Wednesday, December 31, 2008
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise - does a ferry count? didn't think so
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - long ago and before children
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted - caricatured on the streets of Paris!
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - can't remember if we watched the ceremony, but i WAS there - and I have in DC at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - do fish count?
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument
looks like i got 55!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
This week he had THREE projects due. I don’t know WHAT his teachers are thinking. I finally gave up nagging and helped him create a flow sheet that shows what projects have been assigned, their due dates, what he must do for each, what IS done, and what needs to be done, along with when he plans to do what. This helped a lot this weekend when he was trying to wrap up all three (and we’re going to make a new form for him to enter ALL projects on going forward).
My fabulous son stayed focused and worked hard for three whole days (one was due Monday, two Tuesday). He didn’t get to do a single fun thing, but he got his work done. I’m really proud of him.
So when he needed photo documentation of one of his projects, I didn’t hesitate to support that. It’s a Gang Resistance Education And Training (GREAT) course, and he had chosen to beautify the neighborhood by planting pansies. He took a picture before and after. Now, in order to turn that assignment in, we had to print the pictures.
And so the saga begins. First, I have refilled the color cartridge in my inkjet but it just does NOT want to function properly. We have reinstalled and rebooted and finally the black will print but the color doesn’t look right. So I had DH buy a new cartridge Saturday, in order to be prepared to print. Tested it and it’s working. One hurdle cleared.
Next we need to upload the photos. And I admit, I waited until late yesterday to look for the cable. Could not find it. Everybody started looking; no luck. Haven’t uploaded since we moved, so it’s sure to be somewhere, but WHEN it will turn up is anybody’s guess.
OK, Plan B. I need to pick up a couple of things at Stuff-Mart (also knows as the Evil Empire, or Wal-Mart). I’ll take the camera and print off the pictures at the kiosk. No biggie.
So I finish my shift and head out at about 8:45 p.m. Does anyone else see the problem here? The kiosks close at 8 p.m. and you cannot get one-hour photos this late. Getting a little bit nutso. I have promised the child I will do everything in my power to get this done tonight so his projects go in properly. Can’t give up this easily.
Regrouping, Plan C. The electronics department is swamped. Everyone is doing Christmas shopping (what’s the matter with them? There’s another 10 days until Christmas, and I need to print this project NOW!). I finally get someone’s attention and there is no help for the photo lab. I can’t get someone to turn on the kiosk just long enough to print my 4 pix.
Next plan - are we on D now? While I have the clerk’s attention, I ask if they sell the cables to upload pictures at home. There is ONE available. It is supposed to be a “universal jack.” I hold faint hope it will help. They point me over an aisle and I find it. It has multiple jacks that plug into the cable, and one of them is marked Kodak. It even looks like it will fit. It’s 15 dollars, but I have to have a jack, and I have to have it NOW. Fine.
Try getting it off the wall. The stupid thing is locked down! And the stupid department is swamped! There are 3 or 4 people ahead of me. So I make sure one knows ALL I NEED are KEYS, PLEASE! And commence waiting. People are waiting obscene lengths of time just to check out!
Finally my clerk is available. He liberates the keys from the manager and gets my peg unlocked, so I can pull down my purchase. Hallelujah! I ask him, somewhat desperate, if I have to pay for the item in Electronics. No! Woohoo! Next hurdle!
Off I go to make sure I have something to cook tomorrow for dinner, something to put the Christmas fudge that I give to my many family members in (gift tins), and Oreos. Try getting through this kind of ordeal without Oreos? I don’t think so.
You would think the hard part was over. No. Because I have not uploaded pictures in FOUR MONTHS, there are over 200 on the camera. That is not a type-o, it really is over TWO HUNDRED PICTURES.
Home after 10. Turn on the computer. While waiting for it to boot, turn on the camera and plug in the jack. It fits! Something is going right! Woohoo! One more hurdle cleared.
Then I plug the thing into the CPU and wait for it to upload. And wait. And wait.
You really have to be patient with Kodak software. Sometimes it takes its time, but it does the job. After half an hour, I get an error message and have to start over. When this happens you should always reboot the computer. So I did. I waited even longer to be sure that it had completely booted and I wasn’t interrupting its thoughts. Plugged everything BACK in (in the proper order), and wait.
This time it uploaded 60% of the pictures before I got an error message. None of the project pictures are in this group. But they’re in the computer successfully and we can try to get the rest on now. Reboot everything again. It seems Gabe had taken some videos at this point in the queue of pictures waiting to be uploaded and that likely caused the error.
Finally. Everything is uploaded. It’s 11:30. This is just ridiculous. But one more hurdle successfully cleared. Only I’m getting tired now.
So I start looking through the pictures, deleting duplicates and unfocused ones. It’s what you do when you upload. I didn’t get crazy, but I did need to look at them all. Find the four pictures he needs. Drag them to the task box, and get the print menu up. Choose to print them all on one page, 3-1/2 x 5 or so, and send.
Error message. Do you think I’m a little bit SICK of error messages?
Try again. I make sure to select the printer that’s actually present, not the “fax” or whatever it calls the nonexistent printer. Another error message.
Make sure I’ve turned off and disconnected the camera. Reboot the computer AGAIN. Wait for it to boot completely before I try to do anything. Open Kodak EasyShare (EASY my ASS!) and put the four pictures in the task box again. Send them to print.
Guess what? After midnight, I’ve got the damn things printed, and my son will be able to turn in his homework. HIS homework? Seems like I’ve done an awful lot of work to get HIS homework ready!
Can’t wait for the term papers to start. Can I just quit now? No wonder I have dreams about being in high school again - I’m sure doing the hard parts now!
Monday, December 08, 2008
If you want to play, leave a comment that answers these questions about me, copy the below to your blog and put in your comment that you want me to go there and fill in the answers about you. Be honest. If you don't want me to answer these questions about you, you can still answer them for me if you want.
1. How old am I?
2. Where did we meet?
3. Take a stab at my middle name.
4. Color of my eyes?
5. Do I have any siblings?
6. If so, how many? What are their names? Ages?
7. What's one of my favorite things to do?
8. What's my favorite type of music?
9. Am I shy or outgoing?
10. Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules?
11. Any special talents?
12. Do I have children?
13. If so, how many? What are their code names? Ages?
14. Do I have pets?
15. If you and I were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing that I would bring?
I have three wishes for Christmas (birthday, Mother's Day, whenever we can afford them). If you know or can guess what they are, bonus points!
I'll post the answers next week.
Monday, November 24, 2008
so my first brother (#3 in the family, first son, just 2 years younger than me), who is the closest to religious nuthood to my father, posts a little humorous comment:
I called B------ W--- W---- to order takeout for lunch. During lunch, they have a special – ten wings, ten potato wedges, ten minutes, for a fixed price. I ordered two, boneless, with Parmesan sauce, and told them I didn’t care about the time limit, as I would arrive in thirty minutes to pick up my lunch.
I was put on hold. A different voice came on, and asked if I was D----, and did I really want two ten/ten orders. Yes. Put on hold again.
Different voice came on. “We can’t do that, the ten/ten is only for dine-in, not carry out.”
“Okay, but I don’t care about the time limit, I just want some wings and wedges.”
Put on hold again. Different voice came on. “Can I help you?”
I was just talking to someone, and they put me on hold.
“Oh, are you D----?”
Still was, last time I checked. I started laughing as she told me that they couldn’t do the ten/ten thingy, because that’s not available for takeout. “Do you still want to make an order?”
Do you really service takeout orders?
Then yes, I really do want to make an order.
“We can do 6, 12, 18, 24, 50, or 100.”
But not ten, and not twenty?
It's Tuesday, I thought that wings were .50/each today.
But I can’t have ten.
“No, 6, 12, 24, 50, or 100.”
Still laughing, I told her to please make me 24.
“Did you want anything else?”
Yes, I asked for wedges, too, please. Not really clear on what the options she rattled off to me at that point. I ended up with a basket of them, though.
I’m still laughing about it.
which he then followed with some other "too stupid to live" stories that have been circulating by internet. IT WAS A GOOD POST!
but my father - my father thought this an appropriate reply:
What a good bunch of laughs! Thanks for sharing.
What do they teach in school these days? Anyone? Do your kids know how many in a dozen, half dozen, gross, how many quarts in a bushel, peck, how many square feet in an acre, how many acres in a square mile?
I know. They teach the "new" math, computer logic, not people logic, political correctness, not courtesy, shun any mention of God, belittle anyone who believes that Adam and Eve and the world were created by God, that we should accept everyone, regardless of their beliefs, even if they are trying to kill us and destroy our Constitution, our nation, and our way of life.
What is this world coming to? Ruin, if we don't change our ways.We are part of the House of Israel, and have been given a mighty important charge to be the servants of Jesus Christ, and to show others how to follow Him.
May we be blessed in our efforts to do this, I humbly pray every day, in the Holy of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I SWEAR, that man will make me crazy! this is just an extreme example of how he reacts to EVERY post. doesn't matter the content, this is what he has to say. i seriously want to vomit when i read his posts.
i was choking back bile when i looked at this a little bit closer and had to respond (this is NOT done):
wow. first you laughed, then you made a cranky old man post. doom! doom! LMBO
>> Do your kids know how many in a dozen, half dozen, gross, how many quarts in a bushel, peck, how many square feet in an acre, how many acres in a square mile?
we had no need for the bushel, peck, or acre information WAAYYY back when _I_ was in school. they do not teach that now. DH knows the acreage stuff b/c it's part of his job.
and talking of belittling - just b/c you believe you're right doesn't mean that when you bust on others you're not doing the exact same thing. and that is truly what leads to DOOM, RUIN, and the need to change our ways.
mom taught us tolerance. it's much more useful. peaceful, too.
to which my OTHER brother (#2 brother, middle of the road conservative) replied:
I must say, Jennifer, that I don't believe your post has much tolerance in it, either.
and i blew a freaking gasket! i bite my tongue so much around there and it makes me nuts. everyone else feels free to express themselves regardless of anyone else's feelings, but i'm not b/c i don't agree with them. bleagh. so i replied:
the cranky old man part was meant to be teasing. that would be the lmbo part.
i really thought i phrased this in a somewhat tolerant way. but the fact that i have not made this post before now exhibits a LOT of tolerance every day. i'im tired of hearing doom prophesied. i'm tired of fearing to read certain posts b/c the content never varies regardless of to what they're responding.
and i'm tired of feeling like i can't say that b/c everyone will be angry with me. i know i'm not the only one who feels this way, at least part of the time. and (#3 bro)'s [least conservative of the brothers] political post with the comments made "we should feel safe to state our minds" made me brave enough to speak up.
i apologize if you did not think i did it gently enough. but enough is enough! and i'd love to hear others brave enough to admit they agree with me - at least part of the time!
can't wait for the fallout from this one!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
during that time, this has gone from being a GREAT JOB that i love and tell everybody about, to a job that pays the bills, to just a stinking job. economy hits everyone but since the big dogs bought my little company X years ago, it's really gotten worse.
every technological advance brings a cut in pay for me. every reorganization brings a cut in pay. every change (which has a cut in pay) is presented with "it's still the best job out there!" well, bull hockey.
the last straw was when they fired my supervisor last month. MY JOB IS SECURE, but i don't want to work for these folks anymore.
my sisters have both followed me into this profession b/c you can work from home. you need quick fingers, a sharp mind, and a talent for language; we all have that. younger sister recently (6 months ago?) left her company which showed a similar trend, and loves the new one.
TODAY I APPLIED FOR A NEW JOB. scary? oh yeah! hopeful? that too. if this doesn't work out i'll probably need to change career paths, and that's even more scary!
i should hear from someone about interviewing within the week, so wish me luck! and thanks for reading my verbosity...
non sequitur: my dad just posted that he stopped working at the prison 10 years ago this week. i feel like _i'm_ getting out of prison with this application. fingers crossed! wait, that won't work...
Thursday, October 23, 2008
what do i need? a shoulder to cry on, a free babysitter, and an extra 10 hours a day to get everything done. a new job, a winning lottery ticket, and my mommy moving next door (yeah right!). the invention of teleportation and cheap clean energy, world peace... babies for all the couples struggling with infertility, and plenty of food for the hungry.
can you get that to me by noon? LMAO!
i got perspective, humor, AND support, all in one! thanks friend!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
LaLa got up too early and has been tired and snuggly (aka mommy is NOT allowed to work) all morning. she's trying to figure out how to go without naps. it's not working, but she's very stubborn that she SHOULD be able to do so.
so i'm snuggling her and jiggling her up and down, holding her over my head and tickling her ribs. she goes all limp and snuggly against me for a few minutes then makes me start over. again and again.
and here i am soaking in the goodness of these moments, and loving her snuggly self, and just being on mommy cloud 9, thinking these are the moments i'll cherish and remember forever. (and i will.)
then a certain odor starts to waft. while i thought she was going limp and boneless with joy and love, it was prompted by a certain other biological function. which can be equally pleasurable, sometimes, especially to those of us with limited experience. still.
mommy love, or getting a good stinky-poo out? the world may never know which it really was.
[i had drugged her with Tylenol after she refused to settle again at 7 a.m., and she's been perky and happy since, except tired and has to be still intermittently. she's climbing from one armchair to the next and to the sofa without touching down, and is so completely excited that she is the first person to ever think of this game. i'm dying laughing at her today!]
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
maybe next month i'll be able to keep one more ball in the air. no promises.
1. What is your occupation right now? medical transcriptionist forever
2. What color are your socks right now? no socks! you can't make me wear socks!! (i rarely wear shoes)
3. What are you listening to right now? the Magnificent Seven, boys are watching
4. What was the last thing that you ate? burritos for dinner, yum
5. Can you drive a stick shift? prefer to
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Carol
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? oh yeah!
8. How old are you today? 38.5
9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? golf; i'm a retard, i know
10. What is your favorite drink? mojito
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? i've streaked it with blonde, but never the whole thing
12. Favorite food? um, italian i guess, manicotti best
13. What is the last movie you watched? LaLa and i watched Hairspray again today
14. Favorite day of the year? Christmas
15. How do you vent anger? blogging, or w/ the girls in the baby bat cave/cafemom
16. What was your favorite toy as a child? fashion plates
17. What is your favorite season(s)? #1 spring, #2 fall, #3 summer, hahaha
18. Cherries or Blueberries? cherries, but only FRESH; blueberries are good but only cooked.
19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? yup
20. Who is the most likely to respond? haven't decided to whom to send this yet...
21. Who is least likely to respond? see above
22. Living arrangements? just moved to an apartment we LOVE, DH, me, two sons, toddler daughter
23. When was the last time you cried? too long; i've saved up too many tears
24. What is on the floor of your closet? DH's shoes, laundry hamper
25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? Hayda
26. What did you do last night? um, lazed around
27. What are you most afraid of? something happening to my babies
28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? do they come without cheese? but keep the *bleagh* spice
29. Favorite dog breed(s)? don't care for dogs; dog-loving friend sez i'd love an italian greyhound, so maybe someday
30. Favorite day of the week? monday i think
31. How many states have you lived in? AZ, UT, VA, CA, PA, NC = 6
32. Diamonds or pearls? diamonds are worth more :D
33. What is your favorite flower? dandelions (and mini carns)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
what defines the "D" today?
DH got frisky the other night (this is news-worthy, as he's OLD and never was frisky frequently). he was playing with my heinie and i was saying how it's an old-lady heinie now; broad, saggy, and certainly not firm. he gave it a smack-kiss and said "I love your old-lady heinie!"
we've been together almost 18 years. there are only 3 or 4 moments that are this golden in those years. today he is a Dear, Dear Husband!
my dad's mom passed yesterday. this is actually good news; she was very sick, and tired of being here. her DH left her 4 or 5 years ago, and she's been lonely and failing all this time.
she was a great grandma for little kids. when i ran off and got married at 18, she was all for it, right up until she found out he wasn't Mormon and it wasn't a temple wedding. and i found out later she laid into my mom and told her it was all her fault. and i kinda stopped loving her as much then.
in later years, she got very grumpy and was mean a lot of the time for no good reason. and i didn't like her much then.
grandpa got the alzheimer's and they tried to stay in their own home too long. he was abusive in his age and she didn't know how to deal with it. when they moved to a "home," they lost most of their memories they had kept in their little house. i felt empathy for her then.
since grandpa left us, she's been a little old lady in a wheelchair, couldn't talk much, cried a lot when she saw people. and i cared again, but i didn't spend any time around her; partly b/c i live 3000 miles away.
i can't go to her funeral this weekend b/c of my imminent move, and i'm sorry i can't, which kinda surprised me. in the end, she was my grandma, and i loved her a lot once, so that's what i'm going to remember.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
(7/23) she'll "stand up like a big girl!" for me pretty much any time. but she won't take steps unless she feels like it. often enough to keep us all coaxing her, but infrequent enough that we don't get spoiled, lol! and if she's got something clutched in her hands, she's much happier and more willing to try. it is so fun watching her little legs tremble while she focuses on trying to take a step.
her newest thing is to stand up like a big girl, and CLAP! ever since she learned to clap we all say "Yay, LaLa!" whenever she does it. so she stood up and tried to clap, but fell down. had to practice some. now she claps every time she stands up so we'll cheer her.
she's also learned how to shake her head NO. and she points at what she wants and squawks until she gets it. who needs words? if i try to feed her and she wants something else or is done, she clamps her lips shut, and PUCKERS so i can't slip anything in.
we are all dying laughing around here. it's hard work entertaining us, she sleeps extremely well. some nightmares and occasional night terrors. but the days are all sunny when you're a baby - or a baby mama!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
both of my sons have been in DIRE need of haircuts. i'm not a terrific hairdresser, but i do a pretty good job when it's kind of long and i cut a lot off (i haven't tried trimming just a little). for the past two months i've been BEGGING them to let me cut their hair. it's shaggy and snarly and really needed it.
Saturday, DH offered to take them golfing on a par-3 course. it sounded like lots of fun but it was HOT and i said 'NOBODY GOES UNLESS THEY GET A HAIRCUT!' so i got to trim them up.
#1 son is 11 now, and he looks so mature with his haircut. i was getting verklempt and hugging on him and saying "you're my baby but you look so grown-up!" (this is the funny part)
he immediately responded "It's just the haircut, mom; i'm 2-1/2 on the inside!" I laughed so hard. he's such a clown, and sometimes (a lot) it's obnoxious, but that one was hilarious! hadta share.*************
#2 son is 8-1/2 years old. he's been tearing through the Harry Potter books 1-5 for some time. i went upstairs at bedtime Monday evening to find he had started Harry Potter #6. i said to him, are you really old enough to read that??? (teasing) (then serious:) there are some scary parts in that one!
he replied: well, i highly doubt i'm going to get to those tonight!
sometimes they just sound so much like me. i'm so proud! obnoxious sense of humor and all!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Day Five Wed. 5/28
back at the ranch, DH has invited his mom to go with us on an outing. as he is discussing destinations, i realize i really don't want to subject LaLa to any more road trip than necessary; he wants to go for an hour's drive to a nice greenhouse/nursery we used to visit regularly. sounds fun enough, but we can't BUY anything! so i propose he take the boys and his mom and have some good quality time. (not going with MIL is my bonus!) this makes the car less crowded and gives them quality time after the fiasco of his trip-that-wasn't to visit her in april. they enjoy themselves thoroughly!
meanwhile, SIL, niece, and i shop! we do ikea, have lunch there. i have a chicken caesar to keep my garlic trend alive. LaLa loves the meatballs. then i drag them to michaels so i can purchase materials for my embroidery project. they don't have what i need for my "vision," so i regroup and make do. this isn't as easy as it looks!
the nephew (not previously mentioned), has just gotten engaged (OK, it's been months), and we go to his new apartment to see it and have pizza. in philadelphia, there's a pizza shop on every other corner, and i don't know how chains make it b/c everyone is a pizza snob and refuses to eat the mass-produced sort. the dough has to be exceptional, and the alchemy of blending flavors is vital to the experience. so even pizza is a sensory experience! (and garlicky!)
we had met the fiancee on day 3, and she's very sweet, enjoys the offbeat sense of humor that pervades the family. (that will change after the wedding!) they're a good couple, seem to really accept one another. and boy does LaLa give her baby fever! nephew is nearly 28, and she's 32, so i expect it won't be more than a year after the wedding before they're going for it!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
i'm in stunned disbelief. i have that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach - that "this must be a joke" reaction followed by OMG, it's not. the last time i had this feeling was when my SIL had breast cancer. and i felt guilty when i realized that - THIS was a choice, while that was not.
but divorce isn't unlike cancer. it often hits unawares. and it uproots and displaces so many lives - and most of these people AREN'T choosing it. so my reaction is reasonable; dropping the guilt.
i just hope she gets through this stronger, and doesn't regret her choice.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
the graduation saturday will be semi-formal, and #2 son has no pants. (we planned to hit the stores on our trip when we discovered this before leaving.) so i drag both boys off to kohl's (best selection of different cuts, and my sons don't like to fit "standard" pants) to look at khaki's. it doesn't take long to find a pair that work. we find a stuffed animal display and the boys vote LaLa needs a "hop on pop" animal; Dr. Seuss is the theme, and i'd have picked something else, but asking their opinion means i have to be outvoted sometimes. *pout*
then we find the shopping center has a "discount" bookseller. between kids and me, we quickly spend $50 on a big bag full of books. (bookstores are one of our FAVORITE destinations!) i get a book on palmistry, which turns out to be even more fun than i'd hoped. looking at people's hands is fun!
on returning from shopping, LaLa LOVES her "pop" and deems him thumb-worthy (she will use him for a lovey while sucking her thumb). SCORE!
SIL and niece decide we all need to go italian (to their fave place) for lunch, and thus begins the first of several days of overindulgence in garlic for me. i order pesto ziti and caesar salad, and it's a little TOO much garlic. who knew this was possible? the kids and DH all get lunches that make them quite happy - #1 son, having been born in Philadelphia 'burbs, considers Philadelphia his home and is thrilled to get authentic cheese steak. it really does matter!
upon returning from the late lunch, we find BIL has come home early from work with Phillies! tickets! DH says they're having a guys' night out, and despite my slight chagrin, i agree to it. then as they're departing i find this means he's taking my sons to the ball game! i'd have loved to have gone, but LaLa wouldn't love it, and mommies make sacrifices every day. i'll get another chance. i'm actually pretty stoked that the boys get to go!
LaLa and i spend time relaxing every day and napping (it can be difficult to settle her for a nap, so we spend lots of time in bed, and by the time she drops off i'm often ready for a nap). we're sleeping on a futon, and it's not bad, but not great for me after a couple of days. the room is decorated with a large embroidered "tree of life" wall hanging, which fascinates LaLa. guess what my next project is? LaLa is loving this uncluttered house with lots of room to roam, and is showing off new tricks every day.
the girls hit friendly's for dinner to make life easy. when the boys get home from the game (at 10 pm), we find it was "hat night" at the Phillies! and they all got Phillies! hats! DOUBLE SCORE! this is just the best vaca ever!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Day Three. Mon., 5/26, Memorial Day
SIL gets up early. [[in addition to being intense and a gourmet chef, she's a genius like Einstein and doesn't need more than 4-5 hours of sleep per night. i used to be envious of her but now i'm just tired after a few days with her.]]
we are going to SIL's sister T's house for a BBQ/picnic. this would also be a Filipino sister, of course, though it's hardly relevant. SIL gets up at 7 a.m. and starts cooking. BIL takes DH and the boys over at 2. T has sons the same ages - she started late. at 3 the food is all ready to transport and off we go.
T and husband are high-powered folks, live in Villanova in a million-dollar home. with a live-in Filipino maid. these boys have every bit of sports equipment one can imagine and my sons have an amazing time. they go from playing baseball in the city-park-size (and landscaped) back yard, to the GAME ROOM, to trying out zip-boards (?rip-boards? something like that). spare shoes are easily found. T's DH is a tall man and her sons, while my sons' ages, are larger; we are loaded up with outgrown clothes and sports gear. hoot hoot! she so gently starts to ask if we would like some of their stuff and i just blurt "i'm
not proud, i'll take anything you've got!" b/c their castoffs are nicer than anything i can buy at my income level.
so the picnic includes proscuitto-wrapped asparagus, burgers and dogs for the kids, steak for the 'dults, LOBSTER, and let me tell you right now you have not lived until you have watched a Filipino attack a lobster. i have never seen my SIL (whom i have known for 17 years) eat this much. (she polished off two full lobsters herself!) they eat EVERY bit of that beast. suck out the mustard, eat up the egg, and it's fun to watch, just don't ask me to do it. i ate one claw and it tastes mostly like butter, hardly worth the effort. (my first lobster!)
dessert is where she really shines (or just what i appreciate most). strawberry tart on a shortbread crust coated with a thick layer of chocolate. the most amazing chocolate cheesecake you ever had - all others pale in comparison, and as smooth and silky as you could ask for. she modifies the process by combining a couple of different master techniques and it's well worth the effort and time. topped with a smattering of crumbs for texture.
kids have a blast. i cannot imagine a better vacation - visit a mansion, play with completely normal albeit incredibly privileged children, eat like kings. i'm going to hate going home.
Day Two. Sun., 5/25/08.
LaLa starts nursing this morning. when it's time for the second feeding, i find grandpa's recliner and rock her and she nurses without fussing again. hallelujah! hoping this trend continues. she's VERY TIRED. off we go to Philadelphia!
the drive goes awesome, no delays. arriving around 2, we're so excited to see brother and his wife, and they to see us. LaLa gets some BIG-TIME adoration! MIL comes over for dinner and niece is there all day. good fun unstructured time.
a much less eventful day overall. SIL is a gourmet chef, asks what the boys like to eat. she constructs marinated chicken breasts and a beautiful paella, in addition to an amazing salad, with oranges and beets and suchlike. (never serves anything but homemade dressing either, of course - and if you ask, she'll tell you how to make it - it's all easy to her!) SIL is also Filipino, but has been in the U.S. for MANY years, since college, so almost 30 years. so much seafood! i'm not a huge seafood eater but no matter - everyone enjoys her cooking!
she is also also a very intense person and we discuss Important Things until late at night.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Day One. Sat., 5/24/08
We get up, get the car loaded, leave about when we planned to, and drive from Winston-Salem, NC, to Richmond, VA. Stage One of the drive went REALLY smoothly. My grandfather lives with my aunt and her family there, and we plan to spend the night. She's actually younger than my DH and her kids are 14 and 8, so with mine nearly-11 and 8, and nearly-1, we all enjoy each others' company in many ways.
But the baby isn't cooperating. i normally nurse her at 6:30 and again at 9:30 a.m., and 5-6 times in a 24-hour period. she refused to nurse before we got in the car, and again at lunch. not too worrisome as she had plenty to eat otherwise.
Then we arrive and she is STILL refusing to nurse. i'm in pain, anxious, worried, and hormonal. i spent the next 18 hours trying to coax her to nurse. she ends up nursing only at 7 a.m. sat. (before we left - and normal), again at 7 p.m. sat., and again at 7 a.m. sunday. this makes the mama a complete WRECK.
we did enjoy our visit with the VA family. i, however, am stressed to the max about how long the baby will be on strike and what the whole trip is going to do to us. almost ready to turn around and go home!
their air mattress leaked for the first time, and i got up at 2 a.m. to express a little bit b/c the BBs are 3x their normal size and HURT and leaking. did i mention i'm a wreck? baby isn't sleeping well b/c she's HUNGRY, but won't nurse, and she's cranky.
up we get and after a leisurely start to the day, off we go to Philadelphia! The kids rode bikes on Sat. with their cousins, then had a water fight that resulted in completely soaked children and clothing, particularly THEIR ONLY SHOES. even with sitting out overnight and a run through the dryer in the a.m., they were still soaked. so we stopped at CVS for flip-flops and mock-crocs. at least they have something else to wear.
see part 2 for more!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
working working all day long
drinking coffee, never stopping
listening, covering ears and listening
tap-tap-tap - what was that?
hushing kids and background noises
trying to figure out foreign voices
looking up words that don't make sense
what the heck kind of instruments?
silence dragging, docs um-hum-ing
was that his right hand? or his left?
flagging errors, my nerves are strumming
medical words dancing through my dreams
wake up and start all over again
Thursday, May 15, 2008
so here's my story. a couple of nights ago i sent #1 son (age almost 11, or almost 12 if you believe his line) downstairs after bedtime to fetch something for me. 10 minutes later he came back. i asked him what he'd been doing all that time, and he said "Nothing."
then i looked at his face and saw smears of green around his mouth. "Son," i said, "Son, what have you been eating?"
smirk. "the sugar you put on cookies at christmas." "Son, you know better." "yes, but it's SO GOOD!" with a smirk that says 'i know i should be in trouble, but i'm too cute to punish for this!'
and he was right. i laughed and said don't do it again. i was certainly guilty of worse when _I_ was 10, or 11, or whatever age the child claims today. i used to take baggies full of cereal out of the cupboard for a snack - without asking, and without telling. and at bedtime i'd take a slice of white bread and DIP it in the sugar canister. yum. my sainted mother still doesn't know about that! (i don't think she reads my blog, either.)
so yesterday, when i was lecturing the children about not lying about doing something stupid, b/c i'm gonna find out, and i'm more upset about lying than about the act, i used the green sugar story as an example.
laughing again, #1 son says, "yeah, you caught me red-handed!" and of course i had to add - "or green-faced!" and we all laughed.
as long as we're laughing i'm doing a good job.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
so chatting around about the duggers, who are freaking nuts btw, pregnant with #19 now. and found someone's comment about the russian peasant woman who bore 69 children in the 1700s:
That's not a woman, that's a uterus with legs!
ms. dugger shall hereafter be known as a uterus with legs. talk about addiction!
Happy Mother's Day!
*edit* yes, it's #18. my bad.
the Russian peasant lady did not have any single births. she had twins, triplets, and quads, and 67 of them survived childhood. talk about your Motherland!
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
some time ago, i had an encounter with a homeless man which really started me thinking.
i pulled into sam's club to do my weekly shopping. i passed a homeless man on the side of the road at the entrance, with the typical signage - please help, anything is appreciated! and i had my usual thought process - i can't give him cash, he'd just spend it on booze. i'm not sure where that indoctrination came from but it's unassailable in my mind now. so i pondered for a moment, and thought "i'll get him a squishy chicken." (my darling sons named the roast chicken from sam's so b/c of its wonderfully tender and flavorful nature.)
i was so proud of myself. i actually remembered this intent through the store, bought the extra chicken, remembered to load the car with the squishy up front, even remembered when exiting sam's to go back toward the entrance to give the chicken to this gentleman.
here's where it gets interesting. feeling very virtuous, i pulled up to him and put down the window.
"Hey, how ya doing?"
'If i was any better, i wouldn't be here!' he says, with only slightly crusty attitude.
"Oops, yeah, i knew that was stupid question by the time it left my mouth. Can you use this?" and i handed him the chicken.
His whole face lit up. he took it, saying 'Bless you!' over and over. and when he lifted it from my hands, he was transformed. 'It's still warm!' he was so grateful.
i turned the car around to get out of the parking lot. i thought to regret that i had no plastic-ware to give him to facilitate eating the chicken, but remembered a wad of napkins in my purse from our last trip to the movies. i gleaned out the ones that weren't too crumpled and returned to his side.
he had already ripped into the chicken. he took the napkins, blessing me again. and i thought to say - "oh, do you want the crumpled ones, too?"
'i live in the woods, i'll take them all!'
i can have a squishy chicken any time i want, and i don't think of it as a miracle. i can go to the movies (it's infrequent with our recent financial stress, but we still do go), and get popcorn and pick up wads of napkins. i don't think of someone as a saint to share crumpled napkins so i don't have to soil my clothing.
who am i to judge and assume he's an alcoholic? there but for the grace of God go i. and i'm an addict to junk food and overeating, and cannot control myself (but i'm starting to try harder). who am i to judge and feel superior?
i've looked for this homeless man every time i go out. i wanted to bring him more food, and maybe a little more compassion and caring, and a little less self-congratulation. i wanted to touch his life. but i haven't seen him since, and i know he's touched mine.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
get up this morning to call the electrician. my internet won't connect. i rebooted the computer, the modem, the wireless, all twice. no dice. so i went in the TV room to call the cable company. turned on the TV to check whether i had ANY cable function.
CNN scares me. they're predicting things like oil prices doubling AGAIN. how the hell will anyone be able to live? there will be riots, panic, food riots! our country is very dependent on oil for everything - products are trucked everywhere, and the cost of transportation very much affects the price of food.
so i come to the computer to look for a story i can READ about oil futures. maybe i heard CNN wrong - on the internet, they're talking about an increase from $100 to $120 a barrel on oil. still ANOTHER blow to the gut, but a smaller one, anyway.
but the internet also talks about current food shortages worldwide. if gas and food both double in cost AGAIN, society will fall apart.
i want to go buy 100 pounds of beans and rice, and go hide in my basement. you can live on beans and rice for a long time!
there are people who ENJOY hearing bad news. i'm not one of them.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
i buy rye bread every few months for a treat. b/c obviously i LOVE it. i love rye toast with real butter. nothing like it.
only thing - i HATE CARAWAY SEEDS. almost as much as horseradish.
and i bought the wrong damn bread. so this morning for breakfast i just choked down a single slice of toast as fast as possible, and it's no damn treat! and i'm doing well to be only saying damn this morning!
*sigh* Wii will make it up to me later.
did i mention i finally found a Wii in the store? on Sunday? and it's running hot b/c it hasn't been off since? and yesterday i got EXERCISE from it? hm. how could i have neglected to do so - unless i was too busy PLAYING!
Saturday, April 05, 2008
#2 son and i had to go get inhalers a few weeks ago. he got 100% better very quickly - ain't it great to be young? i took it for a week before i noticed ANY improvement, and another week before i stopped feeling sick, and a THIRD week before i started feeling wellish!
the dr. said we should take these through cold season AND allergy season, and hopefully won't have asthma attacks next year.
however. now that my asthma has improved, i can sing Good Morning Baltimore without being completely out of breath! woohoo!
DH's mom is 84, in pretty good health, but recently had a recurrent GYN cancer and has been taking radiation therapy. he planned when this came up to visit her this weekend.
so he was supposed to fly to Philadelphia yesterday morning. he got up at 3:30, got on the plane fine, got to Wilmington DE (which is where the low-cost airline flew). but they couldn't land b/c of fog; circled, considered whether it would clear, thought it would, decided it wouldn't, and CAME BACK TO GREENSBORO. we thought this is insane! why would they come all the way back HOME?
after that, DH took the refund offered and said i'm not going - he was flying home sunday morning anyway, had already put out the effort to get there, didn't feel like starting over for such a short trip.
this morning, the headline of our paper read: SKYBUS OUT OF BUSINESS. i'm so grateful DH isn't in PA! he would have had to take a bus or a train home, and would likely have missed work, and we both would have been very anxious and stressed.
sadly, we had purchased tickets for graduation (nephew graduating West Point 5/31! we're VERY proud!) through this airline; odds look like we SHOULD be able to get a refund, but we'll be driving all the way to new york now! guess the kids will miss a couple more days of school. i really had to work to get DH to agree to the trip in the first place, but the debate is over and we're still going.
there has definitely been someone watching over us this weekend! hoping that will continue for our other trip and, of course, all of our days.
and it casts a pall over the whole family. except perhaps LaLa! i'm off my game, and i'm blaming this event. i've also been journaling more at cafemom.com, so maybe i need a little less outlet here. i don't know.
i'll hafta get some humor going on here to lift the tone. the Deep Thoughts title is supposed to be extremely tongue in cheek, not reality!
Friday, March 28, 2008
#1 son is home sick, poor lamb, with the johnny trots (they got him last night, too).
just as we have comfort food, we have "comfort movies." and his choice of comfort movie is so unlike my own! he's watching The Polar Express, which i really don't care for. he's in another room, so no big.
my comfort movies are usually "guilty pleasures," like charlies angels and bring it on. also hairspray and 7 brides for 7 brothers. just brought the VHS movies out of my bedroom that had been taken up when i was on bed rest; the boys picked them b/c i didn't care. some of my faves, some of theirs in the pile. iron giant, last of the mohicans.
movies are a big part of our lives. i spose that's part of why i've got a big butt. :p
Monday, March 03, 2008
LaLa is on the move! and she is an energy drain now more than ever. first she learned to crawl - which is more a Marine crawl, an inch-worm movement, and adorable. then she REALIZED she could move where SHE wanted to go, and hasn't stopped since.
life is just a little more hectic, a lot more cute, and a ton more draining! and we wouldn't have it any other way.
if you google "mother teresa anyway" (quotation marks unnecessary), this is what you'll find. you'll also find another version by Dr. Kent M. Keith. either way, it's rather inspirational; whichever version inspires you more is the one you should keep handy!
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Our pastor quoted some of this in church yesterday. Obviously I was impressed!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I THINK YOU'RE THE FATHER OF ONE OF MY KIDS
A guy goes to the supermarket and notices an attractive woman waving at him. She says hello. He's rather taken aback because he can't place where he knows her from. So he says, "Do you know me?" To which she replies, "I think you're the father of one of my kids."
Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and says, "My God, are you the stripper from my bachelor party that I made love to on the pool table with all my buddies watching while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery???"
She looks into his eyes and says calmly, "No, I'm your son's teacher."
Thursday, February 14, 2008
i cut my bangs last week, and nobody noticed (haven't had bangs in five years or more). so i cut the whole thing, layered, textured, etc. didn't screw up too bad, or worse than you get at Great Clips anyway. i actually am getting compliments on my appearance - wearing yoga pants, no less!
i feel lighter, i look younger, and i can leave my hair down without it driving me crazy. all good stuff. still shoulder length, even after 4-6 MORE inches off, but flattering instead of utilitarian. photo to follow (next time i wear makeup, i'll have someone take one).
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Good Morning Baltimore is still running through my head. i sing it in the shower, i sing it in the car. LaLa loves it (she loves all of Hairspray). it's SO not in my range - i can sing it an octave lower and sound like a drag queen, or in the proper range and be all breathy and unable to sustain. *sigh*
but i know all the words - even if i don't know "all the steps!"
Friday, February 08, 2008
i know, she's "Saint" Theresa now. but i grew up with Mother Theresa, and Mother Theresa she will always be to me.
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Your Vote Score: 26% Republican, 74% Democrat
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Do you sing along to music? of course.
If so, chorus or the main singer? main singer, b/c i'm FABULOUS, dahling.
When was the last time you washed dishes? a couple of days ago.
Washed a dog? never
What did you have for supper last night? kielbasa
How old were you when your parents told you the truth about Santa? my parents didn't TELL us much of anything.
Do you think Pepsi is better in the bottle or can? it's better when it's Coke.
Have you ever shot an animal? No
What was the last song stuck in your head? Good Morning Baltimore
Have you ever talked to a pinecone? um, no.
What was the last thing you put on your head? headphones
What color is your cell phone? country blue
Have you ever put peanut butter on the roof of a horse’s mouth? um, no.
How about a dog? no again.
What type of deodorant do you use, assuming you use one? Degree Little Black Dress
Last show you watched on TV? Two and a Half Men, the episode where Charlie is up for an award, with Jon Lovitz... we did watch AFV afterwards, but i PLAN to watch 2.5 Men every day. i love charlie.
What is the best flavor of Jelly Bellies? peach
Have you ever body surfed at the beach? mhm
What is the strangest thing you have ever found? drawing a blank here
Have you ever said, “Brontosaurus Blubber butt”? i would now so i could say yes, but i don't want to wakt the baby.
Name one character from the Simpsons. Lisa
Name one character from King of the Hill. Luanne
Do you wear mirrored or regular sunglasses? regular
What is the best candle scent? spice, or hazelnut coffee, or vanilla... me likey candles
Have you ever stirred up a fire ant hill? no
Have you ever had a laughing fit in church? no
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? quoting Alana here, b/c it's exactly what i would say: One. Two. Three..crunch.. Three.
Have you ever speeded up a vinyl record just to hear squeaky voices? mm, no.
Ever fallen on a Christmas tree? No
Did you ever believe in the boogeyman? no, but i was afraid of the dark.
Do you have any scars on your left index finger? yeah, all my fingers have scars
Have you ever examined one of your digits? regularly
Have you ever eaten a jalapenõ pepper for money? no
When was the last time you actually wrote a letter to someone? yesterday, if email counts
Have you ever fallen out of a hammock by yourself? i don't think i've ever been IN one.
When was the last time you rubbed the Buddha’s belly? it's been a few years, but i'm gonna run downstairs and rub him!
Does your clock make noise? considering i use my cell phone for a clock AND alarm, it makes a LOT of noise, intermittently.
Do raisins belong in cookies? only oatmeal
How do you like your meat done? i like to not worry about parasites or bacteria, so medium.
Do you buy those email chains or just delete them as soon as you see them? they infuriate me, so i go to snopes and send the debunk link back to the sender with some choice, pithy comments.
Which is funnier, a mime pretending to be in a box, or trapped in a box? i always liked the mime who couldn't keep the piano lid up...
What is the best prank you have ever pulled? double faked-out DH with a Christmas gift/wrapping
Can you say the alphabet backwards? i have actually spent the last week practicing this... i can not only SAY it, i can SING it! quickly, in fact.
When was the last time you literally slapped yourself? i used to slap my face to keep myself awake when driving too late at night, or at school too late, when i was young and foolish... now i'm just old and foolish.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
In a news conference Deanna Favre announced she will be the starting QB for the Packers this coming Sunday. Deanna asserts that she is qualified to be starting QB because she has spent the past 16 years married to Brett while he played QB for the Packers. During this period of time she became familiar with the definition of a corner blitz, and is now completely comfortable with other terminology of the Packers offense.
A survey of Packers fans shows that 65 % of those polled supported the move.
Does this sounds idiotic and unbelievable to you? Well, Hillary Clinton makes the same claims as to why she is qualified to be President and 50% of democrats polled agreed. She has never run a City, County, or State.
When told Hillary Clinton has experience because she has 8 years in the white house, Dick Morris stated "so has the pastry chef".
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
1. Your houseplants are alive and you can't smoke any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 am is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song in the elevator.
6. You watch the weather channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of "hook up" and "break up."
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14 (if you're lucky!).
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."
10. You're the one calling the police because those &%#$ kids next door wont turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payment goes up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps.
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings would severley upset, rather than settle, your stomach.
19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofin and antacids,not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good shit."
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
22. "I just can't drink like I used to!" replaces " I'm never gonna drink that much again."
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of the computer is for real work.
24. You drink at home to save money before you go to a bar.
25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking "Oh shit - what the hell happened?"
Bonus: 26. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old ass.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
my immediate thought is, that might be a GOOD thing! b/c he hasn't had time to have his back scratched and accept the price involved, and to stop believing change is possible.
on this one i'd love to hear feedback.
Friday, January 11, 2008
i watched a YouTube (linked to a campaign email) today that changed my life. because now i want to work to get this man (click the words to view) elected.
i was brought to the point of tears, because he is preaching HOPE. and this is something we terribly need right now. he is telling us we CAN change the world, and that is something i haven't believed in a long time.
with Oprah backing him, he will be our next President. and that is something i am EXCITED about. also something i have not done in a long time.
watch the video and see if you agree with his message; whether you think he CAN fulfill his promises or not, you will agree that he will try, and that's a huge step in the right direction.
we can change the world.
** that should read, SOME of my family, and they ruin it for the rest of us!