Sunday, May 27, 2007

What will they think of next?

Twice in recent days I have found myself grinning about new products in this world of ours.

First was ... well, I don't even remember where I saw it, must have been the newspaper as there was a photo.

When I see a tool box like this I immediately think of my Grandpa. He had a tool box similar to this (though, when I really concentrate, I don't know where he kept it or where I saw it or why I correlate this with him. I was never allowed in the garage and the house had no basement. I don't know where he would have had it. There was no "work room" in their house, and they spent the final years of their lives living first in a camper - Minnesota in the summer and Texas in the winter - and then with my aunt. No tool boxes anywhere that I can think of. Nonetheless, when I see this type of toolbox, Grandpa Kelly comes to mind, and it's a nice thing.)

So now, those clever inventors of things we never knew we wanted or needed until we see them, have come up with a new twist for the garage. They turned the tool box into a refrigerator!
Is this not the coolest (ha-ha, no pun intended) thing ever? LOVE IT! I want to put one in my garage just 'cuz it's so cute. ("cute" is probably not the adjective the marketers were going for, but there it is.)

Now, the second thing I was made ridiculously happy by this week is a new cell phone service.

I long for an iPod. I don't listen to music that much. I'm not into using "ear buds." The notion of figuring out how to download songs from the internet, or copy from a CD, is quite intimidating to me. And I have no clue what songs I would even want on the darn thing as I really don't pay that much attention to "the music scene" other than to say, now and then when I'm out and about, "oh! that's a nice song, I wonder what it is?" But they make the cutest (there's that adjective again) little pink one. It would match my phone. And it's so teensy.

Well, those darn inventors heard me - or at least that last part about being music-scene-challenged, and 411-song was invented for ME.

Anywhere you might be, you hear a song, you like it, you are clueless as to what its name is or who sings it ... you whip out the ol'cell phone and dial 411-SONG. Hold the receiver up to hear the song for 15 seconds, and the person (machine? computer? magician?) on the other end will identify the song and send you all the details. The lyrics. The title. The artist. Where to get it.


(And quite reasonably priced, too, I might add.)
Now I might just have to get an iPod. I can listen to my newly identified songs while swilling a beer in the garage from my tool-box-refrigerator. Ahh, the good life.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Well, not too long ago I wrote about how much I enjoy watching The View because even when Rosie and Elisabeth "get in to it" discussing politics, they obviuosly still enjoy one another and are friends.

Seems I spoke too soon. Rosie quit today, ending her contract early (though only by 3 weeks), after a particularly rough "discussion" with Elisabeth.

It's been interesting reading the reactions, most people who are writing on blogs or other sites support Rosie and ask for Elisabeth to leave, too.

I don't agree with much Elisabeth says, but I have always admired her for having the gumption to stand up to Rosie - that cannot be easy!

Ah well, I was rarely able to watch TV at 10:00 in the morning, so now I won't feel as pulled to do so. I think Rosie is an amazing woman, albeit one with some issues to figure out. I agree with most of her opinions and passions, but I do think at times she goes too far. But then again, I think the world needs to hear messages like the ones she is giving; right now hundreds of thousands of people all across the US are debating whether or not what the US military is doing could, in any way, shape or form, be considered terrorism. And I think that's a good discussion to be having.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Well, we did it. The theater was packed. The kind of packed where the ushers-come-around-with-flashlights-and-make-everyone-move-in-so-there-are-no-empty-seats packed. And the movie was showing on 4 or 5 screens, and they double-checked your tickets going in. And we had to park about 3 1/2 miles away. And a lot of the people were wearing pirate gear. And before the movie started an usher warned us that anyone caught with any type of recording device would immediatly be escorted out and the device would be confiscated - no warnings, no second chances. That really impressed the boys.

By the time it was all said and done it was after 1AM when we left the theater. The parking lot was still packed as we hiked back to our car. Almost every screen in the theater complex had a midnight viewing, and from the looks of it, every seat was filled.

We sang the theme song all the way there and all the way back. We hashed over our favotire scenes and lines. We talked about the parts that didn't ring true, but decided we could live with them. And they definitely left an opening for another movie in the series, even though the PR has said this is "probably" the final Pirates movie. But at the very end, Jack hears of the Fountain of Youth .....

We will see it again in a few days to take in the details we missed in this first viewing. It was everything we wanted it to be!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I can't get this out of my head

It opens tonight. The boys have a band concert at 7:30. We are seriously considering going to the 10:00PM showing. If sane motherhood prevails, we will see it tomorrow morning.

On the other hand, given what I just wrote about memories, perhaps a late-night showing tonight is just the type of thing I want them to remember.

I'll let you know tomorrow.

What will they remember most?

On another blog I was reading this morning, the writer posed the question "what will your children remember about you when they are grown?"

I do find myself thinking that a lot these days. Obviously B&T will look back at 2007 as the year they got two homes, and two parents with two separate lives. But I wonder ... on the days when I end up screaming at them to finish school work. Will they look back and say, "Wow, my Mom turned into one nasty lady when we had to do school work - you should have heard her when she was mad!"? Or will they recall the times I broke into spontaneous song and dance, with goofy words that are so-dumb-they-are-endearing (at least that's the effect I am going for, who knows if I reach it) about staying focused and learning, leading them to say "Wow, my Mom gave up so much to be home with us, letting us homeschool, and she was such a fun teacher!"

Will they remember all the times I yell at them to get them to hurry up and get in the car because WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or will their minds hold on to the times we are driving down the road telling jokes and laughing so hard I nearly have to pull over to wipe my eyes?

I look back at my own childhood - assuming that I can use my memories as an incredibly accurate predictor of what my own children will remember - and honestly a lot of my memories are based on the photographs we have of events. I do know (now) that I have blocked out some of the more unpleasant memories. When Ben was a toddler I was talking with my Mom about spanking - something we had decided we would not do. I made some comment about being grateful for having grown up in a house that did not spank. My Mom looked at me with a quizzical expression, saw that I was serious, then laughed and told me I was spanked - and spanked a lot - as a child. I didn't believe her but she assures me it's true.

I remember being spanked exactly twice. Once when I was caught (for the umpteenth time) reading under my blanket with a flashlight long after I was supposed to be asleep, and once for playing with a broom or some other long-handled thing while my Mom was laying on the couch with a headache, and I dropped the broom handle on her face. Both times it was my Dad administering the punishment. And, come to think of it, both times were when we lived in Georgia, so that means I was about 9. But now I know that my Mom spanked me plenty. However, my mind has conveniently decided I really don't need to know that as an adult and as a parent.

Anyway, I know my children will not grow up remembering being spanked, because it never happened (or maybe in some weird twist of fate they will think they were spanked ... somehow channeling the memories of spanking that I have pushed out of my mind?? The Twilight Zone taught me anything is possible.) But what will they forget? I hope the times mom went crazy. And what will they remember? Well, if I am using my memory as the game plan, I better start taking more pictures of us being silly and laughing together, and then actually get them off the computer and into a format that can be looked at.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rain rain go away

I hate gray days. It's not really the rain I mind so much; I like the smell of the freshness and I like the excitement of thunder and lightening if it gets to that (though Colby shakes and cowers and is a general pain) but somehow on gray rainy days I just can't get myself moving to accomplish anything and I mope around feeling bad for not doing anything but not bad enough (apparently) to change the situation.

Instead I do things like post meaningless blog entries.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fun song to listen to

On MPR the other day there was a show about education, and a song was performed that is now making the round of homeschooling links ... it's worth listening too, though, for an interesting perspective on the US educational system. Follow this link, and then choose the song called "You Gotta Go to School." Should make you smile or even laugh, and think ... (I don't know how long the link will remain live - if it disappears, sorry!)

The Bachelor

Well, last night was the final episode of The Bachelor. I ended up watching this season in its entirety, in a kind of car-wreck fascination kind of way. How do people actually do this? Why do people actually do this? Why would a group of women enter themselves into a competition to be chosen to be someone's wife? Only one woman was ever shown grilling the groom-to-be. All the others simply sat around trying to look pretty and trying to say what they thought he wanted to hear. Why would you want to consider marrying someone you met through this process?

There's a small voice inside my head reminding me of the Mall of America wedding that happened maybe 10 years ago. If you don't remember, basically a young man decided he was ready to settle down but he had no wife prospects at the time so he and his buddies decided they would advertise for a wife for him, the buddies would do the first round of interviewing, and then the hopeful groom-to-be would make the final selection. They held the interviews at the Mall, and the wedding was also at the Mall. It worked, and apparently it worked well. And I thought it was cool.

Maybe it's the size and scope? Maybe it's the television involvement? Maybe it's that the audience sees so many of the details that no one saw in the Mall affair? Maybe I'm just older and more cynical?

Whatever the reason, though, the producers hooked me in ... and I do really want to believe that Andy and Tessa will get married and live happily ever after. Despite my cynicism, despite my scorn, I do love a happy ending.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

one more dog pic

The boys learned to play tug-of-war today ... what a hoot to watch! They growl and pull and act so tough. As soon as one wins (and it's usually Colby) they re-start - clearly the fun is in the tugging, not the winning.

You Deserve This

Is it just me, or have you noticed how the new catch all phrase is "you deserve this"? Seems that is used to justify any type of purchase being advertised on TV these days. You deserve a new refrigerator. You deserve a bigger car. You deserve new shoes. You deserve a steak dinner. You deserve blonde hair with natural-looking highlights, even. And apparently all you did to earn these things that you deserve is be alive. Or, should I say, be alive in the United States.

It goes along with the "right" to more, more, more that is pushed in the US. The "right" to have a house, a yard, 2.5 children, a motorcycle without a helmet, a cigarette anywhere, a gun in your purse.

I hate that people use these arguments to do/buy/get what they WANT. I hate that these arguments are used to convince people to add more excess to their lives, to spend money, to feel justified in their greed. How about truth in advertising: Driving a bigger car makes you feel important and cool, so if that's important to you come buy this car today! Want to feel younger and prettier? Use our hair color to change your looks and maybe you'll have the energy and motivation to change your life as well, or maybe you can just fool people into thinking you are younger than you really are. Red meat is not too good for your heart, but boy does it taste good. Either choose some extra exercise, or freely admit you don't care - then come join us for the meal deal of the day.

Naah, never gonna happen.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Big C, Little C

The two dogs play all day long, chasing and chewing ... and the tails never stop wagging.

Puppy Pic

Here's Chamaco in the back garden ... looking so sweet and serene!

He's such a honey.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The wonders of modern dentistry

Well, today I spent about 2 hours in a dentist's chair, getting a root canal. I don't hate or fear the dentist for the work that has to be done, but I have a really, really small mouth and my jaw aches for days after any type of work, just from having to be pried open. I have learned to just tell the dentist right away he or she will have to use pediatric-sized "stuff" (that's the technical term) in my mouth, after many years of having them start with big "stuff" and having to send someone to get smaller versions half-way through.

There are two technological break-throughs that I want to sing praises of today.

First, the bite block. A hunk of rubber they stick between your teeth on the side opposite of where they will work, to hold your mouth open so you can relax your jaw muscles.

This is truly an invention straight from the heavens. It's the only way I can make it through any type of dental work. I don't know if people with normal-sized mouths depend on these things as much as I do, but I see this piece of plastic as a sign directly from God that my pain is understood.

Secondly, nitrous oxide. Gotta love that stuff. I had never used it prior to getting a bridge a few years back. I have a high tolerance for pain, and actually even the achy jaw I mentioned earlier was manageable - even in the pre-bite-blocker days - but my gag reflex is sensitive and I stress about choking on saliva. With the nitrous on, I don't stress out, and I realize that I am not stressing out, and it is mildly amusing to lie there thinking "I am not stressing out and look at that, I realize that I am not stressing out, and I wonder if this pleasureable feeling of realizing I am not stressing out is what people who start using drugs are seeking, because it really makes me aware that I am not stressing out." (did I mention that I wasn't stressed?) I actually nearly fell asleep.

Oh, and that reminded me of the third invention I adore. I have no idea what it's called (Shawn, help me out here!) but it's this rubber stretchy piece they cover my mouth with except for a little hole over the tooth being worked on. They say it's to keep my tongue from interfering with their work. Fair enough.

I appreciate it because it keeps the little filings they dig out or file off from falling into my throat and mixing with my saliva and choking me. To death, maybe even. Except of course when I have that glorious nitrous in the cute little pink nose hat. (see above.)

So. I have successfully made it through my first root canal. I saw the x-rays afterwards of the newly-filled roots and my dentist did a really good job, as far as I could tell. He did tell me my abcess is H-U-G-E and I may end up hospitalized, needing IV antibiotics, if the infection flares up. But I figure he has to say that just in case.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

This just in

OK, it's May 13, in the year 2007.

In the newspaper today was an article that obviously someone considered newsworthy.

The real way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more.

OK, I'm serious here. I need to write a book about losing weight and get paid a lot of money for it. I mean, if THIS is still breaking news in this day and age, surely there is room for yet another book on the shelf and I may as well be the one to write it since it's obvious you don't have to actually present anything new to qualify as newsworthy.

Please share any tips or suggestions I should include in my book and I will thank you in the dedication.

Monday, May 07, 2007

I know it's the wrong season .... Works best if you actually sing it!

The Twelve Days of Homeschool
(To the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas.)

On the first day of homeschool, my neighbor said to me,"Can you homeschool legally?"

On the second day of homeschool, the store clerk said to me,"Are they socialized?"

On the third day of homeschool, a teacher said to me,"Who will give them tests?"

On the fourth day of homeschool, my doctor said to me,"What about P.E.?"

On the fifth day of homeschool, my sister said to me,"YOU ARE SO STRANGE!"

On the sixth day of homeschool, my pastor said to me,"Why do you do this?"

On the seventh day of homeschool, my best friend said to me,"I could never do it!"

On the eighth day of homeschool, my mother said to me,"How long will you do this?"

On the ninth day of homeschool, my in-laws said to me,"Look at what they're missing!"

On the tenth day of homeschool, my florist said to me,"What about the prom?"

On the eleventh day of homeschool, the librarian said to me,"They'll miss graduation!"

On the twelfth day of homeschool, the reporter said to me,"Can they go to college?"

On the thirteenth day of homeschool, my support group leader said to me. . .

"They can go to college,
They'll have graduation,
They won't miss the prom,
Look at what they're learning,
You can teach through high school,
You can really do this,
Love is why you do this,
They can have P.E.
You can give them tests,
They'll be socialized,
You can homeschool legally!"

Original author unknown

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Sounds good to me .... (*YAWN*)

The National Sleep Foundation is extolling the benefits of napping!

"Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots andastronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%."

Finally some NASA research that is directly applicable to my life!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Next Week’s News

From the humor of Andy Borowitz - the only man able to tell the news before it happens:

Monday, May 7: Vice President Dick Cheney will announce that he is seeking an exit strategy from George Tenet’s book.

Tuesday, May 8: Hillary Clinton will propose building a seven-foot fence around her supporters to keep them from defecting to Barack Obama.

Wednesday, May 9: A new study will show that teenagers who watch TV shows with sexual content are more likely to have sex, while teenagers who watch “CSI” are more likely to solve crimes.

Thursday, May 10: In an historic clash of angry celebrities, Hugh Grant’s baked beans will collide in midair with Naomi Campbell’s cell phone.

Friday, May 11: The Bureau of Labor Statistics will report that the number of unemployed people in the U.S. increased by one, due to the visit of Queen Elizabeth II.

Saturday, May 12: Consumer activist Ralph Nader will announce that he is actively considering screwing up the 2008 presidential election.

Sunday, May 13: After succeeding in his bid to take over Dow Jones, Rupert Murdoch will reduce the size of The Wall Street Journal by removing the facts.

I especially like Hillary's wall, and it was the future crime solvers bit that made me bring it here. I personally never watch CSI or any of those crime-solving shows, and don't let the boys watch them either, because of all the gore that is shown. I remember watching detective shows "in my day" where the body would be laying on the floor, perhaps with a small amount of blood barely visible, or it would already be covered by a sheet. Nowadays you see the weapons going in, the guts pouring out, the anguish on the face, the blood, gore, and violence - all spelled out for you as if it were a picture book for an illiterate reader.

I do not approve. I don't necessarily think that people who watch that type of show are going to go out and commit violent crimes. But I do think that it desensitizes people to violence and pain and death, and that, in turn, changes how they act and react to real situations, making real scenes of horror seem less critical.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Words to live by

Got these two tips from a friend this morning. Advice for the good life. I like them because they are externally oriented, which I think is the better way to focus your life.

1. Don't take yourself too seriously.
2. Ask yourself daily, "Have I been fun to live with today?"

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My view on The View

I love The View. I love Rosie, and I love Elisabeth. Rosie for just being Rosie, and Elisabeth for being on Survivor and just being cute.

But I also love what they are together. Rosie is so extreme left liberal she goes too far for even me at times. And Elisabeth is so righteous conservative Bush-loving that I can hardly believe she's for real.

The two of them talk politics and just could not disagree more if they were paid to. Which, ok, really, they are.

But they adore one another. It's so obvious when they are not talking politics that they are true, good friends, and even when they are talking politics and disagreeing with one another vehemently, they can both still smile and show respect for one another (well, I call it respect, I know some people think they go too far.)

Rosie was just named on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people. And Elisabeth was just invited to a White House state dinner for Queen Elizabeth II. Pretty impressive, for both of them.

I just like watching them on TV.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

There's always something new

You have heard of palm reading, I know. Now there is something new.

Toe Reading. Really.

Supposedly THE new thing in learning about yourself.

You may remember this photo - I posted it last summer to show how untalented I am at applying self-tanning lotion. I have been reading about toe-reading, and here's some basic info.
Big toe is your Destiny Toe. It shows your path and all your life's possibilities. If this toe is straight it means you have been true to your path. If it is crooked, so has your life's path been.
The second toe is the Communication Toe. The longer it is, the more you communicate. If the toe has a downward slant, it indicates you listen more than you talk.
Toe #3 is the toe which shows if you are focused on doing what you need to do, or more of a procrastinator.
Toe #4 (the ring toe?) is all about relationships - the right one with others, the left one with yourself. Medically speaking, apparently this toe is broken more often than any other toe.
Finally the pinkie toe. The right one is about prosperity, the left one about trust. The more of the toe nail that is showing, the more open you are to information and advice in these areas.
There you have it. The cutting edge of personality tests, and you heard it here first.

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