Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Laughed So Hard, I Cried!

I have a new, absolute favorite blog! I stumbled across this site, thanks to a post on Domestically Disabled Girl's blog. I was belly-laughing so hard my husband thought I'd lost my mind. I had tears streaming down my face. Oh my gosh, I needed that kind of laughter tonight!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Don't Get It!

  • Open-toed boots...what's the point?
  • People who can't pick their dog's mess up off my front yard...did you not SEE him squatting while you stood there? Can I give you a baggie next time? Knock on my door...please!
  • Parents who swear they want to keep their kids innocent as long as possible, then hire DJs for their daughter's 13th birthday and think it's "cute" when she and 30 of her adolescent friends all sing, er, scream along to the lyrics, "I kissed a girl and I liked it..."
  • Showing an explicit trailer for a very scary horror movie immediately in front of a feature film geared toward 'tween girls...seriously, what are they thinking?
  • Excommunicating one church member for putting together a very innocent "beefcake" calendar, but practically mandating your congregation support the books and films of another member who writes about friggin' heroes??!!
  • Fruitcake...'nuf said!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Help Me Choose, Win Jewelry!

Seriously folks, I know my last post bordered on pathetic. Poor me, trying to figure out where to take a dream vacation, right?

I need help, and I'm willing to resort to bribery in order to solicit as much input as possible. There's a genius idea out there somewhere, I just know it! In the spirit of fun (and bribery, of course) I'm hosting a jewelry!

This giveaway will consist of two parts: a randomly chosen winner, and a winner based on my final destination selection. So, leave me a comment with your suggestion or dream vacation idea/experience. I will use to select a winner from all comments submitted. Then, once I make a final choice as to where I will be going, I will award a second prize to whomever suggested that destination. In the event that more than one person makes the winning suggestion, the individual who posted their comment first gets the prize.
***Earn yourself a bonus entry if you post a link from your blog to this contest!***

Now, what is the prize, you ask?

Brand new Cookie Lee jewelry! The winners will each receive a beautiful necklace from Cookie Lee, with many to choose from. (Full disclosure, I am a CL consultant)

In order to keep your suggestion within the realm of what I'm looking for, here are some things to know:

  • I want to go somewhere I will most likely never have a chance or reason to go with my family. So, forget Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and most of Mexico...I hope to take my own family there someday.

  • I want to go somewhere that will not be overrun with crazy high school and college grads on all-you-can-drink party trips.

  • I'd like to limit my travel time from Phoenix to my final destination to under 24 hours...this is the trip of a lifetime, and I don't want to spend 3 out of 7 days of it in airports or on planes.

  • I am open to almost any kind of destination. I do better in third world conditions than in ultra-high-end/super-all-inclusive resorts. If I go somewhere like Jamaica I'd be more likely to end up trawling the local markets than sitting on a private beach with an umbrella in my drink...that's just the kind of girl I am.

  • I enjoy hiking and exploring, but I'm no triathlete and I am turning forty, after all. Forty and a little out of shape. Ok, a lot out of shape.

So, where should I go?

Where in the World?

I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity before me, and it's making me crazy!

Let me backtrack a bit... I have a wonderful friend who has been an amazing part of my life for almost a quarter-century. Her friendship has seen me through so many ups and downs over the years. We supported each other through several painful relationships and subsequent breakups, and always manage to pick up right where we leave off, despite the fact that we have not lived in the same time zone for 15 years. She is, plain and simple, a great friend.

She has also found substantial success in her professional life. In the past 7 years, she has nailed a regular TV show, two book deals, and her own cosmetics line. Life has been good to this hard-working girl, and I am thrilled for her and her success!

Well, I have a big birthday coming up in less than 6 months. Yup, I'm turning forty in May. How the hell that snuck up on me, I'll never know. My dear friend recently called to remind me that the big day is hanging over my head, and to ask me what I had planned. I figured “fixing myself a hemlock cocktail” was a bit on the melodramatic side, so I just admitted I had nothing planned yet. She took the opportunity to declare that she wanted to treat me to a Girls’ Trip for my birthday…anywhere I want to go, anything I want to do.

“Ok, let’s go pet penguins in Patagonia!” I shot back.

She said we could do that.

Or we could climb Kilimanjaro…

Cruise the Nile…

Take the train from Dakar to Bamako and hire Tuareg guides to escort us to Timbuktu…

Drink rum on a beach in the Caribbean until we turn purple…

She literally meant anywhere and anything…her treat!

This is an incredibly generous offer, the kind of opportunity that I would have killed for in the past. Now, however, it presents a whole bunch of challenges.

First…I’m a mom with three kids. I have a wonderful husband who has always supported anything I wanted to do. I know he will do whatever he can to make this trip possible for me. He’ll make sure the kids are well cared-for. He’ll drive me to the airport. He’ll even double check my packing to make sure I don’t forget my toothbrush or socks. Still, I have to consider the fact that there are now a bunch of little people counting on me to come back, safe and sound. That kind of limits where I can go and what I can do. So, for as much as I would LOVE to head to Rwanda and climb the Virungas to Dian Fossey’s Mountain Gorilla Research Center, it’s probably not prudent when one considers the current state of instability in neighboring Congo. Conflict in that part of the world has a tendency to spill across borders.

Second…I have major guilt at my inability to reciprocate. This is a big one for me. I have spent the past week trying to remind myself that there was a time when I sent this same girlfriend Trader Joe’s care packages filled with boxed soups, peanut butter, pasta, and other staples so she wouldn’t starve while struggling to make it in NYC in the early days of her career. I know, because she’s told me repeatedly, that she wants to do stuff like this…that it’s not a big deal because the nature of her business means she’s accumulated more airline miles and AMEX points than she’ll ever be able to use on her own. My own perspective, after ten years of paycheck-to-paycheck school teaching, makes it hard to wrap my brain around this kind of lifestyle. It baffles me!

Finally…there are too many choices! Literally, there’s a whole world of possibilities out there!

I want to do something I’d never have the chance to do again.

I want to go somewhere I’m not likely to go with my family “someday”…so no Hawaii or Mexico.

I want to go somewhere that won’t require 24+ hours just to get there…if this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip I want it to start ASAP!

Poor me…what a tough choice!

Any suggestions?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not Such Good Odds

What are your chances of surviving a bear attack?

Given all the bears I've been running into recently, I figured I had better be aware of my odds of survival if I'm NOT in my car the next time. Looks like I'd better sign up for some wrestling lessons mighty quick!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Go Fast, Good Cop, Dead Cow Road

I guess it was bound to happen...

Despite the fact that I racked up a fair number of parking tickets in college (my classes were soooooo far), I have not been cited for a moving violation in over 20 years. That is, until last Thursday.

My new job entails more highway driving than I've done in quite a while. Arizona is a big state with lots of lonely roads. I'd had a 32 ounce McDonalds Vanilla Iced Coffee that morning. It was only 3 more miles to the next restroom.

Then I saw one of these:

The speed limit was 55.

I was clocked doing 76.

That was after slowing down because I spotted Mr. Officer's black SUV lurking in the brush up ahead of me.

I guess my 1996 Maxima has some guts after all! I also guess my foot is a little heavier than I thought.

Fortunately my almost-arresting officer (21+ mph over the speed limit can be a criminal offense...who knew!) had mercy on me and my tiny bladder and only kept me on the side of the road for about 45 minutes while checking my ID against state and federal wanted lists, INTERPOL, and Intergalactic Law Enforcement. I drove away (slowly, of course) with a big, fat speeding ticket and a stern warning about the dangers of exceeding the speed limit on AZ Highway 238, AKA "Dead Cow Road".


Yes, Mobile Road is fondly referred to as Dead Cow Road by the locals because of the large number of bovine fatalities alongside the highway following sparring matches with moving vehicles.


Add that to my list of interesting Arizona place names.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Congratulations, Mr. President

I am so proud to be an American tonight! Finally, we as a nation are living up to the promise of our great Declaration of Independence.

No matter your politics, no matter your opinions about this man's stance on specific moral issues, social issues, financial issues, or whatever, I hope you at least take a moment to give thanks for the privilege of witnessing this historic event in our lifetime.

Perhaps the best part of tonight is having my children ask why this was such a big deal. After all, in their minds, it just seems to make perfect sense that a person of color could be elected President of the United States. In their words, "Why not?"

I love that we are finally at this point.

Halfway There!

Actually, MORE than half way now. Barack Obama currently has a projected 174 of the necessary 270 electoral votes to clinch the Presidency.

Oh, happy day!

Do It!

Have you voted yet?

I went to my neighborhood polling location early this morning. Despite the predicted crowds and long lines, I really wanted to vote in person. No matter how you look at it, today is an historic day. I guess I wanted to relish the full experience of participating in history's unfolding.

There was a line, but the wait was not unpleasant. Spirits were high, and everyone in line seemed upbeat and excited to be there. People were patient and courteous.

It was awesome, looking around and seeing the experience:

The elderly Vietnamese immigrant couple behind me...
The young woman in her camouflage Army uniform...
The large number of people of color (in a precinct that is predominantly caucasian)...
The white-haired women with their smart shoes and bags...
The men and women in their work clothes (scrubs, suits, McDonalds uniforms, etc.)...

It made me so damn proud to be American!

So, again, have you voted? Red or blue, left or right, elephant or donkey, make the most of your right to be heard.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!

A few days late, but here are some highlights from around our home. Hubby went all out decorating, obviously. Gotta love the "Death Star" pumpkin he carved! Hope your Halloween was safe and enjoyable. Friends who are signed up can check out my kiddos on our other blog here.