Saturday, March 28, 2009

Little Women brings me back

Reading for hours on end! I read this book several made me wish I lived back then...although I'd have preferred electricity. It all seemed so romantic. I loved the relationships between the March girls.

I recently tried to reread it (some 30 years later) and it just wasn't the same.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stuff That Sucks About Being An Adult

There are plenty advantages to being an can go to a bar, you make your own money (hopefully), you can make your own choices blah, blah, blah...But there are some things that suck eggs about being an adult. Wouldn't it be so awesome to be able to take a vacation from adulthood for a while? There really aren't too many years in my life I'd relive in real time...except maybe junior and senior year in college. But the past would be a great place to visit, huh? Then you would not need to deal with some of the following:

1. Working...I love my job. I get to laugh, I get to get messy and I get recess. But some days it would be just be oh-so-fab to sleep the day away, hang out on my own and have no consequences. I wouldn't have had to make lesson plans the day before that some dumb sub wouldn't follow, I wouldn't have to come back to work and clean up literal and figurative messes and I wouldn't have let anyone down.

2. Being the one in charge...Now listen, I like being the "boss" at home and in my classroom. But when things are tough or get icky I wish Calgon would take me away. I will never forget a HUGE, "Oh, my!" moment several years ago. It was in school the first week, I was with the class and suddenly a boy (didn't even know his name yet!) fainted dead away and smashed face first onto the tile floor. Seriously, I first looked around and then realized, "Holy crap, I'm the adult in charge of this!!" WTF? Now all turned out well, the kid was nervous and overheated, I guess. But that feeling of, "things are going downhill quickly and I'm the one who is supposed to keep it all together" was momentarily overpowering. Times like that you want some totally in control REAL grown up to come forward and say, "Step aside, I know exactly what to do so it all turns out ok!"

3. Still having your parents think you are a kid...Now, while I don't always want to be in control of scary situations I DO want to be in control of my life situations. No matter how old you are there are some things you dread telling Mom or Dad because you just KNOW that even over the phone they are judging and rolling their eyes. I don't think this will ever change though, until I put them away somewhere that feeds them oatmeal and lets them play Wii bowling all day.

4. Taxes and all that crap...Obviously this stuff sucks. I am a Democrat until I die and I might even be a Socialist. But when I dare to glance at the "gross" pay column on my check I sometimes get a teensy, tiny bit pissed off. I think that is normal though, right? RIGHT??

5. Realizing life isn't getting any longer...I don't feel old. I don't even think I look all that bad for my advanced age. But according to a USA Today article the average American women lives to about 80 years old. My life is more than half over, same with most of you reading this. Sorry to be a huge buzz kill, but I can't always spread sunshine and unicorns everywhere I go. And why should I ruminate about this on my own when I have a semi-captive (and apparently aging) audience?

6.Saying no to stuff you don't want to say no to...Like eating junk, double desserts, buying a new flat screen tv. Part of the GOOD stuff about being an adult is that you could theoretically "do what you want" but the sucky part is that you know you can't have your cake and eat it too. Sucks.

7. Lying to your kids for their own good... Hey, I'd love to be honest with my kids about stuff I've done and REALLY talk to them about mistakes and bad experiments. But then for sure they will think they can do it too, since it turned out ok for me. So, I have to lie and put the fear into them. It makes me feel like a hypocrite but that is one of the downsides of parenting. Eventually I can talk to them more honestly...but it is better to put the fear of a horrific lung-cancer filled death into a 10 year old than to explain my on and off through the years smoking issues (and that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg). Oh, and you also have to lie about things like, "No, Mommy and Daddy will never die. We will take care of you for as long as you need us to." You can't tell a 5 year old that you can drop at any moment and there is no telling the future...That would be bad parenting. And lead to years of therapy...

8. When the basement floods, the sewer line from the house needs to be replaced or the furnace explodes in the middle of a November night...and yes, this has all happened in our family. These are the kind of "adult" issues that I flip out about. Tom handles these things much better than I do, thank goodness. There is little in this world worse than water issues, though. Rogue flooding was one reason we had to move 5 years about pushed me over the edge. The smell of wet carpeting will never leave my subconscious and those of you who have experienced this have to agree, right? These household problems are in the category of, "Why am I in charge of this? And why does it cost so much?"!

9. Knowing that the world is random and not always fair...I guess I always knew this but once you become a parent this knowledge can be paralyzing if you let it. This is why some people become obsessive, compulsive or turn into helicopter parents. You just have to deal and move forward and think about the fact that randomness CAN be good. Like, you COULD be the Lotto winner or the 21st caller. Concentrate on that.

10. Consequences for bad choices....once you reach a certain age you can't just live by the, "I hope you've learned a lesson," thing. You have to accept the consequences of your actions. Bummer. It is so much easier to blame others ;-).

Well, geez, this was a depressing list! Sorry folks....I'll work on something more uplifting for next time. I don't know what came over me. Hopefully I've covered everything though...if there is more perhaps you should keep it to yourself. We wouldn't want to be responsibile for people on the Friend list needing more therapy or new meds...

Friday, March 20, 2009

' Calvin and Hobbes...' will make you LOL

Everything about Calvin makes me laugh. He is the kid I love having in my class. You don't whether to laugh or cry...go with it or give up.

He says the greatest things, has the greatest imagination and a fabulous vocabulary. I love how he DOES his homework but to a different drummer ("Bats aren't birds!!).

His disturbing snowmen are to be revered and appreciated.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I guess one has to make a choice eventually...

I am all about continuous accessibility. I have no problem responding to email regarding work when at home. I prefer to take care of things when they come up, and not put them off.

I love my cell phone and encourage people to call it when they need me and I am not home. If I don't want to talk to you, I will simply press "ignore" biggie, right?

And anyone who knows me knows that I am in real, romantic love with Facebook. I love it, I need it...I may have a problem with it. I do have a fairly addictive personality and am pretty "all or nothing", so this could explain my fascination with FB. I have this blog. And yesterday I tried Twitter. I may be out of control. I'm not quite sure, but I may be...

I think Twitter can go. I took a non-scientific poll on my FB Wall and most people seemed to think that if you are religious about Facebook then Twitter is superfluous. For a bit today and yesterday I had my Twitters (or are they Tweets??) linked to my FB status. That was fine for a bit, but then I realized I didn't want my FB status to change at times. So, back to "settings" to change that! But now, I have even more to update daily or several times daily! This may be stressful...This is why I gave up watching All My Children a few years back. I couldn't keep up with 3 soaps and my nighttime shows AND actually attend to my kids (lol...details!).

Twitter may have to go...because I found myself just now in a quandary about whether I wanted something to be my FB status, my Twitter line or BOTH! Something mundane might be fine for the 140 characters on Twitter but FB requires a bit more thought for status updates, IYKWIM.

Oy and hmmm....not sure on this one. The problems of the overly connected, right? What do to, what to do?

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Name is Amy and I am a Magazine-o-holic...

How many magazine subscriptions do I have? Hmmmm....I am not positive and I get confused when I try to list them verbally. So, I am going to come clean here with you oh-so-non-judgmental people (Hannah and Brian V. excepted, of course...). I like magazines for a few reasons...they are pretty and colorful and have lots of pictures. You can READ them and I like that, 'cuz reading is fun and good for your brain. I like it that you pay your subscription and then they just COME TO YOUR HOUSE like a present every week or a ray of literary sunshine when I get home from work and check the mail!There are so many kinds of magazines...serious, newsy, fun, trashy, gossipy, fashiony, home improvementy, family-y etc....

Ok, here goes, I think I can name all the ones I currently no particular order:

1. Soap Opera Digest (weekly)...I have read it for years. It offers recaps and spoilers so it kept me afloat in soap news even when I wasn't watching RELIGIOUSLY. And I can keep up with All My Children and One Life to Live now and only watch them sometimes. Of course, General Hospital is a constant...mobsters and inept cops and hospitals on fire are always FUN!

2. People (weekly)...I wanted People for years but it is so expensive. Finally last year I broke down and ordered it. It is great...VERY pretty pictures. And it has the air of "almost respectable" in terms of entertainment mags. They get all the good interviews and reveals of long-awaited celeb offspring.

3. Entertainment Weekly (weekly, duh!) I love this magazine. It has movies, tv, books and music. Plus, Diablo Cody and Stephen King write columns for it and they are very funny.

4. TV Guide (weekly)...This magazine SUCKS and I am waiting for it to run out in a year or so. Haven't looked at it in a year except when LOST or Dancing With the Stars is on the cover. It doesn't even give the shows for all time ends at midnight or something. WTF?? Plus, it is superfluous now that you can check cable or the ever-magical dvr listings.

5. In Style (monthly)...Pretty pictures but not enough to actually read. I like looking at the fashion stuff and some of it actually is from H&M or GAP or places that normal people can afford. They give too much space to Heidi Klum though, and I DO NOT LIKE HER or her fawning, annoying husband Seal. (And why is that his name anyway? Listen, I named my kid a noun too...but not an ANIMAL...)

6. Glamour (monthly)...Good articles and fashion. And you can't beat "Glamour Do's and Don'ts" for a laugh each month. Although sometimes the cover blurbs need to be covered up from prying eyes, IYKWIM. I love a sex article as much as the next person but I shouldn't have to explain to a 10 year old that, "How to leave him panting every night!" has nothing to do with the family dog.

7. Women's Health (monthly)...If you don't get this magazine you may want to check it out! It has good tips and really good articles. The articles are about health (duh!), relationships, careers and nutrition usually. I like this periodical (good library word, Amy!) a lot. I have gotten some good exercises from it and quite a few laughs at how they discuss some issues.

8. The Week (you guess, lol!)...This magazine ROCKS! My friend Jeanne started getting it a while back and told me about it. It gives you brief synopses of everything each week. It goes through national news and international news. It also reviews movies, books and new music and gives a preview of stuff to not miss that week on tv. It is not blatantly liberal or dad doesn't mind The Week all and we differ quite a bit politically ;-). If you read this magazine you will be up on current events and you can seem pretty smart at business-y parties!

9. Real Simple (monthly)...Now listen, in case you don't get this yet, I am not very domestic (shut up). But I love this magazine! If I cooked, I'd try all the recipes....if I decoupaged I'd have frames and jewelry boxes up the wazoo! This magazine is chock full of great ideas and tips! See how excited I get and I don't even use any of the ideas?? Oh, and pretty pictures. I always think I will send in one of the "Question of the Month" ideas and win another year of the magazine or something...but I never get around to it. I guess I am busy reading other magazines, lol...

10. Newsweek (weekly)...Keeps me up on current affairs, er, events. Sometimes the real news is boring though and I just read the back page and the cartoons.

11. TIME (weekly)...See Newsweek above. Same goes.

12. Self (monthly)...Kind of a cross between Women's Health and Glamour. I have gotten some good work out tips here and they have decent celebs in it each month. There is humor in it too...doesn't take things too seriously like Glamour or In Style does sometimes.

13. Lucky (monthly)...And yes, I put that at number 13 on purpose, lol. I'm on the fence with this one. I like the fashion stuff but everytime I like something it costs like $495. There are not that many affordable things in this magazine. I was planning on letting it run out but apparently I am on some perpetual, auto renewal program.

14. The Atlantic (monthly, I think)...My dad got me this subscription for Hanukkah. I have not read an issue yet. It looks serious and boring although he really thinks I will like it so I don't have the heart to tell him I haven't read it yet. Anyone out there read this? Is it all Republican-y??

15. Family Fun (monthly)...I have no idea how or when I signed up for this. The major premise of this magazine seems to be thematic cupcake recipes and "rainy day" projects that require lots of egg cartons, googly eyes and glue gun supplies. Neither one is my forte...

16. The Deerfield Review (weekly)...Community news etc...They seem to have backed off the mostly Lincolnshire bent of a few years ago and since that psycho at DHS quit her constant barrage of homophobic, right wing letters has stopped, so things are better with the Review, IMHO. Also, the sports section is good...they always print the travel soccer stuff I send them for AJ's team.

I think that is all...Although chances are good that I forgot one or two magazines, lol. What is your favorite magazine? And does anyone get more mags than I do? Yes, that is a challenge!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A woman of many titles...

Mommy...A name I have always wanted to be called. :-)

I will also answer to: Loves to Shop Online; Drinks TAB, She-Who-Speaks-Her-Mind and/or Enjoys Things With Screens.

What would you be called if your name was based on your likes, habits and personality traits???

Please share!

'Dirty Dancing'...a highly quotable line:

I love this line because it is so ridiculous...Baby's family is simply sitting at a table when Johnny comes in. And actually, I think the table is round anyway...but I digress.

He could have simply said, "Come dance with me." But that would not have been nearly so memorable, right? When he says, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," he is really saying that she matters and that is all she wanted to hear. Then they it!

This line is usable in real life all the time. When someone backs you into a corner literally or figuratively you can come back with, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" It works, try it!

"Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

In defense of my vice and one reason I am here right now:

Personal Technology is my current Blackberry and my laptop to be exact. Through these I keep up with Facebook and text and email friends constantly. Some of my friends are of a similar ilk and some are not. I realize it offends some people but I spend a lot of time caring for others and doing things for others, so I kind of ignore the offense. No offense....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

So now apparently...

I can blog from my phone...even when sitting front of my computer. Amazing! The world is getting so I just EXPECT quick, easy access to everything, all the time.

It started with drive-thru restaurants and it has led to this: blogging from my Blackberry. We expect things to be quick and offer 24 hour service. God forbid I should have to wait to get home to blog something! Of course not! This is 2009, I should be able to do it from soccer practice, the doctor's waiting room or in an elevator.

Cool...but now I will rely on it. Technology has made me its bitch.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Hate Change...

I know that some people claim they "thrive" on change (Hannah). But I do not. I think it is HIGHLY overrated. I eschew change, I abhor change...I even fear it at times! Granted...some things NEED to change...the presidential administration, my son's underwear, my place on the salary schedule at school. But other things don't need to change and change for change's sake is NOT always good. I don't need to be "shook" up! There are some things that should not change...or that wreak havoc when they do. And remember this is my if you are an agent of change you can just skulk on outta here and come back later when I have changed to a new topic! ;-)

1. Bank accounts...OMG. I just changed banks and it was the most stressful 2 weeks of my life. Things were overlapping, I had 2 banks at once, I was stressing about auto-debits and automatic withdrawals. Then my new checks were printed wrong! So, it's over and it seems to be going along ok now. But seriously, did I need that stress??

2. Rules at work...Most of this is under the category of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This is especially true with new bosses. Don't come in and change stuff just to leave your mark and make you feel like you are being heard. There is something to be said for history and routine. Does that mean that nothing ever changes? No, of course not. new ways of getting out info or helping people etc...can and SHOULD change. But when breakfast treats were on Tuesdays for 18 years and suddenly they are on Wednesdays, how the hell am I supposed to remember that??????

3. Return policies at stores...WTF is that about? Remember in the olden days when you bought something and then decided it sucked or didn't match or WHATEVER, and you brought it back to the store and they simply gave you your money back? Oh no, that can't happen anymore! You have to have a store credit, or wait for a check in the mail 2 weeks later or bring a sworn affadavit that you bought it and never even touched the seal or got fingerprints on the cover. And don't get me started on how the clerks don't even know how to process a return without it taking 30 minutes...Do you know how much cash Tom and I made on returning wedding gifts? Ahhh, the good old days at Marshall Field's! (Obviously that is its own topic.)

4. Family holiday recipes...You are used to things tasting a certain way. You count on it, you romaticize it as part of your lost childhood. Then suddenly everything gets ordered from FoodStuffs or the real sour cream is replaced with fat free. Screw that. Yes, I'm bitter. Someone get me some real kugel without raisins, and then slowly back away...

5. The interest rate on loans...Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know there is some big huge, fancy schmancy economic reason why this happens. But let's face it, it isn't fair. So there. ;-)

Ok, so I am sure there is more...but I don't want to seem stubborn and narrow ;-). I have a theory about people who claim to love change...generally they are people who are not overly organized. Change does not affect them that much because they don't have much invested in the immediate future...they just drift about and go with it. Is that bad? Well, no...but it's not linear or, or, or...ORGANIZED. It is stressful to not know what to expect. I hate that.

And yes, I realize this all makes me seem very rigid. But tough cookies. If it weren't for organized, stable, consistent people like me the rest of you would still be following the herd and breaking up camp several times a year when the hunting was bad. It is the planners of the world that civilized us, so there.

Today it's fat free sour cream for the kugel...tomorrow, complete anarchy. Discuss.

Friends on Facebook...A Master's Thesis...Or Not...

Seriously, this could be a topic, right?? There are "unwritten rules" and right ways and wrong ways and stuff...

How many times can someone come up on your "You Might Know" list before you feel you HAVE to "friend" them? And what if they come up all the time and you ignore them until one night after one glass of wine too many you break down? Do you think they know you finally broke down or might they think you just noticed them? Do you think they are relieved that you broke down first? Or annoyed that you broke down while they hung tough? Maybe there should be a halfway point for FB friends...a list where you can send people if you want to accept them for appearances sake but you don't really need them.

And then there is the "ignore" button. You can click this...or you can really just ignore the person and the request sits there forever. That is sad. I know there are people out there I tried to friend and they never got back to me...of course it is their loss, right? But for the life of me I can't remember who they are...all the important people are on my list ;-). Oh, and if you ignore someone do they know that? I've never gotten a notification that I've been ignored (but really, who would ignore moi??) but maybe I've overlooked it.

But isn't it such an exciting day when you log in to Facebook and you see that you have a friend request? Sometimes I like to have a little fantasy before I click on it (I know, I know...but I am an old, married woman...give me a little leeway here...) about who might be on the other side of that request. Is it someone I have seen and not friended? Is it an old boyfriend? Is it some girlfriend from junior high that I parted with in an ugly way but now so much time has passed so we can catch up and be FB friends?? The excitement builds as I click....and then.....and then....c'mon, you know what happens, right? It turns out to be someone with a name you vaguely remember but apparently you knew them because you have 37 friends in common. So then you click on that to see if you know them from junior high, high school, college or the PTO. I'm still waiting for that old boyfriend friend request. But, I do have friends who did get their "old boyfriend" friend I know it is worth the wait ;-).

Then how about the people you converse with regularly on FB that you otherwise would NEVER have sought out or stayed in touch with? And isn't it fun that some of those people turn out to be fun, funny, interesting and maybe even REAL friends? I think that is one of the best parts about Facebook. It expands one's horizons...opens up new venues....and yes, I know that sounds hokey; but it is true!

I love it when I am at work or any place really and someone says something to me that I have only put on Facebbook. It is like we are speaking in code, lol...It might take me aback for a second but then instantly the common bond of FB is recognized. I love that! Here's a test...come up to me in person and say, "Ploopie." The we can both laugh and others will think we are insane. I like it when others think I am insane, but that's another Note.

It is also fun to be in a room with a bunch of fellow Facebookers and something questionable happens and simultaneously 4 people yell, "Don't put that on Facebook!" Tee hee...makes me wanna write a note about it ;-). Although I do have to be careful since many "moms" from school are on my friend list...can't let them know too much, IYKWIM. Even my husband, who is not on FB, will occasionally say, "Please don't put that on your Facebook." Of course I have to respect that...although sometimes it does kill my buzz.

And here's a question I have...why have I gotten friend requests from a few people that I REALLY do not know? I click on the 1 mutual friend we have and it is someone obscure. Why did that person friend me? Are they desperate? Just trying to get as many friends as possible? Do they think I'm hot ;-)? And what do I do? Sometimes I accept their request, if I'm feeling generous (lol) or if I know the mutual person really well. Or sometimes I ignore them. But really I want to message them and be like, "WTF? Why do you want to be my friend?" But I don't...

So c'mon...what is your best Facebook friend story?

Unwritten Rules...

An unwritten rule, as adults understand it, is something that is kind of common sense. I have tried to explain this concept to my 4th graders at school but it is very hard. They come up with stuff like, "You can't kill people!" (Actually that IS written...Moses and law enforcement have opinions on it) or, "Don't run and scream in the hall." (Again, it is written in the Code of Conduct that your parents claim they read each fall and then throw out...which could explain a lot, btw.) adults we DO get this concept and lots of "unwritten rules" were addressed as things that rude people ignore when I wrote about manners awhile back. Anyhoo (I still hate that, but it is fun to type), let's tackle this topic, shall we? Let's!

1. It is an unwritten rule that when someone calls you and wakes you up you say, "Oh, no I was up!" Let's examine this....we don't want to make the person feel bad? Why? You know what? I work hard all week and if I wanna sleep until 10:00 a.m. on Sunday and let my kids play videogames then why should I feel guilty? I did pay my younger son DID NOT SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT UNTIL HE WAS 16 MONTHS OLD. I am not kidding or exaggerating, ask Tom. I deserve a few lazy mornings. So, I eschew this rule!! I rebel! Next time you wake me up, I will tell you!! So there.

2. I know this was a whole other Note...but having good manners is an unwritten rule. Without manners we run the risk of civilized society as we know it collapsing upon us! Really people, when we stop RSVP'ing, thanking the doorholders of the world, and writing thank you notes we are really no better than cave dwellers who lived and died by the migration of the wooly mammoth!!

So...I hereby WRITE down this unwritten something that proves you have manners and then post it here. I dare you!

3. Playdates...It is pretty much an unwritten rule that if someone has your kid over for a playdate you have to reciprocate. This one annoys me...but I do feel it is true and I feel pressured by it. And I get it, my kid spends time at your house I should do the same. But do you know what I do all day?? I love my job, but some days I just don't want extra kids around, you know? I mean, does a bus driver want to drive the family to Yosemite on his day off? NO, of course not!Of course, if your kid has come to my house more than once and you haven't reciprocated I expect a call soon.

4. Do not openly disagree with your spouse publicly. I am pretty serious on the"don't air your dirty laundry in public" creed. Couples don't have to agree on everything but it is icky when they argue about it in front of others. That is not to say that much in my life isn't an open book, because it is. But aside from occasionally lambasting Tom in front of others for excessive napping or failure to properly 409 the counters I try to keep it indoors.

5. If you have psycho or vicious or annoying pets, put them away when guests come over. I like animals. But I do not want some annoying dog all up in my business when I am trying to pick my kid up from a playdate I don't want to reciprocate. That also goes for putting the pets away when someone who is allergic, scared or wary of animals comes over. As a host it is your job to make guests feel safe and happy in your home...unless they work for Comcast. Then all bets are off.

6. No matter how close you are, the answer to, "Do I look like I have gained weight?" is always, "No". I don't care who asks, they really don't want to hear the answer if it is "yes". No good can come of this question...back away!!

7. Do not let anyone photograph you doing something illegal. This is the mark of someone young and stupid. It will come back to haunt you whether you are famous or not. And if you are famous (ahem, Michael Phelps) don't think for one second that someone won't use it against you if you get farther in life than they do. People suck.

8. Don't go barefoot in the locker room. A fungus will get you. Plus, it is gross.

9. If it is over 75 degrees and you are having company PUT ON THE FRICKING AIR CONDITIONING. Guests don't want to come to your house to sweat. One of the greatest inventions is AC and people who don't use it for fear of the electric bill are morons. Why should the rest of us suffer? AC is far more necessary than can always put on a sweater. But I don't want to come to your cocktail party and drip sweat down the back of my new Loft blouse (while your dog sniffs my butt) because you are cheap.

10. Don't get to the front of a line and not know what to do. If it is your turn at McDonald's know what you want, it isn't that hard. If it is your turn at the DMV pay attention and know what you need to have ready. Failure to prepare on your part constitutes reason for me to kick your ass...

So...what am I missing? I know there are more but the other ones I thought of aren't completely UNWRITTEN (like don't lie about how many items you have in your cart for the Express Lane at Jewel-the limit IS written on the sign). I am sure there is more...and there has got to be one to do with birds, right?

Things That Are Easier Than They Look...

So, I wrote about things that are harder than they look (carrying lots of Starbucks, doing homework with an 8 year old, teaching a brain surgeon how to email etc...) So this is all about things that I think are easy but others might not. Of course, ease is all in the eye of the beholder, you may not agree with everything listed here...But I'm entitled to my opinion and if you don't like it, well...whatever with you:

1. Making time to play on Facebook. It's not so hard...just let your kids play Wii and blow off reading the book for book club.

2. Being on time. Really, I have no patience for perpetually late people. It is SO rude. It is easy...just get ready EARLIER. Duh!

3. Exercising everyday...make the time. You make time for sleep and grooming...just cut back on those if needed. Because really, if you feel like crap about your weight you aren't happy anyway, so why be well rested or shaved and plucked?

4. Texting...People who say they aren't technologically advanced enough to text aren't trying hard enough. It is simple, make the effort. Then you can bug your kids 24/7 once you are nice enough to buy them a cell phone (And no, I'm not that nice yet...apparently AJ is the only child in the entire tri-state area without a cell phone...whatever.)

5. Staying on the above topic...Saying "no" to your kids isn't that hard either. You just open your mouth and say it. If you say it and mean it and stick to it, they actually realize it isn't open for debate. Amazing how that works...this falls under the same category as "Being a parent to your child and not his friend". Most things parents say no to won't scar kids for life...they probably won't even remember it, lol....Seriously, how much day to day stuff do YOU remember from when you were 9 or 10 years old? Not much, right? The defense rests, your honor...

6. Sodoku puzzles, if you have half a brain. You just have to have an attention span longer than 15 minutes.

7. Getting a babysitter. Ok, perhaps this only applies to teachers who maintain decent relationships with former students...but still, it is no biggie for me. (Neener, neener, neener....Teachers deserve some perks for being indentured public servants!)

8. Being married. If you are friends with your spouse then it is pretty easy to be married and it doesn't require much "work" at all. The trouble is with couples that don't have friendship....with friendship comes respect, affection and cooperation. So, not easy for all, I get that. Remember this is MY page and MY list...move on if you don't like something I'm saying ;-).

9. Being "up" on current events. Read "The Week" magazine every week...seriously, you'll feel 100 times smarter and you'll know what the news dudes are talking about.

10. Buying clothes that fit. Ignore the size numbers and just wear what goes on your body without greasing up first. It helps if you bring your 10 year old son with you when you try on clothes. If he says, "That looks dumb, Mom," then it probably does.

I had some other ideas for this list but I thought if I wrote them I'd sound rude and superior...and you know, I worry so about what others think. Just because I think something is easy and you don't it doesn't mean I think less of you...well, except if you can't make time for Facebook, learn to text or do Sodokus. If you can't do those 3 things you are a huge loser and I don't want to be your friend. It's that easy. ;-)

Things I'd Like To Be Famous For...

Hmmm....where to start?Ok, there are the obvious things I could say like: curing cancer, creating the HIV vaccine, winning a Golden Apple (well, not really that one...I think there is a lot of paperwork involved).But really, what are the chances of any of that happening? Nil, so let's really shoot for the stars!

1. Being the mother of the President of the United States. Now AJ makes lists, worries about the problems of others, and is generally pretty serious. But Ryder would be a fabulous President. Let's put some FUN in the White House! And he'd for sure outlaw having to wear pants on the weekend...unless Bill Clinton already put that on the books.

2. Winning the largest lottery prize in the history of all mankind... It would be so great. Money doesn't buy happiness, blah, blah, blah...but it certainly helps. The people who say stuff like that about money are the people who have never had to put groceries on the credit card because they don't have any money in the checking account and payday isn't for another week. It might not buy happiness but it sure decreases stress.

3. Writing a book that becomes a bestseller. But I'd want to do it the easy way....Like I write a book and send it to one publisher who gives me a huge advance and then publishes it, no questions asked. I'm not picky though...I have fiction and nonfiction ideas. I just would have to actually find the time to write it. Hmmmm....too darn bad I no one has invented a dictation device that records thoughts. Now that would make it so much easier to actually write a book. Hey, there's another idea!!

4. For inventing a dictation device that records your thoughts, transfers them to a word processor and edits, spell checks etc...How cool would that be??

5. For single handedly briging Comcast to its knees and destroying its evil hold on humanity. Comcast is the spawn of the devil. I hate them.

6. Along the lines of #3 I think I'd really like to write a column in some fun publication. Then I could become a household name, go on Oprah, meet the cast of General Hospital and LOST and have more money. It's kind of like everything rolled into one!! Of course, I need my Thought-Dictation machine to work first because writing a daily or even weekly column would be a lot of work! I'm busy enough as it is....

That is all I can think of right now...I don't really want to become famous for anything that would require MORE work and stress. And I don't need the paparazzi around either...It is stressfull enough to have to wear make up to work and look presentable, I don't want to have to do that EVERYTIME I leave the house.

So...what do YOU want to be famous for in this lifetime?? And i mean FAMOUS, not just well known, or even infamous ;-). Be reasonable, lol.

Fast Food...

A lot of people knock fast food...but I love it. It's fast, it's easy, it's usually pretty cheap and generally it hits the spot when you need it. (I knew girls like that in high school too...) Some is better than others, of course. And since you people seem to be a captive audience, I thought I'd highlight some of my thoughts...

1. McDonald's...the King of fast food. Clearly the best fries around. And that Supersize movie? A bunch of bull if you ask me...Don't eat Big Macs 3 times a day and you won't drop dead of a grabber, simple as that.

2. Burger King...The idea of serving burgers all day is genius. Not too long ago I used to begin each day with a cheeseburger on my way to school...of course that was 20 pounds ago. But man, those were the days.

3. Taco Bell...LOVE Taco Bell. When I was pregnant with Ryder I had bean burritos ngihtly for a while. You can laugh now....but a large pregnant woman eating a bean burrito in her car at 9:00 at night doesn't have much of a sense of humor.

4. Wendy's...Absolutely disgusting. I am only putting it on the list in case someone can think of something decent they have there. I have given it many chances and generally find it to be gross. Plus, any fast food place that has THAT many people touch your burger before you do is asking for trouble. One guys does the pickles, one does the lettuce, one squirts the ketchup. WTF? So, in these tough economic times who do you think is fired first? The lettuce guys probably. I bet the tomato guy can handle two veggies.

5. Subway...Screw Jared. He was annoying. If I only ate one sandwich a day I'd lose a ton too. But, their tuna (while not healthy) is pretty good. The veggie sub isn't bad for you though. And THEY only need one person to build their sandwiches....and there are way more choices than at Wendy's! Clearly the thinking man's fast food!

6. White Castle...I wish there was one around here. Yummo! And I think I'd even like them if it wasn't 3:00 in the morning, right?

7. Arby's...There used to be one on the corner of Lake Cook and Skokie Blvd. I used to go there in high school with my boyfriend...beef-n-cheddars with horsey sauce. Those were good! I went to one several years ago and the beef-n-cheddar was like as big as a silver dollar pancake. Down sized!

8. Hardee's...Loved it in college until I had a HORRIFIC experience with a chicken sandwhich and a vein of some sort. I might have maybe puked a little in public. So, not one of my favorite fast food memories.

9. Chipotle...Awesome and yummy. I ate it a lot until I went on the website and saw that pretty much everything I like there is about 1,500 calories and 87 grams of fat. Oops!! Why is everything good so bad? I hate that! Also in this category is Baja Fresh. The name is very deceiving. Seriously, go on the site and check it out. You will be completely disgusted that you have eaten that in one sitting!

10. Culver's...Mmmmm, butter burgers! How unhealthy is that? Let's broil some fatty meat and spread butter all over it! Yeah, great idea!! Clearly thought of in the Wisconsin area...the same people who brought you beer-cheese soup (which I thought was a joke the first time I saw it in college...but I digress...)

11. KFC...Or, as it used to be call Kentucky Fried Chicken...or as my brother and I used to call it when we were kids "Greasy Fried Chicken". So, changing it to initials makes it healthier, right? Right! Good thinking...wonder how much the Colonel paid for that ad campaign. Still...pretty good. There aren't any around here since the one in Northbrook closed. And remember the rumors when we were kids that it wasn't really chicken, it was fried rats? Nice...

Also, my friends who live south and/or east (not sure) speak with loving affection for something called Chick-fil something or other...what is the deal with that? Why is it so good? Tell me! And do they deliver? ;-)

Things That Make Me Laugh...

I have a pretty good sense of humor...I mean, I spend most of my days with kids. Ya gotta love to laugh and be able to find humor in much, right? But some things get me consistently...

1.Ryder Brandon Schmitz: My younger son is a crack up. Everytime the kids opens his mouth it is guaranteed to be a gem. He is the kid who told me that Jesus died on the potty (and then his older brother pointed out that he must be mixing up Jesus with Elvis). He is also the kid who informed me that wheelchairs can kill idea why though. I have to repeat everything 50 times because he never listens, he would rather play video games than breathe, he refuses to change his underwear and he quotes "Family Guy" at very inopportune times.

As a friend once told me, "You are Ryder's mother because you spent all those years telling everyone at school that you LIKE difficult, challenging boys in your classroom."

2. Three and a Half Men: I don't know what it is about this show. I never watched it when it began but the 10:30 p.m. reruns on WGN are "must see tv". I do not think this show is prime time fodder...SO inappropriate! But it cracks me up...who doesn't like Charlie Sheen as a slutty, hard drinking ego-maniac in a bowling shirt and Duckie as a loser chiropractor? And the real life parents of the kid who plays Jake? What the heck are those people thinking? Tee hee...glad they are morons and let their kid be a part of that show for MY amusement.

3. Explaining tv and record players (or anything else we had "back in the day") when we were kids to my class: Seriously, I had to bring in vinyl this year to show my class what albums are! They were flabbergasted..."How did you rewind it?"; "You can't play THAT in a car!" about a teachable moment!! Kids also can't get over tv when we were kids...4 or 5 channels? ; No remote . I love scaring children ;-).

4. Jason and Spinelli on General Hospital: Ok, so this is obscure for most of you. But their scenes are priceless. Spinelli's over the top vocabulary and Jason's deadpan "mobster with a heart of gold" schtick are the greatest thing on daytime tv since Luke and Laura dancing through Wyndym's Department Store.

5. Stupid movies: Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Slapshot....Love that crap! If I have to sit and watch a movie I don't usually want to THINK. I can do that all day at work; I need to laugh and what is funnier than Bill Murray covered in slime?

6. Hannah and Brian: Friends with whom I can be completely innappropriate. Only they know the things I do not believe in and the thing that is NOT as bad as making Thanksgiving dinner for 10. The rest of you can use your imagination...

7. Calvin and Hobbes: Their creator Bill Watterson is a genius. Calvin is the kid I'd love to have in my classroom but be beside myself if I had to live with him. And seriously, the vocabulary in those strips is fabulous. My kids have learned so many descriptive words from Calvin it's ri-goddamn-diculous.

8. My job: I get to laugh everyday. Whether it is something a child says inadvertently, or not....It is a rare day that I don't LOL for real. And yes, sometimes they tell me things about Mom and Dad and THAT is why I can't look at you at conferences. ;-)

So...what makes you laugh without abandon each day??

One Thing That Is Much Harder Than It Looks...

This deserves a Note of its own...And if you have kids who play sports you will quickly see why. If you don't have kids who play sports, then feel free to excuse yourself. But please close the door on your way out, I might get loud here...

It is so EASY to bitch about "those parents". You know, the ones who get nutso-psycho at kid sporting events. We've all seen them, right? The mom or dad who is yelling at their kid, other kids, the ref/ump/offical and who always has a better line up or game plan than the coach. In house league sports this is obviously over the top and we can look down our noses at such behavior and tell that parent to take a Valium, shut up and sit down. With any luck the offensive, out of line parent gets booted and if he/she is on the other team we can spread the word via PTOs and emails that there is a crazed parent on that team. We all chuckle, feel bad for the offender's spouse and kids, ("Can you imagine his poor SON? Oh, that kid must live with constant criticism!"; "I know! I heard he yells at the secretaries at school whenver it is indoor recess too!"). It is so easy, and of course appropriate, to judge such ridiculous behavior, right?

However, throw try-outs, registration/roster fees of a couple thousand dollars, and 8:00 a.m. Saturday games in Bumpkinville into the mix and suddenly you DO have the right to demand a better outcome. Ok, well not really, since we are still talking about kids....but still, when parents are shelling out thousands and rearranging family bat mitzvahs to attend a 5th grade sporting event, things are clearly "not just for fun" anymore. I'm not saying it is right to be the over the top parent once your kid starts playing a "travel" sport; I'm just saying I get how the line gets blurred and suddenly you find yourself playing politics and wishing bad things about the star of the other team who slide tackled your baby.

I do my best to appear like I don't mind...but I do mind. I HATE losing or coming in second. I do not make a habit of it in my personal life and never have. Of course I say all the right things to my students and my sons, "You played your best."; "Once the game is over, it's over, we move on."; or, "You guys just couldn't get a break, sometimes that happens." But really, that sucks! Who wants to lose? Being a good sport? That really means being a good loser...and THAT is a massive oxymoron. If you are so good, then you wouldn't lose! But ah, we have to set good examples for our kids and be supportive. There are plenty of times I want to scream across the field, "Keep running! You look like a slacker!" But I can't do that. Imagine the other parents, "OMG, she's insane!"; "Thank goodness my kids were never in her class!" LOL...

Really, I do want to yell at my kid at times...he's good on a bad day and fabulous on most days. So, if he gives up, it annoys me. And the check I wrote at the start of the season doesn't help either. But I keep my mouth shut and try to only yell encouraging things. My father keeps telling me I get too keyed up at games. My brother played travel hockey his whole life and I don't remember my dad EVER getting pissed off or too keyed up. (My mother of course never went to any games so that point is moot.) My father has conceded that travel sports are different than they were when we were kids. It is a lot more and a lot sooner. Geez, my 5th grader's soccer team practices more than my husband's high school hockey team did in the 1980's, and they won state championships (GBN still sucks though).

Why is it so much so soon now? Is it because as parents we demand it? Then why do we bitch and moan about schlepping to the practices and games? Is it because we really think our kid will go pro? Yeah right...I can just see all the little Jewish North Shore boys taking over the MLB, NBA and MLS in 10 years....Ooh, look out! They might have to start stocking challah and brown mustard at the concessions. Hmmm....maybe it is because our children are a reflection of ourselves? I can not take credit for ANY athletic ability in my kid. But it sure is fun when he scores. ;-)

What is it exactly that leads us to demand this type of activity level in our kids? Do you realize how many parents actually think that having sports practice is a viable excuse for not doing homework? Seriously! Clearly, *I* do not do that...but it is a not so uncommon occurrence in my classroom. I also recently listened to a parent explain that they don't go to church anymore and haven't been in 2 years except for Christmas and Easter because hockey is every Sunday. Really? Now, THOSE are the kind of parents we can raise our eyebrows at. What exactly would youth hockey do if EVERYONE said, "No, we can't play on Sundays. We have church or temple."? The boys I knew in Sunday school played sports and went to religious didn't have to be one or the other back then.

It continues though...because as much as parents complain, they LIKE it. They like being the parent who sacrifices for their kid to get to every game. They like being the parent of the star pitcher or the kid who scores the winning goal. Or, they HOPE to be that parent. And deep down, there is nothing wrong with that...if you can control yourself and maintain a calm, patient and nurturing outward demeanor.

And that can be MUCH harder than it looks. ;-)


According to my completely scientific research (i.e. the comments on my "Things That Never Go Out of Style" note) it seems that everyone has a bee in their bonnet about people with bad manners. So, if this is the case, why are bad manners so rampant? There are so many examples of ill mannered people that it is hard to narrow it down...but here goes:

1. Holding the door for someone and not being thanked...WTF? How hard is it to say "thank you"? What? You forget between the time you realize your arm does not have to motorically hold the door and your feet carry you through the doorway? Doesn't the fact that I am standing there holding my own damn Starbuck's AND the door tip you off?

2. RSVP'ing...Ok, now this one is ridiculous. You get an invitation, you check the calendar and you call or email. It is not hard, people!! If you aren't sure I will even take the, "Can I let you know the week of?". Everyone hold up your right hand and repeat after me: "I" (state your name); "Do solemnly swear that in 2009 I will pick up the phone and call to RSVP when someone has taken the time and care to invite my children or me to an event,"; Now do it!! You promised!

3. Thank yous for going above and beyond...and how about write them out? If someone does something nice it is really nice to say thank you...even if it remotely might be part of their job. It makes you a nice person and makes the receiver realize that some people do appreciate hard work. Like, for example....your kid's teacher plans a HUGE event that the kids will remember for years. How about a quick thank you written or emailed the next day? And I don't mean write it on the bottom of the note saying you picking Gertie up early for the ortho but an ACTUAL thank you recognizing the "above and beyond". Try will make someone's day.

4. Yelling into your cell phone in public...Listen, I talk on my phone in public. I don't believe in those annoying signs that say "Turn off your cell phone for others' relaxation". Those piss me off. But if your phone is so bad or the person you are talking to is so hard of hearing that you have to yell...go outside. No one else cares about your itinerary for the day or that you have to stop by Sharon's to pick up little Bart at 4:00 after you go get waxed.

5. Not moving in the grocery aisle...MOVE OVER!! And you see me coming unless you are legally blind so don't act all surprised when I finally have to say, "Excuse me," and move your damn cart myself.

6. Neighbors who plow you in....'nuff said.

7. Not understanding how to stand in line in public...perhaps I just get this because I am a teacher, lol.

8. Language in public...Now listen, I swear like a sailor at times. I have had people tell me my language is too much at times, and yes, I swear in front of my own kids when I am mad. But when we are in a restaurant and some guys from Abbott are swearing and talking about their weekend conquests 2 feet away from my kids, it is bad manners. So shut up, dammit.

9. People who crinkle snack bags in the movie...The most annoying noise ever! Open it up all the way and pour the snack food into your hand. No one wants to hear that over and over and over...Seriously, it enrages me. I wanna walk over, grab the bag and pour the pretzels over their head.

10. People who do not cover their mouth when they cough or is cold and flu season. Please cover up, you wouldn't want to be responsible for the next pandemic.

Ok...phew! Got those off my chest!! Now, everyone play nice, smile a lot and say please and thank you!! And go RSVP to those party invites on the bulletin board in the kitchen.

My Non-New Years Resolutions:

Traditionally I do not make New Years resolutions because, well...because I never keep them. I tried the "lose weight", "quit smoking" etc...ones in the past and they never last. I did lose weight AND quit smoking but I did both over a summer a few years back. And if you ever want a fool proof way to quit and you have kids of your own, email me and I'll tell you. Any-hoo....(And who else HATES it when people say that?? I think Mrs. Poole from "The Hogan Family" used to say that all the time.) Here are some things that I resolve to do in 2009. Are they resolutions? Nah, statements maybe...promises perhaps, but NOT resolutions:

1. I will do my best to keep on AT&T to get U-Verse to my neighborhood. As God is my witness, I WILL get Comcast out of my life, if it is the last thing I do on this earth.

2. I will continue to watch as much television as possible. Please reference one of my earliest Notes. TV is GOOD! It is educational, informative, entertaining and necessary to a happy, healthy life. People who "don't watch tv" are either lying, have a superiority complex, or they are just stupid. And I don't like stupid people, or people who work for Comcast....

3. I will continue to frequent Bally's Hi/Low and Kwando classes. I don't care if the place is a bit dirty or they declare bankruptcy AGAIN. If they are open I will be there. Group ex classes there are about as much fun as an adult can have with their clothes on....spandex optional.

4. I will continue to do things with my kids. I never want to be the mom who won't get her hair wet, sits on the bench holding coats or gets all berted out that a little rain will "make you sick". I will go down water slides, ride the rides at Great America (well, not The Eagle...that is insane), wrestle, play kickball, stay up all night playing video games and watching inappropriate movies and have snowball fights with my kids. One can be a good mother without doing these things, but it keeps you young when you PLAY.

5. I will continue to employ a babysitter every Saturday night so Tom and I can go out. Yes, some months money is very tight...but then we just go for a cheap dinner and hang out at Barnes and Noble afterwards. The being together part is what is important. Besides, the boys love it when they have a sitter...unlimited snacks and a late bedtime! And soon, I won't need a sitter! I can bribe them with a fraction of the money to stay alone and not kill each other.

6. I will continue to love my job, despite annoying people around me. I will not let the Debby-Downers in life get to me. I have a job where I get to laugh everyday, I work with friends and people who love what they do and do it well. Kids DO keep you young...sure some of them are annoying and occasionally (like every 4 or 5 years) there is a kid who has no redeeming qualities (it's true, really) but for the most part I love what I do and am thankful for the place where I work.

7. I will continue to eat junk food when needed....which is why #3 above is so important. Some days there is NOTHING like a Whopper with cheese.

8. I will continue to hate Comcast. It might become a way of life for me. But I promise to not let it jade will just simmer under the surface for all my waking days.

9. I will remember to tune out certain family members when they are droning on and on and on and on and on....oops, sorry! I mean I will listen politely when they are discussing issues that do not pertain to me, that I can not relate to or that I really don't give a fig about at all. Instead of making snide retorts I will just put the phone on speaker and continue about my business with an occasional, "Uh huh," or "Wow, really?" It will make life easier than getting all worked up about stuff I really don't care about or that doesn't affect me. Does that sound selfish? Oh well, is self-preservation.

10. I will not allow people who don't undersand the importance of Facebook to bother me. After all, it is they who are missing out on all the fun, right? So what if my brother is a moron who thinks this is a waste of time because he already, "keeps in touch with everyone who matters"? I mean, actually that is pretty snobby, right?? I didn't know I wanted to keep in touch with half the people on my Friends list until they popped up! The fun is in the surprise of it all!! And if he ever does decide to break down and join FB, the fun of "I told you so" will last for a loooooooong time! ;-)

So really, these aren't resolutions...they are more like assertions or declarations. They are things I intend to do. That way, if I can't do some of them there will be someone else to blame for the failure, right?Because if you haven't figured it out yet.....not much is really my fault. It is all Comcast's fault. Everything. All over the world. I blame them.Ok, over and out and Happy New Year to everyone!!

Simple Things I Miss About Being a Kid:

And I'm not talking about the easy not having to pay bills, taxes or get to work on time everyday. It is the little stuff in life that makes being a kid so great. When people (parents AND teachers) at school get annoyed by kids doing dumb, silly stuff I want to slap them senseless. Guess what? When I get to the point where I can't remember what it is like to be 9 years old, I need to retire. So, here are some things that kids get to do and we don't...and we should all remember these things and miss them!

1. Being able to eat fast food a few times a week. I suppose I could now...but it would mean extra exercise and an increased amount of guilt.

2. Holding my sister down (Hi, Abby!) and tickling her until she peed in her pants. That was so much fun. (And she is reading this so now she knows that I miss that...she might be a little jumpy next time we meet for coffee...) Tormenting your siblings....high on anyone's list, right? Now it just makes you mean if you do it ;-).

3. 25 cent candy bars. 'Nuff said.

4. When going shopping meant walking to Carson Pirie Scott and looking at Hello Kitty stuff. Now it means the Jewel and I have to carry a lot of crap back and forth from the car. Although how funny is it that Hello Kitty is back "in"?

5. Jumping in piles of leaves. You can do this now...but it takes longer to hit the ground when you are an adult and it hurts more. On this same topic....Slip-n-Slides....I miss those. Those were AWESOME! But they are clearly not meant for adults. My neighbor took a running dive onto one a few years back and she almost ended up with severe spinal injuries and a broken nose. It might have been funny had it not been so horrifyingly embarrassing and frightening.

6. Allowance. Now I have to work for my money and use it for SURVIVAL. The nerve...

7. Jumping around inside the station wagon with no seat belts. Yes, it was dangerous, but climbing from the front seat all the way to the way-back to avoid my dad trying to smack one of us while driving with his knee and yelling at us was hysterical.

8. Metal lunch boxes with Ding-Dongs, Ho-Hos or Twinkies. Oh, I get teary just thinking about the yummy cream filling. Hostess still makes all of those, but I SWEAR they are not the same! What did they do to them?? (And is it really true that Twinkies aren't baked and have a shelf life to withstand a nuclear war? I have to remember to check that out on Snopes.)

9. Stinky, pungent bubble me a headache now and why does it smell so bad?? How does that happen...Now I'm my mom telling kids not to "chew like a cow".

10. When Hanukkah and Christmas was all about the presents you GOT. Now it is about how many gifts I have to buy for a million others and I have to keep spouting all that, "It is better to give than receive" bullshit to the kids so they don't get greedy. Sucks....

Life was simpler back then....and kids rarely appreciate it, right? Childhood should be after adulthood so you can really live it up and appreciate the wonder of it all! Hey, I think Brad Pitt just made a movie like this...looks creepy though...Anyway...happy holidays to all, whether you are giving gifts or receiving them try to embrace your inner child ;-).

Things That Never Go Out Of Style...

There are some things that are timeless, like it or not.

1. Manners...Yes, that's a cliche, but it is true. Actually manners is the topic for a whole 'nother I won't shoot my wad here. Let's just say that being well mannered will win you friends and make you look civilized. Like, if someone holds the door open for you at Starbucks SAY THANK YOU, pig-face!

2. Black pants...When in doubt, wear them. A funeral, a bar mitzvah, to work, out to dinner. Always acceptable...well, not to the pool or beach, then you'd just look like a freak on a day pass.

3. GH...General Hospital will always be in style. The fashion is great, the guys are hot and references are topical (a little Disney-centric, but hey, that is ABC for you.)

4. Cowboy boots...Cheesy? Absolutely not! Butter my butt and call me a biscuit...Cowboy boots are hot!! And if you don't like it I can kick you in the ass and then I bet you'd quit arguing. ;-)

5. Black tie weddings...Class never goes out of style. I don't like it when people have "destination" weddings..mostly because all the ones I've ever been invited to I can't afford to fly to. That sucks because I LOVE WEDDINGS! And if you are getting married the least you can do for the those of us who have to spend oodles on gifts, showers, sitters let us dress up pretty!

6. Loyalty...Be true to your friends. Two faced rudeness went out with junior high. Stick up for colleagues even if they don't always deserve may need their help one day. Say what you will about some colleagues privately, but don't say anything to TPTB. I will not be responsible for someone losing their job or getting written up. Being a good person who can look themselves in the mirror never goes out of style!

7. Fondue...How can you ever go wrong with cooking little pieces of meat over a tiny flame in hot oil? Fun and yummy! Mmmmmm!! It is dinner and a show!

8. James Taylor songs...They are good if you are depressed, lonely, feeling romantic or just wanna sing along. I love James Taylor. I know most words to most songs...even the ones I don't like (like "Steamroller") or dumb ones (like "Gorilla"). Seriously, put "Something in the Way She Moves" or "Carolina on My Mind" on and see if you don't feel better. It will work...and then there is always "You've Got a Friend". That might be cheesy, but it will make you smile if you sing it really loudly in the car with a loyal friend.

9. Speaking your mind...I don't mean being rude or overly opinionated (perish the thought!) but speak up for what you believe, who you believe in and what you need. If you don't, you won't be able to live with yourself. And there ain't nothing stylish about that!

10. Kindness...go above and beyond once in a while. It will make you feel good and it helps someone else. Offer to watch a friend's kids, pay the dinner tab for a friend, bring soup to a shut-in. Ok, well I have never done that...yet. But I have done the other two, I swear!

11. A good book...Reading stuff online is easy and very convenient. That Kindle thing from Amazon is WAY cool. But really (and yes, perhaps it is the teacher in me) there is nothing like curling up with a book and getting lost in another world. Plus, you can't make margin notes on a computer screen or throw it in your purse to read when you are stuck in a carpool line or in the doctor's office waiting room.

Some might say I don't like change (Hannah???)...and that may very well be true. But some things are worth keeping around and relishing.So...chime in here folks...what else will never go out of style?

This is not a list, it is a rant...

Why are some people so STUPID? I don't like stupid people. Now, I don't mean academically slow people...they can't help that and of course, being a teacher I have to be sympathetic to those with certain issues. And this doesn't have anything to do with people who are just unorganized (although they can annoy me...but that is a different group!)I mean I don't like people who are just morons.

I don't like it when adults can't figure out how to read an email before they call you up and ask questions...These are the same adults in the category that can't look something up online before claiming confusion. GOOGLE IT!

I don't like it when people can't speak up for themselves...if you have a job and a mortgage you are adult enough to ask your boss a question. Just because you ask a question doesn't mean you are going to get fired. Stupidity however, should be basis for immediate dismissal in the WORLD OF AMY. And yes, I know I am an enabler...I constantly get suckered into asking the questions that others won't or can't or don't. I know, I know...I have to stop it. But frankly, my patienece level with adults is so low that I just do some things myself because it gets them taken care of more quickly.

Ok, how about people who can't figure out how to balance a check book? WTF???? I don't get that. {Read this next part in a high, prissy voice}..."Oh, I can't do that! My husband does it for me!" {Now giggle in a junior high way with your nose all scrunched up and your hand in front of you mouth.} And now look out, because I wanna push you down in the mud.

I have discussed this before...people who can't figure out email, cell phones or iPods...MORONS!!!! When teletransporters become commonplace these are the people I hope end up beaming themselves into the middle of the African savannah next to a hungry lioness. ;-)

People who say and MEAN that they don't follow politics. If you are over the age of 18 and you don't pay attention to who the leaders of this country are, you are being stupid. And if you can't name the 3 branches of government, the VP or certain basic stuff like that you are a double poopy-head moron. (And you would have failed the government test that my 4th graders just took!)

Ok...there...I got that off my chest. Phew!

Stereotypes and Cliches I Believe:

Of course stereotypes are bad and generalizations can perpetuate narrow minded beliefs...but still, come on...some of these things are based in a smidgen of fact!! And cliches are trite and immature....but they came from somewhere, right?So, here goes...

1. Women are smarter than men simply because they can multitask. Women can always think 2 steps ahead. If we couldn't we'd never be able to drive a carpool. Notice how when your husband drives the carpool you have to explain every step to him?

2. Jewish men can't fix things around the house...but they can pay for others to do so. While both have their advantages having a house-goy that can fix the plumbing or sump pump way blows away having to wait for the million dollar an hour overtime real plumber.

3. Girls are better behaved in the classroom and more eager to help organize things...(see #1).

4. People who like cats are weird and basically solitary. (The only good thing about cats is that they eat birds...and birds are evil, you should hate them.)

5. Working moms have an air of bitterness and martyrdom (even if they love their jobs) because we can't just stay home and wait for the dishwasher repair guy. We have to rearrange our whole lives to deal with that stupid stuff. It sucks. (And I love my job...but still it is completely stressful when things "come up".)

6. SAHMs have an air of superiority because they think they are making more of a sacrifice for their families by quitting work and staying home. Then they say insulting things like, "I have made my family my first priority." Cuz, you know....My family isn't that important to me...I just work to get out of the house and avoid the dishwasher repair guy.

7. Men really do have issues if their wives make more $ than they do, even if they say they don't care.

8. Short men are opinionated and loud because they feel like they have something to prove.

9. Ultra-religious people (no matter what the religion) are very narrow minded. One once told me I was bastardizing the Jewish race by marrying a non-Jew. Like I need THAT on my conscience! Crap...I'm worried about how to juggle repair guys and he's telling me that the fate of the Chosen People resides in my choice of a spouse...Gimme a break.

10. Non-Jewish families keep their feelings bottled up inside. Jewish families are an open book and nothing is sacred. Not that this is always a GOOD thing!

Ok....discuss and tell me how offended you are! ;-) Or better yet, tell me what stereotypes and cliches you believe!

Of Course...You Saw This One Coming...Things I am Thankful For:

I wasn't going to write this list because it seems so trite and far be it from me to ever be trite but what the is the holiday season!

1. Obviously, my family. Specifically Tom who is "one of the good ones". Although that doesn't mean it didn't take work to get him that way. And of course my boys...when they aren't being annoying to each other, messing things up and smelling bad they are pretty good kids. I appreciate that they both still want a hug and kiss goodnight from me. If they marry bitches that hate me and move to California I will at least be able to live with the memories of how they are now.

2. My job...not just because I HAVE one, which is nothing to joke about in these times, but also because I love it. I get to laugh everyday, I have friends that I get to see everyday and I am grateful to have known some families for years and they have shared their kids with me. Of course some parents suck....but none of them are on FB ;-).

3. That the country chose the right man to be president. 'Nuff said.

4. Cheap wine. Clearly when others are buying expensive wine is FABULOUS. But really, my palate is not so sensitive or snobby that after the first 2 glasses I even notice. Hell, I can even drink Chardonnay after a couple of glasses of something decent. (And admit it, some of you only order Chardonnay because everyone else does...really it IS like sucking on a flower....D.I.)...{And if you don't know what D.I. is stay tuned. If you do know...chime in! It is the slang of the future and you heard it here first.}

5. My friends (hmmm, I just noticed I put friends after drinking....verrrry interesting...). Seriously, I have wonderful friends. (And I'm sure they will all read this and agree, lol..sorry Melissa, I had to "lol" on that one. It has been days since I did that!!!) I know from past experience that I have friends I can count on in difficult times; friends that make me laugh and listen to me bitch; friends that are smart, fun and worth my time. You can't ask for much more. (Well, I COULD....but I'm trying to be grateful here, not greedy.)

6. My health and that of my kids. It can be fleeting and you can't take that for granted. No humor here...don't wanna tempt fate.

7. My Blackberry...Good god! How did I ever live without it?? Really, it is THE GREATEST thing ever. And yes, I realize the juxtaposition of being thankful for my BB right after being thankful for the health of my precious children, so shut up. I don't even care when people accuse me of being addicted to my Crackberry. They just soooo don't get it. In a fire, if my kids and Tom were safe, I'd go for the BB next...before the dog. It's true, you can be shocked. I don't care.

Now we can get frivolous...and no, the first 7 things were not frivolous. Wine and Blackberries are VERY important.

In no particular order here are some lesser things that I am thankful for:

Pasta...yumm-o. Especially pasta with red cream sauce from Italian Kitchen in Deerfield. Try it if you haven't...although you may feel the need to have an agioplasty or work out for 5 hours afterwards. Not my fault though, I don't make it...Oh, and if you send your husband or boyfreind there to pick it up don't be surprised if he wants to go back again SOON. There is a prety impressive pair of "girls" on the young lady that runs the counter. Usually when we order out from there it takes Tom, AJ and my father-in-law to go pick up the food.

Television...see previous notes on tv and why I love it. TV rocks and those who don't watch it are either lying or freaks. Or lying decide.

High Speed Internet Access...mostly because I just like saying that...Oh, and without it FB would load even MORE SLOWLY. (Really, what is the deal with that? This is a pretty slow site...It's annoying. Sometimes I just go through my Blackberry to check things quickly!)

My Bowflex is as cool as the infomercial claims. It works your ass off and you can watch tv while doing it because it isn't that loud. Kind of combines 2 of my fav things in one. Plus, it keeps the weight off and gets in my cardio. It is sturdy and not too ugly to boot.

So...I know I am forgetting some things. But during this holiday season it is nice to stop and think about all the GOOD things. something you are thankful fair saying stuffing or pumpkin pie though. (And yes, I know I got to say pasta but this is MY list and I make the rules. So pony up, cowboy.)

Odd and Other Things at the Health Club:

Ok, so I belong to Bally's. Not exactly the creme de la creme of "clubs". But on a teacher budget it works very well, thank you. However, there are a few things (good and bad) I've noticed over the years I have frequented "the club":

1. Why do some older, very flabby women feel that it is perfectly ok to walk around the locker room stark naked? And then, when they are nekkid as a jaybird (whatever THAT means...aren't all birds naked? And btw, birds are evil, naked or not. You should hate them...but I digress...) why do they insist on sitting on the bench and getting their nakedness all over the place?? Ewww...

2. How can some people walk around the locker room with BARE FEET? OMG, it completely gives me the heebie-jeebies when I see this. I want to go up to them and say, "Are you insane? You could get athlete's foot at the very least! Don't you worry about staph or fungi or other gross things you learn about on"

3. There is a lady at Bally's who goes on the elliptical with the following equipment: several towels, Clorox wipes wrapped in aluminum foil, and a box of kleenex. (Clearly she isn't one walking around barefoot in the locker room.) Now, those who are THAT worried about germs probably should suck it up and invest in a piece of home gym equipment. Can you imagine the fumigation she must have to go through when she gets home each day?? Oy, the poor thing.

4. People who get on a treadmill or elliptical for under 10 minutes and then get off should't even bother. They are just making the rest of us wait. Take the stairs at the mall next time...same result.

5. A leotard and tights....sweetie, the 80's are long over. You are too old to look like Jamie Lee Curtis in "Physical" just look stupid. Wear actual clothes for working out....they have ENTIRE sections for this at Target, Macy's or any sporting good store.

6. To all of the people who sweat on the weight machines and don't wipe it off...YOU ARE A PIG! No one likes you, we want to confront you about it, but these days you never know who will go all Uni-Bomber on your ass so we don't. We seethe internally and rant about you on blogs. Wipe off the damn machine, it takes far less effort than the poundage you just biceps-curled to impress the leotarded wench across the way.

7. If you are going to try a new group ex class...just stick it out. No one cares if you suck and no one is wasting time watching you and judging. We are too busy getting in our cardio. But you should actually TRY, don't take up room giggling out of insecurity and get in MY way when I am trying to knee and kick across the floor. I will kick your ass if you don't move. And you better not complain about it, I was here first.

8. Oh, back to the locker room again...when you shower, if there is a curtain, PULL IT! No one wants to see you naked and wet except maybe your husband. And really, he might not even....

9. If you are so dumb that you keep forgetting the combination to your lock and they have to keep using the jaws of life to break into your locker BUY A KEY LOCK, you moron.1

0. The testosterone is scary, no matter what anyone else says. And why are so many of those muscle-y guys short? Hmmmmm....

11. The elliptical machines with the personal tvs on them are the GREATEST thing ever! LOVE THOSE! It makes the time go by so much more quickly. I want a mini-built in tv for all my down could I get one for my desk at school? Inside my purse? I love tv, have I mentioned that before?

12. I love the Bally's meal replacement bars. The peanut butter crunchy ones are good. Try them.

13. If you need a great group class...Kwando and Hi/Low at the Deerfield Bally's are the greatest. And if you come and mention this note you get one free class of me not kicking you in the ass if you get in my way, promise!

Not that I could afford another, so I can't complain too much. Overall, it is a good place to workout and like I said, the classes are awesome. It is a microcosm of society though...more so than upscale clubs because almost anyone can afford Bally's. And the more you look around, the more you realize that people are WEIRD and fascinating, and sweaty.

I Feel Old When...

I don't always feel old...but lately it happens. Like today when someone in the teacher's lounge told me she wasn't ALIVE during the Iranian Embassy Hostage Crisis in 1980ish. Um, hello....I know, I know, I was the obnoxious young teacher saying stuff like that about 19 years ago. But now it is ME having that stuff said to me. Oy vey, when did this happen?? So, occasionally I feel old when things like this occur:

1. The younger teachers at school don't show up to a party/gathering until about an hour before I have to go home and take the babysitter home. The sad part is though....that usually I am OK with the fact that I can't stay up until 3 a.m. anymore, lol...

2. Fashion trends from my high school years are all the rage. Seriously, I never WANTED to get rid of my leggings. But I did, and now they're back in. Except you know the saying...if you wore a trend the first time, you are too old to wear it the second time around. I am bitter about that. My body screams for a tunic and leggings....and maybe some really cute patent leather wedges. (Ok, I can still wear those, but in my mind the outfit isn't complete...)

3. I haven't heard of the bands that the younger teachers from #1 talk about at the parties I can barely stay awake at.

4. The drunken, disorderly people at sporting events annoy me instead of amuse me. It used to be I just wonder what my kids are thinking. Are they amused or freaked out?

5. I understood all the steps of refinancing my mortgage this past month. When did that happen??

6. Some of the sitcoms on prime time televsion make me gasp because of the sexual innuendo they spew at 7:30 p.m. (Oy, vey....and then I have to decide if the boys are listening and if I should shut the tv off! How dare network tv do that to me!)

7. The gray hairs come faster in between coloring processes than they used to. Unfair and very costly....This is why it is good that gray comes later though. I couldn't afford this maintenance and upkeep 10 years ago.

8. I can remember EVERYTHING they discuss on VH-1 "I Love the 80's" and I talk to the tv about it. The really bad part is that it doesn't seem all that long ago...until I do the math. And then I am horrified and need a drink...

9. I am forced to say things to my children like, "When I was your age we didn't have the internet and I had to wait for my parents to drive me to the library to do my research! Get up there to the computer and just do it now!"

10. Students or barely former students Facebook me and I have to tell them that only grown- ups (those high school or older) are allowed on my Friends list. Oy....I'm the gatekeeper now. Shoot me...

I don't feel old usually when I look in the mirror or when I am out having fun....but saying certain things really bring it home. I have been out of high school for 23 years, married for 14 years, teaching for 19 years and my first class of 4th graders are about 27 or 28 years old. Holy crap....It is kind of funny, some days.

Whenever I want to feel really young I think about all the things people would say if I got killed by a bear tomorrow..."Oh, she was ONLY 41!"; "She was so young and had so much left to give!" Blah, blah, blah, and ha ha ha....


You gotta love them...Yes, they make it difficult at times. And then, at other times, I am amazed...Some observations:

They are more live in the moment. Women are more fold the laundry and then live through a romance novel.Why does my husband wake up and think about what he wants to do for him that day while I wake up and think about where the kids are supposed to be?

Speaking of sleeping...why do they have to nap so much? They really don't work harder than women. I think of excessive napping as a weakness. Buck up and deal with life. Sleep is a waste of perfectly good time!

If they would just make a list every now and then they could save tons of time! The happiest day of my life was when Tom said to me, "Could you just write it all down?" It took a couple decades, but he is finally realizing I know what I'm doing ;-).

What is wrong with their arms that the can't actually reach into the dishwasher or the washing machine? Is this the same affliction that causes them to be unable to replace toilet paper rolls? I think this is also why boys have to be reminded 100 times a week to hold their penis when they pee...some kind of low muscle tone in the arm or something...

How exactly do they know where to put the WD-40 so that the annoying squeak vanishes from the screen door? I love that!Are some just born knowing how to dry wall and spackle? Is that even how you spell spackle?Some goes for splicing cable or whatever that is called...interesting that they can do that but not load the dishwasher.

Why do they love Home Depot and hate Bed, Bath and Beyond? It is the same idea really...Ok, HD is the mechanical stuff and BB&B is the decor...but need BOTH to actually be done with the new bathroom.

Do you think they really know what all those tools in the tool box are for? Tom is VERY handy and "fix-it-y" but he really only uses a screwdriver, a wrench and those allen wrench things...It's all for show, right? Kind of like women who have all those fancy copper pots hanging from their kitchen ceilings. They don't use those either!

Why do we both live in the same same house (and have for 19 years) and he still isn't always sure what brand of stuff we use? Fascinating...again, the details don't bother men.

I think it is cool that they can shower in 90 seconds.

Why can they remember stats about sports (and pointless ones at that!) and have no idea what I said this morning about our plans for this evening?

And this is NOT my husband...but the dads who walk into the office at school and HAVE NO IDEA who their kid's teacher is just floor me every fricking year. I mean really, this is not 1970...Dads are actually involved in childrearing these days. ACT LIKE IT!

Speaking of which...dads in real life are really not as dumb as the ones on tv. But why is it so darn funny anyway? Tom and I agree that is the only "acceptable" form of discrimination left, "Anti-dadism"....tee hee. But even the lamest guys I know aren't as dumb as say, Jim Belushi on Everyone Loves Jim.

And thus the big secret is BUSTED. Men really aren't dumb...they just act like it to get out of doing stuff, right? The really bad part is that women let them get away with it! I had this conversation with a man act dumb to get out of chores etc...Early in a relationship women just say, "Fine forget it, I'll do it myself" due to lack of patience. Later on in the relationship, especially after kids are involved, women say that due to lack of TIME. I don't have time to explain everything darn thing every darn day...Easier to do it myself.

And of course, if I didn't do it myself I'd have no reason or right to pull the martyr card every so often either ;-).

Ok, just a few things that have been on my mind. Overall, I like men. They are generally easy to get along with and since I am rarely offended I find their humor fun. And of course, you need a good one around to fix stuff and carry crap from the car. And maybe for a few other things during the week...

Now if any men read this they can write their own bitchy "Women" list....oh wait, that involves planning ahead and list making ;-). Nevermind....

All the Things I Did Before 9:00 a.m. Today...

Some days it really is like I am a hamster on one of those wheel thingys. When I was in preschool my hamster Ernestine fell off the wheel and got caught and strangled between the cage wall and the wheel...I don't know why I bring that up except to illustrate that no good can come of running around in circles all darn day...So, here was my morning....Just wanted to share....

1. Alarm went off at 5:20 a.m. Worked out...40 minutes on the treadmill while watching the news and a REALLY old episode of Trading Spaces....Ty is so young and still cute and Page is way too perky for this early in the morning.

2. Showered, dressed, make-up, dried my hair. No need to shave my is almost winter ;-).

3. Checked email on my Blackberry. Respond to only union issues and one Facebook notification from someone with a question.

4. 7:00 a.m.-Woke up the boys...put clothes on one of them while he was still asleep. You guess...

5. Took breakfast orders while putting lunches, water bottles and snacks in backpacks. Got my own lunch ready...found my school id badge.

6. Get to Starbuck's at 7:35....venti coffee. Darn! Did not see my fake boyfriend there today (shhhh, don't tell Tom).

7. 7:50-arrive at school. If they ever put a ledge up by the front door maybe I can get in with my key card without having to put down one bag or spill coffee on my sleeve.

8. Xerox a whole bunch of math stuff...ok, not really because the machine did that dumb thing where it just beeps and then won't auto-feed the page. I HATE THAT!!!

9. Talk to Jeanne about union stuff coming up...and people that annoy us and we wish we could punch.

10. Go through mail, check voice mail, check email. Respond to all...ok, only the pressing ones and the parents that need answers about the book report NOW. Because you know, since I have HARDLY discussed the assignment at school, posted it on my blog, put it in my weekly newsletter all month and sent home a packet about it 3 weeks ago it is totally feasible that they are confused...

11. Kids in at 8:45. Why are some of them still wearing shorts?

12. Accepted notes about playdates and early leaving...these kids have more doctors appointments than the Gosling sextuplets. Gathered late homework from the usual offenders. Almost missed the Pledge on the intercom. How come those 5th graders are so darn loud at recess but so wimpy sounding on the intercom? LOL.

13. Go through the schedule for the day and answer the same question 5 times about why we don't have recess in the afternoon...Hello, my lovelies, it is late October...We have NEVER had afternoon recess on Mondays.

14. Start Math...and realize I DID need that sheet that the machine wouldn't xerox back in #8.....Time to IMPROVISE!!I'm hungry...when is LUNCH??????How much had you accomplished by 9:00 a.m. today?? ;-)

Things That Are Harder Than They Look....

Some things are supposed to be difficult, or else everyone would do them. For example...climbing Mt Everest. When people die attempting to complete a task such as this you can assume that it isn't supposed to be easy no matter how much money you have. (If you don't know what they means read John Krakauer's Into Thin Air. This is a great book...interesting, educational, voyeuristic, scary and very sad, but I digress...)Then, on the other hand some things are just easy to do like say, making fun of poor Britney Spears or wasting an afternoon watching Deadliest Catch. These are things that are no-brainers and Jessica Simpson could do them, even while eating a tunafish sandwich.Ok then, back to the idea at hand. Some things APPEAR easy but they aren't. They fool you, and sometimes you end up looking like a fool, lol....For example:

1. Carrying a try of 3 or 4 Starbuck's drinks and trying to get into your car. Should be easy, right? You have them in a tray and you have a clicker on your key chain to open the car door lock. always ends up with me spilling someone's coffee on my car seat or my car door slamming on my arm or leg as I try to sit down. They have drive through Starbuck' about curbside service? It can't be too far off, right? I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

2. Helping an 8 year old with homework he doesn't want to do. Yes, I'm the adult. Yes, I'm a TEACHER. Still, I occasionally end up saying things like, "You will do this and you will stop complaining about it or you will go right to your room!" Helllooo? When did my mother arrive??

3. Trying to split a dinner bill 6 even ways and add the tip after several bottles of wine have been consumed. And yes, even when cell phone calculators are involved it isn't easy. Those buttons are LITTLE.

4. Trying to explain to your father (who spent his pre-retirement years as a BRAIN SURGEON, no joke) how to save email addresses in his address book so he doesn't have to retype them EVERY time. Oy...

5. Logging in to some account I only use occasionally when my password can be one of about 10 different permutations of the ones I use. Then I get booted off, then I have to request my password via email or register with a new account and another email, then I have to start all over. All because I want to order someone a damn cookie bouquet! It would have been quicker to just call!

6. Dropping off a committee at work that I don't want to be on. It is never pretty when your boss begs. should be easy, but I'm a sucker for flattery. I know, I'm so shallow. Shut up.

7. The fist of an 8 year old flailing around in jest. No, Mommy is fine....I'll just lay here on the floor for a moment...

8. Cleaning all the pieces of a Brookfield Zoo map left in my jeans pocket out of the washing machine. Soggy confetti, anyone?

9. Being organized. It takes a lot of work to make lists, know what crap is where in my house and get places on time! Don't let any organized, responsible person tell you differently. It is not that easy, but we make it look easy so others can be jealous and just get used to it because the alternative it just plain wrong ;-).

10. Finding a babysitter for every Saturday night. #9 helps a lot because generally I plan a month ahead of time. Parents who don't have a sitter the day before some big event just kill me....but I get it. It is hard! Teenagers want to have social lives, the nerve! I mean really...they have the rest of their lives to go out. Our time is waning and limited!!

11. Driving anywhere on the Edens. It just sucks. Should be easy, but it isn't. It might take 20 minutes to get downtown and then it might take 90. No rhyme or reason...and it pisses me off!

12. Keeping the interior of your car clean when you have kids. No matter how hard I try...My car used to be PRISTINE. Now, if there are only a few straw wrappers and some ground up Goldfish on the floor I'm thrilled. People with clean cars and no kids should just shut up. They don't know.

13. Cooking something the right way in the microwave the first time. When the box says "Temperatures in ovens may vary" they aren't lying. Case in point: microwave popcorn. The next part of this is that getting rid of the smell of burnt microwave popcorn should be easy, but it's not! Open the windows, spray Oust, lemon juice, boil coffee, vinegar....all the internet "fixes" DON'T WORK. You just have to wait 6-10 days and it goes away....or maybe I'm just used to it now.

14. Writing these isn't that easy to keep you people entertained. But I'm trying....;-) Thanks for the encouragement.So...that is just off the top of my head.

I know I'm missing stuff. Feel free to jump in here anytime, folks. Make it look easy....I dare you. ;-)

TV Is Good For You!

I love television and it is always on at my house. My children have been raised with it as background noise and I rarely limit their screen time. Are you shocked? No, not if you have ever been in my house. TV keeps me company, teaches me things and keeps me informed.TV is's some of my favorites in no particular order and why I love them:

1. General Hospital...You can escape for a time. I can shoot mobsters with Jason Morgan. I can mentally undress Jasper Jax. Anna Devane is my girl-crush. She is beautiful, tough, smart and funny. I love her, and there is nothing wrong with that! Soaps have HISTORY. I can think back to junior high and there are some of the same characters on. Amazing!

2. Jon and Kate Plus 8...they are my true friends. I know everything about them. If Kate ever gets out without any kids we can have a drink and discuss life. Yes, she needs to mellow out a bit....but jeez, she has EIGHT kids. You'd be bitchy too.

3. Deadliest Catch...I love Sig Hansen. There is something about a man who risks his life to bring me shellfish. A denim shirt and scratchy voice does it to me everytime.

4. LOST...Jack or Sawyer? I dunno, depends on my mood. Feeling the need to be with a man who is righteous and in charge? Then go with Jack. Feeling the desire to be with a naughty rebel? Sawyer is your man. And hey....if conversation isn't your cup of tea, then is always Jin. Plus, Kate can kick all of their asses, and THAT is hot!

5. And some shows are no longer...but still in my heart! Like The Waltons...if you could watch an episode and not get teary at least once then clearly you are some type of cyborg. And even though he was short Ben was my favorite brother. Mary Ellen, despite her annoying voice, was awesome. She did not take crap from anyone on that mountain. Little House on the Prairie is in this category too. Pa was so cute! I wanted to BE Laura...although even as a kid I realized that electricity was kind of necessary. So, I wanted to visit Walnut Grove for awhile, not LIVE there forever.

6. Dancing With The Stars...I like this show better than other "voting off" shows because even though they are B or C list celebrities, they are still celebrities. So, if they get dumped they still have something going for them. American Idol makes me so sad because you just know that dreams are being dashed up on that stage!

7. The Mole...LOVE IT! They do such a good job at hiding the Mole. I am always wrong, lol. Actually, I enjoy Celebrity Mole even more for the same reason as above in #6. The season that Dennis Rodman, Kathy Griffin and whichever-Baldwin was on was fab!

8. Dirty Jobs....I'd get dirty with Mike Rowe anytime. Those eyes get me. Plus, he's funny and he can sing.

9. Little People, Big World...That family is amazing. And Matt cracks me up. He has these ideas where you are like, "Yeah, right....a catapault. Whatever." But Amy just nods and moves along and he does it! And the fact that their house is a pit on a constant basis and no one seems to care is hysterical. But with 4 of whom is a teenage slug, who can judge?

10. Oprah....Love her most days. I don't like when she has celebrities on and she acts like she is so darn awestruck. Hello! You are Oprah-fricking-Winfrey, stop being amazed that you are meeting an actor! I do like the self-help shows or the ones where she makes wishes come true. Makes me cry all the time. And I love it when Nate is on. Such a cutie.

When people say they don't have time for TV or they prefer family time, I laugh in their general direction. Don't judge me! TV is an escape, a hobby....a way to unwind. And we all need to make time for that!