House of Zathras

Zathras understand. .. No. Zathras not understand, but Zathras do. Zathras good at doings, not understandings.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stay on target....

I normally don't shop at Target for two reasons: 1) It's out of the way. and 2) It's owned by the French. But I have found a reason to like Target ---- Market Pantry milk. A couple of weeks ago, Princess No begged me to go to Target. She had received a gift card for there. So, we went. While I was there, I figured I'd might as well pick up a couple gallons of milk. (We go through about a gallon a day...at 3 bucks a gallon, that's $90 bucks a month on milk!!! We need a friggin' cow in the backyard.) We get home, and I decide to have a bedtime snack of milk and cookies. With the Target milk. I took a swig, and immediately made a face. Maybe it's the frenchiness of it, but it didn't. taste. right. It wasn't necessarily bad, like it was spoilt or anything, but it just didn't. taste. right. Sort of like it was some kind of flavored milk. I figured that jug was bad, and got rid of it. We opened the next jug. Same. Weird. Taste. But I wasn't going to throw it away, since it wasn't 'bad'. I wasn't going to waste any more money. Well, I had decided that I wouldn't buy anymore sissified milk. Until I realized something. The jug of milk lasted more than a day. It lasted almost THREE DAYS!! I didn't think milk could stay fresh that long, lol. The kids would tolerate it on their cereal, but wouldn't swig it like water when they were thirsty. I could cut my milk costs in half or more!!! Happy days are here again!!! I just wish I didn't have to be grateful to the French about this.

In the good old days...

Today in Mrs_Who's class we were talking about the setting of an old Russian folktale, "The Enormous Turnip". The students got the part about it being in a garden or a farm. They even understood it didn't happen recently, based on the traditional peasant clothing in the illustrations. When I asked them how long ago, one boy raised his hand and said, "You know, a long, long time ago. In the good old days. In the 19..., 19...." he paused for a second, thinking of a time that would mean long ago. Then he sat up straight, and proudly said, "I know. In the 1960s." I am now officially old...part of the 'good old days'. Dammit.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Things that make you go hmm...

Today I was driving home with Princess No. She was telling me about her day at school. Her class has two math groups. One for more advanced math (algebra prep) which she is in, and one for 'regular' math. She made an observation today. "You know, Mom, most of the kids in the algebra group have parents who voted for President Bush. And the kids in the other group have parents who voted for Kerry." Hmm...advanced group - Bush. Regular group - Kerry. ************************************************************************************* Other things that make you go hmmm.... 1.   What was the best thing before sliced bread? 2.   Why do they put Braille on the drive through bank machines? 3.   What are Preparation A through Preparation G? 4.   In a country of free speech, why are there phone bills? 5.   How come there aren't B batteries? 6.   How do "Do not walk on the grass" signs get there? 7.   If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting? 8.   If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular? 9.   If I melt dry ice, can I take a bath without getting wet? 10.   Crime doesn't pay...does that mean that my job is a crime? 11.   How do you know that honesty is the best policy until you have tried some of the others? 12.   How do you throw away a garbage can? 13.   How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings? 14.   If you're in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights? 15.   Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes? 16.   Why do tourists go to the tops of tall buildings and then put money into telescopes so they can see things on the ground close-up? 17.   Why is it that night falls but day breaks? 18.   Why is it that you must wait until night to call it a day? 19.   What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sequel: When should you use a coupon...

...and when do you risk taking your life in your hands? I've already had words with Mrs_Who about her chasing-down strangers... You never know when you're going to encounter a stark-raving nutball! Case in point: I recall an event that occurred one Fourth of July weekend about ten years ago in the checkout line at the Schillinger Road Delchamps grocery store in Mobile, Alabama. The seemingly harmless decision to use a daggum coupon turned potentially deadly. (Or at the very least, it was a dramatic and succinct lesson on the many varied uses of what is arguably the most versatile word in the english language...) Of course being a repatriated Southerner and Alabama resident, and also being that it was the Fourth of July Weekend, local laws dictate that we barbeque. However, we discovered that our supplies were limited, so I escorted MamaBear to the store to resupply an essential main ingredient: barbeque sauce. MamaBear and I are a deadly shopping team - we either get in/out with exactly what we want in a precision-strike, or we hone-in and study the quarry in tremendous detail, utilizing every available intel to find what invariably turns out to be the most expensive item in the establishment. Today's was a rapid-strike manoeuver: Two bottles sauce... In. Out. Return to base pronto. So there we were in the checkout line with two bottles of barbecue sauce at about $1.35 each. I had entered line first with MamaBear behind me. Behind her were two "trucker" looking characters with... what else? Beer and cigarettes. The checker finalizes her transaction with the folks ahead of us and swipes our two bottles. "Wait!" Checker-girl says, "I'm pretty sure these are on sale." "Oh really?" replies MamaBear, "Great!" I roll my eyes. "Yeah, there's a coupon in here somewhere..." says Checker-girl as she grabs the top copy of a multi-page four-color newspaper insert off a five-inch stack of adverts at the end of her checkout lane. I stand there, bored and impatient, looking about the store. You see, I hate using coupons, and I flat refuse to pay for anything with a handful of loose change. (Maybe I should have added that to my "5 Weird Things" post!) So Checker-girl and MamaBear are looking through what appears to be about an eight-page advertisement. "Here it is! Sixty cents, limit two!" MamaBear shoves the advertisement into my hands. "Here - tear it out while I get change from my purse." I roll my eyes and release a sigh of exasperation. Now we're using coupons and loose change... Ugh! I start to tear around the coupon while Checker-girl rings-up the total. After coupon and tax, it's all of about $1.68 total. MamaBear hands change to Checker-girl. Checker-girl looks to me expectantly. I don't know how many of you have tried to tear newspaper stock - let alone while standing in a checkout line with a cashier and a line of people all waiting on you. Fold it, crease it... doesn't matter. Newspaper doesn't tear in a straight line. Ever. In fact, it is certainly governed by Murphy's law, which dictates that it will tear in precisely any direction except the one you want. So naturally, it tore right through the middle of the damned coupon. "That's okay," says Checker-girl. "Just tear wider 'round it." "Okay, I'm getting it." Damn, I was just minding my own business, and suddenly I'm put to task tearing apart newspaper like a preschooler with a first art project. And in front of an impatient audience to boot. Until that moment, however, I didn't realize how impatient... "Who uses a F#$%ING COUPON for a F#$%ING TWO DOLLAR SALE??!!" Trucker #1 is glaring at me, red-faced and seething. I could see his point. In fact, I agree with him completely. I hesitated, making eye-contact with him. Oops... My bad. Up twenty decibels from the former, Trucker#1 howled so that everyone could hear, "I SAID, WHAT F#$%ING KIND OF A F#$%ING F#$% USES A F#$%ING COUPON FOR TWO F#$%ING DOLLARS WORTH OF F#$%ING SH*T???!!!!" Wow. I couldn't help but think to myself, 'How many F#$%s were in that sentence?' I was shocked. Was that a question that demanded an answer? He seemed to think so. Realizing this guy was just a little less stable than a crystallized, sweating stick of TNT, I said to MamaBear, "Just pay the difference and let's get outta here." Checker-girl chimes in, "I already rung it up with the coupon. I need the coupon for the register." She holds out her hand, impatiently now, her eyes darting sideways to the trucker and back to the coupon in my hands. Oh. F-ing. Great. Now Trucker#1 really freaks out. He bellows a string of expletives at me. Why? Because I'm holding the damned advertisement with the bifurcated coupon still firmly-attached. Spit is flinging from the corners of his mouth as he screams at me, and I'm. Just. Stunned. Really stunned. In fact, so stunned I was basically frozen-in-place. I've never seen anyone go from Zero-to-Berserk in so quick a flash. It was part horror, part wonder, and complete blood-chilling, immediate realization that this was about to turn physical any nanosecond. It was at that precise moment that I realized how useless a pistol permit is when your sidearm is locked in the console of your truck - out in the parking lot. I totally forgot about the coupon in my hand. "What the hell?" (Oh, shit. Was that out loud?) Trucker#1's eyes bugged another half-inch out of his face, which I would have thought impossible just a moment earlier. He lifted up off the floor, leaning his torso forward past MamaBear and knocking her backward into the lane-divider as he attacked the stack of advertisements. With one bashing blow, he sent the whole pile careening thirty feet across the floor, littering the store almost to the entrance. "HERE'S YOUR F#$%ING COUPONS YOU F#$%ING F#$%! I'M GOING TO F#$%ING BASH YOUR F#$%ING HEAD IN AND [something something] THIS STUPID C#$* TOO!" The guy's face was purple and every vein was... Wait. Did he just call my mother the C-word????!!! That sonofabutterhead just knocked my mother against a wall and called her... NO!! NEVER!!!! I saw red. The manager caught me as I lunged forward at Trucker#1, who was now already being held back by Trucker#2. Now Trucker#2 was yelling at me like I started it and threatened to release Trucker#1 to "finish" me. I'm barking at the manager to get the police, and get them NOW. I want to press charges and have this nutcase locked safely away. Manager is telling me to get the hell out of his store before something "happens." Once again (this time internally): What the hell? A flowing barrage of insults, taunts and threats spews at us from the Trucker Twins as the store manager grabs me under the arm, turning me toward the door. MamaBear then appeared at my other arm, and every eye in the place followed me as I was ushered through the bomb-like debris of scattered newsprint to the parking lot. Ten feet outside the door, Manager says, "now don't come back! And he turns to disappear quickly back into the store. What the hell? Was I just banned from Delchamps?? I recap in my mind: I'm standing there minding my own business. A coupon is shoved in my hand. I'm verbally assaulted. I'm threatened and MamaBear is battered. Newspaper is everywhere. Now I'm standing in the Delchamps parking lot, having been thrown out by the manager himself, and I'm not sure if I'm welcome back. Ever. Once again, and this time with feeling: What the hell??! Damn f#$%ing coupons... =HC=

Saturday, October 28, 2006

When should you say something?

And when do you risk taking your life in your hands? I just read this post over at Roses'. It's about telling somebody off who cut in line at McDonald's. She was wondering whether or not she should have said anything to him. I tend to confront people in situations like these (to the embarassment and fear of my family!!!). The other day, I was heading toward the gulf, when I got behind some kind of Mercury Sable station wagon-type vehicle, driven by a young woman with her hair wrapped in two braided bun-thingees on her head. They were obviously heading to the beach, with the back loaded with beach toys. And the back was also loaded with two little girls, no older than five. Without seatbelts. They were just bouncing around, having a good ol' time. I get really pissed off when I see children being endangered. The woman was also cutting in and out of traffic. So I called 9-11 to report it. I followed her until I got caught at a light, but the police dispatch said they were sending someone. So I went on to my shopping. Several hours later, I was headed to church with my kids. And we got behind the SAME woman. Same kids in the back, laying down, obviously tired from their day at the beach. Still no seatbelts. I get really pissed off when I see children being endangered. So I called 9-11 to report it. This time, I followed her to her home. (It's not like I followed her a long way. She turned off the highway while I was talking to the police, and turned into a driveway about three down from the main road.) Police dispatch said they would have to 'catch her in the act', so I told them 'Fine, thank you', and pulled off the road in front of this woman's house. (Eraserhead is in the front passenger seat, muttering, "Please, Mom, No!"). I roll down the window and she comes over to my car. She had a kind of Eastern-European look to her. I told her I was concerned for her kids, that she was putting them at risk, etc. (Of course, I KNOW I had my stern, teacher-face on!) I told her I had called the cops, and I just wanted her kids to be safe. She didn't say much, other than "Yes, I know. Thank you." And then I left for church. So...was I foolish for doing that? Probably. For adults, I'm live and let live. Adults have whatever right to be stupid to themselves. But when kids are involved, something kicks in. I just react. I don't know if it's maternal instinct or the teacher/disciplinarian in me. But these days, you don't know what nuts you can wind up facing in situations like this. But when I was a kid, you could be reprimanded by anyone in the neighborhood if you misbehaved. At the very least, they would drag you home by your ear to face your parents' wrath. Not quite the 'it takes a village' ala Hillary (her village would have everyone sitting around getting in touch with the feelings of the child and why they acted that way and let's all sit around and feel better about ourselves and spread the responsibility around until no one is responsible). No, it was more about making you face the consequences ON YOUR OWN and LEARN responsibility so you don't grow up to be a STUPID adult. Too many adults today are 'Stuck on Stupid' (ala General Honore'...I really like that guy!) Geez, I feel like the Team America/Responsibility Police. I shouldn't care. But I do. Dammit.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

=HC= Gives-in... Again

Okay, okay, okay... Mrs_Who tagged me with this weeks ago (quite unfairly, I might add), and has been after me to post this and other things. So here goes... My "5 Weird Things": 1. I put icecubes in my milk. The kids think it's gross, but hey... it's Nonfat Skim Milk, which is basically just milk-flavored water. You don't have to drink it, I do, and I like it that way! 2. I can't leave the house without showering and being fully-dressed. This includes going to the mailbox. 3. I can't drink beer or wine without getting an instant hangover-like headache. Therefore I drink whiskey, neat or on the rocks. Even then, I'll only have one drink, perhaps two and I'm done for the night. I'm simply not capable of being a heavy drinker. Even if I were to find I'm in the mood to get "plastered" - I can't do it. 4. I name everything. Vehicles, appliances, tools, computer equipment, firearms (of course!)... And I talk to them all too! 5. I'm a Smithsonian-grade exhibit of neruoses that are derived from the fact that I am (or was) a seriously "OCD Neat-Freak" who is now trapped in an undersized house (at least for a family of six) with four seriously messy kids and an overworked spouse. It was easier to just surrender than to try to fight it and stay angry all the time, so now I've become arguably the worst of the bunch - and I HATE IT!! 6. BONUS - I don't think any of these things are weird at all. This post, on the other hand... There you go, Sweetheart. Now please keep your future meme tags to yourself! ;-p =HC=

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Making a Difference

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard about the articles on the celebrities who make a big deal out of driving 'environmentally' friendly cars so they can help 'save the world'. Meantime, they're flying around in private jets, expending who knows how much fuel/exhaust/pollution. And then there's Madonna and others like her who travel halfway around the world to adopt and 'save' a child. These celebrities are all about the focus being on THEM and THEIR accomplishments. A typical 'do as I say because I'm famous and that makes me better than you' Hollywood attitude. I know someone who puts them to shame. Someone who's doing more to 'help the world' and 'save a child' than those idiots mentioned above. He does it quietly, by being a decent father. It's Bob over at Bob's Blog. He and his wife have six children, whom they homeschool. And they also provide foster care. They've even adopted some foster kids (or at least one, maybe more). He's also very politically aware, making keen observations on political situations in his home state of Colorado, while also being aware of the world political scene. This is one cool guy. Just doing what he thinks is right, and not needing the adulation of the world around him to assure him he's 'right'. He's truly making a difference, in a far, far better way than most of those nut-job celebrities. Thanks, Bob, for making a difference. In a way that really matters.

Quality time at the House of Zathras

=HC= and I have been married almost 7 years now. And last night, we did something in bed that we've never done before. We watched a television show in our bedroom. (*hmmph* What did you think I was going to say...Y'all have dirty minds...this isn't that kind of blog!!!) You see, when before we got married, =HC= asked for one important condition. That we have no tv in our bedroom, so that our focus is on each other. It took some wailing and gnashing of teeth on my part, for I thought I couldn't live without a tv in my bedroom. But I haven't missed it. Our time in there is OUR time...not distracted by the crap that's going on in the world. So last night, I was working hard with report card grades - a lot of data entry type stuff. Tedious and time consuming. (Of course, if I updated every week, it wouldn't take so long, but hey, procrastination is my middle name!) I finished around 11:30. I have to get up by 5:30. So I was heading for bed. Then this conversation ensued: =HC=:   So, are you going to watch "Heroes" now? (It came on Monday night, when I was at Princess No's soccer game. Goob tried to record it, but the sound came out weird. I planned to watch it online.) Me:   No, I want to go to bed. =HC=:   Don't you want to know what happened? Me:   Yes, but I'm too tired to sit in front of the computer to watch it. It's late! =HC=:   But I want to talk about it, and I can't say anything because you haven't seen it yet! Me:   I just want to go to bed! =HC=:   Well, what if I hook up the laptop and you can lay in bed and watch it that way? Me:   *throws up hands, exasperated and laughing* Okay, okay! We'll watch "Heroes". So for the first time in our marriage, we lay in our bedroom and watched a television show. And after the show was over, I was sound asleep before =HC= had even packed up the laptop. So much for talking about the show!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Grossness at the House of Zathras

Guess what I got to do that I've never done before??? Remove a tick off a person. Gross. Buck came home with one on the back of his HEAD!!! Double grossness. When he first showed me, I thought it looked like a scab. Then Eraserhead (with the terrible surety all teenagers have) said, "Does a scab have LEGS???" Ewww, icckkk! We're really not sure where he got it, although he likes to walk around with the cat on his shoulder. Actually, I let the cat do that to...correction...I USED to let the cat do that. NO MORE!! Tickses is nasty. Let's just say I was not cut out to be a doctor.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Driven to madness...

...by this puzzle. Dawn, over at Overactive Imagination, got me started on the path to madness with this post. It's kind of a medieval painting, with clues in it to 50 dark or horror films. But so far I've gotten 42 of the 50 movies. Which is pretty good, I think, for someone who is not a fan of horror films. I've probably seen less than 10 of them. But will someone please, please, tell me, what is the one with the lady with the barrel marked 'H2O'??? That one is driving me crazy for some reason. Thanks, Dawn, for driving me to this madness. In keeping with the 'horror' theme, I'll quote the Wicked Witch of the West: "I'll get you my pretty." UPDATE: I'VE FOUND ALL OF THEM!!! With a little help from this site. It's a really neat site on CANDY! Yum!

Sunday Funnies

Just to let you know, I love my m-i-l. =HC='s mom is the most wonderful, caring, and giving woman. But I saw these jokes and video, and had to share them. My first m-i-l wasn't as bad as those below, but I don't think there is any love lost between us. She may realize her son is not perfect, but she will never admit it, thus encouraging his failings. Standing at the edge of the lake, a man saw a woman flailing about in the deep water. Unable to swim, the man screamed for help. A trout fisherman ran up. The man said, "My wife is drowning and I can't swim. Please save her. I'll give you a hundred dollars." The fisherman dove into the water. In ten powerful strokes he reached the woman, put his arm around her, and swam back to shore. Depositing her at the feet of the man, the fisherman said, "Okay, where's my hundred dollars?" The man said, "I'm so sorry, but when I saw her going down for the third time, I thought it was my wife. But this is actually my MIL." The fisherman reached into his pocket and said, "Just my luck. How much do I owe you?" I find it interesting that if you rearrange the letters in the word "mother-in-law" you get the words "woman Hitler". And text messaging wasn't around when I was still related to my first m-i-l, but it probably would have gone something like this.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A multiple-choice question

You're driving down the road in your neighborhood. You notice a movement on your neighbor's roof. It is a young man standing on the roof, holding a compound bow. Do you:   a) call your neighbor to tell him his crazy son is at it again   b) call 911 - it's obvious he's trying to take someone out   c) wave and keep on driving - it's obviously hunting season, and he's just   practicing Actually, this is a trick question. If you live in California and other parts of the country infested with liberals, you would pick choice 'b'...nobody needs any kinds of weapons. But if you live in the south, as I do, it's definitely choice 'c'. Which is what actually happened yesterday. We have some seriously redneck neighbors. (Although they don't have the obligatory old car up on blocks in their yard. Since we live close to the gulf, they have an old boat that stays in the front yard!) And I love it. We don't worry about crime in our neighborhood. Most of us have big dogs. And most of us have guns. And the rednecks mentioned above have guns and bows and knives and the ingenuity to come up with who knows what else. Have a new four wheeler and want to give everyone rides? Tie an old couch to the back and voila, four people can ride at once...watching that was absolutely hilarious! Need to practice hunting? Get up on your roof to imitate a tree stand, and shoot at your fake deer that you always keep in the yard. (It's hard for Yankees that move down here to understand that deer in the yard ARE NOT for decoration. It's either for practice, or to lure other deer in. Deer are for huntin' and eatin'...something else that's hard for them to fathom.) And we play war, too, with real guns. Real paintball guns, that is. (Goob is really into paintball, and constantly trying to figure out how to turn ordinary items into paintball grenades and bombs and cannons). (Just thought about "Redneck Games" from Alan Jackson and Jeff Foxworthy...my favorite line is about the kayaking on the same river they filmed 'Deliverance'.) Maybe the rest of the country sees us as unsophisticated hicks...we don't mind. Let people underestimate us. But if this country ever has a huge fall in our economy or even, God forbid, serious invasions by enemies on our soil, we'll be able to take care of ourselves. Both in defending and being able to feed our families.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm still here...maybe...

Gee...I haven't turned the lights on here at the House of Zathras since Sunday? And I've been off this week. I'll be glad to go back to work so I can relax. And with as hectic as work has been lately, that tells you how busy I've been at home. Dammit. My aunt, who is also my godmother, died yesterday. She's been in bad shape for awhile. She suffered from emphysema for years and had to be on oxygen. She also had back problems and had been in pain for a long, long time. Earlier this week, she was at the kitchen table, writing a check. She looked at my godfather, said "I can't do this", laid her head on the table and started shaking. She was taken to the hospital and initially put on a ventilator. My godmother had been a nurse for years. She had long ago told the family she didn't want to be on life support, but just to be kept hydrated. Otherwise, the death can be painful. If you have a living will, you might want to stipulate that aspect. So after the initial assessments, she was taken off the ventilator. She stayed alive until her daughter arrived from California. Two hours after my cousin got to the hospital, my godmother passed away. She was a second mother to me, and certainly made me walk a straighter line than my own mom did. Our birthdays were only one day apart. When I was young, we always shared a birthday cake, decorated in two parts, with a line of icing down the middle delineating the two halves. In recent years, I strove to find funny birthday cards to send to her to try to take her mind off her physical suffering. The one she liked the best was one that on the front had "Did you hear the news about alien abductions in Tulsa, with reports of sexual experiments?" You opened it up and it said, "So....are you up to a trip to Oklahoma?" The last time I spoke with her was on my birthday this year, about a month ago. We wished each other a happy birthday. We spoke about a family reunion we had just had a few weeks before...she got to see so many of her extended family before she died. (I used to say 'passed away', but death is death. It doesn't need euphemisms.) She had a good time being with all the relatives. We knew it was probably the last time we would see her, but it wasn't really that sad. Poignant, but not sad. She also enjoyed fussing about my ex. If she were here now, she would be filling the air with complaints. I have to come up with about three grand to continue in legal battles with him. He tried to file a custody case two summers ago (he didn't return the kids at the end of the summer, and I had to go to court to get them returned). He's trying to get jurisdiction changed. The judge in the state where he lives has already TWICE said that Alabama (where I live) has jurisdiction, but my ex has filed an appeal. He's trying to outspend me. My husband (=HC=) and I have already spent over $25 grand in his custody case...I hate the legal system. We had just bought a house when that case started, so our funds weren't great to begin with. My ex contacted =HC='s ex, and they worked together for awhile (=HC='s ex is married to someone she met when he was released from prison...). When my ex found out how much we had to spend, he started custody proceedings. He makes more money than =HC= and I do together...so he's determined to outspend us. The kids see some of what he's doing. My oldest has even asked him to stop, but he won't. *sigh* So the lawyers continue to be able to send their kids to college with the money they're getting from this case. I will be so glad when the kids are 18 and we won't have to go through this anymore. But I don't think my ex can 'let go'. He'll continue to be bitter long after the kids are grown. Until he can come acknowledge his own faults and responsibilities, he'll be a miserable man. And those people try to bring that misery to others. And trying to make others 'pay' or be miserable too only brings suffering back on yourself.

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” -Carlos Casteneda
Ahh, hell, I think I'll turn the lights back off.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday Funnies

A Redneck Driver's Application Plez compleet this paper, best ya can. Last name: ________________ First name: [_] Billy-Bob [_] Bobby-Sue [_] Billy-Joe [_] Bobby-Jo [_] Billy-Ray [_] Bobby-Ann [_] Billy-Sue [_] Bobby-Lee [_] Billy-Mae [_] Bobby-Ellen [_] Billy-Jack [_] Bobby-Beth Ann Sue Age: ____ (if unsure, guess) Sex: [_]M [_]F [_]None Shoe Size: ____ Left ____ Right Occupation: [_] Farmer [_] Mechanic [_] Hair Dresser [_] Waitress [_] Un-employed [_] Dirty Politician Spouse's Name: __________________________ 2nd Spouse's Name: __________________________ 3rd Spouse's Name: __________________________ Lover's Name: __________________________ 2nd Lover's Name: __________________________ Relationship with spouse: [_] Sister [_] Aunt [_] Brother [_] Uncle [_] Mother [_] Son [_] Father [_] Daughter [_] Cousin [_] Pet Number of children living in household: ___ Number of children living in shed: ___ Number of children that are yours: ___ Mother's Name: _______________________ Father's Name: _______________________ Education: 1 2 3 4 (Circle highest grade completed) If you obtained a higher education what was your major? [_] 5th grade [_] 6th grade Do you [_] own or [_] rent your mobile home? Vehicles you own and where you keep them: ___ Total number of vehicles you own ___ Number of vehicles that still crank ___ Number of vehicles in front yard ___ Number of vehicles in back yard ___ Number of vehicles on cement blocks Age you started drivin ______ (If over 10 are you are still slow lerrnin ? [_] Yes [_] No) Firearms you own and where you keep them: ____ truck ____ kitchen ____ bedroom ____ bathroom/outhouse ____ shed ____ pawnshop Model and year of your pickup: _________ 194_ Do you have a gun rack? [_] Yes [_] No; If no, please explain: Newspapers/magazines you subscribe to: [_] The National Enquirer [_] The Globe [_] TV Guide [_] Soap Opera Digest [_] Rifle and Shotgun [_] Bassmasters ___ Number of times you've seen a UFO ___ Number of times you've seen Elvis ___ Number of times you've seen Elvis in a UFO How often do you bathe: [_] Weekly [_] Monthly [_] Not Applicable How many teeth in YOUR mouth? ___ Color of teeth: [_] Yellow [_] Brownish-Yellow [_] Brown [_] Black [_] N/A Brand of chewing tobacco you prefer: [_] Red-Man [_] Skoal How far is your home from a paved road? [_] 1 mile [_] 2 miles [_] don't know And before you question a Southerner's driving skill, remember that NASCAR is a Southern thang. And this guy has to be from the South. And I'm not sure, but I think this incident happened in California. Those California cops just aren't equipped to deal with our kind of driving!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Stupid is as stupid does

Roses at Ack! Thbbbt! had this post up about a stupid woman and public assistance. Personally, I think welfare and the like has been vastly abused, and it just serves to keep people 'down'. I had a friend on welfare. She wanted to make something of herself, however, and was part of a program which provided schooling. She wanted to be a radiology(sp?) tech and had about a year left when the funding was cut *poof*. She had to go back on FULL welfare to provide for herself and her daughter. She went from being on her way to being a productive citizen, to being a burden to society again. (She is now a truck driver...which isn't the best job for a single parent, but she's trying her best.) I was once on welfare. For about a month. After I had left my (first) husband (he left me a note telling me to leave), I returned to my hometown. I was a certified teacher, but at that time, there were no available teaching jobs. My divorce wasn't final, so finances were tight, to say the least, with two young children (ages 1 1/2 and 4 1/2). I did become a substitute teacher, hoping to get my face in the schools if a regular teaching position opened up. But it wasn't enough. So I applied for WIC/welfare/food stamps. (My ex was still military at that time, so I could go to the Navy base and get food for really cheap.) The food stamps made sure my kids ate well, and the welfare check would have made sure I could provide a home for them. (My folks really didn't have the room or the finances to help me.) But after the first month, I got called in to my caseworker's office. In order for me to continue to qualify, I had to get rid of all my assets. The only 'monetary' asset I had was my mini-van, on which I was still paying!!! But they wanted me to sell it. And then they wanted me to take a 40-hour a week minimum wage job to continue getting benefits. I looked at the caseworker and said, "How the hell can I get to a job if I don't have a vehicle to get there and take my kids to daycare with? And wouldn't it be better for me to continue subbing for a little while so I can get a regular job and be completely independent of the welfare system? Otherwise, I'll never get beyond the minimum wage job and still need to be subsidized for food and housing??????" Well, I couldn't see working for minimum wage and giving up my vehicle. My kids and I moved into my mom's home for awhile (the kids and I shared a room...with their bunkbeds and my twin bed, we barely had room left to turn around in!) I continued subbing during the day, and took a part-time job in the evenings (once again...not the best when your children need you, but what's a single mom to do?) But in less than a year, I had a regular teaching job, and moved out to my own home. Would that have happened on welfare?? Nope...I would have still been a slave to a dead-end job, still needing assistance. I had to return the second month's welfare check. And about four years later, they tried to claim I cashed it, and wanted me to pay it back!!! GRRRRR!!!! (I didn't, but it was a pain to get straightened out!) The welfare system doesn't work. It's stupid. It doesn't help move people 'up' with their lives. If I hadn't already had a college degree, I probably would have been 'stuck on stupid'. And the people that abuse it...like the child at my school who was on 'free and reduced' lunch, but got picked up in a Jaguar everyday, and had new name-brand clothes and shoes....just pisses me off!! Okay, /rant off! S.F.P.D.H

Friday, October 13, 2006

He's a little bit country...

We were watching the new game show "1 vs 100" tonight. One of the questions was what do you do with a ‘badunkadunk’. Goob didn't know what that was. =HC= told him that where we're from, it's pronounced 'badonkadonk'. Goob still did not know what it was. I told him he probably heard a song about it on the radio when we drive in to school (I listen to Country in the morning.) He said he never paid attention to it because he doesn't like country. So I showed him this video. He stood there, with that teenaged, bored, 'the things my parents make me do'look on his face. For a few seconds. Then his eyes opened wider, and the jaw dropped a little, and he leaned in closer to the screen. His comment: "Country suddenly doesn't look too bad!!"

Tagged again!!

Well, I think I've tagged Cindi with a couple of memes lately, but geez, does she pack a wallop when she tags back!! This is definitely the longest one I've ever done. If anyone wants to tag themselves with it, go ahead! It was actually pretty neat thinking about some of these items. UPDATE: I tag DeathKnyte, because he tagged me with a meme I had already been tagged with twice before. That'll teach you not to read all my posts! heehee ***FOOD*** What is your salad dressing of choice? Ranch What is your favorite fast food restaurant? Taco Cabana What is your favorite sit down restaurant? It's been so long I don't remember (four kids in parochial schools and all that $$$$) On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant? Usually 20% I've been a waitress, so I'll leave a good tip for a good one. It's not easy work. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? pizza What are your pizza toppings of choice? Canadian bacon, pineapple, mushrooms What do you like to put on your toast? fig preserves What is your favorite type of gum? I hate chewing gum. **TECHNOLOGY** Number of contacts in your cell phone? 21 - mostly children's school related Number of contacts in your email address book? which e-mail account???? What is your wallpaper on your computer? Marines!!!!! What is your screensaver on your computer? Darkness (Come to the darkside!) How many televisions are in your house? Two (And none in our bedrooms!) What kitchen appliance do you use the least? Coffee pot What is the radio station you listen to the most? XM - FoxNews (Since I don't have cable/satellite at home, I listen to news as I drive around) ***BIOLOGY*** What do you consider to be your best physical attribute? My eyes. Are you right handed or left handed? Right handed (although I'm ambidextrious when it comes to walloping recalcitrant children!!!!) Do you like your smile? Umm, I guess - I've never studied it. Have you ever had anything removed from your body? Two kids - C-sections Would you like to have something removed from your body? Not really - I would like to add about 3 inches in height Do you prefer to read when you go to the bathroom? NRA magazines (especially the Armed Citizen articles) Which of your five senses do you think is keenest? Smell When was the last time you had a cavity? I haven't been to the dentist in years, so who knows?? I had a bunch as a kid. I used to hide Oreos under my pillow to eat after lights out. What is the heaviest item you lift regularly? My bag of school work. Have you ever been knocked unconscious? Yes. I mentioned it a few posts ago. **A bunch of stuff-OLOGY** If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? No f-in' way! If you could change your first name, what would you change it to? I wouldn't change it. I go by my middle name anyway, so if someone calls me by my first name, they ain't a friend! How do you express your artistic side? sewing What color do you think you look best in? green How long do you think you could last in a medium security prison? Umm...someone else does my laundry and cooking??? With a few books, I could probably last a while. Just as long as I don't run into some of my former students! Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake? Don't think so. If we weren't bound by society's conventions, do you have a relative you would make a pass at? Eww, gross, no! (Besides, I'm from the south...that's kind of normal down here!) How often do you go to church? Yep - every Saturday night. That's the nice thing about being Catholic. I can sleep late Saturday AND Sunday. Have you ever saved someone's life? Yes. My baby brother's. I was about 17, he was about 2. He was choking on a piece of food. I threw him over my forearm, whacked his back, and ka-pow, out it came. Has someone ever saved yours? Probably - my Guardian Angels work overtime. **DARE-OLOGY** Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000? As long as there were no cameras. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100? No. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000? Are you nuts!! Would you never blog again for $50,000? Yeah. I would just have to write in a journal. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000? Nope. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? Probably. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000? No f-in' way. Unless it was a certain sex offender - then I'd do it for free, if you threw in a little bit bit of roughin' up on the ones who are protecting him. Would you shave your head and get your entire body waxed for $5000? I don't think so. Any woman who has had a bikini wax would think twice. Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000? Does this mean broadcast/cable TV?? Yeah. If I had to give up DVD's?? Let me think...yeah, I could.

Once again from Mrs_Who's classroom:

Take a look at the picture below. It was drawn by a student. See if you can guess what is going on. Make your guesses in the comments. The winner gets, well, recognition. Hey, I'm a teacher...I can't afford anything else! UPDATE: The answer is in the comments.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Should I be concerned?

Looking through stats for my site, I came across one from Iran. That's right...from some place called Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari...kind of southwards from Tehran. I'm hoping they were reassured, though. Because the post they clicked on was about my gas-guzzling SUV. I'm sure they were happy that I'm doing my part to consume oil. It's just really weird to have Iran show up in the stats. Anybody else have Iran ever show up on their stats?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ride 'em, Cowboy!

It's Homecoming Week at Goob's and Eraserhead's school. Each day this week, they can go out of 'dress code' if they wear something related to the theme of the day. Yesterday it was sports (Goob was pushing it with his camouflage - saying paintball was a sport). So tonight I told the boys to lay out their clothes for tomorrow, and they got regular school clothes. "Aren't you dressing for the Homecoming theme?" That got me 'the look' - you know, the one where the teen displays every bit of exasperation that their parents are so ignorant (I get it two or three times a day!). I asked them what the theme was....western/cowboy. So then, then I made the huge mistake of asking them why they weren't going to wear jeans and a flannel or plaid shirt. (Jeans aren't part of the regular dress code, so they jump at practically any chance to wear them to school.) I got 'the look' again. But at least they explained....they ain't going "Brokeback". And I can't let that go without some videos. Wallace and Grommit Brokeback Brokeback to the Future Brokeback Harry Potter And not exactly Brokeback Lord of the Rings, but definitely of the same genre! And while we own all of the Lord of the Ring DVDs, I cannot watch them anymore because of the video. I'm torn between giggling and being grossed out.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A-B-C's

Go check out this game. You can try to spell words as others are trying to spell words. It's funny when you steal other people's letters! Go on, try it. It'll have you giggling!! HT to Cindi! Thanks girl - you made me laugh!

Sunday Funnies

Some bumper stickers I have thought about having: 1.   Earth First! We'll strip mine the rest later. 2.   Your kid may be an honor student, but you're still an idiot. 3.   Ask me about microwaving cats for fun and profit. 4.   Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math. 5.   It IS as bad as you think, and they ARE out to get you. 6.   Time is what keeps everything from happening at once. 7.   I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian. 8.   When you do a good deed, get a receipt - in case heaven is like the IRS. 9.   OK, who stopped payment on my reality check? 10.   I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it. 11.   Madness takes its toll - please have exact change ready. (I probably won't have the exact change. The other day, I only had 13 cents in my ashtray, and 6 cents of it was plastic coins from my classroom.) 12.   Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately, it kills all its students. 13.   When The Rapture Comes, Can I Have Your Car? (Folks who live in my neck of the woods know why this one is so appropriate. Especially when driving by PCC!) 14.   Back-off! I'm a postal worker. 15.   The whole world is going to hell, and I'm driving the bus. (This one is my personal favorite!) 16.   This car protected by a pissed off mother with a .45 auto. 17.   I have PMS and a gun... did you have something to say? 18.   Happiness is a belt fed automatic weapon. 19.   Driver carries only $20 worth of ammunition. 20.   My child was inmate of the month at the county jail. (Some days, this isn't funny - it seems like an all-too-real possibility!) 21.   Wear Your Seatbelt! (It makes it harder for the Aliens to kidnap you!) (Actually, this one is my personal favorite. I've been to Roswell. I know!) 22.   Due to budget cuts, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off. 23.   The best way to change a person's mind is to bash them in the head with a rock. 24.   I'd do what the voices tell me but I don't speak their language. 25.   It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye, then it's just fun. Do you have a favorite bumper sticker? Put it in the comments if you wish. And =HC= and I thought this video was cute! * * *

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thoughts of long ago...

It has been a really rough week for me. Work has been tough, I'm having some medical problems, and one of my students was seriously injured in an accident. (Thank you again for your prayers - he seems to be making steady progress.) So I've been on kind of a low all this week. Then tonight I read this post over at Oddybobo's. It touched oh-so-close to home. In fact, I have been thinking about some things in my past for the past few weeks. I hope Oddybobo realizes what a wonderful thing she is doing for her cousin. Her cousin needs the support right now. Many years ago, I faced a similar situation. I was young, married, and living far from family. My then-husband (he of the girlfriend-of-the-month club) decided he was going out. Without me. In the only vehicle we had (which happened to be in my name). I grabbed the keys to keep him from going. He tried to wrest the keys from me, but I wouldn't let go. He grabbed my upper arms and tried to shake me, trying to get me to drop the keys. I wouldn't, so he threw me to the ground. It knocked me out briefly. I slowly came to, but not enough to move. I could feel my tongue blocking my throat, but I couldn't move. I was aware of my husband in the bathroom, frantically wetting a towel. He patted my face with the towel. I was able to start moving at that point. I jumped up and ran out of the house. I was barefoot, and all I had was the keys. I jumped in the car and just started driving, sobbing and wiping tears away. I came upon an overpass, which went over the Gulf Freeway (Houston). There was a cop pulled over there. I pulled in front of her, and ran to her car. I must have looked a mess, and I asked for help. She said she was waiting for President Bush(41) to pass by, and couldn't leave. But neither did she offer or direct me to further help. I got into my car again, and drove until I came to the house of a friend from college. She welcomed me, and offered to put me up for the night. But as I lay in her spare bedroom that night, I heard her and her husband arguing. He didn't want me there. So, I got up early, and left. I had bruises on my upper arms, no purse, no shoes, nothing. So I went back home. I felt like I had nowhere else to go. I couldn't talk to anyone about it. I felt so worthless. My husband and I divorced, but we remarried again later. In that 'second' marriage is when we had two kids. I didn't suffer physical abuse, but emotionally... I only found the strength to leave when my husband was deriding me in front of the kids. My son was four, and my daughter one. I realized I couldn't raise my kids in that environment. But it was only because of them that I found the strength/courage to leave. My now ex-husband still is very hateful towards me. He says there is 'no proof' of the abuse, and I just made it up for sympathy. He claims I stole his family from him. (Incidentally, he left me a note one day telling me to leave after we had a horrendous fight - the one in front of the kids. I guess he thought he still had 'control' over me and that I needed 'him'.) I don't care what he thinks anymore. I do care when it affects my kids, but personally, he is 'nothing' to me. I don't wish him harm. But the other day, when hearing of someone else who suffered abuse, I realized I didn't feel the upwelling of pain that I used to. It wasn't necessarily a 'relief', but just a passage of sorts. It also makes me realize how much I love =HC=. We have faced some serious situations in the six or so years we've been married. But never has he derided or belittled me or made me feel anything less than loved and cherished. I am blessed to have him. But if you know of someone who is in an abusive situation, please be there for them. I can understand that if you have children at home, you might worry about an angry husband/boyfriend coming over. But at least direct them to the police, a shelter, a pastor, someone. I was 'rebuffed' twice, and was scared of bringing my problems on someone else. I lived in that mess for over ten years. I just needed someone to let me know I was 'worthy' of being helped. Thank you, Oddybobo, for letting your cousin know she is worthy. It's hard to pull yourself up out of the quicksand of anguish and hopelessness. She is in my prayers.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mrs_Who's Bible Stories

Sorry for the light posting lately. I've not been feeling well. In fact, I had to go to the doctor today. (Guys, you might want to stop reading now! I've warned you!) Not to go into great detail, but I've been having problems of the female kind. You remember that story in the Bible where there is a woman with a hemorrhage for 12 years? And she goes up to Jesus and just touches the hem of His robes and is healed? If that had been me, I wouldn't have just touched His hem. I would have gone up to Him, grabbed His shoulders, and shaken Him, all the while screeching, "Fix it! Fix it now!" That would have probably given me a few more years in Purgatory. *sigh* But it would have been worth it if the problem had gotten *fixed*! :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Time for Another Meme

Tink tagged me with something weird. (No, I don't need a penicillin shot!!) I'm supposed to list 5 weird/odd things about myself, and then tag five others. So, here goes: 1. I can't watch old Brady Bunch reruns when one of the kids is going to be embarrassed. I have to leave the room. 2. I have to check the alarm 5 times before I go to sleep. I get out of bed to do this. Can we say OCD??? 3. I sit with my toes curled under my feet. 4. I talk to other drivers. Good thing they can't hear what I say. 5. I hate wearing shoes. Good thing I live in Alabama! LOL! Okay, now I tag: Dawn at Overactive Imagination Cindi at Somewhere Over the Rainbow Holly at Politics of a Patriot LemonStand at Lemonade Made Daily and my own beloved =HC=, who gets to post here!! (Hey, if Pan can do it at Tink's, =HC= can do it here!)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Prayers please...

...for a child in my class. He is in the hospital with serious head injuries. Can't say much more, but if you pray, please remember him. Thank you. UPDATE:   The boy has still not opened his eyes, but sometimes responds to family members. Still critical, and may be moved to another hospital for further treatment. His family says 'thank you' for all the prayers.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I've been playing around with my blog roll and template a little bit while I'm waiting on =HC= to get out of the shower. Not having much luck on the template with what I wanted to to, but oh, well. I'm not a computer whiz. I've added two blogs to my roll. One is The Lemon Stand. As she said in the comments on this post, we can sooo relate. It's nice to know that =HC= and I aren't alone in this stressful business of child-rearing. The other blog is by woman who lives in Egypt, Kirsten Namskaus. This is one of the things I love about blogging. You can find people who are going through similar trevails, but you can also find people who live in a different culture, and still see how much alike people really can be. Oops, =HC= is out, gotta go. Y'all have a great Sunday!

I don't smoke...

...but if it upsets Gore enough to say this, I might just have to start! In fact, I'll head to the local convenience store in my big ol' gas-guzzling, air-pollutin' SUV right now and buy a pack! And apparently in his book tour, Gore shows videos of San Francisco being inundated by the ocean when the ice shelves melt because of the cigarettes. Hmmm, might have to buy a carton or two. Sensationalism is good way to draw attention to your cause, but you need to have some facts to back it up. But as he wants us to believe, we are only parasites on earth. I've said it before, but Earth will shrug us off like a bad case of dandruff. Yes, we need to be aware of our impact on the environment. But our record keeping has only been around for a few thousand years. Who knows how old earth really is? Who's to say how many global warmings and cool-downs there have been? There used to be a big to-do over the hole in the ozone layer...so we lightened up on the use of CFCs. Now the hole is getting smaller, but the earth is getting warmer. Hmmm, maybe that hole was acting like a smoke-hole, letting all the excess 'warming' out. I'm no scientist. And there are so many conflicting facts regarding global warming on whether people are affecting it or not. I'm sure humankind contributes, but not to the extent the extremists like Gore want us to think. Remember this essay on a deadly chemical?:

Dihydrogen Monoxide: The Invisible Killer There is a chemical that has been used for well over one hundred years and its use must be stopped! The Association for Environmental Activism is dedicated to seeing that its use comes to a swift end. Dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) is colorless, odorless, tasteless and kills thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting, and body electrolyte imbalance. Contamination is reaching epidemic proportions in many modern societies. Dozens of arid countries have spent millions of dollars in research money to extract it in its pure form from our planet's oceans. Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the midwest and recently in California. Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used as an industrial solvent, in nuclear power plants, in the production of styrofoam and as a fire retardant. Pharmaceutical companies have put DHMO to use in large quantities in conjunction with many forms of cruel animal research. It has been linked to the distribution of pesticides and is often sprayed on crops of all kind. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical. Nutritionists have recognized DHMO as an additive in certain food products for decades but have been reluctant to speak out to the public about the vast quantities of this chemical being used in most foods. Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer! The horror must be stopped! Our government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the Navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military and civilian research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use. It's not too late! Act NOW to prevent further contamination. Find out more about this dangerous chemical. What you don't know can hurt you and others throughout the world! Ask a chemist, your local high school science teacher, or university chemistry professor about the exact composition of this chemical! The Facts: Also called hydroxl acid or dihydrous oxide, it is a component of acid rain. It contributes to the "greenhouse effect." It may cause severe burns as a vapor. It contributes to the erosion of our beautiful natural landscape. Accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals and may be affecting your car. Causes electrical failure and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes. It has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients. The Deadly Statistics: In the year 2000, according to the Children's Safety Zone, There were a total of 210 reported DHMO related incidents. 64 Deaths. Out of those 64, 28 were children and 36 were adults. By way of comparison, there were 43 deaths the previous year out of 160 incidents. And so far in the year 2001, there have been 58 deaths (27 children) out of only 183 incidents. Tell every one you know to support all efforts to ban this colorless and tasteless, deadly substance.
Holy crap!! It sounds like something we really need to ban, doesn't it??? But...that chemical is only 'water'. That's right, water. Don't let other people do your thinking for you. Especially don't let Gore do it for you. UPDATE:   This site has some interesting anti-anti-global-warming info and videos.

Sunday Funnies

How Catholics know when they're driving too fast: And totally irreverent, but don’t mess with the nun!