Monthly Archives: May 2011

My 5-Year-Old Figured Out My Password

(To celebrate her high school graduation, my daughter and I are on a little hiatus together. A mother/daughter hiatus. I will be posting some of my favorite posts in the interim. Enjoy!)

My son was playing with an old relic from my husband’s childhood. The Playskool castle. He said, “All the people are in the dungeon. And guess what? The girl in the dungeon? She figured out the code to get out. You see, the knight (he’s holding the knight in his hand showing him to me) he made up the code. And the girl figured it out. It was 1-2-3. What a dumb code! Who couldn’t figure that out?!”

Even my 5-year-old son knows that’s a stupid code.

But apparently, many of us use some of the worst passwords for our computer, our atm card, iphones. Here are the top 21 worst passwords according to TVNZ:

1) 123456
2) password
3) 12345678
4) 1234
5) pussy
6) 12345
7) dragon
8) qwerty
9) 696969
10) mustang
11) letmein
12) baseball
13) master
14) michael
15) football
16) shadow
17) monkey
18) abc123
19) pass
20) f***me
21) 6969

I was going to stop at the top 10. But then I saw #11, letmein. Letmein? I actually snorted a little on that one.

So I was going to stop at the top 11 but then I saw number 20. Number 20 reminded me a little of some of my bloggy friends out there (you know who you are!) and I started to wonder…with how often I see that phrase on your blogs I wondered if any of you use it as a password?

But I couldn’t stop at 20 once I saw #21 (totally missing #9 for some reason). 6969. Ahhhh, it takes me back to my teaching days. I taught both high school math and english (I know. I’m one of those strange anomalies – neither right-brained nor left-brained. What can I say?). Especially in math class. If I said, “Turn to page 69.” Snickers. Or, “Do problems 1 – 69 odd.” Giggles. And then there was always, “George, what is the answer to 18?” Well. If the answer was 69? He could barely get a word out, turning red, holding back a laugh, the rest of the class cracking up with one person completely oblivious saying, “What’s so funny? Why is 71 funny?”

So? Did you see YOUR password up there?

3 Comments

Filed under Lessons Learned, Observations

When Jane Wishes Upon A Star

(To celebrate her high school graduation, my daughter and I are on a little hiatus together. A mother/daughter hiatus. I will be posting some of my favorite posts in the interim. Enjoy!)

I wish I had all the time to read every blog I want to read, with plenty of time to make deep, thoughtful comments and the time to write amazing posts of my own.

I wish I hadn’t have spent $75 on a massage that was just so-so from someone fresh out of massage school. I thought I was saving money.  But it was so not worth it.

I wish I didn’t use the word “so” so much. (Whoops! I did it again, Brittany!)

I wish I could turn back time and snuggle my babies when they were babies again.

I wish the mess in the Gulf had never happened and I worry about all the wildlife choking on the filth.

I wish more than a fifth of all Americans, such as, COULD locate, like Iraq and South Africa such as everywhere like, the United States on a map. (I’m sorry to make fun of her again. But it is still funny.)

I wish whenever I was stuck for a blog post idea the writing prompts I look up actually inspired me.

I wish I had a pa-pa-pa-poker face.

I wish all the food that tastes so good had the negative calories of celery.

I wish Diet Coke didn’t taste like….Diet.

I wish every blogger out there (especially the ones who read my humble blog) lots of traffic and lots of fabulous post ideas.

I wish I could win the lottery. Of course, I suppose I should at least play the lottery first. (Which I’ve never done. Ever. Can you believe it?)

I wish I knew what my writing gift was. I wish I could decide what I do best and run with it.

I wish everyone out there a happy, happy Memorial Day. I wish everyone protecting our freedom and the freedom of others a safe arrival home. And if you’re missing someone who has died I wish you peace in your heart.

7 Comments

Filed under Completely Random

Releasing Cheaters Into The Wild? Now That’s Tough Love!

(To celebrate her high school graduation, my daughter and I are on a little hiatus together. A mother/daughter hiatus. I will be posting some of my favorite posts in the interim. Enjoy!)

 

The facts: I am a rule follower. My mother wears hearing aids. I like to listen to the BBC a few mornings a week to hear world news and opinion.

Now, on with my story…

The other morning I was listening to the BBC when I heard the newscaster say, “Blah, blah, blah (some organization, from India maybe?) is planning on releasing cheaters into the wild.”

Cheaters?

Isn’t that a little harsh?

What will it be like…maybe a remote area, similar to a leper colony? Or will it be like that reality show “Survivor” and there will be cameras, a neutral host and episodes on trust and how to cheat a cheater?

Didn’t she say India? I never realized their justice system was so harsh. Is a cheater someone who cheats on a spelling test or on their taxes? Or is this for cheating spouses? They’ll banish them from society and make them live with their fellow cheaters. See how they like cheating then! Yep. That’ll teach ‘em.

And then the newscaster spoke of “Chiner.”

Chiner? I’ve never heard of that country….

Oh, wait. China. And cheetahs. Releasing cheetahs into the wild.

Oops.

Nevermind.

 

6 Comments

Filed under Completely Random, funny

My! How Time Flies!

I remember, sitting in a large auditorium, listening to the Assistant Headmaster welcome all of the parents of the incoming kindergarteners to the school.

“Welcome parents of the class of 2011!”

And we all chuckled.

My, how time flies!

 

 

Congratulations, my sweet, adorable angel. I’m so proud of you!

21 Comments

Filed under Growing Up, Motherhood

Jane Prepares For The Rapture. And You Should, Too.

I flipped on the radio today and overheard the radio personality talking about the Rapture. Since I know little of this event, I was intrigued.

It was the Neal Boortz Radio Show. I wish I could take credit for his suggestion for tomorrow, because it’s brilliant. He wants us to go into our closets and pull out a full set of clothes. Right down to the underwear. And then, sometime early tomorrow morning, go to a public place and lay out your clothes — as if you were suddenly taken to another physical plane and no longer reside with the evil heathens who are left to suffer the aftermath.

If the Rapture happens, we’ll mess up next year’s census report. If it doesn’t, we’ll have a great laugh.

Well, with my twisted sense of humor, I’ll have a laugh either way.

I cracked up at the suggestion. Nay, assignment. Because I’m going to do this!

Who’s with me?

14 Comments

Filed under Deep Thoughts, funny, Observations

Jane Goes Undercover. It’s Going To Be An Interesting Summer.

 

A little background, if I may: I began swimming competitively when I was about 9 years old. Apparently, I had a little talent in the sport. I made it to national meets by the time I was 13. I loved swimming. I was one of the weird ones who didn’t mind getting up at 5am to swim before school. I enjoyed being the first one to practice. I was one of those year-round crazies that swam 2-4 hours a day, 10,000 yards a practice, 50 weeks out of the year.

In college, I received a music scholarship and had to choose between swimming and music. It was a Big Ten University with a stellar swimming program. I made the team but not with any financial help. Since music was paying for some of my schooling, music won. But I had been coaching summer league swimming since I was 17 and found a part-time job as an assistant coach in a year round age group program in college. I could enjoy both of my loves. I was set. I coached for 12 years.

When my children came along I always steered them toward another sport. I knew how pushy/obnoxious/ignorant swimming parents could be. (Little did I know, they’d be the same way in every other sport) I didn’t want to become one of those parents. My youngest son wasn’t buying it. He begged and pleaded and practically went on strike until we’d let him swim. He started his first team experience a week ago.

Parents are required to volunteer at three meets per season. Because we started late, there weren’t many volunteer slots left to choose from. Except for Stroke and Turn Judge, which requires a training class. I attended the training class yesterday afternoon.

What an experience.

Background information #2: I’ve decided not to advertise my background in the sport. Many parents involved in swimming, if they haven’t competed themselves, think that because they’ve watched the Olympics a few times and can pick out Michael Phelps in a line up, they are experts at swimming. I’m a people watcher – a people observer. In short, I’m looking forward to seeing some of these “experts” in action.

“For those of us who arrived 4 minutes early, what did we miss?” asks a woman from the back, obviously annoyed that the instructor has started on time. Yes. He started on time. I know, because I’m a stickler for punctuality when it involves missing time from my family. I secretly shake my head and decide that those who choose any kind of officiating role must be control freaks.

The instructor is trying to find out what kind of experience we have in the sport.

“Raise your hand if you’ve officiated before and this is just a refresher course,” he asks.

Of course, my hand is down.

“Raise your hand if this is your first time taking the course.”

I raise my hand.

Because he thinks he knows the answer, he grins and says, “Keep your hand up if this is your child’s first season swimming.”

I’m the only one with my hand up.

He looks at me with wide eyes. “Your child has never swam before?”

“No sir,” I reply.

He shakes his head. “Then sharpen your pencil. You’ve got a lot to take in.”

I certainly do, I think, smiling inside.

About half way into the session, a woman asks, “Is this going to run much longer? My daughter has her last soccer game today.” We’ve only covered two strokes. We still have two more and relays and IMs to cover.

“You’ll need to sign up for another course,” the instructor replies, “You can’t be certified if you only complete half.”

“But my dad was an official at the Pam Am games,” she answers.

“Is he going to come with you to every meet?” asks the instructor.

She pouts and stays to finish the class.

We work in groups, analyzing different infractions. One of my group-mates boasts that he swam in high school and was never DQ’d (disqualified) so this is going to be a piece of cake for him.  And I think, yeah. That’s because you swam four months out of every year and probably only swam the freestyle. If you haven’t been DQ’d, you haven’t been swimming very long.

As we turned in our tests and they were graded in front of us, the instructor – obviously impressed with my score – said, “You must have been an excellent student in school.”

I smiled and nodded, afraid to open my mouth and betray my true experience.

Ahhhh, yes.

This is going to be an interesting season.

18 Comments

Filed under All In A Day's Work, Observations, People

A 43 Year Age Difference Wrong? Not If You’re A Rock Star.

Fact: Steven Tyler is 63 years old. That is 5 years younger than my own mother. So, technically, he could be my father. A young father, but I’m pretty sure he was “doin’ it” at that age.

Fact: Steven Tyler’s first solo performance video was released this week.(You can see the video here.)

Fact: The back-up singer, Nicole Scherzinger (age 32), could definitely be his daughter.

 Almost Fact (because I’m still trying to prove it): The model used in the video, the object of Steven Tyler’s desires, looks young. Like really, really, really young. Uber-young. Young enough to be my daughter. So that would be young enough to be his granddaughter.

Fact + fact + fact + almost fact = something that turns my stomach.

Ewwwww.

Just ewwwww.

11 Comments

Filed under Music, Observations, Soapbox

I’m Not An Extreme Couponer. Just A Wannabee.

A desperate wannabee.

That’s me.

It all started last fall when we participated in 3 canned food drives. Ok. Wait. That’s a lie. It started back in my college days when I was too proud to ask my parents for money to eat (because there’d be strings attached). I was working two jobs and trying to live on my own because I couldn’t handle the craziness that was home. I’d hunt the paper for coupons and stock up on soups and the prepared food stuff that I wrinkle my nose at now. Or coupons for fast food places. Wendy’s was my best friend back in college. I remember days when I’d clip a coupon for the all-you-can-eat salad bar and then bring my backpack filled with text books. I’d camp out and eat a late lunch at about 2pm, study while I ate and then eat an early dinner at 4pm. I can’t believe no one ever kicked me out. Not a proud time for me, for sure.

But I digress.

I’ve couponed on and off in my life but I got bitten by the bug again last fall. As I mentioned, we participated in 3 canned food drives, all within weeks of each other. By the second one, my pantry was bare. I don’t purchase many canned goods. I’m a buy-fresh-and-local (when I can) kind of cook. I prefer not to cook from a can if I can help it. Oh sure, I cheat with canned tomatoes or cream of mushroom soup or canned beans from time to time. But again, I’m digressing. (Stick to the story, Jane. Too much caffeine this morning? Jeez.)

I clipped some coupons from the paper and purchased a boatload of canned goods for the 2nd drive. Wow. It wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be.

The next drive? I was prepared. I clipped coupons AND checked out the three major grocery chains near me for sales. I had to go to two stores to make it happen but since they were both on my way home from the boy’s school it wasn’t hard to navigate. I easily saved about 50% on my grocery bill. I was intrigued.

Since then, I’ve watched Extreme Couponers a handful of times. Many of the women are like me – got into couponing out of necessity. This recession (that’s over but isn’t) has hit many of us so hard. And while we’re doing OK, there are some things I just don’t want to give up. Like baseball and swim team for the kids or my favorite shampoo. We’ve trimmed our budget in every way we can think of. Watching the extreme couponers has shown me we could trim a little bit more.

But I still can’t seem to get the results they seem to achieve.

There are three things stopping me.

1. Time. I don’t spend 35+ hours a week clipping coupons, studying sale circulars and taking that 7 hour trip to one store.

2. I’m not going to purchase the 50 newspapers a week I’d need to collect a substantial amount of coupons and I refuse to dumpster dive like one featured woman does. (And she brings her kids with her when she does it!)

3. I don’t use many of the products that coupons advertise. I’m happy with my favorite dishwashing detergent or glass cleaner. I allow a little wiggle room but quite honestly, I’m a little set in my ways.

Taking advantage of Publix Buy-One-Get-One specials has helped quite a bit. I have about $80 worth of extra virgin olive oil that I paid about $30 for (with the help of coupons, of course.) My stock pile is building. Everything you see in the picture below was at least 50% off or free. Most of it, free. My daughter claims I’m preparing for the apocalypse. I don’t mind. Call me crazy, if you dare, but I’m saving us quite a bit at the grocery store. I’ve been able to purchase new baseball cleats, a new team swim suit and a fancy graduation dress with the savings.

But I want one of those big payouts. You know the ones. Where the bill is $1029 and they end up paying $6.82 for it. Or, even better, the bill comes to $534 and the grocery store pays you $1.13 to take it off their hands.

So far….

1. I have my baseball card notebook with coupons filed in categories according to the layout of my favorite grocery store.

2. I buy two, maybe three, Sunday papers a week and spend about 2-3 hours clipping, filing, scanning and planning a shopping trip or two.

3. Employing these methods, I save, on average, around 40%.

And that’s enough for now.

Baby steps.

I just have to keep reminding myself.

Baby steps.

11 Comments

Filed under How We Roll, Uncategorized

They Make Lifetime Movies About People Like Me!

My teenage daughter has hit yet another (inevitable) stumbling block in her young adult career. First (real, true love)Break-Up.

It sucks. And it sucks to be her mother watching her go through this heartache and not be able to make it all better.

Except laugh.  (Yes, I’m one of those moms.)

“They make Lifetime movies about people like me!” she wailed.

Thank goodness her head was buried in a pillow and she couldn’t see my face. I was biting back a smile.

You mean the one about the teenage girl raising her half siblings because her drug addicted mom was in jail?

Nope.

Or the one about the good kid turned porn addict?

Nope. (Thank God.)

Or what about the one about the cougar-she-devil who seduces her stepson who kills his dad to have creepy stepmom all to himself?

Ewwwww and a firm no.

Then there’s the upcoming movie about the woman who thinks her husband has been unfaithful so she hires a private investigator to prove it and the P.I. falls in love with her so he fakes that the husband is having an affair to win her over.

(Honestly. I couldn’t make this stuff up.)

No, sweetheart. I hate to tell you this. Your life, as unique as it is, is so similar to the millions of other lives out there. We have heartache. We have pain. We have suffering.

Some of us push through it better than others. Some of us wallow.

But we are all walking Lifetime movies of our very own.

And hopefully, yours will never be produced for television.

(Hugs, hugs, kisses and hugs, sweet girl. I am hurting for you. Right now, everything is raw and horrible. Empty. And oh-so-difficult. But like the beautiful moments we should treasure and cherish; this, too, shall pass.)

12 Comments

Filed under Growing Up, Motherhood, parenting

Thankful That Bin Laden Is Gone? Yes. Will I Celebrate? No.

Am I the only one out there who is just a wee bit queasy with the celebration of Osama bin Laden’s death?

Don’t get me wrong. I am glad that the world is rid of the mastermind behind countless terrorist attacks, most of all 9/11. Captured and killed? From what I’ve read of the reports, his death seemed necessary. But to read the headline “Bin Laden’s Demise: US Rejoices After A Decade”?

I’m not rejoicing.

Bin Laden’s death does not bring back our friends and family who perished ten years ago or since. Bin Laden’s death will not stop al-Qaida. Bin Laden’s death does not bring closure for anyone who lost a loved one through a terrorist act.

Bin Laden was a loathsome man. He spread hate. He celebrated violence. He encouraged evil. I am thankful that the world population is minus one diabolic villan. But there is still hate, violence and evil in the world without bin Laden.

I’m reassured to find that I’m not the only one uncomfortable with celebrating a man’s demise. An NPR online article revealed:“The Roman Catholic Church responded to the news of bin Laden’s death with this statement: “Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.”” (Excellent article, by the way. Click on it when you’re done here.)

I don’t think my initial reaction to the celebrations erupting all over America and the world is necessarily Christian. It’s a reaction born of compassion for a human soul and an aversion to being the final judge of anyone’s fate.

But I still wrestle with my satisfaction that bin Laden got what was coming to him. I admit that I am grateful for our US troops and for what the rest of the world has contributed to flushing out evil and stopping it in its tracks.

I am thankful.

Yes.

But I will not celebrate.

22 Comments

Filed under Observations