Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rats and Brats and the End of Summer

On June 1, we were a happy, healthy family of 3. DSD, Lola and I had our routine down whether it included taking the baby girl for a walk or cooking dinner. Then my son moved back home. I have missed him and am glad he is there, but it changed things up a bit. Then DSD's ex moved to California leaving LittleMan with us until the middle of August. LittleMan AND Henry, a 5 year old, anti-social West Highland Terrier.

So our family of 3 became a family of 6 and I am not dealing well with it. I love LittleMan, but that does not mean that I LIKE him. He is incredibly socially awkward. He may actually be slightly mentally challenged he is just that awkward. DSD and I had a discussion yesterday afternoon, about Henry, with LittleMan standing between us and when DSD asked him a question LittleMan looked around like he was coming out of a trance. This was in the kitchen, so he wasn't watching TV.

On top of that, Henry is not well behaved at all. He is house broken, but he has NO doggy manners. He does not sit, he does not stay, he does not come, he.does.not.listen. And Lola thinks he is her brand new chew toy. She wants to squeak him. She will cease and desist once you get her attention, but she really is still a puppy. An 80 pound puppy. I spend a lot of time hearing, "Lola stop. Lola quit. Lola leave him alone." And it pisses me off.

And the ex 'forgot' to check whether Henry could fly out with LittleMan. And she 'forgot' to find out what paperwork would be required to let him on the plane. And, so far, she has 'forgotten' to make Henry reservations.

So DSD decided it would be swell for us to go visit his parents before the LittleMan leaves the state. They are six hours away. Frankly, it makes me want to kick something to think of my lost weekend. I actually love my in-laws, but they EXHAUST me. Did I mention that I was completely mentally exhausted already? And I am supposed to start back to school in 13 days?

Maybe I will run away instead.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Movie Review: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"

I normally do not like movies made from books. There are a few exceptions, as there are to every rule, "The DaVinci Code" and "Jaws" to name 2, but they are few and far between. I have seen every Potter movie so far, in the theater. I have seen most of them on opening day and I reviewed the last one, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" on this blog. It wasn't exactly complimentary. I was expecting to leave "Half-Blood Prince" as angry and annoyed as I left "Order of the Phoenix."

BabyBoy and I had planned to go to the midnight premiere. I bought tickets online, but, due to the fact that everyone I work with and my entire family laughed at the fact that we were going at midnight, I didn't expect anyone else to be there. Silly me. We arrived at 11:15 for a 12:01 showing. All four theaters were sold out and there were A LOT of people standing in the lobby. BabyBoy worked at this particular theater for almost a year and informed me, later, that each theater held over 300 people. So, at a guess, there were about 1,000 people in that lobby.

We had a brief discussion about whether or not to stay or go back the next day. I picked up my prepurchased tickets and handed them to the nice man patiently waiting (and politely begging) next to the ticket window. He paid for the tickets and BabyBoy and I went home!

We arrived back at the theater the next day at 12:30pm for a 1:00pm show. We had no problems buying tickets or popcorn or finding seats. By the time the previews were over the theater was pretty well packed, but we didn't care. Again, I prepared myself for upset, anger and disappointment.

And was pleasantly surprised that I had very little of all three. Even better, I laughed out loud on several occasions. This movie was the one I had been waiting for. This movie showed us the characters and made us care about them.


There was Harry, obviously carrying a torch for Ginny, but not sure what to do about it.
There was Ron and Hermione, carrying a torch for each other but not sure what to do about it.
There was Ron, accidently consuming a love potion meant for Harry and falling all over himself
(Sue me, I enjoy a little slapstick humor)
There was Draco, sobbing alone in the bathroom.
There was Hermione showing what an awesome witch she really is.

There were parts which were left out:
Memories of the Gaunts and other Riddle memories.
Harry's detentions.
The battle at the end.
The funeral.
The Dursleys.
Kreacher and Sirius' will.
Dobby.. again?

There were parts which were added:
The Burrow BURNED?
Tonks and Lupin together? Already?
Ginny and Harry together in the Room of Requirement

Those were all odd or strange, but the parts that made me nuts were the parts which were changed:
Harry standing quietly while someone he loved is threatened? Right!
Exactly where the potions book is now.
A better explanation of what other Horcruxes could be out there.

DSD took LittleMan a week after BabyBoy and I had seen the movie. DSD enjoyed it, LittleMan, not so much, but the reasoning behind that is another post that will, hopefully, be up soon. DSD, who has never read the books, understood about Horcruxes (and even figured out one not mentioned in the movie) but had many questions about other things that the movie did not explain, including Fenrir Greyback, because he had no idea who he was or why he looked so funny.

All in all, this was a much better movie than Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix. As a book adaptation it was lousy, but, just as a movie on its own, it was pretty good.

There will be two movies made out of the last book. Hopefully, between the two of them, they will answer all the questions, those of the book readers and the non-book readers. If not, I hope they are at least entertaining, as this movie was.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Facebook Crazy

I like Facebook.

I was never a MySpacer and I don't really understand Twitter, so any social networking I do, I do on Facebook.

I have reconnected with BOTH of the boys I had a crush on in 5th grade. I have reconnected with my best friend from Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade and many other people I have not seen in many years. Facebook has made me sad about the lost opportunities with the friend I lost last year since I am now friends with her husband. I hear all about what he and the children are doing most days.

But Facebook makes me very uncomfortable with the religious craziness of MANY of my friends and MOST of my relatives.*

A recent post read, "The only comforting thing I found was knowing that Derrick was covered by the Blood of Jesus and God does still hear and answers Prayers."

Not only is this statement grammatically incorrect (and typos happen!) it is just plain odd. One of my cousins recently begged her Facebook friends to PRAY that GOD sends her family a mini-van! (I can't make this up!) She didn't want it for free; she was willing to pay for it. I guess she just didn't want to be bothered with Autotrader.com.

Maybe I am the odd one, but I don't think God reads Facebook. I think if I want to thank Him for my fabulous husband,** I should just do so and move on. If I get an A in my next class, I should thank Him (quietly) for the brains to do the work. I am not depending on Him to take my tests.

If my mother is having surgery, I am not even sure I would post it on Facebook, but I am CERTAIN I would not TELL everyone to pray for her. How am I supposed to respond to that since I am not a huge prayer?

Am I being a little judgmental? Maybe. But I am pretty sure that is still allowed in this country.
At least for now.

*Ok, 99% of my relatives on Facebook, there is the one cousin who doesn't constantly talk about God, but she is 32, has 2 kids and still lives at home with her parents.

**I am not crazy about my husband right now, so I would probably be yelling at God about him if I felt the need to discuss him with God. I am sure it is a passing thing, but STILL!

A Raise For Many

Just after I graduated high school, while in my first year of college, I worked at a day care. I thought, at the time, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, so the day care was a good idea. Plus I was 18 and this left my nights and weekends free. :-)

I made $3.35 an hour.

I netted (if I remember correctly) about $113 a week.

I was living at home. The only bill I had was a car payment, but I was considering moving into an apartment across town with a friend. 2 BR/ 1 BA. $220 a month. I would have been stretched pretty thin, my friend got engaged, we decided against it.

Several years ago Floridians voted on whether or not to raise the state minimum wage from the federal level of $5.15. My brother and I had words over it. Of course I voted to raise it. He said, out loud, "It was only $3.35 when I graduated; it's gone up since then. Why are people complaining?"

Of course he doesn't make minimum wage and he can't make ends meet. But, according to him (and others), raising the state or federal minimum wage just causes the prices of everything else to be raised, therefore making the raises null and void and causing the rest of us (who make more than minimum wage) to lose spending power.

I am not an economist. But I think my brother is full of shit.*

Because prices have continually risen over the last 24 years since I graduated high school. The price of gas, bread, milk, green beans, cars and houses (to name a very few) has skyrocketed in the last 10 years alone.

Here is a cute little website showing the average cost of things in 1985 when I graduated and minimum wage was $3.35.

Here is the same website updated for 2001, the last year the cost of living is available when minimum wage was $5.15.

Prices had gone up tremoundously, minimum wage not so much.

There are also many who say raising the wage will put some people out of jobs, because smaller businesses can't afford it. Maybe, but the truth is that there are many businesses who CAN afford to pay their employees more than minimum wage, who can even afford to pay their employees a living wage and they don't. Why? Because the company owners may only be able to afford two trips to Europe this year, the poor babies.

If people were paid fairly by those who can afford to pay them, we would not need a law. But people are hateful, horrible and greedy and must be FORCED to pay.

And we wonder why our country is sinking to quickly into the toilet!

*My brother isn't an economist either, he is a dipshit.

Monday, July 20, 2009


There is a lot going on in the world. In my life. I should be blogging up a storm on health care reform, Walter Cronkite's passing, Sotomayor's confirmation hearings, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," all the people in my house now and how I really don't like my 14 year old step son. But all I am managing is a few healthy yawns.

Maybe this is due to the help I have been giving a friend in her English comp class, proofing and editing her papers. Maybe it is due to all of the writing I am going to be doing next month when school starts again. Maybe it is due to the time I am spending trying to gather enough evidence to get one of the people I work with fired.

I don't know.

But this has happened before and I have returned more long winded and wittier than ever. So says I. Hopefully this doesn't last long.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not Around Much This Week

I am around, just not on the computer much. I am having what is affectionately called a staycation. This is where you take your vacation time, but don't actually leave town. I think staycationers are supposed to do day trips to the beach or museum or something in their local area to relax and save money at the same time, but I took the time off to get things around the house completed that I never seem to have time to do. Like clean out my closet and my filing cabinet.

Plus I have not taken more than a couple of days off in the 20 months since the weddding and I am tired!

Of course, I was planning to spend a portion of each day in the pool, and, wouldn't you know it? It finally rains! We need the rain, because we received almost none in June, but every.single.day?

Oh, well. I am actually at work right this minute. Yesterday was a deadline and I had to come in to see if anyone made it and clean out my emails and voicemails, but I am leaving shortly.

I hope your week is going well.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Let Freedom Ring

I wanted to write something inspirational on this lovely day where we remember those who started this great experiment we call the United States of America. I wanted to write beautifully about the Declaration of Independence and how we see it now, 233 years later.

I just don't think I have that kind of talent, or that kind of time, since we are headed to the lake shortly. But Mustang Bobby does. Read his thoughts and then, if you have time, read the Declaration. We aren't perfect, but we are the best experiment going.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Happy Birthday America.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I Wish This Was Good-bye!

Sarah Palin is stepping down on July 26th as Governor of Alaska. Why? Why knows?

I was thrilled when I first heard this; I thought that maybe she had realized that she was way out her league and over her head and that she would serve Alaska, this country, and the world better if she returned to car pooling and hockey momming and putting lipstick on her pit bull. Alas, I am probably wrong.

Most likely she is stepping down to stick her nose into the rest of the business of the country and possibly get more coverage for her 2012 campaign.

Hey, more power and press coverage to her, I say. The more she appears publicly; the more stupid she appears.

And, part of me felt sorry for the people of Alaska, but the other part was, "You were stupid enough to elect her, you deserve what you get."

Say It Ain't So!

According to a report by CBS news, Sarah Palin is, are you ready for it? A liar!

The entire point of this article seems to be showing that ol' Sarah and the McCain staff didn't get a long very well. But what I got out of it was the fact that she was trying to cover up her husband's involvement in the Alaskan Independence Party. He was a member. He wanted Alaska to be its own country and his wife was a candidate for Vice-President of the very country he no longer wanted to be a part of. And she wants to run for President in 2012.

And the Republican party does not seem to think this is an issue?

I think it is an issue.

No More Contractors!

Ok, the house looks great! New windows, new siding, new gutters, new shutters. Pretty much, except for the garage door (which should probably go on the list!) and the roof, which was replaced in '03, the entire exterior of the house is brand new.

But I was absolutely sick and tired of contractors all around the house all day. Many mornings someone was here before I went to work and still here when I arrived home. They were nice guys and did an excellant job, but I am so glad they are gone!

I will get some pictures posted as soon as I take the time to download them from the camera!