Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So what do you give the kid that has everything??

The only day over the Thanksgiving Holiday I ventured out was Friday morning (and no early crap for me, we didn't go until like, 11am.)

Giz wanted to spend some of her money at Build A Bear, and Firstborn had his eye on a game at Best Buy, and they both wanted to go out for Mexican food at our favorite restaurant (they were so over turkey) - so I interrupted my mission clean out briefly to traverse to the other side of town to the (GASP!!) Mall....

I also had promised to take Gizmo to see Santa, so we decided (after getting a relatively and surprisingly good parking place) to do that first before hitting the designated destinations.

The line wasn't too bad, and we only had to wait about 15-20 minutes for her turn. The Santa at our Mall had a real beard and seemed to take a genuine interest in the kids.

So Giz gets up and gets her picture made (very cute) and then proceeds to have her discussion with Santa. However, this seemed to take quite awhile, and Santa gave her a big hug and an extra cookie.


I asked Gizmo what the heck did she have to talk about with Santa for so long? What on Earth did she ASK for???

"A Clock Radio"

That's it?? Just a plain ol' clock radio??


"...and he promised to bring me lots and LOTS of wonderful surprises!!"


I did NOT see THAT coming.

Reverse psychology from a five year old...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pageant continued!!

Well we ran back to hair and makeup after Beauty, feeling very confident Gizmo had done her personal best...

Well, h/m lady started working on Gizmo's hair, and the fall...well, it just FELL.

The curl just died.

She sent me back to the room to see if she could work with any of our additional hairpieces while she worked on Giz in the meantime for Christmas wear! Well, I got to the room and my key wouldn't work!! and line up was in 30 minutes!! so I called Firstborn on the phone - no answer - do I run to the lobby? Try again. No answer. Try one more time... Success!! So I frantically stammered on the cell for Firstborn to hurry up and bring his key to the room to get me in! Well, now Firstborn has not one fast twitch fiber in his entire mollecular structure. So by the time he got there, we lost another 10 minutes!! So I busted into the room grabbed clothes and hair pieces and ran back up two floors and all the way to the other end of the hotel with all the needed equipment... 15 minutes to go and still no hairdo... I pulled out about 3 hairpieces, first too short, second too curly, third not right... 10 minutes and now I'm panicking and h/m lady is trying to figure out what the heck to do... well, h/m lady's daughter pipes up "what about the puppy ears you used to do on me??" perfect... now we're down to 5 minutes and she's just now getting Gizmo's hairdo in play... ARRRRGGHHHH $800 down the drain over a $150 hair failure.... I just sat down and shut the hell up at that point and set to grinding the enamel off my teeth.... So now it's exactly line up time and we're still in h/m.

She juuuuust finished in time for us to BOLT down to the stage area which happened to be 4 floors and 1/8 of a mile from where we were momentarily located. I was freaking out, but Gizmo thought it was again, all great fun....

We got into lineup just in time behind two girls ahead of her.


And she again, did an awesome job - I was incidentally very irritated that the director emphasized NO extra moves for christmas wear modeling, and there were kids doing all kinds of cutesy stuff all over the place. GRRR.

...Next up. Outfit of choice.


Speaking of sparkle... for some reason "Mister, yeah I'll help you get the tree up if you make me" voluntarily put up the Christmas tree this past weekend, got the lights on, then proceeded to decorate the INSIDE of our house with all the extra strings of lights we've been collecting over the years. I have christmas lights around the inside of the foyer front door, all around the back doors and windows, I have the light up garland wrapped around the balcony, chili lights around the passthru between the kitchen and the living room, in the ficus tree in the foyer and we have an extra tree on the stair landing complete with lights and christmas tiaras stuck in it for decorations. Oh and there are the fiber optic snowmen and the light up nativity city on the mantle!!! I may have to one up him and get all those stinkin' light up houses out and put up somewhere too.

Never mind there is nary one light on the OUTSIDE of the house.

I can't wait to get the power bill.

If I can find the cord for the digital camera I'll post pics of my husband's inner christmas coming out this year....


On yet another note, we made Gizmo's countdown to Christmas chain over the holidays... I felt a little guilty, here we were making a Christmas chain (one of those construction paper ring deals) all the while I was watching "little nicky" on tv.... I'm not sure why, it just struck me as wrong....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Favorite Song ever!!!

In trying to find an mp3 of this song I found this little ditty on YouTube!

Now if I can just find a recording...

Speaking of recordings - For those hard rock fans, I highly recommend "The Heroine Diaries" by Nikki Sixx (Sixx:A.M.) I can't wait to read the book!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Saturday Continued

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!!! I'm stuffed and we got through having my uber-hypercritical parents over for dinner... WHEW! I am so glad that's over.

Now where are those antiacids....????


So anywho to continue my story just a wee bit!

1:25 So we're in lineup for beauty, and I am quite sure Gizmo could not have looked prettier! Of course I was driving her crazy making sure she was going to get that routine right, because ever since we set foot in the hotel, she appeared to have "site amnesia" and never got through it once in practice correct at the hotel.

I did feel bad about accidentally answering the phone when it rang at 1:28 - her regular modeling/charm school teacher was calling to introduce herself and tell us how much they missed Giz at modeling that day... I had to rush her off the phone and confess we were at a pageant LOL

1:30 The group lineup started on time, and Giz was dead square center in the group lineup. She looked incredible! And she was smiling her lil' butt off and never dropped it, not once. Although when the emcee came up to sing to her and I motioned for her to look at him she shook her head no. I found out later, he maybe needed some tic tacs. It's a little cheesy what he does (aka lil miss ss) but he's really a very sweet guy and the little girls adore him.

I try hard not to stress, but I now embrace it as exercise...

I swore I wouldn't get behind the judges and try to coach her from behind, what's done is done and what she's gonna do is left up to destiny. So I made sure I got over to the side so I could hoot and holler but not distract... (You have no idea how hard it is just to let them go do their thing, noooooooo idea.)

She did not disappoint me. She nailed her routine with the exception of:
1) she did fiddle with her nails for a few seconds in front of the judges
2) she was a wee bit bouncy in her walk

Other than that, she smiled the most gorgeous smile I have ever seen!!! And her modeling overall was very, very, clean - especially since she had practiced so hard and knew it herself.

I had promised her a big toy from the toy vendor at the back of the ballroom. She made me pay for that performance big time LOL.

I had so many people come up and tell me how wonderful she did. Even if she got last place, it wasn't her fault. I was as proud as I have ever been.

Off to the next events.... which didn't go quite so smoothly.......


I gotta go do some serious digesting now.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

We're back so why am I not in bed fast asleep??

I'm still coming down off the adrenaline-centrifical-if-I-stop-I-may-never-get-back-up path residual from this weekend's events.

Well not so bad this time, but I'm pretty convinced that the way these things are judged, if my kid walked on water, the judges would complain she can't swim.

We had a really good time as far as these things go...

We arrived at a pretty decent time Friday, even though it took longer to get on the road than originally planned - especially after picking up a prescription for my husband, dropping off the dog for boarding, getting gas, breakfast, etc.

We finally got launched around 11:30am for about a three and a half hour drive. Hubby was at the wheel and Firstborn and Gizmo were in pretty complimentary moods, so our start wasn't too stressful. It's funny how just getting on the road to someplace, anyplace, and stopping by the convenience store for a treat is super exciting for the kids (kinda like hotel pools at night, I dunno, but you can't beat it hardly in the list of things kids really want to do...) Fortunately, our drive in was pretty uneventful otherwise.

Well, when we reached the hotel, they said we had to go to a special station before we could check in, since we were with the pageant... (??) And a lady trying very hard to be pleasant handed us a very nasty waiver and a baggy explaining that if there was the suh-lightest damage to the room we would be charged insane amounts of money for the problems ($40 a sheet $100 for other offenses.) Now, I can respect if they had trouble last year...but why would the director go back if the pageant caused that much damage. I hate being guilty by association, but I've never met anyone at a pageant that wrecked a room worse than rock stars, but apparantly this is what occurred before, and we were going to be treated like the criminals we must be LOL. The hotel staff was extremely rude to us - even when I asked directions to a local Chick-fil-A the maintenance lady acted like I had asked her to take poison (did I mention we were in a heavy TOURIST town?) The girl at the front desk couldn't find my overnight package even though she looked straight at it like, five times in a row. These folks had been warned that the "pageant people" were here... it was like walking into a crowded bar and you're the worst gunslinger in the west. I don't know what was worse, the treatment by the hotel staff, or the fact that they had reason to believe we should be treated that badly. I don't know all the facts directly except what I experienced first hand, so I reckon I have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

So once we got checked in and our stuff to the room, I had to get Gizmo to her modeling lesson - it went well and halfway through my husband came running in with the christmas wear, which had been fed ex'd the night before and the hotel staff couldn't find it so he went and raised a ruckus to get it... didn't do any good because our coach decided we should go with the backup plan because she didn't care for what we had custom made. SIGH.

Next up, DINNER!! Well,not quite. We had to find a local Springmaid outlet and buy some cheap sheets just in case ANY tanner might get on the hotel sheets. (which really wasn't an issue, I just wish the director had told all of us before the pageant so we'd know to bring our own... and normally we don't have too much of a problem with tanner, but not we had the penalties to worry about, and frankly this hotel seemed to be looking for ANY excuse to charge us!!) After we picked up new sheets, pillowcases and couple of extra towels ($20 not bad...) we all went to Fridays on the main drag, and it was okay, except they didn't tell me before hand that all the liquor drinks advertised had to be made with wine, so when my drink came out a completely different color than the ad the waiter sort of mumbled something about "maybe we should have told you" and that the bar staff did "what they could"... I just sent it back and ordered a beer. I wasn't mad or anything, it was just kind of a dumb move on his part.

Back to the room, take Gizmo to tanning. The lady who did her tan was super sweet and Gizmo did wonderful. I don't know how she made any money on it, she didn't charge us much and gave Giz a small stocking loaded with toys and candy. Golden in my book if you ask me :o)

Next up, registration. Throw gobs of money at curt director (I'm guessing she was pretty tired since it was around 9pm and registration started at 2pm) in hopes that your kid will beat the odds. And NO, no sympathy expected here. I'm too old to use the "I didn't know excuse." We entered pretty much everything except the door overalls, which was just more than I could bring myself to spend after the initial fees. Registration ran pretty smoothly for a national, I will admit though.

I ended up staying up late, because after a wardrobe check with the coach I ended up having to whip stitch the skirt into the dress, and everything else had to be ironed, laid out with necessary accessories and supplies in preparation for the next day. So I didn't get to bed until about 1 a.m. Everyone else was out by 11, 12, and 12:30 respectively.

7:30 a.m.

Upsy Daisy!! Shower. Get dressed. Wake up Hubby and Firstborn. Get them rolling and into the shower etc. Run down for a pre-breakfast pick up. Send Hubby to BK for egg biscuits and juice (Gizmo HAS to have protein in the morning or she crashes bad in the afternoon and it is NOT pretty - she turns into a GREMLIN...)

10:20 Take Gizmo to hair and makeup. H/M lady has bad news. Gizmo's fall is having trouble staying put. Now I rolled that thing a week earlier, it should have been MOLDED into place. Not the hairdo we wanted, but it was pretty still. Giz was perfect for h/m but I think H/M lady wanted to shoot me with a tranquilizer dart.

10:50 back to room for snacks and rest time

11:40 back to H/M lady to have hair done.

12:45 - still not done with hair, it was not going well. Run back to room to get dress and all accessories while H/M lady is struggling to create a winner.
(All things considered, I thought Giz looked pretty awesome (should have for what I PAID LOLOL but granted, you do not always get what you pay for))

1:15 Dressed and ready to go, we go to the ballroom. be continued, and I promise not to make ya'll wait this time.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Update. Maybe things will turn better...


Well, I emailed the lady who made the dress to let her know it just wouldn't work. I mean, in all fairness to her, maybe she DID do her best and just didn't get the vision LOL. Besides, I'd find out if she was legit, or not in the business to last. Well, to her credit,she did contact me, and told me if I would overnight the dress (cost $67) she would fix it. Demanded to fix it almost... Well, we'll see, because the repaired dress (another $47 to get it yet overnighted again to the Hotel tomorrow.... why cheaper for her I don't know, but I'll go with it but I really think she should have paid that shipping but at this point as much money as I am throwing out the door who am I to argue its so not worth it (and BREEEEEEATHE....)) So in trying to avoid paying $300 for a new casual wear, I basically ended up paying $300 after adding shipping and backup outfits. Anywho, live and learn. I had several leads on casual wears today, but I missed them because...


It didn't just die out, it came to a screeching halt in pieces. It apparently cracked at some point when I flipped the lid on it and then the antennae snapped off and was lost. So much for "military grade."


Sooooo-aaahhhh. After busting a nut (as my guys at work say) getting up and getting the house cleaned, catching up on laundry from the washing machine fiasco, trying to take calls from work on our project, walking our crazy dog (I swear he was a sled dog in a previous life), and getting ready for Gizmos photo shoot... I had to go to the mall and buy a new cell phone. And, not realizing I had voicemail with some leads about a backup plan for a casual wear, I drug poor Giz from one end of the Mall to the other looking for something suitable. Oh and did I mention, the phone ended up costing THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS??? My choices were:

a) renew my contract for another 2 years and get $75 off the phone.
b) cancel current service and go to another provider (and go through allll the sales crap and paperwork etc. when I only had a little bit of time and needed a phone NOW)
c) just pay for the phone outright and keep the strings unattached on my plan

oh, and did I mention on option a) there was a $20 reactivation fee making it only a $55 discount??

I tried every tack I could, I even marched down to Radio Shack to try and buy a refurbished phone, and don't even get me started about that ordeal.

So I just bought the dad-blamed phone. Done.

On another note, Gizmo's modeling school photo shoot went off fabulously... although I still don't think they believe me that most of her ensembles were from Wal Mart. You'd think if I could put together something swell for modeling that I could do a christmas wear at the last minute. 'Cept I lose all creative capability when I'm under extreme duress.

We ended up buying a little OTR Christmas dress and accessories at Dillards and declared the search over. Time's up - what's done is done.

The rest is up to destiny.

I'm going to need new fingernails Monday. I do not have a good feeling about this weekend now, so we're just going to try and salvage what we can of the coming weekend.

....find a happy place....find a happy place....find a happy place...

p.s.s When I went to mail the dress Wednesday, I needed packaging because I didn't consider sending the dress back and at lunchtime was going try to see if I could find an alterationist to work on it. I didn't have box or anything for shipping!! So in between two meetings I ran like a mad mofo into Walgreens kind of wild-eyed looking for shipping tape and trash bags (to protect the dress in case it got left on a porch in the rain etc.)... I'm pretty sure there's some poor clerk around thinking she just had a killer with a body in the trunk run into her store the other day....

p.s.s.s. Did I mention my iron died today too?? Just as I was trying to get Gizmo's dresses ready for her modeling shoot?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Gizmo's Christmas wear came in today.

Completely unusable.

I now have two point five days to find a great christmas casual wear for her.

I'm going to cry. A lot.

I begged the lady to get it done sooner. I ordered it over a month ago and even sent her the material myself. She basically threw it together.

I need some grace right now.


Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm FINE Really! I'm o-kay. No issues. Nope not me....

Who the hell am I kidding.

I am officially a nervous wreck.

My house is a mess.

My washing machine blew up...

...and after dragging parts and grease all over my basement and laundry room it was determined that yes indeed, this is an unfixable piece of crap. (don't let 'em fool you those water saver piss poor excuses for robbing you blind are NOT what they are cracked up to be...and did I mention there is a class action lawsuit against the company for making this giant hunk of scrap metal???)

Had to buy a new washing machine. TONIGHT. Thank goodness I married the plumber.

Due to the washing machine being out, I had to buy khaki pants for Firstborn Saturday - BUT!! I could NOT find one stinking pair of 28/31s anywhere in town. He's 5'8" and barely breaking 100lbs. It took about 10 stores and 6 starbucks Fraps to get me through that one... But that's another blog... We had to be at a wedding Saturday Night, then cotillion Sunday and no way to wash clothes because hubby was still damning the torpedos that he could fix that hulking hunk of junk, and of course, everything we needed was dirty.

Roll hair

Pack clothes

Arrange fees, tanning appts, modeling lesson, school excuses, make sure all accessories are intact, plan excursion for hubby and firstborn while we get ready when we arrive...

Did I mention that it is roughly three and a half days before we can leave and not one but TWO of Gizmo's outfits are NOT here!!!!

The big boss wants a fabulous demo of my new project to present to the big BIG boss after Thanksgiving as a hallmark of things that are going right in our department (sadly a lot of projects apparantly aren't.) And it doesn't. quite. work. yet.

And my uber-hyper-critical parents are coming for Thanksgiving dinner.

Stop the world, I want to get off.

Strangely, as much of this is self inflicted, I don't expect sympathy, I just needed to vent.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Live chat now! We help you long time!


Okay, so I have a couple of emails that for some reason appear to be ending up blocked to my regular email account (non-yahoo.)

So I sent an email request for help on how to unblock these messages.

I receive an email back admonishing me to contact their "live chat" for resolution because the companythatshallnotbenamed so very wants to help me for great customer satisfaction, blah, blah, and blah.

Here's a cliff's notes of the transcript:

THEM : Online chat - a representative will be with you in approximately two minutes
Me : oKAY
THEM : Eden has joined the chat
THEM : hello how may I help you?
ME : I have two email addresses that appear to be blocked, how can I have them unblocked?
THEM : oH, it appears you have been routed to the Sales group, do you mind if I reroute you to technical support?
ME : Uh, no (knock yerself out unless you think you can fix this...)
THEM : Cyrus has joined the chat
THEM : how may I assist you today?
ME : I have two email addresses I am expecting mail from that appear to be blocked, how can I have them unblocked?
THEM : All spam is blocked
ME : No, these are not spam addresses, last week I was receiving mail just fine from them and now I cannot
THEM : are you using webmail?
THEM : Is your mailbox full?
ME : no
THEM : check please
ME : 31 %
THEM : okay, please go to your filtering options
ME : okay
THEM : add these to your allowed list
ME : okay, will do , but what if this does not work? what can I do
THEM : do you have antivirus installed
ME : sure, but what does that have to do with blocking emails?
THEM: maam, it has everything to do with email
ME : how?
THEM : maam, if you need help with antivirus, please contact norton directly?
ME : ?? why? I'm not having trouble with antivirus, just blocked emails
THEM : really, you should contact norton
ME : for what?
THEM : how are we supposed to know, you are the one with antivirus problems
THEM : thank you for contacting companythatshallnotbenamednow ... is there anything else we can help you with??
ME : uh, one more question.
THEM : yes?
ME : are you in the US or India?
THEM : I'm sorry maam that information is confidential

$%!### ^&@@ss@@@

I'm okay. really.

p.s. I'm probably going to get beat up for this one, but geez, I was just asking the last question out of curiosity!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

10.5 days to go, but who's counting??

Thanks to Rennratt I picked up this lil' ditty

Your Karaoke Theme Song is "Livin' On a Prayer"

You believe the best things in life are mostly forgotten, and you're definitely more than a little nostalgic .
You're likely to still like the same foods, fashions, and music as you did when you were a teenager.

You have a knack for knowing what elements of pop culture people have missed, without them even realizing it.
It's great to remember the past, but don't forget that not everyone is as stuck in it as you are.

You might also sing: "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Rapper's Delight," and "Cherry Pie"

Stay away from people who sing: "Toxic"


The dress came today!! (WHEW)

But I DID have to go get it from our Green Acres post office early this a.m. If you think I'm leaving a dress that costs as much or more than an expensive sofa there one minute longer than I have to yer flippin' crazeee!!

I was in there at 7:55 am begging for the box hollering through the mail slot at the poor woman trying to load the po boxes. Even went to the back door and stood on my tippy toes trying to get her attention asap!!! Snap to it lady, we've got business to take care of LOL....

Oh what have I been reduced to??


Now all we need to do is roll one more hair piece, get the Christmas wear and the Casual wear in the mail, pack and make it to next week without anyone contracting the siberian flu.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

12.5 days and counting down

Pet peeve of the week.

Why is it people have time to send me all kinds of crazy junk emails with cute little puppy pics, wishes of doom if I don't forward to 500 people immediately, and just plain old stupid jokes...I don't mind if the joke is funny, isn't over 200k, and is sent to me personally to enjoy, but when it comes via a 150 person address book send, it doesn't make me feel particularly special.

Yet this is what I get back when I call on the phone to say hello...

Title of email: "Returning your call"

Hey, I jsut wanted to let you know until I get through
parent report card conferences and my dreaded
birthday, I will not be in the mood to chat, I will
call sometime after the 12th.

I'm beginning to think it's not worth trying to have any friends at all.


I must be crazy.

It took me 4 hours to roll hairpieces today.

The christmas wear won't be shipped until Thursday.

I haven't heard from the dressmaker in 4 days since I sent my last payment.

The new picture came in (bright spot.)

And the only pageant we could work in for practice next weekend has been cancelled.

I don't think this is a good sign.

Never mind we made our first dress payment in JUNE.

I guess we're going to go and lose again.

Really we should quit, this is so not worth it. I think.

But on the other hand, Firstborn and Hubby are joining us this time.

Should be interesting.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Maybe I'm living right, maybe not.

You haven't lived until...

It's 10:30 p.m.

You have a room full of people traveling in from various and sundry locations across North America to test a brand new computer application that they've been trying to get launched for almost FOUR years.

And it still isn't totally working.

My guys pulled through though, and at 7:42 a.m. they had it up and running.


Tomorrow I'm going to go have new nails and tooth enamel put on.


My therapist should get hazard pay....

In three weeks, we are getting back on the proverbial horse and we are going back to another National Pageant.

Now somewhere between persistence and stupidity is something call perserverance. I'd like to think I'm just keeping the faith, but my husband thinks I'm stupid.

First of all, your child has to model well to be competitive. Gizmo has been practicing... a LOT. And it hasn't been going well. She wants to do pageants badly, but practice?? It's like teaching a pig to sing. To make matters worse, we changed coaches, and all her routines had to change. I told her if she doesn't practice, we'll have to quit, and when I do that, she just gets angry and screams. But when I ask her to practice (and I am working with her to get it right) I'm pretty sure pulling an oak tree out with my bare hands would be easier.

Second, Clothes Clothes Clothes!!!!!!
After the last national fiasco, we sold EVERYTHING and started over. From scratch.
It's not just the expense, but the design has to be right...Is it noticable without being tacky? Is it comfortable? Will she be able to model in it without any wardrobe malfunctions? Will she like it? Will I have to deal with a child screaming she doesn't want to wear THAT??? Are the colors right? Will the seamstress get the measurements right? Will she understand what we want? Will we get it on time? and How on earth am I going to afford all of this?????

Pictures! You have to have new pictures. A new comp card... We even drove all the way across town JUST to get three additional pictures for the comp card in Christmas pajamas to complete the collage!!! I'm beginning to think they need to dedicate a lane in my name between two large Southern cities on the freeway because I've burned so much rubber between the two in the name of getting pictures!!!

Loose ends: do the photo protectors need replacing? Do the wigs and falls need replacing? what about shoes? We need to make hotel arrangements. We need to contract a hair and makeup person (will they do my child right? will they understand what will make her look her best? will I get my money's worth?) Check socks, earrings, undergarments, storage for new clothes, wig heads, roller operation, hair spray supply, do we need to order fresh tanning solution....?? The List goes on.

It's work, work, WORK! A labor of love for sure.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy Anniver-sry Bay-bee!!!!

Yesterday was our 17th wedding anniversary.

And for the 17th year in a row. We did the same thing.

Maybe that's why we've lasted so long LOL.

Every year on our anniversary, we go to a particular "Japanese" hibachi style steak house for filet and plum punch...
oooooh I lurves me sum plum puncheeeeee....


We've watched this restaurant evolve over the years, and we were sort of waxing sentimental about how the bar used to be sort of dark and quiet with more of a romantic feel (and they used to put out little bowls of japanese cracker mix with dried peas), and now it's a sushi bar/sub restaurant where they serve a lot of beer to Mexicans and it has bright lighting now. It used to be that ALL the cooks were Japanese, now there are none (hence the "Janpanese" reference vs Japanese no quotes.) We used to be able to order a lobster tail with our order, now you can just get some extra shrimp. And customers used to dress up for dinner there and you never saw kids. Now folks go in wearing work clothes from the garage, they bring screaming babies, and jeans are the norm.

In a way, the restaurant's evolution mimics our city's changes. But that's a story for another time.

But, it IS tradition. And the plum punch is still good, even though they've gone to free pour and you don't get as much liquor in it.

I think it's funny too that when our table found out it was our wedding anniversary, and our 17th at that, they were amazed. I guess long marriages are not as common anymore? The guy next to me said he could tell we got along well, and wished he could find someone to share his life like that. Another said we looked too young to be married that long.

And there was a lady at the end freaking out because she thought my husband looked exactly like (and could have been) Dave Grohl.... (I never would've thought THAT.)

Overall we had a pretty good time, but we opted not to go out after the fiasco we had when we went out downtown for my birthday (a GIRL hit on me in front of my husband....) So we picked up the kids from Grandma's and went on home.

And had a great evening.

Here's to another 17!!!


Usually it's a lot more interesting when our date is on FRIDAY the 13th....

Thursday, October 11, 2007


My daughter is in this stupid photo contest...

I have a feeling the moms of the tops might be the only ones voting...

just a hunch



You know, in a lot of ways I am cheap.

Cheap, cheap cheap...!

I pack my lunch most days.
...and I label and re-use the baggies (carrots, sandwich, cookies)

I live in a house that’s largely made of windows so I don’t have to pay a big light bill.
...and I use those funky looking florescent bulbs in the chandeliers

The last pair of shoes I bought were on sale. Target, and they were only 4 bucks. Super comfy and stylish too.

I never use the dry cycle on my dishwasher.
...and the wet towel I use to get the water off is what I use to wipe down the countertops.

I only partially dry clothes in the dryer.
... I like to pretend that hanging the clothes up doubles as exercise.

I buy books at Goodwill for the kids.
...that way I’m not distracted by a $5 mocha frappacino at Starbucks

In a lot of ways I am a financial idiot.

Dumb, dumb, dumb...!!

My son and husband have a $100 a week golf habit.
...Plus balls, tees, and lost clubs.

I could have gone to Disneyworld for what I paid for my daughter’s pageant dress
...don’t get crazy, I could have paid for only ME not the entire family...

I have a $2 a day addiction to AMP.
... at the risk of TMI, sometimes it IS green.

I am quite convinced Pedicures are a medical necessity
...and I cannot figure out why health insurance won’t pay (reduces stress, really!!!)


Do you have any money saving tips to share? Send ‘em my way :o)

I need to get my toes done

Saturday, October 06, 2007

You gotta work it girl!!

You know, In a lot of ways pageants have been really good for Gizmo.

In others, I admit, they have been bad.

Case in point:

Today, Gizmo was invited to a birthday party for a classmate at the local "Snip Its" kids hair salon. "Get your Glitz and Glamor On" was the title on the adorable invitation she received in the mail. However, I have to worry about Gizmo's participation at these parties sometimes... so I shall explain.

She got up this morning all excited, ready to see her friends and have fun at the PAR-TAY - as she says... And of course, outfit selection was a critical event to pass before attending - "I can't GO if I'm not STYLISH!!!" Then "Kaitlyn is ALL about fashion so I have to be fashionable!!!" In the end she selected her "Dad said it was okay!" T-shirt, denim skirt with sequin scarf belt, funky knee highs and sequin hair bands. She also had to have a funky hairdo, and wanted to wear her new sparkley sketchers to complete the look.

I don't mind her wanting to be stylish, really. I know that's probably not the most responsible parental attitude, but I don't like conflict and I choose to pick my battles where my judgement deems my effort really needs to go. But it kinda looks funny to the other parents when my child doesn't want to "play dress up" when well, she already IS dressed up walking in the door. Nonetheless, she had a great time - and it didn't bother the other kids, and probably not the other parents either, but I'm a little sensitive to what they might think so it's probably all just in my head. At this birthday party in particular, the whole point was to "Play Dress Up" and be "Glamorous" THERE. Then you get your hair done. Gizmo didn't want them to do her hair, because to her, it was already done. But she did let them curl the ends of her hair, put the makeup on, and do her nails.

At the end of the party the "big deal" is for each child to walk the red carpet (yes, they have a red carpet LOL) in their fancy outfit, hair, and makeup. Most of the kids just kinda walked out and stared at the floor with a "whatever" look on their face. Of course, Gizmo sashays out doing her twisty walk, total smile and attitude going - stage presence topped out - and models, well, like a professional. Oh and never mind that although she's not the oldest child there, she's the TALLEST and the THINNEST and looks like a model. Now don't get all in a wad over that statement, I'm not saying Gizmo was the "prettiest" and keep in mind not all models are "pretty" per se, they just have that presence about them...


Of course the other mothers are looking at me and one says, "MY she's PROFESSIONAL."

Um, I'm sorry Ma'am, I truly am, but compared to the rest of these kids She IS.

I didn't say that out loud, of course. I just sort of smiled sheepishly and focused my attention on the fact that the next kid was coming up.

I know it sounds weird, but I was so proud (she has such a pretty bright smile and she DID work it down that runway...) but embarrassed at the same time (she just didn't act "normal".) I mean is it so bad she enjoyed it in her own way? Maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of it to myself because I am sensitive to the whole is-it-or-isn't-it-politically-correct to put your kids in pageants issue.

But in the end, all I know is a bunch of little girls had fun today, one of which had to do it her own way.


One thing I did notice, is that this joint had TVs to distract the kids while they were getting their hair cut. No wonder we are raising a generation of kids who have to be entertained all the time!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Vague Ramblings

I hate to be outgeeked, but since I'm not a full fledged card carrying member I really shouldn't try. (I'm sort of a fence rider....) But anyway:

I was riding back from lunch with some of the guys on my team and they were talking about back in the old days of building their own printers and protocol converters (pre TCPIP days etc.) And how they used to do all their programs on punch card readers, and how they spent Saturday nights in the computer labs in college....blah blah blah...etc and so on...

Out of sheer frustration all I could think of was the time I stuck a fork in the light socket....

(Hey! I traded out doing one guy's biology homework if he would do my data processing homework in the computer lab. I swear the geeks would leave me be for 30 minutes laughing at the dumb sorority girl who couldn't find the power button to the computer. It made me feel like tweety bird trapped at a cat convention, can you blame me for the trade out?)

But Anyway. (I supposed that explains a lot)


Gizmo fell out of bed early Saturday a.m. and pulled her left shoulder muscles out of whack. Oh can she milk it for all. its. worth. Now, at the risk of being called a bad mom, I didn't take her to the doctor until today. My kids can make a paper cut into a knifing attempt by Mark Twain. Complete with "...and he got away without a police report...." So I'm not known for rushing to the hospital. She's fine, says the doctor, just give her motrin and leave it alone a couple more days.

We're a pretty durable bunch in this gene pool.

Kinda reminds me of the time I rode a horse with a bad reputation on my mother-in-law's farm. "Now don't take him to the upper pasture and run..." stated my father-in-law matter-of-factly. Whatever says I. I can ride him.

So I take the perilous pony out and everything is going fine, 'cept I let my guard down on the upper pasture.


Next thing you know we're going, going, going. Then he's NOT going.

And I still AM.

Can you spell "Swan dive"????

Well, I ended up getting bucked off head over heels and landed my full weight on my right shoulder. My guardian angel musta been working overtime, because I came within a couple of inches of landing straight on top of my head, and I was NoT wearing a Helmet. Now, being the resilient gal I am I sort of popped up off the ground and I remember my husband RUNNING up the hill screaming "OMG are you Okay???"

"NO. I'm going to Pass out"

And I did. PLUNK.

When I came to about five minutes later I swore I broke my collarbone (and for some reason, I REALLY had to go to the bathroom...TMI, but it IS true....) After all, I'm a pretty solid girl and I took a very nasty fall and my shoulder REALLY really REALLY really HURT. My husband looked at me (the hopeless romantic he is) and said "I'm not taking you to the hospital, I'm not sitting around the emergency room I might CATCH something"


You know he made me WAIT until the next day to go to the doctor????

Well, as luck would have it they xrayed my shoulder. No break. No twist. No fracture.
Geez, I could have at least had a small fracture or something for my trouble. The bruise wasn't even much of a trophy.

Apparantly, you can bruise just the bone itself...

Now, it might not have been much, but to this day I can STILL tell you when the barometric pressure is changing.


In the meantime...

Firstborn, who is full tilt boogie heading into puberty, is having so many mood swings I'm getting emotional whiplash. I'm not ever sure who I'm talking too: Sir Morose, The Giddy Puppy, The Third Parent, Mr.Hideaway... Well, Mr Morose visited juuuust as we were getting him ready for cotillion Sunday afternoon. I'd rather try to pull a large tree out of the backyard with my bare hands before having to deal with this facet of the hormonal horrors known as THIRTEEN. He wants to wear his dress pants around his fanny, the tie doesn't work, he DID? comb his hair... So my husband grabbed him by the ear and did his hair as I added to his humiliation by fixing his shirt in his pants.... I have never heard such whining (his voice is cracking too which to his chagrin tends to give me the giggles - but I try not to have them in front of him I SWEAR.) Tears, pout, huff. Tears, pout, huff. Hell, he makes the Bridezillas on TV look downright docile.

So we ended up being 15 minutes late. Not a good thing when after all you are going to Manners class...

There I was dropping off my pouting, steaming, hunk of hormones off at the club door, taking solice in the fact that there were SIX other parents dropping off their equally pouting humiliated male tweens at the door too!!! AH, Misery loves company.

When I picked him up, he was absolutely the polar opposite.

My neck is sore.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Please pray for little Maddie

We pause for a life sucks moment.

My daughter does a lot of online glitz photo contests, and we get to know quite a few folks over the internet and all over the country.

There is one contest we do alot in particular, because the lady runs it well, she's very nice, her fees are reasonable and she gives away build a bear prizes, of which Gizmo has won a couple. Each time this lady lets her youngest daughter go and pick out the bear and the clothes for the prize to mail to the winner with a special note. Then she'll post a picture of the child with their prize in her winners log.

This little girl was involved in a terrible car crash today - a teenager was texting and not paying attention and Maddie was in the back seat and took the worst part of the crash. She is in serious condition.

This is just horrible!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gratuitous AD day!!!

I'm going to buy 10!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We pause for a whiny brat moment.

I have a confession to make.

I desperately want to be liked.

I envy people who have lots and lots of friends... I still long to be a popular kid.
If I had people come by and hang on weekends around the house to keep us company, I think I would be so much happier. I think I carry around a lot of baggage from being at the bottom of the social food chain in high school... I mean, for crying out loud, I DID go to my senior prom on a blind date. It sucks being a geek.

But I married a social recluse, and although I try really hard to make and keep friendships, it seems like I'm never going to achieve my life's goal to have people to really go do things with. We used to have a couple we would go on vacation with occasionally, but when Doug died of cancer my husband just sort of gave up on finding anyone else to hang with. And his wife and I had nothing in common at all to try and keep a relationship going. She was nice, but she never wanted to do anything.

I have a "best" friend, who calls me often and enthusiastically on the phone with all her news and trials and tribulations, but when I go to visit her she ignores me for her local friends (she literally turns away from me and talks to them and doesn't let me get a word in edgewise.) I took my daughter down to visit her this summer and although she is a teacher, she seemed perpetually annoyed with my daughter, and got mad when I asked if we could fix some popcorn (around 8:30 one evening) for Gizmo and I because she and the "babies" (her two dogs, had a bedtime to keep. Geez, we only visit once a year. I mean she tells me about going out to dinner with her friends and going to the movies etc. but when I suggested we all go to dinner and a movie she curtly replied "I'm so not interested...." Or if I suggest we go visit this or that she looks at me in disdain "I am NOT a tourist" Yet, I say nothing. Although I did feign not feeling well so we could cut our trip a little bit short, she didn't really seem to mind and then made all nice. She could make a little bit of effort if she really cares about our friendship. But maybe that's why she's 38 and still whining that she can't find a man.... (she hasn't had a boyfriend since college.)

I wish I had another mom with kids I could call and say "let's go to six flags today!" Or, let's go to the mall! Or, come over and have lunch. But I guess we're all kinda caught up in the day to day of things and we have our own families to harrass and hang with... Even when I go to birthday parties and meet other mothers I kind of feel uncomfortable because I don't even think the same way they do. They talk about worrying about their kids being too worldly, or the teachers not giving enough homework, or how they don't like ChuckECheese because it's too loud inside.
I don't worry about Giz being too worldly - how can she be worldly taking the dog for a walk, going to pageants, going skiing and roller skating and to the pottery place or going grocery shopping.... and I don't want her to burn out on homework in kindergarten.... and I don't mind ChuckECheese or Monkey Joe's or Six Flags... I love to rollerskate and I love to ride rollercoasters and I can ski and I want to try other things too... Aren't there any other mom's out there like Me???

I'm sure it's overrated. But I haven't felt well this week and I'm wallowing in my own self pity. I'll get over it. Maybe. (Although one of the guys on my team did give me a cookie Monday - Macadamia/Cranberry - and for a little while I WAS truly cheered up :o)

Okay. I know I'm whining. But only a few people read my blog anyway, and they don't seem to be all up in the air about me being one of those social outkast battle-ax stagemothers.

I know they'll understand.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dissed at the Disco - Part 2

Ah.... Now where was I??

Gizmo was wonderful in outfit of choice, and knowing she really didn't have the clothes to win casual wear, I let HER pick out her music. She picked a really bouncy tune "Jump" by Jump 5 - but I figured if she was happy, she'd smile like she needed too. And she did. But she gets sooooo bouncy she looks a bit of a train wreck in her modeling when she needs to just slow down and take it easy. But, all things considered, it's all about her and she should have some creative liberty. Even if she is only 5.

Last but not least, moving on to Disco Wear. No, we didn't have custom mixed music (but I AM trying to learn Audacity now LOL) but yes, Giz had worked her lil' fanny off practicing and I was pretty confident she would do her best.

She did not disappoint me.

I get tickled after the last event at any pageant because although she's really good about the hair, and the makeup, and the nails, and the lashes etc. once that last deal is done, you blink twice and it looks like a mannequin murder scene. Pop, pop, pop. Off go the nails. UUUUHHHHHH Youch! There goes the fall. Off go the lashes... It's really quite funny. Then she hands it all to me in a wad - I am SO done Mommy! Let's go swimming now??

Of course!

Definition of Eternity = from the time you are done on Saturday until crowning on Sunday morning.

Getting out of a hotel on Sunday morning during a pageant is really tough when you don't have help. Albeit we had friends staying with us and we could pinch hit looking after kids while we loaded up the car, it's still really difficult when they are little. They want to run and play and wander etc. when you really, really REALLY need them to be a little clingy.

Anyway. They had a wonderful Disco party before crowning and they gave the kids these light up Disco glasses and glow necklaces and all the kids got to dance onstage - thus burning off some energy before having to sit still and deal with their nervous mothers for the crowning event.

So they called the 0-3 groups - a lot of predictable winners but since I didn't get to watch those age groups I really couldn't tell how they were going... So it wasn't too long before the 4-8 divisions were called.

Now it is important ya'll know that although I love doing pageants with my daughter I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE crowning. In case you weren't clear, I HATE it. I'm pretty sure one of these days I'm just going to puke and spew everywhere out of nerves. I've even been told by others that I actually look like it too. Oh well. They started calling side awards - I didn't enter Gizmo in any of the additional optional events (I have to economize some) besides casual wear so she had to watch kids get prizes for Natural photogenic, Composite, and a 2nd outfit of choice. But now they were getting down to business with the core events. Second runner up in photogenic. Good. Second runner up in Disco Wear (I personally thought she was the best, but HEY I'm not the judge....LOL) then side awards - best hair? NO .... best dress? NO.... Most beautiful? they gave like 6 places and she didn't even place. It's about this time I am not getting a good feeling.... 5th RU - went to a child where obviously she and her mother had no clue about National pageants. 4th RU - Gizmo SIGH. Might as well have been dead last. And she noticed this time she didn't get a crown! Quick! Damage Control!!! We stayed onstage until the last beauty winner was called with me distracting her the rest of the time and whisking her off stage. WHEW.


Definition of Forever - having to wait until all of crowning is over to talk to the judges.

Now, losing wasn't so bad, but here's what I got wrapped around the axle about:

Gizmo effectively got a zero for facial beauty on her scoresheets.


...well, maybe she IS ugly in the eye of the judges and I'm not terribly objective.

I got in line, trying desperately to be settled and patient. Really trying. Honest! So I get up in line to the table and finally it's my turn. I looked at the three beauty judges and said "Look. Don't tell me how beautiful and great my daughter is..." I hate when they say that - it's patronizing especially when your kid didn't do well "...don't patronize me and BS me that my daughter is all that when she came in almost dead last...." One of the judges wouldn't even look at me. She literally had her face in her hand. "I want to know what your thinking was on her scores." Well the male judge effectively stated that he gave her a low facial score because he didn't like her dress. He preferred pastels he purred in his most girly voice. I was fine until then really. Now I'm really, REALLY, reallyreallyreallyreally PISSED.

If he had told me that he just thought my kid was ugly and he wasn't into her, I would have had some respect for him. Have some balls dammit. But to dock my child's facial score, which is a totally separate score from Overall Appearance (where his disdain for my daughter's dress should have been reflected) was competely irresponsible. I could no longer contain myself. Now, I did not swear. I did not raise my voice. I did not resort to insults or name calling. But if pastel dresses were a requirement, it should have been in the paperwork, right? A respectable judge should judge how the dress compliments the child regardless of his or her preference in color. If they want to reflect an issue with attire it should be in the overall appearance score, or attire score if one is used.

Well, as it turned out the two little girls who made 3rd and 2nd runner up respectively (and oh, btw there were like nine kids in the group with 2 pulling supremes and two group titles) he did the same thing to. He effectively knocked these three girls out of the running for ANYTHING because he didn't like bright color dresses. Which is, in my opinion, bullshit. :o) Besides, my daughter does not do well in pastels overall because they tend to wash her out.

In Disco wear two judges gave Gizmo perfect scores across the board. But one judge expressed that Giz was "looking" at a coach for cues. My daughter can tend to look at me occaisionally, but in Disco wear this time, she most certainly, did not. Would not. I even tried to get her attention and she was so into what she was doing she never paid me any mind at all (should have in a couple of places...maybe LOL.) So I knew right off this judge had written us off and not really watched my baby. Because if she did, her notes should have read that Gizmo stumbled on part of her back X - and I would have definitely understood if she took off for that.

In my opinion, judges should watch a child the entire time she is on stage. They should judge whether or not the clothes work for that child. They should judge the modeling according to the age and abilities of the age group. Anything else (i.e. judging low due to personal color preference) shows NO respect for my daughter's time and hard work, and it shows NO respect for MY money. I am a paying (and lord knows in pageants you PAY....) customer, and that's what I expect - since we don't get a "product" in return, I expect good service from the pageant directors and the judges. We pay for them to be there, our kids give them their best, and we deserve THEIR best effort in return. Not bullshit I'm lazy and don't want to make any effort to truly judge your child so I'll use dress color to make my decisions.

Now when I got home, and finally received the DVD of the pageant, I told myself that maybe the judges DID see things I did not, and I promised myself I would be objective in my review of not only my daughter's performance, but the other children's.

I stand by my opinions. The kids who won, hardly smiled. The kids who did not DID. Gizmo had Disco wear in my opinion still. Did she model as well or better than the others in Casual wear. Yes. Did she outsmile all of them. Absolutely. Did her clothes hurt her? Yes.

So now what?

We are getting Gizmo with a new coach. Not because our old one was doing anything wrong, but maybe another coach could see what she/we did not. There's always room for improvement, AND you never know, another technique might be just the thing she needs.

She is getting all new clothes and we are trying different seamstresses/designers. All I can say to that is OUCH.

We took a little "break" to practice new routines and get our heads together.

We're not quitters. Maybe we'll never be able to win this game, but as long as she wants to do it, and we do what we can afford, and she's making a real effort, we'll give it the old college try.

(It would be nice if a millionaire sponsor would show up LOLOL)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I know my hiatus was a bit extended, but I have excuses! Really.

Excuse #3

We got a dog.

We didn't intend to get a dog, it just sort of happened. Weird as it was. In late July after a very rough couple of weeks of work, I finally got to steal some time at the nail salon (after threatening my husband if he didn't pick up the kids and give me a break I was going to start breaking things!!!) I had turned my cell phone off to ensure peace and quiet, I wasn't about to interrupt my evening with silly things like emergencies...

So I finish up at the nail salon (after they pryed me screaming and kicking from the pedicure massage chair) and turned my cell on upon returning to my vehicle. BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!

10 Messages

Now I know I'm right popular but 10 messages???

All ten were from hubby - CALL ME!!! NOW!!!!

"We have an incident here" he states in troubled tones.

So now I'm thinking, either someone is injured... My parents are on the warpath again... the house is burning down.....

"We have a puppy."


It was kinda like getting the news of an unexpected pregnancy. Are we ready? Do we want to take on this kind of responsibility? Can we afford it?? WHAT the heck kind of dog could it be????


I grabbed some puppy chow on the way home, barreling home to see what on EARTH he was talking about. Oh, and some serious flea shampoo was ordered up too.

When I got home Gizmo ran up from the basement "He is sooooo CUTE!" she gasped emphatically! "THE cuuuutest dog - EVER!!.... you have just got. to. see. HIM!!!!"
Then I had to teach Giz to breathe again before going any further.

Oh-kay. Doh-kay.

Down I go to see this major infringement upon my life.

Oh bother. He's adorable, albeit not in very good condition. Looks to be a cocker mix puppy with possibly the most mournful face I have EVER seen since the Ethiopian Famine Charity ads.
What am I going to do? Pry him from Gizmo's cold dead hands and drag him to the shelter???
Hell no. I can be tough, but geez I AM human. But the giant fleas definitely had to GO.

So how did this come about??? Well, we live out in the country and our neighborhood is notorious for drive by drop offs of unwanted animals. Thank goodness the guy with the pet lion down the road didn't ever think to dump anything... (oh yeah, we live in we're too stupid to breathe but we're armed and have weird pets country...) Anyway, it's usually cats and they don't hang around too long. I can't tell you how much money I've spent feeding transients and bears.

But I digress.

When Gizmo and Hubby got home (Firstborn by the way was off at camp that week) apparently this puppy was hunkered down under our truck just-a crying away. As far as we can surmise, someone must have seen the little girl's bike on our porch and dumped the wee tike. A puppy that small can-NoT survive the trek from one house to another in our neighborhood (esp in his starving and flea-bitten condition) so best we can guess is they just put him out in our driveway. Bastards. But lucky for him, since Gizmo had been praying for a puppy for awhile, divine intervention kinda got in the way of us taking a hard hearted approach.

"Oh we've been sent a puppy!!!" "I found him! I'm his MOMMY!!!" Oh bless his heart.

I voted to put up "lost puppy" signs, but within two hours my husband stated "if they wanted him, let THEM put up signs...." I think pup pretty much suckered him right from the get-go...
By the next morning, hubby had named him. The vote was unanimous.

We call him "BOO!" Cause he was such a surprise and caught us all way off guard.

At least he doesn't eat much. Yet.

I'd post a pic, but dunno how. If anyone can advise as to how, I'll put one up. TIA as they say!

(Pictures courtesy of Dave & Mommasworld helping me out getting them uploaded!!!)


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Food for thought

Okay, Okay.

I've been told to get my sorry ass back in gear, that there are some folks out there who are pining away missing laughing at my expense (and they would like "the rest of the story")

I missed ya'll too.

Food for thought....

You know it's bad when you offer to cook supper (talking on the phone to hubby who was stuck late on a job) and your 13 and 5 year old join forces to start taking up a collection in the back seat of the car for any change they can scrounge up so you can all eat out.


Oh!! And look what showed up in my mailbox!!

Hello Pageant Mom,
My name is Kimberly Newman and I am an Associate producer at "The Montel Williams Show" in New York. We are having an upcoming show focusing on young beauty queens and I ran across your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it. I would love to speak to you further so please contact me when you receive this. Thanks and have a lovely day!

Should I bite??

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dissed at the Disco. PART 1

Well, we tried. And apologies for taking so long to get to this!!! See footnote at bottom of the page :o)


Now, no lectures please - I know going into these things that last place is a distinct possibility. You can work very hard, and not get a darn thing - and that's okay, as long as I feel it was a fair and square loss.


This was not the case.

Let me explain something first. There is the concept of the "supreme" awards - this consists of a photogenic event (which can be glitz photo, natural photo, comp card or portfolio), one optional event (In this case Disco wear, or one of two "outfits of choice" which can be swimwear, westernwear, sportswear etc.), and Beauty. Now the important thing to remember is that your beauty score CANNOT be substituted for a preferable (i.e. higher scoring) optional. It is your CORE score. Understanding this a KEY piece of information to understanding my ire with the situation.

We left very early Friday morning with a friend and her daughter to tackle about a 5 hour drive to Nashville. Overall the girls were very excited and happy to be going, and the other mom and I were in good spirits. On the way we stopped for breakfast and snacks, alternately chatting on the phone with coaches, hair and makeup people, and friends - everyone sooooo excited about the upcoming event!! We got there on Friday no issue, except for the fact that I have a bladder incapable of holding more than 3 ounces at a time so we had to stop A LOT for me to potty (getting old is hell btw) - We were staying at the Sheraton Music City - and we arrived early enough to get a room on a fairly low floor. The hotel was wonderful! The staff was a bit ditzy and it seemed to be slightly short on help, but overall one of the best hotels we've stayed at. I got Gizmo to tanning and to see her h/m person and then we practiced a bit in the halls that evening - again, everything going pretty smooth. We saw tons of people we knew, chatting about how we were doing, sharing photos and talking about who's there etc. We got to bed a tiny bit later than anticipated because the pizza guy took awhile to show up, but overall no problems.

Gizmo had to be at hair and makeup at 8:00am and she didn't want to get up, so it precluded a decent breakfast!! So I went down to the gift shop, grabbed her some milk and fed her a poptart (which isn't the end of the world but I do prefer her to eat eggs for protein the morning of competition.) Now for some reason, Gizmo decided she wanted to be difficult for her makeup that morning - I understand her issue, because they air brush the foundation, and frankly it's uncomfortable. But normally she does it no problem. Eventually, she got her foundation done, and moved on to the finishing makeup and getting her hair done.

The lady who did her makeup and hair did a good job, but I as she hadn't done Gizmo before, I didn't feel like she put her "best effort" into my baby. But overall, I was pleased and she had tons of comments on how beautiful she looked going back to the room to get dressed. We got her dress and shoes on etc. and made our way downstairs for beauty.

Nine kids!!! Why oh why is our age group always stacked? I surveyed the competition, and felt like Gizmo had as much or better of a chance at least at a title. Her modeling is strong so I wasn't so worried about that... Gizmo did look so much more mature than the round-faced toddlers in the group and that concerned me a bit. The last pageant we did, I thought I might better move her up an age group, and that nagged me a bit this time. I have so GOT to start listening to my "inner voice" more often...

But she did GREAT! She didn't look at me AT ALL onstage, she modeled awesome, except for one moment when she hesitated on the seam of the stage, but she recovered quickly! No missed moves, and I thought she took a nice pace onstage.

Now to move on to Outfit of Choice.

I wasn't all that thrilled about the outfit. As a matter of fact, I wasn't even going to enter her in casualwear, but she REALLY wanted to do her routine and she happened to LOVE the outfit... So I plopped down the extra $75 for my child to have her extra 2 minutes of fame, and possibly the extra chance at a prize. Again, she did AWESOME. Wonderful modeling, o.k. outfit. Stellar smile.

I couldn't have asked for her to better if I had sold my soul to the devil himself.

Feeling Groo-veeeeeee....

...and to be continued.

BTW since we've been back I've been busier than a bunch of re-located fireants. Between getting back at midnight sunday night after the pageant, then having to go to a four day project methodology class, then Mother's Day weekend PLUS my son's sports banquet (we had to take a covered dish to boot) I'm not sure I'm lucid enough to know my own name. Much less write a fab-u-lare blog.

....Coming back ever so slowly....

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Getting ready

countdown to the disco show.... 8 days

Hair rolling, tanning, and nail appts? Check!
Disco wear? Check - sort of. Outfit is darling and will look striking on stage, but vest is large and pants waist is tight. I may leave it, I'm leary of last minute fittings, you can run risk of ruining the outfit. Not a good sign on this...

Pictures? check

Casual wear? Not sure, still deciding

Hair and Makeup booked? Yes! (btw the mom whose doing Gizmo's h/m and her daughter were in the movie Little Miss Sunshine LOL)

Started packing? no...

Started worrying? yes...

Gizmo is an under dog at this one. It's a 4-6 supreme group and all the national heavy hitters will be there.

Will she end up a winner over the favorites (like in Napoleon Dynamite or any other underdog wins over too-cocky odds on favorite...) or are we going to the slaughter (like in Little Miss Sunshine)

You haven't lived until you've bet $500 on whether or not a five year old will make faces on cue and do dance moves in platform shoes, fake lashes and a dolly parton wig in front of a hundred screaming wacky people ... all the while being sung to by an ambiguously gay emcee in a blond fro, elton john sunglasses and bell bottoms...



Sunday, April 22, 2007

Yes, you CAN have a pageant hangover

It's 9:32am on Sunday and I can't believe I'm up already.

'Cause usually after a schedule like the one we had this weekend I sleep until about noon.

We were off doing pageanty stuff this weekend!!!

You really would not believe how much hard WORK it is for the parent... and in trying to prepare for the disco event, given the fact that my daughter hasn't been on stage since January, we hauled our sorry selves 3 hours away through the mountains to do a pageant!!! Yes, there were closer events, but sometimes it's nice just to get out of town, and not deal with the "where have YOU been??" or "Have you done so-and-so?" or "why weren't you at such-and-such??" events. Sometimes when you do a particular system several times, the directors and even the other moms get a little, well, possessive LOL. Besides, my daughter won her grand supreme package paid (this is the "base" fee to make you eligible for certain awards and there there are added awards at the door etc.) and since this fee is usually pretty hefty (around 250-495 per) I thought well, what the heck!

I took off work early Friday and picked Gizmo up directly from school (she was very excited about this since usually her grandma picks her up) but we got there early since I thought it was about a four and half hour drive, but we made it in three (even with the fourteen bathroom and snack stops) - and that evening we had a nice relaxing dinner at Outback steak house splitting a melt in your mouth filet with sides of broccoli, potato, and a sundae for dessert. We ran into some folks we hadn't seen in a long time that were there for the pageant, and I'm sure we irritated the wait staff some trying to chat back and forth between tables (seemed like they were always in the way LOL) But it was nice to see some friendly faces going into the show. Another lady and her daughter and our coach (all of whom we were bunking in the room with) got in town later, so it was a little difficult to settle Gizmo down with so many people in one room...after tanning I took her out in the hallway to practice a bit before watching tv and going to bed. We also went to visit another lady we know who sews and does hair and makeup to show her new pics and chat a bit before that.

Since it was a one day pageant, we had to go down to a dressing room for hair and makeup instead of doing it in the room so we all had to get up early to get a good spot (think cat fights for real estate and power outlets when you get there late.) It's nice to pay someone else to do this, and this go-round we used our coach, because usually between mothers and daughters it can end up the mother of all power struggles (I can't tell you how many times I've squacked "who's your momma!!??? trying to get Gizmo to look at me and not everything else going on around her....) Why kids are better for someone else to do what you could do, is a universal anomoly. It's also nice, because this doubles as babysitting service while you run 4,535 miles running your crap back to the car while you check out of the hotel, because there is the "disappearing" carts syndrome at hotels the morning of checkout at a pageant - it also seems that hotel bellmen are permanently extinct and you have this "do it yourself" mentality at hotels - not to mention that most hotels I've stayed at lately have paired down the staff working so far down to the bare bones, it's a small wonder that they ever clean the places and that they don't find more dead bodies... (and we stay at Hiltons, Holiday Inns, Sheratons, Marriotts, etc.) So we also usually bring our own lysol... But I digress. I must have walked/jogged 5 MILES running to the car taking suitcases, getting breakfast, checking out etc. I am SO not used to this level of exercise.

I hate 0-4 5-up, supreme group breakdowns. What this means is they pull highpoint levels for kids 0-4 then 5 and up before doing age divisions. It sets the competition a little higher, because you don't just compete against your age group, it pits everyone in the age ranges against each other. My Gizmo is very, very tall for her age, and she models very well - so to me it tends to hurt her when they are judging "personality" because the babies are getting goaded to do goofy faces at grandma. If the other 4 year olds are still doing "silly face" moves, she tends to look a little stiff in comparison. Then at most other pageants the 4 year olds are judged on modeling, so if they do too much cutesy stuff, they count off. Four is a bad age in pageants!! When the did group lineup, Gizmo looked awesome, but not four. Kid to the left, very cute, pudgy face, huge brown eyes. Kid to the right - same deal. Gizmo looked about a foot taller, with a slim, model's face. Doesn't help that she has kind of in-between coloring - she's neither a true brunette or blonde and she has a medium skin tone with grey eyes so she doesn't have a real distinct look on stage next to tow-headed blondes or really dark haired light skinned kids. But she smiled INCREDIBLE. If they give a best smile award at pageants, my baby almost ALWAYS at least gets that particular prize. I've never quite understood why it doesn't count for more, but we've just learned to be okay with it. At this show though, the only side awards were for "best dress" and "best eyes." Gizmo won neither of those. When it came time for her to do her indivicual modeling, she only messed up slightly on her first X - she didn't walk in a circle around it coming out and she didn't do her two step turns. But since there is no standard on the variations or order of beauty modeling steps , the judges wouldn't know the difference. From there, she did AWESOME, and she did it by herself. I couldn't have asked any more. Same for casual wear... when they came out for group lineup - once again - Gizmo looked like a runway model compared to the two kids on either side of her. She just can't help how she looks. I wished I had moved her up to the 5 year olds, even though she won't be 5 for a bit longer. It would have looked more normal. Everyone we know in pageants is pretty convinced Gizmo is going to grow up as a world class supermodel, but we all know that most models complain that their younger years were spent as the tall-gawky years. SIGH.

It didn't help that we didn't do outfit of choice (as an optional category) but we didn't have a swimwear or sportswear or westernwear.... or anything else wear for that matter. I would LOVE for Gizmo to do sportswear or westernwear too, but I just can't afford to buy the outfits (they usually cost in the range of 500-1500) and she's too skinny to buy used because they are very, very difficult to alter and the fit of the outfit is judged on stage in addition to the modeling etc.

I did not have a good feeling about the outcome of this one. We were into a local element (all the judges were from the state we were in) and she looked awesome and she performed AWESOME but my little cosmic voice is usually right (after all I've been involved in pageants for 33 years - it OUGHT to know something by now.) And I was right. She got dead last in everything for her group (rare, but it happens) and didn't win any side awards. I was a bit worried, because right after she didn't get anything onstage for the group awards, she realized this and pouted about wanting to go home. I had to tell her to wait, they hadn't done the crowns yet and not to worry (she would have at least won beauty if nothing else.) The way they do awards pretty much requires an expert mathematician's skills but I knew she would get something from how it had gone so far, just not a high title. Fortunately, she did score higher overall than other kids in her supreme group and in the older groups overall for beauty/photo combined (a paid door optional) so she did get a few toys and a banner, crown, and some cash :o)

I did go through the judges line, even though I know they won't tell me squat about what they did/didn't really like. They said they didn't like her hair up. (code for - we just weren't into your kid..) We hear that sometimes whether she wears her hair up or down, because she has a tiny face and it's an easy reason for judges to give... it's funny too, that a lot of the kids that win big have large faces (there was one child who won tons of national pageants a few years ago, and I couldn't believe when I saw her - her face was almost freakishly huge....) That's okay, that's the way it goes sometimes. You could say that we should stick to certain pageant systems, but Gizmo gets about the same level of placement whether she does a prelim or a national, or a face pageant versus a total package glitz so we go where we think we'll have the most fun and we don't worry about it. There are plenty of kids who consistently get a lot less than Gizmo who keep trying!! When Gizmo doesn't get what I think she should have, I focus on the fact that there were plenty of kids there who would have been VERY happy to have received what she got. And I NEVER let on to her if I'm disappointed in what she is awarded. That's not what it's truly all about, but after all I am human... When she's older and understands this better, I will have her focus on it that way too. It's just the opinion of three random people on a random day.

And for now she doesn't really understand that the other girls in her group got higher titles than her, and no one is worse for the wear about it... all she knows is that she won a big crown and she is going to build a bear today to spend her money.

I'm going to keep it that way ;o)

Then there is the three hour drive home, unload the car, clean out the boxes where everything is thrown back in hither and yon, going shopping the next day even though you are totally exhausted etc. No rest for the weary....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Only 6 votes???

Okay, I know who's voted and who hasn't...

Vote for me!!! Often, and liberally :o)

Someday when I run for politics I'll know who to give favors too.... If not, I'll know who NOT to pardon... >o


I answered BiffSpiffy's call for folks to be interviewed!

As the rules go, the interviewer (in this case Biff) asks for volunteers (i.e. me being one) to be asked 5 questions (which said interviewer gets to pick) then they post the questions and answers on THEIR blog.

'cept doofus here just emailed them back the first time... it's hard for me to get things straight - I have the attention span of a drunk puppy so sometimes I just skim and miss important details in the instructions...

Here goes:

Aliens have landed in your front yard. What will you do?

Invite them to dinner, after all I'm pretty sure they're relatives. (My dad has no photos from before his 21st birthday and very few relatives - and they are all, very, different...)

You’ve just received a box of expensive sexy lingerie from a man you can’t stand. What do you do?

Thank him profusely but send it back explaining that I'm enrolling in a convent.

If you had one destructive superpower, what would it be, and who would be your first victim?

According to my team at work, I already have the ability to kill people with a facial expression so I'll stick with that. My first victim? The idiot that cut me off on the highway this morning in the fast lane then decided to drive like his grandma while I'm trying to deliver my two hellions to school on time.

If you could tour with any band, which one and what would be your role?

Bon Jovi - I'd be the water and towel girl. (doesn't hurt I can tune guitars too!!)

Have you ever stopped to listen to a street performer?

Always! And unless they are so painful to listen to that I might have to pull out my superpower look, I tip too.

BONUS QUESTION - What would be your perfect day?

Send kids to grandmas the night before.
Sleep late.
Have limo take me to a spa for the deluxe head to toe treatment.
Go shopping for a new outfit to wear that night.
Eat dinner at outrageously fancy restaurant with hubby.
Drink and Dance until the break of dawn at a very loud club.
Have limo take us home.

SO! who volunteers for me to interview THEM?? Just put a post in for me to "interview you" (or you would write rather, "interview me") and I'll think of some really cool questions to ask you!!!!


On an unrelated note - unless you've been under a rock somewhere, didya notice it's PROM season?? Note to self - next blog, relate my THREE prom horror stories :o)

nite nite all

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Been so freakin' busy!!!

First, it's 28 degrees here in the South on flippin' Easter.

The question I ponder is - where are all the articles on global warming when we have a freak cold spell? How come they never coincide with a cold snap? Not trying to start an argument on global warming, just making an observation....

Second, I have a new fascination.

Individually wrapped prunes.

Oops, my bad, technically, they are labeled "Dried Plums."

Now, who the heck would think that, uh, individually wrapped prunes would be a marketable idea??? I can just hear the meeting now....

"These will take candy jars by storm - people will replace the Hershey bars for the convenience of the preferred healthy lifestyle!!" (after all we only put candy in the jars because it's just more accessible and easier to store...)

"Yes, and the glamorous packaging...." (yep, they come in a very fancy box) "will provide the type of image we want to portray for the active lifestyle generation...."

I am utterly INTRIQUED.

So I bought a box, and for my own little test, have offered them to my coworkers and placed them in our community candy jar. After all who could resist these babies??

I am truly DISAPPOINTED. After all the "healthy lifestyle" complaints people have submitted about pizza day and donut day, not ONE person has snatched these little beauties as a preference over the Now or Laters or the Hershey's kisses. Not one single person has emoted the same level of excitement I have over these fabulous miniature alternatives to eating mini doses of cholesterol in foil.

Buncha' hypocrites. I would think these babies would have been snatched up in a heartbeat with folks begging for more, thankful to be saved from the humdrum of 3musketeers and peppermint patties and snickers bars and.... I could go on but you get the idea....

Oh well, I DID try. Guess it's back to the boring old chocolates.

And finally - Panic at the Disco!!!

We've got to prepare for a major pageant in May - a Disco theme deal that looks like it will be loads of fun. We have the routine and the outfit, but still searching for the epitome of the disco song that is well - funky, and represents the disco sound, isn't offensive for a 4 year old to do a routine too, and isn't overused (arrggggh, if I hear Funkytown one more time......)

If you have any suggestions, leave 'em 'cause were a bit desperate here, and I've pretty much exhausted itunes (right now the front leader is "Blame it on the Boogie" by the Jackson 5)


Friday, March 23, 2007

Well, at least my blog didn't TOTALLY suck!!!

I volunteered for a flogging.

And actually, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mr Fantastic

Bad Birthdays aside (I don't have enough time to post about that for now, it's a bit of an er, longer story...)

The last two weeks have been ALL about GOLF for Firstborn and my husband.

Firstborn made it through middle school golf tryouts without to much of a splash and we've struggled to inspire him to practice more than once a week and to get more enthusiastic about the finer points...

He ranked 3rd out of 12 kids and they chose the top 6 to actually play with one alternate.

Well, after the first game, Firstborn got the lowest score on the team - and although they didn't win their overall match, he didn't do too shabby.

Second match - lowers his score by two points, and the other players finally bring their game on. They win the match and Firstborn has the overall lowest score (33 for 9 holes on a par 3 course - meaning each hole should be 3 strokes to par.)

Well. In one week's time, Firstborn's testosterone level has apparently doubled - the feel of winning has metamorphosized (i dunno how to spell it but you get the drift) my geeky little transitioning tween into...


He's so pumped up right now, I half expect him to come in any day now and ask me for a beer and a playboy.

The boys on the team have dubbed him "MR FANTASTIC"


(I can't STOP him from practicing now.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Everything in my closet must DIE!!!!

If it doesn't make me feel :

a) fabulous
b) 10 years younger
c) sexy (um can't wear it to work for this category LOL)

It's going OUT.

I'm finally going to do it. I'm going to clean out my closet. In the most radical way.

If it's weary? GONE.
If it screams IMAMOM!!! GONE!!!
If it doesn't make me look 10 lbs lighter. So out of here...
Dowdy? NO WAY
Haven't worn it in 3 years. Is it even a question???

Serious pruning is soooo in order.

This goes for hair accessories, scarfs, purses, jewelry, shoes, underwear... EVERYTHING!!!

I expect in a few weeks to have pared my closet down at least 50%.

I know it sounds extreme, but I'm in an extreme mood. So far, I've gotten rid of one bag to Goodwill. Now I have to make consignment shop appointments. Ebay is an option.

So far I have completed the exercise on hair accessories, and jewelry.

I'm going to feel soooooo much better. Happy Birthday to me!!!!

I asked my husband to take me out tomorrow for my birthday. He wanted to know what I wanted to do....

I told him I wanted to get drunk and go dancing. I'm not exactly sure if he's too thrilled about the idea, but I really don't care ;o) I don't want any "stuff" for my birthday, I just want to get dressed up and paint the town a pretty shade of red.
(although I think he's afraid I'll ruin his reputation...)


Is there competent help anywhere for me??? Anyone???

Friday, March 09, 2007

Oh yeah, dance the night away....

I went to the movies tonight with my son and my parents.

Not a big deal, Firstborn had a class assignment to go see "Amazing Grace" and it was an opportunity to bond a little more with the grand-parental units for him...

But I had a MAJOR discovery.

It's the "Speed Over Beethoven" Dance Machine.

Oh I'm hooked.

Okay, never mind I'm a middle aged lady in high heeled roach stomper boots, black dickies and a company button down.

I can do it baby.

They musta just put this thing in the theatre, because I really never noticed it before. It's a big arcade machine that blasts house music and you follow the arrows to "stomp" / "dance" on the boxes that light up on the "dance floor." Complete with blinking strobe lights!!! (you know I love da bling!!!!)

This now rivals laser tag as a favorite thing to do at the arcade park...

I will never do another aerobics class again...

So the next time you're at the movies and you see a buncha teenagers fighting some middle aged lady off this puppy; BINGO - you've found me!!!!

I thought my mom and my son were going to pass out from embarrassment.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I am a Fire Horse!!

According to the Chinese Horoscope, I am a "Fire Horse"

Through all the moons of many a year, the Fire Horse is a dynamic creature, with a vigor that promises youth and freshness until the very end of life. The will and the spirit of the Fire Horse cannot be broken. This Horse goes through life with philosophical patience and the ability to bounce back from adversity no matter how dire the circumstances. In times of solitude, Fire Horses also have an insatiable need for intellectual stimulation and they satisfy their curiosity for learning through reading, listening, conversing, and travel abroad. Fire Horses make inspiring leaders, revered and respected. They encourage their subordinates with kindness and just the right degree of strictness and work well with people in all stations of life. Financial rewards fall in the middle ground, not too bad, not terrific, but always comfortable. Being in love with the Fire Horse brings pure rapture. These noble Horses are generous with their love, with hugs and kisses. Loved ones always know where they stand because Fire Horses demonstrate every day through their actions the love they feel deep within. Each day is a soft and tender love poem.

The Fire Horse is also known as the most troublesome of the zodiacs.

The self-centred and temperamental horse has a natural aversion to the discipline and restraint of a regimented lifestyle. Unfortunately that is exactly what big brother society asks of its members. It takes plenty of time for the average horse to mature and realise that the inconsistent bucking bronco approach is often a waste of time and energy. In between time it throws plenty of people offside...even Mike Tyson would admit to that.

From childhood on the Horse is a humorous prankster and loves playing tricks and being the centre of attention. It is also a universal dream symbol of raw sensual desire (i.e. Raquel Welch, Patrick Swayze, Sean Connery) and prefers to be around the action. They usually leave home early. Forever youthful and carefree at heart, time is no barrier to these animals who can work and play hard around the clock. They are at their best where indomitable leadership is required, as shown by Nelson Mandela.

Of all the equine stock the notorious Fire Horse is renowned as the most troublesome. Russian Premier Nikita Khrushev was one who almost set the world aglow during the early 60's Cuban missile crisis. Reportedly the birth rate dropped and voluntary abortion grew in 1966, the last year of the Fire Horse.

Sheep, Tigers and Dogs make the best partners but the Rooster, Monkey and Ox are off limits.

That 'splains a LOT.

I think it would make a cool header to find an awesome graphic representing my "spirit" at the top of my blog; but I don't know how!!!

Can anybody help??

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Word of the day.


YOU tell me what it means....



There is a rumor going around the pageant world that they want 3 moms that are friends who have daughters that compete together in pageants to audition for a tv reality show.

Mutually exclusive premise right out of the box if you ask me.

Here's the issue - they want 3 moms that won't make pageant moms look bad, but they want them to be Desperate Housewives types.

This seems a bit contradictory.

Or is it just me???

I think I'd be insanely interesting on tv.

Kind of like watching one of those "world's worst police chase" deals.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It came from the boards #2

This has probably been all over the internet 100 times, but I haven't seen it, and I think it's funny (at least until I come up with something new & witty to write about) - I found it on the notorious pageant boards...

...And since I could spend HOURS in Wal Mart anyway:

69 things to do in Wal-Mart -- No name, 17:49:23 03/06/07 Tue [8]
* Take shopping carts for the express purpose of filling them and stranding them at strategic locations.
* Ride those little electronic cars at the front of the store.
* Set all the alarm clocks to go off at ten minute intervals throughout the day.
* Start playing football -- see how many people you can get to join in.
* Run up to an employee (preferably a male) while squeezing your legs together and yell, ''I need some tampons!!''
* Try on bras over top of your clothes.
* Make a trail of orange juice on the ground, leading to the restrooms.
* While walking around the store, sing in your loudest voice possible ''Sex and Candy''
* Walk up to an employee and tell him in an official tone, ''I think we've got a Code 3 in Housewares,'' and see what happens.
* Tune all the radios to a polka station, then turn them all off and turn the volumes to ''10.''
* Play with the automatic doors.
* Walk up to complete strangers and say, ''Hi! I haven't seen you in so long!...'' etc. See if they play along to avoid embarrassment.
* While walking through the clothing department, ask yourself loud enough for all to hear, ''Who BUYS this shit, anyway?''
* Repeat Number 14 in the jewelry department.
* Put pairs of women's panties on your head and walk around the store casually. * Leave small sacrifices or gifts in the hands of the mannequins.
*. Play soccer with a group of friends, using the entire store as your playing field.
* As the cashier runs your purchases over the scanner, look mesmerized and say, ''Wow. Magic!'' * Put M&M's on layaway.
* Move ''Caution: Wet Floor'' signs to carpeted areas.
* Set up a tent in the camping department; tell others you'll only invite them in if they bring pillows from Bed and Bath.
* Contaminate the entire auto department by sampling all the spray air fresheners.
* Nonchalantly ''test'' the brushes and combs in Cosmetics.
* Drape a blanket around your shoulders and run around saying,''...I'm Batman. Come, Robin -- to the Batcave!"
* TP as much of the store as possible.
* Randomly throw things over into neighboring aisles.
* Play with the calculators so that they all spell ''hello'' upside down. (01134)
* When someone asks if you need help, begin to cry and ask, ''Why won't you people just leave me alone?"
* When two or three people are walking ahead of you, run between them, yelling, ''Red Rover!''
* Look right into the security camera, and use it as a mirror while you pick your nose.
* Take up an entire aisle in Toys by setting up a full-scale battlefield with G.I. Joes vs. the X-Men.
* Take bets on the battle described above.
* Set up another battlefield with G.I. Joes vs. Barbie. (Red lipstick might give an interesting effect...)
* While handling guns in the hunting department, suddenly ask the clerk if he knows where the anti-depressants are. Act as spastic as possible.
* While no one's watching, quickly switch the men's and women's signs on the doors of the restrooms.
* Dart around suspiciously while humming the theme from ''Mission: Impossible.'
* Attempt to fit into very large gym bags.
* Attempt to fit others into very large gym bags.
* Fill an entire cart with boxes of condoms, and watch everyone's jaws drop when you attempt to buy them.
* Set up a ''Valet Parking'' sign in front of the store.
* Two words: ''Marco Polo.'
* Leave Cheerios in Lawn and Garden, pillows in the pet food aisle, etc.
* ''Re-alphabetize'' the CDs in Electronics.
* In the auto department, practice your ''Madonna'' look with various funnels.
* Hide in the clothing racks and when people browse through, say things like ''the fat man walks alone,'' and scare them into believing that the clothes are talking to them.
* While walking around alone, pretend someone is with you and get into a very serious conversation. Exp: The person is breaking up with you and you begin crying ''How could you do this to me? I thought you loved me! I knew there was another girl, but I thought I had won.'' Then act as though you are being beaten and fall onto the ground screaming and having convulsions.
* When an announcement comes over the loudspeaker, assume the fetal position and scream, ''No, no! It's those voices again!''
* Go to an empty checkout stand and try to check people out.
* Drag a lounge chair on display over to the magazines and relax.If the store has a food court, buy a soft drink; explain that you don't get out much, and ask if they can put a little umbrella in it. * Get a stuffed animal, go to the front of the store and begin stroking it lovingly, saying ''Good girl, good Bessie."
* Go over to the shoe department and try on every pair of shoes, not putting one pair back. Take the paper from the boxes and throw it in various aisles.
* When someone steps away from their cart to look at something, quickly make off with it without saying a word.
* Follow people through the aisles, always staying about five feet away. Continue to do this until they leave the department.
* Ask other customers if they have any Grey Poupon.
* Test the fishing rods and see what you can ''catch'' from the other aisles.
* In the makeup department, spray yourself with every perfume there is, then walk up to a boy who is with a girl and start flirting with him as ditisily as possible: ''Hi! (giggle) What's your sign? (giggle).'' When the boy shows no interest, start hitting on the girl the exact same way. ''Hi! (giggle) What's your sign? (giggle).''
* Hold indoor shopping cart races.
* Re-dress the mannequins as you see fit.
* When there are people behind you, walk REALLY SLOW, especially through narrow aisles.
* Relax in the patio furniture until you get kicked out.
* Challenge other customers to duels with tubes of gift wrap.
* Pay off layaways fifty cents at a time.
* Say things like, ''Would you be so kind as to direct me to your Twinkies?''
* Make up nonsense products and ask newly hired employees if there are any in stock, i.e., ''Do you have any Shnerples here?''
* Ride a display bicycle through the store -- claim you're taking it for a ''test drive.''
* Leave cryptic messages on the typewriters.
* Get boxes of condoms and randomly slip them into peoples' carts when they aren't paying attention.

Guess which one I pick to do this weekend??? More later....

Bad parent example #6,922

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