Saturday, February 21, 2009

Things I learned about birthday parties for children

1. The smell of silly string makes me drive heave

2. Kids don't like cake, just the ice cream

3. Having a party with 12 children is only a good idea in a large public place

4. Even though they are friends, kids will still find a way to fight at a party

5. Balloons are the work of the devil

6. Don't plan on hanging out with adults, every child will demand your personal attention: "watch what I can do" and such

7. A one to one adult to child ratio is NOT enough. You need to outnumber them 2 to 1

8. Even if you say the party ends at 3:15 you cannot get the children to leave and bribery fails every time

9. Children don't like finding crackers in their goodie bags, they expect candy

10. One should never have a party for children where beer is not served.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Politics and stuff

As you may or may not know, I was given the privilege (yes, privilege) of testifying in front of the Idaho State Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee on Monday with regards to a bill, S1081, that I co-wrote with our local Senator Shawn Keough. Without going into too much detail, let me just say that the bill was designed to ensure that our county receives its fair share of the bed tax that our lodgers are required to collect.

Sadly, though not surprisingly, the bill was killed in committee. On the positive side, one piece of it will be resurrected this session and tagged to another piece of legislation. That part will make sure that one county can't dominate the regional representation on the council, thereby unfairly skewing the distribution of the grant dollars to their own consitituents.

I was asked by one of the committee members if I thought that the representative for my region was influenced by his employer to take money away from our county. I said yes. And do you want to know what the best part of the whole thing was? My regional representative's employer sent his LOBBYIST to testify against the bill, thereby proving my point. If they are NOT receiving more than their fair share of the money to offset their advertising costs, why would it be necessary to have their lobbyist testify against it at all?

Politics, such a beautiful thing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not that there's anything wrong with that Part 2

If you haven't read part 1, take a moment so that more of part 2 makes sense!

I have a simple mind, so in all reality I really don't know how it all works together, but since I posted about fantabulous gay & lesbian vacation advertisements on my blog, the banner ads on my gmail account have changed slightly. For one thing, I noticed a link to a website that sells man-bras.

My mind immediately went to the Seinfeld episode (yes, another Seinfeld reference) featuring the "Bro", or bra for men-boobs, AKA moobs. Did I click over to see? You betcha!

What I found was not what I expected. Rather than an apparatus to contain & flatten overweight man-boobs, what I discovered where various bras designed to give your average cross-dresser the appearance of having woman-cleavage. Disturbing? Yes.

However, probably the most disturbing part of the whole website is that several of these man-bras actually showed male cleavage much more ample than my own. Where's the fairness in that?

How is it possible that a manufacturer can design a bra for a dude with pectoral muscles to create the illusion of big tits, but that same manufacturer hasn't even considered how well his product, though slightly altered for a female frame, might be a big seller to women who have breast-fed children and whose breasts currently reside in their armpits?

Many times I have asked myself where's the bra that can seek & squish every last ounce of breast tissue into two cups that will make us moms feel like teenagers with perky breasts again? Well folks, I found one and it is engineered for men who like to look like women.

The injustice of it all.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not that there's anything wrong with that.....

I was checking on Travelocity today because I need to book travel to Boise to attend a Senate hearing next week. I thought I would see what kinds of airfare deals I could find.

While I perused the options for airfare, I noticed a delicious banner ad at the top of the page:

3 shirtless sexy men walking on a beach:


Of course my eye was immediately drawn to the right of the photo, to the aforementioned three sexy men (as seen above). Sadly, no red flag was raised when I noticed that one man had his arm on the back of the one in the middle.

I mean, men pat each other on the back, right? Maybe not shirtless, but for pete's sake I live in north Idaho so anything with a beach and half naked hotties is immediately appealing. Details, details!

And tan men? Puh-leese! Of course, the fact that they appear to be well-groomed with washboard abs didn't send a warning sign either.

I finally noticed the text (after about ten minutes of drooling on my keyboard) and saw Vacation Deals and thought, "I wanna go there" then realized just as I was about to click that it says:

Gay or not, I would go there just to look at 'em! And yes, they ARE fantabulous. Sadly though, I guess my gay-dar is on the fritz.

I do want to send an appeal to Travelocity. Please be sensitive to those of us in cooler climates who have 2 months or less every summer to admire the tan, male physique.

Don't tease us with their hotness only to dash our hopes with them being gay.

Next time you run banner ads, don't use that kind of eye candy, you only confuse and frustrate your customers.

Or maybe next time you can put the words "FANTABULOUS" right on top of the half -naked men. I can 100% guarantee you I would have figured it out much faster that way.

Is fantabulous even a word?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Open Letter to Girl Scouts and Camp Fire:

Dear Youth Development Organizations Who Sell Candy Right Before Lent:

Please, cease and desist selling your candy and cookies right before Lent begins. EVERY STINKING YEAR as I prepare for the season of lent, suddenly I am constantly tempted by samoas, shortbread cookies, almond roca and mints. And most of us try and give that crap up for 40 days for goodness sake!

I beg of you, don't do this. On the plus side for Camp Fire, I can buy stuff and then binge on it right before lent begins. On the downside, I am prone to then barfing because I really can't handle that much sugar at once. Better to just eliminate the temptation, you know?

And Girl Scouts, you should be ASHAMED! Making us order cookies and then delivering them during lent, forcing us to go to confession because we couldn't resist the temptation of dipping those sweet little short breads into our morning coffee, lunchtime milk, afternoon tea, eating them as a reward for checking email, putting on socks, or answering the phone.

Please, I implore you: find another time to sell your damn goodies.

And another thing I find extremely distressing about the timing of these sales: We are all just BARELY recovering from our holiday 10 lb weight gain, just getting back into our skinny jeans when you come knocking and testing our willpower with your delicious treats.

And to then pile a heap of guilt on top of it that the proceeds are to help our youth is really, in my opinion, unconscionable.

In my humble opinion, the best time to do this is right before swimsuit season. It's not like I'll be wearing a swimming suit in public anyways, so then I have a great excuse.

I can say those damn girl scouts/campfire girls sent me a on a guilt trip so I had to buy a bunch of stuff so they could go to summer camp, that's why I won't be at the beach. Better than saying I have outgrown my muu-muu. Better blame it on someone else, right?

Monday, February 9, 2009

If I could go back...

Facebook is an incredible tool for connecting and reconnecting with people from our lives, past and present. Recently my first "love" found me and a lot of really fun memories came rushing back. Not that I would trade my husband, my family or my life for anything.

Quite the contrary, I would never want to go back to those awkward years of my late teens with my permed hair, braces and a trunk full of insecurities. No, I really love my husband and my children and am even learning to like the woman I've become.

But, last night I was unable to sleep for most of the night. My son was coughing and sniffling and seemingly unable to get comfortable. I went in and checked on him and he seemed to need me to lay down with him. A rule I rarely break, but last night I did because he needed me. As I lay there snuggling him and hoping he would fall asleep, my mind drifted off into that funny place of not fully awake, but not sound asleep either.

My mind wandered back to that summer of 1989 as I lay there listening to my baby boy breathing. The ebb and flow of his breath made me think of those amazing Kentucky thunder storms, where you can see the lightning flash but the air is so thick with moisture it absorbs the sound of the thunder. I remembered watching them and feeling the arms of someone special holding me, as I held my son. And for a moment I truly remembered the innocence of that time in my life and the sweetness of the experience, but I couldn't remember everything.

If I could go back there, I wouldn't linger. I would only tell the naive 16 year old girl that I used to be to sit back, enjoy, and take it all in. Memorize every detail, sound and color. Because 20 years goes by ever so quickly. Just like I know in my heart that while I didn't sleep much last night, it was truly a blessing.

20 years will go by quickly and soon my sweet little boy will be a man. So last night, tired though I was, I laid there and memorized every sound, the innocence of the boy, the sweetness of his breath on my face, how warm it was to hold him in my arms hoping he felt as safe as I did.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A really vicious circle

Well I really hate to bring up the old anxiety & depression thing, but I just have to vent. It's either blather about it on my blog or end up paying for therapy. So to be fiscally responsible I'll trouble the rest of the world with my woes.

So today we had to go shopping and unfortunately that means that we ended up at Walmart (there's that fiscally responsible thing with the economy these days). I don't really know why, and can't quite explain, but going to Walmart gives me an anxiety attack. Every stinking time.

I swear. Like a sumo wrestler standing on my chest. And the closer we get to the store, the worse it gets. So while we're there I see about a dozen people I know, and to add to my stress I haven't showered (ew, gross I know but it is Saturday and the kids were up first okay?), I have no makeup on and my kids are completely out of control. Must be something in the air there....

And really, for me, the absolute WORST thing is that all I want to do is have a glass of wine to relax! I either have to sleep or drink to get that anxiety feeling to go away. And I can't drink because, well a depressant like alcohol sort of negates the whole ANTI-depressant thing so I am screwed.

I remember my therapist saying that the trick to making it go away is to know what you are anxious about. So what the hell could I be anxious about going to the fricken grocery store for anyway? Oh no, the bananas are going to be too yellow. Gosh, they'll run out of cheap canned goods. Darnit all, they won't have my size of plastic shoes for gardening.

So as I am walking around the store, huffing and puffing and trying to get air into and out of my lungs and trying to hide from people I know I decided what the hell, I'll get a bottle of wine for tonight. I get to the wine section and BAM! Can't find anything I like. Because after all, I'm at Walmart for crap's sake. So, turn up the anxiety a notch. See? Vicious circle.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A mother's right

Mother's have rights. Well, and they are always right. But anyway, the point is that my right as a mother is to tell really boring stories about my kids that I think are hilarious. So here goes:

Last night we were in the car making plans for when we got home. We discussed that we would eat dinner, have "learning time", take a tub and go to bed (boy do I know how to have fun!!).

The kids requested a joint tub, which I prefer not to do but since Mark is working late for the next month and a half I decided to suck it up and do them both at once. It isn't easier, just quicker. And I end up a little less wet since there's not two separate tubbings with two separate kids splashing me for 10 minutes each.

So Brady says, "Tee-tah, don't throw a dolphin at me this time."

Kaylee says, "Brother, I DIDN'T throw a dolphin at you." (exasperated sigh)

(brief pause)

"It was a humpback whale."

Geez Brady, don't ya know????

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

Further evidence that I have not one skill that I do overly well, but rather several that I can complete half-assed, today for an hour I re-painted several sections of my building that were damaged during flood-gate 2009.

And on the day the roof nearly caved in, I spent the better part of that day moving furniture and bailing out a 55 gallon garbage can. So, do you think these are skills or talents that should be listed on my resume?

I guess when I signed up for this job I had no idea that would mean I would have to learn the following:
  • How to shovel snow from a sidewalk with a crappy aluminum shovel from 1985
  • How to remove snow from a plow piled up at the end of aforementioned sidewalk with aforementioned crappy aluminum shovel
  • How to avoid gagging excessively while cleaning up a flooded bathroom floor covered in chunky poop from some old lady who used our toilet as her own public restroom after drinking a gallon of morning coffee so she wouldn't plug the toilet in her own RV
  • How to refrain from chasing down the old lady and beating her for not warning us that she clogged the damn toilet
  • How to bang on the office window loud enough that the early morning traveler who just wants to take a piss in my bathroom but can't get in because we haven't opened yet doesn't whip it out and pee next to my desk outside while I am checking my email

Gosh, I really do have my dream job.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil

F*#!ing groundhog. 6 more weeks of winter? More like 12 if you live in north freaking Idaho.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Breaking news?

Wow, hot topic today in the media: Michael Phelps was photographed smoking pot. And this is a surprise? Didn't everyone see the kind of food the dude ate while training? Yeah, I know he burns a LOT of calories training, but come on. His next sponsorship gig? Doritos.