Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Gift Idea: Bulletproof Clipboard

Work can be a killer.  You never know when you might to need to tuck and roll behind the pothos to avoid crossfire.  Fortunately for us, the folks at ThinkGeek have got it all covered.  Introducing the Bulletproof Body Armor Clipboard:

For the low price of $44.99, you too can feel peace of mind when you walk into your next board meeting.  Perfect for Christmas, what better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus than by stopping a 9mm dead in it's path.  Makes a great secret Santa gift!

Made of Level 2 body armor, this functional gift holds paper and stops bullets.

Order now, while supplies are in stock.

*NumberWhisperer is not affiliated with ThinkGeek.  This is purely tongue-in-cheek, folks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

On Thanksgiving Day

I opened the fridge
On this Thanksgiving Day
To make me some turkey with yam

But all that was there
To my utter despair
Was a fatty, cold serving of spam

I couldn’t believe
I’d forgotten to plan
For this yummiest day of the year

So to quiet my nerves
And to settle my mind
I guzzled a bottle of beer

With a false sense of strength
And a steely resolve
I determined to still find a way

To get me some turkey
And maybe some pie
And salvage what’s left of my day

Like any good child
In a pinch or a jam
Who needs her when feeling bereft

I called on Dear Mom
And was saddened to hear
That a carcass was all that was left

What’s that you say?
I’m in shocked disbelief
“You told me you bought a big bird!”

I’m hungry, no, STARVING
And feeling so weak
As I chug down my second (or third)

Whatever she said
I paid her no mind
As I hung up the phone with disgust

Went back to the fridge
With a sigh of defeat
Guess I’ll settle for spam if I must

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Girls Bathroom Safety Hazard

Saw this yesterday at the middle school where P and L play basketball.  Don't we all have to learn this at some time or another?  When drying your hair with the hand dryer, stay upwind of all wall plates.


Closer still.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekends are Made for Working

A couple of weeks ago, my boss announced that our team would be implementing “on call” weekends.  Not sure what his definition of “on call” entailed, I asked for clarification.  Did it mean having our blackberries on us as we went about our regular weekend routines?  Turns out the answer to that was a big, fat “no”.  It meant staying close to our laptops, logged onto the company network for two days straight, checking in periodically to make sure nothing had broken.

My reaction, of course, was less than positive.  Springing a lost weekend on us once a month was the last thing I wanted to hear.  Plus, I was somewhat panicked at the thought of being responsible for evaluating and communicating statuses on things I had limited experience with.  But to paraphrase Tennyson, mine is not to question why, mine is but to do or die.  So I swallowed my  bitter pill and re-arranged my plans for the dreaded weekend.

This past weekend was my first weekend on call.  Rolling out of bed at 8am on a Saturday so that I could read work emails was hardly my idea of kicking the weekend off right, but that’s precisely what I did.  Thankfully, nothing had fallen apart while I had slept.  So with the business under control, I decided to skip the cold cereal and make a pancake breakfast for the family.  After all, for this weekend, I had all the time in the world. 

The pancakes were memorable...fluffy, buttery, and delicious.  As was the warm pasta lunch I whipped up for the family and the crispy baked chicken I managed for dinner.  

With nothing but time on my hands, I helped P with his Colosseum art project and M with his Student of the Week poster.  We turned the tv off and listened to music as the kids worked on their homework.  We watched Cool Runnings, Narnia, and Once Upon a Time.  I surfed the web for Christmas ideas and shopped the weekly ads for the best deals on meat and produce.  All this in between the regular check-ins with work.  It was eye-opening that I could accomplish so much with so little stress.

Is this what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom?  I could totally get into this.

Imagine what it would be like to not have to squeeze a day’s worth of personal life into the 5 hours that fall between clocking out and hitting the pillow?  And to use the weekends spending time relaxing instead of catching up.  During the week, I’d be able to pick up the kids after school to get them started on their homework before dinner and basketball practice.  And I’d also be able to clean the bathrooms regularly (clean bathrooms would no longer be a luxury reserved only for company).

This weekend gave me proof that I am capable of relaxing.  Being forced to stay home the entire  weekend gave me a glimpse into what life could be like, if I didn’t have so much crammed into it.  I could relax.  I could spend time with the kids.  I could remember to tell my husband I love him.  I could do all these things instead of getting wound up tight over all that needs to get done and all that will not get done. 

I'm sure this is simply a case of “the grass is always greener on the other side.”  That grass was looking pretty green, but I know myself enough to recognize that my crazy, hectic life suits me well.  I'm not looking to trade it in.  I'm just looking forward to my next "on call" weekend a little more than I was before.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sometimes It Just Gets To Me

Horror.  Disgust.  Fear.  Anger.  I'm sickened as I learn more about the Penn State scandal.

I feel for these victims.  My heart breaks for the children that they were, for what they experienced, and for the memories they’ll always carry with them.

I find it difficult to reserve judgement on those who knew and said nothing.  Or those who knew and didn’t say enough.  Particularly those who were firsthand witnesses.  The physical sickness that must’ve swept over these eyewitnesses, reinforced by the graphic visual, must've surely burned that memory onto their souls.  And yet they failed to act.  

Is it because I’m a parent that I feel so strongly?  If I were childless, could I be certain that I would’ve hurled my puny little body at him, fists a flying?  I hope so.  And would I have been content and clear of conscience in walking away and merely reporting it to my boss?  No.  Absolutely not.

Could there ever be a legitimate reason to cover up something like this?  Did everyone keep quiet because they truly didn’t believe it happened?  Or did they keep quiet because they stood to lose something?  It’s hard not to prejudge.

These were innocent, defenseless kids.  Ten years old.

Ten years old is fourth grade.
Ten years old is Spongebob.

Ten years old is Star Wars.

Ten years old is recess.

 There's no debating what ten years old is not.  These men needed to remember that.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Birds of a Feather...Halloween 2011.

Some people know when to keep their embarrassing moments to themselves.  I'm not one of those people.  I like to share the cringe with anyone who is willing to listen.  This is probably a trait that doesn't go well with the age of electronic documentation.  When you commit it to the world wide web, you commit it to an eternity of documented bad judgement.  I need to keep this in mind as I explore this world of blogging.

So let me tell you about the tragic fail that was this year's Halloween costume.

I LOVE Halloween.  I gleefully anticipate my costume about two months in advance; but to be honest, I'm keeping mental notes all year long.  How to decorate my house, my kids, myself, my husband, my dog.  Truly, with this holiday, the anticipation is more fun than the night itself.

But this year wasn't all hearts and flowers for me.  The stars were not in alignment these past couple of months, so I wasn't really feeling it this year.  Which is a pity, in retrospect, because come October 30, I was hurting for a genius Halloween costume, and it was slim pickings in my costume closet.  But then I remembered an idea my better half had suggested for the kids.  We have a Cardinals jersey for one of the boys, and IF they had done poorly this World Series, one of the boys could be an Angry Bird by simply wearing the jersey.

The idea itself was pretty pathetic, but I felt like it had potential.  I could finally put to use that bird feather shirt I picked up at the thrift store a few years back (you never know when you might need a feather shirt), and those Angry Birds are pretty big this year. I felt like I could really make something out of this idea.  After a quick google, I confirmed that this was the costume for me.  All I needed was some big eyebrows and a tuft of hair on top.
Sadly, as they say in Project Runway, it was a great concept, but there were some serious problems with execution and styling.

Here's what I'm talking about:
I do have to say, I enjoyed myself immensely during my photo session.  There were some H-O-R-R-I-F-I-C photos that came from it that had me laughing my hiney off.

I wanted to keep the laughs coming, so I sent the picture to a select few (everyone I had an email to) and asked them to guess what I was for Halloween.  Here are some responses:

"Tweety Bird after a run on meth"
"Big Bird's paid escort"
"Club Kid"
"Lady Gaga waking up with a hangover"
"Black Swan gone awry"
"A Drag Queen"

I'm going to have to go with Drag Queen as the winner.