College?! Already?

Yesterday, was our first College Fair. #1 was excited about going, and got a lot of good information. #2, reluctantly,went with us, though it was only in hopes of getting some food, because she clearly didn't want to be there, and made no effort to hide her feelings about it. The phrase of the day: "This is dumb, I'm hungry, can we go now?"

Then it happened, she saw a Performing Arts School in Chicago, and there was a spark of interest. And, like a hurricane strength wind, I quickly blew it out!

♪Here I am, rock you like a hurricane♪ (The Scorpions)

I should have held back. I should have let her explore it on her own, but I couldn't control myself. I was so excited that she had an interest in anything, that I jumped on the moment; practically leaping to the booth, I said "Let's go over there!" "Here, take a brochure!" "Look at all the programs!"

And, with that, the spark was gone, and in it's place was the arms crossed, eyes glaring, look of irritation, that my dear 15 year old #2 has perfected. I should have known better! At this phase in her life, the best thing I can do is to feign disinterest, to let her think it's what she wants and not what Mom wants, because, you know, the last thing she wants to do is anything, Mom wants her to do! So, I'm working on perfecting my own arms crossed, eyes rolled, look of irritation with a "whatever" response; in hopes of gently kindling that little spark, the next time.

On the positive side, #1 has a much more defined list of colleges that she wants to attend. With 13 schools on her list, we have a lot of research to do over the next few months to get it narrowed down, because at $35-$50 a pop, we would be out a small fortune just to apply. Does someone have a scholarship for application fees, cause, we sure need it! ♪I want money, that's what I want♪

This little day trip, allowed me the opportunity to hear what #2 is listening to, and I'm happy to report that there were no "Show Me Yo Booty Hole" type songs around. Quite a few rock songs have made their way to her play list including: BYOB (System of a Down) 45 (Shinedown) as well as a remix of the classic Ram Jam ♪Whoa Black Betty, ram-ba-lam ♪

Also, on the list was a new one to me: Ride through the Country by Colt Ford, a sort of country rapper, and a good one.

And my top pick from #2's play list: Live Like We're Dying by Kris Allen

A great reminder to all of us, that life is precious and moments are fleeting. Treasure each of them. And, even, when your kids are rolling their eyes, stomping their feet and sucking their teeth, even then, tell them that you love them...then smack them up side the head! What the hell are they thinkin', talking to you that way!

Have a happy Music Monday!

Writer's Workshop: Don't Speak

Time for Writer's Workshop at Mama Kat's. This week's prompt is a request for advice from a new blogger:

Brea from Tomika’s Treasure Trove wants your advice: Quick question. I am new to the blogging world, having clocked up less than 2 weeks worth of posts, and I have just had an ‘Anonymous’ commenter slam me for blogging about my daughter, mentioning her by name, posting photos and up-to-date stories about her. I have not mentioned anywhere in my blog where we live, Country OR State, or what school she goes to. I have also seen, on several other blogs, that other parents do the same thing as me. Some even mention where they live. I was wondering, as a fellow blogger who posts about your family, what are your thoughts on the subject?

Have you ever looked at someone who's lost weight and thought: "What the hell are you thinking?! You look like crap, you better go eat something, you were meant to be fat!"?

Have you seen that woman at the store who has clearly had her lips done and they look so big and puffy like someone stuck a plunger to her face and just kept right on pulling, and all you want to do is walk up and poke em to see if they feel as funny as they look? Well, do you? Do you poke 'em?!

What about the woman who is trying to shop for groceries with one kid hanging from her neck, while another kid sits crying in the cart, and another slightly older one yells "Mommy, mommy, mommy, Can I get this? Can I mommy, can I?!" while still another kid has just run around to the other aisle.

You've seen her right? So, do you go up to her and tell her what a terrible parent she is for subjecting her kids to grocery shopping? or for letting her kid run off? And, then do you berate her for using his real name when she's yelling at him to come back?

Do you make a public scene of humiliating these people?

No, you don't do that?! Well, why not? Oh, because you don't even know the person, and it would be rude?! I see...

♪so walk on by, don't stop, walk on by♪ (Dionne Warwick)

So, why? Why is it okay to berate someone on a blog under the name of "Anonymous"?
Somethings just don't need to be said, and if they must be said, try a more personal setting, or an e-mail, or at least be courteous about how you say it!

♪Don't speak...don't tell me cuz it hurts♪ (No Doubt)

If you are "Anonymous" try telling secrets over at Secretia's place. She loves "Anonymous."

♪I'll keep you my dirty little secret♪ (All American Rejects)

If you want to comment but are not a blogger, you can sign up with google for a reader account, or just include your e-mail.

♪your name, your name, why you gotta be anonymous♪ (Bobby Valentino)

To Brea, don't worry about it too much. It's your page, and your child, so do what you are comfortable with. Drama's still going to happen, Anonymous is still going to comment and sometimes you'll even get an entire "Anonymous" conversation that has nothing to do with anything on your blog. But the great thing about being the blogger is you can push that delete comment button on anything you don't like.

Post-it note Tuesday, Contagious Efforts

We will we will rock you! (Queen)
All I need is the air that I breathe (Hank Williams, Jr.)

That don't impress me much (Shania Twain)

Get up, Stand up (Bob Marley)

Since I've been home, I've been able to catch up on some videos on CMT, & VH1 (yes, they still play music, but apparently only when I'm normally at work and unable to watch.) Here's a fun one that takes a trip down memory lane through fashion and dancing. How 'bout those 80's dance moves?!

Watch the video then dance on over to Supah's for some more Post-it notes.

Wordless (full) Wednesday- Tattooed

Yes, that's #1 getting her first tattoo. And, Yes, I'm the proud mom right there taking a picture of it. And, yes, she's just 17. ♪She was just 17, you know what I mean♪ (Beatles)

Right about this time, 17 years ago, I was in a car with my friend and Bear on the way to the "clinic" with a film case full of pee, because my friend said it had to be the first morning's pee, and I couldn't find anything else to put it in. Do you know how hard it is to try to pee into a small film case?! Do you even remember film cases?!

Anyway, I was on my way to the clinic, with pee in hand, in hope of getting a free pregnancy test. And, I was skipping school to do it, because I was just 17.

At the "clinic" they wouldn't let Bear come back with me. They didn't care that he was the father of the potential baby inside me, and they didn't care that were engaged. Absolutely, no men were allowed! I should have left then, but I had no money to buy a test, and I needed to know if I was pregnant, so back I went, alone.

They confirmed it! They confirmed I was pregnant! I was so excited! I couldn't wait to tell Bear, but they wouldn't let me. I couldn't see him until I watched a video. An anti-abortion video! I tried to explain that there was no way I was getting rid of my baby, that it wasn't even an option, but they insisted that I watch it. It was horrible! Here I had just received this amazing news that I was to give birth to the child of the man I loved, and they were forcing me to watch these horrific images! And, then, they tried to get me, to agree, to give my baby up for adoption! No Way! They told me how I would be better off, how I could enjoy being young, how I could always have more later, blah, blah blah...

Papa don't preach, I'm in trouble deep, but I made up my mind, I'm keeping my baby♪ (Madonna)

I may have been just 17, but I knew what I wanted. I knew that I could love that child more than anyone, ever would, and nobody would convince me other wise! Not some strangers in a clinic, not my mother, nobody! Did I understand the decision I was making? Absolutely! Did I know how difficult it would be? Of course! But was it a difficult decision? No! There was never was any other choice for me, or Bear, we loved that baby before we even knew of her existence!

So #1 is 17, and before I know it, she'll be 18, an adult, legally responsible for all of her decisions. So what difference does a few months make? If I can make one of the best decisions of my life at 17, I think she can make the small decision of deciding to get a tattoo. Because, long ago, she gave me a tattoo...on my heart.

♪you're on my heart, just like a tattoo♪ (Jordin Sparks)

Here, it is, her tattoo. 3 Stars, just like mine on my wrist, but in different color order. The 2 little stars represent her sister and Dad, and the big one is in my favorite colors, purple & green.

For more Wordful Wednesday posts, check out:

We Are The World

I am against remakes just for the sake of remaking, but if you can improve upon, or put your own spin on it, then I say "go for it!" But, when I heard that they remade We Are the World, my first thought was "ugh, why? what was wrong with it the way it was?" As an 80's child it was such a big part of my life's soundtrack. Even though I was a child, I knew what a big moment it was, to have so many people gathered in one place to focus on one common goal.

The remake will never be able to replace that moment, but I must say that as a song, I think I like it better. And, for my children this could be the large gathering of musicians that they look back on as a moment of unity.

If you haven't seen the video, yet, check it out. You'll see quite a few familiar faces from the original, and many of today's stars, including,what I would say is a gathering of hip hop and rap royalty!

Go ahead and sing along

We are the world, We are the children we are the ones to make a brighter day

Happy Music Monday!

Love Is in the Air; Make it Stop

♪Love is in the air
Everywhere I look around
Love is in the air
Every sight and every sound♪ (John Paul Young)

At no time, does this song ring more true than at Valentine’s Day. It starts; right after Christmas. You walk into any store and there are hearts everywhere, pink ones, red ones, white ones. There are balloons, flowers, pink and red stuffed animals, heart shaped chocolates, and plenty of cards. Television commercials show us the perfect place to take our love, a weekend getaway, a romantic dinner for two. On the radio, we hear commercials that remind us how nothing says love more than jewelry; a diamond is Forever, and every kiss begins with Kay. Love is in the air, every sight, and every sound!

Retailers prey on the basic human desire to love and be loved. While the retail industry looks forward to expected sales of 14 billion dollars, many people are only looking forward to the end of the Valentine season.

In 2005, an Oregon man was arrested for attempting to arrange a mass suicide on an Internet chat room. As many as 32 people planned to commit suicide while on-line on Valentine’s Day, including one woman who intended to kill her 2 small children before killing herself. While this is an extreme case of suicide gone wrong; depression, stress, and suicide attempts, are very real, and are all too common, side effects of Valentine’s Day.

Just this morning someone told me that Valentine's Day should be called Singles Awareness day, because if you’re single on that day, you are very much aware.

Picture this, an elementary school, children eating candy hearts, and cupcakes. They open their little paper bags full of valentines. They’re all talking and sharing candy, except for one little girl in the back of the room; The Cootie Girl. No one likes the cootie girl, when they do talk to her, it is only to tease and poke fun at her. The teacher has made it very clear that no one goes without on Valentines Day, so the little girl sits quietly smiling at all the cards she got from all her friends. This is a good thing, right?!

Wrong! What we are doing is telling our children that you must buy something for everyone on Valentine’s Day, and that you should expect to receive things on Valentine’s Day. This is a theme that will carry through their adult lives.
For those that are alone, on Valentine’s Day, all that love in the air just screams: “If you don’t have a valentine to buy you stuff there must be something wrong with you. After all, even The Cootie Girl gets a Valentine.”

Valentine stress and depression is not just limited to those people without someone. For those that have a loved one to spend the day with, all the retail marketing just serves to remind you of how you need to get the perfect gift, and make it better than last year’s. Faced with this stress, 38% of men actually contemplate terminating the relationship rather than deal with the stress of choosing a really good gift.

This year the average male will spend $135 on Valentines gifts, but the average female will only spend $72. The common expectation is that men must spend more. Guys, if you’re not sure how much you must spend, don’t worry, there are plenty of websites that will tell you just what is expected of you. You can’t go wrong, well, unless you just don’t have the money because you spent it all on the diamond bracelet for her at Christmas.

A holiday that started as a humble Pagan tradition of pairing single men and women together in the hopes of marriage, has become a day on which we base our own self worth. Am I worthy of receiving a gift, how much does he really love me? Am I loved at all? It is a day on which we judge the strengths of our relationships. How much do I spend on her? What if he doesn’t like it? What if it’s too much, too soon? What will she think of me?

Have any of you ever thought these things? Do you base your value on what you receive? Do you struggle with what to buy?

My plea to you is to stop supporting this day that leads many to feel like they have failed for either not having someone to spend the day with, or not having the money to spend on the loved one they have. Instead, make everyday a special one for those you love.

♪Cupid, please hear my cry, and let your arrow fly ♪ (Sam Cooke)

After Reading Mama Kat's story of her husband buying her roses on Valentine's Day, I was reminded of this speech I wrote a couple years ago. I have updated the numbers a little bit to reflect the change in our economy, but nothing else has really changed. Americans still go crazy over Valentine's Day.

Even though I didn't follow one of the Writer's Workshop prompts, many other people did. Go check 'em out at Mama's Losin' it. ♪One of these kids is doing her own thing♪

What's your spin on Valentine's day? Go over to Sprite's Keeper, and join in on the Spin Cycle.

Post-it Note Tuesday -Mostly Griping

♪Sisters are doing it for themselves♪ (Aretha Franklin & Eurythmics)♪Anything you can do, I can do better, I can do anything better than you♪

♪Yo ho ho, and a bottle of Rum♪

♪she works hard for the money, so hard for it honey♪ (Donna Summer)♪I'm gonna knock you out. Momma said knock you out♪ (LL Cool J)
♪You load 16 tons, and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt ♪(Merle Travis)
♪It's the end of the world as we know it♪ (REM)

The Pirate Song

A fun pirate movie, that features a strong woman in the lead role. The movie has everything, action, adventure, comedy, and a touch of romance. Everytime, I watch this movie, I can't help but wonder: If it had been a man in the lead, would it have done better in the box office? As far as we've come, are we not still not comfortable with women in the traditional roles of men? hmmm

I am off to put on my own pirate costume for the Knight Parade.

Aargh, have a great Saturday, Mateys!

Writer's Workshop Aint no rest

It's Writer's workshop Day, and do you know how much I love Writer's Workshop Day?! I ca not say enough about how totally wicked awesome Mama Kat is! She is the Mother Queen of creativity! And, thanks to her prompts, I have something to write about on Thursdays.

I mean I could write about how annoying some people are, or how the stupid cars this morning would not get off MY Road and out of MY way! Don't they know I'm late for work?! I mean really have a little courtesy! Will ya?! But, I won't write about that, nope, because then I'll get all worked up and...well, I'm just not gonna go there, well, not today, anyway.

So the prompt: Write about a song you just can't escape.

What a perfect prompt. Right?! I mean, given my love for music, and the fact that my blog is loosely about music, and the soundtrack of my life. You would think this would be the perfect prompt for me. And it would be, except...I'll come back to that. First the story.

♪Aint no rest for the wicked, money don't grow on trees, I got bills to pay I got mouths to feed, and aint nothing in this world for free♪ (Cage the Elephant)

Great song! Good rhythm, catchy lyrics! I like it! That's what I thought when I first heard it. Hubby Bear; he loved it, immediately! He said it was the perfect song for him, and naturally, I agreed (because he's wicked, and we definitely have bills to pay.)

But then, something very strange started happening. Every time, we get in the car, this song comes on. No kidding, it doesn't matter what time of day, if he is in the car, that song will play! I started checking to see if he had put a CD in without me knowing, because it is really strange. And, of course he loves it, and has declared it to be his theme song. And, at first, I admit, it was kind of cool. him having a theme song that played as if he was John Travolta strutting his stuff to ♪Staying Alive, Staying Alive♪ (Bee Gees) or like the Fall Guy's ♪I'm the unknown stuntman that makes Eastwood look so good♪ (Lee Majors)

BUT ENOUGH ALREADY! It has been like 4 months of hearing this song over and over again! It's not cool anymore! Now it's annoying, and creepy! It has officially been overplayed! I don't want to hear it anymore! Ever! ok, maybe just for a few months, then it might be cool again, but RIGHT NOW! Right Now it's annoying me!

So, what's wrong with this prompt, you want to know?! what's wrong with it is: Now that I've had to write about this song, that I can't get away from, well, now, it's dancing around in my head, just swinging around in there in full blast stereo, and I can't ESCAPE!

♪Oh no there aint no rest for the wicked until we close our eyes for good♪

Wordless/ful Wednesday- We had Class

So, there I am. It's 1989, I'm in 9th grade, this is Honors English and I am too cool! Check out that hair! Along with me in this picture is 2 of my best friends of that moment. I have no idea where the one girl is, but I did recently find the guy on Facebook (and thus I found this picture.)

Also, in this pic, is a boy that I "went" with for a couple weeks, after checking the box for "yes" that I liked him, and ultimately sending another note stating that it wasn't working out and we needed to see other people. (Because you know those 2 week relationships in junior high are soooooo, serious.)

There's the boy, I had a crush on cuz he was "so fine," but to him, I was just one of the boys. And there's the rich girls, see them over there, they're the ones with the Guess Jeans, and Swatch Watches. There's the skaters, and the country boy no one talked to. Right there is the basketball player, and over there is the girl that I would become friends with in High School.

This was the end of the 80's, and 90's fashion was just starting to take shape. Soon, we would get rid of our big hair, and tight rolled jeans. We would go through a genie pants phase, (thanks Hammer!) and then we'd all be sporting "Grunge." Our world was changing. We were changing. But for this moment in time, we had not a care in the world.

And what were we listening to? On cassette tape, of course?

♪Walking the Dinosaur ♪ (Was not Was)
or one of my favorites ♪Stand in the place where you live♪ (REM)
U2's Rattle and Hum and INXS' Kick
and you can't forget ♪It's my prerogative♪ (Bobby Brown) or ♪Welcome to the Jungle♪ (Guns N Roses)

Have a 90's pic of your own to share? check out Parenting By Dummies' Fugly Face contest.

Play along with Wordful Wednesday at Seven Clown Circus

Post-it Note Tuesday- Groundhog Day Loser

Time for some random thoughts on Post-it note Tuesday. Want to join in on the fun? Supah's got all the rules.

Happy Groundhog Day! Looks like the almighty one Puxatawney Phil, saw his shadow and has determined that we will have another 6 weeks of winter. And, since he doesn't work for a local news station as an actual paid weather forecaster; he might actually be right!

♪ Over and over, over and over♪ (Three Days Grace)

See, my dog is so smart, he figured out how to open doors, and when he is in the mood for junk food, he just opens the garage door and makes his way to the cat dish. Of course, I scold him and send him right back in the house, but then he looks at me with those big brown eyes...
Really, I should have checked to see who I was playing against. These people are serious! I was all excited when I lost 1lb in my first week, ans I thought if i stayed on pace I might actually win the $280, but then reality slapped me HARD in the face when these fools come rolling up with "I lost 6 lbs" and "I lost 10!" It was only one week! What the hell did they do? Have it sucked out?! So apparently I am truly a loser, just of the $20 buy in ...ugh!

♪ And, I don't give a damn about your bad reputation♪ (Joan Jett)

♪ So tell me what you want what you really really want ♪ (Spice Girls)

♪ I'm so happy 'cause today I've found my friends♪ (Nirvana)

Not Me Monday: A Pirate Life For Me

This is going to be first shot at joining in on not me Monday. if you want to see other Not Me Monday postings, or join in, head over to visit Mckmama.

On Friday, there was discussion of cancelling Gasparilla because of the storm expected to happen right in the middle of the festivities (as if they would just cancel a 106 year old tradition.) Some people whined a lot and said they didn't think they would go, because it would be too much of a hassle to get into pirate costume just to be rained on and blown away by 40 mph winds, but NOT ME, Oh no, not me, I didn't complain, not one bit, nope, uh huh!

And Friday night, I didn't happen to sit by some people at dinner that were talking about how disappointed they would be if it had been cancelled, and about how they were going out to watch the invasion, even if it was raining. No, I didn't hear this and think what a loser I would be for not going out, when the community was so looking forward to seeing us pirates, nope NOT ME.

And, come Saturday morning, I didn't wake up early, excited to get into costume, and sing ♪Yo ho yo ho, a pirate's life for me♪ right before slipping into a clear poncho, that would ultimately get annoying and end up on the floor of the float with the wind and rain slapping against me as if I was a real pirate at battle with the raging sea, nope, Not ME.

I didn't have any fun dancing in the rain to ♪Save a horse, ride a cowboy♪ (Big & Rich)
or shaking my booty while singing ♪ Apple Bottom jeans, boots with the fur♪ (T-Pain) and certainly trying to line dance to Cupid Shuffle while struggling against the wind on top of a moving float while avoiding getting bumped into by my slightly stumbly mango margarita drinkin' pirate sisters, certainly that was not any fun. No fun at all! No fun was had by me, anyway. NOT ME, I say.

I was merely out there doing my civic duty, partaking in an old tradition of invading the city, and throwing beads to the crowds simply because they scream "Beads, beads, beads!" I did it because it was the right thing to do. I did it because, well, because...I certainly couldn't let my fans down, just because of a little rain, nope, NOT ME.

♪What am I supposed to do♪ (No Angels)