Friday, May 30, 2008

Unexplored Earth

I read this article today about how an "undiscovered tribe in the Amazon" has been "found" and photographed for the first time ever.

Check out the photo. Warriors are trying to defend themselves with flaming arrows from an airplane or helicopter (?)

I have a couple of thoughts:
1. GoogleEarth hasn't photographed EVERYTHING yet.
2. It's awesome to think that there are still undisturbed tribes in the world.
3. It's nice to know we don't know every single inch of the earth yet.
4. Stop cutting down rain forests already. Geez.
5. I could use some flaming arrows.
6. Leave them the hell alone.
7. Is there a paparazzi market for uncontacted tribes?
8. I wonder who they would have voted for on American Idol
9. What's with the guy in the back. Where's his flaming arrows? Did he run out of his red warrior paint or did he leave it at the office?
10. Can you imagine the immense terror of a helicopter coming right at you would be when you have NO idea what it is? Pretty brave of the warriors to take one for the tribe like that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Trashman Cometh

This morning at The Moxie Family Compound was the grown up version of that horrible scenario when you were a kid when you would wake up late, jump out of bed, hurry into clothes and rush for the school bus only to be stopped at the door by your mom who reminds you that it's Saturday.


Guess what?!? Darling's learned how fun it is to push Mommy and Daddy's (alarm clock) buttons and thus, having our alarm clock reset for 2:43 pm, we woke up late today.

And it's Thursday. Trash pick up day for our neighborhood.


So Handsome and I rush around, gathering up the recycling bins, emptying trashcans into the main trashbag, get to the front door and Handsome lets out a curse that would make a sailor blush.

See, 'cause, it's Thursday after a holiday. Which means Trash Day is delayed by one day. we're double plus late for work.


Not the greatest of starts on a day that has me busy straight until 10 pm tonight.

I'm channeling my inner-Oscar the Grouch today. Beware, one and all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

115 Yr Old Boardgame Found...

How cool is this? At the Bingham-Waggoner Museum, this 115 yr old Baseball Game was accidently found. Awesome. I want to play!

Better yet, go see it in person and visit the house that was home to one of Missouri's greatest painters and one of KC's Flour moguls(Queen of the Pantry)...That's right, I'm reminding you to go and support your local history, no matter where you live!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mama Survey...

1. Typically, what time do you wake up?
6:30, even on weekends...Darling has a horrible radar for sleeping in...

2. On a good night, what time are your kids in bed?
8:30, if I'm lucky and the fillibustering ends early

3. How long have you been a mommy?
3 and 3/4 glorious years!

4. How old were you when you became a mom?

5. What is your favorite kids T.V. show?
I HEART "Curious George" and "Backyardigans

6. What is your least favorite kids T.V. show?
Oswald on Noggin. It's an LSD trip for toddlers

7. What is your favorite chore?
Sorting the junk mail. I love junk mail.

8. What is your favorite meal to cook?
Lemon Pepper Chicken with rice and steamed veggies

I say Dessert! And right now, my favorite dish to make is Ice Cream Sandwich Cake!

9. What is your least favorite meal to cook?
Turkey. I don't "DO" giblets. There was a traumatic experience that I don't like to talk about...

10. What is your kids favorite meal?
McD's Chicken Nuggets, Apples, and Chocolate Milk

11. What is your favorite thing your husband does with your kids?
Everything. He's the best dad I could have ever hoped for for my daughter.

12. What are 5 things that make you smile when you are being a mom?
**When Darling tells me she loves me.
**When she cries out for me when she's had a bad dream
**When I help her conquer something challenging
**When she giggles with happiness
**When she lets me sleep in on Sat. mornings

13. If you could take your kids anywhere, where would it be?
NYC to see a theatre show. She loves the stage productions that her dad does SO much, I think it would be cool to let her see "The Lion King" on Broadway (one of her favorite movies.)

14. When was the last time you went out without your kids?
Last weekend. Thank GOD!

15. What is your favorite pastime/activity to do with your kids?
Read, go to Loose Park, make artistic creations with a bag of 15 bean soup and glue.

16. Name one thing you said you would never say as a mother.
"Do it once, do it right, do it wrong, do it again."

17. Name something you do, that your mom did.
Put her hair in pigtails everyday.

18. What is your favorite quality your mom has?
Her strength.

19. What is your favorite kids book?
I have to pick ONE?!? I'll go with a few: "My Little Golden Book: Where Did the Baby Go?", "Grover and the Monster at the end of this book" and "Goodnight, Moon"

20. What is your favorite advice for new moms?
Don't feel bad if you can't succeed breast feeding. Don't let people tell you you're a bad mother. Just do your best.

21. What is your most heartbreaking moment as a mom?
When she got her first shot and I heard her cry in pain for the first time.

22. What is your most joyful moment being a mom?
The second I heard her voice after she was born.

23. When was the last time you told one of your kids you loved them?
Seconds ago...

24. When was the last time you were told?
Seconds ago...

Harry Potter and the Devilish Occult

So...I read this story about a former librarian who claims she was forced to quit after refusing to work a library function that promoted "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".

While respecting her religious beliefs, I find it ironic that a librarian would refuse to support a book. There surely must be thousands of other offensive-to-her-beliefs books that she works with on a daily basis. Why choose to grandstand over a book in a series that arguably has strong Christian overtones?

I simply do not understand censorship.

If you don't like it, don't read/listen/look/go to see something.

The beautiful thing about books is that there are so many of them. Billions of them. All different. I love reading and I LOVED the Harry Potter series. I can't understand why people protest the Harry books. Yes, it's about "witchcraft" though any Wiccan you meet would laugh at the wizardry in it, but just think about how many life long readers that series has produced?

In a world that is full of violent video games/movies/tv, it's nice to remind our children to believe in imagination and magic.

Stupid Wood rot

Wood rot ruined my weekend. Handsome and I were planning to paint the house this weekend (which wouldn't have worked out anyway since it rained off and on).

The house needed it and we don't have the $3k it's going to cost to put siding up right now. This was going to be a quick fix until next year or so. We were planning on a bathroom remodel as the "big project" for this summer.

Well, it didn't really work out as I had planned. Once the scraping started, we realized that we had some pretty extensive wood rot under the 60 year old shingles. Painting over it is not an option.

So, with the help of my father in law (who is a contrator by trade), we've put up siding on the front of the house. We'll have to get to the sides and the back in a few weeks or so as cash permits. We just weren't ready for that big of a budget bite. But, now we have no choice.

Homeownership sucks sometimes.

The good news is, with Handsome and my father in law doing the work, we're saving about $4k on the bid we got last year.

When we bought the house 3 years ago (our first house), we were excited about the fixer upper potential in it. After knocking out walls, retiling, painting, rewiring, etc. I think we're worn out. Yes, we're increasing our resale value, but it's killing our budget.

I'm so bummed out by it, but it needs to be done. So much for my new luxurious bathroom this summer.


Mr. Hanky'

Ok. I'm done being all depressing. I've been on a religious jag as of late and I need to stop with it. I don't like it when people force their religion on me, so I'll stop torturing my Constant Readers (all 2 of you) with my religious issues.

So, let's talk about cartoon poop.

Handsome recieved a Mr. Hanky (South Park) keychain about 10 years ago from his brother (nevermind neither of us ever liked that show).

It's one of those pieces of crap (literally) that just hangs around and you think you've thrown it away about a hundred times and it just keeps showing up at random moments.

So, Darling found it last night. And was playing with it in the bath tub. I asked her where she found it and she told me in the playroom. Weird, but ok.

"This is Mr. Winkie" she tells me.
"No, his name is Mr. Hanky" says I.
"Nope. It's Mr. Winkie."
"Who told you that?"
"I did. It's his name."

Ok, whatever. She took him to bed last night and I guess it's her new favorite toy.

Mr. Winkie might have to disappear once again at my earliest convenience. My 3 yr old doesn't need to be playing with poo...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam

It's been the hardest 1.5 year I've ever had to deal with since I was raped 12+ years ago...

I was forced to go to church yesterday with my mother in law and my daughter. There was no getting out of it...

I didn't want to do it. But...I'm the kind of Catholic that REALLY thought about becoming a nun....I've ALWAYS identified myself as an American Roman Catholic....I even went to see JPII in St. husband spent 6 years in a seminary before he dropped out, went to a Catholic college and married me...All the priests he ever knew thought I was a "Chalice Chipper" but whatev...he dropped out before I "defiled" him...

I've loved God and felt him thru many, many different and difficult things in my life. But, the last year or so...I feel empty...something happened that destroyed the faith that was one time SO STRONG...I've hit the proverbial "One Toke Over the Line" this time and honestly, Constant Reader...I kind of feel abandoned by God...if HE was always there, I wouldn't feel like THIS...I worry that the healthy questioning I felt before is turnng into something much deeper and worse...Something my soul doesn't like but the Aries/Taurus part of me thinks was a long time coming...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Advice for Diabolical Wannabes....

I poached this from a lame-o MySpace bulletin, but it seems, Constant Reader that there are a few of you out there that might put some of this advice to good use...

So, this, one's for you, babe!

Being an Evil Overlord seems to be a good career choice. It pays well, there are all sorts of perks and you can set your own hours. However every Evil Overlord I've read about in books or seen in movies invariably gets overthrown and destroyed in the end. I've noticed that no matter whether they are barbarian lords, deranged wizards, mad scientists, or alien invaders, they always seem to make the same basic mistakes every single time. With that in mind, allow me to present...

The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas visors, not face concealing ones.

2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell in my dungeon.

4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragon of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

6. I will not gloat over my enemies predicament before killing them.

7. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought, I'll shoot him and then say "No.

8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labeled, "Danger: Don Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will clearly not be labeled as such.

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum - a small hotel room well outside my border will work just as well.

11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

12. One of my advisers will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

13. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least several round of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.

15. I will never employ any device with a digital count-down. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.

16. I will never utter the sentence, "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to know.

17. When I employ people as advisers, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would prove a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.

19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father.

20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

21. I will hire a fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legion of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman foot soldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.

23. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way -- even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless -- my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.

24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strength and weaknesses. Even though this takes some fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.

25. No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible spot.

26. No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive which is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bed chamber.

27. I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.

28. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.

29. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.

30. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.

31. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcements and/or romantic sub-plot for the hero or his side-kick.

32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

33. I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.

34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.

35. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.

36. I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.

37. If my trusted lieutenant tell me my Legion of Terror is losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he's my trusted lieutenant.

38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.

39. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.

40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable super-weapon, I will use it early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all of those pesky time travel devices.

42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys that happens to follow him around.

43. I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans.

44. I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.

45. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him and say "And here is the price for failure." then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.

46. If an adviser says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the adviser.

47. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.

48. I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

49. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all of my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.

50. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.

51. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions of the beautiful princess' cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people oriented position.

52. I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.

53. If the beautiful princess that I capture says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well" and kill her.

54. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.

55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legion of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention.

56. My Legion of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.

57. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owners manual.

58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.

59. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.

60. My five-year-old child adviser will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: This also applies to passwords.

61. If my advisers ask "Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?" I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.

62. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a firefight.

63. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of this nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.

64. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be disadvantageous.

65. If I must have a computer system with publicly available terminals, the maps they display will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.

66. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints and then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.

67. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.

68. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they'd better save my life again.

69. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.

70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.

71. If I decide to test a lieutenant's loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.

72. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon, instead of using my unstoppable super weapon on them.

73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisers assure me it is impossible for them to win.

74. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old adviser can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my desk.

75. I will instruct my Legion of Terror to attack the heroes en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.

76. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.

77. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutenant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.

78. I will not tell my Legion of Terror "And he must be taken alive." The command will be "And try to take him alive if it is reasonable practical.

79. If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into limited edition commemorative coins.

80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.

81. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.

82. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerously unbalanced structure.

83. If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.

84. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.

85. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 stones of power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse.

" Instead it will be more alone the lines of "Push the button,"
86. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.

87. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.

88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to do the task again.

89. After I capture the hero's super weapon, I will not disband legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.

90. I will not design my main control room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.

91. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.

92. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead, I will say that his dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard.

93. If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and the underling who failed or betrayed me, I will die first.

94. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.

95. My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cell mate tells the guard it's an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team instead of opening the cell for a look.

96. My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.

97. My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain reflective surfaces or anything that can be unraveled.

98. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However, if circumstances have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each other' lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.

99. Any data files of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb.

100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free, unlimited internet access.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Truly Need One of These!

Ha! This would make office work much more fun!

Friday Feast

It's been awhile and I'm bored:

Appetizer: Wii, Playstation or XBox?
I guess I'll go with Wii. Handsome's been trying to get me to buy one. He's even enlisted our 3 yr old in the campaign. His brother has one and brings it over to our house for family functions and Darling loves to play the Fishing game. XBox is ok too, for the Guitar Hero capabilities...

Soup: Would you ever go skydiving?
I'm scared to death of unsecured heights, so I'm thinking...NO!

Salad: Name a sequel that you think is better than the original movie.
This is a toughie, but I'll go with The Godfather II. They are both favorite movies of mine. (Godfather III SUCKS!) All the Harry Potter movies just keep getting better and better...

Main Course: Share your most wonderful birthday celebration.
Yikes, I have notoriously crappy birthdays, but I'll go with my birthday last year. I turned 30 and had a harder time with it than I thought I would so Handsome and I made a day of it. We went down to Union Station, ate at the Harvey House Grill, saw The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit (which puts my paltry 30 years into perspective, let me tell you) and then had a picnic dinner with Darling at Loose Park where we fed the ducks. All in all, a great day.

Dessert: If you dare, post a picture of yourself making a silly face.
Since I'm at work, no silly pictures, sorry. I don't even think I have a picture of me purposely making a silly face.

Today is Pointless

I hate the work day before a 3 day weekend. Nobody's in the office...nothing is really getting done that is remotely productive and the boss'll be gone by 2.

Usually I try to stretch 3 day weekends into 4 day weekends (like the rest of the sane world), but no such luck today. I have to go and listen to a humming Jesus freak from 2 to 4 this afternoon.

Yeah, I have a bad attitude today, what of it, buddy?

It's ok though...this weekend is going to rock. I'm going to see Handsome's show tonight with some very awesome friends of ours from college, going to the cast party afterwards, I work at the museum Sat/Sun and we're barbecuing on Monday like all good Americans do.

I've finally got caught up on my posts that I started and never finished from earlier in the week. (Not all the way caught up, I've still got "Drunken Dramatics, or Why You Should Keep Your Mouth Shut at Parties" in the hopper but I'm saving that one until after I complete further "field research" tonight).

So, here I am, hoping something good comes along to distract me so I can make it thru this long, drag-ass day.

Happy Weekend! (almost)

For Oscar Romero on Your 28th Anniversary (Plus 2 months)

Do you know who Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, El Salvador is? On the 28th anniversary (plus 2 months) of his death, I cling to the rocks that were given to me from the little garden outside the chapel where they assassinated him. Go to this video...please?

A modern day martyr...bless you, Oscar, I pray for your Sainthood....forgive the United States citizens...

Please watch this video, Raul Julia's greatest legacy...the assassins you see murdering the saint here was trained at Ft. Benning, GA....The 1980's were such a bad time...pray for our redemption....Please watch the video to the end...Hear his true words from the last homily he gave, the Sunday before he was murdered...

"A Perspective" by Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero....

Prayer of Archbishop Romero
It helps now and then to step back and take the long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying that
the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that should be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further
We provide yeast that produces effects far
beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and
do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future that is not our own.
~Oscar Romero

Thursday, May 22, 2008

For Handsome, and for all Lovers...

Don't marry someone unless this is true..For Handsome on a very important evening..happy anniversary of our reunion...The Reason I Trusted You...The Reason I Married You...just 'cause all I wanted was the "STARS AND THE MOON"

Lyrics fron "Songs for A New World":
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."

Lyrics (if you're lazy):
Just to look in your eyes again
Just to lay in your arms
Just to be the first one always there for you
Just to live in your laughter
Just to sing in your heart
Just to be everyone of your dreams come true

Just to sit by your window
Just to touch in the night
Just to offer a prayer each day for you
Just to long for your kisses
Just to dream of your sighs
Just to know that Id give my life for you

For you for the rest of my life
For you all the best of my life
For you alone, only for you

Just to wake up each morning
Just to you by my side
Just to know that you're never really far away
Just a reason for living
Just to say I adore
Just to know that youre here in my heart to stay

For you for the rest of my life
For you all the best of my life
For you alone, only for you

Just the words of a love song
Just the beat of my heart
Just the pledge of my life, my love, for you

A Little Piece of Truth and Beauty Died...

While my father was a Vietnam vet, my mom was a hippie...heart, soul and everything. While I grew up believing in The Doors, Iron Madien and the soundtrack of "Easy Rider", I still believed in the Beatles, John Denver and Bob Dylan...

Tonight, thru a conversation with my best friend, I was reminded of this song by one of the greatest American Singer/Songwriters, Kris Kristofferson. When I was pregnant with my daughter and right after I had her, I remember the stories of Laci Peterson and Precious Doe. I wept when I heard about them both on the news. Kris, like he always had since I was a little girl, sang my soul...if you purchase any other CD this year...get Kris Kristofferson's "Silver Tongued Devil and I" Cd. It might be callled "The Pilgrim: Chapter 33". I have it on vinyl...and he is one of my first true poetic loves...Anyway, before you vote this fall, hear this song...Listen to it if you remember Precious Doe, like I do...

If you can't watch the song at work,read the lyrics...then watch the video when you get home....

"IN THE NEWS" by Kris Kristofferson

Read about the sorry way he done somebody's daughter
Chained her to a heavy thing and threw her in the water
And she sank into the darkness with their baby son inside her
A little piece of truth and beauty died

Burning up the atmosphere and cutting down the trees
The billion dollar bombing of a nation on it's knees
Anyone not marching to their tune they call it treason
Everyone says God is on his side

See the lightning, hear the cries
Of the wounded in a world in Holy war
Mortal thunder from the skies
Killing everything they say they're fighting for

Broken babies, broken homes
Broken-hearted people dying everyday
How'd this happen, what went wrong
Don't blame God, I swear to God I heard him say

"Not in my name, not on my ground
I want nothing but the ending of the war
No more killing, or it's over
And the mystery won't matter anymore"

Broken dreamers, broken rules
Broken-hearted people just like me and you
We are children of the stars
Don't blame God, I swear to God he's crying too

Repeat Chorus

Repeat First Verse

Don't Forget to Hug a Veteran...

So, Nuclear Buffalo inspired me. Please read his post.

the weekend's almost here. It's not just another day to get drunk or start the "Summer Season". There's a real reason for it and I hope you hug a veteran (or 2 or more) and thank them for their service to their country.

I don't care what your views are on the war in Iraq. I don't care about your political views. I don't care if you've never had a family member in the military.

I have had a family member fight in every American war/"conflict" since the American Revolution (2 in that one!). The only exceptions are the French and Indian War and Desert Storm. My great grandfather chased Pancho Villa/fought the SpAm War, my grandpa fought in WWII, my father was a Corpsman in Vietnam, my cousin is right now somewhere in the Middle East, pulling terrorists out of their hiding places and interrogating them.

I make it a point to thank every veteran I know on Veteran's Day/Memorial Day, and any day in between that when I discover someone I know served our country in the military.

My dad was a Corpsman (willingly enlisted) in Vietnam. Every Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, he made all of us kids go out to the flag pole in our back yard and while my sister (who hated doing it because it embarrassed her) played the Star Spangled Banner, the rest of us would raise the flag and sing the anthem. Since we lived at a suburban lake outside of Kansas City, there was always an audience. People cruising in boats would sing along, one guy yelled out to my dad "Thank You" one year. Our neighbor, Charlie who served in Korea, would wander over to our yard and usually just watch, pat my dad on the shoulder and go back to barbequeing.

I never really thought about the whole tradition all that much or the look on my dad's face whenever we were at a ball game and the anthem was sung until 9/11.

At the time I worked in the corporate headquarters for a company that gave loans to active duty and retired military servicemen and women. 9/11 was the day after my grandmother died and I wasn't at work that day (I had a really bad cold and found out on 9/11 she had died.) After my grandmother's funeral, I returned to work.

Part of my job as an advertising assistant was to do the media buying for 26 branch offices (located near military bases) and 32 other major installations for our internet site. I started talking to my ad reps (retired military/spouses of military personnel) all over the country and I found out so many heart breaking things.

Whidbey Island/Bremerton, it was almost a ghost town. All the Navy/Marines were immediately called out to sea to guard the coasts. Same is true for Georgia, North Carolina, California, Florida. There was mass panic as family members and service personnel rushed to get "on base" that day. So many people were immediately called to combat duty in Afghanistan. Families were literally pulled apart. But I never heard one single complaint. Not one. They were proud to do what they were trained to do.

My father willingly enlisted to serve in Vietnam. He didn't agree with the war, but he wanted to serve his country like his father and grandfather had done. He didn't want to fight, so he signed up with the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman, First Class. After training at Pendleton and serving at Bremerton, he went "over there".

He was the guy who was on the helicopters, dodging bullets, deciding who was able to be saved without making the helicopter too heavy for lift off. He was armed only with a service pistol and was the most unarmed military personnel in the conflict except for the clergy. As an FYI, 638 Hospital Corpsman died in Vietnam.

I'll never know exactly what happened during his time there.....I don't think I want to know. He doesn't talk about it, but I know he was touched when I would bring him the base newspapers from Pendleton and Bremerton. He's a classic case of post-traumatic syndrome. When we were little, and we had to wake up Daddy, our mom told us to stand across the room and shout until he woke up. You couldn't touch him to wake him up because after they were married there were a few nights that my mom was thrown across the room after he was startled awake.

I know he saw things, did things and had to make decisions no 20 yr old Kansas farmboy should have to make, but I'm so damn proud of him for serving, saving lives and keeping America safe.

I work with several vets who have served in Korea up until the Iraq War. I make it a point to hug veterans since I've seen from my father the kind of sacrifice they make. I went up to one last Veteran's Day who had served in Vietnam. I looked him in the eye, gave him a hug and said "Thank You". He was a little taken a back (even though I've thanked him the last 3 yrs running), I could tell it really touched him. Like it always does.

I hate the war in Iraq....but I also know that we're so screwed that if we pull out now, World War III will happen. I also know (as an historian) that you can't win a guerrilla war. But, despite what the media says, we ARE the good guys. We had no other choice but to raid Afghanistan. In Iraq, Saddam was a dirty, filthy bastard of a genocidal dictator that had to come down. Even though the world is upside down in the post-Taliban, post-Saddam world, History/Hindsight offers great redemption.

Pray for peace. Pray for our service personnel. Pray for sanity. Pray we get a better president in November, whoever it may be. History cannot be kind to George W. He's an idiot. Vote for someone with a realistic solution that won't cause chaos.

I'll leave you with Alan of the greatest American Singer/Songwriters. This song is so special to me. I dedicate it not only to my father and every other serviceperson, but to my grandma, Julie, who died the night before 9/11. For me, 9/11 was the day the world stopped turning. I was in shock over her untimely death, and then in shock of the Twin Towers crashing...but that's another blog...

Church Lady Customer Service Rep

I'm not happy about it, but I'm a team player...I guess. This week at work was anticipated to be a very busy week. We've expected a barrage of customer calls due to a promotion.

Good thing, right? God bless Capitalism and all that.

Here's the part that sucks. The office-bound managers have to take turns helping Customer Service answer the incoming calls. As the Marketing Manager, I am obligated.

I don't mind pitching in. Not my favorite thing to do, but I can do every so often.

So, I hop on in there on Monday, ready to help. I stumble around with the computer and headset and phone and I'm ready to go.

Just as I get settled, ready to deal with impatient, fussy customers, I hear this low methodical humming from the cube next to me.

"What the hell is that?" I think to myself. I wait. It continues. For the next 2 hours! But I'm busy talking to people and trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing so I let it go.

Next day same story. This time I realize that it's actually Shorty, the CSR who sits in the cube next to the one I've been occupying.

She's the sweetest little old lady in the world, but she's humming.

Gospel tunes. Yep.

Wednesday she breaks out into song as she goes about putting customers on hold and transfering their calls. "Jesus is...(something or other, I don't know, I'm Catholic, we don't "do" Gospel)".

Apparently I'm the only one who notices the concert. Maybe the other CSRs in there are just used to it. They must like Jesus more than I do because they are seemingly unphased by the hum/sing.

Maybe I'm just irritated by the Protestant reminder to accept my Lord and Savior and be saved.

Sidenote: I hate when Protestants ask if I've "been saved". I always reply, "Of course I have. I was baptised Catholic when I was a baby. How old were you when you accepted Jesus?" I love their looks of horror when I tell them I'm Catholic. It's like I have a disease or somethiing, though I guess some people think that.

I have no problems with other people's religions. I don't care if you Christian (whatever sect that may be), Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, whatever...I'm glad you're happy and found your innner peace. Good for you. Just don't shove it down my throat.

Anyway, I'm veering off track.

I feel intolerant today. I can tune out a screaming 3 yr old, a husband practicing his music at the top of his lungs and the tv blaring "The Backyardigans" but I can't tune out one sweet, little old lady that's praising Jesus next to me? I probably AM going to hell.

Now, whenever she's walking down the hall past my office, all I can hear is her humming. Everywhere. In the halls, in the lunchroom, in the parking lot. She hums non-stop.

I'm going crazy. I'm about to baricade myself in my office, shove my "vistors" chair up against the door and arm myself with my stapler to shoot staples at whoever tries to pry me out of my safe little office coccoon.

Maybe I should go in there and start singing "Jesus Don't Want Me For His Sunbeam" by Nirvana or "Losing My Religion" by REM. I'm passive aggressive that way. God forbid I actually tell her to knock off her Jesus lovin' at our place of employment.

I'm feeling like a horrible person today, but maybe it's just my Catholic guilt.

I promised myself I wouldn't...but....

I swore I would never blog about American Idol. But then again, I do lots of things I say I'll never do. So, if you're sick of AI, me too, and you can just quit reading right here. I'm ok with that.

Today there's tons of praise and criticism around the blogosphere for not only David Cook winning American Idol, but the show itself.

I have just one thing to say:

DAVID COOK WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you don't like the hype of a tv show, why blog on it? Shut up already and post about stuff that you do like to write about. Allow me to wallow in hometown glory, thank you very much!

I'm a closet AI fan. I really don't like tv nor do I watch it very much at all. My 3 year old has invaded my television with PBS and Noggin. In moderation, of course.

Our DVR list is nothing but "Curious George", "Sesame Street", "Family Guy" (Handsome) and the occasional documentary I tape.

Other than catching the occassional Royals game, History Channel special or some crappy commercial-laden movie, there are only two shows I'm dedicated to watching.

American Idol is my junk food of tv watching. My husband is an actor and after every show during the last 11+ years, the first thing he does when we get in the car after a show is pounce on me for my analysis.

"What did you think of So-and-So? Was this believable? Did I look fat in my costume? Did the music sound alright? Blah, Blah, Blah?"

I'm a pretty good judge of entertainment talent at this point, or at least I delude myself into thinking so. Any way around it, I enjoy critiquing the contestants. I haven't LOVED a contestant since Chris Daughtry. I probably only REALLY like David Cook, but, hey, he's the hometown boy and WAY better than his opponent.

David Archuletta is too young, too goofy looking, needs to get laid and cut his father's ambilical cord. While his voice is technically perfect, he has absolutely NO charisma. No "real life experience" He can't sing anything other than sappy ballads. Even Clay Aiken had more stage appeal than him, and that's freakin' scary!

Just because you can sing well doesn't mean you've got the Moxie (if you will) to be a great performer. It's one of my biggest performing pet peeves. I've seen countless "actors" around Handsome's theatre crowd who have great voices and can sing parts pitch perfect, but SUCK as actors. I just don't believe their character.

The same thing can be said for other performers. You have to "give 'em the ol' Razzle Dazzle" ("Chicago")or it sucks. This was David Archuletta's Achilles heel and why he ultimately got spanked by Blue Springs' finest.

12 million spankings is a lot.

Anyway, last night was a lot of fun. It was a suprise win. I admit, I jumped up and down and screamed with shocked glee. But it wasn't like after Game 7 of the 2001 World Series or anything, I didn't pee my pants or anything. (I almost did when the Diamondbacks won it!)

Sigh, so....if you're an observant Constant Reader, you're still wondering what's the other show I HAVE to watch... It's the greatest show nobody's watching, Mad Men on AMC. Season 1's DVD is on pre-sale right now so you can catch up before July when Season 2 starts.

What's it about? Think Madison Avenue Ad execs, 1960, full of advertising, sex and cigerettes. It is the antithesis to American Idol. It's intelligent, chock full of cultural and historical references and Missouri native and Moxie eye candy, John Hamm. The cinematography and costumes and writing are so incredible...It's a tv orgasm, quite frankly. So pre-order the Season 1 DVD and get caught up.

Monday, May 19, 2008

High Holy Rules of the Office Restroom

Today?! I'm "One Toke Over the Line". After 5+ years of working at my present job, I officially hit that point today. And it's all because of the uni-sex bathroom.

I work with 85 guys. That's why I avoid the uni-sex restroom. I know it will only disgust me/make me rage. (Unfortunately, sometimes the Women's restroom annoys me as well as you will soon see). Today I walk in there and not only is the seat up (GRRRR!) but there's a floater and no TP accompanying it. I almost puked. I still might, hard telling.

Everything in my world can be a mess....I'm not a neat freak in ANY sense of the word....however.....when you share a restroom with others, certain etiquette should apply:

1. Flush. Self explanatory.
2. Air Freshener. Pick it up. Use it. It's there for a reason. I don't want to smell your Taco Bell aftershocks down the hall and around the corner. I'm just saying it's a common courtesy. Don't make me shut my office door because that just makes me cranky.
3. The exhaust fan: You know if you need it. Do us all a favor and turn it on. See 2.

And that brings us to 4. The High Holy Rules of an Office Shit-Can: WHEN YOU USE THE LAST OF THE TOILET PAPER, PLEASE REPLACE!!!!!!
A. It's bad karma to use the last of the TP and not to replace the roll for the next person. You shall burn in hell for at least 10% of eternity for such unthoughtful behavior.

B. EVEN WORSE: Leaving 2 sheets (or less) on the roll, thinking, "Well, the next person will use and replace since I'm too lazy to go to the extra effort." You will be tortured for at least 26% of eternity each time you do this. You're not fooling anyone after you. No one in the Free World uses only 2 squares of toilet paper. No one. Not you, not me, not anybody! Go the extra 2 sheets and replace the damn roll!

C. Unwrapping a new roll and placing it on top of the empty roll that's still there. Wow, buddy, you just bought a one-way ticket to 85% of eternity in purgatory! You are ALMOST irredeemable as a human being. YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!!! Say hi to Satan as you're forced to clean "The Dirtiest Toilet in Scotland" ala "Trainspotting" with your toothbrush that you're expected to use afterwards.

Alright, enough of the poor condemned bastards stated above. Here's a damnation for all those who try really hard to obey all of the above: It's under, NOT over. This is a point of real debate among civilized people, but I'll give you my 2 main reasons why:

1. I have a 3 year old that it potty trained. If the roll of TP is placed "under" she has a lesser propensity of using too much. It just doesn't "flow" off the roll as easy.
2. The Cat Factor. I will never forget the day that Handsome and I returned home, walked into the bathroom and witnessed our cat (who died about a year ago, RIP) sitting in a virtual MOUND of toilet paper. She looked up at us and meowed in her bitchy little way, "Yeah, so what". I was a firm "OVER, not under" kind of girl until I had pets and children.

Thanks for reading my anal retentive rant. (No pun intended.) I am officially dedicating this blog to my husband who has the most fastidiously immaculate "bathroom habits" of any man I've ever known. In almost 11 years, I've never caught the seat up once.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Moxie Munchies

So, I decided against the Pesto Bread. I don't know why, I just wasn't feeling the Pesto Power I guess.

Maybe I just have an addiction to the recipes on I don't know...

So, here's what I ended up making as pre-show yummies:

As my homage to Dave and the great lunch I had last week thanks to him:

Rueben Cracker Toppers

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time:
10 min
Makes: 1 doz. or 6 servings, two topped crackers each

12 TRISCUIT Deli-Style Rye Crackers
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Shaved Smoked Ham, cut in half
1/4 cup drained CLAUSSEN Sauerkraut
3 slices KRAFT DELI DELUXE Aged Swiss Cheese, cut into quarters

PLACE crackers in single layer on microwaveable plate. Top each cracker with 1 ham piece, 1 tsp. sauerkraut and 1 cheese piece.

MICROWAVE on HIGH 30 to 45 sec. or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

and I modified this recipe into rollups, but it would make a great sandwich as well:

Creamy Dill Turkey Wrap

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time:10 min
Makes: 1 serving

1 whole wheat tortilla (6 inch)
1 Tbsp. MIRACLE WHIP Light Dressing
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1 KRAFT 2% Milk Singles
2 thin tomato slices
3 thin cucumber slices
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Shaved Smoked Turkey Breast

SPREAD tortilla with dressing; sprinkle with dill weed.

TOP with remaining ingredients; roll up. Toothpick and cut.

So, I'm sure you're wondering if they were any good. And they were. Huge hit! At the last minute I panicked that people wouldn't like the Reuben bites since sauerkraut is an acquired taste, but I knew at least one other person going shared my unhealthy obsession with Reubens. I made half with just the meat and cheese and it was delicious either way.

I also think I found a new favorite lunch rollup with the Creamy Dill Turkey Wraps. Very yummy.

Go ahead with these recipes. They've been Moxie tested and Moxie approved!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mark your calendars and get ready to comment!

I saw NaComLeavMo, National Comment Leaving Month over at BlogHer this morning. It sounds like a lot of fun and a good way to expand your connections in the blogosphere. Everyone is welcome to join...Basically beginning May 25-June 25th, you commit to posting 5 comments a day on other bloggers' sites and return one comment a day everyday for that 31 days.

I'm going to go for it since dialogue is what it's all about (and it will stop me from just lurking around other people's posts)!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To Aunt Angel On What Would Have Been Her 50th Birthday

I wore my pink ribbon for her. Today which would have been her 50th birthday. To honor her life, to know that she isn't truly gone...

I met her on a beautiful, May afternoon in 1997 at a church function near their home. Thinking back on it, there certainly isn't a lovlier place to meet such a beautiful person. Angel, my husband's aunt and godmother, had just turned 39 and had been diagnosed with breast cancer in January. I'm sad that I never got to know the pre-cancer Angel since Handsome and I had only been dating 3 months before she was diagnosed.

On meeting her I was not only struck by what a beautiful woman she was physically, but spiritually as well. She was just one of those people you meet that just seem different from other people because of how genuinely good and nice and accepting they are.

When she talked to me that May day she genuinely wanted to get to know me, not because she was sizing me up as a mate for her godson, but because she was interested in making a new friend.

The day she died this January, my mother in law, Angel's sister, asked for us to find any pictures that we had of her so they could make posterboards that showed her life. As I searched thru all our photos from the last 11+ years, there were a few that really stuck out to me.

She was in several photos of our wedding day and while I love the one of her kissing Handsome after putting on his boutineer, one her and her husband of 18 years, made me want to cry because of how beautiful and healthy and happy she looked that day.

Our wedding was during one of her good spells and she was in charge of making sure everything was set up behind the scenes and that everyone was in the right place and going up the aisle at the right time. I remember coming in the back of the church, on my godfather's arm, and receiving her big hug and smiles and tears. She undoubtedly heard the conversation my Uncle had had with my father/his brother.

She, like so many others in Handsome's family, tried very hard not to let my immediate family ruin our wedding day. Her hug and kiss of support meant so much to me right before the doors of the church opened and I walked up the aisle. They gave me courage and reminded me that I was loved.

Another picture that really made me cry was Darling's first Thanksgiving. I took a picture of Angel holding 3 month old Darling and by the expressions on their faces, you could tell they were having a wonderful conversation. I remember when those pictures were developed, feeling sad and a little guilty that she never had the chance to have children of her own or to feel the incredible feeling of comfort and bonding that exists when you breastfeed your child. I felt sorry for her even though she never felt sorry for herself.

The third picture I had that really struck me was one I took exactly one week before she died. It was a photo of her surrounded by her three godchildren, Handsome, his brother and his cousin. When I saw that picture, I was reminded of how much she loved her family.

All of the photos at her funeral from when she was a little girl posing with her 2 big sisters, to seeing my own husband's life unfurl from a tiny baby at his baptism to his first communion, family vacations, graduations, weddings, etc..... Angel always lived life to the fullest. She never complained, she never let anybody see her beaten down, even if her body was ravaged after the latest round of chemo. She was so inspiring as a strong woman who accepted God's will cheerfully and never gave up.

The week before she died, on Dec. 30th, we all gathered at her house in St. Charles, MO. I had never seen her so weak. They had moved her bed downstairs, she was on oxygen, for the first time, she didn't wear her wig. She was letting everyone know that the time was coming for her to give up the fight. I know she wanted just one last Christmas with the family. To see everyone just one last time. She was so weak that it was hard for her to talk. Her husband had to help her walk, but she was so determined to be a part of the celebration. She mostly sat there quietly, watching her nieces, nephews, and grand-nieces and nephews entergetically enjoy Christmas and the family.

Jan. 2 she went to the doctor and they told her the last round of chemo didn't work and she had 1-2 months to live. She died 3 days later. She was done fighting. But, she had put up one hell of an inspiring fight.

Next to my grandmother's, hers was the hardest funeral I've ever attended. I just wanted to take her strong, stoic husband in my arms as he twisted his wedding band on his finger, tears welling up in his eyes that he just couldn't quite release, and tell him how proud I was of him for being so strong for her, for taking such wonderful, loving care of her. I wanted to tell him it's ok to cry, something he would never do in public.

It broke my heart to see Darling and her cousin, so full of life, playing in the church before the funeral, wearing their pink breast cancer ribbons, knowing their chances just increased of someday battling it, knowing they don't understand why everyone around them is so sad.

The night before we went to St. Louis, when Handsome, who took it SO hard, wasn't around, I sat Darling down and told her that Daddy was very sad and we had to give him extra hugs and kisses because Angel, his fairy godmother had to go away to heaven. Darling, without missing a beat, said, "Angel's going to be an angel with Baby Jesus and the Star." We had read the story of the Nativity during Christmas and that's when I just lost it. Out of the mouths of babes. I told her that was exactly right, we were going to have a going away party for Angel because she had a new job of being an angel. Everyone was going to be sad because she was gone, but it was an important job for her to do. I told her that we had an important job of giving lots of hugs to Daddy and Grandma this week. She understood and did a great job.

I feel so guilty that I didn't walk in more Relays for Life. I feel so bad that we didn't make it to St. Louis more often to see her, especially after Darling was born and it got harder for her to travel.

Angel is going to be missed so much....but she was such an inspiration to so many of us. Darling and I are going to plant a fairy garden for her this weekend with pink shasta daisies, her favorite...

We love you, Angel, please watch over us.....


Free Sample Day!

If McDonald's is in your eatery repretoire (Having a 3 yr old, I'm in the market) or if you just like free stuff, tomorrow, May 15th, visit your local McD's and try out a new Chicken biscuit (breakfast) or Southern Style Chicken Sandwich (of course this is with the order of a medium drink). Here's the details.

There doesn't seem to be anything particularly "Southern" about it, but free is free.

Revenge of the Nerds Gone Terribly Awry...

I'm the last person that will judge you and your religious beliefs (unless it involves fathering children with multiple underage girls), but srsly?

This story truly baffles me. Hey, I like Star Wars. It's one of my favorite movie sagas, I can even understand how the Jedi principles can make the world a better place...but, 2.5 gallons of boxed wine does not lead to enlightenment.

Especially when whacking others with crutches is involved.

I'm just saying...

Something Delicious, Fast and Easy...?

I'm going to Handsome's show tomorrow night but I'm also meeting up with 5 of our friends for a pre-show appetizer/wine sort of gathering at one of their houses.

Everyone agreed that they would bring "something" and since it's my husband they are going to see, I sort of feel obligated to go beyond chips/salsa.

I'm also a Pretty Party Hostess Perfectionist. I'm addicted to recipes and everything bores me in my recipe box.

Anybody have any sure fire hits for these sort of things?

If not, here's what I'm thinking about making:

Plum Tomato & Pesto Bread

Prep Time:10 min
Total Time:30 min
24 servings, one slice each
1 loaf (1 lb.) Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise
3/4 cup pesto
6 plum tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
2 cups KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup DI GIORNO Shredded Parmesan Cheese
PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Place bread, cut-sides up, on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until golden brown.
SPREAD bread halves evenly with pesto; top with remaining ingredients.
BAKE an additional 8 to 10 min. or until cheeses are melted. Cut each bread piece into 12 slices. Serve warm.

So, guys, suggestions would be lovely. I know there are great cooks out in the blogosphere that have to have better ideas.Help please!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The day I became a mother....

Well, it's Mother's Day Eve...Darling's in bed, Handsome's on stage doing a show and Moxie? Me, I'm finally sitting down.

We had a Victorian Tea Party today at the museum I work for. I remembered today how much I hate wearing hoop skirts and how wonderful motherhood is.

We had about 60 women there today, varying in age from about 4 yrs to 85. Some were mother/daughter/grandmothers, some were little old ladies from a senior center, all alone. Those women seemed so detached from everyone else and maybe a little sad. Where were their daughters/granddaughters? (I can't help but look at others and wonder their backstory.)

Amongst all the hustle and bustle of explaining Victorian Tea Etiquette, I missed my daughter fiercely. At 3.5 yrs she wasn't ready for the delicacies of fine china and sitting still.

Plus, Mama was a hostess and I couldn't have sat down with her anyway. Still, I missed my little gal pal and all the wonderful pretend tea parties we have with her stuffed animals...

Handsome and Darling showed up at the end to help deconstruct the tables/chairs etc. She ran straight up to me, jumped in my arms and gave me a huge hug.

"Mama! Mama! I missed you today!" ("I missed you today" being something I always say to her after work).

It got me thinking about the immense awe and honor I have being a mother. I thought about the day she was born, which is a great here you go:

Handsome and I had been together 7 years (1 year 1 month married) when I got pregnant. It was a crazy carnival ride of a pregnancy but in August of 2004, Darling was ready to enter the world.

Handsome was doing show after show after show during this time and even though I put my foot down and said no more shows after the one that ended 2 weeks before her due date, he was approached as a last minute fill in for Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet".

Had it been another role I probably would have denied him. But how many chances do you get to play one of Shakespeare's coolest characters? I told him yes since the show would close 4 days before Darling was due.

It's the one show in 11.5 years I've never seen him in. But, shut up, I had a great excuse.

The night before Darling entered center stage, I spent with my BFF. Her husband, ironically was in another hospital recovering from a respritory ailment that almost cost him his life at 30. She didn't want to be alone and because Handsome had a show, I didn't want to be alone being that pregnant. (I was planning on seeing the show the day Darling was born. That obviously didn't happen.)

BFF had a dream about a month before Darling was born that my water broke on her floor at 6 pm. I laughed her off and said, "Whatever"...Seriously, what were the odds? It wasn't like I was there every day at 6 pm. Totally far fetched.

Try EXACTLY 6 am in the bathroom right off her kitchen. I got up early, went to the bathroom to pee, stood up when I thought I was done ...... GUSH!!!!

Being in denial, I called my doctor and she told me to go to the hospital. I woke up BFF, told her the sitch, and then called Handsome.

Here's the exact conversation:

Ring, ring...

Handsome: "Hello"
Moxie: "Would you like to go to the hospital today?"
Handsome who just got home from a cast party 3 hrs. before: "Huh?"
Moxie: "Would you like to go to the hospital today?"
Handsome: "Huh?"
Moxie (perfectly calm): "My water just broke!"
Handsome, jumping up on the bed: "WHAT?!?!?!?"
Moxie: "You probably should come get me."
Handsome: "Oh my God. What do we do?!"
Moxie: "Go get the bag I packed in Darling's room and come get me."

Handsome arrives at about 7. We start for the hospital. He's freaking out about what's happening and his show. I tell him: "Don't worry, I read the baby book. The average first time labor lasts like 14 hrs. You have plenty of time to take me to the hospital, go do your show and come back in time for the baby."

Handsome: "There's no F'in way I'm leaving you!"
Moxie: "Let's just see how it goes, ok?"

We get to the hospital and since I'm not having contractions, but it's obvious my water broke, they give me Pitocin.

The floodgates open. It's obvious that it's not going to be 14 hrs.

BFF (Darling's future Godmother) is on one side of me, Handsome's on the other. Both are holding my hands. Savior Brother in Law (Darling's future Godfather) is behind the curtain, but in the room (They only allowed 2 in at one time).

The contractions finally hit. The anethesiologist (an angel in a do-rag...or my hallucination) comes in and makes me feel no pain. I push, and push and push.

My father in law calls. Asks me what's going on.

"UMMMM...FIL...I can't talk right now, I'm having a baby. Get your wife here NOW!" (MIL was 3.5 hrs away.)

I'm watching the clock.

I'm a dedicated Theatre Wife.

I know if I can pop the kid out before 1:30, Handsome can make his 2 pm curtain.

I make him promise to go if I can do it.

Freaking out, he promises me anything.

The doctor and nurses, Handsome, BFF and Savior are all cheering for Darling:

"Come on, you can do it, get out there. Daddy's got a show...The show must go on!"

1:23 Darling is born.

She doesn't cry at first like in the movies. I freak. "Why isn't she crying? Is she ok? What's wrong?"

Finally I hear her for the first time....

I cry as she's laid in my arms.

Oh, God, she's SO beautiful. I wasn't expecting how BEAUTIFUL she could be....

Handsome has just enough time (6 minutes) to cry, gush, get the inked on footprints on his scrubs and fly out the door to his show because I forced him to do his duty.

I didn't even notice he was gone in that first 2 hours. It was such a blur.

I remember standing in the shower after it all was over (that's the first thing I wanted. Birthing is a nasty biz) thinking, "Ho-LEE SHIT?! That JUST happened! I'm a mother!"

I blinked and Handsome was back (thank God Mercutio dies in the first act!) Later he told me that at curtain call they made an announcement that Mercutio couldn't make curtain call since his wife just had their first child.

Darling got her first standing "O" at 2 hrs. old. Not a bad way to start a life...

I've loved every single day of the last 3 years, 98 months, 25 days with her...

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Oh, ok, I'll let you in on the joke!

Have you seen
Go ahead...I won't tell anyone if you pee your pants. This is funny stuff...It's not your fault if you laugh that hard.

The Way to Disarmament

Wouldn't the world be a much safer (and less costly) place if this is how we solved conflict? Though, I will admit, Guitar Hero can get pretty intense.

Still, a lovely utopian thought...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Epic Advice Pretty Please

For Christmas last year, I acquired the complete "Chronicles of Narnia" set. At the beginning of 2007 I had put "Read Narnia" on my New Year's Resolutions List. Dec. 25th of that year, I was put to the challenge by Handsome's gift to keep the promise to myself.

I didn't read all 7 books in 6 days, but I gave it one hell of a go.

Why, WHY didn't I read that series years ago? I had read "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" years ago as a child, LOVED IT, but never the whole series....In some ways, I'm glad I read it as an adult.

Incredible. Simply incredible. I loved it and can't wait for "Price Caspian" to come out in theatres this summer.

I'm a voracious reader. I'll read everything from Mark Twain to Jane Austen to John Grisham to CS Lewis. I'll try anything at least once.

I just got done reading one of the most incredible (and completely under-rated) book series in modern fiction. I've read them all, but never read all 7 back to back.

If you haven't read "The Dark Tower" series by Stephen King, shame on you. It's the greatest series I've ever read. The first book "The Gunslinger" was published in 1982. (I think he wrote it in 1970, even before "Carrie"). The last book, "The Dark Tower" was published in 2004. Talk about stringing your readers along. If you're a true SK fan, he kept you going all along the way thru his other books and the references he made to those characters.

Almost anything SK wrote is connected to Roland, the last Gunslinger, (think Clint Eastwood meets Johnny Depp meets Val Kilmer ala "Tombstone") and The Dark Tower. If you loved "It" and especially "The Stand", you'll love "The Dark Tower". If you hate Stephen King movies, read this series. It's weird. It's so tied to all his other *books* but it is so different than anything else he's written. It's completely AWESOME.

Next to "It was a dark and stormy night" and "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" the greatest first line in an epic series of books is: "The man in black fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed."

If you're a reader and you've never given Stephen King a try, here's my top 10 list of must reads:

1. "The Dark Tower" series (all 7 books, see above)
2. "The Stand"
3. "The Talisman"/"Black House" (co-written with Peter Straub, but I don't care, it's awesome!)
4. "IT"/"The Shining" (don't make me choose)
5. "Delores Claiborne"
6. "Bag of Bones"
7. "Misery"
8. "The Regulators"/"Desperation" (co-written with his alter ego, Richard Bachman...same character names, different people/story, total mind screw)
9. "The Dead Zone"/"Carrie" (oldies but goodies)
10. "Needful Things"/Tommyknockers" ~ pure King Terror

Honorable Mention "The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels" (incredibly captivating)
Honorable Mention 2: "Pet Semetery", "Firestarter" and "Cujo" They aren't on the the list because I refuse to read them again until Darling turns 18.

Sorry for the dork shrapnel flying at you...give me suggestions...tell me what to read next!

Sigh...At least we're not as bad as the Pirates

Ok, the Royals may not be the greatest team in MLB right now, but so what, Fox Sports?! No need to rub it in!

I'm still True Blue...We still have/will have an awesome (if not empty) stadium.

On the bright side, Brian Bannister is STILL dreamy!

If you haven't read this story of incredible sportsmanship, go ahead and read about the Central Washington State softball players.

I played college softball. I'm not sure I would have given up the play offs just because someone else deserved it but injured herself. But I'm competitive like that. I'd like to think I'd be a good sport, but... well, whatever, I'm a horrible person.

Still good for them.

Kansas City Charity Day

From the files of useless stuff I know...Today, the second Thursday in May, is Kansas City Charity Day.

According to the 1909 City Charter, the second Thursday in May of each year was to be observed as “Charity Day,” “on which appropriate measures may be taken for alleviating the condition of the poor and needy.” (Kansas City, Missouri. Charter and Revised Ordinances of Kansas City. Kansas City: F.T. Riley Publishing Co., 1909. Article 18, Section 33.)

Ways you can celebrate today:
~ Donate to your favorite local charity
~ Volunteer at a soup kitchen (this is something EVERYONE should do at least once in their life.)
~ Adopt a Wayside Waif! Save the puppies!
~ Help Cheeseburger Jerry with a down payment on his lunch.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How I know the Democrats are in deep trouble...

I have never met more die-hard Democrats than my mom's side of the family. We're talking "since FDR Democrats". Before my grandfather died, voting otherwise meant excommunication from the family. He was a union pipe-fitter and God help you if you didn't love the Democrats, even Jimmy Carter.

Needless to say, he didn't always see eye to eye with my ever since Eisenhower Republican father, but since he wasn't related by blood, I guess it was ok.

Anyway, talking to my mom the other day, I inquired on whether she was going to vote for Hillary or Barack.

Mom: I can't stand either one of them.
Me: You're not thinking of voting for McCain are you?
Mom: Oh God, no.
Me: always vote...
Mom: There's no way I'm voting for Hillary. I can't stand her! I trust her about as far as I could throw her.
Me: So you're an Obama Girl?
Mom: You've got to be kidding. He has no idea how to be president.
Me: Well, you can't vote for John Edwards.
Mom: Is Mickey Mouse running this year?

My political leanings lie somewhere in between my polar parents. I still have no idea who I'm voting for. I just wish the Democrats would pick a candidate once and for all and let's all move on. Screw primaries, superdelegates and political polls. All of these things/people are bloated with self-importance. I'm bored with them all because it doesn't mean anything (at least right now).

Neither McCain, Clinton or Obama are going to be as bad as Dubbya, but neither are they going to be a Jefferson, Lincoln or FDR.

Is it over yet? Can we just get on with trying to fix the country, whoever may be leading it?