Friday, April 30, 2010

Well this is unfortunate because Paul's birthday is in March!

 Everyone knows that the forwarded horoscopes are totally prophetic, so I'm gearing myself up for some troubles in my marriage in the next year.  Although I (being born in May) have a "strong relationship that will last forever."  Paul, on the other hand (March b-day) "will discover that he will fall in love with someone totally unexpected."  Any chance that's me???

Chinese Feng Shui  Horoscope

This   is a Chinese Feng Shui horoscope.
Take a moment  to take this  test!
If you are honest this tells  the truth, it ' s pretty accurate.
Write your answers on  paper.
Find out your horoscope  at the  bottom.

1. Which is your favorite   color:
              Red,  Black, Blue, Green or  Yellow?
2.. Your first   initial?
3. Your month of  birth?
4.  Which color do you like   more,
              Black  or  White?
5. The name of a person that is the  same sex as  you?
6. Your favorite   number?
7. Do you like California   or Florida   more?
8. Do you like a lake or  the ocean  more?
9. Write down a wish (a  realistic   one)

When you are done, scroll   down.
Don ' t   cheat!



         1.   If you  chose:
               Red  - You are alert and your life is full of   love.
               Black  - You are conservative and  aggressive.
               Green   - Your soul is relaxed and you are laid  back.
               Blue  - You  are spontaneous and love  affection.
               Yellow  - You are a very  happy person and give good
                                advice  to those who are   down.

        2.  If your initials  are:
                A-K  You have a lot of  love and friendships in your  life.
                L-R  You try to live your  life to the max and your love  life is
                          soon  to  bloom.
                S-Z   You like to help others and your future looks very  

        3.  If you were born  in:
               Jan-Mar:  The year  will go very well for you and you will
                             discover  that you fall  in love with someone totally
               Apr-Jun:  You will  have a strong love relationship that will
                                last   forever.
              Jul-Sep:  You will have a great year and will  experience a
                             major  life-changing experience for the   good.
             Oct-Dec:  Your life will be great, you will find your soul  mate.

        4.  If you  chose:
                  Black:  Your life is  about to get better. You are more than
                                ready  for the   change.
                  White:  You have a friend who completely confides in  you
                              and  would do anything for you, but you  may
                               not  realize   it.

         5.  This person should be your best  friend.

         6.  This is how many close friends you will have  in your  life  time.

         7..  If you chose:
                        California  : You  like  adventure.
                         Florida  : You are a laid back  person.

          8.  If you  chose:
                         Lake  : You are loyal to  your friends and your lover..
                                   You  are very  reserved.
                       Ocean:   You are spontaneous and like to please

          9.  This  wish will come true if you send this to 1  person in one
               hour.   Send it to ten people and it will come true before   your
               next  birthday.

Real Conversations With My Imaginary Friend Shakira

Regarding Arizona's new Immigration Law:

Shakira: I heard about it on the news and I thought, 'Wow,' It is unjust and it's inhuman, and it violates the civil and human rights of the Latino community ... It goes against all human dignity, against the principles of most Americans I know.

Me: Totally!  It's like Nazi Germany.

Shakira: You're the smartest, most beautiful, most insightful, nicest person I've ever met.  I'd like to give you all the rights to my next 10 songs.

Me: Oh, you're so sweet!  I couldn't possibly accept more than 5.

Ok, so the last part didn't happen, but Shakira really did go to AZ to oppose the new law and she really did say that first stuff...but she only gave me 2 songs.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dos Pulgares for Hot Chick-a-Latte (Update)

Just for the record, I'd like to update you all on the status of Hot Chick.  Things are rolling right along down there on Colfax.  I received a very nice comment from Troy, one of the owners, who offered me a free coffee the next time I make it by.  I've been out of town for the past week, but I'm going to get over there for a White Coffee soon...maybe tomorrow.  He also assured me that they're painting the rest of the roof once the weather gets better, but given the fact that it SNOWED this morning, I am thinking that might not be for a while.

Hot Chick - for your good sense of humor and lightening the mood throughout Denver, as well as your "darn good coffee" you have earned my Denver Dives highest rating...Dos Pulgares!

Hot-Chick-a-Latte, I think I love you!

Survey Says 70% of Arizonans are Assholes!

I'm just gonna put this out there - if 70% of Arizonans support this new immigration law...Arizonans are assholes!  And I guess it turns out that Phoenix really is Hell's training ground, and all you folks who favor this law, you're on the right track to make it there come Judgment Day.
As a general rule I tend to think that it's only Republicans who are xenophobic racist fools who hate people, but as it turns out, in Arizona some 51% of registered Democrats fall into that category as well.
In case you haven't already read enough about this law to make you want to vomit all over your keyboard, here's the brief recap.  The law was sponsored by gun-loving, gay-hating, Mormon Russell Pearce: Arizona's quintessential Republican. According to the Economist, he's been known to joke that "being Republican, and thus not having a heart, saved his life when he got shot in the chest once."  HA- that's so cute!
But his true passion is the apprehension and prosecution of those "Illegals" he prefers to call "invaders."
The truly controversial (read - racist) part of this law is that it requires law enforcement to identify, prosecute and deport undocumented aliens.  Here's the actual text of the statute:


So here's the immediate question:  What is "lawful contact" for "reasonable suspicion" that a person "is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States?"  Well, I suppose if you have an accent or darker skin you can expect to be "lawfully" contacted...I mean, really...what else can they go on?  Maybe they'll hand out red-white-and-blue citizen arm bands that we can all wear to prove we're "legal."  All I have to say is, welcome to Nazi Germany!  And don't forget your papers!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On Naming Your Child

Since my brother Blake and his wife Deb are expecting another baby this fall, I have been thinking a lot about baby names.   

In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I have been wrong about this particular topic with regard to these particular parents in the past...I was opposed to naming their baby girl Cricket, arguing that it made a cute nickname but not a great given name...I was wrong! It's the perfect name for the perfect little girl, so I stand corrected.

But, I'm pretty sure I won't change my mind on this one:


With a name like Lorraine, I know exactly what it feels like to be the only kid in 2nd grade who has her name spelled wrong on about 90% of her Valentine's Day cards.  To this day if I'm placing a to-go order or putting my name on a wait list I'll say my name only to be met with a quick glance at me, back at the paper, and the slow attempt to "sound it out" resulting in "L-a-r-a-i-n" or some variation thereof.  I'm speaking from experience here, and my name is spelled right, it's just an odd name that's kinda hard to spell (what with that silent e at the end and whatnot).

But this trend to make up spellings is becoming alarming and I'm here to tell you it's creating a whole new category of self-doubt and sense of inadequacy among American children.  These kids are going to grow up wondering why their parents hated them, and understanding that the world at large thinks they have a LAME NAME!  It's tragic, really.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

Mykel or Mykall (Michael) - Ks are very big these days. 

Zakery (Zachary) - again with the k

Jazzmyn (Jasmine)  - Y is also apparently a very popular letter.

Madasyn (Madison) - yet another Y

Jakub or Jaycub (Jacob)  - mixing it up here , showing one variation with the K and another with the Y

Kristoffer (Christopher) - Another K, but this time they're also keeping it fresh by doing FF in lieu of PH

Kaelie (Kaylie) - Let's face it, Kaylie is a made up 20th Century name anyway.  Do you really need to pretend to be Gaelic and do that AE thing in there?

Aeryn (Erin or Aaron) - Hitting 2 trends, what with that AE and the Y.

This whole "unique name" thing has been brought to the absurd with Gwyneth's "Apple" and Penn (of Penn & Teller)'s "Moxie Crimefighter" -- I didn't make that up.  His other kid's name is Zolton...the only thing that could have made that worse is if he had spelled it Xolton instead.

My particular favorite lamely spelled name in the media at the moment is dumb pageant girl "Caite" (pronounced Katie) on the Amazing Race.  As it turns out, for her, the spelling of her name is about as clever as it gets.  In case you missed her brilliant and insightful response to why Americans suck at geography --  "and such as" -- you really must check this out.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My first hate-mail...I'm so excited!

So if you remember a few days back, I posted a little critique of the new "coffee" bar on Colfax Hot Chick-a-Latte.  Well, apparently I struck a nerve because "Anonymous" got all up in my cyber face calling me a "sexless female who is incapable of speaking her mind in public and has to harass young attractive females behind the anonymity of the internet."  I find it more than a little ironic that ANONYMOUS is accusing me of hiding behind the anonymity of the internet!!!
It's so exciting.  I'm starting to know what it feels like to be hated for my fame...well, I'm starting to imagine that I can imagine what it feels like...or something like that.
Thanks Anonymous -- you made my day!

On Spending PowerBall Winnings and Other Issues of Import

As part of our marital vows, Paul and I agreed to purchase a PowerBall ticket every time the jackpot reaches or exceeds $100 Million.  I made that up, Colorado didn't even join in the PowerBall until way after we were married, but this was written into our vows Ex Post Facto. (When you're a stay-at-home lawyer sometimes you need to say things like de jure and ex post facto and modus operandi just to validate the monthly student loan payments you're still making nearly 15 years later.)

Paul: Did you get a ticket? [Totally apropos to nothing yet requiring no additional explanation whatsoever.]
Me: No. You need to get the ticket.  I'm not good at winning.  I never win!
Paul: Oh because I'm so good at winning?  Get a ticket.
Me: OK, fine.
Paul: So what are we going to do with the money?
Me: I promised the boys that the first thing I would spend it on is 100 Bakugan for each of them.
Paul: So we'll be getting another 200 Bakugan for them to leave all over the house?  Great.  You're not good at this at all.
Me: Well what do you want to do with it?
Paul: We should pay off the house and the condo.
Me: Well so far I can see you're much better at this than I am, Mr. Practical.
Paul: And I'm retiring immediately.
Me: DUH!
Paul: And we can travel.
Me: This is better - where should we go? Argentina? I can show you around Buenos Aires. [This is my favorite way to needle Paul because despite the fact that he has done about 300 times more traveling than I have, he's never been to South America or Africa and I have...naaa-na-naaa-na-boo-boo!]
Paul: Ha - you're funny! India.  I want to go to India.
Me: Only if we're staying at 5* places.  I can't handle the poverty there.  It'll make me too sad.
Paul: We'll have a home base at some great place and I'll go travel to the more remote places by myself.  It'll be perfect.
Me: Ok, but then I want to go to --
Paul: Turkey - I know, we'll go to Turkey.  We can charter a boat and go to all those remote islands.
Me: Perfect.  That's what I'm talking about!
Paul: And I want to buy to sailboat.
Me: No.
Paul: What do you mean "no"???
Me: Sailboats are a pain in the ass and they're super expensive.  The boat itself is expensive and then you have to pay for the slip, have someone take care of it...No.
Paul: We win $121MM cash value and you won't let me buy a sailboat?
Me: No.  You can charter a sailboat if you want, but I don't want to own one.
Paul: You're ruining the fantasy.  You totally suck at this!
--phone rings--it's my mom--
Me: Hi mom - what's up?
Mom: Hi honey. I'm on the way to the doctor for my ...[I set the phone down for a second to get my coffee and walk into the other room to play Bejeweled while we talk] ... to Blake's for dinner.  What's up with you?
Me: We're just spending our lotto winnings over here.
Mom: What? You won the lottery?
Me: No mom, it's a fantasy game we play every time the jackpot gets over $100 million.
Mom: Oh good, good.  That's good.
Me: ?? What's good?  Are you talking to me?
Mom: I just mean it's good you didn't win the lottery.  That would just ruin your lives!
Me: What are you talking about?
Mom: All those people who win the lottery.  They end up broke and miserable.  I would just hate to see that happen to you.
Me: It only ruins the lives of stupid people.  It wouldn't ruin my life, I promise!
Mom: Well, ok.  I just worry about you, that's all.
Me: Thanks mom, but I'm gonna risk it.  Love you.
Paul: So can I have my sailboat?
Me: No.

Just for the record, here's a peek at a few recent winners:

$1Million Winner Phil Gossett of Monroe, Louisiana has recently changed his profile pic on to this one and has suddenly become significantly more popular among the ladies.  Go figger.

 Frank and Loretta Griffin of Asheville, North Carolina took home a lump sum of over $47MM after taxes and now they plan to "spend more time with their family" and "possibly take a trip to Hawaii." Possibly???

Barbara Baker of Hopkinsville, Kentucky was "mad" that she couldn't go to bingo, but "wasn't mad anymore" when she realized she'd won $1M on her PowerPlay.
But I'm not really sure about this one.  Looks more like she photoshop-ed it into her mug shot, don't ya think?  Where's the colorful background? Why the drab brown wall behind her?? 

I don't know Mom...I think we'd be okay...and I just might let Paul get that sailboat after all.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Me and my BlogArt...not to be confused with Bloggart...

So I've decided to start referring to myself as a "Blog-Artist" in all profession-related inquiries.  My words are my medium...and the world is my inspiration.  Now, don't confuse a BlogArtist with a Bloggart-ist.  A "bloggart" is a person who uses his blog only for self promotion and self-aggrandizement, a cyber-braggart if you will.  I made that word up.  Well, actually, Paul made that word up but he gave up the right to call anything his own some 13 years ago before God and all our friends and family, so I'm taking credit for it on his behalf.  He'd want me to, really.
Anyway, my point is, you should be expecting great things here in the days and months to come.  I have big plans for this blog.  I'm really going to be bringing a new vision to the world-wide-web and the internets and such. 
Just thought I should let you all know so that you can brace yourselves...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hot Chick-a-Latte...yeah, it's a real place!

I should start this post by saying that I am pretty sure I am the ONLY female customer this place has had in all 5 days of being in business, and it's pretty safe to say that I am the only one they will have in all 100 days of business before they shut their doors...or maybe they won't? 


Apparently taking hiring cues from the folks at Hooters, Hot Chick-a-Latte is the newest innovation in coffee since the cardboard anti-burn sleeve.  And it has hit the streets of Denver with a boob...I mean, boom!
I guess this is a chain that started somewhere in the Northwest - perhaps people had gotten bored of the standard Seattle roast and were looking for something a little -- perkier -- to wake them up in the morning.
Hot Chick-a-Latte opened this Tuesday in Denver in an old Der Wienerschnitzel A Frame on Colfax at Dexter. It's no accident that this place used to be a wiener shop, either, lest you missed the pun.
As you can see, they've done some major renovations to the staff...I mean, the building, by painting part of the roof hot pink.  Why only part, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. Actually the other side doesn't have any pink at all, which is really a bummer because the hot pink is so much more appealing to the "Average Joe" Joe-drinker than red.  But I think we can all agree, this is not a place that's worried about external's really just about the coffee!
When I drove by a couple of days ago the Hot Chicks were out in hot pink bikinis hocking their wares...I mean, coffee...Today, however, it was a little chilly, so you can see that they really needed to cover up a bit more.  This is their cold-weather garb:

Now, as much as I'd like to make fun of this place, I really can't.  The girls were really sweet and funny and thought it was great that I was there to take photos for my blog.  They didn't take themselves too seriously and they thought it was "cute" that I (an old lady, from where they sit) got a kick out of the place.
I ordered a C-cup non-fat latte which ran me $3.27.  C-cup is the second to the smallest size.  They have B, C, D & DD -- don't even waste their time fooling around with the As.  My latte was fine...not great, not terrible, but it was almost as hot as the chick serving it, so it was all right.

  And they're not only stimulating the...body...but also the mind.  Their "daily question" is really designed to make you think.  It's a bit hard to read with the glare on the window, but today's inquiry was this:

Would you rather
A: Have a permanent smile
B: A permanent erection???

I mean, grammatical issues aside, this is really the stuff that's gonna change the world, don't ya think?

I'd like to take this opportunity, however, to inform you about the "clientele" that visits Hot Chick.  Yep, you guessed it, lecherous old men with their mouths agape and eyes never quite making it to the Barista's faces.  I couldn't convince a-one to let me take his picture for my blog. But this ought to give you an idea:
Of course, without the charisma of maybe this gives you a better idea:

Sorry Grandpa - I couldn't resist!

Generation Whine - Meet Generation Wine

So, I'm just gonna put this out there.  If you are over the age of 35, you did not whine like your children do. How do I know?  Because you are still around to ask whether you whined like that when you were a kid, and if you did, you wouldn't be!  Let me assure you, if you're over the age of 35 and whined like kids do now, your dad would have smacked you [HARD] and told you to shut up before he really gave you something to whine about...and you, being of sound mind, would have backed quickly out of the room and then made a run for it down the street or to some safer area because -- Dad wasn't kidding!
But now there's all this PC bullshit telling us that we need to "listen" to our children to help them find their own solutions and really learn how to nurture themselves.  Which means that we, as parents, are apparently supposed to sit back and listen to that irritating noise that eventually has us strung out to the point of totally losing it and telling our kids to "shut the fuck up" in our occasional complete breaks from sanity. 
Unless, of course, we have uncorked another bottle.  So, when you've already explained to your kid that you can't understand her because you don't speak Whinese and that Whambulance has come and gone, make your way over to the liquor cabinet and pour yourself a hearty glass of whatever thing your hand lands upon first.  It won't stop the whining but you won't give a shit!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Denver Dives - The Restaurant Critic Series

Thailanding Cafe - 1984 Nome Street, Aurora 80010

When we arrived in the parking lot of Thailanding, I was immediately suspect of Paul's choice for lunch.  What would you think?

It's next door to a laundromat in a very rundown part of Aurora.  I was not expecting much.  But then I noticed an Illy coffee poster in the window, which I thought was odd.  It's about the most expensive coffee around, and it seemed out of place.  I was intrigued, I won't lie.

Then you go inside and it kind of doesn't match the weird strip-mall exterior.  It's kind of this cheery diner/Asian restaurant vibe with Naugahyde benches in a sort of hospital beigish-pink with some odd art work on the walls.  But there's also a bunch of Shiva/Buddha/some other Thai goddess icons around.  It's funky in a weird 70s kind of way...At this point the jury was still out on the place, and we were the only people in there, so my skeptical side was rearing its ugly little head...but I was still anxious to taste the food.

And WOW - the food was GREAT!  It's one of those places that you go up to the counter to order from a menu that has about 100 items to choose from so you might feel a little overwhelmed.  But don't freak out - just pick something and I'm sure it will be good.  I got Massuman Curry with Chicken for $6.95 and Paul got Hot Spicy Thai Pork (Pud Kra Pow) for $5.95.  Neither one of us knew what to expect, but they were both delicious.  And the best part is that there's none of this cheap lunch/expensive dinner phenomenon that frequently happens at Asian restaurants.  It's one menu day and night, totally reasonable ( prices and great food.

Dos Pulgares!!
Two big thumbs up!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Real Conversations With My Imaginary Dietary Consultant (IDC)

IDC: You know, you really shouldn't eat those Reese's Peanut Butter Cups the kids got for Easter.
Me: Oh, they're just the small ones. It's not a big deal.
IDC: So how many small ones does it take to make a full-size one?
Me: Oh, Jesus, I have no idea.  Probably like - 12??
IDC: Mmmm, I'd guess more like 2 or 3.
Me: No way.  It takes at least 5 to make a full size.
IDC: Let's just assume it's 4.
Me: Whatever.  4.  What's your point?
IDC: There's like 10 wrappers in the trash, so basically you've eaten more than a full pack by now.
Me: Well, not of the Walgreens/movie theater 4 packs.  That's like barely more than half, and that's using your crazy math of only 4 smalls = 1 large and everyone knows that there's at least 8 smalls in one big.
IDC: Really, there's only so much I can do here...
For the record, there were not more than 5 wrappers in the trash.  Frickin' exaggerating IDC!

Goodbye Explorer...Hello Firefox

So I just switched my default browser to Firefox because when I upgraded to the "improved" version of, it took away my spell check...which, if you asked me, is just lame!  There's some nonsense explanation online about how the interest (Google in particular) is multilingual so it doesn't behoove them to have spell check just in English.  Hello - I'm blogging in America and I don't want shit misspelled on my blog!
Whatever!  Firefox just does it automatically for me, so see ya' later Microsoft!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lo-prah's Book Club

The Privileges by Jonathan Dee
OK - so I don't know what I think about this book.  It's the story of this East Coast couple who get married too young but make things work because they have some incredible bond and love each other madly.  They live in NYC and he gets a Wall Street job and makes tons of money and then has some illegal insider trading scheme that makes him really a ton of money and eventually he starts his own hedge fund and becomes like really really really rich (4 syllable rich - Paul would say - like ri-hi-hi-hich!).
Anyway, they have this silly life of exorbitant privilege and their kids are these sheltered entitled losers.  And there's really nothing particularly compelling about any of the characters that makes you care one way or the other about what happens to them.  It's not that they are total assholes like Michael Douglas in Wall Street or anything.  Nobody ever says "greed is good," but you can tell that living in the perfect penthouse overlooking Central Park and belonging to the perfect clubs and living as the "perfect people" is all these people ever wanted for themselves.  And they get it - without ever having to endure any kind of struggle to get there.  It's like they are so patently un-selfaware that it never even occurs to them to question their actions or take stock along the way.  Life just happens to these people.  Even the seemingly seedy or illegal activity the guy gets involved in just seems to wrap itself nicely up when he decides he no longer wants to do it.  It's just weird.
In the end they realize they want to "do something good" for they world so they start some multinational foundation to save the world or end poverty or some such shit - blah blah blah.  And throughout the book I found myself asking "do I have the slightest interest in what becomes of these people?"  And the answer was a resounding NO.
You can't possibly feel sorry for these people or their poor-little-rich-kid kids with their stereotypical drug problem on the one hand and self-loathing for coming from money on the other.  The guy who makes his zillions of dollars but can't stop because making money seems to be the only thing he knows how to do - oh, cry me a river, or his beautiful wife whose father left when she was a kid and finds herself forever needing to feel needed and/or wanted by him.  It's just all so cliché.  But there's nothing interesting enough to really hate about them either - so like I said, I just found myself asking "so what" throughout the entire book.
But then again, it's not like I hated the book or was so bored that I couldn't finish.  (Well, to be fair, it's only 250 pages and it took me over a week to finish reading every night when I went to I obviously could put it down.)  But, I finished it, so I must have had some level interest.  It wasn't like Prodigal Summer that I started and put down about 10 times before finally packing it away in the guest-room closet hoping to hand it off to some sucker passing through on the way to the airport.  Maybe I just don't get it.  It's probably too complex and/or subtle for me.  I guess I should stick to the Twilight series!

Maybe the hit-counter is not such a good idea!

So far I have a grand 3 hits...and I believe all 3 of them were by ME.  This could be damaging to the overall self-esteem thing I've got going on...we'll see!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Real Conversations with my Imaginary Fashion Consultant (IFC)

IFC: You need to go change. You can't wear sweatpants in the middle of the day on a work day.

Me: Oh, these aren't sweat pants. They're yoga pants. Besides, I don't work.

IFC: Well the fact that you don't work - that's abundantly clear...but are you doing yoga right now?

Me: Uh, no.

IFC: Have that planned for later, do ya?

Me: Well, no. I'm just wearing these. They're comfortable.

IFC: And yesterday - those velour things, I suppose those weren't sweatpants either?

Me: No - those are more like "leisure wear." It's the new daytime casual.

IFC: Go put some real clothes on for God's sake.

Me: Why? I'm just sitting at home by myself. Why does it matter?

IFC: It matters!

Me: I don't get why.

IFC: That's my whole point...

Just for the imaginary fashion consultant it a total wimp...I'm sitting here in velour leisure pants right now!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ever wondered who's the worst mom in the world? Now we know!

So, we've had our fair share of bad parenting episodes here in Colorado, don't get me wrong. Take Balloon-Boy's dad, for example. The Heeny's are way up there on the Don't Do This Shit To Your Kids flow chart. And back in 2000 we had to those crazies over in Golden the Newmakers who suffocated their daughter to death during a "rebirthing" therapy. That was bad and I'm not making excuses for them, but the truth is, regardless of the obvious fact that they are lunatics, they did think they were helping the kid; it wasn't just about them being too selfish to deal - they actually thought recreating the birthing experience would "cure" her of her psychological troubles. (Yes, I realize the irony there - the whole nature vs. nurture argument SCREAMS nurture in that case!) But this lady in Tennessee - this Hansen lady - she's really rivaling the best of the worst.
Here's the story - Hansen adopts a 7 year old boy from Russia and then decides that the Russian government had "misrepresented" his mental she ships him back??!!!?? Literally - she buys him a one-way ticket to Moscow and sends him BY HIMSELF from Washington DC with a note to the Russian authorities saying she's "returning" him.
Does she still have her receipt? Does she want her money back, or would she settle for a store-credit? What's the country's return policy on CHILDREN????
As if this kid didn't already have enough problems - whatever the reasons were for him ending up in an orphanage to begin with, now he has the added trauma of being taken from him home country to a place where nobody speaks his native language or has any idea what he's been through under the false hope of finding a home. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water.
There's a special place in hell for this one!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The real story of Santa

**This conversation took place just before Christmas. It's a cute little vignette I thought I would use to remind us that (Tourette's issues aside) childhood is still filled with wide-eyed wonder.

Zach: Mom, are you Santa?

me: Oh yeah, I spend Christmas Eve every year riding around the world on my reindeer driven sleigh handing presents out to a bunch of kids I don't even know.

Zach: Ugh, mom - I'm serious!

me: No, I'm not Santa! Besides, Santa's a boy, so maybe Daddy's Santa but I don't think so because we can't afford all that stuff. Why do you ask?

Zach: Safia told me there's no Santa. She said it's just the mom and dad that give the kids presents.

me: (scrambling) Oooohhhh, sweetie, that's so sad. Safia must be really bad!

Zach: Why? What do you mean?

me: I guess she's so bad that Santa never even comes to her house at all and her mom had to make up an excuse about why not!

Zach: Yeah. She is pretty bad. And she lies! I'm glad Santa doesn't skip our house.

me: Me too, honey. Me too!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Random acts of kindness

So when I "got back to the keyboard" last month I said I was going to perform "random acts of kindness." Yeah...well...that didn't last. I think I'm just not inclined to be randomly kind. Kinda-ly random, sure, but not randomly kind.

The Swearing 7 Year Old

So I have a problem. Zach, my seven year old son, has taken to saying the "F" word in front of small children. Most recently it was at my cousin's house on Easter. Nothing like a good four letter word to end the brunch in a hurry. Lindsay's three year old daughter Lyla was playing "Memory" with my boys. Zach turned over a duck (not a match) and said "Duck - fuck."
Now don't get me wrong, under other circumstances I might have chuckled at this little faux pas, but only a few short weeks before we were playing bridge at our friends' house and he called Alex an "F-er." We'd had a long talk about how it's embarrassing and inappropriate and made him apologize to our hosts, went home and lectured some more (thanks dad - you really helped me master the art of beating a dead horse)...and we figured the F bomb had hit its last target for a while, right?
SO what do you do? I realize my inclination to ask what the fuck is wrong with him might have been on the wrong track, but really, how do I emphasize that it's really not okay? Taking away video games seemed to work its magic the first time, but apparently that punishment was only effective until it was forgotten (Oh, say, five minutes after it had ended) I am now just sitting here wondering when that ugly word is going to rear its head again.
Suggestions for effective punishments that don't spark the notice of Social Services are greatly appreciated.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lawyer-Mom...sounds like a real Super Hero to me!

The year I started law school marked the first in which there was an even split of men and women in the classroom. Like so many other fields, most of the faces coming to interview us were older men (almost exclusively white), wearing suits and talking about the promise of a great career in law. They kept telling us that things had finally evened out - thank God for Title 9 we'd think - we're actually going to be "equals" in this field. We young wannabe lawyer women really felt like the world was at our feet - glass ceilings be damned, we're rocketing up there with our helmets on ready to smash through any barrier you put in our way...or so we thought.
Now, some 15 years later, I reflect back on all the women I graduated with and I wonder - how many of you are still out there practicing law and fighting the good fight? NOT MANY!
I don't have a scientific study to back this up, but my own non-scientific research tells me that being a lawyer is not a good career choice for women who "want it all." The balance of work and family life people talk about - that doesn't exist for lawyers. And so, at this point in my life, only a small select few of my female law school colleagues are partners in firms pulling in the big bucks. Let me explain why.

Law firms based their expectations and salaries and bonuses and entire worlds around the "billable hour." There's always a yearly minimum - call it 2000 hours - that attorneys are required to meet to keep their jobs. At first glance, this requirement seems rather reasonable - 40 hours a week for 50 weeks out of the year - no problem, right?

WRONG - the "billable hour" bears little resemblance to its distant cousin the "actual hour." Actual hours consist of bathroom breaks, lost pens, texts about where to have lunch, coffee, phone calls from your mom and even the occasional drop-in from your office neighbor complaining about the fat guy who always seems to pass gas right in front of her door. The actual hour contains the 15 minutes it takes to remember exactly how long it took to finalize the draft of the memo you were working on to complete your last "billable hour." The actual includes a few minutes between billable hours to remind yourself that there is a world outside your 10 x 10 office that does indeed contain sunlight, breezes, changing weather, non-lawyers, and even fun! The billable hour contains none of the above!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Diet Coke...The price would suggest they've gone back to the original recipe??

Am I the only one who's noticed, or does it surprise everyone to go into the grocery store and see a 12 pack ON SALE for $4? Apparently the "regular" price is now approaching $5, though I did see it at Walmart for something like $3.89. But still, this seems like a colossal bump (I swear it used to be like $2.50 and the regular sale price would be like $2) and it's got me wondering - did they start putting coke in Coke again?
So, out of protest to the price, I am now officially (recall the sarcasm font) "trying to drink less diet coke" (you can see I really stretch myself!) Instead I bought a 160 pack of green tea for $7.29. I can make a whole pitcher of iced green tea for about 30 cents. This is much more to my recessionista liking!

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