Wednesday, March 31, 2010

American Ideals

     Last night's performances are what I love about American Idol.  It showcases hope and determination. Seeing people put themselves and their talents out there for all to see and judge and then seeing it pay off for them and watching their faces light up and knowing that in that moment their dreams are coming true - well, it just makes me all warm inside.  That and the whiskey.

     The theme last night was R&B and most of the singers did really well, but a few struggled.  Siobhan just couldn't hit the lows in Through The Fire and had pitch problems throughout.  Emotional Didi lost herself, the judges said.  That happens sometimes when you're trying to find yourself, which I think she is.  Problem is, she should have figured out her style sooner because she's in danger of going home.  It's too bad because I liked her and her Indie style.

     Hold on, cause sexy  Casey is back!  I'm in love with him again even though he put the ponytail back in.  He gave a great performance, but the judges were mixed.  The girls found it lacking but the guys said it was his best yet.

     Big Mike crooned his way through Ready For Love,  and as always his great vocals and honest performance were a winning combination.

    I think  Tim   will be the one to go home tonight.  He was all over the place with his vocal and what was up with the sneaky walk while he sang?  it was weird.

     I always thought Andrew did well, despite the judges opinions, but tonight he wowed them  with his version of  Forever.  He just beamed with the praise and he deserved it.

    I have to talk about both the sprouts in the same paragragh.  Katie had a little 'tude in her performance, looked great and did a nice job with Chain of Fools.  Aaron had a rough start to Ain't no Sunshine When She's Gone, but pulled it off ok in the end.  

     Lee Dewyze.  He's what I'm talking about. He finally came out of his head and sang in the moment and  you could tell he believed in himself at last by the way he looked at the audience.  Usher was the guest vocal coach and I think getting props from Usher gave him the validation he needed.  Sometimes we need others to believe in us so that we can believe in ourselves.  And I gotta say, Usher took his task seriously and gave  honest and constructive feedback to all the contestants.  It showed in most of the performances, but it made the most difference to Lee.  The visible change in how he carried himself almost brought a tear to ma eye. 

      Yeah, I get into this show to much.  I'm the same way with So You Think You can Dance.  Don't worry, I won't do weekly commentary on that show too.  I just love watching talented people evolve.

     My girl, Crystal stepped it up, put down the guitar and sat down at the piano for Midnight Train to Georgia.  She even girlified herself up with spike heels and a booby bust enhancing top.  She's another one that you can see is loving that America loves her.  She gets better and better.

     In just a few hours we'll see who's going home.  At this point, they should all be proud of themselves.  Cheers and happy idle idoling!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Honey don't like Honey-Dos

It's a beautiful day here in Las Vegas.  Mid 70's, sunny, no wind.  Just loverly.  The perfect day for some long overdue yardwork.  
If my family had their way, our yard would never get any attention.  Hubby likes sleeping too much, and the kids like...pretty much anything else too much.  

Ahhh, but that's what I'm here for.  To make sure hubby doesn't take too many naps and the kids don't have too much fun.

I started the morning at 9AM singing to my daughter, "Wakey , wakey, yardwork till you're achy!"  She groaned and pulled the covers over her head.  I sang the same song to hubby as he sat on the couch eating his peanut butter toast.  "I'm digesting," he said.  

I started alone.  But lo and behold, hubby and my daughter came out soon after and began pulling weeds and raking. Oh, the quality family conversations that can be had when we are all busily working together:

Hubby:  "Mama must hate us."
Daughter:  "I'm hungry and I have cramps."
Hubby:  "Why do we even have a yard?"
Daughter:  "So mom can torture us."
Me:  "The homeowners association is going to send us a nasty letter if we don't do this."
Hubby:  "Screw the association."
Daughter:  "Giggity."
Hubby:  "My back aches."
Daughter:  "I have cramps."
Hubby:  "Mama, grab my branch."
Me:  "Giggity."
Hubby: "How about we stop for lunch?"
Me:  "How about you blow the leaves?"
Hubby:  "Giggity."

That was the first 10 minutes.  

All in all, I have to say, it only took a little over an hour for the three of us, plus my sister in law, to whip the yard in shape.  It looks pretty darn good too.  I made them all tuna melts as a thank you.  I'm not completely heartless.

Chores like yardwork is one area where hubby and I are different.  I like for them to get done, and he likes to take naps.  He says I get way to much satisfaction out of watching men work for me.  A few years ago, when things were a little more...prosperous, we were having some home improvements done and I sent hubby the following email:

Subject: You know how I like to see men working....

Well all my fantasies are coming true today--I got two guys laying tile, 3 guys working on the backyard, and one at the flooring store working up numbers for the wood in the family room!  Not to mention, you, hard at work, as always, for me!  I'm in heaven!

Warm Regards,

He replied with his own version of the oompa loompa song from Willy Wonka:

Oompa loompa oompa-dee-doo
She's got another project for you
Oompa loompa oompa-dee-dee
If you are smart you'll hide here with me

What do you get with a house and a wife?
A honey-do list to last your whole life
What do you find when you think you're all done?
You find that your work has only begun

Oompa loompa oompa-dee-dee
Who says Abe Lincoln abolished slav'ry?
Oompa loompa oompa-dee-doom

Why in hell'd you come out...

Of your...

Oompa loompa doompa-dee-ROOM?

I may have to pay to get work done, but I get entertained for free.

How do you get your men to do their honey-do list?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tapeworms and Taxes

I'm a submarine.  And not just because I need to lose a few pounds.  

I surface and submerge in blogger sea depending on what's going on in my life.  It's not intentional.  It's just a matter of priorities... and logistics.  

If my blogger buddies were standing at my side whining that they needed to see a post and saying, "ma MA, ma MA I need MA,"  it's likely I would oblige.

As it was, it was my 18 year old daughter, Sissa, lamenting my name (yes, my name is ma MA) because she needed help with her resume.  Before that, my 16 year old needed help finding out why tapeworms don't have a digestive system. 

The answer, by the way,  is that they are parasites who simply absorb food from their host.  How fitting. Kind of sounded familiar to me.

(bad maMa, very bad)

My brother interrupted my world of tapeworms because he needed help with his taxes. Then a client called.  Then a gal a I work with came by to drop off some paperwork.  And on and on it goes.  This wasn't yesterday, but it's typical of most days.  

Yesterday, I couldn't start my American Idol post until about 4 in the afternoon.  With interruptions, I finished about 6. 

I went downstairs and Sissa and her boyfriend had arrived and wanted to play Monopoly.  We sat down to play and my brother complained he needed help with dinner.  

Now, I'm no dummy and know I am damn lucky my brother cooks dinner so I tell Sissa to start without me and start helping with dinner.  

Then hubby, who had come home a little earlier, comes into the kitchen with puppy eyes saying he missed me.  Awww.  I love them all - what's a girl to do?  

These are the little things that keep me submerged from blogger world.  Then there are the big things, like teen-age daughter complications iliciting a change in schools, and work getting busier (which is a very good thing because it means we can pay our mortgage next month).

So here I sit, finally surfacing after 5 days of not posting except for my Idol recap. I'm checking my google reader, and I see gobs of posts I'm behind on.  Which begs the question:  HOW THE HELL DO ALL YOU BLOGGERS DO IT????

I know all of you have your own families, obligations, and distractions, yet you post every freakin day or close to it.  Some of you are stay at home mums with little ones, which is a full time job in itself, and others have outside full time jobs and come home to the little kiddies, and still manage to post and comment regularly.

How do I become a bobber and not a sinker?  

Is it careful planning?  Do you have set days and times you post?  

How do you handle unexpected things that come up that take you away from posting?  

Do you not sleep?  

Maybe you don't watch T.V.?  

Are you really robots programmed to make us sinkers feel guilty?  

Is it all just a conspiracy?  

Do you even exist? Do I exist?

Ok, So I'm being dramatic.  But really....please share your blogger bobber secrets.  I need help!

Sinking Fast,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

American Idunno

     I dunno what those contestants are thinking, I dunno what the judges are hearing, and I dunno how to juggle blogging with all the other crap I have to do!  That last one has nothing to do with Idol, I know, but I had to throw it in because it's true, but that's another post.
     I do know Crystal and Big Mike never disappoint and it's likely Paige is going home.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.
     Paige.  Wow.  Not sure what happened there, but it was so bad that Ellen felt inclined to compliment her on her looks and then defer to Kara for the vocal critique.
     Several of the contestants came out of their shells tonight and tried to do something different, which I thought was brave and kind of ok, but for the most part the judges didn't.  Lee and Tim actually performed.  Lee sounded good to me, although it was a little old-fashioned, and Tim was campy, and the vocal was just ok, but hey, he was having fun.  The judges weren't.  The good news for all of the contestants was that after Paige's performance, the rest of them had lots of room to screw up and still stay in the competition.
     The two sprouts are starting to impress me.  Aaron's version of Aerosmith's I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing was watered down, but a darn good vocal for him and Katie finally looked her age and did a nice job with Big Girls Don't Cry.
     Crystal just rocked. I love that she is getting more comfortable with the spotlight and finally letting her wall dow.  She seems to realize America likes her so far so maybe if she lets us in she's not going to get hurt.  I think it's fear hiding behind the arrogance.  Anyhoo, she was my favorite vocal of the night.
     Big Mike was another winner.  The judges thought he was just ok, but all I know is every girl listening to him sing When a Man Loves a Woman was a puddle on the floor by the time he was done.  What a doll he is!
     I like Andy and I like his sound, but he needs to get his groove back.  Casey had his groove and his sound, but that boy needs to move around some more when he sings (says the girl from the couch).
     Didi was trying out a little something different and got slammed for it by the judges, but I liked it.  A girl's gotta let her hair down and get adventurous sometimes and I say go Didi!  I thought she looked and sounded great.  Shioban got adventurous too, but more in the hair department then anything else.  As always, she did hit those notes though.
     Miley Cyrus was the vocal coach this week and say what you will about her, but that girl has her head on straight.  She was mature and down-to-earth and actually gave some good professional advice.
     So its 6 PM my time which means tonights show has already started out on the East coast.  We'll see if Paige goes home or if America saved her.  As for me, I need to go help my brother make crepes.  Yumm!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some days are Diamonds, Some Days are Stones

 Remember that song from the late 80's by John Denver?

  No, no, not stoned.....stone.  

As in dull, gray, facetless, ugly.  Some days feel like that.  Some days are the opposite of  brilliance and beauty and the only shimmer we can see is just maybe a light at the end of the tunnel, if we're the optimistic type.

Life with a teenager begets a quarry of stones and a mine of diamonds.  It's hard for them to see the glimmer at the end of the tunnel because they still have the childlike quality of living for the right now.  Pair that with an impatient curiousity and a plethora of emotions and you get days that drop upon you like stones.

Those are the days when I feel like I've failed as a parent.  

We try to be the polishing rag for our kids and we scour until our arms ache, but we can't touch every situation and circumstance they face.  Sometimes all we can do is show them they have the power to shine.  And find the strength to handle it calmly and wisely when they choose not to.

May your days be like diamonds and may your stones be few.

image courtesy of: djcodrin
Sadly Yours,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Idull

     I was really looking forward to last nights show, but I have to say, I am a little disappointed.  The theme was Rolling Stones and it felt like rolling yawns.  Except for Ellen's sense of humor and Simon almost calling security on Ryan, it was pretty dull.  But, like Ellen says, "What do I know?"

     First out of the gate was Big Mike, singing Miss You.  As you know, I love him, but can you say over-performed?  I loved how his song started and ended, but didn't care for the middle.  The judges liked it though.  It was sweet seeing him with his wife and new baby in the intro clip.  That's all I have for Mike today.

     Didi sang Playing With Fire beautifully.  I thought it was one of her best performances and she looked fabulous.  She's really looking more comfortable on the stage.

     Casey finally took his hair out of that god-awful ponytail.  There's the looker I remember!  He sang It's All Over Now with a bluesey rock vibe and whaled on his electric guitar.  He sounded great, but needed some rocker moves.  He should take a lesson from my hubby.  Yup, that's him, front and center, wearing the shirt his cat got to in this pic from the 80's.  Ain't that spandex sexy?

     All I can say about Lacey is she's super cute and has an adorable personality.  She sang Ruby Tuesday, but not very well.  Katie Stevens and Aaron Kelly, on the other hand,  gave their best performances so far.  Good for them, they needed the confidence booster.

     I don't care what the judges said, I liked Andy's performance of Gimee Shelter and Tim Urban's reggae version of Under My Thumb.  Andy's voice has that quality that just makes you want to listen to more of it.  Ellen agrees with me, but the other judges were mixed.  They said Tim's performance was something a hotel entertainer would sing while you were laying on a beach.  Maybe that's why I liked it.  I like beaches.

     Lee Dewyze and Paige Miles have the most unrealized potential out of the twelve.  The other contestants know who they are and what they can do (save for the two youngest) but these two don't seem to have it figured out yet.  Paige knows how to perform but had some issues with her voice due to a bout with laryngitis.  Lee had the opposite problem.  He has such great tone, but mumbled alot of his song and didn't perform.  Ellen summed it up by saying his performance was like a hospital gown - it didn't quite come together. 

     Then we come to Siobhan.  She sang Paint it Black.  The judges loved her, but I only liked the beginning and the end.  The in-between was a little nasaly to me.  She nailed the ending notes, which is becoming her signature style.  Can I just say something between us girls?  When she's not singing, she sounds a tad like a bandcamp wacko.  Hubby says she's the kind of ex-girlfriend you wouldn't want.  Being an ex-lead singer in a rock band, hubby knows about ex-girlfriends.  On a positive note, she looked the best she ever has.

     I really needed Crystal to save the show for me.  There were good moments, but I just didn't get excited about any one overall performance.  Then it was Crystal's turn.  It wasn't the best for her, but it was the best overall of the night, in my opinion.  She sang my theme song You Can't Always Get What You Want.  It was the answer tone on my phone whenever my kids called.  Good 'ole Crystal.  She stays true to herself and sounds great doing it. 

     Are you tuning in with me tonight to see who stays and who goes?  Happy Idle Idoling!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hubby Says the Darndest Things

My hubby is funny.  Sometimes he says funny things and sometimes he sends me funny emails.  It's awfully selfish of me to keep all that funny to myself:  


1.  This weekend hubby and the kids and my brother decided to pop a DVD in and watch it.  Right in the middle of the day.  The nerve!  I still had laundry, and cleaning, and bills to do and he wanted me to stop everything and sit down with them for two and a half hours and watch a movie.  He couldn't understand why I couldn't possibly do that.  To pacify him, I sat down "for just a few minutes" and actually ended up watching the whole thing because it was a really good movie.  "Sometimes I have to drag you kicking and screaming into fun," he says.  Yes, yes he does.

2.  Hubby is a picky eater and not very experimental when it comes to food.  He hates fish, but likes tuna.  He hates pickles, but likes relish, but only in tuna.  He also hates mustard, but likes it in potatoe salad.  "You know how much of the stuff I don't like to put into the stuff I like to make me like it," he tells me.

3.  "Can't you just answer my questions without making me ask them?"  This is just classic hubby-speak.

4.  "Truth is like alcohol - most people can't handle it straight up, and need it watered down... or at least with a chaser."  Did I mention he's wise too?

5.   "Well, to be fair to him... there is every possibility the hospital could have a hot nurse or two.  What kind of shot would he have had with them if he went unshowered... like the pregnant broad tagging along wasn't cramping his style enough already."  

This is what he had to say when I told him the story of my son's birth and how, at the last minute, we had to rush to the hospital because our home birth wasn't going quite as planned, and my now-ex-husband (gee, I wonder why?) made me and the midwife wait in the minivan while he took a shower first.

Hubby makes up jokes and emails them to me.  They don't keep him busy enough at work: 


Lori:  Oh my goodness!  Why is he crossing the road?  He might get hit by a car!  We’d better adopt him and bring him home!

Hubby:    I chased the chicken across the road because I’m sick of chicken and want some friggin’ beef for a change!

The Boy:    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…  why did who do what where?

Sissa:  We have chicken?  Is it tofu chicken?  Hang on… someone’s texting me.  Maybe it’s the chicken.  Nope, it’s Megs.  LOL  IDK  OMG!

The Girl:   Ohhhhhhh… I thought you asked me why I get sick when we’re on the road, and I thought “I don’t really get carsick all that much anymore” although I still do get nosebleeds sometimes.  I remember one time we were coming back from California and we had to pull over behind some place that used to be a Der Wienerschnitzel so I could barf in the dumpster and… wait, what’s the question?

Stay tuned for volume II of "Hubby says the Darndest Things."

Does your hubby have any hubbyisms?  

Sunday, March 14, 2010

We're going to the Dogs

Have I mentioned that my daughter works for a vet?  Have I also mentioned that I am a push-over?  As a result of this winning combination of circumstances, we've acquired another dog.  Yes, I said another.  This is our third, and the first two were acquired in much the same way, but that's another post.

This is Casey's story.  Casey is a black lab mixed with perhaps collie, perhaps something else. 

She was brought into the vet's office 2 weeks ago by a good samaritan who found her wandering the streets with a big gash on her leg. 

She was frightened, but friendly.  She was micro-chipped, but the phone number on the chip no longer belonged to her owner. 

Maybe I'm terribly naive, but I had the notion that all veterinarians were like James Herriot, the loving country vet who wrote about his adventures caring for pets and their owners in the Yorkshire countryside. 

Truth be told, they don't all truly care about the well-being of animals or about uniting lost pets with their owners. 

Their office staff are instructed to mirror these principles of dollars over decency. 

I say this because there was an address and a name attached to Casey's microchip, but when the phone number wasn't good, the staff did not spend anymore time on finding Casey's owner. 

They also could not treat her injury because there was no one to pay the bill.  Casey would be sent to the local animal shelter and because she was injured, she would be put down.  Casey is 10 months old.

So, I get the call from my daughter.  I'm compelled to explain that she is a kennel-worker there, which is the lowest of the veterinarian office heirarchy.  She cleans poo and feeds and walks dogs, so has nil say in any goings on there.  She isn't allowed to access files or computers so she did what kids do when they need help.  She called mom. 

Honestly, my daughter wanted Casey more than she wanted to find the owner.  Casey had grown on her.  She had an injured leg, was quarantined from the other dogs because she was a stray, but was still happy and playful every time my daughter went to feed or walk her. 

When life gives you kennel, make kennelaide.  The vet was getting impatient though, since dog food costs money, and a decision had to be made about Casey quickly.  I told them to fix her leg and we would take her.  Thank goodness for employee discounts, or the bill would have been over $500.00.

I still couldn't help thinking about the owner.  If they had taken the time to microchip the dog, surely they would want her back. 

Then I realized that, thanks to the internet, there are other ways to track a person down besides a phone number.  I had my daughter give me the name and address of the person listed on the microchip and did a little detective work. 

I looked up the address in county records and found that it was still owned by the person listed on the chip.  I googled the name.  It was a hyphenated last name, so I had to play around with it.  Bingo. 

The owner had a Facebook page.  And she had over 300 friends.  I have like, 30.  Beeeatch.  I sent her what probably sounded like a rambling message from a psycho about how her dog was found, but was  injured and if she wanted it back she needed to act quickly, yada, yada, and gave my number and the name and number of the vet's office.

24 hours went by and she didn't call.  Meanwhile, the vet had stiched Casey's leg and she was recovering fine.  My daughter was ecstatic because it looked like we could take Casey home. 

Then the owner called the vet. 

Here is where it gets a little fuzzy, because, apparantly, the person I had messaged through facebook had given the dog to someone else, so it was the someone else that called the vet. 

The someone else had gone out of town and left her dogs with her sister, and all of the dogs (not sure how many) had gotten out of the sister's yard and were lost.  Can you imagine coming home from vacation and all of your pets are gone?? 

The good news was the owner seemed happy her dog was found and agreed to come and get Casey, and pay the bill.  

She never showed up.  She called the office on a Tuesday, and by Friday, still hadn't come to claim Casey.  The vet's staff called numerous times (because now there was a bill that needed to be paid) but no one came.

So last Saturday, we brought Casey home.  Hubby was resistant to the idea at first.  He liked reminding me of that as I was cleaning up doggie poo (big doggie poo, I might add) from the living room floor the first couple days she was with us.

But Casey settled right in.  The third night, she slept in my daughter's room and at 6 in the morning they both bounded into our bedroom and my daughter announced excitedly that Casey had whined when she had to go outside to pee so the potty training was going well.

Me:  (in my high pitched annoying voice reserved for puppies and babys) Good girl Casey, good girl!  Did you go potty outside? Potty outside?  Good girl!! 
Hubby:  Is this how it's going to be every morning?
Me: (still in my high pitched annoying voice reserved for puppies and babys)  Honey, Casey went potty outside, she went potty outside, honey!!
Hubby:  Why are you talking to me like that?
Me:  (still with the voice)  Cause she went potty outside, honey!  Casey's a good girl!
(Casey now is very excited and jumps up on her hind legs, putting her big front paws up on the bed, and nuzzles me to be petted)
Hubby:  You don't get excited when I go potty.

Hubby doesn't like to admit it, but Casey has grown on him too.  She's sweet and gentle and loving and seems to think she's the size of our little lap dogs.  She's quite happy in her new home and we are happy to have her.  I think we were meant to have her.  Every once in a while she comes over to me, jumps up with her paws around me and gives me a canine hug.  I think it's her way of saying thank you.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blog Awards!

If there were an award for a blogger loser I would get it and it would look like this:  

I've neglected my blog and my blogging buddy's blogs for the past 2 weeks and I just wish to acknowledge and apologize - is that acknowlogize?  I'm trying to get a business blog up and running and it's got me so frustrated I'm ready to barf CSS code.

Anyhoo, before I was a loser, (yeah, that would be a few weeks ago, sorry Aussie Lori) I got two lovely sunshine awards, given to those who leave sunny comments or brighten someone's day with their blog.  They came from Aussie Lori, a mummie from down unnie, who is very funnie.  Heh heh, yeah, that was on purpose.  Check out her blog - there is something for everyone over there.
Thank you, Aussie Lori!  I aspire to be like you with your blogging dedication!

So, I'm supposed to post the award, link to the one that gave it to me, pass it on to other bloggers whose blogs make me feel sunshiney, and let them know so they can pass it on.

Here's my list of blogs that either make me laugh, or go awwww, or inspire me, or all three.  And I'm giving these awards to all y'all.  Some of you have already gotten them, or have other blogging projects going on, or have, like, a zillion followers, and can't possibly pass on every single dang award you get, so no pressure - you can acknowledge or not.   But, dammit, I like ya.  So there.  So here's my list:

1.  Susie. This is the first blog I ever followed since I started blogging in January.  Her family seems eerily like mine with their silly escapades and she's a good writer.
2.  Brenda.  This is another funny mummy who makes you feel like she's talking to you over martinis with the kids playing in the background.
3.  Parenting by dummies.  She writes about a little bit of everything, mostly funny, but sometimes serious and I always learn a lil' something by reading.  
4.  Rita.  She shares it all, the sad and the happy, when it's sad, it's poignant and when it's happy, it's very funny.   
5.  Katherine.  She's my daily dose of inspiration.  She makes me ponder.
6.  Mama Kat.  She makes me laugh and sees meaning in mice families, which strangely, so do I.  She also has a writer's workshop that looks cool that I keep meaning to participate in. 
7.  Aladdinsane.  This is my token single girl's blog.  She's always funny and you gotta check out her post on poop.  
And, of course, Aussie Lori's blog is a fav too, but I don't think I'm supposed to give the award back to one who gave it to me.  

Then, even after I hadn't posted for a whole week, Tree (who, by the way, has the prettiest blog ever!  It's all pink and girly and everything matches - I'm jealous!) presented me with this award, cause we're both Idol fans:

I'm supposed to pass this on to newly discovered blogs that I like.  I haven't had time recently to go blog hunting, but I do have a few I've stumbled on that are becoming favorites.  Tree's is one of them - thank you, Tree!  Here are a few others:

1.  Marcime.  This gal is an awesome writer and makes you stop and go, "hmmmm."  I love reading her posts.
2. Charlene.  She writes about balance in life and I learn something when I visit her blog.
3.  Jen Jen.   This is one funny German lady.
4.  Anything fits a Naked Man.  This one had me at the title.  She's also a good writer and shares her love of movies, books, and this and that.
5.  Deb.   Just funny family stuff and this and that, but I relate because she's the mom of teens.

So gals, same rules.  If you're busy, or got other projects going on and can't acknowledge, no worries.  I just want you to know I like ya.  

Cheers to all!