Friday, January 27, 2012

Y'Know What Really Grinds My Gears?

Did you see what I did there?  I made a Family Guy reference.  Didja catch it?

All sorts of things are just bugging me this week.  And we all know misery loves company, therefore I present to you my list of irritants.

  • It's been COLD.  Yes, I know it's Alaska.  Yes, I know it's supposed to be cold.  Yes, I know I hate the heat and therefore try to never complain about the cold.  But I am getting TIRED of it!  We had one of the coldest Novembers on record and now one of the coldest Januarys.  It's cold, it's dark, we can't go out and do anything... I'm over it!!  Please remind me of this post in July when I start whining that it's 85° and nothing is air conditioned.
  • Amy Winehouse is dead.  She's been dead for a while now.  She was no revolutionary.  She was a dopehead who happened to have some musical talent.  Which she totally wasted by choosing to remain a dopehead.  Sure, a new CD released posthumously is to be expected, I suppose.  But the way people are still talking about her and pumping out calendars, clothing, you name it... it's just absurd.
  • The stomach flu (or, more likely, some mutant virus) has had a hold on our house for over a week now.  We have all been feeling terrible, tired, and cranky.  The other night I threw up 13 times in 6 hours.  OVER IT.
  • Hate to shatter anyone's dreams with this one, but none of the presidential candidates (from any party) is the next Messiah. No one has a magic wand that can fix what's wrong in a day, a week, a month or even a year.  Let's just all try to educate ourselves, watch debates, be mindful of where information comes from before we believe it, and vote with our hearts and our heads.  And for the love of all that is holy, please do vote.
  • Speaking of being mindful of where information comes from, I swear I'm going to unleash this irritated fury on the next person who sends me a stupid email based on nothing but tinfoil hat paranoia about something the president or Congress or someone is doing.  Yesterday it was "OMG! Effective immediately, we all have to pay 3.8% sales tax when we sell our house!!"  Puh-lease.  Do some freaking research before you pass that crap on.  The only way to kill a parasite (lie) is to starve it (not forward it).
  • Two months in a row now, our electric bill has been over $220.  This is ridiculous.  The bill I just got yesterday was for $227.  Of that, $87 was electricity.  The rest was for the oil they use to generate the electricity itself (and a few fees/taxes).  What?  Are you telling me there's no better way and no one's getting rich out of this deal?  I'm not buying it.  This means that between heat, water, and electricity, it cost us almost $600 last month just to not freeze to death and to be able to bathe and drink water.  I'm angry.
  • Did I mention we are still paying more for gas than the vast majority of the country?  Did I mention we have a refinery within 20 miles where the crap is made?  Yeah.  You have to run your car a lot when it's -45°... it's not cheap.
Don't get me wrong, most of everything here is just peachy.  We all have a bad week now and then, no?

So, what's grinding your gears?!

(On one happy note, go check out my CRAFTY BLOG if you haven't already... I've been busy!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Words to Live By

This morning, a friend tweeted a link to a post on a blog I'd never seen before.  It is just three sentences, but they are powerful.  And I wish everyone thought more like this.  Our world would be a much better place.

"One option is to struggle to be heard whenever you're in the room...
Another is to be the sort of person who is missed when you're not.
The first involves making noise. The second involves making a difference."

Read that again.  And a third time, if you think it's worth it.

YES!

I like to think I'm in the second crowd, but I suppose most of us would.

I used to catch a lot of heat for being the quiet and shy type.  Still do, now and then.  But school was the worst.  From grade school all the way until I graduated, I was known as the quiet type.  I was recently referred to by an old classmate as "a brainy one."  Uhh... thanks?

Truth is, I get a lot more out of listening to others, and watching others, than I do out of being heard myself in most situations.  Sure, I have stuff to say now and then like anyone does, but I'm not a person who thinks their ideas will change the world.  I think some people like that are presumptuous, even if they're right and they're brilliant.  Even if going out of their way to be heard means more personal or professional success, a higher paying job, or a new invention that will do the laundry while I'm at work.  (Okay, okay, I'd forgive that person if I got a free prototype.) 

I may be intelligent enough to dress myself in the morning and I may be educated according to a piece of paper in my file cabinet, but I don't believe I am superior to anyone else and I like that about myself.  The guy who picks up our trash on the curb on Wednesdays is quite possibly more intelligent, or educated, or creative, or business savvy, or a better parent, than I am.  I don't feel threatened by that.  And that's why I'm okay letting others talk while I listen.  Maybe I'll learn something.  A new idea, a different perspective.

I'm not threatened, either, by people whom I disagree with about politics or other issues.  I don't believe that someone is automatically wrong, mistaken, misinformed or stupid if we don't agree about who the best president would be or where our tax dollars should go.  Everything that person has experienced in their life has led them to the beliefs they have; who am I to say that their experiences are any less important than mine? I think that a discussion with someone who is on the other side of an issue from me can only bring me more knowledge and more tolerance.

Besides... I'd always rather be the type that is missed rather than heard.  If I'm missed, that means someone cares about me.  If I'm heard, it means someone else has ears.

That's a no-brainer.

Friday, January 6, 2012

One of Those Obnoxious Parenting Stories

Now that Aidan is in the big-boy room at school (read: no longer in the infant room), we have a new dropoff routine. There are two classrooms for his age side by side.  His teacher doesn't actually start work until 15-20 minutes after I drop off, so our new morning routine is that we go into his classroom, take off his coat, hang it up in his cubby, then walk next door and play in the other classroom with that teacher.  Then when his teacher gets in she picks him up. About a half-hour after I drop him off, once he's back in his own classroom, they have breakfast.  It's good food, too.  Pancakes, waffles, french toast, something like that, along with a fruit and milk, usually.

So this morning we went in, took off his coat, and as I was trying to get it hung up, I had my back turned to him. (Mind you we were the only two people in the classroom.) When I turned back toward him, he had marched over to the wall where they keep the little plastic chairs. He took one off the top of the stack, put it on the floor, pushed it over to the little table where they eat their meals. He climbed in it, looked around for a minute, looked at the table in front of him, looked around the room again, looked at the (offensively empty) spot on the table in front of him, and gave me a look that I can only describe as, "dude... where are the pancakes?!?!"

Oh, I could have died.  I don't think he appreciated how hard I laughed at him, but this may have been the cutest thing I have ever seen.  No discussion, no asking permission (which normally comes in the form of pointing at something and going "eh? eh?"), nothing.

He just took charge.

Because for crying out loud, what's a toddler gotta do to get some pancakes around here?!

Yup. That's my boy.