She walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly like a reptile. She's almost human. It's.....THE OPTO-MOM!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kids these days!

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m going to gripe about kids these days. Yes, like the “old people” used to do when we were kids. I’ll do my best not to use the word “whippersnapper” or any other senior citizen terminology.

I recently read that in some school districts, the administrations have banned teachers from using red pens to correct their students’ papers. It seems that they don’t want to scare the children with that very frightening red ink. “It just seems too harsh,” said one administrator. “We prefer a more soothing color like purple.” What kind of pansies are we raising when a particular color of ink causes a child to need psychotherapy?

They are also banning the act of taking off points if the child forgets to put his or her name on their paper. You’ve gotta be kidding me! They wouldn’t have lasted 1 day with our teachers. I can’t tell you how many times we heard, “If it doesn’t have your name, how will I know whose paper it is?” I guess in these touchy-feely schools everyone just gets the same grade, so it doesn’t matter if your name is on it or not.

Speaking of grades, there are actually schools out there that don’t even give grades. They feel that grades inhibit the learning process. What a load of crap! How do you know who the dumb kids are if you don’t have any grades? (I know, that was just wrong!) These are the same schools that encourage children to play chess, arrange flowers, or practice yoga instead of focusing on reading, math, and science. Yeah, yoga and chess will really help you in your college classes and/or in the real world. And people wonder why the Japanese children outperform American kids in math and science scores. But I’ll bet our kids could kick their butts in flower arranging! I’m not so sure about the yoga and chess…

What’s going to happen when these whippersnappers (sorry, it slipped out!) get a job and have a performance review? They’ve never had anyone tell them that they aren’t perfect before. They’ve never had their papers corrected (with a RED pen!) or had the responsibility of simply writing their names on their papers.

I can just see it now…

Boss: I need you to get that report done this morning.

Whiney employee: But I usually do yoga from 9:45 to 10:15 and follow up with a rousing game of chess.

Boss: Uhhhh…you’re fired.

Then the whiner will most likely file a lawsuit alleging discrimination against pansy asses.

I have actually known parents who go to the school because their child’s teacher is too strict. “She wants everything done this way, and if they don’t do it, they get points taken off.” Well, duhhhh, just tell your kid to do it the proper way and everything will be fine. Now was that so hard? I see nothing wrong with teaching someone the proper way to do something, and then expecting them to do it. That’s why it’s called “teaching.” That’s what they used to do in schools. Remember those days?

Now to be fair, I love my daughter’s school and teachers and think they do a great job! When my daughter gripes about having to do something at school, I do not rush up there and make them change their policy because my little precious (and she really is precious!) wants to do it another way. I just tell her to suck it up and do what she’s told. Because that’s how I roll!

Friday, May 14, 2010


I was propped up in the bed reading last night, when the phone rang. I answered and the gentleman asked for Donna. I told him that I thought he had the wrong number, because there is no one here by that name. End of story, right?

Oh, not even CLOSE! He then asked if I was Donna. "No," I told him politely, "I'm not Donna." Well, this just seemed to confuse the poor man to no end! I hear him whispering to someone on his end about how I say I'm not Donna. I guess he needed advice on how to handle such a dire situation.

Normally, I would have hung up at this point, but I was feeling a little frisky, so I decided to see where this was going to go. I wasn't going to get any sleep any time soon because my daughter, who is all knees and elbows at this point in her life, was in the bed with me. Sleeping with her is like trying to sleep with a set of overactive nunchucks in the bed. There are lots of random thunks and smacks administered to my head and body when she is sleeping with me.

Anyway, the genius on the other end of the phone asks if I can get Donna for him. I (again) reply that there is no one here named Donna. Again with the confusion and the whispering to someone on his end of the line.

Then his lady friend gets on the phone.

Lady friend: Can I talk to Donna?

Me: There is no one here by that name.

Lady friend: You're not Donna?

Me: I don't think so, but I could go check my driver's license to make sure.

Lady friend: No, that's ok. But Donna's really not there?

Me: {suppressing giggles at this point} No. I could take a polygraph, if that's what you require.

Lady friend: Oh. Uhhhhh.....well, can you tell her to call Tisha when she gets back?

Me: Sure, no problem!

So, Donna, if you're reading this, please call Tisha.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Days 2 and 3 of the P90X Saga

In my previous blog, I recounted the trials and tribulations of Day 1 (chest and back) in the P90X exercise program. Now that I have regained partial use of my arms, I thought I would let you know about Days 2 and 3. On Day 2, I did the Ab Ripper X workout.

I have cleverly deduced the reason they call it Ab Ripper X. It is because, after completing this little jewel, you will want to reach down your own throat and rip out your abdominal muscles. Yes, this is a fun one, boys and girls! Satan (the dude from the video) has concluded that I must be punished for some past misdeed, and he has taken it out on my abs.

My husband and my 8-year-old daughter (Miss Smarty Pants) joined me in this celebration of abdominal torture, and it made me feel a little better that I heard several grunts of pain from my husband. I know, that’s mean, but WHATEVER! What did NOT make me feel better was Miss Smarty Pants and her little comments, “Wow! This is easy!” “I did all 25 reps without stopping!” And my personal favorite, “Daddy, why is Mommy crying?”

At this point, I’m thinking that water-boarding doesn’t sound so bad! Perhaps they could force captured terrorists to perform Ab Ripper X. “You wanna blow up stuff in our country? Well, buddy, another hour of this might make you think twice before messing with us!” I think it could be quite effective in deterring terrorism. Mainly because they won’t be able to sit up straight long enough to fly a plane or drive a truck. Hell, I can’t even put on my own socks after doing this DVD!

Now that I've solved the terrorism problem in our country (you're welcome!), let’s talk about Day 3, shall we? This DVD is known as “Plyometrics.” Sounds innocuous enough, right? Maybe we’ll do some geometry or study the metric system. Not my idea of a good time, but hey, I could suffer through it.

Well, folks, the other term for plyometrics has nothing to do with mathematics. Nope! It’s also known as “jump training.” Uh oh! It basically consists of an entire hour of jumping, leaping, lungeing and twisting. I had to go get my ShamWOW to clean up all of the sweat pouring out of my body! There were three 30 second water breaks (that’s 90 seconds out of an hour!), during which I drank about 2 ½ gallons of water.

At this point, I am thinking that I would rather be interrogated by Jack Bauer than EVER do plyometrics again. My legs and butts are still quivering, causing me to stagger around like a drunken sailor. I got stuck on the toilet for an hour earlier because I couldn’t stand up. I guess I’m going to have to get some of those handicapped bars installed in my bathroom.

But I shall press on! If I am in this much pain, it must be working, right? In the meantime, can someone come over here and put my socks on for me? I’ll be waiting on the toilet. Thanks!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The P90X Exercise Program – Day 1

Ok, seeing as though I’m a slightly chubby Opto-Mom, I’ve decided I am getting in shape! Rather than the stripper pole exercise video that I mentioned in a previous blog, I decided to go with a hardcore workout program: P90X. It is advertised as an “extreme” fitness system. Sure…I can do extreme! Can’t I? You’ll just have to read on and see. Perhaps it was a bad sign that the box it came in felt really heavy to me.

Day One is here, and I’m ready…I’m stoked…I’m pumped to get started and get that “beachbody” they were advertising! There is a little chart in there that tells you what to do on day one, day two, etc. So, I look at Day One, and it reads, “Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X.” What? Two videos on Day One? Isn’t Day One supposed to be like orientation day where you sit around and eat cookies and work out your goals, or something? Guess that’s not “extreme.”

So, I pop in the “Chest & Back” DVD. That sweet fellow on there welcomes me and tells me a little about the video and how he’s going to make me a lean, fit machine. I really feel like he’s talking just to me! What a nice guy! And he’s so buff!

We start the warm-up, and I’m feeling good. I’m really doing it! I’m going to have a beachbody! WooooHoooo! Then we get to the arm circles. You know the ones: you hold your arms straight out to your sides and make little circles. Now, our p.e. coach in elementary school used to make us do these. I hated arm circles then, and I hate them now. I was a very polite child, so I never said anything out loud during this child torture in elementary school. But in my head I was thinking bad things about this coach: big meanie, poopy head, etc. As my vocabulary has expanded into adulthood, I have some other choice names for my current coach, that sweet fellow on the video. But he’s just trying to help me, get me warmed up, so I endure without yelling any ugly epithets at my television.

Ok, we’re done warming up and I’m already sweating. I’m good, though! Let’s get to it! Mr. Sweet Video Guy (MSVG) tells me we’re going to do push ups. So I haul myself down to the floor.

Me: ONE…………
MSVG: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, how are you doing?
Me: {grunt} TWO…………
MSVG: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, keep it going!
Me: {with slightly quivering arms at this point} THREE………

I actually had to pause the video to complete my set of 10 push ups. MSVG and his band of buff minions had already knocked out 30 before I reached 5! Who are these people???

Then we went on to chin-ups. I don’t have the chin-up bar yet, so I was using resistance bands, the alternative listed in the literature for Hell on Earth, er, I mean P90X. This went pretty well, though I could feel the burn. Then it was back to push ups, military style, this time. UGH!

Again, I’m struggling through these, when Mr. Happy on my video screen cheerfully chirps, “You may need to put your knees on the ground to start out.” WHAT? I had to overcome the urge to reach into my TV and yank Mr. Happy out (assuming I could move my arms at this point) and scream into his face, “Why didn’t you tell me that in the beginning?”

I completed the rest of my set (with knees on the ground) and eventually finished the video. I was especially good at the water break portion of the program. Please, hold your applause. I decided to hold off on the Ab Ripper X until the next day.

The next morning, I woke up to my blasting alarm. Guess I should turn that off. Wait, why isn’t my arm moving? Holy cow, I’m paralyzed from the waist up! I eventually haul myself out of the bed and use one of my dangling appendages to swat at the alarm clock until it stops beeping. I now have a new name for Mr. Sweet Video Guy, aka Mr. Happy. His new name is “Satan,” and this is how I will refer to him from now on.

Now, the video encourages you to drink lots of water. Really? And how, pray tell, am I supposed to lift a water bottle all the way up to my lips? I asked my hubby if he would pour some water into a bowl so I could just lap it up. He scowled at me and left the room. He doesn’t look at the cat like that, and that’s how our kitty drinks his water. I think that’s discrimination of some sort…I’ll have to check with my lawyer.

I’ve also found that I can’t lift a fork. See, that’s the secret of becoming lean and getting a beachbody. They disable your arms so you can’t eat for days at a time. I actually had to drive to work with my knees.

But I’m not giving up! I can do this! I will let you know how Day 2 with Satan goes. Perhaps my daughter can put the DVD into the player for me, as I’m not sure I can lift a DVD at this point. By the way, since my arms are currently impaired beyond use, I’ve typed this entire blog post with my nose, so please forgive any typos!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day Flowers - online

By request, I am talking about online flower ordering today. It’s almost Mother’s Day, and we are inundated daily with flower commercials on the TV, radio, and online. You know the ones: You are offered a beautiful arrangement for only $29.99…that’s right, only $29.99! Order today, and you get a free vase!

Huh? Wait a minute. A free VASE? That seems kind of like going to the grocery store and seeing a sign that says, “Buy milk today and it comes in a free carton!” Or going to the Sonic to get a drink and they advertise their free styrofoam cups with a drink purchase. Ooooh, what a deal! What were you going to do, just pour it in my hand? I bought some laundry detergent the other day, and it came in a free box! I felt like I had won the lottery (NOT!).

Now, I have some experience in the flower biz. My mom was a florist for almost 25 years, so I practically grew up in flower shops. Unless you ordered a bouquet wrapped in paper, the flowers always came in some type of vase. This is called an arrangement, and the vase is part of it. It’s not like the online flower store is offering ancient Greek etched vases or Tiffany vases. They are just your common, everyday variety in clear, pink, or green glass.

Ok, enough about the vases. So, you think you’re getting a good deal for $29.99, right? Well, let’s just check out and see. I definitely expected a delivery charge. That seems reasonable to me. Of course they don’t tell you the delivery charge until after you’ve entered your name, address, social security number, shoe size, hair color, results of your last pelvic exam, credit card info (including that little 3 digit number on the back…don’t forget that!), the recipient’s name, address, phone number, dog’s name, and the e-mail addresses of everyone in your family. And don’t leave any blanks or all manner of red letters and asterisks will pop up on your screen telling you that you can’t continue until you enter the name of your health insurance provider, or some other such nonsense.

So you finally get to the payment screen, and realize that you’ve missed the deadline for the free vase. Apparently, you had to make your purchase before midnight, Sri Lankan Standard Time. So, they just add $9.99 to your order for the vase. {sigh} Then you see that the delivery charge is $14.99. Well, ok. After all, they are delivering it right to her door! So you click purchase. This is the point where they add on the “rural delivery fee,” which is an additional $14.99. This is for anyone who lives in a city with less than 8 million people.

Then you get a little pop-up asking if you want to include a Mother’s Day card with your order. Well, of course I do! That will save me a trip to Wal-Mart and the post office, right? Check the yes button, and they add another $9.99 for the card. Where the h*#$ do these people buy their cards? For $9.99, it better be one of those cards that sings. Heck, for $9.99 it better dance too!

So, our grand total for a small arrangement of flowers (advertised at $29.99) with a card is $79.95! But by the time I’d finished filling out all the forms, it was too late to go out and buy anything. Ok, that’s not true. I just really, really wanted that free Farmville Cash. For those of you who don't farm on facebook, Farmville was offering 100 free FV cash with your online flower order. You know I had to have those new adobe cottages. I simply adore adobe! It’s fun to say, too. Come on, say it with me: “ADOBE!” Hey, wasn’t that a blast?

Now, where was I? Oh yes, Mother's Day flowers. In hindsight, perhaps it would be best to just run down to your local flower shop and order a lovely arrangement (in a vase) and save almost 50 bucks! Then you would have money left over to buy mom some earrings or perfume. Or just forget the flowers and buy her one of those new e-readers. I sure do love those new e-readers. E-readers are awesome, so I've heard. I wouldn't know from personal experience, since I don't have one. But an e-reader would be a perfect gift for the mom who loves to read. Anyone smell a hint floating around here?

Happy Mother's Day to everyone! Hope you get lots of love (and maybe an e-reader).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Commercial

One evening I was watching TV with my 8-year-old daughter, the aforementioned Miss Smarty Pants (MSP), for those of you that have been following along with my blogs. It was late on a Friday night, and we were enjoying some quality time as fellow couch potatoes, watching old sitcoms. During the commercial break a pleasant voice came out of my TV. It said, “Are you tired of carrying around that extra weight?”

Me: “YES!”

TV Person: “Is it hard for you to get to the gym for expensive and time-consuming training or aerobic classes?”

Me: “Duh!”

TV Person: “Do you enjoy dancing?”

Me: “Yeah, baby! I love to shake my tailfeathers!”

TV Person: “Well, this is the workout video for you.”

Me: “Yippee!”

TV Person: “Try our fun and effective pole dancing instructional DVD! Lose weight while learning the most sexy and exotic moves we could find!” {Video of scantily-clad ladies grinding on chairs and spinning on poles accompanied the voice at this point.}

Me: {Shit, shit, shit!  Fumbling for the remote and speaking in an extremely loud voice…} “SO HOW WAS SCHOOL TODAY?”

I finally got the channel changed after a seemingly endless 10 seconds of more spinning, bumping and grinding. I was shocked that they would show this commercial on anything other than the Spice Channel, but thought that maybe I had distracted MSP with my quick-thinking and witty conversation.

No such luck! The next day, we were in a very crowded restaurant when MSP piped up (in that really loud voice kids use when they are saying something inappropriate), “Hey, Mom. Remember that lady dancing on that pole last night? That was funny!”

Oh, dear Lord! Now everyone was looking at me like I had drowned a puppy or something, which I guess is normal if they have reason to believe you've been chillaxin' at the local strip joint with your small child. Why, oh why didn’t I have my finger on the power button in case some semi-porn popped up on TV Land? Well, perhaps because I wasn’t expecting to see strippers during a commercial break while watching Full House. Who would’ve thought???

Somehow we made it through the rest of lunch without anyone calling Child Protective Services, but I’ve learned my lesson now. I always keep the remote control in my hand at all times when my daughter is in the room.

And while we’re on the subject, what is up with all of the commercials touting Cialis and Viagra? And they show those during prime time, not just on late night TV! Exactly how do you explain erectile dysfunction to an 8-year-old? I think I’ll discuss Cialis and Viagra in a later blog, so tune in….you don’t wanna miss it!

Update: I have suffered a broken leg and a concussion due to my new pole dancing, errr…… I mean, workout video. But I can still type, so my blogging will not be affected!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Miss Smarty Pants

I was driving down the road the other night with my 8-year-old daughter. She started telling me that even though the stars look really small to us, they are actually many times larger than the earth.

Well, I'm glad to know she's actually been paying attention in science class!

So, I decide to engage in a bit of silliness to encourage her to use her imagination and creativity. That's what the parenting books say to do, right? Well, apparently the authors of these books have never met my daughter.

I told her that I thought it would be fun to travel to one of those stars. "Wouldn't that be interesting?" I queried. With a dramatic eye roll that only little girls can manage when dealing with their not-so-enlightened moms, she said, "Mom, you would never make it. You would be incinerated and then vaporized before you could even get to a star!"

She didn't say "UGH!" but I suspected that she wanted to. Miss Smarty Pants usually knows when to push her luck and when to keep her pie hole shut.

Who knew that an 8-year-old could be so literal-minded? No silly imagination games for this kiddo, no siree! But she's always been like this.

We went to Disney World when Miss Smarty Pants was 6, and I spotted Cinderella across the way. The line to see her was incredibly short, so I asked my daughter if she wanted to go meet Cinderella. She replied (in a very patient she was speaking to a slow child), "Mom, that's just some lady in a Cinderella costume. Cinderella is just a character from a movie. She's NOT real! Can we go ride Space Mountain again?" Oh, and don't forget the eye rolling. She's really a pro at that whole eye rolling thing! So much for the magic of Disney, right?

We did finally get a picture of her with Donald Duck, but only because he was wearing a poncho and sombrero, and she thought that was cool.

I truly believe that Miss Smarty Pants may just realize her dream of becoming a scientist. After all, she's got the brain for it. Hopefully, she won't do anything to get incinerated or vaporized..... Can I get an "AMEN?"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf

Well, this oil spill in the Gulf is certainly a big mess. They've got everyone from environmentalists to SWAT teams down there trying to figure out how to clean this mess up. I don't know what SWAT teams have to do with it, but perhaps they had a special class on giant oil slicks during their SWAT training.

Anyhoo, as with many cases, all they need to do to solve this problem is consult a redneck. Any redneck worthy of the name knows what to do with an oil spill. Just imagine that you are changing the oil in your car and have a spill on the floor of your garage. What does a good redneck do? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? You add kitty litter to it, of course! For those of you who are uninformed about such matters, cat litter has more uses than clumping up cat pee and making little pebbled poop sausages. Apparently, due to the clay granules in kitty litter, it also has the amazing ability to absorb oil! Rednecks across America have known this little tidbit for years. If they would only let some of the Louisiana folks take care of this instead of sending bureaucrats from Washington, this would all be fixed by now.

Now, all we need is a few hundred thousand tons of kitty litter. I don't think it's necessary to have that fancy shmancy litter that's made for multiple cat households or the kind that releases a fresh potpourri scent whenever it is stepped upon by little paws. No, just a plain ole generic litter will do fine. They even make some environmentally safe cat litter that would be perfect for this job! Dump it in there and watch it soak up that oil! And clean up will be a breeze.....just let it sink to the bottom of the ocean and serve as rocks. It will be like one giant aquarium for the Gulf wildlife!

I really can't believe no one else has thought of this solution. Maybe I really am above average like my momma used to tell me. If there are any more national crises, please feel free to contact me, and I'll see what kind of solution I can formulate. You're welcome!

On a serious note, our prayers go out to the families of the workers who were killed. May God bless you and everyone affected by this disaster. Can I get an "AMEN?"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Well, looky here! I've got myself a blog! Now what do I do? I guess if this doesn't work out, I'll pursue my dream of becoming a shrimpboat captain. Forrest Gump really seemed to enjoy it!