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There – I’m going to say it – this country has completely lost its freaking mind. I just checked my Facebook page and was inundated with “I voted NO on Obama’s Speech to Kids” status updates and other comments about the President’s planned speech to welcome kids back to school next week. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Evidently, one school system will record the speech and preview it so nothing offensive is shown to the children. What? Offensive? WHAT CAN POSSIBLY BE OFFENSIVE ABOUT “DO A GOOD JOB, SET SOME GOALS AND DON’T DROP OUT OF SCHOOL?” Come on people, can you honestly tell me you don’t want an educated leader of our country to give an inspirational speech to our children about their performance in school and setting goals? Have you lost all your common sense? Apparently, many have.

I have repeatedly been amazed at the total stupidity a lot of Americans are showing of late – much of it probably attributed to the instant spread of false or other stupid info on the Internet and the assumption that if you read it on the Internet or hear it on the radio, it must be true – for example, the rumors that Obama is a Muslim, or that he wasn’t born in the United States (the birther controversy) or the “death panel” that Sarah Palin ignorantly (and very irresponsibly) mentioned. Information spreads like wildfire these days – especially the salacious, stupid information – people don’t even realize what’s going on because they are so misinformed.

Not only have Americans become physically lazy, it is apparent that they have become mentally lazy, too. People need to think for themselves and not follow blindly behind whatever political mantra they have. I’m a Democrat, and did not vote for George W. Bush, but if he wanted to give a speech to my kids about doing well in school I’d have no problem with that. Because he was the leader of our country and even though I didn’t agree with much of what he did, I thought his position should be respected – and it wasn’t like he was going to the elementary schools to ask permission to invade Iraq. (Although he might have gotten better counsel there.) Obama only wants to encourage the children – the White House assures that there will be NO policy issues mentioned in the speech. We have become a country that doesn’t even want our president to say an encouraging word to our children? How hate-filled and (forgive me) UNAMERICAN is that?

Maybe the White House went a little far in preparing some lesson plans to go along with the speech – people probably wouldn’t have reacted so negatively if the White House hadn’t tried so hard to be prepared. I can see how people, who are afraid of change and misinformed in the political arena could interpret that as being a little pushy. While I’d call it being prepared, someone who is afraid would question the motives behind White House-created lesson plans.

But, people, PLEASE start thinking again. Even if you are anti-Obama – base it on truth and not some stupid rumor or assumption you read on some website or heard on some wing-nut radio program. I can respect your position if you base it on something that resembles brain-waves, but to just hate because everybody else is doing it, or the Internet/radio/your preacher told you to, that’s just stupid.

Brandon and I attended junior high orientation tonight – I can’t believe how fast time flies. Brandon will be 13 next month, and is already clamoring for a Facebook account. To that end, we created an email address for him yesterday – when I asked him what email address he wanted, he responded “How about icantbelieveitsnotbutter?” I said, “How about brandoncantbelieveitsnotbutter?” Then a scenario popped into my head: “How would you like to give THAT address to some cute girl? You could say ‘Hey. My name is Brandon. My email address is brandoncantbelieveitsnotbutter at gmail.com . . . ‘ You would be soooo cool.”

So he had second thoughts about brandoncantbelieveitsnotbutter.

Brandon’s junior high is a little old school . . . no hair below the collar or earrings on boys, no “unnatural” hair colors, ‘extreme’ hair styles and no tattoos or facial hair (although sideburns down to the earlobes are okay). My high school wasn’t that strict.  I was feeling a little oppressed myself, just listening to the dress code. But then again, junior high schoolers do need some boundaries. And what’s an ‘extreme’ hair style, I wonder? And what happens if you break the dress code? You don’t get to hang out in the principal’s office for mommy to bring you a change of clothes . . . no, you get a white painter’s jumpsuit to put on and you go back to class. Ha!

We go meet Matthew’s kindergarten teacher on Thursday. School starts Monday. I can’t wait!

Boring Sunday afternoon aside, I learned to use our new scanner! Here’s Brandon at about 2 years old:

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I’m sure the scanner will provide me with hours of entertainment!

Lazy Sunday

The house is clean, the laundry done, the week’s groceries bought and put away and the boys are entertaining themselves with war games on the X-box, so what’s a girl to do? I’m bored, so I’ve been surfing the web and playing around on Napster. For lack of any other subject matter, here’s my current musical playlist:

The Time of Times – Badly Drawn Boy

The Scientist – Coldplay

Fix You – Coldplay

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

I Want to Break Free – Queen

Wake Up Call – Maroon 5

No Rain – Blind Melon

The Riddle – Five for Fighting

Over My Head (Cable Car ) – The Fray

Faith – George Michael

Stand – R.E.M.

Kodachrome – Paul Simon

Take On Me – a-ha

Come On Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners

Hazy Shade of Winter – The Bangles

Every Breath You Take – The Police

Our Crazy Neighbor Lady brought more “dog food” today. This time, when we didn’t open the door after she knocked twice, she opened the door and let herself in. NOTE TO SELF: ALWAYS LOCK DOORS! I heard the door open and I met her in the kitchen and immediately told her, “You really shouldn’t just walk in other people’s houses” which went right over her head. We do live in Texas after all, and one could get shot walking into other people’s houses.

This gift of “dog food” was made from cat food that her cat (which was at the time sleeping on our front porch) would not eat as well as some “other things.” I have no idea what the “other things” were, but there was some kind of oily slick on the top of the mixture. I ushered her out the door pretty quickly today, thank goodness, because the smell was horrible. Nasty.  Chris rescued me by rinsing it down the disposal along with half a bottle of dish detergent. I almost lost my lunch this time, the smell was so bad. Disgusting. A few minutes later, Matthew came out of his room with his nose buried in his elbow, saying “What is that smell?” Brandon walked through the kitchen about 20 minutes later and asked “What smells like dirty diapers?”

Chris suggested telling her that Binki died (which she hasn’t, but then again, we haven’t fed her the “dog food” concoction either) so no further dog food gifts would be necessary. I secretly want to tell her that her “dog food” killed Binki, but I’m not really that mean. Usually.

So I don’t know what to do about this neighbor; she’s harmless, but obviously she has no boundaries when it comes to walking in uninvited or sharing rancid dog food. We’re going to have to keep all the doors locked, all the time. Her house is for sale, so hopefully the problem won’t exist very long. I absolutely cannot stomach another gift of “dog food!”

Happy Birthday, Matthew

Matthew is 6 years old today! I can’t believe it. It seems like just yesterday he was a baby:

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So cute! And he’s still cute, of course. Now he’s a big boy and going off to kindergarten in a few weeks. I can’t believe how time flies. Happy birthday, buddy!

So about 2 pm today, I’m working away in my office (a room detached from the main house) when Brandon slides open the door and announces, “Mom, our neighbor is here.” And sure enough, right behind him is our next door neighbor. Evidently, she had been knocking on the front door and Brandon decided to let her in.

A brief aside: Our next door neighbor is crazy. She introduced herself as “your crazy neighbor,” so I have no qualms in calling her crazy. She also barged right in the house a few weeks ago, not realizing or caring that we were in the middle of dinner. Last week, she heard me mowing the front yard and came over just as I was wheeling the mower into the garage. She just wanted to tell me what a wonderful job I was doing and also to relate to me her plans of watching ‘wrasslin’ that evening. And on and on and on she went about the weather and about her wrasslin-watching partner, while sweat poured down my forehead and into my eyes. She noticed I was turning red from the heat, but that didn’t deter her from talking about her next doctor’s appointment and wanting to know where my husband was.

Back to today: She had in her hand a plastic container filled with what looked like (and smelled like) vomit. Or maybe chum. You get the idea. And she proceeded to tell me that she made this dog food – for our dog – because her dogs won’t eat it. And she was just going to toss it over our back yard fence, but she decided to see if we were home first. But she made it especially for our dog – she went to a local grocery store for scraps and brought home her lunch from the local Chinese restaurant and voila! she made dog food.

It smelled terrible and I had to really concentrate on breathing to not gag right there in front of her, especially when she handed it to me and I thought I saw a fish eye in the mess. Upon smelling the concoction, my brain immediately locked down to accomplish two tasks: 1) Get her out the door and 2) Don’t throw up.

I walked her back through the house, trying to remain civil and polite and thanking her for her generosity the entire way.  She wanted her container back. I dumped the chum-vomit into a plastic container that I will never use again and walked her towards the door. As soon as the door closed behind her, I rushed to the sink and dumped the “dog food” down the disposal along with half a bottle of dish detergent. Brandon asked why I didn’t dump it outside, and I replied that I didn’t want to be responsible for the deaths of any neighborhood animals that might eat it. I also washed my hands 4 times, even though I’m pretty sure none of it touched my skin.

Then Brandon got a 5 minute lecture on why he should not open the front door – ever. The smell was bad enough that I believe it was a reinforcing lesson on NEVER OPENING THE DOOR AGAIN.