Tuesday, December 23, 2008

BEST Christmas Present EVER! Part 6....

The very best Christmas gift I ever received came a week before Christmas 2003.

I found out I was pregnant with Darling.

Handsome and I decided in Nov. of 2003 that we had been together for a little over 7 years, been married for a little over 1 year....it was finally time to try to have a baby.

We both figured I'd get pregnant sometime after the first of the year, so we should start practing (wink) at "optimal days" but, nope, we got pregnant right away.

Not that I could get the results immediately (took me about 4 pregnancy tests to get a positive/conclusive reading over the course of 3 excruciating days).

I'll never forget getting the positive reading (FINALLY) and after sitting there for a minute, with my whole body shaking, went in to wake up Handsome and tell him the good news.

I just told him, "Good morning, Daddy" and I'll never forget the way his face just lit up.

We panicked of course because it happened WAY sooner than we thought it would, and "Ohmigod! We're going to be parents!!" but we both had wanted to be parents for SO long, that it was truly the greatest Christmas present EVER!

Morning sickness is no fun during the holidays and it was so hard to keep it from everyone (especially his brother that lived with us), but we told everyone Christmas morning after all the gifts were opened.

I remember sitting in church Christmas Eve and how the whole story of the Nativity hit me in a completely different way than it ever had.

I remember thinking, "Merry Christmas, baby" and thanking God for giving us such a wonderful Christmas gift....

BEST Christmas Present EVER! Part 5....

This is dedicated to my handsome hubby....

So, Christmas, 1996....I had been dating Handsome for a few months and we were on Christmas Break. I didn't actually get to see him on Christmas. But of course I got the "Oh my God, I miss you so much, Merry Christmas, I love you!" call that night as I spent it with my family, but missing my new hot boyfriend so much!

We actually got to see each other the day after New Year's. My family had never met him at this point and he drove up from Possum Holler to be my date at a wedding that was to be held right after New Year's. We were to exchange presents at this time. So, Handsome experienced his first forray into my family (God help him) and after asking him repeatedly what he wanted for Christmas, he told me "Whatever, it doesn't matter". Well, knowing he was a music major, at that time, I got him some CD's of classical music. (I'm the crappiest gift giver, I know, but he liked them.)

What he got me turned into a family heirloom. He bought me this beautiful statue of the Holy Family that was actually a San Fransico Music Box Company music box that plays "O Holy Night" which he didn't even know was my favorite all time Christmas hymn. (If you want the PERFECT gift/card, expect it from Handsome, he has a sixth sense of the perfect thing to get people. I'm kinda jealous of this talent).

At some of the hardest times over the last 12 years, I've pulled that music box/statue down and wound it up and listened to it's song. In a lot of ways, every time I hear it play, I hear his beautiful voice singing that song (and he doesn't cop out on the challenging notes like Josh Grobin. Handsome is hardcore Michael Crawford style with that song) It's like a choir of angels. He's that good!

I'm never really able to put that statue/music box away after Christmas, I'm not sure why...

Moxie's New Favorite Cookie

I have always been a big fan of Dana at The Homesteading Housewife. She posts wonderful recipes that I would actually cook (and have!).

But she has really taken the cake (pun sort of intended) with her Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies.


Make these!

It was like an orgasm in my mouth and I don't care how that sounds. They are THAT good.

I had to make two batches because between Darling and I, we almost scarfed a dozen without blinking (I know, oink, oink, right?) My only caveat is half the coating mixture. We had tons left over.

Check out some of her other recipes. The ham/spinach/mozzerella stuffed meatloaf is awesome and I'm intrigued by the Stuffed Zucchini and the Corn Dog Bake.

BEST Christmas Present EVER! Part 4....

The subtitle to this post should be: "The Trojan Gift"

So, Santa is sassy. He sometimes uses creativity in his gift giving. If I'm to be true to the Best Christmas Present EVER! I can't ignore my dad. When I started high school, "Santa" got a crazy idea. He started giving my 4 sibs (2 bros, 2 sis) a "Trojan Horse" gift.

Christmas was quite regimented affair in my family. Every Christmas morning we would line up, youngest to oldest, process down the stairs after the video camera and my parents were set up, and Christmas morning would ensue.

We would all rush our gifts and tear them open and then eat Christmas breakfast. Well, one Christmas, Santa changed things up. We opened everything with our name on it, but there was one box with ALL our names attached. My parents insisted that Santa wanted us to enjoy our individual gifts, eat breakfast and then open the joint "Trojan Horse" gift.

The first year, we didn't know what to expect. We scarfed our breakfast in record time. We couldn't figure out what the huge, weird shaped box in the living room was....

Once we opened it, we realized it was like a pinata. The one "Oh my God, I have to have it!" gift was concealed in the horse/U/bizarrely wrapped box.

It was basically my parents' way of prolonging the Christmas anticipation. The box, no matter how many years we encountered it, was always an agonizing mystery. There was always a gift in it that we were really hoping for, but maybe not the one we expected.

No matter how many times the "Trojan Horse" gift appeared, usually about 6' long and oddly shaped (my dad worked in a body shop so weird shaped boxes were abundant), we never really knew what it contained. It was the last ditch effort for what we REALLY hoped for.

We received everything from our first Nintendo (Super Nintendo if I remember right), to our first DVD player, to our first family computer, to my very first CD player, to a microwave (which I still think my dad bought for himself and not my mom, no matter what he says) to a camcorder.

God bless the '80's and '90's....so many things, so much mass consumerism, so much fun.

I miss "Duck Hunt" and "Super Mario Bros" and how thrilling it was to beat "Tetris" on the first go....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Facebook What Ifs

Lately, I've had a rash of high school era friends (can you even call them friends when you haven't talked to them in over 10 years?) "friend" me on Facebook.

Some of them I actually wondered what happened to them...

Others, I'm ambivelent towards in that "Wasn't that the guy who sat 3 seats back and 2 rows over in junior year math class?" sort of way...

And then I found him. Or rather a friend suggested that I add him.

You know, the one.

The guy from high school that was completely dreamy and your mom always wanted you to marry (I know, in HIGH SCHOOL!) but he was THAT dreamy.

Smart. Dark curly hair, blue, blue eyes. Tall, dark, all-American handsome.

We were friends since 4th grade when he moved to the area. He went to a different school than I did, but we went to church together.

We always liked each other in that friend sort of way, but when we got to high school, something weird happened. All of a sudden our friendship was awkward.

We ended up on again/off again dating and even went to prom together one year. Nothing serious ever happened between us, but still, ya know, a lot did.

When I told my mom I was going to marry Handsome she begged me not to. That he wanted to be an actor and that he never would be able to support me (like I'd EVER like to be a stay at home mom!)and "WHY? Why can't you marry someone like [Insert High School Guy's Name Here]?!"


Because he was a Peter Keating. (Guy from the "The Fountainhead"). Handsome was a toned down Howard Roark, much more my type.

Sure, Peter looks good on paper: great looks, great career options for making lots of money, but no dreams, no spine.

I told my mom this, which she of course didn't understand, but it made perfect sense to me. I'm just not one to marry for money.

I have a single friend of mine who says she loves hanging out with Handsome and I because we are "living a traditional life in an untraditional way". Weird but true, I guess. We both have good jobs that mostly pay the bills, but also have something that we are passionate about (theatre/history). Realistic dreamers is how I look at it.

So, as I'm clicking thru the pictures of "Peter" and his wife and kid (they're expecting another one soon), I'm not really jealous. Handsome, Darling and I have the same things they do. We're happy, challenged, settled.

But I'm a horrible "What Ifer". I can't help myself.

And, I think I'm a lot happier than I would have been had I listened to my mother.

Wouldn't trade in my Handsome and Darling for anything.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Best Christmas Present EVER! ~ Post 3

Maybe you've heard this legend before. If so, bear with me, I'm the product of superstitious Catholics (ask me someday about my Ukrainian great grandmother who REALLY believed in fairies and pixies). Anyway, legend has it that if someone shows up on your doorstep on Christmas Eve, you shouldn't turn them away because they could be Mary and Joseph/Angels/Baby Jesus/Shepards/Wisemen (pick a holy traveler) in disguise.

Christmas Eve 1991, we came home from Mass and hear meowing at our back door and our cat, Socrates, is going crazy. Perplexed, we open the door and sitting there on the sidewalk is an adorable gray, black and white tabby cat. He gives us an impertinent "Meow" (translated from the original dialect, I think it was "Where the hell have you been, I'm freezing!") and just walks right in the door like he's always lived at our house.

He proceeds straight to Socrates' food and water and starts chowing down. Surprisingly, Socrates seems ok with this and licks his ears. Being superstitious, suckers, and animal freaks, my family quickly adopts our little stray Christmas Eve Kitten and name him Plato.

To add to the whole "Christmas Eve Visitor" bit, another legend. Check out a tabby cat's face. On every tabby cat I've ever known, you will see a distinctive letter "M." According to cat lore (and my mother) the reason for the "M" is because a tabby cat hopped in the manger to keep Baby Jesus warm. Mary, wishing to thank the kitty, kissed his forehead and blessed all tabbies forevermore.

As an historian, I'm not really sure this is true, if you know what I mean.

But, then again I haven't researched cat migration patterns around first century Bethlehem, either. All I do know is that he's turned out to be the best damn cat I've ever known.

Plato was "my" cat. I was his goddess. I fed him, cared for him, he would sleep on my neck, go fishing with me, wait by the door for me to come home from school, the whole nine yards. He took it pretty hard when I left for college, but fickle feline that he is, he quickly adopted my youngest sister as his new idol/personal assistant.

It's hard to believe that he's about to celebrate his 17th Christmas Eve with our family (by far the longest time we've had a pet. Many have come and gone since then). My sister, who was 7 at the time, really believed that Santa left him outside and came back later with the rest of our presents. Seventeen years later, she's still sure of it. Maybe Santa's also a psychic, because Plato arrived 2 months before Socrates died. Maybe he knew how hard it would be losing our pet so he gave us Plato to help ease that pain.

I'm really dreading the day that Plato passes away. I saw him a few weeks ago and he's slowing up. The lithe, sassy little ball of energy who accidentally took a trip to Oklahoma in the back of a sailboat (that's another story) is looking more and more like Old Deuteronomy each time I see him…

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kansas City Star, Biotches!!!

No thanks, Omaha, thanks a lot...after all the stuff that's happened in KC over the last few months, I'm dedicating this gem to Mark Funkhouser, Gloria Squitiro and her smudge stick (who thinks she's the Queen of KC), the murder rate, the Dept of Sanitation, Union Station, and the Board of the Negro Leagues...

Oh, yeah, and to all the writers who were laid off last month at the KC Star. I'll miss you guys...

From the WTF Files . . .

Have you ever ran across stories and you're sure they're made up because they are just too "wacky"?

Well, I do.

Just today, I ran across the article about Bristol Palin's future mother in law getting busted for drugs. Makes me wonder two things: A. What the hell is up with those Palins in Alaska?!?! and B. I'm suspicious of Al Gore's mother in law. What do we know about her, REALLY?

Second story: Apparently, Santa's reindeer could be castrated. Dilemma: How to explain to Darling why Rudolph flies a little funny?

KC Museums in Upheaval

Wow! There's been a lot of talk around town about museums in our area. Including 2 of my favorites:

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum: Joe Posnanski and Jason Whitlock are in an uproar over the new head of the Negro Leagues Museum.

I don't know either of the candidates, but I truly adore JoPo. He's one of the best sports columnists in the country and a really nice guy in real life (I met him at the KC Sports Commission Baseball Kick Off Luncheon last spring.) If Joe says Bob Kendrick was the right guy for the job, then he is. Especially if he was Buck O'Neil's choice.

I think it's a shame that politics and an anti-Buck surge is happening. What about what's right for the museum? I know from experience that if the person in charge isn't head over heels passionate about the museum it will flounder.

The Negro Leagues Museum is incredible. If you've never been there, YOU NEED TO GO! The first time I ever went there, I got my program signed by Buck O'Neil himself. He shook my hand and gave me a big smile and thanked me for visiting. Of any "celebrity" autograph that I've ever gotten, his is my most cherished.

The Negro Leagues Museum is too important to lose. It's the only one of it's kind and it is the bedrock of the incredible 18th and Vine area. I hope it doesn't leave.

If you haven't already done so, read JoPo's book The Soul of Baseball: A Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America. It's incredible.

Ah, yes...The other big KC museum news for the week. Union Station/Science City/Kansas City Museum is getting a new director, former American Royal CEO George Guastello.

I used to work for the KC Museum (and grudgingly US/SC). I think this is the fifth director they've had since 1999. I've never been impressed with any of them, but Andy Udris takes the cake for trying to steal the KCM's collections.

I wish the best of luck to the new guy and I hope like hell he continues the improvements on KCM/Corinthian Hall. I love that house!

I'm not holding my breath about the guy, but some really positive things are happening up on Gladstone Blvd and I just hope they continue.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I didn't know Santa was an architect and an interior designer...


What the HELL did we get ourselves into?

Sorry that all has been quiet on the Moxie front the last couple of weeks. Things have kind of been busy. I might post pics of our shenanigans, I might not get that far.

Now that most of the Holiday Have to Do's for work/Darling/theatre/museum is over, Handsome and I can concentrate on Christmas for Darling.

I had the brilliant idea of building her a dollhouse for her really big Christmas gift.

Stupid me.

This has turned into the Project from Christmas Hell.

Handsome, being handy dandy as he is, decided to say screw it to the snap together flimsy kits, he's building this bad boy from scratch.

First, he downloaded plans from the internet of something we kind of liked.

Then my mom, who was supposed to take Darling last weekend so Handsome could morph the Man Cave into Santa's Workshop, bailed on us.

It's 10 days til Christmas and nary a board has been cut.

How Handsome is supposed to accomplish this magical feat of getting this built before Christmas morning? I don't know. She's always there when he's there and he refuses to go to an alternate location to build it.

This is nearly impossible. Even the lady at the dollhouse supply store was dubious of whether it can be done. Apparently building one from scratch is hard or something.

I wonder if Ty Pennington would swoop in and pull off an Extreme Home Makeover: Dollhouse Edition if we asked?

Darling is going to love the dollhouse. We have one at the museum that is "playable" and she begs to go play with it. When I was a girl, my dad built all 3 of us girls and our mom dollhouses from those pre-fab cutout kits. They are all gingerbread and spindly stairs; beautiful, but not play-sturdy. More of the collector of trinkets kind.

I'm sure it will get done. Handsome and I are both great under pressure. I'm just freaking at a Christmas Def-Con Level 5 today.


Taking Kruschev's Shoe a little too far

Everyone knows some Iraqi d-bag reporter threw a shoe at soon-to-be ex-President Bush.

The first thing I thought about was "Where's the Secret Service?!" Seriously? The jerk threw not one, but two shoes before he was subdued. I would hope the Secret Service would be a little more on their toes when the Prez is in a part of the world where there's a darn good chance of someone trying to do something to him.

Don't get me wrong, Bush could probably use a couple of whacks upside the head, but the incident was a scary reminder how easy it is to assassinate a public figure. What if the guy somehow snuck in a gun? I don't even want to think about that.

I've never been a fan of President Bush (either one) but it kind of gets my patriotism in a knot by the fact that a d-bag from another country showed such disrespect for our "leader". (Yes, I know, we pulled Saddam out of a spider hole and pretty much handed him over to his death, but at least Bush hasn't killed off thousands of American citizens just because they didn't agree with him.)

I don't care what his background was, he had no right to do that. As a journalist, he needs to report, not use his accessories as weapons.

KCBlueBlog says it better than me...

Can you imagine the international uproar that would be caused if Bill O'Reilly threw a shoe at Hugo Chavez?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Wonder What Ever Happened To....

So, Strollerderby has some stuff that's great, some stuff that's crap. One of my favorites of theirs is "Rich or Rehab: Whatever Happened to (Insert Famous Kid Star's Name Here)"

Since it's the holidays, check these out.

Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" definitely made out better than poor Zuzu (Osceola, MO native) from "It's a Wonderful Life."

Crazy Obama Conspiracy Theory

Remember how I told you I'm fascinated by conspiracy theories? The crazier the better?

You don't? That's fine. Just know, the more insane, the better!

Yep, this one, even though it's a total farce, is scary in the fact that there are really people who think this way. The probably live next door to you, too!

The red-necked American, delusional mind is a terrible thing to waste....

Go curl up with your assault rifle and check this out:

The Real Reason Obama Can't Be President...

Monday, December 8, 2008

BEST Christmas Gift Ever ~ Part 2

Ok, Part 2!

Another BEST Christmas Present EVER! that I received was circa 4th grade. Or 5th grade...it's kinda fuzzy in my old age...it was somewhere around 1986-87....

I had had a radio of my very own for quite sometime, (KC'ers, remember when Q104 was a pop station?) but what I DIDN'T have was a cassette tape player. I stole the Sunday paper from parents and scoured the circulars, searching for the perfect one so I could clip it out and send it's picture to Santa with my letter (by this time, I was jaded and didn't believe in him anymore, but I've since changed my mind. There is a Santa Claus.)

Anyway, I finally found THE one I wanted. Wrote my letter, inserted clipping, licked and sent envelope.

I didn't get the one I wanted.

I got one that was way RADDER!

It was a hot pink and purple metallic dual-deck "ghettoblaster" (hee hee, remember when you could say that with a straight face?). Oh it was so awesome. Santa obviously had better taste than I did.

Not only did I get the coolest ghettoblaster on the planet....I got the cassette tapes I was SO wanting too. Are you ready?

Belinda Carlisle
Debbie Gibson

How absolutely cool was I? The coolest. I was expecting maybe one, maybe two, nope. I got the trifecta. I remember having heated playground debates about who was better, Tiffany or Debbie, each of us girls drawing a line in the pea gravel under the slides and defending our diva with vehemence. (I was a totally Tiffany gal, probably because of her remake of the Beatles "I Saw Him/Her Standing There").

I remember many years of happy use, hitting the "Record" button the second my latest and favoritest song came on the radio. It was with a bit of sadness that I put that hot pink wonder away when I got my first CD player. Sigh...It was such a valuable tool in embracing '80's pop culture. I listened to Kasey Kasem religiously on that radio....and discovered Dr. Demento, but it was on so late I had to turn the volume WAY down so my parents wouldn't hear it.

Fun...Darling's had a CD player since birth...Handsome insisted on playing Baby Einstein for her and she has quite the collection of kiddie music now...sad she'll never know the glory of receiving her first ever radio/cassette player...

Happy holidays, Constant Reader, and stay tuned for more BEST Christmas Present EVER! installments.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Eating Spaghetti Naked

Oh... Kay...

So, Handsome, Darling and I went to a restaurant tonight. Darling ordered the spaghetti kids meal...

Once it came, she proceeded to try and take off all her clothes...

Let me explain...

Spaghetti is a usual occurrence in our household.

It's one of the only foods Darling will eat without a fuss...

We always tell her to take off her shirt and pants when she eats it...She's messy, we accept it.

I hate Stain Fighting...

She knows the drill...

I'm surprised she choose spaghetti over chicken nuggets, but, well, it's her choice and I let her make it...

This usually precludes "Bath time"...

So, we're in a restaurant tonight and she starts to strip...

Maybe we should have the "Clothing Boundaries" discussion with her before she goes to Kindergarten...

Ya think?!

The Best Musical Number of the Season

So everybody else in the world has linked to this today, so Moxie's hopping on the bandwagon. If you've skipped over it before, just watch it so you can keep up with your friends and neighbors.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Here's my thing as a VERY "Lax About Some Things Catholic"...If you're a Christian (or any other religion, yes Islam too) and, at the core of your faith, you believe that God is love, when you reject a gay relationship that has love then you reject God Himself.

That's the religious side of it. On the pure democratic side of things, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was written with ONE purpose in mind. Self determination with the personal freedoms to pursue your own happiness. It also protects your personal property rights as a US citizen.

Handsome and I have 2 very close friends who have been together about the same time Handsome and I have, 12 years or so. We'll call them the Brookside Gays here because that's what we call them in real life. They have a lovely home in Brookside and an awesome dog. They've both built a life together that is comparable to what Handsome and I have (we have a kid, they have the dog, and their house is way more faa-bu-lous! than ours.)

What freaks me out is let's say one of them gets sick. The other one has NO legal rights to make decisions for his life partner. One of their families hates the other partner and would completely shut them out of any life or death decision making.

That is completely wrong.

If life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the right of all Americans, why shouldn't gays have those rights when it comes to their own happiness. The Brookside Gays have just as a strong a bond as Handsome and I, why can't they have the same rights as us?

And that's all I have to say about that....

Monday, December 1, 2008

BEST Christmas Present EVER ~ Part 1

So, Darling really "gets" Christmas this year. She's already talking about Santa and if I watch "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" one more time I'm going to puke (though it's an enjoyable respite in some respects from the usual Curious George-athon at our house). I'm actually really excited since we're going to have copious Family Fun this season (Crown Center/Union Station, here we come!)

This year, more than any other year, as the best mom I can be, I've got to create a little Christmas magic. She's already locked and loaded, firing off things she wants for Christmas (My Little Ponies and Barbie Diamond Castle is top of the list). Damn consumerism (said in my crotchy, cranky old fart voice)...So as every good mom, I hit the ads and search for her material dreams come true.

Which got me to thinking about a *wow* gift. I'm horrible about picking these out, but thank God Handsome is the master at choosing the *perfect* gift/card/flowers/anything. I've accused him of working secretly at Hallmark before because he can always find a card that EXACTLY states what sentiment it needs to...anyway...I digress....

I thought about all of the REALLY cool Christmas gifts I got as a kid....

You know the one on your list that you really really wanted Santa to bring....so, until Christmas approaches, I think I'll periodically post "BEST Christmas Gift EVER" posts.

I'll start with the year I was in second grade (circa 1984). I wanted my very first Cabbage Patch Kid. It seemed like EVERY girl in my class already had one and that was all I really really wanted that year. So, Christmas Eve was particularly sleepless for me. Cabbages, not sugar plums danced in my dreams.

So, on Christmas morning, my siblings and I race down the stairs, tear into all our presents and while I got a lot of really neat, but now forgettable stuff, ... after there appeared to be nothing else left to open, my eyes started welling up with tears. I was SO sure Santa was going to bring me a Cabbage Patch doll...I just knew it. I wrote him such a great letter, how could that jerk refuse me?!?

But she wasn't there.

I sat, sadly under the twinkling lights of the tree and my Dad asked me if I liked everything I got.

I told him yes, it was all really great.

He told me I looked sad, and that's when I think the tears started flowing. I told him I had really wanted a CPK doll. He asked me if I was sure that I didn't get one.

I told him that I had opened everything already. He told me I should look under the tree a little closer.

That year our tree was in front of the staircase leading to our downstairs living room. The tree was placed in the corner and blocked a little door under the stairs.

When I looked under the tree again, I noticed the door was slightly ajar. You wouldn't have been able to see this unless you were literally under the tree. Suddenly, excited, I dove under the tree (almost knocking it over...nice catch, Dad) and opened the little door and there she was....


a blue eyed Preemie Cabbage Patch Kid.

Even though she was the first in the line of about 10 CPK's in my life...

well, if you were a little girl in the '80's, you'll always remember your first.....

I still have Allison and I love seeing Darling play with her now....

Many years later, I found out how my father had braved a blizzard (he was exaggerating) and searched and searched, well into Christmas Eve for Allison.

It was the Cabbage Patch Quest of '84...

CPK's were THE big thing that Christmas and he went to at least 8 different stores searching for her so his little girl wouldn't be disappointed on Christmas morning.....

I don't think that ever really sunk in until I became a parent.

So, there it is Part One....I need a kleenex...stay tuned for more.

Warm & Fluffy For the Holiday Season

So, despite my better, inner Grinch nature, I'm going to periodically post "The BEST Christmas Present EVER" series over the next 25 days.

Enjoy, or don't...

but I hope you do...

Thanksgiving came late this year and we didn't even know it

Oh. Hai! It's you, Internet! Guess what I've been doing since Friday?

A big, fat NOTHING. I didn't even get out of my pjs (except to bathe) from Thursday night until Sunday afternoon.

You don't know me IRL, so the amazingness of this is lost on you. One of my personality flaws, besides not being able to play well with others that I can't stand, is the flaw of not being able to sit still very well. I'm always busy, I always take on more than I can handle and I thrive on stress. I'm crazy like that.

So 3 days of doing nothing was an amazing feat.

I had to actually put on real clothes Sunday afternoon to go up to the museum for a meeting, and as a surprise, Handsome got home around the same time and Darling was still out/being babysat by her aunt.

This afforded Handsome and I the opportunity to have a candlelit dinner of leftovers. It was really nice not to be trying to force Darling to "eat just a little more" or "be brave and try new foods" It was lovely grown up time.

So, I'm thankful for that.

I'm also thankful for being able to go up to visit my Grandpa on Thanksgiving. None of my family was going up to see him that day (they were coming on the weekend) and I wasn't invited to my parents' house (big fat long story there) so I'm glad he wasn't alone and got to spend time with me, Handsome and his only great-grandchild. Darling adores him and thinks he's just the bee's knees. Which, objectively speaking, he is.

I'm also thankful I didn't screw up my first attempt at cooking an entire turkey. Never in 31 years of life has life required me to cook one and that's just not something I was willing to try unless I had to. But I did it! YAY!

Know what I'm SUPER-EXTRA-ESPECIALLY thankful for?

This morning at Handsome's work, 12 people (of around 32) were laid off.

Handsome was not one of them, praise God, Jesus and fluffy bunnies.

Thank God.

I'm sorry for all of the employees that lost their jobs, but I can't even tell you how thankful I am that Handsome wasn't among them. I promise to quit bitching about money for the rest of the week.

Handsome works in the corporate offices of an internet company in a "recession-proof" industry. The economy is getting really scary. His department was literally cut by 2/3. Thankfully, Handsome shares my industrious nature and has been a top performer in his department.

I was scared to death first quarter this year about being laid off when the axes were falling at my job. Marketing departments are notorious for being the first to go. I survived, thankfully (yet again).

I hope you had a great extended weekend and a happier Monday, filled with less drama than my Monday seems to contain.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Play-Doh Crisis of Aught Eight Avoided

Last night, Darling, who is obviously not feeling well, wanted to express her sick distress using her favorite art medium, Play-Doh.

We had no Play-Doh, other than a dry, crusty chunk I found in her "creativity drawer" of my desk.

Total. Complete. Meltdown.

It was ugly.

Being the best mother in the world, and hating the fact that she was sick and sad, I silently curse myself for forgetting to buy more and I quickly scan the internet for a recipe for Play-Doh.

I've never made homemade doh, my mother, who is the most uncrafty human being alive never made doh.

This was uncharted parental territory.

Moxie-Doh Recipe:
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
3/4 cup water
food coloring of indetermine amount (use your own judgement)
Add flour and water as needed to get the right consistancy
Mix ingredients first with a fork and then squishing between your fingers, screw the rolling pin method.

I felt pretty badass, I've got to tell you...
My purple (Darling's favorite color) doh rocks!

Prior to concocting this, I was dubious of the quality it might yield.

During the process, Darling was dubious. She asked me what I was doing and I told her that I was making her play-doh and she said, "No you're not, that looks gross!" I kind of agreed.

The doh turned out great and when I presented it to her she was thrilled. "You MADE this for ME?!"

A few minutes later she came out into the living room and handed the ball of Moxie-doh to me. There was a smiley face poked into it.

"What's this, Darling?"

"It's me, Mommy. I love you. Thanks for my purple play-doh."

And....cue the heart warming tears....

If you need an idea for Christmas stocking stuffers, I ran across Eau de Play-Doh cologne. I kinda hate myself for being intrigued by this...

You know what's REALLY awesome for Thanksgiving?

Snot-encrusted 4 year old with a side of virus, fever and double ear infection. Add bleary eyed, sleep deprived parents short on temper. Toss with extended family and voila!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not on Darling's Christmas List

Wow. I'm a huge fan of the book "Everybody Poops" but a moose with diarrhea? I question the educational quality of this.

I'd say "You've got to be shitting me" but the pun is probably too literal.

What I question even more is how this got published. This book just seems dumb. And yes, I'm judging a book by it's cover.

Turkey Guilt?

Saw this over at Shoebox. It struck me as funny...

I thought Catholic guilt was bad.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gag or Good?

I'm a big fan of AllRecipes.com and their recipes. This morning, I was sent the following recipe (I'm addicted to recipes. Some I make, some I don't).

I can't decide if it would be completely gross or completely delicious. I enjoy blue cheese and bacon as much as the next red-blooded American gal, but with pumpkin soup?

I don't know...it got good reviews....

Velvety Pumpkin Soup With Blue Cheese and Bacon
2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup half-and-half
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 slices bacon
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Stir together the pumpkin, chicken stock, half-and-half, shallot, molasses, butter, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large stockpot over low heat; simmer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook until crispy; remove to paper towels to drain, then cool and crumble.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with bacon and blue cheese.

Black Friday Public Service Announcement

It's really the only contact sport I engage in.

It's the modern age thrill of the hunt. Shopaholics, get ready. Sharpen those elbows (for jabbing little old ladies reaching for the last Barbie and the Diamond Castle dvd) find your steel toe boots (a neccessity for those evil women who WILL step on your toes.)

I've been ready for weeks!

As a marketing professional, the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Black Friday, is the Highest Holy Day of the advertising world. Super Bowl Sunday runs a close second.

If you haven't ever seen this site: BlackFriday you should take a look.

They post all the Day after Thanksgiving ads that are "leaked" ahead of time. Even if you aren't planning on running with the Black Friday bulls, there are a lot of online specials that are one day exclusives.

Finances being what they are this year, you can get some really incredible deals if you do your research and if you're quick.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My All-time Favorite Song....

I've begged my sisters not to get married until they hear this song. Just as perspective for what's important despite what my mom thinks is important...I first heard this song at a very painful crossroads of my life and I decided to take the plunge despite my Taurean nature of material stability...I'm so glad I did. I hope everyone has faith in their partner's dreams. Even if it seems impossible, well, shit works out if it's supposed to, if you're lucky.

Lyrics if you're lazy...The last verse is the money...
I met a man without a dollar to his name
Who had no traits of any value but his smile
I met a man who had no yearn or claim to fame
Who was content to let life pass him for a while
And I was sure that all I ever wanted
Was a life like the movie stars led
And he kissed me right here, and he said,

"I'll give you stars and the moon and a soul to guide you
And a promise I'll never go
I'll give you hope to bring out all the life inside you
And the strength that will help you grow.
I'll give you truth and a future that's twenty times better
Than any Hollywood plot."
And I thought, "You know, I'd rather have a yacht."

I met a man who lived his life out on the road
Who left a wife and kids in Portland on a whim
I met a man whose fire and passion always showed
Who asked if I could spare a week to ride with him
But I was sure that all I ever wanted
Was a life that was scripted and planned
And he said, "But you don't understand —

"I'll give you stars and the moon and the open highway
And a river beneath your feet
I'll give you day full of dreams if you travel my way
And a summer you can't repeat.
I'll give you nights full of passion and days of adventure,
No strings, just warm summer rain."
And I thought, "You know, I'd rather have champagne."

I met a man who had a fortune in the bank
Who had retired at age thirty, set for life.
I met a man and didn't know which stars to thank,
And then he asked one day if I would be his wife.
And I looked up, and all I could think of
Was the life I had dreamt I would live
And I said to him, "What will you give?"

"I'll give you cars and a townhouse in Turtle Bay
And a fur and a diamond ring
And we'll be married in Spain on my yacht today
And we'll honeymoon in Beijing.
And you'll meet stars at the parties I throw at my villas
In Nice and Paris in June."

And I thought, "Okay."
And I took a breath
And I got my yacht
And the years went by
And it never changed
And it never grew
And I never dreamed
And I woke one day
And I looked around
And I thought, "My God...
I'll never have the moon."

Helpful (Frozen) Holiday Reminder....

Just in case you need it...

I read this and was reminded of this.

I shuddered and moved on.

No one likes a frigid bird.

Grab your sticks and let's have some fun

Ok. I know this is a bit stale, but I've been a bit lazy on the blogging front due to being sick. I can't let this one go by uncommented on though.

If you haven't heard already, along with baby dolls and skateboards, the lowly, primative stick was introduced into the Toy Hall of Fame.

At first I thought they committe who decided this was a bit lazy, but if you think about it further, it's freakin' genius!

Through my own childhood experiences and now watching my 4 year old (who can find a stick no matter where she is), I understand the play value of this original toy.

It's the original "Put that down before you put someone's eye out!" toy.

It can be used as a magic wand, a sword, an adventurer's walking stick or a disappointing boomerang.

Sticks provide hours of imaginative enjoyment for boys and girls alike.

Moxie's Top Ten Uses of Sticks in Play:
1. Magic Wand.
2. Fishing rod.
3. Sword to fight other children, pirates and/or imaginary fierce tigers.
4. Shovel for digging a hole to China.
5. Autopsy equipment for dead animals one might find.
6. Excavation tool for discovering ant hills.
7. Majorette's twirling baton.
8. For use in questionably unstable fort building.
9. Wicked cool ninja tool.
10. Imaginary boat oar.

Did I miss anything?

Things being what they are this year, I wonder how many kids will be getting these for Christmas?

A Grinch With Moxie

Alright, Asshats that are already full of the Christmas spirit...Can you wait a week? C'mon! You're hitting on one of Moxie's Top 10 Pet Peeves, second only to gnome lawn art.

I hate how Thanksgiving gets skipped over every year. I hate it.

Right now, a jackass in my office is listening to KUDL or Star 102. They compete for who's going to go to an "All Christmas music" format every year. This year it was the day after Halloween.

8 full days before Halloween this year I went into Big Lots for cheap Halloween office decorations. There was ONE AISLE of Halloween stuff. The rest of the Holiday Section was Christmas.

No cornicopias, no historically inaccurate pilgrims, nary a turkey decoration in sight.

I have firm beliefs in holiday celebrations.

The Christmas Season begins officially when Santa Claus comes down 34th Street in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. NOT ONE SINGLE SECOND BEFORE!!!!!!!!!!!

I implemented this rule after dating Handsome for a year. He happens to have the world's largest collection of Christmas music CD's. Everything from Alvin and the Chipmunks to the fucking Vienna Boys Choir.

By New Year's I'm ready to kill myself.

I love Christmas. LOVE it! However, Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that celebrates American excess (oh argue Christmas does the same thing, I don't care.) Thanksgiving brings back memories of going to my Grandma's house singing "Over the river and thru the woods" and all of that.

The Macy's Parade was a big deal for her. She grew up in Brooklyn and always went to the parade with her family. After moving to KS, she could only watch on tv. For her Christmas began with Santa and 34th Street and it's a family tradition I'd like to continue.

The history of American thanksgivings is kind of twisted. Screw the pilgrims, the first thanksgiving was in Florida.

Here's some fun stuff about the holiday.

For those addicted to online quizzes, here you go.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not Puffy Eyed Approved.

This truly screwed with me. Why didn't I stop looking at it? I'm a glutton for punishment. It's kind of cool in an obnoxious Mad Magazine sort of way.

why my eyes are red and puffy today

I pretty much cried my eyes out last night so I'm puffy-eyed today. My best friend's grandma, we'll call her Maria, passed away last night.

I feel like my own grandma died.

My BFF's family is Sicilian and they have a way of enveloping people into their family. Maria was the most incredible woman. She was sassy, bossy, opinionated and completely loving. She spoiled her daughter, grandchildren and Darling and I rotten. I'm going to miss her so much.

She had been sick for quite a while but we all pretty much thought she'd at least make it until after the holidays.

Last night she was giving hell (a regular habit of hers) to the nurse who was trying to get her to eat which she refused to do since she said the nursing home food was inedible. (Maria owned a 4 star restaurant in KC during the 1970's and 1980's so she's a little picky about who prepares her food.)

The nurse left the room for five minutes and when he returned, she was gone. Quick as that. She had been up walking and sassing everyone just an hour before. No warning or indication the end was so close.

My BFF's mom (Maria's daughter) was sitting out in the hall, filling out paperwork when it happened and went into complete shock. When I talked to her this morning, she just kept saying, "I didn't know that was the last time I'd see her. I wasn't ready to say goodbye."

I know how she feels. I couldn't go to see her because of this shitty cold I'm still fighting. (Doctors tend to frown on upper respiratory infections around people with congestive heart failure.)

It's probably good that God took her by surprise. Maria was stubborn and was afraid of dying.

I guess she had plenty to consume her with Catholic guilt...

She used to drink like a fish.

She smoked like a chimney.

She was married two or three times (no one's really sure if she was officially married to the second one)and had several "liaisons".

She had to take a year long "vacation" to Canada due to her alleged involvement with something that no one will discuss (Mafia related.)

When FBI agents would dine/eavesdrop in her restaurant, she would write a code symbol on the cocktail napkins of her patrons' drinks to warn them to watch what they said.

She probably could have been a better mother, but no one ever doubted that she loved us.

She told the best stories and gave the most enthusiastic if not downright wacky gifts. (BFF's husband got collector's dolls of the Backstreet Boys one year for Christmas. I once got a 1970's Better Homes and Gardens cookbook).

I'll miss how she always gave huge hugs and would speak in Sicilian when she didn't want anyone other than BFF's mother to know what she was saying. I'll miss her quirks like being convinced that a neighbor/someone in the grocery store/that man on the street gave her the evil eye and thus cursed her.

You know what? I'm going to stop right there. I don't need any puffy enhancements this afternoon. My eyes already look like I smoked my lunch...

happier post next time, I promise.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ok, Whatever...the Downtime Edition

I'm pretty sure it's lame to be home alone on a Friday night, but, well, screw you.

I'm tired, I'm sick as shit, and I don't have a day off until Thanksgiving and I couldn't find a babysitter tonight that would work for free laundry facilities and Pizza Rolls (Handsome's siblings) so I couldn't pretend to be a grown up and go watch his show tonight.

Which, between you and me? It's ok.

Tomorrow is a big day (think Scarlett O'Hara as I say that)...

Despite being sick, exhausted and moderately depressed over everything I still have to somehow do over the next 3 weeks?


One Quarter of my heritage is "Britannic" (Scotch, Irish, English).

F' it....

Top 5 Songs That Get Stuck In Moxie's Head:
5. "There's No One as Irish as Barack O'bama"
4. "Mrs. Brown" Herman's Hermits
3. "We Didn't Start the Fire" Billy Joel
2. "Paperback Writer" The Beatles
1. "Henry the 8th" Herman's Hermits

Notice I didn't torture you with links...

Moxie's benevolent like that.

Handsome knows, over the course of our 12 years together all he has to say is "En'ry" and I'm F'd for the rest of the day.

It's cute but annoying.

Wish me luck this weekend, guys. I'm stressin'!

Still sick....

I'm still sick. This sucks. I have so much to blog about but no energy. I've got a lot on my plate until after this weekend, so hopefully I'll feel better next week and I'll get back to posting on a regular basis...

I hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Barack O'Bama? Huh?

Someone sent this to Handsome today (knowing how Handsome is quite proud of his Irish heritage). Apparently, so is Barack Obama. Dude, he's seriously Irish. His 4th great grandfather came from Ireland. Huh.

This song is actually kind of catchy. It's awesome!!!!

What's really awesome? Barack's dancing!

Tap Dancing Thru Molasses

I'm sick.

Full blown sick.

Complete with snot, bleary eyes, body aches, a low grade fever and an uncontrollable cough.

Medicine just scoffs, shakes it's head and says, "There's nothing to be done here. I can't help you anymore."

Jealous, aren't you?

Why am I not home curled up in bed, reading a book?

I need to do my part for American Capitalism and I'm reluctant to give up my carefully horded "vacation time" that I'm planning to take during the holidays.

I was coughing/snotting so bad last night, I took mercy on Handsome and went out to sleep/not sleep due to the coughing on the pullout couch. I felt bad for him since I kept waking him up.

So I'm sleep deprived too. I seriously am dragging today. It's like tap dancing thru a vat of molasses to try and gather the energy to walk down the hall to the boss' office.

This sickness just can't happen. I have too much to do and don't have a day off until Nov. 22. So, I'm just trudging on through it all.

Where did this viral contamination come from?

The one and only Darling.

Kids are nothing but Germ Factories.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On Burger King Monkeys...

So, late last week Darling, Handsome and I went to Burger King (Yeah, I was lazy about dinner, what of it?!)

Darling got her obligatory Mac N Cheese, Apple Fries, and Chocolate Milk.

Handsome and I sampled the Whoppers.

Darling got a toy. A weird purple monkey toy once she finished her food.

We got in the car to return home.

Darling: MAMA!!! I dropped my monkey!

Me (groping behind the seat): I can't reach it, Darling. Wait until we get home.

Darling: Ohhh! You touched my monkey! You did it!

Me: I still can't reach it all the way

Darling: You can do it! You can reach my monkey! Touch it!

Handsome and I burst into uncontrollable laughter...

Darling: What? What's funny Mama?

Who said parenting wasn't a dirty job?

Remembering Not Just the Veterans

I think it's pretty well established that I love me some veterans. If I didn't make it by your blog and wish you a happy Veteran's Day, well, consider this a big hug and a sloppy kiss from Moxie.

I've had direct family members fight in every single war from the American Revolution until the War In Iraq. (Bless you, my sweet cousin. Stay safe and come home soon!) Unless you count the 1st Gulf War and the French and Indian War. (But who really counts the F & I?)

Thank you Veterans for all you do and have done!!!!

But there's sad anniversary this week too...

Maybe you remember it from history class: Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass.

70 yrs ago...the true warning signs that Germany (Hitler) may not be all Ayran sunshine and roses. Kristallnacht was something that was so horrible that it's hard for me as a Roman Catholic Anglo-American to even comprehend.

It should have been a warning sign to Europe, to us.

For anyone who doesn't think the American government shouldn't be concerned about the rest of the world, remember Woodrow Wilson, his Isolationism theory and how many Jews died because we turned a blind eye.

Yes, James Monroe, you may have sucked as a president, but I still believe in keeping the world safe for democracy.

I don't like war. I don't like how we've handled ourselves in the world since George Bush (pick one) took office. I'm so thankful that there is a new America being born right now. I pray for peace.

God bless our veterans, the ones who didn't survive that long to earn that title and the people of the world they have protected.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I really do make the best grilled cheese!

A while ago, I submitted my recipe for Grilled Cheese over on Parent Dish for a contest and guess what?! My recipe won! Yay!

Click on the link above to go watch them make my recipe (and another one that looks really good too.)

If not, here's how I make mine:

2 slices of Sara Lee Heart Healthy 100% Multigrain bread
2 slices of Kraft Cheese
"I Can't Believe It's Not Butter".

I usually spritz each side of each piece of bread very lightly with the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" (helps to make it "golden brown".

Place the cheese slices in between to construct the sandwich. Then, using a George Foreman grill, I toast the sandwich for 30-45 seconds on one side, flip it over and rotate 90 degrees (to create tic tac toe grill marks) and grill another 30 seconds.

This makes the perfect grilled cheese. It's not oily, but it's light, slightly crispy and the cheese is perfectly melted. This is the easiest, quickest yummiest grilled cheese.

Friday, November 7, 2008

KC's Mayor Apparently "Can't" or "Won't"

(Sorry out of towners, bear with me)

I've ranted.

I've raved.

Now I'm just freaking sick.

I can't believe I actually voted for Funkhouser. I'm breaking #2 pencils right and left in rage.

Mr. Mayor, please leave your Brookside compound and get your ass back to City Hall.

It's no wonder KC's murder rate is so high this year, why our potholes are getting bigger and our streets are flooded.

If you're a true leader, lead by example. By your example, we aren't a "City That Works", we're a city that sits on our ass and pouts while KC collapses.

You've already proven yourself to be the worst mayor in our city's history. I can't stand the thought of putting up with you for another 2.5 yrs.

Why don't you channel your energy into something positive instead of being a stubborn jerk? You know, like fixing the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund. Your wife and administration screwed it up last year and this year that charity needs it more than ever.

I think I've found a new activity for XO's Obama Zombies. Why don't we send them over to Brookside to protest outside the Mayor's house?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh, Crap, I lied. But this is Worth It

I said no more politics, but I'm a woman and it's my perrogative to change my mind.

This is one of the most awesome quotes I heard about this election's historical nature. From Plog:

Outside, a handful of men were sitting at the patio tables on the sidewalk, enjoying the warm night air in the glow of the Wilson's Pizza sign across the street. As I walked to my car, one chased after me.

"I have something for you," said Craig Stevens, a carpenter from Louisiana who's working in town. "Put this in the paper: Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama is running so our kids can fly."

Wow. Just freakin' wow! I'm not even African American and that gives me chills! Here's the full story.

Mr. President, You've come a long way, baby!

Next up? A (competent, intelligent) woman in the White House. I just hope we don't have to wait another 148 for it to happen.

Post-Election Hangover Thoughts

Thank God this is the last post I'll probably do for awhile about politics. But, sigh, I'm not very good at keeping my mouth shut.

These are completely random, in no particular order:

~Thank God we only have 77 more days of GWB!!!!

~Is there any rule against kicking him out early? Do we really have to wait all the way until January? He's just going to screw something up even bigger before that so he can leave a "legacy" (hasn't he done enough?)

~I was undecided until yesterday, but I'm at peace with who I voted for. I voted with my conscience (and 4 yr old's advice).

~I wonder what kind of puppy the Obama girls are getting. Do they get to choose?

~Michelle Obama's dress last night was HIDEOUS!!! It was NOT flattering whatsoever. Ugh!!!

~That being said, I believe there is about a 125% chance of her being the most kick ass first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt (possibly best ever).

~I almost cried during McCain's concession speech. I was so torn and divided about voting for or against him, but last night, he was a CLASS ACT. THAT was the John McCain of 2000. I kind of missed that guy this go around.

~I loved the fact that McCain was able to, despite his massive disappointment, call for unity and say that despite their differences he was able to call Obama HIS president. This man has given his service and his own life selflessly way beyond the average American. Regardless of your politics, I hope you can see he is a true American patriot that loves his country.

~I was surprised to get caught up in the surge of patriotism yesterday. It was good to see Americans loving America again. We're optimists by nature and it was good to see a little of the characteristic Can-Do American attitude yesterday. I only hope it lasts for the next 4 years.

~I hope Obama picks his advisors wisely. There's a lot of clean up to do after 8 yrs of Bush. I don't envy him in the least. Obama proved he can talk the talk and now the walk awaits.

~You know what? I do have hope in the future of America. Huh.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Feeling Ghost Post Deprived? Vote Like a Ghost Hunter!

This is an awesome, refreshing take on the whole election. Some good advice from one of my new favorite bloggers!

Voting Like a Ghost Hunter

Tomorrow is another day!

So, Handsome and I dropped Darling off at day care early this morning and headed to the polls before work. We arrived at 7:14 am and were done with our democratic duty by 7:59.

It really wasn't that bad standing in line. I was shocked we got through that quickly.

Four years ago, when Darling was 2.5 months old, we stood in line with her. But a four year old is much more difficult to entertain for 45 minutes than an infant that slept thru her first election.

Don't get me wrong. I usually take her with us. I think it's important to instill in her the beautiful priviledge that voting in a true democracy is. Just not today with 250 people in front of us.

I was still undecided this morning and leaning towards tossing my vote to Nader.

So, I asked Darling who I should vote for. And I voted for the candidate that she picked.

This may seem cavalier considering my previous post, but I truly believe that they are equally capable of running the country. It just depends on what your agenda is.

No matter what, tommorow (and especially in January) the country moves on from the horror of the Bush Era.

I stood outside, shivering in the cold and looked up at a bright red/orange maple tree and thought, "Things will get better. We're moving on from the destruction of the last 8 years."

I believe in our country. I believe our forefathers set it up so that there are checks and balances. I hope everyone rememebered to make educated decisions for their governors, congressmen and state reps. I hope they really evaluated taxes and municipal plans.

No matter who wins the Presidential election, I have hope for the future, which is not something I can say I had voting 4 years ago.

Obama/McCain was a hard choice for me because both can probably do a great job. I had no faith, optimism or excitement with Bush/Kerry or even Bush/Gore elections.

I haven't been as excited as my first presidential election in 1996 when I cast my ballot for Bill Clinton and I wasn't even sure of my vote until 15 minutes before arriving at the polls.

I'm excited to go home and watch CNN tonight for the first time in 2 years.

And the beat goes on...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't Be This Guy on Election Day

I had a political science teacher in college that told us that it doesn't matter who you vote for in the presidential elections because your vote in the grand scheme of things really didn't count for much.

(Hold up, I started to protest too!)

He brought up the very good point that your vote counts a lot more in the "low voter turn-out" elections on mundane things like city improvements, city, state and national representatives, taxes, etc.

You know, the little things that affect your life in much more impactful ways day to day than the guy who sits in the Oval Office.

What bothers me even more are the "Are you registered to vote?" and especially the "Don't forget to vote" people.

Vote? Vote for what? The message just ends there?

How about amending it to "Don't forget to register to vote and then make educated decisions when you exercise that democratic right."

Do me a favor...

If you're uninformed/uneducated on the issues that affect your community, county, state or nation, for the love of this country, don't vote tomorrow. You'll do more harm than good.

Don't vote if you're a radical Fred Phelps type.

Don't vote if you're an idiot.

Don't vote if you only vote for one particular party without at least considering the candidate in the opposite party.

Don't vote if you pick a candidate based on nothing more than the fact that they have the same last name of your favorite grade school teacher and you have no idea what they stand for.

Don't vote for someone because you agree with them on one single issue and nothing else.

Don't vote if you just want the sticker so you can get free Chik-Fil-A.

I absolutely adore this country, warts and all. Whoever wins the presidency tomorrow, wins. But the other candidates you are voting for matter just as much.

Please, please! Read your ballot thoroughly. Know what and who you're going to vote for/against. Think about the impact those issues will have on your life. Look at a sample ballot ahead of time.

Don't be that guy tomorrow as you step into the voting booth.

This is Moxie Mama and I approve this message.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Little Lawsuit On the Prairie ~ Shame on YOU!!

This is the first book I ever read out loud. Sure, I went through the Hop on Pop and Dick and Jane books, but Little House in the Big Woods was the first time I read a story that got me hooked.

I have a life long love of reading thanks to the Little House books and I was appalled when I read this story.

If you're too lazy/busy to click over, basically it says that "Family Friendly Productions" (the company that owns the rights to the Little House tv series) is suing a small Independence, KS museum that calls itself "Little House on the Prairie". The museum is on the property that Laura's family lived in during the book that bears that title.

The not-for-profit museum takes in about $90K a year barely making ends meet (like any not-for-profit.)

If you're one of my Constant Readers, you know my passion for museums/history. Imagine how enraged I am at this load of crap lawsuit and you're not even close to how pissed I am.

What it really comes down to is "Little House: The Musical" money.

This whole thing makes me sick. The museum owns trademarks on the name, but "Family Friendly" (what an interesting name) is still suing for "trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition" and wants damages and any money the non-profit has made "from use of the name."

So, if I'm getting this all straight, it seems that it's more important for the Production company to get a few more pennies (and that's what it almost comes down to) than to teach children great literature and Kansas history.

Check out the Jezelbel article. The comments crack me up, especially this one:

Hey...hey. Hi. Um, a while ago we produced this television show based upon some books that were based upon a pioneer girl's life at the home you happen to be operating your museum out of. We have noticed that your historical location bares more than a passing resemblance to our fictitious interpretation of your historical location, and although you have a commonlaw service mark, our DVD sales aren't what we thought they'd be and anyway, could you give us some money?

Super swell? I bet Laura and Michael Landon are both rolling over in their graves.

I'm so going to all of the Little House Museum sites one day when Darling's old enough to read them. I think it would be fun to read them and then summer road trip to the 5 or so museums.

I might sneak up to the Guthrie and see the Musical though.

Check out the the Only Laura blog. Pretty awesome. I'm following this story, I'll keep you updated.

The ironic thing about this is that I LOVED the books, but then got mad at the TV show because it wasn't acurate. I liked the show ok, but it wasn't as good as the books. Isn't that always true, though?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Check this out. This guy is beyond cool. I SO want to meet Joshua Hoffine. These are just absolutely chilling!

Someone else you need to check out is AutumnForest over at Ghost Hunting Theories. Again, someone I would love to meet! She has some great stories you should read, especially if you're going through Ghost Post Withdrawl.

Ghost Posts ~ XO WINS!!!!

Xavier Onassis from Hip Suburban White Guy is the victor! His tale of the Ghostly Nurse wins!!!!
Check out his Halloween/Ren Fest/Every Other Tuesday Costume:

Awesome, huh?

Thank you so much everyone for making this a kick ass contest! This was a scary project for me because I publicly spoke (anonymously) about some very personal experiences. It forced me to be more open with my writing which is one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place.

So hoo-rah!

Based on how well this went (if I look at it in retrospect) I'm toying with the idea of "The Best Christmas Present Ever!" theme in December. Lots more today, but I have to go take care of stuff in the real world.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ghost Posts ~ Vote Early, Vote Often!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Tale of the Haunted Locarno

Mary Anne at Kansas City Guide sent in a great tale about an apartment building on the Plaza that I've always been intrigued by. Haunted or not, I'm jealous she got to live there.

Back in the late 90's-early 00's my husband and I lived
in the Locarno on Ward Parkway. The building has been many things, and has
a long history of spooky happenings from *former* residents.

So one fall morning, I'm sitting in my tiny living room drinking my coffee
with my cocker spaniel, when I suddenly get a blast of freezing cold air.
It went right through me! So our dog starts FREAKING OUT, I mean FREAKING
OUT. He's whining, yelping, growling and trying to dig a HOLE in the
carpet under the coffee table. We were on the third floor. Then he
promptly shits all over the floor. WTF?

So then, out of the corner of my eye, I see an old MAN with a hat on fly
across the bedroom, into the bathroom, and closes the door. Slams the
thing shut. SLAMS IT SHUT!

So I grabbed the dog and ran out. I'm still freaked out about it to this
very day, and it gives me chills just thinking about it. ICK!

The Tale of Haunted Atchison

Filegirl at Filegirl sent in a post that she wrote a few years ago, but wow! If you're ever tempted to go ghost hunting/touring there, check it out. I've never spent any really decent time in Atchison, but I definitely need to put the "Most Haunted Town In Kansas" on my day-trip list.

Haunted Atchison!

The Tale of a Mother's Intuition

Sugar Britches at Sugar Britches sent in a story about her mom's uncanny intuition. I'm thinking her mom and my mom could be BFF's. Except my mom doesn't read tarot. That would be me. And I don't discuss it with my mom for fear I'd get doused in holy water.

My mom sees things.
I don’t.
See things, that is. I don’t see things that aren’t there.
She ‘sees’ people’s intentions, reads tea leaves, reads tarot cards, interprets her dreams, and once when a passenger in my car, began to cry because she felt an unbearably sad spot in the road.
“What do you mean a sad spot in the road?”
“If you didn’t feel it, I can’t explain it to you.”
She says I have the ‘sight’ also.. I just refuse to use it.
She is right.
I will blissfully and ignorantly walk through this world letting the other world and other worldly well enough alone.
My mother’s most telling gift, though, is when she spots ‘the light’.
A small ball of light appears to my mother right before someone close to her dies. She saw it a week before her beloved aunt died, before her father died, and before my father died..
When I was 12, Dad slipped away from us a victim of a bad heart. In October we had a fall carnival at school. Mom volunteered to be fortune teller. She read my Dad’s cards for kicks and drew the death card on him three times.
“It’s silly stuff. Nothing to it.” My dad insisted.
My mother was frantic.
A few weeks later she saw the ball of light sitting on the dresser in their bedroom.
In November he died.
So… No. I have no desire to ‘see’ things.
My brother does and has.
But that is another story for another time.

The Tale of the Protective Mom

A Beautiful Mess at Life Induces Thoughts sent in a very comforting, but very spooky one. I know once my mom passes away, she won't leave. She'll be there to boss me around constantly. But Beautiful Mess' story is a lot more comforting.

My mom passed away almost 3 years ago and soon after her death I was in our laundry room. Our washing machine had been off center and it had "walked" out from the wall. I went in there to push it back against the wall. And as I was putting my hands around it, I heard my mom's voice saying "Danielle, don't move that! You're going to hurt your back. Have Matt *Husband* do it!"

I SWEAR I heard her say that. Still to this day, I know I heard her say that and it wasn't in my head.

A few months after that I was in bed sleeping. I had woken up for some reason and I felt my mom's hand on my cheek. I felt her caressing my cheek with her finger like she use to do when I was sick and lying in her lap. It was as if she was standing beside my bed, touching me. I felt her hand on my calf and then I fully woke up and I smelled her. I went back to sleep and remembered it happening the next morning so vividly that I do not think it was a dream. I felt her and I smelled her.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Tale of the Ghostly Nurse

XO at Hip Suburban White Guy sent this one in. It's all about the day his beautiful daughter was born. If childbirth doesn't scare you, nothing will!

"Wake up! I'm bleeding."

We had just finished watching Northern Exposure in bed and were drifting off to sleep. It was the rerun that came on after the local news. So it was sometime after 11pm.

"Wake up! I'm bleeding."

Young Galadriel Tanqueray Onassis wasn't due for another month.

My adrenal gland propelled me out of bed like an F-18 ejection seat.

I started assembling our "kit" while she called the pediatrician. The doctor said he would meet us at Truman Medical Center, our chosen birthing location. It was about 30 minutes away.

Less than 5 minutes later, the doctor called us back and said "Truman is too far away. Go to St. Mary's." He would meet us there. St. Mary's was only about 5 minutes away.

I really, really didn't like the sound of that.

We loaded up in the jeep and I took off like a bat out of hell with my emergency flashers on.

My bleeding wife said "Don't get a ticket!"

"They will have to shoot my tires out and follow the trail of rim sparks and hot asphalt to the hospital before I stop this jeep!"

The hospital was expecting us. I handed my wife off to the waiting nurse and wheel chair at the ER entrance while I found a place to park.

I ran from the jeep to the ER desk and asked where they had taken her.

I ran to the location they gave me. I thought. But I got lost. I ran back to the desk and asked again. I successfully ran to the correct examining room.

My wife was lying on the table, the doctor was between her legs and the first words I heard were "There's too much blood. I can't see anything. I need an emergency Caesarian."

She had a placental abruption. She had already lost half of her blood. Mother and baby were both at risk of dying. Soon.

As they were hustling her off to the operating room, they quickly dressed me in scrubs and started taking patient and insurance information.

By the time I got back to the operating room, she was prepped, taking anesthesia, a shield was erected and the pediatrician was in position.

I held her hand as she went under.

"I love you."

"I love you too."

I glanced up at the observation area above the operating room and there was a woman standing there, watching. She was wearing yellow scrubs covered with green frogs. I think she had brown hair, but I can’t swear to it. I don’t remember much more about her. I figured she must have been a nurse or a staffer who heard the late night call for an emergency Caesarian and just wanted to watch and learn.

An eternity later, the doctor pulls a limp, bloody baby from my wife's open womb.

The baby isn't crying. There is no time for pointless, modern nonsense like letting the dad cut the abdominal cord. The doctor snipped it professionally, handed the baby to a nurse who silently whisked it away.

I look up at the observation room and the woman in the scrubs gives me a smile and a big "thumbs up". I knew then that everything was going to be O.K. I felt a rush of relief and was brought to tears. I raised my hand to her in acknowledgement. She smiled and nodded.

The doctor starts closing up. He removes the abrupted placenta, examines it, and asks if I would like to see it.

I politely decline.

He then asks if I would like to see my wife's ovarian cysts before he closes her up.

Again, I politely (but somewhat more urgently) decline his invitation.

He always was a chatty bastard.

He gets her put back together and snaps off his rubber gloves.

The nurse informs him "Just for the record, it's been exactly 15 minutes since you declared an emergency Caesarian."

I look up at the observation room again, and it is empty.

Just as they are wheeling my wife off to the recovery room and taking me to where they are cleaning the baby, I hear her cry.

My daughter is alive!

The next few days are pretty iffy.

The wife had to have a pretty substantial blood transfusion. And recover from an emergency Caesarian. She was lying in her room hooked up to IVs and heavily sedated.

My preemie daughter was lying under a cake-keeper in the nursery with an E.T. light on her finger.

I was in a recliner in the wife's room with an ice pack on my blown out knee from all of that running that my sedentary body had NO IDEA how to handle.

It made for quite the family photo.

My wife's older son and daughter arrive at the hospital.

Somewhere around 3am, my wife groggily wakes up. Last she remembers, she was pregnant and bleeding. Now she's not pregnant anymore and there is no baby. I try to reassure her that everything is O.K. That G.T.O is Ok. She's in the nursery.

She doesn't believe me.

So I leave the step-kids in charge, limp out to the jeep, rush back home and get the video camera. I come back, tape G.T.O. alive and breathing in the nursery. Then I take the tape back to the wife's room and play it for her on the TV.

Many happy tears were shed.

I tried to find out who the lady in the operating room observation deck was. I wanted to thank her for reassuring me.

No one else remembered seeing anyone in the observation room. I describe her as best as I could to one of the ER nurses. Her face went ashen, she seemed to go a little limp and her eyes moistened up, and she whispered “Julie”.

I asked her what she was talking about and she said “C’mon. Your wife and baby are both fine and sleeping. Let’s go get some coffee.”

We went to the lounge, got a couple of paper cups of strong brew from the coin operated barista and settled in at a round table in plastic chairs with wire legs.

The nurse’s name was Heather. She told me story.

“Julie was an Emergency Room nurse. She got her degree in 1980 from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. That’s the Med School on Independence Avenue just east of Paseo. You can always spot it by all of the young kids in scrubs crossing the street from the dorms to the school. Right by the 7-11. It’s a good school, but it’s in a rough area. Right down the street from the cheap hooker hotels.
Anyway, Julie was a devout Catholic. That is why she chose St. Mary’s as her first nursing gig. She was a bit of an adrenaline junky so she was attracted to the ER. She had been working in the ER at St. Mary’s for about 6 months.

One weekend, she had ventured back to the dorms to visit some friends who were still struggling to graduate. After a late night of partying with friends, she headed back to the parking garage, alone, to get her car and drive home.

Unfortunately, the garage was not empty. She was attacked and brutally raped. She was left bruised, battered and bleeding between two cars. A security guard found her shortly before dawn and called the police.

She couldn’t give the police a description of her attacker. It was dark and he had beaten her pretty badly. She lost consciousness. He was never apprehended or charged.

But it gets worse. She was pregnant with her rapist’s child.

Being a Catholic and working at St. Mary’s an abortion was out of the question. She decided to have the baby and give it up for adoption.

The time came and she went into labor. Of course, her beloved St. Mary’s was her chosen birthing location. Her baby would be delivered by the doctors and nurses she worked next to 12 hours a day.

There were complications. Sometimes, a baby just doesn’t want to come into the world. Sometimes, they take their mothers with them when they go. Julie and her baby died in the operating room.”

Heather dropped her head. Her shoulder length blond hair obscured her face. A single tear splattered on the table next to her coffee. She sniffed, raised her head defiantly, wiped her cheeks dry and took a swig of the bitter, machine brewed coffee.

“I’ve never seen her. I don’t believe in all that hocus pocus. But I hear reports. Stories from heavily sedated pregnant mothers being wheeled into the OR. Stories from emotional family members under a lot of stress. People like you. Sometimes they see somebody who looks like Julie. Standing up in the observation deck. Wearing yellow scrubs covered in green frogs. Watching over things. Giving little signs of encouragement.

I don’t believe in all that crap. I’ve seen too many bad things happen to good people.

But I’ll tell you this.

Nobody who ever claimed to have seen Julie ever had to bury anybody.

C’mon. Finish your coffee and let’s go check on your wife and kid.”

I didn't have to bury anybody.