Archive for December, 2012


Oh, a holiday weekend

Time to run, run, runholiday couple

Worst parking spot ever!!

Isn’t this fun?

 

Don’t forget the teachers,

and the mailman and your boss

I’m blinded by the light

Of my neighbors neon cross

 

The kids are running crazy now

with tiny frantic eyes

Santa Claus is watching

so no more little lies

 

Dad hasn’t started yet

with two days left to spare!

Mom’s been out for months

and pulled out most her hair.

 

It’s great to be done now

Just need to sit and wrap

Son of a….forgot the stockings

To Target for more crap

 

Gained 7 pounds since Turkey day

Look like a Christmas ham!

Shit! Forgot my neighbor

Maybe I’ll re-gift this jam?

 

Griswolds on the TV set

makes the season bright

White Christmas is coming next

Ignoring husband’s plight.

 

Finally done with everything

Can’t make me go back out!

Mother.*@….! Cookies for Santa

Now mom is gonna pout!

 

Last time to the store I swear

Or so I’d like to think…

I’ll get some baileys while I’m there

At least I can have a drink!

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Dearest Friends and Family and Strangers,

Once again the Christmas/Holiday season is upon us. It seems that 2012 was our busiest year yet! That is why you are reading this on your computer instead of an adorable, yet creative picture of our family in your mailbox. For all of you that did manage to get yours out on time- suck it! Alas, I knew I had to do something. Constant photos of my kids, daily FB status updates, and my blog is just not enough. Here are some things that you wish you knew about our family:

Ellis- What a little stinker this baby has turned into! I’m pretty sure she already knows how to give dirty looks and I swear the other day she rolled her eyes at me. She is awfully cute though, so it doesn’t seem that bad.

Likes: getting her way, tackling her brother, pooping, and throwing broccoli on the floor.

Dislikes: napping, being told ‘NO’, broccoli

She is also very good at brushing her teeth and blowing her nose. (We are pretty sure she is gifted)

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Will- Have you seen the movie Elf? That’s Will. He loves to smile, smiling is his favorite. Will has glasses that are adorable and says things that are adorable.

Likes: pretending to be an animal, treats, cuddling, and being tickled

Dislikes: Aunt Brooke’s beans, bed time, having to leave Nana’s house (or pretty much anywhere…ever)

He also runs really fast, “like a cheetah” (We are pretty sure he is gifted).

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Brent: What can I say about Brent? He is probably the best husband and father in the world (yes, better than yours). When I asked Brent what he wanted to share in this family newsletter, he said something like “No one gives a shit about what happened to me this year. Those things are stupid.” (I may have taken some artistic liberties on that quote, but I think I captured his holiday spirit.)

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Me: Well, I have pretty much wrapped up my modeling career (I wanted to spend more time with my family). Other than that, I don’t have much. I don’t want it to sound like I am bragging. As for 2013, I plan to continue the ol’ 9 to 5, 1. because I love my job and 2. because I did not win the mega millions. I feel pretty good about my chances next year though.

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I hope you enjoyed our family update. Wishing you a happy ‘whatever’!

gunsBefore I get too far into my opinions, I would like to make a couple of things very clear. I am going to be as fair as humanly possible in this post. I am not going to get crazy, and blame all of our problems on the NRA, or attack gun owners. So please take the time to read through the whole blog and I would love to hear what you think in the comments section. I think we can make a big difference if we have mature dialog. I am not an expert, and either are most of you. For one second, I wish we could all just keep an open mind.

Times they are a changin’…. As all of you know by now, there was a horrific tradgedy that happened on Friday morning. Beautiful innocent lives were taken too soon by a monster who carried a gun. When I heard the news, I immediately posted something on Facebook about how the conversation had to begin on gun control. Some people took issue with my comment saying that it was too soon to start this conversation. I saw other people post things about keeping your politics to yourselves in respect for the fallen. I, respectfully, disagree. I don’t think it is too soon to have the conversation, I think it is too late! And, I don’t think that speaking up in this way is in any way disrespectful. It is thru my outrage and sadness at their unnecessary deaths that urges me to speak. Below I am going to lay out some ideas and I hope you consider them.

We (of course) need better mental health care in the United States. Medical experts have been saying this for years. We can replace your joints with lasers and kill your viruses from space, but our mental health care for majority of our citizens is stuck in the dark ages. We need to invest more of our time, money, and research in identifying these troubled individuals and helping them before tragedy happens. We also need to de-stigmatize mental health disorders and educate parents on what to look for in their children. Unfortunately, people with mental health disorders do not hold down stable jobs with insurance and see a doctor regularly. This point alone is a whole other post, but I think you get what I am saying.

We need to completely re-think guns and gun control. Now, I am not saying we need to get rid of guns completely. I don’t think that is the answer. I have seen a thousand posts and memes and status updates on how ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’. No shit. Obviously, it is people that kill people. The point I would like to make is that it shouldn’t be EASY. It should not be easy to take out 30 people in a school, mall, movie theater, etc. I know that you can kill people with knives, with baseball bats, and with your bare hands. But, it is a heck of lot harder! There was a horrible story out of China too, where a man went into a school with a knife. The difference is that those children didn’t die. It’s horrible, it’s sad, it’s traumatic, it’s unthinkable, but those kids got to go home to their parents.

Let’s think about the right to bear arms. When this was written, automatic weapons didn’t exist. There is no way our fore-fathers could have known how our world was going to change. And, a lot of our thoughts have changed with the times. We evolved on slavery and women’s right and hopefully soon marriage equality. I don’t believe that a right to bear arms means that you have a right to automatic weapons and as many guns as you want.

Why don’t we make less deadly guns? Why don’t we make only guns that shoot 2 rounds a time and it takes a minute to reload? Let’s think about why we ‘want’ guns.

1. To protect your family/property. I get that. If you want to have a gun in your home to protect you from crime, great. You do not need an automatic weapon for that. Two rounds and reload. (That burglar now has to hope that you are a bad shot).

2. Hunting. Great. I know that this is a huge hobby and lifestyle for many people. If you want a hunting rifle, go for it. Two rounds and reload.

3. Sport. Some people enjoy shooting guns. I don’t really get this one, but I respect that. Two rounds and reload.

4. Collections. If you are a gun collector, it really should not matter how many rounds you can get off.

Those are the only legit, non-violent reasons to want a gun. Did I miss anything?

Regulation! This goes without saying. We need to enforce the laws that we have and then some. You shouldn’t be able to buy any ammunition without a gun license that matches the bullets you are trying to buy and show a photo ID. If your gun is stolen and you had it ‘under your mattress’ or some other easy to access place, you should be penalized (i.e. a kid taking his dad/moms gun). If you want more than one gun, you should have to wait one year between each purchase and have to pass a psychological evaluation every time! I could go on and on. Again, though, the argument I am trying to make is that it shouldn’t be easy.

So, what about the argument that making these guns illegal is not going to work. I saw the argument on-line that it’s not working with drugs, so why would it work with guns. Well, there are about 700 reasons why these two things can’t really be compared, but I’ll name a few. I can grow a pot plant in my house, or make meth, but I can’t make guns. Guns are a lot harder to manufacture. Drugs can’t be detected with metal detectors. You can’t smuggle guns into the country by putting them up your butt. Okay, I’m being a little sarcastic there, but trying to make a point. Of course there will be a black market for these weapons. There is ALWAYS a black market! But the average 16-year-old kid that snaps and wants to shoot up his school probably doesn’t have a lot of black market gun contacts.

Another thing that I saw all over the internet this weekend is comments about ‘if only god were allowed in our schools’. I take huge issue with this! Yes, if only that shooter had been exposed to more god, maybe he wouldn’t have done what he did. It didn’t work with in the actual church with people that had dedicated their life to god. If ‘crazy’ can happen to a priest, it can happen to anyone and has nothing to do with prayer. I don’t want to make this a religious argument, but don’t blame a lack of prayer/worship in our schools as the reason this happened. If this had anything to do with god, I would be more concerned with how he let this happen. It wasn’t gods fault, it wasn’t ‘not-gods’ fault. It just happened and it sucks.

More guns? ‘If more people were armed, people would be afraid to break the law….’ Are we going to start arming our children in schools? The teachers? More weapons doesn’t work for school shootings. Not to mention, getting shot is not a very big deterrent for someone who plans on killing themselves anyway.

Security? People argue that we just simply need more security at our schools. Well, you’re probably right. We do need better security. But, what about when they are out on the playground? Are we going to get rid of recess? Are we going to close public parks, libraries, etc. We can’t possibly tighten security of planet earth.

Okay, I’ve rambled on long enough. I was going to go into gun buy-back programs and penalties for carrying illegal weapons, etc. but I’m sure you’re sick of reading.

Something has to change and the time is now! I saw something on-line that said there have been 30 school shootings since Columbine. We should be ashamed of ourselves! Our selfishness, our politics, and our stubborn outdated beliefs are preventing meaningful change. We need to get over ourselves and what we think we are entitled to. Unfortunately, we are never going to get rid of crazy, we are never going to get rid of violence, but I firmly believe, if we work together on a compromise, we can make it harder to take innocent lives.

Fake Holiday Gift Ideas

Here are some things that don’t exist but they should!santa cartoon

1. One Free Nap: can be used anytime, whether at home, work, or after sex- no questions asked. May be exchanged for sleeping in.

2. 10 Pounds Off: Redeemable at any fitness center or drug store. Only lasts 3 months, but requires no work.

3. Get-out-of-hangover-free card: Use wisely. You don’t want to waste this on a simple red wine head ache. You want to save this up for the night where you swear you are only going to have 3 drinks and you realize that you are F’d at 3 am after doing shots of jager like a college student (or so I’ve heard).

4. A perfect family photo: Any mom out there knows what I am talking about. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get 4 (+) people to look directly at a camera and smile?! And, when that happens, do you know how often the mom looks good? About 5%. I’m talking, this gift card is for: “Who are all of those gorgeous people posing with that super model?”

5. One ‘go back in time’ moment: This is only to be used for those times when you think to yourself “Ah! I should have said…..” It’s always 30 mins. later when you think of the perfect comeback/zinger/joke.

6. One ‘fix it’ card: This is good for one husband chore. It’s automatic, done in an hour, no whining, the right way.

7. One automatic argument victory card: No questions asked. You just win AND you get a legit apology from your spouse/GF/BF. And, I am not talking about a ‘I’m sorry you feel that way kind of apology’. A real one! Like: ‘I’m sorry. You’re smart, I am stupid. You’re beautiful, I am not attractive at all. You’re a goddess of perfection, I am just a lucky SOB that gets to sleep next to you.’

8. Well behaved children for 12 hours: Again, use this wisely. You may need to visit grandparents, maybe you’re traveling across country, or maybe you wasted your ‘hangover card’ too early and you had your cousins wedding last night and you drank red bull and vodka all night and at 3 am you were doing push ups… and, I mean, so I’ve heard.

 

Happy Holidays!!!! What do you wish you could get for Christmas?

 

Me, drunk

This weekend my husband and I were discussing how predictable I am when I am drinking. We were at a holiday party, but this could be weddings, birthdays, Tuesdays, etc. We were able to name quite a few behaviors that are pretty consistent. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, here is a little peek into my world when I drink.vegas pic

1. I LOVE YOU! I do! I love you. I want to give you high-fives and hugs and we should totally hang out more often. Why DON’T we hang out more often? Everyone is my best friend and we have a lot to talk about.

2. I LOVE THIS SONG! I do! I love that song and I haven’t heard it in years and I know every word. And, not only do I know every word, I will rap along and would like for you to shut up and listen. You should be impressed with my white girl rapping skills and you should tell me about it. I pretty much like everything from Jethro Tull to Too Short and everything in between (Except Pink, I really don’t like Pink. Or, Kelly Clarkson. Or, Taylor Swift. But everything else is my favorite).

3. I am easily offended! Don’t get me wrong, I love you, but “what is that supposed to mean?!” I can easily take an innocent comment and turn it into some kind of insult. Here is an example (made up for storytelling purposes).

Me: (singing along to some amazing song that I haven’t heard in years)

Brent (my husband): I don’t think those are the right words.

Me: What? You don’t think I know the words to Candyman’s Knocking the Boots?! What are you trying to say? What? Do you think I’m too drunk? You’re the one that’s drunk! Oooh, boy I love you so. Never ever ever gonna let you go. Oooh, boy I love you so…..

4. I dance! Now, I take great pride in my drunk dancing. I do the typical drunk white girl dancing with the arms in the air, eyes closed, woohoo, etc. But, I also like to prove that I have non-white girl moves so I am also trying to drop it like it’s hot, and demonstrate that my hips (much like Shakira’s) don’t lie.

5. I will beat you at that game! I am serious. If it is a game that can be done while drinking, I will win. And, if by some miracle, I don’t win- I don’t love you anymore. It could be bean bags, beer pong, darts, quarters…..Hell, it could be throwing wads of paper into a bucket- I will beat you. I have like a 2-10 drink range where I excel. Before 2, I’m not loosened up yet. After 10, all bets are off: I’ll be playing darts, having 4 different conversations, oooh, I love this song! Seriously, why don’t we hang out more?

Very Likely Bad Haikus

A haiku for you

You don’t even have to share!

What did you get me?

 

Music of our times

What a bunch of crap burgers!

I sound like my dad

 

Wind whispers to me

The secrets of her lost youth

I feel her pain

 

Haikus are the best

’cause they don’t have to make sense

Perpendicular

The Welfare Debate

welfareThis blog post was inspired by two of my dear friends. They are infuriating and disagree with me on everything but I love them. One of them forwarded me a story about a woman who makes her living by having babies. She has the baby, tells the state she can’t take care of them, the grandma steps in to foster, and the state gives her money every month to raise them. Repeat! In other words, she is taking advantage of the system. My friends blame people like me (liberals) for allowing this to happen. Situations like this make them angry. What they don’t realize is that stories like this make liberals angry too! This is not what anyone wants. We just have very different ideas of how to fix the problem. By the way, I am no expert. I am just someone who seems to have a ton of opinions. Here is what I believe we need:

1. Regulation/Reform

2. Education (academics)

3. Education (behavioral)

4. Social Programs

5. High paying jobs

Regulation: I think we can all agree that these services should be regulated a little better (okay, a lot better). We need safety nets, but they shouldn’t be permanent regardless of behavior. One example is, after you are ‘in the system’ for having a child you cannot support on your own, the benefits should decrease dramatically for subsequent off-spring. This will prevent the people who have 8 babies all with public aide. (This may already exist by the way. I am NOT an expert). But, along with these rules, we need support to the women. If this happens without education, there is no point (see below). We need to get rid of the loop holes that allow people to work for 2 months a year so that they can collect unemployment the other 10 months. The catch- this costs money to do properly. And it’s the kind of money republicans hate the most- Up front money. We need to invest more money into these programs on the front end to save us money on the back end.

Education (academics): The best way to keep women from getting pregnant too early and falling into the system is education! The more likely a girl is to graduate highschool, college, trade school, etc, the less likely she is to get pregnant. We have to identify our high risk individuals and INVEST in them. Are schools are failing them, the parents are failing them, and we expect them to some how pull themselves up by their boot straps and make something of themselves. I agree as much as anyone that the parents have accountability here, but the parents themselves aren’t educated and don’t know what to do, aren’t able to, don’t speak english, or sadly don’t care. We need to break this cycle before these kids have babies and start the process all over again. “Invest and grow”. If we (tax payers) don’t invest in prevention/education, we pay with public aide down the road. Bad schools, bad neighborhoods, affect everyone! Educating women changes communities, changes generations. Educated women have fewer babies, they have babies older, and they can typically pay for them.

Education (behavioral): What I mean by this is sex ed, education on contraception, and education on sexual assault/date rape/rape/incest. Many of these women in the system are having their first babies after some type of assault. These crimes go un-reported, un-punished, and even un-realized. The women have a lot of shame and have no support system. Or, they falsely believe that a baby will make everything better. If you are sitting there judging these women or not believing me when I say that they don’t know any better, you need to talk to some of the social workers that work with these women. There are so many sad stories that never get told. If you grow up without a loving parent, and everything you were exposed to was negative, violent, and insecure, where do you expect them to learn other wise?

Social Programs: This has almost become a dirty word in politics. So has planned parenthood. When I think about the problem of too many children in the system, the logical answer that pops into my head is- let’s have less children. The more pregnancies we can prevent the better. If we, as a country, can increase the average age of a woman getting pregnant with her first baby, we can save billions of dollars (not just with welfare, but health care). Planned Parenthood does this. They provide contraception and education as well as pre-natal and general wellness care (also saves us money). If we keep cut pre-natal care, we have more expensive emergency deliveries that no one can pay for and expensive special needs children that will be in the system. Again, back to money on the front end, saves money on the back end. $1 in prevention, saves $3 in treatment. Fact.

Higher Paying Jobs: This is a big one! If under-educated individuals could actually get jobs that paid a decent wage and got insurance from their employers, maybe they would be more inclined to work. It gets pretty discouraging when you can’t earn enough to support your family because you earn minimum wage. And, sadly, it’s getting worse. Companies are cutting hours to avoid having give their employees health care. (Actually, companies have been doing this for years, now they can conveniently blame Obama care.) What do you think happens now? The employees have to supplement with public aide. Wal-Mart is one of the biggest contributors to this problem. They don’t pay their employees enough money, or give them enough hours to earn benefits, so they qualify for aide. Meanwhile, what happens to the CEO? When you have a business, you have a responsibility to your employees. All this fuss with Papa Johns and claiming they can’t afford insurance for their employees? I get that the individual shop owners aren’t rich like ‘the papa’ but there are other options besides lay offs. 1. Their corporate office could allow for a .5% decrease from the franchise owners, or 2. They could charge 10 cents more per pizza! I’m fine with paying 10 more cents if it means that people can support their families because now they have insurance. If we pay people more money, less of them are getting ‘free’  money.

If a woman can make more money having babies than she can make working for a living, something is wrong with our system. I think we can all agree on that. I am open to any and all suggestions, but I really don’t think blind cuts are the answer.

By the way, if you are wondering how much federal welfare spending goes to the ‘non-working’ poor, it’s about 10%. I bet you thought it was more.

Holiday Cocktails

Let me start by painting a picture for you: I am driving home from the grocery store last night, listening to the radio, lost in my thoughts. I just stopped and picked up a couple bottles of liquer in anticipation of making some new, winter cocktails. This is what ran through my brain- ‘In-home date night with the hubby, making some fancy cocktails/martinis, sushi for dinner, the house is all decorated, Oooh! Baby Got Back!’ Sir Mix A Lot came on the radio and reminded me that I am NOT, in fact, fancy. I also don’t have martini glasses so I drank my martini’s out of a margarita glass.

So yesterday I posted on Candysbrain blog facebook page (you should like it by the way if you haven’t already) that I needed some good ideas for some new cocktails. I am in a bit of a drinking rut- going to the same things over and over. I wanted to spice it up with a holiday cocktail that you can cozy up with. I got a couple of replies and did a little bit of research and created a few of my own. I thought I would share with you and perhaps brighten up your holidays (or at least help you tolerate your relatives). Here are my four faves-

1. Harvey Wallbanger: I, of course, did not create this drink. My husband is a huge OJ fan (the drink not the murderer) and so this was a no-brainer when we saw it.

1 oz. Vodkaharvey wallbanger

3 oz. Orange Juice

1/4 oz. Amaretto (drizzled on top)

Garnished with an orange slice

2. Bailey’s Holiday Mint Martini: I made up this name. It may very well have a real name out there somewhere.

2 oz. Bailey’s original

1 0z. Peppermint schnapps

Shaken, not stirred. Poured over chocolate drizzle in the martini glass. Garnish with mint leaf if you are fancy.

3. White Christmas Martini: Again, made up the name. Still my favorite holiday movie (Sisters….sisters…)

1 oz. Vodka

1 oz. Amaretto

1 oz. Heavy cream

Sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. Shaken up good. (Chocolate would be yummy here too, but might ruin the white xmas theme).

4. Hot cider rum: I love this drink! This is one of those drinks that you don’t feel guilty about starting at 10am. There are a million versions of this drink out there. Here is one option:

1 part rum (either spiced like Captains or Bacardi, depends on your preference)

2 parts apple cider (Although, if you want a stiff drink you could use less. I like to use less)

1-2 Lemmons, cut in slices

1-2 Cinnamon sticks

Heat up in big stock pot or crock pot, serve in mugs. A true hot-toddy.

Hope this helps you get drunk in style this winter. Let me know what you think or if you have any drinks you recommend. I am always interested in trying something new!