Monthly Archives: February 2012

On Leaps

Today was leap day.  I am rushing to publish ON leap day!

Statistics for this day:

All time high reader count of 62.  That is a lot!!  Thanks all!  Whoever read every post on my blog made the counter jump ultra high and also rocks my socks.

Overall views is up to 625 – I broke the 500 view mark sometime yesterday!  Awesome.

I hope everyone is enjoying reading as much as I am writing.

🙂

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On Helping You Replace the Image Left In Your Brain from the Link in My Previous Post

I fell really bad that I had such a lame post just now.  I also felt really bad that I shamelessly linked that website to my post.  Haha!  So to make up for that images that might be left in your brain, I thought I would share with you some photos that I took myself.  You see, I like to fancy myself an amateur photographer.  Despite the fact that I do not own a DSLR, like one of these which I hope to some day own. I actually have a beat up little point and shoot which does the trick, for now.

Samsung SL600

This camera is so easy to use that a two year old can use it.

He cannot use it well…but that is not really the point.

So here are a few photos that I have taken in the course of my amateur photography stint, and I hope this helps you all replace the images that might be left imprinted in your brain from that link in my previous post.  Enjoy!



On the Characters You Meet in Retail

I used to work in a large Retail Store, which I have very briefly mentioned before.  In the course of a regular work day in the Retail Store, one would see numerous characters.  People of all kinds would enter this store – and by all kinds, I mean, all kinds of scary.

I was going to write an entire post about this but I visited this site to get some prime pictures to illustrate all kinds of scary and thought I would just let you discover it on your own.  I am from Minnesota, but pick your own state to see what kind of crazy lives near you.

Plus, I did not have the heart to put photos that bad on my blog.  But I will tell you this,  I was not working the day that this happened:

The coolest things always happened on my days off!

On What I Did When I Lived on a Farm (A Childhood Story)

From the ages of 9 to 12, I lived on a farm.  Not one of those working farms with animals and such.  It was probably once a working farm, because it still had all of the buildings, but it had since become run-down and all of the outlying buildings had become a bit dilapidated.

During this time, my sister and I had quite a few adventures.  When I lived on the farm, I was, unequivocally , a tom-boy.  So was my sister because when we younger, we did a lot of things the same.  Sometimes by choice; sometimes we had no choice, like at Christmas because we were given the same things.

We played in the junk cars lying about the farm, pretending we were race car drivers.  This game lasted a long time since there were A LOT of junkers lying around.  Some guy once took an aerial photo of the farm that I remember seeing.  He tried to sell it to my mom and step-dad.  I cannot remember if they bought it, but I hope not.

It looked a lot like this, and who would want to hang this on their mantle, even if you do not have one?

My sister and I also liked to build things.  We once built a “shelter”, which could have probably more aptly been called a shack.  A shack with no roof.  And only had a floor and two walls.  I am not sure why we built it, except that my mom and step-dad apparently thought it was okay to let a 9  and 6 year old play with tools, nails, and random-sized boards.

I bet our shack was just as stable.

We had a garbage pit on our farm, and back near the pit was some prime clay.  We really liked to build things out of clay.  I can remember when we first discovered the clay and filled an entire wagon and two ice cream buckets full of clay and trudged across the entire yard with all of it.

 

Don’t kid yourselves; our wagon looked nothing like this.

We left a long, disturbing-looking trail that lead right up to our front door because we felt the best place to mold things out of clay was on the front steps.  Mom yelled at us for messing up the yard, which I could not understand because who ever saw our yard?  No one visited our farm!  Well, except that aerial photo guy, apparently.

Probably the coolest (not really) thing I can remember us doing, also the STUPIDEST EVER, was to play with fire.  Remember, I did not learn to NOT play with fire until much later in life.  My sister and I went to play in one of the abandoned sheds quite often.  Well, we played in all of the abandoned buildings because, back then, I didn’t have an irrational fear of being murdered OR of the dark.  But specifically, we liked to hang out in a small building near the back of the farm that looked like a little whitewashed cabin.

You get the idea.

We played a lot of “house” in that building, if “house” were set in 1859.  And apparently we wanted to play the most realistic version of 1859 “house” ever.  We had a fire pit in which we burned sticks and paper.  We did chores – probably the only time we ever did chores of our own accord.  We had mulberry trees nearby that we picked from and used as our food source.  The only thing we did not do was actually sleep out there.  Because we were not allowed to.

Then we got caught burning our paper and sticks, and were never allowed to return to that building.

That did not stop us from climbing in the hay lofts, though.

On Men’s Grooming

I am a fan of proper men’s grooming.  To me, this means showering every day, wearing some aftershave, or even better – wearing cologne, wearing clean clothes, preferably not all baggy or torn up, and having good hair.

What do you mean “good hair”?  Clean, in its proper place, not a friggin’ ball of fuzz, no dreads, NOT LONGER THAN MINE, not even NEAR the length of mine – no matter how clean it is.  Basically, what I am leading up to here is that I think men with long hair are icky….ICKY!

When I was younger, I distinctly remember my mom thinking that long-haired men are gorgeous.  That is the word she used.  Gorgeous.  I just do not see it.  I do not get it.  Very few men, in my opinion can pull off long hair, and at that, it is usually hair that is only chin to shoulder-length or so.

Examples of men that can pull off long-ish hair:

Viggo Mortenson?  Yes.  Ooooh yes.

Not this guy!!  But he sure is giving Rapunzel a run for her money!     

Hugh Jackman?  Yep!  Wolverine – your hair can be whatever length you want, and you’ll still be smokin’ hot!

Not this guy either.  YEESH – it is even worse when it is curly!

 I think perhaps the worst offender, though, is Fabio.  He has had long hair FOREVER!  Longer than forever.  How old is that guy now anyway??  I know that he is a regular for the romance novel  industry – appearing on tons and tons of different romance novel covers.  Gross.  While I used to avidly read romance novels, which probably made me the hopeless romantic I secretly am today, I will never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever times infinity, read a  novel with FABIO on the cover.

 

I do not ever want to picture HIM when I picture the romantic hero in a book.  Bleh!

Something else that does not work is the long hair/long goatee look.

Hello Mr. Scraggles, can I borrow you a pair of scissors?

Oooooh, you can whip your hair and beard back and forth.  You are definitely going to give Willow Smith a run for her money.

I just do not get why any woman would find this sexy.  So much hair.  What if you want to get….romantic.  Where do you put the hair?  In a ponytail?

Oh yeah, he has got it goin’ on! 

  And what about the goatee?  What do you with that?  Braid it?

Mmmmm.  Yeah.  I can see how that is…..attractive.

Long hair.  It is creepy and weird.  And a total deal breaker for me.  I will run away in terror.  Seriously.

Basically, the moral of this rant is that there is only one guy who can pull of any of these looks.  Who is that, you ask?

Johnny Depp, of course!

     

Long hair.                               Short hair.                  No hair.  

                                
Short hair/goatee/glasses.            Long hair AND braided goatee.       Short hair/goatee/no shirt – this

                                                                                                                                         is probably his best look.

On the Importance of Proper Grammar

Let’s talk grammar.  I find it important.  It shows that one has knowledge.  It shows that one cares enough about what they are saying to take the time to use the correct word, spelling, etc.  It shows that one is cognizant of the relationship that words have with each other.  I can go on.  All-in-all, I find grammar to be important.

Grammar:  The whole system and structure of a language or of languages in general, usually taken as consisting of syntax and morphology (including inflections) and sometimes also phonology and semantics.

I am including sentence structure, spelling, and the correct use of a word as grammar.  I work in an area in which I need to be aware of grammar and its correct use.  I admit I am human, and as such, have my fair share of typo-s, spelling errors, lack of punctuation, etc.  Every time that someone else catches a typo I have made, especially at work, I am a little bit ashamed of myself.  “Triple proof read” is my middle name going forward.  My goal:  get a document to the attorney without ever having to worry that they will find a mistake, because they won’t.  That is the way it should be anyways, I know.  I also know you will all probably call me out on grammar mistakes from here on out, but such are the perils of public writing.

Anyway,  grammar.  There are common (COMMON!!) grammar mistakes which need to be addressed.  ADULTS should not be making these mistakes, in my opinion.  Really, I know that in social situations, in texts, on social media sites, I do not have perfect, mistake-free grammar, and I don’t really hold every other person I know to these standards.  However, I notice.  I notice, and it irks me that these simple mistakes are being made  SO OFTEN!

So, let’s go over some of the mistakes that I have seen today that have really irked me:

WEATHER/WHETHER

WEATHER:  Basically, what it is like outside.  Think snow, wind, rain, sunshine.  


WHETHER:  Used to introduce the first of two or more alternatives.  As in, “Whether you care about the weather or whether you don’t, whoever drew this picture used the word “whether” incorrectly.  

You would think Heather would have used the correct version of the word, weather, since it is spelled so similarly to her own name.

____

YOUR/YOU’RE

First, somebody please tell this guy that he messed up his grammar chart somewhere along the way, then maybe send him here for some help.  I will still address these words here.

Inappropriate and humorous, I hope this gets the point across.

YOUR: ownership; possession.  That is your mom he is talking about.

YOU’RE:  A contraction of the words “you” and “are.”  You can not really say, “That is you’re mom he is talking about” because you cannot say, “That is you are his mom he is talking about.”  Doesn’t really make sense when you put it that way.

____

 CAPITALIZATION

      CAPITALIZATION: Please, please do not make me explain the difference between Uncle Jack and jack…

____

THE OXFORD COMMA aka THE SERIAL COMMA

No, no, this comma is not a serial killer, rather, it is the comma one uses when listing series of items.  I am a fan, always will be.  I think it is quite important to keep this guy around, even if its necessity is up for debate for many.  Here is a handy little illustration to show you why I support the Oxford Comma:

 THE OXFORD COMMA:  Used to separate nouns in a series – so that you do not invite the wrong people to the party.  No one wants to be seen running around with the wrong crowd.

____

 THAN/THEN

THAN: Used for comparisons.  Being pissed off is preferable to being pissed on.

THEN:  Used for time.  Apparently, Jenny first wants to  get mad, and after she is good and mad, she wants to get peed on.  Jenny has issues.

____

Know that  I am not going to go around and criticize everyone I know for poor grammar or spelling mistakes – far from it, with the exception of this post, I guess.  However, I just think that we could all be a little more aware.  Are we really so lazy these days that simple grammar is beyond us? 

And guys, some girls find correct grammar to be sexy.  *wink wink*

On Recognizing What You Have

I, like any other person, have those moments when I question life.  I second guess myself, where I am at in life, and where I plan to go from here.    Sometimes when I have a bad day, I have a bad day.  Sometimes this segues into bad month…then what comes next?  A bad year?

Who wants to be stuck in that loop?  I know I have been there PLENTY of times – though maybe not a whole year.  This year, I have taken myself to hand and am really trying to focus on and recognize how much I already have and how lucky I really am.  I have a really great life, all things considered.

I have a super amazing child.  My son is so smart!  And adorable!  And, I have one of those kids who is super cuddly and love-y almost all of the time.  He knows his numbers and his ABC’s; he’s super funny; and when we watch movies together, he holds hands with me!  Who needs to go out on a date when I already have the best date ever?!  Not me!

I have already met the love of my life!

I have a great job that I sincerely enjoy.  I love my job!  I am fully aware that in this economy, in this job market, and after working at the Retail Store, that I am one of the luckiest people on EARTH!  To work with people I get along with, who are always willing to pitch in and lend a hand to each other, who don’t complain about every little thing, and to sincerely be interested in what I do – it’s amazing, and make me really enjoy getting to work every morning, even if I struggle with punctuality!  And unlike at the Retail Store, which was “just a job” that helped me pay my bills, this is my career.  (Which I hope will lead me to another career.)

A day in the life.

I have a relatively reliable automobile.  I have a 1999 Chevy Cavalier.  It is not the best car in the world, but it is fairly reliable; it gets me from point A to point B; and, apparently, if you ignore the “check engine” light long enough, that light just shuts off.  (Win-win situation for both my car and I.  Probably.) The trunk only opens sometimes, and the keyless entry only works in certain temperatures.  But really, it does what I need it to do.  Now, let’s all knock on wood, just in case I have jinxed it.

Here she is – except imagine a yellow bumper, a banged up rear fender, and  missing hubcap. Classy!

I have some of the BEST friends anywhere.  Hands down – I would not give up or trade my friends for anything.  They celebrate with me when something good happens.  They support me even when I make stupid decisions and poor choices.  They are there for me when I am sad.  They do not judge me, or if they do, they do it behind my back like a good friend should.  *Wink.*  They are a vital part of my life, and I am so lucky to have such supportive wonderful people in my life.  Here’s lookin’ at you, ladies!

I would include a roof over my head, food to eat, and the rest of the basics of life, but my neighbors sort of scare me some days, and really anger me on others; I live a block and a half from a super scary trailer park; and I need to replenish the contents of my refrigerator.

But all-in-all, even those things I have, and I am grateful to have them.  How lucky am I?!

On Nights that I Forgot to Always Remember (A General Tale of Songs and Seeing Blood)

Before I was a mom, before I worked in a professional position, before vodka gave me terrible, terrible hangovers, I was just a young woman who liked to party with her friends and who was not very wise with her money.

I guess not much has changed – I still enjoy a really good night out with friends, just not as often and not when I have my kiddo.  I am still not very wise with my money, but I am getting better at paying what needs to be paid when it needs to be paid.  I am still a young(ish) woman.

So really what is the difference between now and five years ago?

Well five years ago, had you gone out with me and, one of my bestest lady friends, R, on a Wednesday night, you would have found us singing our hearts out at our favorite downtown locale.

Wednesday was, and still is, here in K-town, prime karaoke night at Choppers.  (Yep, that is my comment there telling the bar that it rocks.  I am classy like that.)

Choppers did not used to be the typical college hang out bar you will find it to be on Wednesdays now-a-days.  It used to be a bit grimey, and grungey, and a whole lot more of a biker bar.  It was amazing.  (It still is, but Wednesdays are a little too ‘college’ for me these days.)  I like to pretend that R and I started a new trend of Wednesday karaoke-ing, and like monkeys, the college kids did what they saw.

I wish I had thought of making these.  Darn.

Karaoke was (still is) provided by a really cool guy named Dion.

Sometimes he sings, too! 

At Choppers, R and I would regularly get our groove on.   After you have a shot or two, it is easy to get into the swing of things and really want to sing! sing! sing!  (Disclaimer: This is not saying that shots are necessary to have fun, but they might be necessary in order to get some people to sing.)

Shots! Shots! Shots shots shots!

Oh yes, we were ready to rock…. And we had a whole book of songs to choose out of!

As R aptly named it, “the Book of Fun.”

Puttin’ on the Ritz,”  “The Safety Dance,” even “Baby Got Back.”  Those were our go-to songs.  (We are such weirdo-s, in the best way!)  I know all the words to those songs thanks to karaoke!  We tried singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire” once, but surprisingly, that was infinitely more hard to sing than “White and Nerdy“.  (I am sorry about that, R, I really thought we could tackle those two.  I was wrong on both accounts.)

Other times, you would see things that could not be easily explained.  Like a bloody mess of towels in the men’s bathroom trashcan with no signs of a scuffle or victims of any sort nearby.  Was there a fight? Was it just a really bad nose bleed?  Did someone try to parkour off the bathroom stall and fail miserably?!

Seriously, guys, what happened in the men’s bathroom?!

 We will never know.  Or maybe we did know, but R and I had too many shots, and we can no longer remember because it was one of those nights that we forgot that we will never forget.  Which is probably for the best since we probably tried to sing a rap song that was far out of our league.

There I am working diligently at my smallish, cluttered work space.  I am forcing myself to concentrate, and it is difficult.  I lose track of what I was doing and stare intently at the screen in a trance.

I snap out of it, realizing that daylight’s a’wasting and I have things to do.  Serious things.  Work things.

What can help me through this, bring my mind back to where it needs to be?  Music!  Something with a beat.  Something bouncy.  Something that will not distract me from what I am doing.  I always find music to help when I am struggling with something difficult.

This will work.

And that will be the song I bust out at random intervals throughout the day along with my slick dance moves that are surprisingly similar to J-Bieb’s during Luda’s breakdown.

SWEET! Except I do not injure myself.

‘Cuz I was all “Baby, baby, baby, YEAH!”  Those ARE the only words I know, after all.

And that is how I sometimes help myself focus.  That and coffee.

On Why My Son Is Not Potty-Trained (A Tale of Poo)

I have not potty-trained my son, as of yet;  he is two-and-a-half.  Truth be told, I have no idea how to do it, and no inclination to try.

I know that diapers are expensive, and bad for the environment, and that simply part of growing up is learning how to be independent – using the toilet included.  But honestly, this is one hurdle I just do not think we are ready to tackle.  We, meaning mostly myself, and only a little bit Q.

For one, it is winter, and it seems like it would be easier to potty-train outside in the summer.  But I can just see that turning out horribly – with Q freely peeing on everything inside, as well.

“Look Mom!  I potty!”

“Greeeeat!  It’s on Cat, and the floor, and on the coffee table.”

I am pretty sure that is how that would go.

And for two, while I do not enjoy changing diapers, I find it a LOT easier than cleaning up poo and pee from other surfaces.

Nothing has made this more clear to me than the incident in the bathtub the other day.

I have said before that bath time is amazing, because when my child begins to annoy me, I can just put him in the bath.  When he is taking a bath, he is happy, and I am a good mom for making sure my child is clean.  It is a win-win situation.

Clearly, a happy camper!

When I get my son ready for bath time, we spend five or ten minutes running the water, getting the temperature and amount of bubbles just right, and filling the bath tub with however many cars Q thinks it takes to have a proper bubble demolition derby.  We also work together to take off one article of Q’s clothes at a time in between car drop-offs.  When Q is finally down to his diaper, in my one in-vain attempt to acclimate him to the toilet, I ask him if he has to go potty before getting in the bath.  “No.  I play cars.  I play bubbles.”  And in he hops.  But, once in a great while, he will hop up onto to his Bob the Builder seat, which sits on top of the normal seat, and “go potty”.

If this were MY potty seat, I think I would go potty all day!  

(Probably not.)

What really happens is that Q sits on the seat for five to ten seconds, gets off, and says he is “all done potty”.  Not a single drop goes into that toilet.

He then climbs into the bath one leg at a time, stands with his legs spread, and lets the stream out.  I can count on this 8 out of 10 times, although I think it is getting better.  Still, as annoying as it is, I would prefer he pee in the tub rather than on the floor.

And I would rather he pee anywhere, than poo in the tub.  Which is what he did a couple of weeks ago.  He was innocently playing and the next thing I knew, he was yelling “Mom!  Mom!  An icky!  An icky!”  And there WAS an icky; a floating, brown icky.

I realize that potty training would help with this.  I know it would.  He would be able to recognize his own bodily urges and handle them appropriately.

But until that day, I would rather deal with a dirty diaper over cleaning poo out of the bath water and off of any unfortunate toy cars left behind.

Car graveyard.  May they rest in peace.