Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ellie on Consumerism

A few weeks ago, the kids and I viewed a video on consumption and we've been trying to pay attention to the things we buy and why we buy them. Were they shelved in a prominent location? Close to the cash register? With big signs showing them as a bargain? Are they being marketed as something we just can't- and shouldn't- live without?

On a regular basis, I am amused by how the children interpret this. When a toy of Nate's broke last week, he sagely nodded at me and said, "That's planned obsolescence, Mom. I wish it weren't. I don't like it when my toys break so I have to buy more." Indeed Nate, neither do I!

Today, Ellie and I went to Wal Mart for our yearly purchase of wrapping paper and boxes, and a few items for the birthday drawer. Ellie bought some gum. She unwrapped a piece and said, "What does it tell us that they have a picture of a person throwing wrappers away right on the wrapper? I mean, that's them just telling us to consume!"

Or, it could be them telling us not to litter. Either way. . .

Friday, December 28, 2007

Feeling the Karma

So, about 5 am today (yes, I was up at 5 am), I was driving up the 215, taking puppies to be fixed. I accidentally woke Nate this morning, so he came with me, chattering about the beautiful sunrise and telling me jokes. At one point, I was contemplating the state of my van. You see, the van is a lease and it has some bumper damage. I was contemplating the mileage, which is over, the cost of the scratches on one of the doors, the fact that we should probably fix the bumper before turning in the van, and trying to decide if we would just refinance to buy the car, or trade for a newer model.

As I'm exiting the freeway and yielding (as the signage required) to traffic in the lane I was entering, I was suddenly met with a loud thunk and jostle. My first thought? "Woo Hoo! Some idiot just bought me a new bumper!" As potential mother of the year, my second thought was, "I hope Nate's OK!" And of course he was. The impact was only 15 or 20 mph.

I hopped out of the car and went to look at my bumper, at which point the guy who hit me- who is still sitting in his truck- yells, "Get me your insurance information." I immediately want to strangle him, but say, "Sure. Get me yours."

And then he says, "Do you have insurance?"
"Dude, you hit me. Do you have insurance?"
"Lady, you have to give me all of your information"
"I never said I wouldn't, but you hit me. So clearly, you need to have insurance and a driver's license. I'm going to need that" (There were quite a few more choice words from him here, but I will leave them out)

And then, just as I'm trying to figure out why the guy is being a jerk (especially since the damage to my van was pretty minor and the damage to his bumper looked non-existent), he has the nerve to say, "You don't even know that it's my fault. I mean you aren't supposed to stop when you yield. I'm not saying it's my fault."

"Are you kidding me? I'm not supposed to yield to traffic in the lane even though there's a yield sign? And, I never stopped. You hit me. You ran into me as I was following traffic signs."

At this point, it's clear that I need to have a little muscle because the jerk is planning to take all of the information and then claim I backed into him or something. Unbelievable. And wouldn't you know that karma loved me for a second time and a traffic incident truck pulled up right behind me. He noted the guy screaming at me and called CHP to come file a report. As I was pulling away after all of the necessities were done, the guy was being arrested. Driving Under the Influence, I believe. I love Karma!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Excerpts from Work

Chat between myself and a client who regularly gives me gray hair. Today is no exception:

Me: k, sent you both breakdowns, monthly and for the entire year all at once. Go ahead and choose which billing format you want.
Client: thanks sorry for the delay- they were filling a guys cube here with packing peanuts
Me: naturally. and who can resist that? I, of course, would be the one doing the filling. I prefer ducks though. So much messier than peanuts and harder to catch.
Client: ha - well thats what you get for taking vacation time
Me: absolutely. only the dedicated deserve a chair and computer when they return
(Client then asked for 23 different things, truncated to keep from boring you to tears)
Me: Sure, I can do that. BRB, I'm just going to catch a few ducks to mail to you.

Just after that, he disappeared again. However, he missed the humor when I told him I could let him go shrink wrap a co-worker to a desk and I would finish up his proposal with him later.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The "easy" way to keep holiday pounds off

I do believe that Dave and I are the only two humans on the planet who did not gain weight over Christmas. Thanks to being ill and queasy, we both actually lost weight. Dehydration, anyone?

At any rate, here are a few photos of our holiday. And trust me, the food is coming out for New Year's Eve. Anyone wanna come play Quelf?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The lengths he will go. . .

. . .to win a crazy game called Quelf.

I can't even describe the game, but if you're into crazy party games, this one is a hit. The kids agree, their gift to dad was awesome, making this picture the highlight of the day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I have awesome kids

I am on the couch, feeling the barf coming on. Gross, I know. I can feel it and it most certainly is gross. And sudden. How does one go from happily wrapping gifts to praying for no vomit on Christmas day in the blink of an eye?

Anyway, my kids are cute because Rebi and Ellie are baking cinnamon rolls- without bickering. Tyler stayed up late last night and pretty much cleaned the entire house. Who knew he could do that? And none too soon as he is now on the couch with me, running a monster fever.

Evan is doing the touch up collection of clutter (and only minimally fighting with everyone else) and Nate is happily ignoring us all, sipping hot chocolate and eating more Christmas goodies. Watching him is making me even more nauseous. UGH.

Maybe Christmas can come on Wednesday instead of tomorrow. . .

Happy Christmas!

Well, it's Christmas Eve, and I'm off to my Favorite Store of All Time, Wal Mart.

Silly me, I forgot the presents for the dogs and cat. The kids are pretty appalled. They are also hyper and crazy and fighting with each other, so even a nightmare trip to Wal Mart is better than staying home.

I will be sure to post a few pics tomorrow.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Blessed with goodies

Wow. What a Christmas season. It seems that all of our friends have delivered goodies to our door this year (and if you haven't yet, let me reassure you that I do keep track. You still have time; we're in town for Christmas).

We've received everything from cinnamon rolls to hot chocolate, candles, caramel, jam, candy and cookies. Everything has been delicious. And Weight Watchers is also thrilled, as I will need to sign up the entire family, except for Dave. Generously, someone who shall remain nameless gave him the best gift of all, the stomach flu. Very thoughtful. Beautifully kind. Otherwise, he might have eaten the treats before I stuffed them in my own pie hole. So, a heartfelt thank you to all. My waistline appreciates the kindness.

I am still toying with the idea of putting a little effort out to show my love and appreciation for others this year, but don't hold your breath. Dave, on the other hand, has a gift that keeps on giving and I'm positive he's willing to share.