Thursday, June 26, 2008

self-appointed police of everything

A friend made an allusion to a character created by Seinfeld when referring to the lifeguards at her ALMOST new pool for the summer. I checked out the comments for once, and came across a PC policewoman, complaining oh-so politely about the author's use of the word 'Nazi' in this day and age. (Side note: watch out when doing a search for images of 'policewoman!' Definitely NOT that same gal who wrote me a ticket for running the stop sign at the bottom of Albion at 1 am in the morning, but I digress . . .)

Procrastinating my Herculean task of mowing the 20 acres of barely usable front yard (thanks to our location on a corner lot with a lot of passing dogs, lack of fence, and idiots that like to break glass beverage containers on a regular basis rounding said corner), I checked out the profile of said unpaid public servant, so see just what sort of gal is 1) totally lacking a sense of humor and 2) feels the need to correct total strangers on the internet to make the world safer for everyone else.

She has a blog dedicated to pointing out the common-sense errors of people as she comes across them. A woman in a store had the audacity to NOT strap her 13-month-old son into the cart, and he was trying to escape while she tried to coral her other child. Luckily PC-woman was on the job, and helpfully pointed out the error of her ways in leaving her child unrestrained. I can only imagine the harried woman's thankfulness at this helpful comment. I'm sure that an offer of help would have been TOTALLY unappreciated. Fortunately this woman was not offering her son something as deadly as non-organic chocolate milk or some such toxin as a bribe to get him to sit down in the cart, or Child Protective Services might have been called.

This is stuck in my head, because the other day on a trip to Target to procure swim shirts for my two little fish, in my attempts to NOT start the growth of melanomae before my children reach pre-school, Princess Katie threw a great fit because it was HER turn to ride in the actual seat of the cart. I didn't have time to bail on the project, so she scored the seat and Alex scored the basket. Which he naturally refused to sit down in, but insisted on standing up so he could see everything. I took it easy on the bumps and managed our shopping headed to the car.

Close to the car were two moms carrying their 6-9 month old children (old enough to support themselves, not developed enough for escape maneuvers). Boy, did I score a super stink-eye and some serious smirking/shaking of the heads. It's just so interesting to me how critical moms are of other moms, when someone else's method is not the same as their own. Like there is one way to raise a child, they know it and are soon to have it patented, and any deviation from said method is tantamount to raising a serial killer.

People are funny. And sometimes I want to carry around a squirt gun to shoot down the self-appointed police out there, criminal that I am.

katie rocks

As mentioned previously, we love the book 'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!' by Mo Williams. While driving back from Boulder the other day, Rog asked Katie if Seven could drive the car.

Katie: NOOOO! Seven can't drive the car! She doesn't have hands. She just has paws.

Imagine her cute little voice saying the above quite emphatically, and you will be smiling all day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

a word on procrastination

A few months ago, I got a speeding ticket en route from the Court House to the process server to serve an eviction to looser tenant. Peggy. Who did in fact move out without the Sheriff having to show up, as it turned out. But I digress. I scored the speeding ticket because I neglected - as always - to pay attention to the transition from 'tolerable speed' to 'ridiculously slow speed along the downtown stretch of Main Street.'

Said ticket functioned like any other speeding ticket one might receive. Call the Court after a couple of weeks and they'll tell you what the deal is to take care of your misdeed. After about a month, Roger politely asked me for a number of days 'So what's the story on your ticket, Mario?' My answer was naturally 'I don't know yet. I'll call them tomorrow.' Fidgeting around in the back of my brain was the idea that this procrastination didn't really serve any purpose other than putting me in jeopardy of FORGETTING to call in time on said ticket, but COME ON! I had WEEKS left before the scheduled court date! I'm responsible. I would certainly get to it before June 17th. I'd have to be an idiot not to.

Well, greetings from the idiot. I totally lost track of what date it was and called the Court the morning OF the court date, after the scheduled time. Way to go Kat! For this responsible move, I now have the pleasure of paying a HEFTY fine and I score the full 4 points, with the potential for a bench warrant being issued. Assuming I procrastinate paying the new default judgement. And I was doing so well on my spending for the month . . .
If you have any suggestions for my first jail house tattoo, assuming I in fact go the fugitive route, just let me know!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

somebody needs a hobby

Chatting with a buddy of mine a morning or two ago brought to mind a subject that has repeatedly made me crazy. Why is it that women have such a need for contests? Such as the 'nice-house' or 'my-house-is-so-clean-you-could-eat-off-of-the-floor' contest or 'best-behaved/smartest children' contest or 'it-only-took-me-2-hours-to-loose-all-my-pregnancy-weight' contest. Admittedly, I'm not striving to have my home attain a brown cloud surrounding it ala 'Pigpen' from Peanuts, nor raise future serial killers. But some gals seem to lose the balance between caring for their homes/children and going totally freaking nuts about it.

I have a hypothesis - or perhaps rather two hypotheses - but am still working on increasing my sample size to test them. What I REALLY need to do is check out some books on social 'science' from the library to figure out how to design a clever questionnaire that asks the same question 10 times in order to ferret out the TRUE beliefs of the respondent. Until then, here is my untested answer, for which I readily solicit input and comment.

Education and/or some kind of work experience are inversely proportionate to the 'psycho level' of women.

Clarification: By education I mean more of an attitude of learning. Completing a formal degree does not make one 'educated.' Choosing different experiences and making choices in life that take you out of your comfort zone and what you already know and understand DO - to me, anyways.

As I've stated, this is all still just at an observation level. Far from proven. It just seems that the gals that are most concerned about having the 'nice(st)' house or smartest kids or some other such outward measure are those that have not furthered their education or who have never had a job of their own. In mormon land, these are the same gals that rank people by what calling they or their husbands have/had, like being responsible for a particular calling is akin to getting a promotion at work, and is 'proof' that you're climbing the spiritual ladder.

I don't think the need to measure accomplishments against others is a female trait, I think women just measure different things than men do. Very broadly and simplistically, men seem to compare jobs or cars - outward signs of monetary success and thus their ability to provide for their families. Again very generalized, but women seem to measure THEIR success through the achievements of those around them - their kids - or through the THINGS that they have- things purchased through (often) someone else's job. I'm not saying that a woman who chooses to stay at home with her kids doesn't play a role in the success of her husband at his job, but it's still not directly her that's bringing in the stuff.

The gals I know that have worked for some length of time or gone on to higher education (post high school) don't seem to have the same need for marking their progress in life through the accomplishments of others around them. They seem to be confident in their own abilities as individuals in their own right first. Not that they don't still have their own neuroses, nor does education/career prevent someone from falling into the comparison game. I am making a gross stereotype here.

So, just how biased am I? Am I looking at the field of potential offenders through eyes completely colored by my own experience? I am undoubtedly seen as some kind of snotty pants through the eyes of someone with completely different life experiences. Things to think of while it rains YET AGAIN today. Great for the plants, tricky for entertainment purposes around here . . .

a couple more

Rog isn't a fan of subjecting people to videos of the kiddies, but since Mag enjoyed the last ones, here are a few more.

Here we take a break from trying to wrestle Alex into some clothes for the day. Sorry about the bad lighting, but this is the biggest smiler I know!

This video highlights story time with Opa, as well as some of Katie's budding procrastination skills. This one is 2 minutes long, so consider yourself forewarned. If you know 'Don't Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus' it will make more sense to you. Katie was naturally much more animated the first time through the book, before I busted out the video camera. When we get to play this summer we can show you the live action version.

The kissing queen was only getting started with Oma. I love how she jumps into Opa's arms, and I think it's funny that she's still afraid - AREN'T WE ALL?! - of Uncle Mark's goatee.

Monday, June 2, 2008

video update

Apparently, I am not in a thinking zone lately. So, here are a few video updates of the kiddies. Well, mainly Katie, because Alex just attacks me when he sees the camera in action. :)

The beginning of SUMMER!

In our second trip to the lake this year, the 80 degree weather report did NOT specify wind! We did not last too long, but the small ones still couldn't totally stay out of the water, despite the windchill factor.

Pictures from today would probably be more accurate for the official start of summer for us. We went to the pool with a friend, and while mom was GREAT about applying sunscreen on the kids, she did her usual for herself and thus is suffering this evening with burned shoulders and chest. I guess I'm still 17 years old in some areas of my life afterall!

Another true sign of summer beginning is the first rhubarb cake of the season. I debated for a second or two about making two 8x8 cakes and giving one away, but naturally one 9x13 won out. One day later it is almost gone, steadily being whittled down one tiny row at a time. Somehow that's not the same as eating a regular-sized piece in one sitting.