Saturday, June 28, 2008

"5 Things.." Bandwagon - Whee!

I'm going to do it. I'm going to sell my soul and jump on the blogger band wagon and post a "Things you didn't know about me" post. Next thing you know, we'll be having a give away....

I'm not sure what the point is here besides sating people's hunger for having dirt on another human being. Does this make people feel empowered? comforted? horrified? In any case, for those that would like to see the skeletons in my closet. Here they are.

5 Things Most People (except Ambie, of course) Don't Know About Me

5. I'm Blind. Without my contacts I can't even see the "E" at the top of the eye chart. I can barely tell that there is an eye chart. For those of you that are familiar with strengths of contact lenses, I wear a whopping -7.00 power set of contacts. I don't own a pair of glasses because the lenses would be so thick and heavy they would fall off my face.

4. I hate most books read in book clubs. Okay, so you might have noticed that I have some strong opinions, but I usually try to find positive things to say at book clubs so I don't become like the SNL skit character "Debbie Downer". Nevertheless, here is a short list of some of the books that I can't stand: "The Secret Life of Bees", "The Number One Ladies Detective Agency", "Eat Cake", anything written by Nicholas Sparks, any "heartwarming" stories involving pets, do you see a pattern here? What do I like? Non-fiction, literary classics, and anything written with clever wit or beautiful, descriptive prose. Rare at most book clubs.

3. I'm a conservationist. I hate wasting/throwing away ANYTHING! I save boxes, containers, ziploc baggies, holey socks and jeans, anything! I used my dryer exactly twice last month - I hang all my laundry on the line. I make my children bathe together to save water. Food has to be slimey or fuzzy before I will throw it away, and even then it hurts. I hate buying stuff, especially for my kitchen or to decorate. But don't worry, Ambie, I still support drilling in ANWR.

2. I trade foreign currencies online. You know how currencies of different countries change with respect to each other? That's what I capitalize on by moving my money from one currency to another. It's risky and I've suffered some losses, but I have been able to fund my children's private school tuition, and, well, I get a thrill from it. I just wish I lived closer to either East coast or London time zones.

1. I wake up PISSED OFF! All my life, the part I can remember anyway, I have hated waking up. I can't explain it. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that I can fall asleep on a dime, or that I'm a vivid dreamer or maybe I just love my sleep. But this has been kind of a challenge for me, and those that have to deal with me, all my life. This doesn't mean that I sleep a lot or sleep late (relatively), you just may want to be armed if you have to see me first thing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wife Irate After Lawnmower Impounded

NORTH POLE Alaska -- Alaska State Troopers were led on a low speed chase of up to 5 mph spanning several lawns and which ultimately ended in the apprehension of a North Pole man intoxicated more than 2x the legal limit.

The man refused to pull over when signaled to do so by the police officer forcing the officer to call in for additional backup to avoid further escalation of the situation which may have resulted in injuries. Twenty-year-old Wyatt Lewis is charged with driving under the influence and failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer.

The situation finally concluded when one of the officers got out of his vehicle and told Mr. Lewis to stop.

there is no
the end

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Cruelest Cut

Gentlemen, you may want to cross your legs...really.

So anyone who has been privileged to be expecting a baby boy (sorry, Ambie, not you)has faced the decision of whether or not to circumcise your future man. If you've ever attended a child birth class during this discussion, this is the only time it may come to blows. Some say they wanted their sons to be "like father, like son", others say it is an outdated and totally unnecessary, cosmetic, and cruel practice based on meaningless, religious tradition.

I've had to face this decision twice and it's basically come down to this - better now than later. There are certain conditions that arise in a man's life that make circumcision necessary. Much better to do it when they haven't yet developed a paranoid devotion to their nether regions, so day two might be too late.

When we had our second son join the Jewish ranks, I made my husband follow along and watch. I'm not sure why. To make sure the doctor didn't cut too much? With a morbid sense of "you did this to him, watch the consequences"? In any case, I find that I have a lot of clout in making my husband do stuff right after child birth, so he went.

The doctor performing the circumcision insisted on having a hospital nurse present during the procedure. The nurse seemed a little annoyed thinking he should probably be able to handle it solo. So he explained that too often, when fathers attended the circumcisions of their sons, he would all of a sudden have two patients instead of one. So the nurse, with a smile on her face and with smelling salts and defibrillator handy, oversaw the proceedings.

My husband said it honestly wasn't that bad. And he is your typical, paranoid, cup-wearing male.

So while the cut may be cruel, it's best done before the baby can walk or talk or most importantly, remember what happened. Oh, and another thing, you might want to at some point explain this all to your young boy. My sister dated a guy who honestly didn't know if he was circumcised or not. Thankfully, he got it all straightened out and she didn't have to determine this for him.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Death of a Sears, Man

"Sears" has been struggling for a number of years with the emergence of discount giants like Walmart and Costco. It enjoyed a brief lift on its appeal to women with its "come see the softer side of Sears" campaign, but in the end, savvy housewives realized that the "soft side" was still the "ugly and of medium quality and price" side.

Now Sears, in its final business death throes, is making one last desperate plea, not to women this time, but young people. Sears is teaming up with MTV, LL Cool J, and the makers of the movie "Highschool Musical" to make a movie of their own called "The American Mall" where the young actors and actresses will be completely outfitted in Sears' new and more hip fashion line.

Um, good luck with that. Sears happens to be choosing the most fickle, unpredictable, and irrational demographic there is.

Last summer I went shopping at the mall with my 16-year-old niece and I could find absolutely no rational logic in her choices. As far as I could tell, she choose jeans based on two factors: how expensive they were (the more the better) and how worn out they looked (again, the more the better). She stood there considering a pair that cost $80, riddled with holes and worn out spots and seriously considered buying them!

I casually asked, "don't you want a pair that doesn't look like someone spent the last 5 years motorcross biking in them?"

She looked at me with a mixture of pity and exasperation and said, "that's not the point."

She chose shirts with a similar value system - the flimsier and more likely to sprout holes, the better - but I could find no rhyme or reason to what she liked on the shirt. Some characters looked like they came straight out of a 3-year-old's coloring book with cartoon bunnies and monkeys, but when I suggested one with a cute cat on it she gave me a horrified look and said, "duh-uh-uh-mb!"

If I were in charge of saving Sears from its slow and tortured death, judging from my mall capers with my teen niece, I would say, make cheap, holey clothes, put it on nearly naked manequins complete with "bulges", fumigate the store with an incredibly stinky, "signature" fragrance, and charge insanely excessive prices, and maybe they have a chance. A perky teen movie with hip but wholesome characters will sell them with the 9 to 12 year-old crowd, but unfortunately, they have very little money to spend.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Anybody Missing a Foot?

A fifth human foot was recently found washed up on the shores of Canada and Canadian as well as American officials are encouraging citizens to take inventory of their own feet as well as their children's. Obviously some may not be physically able to see their own feet in which case one should consult a friend or neighbor to take a look for them.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Entrepreneurial Offspring

It seems like as soon as kids find out that money can be used to purchase gum, they are always on the prowl looking for ways to find, earn, or steal it. I don't mind providing ways for my children to earn money, then leave the discretionary spending at the store up to them. I even offer them a penny per page of extracurricular reading they do and "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" and the "Fablehaven" and "Magic Tree House" series have cleaned me out.

Twice my son has had a lemonade stand, but seeing as how we live on a cul-de-sac that's a little off the beaten path, he netted about $1.50 each time. He even wrote up a business plan for this endeavor that went something like this:

1. sighn (advertising) very good. color
2. making the lemonade pay mom to borow ingreedionts.
3. get table and chair
4. find a good space to sell

I think I just got cheated out of my fair share.

All this is well and good - until my daughter struck upon a scheme that required even less work. I was stunned to find this sign up in my house.

underneath which I found this set up

It's one thing to have a future beverage retailer in the family, quite another to have a future pan-handler. I asked my daughter what the baby needed saving from. She shrugged, "I don't know. Anything that needs money, I guess."

there is no

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lazy American Kids

So you think you've got it bad? Look, I'm sorry you had to walk 3/4 of a mile home from school with a backpack and it was cloudy.That must have been tough. I suppose you will need a couple of days to recover from that harrowing ordeal.Suck it up and be happy you're not living in China where kids have to cross raging death rivers on a skinny cord to get to school.

there is no


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How I Know She's the Last

I guess I've never learned to say "when", but it's always been a mystery to me how people know when their family is complete. I've heard friends say that they had always planned to have a certain number of children. Or some say they really wanted to try one more time for a certain gender. Others say they knew when they were "maxed out" and had taken on all they could. I've never felt sure in any of these ways...until now. (The hysterical weeping for joy you hear in the background is my husband.)

Here's why.

My last child is a daughter I call "the trial of my Faith". She has a strength of will like Joan of Arc, the emotional volitility of an 8.2 level earthquake, the sense of entitlement of a communist dictator, and the energy and volume of a pack of hyenas all trapped in a two-year-old body. The world that she resides in is a little different from the one you or I would recognize.

For one thing, she thinks that clothes are something you wear only when you leave the house and that sleeping and jumping on the trampoline requires the removal of every stitch including underwear/diaper. And speaking of which, she insists on wearing panties even though she has no interest in using the toilet. She even managed to shed a diaper I had duct taped on her. Needless to say, I am grateful for my carpet steamer.

She thinks that the purpose of a fan, the household type that are used everywhere in Hawaii, is to yell into it at the top of your lungs. She thinks that any and all pairs of shoes that she thinks are pretty are hers. She wrestled her 7 year-old sister to the ground to get at a new pair of pink flip-flops she was wearing. And she thinks any and all bodies of water from mud puddles to beaches with 12 foot pounding waves are for jumping head first into in the deepest part.

A shopping cart for her is just a jumping off point - a means to reach things she otherwise could not. And she escapes with a skill worthy of Houdini from all belts and buckles no matter how tightly they are strapped. Tooth paste, Desitin and Kraft Singles are mediums for art spread on the walls, the counters, and herself. And baby wipes are for frolicking in.

So I think I finally figured out how to call it quits - when mothers of teenagers look at your toddler and say, "Good luck when she's 13!" Although I will not actually declare myself "done" because I know as soon as I do, I'll get pregnant. Just ask Ambie, she knows what that's like.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Offended ? I'm sorry .. or maybe I'm not.... I'm not quite sure

Our family was shocked and surprised to discover that my grandmother was asked to teach a class at church and even worse a class on government. At first we thought that maybe our bishop was trying to play some kind of practical joke on our family as everyone knows that my grandmother is extremely opinionated when it comes to politics. You can find her at almost any time of the day listening to talk radio, watering her plants, over feeding her cat, and all the while muttering about some scumbag screwing up our country.

A little history ... my grandmothers father was a politician who unsuccessfully ran for mayor back in Alaska's early statehood. He took it so hard that he spent the remainder of his days on earth muttering about all the jerks screwing up our country...and hunting. Grandma's mother was the president of the (fill in the blank if you wish) women's party of Alaska. She enjoyed gardening, going to the symphony, and discussing subjects like which idiots were screwing up our country.

In grandma's world there is no such thing as political correctness or mercy for the other side. She is quoted as once saying that John Denver deserved his plane crash for getting involved in Alaska' politics.

So there we were watching, waiting, sweating. Grandma began by discussing with the class the difference between types of government i.e., monarchy vs. democracy. We just knew at any moment she would start spouting off about those damn ( fill in the blank if you wish). Surprisingly enough she made it through the hour by the skin of her teeth. We could tell at times she was visibly trying to restrain herself and she almost lost it when a woman who recently immigrated from Chile professed her love and loyalty to her former country. (Grandma can't imagine why or how anyone could feel loyalty to any other lesser nation).

So obviously I grew up listening to grandma spout off about all kinds of politically related things. She once woke me up at the crack of dawn when I was about 12, to teach me to iron and explain the difference between a democrat and a republican and why the world would be better off if those (fill it in) would all fall into the ocean.

So obviously I feel some measure of sympathy towards anyone exposed to demanding old people who want to talk politics and somewhat torn between avoiding the subject like the black plague and being supportive of my country. Any thoughts?


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Faux Sushi

Okay, if I start turning this blog into a "Kute Krafts 4 Kidz" blog, Ambie might leave me. Truth be told, I have no idea where my glue gun is and I haven't toll painted anything since the mid-nineties (thank heaven). On a sadder note, my sewing machine has sat idle for more than a year.

That being said, I love making cute kid food. Ambie remembers staying up really late helping me make PB and J sandwiches in the shape of rudolph the red nose reindeer for Nathaniel's preschool class. For Halloween 2 years ago I made mini-pizzas with olive slice eyes with green pepper pupils and mozzerella string bandages. Too fun.

So here's my latest endeavor: Sushi

You start with a grape or green apple, natural fruit roll up. Then make a batch of rice crispy treats. Spread the rice crispies over the fruit roll up, then line up one and a half gummy worms across the middle.

Use a sushi roller to roll the fruit roll at the same time you peel off the plastic (just like you would a California roll). Then slice.

Long's Drugs in Hawaii has the most extraordinary selection of plastic, deli containers in all shapes and sizes and this fills me with inexplicable joy. So I found the perfect container to fit six little sushis. I made 29 sets for Nathaniel's class for his birthday.

It took almost 3 hours. I'm ill. Help me.