Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

To My Neighbor Lighting Fireworks After July 4th

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

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To my neighbor lighting fireworks after July 4th:

Hello fellow American! I hope you had a happy Independence Day. Are you feeling rested after all your revelry this weekend? I’m not. Thanks for asking. I imagine you enjoyed sleeping in Saturday and Sunday mornings. Don’t mistake this letter for my jealousy, I want you to get the rest you need. You may need it.

First, let me say I appreciate your enthusiasm for our freedom, truly. I would never infringe on your right to blow off your own hand. I love the USA and our love for explosives. Explosives on the 4th. You see, I love a good fireworks show on the 4th of July. A quick history lesson for you, that is the day that we as a nation collectively decided we would use pyrotechnics to commemorate our founding fathers’ declaring our independence.

I understand I have young children and my celebrating has to go on early in the day. We’re part of the decorate-your-tricycle-eat-half-a-hot dog-get-home-before-naps crowd. Fireworks are out for us, but I did brace myself and my little family for some unwelcome booms on the holiday. The local community fireworks display caused a few tears Friday night, but we explained “It’s just for tonight on the 4th, sweetie!” My three-year-old understood and fell asleep after the show ended around 9:30pm. That’s the great thing about professional shows, they give us the oohs and ahhs we all need and it’s over with.

You can imagine my discontent when I heard your cracks and booms on the night of the 5th around 11:00pm. We were upstairs consoling our little one who had her hands over her ears laying in the bed, confused as to why you would frighten her with such noises in our peaceful bit of suburbia when the holiday was over.

I myself was trying to figure out what would compel you to put on your own little show a night later. Unlike our fellow Americans in western states, we don’t typically have to worry about dry weather and we’ve had lots of rain. Both professional fireworks displays in our city went on as planned under clear July 4th night skies. Praise Lady Liberty! So, the weather couldn’t have been the reason you were a day late.

Oh! I know, maybe you’re a dollar short!? Did you get your firecrackers half-priced on the 5th at the tent out in front of the grocery store? Good thinking! Between my child’s sobs I was trying to figure out if I was hearing a Roman Candle, a bottle rocket or a Flying Chinese Finger Severer. I’m sure those black cat-purple-airbomb-sparkler-whateverthehells at  60% off put on a great show for your drunk-ass friends at 1:00 am. Oh, and by 1:00am, it was July 6th. The 6th! So, it was the day after the day after Independence Day. It was over, you chump, OVER!

So, I’m sure you’re thinking, “What are you going to do about it? You’re a lame stay-at-home mommy blogger.” Yes, neighbor. I have my lame moments. I own one or more tankinis and have the theme songs to Disney Junior shows memorized. But, know this, if I ever figure out who you are, my revenge will come when you least expect it. It will come in a few years with a knock at your door bright and early one Saturday morning. My kids will wake you up to sell you something you don’t need as a fundraiser for their swim team or whatever. We will ring your bell first and loudest. I will stop you on the sidewalk on Halloween and get you to take a picture of my family. I’ll pretend to be unhappy with the outcome of the photo and have you take more of us in different poses, taking up your time and being insufferable. I’ll ask you to carry coolers at the neighborhood block party, be unhappy with their location and ask you to move them again. I will do it smiling and nice. You won’t know that it’s my revenge for your explosives. It will all be subtle and spread out over time.

Yeah, all this sounds terrible, and it is. But, I make no apology because I will remember the faces of my startled babies and my whining dog on that hot night in July. I’ll do it for all Americans who understand that fireworks on the 4th are sacred.


Your Neighbor

P.S. Your friends don’t want to see your stupid fireworks on New Year’s Eve. It’s cold. They want to go back inside. Take a hint.


Almost Hit, Absolutely Ran- October 13, 2013

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Friday when I was leaving work I was ready to go home and make spaghetti. It was just a night for a big pot of spaghetti. We were going to eat and relax, finally. It was a cool and dreary day that ended a chaotic work week.

I picked up Charlotte from school and we went to Target so she could pick out a birthday present for her friend. I got some hamburger for the sauce. We had noodles at home. Charlotte picked out a Disney Cars book that spouted off sayings of the characters. We loaded up our bags and headed home, hungry for spaghetti. I didn’t let her take the cellophane off of her friend’s book so she just pushed the buttons.

I was listening to her activate the voices of Owen Wilson and Larry The Cable Guy over and over when we got near the local high school. There was a huge line of traffic in the other lane waiting to get to the high school football game. I thought, “Ugh! Remind me not to drive this way on Friday nights.”

When people say it happens fast, that’s an understatement. All I saw was a dark-colored sedan pull out from a side street when they got a break in the traffic. A black bullet of glass and metal that somehow, didn’t hit us. I dodged the bullet by swerving into the grass  on the right hand side of the road. The car ran parallel beside me for a second or two, just long enough to see that he forced me into the side of a fence. My side mirror and fender helped rip the rails of the fence off its posts. It was the side of the car where my sweet baby was reading her book about cars a lot nicer than this one.

He didn’t stop. He saw what he did and drove away. He gunned it after I dodged his first bullet. He left me eight months pregnant on the side of the road with my toddler and broken car. Class act.

I pulled the car to a stop, turned on the hazards and turned to check on her. I said, “Are you okay?” She nodded, looking confused. I asked again, “Are you okay?” My brave girl didn’t cry. She nodded and said, “Yes Mama.”  I told her to keep looking at her book and locked the doors.

I called 911 while walking around my Jeep. A nice eyewitness came running across the street. 911 routed me to State Highway Patrol because for some reason they couldn’t decide whether I was in the city or the county even though I was a block from the city’s largest high school. I told her no one was hurt and I didn’t need an ambulance. I called Greyson. The representative from the homeowners association stopped to survey his fence and give me his information.

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The part that pissed me off the most is that it took almost 1/2 an hour for either SHP or the police to get there. Greyson had to call 911 twice more after he pulled up. He and I talked and unwrapped the cellophane on the book. We didn’t think Harrison or Beth Anne would care at that point if the book was slightly used. She was being so good. When Greyson was on the phone with the operator he asked me for her, “Do you need an ambulance?” I said,”Well, if that’s what it takes to get someone out here!” Just then both SHP and the police pulled up only to have a ridiculous conversation as to whom would take over my case. Seriously. I just asked for one of them to please take care of it. It was light when it happened and it was dark by the time law enforcement got to me. Enough said.

I’m blessed enough to work with awesome people, one who lives nearby. I heard my name being yelled across the street and Michelle ran towards me. She grabbed me and hugged me while explained all that happened.

The trooper told me about how he had seen someone run off the road, into a fence, and the fence had impaled them. I thanked him for the reminder that neither me, nor my child was impaled. He then told me it that without a license plate number that it was unlikely that anything would happen to this guy. I started to wonder if the cop would have been as honest. Geez, dude.

After filing the report, Greyson and I collected the remains of my fender and mirror. We held each other on the side of the road for just a second, the hazard lights illuminated his face a moment at a time.  I was so glad he was there. I told him I loved him.

The Jeep was drivable so we took our tired and hungry tot home. She still hadn’t made a peep. She was wonderful and brave. I was so proud. I made spaghetti. There was no way in hell I wasn’t going to eat some damn spaghetti. As I wiped sauce off her face I prayed, thanking God it wasn’t blood. Morbid, I know. I don’t care. It was the best spaghetti I’ve ever eaten.


My Summer Jam

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

So apparently I’ve been living under a rock while I’ve been rockin’ out. All summer I’ve been turning up Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and dancing in the car. It’s a similar scene to this spring when Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie” came out and people stared at me at stoplights. I have no shame.

So, I’ve been singing “I know you want it…hey, hey, hey!” It’s catchy. It’s fun. Plus, we’re all sick of that Macklemore song. I turn up “Blurred Lines” and holler back to the car seat, “Listen, sweetie! It’s that song!” My toddler happily bobs her head to the tune.

Then I read all this whining, “That song is about rape! It discriminates against women! It promotes sexual violence! Wah! Blah..blah..blah”

Huh!?  Can’t we just have a fun summer anthem to rock out to?! Is that too much to ask?! Remember “Call Me Maybe” last year? Remember?!  I know it’s not innocent enough for the US Olympic Swim Team to make a cute viral video of, but let us have a catchy song without controversy. It’s the summer, let’s keep it light. That’s why I’m in denial that Robin Thicke might be a perv.


A Letter to the Governor of Mississippi

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Dear Governor Bryant,

I bet you’ve had a weird day, today.  Were your PR and Communications team running around like mad men? I bet their mouths dropped open and they whipped out their Blackberries during that Washington Post Live event. They hoped their calls, texts and Tweets were the extinguisher to put out the firestorm you started.  How many reporters have called your office for comment and response since then? I would wager to guess at least some of your staff are still at the office in crisis mode tonight.  The local news media in Jackson is probably swamped covering this story and getting reaction for the evening and night news.  I wonder how busy they are at the Mississippi Republican Party headquarters?

You knew what you were doing when you said it.  You knew it!  The event was focused on improving children’s literacy by the third grade.  The moderator asked you how American education had “become so mediocre.”

Your response? “I think both parents started working. And the mom is in the work place.”

Your backpedaling began immediately.  You went on to recognize you would get a ton of emails about this, knowing it was a controversial statement and would likely offend millions of working mothers and their families.  In your defense, during the backpedaling you did say that US students were behind other countries because they invest more in education.  Okay, I agree with you there.  That could be a good explanation.

Your statement meant journalists and fact checkers went into overdrive today too.  This ABC News report cites statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the National Center for Education Statistics.  The OECD finds 67% of US mothers with children under 15 work outside the home.  The NCES states that 77% of Finnish mothers work outside the home, but Finland ranks higher in reading than American students.
Sounds like you were right with your backpedaling, Governor.  I also heard your wife worked outside the home for decades, even while raising your kids.  I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Huh?”

Governor, my heart is with all the working PR, communications, news media and political advisors that are working overtime tonight because you said something so ridiculous.  I have to imagine a number of them are working mothers and not able to be home tonight with their children.

Sounds like you are contributing to the mediocrity of those children because their mothers aren’t at home.  Way to go.

For the record, I wrote this after my child went to bed.  Fingers crossed, my working after hours won’t make her fall further behind the Finnish.




The Day I Almost Lost My Blog

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

I was so looking forward to catching up on some writing.  Imagine my shock last night after brewing my decaf coffee and settling in on the couch with the laptop to find this…

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Um…who is that generic-looking college student and what the hell is she doing on my blog?  I panicked and immediately contacted the woman who is my savior when it comes to technical blogging fiascos, my blog host Kelly from Twenty70Hosting.  I’m all like, “Kelly!  HELP! What happened?!”

Turns out, my domain name had expired even after automatically renewing itself last year.  So, um, okay. What was up? Apparently my payment method had expired also.  I registered like, I dunno, 1 1/2 or 2 years ago.  I learned if you buy through eNom or GoDaddy, an expired domain automatically defaults to Google. (Specifically Google Apps.) Google Apps sent me notices to my Gmail saying that it would automatically update.  Great! No worries!

Ha! What a joke.  According to Google, I don’t have access as an admin to MY OWN DOMAIN!  Yes, the one that I own. Huh?! Any time I requested a username or password change to log into Google Apps to reclaim my domain I got a response that it was an invalid request.  Kelly couldn’t help me unless I could reclaim my domain name.

In desperation I called GoDaddy and eNom. They told me to log into Google Apps.  Right.  Sure.

In further desperation I called Google Apps support.  They wouldn’t let me talk to anyone without getting a pin number from my Google Apps admin page.  Yep, the same one they wouldn’t let me access after repeated requests.  Right.  Sure.

This went on until nearly midnight, way past my bedtime since getting knocked up again.  I sent a sad Tweet and posted a pitiful message on my Facebook Fan Page before collapsing into bed.  I couldn’t do anything while I was busy at work and busy as a mommy this evening.  I sadly ignored all the amazing Facebook messages and Tweets from some of my darling readers today. They just made me sadder.  (I have since responded. Thanks for all the support! Love you guys!)

I will tell you.  I never actually cried over the Internet.  (Even though I wanted to.)

Yes, I was worried about blog stats, SEO and losing readers.  Of course.  All bloggers worry about that stuff.  But, that is not what made me panic.  It’s not what made me want to cry.

I almost lost it because I thought I had lost all the memories I had recorded.  This blog is not a place where I just write about cool free stuff I get.  This is my heart and my life on a screen.  The thought of losing it was terrifying.

So, until I can get Google’s attention, Kelly helped me get set up here at until some Internet Nazi from on-high will let me have back.  I will change it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. Let me know if I missed somewhere to update.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading.  I will keep writing because I love it.  Before I collapse in bed tonight after another evening of troubleshooting, I will leave you with a picture of the girl I always want you to see when you come to this place.

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