Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Crazy

This is my son doing his homework.  No, he does not always do homework with Bumblebee gloves and a mask. This was taken after his Halloween costume arrived in the mail, in late September.  He was extremely excited.  The cup of coffee is mine, although it makes for a funny picture.  The reason I posted this picture today is because the little fellow informed me that since it is Leap Day and I can do something crazy today.  Then he added, "Crazier than usual".  My son knows I am a little different.  Noted from the picture above I may have passed on some quirkiness.  The kind of quirkiness that doesn't not reserve itself for one day every four years.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jealous Much?

 This is what makes me more jealous than anything in the world.  My greyhound, Ninja, falls asleep in less than one minute.  Honestly, I have timed it.  She lays on her bed and her eyes slam shut.  She also sleeps a lot.  I know, what else does a dog have to do?  Very little.  She also acts very annoyed and put out when I wake her with the vacuum or other household task.  The nerve of me.  I admit I have turned down the TV so as not to disturb the sleeping canine princess.
This is our geriatric cat, Yoda.  No, she is not dead.  She lays belly up in the middle of the living room.  We check for vital signs, she still has them.  I am also impressed with her ability to sleep constantly.  She also does not act much like a cat.  Yoda is bold.  She hides from nothing.  Perhaps it is all of her life experience that makes her bold, or she is just not that bright.  Whatever it is, I treasure this fuzzy little not very catlike, cat.  Sixteen years and counting!

Just a couple photos of two of my favorite furry gals.  They pretty much own us, and we are okay with that. I am also envious of very few, if any humans, but these two mammals have me down right jealous.  If I believed in reincarnation (which I do not) I would want to come back as one of my pets.  But not the fish, he is just odd.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Bus Stop

Every school day I walk my son to his bus stop. I also pick him up each afternoon, well occasionally my daughter will go pick him up, but generally it is me. The thing I find remarkable is the amount of parents that drive their child to and from the bus stop. There are people who live just houses away from the stop that drive each and everyday, and then return home. This has happened for years. I have always thought it was odd, but to each his own. I happen to enjoy the time we are walking and talking. It is a small moment that we enjoy. Today two or the driver parents were standing by the line, their cars still running, complaining about gas prices. Am I the only one that finds it completely absurd that someone is STANDING next to their RUNNING car that is five houses away from their home complaining about gas prices? I was literally biting my tongue so I would not say something. I really do bite one my tongue to keep my words inside. Just thinking,"do not say anything", is often not enough for me. I honestly was shocked by the stupidity of the whole situation. First of all I am annoyed daily by having to stand in the exhaust of their vehicles while waiting for my son to get on the bus. I have never understood why they leave their cars running for the five, sometimes ten minute wait for the bus. (The bus driver runs on his own special time. As soon as we assume he will arrive later, he starts arriving earlier and busses get missed. It is what it is.) Anyway, knowing that gas prices actually concern these people that I have always assumed own stock in BP, just makes me shake my head. If I were at all savvy with numbers, I would calculate how much money they could save not driving to the bus stop, and also have numbers for how much money they could save not letting their care idle for five to ten minutes. I am not a numbers person, I am happy if my checkbook is within ten dollars of the actual amount. So no calculations will be made. Let us just agree they could save some cash by not driving unnecessarily. Not to mention they are missing out on great conversation with their kids on a walk to and from the bus stop. Proving my point, here are a few fun and funny facts I have learned recently in walks to or from the bus stop.

1. Some kid puked in the lunchroom (I have actually heard this on more than on occasion)
2. There is a kid in his class that looks up naughty words in the dictionary. (glad to know this is not my kid)
3. There is a fourth grader with the same shoes as his.
4. There is a kid in his class that stuffs himself in his locker to get out of going to art.
5. Some people have bad aim in the bathroom.
6. Various funny things his teacher says and does. She is a great person and a fun teacher.
7. Why anacondas are cooler than chimpanzees, and why he switched from being a chimp to an anaconda for a project.
8. Tooth fairy theories, there are many. A new one for each lost tooth.
9. Countless car facts and buying suggestions for my next vehicle purchase.
10. Utter disgust at how much I do not care about what I drive. I shame him with my belief that a car just gets you from point A to point B. He is a car guy, and this is poison to his ears. It is also a lively ongoing debate.

Theses are some, and just a very superficial few, conversations we have going to or coming from the bus stop. It is perhaps a few of the very best minutes of my day. I know that the jokes we have made up, the rabbits we have named, and the memories we have built are as precious as diamonds to me. And we are not polluting the environment with anything but our laughter.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fast Friday

I won't trouble you with the details of my week. In summary, it has been bad. I also have complete faith that next week will be better. Still, even during a trying spell I have some partially humorous and/or absurd things to share.

1. Teachers promising snow days. My poor kids were assured when they were in school Thursday that the weather was going to get so bad that school would be closed on Friday. Well, it was not. Yes, it snowed, issuing was such a paltry amount that closing school would have caused a parent riot. Kids hate broken promises. Shame on you teachers for giving them false hope.

2. Drug facts. Since I educated myself about drugs via a seminar last week, I feel it is my civic duty to share information with you, my dear reader. I will at some point, but here is a funny thing that happened. The presenters did a great job. Every so often they asked the audience questions. Just basic, "Have you heard of __________?", type questions. If you had heard of whatever, the proper response was to raise your hand. My spouse and I had heard of many of the substances and situations, so we would raise our hands. I guess that our "knowledge" bothered the person sitting next to me. At one point he whispered to me, "You two really know your drugs". Somehow I let this comment go with a smile and a shrug. Mind you these were, "Have you heard of ____________?", not "Do you run a meth lab in your basement?". I guess our lack of ignorance made this man uncomfortable. I think it is funny that he thought we were immersed in the drug culture.

3. Girl Scout cookies are being delivered. This time of year highlights how little my beloved and I communicate about some things. He orders cookies. I order cookies. Not until these cookies start showing up at the house do we ever mention to each other how many cookies or what type have been ordered. Thankfully, these cookies freeze beautifully.

4. Lenten sacrifices. I have officially given up swearing for Lent. Each swear costs me twenty five cents. I think I am at a cool 2 bucks in the tin. Not bad, not perfect either. I have some people and creatures that make me want to swear. Mostly my dog, Ninja. She is the darnedest thing. She insists upon herself. Always underfoot. She makes me nuts. I have also given up raising my voice with the kids. My daughter misunderstood this as I was going to stop nagging or correcting bad behavior...wrong, just doing it in a conversational tone. The tone with the kids is going well. I like not raising my voice in frustration. Yes, I still get frustrated. Yes, they still get corrected. Now I just do not have to apologize for raising my voice. It is a time saver!

Have a great weekend. Spend some time with the people you love and do not forget to tell them how much you love them and value them in your life. Live. Laugh. Love.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Calling Home

I currently live a solid three hour drive from my parents, siblings, and the town which I grew up. One would think after seventeen years of being in my current location, one husband, two kids, several pets, and a lovely group of friends that I love later, I should call this place "home". You would think, but I do not. Whenever I refer to going to see my sister and parents I always say, "I am going home". A friend called me on this point when I was telling her I was going home to see my sister and her baby. She said, "You always say 'going home' when drive you go across the state. Don't you think this is your home?"

I did not really answer her. This was a big thinking point for me. I do have a home here, in my current location. I have a family all my own and they are great. I do feel very at home here. However, when I am with my parents, sister and brother I feel completely at home. The five of us that compose my family of origin are my true home. My parents do not even live in the same house I grew up in, but the "home" I refer to is the people, not a brick and mortar structure. These are the people to this day I scarcely have to say a word and they know what is going on. My sister and I can say one word or gesture and we dissolve into laughter or tears. People around us just stare at the spectical we cause with our "Betty & Wilma" laugh. (My husband coined the laugh the Betty & Wilma after the Flintstone characters. It is a fairly accurate description). It is "home home" when I am there. It is certainly not a slight or a criticism of my current home. I created my current home. I have hand picked the husband, the friends, and so many other elements. The kids are clearly a shared production, and I give credit where credit is due, we did fine work. Building a new home took years and it was not easy. Plenty of times I went home to see my family and I just wanted to stay. Everything in my original home is easy. It was established before I was born and I just blended in seamlessly. I never have to explain to my family anything about me. They know me. They get it. Sure they may think some things are odd or silly, but to them it's just, "Allie being Allie". It is wonderful to have that place where things are easy and people are accepting. That is home. Home, sweet home.

My current residence and community are nice. I have grown accustom to the way things work, where things are, and it is good. However, like I already mentioned, it has been a lot of work. It is hard not seeing my mom and sister as often as I would like. We have built a network of close friends that feel somewhat like brothers and sisters. Our friends treat our kids like nieces and nephews, which is a great blessing. Finding that network of friends took a long time. Yes, this place is my new home. I feel bad that many of my friends do not understand my attachment to my home three hours away. Most of them grew up here, have parents and siblings here. They do not understand the attachment to home, because their adult home and childhood home are so close. I also know that this home I created over the past seventeen years is what my kids will call "home" when they get older. Hopefully, we have created a place that they can pine for as I still do to this day. No matter where a person goes in life, it always nice to have a place you can always call home.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five for Friday

Ahhhh....welcome to weekend (almost).  It has been a chilly week here. Snow & ice and everything nice!  Hopefully you have some good stuff happening for your weekend.  Relaxing with a good book certainly counts as good stuff, in my humble opinion.  Here are five random thought or opinions...

  1. There is no way to gracefully fall in public.  I have been determined to go for at least 3 or 4 long walks each week.  I would love to say everyday, but that does not happen so 3 or 4 walks per week is satisfactory.  I also am a firm believer in the saying, "There is no bad weather, just bad clothing.".  This keeps me moving in the snow and cold.  I did not account for all the ice.  I took a major slip and fall on Wednesday morning.  I tried to stop myself by doing that odd helicopter movement people do whilst falling.  The helicopter arms did not help.  I still sat it right down on the sidewalk.  I think the arm whirling only made it funnier for the passing cars.  The thing that is the most damaged is my ego, and my left hip is calling in as a close second.  The bruises on my body will heal, the embarrassment of a public fall may last a lifetime.
  2. Middle school students do not wear outerwear.  Each cold morning my daughter and I have the same issue.  She tries to leave the house just wearing a hoody, and I tell her to put on her winter jacket.  When she leaves it is cold, when she returns it is cold.  It is winter.  It is cold. Her reasoning for not wearing outerwear is, "No one wears a jacket".  I thought she was kidding.  Who does not wear a jacket when it is cold out?  If you have access to a warm coat, you should wear it.  End of discussion.  Right?  Wrong.  I picked her up from school one day last week, a cold day.  As I waited in the parking lot, the bell sounded, and throngs of middle school students poured out of the building, mostly wearing hoodies, much like my daughters.  A hooded sweatshirt on a 28 degree day?  Ridiculous.  I know that these kids likely have outwear for this weather, and none of them wear it.  I can not wrap my head around this silliness.  My daughter must have read my mind as she entered the car because her first words were, "I told you no one wears coats."  Who knew?
  3. Book recommendation.  Anything by David Sedaris.  He is an amazing writer.  It is self-deprecating humor at its finest.  It is the perfect type of writing to read if you can not invest yourself in a novel or length type book.  Each chapter stands alone, so you can read a little put it down and not feel like you need to catch up because the last time you read was two weeks ago.  He also has a sophisticated vocabulary.  I like.  I like a lot.
  4. Lying to the dentist.  I went to the dentist this week for the general 6 month cleaning.  My dentist is under the impression that I floss regularly and avoid beverages that stain my teeth.  He always pays me a compliment about my great smile.  I always say, "Oh, thanks".  I never mention that I drink coffee like it is my job.  I neglect to inform him that I only floss when I have food caught in my teeth or  when I get the reminder call that I have a dentist appointment.  He probably would not want to see the box (yes, I said "box") of red wine on my kitchen counter either.  Lets face it I got lucky and have teflon enamel on my teeth.  God and my parents should take credit for my dazzling smile, not me.  However, I shall continue to let the dentist think I am a model patient.
  5. Sketchy.  My husband and I watched a show several months ago and the television presenter said, "It has been a while since I have done something sketchy".  The show was really stupid.  That phrase was the best part.  It has become a household catch phrase.  The cat runs through the living room, someone says, "Yoda is being sketchy".  I arrive late for a pick-up, "Mom, why you gotta be so sketchy?".  My son, in his underwear in the living room, "Pants make me feel sketchy."  He is then asked to go get some sketchy pants on, NOW.  It is such a fun word.  It actually makes me want to go out and be "sketchy".  Try it out.  Most assuredly you will enjoy it.
Have a great weekend, and send me a comment about anything sketchy you may have done.  Your secret is safe with me.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parenting Advice

Don't think for one second that this is the post where she spouts all of her collective child rearing knowledge and advice. I have only been at this parent thing for 12.5 years. I can not claim any sort of victory in the parenting arena. That being said, you might think that I am open to hearing parenting advice. This would be erroneous. I am a live and learn kind of person. Things are going okay, so far so good. God also blessed me very easy children. Aside from some stubbornness and feistiness, that was likely inherited from the paternal genetic contribution, they are both really enjoyable people. If I were not their mother I would still think they were very cool people.

However, today, despite my general apathy toward parenting lectures, books, and advice in most any form, I am attending two parenting type events. The first is a talk by a man who has a lot of kids. I believe the number is 13 kids, a mixture of biological, adopted and foster children. Yes, 13. That is a crew. This man also writes. I am more interested in the writing perspective, but I also have a sick fascination with large families. God did not give me the uterus to produce, or the patience to handle more than two kids. It will be fascinating to hear what this man has to say about parenting a brood of such size. It will likely leave me feeling glad I just have two kids and two pets to manage everyday.

The second parenting type event is a presentation called Drugs 101. My beloved is accompanying me to this event. I currently have no drug concerns with my kids, but I also feel that information on such a topic is good to have. Knowledge is power in this situation. The flyer for Drugs 101 had a series of questions about the current drugs of choice for young people. I did not understand about seven of the questions at all, so I signed us up to attend. I will certainly let you know what I learn, or if anything silly happened. Hopefully, I will pay attention. In large groups I tend to start people watching, or pick up on the speakers vocal tics. If the speaker is an "ummer" I often tally mark all the "umms". Yes, this speech defect is distracting to me. It also makes it impossible to comprehend the content. Thankfully, my beloved will be there. He is a good listener, and has no public speaking training so he does not notice vocal tics; like, umm, okay, and yeah right. It is good to have such an unflappable wingman. Seriously, I do need to become more aware of the current drug culture. I have only heard excellent things about this program and it comes with a large amount of handouts. The handouts will be my saving grace because I am person that learns better through reading. Prepared to be dazzled by my drug information in future posts.

Parenting advice is still not my thing, but today will be informative. I know that I will learn something. If nothing else it will give me more topics to cover here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Change is Bad

Today I am going to lament the new format that I am forced to use because I updated my blogger dashboard. The screen features are less than the previous set up, or I just can not figure out where the features I liked are as of yet. I have also saved some posts that were not finished only to return to find them lost. Okay, perhaps I can cull them out somewhere, and if not they were just a few rough paragraphs, but still what if those lost items were my best writing ever? We shall never know now. So now I need to embark on learning more about this updated system. I pretty much hate change sometimes. Admittedly I am not tech savvy. This lack of savvy just adds to my frustration. Perhaps this exercise in relearning will help me embrace change. It is certainly not a life of death situation. I am sure than i can call for tech support. Though calling for help will mean I have to explain to some support person how dense I am about technology.

The funny thing about my tech-phobia is I really desire to understand all the gadgets, but from afar. My husband just got his first smartphone. He loves it. He keeps talking to some assistant telling it to remind him of this and that, to send text messages using voice commands...all sorts of cool stuff. He asked if I wanted a smartphone, and I have thus far avoided answering the question. It almost seems like it may be a waste of good micro-chips for someone who prefers pen and paper. Honestly, if I could write in a notebook and scan my blog entries to post them, that would be great. Although I do have a love / hate relationship with our scanner. The printer and fax features work for me, but the scans are sketchy at best. Should I blame the scanner? Probably not. It is likely me and my lack direction reading and /or following that is the issue.

Hopefully, with some concentration and desire to move forward with the times, I can work through this change. Perhaps it is not as bad as it feels right now. However, the old way was just peachy with me and if I can find my way back to the previous version, I am probably going take it. Sadly, I fear that is unlikely. Change is bad, but in a few weeks I may learn to adapt.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day. I have already stated that I am not a fan of this holiday. I am not a fan of a lot of holidays for a variety of oddball reasons. However, I feel like my reasons for not jumping on the Valentine wagon are better than most. Okay, maybe I am just saying that because the day is here and it is in the front of my mind. Well, not really in the front of my mind because, but I still need to get my kids some trinkets and treasures and a card (I am not heartless and inconsiderate). Anyway, these are my primary gripes against Valentine's Day.
  • It is non- inclusive. Sure when you are in elementary school everyone gets treats, cards, and the class has a fun afternoon party. I was all about a well planned class party as a child, and even as a educator. Valentine's up until fourth grade is very inclusive and focused on being friends. After fourth grade it becomes about " being in love". Do not get me started on how inappropriate grade school and even middle school age pairings are. It is a whole other post, perhaps even a book. This holiday includes people who are in relationships, and excludes singles. That is just mean. I say this as a person that has been "paired" for more years than I have not, and I still think its garbage. Single people should not be made to feel bad or stage anti-Valentine parties and dinners with fellow singletons. The only "exclusive" days that I have any respect for are wedding anniversaries and birthdays. So if you got hitched on Valentine's Day or if you were born on February 14th, then by all means celebrate the heck out it.
  • It is stressful. If you are in a relationship there is intense pressure to plan an event, and /or give a gift that shows you love and care for your significant other. I have heard people for years complain about what to get their partner, or the day after, people read into the gift they received as too insignificant, or too significant for their relationship phase. Talk about a "no win" situation. Frankly, I do not want my beloved to feel pressure from the calendar to do something nice for me. He is a great guy. I know he loves me. He knows I love him. We agree that this is a silly holiday, so we pretty much ignore it. (Except for stuff for the kids...because they are cute and not all jaded yet. In time they will develop properly. Their mother will see to that.)
  • It is a racket for the card, candy, and flower industry. Yes, this is just a reason for flower shops to raise prices on red roses. I get the whole supply and demand thing. I took Economics 101 in college. I also have a very warped idea that handing someone cut flowers that then wither and die as some symbol of love and devotion is messed up. I have always disliked cut flowers for this reason. Conversely, cut flowers at funerals are fine, but people tend to send live plants for actual deaths...that is also messed up. I know the flower shops and websites are raking it in, good for them. Making money on people's contrived view of what it means to be in a relationship and a date on the calendar is manipulative. You are evil geniuses along with greeting card companies and chocolate makers. I do love to buy half-price chocolate on the 15th (glass half full moment). Half price heart shaped chocolates are far more delicious than full price heart shaped chocolate.
That is my full indictment of Valentine's Day. I know I am in the minority. I know on the 15th people will ask me what my spouse gave me for Valentine's Day. I hope they are prepared for some really inappropriate answers. I am not above answering "none of your business" questions with answers that may make them wish they had never asked in the first place. In fact, that may be the only thing I like about Valentine's Day. Ask me...I dare you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Power of Postive Monday

Last Monday my wonderful sister, Betsy, posted on her social media outlet that she was "keeping it positive on Monday". That is a paraphrase, but let us all agree that the first day of the work week is a challenge for many of us. We are not little rays of sunshine. We do not arise from bed doing cartwheels and joyful dance routines. If you say you do, I may call you a dirty, filthy liar. All last week I thought about being more positive about Monday. I decided this week I would be painfully optimistic when my alarm jolted me from bed at 5:45am. I indeed did feel cheery, tired, but cheery as I let the dog out, started the coffee, and commenced the morning routine. My daughter was her usual bleary eyed, slightly surly self, and I embraced that. I took the growled answers to questions in stride. She is not allowed to have two or three cups of coffee, so of course she is not as conversational as I am. Who could be? My spouse, who is allowed to drink all the coffee he wants was not buying into positive attitude Monday. It is my social experiment, not theirs. So I had two gloomy people, and yet my good cheer persisted. I was starting to think that I was on my way to being Little Miss Sunshine, and it was not even 7am! Then my favorite morning show started. I start everyday with Good Morning America. It is just what I do. I get to make lunches, ready others, and myself for the day with GMA as my background. It works. Well, today it was all about a recently deceased musician, who will remain nameless. (You know who it is). This was a direct challenge to my "stay positive" pledge. Why you ask? Here is why. Lots of people die everyday. If we as a society hype one person's demise more than another then the news would be a constant running obituary. Wouldn't that be a downer? Death is part of life. Certainly anyone who died this past weekend will be missed by their loved ones. Yes, tell us on the news of a notable person's death, but do not let it hijack the whole program. So that challenged me. I did complain, briefly, to a friend. Then I moved on with my positive day. (Face it, I was already impressed that everyone got to work and school and I had been painfully upbeat. I was already winning. One small complaint was not tarnishing my day, in my opinion) All was going well with my day. Being positive, productive, and kind. Then 5:00pm hit, and the universe attacked. First, my lovely dog stole and chewed up a tax document. She NEVER eats paper. She steals stuffed animals from the kids, but she does not eat paper. She does not even chew the stuffed animals, just kidnaps them into the back of her crate. Today, of all days, she decides to start eating paper. Nice. Why not just some junk mail? Do tax documents just taste better? So I flipped out. Not incredibly positive. However what happened next made the tax document situation seem very small. I noticed the message light flashing on the home phone. I am very bad at checking the messages on the land line. If you want to talk to me text me or leave a voicemail on my mobile. Anyway, I listened to the message. It was from 3:30 pm today. Cool, at least it was somewhat current. It was Chase fraud protection. Never cool. The whole please call us as soon as possible. Very not cool. So I write down the number and call. My chest had tightened and I felt like vomiting, this is never good. I am very intuitive. My bad feelings are seldom wrong. Yikes! I spoke with the nicest woman who informed me of several attempted charges on my account from yesterday and today. Charges in Texas, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and one from Michigan. Nothing I had charged. I had the horrible cold sweat rolling down my back, and my pits (your welcome for the TMI). The list was extensive. I am the only one on this card. There is only one card. I was holding it in my sweaty hand. I was about to flip out. Then the lovely woman on the other end of the phone said, "Well, we are just going close this card. Since you have our fraud protection, you will incur none of these charges." Positivity restored. This amazing woman then explained the process, the papers I will get, several other things I need to do. All very doable things. Sure it is a bit of a time inconvenience, but not as bad as taking a financial hit for some crummy criminal. Yes, I am really upset that some people steal. The places that this person attempted to use my card were not places that supply people's needed items. The places were all hotels, and stores that supply "wants". It is just so far from anything I would ever do. I know I am a total stranger to whomever did this. I am just 16 digits that could get them stuff. It is sad that the world has people that are so void of values. I am glad I am not none of them. I am glad I have family and friends that would never stoop to such levels. I am also glad that I have fraud protection on my credit cards and that it really works. I am also glad I can find so much positive in a pretty negative experience. Next Monday I will also choose to positive. I just hope the universe does not read my blog or social media posts if I decide to go public with my unflappable cheery outlook.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


First of all I need to backtrack to June 2010, when I started this blog. I believe I made some statement to the effect that I am not a "mommy blogger" and I was not going to write about my spouse and kids. I may have even have been indignant about absolutely not putting them in my blog. Epic fail. They get mentioned often, because they are funny...maybe funnier than I am (Perhaps? No. Even I know that I am a sharp witted force of nature. It is my one true talent.). I pretty much have reversed my opinion on leaving my husband and kids out of my writing. The fact is they are a rich source of material. Furthermore, writers produce better work when they write about what they know, and I know these people. These three people impact my daily life, for better or worse...mostly for better. I will continue to not name names, and I will never share a story that I am not directly involved. That would be telling tales out of school, and these people do deserve to have their private joys and failings...but if I play a key role in any of it, and it is funny, I am writing about it. I am not sure if that puts me in the "mommy blogger" genre or not. I will probably never share a recipe, as I do not use recipes when cook. I also do not bake, because a recipe is required. I do not take direction, or even suggestions very well. I am an independent spirit, which is a really nice way to say I am a pain in the ass. I make rules, then break my own rules. It is fun. I prefer to beg forgiveness as opposed to asking permission. It actually makes perfect sense that I set rules for my blog only to do a complete reversal.

It feels very refreshing and freeing to officially change the rules. A true renewal of writing. I was beginning to feel I had betrayed my original purpose for starting my blog. Okay, I am not even sure what my original intent was. I know that I had words that needed to get out. I had a worldview that demanded a wider audience. I guess I still do believe I have a worldview that demands a larger audience. People often tell me that I see the world in an interesting way. I am not sure if that is true...I only know what I know from my perspective. I have been stuck in this brain for 39 years, and know of nothing different. That is universally true of all of us. We are all special in the way we see the world. I am blessed that I can write my views, so you can catch a glimpse of the wild and wacky corners of my mind. Trust me when I say I know a few people that I would love to convince to write down their crazy thoughts and opinions. Not because I would mock them, but because it would make me feel like I had a kindred spirit. And then I would probably mock them...because that is what I do, and people still love me. (crazy, huh?) Serious, funny, opinionated, quirky, loving, bitter, family oriented, being an individual, friends, and all sorts of other crazy stuff...but no recipes, that is what my renewed focus is for my blog. This Particular Brand of Crazy, defines itself by being undefined.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Five for Friday

What a week! Looking forward to some fun this weekend...well it better be fun, otherwise I shall be massively disappointed. My five things for this week...
  1. Blogger stats. I have never been hugely concerned with how many people read me or who reads me. This is just my little place in cyber-space to be me and say what is bottled up in my crazy brain. (still not there haters) Anyway, just today I hit the "stats" button on my blogger dashboard. That was a mistake, because now I know people really do read me. More people than I thought. That being said, if you are mildly entertained by my writing, please feel free to share this blog on your social media (use the links at the bottom of the post) or recommend "This Particular Brand of Crazy" to a friend (or an enemy). You can even make a bold step and "follow" me. Just look to your right and do whatever it says. I will continue to try to keep it real and fun...maybe even real fun. Thanks, it is awesome to know people that are unrelated to me read this. I also appreciate my family & friends that read this blog. It proves that you just can not get enough of this silly woman. xoxo
  2. The cereal solution for swearing. Last week I shared my new method to curb my potty mouth. I would like to report it is going well, and I hardly say naughty words anymore. Yes, I would like to report that, however that would mean I am a liar. The blaspheming is much less. My convicted soul is taking care of that, which is good. The vulgar words are still here. Sometimes I just whisper them, but I am still swearing like a sailor for the most part. Furthermore, I think in swear words and most of my dreams could use a 7 second delay as well. I will try harder. Bad habits are hard to break. It's just so fruit loopin difficult.
  3. The messy room. I am still not nagging my daughter about her piggy mess of a room. I made one condition, she must put her dirty clothes in the hamper. She was dangerously close to going to school in pajamas or nude at one point. She is not so receptive to the clothing optional lifestyle so the clothes seem to be making to the hamper more often. The door is shut most days. It is my coping mechanism.
  4. Toothless people. My son is at that special age when he has lost his two front teeth. Yes, it was like that for Christmas this year. These teeth are growing in sooooo slooooowly. I had to actually stick my fingers in the gap to feel if teeth were under the surface. I was so nervous he had no adult teeth to fill the gap. I did feel tooth nubs, thankfully. He also did not bite me and was very good natured about it. My daughter would have bit me, for sure. She may have even tried to take a swing at me. She is really protective of her personal space. Just ask the nurse that gave her vaccinations before she could start 6th grade. I thought that nurse might have become a toothless person.
  5. Needy pets. Generally my dog drives me nuts with her needy needs. Lately, I have actually enjoyed her clinginess. The helplessness has become endearing. Never, ever thought I would enjoy that kind of desperate dependence. Am I becoming soft? Yikes! I will prefer to think I have been worn down and I now am accepting my fate as Ninja's dutiful caretaker. She is an exceptionally sweet dog, with soulful eyes. Ewww...that sounds pretty soft.
Happy weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Night Walkers

Last night I joined a friend for an impromptu night walk through her neighborhood. I love to go for walks, but I am generally a day walker. Mostly a morning walker, occasionally an afternoon walker, but so very seldom a night walker. Yes, I have my dog that I could walk at night, but she is a sleepy dog. If it is dark Miss Ninja is curled up on her bed fast asleep. In fact I generally walk alone or with a dog, so a human walking partner is a rare and very enjoyable treat for me.

Anyway, night walking. It is a different world at night. The air is clear and brisk. The street lights cast shadows, some spooky, some ethereal. A few times both of us jumped because we saw our own shadows oddly cast by a passing car's headlights. Yes, that is silly. Perhaps that was the best part of the night walk. The sheer silliness that the darkness afforded us. We were walking, talking, and gesturing more wildly than a person would in the daylight. Maybe so we could see each other, or maybe because gesturing wildly is fun, but also embarrassing at times. I can not tell you what we talked about, because of privacy and the sheer number of topics we covered. I can tell you there is nothing better than having a friend that listens and shares without judgement. We talked about the things in life that burden us, and somehow through talking and walking we moved through our burdens. Just by giving those things a voice, it was possible to walk past them. Not that we solved any great issues, but somehow those issues became smaller in the cold, dark, night air.

Night walking with a friend may become my new favorite way to exercise. Sure, I get my thoughts sorted out, and my daily attack plan solidified when I walk alone. Solo walking is very purpose driven for me. However, when I walked with my friend I got my spirits lifted, my burdens lightened, inner peace restored, and my soul is still singing the praises of night walking.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wicked Wednesday

Sometimes it is okay to just be wicked, as long as no one gets hurt. Okay that is completely my rule not anything official from God or anything. However, sometimes the wicked thoughts build up and they need to bleed out a little or things get ugly. We all have a dark side...not all of us are Darth Vader bad, but perhaps a little sketchy like the odd characters in the Cantina bar. Yes, that was two Star Wars references in on sentence. I will stop with them before the geek police promote me. is Wednesday and I am going to be wicked. If you don't want to join me leave now.

Okay all the goody goodies left...see ya suckers. Let's have some fun.

  1. Madonna almost falling at the Super Bowl half time show. So close to being the most awesome thing ever. She is not my favorite person. She indeed may be wicked everyday, not just on Wednesdays. Especially now that I have learned she is has no tour dates set in Michigan for her upcoming tour. Michigan is her home state. This is where she is from. Not New York. Not Great Britian. She is from Michigan. Quit being such an uppity shrew of a person. For some reason people still want to see your egotistical freak show. Just remember your roots. I will not be at any of her shows, anywhere, ever, even if I had free tickets and a limo.
  2. We have new people in our neighborhood. There is a rental house, (thanks crappy housing market and foreclosures) across the street. I believe in the (demented) rental agreement that there is a clause about making sure the police show up at least once a week. Seriously. It is some kind of messed up situation over there. In the sixteen years I have lived on this street I have seen the police drive by perhaps six or seven times. Now that the new tenants moved in in December, no joke, police cars, at least once per week. Not just one squad car either, sometimes two or three. I have no clue why such a strong police presence is needed. Between you and me, I am guessing it is domestic disputes. Which is awful, especially since there is a child living there. I am mostly annoyed at the police for not removing people from the house. I guess the wicked part of this is my judgement of these people. I can not understand why you would chose to live like that, especially when a child is involved. My secondary wickedness is just wanting the whole situation to disappear because I am sick of explaining to my kids why there are police cars on our street. Domestic tranquility....NOW.
  3. Spray tanning. It is wicked and ugly. A new season of Dancing with the Stars is around the corner. So looking orange is in fashion. Since when do people look better being the color of an Oompa Loompa? It is just stupid to me. Yes, I am as pale as a vampire. It suits me. Whatever color you are born is the color you are suppose to be. Please quit spraying and baking your skin different colors. It is gross. Not to mention unhealthy. Perhaps this is not being wicked, but just pointing out a general fact. However, I am using no tact or diplomacy in doing so, thus it qualifies as wicked.
So there. I bled a little of the awful stuff that has been building up. I recommend you also let go of some of the wicked thoughts, judgements, and opinions that you are holding inside. It is therapeutic and necessary to free yourself of these things. It will not make you the most popular person in the room, but could make you the most honest.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Waiting Game

Today I have been sentenced to waiting. I am a horrible "waiter". It does not matter if it is for a repair person, or appointments, or for my color to process at the salon...I am a horrible, awful, no good, very bad "waiter". Today my "wait" is for a package from FedEx. No, the contents are not for me. It is my beloved's fancy new phone that requires a signature upon its arrival. It would not matter if it were for me, I am a hideous "waiter". I would still be writing a complaint blog even if I were waiting for the delivery of a million dollar check. Yes, I would. I know myself....perhaps too well.

It does not matter that I can get loads of stuff done around the house. The bathrooms will be cleaned, the laundry will get laundered, the floors vacuumed, the dust get the idea. This is one of those times where it is the principle of waiting. Society has made me (and perhaps others you know) bad at waiting because it is just not needed everyday. One hundred years ago I would have waited for bread to rise before I baked it. Now, I drive to the store and buy a loaf of bread or two. One hundred years ago doing laundry would have been a whole day process, I would have been waiting for clothes to air dry. Do not get me started on how annoying air drying clothing is, I have passed up some pretty great clothes because they could not be machine washed and dried. I hate to wait. In an earlier time I would have perished waiting, of this I am certain.

My kids are bad at waiting as well. I often tell myself it is their age and in time they will be better. Maybe it is my age and I will get better too? Although, I know it is very unlikely. I no longer pray for patience, knowing that I will only be given opportunities to practice waiting and overcoming my frustration. I embrace that I am person that just does not like waiting. I live in a world that mostly does not make me wait, so I just need to deal with the occasions that waiting is unavoidable.

The upside of being a bad "waiter" is I am insanely punctual. If I say we will meet at 9am, you better believe I will be there at 9am (probably 8:55 am). Being "on time" is a great source of pride for me, not a boastful pride, but I feel that people can really count on me to not make them wait. There is some innate belief that every person's time is valuable that compels me to be punctual. I call if traffic or other circumstance detains me, however most of the time I build in time for these occurrences, which is why I am early. Knowing all of this would make you think I surround myself with like minded, on time, bad "waiters", right? Wrong. Some of my closest friends are chronically tardy. Crazy, huh? Oddly, I do not get mad at these people. I do lie about meeting times with them so they are closer to on time. Yes, I do tell some people I will pick them up at 6pm, fully knowing I will not pick them up until 6:30pm. This method keeps me from being frustrated by waiting for them, and watching them rushing about because their "on time" friend is rolling her eyes, again. I do not think of it as lying, but as preserving our friendship through creative time management. It is a win-win.

Now, if only I could convince FedEx not make me wait and show Okay, so perhaps it won't work with them. At least I will have fabulously cleaned bathrooms whilst I wait.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Five for Friday

Best part of a four day run of five random thoughts, musings, ideas, and oddities. You have no idea how much I look forward to this. This is kid in candy store time for me. Be thankful if I even write complete thoughts. Buckle up, I have had a heck of a week...

  1. Dinner. I would pay any price to not have to plan dinners for just one week of my life. Yes, I have reached the end of my rope with dinner planning. Perhaps because the people I am cooking for have an uncanny way of never having any helpful suggestions, but complain about what is put on the table. It is crazy really. I ask every Sunday for suggestions, get blank stares and slack jaws, and no recommendations. Then lo and behold, Monday at dinner, groans about whatever is on the table. Please, either suggestions or a one week reprieve from dinners. Either way, I will be thrilled.
  2. Movie recommendation. Go see Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Yes, it is "the 9/11" movie. It is so much more. It is a tale of what can be found when something is lost. It made me cry and laugh. I went to see it on the opening night with my daughter, who read the book. She now has complete credibility in the book and movie recommendation department. Just see it. It is worth it.
  3. Groundhog Day. Stupid and a waste of time. Why would I listen to a fat rodent to give me a weather report? The human weather forecasters are spitballing it most the time already, and once a year they consult a hibernating animal. Utter silliness. Done with it.
  4. Nail polish. I honestly believe I type faster when I am wearing nail polish. I also know that is not true. If anything the weight of lacquer on my nails should slow them down. Yes, this is random and's Friday, so it's fair game. I think I just like seeing my nails with color on them better than plain nails. FYI, my favorite polish color lately is a cement grey shade. I was in a huge black phase for awhile, so the cement grey is really light for me.
  5. Confession is good for the soul. This weeks confession is....yikes...I really thought something would just flow after that. Let me think. Oh yes, I really am not a fan of Valentine's Day. Even though I have been in a relationship for the past 19 years, and I am wild about my beloved. I am just not a romantic holiday person. It seems very staged and contrived. If you want to give me flowers, give me flowers. Do not wait for a set date on the calendar. Yes, I am girl. Just not a huggy, fluffy, puffy, dreamy, be my Valentine, kind of girl. And I really do not like flowers that much either, but the gesture is nice. Jewelry is okay, just nothing with hearts, that is lame. And my beloved does not read all that gift evaluation was utterly pointless.
Have a great weekend. Do not over do it at your Superbowl Party.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Sorry Solution

I have recently come to recognize an odd verbal tic that my friends and I share. It is the compulsive urge to apologize for everything. We say sorry so often it is sick. The word "sorry" is bounced around so much that it has lost its meaning. Apologizing when you have wronged someone intentionally or unintentionally, is the good, right, and proper thing to do. I certainly do not advocate being am insensitive jerk. My friends are far from being jerks. I would wager some of them have apologized for the debt crisis, world hunger, and perhaps even the actions of the Unibomber. The way my "sorry" bunch of comrades uses the word "sorry" is like confetti at a parade. Here are some examples...

"Sorry your dog ran away". (Even though I did not leave the gate open)

"Sorry your chai tea is bland". (Even though I am not the barista and I know we are not the kind of people to have someone remake a beverage, even if it's awful)

"Sorry those shoes gave you blisters". (Even though you told me a 9.5 on a size 10 foot may cause that, I am still sorry)

"Sorry you burnt dinner". (I am even sorrier that you will have to listen to your kids complain about it)

Okay, some of the above examples are real and some are slightly exaggerated, but all are things either one of my friends, or I, have actually uttered. We need a new word or a new way of dealing with each other's misfortune. I have pointed out to one friend that she need not say "sorry" about something stupid I have done that has made my life temporarily tricky to deal with, if not completely miserable. It just is not necessary to apologize for something you have done nothing to cause. It is just cheapening the word "sorry". The when you really need to be sorry, the word is void of meaning.

I would much prefer empathy, to the straight out,and constant sympathy. Yes, there is a difference. Empathy, is when someone shares a similar tale of woe or angst so as to make the first person feel like they are not the biggest idiot on the planet. Sympathy, the saying of "sorry" in these woeful situations, just makes the person who has blundered feel incompetent. As if losing your dog, having blisters, drinking a bad hot beverage, and eating a burnt dinner is not punishment enough. What I need is a "stupid matching" or even better a "stupid one upping". Yes, instead of saying sorry and being sympathetic, just "out dumb" me. Dig deep and pull out a personal shame of such magnitude that it erases, or at least severely dwarfs my ridiculousness. Let us dispose of our "sorry", and be true friends and pump each other's egos. Let me walk away thinking..."Well, at least I am not that messed up", (as I go to purchase blister block bandages at the closest CVS).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Throwing it Away

I have lamented on the mess that is my daughter's room. It is insanity. Clothes everywhere, papers on the floor, sheet music scattered, stuffed animals, all kinds of clutter. I complain on a constant loop to her about how horrid her room looks. I hate hearing myself, really I do. It is soul killing to henpeck her like I do. Soul killing for both of us. The fact is, yes her room looks like a bomb went off in a clothing store, but she never loses anything. She can find everything. Even worse she can find everything fairly quickly. The argument for order seems pointless, as she has her own order. Instead of preaching the gospel of throwing stuff away, and keeping good order, I am moving on. I am throwing away the constant nagging, and closing her bedroom door if she does not want her room clean. She is not embarrassed to have her friends see her messy room. In fact a couple of her friends are "neat freaks", and have commented on the mess. This does not phase my young messy one. She says things like, "My room. My way.". Oddly, she says it as if she has refrained from judging them on their tidy ways. Perhaps that is my clue that it does in fact take all kinds of people to make the world go around. The neat & messy, the morning people & night owls, the loud & quiet, the savers & many different opposing personality traits. None of them really bad or wrong, just different. Judging a person, especially my own daughter, by my personal standards that are based on my preferences, is the thing that needs to be thrown away. I also know that in time she may evolve into a tidy person. If I reflect back on my own teenage bedroom, there was generally an unmade bed, and discarded outfit options from the morning rush to look "just right". Which in the mid-1980's, "just right" is a relative term, since photographic evidence provides some pretty cringe inducing fashion choices. Currently, I would not say I am a "neat freak", but I do not have dishes piled in the sink (ever), my bed is always made, and the clothes are put away 85% of the time. The health department would not condemn my house, but Martha Stewart would have a considerable list of "good things" I could do to make it better. I have evolved from my teenage messiness, and so too may my daughter. I am pretty sure my nagging will have nothing to do with it. Anyway, she is a neat person in her wit, creative endeavors, intellect, and just being fun to around. This momma is choosing to embrace her neat daughter, with a very messy room. And throw away my nagging.