Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's A Hurricane, Not The Apocalypse

This guy can't even keep awake
he is so bored by Anderson
and his hurricane talk.
First of all, here is the main way to survive the hurricane.  Ignore it.  Yes, that's right ignore it.  It works the same way as when your car is making weird noises.  If your car makes weird noises, you turn up the radio - noises are gone.  Problem solved.  

Stop watching the news and weather.  It's not even "news" anymore.  We all know there's a hurricane.  And we all certainly already know that everyone has been shopping and stocking up and you can't get D batteries anywhere. We do not need reporters stopping people leaving the market to ask how it was.  It was crowded and people are annoying.  That's how it was.  We also don't need to hear people recount past storms and compare them to how they think this storm is going to be.

As for the weather probably can check in every hour or so if you feel compelled, but you really don't need to watch it non-stop.  There is nothing more you can do.  You can't get any more prepared.  Watch a movie or read a book.  If the electricity is going to go out, you'll probably know right away when you are suddenly sitting in the dark watching nothing on TV.  

Aside from mostly ignoring the storm, there are few things you can do to make your stay at home with your family more pleasant.  You can make sure you have enough wine opened ahead of time.  If the electricity goes out, it's hard to hold the flashlight with one hand and uncork the bottle with the other.  If you enlist someone else to help, you will probably have to share.  Think about how much wine there is before you jump into that.

Snacks.  Make sure you have hidden all the best ones away from everyone so you don't have to share.  Please make certain you have hidden them in a place that you can easily get to without drawing attention to yourself.  It's probably best to hide different ones in different spots so it doesn't look like you keep going to the same place over and over again.  And for the love of Pearl, bring mints or gum with you!  If you show back up in the family room with chocolate or Cheetos on your breath, it's over for you.  You have to always be thinking in these emergency situations.

Flashlights or candles.  If you have these and are worried about losing electricity, it's best to look for them (and the matches) before the electricity goes out.  In my house, the flashlights are never where they belong because my children are awful.  They insist it is not their fault that I can't find any of the 12 million flashlights I have purchased and put in the flashlight cabinet.  Really?  Not their fault?  I guess it's my friends and I who play dark tag in the yard or the basement.

You have to look at the
bright side of things.
Now your yard
will be neat.
The Party has just reported that there are now tornado warnings for our area.  And?  He is annoyed that I am not all worked up.  He is ignoring my first rule, which is ignore it.  Unless he is going to insist we head to the basement, why must he crinkle his face at me that way?  And why is he annoyed that I said it didn't even sound that rainy or windy yet?  It's not like a tornado is gonna sneak up on us.  It'll get windy.  He's also ignoring my other rule and watching the news and weather non-stop.  That being the case, we'll know exactly when/if the tornado is in our neighborhood and can head downstairs then.  Is there really a need to beat the rush?

If, like me, you are living with someone who does not want to follow my helpful advice for getting through the hurricane/tornado/tropical storm/weather event in a calm and sane manner, then what you need to do is take some drastic measures to help your peace of mind.  Offer your loved one a glass of wine.  If you have anything along the lines of Xanax you should dissolve one or two of those babies into said wine.  Speak in soothing tones until wine/Xanax cocktail kicks in.  You should also consider taking one yourself in case your victim loved one is impervious to drugs and alcohol.  Someone should be relaxed and happy.

If you don't have Xanax, see
if you can't scare yourself
up a bottle of this stuff.

Stay tuned for the Hurricane Wrap Up where I will tell you how I told The Party "see it wasn't that bad" and he gets all red-faced and twitchy.  I assure you my report will be much shorter and more interesting than the umpteen hours of hurricane recounting we will be forced to watch on TV for the next week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lovely Teens: A Summer Miracle

Suprisingly, there
was no "Mom that
drove the furthest"
award given out.
So, we all can all barely remember my last post at this point.  But trust me, it was not my usual "summer hours" that has kept me away.  The last couple weeks have been very hectic.  SB came home from camp (along with her boatload of crap), she participated in the Maccabi Games (short version answer - Jewish Youth Olympic-type competition-International) on the soccer team, we hosted 2 teens from Los Angeles (these were 2 of over 1200 teens who were hosted in the Philadelphia area), and I attempted to get ready to go to the beach for our family vacation.  I spent most of the week in my car driving an hour each way, more than once a day, to get the girls to their games.  Very cool experience for the kids, but it was a lot of driving!  And, when everyone got home around 11pm-ish, I had to feed them as they were starved!

But...there was a silver lining.  I was surrounded by pleasant teenage girls.

I know!!  I can hardly believe it either, but it's true!!  The 2 girls we hosted were beyond sweet, friendly, grateful, and polite!  It was lovely!  How did this happen you may ask?  My friends and I have discussed this in the past and we feel that this kind of lovely teen behavior is a result of being with parents that are not their own.  My week hosting has firmed up in my mind that we all need to implement the plan that my friends and I have discussed.  The Trade Around Plan.  (Please note this is different from our sign in board/cardboard casket idea that is both a way to give a last message to your loved one and be environmentally friendly).

Chores?  Can do!
We have learned to
love helping.
The Trade Around Plan involves trading your teen to other families for a week or so at a time.  Several very important scientific studies (just trust me) have shown that when teens go to other people's homes, they keep all snotty comments and rude tones and eye rolling to themselves.  They are friendly and helpful.  BUT, you can't keep them in one spot for too long.  Once traded-teen becomes comfortable in her new environment, she will start to get her edge back.  Nobody wants that.  After about a week, you need to trade again.  You probably need about 6-10 homes for this to work best (another scientific fact).  After every 2 or 3 trades, participating teens will return to their own homes for a week.  By the time they are no longer being loving and pleasant and grateful to be at home, it's time for them to move on again.  If run properly, whole communities can avoid the need for things like Xanax and visits to the Nervous Hospital.  

The plan is brilliant in its simplicity.  I am actually amazed that the American Pediatric Association hasn't officially recommended it.  I know you are thinking that some kids might not like all the moving around and might miss their families.  Well, you know what?  That's the kind of soft-hearted thinking that got us in this mess in the first place.  Teens are under the impression that THEY, not us parents, are supposed to be happy and not ever have to do anything they don't want.

Yes, absolutely,
a walking billboard
for Cadillac is
too famous to
be on DWTS.
And, if you need further proof that the Trade Around Plan is really needed, just look to The Jersey Shore cast.  In this most recent stretching of one's 15 minutes of fame, Pauly D says he's too famous to do Dancing with the Stars.  He further dazzles us by complaining that his trip to Italy was hard because there are no tanning salons, the gyms are far away and you have to carry your laundry versus drive to the laundromats.  This is exactly what happens when teens live at home full time and don't get to experience how good their lives are by having to go live in someone else's house for awhile.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This Just In

Do you see this!?!?!
Also, only the middle
cast is real.  The other 2
are made from pre-wrap
 and paper towels.
Soccer Barbie has returned from overnight camp.  She was there for 7 weeks.  By the end of 7 weeks you can no longer remember anything annoying your child ever did.  You are thrilled to see her and can't give/get enough hugs and kisses and love.  That feeling can last upwards of 26, 27 hours after your child returns home.  After that, eye rolls and looks of annoyance are back (from both sides).

Now that SB is back, her friends have been posting on Facebook all the pictures they have taken.  These are kind of like the Story Behind The Story.  In the pictures camp put on line, my child is forever in the camp mesh tank top going to or from a sport or activity.  In pictures taken by friends, I see that my child and her friends live in conditions one could only describe as abject poverty and filth.  The pictures of her bunk look nothing like the bunk I saw on Visiting Day.  This bunk has trash, food and clothes all over the floor.  With girls sitting on the floor on top of all of it.  I am going to pretend that was just that one day.

We will be jumping all around today to make up for the fact that I am trying to fit a week's worth of random thoughts into one post.  I'm telling you this so you don't think I am having some sort of psychotic break stream of consciousness episode.

This is Kenny's
way of saying
"Please pay
attention to me."
As I mentioned before, I wanted to share with you this Lenny Kravitz picture.  It's from People Magazine.  As you know, they are cutting edge, front line when it comes to important news information.  So, the first I thought it seemed kind of fun to have the cool retro handset.  Sometimes it's hard to hear and your neck and fingers gets all cricked trying to hold your tiny phone up to your ear.  What could be better than a real, life-sized handset?  Next thought...where's he going to put that when he's done talking?  It's not going to fit in his pocket.  Does he just walk around all day with a big honking receiver in his hand?

I have two new products that I am loving and thought I would share.  Well, share the information with you.  Even if you were here, I might not actually share.  It would depend on how much I had left.  I mean if I knew ahead of time that you were coming, I would get enough, but's hard to say.

There are only 5 in a
 box.  Invite your
company accordingly.
The first one is Haagen Dazs Sundae Cones.  They are like the other mini cones I mentioned before, but even yummier.  They have a few more calories, but totally worth it.  And, where else are you going to get cute, mini, high-quality deliciousness for under 200 calories.  Nowhere, that's where.  They come in vanilla with chocolate and vanilla with caramel.  If you want chocolate ice cream you're currently out of luck.  But, eat the vanilla, it's good, you'll be fine.

Also am totally loving Edamame Hummus from Trader Joe's.  In general, I only marginally like edamame or hummus.  I want to like them more, but I really don't.  But, this is dee-licious!!  It's even still good if you eat it with baby carrots instead of tortilla chips.  I imagine other vegetables would work, but why chance it?

Riots in England.  WTF?  Something about people not liking taxes or government programs or the government or the color yellow or something like that.  There did not seem to be a unified, organized protest going on here.  It wasn't even a protest that got out of hand.  It was just flash rioting and looting that seemed to inspire other malcontents to do the same.  Maybe they covered it better in the UK and found a few ring leaders to talk to, but I didn't get that sense from my friends who live there.  And then it was over.  Suddenly it just wasn't in the news here.  Everyone seemed to just go back along their merry way.  Perhaps the government added in a second tea time every day or an extra scone a week for everyone.  Who knows?

Lastly,  why do hotels insist they cannot guarantee you a connecting room when you are booking?  When you call to make a reservation, they are willing to make note of it, but they won't promise.  Why!?!? They know which rooms are connecting.  They have computers.  When people reserve rooms there is no reason that their stupid program cannot assign people specific rooms.  They know when people are intending to check in and out.  It doesn't really seem that hard.  And, until someone actually checks in, the computer could re-assign them as needed based on what other people are requesting.  Honestly!!  It's the 21st century.  A middle-schooler could write the program to do this.  It's ridiculous. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You Know What's Better Than A Whistle?

More whistles and a bell.  That's right, my collection has been expanded.  We had a party here the other day and my birthday was right after.  You know what that means...hostess and birthday gifts for me.  Yay!  I/we (I have to pretend the hostess gifts were meant to be host gifts as well so The Party doesn't feel sad) got lots of cool stuff.  I am afraid to name it all in case I forget something.  But, beaucoup awesomeness around here in the gift department.

ding ding ding
"Yes, I appear to need a 
beverage.  Off you go."
What I will tell you about, because it's related to one of our favorite topics, is the bell and the whistles.  This is not to be confused with "bells and whistles" which denote a level of high-end fanciness that is not present at Chez Donkey.  I got a bedazzled bell!  The kind on a store counter where you can ring for assistance, only better.  It is THE BEST!!!  My family is horrified.  The bell has a slightly different purpose than the whistle.  As you know, the whistle is meant to be something of a behavior modifier/bad behavior deterrent.  The bell is really for summoning people in a manner that lets them know you are more important than they are and expect them to stop what they are doing to see what they can do for you.  Like the whistle, it's good for home or away.  BUT, you should remember (should you get a bell of your own) that the bell should be used judiciously.  You don't want the police to find your body with the bell in an untoward location.  Just make yourself a little note so you don't forget.

The new whistles are also very fun.  My original whistle is fun and sparkly.  These are working whistle charms that attach to a faux pearl necklace.  It's essentially a black-tie accessory instead of just for every day.  It's so nice to have options.
See?  Fancy.
Speaking of whistles...I have a big giant loud-as-I can-go whistle AND smack AND kick in the shin for Dan Snierson of Entertainment Weekly.  My brother sent me the clip to the right.  He said either Dan or I are stealing material.  I don't want to call Dan a big jerk/stealer, but if the shoe fits...  His list, which mentions the Olsen sisters' newest handbag at Barney's New York, is in the newest edition of the magazine and I wrote a similar caption in my post I'm Just Saying in July!!!  I am considering an e-mail campaign against him, but that seems like a lot of work.  It's way easier to complain here and try to get you guys not to like him either.

And, since we're talking about the Olsen sisters (yes, we sort of are, try to keep up), I want you to please tell me again why we are supposed to buy $39,000 bags and other high end clothes and accessories when the designer dresses like this?  (Look down.  On the screen, not in real life.  Good Lord).  The only thing she's wearing that's the right size for her is her dog.  Everything else is giant in a hand-me-down-from-a-grown-up sort of way.  It is nice, however, to see her with her hair combed.  
Those look A LOT
like Mr. McGoo's
Let's see, what else should you know?  Oh!  stark.raving.mad.mommy.(who we love) gave me the best birthday present.  She linked my last post to her blog on Monday.  This meant that a kabillion people who usually have better things to do, came to hang out over here which made my stats go way up.  I really don't care that they will go back down in a couple days.  I can pretend that I was popular just because people liked my post and shared it with their friends, not because SRMM sent people here.  

Lastly, there is quite a bit of actual world news going on that we should probably discuss.  We do like to stay current.  So, tomorrow, come prepared to talk about the nonsensical and artificial nature of the rise and fall of the stock market as well as the riots in England that don't actually seem to have a unified cause.  I have to say, just writing those two topics makes me already feel more worldly and mature and sophisticated.  I am sure you feel the same way reading them, so we will probably be able to get through it quickly and move on to other things like Lenny Kravitz telephone picture I want to discuss with you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Girls Gone Wild - Virginia Beach Edition

Very wild.  You will be jealous when you hear all about it.  Just to fill any new people in, last weekend I went away with 3 girlfriends for 4 days.  It was awesome. 

First, we got up whenever we wanted to and didn't make anyone breakfast.  We usually got around to lunch at about 2:30pm.  Dinner, 8:30-ish.  In between, we had happy hour and snacks.  Nobody whined, complained or interrupted what we were doing.  It was dreamy.

As promised, I will tell you about the Speedo guys.  These two guys in their early 20s come walking down the beach past us.  Everyone they pass is staring with dropped jaws.  Banana hammocks, sunglasses and nothing else.  They are looking straight ahead, walking very purposefully, and not talking to each other at all.  It was weird. My friend Chris got a front view picture with her phone.  That's a little blurry, but you get the picture.
I felt they were going for a naked
Terminator kind of look.
When finally the buzz dies down, a guy walks by carrying a pigeon on a leash.  I really cannot imagine why.  And, it wasn't even a particularly cute pigeon, it was just your garden variety ugly yucky pigeon.  I don't know where he went, but we never saw him pass back the other way.  The 2 Speedo guys though, they came back the other way.  Chris had her camera ready, so we have a great view of the back of the bathing suit.  Winning.  Who just walks along like this and acts like there is nothing out of the ordinary?  I will say, however, if you are going to sport a suit like this, at least they were built for it.
What?  You can't see the back of their suits?
That's because there wasn't one!!
This brings me to what appears to be a world-wide epidemic of mirror-less people.  Or people without friends to re-direct them in their fashion choices.  Just because a bathing suit comes in your size, doesn't mean you should wear it.  While there were not too many skankily dressed women (pleasant surprise), there were a lot of perfectly fine, normal looking women who were wearing very unflattering suits.  Even if you're thin, it's hard to look good in a skimpy bikini if you don't have a perfect body and work out.  Just saying.
Perfect, right?!?!
Moving on to other excitement.  We got to parasail and ride the banana boat.  The Party says I should stop saying "ride the banana boat" because it sounds obscene.  He can be very juvenile.  Anyway, parasailing was very cool and not scary at all.  The only thing I would recommend to you is to say "no" if they ask if you want to touch down at the end to have your feet dip into the water.  As fun and refreshing as that sounds, it's not.  As you gently touch down into the water, your feet cause water to spray into your face in a manner similar to a tidal wave.  You are essentially drowning yourself.  I am still spitting out ocean water.

Now that banana boat...super fun!  You get pulled behind the motor boat and try to hold on.  The water that constantly sprays in your face is way less tidal-wavy, so that's good.  That's main information.  The story behind the story here is that it's way harder to hold on when the person driving the boat is trying to get you to fall/fly off.  After about 5 minutes of holding on for dear life, you really want him to stop for a few minutes so you can regroup and try to get the feeling back in your arms.  To get the driver to stop you have to give the hand signal for stop.  You have to let go of the handle on the banana to do that.  Problem.
Those people are smiling because they are
going half as fast and bumpy as we were.
We did get the guy to stop and we pulled ourselves together.  It's very hard to hold on when you are laughing hysterically the whole time, which we were.  On the way back, the driver doubled his efforts to toss us.  He got 2 of the 3 of us.  That's when the real fun started.  Very funny to go flying into the water.  Less funny trying to climb back onto the banana.  It's inflatable.  Any place you try to put your foot to help give you some leverage as you try to pull yourself on, just pushes in.  You are stuck trying to pull yourself up by only your arms and you are trying to pull yourself up over your own head.  Exactly.  It's not painting a pretty picture is it?  Think sea cow.  The driver had to dive in the water, climb on the banana and pull us back on.  While we're laughing hysterically, not being that helpful.  That'll teach him.  Not liking having been thwarted by the one us who didn't fall off the banana, the captain pushed my friend off the actual boat once she was off the banana.  Water safety at its finest.

Vacation Summary
Going away with just friends and no kids - awesome.
Eating and drinking whenever you want and having someone bring it to you - awesome.
Parasailing - awesome.
Tidal wave near-drowning - less awesome.
Riding banana boat - awesome.
Having to be drug back on board like a big heap - less awesome.

Friday, August 5, 2011

We Got Us Some Not News

I am waiting to get the necessary pictures (from one of the other girl's cameras) before I tell you about my trip to Virginia Beach with my friends.  Plus, I have to sort through in my head what is actually okay to share and what might be better left unpublished on the internet.  Every now and then I give that whole "think before you talk" thing a try.

See what happens?
In the interim, there is a LOT of Not News to share with you.  First we will start with Shark Week.  Actually, it's not that Shark Week isn't news.  It's that as a result of it being Shark Week we were treated to the "news" story of the guy who got his face bitten/lips lacerated as a result of trying to kiss a nurse shark.  That is not news.  That is like saying "I jumped in front of a moving car and got hit."  This is what happens when people think they are special and that the universal warning to remember that wild animals are, at heart, wild, does not apply to them.  Brings to mind the guy who recently got eaten by one of the giant bears he was hanging around with and studying.  Honestly!  Who tries to kiss a shark?  I hope his mother smacked him.  (You know I'm giving him a whistle).

Another Not News story.  Casey Anthony was "caught" out shopping.  It was even captured on video.  And?  She claims it was an accident and she was acquitted, is she supposed to stay in her house?  I mean, I am no fan, but how is it even marginally interesting that she was out shopping?  If we really want to show her that we don't like her and think she is crap, how about we stop putting her in the news and stop looking to get the "inside" story from her.

There is not even a
suspicious blood stain.
Moving on.  Big story.  President took his staff out for burgers to thank them for their hard work on the debt stuff.  Not News.  Not even that interesting.  If one of the staff had bitten the president then we'd have something.  Or if the burgers were made of shark caught during Shark Week.  Oh wait!  I know!  It would have been an awesome story if the president had charged the lunch to Donald Trump.

This one...I don't even know how to tell you about it.  It's totally Not News.  But, I am curious why it's not the evidence used to have this woman put under supervision of some nature.  Lots of stuff going on in the world, but AOL has chosen to report on the woman who built a castle out of wet hair from her shower as well as other hair she has collected.  I am actually going to give you the last few paragraphs because I couldn't possibly paraphrase it in a way that captured the true beauty.

This defies description
or explanation.

One function of the structure is to represent and help explore traditional gender archetypes. Traditionally, many boys want to be knights in shining armor,  she points out.  And girls? "Who doesn't want to be a princess?"

But, in fact, the archetypes aren't for everyone, she says, and in some ways, are damaging.

The archetypes are like a house of cards, a hairy tower of hairy cards.

Um, what is there to even say to this?.  It's bizarro and Not News and someone actually got money for reporting on it.  We are all clearly in the wrong line of work.

I cannot bear to keep looking for fear of what I will find next.  I will just start working on my vacation post.  Hey!  Maybe I will start another blog titled "The Crappiest Souvenirs from Around the Country."  I could let everyone know how to avoid wasting their money on crap and pissing off their family members with useless, ugly junk.   I could become like the Martha Stewart of vacation purchases.  I'll give you the first tip right now!  If you give someone a boxed shower cap with your hotel's name on it, they will know you didn't buy it and think you suck.  However, if you want to be thrifty, take said cap, de-box it and bedazzle it with the city's name.  Guaranteed crowd pleaser.

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