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Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Happy Cardinals' Game Memory

This is a big weekend for many folks around here because tomorrow our Phoenix Cardinals are playing in the Super Bowl. This hasn't been a football-crazed town because up until quite recently, the team has been rather lousy. Still, most have jumped on the NFL bandwagon and will be wearing red clothing and cheering for the local team on Sunday.

I remember the first Cardinals game I ever attended like it was yesterday. I was 32 years old and settling into my newly-divorced status. About 2 months before this game, I had gone back to work at the request of my pool man. Yes, I have John ("the best from the west") to thank for setting me out into the real world after my divorce. He came late to my house one day so I jumped out to ask why he was late and did the storm last night make all the pool's he was cleaning a difficult task. He sat me down and said I probably should try leaving the house every once and awhile and that he shouldn't be my only adult conversation I have each week. Well, he was as handsome as they come, but I was not some hot-to-trot divorcee looking for some action. It was, however, nice to speak to someone who a) was over 6 years old and b) didn't add "on the basketball court" after every sentence I spoke. I agreed with him and proceeded to get a job.

I went to work for the Fiesta Bowl as the assistant ticket manager. I figured that the work would be mindless and the atmosphere would be fun. I could meet people at some of the social functions without actually dating or planning a girlfriend get-together. Except for the long hours leading up to the big Fiesta Bowl game, the job worked out just as I had thought. I was surrounded by interesting people who were all enjoying their lives to the fullest. Now, I had been blissfully happy having been married to my first husband for 10 years, then 1 year of holing up at home with my 1-yr, 4-yr and 6-yr old and wasn't at all prepared for this next phase in my life. This year was bound to be one of the most confusing and crazy years of my entire life.

I met this guy on the F.B. Committee, named Bill (yes, another Bill! And this is before I met my 2nd husband, also named Bill) and he was dreamy. I had some sort of weird crush on him, but he was not at all interested in the woman with three young kids, if you know what I mean. However, Bill had a young assistant in his successful business who would come into the ticket department who apparently had no qualms about me having "baggage" and the fact that I was six years older. He was charming and handsome and flirted with me shamelessly, which did a world of good for my lack of security. To this day, I have no idea why this fellow was so nice to me. And then it happened.

One Friday afternoon, he stepped into the ticket office area, sat on my desk and asked if I would go to the Cardinals-Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday. Now, it was mid-September and the temperature at kickoff was probably going to be over 105 degrees. The Cardinals had won maybe one game all season the past year, so the only people in the stands would be the die hard Cowboy fans. He said he had gotten the tickets from his Dad who I would meet at the game and all I heard was "you and my Dad will probably get along because you are closer in age than the two of us are". "Well", he said, "are you free?" Free as a least until 7 pm when the kids return from their Father's house. Wait, I cannot say that and will the game be over by that time? After a seriously long pregnant pause, I said I would love to go, yet I was kicking myself under the desk. My first date since my divorce, with a younger guy I know nothing about except that he is adorable and friendly and has a good relationship with his Dad and that he likes the Cardinals football team, even though they are really crappy.

I start sweating the details: what to wear, what to say, how to get home in time for the kids bath time. I decide to wear jeans and a red sleeveless shirt. I decide to tell him about my college days, living in Atlanta when the Falcons were terrible but we would go to some of the games. I read up on the predictions and the star players so I wouldn't sound like some airhead older divorcee. And I decided to meet him there just in case the game ran long and I needed to skip out early and be home for my babies to arrive home.

The nice thing about younger, carefree kind of guys is that they don't sweat the little things in life. He told me I looked great, was surprised I "knew so much about football" and he said bath time sounded cool and maybe WE could do that together sometime!

We had a few more amazing dates together and then I stopped hearing from him altogether. Years later I ran into him and he told me he was married and they were expecting their first child. We hugged and said goodbye once again.

I often think that someone upstairs put this special man/boy really, into my life for a reason. He eased me back into the adult world, saying, everything is going to be okay. You are okay, your life is okay. Family is important and staying with and supporting your home team is good no matter whether they are winning or losing. I imagine that he will be enjoying tomorrow's game with his new family. I thank him for setting me in the right direction and will forever associate him with the Phoenix Cardinals team.

Go Cards!

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Playing Hookey is Different than Playing Hooker

I took off yesterday afternoon with my friends Gretchen, Juli and Robyn to attend the FBR Open. Special thanks goes out to Thomas Jensen and MidFirst Bank for providing us with the tickets! Playing hooky is so much fun, I recommend it everyone. Found this definition on the web since I did not where the term "playing hooky" originated:

by Cannabis its just a plant56 on Jun 7, 2007 at 4:48 am Permalink

No one is quite sure about the origin of the phrase "playing hooky." We consulted the top three online word sleuths and found a number of intriguing explanations.* The Phrase Finder offers a few possible origins, including "to hook it" or "to escape or make off." To "hook something" is also an old slang term for stealing, as in "stealing a day off."* The Word Detective dates the first printed use of the phrase to 1848 and relates it to the 19th-century phrase "hooky-crooky," which means "dishonest or underhanded." The parent of this phrase is "by hook or by crook," meaning "by any means necessary."* Word Origins suggests that the phrase comes from hoekje, the Dutch name for hide and seek. The phrase seems to be waning in popularity with the younger folks these days. Most kids simply refer to skipping school as "cutting." But regardless of what it's called, the time-honored practice of playing hooky seems here to stay.

I agree. The practice of playing hookey will always stay because it's very therapetic and stimulating. Which brings me back to the FRB Open.........

I know that this is the craziest golf tournament on the circuit and some golfers loath playing here because of the noise and the fact that so many people attending don't care one little bit about golf or the golfers! And that's really true. But the truth is, without the golfers, there would not be the excuse to play hooky on a sunny, warm day in Scottsdale, Arizona in the end of January. So, in the end, both parties put up with each other and show the respect to each other most of the time.

I had never attended on a Thursday before. It's nice because the crowds are not as huge. But with the larger crowds come better "people watching". Yesterday, we focused on the cutest attendee wearing red plaid knickers, starched white button-down shirt and red bow tie. He stood out like a sore thumb but actually looked adorable.

Many women sported the high-heeled boot look, I guess in honor of Vice President Joe Biden's wife's inaugural look. I don't think the look worked in either case. Walking the course in spiky heels is just plain dumb. The exception is if you have no intention of walking the course and watching golf, then wear heels all you like. High-heeled wedges are a better choice.

There were a great number of women who choose to "play hooker" while playing hooky at the Open. Low cut, short, clingy dresses could be seen strutting around everywhere you turned. I didn't see any girl-on-girl action, but I left the party fairly early and I had had 4 margaritas to drink, so I could easily have missed something good.

Next, we ate brats and chicken fingers and gigantic french fries while sitting on a hill and soaking up the warm afternoon sun. We watched people stroll by and laughed, while people looked at us and laughed.

Finally, we headed over to the Bird's Nest party after the golf was over. We had a blast watching people react to my newest line, "I'm going to blog about you tomorrow!" Some people hung around and shared all kinds of things I would never write about on this blog. One guy bolted away from us faster than you can say, "guilty". One girl asked if I could hire her to write on my blog because she was just let go of her office position just that morning. But my favorite was this very persistent guy who kept repeating the same question to me: "but, why do you write a blog?" I don't think any of the answers I tried, satisfied him. But, I pretty sure that his questions were one of the reasons I somewhat blacked-out towards the end of the evening.

There is no better place to play hooky than the FBR Open on a nice day. There are three days left, so come on out and enjoy the eye-candy (and maybe a little golf) with your best buddies.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Step Right Up to the Economic Package Roller Coaster!"

Sorry I missed your call President Obama. I tried to email you back,but the system was supposedly down. Anyway, I'll be brief as I know you are busy:

I was wondering if you like roller coaster rides, because the next six months we're all going on the granddaddy of all ( economic recovery) rides; these are not the Disney Teacup ride-sort-of-days ahead. Whether you like them or not, you get to be at the helm of the roller coaster. And as you are finding out, you do not really get to steer the ride or stop the ride just because "you won". Your role is to help us get onto the ride and somehow make sure we enjoy this adventure.

I do not particularly like roller coaster rides, but being an empty nester Mom, I have ridden more than my fair share of roller coasters and would like to offer you the following suggestions for making this new economic coaster trip the most fun and riveting experience you can make it:

Put on your Safety Belt:
Being safe doesn't sound all that fun but without it the ride will be a disaster. Here are a few safety features I would implore:
Have everyone wear the safety belt the exact same way;
Use plans that have a proven record of success; not ones that failed in other countries, such as Japan;
Once your plan is in place, spend a good deal of time and money on maintaining the plan. The details can be a real buzz kill later on in your political career.
Keep Your Eyes Open:
Some of your most trusted advisers may suggest items for this ride that are not in any one's best interest. Some, like Nancy Pelosi, will want to "pad the seats" with unnecessary items. When deciding which padding stays and which padding goes, always ask yourself the question, "is this padding making the ride smoother and more comfortable for all the people sitting on this ride?" My experience has been most of the best rides are not well padded, but they are technically-advanced and secure, so pad in the R&D and innovation areas such as tax incentives on capital investments by businesses and avoid ones which make the ride all cushy and easy for some of your riders. It's a proven fact that when riding a roller coaster with your eyes always wide open, you will feel less turbulence and thus not feel sick at your stomach.

Make Sure Every Seat on the Ride is an Enjoyable One for the Public, Whether They are in the Front, Middle or are Sitting in the last row.
Currently, the plan you seem to be leaning towards spends entirely too much attention on the middle (class) and the back seats (lower class). The engineering of the best roller coaster spreads the "weight" evenly to insure a smooth track and one that won't pop right off the tracks! Remember, it doesn't matter if your family income is $24,000/yr or $310,000/yr, if that salary is cut in half tomorrow and your expenses (rent, mortgage, etc) stay the same, your family is going to have a hard time making it.

Go For the Gusto; Make Sure the Ride Gives Us a Thrill:

Most people prefer the newest, fanciest and most technically-sound roller coasters. We get a little leery if the ride isn't sparkly-new with bright lights and loud music, so err on the high side of spending to make this the best ride ever. Go ahead, do just about everything that's been proposed on both "sides of the table" then, just weed out the unnecessary padding features (see above). For example, many economists have suggested temporarily lowering the capital gains tax for a year so we can compete with the rest of the world, right? Well, you should turn around and suggest keeping it at the lower rate for 5 years. And instead of 95% of the people getting $500 or $1000, why not just say everyone gets $2000. The best roller coaster designs are way-over-the-top and that's what makes then so successful.

The second part is a very important part: that is selling the thrill to us. You should like this part and you're good at it. For all of those people who "drank the Obama kool aid" during the election campaign, if you tell them to get on the ride and have a blast, they will for the sole reason that you told them to in your own words. To them, if you say it's safe and fun, they will believe. To the others who were sitting on the Obama fence or those of us who really disliked your approach to solving problems and your policies, you can still entice us to get on and maybe even enjoy this economic ride. Tell all of us that this is going to be one heck of a ride. Tell us the ride has all the whistles and bells, something for everyone. Make the program go as fast as possible. Be our cheerleader. After all Barry (I hope you don't mind me calling you that, now that I am one of your blogging consultants and I read recently that you were called Barry when you were younger, which is so cute) this economic roller coaster ride IS supposed to be stimulating, right?!

Good luck. I'll talk to you again real soon.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Enjoy a Lazy Day or Two; Enter the 'Whatever World'

What are you doing today? Do you have a full day planned with meetings or kid activities? Or are you going to have a lazy day with nothing much planned?

Just listen to the way we word the questions above. One might infer that it must be good if we fill our days and bad if we do not. Why is that? As a nation of people we push ourselves more than most nations. We take less vacation days and we work more hours per week as time goes on. And while it is true that our days are filled to the brim we often do not feel spiritually full.

Our puritan background explains why we feel uncomfortable acting lazy and do no want to live a life without purpose. But I believe we have taken the meaning of being lazy and doing nothing out of context. The problem with our nation is that we need to spend less time spinning our wheels and more time being spontaneous and less organized.

The very best example I can think of is when my two boys were around the ages 9-12 years old. This was before our lives were jammed packed with soccer tournaments, summer camps and the like. The children were left alone all day except for a few breaks for food and drink. At first, the kids would come running to me, there's nothing to do...we're bored..what can we do. On my better parenting days, I would suggest they PLAY; even better, run along and play. With no more direction than that, off they would go into the 'whatever world.' Soon, the playroom was filled with other neighborhood kids who were also sent out to PLAY and I wish I had placed a hidden camera in the room to witness exactly how they started PLAYING to explain to more parents the value in the unstructured environment.

Of course, sometimes the planned activities are actually easier to do, especially when both parents were working full-time. There certainly were big messes when the kids decided to make mystery smoothies or build a 10' fort in a 12'x 12' room. But these are the memories my boys remember the most now, at the ages of 21 and 23.

As adults, we need to plan days for doing nothing in advance, at least at first. I suggest requesting a few vacation days off and not go anywhere or plan anything. Just like the kids, we will have difficulty figuring out what to do. Above all, we should avoid the regular time fillers. If you tend to always turn on the TV and watch show after show, avoid the TV altogether. If you regularly work on a crossword puzzle or read the paper, save it for a later afternoon break or at the cocktail hour. The point of this exercise is to break out of your mold and really do something spontaneous and perhaps surprisingly more memorable.

True story: In our old house in the Arcadia area where the trees and landscaping is lush, several times Bill and me (Mom: correct grammar, right?) would turn on the outdoor speakers and put on some of our favorite music and start clipping limbs and trimming trees. Before you knew it, we had transformed the whole backyard and it looked so good. We would "reward" ourselves with a big grilled steak and sit out at the outdoor table and enjoy our landscaping efforts. It was not a planned event; we never said, today we are going to work on the backyard. Rather, it just happened because one of us would start some project and the other partner jumped in to help. We both remember those afternoons fondly.

I have often heard people discuss the impromptu party that happened with friends and they define it as "the best party they ever threw". Why is this type so much better than the planned party with written invitations and made ahead appetizers?

We owe it to ourselves to spend more time in the 'whatever world', whatever that means to you. I promise you it will be spiritually rewarding. It could be productive and stimulating. And whatever happens, it most probably will be memorable. So, go ahead, plan a day or two of nothing and see where it takes you!

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Reoccurring Tooth Dream

Have you ever had that dream where your teeth start falling out, crumbling right before your very eyes? By the end of the dream, most of your teeth are in the palm of your hand and then you wake up.

Me, too.

And then when you wake up, your teeth actually hurt and you start to wonder just how much longer your teeth are going to stay intact?

Me, too.

And then you remember that your company doesn't have dental insurance anymore and you start to imagine how much money it would cost if all your teeth really did start to fall out of your mouth and you had to get implants or bridges or whatever they're called nowadays?

Me, too.

And then you share this reoccurring dream with your friends and they tell you that the dream is sexual in nature and it means something like you are insecure or that you're hot, they just can't remember?

Me, too.

And then you don't feel so bad that your teeth are coming out about once a week in your dreams because being sexy or sexual is better than being toothless in Scottsdale?

That's amazing! Me, too!

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Friday, January 23, 2009

It's 1:11 pm on a Friday Afternoon: Where are your Priorities?

It's 1:11 pm on a Friday afternoon and I am thinking to myself, "what does this time mean to me"? Well, I am here to admit to anyone who is out there listening, that it doesn't mean a darn thing to me as I am sitting at one of those major crossroads and cannot seem to make up my mind which direction to go.

1:11 pm on a Friday afternoon has meant different things throughout my life. I would just be making up what I was thinking or feeling during my elementary and high school years, but I definitely remember my thoughts during the college years. Classes for the week were over! I just finished lunch and was ready to party and relax and enjoy another fantastic weekend. There was a simplistic belief that I could let go all serious thought at least for a few hours. Whether I was hanging out with friends, drinking a beer, packing to go somewhere for the weekend or cleaning up my room, there was not a care in the world.

During my 20's, Friday afternoons meant cleaning up loose ends at the workplace. Making final calls and setting up appointments for the following week. Happy hours plans took precedence during the afternoon hours on a Friday. My mood was light but not totally relaxed. I was usually anxious to catch up with my husband and ready for weekend exercise and other social activities that had been neglected during the week.

The 30's were all about the kids. Fridays were hectic. Tying up loose ends at work, trying to get out of there in time to pay the babysitter and get the kids to their planned activities. Traffic on Fridays was always a pain in the neck. Starting around 1:11 pm, I would start calling and setting up play dates, and getting details on the weekend's soccer and baseball tournaments. I was divorced for most of my 30's, so on weekends the kids were with their Dad, I needed to also make plans for myself. It was usually around 1:11 pm on Friday that I remembered that I did not have a single thing planned for myself!

My 40's were the most crazy of all the decades to date. I had moved up and broken the glass ceiling at work. This was great for my pocketbook and my career but wrecked havoc with my family life and my dating and my eventual married life. All three kids were very busy with school and sports activities. I was doing tons of volunteer work, too. Not a minute could be wasted. Friday afternoons were no different than Monday afternoons, as I was often working six days a week. I was on the nonstop treadmill of life!

I'm now one year into my 50's and all three of my children are either in college or have recently graduated and no one is living at home. My plan was to settle into a nice relaxing lifestyle, doing a little volunteer work for charity, taking care of my husband, house and golden retriever and start a social blog that would eventually develop into a nice business venture. My Fridays were supposed to be almost back to the feelings I had during college, but that apparently is not what's meant to be.

With the economic circumstances surrounding Bill's work, I need to be able to contribute to our budget with a full-time career again. And yet, the resume sits there unfinished next to my computer. I need to get prepared to interview and sell myself and then get ready to jump back into some sort of work routine again.

I know once I get focused I can do this and I have a strong work ethic, so once I'm in the door, I'll enjoy the work set out for me. But for now, this Friday afternoon, I sit and pray for guidance and direction for this 51-year old empty nest Mom .

Yet, all I am craving right now is a beer!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seven Things to Know about Your Automobile Tires

I learned all about tires at an early morning BNI meeting today. We have a member named Frank and he runs a fantastic car maintenance and repair shop. Plus he talks in a language I understand, or at least, I think I do! Here is what I learned about tires today:

1) Tires have numbers printed on them, similar to a woman's measurements do (you know, 36-24-36?); they have letters that define the tire, too. The "D" part is not at all like the woman's breast measurement; it's telling you they are Digital Tires;

2) There are some other letters in the beginning of the order, but I cannot remember what Frank said, so maybe they are not all that important (?);

3) You can have tires that are fatter on the sides than the top and bottom. This point was hard for me to understand. I think this type of tire looks like this drawing in the tire store:

4) There is one number that will be 15, 16, 17 and I think it goes to 21 and this number represents the rim-to-rim radius measurement. I think when my boys were in high school, they wanted the higher numbered tires, for some reason.

5) If you like driving your car around on race tracks, you probably like a softer (rubber) tire as it will handle the curves better, but of course they won't last as long. If the tires are very hard, the ride is crappy but I think you get better gas mileage;

6) To save money and for safety reasons, you need to get your tires rotated on a regular basis. I don't remember what length of time "regular" is but I think it depends on where you live and how much you drive. If you like to do wheelies in the parking lot (like Frank) your tires aren't going to last as long.

7) Very Important Tip: Always check the pressure of your tires (again to save gas and to keep your family safe). Here is a picture of a tire gage (it looks like a pen without ink):

I know, I'm like the best female tire expert on the Internet. And, I was clearly listening and understanding every word at this 7 am meeting. You can ask me anything you would like. If I somehow don't know the answer, I can always can my favorite, friendly neighborhood mechanic, Frank, to get you a proper answer!

If you are lucky enough to live in the Phoenix area, you can go visit Frank at:

Feeney Automotive Service and Repair


2630 East Bell Road, #4

Phoenix, Arizona 85032

(Really freak him out by telling him the 'Emtnester Tire Expert' sent you!)

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Just "Who" is Responsible for this Mess?

You and me, that's who.

(While this could have been the shortest post I've ever written, I think I'd rather pontificate on the topic a tad bit longer.....)

Let me back up and explain...yesterday, I wrote a little post asking why we had to have such an elaborate celebration for the changing of the Presidential guards and wouldn't that money have been better spent on food for the poor and for those who have lost their jobs. I also felt that Obama wasn't that big of a change from past Presidents in my eyes due to the fact that he's male, Ivy-League schooled, etc, etc.

One of the commenter's was clearly upset by my position and asked the question, "just WHO did I think was responsible for this financial mess in are in" and went on to offer that ex-Pres Bush was the responsible person and that he didn't even care that he screwed us all. I could actually feel the anger of each letter in her comment! After rereading the comment over and over, several thoughts came to mind:

1) Most great economists always say and are correct in saying that we give Presidents far too much credit when the economy is good and far too much credit when the economy is bad. There are just too many factors and parties (and countries, for that matter) involved for one branch of government to have enormous effect on the economy as a whole.

2) ALL politicians care about the people they govern and try to do the best job they can. It doesn't matter if you are talking about the local School Board position or a state representative or the Vice President of the United States. And I know that Mr. Obama is going to do everything he can to keep us safe from our enemies, assist with getting the economy back into the better cycles quickly just as Bush and Clinton and all the rest of the past Presidents have done before them. They wouldn't have chosen this profession if they didn't care. We the people need to understand this basic fact about politicians and stop listening to the media and individual voices who tell us otherwise.

3) I hate the way American elections are handled because it breeds the angry, divisive attitudes and ruins advanced thought by simplifying the process to one word messages. The system has been so far dumbed-down that stretching beyond 'Hope vs Experience' can actually be detriment to an election outcome. We need to give each other a little more credit than that. My commenter was angry because she heard over and over that Bush is an evil guy who doesn't care for anyone except maybe the 5% rich folks and that we need a change. It's just not that simple.

4) I believe that "we" all are responsible for the "mess" we are currently in and "we" will get ourselves out of it. Heck, "we" really enjoyed all the benefits and growth and material items during the years 2003 through 2006, didn't "we"?

5) I bet history teachers are also angry right now because they know we have not read our history books very well. Otherwise, we would know about regular economic cycles, about tax cuts and growth, stimulus packages and good roads coupled with long recessions and Presidential Inaugural speeches and the like.

6) Finally, I am glad I live in America to enjoy the freedoms we have with our democratic system but wish we could express our differences in a more mature, intellectual manner and with a lot more grace.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inaugural Debacle of 2009

It's not that I am just a crotchety old woman or a sore loser, but I am cannot find it in my heart to get excited about today's supposedly historic event. It just seems like the same-ole, same-ole changing of the guards to me. Nothing feels that unique or special in today's inaugural calendar. Let me see:

1) We elected another MALE as President of the United States;

2) We elected another male who went to private schools growing up, attended Columbia University then Harvard Law (the Ivies) once again;

3) We elected another male, Ivy-League educated, who has more words behind him than actions;

4) We elected another male, Ivy-Leagued educated person lacking in much experience that despite the fact that we are engaged in 2 wars, and an economic downturn is holding a lavish inaugural celebration.

You may be saying, but Beth, this male, Ivy-League educated person allowing $170 million to be spent so the nation can celebrate together is different because of the color of his skin...our first Black President. This is a half-Caucasian/ half-African American, right? And I simply do not remember all the excitement when Condeleeza Rice ( a full African American, WOMAN) was appointed Secretary of State by George Bush, do you? So the joy and exuberance over Barrack seems forced at best.

It's true that I am a fiscal conservative, social liberal who voted for John McCain. Yet despite my age and wisdom that comes with age and experience, I am willing and open for a true change. If Barrack had told the nation that he was opting for a quiet ceremony with little money spent, less Balls than usual and ask if everyone would send their Inaugural donation money to food banks, battered-women shelters and maybe even to the neighbor who just lost their job, then I would say, WOW, this is a change we must all believe in !

Instead, we will all witness this massive show called the Inaugural Debacle of 2009.


It brings tears to my eyes......but not in a good way.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Empty House...Empty Thoughts

Hello, is anybody there? (silence)

Oh, that's right, I took Laura to the airport to head back to Dickinson College yesterday.

I didn't really notice the change on Sunday, because we were all busy watching out loser football team win yet another time for a chance to play in the Super Bowl! What a great turnaround.

But, it's very clear to me today, that Christmas break is over and I must live in my empty nest (with my husband) for the next four months...until the summer break.

That's the new established routine and I feel a little like the grizzly bear who's been hibernating all winter and has just come out of its' den. I am a little groggy and 10 pounds overweight, but I'm kind of excited about this new phase in my life.

But, enough with all that, it's a Holiday! Happy Martin Luther King Day, y'all! Did you decorate your home? I looked around the blog world and didn't see a single site with fun, King decorations. I don't have any either, so I am just flying the American flag. Guess I'll keep it up for tomorrow's big day. Besides, I don't really have time to do more as I am too busy reading everything I can on the modern history of Japan and its' economy. I think it'll come in handy during this next decade, if you know what I mean.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Geithner Makes a Boo-Boo

I love a good laugh in the mornings. During the morning walk with the neighbors and the dogs, we always find humor in the silly things dogs do together when they are leash-free and playing.

I like to drink my first cup of coffee while reading some of the hilarious blogs out there. Yesterday, I was in stitches over Casey describing the poop on her child's foot and Jenny thinking her dog is broken because it doesn't have a belly button! And sometimes, like today, the biggest belly laugh can come from an unusual and unexpected place.....the Wall Street Journal.

Mind you, the writer for the Review & Outlook section should have been named so we could all email her/him to say, "thanks for the article; you are so funny". The title is 'A Geithner Amnesty' which sounds like it could be dry and the subtitle, 'The 'tax gap' in profile' probably didn't say, "read'll fall off your chair laughing". You really should pull the article up and read the whole thing, but I just know you might not do that, so, I thought I might share my favorite paragraph towards the end of the article:

........."For our part, we are delighted that Mr. Baucus and Democrats are suddenly in such a forgiving tax mood. In addition to being a teaching moment for liberals, perhaps Mr. Geithner's tax snafu can do all of Americans some good. We'd suggest that Mr. Geithner and Mr. Baucus together set a new standard for the IRS in dealing with people who, like Mr, Geithner, make a boo-boo on their tax returns."...........

Never has the word BOO-BOO been used better in a sentence!

Of course, it's a sad commentary in itself, when we are laughing over such important matters as who will be the next Treasury Secretary, which includes the duties of overseeing the IRS; but hey, we take the chuckles where they fall. (Move over funnies).

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Name That Show!

I may be an empty nest Mom and all, but I totally know how to turn on my television set using the remote control. It's just that when the kids are back in the house, I resort back to letting them turn on the TV and selecting which shows to watch.

The whole family enjoys 30 Rock, The Colbert Report and most anything on the National Geographic channel, but from there we go astray. And while, the kids selections can be wildly disturbing, I highly recommend following their lead sometimes just to see what's out there.

Maybe, you are too scared to watch? I understand. There are good reasons to be scared.

For instance, last night, we watched "the funniest show out there". "You are going to laugh until your stomach hurts", my daughter tells me. Apparently kids watch this show at college campuses across the country and howl at the stupidity of the people on the show. I thought, what can I lose!

Here's my Empty Nest Mom review:

There are two twin women (aged 21?) called the Ikky twins. They are bi-sexual and they are both looking for a mate, at the same time. They start off with 12 girls and 12 boys all trying to become the mate of one of the twins, and they hang around each other and kiss a lot to see which one of the contestants they like better. The twins like really sleazy outfits which are filled with their great bodies. The contestants, on the other hand, are a mixed-bag at best. The women are sort of pitiful looking and all seem to have sad love stories from their past. The men range from extras from the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" to guys who tried out but didn't make the cut with the Chippendale dancers. Of course, they don't care, they get to slobber over twin blond-haired sisters until they get voted off.

Each week the twins have a different agenda and then someone gets voted off. This week, they contestant took the twins to meet their poor innocent parents from rural Pennsylvania and Portland and for the most part, each visit was a disaster. Important questions were asked, like, "how do you feel about your son dating two bi-sexual twins" ( as the other twin is busy feeling up the son on the couch). Very touching..ha, ha.

I really was riveted and was going to watch until the bitter end and see who was going home but I started a conversation with my daughter instead. I said, the show seems a little outdated. It's always two girls as the stars and of course no one going to complain about watching two girls kiss and fondle each other. I suggested a more modern version where two men, twins, sexy-looking guys were the stars of the show. "Ick" was her response which promptly lend me into my usual rant about the double standards in shows and how men should be exploited equally as women and it wouldn't seem "ikky" if we saw more half-naked men on TV and the movies and that we all should write Hollywood demanding equal opportunity to see men and women in the same light and another thing... and then I looked over I noticed that I had lost my audience (as Laura was busy texting on her phone. Probably to one of her brothers saying, Mom's on her "Double Standard Speech" again!)

I guess I'll never know who gets which twin. Or whether they live happily ever after (the show).

There you have it. My first TV review. Can you name that television show?...........................

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bridging the Jean Gap

I am in the auspicious position of finding a pair of jeans that will appeal to my daughter (turning 19 years old this weekend) and appeal to my husband's thrifty nature. Bill only wears Levi's and the most he has ever paid for a pair of jeans is probably $59.99.

I do not know if Scottsdale is unusual in the jeans catergory but people buy and wear many different types and styles that can easily cost in the $100-200 range. Maybe we are too close in proximity to Hollywood, California but the big name brands are all the rage.

Me, I am somewhere in the middle. I like both the "regular" and the "designer" jeans. Personally, I get really tired of seeing so many folks wearing jeans 24/7. I know, I just aged myself terribly. They just aren't that attractive to me. Especially for work. That's a major turn-off for me, unless it's Friday and you have on jeans and a nice white button-down shirt with a good belt and shoes accompanying the pants.

Here's how I attempt to bridge the family jean gap:

Me: "Hi, honey. Laura wants a pair of designer jeans for her 19th birthday. They will cost up to $200."

Bill: "Oh my God, that's ridiculous! What a waste of hard-earned money."

Me: "I know. Is it okay, or not?"

Bill: "Fine, (spoken beneath his breath: but it's going to cost you!)."

Me: "Thank you. I love you."

Ah, the joys of being some one's Mommy AND some one's Wife.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Mr. Obama, Here's That Idea You Requested

Hello President-Elect Obama:

I received you voicemail last evening and I'm really sorry I missed your call but rarely do we answer the phone after 9:30 pm. Still, you sounded a little frustrated so I wanted to get right back to you.....

Yes, I know, it can be more than a little annoying when everyone around you is all, "you're the greatest thing since sliced bread" and "this is why we all came to Washington in the first place", but you kind of asked for it. They will probably settle down around your 6 th year of being the President, I would imagine.

Sorry, I digress. So you are looking for one plan to help the economy that would probably be despised by the majority of the American people but would actually work and in the end you become an even bigger hero? And you think I might have one for you? Hmmmm..................

Okay, here's an idea:

1) Deposit $100,000 into the bank account of every taxpayer in the top 5% income level with the caveat that they have one week to spend it all or the money gets taken away. (It can be your way of thanking these individuals and businesses who have supported and funded the whole nation for so long).

2) If all the money is spent on adding more employees to their businesses or bonuses to existing employees or spent as 'angel money' for people with new products/contraptions, you add and additional $100,000 the following week.

I know, brilliant. The money will immediately be spent, new jobs will be created with minimal red tape and the trickle down effect will occur before the end of the month. The economy will be stimulated across the nation, as the top 5%-ers do not have debt to pay off the credit cards and they also know how to blow through money quickly.

The American public will, of course, be outraged at first. (You aren't supposed to even recognize the upper class; we don't even exist! All we are supposed to be good for is being heavy taxed to pay for government programs). The mass media will cry, "UNFAIR!"

But in the end, you'll be the hero as we watch the stock market respond positively to your innovation, and the middle class people gets notified that they get to keep their jobs and some new ideas and innovative get approved and funded.

You are welcome. It's my pleasure to give you unwanted suggestions and thoughts. Yes, I also really like that I do not droll when I'm standing near you. That's my job.

Talk to you later and good luck!

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Candy Striper and Nurse Talk: No Action

While on my daily group dog walk, early this morning, we started to talk about nurses and how most men have had fantasies involving nurses. (Hey, it's early in the morning and the brain can take you to many different discussions when its cold and dark!). Then we all mentioned that as young girls we had either volunteered in hospitals, had considered nursing or simply had costumes of nurses from England that we loved as kids.

I remember how cute I thought the candy striper uniform was back in the 60's and 70's. We all thought we were hot shit wearing these outfits even though picking up bedpans and doing remedial hospital work was not the hottest thing to do.

No silly! That's not what the official uniform looked like. This is a Halloween costume designed by some male designer who 'saw' his creation from a reoccurring dream. This is one official candy striper uniform you can buy from an online auction for $59 bucks:

Pretty sexy stuff, I can really see how this could get a man's juices' flowing! Of course, I know it's not just the actual costume but what you do in it that makes this such a turn-on idea. "Hey baby, lift your bottom so I can remove your deposited urine...". Oh yeah, I know how to get it going, don't I?! Who said empty nesters aren't sexy human beings? And I know what you're thinking right now....that Bill's one helluva lucky guy!

I've probably said enough on this topic for now. (Don't want to spoil my love relationship I have going with Google and Google AdSense, so I won't show you or tell you about all the porn movies with nurses and cute little candy stripers doing naughty duties). You'll just have to do your own research.

Good night and happy dreaming!

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Say, 'Goodnight Honey', Even If it Kills You

"Good night, love...sleep tight".

"Will ya".

These sound like simple little words couples might share right before they go to bed each evening, right? Well, apparently, the correct answer is WRONG.

Just recently I wrote a New Year's Resolutions' post that included a section of 'Revelations' and one point stated that I was going to have to be a lot more interesting if I expect to get noticed by my husband. I must have hit a common nerve, as I received hundreds of emails the following day about the lack of verbal communication between spouses before bedtime and all throughout the day, as well. The responses did not just come from empty-nesters or from the female readers. It seems that complacency comes to many different folks in all kinds of relationships. Yet, I could hear in these email comments that most people are disturbed by their spouses inaction and lack of interest and communication. Don't get me wrong, most of these people are happily married or attached and have no desire to move on to greener pastures. We have all just fallen into a lazy, unattractive habit.

If you think about it, it's crazy the way this works:

1) Boy meets girl (or some variation of this);

2) The two do everything in their power to put their best foot forward and act decent and nice to each other;

3) The couple becomes attached (through a marriage or some other defined way that makes them an exclusive item to themselves and to the world);

4) They live in the "Newlywed Stage" where they treat each other well and respect each other;

5) Then, at some unmagical moment, it is considered okay to simply not speak to each other. You fall into bed and not a word is spoken or a touch of the hand to the other's body occurs. And this is acceptable. And then, it happens 7 nights in a row.........

There are two specific periods of time in one's life where you have "an excuse" for this unacceptable behavior. The first comes when you have infants in the house. And it doesn't matter whether you are a two-income family or you have one spouse "working" at home with the kids. It's an exhausting period of time either way you handle it. Couples cherish the quiet moments when they come knowing that it'll be short lived. "Falling into bed" isn't just a mindless cliche; it really happens. Still, I think this period is the most dangerous of times to fall into the pattern of simply not acknowledging your life partner at bedtime. You are creating a bad habit that will surely be hard to break after decades of time. A simple pat of your hand on theirs will probably do the trick. I am not talking about discussing what happened at work that day or how little Billy kicked Susie at recess, either. Just a simple way to say, you are the one person in the world that I have chosen to sleep with and spend my life with and I still think you are the best!

The second period of life is when we become empty nest parents. With the kids gone, you tend to spend more time together than you did when the kids still resided at home. Night after night, you eat dinner together...alone. Maybe you watch TV or read together at night...alone. Maybe one night a week, you have a charitable responsibility or you have a bowling league to attend, but even that turns into a bit of a boring routine. The time together seems unimportant and not valued as in the past. No real need to say good night, they will definitely be there in the morning, for goodness sakes!

Sad to say, this occurs in my household, too. Only, I secretly get pissed off and hold in my anger, which cannot be good.

The bottom line is saying good night to each other should be a common courtesy between two people who love and care for each other. And, I know if we touch each other it will most definitely lead to other activities that can be exhausting, (albeit fun), but saying a few simple words is so easy.

Those of you reading this post will need to be the ones to start this up in your household. Say something to your life partner, in bed, every single night. Say something, even if you think the other person has drifted into sleep or has been a pain the butt all day. Say it because you still love this person and they deserve to get your daily evening recognition. Your relationship will be better, I guarantee it!

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009's Going to be one Lucky Year

"Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!"

There, I said it. A whole year of good luck to you and your families!