Monday, March 24, 2008

Something Truly Disturbing

Every great now and then, I stumble upon something so strange, so abnormal, so just plain screwed up, that I'm rendered practically speechless. It doesn't happen often, but there are occasions that I wonder if I - and all other fairly reasonable people - haven't been sucked into a black hole and have simply ceased to exist. And tonight was one of those occasions.

Pet (aka Ashlyn, the skinny mini size 2 that actually tries to gain weight) and I, at the tail end of the great search for Lean Cuisines and Weight Watchers frozen foods, ambled through our neighborhood grocery store toward the cash registers and made the mistake of doing so by way of the SEASONAL AISLE. I managed to avoid the perils of half price leftover Easter candy, - no small feat, let me tell you - but it was only because what I saw so disturbed me that even my unnatural fondness for sugar was forgotten.

I saw an Easter basket with a toy chainsaw in it! Now what damn idiot thought that up? What kind of fool puts a chainsaw, even a toy one, in an Easter Basket? Is it any wonder kids in America are so screwed up? That kids go around killing people? Don't you think that this is the way the Texas Chainsaw Massacre started? Those rednecks got chainsaws in their Easter baskets, I'm sure of it! That's the only plausible explanation.

Now, parent to parent, or parent to non-parent who buys for children, or what the hell ever you may or may not be, please just do me one favor, okay? Please don't buy the children in your life items that they can practice killing you with, especially if it's in a damn Easter Basket. That'd be just plain ol' bad parenting. And then I might have to hunt you down or something.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Three Things

Things That Scare Me

1. Not having enough money to retire
2. Running out of toilet paper
3. Ignorant people who are allowed to make rules

People That Make Me Laugh

1. My kids
2. My best friend, Lynn
3. Charles and Drew

Things I Love

1. Falling asleep while getting a foot massage
2. The sound of snow falling
3. Early morning when no one else is awake

Things I Hate

1. Ignorance
2. The lack of funding in Colorado for the developmentally disabled
3. My inability to be diplomatic/keep my mouth shut

Things I Don't Understand

1. Why I have 4 hairs on my chin that weren't there a year ago
2. People who complain about a situation but refuse to take steps to improve it
3. Why I cry when I think or talk about things I'm passionate about

Things on my Desk

1. Candles
2. Computer stuff
3. The talking Taco Bell dog that says, "Here lizard, lizard."

Things I'm Doing Right Now

1. Having my caffeine for the day
2. Listening to my cat, Napoleon, snore
3. Answering these questions - DUH

Things I Want To Do Before I Die

1. Go to Europe
2. See my children grow up and be responsible so that I'll know I didn't completely screw them up
3. Find peace and serenity

Things I Can Do

1. Tune out annoying noises
2. Support friends and family
3. Be obsessive about new endeavors

Things You Should Listen To

1. The laughter of a child
2. Your heart
3. Music that evokes a happy memory

Things You Should Never Say

1. I hate you
2. I can't
3. Never

Things I Would Like To Learn

1. How to be diplomatic and patient
2. How to snowboard
3. How to translate my enthusiasm for singing into talent

Favorite Foods

1. Mexican
2. Junk
3. Practically anything with a tomato-y sauce

Favorite Beverages

1. Water
2. Slightly sweetened iced tea
3. More water

TV Shows I Watched, Books I Read as a Kid

1. The Dukes of Hazzard
2. Night Tracks (pre-MTV music videos)
3. The entire Little House on the Prairie series

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The 1800's Were Dangerous Times

Through my genealogy research, I've discovered that the 1800's were dangerous times, which kind of surprised me. I mean, we're talking southern Alabama here, not the untamed wild west, right? Or at least that's what I thought...

For one poor soul, his final exit was undertaken by the fine folks down at Clio Furniture (of Clio, Alabama), who not only sold some pretty fine furniture, but had a fair price for a funeral as well.

One (two?) of my favorite deaths so far is that of a woman named Jessie and the local sherrif. From what I've been able to glean, there was a bit of a land dispute between Jessie and a neighbor, so the sherrif came out to settle things. As it turned out, Jessie took issue with the sherrif on some point or another, and she shot him. Apparently this happened right about the time he shot her.

As it turns out for Joe Barrus, late of Barbour County, Alabama, 1827 was a particularly dangerous year because the cause of death listed on his death certificate was "shot by wife". Now you just know that if he'd listened to her just a little more often, then she wouldn't have had to shoot his sorry ass, right? Even way back then southern women didn't take any crap.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Patting Myself On My Back

I'd like to think that I'm not usually one to brag about things that I do. And even if that's not the case, I want to think that it is, so please don't burst my bubble. However, I've changed a couple of things in my life lately and just wanted to share them with you, the lone person who's subscribed to my blog, and the occasional computer literate homeless person who hangs out at the library when it's cold.

Since August 13, the day school started this year, I've lost 33 pounds and weigh, for the first time in a very long time, less than 200 pounds. (I realize that posting that on the internet increases the chances of me being laughed at or made fun of, but what the hell, I have no secrets anyway.) I've done it mostly by watching what I eat, eating slowly, listening to my body and stopping eating when I'm not longer hungry versus when I'm so full I want to puke. Also, I indulge myself from time to time. If I want pizza, it's okay for me to have a slice or maybe even two, but the days of eating 3, 4, or 5 pieces are over. I still crave sweets though, and I've discovered a wonderful thing: Weight Watchers desserts. My favorite is the chocolate chip cookie dough sundae and it satisfies my craving and is low calorie, compared to "normal" food and doesn't sacrifice taste. Ugh! I sound like I'm preaching, so time to change the subject.

The other thing that I've done is that I've quit smoking. Again. It's only been 3 weeks, but I think this time it's for good. I'm taking wellbutrin, which works great to help you quit and has worked well for me in the past. It's also an anti-depressant, so it helps to keep me on a more even keel and hopefully I'm less bitchy as I go through withdrawal. About 3 years ago, I quit for 4 months and the reason I started back was that several boulders fell on me at once (going to court with Kenin's ex, Kenin getting a new job, trying to find a new place to live, and then moving, all within a month's time) and I gave in. This time I feel much more ready to quit and I think I have better coping skills to deal with stress. Besides, I wasn't smoking a whole lot anyway, so why smoke at all? Keep your fingers crossed for me. I will beat this thing yet!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Favorite Quotes

I was cleaning up an old website I'd made and came across these quotes. I hope you like them as much as I do!

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
~Albert Einstein

Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself.

Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.
~Billy Crystal

Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house.
~Rod Stewart

See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.
~Robin Williams

Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet.
~Robin Williams

Some people say that I must be a horrible person, but that's not true. I have the heart of a young boy -- in a jar on my desk.
~Stephen King

I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.
~Garrison Keilor

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
~Mae West

Sex on TV isn’t bad for you unless you fall off.
~ Unknown

Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

If you can’t beat your computer at chess, try kickboxing.

Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don’t have film.

The fact that no one understands you doesn't make you an artist.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Spotted on the back of a T-Shirt worn by an LAPD Bomb Squad member: If you see me running, try to keep up.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

And This Is Why I Stay Away Fom NASCAR Races

Thursday morning Ashlyn left to visit her dad in Georgia for 10 days. For me, that means 10 glorious, teenager-free days. For Ash and her dad, that means 5 of those 10 days will be spent sleeping with God knows how many other friends and relatives in an RV parked in the infield of the Atlanta Motor Speedway. I couldn't do it because I'm such a homebody that I prefer to be away from home for no longer than, say, oh, 12 hours or so. But they love it for some odd reason. And I mean they really love it. They take off work, fly Ashy down special just for the occasions (October and March, in case you're wondering how often the track gets a major workout), and make a big shindig out of it.

Anyway, Ash called me this morning, totally unapologetic about the fact that it was only 8 am, so that she could tell me it was snowing in Atlanta. Snow. In. Atlanta. During. A. NASCAR. Weekend. Hmph! Of all the nerve! I have to admit to a certain amount of satisfaction in the fact that my beautiful child refused to pack a coat because, "Mom, it's going to be 75 degrees down there!" Apparently there is such a thing as poetic justice after all.

While she was standing outside the RV and we were talking about the weather, she remarked to someone standing near her that "Well, at least Bill has a shirt on now." That sounded just a wee bit odd so I asked her what she was talking about. She said that the only things "Bill" ever wore while they were at the races were boxer shorts and cowboy boots. I could feel my head begin to explode just a little bit as I wondered if this was the same guy who, last October, was so drunk that he fell off the roof of the RV.

UPDATE: According to Ashlyn, no, Bill is not the same person who got drunk and fell off the RV. My thought though, is that now I know for sure that there are two idiots out there instead of just the one. Scary, no?

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Other Me

Have you ever felt like, as you grew older, that along with the so-called wisdom you've gained, that you've also perhaps lost a little bit of yourself as well? I know that sounds a bit confusing, so let me explain. As I slowly (though not quite slowly enough) waltz toward my - ack! - 39th birthday, I find myself comparing me now to the me that was 10, 15, or 20 years ago.

Twenty years ago I was, what I would like to think, though I'm fairly certain I'm living in denial, a fairly typical 18 year old. I was pretty responsible in that I had a job, an apartment or mobile home depending on which part of my 18th year you choose to examine, and a car. I loved to go out with my friends, "cruise the square", and just have fun (all while totally sober and straight, if you can believe that). I enjoyed being carefree and having no responsibility for anyone other than myself. I didn't always make the best choices, but I lived through the bad ones and learned a lesson or two. I wasn't looking into the future because I was, as most all 18 year olds are, immortal and invincible.

Fifteen years ago I was the mother of an almost 2 year old absolutely beautiful little girl, and I can say that because I'M NOT BIASED AT ALL. I also had a part time job, a really nice home, a husband, and I was completely miserable so I got out. I couldn't tell you what I wanted, but I knew that what I had wasn't it. So off I went in search of something different, still responsible for my daughter, but still young enough to have the guts to go out and get what I wanted, even if I wasn't quite sure what that was.

Ten years ago, I was the single parent of my daughter and a totally smart and handsome 1 year old little boy, and I can say that because I'M NOT BIASED AT ALL. I worked a full time and a part time job, had a car, a townhome, and knew that I loved not having to deal with another adult in my life, other than at work. I was happy, even though I lived in a town where 3/4 of the residents were related in some way to my son's father and refused to even acknowledge that I existed. That was okay for me though, because I now knew that I wasn't a doormat and didn't need to have anyone with me to make it because I could do it myself.

I'm now a wife, the parent of 4 children (2 of them are 'step', though we refuse to look at it in that manner), I work full time, have a home, a car, and I wonder where the fight in me went. I've discovered that I'm passionate (Kenin says OCD) about the people and things that I find enjoyment in and in the things that I think. I hate that I'm so in tune with people that I sometimes must sugar coat the things that I say to the point that sometimes what comes out of my mouth is a twisted, almost-untrue version of what I really wanted to say. Why is it that in my life as a wife and mother I don't feel like the me that was? Is it that I've become such the caregiver to others that that's all that I am now? Has the me who takes care of everyone else has overrun the other parts of me? Do the old me's even exist anymore, or is this current me all that I am? Where did all the other me's go to?

Don't think I'm depressed, because I'm not, or at least I don't think I am. I've just been thinking lately about the me that is vs. the me's that were. There are days that I wonder just how in the hell I got where I am, and days that I'm thankful I'm not where I used to be.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Yes, I Know, I Suck

Yesterday it was about 70 degrees here, a beautiful, sunny, warm day. This morning I woke up and it was snowing, with about 4 inches already on the ground, and the high temperature is supposed to be 32. Since this drastic weather change messes up any plans I might have had outside of the house (I didn't really have any plans like that, but in case I had, they'd now be ruined) and I really don't want to spend my day cleaning the inside of the house, I decided to blog so that I wouldn't disappoint the sole person who's subscribed to it. (See, I don't even know who you are, and I'm blogging just for you! :) ) Like I said, I know, I suck for not posting more consistently.

I'm still into the ancestry thing, and am having a blast. I've actually been in touch with a real, live relative who I'm related to from about 10 generations ago. Of course, I wouldn't know her if I ran her over with my car, but it's kind of cool to discover just how big my little world is. It turns out that the Riley side of the family is actually from England and not Ireland, as I'd thought, so now I can't go around touting the 'I'm full-blooded Irish' bit anymore which sucks, but whatever. I've traced the Riley side back to about the 1400's in England, but some of the dates are incorrect on the info I have. For example, someones child is born before his/her mother was born. That would be kind of cool, don't you think, if it were true, but I'm fairly certain that kind of thing is physiologically impossible. Anyway, I've upgraded my membership on the website to being able to look at documents from all over the world so I plan on figuring all that stuff out and making sure that what I do have is correct.

Hunter turns 11 tomorrow and is disgustingly excited about getting older. I guess at the age of 11 that's okay, but I gotta tell ya that at the age of 38, I'd be pretty content if I quit having birthdays. Wait, I don't really have birthdays anymore; I have anniversaries of birthdays. So that means that in August, I'll have my 19th anniversary of my 20th birthday, which is, in my not so humble opinion, much better than having another birthday.