Monday, January 31, 2011

Blizzard Anxiety

So, apparently the Apocalypse is upon us:

Click to enlarge and fear for my life.



I usually don't worry too much about winter storms, but this one's getting so much hype that I'm really beginning to freak out.  It's not the 15-18 inches of predicted snow, the potential six-foot snow drifts which threaten to hold me prisoner in my own home, or the potential boredom that comes with being stuck indoors for days at a time that scares me--what I'm really worried about is losing electricity. 

We don't have a generator for our home, and our only source of warmth is our furnace and some space heaters.  With predicted high temperatures in the single digits and lows well-below zero, I don't know how we'd keep warm, especially if it's too dangerous to leave our house and go anywhere else.  So far, we've had spectacular luck when it comes to power outages, and have never been affected by them for more than a few hours at a time.  Let's all knock on wood for my luck to keep up, shall we?

The worst part of this whole thing is that The Kid has a bad cold, which I'm pretty sure I've contracted as well.  This is going to be a loooooong week.  If the storm pans out as predicted (and I still have power and internet) I'll update with some pictures in the next few days.  I think I'm going to go cook a bunch of chicken breasts up and put them in the fridge, so we'll have something at-the-ready to eat, just in case. 

I need to stop freaking myself out.  I hope I have enough Xanax.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kid in the Front Row Blogathon! ...sorta.

I'm supposed to be taking part in a blog-a-thon, put on by The Kid in the Front Row.  He mentioned it on his blog a while back, and I thought it sounded like fun, so I asked for the rules, via email.  This is what he said:


What I want everyone to do is read their favourite book from childhood, and then write about it. But please only join in if you have time to read it.

I want everyone to write about what it was like to read it again -- why did you/do you love it so much? Does it still resonate? How do you feel reading it? Do you have any new insights?

This isn't about writing a review or anything analytical, it's about reconnecting with your inner child by going back to your favourite book.


Fun!  Right?  I was pumped, I was ready.  Let's DO this!, I thought, the excitement of being part of something bigger than myself in the blog-o-verse running through my veins.  Then, I started thinking:  which book was my favorite as a child?  






...nothin'.  I got nothin'.  






It's not that I was a stupid kid.  I was actually very smart, even so smart as to qualify for the gifted program, GLEAM, in my elementary and middle school days.  I just wasn't a big leisure-reader.  

One of my first Catholic-guilt memories stemmed from my cheating at a summer reading contest sponsored by my city library.  Each week, Mom would take my sister and I to the library to check out as many books as we could hold, and we'd bring them home where I'd pretend to read them.  The librarian recorded the number of books we read, and by the end of the summer, whoever read the most books won some sort of prize.  I'm not sure I read a single one of those books, but I do remember placing in the top-five in that contest.  

No, books were never my thing.  Now, MOVIES--that's a different story.  My sisters, my best friend, and I would all watch the same movies over and over, including Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Heathers, and especially Rad.  

Therefore, instead of reading my favorite book from childhood, I'm watching my favorite movie:  Rad*.  Yeah, I'm breaking the rules, and Kid probably won't link to me because of it but, hey, I do what I want.  At least I get a blog post out of it, even if it's not the one I originally thought it would be.


So, Rad:






For those of you who don't know or have never seen it, Rad is the story of a BMX bike rider named Cru Jones.  Cru and his two friends are way into being gnarly BMX riders, and Cru dreams of becoming a professional one day.  He's so good that the whole town rallies around his riding, including his paper route patrons and the cop who chases him around the lumber yard for kicks:



Riding on a dumpster is clearly the quickest way to deliver USA Today.


Ride, Cru!  Ride!



In a twist of fate, a very important BMX race called "Helltrack" is being held in his hometown, allowing him the opportunity to compete and go pro.  Will Bart Conner and his Mongoose-sponsored teammates get in the way of Cru achieving greatness?  Will Christian, the only female pro-rider in the race, fall in love with him?  Oh, the drama!  Oh, the excitement!

I really enjoyed re-watching this movie.  I did so with my best friend from childhood who just happened to be in town at the time, which made it about ten times better.  It was bizarre how the film struck me as foreign and familiar at the same time.  While every frame of every shot was still imprinted on my brain, there were several elements to the movie that either went over my head or didn't occur to me when I was a child.  For example, Rex and Rod, twin Mongoose-sponsored riders, share a beautiful girlfriend whose name is Foxy.  No, seriously--that's her name.


Gross!


The situation becomes uncomfortable to watch during a freaky dance number to "Music That You Can Dance To":



"Gimme five, bro!  We've got it all!  Mullets, futuristic jumpsuits, and half a girlfriend each!!"



Can we talk about Foxy for a minute?  I know I was seven or eight, and it was highly inappropriate, but I SO wanted to be her back then.  She looked outrageous in that zebra-striped unitard, and she really rocked that banana clip.  Lip gloss was a foreign concept to me at that age, so I was constantly licking my lips, trying to get them to look as impossibly shiny as Foxy's were.



The epitome of 80s glamour, right here.



So, yeah, the sexuality in this movie was a little jarring, watching it now as an adult and parent.  Another thing that struck me as funny was the use of stunt doubles.  Cru's love interest, Christian, is played by Lori Loughlin:



"I will win Cru over with my feathered hair and shoulder pads!"


But when she's bike dancing (oh yes--there is bike dancing!), she becomes a burly man in a bad wig:



"Or maybe I'll use my BMX skillz and my deep voice!"



They really couldn't find a girl rider to do her stunts?  Yikes.  Little things like that annoyed me now more than they did back when I was a kid--either because I didn't notice them then or I was just more able to suspend reality than I am now.  One or the other.  

One of my favorite things about re-watching this movie was that it turned out I remembered the words to all the songs.  Of course, back then I thought that one of them went "send me to Asia" when it was actually "send me an angel", but still--it was all in my brain.  In fact, I can't get these songs out of my head.  I just love 80s movie music.  Something about the catchy, tinniness of them all just leaves me wanting more.  This one especially sticks in my head: 


  ♫♪"They're dying to shake you...trying their best to break you!"♪ ♫
  


By the end of this movie, there WAS thunder in my heart!  I was right back in my living room in 1986, cheering for Cru to win the race and go pro.  


So thank you, Kid.  Even though I didn't actually do the assignment, and would have gotten an incomplete at best if this had been an actual college class, I really enjoyed completing my own version of your blog-a-thon post.  Maybe next time you can assign a poem to write and I can post a bunch of videos of songs from my childhood!  


...Oh, wait--I already did that.




* For any of you looking to find Rad on DVD, I am sorry to tell you that I cannot point you in the right direction.  The Hubby got a copy of it from a friend of his a while back, and that's where mine came from.  Sorry!  If you haven't already, though, take a moment and sign the petition to get Rad legitimately released on DVD.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm Stylish? Really?

Apparently so, because I was given this:



...by TWO--count 'em, TWO--bloggers!  Thank you to Hulabuns of The Binderclips & Hulabuns Chronicles and to Rambling Hutch of Sporadic Sporkitudes for both awarding me this lovely bunch of pixels.  


I'm going to be honest here and let you guys know that I'm not really that impressed with blog awards.  I mean, sure, it's nice to have your existence acknowledged and all, but as I have mentioned before, they are all pretty much the same:  write stuff about yourself, pass it on, yada yada.  I'm not trying to sound ungrateful, I just wish that there were more awards like the OMB!, to make it interesting.  Oh well.  

Let's see if I can come up with some entertaining words in which to accept this icon:




1.  When I was a youngster of three or four, my sister and I saw an airplane land on the roof of our house.  She remembers it as well as I do, and I somehow convinced myself that it was the ghost of Amelia Earhart. 


2.  I am the middle child of three girls...originally.  My parents divorced when I was in elementary school and both re-married.  Therefore, now I also have one half-sister, two half-brothers, a stepsister and a stepbrother.  Actually, I have a niece who's older than some of her uncles (my brothers). We're a confusing-looking family when you see us all together.  


3.  I cry ALL THE TIME.  In fact, I'm crying right now because of American Idol (the dude with the fiancee with the brain damage.  *sniff*).  In an average week, I'd say I cry probably three times, but if it's the right time of the month then I'll cry every single day.  The culprits vary:  emotional news stories, television shows, movies, the right song at the right time, and the occasional emotional breakdown.  I can't help it, but I'd rather feel too much than feel nothing.


4.  I'm 5'8.5".  Just in case you wondered.


5.  I'd usually rather watch a movie I've seen several times than one I haven't seen, at least if I'm watching it at home.  The Hubby hates this, which I don't really understand, since we both buy DVDs, but I seem to be the only one who watches them more than once.  


6.  Gourmet food is my favorite indulgence.  If I was rich, I would spend an exorbitant amount of money eating out at fancy restaurants.  


7.  I played a man in the school play my junior year of high school.  It was really embarrassing, but I wanted to be part of the show so badly that I went along with it.  The next year, I got the lead--which was a female part.  Playing Mr. Gibbs was totally worth it.




Ok, that was painless!  I tried to be brief, because I tend to be a little long-winded in this sort of situation.  

So!  Here are the rules for accepting this award, the first two of which I've completed:


1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!


Ok, FIFTEEN bloggers?  That's a lot.  In fact, I think it's too many.  Here's who I'm passing it on to:

Vanessa at {the best is yet to be}
Krista at Alla Fiorentina
Jennifer at Ramblings of an Insomniac's Mind
NBS at Brooke in the Big City
Skeptical Czarina at Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
and 
Jessica at Meet Me in Missouri


That's all the linking energy I have so...six recipients it is!  

I am going to assume that these people read my blog often, so I'm not going to worry about notifying them.  Come and get 'em, ladies!   

Monday, January 24, 2011

Have I Got a Deal for You!

Do you need a place to stay in Kansas?  Are you tiny and hot-blooded?  Well then I've got the place for you!


Yes, this gorgeous igloo is available immediately for overnight stays at a very reasonable price!






This BREATHTAKING winter home was handcrafted by two of the hardest-working snow lovers this side of the Mississippi.



Are you tired of igloos with only ONE entrance? Well, worry-not! This one has TWO--count 'em--TWO doors!




I know what you're thinking:  But TB, I can't sleep in an igloo without skylights.  Oh-ho-ho, I agree with you there!  They are absolutely essential.  That's why this state-of-the-art igloo comes equipped with TWO skylights as well--at NO EXTRA COST!








Hurry! This offer won't last long! It's only available until the temperature reaches 33 degrees for an extended period of time, or until The Kid eats it. Whichever comes first. 



Act now!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

BDD?

I think I have may have BDD:  Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  However, instead of thinking I'm fat and ugly, I think I'm better-looking than I actually am.


Hear me out.


Growing up, I was never a confident person.  I was not the prettiest girl in school, or the most popular, and I had two sisters who ganged up on me and told me (often) that I was ugly.  After I graduated high school and met The Hubby, he helped me to realize that I am, in fact, good-looking after all.  As I've gotten older, I've grown more comfortable in my body and with my looks, and now I'd say that I have a pretty healthy self-image and am confident that I am an attractive woman. 

Or, at least I thought so--until recently.  Very often as of late, this has been a common occurrence:  I get dressed, put on my makeup and do my hair, and think, Hey!  I look pretty today!  I strut around the house, feeling all Megan Foxy, like this:


Oh, you like my hair?  This is what it looks like when I don't have time to mess with it!



Then, for one reason or another, I wind up in a photo or on a webcam, and the reality is more like this:


Oh, you like my pasty, shiny skin?  This is what I look like in the winter--DEAL WITH IT!!



I'm not comparing myself to Megan Fox because that would be ridiculous (and completely against my New Year's resolution).  I just think I may be losing my looks--or my ability to be photogenic.  I'm really hoping it's the latter, because the idea that I've deluded myself into thinking that I'm prettier than I actually am is more than a little embarrassing, and slightly depressing. 

But really, what is the harm in feeling attractive?  At least I'm not moping around the house, refusing to leave because I feel like a hideous troll.  As long as people don't constantly take photos of me and tag them on Facebook without my permission, I should be alright.  I mean, they couldn't be any worse than the one I just posted anyway, could they?  And as for all the photos from my own camera, well, that's what Photoshop is for.  Who needs psychotropic medication when you have modern technology?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Let's give this a try...

Sorry I've been m.i.a. lately.  Due to the oppressive snow that's been falling on and around my house, I haven't been out much, therefore I haven't had anything very interesting to talk about.  Also, our Wii broke, so I had to send it back to Nintendo to get fixed.  Therefore, I have been extremely busy entertaining my kid who refuses to go outside "until it's Spring and it's my birthday and it's fireworks time".  I mean, there's only so much you can do in 800 square feet with a 3-year old and no video games. We play a lot of Candyland and Memory these days.


The Kid:  "When I go to school and I eat more bedgetables, what will I turn into?" 


Me:  "Honey, you won't turn into anything,.  You'll still be yourself."


The Kid:  "But I don't want to eat bedgetables now.  I don't want to eat bedgetables all the time."

I just had this conversation with him while he was sitting on the toilet. 

Apparently, the old "if you eat your vegetables you'll grow big and strong" coaxing won't work on him anymore.  Darn it.  He says that he doesn't want to grow because he doesn't want to go to school.  Is it possible that I'm doing a better job staying at home with him than I thought I was?  Honestly, I'm surprised that he's not bored to tears here.  One would think that he'd be begging to go to school by now, but noooooo. 

Maybe I'm making it too fun for him, but he's smart and happy, so I don't see any reason to change anything right now.  And I do sneak vegetables in all the time, so he's pretty healthy too.  He likes fruitables juice boxes and veggie straws, and he takes vitamins, so I'd say he's set on the nutrition front--even if he won't eat "bedgetables". 

Oh man, this is a boring post.  I'm so sorry.  Do you see why I haven't written anything?  My brain is so crowded with thoughts of mom stuff that the interesting stuff can't break through.

Other things have been happening, I know they have....Oh!  My best friend since the age of five (I call her Marlene on this blog) just came to visit.  That was fun!  We went out to my favorite French restaurant, Le Fou Frog, and then hung out and watched movies together.  It's so nice to have a friend you can just sit around and relax with, with no pressure to entertain one another.  That's the true test of friendship, I'd say.

The Hubby and I are trying to plan a trip for our ten-year wedding anniversary in July, but nothing's final yet, so I don't want to jinx it. 

So, yeah, if you finished reading this, I apologize that it wasn't more entertaining.  To make up for the lack of content, here's a cute picture of The Kid getting ready to go out and play in the snow (before he got bored of it):



I'll do better next time, I promise.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I Need a Detective to Detect the Detector

Smoke detectors save lives, yes.  But I am not a fan of them right now. 

At about 6:00 this morning, The Hubby had already left for work and The Kid crawled into bed with me and was begging to get up and have some breakfast.  I managed to convinced him that it wasn't morning yet and we both began to snooze when...


CHIRP!

Smoke alarm.  Low battery indicator.  

Luckily, the smoke detector was easily accessible, on the desk in my bedroom.  I had changed the battery a month or so ago and I couldn't get it attached back onto our 8-foot ceiling, so I gave up and left it there.  Thanking my lucky stars that I didn't have to get on a ladder at 6:00 in the morning,  I walked over to the desk, removed the battery from the detector, and went back to cuddle with my (slightly annoyed) son.  How cozy we were!  Until...


CHIRP!

W.  T.  F?????  I felt like Phoebe in that episode of FriendsThis one.  The kid, fully awake now, sat up and said, "Where is that beeping coming from?"  I was confused, since it clearly seemed to be coming from the room in which we were trying so desperately to sleep.  Maybe (in my grogginess) I was wrong?  I got up and stood next to the other detectors in the house and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Why do these things take so long to beep when you are waiting for them, but they seem to beep incessantly when you want them to stop?  And why do the dang things always seem to run out of batteries in the middle of the night?? 


CHIRP!


Nope, it was definitely coming from my room.  Well, what the heck???  This scene from Modern Family sums up my problem pretty succinctly:





So.  Freaking.  Frustrating.

At this point, I allow The Kid to get up since we're both wide awake, and he is doing a great job at helping me find the source of the chirping.  I stand him by one set of detectors, watching them, and I stand in my room and we wait patiently.  And wait.  And wait.  And wait. 

So, apparently these things only chirp for long enough to wake you up and get you out of bed, and then they stop entirely.  ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!

Thanks to Modern Family and its helpful life lessons though, I think I know where it's coming from:  the attic.  Unfortunately, I can't actually get to the attic to check it out, since going up there requires stacking a ladder on a chair on a coffee table and using some upper body strength which I don't possess--so I'll have to wait until The Hubby comes home from work to check it out.  Hopefully the detector can keep it's chirpy little mouth closed until then. 

In the meantime, I'm heading to Costco to buy an economy pack of batteries and putting fresh ones in every alarm I own.  Then, I'll be changing them all again once daylight savings time hits. 

Lesson learned.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm SMOKIN'


...CANDY CIGARETTES!!!  I love these things!!






Real cigarettes = disgusting; Candy cigarettes = sexy and delicious

I just received my case of candy cigarettes from Amazon, and I couldn't be more excited!  I look for these bad boys every time I'm at a candy shop, and I rarely can find them for sale anymore.  When I do see them, they are grossly over-priced, at upwards of $1/box, which is really expensive, if you are familiar with these and know how little candy is in each pack.  When I was pregnant, I craved candy cigarettes so much that I would drive 45 minutes to a mall with a candy store that I knew carried them and buy the whole stock to bring home. 

Though they are very tasty, I guess nostalgia plays a big factor in why I love them so much. 

When I was a kid, we lived a few blocks away from one of the only two gas stations in my town.  Nearly every day, I'd scrounge up $.50 or more and walk with my best friend Marlene to The Kwik Store, which was located just over the railroad tracks.  I would spend upwards of twenty minutes trying to settle on a purchase, and much of the time that purchase was candy cigarettes.  The chalky, sweet cylinders with pink tips were only $.15 per box, so on the days when I couldn't afford a roll of Sprees or a bottle of soda, these are what I would go for.  Let's just say that if they had been real cigarettes, I would have acquired lung cancer by the time I was twelve--that's how many I consumed.

These days, the imagery of two elementary school-aged kids walking by themselves halfway across town, through an overgrown path and across some railroad tracks to a store that sold liquor to buy candy that looks like cigarettes may put some people off.  In fact, even if you cast aside all the other stuff, candy cigarettes are abhorrent to many, mostly those who think that the candy promotes smoking to children.

Am I a crazy person that I never even thought of that when I was placing my order on Amazon?  I mean, I guess I knew that's what they were--it's right in the name, after all*--I've just never thought that they made a person want to smoke.  What about eating delicious sticks of candy makes you want to inhale hot, poisonous smoke into your lungs?  I'm stumped.

So, yes, I am that crazy lady who has a whole case of candy cigarettes.  I had to add a little bit more merchandise to my Amazon order to qualify for the free super-saver shipping, and these just did it.  Don't judge.


24 boxes of Heaven.  Should last me about a week.
 

So, when you see these tasty treats mentioned somewhere and think to yourself, what kind of mother would let her kids eat those?, just remember this photo:


The Kid loves them too!


Now, I just have to get him to stop saying, "Mom, can I have a cigarette?".  Either that or we'll just start hanging out at lower-class establishments so nobody blinks an eye.  I haven't decided yet.   

 


*To be fair to the manufacturer, nowhere on the box does it actually say "candy cigarettes".  The boxes look like cigarette boxes, and they still have the little pink tips, simulating a burning end, but they are identified as "King Size Candy".  They probably got sued or something.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A new year, a new outlook on life.

So, yeah, I didn't finish my "Best of" series.  I started a whole bunch of them, but then I kept seeing the same lists all over sites like Defamer and Yahoo!, so I decided to scrap the idea.  They'd been done.

What I realize now is that the whole experience turned into a bit of a metaphor for my life.  I'm notorious for getting really excited about something, starting it, and then psyching myself out because I think someone else can do it better than I anyway, so why try?  Well, not this year.

This morning, I woke up feeling great, with a clear head and no hangover.  This is partly due to the fact that I have a 3-year old son, so it's easier to stay home than to hire a babysitter (at $100+) and go somewhere (for $100+), only to drink too much and wake up puffy and covered in glitter the next day.  It's also, however, due to the fact that nobody invited us to a family-friendly New Year's Eve party, which I'm pretty sure was going on since most of my friends mentioned something about it on Facebook.

At first, my feelings were really hurt.  It's hard not to take this sort of thing personally, especially when you consider some of these people to be your really good friends.  But then, as the evening progressed and I started to reflect upon what I'd like to change this year, I came to the realization that none of it really matters.  Listen, not to sound conceited or anything, but I have it pretty good.  I love my husband very much, I have a very smart and well-behaved son who I also love very much, we are all relatively healthy, we have a home we can afford, we have no credit card debt to speak of, and we love spending time together as a family.  Could we have more?  Sure, who couldn't?  But we have all we need.

I guess I knew all this before, since I've had a hard time coming up with a New Year's resolution; I'm actually so happy in my life that it's hard to think of anything I'd want to change.  However, the reflecting I've been doing has brought me to one big resolution:   

This year, I will stop comparing myself to others and I will be happy with what I have and who I am.

I've wasted too much time this year feeling inferior by comparison. Yes, Megan Fox is beautiful, but I will never look exactly like Megan Fox, so I should be happy that I'm attractive in my own way.  Sure, some of my friends live in better climates with big homes and high-powered careers, but that shouldn't make me any less appreciative of a beautiful Spring day or the time I get to spend with my son.  So what if I didn't get invited to a New Year's Eve party?  At least I woke up sober and clear-eyed and ready to take on the new year.  


This is not the face of someone who drank too much last night!
  


So, I hereby declare 2011 the year of happiness!  




...it may as well be, since we're all going to die in 2012 anyway.  ;)





ETA:  I just want everyone to know that I'm not really upset about the whole NYE thing anymore.  Things turned out great, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.  If you are reading this and you feel bad, please don't!   I didn't write this post to call anyone out on anything or to make anyone feel bad.  I was just using the situation as a means to an end to talk about my resolution.  Have a happy New Year everyone!
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