Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm not a Blond

I'm a red head, not a blond but I can have blond moments.
We got a new car in July, a Honda CRV. We traded in our Ford Explorer, a truck that I loved. We'd never had a vehicle that was that luxurious. The review mirror automatically changed when a car came up behind you at night. There were what they called puddle lights on the bottom of the sideview mirror that came on when you remotly unlocked the door. It had a compass, fog lights, power adjustable drivers seat, keyless entry, seperate climate control for the back seats and best of all it was a V6. Worse of all it got about 15 miles to the gallon.

The Honda has none of those accoutrements but gets better gas mileage and has a lower monthly payment. It's a nice vehicle, peppy enough. I like it but do miss somethings that I had on the truck. Well twice last week when I put it in gear or shall I say tried to put it in gear, the button you push in on the shifter wouldn't go in and I couldn't get it out of park.
The first time it happened I was in the garage trying to get it into reverse. Now I can walk to school, about a mile away from my house but I have to be there by 8:30 and when I drive I usually leave around 8:28. I tried shutting off the engine, starting it again, wouldn't go in gear. This went on for about 5 minutes. Finally I got it did and was just 5 minutes late. It's all good if I beat the students to the classroom.

Next time (a few days later) I was at the salon getting my eyebrows waxed. Came out to leave and damn if that Honda wouldn't shift into drive. I'm one of the few people in the world that don't have a cell phone so I had to use a public phone to call Sean. Do you know that it cost 50 cents to make a phone call now??!! Not to mention, they're gross. In my wallet I had a casino token from Niagara Falls, a Canadian dollar coin, some pennies and my magic stone that my son found on Ballston Beach in Cape Cod 17 years ago. (my father always told me to have a few dollars in my wallet but jeez, I never do). I went into the card store to see if they'd give me change for this Canadian coin. Which by the way is now worth as much as an American dollar. Well guess what, they wouldn't do it even when I told them I had car trouble and needed to make a phone call. Luckily my night in shining armor came to my rescue. The man behind me gave me 4 quarters to make the phone call. He said keep your dollar, take all 4 quarters, you might have to make another call.
So I called Sean who was on the way out the door headed for an after work happy hour. While waiting for him to arrive I'm thinking how I'm going to let the dealer know what a piece of crap their car is while they're to wing it away. Sean arrives, gets in, starts it up, puts it in drive. WTF?! Turns out with Honda's you have to have your foot on the brake in order for the shifter to go into gear. Who knew? For some reason twice this week I hadn't done that. Why all of a sudden? I don't remember doing that with any other car I've driven. Maybe I always have without realizing it. But why suddenly stop doing it?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Dear Abby,
My husband is a liar and a cheat. He has cheated on me from the beginning,and, when I confront him, he denies everything. What’s worse, everyone knows that he cheats on me. It is so humiliating. Also, since he lost his job six years ago, he hasn’t even looked for a new one. All he does all day is smoke cigars, cruise around and bullshit with his buddies while I have to work to pay the bills. Since our daughter went away to college he doesn’t even pretend to like me and hints that I may be a lesbian. What should I do?
Signed: Clueless

Dear Clueless,
Grow up and dump him. Good grief, woman. You don’t need him anymore! You’re a United States Senator from New York running for President of the United States. Act like one.

I stole the above from Nobody on My Blog is About Nothing, hope he doesn't mind.

Regardless of this joke, I really liked Bill Clinton and still do. He's very intelligent, articulate, charismatic and respected around the world. I think the country was at it's best when he was president. Do I like the fact that he was unfaithful to his wife? Hell no. Obviously there is some discontent in that marriage. I'm sure being under a microscope didn't help. I don't think that the "sexual relations" with Monica made him any less capable of running the country. And I'm not making excuses for him but Clinton is not the first president to be unfaithful. FDR, a great and popular president had a long term affair with Lucy Mercer and was with her when he died. There was a revolving door and a line of women coming and going from the White House when JFK was in residence. The difference here was that Clinton was hung out to dry for it. I'm not condoning extramarital affairs but I don't think that every issue in a person's private life should be in the public eye. It is between the husband and wife. Yes, I did lose some respect for him on that. What was he thinking?? In the Oval Office no less. More proof that men think with their dicks at times.

Bottom line, I'll take a smart, savy, womanizing president over the cowboy we have in office now. He's an embarrassment.

One last thing, I'm very grateful that I live in a country where I can express the above opinions and not be thrown in jail or worse. While I don't agree with every Bill of Rights in the United States constitution, some are out of date or taken too literally, (that's a subject for another blog entry) I do thank the founding fathers and framers of the constitution for the freedoms we have today.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I have developed an obsession for Tootsie Pops. I don't care for the chocolate ones or the new flavor (well new to me) lemon lime. But the other flavors, yummmmm. I've never been able to get to the tootsie roll inside without crunching. Some things I have no self control with.

I'm happy that the new TV season has started. I still enjoy Survivor, love Boston Legal and the dancing shows. Right now is Dancing with the Stars. If only I could dance, just a little. I have no rhythm at all. Believe me. Oh how I would love to have a body like the professional women have. Professional dancers I mean. Edyta Sliwinska. Hot. Tall with long legs. I drool over her and I'm not into ladies. But, is it my imagination or do the dancers both professional and stars seem very shiny and too tan?

This year in school I am working between fifth grade and kindergarten with most of my day with the little ones. What a difference between the 2 grades. I have to say I still see some of the kindergartner in the fifth grader at times. One nice thing about the kindergartners is they don't stink. Today the 5th graders ran the mile in P.E. in 90 degree heat. Right after that I had to work with them in science class. They were hot and sweaty. Usually its at the end of the school year they get ripe but today, I couldn't wait to get out of the room.

Also one of my kindergartners told me today that he got a bumblesting while waiting at the bus stop this morning. How cute is that? I love my job.

Monday, September 24, 2007

College Shopping

Number 2 son is a senior in high school and we've started the dreaded college search. Some parents find this fun and exciting. I don't. I find it stressful.

At this stage in the game he wants to be a teacher. A high school English teacher to be exact. The state I live in, New York, has very rigorous standards for the education of future teachers. Other states love NY certified teachers so our search will be confined to our state.

Number 2 is a bright kid, he scored 1440 on the SAT, has a 3.8 GPA and takes honors and AP classes. He has many universities from around the country interested in him. A persistent one is University of Southern California. Three thousand miles away and a mere $49,600 per year! WTF! Who has that kind money? Other schools interested in him are the U.S.military academies. The price is right, free, but they own you for a while. I'm not signing my baby over to the armed forces. As soon as he made Eagle Scout he heard from every branch of the military.

Big school? Small school? Private school or State school? His older brother goes to a large Division 1 school and is a serious student. Number 2 is a social butterfly and very laid back, what kind of school is right for him? I guess the only way to tell is to visit all kinds. He doesn't seem stressed so I guess I shouldn't be either.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Oops, he did it again

I don't usually venture into political things on this blog but holy shit, I can't wait until the presidential election. It can't come soon enough. I didn't think that Bush could make him self look and seem any more stupid but he has succeeded again. I should be used to him making these blunders but every time he does it, it still shocks me that the President of the United States sticks his foot in his mouth time and time again. By doing that he sends the world a message saying this country is a bunch of nit wits.

Now I'm not saying that the job of President is an easy one. Hell no. It must be the hardest job in the world. I can't believe that anyone would want to do it. The stress, the pressure, the knowledge you have to have. The names of countries and their leaders must be extremely hard to remember let alone to pronounce. I cut him some slack on that. Personally I don't think anyone in the country should make more money than the president. I know I'll never have to worry about that but look at the professional athletes for one. They make millions for playing a game they love. Say they miss a game winning field goal in the Superbowl, (Scott Norwood, you broke the heart of thousands of western New Yorkers) What's the worse that can happen? You get run out of town and become a piece of sports trivia.

Screw up as president and you get us in a war that is killing sons and daughters of this country everyday. Yes, I support our troops and this is my opinion, I think we should have dedicated the manpower and money towards the hunt for Bin Laden.

To sum it all up, I am proud to be an American. I hate the fact that the majority of the world thinks of us as power hungry, over indulgent, selfish, soulless people. Some of these same people that think we are the evil empire but whether they know it or not, they Americanize themselves by listening to American music, wearing our clothes, sneakers , electronics, etc. (ok, not made in this country but still.) Some come to our country to educate themselves at our universities or to receive medical treatment.

But back to our 43rd president. Read below for his latest gaffe.

Mandela still alive after embarrassing Bush remark
Fri Sep 21, 8:15 AM ET
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Nelson Mandela is still very much alive despite an embarrassing gaffe by U.S. President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in an attempt to explain sectarian violence in Iraq.
"It's out there. All we can do is reassure people, especially South Africans, that President Mandela is alive," Achmat Dangor, chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said as Bush's comments received worldwide coverage.
In a speech defending his administration's Iraq policy, Bush said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's brutality had made it impossible for a unifying leader to emerge and stop the sectarian violence that has engulfed the Middle Eastern nation.
"I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas," Bush, who has a reputation for verbal faux pas, said in a press conference in Washington on Thursday.
Jailed for 27 years for fighting white minority rule, Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for preaching racial harmony and guiding the nation peacefully into the post-apartheid era.
References to his death -- Mandela is now 89 and increasingly frail -- are seen as insensitive in South Africa.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I need to sleep

In our bedroom we have a clock that projects the time and the outside temperature on the ceiling. I love it. I can crack open an eyelid to check it in the middle of the night, go right back to sleep. Some winter morning it does make it hard to get out of bed when the temp is -10 degrees F. It's not the friendliest when using the alarm feature so I use a clock radio on my side of the bed. Yes, I have to wake the man up 90 minutes before I need to get up. Yes I have to hit the snooze button for him too. This means I have to wake up too. If I left it up to him, he'd keep on sleeping.

I bought a new alarm clock about 6 weeks ago. Old Faithful decided that retirement sounded pretty good and stopped working. I like all of the features on the new one. No more going around again if you go past the time you want, you can reverse! Duel alarms, perfect. You can program it to go off Mon. though Friday but not on weekends. It tells you the day and date. Automatically falls back or springs ahead for daylight savings time. What more could a girl want. It is the Cadillac of alarm clocks. Of course anything would be better than the Chevy Vega model I had.

But all is not perfect with this clock. The numbers light up in blue and even on the dim setting this thing is so damn bright that I can't sleep. My room glows blue. I like it as dark as possible when I'm sleeping. Unfortunately I have plantation shutters and a valance on each window so light comes in. The full moon is bad. But back to my clock. I can't have it facing me and blinding me so I turn it sideways so I can't see it. Remember I have the time on the ceiling. Scully and Mulder could use this clock as a flashlight when they're hunting aliens. Since I've turned it I've overslept 3 times. I realized today as I woke up at 8:05 and had to be to school at 8:30, that I must be turning it off rather than hitting the snooze bar. I guess the next step it to put it on the floor. Or buy one of these.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

OJ in trouble again

I just don't get O.J. The man essentially gets away with the murder of two people and can't manage to keep his nose clean.

I think he thinks he's made of Teflon and nothing will stick to him. This isn't the first time he's been in trouble with the law since that fateful time in 1994. While O.J. is all over the TV networks, he'll get no face time on this blog. The only people I will feature are the people whose lives he took, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. I have already heard people voice the opinion that he was set up in this so called sting operation. Give me a break. This man thinks he can do what he pleases without fear of recrimination. After all he got away with double murder once. You can't do better than that.
People wonder why is he in jail and not the other people that he roped into his crime. Can you say flight risk? Remember the white Bronco chase. The little smirk he had on his face when he was doing the "perp walk" was sickening. Please do the right thing and keep him in jail. The party's over. He hasn't found his former wife's killer in the last 13 years so jail is a good place for him.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Autumn Days of a Life

I have a friend, just a couple years older than myself. Her name is Ginny. We became friends 16 years ago when number 1 son had her as his first grade teacher. I knew then she was something special and begged number 2's kindergarten teacher to place him in Ginny's first grade as well. I wish it wasn't so but she is in the autumn of her life. I spoke with her several weeks ago and she hopes that she can hang on until her first child's wedding next June. She has a husband and three children, the youngest being 16. She is no stranger to the insidious disease of cancer as this is her fourth bout with it in 25 years. Unfortunately for this world, "it" is going to win this fight.

When you speak with her she has the uncanny ability to make you feel better and to comfort you. She wants to keep everything as normal as possible as long as she can. While her body is weak and frail, her spirit is energetic and upbeat. Ginny is the strongest woman I know. She is a kind, gentle, nurturing person, and deserves to spend a long life spoiling her future grandchildren. She would be a wonderful grandmother.

It became clear this summer that Ginny can no longer work and would not be coming back to school in September. Our school is not the same without her energy there. There is a long term sub in for her and we're welcoming her into the family but it's just not the same, plus she has huge shoes to fill.

I've had a card for her that I've been looking at for 3 weeks and struggling with what to write. It's been at home, sort of out of sight, out of mind but not really. I took it to work and put it on my desk so I see it everyday. I just didn't know what to write in it. I didn't just want to sign my name, I wanted to acknowledge that I know how hard it must be to not return to the teaching job she loves. What do you say to someone in this situation? Finally yesterday I forced myself to confront it. It was a hard, tearful and painful but once I started, the words tumbled out.

For many, writing words are easier than speaking them. I'm one of those people. I did let her know I understand how hard it must be for her to not be working, how we all miss her and on a personal level how much I miss our friendship. I told her the above story about knowing how special she was all those years ago when my boys had her, how she is an inspiration to all. My original goal 30 years ago was to be a teacher but I went into the corporate world for 18. I left that job and started coming into her classroom once a week to help out. She put the bug in my ear that eventually got me where I am today. In a job that I love, I get to work with all types of kids, to see their joy for life and to hopefully guide them into intelligent, wonderful adults. I told her thank you for that.

All things I might never have told her had she not been sick. I guess the moral of the story is to not wait for that to happen. Don't wait to tell people you love those things. Make their day.

No regrets.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering those who lost their lives in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Little Boy and Puppy Dog

Last week was the first week back to school. This is Number 2 son on the morning of his first day. He's a senior in high school this year and has a full schedule, no early arrival or early dismissal for him. He's taking 3 AP classes and several honors classes as well as driver ed.When I was in high school I was out of there by 10:30. You wouldn't catch me taking any extra classes if I didn't need to. While he's in high school, I'm back too in the elementary school, working in fifth grade and kindergarten. I have 157 names to learn. Yikes.

I'm a puppy aunt also!! My sister's family got a new puppy this weekend, a golden retriever. Her name is Maise and she is the cutest fur ball you ever saw. She's just 8 weeks old and has the soft puppy fur, sharp needle teeth and puppy smell.

They paid a lot of money for this dog and had a puppy fund for about 8 months to save for her. Whenever I went over or saw the kids I'd give them a few bucks for the puppy fund. This dog cost a cool one thousand dollars. Yes, I said $1,000. Thank goodness Cody only cost us 50 bucks.

Which leads me to this. I always thought that if the mother and father of a dog were of different breeds they were called mutts. Nobody paid much if anything for a mutt. When I look in the newspaper today I see dogs called Labradoodles $300. (Lab & Poodle) Goldendoodle $600. (Golden Retriever & Poodle) Chiwauzer $450. (Chihauahua & Schnauzer) Jug $200. (Jack Russell & Pug) In my day (don't I sound like an old grandmaw?) these were called mutts and you gave them away. Now they command big money. So I wonder if you breed a bulldog and a shih-tzu would you call it a Bullshit?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Up, Up and Away

This Labor Day weekend we took Number 2 and his best friend to a hot air balloon festival.

The day was beautiful with a cloudless blue sky, a slight breeze from the west and the aroma of barbecue chicken and cow manure in the air.

This festival was in a rural area some distance from my city. By the end of the day I became a firm believer of the saying, "you can take a girl out of the city but you can't take the city out of the girl."

While I don't live in the city proper, I live in a suburb on the very fringe of it, downtown is about 5 miles away. My zip code is said city. It's not a mega city but it is the 3rd largest city in my state with a metropolitan population of 1,037,831. The lovely little town the festival was held in has a population of about 6,000.
I was surrounded by good 'ol boys in John Deere and deer huntin' tee shirts and other walks of life that I won't go into here.

Around 6 PM the balloon pilots begin to let cool air into the envelope. (the balloon in layman's terms) When it's almost filled they start up the burner to warm the air and the balloon rises. If you remember any basic science, warm air is lighter than cool air and will rise . That's why the upstairs of your house is warmer in the winter and the downstairs is cooler in the summer.

The balloons are so graceful and quiet except when they give a blast from the burner to keep that air warm. We were lucky in the fact the the breeze was blowing west to east so the balloons travelled right over our heads upon lift off.

We weren't sure what to expect being that we had never been to this festival before. The first balloon launch was at 6 AM. For those of you that know me, I'm not a morning person. I'd have to get up about 4 o'clock to see them in the morning launch and there was just no way.

We weren't sure how many balloons we'd see there. I thought maybe 12 - 15. We were pleasantly surprised to see that there were 47 balloons in attendance!

This one is "The Flying Purple People Eater"

It was a beautiful sight to see them aloft and worth the wait. They played a game where they had to find a big bulls eye on the ground, lower down and drop beanbags to see which balloon could get closest. The festival cost only 5 bucks per person to get in but if you wanted a ride in one of these balloons, be prepared to pony up $200.00 per person!

I apologize for the blurry picture, we were in the car and Sean didn't pull over. This pilot and his balloon didn't fare too well. They ended up stuck in the trees. Don't know how that happened. I don't know how they got them out but I'd want my $200.00 back!

Green Acres TV Theme

Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide.
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
No, New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue....
The chores....
The stores....
Fresh air....
Times Square
You are my wife.
Good bye, city life.
Green Acres we are there.