Monday, January 30, 2012

Some of My Favorite Things


Things ~ Random Listing

  • All Things Apple (Mac, Macbook, iPad,  iPhone & iPod ~ Old school iPod:0)  
Okay, just as a side note:  Yesterday morning I watched CBS's story on Foxconn. I must admit I was a little more than shocked.  I was also shocked specifically that if Steve Jobs were as involved in his products as he was that he wouldn't have tried his best to take care of the situation.  Did his need to get product to the masses override his compassion.  NO, wait a minute.  Steve Jobs in the same sentence with compassion?  I do applaud him for being at the realm of such a perfect product but at what expense?
  • Paper Mate (SharpWriter)mechanical pencil ~ for writing. LOVE THESE!  The leads are just soft enough and the pencil is light enough.  It has a really good eraser too. 
  • Pens ~ Have always been a bit preoccupied with finding a good one.  The more expensive ones aren't necessarily the best.  Seeing a pen for me is the equivalent of "Squirrel!"  
  • Post-Its ~ Big and small (I especially like the recycled ones)
  • Journals ~ with seemingly handmade paper
  • Lavendar and lavender oil (I grow lavender.  I just need to figure out how to harvest it) 
  • Patchouli ~ Makes me feel really grounded
  • Vivelle ~ Hormone patch.  Wonderful bliss:0)
  • Gummy Vitamins ~ Really hard for me to stomach the regular stuff
  • Prescription Readers ~ Some think there isn't a difference but there is.
  • Vera Bradly Tote ~ Just big enough for my MacBook, journal, magazines,...
  • Tervis Tumblers ~ Someday I will own one.
  • Handmade Soaps ~ Good start to a day
  • Candles ~ that burn well and smell exceptional
  • Incense ~ Almost any sent except the fruity ones or the fake smelling ones
  • Lint Roller ~ We have 3 dogs, need I say more.  I have a son that is obsessed with "Mom, where's the lint roller!"  Can you hear him shout it.
  • Calculators and a good dictionary
  • Red wine ~ Sometimes, at the end of the day, (or at least after 11) it helps me make sense of it all.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Favorite Places

Some of my favorite places both of the material and the ethereal worlds. You decide what belongs in what world.


Places I LOVE! ~ In a Particular Order
  • The home I grew up in (Shoutout to Louisville, KY~ The East End)
  • Kentucky Center for the Arts (I could live there)
  • Youth Performing Arts School (I did live there and loved it for 3 years)
  • The Posture Project (Woodstock, GA.  It's intoxicating place for getting more intune with oneself)
  • The Herb Shop (Holly Springs, GA.  Not what you think.  Just driving by gives off such good energy)
  • Fox Theater ( Atlanta~ I wouldn't mind spending a little more time there)







  •  Angel Oak in South Carolina
  • Navarre Beach in Florida




  • Starbucks (A black coffee with a little ice.  Just enough to cool it off but not enough to make it cold)
  • Publix (Produce is awesome and the employees at my location are exceptionally nice.  Love the BOGO items)
  • SuperTarget (Their produce isn't great but I really enjoy the atmosphere and the 5% back with a debit Target card.  I also like their clothes:0))

  • FranklinCovey stores (It's all about organization and how you carry it). 
  • The Container Store (Everything and I mean Everything has it's place!)
  • TJ Maxx/Marshall's (For clothes and houswares and linens)
  • Steinmart (For undergarmets and special occasion clothing)
  • Ross (For who knows what!)









Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Permanent

Words can never be erased.  They are permanent.  They can be so damaging.   In this particular case I'm talking about how girls begin to view their bodies based on what others say to them.  How one word to a little girl could stay with her a lifetime.


My daughter.  My beautiful daughter and I were turning my bedroom floor into a nail shop.  I was painting her toenails, as she was telling me about her day at school.  A boy was bothering her, so and so got new boots and she had to catch-up on her reading.  I could tell she wanted to say more and knew that an evening of painting nails might provide her with the courage she needs.  It's funny, I can usually get more out of my kids when we are doing something together.  Something other than just sitting and talking.  This evening proved to be just such a night.


After telling me the fluff stuff, she made a bold statement. 
                        
                        "Mom, my thighs are fat."  
                         Me, "What did you say?"
                            "My thighs are fat."  


It wasn't a question but a statement.  She didn't even hesitate.  My first question was "Who told you that?"  Of course the response was something like, "No one."  Yeah, okay right.  She's not going to tell me right now.  I went into the whole, we are all built differently, .... She, on the other hand, wouldn't even consider that.  Her urgency to get to another subject told me that.To be perfectly honest I don't know what I would do if I found out who told her that.   


I do know to well how words are permanent.  When I was 12 I thought I would never get taller.  I was stuck at 4'8" FOREVER.  All of my friends already had growth spurts.  I, on the other hand, needed one.  My doctor, at my well visit, told my mom (but I was sitting right there) that I really didn't need to gain anymore weight.  That was permanently embedded in my head, as is evidence of this post.


 I just hope it's not too late for my daughter.


Thanks Gabriela!!   Visit her @ celebreightyourself.blogspot.com  


http://celebreightyourself.blogspot.com/2012/01/fat-is-perfect-scapegoat.html

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NCLB: The Forgotten Ones


Initially,  No Child Left Behind (NCLB) gave me hope. I was hopeful that this was the government's promise to take education seriously, leaving behind the focus on dollars and numbers. I was hopeful that no child would be left behind, giving every child an opportunity for success. The reality is this is not the case. Never did I think I would come to distrust this bill and everything it now represents.
It seems NCLB caters to students and schools who fit into a mold of either average students or above average students or those students that need more than a little help.  What happens to the students who are not socio-economically disadvantaged or special needs? What happens to those students who need a little help to be on grade level? Are those students getting the help they need? Does NCLB provide help to this segment of students? 
NCLB has forced public schools to place too much importance on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT).  The CRCT is a standardized test given to students in April, usually right after Spring Break here in Georgia.   This test, that most parents start hearing about in August and that teachers start prepping the kids for in August, is supposed to measure how well students are doing and how well teachers are teaching. In the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th grades the student's individual scores are used as a way to determine if the student needs to be retained or should be promoted. In my experience it is almost solely used to place students. If you ask administration they will deny it unless they are pressed.  
Did you know that CRCT scores not only place students but rank schools? If the school's overall score is a "passing" one,  they receive more funds.  They receive more money than a school that does not perform well. What about the school that performs poorly but is in disparate need of more funding, to be able to get more help to the students who need it?  Are the student's needs the priority? They should be.
Where is the focus? I sympathize with the teachers because their focus has had to shift as well. Teachers are bound by what seems like a mountain of test preparations which begin months before the test actually takes place. They want to make certain their students score well.  Do teachers feel like they have to teach only things that might be on the test or "teach to the test?" NCLB seems to be pushing toward this goal.  As an added pressure, these scores are being used to reflect how well teachers teach.  What about the kids who have test anxiety and just do not test well? What about the children who are learning to speak and understand English?  They take the same test everyone else does. Their scores are figured into the overall score as well.  How  accurate is the reflection now? 
We, as parents and guardians,  need to advocate for our children. The most important thing we can do is speak out, stay informed, stay in touch with our child's teachers and vote.  Schedule parent meetings, look over the school work your children bring home to see if there are discrepancies between what you know about your child and what you are seeing. I encourage everyone to start doing this today!  So much is being taken away from our children's educational experience, regarding time and resources, that those caring for school aged children need to fill in the gaps.  If we do not step in, the children who were not left behind in the beginning will be in the end. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

On This Day

On this day,  I remember  a person who fought for the rights of people who thought they didn't have any.  On this day,  I remember a person who "looked fear in the face and said, I just don't care." Pink sang it best. On this day,  I remember a person who fought not just for one but for many.  A person that was led by passionate discord.  A person who just couldn't take it anymore and did something about it.  On this day,  I remember more than just an African American man fighting for the rights of other African Americans.  Martin Luther King is an inspiration to keep going, to keep fighting for what you believe in.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Teenagers!

I don't really know what it is.  Is it the fact that he moves so slow that you can't even tell he's moving?  Is it the fact that he doesn't place things in the priority that I do?  Like making sure assignments are turned in at school.






He continues to do things the way he wants to do them. I know this because I am notified of this.  Parents who live in the county, have access to their students grades.  Grades and absences are provided for students in elementary school through high school.  You can also have the school shoot you an email if a grade drops below a certain threshold or if the student is absent or tardy.  This is an excellent way for parents to stay in touch with the school and on top of what's going on with their student.  It's helpful but there are periods of time I feel as if I'm being assaulted.  Sometimes it seems like a never ending dictation of where his priorities are.  Really!!  He doesn't miss class so how could he have an NHI (needs to hand in)? If you studied,  how could you make a 50% on a test?  The thing is he is an honor roll student.  He pulls a rabbit out of his hat right before progress reports or report cards come out.  I know, I know.  He gets things done his way.  He is finding his way.  I, in the meantime, am pulling my hair out.  I also know I'm not alone.  I've tried taking things away but he's 15.  There isn't a whole lot I can take away because the things I think matter to him really don't matter to him.  


Is it the fact that cleaning to him is rearranging things on his bathroom counter.  Sometimes he makes me crazy!  No, really. I removed his hamper from his room because his dirty clothes end up a foot in front of his hamper. Why have a hamper if you don't use it?  I guess he just didn't have the time to flip up the top of the hamper to toss things in.  Oh wait, his hamper doesn't even have a lid. Essentially it's a basket.   He could be playing basketball.  All he has to do is toss the clothes in.


Trash can?  Who needs a trash can in your bathroom when there is a big one under the bed.  You wouldn't believe what I have found under there.  There are remnants of Halloween 2010, I'm sure of it.  I vowed I wouldn't clean his room anymore.  What I mean is clean it my way.  I know, that sounds awful but I actually dust furniture and the floor and use cleaning products. I take care of the tub and toilet, wipe the dog's  nose prints from his windows and stop to pick up the remaining clothes off of the floor.  Actually I have stopped doing these things, for the most part.  I have, however, stopped doing his laundry so either he is doing his own laundry or he's wearing clothes that really should be laundered (yuck!).


There are moments, however,  that are utter bliss.  When I come home from grocery shopping,  he regularly comes out to greet me.  He comes out not just to see what's going on but to help me unload all of those groceries.  We are a family of four so there are a lot of groceries.  Additional trips to and from the car are required. I don't even have to ask and I can tell he doesn't mind.


 There are moments when he comes to me knowing that I need a hug.  He might need one too,  but he seems to sense when I need one.  He gives the most genuine hugs!


There are moments when he consoles his younger sister.  He lets her know that everything will be okay.  He also tries to stop her from doing things he doesn't think she should be doing.  It's so comforting to know that he truly has her back.  The day before they might have been ready to rip each other apart.


 There are moments when he speaks what is on his heart. One moment like this was when he told me he doesn't like school.  He doesn't like the way kids treat one another at school.   I told him that all he can do is be concerned with how he treats other people.  He said,"I know mom, but it's hard to watch."  It brought tears to my eyes.


He really is a good kid.  I should be thankful that he is a beautiful soul and not make the little things my priority. What do you think?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Get Your Chick On!


Today my husband left for Louisville. This trip is part pleasure and part work.  He went to spend time with his family and to do some work while he's there.

The day didn't start off too well for him though. Yesterday's events collided with today's. My son left for school upset and soon after that episode my husband kissed me good-bye and he began his journey.  
 In an effort to console his soul he tried to find a Chick-Fil-A.  He loves to have a Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit about once a week.  He decided to search for one after he had been driving about a half an hour.  Good luck.  There might be a Starbucks on most corners  but in North GA and TN  the  Chick-Fil-A's are few and far between.  He tried though.  A chicken biscuit from Chick-Fil-A along with their award winning coffee, at least in my husband's opinion, would restore his attitude and strengthen his resolve.  He knew he would be able to make it if he just found a Chick-Fil-A before it was too late. The breakfast clock was ticking.

Driving north on interstate 75, he began looking for the billboards and state signs to direct him to the nearest location.  This did not prove to be helpful.  He consulted the GPS but claimed that it didn't even have Chick-Fil-A in the data bank.  I was shocked! Come to find out later he was spelling Chick without the second C.  No Chick-Fil-A?  

Before he called me for some much needed compassion, he put a call into his  office.  He didn't want to call me unless he had to.  You'll understand why in a moment.  He spoke to several members of his staff asking them to track down a Chick-Fil-A.  This assignment was time sensitive, breakfast in the world of fast food is generally over at 10:30. My guess is this was a conference call in order speaker to make an efficient use of his time.  Also. the more people he had on the assignment the better chance  that he could find the location he was in desperate need of.   I'm sure when he first called he did not let on to what his actual intent was.  He probably claimed he was  "just checking in" to see what was going on in his absence.  Then towards the end of the conversation he most likely did a usual segue of "Oh, by the way" which is when he gets to the heart of the matter. This time the heart of the matter was finding a Chick-Fil-A and now.    They came up with 2 locations. He envisioned himself pulling through the drive-thru.  

The first location said it was in a remote part of TN.  He was determined to find it but without the GPS.  He forgot to get an address but was told it was right off of the interstate at a particular exit.  He finally arrived at the exit, with his mouth watering, he made a left turn and "What? No Chick?"  Then he went the other direction but it was all for naught  because there wasn't any sign of a Chick.  

He was devastated but still pressed on.  He had 20 minutes until breakfast was no longer.  He really wasn't in the mood for a chicken sandwich, which is what Chick-Fil-A serves at lunchtime.   He got back on the interstate and drove 3 exits north to his next presumed destination.  Just as he was getting ready to go down the exit ramp he looked down at the clock in disbelief.   I think at that time I actually heard him yell, "NOOOOO!"  The clock in the car read 10:55.  Breakfast ends at 10:30.   I guess it didn't occur to him to verify the time on his phone.  He should have.

Here is the best part. I didn't have the heart to remind him that in TN, that part anyway,  they are an hour behind us.  By the time he called me to give me the low down it was 10:30.  It wouldn't have done any good to tell him anyway.  He just would have been more upset.  Oh well!   I told him that next time he would have to plan his trip around Chick-Fil-A locations and their hours of operation.  

Maybe before he heads back on Monday he can stop at the Chick in Louisville :0)

An Update:  It's the next day and my husband is in Louisville heading in to work at the branch in downtown Louisville.  He sends me this text:

                  Husband:    Hey, did you say there was a Chick close to the mall?
                  Me:          Y, it's a free-standing one
                  Husband:    Headed that way now-  YEAH!  :)
                  Husband:    Nooooo, they open @ 6:30 here-AAAAAA (it's 5:35)
                  Me:          I'm sorry :0(    (Not really)
             (TIME IS NOW 6:27)
                  Me:          It's almost 6:30 now. Maybe I'll go get a biscuit.
                  Husband:    Haha!!  Don't worry- I am here waiting.  I will not be    denied my Chick!   I am on a mission!
                  Me:           Wow! that's some motivation.
                  Husband:   Got my chick on!
                    

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Movie Night: Descendants

Earlier in the week my girlfriends and I planned a night out. We decided that Saturday night we would see "that George Clooney movie".  I had no idea what the name of it was.  Quite frankly I really didn't care.  I enjoy time with my girlfriends and with George Clooney.  Finally, Saturday night came.  An hour after a chef's salad at Rafferetys,  we were in the theater. Trip to the ladies room first then a trip to the concession stand. Popcorn and a coke cost more than the movie. Seriously?? 


 My girlfriends said they usually brought their own drinks in. They also said if they bring the kids, they stop at the dollar store beforehand to buy candy.  Really? Maybe bringing your own stuff into the theater is more common than I think. I just don't buy the candy.  My kids have never complained, thank goodness.  Popcorn is a different story. We always have popcorn.  There is nothing like movie theater popcorn. That can go either way.  I know first hand about making the movie theater popcorn and eating it.   


When I first started working, I worked at a movie theater. I hated it! I might not have hated it so much if I was doing something fun like running the movie. They put me behind the counter. Yes, there was rudeness even WAY back then. Some were relentlessly unforgiving to a 16 year-old who couldn't think fast on her feet.  As a matter of fact, I still can't think fast on my feet.  Loved the guy who ordered a large popcorn with butter and a large diet coke.  Something just wasn't right about that.


We got settled into our seats, switched off our phones and waded through the litany of previews.  Finally the movie began.  At first I wasn't sure I would like it. There was a lot of silence during the scenes.  I got use to it though.  The humor at times was really dry but fit the movie.  


There were a lot of twists and turns, some tears shed and some cheers.  I would highly recommend it.  My recommendation has nothing to do with George Clooney :0)  







Friday, January 6, 2012

The Nerve of Some People

I decided to go to Starbucks today to sit and write.  My local Starbucks had people coming and going.  Actually, I've never seen a Starbucks that wasn't busy.  I ordered my non-fat, no whip gingerbread latte, excited that it was still available.  Being a seasonal drink sometimes they pull the plug before I'm ready.  


I am a coffee snob.  Few things in life am I particular about.  Coffee is one of them.  If I can't have good coffee then I would rather not have any coffee.  I'm not a big coffee drinker.  One or two cups of coffee in the morning are all I need. 


Eventhough I am a coffee snob I don't think I'm pretentious.  As a matter of fact I usually order a tall coffee with a little ice.  I said a little ice.  Not enough to make it cold.  Just a couple of cubes to cool it off. I guess I could order my coffee at a certain temperature.  Yes, people actually do this.  The nerve of some people.  Seriously!  


This afternoon, while sitting and drinking my not to hot coffee, I was trying to come up with ideas for my blog.  Then my ADD kicked in and I heard everything going on around me.  Conversations were being carried out between the baristas, between baristas and customers as well as customers with each other.  I picked up on one between the drive-thru barista and the customer placing their order in the drive-thru.  It went something like this.




Barista:   "Hi.  Welcome to Starbucks.  What can I start for you?"

Customer:  "I would like a Jenny?"

Barista:  "I'm sorry.  I didn't understand your order.  Could you please repeat it?"

Customer:  "I would like a Jenny, please?"

Barista:  "I'm sorry.  We do not have a Jenny on the menu."

Customer:  "Could I speak to your supervisor?"

REALLY??  That's right.  At least at this particular Starbucks, you can rename a beverage.  Yes, you can have a drink named after you.  I've been researching this to see if this display of entitlement is common.  I'll get back to you if I find anything.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

We All Have "Issues"

I just don't understand.  Our sweet cute little puppy, and she is sweet, lost it.  Her intoxicating puppy breath has now turned toxic.  It seems it happened sometime during the night.  I wonder if that is going to be her "issue."  We all have issues.  My family is not immune to them.  My pets are members of our family so they are not immune to them.   

Our first cat had a bit of a weight problem.  He was very large and very lazy.  He weighed 24 pounds.  I really don't think we fed him too much.  I think he was just "big boned". If I can round up a picture of him, I will share.

Our second cat, the one that we recently had put to sleep, was high strung.  She also had stinky breath.  Really stinky breath. Along with the bad breath came an attitude problem.  No one could get near her.  After or during the beginnings of the attitude problem came the litter box problem. Went I scooped every morning and evening I would consistently find pee on the wall.  Then I discovered the hooded litter box.  That solved the pee on the wall problem.  Yes, I had a female cat that sprayed.  When I asked the vet about this phenomena , he would in turn ask me,"Are you sure she is spraying?"  I asked him if she was in fact spraying when I saw her lift her hind end up, spraying the wall with what appeared to be pee.  "Oh," he said.   He had heard of that but, ...


The next adoption occurred a few years back.  Ruffles was adopted from a rescue.  He is sweet but a bit skiddish.  Ruffles is a Jack Russell that is not like your typical Jack.  He loves curling up on the couch.  He also doesn't like to have his feet touched. When he gets in bed you can't move him or you will lose fingers.When he's tired he's grumpy.  He takes a lot of naps.  I call him my little old man.  Maybe it's because of his Andy Rooney eyebrows.   Soon after we brought him home he would mark everything.  I wouldn't mind so much if it were all outside but it isn't.  Not only does he pee on things lying on the floor, he randomly just pees on the floor.  Nice.  I spent more time than I can tell you cleaning.  One time he was in the upstairs landing while the rest of us were downstairs watching TV.  We heard something that sounded like water running.  Of course I'm the one who jumps up to find out what the heck is going on.  I go into the foyer and see pee shooting from between the spindles upstairs down to the floor in front of me.  Really? We all love him though.

The dog we picked up from the Atlanta Humane Society was a gorgeous puppy named Spice.  We immediately felt Spice just wasn't the right name.  We renamed her another spice, Ginger. Spice was too generic.  She was, I mean is, cute.  It didn't take long to train her and the two dogs seemed to get along just fine.  This is before Ruffles started peeing on things.  


By this time we only had one cat, Zoie.  She was elderly and stayed upstairs.  The dogs stayed downstairs except at night. Anyway, we soon found out that Ginger would eat anything.  I do mean anything.  She has eaten concrete, carpeting, toys, and yes even her own poop.  The first time she ate her poop I couldn't move.  I couldn't do anything.  I couldn't believe it.  I even talked to the vet about this.  Apparently he knew of this issue also, like the female cat spraying, but hadn't actually encountered a client with a pet that did that. 


 I decided to watch a little Caesar Millan to see if anyone else had the same problem.  Nothing.  I researched the subject online and a couple of Caesar's books.  I do love that man! Somewhere along my journey researching something was said about bananas.  Feed a dog bananas and this will cure them.  Not true.  Bananas are apparently the only thing Ginger won't eat.  You could tell she thought they were disgusting.  It was almost as if she were being forced to eat her own poop. I guess I should be grateful she only occasionally does this.






Now there's Bella.  So cuddly yet with moments of intense fire.  She's a beautiful combination of bulldog persistence and  pitbull lovability.  Once we get past the puppy months we'll see what other "issues" come up.  Hopefully it will only be her breath :0)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yoga Mat

Here it lays.  I was looking all over for it.  It was here the entire time.  I'm just slightly embarrassed. Okay, I'm a lot embarrassed.   I should treat my mat a little kinder.  Bruce would be disappointed. Bruce is my awesome yoga instructor.  Maybe if I treated my mat nicer, it would treat me a little kinder during class.  My yoga mat and the Emergency Car Kit were removed from the back of my car before things were loaded for our Christmas Vacation. Yes, emergency car kit.  The kit that should have been in the car during our trip. We could have used it.  Anyway, today I got in my car to go to yoga class.  Before reaching the driver's door something caught my eye.  That's when I saw it laying there, in the garage.   I picked it up from the cold, hard floor, gingerly placing it in the passenger seat.  We drove to class.   My mat was very forgiving.  Thank goodness!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hippity, Hoppity, ...

video
Our little baby turns 5 months old.  Time has truly flown.  So far she has been a really good puppy.  This is probably one of the last times we will see her hippity hop up the stairs.  So sweet!  Now if I can only remember how sweet she is  when she wakes me at 3 in the morning needing to go outside, wakes again at 5, does her grab and run, wolfs down her food and everyone elses, and turns into a shaken up can of Sprite when greeting you. But she's so sweet!  How could you not love her? One of the best decisions we have ever made.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Whistler

I was talking with my dad the other day. He was telling about the home phone ringing off the hook. He does have a cell but has a problem disconnecting from a land line.  Daily there is a steady flow of sales calls. I guess my mom was the one fielding the calls before he retired.   He retired 7 years ago but this is a pretty consistent topic of conversation.  It seems the time his spends answering the phone is disproportionate to the amount of time he spends doing things he planned to do when he retired. He does manage to get in a nap or two. 


 He spends a good portion of this time speaking with/listening to both English speaking, and those who do not speak so that he can understand, salespeople. "Why doesn't he just hang up?" you ask. The thing about my dad is that he is nice. He is nice to a fault. He will be nice no matter what. He might be upset, as those around him find out later, but he will remain nice to the person on the other end of the conversation. He is the nicest man I know. I'm not just saying that. Ask anyone. He is also honest. Just thought I'd throw that in.


 When he gets these phone calls to extend a warranty, to subscribe to a paper, to vote for a certain political person, he actually listens to them. He just cannot bring himself to hang up. He lets them get through their spiel and then tries to politely say he isn't interested. Yeah,  right. 


 Not too long ago he received a call from a very rude salesman. Dad decided enough was enough. He put the phone down for a few seconds to gain his composure and then told the salesman he wasn't interested. He further told the guy to put his phone number on the "Do not call" list.  As you could imagine, this was a big step for my dad. The salesman proceeded to tell my dad that he wasn't going to do that and there nothing my dad could do about it. He further said he would continue to call him.


 My dad asked to speak to this guy's supervisor.  The guy on the other end said "You're speaking to him."  The guy kept going on and on. My mom happens to be in the kitchen listening to the conversation, trying to keep her composure.  I'm sure it's difficult because when my Dad gets frustrated you know it.  You might not get verbal cues, but the facial expressions give him away. My mom could take no more.  She's a good "go to" when things begin to go haywire.  On the fly, she can come up with a solution. 


My mom walks over to the junk drawer.  You know the one.  She gets the whistle.  She walks over to my dad and motions for him to blow the whistle into the phone. Not knowing what else to do, my dad puts the whistle to his lips.   Using all of the lung capacity he can muster, he blows the whistle as fiercely as he can into the mouthpiece. He sucks in more air and blows again and again.  Finally his lungs are empty of air.  He hears the salesman's voice on the other end ask, "Are you finished now?" My dad responded with a hard and fast click.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve Spent: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

     I read all of the books and saw the subtitled movies.  There are few times I get excited when a book is on the big screen.  I was excited about going to a theater to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  


The book had been out for a little while before I read it.  I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own.  While on vacation one year I borrowed the book.  We were renting a condo, so when it came time to pack up, and I still had more chapters to go, I left the book there in hopes of borrowing it from our local library. I was on a waiting list for several days.   


The next day the library called to say I was bumped up to number 21.  21! Seriously!  Not waiting any longer I made the trip to Walmart, which in and of itself would constitute enough info for a novel, and picked up my own copy of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I read all day and most of the night.  It was soooo good that I went out and bought the sequel,  reading that one with rapid anticipation of the next. 


By this time, my husband was a Girl With the Dragon Tattoo enthusiast.  Like others I know, his hunger for more was fed from my retelling what I read.  That's also the only way I could get a book discussion going. Unfortunately he doesn't read for pleasure.  I would have shared the story with my son also,  to broaden the discussion, but there are parts of that book that are just not appropriate.  I know, I know.  My husband says the same thing.  "Dear God Pam!  The kid is 14."  I know.  I'm the meanest mom on the block.  If you don't believe ask my son and/or daughter or read my previous blogs.


 Finally, I realized the subtitled movie was out.  Off to Blockbuster I went. It was really good.  Reaallly good.  It was easy to follow and it pretty much kept pace with the book.  Liz, the main character, was at first  portrayed as  a victim.  Later you found she could take care of herself.  She was very smart, strong, didn't really care what others thought, was detail oriented when it came to the work she did, and persistent. She did however use some of her talents in questionable ways. 


This past Saturday my husband and I couldn't wait to see the movie on the big screen and not in subtitles.  The beginning of this movie was hard to watch.  You would see clips of a rose, then faces and bodies, cables and possibly computers dipped in hot black wax as if they were trying to cast a mold.  The objects appeared to be lifted up dripping with whatever black liquid they were dipped in.  Heavy metal rock played in the background. It was a loud and in your face.  I didn't understand why they did what they did unless it was to scare us into believing this movie would be a punker's paradise. It was like what an advertisement would be like for Hot Topic.  


 The Liz in the latest movie release seemed to be totally alien.  I didn't really care for how she was portrayed. Too over the edge for her to be so "normal." Liz looked angry 99% of the time. I understand the reason why she should be angry but there needs to be something that is relatable.  I just didn't feel it. If you haven't seen it yet, I would rent the subtitled version instead.  It's way better!!  The best things about renting are it's less expensive, you are in the comfort of your own home and you can pause it for bathroom/snack breaks.  Also you don't have people sitting next to you that are not following the rules.  Well, most of the time anyway.  If someone does get out of hand you can always pause the movie.    :0)



A Life Worth

The party is over and the year is 2012.  2011 flew by.  No really it did.  Somehow the years begin running together.  How is it that I am 45 years old with an 11 year-old daughter, a 15 year-old son and a 47 year-old husband?  Wow! Our youngest cat passed away this year (she was 21)  along with my husband's father and a great uncle of mine.  I'm reminded of the years spent laughing and crying.  The days I never thought would end and the moments I wish never happened.   I'm still trying to hold it all together during those tough times.  It's all for a reason, but I'm glad to see that 2012 made it around the corner.

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