Sunday, November 22, 2009

Things I Can't Stop Saying...

I get stuck on the "trendy" phrase bandwagon sometimes. I am not proud of it, because I'd like to think that I am fairly original and have a novel approach to words. But alas, I find myself saying crap and I can't stop! And then at times I find myself saying things I wish I didn't have to say...I blame my children for those utterances. You know, like when you hear yourself actually saying, "If your friends jumped off a bridge would you do it too??" Here we go:

1. "Seriously?"...I can't stop this one right now. It has the right amount of sarcasm if said with raised eyebrows and it puts the offender in his/her place right quick. If I could raise ONE eyebrow then I'd be the queen of sarcastic snarkiness!

2. "Riiight?"...This is all the rage right now amongst my peers. Sometimes I make a concerted effort to NOT say it and at other times it just pops out. I especially use it in texts. It delivers the right amount of agreement and flabbergastedness (and yes, I just made that one up right now) while only using between 6 and maybe 10 text spaces (depending on how many "i's" I put in).

3. "What did I just say?"...This one is for my 6th grader who apparently has decided he only needs to adhere to directives with which he agrees. I say this to clarify my far it is working but I know my time is limited.

4. "Look at the board."...I have to say this at least 50 times a day in school. I write everything on the white board but some students just can't remember to turn their heads and look. At least I am getting paid to repeat myself in this instance. ;-)

5. "Are you kidding me?"...This one is in the same ballpark as, "Seriously" but is usually said with some remorse, disappointment or frustration. For just finagled a babysitter who can drive and stay late into the night so that you can attend a party you really want to go to. It took like 8 phone calls...then someone calls and says the party is being moved to the night that the high school has homecoming/turnabout/prom, so now you will NEVER get a sitter.

6. "I don't blame you for feeling that way"...This is usually said to various family members. Usually, I don't understand why they feel that way, I do want to blame them and I'm annoyed. But, after years of actually saying what I do think I realized that in the vein of self-preservation, I need to just shut up and validate.

7. "Can someone get that?"...Is there a real reason why no one else is capable of answering the telephone except me? I'm just asking...

8. "I don't know where your hat/shoe/phone/iPod is"...I guess I should be flattered that my kids think I know where everything they have ever touched is hiding in the house. But I don't. And usually they ask me when I am out the door, on the treadmill or extremely busy playing Bejeweled.

9. "Turn off your phone"...I know this seems odd coming from me, my Blackberry is permanently attached to me. But at least I put it on vibrate! My son's constant incoming texts can really piss a person off, especially since his text tone is a man's voice saying, "Excuse me Boss, but you have a text message!"...I can hear it in my sleep sometimes.

10. "Excuse me?"...I love saying this one to stupid people because then they are forced to repeat their stupidity. I don't like stupid people.

Or Comcast.

Or birds.

You know I couldn't get through a note without mentioning one or both of those, right?


Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Choose Happiness But Am Still Annoyed By:

1. People who forward stuff that CLEARLY is not true. I mean c'mon. How can you be a college or high school graduate and honestly believe that if you forward something to 20 people Bill Gates will give you $1000? Ridiculous.

2. On that same note...I know who my friends are and I love them (although not all equally and at the same time...). I do not need a thousand email forwards telling me I am a strong woman and someone loves me. Oh, but wait! An angel or a heart made up of parentheses, asterisks and colons is very special.

3. Every pink thing for breast cancer. I know I am going out on a limb here...and I am not belittling anyone's fight against disease. But when eveything you pick up has a pink ribbon on it, it kind of diminishes the message. The official soup of the fight against breast cancer? The official NASCAR driver in the fight against breast cancer? The official battery of the fight against breast cancer?

4. People who still can't use caller ID. If my mother cuts me off one more fricking time with, "Hold on, the other line is ringing," and then comes back with, "It was just my lady at Neiman's reminding me my hose are in," I am not responsible for my actions.

5. The guy at Starbuck's who still can't reload my card efficiently. He has been there since the summer. I can not possibly be the only person who comes in and asks for that to be done. It is getting so bad there I welcome being helped by the older woman who USED to be the inefficient one.

6. People who think my job is just one big recess-y picnic followed by June, July and August. I LOVE my career (which is different than a JOB, btw). But I work hard, in fact MUCH harder than I worked 10 or 15 years ago. It is a whole different world now...better in most ways. It ain't easy though.

7. The Gosselins. I am so over them..they are dysfunctional and sick. Their poor, poor kids are the Lohans and Hiltons of the future.

8. When I get to the bottom of my venti coffee (yes, I know I should have put this up with my other Starbucks issue, but I just thought of it...roll with it) and there are coffee grounds there! Yuck and ewwww!!

9. My neighbor with his perfect lawn and gardening. He owns his own business, he works a does he have the time?? Everytime I am out there trying to trim the rose bushes (which I make up as I go along, there is no "plan") I feel inadequate and inferior. And I am annoyed by that!

10. People who are late all the time. Plan ahead. It is rude.

11. The fact that the mouse in the basement keeps taking the bait out of the traps. Although, it could be one of the kids...Hmmmm...

12. All of the stupid ailments that have befallen me since I turned 40ish. I am in better shape and happier than I was when I was 25, why doesn't my body fully accept that? I am working on a Note on these ailments and syndromes. Just thought I'd throw it out there now though.

13. People who are too busy to call, text or email me back. I'm busy too. You know what happens over time? I stop trying...then you don't get the benefit of my scintillating, warm and fuzzy frienship. So there.

14. The fact that Deadliest Catch is not even on in reruns over the fall/winter. How am I supposed to deal with that? It is very upsetting...I miss Sig. I know he misses me too. He does! Shut up!

15. When I think there is one more piece of pizza left in the fridge and I go to sneak it and find that someone (TOM!) has already eaten it. Drat! Good thing there is candy for the next few weeks...

You don't think less of me for being petty, do you? Well know what else annoys me? Judgmental people. ;-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I am not a naturally patient person. When something needs to be done, I do it. I don't put it off; I don't saunter through it. I just get 'er done. And yes, occasionally that leads to impulsivity related mistakes....but I can clean those up too. Some things in life you have to wait for though, and I hate that. It sucks to wait for:

1. My coffee at Starbucks when all I order is regular drip. I can go get it myself. And if I did, it wouldn't be too full or too low.

2. The doctor to call back when you have questions about your kid's illness. And then he does call back and you are out to dinner. Of course you explain that the sick kid is home with his very responsible and possibly-more-nurturing father...but still...

3. The light to turn green when you have to get home to pee.

4. Test results from a doctor's office...whether waiting for good or bad news, it sucks. I always find it hard to believe that other people's lives just go on like normal when I am on pins and needles. I guess it isn't all about me, huh?

5. The meeting you have been called into with higher-ups, the boss etc...Even if you might not be in trouble, it is never good to get called in to "the office", right?

6. Friends who are perpetually late. It is a major pet-peeve of mine. I work full time outside the home, I have 2 kids and a dog, and I can get places on time. Everyone should be able to. Plan ahead. It is rude if you assume your time is more important than mine...because it isn't, remember? It is about me (ignore #4 above for now).

7. The shower to warm up in the morning.

8. The moron in front of me at (the) Jewel in the self-check out lane. If you don't know how to do it, then don't go in that lane when it is crowded. The machine is delicate and very picky. You have to show it who is boss and newbies can't do it.

9. Friday, when it is early in the week and you have a ton going on.

10. The weather on the news. Seriously, why isn't it FIRST?? People want to know what tomorrow will be like before they go to bed. And lot of nights I keep the news on to see the weather and then I get distracted and forget to pay attention to it. if it were first, I wouldn't have that problem!

So...chime in. I dislike waiting for your witty input. You don't like waiting for: ________??

Thursday, October 8, 2009


1. Why does the new lady at Starbucks remember my order but the one who has been there for 3 years doesn't? (And yes, I know I am obsessing over this...but seriously, it is annoying.)

2. Why do the kids at school listen to me so much better than the two with whom I live?

3. Why does that one patch of stained drywall in the dining room from the roof leak 3 years ago bother me so much? It calls to me each time I walk in there, "Look up here, Amy! In the northwest corner of the room by the closet door! I'm taunting you!!"

4. Why are there always stray socks in my basement?

5. Why does my dog drink out of the toilet when I have repeatedly explained to her that it a very bad habit? Not only is it icky, but it makes her pee in the living room before we get home from work. Is it so hard to walk 30 feet the other way into the kitchen to her water bowl? I mean, what ELSE does she have to do all day while we are gone?

6. On the same topic, why do the squirrels in my year mock my elderly dog? In her heyday she woulda made mincemeat outta them. Just ask the childless mother rabbit that used to live in my yard...

7. Why does McDonald' keep asking me if I want to try the Angus burger every time I come through the drivethru? Don't they read "Eat This, Not That"? That burger is like, worse than 3 Big Macs!

8. Why isn't Halloween in the summer when the days are longer and there is more time to trick or treat? And don't give me any of that "harvest" crap. If we still lived our lives based on farm principles kids would start school in October, end in May and I'd be melting lye for soap every weekend.

9. Why do people circle the parking lot at the health club waiting for a prime parking spot? Walk the extra few yards and count it against your treadmill time, for god's sake.

10. Why do the weather people tell us what the weather was like TODAY on the 10:00 news? Today is over, move on.

11. And for that matter, why isn't the weather the first thing on the news each night. That is all anyone cares about anyway.

12. Why do I hate kid birthday parties so much? I love the summer when no one has parties...such a reprieve! School is barely a couple of months underway and already my bulletin board is covered with printed out Evites, conflicting parties and reminders to buy presents that no one will ever play with. That last complaint is why I am strictly going gift cards from now is the only gift that is worthwhile these days. (And for the record my personal favorites are Starbucks, Target and Ann Taylor Loft...oh wait, that's for me. I guess 9 years olds prefer other crap.)

13. Why can't I find a pair of black leather boots that I like as much as the ones I bought 3 years ago and have worn into the ground? It isn't a hard request...but they just don't exist anymore.

14. Why can't you use Lettuce Entertain You Frequent Diner points on Saturdays? Ok, I get "why"...because they want the cash at high traffic times. But if I am frequent-fricking diner and loyal customer (despite DiPescara taking Tom's favorite dish off the menu) shouldn't I get to use my points when I want to?

15. Why do I get so mad when my kids are sick or hurt? I know, character flaw...I am way more sympathetic to the kids at school. Hmmm, maybe it has something to do with #2.

16. Why do I still believe that fax machines are magic?

17. Why do people put Tabasco sauce on stuff? It is so gross. When I see it I have to pant-blow out of my nose so I don't risk smelling it.

18. Why can't I buy Dell ink anywhere except online? Or, is that untrue and I just take their word for it? Is this a scam?

19. Why do some people like blasts from the past and some people eschew them?

20. Why do I feel that I have to have an even number when I write lists? I blame my friend Brian.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some More Things That Make Me Go Hmmm...

A few things lately, actually....

1. The story on the news about the guy who climbed into the grizzly bear enclosure at a California zoo. The police officer when questioned claimed, "The individual appears to have mental problems." Ya think?? Wow, now that is some in depth police work. That guy should be the new Port Charles police chief. They need someone with a masters degree in the obvious.

2. I love Dancing With the Stars...but is it selfish of me that the two nights a week for 3-4 hours of viewing I find too much of a commitment? I want highlights and recaps...You know, drive-thru DWTS. I'm too busy for this.

3. The guy across the street from me who was leaf blowing the leaves out of his gutters in the wind storm today. Really...he must have been bored.

4. I thought KiddieLand closed like 20 years ago. Apparently I wasn't paying attention.

5. There are still actually people who are not on Facebook. I'm still as confused about this now as I was last year when I wrote about it. My husband is the chief offender. He did join this summer...for about 3 hours. But I tagged him in about 20 pictures and he received 30 friend requests and he freaked out and deleted his account. In many social situations my husband chooses flight over fight. Wuss. (Now let's see how long it takes for someone to tell him I insulted him...)

6. I always assumed I'd be the "cool mom". Now that my older one is in middle school I realize I don't care so much about it. Although I might be on to something because he does choose to hang out here with his friends a lot. I'm just sayin'.

7. Just when the local Starbuck's crew was getting their act together they went on a hiring spree this past week. NOT ONE familiar face behind the counter/bar today. Adding money to my card was very confusing for newbie guy and it took all I had to be nice. Then he forgot to get my coffee and as I stood there waiting he was like, "Did you need something else, ma'am?" Um, yes coffee??!!

8. Paper uses up trees, plastic stays in landfills for 80 million years or something like that...I'm still trying to figure out what to use when they ask. Thoughts? And don't tell me to use the reusable bags because I can't remember to do that. I'm trying to keep 20 4th graders, 2 sons, a husband and a dog on the straight and narrow...that's enough on my mind for now.

9. When the Lean Cuisine boxes say to leave it in the microwave after cooking for 1-2 minutes, do you really have to? Is it just because they think I'm too stupid to not burn myself? Or, is there a real reason?

10. I read an article about the push to get rid of the penny. Did you know it takes more than a penny to make a penny at the Mint? It is fine with me if they banish the penny...but am I the only one who is confused as to how that would work? Would we go cold turkey or would they phase it out? Would goods and services be rounded for final price? I'm assuming everything would be rounded up...fiddlesticks!!

11. The Olympics coming to Chicago...I'm thinking they are coming and will be in our backyard and only wealthy people or those with big business ties will get tickets to anything.

12. The fact that no one has been killed in recent memory at the intersection south of my street. I routinely cross that street on foot and northbound drivers turning east DO NOT EVER STOP for pedestrians. My favorite is when I almost get run over and then I recognize the driver as a parent at school. How entertaining would that be for everyone?

"Did you hear? Ms. K got run over by Bertha's mom!!"

"Yeah, that'll teach her to give a 'C' on a book report!"

Stop know it could happen.

So....what has made YOU go, "Hmmmmm" lately?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

So sometimes....

You CAN go home again!

Not that you want to all the time of course, because if you did, they'd change the locks. But on occasion traipsing down that lane of memories is a hoot.

This weekend a long gone restaurant reopened in a near-by town. Said restaurant was the site of many Sweet 16s, birthday dinners, dates and then in college and the early years of teaching, "GNO" (Girls Night Out). It had a salad bar to DIE FOR...don't know what was in the tortellini salad but a dollop of it could get me going back in the olden days. The place closed down in the mid 90's and I am not joking when I say that I have thought about some of their menu items routinely for years.

So, fast forward to this summer when they began renovating another restaurant in the same mall. We all waited with breath drawn until this weekend when they reopened. And guess what? I didn't have high expectations. But really, it was the most fun I've had in a room with my children present in ages. Of course, they have some bugs to work out:

1. The main room is too bright, thus giving it a kind of cafeteria style feel.

2. The sweet young hostesses were clearly not ready for the throngs of 30, 40 and 50 something drooling patrons who descended upon them.

3. The usual new restaurant mix ups with a new wait and kitchen staff.

But the famous tortellini salad is still fabulous...I'm thinking about it now and I had half a plate full. I know the way to a man's heart is through his stomach...but tonight the way to my heart was via the salad bar.

Welcome home!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I live with my husband and 2 sons. I understand my husband, but it took time. We've been together 24 years this fall. As for the children though, I am occasionally confused, confounded and confuzzled by their behavior....Why, oh why do they:

1. Not care how dirty and smelly they are?

2. Not look when they pee? (And yes, I do look before I sit, but still...)

3. Refuse to use napkins...shirts are not for facial crumbs.

4. (Regarding my older son) Have nothing to say on the telephone but text constantly? And yes, KW, I realize you will blame me for this habit. But he doesn't drive, he's only 11. ;-)

5. Not hear anything I ask them in the morning but can retain the sports scores from the night before while eating cereal and watching SportsCenter?

6. Like to shoot things in video games? I find this boring.

7. Say there is nothing to eat and then take 4 boxes of things down to the basement?

8. Refuse to put clothes in the laundry basket?

Ok, I know there are easy reasons for these things like, "Because Mom will do it," or, "Because they don't care and they aren't really hurting anyone." And really, I choose happiness...I'm just wondering.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Choose Happiness!!

This is my self-proclaimed mantra this year. It has become a bit of a joke between a few of us at work...I think the young'uns might be making fun of me but I don't care. You know why? Because I am frickin there!

Really, what is the alternative? And don't be glib and say, "Um, duh, moron...the alternative is unhappiness". Because that type of cheekiness is not necessary in my happy world. There are many reasons and ways to be happy. I shall illustrate:

1. Things can be suckish at times...stressful and overwhelming. But you can meet things head on and deal with them, or you can bitch about it and blame others. I spent a lot of time in my younger years doing just this. And really, it takes more effort than just doing what you need to do. Be it work, family or social obligations...things are only as bad as you let them be.

2. Being mad and bitter take A LOT of effort (plus, it is bad for frown lines). If you got killed by a bear tomorrow would you want to leave some things the way they are now? If the person you are mad at got killed by a bear tomorrow how would that pan out for you? Think about it. It may not be worth it.

3. Most people who annoy you do so not because they want to, but because they are concerned, worried or scared about something. If it has to do with their kids put yourself in their shoes...if it were your kid, would you be upset too? If the answer is yes, then stop being annoyed and help them address the problem.

4. Waiting sucks...but sometimes there is no choice. I'm not talking about morons at McDonald's who don't know what to order and hold up the line...those people deserve a little shove. But find something else to do when you are forced to wait for something important. Play on Facebook, read a book, watch General Hospital, call me for a drink. Obsessing raises the blood pressure...I know, I spent lots of time doing this in the past.

5. Say no sometimes. Lots of overstressed, grumpy people are that way because they take on too much. Say no once in awhile. Maybe your family needs you; maybe you have some magazines to read. Whatev, do something for YOU. It is ok.

6. Focus on what you can do and what you can change. I know there are some things I can't change so I move on; it doesn't mean I have given up. But if I soldier on and do MY best the annoying things have less of an effect on those around me. Sitting around complaining accomplishes nothing.

7. Spend time laughing. If there aren't people in your house or at your work who make you laugh, you may need a change of scenery. If you can't be friends with people at work and consider them merely "people I work with" then you may very well be in the wrong career. I feel bad for you because I can't imagine not laughing at work or at home, for that matter.

8. Along the same lines, enjoy your job. Life is too short.

9. The days may go slowly, especially when trapped in the house on a rainy day with your kids. But the years go quickly. Don't blink. Over the mantle in my house it says, "Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments". It is true, enjoy things as they come and choose to be happy.

10. Have friends of all ages...the young ones make you remember what it was like, keep you up on music and good nightspots and the more mature ones remind you to add more to your retirement account and seem to know a lot about prescription drugs.

I know I am going out on a limb time I'm in a pissy mood someone will be all, "Choose happiness, Amy!" and I might punch them. But hey, once I get that out of my system I'm sure I will feel better.

Is it wrong?

That I am not that excited for the Olympics to perhaps come to my hometown?

I think Chicago has a pretty good chance at winning the bid to host the 2016 games. In fact, if you don't live here you can't appreciate the constant newspaper articles, the commercials ("I back the bid! Do you back the bid?") with the real Chicago celebs (Mike Ditka) and the locals (Tim Smithe of Smithe Brothers Furniture) and the news reports with the "countdown to the decision". But, I'm not that excited...

I see several issues:

1. Those of us who live will erroneously think that we can get good tickets for awesome won't happen. The tickets will be outrageously priced and impossible to get.

2. Driving anywhere downtown for the weeks leading up to, and the weeks of, the Olympics will be HELL. Us locals won't be able to get to appointments, engagements or anything else for that matter. That will piss me off because it will be SUMMER, when I have the time to do all that stuff!

3. The local news will discuss NOTHING ELSE. I mean, already they talk about it nightly and we haven't even "won" yet.

4. There will be constant infighting about what buildings and lands will be used, taken over, torn down, rebuilt, refurbished etc...This will also take over the local news. Which as you can see from #3 above, will annoy me.

5. The city will prett-i-fy lots of stuff just for the summer...and then let it go to crap afterwards. That is suckish, as my 9 year old would say.
You might think I am un-American, unpatriotic or just a Scrooge. I'm not really...I LOVE the Olympics, when they are on television. Generally, I watch them 24/7 when they are on my tv. I'm not begin negative, just realistic.

Oh well, maybe I am wrong...maybe Chicago will win the bid, I will get tickets for fun stuff like diving and volleyball and gymnastics and we will all be able to drive anywhere we want to all summer. Hey, it could happen!Really, it could...maybe, allegedly, perhaps...I'm not sure. I guess we will have to wait and see...Tune in October 3 for the big DECISION.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I Hate It When People Say....

1. "No offense but..."-Really? Because if you didn't want to offend me you just wouldn't say it. As my son once told a friend, "Just because you say 'no offense' doesn't mean you can be a jerk."

2. "Maybe you didn't understand me"-People say this when they are annoyed you don't agree with them. No jerkwad, I understood you, it is just that you are WRONG!!!

3. "Excuse me, are you in line?"-No, I'm just standing behind all these people to fake you out. Yes, I'm in line and you better back off because I was here first.

4. "I didn't hear the phone ring."-Liar.

5. "Can I see you in my office for a minute?"-It NEVER takes a minute and it is NEVER good. It is better to just be honest and say something like, "Come in my office so I can screw up your whole 'good karma' day."

6. "You look different. What did you do?"-Hmmm, I don't know. Depends on if you mean that as a compliment or not. Different as in "I used to look like crap and now I don't" or different as in "I look older and more worn out but you don't wanna say it"?

7. "Have you talked to Mom/your sister today?"-Don't answer, it's a trick question!!

8. "Does this smell spoiled to you?"-WTF? You think something smells disgusting and you want me to confirm? Trust yourself and leave me out of it.

9. "I hate to ask this but..."-Then don't. Seriously, I'm a busy person and unless I have given birth to you, I'd rather not go out of my way to do anything for you. Deal with it yourself.

10. "Do you have any plans for tonight/tomorrow/next Tuesday?"-Well, I don't know. If you are going to invite me to do something stupid then yes, I have plans. If the invitation is for something good, then I might be available. The only possible answer to that question is, "Why?"

11. "Mom! I need you down here!"-Again, NOTHING good ever comes of this. There is usually, blood, glue, Coca-Cola or something else spillable to contend with when I arrive.

12. "Oh, yes, we've met before."-And I stand there wondering who the hell this person is. I hate that.

I'm sure there are more, but you get the idea...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Things I Would Still Like To Do...

1. Dance on a bar, look good doing it, and have strangers throw money at me. (Ok, well, it would need to be a CLEAN bar...and all the strangers need to have all their teeth.)

2. Tell off a cashier who is being bitchy and acting like *I* am wasting her time when *I* am the one spending money.

3. Say no at work.

4. Meet Sig Hansen.

5. Stop checking up on my kids when they say that things are in their backpacks ready for school...I know, I'm an enabling Mommy and a teacher who does not practice what she preaches. Sue me, I'm human.

6. Leave the house without making the fricking beds...I used to ALL THE TIME in my younger days. Why can't I anymore?

7. Stop giving money to Channel 11 out of guilt. I have paid my dues....Bozo is dead, the boys are long done with Barney and the Teletubbies and everything else on there is British and boring and angst-ridden.

8. Learn to drive a stick shift car. I always say I don't drive one because it is too much work...but really, I tried to learn in high school and it was traumatic and I've always felt like I gave up too soon.

9. Cut the cord on friendships I have outgrown. (If you think this might be you, it might be...)

10. Eat more veggies.

11. Floss at least 3 times a week...or at least more than the day before a cleaning at the dentist.

12. Read some classic book that seems boring...maybe I'll like it. Anyone have any suggestions?

13. Try to spend one day without judging anyone else and see if I feel better about myself. I probably won't because really, what is the fun in that? But I could at least say I tried.

14. Have a day at school where we eat candy, watch a movie and draw pictures all day...but I'd have to swear the kids to secrecy and probably even threaten them. And eventually someone would tell on me...Even being union VP wouldn't save me from being called in on that one.

15. Say what everyone wants to say but is too scared to say to __________. (Can't even put her name...too scary!)

16. Get hit on by a former student who doesn't realize who I am. (Don't be disgusted, my first few classes of students are in their mid to late 20's at this point, there has to be at least one or two that MIGHT go for me, right?? ;-).)

17. Climb to the top of a climbing wall. My problem is I am too chicken.

18. Swim with dolphins.

19. Pet an Orca.

20. Learn to speak Spanish.

21. Win the Lotto...doesn't have to be MILLIONS. Just several hundred thousand would do. Pay off the house, buy a new car...put some away for the boys and buy one of everything at Ann Taylor Loft.

22. Learn to make banana bread so I don't have to throw away all those bananas every week.

23. Trip that mean girl who called Ryder fat and ugly.

24. Have enough expendable income to go back to Disney World and not have to take 2 years to pay it off.

Not a real "wow" of a list...I have NO desire to bungee jump, climb a major mountain or anything else that might cause my untimely death. I also am not patient or hard working enough to write a novel or cure cancer. But it would be exciting, cathartic and in some cases just fun, to do the above.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Don't Leave Me Hanging....

So, yesterday I introduced myself to a couple that I will be seeing weekly now that a certain sport my older son plays has begun. They are new to the team. I briefly met the husband a couple of weeks ago, but I reintroduced myself and held out my hand. He said hello and that he remembered meeting me and did not shake my hand. He did not introduce me to his wife, I had to repeat myself.

For some reason, I can not get over it. RUDE!!! I have no open sores, rashes or even a cold so that he would have been fearful of touching me. Now, maybe he's a germ-a-phobe and he touches no one...I will have to watch. But it really pissed me off. Ok, vent done...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thing I Am Not Sure About:

At my ripe old age not much surprises or confuses me...but then something does and I just have to stop and wonder, "Huh??" Things such as:

1. That the guy in back of me in line at Starbuck's knows my order, but the woman behind the counter doesn't and she is there every fricking morning. Is that guy some weird stalker or is the Starbuck's lady slow?

2. Am I allowed to walk up to the drive through at the bank during business hours? I do it all the time, but people in cars look at me funny and I always worry someone will run me over.

3. Having the news on with the kids around. My kids see the news and sometimes I switch it off when it gets intense. But really, I think they are old enough to know what is going on in the world. I know some of my friends do not approve of this. Or, maybe it is just some of the other shows....Hmmmm...

4. I can't stop these ShoppyBag emails and I am starting to get pissed off. I know it is my fault for opening it, but I got the original one from a mom in my class...I couldn't ignore it!! Now, I pay the price for being a prisoner of technology. Fiddle sticks and damnation...

5. My parents will be out of town for the High Holidays. My sister is having her kid's sleep over party on the first night of Rosh Hashonnah and I am going to see Tom's band the second night. So, no Rosh Hashonnah this year. Is that wrong?? I don't even feel guilty about that wrong?

6. I have a retirement fund...I haven't looked at the statements since the economy started going downhill. I figure what I don't know won't hurt me and things have a decade or two to right themselves.

7. Why are some people scared of people from their past? They are just people you went to high school with...if you aren't in the witness protection program you have nothing to worry about. No one cares that much about your extra 10 pounds.

8. Does my dog really need that expensive flea stuff if she never goes outside? She's getting old, she saunters out, pees and then comes back in. Plus, no fleas are in my yard in the winter, right?

9. Who should I call about the sticky tack at work that doesn't actually stick to anything? It is driving me nuts.

10. If you don't want to police your kids cell phone usage 24/7 then give them unlimited texting and tell them they have no minutes. Really, life is too short to be the cell phone police. Fork over the $ for texts and just read through their inbox when they are asleep.That's not wrong, is it?

11. How much bad stuff my 6th grader is learning on the bus. He played me an audio clip he recorded of some 8th graders and really, I almost blushed. And I am no prude! I deftly danced around my 4th grader inquiring about what "a party in my pants" means. I'm sure his brother filled him later when I left the room. That's what brothers are for, right?

12. Why my son's soccer trainer thinks it is fine for me to have to pick up from soccer practice 2 weeknights/week from September-November at 9:15 p.m. Oh, right! Because I am paying for this crap, that's why. I guess I should be happy that the third night he is done at 7:30 p.m.

13. Why ooblek works. It is cool though.

14. Is is ok that I like "The Wizards of Waverly Place"? I mean, that isn't too weird, right? It's not like I'm watching Barney or something...

Ok, my brain has been very busy. It is all going well, but as you can see, I have a lot on my mind. And you know, eventually I will run out of space up there. Then we are all in trouble.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Very busy....

Trying to come up for air....very busy....first week of school. Everyone pulling in different directions....class, my own kids, union stuff....I will be back soon!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Things I Have Been Thinking...

You know, I'm always thinking...always wondering...always pondering. And sometimes, like a string of celery between my molars, something just gets caught and I can't get rid of it. So here ya go:

1. How the heck do fax machines work? I mean, they were around before a lot of the computer stuff we are used to. So really, it is magic, right? I have always wondered this...It can not be explained.

2. When I know perfectly well who someone is and they act like they have NO FRICKING idea who I am, am I really honestly supposed to believe them? All it makes me wonder is WHY they are acting like they don't know who I am. Have they only heard bad things? Have they found everything out that they know about me by internet stalking and they are worried they will give it away? Do they have memory issues and they are embarrassed to admit it? What?? Just say something like, "Oh, sure, Amy. It is nice to see you."

3. Why in the world are so many people allergic to so many things these days? is freaky and weird. I never knew anyone who was allergic to nuts when I was a kid and now every year I have kids with horrible allergies in my classroom. It is scary. Then of course there is my allergy to stupid people...but that's not new.

4. All those people at daytime major league ball games...they are unemployed slackers, right? So, how do they afford the tickets when I can't and I actually work for a living?

5. Why do people on some of those reality shows do it? That "Toddlers and Tiara" show kills me. I have never watched a whole one...the promos are enough to make me sick. But why do those people do it?? Don't they get it that EVERYONE else in the world thinks they are insane? Do they ever watch themselves?

6. I would be embarrassed to order some of the drinks that I have heard people order in Starbuck's. I mean please, I can barely remember where I parked that early in the morning and these people have orders that consist of 15 words.

7. Why does the "early bird get the worm"? Why can't the rest of us just decide that birds are stupid and scary and evil and we'd prefer to be the "late morning bunny who noshes on a salad"?

8. I don't remember all that much about high school. It didn't make that much of an impression on me. I remember a lot more about junior high and pretty much everything about college. You couldn't pay me to go back to high school. It was a lot of work, a lot of resentment and not enough freedom. I spent a lot of time worrying about what people thought and lo and turns out it didn't really matter. Hey, if it weren't for Facebook I'd never have seen most of them again, lol.

9. I hate it when I am listening to my iPod and a song comes on and I think, "Huh? I put that on my iPod?? Ewwww." Does that mean that my tastes have changed that much? Maybe downloading elves have hacked my iTunes...Oh wait, I just could be my kids! They're busted!!!

10. No one has acted too surprised about my age recently...that used to happen all the time. Damn.

That's all for now...but now that I have gotten all this off my chest I can move on to other stuff. But really, if someone can explain fax machines to me in under 100 words I will proclaim your intelligence via my status update on Facebook for an entire day. I swear. And that is a major honor!! Think about it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Things I Never Thought I'd Say Out Loud...

This is a repost of something I wrote on Facebook last year...I read it again this morning and it made me laugh. Seriously, who has to say some of these things? Oh right, ME! And why would that be? Oh, sure...because I have children who are occasionally insane!!

1. Stop licking the dog!

2. I don't care if everyone else has a cell phone, you can't have one until you are at least 11!

3. Let me put that in my Blackberry.

4. That bartender doesn't look old enough to serve alcohol.

5. In my day Izod shirts never used to cost THAT much!

6. You have to hold your penis when you pee!

7. In this family we wear pants when we eat dinner.

8. Who barfed in this garbage can?

9. I like Jessica Simpson. (Well, this was true last I just kind of feel sorry for her. I like the purses and shoes in her clothing line though.)

10. I like Barry Manilow. (And I am going to see him in concert this winter with my MOTHER, lol.)

11. My parents were right about a lot of things...especially that smoking is bad and the fact that family comes first.

12. Because I said so!! And if your friends jumped off a bridge would you do it too?

13. Yes, you can have fries and pudding for dinner.

14. Please don't bring the Cokes until their meals come.

15. Don't make me come down there!

16. We don't eat fries off the ground.

17. Stop reading and go to bed!

18. That music is too loud.

19. I'd rather be at work.

20. You have to learn to ride a bike, we named you Ryder. That's called irony.

Six Word Saturday...

Hosted as always by Cate at Show My Face:

My six words are...

Play it like you mean it!


My husband's band is playing a show tonight...very exciting! He has been practicing for-fricking-ever. I haven't seen him on stage in eons (yes, eons, people). I can assure you that he will be playing it like he means it...because he does!

Monday, August 17, 2009

School is Beginning!

I just love this time of year. I know what you are thinking..."Teachers have it so easy all summer. I wish I were a teacher!" Well, summer is fun, but we aren't all footloose and fancy free all summer...there is work to be done and things to do. Oh, and the fact that I have my own actual children kind of cuts into my footloose time, you know?

Anyway, I digress...

I love new books, new spirals, new folders and the bright, clean way my classroom looks before the chaos begins.
I love putting everyone's name on labels, nametags, workbooks, mailboxes and posters. I can spell them all perfectly now!
I love thinking about the families I have known for years and how the kids I have this year were so little when I had Big Brother or Big Sister...and now I get to know them! Knowing families for years is (for the most part, lol) such an honor. It is exciting to see the kids grow up and hear them say things like, "I remember that book we read in 4th grade," or, "Remember when that bee flew in the room and you smashed it with your bare hands?" (True story...I am super teacher, you know!).

I love seeing the new teachers and watching them take it all in. Some days I can not believe it has been so long since I was the newbie. It doesn't seem like that long ago, and then people ask me how long I have been in the classroom and I actually voice the words, "20 years,". Oh did THAT happen??

I love setting the new routines with kids and seeing it all fall into place. When you walk into a classroom and it seems like things are running smoothly and the kids all know what they are doing, it didn't just HAPPEN. It took a lot of work and patience.

I love it when kids say, "That was math? That was fun!" Or, "When is science today? I was thinking about the experiment all night!" It means I am doing my part in making learning fun...because it can be, you know. And it should be.

I love my job, I love learning, I love being with kids. I get to laugh everyday. Not many people can say that about their job. I can say it and I mean it.

School is beginning!! Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jobs That I Could Never Handle...

I love my job. And really, I consider it a career and not just a "job". I dreamed about being a teacher, I went to college specifically to be one. But, there are some horrendous jobs, things people do because they need to be done and they need to pay the bills and the cable company (I hate Comcast). "Dirty Jobs" starring Mike Rowe (who is HOT and adorable and can sing) was the first of these shows. From this show sprung the best show of all creation, "Deadliest Catch", of course. But there are lots of jobs that seem "regular", and by that I mean, not LIFE THREATENING, but they would still suck. Here are my thoughts on a few things (since you know I was going somewhere with this):

1. Waitress...Some people are very good at this and they enjoy it. I would not. Customers can be very rude! You can see the extra napkins on the server station, get them yourself! And then how about customers who are never happy. No joke, I once witnessed my grandfather (may he rest in peace, cuz he was a really good guy) send the same bowl of soup back THREE TIMES because it wasn't hot enough. Finally Tom and I told him to stop, they were gonna spit in it and then pour it over his head.

2. Mayor of anything...I have been Union President, VP and Secretary (not all at the same time, even I'm not that good) and being in charge of a small organization for about 300 people and their "laws" was enough for me. NO ONE IS EVER HAPPY and most people don't want to solve their own problems. They expect others to spoon feed them. And as you realized in #1, I don't play that.

3. Bra saleswoman...Ewwwww! And don't you guys all start going, "Hey, that would be fun!" Because it wouldn't. Hot chicks don't get bra fittings...only old flabby ladies do.

4. Cold Calling...I do not like rejection or criticism. And, I generally feel that I am being hung up on over and over would really piss me off. I wouldn't last an hour.

5. Trash collector...It is very smelly. I mean, yes, we needs these people and thank goodness they will do it. But no matter how many cute stuffed animals they tether to the garbage truck, it still smells. And on a hot day it smells even worse. Some days, I feel badly what I have to leave out for them. (Although, on a side note...our trash collectors clearly do not like us. We have neighbors that put out chairs, old sinks, tvs and tons of other stuff EVERY WEEK. I have no idea where the stuff comes from, their house is smaller than ours. But two weeks ago Tom broke up the air hockey table, bundled it up neatly with rope and guess what? Yep, they left it there! WTF???? However...we hear that taping a $20 bill to said over-sized trash will help...we will see...Stay tuned.)

6. Those guys who advertise on billboards that they will clean up after floods, fires and DEATHS! Eeeeek! I'm assuming the police have these numbers to give homeowners, because I don't have it in my "rolodex". I don't think anyone does, right? That is tempting fate.

7. Porta Potty person...I can barely look at those without gagging. I have watched the service guy deal with the one on the baseball fields during recess a few times. He hoses the whole things out with some high powered hose and cleaning fluid and then it all runs out the bottom. Then he takes this HUGE suction tube and shoves it in the potty part and sucks the "stuff" up and into the tanker truck. Then onto the next one. Oy...thank goodness he is willing to do this, but I just cringe. Do you think that when he needs a restroom during the day he stops at McDonald's or uses one of his potties? I'm just sayin'...

8. Bird trainer...I will not elaborate. I don't even know if there is such a job. But I am not interested. Birds are evil, they will peck your eyes out...even if you train them not to. Don't trust them.

9. Gastrointestinal doctor of any kind....ewwww. I hope these people make a lot of money. Thank God for them. But I could never do it.

10. Flight attendant...Flying is horrific enough (Do THEY get to bring a normal size container of hand lotion or shampoo??) but to have to do it all the time? Forget about it, I could never. I don't necessarily fear crashing...I hate the recycled air, the sounds and smells of airplanes. It is awful. Couple that with having to be nice to travelers and I'd be arrested for assault inside of 30 minutes. "The light says sit down and buckle your seat belt! No, you can't have any pretzels!"

So, you may think I am unkind given my thoughts in the above selections. How can I spend my day with needy children? Easy...they are children! They are SUPPOSED to ask questions, need things, be messy and require assistance. Adults should take care of themselves. But the can't always do thank goodness there are people willing to help!!

Hey, at least know my limitations.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Hosted by Cate at Show My Face, as always. Visit there for some interesting words and some great writing!

My six words for today are:

I think I'll have some champagne!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oh, I just noticed!!

The animal post below was my 100th!! Yippee for me :-).

Things I have noticed about animals...

And now for some completely random thoughts...

I like animals for the most part. At one time in my life I had rabbits, a dog, a turtle, hermit crabs, and fish (yes, all at the same time). We are down to a dog, turtle and fewer fish now but I can't imagine having a house with NO animals in it. They are fun and cute, even though they smell sometimes and make more work for me. (And yes I do mean *me*. I was never one of those silly parents who gets a pet because she believes her kids when they say they will care for the creature! I got the animals because I wanted to.) are some things I believe:

1. Birds are evil. This is a fact and I am sure some of you are not surprised by this statement by me. They are freaky looking with sharp beaks and claws. They can swoop down out of nowhere and attack you, and don't say that won't happen because it does! I have been chased at the beach by seagulls who wanted my soft pretzel. It is the source of much laughter on the part of my children, but it happened. Maybe "The Birds" was fiction...but Hitchcock got the idea somewhere.

2. Dolphins are cool. I didn't want Flipper for a pet when I was a kid. I wanted to BE Flipper. The freedom, the swiftness and the intelligence of dolphins are so interesting. My first tattoo was a dolphin on my ankle just because I think they are so beautiful. I love those stories about them "saving" swimmers...that is cool. I'm not sure if I believe them necessarily, but you don't hear about BIRDS saving lives, do you?

3. Elephants are fascinating. I love the matriarch thing...because really, moms are generally in charge anyway, right? ;-). They live in tight knit family groups and they care for each other. They are intelligent and creatures of habit. If I were ever to start a new collection (after lunchboxes, dolphin stuff and rabbit stuff, I'm done though) it would definitely be elephant stuff.

4. Dogs aren't that smart. They lick their privates, eat grass, leaves and garbage and act like they haven't seen you in 8 years when you've only been gone 15 minutes. They can be cute, but they can also bite your face off if provoked. They relieve themselves in the middle of the floor when they feel like it and they think they own your bed. Of course there is the unconditional love for the most part, that's nice. But again...not so smart because most of us aren't worthy of that.

5. Rabbits are smarter than most people think. I had rabbits for many years. They had no cages and were litter box trained. One rabbit I had came when I called her name, went up and down the stairs, would jump in my lap and nudge me to be petted...very dog-like without the smell, shedding and bed stealing.

6. I would say something about cats but I know a lot of people actually like them, and I don't want to start a whole cat debate. Suffice it to say, I am HIGHLY allergic to them, so they are not my favorite animal. Also, the whole "hide under the bed and swipe at your ankles" thing is highly suspect, in my opinion. I don't trust them. BUT, if I were a witch (which I wish I was with all my little heart) I'd have a black cat. First, I could cast a spell and get rid of my allergies and second because I think it is in the witch charter that you have to have a cauldron and a cat.

Feel free to chime in with your own observations...if you hate animals in general that's fine too, I'm sure you have observations about that!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Things I Was Thinking About in the Meeting Tonight...

1. All the stuff I still need to buy for my classroom (contact paper for the locker tags, "Welcome to 4th Grade" pencils, new fabric for the hall board).

2. Who is that woman in the corner complaining about the new special lunch online sign up??? Get a grip.

3. I shouldn't have eaten all that coffee cake...who the heck brought it? Damn, it was me!!!!

4. All the people I have to invoice for the daycare program. I need a better spreadsheet...

5. Is there more coffee cake?

6. I should update my Facebook has been the same for 24 hours. "You know you have been watching too much 'Shark Week' when you are walking down the street and fear getting attacked by a Great White".

7. I wonder what the boys are doing alone at home? Probably buying inappropriate movies on On Demand.

8. I wonder what that video KrippledWarrior posted was all about...I should watch it. (And I did just was funny. Was that Christina Applegate??)

9. Is there any more coffee cake? No? Ok, where are the M&M's?

10. Someone shut up that woman in the corner!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clearly I need some help focusing...I blame the coffee cake.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nightmare last night...

Apparently, the beginning of school is looming. I had my first "school anxiety" dream last night (and I am sure the several glasses of wine at the bday party I was at didn't help...but still).

It was day 1 of school and my partner was not there. By "partner" I mean my fellow 4th grade teacher. My current partner has resigned and a new one is in the process of being hired...but in the dream the new one accused my principal of racism and quit and was suing us. (For the record, my principal is a pretty liberal, open minded person, so not sure where that is coming from). My younger son was in my class (which ain't happenin') and in the dream I was avoiding eye contact with him as I screamed at the class for continual playing of their recorders every time I turned my back. I guess in dreamland teaching the logical consequence of rogue recorder playing is to practice walking silently up and down the hall, 'cause that's what we did.

The dream ended with me passing my principal and some other administrators and saying, "I knew my 20th year wouldn't be any good. Last year's class was better!"

In my defense, I have excellent classroom management and I do not yell at kids (well my own, but that doesn't one is paying me to mold their little minds). My usual school anxiety dreams revolve around me not being ready, or losing the key to my room etc...

Yikes...well, it will have to be better than the dream. Here is to year'd think I had this down by now ;-).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Six Word Saturday...

Hosted, as always by Cate at "Show My Face" :

My six words.... Stop whining, my sympathy is waning.

Happy Weekend, everyone ;-).

Friday, July 31, 2009

Common Lies To Be Watchful Of...

**After a recent discussion with one of my sons about lying vs. "white lies" is a repost of an old list I put on Facebook last winter...still holds true ;-).
Now, the disclaimer here is that OBVIOUSLY none of this is from my personal life. These are all based on observations of OTHERS. Being an educator, union official and mommy, I would NEVER, ever fib, embellish or lie. This is all for the purposes of entertainment, folks.

1. "Your email must have got sent to my bulk folder. I never got it, I am so sorry!" Now, this will work in extreme situations...but is clearly a lie that you can't use with family or close friends. I have heard it works in a school setting...

2. "My son is sick. Barfing all over. I am so sorry I can't make it to your candle and basket party." If someone who doesn't have kids says this to you, you can be pretty sure they are lying their ass off. So, remember, this doesn't work if you don't have kids yet. And if everyone knows that you have a kid who can barf at will, this won't work either ;-).

3. "I didn't have any cell reception so I couldn't call to invite you." Yeah right....and if that person has Verizon you KNOW they are lying. Verizon rocks. I always have reception.

4. "My sitter cancelled." This is ALWAYS a lie. I have never known this to be true...ever, in the history of the world. But it works well when needed, just don't get caught out elsewhere when you are supposed to be at the candle and basket party.

5. "My husband won't allow it." Oh PUL-LEASE! what self-respecting woman in her right mind actually says this and means it? This is only to be used when you don't want to do something and you need to blame it on someone else. However, once uttered no one can argue with you since they aren't entirely sure if your husband borders on abusive and they don't wanna get you beat up!

6. "Oh shoot...I gotta go. The kids are fighting." If you really want to be on the phone a little sibling squabble doesn't stop a real mother. You just close the door to the room they are in or give the "Mother Death Stare".

7. "No, I have never been drunk. I don't like the way it makes me feel." Now, this is a lie that MUST be told to children under legal drinking age when they ask. The watchful part of this lie is if you do not tell this lie you might be an overindulgent parent who is too intent on being friends with their kid.

8. "It's not you. It's me." is NEVER me, it is always YOU!

9. "No, I can't make that meeting. I have a doctor's appointment." Really? How often do most people have dr's appointments? It is probably a manicure or a cut and color. But you can't argue with someone who SAYS they have a medical appointment. Now, if they said dentist you could argue...because that isn't ever terminal. That's why doctor's appointments are conversation stoppers.

10. "The dog has horrible gas!" Yeah, right....These are the same people who blame babies for their own gastrointestinal problems. Blaming children and defenseless animals! Just disgusting!

11. "This project took my little Sarah hours and hours to do!" Yeah, I'm sure, Mom. Your kid couldn't recreate that level of work in my classroom if I gave her 10 days, a $5000 budget and a staff of 6. Nice work, Mom. How'd you do in 4th grade the first time around?

12. "I couldn't get to the phone. I am so sorry I missed your call!" This is 2008. Caller ID means that if you miss a call you know who it was. If you WANT to call back, you will. If you don't want to call back, you say this (or #3....both work in either situation generally.)

Certain lies (or, "fibs", if you will) don't cause unending pain and hurt. The above are just little, if you said you couldn't drive a colleague to her grandmother's funeral because you had to go and serve soup to homeless people but really you had to go watch GH at a friend's house, THAT would just be wrong...on so many levels.

Lying is wrong....unless it is necessary....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

That's nice...

My older son was born 11 years ago tonight by emergency c-section (thus beginning the slow and inevitable decline of my once hot bod). He just called me from his friend's house to say happy "his birth day". Lol.

Actually, he said, "Thanks for having a c-section so I didn't die." I told him no was my pleasure after about 6 months of heartburn and sleepless nights.

The kid is a keeper though...he's smart, he's funny, he doesn't mind going to the mall with me and he will still kiss me goodbye in public.

Motherhood rocks ;-).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Things Would Be Different if I Were in Charge...

If I were in charge things would be a lot different. And of course, different doesn't always mean better but in this case, it actually WOULD be there! If I were in charge:

1. Stupid people...put to death. No trial, no second chances. You are dumb, you die. This would end the morons who get to the front of the line at McDonald's and have to READ THE MENU. If you just got off the boat from the Nicobar Archipelago then fine. Otherwise, order your frickin' value meal and move on. This also gets rids of people who say stuff like, "Oh, I don't use email."

2. As long as I am on the topic...If I were in charge there would be no long winded phone messages where at the end the person blurts out their phone number (which is different than the Caller ID) so quickly that you have to listen to the message 3 times to get it down. Send me an email.

3. Families would be able to actually go to a professional sporting event without the cost being like $200. And I don't even mean counting the souvenirs or the food. I would like to be able to buy Bulls or Hawks or Bears tickets and not have to forego groceries for the week. When we do go, I look around the stadium and wonder, "WTF? How do these people all have more money than I do?" I just don't get it. It's a bummer.

4. Comcast would be disbanded and their leaders taken out to a field and shot point blank (see #1). The cable would be free, as God intended.

5. Banks and car mechanics would be open on Sunday. 'Nuff said, no explanation needed.

6. Children's sports would not play on holidays. No soccer games on Mother's Day, no baseball on 4th of July and no hockey on Thanksgiving. These things do nothing more than piss off parents who have to split up the family to be in 2 places at once. It also causes the family members without kids or with babies to say things like, "Oh, we will never allow our little Bart to do that!" Yeah right, see me in 10 years.

7. All birds would be kept in cages so they can't swoop down out of nowhere and peck your eyes out.

8. McDonald's would deliver...sometimes you just need fries and a large fountain Diet Coke at 11:00 p.m. when the kids are asleep.

9. The bank next door to me would fix the sewer in their parking lot so that it would not cause a lake to develop every time it rains. At this point in the year it is just a resort area for mosquito larvae. Yuck.

10. Road construction work would only be done between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. Then, it would all get put away so that the lanes that aren't are all torn up could be used during the day when people need them. Do they seriously need to block both right lanes when they are only working on the shoulder??

11. There would be no more ATM fees. Those are dumb and I don't like them.

Obviously, there are more important things I could do if I were in peace, no more war, no discrimination, cure cancer and so on. But really, all of that is beyond my scope. I'd like to keep things do-able. And get rid of stupid people. And birds. I hate birds.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Things that are better with avocado...

Avocados are yummy AND good for you. According to Wikipedia:

"High avocado intake has been shown to have an effect on blood serum cholesterol levels. Specifically, after a seven day diet rich in avocados, hypercholesterolemia patients showed a 17% decrease in total serum cholesterol levels. These subjects also showed a 22% decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and 11% increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels....About 75% of an avocado's calories come from fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat. Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K.[19] They have the highest fiber content of any fruit - including 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fiber."

I love cutting them open, popping out the stone and then either scooping them out, or slicing them and dicing them. It is fun! And adding them to lots of things really brightens up the menu. For example you can add them to:

1. Anything Mexican (duh!), except maybe margaritas...the avocado just gets soggy.

2. A piece of fish...I just had a salmon fillet and sliced up some avocado and put it on top with some salsa...voila! A healthy entree that didn't come out of a box!

3. Cottage cheese...You may think this is gross, but I eat it for lunch at least twice a week at work: a cup of cottage cheese, sliced up avocado and salad dressing or salsa of your choice. Really, seriously, it is good. Trust me.

4. An English muffin...cream cheese and avocado. Yum!

5. Any green salad...the avocado adds a different, non-crunchy texture.

6. Eggs...after you cook the eggs (preferable scrambled, or an omelet) just scatter avocado slices or dices on top. Add salsa if desired.

Upon further review...this list might be titled, "Things that are better with avocado AND salsa", lol.

Try one of these this week and get back to me. Really, I'm here for your health. I'm a giver.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Book Club

I'm in a book club. It is comprised of a bunch of women I work with. We are all at differing life stages...some divorced, married, with kids, with grown kids, no kids, some grandmas, and even one Republican! (We are very equal opportunity.)

So, we met tonight and I came home as I always do after Book Club...full to the gills and laughing. We eat A LOT and drink, and then we usually talk about the book some. Some months we book talk more than others. We have found that when we all like the book there isn't much to talk about. We spent a lot of time tonight catching up on each others' lives since we are all in education and most of us haven't seen each other since school let out last month. (Which, if you think about it is teaching we see people EVERYDAY, we know everything about each other and then in June we go our separate ways until August.)

The book tonight was Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah. Good book...chick-lit, pretty much and made for a good cry for most of us. And believe me, there is nothing more pathetic than an almost 42 year old woman sitting next to the pool by herself crying onto her beach towel reading a paperback. Trust me, that was me. My children were mortified.

Next month we are reading The Price of Privilege by Madeline Levine...about the current rash of over pampered kids in this country. Now that one should leave us something to discuss since we teach in a very upper-middle class area and most of us are parents in the same area. We will see...

I think the nicest thing about Book Club is that we all share some things in common (profession, gender) but we differ on other things and we can discuss them. Some of the women in Club I am friends with outside of work and talk to whether school is in session or not. But others are just "colleagues"...yet we share a love of reading and talking. Nice connection!

What have you read lately?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I should play the lottery today or something...

I need to get my driver's license renewed since it is up next month on my birthday. Since the DMV is generally CRAZY I figured I could pop in there once a week for the next month and hopefully (fingers crossed and prayer may help) one of those pop-ins would result in me seeing a not-so-long line.


I bop in there today after the sale at J. Crew (don't ask, but I do own two, yes 2, grey dresses now...) and guess what? NO LINE! WTF? Unprecedented, unheard of and lots of other redundant stuff. I shimmy up to the counter, present my $10, change my weight (Cuz I haven't weighed 105 lbs since college and the dishonesty of it all has been bothering me...what if I got kidnapped and they did my APB based on my license?? Everyone would be looking for some 105 lb, 42 year old tattooed woman...I'd never get found!) and then on to get my picture taken.

And it gets better...My new driver's license photo is GREAT!! I actually look decent.

Quite the day, huh? ;-) I guess it's all downhill after Disney...but I found it exciting. Ok, back to reading better stuff than this. Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Things that make you go, "Hmmm":

Gazillions (and yes, that is a number sanctioned by Disney) of people visit Disney World each year. I have seen many of them this week.

I have noticed that:

1. Most kids under the age of 6 cry at least once a day in Disney World despite the fact that this is the happiest place on Earth. It just goes to show you that most kids are greedy parasites and are never really happy. And I say that with all the love and affection of someone who spends all day with children. I enjoy them, they just don't appreciate the idea of delayed gratification.

2. 3 out of 4 families you pass by are arguing. Usually it involves Mom or Dad hissing something like, "And if you whine about it one more time you are going back to the hotel!" Then you can refer to #1 because the chid begins to cry.

3. There are many people schlepping infants around. Huh? How much fun can you have when you are stuck with a baby, 100 degree heat and only public restrooms? I'd rather walk through broken glass.

4. Same with people who need wheelchairs or scooters to get seems more trouble that it is worth. Sorry, but when I am 75 years old and in a chair, I don't need to go on "It's a Small World".

5. Not everyone who works here is happy. Don't get me wrong, I think that is okay. I envisioned all these Stepfordesque cast members who just took peoples' crap 24/7. Not so. I have seen Grumpys...and I don't mean Dopey's roommate.

6. There are gazillions of South American teen tour groups! I realize it is a different way of life (a different continent even) but I can't see sending my 14 year old to another continent with 60 other 14 year olds and a few college students. They sure are partying it up, in the pool past midnight and they seem to have a chant for everything. Of course they could be saying, "Death to Floridians!", I have no idea. Also, Tom seems to be a big magnet for "beer buying" requests. They clearly don't know him, lol.

7. And is that woman over there SERIOUSLY wearing that bikini?? Sheesh, I shouldn't worry about my body at all. That chick has some major high self-esteem.

People watching is the best. I'm not judging, just noticing. Peace, out.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 3...

We went back to the Magic Kingdom today and did everything we did on Sunday plus:

1. Big Thunder Railroad-Loved it! Not too scary but not wimpy! I love how the rides here are actually LONG. Not Great America "stand in line for 45 minutes and the ride is 30 seconds".

2. Buzz Lightyear-Fun but the instructions were hard to hear and we didn't know you had to shot the "z" circles only. Someone with a seizure disorder should NOT ride this...oy, the noise and strobes!

The whole Fast Pass thing makes life easier. And staying on the resort allows you to come in to some parks early...I am grateful to my friends who come here every year and gave me the FULL scoop on how to do all of this!

Tomorrow is Epcot. Can't wait to see what this "Soarin'" thing is all about.

Day 2

We had another fun, full day. Aside from a couple minor fits over food or the order of events we continue to make fabulous, fricking family memories each day:

1.Kilimanjaro Safari-Very cool. We saw various horned animals, giraffes, elephants, cheetahs and lions. A rhino walked in front of the jeep for a bit and we saw hipps as well. There were a lot of birds...I hate birds.

2.Kali River Rapids-Tons of fun! Ryder and I got completely soaked. We Fast Pass-ed this one...greatest invention ever!

3. Everest Expedition-Fab coaster! Tom and I LOVED it. The damn kids were scared and wouldn't go on it twice. Losers.

4. Prmeval Whirl-Otherwise known as Six Flags' Ragin' Cajun.We saw a lizard on the groud when we were waiting in line, that was fun.I think I got whiplash on this one. Very jarring.

5. Dinosaur-Very loud but fun. When the suspiciously Satan looking T-rex screams in your face I did wanna cover my ears.

6. It's Tough to be a Bug-Awesome 3-D! This is what 3-D is supposed to be. Even I wanted to try to reach out and grab the little flying bees. I was not expecting the water or the fog...and I did scream when the "cockroaches" ran under my seat. I believe Ryder yelled, "What the hell was THAT??". Lol.

7. Finding Nemo-Musical version with puppets. Cute, great puppetry, but a little young for our boys. Great for the under 6 year old set.

8. Pangani Trail-We saw gorillas and hippos. Ryder was a superb trail guide, following the map and everything.

9. Maharajah Trek-This is another walking trail with Komodo dragons and HUGE scary fruit bats. Too many birds though.

A great day...we did everything we wanted except ride Everest twice...damn kids.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Half a day at Magic Kingdom

We got in yesterday afternoon to Disney World and went to the Magic Kindom. We did A LOT!!

Just so I don't forget, here is the list:

1. Jungle Cruise-I wonder if the skippers all have the same schtick.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean-Awesome! Some of the pirates looked so real, some not so much.

3. Splash Mountain-It was long! I had no idea! So much fun and yes we were soaking. Ryder and I were right in front and I hid behind him. I have no shame.

4. Tea Cups-You gotta do it, right?

5. Haunted Mansion-We all agreed that we wished more stuff jumped out at us but it was good.

6. It's a Small World-A little freaky and annoying but you have to say you did it. We took a funny picture of Tom and AJ looking scared at the freaky dolls.

7. Peter Pan-This was fun too. Of course it makes sense that we flew but I wasn't expecting it. The boys don't know the story so I was explaining it to them in line.

We ate in Tomorrow Land and Ryder was pissed there were no fries. Tom was cranky about not having enough pop and AJ and I were happy in the happiest place on Earth!!

Let's see what today brings!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Observations from the road...

So, we got to just north of Atlanta yesterday. Today we are up bright and early and on the road towards Macon.

Thoughts thus far:

1. My kids are being GREAT. Really, even I'm surprised and usually I like them anyway. The point system (see yesterday's post) is going well. We may end up buying them too-expensive-crap when they redeem points for dollars.

2. The exit and ramp signs in the south are funny. They are all culicue...they almost look fake! At home the arrow just points to the left or right no matter how much the ramp loops around.

3. Chick-fil-A IS pretty good. Never been there until last night. The rumors are true-good chicken, yummy waffle fries and Tom was beside himself with joy over the fountain Diet Dr. Pepper. That is unprecedented back home! Very interesting that they are closed on Sundays bank and car dealership of them...

4. A lot of people throw whole trash bags on the side of the road. Very bad manners.

5. Don't they use recycled tire rubber for playgrounds sometimes? Well, we could outfit about a million playgrounds with the blown tires we've seen so far. Do trucks blow tires like everyday or something? It is unreal! Who knew?

6. Liquid chicken is some sort of processed chicken substance that is hauled in large trucks. I guess (according to a friend who Googled it for me back home) it is used for pet food. We drove behind a truck labeled "Haulin' Liquid Chicken" for miles in Tennessee yesterday.

7. The 70 mph speed limit in the south rocks! Never seen that before. Although driving through the mountains in Tennessee at 70 mph to keep up with traffic is a little hair-raising. And when you see signs labeled "Runaway Truck Ramp" it makes you go, "Hmmmm".

8. Best billboard so far: "Liquor Store Next Exit-Military Discounts Given". Yikes.

9. I've been "m'am-ed" a lot. It's nice and all, but I'm starting to feel old. Oh wait, I am old.

10. We are seeing lots of roadside signs for "p'nuts". Is it really necessary to abbreviate peanuts? I think with proper planning you can fit 2 more vowels on the poster. Oh, and also apparently people in Georgia are much more free with apostrophes. Either that or the crops own a lot more stuff because we've seen signs for "peach's", "onion's" and "watermelon's".

I guess that's about it...we just entered Butts County. The kids are pretty amused by that. The South is nothing if not fun, so far.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On the Road (not again, for first time!)...

Into the second hour of our road trip to Disney far so good ;-). Who knew the speed limit in Indiana was 70 mph? That got Tom REALLY excited, which is as excited as he is gonna get for the next week seeing as how all 4 of us are sharing a hotel room.

Here are the "5 Commandments of the Road Trip" by my older son:

1. Shut up and don't complain.

2. Be patient.

3. Don't fight.

4. There isn't that much food so don't ask all the time.

5. Be bored in silence.

Not bad, huh? The boys are on a point system for behavior for the trip...points can be redeemed for $ to buy crap in Disney. I will keep you informed of the point totals which I am sure will be directly proportional to my mood throughout the week.

So far the boys are tied...2 points each. And in case you are wondering, yes, points can be deducted. Absolute power is mine!! Bwahahahaha!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Life Is Too Short...

I think over the past decade or so I have mellowed some. Not everyone would agree with that, but I think I have, so that is all that matters. ;-) Having kids SHOULD mellow a person somewhat. I know there is plenty to worry about once you have kids, but you have to let some things go. And actually, I have come to realize the past couple of years that I am a pretty happy person. Some of it is because things are ok in my life, some of it is because I choose to let other things go. For whatever reason, I do think that you can choose to be happy for the most part. That doesn't mean that sh*t doesn't happen, or that unfortunate or unfair things don't occur. But it does mean that you can choose the way you handle those things and you can embrace the "good stuff" all the more. are some things I have found life to be too short to perseverate on:

1. Not everyone will like me. I spent a lot of time when I was younger worrying about this and trying to be "oh so perfect". While it still bothers me if someone doesn't like me or agree with me, I try to remember that they are dumb and then I move on ;-).

2. Disliking someone because they made a bad choice...People do dumb things. Life is too short for me to hold grudges against people who have not harmed me personally or intentionally. I don't have the time or energy to alienate people who wronged someone else when that someone else has forgiven them. That being said, there are some people that I just don't like. But I prefer to attribute that to good taste.

3. Changes at work...I love my job and where I work. I might not agree with everything that goes on but I'm not the boss. That doesn't mean I don't get annoyed when someone asks me to reinvent the wheel, but I have learned to move forward in a way I didn't know how to do 10 or 15 years ago.

4. Having the perfectly clean house. I have kids, and they are boys, my house won't ever be clean again.

5. Counting every calorie...If I get killed by a bear tomorrow my casket might weigh 5 pounds more than I'd like. But then again, I'll be dead so it is really the pallbearers problem, not mine. If you are in a healthy weight zone, no need to obsess.

6. Having it all...I will never be rich, I will always (hopefully) have "just enough". It is not worth thinking about what I don't have, what I can't do and what I can't afford. I could let that bother me since in the area where I live most people have "above and beyond". It used to bother me more...maybe because I am pretty happy as I mentioned above. The old saying "money can't buy happiness" is true...of course, it HELPS, but it doesn't create it ;-).

7. Flossing is a waste of time...ok, maybe not really. But I'm busy online every night trying to write entertaining little ditties for you people. I don't have time for more grooming. And yes, I may regret this later in life...but then again, life is too short to worry and I have dental insurance.

There is more of course, but that is just off the top of my head. And I am busy packing for Disney, you're gettin' a short, odd numbered list this week. Life is too short for me to worry about even numbers, I am focusing on a road trip, time with my family and seeing the happiest place on Earth.

Life may be too short for some things but the key is for you to enjoy what it is, what you have and what you can do.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Well, DID rain on our parade!

So we just LOVE the 4th of July. We have several family tranditions that have evolved over the years. On the 3d we BBQ with friends and then walk to our town's fireworks. The fireworks were exceptionally good last night, and it was the first year in many that it wasn't 90 plus degrees...I actually wore a jacket while eating the traditional Swedish Fish and Twizzlers. We sat with friends and the kids are now old enough to run around the field and find their way back to us when necessary...nice!

On the 4th our town does it up BIG! We do the pancake breakfast/carnival/art fair at the park district center and field. Well, AJ and I did it with a friend and her daughter this year since Ryder had baseball and Tom went there. But it was nice...especially interesting was the artist who paints on toilet seat covers. He had a lovely rendition of the album cover for "Dark Side of the Moon", but I digress...

Ryder's team lost in the bottom of the last inning with him pitching...and yes, ther IS crying in baseball when you are 9 and were previously undefeated. And then it drizzled throughout the parade, but there was candy thrown at our heads and bagpipers galore, so that was nice.

Then (as every year) we sprint to the car and drive to the next 'burb south for the parade that goes past the in-laws house. The drizzle progressed to full on rain, but the, parade went on.

I'm dried off now, sitting at the in-laws with a glass of wine and some salted almonds. If the rain let's up we will do more fireworks...or just go home. We keep reminding ourselves of all the years we are melting in the heat. Next year we can say, "Remember last year when everything was soggy?"

Happy 4th to all...wave a flag, light a sparkler and eat a hot dog. I love summer :-).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Suspending Belief...

I love tv. I mean really love it. I watch it all the time and I am not afraid to say that aloud. As a kid, I had few limitations on my tv time and in turn, my kids have few limitations as well. So far, they are not too messed up...if you can overlook a few ill-timed Simpsons or Family Guy quotes at family dinners. Anyway, my point is that all of this makes me (in my own mind) a "TV Expert" if you will, a connoisseur of sorts. I believe in the positive effects of television. But to completely embrace the world of tv you have to be willing to suspend belief on a lot of topics. If you don't, it is just annoying and you end up noticing stupid things. are things you must be willing to overlook:

1. Characters can hear things that Steve Austin never could have heard. But yet, they DON'T hear something just around the corner. This serves to push storylines forward or hold them back, depending on when sweeps week is.

2. They use cell phones in hospitals all the time! When my kid had a concussion and was in the ER getting a CAT scan I forced Tom to call the grandparents on his cell and the nurse reprimanded him. I wanted to point out that on tv they do it all the time...but I was busy.

3. They never actually say good bye when on the phone and this is not seen as rude. I get a call back from my mother when I do this...of course perhaps my ending the conversation with, "Whatever!" and slamming the phone down might have something to do with it too.

4. People never have to wait in lines...unless the premise of the show is that they are in a hurry. On "Seinfeld" they waited in lines all the time, but that show was about nothing.

5. Redecorating is flawless, seamless and takes no time at all. No back ordered supplies, no behind schedule contractors, no rain delays. Yeah, that happens in real life all the time, right?

6. The "pop in" is a staple. On tv people are always just stopping over and popping in to each others' houses. Aside from next door neighbors this really does not happen in real life. And if it did, you'd be annoyed. I'm busy. I do not have time to sit around and chit-chat with people that I did not invite over. If I want you in my house I will invite you...and you better bring wine.

7. Women wake up with make-up on. If normal women go to sleep with make-up on they will wake up a runny, streaky mess. Plus, leaving make-up on 24/7 leads to acne. (Something else that never plagues tv people...except for P. Diddy or Jessica Simpson who use ProActiv, as do I).

8. On tv, when people entertain they always have enough matching chairs, dishes, glasses etc...When my whole family comes over we have to use 2 different tables and 3 different sets of chairs. If I have more than 10 people we use paper plates. And I know on soaps they are all rich but this is the case on sitcoms too...except "Roseanne" but barely making ends meet was the premise of that show.

Clearly there are more "way fakey" things on tv, but there are the ones that jump out at me consistently. Feel free to list any other ones below...but if you don't watch tv (shudder, gasp) no need to judge the rest of us, just go read a book or something ;-).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

There are a lot of things I will admit to, and some that I probably shouldn't. I'm going to come clean now on some of them. But remember this is MY list. You can disagree, but no judging! Only *I* can judge on my page ;-). So here are some things I like, enjoy or take part in but would not admit to just anyone, until now:

1. 80's hair bands and their ballads...Nothing more enticing than Poison or Warrant singing a love song. I could listen to them forever in my car, singing my little tone-deaf heart out. Seriously, "Heaven" is just that. I defy you to NOT sing along. And if you can honestly tell me that "Every Rose Has its Thorn" or "Something to Believe In", didn't do it for you in high school (or college maybe), you were a wannabe who was busy with the Dead and their whole bandwagon. Not that I'm judging...

2. Twinkies and Ding Dongs...They take me back to childhood. I used to have one in my lunch everyday, back in the day when kids just ate yummy stuff and didn't have to have healthy junk shoved down their gullets. Hostess cakes still taste as good, but I swear they are smaller than they used to be!!

3. Soap operas...I love soaps and I am not afraid to quote them! Adventure, romance, fashion and too much plastic surgery. I love the fact that some of these people have been on my tv since I was in junior high. I love it when the new writers screw up and rewrite history that I lived through with the people of Port Charles or Llanview. I love that Tom still remembers how we scheduled classes around One Life To Live the first couple years of college. Mostly now it is General Hospital and One Life to Live. I gave up All My Children years ago, but I can still tune in a be kind of up to date a few times a year. Soaps are the epitome of guilty pleasures because it is all so fake. From the relationships to the stolen babies to the rampant mobsters, that crap ain't real! But the people are pretty and the romance is overboard fabulous. You can't beat it!

4. Sitcoms...I do not care that they are "mindless and insipid". I think that people who act all high and mighty and criticize sitcoms are just afraid that after all this time of looking down their noses at them they might actually LAUGH if they watched one. They are funny...if you can watch a whole episode of "Two and a Half Men" and not laugh there is clearly something wrong with you (Brian V!!). There is nothing like classic Fraiser or Will & Grace episodes either. Hysterical.

5. Frozen pizza...I love most of it...especially ones that taste like good old-fashioned cafeteria pizza. It doesn't mean I don't like REAL pizza, it just means I appreciate both kinds. I can go both ways, you know? And what ever happened to John's pizza? Remember those? They were small and came three to a box. We used to eat them after school. I miss those.

6. Romance novels...I love them...Nora Roberts, Linda Miller, Catherine Coulter. My favorites are what my friends and I affectionately call "prairie sex" novels. Those are old west romance novels. You have to kind of suspend belief about how horribly those people all smelled and just go with the rugged romance. Very hot.

There are other things in life that are pleasures...but most of the above would be things that some of you would be all "are you serious?" about. But everyone has SOMETHING they like that fits in that category. If you say you don't you are either lying (shame, shame!) or BORING. Seriously, have some depth people...and share it with the rest of us. Let us be the judge ;-).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!

How does an ant get on the second floor of my house? Interesting.

But my original post was to be about Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day to all paternal types!

On to my husband...A fabulous dad everyday of the year! He is hands-on and laid back at the same time. He spends time with the kids, time with me and gets the yard work done. He is fun, calm, fair and loving. He is not afraid to say, "I love you". He is afraid of cantaloupe though. That however, doesn't come into play that much. ;-)

He has learned to appreciate my need to make lists over the years and I have learned to appreciate his "spur of the moment" plans. It is a good match and that is only good for the kids.

Happy Father's Day...let's barbecue some stuff!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Vent of the day...

It is a beautiful sunny day. I spent the day at a soccer tournament with older son and his very nice teammates and their parents. I got some sun, stepped in some mud, ate some fruit and enjoyed myself.

I'm going out to my fav restaurant with the spousal unit that is very nice.

Why vent? Well, thank you for asking. I got younger son's baseball schedule for summer and his team has games scheduled for the evening of July 3rd and noon on July 4th. WTF??? Not only is it a holiday weekend, but games on BOTH days? What's more, the game on the 4th is right at noon which is when the super-fabulous-family tradition inspiring town parade begins. So the little league schedules baseball games so that 8 and 9 year olds can't go to the town parade and families have to split up since I'm not making the other son miss the parade?? I know my sentences are running on, but I'm PISSED off. I love 4th of July. We have family/friend traditions that will have to go down the tubes this year.

I know, I know....spaz down. And I will get over it...The husband will go to one game with the kid and I will go to the other game. One of us misses the traditional BBQ with all our friends and their families and one of us misses the parade. My kid misses both and we don't get to be together as a family. Annoying, but again, I know, partially my fault for signing the kid up for baseball.

The kicker? My older son who plays in the next baseball league up has NO games that weekend because as his coach said, "Its a holiday weekend for families." Thank you very much...I like that coach better ;-).

Ok, vent over. I have to go get dolled up for dinner. A drink may do me well...