Friday, February 29, 2008

Wow! Somebody actually reads this . . .

One of the first blogs I read everyday is Tony's Kansas City.

How suprised was I to discover that he linked to my article on "Bodies Revealed"! I had no idea anyone was even reading this thing. I haven't even told my husband. I kind of like my litttle secret corner of the internet.

I also have a MySpace blog, which I've written for over a year. I know, amateur, but it's fun. I have a great following of my friends as readers, but I noticed I started to censor myself. There were topics that I wouldn't want my husband, friends, husband's friends or family reading my real opinion about.

So I decided to uncensor myself. So I started this blog. I read a lot of blogs (especially Kansas City bloggers) and thought I could open myself up to strangers opinions. I'm in advertising, I'm used to criticism. I'm cool with it, but I wanted to build up a collection of posts before linking to others/asking to be linked to.

I guess Tony outed me. That's cool. I feel honored to be read by the most well known/read blogger in Kansas City. I agree with roughly 6% of what he writes, but I still always read him. He always has something interesting to say. He's alternative, and not afraid to get in people's faces. I'd go so far as to say "He's got Moxie!". (He's the one that actually started my addiction to reading/writing blogs.

So anyway, cool that I'm not the only one reading my own blog. Soon I think I'll be ready to start contacting other bloggers.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stop asking, alright!

My husband is "an actor with a day job". Actually he works at a very, very flexible internet-based company and pursues acting as well. Sometimes his shows are professional, sometimes they are improv troup shows, sometimes they are community theatre. It's his dream. He does whatever he can/wants to. (He was quoted yesterday in the paper about his current show!) I've been supporting his dream for the last 11 years and it seems perfectly normal and quite fulfilling, thank you.

That's why I hate going to cast parties sometimes. His theatre friends must think that he keeps me locked in the house, bound with Darling Daughter Duty. This couldn't be further from truth.

After a hard day at work, filled with Working Mom Guilt, I love coming home eating dinner with Handsome Hubby before he goes off to rehearsal. Darling Daughter and I have some quality one on one time before her bath and bedtime at 8pm. After 8, I can relax, read, surf the internet, whatever for a few hours until he comes home. It's really not that bad at all. I enjoy my family/daughter/me/couple time. Sure, it takes effort to make sure that we spend enough time together as a family and a couple, but it works for us and Darling Daughter seems pretty well adjusted.

That's why I hate cast parties. Inevitably, someone will come up and ask me "I bet you'll be glad to have him back home after this show is over!" Or "Aren't you glad to get out of the house? Who's watching the baby tonight?"

Whatever. Sure it's nice to have him home, but just like a professional athlete, he only has a finite time in his life to do the roles he wants to do. I believe whole heartedly in "Carpe Diem". We've both made sacrifices for our passions, and staying home with our darling daughter is hardly a sacrifice. She's one of the most incredible people I know.

Nobody at the museum I work at every other weekend ever asks my husband, "God, don't you wish she were home more often on weekends? Don't you hate being chained down with Darling Daughter?"

The well meaning women at cast parties probably can't think of anything remotely intelligent to say, but it bothers me nonetheless. After so many years of the exact same questions and getting fed up with defending/explaining our lifestyle, I've come up with a pretty good answer that drops a few jaws and fills me with fiendish delight.

Recently, after being asked "Who's watching the baby tonight?" I answered:
"Well, she's 3 now, she's getting old enough to watch herself, but I felt a little funny about it tonight so I duct taped her to her toddler bed and left a little bowl of Cherrios next to her. I also spiked the milk in her sippy cup with Kaluha, so I think she'll be asleep when we get home. She really prefers White Russians, but, what are you going to do? I'm out of vodka."

Muahahahaha! I love the looks on people's faces when I say that.

Actually we are really lucky on the baby sitting front. We have a wonderful family support system in his siblings and they love Darling Daughter almost as much as we do. Her aunts and uncles (and friends of aunts and uncles)still in college love the Rent-A-Kid experience and Darling Daughter loves being the center of attention. It works for everybody.

Out of the mouth of babes...

Yesterday, after picking my 3 year old daughter, I groaned and told her, "My God, you're getting big. You just keep growing!"

She smiles at me after pondering the statement and says in a pseudo-Valley Girl voice, "Yeah, I grow like a flower or sumpthin."

I laughed so hard I almost dropped her. Of course she wouldn't grow like a weed like most kids do.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Tarot Card (today....)

I'm a great fan of tarot. I'll probably write a lot more about it later, (maybe even my few days reading for the infamous Mama Cleo before her great fall)...but I ran across this Blogthing and thought it was quite curious considering some of the things that have been going on in my life lately.

For me, and in my readings, The Hanged Man usually means balance is needed. AND HOW! I feel like I'm swinging (not like THAT) right now and need to come to centered balance.

Maybe my chakras are dirty and need to be cleansed. I think they've hit their "30,000 miles" They probably need a good flushing and rejuvinating!

You Are The Hanging Man

You represent the seeking of enlightenment and spiritual clarity.

You tend to confuse others, but your oddities seem deeply satisfying.

Self sacrifice is easy for you, especially if it makes you a better person in the end.

You are the type of person who is very in touch with your soul and inner spirit.

Your fortune:

Right now is a good time for reflection and meditation.

You should stop resisting the problems in your life, and let yourself be vulnerable to them.

You may need to sacrifice something important to you to move ahead in your life.

Accept your destiny with courage, and learn to let go of what you think you need.

Friday, February 22, 2008

God sanctioned debauchery...Who's with me?

Since I've ran across this topic twice in as many days, it seems blog worthy, so indulge me.

Have you heard about the 30 Day Sex Challenge? Yeah, me either until yesterday. Apparently, a preacher in Florida is challenging the married couples in his congregation to increase their intimacy by having sex at least once a day for thirty days straight. Inversely, he is challenging single people to refrain from having sex for thirty days. Dude, sorry guys, this blog's not for you.

Read the article and come back, pretty please:
30 Day Sex Challenge

When I first read this, I had several reactions.
1. I'm a married Roman Catholic, sex is almost deemed mandatory by the Pope himself. Nothing new here. Yawn.
2. Only in America.
3. The one-quarter part of me (my dad's dad's family) is Southern Baptist. Why are we discussing such a thing?
4. Dude, is this preacher getting paid off by The Johnson & Johnson Co. (makers of KY Jelly) or Trojan condoms? This is GREAT marketing for the "Sexual Intimacy" market. (I can't help it, I'm a marketer, EVERYTHING is about advertising.) Way to "stimulate" the economy! Screw the government, I like the cut of that "Economic Stimulus Package"!

What I don't like is the idea that just by shaggin' you're going to reach spiritual union with your partner. Yes, I believe intercourse is a pleasurable gift from God, but as a path to deeper understanding to your life partner? Maybe.

How many people have you known that equate sex with intimacy/union of spirits? Pretty much every girlfriend you had in high school and college. How many of those relationships really lasted? Maybe I'm jaded as a rape survivor, but I don't think it was very many.

Yes, there is the physical aspect, but you can have incredibly intimate relationships with people without any physical contact whatsoever. Some of my most incredible moments with my husband over the last 11+ years were not sexual in any way, shape or form. And, believe me, as a Taurus, I am far from being considered frigid in that respect. Most Tauruses consider sex one of the essentials along with food, water, air, and shelter.

I think it's a nice thought, but I think the concept of the 30 Day Sex Challenge is short sighted. Yeah, go ahead and have sex for 30 days straight. That's great, hope you enjoy it, but don't forget how important spiritual connection is to the other person.

The best, most intimate gift (next to our darling daughter) that my handsome hubby and I ever gave each other....

Last year, in my Internet surfing compulsion, I ran across a post/idea from a woman who was in a troubled marriage and it just sounded like a good idea for all married couples, regardless the status of their married bliss...

She gave her husband a glass bowl full of slips of paper. On each slip was a reason she loved her husband or a poem or a song lyric, or something else that reminded her how much she loved him. She presented the bowl to him on Valentine's Day and he was so touched, he returned the favor.

As they were working out their issues, and when times seemed really tough for them, if they felt like they needed to, they went to the bowl and pulled out a slip of paper.

I thought she was exaggerating when she said whatever they pulled out seemed like the perfect thing they needed to hear at that moment.

Yeah, that was until I asked Handsome Hubby if he would like to try this. He agreed and so we did it. On one of our dressers sits both of our bowls. If you want to talk about hearing God's voice in your relationship, I can attest to this gift's power.

I can't tell you how many times over the last year or so that we put our 75-100 slips of paper into the bowls that I have pulled out the perfect message that I needed to hear. It's almost as if God choose for me to hear that message at that specific time to remind me that I was loved by both my husband and my Creator. It's all mystical like that.

I learned some really surprising things about reasons my husband loves me because he wrote it down on paper. He always acts surprised and says, "Didn't you know that already?" There are so many ways to express love for your life partner. Some of them are really quite shocking. From personality traits to song lyrics you would never associate with your relationship to things you've said off handedly in the's always amazing to discover how and why you're loved.

To create intimacy, discover the undiscovered. And that truly is a mental/emotional/spiritual thing. That bonds marriage, not mind-blowing sex (which, BELIEVE ME, is a TRULY lovely added bonus).

I think having sex for 30 days straight sounds like a lot of fun, but I think the "I love you because..." bowl can really bond your soul. Plus, if you're's Lent....a time of fast and abstinence. No "meat on Fridays"! Don't let your Catholic Guilt get in the way, just shag (said in my best Austin Powers voice).

So, here is my ending homework:
1. Create the "I love you because" bowl. Share with your partner.
2. Celebrate my friend Mike's favorite holiday, March 14th. (Google March 14, holiday and steak if you're clueless).
3. Check out this hilarious post from one of my newest favoritest viral sites/v-logs: Red State Update for the Red Neck definition of The 30 day Sex Challenge. See if you don't start giggling. I dare you. (I'll blog about them later because I love the concept.)

4. For nostalgia's sake . . . EVERY college party we ever hosted had this song played at least once. It's also dedicated to all Monty Python "Life of Brian" fans.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You've Got to Be McShitting Me!!!!

As I was surfing online over my lunch break, I ran into
this article
Basically, some idiot at Esquire Magazine named the McRib sandwich at McDonalds as one of the best sandwiches in the country.

Maybe this idiot doesn't eat out much. Maybe his taste buds were burned off in some horrible McDonalds coffee scalding incident. I really think he probably could have done better if he put some effort into research when trying to write a real story. A national food chain with a "Best Sandwich"? Seriously? Maybe the iconic Big Mac, but the McRib? No way, Jose.

Don't get me wrong. Whenever this promotional pigstuff comes out, I occassionally imbibe. With a 3 yr old, we're in the McDonalds years and it's a decent change from the double cheeseburger staple I usually go for. However, I would NEVER consider it barbeque. It's pressed pork-like meatish stuff shaped sort of like a mini-slab of ribs. And it's not really all that good. I would never consider the sauce stuff on it to be barbeque sauce. It's just McRib sauce. Or something.

What really slays (fillets) me about the article is the quote from the Esquire Idiot:

“The pickles slay me,” Dickensheets wrote. “The other components of the McRib — sauce, meat, onions, bun — are straight outta barbecue antiquity. But the pickles are an unexpected wacko touch. Is that how they do it in … what, Kansas City?”

Wow...just wow....did you just gasp? I did.

Hope this poor idiot never makes the mistake of actually visiting Kansas City ever. He probably shouldn't even fly over the state for his own safety. That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. What is barbecue antiquity? Pickles are whacko? Granted they should be on the side of the sandwich, but still. And I can honestly say I have never eaten onions anywhere near any "real barbecue". Besides that, barbequed meat sandwiches are usually served on white bread, or at least not a sesame bun, for Pete's sake.

As a lifelong Kansas Citian, I admit, I have often pitied those who aren't within driving distance of Gates, Jack Stack or Oklahoma Joe's. Those poor, unlucky bastards. They really don't know what they are missing. Maybe they really don't know that real Kansas City barbecue is so much better than the Kraft product called "KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce".

So, like every other Kansas City blogger, here's my top choices of bbq:

Sauce: Gates is the ONLY sauce. If I could hook it up intervenously, I would. I love it that much. It was torture when I was pregnant, but I suffered through the heartburn for the delicious taste. It's even good on frozen burritos!

Meat: Jack Stack. From beef to sausage to burnt ends, the delicious best. It's really all about the quality. It's not as fatty and I like the way they smoke their meat (hee hee)

Best ribs: Believe it or not, the best ribs of my life were eaten at the Marina Grog and Galley in Lake Lotawana. The rub they put on them is incredible. They are like nothing else. I haven't been there in quite awhile, but it's worth the trip.

Best baked beans: Zarda. And that's the only good thing about that restaraunt. And I can even buy the beans at Price Chopper, so no need to even go there.

Fries: Arthur Bryant's...crispy outside, soft inside. A meal in itself, especially dipped in their pretty good sauce.

Side dish: Cheesy Corn from Smokestack. (Yes, I know JackStack has the same recipe since they are brother and sister, but Smokestack is closer to my house.)

Best other condiment: Barbeque Mayonnaise from Oklahoma Joe's. Sounds weird, but it is extremely delicious.

Best atmosphere: BB's Lawnside Barbeque. Holy Smokes, their Blues/Jazz rocks! It's a biker bar and it's beautiful! Where else can you buy Pabst Blue Ribbon by the tin bucket? Not at high brow Jack Stack, that's for sure. Damn fine food and VERY affordable.

Most psycho-attentive staff: The "HI, MAY I HELP YOU?!" folks over at Gates. Before you even open the door they're screaming at you for your order. And you better know what you want, quick. "Beefonbunwithfries" The faster you get it out, the better it goes for you. I always warn out of towners to brace themselves before entering.

Best use of space: Oklahoma Joe's. BBQ joint + gas station = pretty cool. Just don't try to get in around lunchtime. Especially if you're claustrophobic. Or addicted to gas fumes. Still the food is deliciously yummy slathered with barbecue mayo.

Cutest waiters: Hickory Pit in Lee's Summit. I don't know if I was drooling over the food or the cute waiters. Definitely worth the trip if for no other reason than the "scenery".

If I can find it, I'll scan in this awesome cartoon that used to be on my fridge. It's a little boy and his father barbecuing and the boy asks his father, "Who invented barbecue, Daddy?" The father responds, "Probably back in the Stone Age, right around the area that is now Kansas City"

Amen, brother. Amen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bodies Revealed....GROSS!

While I won't go as far as Tony at Tony's Kansas City, I sort of do protest the new exhibit (opening Feb. 29th) at Union Station, "Bodies Revealed" While I really don't know if the participants in this science meets art project really and truly "volunteered" to give their bodies to it, I really don't think we'll ever know. Are you going to take the word of Red China as Gospel Truth? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Humanitarian issues aside, I think it's just gross. There are some parts of the body I just don't need to see. While I understand that it's supposed to show the anatomy and physiology of the human body, do we really need a traveling exhibit? I wouldn't want the dreaded question from my child of "What's THAT, Mommy?"

Many people that I've talked to that have seen it say that it's very tastefully done and really pretty interesting, but, ya know what kids, I think I'm sitting this one out.

I'm very squeamish. I don't like blood and veins and guts. Not my thing.

I do applaud Union Station for getting such a huge exhibit though. Guess they proved themselves during the Dead Sea Scrolls last year, which was a totally kick ass exhibit. I went with Handsome Hubby on my 30th birthday and WOW, that sort of put aging in a whole different perspective.

I've pretty much always enjoyed their "Smithsonian" exhibits. My favorite was probably Titanic, but I really like "Daniel's Story" (about a boy in the Holocaust). This time, I'll sit it out.

Not your thing either? Do yourself a favor and go support one of the other really great museums that you've never visited in Kansas City. Being a Museum Mama (Moxie still in tact), let me suggest:

John Wornall House Museum
Shawnee Indian Mission
Liberty Memorial
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Strawberry Hill Museum
Bingham Waggoner Estate
1859 Jail
Jesse James Museum
Vail Mansion

Can I have a different choice?

It's only February and I'm already depressed about November. I have a history degree. I LOVE politics. I love the drama of American politics. What I don't love this year are my choices. Not a single one. No candidate speaks to me, inspires me, gives me any kind of reassurance that the "sun'll come out tomorrow" on the doom and gloom of the economy and war.

I admit that I voted for McCain in the primary (I am not committed to either party, I vote my conscience. BUT....I've never voted the Republican ticket in a primary ever!). I only did it to stop Mitt Romney. I don't like that guy. I don't know what it is about him but he gives me the willies. McCain is the lesser of the two Republican evils.

While I haven't met any rabid McCain fans, and I am very far from one myself, the Obama/Hillary folks are getting on my nerves. I have met so many women who stare at me flabbergasted that I'm not on the Hillary Hoo-Rah Wagon. "Don't you want a woman president?!" they almost shriek hysterically. Yeah, I'd love it, but I'm not going to vote for somebody just because they have a vagina.

Similar deal with Obama supporters. "Don't you want ~Change~? Don't you have ~Hope~?Are you racist? Why don't you like him?" First off, I don't care if our next president is purple, I don't get what Obama's gonna change. I was ~Hoping~ for something better than what we've had the last 8 years, but the Democrats really disappointed me but not rising to the challenge of a decent candidate.

I don't care about gender/race/whatever, I want somebody with the political cajones to fix the country. A fist term, still wet behind the ears Senator who hasn't had the time to build up the experience and political support behind him or a conniving, something I don't trust career politician just aren't going to pull us out of the pit that the US is tumbling into.

I took a political quiz about a month ago and based on answers given, I was supposed to be aligned with my perfect candidate. Apparently that would be Ron Paul, the grass roots whackadoo. Swell. I know I'm VERY conservative on some issues and VERY liberal on others, but seriously, Ron Paul? I'm still reeling in shock.

Maybe I'll vote for that kid that got kicked off American Idol already. You know, the skinny teenager with the mop hair, Buddy Holly glasses and the ties? Kid's got as good a chance as anybody, if he were old enough to run....

Sigh....can we have a do-over this year. I was so looking forward to it and now I'm disappointed. I'm still waiting for Super "Semi-Conservative, Semi-Liberal, Fix the Shit at Home First" Candidate to fly in and save the day before November. I'll even play a damsel in distress that needs saving if need be. I'll even show off a little bit of heaving bosoms for the cause if it'll get the job done. It's not beneath me to flash a little cleavage if it's my patriotic duty. Yeah...I'll sink that low...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sayonara Aught 7...Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out!

This is a drag over from my other a late celebration of Chinese New Year's, I post it here.....

So, now that Christmas is over, everyone from Time Magazine to VH1 is doing their "Year in Review". Even being the history addict that I am, I usually do this as a glance over my shoulder and then start planning for the next year. This year, 2007, being what it was, probably deserves a bit more retrospection. Ok, fine. I'll sit down, Indian-style in my own little nook of my deepest being and really think about this year. I'll swish it around in my mouth and then spit it out like the cheap, nasty wine that it was.

More than any year of my life, I'm glad this one is almost over. It sucked, and it sucked bad. When I'm done reflecting, I'm going to stand up, brush off my hands briskly and close the door with a satisfying slam and a "Well, that's done. Moving on…"

I know it's not as easy as that, but it's good to at least have a plan.

I'm not going to go into specifics or turn out the lights for the "Highlights" reel to reel film. Instead, upon deep reflection, and a bit of perspective, I think the theme of this year is my best friend's Sicilian proverb: "Not all bad comes to do us harm." I'm going to take this time to blog and to make myself remember one of my own proverbs: "It's only a mistake if you didn't learn anything or grow from it."

Here are some of the lessons that I learned/relearned this year:

1. When your world is turned upside down and you're hanging off the edge by your fingertips, it's ok to get upset and cry about it, but take a deep breath and wait for the world to turn, because it always does and you'll be back on your feet soon enough. Don't make any plans until your feet are on the ground.

2. I'm a hell of a lot stronger than I ever thought I was.

3. Never say never about anything you would or wouldn't do until you are in that situation.

4. There is ALWAYS (at least more than) 2 sides to a story. Nothing is black and white. Some stories, like Kafka's "The Metamorphosis", I'm never going to fully understand no matter how hard I try. Not even with the Cliff Notes. I will some day learn to accept this.

5. Selfishness is the root of all evil and there are a lot of very selfish, destructive people in the world.

6. Blind faith sucks. But sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

7. Even when I'm mad as hell at God and declare a "friendship break" with Him, He's still present and still loves me.

8. "Patience gains all things." St. Teresa is right, but it's not one of my usual virtues.

9. Turning 30 wasn't THAT bad.

10. Never ever ignore intuition. Never talk yourself out of your gut feelings. You're spot on right, 9.75 times out of 10.

11. "Make new friends, but keep the old." We sang this song in Brownies when I was a little girl and it's great advice. I'm so thankful for my new friends acquaintences that turned into better friends and my dearest old friends. I leaned on them when they didn't even know it.

12. My daughter is the most intuitive, beautiful, precious and loving person I have ever known.

13. Estrogen is a beautiful thing. Surround yourself by strong, powerful, incredible women and banish the bitter, selfish, life-sucking bitches to the darkness, no matter how great "a friend" they supposedly were/are.

14. Handsome Hubby, Darling Daughter and I need more sunset picnics at Loose Park.

15. I finally have figured out how to deal with my family. Good for me. It's about damn time.

16. Art therapy is something both HH and I need. Art heals SO much. I started to write (on and off line) more creatively than I have in years. "Children of Eden" was a show that God wanted HH to do.

17. Don't forget to think and ACT outside the box. The surprising results can be quite good.

18. Use your head, but follow your heart. Let them fight it out for a while. Logic and passion are vital to good decision-making.

19. I don't need to forgive anybody until I'm damned good and ready. And I'm not ready to forgive some things yet. I'll just work towards it. It will happen. Also, I don't need to offer forgiveness to those who don't care if they have it.

20. I'm not my mother. Not at all. Thank God.

21. HH and I can have incredible conversations by not saying a thing, just holding each other's hand.

22. I'm damn good at both my jobs. I have had resounding success in both this year.
Remember to pat myself on the back once in awhile. It's ok to be proud, but don't be smug.

23. It truly is about not giving up.

24. Facebook and MySpace are clinically proven to be 25% more addictive than crack cocaine.

25. It's ok to go wild sometimes. I haven't done enough of that in recent years. Screw anybody who judges me badly for it. If you really know me, you know I really needed it.

26. I need more intelligent people to argue with me. I miss debating issues. It's ok to voice my opinions in a loud voice. If you judge me negatively, you're not really my friend.

27. I am a good mother. My worries were unfounded. We're doing great with her.

28. Laying my head on HH's chest and listening to his heartbeat when he's sleeping banishes the worst nightmares.

29. It's ok to be cautiously vulnerable to things that MIGHT hurt me.

30. I need a t-shirt that says, "I survived my Saturn's Return. It sucked and all I got is this lousy t-shirt"

31. Rediscovering my passions in life is an excellent choice.

There's other lessons. Maybe I'll add to this list later, but for now, this is good enough for sharing. Even years are usually good years in my life, so welcome '08. Hope you're worth the wait!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Breaking and Entering is FUN!

Several months back I read this really cool/somewhat scary book "Creepers" by David Morrell about a journalist who infiltrates a group of urban explorers in order to write an expose on the phenomenon also called urban spelunking. They enter this old hotel and of course there's murder, mystery and hidden agendas. It's an incredibly awesome book.

If you don't know what urban exploration is, check out the Wikipedia article. It basically is a group of people who trespass in abandoned buildings/sewers/other "off limits" places in order to explore and see what's there. They usually take pictures, and they don't usually vandalize or steal anything. Seems like a dangerous, illegal kind of hobby to me, but hey, one man's law breaking is another man's jollies.

When reading "Creepers" I couldn't help but regret that I never took advantage of my chance to see the underground tunnels from Union Station to the Post Office across the street. When I worked at Union Station, my friend in Collections had keys to the deeper recesses of the basements and I should have taken him up on it.

Today I was reminded of the tunnels when I ran across
this blog post:.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery.
This place looks really cool!

How cool is that? An abandoned, underground, lost streetcar tunnel in Kansas City! I'm been familiar with that particular stretch of road because I helped one of my Wornall House friends on a family history project. Her family had an interest in the streetcars and we had done a little bit of research about that area of Kansas City. I can tell you, that is one STEEP hill! She's going to be excited to see this.

I admit I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of urban exploration. As someone who's worked at 3 different historical museums/sites, I've been really privileged to go "behind the scenes" of some pretty cool places. There is a definite thrill in being where you know you're not supposed to be, even if all of my visits were properly sanctioned.

There's not really any point to this post (like most of my posts), I just thought it was something cool and semi-historical to share with others....if you get inspired to "explore" some place, be sure to send me pictures of your adventures.

Hey, Winter...Newsflash...YOU SUCK!

Dear Old Man Winter,

I'm sick of you, ok? I want to break up. All that charm of holiday cheer and pretty white snow has worn off. I know I was excited for our first snows and didn't even mind your frostiness way back in December. But by now, I'm so over that.

I know statistically Jan. 24th is the most depressing day of the year according to sociologists, but sometimes I'm behind the times. And I'm always sick of you in about mid-February. Go back and look at my attendance records in grade school. Yeah, it might not be coincidence that I was "sick" at least one day in February almost every year.

So, it's your fault all these people are depressed. Way to be a Debbie Downer, Winter. You need a new attitude. February is the worst. Yeah, there's Valentine's Day, but really, that's a Capitalist holiday and President's that the best you and the government could come up with? You could try a little harder you know.

You're my least favorite season and I've tolerated you long enough. I miss green grass, and leaves on the trees and sandals and baseball and not freezing my butt off every time I go outside. I want to swim in the lake, darn it!

Don't think I didn't notice that extra day you threw in there this year. Leap Year...USELESS! Right now I'm cursing that damn groundhog and demanding a recount. Lazy little SOB only works one day a year and all he does is confirm the obvious. He's on your payroll isn't he? You grease his paw with a little extra nuts or whatever it is the rodent eats, don't you?

So, anyway, I know you'll probably stick around for another month or so, but come on, start packing it up, buddy, 'cause I'm so through with you. Today was the official first day of Spring Training Camp for the Royals, so you're being given notice to vacate.

C'mon Springtime, you sweet, beautiful season! I'm ready!


The Committee Against S.A.D
The Anti-Cranky League

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fishstix Verboten

Every year when I was growing up, as if it were an edict from the Pope himself, we always had fishsticks and macaroni and cheese for dinner on the Fridays of Lent.

I really don't like fish, in any form, except alive and swimming. I hate the taste and I'm allergic to shellfish. When I was preggers, we couldn't even go NEAR the seafood section without me retching. (Don't tell me I just haven't had fish cooked the right way for me to enjoy it. I sampled everything under the sea when I worked 4 star seafood restaraunt; I'm pretty sure at almost 31 that I don't like fish.)

I hate fishsticks with a passion. Every Lenten Friday and Ash Wednesday of my childhood was purgatory and Catholic sacrifice wrapped up in soggy, oily batter. Even though all five of us HATED fish sticks, our mom would ALWAYS serve them. God bless ketchup which could almost drown out the taste.

The worst Fishstick Fridays? My birthday (April 21st) which always seemed to fall on a Friday during Lent. (I know this is mathmatically impossible, but hindsight is fuzzy/fuzzy). The absolute worst was when my birthday fell on Good Friday. Hard to be excited about a birthday when you have fishsticks, mac n cheese for dinner and it's the day Jesus died. That's a bummer, lemme tell ya.

That's why I vowed before DD was born that I would never subjugate any child of mine to such a horrible dinner.

I'll be damned if one day when we picked Darling Daughter up from daycare the baby sitter told us, "We had fishsticks for lunch and DD LOVED them. She ate 4!" Handsome Hubby (who shares my distaste for fish) just looked over at me and burst out laughing. I a bad parent if I don't give her fishsticks? I don't know. I do know that I won't be eating any. YUCK!

Monday, February 4, 2008

To Top it all off

The fierce, evil, fever-inducing, body-aching snot-capade that I've been enduring for the last week has now officially given me an ear infection complete with golf ball sized throat gland. Lovely. Take me to the glue factory like a dried up dead horse.

*no animals were intentionally harmed or was anyone encouraged to harm an animal in the posting of this blog. Unless I tripped over the cat on my way to the Kleenex box. In which case, it was purely coincidental.

**I'm sick and I'm blathering. I'll stop now.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

You can't shield kids from advertising....

As a professional marketer, one of the things I strive for the most is brand recognition. Everybody should know my company and keep it at the pinnacle of TOMA. But how far is too far?

Darling Daughter (DD) is 3 years old and is pretty darn smart for her age. I love kids at this age because their brains are like sponges that never get soggy. I never have thought much about the effect of advertising on DD until right before Christmas. Handsome and I had taken her out to eat at Applebee's. A few days later when Hubby was "doing the books" she pointed to the logo on the top receipt and said, "Let's go to Applebee's?" I was proud of her recognition of where we had gone, but just a bit uneasy.

Another example...HH and I have just started letting her watch tv shows on Noggin and the like. Before this, she either watched only PBS shows or educational videos like Baby Einstein or Disney movies. As we were watching Dora one day, commercials came on and she ran across the room and pointed to the advertised toy (I can't remember which it was) and said, "I have to have this! Please, please!" I'm not kidding!

At 3 are children able to understand that ads are supposed to make you want to buy things or are Mattel, Hasbro, Disney, etc. just sending subliminal toddler mind warping messages? ....Can I get them to build an ad that will make her clean her room?

A few weeks ago I went to a Marketing seminar for service companies. One of the topics was brand building. To prove the point of the power of a great logo/brand recognition, we were asked to name the companies that represented the letters of the alphabet. I got every single one right (go ME!) which proves the power of how permeating advertising messages are into our daily lives. Take the test, see how well you do:


Want the answers? Here you go:
C: Cannon
D:Glad (Dr. Pepper?)
E: Zales
F: Ruffles
J: Jif
K:Burger King
M: Sam Adams
Q:Dairy Queen
W:Mountain Dew

So, there you go...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bathtime Funtime....

So, tonight's bathtime dialogue:

Me, entering the bathroom, noticing Handsome Hubby washing Darling Daughter. I make note of his plumber's inpersonation and adjust the level of his pj pants. I turn to DD and say:

ME: "DD, repeat after me: Crack is Whack"
DD: "Crackawhacka"
ME: "Close enough. We just had our first anti-drug talk. Nobody can say we didn't start early."
HH: "Repeat after me: 'You got it dude!"
DD: "Gotitdude"
ME: "If you ever turn out like the Olsen Twins, I'm putting you over my knee and spanking you."
DD: "But it would be nice if you supported us in our old age"
ME: "DD, Repeat after me: 'You got it dude!"
DD: "Gotitdude"
ME: "Can you be a nuclear physicist and support us?"
DD: "Gotitdude"

Excellent (In my Mr. Smithers from The Simpson's voice). Screw Social Security, my old age is SET!!! We're the best parents EVER!