Friday, November 18, 2011

I’m the cool mom!

Cher and Wyona in Mermaids
promo photo. Only photo I could
find. I mean.. what does a cool
mom look like?
My 16 year old daughter attends an all girl Catholic High School. One of the school rules is that the girls cannot have any unnatural hair color.  (I’m talking yellow, green, pink…)  My daughter has come to terms with the conditions of her enrollment, but has compensated with additional piercings to her ears.  (Not to worry there is only so much space. Or so I hope.)  My pierced princess wanted to get a band put on her ear, so we went down to our favorite piercing palace (nope it isn’t Claire’s)  to see about adding to the collection. 

When we arrived my daughter and I were greeted, and then she proceeded to the back. After what I would deem a reasonable time to get an ear piercing my daughter came out unhappily, and looked at me. “Show me your ears” She demanded.  I complied. (Her tone brooked no nonsense.) “Ok. Your ears look fine”, she announced.  “What’s all this?”  I asked. 

Well… in order to have a band in the particular place of her choice, her ear had to be a particular shape.  (Our piercing place had standards!)  (I must confess her that I really like Body Exotic – the staff is friendly knowledgeable, and professional.  I recommend them highly.) But I digress... My duaghter had obviously inherited her father's ear shape. 

Driving home I thought two things…
First, I’m the cool mom. It wasn’t me that said no. It was the cool and hip pierced tattoo guy! And second, boy, is my husband going to get an earful about bad genetics!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dysfunctional and Rich

I must confess that I am not a fan of reality Television programming. Where do they find these people? I’m worried that these programs actually prove that our society as a whole is in decline. (Can you blame me?) These TV programs show mindless drama kings and drama queens with no relevant thoughts or relevant lives. (How sad really.)

It seems like the more dysfunctional, status obsessed or out of control these reality stars are (and I use the term “stars” loosely) these stars grow in popularity. Not only that – these idiots earn an absurd amount of money. (And there’s the rub.)

Don’t you think it a bit unfair that such a loser is able to make money in a reality TV show (and then add insult to my perceived injury) make millions more by adding a fashion, perfume or workout clothes line?  (Really? I mean is America that celebrity obsessed?)

A mother might say “Ignore them honey. You’ll only encourage them.”
(And that mother would be right!) 

The more dysfunctional and outrageous… the more viewers tune in. The more viewers tune in…. the longer the show runs. The longer the show runs…more outrageousness happens. The more outrageousness happens…the more money is generated.  The more money is generated… and so it goes on and on. (I’m tired just thinking about it.)

I read yesterday that Snooki from the show Jersey Shore said that she wasn’t an alcoholic. Snooki (to paraphrase) said she’s on a reality show – and the producers just show the bad stuff.  That is why her behavior looks bad - the show producers manipulate the viewer and the story. Now, I know enough about editing and TV  to know that this statement is true, however; I’m not buying it. (Wanna know why?)I’m not buying it cause you have to be doing a whole lot of outrageous stuff to fill up a show storyline. And have a TV show year after year. (Quite impressively dysfunctional if you think about it.)

I guess it really boils down to life, and life is sometimes unfair. In a way I’m jealous. (Who would not want to make money so easily?) I realize that I need to mend my ways if I’m going to get anywhere. (Is there a “Dysfunctional Guide for Dummies”?)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Forget Spirits - Tramps Come out on Halloween!

I love Halloween. In fact Halloween is my favorite holiday. One of the reason I really love All Hollows Eve is the opportunity to dress up. Discussions concerning costume selection start around mid summer in our house. (No prefabricated costumes for my family.) Creativity and ingenuity count big time. (Which leads me to why I’m writing today.)  

A sexy Mad Hatter.
What is up with the costumes for women and (unfortunately) girls too? It seems to me that as Halloween has gained in popularity the practice of wearing skimpier and sexier costumes has increased. (I am not a prude, but I could be getting older, because I just don’t get it.) Discounting my age - who is to blame? And what can we do about it?

Is it girls and young women with lack of self esteem? Is it those jockeying for social position by buying into popularity with their looks? Is it those who just have no clue? Or perhaps no creativity or imagination? Is it the manufacturers? Why do some women buy into the marketing and social pressures and purchase this crap?

Studies show that the oversexualization of girls correlates to depression and eating disorders. Naturally I could go on about the media today and how woman are depicted, however; that really isn’t my point. I am wondering out loud why women buy the stuff?  And why some mothers let their daughter/s buy the stuff?  

A sexy Freddy Kruger
I think there are ways to be sexy and beautiful without the short skirts, tight dresses, thigh-high stocking, and cleavage. (Sorry men.) I just wish that women would raise their standards and think about their self-worth before they purchase a sleazy costume. (Naturally you may be trying for the “whore” look and you would need a pimp, and then it would be OK.) And NOT only that the costumes are really ridiculous! It does not matter what it character is, as long as it's sexy. (I mean come on!) 

Personally I think Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, and others would turn over in their graves if they saw how they are being depicted these days. (OK… maybe not their graves.) But for goodness sake women have a little self respect or just wear that sleazy costume behind a closed door with your significant other! (Ok men happy now?)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sorry, Lost my Balance.

My sincere apologies. It seems lately that life has overwhelmed me considerably since my last post. Believe me you all have been on my mind, it's just that my priorities have shifted.  Don't worry I haven't abandoned you or my musings. I'm working on regaining the balance in my life.

Some of you may know that I stopped working out of my home and began a part time job at Stanford University. (Truly a remarkable place, and perhaps more on that at a later date.) Working part time became working full time, and then all of a sudden my relaxed lifestyle wasn't so relaxed any more.

Because we never do anything small in our family (Go Big or Go Home is our motto.) We added a new member to our family four months ago. A cute German Boxer named Tyson. (Get it? A boxer named Tyson? And NO. We did not name him.) 

The adjustment to working full time had me off kilter, and then we made the decision to add a puppy to our lives. Am I insane?  (You bet.)

Not only was I off kilter, now I had lost my balance, and was falling head long into the dark gloomy frantic abyss of "lost my mind." What little skills I had left to manage my multi-tasking life style flew out the window.  My family and I had to adjust to mom not always being there, dad taking up more carpooling duties (definitely more on that later), kids taking more responsibility (perhaps we should say...less lazy, because mom isn't around to DO everything). AND we had a high energy puppy!  

Don't get me wrong a great new job, a wonderful new puppy - it's all good. (Just so darn tiring. Let's say my recovery has been slow. Possibly due to age?)

I am slowly lifting myself out of the abyss. I have good days, and I have days where I just shrug and give up. I am determined however to regain my balance (whatever it takes). Plus .... I got some great new stories!

I want to acknowledge Blog Full of Dogs. My good friend Kimberly has been publishing this warm and wonderful blog for years now. If you love dogs this is a great blog to contribute to and to follow. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Inspired but Tired

I was looking forward to summer. My work schedule had slowed down, kids were out of school, and our life pace had slowed. My head was swimming with these amazing projects I could do.  I could remodel our bathroom.  I could start that needlepoint I have had sitting around for 2 years. I could finish our backyard landscape plan… (believe me my list is much longer than what I have shared here).  Viewing my calendar this weekend (and noting that summer was going to be over in 4 weeks) made me realize that while all this creative project planning is great I have actually not lifted a finger to make many of these plans a reality. (Are these just daydreams or flights of fancy?)  After giving this perplexing (lack of action) situation thought I realized that while I am inspired to do a great many creative things ….I am just too tired. Of course this realization brings on other thoughts. Too tired? (Nah.) Lazy? (Nah.) Let’s see… working, housekeeping, husband, appointments, kids and activities… perhaps too busy?  (Yup.) That’s it!  Too busy.  After all, I can’t be lazy. Me lazy? (Unbelievable. I can’t be lazy.) It’s just the thought of all that hard work makes me tired.  (Yeah...that's it!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kids Today got it too Easy!

I wish I could take credit for this, but I cant. It was sent to me by my sister. I do not know the original internet source for the text, but hope you enjoy it. 

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways... yadda, yadda, yadda.  I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! 

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of forty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.  You've got it so easy!  I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!  And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it! 

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet.  If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!  
For all you young ones - this is a Card Catalog.
There was no email!!  We had to actually write somebody a letter   - with a pen!  Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there!  Stamps were 10 cents! 
This is what a letter looks like.
Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us.  As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe! 
No one was safe.

There were no MP3's or Napsters oriTunes!  If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the 
recordstore and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!  There were no CD players!  We had tape decks in our car.  We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless.  Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby!  Dig? 

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting!  If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!                                      

Dial, no push button, no call waiting, and no answering machine.
How primitive.
There weren't any freakin' cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OH MY GOSH !!!  Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!!  And then there's TEXTING.  Yeah, right.  Please!  You kids have no idea how annoying you are. 

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was!  It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!!  You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister! 

     We didn't have any fancy PlayStation orXbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics!  We had the Atari 2600!  With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'.  Your screen guy was a little square!  You actually had to use your imagination!!!  And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen.. Forever!  And you could never win.  The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!  Just like LIFE! 
And before Atari we had board games!
You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing!  You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!!  NO REMOTES!!!  Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!
Please note the two silver buttons/knobs on the upper right side
of this old TV. Top knob is to change the channel and the one below it is for volume!
                                                                            There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning.  Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons.) And we didn't have microwaves.  If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove!  Imagine that!  
                                                And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long.  Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort.  And if you came back inside... you were doing chores! 

My favorite outside activity was rolling skating or hide and seek.
And car seats - oh, please!  Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on.  If you were lucky, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!  

See!  That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten!  
You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1970 or any time before!

The Over 40 Crowd 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It Must be Spring because I can't Breathe!

Bulbs flowering,
Stuffy nose,
Trees blooming,
Can't breathe,
Warming trends,
Box of Kleenex,
Slight showers,
Nose itches,
Seeding Vegetables,
Achoo....  must be Spring!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Forward, Fall Back - Enough already!

I'm tired.  And I'm not going to take it any more. I'm exhausted. I'm grouchy. I find no logical reason why my life should be dictated by a tradition that I see no value for. I must confess I hate Daylight Saving Time.

I'm not sure what time we are saving. I only know that this twice a year tradition has me seeing red. (And I'm not only talking about my eyes because of lack of sleep.)

This practice is over a century old, and it feels like it. It just doesn't make any sense to me.  I am seriously thinking that it is time to start lobbying the US government and start a movement to ban this practice.  It will take some planning but I am sure that there are many of you out there that feel the way I do. What is required is some snappy group name, followed by a very clever tag line, and I'm sure we
will have national movement in no time. (It's either that or move to Russia.) Russia is considering abolishing Daylight Saving Time by 2012.  At this moment I'm not sleeping well and I'm tired. I don't care where I live as long as my much loved and valued sleep time is not disturbed.

No Daylight Saving Time in Russia - I'm so there!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can’t Buy Me Love

The Beatles once sang “…I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend if it would make you feel all right… (Well it won’t make me feel all right.)  Thank goodness Valentine's Day is over! For over a month I have been listening (as I am sure you have been) to radio and TV commercials that tell a man how to show the woman in their life she is special and loved.  Apparently the only way to show a woman she  is loved is to purchasing a diamond ring or pendant.  (Poor Men. Talk about pressure and a no win situation.) If I was a man I would be angry that this type of commercial hype is being directed at women (heck, I’m a woman and I don’t like it). Setting expectations at such a level is ridiculous and can set a couple up for some emotion pressure, and conflict.

(This is one gal's opinion.) Valentines Day should be more introspective. One should think about people in one's  life that you love and love you. Mom, dad, sisters, brothers, grandparents, best friend (to name a few). Take stock of who you have in your life that enhances your life, and then honor each of those individuals. 
And (PLEASE) do not honor with a gift (and perhaps even not with a card) but with a heartfelt phone call, meal together, coffee, or face to face were you sincerely thank them for being special in your life, and tell them how they have made a difference to you. 

In fact ...everyday should be Valentine’s Day. You don’t need commercial marketing types to tell you what to purchase or when to honor those you love.  DO IT EVERYDAY, because ”money cant buy you love”…

(The Beatles are always right!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Year's Resolution - how's it working for you?

New Year's Resolution? You got to be kidding right?  (I believe in Santa and the Tooth fairy, but this woman does not believe in a New Year's Resolution.)  I just can't do it. When I examined my behavior over the years, what I found was that I really regurgitating the same old vows over and over again. I get that the New Year is symbolic of new beginnings and hope, however; I was having new beginnings and hope on a monthly basis throughout the year. (Talk about lack of commitment. My husband should be worried.)

Researchers claim that around 40- 45% of American adults make new year resolutions each year. They also claim that after 6 months 46% of those resolution makers are still at it.  (I'm sorry. I think they should check those statistics again. Either there is a math error or people are not being honest. Seriously. Think about it. Have you ever heard a person say (at the end of a year) that they kept their new year's resolution? No. Cause it does not happen.)

So obviously a new year's resolution doesn't work for this gal, but maybe it does for you. How's it going? If you made a new year's resolution and have broken it already - take heart. The positive spin is that those who do set goals are more successful then others achieving their goals. (Which I don't understand, because; if one person makes a goal and another doesn't have one - it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out only the person with the goal has the possibility to be successful.)  If you are still going strong at and maintaining your resolution goals then congratulations!
(You have made it further than me!)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Living in the Moment - Being Present

I have been pondering my next whine for a couple of weeks now, and then this morning the fates aligned and there it was. I had been giving thought as to why many people seem to be clueless. Not dumb clueless, but more like unaware. Simple things such as being aware of what is happening around you, or noticing how your behavior affects others. Basic things like intuition, observation or even conversation.  These things seem lost these days. And what I mean by lost is that, I do not think many individuals would list awareness, intuition, observation and conversation on their list of life skills.
(Which is sad really.)  Why is that?  Because people do not live in the moment. People are not present.

What causes people to not live in the moment and to not be present?  Well....
When one is constantly checking their email. When one is texting during dinner, or constantly answering their cell phone whenever or wherever they are. If one spends 6-8 hours playing online games, or is on Facebook for hours. Or is connected and plugged into Twitter all day everyday.
How can one be aware? All one is aware of is the constant clamoring of electronic technology for your attention. If you are paying attention to that techo-clamoring then you are not "living in the moment". And "being present" is really one of the things that life is all about. (Yeah, really.)

Don't get me wrong I think technology is useful, but it is addicting. And if you are addicted (and most of us are) then one obsesses and forgets how simple and quiet life can be.  One can even discover time they never knew they had.

Which brings me to an article in today's San Jose Mercury News about teachers at Shoreline High School (in Seattle) who challenged their high school students to go without social networking for a week. No texting, No Facebook, no cell phones! You need to read the article. The results were interesting.  (A great idea by the way, and not one student went through withdrawals.)

The high school students found that they had a difficult time conversing on a regular house phone. Why? Because in their words " It's emotion, not just little lines" (of text).  Some of them discovered time to do things like help around the house with chores, or rediscovered things they liked to do again like walking their dog or shooting hoops.  Parents enjoyed actual conversations with their children. (This is what I'm taking about!)  It is the little things. Devoting your time to pursue something when you are focused on only one thing (and not constantly plugged in) makes for quality of life.

Being present and living in the moment allows for self reflection and observation. It allows for personal contact with others and it slows down time. (Ok, it slows down the perception of time) that in a way makes day to day living less stressful and makes interaction with others and the world more personal and satisfying.

If you are in need of a new year's resolution - give yourself time to "be in the present".
Resist the urge to answer your cell phone when you are in line at the grocery store.
Stop texting on the dinner table or while at the movies. And for pete's sake quit talking on your cell phone while driving. I want you to enjoy the moment. I want you to practice "being present" (but don't call me because I'll be busy posting on Facebook).