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Showing posts from November, 2006

Why I Have More Than One Child, part 1 of 2

I'm hopping on the theme bandwagon...this ongoing discussion in the blogosphere about onlies and siblings. Last night, as I complained about the stinking Unwelcome Aunt currently visiting me (and yes, I used a euphemism for "menstrual cycle." I often do. My favorite is "surfing the crimson wave." Seriously, you have to have a sense of humor if your Aunt is anything like my Aunt or you'll go crazy. I'll elaborate below.), anyway, last night, as I complained about the Aunt, my husband said, "Well you could always get pregnant again." And I replied with... (crickets chirping) Seriously. I said absolutely nothing. He waited, half joking smile on his face, eyebrows elevated...leaning across the bed towards me. And I said absolutely nothing. I think even my face---usually even more talkative than my mouth---was silent. He said, leaning back, "Uhhh, errrr, oookaaaayy, that fell flat. Nothing to say?" And I shrugged, still pulling an ironic

Chapped Hide Olympics: The worst business and customer service stories of 2006

Some days I am the carpenter, but today? I am the oyster. (If you need a reference, it's Lewis Carroll's The Walrus and The Carpenter .) I have been led a not-so-merry dance down the tulip path, my friends. There are some American businesses that have pissed me off recently. I am doubly pissed off because I strongly suspect they are following what I consider standard US business operating procedure, which, in my opinion is chockfull of morally bankrupt and malicious deliberately misleading tactics. Where do US business CEOs learn this stuff? Is there a class at universities called, "US Business 101: Tactics in Caginess---Hedge, Stall, Redirect Blame, Prevaricate, and Lie?" My hide is royally chapped purple. So welcome to The Ravin’ Picture Maven’s Olympic Games for Worst Customer Service Thus Far This Year Award Ceremony. 1. GOLD AWARD to…AT&T What they did: Had a major breakdown of service for my entire town for a full seven days---for me this affected my phone

A Letter from the Past...a day in the life of a woman in 1927

My family is a tremendous group of preservers. I don’t mean packrats---although I’m sure there are plenty---I mean preservers. Of information. History. We have family records, letters, journals, papers, wills, and so forth going back ages and ages. I know who my people were to a degree that extends beyond simply seeing a name on a page with years of birth and death. Maybe I just mean I come from a long line of wordy and writing-oriented folks. Errr, that is to say, gifted with gab. My people were frequently rabble rousers, such as the Scots who fought against the King and were offered the choice between "death" or "transport to the American colonies." The English, I suppose, figured death was preferable to ever stepping foot off one's native soil---even if one was a Scottish barbarian---and must have been surprised by the number who opted for transport. They were often tremendously brave (or stupid, depending) and each time and opportunity for adventure c

Knocked down and out

How low the mighty have fallen. I've stolen my husband's laptop and a friend's wireless connection to post my sad tale of woe. On November 21, 2006 AT&T killed our Internet connection. This means our main phone and Internet are KIA. They've sent us 'round the mulberry bush with stalls, lies, excuses and displaced blame but in the end, it all comes down to this one crucial fact: We. Have. No. Online. Connection. And sadly, it is devastating. Allegedly something called a "brick" went "down" killing the main router for our entire town. Allegedly all AT&T customers in my tom have no online access, and haven't since the 21st. They haven't a clue when it will be back up. Meanwhile, it's costing me in so many unpleasant ways. I've no less than six blog posts I've been composing in word---and now one long six page rant about sucky businesses (aka AT&T)---all of which are stuck locally, solely for my perusal, when really,

What's in a name? It's just a word, right? A rose would still be a rose...

My last post asserted there is no magic word, and I received comments with excellent points to ponder. So, I decided to think further about the power of words. Each word we use or write is imbued with meaning. There's power in that. Not magic per se, but power. No word, in my opinion, has half as much power as your name. In fact, what to call people, when to use which name, and so forth is one of the bigger debates I've ever seen. Should children call you, "Miss Missy?" Or just "Missy?" Or "Mrs./Ms./Miss Missus?" What if you strongly prefer children to simply call you Missy, but your friend prefers that her children call you Miss Missy, and that your children call her Miss Othermissy? Or what if you prefer Mrs. Missus but your friend prefers the more casual Missy and introduces you that way? Whose preference takes precedence? What is your preference, and why? Is it personal, or cultural? I was raised to call adults, primarily, sir or ma'am, n

The magic word

I'm not going to say abracadara or even supercalifragawhatever. I'm not going to say anything because... I really hate to be the buzzkill... I really hate to break it to you... There. Is. No. Magic. Word. Not really. Not even PLEASE. I know that it is practically rote in our culture these days, to prompt children to use "the magic word." I know every parent wishes he or she had a dollar for every time he or she says, "Say the magic word!" I know most would be able to accumulate enough for a major, major Venti Starbucks frappachino habit. But not me. I carefully---from the beginning---never, ever called 'please' the magic word. I do ask my children to speak and ask kindly, using kind words in a kind voice. I offer examples, and model it for them and to them. I say please is a good way to really make one's words kind. But I never say it is the magic word. This is because it isn't magic ! Please doesn't make words or tone nice. Please doesn&

Tales of a B-List Bloglebrity...strictly second from top drawer

So following a few random links to different blogs---what can I say...I'm home painting today...and when the upper arm gets tired of edging the endless edges, I problogicrate (yes I just this instant made up that word...I do it a lot.)---I found Kyle's Cove . His current post is about David Sifry's State of the Blogosphere (which yes, I did read, even, especially the charts, and yes, I found it all endlessly fascinating. I like numbers. What can I say.) But even cooler than that...he provides a link to Kineda , where Terry Ng introduces his widget to help you find out where you fall on the Blogosphere Authority Group (in other cool and popular you a degree. We're all valuable, right? Just some are more read. I care. I have Sitemeter and GoodBlogs. What can I say.) Anyway I entered my URL into the little "enter your URL here" spot, clicked Submit and VOILA! Instant results that...well, would it seem falsely self-effacing to say

HA! Yeah like *that* is something *I'd* do! Snort!

I am reading a fairly implausible book right now. It's a romantic thriller. I like to read these sorts of things now and again; you know, stuff you might read on a vacation when you prefer your mind at about the consistency of bean dip. Right now I like bean dip. A lot. In fact, yesterday I was reading this book while eating corn and black bean salsa with Tostitos restaurant style chips. I know ! Time to read! And yet, here I am complaining that what I read was implausible. It is, no matter how often the characters say, "Oh shit!" and "What a clusterfuck." Although I myself say these things frequently about my own life and times, it's not at all the same thing. And when I try to imagine myself in the plot in the book---which, with my Guiness Book World Record Level Imagination I can usually do with great ease to the astonishment of my husband and to the concern of the mental health community worldwide---I think, "Pffffft, tsk, yeah, right, whatever, lik

The ROFL Awards

I nominated someone for a ROFL Award. For those who know me and most especially those who know her, it will come as no surprise whatsoever that I nominated Josette of Halushki fame. Specifically I nominated her A Series of Unfortunate Conversations post. I was not quite aware of the entire process so I blogged about it a month early in my Ten Things I Hate About You post. Go'll wait right here...won't worries. There are strict criteria for this award. Let's walk through these and how Josette's post about the bats in her belfry meet them: a) laughed out loud? Oh YES! b) spit out your coffee? Time for a new keyboard level spit out damage. But it was tea, maybe water with lime...most likely. Although, it could possibly have been a french vanilla frappuchino. I like my girly coffee. c) chocked on your twizzlers? It was a waste of a lovely candy but ‘tis true, I did. d) fell off your chair? Indeed, and have the bruis

MINE! Duuuuddde...a wealth of meaning in a little word

Persistence does a lot of talking these days. It's a lot of "what was that...sounded like a word...was that a whole sentence?" mixed with some honest-to-goodness babble, but even that sounds like in her head she's got real discourses going on that I ought to be able to understand. In fact, I'm positive she understands me a lot more than I understand her. She can do the cutest little nod for yes---which I am sure she realizes and capitalizes on---when Comprehension Addled Mom finally catches her drift. So, I'm pretty sure she's saying what she means to most of the time, and understands me most of the time too. Actually, she's been adding many words from a huge developmental spurt recently---at least that better freaking be what's going on since she gave up sleeping at night. I started a list a while back. I have a few words jotted down, clearly some while idling at a red light since they are sort of scribbled as I peered one eye on the light, one ey

Have you forgotten yet?

Before 1954, Veteran's Day was known as Armistice Day, "November 11 is the anniversary of the Armistice which was signed in the Forest of Compiegne by the Allies and the Germans in 1918, ending World War I, after four years of conflict." In November of 1919, President Woodrow Wilson issued his Armistice Day proclamation. The last paragraph set the tone for future observances: To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation. In 1938, officially, it became a nationally recognized day. In 1954, President Eisenhower renamed it Veteran's Day in honor and rembrance of all servicemen. (Source: Veteran's Day ) I think it's important to remember. I think it