Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006: The Replay

Life’s tough when you’re 5. You’re shorter and slower than everybody, and when you’re trying to catch up with everyone on a football field you gotta do what you gotta do. Little did they know how I plotted to foil their plan and sneak in with my attack. So we huddled together to discuss our plays...

I studied my opponents carefully until I knew how to go in for the tackle. Who cares that we were supposed to be playing touch football. Touch football is for wimps. I made sure they understood that I meant business in this backyard by intimidating my prey.

And in for the kill I went!

But life’s really tough when you’re 5. And it gets even tougher when you tackle the old guy at the knees who just got a hip replacement and he falls on you. Oh well. There’s always next Thanksgiving when I'll be 6 and then I can really whip some butt.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Glory Days on a Court

Have you ever had a moment bring you so vividly back in time you could almost taste the experience once again? As a point guard on the varsity basketball team for her high school, my niece began her final season as a senior last night with a victory over a fierce rival. As I took my seat in the front row of the bleachers, I could feel the dribble of the ball reverberate off the hardwood floor of the court. The pace of the excitement, the rhythm of the plays, and energy these 17 year old girls exerted carried me right back to my youth as if I traveled in a time machine. It was like 1985 all over again.

When I was a kid, I was a total jock. I was one of those kids who wanted to try everything. And thankfully, my parents rarely denied me any of those youthful indulgences. As for extracurricular activities, things were much less complicated then, so it wasn’t that much of a loss when I signed up for Brownies, and decided after a few troup meetings and a round of cookie sales that it just wasn’t up my alley. I also did singing lessons, drama lessons and art lessons. Coming in right above the art lessons, my biggest passion was sports. I was on the track team, the cross country team, the softball team, the soccer team, and my all time favorite: the basketball team. I won trophies in all these sports; was voted MVP on both softball and basketball. It was truly my glory days. But then a funny thing happened around sophomore year when my father died unexpectedly. I suddenly started to care what boys thought of me, I started to smoke cigarettes in the girls bathroom at school, and by junior year I was most definitely drinking beer at more than one weekend party. Not to mention I was on a doctor’s couch ranting and raving about the injustices over losing my father at such a young age. When I was voted senior class president, it was a personal triumph for me considering my setbacks. But I always missed sports. I still can’t clearly remember the exact motives for dropping out. I had a confrontation with my last basketball coach in my sophomore year and developed a real attitude problem. I was very immature. And I suppose then with my father’s death, everything seemed to come down like a stack of dominoes. But the need for the thrill of competition that sports provided remained a void in my life that I began to fill with socializing and partying, smoking and drinking.

At last night’s game, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of longing for the good ol’ days, with a crowd cheering for you as you steal the ball from your opponent and run down the court dribbling your heart away. There is nothing like that feeling. Nothing can compare to the thrill of victory in sports. I couldn’t help but feel a little old, a little out of shape and a little plump, when I watched the game last night. I wondered where all my sports enthusiasm had gone. The guy next to me actually asked me if I had a daughter out there playing. Hello? Excuse me? Do I look old enough to have a 17 year old? That didn’t help me feel any better.

As I was driving home last night with CJ in the backseat, we were both very quiet. Him from exhaustion over running around with a bunch of other kids, and me from contemplating my lost youth. I never used to be one of those people who wallowed in their grief at every birthday, but as I close in on my 36th birthday early next year, I can’t help but wonder where in the hell the time went. I look at my niece, and the expression on her face when they won the game literally glowed with excitement and joy. The other day she found out that she has been accepted into the college of her choice, so it’s smooth sailing for her in her senior year. I can’t help but be reminded of how much she has going for her and how much she has to look forward to. Her whole world is truly her oyster right now, and what a great place in life to be.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Originally uploaded by katebunge.
I am grateful today that, after what seemed like months, Andrew has
finally cut his first tooth!

Turkey and cornucopia courtesy of my husband, who never updates his
blog: Dave's Art Crib.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Since you brought it up....

Last night I called in to Kristen’s Blog Talk Radio show. It was a really interesting topic and one that I have had experience with firsthand: circumcision. No, not because “I’m a man, baby!”*, but because I have two sons. I have always hesitated talking about it on my blog, since everyone has an opinion on it, and there is no “gray area” when it comes to it, since you are either circumcised or not. Also, I feel it’s a really personal issue, and I don’t want my sons to come up to me in a few years and say, “Billy’s mom at school saw your blog on the internet, and now Billy is telling everyone about my foreskin!” So I will leave it at that.

Listen to the show if you wish. You will need Media Player. I discuss our current concerns with our oldest son, CJ. It was a lot of fun to call in! And last time I looked, I have rarely turned down the opportunity to give my opinion on something.

*Shamelessly stolen from Austin Powers.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Well we've been busy little elves this weekend and rearranged and cleaned our living room and put up all the Christmas stuff. CJ begged me to put up the Christmas tree because he just couldn't wait, so as usual I caved in. And yes, with the exception of the Griswolds who just moved into our neighborhood who put up their Christmas lights about 2 weeks ago, we are the first in the neighborhood to have a tree blinking in our window. This is definitely a personal first: a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. We have a fake tree, because it's cheaper than a live one, and less of a pain in the ass. There are some things that I vowed I would never do in life, but once I had kids, some of those things just went flying out the window. Like getting a fake Christmas tree. So we're all festive here in our household, and have managed to completely freak the bejesus out of Andrew - who, before he laid down for a nap in the morning yesterday, did not have a 7 foot tall tree in his living room. And when he awoke to its sight, lights and all, he was scared to death to touch it.

Well, time for the boys to have a little space to themselves for a day, as I am off to the corporate races in Detroit. Away for business overnight too attend a "roll-up your sleeves-type meeting" where we will talk schemas, agendas, and training material.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I've Jumped The Shark

I have completely jumped the shark here in the corporate world. I am now accustomed to corporate vernacular like it is second nature, using phrases that have made their way into a Dilbert cartoon or on the show The Office. If you had told me ten years ago that the following phrases would be flowing effortlessly off my lips, I would have shot you. Here are some of the highlights of my daily work:

“This is a ‘roll-up your sleeves’ type of meeting.”

“My goal in our meeting today is to leverage your subject matter expertise for the training material I am currently writing for the course you are presenting.”

“Let’s partner together to meet our objectives.”

“What is the schema?”

“Do you have the service level analysis for last month?”

“Who owns this process?”

“The turnaround time for the business review is very aggressive this month.”

And my personal favorite: “I see myself in a corner office with a window in 10 years.”

God. Please. Help. Me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Do You Mind If I Whip This Out?

Supposedly public breastfeeding is not for everybody, including Delta Airlines. Thought all the nursing moms out there would get a hoot out of this one. This was posted on Birdsword site. See story.

4 Favorite Things....

I got this chain email from a friend about listing my 4 favorite things about foods, movies, etc. So in light of letting everyone know a little more about where I've been, what I've done, where I want to be, and what I like, here's my faves:

Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Commercial Art Sales Rep
2. Commercial Post Production Producer
3. Producer/Business Manager
4. Recreation Director

Four Movies I have watched over and over:

1. Goodfellas
2. Sunset Boulevard
3. Airplane
4. Lolita

Four Places I have lived:

1. Red Bank, New Jersey
2. New York City
3. Burlington, Vermont
4. Los Angeles

Four TV shows I love to watch:

1. Lost
2. Seinfeld
3. Six Feet Under
4. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Four places I have been on vacation:

1. Stuart, Florida
2. Niagara Falls, Canada
3. Los Angeles
4. Cape Cod

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Mashed Potatoes
2. Peanut Butter
3. Bagels
4. Chocolate

Four places I would rather be right now:

1. At Home With the Kids
2. On the Beach, ANY Beach
3. New Jersey
4. Alone with my husband

Post your faves on your blog!! It's a list kind of day. Happy Humpday!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Same as It Ever Was

It seems like same shit different day around here, and it’s making me crazy. I feel like I’m caught in the movie Groundhog Day, and every morning when my alarm goes off, it’s like “here we go again”. I can certainly appreciate the predictability, because we all know life can get out of hand sometimes, but a little change in the daily dose would be fun. Part of the frustration with this is being cooped up at home all the time. Funds were tight over the past few weeks, as illustrated in this post, so there hasn’t been a lot of entertainment going on around the house, outside of a few games of Trouble or Chutes and Ladders. Not to mention the baby is in full blown teething mode, so there’s the constant nightly ritual of trying to get him to sleep, which has put a big crimp in our “adult time”. And beyond the sex, I’m talking about an adult conversation in the very least. Last night was the first night in a long time when it seemed as though the kids were both fast asleep in their own beds by 9:00 pm. Just in time for my dose of Desperate Housewives, and then after that finally Dave and I got some time together for a quickie. Contrary to popular belief amongst my family, I actually still enjoy my husband after all these years and our love life has always been great. So it had been really bothering me that we hadn’t even had a conversation in what seemed weeks. Although last night there wasn’t a lot of conversing going on.

I have this love-hate relationship with routine. I long for it with my kids, yet hate to be on one myself. Ever feel like a hamster on a wheel?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Halloween Pictures -- Better Late Than Never

Seems like there's been so much for me to talk about lately that I neglected to show off my "Supermen". Yes, that's me smiling in that picture below. Halloween turned out to be OK, regardless of my post from last week. The rest of the the people in the pictures are cousins and friends next to the kids. Enjoy....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

'Lost' 3x06: Please Don't Kill My Eye Candy

So after I performed my Post-Election Happy Dance (no, I do not have video), I settled in for an adrenaline-pumping, sweat-dripping, full throttle episode of Lost. Well, I was about as happy as a Republican campaign manager on Tuesday night. What was previewed as the “Fall Finale” of Lost, hardly left us with a nail-biting cliffhanger. Even though Dave and I were trying to juggle 2 fussy kids who didn’t seem to want to get to sleep for whatever reason, I managed to view most of the show while walking around the living room with a cranky 10 month old (no, I don’t have TiVo). We were left with some scenarios to ponder for the next 12 weeks about the future existence of some major characters. I’m inclined to worry about whether people will live or die, as the producers exhibit no inhibitions on killing off characters. But I have to ask myself some real questions: Do I care if Ben dies? He’s a great, evil character, but I can live without him. Do I care if Sawyer dies? Yes, because I like the eye candy, and he reminds of a long, lost boyfriend who whispered similar terms of endearment such as “freckles” into my ear in that same southern drawl. Did the flashback of Kate’s life on the run offer any insight? Definitely no. And what the hell is “Jacob’s list”? And who the hell is Jacob? Like I need more unsolved mysteries. Give me answers! I need more answers! I guess the reason for my apathy is that they didn’t “suck me in” enough in the last 6 episodes to really care about what happens. Too much valuable story time was wasted on the slow-moving, gratuitously violent drama between the Kate, Sawyer, Jack and the Others. Last season seemed to have a better balance between story lines.

That’s just about all I can say about last night’s episode. I’m still a diehard fan, so I’ll wait it out until February 7th, but until then I just wonder if peripheral fans will drop out and lose interest. Bad move on the part of ABC to have this long of a hiatus. I could maybe have lived with 6 weeks. But 12 weeks? That seems like a lifetime just to find out whether Sawyer lives or dies. I hope they don't kill my eye candy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I am dedicating this post today to shamelessly advertise that I am a Democrat and want to stress the importance of VOTING! As fellow Ohio residents who read this, please, if you are Democrat, please get out tomorrow and vote. Here is an interesting thing that the Democrats have set up to protect our voting rights here in Ohio:

-- NATIONAL VOTER PROTECTION HOTLINE: The DNC established the national 1-888-DEM-VOTE hotline so voters all across the country can get information about how and where to vote and to report problems at the polls on Election Day;

Use it if you notice any fraudulent poll activity taking place in your district. I think it’s a great idea. I’m very excited about tomorrow because we have some strong leads:

- Ted Strickland up by almost 30 points over Ken Blackwell
- Sherrod Brown leading Mike DeWine by 11 points
- Mary Jo Kilroy up a few points over Deborah Pryce

We need to take back the polls here in Ohio and not replicate the mishaps of the last presidential election!

I’m voting first thing in the morning because I’m leaving for a business trip tomorrow, so I will be offline for a couple days after today. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some victories!

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Mommy in Daddy's Clothing

The topic of money is always an impetus for a big-time argument between me and my husband. Either we don’t have enough, we spent it all, we’re not saving enough, we’re not investing it, we lost it, etc. And both of us are excellent at the “blame game” and love to call each other out on the lack of funds in our bank balance. No matter how much money we make, it seems like there is never enough. And neither Dave nor I have any intelligence on managing it well. We clearly have two different agendas on where the funds need to be spent. Neither one of us is a saver-type. So yet again, the other morning before I left for work, an argument about money came up since we somehow managed to blow our whole wad and still have 12 more days to go until another payday. During the argument, I stopped ourselves and we both started laughing hysterically when we realized what exactly we were saying to each other in this discussion:

Me: “OK, I promise I will start packing my breakfast as of tomorrow. But this morning I really want the bagel from the café.”

Him: “OK, but just keep in mind, the only reason I bring it up is because the money that we have left over now after the rent gets sent is what we have until November 15th.”

Me:” I know, I know! Quit harping about that. Are you going to the store today?”

Him: “Yes. But I’m not doing a big shop.”

Me: “Why not?? We need a ton of stuff.”

Him: “Because I need to go to like, three different stores to get the best deals. And I can’t do all that in one day!”

Me: “So I guess I’ll just pack another peanut butter sandwich today, huh?”

Him: “Look, I’m in charge of spending the money on the groceries for this house and this is the best I can do on the little money we have left.”

Me: “Well, I’m in charge of the making the money to get the groceries and this is the best I can do!”

At which point in this conversation, we both stopped ourselves and laughed. We couldn’t believe what both of us were saying. In a way I thought Gloria Steinham would be proud to see the evolution of our household roles, but it was almost a little ridiculous, too. Our parents would think we were insane if they could hear that conversation.

I thought it was quite humorous, and amazing at the same time. If someone had told either of us ten years ago that we would be having a conversation like that we would have thought they were crazy. My how things have changed.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

'Lost' 3x05: Rest In Peace, Mr. Eko

Finally the show is picking up speed, mescaline-style, based on last night’s trippy smoke scene. Watch out if you have a bad conscious, because it may rear it’s ugly head in the form of black smoke, capable of throwing you around the jungle forest until you are crushed to death. So was the fate of Mr. Eko last night, one of my favorite characters on the show. Great metaphor with him facing his conscious, I just could have lived without the visual effects. So long, Mr, Eko, I will greatly miss you and your walking stick of wisdom.

A colleague of mine said he hates the character, Juliet. He says that, “she's the type of person that tries to be your best friend without doing any of the work that would be required of a best friend”. Collectively speaking, there is hardly ONE person in our life who fits that description. But I liked her Bob Dylan impression on video; it was a unique way to deliver her message. Too bad she couldn’t have burned it in the funeral pyre because something tells me someone is going to get their hands on that video. My colleague at work doesn’t trust anything the Others say, so he thinks this is all part of a larger conspiracy against Jack. For now I’m totally convinced that Ben has a tumor, Juliet wants to get rid of him because of some prior competition between the two, and there is no way to really “get rid” of Ben because I think they are all employed by the Hanso Foundation so they need to have his death look like an accident. So the question I have then is, what’s in it for Jack? He’s not the killing type, so would he really be capable of arranging Ben’s death? Perhaps for a ticket to civilization? There was a teaser in the preview for next week’s “season finale” (I know, I know! Don’t get me started!), that he demands to get back “home”. So that could be his personal dilemma. I imagine him brandishing a scalpel in his right hand and saying, “Get me off this island or I will save this man’s life!”

As for the Pearl Station that Locke, Desmond, and the island newbies returned to, wasn’t the guy in the tv screen the guy who was on the island with Desmond? The Army Colonel that knew Said in Iraq? I thought he wore an eye patch. So I’m thinking this is old video that they have on a loop. I’m still undecided on what that could be. But I’m glad they are getting back into that plot, because I love the whole Hanso Foundation/Hatch stuff. Alas, 6 more days to wait and then, ugh, 12 more weeks! How could they do this to us?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

An Open (Thank you) Letter To My Neighbor

October 2006

Dear Mrs. Neighbor,

I just wanted to thank you for making a special trip over to my house
these last few Halloweens to deliver little bags of candy for my kids
since you won’t be home during trick-or-treating time. It’s a nice gesture,
but the kids really get plenty of candy that they don’t eat anyway.
Let’s face it, it ends up on my butt.

Since I’m thanking you, I’d like to thank you for coming to our wedding
and reception a little more than 6 years ago. I’d especially like to thank
you because when we came to your table for the obligatory small-talk
and such, instead of saying “Congratulations” like the rest of the normal
people we invited, you commented rather loudly “So, when’s the next
big party?” I’m sorry that we have more fun than you. But we never had
any big parties. That was just Craig and I making whatever racket you
perceived to be a party. Or, it could have been Craig, me, my parents,
my brother and my sister-in-law. We’re a pretty raucous bunch.

Craig wants me to thank you for burning your stinky-ass garbage in the
burning barrel conveniently located in your front yard. We love how,
during the summer months when we have the window open, the stench
invades our living room and forces us to close the window. Who wants
to enjoy the nice fresh air on a summer night anyway, right?

Thanks for not cleaning up the leaves in your yard. I really appreciate
your tactic of leaving them there until your neighbors get sick of looking
at them and get sick of cleaning your leaves out of their yards so they
clean them up for you. Maybe if you just asked someone to do it for you
next year it wouldn’t take them so long since they could do it as the
leaves fall.

Thanks for mowing part of our yard every time you mow.

Incidentally, so sorry that your snow goose died last year. It’s a real
shame that they don’t have a greater life-expectancy. I loved hearing
that thing honking all day long. They’re such quiet creatures, I’m sorry
I missed out when you had TWO of them.

Since we’re on the subject of your pets…WHY exactly do you let the cat
out if you’re going to have to scream “Kiiiittttteeeeeee!” in order to get
the thing to come back? Is this really the best approach? Because the
sound of you screaming that word makes me want to run far, far, away.
Maybe Kiiiiitttttteeeee has had the same thought.

Your neighbor,

Heather is Mom to 2 children, M who is 4, and K who is 2. She really is
not that passive-aggressive in real life and her neighbor is a great neighbor
in the most important way, she’s generally quiet (when not yelling for the cat)
and leaves her alone! Heather has plenty of random thoughts and feels
compelled to share them with strangers. Her daughter is amazed at the
size of her Cool Zebras. Don’t forget to visit your friend Kate there, keeping
my place warm today.

This post is part of the November Blog Exchange. This month we're all writing
open letters. These are letters written to people or entities from whom you
don’t expect to receive a response. You can find me at Heather's site today,
and the full list of participants can be found by clicking here.