Monday, September 29, 2008

Let Me Save You Some Time

Sometimes problems you never even thought of can occur through a global society. Saturday night, I was on twitter and someone posted that Daylight Savings Time starts in the wee hours. It's on twitter, must be true, right? So without even really thinking about it, I took it as gospel. Yes, I am stupid don't think sometimes.

Though I hate DST, I do like that extra hour of sleep available in the fall, when we turn the clocks back an hour. I do know Congress passed a law to extend Daylight Savings Time, I figured it was now. We attend church, so that hour is welcome. I let JBug stay up to watch Saturday Night Live, and the Palin sketch, thinking she would be able to make up that hour.

Maybe I Need More Sleep

Sitting here at midnight, I realize, I haven't seen anyone else mention a time change. Now, sometimes I miss important events in the news, so I figured that was the case. I hit Google News, and there is no mention. So I do a web search and find a site for the Navy. Turns out, Daylight Savings Time changes Nov 2! Ack! So...I sent my daughter to bed, realizing she was going to be tired. And I felt really stupid.

More searching uncovered that the tweet must have originated from NEW ZEALAND. Because they did indeed start DST on Saturday night. And now? I am embarrassed to be such a follower.

But at least I didn't show up late for church and have to explain why!

>What weirdness have you learned on twitter or the Net? Did you fall for it, or did it mess you up?

T, who, aw, I got nothin'

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Snapshot of my Bizarre Marriage

Tonight, Jon and I went out to a quick dinner and caught a movie together. We don't get out much. This exchange followed in the car on the way home:

(after discussing serious political wonkiness and Christianity influenced by pagan traditions)

Jon: (who has a habit of injecting "monkey butt into conversations. No, I don't know why, you would need to ask him...)
"Monkey butt!"

Me: "Yes, monkey butt, we were talking about pagans, though."

Jon: "Yeah, huh?""
"Classic pagans weren't really around monkeys much, ..."

Tina:"Probably would depend upon where they lived.... so what did they have instead? Llamas?"

Jon: "Llama butt? Doesn't really work."

Me: No, it doesn't, does it. How about flying llamas? Llamas...with wings?"

Jon: no, no. Flying monkeys, see, it just works better."

Me: Yeah, don't make me get my flying llamas, it's kinda lame... not very scary."

Jon: What are they gonna do spit on you?"

And this is why we don't drink.

T, who likes llamas, but alpacas are better

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Why Do They Call it Homeschooling When I am NEVER at Home?

click to embiggen

Friday Fun

Today is all about Homeschooling.

This showed up in my email this morning, and inspired me

A Homeschool Family

And this is NOT what it is... (NSFK, just a couple words here and there, but I had to include it anyway)

Q:How Does a Homeschool Mom change a light bulb?

First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life.
Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles.
Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill.
On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill.
Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed.
And there is light.

T, who says sometimes you laugh to keep from crying

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Dirty "A" Word: What No One Wants to Talk About

Let's talk about anxiety. I have dealt with it all my life. Anxiety is a bodily response to stress. Through self-talk (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) I have learned to talk myself down from catastrophizing and have the anxiety at manageable levels, most of the time. I know that the fear in anxiety is pretty much a lie your brain tells to get you worked up. So I know how to deal with it. But, anxiety is systemic, and it gets passed around in a family system. It also runs in families. My oldest daughter suffers from anxiety much worse than I ever did.

Over the years, we have figured out some things that work for us, and believe me, we have been through a lot of trial and error in dealing with it. We have a great therapist, and that is always my first suggestion. An anxious child is very hard to treat on your own. Anxiety is sneaky. It might seem addressed, but it can crop up in other ways. It manifests sideways and can sometimes be difficult to trace.

One of the ways it shows up with my daughter is in novel situations. She has a negative first reaction to everything, it has become a joke in our family. I know she will react adversely to every new situation, that's just the way it is. And the few times it hasn't happened, I have been pleasantly surprised. Over the years we have found some things that work for us.

What We Do For Anxiety:

1. We create "signposts" to point to success. I set her up to succeed, by reminding her of times when things worked. This approach comes from the Hebrews, who set up little monuments whenever God did something of import, so they could remember. Her signposts are similar experiences that have worked out for her.

For instance, she had to wear a pair of gold sandals for a play she was involved in. She hated those sandals: hated how ornate they were, hated how they felt... by the time the play was over, she loved them. I also point out to how well she has done in past endeavors, like classes, youth group, and whatever else comes up. Reminding her of these are little celebrations that increase her confidence.
2. I require her to try everything for at least 3 weeks. Why? Because with a negative first reaction, she wants to quit as soon as she hits a snag. She is a perfectionist and is constantly worried that she won't be "good enough." Her new Biology class was a problem at first, as she was trying to figure out what would be required. At what point she said she would have to drop. I reminded her on the commitment to stay with it. Turned out, not only could she handle it, the class was enjoyable and fairly easy for her as well. I don't know what I would do if after 3 weeks she wanted to stop an activity, but it hasn't happened yet, so I haven't had to worry.

3. Deep breathing, relaxation techniques. When you grow anxious, your blood pressure rises. You begin to breathe shallowly. Your heart starts to pound, as your fight or flight reaction is triggered. Your body dumps adrenalin in preparation of a quick flight. The adrenalin high is short-lived, and as it fades, stomach upset, shakiness and headache can occur. Anxiety can be a nasty thing. If you can catch it before it balloons, often you can pull yourself back down before it causes major problems.

4. Self-talk is important. Many who suffer from anxiety "catastrophize" which means they imagine the absolute worst, without defining it or thinking it through. The way to deal with this is to hit it square on. WHAT will happen? And then what? And then? And then? You quickly find out that what you fear is not the end all and be all of life. In fact, in the scheme of things, it is probably pretty small.

Today my daughter was a few minutes late for class. She started to have a panic attack as she imagined getting a "demerit" which is the threat the program uses for discipline. After some deep breathing she was better, but She kept saying, "I am going to be late, I will get a demerit!" And I simply said: "Oh? What will happen then?" She said, "I don't know!" And I said, "Will they throw you out of the program for being 5 minutes late?" She thought for a moment: "No, probably not..." Right. She put it in perspective and was still upset, but it wasn't the end of the world.

5. She has some social phobia, and is a red-line introvert. She is learning to work around it, by having scripts for conversations. She still has a hard time approaching a group uninvited, even if she has known the kids involved for years. She is getting better. She doesn't like to look foolish, so she resists games.

She keeps a schedule, because she likes to know what is happening. This has gone a long way towards alleviating her anxiety. If she knows what is coming, she feels better.

Don't think that her similarities to my other children are lost upon me- they aren't. But the good news is, she has figured out for the most part, how to work around her fears. She still lets them hold her back some, but as she matures, it happens less and less. And, we recognize the triggers sooner, and she compensates quicker.

The bottom line? She will probably never be completely anxiety-free. I am not. I don't let my feelings take over, though. There is no reason to think she too won't learn to live with her fears in a way that is both healthy and allows her to grow as a person. Anxiety isn't a death sentence. It doesn't always require medication. Cognitive Behavior Therapy makes a huge difference in its management. Sometimes you can treat it yourself, but never be afraid to seek help. My daughter has an awesome psychologist, whom she loves. He has gone a long way in helping her grow and become more self-aware.

If you or someone you love deals with anxiety, don't make the mistake thinking it will go away. Deal with it, head on. You will be happier in the long run. Once social phobias are entrenched, the habits become harder to dislodge.

Your question of the day:

How do you handle your day-to-day stress?

T, who says anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Little Ballerina

My little JBean started ballet. She has been asking for a year. I finally found a place that seems like a good fit. I wasn't sure if she could handle it, but it is going really well. This was her second week. She is working so hard. She has the best dance teacher, Miss Jennifer, and she is very understanding and so good with the girls. She is wonderful to JBean.

With her autism, she has a little bit of a struggle with getting into some of the positions, stretching her toes and she can't skip (she gallops instead) but she really loves it, and is very happy to be there. She gets to be flower princess in the Nutcracker and is just over the moon!

posing for Mama

"I'm a ballerina!"

Mama is hair-challenged, I got it up, but it doesn't look too great

listening intently in class

at the barre, for the first time

Isn't she adorable?

T, who just loves watching

Sunday, September 21, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Savage Chickens for more like the above

A kindergarten pupil told his teacher he’d found a cat, but it was dead. “How do you know that the cat was dead?” she asked her pupil. “Because I pissed in its ear and it didn’t move,” answered the wide-eyed child. “You did WHAT?! ?” the teacher exclaimed in surprise. “You know,” explained the boy, “I leaned over and went ‘Pssst!’ and it didn’t move.”


Q: How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: We don't know. They're still arguing about it.


An environmentalist and a lawyer were in a car accident and showed up at the pearly gates together.

St. Peter greets them at the pearly gates and takes them to the homes where they will spend all of eternity. They get into St. Peter's holy vehicle and head on down a gold road, which turns into a platinum road, which turns onto an even grander road paved with diamonds, to a huge mansion where St. Peter turns to the lawyer and says, "Here is your home for the rest of eternity, enjoy! And if there is anything you need, just let me know."

Then St. Peter took the environmentalist to his home, back down the diamond studded boulevard, down the platinum highway, down the street of gold, down an avenue of silver, along a stone alley and down an unpaved footpath to a shack. St. Peter says, "Here you go" and goes to leave when the environmentalist says "Wait minute! How come the lawyer gets the big mansion and I get this shack?"

St. Peter says: "Well, Environmentalists are a dime a dozen here, but we have never had a lawyer before."


Some leaders of the big beer companies meet for a drink. The president of Budweiser orders a Bud. Miller's president orders a Millers and the president of Coors orders a Coors. When it is Guinness turn to order he orders a soda. "Why didn't you order a Guinness", everyone asks? "Nah", Guinness replies. "If you guys aren't having a beer neither will I."

What's the best joke you have heard lately?...leave it in comments. Click here!

T, who thinks laughing is a good distraction...sometimes

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Arrrr And Guess What Day It Be?

Ahoy, mateys! Ye know what day it be, now don't ya? It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day and ye be cordially invited to join with those of us who be talkin' like the scallywags we be! We all have some swashbuckler in us, now. Don't be sayin' I can't do it, get to it, smartly!

Years ago, two scurvy dogs created this here holiday, with the help of Dave Barry. And the rest is history, me hearties!

So's even if ye be landlubbers, hoist the colors, let fly Jolly Roger and join me in a mug o' grog. We be singin' sea shanteys and takin' a break from swabbin' the deck for a mite.

But, if ye prefer, there's always walkin' the plank like the bilge rats ye are if ye don't want to cooperate. But would much rather offer ye some grub and o' course more grog, to boot! HAR!

Later this day me crew and I be descendin' on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Mouse House. What be a day of talkin' like a pirate without a ship at yer command, aye?

This NOT be a real pirate

If'n ye be stuck fer Pirate Lingo, this may be of help to ye:

Pirate Dictionary

Or to share yer wit with twitter smartly: Pirate Translator

and this be where ye can log your adventures to be had while ye talk like a Pirate..aye, comments? How do ye plan to spend the day?

T, who be talkin' like a pirate on more days than just this

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Maybe I Don't Like Alphabet Soup So Much

More Letters to Add to the Soup?

Lord knows, I do not go around collecting letters to put after my childrens' names. I don't have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. And really? We have enough letters, such as: ASD, HFA, GAD, ADD,BPD,OCD, Dyslexia... See? But today, I recognized what JBean has been doing, and the "label" is scarier, really, than the reality. Still, it has to be addressed.

JBean is 7 years old. She has been diagnosed with "Autistic Disorder" but is very highly functioning. I believe her actual diagnosis would be Asperger Syndrome, like her brother. She is an infinitely-serious child. Most of the time, her voice is a sing-song almost-baby voice; this is true at home and outside the home as well. She is small for her age, with large, deep light green eyes and elfin features. I have been told she is adorable. She needs speech therapy, because her speech is difficult to understand. We tried regular therapy last year, but she really wouldn't interact with the therapist.

JBean, though she likes people, doesn't speak in public much. This is especially true if the situation is at all anxiety-producing for her, like a doctor or a teacher, or a new situation that she doesn't know. Up until now, I just figured she was slow-to-warm, like her older sister was at her age. She would grow out of it, like her sister. Turns out, maybe JBug also was dealing with the same issues, just not to the degree that JBean seems to show.

With a quiet, obedient child it is easy to overlook their silence. I am wondering if this is what is happening with her. At Sunday School, I suspect she is getting lost int he crowd. She doesn't go to public school, so this is not a stressor for her. She speaks a ton at home, and apparently this is normal: home is not a difficult place; it is mostly a safe place. She does tend to freeze up and become completely uncommunicative when she is upset or doesn't know what to do. This behavior extends to home as well. Frustration tantrums can result. I figured she just needed help with self-regulation, and that is part of it. But there seems to be more.

I sub to an Aspergers e-newsletter that isn't really very good, but once in a while has something that is informative. Today was that day. It was an article on Selective Mutism. Though not in-depth, it piqued my curiosity so I did some research.

From the Selective Mutism Center website:
Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure and relaxed.
More than 90% of children with Selective Mutism also have social phobia or social anxiety. This disorder is quite debilitating and painful to the child. Children and adolescents with Selective Mutism have an actual FEAR of speaking and of social interactions where there is an expectation to speak and communicate.
Many children with Selective Mutism have great difficulty responding or initiating communication in a nonverbal manner; therefore social engagement may be compromised in many children when confronted by others or in a setting that is overwhelming or they sense a feeling of expectation.
...Some children (20-30%) with Selective Mutism have subtle speech and/or language abnormalities such as receptive and/or expressive language abnormalities and language delays. Some may have subtle learning disabilities including auditory processing disorder. In most of these cases, the children have inhibited temperaments (prone to shyness and anxiety). The added stress of the speech/language disorder learning disability, or processing disorder may cause the child to feel that much more anxious and perhaps insecure or uncomfortable in situations where there is an expectation to speak.

And this definition is JBean to a T. Guess it is time to seek some therapy and get off my butt and coordinate speech help as well.

:::sigh::: She didn't need to go to college, right? I hope not, because I am spending the college fund on braces and therapy for my children.

T, who says we never should have procreated...we really had some bad gene combos

>What are you spending your childrens' college money (or your retirement!) on?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Have Plenty of Excuses...Just Gimme a Minute

(this is my conversation with my imaginary readers...just go with it)

Dear T: Your blog has sucked lately. No really, it is lagging. You are sometimes a bit funny. Maybe. What gives? Do you hate us?

Signed, ticked off

Dear Ticked,

NO. I don't hate you. But maybe your expectations are too high. I can't handle it. I am caving to the pressure. You are going to find me sitting in the corner typing "AOL ate my gmail" over and over again on the screen. (I was going to write that it was better than writing "g-string" but realized at least that would be mildly amusing) Seriously.

But if you had my life you would get why I am throwing up lame videos. I homeschool (have I mentioned that before?) and school has started again. (did I mention that I homeschool?) Also, my oldest daughter has started classes, which means I am playing ferry four times a week. (and did you know that I homeschool?) Not to mention band and ballet and small group... so I just have been so tired, getting used to my schedule. Ok, so I am not Fussypants...who runs a blogdiva empire and homeschools and vacuums blissfully in all her Domestic Glory.... we know this, right?

Also, I am such a fierce (with apologies to Christian from PR) perfectionist that I am really never happy when I hit publish. I get a sinking feeling in the bottom of my stomach that it just ain't good enough.

Dear T.: Boo Hoo, cry us a river. We pay you good money to write good content! Oh, wait, no we don't...ahem. In any case, We are tired of the excuses. Yes, we know you claim not to be good at the domestic thing, though we suspect that you are lying and your house is actually spotless, your children are beauteous and obedient and you just don't want to make us feel badly. Further, we believe you actually dress like an Italian film star, which is why you seldom post pictures of yourself on your blog. (you could have totally won the Hottest Blogger Contest, had you entered, right?) You just wanted to give others a chance, since that's the kind of warm-hearted blogdiva you are.

Signed Full of Hope

Dear Full,

Uh, yeah, sure. That's it. I haven't been writing quality material because I have been lunching with important people who are more importanter than you. I actually don't spend all day with my children, I have a live in nanny/housekeeper who takes the little darlings to French Class and dance lessons while I hobnob with the Real Housewives of the OC.

Yes, you have found me out. My life is infinitely more glamourous than yours. Because I am such a successful blogger, Sephora drops makeup at my door by the truckload. But I am not here to receive it, since I am at the theatre, box seats, complimentary, of course. And did I mention that my new car is in the driveway? Paid for by Google Ads page views?

Tomorrow, I will be interviewed by Katie Couric, because she wants to know how I stay so absolutely fabulous. without alcohol, mind you!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get my well-toned derriere off this expensive couch, lift my lacquered nails and deign to remove the refuse from my kitchen since the can is full. And once I am done with that, I will start my thousand dollar dishwasher (no, really, actually that's's a splurge but I LOVE it...) so that it can lovingly and quietly caress my dishes while I sleep.

And then? I will get up and start the whole mess all over again. And I still won't have a decent blog post when (if?) you show up.

Oh. And...g-string.

do you go through blogging dry spells? What is your best advice for dealing with them? Are you ever happy before you hit "Publish Post?"

T, who isn't feeling very "on" lately and hates it..hope you can forgive me

photo of Christian: photo of children: Magnum Photo blog

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I've Got a Fever...

And You KNOW the Only Prescription, Baby!

Because I am the mistress of All Things Cool just ask me I want to share this very fun link I found on List of the Day. Here is my creation. Put yours in the comments along with your blog and I will publish them, and give you some linky love. Cause that's just the kinda gal I am.

Here's mine. Yeah, so I'm stuck in the 80's...what about it??

Make your own at
 Make your own at 

YOUR turn...what song NEEEEEDS more Cowbell??

T, who could've been a Cowbell

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Spore, That's Like a Small Thing in the Atmosphere, Right?

No post tonight...I'm evolving. I'll let you know what I think.

T, who saw a friend play, and thinks it looks awesome

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yes, and Next He'll Eat Cincinnati


as I start the car and the radio pops on today. I listen to talk radio often, and forget to turn it down. The voice on the radio says, " hold Bush accountable..."

JBear: [from the backseat] Bush is a cannibal??"

I corrected him on the blunder, because that's what good mommas do.

but then I thought to myself.."What?? No, Bush is...well...Hmm, blood is still running in D.C, our government is hemoraging money, no resources...yeah, son, that's about the size of it..."

What funny thing has your child said this week?

T, who says out of the mouths of babes

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Irresistible Force, Meet Immovable Object

How Not to Parent a Teenager

My oldest daughter, at 14, is definitely a teenager. She has the moodiness, and can be frustrating, to say the least. But today, I made a mistake. (or rather, many)

It kills me because she has her own timetable for doing things. Our time lines rarely match up. And I can ask her to do something and she says she will, but it takes all day, to say, unload and reload the dishwasher. She doesn't say NO, she just...doesn't do it. A bit passive-aggressive there. We already clashed today over that very thing, so I wasn't very patient earlier this evening when I told her to go to bed.

You need some background. JBug is gifted, and a perfectionist. She is also highly anxious and has a hard time with change. She has never been diagnosed, but it has been bandied about.

She just started high school homeschool classes and was studying for her very first quiz in Biology. The book she is using is meaty; a lot of information is packed into few pages. She can easily handle the class, but she doesnt know what to expect, was tired, and it is a novel situation, absolutely a powder keg for her. I could see her panic growing. Gently, I suggested she go to bed. She locked up, as she has done in the past (not since grade school though), told me she COULD NOT and HAD TO finish her assignment. Class isn't until 2 p.m. tomorrow, she had four pages left to read; I am confident she can accomplish this in the morning. She wasn't so sure, and the back went ramrod straight, she dug in her heels, and that, as far as she was concerned, was that.

And that's when my head spun around. I spewed bile. Already smarting from our earlier encounter, she WAS going to bed, on my watch and NOW. Because, dammit, I am the mother, and you WILL listen to me, for the love of God. I have no idea where this all came just boiled over. This was exactly the wrong thing to do.

In general, I tend to avoid power struggles. NO one wins, and they are pretty much miserable for all concerned. Even when there is a victory, it is a hollow one because it just feels so crappy to be a creep to your kid. Don't get me wrong, I know how to be authoritative. Most of the time it is sufficient. But I also think once you get to be in the teens, maybe most situations can be resolved with diplomacy. We're all reasonable people, after all. Except tonight.

When I yelled at her, she froze, started to cry. I ended up yelling more, because self-sabotage is something I detest. I think there is something in me sometimes that smells blood and abhors weakness. Every once in a while, it seems to emerge to feed. It slakes its thirst on tears and sharpens its fangs on anxiety.

Needless to say, it got uglier. She had a bit of a panic attack, and that made me madder, because she could not move and I was past the point of being reasonable. She was doing this on purpose! as though anyone wants to feel that way When I get upset, I make myself get over it! And I wanted her to do the same! She's not weak, she's my kid, so deal! It really was ridiculous and I am ashamed. I finally walked away, she calmed down and went to bed. I did go in and cuddle her and pray for her while she was sleeping. But of course, the adrenalin took its toll.

Now, I have a headache. Because that's what you get when you bang your head into a wall, no matter what human shape its form takes.

I am sorry, JBug, I will try to be more merciful and gracious when you are under pressure. You aren't me, and I need to remember that.

What mistake did you make this week? Were you gracious with yourself?

T, who needed to walk away

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photo, akstockimages, flickr

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I'm Blissful! Shut up, Why are you Looking at Me Like That?

I have a new gig. I know, I can't believe it either. But I am going to be writing for Blissfully Domestic in the Blissful Buzz category and and sometimes in the Healthful Buzz area, too. I would imagine it is because I am so blissfully domestic (yeah, so my husband might disagree... BUT, I aced this test (even though I don't wipe the milk bottle top and wear pajamas around the house...)


As a 1930s wife, I am Very Superior

Take the test!

so couldn't be that bad. Or maybe they want me for my fashion sense.

notice the sexy footwear...

Ok, so then, when you aren't model-gorgeous or fashion-talented, you rely on your sense of humor. That must be it. I am easy to laugh at with.*

* or it could be they had some page space to fill and figured I was cheaper than the monkey they were thinking of hiring for the same job. Or, the cat. Over at the Bloggess's site (is there an s in Bloggess for plural? I have no idea..well, just deal with it)

In any case, my first post is here... stay tuned for more of the same.

Since I love you, I want to know...what do you think I should write about?

T, who says go read it, already!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

This is your Brain on... (or maybe off...)

long day. really long day. Leadership retreat and well...

This is me.

Look for a poast tomorrow. And yes, I know I misspelled that, but I am too tired to backspace to correct it. That's how tired I am.

What kind of jelly do you like on your toast?

T, who ah, ferget it

Friday, September 05, 2008

I Think I Am an Organic Idiot

Freakin'(Out) Friday #1

I've decided to lock my children in the closet. No, not for the reason you think.. they have been well-behaved lately for the most part. And they are fun to hang out with; they often make me laugh. They help out around the house, with a minimum of argument. In fact, there really isn't much wrong with them at the moment. give them time...

So, then, what's the reason that I am going to lock them in the closet?

It's simple. I can't afford to feed them. Now, you may say, spend the money you spend on your internet so your kids can eat! I say, Let's not get hasty I guess they are growing, because they constantly want to om nom nom nom. I mean, I feed them in the morning, it's enough for the cats, so what gives??

And of course, I can't just fill them up on junk. I spent $220 at the grocery store tonight. I almost fell over. True, we were out of a lot of items. I stocked up a bit. But I didn't buy meat. I barely bought anything. I had a large Trader Joe's cold bag and 3 cloth bags to show for my trouble. Insane. I think sometimes, though, my liberal guilt gets to me. I mean I want my kids to have it better than I did, of course. I didn't have it that bad, but there is always room for improvement.

That's why I need to lock them in the closet. . They are so picky! I grew up on hot dogs, and they were boiled, dammit. Not my kids, who say:

"I don't liiiiike hot dogs! Yuck!"

And I don't buy cheap-ass hot dogs! It's Hebrew National here, baby! About once a month. And they don't like lunchmeat. I grew up on Oscar Meyer baloney (it had a first name, dammit) But not for them. For them, I buy deli meat at $8 a pound. (only not tonight 'cause it was late and the deli was closed). They are so particular. I keep telling them if we lived in a trailer somewhere they would be beaten eating Velveeta sandwiches on Wonder Bread, so quit yer bitchin.' Eat your danged organic, preservative-free, let's-not-be-cruel-to-it until-we-murder-it -for-your -consumption-turkey-with-muenster-cheese-made-at-a-farm-where-they-tap dance-with-the-cows-and-then-massage-them-to make-them-happy- sandwich!

I'll be over here putting away the whole-grain crackers, organic fruit, fair-trade coffee and eggs that are only laid by hens who sing opera and stand on their heads every fourth Tuesday.

How about you? Are you spending your childrens' inheritance just to feed them? How much is a gallon of milk where you live?

T, who is thinking at some point, it gets ridiculous

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog For An Important Announcement

photo from NY Times

I missed Clinton's speech at the DNC, and thought, on this, the third evening of the RNC, it was a good reminder. I know it is long, but you really need to read it. If nothing else, at least read the parts emphasized. (emphasis mine)

I don't normally blog politically, but this election is so important. I have many friends who are conservative. They have wonderful hearts, and I understand their views. But the party has abandoned them, as proven in the last 8 years. We are worse off than we have ever been in my lifetime. The house across the street from me finally sold after a year. For half what it was worth. Other houses on my block are in foreclosure. And I live in a prosperous area! Truly scary stuff. Also known as The Orange Curtain, for a reason. Red, all the way. I am one of the few Dems in the area. One of the few who does not drink the Kool-aide. Add to that the fact that I am a born-again Christian, who is not a Republican, and I am a serious Fish Out of Water. At the risk of alienating you, I really want you to read this and understand where we are right now. What future is left for our children?

Clinton's speech:

I am honored to be here tonight to support Barack Obama. And to warm up the crowd for Joe Biden, though as you'll soon see, he doesn't need any help from me. I love Joe Biden, and America will too.

What a year we Democrats have had. The primary began with an all-star line up and came down to two remarkable Americans locked in a hard fought contest to the very end. The campaign generated so much heat it increased global warming.

In the end, my candidate didn't win. But I'm very proud of the campaign she ran: she never quit on the people she stood up for, on the changes she pushed for, on the future she wants for all our children. And I'm grateful for the chance Chelsea and I had to tell Americans about the person we know and love.

I'm not so grateful for the chance to speak in the wake of her magnificent address last night. But I'll do my best.

Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she'll do everything she can to elect Barack Obama.

That makes two of us.

Actually that makes 18 million of us - because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November.

Here's why.

Our nation is in trouble on two fronts: The American Dream is under siege at home, and America's leadership in the world has been weakened.
Middle class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining; job losses, poverty and inequality rising; mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing; health care coverage disappearing; and a big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.
Our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation; a perilous dependence on imported oil; a refusal to lead on global warming; a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders; a severely burdened military; a backsliding on global non-proliferation and arms control agreements; and a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.

Clearly, the job of the next President is to rebuild the American Dream and restore America's standing in the world.

Everything I learned in my eight years as President and in the work I've done since, in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.

He has a remarkable ability to inspire people, to raise our hopes and rally us to high purpose. He has the intelligence and curiosity every successful President needs. His policies on the economy, taxes, health care and energy are far superior to the Republican alternatives. He has shown a clear grasp of our foreign policy and national security challenges, and a firm commitment to repair our badly strained military. His family heritage and life experiences have given him a unique capacity to lead our increasingly diverse nation and to restore our leadership in an ever more interdependent world. The long, hard primary tested and strengthened him. And in his first presidential decision, the selection of a running mate, he hit it out of the park.

With Joe Biden's experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama's proven understanding, insight, and good instincts, America will have the national security leadership we need.

Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States.

He will work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries. He will rebuild our frayed alliances and revitalize the international institutions which help to share the costs of the world's problems and to leverage our power and influence. He will put us back in the forefront of the world's fight to reduce nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and to stop global warming. He will continue and enhance our nation's global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved, the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria, including a renewal of the battle against HIV/AIDS here at home. He will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort. But in a world troubled by terror; by trafficking in weapons, drugs and people; by human rights abuses; by other threats to our security, our interests, and our values, when he cannot convert adversaries into partners, he will stand up to them.

Barack Obama also will not allow the world's problems to obscure its opportunities. Everywhere, in rich and poor countries alike, hardworking people need good jobs; secure, affordable healthcare, food, and energy; quality education for their children; and economically beneficial ways to fight global warming. These challenges cry out for American ideas and American innovation. When Barack Obama unleashes them, America will save lives, win new allies, open new markets, and create new jobs for our people.

Most important, Barack Obama knows that America cannot be strong abroad unless we are strong at home. People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.

Look at the example the Republicans have set: American workers have given us consistently rising productivity. They've worked harder and produced more. What did they get in return? Declining wages, less than ¼ as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller health care and pension benefits, rising poverty and the biggest increase in income inequality since the 1920s. American families by the millions are struggling with soaring health care costs and declining coverage. I will never forget the parents of children with autism and other severe conditions who told me on the campaign trail that they couldn't afford health care and couldn't qualify their kids for Medicaid unless they quit work or got a divorce. Are these the family values the Republicans are so proud of? What about the military families pushed to the breaking point by unprecedented multiple deployments? What about the assault on science and the defense of torture? What about the war on unions and the unlimited favors for the well connected? What about Katrina and cronyism?

America can do better than that. And Barack Obama will.

But first we have to elect him.

The choice is clear. The Republicans will nominate a good man who served our country heroically and suffered terribly in Vietnam. He loves our country every bit as much as we all do. As a Senator, he has shown his independence on several issues. But on the two great questions of this election, how to rebuild the American Dream and how to restore America's leadership in the world, he still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we never had a real chance to see in action until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and Congress. Then we saw what would happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades were implemented.

They took us from record surpluses to an exploding national debt; from over 22 million new jobs down to 5 million; from an increase in working family incomes of $7,500 to a decline of more than $2,000; from almost 8 million Americans moving out of poverty to more than 5 and a half million falling into poverty - and millions more losing their health insurance.

Now, in spite of all the evidence, their candidate is promising more of the same: More tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that will swell the deficit, increase inequality, and weaken the economy. More band-aids for health care that will enrich insurance companies, impoverish families and increase the number of uninsured. More going it alone in the world, instead of building the shared responsibilities and shared opportunities necessary to advance our security and restore our influence.

They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America:

Thanks, but no thanks. In this case, the third time is not the charm.

My fellow Democrats, sixteen years ago, you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to victory and to lead our nation to a new era of peace and broadly shared prosperity.

Together, we prevailed in a campaign in which the Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be Commander-in-Chief. Sound familiar? It didn't work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it won't work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.

His life is a 21st Century incarnation of the American Dream. His achievements are proof of our continuing progress toward the "more perfect union" of our founders' dreams. The values of freedom and equal opportunity which have given him his historic chance will drive him as president to give all Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability, their chance to build a decent life, and to show our humanity, as well as our strength, to the world.

We see that humanity, that strength, and our future in Barack and Michelle Obama and their beautiful children. We see them reinforced by the partnership with Joe Biden, his wife Jill, a dedicated teacher, and their family.

Barack Obama will lead us away from division and fear of the last eight years back to unity and hope. If, like me, you still believe America must always be a place called Hope, then join Hillary, Chelsea and me in making Senator Barack Obama the next President of the United States.

T. again:

Hope you all still love me, I am really just about doing the best for my family and looking at myself in the mirror while doing it. And teaching my children compassion. How about you? This is a discussion. What do you say?

T, who wants a future for my children that I can be proud of

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Maybe It'll Pay For the Old Folks Home?


JBug: I bet JBear would LOVE the Hard Rock Cafe! JBear: Rock Hard Cafe? I wanna go! Yeah, ROCK ON!

Hello? The kid is NINE. And apparently, has too much time on his hands...He needs more chores and less Guitar Hero?

Well, at least he is homeschooled, so he doesn't have to quit school in order to become an expert at the game.

Do you play Guitar Hero? Will you admit it?

T, who swears if I hear "More Cowbell" come outta his mouth he is going to military school

*edited to add: Hey! Maybe it really WILL pay for the Old Folks Home!

Apparently, the kid who dropped out is pretty good...wins contests

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Just So You Know I am Not All Gloom and Doom

I love you. I really do. I love your blog, and I love the fact that you keep coming back to read mine. I am just one big messy, fuzzy ball of gooey love for you. And I know I wrote the post below about Entrecard and how frustrating the quality of blogs and content can be, but for the most part, I really love this Blogosphere. And I want to add my contribution, of what I think makes a good blog.

How to Write Good Blog Posts

  • Content, baby. Write often, write well.
  • Make me laugh, cry, get pissed off. In short, make me feel it
  • be involved in the blog community, don't sit on a pedestal and look at the plebes who comment
  • be REAL. This is key. Use your own voice.

  • have an easy-to-read template, and check it against all browsers. What you see isn't always what others see
  • gussy up your posts with pictures, but don't make it too image-heavy, or it will have long loading times
  • provide an experience that your reader can't get anywhere else
  • Know who you are; some call this "branding"..I call it authenticity.
  • this is so important I am listing it twice. GET INVOLVED. The Blogosphere is a conversation, NOT a monologue.

    What do you like to see in a blog? What keeps you coming back?

    T, who big pink puffy hearts you, lots n' lots

Hey Entrecarders! I hate your blog!

To those who do Entrecard:

I recently lost all my bookmarks in Flock (long story, having to do with beta version and not saving from one version to the other.) In any case, recently Entrecard banned the generators that I used to use to drop cards. So I am starting over, making my folders of 10 bookmarks and dropping on people. I have to get this off my chest, or I will explode. I have come to this conclusion:

There's a lot of crap out there

So, this is the post I have been trying not to write. But I finally had to do it.

Don't expect a return visit from me:

  • if you do paid posts and don't divulge that until the end of the post
  • you have embedded music. Period. It is extremely annoying!
  • if your blog is all about making money, and you aren't in the money-making blogs section
  • you don't have a decent command of the English language
  • if you don't write good content; don't spend five minutes and post with typos just to get "something" up
  • if all you have on your blog is negative posts. I have my own shit to deal with, I don't want a steady ration of yours as well

  • you're just a repository for ads and want page views, not readers
  • you are simply a giveaway clearinghouse. I read blogs as a Slice of Life, not to get stuff
  • you have no original content, simply recycled from elsewhere
  • the template is too busy and interferes with the posts
  • if the badge on Entrecard has nothing to do with your blog

That's my rant, add your own. Do you do Entrecard? Do you think it adds quality traffic, or is your bounce rate high?

And, just so you know that I am not completely all about the negative, the next post is how to write a good blog post.

what drives you nuts about a blog? What are some of the biggest blog mistakes you've seen (or made!)

T, who says just because monkeys CAN create Shakespeare, should they?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Are YOU Working?

That's right, it's Labor Day Weekend. And as such, I am feeling tapped. So, this song has been in my head since I wrote this post. In high school, I would cruise Main with "mah buds" and we would rawk this song. We were somethin' in our plastic jelly shoes, Valley-Girl miniskirts, polo shirts with the collars up, , loud jewelry and Big Hair. At one point, I had a purple streak in my bangs. I was hawt. So.

Here you go. No, it's ok, you don't have to thank me. Not rocking the mullet will be thanks enough.

What blast from the past "moldy oldie" is part of the soundtrack of your life?

T, who's got nothin so you get a video'

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