Thursday, May 28, 2009

On the bright side

In case you missed my earth-shattering announcement on Facebook, I have signed up to attend a fitness boot camp starting June 8. The camp is one hour per day, 4 days per week, for 4 weeks. At 5:30 AM. Yeah.

I have a few friends who have signed up to suffer with me, and I am actually looking forward to it in a self-harming kinda way. I keep telling myself that discipline is good, health is good. I then keep screaming back at myself, NO! SLEEP is good!

I have had plenty of people tell me that I will hate it and it will be awful. However, I think there are quite a few silver linings to be found on the (large, ominous and exhausting) cloud. May I present:

Good Things About Going to Fitness Boot Camp

1. I'll be able to do cool stuff after I'm done, like go through obstacle courses. Which I have the opportunity to do all the time.

2. When I'm on my way home at 6:40 AM, I can yell "Lazy Bum!" out my car window to the "early morning" joggers.

3. When Ethan climbs on top of the refrigerator I can get him down with one hand.

4. I will have radically increased coolness points. "Boot camp? Yeah, I've been. Not much of a challenge, but it kept me from getting bored."

5. I'll have an excuse to go to bed at 8:00.

6. I get to buy a darling little exercise mat and cute little weights.

7. It will keep my mind off the fact that I have a kid GOING INTO THE FIRST GRADE.

I'm sure there are lots of other great things about a month of fitness boot camp. Right? Right?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Karma is a duck

This afternoon I took the kids to the library for a little bit. The library is, of course, next to a very exciting park with a playground and swings and a pond with about a million ducks and geese, so of course it turned into a trip to the park. The weather was nice for once, so I didn't really mind. We started by heading over to the large playground.

There were plenty of kids there, but not so many that it felt crowded. However. There was a group of 4 or 5 boys, around age 11 I'd guess. When we got there, one of them was trying to skateboard down a slide. Two others were perched on top of the tunnel slide, trying to wrestle each other off. Now, I understand very well that boys that age have a lot of adventurous and roughhousing tendancies. Lord knows I will have to holler at Ethan to get off the roof of our house more than once when he's that age. My problem, though, is that they are acting out these tendancies on a playground, surrounded by little kids.

As I've gotten older, I've become more and more likely to speak up if someone is doing something that bothers me--remember this little gem? I tried to exercise self restraint, though, really. First I just glared at the boys for a while. Finally I couldn't take it any more, and I asked the one skateboarding down the slide to please leave the slide for kids who wanted to use it correctly. He nodded and scurried away. In his haste he left his skateboard at the bottom, and came back for it in a minute, avoiding eye contact the entire time. I thought about making a sudden loud noise to see if he'd jump.

Eventually, they all ended up on the swinging bridge, which is the only way to get to the largest slide. I watched Ethan make his way to the bridge--the boy loves a good slide. I took a deep breath and prepared to intervene, but before I had a chance, Ethan bellowed out "MOVE, GUYS!" You should have seen those boys scuttle. That's my boy! A few minutes later, Abby made it to the bridge. By this point the boys knew which kids were mine, so when they saw her coming I heard one of them say, "Quick guys, let this girl through." HA! A triumph.

Fortunately we didn't have to deal with them too much longer. I heard one of them say, "Let's go throw rocks at the ducks!" and they all tore off. It was all I could do not to chase after them screaming. But then I remembered something very important. The ducks at that park are MEAN. Those boys probably got their eyes pecked out.

Hey, turnabout is fair play!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Busy day

Friday was a big day for AMEN. Abby had her Kindergarten Celebration. It was adorable--120 6 year olds singing their hearts out. I cried the whole time. Look at their fancy rainbow look. Abby's on the back row, 5th from the left.

Here's the sassy thing afterwards. Her daddy gave her the flowers.
AMEN, minus the E. We decided that Ethan should go to Mother's Day Out as usual, or the day would not so much be about Abby as it would be about chasing Ethan through the auditorium.

Abs and her BFF Audrey. Audrey's dad was with the program on flowers too.

Later that night, we decided to take the kids to this random carnival that had set up shop in Springdale. We took Audrey with us, and right when we got there we ran into one of Abby's good friends from school, Lilyana, and her mom. The three girls were connected at the hip for the rest of the night.

Abby loves a good ride (she is my daughter after all) and even though Audrey is a little more timid, they were both ready to get on the kid coaster. I LOVE this picture of them. (Notice their earrings shining in the sunlight)
Ethan delighted in the rides too. He loves anything that's as wild as he is.

I rode the Ferris wheel and the Scrambler with Abby. I used to love the Scrambler, but I've clearly gotten old, because the whole time I was on it, all I could think was "OW! My neck! OW! My back!" She giggled hysterically the entire time, and rode it twice more with Lily.

It was such a great night--the weather was perfect and the kids were as close to angels as they've ever been.

We were tempted to go back the next night but decided not to because 1) Some memories should stand alone, and cannot be repeated, and 2) That carnival was a heist. $20 for one armband, even for Ethan!
We're doing shockingly little the rest of this holiday weekend, and I couldn't be more pleased. Laziness is a hobby of mine that I don't get to practice too often.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Abby and I waiting to hear:

Life is good!


Well, I did all I could do for Kris--2,500 text messages before my thumb gave out. Can't wait to see tonight!

Today is an absurdly beautiful day. I had errands to run, and I got to do one of my favorite things ever--drive with my windows down, playing fun music REALLY loud. I must look like a fool, but I could not care less. Now that I have straight hair, at least I don't have an Afro when I get home.

I realized today that I need to load some more good LOUD music to my iPod. You can't depend on the radio anymore--every time I tried to find something, Lady Gaga was hollering at me about her poker face. I did have a few gems already, though. I jammed (I know that's completely uncool to say, but I don't know what word kids these days are using instead) to Black Eyed Peas, Green Day and Aerosmith (I think Holiday and Jaded may be the best two rock songs ever).

It got me thinking, and I've already got a few more songs to download in mind. I want Gwen Stefani's Sweet Escape, Kanye West's Gold Digger, and a couple more. Does anyone have any other suggestions for me?

And yes, I know song titles are supposed to be italicized. My sense of propriety was overriden by my sense of laziness.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It is ON!

Thanks to my new unlimited texting plan, the brilliance of "power texting" and my efforts to create text drafts this afternoon, I have already submitted 1750 votes for Kris in the first hour. That's right--SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY. ONE THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY.

I'll talk about the show tomorrow-more texting to do. Anyone have a band-aid for my thumb?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Can I get an AMEN?? Kris in the finale! Pretty sure my 114 votes did it.


I am now ready to go to extreme measures. I am going to change my texting plan to unlimited so I can participate in this power texting business (send 10 texts at once--read how here). 88 million votes is absolutely insane, and I bet it tops 100 million next week. This is terribly exciting! If you can't get enough, I've found to be a fun site to peruse.

Oh, and Katy Perry is such a punk for wearing that stupid cape.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Did Ryan really call them the 3 Amigos?

These are your three finalists, and THIS (pause) IS THE ADAM SHOW!

Oh wait.

Seriously, it's obnoxious how blatantly AI is setting it up for Adam to take the win. The thing is, I LIKE Adam. Just fine. What I don't like is the fact that the producers are trying to affect the outcome. For crying out loud, Simon ASKED people to vote for Adam! I mean, if you're going to try to manipulate the results, at least be moderately discreet about it.

Okay, anti-propoganda speech completed, moving on. My observations of the show tonight:

1. Terrence Trent D'Arby?
2. I LOVE the song Apologize, and I think Kris did just fine with it.
3. Love Adam, but you don't mess that much with a song like One. You just don't.
4. Danny was great in round two. Finally learning to mix it up a little and get original.
5. Kris' song choice was BRILLIANT. Kanye West? Really? Talk about swagger. He had it in spades. I thought it was a fantastic performance. I was going to go postal if the judges weren't in love, but fortunately they were.
6. Sorry again Adam, but you just can't out-scream Steven Tyler.
7. What's up with them not showing the hometown visits at all? I guess they're going to put it on tomorrow night, but hasn't it always been on the performance show in the past?

I've been voting like crazy since the show was over. I'm having a hard time getting through, which is good news. Even now I'm typing a few words, then voting.

What did you think? Are you voting? What was the best performance of the night? (It was Heartless for me, hands down.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bling for my baby

I can't believe I'm just now getting around to writing this post. The weekend was a smidge hectic. Anyway, on Friday, AMEN had dinner plans with our good friends Chad and Marla and their kids, Audrey (Abby's BFF), Avery (Ethan's betrothed) and Ailey (the squishy baby). Marla and I decided at the last second that we were going to grant the older girls their months-long dream and get their ears pierced. Oh, you should have heard the giggles of excitement. We went into Claire's (ah, the memories) and both girls honed in immediately on sparkly pink flowers for their first set.

Abby went first, and was very brave, considering. I could tell she was getting nervous, but before she had a chance to freak too much, the first earring went in.

I won't lie--she wasn't too thrilled with the sensation. I just prayed that she would let the girl put the second one in, and she did. She was wailing pretty hard by then, but the genius Claire's girl produced a lollipop from behind the counter, and all of a sudden things were dandy. Within 2 minutes she was pain-free and gleefully eyeing her adorned ears.

Unfortunately, Audrey had witnessed the display and was none too keen to follow suit. We decided to have dinner while she thought about it. Sure enough, 20 minutes later she had gathered her courage, and we returned after dinner. Her reaction was pretty much the same as Abby's. I was so proud of both the girls, and their new baubles look stunning.

This week is going to be a killer. Matt is in LA at a Microsoft conference all week. Abby has FIVE softball games, and I am running a PTA rummage sale at her school this Saturday. I could use your prayers, and failing that, any extra Valuum you may have.

Okay, some schmo down the street is using Ethan's nap time to work on his nasty muffler'less truck. I have to go ruffle some feathers. Idol update tomorrow if it kills me!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

AI: Conspiracy Theory

I am an optimist. I always look for the good in a situation, and I always try to believe the best about people.


I'm having a hard time right now. Since the show's beginning, conspiracy theorists have accused American Idol producers of having a hand in determining the winner, from weighted judges' comments to performance order to outright vote rigging. I have always brushed off the idea, but after tonight, I'm finally starting to think it's probably true. The evidence:

1. The only person to receive rave reviews is Adam. Not all that unheard of, but put it in context with the rest.

2. Adam has never gone first (considered a huge detriment) until tonight. A night that was clearly going to be his to own by virtue of the genre (rock and roll). He has, however, gotten the coveted last performance spot more than once.

3. The genre was rock and roll! In a season that has given the contestants more freedom than ever before in song choice (Billboard Top 100s! iTunes downloads!), a niche type of music like rock and roll, which so clearly does suit two contestants and does NOT suit the other two, is quite fishy this late in the game.

4. More than once, Simon referred to Adam's brilliance while judging OTHER people's performances.

5. Even though Adam and Allison went first and second, they STILL managed to be the last performers with this crazy duet business. Those duets didn't do any favors for Kris or Danny, but were a genius move for Allison and Adam.

6. This is a little farfetched, but I started trying to vote for Kris a little after 8, and neither of his numbers started working until around 8:20. Now, I can get through most of the time, but there is a good 10 second pause between the time the number's dailed and the time the recording picks up. Also, about one out of every 5 or 6 calls never connects. Did anyone vote for one of the other contestants? Was your experience the same?

Well, this wasn't technically a review of the performances of the show, but I'm feeling a little jaded right now. I hope you'll understand. I like Adam--a lot. I just don't think it's fair that the cards seem to be stacked for him.

I really want to know what everyone thinks. Am I right? Or just paranoid? Did you vote? What happened? Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Character is overrated

That great news? That I almost talked about but didn't at the last minute? Good thing, because it didn't happen. It was a business thing, a company that two friends and I almost franchised into, but it didn't work out. We're bummed out, but beyond sure that it was the right decision to back out.

What's amazing is that I had no idea how worked up people can get when you dangle a secret in front of them! I'll never do that again.

Whoo! Okay, glad to put that behind me. Now I can resume blogging as usual. I had a wedding this weekend in Eureka Springs, and while the wedding itself was completely normal, it took place in the Crescent Hotel. Any time I'm in the Crescent, I know that I could be within earshot of some real freak shows. This weekend was no exception. I heard one couple excitedly asking their bellhop what kinds of pranks the ghosts would pull in their room. Another woman stopped me and, inexplicably mistaking me for a hotel employee, asked me if she was in the right place for her tarot reading appointment. Now, please know that I am not criticizing people who believe in playful ghosts or tarot cards. I am just making fun of them. They are strange and silly and if you're one of them, then I'm sorry to tell you this, but you too are strange and silly.

I have nothing against places like the Crescent, but it's just not my cup of tea. I don't want to take a tour guided by a woman in period dress, I don't want to ooh and ahh over the hotel's pet cat, I don't want a "quaint" room that has a creaky floor and a junky door that rattles every time someone walks past. I don't want "character". I want COMFORT. Give me a brand spankin new Embassy Suites with modern furniture, three telephones and a blackout curtain. Most of all, give me privacy. I don't want you to tell me when the building was built, or that some spirit is going to hide my toothbrush in the night, or what some deck of cards says I'm going to do tomorrow. I just want to lay up and watch the giant plasma tv on the wall. Is that too much to ask?