Monday, December 7, 2009

I love those Gingers...

I already have my Ron Weasley Pillow Case washed and ready to go.....

Dh Preview One - The best home videos are here

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And the winner is....

After much discussion last night, we officially named the puppy Karma.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Meet Scarlett or...

maybe Jelly Bean or possibly kissieface...
I she is our brand new puppy!!!
Daisy, or maybe, Tahlula - was adopted just today from our local animal shelter.
It seems that Tuesday or maybe Vivi was found left in a closet along with her mother, another adult female, one adult male and two litters of brothers, sisters and half brothers and sisters after someone moved into a new apartment. What the hell is wrong with people???
How could you not love a face like this - I have not meet her in person yet, the hubby and Ella picked her up after pre-school today. I can hardly wait to get home.

Friday, November 6, 2009

One thing leads to another.....

Okay so this was the next video on You Tube.

I can remember watching some cheesy movie in the 80s with this playing during a love montage and thinking how much I wanted to be the object of such a song.
What movie was it?
Some one out there has to know... I keeping thinking Scott Baio but I'm not sure.

This one is for Darcey

Okay, so they pipe this easy listening music through out our offices. I guess it is to keep the under privileged from getting over excited.
Any hoo.... The result is that I get songs like this stuck in my head - now I am torturing you with it so I am not alone.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Strange But True

Ever since I was a child I have had the same reoccurring dream.
In it I am simply floating off into space and no matter how hard I try, I can not stay connected to the earth. There are always others around in the dream and more than worry about floating off, I am concerned with someone else noticing.
When I was a child, the dream was so vivid that I thought it really had happened.
I never realized how appropriate the metaphor is for my life until recently.
Question is - should I try to tie my self to some thing stable or simply drift away?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Starting the morning with Ella

To set the stage, Daddy has been out of town for the past week so Mommy is a little lazy...

"Mommy you feel like a cactus. Yuck!"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ella quote of the week....

to her little brother who for some reasoning only understood in the two-year-old mind, was running around in endless circles...

"Liam - please stop it! You are making me nervous!"

If I may...

I would like to pose a question to my atheist brethren out there...

I was recently discussing 12 step programs with an atheist friend of mine. He has started in AA (way to go - by the way) but is having a lot of problems with the "higher power" concept.
The folks at AA keep telling Ben that atheists can also be very successful in AA and that you don't have to have a "God", just a "higher power" of your choice.
What he explained to me was that it was the idea that someone or thing had an ultimate power over him and that he could not control that was hard for him.
I suggested that maybe he look to science and evolution as his "higher power", pointing out that evolution is constantly happening to and around us and that we are in fact powerless to control or stop it.
I was thinking that when others were praying to God to make them strong, he could be asking science or his body to make him resistant to this disease.

I am just wondering if any of you have known another atheist who has successfully completed their 12 steps or what you would suggest.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween

As most anyone who knows me even a little can guess, Halloween is my favorite holiday. The drag queen in me can never resist the chance to pile on the make-up and fake hair... and no, I would never do a gruesome costume, I am all about the glamour.
So to all my friends out there, here's wishing you a, like, totally, rad and awesome, like, halloween. Okay?

Ella speaks...

I am sorry, but I can't get enough of her....

"Mommy, just give in... like last time." while arguing with me.

Two favorite introductions :

"I am Ella Frances Neeley, Princess."

and more recently...

"I am Ella Frances Neeley and I want to be a star."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jamie Sucks - but is pretty funny!

I prefer to be informed before I start on one of my rants, so I actually read the Stephanie Myers "book" Twilight.
It was the worst piece of crap I have ever read and found it to be almost unreadable. I felt like I was reading 13-year-old fan fiction on the internet... just God Awful stuff!
Of course the fans of the book are completely rabid and whenever I mention my opinion I take my life in my hands for not being on team Jacob or Edward or whatever!
My co-worker and dear friend, Jamie, is one of those sad, misinformed fans of said hack.
I have been out of the office for two days dealing with sick children and returned to this...

Jamie is much more ruthless and bloodthirsty than the wussy vampires she reads about.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Little Things

Another VERY stressful weekend in the Forever household - but this blog is not about bitching - (Though please let me state for the record that my mother married a total horse's ass!) - but about the little joys.
I drove to Ashtabula ( a small city near Cleveland Ohio) on both Saturday and again on Sunday.
The drive is long and, well, long. But as I drove up on Sunday morning (starting out at 7 am - on a Sunday)I started to notice the little things that make life good.
First, Sunday morning radio is actually pretty great. Since no one is really up at the time, there are a lot of really great speciality programs on... I found one that played old school punk. We are talking the real deal here... rare stuff that only fans would know or remember. For nearly an hour of the ride, I was able to bop along to Iggy Pop and the Stooges, The Clash, and The B-52s (none of that Love Shack or Rock Lobster stuff either!)
I also discovered that Route 11 in Ohio is really beautiful in the fall.
I tried to capture a picture, but none could do the trees justice.

Also, I really love my sunglasses - no designer or high end $$$ - just really awesome!

And I pretend I was heading somewhere much cooler...

More Random Quotes with Ella Frances

"Liam - every thing I say is right." - while having an argument with her younger brother.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Good Times

Everybody's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Diamond as Big as the Ritz

I was lucky enought to spend sometime last weekend with old friends.

On Saturday night, I met up with some friends from Point Park College (now Univesity).
We were the early to mid - 90s staff of the college radio station, WPPJ, and a finer collection of loser never exhisited before or after.
After the usual updates on marriage, children and divorce - not nesseccarily in that order - things quickly reverted to the old days. The same old jokes and gags resurfaced, like stealing Tim's video camara and making a tape for his possible pretend wife, Marty.
It was juvinile, immature and politically incorrect and I wouldn't change one second of it.

Drew, Carrie, Kim and your girl knocking back a couple at Redbeards on Mount Washington
And then on Sunday afternoon, I got to visit with my best friend from High School, Tawnya.
Tawnya is one of those rear finds that stopped being a friend about 15 years ago and became family. Everone in my family knows and considers her a part of the family.

T and Ella
What a great weekend :)

Random Quotes with Ella

My Ella is one of those kids who has it all figured out. She has never been one to ask a lot of "whys" she just assumes that she already knows the ways of the world. Last night I got a peek into how her mind works.
While getting a juice pop out of the freezer she exclaimed that it was "as cold as a Pittsburgh."
When I asked her to clarify her statement for me, she responded, "A Pittsburgh Mom, you know where Santa and Penguins live."


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Keep Swimming!

Things have been pretty rough in the old Neeley household lately.
ATM card was stolen.
Van was wrecked and declared a total loss.
Some demons that have plagued our family have resurfaced.
And - I keep breaking out!!!!

But you know what?

Monday, October 19, 2009

One for Lemmy

I am not an atheist, but as I have stated before, I can take a joke and this is REALLY funny!
Watch the old man with the broom.

Door To Door Atheists Bother Mormons - Watch more Funny Videos

Friday, October 9, 2009

Next time you'll listen damn it!

This is an intentionally funny photo of my son at the pumpkin farm this week.

The plastic bag IS NOT over his head as a friend actually asked me. I honestly would not find a photo of my son suffocating as humorous.

What actually happened is he was trying to hold up a rather large pumpkin - for his size - for a photo opt and just as I pressed the button, he fell over.

The bag was in the background waiting for his gord of choice.

Circle of Life Update

Okay - so we finally fessed up on the untimely death of our little aquatic friend.
(Though I will take that his early demise came at the hands of Liam with me to the grave. I guess that will just have to be a little turtle sized skeleton hanging in the family closet.)
There were a few questions and objections - mostly of the, but I want him back verity - but mercifully no tears.
In the end, she accepted things.... and then asked for a pet hamster!!!!
Fickle little thing.
Just in case you are wondering - we have put a hold on any new pets until Liam is a little older. It was bad enough having turtle blood on our hands. I don't think I could take the responsibility of a mammal homicide.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bad Parenting with the Neeleys

This summer my four-year-old, Ella, got her first ever, very own pet. She choose a painted turtle hatchling that she promptly named, Gilly.
Gilly was a cherished pet. The above picture was taken on the day that he arrived home.
Ella and I went out that night and purchased a much larger tank so that he would have lots of room to stretch out and searched the local creeks for large rocks in order to make his home as authentic as we could. We stacked the rocks in such a way as to see create "caves" and hiding places for Gilly.
In addition to the turtle pellets, krill and baby shrimp that you by at the pet store. Gilly was given a diet of fresh fruit and veggies and the occasional piece of chicken or hotdog. (Turtles are omnivores)
Thanks to all the love and care, he was thriving - but the grim reaper had his eye on our beloved little amphiebian (reptile?) and came in the form of a two-year-old brother.
Liam, in a purely accidential incident, critically injured Gilly and despite our best efforts, the hubby and I were not able to save him.
How do you explain this to a four-year-old??? Well in the case of the Neeley clan - you don't.
I actually have left the tank up with the water in it and have hoped she will just think he is hiding.
To make matters worse, the hubby and I have taking to lying to cover our tracks.
A week ago, Ella informed me that she wanted to feed Gilly. Instead of taking this oppurtunity to explain the circle of life to my wide-eyed girl. I said I already had and he was napping.
Last night my husband said that Ella was standing by the tank and stated that she wanted to play with him, but he wasn't there.
I asked him how he handled the whole situation and he replied, "I told her that he went for a walk."
Wow - we really suck at this. How long do you think we can keep this up?

It's just not natural - damn it!

Warning - this may just be a post to show how f'ing cute my kid is!

I am really beyond tired of hearing comments about my beautiful son's hair. Liam is blessed with a full head of thick, curly, sandy blond hair with just a slight hint of red.
A true testament to his Irish name and (very) distant Celtic heritage.
I choose to leave it a long on the longer side, both to maximize his curls and because he is a monster at the salon.
Over the last few months, older family members have been uniting in a effort to get my son a more "manly" hair cut. Some have taken to saying he looks like a girl and my step-father and father-in-law have united to a campaign to take him to a barber!
I have included some recent pics of him, so that you be the judge. He does not look like a girl.

Not to be outdone, Lady Ella is still bringing the cute also (and she learned the art of the pose)

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Love Civil Disobedience

For those of you living in a cave, my beloved Pittsburgh is the host of the G20 and all that comes with it - world dignitaries, media blitz, a practical police state and yes, protesters!
I actually had someone say to me that all the "commie protesters should die"
I was raised to believe - make that know - that it is not only my right, but my duty to protest when I see evil and injustice in the world and to certainly respect the rights of others to do the same whether I agree with their beliefs or not. (How does he know they are all communists and even if that blanket statement is true - isn't that their right?)
This is a country that was founded on Civil Disobedience and protest - that is why it was the REVOLUTIONARY war.
The other ironic thing is that they person who said this to me proclaims to be a "dyed in the wool Lutheran."
Let me give you a quick history lesson here - Martin Luther was a Catholic monk who saw corruption in the church. In response to this, we penned the 95 Theses, a collection of his thoughts and feelings and nailed them to the Church doors. A clear protest and finger to the powers that be. The results of his actions forever changed the world of religion and the entire Western World.
How can you be a true Lutheran or American and think that protesters are evil?
In the conversation that proceeded this ridiculous comment, someone actually whined that her father-in-law was delayed a half an hour by said protests - boo friggin' hoo! If that little inconvenience was enough to make even one person think, it was totally worth it! Once again - I am not saying agree with the protesters but to think about something other than Dr. Phil or Maury!
Now let me be clear, I am not supporting violence or destruction of private property in any way, but simply professing my love for the beauty of our constitution, our American History and the right to assemble.
God Bless America!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Feeling Special

I was feeling a little blue lately, but then I got this in an email.
It is a poem that my very good friend Dave Rullo ( husband of Kim Rullo - artist) wrote for me many, many years ago.
Even after all this time, it still makes me feel very special. I can never thank him enough for giving me this feeling and this little taste of immortality.
I love you, Dave.

She swore to me Lennon was alive,
And had all the answers ever needed,
To save our trouble love from despair.
Sometimes I believed her because her eyes,
Which at first glance weren’t that special,
Began to shine in silent jestures,
Pleading not for an audience to listen,
Or even an honest man to believe,
Just that I’d listen and hold her until morning.

I should have known she spoke the truth,
With her poetry books littering the floor,
And her jazz albums gracing our shelves,
But sometimes I’m too deaf and dumb,
To ever believe the word of angels,
Who only know of what the speak,
Because of some divine intervention,
Yeah sometimes I keep waiting,
For the boulder at my feet to fall.

Then she was gone one shadowy yesterday,
Her poetry & jazz vanished,
Only her clothes remain to remind me,
That at one time we were pure, together,
Her note I’ve long since burnt,
The truth of her disappearance better left,
To the romantic mystery of clouded thoughts,
She taught me the works of Dante and Pound,
When all I needed were the lullabies of Lennon

Friday, September 18, 2009

Project Runway

I really have little to say about Johnny's dismissal from Project Runway last night. It was a total no brainer and while I didn't hate his designs, his lack of passion really bothered me.
Last night did help me to establish my early on favorites.

First up - Christopher

I really love this self taught genius form the Midwest. I thought he should have won last night. He was the only designer to create movement with his paper dress. It flowed and floated like it was feathers and not newsprint.

Simply lovely.

Next up Logan....

A prettier variation of previous winner Geoffrey. I really just love his rock n'roll edge and the combination of sex, beauty and power.

Plus, I have to be honest - what I wouldn't like to do to him. Wow - I just love those artsy, sensitive, dirt under the nails, bad boys.

Monday, September 14, 2009

RIP Jim Carroll

There will always be a poem
I will climb on top of it and come
In and out of time,
Cocking my head to the side slightly,
As I finish shaking, melting then
Into its body, its soft skin
--Jim Carroll, "Poem"
from Void of Course

I first discovered Jim Carroll in the early 90s while in college.
There was a dusty copy of "the people who died" in our college radio station and I was drawn to its raw honesty. Later that same year, the movie version of the Basketball Diaries came out. After seeing the movie, I rushed out to the local book store to get a copy of the book (small town - I of course had to order it). I have since owned several copies because I often give mine away when someone tells me they have never read it.
The book lead me to his poetry and a love affair began.
Jim Carroll was simply put, brilliant!
His writing is brutal, raw and profoundly honest, but it is also beautiful and moving. Even when at his lowest - there was a sense of hope in his words.

I just want to be prue.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the GODfather

I recently recieved a chain email from my right-wing cousin, Terry, who very suitably lives in Texas.
I was so disgusted by the email, that I promptly deleted it. I am now regretting that action as it is really pretty funny in an unintentional sort of way.
The whole theroy behind the email was that if you disrespect the big man upstairs, he will take you down!
The first example was John Lennon (which is why I deleted almost immeaditly - I am a HUGE Lennon fan) The email had the now famous quote about being more popular than Christ. It then made a direct link to the fact that some 15 years later he was gunned down on the street in front of his home and wife.
Wow! No wonder people hate us Christians so much. Not only are so many of us self-rightous pricks (yeah I said it) our lord and savior is a vengenful, bad ass.
After my original disgust, I have had a pretty good time imagining the Big Guy as a Mafia Don. In my thoughts, he is much more Don Corleon than Tony Sporano.
"Gaberial, I want that you should smite that Lennon kid and teach him a lesson. It matters not that he has made his life's mission to promote love and peace. He disrespected me and that I can't have."
"Michael, while he does that - go find that George W. kid in Texas and make him an offer that he can't refuse. Have Dickie boy help you out."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cool People I Know and You Should Too

Kim Rullo and Brent Issac are two amazingly talented friends and former classmates of mine from Point Park College (now University) who together make up Issac Rullo Photography.

In addition to blowing my mind with their talents as photogs and filmmakers, Kim is married to one of my best friends and Brent has amazing taste in shoes (as seen below)

If you live in the Pittsburgh area and get a chance you should defiantly check out one of their shows. Also, you can find them on Face Book and at

The following are stills from a recent film they did. Another thing that amazes me, is that the use people I know very well as models. They are able to take these people I think I know everything about and pull out these sides of them that I never knew exhisited.

Just truly amazing!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bigots, bigots, bigots everywhere....

This Sunday I attended my first meeting in regards to the Lutheran churches new stance on sexuality. Boy was that fun.
As you can imagine, My mother and I were the only ones there outwardly showing our support. I am not saying we are the only progressive folks in the congregation, but as often happens, only the pissed off showed up and the few who agreed with us in the room, wouldn't speak up in public.
I am happy to say that of the 200 members at Grace, only 20 or so showed for this meeting.
I am only going to share with you some of the highlights. To give you some background, voting in the Lutheran Church works sort of like the electoral college. Each Church elects an official to represent them at the national level. The representative does not have to vote the will of the congregation, but what are the chances of a church choosing to send someone who doesn't agree with the majority???
Also, I am disappointed to say that our Pastor who is very socially minded in most cases, does not agree with the church's ruling either.

My favorite opponent was an older woman in her late 50s / early 60s, whom I have never seen in church for any occasion )of course... I will refer to her a middle-class bigot number one or (MCB #1)

MCB #1 started off by saying that she was afraid it would be perceived that the Church was making a political statement in favor of gay marriage. (part of the ruling is that Lutheran ministers can preform union blessings for gay and lesbian couples)
Pastor Mohr started backpedaling saying that we were not doing that and I felt the need to state that was exactly what we were doing. All organized religion makes political statements - that is as much what we do as worship the Lord.
MCB #1 then stated that she thought the election was fixed and that the gays bribed everyone to vote their way and we should have a "real election"
I expressed my concern that so many congregations would elect representatives with such low morals and then asked if she was aware of how the electoral college and congress worked. No response.
I then asked how many people felt this same way when women were first ordained in the 1970s - of course everyone was for that :)
Next up was Ed Lang - an ancient man to evil to die and king of the bigots. Ed suggested that the church hang a black veil over the church sign and that we engage in a 40 day period of mourning.
After I stopped laughing, I suggested that we engage in a 40 day celebration of love and offered to set up some nightly fireworks. I am such a smart ass.
Ed wanted to know how in the future we can be sure that we do not offer a "call" or job to a homosexual pastor.... I couldn't stop laughing in order to respond to that one.
There were of course those who spouted off bible passages against homosexuality.
I countered with other ridiculous biblical laws (examples include - stoning of a divorced woman, punishment for raping a virgin as marrying her and giving her father silver, etc.) and the fact that Christ never once mentioned homosexuality in the new testament.
Ed accused me of picking and choosing what I wanted to follow and I pointed out that was exactly what he was doing, not me.... I never once have said that we should take the bible as literal law. I believe in THEOLOGY! The study and interpretation of the bible and it's teachings.
That was pretty much it for the meeting... we are to meet again in 30 days after we have all prayed and thought about it. I plan on wearing a "Lutheran" t-shirt of some sort every Sunday until then as a silent celebration.

Here is an older blog from my myspace page that I think fits with today's theme...

Okay – first let me state I hate the term homophobia as it implies a psychological disorder – if you hate someone simply because of a label and do not judge them on the merits of their being, you are a bigot – not a mentally ill person.

And while we are at it, do not spout the Bible at me. If we take the Bible word for word, there are a lot of us in some serious trouble (anybody up for stoning a divorced women???)

Plus, there is this little thing about not judging others.

Anyway the purpose of today's rant is to give credit where credit is due…. As you read this, please allow me to indulge in some stereotypes for the sake of humor.

I recently had the displeasure of hearing the theories of our uneducated, unwashed and generally undesirable brethren lately, but I had to give it to the little Klan member – he had one hell of an idea.

What is it you ask? He stated that we should put all the gays and cats on an island somewhere.


I am totally in favor of this idea, but with some slight modifications… First, I think all the gays should be allowed to sponsor at least one non-homosexual family (Chris, I am assuming you have my back here)

This is utopia for me.

Imagine it - clean streets, beautifully designed rooms, couture clothing for all (there would have to be a least one designer per person – look a the cast of Project Runway alone), low crime, good music, great food, and for once, arts education would get more funding than sports.

Now don't think sports culture is out all together – we know the gays like to stay fit – free gym memberships for all!

Also can you just picture the live entertainment…there would be a revival on every street corner. It would not be looked upon strangely to burst into song.

Did I mention Tiaras with everything… all this and cats! Sweet Lord, take me now!!!!

Now there are a few problems I have noticed in my plan. Like must bigots, he was only talking about gay MEN! Women are fine because apparently they just need a good man or something.

We are going to need a few lesbians on our island. Who is going to fix things and kill the bugs without them? And if we have lesbians, we are going to have to allow dogs – but that is okay, because on our island we only judge the unfashionable and there is always someone willing to do a makeover.

In closing, please do not email me if you disagree and hope to change my mind. I will only delete your comments.. and make fun on you because this is my world and I rule in it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What the hell is wrong with people - pt2

This one is so gross, yet so funny. (and don't worry D. the only thing hurt on the animals in this clip is their pride)

Not Malvin!!!! Please not Malvin!!!

Project Runway really blew it last night when the cut Malvin from the show. While his pregnancy outfit was a little outthere - okay it was conceptual art and not clothing - I really think he has a lot to say and I am sad that I am not going to get to see anymore of his work on the show.
In just the two short eposides that he has been on, I really got to like this quirky little creature and his balance of ugly/beautiful.
While cut from the show, I am sure we will see more of him in the future.
P.S. I love when he compares the judges to the popular girls in school!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

So Funny!!!!

The greatest bumper sticker I have seen in a long while...

Shut Up, Holden!

So Proud to be a Lutheran

Yesterday, it was offically announced that the Lutheran Church will accept and ordain practicing Gay and Lesbian ministers!!!!!
It is about f-ing time. I have been seriously considering leaving the church for a more accepting practice. Before this, the stance was that you could be gay or lesbian, but you had to be celebate. Ummm, since that last part of the words Hetero and Homo is sexual, what kind of sense does that make??? That would make you asexual, not homosexual!
Of course the bigots in my church are already planning "meetings" and my mom is afriad that they will try to convince the church to go "independant" but they better be ready for a fight, because I am totally pumped up for one.
Yeah - progress! Yeah - acceptance! Yeah- Lutherans!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tim's Back

Project Runway returned last night and I can barely contain my excitement. As a full-time working mother of two, I have little time to do the things that must be done in order to keep the Department of Children Services away from my doorsteps.
The concept of "Mommy" time is almost non existent, except for Project Runway (and True Blood - shut up B. Henry!.) For one or two hours each week for I hide myself away... I covet this time - imagine those little hobbit guys and that ring - that is totally what I am like. I hold the remote in my hand and stroke it gently while calling it "my precious."
PR came just in the nick of time also as True Blood only have three episodes of hot vampire action left (once again Mr. Henry, your comments are not needed here)
The kicked off with the mother of all specials last night - the All Star Challenge! All my favorite designers (and Ulie) were back for another stitch for stitch old fashioned throw down.
I must say, I think the judges totally missed the mark last night. While I usually love Daniel's designs (and he is undeniably likable as a person) I really don't see how he walked away with the gold last night. His red carpet look was fresh and new. I can see young hollywood (thinking Natalie Portman here)but his restaurant challenge was laughable and his athletic shirt and bubble skirt - ick!
I also can not believe that Santino did not make the final cut... His silver lame' was slightly vulgar, but in such a good way. It screamed sex and bad girl. If I was say a zillion pounds lighter and had a perfect body, I would totally rock the catsuit - meow.
I was really happy to see Chris and Korto make the final cut this time (though Korto was a sore loser and I was disappointed in her reaction to Daniel's win) Both chose to make clothes that real woman (read - those with hips, boobs and children) could wear. Thank you for realizing we do not all look like the 16-year-old models strutting on the catwalk.
Okay - so this might be getting a little gay even for me, so I will leave you there (until next week that is)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Original Though - please?

The Hollywood Rumor mill has it that yet another delightfully cheesy 80s blockbuster is scheduled for a remake - Dirty Dancing may join the ranks of Footloose, the Breakfast Club and other alleged remakes.
This message is just for you Hollywood - Stop it! Just, Stop it!
There are so many reasons not to do this - you are stepping on the toes of a cinematic icon, these movies are not that old yet, and they were made for a different generation in a different world.
Finally - there are so many talented, fresh new voices out there. How about giving them some money and a greenlight to make some new cult classics and leave mine alone?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ten Things and Thanks to Alfie

My good freind Brian choose me as one of the 10 honest blogs out here in Cyberworld. Part of the deal is that I have to tag 10 other blogs, but I am skipping this because I do not read 10 other blogs just yet.
I will, however, answer the 10 honest facts part because I have nothing to hide - well maybe a little....

1. I am totally a drag queen in a woman's body and if socially acceptable, I would wear tiaras, wigs and ballgowns to work every single day.
2. If I could time travel I would want to relieve a few weeks in 1994 or 1995. The world was good then and I didn't fully understand that.
3. I will not eat strawberries, greenbeans or carrots in any form.
4. I can not remember what life was like before I had kids - seriously, I obviously can remember events, but not the emotions.
5. I don't like my step-father and have come to the conclusion that I never will. I strive simply to remain civil in his presence.
6. I have a very evil streak and it is sometimes hard to contain.
7. I love that the 80s are coming back in fashion - especially boys in eyeliner!
8. I am having a mild mid-life crisis.
9. I am allergic to wine and most alcohols - this only happened after I had children.
10. I honestly think that more money would solve most of my problems - please don't give me that the best things in life are free crap.

Run for your lives - it's boobs!!!!!!

I cannot believe that we even still see stories like this one!
Yes breast are sexuallized in the US. I, myself, will even take partial blame, as I have been known to dust the girls off and hike them up there for a little attention now and again - but breasts are by and large a functional tool with a very specific job - to nourish the young!
Three cheers for God, Mother Nature, intelligent design or whatever that much like those German auto masterminds, someone was able to combine function with style and a little sex appeal.
Hip Hip Hooray!
Boobs rock!!!!!
As a mother of two, I breastfeed both of my children. I did it for both the unselfish reason that it was so much healthier for them and, I admit, the selfish one - this is something that only I could experience with my child.
I was a lot more discreet than this mother - and I wished that I had had her courage and her kick-ass wardrobe (if you missed it, she breastfeed the entire interview and you saw nothing!) I wouldn't breast feed in mixed company and resented that I would often miss out on things while I hide myself away in a spare bedroom or home office. In fact, I probably cut my children off a little sooner than planned because of this is and I regret it.
My one proud moment was when a then four-year-old Baylee was almost breaking her neck trying to get in to witness Ella breastfeeding. I did have the clearance of thought to announce to the family that what I was doing was completely natural and that ANYONE could come with me. They were progressive enough to let Baylee satisfy her curiosity and I am proud to say it was reported to me a week later that the entire four-year-old preschool class (boys too) at St. Pauls were now breastfeeding all the baby dolls and bottles had been all but forgotten :)


Monday, August 17, 2009

The Fresh Beat Band and other things to make me loose my mind

First, I will admit now that my kids watch way too much tv. Noggin is only pretty much all the time - it is just the way we are. I am very active in their lives. We play games and do arts in crafts, but the TV is unusually on in the background.

Now that's out of the way - I have to step on to me soap box to discuss the newest musically offering to my children by the folks at Nick Jr. - the Fresh Beat Band!

What the hell is this crap???? My kids love music - playing it, singing it and dancing to it - and I am accepting of their preferences. We listen to Kidz Bop on long car trips. I have The Wiggles, Backyardigans and the imagination Movers saved under their favorites lists. Don't even get me started on those crazy chipmunks who seems to duet with every tween star on the planet.... I get it.

Or at least I did until this mess came around -

This "band" originally started invading my home under the name "The Jump-arounds" early this summer. My daughter was immeaditaly taken with them and began singing along with the commercials - mercifully, they just sort of went away one day. I can't say I missed them all that much, but I did notice their absence in the house and was relieved to be free of them, only to have them reappear this past month under a new name "The Fresh Beat Band"

Trust me when I assure you that their is nothing "fresh" about this concept... it is almost insulting to my children.

First we have four music "students" and friends who form a band. Just so happens that they are made up of a very generic, non threatening black guy, Shout, a red-headed girl drummer, Marina, a firey Latina singer, Kiki, and the most annoying white rapper on the planet - wait for it - Twist.

If you are a little slow - Twist and Shout! Get it? Get it? - Ahhhh, what wit.

I can't believe that they are insulting my children with this crap....
Also, while I can recognize the underlying talent in folks like the wiggles and the imagination movers, and am actually impressed with kids' crooners like Lori Berkner, Hot Peas and Butter, and the Dirty Sock Good Time Band - their is not a drop of true musically ability in this collaboration.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back From Vacation

We got back from a brief vacation in Erie Pa on Wednesday evening.

It was wonderful, if not totally restful for mommy and daddy, time.

The children had a blast.

We arrived on Sunday evening and spent the evening in the hotel pool and then had a yummy, kid-friendly, meal at the Steak-n-Shake. This is a great fast-food alternative for vegetarians because you can get real grilled cheese sandwiches there. Daddy and Ella where thrilled.
On Monday, we spent the afternoon at the beach in Presque Isle.

The water was a little rough, so the kids only went in up to their knees, but had a blast building sand castles (or in Liam's case destroying them) and feeding the sea gulls. Liam did venture into the water with Mommy and loved bobbing on the waves. The water was too cold for Daddy, so he handled beach and concession stand duty.

Our plan for Tuesday was to spend the morning and early afternoon at Water World water park and the evening at Waldameer Amusement Park which is right next door, but when we got up that morning the local news stated that the temp was only supposed to reach 76. We decided that might be too cold for the water park and switch the morning activity to a trip to the Erie Zoo. Unfortunately the weather in Erie changes so fast that by 10:30, the temp at the Zoo had reached 86 and was 90% humidity. The animals in the park were not at their best in the heat, but we still had a wonderful time.
The are from the Outback and still wouldn't move in the heat!

Once again, the Orangutans where as taken with Ella as she was with them. The Erie Zoo has a family of three, Daddy - Joe, Mama - Dasa, and Baby Lealah, who is 6. Last year, Dasa really liked Ella and was kissing the glass and playing with her. This year, it was Joe. He came over to the glass and played peek-a-boo with her and then kissed the glass and made funny faces at her. He really seemed to enjoy Ella's giggles as much as she enjoyed him.

Liam was a little scared of Joe, but he loved the big snakes. I guess that's boys for you.

That evening we went to the amusement park where my fearless daughter had a blast. Liam slept for the most part in his wagon, but woke up at the end.

While Ella is a roller-coaster fiend, Liam will not even ride the merry-go-round. After watching Ella have fun though, he decided to give driving the "Big Rigs" a try with Mommy along for support. He LOVED it! He rode them over and over again trading off with Mommy and Daddy. After that, he was more apt to give other rides a try and discovered that they are not so scary after all.

All and all we had a wonderful time. On Wednesday morning as we packed up, Ella started to cry and told us that she wished we could always live in a hotel :) So does Mommy, baby girl! So does Mommy.

Baby Samantha

I am a great Aunt. My niece Tiffany gave birth to a beautiful little girl on Tuesday. Born by c-section, she was only 5 lbs but very healthy.
Tiffany did well also.
While I am obviously in love with my amazing grand-niece, I cannot say that I am not apprehensive about her future. My niece is only 18-years-old and still has a year left in high school - exactly like her mother when she was born.
I am hoping that this pattern does not continue.
Also much like her mother, I do not believe that Tiffany got pregnant by accident. I think she thought it would be fun to have a baby - boy is she in for a rude awakening.
In the meantime, I am going to love the dickens out of this newest little family member and spoil her rotten.
As I reassured my mother (now a great-grandma) what's done is done - the future is what matters now. Here's to hoping that Baby Samantha Lynn has a great future.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Audrey!

Today was Audrey Blanchard, aka Princess Bean's, first birthday party! It was a beautiful party in the disney princess theme. Ella was so envious of all the princess things.. .thankfully Audrey's Mommy, Jamie, supplied the kids with a ton of take home goodies and even let Ella have one of the princesses from the top of the cake (after she threw a tanturm, but isn't that what almost four-year-olds are for?)

Everything was wonderful and the kids had a great time.

Audrey having cake

Liam also enjoying the cake

Pinata time - It was a pull string, which is much nicer than little kids with bats! Ella picked the right string and won an extra $1 all for herself!

Mad Dash for the candy

Pin the tale on the donkey - Little Shawn was trying to give Ella some assistance

Mommy and Liam playing beach ball (BTW - I got my hair cut recently)

Ella and the balloons

Ella with the princess from the top of the cake - thank you "Aunt" Jamie

Audrey and Big Brother Shawn, who also happens to be Ella's best friend

The Beautiful Birthday Girl - I LOVE THE HAIR!

Friday, August 7, 2009

RIP John Hughs

I can't believe the mastermind behind Some Kind of Wonderful (my personal fave), Sixteen Candles, the Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Home Alone is gone.
I defy you to find anyone in our generation who did not relate to at least one of his characters.
His movies defined our youth and he will be sadly missed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Small towns suck

I was at the local mall (and I use the term very loosely) looking for a birthday present for Audrey Blanchard who turns one on Saturday when I discovered that Walden Books is closing as of Aug. 14.
For those of you keeping score, this is the ONLY bookstore left in the Stuebenville area.
Hurry in now, all books are at least 30% off and many are 75%. I purchased $68 worth of items - including a couple of lovely book sets for Audrey - for only $30.
While their loss is our gain in the short term, in the long term Steubenville drops even a little further down the cultural ladder.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Valid Again

I am now, once again, a valid driver in the state of Ohio, after a 90 minute drive to the reinstatement office in Youngstown Ohio.
Please someone explain to me why I could not do this over the Internet. I honestly had to drive 90 minutes up and back to give them one piece of paper and pay a reinstatement fee because they do not accept credit cards.
The state of Ohio is in a financial crisis, yet we can afford to staff an office just to accept money from poor saps like myself.
And I couldn't even get the actual license there... I will be making yet another trip to the local BMV to have that done on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dress Up Fun

It is Moe's last week and then he returns to the drama department of my Alma mater, Steubenville High School, where he will be a senor!
Always full of fun, Moe "borrowed" this wig from his grandma and we played dress up today.
I don't know what I will do without him. Probably have to work :)