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My dear blogging buddy, The Life of Jamie has recently formed a nationally recognized university called, The University of Grocery Cart Management.  I was asked to come on as one of the faculty members offering a course  Parking Lot Navigation ( GCM 204) mainly for my recent research finding on parking lot navigation etiquette.  While preparing for this class, I came across an immediate reason for a  prerequisite class to GMC 204.  This course will be offered immediately and is titled, Get Your Head Out of Your Gluteus Maximus and READ the Signs (GCM 204.a).

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* I am using an image of Peter Krause since many have said that the hubs looks very much like this actor.  Peter’s current role in Parenthood, actually not only looks like the hubs, but reminds me of the hubs.   Except the hubs is not nearly as uptight.

Well, I guess it is time to introduce the guy that is behind the name of Pie Hole, that would be my best friend, thorn in my side, the one that can push all my buttons and at the end of the day I somehow like him enough that I don’t poison his food. 

This is the man who took on a challenge me (I still think he may have lost a bet somewhere down the line) and has been the best thing that ever happened to me outside of my kids, but without him I wouldn’t have them, so that makes him the BEST thing that ever happened to me. 

He can put the Pie Hole in its place and make me laugh like no other. 

He has integrity that I strive to model.

He is tight  good with money to the point I am almost certain my over a carat diamond engagement ring was once a piece of coal (if you don’t know how he could have made a diamond from a piece of coal,  please crawl out from under that rock).

He is the most amazing daddy to my girls and it brings tears to my eyes to see this amazing bond he has with them.  He is the bar that they will set for their future partners and that is a very high bar. 

He wants to run and hid when emotional issues surface (God has a sick sense of humor in trying to stretch us, he was given nothing but girls, even the dog.)  Can’t wait till the puberty years hit this house.

He is someone I admire and respect.  He respects me and cherishes me.  We see eye to eye on most everything and those we don’t we can still listen and respect each other in our stance.

He is a MacGyver  in every sense of the word.  That man can fix and do anything.  

He has a sassy mouth and has a sarcasm that can outdo me. 

He wears MC Hammer jam pants still when he lounges and it amuses many of my friends.  He actually will go out of his way to put on a pair when one girlfriend comes over. 

His friendships are deep and long and he is respected and successful at his work.

He is the current president of the National Nerd Herd Association, and noting is more exciting than having a house full of Mechanical Engineers on a Saturday night (seriously) It is like an episode of Jack- Ass meets Myth Busters without the stupid 12-year-old toilet humor.

I hit jack pot when I ran off to Vegas and committed my life to him at the “Garden of Love” wedding chapel.  He is the only stable thing I ever had in my life outside of my God-given drive to be a strong and independent person. 

He is my Polaris, my North Star.  Always there never-failing and always shining.

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This is an inspired moment from a recent post from my blog buddy and dear friend The Idiot Speaketh’s, “Sarah Palin helps me yet again” .

Having a” relative” secure spot in the harem I dare go out in the ledge and say that since the Kate Gosselin and Sarah Palin TLC incident, I have a new-found respect for Palin!  She made that crazy and media obsessed, (even though she says she hates it) Kate Gosselin lay in the fetal position sucking her thumb in one of the most beautiful places in the world. 

I also watched her recent interview on FOX ( January 17, 2011).  Yes, I do cross over to the “dark side” and watch that network along with CNN  CYA (they will not use “targeted”, “cross hairs”, “sticking to your guns”, “point-blank” or any reference that could be construed as encouraging violent rhetoric.  Give me a friggin’ break!   I am a smart person who writes and that just insulted my intelligence and love for the use of metaphors.) I digress. . .

The next day after the interview I  heard all the media scuttlebutt on what she said.  I was really disappointed on how many of the sound bites taken were not at all what was really said or even within context.  I double checked that by replaying the interview and what was being reported. It actually disturbed me.   The bottom line is, she may play the victim well, but falsely reporting what someone says it what the media obviously does well on both sides. 

For example, last nights’ news cycle on FOX was stating that the Democratic side was calling the Republicans Nazi’s during the repeal debate of Health Care Reform on the House floor yesterday. I saw and heard what the gentleman said.  IT WAS A METAPHOR so he could make his point.  Was it a bad metaphor?  It sure was not one of the best ones I have heard, but there was passion behind it and passion can fuel bad judgement in choice of words.   I have fallen victim of that many times (I am the queen of open mouth insert foot).   There was NO need to run that and have a “taking head” commentator instruct the viewer on what was said between the lines.  All it caused was more hate mongering and getting off point to what matters.

What unnerves me is how all this false reporting and stirring the pot for a story just continues to egg on hate for someone who if they would just blow each other off and not comment they would shut up and actually work on getting this country back on its feet. 

To me this whole thing is just a big political game.  It is like both sides need each other.  The left needs characters like Palin for a good story to showcase how conservatives and Tea Party constituents are a threat and ignorant and the right needs the Palin character so she can say what they are all afraid to say;  total passive aggressive approaches and that boils my blood. 
The bottom line is, whether you like her or not she has balls.  Are they smart balls? Yes, I think she “dumbs”  down like the stupid blond in High School in math class so she gets the attention she wants.  The one thing I can give her credit is that she does stick to her guns (no pun intended) and you know where she stands regardless if you like the smell of what she is standing in.  You don’t see that often enough in politics and that is something that I can appreciate and it makes me angry that she was portrayed in saying things regardless if you like what she said or not in a very untruthful spin.  

Just to clear it up, I not a “I love Sarah Palin” fan, but there are things she says that I can understand where she is coming from and I find myself agreeing with.  There are also things she says that I feel she just crawled out from under a rock on.  However, it all comes back to the fact she was able to showcase Kate Gosselin’s amazing ability to birth a cow on national television (roughing it in the great outdoors is always a good way to bring out someone’s true character)!  This just proves my point that you can always find silver lining in anything, even when it comes to Sarah Palin.

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I live in a community that is filled with stay-at-home moms and blue hairs.  That combination together makes for a very “narcissistic” experience anytime you go out.   Each Friday the kids and I head out to our favorite shopping experience (Trader Joe’s) but getting to and from the car can bring a level of extreme adventure to the table that could rival climbing Mount Everest in the risk and cost factor.  This is the inspiration to my Top Ten Tuesdays!

10.  When scouting out a parking spot, it is not acceptable behavior to pass by a soon-to-be available parking spot, throw on the brakes and then proceed to back up (without looking) ten spots to try to get it.  Look, you missed it, move along and give the poor schmuck behind you a opportunity to reap the rewards of your cluelessness while saving his and your bumper!

9.  I notice that blue hairs rarely ever look over their shoulder while backing out.  It is more like this; adjust review mirror, slam into reverse and hit the gas pedal.  Apparently, nothing exists beyond the scope of what is in view of the review mirror.

8.  It seems that those that are BMW owners think that the parking lot is the Autobahn.  If there is a speeding car in the parking lot, it is a BMW 99.9% of the time.  I know that the company once known for making airplanes, but that ship sailed decades ago.  You are not in an airplane ready for take off, you are in a car in a parking lot full of all kinds of obstacles, mainly me and my two small children trying to push a cart to our car.

7.  When you open your door, please be mindful of the GIANT car within 2 feet of yours.  Having your red paint scraped across my door panel just pisses me off!

6.  Mothers, when loading up your groceries, please secure your small children first.  Allowing your children to play chicken with the BMW is not going to fare well for either party.  Do you know how much BMW parts cost to replace?

5. Those that keep Cujo in the car as they run errands.  Nothing is more frightening than while getting out of your car a dog in the car next to you jumps up out of nowhere and is able to stick their head through the crack and snaps at you. Don’t make me have to use my pepper spray on the beast!

4.  Those that leave unruly children in the car, because they would be hellions in the store is not working for you either.  Yes, they are secure in the car, but jumping up and down in the driver’s seat and manhandling all the controls is a recipe for disaster.  Risk them knocking down a few display items than taking out 5 parked cars, a little old lady and her purse dog, and a parking lot light post. Trust me your parenting style will be judged about the same with less damage.  Better yet leave them at home and risk them burning down your house.  At least it would limit it to YOUR stuff being damaged.

3.  When looking for a parking spot please multi task and watch for pedestrians! 

2. When you know someone is waiting ever so patiently for your spot as you load, please  don’t decide you can shift into tortoise mode just to be a PITA.  I saw you zipping across the parking lot and loading up your bags with a purpose before you saw that someone is waiting for you to leave.  Trust me your display of new-found power is just making you look like a Jack-a-lope!

1.  PUT YOUR CART AWAY!  It is beyond me why people have issues with this concept, because they would be the first to have a fit if someone’s abandoned cart plowed into the side of their car or into their tail light.  This is not only the top of this top ten, but this is my biggest pet peeve.  If I can put a cart away with two small children, anyone can!

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A Highway Patrol Officer receives a call that a teenage boy is standing on a freeway ramp holding a sign. At the scene, it reads, “I skipped school today and my mom told me this will be my future.”

When questioned, he had been there for 45 minutes. Then the teen points across the street to his mother’s parked car. As they approach the car he states, “I can’t allow your son to do this, you both please be on your way.”

As he walks away he pauses, “Ma’am, off the record that was genius! May I keep the sign?” It now hangs in a California Highway Patrol kiosk office somewhere in northern California.

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This is my first attempt at haiku!  I am starting a New Year’s Resolution of branching out in other forms of writing to challenge myself and was inspired by this one with the lady yelling at her mother on the phone while I was at the mall the other day.  Think this pretty much sums it up!

the holidays –

                           family time

                                         
                                                nails on chalkboard

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I found that best gift for all you ladies to give to that special man in your life and maybe the Idiot can pass this idea on to  Ms. Idiot.  After seeing this infomercial no man’s stocking should be without this, this Christmas morning!

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‘Tis the season for heading off to the mall and embracing it for all its glory.  My Christmas shopping is pretty much done, however, I headed off to the mall for a personal reason; to buy the beloved popcorn maker that was on sale at Williams – Sonoma I have been drooling over for the past month! Another outing this holiday season that is the inspiration for the Top Ten Tuesday!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Photo from Kyle Dahl

10.  The parking lot situation is less than desirable, especially in a torrential down pour.

9.  There is a Salvation Army Santa at every corner ringing that friggin’ bell.  I don’t know what is worse the ringing in my head hours past the visit to the mall or the guilt I have every time I walk by one of them and not put some coin in the bucket.

8.  The way Macy’s places displays in the middle of the aisles making it pretty much a crap shoot to get through with a stroller ( I have a narrow incline double stroller; it is as wide as single stroller), trying to keep your kid’s paws off the merchandise as you are cautiously maneuvering them around them, or better yet trying not to run over people at the MAC or Clinique counters.  Oh, the looks I got yesterday when I asked people to “excuse me”.   “Seriously, lady?  What other options do I have?  Risk running over your foot or knocking down the 8-foot display of perfume gift sets.  Let me tell you, if you don’t move your foot, it will get run over and you can go file a claim with Macy’s for their inconvenient strategic display of merchandise!”

7.  The people on cell phones or texting while walking around, totally clueless of their surroundings.  This is such a blood boiler for me.  That is why the mall has benches and seating areas.  If you wish to turn the mall into your personal social network office, then pull over and sit the friggin’ down and twitter and Facebook that you are doing your Christmas shopping and the mall is a nightmare.  NEWS FLASH: YOU ARE ONE OF THE REASONS THE MALL IS A FRIGGIN’ NIGHTMARE!”

6. When needing to get on to the elevator and the people unloading decide to stop and block the doors for those trying to get on while they are discussing where they want to go to lunch or their next shopping destination.  I have a stroller to push onto the elevator and if my kids gets clocked by the doors closing on them because you screwed around discussing if you want to go to Cheesecake Factory or just the Food Court, I am going to run you over with my loaded stroller.  PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE!

5.  The kiosks in the middle of the mall.  If I wanted to buy cheap Chinese crap from people who look like they are one day out of a state prison or a halfway house I would go to Wal-Mart.

4.  The line to Starbucks.  Since the mall does not sell booze, which I think would make the whole experience much better or at least tolerable (Marty Gras is a mob infested nightmare, you don’t realize it because all are intoxicated), caffeine and sugar are the next best thing.  Having to wait for that in a line that rivals the line for Santa is  beyond me!

3.  Other people’s kids.  Letting them run around like wild banchies is just something I will never get.  The world is not every kid’s play ground.  

2. Standing in line waiting to purchase your goods and having to hear a woman on her cell phone yelling at her mother that she is an enabler and all her 9 year-old son wants for Christmas is that his uncles get off the hooch and meth.  Now, this did make me fill a little better about my Christmas family situation.  At least there will be no tweakers at my table this year!

Photo from Kyle Dahl

1.  When you see that there is people standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the first and second floor of the food court that may be a sign that a major tragedy is in the forecast and it is time to un-ass the area.   Nothing would make it a holiday to remember by having the second floor collapse while waiting to hear Handel’s Messiah in a Random Act of Culture moment.  Go home and play the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and enjoy your festive egg nog and avoid the Random Act of Culture turned breaking news nightmare.

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The Idiot posted a very lovely and touching post last week.  He has touched so many people, including myself, through the power of modern-day ink via cyber space .  He is not only HILARIOUS, he is a good friend and champion to many of us.  

He has expressed that he has his battles, and prevailing might I add, with the “D” word, yet he brings such joy and support to those that read him.  I feel he gives 100% of himself to his audience and his following is proof in that pudding.

I know that this is not much, but  I want to do something special for the Idiot to just say thank you for making us laugh, cry, snort our coffee out of our noses, hold our hands over our faces while at work, wet ourselves,  and most of all just have a good old belly laugh, stomach pains and all! 

 I noticed I have not seen much of his beloved DISCO go viral on his blog lately, so I am dedicating this song to the Idiot! It is the most fitting disco song I could find to fit his mold (for the record, this is one of the very few disco songs that can coax me onto the dance floor with out much booze or pushing – gotta love this song!).  Thank you Idiot,  for the sap, the laughs and the disco!

Last order of business before singing off, I was published again via Blissfully Domestic.  Please check it out and support a starving writer (I even did my own photography)!

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A quick order of housekeeping.  Today I have been on double duty for Top Ten Tuesdays and  was also  featured on the recently Freshly Pressed blog of  The Life of Jamie as her guest blogger! Thank you Jamie, it was fun!

In almost every town in America there are certain neighborhoods that ban together and go all out decorating their houses for Christmas.  They are a festive bunch that are willing to invite all of the public into their neat and tidy cul-de-sac streets and manicured sidewalks.  They even make sure they park in their garages so there are no cars on the street for optimum Christmas light viewing.  Their kids pass out home-made cookies and hot coco and there are even little bins where you can dump your expired canned goods to go towards the homeless.  Yes, it is a bit of Mulberry in the new millennium.  But like anything wonderful and soulful, there has to be a group of jack-a-lopes that have to go and ruin the fun. 

Yes, I am going to bombard everyone with my 12-days of Christmas crap inspired moments well into the New Year!  This moment inspired me enough to make it part of my Top Ten Tuesdays! 

10:  If you decide to bring your dog please clean up after it.  Nothing spreads the smell of holiday cheer than dog poo on the bottom of your shoe which transfers into the car!

9.  If you have kids that must wear roller skates, ride a scooter/skate board or even a bike make them risk it in the middle of the street with the drivers not paying attention to their driving and more to the Whoville exhibit.  I would much rather them get hit from behind than me or my small children.

8.  If you are driving to the area and wish to park and walk the neighborhood, please pay attention to where you friggin’ park.  Seriously? Parking right in front of the house with the Charlie Brown Christmas exhibit works for you?  At least you could pull up six feet and not be blocking Snoopy and the Woodstock!  Really, I saw a whole family in a mini-van do this two nights ago.

7.  If you are going to partake of the goodies supplied by the local kids, give them a buck and pack out your trash!

6.  Don’t allow your kids to play tag in the sea of cool inflatable Christmas characters.  Someone is going to trip over the tie downs and get hurt and somehow it becomes the owner of the house fault.  Again, another true story only in Southern California my friends.  Now you know why Gloria Allred is so successful!

5. Why does someone feel compelled that as long as it is dark outside that it is OK to wear jammies.  It is 6:30 pm, it is not even prime time TV time yet. This goes along with my whole thing with middle-aged women not wearing jammies in public.  

4. You are not cool cruising up and down the streets standing up through your sunroof texting!  What do you think this is? South Beach? Jersey Shore? The only thing that is out looking at Christmas lights are annoyed husbands, grumpy grandparents, screaming kids and frumpy housewives. 

3. Be mindful that there are others wanting to walk along the same sidewalk as you.  So stopping in the middle of the sidewalk while texting, attending to a needed item within your stroller or adjusting yourself is considered rude and it holds everyone hostage to your narcissism. 

2. If you chose to drive instead of walk, turn off your headlights, everyone’s retinas will thank you!

 1. Parents when you let your kids get hopped on Starbucks and then they are running a muck and smack into me or my small child, do not get testy with me when I “accidentally” push them into a bush to slow them down. “Opps, I guess little Timmy should have been more careful on where he was going!  That bush just came out of no where!”

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