Boudicca's Voice

Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Snips and Snails and Whoopy Cushions

We have added onto our house and it is damn near completion, considering this 6 month job took our low life POS builder 13 months... and counting since he still has to finish his punch list. It has been a very stressful time, but now that it is finished, it is nice to try to get reorganized.

When we built this house 9 years ago, we had one baby, I wasn't pregnant yet with Son#2, and we damn sure weren't thinking there would ever be a Son#3. The bedrooms are smallish and the layout of the house was really not conducive for a family of 5, so we added two bedrooms and a family room, and while they had my roof pulled off, I had them go ahead and cover my back porch and screen it in.

This weekend we've been cleaning out the toy room as it will be Son#3's room when we get a fresh coat of paint on it and put up all his Hulk paraphenalia. My Mom saved me by buying him Hulk sheets for his birthday, so we're set on the obligatory Hulk bedding.

For 6 months my boys have been living out of wardrobe boxes shoved in the toy room. Items have just been thrown in boxes as there has been no room to walk in there. Now it's time for us to clear it out and get rid of junk.

During my cleaning today I realized that we have:

1) More plastic reptiles, bugs, and animals than should be allowed in one house.
2) We could also supply a preschool with all its crayons, markers, and colored pencils for a year... or more. Every year listed on the school's supply list are crayons and markers. Every year I buy them new so they don't have to start the new school year with crappy old grubby crayons and markers that may give out. Hence, we now have plastic containers so full of crayons, that I cannot physically lift them. I am now looking for a donation place for used crayons and markers.
3) We have cornered the market on Whoopy Cushions. I'm surprised there isn't one placed under every cushion of this house.

It's Raining Shrimp!

In Pensacola, which is located in the panhandle of Florida and sits right on the Gulf of Mexico, it sometimes rains brine shrimp. They're the itty bitty shrimp, not big ol' cocktail shrimp. They get all over the place and you're constantly having to sweep them away. In July when we were up there, my boys were putting these dead brine shrimp in baggies with the intention of taking them home with us. Blech.

I looked at the three of them and said, "You are not taking these home. Do you understand? I do not want dead shrimp in my car. I want dead NOTHING in my car. Am I making myself clear?"

Them, "yes."

Me, "No, I'm serious as a heart attack. I don't want those shrimp in my car. Don't be hidin' them in your suitcases. If I find these shrimp when I get home, I'm gonna be pissed!"

Them, "OK, Ok. We understand!"

Flash forward to today. I'm cleaning out a box of junk from the infamous toy room with Son#1, when I run across a baggy of brine shrimp.

Me, "What are these doin' here? I thought I told you boys you weren't to be bringin' these home with you!"

Son#1, "We didn't, Mom. Those are from LAST year."

I couldn't quit laughing. No wonder they couldn't figure out what the big fuss was about. Hell, they'd packed them home last year and probably the year before that too!

National Pinko Radio

We were coming back from dinner when my Better Half starts telling me about a guy he does business with out of California. Some how NPR, the Radio Station, or National Pinko Radio as The Great Omnipotent One calls it, came up. Better Half says something to the effect of it being liberal and the business acquaintance, the Californian, looks at him quizzically and says, “Really? You think so? Well… I guess it depends on your political leanings.” BH looked at me and said, “Can you believe it? He didn't think it was liberal.”

So then he puts on his best NPR singsong voice, the voice he hears on all the voice overs every morning during his morning commute since he is forced to listen to that instead of the tripe on the other rock stations since our rock station was taken over in the mornings by Howard Stern. I’m hoping this is as funny when you read it as it was when he said it. Ok, in your head, singsong NPR voice:

“This is Habbibe, a 16 year old boy living in the streets of war torn Iraq”
“Habbibe says his life is not better since America came.”
“He doesn’t understand why we are there and that his life is not better, it is worse.”
Habbibe is heard speaking in the background in his native tongue.
“We have yet to understand why our country has spent over 7 billion dollars on this war, their confusion of Afghanistan, Iraq and Al Queda”
“Habbibe has lost 6 relatives to this war and his Mother has been raped 66 times.”
“And he says, America is to blame for this.”

I cracked up. It was so funny. The gross exaggeration they all give us on the news, expecting we will swallow it all. And I think BH may have a voice for radio.

No Caffeine in MY Coffee Today, Thank You.

There is nothing much scarier than receiving a phone call in the wee hours of the morning. We got one at 2:48 AM. Funny too how you also remember the exact minute it happens when it’s during your sleeping hours. We have received many legitimate calls that early in the morning. The most recent was when my Better Half’s father was nearly killed by his rehab center a couple months ago… but that’s a whole other post on how to keep your family and friends safe from incompetence in rehab centers.

So last night we get this call. We are both jarred awake. It’s frightening. I have a sibling in LA, one in Atlanta, my folks are in Pensacola, Better Half’s family is in Jersey or Lauderdale… you just never know. It ends up being an irrelevant call, but that doesn’t stop the fact we were both wide awake. I was awake for two 1/2 hours. Needless to say I’m dragging today.

To make things just a bit more interesting, I drag myself out of bed as I meet a friend every Saturday morning at 7:30 in the gym, and as I get in the car, I notice that there is this strange rash all over my legs. Not itchy. Not red. Just kind of swollen looking and obvious. I had it yesterday on my arms and thought I was having some reaction to chlorine. Add to the fact I had a big health scare in January that started with skin and now here I am no longer half asleep as I’ve just been jolted yet again with adrenaline, driving to the gym, wondering what the hell is going on. It is going away all ready and if it’s not gone by Monday I’ll have to see someone, but geez, talk about near adrenaline overdose. Twice in 5 hours. Needless today I was a lethargic limp noodle in the weight room as I came off the high.

And you’ll be happy to know that via Google I have ruled out Hives, Cellulitis and most importantly, Leprosy.

Pam at a Temp Location

Pam is having Blog problems and her temporary home is HERE. It's her old blogspot site. Always good to have a back-up plan!

She hopes to be back up and running as her site blowed up. She's working to fix it. So, 'til then, gravitate over there to get your daily dose!

** Update** She is up and running at her normal site!

Friday, July 30, 2004

I Majored in the Sciences, Dammit!

For some reason, any person who knows what I did in my previous life, before kids, thinks that I would be a great treasurer for their organization because I’m ‘good with numbers’. Sure, I once had the fundamental theorem of calculus attached to the top of my graduation cap so my parents could easily identify me amongst the throngs of graduates, and I can balance a checkbook, but that does not mean I qualify as a frickin’ Treasurer! I am not a CPA or a Banker!

Damn. These people. And you know what is worse? I frickin’ said YES!!! I am now the Treasurer for a small woman’s group, fortunately only carrying a balance of a few hundred dollars and using a manual ledger and get this… I’m the Treasurer for the damn School! And here’s the real frickin’ kicker. I was TOP on their list of who to ask. What in the hell were they thinking? I didn’t want to just flat out say no since my kids go there and I’m all about helping out with the school, so I said to the nominating committee, “Well, I’m a Prod, don’t you think you should find a Catholic?” Great peals of laughter, “Hell no, we don’t care about that stuff.” Evidently we are not in Ireland. I guess they figured since the resident Prod had been running the Catholic spaghetti dinner for the last 3 years, it’s no biggy. Then I tried this approach. I walked into the principal’s office and said, “Mr. H., you need to know that whatever needs to be done for this school, I will help with. That does include being Treasurer. However, that said, if someone tells you they want this job, you should give it to them.” I was met with a grin and a “Mrs. xxxxx, I assure you that nobody is going to ask for this job. It is yours.” Damn.

I receive a call yesterday from the Treasurer I am replacing. She is talking about banks and signature cards, and just stuff and I am listening thinking to myself, “This sucks because once someone finds out I’ve been Treasurer for the school, they’re going to think I can be for their organization too” and then she says “Peachtree”. Wha? She repeats, “Do you know what Peachtree is?” and I think, “Finally, an answer I know”. Just as I was about to say, “Yes! It’s a major street in downtown Atlanta… everything is named after it!” she says, “You know, Peachtree the software program”. Wha? I would have felt so damn dumb. Thank God she beat me to it. I simply said, “I’ve never worked with it, I’m sure it can’t be that hard.” I can muddle through just about anything. I hope. For some reason they think if you know math, you know business.

Please allow me to be very clear to all non scientific types…. I never took one business class in school. Nada. Zippo. El Zilcharoonee. I took Analysis of Variance. I took Micrco Computers. I took Partial Differential Equations (the second class after Ordinary Partial Differential Equations that engineers take). I did NOT take Econ. I did NOT take one Accounting class. I did NOT even take one Marketing class. I know NOTHING of them… but for some stupid reason, someone finds out you frickin’ majored in Mathematics and you are suddenly fit to be their damn Treasurer. HUMPF!

What I Learned in Karate This Week, #4

I posted too soon, assuming there would not be anything eye opening with one day left in my Karate week. Wrong.

#4. You should quickly hop in the shower and rinse off the chlorine should you choose to go swimming before Friday night's Testosterone Zone sparring session. The vast quantity of sweat shed combined with the smell of chlorine is enough to make you vomit while you're gasping for air and trying to keep up or stay alive.

Simple Joys of Life

Ahhh…. I got my book today, “The Book of Five Rings” composed by Samurai Miyamoto Musashi. I did research to find out the best translation/interpretation and I got the translation by Thomas Cleary, Shambhala Library. The original text was written in 1643, so evidently there are many translations.

From the back of the book:
“Rhythm is something that exists in everything, but the rhythms of martial arts in particular are difficult to master without practices.
Rhythm is manifested in the world in such things as dance and music, pipes and strings. They are all harmonious rhythms.
In the field of martial arts, there are rhythms and harmonics in archery, gunnery, and even horsemanship. In all arts and sciences, rhythm is not to be ignored.
There is even rhythm to being empty…
The way to win a battle according to military science is to know the rhythms of the specific opponents, and use rhytms that your opponents do not expect, producing formless rhythms from rhythms of wisdom.”

There is even rhythm in being empty… that hopped out at me.

My new back porch, fans going, the sound of the outside and my new book. I am a very happy girl.

The Inevitable

You men will be happy to hear that my better half bought Son#1 the Weird Al Yankovich CD. I, on the other hand, am not. He is already bouncing through the house singing horrible verse. I should have seen this coming... afterall, I am married to a MAN. BAH!

**Update** When did Weird Al lose those Weird Glasses? Did I just date myself by asking that? (Grin)

** Update #2** OK, yeah, I'm thinking of moving. I got Weird Al blasting from the kid's computer in the back bedroom and Frank Sinatra blaring in here on hubby's laptop as he loads some ipod thingy majig for work. Really, seriously, gentlemen, you don't have to blast the speakers to load your music. You really don't. I'm going to take a shower... maybe I can't hear all this stuff in there...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

For Those With a Sense of Wonder...

From The Great Omnipotent One I received THIS.

 “...For those with a sense of wonder...Please turn on sound, hold onto your hat, and prepare for an awesome experience...”

This is presentation from the Hubble Telescope.  I am also proud to say that TGOO’s cousin worked on the Hubble. She was a mathematician like me, but became an electrical engineer.  Sharp analytical woman.  They breed ‘em over on TGOO’s side.  Anyone who wants to ‘dis the south and southern women… come talk to me. I’ll give you a long damn list of smart scientific southern women. 

Also, from Son#2, age 7,  before he even saw this video, “You know what happens when a star explodes?  All sorts of blue and green goo comes out.”  Hmm. Gotta work on that science a bit.

Saying of the Day, from the House of Boudicca

“Missed me, Missed me, Now you Gotta Kiss My Butt!”  Nice, eh?

Some Can't See the Laughter Through the Obstruction

I took my kids to the pool in the neighboring neighborhood today.  We go swimming every day for about an hour. I think I really gave birth to fish.  To kind of set the tone, my neighborhood is 1 acre lots and there 25-50% families and the rest are retirees or couples without children. The folks who do not have kids, and there are MANY, are still very kid friendly and always beg my kids to come by their house at Halloween.  They love seeing families on their bikes, kids playing ball in the cul de sacs, and the typical kid stuff.  The neighborhood next door is non-kid friendly wealthy snobby golfing and tennis types who I just don’t think much of.  However, I do pay to use their pool and facilities since we don’t have a pool and I don’t want one for the upkeep or cost, so I just take my kids swimming, I just don’t socialize with those folks. 

I’ve gotten out of the pool and I’m drying off, when I hear a Mom say to another Mom that she lives in my neighborhood.  When she was alone I struck up a conversation with her and we were trying to get bearings on where each of us live. (For those of you who read who are friends outside the blogosphere, you’ll laugh at this. She said, “Oh!  You’re the house with all the Christmas lights!”  Scary when you’re the landmark for every person in the neighborhood.  I am waiting for Palm Beach County to use us for airport guidance during the holidays since we’re in the flight path.  A whole Christmas blog topic I have here.)

She then proceeds to tell me in a whisper that she had lived in this neighborhood first, before moving to ours.  I looked at her with arched eyebrow and said, “Reeeaaally?”  She had her two year old daughter with her.  She said that she and her husband wanted a baby so badly and they tried and tried and could not conceive. So they went the fertility route and finally after much tears and anguish, she found herself with child.  In her excitement, she told her neighbors who said, “I hope to God you don’t intend to put a swing set up. It will obstruct our view of the golf course.”  Hmm. 

Allow myself to be very clear on my thoughts on the whole issue of having children.  That is an extraordinarily personal choice.  I have the utmost respect for couples who have decided not to have children.  I am NOT one of these people who goes around saying, “Oh!  Have children!  They are so wonderful!”  Too many times couples get harassed by family, friends and society that they ‘must’ have children, like it is some obligation.  No they don’t.  Children are not something to put a list of things you’ve done before you die.  Learning a language? Yes.  Having kids?  No.  I also know many couples who just cannot have children, more than I can count, and to those people, my heart aches for them as I know from people dear to me in that situation, that it is a personal hell that I wish upon no one.

That said, about this neighbor of hers…  And I’m about to sound really narrow minded here.  I just don’t see how someone could not want the laughter of a child on a swing set.  That their completely unobstructed view is so important, that you would rather ensure their neighbors don’t get a swing set, rather than enjoy the happiness and goings on of a small child.  It is not as if it was going to be in HIS backyard.  And where does it stop? “I sure as hell hope you aren’t going to get that kid a bike because I might have to obey the speed limits and watch for kids.”  “I sure as hell hope you aren’t going to buy your kid a ball so I don’t hear them playing outside.”  “And I sure as hell hope you don’t ever get a basketball hoop outside, because I don’t want to have to hear the ‘thump thump thumping’ of people playing basketball.” 

So she did what she needed to do. She walked inside, looked her husband square in the eye and said, “It’s time to move.”  They sold their house and moved to my neighborhood and upon the few minutes I spent talking to her, we’re damn glad to have her. 

What You Find When You Look Under a Rock

When you start to blog, the whole thing is so foreign, all the nuances.  One of the first things Harvey had me do was get a site meter, so I could further understand who was linking to me etc. For those who do not blog, my site meter is at the bottom and I also registered with The Truth Laid Bear to get myself in the ecosystem. Once again, for those who don’t blog, if you have 0 or 1 readers, you’re an insignificant microbe and as you acquire more and more of a readership, you move up the ecosystem ladder.  The Big Guns, the top 10, are Higher Beings.  It’s kind of fun to see it change and to see your readership grow.

However, what I did not expect to see were some of the odd referral sources via Google. Now I did expect to get some hits from the word Boudicca, which by the way, I realize it is past time for me to blog on and give a history of both her and why I picked her, so that is coming.  I did NOT expect some of the others.

While perusing the referrals the other day I found someone stumbled upon me by typing in the word Portolet.  Hmm.  Sorry, can’t rent them here, but thank you for stopping by and feel free to become a reader as long as you wash your hands!

Yet another referral was for what to wear to a funeral.  Hope it helped!

Got another hit from a certain type of doll I was questioning... and my questions were purely of the sort of  “Is there really a market for this?” and the answer is evidently “yes” as I received numerous hits for it.  (Not posting the name of the doll… don’t need the hits, thank you.)  And if you are a reader from one of those hits, please feel free to stay, I am open minded, just didn’t see the market. That is all.

And lastly, and this one just flat out startled me, was a hit I got for a joke I pasted in about John Kerry.  Evidently there was a ‘group’ looking for references to this joke and googled it. I was the only place they found, so they posted it on their website.  It was a group into some heavy heavy bondage.  Hunh.  I was surprised.  And if you're a reader from that, I'm glad you have broader interests than bondage and you are welcome to stay.

Now I am feeling very fortunate that so far it has been fairly benign… compared to what I know of blogfather Harvey and some hits he’s had and I can only imagine the types of hits blogfather Grau gets with some very funny weird word combinations, take no prisoners approach that he has to everything.  Both write some very funny stuff... I can only imagine what they get Googled for.

Meanwhile, as I wrote this post yesterday, blogsister Sally was saying no matter what she throws in her computer search engine, no matter how innocent, she ends up given sex pages as answers.  My opinion… Harvey is tinkering with her search engine!  Heh heh heh!!!

**Update**  I get a lot of hits for Elmo Underwear.  If you found this site because this is what you are searching for... KMart has them.  They have the best selection of Sesame Street stuff around.  :)  Glad to be of help! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"F" as in Foxtrot!

It is completely amazing the things that will make you think of a post.  Today is Wednesday, so the morning was cleaning day.  The afternoon I get a sitter and run errands.  But on this day, not only did I do the usual cleaning, but I  also cleaned my desk/blogspace because the cable guy was supposed to come and install my cable internet access.  What y’all, my readers do not know, is that while you are reading this, thinking nothing of it, The Great Omnipotent One and my Mom are reading this saying, “Thank God! I thought she’d never clean her damn desk.  And while you’re at it, why don’t you clean that frickin’ mess pile of crap next to your phone in the kitchen?!”  Heh. That’s another day.  This of course is a compromise as to what is being thought… my Mother’s thoughts being much sweeter and TGOOs thoughts being a little less sweet.  (Big Grin)

**Sidenote:  The Great Omnipotent one is my real Dad, not a blogfather. Explanation is HERE.**

OK, so I’m cleaning my desk and I find this Letter F from an alphabet puzzle.  A wooden letter F with little footprints painted on it.  Footprints… F… get it?  And this reminded me of a story. Surprise.

I was 21, had just graduated from college and had my first and only post college job.  As a graduation gift, my folks gave me a down payment for my first car.  My Dad and I spent days shopping for it.  I had never owned a car, so this was a big deal.  We finally settled on a little 1987 Mazda 323, in burgundy, no whistles and bells other than A/C (you gotta have A/C in FL)… man I loved that car. I got something like 35 mpg.  It was manual drive, like I love.  It had pep, but not too much power that would entice my lead foot. 

We come home and I have to call my insurance company. They make you read out your VIN to them to get it in the system.  I read it out and my habit now is to read letters out like TGOO does, in military lingo, Lima, Tango, Zulu, but at the time this was not my habit so there was an issue with the validity of my VIN as there was a letter misheard.

“S?,” she said.
“No, F,” I replied.
“No, F, as in…. “  Now I am silent.  TGOO is standing there and I am looking at him, drawing a blank. The only words I could think of that started with F were Fuck and Fart  and I sure as hell couldn’t say that on the phone!  Not to this sweet lady from TX. 

TGOO looks at me in bewilderment at my silence and says, “Foxtrot!  Foxtrot!”, to which I said into the phone, “F! (pause), as in Foxtrot!”  I could not quit laughing.  I told him what my problem was after I hung up and he just rolled his eyes, shook his head and walked away.  To this day, it still frickin' cracks me up!

Linky Stuff

Today I was over at Castle Argghhh! and John had just a superb post on leadership.  Click HERE and you will see the question and his reply.  Now you may be saying to yourself, "Bou, what is so great about HIS opinion on leadership?"  Well, I'll tell you, it's because John is extraordinarily well read, well traveled, and has served in leadership capacities enough to know.  HOWEVER, that said, what the real icing was for me, was when he added in his two cents on how we can serve without being in the military.  He talks about donating time and talents to various organizations.   A most excellent post. 

And more on the Donovans... I skipped over to She Who Will Be Obeyed, and Beth was posting on how torturous it was to be sitting in the airport, being forced to watch the Democratic Convention.  (Side note from the author:  I do not watch any conventions, Dem or Rep.  I don't do the pep rally thing.) Click on her comments and you will see we were all laughing in her comments when someone posted that they felt it was Bush's fault the world hates us, yada yada yada.  Hmm.  So I log off and I'm doing the housewife thing, folding laundry, making my bed, all while on a low simmer.  I know Beth and John are blogging on vacation, they have their laptops, but I just felt this urge to log back on and set him straight that 1) Europeans have always hated us unless we were saving their asses, which I hope we never do again, Britain excluded because I love the Brits, and 2) has he never read Beth or her ever lovin' husband, John, to not know their very well thought out and well written opinions on such?  He says he did, but it evidently did not sink in.  What held me back was I thought it was would be rude for me to do so, since it is not my blog.  The other thing that held me back was knowing full well, that nobody can talk about this better than John and/or Beth and anything I had to say was going to sound childish compared to how they would defend it.  However, I did log back on a couple hours later, still stewing, and found that both Beth and John had answered and as I suspected, it was superb in every way. Big claps and whistles for them... they're just awesome.  Good read.  Take a gander.

What I Learned or Remembered in Karate This Week

  1. Eating a burrito or pizza before Karate class, in particular on Monday night basics when we are up and down the floor kicking and punching for an hour, is a bad thing.  Think, “I.Will.Not.Barf”
  2. I am not ambidextrous. Whoever attacks me in a parking lot really NEEDS to attack me from my good coordinated side… preferably with me using my left leg as support so I can kick with my right leg or punch with my right arm.  Just a little reminder to the bad guys…
  3. I am going to be emotionally damaged for life if I have to gouge out someone’s eyes with my thumbs.  Yes, I will be emotionally damaged in general if I am attacked, period; however, I have come to realize that if I have to put my thumbs through someone’s eyes, feeling their eyes split open or whatever they do, I will remember the sound and feel of that forever and it will haunt me, in particular when my better half is out of town and it is 2AM and I am alone in the dark, for the rest of my frickin’ life.  Blech. 

Possible Light Blogging Alert

I'm SUPPOSED to get cable internet access today.  Heh. We'll see if they show.  I am expecting that they have done this so many times, they could do it in their sleep and there is going to be no internet access interruption.  However, you never know. So if there is no post tonight, that's what's happened. 

I've got a couple things in the hopper of course, I just don't like to post until evening. Creature of habit.  

**Update**The cable jerks didn't show in their allotted time, plus an extra hour leeway I gave, so I rescheduled.  No internet interruption.  Just one pissed off chick wondering if she is making the right decision going with internet access with a cable company I have continually referred to as the Enron of cable companies, who has also filed for bankruptcy.  Phew.  Is that a run-on or what?

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

An Open Letter to the Starvation Sisters:

I am a Mom.  A woman who enjoys being physically active who dreams of more time to train, no sports injuries, a trim and fit body.  At my best, my body fat was 19%. I tend to hover around 22%.  The lowest I would go is 17% and if I ever felt that was too high, I would seek counseling because frankly, 17% is borderline too low. I do not want to be amenorrheic.  My resting heart rate is 55.  My bloodpressure is low and my cholesterol is 150.  Why does this matter?  It matters because a good body is about being fit, not about being skinny.

I saw you today on TV while I was working out and you are dying. Both of you.  I could not tell who had the eating disorder.  You have that distant look.  The old skin.  The thin hair.  You have the look of borderline starvation and allow me to tell you, it is not attractive.  If TV makes you look 10 lbs heavier, then I am even more scared, for you were emaciated on television with that additional 10 lbs.  Where have your parents been?  Your friends?  Your personal assistants?  Were they so caught up in the vast money operation of the Olsen Twins that nobody bothered to notice that you are dying?  Did nobody have the guts to say the Emperor has no clothes?  Or did they simply not care?

Let me tell you from a woman with a wealth of experience with men.  I have a brother, a father, my best friends have been men, I went to college with classes filled nearly exclusively with men, I worked with almost all men in portions of my career and even when it wasn’t all men, there were few women.  I dated so much, my sister lost count and it became a joke. I have slept with men, although not many, and have had a few serious relationships.  I love men.  So take it from me, sweeties, men do not like skinny emaciated women.  All my serious relationships were with good decent caring men.  And allow me to inform you, good smart men like smart healthy women.   You currently look damaged.  You are giving off an air that promises nothing but damaged men or men who get off on being with damaged women… and are not so nice.  Mean and shallow  men will prey on you. 

As my good friend from college, Valerie, a big brain engineering girl, likes to say, “Men like more cushion for the pushin’”.  Allow me to tell you some things I have NEVER once heard men utter:

“You know what I really like?  I like when I’m on top, really going at it, I love when her hip bones bruise me.”
“I love when I grab her ass, I get bone.”
“I love that she has concave tits  because she has no body fat.”
“I love gazing down on her naked body and seeing rib cage.”
“I love when I bend her into positions, she feels like she might snap.”
“Damn, is there anything better than going at it with a woman and wondering if I might break her?”

Nope.  They don’t say any of this.  As a matter of fact, take the opposite of every one of those and that is the reality.  We are women. We have body fat and that is what makes us sexy to men, the curve of our hips, the fullness of our breasts, the shapeliness of our thighs, and a nice round backside.  Without that, we look like children.  And that is icky.

So my unsolicited motherly, big sisterly, girlfriend to girlfriend advice to you is:
Get out of Hollywood.  You have made enough money.  Money should not be your God. Jettison any family or friend that tells you that you need to stay in.  No you don’t.  It is killing you. We are watching it. Sell your company, invest wisely, and leave it all.  Leave all you know, as scary at as it is, because what you know will see you to your grave.  Go to college in a place where real people send their real kids.  Go to the State schools in Montana, South Dakota, Wisconson.  Pick a state that is known for its good decent all American people; there are many, and go to school there.  Find a passion.  You have none. That is the vacancy we see in your face.  Major in education and make a difference in our children.  Become a doctor and work with our elderly.  Become an environmental scientist and save us from ourselves.  Stay away from the big name schools, the Ivy League, the places where the overly wealthy with a skewed view of reality send their children.  Become real for once in your lives. 

You are dying. Even those of us who shun TV and pop culture see it.  And you are not cured.  There is no cure for your disease.  It is a disease of the body and the mind, like alcoholism and you’ve not beaten it.  And mark my words… you both have it.  Only one of you has fessed up.

And save yourself for each other, because in this big lonely scary world, you only have each other.  And I have heard, it is extraordinarily hellish being a twin… without a twin.  –D.

A Run for the Office of First Lady

I was over at Pam’s and there was talk about Mrs. Kerry.  BTW, I added Pam to my blogroll shortly after Beth.  Even though Harvey won’t adopt her as a blogdaughter, since she is so well established, she just feels like blog family.  I would put her on the same footing as Harv, as he pretty much said. 

Rambling. Damn. OK, so I put in her comments, jokingly, but still giving thought to the fact that I think that Mrs. Kerry may be worse than Hillary.  I just don’t know what to think of this woman.  Now of course I don’t really think she is as scary as Hillary.  I was being flippant.  She cannot be near as damn dangerous as Hillary.  Hillary has aspirations to be the big Cheese and that scares the ever livin’ Bejesus out of me.  I’m telling you, she becomes El Presidento and I’m seriously looking to el Move-o to el Scotland-O.  No matter how frickin’ cold it is there… all year round.  So on the scare-o-meter, Hillary wins. She is also scarier to look at.  And listen to.  I am rambling again.

Keep in mind, this is NOT based on anything I have read; this is just primal gut instinct.  But what bothers me about Mrs. Heinz-Kerry is my perception that she wants/needs to be the big Cheese’s wife so badly that she will go from being a Republican to being a Democrat. You cannot convince me that when he was courting her, he never confessed to her that one day he intended to be President of the USA.  You can’t. I know men, they confess to their women their big dreams and aspirations, whether it be over a romantic dinner or after great sex.  It happens.  She has the money, he has the path… and together they have high hopes of boinking their brains out in the Big House.  Sorry, the visions… cannot. Who in the hell would want to have sex with that man?  Harvey described him as looking like Droopy Dog once.  Well, just damn, if that wasn’t such a good description I can NEVER get it out of my head.  I hope that if Kerry becomes the Big Man, that Doonesbury uses a dog bone as his sign in the cartoon.

I’m digressing again.  Must be an ADHD day.  Too much cardio… must focus. Anyway, I think that overall, Mrs. Kerry is a scary person in other ways.  When I think of her, as I said in the comments, I see a woman who only wants to go down in permanent history.  A woman who wants her dress in the Smithsonian.  She wants a famous portrait of her and her husband to adorn the famous walls forever. She wants 100 years from now for people to talk about the impact she had as First Lady… you know, the Jackie O had style, Mrs. Reagan brought back the grace and class, Mrs. Clinton was a cold calloused bitch. That kind of thing.  And I just have a really hard time respecting a woman who wants to be Mrs. President so badly that she can suddenly say, “Oh wait! All I believed before was wrong! I have SEEN the light.  And the light shows this is my path”.

Because of her thirst for this position, she gave this bozo the boost he needed.  Money talks.  If it were not for her, I seriously doubt that Mr. Kerry would be running right now.  It is Mrs. Heinz-Kerry we can thank for that! 

So Mrs. Heinz-Kerry gets under my skin.  In a very very big way. Mrs. Clinton scares the frickin’ hell out of me AND gets under my skin. And if you think I have it in for Democratic Presidential wives… Wrong-o!  I had no problem with Mrs. Carter although I loathed her husband.  I had no issues with Jackie-O… felt kinda bad for her being married to such a complete loser actually. And no issues with Lady Bird…although it is again a feel bad for being married to such a frickin’ loser/criminal/maybe worst President we ever had type thing.

Anyway, maybe I’m wrong.  I just think Mrs. Heinz-Kerry, former Republican turned Democrat, in the race to win the Presidential bed, use the Presidential china, and get a dress in the Smithsonian, scares me so.  Her moral center is not visible to me and she is personally responsible for giving us Droopy Dog. 

Monday, July 26, 2004

Unsolicited Opinon From One Who Has Been There

According to our paper, legislatures in the State of Florida are looking to help out military kids by exempting them from things such as the FCAT for graduation if  transferring in as a senior and giving them first cut at getting into magnet and charter schools.  The FCAT is our State Standardized Test. The link to the article is HERE, but I don’t know how long it will stay up as our paper archives stuff.

Now first, as the child of a Navy pilot, I have to be appreciative of all the thought that went into this. I am not disagreeing with any of it actually.  I’m impressed with all of it. the thought, the perspective.  Finding a good school for your kids is unnerving and having first choice at a magnet or charter school is an excellent suggestion.  I do have a couple things I would like to add with regard to exemption from the state test, FCAT, for graduation completion (they can use their SAT or ACT scores instead.). Although it is a nicety, it really is no big deal.

First, military children are of the most resilient.  A little test like the FCAT is probably not going to scare or stress them.  Having an emergency in the house that only Mom can handle when both parents should be around is scary.  Mom or Dad getting shipped away is scary.  The black sedan showing up on your neighbor’s doorstep is scary. A test… not so much.  Never was to me anyway. Let’s just keep the perspective, shall we? 

Second, I never went to a school that DIDN’T have testing. Whether it was the Stanford Achievement or Iowa Testing or FCAT… they are all testing. All public schools do it. Period.  Changing the name of the test is not scary. Changing schools is scary. Changing friends is scary.  Changing homes is scary.  Let’s keep it all in perspective, shall we?

Third, most of the kids I knew that were from military families were pretty sharp kids.  We weren’t the slackers. We grew up in strict households and we had chores and did our homework.  Many of us were voracious readers since reading is a great escape from:  being forced to make friends, changing schools, having a new residence.  Some of us became excellent readers because we were living in a foreign country and you don’t watch TV if you don’t know the language.  (Although I have some excellent stories of a Chinese cartoon where the female robot shot her tits off as rockets.  To this day, I have no idea what that cartoon was about, but we never missed it!)    So I would say, in a sweeping generalization, that if you are really concerned about test scores, and they are here in Florida, the higher the average test score per school the better, than perhaps in ‘helping the military kids and making them exempt from the test if they transfer their Senior year’ you may also be concerned that these children are going to HURT your test scores and graduating senior scores and I think, my friends, you have missed your mark, if this is how you feel.  Pulling these kids out of your scores… you may be doing yourself a serious disservice. 

However, I do see where they are coming from and it is goodness. It really is.

The Breakfast of Champions

I was getting breakfast for son#3 on Sunday before they headed off for Church.

“What do you want for breakfast?” I asked.
“New England Clam Chowder,” came the reply. 

Bleh.  Now I have no delineation between cake and doughnuts. Seriously folks, they are the same.  Sweet carb=Sweet carb so yes, I have been known to have a piece of chocolate cake and a cup of coffee for breakfast.  Not often, mind you, but it has happened.  Ice cream?  What is the difference between ice cream and a big bowl of Frosted Flakes and milk?  Nothing.  Fat content may be a bit tipped in the favor of ice cream, but other than that… butt loads of sugar = butt loads of sugar. Besides, ice cream has milk and in some weird twist, its OK in my book.  Not that I’ve done it often, mind you, but it has happened. 

New England Clam Chowder. Well… we have the milk thing. Then I guess clams= seafood and Lox (which people eat for breakfast)=seafood and cubed potatoes=breakfast potatoes so in my book of rationalization, it is potential as a breakfast food. Serve it in a cereal bowl with a spoon and Voila, instant breakfast. So that’s what he had Sunday morning… New England Clam Chowder.  He had two bowls. I kinda wanted to hurl. 

Tremendous Athletes

Forget the Olympians, let’s talk Lance.   Is he a tremendous athlete or what?  I don’t care about his personal life and what he is doing to whom.  He is just an amazing man.  I don’t care about the whole conquering cancer thing, I mean it’s impressive in and of itself, but I’m just talking the extraordinary athleticism this man has to win 6 grueling Tour de France.  This victory, in a very childish way, was a secret thumb my nose at France.  “Take THAT you frickin’ merde tetes… it was an AMERICAN who won it six times.”  BAH!  Of course if I had been there, in France, in person, I would have been quiet and gracious. But I wasn’t. So there!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sunday Brunch With the Boys

After the kids got back from church with their father, we all went to brunch. I don’t do church.  He’s cool with it. He’s a good Catholic man and when we married I promised I would do what I could to assist with their Catholic upbringing but 1) I would not convert and 2) I would not go to Mass.  I have been known to go for special occasions, but that is a rarity and I absolutely never go at Easter or Christmas because I strongly feel that I should not take up good space in a church when I never attend, only to have someone who faithfully worships scrambling to find a seat on the holiest of days.  

Off we go to brunch and of course Son#3 has to go to the bathroom twice. I don’t really mind, but it is kind of a pain in the neck. Just as long as he doesn’t announce what he needs to do in public, I’m cool.  I hate it when he yells, “Hey Mom!  I gotta poop!” and runs from the table with me quickly following. I find that embarrassing with other diners.  Maybe it’s just me.  He’s getting tired of going into the women’s restrooms with me and so on our second trip he said, “Mom, wouldn’t it be cool if there were no men’s rooms or women’s rooms, we could just all go to bathroom in the same place?”  I know there are family restrooms, but those really aren’t that popular.  Anyway, for some reason it made me laugh and I didn’t answer because, No, I don’t think it would be so cool.

Last night Son#1 was with a friend who has an older brother and Son#1 was introduced to the wonderful music of Weird Al Yankovich.  Oh Joy.  So all day he has been singing these songs and asking me to buy him this CD.  (He has to earn it. I’m not buying that tripe.)  So at brunch I hear from Son#1, “Is constipation a bad word?”  YEeeeaiii!  I said, “Nope.  We’ll discuss it later.”  The place has many diners and I am getting more and more rigid about appropriate dinner conversation.  And my family eats a ton of fresh fruit, veggies and fiber so my boys have NEVER heard this word.  Son#2 chimes in louder than I like, “Mom! What does constipation mean?  Huh?”  I am now giving him the evil eye and saying quietly but firmly, “We will discuss this later!”  Do you think he would stop?  No, of course not.  Why would he listen?  They never listen. I talk to walls all damn day!  Finally I have made my point, my husband has muttered something to him and he is quiet. 

I think there must be some genetic coding in my boys on how to embarrass their mother.  It appears to be completely effortless.

Family is First, Even if You Hate Fishing

My blog brother, _Jon of We Swear, recently posted on how much he hated fishing, yet he went because he wanted to spend time with his Dad and Uncle, fearing this is the last time they would be able to be together like this.  He basically took the time, to make a memory, knowing that opportunity may never arise again.  How many of us do that?  It takes something life altering at times to do things like that. It shouldn't, but it does.

So here is my life altering experience, that would have me on a fishing boat with family... to create a memory.

The Great Omnipotent One has a four generational picture.  It is my brother as a baby, him, his Dad, and my Great Grandfather.  It's priceless.  My GreatGrandfather died probably 4 or 5 years later.  My Mom has one also. She as a toddler, her Mom, my Greatgrandmother, and my Great Great Grandmother.  

Five years ago for my mother in laws November birthday,  I got a gift certificate for Sears photography and told my sister in law that she needed to get a 3 generational picture of my niece, her, and my mother in law.  By getting the gift certificate, it wasn't a 'should', I was forcing her hand in the issue. To this day, I do not know why.  I told her about our family pictures and how valuable they are... same sex multi generational pictures.  So they did it, and I know there was much grumbling on my sister in law and niece's part and I am sure, my mother in law being the saintly person she was, also very frugal, was telling them that 'we can't waste this!  It's money!' or "We have to do it for her, she will be offended and it is a good idea."  In a matter of months after the photo shoot, my mother in law was gone.  Never sick a day in her life, and suddenly, via massive stroke she was no longer with us.  It was horrible and gut wrenching as the death of a mother is. I loved this woman. Still do. 

My sister in law came up to me later and thanked me profusely for making her take the time to get the picture.  They had lunch that day.  They laughed.  And as much as she didn't want to do it (my sister in law), she said she was so glad they did after it was over and now... now she is forever thankful that they have the picture and the memory.

And now I am like _Jon.  I will take those times to do things that I may not necessarily really want to do, because you never know when it's too late.

Warm Fuzzies

Everyone picks up something different when they read something on this blogosphere.  We all think just a bit different. 

The other day at Road Warrior Survival, Tammi posted something about some men walking into her place and they had a key.   I read it and completely wigged out.  I'm reading through the comments yelling at my screen, "Call a Locksmith!  Now!"  *Big Grin*  Not much of an exaggeration, trust me.  If you look through her comments, you'll see everyone had ideas:  locksmith, chair under the handle, stack noisy stuff in front of the door, etc.  I think at first blush, there is no question at what we are all noticing... that something scary had happened to our blog friend and she was sick to boot!  But what I also notice is that everyone was genuinely concerned.  We don't know each other from Adam.  Only here.  Yet we all seemed to have the same reaction and I think there would have been more comments, but so much had been covered, there really was nothing else to say.

So I guess why I'm posting this is that I was happily surprised by how much people care about each other in the blogosphere and we've never even heard each other's voices or seen the whites of each other's eyes!  Kind of made me feel good inside.  And this is just one example of many, by the way. 

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Drawing My Sword in Anger

I’m going to pop off a couple rants here, so if you have issues with my ‘drawing my sword’ as Harvey puts it, you need to move on down a couple posts.  This is a big rant. Really big.

When my better half and I decided to become parents, we knew there would be changes.  Inconveniences, if you may.  No more spontaneous sex on a lazy weekend afternoon, no more going to the bathroom by myself… stadium seating installation being incorporated into the bathroom decorating scheme was seeming like a good option, going grocery shopping alone was a memory, spontaneous fine dining became a no-no.  None of this is big deal stuff and we were prepared for all of it, except maybe the inability to ever go to the bathroom without an audience. That one did kind of come as a shock.  The rest of it… you deal.  All these little insignificant things come with being a parent.

So here’s the deal.  Never, ever, ever should you ever ever ever think about, even for one frickin’ millisecond, leaving your baby or young child unattended in a car.  Never. Ever.  I don’t give a rat’s ass if you live in Adak and its August and its 12 Noon and a balmy 50 degrees, 73% humidity.  It is a big no no and an offense that we Floridians are way way over.  You don’t even leave your baby/young child unattended with the windows up, doors locked, A/C running, just to run in and grab a gallon of milk.  NO!  NEVER!  Bad things can happen.  Very bad.

Yes, I have gone to Publix only to find that one or all three of my children were asleep.  You have two options then.  You either pick them up and carry them while you grocery shop or you GO HOME and come back when everyone is awake.  That’s it. Those are your choices!  You do NOT leave your baby in the car. EVER! 

First, there are bad evil people in this world.  What you read in your daily rag tag of a newspaper is just the tip of the iceberg.  Just befriend a cop. He’ll tell you there are some nasty MF’s out there. Bad mean evil people who do horrible thing to children.  You leave your child unattended, you are just rolling the dice with fate as to what happens next.  Period.

Second, in the summer time, your child will die in your car.  Sure as shootin’, it’s gonna happen.  We just had another death last week in Boca. Some dumb ass dentist left his young 3 year old son while he ran into the office. I am sure he promptly got distracted and 3 hours later, his kid was baked to death.  That simple.  A columnist down here in our paper was so enraged at the number of deaths we had had in cars one year, children unattended, that he holed himself up in his car with a thermometer and a stopwatch and a cameraman and sat there… for about 20 minutes until his car got to something like 140 degrees inside and he couldn’t take it anymore.  Nice, eh? That’s what these lowlife non thinkers are doing to their kids.  Every GD summer I read about some low life mother who decided she wanted to go shopping, locks her baby in the car, windows rolled up and comes back to dead baby.  Or the parent goes to a party.  And on and on…

Listen, accidents happen.  I remember hearing about a guy who drove to work, forgetting his sleeping kid was in the car and came back to his car after work and the kid was dead.  Tragic.  His taking the kid to daycare was out of his routine.  Chances are he was suffering from sleep deprivation as we all do when we have young ‘uns.  And being a working parent, trust me, the guy had a lot on his mind.  Bad things happen and it is sad. But those are few and far between.  Thankfully, because it is truly tragic and I still ache for that father.

However, the other morons… well I am officially sick of it.  You never leave the baby/child even for a second. This is being sparked by another article I read today where a Good Samaritan found a baby in a car and called the police. 

Let it officially be known, I am not a Good Samaritan if I happen upon a case like this. I am the parent’s worst fucking nightmare.  I will call 911 to get the child out, if I don’t break through a window with a crow bar from my car first, and if the parent happens upon me while I am waiting for the proper authorties, I promise you, I will view them as a threat to this child, and I will firmly place a side thrust kick upon their knee at approximately 5psi and for the rest of their GD lives, their permanent hobble will remind them of the time they almost killed their kid and they will feel lucky that this stranger who saved their child, did not do more than destroy their knee.  I swear to you, the parents of these ‘unattended’ children, do not want it to be ME that finds their children in these cars.  ‘Nuff said.

Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milk for Free?

This title, in my mind, has a much different connotation than it did when I was growing up.  I think pre-marital sex is kind of a given.  I know I did it and never really thought twice about it.  I wasn’t promiscuous, but if I was in a serious relationship, it was just what came next. So to me, this saying is more along the lines of ‘if you’re a woman, and you want your man to marry you, don’t live with him unless the wedding date is set, invitations are out, dress bought, and band secured.’  I know some will disagree with me, this is a sweeping generalization, but I believe for many it is true, so if you’re a woman who really wants to be married, this should stick in the back of your mind.

We’ve had some pretty good discussion on picking good mates etc on my yesterday’s post.  Today I happened to see Mitch the Jerkface, my neighbor who is BTW, looking very saintly compared to the MUNCHKINS, and I looked at my husband and said, “Both those cars are his?  Why didn’t the whore take hers when she left?”  His reply was, “she sold her car and all her other possessions when she moved in with him because he said he would take care of all that.” Wha? 

**Sidenote:  if you are new to this blog, you can get background information on why I call her the whore HERE and what I think of Mitch the jerkface HERE. I use the word whore clearly in the pejorative sense and not that she was really a whore.  Just a nasty thing to say.  **

So let me make this clear to all, from the mouth of my husband, who has a soft spot for women and is compassionate to their problems.  The whore told him all before she moved out.  Mitch the jerkface, when they started dating, wanted her to move in.  He promised to take care of her, they ‘got engaged’ and she had the ring, she was to sell all her stuff and he would supply her with roof, car, food, everything.  They would get married and have the baby she wanted.  Meanwhile he had two kids from a previous marriage and she took care of them, sold ALL her stuff, her townhouse, her car, her furniture, everything.  I have no clue what happened to the money.  Maybe she frittered it away in the THREE years none of this happened, still fully expecting it would.  So I ask you, why would he WANT to marry her?  She was already living with him and taking care of his kids.  He evidently didn’t really want anymore kids.  Hell, she was looking after his!  So she got her realtor license and moved out, the whole time remembering her father saying as she moved in with this clod, “I raised you better than this. I raised you to be independent. What are you doing?”  Now she’s three years older, bitter, no baby, no boyfriend, no nothing. 

I do NOT have issues with people living together.  I only have a problem with it if there are children involved, and then suck it up and get the license. It is the right thing, it is the adult thing to do.  We set examples for our children and they need stability.  I have told people before, if something were to happen to my better half, I would not remarry.  Nor would I date. But in the event that something did happen and I happened to find some saintly man willing to take me on, boatloads of baggage, three boys and all, then I would marry him… because I have children. I would not cohabitate. 

Wow. Where am I going with this ramble.  So in all my years of watching, I have noticed that some people are just true commitment phobes. They are afraid of the legality of the paper.  So I just strongly believe that if  woman is dating a man and wants to marry him, than she should not move in with him first… that is not the next step.  There is just no reason for him to want to get married when you’re already acting like it.  My opinion. 

Friday, July 23, 2004

Links to Blogfathers And Beth

I know I state this all the time, but if Grau and Harv look at their sitemeters, they'll see I'm all over them constantly.  I just love reading their stuff.  I don't always call it up here because most of you read their stuff too... they helped create this outlet for me and in turn some of their readers, who are truly wonderful folks, have been good enough to stop by and read me.  OK, enough mushy stuff.

Grau:  I pick his Post on Africa as my link over there this week.  It's a serious post on the AIDS issues.  He's up to over comment 18 over there, although some of the last few don't count because we're wondering of Grau's demise since he has not posted in the last day, but That1Guy has assured us he is just having phone problems. He's on dial up.  Anyway, it's pretty heated and even MY sword came out, as Harvey puts it.  Mental note to self, "It is OK to hold back sometimes..." 

Harvey:  Well, I was going over to link to THIS, but then found THIS... and then there were two. As in links.  OK, I loved Harvey's bumper sticker Post.  Everyone seemed to have a different favorite, but of course since I always have sex on the brain, my favorite was "My tremendous Bush hatred compensates for my tiny penis."   They are funny. THEN,  I found his new Evil Glenn Filthy Lie Post on Glenn's Law and cracked up.  There are a lot of funny parts... the pengosexual thing had me laugh out loud.  I don't know why... probably because it's such an absurd word.

Lastly, when I started reading blogs, I read blogs only written by men.  I didn't have any exposure to women because I just happened to be on Grau's then hopped over to Harvey's and then to John's and through John I linked over to his wife, Beth... my first exposure to a female blogger and I truly love her blog.   She is the female blogger I look up to.  So you can only imagine how I felt when I logged onto her blog tonight and saw that if she were going to have a party of her favorite people in the blogosphere (women only) and my name was there... touched really doesn't do it.  It was just a damn nice warm and fuzzy choked up feeling.  And I read through her list and I saw names of people I read every day,  and some I don't and this weekend I will be adding these other women to my blogroll as they must be worthy because Beth said so.  That is all it took.

So Beth, thank you. 


Movies, Relationships, and Stuff

There are a couple new movies out that I want to see.  One is the Bourne Supremacy.  I love Robert Ludlum's books and have thought about going back and rereading from the beginning as I can't remember what book I left off with, it has been so long.  I wasn't that impressed with the Bourne Identity the movie, but it was a decent ride and I figure this one will be too. 

However, I really want to see Catwoman.  I know, it sounds like a shallow movie, but I love Halle Berry (and Benjamin Bratt is always good eye candy).  If I were to pick any woman I could look like, but still be me as a person, I would pick her.  She to me is the epitome of buff and sculpted, yet still very feminine.  Whenever I worry in the back of my mind that I will one day look bulky with the lifting I do, I look at Halle and realize that most women really do not get naturally bulky.  (I strength train to combat osteoporosis.)  Anyway, I would rather be me than her.  Does she have the worst possible luck in how she picks men or what?  Every guy I have ever had a serious relationship with was a genuinely good guy.  We always broke up because it was bad timing or we just got on each other's nerves.  It was never that he was abusive or a complete creep.  Never.  I can honestly say, I never dated an abusive, disrespectful jerk.  Call it luck if you may, but I actually think it is a combination of luck as well as the role models my parents set before me, that and the fact I never tolerated any type of abuse... from anyone... ever.  Boy, that chicky girl Halle has made just some flat out bad choices.  I also think that the ability to find a good mate suited to you is a very important thing and for that reason alone, I would never trade places with her. I'd rather look like the mousy brown haired Mommish me than the beautiful lithe and wonderfully feminine Halle Berry if that meant I was to be perpetually in relationship hell.

Unfortunately, this week I don't have a sitter so I won't be seeing either of these movies.  My sitter this summer is the older brother of my regular sitter, who is now enormously popular with a couple other families, so she is rarely obtainable.  However, her older brother is the sweetest boy, just graduated from college, and is trying out for some professional football team this week (not NFL).  These kids are originally from Wisconsin, transplanting here just a few years ago. (What is it with all these incredible Wisconsin people I keep meeting?)  The boy/man is huge and he loves my kids.  Of course, my kids can't get enough of him.  He takes them out to toss eggs (girl sitters don't think of these things' Moms don't think of these things) and carries all three of them around like they're just a small sack of potatoes.  They love to sit on his shoulders because he is 6'5" and they think they can see the world from up there.  (Their Dad is 5'6 and I'm 5'2, so it probably does look much different from his shoulders!)  Cracks me up.  So he is gone and we're doing the family thing, but next week I'm hoping to catch one of these two flicks.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

My Life with Karate

I don’t blog about my Karate life much, other than I’m not Bendy Dammit!  Now I feel compelled to write about Karate again since I read something on a blog, something that might be insignificant, but I can’t let it go.  (I take Shotokan Karate, a traditional Japanese martial art.)

Karate is a big part of my life, however; I go in cycles as to how much it permeates my life.  I have been training for over 2 ½ years and I suck. I will never tell you otherwise. I have no intention of ever testing for blackbelt, although I do believe my Sensei is still open to it. I do not argue with him; it is disrespectful but in my mind, I will test no more. It is my journey and I’m cool with being a brown belt forever. I don’t think it keeps me from improving.  So you are asking, “Why are you not testing anymore?”  The answer is, to be a blackbelt takes enormous dedication, which I cannot devote with my three boys.  I will be more apt to with all three in school this coming fall, but it also takes great physical and mental endurance for testing, which I currently lack. 

You do not test in our dojo unless you are really ready.  We are not a ‘mill’. We are a small but intense dojo.  My Sensei, an American who served in the USAF, received his first three blackbelts in Japan.  He now holds the rank of Yondan, which is 4th degree blackbelt.  He is exemplary in every way, a true honest and loyal person.  He is young, all of 32 years of age, but he has an old soul. 

Late last spring I felt very motivated to test for blackbelt, I was 3 ranks less than I am now.  I was training nearly 10 hours a week, 4-6 hours of it in the dojo and the rest in strength training and cardio  Needless to say, I was lean muscle and almost to my goal weight.  I dropped nearly to a size 2, but that’s when the sports injuries started. I got a slight tear in my Achilles, my arches in my feet started to fall, I had some serious health issues and my body just could not take the intense training.  I loved the constant endorphin rush, but I’m not made for it and I cannot afford to be down and out like I was, not with three boys.  I had ramped up my training, I didn’t just thrust myself into it, but this old bod has too many miles on it and I’m looking at the short end of 40 in 13 months and I’m just not 25 anymore. 

So I have backed off, but I still view my life from a Karate standpoint.  I am still on the journey, just not on the same journey as those who will test.  Karate has given me a great inner peace I had not known, a way to alleviate great frustrations and anger in my life.  I am happy with where I am, I only train 3 hours a week in the dojo now and outside that... probably another 2 or 3, bringing me to a total of 6 hours a week max.  I’m sligtly heavier than I was, but I’m cool with that.  I’ll take it all off, if I cut down on the chocolate. (Grin) Karate also enables me to train with one of my dearest friends of 24 years, and still lives in my hometown,  who is a Sandan (3rd degree) and got me started on this wicked ride!

Why in the hell am I writing this?  Because on Monday we were going through a drill and I wanted to make sure I understood it and I wanted to ensure I understood the real life application and how it would work for a small person such as myself.  Instead of wasting valuable training class time, I decided to ask after class.  He gave me an answer, then looked at me and said, “I know you, you like to read.  It is time for you to read A Book of Five Rings. This will help you see what is troubling you and will help fine tune your thinking from a strategic standpoint.” 

Hmm.  Well I have read EVERY book he has ever asked me to read.  I have started a library on Karate books, but I have been putzing. I’m not in the same place I was last spring.  I am thinking to myself, “But I have to finish Beach Music and I want to read I, Robot, and there is no rush for me.” 

I log onto Frank J over at IMAO every day. I never comment.  It’s a big blog with lots of readers and I don’t know anyone and I wouldn’t know what to say, so I read him and keep it to myself. I love his stick drawings, but what I really really love… his Ronin thought of the Day.  I read them every day, just as I read Harv’s Love NotesAnd what do you think today’s Ronin was from?  A Book Of Five Rings.  He has quoted from it before, but at the time it didn’t have the impact; I did not know of it.  I am taking this as some weird karmic sign, a sign from my universe that I need to read this book.  So I am.  I’m ordering it tonight, on-line, along with The Art of War, which was also recommended.  And then of course I e-mailed Frank and told him this, so he probably thinks I’m some big freak of nature, flake of the world, but I don’t really care.  I felt it more important that he knew that he contributed in some small way on my journey.  And I am even going so far as to attempt to fill out one of those trackback forms Harvey had told us about, just so Frank knows. (I'm gonna botch up that form. I can feel it.)  And Frank, if you happen to stumble across this and muddle all the way down to the bottom, Thanks. 

They're Baaaaaack!

The Munchkins.  I am speechless.  It is just so horrible and yet Sally and Alex made it so damn hysterical.  You have to start over at Sally’s with what happened last night. Then move over where Alex does an Evil Glen spin on the entire thing.

On a more serious note, I find it all disturbing and think they have handled it far better than I. 

Since my whole suggestion to them about Alex answering the door with a shotgun next time seems to be out of the question, it IS the UK not Alabama or Florida you know, then I believe that next time Alex needs to mess up his hair and do his best maniacal Jack Nicholson impression from the Shining and open the door, Axe in hand and say, “Heere’s Johnny!”. 

Scary scary people, the Munchkins. 

Update:  here is Sally's new solution... 

Be Gone You Stanky Portolet!

Well this will probably not make anyone laugh except my family, who does read my blog.  We started construction on my house to add two bedrooms and a family room and a porch under covered roof (a good old fashioned southern screened in porch with fans and everything!) over a year ago.  We are still not finished.  I am completely surprised I have not spent every blogging moment blogging on it as it has nearly led me to despair at times.  It has been a nightmare of sorts, but as of yesterday, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

Yesterday… yesterday they removed the Port-a-Potty at the top of my driveway!  (T1G, that Potty thing was for you!)  And what is monumental about that?  It has been there for nearly a year and I NEVER once, NOT EVER, backed into it. I know, you’re thinking, “Big Whoop De Do”, but it was right in the path of my car when I backed out and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that eventually I was going to nail that sucker and send it over on its side.  (I had actual visions of Waking Ned Devine and the booth scene... although I don't live on a cliff.)  It was a big joke with all of us and our big hope was that when I ‘finally took it out’, that nobody was actually in it.  Ick.

This Portalet has been a fixture for so long, you would think I would miss it.  I actually thought about decorating it with Christmas lights at Christmas time and having the annual Christmas picture taken around it. I found that to be a bit too edgy, even for me. 

I backed out yesterday and something was missing in my review mirror! There was space, blue sky, the house next door.  I stopped and had to do a double take. It is gone!  No more worrying.  No more listening to my Bitching Betty telling me I was getting too close. (On my new mini-van, my husband got this damn sonar that goes off if I get too close to something. I call it my Bitching Betty. Aircraft humor.)

So I’m doing my snoopy happy dance!  Construction is almost complete!!!  Yahoo!

Lack of Substance Must Run in the Family

According to a Historian in Derry, NH, John Kerry and Britney Spears have some distant family cousin connection.  That explains an awful lot. The entire lack of substance trait we see in both must be genetic.  Too bad Darwin's Evolutionary Theory concerning the Survival of the Fittest hasn't really taken hold on that gene pool.  They must have some way to escape it... perhaps research is required as to why...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

He'll have the Stadium Seating in the Bathroom, Thank You!

On Wednesdays during the summer months I hire a sitter for four hours in the afternoon and I run errands. Grocery shop, banking, dry cleaning, etc.  The kids love it because they HATE doing errands and love their sitter, I love it because I hate running errands with them, and my sitter loves it because he needs the money.  So today was errand day.
I was in a restroom in a store and in the stall next to me came a little boy and his grandmother.  I come out to wash my hands and I hear him say, “Ahhhhh”.  His grandmother starts to laugh and says, “Wow. You really had to go that bad.”  I’m smiling to myself.  Then I hear him say, “Hey, Grandma!  Did you hear that toot?”  Now I’m stifling a laugh.  Finally I hear him say, “OK, Grandma, it’s now time for me to shake it, but not break it.”  Now I am laughing out loud as they come out of the stall.
My question had been answered.  I have been wondering when the time will come that I will no longer live in fear of embarrassment or humiliation when I am in a public restroom.  The answer is:  when I no longer have to go in with a small child.  Son#3 still has to come in with me and I cringe every time we go.  I would almost rather wet myself then have to take him.  We have thankfully moved past his need to outwardly comment on what kind of underwear I’m wearing.  I love it when that happens.  LOOOOVE IT!!!  (rolling my eyes)  I am now at the point where if he has gone to the bathroom first, I immediately give him the evil eye so he doesn’t fling the door open when it’s my turn.  You think I joke; I do not.  We still, unfortunately, feel this need to describe all that passes through his small body while in a public restroom.  I nearly die every time.  “Oh look Mom!  It’s bright blue. That means we had Superman ice cream last night!”  Yeah, that’s what it means to him, but to me I keep wondering if Blue Die #whatever causes some sort of colon cancer later in life.  
I need a damn life. This is, what?, the second post in two days on bathroom stuff. 

No Tin Foil Hat For Me!

OK, OK, upon the advice of Anathematized, my blog sister, I left my tin foil hat at home.  Heh.  The meeting was really about a feasibility study and could they bring potable water in, how it would be done, how much it would cost, and how long it would take.  They bring in an engineer with numbers, graphs, material usages described, and I’m really getting into it. They’re using 12 inch pipe to run it to the neighborhood, then 10” after the connection spots, and on and on.  I paid attention to where the lines were going, how they would be dug and didn’t take note one. I have it all stored away in my engineering type brain.  I love that stuff.  But then came the end and all I heard was yada yada money, yada yada yada, interest, yada yada yada bonds… went over my head and my eyes glazed over.   I hate that stuff. (Where’s a good blogfather when you need him, eh Harv?!)  I do my bills.  That’s the extent of the finances. I don’t do our investments, I don’t do our retirement plans; I just pay the bills and balance the checkbook.  I am now counting on the fact we have some pretty shrewd businessmen on our board who will look into our best interests in the finances… and chances are the first part of the meeting sounded like this to them:  yada yada yada 12 inch pipe yada yada yada dig down the middle of the road, yada yada yada, 5/8” meter or 1” meter…   Maybe I’m wrong.
The neighborhood is going to take this to a vote at a later date. I have some thinking to do.  Pam brought up a good point about a whole house filtration system, which we really already have due to our well situation; my only issue being that right now I don’t have to pay for my water and then filter it.  And Florida water in general, city water or well, is not good water.  We’re not talking cool Mountain water from a fresh spring.  We’re talking sea level water from a state made of limestone.  However, what I’m really thinking about is the fact that we don’t have fire hydrants. That never posed a problem in my head since I am surrounded by lakes and canals, until about 4 years ago when we were going through a drought and S. Fl was a tinderbox and our lakes and canals were at all time lows. In a little city an hour north of here called Port St. Lucie, they had some big fires in a neighborhood like mine… well and septic, no fire hydrants, and a lot of homes burned.  That may be my pivotal point in my decision making.
Meanwhile, my better half and I had lunch today as I had a sitter, and upon discussing this we realized we were totally on different pages.  Surprise.  He is all for city water, Gung Ho, and I’m not, tin foil hat and all.  Going in my favor is the fact I attend these meetings and he doesn’t, therefore ultimately it’s my vote and I hate to be rude, but I’m not considering him in the decision process.  :)  I know.  Not nice.  Women, you can’t live with ‘em and you just can’t shoot ‘em. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

You Might Be a Redneck If...

Tomorrow night I have a meeting with my neighborhood to discuss... water.  We are currently on well and septic and there is the opportunity for us to get hooked up to city water.  Now tell me, does it make me a redneck because I am voting no?  Is there some Jeff Foxworthy saying that I am unaware of that says, "You might be a redneck if you are fighting to stay on well water"?  Now if they were talking about septic vs. city sewer, I would say, "Please. Hook Me Up!  Yesterday!"  But my water... I'm just a little funny about that.
West Palm Beach water leaves a lot to be desired anyway. It tastes so bad I refuse to drink it in restaurants.  Go to the neighboring town of Palm Beach Gardens and the tap is acceptable... but West Palm... it just flat out sucks.  But that's not was is doing me in...
Paranoia will destroy ya...
I just don't want the government in charge of the safety of my water.  There ya have it.  I keep thinking, 'potential terrorist attacks going after drinking water' and the next thought is, "no thanks."  I have an awesome water system.  We spent a ton of money making sure our water was clean and pure, topping it off with an RVO system in the house. I'm perfectly fine with the water being pumped from 80 feet below my house... thank you very much.
So I am wondering how to play this card at tomorrow night's meeting without sounding like 1) a paranoid lunatic or 2) a redneck.  I am thinking of playing the 'West Palm water tastes terrible' card, but I know that I am going to be met with great resistance from the people who are not mechanically inclined and are afraid of their water systems.  This should be interesting. 

Heavy Hearts

Tomorrow I am getting up at 0'dark 30 to go to a Memorial Service for a dear friend of mine's niece.  She was 24 and died of an asthma attack in her sleep early Sunday morning.  I knew the young woman, a lovely girl, from DAR. She was in one of our sister chapters.  I am going early, the service starts at 8AM, so I can help the family out with some details. I told them I would do whatever they wanted and I meant it. I was emphatic and called twice reemphasizing my ability to help.  I'm glad they took me to task. 
I attend funerals frequently. I personally think they are more important than weddings at this point, as morbid as it sounds.   They are for the healing of the families and friends and assisting in that is of the utmost importance for me when dealing with people I care about.  Since I started blogging in June, I have blogged twice on them, once on one I could not attend because it was for a child and I'm just not THAT strong, and before that, more of a funny post, on a woman I know whose slacker son couldn't pull it together to plan her damn funeral.  Trust me, that is just the tip on what will happen this year.  I have told a couple friends of mine, "Sometimes I feel like the Mistress of the Grim Reaper".  Of course it is to be expected when you hang out with as many elderly women as I do and I do typically handle their deaths fairly well.  It is the death of the young or the tragedies that I do not deal with well. 
But tomorrow I will be what I need to be for these women, although inside, my heart will be breaking. 

De ja Vu II

On a be aware note, blog brother _Jon of We Swear, who is currently jetting around on a business trip, has the update to the Post with regard to the Middle Eastern Musicians who scared the stew out of a group of passengers in late June.  Seems that the Annie Jacobsen article became quite a well read article, I am going to say thanks to the blogosphere, and that the big guns of the mainstream media picked it up.  Who says the blogosphere is irrelevant? 
Her new article is HERE and is more frightening than the first.   

Hat tip to Sally for this Post

While we were talking about cleaning or 'creative rearranging' as commenter 'Nessa' put it, Blog sister Sally brought out about my boys and what it must be like in their bathroom.  Of course this reminded me of a story...
My boys are very clean when it comes to the restroom. I may have potty trained them, but my husband taught them how to aim and hit the target.  (Just didn't have the same meaning coming from me.  Heh.)  I have had friends of boys comment on how clean my boy's bathroom is.  In the last year, I have only had to wash the rugs once due to poor aim.  
I don't understand this thing, however, about men/boys having to pee other places than in the restroom.  Is this some primal marking of the territory thing?  I have a friend whose husband has actually peed on every tree around her house.  Sorry. Don't identify. I never once have had the urge to go out and squat next to some bushes in my yard.  My husband has been emphatic that if there is a restroom available, the boys are to use it.  There is no playing outside in the yard, "Oh I have to pee" then go find a tree.   Now I didn't see what the big deal was initially, but now I'm kind of glad he did it.  I have been out at a kid's outdoor party way too many times when some mother is suddenly running after her four year old boy who has decided to drop his drawers and pee wherever, because "hey, he was outside, this is what he does at home".  The mother is always horribly embarrassed.  That has never happened to me, with great thanks to my better half...  not that my kids haven't embarrassed me beyond belief in other ways.
So two weeks ago, my boys are on the back porch blowing bubbles and as I walk past the slider I hear Son#3 declare to Son#2, "Oh yeah! Well watch this!  I can pee in those bubbles."  I look over and on the porch is a small bottle of bubbles, lid off, and he is about to whip it out and demonstrate his great aim.  I immediately put a stop to it.  I was horrified. 
Me:  Do not pee in those bubbles! Do you understand? It is dirty!  Do not do it.
Son#3:  OK
Me:  No, I'm serious. Connect with me little buddy, do not pee in those bubbles. It's going to make me angry.  Do not pee in those bubbles.  Look me in the eye, and what did I just say?
Son#3: Don't pee in the bubbles.
I figured I had made my point.  Last week Son#2 says to me, "I have something to tell you, but I know you're going to be mad."  I hate it when they say things like this.  So after much cajoling and my promising that if it isn't a true safety issue I won't get mad he says, "He peed in the bubbles after you told him not to." 
Blech.  What in the hell would possess him?  What is it with this urge so strong to pee someplace else that he would disobey me?  I don't even want to know if they tried out these bubbles after he peed in them.  Maybe he wanted to see if they were yellow or smelled funky. I don't know.  But do you know what actually amazes me most? The incredibly ridiculous things I hear myself say, that I would never, for all the money in the world, would ever have bet I would hear come from my mouth. Things like, "Do not pee in those bubbles!"

Monday, July 19, 2004

If I Tell a Boy to Put on Pants...

If you have or had small children or have read to any within the past few years, you know there is a series of books starting with, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”.  Our favorite is “If You Give a Moose a Muffin”.  It starts out with this little boy giving a moose a muffin, then the moose realizes he wants some blackberry jam, and in getting the jam, the moose wants something else and on and on it goes as you find this daggum moose now doing a puppet show, creating scenes and on and on until he goes back to wanting a muffin.  They are really cute books.  And having small children, I realize this pretty much is what it is like to live with kids.  Not much focus.  And it’s what I’m like cleaning house.  It’s a problem.
I start out in one room, I start folding laundry and then going into a bedroom to get a hanger, I notice a book on the floor, and while picking it up I realize we have library books that need to go back and while putting them on the counter, I notice paper that needs to be sorted through… and on and on and on.  By the end of the day, my house looks picked up, barely, in spots.  Nothing is really complete.  It’s akin to a “Jack of all trades, but Master of None” house.  I try. I really do.  I just get completely overwhelmed by all the things that constantly need to be done with three kids.  All the laundry, the paperwork, the school work, the cleaning, did I mention the laundry? 
I wasn’t like this when I worked for pay, in an analytical position. It’s only housework.  I’m a list maker, very task oriented, so at work, I just had a list or flowchart on how I wanted to accomplish the job and it got done.  I’m finding this is what I have to do at home. I have to actually make a list that says, “Laundry, closet, sink, etc.”  I know, it sounds juvenile, but it is so easy to get sidetracked with ALL the stuff that constantly needs tending to.  Did I mention it is all totally and completely thankless?  It makes it all the more unmotivating. 
And I must laugh.  Son#3, he is only 5, so this is the age where they really are all over the road.  He wakes up in the morning and after hanging out in his underwear for an hour I’ll say, “Go get some pants on!” and off he’ll scamper to get pants.  Fifteen minutes later I’ll see him, Goldfish (food) in one hand and a Star Wars light saber in the other, still running around in his underwear. Seems on his way to get pants, he saw some Goldfish, remembered he was hungry, grabbed the box, ran through the hall, saw his light saber, grabbed it up in the other, then totally forgot what he was off to do (get pants) and started sword fighting with his brothers while munching.  I can hear myself yell at him, “Focus Young Jedi!  Get your pants!”  Sometimes it can take up to two hours to get pants on this kid. At least its summer. I don’t have anything else better to do… other than housework.

Great Olympic News for Us "Old Folks"

In the paper today I saw that Gail Devers made the Olympic team for the hurdles; she is 37.  They consider that old.  Blech.  I turn 39 in Sept.  I must be borderline ancient.
I love the Olympics.  I love watching the track and field and swimming. Gymnastics is fun, I prefer men’s of course, but I like the fast pace of a race.  I cannot fathom being so motivated as to train the way these people train.  I was a swimmer until high school and then swam in the summers on a small local team.  My brother was a big time swimmer and they used to train so early in the morning I think only farmers were awake.  And the runners… I just don’t identify.  I hate running on pavement. It hurts.  My entire body.  But some people are built for it and can run like the wind.  That chick I met from Wisconsin at the birthday party on Saturday had run 18 miles that morning; she does 6 minute miles consistently and can talk to you in a regular conversational tone while doing so.  I cannot. On pavement, I am a mess.  Choking and gasping for every breath.  That thick taste of yuck in my mouth.  Blech. On an elliptical machine, I can go for an hour, but not real running on pavement. I do not have wings on my feet. 
As I get older, I am more prone to sports injuries.  I’ve spent nearly $300 on orthotics for my running shoes.  Last summer we thought I had a small tear in my Achilles.  I had to stay off it and do the whole sports injury thing and my doctor is saying to me, “Why in the hell are you training so much?”  I’m an endorphin junky.  But what I train pales in comparison to what people like Gail Devers train.  I train merely 3-6 hours a week.   People like Gail Devers do that in a day... at the least.  I am in awe. 

Tokyo Rose?

Received this from a friend of mine today:
Two US Marines are listening to the radio in Iraq . . ."American soldiers," coos a soft female voice, "Your so- called national leaders have lied to you. You are needlessly risking your lives to wage a useless, unjust, illegal, and unwinnable war. Now is the time to return home to your loved ones, while you are still alive. If you foolishly insist on remaining where you are not wanted, the brave resistance fighters will have no choice but to kill you and add your name to the long ever-increasing casualty list of this insane war. So why risk never seeing your loved ones again for a so-called president who has repeatedly lied and deceived you at every opportunity? Why should you be sacrificed so that US corporations can enjoy fatter profits? The only wise thing to do is return home now, while you are still drawing breath, before you return zippered into a body bag."
"What's this?" sneers one Marine. "An Islamo-terrorist version of Tokyo Rose?"
"Naw," answers the other Marine. "It's just CNN."

Sunday, July 18, 2004

De ja Vu?

Today Beth at She Who Will Be Obeyed had something on her blog that really disturbed me (she gives full credit to where SHE found it in her post).  It was about potential terrorists. A woman named Annie Jacobsen had a really scary ass flight last month and she wrote about it. It’s a long read, but I couldn’t stop.  I had to finish it.  It scared the stew out of me. 
Look people, there is going to be another terrorist attack before the election.  It was probably going to happen anyway, but Spain just sealed our fate.  We can’t ignore stuff like this. It is completely inexcusable. 

Am I the only one who has seen the interview with James Woods, the actor?  I saw it on Fox and here’s the transcript.  Take a look at it if you have not.  I hate to say I enjoyed any part of this interview, but I did find funny this excerpt a part where he is talking to the FBI on the phone:

WOODS: “…I said, "Well, look, I'll get ready and you know, I'll come down to the federal building." He said, "That's OK, we're outside your house. We'll just wait for you here."  Quarter to seven in the morning. And said -- and I -- and this is the only funny part of any of this. I said, "How did you know where I lived?" And there was a pause. He said, "We're the FBI, thank you."

So if Mr. Woods witnessed a practice run, what is to say nobody else will witness a practice run of the next step?  And as Annie Jacobsen says, "But I wonder, if 19 terrorists can learn to fly airplanes into buildings, couldn't 14 terrorists learn to play instruments?”