Friday, December 30, 2011

Not Getting You Know What From You Know Who

Aiming Low. How I LOVE writing for Aiming Low.

I get to write about funny things like what you don't want to get from you know who.

Come find out what I'm talking about, right here.
*Thank you, as always, for making me feel like one of the luckiest women in the world, finding people like you.  You all are the best.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Resolved: Ways For My Children To Get To Know Me Better

It's almost the new year, and everyone is either griping about resolutions, or sitting down and carving out their determined plans for the New Year.

The New Year offers us hope to change things in our life that are important to us.

Today, at the fabulous TikiTiki Blog, I have my monthly post up, where I write about something that has become important to me as I, and my children, get older.

I ask, Do my children really know me? I think that with my new resolution, they can.

I truly hope you click over. Thank you.
*I'll see you before the New Year!! And thank you for the gift of your time spent reading what I write. How wonderful you all are, every one of you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Movie Review Time

*Baby E decided to do a move review for his post. It's the 1964 so bad it's good Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. Worth watching with your kids, just once. Life wouldn't be complete without it. We found it on Netflix.

This is my first movie review. I will do more.

We watched this movie for Christmas. There is goofy music in this movie trailer.  I am dancing to it. You have to point your fingers and move your arms at the same way, at the same time. And only move one foot. And smile with your mouth open. Do it like this: and stay in one spot.

That's the only good thing about this movie trailer.

My big brother found this movie on Mystery Science Theatre. We watched it.

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. It's really a dumb and lame movie but is still fun to watch.

There's this part where this polar bear that you can obviously tell it's just a guy in a costume. His paws are just tube socks over his arms and he pretends to attack these two little kidnapped kids.

There is this gun and you shoot rays at people and they freeze. When it fires it makes a cheesey sounds of Pop, like when you pop your finger in your mouth, and then goes waahwaahwaah like on echo fast.

The robot is like a cheap box Halloween costume. With a coffee container for a head. My mom wants a book on how it ever got made into a movie.

This movie is pretty much about Martians that try to kidnap Santa, they actually do, to make the kids on their planet feel happy about toys. Except there's this evil guy with a dumb moustache and an upside down scuba diver hat. He tries to get rid of Santa and then there's this other dumb guy whose name is Dropo and he is just not funny. But when he comes on they play music to make you think he's about to be funny.

Also, there are two kids on Earth that the Martians ask for directions from to get to Santa, then they kidnap them, too. So they don't tell Santa. Then they take them to Mars with Santa and have them make friends with the sad Martian kids. All the people on Mars have names that end in -ar, so you just take a name and add ar and you are a Martian. Steve-ar, Mark-ar, Sue-ar, Ken-ar.

The Martians have a really lame space ship that's got a toy box shaped radar thing. The space ship looks like a pencil. The scuba diver heads that the Martians have, have antennae on them that looks like a slurpy straw. They go to the North Pole and kidnap Santa. Then they know that the earthling kids are homesick so they let them drive home by themselves on an auxiliary space craft even though they don't know where they're going.

And no one ever gets hungry in this movie.

My mom says she'd be embarrassed if she was in this movie.

She says she wouldn't do it if they paid her all the money in the world.

She says she'd tear down the posters, and change her name, and move to a different country, and get plastic surgery.



**Note to Adults: to read more about this movie, you've got to go here. I had no idea it was a cult classic. The review is hilarious. Includes recommending watching this only while stoned. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Not A Time Nor A Season

"Christmas is not a time nor a season,
But a state of mind.
To cherish peace and
Goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy is to have
The real spirit of Christmas." -- Calvin Coolidge

I wish you a wonderful holiday season. You have all made my year so very rich.

Thank you.

Friday, December 23, 2011

If The Kids Only Knew Their Mother Wasn't A Saint

The joys of writing for Funny not Slutty. I just love it.

My monthly column is up at FnS today, with a post about the naughty things I used to do* when I was little.

*will spend today keeping kids from peeking over my shoulder as I check comments over there.

Have a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus : each one of you is so amazing, and are as beautiful as every ornament on my tree. Thank you for your support this past year, you mean so much to me!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

This One's For You, Sweaty

I meet some wonderful, endearing people because of blogging. On my About Page, I say it publicly: blogging saves my life, everyday. I can't imagine my life without it. One of the amazing bloggers I've met is Sweaty, from Do Sweat The Small Stuff. She writes of things that are what life is really about...if we stop and think and quit worrying about what others will say about us.

She is a rare find, and I love her.

I wrote a guest post for Sweaty, for this year of life when the world as she knew it split open. She's tough, she'll make it, but how much easier it all is when you know you've got people behind you. I hope you'll stop over to her place and get to know her. She's easy to fall for, and her blog feels like a trip to Six Flags.

We love you, Sweaty. Here's to 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Letter Discussion

Did you just run screaming to the other room as soon as you saw this?

It's the Annual Christmas Letter. Also not so fondly called, The ALCL (Annual Lying Christmas Letter), The ATSL (Annual Truth Stretching Letter),  The ABCL (Annual Bragging Christmas Letter.)

People love to write these. People say they hate to get these, but secretly, like a train wreck, we can't help but look. Some of us make an evening out of it; gathering up friends, lighting a fire, pouring the Pinot Grigio, and start ripping open the fat envelopes.

We write these, we receive them, but no one talks about them. You know, truth talks about them. Like, how they are *gulp* ridiculed. Yup. Made fun of. Passed around and taken to coffee klatches as a source of mirth and entertainment.

Is there no one to tell the writers of these letters that the chance exists, if they're not aware of it, of becoming the subject of tonight's mom's wine night out?

I will do it.

I'm at the halfway point in my life where I have to start knocking things off my bucket list. Holiday Letter Discussion is number 5 on that list.

Let's begin with assuming that everyone's got a good heart. I know I know, but let's just assume. You don't want to be boastful, right? You don't want to make everyone feel like they're the most underachieving family on the planet, do you? You want us, the ones on the other end, to know you wish us well and are thinking of us this holiday season. If we start at that point, then the rest will be a walk in the park.

How To Send Holiday Letters Out That Won't Make People Follow Up With a Request To Be Removed From Your Mailing List:

oAsk yourself, who are you writing this letter for? Really ask it.

oDo not write longer than one page. No buts. One page. End of it.

oNo $8.00 words, no matter how recently you learned egregious. Thank you.

oIf you've had the best year ev-er, if your husband is making money hand over fist, if your golden child finished up his third PhD in 18 months, we'd rather not hear about it.  Plain old happy news, like a new baby, new job, your first home, a first lost tooth on your kindergartner, your teen making the football team, your first writing gig; all good stuff we'd love to share your happiness over. But if you've had a bang up year and your home has increased in value over $100,000 again! Some things are best kept within the family.

oIt's easier for some of us to share happiness than others. For me, happiness and good things often feel foreign and like I stepped into that weird scene with the Gwyneth in Sliding Doors: Ooops! Wrong life! So, your effusiveness (that's only a 4 dollar word, not 8...) may sit with me as bragging. Bragging. Not catching up, but bragging. Bragging.

oThis suggestion is serious: be sensitive to your audience. Really. If you know of someone who has been trying to find work for most of the year, please don't send out a letter telling them how many times you've been promoted in your own job, or how may headhunters are after your awesomeness. Not nice. Same for a couple struggling with infertility; don't type up sentence after sentence on how everyone in your family is a fertile myrtle and gets pregnant just from the wink of an eye...Must be the water! LOL! This will only be LOL to you.

oWe know you want to make it fun, but Changing fonts and Shifting color changes leave me feeling like I've got an undiagnosed brain tumor. It does. And then I'll be too worried about getting an appointment with the neurologist before the New Year to pay any attention about your trip to Graceland.

oSelf deprecation is a great tool. Somehow, I'll listen about little third grade Tommy's history making ACT scores if you tell me how both you and your husband swear he's not from your litter and was dropped off by aliens.

oCount your adjectives:  if you've used wonderful or great more than 3 times in one page, time to stop.

oBottom line: you can't disguise bragging. We know.

I promise you that if you follow these suggestions, your Holiday Letter won't be turned into party fodder. Stick to these points, and no one will guess that you're telling us just what a GD good year you had. Even if you sign it, Here's to 2012! Though we can't imagine a better year than 2011 was!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Flying Chalupa Loves Hot Tamales, Especially El Grande Size

I'm having some great fun guest posting at Chalupa's place today.

It's impossible to not have some great fun when you click over to Chalupa's.

This woman has never heard of running out of the original, the creative, the so dang funny.

On this Monday before CHRISTMAS aaah!! I hope you take a break and click over to see the grand plans I have for my grande latte a**.

I think you'll want to join in.


The Flying Chalupa


Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Makes Us Remember The Things We Do

What are the things that make children remember a past so sweetly? When we close our eyes, and answer the question, What was your best Christmas memory as a child?, what is it about that time that leaves us silently smiling before we share our memory?

I have a holiday post up today at TikiTiki, one of the websites where I feel so honored to be a regular contributor. Besides sharing a childhood memory of Christmas past, you also get to see a picture of a very chubby wubby well fed toddler. See it here.... 


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How To Feel The Magic Again In The Holiday Season

 You know what's easy to do? To fall into the rush of December. One question I asked myself years ago when I first became a mother, was if I wanted my kids to remember the holidays this way, with me running in and out of stores, parking lots, looking at the time and slapping my forehead.

We don't have to put the brakes on this season, not if doing holidays are your thing, BUT what if we take some of that energy and spread some love around to more than just our own?

Here's a list of a few things our family has incorporated as new tradition. Sowing these seeds of kindness will grow into a harvest of your children feeling the same heart urgency to do for others, in their own families. What a thought, isn't it? 

1. Ask at your church to forward a donation of grocery store gift cards to a family that is struggling. Our church will announce to pray for those looking for a job, and through confidentiality, they will forward your donation. Place your gift cards inside an envelope wishing them hope and remind them that they are in your thoughts and prayers. Wish them the warmth of the season.

2. Let your children pick out some of their favorite toys or games from the store; then deliver the gifts to a women's shelter so the children there will know that the world does love them.

3. Include your children in a trip to the grocery store for the sole purpose of donating to the food collection barrels there. Buy only items for the food barrel, and let your children choose the non perishables they think children in other families would enjoy. They'll delight you with their choices of red licorice, Oreos, and they'll remind you that people in need have children who want something special.

4. Rather than gifts, purchase an experience for your family: like tickets to a local production of A Christmas Carol, or another holiday show. Your ticket will support local arts and you know what every show needs to survive: an audience!

5. Take a trip to a bookstore with everyone, choose a holiday chapter book there. Read a chapter a night, together as a family. Write the date on the inside cover, and have everyone sign their names and write a short message. You've just created a keepsake.  

6. Sit and share stories with your family about some of your favorite past holidays. Tell them why you remember the ones that you do, and what made it so special. Ask them about theirs. What they remember will impress you.

7. Go for a night drive, or a night walk; soak in how pretty all the holiday lights look. Enjoy being together with nothing else to distract you.

8. Check out a colorful holiday recipes book from your library, one with lots of pictures. Spend time poring over the pages, and choose a recipe that you can make as a new family favorite for your big dinner.

9. Rather than dinner one night, make several holiday appetizers: serve them all on round platters, along with small appetizer plates. I found some plates at WalMart for a dollar each and the kids' reaction was as if I was serving them up on emperor's plates.

10. Have a dinner by candle light during their winter break. Not just one candle holder, but many, many votives scattered all about the kitchen or dining room. Talk about the happiness you feel in having everyone home with you. The glow of the table will bring tears to your eyes, I promise.

11.Come home from the craft store with an armful of those fun paint it yourself ornaments. I have found them for less than a dollar each. Spread out an old shower curtain and paint away.

12. Rent a holiday movie and have a movie night. Declare this THE must watch every holiday season for your family. For us, it's Elf and It's a Wonderful Life. My family knows these two movies so well, we'll toss out a quote and shout, "Name the movie!" Shared memories, deepened bonds.

13. Really: this one. Make a gingerbread house. It is fun so don't let the thought terrify you. You can buy the kits for $9.99 now. With everything you need. Have little cups around of cut up red licorice, skittles, raisins, gum drops, pretzel sticks, to decorate. SO MUCH FUN but let your 'neatness' tendencies somewhere else for this one.

14. Don't stress over the holiday cookie bake. You can buy already made rolls that you just slice and they're just as delicious as the hand rolled out ones. Always fun to decorate and frost. Make an extra two dozen and deliver them to a senior center. They have coffee get togethers in the mornings, and you'll find people there who have no one else in the world to spend the holidays with. Make a card, kids' work necessary!, wishing them a healthy, happy new year.

15. Remind your children that the joy of the season is in thinking of our fellow man. Present options to them in how they'd like to give to help those with less. This year, my children chose to donate two hours of their time gift wrapping angel tree gifts for a women's shelter. My youngest went caroling at a nursing home.

16. Donate to every coat and mitten and boot and hat drive you read and hear about. A quick search on the internet will give you info on where to drop off, what size items are needed. We gave a few items last year to a community through our neighborhood high school who had put out a call for Syrian refugees expected that winter.

17. I just read this one, suggested by a friend of a friend, and it's something we can do in any amount. Check in with a school office and ask to donate or pay toward the account of a family who is behind in their lunch plan payment. Some schools will say yes and you've just taken the stress out of a financially taxing month for a family who will never forget your kindness.

Let your family, and you, feel the joy in giving. When you hear your children say, "That was fun, mom, and it felt good," you will have the magic of the holiday season, of how we really are happiest when we do for others.

Glitter and all.

*Happy Holidays to all of you, I wish you peace, and the making of new memories that will delight the child in all of us.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Therapy Post

It is quite disconcerting to hear screams that continue from my children that are downstairs, when I am busy cleaning upstairs, and the father of the children is with them, downstairs.

It perplexes me that upon my return home after finishing working the hours at my job that is away from home, I am attacked by my children at the door with cries of, "Finally! We get to eat!" though the father has been home with them, in the house, while I have been gone, away from the house.

It is off putting that despite taping my husband snoring as evidence, he insists the footage I have is extraordinary and atypical, and that most nights he hardly emits anything above a nasally whistle.

It is disturbing that all four of the males that I share a home with have refrigerator blindness and I am the only one that is able to locate the orange juice and maple syrup in the mornings.

It is upsetting that though I ask the children to each take care of their own laundry folding and putting away on a weekly basis, that communal disturbances continue to break out between the age groups when it is time for the weekly laundry distribution.

It leaves me with head shaking bewilderment that though I am the smallest of three males in this house, I am the only one who is left unnerved enough by the howling coyotes in the field behind our home, to still be able to take out the garbage in the evening.

It baffles me to the point of cross eyedness that our children complain about "creepy, fiendish fields" around our home and ask why we're not able to live in a place where neighbors are five feet away as their friends do.

It frosts me to no end that though I have preached on the expense of the snakpak individual pouch cranberries that are reserved solely for lunches, and therefore have kept the snack cabinet filled with the large Family Sized Pouch of cranberries for home snacking, that the members of this household continue to snack at home from the expensive lunch snakpak cranberries pouch.

I find it quite annoying that I am asked "What's for dinner" as a disguised form of the question "Will I like it?" and then told I am overreacting when I answer with "You'll eat what you're served" when they say they are only asking a simple question.

I have a feeling of great annoyance as a result of the children's inability to properly secure the orange juice jug so that when I reach for the jug in the refrigerator it never fails to spill as a result of an insecure cap closure.

I feel my temples severely constrict when I see healthy children idly spending time on the family sofa, expending their energy on quick witted name calling and tossing balled up sweaty socks at each other, while the father of the children rests his eyes for "just a few minutes" watching a football game on the sole television in the house, while guarding the remote like an aging napping dog in front of his food dish.

I have feelings of mounting anger when I ask my children if they have put away their laundered clothing and they have answered me with a yes, only to find columns of T-shirts hidden behind the toy box in their bedroom three days later. 

I find it irritating and baffling when I am behind the steering wheel of the car and asked if I know where I am going by my husband. I temper this feeling with sarcastic thoughts of Poor Man, He must truly worry when I chauffeur his children around without the astounding availability of having him only inches away.

It is exasperating when I am asked for photo identification along with my credit card when making a purchase at a store, while the woman in line in front of me has only to provide the credit card. When questioning the clerk, I am told my handwriting is difficult to read. I tell her description is subjective and she exasperates me further with her response of a double eye blink.

I have a strong feeling of displeasure and find it extremely offensive that humans standing next to me in the cereal aisle feel it permissible to pass strong gas, as though the silence of it makes it a non occurrence. It demands tremendous self control on my part, as well as biting my lower lip to not turn and say, "that which cannot be heard will sure as hell still be smelt."

It vexes me that despite telling the youngest child that we are only purchasing things from our list while at the store, that I am asked twenty or thirty times to purchase things that are off the list. I find this feeling akin to drinking two pots of double measured coffee.

*Thank you, dear reader, for a much needed therapy session.  Payment in chocolate truffles is on its way. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Shocking Newlywed Discoveries

 Aiming Low.

My post at Aiming Low today, where I go public with the shock of my newly married life 17 years ago.

And I still stayed with him.

You know you want to know. [Read about it here....]


Parenting Will Cost You A Good Night's Sleep, Here and There

I have a difficult time with disrespect. My blood pressure rises when a lack of respect is shown toward me. When it comes from my children, I cannot move beyond that moment in time when I hear that barrel full of words of disregard for me as a human, aimed right at my head. 

I feel we are to respect everyone we share space with. If we share a home and live with them, it goes double. If that person you interact with is the one who bore you, it rises to the millionth degree. I idealistically believe that if we show respect to our children, that they will mirror that back to us. So far, so good...until the piece of your heart that goes walking around outside of your body begins making testosterone by the gallonfuls.

I always knew I'd have exactly the tricks up my sleeve that I needed for being the mother of teens. I had such fresh memories of how I was raised during this part of my life, that I knew a whole lot about what NOT to do. That's all you need to know, right, what NOT to do? I never thought I'd need to have the ace in my pocket of what TO do.

Why am I awake right now, at 1:30 a.m., sitting on the sofa eating chocolate chips thinking of what happened in our home tonight, instead of sleeping the sleep I need so much? Because I love my children and when miscommunication between us escalates to a level where you start thinking how much you'd love to have them get their own bodies back and forth to where they need to go, make their own dinners, keep track of their own schedules and Dr. appointments -- well, that's not a healing, productive train of thought for anybody. No matter how good it feels. I am awake, buzzing with thoughts of what I should have done with my teen tonight; asking myself how I could have parented better. These thoughts of pro action are being interrupted by whizzing personal reprimands of all the triggers that flew from my side and right onto him.

I know what I could have done differently now, eight hours later, and it would've been the right thing to do. The mature, zen seeking mother I want to be Plan of Action. I have it. Right here, in three simple steps, how to put out that adolescent fire.

Taming a Teen in Three Simple Steps:

Step 1: So easy, just shuttup. Pretend you don't feel the sting of their words that feel so personal. Let them wail, vent, curse, explode at the crappy day they had. Don't interject, don't advise, don't smirk at the perceived miniscule events they're ranting on. Now is not the time. Listen, and drive: your two jobs.

Step 2: Go to your happy place when they tell you it's your fault they missed that important meeting/assignment/deadline. Later, you can bring up their own scheduling capabilities. The flame is high, don't throw the corn oil on it--avoid that after school explosion. If you need to, keep driving and take the long way home. When it all simmers down, show them how to keep track of school, sports, work, assignments, meetings, on their own calendars.

Step 3: This should have been Step 1, really. Pick them up with a snack in the car. Low blood sugar, a disappointing day, a minor break out on the cheek, and it's every man for himself. Have a bagel, have a travel pak of Pringles, have something. Let them crunch and munch and carb load while they unload. It won't hurt.

Warning: Be open to accepting a heartfelt apology from them when they give it, not when you're ready to receive it. As much as the non parent ego person that still lives inside you from years ago wants to shout, Fresh Wound! Damn straight you should be apologizing ...did you hear what you said to me? Don't do it. With a generous and unconditionally loving spirit, accept and thank them for their apology. They don't like being little sh*ts, either. And they know when they've been one. Just like we do.

UNDER no circumstance ever say, even under your breath, I can't wait till you're away for college. Never sink that low. We are the adult, they're not. Instead, think things like, Wow. You're sure ready to be on your own.

Keep a mantra ready. Mine is, This, too, shall pass. I've been using it for the last 16 years.

Most importantly, know that I do accept shipments of boxed wine. I find the crisp green apple from Franzia a delightful white that dances on the tongue.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why Twitter Is Not Like High School

I ran across a post a few weeks ago called, "Why twitter is like high school." I didn't mark the post, so my apologies since I can't remember the site where I read it.

I do remember shaking my head and disagreeing with the author by the time I got to her second sentence. Her feeling was that twitter was made up of the cool and the uncools; she added that she felt excluded every time she logged onto twitter. She complained of her tweets being ignored and that other tweeters passed their clever word batons back and forth with their BFF's, while she just sat and eeked out -- nothing. She ended her post by saying that twitter took her right back to high school.

I left a one sentence comment, "with one big difference, we're not in high school anymore."

In high school, you have to see the people that you feel look down on you, or pass you in the halls as if you don't exist.  This is not the case on twitter: you don't have to see anyone you don't want to: there is the lovely unfollow/block button. If someone really upsets you, or gets your goat up because they refuse to acknowledge you, you can just one click unfollow them. Gone from your online life.

How satisfying would having that option have been back in high school, when Big Booby Liz bewitched and stole your Senior Class boyfriend away?  On twitter, you can block and unfollow Big Booby Liz: outta sight, outta mind, outta your life.

Score one for twitter.

Next, if you've been killing yourself to get to know someone and you're but a dust mote in their twitter stream, stop and think about why you follow them. There is a triad of local tweeters I follow: these three won't engage with me for nothin'... not even if I held their adorable pug over hot bubbling lava would they respond to a tweet of mine. But their tweets are gold to me: they know about everything going on within 200 miles of where I live. I'll keep following them; I know no one is obligated to interact with anyone on twitter. But, if following someone and seeing each of their tweets is like a poison dipped dagger slammed right in the center of your heart, then unfollow. Unfollow, take a deep breath, allow time for your broken twitter heart to heal, then latch on to another superstar that floats your boat. Couldn't do that in high school.

High School: 0 Twitter: two.

Twitter is the great equalizer. You have access to people like Alec Baldwin, Ellen Barkin, Kim Kardashian, Kelly Ripa. If they're on twitter, you can follow them. There's no way that you could be privy to superstars like that in high school.

Three and O.

The biggest difference between high school and twitter, is that WE ARE NO LONGER IN HIGH SCHOOL. We no longer have to be that overly sensitive, self conscious, begging to be liked little budding teen. We are grown people, a lot of us with families of our own. If someone ignores us, hasn't followed back, doesn't respond to our tweets, it's not life and death at this stage. Or, at least, it shouldn't be. Whereas at one time there may have been nothing more important than belonging and being accepted into a certain group, this shouldn't be the case in our lives anymore.

Our families are the most important now. Our health, our well being, our livelihood: these are the things that matter now.

High school may have been center stage and the be all to us once, but no more. Twitter is not high school: it is a fun tool, a business tool and platform for many, a way to connect for the majority of us on it. Connections take time. We can't instantly jump in and be part of a group, no matter how hard we wish it.

If seeing action on twitter that doesn't include you, or if seeing a certain someone on twitter causes you duress, if the sight of a particular avatar sends you reaching for the Xanax, then think about the unfollow. If you say someone makes you feel left out, or uncool, or not part of their group, think again about what following them does to you. If it batters your ego and sends you back to high school thought patterns, perhaps 'tis best you don't see them. You don't have to.

You couldn't do that in high school.

If you've been feeling that twitter is like high school, I hope you try and see it differently. I also hope you don't choose to continue with the mindset you used 10, 20, 30 years ago when you were in high school; the mindset of seeing mountains when they're molehills. You're an adult now; you can pick and choose who you surround yourself with. On twitter, it's totally your choice -- you design your tweeting world, and the people in it. In high school, you have no choice.

It's only 140 characters ... it's only twitter.

It's not like it's high school or something.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Fair Games Aren't Fair, Also Video Arcade Games Aren't Fair, Either

It's Monday, Baby E's post day; he posts here when he feels he needs to.

He's been practicing all weekend to outsmart the county fairs this summer. He tells you how and why today.

If you're new to Baby E's Posts, he posts on Mondays. You can go here to read his first post.

Thank you, as always, for listening. He is so lucky to have a place to go with all these feelings he has. Thank you for that.

Come on, kid, Guaranteed Prize every time...
I was practicing today for when the carnival comes back in the summer. I am going to be ready. I have a plastic cup and two ping pong balls and I am practicing since when I started on Friday.

Because I never win at carnival games. BUT, and there are a lot of buts, once I got 3006000 tickets and still didn't win anything. At another tent place.

Here is another BUT: they put gigantic prizes that are so hard to get just so you can envy them and try so hard to get them. AND spend money cuz that's what they want you to do.

Well, first of all, I would like to point out that there is ONE fair place: but "one" in out of a million.

Dave & Buster's.

I got a little Angry Birds Plush there, that's about 6 inches tall, for 600 tickets and you can get 600 tickets in only like playing 5 games and getting only a medium score.

This is a GOOD but: one time I got only 3,600 tickets at DAVE & BUSTER'S, cuz they're a great place, and for only 3,600 tickets I got an Angry Birds Plush, which I talked about before, a rainbow slinky--no, orange and white, and it was really, really long and cool.  And I got a fake bug that is really annoying. And two robot shaped erasers, and a nerds rope.

With only 3,600 tickets, that's why that's a good place.

At outdoor fair games, there was this one game where they said, "all you have to do is hit that target over with this ball and you get a prize," but they don't tell you the target is 20 feet away and the target is tiny. And that you have to hit it at the exact right center.

So, I tried to win a prize, and I threw the ball and it hits it smack in the middle BUT (and this is another bad but) the game guy says "You MISSED!" And then I don't believe it.  BUT I hit it right in the middle and he said you missed. And I know I didn't.

And then I tell everyone that is not a fair game place because I saw it hit the middle.

And then there's this other game at the fair where you have to sink a ping pong ball into a little cup and you win a hermit crab but the ball always bounces right out.

That's the one I'm practicing for.


ALSO: you should get these books for your kids for Christmas. There are books in a series:  Wayside School Books. Every page makes me laugh.


Thank you, Baby E!

**I'm also happy and excited to be guest posting for my wonderful friend, Sober Julie, today. She is celebrating her one year Blogoversary. Sober Julie is a woman who has a life story to tell that will live in your heart, always. I hope you'll stop over and wish Julie a happy one year anniversary of so many things.

Thank you, Julie, for including me in the celebration of your new life. It is a pleasure.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

How To Make Friends and Have People Like You

If the title of this post made your heart race a little, then it's safe to say that you want to know how to get people to like you.

I can't help you with that.
I had to turn to the internet for friends.

But I have an idea.

If you do the opposite of what I do in my real life, then I think you stand a good chance of getting to know some real flesh and blood folks. The kind that maybe will like you back.

Just follow these pointers to a social life that consists of more than one person:

Begin your day with a solid breakfast. Heading out the door after four cups of coffee and nil in the stomach makes for a very shaky school drop off (pun intended.) You don't want to be the mom in the car line laying on the horn to the van full of preschoolers being dropped off in front of you, shouting, "you droppin' off gramma or what?!"

Dress in a manner that invites a good first impression. We all want to keep it real, but if your daily life involves yoga pants with holes in them, then it's time to change it up a little. Also? Use a real ponytail ponytail holder in your hair, and not the inked up red rubber band from that morning's newspaper. Trust me, the inked up rubber band's a deal breaker.

Shoes. Shoes are nice -- throw some on, no matter how late you are. Your teen son's size eleven Converses tossed on your size seven feet, sans socks, do not count as shoes. People hand out extra potential friend points when the ones you wear are your own.

Call attention to your mistakes indirectly. A soft "Oh, heavens, I can't believe Johny forgot his lunch" falls much better on the ears than "sonuvabeehive that kid of mine would forgot his head if it wasn't screwed on. I've half a mind to just let him go without and then we'll see how quickly he forgets his lunch again with the memory of gnawing hunger..."

Be cheerful, even when you don't feel like it. Do not walk around with the biggest, blackest, most face esconcing made in Italy sunglasses that money can buy just because you don't feel like eye contact that day. Just.don't. Especially when it's cloudy out.

Learn to make a great pot luck church supper. Deli pick up and dumps will never make it past the mummy crew radar. If  you don't take my word for it, and still decide to go and hit the deli anyway, be sure you don't show up with that day's advertised 99 cents a pound macaroni salad special that's splayed across every flyer in town.

Remember the two most offensive words in the English language. No offense. "Gee, I wish I could be more like you and just let my kids screw up on their own, no offense." Yeah.

Be alert for opportunities to show praise. Words of praise and flattery, like sap flowing out of a tree, go a lot further in hoped for friendships than becoming the green eyed monster seething in covetousness. Who doesn't love to hear, "Oh, girl, I am digging your chunky zebra bangle right now." Works wonders to melt even the coldest hearts. They'll like you, even if they don't want to.

Be open and accessible. Do not tally up transgressions, snubbings, blatant cold shoulders. Don't be hatin' back -- rise above, continue to be kind, kind, and kind.  We can't control how others treat us, nor whether they accept us, but we can be the nicest version of who we are.

So, let's raise a cup of coffee in hopes that you may get lucky one of these times, and the next person you meet could become a friend.

And keep your eye open for a morning newspaper rubber band in their hair. I've heard those peeps make the best BFF's.


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