Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Oh I'm not dead.

I took this picture last year (while driving btw)....

Double click on it to enlarge and Look carefully, I found it quite amusing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WWII for Dummies

Well, we had to endure this week an event that, surprisingly, more parents than I would have expected have experienced (based on my mini-poll at work)

"Mom, I have a History project due"


It's Sunday night.
He's known about it for 2 weeks.
It's due Wednesday.

He had to put together a powerpoint presentation on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the following requirements:

A minimum of 25 CONTENT pages
Not too many or two few graphics - must be very clear and pertinent to the subject
Require a minimum of Five different sources
Formal Bibliography required
5 additional sentences relating to EACH of the 25 content pages
Music ok but only if pertinent to the project
Must select or develop a powerpoint template that fits the subject
Must be in a NEW clean folder
Must include printout with Notes, Labeled CD, project on Flashdrive

Did I mention he's in EIGHTH GRADE?????

...and only two evenings to do it.


Luckily, I happen to like History, and in return for his lack of planning, I was going to make sure his sorry butt was going to not only learn his subject in record time. (and pulling it off a couple of serious all-nighters)

He better LIKE IT too.

I didn't allow him to do 25 pages on the single act of the bombing. Because it was bigger than that.

I made him set it up from the start of WWII with a timeline leading up to the bombing and the corresponding socio-economic-cultural effects of post-modern Japan and the rest of the planet.


He'll be in therapy for years, I'm quite sure.


We, yes WE (well, hell, I had to at least steer him on it but he had to get the better part of it done with me proofing and doing grammatical clean-up and goading him to stay awake and not pass out onto the keyboard of the laptop ), got it done barely in the nick of time - and as a post script to his "I still don't get it" attitude, we had a long discussion last night about what his project really meant. After many tries, kind of like the proverbial story of teaching a pig to dance, I broke it down for him like this.

The Redneck's guide to WWII.

The world gave Germany a big ol' spanking after WWI
They didn't like it, so they picked on Poland.
This set off something akin to a bar-room brawl across the planet.
In the meantime one of the side fights got a wee bit out of control in Asia....
The US tried to stay out, but Japan wasn't behaving towards China.
We told Japan to behave and imposed economic sanctions until they did.
They didn't listen, and sucker punched us at Pearl Harbor.
We decided we'd had enough and ended the fight with a nuclear tko.
Japan decided to listen after that (to their benefit)
and that's how we got VCRs and Hondas today, and its why it was decided we needed the U.N. to prevent anymore trouble in on this here planet.

Now I'm not certain my summary was historically accurate, but for some reason Firstborn decided to go do some serious reading out of the encyclopedia after MY history lesson for him.


And don't you dare furrow your brow at me like that. I might have to follow up with a diatribe on the Cold War if YOU don't behave.....


Post-script - To Firstborn:


Sunday, May 18, 2008


We need help.

In light of the gas crisis, we need to eat at home more.

Problem is, we only have about 10 different meals that are standard in our household repetoire.

I need a TRULY EASY and NEW recipe for a bunch of seriously picky eaters.

I don't get home until 7pm, and my husband does the cooking... but when he gets too creative the kids (and unfortunately me too) won't eat it.

Here's what's out as far as ingredients:

SAUERKRAUT (or however the heck you spell it)

The recipe has to be able to be put together in 20 min or less and cooked within 30-45 min.

Soup recipes are excellent for us.

Anybody have one? We're getting sick of spaghetti and poppy chicken.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Thought for the Day

You know the gas crisis is BAD when you pull in to get gas and the "LOW FUEL" light comes on AFTER you put the gas IN your car.

No lie.

I pulled in to get a few bucks worth to get around town, and my low fuel alarm didn't sound until I pulled AWAY from the pump.

I swear it was mocking me......


Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Ah Spring! It changes the whole "eat out" perspective, because now, in addition to having a nice meal out you get the entertainment value from seeing the local kids in their finest attire out for the PROM.

I always get a little twitchy when it comes to the whole subject. Being a geek and all in high school, it might go without saying, that although I made three attempts to get to the prom and have a good time....

It never went very well.

Attempt #1

In my high school, one of the BIG status symbols was to get asked to the prom (and actually go...) as a freshman or sophomore. So my best friend and I set out to get ourselves to the prom any way we could. Now never mind that after the boy with the car showed up at my house when I was in eighth grade and caused an incident of such epic proportion with my father that no boy with any sense within 625 miles of my house would dare even pass me a stick of gum underneath a jail cell door... TWas not enough of a problem to daunt my attempt to GET TO THE PROM.

Needless to say, I wasn't exactly the most dicerning when came to getting someone, ANYONE, to take me and neither was my friend.

Do the words BIG MISTAKE mean anything????

Well, considering I didn't think this through very well, there was a boy in my typing class that showed some interest in taking me. Good enough, I figured. I go to the prom, he has a date and avoids complete and utter social disaster, everybody wins. He was a junior, I a sophomore.

To sum up the guy - imagine David Spade's gay cosmic geek twin with braces.

Everything was fine until I agreed to go to the prom.

"How do I run from thee, let me count the ways...."

Here is the conversation I heard:

HIM "Will you go to the prom with me?"
Me "Okay"

What HE heard:

HIM "Will you go to the prom with me and love me forever and let me follow you around like a sick puppy for weeks on end??"
ME "I Love You. You are my hero and I want you to be my boyfriend"

Now, either I was the first girl to give him the time of day (much less a date) OR he was really, really, not that picky about who he would attach his affection too.

No matter how acerbic my responses to his existence, he remained, well, undaunted.

I got Cards. Flowers. Candy.

To make matters worse, he sat right directly in front of me in typing class, so when he was finished, he would turn around and watch me longingly (don't EVEN go there...)

Well, after 3 months of dodging loverboy and still keeping the delicate balance in place between keeping him at bay and not losing my prom ticket, the big day came.

So I and my equally unpicky about her date friend asked the guys if they wouldn't mind double dating. Thankfully, they complied. Oh and if the eighties weren't bad enough, our dates had the whole powder blue tux that matched our dresses thing going on.... So my friend and I spent most of the evening tittering and chattering on and on and on and on.... ANYTHING to distract, disturb, or deflect any interaction between us and our dates.

Now, before you get all irritated about our behaviour.

We were fifteen year old girls. And all would have been well, had these guys not taken our acceptance of a prom date as the first step towards some sort of future matrimonial engagement!!!

Needless to say, we bolted from the car (both retreating to my house) and politely waved good-nite as sweetly and remotely as possible.

Karma baby, Karma. Don't think it didn't come back on us.

My next attempt at the prom was worse.

Can you say BLIND DATE???

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Some kids should have locks on their mouths....

Anyone who knows me personally, knows I cannot live without my AMP Energy Drink.

Period. I must have it. And preferably, with a chocolate iced donut.

So we're in Wal Mart picking up a few things we needed this evening.

Oh Happy Day! AMP now comes in an 8 PACK!!!

However, they don't keep it where I can FIND it and no matter where it was last time they don't have it in that spot the next time I make a trip in....

So here I am dragging my little Giz all over Wally World on a desperate search for mommy's little helper.... and the entire time she is joyfully skipping along and singing her own little TMI song to the world:

"Mommy needs her AMP or she'll go out just like a LAMP..."
"If she doesn't get her drink. her at-ti-tude will STINK...."

GRRRRRR. Intelligent kid, BIG MOUTH.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Firstborn got his first detention this week.

And he has to be at school at 6:30 A.M. to serve his sentence!!!!!

The offense? Several boys were on the internet at a time during computer class when they should not have been. I don't disagree with the punishment, but DAMN, we live an HOUR away from the school. Needless to say, he got seriously grounded HERE.

That said, my kids are so lucky. My parents pay to have them in private school, so in a lot of ways they are very sheltered. My husband went to private Christian school growing up, and it shocks me the things he talked about getting in trouble for!

In MY school, you basically had to shoot somebody to get suspended. And even then, it was less of "oh go get the grief counsellors and call the national news" and more of "whew, one more of THEM out of the gene pool...." Of course in the 70s and early 80s, school culture was very different. Columbine hadn't occurred yet and truly gross acts of violence were more random and singularly focused (rather than on "populations" of students.)

Honestly though, I went to a very rough high school. And you know, it wasn't so bad while I was there, because everyone kinda knew their place - in a strange way. You knew where you could go and when, who to avoid, etc. The freaks and geeks stayed in their group, the jocks in theirs, the "heads", the gangs, etc. You just didn't really cross lines.

However, we knew better than to go back to a football game at our 20 year reunion because we knew, that they didn't know us. We'd be fair game for a mugging for sure.

To give you an example. We were sitting in biology class one day, and all of a sudden we started seeing "stuff" falling past the windows outside. Well, apparantly, the typing teacher in the class above got sick and left the class alone for a bit, and so the kids started dumping EVERYTHING out of the windows!!! (of course we all knew it wasn't a real typing class, they basically made it up to round up all the heads and gangsters and put them someplace...) But needless to say, not much was done to the kids, or the teacher (bless his heart.) Nowadays, this would probably make national headlines!

Or another time, a teacher was shoved down the stairwell. Again, not newsworthy then, but probably would have been a candidate for national news on a slow day.

We had plenty of drugs. And we knew who took them and who didn't. I mean for crying out loud, field trips were banned in my middle school because the kids kept bringing liquer on the bus!

Pregnancy was rampant, and violent fights were a regular occurrence. The dropout rate was pretty high too.

We did have the er, coolest, scariest, (or most memorable) Vice Principal. I'll call him "Mr. Cook" for reference sake.... but he was the... BIGGEST, BLACKEST, BALDEST, most STERN looking human I have, or proabably ever will, see in PERSON. He was about 6'4" tall, and wore a three piece suit (even in 90 degree weather) and he wore a fedora on the way in and out - the mere sight of him made even the thuggest of thugs shake in their shoes. We all swore the whites of his eyes glowed from a deal with the devil. You never, EVER, looked him in the eyes. Kids who went to his office were purported to occaisionally never return, ever to be seen again. It was rumored he mysteriously appeared after the riot of '78, but no one would ever corroborate or refute the story.

We even had a special room known as the B.I.R. room. Or respectively, the "Behavior Improvement Room". That's where Teddy the Dropout and Bart the Fart lived, and you did NOT want to have to spend the day with THEM. I'm quite certain that they were there so much, they got posthumous credit for it. Just so the administration could find a way to get them OUT... LOL.

So, it could be so much worse.

Detention, it is.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Recycling today.

In honor of Earth Day or Blackout Hour or whatever it is that is currently being done to save the planet... I am pulling up from the earlier days an old post (and to substitute for today's lack of creativity)

But today I also physically recycled:
1 bag of aluminum cans
1 inkjet cartridge
14 old batteries
and I fed the dog my leftover baked chicken so it wouldn't go to waste.

I'm not expecting any awards, but I did try a little....


"Yes Doctor, I AM Bitchy today"

Today I got to participate in my favorite yearly event.

Oh the beloved annual visit to the ob-gyn.

Just the mere idea of having to go sends my blood pressure up at LEAST 30 points.

Notably, my doctor erroneously asked me why I was so grouchy for all my annual visits - after all, "what had he done to deserve such a bad attitude from me all these years?"

I apologized and asked him not to take it personally. And after a brief moment of pensive thought I responded:

"Never mind, the minute I walk in, your perniciously perky receptionist starts in on what a nice day it is and her gratuitous, yet contrived efforts to be overly pleasant start off raking on my already edgy demeanor. The next series of questions, that after 12 years of NO changes, I still must answer. Next, I have to wait for 30 minutes in a waiting room full of annoyed and bored husbands and boyfriends - all of which now KNOW what I'm going to have to do... Once my name is called in a depersonalized fashion 'MSSSSUSS. SMMMMITH!' (no real name used here of course) you force me to attempt a skilled exercise for which I am not physically designed to do properly - the whole pee in a thimble mess. After the initial denuding of my dignity, I am STABBED in the finger, made to stand on the ENEMY known as the "scales" and if THAT isn't enough, you stick me in a refrigerated room with nothing but a tissue to cover up with and only "Oprah" magazines to read for God knows how long.... THEN you come in here and SMASH what's left of the bags formerly known as breasts after nursing two wonderful children, and if that wasn't enough....,


....and have the nerve to ASK ME WHY I AM IN A BAD MOOD????"

Awkward Silence.

Needless to say, I got an extra bag of samples today >o)



Monday, March 31, 2008


Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Saturday, March 29, 2008

How do I call in sick? Let me count the ways....

Of all the ordinary things one must face once in awhile, the one I hate the most is calling in sick to work.

I mean, there is a bit of an art to conveying how bad you feel without either disclosing too much detail (TMI) or sounding like you are just faking it. And it also depends on how well you know your boss. And lately, we've been changing bosses like socks at work, so I keep having to break in a new one...

For the most part, I'm a pretty healthy gal (although due to my horrid eating habits and whacked out personality I'm not sure how much longer it'll last...) but every now and then, I go down for the count. Generally I barrel along at a pretty intense pace, and even sometimes when I don't feel good, I just scarf an extra donut and Amp, several Tylenol, and my Adderall and "voila" - all better... Or I just tend to ignore the fact that I have snot running down my face and stick a fancy SNIFF tissue up there and declare it a fashion statement.

Anyway, I woke up Wednesday with a burning sensation in my stomach and a raging headache. I KNOW the offending catalyst for this condition HAD to be that taco salad I ate at my mother-in-law's the night before, and it had pretty much royally pissed off my persnickity diva of a gallbladder. Plus, I missed my meds the day the before because I was too lazy to go to the drugstore so I had a king sized migraine, and now every cell in my body was starting to ramp up into hyper state again. You'd be surprised, the Adderall calms EVERYTHING down, not just my hyper-drive OCD issues.

This equation results in the following:

pounding head + gastrointestinal distress = ain't coming into work I need a dark room very near a potty

So how do you summarize this to a new boss in a sentence or less?

I could go the TMI route:

Hi! I didn't take my Adderall yesterday so now my system is a wreck and I ate Taco salad to boot so now I'm two steps away from having a colon blowout and I need to take a bottle of Tylenol since my head hurts from missing the meds as well??

Or just leave it short and simple:

Hi, I don't feel well. See ya.

What I actually compromised on:

Hi, My stomach is torn up and I have a migraine. I'm not going to be available today. Bye.


I remember I got a rash a couple of years back, that started on my hips and spread juuuuusttt to the top of my knees and juuuuuusstttt up to my breasts. It was the most horrible thing ever, they called it "follicular mucinosis" and it drove me to the point of almost suicidal behaviour. I had to see 5 doctors and a nutritionist for it and I was diagnosed with everything from nerves to t-cell lymphoma (I'm not kidding on that either.) Oh, and the nutritionist was the one who actually cleared it up btw. When they finally stopped the itching I was black and blue and in pain from all the clawing I had done to myself! Yet, aside from all the doctor's notes, the crying and screaming etc. To the outside world, I looked perfectly NORMAL.

I had to call in sick for two weeks for a rash no one could see. And I hated having to explain to my male boss that I was swollen and prickly and scabby from the tops of my knees to my chest. He made an art form of looking at me like "yeah. right. whatever."


Is it just me? What do you do?


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Aren't they cute?

I don't understand a word they say but Giz and I agree they are adorable LOL!

Somebody needs to put a diabetic warning on this video.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Confession #2

Lordy, I was so busted today.

Confession #2.

I like to sing when I'm by myself in the car.

Not sing like, under my breath, but belt-it-out-showtunes style sing.

Today, I got CAUGHT.

Normally, I am used to just me and the seatbelts knowing this little secret, but today I was exposed, wrong words and all.

I'm sitting at a stoplight at the highway - and it's a GUH-OR-GE-OUS day - I'm not stressed 'cause I have the day off, and I'm on my way home, feelin' groovey....

And of course, I am soooooo a product of the 80's. And there is a particularly belty song on the radio (Heartache Tonight by the Eagles is one of my other personal favorites to have at it...)


etc & so on.

So here I am thinking I'm all by me-myself-and-I, just a going at it with the windows rolled down and the wind in my hair, and then the song is over.



I look over and at the entrance of a new neighborhood they are building are a bunch of road workers.

They weren't just laughing, they were ROLLING.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I want (to be on) my MTV.....

One of the more interesting side effects of my blog is that from time to time I get contacted by some sort of tv show or other media outlet.

Apparantly I wasn't controversial enough for Montel Williams.

The news reporter I was going to meet in Nashville stood me up (okay she had a pretty good reason, but she could have called to let me know...)

And now I get this:

Teen Dream Casting wrote:

I am a Casting Producer for MTV's "Teen Dream", a brand new, competitive reality show for female singers between the ages of 16 and 22 (their mother/managers will also be featured on the series). The executive producers behind this exciting concept are the ones responsible for career-launching, reality series like "America's Next Top Model" and "The Pussycat Dolls." We've just started the casting process, but have already gotten incredible response from both potential cast members and media outlets. I saw your blog and thought I would drop you a line to see if you could mention us on the blog...or you might even know about some potential cast members for us. Thanks for your time.

Randolph Jones
Associate Producer for Casting
MTV's Teen Dream


So. Here ya' Go. If anyone out there is reading and fits the bill, I suggest you go for it! (Why not?? Might be fun! And even if you look silly for 6-8 weeks on the show, how many people really remember who was on the show unless you REALLY make a spectacular spectacle of yourself - and then worst case you end up on some reality show about former reality stars in a truly really REAL setting. After all, those shows must pay pretty well, because people keep signing up.... ;o)

Next, I need to talk to them about MY show.

Stage Mom from Hell tries skydiving to win pageant fees off - story at 6:00 and 10:00.


Well, it IS kind of true, I do happen to be a former Miss Hell Hole Swamp.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

You... Da'.... MAN !!!

Now, being that the title of the blog implies I am primarily a "stage mother" you know I don't talk that much about Firstborn.

It's just I don't hang with him and hubby so much. Because as much as they love me, and we are a family, I have another love to compete with.


It's not a game, it's a 24 hour 8 day a week obsession with them.

I can only think of 3 conditions under which they don't play:

1) They are deathly ill
2) A herd of rabid deer are on the loose trampling the tee boxes
3) There's an active tornado present on the greens

The golf channel stays on the tv almost every minute they are present in our house.
Golf news, golf reality shows, golf tournaments, golf instruction, golf inventions, golf info-mercials. You name it about golf, it's been watched at our house. Including the 4,568 commentaries and analyses of everything from what Tiger Woods brushes his teeth with to every angle of every golf shot he's ever taken....

I have washed and dryed thousands of golf balls, ball markers,golf gloves, and tees in the laundry by accident.

We even have a special room set up in the basement where a net hangs with a mattress behind it so they can drive golf balls morning-noon-night. It's not uncommon every night before bed for either Firstborn or hubby to run down and drive 50 or so balls for practice. I have to vacuum constantly because they use that green indoor/outdoor carpeting in there, and the little bits of it get all OVER the house. It's worse than cat hair. It gets in the carpet, in the animal's fur, in the laundry... nothing like throwing on a pair of underwear on with some of THAT stuff stuck to it in a strategic area (TMI, I know....)

Every bathroom has a golf magazine for one's reading pleasure available.

I DO draw the line at decorating the house with anything golf. I think the caps,gloves,bags,balls,markers,head covers,golf shoes, etc laying all over the place is decoration enough.

Giz and I go to pageants for a desperate reprieve from the saturation of the sport in our lives.

And after 7 years of lessons, threats to quit, scraping up weekly greens fees, gnashing of teeth over lost or broken equipment, etc.

Today was the crowning moment of all the effort.

Firstborn is on the middle school golf team, and they have a pretty strong group this year. Firstborn's not always the lowest score, but he's usually the lowest, and he's very consistent. There are two other boys who push him some, who are strong players but not as consistent (they will beat Firstborn by a point or two, then lose by many points - they are good but very inconsistent.) Overall they are really strong players for their ages and they have a lot of enthusiasm for the sport.

Tuesday they played a par 3 course (par 27), and Firstborn came in behind the other two strong players on their team by a couple of points (I think they shot a 34,35,36 respectively) and they beat the other two schools they were playing by 16 points. They play 6 players in competition and the scores are totaled to see who has the overall lowest score. They were psyched!!!

Today they played their first regulation course, playing 9 holes only. Par 36.

Firstborn shot a 37.

For the non-golf person, that's pretty darn good for an eigth grader.

No other player from either his team or any of the other schools even came close. Next highest overall score was a 47.

And Firstborn's team STILL won by 16 points. He pretty much put the BOO in the BOO-YAH today. And when I picked him up he practically glowed.

The coach was pretty jacked about it too... (I think he even had to nip a situation because one of the other school's coaches was concerned that Firstborn was playing as a second place seed and not a first - I'm not sure why this would matter, but these guys take it all VERY seriously.)

I let Firstborn pick where to go out for dinner afterwards to celebrate, and I don't think I've ever heard him recount the day's events in that many ways ever before.

I am so proud of him in his "moment of glory."

Firstborn was DA' MAN.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Damn Cat


I need some help.

I have this cat who has adopted ME as her human.

She showed up around Halloween, and being a black cat, I didn't think it wise to try to run her off (superstitious,I am.) I didn't really encourage her, but geesh she really weasled her way in.

She's been fine for a few months, but all of a sudden she has started pissing on the basement floor randomly.

I keep her fed and watered each day.

I keep her litter changed morning and night.

I even let her "hug me" when she needs one. Strange, strange, cat she is... she has to get in my lap, then she puts both front legs around my neck and pushes her head up into MY neck and clings to me like glue.

She musta had a REALLY bad childhood.

But I think she's either mad at me for something or there's something else bothering her, and I've no clue about cats.

Any ideas???

Yes, I know I could put her out, but Giz would have a nervous breakdown if I did.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I had a bad day.

I discovered today, that somehow I missed factoring in an extra $40,000 while closing the accounting for a project I am working on that the project manager before me had spent launching the project. Talk about feeling sick.

Okay, so I'm only 68% over budget now.

We DID put the fact that I am a first time project manager in as a risk LOL

In my defense:
- I'm not an experienced project manager
- The start up of the project was a disaster under the previous pm
- They gave it to me because they thought I could save it all the while asking me if I thought I could do it
- I was expected to get it launched under a new project methodology
- And the rules of the methodology and accounting changed weekly during the life of the project (oh and we got trained on the tools about halfway through the final development phase.)

Talk about your proverbial build the plane while you are flying scenario.

Then this afternoon,I accidentally punched a hole in the bottom of a large sweet tea (which was FULL) in my car and pretty much flooded the car during my feeble attempt to extricate the flooding container from the cup holder quickly. The liquid filled up BOTH cup holders, and I soaked myself in the most embarrassing way as the cup traversed across my lap so I could dump the remaining fluids out of my door (which ended up going into the door storage area and NOT out of the car.


All the while spewing a diatribe of vitriol from my lips unfit for even impolite company under my breath the entire time....

So, figuring the day was a bust, I just marched into the big boss's office in my ever so subtle not terribly agitated way (oh who am I kidding I'm a walking disaster half the time...) and laid the whole budgetary mess out. Put the ol' head on the guillotine and said "go ahead....."

Well, thankfully I didn't get fired. He basically smiled and figuratively patted me on the head and said, "this one's a learning experience, just don't do it again."

WHEW. Now the pressure is REALLY on though.

I'm going to start budgeting for a project psychiatrist to be on staff for any other project I ever lead again. Kind of like those golfers who use a sports psychiatrist...

And yes, I DID whine about it the rest of the day.


Oh and a shout out to Firstborn - he made the Golf Team AND Jr National Honor Society all in the same week!!


Continuing the pageant saga (see previous posts for events leading up):

After we got finished with dinner,we went to the ballroom to practice.

Giz got amnesia - I cannot figure for the LIFE of me how she can practice at home, then the first night she gets to the hotel, it's like she has NO clue what to do at all. I mean she did EVERYTHING but what she was supposed too. Not even remotely close.

Drives me nuts, but then the next day after a bad practice, she'll do great onstage.

I just don't get it.

Got any help for us Dr. Phil??

Like I said, I'm sure there's a shrink somewhere who has a folder with my name written ALLLLLL over it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Oh Danny boy

Quick Note.

I like to watch American Idol.

They say it's a singing competition, but frankly I want to be entertained (being talented and being entertaining are NOT always synonymous)

Danny,we tried. We're going to miss You!!!

He was not the VERY best singer admittedly, but not bad.... He just made the show that much more interesting to watch! (I'm especially gonna miss his exchanges with Simon!)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

And Later that evening...

I tried to exit as gracefully as I could after the sticker shock. Not that the amount was so much a surprise, but that I thought I was soooo prepared and then I find out NOT. That, on top of being tired from the drive and a little weak from my gastrointestinal issues, was kind of the last straw of the day.

So feeling a little weak, and sick physically and emotionally, I took Gizmo over to the restaurant for a meal.

She got chicken fingers, broccoli and sprite.

I got a small salad and a BEER.


On another current note, I finally broke down and bought DDR Universe 2 for our XBox3.

It kinda ended up less like dancing and more like combat twister.

BOTH kids were trying to help me with the arrows (okay, I had no idea it was on expert mode) Giz was trying to hit some with her hands on the floor and Firstborn was trying to step on the remaining arrows needed.

Twas not a pretty site. But it sure is FUN!!!

I almost didn't buy it when the patronizing Best Buy clerk looked at me and stated that he heard it was a great WORKOUT. (okay, in his defense, what else would most middle aged women buy it for??)

WORKOUT???? He almost took the fun right out of it!!! NO. Not workout.



Saturday, March 01, 2008



I hate pageant registration. I love pageantry with my daughter, but honey, I HATE to part with my money.

I keep suffering under the delusion that my daughter can get a title by us just partially entering for titles in the paperwork. Now, again, I had been warned by several others that this pageant could go weird, but I'm one of those folks with a bit of residual seawater and beer from my college days still soaking in some of my brain cells. Not to mention, it takes a phd in "new math" to even figure out what the heck you entered, how they score it, and how it all really ends up.

Fortunately, there was no great big line to stand in and occupy a hyper 5 year old in... Pageantry has this kind of weird way to register, where at many pageants, each mother goes in to register one at a time. I think it is done that way so as each one goes in ALONE the director can put their different spin on hard selling to the mother to enter more events and thus part the poor woman from additional CASH. This causes the lines to back up down the hallway forever, or if you get on a sign up sheet, you can never really get settled to start preparing for the next day because you are constantly running back and forth to find out how close you are to getting your name called. It's great exercise though.

Getting back to this event, I know I made several major mistakes.

Giz & I were both tired, she hadn't practiced enough, and I didn't have any help.


My computer was down in November and December, and I entered Giz as a last minute whim in the local level pageant for this system. So I never saw the proverbial fine print.

Digression for education's sake. 99% of the time if you win a grand supreme in the level pageant below the next, you get the supreme package for "free" at the next level. For example, if you win Grand Supreme (highest point total out of all the girls) at a local preliminary, you get your supreme package entry paid to State. Next, if you win your state Grand Supreme title, you get either the Mini-National or National supreme package paid.

I had been warned that this lady could get money out of a homeless person, but I didn't get a bad vibe from her so again, I plowed ahead. I really need to learn to use my ears more effectively.

Anyway. Giz had won a large title at the previous level pageant, and I paid a $150 deposit right there on the scene - out of her $500 bond, which is really only $250 - so we could get the earlybird pricing for the registration fee. "That's it" stated the director. She implied that was all we would owe. Again, I am not faulting her for what I'm about to divulge, I'm just mad at myself for being naive.

For this pageant, the pricing for the "earlybird" consisted of:

$395 registration fee - which went up $100 incrementally after Dec 1 up to $595)
$595 supreme package - which allowed you to compete in Natural beauty, Glitz beauty, one interview session (natural or glitz) and one black and white photo (natural or glitz)

To be eligible for grand supreme, you needed to have a cumulative Beauty,Interview, and Photo score.

So if you entered a glitz black and white photo, just doing the basic supreme package and registration fee, you would not be eligible for the Natural grand supreme title and if you entered a Natural black and white, conversely you would not be eligible for the glitz grand supreme.

What mother is going to spend almost $1000 and not have lil Suzie out of the running for grand? At a minimum the director will get another $75 out of you for at least ONE additional optional.

Next, there was $150 for "Overall titles" and she added "one point just for entering!". Again, what mother - who has now spent $1075 miniumum potentially plus travel expenses - wouldn't buy that extra point for their child?? Now we are up to $1225....

There were about 4 other optionals you could enter at $75 each - swimwear, composite card, Natural or Glitz photo (whatever you didn't enter in your basic supreme package) etc.

In her defense, the director was giving away a lot of supreme packages paid plus 2 hotel nights "free" (translation, you only have to pay registration fee less $200) but she didn't start offering this until the registration fee went up to $595.

So even if you took the best package at the worst time, and entered the minimum to be in the running for the basic titles plus the point added overalls it would cost:

$395 plus $150 plus $75 plus door badge $35 = $655

Skipping to the cliff's notes - if you entered EVERYTHING on the paperwork plus one extra picture (at $25 each) and you didn't have to pay the supreme package (say you got it free) it would have been somewhere around $1000. And if you DID have to pay any or all of the supreme package, it ended up between $1200 and $2000. I heard that some people ended up paying as much as $1800 in fees.

Return? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Who are we kidding? Even if you won ultimate grand, the payout was a $5000, which ended up being only $2500 in cash. Various titles below ended up anywhere from $100 to $1000 depending on what you won, and if you entered that event.

And to the director's defense, you'd be paying for two pageants - so much more cost efficient! Of sorts...

So here's what I walked in expecting.

$595 package paid plus $395 registration plus $150 for overalls $75 for an optional event and $35 for a door badge, oh and one extra picture $25. LESS $595 package paid less $100 "free hotel stay" less $150 I already paid.

I expected to pay $480.

So I get to the table and she adds it up and says I owe $580.

?? This is where it kinda broke down for me... (I expected to be sooo prepared LOL)

Okay, why?

Well, she says, Giz only won a $500 BOND towards her supreme package.
Oh. (now I'm at the mistake in not finding a copy of that damn paperwork) Okay.
So I say okay, go ahead and I pay the extra $100 thinking Gizmo was still in the running for the minimum items I had planned. (I actually considered backing out at that very moment which caused me to have an unclear head.) Again, I'm not faulting the director per se, but she could have made it clearer to me what we ended up in rather than looking at me like "oh you must be POOR."



To be continued....

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Now don't get me wrong.

I don't expect sympathy for my own stupidity. Y'all should appreciate my willingness to share. If I can stop one other dumb mistake in the world, all my humiliation will be worth it.

Well, continuing from my previous post...

Thankfully, I didn't get the full scale case of the stomach flu! I only got the er, lower part of it, and I attribute staving off the stomach part to stopping off and buying a large bag of peppermints at the quicky mart on my way to Nashville and devouring as many as possible as fast as possible. I'm getting pretty good at plowing right through an illness I tell ya.

So we get to our hotel, and of course there is the excitement of seeing who is at the pageant and who is not and getting everything in and registering. But it's hard to be excited when you are exhausted, sick...

...and worried.

First, I didn't tell MY parents about going. Now, I have been living married with children for almost 20 years, but they still suffer the delusion that I'm 17 and going on my first date every time I get in a car. And I am understanding about it, but had they known I drove to Nashville just me & Giz (following another lady and her family for safety's sake) I would have received the lecture from HELL prior to going, a rant about being stupid, risking mine and my child's life, where are we going can we have all the information plus a sled report on the family we are following, what if something happens who will come save me and if they don't have the information they won't be able to look for me & Giz etc etc etc. Now it never occurs to them that I have a husband at home to give information to and a cell phone and a gps and I'm travelling with other people. I think they like to pretend my husband doesn't exist and I have think they WANT something to happen to me so they can fell vindicated.

Besides, a lecture/rant would have been a real pain in the ass, wouldn't have changed my mind, and taken up a bunch of time I just didn't have to spare. Plus, it really bites when my Dad is RIGHT.

Anyway. Now that we have established my IQ level (again.)

You know that icky feeling you had when you were a kid and you were in trouble with your parents? I had just that on top of everything else. Even my husband was like "what on earth do I do??" if my parents should call - it kinda reminded me of when I was in college and my roommates would lie to my Mom about my whereabouts when I was down the street at a party and she would call every fifteen minutes asking as to my location. Granted, I don't blame my Mother for worrying, but it's not really a worry where they care THAT much about ME, it's more like... they hate to worry about me but they do because it's the right thing to do so if they end up having to worry about me then they get mad at me because I'm responsible for stressing them out about worrying about me. In the end it's all about THEM. Don't make me repeat that. I know they LOVE me, but I'm not altogether sure they LIKE me. But that's another series unto itself.

And if you want further explanations, I'm sure there's a shrink somewhere with a textbook just covering that subject alone.

So now. I'm sick. I'm tired. I'm spending a lot of money knowing Gizmo is probably not going to win anything (and not because Giz isn't pretty or a good model but I'll get to it later.) I'm hiding from my neurotic over-controlling parents 386 miles away from home. And I keep trying to rationalize that I'm having fun. Oh, and Giz? She's about the happiest kid on the planet no matter where she is. (sometimes I think I need to rename her on the blog to DeeDee - as in DeeDee from Dexter's laboratory 'cause that's so HER sometimes.)

Well, check in was pretty uneventful at the hotel except for an entirely ungraceful unloading of our luggage from the car (no bellman, no carts, and it's just me and a 5 year old trying to lug everything in and up to the room making 5 trips by ourselves.) But now on to pageant registration.....

And in the middle of all this mess I'm taking work calls post production launching of a project I'm responsible for at work. be continued

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Think They are trying to tell me something...

I reckon Giz ain't National Pageant material.
Now, I'm pretty objective, but apparantly I have lost that particular capability.

but..anywho before I get into that.

The last week or so has been INSANE.

Three weeks ago we had to go out of town for a family outing. My 90-year-old Aunt (who is like a Grandmother to me) was thrown a birthday bash by my parents and my mother's cousins to celebrate the event - and it was very much a family reunion as well. I happen to really hate these things, because I only see these people once every 8 years, and I'm expected to act "like family." Who the hell are we kidding? Once we all go home, does anyone write? Email? Or even send those stupid mass chain mail messages? No... It's like when you go back to a 20 year high school reunion and act all chummy with people you didn't get two words in with in four years of that educational cesspool of hormones and social torture. But as always, I digress.

The next weekend we were supposed to go on vacation, but Giz had a modeling event to go to, and the weather in North Carolina for skiing was crappy, and I had a raging case of bronchitis. The executive decision was made, and the lodge was more than accommadatinig, so we put vacation off a week. Much to the disappointment of the kids, but hey, I didn't want to ski unable to breathe and on grass at that....

Well, we end up leaving on the following Saturday and traveling halfway to the mountains to stay in a very small, but comfy Comfort Inn in Marion NC. I highly recommend staying there on a Saturday night if you are going into NC to ski from the South, it's HALF the price of the hotels close to the ski areas on a Saturday night, and only about 45min away. They even had a decent indoor heated pool and continental breakfast. It was about $80 for the night, vs $150 at the Banner Elk Best Western!

Did I mention one of the problems with a ski vacation is that you really don't get much REST.

We got up at 6am Sunday, so the ski school nazis wouldn't refuse my child entry. If you don't get there by 9:15 they turn up their nose at you (and your money, go figure, even with a crappy ski season and lord knows the area needs all the cash they can get this year!) But I respect the rules, and keep my opinions to myself when dealing with people directly, suck it up and deal. Nonetheless, since we have all our own equipment, we had to lug all that crap into the motel around 7pm and then back out at 6am (couldn't leave it, no way to lock it up in the cab of the truck.) Oh, and did I mention, that evening I got Giz not one but two pairs of the cutest snow boots at the local Wal Mart across from the hotel (one pair for this year and one for next) for only $7 each!!!

But back to Sunday... we get up early early... leave to ski... we usually go to Beech Mountain since we like the family vibe and the ski school staff is familiar with my family since we've put both kids through the program over the last 10 years. Problem is, to get ANYWHERE at Beech it's like 5 flights of stairs to get UP to the lockers, then 2 flights DOWN to the bathroom, then 2 flights back UP to get to the skis (all the while walking in ski boots and hauling tons of equipment...) So by the time you get ready to actually ski, you're EXHAUSTED. And especially when you are out of shape like I am!!

We had a good day on Sunday, and Giz loved her ski school class - she had a young lady with a tongue piercing (with which she was fascinated by) from Lees-McRae college with whom she instantly clicked.

Giz got up, and she didn't look so good. And then she started throwing up.

I can't tell you the last time she was really sick, to be honest, but since the stomach flu was going around town severely, we knew we left for vacation with a bit of a gun to our heads that someone might come down with it. So the deal was, if I stayed in the room with Giz all day, I'd take Firstborn back for night skiing. So I cleaned out my purse, and I made calls into the office etc. for something to do. Thankfully about 4pm, Giz started feeling much, much better and hope was re-instated that she would make a speedy recovery for Tuesday's ventures.

Now, I do NOT recommend night skiing when the weather is unpredictable in NC. We ended up hauling all the gear in, get dressed etc. Well, on the second run down, Firstborn crashes and busts his binding. (Thankfully no significant injury!!) But still, we ended up packing up, loading up, drive BACK down the mountain for repairs etc. It was probably a blessing, the mountain was like skiing on bricks that night.

Tuesday. Back to normal, and the mountain was good, but the wind was terrible and you couldn't see squat. Thankfully, Miss Tongue piercing was back, and since Giz was the only kid in her class, she got private lessons ALL DAY!!! Yippee for her!!

Wednesday. Long faces. Beech was nothing but a soggy mess. So we figured we were done for the day, but we decided to stop by Sugar and see.... they had a 30-70 inch base!! But Giz wanted NOTHING to do with their ski school. I wasn't sure how it would go, but after skiing off and on with my husband and I, she ended up skiing from the very, very, top of the mountain with everyone. At this rate, I guess she'll being skiing the black slopes and leaving her poor ol' mom in the, er, powder??

We drove home and got back very late Wednesday night. No rest for the wicked, I had to make sure all the homework they had done on vacation got in the bags, get together lunch money, unpack the important bags etc. WHEW.

Valentines was flown through, for I had counted on my husband to cook supper, and even though I took all day off, I had to get my hair done, buy shoes and bows for Gizmo's pageant interview outfit, and finish unpacking the ski stuff and pack all the boxes for the pageant, rent the car, etc. And when I got home late that afternoon, expecting hubby to have supper ready and help me get the car loaded etc for the next day... I found him in a heap in a chair, with, THE STOMACH FLU.

Well, needless to say, I had to do all of it, MYSELF.

Oh yeah, never mind we were leaving for NASHVILLE on Friday??

Well, on Friday, we were supposed to get up at 5:30, and ended up oversleeping. I hate that - it's never a good way to start your day... hollering and panicking trying to get up, and get out the door. Thankfully hubby was feeling better, so I rabble-roused him and Firstborn and shoved them out the door as best and as fast as I could.

So now I'm staring down a 7 hour drive to Nashville on a bad wake up morning. And now I'm feeling queasy. Not queasy over nerves, but stomach flu queasy.

... To be continued.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm here, finally

Lordy.... Can I go to rehab like these movie stars do?? I need to be sequestered off somewhere to REST.

I've been busier than a bunch of relocated fire ants.

Trying to post, but I've covered about 1600 miles of driving over the last 2.5 weeks, 3 cases of the stomach flu, my son almost broke his hand, and my daughter once again ended up getting dissed at a National pageant. And did I mention we got the biggest project of my life at work launched in two countries too??

Most of this is self-inflicted, so I don't expect sympathy... I just need more time to write. And I want off the treadmill of my schedules!!!

I'll be back....


Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Who needs the Pussycat Dolls!!! Gizmo's current sportswear routine is a mix of songs by these girls.... ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dirty or Not Dirty

Welcome to one of the latest pageant controversies!

Now, it is rumored that a young lady (a teen) did a routine to the song "Low" by Flo Rida... and some of the mothers have found this to be offensive, some not. So in the spirit of fairness, I looked up the lyrics myself:

Shawty had them Apple Bottom Jeans [Jeans]
Boots with the fur [With the fur]
The whole club was lookin at her
She hit the flo [She hit the flo]
Next thing you know
Shawty got low low low low low low low low

Them baggy sweat pants
And the Reeboks with the straps [With the straps]
She turned around and gave that big booty a smack [Ayy]
She hit the flo [She hit the flo]
Next thing you know
Shawty got low low low low low low low low

[Verse 1:]
I ain't never seen nuthin that'll make me go,
This crazy all night spendin my dough
Had a million dollar vibe and a bottle to go
Dem birthday cakes, they stole the show
So sexual, she was flexible
Professional, drinkin X and ooo
Hold up wait a minute, do I see what I think I
Did I think I seen shorty get low
Ain't the same when it's up that close
Make it rain, I'm makin it snow
Work the pole, I got the bank roll
Imma say that I prefer them no clothes
I'm into that, I love women exposed
She threw it back at me, I gave her more
Cash ain't a problem, I know where it goes

She had them

[Chorus:] (See words above)

[Verse 2:]
Shawty what I gotta do to get you home
My jeans full of gwap
And they ready for Shones
Cadillacs Maybachs for the sexy grown
Patrone on the rocks that'll make you moan

One stack (come on)
Two stacks (come on)
Three stacks (come on, now that's three grand)
[ Low lyrics found on ]
What you think I'm playin baby girl
I'm the man, I'll bend the rubber bands

That's what I told her, her legs on my shoulder
I knew it was ova, that Henny and Cola
Got me like a Soldier
She ready for Rover, I couldn't control her
So lucky oo me, I was just like a clover
Shorty was hot like a toaster
Sorry but I had to fold her,
Like a pornography poster
She showed her

[Chorus:] (See words above)

[Verse 3:]
Yea she was worth the money
Lil mama took my cash,
And I ain't want it back,
The way she bit that rag,
Got her them paper stacks,
Tattoo Above her crack,
I had to handle that,

I was on it, sexy woman, let me shownin
They be want it two in the mornin
I'm zonin in them rosay bottles foamin
She wouldn't stop, made it drop
Shorty did that pop and lock,
Had to break her off that gwap
Gah it was fly just like my glock

[Chorus:] (See words above)


Now, if you do a little digging on some of the phrases after translation are not very, er, "clean." (i.e. relative context of gwap - I won't spoil it for you but look it up...)

The question is, should the parents have allowed this? I personally don't think so, and considering I must be pretty liberal since I am one of those Moms that slaps fake eyelashes and a Dolly Parton wig on her kid from time to time... but even I draw the line.

In the forum discussions, several mothers stated that the mothers who posted said those of us more, uh, conservative folks were "over-reacting" to the song...

"It's a cute dance song"
"Well, HER parents didn't have an issue"
"THOSE AREN'T the lyrics"

Apparently, if you don't understand the lyrics, they must be okay.

Footnote - I happen to have this song on my ipod, but my kids? NO.


On another note. I watched Miss America Saturday night. I am so going to have to post on THAT.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm back. A-gain.

Hi all.

I'm probably speaking to desert and tumbleweeds now... My laptop died and I haven't been able to post (I do not want to risk using my work computer) for about a month as there are very few IT people I trust to work on my stuff and my wrasslingreferee-turned-ITguy-turned-ITguybyday-preacherbynight had to figure out how to get my poor equipment worked into his hectic schedule between coffee shop wireless set ups and ministering to his flock....

I'm back in business. WHEW.

To make matters worse:
Gizmo is going through a terrible behavior spell.
I am going through a terrible behavior spell.

For the record. I am very much ADHD and unfortunately so is my daughter. And I don't even believe in that hokey pokey stuff. I don't medicate Gizmo, but we do some nutritional therapy on her that seems to help. Me however... I've been on Adderall XR for a long time... and when I started taking it the following things happened:

My ability to fall asleep and stay asleep improved. I would finally wake up rested.
Improved memory.
Reduced need to interrupt or speak out of turn constantly.
Reduced speed in general. (especially fidgeting and mood swings)

But, at my family's urging, I tried to go off the medication. And I ended up moody, fidgety, and very depressed and irritable. So, I'm back on the meds and much better for it (3 days now!)

Glad to be here (and no more freeweb site browsing for me!!)

Bad parent example #6,922

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