Monday, December 29, 2008

Grains of Sand in My Swimsuit, Part 2

If you care to read Part 1, you will find it here.
Now for Part 2.....

1.) If you choose to pick your nose in public, really that's fine. Just don't be shocked when I look at you like the nasty germ spreader you are. K-L-E-E-N-E-X, say it with me now, Kleenex.

2.) I saw you knock two shirts off the rack when you were browsing. You know you did it too, that's why you looked around several times before walking away. Yep, I saw. Just pick up the blasted clothes! Can't you have even the slightest shred of respect for the store employee? She is not your maid. Who cares that she is getting paid to work, or that you think it's her job? You could show some kindness by cleaning up your own mess, you lazy snot!

3.) Do you think your fellow drivers are just ignorant? We know exactly what you are up to, and just a little fyi: No, the universe does not revolve around you getting where you need to be. You see the "Lane Ends, Merge Left" sign, so just merge already! Don't speed past the rest of us, butt in, then pretend you had no idea that FLASHING NEON sign was there!

4.) It's all the rage this rage. I am normally not a fan of raging, but this really interests me. A guy got a cap popped in his arm because, after repeatedly being asked to quiet down in a movie, he just could not shut his trap. A lady inconsiderately yaps away on her cell phone in the middle of a movie. Neighboring movie-goer jabs loudmouth with a nail file.
While I hope to avoid taking my theater experiences quite so seriously, I understand. I'm just sayin' I feel the pain of polite, courteous, common sense people. (This is the part where you question my sanity and morals. Could I seriously believe a cap-popper and nailfile-jabber to be decent people? You bet! And decent people of the world can only take so much.) If I pay nine bucks to enjoy a movie in the theater, I fully expect you to keep your lips zipped and turn your phone OFF. You can go into the foyer or restroom to run your mouth. Last time I checked, the movies weren't playing in either of those venues. So hang there for a while, at least until you get the chatty out of your system and can follow movie etiquette.

5.) I guess I've grown weary of those suffering from social ineptitude. They unfailingly damper the good times of those who know how to behave. I am unsure why it is socially acceptable to be rude, crude, and disrespectful. And woe be unto those who speak up for courtesy, kindness, and respect. How dare we violate the socially inconsiderate's right to be a total jackass? And has anyone else ever noticed it is usually the jackass whining and fussing about rights? I have the right to this, and I have the right to do that...blah, blah, blah, where is my nail file when I need it?

Wouldn't it be nice if people could simply respect others, be polite? And when I say people, I really mean adults. Oh well, if you choose not to behave, while I am no advocate of violence, I (like the loveable Roy O'Bannon) don't know karate, but I know ka-razy, and I will use it!

Ahhhhhh, how I love a sand free swimsuit! It just makes the world feel right.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Dose of Snarkiness...I know, it's totally inappropriate

I don't live in a fairy tale. I am not oblivious. I know, to some, my snarkiness is more than a little unattractive, obnoxious, etc. I wish I cared. Oh well, such is life.

Unfortunately, for those who find my style to be even the slightest bit amusing, my mood tonight could seriously disappoint you. I am beyond snarky, I am feeling just plain nasty.

In a nutshell, here's why:
(1.) I loathe feeling useless.
(2.) I despise the distance that separates me from those I love.
(3.) I especially despise that distance when it prevents me from
being places I feel I should be.
(4.) Did I mention I loathe feeling useless?
(5.) I am not a fan of people parents who don't give a stinky rat's rear about the painstaking efforts a teacher makes in preparing 24 three year olds for their Christmas program. Yeah, I get paid to be there, but I'd love a sip of whatever you're drinkin' if you think I'm making bank at this job. And NO, I don't teach your children because I can't do anything else you moron! I do it because I truly love your children. Imagine that, a person who actually enjoys spending time with your should try it some time.

Alrighty then, I'm pretty sure I have spread enough Christmas cheer for one night.
Thanks for stopping by, I'll be here all week.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Louis CK

When tragedy strikes, light-hearted laughter can feel completely wrong. As I thought of my friend Lori and her daughter Megan, I knew without a doubt, it's ok to post something funny. Lori has a fantastic sense of humor, she likes a good laugh...her menopause post made me laugh out loud more than once! I, for one, was ready for some silly, light-hearted humor. This did the trick for me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

There Are No Words

Once again: There are times in life when words are useless, they can be wastes of the very breath it takes to form them.

Friday night, the 17 year old daughter of dear friends was killed in an auto accident. As I spoke with her sweet father yesterday, all I could speak were the words, "We love you, we are so sorry." Now is not the time for telling them how blessed their family was to have Megan for 17 years..they already know, that is one reason for their intense sorrow. Now is not the time for repeating doctrine, for reminding them they will see her again...they already know, but that fact does not erase the pain that comes with knowing it will feel like forever before that time comes. And during that forever, during this new life they have been born into, it is going to rip their hearts into shreds over and over and over again.

I hate the phrase "Time heals all wounds." Let me tell you what I know, time heals nothing. Time leaves scabs and scars, it leaves ugly evidence on hearts and souls. But, our Savior, He heals. He heals all wounds. And because of His power, He leaves no scars behind. In place of the wound, our Savior leaves a larger capacity to love. He leaves greater knowledge of Himself, and undeniable evidence of charity. He leaves behind increased courage to make it through years, that at times (because you miss your loved one so deeply) feel like forever. He leaves hope.

I will not tell them these things now. It isn't the time. Right now, there are no words I can form, no words powerful enough to put even the slightest dent in their shock and pain. I know the only words to say to these people I love are: I am sorry, and I love you.

All other words are useless right now, unless being uttered to our Father in Heaven. I pray that our Savior will hold their fragile hearts in His palm until they are ready to begin the healing process. I pray they find strength to make it through the next few days without feeling literally exhausted. I pray they might feel their burdens being shared by all of us who love them. I pray all of these things on behalf of the two young men who were also in the car. Theirs is an unbelievably long road ahead, and I pray for their parents as well. Your prayers would also be greatly appreciated. I know the One who stands ready to heal, and He is listening.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Soldier's Night Before Christmas

To our soldiers all over the world, Merry Christmas and thank you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oprah does smoking

Sorry, but that title is honestly all I could come up with at this point in time. And once again, I must apologize to my mother for using the word (sucks). In her home, it is a word considered to be tacky, foul, crude, unladylike, etc. But, sometimes it's the only word that fits!

It is no secret that Oprah irritates me...and that's putting it mildly. As I have mentioned in the past, I do respect her charitable contributions. At the same time, I fully expect a billionaire to do what she does. In addition, I hope she does nice things for others when the cameras aren't rolling. In the spirit of Christmas, I will tell myself she does. Beyond charity (that may or may not be for the sake of self-promotion), I can't say she does anything all that admirable.

Her Messiah like following and powerful hold over women absolutely disgust me. She does put on a good show, I'll give her that...but, did you notice the word show??? She can work a crowd, excite people, and use the power of words. She does her job well. I understand that. But what continuously baffles me is why this is so impressive?!? I know at least 15 women who, if given the opportunity, could do Oprah's job just as well, or better than Oprah does. I am serious.

It scares me that women, many of whom proclaim faithfulness in God, if faced with a challenge might first ask what Oprah would advise, say or do. How to find strength and courage from within, praying to a loving Heavenly Father, looking to family and friends for guidance...these are all afterthoughts. Thoughts that may come only after reading Oprah's self-indulgent magazine, or watching her show. This is bothersome to me. The woman has no credentials. She is a journalist and entertainer. And, when she does have professionals on her show, she often interrupts and acts as though their thoughts/wisdom are her own. Strange.

I understand some women watch her show for sheer entertainment. I am not criticizing anyone's entertainment choices, as I am certain some of mine would baffle you. To each her own. So to all Oprah fans, I respect your entertainment choices. But, my opinions of her will stand firm.

Now, on to what this post is really all about. I read this a few moments ago:
Winfrey, 54, details her recent struggles with an out-of-balance thyroid and how the condition made her develop "a fear of working out." She says she's added 40 pounds to her frame since she weighed 160 pounds in 2006.

OH MY GOSH!! Look, I have a serious thyroid imbalance myself. In fact, I spent most of last spring in and out of doctor appointments, emergency rooms, etc. Some of this was attributed to my thyroid problems. I have, in fact, gained around 15 pounds in one year. What I wouldn't give to have the national stage for just one moment to say: "See the real reason I weigh 138 (yep, that's a pound more than when I last posted about weight) is because of my thyroid and I'm just so scared, I can't work out. That's why I am squishy and mushy in all the wrong places."

WAAAH, WAAAH, WAAAH, get over yourself. As I plead in my letter to Oprah, just TELL THE TRUTH, and I don't mean the half-truth. I mean the whole truth. I have noticed her truth changes depending on which version gives her the most mileage with her audience.

So you have a thyroid issue, millions of women do. But the complete truth is that you love food more than you love working too. While a thyroid imbalance can set into play many random problems and annoyances, less food and more working out can counteract these. Oprah and I are alike in that we should have more concern for our health and less concern for how delicious that food tastes or how much we hate to work out!

In the past she has admitted her love of food and lack of love for exercise. But, how many times can she say things like this.....
She weighed as many as 237 pounds. By late 1990 admitted she had regained most of the 67 pounds, saying "I'll never diet again". In 1994, she finished the Marine Corps Marathon and by 1996 hired personal trainer Bob Greene, saying her "roller-coaster weight saga is over"....before having to come up with a new topic of discussion??? Her publicist must be thrilled over this new found thyroid disorder. It should make for several emotional, tear-jerking shows. Oooohh, and how about following her to have her bloodwork done, and take lots of pictures. That could be turned into on fabulous magazine cover.

As a woman dealing with a thyroid that fluctuates from hyper to hypo, back and forth, I can say it isn't pleasant. But, to use it as an excuse for inactivity and overeating is just pathetic and misleading. On the other hand, I know where she is coming from...when I first learned of my thyroid problem I felt better about my flab. But that was fleeting because I value truth over excuses. I prefer to focus on choices, not things that are out of my control. I choose to eat cupcakes and I choose to spend any free moment I have writing, reading, or opposed to exercising. The thyroid is somewhat out of my control, but it shouldn't be used as an excuse. Although, that would be easier than what I just did...admit to all of you that I am a lazy, good for little, overeater of sweets!

I have a difficult time respecting hypocrites and those whose version of truth changes with each new agenda. Oprah's BMI places her in the obese category, which obviously brings with it numerous health problems and costs to tax payers. Oprah's best buddy, Obama, is a smoker...well, on and off and on again....the bottom line being he participates in an activity that costs us billions of dollars each year. Both of them are advocates of universal health care. Ahhh, leftist, entitlement mentality at its finest. I'll do whatever the heck I want, and the rest of you can pay for it. I am irresponsible, but that's ok because the responsible people in my country will make it all better.

I have a plan: Oprah, you get your health under control. Have your pal Obama get his stinky habit under control. When your own backyards are nice and tidy, then I might listen to what you have to say about healthcare. But until the time that you two can get your own acts together, please save your self-righteous, fake do-gooder attitudes.

I won't sit by quietly, head stuck in the sand, while people preach down to those of us who could very possibly end up paying for their poor choices. If I did, I would not be staying true to the woman I am. And then, I would suck too.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

An Open Letter to Mr. and/or Mrs. Grouchy-Pants

Dear Mr. and/or Mrs. Grouchy-Pants,
When you left your home this Saturday morning, what exactly were you expecting to find?
From the look on your face, it slipped your mind that today is Saturday, December 6th and not some random Saturday in May. It must have been such a shock when you pulled into that massive parking lot and saw it overflowing with cars and people. Especially because Target, Barnes&Noble, McDonald's, Old Navy, Kohl's, and at least 10 other businesses are all in that location. But, you handled your shock like a real champ.

For instance, when you had to wait for those kids to make it through the crosswalk, you looked as though your head just might explode. Blasted kids, how dare they hold you up with their skipping and humming, not a care in the world, who do they think they are? For the love of Scrooge, don't they know it's Christmas, and you have things to do, no time to waste! But, your head didn't even explode. Impressive.

And when that lady so very politely said "excuse me" as she attempted to move her cart through the aisle, your icy glare was touching. In fact, I am almost certain you made her season merry and bright. How could she have been so thoughtless? Surely she knew that was your aisle, yours I say, yours! Oh, and I also overheard the teenage cashier mention how much he appreciated you snapping at him when he accidentally forgot to scan your coupon. He wasn't even embarrassed, and the whole scenario really boosted his confidence. Nice work.

When I heard you huffing and puffing as you waited in line, I was almost certain you were going to hyperventilate. Maybe you were just overcome with the joy of this Christmas season? Then, as you were leaving the parking lot (you remember it was when the guy in front of you didn't pull out as quickly as you thought he should) I noticed you smacked your steering wheel (maybe out of sheer excitement because you found some nice bargains). You yelled something that sounded like bass mole (I still can't figure that one out). And then, you topped it all off with the hand gesture that would make any mother proud.

You really seemed to enjoy yourself today. Good for you. It was truly my pleasure to witness the Christmas spirit you shared with others. As I took it all in, I felt my chest swell with pride in my human race. I can't wait to do it again next week.

Your Fellow Shopper

P.S. I'm pretty sure that voice you hear is calling your name. You can find everything you need with no risk of human contact. You can even sit in your footie pajamas, sipping on a mug of hot chocolate. If you choose to venture out, arm yourself with patience and a smile. Rudeness and attitude will not help any situation. There will be parking mayhem, long lines, and...are you ready for people. I'll be the one smiling, humming, browsing, just enjoying the madness. Merry Christmas Mr. and/or Mrs. Grouchy-Pants!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Take a Chance On Me

It's happening, right here, right now. I am owning up to the fact that not only do I need money to buy groceries, gas, and other necessities, I want money. And you do too. Try it, just admit it. It feels nice and liberating. If you are really brave, say this out loud: "I want money, and I am not a materialistic, selfish piece of crap for feeling this way."

Please notice I did not say I want more than everybody else, or that I want to elevate my self worth with it. I just said I want some.

(At this moment, sitting all alone, I am laughing out loud. I just had a mental image of
that chick from Switzerland. She is shaking her head, voice full of self-righteous indignation. And she says, "You are nothing more than a typical greedy, nasty American girl. There are starving people in this world." Then I say, "And just what exactly are you doing to solve the problem. I mean, besides bashing greedy, nasty American girls. Since that's so productive and all.")

Lady, this one's for you and anyone else who might feel inclined to peer down their nose at me.

One of my current favorite songs is Live Your Life, by T.I.
Everybody's a paper chaser. I know a lot of people who want to make believe they aren't. I hope you're happy in your fantasy world because you are only fooling yourself. I'm not saying that we are obsessed with it, I am thankful we are not. I am not insinuating we live for the chase, we absolutely should not. But, if you have bills to pay, mouths to feed, or dreams to turn into realities, you have to have money.

There are a lot of reasons I want money: So I can go on weekly dates with my husband (dinner and the movie, not one or the other) giving no thought to how long we have been out, since the babysitter's fee is adding up by the minute. So we can pay for our children's college educations. I want to buy my family and friends gifts. I want to have an extra $48 just sitting around so that I can buy a pair of
Toms. More money also equals quickly paying off med school loans. I want a little more cash in my wallet so I can visit my faraway family members more than once every 12-18 months. And, I really need the big bucks so that I can found my organization (the one I have dreamed about for more than two's going to make this world better, maybe only a little bit better in the big scheme of things, but better nonetheless). Notice none of those wants are extreme. But if, in your opinion, they were extreme and frivolous...would you judge me?

Truthfully, my reasons for wanting money are not all that important. Your reasons are not all that important. I just want us to fess up, tell the truth. I am not the only one who wants more of it. I may be one of few who are willing to admit it. I understand money can't solve all of our problems. I know it doesn't make miserable, selfish people turn cheery and charitable. But, I wouldn't mind money taking a chance on me...especially since I am neither miserable nor selfish.

Lately, I am bored by the holier than thou talkers, those people who feel the need to convince others that they are far above money. Many of these people are very wealthy, not so much living in my world. Needless to say, I am more than a little skeptical of their views on money. I am sincerely happy for these people with their wads of cash....I just don't want them telling me how unimportant the wads of cash are.

I am often bewildered by the other extreme. The people who lack true work ethic. (Many having never pulled a 9to5 in the workplace or a 24/7 in the home). They have no responsibilities outside of themselves. Some remind me of nomads, just roaming from one family member or friend's house to the next. Hmmm, I might be above money too...if I was a moocher, never paid taxes and chose to flit in and out of other people's lives.

There are many wealthy people who are absolutely genuine and selfless. They know and embody the pure love of Christ. There are also rich people who would twist a knife in your back for one measly buck, especially if that one dollar meant they would have more than you have. Their greed and thirst for power drives them.

I have also become increasingly annoyed by the poor-mouthing (to intentionally plead poverty as a defense or excuse) that I hear. Poor-mouthers I know are in fact nowhere near being poor! They, like the holier than thous, would like you to believe they are above money. Some will rarely turn down an opportunity to take place in an activity that interests them, but they would like to do so with no personal sacrifice or dent in their own wallet; although, if your wallet takes a beating, no problem. Hence, the poverty plea. Boo-hoo, I'm not falling for it and I don't feel sorry for you because I know you are not poor!

Here is what I have to say to the poor-mouthers:
Please tell me, did I miss the memo? Is there a special reward in the heavenly courts for all those who pretend to be poor? It is disrespectful to those who really have practically nothing. So take off your sackcloth and find something to do that is more productive than whining.

And to the holier than thous: There is a family, both parents working long hours, paying a full and honest tithe. But still, no miracle money appears so that they can pay their electric bill or buy more groceries. Try explaining to them how little money matters in this life. Also, just because you deem a purchase as silly, impractical or frivolous, doesn't mean it is. Because you may have suffered financially in your life, doesn't mean everyone else should. If you have had such tough times, why would you want someone else to endure the same just for the sake of learning a lesson. Do you think you are scoring points in the game of life each time you convince another player that money is the root of all evil? Easy now, let's not forget. Money is not the root of all evil. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil...big difference.

To both groups: You take too much pride in your humility.

I am neither rich nor poor. While money is no substitute for love, acceptance, joy, faith or hope, there are times when used wisely, it can help promote all five. Many times in my life I have been blessed by those who understand that while we should in no way allow money to dominate our lives, it fulfills both needs and desires.

Thank you to those who have forgiven debts. Thank you to the miracle maker who left a large sum of money on our doorstep years ago when we had tiny children and the Captain was in school. Thanks to those who made sure we were well taken care of during Victoria's short time on earth...the meals, the baskets of gift cards and treats, the money that was collected to cover expenses, this list goes on forever. Thank you to the friends who gave me the DNA ancestry analysis (beyond cool, total joy). Thanks for the iPod, because music feeds my soul. Thank you for the bridesmaid's dress, and giving me the chance to be at my cousin's (who is more sister than cousin) wedding. Thank you to those friends who made sure that when Chloe was born she had fantastic bedding, accessories, and birth announcements. You literally helped usher a dream into reality. All of the things I mentioned, while expressing love, charity and kindness, cost money.

I don't think it's healthy to treat money as either an enemy or a best friend. Money is not inherently emotional or spiritual. It is rarely, in and of itself, a solution. Depending on how it is used, money can build up communities, families, and homes or it can destroy them all.

I repeat, not only do I need money, I want it too. Money, I would work hard to never take you for granted. I would put you to good use, and share you with others. I would buy a whole truckload of Toms. So, come on, take a chance on me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Spy an Angry Elf

How much can one little person take...

  • 2 upcoming Christmas Plays at school
  • 1 upcoming Dance Recital
  • 4 Invitations to upcoming birthday parties
  • 1 Full day of shopping with Mommy
...and apparently, not much more!
Who can blame her??

Video courtesy of the big brother.
He heard the angry elf growling singing "Jingle Bells" while brushing her teeth.
Of course, he ran straight for his Flip video and asked for an encore.
She was more than willing to oblige.