Friday, November 30, 2007

An excellent, evil, awful idea

Satan works in Marketing. At Nestle. How else can you explain this?

Only the Devil himself would place a 40 ounce TUB OF COOKIE DOUGH in my refrigerator.

Get thee behind me, Satan! And pass the cookie dough and a spoon! ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rap Charts

These are great - they reminded me of the Indexed blog. Here are some popular rap songs, with their lyrics charted/graphed out for those who appreciate a visual presentation over an aural one. My favs are the first two and the last one.

P.S. If you've never heard Ben Folds' cover of "Bitches Ain't Shit", I implore you to download it posthaste.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Invisible Mom

This is long, but worth reading and saving for a rainy day - you know, those days when you doubt if all the work you put into being a great mom is ever going to be noticed. The days where you think, "Oh, I used to be brilliant and cute and I used to look really good in jeans!" Save it for that day. Or if you're having that day today, get your hankie out before you read on...

This is to all moms - and moms to be ---------

"Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible"

I'm Invisible

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The More You Know....

When trying to research how to grow a vegetable garden in pots on your patio, do not Google "pot gardening". What you want is not going to come up.

Also, when trying to shop online for sporting equipment, is not the website for Dick's Sporting Goods.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Me and Daughtry

I'm going home.

I'm so excited. After a season of blondeness, I am really ready. I am ready to wear my lipsticks again. Ready to not look washed out and tired. I am ready to return to my God-ordained, brunette beauty.

I shall never roam again.

God was the best colorist I ever had - who was I to think I could improve upon His immaculate design? A damn fool, that's who I was.

I have been gradually climbing my way out of a bleached abyss, going from warm dark blonde to chestnut. Now, a concoction of half "chocolate cherry" and half dark brown is on my head (my natural color has a lot of red undertones, hence the chocolate cherry) and in a half hour I will have returned to brunette glory. I can't wait!

Photos coming, once my transformation is complete...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Barack Obama's Address to the Jefferson Jackson Dinner - November 10, 2007

I really, really, really LOVED this speech. It has the same vital energy as his 2004 DNC speech.

I think I'd actually watch the State of the Union addresses if he were prez...


Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Des Moines, Iowa

Thank you so much. To the great Governor of Iowa and Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. To my dear friend Tom Harkin for the outstanding work that he does. To the congressional delegation of Iowa that is doing outstanding work, and to Nancy Pelosi, Madam Speaker -- thank you all for the wonderful welcome and the wonderful hospitality.

A little less than one year from today, you will go into the voting booth, and you will select the President of the United States of America.

Now, here's the good news -- the name George W. Bush will not be on the ballot. The name of my cousin Dick Cheney will not be on the ballot. (We've been trying to hide that for a long time. Everybody has a black sheep in the family.) The era of Scooter Libby justice, and Brownie incompetence, and Karl Rove politics will finally be over.

But the question you're going to have to ask yourself when you caucus in January and you vote in November is, "What's next for America?"

We are in a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war. The planet is in peril. The dream that so many generations fought for feels as if it's slowly slipping away. We are working harder for less. We've never paid more for health care or for college. It's harder to save, and it's harder to retire. And most of all, we've lost faith that our leaders can or will do anything about it.

We were promised compassionate conservatism, and all we got was Katrina and wiretaps. We were promised a uniter, and we got a President who could not even lead the half of the country that voted for him. We were promised a more ethical and more efficient government, and instead we have a town called Washington that is more corrupt and more wasteful than it was before. And the only mission that was ever accomplished is to use fear and falsehood to take this country to a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged.

It is because of these failures that America is listening, intently, to what we say here today -- not just Democrats, but Republicans and Independents who've lost trust in their government but want to believe again.

And it is because of these failures that we not only have a moment of great challenge, but also a moment of great opportunity. We have a chance to bring the country together in a new majority -- to finally tackle problems that George Bush made far worse but that had festered long before George Bush ever took office -- problems that we've talked about year after year after year after year.

And that is why the same old Washington textbook campaigns just won't do in this election. That's why not answering questions because we are afraid our answers won't be popular just won't do. That's why telling the American people what we think they want to hear instead of telling the American people what they need to hear just won't do. Triangulating and poll-driven positions because we're worried about what Mitt or Rudy might say about us just won't do. If we are really serious about winning this election, Democrats, we can't live in fear of losing it.

This party -- the party of Jefferson and Jackson, of Roosevelt and Kennedy -- has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we led, not by polls, but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction; when we summoned the entire nation to a common purpose -- a higher purpose. And I run for the Presidency of the United States of America because that's the party America needs us to be right now.

A party that offers not just a difference in policies, but a difference in leadership.

A party that doesn't just focus on how to win but why we should.

A party that doesn't just offer change as a slogan, but real, meaningful change -- change that America can believe in.

That's why I'm in this race. That's why I am running for the Presidency of the United States of America -- to offer change that we can believe in.

I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists -- and won. They have not funded my campaign; they will not get a job in my White House; and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am President.

I'm in this race to take those tax breaks away from companies that are moving jobs overseas and put them in the pockets of hard working Americans who deserve it. And I won't raise the minimum wage every ten years -- I will raise it to keep pace so that workers don't fall behind.

That is why I am in it. To protect the American worker. To fight for the American worker.

I'm in this race because I want to stop talking about the outrage of 47 million Americans without health care and start actually doing something about it. I expanded health care in Illinois by bringing Democrats and Republicans together. By taking on the insurance industry. And that is how I will make certain that every single American in this country has health care they can count on. And I won't do it twenty years from now. I won't do it ten years from now. I will do it by the end of my first term as President of the United States of America.

I run for President to make sure that every American child has the best education that we have to offer -- from the day they are born to the day they graduate from college. And I won't just talk about how great teachers are -- as President, I will reward them for their greatness -- by raising salaries and giving them more support. That's why I'm in this race.

I am running for President because I am sick and tired of Democrats thinking that the only way to look tough on national security is by talking, and acting, and voting like George Bush Republicans.

When I am this party's nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don't like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is OK for America to torture -- because it is never ok. That's why I am in it.

As President, I will end the war in Iraq. We will have our troops home in sixteen months. I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century -- nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now."

America, our moment is now.

Our moment is now.

I don't want to spend the next year or the next four years re-fighting the same fights that we had in the 1990s.

I don't want to pit Red America against Blue America; I want to be the President of the United States of America.

And if those Republicans come at me with the same fear-mongering and swift-boating that they usually do, then I will take them head on. Because I believe the American people are tired of fear and tired of distractions and tired of diversions. We can make this election not about fear, but about the future. And that won't just be a Democratic victory; that will be an American victory.

And that is a victory America needs right now.

I am not in this race to fulfill some long-held ambitions or because I believe it's somehow owed to me. I never expected to be here. I always knew this journey was improbable. I've never been on a journey that wasn't.

I am running in this race because of what Dr. King called "the fierce urgency of now." Because I believe that there's such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.

I don't want to wake up four years from now and find out that millions of Americans still lack health care because we couldn't take on the insurance industry.

I don't want to see that the oceans have risen a few more inches. The planet has reached a point of no return because we couldn't find a way to stop buying oil from dictators.

I don't want to see more American lives put at risk because no one had the judgment or the courage to stand up against a misguided war before we sent our troops into fight.

I don't want to see homeless veterans on the streets. I don't want to send another generation of American children to failing schools. I don't want that future for my daughters. I don't want that future for your sons. I do not want that future for America.

I'm in this race for the same reason that I fought for jobs for the jobless and hope for the hopeless on the streets of Chicago; for the same reason I fought for justice and equality as a civil rights lawyer; for the same reason that I fought for Illinois families for over a decade.

Because I will never forget that the only reason that I'm standing here today is because somebody, somewhere stood up for me when it was risky. Stood up when it was hard. Stood up when it wasn't popular. And because that somebody stood up, a few more stood up. And then a few thousand stood up. And then a few million stood up. And standing up, with courage and clear purpose, they somehow managed to change the world.

That's why I'm running, Iowa -- to give our children and grandchildren the same chances somebody gave me.

That's why I'm running, Democrats -- to keep the American Dream alive for those who still hunger for opportunity, who still thirst for equality.

That's why I'm asking you to stand with me; that's why I'm asking you to caucus for me; that's why I am asking you to stop settling for what the cynics say we have to accept. In this election -- in this moment -- let us reach for what we know is possible. A nation healed. A world repaired. An America that believes again. Thank you very much everybody.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Love Thursday

I know I've been slacking with my blog entries, but at least I'm not as bad as Coupon Chris (ahem! slacker!) Yeah, I'll call you out if you don't post in two months.

So, this Thursday I love....No-freaking-vember, baby. Thank God October is over.

Let me tell you a little something about October. I HATE October. Know why? October is "Breast Cancer Awareness Month". It is miserable to be bitch slapped with breast cancer awareness every day for a month. As a formerly lumped individual, I am AWARE of breast cancer. Painfully aware. I have the scars to prove it. I don't need an entire month of pink ribbons and donation cans at the cash register at the grocery store to help me be freaking aware of breast cancer.

Are there any women who need to be made aware of breast cancer? I think not. I think we all know our titones are at risk, simply for being. Maybe more so if we have the genetic predisposition to cancer, but not having family history doesn't protect you.

You know who needs to be made aware of their risk of breast cancer? MEN. Yeah, they get it too. And it is nearly always fatal for them because by the time they notice a weird lump on their chest and go to a doctor for it, it's too late. Because men are stupid, and they won't go to the doctor when they're sick. They will only go to the doctor when an appendage is falling off, and then it had better be a pretty important appendage. You don't see anyone handing out waterproof shower cards to men teaching them how to feel themselves up every month to detect any errant tissue but they absolutely should be.

I say we scrap Breast Cancer Awareness Month in its current form, and totally revamp it. Aim it towards the young, the uneducated and the penised. And don't remind me day after day for a month, about that one time I had the same disease my grandmother died from. It's like giving me a paper cut and then pouring lemon juice and salt all over it. On my boobs.

Yeah, I freaking LOVE November.

Friday, November 02, 2007

First Steps!

Today Jackson took his first unassisted steps. He's been cruising and climbing for a while now and can walk as long as he's holding onto something or someone - today he took his first little wobbly strides towards me, across his bedroom.

I scooped him up and hugged him and kissed him and said "You did it! You're such a big boy! You did it!" And he said "Ah dee uht!" which sounded a heck of a lot like "I did it!" to me. Such an exciting event.

Of course, I cried.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

News Flash!

This just in...peppermint and eggnog lattes are back at Fourbucks! I had an Eggnog Chai Latte this AM after dropping off Hubster at the airport.

Yeah, Tim had to travel for work. I am so so so so so so mad! It's supposed to be a short trip, and it had better because so far I am not appreciating Sudden Onset Single Motherhood Syndrome. He just found out yesterday afternoon that he had to go to the East Coast office.

How come every year on my birthday he ends up having to travel for work? Just once I would like my husband home for my birthday. And this is a big birthday - it's my Christ Year! He should be home for this!

I have decided that to celebrate my birthday, we're going to the big, fancy, Champagne Brunch at the Country Club after church. Is it wrong to go get tipsy after church? Maybe just a little. ;)