Friday, August 31, 2007

What do I need to do to get a little windshield washer solvent around here?

Well now that I have finally stepped down from my soap box over the bus fiasco, I am ready to move on to the next community service project; service stations. More specifically, service stations that do not regularly maintain their windshield washer solvent containers. Those stations that lack regular maintenance in that department should not legally be allowed to refer to themselves as "service stations" but rather just stations. It was one thing when you could fill your tank for $20 bucks. But now that one must literally hemorrhage dollar bills for a fill-up we better damn well get 25 cents worth of solvent.

Case in point: Marathon Station, today, corner of University and Northmoor. The entire front of my car is a curtain of bugs from our last minute sprint to Chicago to see the Oprah Winfrey show. I have about 4.2 minutes to dash to my first appointment. Of course, no solvent. Why is this just never an emergency to them?? So I stomp in and announce there is no windshield solvent in any of the bins. The attendant treated it with the degree of urgency that it merited, and grudgingly hauled out a bucket of diluted solvent. God forbid they waste an entire 99 cent container of solvent in one pop. The attendant looks in the bin, sees that there is still 1/2" of water remaining in there and states "You said it was empty"! Me: It is empty, thats not solvent, that is fly soup. Have you ever got a whiff of that stuff when it gets down to the end? I swear you can smell it whafing in to the car from the A/C vents.

I would just love it if one the Peoria portals (peoria.com?) could set up a forum where citizens can share information on the status of the local windshield washer solvent dispensers. I'll bet they would get some HUGE page counts on that one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Live blog from the Crowne Plaza in Chicago

Present are Tamara Krupps, Laura Martin, Tori Michaels, and yours truly.

Tamara: I have established my dominance over this herd

Diane: I am not sleeping with chicks

Laura: a weak "hi" thats all she's got

Tori: Wishin you'd get off that damn computer

We will be off bright and early to see the Oprah show. Taping 7:00am... wakeup call...5:00am....

Thanks to Aspen who just brought our bottle opener. Tamara has not mastered the art of opening Corona's with her teeth. here's a "shout out" to all single dentists - more later

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I am having an emotional affair...

I confess. Here it is in black and white: Redbook, August 2007, "When you share your innermost thoughts, funny jokes, and interesting personal experiences, save them up and spill to someone other than your spouse, you are having an emotional affair." So folks, there it is. Up until now, I thought blogging was just innocent fun, but thanks to Redbook, the light has now been shed on my sinful ways. So lest I be judged as a harlot, I will now limit my comments and posts to facts and statistics. No longer will readers be privy to any of my personal thoughts, and jokes are purely out of the question. I request that you adhere to these new procedures when commenting, likewise. Thank you for your cooperation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

and I ain't talking about Christmas. A complete and total peace has settled over our household. A warm contented feeling of a job well done! We have successfully nurtured the kids through the pre-school years and the first is off to Kinder-garten! Whoo-hoo! Most who know me predicted tears, gut-wrenching sobs, a classic scene of a distressed mother outside her child's classroom. Don't get me wrong, I saw plenty of that-I just wasn't among them. One distressed Mom looked at me with her tear-streaked face and commented "It's tough isn't it?" Me: "Uh, no". I mean seriously, consider the alternative. Our family and friends have seen plenty of tough situations over the past few years - prematurity, childhood cancer, autism. So much that I'm just not going to mourn my kid going off to K-garten. Instead, I'll experience this milestone with the joy and celebration that it deserves! And if at some point over the next week or two a lump develops in my throat, I'll just lift my lower leg, bend it at the knee, and kick myself hard in the a**!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Relationship Advice - Cheap!

While waiting in line at Kroger's I usually ignore the headlines screaming out from the rows of tabloids. Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and the likes of them are silly, empty headed ninnies with a warped opinion of their own relevance as far as I'm concerned. But put a compelling story of Brad and Angelina on the cover and I'm buyin it! The reason for the fascination should be somewhat obvious...Brat Pitt is... well, Brad Pitt. And Angelina is so complex it is just downright fun to try to apply the Freudian theories one learned in High School to explain her behavior.

Last week, one of the tabloids reported that Brangelina is on the outs. They just can't seem to get it together. A hard concept to comprehend when you figure each of them has just about anything they could ever possibly need or want. So what could be eating at them? I've been giving their relationship a little thought, and just in case they read my blog, thought I'd pass along these little pearls. Hey, if it works out, I might start a column along the lines of the Ladies Home Journal's "Can this marriage be saved?" My emphasis though would be on Peoria couples, of course.

First off, Angelina needs to make up with her Dad. If she sees no benefit to herself, then she should do so in the pure interests of the children. Children should not be deprived of the wisdom and guidance that can be provided through loving grandparents. Holding on to her anger for his past transgressions would only mete out further harm and negative kharma upon herself and her family.

Secondly, she should put all further adoptions or biological children on hold until she comes to terms with whatever is eating at her 98 pound frame. My hunch is that she is overcome with guilt over breaking up the marriage of Brad and Jennifer. Her image in the world of a compassionate generous and influential humanitarian just doesn't jive with her stealing another woman's husband. Mother Theresa wouldn't have even thunk it! To preserve her image and to prove to the world that her first priority is to save it, I think she should separate from Brad, give Brad and Jennifer a chance to reconcile, and if neither takes the bait, then she can freely claim Brad.

Finally, Brad should do absolutely nothing other than work out, eat right, lay off the cigs, continue to look adorable and be a good Dad to his kids. Personally I don't think he has any flaws other than choosing emotionally unavailable women. Oh, and some of his past dates suggested he should bathe more often, but for Brad, that could be overlooked.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

To kill a cricket....

I love all living things. Always have. In addition to the standard fuzzy pets such as cats, dogs and rabbits, when I was a kid I had iguana's, chameleons, frogs, turtles, snakes... plus a myriad of other species that have mercifully faded from my memory. Last January when we discovered the telltale signs of mouse biology in our basement, I insisted on live trapping them, and driving 3 miles in to the country to let them go.

I am now faced with a terrible moral dilemma that is threatening the very foundation of my sanity. A cricket has taken up residence in our bedroom. And he does quite proficiently what crickets do. He sings. All night. Starting at 1:00a.m. And this one ain't no Mariah Cary. You know how you can hear crickets sing through a closed bedroom window even with the fan on? There is a reason for that. They are LOUD. Very LOUD. So I sleepily get out of bed and walk in the direction of the cricket noise. And the damn thing shuts up. So I start moving furniture, books, blankets, anything I can get my hands on that is coming from the direction of Mr. Cricket. No cricket. Cunning little shit.

Now, I remember this happened to me once back in college. At that time, I was so frustrated with the situation I finally resorted to the can of Raid and started spraying. Big mistake. For the next 2 nights I was subjected to the weak pathetic songs of a dying cricket. I had been so filled with remorse that had I been able to find him I would have taken him to the vet. So, no, not going to fall in to that trap this time. I'll just pick up my pillows and blanket, and move to the sofa until such time that nature takes its course and that cricket dies a natural death. Anyone know the approximate life span of a cricket?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I thought I had heard it all...


My DH and I are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter, now 4, adopted from Guatemala when she was just 6 months old. She has a glorious exotic Pocohontus look with the warmest brown eyes and thick luxurious black hair. She actually looks a little like DH and our son, so when the 4 of us are together we don't get too many curious looks. I on the other hand, with my bleached blond hair, have to field a fair amount of inquiries. Today was no exception when I went shopping at the Super Wally-World in an attempt to fill the school supplies list (that for some reason is always printed in 6 point type) [Note to school administration: some parents are over 40].. a little sidetracked, my apologies... OK so after we were done shopping and were checking out the cashier asked "What are they mixed with?" I'm like, looking at my groceries, the school supplies, my liquor, trying to figure out what the heck she was talking about. Then she repeats the question, and it dawns on me.. she is talking about my Kids! Now usually, I try to be polite and answer probing questions with quiet dignity, but today, I just couldn't muster up even the remotest amount of respect. "Are you serious?" I asked. "Ya think I'm standing here with a litter of puppies?" She averted her gaze and continued to ring up my order.

Now, honestly, I don't think her intent was to be mean or racist, but why should any parent have to answer that? If the kids look like the parents you wouldn't dream of asking about their lineage. My favorite one is "Are they real brothers and sisters? My answer: Yes, they are real brother and sister. Then they go in for the kill. "No, I mean are they REAL brother and sister?" Translation: I want to know who was doinkin who. Then theres the same question with a slight variation..."Are they yours?" "No, I mean are they really yours?" Usually at this point the commenter will sense that they are bordering on rude so they will attempt to diffuse their rudeness with a "oh but they are so cute". Well I'm sorry that means little to me since I think ALL kids are cute.

The first time you hear comments like these it is a little unsettling, but after awhile they just get tiresome.

I'll never forget the first week I brought Jenniffer home. She had a full head of jet black hair that was so thick it looked like it had been glued on. A stunningly beautiful child with a definate ethnic look about her. I was an excited new Mom, deliriously happy, and trying to juggle the two little ones in a double stroller at Bergner's. Out of the clear blue sky a stranger charged in to our world. "Where did she come from?" she bellowed. My mind just dances with all the entertaining ways I could have answered that question but at the time I just submitted to her bullying and proceeded to answer the inquisition.

Now hopefully the reader will not get the wrong impression by my little rant. There is definately a time and place for conversations regarding adoption and related issues and I welcome an in-depth discussion with anyone who is interested in international or transracial adoption. But those discussions should occur at a time and place determined by the adoptive parents, and chances are, it will not be when the kids are around.

We do not make a distinction between our adopted and biological children and neither should strangers. When the time comes to explain the circumstances surrounding our daughters's adoption that information will be shared and explained fully with her and those who love her. It is part of her history, her uniqueness, to be treasured and cherished and shared only by her.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Peoria Public Schools Open House - Civic Center - August 11 - 8:30 - 1:00

District 150 "Celebrating Our Success" is a free open house for the community and parents. It is an informational event regarding programs and other opportunities at Peoria Public schools. Every school will be represented with a booth, along with community organizations that assist area children and families. Door prizes will be provided. Parents can register their kindergartener for the 2007-2008 school year. Join Peoria District 150 for the celebration!