Friday, April 27, 2012

Guilty Pleasure

The other day I happened upon a website that is a new guilty pleasure for me:  STFU, Parents.  It basically is all about slamming parents who have too much time on their hands/are too self-absorbed/think they have THE cutest, best, smartest child in the world/need to tell everyone what 'little Elvis' or 'tiny Daisy' did today--and that includes descriptions of all their bodily functions ad nauseum.  This is all about the world's worse Facebook status updates with snarky comments following.  If you don't have anyone who abuses Facebook like the people featured on this site do, then you don't have enough Facebook friends.  ;)  Unfortunately, I have far too many who could be featured here any day of the week.  (One of the things that is regularly 'discussed' on this site are the horrible names people name their kids.  Far too many people give their kids made-up names.  One of my 'friends' has a girl named [sorry, but I HAD to get rid of the name--it is too unique and I'm afraid this blog could be found by 'mommy dearest' through a search]*  UGH!)  If you can ignore the language--as well as some of the things that piss people off (I don't agree with all of the 'pet peeves' people have on this site)--then head on over and read a while.  I defy you to read too far without wondering what the hell this generation is doing.

Another reason I LOVE the site:  I learned the word 'bajingo.'  My new, favorite word for 'lady parts.'  :D

*I will tell you the name if you email me--IF you need to know that badly.  :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just For Laughs

Some amusement for a Thursday afternoon:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I have a problem with men who wear colored nail polish.  I can deal with long hair--and in many cases, really like it.  I have no problem with guys who wear an earring and will tolerate two or more.  But nail polish just doesn't go for me.  And a lot of v-neck shirts--especially the DEEP v-necks--are just not acceptable at all.  I'm sure this is another one of those 'age things' that keep cropping up.  ;)

Hipster Barista

Hmmm...maybe the v-neck shirt is the worst offender of the group.  :D

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mom Loves YOU Best

I believe that everyone who is not an only child has, at one time or another, said/thought "{brother/sister's name} is Mom's favorite."  It is an inevitable part of growing up.  And in my case, when it seems as if the sibling has received far more from the parents/Mom than you have, the proof is right in front of you.  I am one of two children and I am the mother of two, so I have seen this issue from both sides.

Whether it is true or not, I feel as if The Brother was always the favored one.  He DID have privileges I never did, simply because of his gender.  Also, because he could never sever the apron-string ties, he has gotten more materially from The Parents than I ever did.  While I *think* I have gotten over most of the 'slights' I believe I suffered, it is kind of hard to go through life feeling as if you were not the favored child.  But life goes on.

I have tried my darndest to be as even-handed with my girls as possible.  I know I haven't succeeded as well as I would have wanted to, but I have tried.  These days it is difficult to give equally--materialistically, that is--because of where each lives.  The Youngest lives 8+ hours away and The Oldest is only 2 hours away.  Also, with The Youngest not having any children, we give much more to The Oldest and the grandchildren.  Yet, we do the best we can.

The Oldest has ALWAYS been the one who cries "You love A better than me!!!!!  She has ALWAYS been your favorite!!!"  I can't say that A doesn't feel as if SHE isn't the favored one--and she probably DOES feel as if we 'love' her sister best--simply because she is quite closed-mouthed about most things.  This is just part of growing up with siblings--kind of like "Tell him/her to stop touching me!"  :)

The Oldest can't believe that I actually did this, but I have attempted to analyze whether or not I have a favorite child.  Over the course of several days, I thought about each of my girls and what I felt.  I looked at their good and bad sides and tried to determine if one had the 'edge' over the other in my affections.  And my conclusion was:  I do NOT have a favorite daughter.  I love them equally, but in/for different ways.

The Youngest is possibly the sweetest person to ever live on this earth.  She is kind and helpful in ways that put me to shame.  She is The Animal Whisperer--her connection with animals is the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  She isn't a complainer--actually, she keeps things to herself that she SHOULDN'T.  Soft-spoken, always with a smile, and with the greatest dimples ever to be seen on earth.  Kind-hearted is much too tame of a description for her.  She has become a world-class baker and enjoys doing it--and this has freed me from having to do the baking that I did for so long.  I love spending time with her and we get along very well--she was my rock, my friend, when we had so much trouble with her sister.  (She DID give us trouble, also, but right now I'm just going with the positives.  ;))

The Oldest is the most amazing woman on earth.  She manages--I have NO idea HOW--to keep a household of 9 people running rather smoothly.  She loves her life and wouldn't change anything about it--other than have more money, but which of us DOESN'T want that ?  ;)  My Oldest could/would/and does talk to doorknobs, and can get a response!  Social situations have never appeared to frighten her--her confidence around people is something that I envy more than I can say.  She will MAKE time if someone needs her help.  She is bold, opinionated, and she doesn't care what others think of her.  In many ways, she is who I want to be when I grow up.  :)

If I needed to pick a favorite of my two girls, I would have to admit it is not possible.  Each is amazing and the only thing I could possibly want more is to have one person that combines the best of each of them.  But then I wouldn't have the pleasure of loving TWO such awesome women.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Business As Usual?

Quite uncharacteristically, we haven't had any snow here in the UP for several weeks.  Typically, we would be experiencing melting and (depending on the temperature) the possibilities of flooding.  While there usually is a late-season snowstorm of some consequence, the time is fast approaching where we don't have to worry about it.  Of course, I always like to point out the SNOWSTORM that we had within the first few days of May 1973, where the UP--or parts of it, anyway--were pretty much closed down.  It was blizzard conditions, the roads were impassable, we had white-outs and drifting, and the only way to be completely safe was to stay indoors wherever you happened to be stranded.  The biggest positive about the late storms is that the snow melts very quickly afterwards and we are back in the business of springtime.  And this year we have the strangest weather to ever be recorded.

Since we had record-breaking temperatures in the 80s during the month of March, the temps have been quite normal.  Basically, we have experienced 30s and 40s with fluctuations into the 60s.  As I said, this is quite normal, but without any snow on the ground--it all melted during the heatwave--things just don't seem 'right.'  And to make things even a bit more unusual, it really was a bit surprising to see snow actually stick to the ground here today.  And that is something I never thought I would say.  :)

At 7:30 this evening, here is what our yard looked like from our back porch:

You can't really tell from the pictures, but we have some hyacinths that have flowered near the side-fence and the chipmunk-replanted tulips are already quite high.  It will be interesting to see what this snow will do to those plants.  I'm not too concerned because these are all leftovers from years gone past, but I do worry about what this snow/cold will do to the just-emerging leaves on all of the trees.  And I don't know what will happen to our neighbors' magnolia tree.  It is/was in full bloom before this snow and it certainly isn't going to escape unscathed.

I am feeling fairly confident in proclaiming this the last measurable snow of this winter.  If things had been 'normal,' I never would make such a declaration, but I don't fear saying as much this year.  :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In Other Words...

A few years ago, Michelle Obama was described as 'uppity.'  This caused an entire sh*tstorm across the country.  The media got involved as well as the interwebs.  (I guess everyone was talking about it, but I personally didn't follow the story, so I'm just assuming.)  From what I understand, the word 'uppity' is racist.  Well blow me away!  I guess my family has been racist all these years and never knew it.  We knew quite a few 'uppity' people and not one of them were black--probably because we didn't have many blacks in our part of the country.  But we certainly knew an 'uppity' person when we saw one.

As unpopular as it might be among some people, I have to say that I DO find Michelle to appear quite snobbish.  (I won't use the 'U' word because I don't want to appear racist.)  In no way, shape, or form can I imagine this woman down here in the trenches with us 'little people.'  I cannot see her shopping at Walmart or taking an hour and a half to do grocery shopping because of comparing prices.  I could never see her driving a used, American-made vehicle or eating at anything but a high-end, elite restaurant.  I really don't think she knows what a Holiday Inn is and would never find herself IN one.  Cost Cutters is beyond her realm, completely.

Now, before anyone accuses me of being racist, I feel as if there was no one more snobbish than Jackie Kennedy.  As much as people admire/d the woman, I believe she didn't even know there was more to the US than the east coast--specifically New York City and Massachusetts.  She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and died with it firmly in place--and she certainly acted the part.

And don't think I am only targeting Democrats:  I have to voice my disdain for Nancy Reagan.  I think THIS woman didn't even realize that anyone outside of her social circle existed, much less know there was a middle class or middle of the country.  She built an ivory tower for herself and occupied it and only allowed her 'equals' to come and visit--or so it would seem.

The bottom line to all of this is the word 'uppity.'  The dictionary goes along with how I have always understood the word:  self-important; arrogant; conceited; haughty.  Nothing racist here, for sure.  However, I guess it means something different to people in the South?  Oh, well.  I guess I'm completely ignorant, because I never knew this.  And this is just one more reason why I hate political correctness so much:  How can we ever know just what is and what isn't offensive?  Can't any/every word be offensive to someone?  Are we going to have to have a list of approved words, eventually, that we can use just so someone's feelings aren't hurt?  When is all of this bullsh*t going to end?

Friday, April 13, 2012

It's 'THAT' Time, Again

For those who don't follow, the NHL playoffs began this past Wednesday.  And the Red Wings are in the playoffs for the 21st year in a row, thankyouforasking.  This, of course, puts my mindset just a little bit worse than a mother black bear when someone threatens her cubs.  So, for the foreseeable future, my posts here will probably NOT be very amusing.  I find when I'm in this kind of a mood, things that have been 'irking' me for a time come to the forefront of my mind.  And when this happens, I usually post here.  Just a warning to the two (three?) people who come to visit regularly.  ;D

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Hate Political Correctness

Very rarely will you find me reading the 'advice' columns, ala 'Ann Landers.'  Once they were a regular part of my newspaper-reading experience, but quickly fell into disfavor with me when the answers given began to be more 'all-inclusive' rather than 'morally, socially correct.'  It seems as if these advice columns were politically correct even before the term became common.  And I find that they are absolutely unreadable today.  The advice given is usually what 'should' be done in a 'perfect' world--something that does not exist in reality.  Anyone could be an advice columnist these days--all you have to do is open a copy of "Political Correctness for Dummies" and use it to guide your answers.  You certainly don't find the "Wake up and smell the coffee." advice of years gone by.

For one reason or another--not that I can remember why--I found myself reading 'Dear Prudence' on Slate one day a few weeks ago.  And I read a letter and answer that absolutely astonished me.  I believe this is political correctness gone WAY too far.  I will post the entire thing here:
Dear Prudie,
I have a fifth-grade son who is white and plays basketball on a mostly black team. He has made friends with many of his black teammates and hangs out with them a lot. I’m happy that he's so colorblind, but then I heard him call his new friends "my niggas." I was horrified and immediately talked to him about it. He said that his black friends use the term all the time and told him it was OK for him to use it with them, too. He said that he understood the history of the word and knows that it can be hateful when used wrongly. My son clearly isn't intolerant, but he could get in a lot of trouble throwing that word around. I don't even know if it’s OK for a white kid with black friends to use that word if they all do, and no one means it in a bad way. I usually feel confident guiding my son, but on this one I have no idea what to tell him.
Dear Stumped,
If only our 10-year-olds could stay so innocently well-intentioned. Unfortunately, even though you’ve had one conversation about this, and your son knows some of the history of this word, you have to revisit this so that your boy doesn’t find himself the subject of a complaint and the object lesson in a lecture at a school assembly. Perhaps when he was tiny you had some comic, endearing names for your son such as Mr. Stinkbottom or Sir Droolsalot. (If not, pretend you did.) You can tell him that within families people can call each other things that might be insulting if said to an outsider, but among relatives it’s done with a tone of teasing affection. That’s what’s going on with his friends on the team. Yes, the whole team is a kind of family, but for many people their ethnic or racial group also has the feel of a family. Because of that, there are things that the black players can call each other but which sound very different coming from his mouth. You can say you know his teammates have encouraged him to say it, but if a teacher, parent, or coach heard him, it’s likely that person wouldn’t understand. It’s possible that a parent of his teammate could be offended and report his remark, no matter how affectionately it was said. Say you know this doesn’t seem fair, but the history of this word still has the power to cause great pain. So as a sign of respect to those who might be hurt by it, he needs to understand that his friends can use the phrase with him, but he must refrain from returning it.    
I understand the reasoning behind telling the kid to stop using 'that' word, but how sad is that he has to be frightened for his safety when he's done/doing nothing wrong?  I can't help but think of a foster/adopted family situation where there might be kids of different races NOT being allowed to tease each other or use 'improper' words while talking to each other.  Things are just getting so out of control!

This reminds me so much of the problem we had with our local high school's logo/mascot/nickname a few years ago. The logo is a Native American in full headdress and the nickname is 'Redmen.'  (The nickname has NOTHING to do with Native Americans--it is in reference to the color of iron ore that is mined in our county and the fact that the miners were 'red' after a long day's work.)  As in so many other communities, the usage of a Native American as a logo upset some people.  There was a drive to get the high school to abandon the logo and nickname and it divided our community and caused long-term bad feelings amongst many.  My youngest was in school at the time, so we watched this very closely--the meetings were even broadcast on our cable system for those who couldn't attend.  When it was finally all done, the logo/mascot/nickname remained the same, despite the efforts of a certain group of people--and I believe the community is happy with the results to this day.

So, how did we manage to keep a politically INcorrect logo for our school?  I believe it boiled down to one thing:  the people/group who were opposed to it in the first place.  As it turned out, the people who were 'hurt' by this were part of the university community and NOT natives to our town /county/community.  Someone decided that this was disrespectful and got a bunch of PC supporters to make a protest about how horrible this entire thing was.  This, in turn, got the school board to run scared and decide that 'something had to be done about this atrocity!'  Funny thing is, very few of the locals--which includes a large group of Native Americans--had ANY problem with the logo, whatsoever!  So, a problem that WASN'T a problem, became a problem and was solved through a lot of unnecessary fighting, yelling, and tears.  How sad.

How did we get to this point in this country?  When did EVERY community have to be exactly like every other community and have to think and do things the same way?  What made this country so exciting and vital was the fact that anywhere you went would be an adventure--you could find something you were unfamiliar with and learn something new.  It seems as if we are slowly being forced into a homogeneous blend of absolute mediocrity--NO segment can be any more colorful/interesting than any other segment of society.  And some people won't be satisfied until there are actually NO differences among us.  Again, how sad.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Just Sayin'..."

The other day, one of my Facebook 'friends' posted a bunch of videos from a drag show she had attended.  She also posted this:
"If you do not like the videos I am posting, PLEASE keep ur comments to yourself, these are friends of mine!  Just Sayin'...thanks!"  
"...if someone is thinking about it, they better stop before they even do, cuz if ur gonna bash 'em, that is bullying & cause for me to delete ur a$$ for being ignorant!" 
This got under my collar a bit and I was getting ready to send her an email in response, but decided against--she is a family member, so I didn't want to start a war.  ;)  Instead, I will post my thoughts here for all to see.

An Open Letter To The Internet

Dear Interwebs User/s,

There is NOTHING you can put online that will keep everyone happy.  Everything you post will have at least one person disagreeing with you.  (Hell, I can think of two or three people that I know who would argue with me if I said "The sky is blue."!!!!!)  And then you go and post something provocative and expect NOTHING to be said.  What the hell century were you born in?!?!?!  You are just looking for a fight, right?  And just because you add "PLEASE keep your comments to yourself..." etc, doesn't mean you won't hear things you don't want.  Right, wrong, or otherwise, not everyone will agree with you on everything, nor will everyone like the same things you do.  And you KNOW this, otherwise you wouldn't have written any 'warnings' to detractors.  If you don't want to hear anyone else's opinions about things, then STFU!!

I would like to ask, once and for all, WHY someone not agreeing with you is bullying and not to be allowed?  YOU are stating your opinion, so why can't someone with an opposing viewpoint state THEIR opinion without getting bashed for it?  We do have the right of free speech--for the time being, anyway.  Aren't YOU, in turn, doing the same bullying that you accuse others of?  I really don't understand this mindset.  I have quite a few friends/acquaintances who do NOT share my beliefs on a number of very serious topics.  I try not to step on their toes, as I am sure they try not to step on mine.  (And we DEFINITELY don't call each other 'ignorant'--even if we think that's the case!)  We have an understanding--spoken or not--where we will agree to disagree on certain subjects and not discuss them.  Case closed, problem solved.

However, when and if I DO post on a sensitive issue, I expect to have disagreements--or, at the very least, comments from those who oppose my beliefs.  And that is fine--otherwise, *I* would keep my thoughts to myself.  I still believe all are entitled to express their own opinions, despite the fact I may get angry with said opinion.  If I didn't want to hear opposing views, I would stay quiet.  And then I wouldn't have to issue any 'warnings.'

So, grow up already.  It is not cool to try and provoke people into fights.  If you want drama in your life, I'm sure there are other ways of getting it--but you probably are a wuss and don't want to have any kind of confrontation in person.

And believe it or not, if you read this carefully, it can apply to ANYONE, no matter WHICH side of the liberal/conservative line you happen to fall.

"Just Sayin'..."

As always,

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Crisis Averted

I have been blaming my trouble understanding people with accents to my hearing loss.  Thinking about this, I realize that I have ALWAYS had problems with accents.  (With the exception of Finnish accents--which the accents around here are based on.)  And one time this problem came very close to me being embarrassed beyond belief.

After I graduated from high school, I tried college for about a minute and a half.  Realizing that this wasn't quite what I wanted at the time, I quit and looked for work.  Finally, after several months, I was hired to work in a dental office as an assistant.  This office, for some reason, was the one recommended whenever any of the students at the university needed dental work.  The university is (and was) a world-class engineering school and attracted students from all over the world.  One day, I had one of these foreign students as a patient.

I don't remember the young man's name--and it doesn't really matter in the telling of this story.  While waiting for the dentist to come in and do an exam, I tried to make the young man comfortable and less nervous.  We began talking.  I found out that he was from Kuwait and that he was to return home shortly, after getting his degree.  His country was paying for him to attend school, as they did for anyone who wanted an education.  The only stipulation was that they must return home after getting their degrees.  He either said, or implied, that money was very plentiful for him.  While talking, he made a remark about how much he liked blonde hair, indicating my waist-length hair.  For the most part, I was pretty sure I understood everything he was saying, even with his very strong accent.  However, I did do some of the 'smile and nod your head like you understand' thing that most people do when they don't want to ask someone to repeat what they are saying.  It was shortly after that I realized I didn't quite 'get' all that he said, that he was telling me how he was looking for a wife to bring back home to Kuwait with him.  I also realized that he was implying that I would be a good candidate for the job!  It most certainly didn't take me too long to let him know that K was very much in the picture for me and that we were serious about our relationship.  Undeterred, the young man invited me to visit him in Kuwait whenever I wanted.  He promised to give me a camel as a gift if I ever made it to his country.  Obviously, I never made it to Kuwait, but I sure wouldn't have minded having a camel as a pet.  :)