Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September 30

You would have been 70 today, Dad. 

Happy birthday. We miss you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Official Notice

Dear World:

This whole sending-out-good-karma thing? This whole be-nice-to-others-and-get-it-back deal?

I'm calling bullshit.

And you know what? I'm done. I'm finished with making sure everyone is included and feels welcome. I'm done with marking every birthday of every person I know with a card or little gift. I'm finished lending out tools and baking supplies and books and God knows what else to anybody who finds my phone number laying around. I'm done taking flowers to people whose dogs have died and sending letters with nice words to people I think might like them.

Because know what? Those same people seem to mysteriously lose that same phone number when it's time for invitations to their events. Movie nights, birthday parties, you name it. *poof* Kim's contact information vanishes. 

I must do something really horrible to these people. That's the only thing that makes sense. And since I'm horrible despite making a real, concerted effort to go out of my way to be nice and kind and helpful whenever I can, it doesn't make much sense to keep up the effort. 

Of course, I'll keep up the effort with my actual friends. They know who they are. I love them and love doing nice things for them. It makes my heart happy.

But the others?

Find you own damned way to Home Depot. This library is closed.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


We got two inches of rain last night. Everything is soaked and muddy and disgusting. More rain is forecast for later today.

CYO is saying today's soccer game is on. 

Do I take the boy? Or skip it? Do I go to Mommy Hell for that?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dear CDC

Issue all the headlines you want. Nobody in this house is getting a flu shot.

First, no "vaccine" should be doled out like M&Ms at the grocery store. And no other supposed vaccination is. You can't just stroll in off the parking lot and get a measles shot if you want one. That speaks volumes to me about what may or may not be in the vial of flu vaccine. If it was really good stuff, it would be tracked. Theoretically, I could go from Giant to CVS to YMCA and get five or six flu shots a week. Doesn't seem like something you're concerned about.

And the marketing behind this shot...I mean, come on. No other drug gets this much attention every year. Could it be that the pharma companies who make this vaccine like the added revenue from your annual fear campaign?

I also have a problem with the studies you cite that "prove" the vaccine is effective. They're all funded either by the CDC itself, or the companies that make flu shots. In fact, the single independent review of the flu shot I've been able to find showed that it was no more effective than a placebo for people older than 2. 

Our bodies are designed to fight the flu. If you look at the real statistics of flu deaths, they're mainly among the elderly and the poor. In other words, the flu kills people who don't have the means to seek medical attention when they get it. That's very sad--I'm not making light of those deaths at all. But for 99 percent of the population, the flu is an irritant and an inconvenience, but certainly not a danger. And not worth getting a potentially dangerous vaccine for.

And finally, you, yourself, admit that formulating the flu vaccine is a guessing game. The flu shot contains antibodies that protect against three strains...three out of potentially thousands. It's a crapshot. But the scare-marketing goes on.

We're Purelling and sanitizing ourselves into reverse evolution. We're all so afraid of dirt and so busy dousing Lysol all over anything that doesn't run away that our bodies are forgetting how to fight off invaders. Our children are the sickest in generations, in part because we've protected them to the point that their bodies don't know how to get rid of germs on their own. The flu shot is part of this. Most of our bodies can successfully get rid of the flu on their own, as long as we don't trick them into forgetting how. And those bouts with minor illnesses help build up immunity, which helps us going forward.

So no flu shots in my house. It's just a big moneymaker, as far as I'm concerned. Unnecessary drugs that are designed to do nothing more than drive up pharma profits are not welcome among my family. 

You can stop the commercials now. 



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One more thing...

David Blaine is full of crap.

I really don't like that guy.


I started a new blog this morning (this one will keep going for all my random thoughts). So many people have asked me about "getting things" from companies and not getting ripped off, that I thought I'd write about that every few days.

The new blog is:

Hope you'll check it out! :)


Alien tagged me.

The "rules" of the game are as follows:

  1. Post the rules on your blog.
  2. Write 6 random things about yourself.
  3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
  4. If you're tagged. DO IT and pass on the tag.

Okie dokie, then. My 6 random things:

  1. I am hopelessly uncoordinated. Can't catch a ball. Can't throw a Frisbee. Can barely walk without injuring myself. It was so bad in grade school that after about fourth grade, my mom wrote a note to excuse me from Field Day, because I just got teased all day long.
  2. I went to George H.W. Bush's inaugural ball and it was awesome.
  3. I spent 10 days working in an Romanian orphanage in 2000. Truly a life-altering experience.
  4. Much as I try to get some semblance of Stacy and Clinton style in my wardrobe, I'm an L.L. Bean girl at heart. And you can't change the heart.
  5. I miss Baltimore, hon.
  6. I ate snails last year. They were yummy.
I'm tagging:


Aw heck, tag yourself.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dear Congress:

Time to rock and roll, ladies and gentlemen.

I know the supposed bailout is a tough call. Lots to think about. But let's hop-to. If we're bailing, grab a bucket and have at it.

The uncertainty is worse than a decision. Any decision. Seriously. We're Americans, you know? We don't do well with the unknown. 

Pick a path and go that way. Today. 


Monday, September 22, 2008

Dear Maria Shriver:

EAT something, scary skeletor woman! *shudder*

 (Note to California CVB: Lots of pretty people live in your state. Pick another one. Oy.)

Apple Cake

This was SO good. It's a recipe I doctored up from AllRecipes--I ditched a silly amount of shortening, reduced the fat by half overall, cut the sugar significantly, cut the salt, and messed with the flour. Everybody devoured a slice last night. :)

Dutch Apple Cake

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour (I use King Arthur)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup  1% milk
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 16ths (ours are Golden Delicious)
1/8 cup sugar

Cream butter, applesauce, and 3/4 cup sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. 

Combine flours, baking powder, and salt. 

Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternate batches, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Spread the batter into 7 x 11 inch pan sprayed with cooking spray (I use an olive oil spray).

Place apple pieces in rows on top of the batter, overlapping slices slightly and pressing them into the dough a bit. Combine 1/8 cup sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. 

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Sunday, September 21, 2008


There was a hearse behind me at the car wash this morning. I don't know why it struck me as really odd--it's not like funeral homes have their own car bays or something. But it creeped me out. I'm having fear-of-death issues lately anyway (hello, mid-life crisis!) and didn't need that thing behind me under the spray. Bleyuck.

We picked a ton of apples yesterday morning. It seemed like a really good idea at the time, but I'm having a bit of picker's remorse. No way are we going to eat all of these before they get nasty. I made an apple cake this afternoon (cuz there's nothing like taking one of nature's healthiest foods, drowning it in sugar, butter, and white flour, and tossing it in the oven, is there?), but have no idea what to do with the rest of these. Apple bread? Is there such a thing? Nobody in my house will eat applesauce, so that's out. Ideas welcome. Really. Barring that, free apples at Kim's house!

We're supposed to go to dinner next week with my family to celebrate my birthday, which was a month ago. Every year, my mom pesters me for ideas. Of course, I have none. So she gives me a check. This year, tho, there's something I really want that I can't justify buying for myself. So I asked her for it. She emailed me. "Thanks for the suggestion." Which, in uber-polite southern belle Mom-speak is, "Yeah, right. I already bought you something I thought you'd like." Hmpf.

My amazing friend Kate was featured by the New York Times recently for her incredible (and successful!) battle against pancreatic cancer. Her story is "More Than A Statistic." I love you, Kate!!

If anybody knows how I can get my "spirited" five-year-old daughter to stop lifting her dresses and shaking her butt at people, I'd appreciate it. *sigh*. We've talked about how nice girls don't do that, how her friend's mommies certainly don't like to see it (yep, she did it to everybody at soccer yesterday). We've punished. We've yelled. She doesn't care. I'm at a loss. I don't know how to explain to her that only skanky vixen ho's act that way...and that if she continues to act that way, she can expect to be treated as one. Honestly, it drove me to tears this morning, right in the middle of Target. I am SO not in charge here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sucking It Up

I just ordered a kit of Bare Minerals eyeshadows and brushes from Sephora, to combat the eczema I get on my eyes after using any other brand (except Physicians Formula, which is getting increasingly difficult to find).

Yesterday, I ordered a super-cute political sticker for my car. Express delivery, please.

I'm watching for sales on Kenmore HE washers and dryers...DH says (how 1950s does that sound???) that because we got full asking price on our house, we can replace the dinosaurs at the new place immediately. So as soon as I see a deal, those will be purchased.

I hired movers. To go six doors around the corner. With all my stuff. (I miss you, George Carlin.)

Bought dinner last night.

We bought a house week before last. So there's that. Plus closing costs, taxes, and all the other fun things that come along with it.

I paid our housecleaner at the lake to clean up after my friends and me last weekend. And we ate out every meal and spent a small lottery winning at the outlet mall on the way home. And it took two tanks of gas to get there and back and play for two days.

Today, I'm going apple picking and probably buying stuff at the farm market at the apple orchard, and then picking up something to take to a movie night at a friend's house tonight. Never go empty-handed.

So what??

The economy is falling to crap, my friends, fed in a huge way by the hysterical media and my buddies who are out running campaigns on half-truths and fear. All of this spending I'm doing? It's for you. Really. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice.

Just doing my part.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hot Buttons

Do you have one?

I do, and somebody pounced on it yesterday. I'm afraid I didn't react very well, either.

We were at coffee yesterday morning, some neighbors and I, and one of the girls told a story that I swear I've sat through four times now. It has to do with a community that I'm part of--I had nothing to do with The Incident directly, but every time this same tale is dragged out, I sit there and smile like a moron, not really knowing how I'm supposed to react. 

This person knows this community is a big part of my life. Tells the story anyway. Repeatedly and without provocation.

Honestly, I'm not sure why it upsets me so much, except that I kind of feel like it crosses a line. If I know something is part of your life, I'm not going to talk trash about that thing in your presence, you know? Basic social skill. 

And this story has to do with my church and school, which are Catholic. Y'all know my take on that: for some reason, people feel free to say things about catholics that they'd never in a thousand years say about Jewish people or Muslim people or black people or fat people. I know this person would never tell a story about the Jewish Community Center in front of another neighbor who is Jewish...but that neighbor would probably kick her ass instead of just sitting there pretending to watch a baby play in the corner.

Anyway, I'm embarrassed to say that it ruined my day. Put me in a foul mood until bedtime. I vented to a wonderfully patient friend who probably should have told me to get the eff over it already, but didn't, and I had a beer and started a new book and pouted. This morning, when the person who told the story (again!) passed me while I was out walking, I fiddled with my iPod and pretended not to see her. Mature, right?

I also bailed on my bookclub meeting tonight. I only got through half the book and that's part of the reason, but I'm just not in the mood. I don't feel like being around this person today. I'm a big baby.

So part of me is now trying very hard to Get Over It. And part of me is trying to move on and distance myself. I joined our local Catholic Business Network this morning, and I emailed a bunch of really nice ladies I've met through church and through school and asked them if any of them had room for one more in their bookclubs. I think I need to find friends based on personalities instead of geography. I tell my kids that all the time. Why I don't listen to my own advice is a mystery.

Anyway, to my friend who listened to me last night, thank you. And I'm sorry.

To the rest of you, cross your fingers for me that I can find something to let me move past this. It's a recurrent issue--I know this won't be the last time. I need to grow thicker skin.

Or kick her ass.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Tornado That Is My Life

I've missed you, my pretties!! What's it been, two weeks? Wow. Sorry. Here's the recap.

  • DS started second grade and DD started kindergarten. Everyone's liking school--no tears yet. As DD's teacher said at back to school night, "It's been a successful start to the year. Nobody's vomited." Rock on.
  • We settled on the new house. The ex-owners are renting back until Oct. 6, and then the craziness of getting ready and moving really starts. 
  • We sold the old house. In three days at full asking price. Yesssss!! I give credit to our Realtor, but most of it goes to the house, which really shows well despite being a teensy bit tiny for us. From the sounds of it, a nice family bought it, which does my heart good. We had one serious bid from someone who wanted to tear it down. I didn't bother hearing the offer. We'll make one payment on our bridge loans and then pay them off. Woot!
  • Home inspection is Friday. Which means the WDCL's ancient ass and I have to scram for about five hours. Pray for good weather, so we can hang out at our new Town Square where there's outside WiFi. 
  • Four weeks to Disney!! WHOO HOOOO! The kids have no clue. Hee hee!
  • Santa called. To say that if DD didn't improve her attitude around here, there would be no Christmas. I may be going to hell, but I'm doing it listening to a lot less five-year-old lip than I have been. 
  • Went to the lake with some girlfriends this weekend. It was divine. We hiked. We went to a non-animated movie. We had wine and cheese and ate in a nice restaurant with nary a crayon in sight. We slept late. We shopped at the outlets. And we had wonderful conversation. I need to do that more often. DH is going with his buddies this weekend. I hope they have fun too.
  • Soccer started. On the same night as ballet. Figures. So we go from school to ballet to soccer to home for baths and dinner and bed. I already hate it. It's exactly what I swore I'd never do to our family. But it's their only two activities beyond scouts. *sigh*
  • I want a shearling jacket. I don't think it'll be the year for it, but I want one. Noted.
  • Got a big new client yesterday. It's a good thing. I'm a little overwhelmed looking forward, but it's a good thing. 
  • Everybody clap for my favorite little four year old who's well on his way to potty training!
  • Time for school. Onward...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Dear Lance:

That's not retirement.

Retirement is the point at which you're done doing whatever it is you do. Finished. The end. On to pina coladas and walks in the rain and all that good stuff.

What you've been doing is "taking a break." Sabbatical, if you need a big word (I'm not into big words, but whatever floats your boat, dude).

Spread the word, wouldja? Tell Cher. Barbra Streisand. Joe Gibbs. Bill Clinton.

It'll help my language OCD. Thx.


Tomorrow, I am having the phone surgically attached to the side of my face.

Think of all the time I'll save, not having to pick up, hang up, and hold it there when it rings ten thousand times.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I snagged this today while waiting for my watch battery to be changed at the mall. Cute, no?

It's the little things...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brain Farts

DS started school today. DD did not. For some reason, kindergarten goes back to school a week later than everyone else. It's going to be a long week for moi. *sigh* But DS seemed to have a great, fun day. He told me at pick-up this afternoon that he thinks second grade is going to be his best year yet. You rock on, little man!

Just to clarify: My issue with Sarah Palin (my latest issue) is not that her daughter is preggo. Seventeen year olds are seventeen year olds, and they do what they do. I don't believe a parent can keep their kid from having sex if they really want to. That said...I also don't believe a mother makes a conscious decision to force said-seventeen-year-old to live out that pregnancy and marriage (and probable subsequent divorce) in the international spotlight. I think that speaks volumes to Palin's character and priorities. Don't believe it for pageant moms, don't believe it for Lynne Spears, and don't believe it for governors of states whose residents are mostly antlered. Family first, peeps. 

Dear people: unblock your phone numbers. I don't answer "private" or "unavailable" calls. Smooches.

I'm on a serious chocolate binge. Just FYI.