Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Czarina Obviousa on American Economics

I am probably not going out on a limb if I state that like most Americans, I’m somewhat confused about the Occupy Wall Street protest. I know I’m supposed to be supportive, but not sure why. I think I finally got a handle on it though. Hear me out:

I work for a company that is representing a group of workers who want to be paid by their employer for all the time they spend performing work for their employer. The employer is a giant American corporation. One so large, that I’m pretty sure that every household in America has purchased their products at one time or another. We are representing workers in just one location. The workers are asking to be paid for an amount of time per day that probably adds up to less than ten minutes.

Corporate America may argue that ten minutes per day per worker, adds up over time and would cost the company untold profit. But here’s the thing: this case has been going on for almost four years. The company has spent far more on its attorney’s fees and expenses that it ever would have if they had simply paid their employees fairly to begin with. I’m not a math wizard, but I do know that an employee making $15 an hour, is far less than an attorney billing at $425 an hour, plus expenses. Add that up over four years, and see who comes out ahead.

The bottom line is, the company is not interested in what is doing what is right for its employees, or even its customers. As long as it shows the stockholders and board of directors that it has their best interests at heart, they are doing their job.

I feel this is also why the economy is failing and unemployment is so high. Corporate America is more interested in profits rather than keeping jobs in America, so most manufacturing is now done overseas where labor is cheap.

If given the choice, most Americans would buy a t-shirt at Wal-Mart that was manufactured in China for $4.99, than buy the same t-shirt manufactured in the US, at a locally owned store for $19.99. It becomes a vicious circle, because without jobs to have money to buy the t-shirt in the first place, there is little choice on what t-shirt to buy and where to buy it. Therefore, Corporate America has dictated where Americans shop and what they purchase.

So now I understand the basic principle of the protest. I hope this has been helpful, and please fly with us again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Czarina Obviousa on Whirled Peas

The Little One and I were watching the morning news, and she made this comment:

"War is stupid. They should just play Rock, Paper, Scissors. That's what Coach makes us do."

She is spot on.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Czarina Obviousa on Telepathy

The Big One and I were at a used bookstore the other day while visiting my parents, and went our separate ways to browse. I went looking in the DVD section for a couple of Alan Rickman titles I cannot seem to find on DVD anywhere and came up empty. She finds me and is all excited. “Mom, does Grandmother still have a VHS player? Look what I found!”

She’s got an old VHS copy of one of the movies I was just looking for, “Truly, Madly, Deeply.”

What was so weird, is that this was not a popular film, it came out twenty years ago, and she and I had never discussed it. I’ve seen it several times and it breaks my heart every time I watch it. I have no idea how she found out about it, but had downloaded “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore,” which was on the soundtrack. Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson sing is as a duet. The Big One thought it was a song from WW2 and I had to set her straight.

My mom did have a VHS player. In fact, she does not own a DVD player and still insists she needs to hook up the VHS player to her new HD television so she can record her shows because she refuses to get a DVR box from the cable company and still hard wires her cable TV into the wall, but that’s another blog entry. The Big One watched it, and I kept popping my head in to see how she liked it, because it’s such a sad movie, and I wasn’t in the mood for it. She did like it, and now I have a mission to find it on DVD for her Christmas stocking.

Just another affirmation that I’m raising her right.

Czarina Obviousa on Noise Pollution

So The Big One and I were getting gas the other day, when the car next to us starts up, and starts blasting music. At. Full. Volume.

I got back in the car and said, “You know I really wanted to say to that guy, ‘Hey, when you do that, people aren’t thinking, ‘Man, that guy’s cool.’ What they are thinking is, ‘Man, that guy’s a jackhole.’”

The Big One said, “Yeah. The only time it would be cool if he were blasting showtunes.”

My work is done.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Czarina Obivosa’s Open Letter to Fellow Dog Walkers

Dear Fellow Dog Walkers:

Like you, I enjoy walking my dog, especially in the public park near my house. However, let’s review a few common courtesies.

• This particular park is not an off-leash park. Let me repeat: NOT AN OFF-LEASH PARK. I do not care that your dog is so obedient and well behaved that you feel a leash is not necessary when you take your constitutional. So when your tiny dog charges at my 65-pound-plus dog who responds by barking and picking up your dog in her jaws, do not scream at me to control my dog. Your dog is getting the ass whooping it deserves.

• Please pick up your dog’s poo. If you do not have or have run out of poo bags, which happens to even the most conscientious dog owners, please move the poo away from the walking path, either with a stick or your shoe. Your fellow dog owners do not want to look at your dog’s poo.

• Please do not allow your dog to poo on the sidewalk or walking path. Again, please remove it either with a bag especially designed for picking up poo, or said shoe and/or stick. I personally do not enjoy stepping in your dog’s by-products, and am certain other patrons of park feel the same way.

• If you have small children, please do not allow them to go running up to dogs they do not know, with arms flailing and screaming at the top of their lungs. My own dog loves children and responds to this by lying down, but I have witnessed other dogs who do not share this affinity for what they may perceive as being attacked by howler monkeys. And if the dog responds by nipping at your child, it is not the dog owner’s fault. Perhaps you should consider a leash for your child.

• My dog absolutely hates small dogs, especially female dogs. She is a rescue dog, so I have no idea what her history is regarding this. I am also aware you have no way of knowing this. So when I see you coming toward me with your small dog, please do not take it as an affront to you personally when I turn and walk the other way. Please do not encourage them to be “friends,” unless you wish to have my dog eat your dog for breakfast. I am not being rude. I am just trying to avoid a doggie homicide.

If we all can follow the above, we will all have a pleasant dog walking experience. Thank you for your support.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Czarina Obviousa on Office Manners

Just a few basics for those who are completely without any manners or boundaries:

• Put your cell phone on silent. Seriously. No one else in the office wants to hear your ringtone. Over and over. And over. And when you do take a personal call, please go in your office or in the hall, so it’s not broadcast everywhere. And when we hear your personal business, please don’t accuse us of eavesdropping.

• Personal hygiene is done at home. Period paragraph. This includes clipping your fingernails at your desk or cleaning your ears in the break room.

• Please do not take shared office items, such as the newspaper, with you on your visits to the restroom. The rest of the office does not want to read your poopy paper.

• Please wash your own dishes. The maid and your mother are out sick this week.

• When the paper towel roll dispenser is empty, please replace. And no, it doesn’t count when you place the new paper towel roll next to the paper towel roll dispenser. If you are unclear on how the paper towel roll dispenser is operated, please ask a four year old.

• When your lunch explodes in the microwave, please clean it up. Do not keep re-microwaving it until it resembles cheese barnacles.

• There is no coffee fairy. When the coffee pot is empty, please make another pot. If you are not trained on how to make coffee, please ask the aforementioned four year old.

• When you are finished with your lunch, brunch, snack, coffee break, etc. please wipe down the mess you left on the counter and/or shared table. Again, the maid and your mother are out sick this week.

• Please take home dirty lunch containers. Do not place them in the refrigerator. This is not a science lab.

• When you are printing 587 pages on the shared printer, please replenish the paper supply for the next person. Again, the four year old can help you with this one.

You know what? How about you start looking for another job and we’ll just hire the four year old.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Czarina Obviousa on Karma

Two weeks ago, I was first in line at the stoplight. It turned green, but as I moved forward, the jackhole in the left turn only lane on the opposite side decided that the red light did not apply to him and turned left, just as the guy next to me and I started through the intersection. I held my breath, because it looked like the guy next to me would plow right into this entitled ass, and hit the brakes. The car behind me then hit me.

We both pulled over and the first thing she says to me is, “Why did you stop?”

Not “Are you okay?” or “I’m sorry.” Nope. She tried to shift the blame right out of the gate.

She then looks at my car. I drive a 1994 Toyota Corolla wagon with 206,000 miles. It’s dead sexy. She asks, “Well, what did I do?” I looked at her with a straight face and said, “You rear-ended me.”

Please try to keep up, lady-in-the-the-big-SUV-who-rear-ended-me.

“No,” she sniffs, “I mean there’s already a lot of damage here, what is mine?”

OK, I admit there was one pretty good dent in the bumper where a young woman backed into me in the Target parking lot in Austin, Texas, four years ago. The girls and I were on our first vacation that didn’t involve going to my parents’ and I got lost looking for my cousin’s house. It was really hot, it was the end of the day, and we were all cranky. I told the girl if she gave me directions to my cousin’s, we’d be even-steven. I figured it was good karma.

So the bumper wasn’t in that great of shape to begin with.

However, she did scratch it up pretty bad, plus put dents in around the hatch door, around the tag. And she messed up my “Republicans for Voldemort” bumper sticker pretty good. I was more upset about losing that. It’s probably worth more than the car.

I handed her my card and got her insurance info. I think when she saw I worked in a law office, she came down off her high horse a little.

I went home all mad. Not because of the car, but because of her attitude. She really gave off a bad first impression, because she was so judgmental of my car.

I cooled off and decided that I’d just get the undercarriage checked to make sure it was safe for driving. If there was damage, I’d give her insurance company a call. So imagine my surprise when two days later, I got a call from her insurance company, stating that she’d accepted the blame and they requested I meet one of their appraisers.

Never underestimate the power of a law office business card.

I got the estimate, and as I’d guessed, it’s a total insurance loss. I can still drive it, so I really don’t care about the damage. I was planning on giving it to The Big One when she started driving anyway.

I felt a little funny at first, accepting the check from her insurance company. But I figure, since she’s the one who did the right thing and called her insurance company and not me, and was the one at actual fault, I’d let go of that feeling. I’m stashing it in the band trip fund for The Big One and I.

Karma’s way of paying me back.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I’m a big fan and follower of freerangekids.com. The author, Lenore Skenazy, campaigns to educate parents on the real and perceived risks to children. I appreciate the research she presents and it has helped me to be less fearful in raising my own girls.

The Little One’s school is probably one of the few in the country that actually encourages its students to walk, rather than have them dropped off by an adult. The school is situated in a neighborhood, off of any busy street, and the traffic congestion can get pretty bad. The school promotes an “All Walk” day once a month and we usually participate. We live about a half mile from the school, which is doable every day, but we’re lazy and sleep the extra fifteen minutes, so I usually take her on my way to work. However, every morning I see lot of kids walking to school. Many are alone or with siblings and no parents. No one seems to think this is dangerous or unusual.

Last Friday was All Walk day, and we got up early enough to walk. I know she’ll be fine if she walks alone, but the dog needed a walk and so did I, so I went with her. We got about two blocks from the school and heard a crash across the street. We looked over, and there was a little guy who had fallen off his scooter. We went over to check on him. He was crying, had a cut on his neck and was holding his arm like it hurt. I introduced myself and The Little One, asked him his name and who was his teacher. It turned out he had the same second grade teacher as The Little One had had. I picked up his scooter and told him we’d walk with him the rest of the way. The Little One stayed with him and chatted with him about Mrs. Second Grade Teacher. When we got to school, I walked him into the nurse’s office and told the school secretary he was in Mrs. Second Grade Teacher’s class. She commented it was nice I brought him in and I told her I couldn’t just leave him crying on the sidewalk.

After school, I asked The Little One if she’d seen the little boy at all during the day. She said she had gone by Mrs. Second Grade Teacher’s classroom to check on him and he was fine.

This incident illustrates that the Free Range Kids idea really works. Little Guy’s mother had enough faith that her kid was capable of getting himself to school. She also had enough faith that if something happened to him, it would be taken care of. Not only was there someone around when he needed it, there was someone who checked up on him.

The boogey man’s not really out there as much as we think. We just need to relearn how to treat each other like neighbors.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Baby Steps

The other night was the two-year anniversary of The Husband's and my first date. He planned to take me out to dinner, so he brought home pizza and Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the girls for dinner.

I let The Little One know that The Husband had brought Krispy Kreme for her and she smiled big. Then she said, "I have to go give The Stepfather a hug...I mean I have to go give The Almost Feral Cat a hug...I mean I have to have The Almost Feral cat give The Stepfather a hug."

We're getting there.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Czarina Obviousa on Bedtime

Last night, after watching another stellar Masterpiece Classic, I got up to let the dog out, and was blasted by Guns N Roses Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven's Door. So loud, I thought it was a live band.

Being that it was 9:45 on a Sunday night, my curiosity was immediately aroused.


After poking my head out the back door and not seeing anything over the privacy fences, I went upstairs. The Big One and The Little One, who had already gone to bed, were stumbling around, "Mommy, what's that noise?" I went in my bedroom, and The Husband was out cold and had not heard a thing.

So I went out the front door to look for the source. Keep in mind I was wearing the Capri tights I'd worn to the gym earlier, a baggy t-shirt, no bra, no make-up, red Crocs over my footie slippers, and Mickey Mouse fleece robe with a broken zipper.

Two doors down, I could see from the street that the occupants were having a party on their back patio. Did I mention it had snowed for about six hours that day and the temperature was right around the freezing mark?

I didn't want to be a total jackhole and call the police, but it really was obnoxiously LOUD. And on a Sunday night. And it was dark and everything.

Guns N Roses stopped Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven's Door, so I thought the music would stop and started walking back home. Apparently, Guns N Roses had an encore. I went back upstairs and both girls were all, "Mommy, we can't sleep, it's too loud."

I decided not to be a jackhole and involve the authorities. Instead, I went in the backyard and yelled "HEY! I'ts a SCHOOL NIGHT!!!"

And the music stopped.

Czarina Obviousa does not mess around with bedtime.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Czarina Obviousa on Racism

I’ve been researching my family tree. When I say “I,” I mean I pretty much just copy/pasted research done by others and posted on the internet and reformatting it in a way that won’t make the old ADD needle jump the chart.

I’ve been fortunate in that I was able to follow the research and trace one branch back to 1774 and another back to 1374. My maiden name has a very unusual spelling. So unusual, in fact, that when I ran it through the super-duper people search engine at work, the only other Americans I found with this particular spelling were my father, my mother, my brothers, my sister-in-law and myself.

Yep. We are truly the last of this line in America. My brother has three girls, so unless they are able to carry on the name, it dies with this generation. I seriously thought about changing my girls’ last names to hyphenate with their dad’s, but thought that would just be too pretentious and too much to sign on a signature line.

Both of my paternal grandparents were only children, so I didn’t have a lot of relatives that on that side growing up. I can honestly say there are about 17 people on my father’s side that I knew. That included my paternal grandmother’s people, and my paternal grandfather’s mother’s people.

However, after a few search engine fishing trips, learned that while my grandfather’s side of the family with the unusually spelled last name was small, there were cousins I never knew about. And it turned out, the one who is apparently my great-great grandfather’s sister’s descendant, who did the awesome research, lives about 2 hours from me. He’s some kind of blood cousin, anyway. Not the same last name anymore, but I don’t feel so isolated now.

My paternal grandmother’s family has the benefit for research in that several ancestors were political figures and therefore, there was accurate documentation of them and their families. There are three books written about my grandmother’s grandfather, and that’s where things got interesting on the genealogy message boards that I found.

It is a well-known fact that slavery was once legal in America. There is absolutely nothing I can do to change that fact or change the facts of history that were caused by slavery. One of these facts is that slave owners made it a custom and practice of having sexual relations with their slaves, consensual or not. I’m guessing not. This, of course, led to births that may have not been recorded as they should. Fast forward a couple of hundred years, and modern racism enters.

It’s easy for me to understand the viewpoints on race from a couple of centuries ago. What I don’t understand is why we’re still talking about the same issues now.

Apparently, one of my distant cousins is a descendant of a “relationship” between a slave and her owner and has had some difficulty of convincing other “purer” relations of his legitimate kinship. Another topic of discussion on the message boards has been denial on the idea that there may be mixed-race descendants, because according to some of the posters, “my relatives would not have done such a thing.”

Um, excuse me. Attention people who are making that assumption: were you, your parents or grandparents even ALIVE when these events were taking place? No? Then shut your whore mouths and here’s a copy of “Roots.”

My good friend, Irony, comes in about here: the ancestors who these racists have their knickers in a wad over, are Native Americans.

That’s right: “people of color” are in disagreement with other “people of color” over events that happened a couple of centuries ago. And what further incenses me is that these descendants feel they can speak for someone they’ve never, nor will ever, meet and that other descendants still have to fight this tired fight. Descendants of Native Americans and African Americans are still not recognized as members of certain Native American tribes. This may not seem like a big deal, but tell that to someone who is not recognized when they are filling out a census form or applying for benefits or scholarships.

The particular ancestor who has the books published about him also kept a journal. He wrote an autobiography from these notes and this was published, but not his private journals. Those were kept by my grandmother until her death, then by my aunt, her daughter. According to one of the books about him, written by a non-family member, he makes reference to those kinfolk in his journal, but alludes that it is not something the family likes to acknowledge. I don’t know if this is true or not. I’ve never been allowed to read the original journals. I’m not even sure where they are now, since my aunt died about a year and a half ago. I will probably never be privy to their contents, given my grandmother’s wishes to keep this family “secret” a secret.

Frankly, I was tickled to death to have any distant relations, regardless of color.

The Big One has a friend with whom she’s in jazz band, Jazz Band Girl, who is biracial. Jazz Band Girl’s dad comes to almost every band event (sidebar: big shout out to him, because that’s practically a full-time job) who is white. Jazz Band Girl has two younger sisters and I just assumed their mother was African American. Her mother doesn’t generally come to all the events, so it was several months into band season before I saw her.

Hello Irony, I’m so glad to see you again!

Who’s that white woman sitting with Jazz Band Girl’s dad and her sisters? Is it his girlfriend? Second wife?

Turns out, Jazz Band Girl and her sisters are all adopted. This was not even on my radar.

So my question is, am I any better that my ancestors and those involved in the discussion about race? I was making racial assumptions, just as they did and are. Have I done a 180 or a 360?

I know in a perfect world, we’re not supposed to see color and compartmentalize based on color, but we have a long way to go to make a perfect world. I loved the fact that at a recent slumber party, The Little One was the only white kid, but I hate the fact that I saw that and had the need to point it out to The Husband.

I guess it just makes me sad that this issue will never go away.

Every time I hear a member of the "Tea Party" proclaim, "We're taking back our country!" what I hear them say is "We're taking back our country from the nigger president!"

It's sad that no matter how educated a person is or how intelligent or if they have exemplary leadership skills, those will always be noticed after the color of their skin.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Little Piece of Quiet

So I’m watching Oprah a few weeks ago, and even though I lost some of my respect for Oprah because of James Frey and Jenny McCarthy, Goldie Hawn was on and I luurrrrrrvve her, and she’s talking about happiness. What makes people happy, how you can achieve it.


So Goldie says that the one thing that is guaranteed to contribute to happiness and well being is being alone and quiet, even if it’s only for ten minutes a day.

Like every other woman in America who was watching this, I was thinking, “Yeah, RIGHT. When the hell am I supposed to get ten minutes ALONE and QUIET? I can’t even go in the bathroom without the dog following me in there.”

Then she explained what she does, which is go in her bathroom, lock the door, put the seat down and sit and breathe for 10-20 minutes.

GOLDIE HAWN has to go hide in the bathroom in her own house, just to get a piece of quiet. GOLDIE HAWN who could afford to have a special wing built onto her house, for the sole purpose of getting a piece of quiet, has to sit on the closed toilet in order to do so.

This problem has clearly reached a crisis point for American women.

One of the biggest adjustments to my new married life is that while I feel like I can’t get away from people and things that constantly need me, The Husband is making up for lost time for all the years he lived alone. It’s not that I don’t want him or anyone else around. I just don’t want them around ALL. THE. TIME.

I got so totally fed up the other day at work, dealing with the idiocity caused by the boss’ brother, that I had to get out of the office for a while. It was too cold to take a walk, so I went in the bathroom and played Angry Birds for a while. Not more than two minutes later, I started getting anxious texts from Kathy with a K: “Where are you? R U OK?”

So it’s not just at home where it’s impossible to be alone.

Years ago, there was a short-lived cartoon series based on the Baby Blues comic strip. One episode had the mom, Wanda, open her own business. A NAP STORE. How awesome would this be in real life? Just a space filled with giant drawers with beds in them. No sex allowed, just napping. As cheap as I am, I would pay good money to have two hours of uninterrupted sleep in a quiet place.

So if anyone out there is looking for a start-up business idea, let me know. We could make money and contribute to the well-being of women all over America.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Czarina Obviousa at the Gym

An Open Letter to the Girl in the Pink Top on the Treadmill Next to Me at the Gym:

Hi girl-in-the-pink-top-on-the-treadmill-next-to-me-at-the-gym,

We all have a little rebel in us, but when ALL of the cardio apparatus are in use, and I mean ALL the treadmills, ellipticals, stairclimbers, etc., and there are other members of the gym milling around, waiting for an opening, it's really NOT cool to exceed the 30 minute time limit imposed on said apparatus.

Even if you have zero body fat and the waist the size of a gnat's.

I am certain that you exceeded the 30 minute because I was one of the other members who was waiting for an opening while you were already on the treadmill. When the treadmill next to you opened, I hopped on, started the timer and began my workout. After my allotted 30 minutes, I got off, wiped it down (as is courteous) and walked an additional 5 laps around the gym.

You were still on the same treadmill when I left the gym. And during my workout, I did notice you punching the buttons on the control panel. A lot.

If it had been less that 5 minutes, or if the gym hadn't been so crowded, I would not have had an issue with this. I myself did 45 minutes one time, but that was on Easter Sunday, when there were literally SIX people in the gym. But I did feel guilty about it, and told the attendant, who just laughed at me and said, "Really, today it's okay."

I appreciate the fact that you are dedicated to your workout, which is obvious because you have zero body fat and a waist the size of a gnat's but that does not entitle you to special privileges. Especially at the expense of others who may have had to carve time out of their day and brave the elements to go to the gym. And given the evidence that you have zero body fat and a waist the size of a gnat's, carving time out of your day to go to the gym is not a problem, because it it obvious you have nothing else to do with your time but go to the gym.

I saw you at the gym yesterday, and had my eye on you. I couldn't tell if you were using the special entitlement card, but you're on my radar now, so watch out.

Next time, I'll be a tattletale and let the attendant know. Or better still, knock you and your zero body fat and waist the size of a gnat's into the window.

Just so I can watch you slide down the glass like Rick Moranis did in Ghostbusters.

Exercise makes Czarina Obviousa cranky.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Adventures of Czarina Obviousia

“I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows.” - President Obama

The above is from the President’s recent State of the Union Address, or as I like to call it after witnessing John Boehner’s man-tan, “Oompa-Loompas Gone Wild.” Seriously, I couldn't take my eyes off him. Very distracting.

There was a recent election in Fremont, Nebraska that just has put my panties in a wad. The good folks of this hamlet have voted to ban hiring or renting of property to illegal immigrants.

My good friend Irony, pokes its head in here, because Fremont, Nebraska is the home of two meat packing plants, staffed mostly by immigrants, illegal or not. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of America’s food supply is processed by immigrants, illegal or not.

I tried looking up the exact figures on how many undocumented workers there are in America and the needle just flew off my ADD chart. There are so many different sources, and because they are undocumented, the figures cannot be accurate. The closest I could find from the 2009 US Census is probably about 13 million. I tried to find the amount spent by the US on these undocumented immigrants for welfare services and my eyeballs started spinning in my head, because again, too many conflicting sources. Even the government can’t figure it out. A 2007 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office examined 29 reports on state and local costs published over 15 years in an attempt to answer this question. CBO concluded that most of the estimates determined that illegal immigrants impose a net cost to state and local governments but "that impact is most likely modest." CBO said "no agreement exists as to the size of, or even the best way of measuring, that cost on a national level."

Agricultural workers are exempt from receiving overtime and minimum wage. That’s right. The guy with the family working in the field is not even making $7.25 an hour. Or getting overtime.

People complain all the time about the high price of food, but what would prices be like if labor weren’t so cheap?

The thing is, and I know I’m stereotyping, but if you were deemed “legal” to work and live in America, wouldn’t you choose collecting welfare over picking strawberries? I know I would. Collect a check AND get benefits such as health care? Sign me up.

I wonder if the good people of Fremont and others like them have made that connection.

Wonder if they’ll figure it out when ground beef is $10 a pound? Or will they blame it on the “illegals” who are draining the welfare system?

Wonder if anyone has shown them what corporate welfare costs this country?

I'd rather have cheap asparagus than bail out Goldman Sachs.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Snow, snow, snow, blah, blah, blah.

Yeah, we get it. We've had a lot of snow. Most of the country has had a lot of snow.

However, no one I personally know of has lost power, or has been stranded on the road or stuck in their house for more than a day and a half. We all had plenty of groceries because we had two day's worth of warnings. Everyone had pretty much laid in supplies and was under cover when the blizzard started. I heard folks in Austin were on rolling blackouts to accommodate the surge in usage, but no one was really without power for a dangerous or extended period of time. A couple of people did have pipes burst, but they had bottled water on hand and when the temperature is way below zero for several days, there is really nothing you can do about it.

I couldn't get out of my driveway or street and had to miss two days of work. This is not the end of the world, believe me. Schools have been out for three days. The kids don't mind.

The Big One's fifteenth birthday fell on the second snow day. She was born on a snow day, and I think we've had one every birthday since. One year, we'd lost power for a few days. We had a special breakfast and cake and ice cream, and it was pretty much like every other birthday.

So for everyone out there who keeps whining about being stuck in their house for two days, I have this advice:

Shut the fuck up already.

Seriously, did you miss a dialysis or chemo appointment while you stayed in your warm house watching DVDs and eating? No, I don't think so.

Were you homeless and under a bridge? Nope.

Were you so snowed in that if there were a life-threatening situation, an ambulance couldn't have gotten to your house? I live on a pretty steep hill that didn't get plowed until Day Two and I still think an ambulance could have made it if absolutely necessary.

Did your employer threaten to fire you if you didn't show up? No, because they couldn't open their front door, much less get to the office.

Although as a sidebar, The Little One's Girl Scout leader's daughter did have to have an emergency appendectomy, so she gets a pass. In addition, she handled it in true Girl-Scout-leader-single-mother-of-four fashion and apologized to ME for not returning my email immediately regarding cookie money. Really, it's okay. The cookies can wait.

I think the only real concern I had was for my parents. My mom called and said they may not be able to get out for 5-6 days. She may end up killing my father by then.

Two days off in your house is a GIFT people. I know you all had access to your computers, because I kept reading posts on FaceBook that were whine after whine about how you couldn't get out your front door because of the snow and how the kids are going stir crazy.

Um, no they're not. They most likely have access to televisions, DVDs, computer games, iPods and maybe something that I like to call "books." They're fine. They don't really need constant stimulation and it's really okay for them to veg in front of the TV for a few days. Everyone else is also missing school, so no one's getting behind.

I personally sat on the fat couch and played Angry Birds, caught up on FarmVille and knitted house slippers to my heart's content. Watched "Easy A" on The Big One's recommendation, and was going to watch "The Social Network" but had to go to back to work. I had grand aspirations of cleaning out my closets, but the couch won. The Husband cooked and The Little One let the dog in and out. Good neighbor Charlie snowblowed our driveway. I've had worse vacations.

Please don't let me be the only one who saw this snowstorm as a gift, and not the end of the world. We all really have so much and I'm sure we all have everything we really need. I know I do. Maybe next snow day, instead of posting to FaceBook about how bored we are, we should post our blessings.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thank You for Being De-Friend

So what is it about FaceBook that has turned the country into a bunch of sixth-grade girls?

There are so many hurt feelings about who’s “friended” and “defriended” that I sometimes have flashbacks to Mayo Elementary, circa 1976.

Recently The Husband and I discovered we were both defriended by someone we’d gone to camp with 30 years ago, solely for the reason that we are both atheists and he’s a Christian.

Now I know I don’t follow the Christian theology, but isn’t that a very un-Christlike attitude?

My take on it is that real friends don’t lose touch after 30 years to begin with.

At least he wasn’t one of my FarmVille neighbors. That would have been really hurtful.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Dish Experiment, Day Five

So notice the clean dishes in the dish rack. Again, washed by the owner's wife. What year is this again?

Taking a stand for administrative assistants everywhere.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Dish Experiment, Day Four

Still haven't backed down, but apparently these dishes sat over the weekend. Some of the dishes left in the sink had been washed, but by the owner's WIFE. Seriously? Is it 1950?

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Dish Experiment, Day Three

Day Three of not washing. I know the photo is bad, but I'm still trying out my smart phone. Smart Phone = Dumb User.

The fork, mug and glass are still there, with the addition of a couple of bowls the owner left. We'll see who caves first.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Dish Experiment, Day Two

So Kathy with a K and I made it through our first day of NOT washing dishes.

It doesn't look too bad, but keep in mind that she and I and the owner's brother were the only ones who ate in. And yes, all the dirty dishes and utensils belong to him.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Dish Experiment, Day One

It is a truth universally acknowledged that blogging about one's job is career suicide. However, I have reached my breaking point about one particular issue at my workplace:

The dirty dishes.

I work in a small office, only seven employees. One might assume that because we are all adults, all employees can be responsible for their dirty dishes. This is not the case. Every day, either I or Kathy with a K wash a stack of dishes that were dirtied by the other employees. We started doing this as a favor, but because we set this precedent, we are now expected to do this. Every day. Even when we ourselves have not used any dishes. Even when we are both absent from the office.

So beginning today, we have agreed that neither of us will succumb to the power of the stack of dirty dishes and refuse to wash a dish that we did not personally soil.

We ain't their bitches.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Superpowers

After the realization that I have the superpower that I can make myself become invisible, I almost immediately found that I can see and hear things that must be in a fourth dimension.

For years I've thought that all my nagging ("put that away," "watch out for ___," etc.) was because that is what kids and moms do. But after discovering I could become invisible, it opened my mind to the possibility of superpowers and it explains so much.

For example:
I am the only one who can see and hear the dog when she is panting like she's just finished a marathon and pacing in front of her water dish, to have a refill.
I am the only one who can see and hear the dog when she is pacing in front of the back door, crossing her legs and whining to be let out.
I am the only one who can see and hear the cat when she is howling next to her food dish, because it is empty.

The other morning, The Big One and I were in the girls' bathroom, and she was brushing her teeth. There was a ginormous wad of dog hair in the sink. IN THE BATHROOM SINK. The only explanation I have for this was that the dog was dying of thirst, so she went into the bathroom, turned on the sink and got herself a drink. I told The Big One, "Ewwww...clean that up." She said, "Clean what up?" This was not a few hairs, it was the size of a tarantula.

This superpower is not just related to animals. It also explains why no one but me sees the dirty dishes left on the floor in the den, the badminton racket left on the hood of my car, and the stapler in The Little One's bed.

I really must harness these powers for the greater good. At the least, I could get my house clean.

"With great power comes great responsibility."