Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mad Men

I am so thrilled this show started it's 2nd season on Sunday. It is truly one of the best shows on television in a long time! I LOVE IT. If you don't watch it, I highly suggest you start. I watched the season premiere, DVR'd it and watched the encore presentation directly after the season premiere. The premiere shows several more times before the 2nd episode airs on Sunday.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Being in a humongous school has it's benefits

I have commented on different occasions how large the school/grades are here. Big E has somewhere around 800 kids in his grade, in one school. Sous Chef has about 350+ in his grade at his school, and there are two schools with his grade. Today I was very thankful for that. In addition to being new to the schools last year, not having a lot of direct contact with the administration and the large number of students/parents, I would not expect the administrative staff of Sous Chef's school to recognize me in public. Today I was out to lunch and took my book with me. The title? prime: adventures and advice on sex, love and the sensual years. Also out to lunch - two principals and one of the counselors from Sous Chef's school. I would have absolutely died if they had walked up to me to say hi and followed up with "what are you reading today?" Especially since it was three men. I was able to slip out of the restaurant unnoticed. In KS, I would not have gotten away so easily. Our school had a total of 450 kids, pre-k through grade 5, I was on a five person committee with the principal and my husband played poker with the principal. After this year, I will no longer get away with this. I am on the PTO board of both schools. The principals of Sous Chef's school always attend the board meetings and at least one principal from Big E's school attend those board meetings. I volunteered for the board so I could get to know these people, but sometimes, anonymity is a good thing.

Oh, and by the way, I am reading the book for my book club August book of the month. And yes, I am the one who suggested it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beautiful Boy

I am reading the book, Beautiful Boy, by David Sheff. I saw him and his son on Oprah quite a while back. I finally got around to the book. It is a riveting and deeply moving story of "a father's journey through his son's addiction." For me, as a parent, it is a very scary book. My husband will be reading it, too.I will also be reading Tweak, by Nic Sheff, which is his David Sheff's son's version of his own addiction.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Got hope?

Yesterday morning was a little chilly and breezy and Sous Chef and CJ had outdoor swimming lessons. I decided to dress a little warmer than usual since I would be sitting outside for a half hour or so. I then decided to brave the waters and wear my Obama t-shirt into our very conservative community within our ultra conservative city. I am happy to say I made it home unscathed - no harsh words, spitting, bumps, scratches, yanked out hair or bruises! I meant to take a picture of me in the shirt, but didn't get around to it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Here, I wrote about the shock of paying $54 to fill my gas tank, even with a $.10/gallon discount. That was in April. Today, I am writing about the thrill of it costing ONLY $56.50 to fill my gas tank. Who knew spending less than $60 to fill a gas tank would ever feel like a bargain!I am starting to think I need the skills and education of a stock broker to be able to predict when I will get the most bang for my buck at the gas station!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Green shirts are for pimps!

The last place one would expect to see a t-shirt with this slogan on it is at work. On a teenager. At a place of work where the parents are highly educated professionals. Obviously, that doesn't mean they aren't total idiots.

Motorcycle Guy took Big E to work yesterday for "Take Our Children to Work Day" at his employer. This was to be a fun but educational experience for the kids to learn about what their parents do, see where they work, what their offices and lab(s) look like, etc. Because of this, we required Big E to wear clothing that was similar to what Motorcycle Guy is permitted to wear - jeans and a shirt with a collar. We did allow him to wear sneakers instead of "casual dress" shoes. Not everyone who came to the event had the same philosophy, which was fine, but some go to the extreme. One teenager, who looked angry and disgruntled in the photo, actually had on a green t-shirt with this entry's title on it. Should I assume that the moron who allowed this child to wear this at all, let alone to his place of business, is proud that his green t-shirt wearing child is a "pimp"? Because based on the t-shirt slogan, that is what that kid is advertising. It would be one thing to see a kid wearing this at an amusement park, the pool, etc., though still inappropriate for a 13 yr. old, but wearing it to an onsite event of the EMPLOYER OF YOUR MOM/DAD? I can only assume his parents are TOTAL MORONS or have absolutely no control over their child. I would expect in reality, it's both. I am wondering how many dinner conversations took place trying to answer questions from the younger crowd asking, "What is a pimp?"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Move that bus!

I opted out of going to the big reveal today. They were recommending you get there early (buses started at 6:30am) and preparing people for long lines for the bus and the heat. I decided it wasn't for me - 3,000 people, 95% whom are taller than I am, in 90+ degree weather and carrying a cooler with water and food. And port-o-lets. Yuck. Which would also mean I would lose my place if I had to go use the toilet due to all of that water drinking. Not to mention, I didn't want my national television debut to be a hot, sweaty me bawling my eyes out when they "move that bus!" because that's what I do.

Anyway, I did watch it on our local TV station. And of course I needed a tissue. The family, friends and citizens of this area have really stepped up to help this family. They held a fundraiser last night that raised over $70,000. It will pay off the mortgage on the house that was torn down and will make a big dent in their medical bills. They are hoping to raise more to buy them a wheelchair friendly van. Many of the vendors, such as landscaping and other maintenance on the house have offered free care over the next several years. A local company has offered a year of free homeowners insurance.

This is the final product. It's a 3500 square foot ranch that the two daughters can move their wheelchairs through. There is also a motorized chair in each of the girls room so that when they are in bed at night and need to go to the bathroom, they can get in the chair and it will take them directly to the toilet. No need to wake their parents or get extra assistance. At least that's how the explanation sounded on the news. They redid the pool the family already had. The pool is used for much of the girls physical therapy and they added a motorized lift to get the girls in and out of the pool.

This is how happy the dad and the rest of the family were!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

He was so excited!

We headed back to the Extreme Makover house yesterday. We were in line for the bus to take us back to the car when we heard people yelling and cheering. We knew this could only mean one thing: a designer was out and about! Big E wanted to go back so we did. The result is below.

Michael Moloney and Big E.

Michael Moloney's autograph on Big E's Heinz Ketchup shirt! Too perfect.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; Part 2

Big E and I went to the Extreme Makeover home today. It was pretty exciting to see everything and it was surprisingly not too crowded. There may have been 75 or so people there to watch. It was later in the day and it did start raining some, so maybe that was keeping people away. They tore down the house yesterday and when we were there today about 5:30pm, they were already putting the base of the roof on and the insulation/Tyvek stuff on the frame of the house. Wow, they move fast!

Big E and I did manage to see:

Paul, the guy in the white construction hat and light colored shirt. He's our favorite.

We also got to see
Paige. She's in the hot pink construction hat and shoes. Big E likes her.

We were also excited to see

Ty. He's the guy in the blue baseball cap. He's a cutie. While he was out walking around and talking to the construction crew and videographers, I couldn't help but think "OH MY GOD. IF HE WALKS DOWN HERE I WILL JUST DIE! MY HAIR IS A MESS!" It made me laugh that that thought went through my head as I was standing there in the hot, humid air and slight drizzle which caused my hair to fuzz and curl out of control.
Michael Molony and Ed Sanders are here, too, but we did not see them. Maybe next time!
We are going to try to go back again in the morning or on Monday morning just to see what is up. I do enjoy taking my kiddos to stuff like this. I like exposing them to things that show them the good that people do for one another. I have volunteered most of my adult life and I know what it feels like to give back. I spent five years with Habitat for Humanity on a Human Resources Committee and Motorcycle Guy volunteered off and on with them, though Big E and Sous Chef were too small to understand what we were doing. Currently they see me volunteer a lot, but it is mostly with the schools and that does have a different feel to it. I hope by exposing them to these events when possible and being a good "volunteer role model", they will develop a love for volunteering themselves and the understanding that giving is so much better than receiving.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Today the family who will receive a home makeover, compliment of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was finally announced. How exciting for this family! They live in a city very close to our city. I tried to sign up as a volunteer, but all the slots are full. Maybe I can swing by one day just to see how it all works. Big E would LOVE it - he tapes this show every week and watches it repeatedly. It is one show that makes me cry EVERY time I watch it.

Read about the family here: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - West Chester

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Let me tell you about my best friend ... update

Lora only wants to add to that she agrees this is a crappy picture and she is going to download some others to see if she can find a better one because we both look WAY better than this!

Also, she attributes the beginning of our friendship not just to us being 21, but to two guys - I started dating a guy who was best friends with her boyfriend at the time. The rest of my story remains as is.

Let me tell you about my best friend...

This is my best friend, Lora. She will probably be pissed I used this picture - it's not the best of either of us. But hey, what do you expect from a waitress whose main duty is NOT photography. Plus, we only see each other a couple of times a year due to our living locations, so I have to take whatever photos I can get.
Anyway, Lora and I met when we were in college. We met briefly our freshman year through mutual friends. Our sophomore year, I was roommates with those mutual friends and had frequent interactions with her. We did not like each other very well. In fact, we did not like each other at all. She thought I was a snob, I thought she was a bitch or maybe it was vice versa. Either way, it doesn't matter, because reality is, we are both a little bit of both. (I am much better now, though!) Fate would have it that we eventually became best friends. I wish I could site some wonderful moment where we had a life altering experience that would change our lives, but we didn't. What brought us together? We turned 21 and none of our other friends did. We were the only two who could go to the unchartered territory of the 21 and over bars throughout our city. That was really all it took. A few drunken evenings, a few crazy all nighters and voila - BFF's. I could go into a lot more details about some of the memories we have, but due to the fact that my children may read this some day, I choose not to do that. I can say we have had a lot of fun together over the years. And it's been great to have this friendship during the not so fun times for each of us. We have been on a couple of fun trips together and look forward to a few more. We have yet to celebrate our 40th birthdays with a relaxing beach trip, but I figure we have all of our 40's to try to make that trip happen!
We are as different as we are alike. We are 28 days apart in age. We both love alternative music, dancing, shopping/clothes, good movies, our families. We love laughing about our kids. We both have a kind of unique sense of humor, though she laughs much more easily than I do and at sillier stuff. She always gets excited when she can tell me a joke or send an e-mail that gets more than a smirk from me. We are both opinionated and independent. We both left careers we loved to stay home with our kids. She is married to one of my husband's friends. He's a Lt. Col. in the Air Force and they seem to move to and from cities that I am moving to and from on the opposite schedule. Because of that, we have not lived in the same city since about 2000. We figure we'll try to retire to the same street.
We are different in our politics (I am more left and she is more right, but don't confuse being "more right" with being "correct"!). She's a planner and I am more spontaneous. She follows the rules a little more whereas I am a rules are "guidelines" kind of gal. She does a lot of research before making decisions and I make gut decisions.
We have known each other since about 1986/87. We have been friends since about 1988. I don't think there have been many days that we have not seen each other or spoken on the phone. Sometimes we talk to each other multiple times a day. So even though we live 100's of miles apart, it's almost like we are together.
She may have some input to this story. I'll let her make a "guest" writing entry if she would like! I get full editing privileges, however.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I know you want me to say 20% but...

I stopped putting permanent hair color on my hair a while back. This was due to the fact that my hair was getting a little frazzled and I am growing it out. I want to get my hair how I want it (either longer or back to short) before I choose a color and start coloring it again. In the interim, I have been using a temporary color which works surprisingly well. However, I last applied temp haircolor a while back - at least 2-3 months ago. When I was "due" to reapply, it was getting close to summer, sun and pool time and I felt it would be a waste of my time. The result is about 1 inch roots. Today I got my hair cut, not short, just shaped to help me keep growing it. It's pretty cute. Anyway, I asked my stylist about hair color, etc. Then I asked the big question -

Me: "How much grey do I have?"
Stylist: "Your roots are about an inch long, but they blend very well with the rest of your hair color."
Me: "No, I mean if I let my roots grow out and never color again, how much grey do I have?"
Stylist: "I know you want me to say 20%, but in reality, it's about 90%"

I swear, she practicially whispered this for fear of what my reaction might be.
Me, with a chuckle: "Jesus, and I'm only 40!"
She looked relieved that I didn't burst into tears.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ladies' Lounge

I spent the last week on a visit to OP with friends. During my first night in OP, I was excited to be reminded how much this group of women make me laugh. I mean deep from the belly laughing until you can't catch your breath. It was so much fun. After my quick one night visit in OP, we went to the lakehouse we always go to. Two of us went on Wednesday and everyone else arrived over the next two days. The laughing continued.