate desk around his treadmill, with a pull-out keyboard and printer shelf and everything. He had blueprints and diagrams and colored charts and screws and bolts and fasteners.

I did something similar that involves a shelf I bought for one of the living rooms that didn't end up matching so I put it in the garage intending to return it. It just happens that it is just the right size to reach from one arm of my treadmill to the other with a little extra room on the edge (safety feature!).

There's about a three inch gap from the shelf and the front of the reader portion of the treadmill (cause the electronic part is curved)...but the laptop is bigger than three inches so it's not an issue.

And one of the arms of the treadmill is right along the wall, so the overhang on the shelf is actually only on one side...but balancing things is over-rated, right?

I've only almost dropped my laptop (which belongs to my company) twice. The first time doesn't count though cause it was on my first trial walking period.

Who needs blueprints????

**A very important key factor to this is that you can't really walk fast. Or even at a normal walk-the-mall pace. However, walking on a treadmill for an hour at a 1.5mph pace is still infinitely better than sitting on the couch for an hour reading blogs, right?


Weekend Wrap-up...And A Cinematic-Super-Special GIVEAWAY!

This was the most productive weekend EVAH!!!

I had a volunteer event - Love Letters. This is my normal monthly event where we make cards for terminally ill children across the U.S., three kids a month. I expected a crowd of 50, though only about 30 showed up, which is fine...though it's a pain to set up and bring enough supplies for 50 when they don't all show. Regardless, I appreciate the 30 people who did show up because we got a lot of cards made, and it was nice of them to show on such a beautiful day...the weather was great!

So great in fact that I couldn't resist the urge to get the gutters cleaned.
Do I look up a handymans number and see if they are free?

Pay for a special landscaping company to come out?

Hire a local boy?

Oh no......I stop by the store and buy a ladder (the Hercules Pro, which I highly recommend as one of the greatest ladders it wrong to love a ladder? Well if so, then I don't want to be right). And then I very nervously climb up the ladder and find that the gutters are packed and the water and icky dirty leaves in there smell like rotten eggs. Ew...and I have to reach my gloved hand into it and pull stuff out? Ew. There should be a tool for this. Or a magic wand. Oh, and cleaning gutters---is hard work!!!

I did enlist the help of little Andrew to climb up on the roof and get some of the pine needles swept down, and he cleaned the section of the gutter that isn't easily accessible. Yay for teenagers who help without being threatened first!

cleaning the roofI got all the gutters cleaned out except for the front of the house, which is a small section and I'm thinking I may need to have a handyman come treat the roof for moss anyway (or something like that), so I'll just save that...unless it's really nice again another day.

And I did an ultra-good job cleaning my kitchen later that night, in-between feeding the local children who came begging for candy.

Today was bingo day with Nancy, no winnings, but hours of fun anyway.

Then I cleaned up some more in the backyard and applied some caulking type stuff around the bathtub and then patted myself on the back for being such a good homeowner. Good Job, Me!!

It was a productive weekend - but oh my effing god do my hands hurt!!!

Some of you might know that I have bad wrists, like a carpul tunnel type issue. Apparently cleaning gutters and sweeping and raking are horrible for wrists. So noted.

I don't want to go to work tomorrow. I don't want to wake up and have to get dressed and leave my house. I want to stay in my house forever. Except to go to the movies.....

Because General Mills, via MyBlogSpark, sent me some free movie tickets, along with a certificate for a free box of cereal!

I love free stuff!!!

And I rarely go to the movies anymore because it's expensive!!! How did movies get to be so much?? And by the time you buy popcorn and drinks, it's almost as if you should now own part of the theater. HOWEVER -- General Mills is offering up free movies--you just need to buy two boxes of specially marked cereals and go to their website and enter the codes and then blamo-instant-presto-chango-kazaam.....they will email you a free coupon for a movie ticket!!!

general mills cereal movie giveaway FREE stuff!! I personally really enjoy honey nut cheerios and the kid loves Lucky Charms (ick), so this works great for us (especially since he now has a girlfriend and needs to pay for her movie ticket-best to get as many as we can free!).

AND - one lucky visitor to my blog will win the same prize pack I received, with four movie passes and a free box of GM cereal!
You know you want the info below and enter to win--it just takes a minute. Who doesn't want free stuff????
movie giveaway General Mills

To enter the contest:

1. Leave a comment saying what upcoming movie you are excited to see. I'm looking forward to the new movie with Cameron Diaz (who I don't aboslutely love, but I enjoy somewhat) where you have to push a button or someone dies or something...

2. For an extra entry: Follow my blog or subscribe via email - please leave an extra comment so I don't miss your extra entry.

3. For a special bonus extra entry: Blog or facebook or tweet about this contest -- please leave an extra comment with the link to your blog or fb or tweet. Only one extra entry for any of these, not one for each-to be more fair to those who don't tweet/fb/blog.

THREE chances to win!!

Good luck everyone!!! Contest will end on Tuesday, November 1oth at midnight PST.


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