Thursday, December 27, 2007

Do Fish Get Bored?

I have read that watching fish in an aquarium can lower blood pressure. Maybe it is so. But I also have to wonder about those little guys. What do they think as they swim around and around, back and forth. Do they communicate with each other? I know they all seem to fight for a spot at the top when it is feeding time. They seem to enjoy chasing each other around. The mollies like to chase each other around. The zebras and tetras like to swim around together. The red tipped shark likes to hide in the cubby holes of the rock. Then there is the fish that likes to clean the glass and rocks. What a job. Who caught all those fish? After watching them race around, up and down and across, I wonder. What do they do for fun? I would think it would get boring quickly. Just imagine going around and around all day getting nothing done. Sounds like some jobs I have had. Seems a little boring to me. But then again I am not a fish.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Thoughts

I hope everyone had a happy and merry Christmas. Anyone swimming in wrapping paper? I noticed this year that one of the local tv stations did a story warning people about putting the trash out so that the robbers could see who got what. Jeez, think I said that last year. So now I noticed that some of my neighbors have heeded the advice of the news reporters. They put the trash in black plastic bags so it was not as obvious what gifts they got. Well at least it is a little better. I have not taken Daisy for a walk this morning yet because it is raining. Then again the trash came today so the big boxes and bags did not have to stay out long.

We splurged this year and got a (another) tree this year. We did not even put one up last year cause all our decorations are in storage. So this year we found a 6 ft. prelit-multi-colored tree on sale for $25. Yeah, right in our price range! It actually fit in our tiny living room. Of course Jimmy had to climb over a lot of stuff to get to the ornament container which had fallen down in the storage building. To my great surprise, only two ornaments were broken. Too bad one was a favorite of mine. Oh well.

We also decided not to get any gifts this year. Since Jimmy has been wanting an aquarium for a long time we found a little ten gallon one on sale the same day we found a tree. He still wants to get a bigger one like we used to have some day. Right now we just don't have the room. We said that this would be our present. Then we had to get some fish. Fish have gotten a lot more expensive since the last time we had an aquarium! Fish that used to be less than a dollar are at least three or four dollars now. So now we have some neon tetras, mollys, and zebra fish. Back and forth they go. Wonder what they think while swiming around an aquarium?

Well at least we didn't have to worry about all the trashed wrapping paper and boxes. Since the company decided to take off Christmas Eve also, Jimmy had some extra time off. Then he wondered where time went. It takes a lot to time to find just the right fish, I guess. Then he had to play endless hours of poker with his buddies. One evening he actually played all night. 5:am he came to bed. Didn't get much rest that day. He really was enjoying the game, I guess, right? Later in the day I just could not resist the urge to show him the clock on the computer.It does tell time!

Then I just had to make fudge. It is not really Christmas without some fudge. We both love it. When the kids were home we never got much because they got to it first! Now, I found myself thinking about how long I had to stand there waiting for the mix to boil! I don't remember it taking that long.

At least we had a nice quiet holiday. New Year's will not be so quiet cause Annie and Jason will be here with the boys. And Amanda will probably join in and hang out with them. Oh well. Now where can I go to hide from all the noise? Oh yeah, I need to stock up on the vodka! Happy holidays, right? Valentine's is right around the corner. At least WalMart already has the stuff out! Can I hibernate now?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Which Fragrance Will You Buy?

Ah yes, it is one week until Christmas. People are feverishly looking for gifts. Commercials tell us what to buy and where to get it. They are all trying to catch our attention. I was thinking of different gifts that I have gotten or given over the years. One of the traditional gifts has always been fragrances. It was something that could be give to just about anyone. Parents liked them. Kids did too. Over the years it has become a big business.

Women now have so many fragrances from which to choose. Once we thought we were special when we got Channel #5. Men were given Old Spice. Now there are almost too many to choose from to decide. Victoria Secret has several. Most high end department stores have expensive choices for both women and men. It seems like almost every designer has a line of perfumes and colognes to go along with their clothing lines. What celebrity doesn't have one these days? Somehow I don't think I will be buying any perfume from Ms. Spears. I see that Stetson is still around. I can't believe that Brut has been around since 1964. Joe Namath sold it. Of course he wore panty hose in a commercial too, but that is another story.

What does a man buy for his girl or wife? There is so much to choose from. Does he sneak into the bathroom and look at what she uses. Or does he just ask? Maybe he asks the kid what kind Mom uses. Women don't really worry about what cologne to get for the man. They buy the one they like. And of course these days there are a lot of choices.

And then I saw the commercial for just the right man. Of course he must like stock car racing. A special fragrance for the man who loves racing-Daytona 500. So what does a cologne named for a car race smell like? Motor oil and sweat? How about a little fuel behind the ears. Mix in a little smoking tire and brakes smell. Ummm, just what a manly man wants. Just tell Santa!

Friday, December 14, 2007

What Now?

Now that the Mitchell Report has blown the lid off major league baseball, what are we, the fans, to think? What about the sports writers who ultimately have to decide which player gets voted into the Hall of Fame? This has been baseball's dirty little secret for years. There have been players who flatly denied any involvement to those who smile while saying they didn't knowingly take any banned substance.

Mitchell says he thinks there should not be any punishment, Selig is not so quick to forgive. He says what ever happens should be on a case by case basis. What about the records? What about the bottom line of the teams? After all baseball means big money. Big players want big contracts. Home runs and strike outs fill ball parks. We tend to laugh at the loose purse strings of the New York Yankees every time some player signs a new contract. To get good players, an owner needs to be willing to shell out lots of money. Top players attract crowds.

The smaller fans are the ones who have been the most disappointed. How can a ten year old kid look up to a hero player now if that player may have taken the banned drugs to gain power, or strength? These kids hear the talks about "work ethic" and want to be like the players. I saw a clip of some young boys looking at the list. One commented on Roger Clemens by saying" much for work ethic."

What about the players who have not used these drugs. How does this make them feel? There are, for example, very good defensive players who do not have home run power. They work hard to improve their skills. Yet these players don't get the large paychecks the "stars" do.

Baseball, and sports in general, will have to think long and hard about the business of sports. And they will have to consider the health of the players. The WWE has already had tragedies because of steriods. There have been baseball players who died possibly because of drugs. Players and teams want to win, but at what cost?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snow Anyone?

Just trying to get into the spirit. I don't think we'll get snow for Christmas. So I guess I will just have to look at the snow from my Dickens Village. The people are running around London.
No snow here, no room for the village. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...I will not ruin the song by singing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Message From a Mockingbird

Maybe it is just me. Are the mockingbirds really talking to me? Like most of us I have days when I am happier than others. Some days I feel absolutely depressed. I find myself walking Daisy thinking about things. The sparrows are chattering over each other like the women on "The View". All right all ready. The occasional bluejay is being bossy. Walking around the neighborhood I hear all these birds competing with each other for "air time" or talking about whatever birds so. What I have noticed is that when I feel unhappy for what ever reason, a mockingbird will be sitting in a tree near me singing. Why does the mockingbird always sound so cheerful? And how come I always see him then? It seems like when Daisy has to stop to do her business, I look up to see a mockingbird singing a cheerful little song. Why is he so stinking cheerful? Is he trying to tell me something? Maybe. I find myself listening to him. Sitting in that nearly bare tree just a few feet above me, he seems to sing just for me. I get it finally. Keep singing Mr. Mockingbird. Thanks for the message you sent from above. Ok, Daisy, let's go.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Circle Completed.

We recently received an invitation to Jimmy's nephew's college graduation. Chris is now 25, married and has a little boy. We had debated going at all. Jimmy's sister Jean did not even send Amanda a card when she graduated from high school. That really hurt Amanda's feelings. So Jimmy decided that we would do an "in your face" visit since his sister didn't make any effort for Amanda. I looked at it as more of "maybe she forgot" and let's be the "better person" attitude. We have not seen or heard from Jean for a couple of years. The family is slowly getting smaller. Other than cousins and an aunt who all live far away Jimmy and Jean are just about all that is left since their parents died a few years ago. We figured "what the heck" we'll probably never see them since it is a big place. I think the Man Upstairs had a different idea. As we walked around trying to find some seats, who do we see walking the hallway carrying a small child? Jean. She looked at Jimmy in shock. I think she was happy that we came. And just who was the small child? Her grandson who is the mirror image of his father. Looks like there may be a little payback growing here. Jean said he acts just like Chris did as a child.

After the ceremony we went to congratulate Chris. We had not seen him since before he got married. Was this the same kid? The kid dear mother tried to control his entire life. This was the child who had his life structured and planned from day one. Jean kept him on a short, tight leash. Jimmy and I used to say to each other, "Just wait till he goes away to school!" As things usually happen when he went away to school in Chicago, he discovered freedom and made some mistakes which shattered his mother's dreams for his future-as she saw it. He came home and had to start over again under the microscope of his mother. Older and wiser now he decided to take charge of his own life. He moved out and went back to school at the University of Houston-Victoria campus. Then came the girl friend (not good enough for Mom) and then the baby. Mom still has ideas of what he should do. But when I looked into his eyes I saw a different Chris-now a man. Taller with a little more weight, he knew he was not his mother's boy anymore.

Now Chris is grown up with a little "Chris" of his own. He wants to teach but he is not sure about where. He thinks he might get his Masters (Mother pushing again) but not for a while. He has a family now. According to Jean, her grandson is just like Chris in many ways. Jimmy laughed when he told her that it soon will be "payback time". Now Chris will get to see life from the other side as an official adult. Jimmy and I looked at each other with that famous Yoggi Berra line in mind. "deja vu all over again". Another circle of life.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

If It's the Holiday Season, There Must be Grinchs

I have been thinking of Christmas. Who hasn't? All the commercials bombarding the airwaves with "joy". Then I thought about our decorations sleeping peacefully in the storage building. Once in a while I think about getting in among all the stuff. Maybe I could actually find something I could use here. Then I realize how much trouble it would be to try to get the stuff out. I feel a little like saying forget it.

Then I think about all the homes in our neighborhood with decorations on the lawns. Then I have to think about the rash of destruction some Grinchs have done lately. Anyone who has been to WalMart looking a decorations knows how expensive some of these out door decorations are. A large inflated snowman is over $100 dollars. So why to some idiots think it is such fun to cut holes in them or steal them? Do they need some decorations? Do they have children who would like to see them? Maybe they don't have any money. I know the feeling because decorations have become big business and big attention getters. Why do they do this? Are they just mean spirited?

I just don't understand what is so funny about slicing up these things. I remember last year seeing a news story where a home owner actually put security cameras in his front yard so he could get pictures of the Grinchs. Sure enough the pictures were broadcast on all the local channels. The dastardly evil doers were seen enjoying ripping apart the decorations. Respect of private property meant nothing to them.

Then of course I find myself thinking about punishment. What would be a good punishment for them. Jailhouse food for the holidays? Community service? Buying new decorations for the owners? I just don't know. Maybe they should be made to be human decorations? Maybe they should have to wear costumes of the season and stand still on the lawns of the homeowners. It is enough to make Santa frown.

Monday, December 03, 2007

GPS, Maps or Asking

There are a couple of interesting holiday commercials on now. I have to laugh at both of them. One shows a man driving around lost going through bad neighborhoods or around places he'd been before. Even the moose knew he was lost. Then there is the one where the woman is seen buying a GPS device at a store and then getting into the car. She then sets up the device for the man telling him it is an early present. After all we all know men don't ask directions. Then I remembered some occasions from years ago.

When I was a kid I remember being in the car with my parents on various trips. Some of these were just short little junkets, others were longer. My dear father was notorious for getting lost. It was kind of a joke between my parents. When ever we went somewhere new it seemed that he always ended up in the wrong side of town or going in circles. My mother kept asking him to stop and ask someone for directions. Nope. Eventually he always found his way out. Better later than not at all, I guess.

Then there was my ex-husband. He was the type who was "always right". He would never ask for help. He always knew where he was going. Going anywhere with him was an adventure into a black hole. Even the kids realized we were lost. Just imagine a 5 year old telling daddy, "We saw that McDonalds already, Daddy". Of course this would really set of fireworks. Just imagine.

"Daddy are we lost?" says the 8 year old.

"Of course not", snorts Daddy.

"But Daddy, we have been going in circles", one of the 5 year old twins says.

Not to be told anything by a child, he would continue on while grousing at us all. I would ask him to please stop and ask someone for directions. But of course he was never wrong and thus never lost. That would of course start the war. Soon the kids would be crying and he and I would sit silently while he tried to find his way to where we needed to go. Then the inevitable would happen. From the back seat came those dreaded words no lost parent wants to hear. "I have to go to the bathroom." It didn't matter who said it.

"Come on," I would say. "Just find a gas station and ask for directions."

"I know where I am going." he would roar.

"Mommy, I'm hungry" pleaded at least one kid every five minutes. This was in addition to the incessant reminders that bathroom breaks were needed by someone.

Finally I would see a convenience store. "Just stop here so I can take the kids to the bathroom," I would plead. Finally he relented and sat in the car pouting while I took the kids inside. Then after the kids had their breaks, We got back into the car.

"Ok, let's just go up to the next stop light" I said.

"Why" Mr Know It All said.

I retorted, "Just do it!"

We get to the stop light and I suggest he turn left. He wants to know why. I tell him to just give it a try. Crabbing all the way he makes the turn. Then what do we see at the end of the street? The place we had been trying to find for the last three hours.

"Well, here we are kids, told you I'd find it" he says as he puffs out his chest with pride.

"Thanks Mom", the kids say in unison.

"What did they mean by that", he said, none too happy with me.

"Oh, when I took the kids to the bathroom at the store, I asked for directions." I didn't say what I was really thinking. Smiling at him, I resisted the urge to be smug.

At least now, with the aid of GPS men can save their pride.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It is December 1st, Do You Know Where...

Ok, so the Grinch(me) has to move on and try to figure out the season's decorating. I know where my stuff is. Do you? Are you tree lights in a tangled mess in a box in the attic? Have you checked to make sure all those lights work? Have you bought your tree yet. Have you changed bags in the vacuum cleaner so you can pick up all those pesky little needles on the floor after you take the tree down? Where are the hangers for all those ornaments. I always think I have enough hangers and yet I still seem to end up with less than I need. Do you wax nostalgic when you look at those ornaments? I still have a few that I got when my kids were babies. I gave up using that silver tinsel years ago. For a while I used strings of beads as a garland around the tree. Once I even was patient enough to string popcorn and cranberrys together. What was I thinking. Of course I had to remember to put the ornaments the kids got or made in school. Believe me, those eagle eyed kids would scour the tree to make sure they were in plain sight.

Did you find the door wreath yet? Are you going to put lights around the outside of your house again, even though you vowed last year you would not get on that ladder again? Did you get out all the lawn decorations? Many places have neighborhood contests to see who had the best. Many people actually made and painted these themselves. Now you can buy all sorts of moves, blinks, jumps, laughs and sings. Then of course some yards get those expensive blow up snow globes, snowmen and Santas. They always look funny to me when you go by in the morning and they are flat and grumpy.

As yet we have not decided if we will put any thing up. Trying to find stuff in that storage building is about like trying to find buried treasure. I am thinking none of this stuff is going to be easy to get to and by the time we could get to it I would be Grinchlike again. Ho,Ho,Ho! I can still say that, can't I?