Thursday, July 30, 2009

God and Politics

I hate dinner time. Hate it hate it hate it. If you haven’t seen the video I posted, which features a not-that-uncommon dinner scenario at the Jennings’ household, you should probably check it out. Especially if you’re looking into birth control. Heck, show it to your teenage kids. It will scare the living doo-doo out of them.

Dinner always starts out rough. Friends and family, especially our non-Christian friends, are always incredibly amused by the fact that our older boys fight over who gets to say the mealtime prayer. It’s gotten to the point where I have to keep track of who said it last. If Caleb says the prayer at breakfast, then Ben says it at lunch, Caleb says it again at dinner, which means that Ben gets to say the prayer twice the next day. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I would just say the prayer myself, but I might end up praying that God turns my children into mutes, which probably isn’t a good thing to petition God for.

The prayer itself is pretty basic. In fact, the boys don’t waver in their address to the Lord Almighty at all. It goes like this:

Dear God. Thank you for this day. Help us to get a good sleep. Bless this food to our bodies. Help G__ the Bear to get better. Amen.

(G__ the Bear is really just G__. He is John’s best friend from college, and is currently tussling with cancer. We attribute all of the success of his treatments directly to the many prayers the boys have offered up on his behalf.) Why G__ the Bear? Before his chemo treatments, G__ had a sizeable beard (think Civil War general) that made him appear, well, bear-like to the boys.

I have no idea how sleeping got incorporated into the mealtime prayer. Whatever.

Things go downhill from there. Sometime I will tell the extremely sad and somewhat horrific story of the night I served Tilapia.

Caleb, a budding Christian fundamentalist wack-a-doo, is that kid in Sunday School who raises his hand after every question and answers… “Jesus?”

He is also (and this may seem odd) an ardent fan of Barack Obama. He voted for him in his elementary school’s presidential election. He gets giddy if he sees the president on television or on the cover of a magazine. He is a bit star-struck, the same way he is about Spikes, the mascot of the Rochester Red Wings baseball team.

He is, I believe, a little flummoxed that his own father voted for the other guy. Here is a conversation they had earlier this evening:

Caleb: Why didn’t you vote for Barack Obama?

John: I didn’t think he was the best candidate.

Caleb: You voted for McCain?

John: Yup.

Caleb: You thought he was the best guy?

John: I didn’t think he was the best guy. The re-animated corpse of Ronald Reagan would have been better than McCain. But I thought he was better than the other guy.

---pause… Caleb is thinking…pause---

Caleb: God is the best guy.

John: Well, God can’t be president. He isn’t a natural born citizen of the United States.

And I end it there. And now you know that this is a blog you can turn to for your daily dose of religion and politics.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer in July. Go figure.

Summer came today. I know this for sure because

Ben's hair got all curly in the heat and humidity.

Look at those curls, man. Ka-boing!

Daniel went shirtless. Boo-ya.

Ella got really messy outdoors instead of indoors.

What a ham.

Well, Caleb's obsessed with baseball all the time, so I guess that's not really a sign of summer.

My passport came in the mail today. We just booked our cruise. We are leaving August 22 from New Orleans to a couple of spots in Mexico and then back to New Orleans again. I'm totally pumped. I plan to eat, sleep, read, eat, swim, and terrorize Mexican natives. It's going to be totally sweet and awesome.

I've never been on a cruise. As with anything, I have some anxiety. This will be the longest I've been away from Ben and the twins. John surely won't have fun on our anniversary adventure if I'm in our small cabin sobbing with snot coming out of my nose just because I miss Ella's little voice, Daniel's chubby hands, Ben's sparkly eyes, and Caleb's infectious smile.

My other three anxieties are almost as concerning. Don't get me wrong, I meant what I said... I'm looking forward to this trip, but WHAT IF:

1. I get seasick. This is obviously a valid concern considering very recent events you may have read about. In my life, I have puked in a car, a train, and now a plane. I have barfed in each component of the transportation trifecta. It only makes sense that a big boat will be next. Put me in a helicopter and we may have a world record.

2. We would like to take time to explore New Orleans after the cruise is over. The question is: where do we put our luggage while we wander about the city? This conundrum is already plaguing my mind. I'm going to want to tour those crazy New Orleans cemeteries and eat jambalaya in the French Quarter, but my suitcase is going to be anchoring me down in one, probably boring, location.

3. Two words: rogue waves. I know, I know. These monster waves are only supposed to occur far out in the ocean. Let's just say I have my own theories about the disappearance of ships in the Bermuda Triangle. I should never watch nautical movies. They freak me out.

I won't even get into the sharks that will be probably be stalking the ship. You might think me paranoid or something.

It will be good for John and I to get away. I recommend it to any couple inundated with children. It will be wonderful to be alone for a while. Me, John, and the hundreds of other people on the cruise ship.

I heard there will be shrimp cocktail on board. I end on that happy note.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Went to NYC, did NOT Eat Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Warning: This post contains lots of audible sighing.

I spent this weekend in a magical island with my girlfriends. They call this island “Manhattan.” It is shiny and has a lot of Gap clothing stores.

I got home last night around 7:00. When I came home, there was a tent in my living room. I’m too tired to even go into this right now. Let’s just say that Daniel jumped on the tent this morning and now it’s not looking so hot.

I had a great weekend. My bff’s from high school and I hit every conceivable part of Manhattan and some of Brooklyn in three days. Christine lives on the Upper East Side, right around the corner from Sotheby’s auction house. She also lives directly across the street from the apartment building that the Yankee baseball player crashed into via airplane. (Not a fan of air travel these days, myself.) That incident certainly gave a new definition to the term “THE YANKEES ARE COMING.”

I learned a lot this weekend about Manhattan and Manhattanite sensibilities. Like an anthropologist, I scrutinized their culture so that I could fit in like a chameleon. This attempt failed when at every corner I whipped out my camera inevitably labeling myself “tourist” with a capital T.

Anywho, I learned what is NOT acceptable in Manhattan. VPL’ s (visible panty lines) are NOT acceptable. Sitting at the front of the bus if you are not elderly is definitely NOT acceptable. Wearing or carrying any Red Sox related paraphernalia is NOT acceptable. Sending your child to a public school is NOT acceptable.

Surprisingly, many things ARE acceptable. Allowing your dog to doo-doo on the pavement IS acceptable, so long as you pick up the excrement with a baggy. Plastic surgery IS perfectly acceptable. Parasols are acceptable, as are wide-brimmed hats. Having a nanny is acceptable. Saying the f-word in regular conversation in front of children IS acceptable. Being rude to customers in your place of work IS perfectly acceptable. Jaywalking IS acceptable. VBS (visible bra straps) ARE acceptable. Texting while walking down the street is not only acceptable, it is expected.

Lydia and I flew into La Guardia Friday morning and spent the early part of the day meandering around the Upper East Side of Manhattan in search of Sephora. Not so hard to find a Sephora, actually, as they like Starbucks are on every other street corner. We ate at a small diner. I was pretty sure we were breakfasting right next to M. Night Shyalaman. Later, I looked M. Night Shyalaman up on the internet, and the Indian man I was dining next to didn’t really look like him at all. I’m not sure what this says about me. Star crazy, delusional, or racist?

We picked Christine up at work and soon learned that New Yorkers are exceptionally fast walkers. As Chrissy stated, “I am my own means of transportation. The faster I go, the faster I get from point a to point b.” Whatever. She was like a bunny rabbit… we emerged from the bus and… boing boing boing she bounced across the street, disappearing into the crowd while we stood on tiptoes to find her.

Occasionally, Christine took us into these underground caves where we had to fight through slimy, smelly goblin like creatures. Then, an enormous LOUD monster came quickly and suddenly from a deep, dark tunnel. The most amazing thing happened. Christine held up her arms and said “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Guess what? The monster did not pass. It stopped and amazingly allowed us to get on it and ride it to Union Square.

They called this monster “the subway.” Freaky.

Union Square was full of people perusing an outdoor marketplace full of fruits, vegetables, art, and grass-fed meat. Yay for grass-fed meat! (Do you know if YOUR meat is grass fed? I doubt mine is either.) We took a short jaunt to a wondrous bookstore called The Strand where there were books galore: new, used, antique, etc. What a wondrous place, this Strand bookstore. A happy place with happy book people. Sigh.

On Saturday, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. The BB, as I like to call it. There were two sides on the BB path: one for walkers and one for bikers. The question of the hour was: if you’re a biker but you are WALKING your bike across the bridge, which side do you belong on? I would like a New York official to respond to that.

We went over to Brooklyn where we saw FIVE different brides having their pictures taken by the river, with the BB in the background. How weird would it be to see other brides on your big day? The men in their tuxedoes looked hot. It was hot out. So we dipped out feet in a children’s spray fountain and got ice cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. I ate a lot of fattening food this weekend. I left my key-lime with graham cracker gelato in Christine’s fridge, which I expect to still be there the next time I go to visit.

That night, we went to Cru, the high-end restaurant where Christine’s husband Scott is the executive chef. I ate caviar, fois gras, truffles and drank lots of bubbly in one sitting. We had charming conversation with the bartender, Carlos, who lives in New Jersey with his dog who enjoys eating birds. The dog, not Carlos. It IS acceptable to talk about your dog’s strange eating habits while nibbling on raw tuna in Manhattan.

Yesterday, we popped down the Fifth Avenue, MET area, and went to FAO Schwartz, where I danced on the Big Piano like Tom Hanks did in BIG. I played “The Entertainer” with my feet and the guy working there said it was the BEST anyone had every played that piano in 20 YEARS and would I consider working there FULL TIME. I told him music was my life, but I could not forsake my family to work as a foot pianist at FAO Schwartz. He was crushed.

This is what really happened. I was so much fun playing the Big Piano that the guy moderating the line to get on had to threaten to clomp me on the head to get me off so the little children behind me could have a turn. In my indignation, I left my shopping bag on top of the shoe cubbies (you must play the Big Piano with bare feet) and we had to return for it later.

The weekend flew by fast, and speaking of flying...

The plane was a small commuter plane. There was a large storm. At one point, the plane dropped several thousand feet. The flight attendant looked visibly nervous.

Someone on the plane puked TWICE. Thankfully, she threw up into bags. The man next to her was very kind and not even grossed out. Her friend and loyal companion was very comforting. Nevertheless, the girl was humiliated. She waited to see if anyone else had an upset stomach, but everyone else, though shaken, could not be stirred.

That person, of course, was my friend Lydia.

Sigh… it was me.

My upset stomach put a bit of a damper on the reunion with my family. I handed my kids their presents and ran upstairs to change and wash up. I had chicken soup for dinner. I still feel gross. I think I left part of my stomach somewhere high above Syracuse.

Did the kids miss me? I couldn’t tell you. Doubt it. When I was talking to Caleb on the cell phone while walking in Manhattan, he informed me that “something bad had happened.”

“What, baby?” I asked, seriously concerned.

“My marigolds I gave you are dead.” Pause. “They are all dried up.” Pause. “Did you remember to water them yesterday?”

Did I remember to water them yesterday. Did I remember to water them ever.

I replied with this: “Did you know mommy is going to bring you home a special treat?”

Some pics not in chronological order at all.

The view from Christine's apartment is NICE and all, but nothing to get really jealous over. (sigh)

Good friends and good bubbly.

Left out the pic where I did a full split. NOT.

This picture should confirm what you already suspected.

My Manhattan lover.

I want to go to there.

View from Brooklyn Bridge.


I am wearing $3.00 sunglasses I bought on the street earlier that day.

Random building.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even if it's not eaten at Tiffany's.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Covert Operations Behind the Termination of Multiple Fruit Flies

Thanks to stat counter, I can see keyword searches that tell me how random people get to my site. I have been incredibly amused at the number of people who google the words "killing crows." Ahhh... the disappointment they must feel when they get to this site and there is no expert advice about how to be rid of those beastly menaces. (In Suburbia, I believe it is frowned upon to run around your yard with a BB gun in broad daylight gun shooting crows. I don't know why.)

Lately, I've been battling fruit flies. Leave one rotten banana on the counter and you've got a sudden, spontaneous infestation. (Where do they come from? One of the world's greatest mysteries. ) I've been leaving little traps all over the kitchen for them. If you've stumbled upon my blog in search if ways to be rid of the fruit flies in your house, here is my best advice. If you have kids (the more the better for this particular project) enlist them in running about the kitchen slapping the fruit flies to their untimely deaths. Make it a game complete with prizes. For instance, whoever racks up the greatest fruit fly death toll gets extra dessert.

I've also put red wine in bowls, luring the fruit to their death by drowning. I think drowning in red wine is not a terrible way to go? I got this idea from Wikipedia.

It is recommended that you clean your entire kitchen and under your stove and refrigerator to get rid of food bits that might be lodged there. That would help me quite a bit until tomorrow at breakfast.

Wikipedia also said that fruit flies despise honey and that I should take honey and detergent and spray it around the perimeter of my house, to which I wonder... won't that attract bears and bees and ants? (I'm especially concerned about bears. I KNOW how much bears like honey. I read that book by environmentalist A.A. Milne.)

Then, there's the whole explaining to the neighbors, WHO ARE ALWAYS OUTSIDE, what I am doing. I may as well put a big sign on myself saying "I am a gross person who cannot maintain a level of cleanliness that keeps away bugs. Please judge me."

I have to go now. It's time to mush up a banana and stick in a cup and put saran wrap over it. Then I shall poke numerous holes in said saran wrap. The flies will get in, but won't be able to get out. Tonight I'm a diabolical killer engaged in multiple first-degree murder plots.

Be thankful a BB gun have I not.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The One Thing I Do Better than James Bond

Do not watch Mamma Mia the movie. If you have already, then you understand the horrible trauma I have endured.

Let me first say that I am pro-musical. I love musicals! John and I nearly broke up because of his disdain for singing gangsters in Westside Story. (This is a very true, sad story.) I even love goofy musicals where the plot makes no sense. Top Hat with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is one of my favorite movies of all time! I remember showing it to a girlfriend in high school, and she was disgusted. "The stupidest movie I've ever seen," she balked.

Yes, it's stupid! Of course it's stupid! One doesn't watch a musical or even see a musical for the plot. One watches it for the production: the great music, the costumes, the dancing.

(And I protest. Though the plotline of Top Hat is indeed ridiculous, it had some incredibly witty dialogue.)

If you want to see a movie where Meryl Streep, who has a sub-par voice at best, jumps around like a looney-bird in overalls for an hour and a half straight, this is the movie for you.

Meryl Streep: looney-bird

I am not ashamed to admit that I love ABBA. I even like musicals written by ABBA members. (Yay Chess!!!) It is a TRAVESTY that Pierce Brosnan gets to sing SOS while I sit on my butt at home in a jealous, resentful rage.

And let me just tell you that James Bond didn't have to use fancy gadgets and weapons to get rid of his enemies. He could have just burst out in song. No one within a 50-mile radius would stick
around to listen to this man's nasal crooning.

And Colin Firth, my beloved Colin Firth... WHY WHY WHY WHY?

I didn't watch the whole movie. I fast-forwarded through most of it. It gave me a migraine.

On the home-front, I'm about to tuck my two older boys into bed. Every night is a production, as I'm sure it is in your house it you have small children. I just witnessed Ben dragging his mesh vinyl play hut up the stairs to his room. Why, in God's name, does he want to sleep with his next to his bed? .

I just asked him, and the answer is that his stuffed animals want their OWN house to sleep in. He also insists that the play hut will make sure his animals don't get lost in the night.

"I will twap them in there," he says, ominously.

Caleb has a stuffed pig entourage. Included are Piggy, Wilbur, Oinky, Curly, and Earl.

Daniel has a blue goggy. He also takes to bed whatever toys he has been playing with throughout the day. At first, I didn't allow this, because he was likely to chuck said toys into Ella's crib, subsequently injuring or waking her (or both.) He has since learned. He lines his toys up neatly on one side of his crib, curls up with the blue goggy, and pulls his fuzzy blanket over his head. (That used to scare me somewhat, but I'm used to this behavior now. Somehow, he continues to breathe.)

Ella doesn't require anything specific. She does, however, like a book to read before drifting to sleep. Her favorite was, as I mentioned in a previous post, Where is Baby's Bellybutton? These days, her favorite book is entitled Anna Karenina. Really!

After everyone is tucked in, I must pray with them and then sing Jesus Loves Me. I thought singing Jesus Loves Me would be a lovely ritual that would help calm them and lull them to sleep. I have probably, at this point, sung Jesus Loves me over 500 times. It's gotten to the point where I sing it different way each night: Jesus Loves Me the opera piece , Jesus Loves Me the rap version, Jesus Loves Me with scat, Jesus Loves Me the dirge: no matter how I sing it, I will tell you this:

It sounds 1000 times better than Pierce Brosnan does singing anything.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Receptionists, Cavities, and Banter Busters

Several weeks ago, I took all four kids to the dentist for their annual cleaning. That was the day I discovered that my two-year old daughter, Ella, has great promise as a future office administrator. She has many of the attributes that make for a great office manager or receptionist. She feels quite at home with phones and computers behind a large desk. She is social. (If only she could talk! We’re still working on that.) She is helpful. (She is always right there to lend me a hand when Daniel needs to be cleaned. What I mean is she tries her darndest to wipe his butt herself. His poopy butt. It would be cute if it wasn’t so disgusting.) She’s great with phones. (Talking issue aside.) She is friendly. (To a fault.)

When we walked into the dentist’s office, you would have thought she was on her way to work. She marched, her little arms swinging with purpose, right up to and then behind the receptionist’s desk where she was inevitably picked up and allowed to write reports on the computer, scribble messages on an incisor-shaped notepad, calculate expenses on the calculator, and babble importantly on the phone.

(Sometimes she confuses calculators with the phones. I’m sure this is something that will be worked out when she goes to business school.)

That was also the day I found out Caleb had more than one cavity in his six-year old mouth. I’m not going to say HOW many cavities. I’m pretty open about stuff, but I won’t go there. I will say that they were all baby teeth.

When the dentist informs a mom her young child has a cavity, the mom immediately feels a sense of responsibility and subsequent guilt. I think my reaction is common of any mother’s reaction to this type of situation. I went through three emotional responses after I heard the devastating news:

1) I got defensive.

“He brushes his teeth at least twice a day! Sometimes more! He doesn’t drink juice, and when he does, I dilute it. A lot. Like ¼th juice to ¾’s water. And it’s 100% juice, too. Without added sugar.

I have soft teeth. See?” (I open my mouth and show the bemused pediatric dentist my fillings.) “It’s genetic. Completely genetic.

And I’ve got four kids, y'know. I mean, I don’t have time to supervise every brushing.”

2) I expressed guilt and remorse.

“He eats fruit roll-ups! I should never buy fruit roll-ups. And he doesn’t use a battery-operated toothbrush! I will buy them in bulk from now on. Should we be using a mouth rinse? I’m so, so sorry this happened. I take full responsibility. I can’t believe I allowed this to happen! What kind of a mother am I? I am the crappiest mother in the world. I will do better. I promise to do better. I will go to dental school. Is that a good idea, do you think? I’ll do whatever you tell me.”

3) I got anxious.

“How much is this going to cost?”

None of the other kids had cavities. I am not a complete failure.

Today, Caleb had his first cavity filled. (This is going to be a summer-long project.) I went in with him where I desired to sit in the corner immersed in my book so I would not have to hear the drilling.

I have to say that certain people need to recognize particular social signals. If you try and engage someone in conversation by asking a question, there are obvious signs that tell if they want to talk to you, too. If they put their book down, have a big smile on their face and speak more than one sentence in reply, you’ve got the start of a potential tête-à-tête. If that person glances up from their book, gives you a one-word response and then puts their head back down again, you have run into a banter buster and should abort the conversation mission immediately.

Needless to say, I was dragged into inane conversation where I was forced to look in Caleb’s direction and witness spittle and teeth bits flying from his mouth.

Caleb was stoic. Not one complaint. He was still as a corpse. After his last visit to the dentist, he picked vampire teeth from the treat box. Today he chose a bird whistle.

There was never any little boy, mouth full of cavities or not, more deserving of vampire teeth and bird whistles.

Bird whistles are loud, though, are they not?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pure Gold: One Wife Disguises her Pride by Raving Like a Lunatic

If you are a Roberts Wesleyan College alumnus, you may have heard that my husband was selected as this year's G.O.L.D. recipient. G.O.L.D. stands for "Graduate of the Last Decade" not "Grand Opening Looks Day," or "Global Organization for Lysososmal Disease." When John first informed me of this award, I immediately asked if there was a cash prize, because I am shallow like that.

Guess what? There isn't! You'd think the G.O.L.D. award with come with some shiny stuff, too.

So, I put the whole thing out of my head. But people keep asking me and John about it. He keeps getting congratulated and stuff! At first I was proud, but sheesh... John's already largish potato head is getting even bigger.

So here's what's been perculating in my small brain. As the supportive wife behind the "Graduate of the Last Decade," the one who bore his four children (one of the twins was breach, btw) and who supported him financially through law school, I am putting myself forth as a candidate for next year's G.O.L.D. award. I feel strongly about this. If I am not selected to be the G.O.L.D. recipient for the class of 2000, there is going to a huge fallout. It could get ugly. I might do something unspeakable if not selected... like write about it on my blog. So watch out, people. Watch out.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Domain, Same Crazy Lady

I will come forth and just tell you that I KNOW the domain was, well, horrible. Long. Clunky. Confusing. Insurmountable. Unwieldy.

Don't you just love adjectives? If you want to add your own adjective to describe my former domain name, I won't be the slightest bit offended. Really.

I have fixed this problem! I shelled out $10 to get my website domain name changed to the easy to remember and quite adorable Dot net is the up and coming dot com, I'll have you know.

Of course I wanted It was taken someone who appears to be some sort of interior decorater or House Beautiful fan. I will tell you, though, that if you desire the answer to the burning question What does George Stephanopolous's living room look like? (a question I have had for years and years now) you need to check out

However, if you enjoy the occasional tidbit about the life of a shy, neurotic housewife who dreams of someday singing the national anthem at a professional sports game, is the spot for you.

I'm also on Twitter, now, though I don't quite get it. It's all the rage, twitter. Anyway, you can follow me, if you so desire. Look to the right. There I am, all twitterpated.

Blogger will still direct you to Holly Goes Lightly if you feel attached to the old domain name. Me? I'm so over it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Musings (musings?) on the death of a pop star

So many people have written to me begging me for my opinion about Michael Jackson and his tragic demise that I felt I should appease their curiosity.

That statement was a blatant lie, by the way.

Two days before Michael Jackson died, Ella and I were singing "Man in the Mirror" (which was playing on the PA) in the children's department at K-Mart.

If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change, yey
Na na na, na na na, na na na no

This is a true story. So, as you can imagine, his death has floored me, left me bereft, confused, and struggling with my own mortality.

Another blatant lie. It was an odd coincidence, however.

(Michael- methinks you took your own lyrics a bit too seriously and literally. The "changing" parts, I mean. I mean in regards to the way you butchered your own face.)

I was satisfying my own curiosity today googling the results of Jackson's autopsy on the internet. The man, at his death, weighed 115 pounds and his stomach was completely empty except for pills. He had scars and needle wounds all over his body.

If he hadn't died, he would've made an excellent candidate to play the part of a zombie in the future "thriller" Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I don't mean to be trite. The whole thing is sad, has been sad for a long time. I do say this, however. This was a man who lied in front of millions of people (just like I did at the beginning of this post! Minus the millions of people bit) about never getting plastic surgery. Did he genuinely believe that we would believe his nose and cheekbones became like that naturally?

If he lied about that, with no qualms, why should we have believed him when he said he never behaved inappropriately around the dozens of boys who stayed at his ranch?

For a moment, I would like to hearken back to the days of my youth, when I was a small fry at the elementary school #37 in the city of Rochester. At my school, there was a store, run by much older and wiser fifth graders, that sold supplies: pencils and what not. For a couple of years, all of my notepads donned the face of Jackson. The young, extremely popular, black Michael Jackson.

Weird how culture permeates our lives and infiltrates our memories whether we want it to or not. Jackson, to me, will always be associated with 2nd grade mathematics.

Those are my limited thoughts on that subject.

When John heard about Michael Jackson's death, by the way, he too expressed his morose, stating, "It's always sad when an elderly white woman dies."

Also, you will notice that I used the word "musings" in the title of my post. I think every blogger should use the word "musings" at least ONCE. Now that I've done it, hopefully I won't feel the need to do it again.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Heartwarming Independence Day Story from the Great State of New York

(Warning: in this blog post, Holly attempts to talk politics. She promises this won’t happen often... only when there are such wonderful, heartwarming politically-based stories to share with you.)

Ludicrous! Absurd! Ridiculous! Wildly entertaining! All of these words are indicative of the fascination I have with the current state of the New York State Senate.

The New York State Republicans and Democrats are more antagonistic toward one another than the Cryps are with the Bloods. Seriously. They won’t even convene together in the Senate chambers.

This whole debacle started when dodo-head Senator Pedro Espada and jerk-face Senator Hiram Monserrate defected from the asses to join up with the fat elephants. The Senate shifted; the Democrats lost control. The Republicans voted Espada to be the head of Senate. Because our goofy state has no successor for governor after lieutenant governor (remember Spitzer? Our once governor who was busted for visiting high-end prostitutes?), Espada is next in line to lead the state if something should happen to poor Paterson.

Then, jerk-face Monserrate, in a brazen move, went back to the Democrats. Since that day, the Senate has remained in a 31-31 stalemate.

Because of these events, the asses and fat elephants are in an amusing, though damaging power struggle that threatens the whole of the state. They absolutely refuse to meet together to resolve their differences.

The Democrats have been camping out in Senate chambers while the GOP meets elsewhere in the Capitol building. Things got especially complicated this past week when Senator Padavan (R) decided to take a shortcut through Senate chambers to get a coca-cola from the members lounge. The Democrats decided that his traipsing through their meeting constituted a quorum and began spontaneously passing all sorts of legislation.

The governor, poor soul, has refused to sign any of these bills, pissing off the Democrats royally.

Padavan is quite upset that he was counted as the 32nd vote. Apparently, he doesn’t remember voting. He says, and I quote, “I was just thirsty!”

Senator Craig Johnson, a democrat from Nassau county, says that it doesn’t matter whether Padavan was passing through the chambers for a “V-8, a Coca-Cola or a cup of coffee, a 37-year veteran … walked in.”

Poor Paterson… since the initial coup in early June, he has confined himself inside the state of New York. (I empathise. I, too, have petulant tyrants in my life who form coups often. Sometimes, I am quarantined to just my house! The difference, of course, is that my captors are very small children, not full-grown men and women.)

And then a twist in our story… Happy 4th of JULY!!!! The crown of the Statue of Liberty has been re-opened! Yippee! (She has been closed since September 11th, 2001 understandably.)

(This blogger does not know why anyone would bother to climb up to the top of Lady Libby, a tiny space where you can peer out of pigeon-poop, dirt encrusted windows. Yet, people seem excited about again being able to make the climb. It’s symbolic or some such thing. Whatever.)

The governor of the Empire state wanted to be there. Of course he did! He wanted to cut the ribbon. Wouldn’t you if you were governor? What a photo-op!

Problem: if Paterson should leave the state on route to Liberty Island, he would leave control of the state in the hands of someone even more incompetent than he: Pedro Espada. And Espada, who has already proven to be a shady character, would have most certainly taken the opportunity to further exacerbate the Senate stalemate.

No one was quite sure if Liberty Island was in New York State waters or New Jersey waters. Even if Liberty Island proved to be in New York State waters, Paterson would have to be very careful that while on route to the island, his boat did not pass into New Jersey waters. If Paterson had ended up in New Jersey, we certainly know what the Republicans would have said when taking control of the state:

“It doesn’t matter of the governor was going to the statue for a V-8, a coca-cola…”

Paterson took a long, roundabout way to Manhattan, making sure his vehicle and boat did not once cross the state border.

The statue, you will be relieved to know, appeared to be in New York State, so Paterson was able to attend the ceremony. Consequently, Mayor Bloomberg was NOT the center of attention. Bummer for him.

I really think this is one of the most beautiful Independence Day stories I have ever heard.

THIS is certainly what our forefathers had in mind when they signed the Declaration of
Independence… that one day, on a future anniversary of the signing, the governor of one of the original states would NOT be able to venture into another original state, for fear of ANOTHER state coup.

And no, my Southern friends, I refuse to move south. I would hate to miss out on the circus that is New York State politics.

Frank Capra could not have made this stuff up.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Urban Muse Oops

I would just like to say that for the record that my link to Urban Muse was not meant to go to Urban, but Urban Muse I'm sure that if you need holistic counseling and a sustainable wellness plan, the Urban Muse Spa in Morris County, New Jersey, is the place to go; however, I myself have actually never been there. Although I love that they call "sugar addiction," "chronic fatigue," and 'stones" imbalances in your whole being, I am happy to deal with my own imbalances in my own way without holistic counseling and therefore I respectfully rescind my link. The proper one has been installed.

This just goes to show you that you should CHECK your links after you publish them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Will Write for Cruise

I started "writing for money" in February, I think. I haven't made all that much money, really. But like any other home business, it takes time to gather clients, form a good reputation, get things together. The great thing about freelance writing is that there's really little to no overhead cost. It just all takes a lot of time. I find myself doing 25% writing and 75% searching for jobs that fit my qualifications, networking, waiting for websites to boot up.

A lot of time is wasted waiting on slow websites.

A new problem has arisen! Two of my clients have dropped off the face of the earth! I don't know the protocol for this... how long before I flip out and send the marines after them? I don't mean to sounds stingy and all, but I want my money, man. There was talk of a cruise for our ten-year wedding anniversary. A cruise! With a big boat! And salty waves! And shrimp cocktail!

I wanted to contribute in my own small way.

This is my first annoyance this past week. The second is the fact that my oldest child is not getting enough sleep.

He finds excuses to stay up late. He worries about things in bed. Sometimes I hear him giggling at ten o'clock at night. I run up to see what the commotion is all about... he states that he just told himself a funny joke. Then he tells me the funny joke. Guess what? It wasn't really that funny.

I know he's overtired because I know how I act when I'm overtired, and Caleb acts the same way. Here's is a conversation with Holly when she is sleep-deprived:

John: Hey baby, what's for dinner?

Holly: (Dissolves in tears) DINNER??? I didn't make dinner! Why are you putting all this PRESSURE on me? You just... just (sniffle)... just make dinner for yourself. (Sob. Gets quiet.) (softly) and could you make me some too?

Here is a conversation I had with Caleb yesterday upon returning from the drugstore:

Holly: Did you see the rainbow? It was a full, gorgeous rainbow across the sky.

Caleb: (Dissolves into tears.) I didn't see the rainbow(Sob)...I never saw a rainbow (gulp) before... I wanted to see a rainbow sooo bad(Choking sob)... I WILL NEVER SEE A RAINBOW EVER NOW!

One should not get that upset about not seeing a rainbow. One might be described as "overtired" or "overwrought" or an "emotional wreck" when one behaves in such a manner.

I'd love to know how to get him to sleep at night. I'm afraid he's prone to anxiety like his mama... but he's only six! Was I anxious when I was six?

Thankfully, after Caleb's breakdown the sun broke through the rainclouds and another rainbow bloomed across the sky. It was so clear, you could see each distinct color. (Roy G. Biv in the full monty.) It was a complete rainbow, a magnificent arch. Another, lighter rainbow appeared above the first, and Caleb got to see it. He saw it all. Now he can put down "saw a double rainbow" on his list of amazing things he's experienced...