"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Thursday, February 28, 2008

THOUGHTS BEFORE LEAP DAY

An extra day this year is such a wonderful gift...

So what are you going to do with an additional 24 hours of life?

Leap into a new hobby? A new career? A new hair color? A new attitude? A new relationship?

My dear friend Suz, on the eve of our launching our own weekly newspaper (The West Central Valley Voice) a few years back, attempted to calm my nerves at the risk we were about to take by offering the Zen-like advice, "Leap and the net will appear".

In other words, take the chance, throw caution to the wind, jump into the endeavor, and it will all fall into place, it will all work out.

And she was right.

Our 2 1/2-year stint as newspaper "moguls" was a couple of the best 2 1/2 years of my life -- what a blast! What a journalistic labor of love! What an extraordinary and fulfilling challenge!

We later took another leap and started a news blog, the late, great Independent Eye, which (go figure) still attracts several readers a week even though there hasn't been a new post since we turned it over to our friend Peggy, and The Eye evolved into The Voices of Stuart (Iowa).

Actually, the Eye evolved from The Home Stretch, which I just sort of jumped into as well, and frankly, I can't remember how or why.... But these days, I can't imagine not blogging...it's helps keep my creative juices flowing...and it's just so darn fun being a part of the ever-expanding blogosphere...

Now, if you scroll down to the very bottom of the blog, you will see the "This Blog Brought To You By Leap And The Net Will Appear Enterprises". It's my little tribute to me and Suz and our Voice days...and to the act of leaping and jumping and trying something new and different and challenging despite the small, scared voice inside us that whispered, "Don't leap. Turn back. Give up. Don't try."

Of course, one does not have to wait for a Leap Year to throw one's self into a new, exciting endeavor, or change an attitude, a hair color or start a new hobby. But having a unique day like Feb. 29 where one is encouraged to delve into something out of the ordinary, makes it even more compelling to, well, just leap.

So what are you going to do with an additional 24 hours of life this Leap Day? Have you given it any thought?

Your net is waiting.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO FARIDABAD?


First Germany.

Now India.

That live traffic widget I added to my blog recently has been more entertaining than a barrel of monkeys! I've had readers from California and Colorado, Mississippi, Florida...

But I gotta tell ya that when the little map of Faridabad, Haryana popped up the other night - WOW-E-ZING ( as my dear departed ol' dad used to say)!

Of course, my very first thought was, "Where the hell is Faridabad, Haryana? So I did what any blogger worth his or her weight in hits would do -- I Googled. Did you know that Faridabad, Haryana was in India? Heck, I didn't.

And to think someone from INDIA just happened to drop by my little ol' blog.

Heck, Schmeck, it's downright mind-bloggling!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

HILLARY, DAHLING, A LITTLE WISCONSIN CHEESE WITH THAT WHINE?

Hillary, dahling, you're whining.

C'mon now, dear. Admit it.

If the tables were turned and your supporters were turning out in adoring rock-concert throngs to hear you speak or to just shake your hand, and you had won the last 9 caucuses and primaries, and folks were completely agog at your inspirational oratory abilities, then you'd deem that style of presidential campaigning as all fine and dandy -- the marks of the perfect Democratic candidate for prez.

But nooooooooo...

Since its Barack that's cleaning up at the polls right now, well, then, by golly, it's all just a bunch of pretty prose.

Whatever.

With all due respect -- and not to badger you after your Wisconsin defeat (ba-da-bump) -- but I just don't think voters are buying your petty argument.

I mean, is it so wrong that Barack has a heckuvalotta folks fired up about this election, about the chance to change the hopeless direction the country has been going for years? He's made his stances on the issues known...he's talked about what he envisions accomplishing as president...just as you have.

You both espouse change. His campaign trail stumping is just more inspiring.

You're like, "Yes! We Can!" He's like, "YES! WE CAN!"

Not worth the pout, though, dahling.

Be honest now...wouldn't you agree that if we all settle down a bit and look political campaigning by anyone straight in the eye, isn't every candidate, no matter what level of government, no matter what party, made up of just a little more blow than show? Even you? I mean, yes, theoretically, it's great that you have all that experience (and Bill has all that Oval Office experience to back you as well), and you say you'll be "ready day one" to dig in do all the stuff you're promising.

But couldn't that schtick just as easily be categorized as "empty rhetoric" ? I mean, let's be real...no one's presidency ever unfolds to the letter of their campaign. And yours, should you win, won't either.

My point, Hillary, dahling, is that your whole empty/borrowed word let's-turn-em-against-Barack/try-to-sully-his-speaking -skills campaign strategy does nothing but make you look, well, silly. And jealous. And desperate, dahling. Simply desperate.

And whiny.

And I know a whiner when I hear one -- cuz I am one, too. Just ask my sister. Or my friend, Carol R. Or, come to think of it, any one of my friends...

Anyway, dahling, take heart! It ain't over till it's over...there's still Texas and Ohio on the horizon...

So put on your big girl pants -- or, in your case, pant suit -- and quit whining.

Chin up! Shoulders back!

And remember, dahling, every time you point a finger at Barack accusing him of spewing empty rhetoric, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

'Nite.

Hoodie Hoo!

If, like me, you are absolutely sick of winter -- and who in the midwest/on the east coast isn't? -- then today is our day to rally!

It's Hoodie Hoo Day!

At some point today, everyone is supposed to run out and yell "Hoodie Hoo" and shoo winter away...(if only it were that simple).

If you feel like putting a little extra "hoodie" into your "hoo", make sure and wear a funky hat, colorful stretch pants, vest, and boots (like the obviously fun-loving Hoodie Hoo girls pictured) ...
Hey, don't laugh. Every little bit of Hoodie Hoo funk helps when it's below zippo.
Hoodie Hoo!

Friday, February 15, 2008

BUT REALLY... HOW DOES HILLARY DO IT?

natalie dee

Say what you will about CBS Evening News' "silly girl" Katie Couric asking Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton (during the recent and now infamous 60 Minutes interview) if she pops vitamins to keep her stamina up and running...

Truth is, I had been wondering the very same thing...

I mean, how does Hillary do it? My golly, she's on the road or in the air 24/7, giving rousing, articulate "vote for me" speeches , debating our country's life and death issues, yucking it up with Letterman, and attempting to carve a chunk out of my man Obama's armor at every turn...yet her eyes never look tired, her hair always looks perfect, her smile never wanes (well, except for that one teary episode that won her New Hampshire)...

I think she did admit to giving up diet pop...and eating hot peppers or something...

My point -- and I do have one -- is that I'm at least 10 years younger than Hillary, and yet I can barely muster enough luster each day to drag my sorry butt out of bed, throw on a pot of coffe, mumble a few short words to my husband, shower, drive six short blocks to work where I spend my day sitting at a desk secheuling tv and appliance repairs, only to drag myself back home, eat supper, maybe toss in a load of laundry, say hello to my son, and crawl back into bed.

And I pretty much look like hell. 24/7.

I did buy some One A Day Vitamins for women over 50 the other day -- oy -- and I'm hoping they kick in here real soon.

By the same token, how does Hillary get to sleep? With the adrenaline jolts that must certainly come with the wacky world of presidential campaigning, how does she wind down and drift into a decent REM cycle?

I know she can't be taking Unisom at night -- she's too damn perky. I took one of those babies the other night and I was still sound asleep when I woke up the next morning. I suppose she could be taking Ambien, but with that comes all those possible side effects, like eating and driving in the middle of the night or whatever but not remembering it the next day...which would be risky business for a prez candidate.

I dunno.

What do presidential candidates do when they're weary but they can't get to sleep? Count delegates instead of sheep? Throw back a good, stiff slug of Nyquil?

Well, enough pondering. It's time for this ol' gal to hit the hay.

'See ya' in the morning's milk', as my dear ol' dad used to say. "And don't take any wooden nickels.'

TRAFFIC JAM

Cool!

Dig the live traffic feed in my sidebar.

Chantilly, VA....Washington, D.C....Rhode Island...Missouri...and of course Des Moines, Cincinnati and Huxley... and now, GERMANY! Whoa, baby!

Who are these folks? (OK, I know who Huxley is and am pretty sure who the Iowa and Cincinnati readers are...and I may even have an inkling about Virginia... but Washington, D.C.? (Perhaps it's GW!) Rhode Island?

And GERMANY?

Wow! It's like getting postcards from around the country, the world...with no signatures.

On one hand, I'm dying to know who everyone is, how they happened upon my little ol' blog, a blog based on the mental meanderings of a Midwest midlife mom...

On the other hand, I love the surprise and mystery of it all -- takes me back to my CB days (10-4 Good Buddy)...jawing nightly with people from hither and yon that I could hear but couldn't see...but I digress...

Anyway! I am thrilled with the live traffic feed and can't wait to scale more new geographical blogospherical heights! Meanwhile, feel free to leave a comment or two, folks!

Blogging....by golly, Molly, it's a great way to travel!

GERMANY?!?!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

OOPS! I DID IT AGAIN...

I swear to you that I really never intended to come home late from my friend Mary B's 50th birthday party, held last night at the posh Chez Coon Bowl III...

However, one's 50th birthday only comes around once, and I can't begin to describe how good it felt to spend, let's see...six hours laughing and singing and regaling each other with various stories from back in the day, including highlights from our formative career years when Mary and I were "cub" reporters in Carroll.

I told John and Daniel I'd most likely be home by 9 p.m. -- wayyy past my usual Saturday night bedtime (yawn) -- but apparently I was the only one of the three of us who actually believed I'd be home early. Shades, I suppose, of the empty "I'll be home by 10" promise I tossed out as I left for the office Christmas party just a few short weeks ago...

John tells me this morning that at about 11:45 last night, Daniel turned to him and said, "It doesn't look like Mom's going to be home by 9...to which John replied, "Did you really think she'd be home by 9?" To which Daniel replied, "No."

And, in my heart of hearts, I probably didn't actually think I'd be home early either...I mean, I don't get out much -- especially in the dead of a bone-chilling Iowa winter. And once my friend Diane A. and I started belting out the oldies -- she always wanted to be a Pip (as in Gladys Knight and the Pips, left) or a Supreme, and boy, does she have down pat the smooth vibes of The Spinners' (above, right, the guys in the funky blue pantsuits) "Then Came You" -- well, I was laughing so hard that I completely lost track of time.

No, that's a lie.

I knew darn well what time it was. But gosh, we were having fun...makes me think that maybe, just maybe, Sing-Along-Day at the raisin ranch (my niece's term for a nursing home) will be OK as long as Diane and I are either sharing a room or are just down the hall from each other...

LOL...

The only disappointment of the evening was that Love Shack was not on any of the CDs that Dan The Bowling Alley Maestro had at his disposal. So (and I'm not sure whose idea this was...no, that's a lie -- it was my idea) we convinced Mary that at the ripe old age of 50, she just HAD to visit The Northside, the local trendy watering hole (no that's lie, too...the trendy part).

Sadly, there was no Love Shack to be found on that juke box, so we settled for Mary Wells' "My Guy", Cher's "If I Could turn Back Time" and The Eagles' "Lyin' Eyes".

(And since when did jukeboxes become so confusing? I could've sworn we pushed the buttons for John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane" but we never heard it.) I think Diane finally convinced me it was time to step away from the jukebox about 1 a.m.

Yikes-o-Rama!

Anyway, Happy Birthday Mary B! Fond memories, always! And heartfelt thanks to Mary's hubby, Mark, and their all-grown-up kids (and excellent hosts), HannaBananna and Ross, for inviting me!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hurry Spring....

Don't know if it's just cuz it's been a long winter, or because we are the parents of an only-and-almost-15-year-old son....

But as I blog, Daniel is at a basketball game with his friends (John once again allowed him to ride with friends to a game an hour away, and I am like, freakin' out) John is attempting to play Guitar Hero III (Slow Ride) at an ear-piercing level, and I am sipping wine and humming "Sunrise, Sunset"...

And they wonder why I'm a bit goofy at work...

Major confession: I am not growing old gracefully nor am I willingly learning to let go of my son as he seemingly overnight grows into manhood.

God, no one ever tells you about the transition, how tough it is...

I lived several states away from my dad and step-mom when I was but a year or so older than Daniel -- how did my Dad stand it? How did he live day to day not knowing where I was or what I was doing? The house feels so empty when Daniel isn't here....and as much as I complain about the hours he spends on the computer, I can't stand the sight of the computer dark and the chair empty...

(Great...John just came out of the bedroom with a hat and sunglasses -- looking somewhat like John Belushi as one of the Blues Brothers -- and here we go with yet another attempt at Slow Ride....Wait! He's goin' for Hit Me With Your Best Shot...my apologies to Pat Benetar...he's getting booed off the stage...lol

Oh, and by the way, not to change the subject, but...will someone please explain to me how the late Heath Ledger "accidentally" ingested a lethal cocktail of valium, oxycotin, xanax and whatever the fourth prescription drug was?...Good Lord...even my late grandmother in late stages of dementia knew better than to take too many sleeping pills at one time...I'm sorry, but I just don't believe it was "accidental". Sad, very sad...

And what's with Hillary and her $5 million donation to her campaign? And my man Obama was able to raise over $7 million in just a couple of days? Wow. Abe Lincoln could not afford to run for president if he were alive today...

Looks like it's so-long to the Mittster...talk about sinking millions into a lost cause -- and he'll never even miss the money...

Politics Schmolitics...

Hmm...John is really wailin' to Mississippi Queen...

I think it's time for me to say goodnight, Gracie.

Sweet Dreams.

Happy 1st Birthday, Mimi and Pearl!

OK, so neither Mimi's nor Pearl's ears stick straight up, and they are both too down to earth to wear a FUR for cryin' out loud -- even when going out on the town to celebrate their 1st birthday. But I LOVED this pic -- sort've an artist's rendition, as it were, of what The Girls might look like IF they did don a fur coat...So, Angie, how would you describe their first year? LOL Happy Birthday to Mimi and Pearl! You go, girls!

(Truth be known, their actual birthday was Feb. 6...I just couldn't get any 'puter time to post...brother Max, I see, spent his birthday running free and stopping cars on 6th Avenue once again...not sure what brother Nate was up to...yes, half the rat terriers -- Jack Rats, actually -- in this town are siblings to our darlings, Mimi and Pearl. Angie tells me Pearl enjoyed a little bacon grease on her kibbles, and Mimi....well, she got a new bone and some bacon-and-cheese Beggin' Strips...)

Friday, February 01, 2008

A LETTER FROM EVERYMOM

Had lunch with one of my colorful and crazy coworkers today who shared with me the following letter she not only wrote, but threatened to send to her three sons' teachers if they didn't shape up...

LOL!

What mother -- especially a mother of a son/sons -- hasn't felt this way at one time or another?

Omigosh! This letter says it all -- honestly, beautifully and hilariously -- so I had to post this baby immediately upon arriving home from work this evening...

It's even funnier read after a glass Sweet Willey wine -- or a beer -- or any other adult beverage that tickles your fancy after a long week at work/parenthood...enjoy!

"To Whom It May Concern:

I am putting my foot down when it comes to my 3 boys. Until they are able to appreciate what I do for them and realize that I was not put here to make them miserable, I am going on strike.

Please do not confuse this with my love for them. It is because I love them that I will no longer allow them to be lazy, ungrateful and unhelpful while walking around with fewer manners than a monkey. I no longer want to hear all the jokes about bodily functions, or “Hey Mom, pull my finger.” Seriously, for those that have daughters, is that what you want them to marry?

So this is a letter is to prepare you for what you may see when it comes to my boys at this time.

If you happen to see my boys in dirty clothes, it is not because I was not doing laundry, it is because they were too lazy to bring their clothes to the laundry room, or because they were not able to get to their closet or drawers because their rooms are a victim of Hurricane Testosterone and Clean Up Estrogen is not coming.

If they appear hungry it is not from lack of food. I make sure there is a meal each night; however, I quit my job as a short order cook. The tips were lousy, and the thank you is non-existent. I believe I was told as a mom this was my job. I asked for the official job description of Mother. I just got a blank look in return.

My kids also may be surrounded by a cloud of “funk”. This is due to the fact that I am no longer going to verify after each shower that they used soap on their bodies, instead of decorating the shower walls with it. I see this also diminishing their circle of friends.

During the cold season please do not be alarmed when you see one or all of my boys in shorts. I was tired of telling them to put something warmer on and having to explain what happens when you expose skin to 0 degree weather. If a 9, 10 & 13 year old can’t make the connection between winter and cold after 1,000 attempts to explain it, one day of freezing should make them say, “Hey, that lady that lives here does know what she’s talking about.”

I realize that boys are usually covered in bruises due to normal boy games such as football, wrestling, jumping from the roof of the house pretending they are superman. However, you may notice more bruises or a couple of black eyes now. I got tired of intervening in the “He’s touching me” or “He’s looking at me” game. A couple of punches from their brother should end this game.

This may seem extreme to some of you. By some of you, I mean the ones that have no children, or have Dr. Phil as a best friend and aspires to be like June Cleaver. Again, I would like to reiterate I love my boys and as a result of this, one day their future wife (who is probably the girl in their class, whose hair they keep putting worms in) will thank me for raising a son that is so willing to help around the house and appreciates what they do.

I may one day receive a Thank You from my 3 boys, for all that I do for them; however, rest assured, you will know when this day arrives, because pigs will be flying over Coon Rapids."

Amen, Sistah!

I MISS JERRY SEINFELD

I really do.

I'm not a big TV watcher, but when I am in the mood to just sit down in front of the ol' boob tube -- or boob plasma/lcd, if that is what you have -- and let my brains go on hiatus for an hour or two, I find it disheartening to have nothing to choose from but channel after channel of blood, guts and microscopes, missing people, criminal minds, unrealistic reality/survivor/big brother schlock, and most recently, that dippy modern day version of To Tell The Truth where folks risk alienating their entire family by allowing themselves to be hooked up to a lie detector and on national TV asked none-of-anyone's business questions like, 'Have you ever gambled away a portion of your children's college fund?" all for a paltry $500,000.

(OK, OK, so we once had to clean out Daniel's second grade Junior Banking Account (a whopping, albeit hard-earned $72) to buy groceries when times were lean, but we are paying him back, with interest, in phone cards and eight-packs of Gatorade.)

Anyway, I didn't realize how much I missed TV's "good ol' days", as it were, until just this week when I woke up in the middle of the night, couldn't get back to sleep -- as I am prone to do at my interesting age -- and was treated to a couple of Seinfeld re-runs on Fox.

One of the episodes happened to be a montage of episodes from their 9-year run, a hodge-podge of excellently executed hilarity that left me laughing and happy, which is no small feat these days.

Now there was a great TV show. There was a half hour worth spending in front of the TV. No blood, no guts, no kidnapped, raped, hacked-up bodies...it was pure, unadulterated -- what's that word, again...oh, yeah...ENTERTAINMENT.

Hell, I'd give my eye teeth -- what's left of them -- for a good one-hour comedy/variety show like Carol Burnett...or a rip-roaring sit-com like Bob Newhart...

Which only goes to prove that I am, indeed, growing old, and that it's been a long winter here in ol' Ioway, and maybe we need cable or dish or whatever...but is life with a million channels any really more satisfying? Although, TV Land, when we could afford it, was one of my faves.

Oh, dear me...When one starts reminiscing about Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart and TV Land, well...need I say more?

Anyway...

I miss Jerry Seinfeld.

Jerry, we hardly knew ye.

Oy.