September 27, 2011

Flummoxed....or if GMAC is looking for a spokesperson, I'm available...

Just last year, I did a post about how it has been PROVEN that many of us suck as drivers.  You can read it here, if you are so inclined.

Today, just reinforced my belief.  Today, on the FRONT page of our local newspaper was the beginning of a full article* - with a picture diagram - about "WHAT to do when you encounter a flashing yellow arrow!"

(I expect that it will be THE lead story on tonight's local news!)

Seriously.  Here's the picture taken from the paper.


Apparently, the majority of us do not have lick of common sense; so they had to print a "How-To" guide.  ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE PAPER (like there isn't more important things to dominate the front page of the paper?  Like war, the economy, famine, a fabulous sale on shoes.....?).

The article went on to point out that the flashing yellow arrow is new to the area and that, apparently, people are confused.  Scratch that.  They aren't confused.  They are "flummoxed." (Don't you just love that word?  It's very telling; isn't it?)


A spokesperson from the local transportation department says that there have been "many" calls by "flummoxed" drivers.  Drivers who have told him "I went online and looked at my driver's manual and it doesn't say anything about them."


Even I, not the brightest bulb in the box, quickly sized up the situation the first time I was presented with the flashing yellow arrow and determined that I should proceed with caution, yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

Really, just how hard is this?

Green means go.  Yellow means slow down.  Red means stop.  And flashing yellow means proceed with caution.


Very, very basic.

But a flashing yellow arrow is cause for wide-spread panic?


Do we really need an article on the FRONT PAGE of the paper telling us this?

(Obviously we do.  Especially, since there are also cutesy signs all over the place in town telling us to "Move to the Right for Emergency Lights."  Signs, which I might add, are pretty much ignored by the general population.  And, I must say, it pretty much "flummoxes" the general population when those of us who DO KNOW what those emergency lights/sirens mean and we DO pull over ..)

But apparently, the good folks of this little city are "flummoxed" by the very idea of a flashing yellow arrow!

But, I'm really not too terribly surprised.  Especially after I checked out GMAC's website for this year's statistics for the states with the worst drivers (which, by the way, is backwards.  They post the list from Best to Worst; rather than the other way around.  I suppose they are trying to spare the Worst's feelings; or something).

Today alone I have encountered many people who are unaware of the purpose of their turn signals; people who are in a turn-only lane who decide to go straight (and cut me off, while NOT using a turn signal to let me know that "Oops!  I messed up and am in the wrong lane; please forgive me and let me over!") and countless others who are obviously "flummoxed" by the basic rules of the road.

Frankly, I'm more surprised to discover that we (as a state) have actually IMPROVED (by a hair) over last year.  This year we rank as the 16th state with the worst drivers.  Go us!  We moved OFF the "15th Worst Driver's" list!  (But dear, fellow North Carolinian's, we are STILL in the top 20  - boo!)

Keep it up, North Carolina.  At this rate, the majority of us will know how to drive by the year 2048!

And, for the record?  I'm a good driver; a VERY good driver.....despite what you may hear from my husband...he lies.

* I'd post a link, but this is an anonymous blog and the article would blow my cover....or at least, my exact location.....

Also?  Totally NOT a sponsored post....but if GMAC would like for me to be a spokesperson for how NOT to drive....I'm TOTALLY available!

September 26, 2011

He's BACK (and dammit, I need to get my stuff in order already because this is getting ridiculous)

In an effort to write a post that was upbeat (and not one whining about the humidity and what it's doing to my hair or how the gray, yucky days having been sucking the very essence out of my soul or other depressing, soul-sucking things) I was going to post about how today was the first day Man-Child was able to get back on the field.  And how HAPPY that made him.  See?

He's also all sweaty, stinky & gross again!

And then I was going to post the few pictures I managed to get of him while he was stuck on the sidelines.  And tell you about how it killed me to see him there - knowing just how badly he wanted to be on that field with his buddies (even though a *tiny* part of me was glad - because I knew he was safe and could keep an eye on him.  Unlike when he is in the middle of a massive pile of kids on the field...).

But I couldn't find them!  Anywhere!  Even though I JUST downloaded some of those damn things not five minutes ago!

I was really starting to get frustrated.  So, I just started typing and hoping against hope that *maybe* once I started typing I'd stumble across them....and that if not, well.  Then you'd just get whatever you got.

But sure enough, I finally did find them (well, I found these - which was the first batch I was looking for; but then I downloaded a different batch and those have fallen down a rabbit hole somewhere - never to be seen again) when I hit the UPLOAD button.... (which still doesn't answer the question, why can't I see them from the library?) (and really? Did any of that even make any sense?  If not, pretend it did.  Because it all makes sense to me.)

Down, but not out.  Offering encouragement & advice from the sidelines

So, the moral to this post is this...organize your damn digital files already!

(oh, that exhortation was meant for ME, not you.  You, I'm sure, already have your pictures all neatly organized and labelled.  And not haphazardly dropped everywhere between two different computers and your phone.  Nope, not you.  But me?  Well.......that would be a different story. And yeah, I'll get RIGHT on that organizing thing soon...I promise.....)

September 20, 2011

Senior Parent Night (or OH MY HELL! Really?!)

I know, I KNOW.  I've been rather quiet lately.  But I've got a GREAT excuse.....

I've been a tad stressed.

I've been writing posts left and right though....and deleting every one.  I figure just because I'm in a funk that doesn't mean that I have to share the despair; because I'm awesome like that.  You are welcome.

There has been lots going on in Gigi-land; none of it productive though.

Last week (was it only last week?) we had Senior Parent night.  This is where the guidance counselors come in and tell us all about what is expected during the Senior Year.  The deadlines; the "Must Do's;" the cost, etc.

But apparently, they don't tell us everything since there is another "mandatory" meeting in another month or so.  I guess they didn't want to overwhelm us all in one shot.

Too late.

I'm already overwhelmed.  And if I don't get my head around everything before the next meeting, I have a feeling that by then I'll feel like I'm drowning even more so than I already do.

One mom, who has been through this before, noticed the look of pure panic on my face and told me to relax.  That it will all get done.

Ummmm, yeah.  Right.  I did notice that she didn't offer to do any of the stuff....or pay for it for me though.  So we'll see.

Here's the deal, I knew Man-Child's Senior Year would be a big deal; both for us and him.  I KNEW that going in.

What I didn't know was that I would need to take out a second mortgage and a sabbatical from my job in order to get it all done and paid for....only to then turn around and start shelling out cash for college next year.


So currently, you can find me knee-deep in paperwork, with a BIG glass of wine nearby, while trying to figure out how to rob Peter to pay Paul and how to keep my wits about me enough to actually do the job that I am paid to do on a daily basis.

And just for the record; Man-Child is doing fine.  Although he's VERY anxious to get back out on the field; especially since we just lost one of our major players for the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury.  So far this year, we are racking up lots of injuries; it doesn't bode well.  But he has a doctor's appointment on Friday; and hopefully, they will clear him to play next week.  And hopefully, his mother won't have any more scares seeing her "baby" lying on the field in pain.  She's got too much other stuff to deal with right now.

September 13, 2011

An update on Man-Child (and a PSA; seriously)

As I was perusing FaceBook - which is a rare occurrence for me (especially of late), I came across a couple of pictures and realized.....I kind of left y'all hanging as far as Man-Child's injury goes.

Ooops!  Sorry about that!

But seriously??  YOU should have reminded me of this!  (Why yes; I AM making this your fault!  How very astute of you to notice)

At any rate, as you can tell from the following photos....he may be down; but he is NOT out!

The VERY astute of you will notice that he is not wearing pads and is not in uniform.....which is to say ALL of you immediately noticed this....

But he IS at the game (which is a round trip total of 4 HOURS away!  See the previous link) and he is NOT on crutches nor does he seem impaired in any way.

Which is a GOOD thing!

After a full weekend of suffering and worrying; we FINALLY got to see the orthopedic doctor (go figure; they usually have Saturday hours but, with our luck, they were closed last Saturday because the parking lot was being re-paved that day)....(if we didn't have bad luck; we'd have no luck at all!) only to discover he has a tiny tear in his MCL (jeez, I hope I got that right!).

Which basically means - no surgery.  No permanent damage.

But the only "fix" is to "rest" the tune of 2-4 weeks; according to the orthopedic doctor we met with yesterday.  Which, with our recent schedule (considering all the re-schedules to the ONE game - again see previous link - this game has been re-scheduled/cancelled at LEAST three times!) means possibly 5 games (and; if you know high school football; then you know that could be a significant amount of time to be out) that he will be sitting on the sidelines.

But considering the alternative?  I'm not complaining.  AT ALL!

Especially, considering we recently (I mean VERY recently) had a local (and I mean VERY local) player die.

The gossip was that he had a concussion that he refused to admit to - because he didn't want to sit out for requisite 10 days.

But according to the news (the real news; not the gossip) was that he was in pain (what kind, we don't know) and rather than admitting to the pain he chose to hide it.

And then chose to self-medicate - from his parent's medicine cabinet.

As a result, he accidentally over-dosed.  Another bright future snuffed out - far, FAR before his time.

According to everything I've read recently; today kids aren't dying from the stuff they can get on the street.


Today, they are dying from stuff they are finding (and sharing) in their parent's medicine cabinets.

Seriously.  If you've got stuff in your medicine cabinet that you don't need - get rid of it.  And if you need it - lock it up.

And talk to your children about the importance of 1) the dangers of prescription drugs and 2) the importance of not hiding (or self-medicating) an injury.

You have to remember that kids think they are invincible.

And kids who are athletes - REALLY think they are invincible.

This child was hurt on a Friday....he was gone by the next Wednesday....and his parents didn't have a clue.

September 10, 2011

After eight (or so) years of it; complacency sets in...

I posted once, long ago, about being a football mom.

About seeing the fears realized on the field.  And breathing a sigh of relief, while offering up prayers, that it wasn't MY kid out there hurt.

As I've mentioned many, many times before; this is a football household.  The guys in this house live and breathe football.  For them it isn't a fall sport - it is a year round sport.  One that is watched relentlessly during the season and talked about exhaustively for the rest of the year.

Honestly, I'm actually kind of surprised neither one of them has discovered the allure of fantasy football yet....but grateful at the same time.

Our season actually started a couple of weeks ago.  We had a game, in intense heat at a VERY uncomfortable field, but then - we were stalled.  We had a "bye" week.  Which basically means we had a week off.

Then we had the game (that was 2 HOURS AWAY) that was cancelled because of lightening.  Twice.   Once after we'd already driven out there and the second as we were preparing to drive out there.

And, which,if you are interested, has been re-scheduled for Monday.  Let's see what Mother Nature has to dish out on Monday.  At this point, I'm expecting a freak snow storm.  I seriously don't think we are meant to play this team.

After that, the season began in earnest.  Last night was the first home game.

We got to the field early.  We found good seats; right at the 50 yard line; and high up enough that I could see over the players on the sidelines.  After I was settled in, Hubby abandoned me; as he always does.  Apparently, all my questions irritate him.

And then I began to hear the talk around me.  How they hoped no one was injured; especially considering we had three games in less than a week due to the multiple re-schedules of the previous game; and how this is such a new team since most of the team graduated last year...this kind of talk brings out the superstitious in me.

We had the opening prayer and the National Anthem and then the game began.

Have I mentioned that Man-Child was voted in as a captain of the team this year?  It's a very big honor.  So I watched with pride as my boy strode out there with his co-captains to do the coin toss.

I also wept discreetly at the National Anthem; considering the team and the school had decided to honor the victims and the heroes of 9/11 at this game, I was extra weepy.

The boys lined up - prepared to do battle.  The first play of the game was underway.  For your information, it is very hard to keep an eye on the ball and your child in the huddled mass on the field.

The play was over and there was MY son laying on the field.

At first I thought he was just mad because he messed up his block.  He blocks the other guys from getting to our quarterback (See!  I HAVE learned a few things in all these years.  This is why I don't worry as much about him.  Since he never carries the ball, huge boys aren't looking to tackle and maim him...technically, it's his job to tackle and maim OTHER boys; and yes, I worry about those boys too!).  So, when I saw him on the field, pounding his fists, I wasn't too worried.

But then he didn't get up.

Then I got a little worried.

But figured it was just a cramp.  All the boys suffer from cramps when they play in the heat.

And then the trainer went out.  She tried to stretch his muscles.  She tried massaging the muscle.  Nothing.

Then, in horror, I watched as she assisted my boy off the field.

My only child.  My little guy!!

Needless to say, my heart was in my throat - threatening to choke the life out of me.

I fought my way out of the stands to find Hubby at the fence.  He had no idea what had happened either.

Neither one of us had seen what had actually happened when all the boys surged forward.  We waited, with our eyes glued onto our boy, completely ignoring the game that went relentlessly on after Man-Child had left the field; because as you know, the show must go on.

Finally, one of the coaches called us over.  We met the trainer and she informed us that she didn't think it was serious; but it was hard to tell with all his pads.  The doctor was with him and she walked us over to where they were.

After a quick examination, the doctor told us it was difficult to tell what was going on with the pads in place, but he didn't think it was serious.  Man-Child tried to wave us off the field; because surely 1) us being there meant it was bad or 2) how embarrassing is it to have your parents on the sidelines?

But the doctor wanted us there to reassure us.

At this point, Man-Child had tears rolling down his face.  He was SO angry that he'd hurt himself and that he was in pain.

The doctor told us he'd take Man-Child to the locker room and give him a thorough examination and let us know what was going on.

So we waited - it was agonizing.  We kept our eyes on the locker room door and not the field.

Finally he came out and told us that he thought it could be a knee sprain or possibly some torn cartilage, but probably nothing major.  But he couldn't tell us for sure until he x-rayed the knee....on MONDAY!

My boy was devastated; he couldn't finish out the game and (for now) it is unsure how long he will be out this season...two weeks?  Four weeks?  No one knows.

Me?  Well, I am completely torn up about the fact that he's been injured (in the eight or so years that he's been playing he's never suffered more than a bruise or two and once had the wind knocked out of him-and this is MY baby that we are talking about) and it kills me to know that his might possibly be the last year he'll ever get to play the sport that he loves so much (if he doesn't get a chance in college, this is it) and that he might be out for 2-4 weeks; which is basically the whole season.

I am also eternally grateful that the injury wasn't worse; because it easily could have been...

September 8, 2011

Who says that internet friendships aren't real?

Once or twice, a LONG time ago, Gretchen over at Texan Mama, posted about being afraid of beef.  Somehow this stuck in my mind.  (Probably, because I LOVE beef!  If I could eat it for every meal, I'd be good.  What can I say?  I AM from Texas after all!)

Not much else sticks in my mind.  Seriously.

Ask me what happened at this time last year.  I will look at you like you are crazy.  Ask me what was great about the summer?  No response.  Ask me about the big things that might have happened last week.  Blank stare.  Ask me what I had for breakfast this morning.  No clue.

Because that kind of minutia?  Not important.

BUT, when it comes to my friends and loved ones?  Well, then I remember ALL kinds of random stuff.  Like the fact that Gretchen is afraid of beef.  Or that Julie is obsessed over having the right picture for her (in the very far future) funeral (to be fair, I'm kind of obsessed about which picture Hubby will use for my obituary in the paper.  Yes, I'm morbid.  Or "forward thinking".  Whichever you prefer.  Either way, it is OBVIOUS to me that I will HAVE to plan my own demise down to the last damn detail and leave it somewhere where HE can find it!). Or that Looking Fab At Any Age just ADORES leopard prints.  Or that Kathryn LOVES her Cloudy (which to be honest, I'm still not quite sure what that is, but I'm convinced it's NOT chardonnay).  Or that Daddy Scratches is filled with all kinds of angst; which he shouldn't be.  Or that The Bloggess and The Best Self-Help T Shirt Catalog Ever  is overly paranoid about the Zombie Apocalypse. Or that this "in real life" friend likes her pillows to be firm.  Or that this other friend, prefers dangle-y earrings over hoops.   Or that Man-Child prefers his orange juice to have no pulp.  Or that Hubby prefers calf-length socks over ankle socks.  Or that....oh hell.  Forget it.  This list could go on forever.

So, when I was perusing a magazine today and came across an article that explains all about the different cuts of meat of the beef variety and what to do with them (stuff I'd normally skip right over to get to the shoes!) I had to stop what I was doing and go find the article online.  So I could send it to Gretchen.  (What?!  It is SO not stalking.  It was being helpful! Just ask her; she'll back me up! )

And by her reply, it once again struck me.  Despite our differences; despite the distance - we have found friends.  True friends.  Ones that you wish lived right down the street.  Truly.  You want them "right" there.  Where you could just drop in to say hi.   Or give them a recipe.  Or a hint as to where the best shoes can be found. Where you could hug them as needed.

And that yes, despite all the foibles and ickiness that the internet has to offer (can you say FaceBook?), it is still a wondrous thing.

And knowing that if I want to send a random article to a friend (thousands of miles away; that I've never officially met) that is wonderful.

And knowing that another friend (thousands of miles away; that I've never officially met) can send me all kinds of links to funny stuff, thoughtful stuff or even just pictures of shoes that I might like.  Well that, my friends, is priceless.

September 6, 2011

These Things Hidden

Remember how I told you all that yesterday I was going to as little as humanly possible (after posting that ridiculously long post)?

Well, I may have lied a little bit.  I did get the car cleaned out (it SERIOUSLY needed it - this was brought to my attention after being shoved into the backseat for a ridiculously long time on Friday night); I finished some laundry and did a little paperwork.....

What?!  A woman's work is never done!

But after all that I did absolutely nothing but read.  I read Heather Gudenkauf's These Hidden Things straight through.  Non-stop.

Seriously.  This book was too good to put down.  The twists, the turns, the plot was wonderful.  And, from what I understand, it was only her second novel.  I'm thinking there will be much more from this writer.

The book starts out with a young woman being released from prison.  Before heading off to prison as a teenager - for a heinous crime - she was "the" golden girl of her town.  The exceptional student.  The five-sport athlete.  This girl had everything going for her.  And lost it all one dark night.

This story follows what happens after her release.  It is told in different narratives.  From Allison's point of view, her sister's and few other key characters.  The sister's are harboring a dark and painful secret.

The last few chapters will grip you and when you close the book, you will want to immediately flip back to page one to start it over again.

I'm thinking this would make one hell of a movie - are you listening Hollywood?  They say all the good ideas have already been used and that's why there are so many remakes.  I'm thinking maybe they need to start reading a bit more.  There are still good ideas out there and it's usually found in a book.

September 5, 2011

Whew! What a weekend! (or, I'm glad that's over!)

Fair warning - it's a long one; so go grab a cup of coffee or something before we get started.

Being the ever resourceful girl that I am, when I realized it was Labor Day weekend I scheduled an extra day off on Thursday.  My company is kind enough to give us both the Friday before as well as Labor Day Monday off, so by taking Thursday I gave myself a really long weekend.  Thank goodness I did.

But now I'm thinking I should have also taken tomorrow off - in order to recuperate.

Thursday wasn't too bad, all things considered.  The only items on the agenda were to finally find my husband a suit (remember this has been a priority for a while now, as well as a bone of contention), look for a pair of shoes for my dress for the wedding and meet some friends for a movie.

We found the suit in pretty short order; funny how once I get involved things seem to actually get accomplished.  And, since we had each taken our cars so I could continue on with looking for shoes and meeting my friends, I sent him on his way.  And I proceeded to look for shoes.  I didn't find what I was looking for but....I did find these.  Aren't they pretty?

As I mentioned on Twitter - I HAD to get them as they were such a steal and they looked lonely.  So I brought them home with me.  They seem happy in their new home.

Anyway, then I drove over to the theater to meet up with friends.  We went to see The Help.  I loved this movie (I definitely need to read the book!) but I think I need to go see it again simply because one of my friends is a chatterbox.  Well, to be fair, she didn't chat through the whole movie but I could hear her making whispered comments to my other friend who was sitting in the middle.  It distracted me, plus although I love these two friends they aren't the kind that you can sob openly at a movie with.  I need to go with a different friend and we will both sob uncontrollably together.

Friday found me once again searching for the perfect pair of shoes for the wedding.  I found myself driving all over the place (I really should have kept that in mind since I knew what was in store for me).  Nothing.  So, I came home to meet up with Hubby.  Where we then began the two hour drive to Man-Child's football game. Through a wicked storm.  The whole time Hubby was worrying about whether or not they would play and commenting on how irritated he would be if they didn't.

As I'm sure you've guessed (or know, if you read my tweets) the game was cancelled.  So we got to get right back in the car for the journey home.  Basically, a four hour round trip for no reason.  They've re-scheduled the game for Tuesday.  Because I'm crazy like that I am actually considering taking off a little early tomorrow to try and make the game.  Yes, I'm insane, I know that.  Especially considering there is talk of more storms tomorrow....

We didn't get home until after 11:00 pm.  I finally got to bed around midnight.  Which wouldn't have been bad except for the fact that I had to set the alarm for 5:00 am because on Saturday, Man-Child and I were scheduled to go on a college visit.  The college is a good three hours away.

This particular college did a GREAT job at selling themselves.  Our day consisted of an introduction to the school followed by a "meet and greet" with some of the faculty.  This was great has Man-Child was able to talk to one of the football coaches.  After the meet and greet we took a tour of the campus; which was gorgeous.  We were then treated to a very nice lunch and were given complimentary tickets for their season-opening football game.

It was a great experience - although I thought we might die from heat exhaustion before it was all over.  As you can see,  Man-Child really enjoyed the game.

Until the game was called on account of lightening.

After the college visit, we stopped and had dinner with my step-daughter.  Since we were so close we had to see her.  Then we hopped back in the car and began the three hour drive home.  Needless to say, I was beyond exhausted by the time we walked in the door around 9:30 pm.  As you can imagine, I fell into bed and (surprise, surprise) slept for over nine hours!  I can't even remember the last time I did that!

Sunday morning dawned with a list a mile long of things that needed to be accomplished before attending the Wedding of the Century.  There was laundry to be done, shirts that needed to be ironed, toes to be polished and shoes to be found.

When pressed for time, I found the perfect way to get those toes dry.  It's multitasking at it's finest.  Paint the toes, put on a pair of flip flops and head for the door.  Get in the car and set the air conditioning on high and set the controls as so...

And the a/c will then proceed to dry your pedicure as you continue your search for the perfect pair of shoes.

Luckily, I found a pair that would work at the first stop....they weren't exactly what I had in mind, but they would do.

After returning home in triumph, we proceeded to get ready for the wedding.  As you can see, we clean up okay.

In retrospect, I probably should have worn my hair down, but I'm glad I didn't simply because it was so hot!  It was nice to not have it on my neck and the humidity would have ruined it anyway.

The wedding ceremony was beautiful and the reception was stunning.  I wish I'd thought to take more pictures.  But I didn't.  I did capture this though

It was fun to see the boss being man-handled by the crowd.

Today's agenda is to do as little as humanly possible (with the exception of writing this ridiculously long post). But, you know.....

I really should clean out my car; finish the laundry; take care of some paperwork; clean the bathrooms.....