Monday, December 31, 2007

Oh, To Be A Man

I decided to take advantage of some of the fab-a-luss after Christmas sales, desperately needing to find a bra that will fit the twins, as well as the body to which they are attached. After several incredibly frustrating hours attempting to locate said brassiere, dealing with impolite salespeople, and traipsing around in 10 inches of snow, I gave up.

I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a well-fitting bra unless you've been surgically altered. That may mean you've gone bigger or smaller, but I'm telling you that of the what seemed like 8,000 bras that I tried on, not a single one fit the way I wanted it to, or even the way they used to. Apparently (Pop, you may want to stop reading here.), Twin A is either a small D or an extra-large C, but this varies depending on what brand I try on. Poor Twin B is a plain 'ol normal C and is just riding Twin A's coat tails, hoping it doesn't look too out of place next to it's other half. And don't even get me started about how the only decent looking bras stop at a size 38 band! Now don't get me wrong, I know that I don't need sexy little Victoria's Secret bras - I am married after all. But still, can't a woman who's not a size 2, 4, or 6 still have a pretty, comfortable booby holder?? Come on, folks! I can't imagine that I'm the only woman out there that feels this way.

So, when I win the lottery or find a venture capitalist who's willing to finance it, I'm going to make pretty, comfortable bras customized with different cup sizes. Outwardly, both cups would look like the biggest cup size you are (if you're a B and a C, you'd look like you're a C on both sides), but the inside of the smallest cup would have a gel insert so that your B fits well inside the C cup. Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall... (Updated)

Last night on CBS News, there was a segment about the daughters of political candidates and the rolls that they sometimes play within the campaign for President. Because Kenin and I are less interested in politics, we're more interested in ridiculous things like the number of movies Blockbuster has on its shelves or how many times Angelo will attack Napoleon before he decides to sit on him and squish every last ounce of life from Angelo's 3-legged body. Needless to say, before the segment was through, comments began to fly on which candidate's daughter was the prettiest.

Personally, I think Chelsea Clinton should get a few points at least, based on the fact that she was so damn ugly when Bill was in office, and now she looks a billion times better, but Kenin disagrees. He thinks that Meghan McCain is the winner. Leave a comment to let me know what YOU think!

Ashley Biden, daughter of Joe Biden

Napoleon, because he's very fat and very cute

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Hillary Clinton

Cate Edwards, daughter of John Edwards

Caroline Giuliani, daughter of Rudy Giuliani

Angelo, because he's a tripod and doesn't know it

Sarah Huckabee, daughter of Mike Huckabee

Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain

Updated 1/20/08:

Okay, not even the 3 homeless guys voted in my poll, so as The Evil Queen, I hearby announce that the winners in the poll are Napoleon and Angelo, each tied with 44 gazillion votes. And all the rest of you can eat a poisoned apple. Have a nice day. ;)


Please go here for an important update on this story.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Kingdom

Last night, as Kenin lay snoring in our bed upstairs, I watched The Kingdom, starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner. Now, I'm not a huge war-type movie fan. Actually, I not a fan at all of any war movies, pretty much because I think war sucks. But this movie had Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner in it, so what the hell, right? (Don't you think Jennifer Garner could totally kick ass in real life? She was a spy in Alias, she was Electra. This girl could beat someone up in a serious way. Ya gotta admire that.)

This movie rocks. In a big, big, way. First of all, it gripped me within the first 10 minutes and pretty much kept me that way until the end. Ladies and gentlemen, I am not easily gripped, let me tell you. A few times I even held my breath without realizing it and since I'm pretty accustomed to breathing, that was a rather unusual feat.

Now, all this chatter aside, the end of the movie really makes you think. The last line is the kicker. I won't tell you what that particular line is, 'cause I'm mean/nice like that.

But please, do yourself a favor, treat yourself to this DVD. You won't regret it. I promise you'll give it a big thumbs up!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, I'm Mowing the Snow

First of all, Merry Christmas to everyone out there in Bloggerville (I say 'ville' because the only people that read this blog are myself and 2 or 3 really bored homeless people who hang out at a public library. Because if there were more than just us reading, I'd maybe have an occasional comment or two and then I could upgrade Bloggerville to Blogtown, or even Blog City.). Anyway...

On this glorious day, I awoke to snow, truly wonderful snow. I like snow. A lot. And today I got to play with a new toy I've had for almost a year! Last year, after we had snow every week for 8 weeks in a row (and I'm not talking about an inch or two at a time, either), my father broke down and bought a new snow blower because, well, just because. So I got the hand-me-down snow blower. Please don't get the impression that I'm complaining. I'm not. I mean, who in the hell is going to complain about an easier way to clear the driveway and sidewalks of cold, wet, white stuff? Not me, I assure you.

Just a few things you should consider though, before using a snowblower, if you've not yet had the opportunity or the need:

1) Make sure you have gas in it before the 1-4 inches predicted by the dumbass weatherman becomes the 6-8 inches you really get. It sucks to have to find an open gas station on Christmas day.

2) Don't use the snowblower after you've already shoveled because I don't care how cold it is, that stuff is wetter than if you hadn't shoveled at all. Blow first, then shovel.

3) Watch the way the blower thing is pointed. It's cold when it blasts you in the face, and this is no fun at all, except to the person who sees it happen to you.

Much love to all! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Christmas Eve Tradition

Hunter: Mom, it's the day before Christmas!

Me: Yeah, that makes it Christmas Eve.

Hunter: So, uh, our tradition... we get to open a present early, right?

Me: Yeah, tonight. At Mamu and PaPa's house.

Hunter (totally whining): Why not now?

Me: Because Dad's not home.

Hunter: Why did he go to work anyway? He should be at home.

Me: Well, Hunter, he didn't want to go, but he didn't really have a choice.

Hunter: He should've told Bossman that it's Christmas and he needs to spend time at home with his family so his son can open up a Christmas present early!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Dragon

Way back in the fall of 2004, when I had more time and inspiration, I created 'The Dragon'. That year for Christmas I had it enlarged and made into a poster for Hunter, which hangs on his wall to this day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Look at that head!

Doesn't Katherine Heigl's head look HUGE??

Friday, December 14, 2007

Because I'm So Intelligent

During the Delaware-Appalachian State football game...

Me: Delaware's getting spanked.

Kenin: I know.

About 90 seconds later, Appalachian State scores another touchdown, making the score 21-0 with 10 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter.

Kenin: Baby, Appalachian State is spanking Delaware.

Me: Didn't I just say that?

Kenin: Yeah. I'm just reiterating what you said because you're so intelligent.

Well, duh.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kenin's Surgery Update

Just a quickie to let everyone who cares - yep, all 3 of you - that it doesn't appear that Kenin's going to have to have another hip surgery, at least for now. He's walking with crutches for another few weeks, but if everything continues as it is now, he's got 10-15 years before he'll have to go back under the knife. Yee Haw!! :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

You Want Some Of This?

The last image created. I wonder if this means anime turned me off from art? (Probably not.)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Merry Christmas to Me

This afternoon was Kenin's company Christmas party and although I was half hoping that the snow we got overnight would be bad enough that we were unable to attend, it didn't work out that way.

If you've read my blog, you know that I'm not his bosses' biggest fan, so for me, the bright spot in having to attend was that I might be able to say some of the things that I've had on my mind. That didn't quite work out the way I wanted either, because Kenin let me know before we left home that I was not allowed to tell Mr. Bossman that he was just damn lucky that Kenin was still working there after he decided to rescind his contribution (aka paycheck) to my bank account while Kenin was recovering after his recent surgery. After all, even though he told Kenin that he'd be paid while he was out of work, recovering from HIP SURGERY, he decided that would just not be something he was willing to do. It apparently wasn't enough that he screwed Kenin out of a commission check without telling him, two days before we were to go to Jena's wedding. But, me being me, all hope was not lost. I've gotten pretty good over the years at telling people to eat shit without them realizing it. It may not make them feel bad, but it sure makes me feel better. And that is all that counts, no?

So, at the party, Bossman #2 comes over to talk to us and somehow the conversation works its way around to work. Shocking, huh? Well, he mentions that they are considering planning a trip to the Left Coast to visit some vendors and I put my 2 cents in and mention that it's a good thing that Kenin isn't a big fan of California, since he won't be going. Let's face it, no commission also means no more sales calls. Good for me, bad for them. According to Kenin, Bossman #2 caught the dig. :) Then, later, Bossman #1 says to me how hard Kenin is working and I told him that I thought he was working way too hard, especially since he hadn't been released by his doctor to work more than 4 hours a day. Oops! LOL Kenin tried to recover from that one, but I'm glad Bossman #1 knows that he's working twice what his doctor wants him too, and I hope the weinie feels guilty as hell, too, 'cause I'm bitchy like that.

All in all, I'd have to say it was a productive day.

Monday, December 3, 2007


This image was inspired by the 'Live Like You Were Dying' video by Tim McGraw.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It All Works Out In The End

I got a compliment today from a co-worker. She asked how I seemed to keep such a good attitude through the crap that we've gone through lately (long story short, Kenin's $78,000 hip resurfacing resulted in a fractured femoral head and he'll probably have to have a TOTAL hip replacement next week to 'repair' the damage. Kenin's boss will refuse to pay him (again), so we're going to be screwed (again). I told her that I just figured that with most of the crap we've gone through, there's not a damn thing I could've done differently, so it's not worth worrying about now. I guess it could be denial of reality on my part, but I think that everything works out the way it's supposed to in the end.

A Little Bit o' Yummy

As I watched NBC's The Biggest Loser and ate my Ben & Jerry's Creme Brulee ice cream tonight, I began to wonder if I was going to take the direct do-not-pass-go-and-go-directly-to-jail route to hell or if there might be a pit stop along the way where I could buy more ice cream.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fairy Portrait

'Fairy Portrait' was done in early 2005. I'd begun to use filters in Photoshop and really liked the way the edges were softer than the rest of the image.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another Day in Paradise

What's irritating Betsy the most today, you ask? Why, thank you for your concern. Sit back, relax (believe me, I'm stressed enough for all of us), and let me climb aboard the soapbox.


Tuesday night the following email was sent to me from an administrator at my school (names have been omitted to protect the not-so-innocent):

I'm reading email and apparently there is some unsafe behavior going on in
some of our classes on some days. Because we are a Love and Logic school
this does not mean it isn't "so sad when you hurt another child" because there
are definite natural consequences that go with being unsafe in school. The
natural consequence of unsafe behavior is no participation with other
students for a while and a plan of action. We have ----- and I to help
facilitate a plan of action session with any child and he is happy to make sure
kids communicate this to their home - via a phone call. We are still
progressive here at ---. Parents are still our partners.

I sent home a kindergartner the other day, early. The child and I called
dad and said, "Oh, this is a bummer. School ends early since your child is
making it so other children are not safe." Dad came to pick him up.

Chaos is not Love and Logic. Kids recognizing that the expectation is the same - safety and respect is love and logic. If they chose to act differently, it's a
bummer because there is always natural consequences to face. Let ----- or
I help you. --- and -------- can help too! We are here to work with kids and, of course, we enjoy playing with them too.

Today, during PE, a 2nd grader put his hands around the neck of a classmate, in a choking action. This happened about 10 minutes after he had another classmate in (what looked to me to be) a headlock. While returning to class after PE, he punched a classmate for no reason. Less than an hour later, in another unprovoked attack, he hit another classmate. After losing 5 minutes of recess because of his earlier behavior, he continued to throw rocks after being warned not to and began swearing on the busy, packed playground. He was sent to the office for a 5 minute time out (his 2nd in 3 hours) where he almost tore a poster from the wall and then played with the miniblinds on the window. There was no call to mom or dad and no communication to them of his behavior other than a note that he "had a rough day".

Are you kidding me???

The reason this kid is still at school is because he has Down syndrome. He's very high functioning, but because he has Down's it's "okay" that he does all this and more. At least that's how the school district sees it.

Now, here's the other side of the coin: I have a 23 year old son with Down Syndrome. He's labled 'profoundly retarded' (yes, I know i said the "r" word) and is on about the level of a 36 month old child. When Patrick misbehaves, he knows there are consequences. He knows that if his behavior warrants it, he may get popped on the hand, he may have a favorite toy taken away, or he may get a spanking. The point is, my kid knows what behavior is acceptable and what is not, and he's WAY lower functioning than this other kid. This is not to say that Patrick is an angel all the time, because he isn't. But he damn sure knows that if he acts out, he will face the 'natural consequences'.

I'm so sick and tired of parents of special needs kids who make exceptions for their child's behavior because little Johnny 'doesn't know any better'. Give me a break! With few exceptions, yes, Johnny DOES know better, or is at least capable of knowing better if you choose to teach him. One of the most important things, if not THE most important thing, that a parent must teach ANY child is what is socially acceptable behavior. It's no more okay for Patrick to throw a temper tantrum than it is for my non-special needs kids to throw one. What is going to happen when that 2nd grader punches someone and the other kids punches him back because he or she is sick of getting hit? In my experience, many (if not the majority of ) special needs kids don't have the ability to navigate the gray area that the rest of us has. They don't understand that something is okay in this situation, but not in that situation. Things for them usually need to be either black or white, not somewhere in between.

I feel that the school (and this child's parents - but that's a whole other story) are doing less than the best for this child. And gawd knows I'm a less than perfect parent, but when that child is a teenager or an adult and is still going around doing this type of behavior, who will be to blame then?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Should've Gone to Law School Instead

Okay, okay, I admit that I'm in that .05% of the population who's actually had good experiences with lawyers, but that's mainly because I'm always right, and they're smart enough to choose to be on my side. But this latest lawyer, the one who shall remain nameless because, hello, he's a lawyer? You know that one? Well, he sucks. While the intellectual in me rarely makes an appearance, that part of me popped out long enough to recognize that he gave me his honest opinion, blah, blah, blah. But what the hell?! I gave this man $300 so that he could tell me "No"? Shouldn't he be telling me a little more of what I want to hear? Gracious! Any one of my 4 children would've told me NO for free!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Eyes Have It

More playing with textures and make-up in 'The Eyes Have It'.

Monday, November 12, 2007


'Fantasy' was created during the summer of 2004. The make-up and tattoos around the eyes were my first experimentation with modifying existing textures for Poser figures.

A Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

Over the last few weeks/months, you've been pretty stressed out, what with Kenin's surgery and his work status and your work and all. You're beginning to eat more of the junk you should be avoiding if you want to make it to that weight loss goal of yours, your school work is way more work now than it's ever been before, and gawd knows, your sleeping habits aren't even habits anymore, unless you count the fact that you're barely sleeping at all. The thing is, you've got to let all the crap in your life GO. I know it's hard, but there's really nothing at all that you can do about the stuff other people do.

Sometimes you put up a pretty good front, but I think we both know that there's a good-sized hunk of denial in your line of thought. Yes, it's scary not knowing exactly what's going to happen from day to day, but it's okay to be scared. You are a control freak, but this is totally out of your hands. Your life could be a whole lot worse than what it is, even though I know you don't see that all the time. Things have been rough before and you got through them just fine, just like you'll get through this, too. Revel in the family and kids and Kenin and do what you often tell others... SUCK IT UP.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Spirit Lives On

Done shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, I tried to pay tribute to those who lost so much.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


A hundred years ago, or what seems like a hundred years anyway, I had a friend named Heather who was in The Nut House with me. She was admitted a couple of weeks before me and while we were in the locked unit, we'd have been best described as acquaintances. When I went to the completely-unlocked-live-in-a-cabin-in-the-woods-on-top-of-a-mountain unit known as North Campus, we ended up in the same 'group', called Wamika (supposedly that means "All Friends" in Cherokee (I think), but knowing the way things were around there, I wouldn't be so sure). She was fairly new to North as well, so after a while of settling in and most all of the 'older' girls (AKA those who have learned to play the game) leaving (left? whatever) and going home, we became friends.

Heather was such a strange friend for me to have because she was everything that I hated. Where I was a considered a pothead, she was a cheerleader. I was chunky, she was a size 2. She went to a posh private school; I went to public school. She was Mormon (although not the most practicing Mormon I've ever met), and I was pretty much an atheist at that point. The point is that we were completely opposite in our backgrounds, but somehow in that hellhole we became really close friends. She was my negativity buddy. Thinking about it brings a smile to my face because it was so much more than that. (No, you perverts, it was nothing like that so get your minds out of the gutter.)

Once we got our Crests ("An outward sign of an inward change" blah, blah, blah - I can't believe I still remember that), we didn't have to have group leaders accompany us everywhere, so that really opened up our 'world'. We didn't go places we weren't supposed to, but it was just the two of us alone and we'd talk about everybody - who was faking, who was lying, who was going to lose an upcoming homevisit, which staff members were lesbians, you know, just stuff. A major rule was that you couldn't talk to anyone in another group because you might get attached to them and focus on them instead of on your therapy, but when Heather and I went to school at Central Campus (aka WHERE THE BOYS ARE), we managed to group mix with not only the other girls who rode down there with us, but with several of the boys at Central as well. Heather was the one person I told when I accidently brought back a pack of cigarettes in my coat pocket from a home visit. We were Outhouse Pals! (Yes, we really had an outhouse, and it was 10 feet deep. How do I know? I helped dig it.) Heather and I were the only girls in the group who never had to have cabin changes (girls rotated among each of the 5 cabins in the group every 2 or 3 months), and in retrospect, it was probably because the group leaders probably thought that if we stayed together, at least we weren't 'poisoning' anyone else with our negativity. We, along with another friend, Ashley, called ourselves - in private, of course - the Third Triumvirate. How snooty was that?!

Long story short, Heather's 37th birthday is coming up next week. I haven't spoken to her in close to 15 years because we just lost touch, but a mutual friend passed along her address, so I think I'm going to drop her a line. So the next time you're having a little toddy for the body (or even just a nice glass of iced tea), think about someone in your life who made a difference to you and give them a toast, if for nothing else than old times sake.


A side note: you might think that I got in trouble a lot because of my very negative outlook/behavior, but in reality, I was very seldom caught.

I apologize for the massive overuse of parentheses, but there's a lot of background you don't know, so I was trying to fill you in.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

200 Things, Part 1

It seems like most every blog has a section like this so I decided to jump on the bandwagon, too. I did this partially so you can learn a little more about me, but more honestly, because right now I don't feel like taking the time to come up with something more original.

Have you ever...?

1. Bought everyone in the pub a drink - Nope, I'm too cheap/poor.
2. Swam with wild dolphins - Not yet, but I hope to be able to do it when I take Ash on a cruise after she graduates from high school.
3. Climbed a mountain - Yes, but not a big one. Technically, possibly not a mountain at all, but more of a foothill-type mountain. Actually, it was just more of a plain hill. But it felt like a mountain.
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive - I see this as an exercise in futility because I'm never going to be able to afford a Ferrari. Besides, I'm more of a Mercedes person.
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid - Too much sand.
6. Held a tarantula - No, but I've held a garden snake. Does that count?
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone - I have, and what an experience that was! If you want to do this, I suggest that at least one of you be of the petite variety, or let the hot tub be your bathtub.
8. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it - DUH
9. Hugged a tree - Not while sober.
10. Done a striptease - Definitely not while sober, and hopefully not while drunk.
11. Bungee jumped - Not even if I wasn't sober.
12. Visited Paris - Not yet.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea - How about from the balcony of a 12th floor room on the beach? Absolutely humbling sight!
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise - On more than one occaision.
15. Seen the Northern Lights - On TV
16. Gone to a huge sports game - Not an experience I hope to have to repeat. Imagine the Broncos playing at Mile High Stadium for Monday Night Football. Imagine that it's 35 degrees, raining, and the wind is blowing. Now, imagine that the people you went with insisted on eating a massive dinner before the game and then wanted to drive their car instead of being smart and taking the free shuttle. Got it? Now, add the fact that there was a wreck on the way to the stadium and we had to park gawd knows how far away (all I know is that it was really, really far) and it was HALFTIME when we finally got to our seats. Yeah, not something I want to do again.
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa - Nope, not gonna happen. I swear that as stable as it may be now, the minute I'd get to the top, the whole thing would come crumbling down.
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables - When I was little my parents grew corn and I ate it. Close enough?
19. Touched an iceberg - Nope, not unless you count the time that huge chunk of ice cubes that got stuck together in the ice dispenser of my fridge.
20. Slept under the stars - Is in a camper under the stars the same thing?
21. Changed a baby’s diaper - Way more than one.
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon - One day.
23. Watched a meteor shower - What a cool experience!
24. Gotten drunk on champagne - Yes
25. Given more than you can afford to charity - Most days I'm the one who's in need of charity, but yeah, I've done that.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday Night Dinner Theatre

The Setting: Red Lobster, during their Endless Shrimp promotion (irrelevant, but yummy)

The Actors: Hunter, as the Narrator; Kenin, Patrick, and me, as the Audience

The Props: A small, black plastic skeleton and a small neon green spider, given to Hunter by a waiter who is very nice to young boys in an almost-but-not-quite-full-blown creepy kind of way, and the small, red, lobster-topped, sword-shaped fruity drink holder thing that came in Hunter's Shirley Temple

Hunter: Aaarrgghh! The spider bit me on the hip (holds spider to skeleton's hip)! Here, let me thrust the sword into the spider (thrusts sword into the spider (duh))! Aw, crap! I hit my hip! Oh, my hip, my hip! Now I can't walk (makes dying sounds, much to the dismay of Kenin, who's apparently taken Hunter's playing just a little bit too seriously)! Aaarrrggghh!

The Audience (okay, it was only me): Hysterical laughter

Friday, October 26, 2007

Why is it...

That if I click the 'next blog' link at the top of this page that 99% of the time, I get the same things - a blog in a language that I can't read or porn? I'm barely functional in English some days so I'm pretty sure that blogs in Spanish or CHINESE won't work for me. Plus, I'm practically middle aged and married so you know I'm no longer getting laid. Come on people, give me something more original!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


In 'Defender', the hair and all clothing except the boots were drawn by hand.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Hope It's A Typo

I was reading the online edition of today's Augusta Chronicle, when one of the headlines jumped out at me. What it said was:

Strangler Tied to Death

Wow. Ya think?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm

Okay, it's really only one thing, at least for now.

Every morning about 10 am, I inject my husband with a drug called Lovenox, which he has to take for about 10 days so that he doesn't develop blood clots after his recent hip surgery. This morning I noticed, according to the box, that Lovenox is "derived from porcine intestinal mucosa."

I am shooting my husband up with mucus from a pig's stomach. And I can't decide if I should be repulsed or just plain fascinated.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One More Thing Done And Over With

Last Tuesday Kenin finally had his hip resurfacing operation. It's been a long time coming, but we're so glad it's finally done. He came home from the hospital on Friday and although he's yet to make it upstairs (except to take a shower), he's doing pretty good. He can only be on his feet for about 10 minutes without being in major pain, but from what we understand, that's pretty much par for the course. Tomorrow he'll have a physical therapist come to the house and will start what I think will be - or at least feel like - some pretty intense therapy. Last week Kenin's boss said that he'd stop by and pick Kenin up and take him to work tomorrow, but if he's not really well enough to leave the house for therapy, then he damn sure won't be going to work, will he? Even if he shows up, he'll have to go through me and I outweigh the man by a good 30 pounds (being fat has it's advantage every now and then) so I'm not too worried.

Ashlyn went to Georgia on Saturday to spend a couple of weeks with her Dad and when I spoke with her today she was a bit shocked to learn that even though we had 70 degree weather yesterday, we had 6 inches of snow today. I told her we missed her, if for no other reason than we needed someone to shovel the snow.

Speaking of snow, our 3 legged cat, Angelo, meowed like hell to go outside this afternoon after the snow stopped. I finally let him out just to teach him a lesson. He bounded through the door with great abandon. The great abandon stopped though, about 2 feet from the door, when he quickly realized a couple of things: 1) My big fat belly is dragging through this cold, wet, white stuff and 2) This stuff is cold and wet. He immediately wanted to come back inside, so Angelo's Adventure in the Snow lasted all of about 45 seconds.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Face

More tattoos and textures in 'The Face'.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Looking Back

'Looking Back' was created in the spring of 2004, using Poser and Photoshop.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Just a quick little bitch

I spent over an hour on the phone this morning talking to a collection agency and then the billing department of the physician's group that Kenin's doctors belong to. I've been making payments on Kenin's many hospital and doctor bills for months and have been more than religious about making sure that the medical bills got paid on, if not paid off. Regardless of this, the wienies at the hospital sent us to collections because apparently the amount of payments that I was making were not high enough.

So anyway, I'm talking to the collections guy who says that what they usually do when accounts go into collections is collect payment in full. Dude, if I had enough money to make payments in full, do you think I'd have gotten sent to collections for not sending in enough money? Idiots, the lot of them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

To Be or Not To Be... Special

When Kenin and I were in Texas for Jena's wedding, we stayed with some close friends of ours, Larry and Sharon. The night before the wedding, we sat outside, talking. Somehow the conversation rolled around to the idea that we're considered by a fair amount of people to be "special" because of the things that we've gone through as parents or in some cases, simply because we choose to parent. (Sharon (Larry is hubby #2) lost her youngest son, Stuart, to leukemia when he was 8 years old, and we, of course, have Patrick.)

In a way, it's a little offensive to me that people think we're different from any other parents because I don't feel we are. We have the same hopes and dreams for our kids that you have for yours. Our expectations are the same as yours. We expect - and insist on - our children to be polite and respectful and to behave appropriately. It doesn't matter one whit to me if it's Ashlyn or Patrick or Hunter burping at the dinner table - they all know how to say "Excuse me", and they better do it. I absolutely know that one day Patrick will be on his own and will have his own life, just as any 'normal' person would. The only difference is that Patrick will be living in a group home instead of by himself. I saw Patrick dress in a tux and ride off in a limo to his high school prom. I watched him walk across the room, get his diploma, and shake hands with the principal of his high school. So far, Patrick's life is pretty much on par with most people his age. In so many ways he's like everyone else, and as far as I'm concerned, so are we.

The idea that we're somehow special or different because of our children is a bit foreign to me. Yeah, we've dealt with, and in some cases still deal with, things that most typical parents don't, but I don't think that makes us any better than anyone else. I think the comments that I hear the most often are "I don't know if I could do what you're doing", or "I don't know how you do it." Well, guys, you just kind of make due with whatever it is that's thrown your way. If you get stuck in traffic and are late to work, you don't quit your job because of it, do you? You just suck it up and deal with it, right? Now, I'm not saying that there aren't days that it doesn't just plain suck to be the parent of a developmentally disabled child, but there are just as many days that I don't want to be the parent of a "normal" child, either. And Sharon, she's lost her son altogether, so who am I to complain about my kids, aggravating as they can be?

Sharon told me that she'd asked God for a special child, and she'd gotten one, although Stuart's kind of special wasn't what she'd expected. Why did I 'get' Patrick? I don't know for sure. I know that he was part of the package when I married Kenin, but I imagine it was for reasons other than that. I think maybe God thought I should get into the 'family business' (my mom was a speech therapist, my cousin is a speech therapist, one of my mother's cousins is developmentally disabled, my aunt and uncle were foster parents for years and years, etc.) of giving and doing for others. Maybe He thought that I needed to learn patience, or to not be so selfish. Maybe it was because many years ago in The Nuthouse I was told that I was incapable of having empathy for others. Maybe I just drew the short straw. Who knows? And who really cares? This life is just what it is... mine.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thank Gawd It's Over

September 19-23 had to be some of the most stressful days of my entire life. We spent those days in Texas (AKA Hell), where our daughter, Jena, got married.

Just a few thoughts regarding that experience:

1. I still hate Texas. It's hot, it's humid, the refineries stink up the air so badly that you wish you'd been born without the ability to smell and I (once again) almost got carried off by the state bird, the mosquito. I loved seeing Kenin's family, but I really wish they'd move.

2. To the woman (my Momma taught me at the age of 6 that there is a real difference between a lady and a woman) who attempted to cut in front of me at the Southwest Airlines gate in Denver: What the hell were you thinking? Did you think that although I arrived at the gate over an hour before you did that I'd willingly let you cut in front of me so that you could get a seat closer to the front of the plane? I got there early for a reason, and yes, I purposely blocked you when you attempted to get in front of me because I'm bitchy like that. Next time you want a good seat, get your ass up at 3 am and quit trying to cut in line like a 5 year old. <ding> You are now free to move about the country.

3. I have no problem with prayer. I totally expected it. Not only was it a wedding, but one performed by a Baptist minister. So, no big deal, I knew it was coming. But one thing I noticed was that every third word was "God". It went something like this: God, thank you, God, for this wonderful day. God, this young couple is here to celebrate you, God. We ask, God, that you bless their marriage. God, please blah, blah, blah, you get the idea. I was just wondering why he kept saying "God" so much. Did he think that someone was going to lose his or her religion and let loose with a "Praise you, Satan!" or something? Strange stuff, but whatever. Maybe it's just Baptists. I don't remember if they're all like that or not because I've done my best to block out the Sundays I had to spend at the Rockmart Baptist Church while I was in The Nuthouse. There weren't any Satanists there, anyway. At least that I know of.

4. It's really a small world out there. On the way back to Denver from Hell, the man and the woman in the seats in front of me (who were unknown to each other prior to the plan ride - I know because I listened in) lived in the same towns as me - in South Carolina. Currently, he and I live in Denver, she lives in Aspen. He and she lived in Charleston, SC, as children. I lived there for a while, and Hunter was born in Charleston. He (the man, not Hunter) grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC, and Kenin and I lived there when we were first married. He and she (and her hubby) are considering moving to Texas. This is where the coolness ends because, as you are well aware, I hate Texas.

So, I'm now a mother-in-law. But that's a whole 'nother topic...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Today, as Ash and I sat munching some yummy sammiches at Panera Bread, I saw something I didn't even know existed. Wait, scratch that. It was more like two someones doing something that until now I'd never heard of, much less actually seen in all of my 30-something years. Are you sitting down? I hope so, because you may just fall slap to the floor if you're not.

I heard two men talking about a relationship! Now, I don't mean that one of them said, "I told her to get me a beer before she went out to mow the lawn," and the other one replied that he "Should've told her to bring a whole six pack, because did you see that game? It was almost as good as the tractor pull at the county fair last year." No, I mean these two men were talking the way that women talk, with feelings and everything! It was almost scary. Now, you might be thinking that perhaps these two gentlemen might not have been of the heterosexual persuasion, which could be why they were talking so, well, girly-like. Well, the thought crossed my mind, too, so I listened a little harder. It didn't take long to ferret out that they were saying she and marriage quite a lot (way more than even gay men say 'girlfriend'), so that blew that scenario right out of the water.

Anyway, my point is that although I'm sure two men talking about relationships doesn't happen all that often (because you know if it did, women would already know about it and this would not be news I felt the need to share), I'm damn glad it's happening at all. Maybe after all those years of training our men to listen and to feel and to share, they've finally gotten the message!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Okay, I Admit It

Back in July, I posted about a person I worked with last year who was a bit petty. Well, I don't know what happened over the summer, but that person is GONE!!! I'm very happy to say that she who was once petty is now pretty cool. It's amazing the way we're getting along and I'm proud to say that she's now my friend. I don't know if it was her, or if it was me, but whatever or whoever it was, things are much better now. We've both said how much more we appreciate each other this year, compared to last year, and now, yes, here it is: I was wrong. There, I said it. Are you happy? I hope so, 'cause I can't imagine I'll ever say those words again. Just ask my husband...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Letter to My Husband's Boss

(If you might be offended by a little cussing - and believe me, it's way toned down from what's really going through my mind - or by, uh, I don't know, maybe the truth, then I would stop reading now or your face might melt and slide down your facial bones. And yes, Daddy, I know I shouldn't be writing this. Perhaps when I'm not so upset I'll consider taking it down. But that won't be today. And probably not tomorrow, either.)


You suck. How dare you decide to take away Kenin's sales commission without telling him upfront! You have no clue how hard he works for you. He's brought in 100K on his accounts in the last month alone, and you want to tell him that he can't have commission on that? You, who want him to do sales calls (without commission, naturally) while he's on the first vacation that our family has had in five years, want him to do something for you that is not even his job and that you're not going to pay him for, even his lousy 1 damn per cent commission? And you want this done on our vacation?? Are you insane? I didn't know they even made drugs that were so good that it caused you to think that you could intrude on a family vacation, particularly one that isn't yours!

In July, the day that you told Kenin he was getting a raise, you said that your goal was to give him so much money that he couldn't afford to leave your shop because he does such a great job for you. Well let me tell you something, asshole... this is not the way to go about accomplishing that goal. You said that you were going to consider dropping his commission, but he never heard anything else about it until today. You claim to be a person who stands by his principals, but this is shit. When you interviewed Kenin, he told you he wanted to work for a company that 'says what they do and does what they say'. Oh, Company X is that kind of company, we're exactly what you're looking for, you said. Yeah, well, my ass it's that kind of company. You are so lucky that Kenin such a good damn person because if I were him, you'd be kissing good-bye all those meetings that he scheduled to get your ass in the door. They are HIS contacts, you SOB, not yours! I'd be damned if I did a single sales call for you, much less with you after this bullshit.

I guess maybe I should thank you though. Now I don't have to worry about Kenin staying up until midnight working on spreadsheets for you 3 or 4 nights a week or the 8 or 10 or 12 hours that he works every damn weekend because he feels that its for the good of Company X, even though it's really at the expense of his family life. This man would follow you to the ends of the earth and practically kill himself working for you if you only treated him the way a respectable businessman should. Look at all you've changed! And you did it all for the price of a single lousy commission check, for a stupid $1124 commission check. Your company shipped out over a half a damn million dollars worth of work last month. And you want to cheat Kenin out of his fair share of that? Out of that work that he brought in? That's just plain sad.

Friday, August 24, 2007

What a week it's been!

Yes, I know I haven't posted. And to be honest, I'm sure that bothers me way more than it bothers the 2 other people who read this blog. I swear I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. But I kind of want to.

The last two weeks have been, well, a bit rough. I won't go through what happened last week except to say that I was very tired, what with having an actual job again. That first week is a killer. It's not like I was sleeping in over the summer or anything, unless you count 7 am as 'sleeping in'. But my gawd, it was those damn kids at work! I'd forgotten how exhausting chasing around a group of developmentally disabled can be. Ugh. I'm a bit more acclimated to it now, but I'm really glad that week is over, not that this week has been much better.

So, this week, Monday night to be exact, I drag Ash, Hunter, and Patrick to David's Bridal to have her dress for Jena's wedding altered. The seamstress - do people still use that word? - shortened the straps, pinned the booby cup things in, and began looking at the waistline of the dress with a funny look. Just for the sake of argument, we'll call it a skeptical look. Now, a skeptical look coming from a seamstress as she looks at an already-paid-for-all-sales-are-final-and-don't-you-even-think-about-asking-for-a-refund dress just scares me. I walk over to them just in time to hear her tell Ashy that 'we can't fix that'. Surely I misunderstood her. Totally channelling a very irate black woman from New York City at that moment, I tried to be calm as she tells me that because of the way the fabric is cut (on the bias, as if that means anything at all to me), if they try to correct the fact that seam isn't straight or flat, it will only make it worse. I guess she saw the look on my face because at that point, she hurried off to find her boss. Bosslady comes and after an equally skeptical look at the dress, she informs me that that is, in fact, the case. You could say that it was at that point that I was about this close to being livid. After calmly explaining that we'd been told by the idiot (No, I didn't really use that word. But I wanted to.) sales person that their alterations department could 'fix anything, anything at all', it was suggested to me that I might want to speak with the manager, who might be able to arrange a little somethin' somethin' to correct the situation. Long story short (okay, not really short, but at least shortER), we ended up being able to ORDER A DIFFERENT DRESS. I know they're going to try to stick it to me with a rush alteration fee, but I'd be surprised if they manage to succeed. At any rate, with a little luck, we should have a new dress by September 1st, which leaves just over 2 weeks to have it altered.

Short and sweet: Tuesday night, we had to go pick up Hunter's violin (not an instrument I'm excited about, or ever expected him to want to play), so, once again, I drug Ash and Patrick along, too. It was a huge cattle call thing, and it sucked, to say the least. My salesperson was not only incompetent, but an idiot as well, and not only could he not fill out the rental application, I doubt he could find his own butt without considerable help. Wednesday night I attended orientation at Arapahoe Community College, without, thankfully, children in tow. It once again made for a long day, but was at least interesting and without incident. Well, the lights went out because of a storm, but after the week I've had, that doesn't count.

Monday, August 13, 2007

School Begins

So today we started back to school. We being Hunter and I, he as a 5th grader and me as a 2nd year Severe Special Needs Paraprofessional. I was a little worried that he wasn't going to like his teacher because he'd been telling me all summer how a friend of his had gotten in trouble by her for running in the hall last year. That was no biggie to me because I spent half my time last year telling kids to QUIT RUNNING! in the halls. But Hunter doesn't think like an adult and after he nearly went ballistic on his teacher last year, I had understandable cause for concern. It turned out that he does like her and according to him, "she's strict, but in a good way." Now if we can just keep that sentiment beyond the first week of school...

Most of 'my' kids showed up today, except for one that's out of town for the next month and a new kindie that doesn't begin school until Wednesday. The kids were good, which was surprising, as our schedule for them was screwy being that it was just the first day. We tried to have them in class as much as possible today so they could get used to their new surroundings, and I think that was a good idea. One incident of note... I was told by Harry Potter (who last year wanted to marry me) that now he wants to marry Alice in Wonderland. I suppose it's for the best being that A) I'm already married, B) he's 29 years my junior (it may work in some circles, but not mine), and C) I don't think he can support me in the manner I wish to become accustomed to on just an SSI check every month. Oh well, he's still a cool kid.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Songs That Speak to Me

Redneck Woman by hell-yes-I'm-a-redneck-and-damn-proud-of-it-thank-you-very-much, Gretchen Wilson. This is me. I can't help it.

Sammy Kershaw's Queen of My Double Wide Trailer. While I've never lived in a double wide, the first place of my own that I had when I moved out of my parents home when I was 17, was a single wide trailer. I don't think double wides had gotten popular yet, if they were even around way back then.

Sweet Home Alabama by the one and only Lynyrd Skynyrd. And I happily admit to carrying my redneck roots around with me - Sweet Home Alabama is the ringtone on my phone.

Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann's Earth Band is one of those songs that I can listen to (with the volume ALL THE WAY UP, of course) over and over again and never get tired of. And yes, I know ALL the words, even to the extended version of the song. Watch me pat myself on the back as I ask you how many people you know that can say that.

Lone Star's first hit, Amazed. When we first began dating, this was the first song that Kenin ever said made him think of me.

Bitch by Meredith Brooks is the song that I think of when I think of my daughter, Ashlyn. She was only about 4 when it came out and she'd sing it loud and proud, but would leave out the title of it because it was a bad word. She still loves the song and still sings it without the title (at least when she's around me).

Uncle Kracker's Follow Me is one of the first songs my son, Hunter, really liked. He was about 3 years old and sang it to the best of his ability which, bless his little heart, wasn't very well. I think the next song he learned was Lose Yourself by Eminem.

Kid Rock's Cowboy reminds me of Patrick because it's the only song guaranteed to get a smile.

And one last one... Happy Birthday because, well, it's my birthday today.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My PageRank is...

The good folks at offer a page rank service by along with the following words:

Google's PageRank is a way of knowing how important a site is. Show off your PageRank to your blog readers.

Well, me being me, I put that little puppy right down on the page and and BAM! Just butter my butt and call me a biscuit! I discovered that I'm about the only person who ever reads my blog. Not a biggie, though. I'ma figgur this stuff owt an git better at it. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ah, to be 16 again!

Just a few differences between my daughter, Ashlyn, who turns 16 today, and myself, who was 16, some almost 22 years ago:

Ashlyn: Scared to death of driving and has no urge to even begin Drivers Ed or her state-mandated 50 hours of adult supervised driving; would much rather mooch rides from me, Kenin, her grandparents, friends, or her boyfriend. This girl will be right at home in the back of a limo should she ever be able to afford one.

Me: Although I was in the nut house on my 16th birthday, at the age of 14 (or was it 15?) I'd already 'borrowed' my parents car (and one belonging to a friend or two as well) and had driven with only my learners permit (and certainly no adult) all around the city of Augusta (GA) and the confines of Ft. Gordon. No, I never got caught by the cops, but feel the need to apologize to my brother, Tom, who got blamed for the time that I parked too close to the curb and ripped the air plug thing from the tire, resulting in the flattest tire ever seen in Kings Chapel Court.

Ashlyn: Has a FABALUSS relationship with her mother (AKA me), if I do say so myself. We talk about EVERYTHING, we bond (particularly over TV and food), and we hang out. She actually likes me, so I've decided to keep her. At least until she turns 18.

Me: Had a not-so-good relationship with my step-mom at the age of 16. Not-so-good is actually much better than my relationship with her prior to me being in the nut house. Don't get the idea that she was an evil stepmonster or anything, because she wasn't. I was just a butthead. The big turning point for me? When Ashlyn was born, my step-mom (now just known as MOM, 'cause she IS) accepted Ashy as her own grandchild. She's a great lady, and I love her bunches.

Ashlyn: Petite, skinny, and disgustingly shapely little stick of a child who eats, or grazes, all the time. I don't know who she got it from, 'cause I never looked like her when I was growing up, or even anytime after that. Ashy actually TRIES to gain weight if she goes below 105. How cool is that? Anorexia is NOT in her future. Her typical order from McDonalds (her favorite food place and where she works. Convenient, no?) is a Southwest Chicken Salad with extra dressing if you please, a Hot n' Spicy Chicken sandwich (or sammich, as we Southerners like to say) with extra lettuce and extra mayo, and a large strawberry shake. She complains her boobs are too small, but I keep telling her that at least they won't sag to her belly button when she gets older.

Me: An average sized child until about the age of 10 or so, I began to pack on the pounds after my mother died. I was a plump teenager (having the munchies during my druggie years prior to the nut house years didn't help much, either) and managed to become a plump adult. With the exception of a year before I got pregnant with Ashlyn and the year before I got pregnant with Hunter, I've always had a little extra skin hanging around. Since I can no longer have kids, I can't imagine I'll ever be slender again. Not that I'm complaining (much). I have to admit, Ashy definitely got her enjoyment of food from me.

Ashlyn: Works at McDonalds and actually LIKES it, and not just for the almost free food that she gets. She looked for a job for several months before she could find someone who would hire her, since she was only 15 at the time, and was thrilled to finally get hired. She worked her first Mickey D's birthday party last weekend, and her manager said that she wants her to do all the parties from now on. She's also training people, so she must be doing okay. I'm glad she likes it, but will most definitely have a fit if she were to become a manager. She also VOLUNTEERED to work this summer with me during the last week of ESY (Extended School Year, or summer school) with special needs kids. How many 15 year olds do you know that have been hired by the 2nd largest school district in Colorado to work with special needs kids? Do you not see how wonderful my daughter is?

Me: Although I was in the nut house at 16 (are you seeing the trend?), my first job was at the age of 15 and was at one of the Augusta-based chain of KFC-type restraunts called Wife Saver. They had good food, especially their shrimp, which you might not expect at a chicken place. But, alas, the shrimp and paychecks were not enough to keep me employed there for more than a couple of months. The lure of hanging out at the bowling alley (Of course, I didn't actually bowl. That would have been un-cool.) and smoking on the steps of the skating rink with my so-called friends was too much. I was too lazy to want to work, and would have most certainly killed any children that came in for a birthday party had they offered that as an option.

So, as you can see, Ashlyn is an incredible young lady. She is the light of my life and I'm so proud that she is so much like me, but so much not like me, too. I love her more than anything, and hope that all parents are lucky enough to enjoy their own children as much as I enjoy mine. Ashlyn, you rock.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Difference Between Absent and Gone

I really dislike people. Not all people, mind you, but a good many of them.

I work as a paraprofessional with severe special needs kids in my local school district, and one of my co-workers is a prime example of why I'd just rather not deal with folks. The Petty Miss M is just that, petty. Because we have to do a fair amount of diaper changing, our school is reimbursed by medicaid, but we have to make sure we document it so we can get paid. On the wall of the bathroom in our classroom, we have a list that we fill out with the date, who changed our kiddos, etc. One morning, when one of our kids was not at school, I wrote that he was 'absent'. A few hours later, I ventured into the bathroom and discovered that our young man was no longer absent, he was just plain 'GONE'. And he was not only GONE, but he was GONE via a bright purple marker. Because being absent in black ballpoint ink is no where near the same as being GONE in purple marker. I didn't know that. I THOUGHT absent was sufficient, but apparently I was mistaken.

I know that it's a bit childish to get upset about what happened. I will even go so far as to say that it's petty. But that's the whole thing that pisses me off, is the fact that Petty Miss M was just so damn petty to begin with. I hashed it out with one of my very favorite co-workers ever and decided to get over it. At least THAT time I did. I even managed to handle it when it happened a second time. But by the third time, I just couldn't restrain myself any longer. I stooped to her level and though I'm not proud of it, I will sing to the heavens because it felt SO GOOD to write ABSENT in big, bold, black sharpie. Aha! I won!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just how black is black enough?

Yesterday evening, 50 youtubers got to put forth questions to the 8 democratic candidates for president. Though I didn't watch the debate personally, I understand that Barack Obama was asked something to the effect of if he was "authentically black enough" to be president. Now what the hell is that about?

Just how black does Obama have to be? Does he need to be involved in a drive-by shooting (as the shooter, not the shootee) to be black? Does he need to have a certain number of children born out of wedlock by multiple baby mamas? Would that make him black enough? Does he need to have been in prison or in a gang or be a high school dropout to be considered black? Does he need to live in the projects and be unable to speak eloquently to be black enough to be the president of the United States?

Though this may be an unpopular sentiment, I think that that blacks should be thrilled that they have an intelligent, articulate, well-informed candidate who has the chance of being president. Why are people bitching? I mean, he's gotten a whole lot further politically than either Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton have. You ought to be thankful for what you've got instead of complaining because Obama's one of the more successful black Americans.

On a personal note: I really like Obama and the things that he appears to stand for. Unfortunately, he just doesn't have the experience that Hillary Clinton has. If he had waited until the 2012 election, you can believe that I'd be one of the first ones to back him, but as of now, he just needs more experience.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

There were no witnesses

"There were no witnesses, so officials stopped short of saying the flaming bird was at fault."

I discovered this little gem while purusing todays edition of the Augusta Chronicle, my old hometown newspaper.

I don't know what school of journalism that reporter matriculated from, but I was surprised to see that single sentence was also an entire paragraph. That one line left me wanting so much more in the way of explanation. Why do they think the bird was at fault? Did it leave a suicide note? And if so, why didn't the note get burned, too? Was an avian autopsy performed? Did another bird whisper into someones ear that they had a terrorist within the flock? I don't know about you, but I'm a little worried. I mean, what if Hitchcock's The Birds was just a test run?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Just 'cause you've got CASH doesn't mean you've got CLASS

We were supposed to go to Hunter's rugby game Saturday, but his feet were hurting him, or so he claimed. I suppose if I'd had half the skin of both feet frozen with liquid nitrogen (warts, don't ya know?), I might be in a little pain, too. I also might have believed him a bit more had it not been over a week since he'd had it done. But I digress... I'll be honest--I didn't want to go sit outside with no shade for 2 hours in almost 100 degree heat. I hate summer. It sucks. So anyway, seeing as how the rugby game was out of the question, Kenin got the wild idea to go look at garage sales and see if anyone had any good junk they wanted to get rid of. Junk that might match our junk, as it were. So off we went, out into the nasty summer sun. And heat. Did I mention I really don't like the summer?

On our foray into the various areas of Highlands Ranch, I discovered that the $250,000 house that I'm renting in is in the slums of Highlands Ranch. I pay well over $1,000 a month for rent, but it's the HR slum. Not the Denver slum by any means, but most certainly the Highlands Ranch slum. But then, as we followed the signs for a garage sale into a neighborhood that was very obviously NOT a slum, I panted like a dog in heat (because it was really, really hot) and even got a little excited that someone in a non-slum area of Highlands Ranch was having an ESTATE SALE and I might be able to get some of their cast off junk to go with my junk and then maybe I wouldn't be living in a SLUM any longer because I finally had some non-slum stuff! And then I was disappointed.

Picture if you will, a beautifully modern, yet classical, 6,000 square foot home. It's got an incredibly manicured lawn leading to a wide row of brick steps that proceed to the front door. You walk into a large marble-floored entry, a curved staircase standing before you. To the right, a formal living room, to the left, a wet bar. You walk through the living room (which, BTW, is almost as large as the footprint to my entire house), around the corner and into the dining room where you see a beautiful antique dining table. Past the dining room you see a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances and beyond that the marble floors continue into what in more modest homes might be called the family room. Looking through the french doors, you can see a built-in outdoor fireplace, a fountain, and a small pond. As you exit the family room with the marble accented fireplace and built in bookcases, you can go downstairs to the library or the fully appointed mother-in-law suite, or you could go up the wide, curving staircase to the second floor. If you chose to go to the second floor and to the right, you'd find a master suite, complete with bidet, that I swear is bigger than the entire second floor of my house. If you went to the left, you'd find 3 more bedrooms, each larger than any bedroom I personally have ever had.

Now that you have this beautiful home in your head, imagine it filled with junk. This place was really rockin', until you saw the crap everywhere. Where you might see a nice turkish rug, there was an old, stained, half-bare thing. The carpet upstairs was old, worn out, stained, and faded and the walls hadn't been painted since the house was built, over 10 years earlier. The lamps in the living room and family room were the kind from the 1970's (and I know... I was there) that hung from the ceiling with the cords hanging down. The TV in the living room was an early 1980's model, and there were old broken children's toys lying all around. The antique dining table I mentioned earlier? It was missing a leg, and someone had carved their name into the top of it. The library in the basement had the most gaudy 18th century reproduction light fixtures (maybe it was 19th century, I don't know for sure, but it was UGLY) and the mother-in-law suite had no less than 6 very large dead spiders in the tub. The upstairs was just as nasty. These people were even trying to sell half used bath and body products! And I don't mean stuff from Bath & Body Works, I mean half used no name brand crap. (Just for the record, it's just nasty to try to pass off (and want them to BUY IT, no less!) used personal hygiene products. Don't do it, no matter how broke you are.) I won't go into the old, broken kids toys in the back yard, or how the pond was green with scum and that there was almost certainly a mosquito sex orgy happening before our very eyes. All I know for sure is that you know their neighbors were having a party the day those folks moved out.

I guess the biggest and most important thing that I learned on my excursion was that just because you have a big ass house in a nice ass neighborhood, you still can't buy class. But you ought to try.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kudos to US Weekly or I'm So Sick of Paris Hilton

I read today that US Weekly won't have a single mention of Paris Hilton, who was released from jail a couple of days ago, in their upcoming issue. The spokesperson said that the magazine felt the public was on Paris overload. All I have to say to that is AMEN!

I'm so sick of this stupid (she didn't even get a HS diploma), trashy (remember the nekkid coochie pictures?), fake hair-having (not only is it dyed, she's got extensions, too) party girl (isn't that what got her dumbass in jail in the first place?) being all over the news. And why is she in the news? 'Cause she's rich, and she's got nothing better to do than waltz around the red carpet pretending she's someone who's actually ACCOMPLISHED something. Give me a break. Wouldn't it be great if someone was in the news as often as she is for doing something good for humanity? I can at least stomach Angelina Jolie, she's a good will ambassador or something. But Paris?

And while I'm at it, what the hell is up with these girls like Paris, Britney, Lindsay, Nicole, and whoever the hell else, going around, getting trashy drunk, doing who knows what all kinds of drugs, holding knives to peoples throats...? These girls are on the way to a very public explosion, if they don't change their ways. And where the hell are their mommas during all this? Why don't they step in and snatch a knot in their asses? I mean, I know they're over 18 and all, but what were their mommas and daddys doing in their 'formative years', when they should've seen this train wreck approaching? What the hell? That's bad parenting, folks. Bad, bad parenting.

Too Feasible Not To Pass On

Got this in an email the other day:

Everyone concentrates on the problems we're having in this country lately -- illegal immigration, hurricane recovery, alligators attacking people in Florida.

But not me. I concentrate on solutions for the problems. It's a win-win situation.

+ Dig a moat the length of the Mexican border.

+ Send the dirt to New Orleans to raise the level of the levies.

+ Put the Florida alligators in the moat along the Mexican border.

Any other problems you would like for me to solve today?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Well it's about time...

Oh. My. God. It's finally happened.

Hunter, my adorable, semi-psychotic, sport challenged, video game obsessed son, has finally found a sport that he not only likes, but actually wants to participate in. And it's on a team. And it's RUGBY of all things.

A few days ago, Kat, the PE teacher at the school I work at, suggested that Hunter pop on by rugby practice to check it out and see if he'd be interested. I told her I'd talk to him about it, though personally not at all sure he'd even think about it since it would take away time from his precious video games. He seemed a little unsure about it at first, but said yes, he'd see what it was all about, so we made plans to attend the practice scheduled for last night.

As we pulled up to the school's soccer field, where practice was to be held, I was thankful (okay, more like practically elated) to see Kat there. Hunter, by this time, was getting nervous, and I was keeping my fingers crossed that he'd even go through with the whole deal. Since Kat had worked with Hunter over the school year, she already knew of his unfortuate absolute lack of physical sport-partaking ability, and I knew she'd be able to coax the best he had out of him. He followed her like a puppy down the hill to the field, and I sat up on the hill like one of the other moms, except my fingers were crossed and I was prepared for, if not expecting, the worst.

My heart went out to Hunter. I hoped he wouldn't embarrass himself, and that if he did, he'd be too ignorant to notice. Thankfully, there were 3 other kids that also had never played rugby, so they got to work together, and Hunter didn't stick out much from the rest of the kids. Although I cringed when he dropped the ball and felt horrible for him when he was the last one to cross the finish line when running (though I'm pretty sure he didn't even notice), he seemed to really be having fun. God knows it was certainly the most real exercise the kid's had in his whole life. Halfway through the hour and half-long practice, he came panting up the hill for his water bottle. "Sign me up, Mom!" he told me. I felt as though a weight had been lifted.

So, now we have rugby practice every Tuesday and Thursday and games every Saturday afternoon through August. Almost unable and certainly unwilling to wipe the grin off his face or stop talking about how cool rugby is, my little man fell asleep early, still wearing his new, 2-sizes-too-big rugby jersey. And even woke up with a smile this morning, still excited. Rugby rocks.