August 18, 2010
Apparently, though, this was only the first disaster in store for my family in 2010...
The Great Chicago Fire (Part 2, I guess... if you count the real one) was a result of mom's superb grilling skills during a backyard barbecue, during which flames threatened to engulf our entire deck. After assessing the situation, I quickly realized that the fire was beyond our control, which led to a slight moment of panic because we, apparently, don't believe in fire extinguishers.
This would probably be a good time to tell you that while I may not outwardly appear to be an anxious person, I am plagued by many anxious (and often far-fetched) thoughts. If dad isn't home from work when I'm getting ready for bed and we haven't from him all night, my inner thoughts have me convinced it's because he's been in a fatal car accident. Certainly, a logical person could conclude that he may be in a meeting (he's in insurance sales), but I never claimed to be completely logical.
So, my mind is immediately convinced that the deck is going to be swallowed in flames and the house will certainly be burnt to the ground. I make a mental list of all the items I need to rescue and accurately assess that while my plasma screen TV can be replaced, I have years of teaching resources that I would be devastated to lose. And then I remember that they are paper... and paper burns! And then I remember that we have neighbors, so I run next door where the more responsible residents loan me their extinguisher, which promptly smothers the flames.
The great news is that not only did we extinguish the fire before my teaching resources could be swallowed by flames, but we didn't even ruin the grill. In fact, after a thorough cleaning and round 2 at the grocery store, we grilled again that same night (sans fire, this time), which was perfect because I really worked up an appetite after all that commotion.
Oh, and I should mention that we are now well-equipped with our very own fire extinguisher, which we purchased when we had to replace the one we used from next door. And we learned a very valuable grilling lesson: just because the meat fits on the grill, it doesn't mean you should cook it all at once!
The Great Flea Infestation was confirmed yesterday when I took Gizmo to the vet after a week of endless scratching. Now, to be fair (and so mom doesn't kill me), it probably isn't the most accurate choice of words to say we had an "infestation," but if I told you this was The-Time-We-Found-One-Flea-On-The-Dog, it wouldn't have the same dramatic effect, right?
So, both dogs have been guarded with their Frontline Plus, and I doubt anything could have survived the eradication that was mom's cleaning spree last night. Bonus: the whole upstairs smells like fresh laundry!
They say bad things happen in threes... so let it be known that we've hit our limit!
August 11, 2010
Anyway, on this episode, Giuliana and Bill Rancic joined the cast to discuss their pregnancy woes, which apparently are featured on their reality show (which I don't watch because I think she's extremely annoying). While discussing their trials and tribulations, Giuliana, age 35, admits that her doctor told her she needed to gain some weight because she wasn't ovulating regularly.
Sounds pretty reasonable, right? You say you want a child but your body isn't healthy enough to carry said child (hello... look at her photo, for crying out loud. She looks like a lollipop with her giant head and stick body), so you doc prescribes a weight gain of 5-10 lbs. Giuliana explained that she's "too insecure" to gain the weight because she won't fit into the clothes her stylist brings her on set every day.
Some teachers, for example, cannot tolerate noise, and they are very strict about any side conversations in their classroom. Others, feel overwhelmed when students are out of their seats and therefore, require students to ask permission to sharpen a pencil or go to the bathroom. To create a comparison for you, I would say that these teachers are the Kate Gosselins of the education world. Kate may yell lot, but her kids definitely know what's expected of them and usually comply.
On the opposite side, I've seen teachers who seem to be able to tolerate a lot more noise and distractions. I've been in classrooms that make my head spin because there is so much noise and movement. The Masche family, stars of their own reality show, Raising Sextuplets, often reminds me of these types of classrooms. Mom, Jenny, admits she's not one for keeping a routine, and it's very clear from the chaos in their home. She makes Kate look like a drill sergeant.
Today, I came across this video of the Masche family on The Today Show, which clearly shows the result when one's management style is too laid-back. Not that taking six children on a television appearance would ever be easy, but yikes!!! This was bad!
I'm curious, would you say your parenting style leans more Gosselin or Masche?
August 7, 2010
Me: Where are you going, Daddy?
Dad: I'm doing security for Lollapalooza today.
Me: Oh, fun! Who's playing tonight?
Dad: I have no idea. Last night it was Lady Gaga... whoever that is.
Seriously? I know he's old and all... but last I heard Lady Gaga has more Facebook friends than President Obama. Has he been living under a rock????
May I never be so out of touch with the world!
August 5, 2010
Some sort of tech error on Ann Taylor's website mistakenly revealed how the brand's photos look before retouching. Jezebel first noticed the pics on Tuesday afternoon explaining:
"As the page loads, you'll get to see what the Chiffon Trim tank looks like on a real woman for a few seconds. Then she shrinks into an awkward creature barely able to support the weight of her torso with her tiny child hips."
By Tuesday night, the glitch, involving thumbnails and other terms beyond us, had been fixed. But we were able to take some screen grabs before Ann Taylor cleaned it up. Check out the before and after photos of the "Chiffon Trim Tank," and item from a set of photoshopped pictures we've previously written about.
To be fair, at the time, Ann Taylor did apologize saying, "We want to support and celebrate the natural beauty of women, and we apologize if in the process of retouching that was lost." Now, we just know exactly what was lost: a few inches off of the model's waist and thighs.
Am I the only one that thinks she looks better in the un-retouched photo? She was already skin and bones... why did the feel it necessary to make her even smaller???
August 4, 2010
August 3, 2010
- the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as hiving a higher or more pressing claim.
- to surrender or give up... for the sake of something else
This is a concept that I don't think we've quite mastered in our society. I read a Bloomberg report this week that analyzed how Americans are behaving during this recession. What they found was that our society is one that cuts back on brand name toothpaste and shampoo but still buys $3 lattes from Starbucks and the latest Apple gadget each quarter.
It got me thinking. Every day, we are inundated with stories of families struggling to make ends meet. And while it's certainly true that the number of unemployed and underemployed in our country is insane, I wonder how much people are really cutting back on their spending.
Sure, we all want to have nice things and be able to enjoy the luxuries of life (whether that be an overpriced cup of coffee or an oversized ipod), but at what cost? I think it's a bit hypocritical for people to their mortgages when they have homes filled with state of the art technology and closets full of the latest fashions. I think that some of us (no... I'm not talking about anyone in particular) need to get our priorities straight. The article points out blatant hypocrisy when interviewing shoppers about the recession. Time and again, people whine about how times are so tough during this recession, but then they turn around and admit to their own luxury purchases. Am I missing something here?
All of this thinking about spending got me thinking about status and image, and how the things we buy and the things we do, say something about who we are. Do we buy things to make ourselves feel better about ourselves? Maybe we have a hard time sacrificing some of life's luxuries because we (subconsciously) enjoy the status that come with having those things.
And the media certainly don't make it any easier on us. They want us to believe that we deserve that day at the spa, new gaming console, vacation, luxury car, or whatever you spend your money on... and maybe we do. But just because we want it, doesn't mean we should have it. I mean, the article talked about a man who celebrated his home going into foreclosure by taking his family to Disneyland. What's wrong with this picture?!
Do I think people should stop living because times are tough? No. But I do think we, as a society,could benefit from learning how to really sacrifice. When times are tough, I think it's time to reprioritize and be diligent about being responsible consumers.