Wednesday, January 31


Why isn't there some kind of a test you have to pass before they give you a checkbook, or a visa check card?

I can see if you are eighteen and just got your checkbook, you might need to ask how to change the cents on the check and have it still be legal. But when you are WELL into your forties, if not beyond them, you should pretty much have the change it and initial it thing down.

The same thing goes for the Visa check cards. IF you don't get that I'm processing it as a credit card, because that's all that we take, but it is still coming out of your Checking, so could you please NOT have kittens, well I'm afraid I'll have to cut up your card.

I want a big REVOKED stamp and some indelible red ink. I'm just gonna stamp your forehead, riiiight here, above your eyebrows. I have revoked your checking rights, I have revoked your visa check card. Pay in Cash.

Thursday 13 #25

Thursday Thirteen can be seen at:

Click on the Toilet Paper!

Wednesday Hero

LCpl. Nicholas J. Manoukian
LCpl. Nicholas J. Manoukian22 years old from Lathrup, Michigan1st Marines 6th Batallion 2nd Marine DivisionOct 21, 2006Hereis a website that LCpl. Manoukian's mother set up for her son after he lost his life in Ramadi.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.It Is Foolish And Wrong To Mourn The Men Who Died. Rather We Should Thank God That Such Men LivedThis post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by clicking here.

The Oscars are coming. Who will thank this young man for his bravery, or his family for their sacrifice? Could you bitch about the luxury taxes on your Oscar gift bag one more time, because I don't think the soldier's wives can hear you while they wait in line at the payday loanshark, trying to find a way to pay the mortgage.

Tuesday, January 30

Monday, January 29

The Horror of BMHG's, and the Missing O

tall girls
Originally uploaded by Lyubov.

When we all hit middle school, there were certain girls that were clearly taller than certain boys. We all soldiered on with the comforting thought that the boys would be late bloomers, but everything would even out. As time wore on, it became clear that our mothers had been giving out false comfort. We were tall girls, and some of those boys were always going to be speaking to our training bras.

We each dealt with this in our own way. Some girls hunched their shoulders to try and be smaller, somehow. Other girls figured out that there was no shame in being tall, and kept their shoulders back, and their heads high.

As we moved into high school, I noticed a disturbing trend. The tall girls who hunched their shoulders seemed suspended in this junior high stage of being boy crazy. I watched in horror as they twittered and simpered their way down the hallways, as if they were the mice from Cinderella come to life. Six foot tall Valkyries, mincing down the hallways, giggling and chittering like fifth graders at the first boy-girl party. As their boyfriends rounded the bases, they became the most horrifyingly vocal aggressors. They stalked their crushes like prey, and everything was drama. UGH. I became hyper aware of my own actions, and went to great lengths to avoid being seen as a BMHG. They were the Big, Maaaaan Hungry Girls.

One of the BMHG's rode the bus with me, and had a locker next to me. We were each slowly removing the Duran Duran pins from our jackets one by one, working our way towards adulthood. But Michelle had the most God-Awful habit of bringing her romance novels to school. I could not have been more horrified. I read my mom's trashy novels, and they were FABULOUS. But I'd sooner be caught dead than be seen reading one. I used to snatch them out of her locker and read the backs out loud in my most dramatic voice, trying to get her to "cool up" a bit and leave them at home. Even years later, when I ran my own bookstore, and read every cheap smut novel printed, I never read them in public.

I read cheap historical romance novels.

I'm outing myself. I can tear through a typical romance novel in about three hours--If Little O is bugging me. They are usually over quicker than that. (One of the reasons I love Sci-Fi is that it takes me a lot longer to read because the concepts are so different.) The impetus of this whole post was that this weekend, I read a phrase that stopped me cold.

"Tiny stars burst behind her eyes and the taste of honey rose on her tongue."

I have to admit that I did not come to the marriage bed in a pure, virginal state. Ahem. This isn't one of those blogs, so let's just say that I don't feel like I've missed out on life. Tiny stars? Yeah, I've been there. But the taste of honey? There is a whole new crop of BMHG's coming up, and they are going to be bitter, indeed, when they fail to taste the honey.

Mother of the Year-Valley Style

I often joke that I'm not sure how I'll get thru Big O's teenage years.

I'm pretty sure it won't be like this:

She's 35, she has a 16 year old son.
For his birthday, she throws him a party.
(So far, I am right there with her.)
In honor of the occassion, she liquors them all up.
(There went the fork in the road!)
Then she throws them all out to drive home.
Twelve of them get into a serious accident on the way home, injuring 11 out of 12.
(How in the holy hell did they get twelve in a car? Was one of them driving the group-home van?)

WAIT! The hits just keep on coming!

One of the kids let slip that he and the Mrs. did the bone dance while celebrating the birth of her son, his friend. His sixteen year old friend.
(If he had the most exquisite body on earth, it'd still be a teenage boy's body, with all of the skill and control of a ferret on crack--eeeww.)
She is married to a cop in a neighboring town.
(Should I say was?)

Okay, the sex thing is unconfirmed, and I could be wrong that everyone was in one car--maybe it was TWO cars full of drunk teenagers that she sent home once she'd had her fill (As it were).
Ah, life in the great Central Valley of California. From the folks who brought you the kiddie-tackling football coach.

Sayre started it!

You scored as Cinderella.Your alter ego is Cinderella! You often find yourself doing a lot of housework, but if you are patient, your hard work usually pays off. You are prone to losing things, so dont rush through everything.

Peter Pan








Sleeping Beauty


Cruella De Ville




The Beast


Donald Duck


Snow White

Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with

Hmmm, somehow my answers about hating housework got me here, but I DO lose things...

Take this test at Tickle

Your true color is Black!

The color of night. Serene and mysterious, black conjures up images of elegant evening gowns, dashing tuxedos, and gleaming limousines. Traditionally a symbol of success, black also represents power and an uncompromising demand for perfection. Not surprisingly, you tend to set challenging goals for yourself and do whatever it takes to achieve them — your strength of character is second to none. This unfaltering determination, along with your natural elegance, impresses people. But keep in mind that your personality might be intimidating to some. Try to temper your demanding side with a little softness — trust us, it won't kill you. Overall, though, black is the color of professionalism and achievement, which means it's clearly the color for you.

What's Your True Color?

Brought to you by Tickle

I'd have guessed something else. I don't know why.

Your 1950s Name is:

Glenda Charlene

At least it wasn't Rhonda! I was almost a Rhonda, and I don't think I'd have been a good one!

Sunday, January 28

Woo HOO!

I would like to applaud Miz Bananas on her conversion to new Blogger.

Her blog would be complete if only she had a DorkBloggers button. She's probably waiting for the button with the toilet paper on the shoe...

Saturday, January 27

It's a Saturday Hero

His blog is Lumberjack in the Desert.

(Kimmy, don't read it, because you will cry.)

I post the Wednesday Heroes, about soldiers who have given their lives for our country. Those posts are sent to me by the organizer of teh Weds. Heroes, and I try to add my little green blurb at the end of each of them.

What about a carpenter who has given his arm, and most of the function in his remaining hand? I have to say, I've been having fun with the DorkBlogger thing, but what a dose of cold water reality.

Can we ever say it enough?

Regardless of your politics, Support our Troops.


Of all the characters listed, I get KIRK?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Friday, January 26


It was Kismet!


CRSE, too, was called by the notion of DorkBlogging.

When you are more than just a Mommyblogger(or not a mommy at all), but lack the javascript credentials of a card carrying GEEK, ask yourself--are you, perhaps a dork?

The answer is out there, my friends.


Help us find the perfect graphic for our button!

Better yet, Join Us!

Wednesday, January 24

Thursday 13 #23-Blogging Questions...

Originally uploaded by Suzy0928.

There are so many fabulous looking blogs out there. Tricked out ones, ones with fabulous graphics, clever toys that pop up unexpectedly… I have expressed my lust for a pretty blog before, and while I like the clean, simple lines of this template, it’s also a little boring.

Here are my 13 Blogging Questions:

1. How do you do the strike through thing? I thought that I had the right html code, but it was wrong…

2. What could I be doing wrong that photos saved to my computer won’t show up? I looooove some of the TT headers, but I have never been able to get one to show up.

3. Is typepad better than blogger? Is it easier, or is it better for people who know their mouse from a hole in the ground?

4. What is the bloggy etiquette for blogging flickr photos? I thought that if the “blog this” button was available, permission to use had already been granted? Is that incorrect? I hope not, because I just discovered TT headers on Flickr!

5. How do you do the roll up blogrolls, so they are tucked discreetly out of the way? (Great Lakes State Of Mind)Or how about that clever box that takes up a finite amount of space, but someone can scroll down through to see the rest? Love those…

6. Header graphics—moron simple, or advanced stuff that requires opposable thumbs and a working knowledge of coding?

7. I read lots of people that I don’t comment on, because either I have nothing to say, or someone has said it before me in the comments and I’d feel like a dork just parroting someone else. Is that kind of lurking a bad thing?

8. Linky etiquette: Isn’t it wrong to throw your link into the linky box unless you also comment? I lurk, but I also don’t ask for a link without a comment.

9. What is the advantage of Haloscan comments vs. Blogger comments? (Aside from Blogger’s general brainfarts and outages)

10. Am I not a mommyblogger because I blog about other stuff, too? My kids are, I think, integrated into my blog pretty thoroughly, but not EVERY post—or am I excluded from being a mommyblog because I curse? Am I a Bad Mommyblog? Oohh, I’ve never been a rebel before… Okay, is there a category for dorkblogs?

11. I think I saw the explanation in someone’s blog the other day, but it was STILL over my head-the thing where your mouse hovers over something and a little box shows a comment by the blog author, or shows when their link was last updated—that link update thing is VERY cool.(Death’s Door)

12. Is it just annoying to blog about my family and NOT have a cast of characters to refer to?

13. Are my entries too long? (Is this the bloggy equivalent of does this blog make my ass look big?)

Sorry to be a wailing, insecure blogger. But I have this odd luck with computers—I swear it’s like I generate my own personal magnetic field and they all become just a little fey when I ‘m around them for too long.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday Hero

Lt. Col. Michael E. McLaughlin
Lt. Col. Michael E. McLaughlin
44 years old from Mercer, Pennsylvania
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard
January 4, 2006

Sitting in the car with Lt. Col. Michael E. McLaughlin's 18-year-old daughter, her father's friend of 21 years had just broken the news of his death.

During years of friendship and service in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Lt. Col. McLauglin and retired Capt. Brad Mifsud had a bond so close that they promised each other if something were ever to happen to either one of them, they would be there for the other's family.

Lt. Col. McLaughlin died when a suicide bomber rushed through a crowd of Iraqi police recruits in Ramadi and detonated a bomb that also killed a Marine and nearly 80 Iraqis. The day before the attack, Lt. Col. McLaughlin said he was fully confident that Ramadi had finally turned a corner in the insurgency. As hundreds of local men streamed into the Ramadi Glass Factory on Wednesday to join the city’s long-defunct police force, a wide grin spread over a pinch of tobacco stuffed into the 44-year-old’s lower lip.

"This may not look like much, but it's history," McLaughlin told a reporter. "We're making history right here."

With a significant wound to the back of his head, Lt. Col. McLaughlin turned to his injured personal security detail officers and inquired about their well-being. Waving off medical attention, he asked them to check on the soldiers under his command.

"In an act of extreme selflessness, he stated that he was OK, but to concentrate on saving the lives of his men," said Col. Grey Berrier, a close friend of Lt. Col. McLaughlin.

Lt. Col. McLaughlin died shortly after giving that instruction, according to the Guard.

A long-time artillery officer in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, McLaughlin was assigned to Task Force 2-222 Field Artillery and was the primary liaison between the 2-28 Brigade Combat Team and local tribal and government leaders in Ramadi. His efforts were instrumental in getting local sheikhs to support the recruitment drive and encourage more than 1,000 area men to volunteer for the force, commanders said.

"Mike is a true hero in every sense of the word, and he died while doing his job the only way he knew how - out front and with great enthusiasm and courage," said Col. John L. Gronski, commander of the 2-28 BCT. "This loss only strengthens our resolve to carry on and complete the mission in order to honor his memory."

A gregarious wisecracker, McLaughlin said his hope was to one day return to a peaceful Iraq, where he planned to walk the streets of Ramadi in a traditional Arab "man dress," or dishdasha, and sip coffee and chai with those sheikhs he had met during the war. McLaughlin said that one particular tribal leader he had developed a close relationship with dubbed him "The Sheikh of Sheikhs" - a nickname that was soon picked up by fellow officers in the brigade.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
It Is Foolish And Wrong To Mourn The Men Who Died. Rather We Should Thank God That Such Men Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by clicking here.

He died one year and three weeks ago tomorrow. Here come the Oscars. Will they read the name of Lt. Col. Michael E. McLaughlin? Remember him while we dish on Beyonce's dress and Borat's one-liner. Why doesn't anyone want to hear about our heroes? This man was serving in the National Guard. Military families are left to struggle while Washington lobbyists spend obscene amounts of money. They spend it on Republicans and Democrats both, this isn't about politics--there is something wrong in our country that we don't take care of the loved ones of those serving in our names. Last New Years Eve, his daughter was counting down until she saw her dad again. I just ache for her, and for every little girl whose dad won't be coming home. I realize that she's 19, but she'll always be his little girl--she and others like her should be ours, too. Support them. Any way you can.

Monday, January 22

No more Laundromats!

Drive-By Laundry
Originally uploaded by Finntasia.

But more importantly, Flickr is once again blogger friendly!
No more booooooring posts!

But maybe someone will send me another nasty note about using thier photo without asking first?

I'm going to ask about it in my TT....stay tuned!

Sunday, January 21

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Happy 1/4 Century, BRE!

Yes, My fishbowl companion is an infant. If I can remember the year you were born? You are, sadly, an infant. But whatta gal. She's smart! Funny! Works like a demon! Total non-drama queen until you get rude and try to force feed her her own cake, and you know what? She's classy then, too.

I love ya breezy, and hope your birthday kicked ass.

Saturday, January 20

Send a Soldier a Valentine--but hurry!

Follow this link, but hurry! She needs them in Georgia no later than Jan. 26th.

Operation Valentine

Support our troops.

Hellooooo, Guilty Pleasure.

I heart the bitchy review site IT2M.

They are brutal. They are particular. They hate Mommybloggers, people who whore out their blogs (um, PayPerPost, anyone?), and black backgrounds. Okay, mine is a very dark grey, but still... I am constantly amazed that people submit their blogs to this site and are mortally wounded/deeply offended/completely psychotic about the reviews that they get. They (the IT2M crew) only truly like about one in twenty.
I am sure that there are loving supportive blog review sites that offer constructive criticism and cheerleading for the blogs that they deem less than top notch. But IT2M is NOT that site.
I know enough to NEVER submit my blog to them, because I like my fragile self esteem and reed-like ego intact, thank you. They are how I found Death's Door, which I read faithfully now. He was one of the few that they liked, even with the black template of Doom (or is it Death?). What is it in people that makes them submit to a site like that? Because some of them are, really, pretty bad--do we all think that we are hysterically funny, and we all need to be smacked? Is it really the same thing that makes you blog in the first place, and my sense of self importance is going to balloon out of control the longer I blog? Or are they just the blog variation of the same pinheads who steroid up their car stereos until they can be used to remove loose fillings? Crazy. That's what they are. But the reviews of their blogs can be entertaining.

It's like the American Dream...UAE style

So I browse the PayPerPost listings from time to time, to see if there's anything that I know anything about that might make me a little bit of green towards my dream of keeping Big O in hoodie sweatshirts until the cold snap is over...

While we may be entering an unannounced ice age which has killed the citrus crop in California, and I may lose a little toe to frostbite, There is no cold snap in Dubai.

Excuse me, Jennifer? Dubai? What could you possibly know about Dubai except that Michael Jackson runs there to avoid extradition? Well, I have passed this opportunity on Payperpost on more than one occasion, and I would have said "nothing." But then we got our subscription to National Geographic at work, and there was an article on Dubai! Two days later our Budget Travel came in, and there it was again! It seemed, my bloggy friends, like destiny.

It's a neat story of the little sheik that could. With nothing like the EPA, or, say, OSHA, to stop him, The man decided that Oil was NOT going to be enough to save his country/kingdom. So he dredged the hell out of his little creek (really, it's Dubai Creek, I think), and built a world class port. Then he built high rise hotels all along the water, created a fabulous investment friendly economy (no taxes), and started building artificial islands so that all of the folks could spend $3-30 million on beach front homes.

The National Geographic article (surprise!) also mentions the indentured servitude that many asian workers find themselves trapped in to work here, and the squalid conditions that they live in. But even NG acknowledges that it's pretty free of racial strife, in spite of the multiple ethnicities crammed into such a small area. The Budget Travel looooved the variety of ethnic food available, and found it surprising that the hotels were often good sources of good food (as opposed to bland, "safe" food usually found at hotels).

sigh. I will probably never make it to Dubai (sorry, Budget Travel, but you guys are NOT looking at MY budget), but if you have any friends that worshipped Ronald Reagan, I think this place really is the Republican American Dream come to life--in the middle of the United Arab Emirates. Without the EPA to save the coral reefs, or OSHA to protect the worker bees, They have created luxury living like Vegas (being landlocked, and trapped in American bureaucracy) could only dream of. The sponsor of this post encourages you to check out their Dubai property. I think that most of my bloggy friends have budgets closer to my own than Donald Trump, so I encourage you to go out to the library and read about the little sheikh that could in the January issue of National Geographic. Neat stuff, unless you're a big fan of Coral Reefs or human rights. You know what? It's still a neat story about a man with a dream, allowed to fulfill it unchecked. Somewhere out there, Ronald Reagan is smiling.
This was a flippin' sponsored post.

Friday, January 19

I got tagged! I got tagged!

Sheesh! Step away from the computer for two days and what happens? Kim not only posts something, she posts a meme and tags ME!!! (Yay)

It's the Mastercard Meme, or The Priceless 5, or, um, yeah. The meme.

Very simple meme, take the numbers 1-5 then priceless while matching them up with number type things in your life (you could go to 10 if you want to, I don't feel like it at this particular moment in time).

5... The number of people the Honey would like to have in our little family. Favorite Sister-in-law (and we may have to re-think that title) has planted it in Little O's head that she is getting a baby brother for Christmas.

4... The number of times I have skipped Thursday Thirteen since I started...but the original blog that I stalked, Casual Slack, has started occasionally doing TT's, so I figure it balances out, cosmically speaking.

3... The number of dryers I have gone through since moving into my ghetto duplex. Number three was finally installed this week--no more laundromats-yay! What am I doing to kill them?

2... Lifetimes worth of laundry I have to catch up on this weekend. ugh.

1... aneurysm I thought I was having--my wireless keyboard finally needs it's batteries changed. I thought my typing had suddenly gone to hell, but I knew I was hitting all of the keys...

Priceless... Shopping with Little O and realizing that she talked nonstop for three hours, and that it's exactly what I used to do. If my parents never stuffed a sock into my mouth, I guess I have to resist the urge as well. Good thing she's entertaining!

I am tagging CRSE, as soon as she is feeling better, Sayre, and The "Mind". I'd also like to tag Jenny in CA, but I know she's got a full plate right now.

I are a hi skewl gradyit.

We are currently accepting applications for drivers.
They have to fill out the applications on site.
Several of them would like US to fill them out for them.
I had issues when I was a mall manager and people would bring me soggy, chewed up applications that they had only half filled out (at best), and then wanted me to hire them.  My own personal litmus test (read instant rejection) was the kid who asked for an application and then immediately stood at my counter filling it out. 
If you don't get that standing in front of my register, taking up all available counter space is a bad thing, you do NOT have the instincts for retail.  My girl Jen used to make bookstore applicants write a one page essay about why they wanted to work at the bookstore.  She rocks.  Talk about separating the wheat from the chaff--an Essay!  Bwahahahahaaaaaa! 
The driver applications are a small book, and then we ask them to fill it out on site, so they can be forgiven for taking up my counter space, but let's be real.  I am NOT the girl to ask about DOT certification issues, or explain the points on your DMV record.  I am also not told how much drivers earn, since I can promise you it is MUCH more than my piddly wages.  I know exactly what is on the fact sheet that is posted on the board.  The one I invited you to read when you walked in.  I cannot read you the application, tell you how to fill it out, or help you remember your social security number. 
It is against the law to alter an application in any way.  I can't staple things for them--I have to hand them the stapler and let them do it themselves (learned that in retail).  That way they cannot come back and say that the way we put the staple on secretly signaled HR that they were a tweaker who lost his wallet and tossed our lobby twice before finding it out in his truck. 
But really, I suspect that the quality of the application is pretty revealing about the applicant, anyway.  We got one that had his name, and his signature.  He turned in a nineteen page application with no telephone number or address.  No work history.  Just his name and signature. (That one was not for a driving position, but STILL--I may as well be back in retail.)

Wednesday, January 17

Wednesday Hero

This week I have three people to talk about. Roy Velez and his two sons, Jose and Andrew. One who was lost in Iraq and another who lost his life in Afghanistan.

It happens almost daily. A stranger reaches out to comfort Roy Velez, unintended symbol of unspeakable loss and grief.

Today it's a woman who approaches as he's halfway through breakfast at Montelongo's Mexican restaurant.

"My brother told me about you and your sons," she says, extending her hand.

He takes her small hand between his - this sturdy man who has buried two boys who went off to war - and listens gently as her own story of sorrow spills forth. Her 8-year-old daughter, a traffic accident, her son at the wheel.

As waiters bustle about with trays of huevos rancheros and barbacoa plates, Mr. Velez does what he does best: offers up a soft prayer to help this mother endure her emptiness.

Strangers learn about Mr. Velez from newspapers and TV. They come to him to share their gratitude or their grief. They come to thank him and console him, tearfully, for his family's sacrifice.

This is how Mr. Velez chooses to live after losing two sons in two years, not riven with anger or paralyzed with sadness. But as someone ready for those who might slip into the darkness of despair.

For his strength for others, compassion and grace - and for serving as inspiration for anyone who knows his story - Mr. Velez is the 2006 Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year.

Because this story is so long, I've linked to the article which you can read in it's entirety.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by clicking here.

Not a lot I can say that wasn't said above. But the golden globes were on, and the Velez brothers weren't mentioned. We saw in the news last night that a red digital reader board counting the lives lost overseas was taken down somewhere in the bay area, I think, because city officials deemed it offensive. How? Again, I think something like that is neither pro OR anti war, it's just a reminder that lives are being lost and that we should honor the fallen. HOW could that possibly be offensive? (Unless it also showed Bush as a monkey, or sucking oil through a drinking straw at an oil well, but the news didn't say that.) I think remembrance is the very least that we owe these families.

Tuesday, January 16

Flying Spaghetti Monsterism

I know that there are people who read my blog that have deep seated religious beliefs, I adore them all, and don't want to offend anyone.

Having said that, I heart the Flying Spaghetti Monster and all that it stands for in the world of education.

Laughed my ass off.


Monday, January 15

She is the Pied Piper...

Damn that CRSE, she puts such juicy morsels on her blog, and I just can't help myself. My blog-quiz diet is blown--isn't it de-lish?

You scored as Miyamoto Musashi.

You're considered a sword saint, whatever the fuck that is. You don't give two hoots what weapon or tact people come at you with, as your solution is a steady grip on a sharp blade and it tends to work.

You're never going to be defeated in battle, but you are going to die of Cancer.

What Pseudo Historical Figure Best Suits You?
created with

Here's how the rest shook out....

Miyamoto Musashi


Friedrich Nietzsche


Steven Morrissey


Stephen Hawking


Elvis Presley


Dante Alighieri


Sigmund Freud


Jesus Christ


Hugh Hefner


Adolf Hitler


C.G. Jung


Charles Manson


Mother Teresa


O.J. Simpson


What Pseudo Historical Figure Best Suits You?
created with


I heard the name of a local high school athlete today, and it caught me off-guard.
It's such a distinctive name. It could be her. She wasn't mine, but I was ready to love her. My friend Lolly gave her to a couple that was ready, even desperate, for a child of their own. It was an open adoption, so Lolly got to help choose a name. It was an unusual name, and I heard it on the radio today.

I've often wondered about her. Lolly came from a CrAzY family, and while she had a wonderful relationship with her grandmother, she and her own mom were distant, bitter strangers, and that was how she liked it. When she showed up preggers and homeless, her mother was delighted. Here was something she could INSTRUCT her daughter in, and she would HAVE to listen...

She didn't know her very well.

She found herself a job, and she found herself an apartment, and proved to her mom and to herself that she could do anything she set her mind to. I was so eager to be supportive and helpful that I think I never shut up and listened. In the end, I was panicking, because she wasn't READY, and she thought she had to shield me from her decision, because I seemed so eager for the baby. I'd brought up adoption once, but she had shied away, so I decided I was gonna be all the support she DIDN'T get from her family. Aw, crap. I turned into the friendly version of her mom. I couldn't understand why she didn't think she needed a crib, some clothes, anything. What was she thinking? We had to think about the future, here!
And so I found out after the baby went south that Lolly HAD been thinking about more than one day to the next. She chose a better life for her daughter than what had been given to her. Her mother showed up at the same time as the adoptive parents, and made a huge scene, apparently. Just firmed up in Lolly's mind that what she was doing was the right choice for the kiddo.
I'm sad as I read about Quinn's miserable experience as an adoptee. I hope that Michael Anne has had a good run with her parents, and that they are supportive and loving. After I heard her name on the radio, I found the blog Do they have salsa in China, something like that, detailing their journey through the adoption process to adopt a baby (they ended up with twin girls!), and I read it from the start. It gives me hope that they are so filled with joy about those babies.
It's how you assume every adoptive parent starts out. I hope Lolly stayed in contact with M.A.'s family so she can answer questions, and maybe M.A. won't have to struggle with the why's. I'm sure she is a blessing to her family every day--even through the ugly hormonal years. (Sooooo not looking forward to those with Little O)

Saturday, January 13

Wednesday, January 10

Thursday Thirteen #22

13 Occasions My Inner Voice Failed me!

1. I am SO glad my coworker-with-no-formal-training has volunteered to cut my hair in time for the Honey's Christmas party tonight! After all, she can't make it look any worse than it does right now…hmm, well, I guess we can just use the work scissors.

2. I have plenty of time.

3. Oh, bubby was so cute with that little screwdriver in his hand, wait til his daddy comes home and sees how quickly he can take things apart. I'd better take it away now…where is he? He was just here!

4. Oh, that's silly. Nobody really drinks on the job. Let's just stop all of the dramatic accusations, and get back to work.

5. Ha-ha. It doesn't really mean anything that the only song my new husband and I can think of as "our song" is Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden. Nothing at all.

6. Nobody will notice one black sock and one blue.

7. I'll do it tomorrow.

8. He's too nice a guy to cheat. If I'm the bitchy one, and I wouldn't cheat, then HE would NEVER cheat.

9. A manager! I'm going to be a manager! How glamorous! Of course I'll go back to school, but how can I turn down such a fabulous opportunity to earn little to nothing—Ohh, it's salary! I'll be able to take extra time off, no problem! This is gonna be so great!

10. Wow—how mature of him to be living with his sister to save money as he goes to college. I just moved out on my own and got a low paying job in retail, paying my own way. He must be super smart and very responsible to live with his sister and her husband who do everything for him.

11. How cool to move in with your best friend—we'll be just like the Odd Couple—She's neat and I'm sloppy, but friendship can overcome silly obstacles like that! (Thank Dog our Friendship did survive that THAT adventure—love ya, Kat!)

12. If I don't open that, it means it's not going to happen.

13. How different could self rising flour be?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday Hero

Spc. Jordan William Hess
Spc. Jordan William Hess
27 years old from Marysville, Washington
Company C, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment
December 5, 2006

"Specialist Hess died of wounds received on a battlefield upon which no markers or memorials exist, yet his name will be etched upon the small part of each of our hearts that has hardened to stone by the realization of his passing. I will take Specialist Jordan Hess’ name to my own grave, in the hope that I can somehow preserve the honorable life that he led,” said Capt. Ian Lauer, commander of Company C.

Spc. Hess was a study in contrasts who loved a challenge. He had a warrior's spirit and was thrilled at the chance to serve his county, his parents said from their home in Marysville. He also was content to look for his muse in various forms of art, including glass-blowing, photography and poetry. It was this balance that people will remember most about the 26-year-old who was critically injured Nov. 11 in Ta'Meem, Iraq, when an IED detonated near his combat patrol.

A three-year veteran in the U.S. Army, Hess spent more than a year in Korea as well as time in Germany, always looking for an overseas assignment, Bill and Tammy Hess said. They knew their son was on his way to Kuwait the last time they spoke with him in October, and they suspected he had been deployed to Iraq as part of a tank unit when they didn’t hear from him for several weeks. After his injury, Hess was flown back to the United States and treated for several weeks at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. His parents, as well as his six brothers and one sister, were flown there to be with him.

"None of us wanted to see him hurt like that," Bill Hess said. "But one of the greatest blessings in my life was that we were able to say goodbye."

Hess was an avid wrestler from the time he was young, and news of his death circulated at Lake Stevens High School, where he attended until 1999. "He was a strong-willed, independent young man with a unique sense of humor," the Lake Stevens wrestling coaches said in a statement. "The Lake Stevens wrestling community today feels a strong sense of loss."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by clicking here.

He was a glassblower, a photographer, and a poet. Not exactly the warmongering stereotype my anonymous commenter had in mind, and that's the point of these posts. These folks aren't sterile numbers, they are lives sacrificed, ended too soon. The people's choice awards were on last night. NOBODY MENTIONED JORDAN WILLIAM HESS. Whether you believe in the war or not, remember the soldiers with their lives on the line, and honor the sacrifices they and their families are making.

Tuesday, January 9

Mission Impossible: kitchen cabinets

Here's what I gleaned from the twenty e-mails today. 
Drink water.
Lay out your clothes before you go to bed.
Your mission for the day is to toss sippy cup lids that fit nothing, OR, alternately, toss sippy cups without lids.  Personally, I'd keep one on hand for your cousin's kid that only drinks things that are violently pink and always spills on the lightest item in any room.  C'mon, you know that kid.  In my life, it's usually MY kid.  
This applies to :
the gladware that is permanently orange
the old deli container that you lost the lid to 
The rubber headed spatula that always falls off the stick when you are scraping out cake batter
that taco bell spork that's been riding around in your silverware drawer forever  
your epic collection of half unwrapped fast-food straws 

Monday, January 8

Mission Impossible: Fridge

Today, I have declared, is Tupperware Evacuation Day.*
(a.k.a. the night before trash day)
As a part of my COMMITMENT to a cleaner, more streamlined house/life/existence, I am posting this for my bloggy friends to witness.  JOIN ME!  We will start a REVOLUTION!!!!!!!  (Okay, other people just DO this stuff, but I need some fanfare to get excited about it)
I re-subscribed to fly lady, and this time I asked for the one-a-day email, so they sent me one e-mail in 19 parts.  I like the fly lady stuff, I do.  But NINETEEN things?  Okay, one was just a reminder to drink water, but NINETEEN?
*If you live at my house, it's not technically Tupperware.  Instead, it's time for me to cautiously lift the aluminum foil on the forty two plates and bowls that my poor Mexican Honey's mother has sent home with us so that he can have home cooking.  He is such a Mexican male, however, that it would never occur to him to re-heat something for himself, and I find that behavior and/or misguided belief that I will wait on him hand and foot regrettable, to say the least.  So they sit, unloved, under their aluminum foil, until it is time to harvest dishes to go back to my MIL's house again. 

Sunday, January 7


I was sent three Marian Keyes books by my dear friend Jen, and they were good in a lighthearted chicky sort of way. The third one that I read, Rachel's Holiday,was a little heavier. It dealt with an addict, and it was interesting to see the process and the behaviors of addiction. In an alternate universe, I could see that being me. I am, once again, very grateful to have never gotten sucked into a druggie life. Sadly, I have watched a few friends fall prey to their addictions, and they lost everything that they ever held dear.

But what got me started on all of this, was that one of the blogs I stop by, Still Life with Soup Can, has reading tastes pretty similar to my own, and now I know that there is a new Robin Hobb series (Yay!) and another of the books she's currently reading looks good, too.

Little O is NOT a good bookstore shopper. It's a cruel kind of torture to be so close to that many books, and be trapped at the Thomas table at Barnes & Noble. I have become that odd creature that I always shook my head sadly at, the supermarket buyer. The alternative is to do the flying scan as we quickly cruise the B&N aisles, looking for known authors, and grabbing what I hope is the beginning of a new series. No more unknown authors for me, unless I find them mentioned in a blog.

There are days that I miss working in the bookstore more than I can express. Challenging conversations about books and current affairs, trying to match a half remembered plot with a book I'd shelved maybe twice--great stuff! I never asked a politically incorrect question about someone else's parenting skills, when I dealt with bookstore customers. Honestly? I never even had an opportunity to until they moved the B&N into the mall. That's when the customer base began to slide--I blame it on the cafe' and the cushy chairs. All of my B. Dalton's were in malls, and people were still human beings. sigh.

Anyway, I have a Gift card for the mall with B&N in it, and now I'm trying to figure out a way to sneak over and spend it all on me. Mother of the year, that's me!

Saturday, January 6

This one's for CRSE!

My Mafia name is Giuseppina Castiglione.
Take The Mafia Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.


I was talking with my mom the other day, and I finally know what to get her for her birthday.
She told me that my father, who is retiring in March, is no longer talking about going to work with an old friend.
He thinks he wants to just be a retiree, play a little more golf, hang around the house, maybe do some travelling.
You'd have to know my ADD father to know how funny this is.
Easily 75% of his time is spent playing or figuring out when he'll next play golf. If he's not working to support his habit and stay out of her hair, my mom will strangle him. He'll be found with his latest super-cool putter wrapped around his throat. Since my mom's birthday is in February, and she loves her some sudoku, I'm taking her to a professional. That way she doesn't end up with something that looks like this:
Prison tattoos are just no good unless you've got Martha for a cell mate.
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Krypto vs Ignatius


These are the days I regret my no-cable-T.V. stance.

I can't afford it.

We spend too much time glued to the damned thing now, as it is.

My kids are still happy about Saturday morning cartoons, and I love that. But then I sit and I watch with Little O.

Krypto, the dog from Superman's planet. His song is awful. He's fighting Ignatius the evil iguana, who's messing with the city's power supply to operate his giant bug zapper, so he can have a snack.

All of the good cartoons are on cable.

I'm sorry, Little O.

Thursday, January 4

Where was this when I was stuck in Management Hell?

I was a terrible boss.

I loved and adored my employees, even when they were useless flakes and even as I knew that they were sabotaging me with their crappy performances when I wasn't there.

I hired 'em because I liked them, and it was usually okay. But I was always late with reviews. I would make sure that they got their measly raises, but the review itself? Pure agony. Where was this Performance Appraisalsoftware when I needed it?
Up until now, I've never worked for a company that would have shelled out for the software, but I'd have probably sold my right ovary if it would have helped me write reviews. I even dreaded the GOOD reviews.

I was so disheartened at my last management position that I happily took the low man on the totem pole of customer service just so I would never again be in the position of being stabbed in the back by an employee I had hired and trained. My co-workers are going to give me an ulcer the way they ride my manager like a bad pony. I swear there's not an ounce of compassion or empathy in 9 out of 10 of them. But if they have a crisis? They tear up and sob on her shoulder.

GRRR Grrr grrr

Okay, back to my lovely sponsored post.

I love toys that make your life easier. Give me a review writer and a software program that you could enter 8 different college student's schedules in, and I could have ruled the world. Okay, the mall. But I could have ruled.

I am beyond that now, but my boss actually gave me a pretty well thought out review last year. One more piece of evidence that she SHOULD be a manager and I should NOT. Heeeeeyyyy-do you think she already HAS the software?

Wednesday, January 3

Thursday Thirteen #22-Resolutions

I, Jennfactor10, being of sound mind and questionable bodyfat, hereby declare the following 13 things to be happening in 2007:

1. Fewer sodas--44 oz. of soda is the equivalent in sugar to eating an entire chocolate cake. They gave that statistic on the radio a few years ago, and that was when I worked at the mall and would chug 2-32 oz. sodas a day. Talk about Panic! Not to mention the whole carbonated bevs leaching the calcium from your bones thing....all of those sweet little hunchbacked old ladies? Yeah, not looking to be one of them.

2. Less Coffee--since leaving the mall, I have broken the Mocha habit, but I still have a LARGE cuppa Joe each morning at work. Enough coffee goes into my system during the weekdays that I get a headache on weekends if I don't have something caffeinated.

3. Eat Breakfast--I skip breakfast all the time, and I know that's BAD. I need to start my metabolism if I'm ever going to lose weight.

4. Cook More--I need to save a little money, and cook real meals more often.

5. Bedtime--This is for Little O, who has always stayed up until daddy gets home, but she's getting older, and the Honey is going to have to get used to her being asleep when he works late--It's getting too hard on all of us!

6. I will get the Honey to the Doctor's this year--he doesn't wanna go for love nor money, but this is the year....

7. Keep House. I will subscribe to the flylady again in hopes of having a clean and shiny sink (And forty-two emails a day). Does anyone out there know of a bitchy fly lady that gets to the point and is a little more bitter about it? I appreciate the encouraging words, but I need the gist SOONER when there are forty posts to wade through. Maybe flylady light, or a separate flybaby email list?

8. Blog Blog Blog. I will post regularly and this year I will figure out photos since Flickr is not fond of the new blogger. It's boring without them!

9. Get off my butt! I will resume meeting Bre in the park to become the object of scorn and ridicule as I try to wiggle away my jiggle. Is it significant that this is listed far away from the better eating/less coffee numbers?

10. I will rid my house of all the clothes that we have not worn in the last year. Seriously, this is an ongoing issue for me.

11. I will re-arrange the furniture in my house for better feng shui. Okay, I'm kidding, but I will put things back into their logical places--my "experimental furniture grouping" was an unqualified failure.

12. Oh, Big O, you are in for a Homework REVELATION!!!!!! No more of this work that is done, but not turned in.

13. I will get my will done (i bought a do-it-yourself kit like two years ago), so that there is no question about my wishes for my kids.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

**Update--another of the people I've lost contact with that I TT'd (Like TT#4 or so...) googled herself and found me again! Yay! That make Three of Thirteen! I encourage you all to try it!

C'mon baby, give me a little Linky Love!

Wednesday Hero

Sgt. Brent Dunkleberger
Sgt. Brent Dunkleberger
29 years old from New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania
1st Calvary Division, 4th Brigade Combat Team
December 11, 2006

Sgt. Dunkleberger was on his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was killed by an RPG when his convoy was attacked while on a security mission.

"We can't put into words right now the grief we feel, but we can put into words how proud we are of Brent. He chose to serve our country and give his life for what he believed in," said William Dunkleberger, Brent's father. "we thank the community for the outpouring of support and ask everyone to continue to pray for us. We also ask the media to respect our privacy during this very difficult time."

Sgt. Dunkleberger graduated high school in 1996 and enlisted in the United States Army in 2003 and became a tank driver for the 1st Calvary Division, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

He is survived by his wife and four children.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by clicking here.

Four kids lost their father, two weeks before Christmas. It just breaks my heart. I read about people treating soldiers like dirt, or heaping scorn upon military families, but I have such trouble wrapping my head around that concept. The very definiton of hero, the essence of all that a human being can aspire to, is somone who knows they will be sent to war, and still volunteers. I don't think you vounteer for the military out of an absurd love of guns, I think you do it out of patriotism and a need to give back. My anonymous commenter can call me a war mongering ugly American. But I dare her to come on my blog and talk about our soldiers.