Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I put Borders out of business!!!

I love books! It goes deeper then just enjoying reading. I love how books feel, how they smell, how they can take you away! I love them so much that when I read them I don't dare crack the spine and you've got a better chance at hitting the power ball then you do catching me dog ear a page. It's like I form a relationship with each one and I give each a home where they will be safe and cherished forever. Because of how much care I take in reading books it often caused my friends to never borrow them from me because let's be honest... not even cracking the spine to read is kinda freakish.

It's because of how much I love books that I hadn't broke down and gotten an ereader and being part of a very gadgety family it was hard not to. How could an electronic device in the palm of your hand possibly make you feel the way a book does? I just didn't think it could. Plus I often joked with my husband that ereaders would eventually make bookstores and libraries obsolete. Aside from the economic impact of that think of the impact on my life specifically. I spend hours at Borders reading and drinking coffee as I browse through book after book. I could get lost in the stacks at the library (where the aroma of literature, ink on the aging pages, actually gives me chills). How could I possibly purchase an item that could jeopardize all of that?!?!?

But finally I decided to breakdown and get one. I my mind I would just keep it in the diaper bag loaded with a few novels in case of emergencies (like doctor appointments, long school pick up line, etc.). I did my research and by far the 3rd generation Kindle had the best reviews... so I ordered it.

I was told my Kindle would arrive in a week. This gave me exactly one week to fester with buyers remorse. What would I do with all my old books? Would I still read them in paperback now? What about new installments of some of the series I read? Do I buy new books on the kindle or keep them on actual pages? Also if I am going "digital" this would save space... so should I get rid of some of my once precious books that I don't plan to reread? As I literally pinned over all of this my kindle came... in only 3 days!!! (Thanks for super fast shipping.)

At first I was hesitant. It was like bringing home a second dog. Will I love it like the first? Did  I only get it because I just wanted a new dog and would I still want it a week or month from now? I promised myself that I wouldn't ignore the old dog... I mean book that I was currently reading just because the Kindle arrived. A day later I bought the book I was reading on the kindle! This was exactly what I was afraid of. The kindle looks like a real page and feels so light and is so easy to just pop open and read I was almost instantly ignoring the old dog... I mean book.

And to make matters worse... the next day I got an email from Borders saying how they filled Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and were closing many locations (including the 3 closest to me)!!! I told my husband this and he began to mock me.

"Yeah babe, well you know the only reason they stayed afloat this long was because of you. In fact a board meeting was called the day after you ordered your Kindle. They basically said 'Well if Steffany is going digital then there is no point to going on' and decided throw in the towel".
Mister sensitive right? But seriously... if someone like me could go digital what hope was there for everyone else? What chance did the bookstores have? Especially with ereaders becoming so affordable?!?!  But in spite of my fears and apprehension I love my Kindle! It plays MP3s, has games and tons of free and cheap books. The features are crazy and there are just too many to list.

So while I can't force myself to not like the Kindle I will miss Borders and hope that Barnes and Noble will be ok without me and I am sure that I would never be able to forsake the library completely. And they should fear not... Even though my crafting and recipe books can be ordered digitally I promise to purchase actual prints of these and visit the library at least once a week. But as for everyday novels... well I don't think I can ever go back. I will have to try to console myself by making myself believe I'm being green.

Sure I'm not helping to keep bookstores open... but I am saving the environment. That's gotta count for something right???

Thursday, February 17, 2011

High School Chorus Shirts...Wow... Just Wow!

I have seen a lot of whacked out shirts before but this one for Chamberlain High School is up there on the list of worst... but in a very amusing way.

Critiquing it is not a challenge. It's so easy in fact it's hardly worth doing... But I'm going to anyway because I'm childish.

Let's start off with the teacher plastering a picture of himself on the back. Really? Do you honestly think kids want to walk around with your mug on their clothing with the little speak bubble saying "Be there!"? And is that the best slogan you can come up with? Just kinda crappy if you ask me. It's like he wasn't even trying. Or maybe he was trying.. trying to piss the kids off with this dorky shirt. But moving right along...

The slogan for this shirt is "School House Rock" which is represented by the two rocks on the front of the shirt singing. But as you can see here a better slogan would be "Rock Hard Nips". What were they thinking? Putting two cartoon rocks right on the breast portion of the shirt? I feel like her boobs are talking to me and it's creeping me out! No wonder the rocks are singing... they got to second base. It's hard not to stare at them and since the shirts are for high school kids it dirty to. Sad thing is I don' tknow if this was intentional.  

So let's recap... this chorus instructor hates his students and has punked them all with his shirt design. Ha ha losers... now wear it and sing!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I had to give this kid money!

I have been known to give a dollar or two to the panhandlers on the corners but this kids sign was so amusing to me that I gave him a whopping $3!!!
During a single red light me and my kids watched him get money from 3 different cars. I offered him money too in exchange for a photo of the sign. He held it up and smiled and I took the shot on my phone. I felt bad because this kid looks about 16 at the max and obviously is witty. Even though the sign made me chuckle the idea of this kid on a corner breaks my heart but who knows... he may be opting to stand around with this sign instead of working at McDonalds and if that's the case I'd wager he's making a good bit more on his corner then he would behind a deep fryer. .

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Step for My Daugther and I

I feel like it's been forever since I last had a chance to blog. Some weeks are just like that though. I barely get time to breath so sitting alone long enough to make a post is near impossible. Last week was filled with boils on my toddler, a cold from my oldest that kept her out of school on Friday and then she was kind enough to pass it on to me. Finally everyone seems to be in good health physically. Emotionally is another issue.

Yesterday one of my best friends called and said her in-laws were taking her daughter to Universal Studios and they said she could bring a friend. She asked if B could go. Now something simple like an invitation to a theme park may not seem like a big deal to most parents but to me it's huge because  is special needs.

For starters B  has a lot of kids she calls "friends" but honestly I would say there are only a select few who would fit the description of what a friend should be. So the fact that she was invited to do something with a real friend is great. But the thing she's been invited to do is with people I have only spoken to a few times and it's in a place far away!

I trust my friend and I trust her judgment but even with her knowing B's condition and her and I both explaining it to the in-laws will they get it? Will they be able handle her? B doesn't ride rides so will they be patient and wait with her while their granddaughter waits in lines and rides on all sorts of tummy tossing coasters? What is B has an asthma attack? What if she has a panic attack? What if I have an anxiety attack from worrying? Will a kiddie ride fly off the tracks with my daughter securely fastened in? Will she wonder away into the clutches of a human trafficker or pedophile? Will she get lost? Will she get sick? What if the car flies off the road? What if, what if, what if?!?!?!?! I can't even tell you all of the scenarios that I played out in my head with every imaginable what if.

So I asked my husband for his opinion. After some discussion we decide that B despite being almost 12 is just not able to go. There are too many factors involved in her disabilities not to mention my own anxieties. But as I tried to go to sleep that night I got upset.

B doesn't get to do a lot of things because of my fears. Mind you most of my fears are valid many are far fetched and a result of PTSD and others are because I don't feel like anyone but me can understand and care for her correctly. Sleep overs or any activity where I will not be present or I don't know the parents personally are out of the question. So she doesn't do many things that other kids her age take for granted. And here we are... Presented with a chance for her to do something very "normal". Something an average kid could do. I know I have to let her take some steps towards growing up and a little independence at some point but is this the time?

So after worrying myself to sleep last night I asked my mom what she though this morning. She said no because she understands B  is special and having people who aren't used to her take her somewhere could be hard. Then I asked my best friend. She said yes B  should go. She thinks if I can trust my friends judgment this is a great time to let B take a first step towards doing things with friends.

What you have to realize though is that in spite of people seeing it my way and from other perspectives it's still complicated. I want B to do normal things. I don't want her disabilities to hold her back and I am turning this day trip into a metaphor for her entire life. So I went to yoga and the time I use to clear my head was filled with thoughts of how I can't figure out what to do for my child. What is less damaging? Letting her have a little bit of controlled freedom even though there could be a few risks (some of which are major) or keeping her at home and safe with me and not letting her experience things as simple as a day out with a friend.

And still I didn't know what to do. But here's the weird thing... I decided to call my friend and tell her B can't go but she didn't answer so I just left a message saying call me back. Hours later when she did call back while James was just walking in the door I kind of blurted out to her "I am terrified of letting B go with your in-laws so you have to be sure they will take extra care to make sure she doesn't wonder off or anything because I've never let her do anything like this before" and just like that I knew I made the right decision without even meaning to. Even though i let this literally upset me into tears because I didn't know what to do all day, here I was suddenly confirming she could go.

Yes, I am still terrified. Yes, I know there are about a million terrible things that can happen. But I also know that she will have the time of her life and every first step regardless of what it is for and what it is you are moving towards can be scary but you have to take it or you will never get there. This trip is a big step. It's step that both B and I will be taking together but will be leading us towards separate things. For her it's a little bit of freedom and a feeling of normalcy and for me it's learning to let go even if it is only for one day (but don't you think for one second that I won't be calling to check in about a hundred times!).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pizza is great comfort food.

I love pizza and so does my friend Robin. It's one of those foods that you just crave sometimes. But if you are in the mood for a homemade pie here is a great recipe: Danielsen Family Pizza

Danielsen Family Pizza

The Danielsens Are A Pizza Lovin' Family !!!!!

Many a pizza has been made in their house. Fresh dough, frozen dough, English muffins...we have tried them all! That goes for the sauces too. The following recipe if you can call it that, is how they do pizza around. Not your food network variety, just fun and full of yum. So if you want an easy, full of flavor, fun pizza night, give this a try!!!

The sauce used is "from scratch" and is not for the taste bud sensitive.

Sauce Ingredients for "P.J.'s Homemade Pizza Sauce" makes enough for 2 large pies (1.5 cups approx):
1 clove garlic, minced or mashed. You can use jarred.

1 tsp salt
1 can (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 pepper
1/2 tsp oregano or Italian herbs
1 tbsp olive or canola oil
A dash of red pepper (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients (That's it. Your sauce is ready!)

Ingredients for Pizzas:

Pizza crust (we love boboli, it holds sauce well)
Mozzarella Cheese
Meats, Veggies you name it.

1. Lay out crust
2. Add Sauce
3. Add cheese.
4. Then the toppings of your choice.
5. Cook at 350 till crust is golden and cheese is melted (about 10-15 minutes depending on how much you put on the pizza)
6. Sit down with a good movie and the family and... Enjoy!!