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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Eve Memories

I think the most memorable New Year’s Eve was back in the ‘80’s. I was 19 or 20 years old. (The legal drinking age back then was 18.) I had arranged to bar hop with friends by bus. Each of us took a bus to our first stop, which was Wendt’s Bar in Milwaukee. Even though the idea was to bar hop, we stayed there most of the night.

Lei’s, party hats, streamers and horns were aplenty. So much so, that my friends and I wore multiple hats and Lei’s. After ringing in the New Year at Wendt’s, we walked about 2 blocks to another bar. At some point my friend Cindy's mother picked us up and were going to give me a ride home, but there was some arguing going on between Cindy and her Mother. I ended up asking to be dropped off at an intersection about 3 miles from my parent’s house. (Yes, I still lived with my parents.) Taking the bus at that point wasn’t an option because the end of the bus line was less than a mile ahead.

I began walking and stopped at the next bar just to warm up, or so I thought. Apparently wearing 2 Tieras (one forwards, one backwards) a Fez type Happy New Years hat in between them, about 8 lei’s, and more streamers and confetti than I’ve ever seen since, makes you the life of the party. Having never been the life of the party before, I rather enjoyed the attention. Every single patron (and there were still a heck of a lot of people out at the bar at that hour) had to buy me a drink and wish me a Happy New Year. After a very short while I HAD to switch to plain soda because I could not possibly drink any more alcohol. Around 5:30am I decided I was close to being sober enough to walk the 2 miles home.

So picture this (and I am so GLAD that I didn’t know anyone at that bar and that no one had a camera.) Picture this, I am walking home (more like stumbling), it’s nearly 6am, the sun has already come up, and I am still wearing the 3 party hats and I still have about 4 Lei’s and streamers and confetti all over me.
I am a freakin
New Year’s Eve party!

Somehow I managed to walk down 3 streets in our subdivision without being seen by anyone. I also managed to get in the house and into my room, without my parents seeing me come in. The issue here isn’t underage drinking, I was of drinking age. The issue is not having my parents see me looking like a New Year’s Eve Party threw up all over me. My friends thought it was cool, after all, they had just as many party hats, leis, streamers and confetti as I did. Somehow I don’t think my parents would have been impressed.

As you contemplate your New Year’s Eve celebration, please:
Use public transportation (some cities offer very reduced rates certain hours on New Year’s Eve/Day) or
Designate a driver or
Have a house party and let your guests sleepover.
Be safe!
I want to see you all back to blogging bright and early New Year’s Day.
(Ok, maybe after you sleep a little late and have a couple aspirin.)

What was your most memorable New Year's Eve?
Please post it in my comments section.
(If you don't have one yet, please don't try to imitate my exploits.
The hangover for the next day and a half was excruciating.)

Lola's Diner

Blagojevich names Burris to Senate Seat, Seriously?

The audacity of Blagojevich. The defiance. He took such an "attitude" in his speech, and I know that attitude was toward the media and those politicos who are out to impeach him, but as an Illinoisan I am offended. I found it disrespectful. It was clear from his tone that this was in retaliation for the predicament he has found himself in. He should be ashamed. Did you see this ‘tool’ at the end of the video when Congressman Rush is speaking? He’s bouncing up and down on his heels, so pleased with himself. Cocky, so and so. Speaking of Congressman Bobby Rush, he did not need to play the race card. It was uncalled for.

By naming Roland Burris, Blagojevich has opened up a whole other can of worms. Does he seriously think that this appointment is going to go unchallenged? And by appointing Burris, now Burris is in the mix. If the Democrats, the Senate and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White find a way to block this appointment, Roland Burris can sue the state, all the way to the Supreme Court to try to get his appointment back. Do we really need to waste more state resources on this baboon?

Speaking of Roland Burris, he was been part of the Chicago political machine for years and has served the state well. I think it’s very unfortunate that Blagojevich has dragged Burris into his mess.

Lola's Diner

Monday, December 29, 2008

Your Blog Is Fabulous Award

Thank you so much to Jodi at Jodi’s Journey for this “Your Blog Is Fabulous Award”.

The rules for this one are that you have to mention who gave you the award with a link to their blog and admit 5 addictions and then pass it onto another 5 blogs:

1. the computer
2. Bargain hunting (I have a black belt in bargain hunting)
3. Entrecard
4. Chocolate
5. Canning

I am passing this award on to:

1. Liz at A Mom On Spin
2. Petra at The Wise (*Young*) Mommy
3. Chat Blanc at Wit’s Bitch
4. Erin at The Mom Buzz
5. Liza at Mommy’s Little Corner

Lola's Diner

Sunday, December 28, 2008

14 Pound, 2 ounce baby born in California

Speaking of babies. Oh my word! My 'lady parts' are hurting just thinking about this. This baby needed 6 month size baby clothes.

14 Pound Baby Born in Orange County, CA

Lola's Diner

Happy Birthday to my baby!

He is no longer a baby. He is 14 years old today. Much to his chagrin, I (aka the not ‘fun Mom,’ aka the ‘bad cop’) got him an electric razor for his birthday and that pair of slippers that he snooped and found before Christmas. (Couldn’t return them because what are the odds of finding another pair of Men’s size 14 slippers?) Oh don’t worry, he got something fun too. Anastasia (aka the ‘fun Mom’, aka the ‘good cop’) got him a wireless controller for one of his video game systems.

Now just a short trip down memory lane. My son is a good kid, really he is, but when he was younger he was quite mischievous. When he was 5 years old his father and I were at my company’s holiday party at Navy Pier, while both kids were at Grandma’s house. Just before dessert was served I called to find out how they were behaving. My daughter answered and said that Grandma was asleep and her brother was gone. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE IS GONE?” (I swear everyone in the Grand Ballroom heard that.) “Go wake up Grandma, NOW”. Grandma comes to the phone, has no idea what’s going on, then starts searching every nook and cranny of her apartment, the front stairs and the back stairs. He’s not there. I tell her to keep looking and I call the police. I tell my husband (now ex) and we head for the parking garage. My ex doesn’t drive, so here I am driving and on my cell phone on Lake Shore Drive (practically hysterical), in winter, trying not to speed and end up sliding into Lake Michigan.

The police send a squad to Grandma’s house and several more to canvas the neighborhood. My ex takes the phone and calls Grandma back, ‘are you sure he isn’t there?’. Big help. I drop my ex at his mother’s apartment and I begin driving the neighborhood. (Because those 6 police cars just might miss a spot.) After a couple rounds of the neighborhood I drive home and meet a police officer at my house. He tells me they haven’t found him yet, but they have every squad out looking.

I decide on my own to check the outside of our property thinking that even though it is cold, maybe he is hiding in the gym/slide or found a way into the garage, or something. Maybe he was scared by the police and if I look, he’ll come out. (Because I'm Super Mom and have better detective skills than the Chicago Police force.) After I crawl under the gym/slide and come out, I see something. One of the jealousy basement windows is missing, another is broken and something is hanging out of the window. I call for the officer and his flashlight and find a pair of black boys jeans hanging out the window. I break into a run and run around to the front of the house, up the porch stairs and scramble to get my key in the lock. I open the door to find my son in his tighty whiteys, kicking back in front of the television watching Saturday Night Live, eating a bag of potato chips. I grab him and just about squeeze the life out of him and fight back tears. The officer steps in, sees him there and tells me he’ll call it in. After the officer leaves I have a talk with my son.
Me: Why did you do it?
Him: Didn’t want to be with Grandma anymore, she’s mean (Grandma was also a ‘bad cop’).
Me: How did you do it?
Then he proceeds to tell me his exact route (racing across a major highway at 10pm at night) from Grandma’s to our house and how he got in through the window head first, leaving his pants stuck in the window.
Two years later I get a call from the kid’s park summer program, my son disappeared, they’ve called the police. My heart stops again, but I’m thinking back to what happened earlier and I’m praying that he’s just up to something and someone hasn’t snatched him. I tell them to be sure to have the police check my house and his father’s apartment. I leave work early and agree to meet the police at the park. Just as I begin talking to the park director, he gets a call from the police, they found him at his father’s apartment. The park director gives the phone to me and the police officer tells me that my son broke into the apartment through an unlocked window, what did I want to do? Did I want them to give him a ride in the back of the squad, the full treatment? YES! So they give him a ride in the back of the squad, as if they were arresting him for breaking and entering. My son swears they handcuffed him, but I think he is just embellishing the story. The police bring him to the park and one of the officers takes him aside for a chat, explains that they are releasing him to me and that if he ever breaks the law again, he WILL go to jail. My son gives me that smirky smirk thing he does when he’s all proud of himself and he’s in trouble.

This photo was probably from his 2nd birthday. The kid still loves to get all dressed up. Before winter break we had our annual meeting at his school and funny how he suddenly didn't have any clean clothes other than his dress shirt and dockers. His teachers were impressed, he just did his smirky smirk thing, thinking he put one over on the teachers. We had our meeting and everything was fine. For some reason every year he thinks he's in trouble when I have to go for 'the annual meeting'. This year he had to attend because they require 8th graders on up to attend.

Lola's Diner

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Blagojevich on the wrong planet?

'Wrong Planet' If He Is Guilty Courtesy of The Chicago Sun Times.

Speaking to a reporter, Blagojevich, referring to the charges against him, said "If somehow that's impeachable, then I'm on the wrong planet and I'm living in the wrong place,". Is there a parallel universe where it's ok to sell a senate seat and engage in pay to play politics? Maybe Blagojevich should go in search of it. Leonard Nimoy is still around, maybe he and Blagojevich could go In Search of that parallel universe. Maybe they'll find it next to the Bermuda Triangle.

From the article, "Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson said he will provide the committee with a list of 25 of Blagojevich's accomplishments that will render the idea of impeachment ridiculous, according to Channel 7." What the freak does it matter what Blagojevich's accomplishments are? If he did something illegal, doesn't it cloud the integrity of those accomplishments?

The article also said, "Blagojevich said the wiretap recordings show him working for the people of the state." I didn't know you had to swear like that to work for the people.

Blagojevich has lost his filter. Does he even think before he opens his mouth?

You know, you couldn't even make this stuff up.

Lola's Diner

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sharing Even More Love II

Thank you to Jean at The Skinny Queen for my second Proximidade Award this week.
The award states "This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."
I’m passing this award on to the 8 recipients listed below. Please feel free to pass it on and share the love.

Here my recipients (in no particular order)!
Fidget at Finding Yourself Despite Yourself
Kadi at A Womb at the Inn (sane)
Shauni at Juggling Teens
Lynne at Life After Work
I'm The Loud Friend
A Second Cup
Tamika at Random Chitchat
Lori at Confessions of a Baltimore Housewife

Lola's Diner

It's Ok To Wish Me A Merry Christmas, Seriously

The kids and I were watching "Family Man" on Abc Family Channel tonight and a commercial came on for buttons and stickers that say, and I'm NOT joking here, "It's Ok to Wish Me A Merry Christmas". Besides the commercial being less than timely (it IS the day AFTER Christmas today), I just found it a bit disturbing.
Why must we wear a button or display a sticker on our car stating that "It's Ok to Wish Me A Merry Christmas"?
How sad, that if you don't celebrate, or are not Christian, that you can't just POLITELY say, "thank you" or "same to you".
Or simply, but politely not reply at all?
I mean for cryin out loud, it's not like someone is wishing you some horrible, heinous, awful thing.
When did a simple politeness become such a rare commodity?
Do you really have to ‘come from the same place’ to be gracious when someone extends a holiday greeting?
I did a little research online and found several different varieties of “It’s Ok to Wish Me A Merry Christmas” buttons and stickers. Turns out some of these are church fundraiser items. I won’t begrudge the church for making a buck, but I also found these on a website that is not at all friendly to gays and lesbians. Maybe I just woke up from under a rock, but I wasn’t aware of this campaign that apparently has been going on since at least 2006.
I’m not Jewish, nor am I African American, but I can recall many times when I was wished a “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Kwanza”.
Was I offended?
Of course not.
Was I rude?
Of course not.
A simple “thank you” or “same to you” was my reply.
How hard is that to do, really?
Maybe I just watched to many heartwarming holiday movies, but seriously, do we really need these stickers and buttons?

Lola's Diner

Post Christmas Post

Are you heading out for the after Christmas sales at the crack of dawn today? Or what the television ads are calling “If you didn’t get what you want after Christmas sale”. Not me. This is the 2nd year I am not partaking in the craziness. In years past I have gone out for the sales on gift wrap, decorations and other clearance items. And I will admit, I would pick up a little something for myself. It just hasn’t been in my budget of late. Besides, Anastasia did an excellent job on the gift front this year. Did I say EXCELLENT? I meant AWESOME! SPECTACULAR even!

If you have some extra cash, get out there and SPEND SPEND SPEND and help out our economy! Goodness knows it could use the help.

I went to bed about 12:30am after finally finishing my gift wrapping and elfish duties, a new record for me. I have been known to be wrapping and/or assembling until 4:30am Christmas morning. I would have been done 3 hours earlier if it had not been for the fact that I was insistent on loading my son’s new Ipod (which by the way is way cool, because you can shake it to shuffle your music). Anastasia kept telling me to just wrap it unloaded and go to bed already. Turns out I did the right thing. My son was absolutely thrilled. His taste is old school rock from the 70’s, the stuff that I actually grew up on so it was a joy to pull all that music together (not like my daughter and her penchant for Miley Cyrus and Hillary Duff). (Cough, excuse me I think I have something caught in my throat.) The dedicated elf that I was, I worked right through dinner and at 11pm I decided it would be a fine idea to have a Braunschweiger sandwich. (Note to self: Not such a good idea. Although it was tasty and hit the spot, the late hour caused a nasty bout of indigestion.)

We did hit one major snag in our gifting when Anastasia went out to the shed at 11pm Christmas Eve to find the padlock completely iced over and frozen shut. I had stowed my daughter's golf set there because I really couldn’t think of another spot that wouldn’t be found out. (Note to self: Hiding an item in a place that could prove impossible to retrieve due to inclement weather, probably not a good idea.) Thankfully Anastasia was able to open the lock this morning after a ½ can of de-icer, a bic lighter and bending a key. Thankfully I had spare keys.

Anastasia got her coveted hybrid driver. Due to the size of the box (and perhaps the fact that A Christmas Story was playing on the television) the kids and I taunted her with “You’ll shoot your eye out” over an over until she opened it. Now my daughter and Anastasia are plotting to go to one of the area golf domes to try out their clubs on the indoor range.

I hope everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas.

Lola's Diner

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sharing Even More Love

It must be the holidays because there is a lot of sharing going on in blogland. Special thanks to Harriet at I Am Harriet for this award.
I am passing this award along to JD at I Do Things So You Don't Have To simply because she does things so I don't have to, and she has a super blog.

Lola's Diner

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sharing More Love

Thanks to DCRose at All About Cakes for this Award.

I am passing this Award on to:

Jennifer at Connect With Your Teens
Mobab’s at Beetle’s Humor – Memories of the 50’s and 60’s
Michelle at My Crazy Life With A Toddler
Maitri at Compassionate Kindness Bloggers
Carlota at Dashing Smiles
Shiela at Colorful World of Shiela
Lori at Momma Momma Because We Hold it All Together
Joey at Bloggin’ Mama

Wishing everyone a warm and safe Holiday.

Lola's Diner


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Christmas Eve. I am so not ready!

It's the wee hours of Christmas Eve and I am FREAKIN OUT. I am not ready. I have exactly 2% of the gifts wrapped.

I do this EVERY year. When am I going to stop this? I'm such an adrenalin junkie.

Ok, one bizzare thought, I'm watching The David Letterman Show and Mickey Rourke is on. When did Mickey Rourke become The Joker?
I don't mean to be disrespectful, but seriously,what happened to his face? It looks nothing like the face I recall from Nine 1/2 Weeks. Time has not been kind to him.Ok, I digress.

Back to the topic at hand. I don't have any wrapping done. I can't do any now because Anastasia has gone to bed because she has to get up for work in the morning. My wrapping station is our bedroom because it's the only place safe from prying eyes. Or so I thought. Yesterday I sent my son up to look for something under our bed because of my bad back I can't do it myself. He came downstairs all smirky. He hadn't found what I sent him up for and he proceeded to tell me how the suitcase that was firmly placed on top of a rubbermaid bin had fallen over and it's contents spilled on the floor. Wow, I wonder how that happened? Then he got more smirky and said "I know I'm getting brown slippers for Christmas." To which Anastasia and I replied, "And how do you know that?" To which he replied, "the suitcase fell over and a pair of Men's size 14 slippers fell out". (Do you know how hard it is to find slippers in that size?) Well, he had me, because who on earth would I be giving those slippers to? Maybe u-boats for Stuart Little? Grrrrr, I wasn't even following my rule of hiding in plain sight. Then because my son knows he's got my goat he adds that I better not be getting him a shaver. My son will be 14 years old 3 days after Christmas. 14 years old! And he already has facial hair. He is also 5' 11 1/2" tall. (You can't forget the 1/2", he won't let you.) He is refusing to shave and looks like he's going for Seth Rogan's not so little bro look.

Anyway, I digress again. How am I possibly going to stay focused tomorrow?

I have to run to Best Buy to purchase anti-virus software and a new microphone for my son's karaoke machine. I bought a 4 pack of Christmas Karaoke cd's because he was saying how we don't have any Christmas Karaoke, however he failed to mention that he broke the microphone. So since we planned on using it Christmas Eve night, I have to get out at the crack of dawn (because I'm a nut and want to beat all the last minute shoppers, cough, crazies.)

Do I sound like I'm on speed? I swear I'm not. Really. I mean it.

Oh hell, I'm going to bed now. I hope you're managing your holiday better than I am.

Lola's Diner

Sharing the Love

I just received an award from Mommying on the Fly. Thanks to Lisa C. at Mommying on the Fly whose blog I always enjoy.

The award states "This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I’m passing this award on to the 8 recipients listed below. Please feel free to pass it on and share the love.

Here my recipients!

1. Maitri @ Maitri’s Heart
2. Patricia @ Subjective Soup
3. Deb @ Mama Flo’s Place
4. Anne @ Small Town Mommy
5. Stacey @ Havoc and Mahem
6. Harriet @ I Am Harriet
7. Crazynlovemom @ Crazy 4 My Kidz
8. Kim @ A World of Progress
Lola's Diner

My 2nd Conversation 10 Month – 10 Lives Challenge

Some of you may recall my post from Sunday, November 16, 2008,
10 Months - 10 Lives Challenge

And My First Conversation - 10 Months - 10 Lives Challenge

It's time for my Second Conversation of the 10 Month - 10 Lives Challenge. I have tabled my original installment because I am shocked and outraged that something like this can still happen in 2008. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the brutal gang rape of a 23 year old lesbian on December 13th in the San Francisco Bay Area. California Authorities Investigate Lesbian's Brutal Gang Rape.

This is beyond barbaric. How can anyone treat another human being in this manner for any reason? In this case the Richmond Police have indicated that the attackers knew the woman’s sexual orientation and made comments.

What is nearly as disturbing is that the media has barely mentioned this. I saw this story on Yahoo’s front page, but I have yet to hear about it on the television news.

Part of the 10 Month – 10 Lives Challenge is for us in the Gay Community to point out:

How we are more alike then different.
How we want to enjoy the same rights you enjoy.
How we want our relationships to afford us the same rights that yours do.
How many of us want families and go to great lengths to have them.
How we want to live our lives just as you do.
We’ve come so far.

Yet we are not safe.

Yes, we are saddened that Proposition 8 did not pass. We have much work to do.
We as a society should be horrified and embarrassed that a fellow human being can be brutally assaulted in a manner such as this.
Hate crimes related to sexual orientation have increased 16% in the United States.
Whether you are gay or straight, a crime like this is horrific.
Not only do we need to fight for our Civil Rights with regard to Gay Marriage, but we must continue to fight for Hate Crimes bill passage. Because President Bush said he would veto the bill to which the Matthew Shepard Act was attached, it was dropped from the bill in the Senate.

Why is the Matthew Shepard Act needed? Because the 1969 Federal Hate Crime Law only “extends only to crimes motivated by actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin.” The Matthew Shepard Act basically expands the 1969 Federal Hate Crime Law to "include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability."

This is yet another reminder that we have so far to go.

Please take a moment to sign The Erase Hate Petition now.

My heart goes out to this woman and her family.

Lola's Diner

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saving Christmas – There’s still time

Christmas 1968, my Father had been in and out of the hospital with back problems. He had just had major back surgery. Back then it was a very big deal, he was in the hospital at least a month. My Mother didn’t drive, but she dutifully took 3 buses each way to visit him daily while we were at school. On her half a mile walk home from the bus stop she would stop at the grocery store and purchase just what she could carry and what she could afford.

My Mother didn’t work outside the home, so we had to live on my Father’s small disability check. We were forewarned not to expect much for Christmas. I’m not sure if it was my Mother’s not so subtle way of letting us know that year was different, or maybe she was so tired from her bus travel, but my Mother didn’t put up the 7 foot artificial tree. That year we had a 4 foot silver aluminum tree that my mother put on the drum table in the picture window. It was truly a hideous tree and it forever marked a very different Christmas for us.

One night a few days before Christmas our front doorbell rang. My Father was still in the hospital and my Mother wondered who on earth could be ringing our bell after dinnertime on a cold snowy night. My Mother didn’t want to open the door, but I kept imploring that she HAD to open it because as I peeked through the picture window I saw it was Santa Claus! She finally did open the door, but wouldn’t let Santa in the house. He left 2 very large boxes on our front porch. Each box was 3 foot square, about 10 inches tall. One box was full of all kinds of food. There was cereal, flour, sugar, roasts, chickens, pasta and all sorts of canned goods. The other box had candy canes, chocolates, some clothing, hats, scarfs and mittens, and some coloring books. My Mother, proud as she was, kept calling back to Santa to take back the boxes, but he waved her off and disappeared into the night.

That Christmas was very lean. It was the year my sister and I got our first Monopoly game and Mini-Mod dolls instead of Barbies. At the time we were both a bit disheartened by the lack of Christmas loot, but as the years have passed I have to say that it was the one of the most memorable Christmases of my life. I was 7 years old and Santa came to my house and made my Mother cry. I don’t think I’d ever seen her cry before that. All that food helped us get by until my Father was able to go back to work. It was truly a Blessing.

We later found out that Santa was the brother-in-law of my parent’s neighbors, Tim and Terry. They said they had gone door to door and collected money from the neighbors and purchased all of those items. Terry knew my mother wasn’t going to ask for help and she knew she wouldn’t accept charity from her neighbors. A heartfelt note from Terry in one of the boxes told my Mother it was alright, it didn’t mean she owed anyone anything. It didn’t mean she was weak. It meant she was cared about. It meant she was loved.

Do you know someone who is struggling, whether because of illness, disability or unemployment, or perhaps a single mother struggling on her own?
There’s still time.

It’s not too late to save someone’s Christmas.

It wouldn’t take much. Maybe a bag or two of groceries, or a grocery store gift card and a couple of toys.

A Santa suit isn’t required.

Just a bit of cash and a big dose of holiday spirit.
Happy Holidays!

Lola's Diner

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Firefox V3.0 not playing nice with Blogger

UPDATE: It appears that the problem has been fixed, please look to my widgets on the right for EntreCard. I also deleted my temp files and cookies and rebooted my computer and this seems to have helped. If my widgets disappear, please comment to let me know, but I believe everything is working ok now. Thank you!

For some reason the new Firefox Update to V3.0 is messing with my blogger account, so I am reposting my EntreCard widget within this post. It appears that if you are not viewing my blog in Firefox, you cannot "see" the widgets to the right of my post. If someone could comment and confirms this I would appreciate it.

Special thanks to Renz at Live the Life of A Dreamer who notified my of the problem.

Lola's Diner

Who is my neighbor?/No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

California Court: Would Be Good Samaritan Can Be Sued

The term Good Samaritan comes from "from the parable told by Jesus in the Bible about a Samaritan (a man from a country called Samaria) who helps out a Jewish man who is ambushed by theives and left to die." "According to the story, a man asked "Who is my neighbor?" and the moral of the parable is that everyone is really your neighbor (meaning you should help anyone you see in need). "

What on earth is our world coming to when a Good Samaritan can be sued for trying to help someone in danger?

Let's take this a step further, what on earth is our world coming to when you sue a FRIEND for being a Good Samaritan and coming to your aid?

Whatever happened to being grateful that you're alive? Whatever happened to saying 'THANK YOU for saving my life"?

I realize completely that Ms. Van Horn is upset at having been paralyized by this terrible accident and probably wants to blame someone for her current condition, but to blame your friend? To blame your friend and then sue her?

What is this going to do for the future of Good Samaritanism? I don't know about you, but if I wrecked my car and myself and members of my family are trapped, I'm going to want help immediately to get out if there is a possibility of fire. Conversely, if I come upon a car wreck and smell gas, I'm going to want to help rescue those trapped if I can.

What is this world coming to? Do we all have to carry waivers with us wherever we go so that if we come upon a wreck and want to provide assistance that we require the victim to sign a waiver of liability that says they will not sue us if they become injured in some way because of our rescue efforts?

Who is my neighbor?

Lola's Diner

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blogojevich will fight, fight, fight

Transcript of Governor Blagojevich's Statement to the Media Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

Blagojevich "I will fight, I will fight, I will fight. Until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong." "Now I'm dying to answer these charges, I am dying to show you how innocent I am."

Is he serious?

He quoted Rudyard Kipling? Excuse me, but I don't think Rudyard Kipling had politicians in mind when he wrote the poem "If" that Blagojevich quotes from. I would ask that Blagojevich look at the first line of the second paragraph of that same poem that says:
"And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master, If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim."

I think the problem here for Blagojevich is that he has made his dreams his master. Wouldn't you say?

The FBI have him on tape for cryin out loud. Media reports have him or his attorney's questioning the legality of the FBI's wiretaps. Ummmm, regardless if the wiretaps were legal, don't the tapes imply that he is NOT innocent, that he broke the law? I'm not saying the FBI wiretaps were illegal, but let's play 'what if' for a moment.
'If' the wiretaps were illegal then:
1. He didn't say those things?
2. He didn't swear worse than most truckers?
3. He didn't try to sell President Elect Obama's Senate seat?

So, 'IF' the wiretaps were illegal, then he is innocent?
Former Illinois Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka was on WGN 720am radio earlier this week and made allegations that while she was in office people came to her office to complain that Blagojevich wouldn't take an appointment with them unless they dropped $10,000. She was his former opponent for Governor, I'm curious to know why she now has the urge to come forward. The media is reporting that the FBI has been investigating Blagojevich for the last 5 years. The timing of his arrest is quite interesting, don't you think?

Blagojevich "But I have on my side the most powerful ally there is, and it's the truth. And besides, I have the personal knowledge that I have not done anything wrong."

(Note to self: The most powerul ally is the truth.)

Well as long as he has "personal knowledge" that he has not done anything wrong.

What was the FBI thinking?

Drop those charges, he has "personal knowledge" of his innocence!

Gift Bags

Tonight I made up 8 gift bags for the kids to bring to school tomorrow. Each bag contains a jar of homemade jam. Strawberry, Blueberry or Bluebarb (Blueberry Rhubarb). (I'm going to be so sad to see those cute little jars go.)

Now I don't know why I bothered to do this tonight. (Ahem, it is last minute as usual.) Friday is the last day of school before winter break, however we are supposed to be getting the mother of all blizzards tonight. Television stations already were announcing school closings even before the snow started falling. Apparently the weathermen are freakin everyone out.

So now that I've gone ahead and got the bags ready, I'm sure tomorrow will be a snow day.

I don't know about you, but I'm not 'prepared' to have my kids home an 'extra' day. Heck, I'm not even 'prepared' to have them home the whole school break.

My son was planning on going to the movies after they got out of school early Friday and have his buddies come over to play video games afterward. Now that he's seen the weather report on television he wants to move up everything up. He even called one of his buddies in an effort to get him to get it arranged with his parents. He doesn't understand that if there isn't school, it's for a REASON. It's because the roads aren't clear and it's unsafe to drive. If it isn't safe to take the bus to school, why is it safe to have me schlep you and your buddies to the movies?


Morning update:
My daughter's school bus company called and said the 4 other children on her bus called off today and they were predicting a minimum of a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to school, who knows about the ride home, what did I want to do. Hmmmmm, ah she's staying home, thank you. Tuesday night's storm had her ride home take 3 hours and 45 minutes. So I called the school and called her off.

My son's school website shows they are still open. I can't tell you how THRILLED he is. And I promised to drive him this morning. I'm even more thrilled. His goal this year is perfect attendance, and so far he has no absences, so he doesn't want to blow that, so I'm not getting the vigorous argument I normally would.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blog Love Award

Many thanks to Liza at A Simple Life was kind enough to share some Blog Love. Sorry about the delay on getting this up on my site. Thank you so much!

Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo in your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who shared it with you.
3. Pass this award to your Blogger Friends
4. Add your link to the list of participants below
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Blog Lovers: 1. Soul Anchor 2. Cookie’s Corner 3. Ane of Life According To Me 4. Tales of a Pinay Single Mommy 5. A Girl For All for Status 6. A Simple Life 7. Glue 4 Families 8. Our Simple Life 9. Lola’s Diner 10. YOU NEXT!

I’m passing this on to:

Soccer Mom

Definitely Maybe


How on earth am I going to get these gifts wrapped?

As it stands now I have exactly ZERO presents wrapped. Zip, Zero, Zilch. Why is that? Because I always wait until the last minute. I procrastinate because I need that adrenalin rush. I can’t do it without it. I need that high I get from having less than 16 hours until Christmas morning, watching back to back to back Christmas movies, and drinking too much spiked eggnog.

Actually, this year I was going to start last Friday, then I lost my momentum and didn’t do a darn thing. Then I was going to start this coming Friday. (Fridays are good because I can stay up all night if I need to because Anastasia is away on her caregiver gig.) But then this happened Tuesday night:
Isn’t it lovely? (Ok, no need to critique the composition, and it is quite blurry. Have you ever tried to photograph your own thumb?)

Tuesday night after the snowfall Anastasia decides to take out the snow thrower and clear the driveway. She calls me out because she can’t start it. So being the dutiful wife, I slip on my shoes and coat and go give it a try. It’s electric start, so shouldn’t be a big deal. (Maybe that was my problem, perhaps I was a little bit too smug about it. I think maybe karma got me and it got me real good.)

It wasn’t starting. Then I remembered that the clutch lever (I think that’s what it’s called, it’s a spring loaded bar that has to be pulled toward the handle in order to start the snow thrower and keep it running, similar to a walk behind lawnmower) wasn’t pulled toward the handle. So I pulled it toward the handle and it seemed to lock in place. Then I fiddled with the power cord for the electric start and the throttle. Somehow in my maneuvering my left hand got near the handle at just the precise moment that the clutch lever springs released. I will admit to saying a lengthy string of obscenities that began with “A Christmas Story’s” classic “fudge”. Only not “fudge”. Then I progressed onto “Holy Mother of God” and so on. All the while I was swearing, I was jumping up and down. Don’t even ask me why, because I couldn’t tell you. It hurt like a motherf*****. And it still does.

Anastasia and my son did not come to my aid. They continued shoveling the driveway the old fashioned way. But I have to tell you they would be lying if they said they weren’t laughing their arses off. My son in particular enjoys laughing at people in pain. (So does my daughter, but she was inside lounging watching television while everyone else worked.) Why do they laugh when someone hurts themselves? They did mention that a neighbor across the road heard me and hesitated and almost started to walk over. Apparently Anastasia and my son's lack of concern stopped him.

Anyway, now my thumbnail and the skin around it is a lovely shade of blue. My entire thumb is also very swollen. I almost wonder if I fractured it. If I even brush something up against it, I’m in a whole lot of pain.

So, how on earth am I going to get my gift wrapping done? I’m left handed, I can’t even write legibly at this point because I can’t grip a pen. But I can type. Not that many words require the use of the left thumb in typing. Thank goodness!

I can still blog!

do have my priorities in order!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Drew Peterson Engaged?

"Drew Peterson Engaged to 23 Year Old"

Please excuse my shock and disbelief, Drew Peterson is engaged? Isn't he still married?


Isn't Drew Peterson the one who says his 4th wife Stacy is still alive? If what he says is true, isn't he jumping the gun a bit? He hasn't filed for divorce yet has he? I mean, the media would definitely let us know if they got wind of that right?

Isn't Drew Peterson still a 'person of interest' in Stacy's disappearance?

Isn't he a 'person of interest' in his 3rd wife's death?


Who would agree to marry this guy?


Even if you could get past the REASONS for his legal problems, he does have an awful lot of legal problems. I mean, a person IS innocent until proven guilty and all that.

Seriously, how could you get past the reasons for his legal problems?

Has she lived under a media free rock for the last year?

How many of you women out there could get past Drew Peterson's legal problems and the cloud of suspicion around him regarding his 3rd wife's death and the disappearance of his 4th wife?

Does this 23 year old have a death wish? Is she drawn to his celebrity? I don't know about you, but I can think of better quasi-celebrities.

What do you all think?

Monday, December 15, 2008

“The Greatest Gift” aka “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Sunday night my partner and I watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” for the first time this year. I’m sure we will watch it several more times by the end of this year’s holiday season.

We came up with some questions and observations.

First, when there was a run on the bank and George starts passing out his wedding gift money, the second guy that wants his money, says he’ll take $20 to get him by, and the next woman says she can get by on $20 also. That got Anastasia and I to thinking, what was that 1945 $20 equivalent to in 2008 money? I did find out online that a loaf of bread in 1945 costed $0.09. Today a loaf of bread costs about $2.99. What would that $20 be equivalent to in today's, 2008 terms?

We also observed that Uncle Billy had an affinity with animals. First the raven (Jimmy) latches onto his arm when he arrives after failing to make the $8,000 deposit. (What kind of money would that be today?) Then George follows him around town to retrace his steps and back to Uncle Billy’s house. When George leaves, a squirrel runs across Uncle Billy’s desk and up his arm. In all the probably hundreds of times I’ve watched this movie, I never noticed the squirrel until now. Apparently Uncle Billy had a “way” with animals.

Before George leaves Uncle Billy, he makes this speech "Where's that money you silly stupid old fool? Where's that money? Do you realize what this means? It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison. That's what it means. One of us is going to jail, well it's not gonna be me." Did you notice that scandal comes before prison? He’s worried about scandal more than prison. Things don’t change much do they?

My favorite line, Mary Bailey: “George, why must you torture the children!”

Anastasia’s favorite line, Annie: “I’ve been saving this for a divorce, if I ever got a husband.”

Malfeasance. How often do you hear that word today? I bet we could use that term to describe Blagojevich.

Some of the best lines of the movie:

Clarence: “You've been given a great gift, George: A chance to see what the world would be like without you.”

Clarence: “Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?”

Clarence: “You see, George, you really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?”

When you watch this movie, do you ever think about if you were in George’s place? What would the world be like without you? (Your community, your family, your friends.) I know this is just a movie, but work with me here, think about your life for a moment. I don’t know about you, but when I try to think about any significant things that have happened in my life, I can’t point to any moments even close to the definitive moments in George’s life.

Saving his kid brother Harry from drowning in the pond. (Harry who later won the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving all the men on his transport during the war.)

Catching Mr. Gower’s mistake and saving that family from cyanide poisoning.

Keeping his father's business afloat, thus allowing the townspeople to get loans to own their own homes and making their town a community full of beautiful homes and prosperous family businesses.

Keeping Violet on the straight and narrow by loaning her money.

Even if I try and get real creative with my personal history, I can’t imagine ever making a mark on someone else’s life that would be so significant so as to make my existence so essential. To my knowledge I have never saved a life, either directly or indirectly. I've never saved a business, thus saving the reputation of a town and it's inhabitants. And I never prevented anyone from becoming a prostitute. About the only thing I can come up with is that my high school friend, Margaret, would have never come to visit me that weekend in Chicago when we went out drinking and she met her husband Jack. Then they would never had their daughter Megan. As far as I know Megan hasn’t done anything history changing, she's just a high school senior this year. (If she would have won the Nobel Peace Prize, I think I would have gotten an email or something.)


How about you? What if you had never been born? How would that change the lives of the people around you?

In closing….Clarence: “Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.”

This movie has my vote for the best holiday movie ever.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What was the best Christmas Party you ever attended or hosted?

One of the replies to one of my Christmas traditions posts made me realize that posting these has helped me reminisce and is really helping me get into the Christmas spirit. I hope it’s giving you all a chance to get into the Christmas spirit too!

Today’s questions is:

What was the best Christmas party you ever either attended or hosted?

And yes, I’d love to hear your drunken office party stories too. Lol!

I have to cheat and share 2 Christmas party stories. Hey, it’s my blog and I can do what I want.

The best Christmas party I ever hosted bk (before kids) was a potluck “theme” party. The theme was childhood favorites. I think this was the best idea for a party I ever had, and the most successful party I hosted. My contribution to the party was a baked ham, homemade split pea soup and homemade apple pie. One guest made the most delicious, incredibly fattening, wonderful, homemade Macaroni and Cheese. The most notable contribution though was Fluffernutter Sandwiches. I thought these things were nasty sweet, but in terms of following the theme, they were definitely the winner.

The best Christmas party ak (after kids) was the year of my son’s first Christmas, my daughter was 1 ½ years old. First a little history on that year’s Christmas. I was living in Chicago at the time and decided to bundle up both kids and head to Marshall Fields on State Street to visit Santa. First off, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Dragging two little ones on your own all the way downtown isn’t the greatest of plans, but I was determined to have their pictures taken with Marshall Fields' Santa. Thankfully the line wasn’t very long and we made our way up to Santa and the Elf photographer fairly quickly. Finally it was our turn. My daughter was first. Santa didn’t even bother to chat, the elf parked her on his knee and went back and snapped the picture. No "and what do you want for Christmas" or "have you been a good little girl". Same thing with my son, park him on Santa's lap, shoot the picture. No coochie coo, no waving a stuffed animal to get his attention, just snap, grab him off Santa’s lap and pass him back to me.

When I got the photo packages I ordered I was furious at having spent a ridiculous sum of money for crappy, hastily snapped photos. It was not the 'memory' I expected after having plunking down that much hard earned cash. After we got home the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. I decided to write a letter to the head of Marshall Fields Public Relations Department. I even called to find out the person's name. I figured if nothing else it would be an exercise that would allow me to vent. About a week later, to my surprise I got a phone call from someone from their Public Relations Department. The Marshall Fields rep apologized profusely for my bad experience and they wanted to make it right. They offered to send their best Santa (aka Mr. O’Riley) to our apartment so my kids could have a personal visit with him and we could take as many photos as we wanted. As luck would have it, we were having a holiday party that Saturday. They juggled Santa’s schedule and promised to have him stop by during the party. They also refunded the money I spent on the photo packages.

When guests started arriving at our holiday party that night we told them we ‘might’ have a surprise visitor. Everyone thought that meant that my husband (now ex-husband) would be ‘disappearing’ while Santa made his appearance. Boy were they surprised when Santa showed up and my ex-husband walked in right behind Santa. Santa gave our kids stockings filled with goodies and gave us mugs filled with candies. Santa had every child (and every adult that wanted to) sit on his lap and talked and laughed with each and every one. Santa let us take as many pictures as we wanted to. Everyone had a really good laugh when Grandma sat on Santa’s lap. The picture below is the only photo I could find tonight. I know I have more. If I can find them Sunday I will post more.
Marshall Fields was the best, truly. It’s really sad they no longer exist.

That's Santa and my daughter. She's still a cutie!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I listen to talk radio too much.

I'm too young for this. 'Old farts' listen to talk radio. I'm not an old fart. I think I've got a long ways to go till I'm an 'old fart'. In my mid 40’s. Ok…turning the corner past my mid 40’s.

(clears throat)

My name is Lola. And I'm addicted to talk radio.

Is there a 12 step program for talk radio addiction?

Last week I was looking to download some music for the kids ipods and I had to go to a radio station's website for play lists to see what the new songs are. I didn’t know All American Rejects has a new song “Gives you hell”. This is a radio station that is my #1 slot on my car stereo. I listened to it all the time...until talk radio hooked me.

It started quite innocently.

I tuned in for the Chicago Cubs games. Even though I can't stand Ron Santo (cough, cry baby). I do enjoy Pat Hughes play by play.

Then it was the election. I HAD to listen to keep up on the election.



I beg of you.

Help me stop.

Yesterday on John Williams show on 720am Wgn a guest referred to Blagojevich as a “sociopath”. Today on his show, they were predicting the possible ramifications to President Elect Obama. Could President Elect Obama be less than truthful about not having contact with Blagojevich regarding candidate #5?

Do we really need to sully President Elect Obama’s reputation? He’s an incoming President with probably the biggest set of economic issues EVER in the history of our country. Do we really need to take his valuable time away from those issues to have him waste his time on this?

Ok, tomorrow I have an appointment, so I’m looking forward to riding in the car and hearing what Kathy and Judy on 720am Wgn have to say about it.

I can’t stop!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Did you call in Gay 12/10/08? If you did, how did you spend your day?

Call In Gay - Day Without Gay

I didn't call in Gay today because my full time job is looking for a new one. Can't take a day off from the job search.

Did you call in Gay Wednesday? If you did, how did your boss take it? What did you do with your Gay day away from work?

What are your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day traditions today as an adult?

In addition to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we also celebrate St. Nicholas Day by hanging our Christmas stockings. The stockings are usually filled with a few candy items, and a video game or movie. When they were younger it was small dolls and Matchbox cars. One year I was having a real hard time with discipline. Telling them that Santa was watching, faking phone calls to Santa, nothing worked. So I went to the garage, got a few pieces of unused charcoal for the grill and put them in the kids stockings along with a note from Santa reminding them that he is watching and that the behavior he saw was not good. The note asked them to improve and if they did he would stop by before Christmas and fill their stockings, otherwise, more coal on Christmas. I wanted to make the letter look official, but I didn’t have anything to do that, nothing to emboss it, no glitter even. Instead, I took glue and signed “Santa” in cursive and then sprinkled cinnamon over the glue and let it dry. The kids were quite impressed. Their behavior improved long enough not to have to go back out to the garage for more charcoal for Christmas.

For our Christmas Eve tradition now I make a couple trays of Sfincioni
for Christmas Eve. I also prepare veggie and cheese trays. I bake 2 quiches, one quiche is warmed up Christmas morning, the second we warm up the day after Christmas. It takes the craziness out of Christmas morning and makes it special, because I only make quiche for holidays. Lately my 13 year old son has taken to baking, so he will usually bake a batch of cookies so he has homemade cookies for Santa.

One thing that we don’t do, that we would really like to do, is to go as a family to Midnight Mass. We have yet to find a church in our area where we feel comfortable. Anastasia and I were both brought up Roman Catholic, and being that we live in the community where she grew up, she is not comfortable at the local church.

Christmas Eve we watch Christmas movies as a family. Sometimes we will stop at Anastasia’s Mom’s house and hang out for a while. My son sets out the cookies and a beverage for Santa. When the kids were little we would read “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.
Twas the night before Christmas
If Anastasia and I have any last minute Elf work, we send the kids to bed early, otherwise we let them stay up late so we have some hope of sleeping in a bit Christmas day. I don't put any gift tags on the gifts, just in case the kids find my hiding places. Remember "hiding in plain sight"? I pick a different gift wrap for each family member and all of their gifts are wrapped in that one wrap. A few times Anastasia has messed me up by getting into my color coded stash of wrap, but since she uses tags, it all worked out.

Christmas morning we open our gifts while breakfast warms in the oven. We usually head out to Anastasia’s Mom’s house after that to celebrate with her very large family. We usually arrive home after dinnertime and graze on any leftovers from the night before.

It’s hard to incorporate some of my childhood traditions because most of my family has passed away. Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles have passed away through the years. I moved out of state and the few elder relatives I have left have also moved away. It always makes me sad around this time of the year that we’ll never have the kind of Christmas I had growing up ever again. As much as I try, I know it will never be the same. But then I also think that making new traditions can also be enjoyable and hopefully cherished memories for my kids. I really look forward to everyone’s posts. Maybe by sharing our traditions we can glean a few new ones for ourselves.

Traditions are important. Cherish the memories.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Political Corruption Crime Spree?

Our Governor's 6am wake-up call, taken away in handcuffs the day before his 52nd birthday.

Happy Birthday Governor Blagojevich!

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich taken into federal custody

The head of the FBI office in Chicago said that "if Illinois isn't the most corrupt state in the United States, it's certainly one hell of a competitor."

Federal agents confiscated evidence from Governor Blagojevich's campaign office and his home. They tapped his home phone.

We Illinoisians are so proud.

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