Tuesday, March 31, 2015


So it's been a little ranty on my part lately. I thought it was time for some frivolous tv talk. Real Housewives gets discussed and beaten to death on my Facebook page but that's also because I know who to tag. I know who is going to jump into the shallow waters with me on that one. No one seems to care about American Idol but me and like three others. Not sure about my friends list when it comes to Dancing With The Stars. At least if I talk about it here, it's not as glaringly obvious when no one comments. I still have to get my thoughts out though. They're also way too long for a Facebook status post. Maybe not long for one of *mine* but just way too long in general. I started watching this show to pass time on the treadmill and now I'm hooked.

DWTS: *spoiler* I actually really liked Charlotte. I was mesmerized by her body. I didn't find her off-putting at all or a "bad influence on little girls". First of all, it's a primetime show, as family friendly as some might want to call it. They make all kinds of sexual innuendo all the time. I don't think boobs made it any less family friendly. She seemed very down to earth for someone in a somewhat shallow profession. Basically, she was using her natural endowments to her advantage. Short of getting a breast reduction, what else is she supposed to do with those things.

I also take extreme offense to what Bruno said to her- that she'll never be a nuclear physicist or something but she does look good & can dance. WTF?? It was a completely random insult. The girl just talked about being bullied for her looks on the last show so that's what he says to her? You could just see the hurt in her face. Yes, people seem to have a general lacking sense of humor these days and things have become way too PC. But no. Mean. I usually find him mildly amusing, but that was just rude, inappropriate and just unnecessary. What does he even know about how smart or not she is? There are actors who went to Harvard & Yale. Meanwhile, I wouldn't say acting comes off as the most cerebral profession. Joey from Friends was an actor. Enough said. I liked her, her smile, her enthusiasm, and her ability to turn her ginormous lemons into a huge pitcher of sellable lemonade.

Surprisingly I'm into Riker. Lucky for me, my babysitters got E into shows like Jessie, Liv & Maddie, and Austin & Ally. In the first episode, I wasn't paying that much attention because I didn't think I knew who most of these people are. As I looked at Riker, I was wondering why he looked familiar. I looked him up and saw that he's the brother of the kid who plays Austin of Austin & Ally. I like that kid! So I'm partial to the brother. He also happens to be a good dancer. I also think Allison, the pro, deserves someone good. She's new, interesting, and I like her choreography. They're a good pairing.

I'm also impressed by Rumer Willis. There isn't much to say. She looks great, dances really well, and it's nice to see her do her own thing, breaking out from the shadow of her mom. And who doesn't like Val? You always want to see him go far. I'm also rooting for Noah Galloway. Never heard of him before but he's got the inspirational thing going, he's hot, and forget it when his girlfriend showed up. Cue all the tears. I'm also a fan of Michael Sams. He's so CUTE. I don't care what Wendy Williams says, that he should be concentrating on football. Props to him if he can do them both. Plus, if he has a chance to raise his profile- who knows how that will pan out for him later. I also LOVE Peta. I don't know why they sometimes screw her on partners- hi, Tommy Cheong? People liked him and he went far but you know he wasn't winning the mirrorball. Peta is best when they give her a hot guy she has mega chemistry with. Obviously this round it's not the usual kind of chemistry but they look good together and he's at least in her age bracket.

The rest are my "meh" group. As in- they could go at any time. Don't care and probably checking Facebook when they're on.

-Chris Soules- he's good looking. Nice body. But I don't care. I'm not into the whole farm-boy character he plays. I know he actually IS a farm-boy but he's just so snoozy to me. Like the other blond guy....Shawn. I forgot his name for a minute. The virgin guy. Sorry, these manginas are just not who I want to watch dance, trying to be sexy. Although, thinking back, I can't come up with a bachelor I would've liked to see dance. Matt Grant could've been quite cheeky. Or Charlie O'Connell. I didn't find him attractive, but he had that bad boy thing going for him.

-Nastia is a great dancer but I'm just not feeling her. Something about her just leaves me cold. Derek usually has more chemistry with his partner. There's always been something about him that also leaves me cold. But with Bethany Mota, they were electric. Same with Amy Purdy. I felt like there could have been behind the scenes shenanigans with either one of them. Not with this girl. I know they won't go home. They get high scores and they're good. Just boring to me.

-Patti LaBelle is cute and whatever. Just not a contender, therefore she can go.

-Suzanne Somers is just odd to me. I watch her faces when the other contestants are done dancing and she never seems happy for them or clapping. She reminds me of a pageant woman that would've been on that show Game of Crowns on Bravo. Like I could see her putting Nair in someone's shampoo. She just doesn't come off as nice or gracious. And poor Tony! WHY do they give him all these older women you know are going to be kicked off? He's like the Johnny Castle of DWTS having to teach little old Mrs Schumacher how to dance before she starts stealing wallets & Sweet'NLow. I don't know if it's in his contract or something that he can't have any sexy women because he's married or what. At least he won once with Melissa Rycroft but I looked over his prior partner roster and I feel like they give him their tough, old, big, and lazy. Some with piss poor attitudes too. Why, Tony, WHY??

-Willow Shields is fourteen. I don't understand why they keep getting younger and younger for Mark. I get that he's short, but is he also so immature that they want to keep giving him teens? It's just weird. Some of the dances are supposed to be sexy but then you remember they're teenagers! I've seen him dance with girls he could have legit chemistry with and it was better. This girl is fine, she's a good dancer, and I guess she's game for all his characters and whatnot, but please, give Mark someone he can really do anything with, without the parameters of age.

-Robert Herjavec is a decent dancer but he's creepy as all get out. I don't know why but he is. Maybe knowing he's going through a divorce, has all the mid-life crisis cars, and he's dancing with this young, hot blonde, but I'm just not into it. Then he wore that tight black tank top during practice and I couldn't even look at him after. I like him on Shark Tank but not into him in this new scenario.

Oh, and don't want to leave out Redfoo even though he's gone. Didn't care. Buh-bye. Don't miss ya. That whole persona is corny.

I think I'm going for Rumer, Riker, Michael & Noah as *MY* final four. But if we're talking dance ability and pro favorites, if I was a betting woman, I'd probably swap out Michael and Noah for Nastia and Willow. Mark and Derek always seem to make it into the finals. Derek isn't busting his ass doing ten shows a week on Broadway or whatever he's doing, for nothing. It would be fun for Riker, his rocker distant cousin, to one-up him on the ballroom dance floor though.

That's all for my frivolous tv post today. Hope you enjoyed the fluff.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


When I first started in the lampshade business, B told me the term for coming into a showroom to basically get information and not purchase is called "showcasing". Sounds like a weird name for it but that was the name they used so I'm using it.

Let me switch gears for a minute. Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Westwood- They all have walkable downtowns. Mom & Pop stores still line those downtowns. I'd bet that anyone who moves to Ridgewood or Westwood would say one of the top reasons for moving to those towns included the downtown. In Glen Rock and Ridgewood, people never cease to stop complaining about numerous duplicate businesses and empty store fronts. It's been years of empty stores and people coming up with lists of what they'd want in those spots & brainstorming on how the towns could entice businesses. Everyone seems to want to live in a town with a great downtown area. It's a great asset for a town to have.

Do you want to harbor a guess as to why there are so many empty store fronts? One reason could be the quick running to social media to complain about every little thing instead of talking to someone who could actually help them resolve an issue. I've been super vocal about how that couldn't possibly upset me more. But that's not what I'm talking about today.

Showcasing. I was recently on one of the mom's exchange boards on Facebook. A friend of mine asked where she should go to get bike helmets for her daughters. Originally I answered because I didn't see it was in the group- I thought she posted it on her personal page. She mentioned that she didn't want ones from a popular chain toy store. It was assumed she was looking for better fit and quality. People started naming legit mom & pop local cycle shops. Then came what I like to call the steaming pile of poop answer- "Go to ________ Cycle to get fitted, then go on Amazon and get it cheaper."


I was in a mood that morning. Enough said, right? No, but this is one of my triggers. I don't think people realize that this is essentially stealing. Stealing knowledge. It's not illegal & you really can't prove it, so it isn't typical stealing, but stealing none the less. How? Well, if you just went to Amazon in the first place and ordered, that would be one thing. We all want good pricing. *I* use Amazon. For things I don't need assistance with! Things I can research myself. Not things I need a real, live, human being to help me with. I try to buy local as much as possible, but I can recognize that sometimes you just need to utilize that Amazon Prime.

It's also just sneaky & calculated to shop like this because you're making someone think they are going to get a sale. A sale they count on to clothe their family or put food on their table. The two women I got into it with on FB had all kinds of excuses. One excuse was that she calls it "price comparison". The other asked if I think she should tip the girls at Stride Rite for measuring her kids and then leaving to buy cheaper online. One, Stride Rite isn't a mom & pop. Two, she did waste their time and they probably work on commission. So it's something to think about for sure. Then she asked if I think that people who can't afford to buy at a mom & pop shouldn't be able to get their kids shoes or heads fitted. No- I don't. Do it yourself then. Buy a cheap foot measuring thing or a tape measure for their heads. I don't know. Most mom & pops will try to price match anyway if you ask nicely. If it's not going to make them LOSE money. I then had to explain in great detail the differences between "price comparison" and "showcasing". I'm still pretty sure neither of them understood me or cared.

There is a big difference between going store to store to shop for the best price on something. Ask questions. Do what you have to do. But if you do that KNOWING you're not planning on buying from any of the people you are using for their knowledge and expertise because you're just going to buy online, you are essentially stealing their knowledge. At least tip them for their time and energy! I said to the one- "I hope you tip them after you bend them over...", Cue the shock and outrage. The one woman thought she was being clever by looking me up, seeing I have a store, and asked if I expect to get tipped if someone comes into my lighting store, asks questions, then buys it cheaper online. Well, Mrs. Smarty-Pants, you can't really do that in my store. We make everything. You might think you're going to find something like it somewhere online, but if it's cheaper, it's definitely not the same quality. To us, if you are hoping to recreate a page in the Pottery Barn catalog, or you're willing to buy your lampshades at a big box store after seeing ours, then you weren't our customer to begin with. You're not someone who gets what we do. The whole point of shopping with us is the uniqueness factor. Quality factor. The idea that no one is ever coming in your house and saying they saw it in Crate & Barrel or at their friend Judy's house. I'm not worried about it. It's annoying to have wasted time, but that's about it.

My irritation and dismay with this is more about the empty store fronts in my own town. It's about the friends of mine who couldn't sustain their business because of shady showcasers. For instance, there is a cycle shop in my own town. The town next to the friend who posted the initial question. I like to support the cycle shop in my town and I also don't want to send someone in there who is only going to waste their time to use that information elsewhere.

I like a deal. Everyone likes a deal. But if you're in a mom & pop store, you're most likely in there for service. You're not in there just based on price. You need help. You need sizing, you need information, you need to touch and see something in person. All things you can't get online. I guess you could do one of those online chats some stores have, but most of the time, you're in a store because you want or need the whole package. All I'm asking is to please think before just telling someone to showcase or do it yourself. Realize that everyone is also just trying to make a living. People who own mom & pop stores are usually very passionate about their business. They've studied a craft, honed it, and made it a business. They most likely spend the majority of their time in their business and do their best to give amazing expertise and service. Think about all that before setting out to use them for what their worth then turn around to support the big guy who can give you a better price. It just comes down to common decency and morality. If you want a vibrant, bustling downtown to walk around in and cool stores to shop in, then you need to support them instead of trying to undercut them just to save a few bucks.

Call it good karma.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tine Tags

Someone asked if they could send me Tine Tags to try because I'm a "mom blogger". Stupidly, I thought they were something you put ON your blog. Like, some kind of link or something. I got them in the mail and had no clue what to do with them. Now, that's my own fault, because I didn't read. Then, I put them in my bag and forgot about them. I got an email from the person who sent them asking if I used them and that she couldn't wait to read about them. Clearly, they were not links to go ON my blog, but for me to try and write about. Duh. I'm not usually that moronic, so I'm calling myself out here. Sheepishly, I said I'd done nothing with them. I just saw them in my bag again so I got to trying them out like I'd promised.

I get it now. I get how they're supposed to be used. So, now I can write about them. Tine Tags are little sticky tags that come twenty to a sheet. You put the free app on your smartphone. You sign up, confirm your address, and they'll send you tags. Then, from the app, you can record video, audio or take a photo, put it to the tag via scanning on the app, then stick them anywhere. At first, I didn't get why one might do this. But I tried it and I can see where they could be useful. If you want more tags, you can buy them. Once you use a tag, that's it. It's used. You can view/hear the content over and over but I'm pretty sure you can't reuse the tag as in putting something else on the same, already used, tag.

-Put a tag inside your kid's coat with recorded instructions on how to get it back to you. E and some kid with the same coat took each other's by mistake from an extracurricular class in a town neither of them live in. I had no idea how to find this other boy's mom, even with my sleuthing skills.

-Make voice notes on a report or in a book for work or leisure

-Put them on moving or storage boxes with video, audio or photos of what is in them. I guess you could just write on them but often, you reuse boxes and what you originally wrote isn't what's really in them later on. I KNOW the boxes in my attic aren't labeled correctly.

-Instructions for feeding a baby or kids for a babysitter. You know those teens have a smartphone.

-Extra special touch on a greeting card

They're cool. I'm not going to use them on a greeting card or to make a book more personal. I just already know this. That's a Pinterest type of idea and we know I'm not Pinterested. But I would use it on something of E's that I would be pissed if he lost. When he *lost* his coat, I would've LOVED if I had a direct way to contact the mom. I didn't even know WHERE he switched coats. Originally I thought it was with another kid at his afternoon school. It wasn't. It was somewhere where I don't know ANY of the other parents or kids. A Tine Tag would've been quite helpful.

I could totally see using them at work for dimensions of lampshades. For instance, if I did a house call and had to take shades back with me. Instead of Post-It notes, It would be better to record video or audio on a Tine Tag to know exactly what I'm doing to that shade. Or for video of the room the shades are going in so I can refer back to a color palate later. Once, I went to a mansion kind of house where I had shades from multiple rooms. But I had no lamps to take back with me. I took separate pictures of all the lamps but it would've been better if I'd had video of what lamps were in what rooms and had the Tine Tag stuck on the shades per room. I could've taken video on my phone, but then all the videos would be together, taking up space on my phone, until I was ready to refer to them. It just would've been annoying for me.

My husband just asked what they were and now thinks they're the coolest ever. Again, for work. He has to take apart lamps and chandeliers. He tries to take picture or videos of how they looked before so when he puts them back together, it's easier to remember how they were before. But if he had a tag on the piece or the paperwork with the video or photo of how they looked before it would just be way more organized. He likes things streamlined, clean and organized. These would be perfect for that.

The only drawback I can see is that not everyone has a smartphone, nor do they know what to do with scanning. I see those scanner label things on stores at the mall all the time. Even having used the Tine Tag, I don't know what to do with the ones at the mall. You kind of have to imagine everyone is a technologically challenged wandering old (like me). I don't know that someone else would know what to do with these things if someone sent one or put it on an item of clothing. When I spoke to the mom of the kid who had E's coat, I said to her that she was hard to track down. That I'm everywhere. If she had noticed E's name in his coat (first and last name), if she'd Googled him, she'd get me in half a second. She replied that as I am everywhere, in comparison, she is nowhere. So I'm not sure that if I had a Tine Tag on his coat, she would've even known how to use it. If this girl who sent me the tags hadn't contacted me, I wouldn't know either. I guess what I'm saying is that until they're more widely known, I don't know how helpful they'll be in certain situations I'd want to use them for.

All in all- they're a cute idea. I don't know how mainstream they'll be for at least some time, but you could definitely have some fun trying them out. I don't like the sound of my own voice, so I will cool it on the audio usage but maybe I could do some fun stuff with E using them with the picture function.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The New TV Normal

I couldn't resist this old tv picture.
Considering mine aren't much newer.
The "mini-series". I think that's what they're calling new tv shows now. The term mini-series had a totally different meaning back in the day. In my mind, I associate the term with adaptions of Jackie Collins books, something with Farah Fawcett, or stuff that would be on Lifetime with Patty Duke. Now, it's the new tv "normal". Up until more recent years, a show would start for the "season" in September and run all the way until some time in May. There would be about twenty-two to twenty-four episodes in a season. I feel like One Tree Hill was ENDLESS (in a good way!). Same with 90210 (the original- the other one doesn't even count). There would be a little hiatus in December around the holidays, but for the most part, you could count on a new episode almost every week. Now, you're lucky if a show gives you ten episodes! The networks are apparently basing this on research of "binge-watching". "They" are saying this is the new way of watching. Watching a whole season in a weekend. So maybe ten episodes seems like enough?

I have to think money has a lot to do with this new shortened season phenomenon as well. I'm sure you've noticed that a lot of former "movie stars" are returning to the small screen in new tv shows. Well, if you take a Taraji Henson and Terrence Howard and put them in a show together, I'm thinking that's a pretty hefty salary bill right there. Then you have guest starts the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Courtney Love, Mary J Blige, Snoop Dogg, Judd Nelson, etc and there is even more cash being spent. With all that star power and no guarantee of what kind of ratings will come of it, they're only going for a shortened season. I heard Empire was picked up for next season at thirteen episodes with the option for nine more. Empire exploded- it's the biggest thing on tv right now, as far as I'm reading. My guess is that while they expect it to keep doing well, they want to make sure before spending all that money. So they give them the option for the nine more instead of outright ordering them. So great- we'll get our twenty-two episodes next year. But hey- what do we do in the meantime? Empire is great, so we'll all come back for the Cookie-monster. What about the other shows though?

The Slap- it's been ok so far. There are only eight episodes. The first episode was so confusing that I had to look up how all the characters were supposed to be related. They tried to stuff so much into that first episode that had they only decided from the get-go to make it more of an extended show, they could've taken their time and really fleshed it all out. The next episodes sort of focus just on one portion of the group vs the whole scenario of what the focus is supposed to be. I've enjoyed the episodes after the first totally uneven one. But even now that I know who all the players are and how they're related, the characters seem like cartoons. They're totally stereotypical and I really hate them all. I'll watch all eight episodes, but then it will be over and I will have forgotten it in half the time it took to watch it. These quick hits of entertainment are empty. Superficial. Nothing to write home about. It's sad.

I love tv. LOVE it. Everyone who knows me knows about my love of television. I have two dvr's that are at almost full capacity at all times. Not because I don't get to watch the stuff I dvr but because there is just always MORE. So I feel qualified to say the way episodic tv is going is SAD. I love to look forward to September for the beginning of my shows. I used to know and take comfort in knowing that September was the start of my school-year long INVESTMENT. I'm IN. Gray's Anatomy, Private Practice (RIP), October Road (RIP), so on and so forth.

Now, as soon as we're in a groove and I'm into a show, it's over. All of a sudden it's "Two more episodes until the finale!". I'm looking at you GIRLS, Togetherness, House of Lies, Nurse Jackie. Sure, these are cable, but even back in the Sex and the City days there were twenty-something episodes in a season. Ten, or twelve- tops, is how they're all rolling now. It's such a buzzkill. I feel like the network thinks they're leaving us wanting or something. No, it's just what we're stuck with. I'd rather watch than not watch, so I do, but I'm certainly not all jazzed that we only get ten. It's a ridiculous tease. I have friends who really only hate-watch GIRLS because the characters are such awful people. But if there were more episodes where the character could really evolve, I think there would be a lot less hate-watching. Yeah, they're still watching, but it's not the same as that deep love those of us superfans felt for Sex and the City! I really think part of the allure of SATC was that you lived with those four women over months and months. You got comfortable with them. They were like roommates or a flannel robe. Hannah & friends are a bunch of narcissistic assholes you basically pass in the hallway. Samantha probably would've just been a one-note sexaholic if we only saw her for ten episodes a season.

I hope this short season trend doesn't last. Unfortunately I don't see that being the case. If it's always going to come down to money, then it's always going to be cheaper to do less episodes. It's just unfortunate for the viewers. We're being shortchanged. It's almost not worth it to invest in any new show. If it's good, it's only on for two months out of twelve. It's like eating one potato chip. Or they get cancelled before they can gain any momentum. I can't tell you how many shows B and I have loved that got cancelled. It's almost inevitable that if we like something, it's gone. We're still mourning the loss of Dr. Lightman and the whole gang on SouthLAnd. Don't even talk to me about Friday Night Lights.

I guess I'll just have to suck up this abbreviated season trend and just hope for more good television to roll out since they will need something to fill the slots. We haven't started the new House of Cards yet and that one uses so much brain power and attention it's not like we can just whip through it like other tv brain candy. Maybe we'll wait until summer when there is REALLY nothing on tv! Oh, wait, I heard Bachelor in Paradise is coming back....

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Special Snowflake

Someone I know posted a "tug at the heartstrings" article about judging other parents and how you don't realize it's awful to do until it happens to you. Cliff notes of the article- this mom has a two year old who came down with some mysterious illness that they were told was most likely neurological. The child had been in the hospital and was just discharged. They were in the drugstore getting him medication. The father was carrying him in some kind of carrier. A woman angrily said to the father that the child should be walking, he's old enough to walk and the father wasn't doing him any favors by carrying him. The tired and weary parents just looked at each other and decided to ignore her. She came at them again. Finally the mom said that he's sick, just got out of the hospital and can't walk. The woman wasn't really sorry, just said she didn't know and walked away. The moral of the story basically was that the mom in the story said she was upset by this incident but it also reminded her of times she judged but didn't know the whole story. So don't judge...

I agree. Keep your mouth shut in most cases of other people's children. You don't know the backstory, so you don't know what they're dealing with.

BUT- there are cases of just clear cut disregard for people around you. When you are affecting other people's environment in a negative way and you don't have to be, you don't have some tragic or special snowflake backstory, that's when we're going to have a problem. Sometimes, you're just plain out of line. Is it feelings of entitlement? I'm not sure that's even the word. Obliviousness? Rudeness? All of the above?

It seems like the school of thought that you are a special snowflake because you have more than one child. Or just that children are all so cute and fun that they should be able to do whatever they want? Or that you have more than one so others should just have to make concessions for your other kid(s)?

E takes a dance class. The waiting room set up is not really ideal. The room where the dance floor is located is not a fully separate room from the waiting area. There is a folding partition that isn't a secure "door". It can be easily pushed on or pulled back by small children. However- as parents, we know our kids, what is going to be enticing to them to play with, and we should know if our child can handle being appropriate in a waiting area situation for an hour. The set-up in this dance studio WOULD be ideal, if parents adhered to any kind of common courtesy. But they don't.

Every week I take E to this class and every week I want to jump out of my skin and scream at some of the mothers there. The age range for the class is 6-9 years old. That pretty much goes without saying that it technically is a drop off class. No parent HAS to stay. I stay because I have one kid, I've allotted that time for him, and I really am interested in watching his progress. There have been a few times where I am the only mom there for the duration of the hour long class. But most of the time, I'm there with one or two other mothers of older girls taking the class, who have little boys who are one and a half to just under two years old. BOTH of these moms let their little ones run amok, touch everything, and RUN ON TO THE DANCE FLOOR. They laugh, they chase them around the waiting room, THEY TAKE PICTURES OF THEIR KIDS RUNNING AMOK. Interestingly enough, there are around 8-10 kids in the class. These two with the small boys are the only other two besides me that ever stay! It's not like if they left they'd be the only parents who leave!

Every time, all I can do is sigh. Loudly. What I really want to do is scream- "DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A PLAYGROUND??". I haven't, but every single time, I feel like I'm having an out of body experience. I can picture myself, head exploding, just screaming like a lunatic. I do my best to convey my extreme displeasure. As the one kid is pulling on my stuff, trying to grab my iPad or my keys, the mom is giggling, I sigh, cross my arms, roll my eyes, and shake my head. Yet, nothing penetrates.

Do either of them bring something for these kids to do? No! NOTHING. That's probably the worst part. You HAVE to be there? Ok then, if that was me, I'd be armed with a bajillion things for my kid to do, snacks, a straight-jacket- whatever it takes to keep these kids from wreaking havoc in this tiny space. The one asks to have a shovel moved out of the waiting area because "he's probably going to run around and he can get hurt". What is WRONG with this scenario? How about he shouldn't be running around there in the first place! Why should they have to move their shovel?! It's a dance studio where kids are going to be dancing- not running around a waiting room pulling shovels off the wall! If you think your kid is going to be decimating a waiting room- HE SHOULDN'T BE IN THERE.

I can't imagine how one would think it's okay to use the waiting room of a class an older child is in as a play space. This isn't an inexpensive class either. I take E's extracurricular classes seriously. As if they are school. He's there for a purpose. To learn something. These little kids are distracting as they're running on to the dance floor. Even just that the kids in the class can hear their little siblings is distracting. They all start looking toward the "door", not paying attention to the teachers. It's ridiculous. Yet, every week, these moms are back, with their kids, as if they don't have a care or clue.

It's not the fault of the kids, but I just want to punt them across the floor when they're touching me, my stuff, and pulling stuff out of the cubbies in the waiting room. These moms can't even use the excuse of wanting to see their older child dance. I've yet to see either one of them be able to watch more than a minute or two of actual dancing. Why? They have to spend the entire time chasing the kids around. They literally don't have a MINUTE to watch the dancing. So WHY STAY? I'd rather drive around for an hour than chase a one and a half year old around a confined space not designed for small children to play. I wish they felt the same.

Where does this entitlement or rudeness come from? I also have to mention that almost every kid in the class is late on top of this mess in the waiting area. I don't understand this. You're PAYING for this class. Being late is disruptive to everyone else. They're working on group dances. They can't practice a group dance without the GROUP. So why can't you get your asses there on time? This kind of thing can't be blamed on having multiple children. I have plenty of friends with more than one kid that are perfectly capable of getting everywhere, especially extracurricular classes, on time. I don't know if they have the opposite feeling that they're paying so they can do whatever they want? Who knows. But I can't deal and I shouldn't have to.

I don't understand why an extracurricular activity space would be looked at as any different than a school or doctor's office or anywhere else you're supposed to have some concept of decorum and proper behavior. Although, these are probably people who would have no regard in other spaces as well. I'm pretty sure the one woman sees my hate-stares and just thinks I despise kids. I don't despise kids. I despise parents who think the world should revolve around them and their children. I might think your kid is cute in some other circumstance- a backyard party, a kiddie gym, a play space. I do not think your kid is cute when they're running around like Lord of the Flies in a place where I'm paying for a class for my own child to learn. And I definitely don't think your kid is cute when you're smiling at him as he's grabbing my umbrella and shrieking. Get your shit together!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Blind or Stupid?

I'm watching some local politics go down on social media and I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I've largely stayed out of all topics, to the point of barely reading any posts of a few town groups I'm in on Facebook. I find myself getting way too irritated and annoyed with people, some of whom I actually like as people, so I need to put blinders on sometimes. I've just now hit my threshold with it all though and need to put some of it out there.

So in my town, there is a push for lights on a field. I'm sure it's important- to the parents and kids of the age to use these fields. It's going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for these lights. Yet, only months ago, many of these same parents were bitching to high hell at the possibility of full day kindergarten coming to our town. All I read and heard was about the money, money, money. Kindergarten isn't mandated by the state! That was the battle-cry heard 'round the town, over and over, like a demented horror movie mantra. Our taxes! How will this raise our taxes?! Then the complete BS reasoning of -They need to be babies longer! I don't even know how to respond to that. No, no. My kid certainly does not need to be a baby longer. I'm totally fine with him growing up and going to school all day- as he has since he was two years old. If you feel you need to keep your kindergarten-age child a baby longer, that's a personal problem.

Meanwhile, these lights are going to cost a small fortune, actually a very large fortune, but that's ok- because it's important for the high school kids. Hello? How does one decide lights are more important than making sure the foundation to a child's entire educational career is strong and secure? Hey! People who say we "need" the lights- I have news for you. As much as you think we "need" lights, that's how much some of us think we "need" full day kindergarten. No, kindergarten isn't mandated by the state. So. Fucking. What?? Just because something isn't "mandated by the state" doesn't mean we don't need it! I don't even know what kind of argument that IS. What I do know is it certainly isn't an intelligent one! And- last I checked, field lights aren't mandated by the state either.

I don't even have skin in the game for either of these things- I have one kid. I'll forever have one kid. He's already almost done with his HALF-DAY kindergarten program for the year. If anything, if we get lights on some field, he may be able to benefit some day if he decides to be involved in some kind of sporting. But even I can recognize that if there are only four towns left in the entire county that still have half-day kindergarten, there are some damn good reasons that full day kindergarten exists. The parents pushing for FDK aren't just looking for "free babysitting" as I've heard the opposers say. Those parents want to make sure their kids are getting everything they need as the demands in school get more difficult. The dumbest of all the anti-FDK reasoning has to be- "My kid went to half-day K and is fine now in high school!". Really? Awesome. Thanks for that completely useless information! The demands, the teaching, the expectations were all VASTLY different! When your kids did half-day k, they probably were still napping them! Hello, I see you dropped your common sense in the street somewhere. I could give you nine hundred reasons why full day kindergarten is important. And imagine, *gasp*, it's not all about me- I WILL NEVER BENEFIT PERSONALLY FROM FDK. Yet, I can still understand the benefits. But I digress. Citing pluses and need for FDK isn't even my point.

My point is- Everyone. Has. An. Agenda. THEIR agenda! I have no clue how the school board is structured, but I would think, common sense would dictate that there should be at least one representative, at least, for every block of school ages- Elementary, middle school, and high school voting representatives. I don't think there is ONE person on the school board with kids in elementary school. So of COURSE, FDK would get voted down because they have no clue what the little ones are facing these days. Some of these people haven't had kids in elementary school in over ten, twenty or more years! They're in a different phase of their lives and what is important to them and/or their families is totally different than what parents of elementary school age kids care about or are focused on. We have people on the board who are seniors- well, I wonder how the possibility of higher taxes from school related expenditures affect their votes. The FDK vote was originally pushed to October, by a school board member who I'm fairly certain is a senior, after the last vote down. That would make it impossible to have FDK on the table for the fall. Interesting. Very interesting, indeed.

I don't give a rat's behind about lights on a field. But I can recognize that for some people they're important. Just don't try selling me on lights being more important than figuring out how to best serve our kindergarten kids. Because I'm not buying. Kindergarten is the stepping stone for a LONG school career. It can't just be brushed off as not mandated by the state in favor of sporting lights. The fact is though- Kindergarten is more important to parents of kindergarten kids and lights are more important to parents of older kids who play on fields with no lights. A lot of this is important to no one until it affects their pockets. The only reason there will be less bellyaching about FDK than in previous months about it is because the high school parents are getting their precious lights too. THEIR agenda is being served so they might just be ok enough then with FDK getting pushed through too. If those lights didn't get pushed through but FDK did, oh, would FB be BLOWING THE F UP. Just calling it how I see it.

Then you have people crying foul about not being informed about what and when things are being voted on. Should there be more transparency? Sure. WAY more. I'll tell you why there isn't- it's called apathy. And me, me, me mentality. You want to know what's going on? Make it your business to go to every meeting. That isn't sufficient to you? Run for something. Be on the town council or the school board. Half the time, these people are running unopposed. People have a million excuses why they can't be there or can't run. Well, if you don't take part and you don't attend, you don't get the right to bitch. I'd like to know why it takes FDK and lights to look into wtf the money allocator on the board is actually doing. The lack of transparency and the *alleged* seemingly endless printing of money from the school board and the lack of accountability of the town council is all due to the lack of perseverance on the part of the townspeople as a whole. If you only care when it affects you directly, that's a lot of time you're doing a whole lot of nothing. I've been to a few meetings. Regular ones. Not ones where hundreds of people are rallying for unfairly treated police officers or people are inflamed over kindergarten or lights. Regular, boring meetings about too much homework and new procedures for kindergarten registration. Let's just say there were plenty of empty seats.

So instead of being a slacktivist on FB, bitching, whining, and complaining, go out and DO something. Stop being blind to people only caring about their own wants and needs. Stop using higher taxes as an excuse to vote down one thing but then push the agenda of another costly project that you want more. And for Pete's sake- if you think someone is misdirecting or misusing funds or covering up past misuse of funds- do your research, gather your information, and be the one to blow the whistle and push for change instead of just sitting around complaining on social media.

Edit: My husband felt it was necessary for me to clarify that FDK passed, as did the lights, last night at the school board meeting. He says it sounds like I'm saying lights passed, FDK didn't. Both supposedly passed. We shall see what really happens....

Monday, March 9, 2015

Project G.L.A.M. 2015


GLAM-LogoWGIRLS INC Project G.L.A.M –  Dressing Thousands of Young Women in Need for Prom Every Year!


The WGIRLS created Project Granting Lasting Amazing Memories (G.L.A.M)  to provide underprivileged girls with prom dresses and accompanying accessories so that they are able to enjoy the rite of passage of their high school prom.

To Date, the WGIRLS has outfitted over 9000 young women in need for Prom.

WGIRLS chapters nation-wide accept donations of  new and gently-worn dresses and accessories, and new cosmetics to allow young women to experience this important evening.

Take The $5 Project G.L.A.M Prom Pledge

For just $5 you can outfit a young girl in need with everything she needs to feel confident, proud and beautiful on that special day! Pledge Now!

Project G.L.A.M

There are several opportunities for companies to support Project G.L.A.M with financial and in-kind donations of dresses, accessories, and make-up.  Please contact projectglam@wgirls.org for information and opportunities.

Volunteer at G.L.A.M 

We are in need of people to volunteer to help set-up, distribute dresses, and break down the NYC pop-up shop in the Spring of 2015 Register HERE

Project G.L.A.M in the News!


IMPORTANT:  We are NOT accepting  most donations  of gently worn dresses because have met our quota for the year. That said, If you have gowns that meet the requirements below,  please reach out to us at contact@wgirls.org for mailing address or pick up information. THANK YOU!

1) New dresses via corporate donation

2) Plus sized gowns size 14 and up

3) Gowns in  sizes 0 and 2.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Craptastic Reporting

What is journalism anymore? I really have no idea. I wonder what criteria there is to be a "reporter" for any online news outlet these days. I say this after reading some local online news that was short on information and full of spelling errors. If I make spelling errors in my blog, it makes me look dumb or lazy but I only write for me. I can be dumb or lazy with no expectation any higher that I'm not. I'm also not calling myself a reporter.

I really feel in this digital age, it's become all about scooping the other guys, whether the information is factual or not, and whether they actually have a full story or not. It's become comical. Retractions used to be a big deal and now they're just expected.

This need for instant gratification is just leading to incomplete stories in an effort to get any information out. Every time I'm reading local news now I'm left with so many questions. I shouldn't HAVE that many questions. How about waiting to write an article until you have complete and correct information?! I don't need to read just anything, for the hell of it. I don't care if you're the first to report it if it doesn't make any sense, leaves me with more questions than I had before reading, and the spelling is atrocious. If it's "just" typos then for Pete's sake- PROOFREAD! You want to be taken seriously? Make sure you write like it's seriously your job.

Half the time, there is more information on the state of Jared Leto's hair than there is pertinent and factual news reported. Instead of twelve different updates on the same story, how about actually researching the WHOLE story first, then writing a cohesive piece explaining it all at once? Am I wrong here?

I used to have this issue with a local "journalist"- I call him this VERY loosely. He basically told me that he does what is at his pay grade and he's not going above and beyond to do the job. Yet, he calls himself a journalist. Am I crazy to think that a real journalist does anything they have to do to get the story? That it's like an innate thing that drives them to get all the proper information? Or is it just all about the clicks now? Are we just living in a world of teasers to get us to click on these half-assed stories? We're supposed to know that we're going to have to come back a hundred times for updates on the same story? This piecemeal writing is for the birds. It's crap!

Step up the game, guys.