30 April 2008

Update on the car thing

So - it seems that the Beetle has been officially totaled. I loved that car. Truly.

I did, however, come to an interesting observation on my way home from work today... 12 years ago when I started at this company, I was driving a white Saturn. About 2 months after, I got my 1996 VW Golf. I have been VW obsessed since then. Now - fewer than two months before I turn my life upside down - I find myself in a white Murano. And the truth is, I actually really like this car. I think I am going to keep it. I think it is an omen. Someday I may find myself in another VW - but right now, it seems that the Murano is calling me. I think I shall answer.

29 April 2008

I am perseverating.

Sorry - but the accident and how safe we were in the little red beetle is just a recurring theme for me this week. Stumbled on this you-tube video. It is from 1999 - the same year of my beetle.

28 April 2008

Aftermath... the beetle

Well - it isn't actually looking great for the beetle at this time. As you can see, the damage is pretty extensive. The worst part is the suspension damage - see the tires? how they are bent in?) All I can say is this beautiful little car did it's job. It kept us safe. My heart breaks a little every time I see these pictures. ---please refrain from stating the obvious - that I should just be happy that we are all okay. Yes. Of COURSE - I am not a complete and total ass. More than anything I am thrilled beyond words that William and I are safe - it is just that looking at these pictures reminds me of why. And the sad realization that I may never scoot around town in my perfect little red VW Beetle just crushes me. Sorry - but it does. Anyway - I promised to share...

27 April 2008

The aftermath - William and I

These pictures show the extent of our injuries... I would say the little beetle did a fine job of protecting us. Not bad. Not bad at all. Pictures of the beetle will likely follow shortly... If you, for some reason, don't know what I am talking about - the post about the car accident can be found here: Clicky!

26 April 2008

The one about the car wreck.

William and I were in a car accident this evening. A lady ran a red light and hit the driver's side of my sweet little red beetle. The police tell us that they will be issuing her a citation. Right behind us, serendipitously, was the woman we bought out house from. She was fantastic and stayed with us until we went in the ambulance. Poor thing - I hugged her so hard! She was also the one who recruited me to be a room mom this year...

We are okay - William's face is burned from the airbag (yeah - I know. don't go there.) He went to the hospital in the ambulance on the board with the head restraint and all that. They x-rayed him as a precaution and sent him home. He is SUCH a trooper. Never lost it. Never broke down. Didn't even cry. He is so rock solid. Everyone was amazed. On the way home I told William how very proud I am of him - that he was so brave etc. He said "Well, I'm a karate student. That's how we are."

My hand is burned. My neck is bruised and burned. I will go to the chiropractor on Monday to let them check me out. I am sure I will be sore. But all in all I think I am okay. I never tensed up. I never froze. I stayed relaxed. The only explanation I have is - Tai Chi? I don't know. So - I can't relax in my day to day life but I get in an accident - and - hey! I don't pretend to understand! LOL!

Of course, I spent the better part of last evening washing and armoralling my car yesterday. This morning I filled it up, yup $40! Figures. I am thrilled that we walked away virtually unscathed - still - there's an hour of my life and $40 I will never see again! :(

Still Thinking Green

I love this little gem of a site which I just stumbled on. It is user friendly and stupid proof - very important for me since I seldom learn anything by just reading or listening - I need PICTURES. Not diagrams... pictures!

Anyway - because Earth Day was just this week and because when I give someone a present I like it to look like I put some thought into wrapping it and preparing it for them (presentation is half the "battle" - no?) and because I am just not crazy about wrapping paper, anything that offers an alternative to that is okie dokie with me I share with you a great way to reuse toilet paper rolls!

Ta Da! Supah cute and a great way to re-use something you might otherwise throw away! (Don't say I never gave you anything!) :)

22 April 2008

Baby Steps...

Earth Day is once again upon us. This is a fantastic opportunity to look at our lives and pick a few things we can do to take better care of our planet. The biggest problem I see with this is that people tend to let their perfectionist attitudes get in the way of success. Look - it is a big planet - with a lot of problems. We can not fix everything - we can't do everything perfectly every time, but that doesn't mean we are off the hook. We need to try. Start small.

This story makes this point rather well:
One morning a man was walking down a beach that was covered in dying starfish. The tide the night before had been especially strong and thousands of starfish had been washed up on shore, too far up for them to make it back into the water by themselves. The man shook his head as he trudged along thinking what a shame it was that all of those starfish would die on the beach.

He came upon a boy who was throwing starfish back into the ocean as fast as he could. He was out of breath and it was obvious that he had been at this task for a while. "Son," the man said, "you might as well quit. There are thousands of them. They are washed up all over the beach as far as you can see. There is no way you can make any sort of a difference." The boy did not even pause in what he was doing. He kept bending and throwing but as he did, he spoke to the man, "I can make a difference to this one, and this one, and this one." And the man thought, and he knew the boy was right. He began to help return the animals to their home, smiling at how life's biggest lessons sometimes came from the smallest people."

Every little bit counts. Maybe you can switch to reusable bags when you shop. Maybe you can be more conscious of packaging and buy more products that are NOT packaged individually (pssst - it is cheaper too!) Maybe you can pack your lunch each day to reduce waste - Laptop Lunches are a great way to do this! It is healthier and you will save money too!

Share what baby steps you and your family can take to help our planet - don't overwhelm yourself. Pick one or two things to work on this year - make them your habit (remember - it takes 21 times/days to make a habit!!! Be patient with yourself, you won't get it right 100% of the time right away!) In a year you will be greener - you will be doing your part...

For my part this coming year I plant to work on reducing waste by making more things from scratch and packing lunches for my son and me. What about you? What will you work on??

21 April 2008

Daddy Time Capsule

This week's Weekend Wordsmith prompt this week was "Time Capsule". Hmmm... Odd. I had just been thinking about how hard it was for me to get a good clear picture of my dad in my mind. He is gone 29 years this month and honestly - only sensory memories remain: scents, flavors, hugs... so this poem reflects the fact that my time capsule mind is failing... the bu ilding in the picture is where we used to live. The thistle - well - I still have a hanky he brought me from Scotland with thistles stiched on it..


Sometimes scared to lose you to newer, fresher times,
You live forever in my heart - but are fading in my mind.
Old Spice, warm hug - some things are still clear.
But your voice and smile fading - things once so dear.

Rum raisin ice cream, melty, creamy-smooth
Reminiscent flavor transports me while it soothes
Smiles captured by light so many years ago,
Purple thistles neatly stitched on a hanky in a row.

No real way to keep you - no box, no lock, no safe.
Your untimely departure left my heart a waif.
My mind is the time capsule failing at the task
Keeping you forever is, it seems, too much to ask.

Just for Fun

Happy Birthday to Mad Libs... You guys all remember Mad Libs, right? I added a widget temporarily on my side bar in honor of their 50th birthday - Enjoy! If you come up with something funny - why not share it! Special thanks to Mommy Doodles for the heads-up!

20 April 2008

Substitute Training...

In case you are wondering where I have been this weekend, I am taking a course to prepare me for substitute teaching. It is not mandatory - one person even told me it would be horribly boring - but I have to tell you... it has cemented the idea in my head, made me more certain that I am headed in the right direction and honestly, has been mostly interesting and engaging. I am actually pretty horrified that it is not mandatory - Some of my fellow students though - UGH! They get on my last nerve. We have the know-it-all; you know, she is so experienced and so well-seasoned - has to tell a PERSONAL story every time, it gets old REAL quick. And SOME of them I can't see in a classroom - like - EVER. I am sorry but if the only reason you want to sub is to so you can have summers off, then you really shouldn't be in the classroom. Apparently there is such a sub shortage that they take whoever they can get that meets the criteria. Lucky for me, I don't have to be friends with any of them. Ugh.


Anywho... it is nice to know that I will be okay. Still have a little more to prepare on my own, but overall I think I will be just fine!

18 April 2008

When I look up...

I see gas prices.

In what universe is it perfectly acceptable for it to cost me $40 - FORTY DOLLARS people!!! - to fill my little Beetle with gas?!??! 87 octane. Nothing special.

I am torn...

I have time, but I need to decide. I am thinking about doing either Pampered Chef or Tastefully Simple and I can not decide which one. One thing that annoys me about BOTH companies is that they feel compelled to choose which OS I may use. Now, I CAN install and use windoze on my beautiful pristine MacBook Pro, but I don't WANT to and I shouldn't HAVE to. Both companies want me to do this, however and I find it intensely rude.

Other than that I love both company's products. My contact for Pampered Chef is awesome - I just love her, so they have an edge there. Tastefully Simple has better opportunity for reorders but I don't really have a good contact there.

So - what do you guys think?

Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple or something else?? Have any ideas on how I can decide? Something to consider? I plan to research which company is "greener", so if anyone has thoughts on that, I'd love to hear it... Let me know!

17 April 2008

What Tom Hanks and I have in Common

Ostensibly, nothing. Of course. He is very wealthy and has more credibility than pretty much everyone - he knows Meg Ryan and has two Oscars to his credit... I have nothing like that - BUT!!! Both of us talk to inanimate objects as if they are real... His was a volleyball named Wilson. Mine is a GPS named Simon.

Shhhhhh.... I know. That wasn't REALLY Tom Hanks, it was Chuck Noland - a fictional character. Uhm - duh. But since this is my blog I get to draw whatever comparisons I so desire.

I realized this today - that I am a little crazy to be talking to my TomTom (I call it Simon because that is the name of the British Voice I have chosen). I argue with him about which way is faster. I tell him repeatedly that if he would just pay attention he would know by now that on the way home it is a BAD thing to go past the High School at dismissal - that it is actually a longer way at that time of day.

He doesn't answer. Just a glutton for punishment I suppose. Just to get him back, I drive straight through the roundabout (or circle as we call it normally). Not really - but he apparently sees it that way. Bet I give him a fright every time.

16 April 2008

The More You Relax, The More You Feel

A little back-story for this one... some of you know that in Jeannie-Land, the day after Monday is known as TaiChi Tuesday. Every Tuesday before we begin our Tai Chi form practice we do a little QiGong. For the sake of simplicity, let me share with you a little blurb from Wikipedia to explain what QiGong is:
The 'qi' in 'qigong' means breath or gas in Chinese, and, by extension, 'life force', 'energy' or even 'cosmic breath'. 'Gong' means work applied to a discipline or the resultant level of skill, so 'qigong' is thus 'breath work' or 'energy work'.
Moving forward... during our QiGong exercises, my wonderfully calm and infinitely patient instructor will remind us to relax, usually adding: "The more you relax, the more you feel". I have heard this every week for more than two years and I always find my mind wandering to thoughts of why this is so proundly difficult for me... this stillness... relaxation and so forth... I think it is, in fact, because I don't WANT to feel. (It does not escape me that what we are encouraged to feel in class is Qi... energy... but the principle still applies apparently, at least in my pea-brain.)

And that is where I got my inspiration for this week's Poetry Stretch. This week, Tricia at Miss Rumphius Effect challenged us to write a kyrielle. I am not entirely sure I got it right, but I sure had fun taking a stab at it!

So, with my humblest apologies to the French Troubadours of old...

The More You Relax, The More You Feel

I must choose, stillness or motion
Needing to avoid raw emotion
I hear the reminder and appeal
The more you relax, the more you feel.

My world is structured to avoid
Honest feelings, unnerving void.
Offered to me: an alternative ideal:
The more you relax, the more you feel.

Relax in stillness, poised and calm
Or revel in chaos my faithful balm
Relaxing risks pain much too real
The more you relax, the more you feel.

Raw unvarnished honesty denied -
Then swallowed whole with fries on the side.
Avoid at all costs or begin to heal?
The more you relax, the more you feel.

15 April 2008

I got nuttin.

How weird.

I suddenly feel like there is not a thing for me to prattle on about! Those of you who know me realize what an anomaly this truly is.

I can tell you that if I were writing my memoirs, the title for this week's chapter would be "A Pint can not hold a Quart". WAY too much on my plate this week. WAY too much!

13 April 2008

Rest in Peace, Sam...

We interrupt this blog to pay tribute to Sam, the gentle giant, who had to be put down this morning. He was the sweetest, gentlest, calmest dog I have EVER met - the perfect canine ambassador to those who fear dogs. Sam was about 11 years old and his legs just ran out of strength. I know I often gripe about having so many animals. It doesn't make this part any easier. Especially not with a dog like this...

Godspeed, Sam. You will be missed.

10 April 2008

Primary Mandate I

I believe that on a day like today - 78 degrees and sunny - if someone is driving around in a convertible with the top UP, the car can be confiscated and traded with a more deserving soul who is stuck in a hard top.

You are free to disagree with me - naturally - but I shall never stop fighting! :)

Dog Nazi

I live with the Dog Nazi. No mustache - just gray hair and this unstoppable desire to tell her animals where to go and what to do at all times.

"Sit Here" "Go in there" "Eat this" "Go upstairs now" "Don't Go upstairs" "Where are you walking?" "Don't go over there"

I know - I know. They are animals - they can take direction. But there comes a point where it is just ridiculous. ALL.DAMN.DAY. She is constantly cajoling these dogs, scolding them, having long, in-depth conversations with them.

It makes me crazy.

Incidentally - it does not escape me that you will think I am nit-picking... but you have to be here to understand the full magnitude of this. These dogs can no longer make an independent choice. EVER. They get up. They look at her as if to say "what am I allowed to do?"

It is like a live video sim game. Only more annoying. You can't turn it off. It is just there all.the.time.


07 April 2008

And now for something completely different!

Let's play a little game, shall we??

Scattergories!! Use the first initial of your first name and provide info for the following categories... (I used to love love LOVE this board game!!)

Thanks to my friend Pat for emailing it to me!!!



TV SHOW: Journeyman


GIRL NAME: Jacquelyn



FOOD: jam

SOMETHING FOUND IN A BATHROOM: jets (as in the kind in your fancy, smacked-ass bathtub...)

REASON FOR BEING LATE: Jealous madman holding hostages was blocking the road and caused a huge traffic jam...

06 April 2008

You are What you Eat...

Our prompt from Weekend Wordsmith this week was "What's on the Menu?". It made me think about the cultural differences in the way we as Americans feel about food and mealtime and the way - say - the French do...

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, in Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante, 1826:

"Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es." [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are].

What if you told him you ate pork rinds and cheese fries with bacon and gravy? Who would he tell you you are?

I think as Americans this notion escapes us. We eat a LOT of food. Copious amounts of food... in doing so we often lose the notion of quality over quantity. The whole idea of supersizing a meal, making it bigger, providing more more more. If much is good, more is better... But - we give precious little thought to the quality of food we are eating, the preservatives... We eat in a BIG hurry. In our cars, in front of TV, giving little thought to the flavors and textures that we put in out mouths...

I think we are missing the boat. We need to slow down, enjoy what we are eating. Turn off the TV - feel the food in our mouths, the texture, the blend of flavors... Wolfing down an over-cooked leathery burger in our car is a very different experience than sitting down with family or friends and enjoying wine and delicious fresh food. If we actually allowed ourselves to feel nourished emotionally and physically at mealtimes, how much different might we feel about food? If we slow down, appreciate what we are eating, we need significantly less to feel satisfied.

I wonder why we feel we have to rush all the time? My grandmother always used to say that we always have time to do the things we really want to do. Why don't we want to make mealtime more of a quality social activity? Why can't we just slow down??

05 April 2008

What to do...

Okay - so I have a facebook account. I hardly ever use it - for reasons unknown to me I decided to poke around a bit today and stumbled across someone... the dilemma I face is - do I reach out??

This someone was my BFF (obviously not but so I thought at the time) in HS. We were inseparable, We were in band together - chorus, theatre - I called her Boo-Boo and she called me Yogi. We were very tight. In HS I was - hmmm, what is the right word... obsessed? Possibly - but let's go with interested in someone - everyone knew it. I would have done anything to have gone out with him - we were friends - but that is all - I really felt for a very VERY long time that I loved this person. (THAT is a story for another day)

After HS - Boo-Boo and I drifted apart. She was a year behind me - that likely had more to do with it than anything else. One day I found out she was very seriously involved with aforementioned object of my affection. Some speculated they might even marry. No one understood why this upset me and hurt me in strong, profound ways, except my wonderfully perceptive grandfather. My heart split in two. Shriveled up like a raisin. I never spoke to her again. Not directly. Not indirectly.

So I found Boo-Boo on facebook today - and I wonder - should I reach out to her? On one hand - it is almost 25 years ago. I am obviously no longer interested in former love object. No harm no foul - right? I mean - I would be proving that I am over it. Or WOULD I be? Would I just be opening up old wounds? Going back is not something I do. I shut the door - I NEVER go back. EVER. It is just how I am. I am not one of those people who can be friends with ex's... You hurt me? You don't get a chance to do it again. I am not bitter - but I also am not stupid. It is emotional self defense...

So - what say you bloggy friends?? Reach out or let it be???

04 April 2008

P-ewww Clerihew

Well - this week's Poetry Stretch asked us to write a clerihew. Short, humorous, biographical in nature... a/a/b/b...

So - I decided to have a little fun at the expense of my poor gastrointestinally-challenged canine...

P-ewwwwww Clerihew (an Ode to Gunther)

My dog is just a dear,
But his belly is something else, I fear.
Daily he releases toxic flatus,
Requiring us to use a breathing apparatus!

And now - FtF from some REAL experts...

The wheel - it's already invented... so this week because I am so - what is the word?? Busy? Pre-occupied? Lazy - how about lazy! Yes - because I am so lazy I bring you the bossy british girls of the original WNTW series on BBC... Trinny and Susannah(click!)!

Read the rules. Write 'em down - go through your closet and kick everything to the curb that doesn't work for you. Then buy new stuff - Department stores, thrift stores doesn't matter! Look great all the time - you can do it - don't whine.

Oh - and by the way - you look mahvelous! Have you been drinking your water?? You can tell!!

Have a great week!!

03 April 2008!

I love this thing. I know - I know - it's a stupid game - has no merit - will turn my brain to mush... yeah - I got that... but it is so damn fun! Graphics - mediocre at best. Cheesetastic music - corny figures called mii's - I love all of itl It is so very me!

Played for a few hours tonight... I am pretty good at bowling - unlike real life - and I TKO Ron on the boxing so that was sort of fun (I NEVER beat him. Never. Not at anything).

It has this thing on there called Wii Fitness Age - put me at 55. NOW I am pissed. Put ROn at 38 - uhm Excuse me!!? I think not. I shall have to get to work on that straight away!

02 April 2008

FedEx - defies scientific principles...

I didn't think it possible, but FedEx both sucks and blows at the same time.

The wii was scheduled to arrive today. It said so on the website "On truck for Delivery" it said. Now - we get a lot of packages here. A LOT. We know that FedEx comes here between 12:30 and 1:30 pretty much like clock-work. When I got home at 3:00pm and my MIL informed me that the wii had not arrived - I just kNEW I was in for one hell of an afternoon.

I checked the website and it said "Delivery Exception: Customer not available or business closed 2:45" WHAT a load of crap! At this point - and I am sorry, I had a rotten day at work - THIS was the last thing I needed - I went off the deep end. I called. I had to press 0 like 700 times to get an operator. They told me they are sending the driver back - it should be there by 4:00... I called at 4:00 - I talked to someone who allegedly was a manager at the actual terminal. He SOUNDED irate. He promised me the guy would be bring it back. Mind you - I still had to get gas and nylons for my meeting tomorrow - But I waited around. And waited. And waited. 5:28 I call again - turns out there is nothing anyone can do for me at this point because it is so late. Terminal is not open. I am further distressed to learn that there are no notes of my previous contact in there system so for the third damn time today I had to go through the whole thing again.


As a side note - this is not the first time this has happened to me. This VERY SAME thing happened to me in 2004 when I was anxiously awaiting my iMac's arrival.

William said it best... "They're just a bunch of LOSERS, Mom".

You betcha. Big time Losers...

01 April 2008

The Wii is Coming!!!

Shhhhh... no one tell William's gym teacher.

We ordered a Wii. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Now - normally I am the LAST person to be excited about a game system - but this is truly the exception to the rule! I just think we will have so much fun and I have heard that one can get quite a bit of exercise playing...

If you have one and can recommend any games that we should rent, please do! Even Grandma is excited - I think she is just chomping at the bit to kick my ass at bowling, LOL!