Thursday, July 30, 2009

Top 10 Signs Your Kids Have a Wii Addiction

10. Your son volunteers to do the laundry, wash the car, bathe the dog, clean his room, and wash the dishes so that he can earn enough money to buy another Wii game and that he will apparently just die if he doesn’t get it TODAY.

9. Three mornings in a row your daughter tells you that her dream involved some version of getting lost in a new world, but then getting an extra life for finding the hidden flowers.

8. Your son comments that his Toaster Strudels remind him of goombas.

you see it too, right?

7. Your daughter starts bartering for more Wii time (“If I read for 45 minutes today instead of just the 30 minutes I usually read, then do you think that I can also get an extra 15 minutes doing Wii bowling?)

6. Your kids hear that you are planning a week long vacation on the coast of Nova Scotia, they ask in unison, “Can we bring the Wii?”

5. Your son thinks that because he has won the title of The Next American Idol on the Wii, like 10 times now, he could SO win the real thing too.

4. You get up at 2:27 in the morning for a glass of water and find both of your kids out of bed playing Mario Cart with the sound muted so they don’t wake anyone up. When you calmly ask “What the…????” your son tells you he just couldn’t sleep and he thought a quick game would help. And then he tells you that because he couldn’t sleep, he went ahead and woke up his sister for some company.

3. You take the kids bowling and they are surprised at how throwing a REAL ball toward the pins requires considerably more skill than Wii Bowling, however their bowling stance is NEAR PERFECT.

2. Your 9 year old tells you that this might be a good time to buy Nintendo stock because he plans on spending all of his birthday money and allowance on every single Super Mario Brothers game ever made.

1. You have to go buy a HEATING PAD and ICY HOT because your son’s neck is so sore from playing Super Paper Mario. You think it just might be because he prefers to play this particular game like this:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Music Meme

Once upon a time, and long, long ago, I had this boyfriend. We broke up, went our separate ways, got married to other people, and started our families.

Now, wouldn't you know it? As fate would have it, we are both bloggers! My ex and a few of his friends have a really great indie music site called the Muse in Music. You really should check it out - I promise it will make you feel cool and hip!

Anyway, Fred over at tMiM tagged me in a little meme. Take a look at my answers then go check out the Muse.

1. When listening to music lyrics, have you ever been offended by the use of profanity alone? If yes, describe.
Well, for my own listening, no. But my kids really like Eminem (I’m guessing because it has a good beat and you can dance to it), and I had to download the “edited” version so that they could listen to it without me worrying about them saying something highly inappropriate at school. Interestingly, they have never questioned why parts of the song are blanked out. Perhaps they are filling in the blanks with their own version of profanity?

2. Have you ever been offended by sexual themes in music lyrics, even if the particular lyric contained no profanity? If yes, describe.
Only once that I can think of. A few years ago I was at the Fall Dance held at my kid’s Catholic school. I came across the school principle movin’ and groovin’ to the Black Eyed Peas’ song “My Humps” in the hallway. Seeing her with her hands touching her lovely lady lumps made me very uncomfortable. I was scarred. For life. It was only later that I questioned why the hired DJ was playing that song to begin with. Maybe it was a special request?

3. Have you ever been offended by violent themes (or direct calls for violence) in music lyrics, even if the particular lyric contained no profanity? If yes, describe.
This is a hard one. I don’t think “offended” is the word. I think I have more of a “non-preference” for violent music. In my day-to-day listening, I generally don’t feel all that angry and violent towards anything. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when the Eminem line from “Lose Yourself” (“No more games, I'ma change what you call rage. Tear this motherf**king roof off like two dogs caged…”) fits my mood perfectly (like when someone who will remain nameless but whose name rhymes with Jonnavon drinks the last full cup of coffee and only leaves me with enough to piss me off).

It can’t be all Taylor Swift and sunshine all the time.

4. Have you ever been offended by themes of drug use in music lyrics, even if the particular lyric contained no profanity? If yes, describe.
I’ll have to say “no” to this one, but with the caveat that I am pretty clueless when it comes to slang references to drugs and drug use. It was just about a year ago when I figured out the drug references in Little Feet’s song “Willin’.” I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have used this song as the night-night lullaby for a certain colicky kid I know.

5. Have you ever been offended by an artist’s stage performance, in terms of sexuality, violence or drug use? (This question pertains to actions, not to the song lyrics, profane or otherwise.) If yes, describe.
Maybe I’ve been going to the wrong concerts! Back in the olden days (i.e. before kids), my husband and I would go to Gruene Hall in New Braunfels quite a bit and sometimes the audience would get a little out of hand and there would be a fist fight or two, or some serious dry-humping over by the pool tables, but the action on stage was completely non-offensive.

6. Have you ever been offended by a music video, in terms of sexuality, violence or drug use? (This question pertains to the video itself, not to the song lyrics, profane or otherwise.) If yes, describe.
Do they still make music videos? I can recall one video that set me off on a “women are not just sexual objects” tirade. Can you guess which one? “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” by Trace Adkins. YouTube clip here:

7. Are there any artists you have completely written off, strictly on the basis of indecency? If yes, describe.
Just a simple no on this one. Although, I have found that I don’t listen to Cher as much as I did before she wore that incredibly indecent outfit in her “If I Could Turn Back Time” video. But maybe that’s just jealousy.

8. Do you support to any degree private-sector efforts to censor music lyrics, once the record has already been produced? (For example, Wal-Mart refusing to catalog Green Day’s latest LP.) If yes, describe.
I think we can make the choice all on our own whether we want to buy/support any particular musician or band. But that said, I also think a retailer has the right to refuse to carry a product. If you want it, go buy it somewhere else.

9. Do you support to any degree public-sector efforts to censor music lyrics? If yes, describe.
“Censorship” is such a loaded word. I mean, as a parent, I’m in total support of music ratings on CDs. Is that censorship? In fact, I wish the music police would go into more detail and tell me exactly what is in the music that is “offensive.” I mean, I am a careful food-label reader (No dairy! No soy!), so I am used to looking for details when shopping, and I might be willing to buy a CD for my nine year old son if I knew the only explicit language was the “F” word one time in a single song. Ya know?

10. Do you support to any degree further FCC decency guidelines for radio and TV? If yes, describe.
I think guidelines are fine. And they will probably be just as effective as the dietary guidelines put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Right?

And that is all I have to say about that.

I Fought the Raccoons...

And the raccoons won.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Come on, take a break...

Have ya'll checked out The Women's Colony yet? Grab a cup of coffee and sit for a while while you read through some wonderful blog posts (and get a good dose of mancake!). This site should definately be on your Favorites list.

And guess what? Now you can order your very own Women's Colony t-shirts, coffee mugs, and mouse pads! Just click here.

And guess what else? Today I have a post in the Confessional section. Click on over and relax a while - anything else on your to-do list can wait!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pesky Pests Update

Well, I am happy to report that my soccer goal contraption has been wildly successful in keeping the raccoons out of our garbage. Night before last I heard them scratching around out there and I gave a small warning bark (nothing too ferocious, just a little old tired beagle bark - my little pooch barely raised her head). In the morning I was happy to see that the trash cans were still upright and there was not a single piece of shredded tin foil or mauled paper towel anywhere.

And the ants? They are diminishing in both size and number. Now I will occasionally see a teeny tiny little ant scurrying across the kitchen window sill, but otherwise it loos as though my "pretty please go away" method is working (and maybe that stuff that my husband sprayed around the outside perimeter of the house has a little something to do with it too).

But (there's always a "but" in there, isn't there?)...

My garden is having to bear the consequences of our actions - as in the wild animals and pests are apparently quite upset about not being able to feast on our garbage and have taken to ravaging the tomato plants.

Yesterday Dalton went out to check the garden for signs of ripeness (the tomatoes have been fruiting like mad, and the cucumbers are just starting to flower, and the carrots, well, we can't seem to distinguish them from the weeds, so we don't really know how the carrots are doing), and when he came back in he said, "Bad news. All the big tomatoes are gone. Well, except for this one." Then he shows me this big beautiful green tomato that would have been just perfect in a summer salad, except that it had an ugly, big, huge imprint from some animal's teeth right on the bottom (bigger than a rabbit, but smaller than a bear - maybe a deer?).

Then he said, "Don't worry - all the small tomatoes on the Topsy-Turvy are fine." Whew. At least there was that.

This morning, there was more bad news. "Mom, the animals chewed off the bottoms of the Topsy-Turvy tomato plants. But there are still some growing on there up pretty high, so maybe it will be ok."

Somehow, I don't think so. I think by tomorrow, the tomatoes that I had such high hopes for will be just a homemade salsa pipe dream. I am sure the cucumbers and carrots and cantaloupe will also fall victim to the ravages of these wild beasts.

I think that these animals are getting revenge.

But I guess the wild beasts need to eat too. Maybe by growing and offering them my garden they will stay out of my trash. It can be my offering to Mother Nature and her servants.

And I think I might just be okay with that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pesky Pests

I have two major pests in my life right now.

No! Not them!


And these:

I can't really decide which of these pests is driving me further up the wall. But my nearly every waking moment is spent trying to figure out how to get these guys right out of my life.

I have decided that raccoons may be further up the intelligence chain than I have ever given them credit for. It seems that no matter what I do, they figure out how to get into my trash cans and shred everything inside beyond all recognition. We have talked to all the experts at Home Depot and Lowe's and Ace Hardware, and we purchased top of the line locking lid trash containers. We have consulted the Internet experts and have laced the trash bags with cayenne pepper. We have even gone so far as to make pouring ammonia around the trash area a routine part of our nighttime rituals, along with locking the doors and starting the dishwasher.

And still...

(do you see how they laugh at me?)

After I make my way upstairs in the evening, I open my bedroom window so that I can be on alert for the sounds of the trash cans being rocked back and forth and the lids being unlocked, turned, and tugged off. This is when I make my move. I creep up to the window beside the bed and with a great deal of ferociousness and umph, I bark. Loudly. Like a dog. Like a really, really big mean dog. Until my throat is scratchy and my eyes hurt. Usually this frightens our real-life little dog, asleep in her kennel, more than it deters the demon critters from uncovering the leftover scrambled eggs and peanut butter sandwich scraps in our trash. Oh, don't get me wrong, the lunatic barking usually makes the raccoons pause for a brief nanosecond (they are probably not really pausing, but more like laughing their own secret little raccoon laugh at me), but then they go right back to their midnight snack.

Last night, I tried something new:

Yep, that is the kid's soccer goal thingy, turned so that the netting covers the trash cans, with one of the recycling containers balanced on top. I am hoping that the slightly more difficult access will prompt the pests to move on down the road and rip through someone else's garbage. Kind of like putting the Snicker's bars in the very bottom of the deep freeze so that you forget about them and then if you do happen to find them, it just might seem like more trouble than it is worth to wait for them to thaw and eat.

So far, it's working. (The soccer goal contraption, that is. Not so much with the whole chocolate hiding thing.)

I'll keep you posted.

Then there are the ants.

(This is where I would put in a picture of an ant making it's way towards my sugar bowl, but um, well, the ants are being a little camera shy this morning and even though I went through the kitchen with my camera all ready saying things like "here, anty, anty, come out, come out, where ever you are" in a really high pitched voice, they didn't come out. But the dog thought I was playing some weird game that involved a treat - go figure).

They say everything is bigger in Texas, but Lordy, in all my Texas years I have never seen ants the size of these. They first showed up about a month ago, and apparently they like the place. So far they seem to be confined to the kitchen. Now I know most people would think that this is really a no-brainer - bug spray, right? But here's the deal. About a year ago I went out for Chinese food and my fortune cookie contained a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln that went along the lines of "an ant's life is a sweet to it, as ours is to us" or something like that. Anyway, it makes it hard for me to kill an ant. I mean, I really don't mind them outside, doing the things that ants do. I just don't want them inside my house - inside my kitchen. It's just a little gross, you know?

And scooping them up and throwing them outside just isn't working. They keep coming back. And they seem to be multiplying. Maybe my kitchen is the new Club Med for ants. I don't know. I think we are going to have to spray some sort of chemical to get rid of them. I am hoping we can find something that repels, more than extinguishes them, because I sure don't want a bunch of dead ants messing with my karma.

And that's the thing, I guess. The ants, the raccoons, bees, mud, the laundry, my sister-in-law, and all of the other pesky things in my life - I don't want them gone off the face of the earth for all eternity and forever, but away from my own personal reality, for just a little bit, would sure be nice.