Monday, April 30, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

This hasn't quit being funny.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Quiz

I posted a Quiz result and link over at Keyboard Therapy. Stop by and give it a shot. Let me know YOUR MBTI?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday Poll

What's the Perfect Saturday Morning?
The E's: Early Rise, Errands and Exercise
The C's: Coffee, Cereal, Cartoons
The S's: Sleeping in and Snuggling (wink!)
The P's: Pizza for breakfast and Play all day
Other free polls

Friday, April 27, 2007

Isn't it pretty?

See my shiny new button? The one that says "I Fight Cancer"? Isn't it great? Well, click on it to get that button for your own blog if you feel so moved. I hate cancer, I do. I'm sure you do too.

One of the things I am supposed to do to have this button is to write a blog entry about how cancer has affected my life and I frankly can't. The list of the lovely, talented, wonderful people I personally know who have fought and lost battles with this monstrous disease is just too long. There is such a strong history of cancer in my family that I have always felt that it wasn't an "if" I would be diagnosed with it but a matter of "when". Thankfully, a couple of scares, a LEEP procedure and a couple of breast biopsies thus far but the monster stays away. I am grateful.

I am angry, though, when I think of the people that have been lost. I have attended too many memorials for too many people to list here (and I respect their memory and their families' privacy too much) and wondered what I could do - one poor little person - to make a difference. So I've put this button on both blogs as a pledge and a reminder to myself to find ways that I can help fight cancer.

I am happy that I do know a few people that have won or are winning the fight, but the fight must go on and I encourage each of you to join it in whatever way you can.

Blessings and peace,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Guess Where I Live?

Order to boil water issued for Kentwood area
KENTWOOD -- Some Kentwood residents are being asked to boil water before drinking after a drop in water pressure reported by the city water system.

Residents who live south of 44th Street, north of 60th Street, between Eastern and Breton avenues, are being asked to boil water until further notice.

A loss in water pressure may result in bacterial contamination in the water system.

The city has restored pressure and staff are collecting bacterial samples in the area. The city anticipates resolving the problem by Thursday.

From The Grand Rapids Press

If this isn't funny, I don't know what is.

I've seen it floating around the proverbial blogosphere and now I'll share it with you.

Go to Google Maps. Click the "Get Directions" hyperlink and type "London" in the first box and "New York" in the second. Read the instructions. Let me know what you think of step 37.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Why we shouldn't be allowed in public

Yesterday we had another open house. Don't ask. I mean it. But the upside was that it was a beautiful day and we evacuated our premises by going to the Meijer Garden. I love that place. If it weren't here in Michigan, it'd be perfect. It's beautiful and the kids love the children's garden section.

When the Sharp family enjoys the gardens and sculpture park, however, it does take on a new twist. For example, a civilized person would refer to this picture as "Dancer Looking at the Sole of her Right Foot" by Degas. Sarge calls it "Lady with Dog Poop on her Shoe"

This lovely work of art (I forget it's real name) "Targets"

But I do think this made the butterfly's day.

We've got another open house tonight. We're heading to the lake. Pray for a buyer.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Post #39: In which Sarge channels his inner Metrosexual

Oh how I love this whole home selling thing! I do (not). Yesterday we had a great day weather-wise and managed to accomplish a lot around the house including taking a couple of large boxes of clothes to GW Imports. Items that did not make the box however included three pairs of black dress pants and four pairs of khaki dress pants for my husband. Yes, my husband - the Sarge - the same guy that dresses up maybe once a year for events that do not have a directed manner of dress, if you know what I mean. And, yes, he's got two sets of those AND two sets of the nearly obsolete dress green uniform. This guy kept seven pairs of civilian dress pants - like he was a banker and would actually wear them instead of this every day:

His excuse for keeping all the khakis? "But they're all different colors!"

Judge for yourself:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

TAG! You're it!

I have five questions for you. Answer them either in the comments or, better yet, in your own blog. Feel free to tag your friends!

1. What do you like most about your job and why?
2. How long have you known your significant other? How did you meet?
3. If you could be anywhere else right now, where would you be?
4. If you could do something else professionally, what would you do?
5. What do you like most about my blog?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Update on the 7 in '07

Since I had previously asked you guys to hold me accountable, I guess I'd better update you on my progress with the Seven in '07 goals I set out for myself at the beginning of the year.

1. Lose 70 pounds. Well, I can't say enough good things about Weight Watchers Online. I've lost 17.5 pounds so far. I like how easy WWO is to use and the tools they have available. With Weight Watchers you can eat anything as long as you count it, you know? I wasn't doing so well at managing my points early on - like I didn't go over for days and days and then WHAM! I'd use up ten (or more) of my 35 flex points in a day. Lately, I've been trying to mix it up a little bit. After two or three days where I am at or under my allowed points for the day, I'll go five over on purpose (even if I have to suck it up and eat some chocolate;) ). It seems I read somewhere that may help the old metabolism from slowing down. I hope so. All I know is that I now have only one pair of jeans that fits me. And I hadn't been able to wear them in a year or maybe more until last week. Go me!

I'm still not where I should be on the exercise thing. Now that the weather is finally nice I have gone for a 2.5 mile walk two days in a row and have another scheduled for tonight. I also bought a pedometer. I'm just competitive enough, I guess, that every day I try to get more steps in over the course of the day. I recommend this highly. You can pick up a pedometer for as little as $6.00 at Target. Maybe they're even cheaper elsewhere.

2. Run a 5K. Well, see the above comments on the exercise thing. I had set a goal for the Madison Race for the Cure, but I don't see that happening at this point. I'll pick a different one in the fall. I'm also thinking about walking a half-marathon or biking a century. Aside from chronic laziness, the bronchitis that I had a couple of weeks ago, really did a number on my cardio fitness. I mean, it's not great to begin with. I don't exercise regularly and I am asthmatic. Of course, I know that the asthma is a much smaller factor when I exercise so I am working on it. But I am also not beating myself up when I don't. I'm just tuning in more to how I am feeling. I feel better if I exercise so I am trying to use that as a motivator. I still think the 5K could happen this year.

3. Find a job with a future. Well, the job search does not go well. I'll leave it there.

4. Build a nest egg. This would be tied to the job search. It is discouraging but hopefully it too shall pass.

5. Develop some willpower and break some bad habits. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. I think I am doing okay here. I'm focusing on how things make me feel and what are good decisions vs. bad decisions. I stopped buying soda the other day. It's an expensive habit and not good for me so I'm not doing it. I'm eating more fruits and vegetables. This is another area where the tracking stuff on WWO helps a lot. I feel accountable for what I'm doing. I also know that eating better boosts my immune system. A stronger immune system will hopefully minimize the recurrence of Pars Planitis in the future, right? Right. Now, if and when it rears its ugly head again, all my loyal readers will need to give me a pep talk. Flare-ups of pars planitis are very frustrating, depressing and very likely to steer me off course. But I know this and I hope I can stay strong.

6. Stop being my own worst enemy. Well, I am learning to like myself so if I start to really love who I am and what I'm doing, being my own worst enemy wouldn't be so bad, eh?

7. Take hubby on a vacation. I have no plans for this but oh how wonderful it would be. We haven't even had a night alone together since he got back from Kuwait last fall. For awhile, we were trying to go out to (the points-friendly menu) Applebee's once a week, but our finances aren't allowing that at the moment.

So there you have it. A status report. How do you think I'm doing? How are things with you?

Thanks for checking in. You're awesome.

Monday, April 16, 2007

This is just...

Check out Gizoogle.

Here's the Snoop translation for this blog. And Keyboard Therapy.

Hilarious. How does your favorite webpage look?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Yay For Spring!

This weather had us swinging from the trees! Literally. We've got the first nice day in at least two weeks. The sun is shining and the boys got to PLAY! Mutti even got to take a walk with a friend. Spring is back!

Please check out my other blog!

Keyboard Therapy

Three Things...

As you know, I dilligently read too many blogs and I found this one here.

Three Things That Scare Me:

1. The idea that I will never again be successful.
2. Cancer. There is such a huge history of it in my family.
3. The eye thing. Things are good right now (but don't ask me how many pairs of reading glasses I own, okay? I can't leave home without them), but you just never know. I appreciate what I have and I hope it lasts a long time.

Three People Who Make Me Laugh:
1. The Khan when he's in a good mood.
2. The Senator
3. Sarge

Three Things I Love:
1. Roses
2. Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinth and the other bulb flowers that tell me it is spring when they finally show up!
3. Throwing a GREAT dinner party.

Three Things I Hate:
1. The real estate market. (No one, and I do mean NO ONE, has looked at our house in seven weeks).
2. The fact that people donate millions of dollars to politicians rather than to organizations that really WILL make a difference. What would the Red Cross do with that $26Million, Hillary? A lot more good than you ever will. And imagine if Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's money had gone to the American Cancer Society instead?
3. Politicians in general.

Three Things I Don’t Understand:
1. Calculus
2. Narrow-mindedness
3. Quantum physics

Three Things On My Desk:
1. My cell phone
2. Cup full of pens and pencils
3. Laptop - duh!

Three Things I’m Doing Right Now:
1. Typing this blog.
2. Finishing a lukewarm cup of coffee.
3. Working up the first real entry in Keyboard Therapy.

Three Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
1. Have a really great, rewarding career.
2. Visit Italy.
3. Bring home a sister for the boys.

Three Things I Can Do:
1. Semi-cool excel stuff.
2. Knit
3. Sew - it doesn't say "Things I can do well!"

Three Things I Can’t Do:
1. Algorithms.
2. Understand bigotry.
3. Wait to find a job!

Three Things (or people) I Think You Should Listen To:
1. Jon Stewart.
2. Stephen Colbert.
3. Stadium Arcadium

Three Things You Should Never Listen To:
1. Conservative, evangelical Christians.
2. The voices in your head that say "No, you can't!"
3. Ann Coulter.

Three Things I’d Like To Learn:
1. What it is I'm supposed to be doing with my life!
2. How to do it.
3. How to give into the moment and just have fun once in a while.

Three Favorite Foods:
1. Fresh seafood.
2. Steak.
3. Chunky Jif Peanut Butter.

Three Shows I Watched As A Kid:
1. Little House on the Prairie.
2. Diff'rent Strokes.
3. M*A*S*H.

Three Things I Regret:
1. Putting off college as long as I did.
2. Listening to all of the voices calling me stupid, ugly, fat, (fill in the blank) because now it's hard to shut them out.
3. Any and every time I have hurt someone's feelings.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

By 30

I found this as I was cleaning out and organizing my documents today. It struck me as a worthy blog topic as I approach yet another birthday. I'm well past 30 but NOWHERE NEAR 40 so I thought I'd compare myself to this standard and see how I've done.


1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you've come.

Well, I can say that I did go back to an old friend and we've been married nearly 13 years. And we all know that I have a source to look back on and say "WTF was I thinking?"

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.

I pass this one too. Most of my furniture fits this bill. At 30, I had a few things that I'd bought new. It's a nice feeling.

3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.

Sadly, No. And I don't think I ever have!

4. A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you're not ashamed to be seen carrying.

Again, sadly, no. My purse ATM is one I've had for at least five years. It's okay but rather... matronly? Kind of a backpack thing. And I've never had the luxury of anything but super cheap luggage.

5. A youth you're content to move beyond.

Does glad its over count?

6. A past juicy enough that you're looking to forward to retelling it in your old age.

I don't know that it's "juicy" but I've got some good memories.

7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.

This is something very unsettling to me at the moment. I have no nest egg - for anything.

8. An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.

I have all but the bank account. I do see the value of all three, though.

9. A résume that is not even the slightest bit padded.

I'm thinking of dumbing mine down.

10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.

Here's an area where I'm blessed. I have several that are multipurpose (and no, that doesn't include Jose!)

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.

Again, 2 of 3 isn't bad, right? Need to work on that black lace thing.

12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.

Does upgrading my wedding set count? I don't think it does.

13. The belief that you deserve it.

But I don't!

14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don't get better after 30.

Uh...I will plead the fifth except to say I'm trying!

15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.

Uh...I've got a pretty great hubby and kids?


1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.

I agree. I don't think I've done that.

2. How you feel about having kids.

Well, THAT should be obvious.

3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

Well, no matter how hard I try, I haven't mastered this one.

4. When to try harder and when to walk away.

Whoa! I just had a deja vu moment. Freaky. Sometimes I think I try too hard and don't walk away fast enough. Need to listen more to the "Run like hell!" voices.

5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn't like to happen next.

*WINK* This is the best part of married life, IMO.

6. The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.

I got this covered! Condoleeza Rice, Bura, Beulah (or Emily?), Jessie and Mae, and my mother ;)

7. How to live alone, even if you don't like to.

Like my kids would let me!

8. How to take control of your own birthday.

Ugh! I should know this. My birthday sucks ass every single year. This year might be better. We're going to see Kenny Chesney on the 10th! But OTOH, we're still beyond broke and no one's interested in our house.

9. That you can't change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.

Ah, but I would if I could! Wouldn't you?

10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it's over.

And for that I am truly thankful.

11. What you would and wouldn't do for money or love.

And let me say, I'd do a lot more for love than money.

12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.

Okay, I think this one is just dumb.

13. Who you can trust, who you can't and why you shouldn't take it personally.

You know, sometimes this takes me off guard. I still get bitten occasionally.

14. Not to apologize for something that isn't your fault.

Why DO we do that?

15. Why they say life begins at 30.

Well, I know that 30 was better than 20. I must confess, however, that I hope 40 beats the shit out of 30.

Strange little set of theories no? I'm still not sure whether I feel better or worse after this little self-assessment. How do you feel?

Friday, April 13, 2007

THIS is why there can be only one Khan...

The Khan: "You can't play with her Konstantin. Her lives too far away!"

Me: "She doesn't live too far away. She lives right around the corner!"

TK: "Yada, yada, yada..."

Seriously. I can't make this up.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Never Underestimate the power...

As evidenced by my photographic evidence yesterday, the weather outside has been frightful here in 2 hours from Hell. Yesterday we were treated to snow, rain and sleet with more snow for dessert. It WAS lovely, let me tell you. It was absolutely lovely.

It was a heavy, wet, gray winter day in the springtime. It broke my heart (not really) to make the Queen walk home from school because the Khan was asleep. That was the official reason. The truth: my ass hadn't been outside all day and I planned on keeping it that way.

TQ:"Mom, can you please come get me? It is terrible out here! It is snowing sideways and it is really crappy!"

Me: "Oh Honey! I am so sorry! His majesty is resting and I am not waking him up for you or anyone else!" (Thankfully, she could not see the smile on my face despite the fact that the frustration and sadness in her voice was almost making me give in. Almost.)

And so The Queen walked home in the lovely late winter / early spring snow. She was cold and cranky and, being the nice mommy that I am, I had a cup of tea ready for her when she arrived. Shortly after, she received a lovely hug from his majesty, The Khan, and all was well.

However, that was about to change (cue the duh duh duh duhs!)

At precisely 4:24 p.m. I was wasting time online when suddenly my laptop went to battery power. The TV went off and soon the unthinkable happened. No internet. "Curses!" I exclaimed. Then I figured our power would soon be restored. After all, we live in a decent sized city - part of a million person metro area. We are not in the boonies or the stone ages people. We should have power. Always.

Our initial response was collectively one of dismay and annoyance. But surely this would be temporary. WE LIVE IN THE CITY. This has to be temporary. My neighbor calls me to see if I know anything and we're both ignorant. A little later she tells me that the subdivision to the north of us has not lost power. I think this is a good sign that it will be temporary.

5:00: I light the fireplace upstairs using my normal technique of firestarters, shitloads of paper and a couple pieces of wood. Thanking God the whole time that I managed to have a working lighter. It's getting chilly but not overly so.

5:30: "I'm so hungry!" So we dine on sandwiches and chips instead of the tasty leftover chili I'd been planning. Ugh. One time I have a plan for dinner and it is foiled by what I would only describe as Karma. This is my punishment for making The Queen walk home.

6:00: It occurs to me that I should try to find some candles and flashlights. Net result: One maglite, half a dozen candles and these:

6:30: "Mom!" wails The Khan. "Why can't we just watch TV?"
"Because there is no power honey."
"Why?" Yes, a little late, but the word of the month for his majesty is "Why". Everything in the world is now "Why!" And he really hates "I don't know."

7:00: Well, lack of noise and contact with the outside world is really bothering me. Sarge has called a couple of times to check on us. Yes, he's not home. He's in Grayling until SUNDAY. So he's missing this fun. This call, he tells me that there's a radio "somewhere in a box in the storage room." Needless to say this is not helpful. Better, Sarge is annoyed when I tell him so. No radio, no lights and a pissy hubby. This is heaven, right?

I locate a few radios - exactly three. All three require 8 size "C" batteries. I scour the house and find...

Seven size "C" batteries. Wonderful. Amazingly the Cat and Witch flashlights use "C" batteries as well so I scrounge one from the cat and we have a working radio.

Do we have news? No. We have Christian Radio and Country. I want to know what the hell is going on here! We have been without power for three hours IN THE CITY! Surely this is newsworthy. Evidently not as newsworthy as Griffins Hockey or Pistons Basketball.

7:30: Whining intensifies. "Mom!" demands the Senator. "What is GOING ON HERE! When will our lights come back."

The Khan begins to randomly try turning lights on to see if even one of them will work.

8:15: The boys are told to put their pajamas on - some sweats please - and crawl into Mommy's bed for a slumber party! Hooray! This is exciting, right? RIGHT? Notsomuch.

"Moooommmmm! Why can't we just WATCH TV?" wails his majesty.

"Oh your highness, for the love of GOD! I wish you could watch TV too!"

8:30: Teeth brushed and all that, the guys go to bed. In my bed. And then they start whining again. "Mom? Are you coming?"

Well, I should insert here that I did rather enjoy reading my book last night. I bought one of those uber-nerdy booklights awhile back and it was putting out great light for my enjoyment of "Stardust" by Neil Gaiman. The highlight of the night was finishing it. "I will be there soon, my darling. Just go to sleep."

9:15: Book finished, I head to bed. Before I go to sleep, I call one last time. The power company tells me that the power should be back by 11 p.m. Hooray!

Her majesty comes in. "Mom, did you notice that the people behind us have power?"

"What? Son of a bitch." Evidently our block has been cursed by the Goddess of Electricity. There is power above us and power below us but here there is no power. How can that be? This proves to me it is Karma and I am screwed.

Power. Never underestimate the power of Power. Ours came back at 10:21. Six hours after it went off.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It is obviously April! Just look out the window!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Will I Ever Learn?

My specialty is procrastination. I have been putting off a blog post for a day or two and mulling some ideas when BAM! The perfect opportunity presents itself this morning. A perfect example of why I love being a homeowner rears its ugly head at six-thirty this morning. "Mom?" queries the Queen. "I think something is wrong with the water heater. There is water under the carpet in the hall and all over the storage room floor."

"Fuck." I mumble from my semi-comatose state. "Call your dad."

"Can you do it? I have to go now."

~unintelligible grumble~ "Of course dear. Have a great day. I love you."

"Hi honey. How are you? I need you to come home please. We have water all over the floor downstairs."


Yes. We do say "Fuck" a lot. I blame the Queen for inflicting this nasty habit upon us. It is either her fault or Uncle Sam's. I feel no personal responsibility for this habit.

So the Sarge returns home and begins to assess the damage/ situation. After a few minutes of listening to some things that will definitely expand the Khan's vocabulary, I make a couple of phone calls. Home Depot and Sears offer same-day installs. I have a Home Depot credit card (remember to do as I SAY not as I DO!) so the deal was done. SOMETIME today and $619.00 later, the problem would be solved. Sarge went to work and I went back to slacking, reading blogs and playing with the Khan when he allows it.

So at 2:30 or so, the Sarge has returned from a rather whirlwind trip to work and the Depot installers are here and THEN it occurred to me that this would have been one example of a picture being worth a thousand words. ALAS! My batteries are dead and the nice Polish man in the basement (I am assuming he's Polish. His name is Pavel but he was introduced to me as "Paul"... Like Pavel is that hard...) was a little taken aback by me heading in to snap a picture of the mess. So no pictures. I will figure out where the AA battery leprechauns have hidden their stash and try to increase the photographic proof of insanity in my blog.

Like you need photographic proof.

Saturday, April 7, 2007


I'm so sorry! I just realized I haven't written a thing this week. We left for Wisconsin on Wednesday because of an interview on Thursday. Coincidentally, bronchitis or something very similar has had me laying low since Monday or Tuesday and it has gotten worse as the week progresses. I don't recommend a job interview that includes lengthy coughing jags, but it will be what it will be, you know? I'll write something scintillating when I am back in Michigan.

Meanwhile, have a great weekend and, if you celebrate, Happy Easter!