Monthly Archives: October 2010

How Is Jane Crazy? Oh, Let Me Count The Ways

So, I’ve told you my mom is crazy, right? Well, guess what? I’m crazy, too. (Some of you already knew that – at least after reading yesterday’s post you now know.)

I’m mostly OCD with a little bit of plain ol’ crazy mixed in to keep things interesting.

How am I crazy? Ahhhh…let me count the ways.

10. I check to see if the car doors are, indeed, locked more than is necessary. And I involve my kids in the practice. Ever helpful #1son is often volunteering to run back to the car and check for me. And I let him.

9. Whenever I hear a child cry in a public place I must get up and locate the distressed little soul and make sure that a parent is taking adequate care of the situation. My husband calls this crazy. I call it “It Takes A Village.”

8. I boycotted shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch because of an ad they ran in 1992 that offended me. No one else. Just me. They hit a nerve with something personal I was going through. So I refused to shop there ever again. And I haven’t. Eighteen years later and I held true to my boycott – until last week. When my daughter got a job at one of their stores. Darn this economy and having to take what you can get.

7. I’m obsessive about a clean kitchen or bathroom. You could eat off the floor in either area. But do not, I repeat, DO NOT look under my bed. Or eat anything there. Yuck.

6. Give me a choice between a trip to Hawaii and a trip to Disney World? Disney wins every time. An all expenses paid trip around the world and a trip to Disney World? Sadly, yes. I’d pick Disney. An engraved invitation to a State Dinner at the White House (take that, Salahis!) and a trip to Disney World? Well, maybe I’d go to the State Dinner just to sashay past the Salahis but after dessert can I still go to Disney? (My daughter doesn’t call me Disney Dork for nothin’.)

5. I remember skating around everyone, and I mean literally sliding and skating past everyone in my socks on our hardwood floors, getting ready for a holiday party and thinking how nuts this must look. It felt like my family was moving in slow motion, without a care in the world that we had 100 guests about to show up and the house was still a wreck and food still needed to be put out. I was a raving lunatic. Not a proud moment, but a defining one. I’d like to say I’m no longer crazy in that regard. Dear sweet hubby? Can you please confirm that one for me?

4. I’ve been known to lock the door behind me, take two steps and go back to make sure that the door is truly locked. Doesn’t matter that I heard the click. Doesn’t matter that I pulled the door firmly. Doesn’t even matter that I checked it as soon as I locked it. What is it with me and locked doors?

3. For as long as I’ve entertained guests in my own home, it took me almost 20 years to buy a butter dish. Twenty years. Why? Because this saucer will do and besides, they’re too expensive. (Yes, I actually said too expensive.) I finally bought one. $3.99 at Williams Sonoma Outlet.  Yep. I put the cheap in cheap-skate.

2. It drives my kids crazy that I smile (or so they say) while I’m “yelling” (I don’t yell. I raise my voice) at them. Apparently, my facial expressions do not match the intensity of my words. But according to my daughter, that’s just weird, not necessarily crazy.

And the number one reason I’m crazy…

1.  I admitted to Kitch last week that, while I feel overwhelmed and unable to keep up with my self-imposed 4-posts-a-week assignment, I can’t seem to skip it. No matter how hard I try. Why? Because I like how my little calendar looks (go ahead and peek, it’s over there to the right) with it’s pretty little M, T, T, and F columns all highlighted just so. There’s something in me that can’t disrupt the pattern. Just the thought of a “wrong” day being highlighted (or not) makes me all uncomfortable. I’m not kidding about this.

Now that’s crazy!

(What’s your crazy?)

25 Comments

Filed under Completely Random, Observations

Coffee Talk With Jane: Proposition 19. Should Every State Consider Legalizing Marijuana?

Never one to shy away from controversial topics I’m suggesting we talk about Proposition 19. Next week, the voters in California will be sharing their view on whether or not marijuana should be legalized. I’m curious how you feel about the topic.

Me? I’m conflicted. For one thing, I’ve never tried pot. Ever. It’s not a moral thing for me. Just the thought of smoking anything makes my chest feel heavy and sends a cough to my throat.

I’m also afraid of anything that might alter my conscious state.  That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a pina colada on the beach once in a while. But I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had too much to drink (of alcohol, that is). It frightened me all three times. I’ve witnessed too much addiction in my life to take a chance with my own inadequacies in that department.

That said, I have no issues with anyone who wants to imbibe. Alcohol or marijuana. As long as it doesn’t affect me – drunk driving, puking on my rug, eating the last bag of Lay’s Potato Chips – go ahead, enjoy! Just don’t get behind the wheel of a car. Wait to get sick in your own home. Pay for your own groceries.

But my brother-in-law (a member of Federal Law Enforcement who has worked with Customs and DEA) is vehemently against legalizing marijuana in any form. He views marijuana as a gateway drug.

The former police chief in San Jose, Joseph McNamara, disagrees.

After 35 years in law enforcement, he feels our focus on criminalizing the use of pot is misguided. He likens it to the days of prohibition, when Al Capone ruled the black market. Once alcohol was legalized, Al Capone was put out of business.

The Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, has been outspoken in his stance against legalizing pot in the United States. He feels Proposition 19 “shows hypocrisy in U.S. drug policy.” The U.S. is asking him to crack down on drug cartels, meanwhile we’re legalizing the very drug he is trying to stop production and distribution.

I’m confused. Conflicted.

I’m getting all verklempt.

I’ve already given you the topic.

Talk amongst yourselves.

21 Comments

Filed under Coffee Talk, Ponderings, Soapbox

A Shout Out To The Socially Responsible

After writing my post yesterday – off the cuff and pushing the publish button as fast as my fingers could because I was so late in posting – I realized I could only name one company, off the top of my head that epitomized social responsibility.

I’m all about the socially responsible. I’m fantastic at boycotting the companies I’m in disagreement with. I want to be just as fantastic at supporting the companies that promote value and values. Social ones, that is.

Yesterday, I mentioned TOMS Shoes.

Love them. The shoes. The company. Great product and purpose.

I did a little research and here are my next top 5 shout outs for social responsibility:

Bodoblankets.com - Another “One to One” company. Quality, gorgeous blankets. And for every one you buy, they’ll donate one to someone in need. They are environmentally conscious and committed to community service.

We Are One Heart: An organization that sell t-shirts with the same phrase. Every time you buy one, one is given to a child in Haiti.

Newman’s Own: The great Paul Newman started this company where 100% of the profits go to worthy charities. To date, they given over $295 million. We love their salsa and Caesar dressing. You can find their products in your local grocery store, too.

Ethos Water: Another easy purchase. My kids like a treat after school and Starbucks is quite convenient for us. But I don’t like to drink caffeine that late in the day. Ethos Water, sold at Starbucks, is committed to providing fresh, clean water to people in developing countries. Granted, just 5 cents a bottle goes to the cause but nickels add up. To date, they have raise $6.2 million of their $10 million humanitarian water grant goal.

Bead for Life: Their catch phrase is “Eradicating poverty one bead at a time.” Beaded jewelry, created by impoverished women from Uganda and around the world, trying to make a better life for their families. The goal is to make the women self-sufficient, independent and able to support themselves within 18 months of entering the program. I’m all about empowerment! Love this program!

Now start clicking! And in the comments section below – add your favorite socially responsible charity. Spread the word and we can all make a difference.

11 Comments

Filed under Be-Causes

Punks Unite! Well, For Today, Anyway.

It’s Monday, October 25th. And do you know what today is?

Punk For A Day Day!

This tickles me because my husband is always saying, “Quit being a punk!”

When I discovered it’s a day to celebrate, well, me – I have to admit. I got a little excited. But then I began to wonder, am I really a punk?

I consulted Merriam-Websters.

The first definition is “prostitute.” Nope. Not me. And since I eschew heavy make-up  and high heels of any variety, I’m sure I’ve never been mistaken for one.

Gangster or hoodlum? Me? Little Miss Rule Follower and Defender of the Weak? Strike two.

Dabbling in nonsense and foolishness? Now we’re getting somewhere. (Take this post, for instance.)

Then I found this little gem at wikiHow: “A fierce individualist who has a bone to pick with the profit-driven world.”

Now that’s a definition I can relate to.

I have complained here, many a time, on how I feel like I don’t fit in. How I seem to have lived my life backwards. My timing is always off. I don’t belong to any one crowd. Blah, blah, blah.

I’ve embraced my quirks. At this point in my life, I’m a peace that I married too young the first time and a little old the second time. I was a young mother and then an old mother. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and I didn’t care about growing up. I was a music major studying classical voice and rocking out to Metallica in between classes. I was the designated driver at every single party in high school (yes, high school) and college. I still wear Minnetonka moccasins, Keds and peace signs, as I have for the past thirty years. I don’t care that they’ve gone in and out of style – I’ve never stopped wearing them.

That’s me. I’m a rebel.  

And I have always been repulsed by blatant materialism and greed. I love it when I hear about a celebrity who lives in a 2000 square foot home and drives a Prius. I think companies like Toms Shoes  are amazing and I wish I had thought of it first.

But when wikiHow proceeds to tell me how to look like a punk? That’s when I get my panties in a bunch. Didn’t the definition say “fierce individualist?”

I don’t have spiky hair. I don’t wear leopard print leather pants with a punk-band-goth-t-shirt with my cowboy boots and dog collar. I don’t wear brightly colored make-up. I hardly wear any at all. Reading their cookbook list is making me panic. How can I celebrate me, today, when I can’t conform?

Wait. A punk is a non-conformist. And I’m going to celebrate all the non-conforming things about me that I love. And you should, too! (The things about you, that is.)

Are you a non-conformist? Yay! Punks unite!

Well, for today, anyway.

10 Comments

Filed under Completely Random

Deep Thoughts With Jane (And Friends)

 

“I have often thought what a melancholy world this would be without children, and what an inhuman world without the aged.” ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Filed under children, Deep Thoughts, Observations

Calling All Bloggers! Who Is Your Favorite Read?

On Monday I shared with you my top ten ways (OK – maybe not the top ten of all time but certainly the top ten of that particular day) to avoid writing a blog post. And Aging Mommy, of the blog of the same name, had a wonderful idea.

She asked for “a post where you ask everyone to name their favorite non-celebrity blogs (the ones who will never come and say hello to us lowly beings) is in order, I would love to find some new great reads without the hard work.”

How about it? Are you in? Please say yes!

In the comment section below please add the link of one of your favorite daily/regular reads. If you’re a regular, you pretty much know who hangs out here. Try to name someone who is not a Theycallmejane regular. And sorry folks, but everyone on my blogroll is off-limits, too.

We’re trying to stir the bloggy pot. Breathe new life into our blogging existence. Give a shout out to someone who is staying under the radar.

And already I’m breaking my rule #1. I only hang out with you people, here. Honest. I don’t visit many blogs that don’t already comment at my place. So forgive me when I give Gale at Ten Dollar Thoughts a shout out. If you haven’t visited her yet – you should. She’s thoughtful and insightful. She inspires me to be a better writer.

Thanks for playing! And I’m going to take the liberty of saying that anyone you list below thanks you, too! I know I would!

28 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Divorce: Standing Alone In The Wreck

If I could have a regret in my life that is wrapped up in a wonderful gift it would be my first marriage. All by itself, I regret that marriage. Oh sure, I learned so much about myself. I grew. I became a better person.

And most of all, I received an amazing, wonderful, beautiful daughter. If the way she had to come to be was through that marriage, fine. I accept it. But I don’t have to like it.

Because I hate what she has had to go through. I hate what it’s done to her self-esteem. I hate the choices she has had to make because of the split. All because I chose him for her dad.

When I was going through the divorce my attorney advised me on many things. She predicted things that would come to be and I nodded. Not in agreement. Because my ex would never, ever do the things she described. Never. Ever. (Insert wry laugh here.)

Boy. Was I wrong.

I have watched my beautiful daughter experience such dysfunction. Promises broken. Lies told. A step-mother who is insanely jealous. A woman who treats my daughter like “the other woman.” Since she was 6 years old she has had to keep secret any activity with her father that doesn’t involve her step-mother. Every movie. Every ice cream cone. Every shopping trip.

Recently, we have been weathering an amazing storm. A situation I never dreamed would happen. Out of respect for my daughter, I won’t air the dirty details. But it has ripped my daughter to the core. She wants to change her name. She wants to never see him again. She feels abandoned and unappreciated. And what tears my heart apart is that she feels unimportant, unworthy and unloved by him.

If I could go back and change something, anything – I would. Quite honestly, I have no idea what I’d change. If it means me not being her mother, I would sacrifice that for her to be treated better by a father. I only want the best for her.

And she doesn’t deserve this.

She deserves so much better.

23 Comments

Filed under children, Lessons Learned, Marriage, Music, parenting

10 Ways To Avoid Writing A Blog Post

10. Do laundry. Lots of laundry. And when you’re done with the laundry, launder things that have never been laundered before. (Yes, I actually did this today. Shoot me now.)

9. Google things. For an hour. When nothing inspires you, Google some more. You just might learn something.

8. Stalk old flames on Facebook. (Embarrassing, but true.)

7. Use Google Earth to check out the neighborhood where you grew up. Count how many blocks you walked to school and notice all the empty lots and boarded up houses. Be glad you still don’t live there.

6. Get rubbing alcohol and some Q-tips. Clean all the gunk between the keyboard keys.

5. Visit all the blogs in your “Needs Further Research” folder looking for inspiration. Realize why they needed further research in the first place.

4. Visit your favorite blogs for inspiration. Realize you will never match their brilliance, hence the reason they are your favorites.

3. Visit the bloggers who comment on other blogs. Realize for as many really great blogs there are, there are twice as many boring ones. (Sorry. Just being honest.)

2. Visit every single person who has ever commented on your blog. Be inspired by their posts. Begin to write your own and realize you are creeping dangerously close to every form of plagiarism out there. Quit while you’re ahead.

And the #1 one way to avoid writing a blog post?

1. Create a list. Any kind of list. And see if anyone notices that it actually turned into a blog post.

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Filed under Blogging, Completely Random

To Flu Shot Or Not To Flu Shot – THAT is the Question

I go through this. Every. Single. Year.

To the point that my friends start hiding from me and won’t return my phone calls from October to January. This year, advertisements for the flu shots started popping up in August. I recognized my friend’s weary glances right away.

But you, dear readers, have never been exposed to my paranoia around this time of year. You are a fresh new audience.

Welcome.

First, let’s say I am cautious about vaccines. I get them. I have my children get them. But we spread them out. Way out. During my children’s first years of life, we were in the doctor’s office about every other month just getting vaccines. I appreciate the value of a vaccines but I don’t want to overwhelm a body’s delicate system.

There are some vaccines I skip. When the chicken pox vaccine first came out I let my daughter get those delightful, itchy spots the good old-fashioned way. But my boys? Too many people were getting the vaccine by then. I was risking that without the vaccine they may contract chicken pox in adulthood when it is far more dangerous. So they received the chicken pox vaccine.

Then comes H1N1. Oh. My. God. I had no friends during that time. Not during flu season, anyway. I bored them ad nauseum with facts. I deliberated. I asked strangers on the street what they thought.

Last year, my kids each got the first dose of the vaccine and then #1son had a horrible reaction. Or, so we thought. (Later, the CDC – or whatever lab they sent the results to – deemed that it was a coincidental reaction to something unknown) The kids never received the subsequent doses and we were fine last season.

Except for last year, we never get the vaccine. We’re a typical, healthy family who enjoy the typical amount of colds each season. I’d venture to say a little less than the typical amount.

But every single year I worry that I’ve made the wrong decision.

My husband, who practices Chinese Medicine, is absolutely no help at all. Chinese Medicine believes in letting the body build its own immunities. When we first had kids, he was adamantly against any vaccine. I was adamantly for. We battled. It came to such a head that I planned on sneaking the kids to the doctor and never telling him. Luckily, we came to an agreement we both could live with after a wonderful talk with our amazing Western Medicine pediatrician who values my husband’s expertise.

But during flu season? He’s no help. He laughs at me whenever I ask a question, reminding me of what he thinks of the flu shot industry. Every time we pass a sign advertising flu shots (at a drug store, grocery store, the library, in the airport – God, they’re everywhere!) he gives me a sideways glance, just waiting for my barrage of questions.

In an advertisement for flu shots on the radio this morning they reminded all of us fearful listeners out there that the CDC has recommended that everyone should receive the flu shot this season.

Everyone.

Is this advertising? Is this a twist of a study just to create fear and make money for the store/pharmaceutical companies? Or should every typically healthy person out there get the flu shot?

I hate this time of year.

Hate it.

And I know what I’ll do. I’ll choose to skip the vaccine for all of us. And then sit on pins and needles until spring, worrying that I made the wrong decision.

Sigh.

So I’ll just take this opportunity to say goodbye to all my dear friends here in the real world. See you next spring.

Blog friends?

Anyone?

Will you keep me company until then?

33 Comments

Filed under All In A Day's Work, children, Moms, Motherhood, parenting, Ponderings

!!! At The Airport

I had to fly to Michigan this past weekend. And I’m not fond of flying. Oh sure, it gets you places oh-so-quickly. But you have to rely on the skills of a stranger and the ability of a 200,000 pound airplane to glide effortlessly through the air.

Because my daughter needed the car to pick up her brothers from school, I had to arrive at the airport very early. Plenty of time to enjoy some of my favorite things….

People watching. One of the best pasttimes ever.

I never understood why people worried about the comfort of their earbuds. I’m never able to listen to my ipod for more than a few minutes at a time. But alone in the airport? I’m so grateful to my daughter for lending me these…

 

There is nothing like uninterrupted reading time. No xBox controls to fix. No disagreements to moderate. No dinner to start preparing. Heaven.

What else brings me !!! at the airport? Valerian. Two little capsules before I fly to settle my nerves. And two little capsules before encounters with my mother. Peace in a bottle.

I don’t chew gum. I blame my orthodontist. He banned gum chewing during my braces years and then kept me in them for most of my adolescence. I never picked up gum chewing in adulthood. When I fly, Starburst candies do the trick to help relieve the pressure. Tasty, too.

There you have it. Jane’s !!! for flying. What makes your flying adventures more bearable?

(For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.)

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Filed under The !!!