Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Best Christmas Light Decorating

Travelling home the other night we spotted this pretty, decorated house:

But it was their neighbor's display that made me laugh out loud. Thanks for the cheer up after a rather dismal day, neighbors who live around 95th and Lamar!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unicorns are indigenous to somewhere like Scotland, right?

Well sheeet....now I've done it.

Darling loves unicorns. She loves them SOOOOOO much that when she visited Santa last weekend she asked for one.

"A real one, not a stuffed one, Santa. I promised to feed it and brush it and ride it every day."

Santa gave me a side-long look and told her he'll see what he can do.

He got off easy.

By encouraging my daughter's imagination and not crushing her wonder of the world and magic, (or some bs like that) I've essentially set the kid up for a major disappointment Christmas morning.

I'm the greatest mother ever. I should write a book: "How to Screw Up Your Kid in 5 Easy Steps"....best-seller material for sure...

I guarantee you the very first thing she'll do is go looking in the backyard looking for the unicorn.

The real one.

I've already tried to explain to her that unicorns are not indigenous to Missouri and it probably wouldn't like living here.

Darling: "Well, Santa goes everywhere. He can find one. Where do they live?"

Me: "I don't know, probably Scotland, maybe Ireland. Definitely in Europe and that's very far away. And it's really super rare that you can even see one in real life. Don't you think the unicorn would miss its family? You wouldn't like it if Santa picked up Daddy and I and dropped us down in the middle of a unicorn family, would you? You'd miss us wouldn't you?"

Darling: "Yeah, but you'd be living with unicorns, and that would be so cool, so I wouldn't be sad for long."


Me: "Well, we'll see...Maybe another little girl needs a unicorn more than you do. I bet they'd have a farm or something. Our backyard would be too small and I bet it would eat the flowers in your fairy garden in the spring. You wouldn't like that, would you?"

Darling: "No it wouldn't eat them. I'd tell my unicorn not to and the fairies wouldn't let him eat them."

Do you see the monsterous problem I've created? My co-worker owns a farm with horses. I'm tempted to bribe him to let me super glue a horn to one of their heads and let Darling go for a ride.

It's either that or let her learn the cruel truth of reality ~ sometimes Santa doesn't bring EVERYTHING you want. I'm still waiting for the toy piano that I wanted Santa to bring me in 1981. (It was a doomed wish from the start. My dad has a low tolerance for what he calls "racket" but a kid sized piano was all I could think about that fall).

I'm sure Darling will be happy with the unicorn Pillow Pet and other assorted unicorn stuff Santa is bringing. It should ease the sting of an empty backyard Christmas morning.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 8: Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

I could probably skip this one because I don't think I have any mortal enemies (that I know of), but I can think of one roommate that did make my life pretty miserable.

In college she and I roomed for one year in the dorm. It wasn't that bad. We got along pretty well. The only negative thing was that because she was the "dorm slut" we had drunk, horny guys knocking on our door at all hours of the night. But, I shrugged it off as a casualty of communal living.

The next year we decided we were going to move into an apartment with Handsome. It was messy from the start. When we started looking for apartments, she would refuse to go inside to check them out if she didn't think the cars in the parking lot were nice enough. If we did make it past the parking lot, she would find imaginary mold issues/leaky faucets/"loud environments" that she didn't think she could deal with.

We finally found something that all three of us mostly agreed on. It was a little steeper than Handsome and I were wanting to pay(unlike her, Mommy and Daddy weren't paying for our school/living arrangements), but we moved in anyway.

Immediately, it went from bad to worse. I don't know what happened to her over summer break, but she completely changed for the worse. Filthy clothes, dishes, school books everywhere. For some unknown reason, she would randomly use our bathroom even though she had one of her own.

Then she picked up a guy in a bar and brought him home for the night.

And left this perfect stranger a key to our apartment on the kitchen table with a note that said "Thanks, I enjoyed you". (To this day, it's an inside joke between Handsome and I when we're feeling particularly saucy. TMI, I know.)

Roommate went to class. When Handsome realized what was going on, he roused the sleeping guy and kicked him out of our apartment before we went to class. No way were we leaving while a perfect stranger was hanging out there.

Roommate started dating this guy. They broke the towel bar in the shower having VERY loud sex (of course Handsome and I had to pay for that to be replaced.) Loud sex was quite common in Roommate's room. The guy was always there. Always. No job, no where to go. Eating our food, sitting on our couch, watching our tv....

The final straw was when Handsome came home one night, opened the door, and the guy shot an (empty) paintball gun off in his face.

Handsome is a very tolerant man. He has to be to put up with me for 14+ years, but this was it. After a "discussion" with Roommate that ended in tears, she agreed to move out to the guy's apartment.

Her grades had been slipping and she was second guessing medical school so after a few months, she decided to move back home to the middle of Missouri and start over.

She was such a smart, beautiful girl, that I hope she figured it all out and has herself together now. Knowing her, she probably made it through her early 20's crisis a better person. Even though she made our lives hell for a semester, I do think about her from time to time and hope she's doing well....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 7: Someone who has made my life worth living

Darling is obviously 6 yrs old now, but this is by far one of my favorite pictures of her when she was a new born. As you can tell, she has big, wide, curious eyes (a beautiful blue IRL) and just like she is gazing at the world in wonder here, she's taught me to do the same.

Over and over again in my life, she's taught me to stop, observe and just enjoy the world. (We HAVE to stop at every flower bouquet in the grocery store so she can "stop and smell the flowers".)

I've been through some really rough times in her 6 years of life, and even when I've been at my lowest, she's instinctively right there to cheer me up.

Day 6: Something I hope I never have to do

Bury my daughter or husband.

Simple as that.

No parent ever wants to face the possibility of having to bury their child. Recently, a younger friend of my husband's died in a one-car wreck when he wrapped his car around a tree. Seeing his parents trying to come to terms with the devastating loss of their 22 year old son sent shivers into my heart.

What would I do if I lost Darling? How could I possibly pull air into my lungs and put one foot in front of another each day? It seems impossible.

As for Handsome, I've already told him I plan on dying first. Watching my grandfather live the last 9 years without his best friend and how hard that has been on him helped me to make up my mind. Handsome's already told me that he will do his best.

I guess that's all I can ask for.....

Day 5: Something I hope to do in my life....

Oh so many things I would love to do in my life: visit Europe, pay off all my debts, meet Jon Hamm in person....

Probably one thing I could feasibly accomplish is a dream of mine since I was about 15. I would love to visit El Salvador on a missionary trip. I am Catholic but I wouldn't say that preaching to the masses is a particular goal of mine, but helping people who really need it and being able to go on a sort of spiritual quest would be.

I was raised to give my time and talent to those in need. Volunteerism ran very strong in my family and I'm trying to raise Darling to be the same way. It gets much harder to find time to volunteer for worthy causes as I get older, but it is something I'd like to set as a higher priority.

So why El Salvador?

When I was in high school, my parish began a sister community relationship with a village in El Salvador. I started researching the tumultuous history of the small Central American country and it's myriad of political coups and oppression. I also saw a very powerful movie about Archbishop Oscar Romero, titled "Romero" (starring the fabulous Raul Julia.) I was moved by real faith and belief in God and passive resistance against those (the government and church hierarchy) who were not champions of those who need help. I even considered joining the Peace Corps/lay religious group for a few years.

Service to those who need it seems to be a very good way to practice a belief in God. I go to Mass when I need to but it's always been easier to see God, the Great Spirit, whatever you want to call Him/It/She in other people.

I guess I'd really like to do a missionary trip to El Salvador so that for just a brief time, I can truly help someone who needs it and maybe learn something from them along the way.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 4: Something I Have To Forgive Someone Else For

I'm pretty sure that this is something that I'm going to struggle with my entire life. It's definitely the nail in the coffin for ever being able to have a decent relationship with my parents.

My grandmother, who I was very close to, died in 2001. Everyone who knew her knew she was dying. Except me.

I've blogged about this before, and you can read the post here.

This was my early post-college days and my life was pretty chaotic, but I usually called my grandparents at least once or twice a month. I only stopped because my mother told me that my Grandma was upset by my engagement to Handsome.

I should have known better. My mom has lied to me on several occassions in my life, but since we were trying to get along, I went along with her, figuring I would see Grandma in Oct. and be able to ask her about her feelings.

My father could have said something.
My 2 brothers could have said something.
My 2 sisters could have said something.

No one did, because no one in my immediate family has ever stood up to my mom. It's very frustrating.

In my mind, petty family squabbles should never come before a life and death situtation. You can't take back last chances to say good bye. I was robbed of being able to say good bye to someone who meant the world to me, a woman who was the example of the kind of mother I wanted to be.

I know I need to forgive my mom and the rest of my family, but this is probably the hardest thing for me to do. I'm still struggling with it 9 years later....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 3: Something I Have to Forgive Myself For . . .

Wow. This is a very hard one. There are so many things that I need to forgive myself for. Probably the biggest is that I need to forgive myself for not being a perfect mother. Or even a better mother than I am.

I love Darling with my whole heart, but sometimes I feel that I'm a horrible mother. I know that lots of mothers feel this way, but because of my own relationship with my mother (VERY strict) I feel like I'm spastically over-indulgent/over-strict.

I don't feel like I have a good balance of when to be good time play around Mama and when to be strict, you have to do this for your own good Mama.

I need to forgive myself because it doesn't matter. I'm involved in her life and am not a "Go watch TV" kind of parent. We have a good relationship (even though she'll always pick Daddy over me...she's a definite Daddy's Girl) and we love each other desperately. I am able to recognize when I need to let up on the reins and most of the time when I need to pull them in.

So, you know what? I forgive myself (kind of almost).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2: Something I Love About Myself

This one is a bit easier....

I love the fact that I'm a generous person, almost to a fault. Even though it has gotten me in trouble in the past, if someone needs something from me, even if it's as simple as a shoulder to cry on, I've always gone out of my way to accomodate them. My time, my talent, my love and even sometimes my very scarce money, I can't say no to others. There are so many times in my life that I've benefitted from the generosity of others, that it just seems right to pay it forward.

The only down side to this is that sometimes I give too much of myself away and I get stressed out. Case in point was the last few weeks I've picked up A LOT of extra hours at the museum to relieve stress on our director. Even though I have a full time job and the regular load of part time museum stuff is plenty for me to handle, I took on just a bit too much on my plate. I'm exhausted this week, but I'm glad I was able to help out.

I'd rather always give too much and not enough....and I wouldn't change it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One: Something I Hate About Myself

So, in order to kind of kick start me back into my blogging, I've decided to do the 30 Days of Truth. I first saw it over at Miss Grace's, and I think it might be a good way to jump start my writing again...So, here we go...

Day One: Something I Hate About Myself:

I constantly second guess myself when it comes to, well, just about everything. This blog is becoming one of the things that I undermine by thinking about it too much. Never one for great self confidence, I seem to drop projects because I fear how I/others might view the final result. What if it sucks? I hate failure, and what if that's what happens? This is really ridiculous, I know, but so many times I start a craft or another creative project and I bail out half way through because I don't think that it's good enough for my own high standards. Better to leave it up in the air and undone than badly done.

Ironically, it's very hard for me to give up or quit on people, some of whom I really probably should have. I can name a few friends and family members that no matter how hard I try to walk away from them, they turn up like bad, bad pennies. Severing a tie completely is very hard for me to do in relationships....

So, there's Day One.

Here's the rest of the list in case you're interested:
Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Equinox!!!

I'm so desperate for fall I'm ignoring the warm weather outside and celebrating the first day of Autumn (technically it's at 10:09 pm CDT) time tonight.

I'm so ready for sweaters and making chili and watching falling leaves.

Sounds kind of trite, but I was at the grocery store last weekend and had already decided I was going to make my first batch of chili since last winter. As I'm standing in the bean aisle, debating the merits and prices of each choice, I turn to Handsome and say, "I think it's still too hot to make chili,"

He agreed and we dejectedly and move on to find Darling's apple sauce....


I'm in the mood, so here's some fun equinox facts I found over at TechJackal (Much better explanations over there):

~ The spring and autumn equinoxes, are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west

~ The equinoxes are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead.

~ On the Northern Hemisphere’s autumnal equinox day, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, signaling the start of six months of darkness.

~ On the same day, a person at the South Pole would also see the sun skim the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight.
Some good stuff over at EarthSky:
~ Notice the arc of the sun across the sky each day. You’ll find it’s shifting toward the south. Birds and butterflies are migrating southward, too, along with the path of the sun.

~ At the equinoxes, the sun appears overhead at noon as seen from Earth’s equator

~ On average, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day. But near the time of the autumnal equinox, the moon rises only about 30 minutes later each day. Why? The reason is that the ecliptic – or path of the sun, moon and planets – makes a narrow angle with the evening horizon during the autumn months. The narrow angle of the ecliptic in on autumn evenings results in a shorter-than-usual rising time between successive moonrises around the time of the autumn full moons.

~ Go outside around sunset or sunrise and notice the location of the sun on the horizon with respect to familiar landmarks. If you do this, you’ll be able to use those landmarks to find those cardinal directions in the weeks and months ahead, long after Earth has moved on in its orbit around the sun, carrying the sunrise and sunset points southward.
Something else that's interesting this week is the fact that tomorrow is a full moon, or the Harvest Moon, since it's the closest to the equinox. I thought it was interesting that each full moon of the year has it's own name.

According to The Farmer's Almanac, here are the monthly moons:

• Full Wolf Moon – January Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.

• Full Snow Moon – February Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.

• Full Worm Moon – March As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.

• Full Pink Moon – April This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

• Full Flower Moon – May In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.

• Full Strawberry Moon – June This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

• The Full Buck Moon – July July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

• Full Sturgeon Moon – August The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

• Full Corn Moon – September This full moon’s name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon.

• Full Harvest Moon – October This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.

• Full Beaver Moon – November This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

• The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon – December During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

As interesting and as exciting as all that may be, this is still what I want to make:

Soon enough I'll be bitching about winter, but in the meantime, think nice cool thoughts for me, with a hint of spicy chili!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's been a very long while

Yeah, I'm not dead. My last post was rather ominous...Good news: I was not hijacked by Somali pirates or held for ransom in London. Bad news: I can't help you with your penile enlargements or help you scrub your credit score in 15 days or less....

It's been a bit crazy in Moxie-land since my last post...Handsome, Darling and I went on an epic So-Cal adventure that included in 9 days:

1. The Orange County Fair
2. Medieval Times
3. Disneyland
4. California Adventure Park
5. Knott's Berry Farm
6. Legoland
7. Coronado Island and Del Coronado Hotel
8. San Diego Bay Tour
9. The USS Midway Museum
10. San Diego Museum of Man
11. SeaWorld
12. San Diego Model Railroad Museum
13. The Reuben S. Fleet Science Center
14. San Diego Natural History Museum
15. San Juan Capistrano Mission
16. Huntington Beach (TWICE!!!)
17. San Diego Zoo

Darling also turned 6 and started 1st grade. I can't believe how much she has grown in such a short time. I know it sounds so trite, but it's true. She grew 2.5 inches this summer and her new found "big girl" attitude is just crazy. She was my little, little baby just two seconds ago....

I guess I've been quiet lately because I've been doing a lot of personal thinking. Also a lot of personal filtering....No one, not even Handsome, knows about this blog. I've always liked it that way. I started it as a way to just gush out my real thoughts and feelings, but then I started self-censoring. I was worried people in my real life would find this blog. And then, looking back through my posts, I realized I wasn't saying anonymously what I wanted to say anonymously in the first place. It just all ended up being crap and half hearted.

I started judging my friends' blogs they promoted on Facebook. I looked at the half-assed delusional political ramblings of my (apparently now quite gay) dream guy in high school, the pathetic in front of a chain link fence photos of the acquaintance who wants to be a "fashionista" even though she's a middle level office worker in JoCo, and the almost hostile ramblings of my lesbian friend who is apparently prejudiced against straight, white Americans. I know I'm a better writer than any of them, but in the world of instant self-publishing, everyone's a writer. I've sold out an honest talent and I feel like I've lost my voice....

What sort of voice do I have to offer?

I started to question it. I still haven't figured that out.

Things I haven't written about but should have/thought about it:

1. My absolute distaste for the girl in the office who manipulates the men with her inappropriate clothes (when is a strapless sun dress and inconvenient heels ever appropriate in a casual/kind of business casual environment?) and giggly, stupid girl shit. I'd love to know the story of why one of sales guys was fired. Corporate "investigators" were called in for that one and I know for a fact she is somehow involved. It's an office mystery that is probably just going to make me sick to my stomach. I really don't want to know.

2. How I felt when I heard the girl who did everything in her power to destroy my marriage to Handsome got engaged. I give her an "A" for effort, but some men (thankfully) are just "un-stealable". I don't blame her for trying since Handsome is amazing, but I feel sorry for the guy she's tricked. I wish I could have a very serious conversation with her fiancee, but that's just weird and the whole attempt was very hush-hush because Handsome and I tend to try to avoid painful but insignificant drama (yes, I know, I married an actor, but still...)

3. Darling's school. She goes to a charter school and it's such a great school with such an awesome learning environment. It's such a blessing/alternative to the KCMSD/parochial education. I'm proud of how well she's doing and of the school's awesome achievements, but I don't want to write about it so much that it's recognizable.

4. Some people talk about how it is such a shame so much history is being destroyed in KC, but here I am, working my ass off in my "spare time" to preserve a very important part of our history and I have to keep my mouth shut until the lawyers settle it all out. Let's just say it's like being given a box of awesome treasures and having no idea what's inside and how to go about figuring out what's inside. You just know that the outside parts will lead to even more awesome treasures. In the end, no one will probably care except a bunch of historians, but it's partially the reason I haven't had a day off since Aug. 1st, so it's kind of a big deal to me.

5. How I feel coming up on the 14th anniversary of my rape. Every year around this time the nightmares start up again and I hate that no matter what I do, I can't stop them from showing up. It's always the same dream, I'll even recognize that I'm having it and try to change it in the middle of dreaming it and it never really works. No amount of counseling has ever been able to divert the outcome of the dream.

So...anyway...that's kind of where I'm at.

I'm still reading all of my usual blogs and even if I've not commented lately, I'm still reading your stuff and still applaud the great writing of my favorite bloggers (that would be you!) Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Freaking out!!!

I just found out my hotmail and facebook have been hacked and the passwords changed on me. I'm locked out of both. I'm freaking out. I've had my hotmail account since 1998 and never been hacked!!! Hotmail says it will take up to 24 hours to verify that I'm me so I can get back in. I don't know what to do! I've got tons of info/passwords stored there (STUPID!!!!). I've changed everything else I can think of, but I'm freaking.

AHHHH!!! I feel electronically raped!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Retro Gag: Bad Choices with Seafood Edition

It's been forever and a day since I've posted (much of anything) a Retro Gag post, but alas, I can usually find something that's disgusting and this takes the cake, or the Jello mold...

Behold the Lobster Relish Mold:

I know, it kind of burns, doesn't it? Don't look directly at it...indirectly looking at it out of the corner of your eye makes it a bit easier...

Take note of the baby olive mold right next the volcano of suspended lobster meat. Disgusting. I still can't figure out what the little basket-y things are, and that's probably for the best.

This too is a horrifying recipe for "Ring Around the Tuna" (Just the name makes me cringe and think of dirty filthy STDs)

The worst part of this recipe is the fact that the Tuna is green. Perhaps eating green meat concoctions is ok for some people, but I'm literally gagging. Not to mention the mix of Lime jello, onions and olives.

Salmon Float

Salmon, jello, tomato, vinegar and hard boiled eggs. Sweet Mother of Pearl!!! It looks like it's staring at me...I wouldn't turn my back on this dish at a church supper.

Tongue Mould

You know what? I think at this point the "chefs" that wrote this cookbook are just fucking around with this one. I cannot think of single human being who would willingly eat tongue flavored Jello. I feel sorry for the artist who had to draw the picture. Completely uncalled for.

There are some other great/terrifying Jello Recipes over here. Check them out if you dare!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Biting My Tongue

I knew this day would come...

The day I put Darling into swimming lessons...

It's a day I've dreaded and looked forward to for years and it's finally here. Darling began her first official swim education last week.

I grew up at a lake and my very first job I ever had was teaching American Red Cross Swimming. I loved teaching so much that I did it for 11 years. I even got my Water Safety Instructor certification which would have allowed me to run any of the ARC's Learn to Swim programs. Darling is now taking lessons at one of the places that I taught because I'm a control freak and wanted to make sure it was a great program.

It still is a great program. Mostly.

Handsome knows that I'm rather opinionated and asked if I was going to be ok with someone else teaching her. I was told long ago by mothers who taught swimming to never try to teach your own child because they'll just see it as Mama/kid play time.

"Nonsense!" thought I.

Then I had a kid.

And promptly shut my mouth.

Darling can cling wrap to me like the best of them and in the previous 4 summers of her life, I could get her to do no more than put her face in the water for a few seconds and blow bubbles before it turned into play time.

Formal training was needed.

It's amazing what kids will do for strangers/teachers and never underestimate the power of positive peer pressure. I've used it on kids before. And it works like a charm. Darling is the only girl in her class and refuses to let the boys out-do her. I applaud that. Not even her intense fear of floating on her back unsupported keeps her from trying to best the boys.

Still, I can't help but watch her class and others and think about better ways to teach the skills. I'm good at several things, but I'm really good at teaching swimming. I've taught everyone from babies to senior citizens and I was blessed with great teachers myself.

It bugs me to see a teacher tell a kid to put their face in the water/float on their back when they won't do it themselves. Dry hair is not part of teaching. Fully interacting with your students by showing them what you want them to do is very important. I hate seeing her teacher scurry off to the hot tub when her beginners class is still trying to get out of the pool. Or dunking their heads semi-forcibly under the water.

I'd love to go back to teaching in the evenings, but with my full time marketing job and the museum, there's just no way. I also need to let go and just let my kid learn. No one is perfect....I can always go back and fix the things that need fixing.


Friday, May 28, 2010

It's the little things, really to be thankful for...

Darling had her end of the year program at school today. She sang beautifully, even if she was a little stage shy...she's got stage potential according to her father.

Another little kindergarden boy from another class, lit up a huge smile, waved to his mom and shouted, "Hi, Mama!!!" and all of us parents smiled/laughed a little at his cuteness.

He was adorable right up to the point in the middle of a song when he abruptly stopped singing and picked his nose with a decided flair. He regarded it thoughtfully on the end of his finger and then popped it into his mouth, chewing it as dramatically as if it were Laffy Taffy.

I was worried the 40ish year old man in front of me was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Every parent (except the mom of the booger muncher) had to be sighing with relief that it wasn't their kid who put on such a spectacle this time.

Ahhh...the joys of parenthood!

Thank God for little Darling....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vintage Awesomeness...

These make me want to go back to Kindergarten, when creating art didn't involve Adobe Creative Suite and mainly consisted of Dali-esque renditions of rainbows and unicorns...


More good stuff here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Death to the Happy Meal?

As the mother of a Kindergartner, I was horrified this year when Darling's school requested that no candy or unhealthy snacks be sent to share with the other kids at the Halloween party.

No. Halloween. Candy.

Trust me when I say it was a rather glum celebration.

Same situation for Christmas and Valentine's Day. Plus, there was a note sent home requesting that parents not put "dessert unless it was fresh fruit" in their child's lunches.

I'm very much in favor of teaching children healthy eating habits, but I also believe in "everything in moderation" (it took Darling until Thanksgiving to finish off all of her Trick or Treat candy...only 2 pieces per night).

I was taken aback when I read about the banning of toys in Happy Meals in California.

I guess cheap, plastic toys make kids fat...

I firmly believe in teaching children that healthy eating habits are one of the important life skills they need to know. Healthy eating in childhood tends to lead to healthy eating as an adult. Darling enjoys going to the grocery store and helping choose what's going in her lunch that week...the choice of apple sauce over yogurt is thrilling for a 5 yr old, I guess. But, it's also important to teach them that's it's ok to splurge once in awhile (we let Darling go to McDonalds about twice a month as a treat/convenience for us).

I don't think taking the toy/joy out of the McDonalds experience is really going to reduce the fat/sodium content a child consumes. Darling's standard Happy Meal is a 4 piece Chicken McNugget meal with 2% milk and apple slices (she doesn't like the caramel dipping sauce). This isn't a horrible meal, but by no means would I call it exceedingly healthy. I know Darling enjoys playing in the Playland more than she really cares about the toy. It's more about the treat of eating out.

I think many parents, but not apparently enough for the state of California, try to teach their kids that McDonalds (and the toy) are a once-in-awhile treat. I think this is a bass-akwards way of trying to "keep kids healthy." Why not put stricter laws into effect for the sodium/fat content of kiddie meals? Why not offer Chicken McNuggets without the breading? Or a grilled chicken kid's sandwich? Or a kiddie sized salad? Change the food, not the fun...

Friday, February 26, 2010

A White Woman From Waldo Speaks Out

It's been quiet around my blog for the last month, mostly because IRL I've been super-extra busy. If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know, Constant Reader, that I'm pretty opinionated and I'm finally taking the time to voice my opinion on an increasingly crazy situation.

For my out of town groupies, here's the gist: An African-American man is suspected in up to 4 rapes in a predominately white, middle-class, Kansas City neighborhood in the last several months.

The news media is making a circus out of it.
Vigils have been held to catch the creep.
Vigilantism is making the situation worse.
Some bloggers are blaming racism.
Innocent black guys are being given the stink eye.

As a white woman who lives in the Waldo/Brookside area, and as someone who was raped (when I was 19), I'm begging the craziness to stop. This is getting increasingly ridiculous. I have several women friends that live in the area. Curious about what they thought, I asked them their opinion about the situation. We're all 20s-40s, white, women who are often home alone late at night. In my case, I'm married and my 5 yr old daughter is home with me until Handsome returns around 11 pm.

Here's the crazy thing: None of us are freaking out about the potential of being raped by this guy, but the media coverage is upsetting us. Yes, they need to catch this guy, but the media is causing a lot of fear. When you're afraid of something, stupid shit starts happening.

It's a miracle that no one was hurt when the idiot vigilante followed that innocent African-American guy all the way to KCK because he thought he'd found the rapist. I feel sorry for all of the men being given dirty, suspicious looks. I wish to publically apologize to all of you for my neighbors' stupidity.

To say this has anything to do with race is ridiculous and you're a race baiter. Stop it. You're just making it worse. I don't care if the guy is purple, yellow, green or brown, rapists come in all sizes, shapes and colors. It's an identifying factor. Deal with it. In order to catch a criminal, you need a description.

Equally, it's stupid to say that just because this is happening in one of the nicest parts of the city to live in, it's getting all this media attention. People in Waldo/Brookside don't typically follow the "Don't Snitch" credo when it comes to crime. We live in an area where people take pride in their community and if something happens, we speak up and demand that it stop. Community activism is alive in our area. We call the police and demand media attention.

What does scare me is that 70% of all rapes go unreported. If that's true, are there more victims out there? Is he just targeting Waldo or are we the only ones speaking up? Is he also targeting women east of Troost and they aren't reporting it because of the asinine "Don't Snitch" crap?

I refuse to get worked up over this situation and live in fear. My friends feel the same way. Other than double checking the door locks and outside lights at night, and making sure that my cell phone is next to me when I go to bed (before Handsome gets home), I just make sure that I'm aware of my surroundings.

These are all things that women should be doing any way.

I live in between houses with two very noisy dogs. I figure between their barks and my fierce attack cats, I'll be fine.

If you see this guy, don't approach him, call the police.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Endless Google

Ok. This is VERY cool (if you're a complete nerd like me.)

Open a new internet window. Type this in the address bar: http://www.googlegooglegooglegoogle.com/

Four Google searches, one Google window!


If you type the web site into one of the searches, and click it's link, you get 4 more Google searches.

Not sure if this is completely useful, but it's interesting.

What will Google think of next?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Get Me Some Lysol Disinfectant Spray

Just found out Handsome has strep.


Here's hoping Darling and I don't get it.

If you need me, I'll be bathing in anti-bacterial hand gel. (I know it's mostly a placebo, but it makes me feel better).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thinking of those in Haiti

Sending my prayers and happy thoughts out to those who are affected by the earthquake in Haiti. If you're interested in donating money to help, click here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good Reminder

I'm a very good theatre widow.

For the last 13 years, whether we were in class or newlyweds or new parents, I've always accepted my handsome hubby's desire for his hot, passionate mistress.

He's an actor.

I'm not.

I've learned to share him with the other passion of his life.

That sometimes means not seeing him past 6:30 pm until the next morning.

Honestly, it might be a bigger problem if his rehearsal schedule wasn't so demanding when we were first together.

I've learned to share him and so has Darling...

Nevertheless, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the great singer songwriters in America. Harry Chapin is one of my favs. (If you don't know him, he's the one who wrote/first sang "Cats in the Cradle")...

Handsome just started a new show and after having him home for a month, Moxie's feelin' lonely tonight...so...I share the story of one of the most patient career widows....


Up in Massachusetts There's a little spit of land.
The men who make the maps, yes, they call the place Cape Ann.
The men who do the fishing call it Gloucester Harbor Sound,
But the women left behind, they call the place Dogtown.

The men go out for whaling, past the breakers and the fogs.
The women stay home waiting they're protected by the dogs.
A tough old whaler woman who had seen three husbands drown,
Polled the population and she named the place Dogtown.

There's all these grey faced women in their black widow's gowns,
Living in this grave yard granite town.
Yeah, you soon learn there's many more than one way to drown;
That's while going to the dogs here in Dogtown.

And she speaks: My father was a merchant all in the Boston fief.
When my husband came and asked him for my hand.
But little did I know then that a Gloucester whaler's wife
Marries but the sea salt and the sand.

He took me up to Dogtown the day I was a bride.
We had ten days together before he left my side.
He's the first mate of a whaling ship,
the keeper of the log.
He said, "Farewell, my darling, I'm going to leave you with my dog."

And I have seen the splintered timbers of a hundred shattered hulls,
Known the silence of the granite and the screeching of the gulls,
I've heard that crazy widow Cather walk the harbor as she raves
At the endless rolling whisper of the waves.

Sitting by the fireside, the embers slowly die.
Is it a sign of weakness when a woman wants to cry?
The dog is closely watching the fire glints in his eye.
No use to go to sleep this early, no use to even try.

My blood beats like a woman's,
I've got a woman's breast and thighs.
But where am I to offer them
to the ocean or the skies?

Living with this silent dog
all the moments of my life,
He has been my only husband;
am I a widow, or his wife?

Yes, it's a Dogtown and it's a fog town,
And there's nothing around 'cept the sea pounding granite ground
And this black midnight horror of a hound.

I'm standing on this craggy cliff,
my eyes fixed on the sea.
Six months past, when his ship was due,
I'm a widow to be.
For liking this half living with the lonely and the fog,
You need the bastard of the mating of a woman and a dog.

And I have seen the splintered timbers of a hundred shattered hulls,
Known the silence of the granite and the screeching of the gulls,
I've heard that crazy widow Cather walk the harbor as she raves
At the endless rolling whisper of the waves.
At the endless rolling whisper of the waves.
At the endless rolling whisper of the waves.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Well, Where the Hell Have You Been?!

There's a little voice in my head that sounds a lot like my mother, complete with hands on the hips, angry tinge to the words, that has been chastising me for not blogging more.

Where the hell have I been?

I can't tell you. I'm not sure if it's writer's block, a boring life, or just general laziness, but my blogging has definitely slacked off in recent months. I make no excuses...it is what it is... (I hate that phrase sometimes)...

I am indeed still alive, surviving the snow-pocalypse that has covered KC in the (now dingy gray) white stuff. The holidays were weird this year because of the blizzard (we haven't had one of those since the 1800's apparently) that happened on Christmas Eve...I didn't get to join my BFF's Sicilian family for Christmas Eve, my biological family and I are barely on speaking terms (AGAIN!), and my hubby's brother moved to California. All this in one week.

The holidays sucked, quite frankly, unless you count in the factors of my daughter's complete excitement on Christmas (can't we all be 5 yrs old on Christmas morning?), the late night wrapping/bonding my hubby and I did, and the fact that his family, sadly, overcompensates for the crappy way my family treats me. I love my hubby's family and every year I learn more and more that they are my real family (one that may be dysfunctional, but still loves you no matter what, unconditionally).

So, new year, new me...right? I promise to be more faithful in posting and I promise to bring the crazy that I usually do.

That being said, here's some really random thoughts:

1. My husband is an absolute saint. In the last week he has been home 5 days with a VERY BORED 5 year old since school was cancelled, dealt with her boredom while trying to work from home, shoveled more snow than he has had to in the last 3 yrs combined, climbed on the roof to figure out a nasty leak that sealed our front door shut in ice, and has been loving and patient all through it. He deserves a Congressional Medal of Honor for this shit.

My child is so weird. She absolutely freaks out when you refer to the "collar" on her shirt. She is convinced there is another word for it. "Dogs and cats wear 'collars' Mama, not PEOPLE!!!" I've given up convincing her otherwise.

Apparently, conspiracy theory lovers, the Loch Ness Monster is dead. That sucks.

I've been snot-enhanced for the last week and a half because my brother in law brought his sick, snotty kids to our house right before New Year's. Darling caught it and now I have. Thanks a fucking lot.

I sat in a cold drafty museum all day today with absolutely no visitors in 5 hours (I don't blame any one for not wanting to get out in this.) I sent my docent home because I felt guilty she wasn't being paid to be out in this frozen tundra. Despite being completely empty, I heard a door slam and a little child's voice 2 rooms away (singing something somewhat familiar)...real enough for me to check out the house and make sure no one had accidentally wandered in the museum without me knowing. Of course there was no one (still alive) there. Freaky.
I don't like being freaked out.

It's cold here in good ol' KC. I found this website that compares your current temperature to Star Wars climates. Interesting, but who really cares? Also, if you were Luke Skywalker, how long could you survive in a TaunTaun carcass...answer here. Considering the KC Arctic Blast, this info might be handy.