Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dead bodies and almost muggings.

Nobody cares about anything other than my snippet that I maybe saw a dead body. And I don't know if you care that I was almost mugged or not, but I'm going to tell you about it anyways.

So on Sunday I was heading down to St. Paul for the Rhianna concert. I've already talked about this. Well it's like a two and a half hour drive from where I live so it can either be really boring and uneventful or it came be full of crazy fucking drivers who can't merge onto a highway or drive with their blinker on for 30 miles and eventually cut you off because they have no idea what they are doing.

But Sunday was different.

I was just driving along, singing along to some Awolnation, when I see this really nice, black Lexus with Illinois license plates and dark tint windows. Immediately I think, "Oh it's nice to see the recession hasn't hurt the drug dealers coming from Chicago" only to snap out of it when I see that the guy drives like an asshole essentially raping the line between our two lanes. Like I normally would do, I move one more over to my left because I am not sure if this guy realizes he's not the only one on the road. As I do that, a pickup truck pulls ahead so he's kind of next to me, but I can still see the Lexus.

AND THEN.

The trunk of the Lexus flies the fuck open and I obviously slam on my brakes because I don't know what's going on, and the truck next to me does as well. And guess what I saw?

A guy, just laying in the trunk with a jacket on and he looked like he was in the fetal position.

Now, I didn't drive up next to it to get a better look but out of nowhere, the driver of the Lexus kind of swerves and the trunk slams shut. The next thing I know the Lexus very unsafely whips into the next exit and I'm looking at the truck driver and we both have, "Holy shit, what the fuck was that????" looks on our faces.

"You called the cops, right Sara???"

NO. No I did not. Only because A) I didn't get the license plate number, B) I don't know what exit he even took and C) I can't even tell you what mile marker we were even on. I didn't look at any of these things because I was too focused on the maybe dead body in the trunk. Scary shit, peeps. Even now, I can't remember what city I was even near.

So that's my dead body story.

The next piece of action was when I pulled into the parking ramp for Rhianna. The guy at the pay booth informed me that they've had "some incidents" with stuff in the ramp so I should be careful and watchful. Creepy and weird, but duly noted.

After the concert, I was walking and I am so thankful that I parked as close to the exit, but as near to the elevator as I could. When I walked past a few cars, just as I was getting to mine, a GUY popped up between the cars I was just next to and all of the hair on my body went up. Then as I look in my rear view mirror, there are about five guys kind of scattered around the lot, crouching between cars. The whole thing is very sketch.

So I decide to not piss around with my GPS and I back out of my spot and try to haul ass to the exit. But the guy that was literally next to my car, started kind of running after me. I was totally scared. I was kind of annoyed there wasn't anyone in the pay booths otherwise I would have said something to them about the assholes clearly looking for someone to do something to. But nope, nobody around. I took off and thankfully was able to figure out how to get home without my GPS.

But all in one night, hookers. All in ONE night.

This chick needs some pepper spray and a taser.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Don't smoke pot kids, you'll end up looking like Rhianna.

So on Sunday I made the trip to St. Paul for a date night with my friend Amy and we were going to go to the Rhianna concert. I'll just admit I'm not the biggest Rhianna fan. But regardless of that, I wanted to go to this because she has a huge catalog of hits and honestly- I figured I'd dance my ass off.

But I did not.

First up, according to the ticket the show started at 7:30. Her opening act, A$AP Rocky, started at 8. And he was really kind of shitty. Like, unbelievably so. Sure, he is just coming off of an illness so perhaps his game was off, but I cannot take anyone seriously who has a pimp stick, a throne, and tube socks pulled up to his knees. You have lost any street cred you maybe had before.

But he finished at 8:30 and honestly, thank god. And at every other concert I have ever been to in my life, there is at most, a 30 minute stage change over for the headlining act. Which is totally understandable considering how much is involved with a stage act. But 30 minutes is not what we had.

It wasn't even an hour.

It was TWO FUCKING HOURS.

Two hours of admittedly decent music playing, two hours of watching women wearing less than most strippers would start their stage act wearing, two hours of men in short shorts, and drunks getting so drunk they think they are Rhianna's back up dancers practicing their moves in the audience.

By the time Rhianna came on it was almost 10:30 and quite frankly, I was over it before it started. She did a lot of her hits which is exactly what you expect for the price of the ticket. She also does not sign live exclusively. Maybe the drunk people and the teenagers didn't notice, but this concert vet did. I hear your backing track, Rhianna.

My other complaint other than that as a stage performer that is charging people to come see you, you should be on time? Well not only should you be on time, but you should also try to be sober. I said this about Chelsea Handler when she was so fucking wasted that she wasn't even funny and couldn't brush her hair and how since then, I can't even watch her show. I'm that turned off. Well in Rhianna's case, it'd be nice if you could just not smoke immense amounts of weed before you come on stage. I wish I could have gotten a picture of it, but she would try to put this "I'm sexy and you want me" face and it comes off more like "angry and confused stoner". When your sexy face borders on Pauly Shore, you have a problem. I'm just saying that anyone who tells you they can function while smoking pot are lying to you.

We didn't even stay for the entire concert. By 11:15 I was so incredibly tired and I had a 2 1/2 hour drive home still, and I didn't even feel safe to drive. I figured it was better to leave now than try to get out of the parking ramp with hundreds of drunk drivers all getting onto the highway the same time.

Am I bummed I didn't love it? Yes. Anytime I go to a show and feel like I could have used that money for something else that would have been better, I'm disappointed. I did have a good time with Amy and we had a great dinner at Burger Moe's and it's fun to spend time with my far away friend. We don't get to hang out as much as you could if we lived closer, so I enjoy any time I get with her. Plus, we now have Beyonce tickets and I know that won't suck. Beyonce has a god damn work ethic.

But tomorrow I'll tell you about the dead body and the almost mugging. Gotta leave you hanging.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday musings.

I've got a lot of things rattling around in my head, it's time to get them out and see if that helps me look at them differently or make a decision.

1. To tweet or not to tweet? I really hate Twitter and I'll be honest, I don't understand the point of it.  I only kind of understand Facebook. But I feel like I'm one of the last people to get on the Twitter bandwagon. Almost everybody else has one and I'm feeling like my blog and my writing could go to the next level if I got on Twitter. Thoughts?

2. I am going to start my book. It's been decided. I am such a pain in my own ass that I don't know how to start. I have three concepts of books in my head. I'm trying to decide if I should write a chapter outline then go from there. I don't think I can just write freely without structure. I'm OCD, clearly I need structure.

3. I'm going to be a legit soccer mom. Jackson is doing outdoor soccer and I'm kind of dreading it. Mostly because I know it'll be rainy and freezing on every game day. You just wait.

4. My 2013 concert season is shaping up nicely. I'm kind of excited. Right now I for sure have Airborne Toxic Event, Fleetwood Mac and Beyonce coming up. I'm going to get a few more in there before the year is out.

5. You know what I haven't done? Booked a rental car for our Florida trip. I keep going online to look for one and I start having all of this anxiety about it. Like, what if it's a piece of crap? How do I make sure I have booster seats for the kids? Why doesn't any website give me the option to pick up and drop off at the Orlando airport? Why is this so damn difficult?

6. Matt and I are going to quit caffeine in April. We're currently trying to work ourselves off it. Matt is going to struggle far more than me. His voice quivered when I said we were going to do this. The main reason for this is that soda is expensive, and I need to lose weight. Double win.

7. Also starting in April, and I'll document about this for you of course, but we are taking on the no-yelling parenting challenge. I have read so much about this in the last few months and it's basically parents who don't yell at their kids. Which I know what you're thinking- what if they start the house on fire? Do you still not yell?? Apparently you do not. Now I am going to struggle., I won't even lie. As of late I have almost no patience and Olivia's sass would turn me into an alcoholic if I even drank. But I'm realizing that it's not working. I need to switch up my game and I think I'll make it. I've taken enough parenting classes, I read a lot of useful information online and I have some books to turn to. I'm worried for Matt though who refuses to  utilize any of these things.

8. My new favorite show? Ridiculousness. I can't even explain why I like this show but I cannot stop. I need to get rid of satellite before my brain totally wastes away.

9. So I have a friend who is offering to be my personal trainer. I'm equally excited and terrified out of my mind. Not going to lie, the first thing that pops into my head is every gym teacher I have ever had who screamed at me for sucking at everything having to do with athletics. I did make sure to tell her I suck at physical activity but I want to get better. I also need to lose weight and do I know I have to do this. But again, I'm kind of scared.

10. Tomorrow I'm going to blog about the Rhianna concert, how I was almost mugged, and how I'm fairly certain I saw a body in a trunk on the highway. SUSPENSE!

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The Secret Life of a Submissive

Before my family freaks out, just know this is not me. I am not a practicing submissive. Anyone who knows me in real life knows how incredibly laughable that is. But here is an incredibly TRUE STORY that you should read.

The Secret Life of a Submissive - Sarah K
The Secret Life of a Submissive

When Max comes into Sarah’s life — charming, handsome and deliciously brooding – she can’t stop herself. Before long she has surrendered to him in every way: becoming his submissive, yielding her body to his every desire, powerless to fight his sensual temptations.
As Sarah pushes her mind and body to its limits, she begins to realize that she’s in too deep. Pleasure and pain have become her world. She’s addicted — to the adrenalin, to the sensation, to Max himself.
Now she’s in serious danger of giving in to the ultimate temptation: falling in love…
Daring, evocative and thrilling, but told with wit and honesty, this is the explosive true story of life as a submissive, and of a secret world in which only a few dare to play.
I should mention that I mostly read this book while at indoor soccer for my kids. I'm fairly certain those parents think I'm some kind of freak. Matt even picked it up, read a few pages and while looking a mixture of confused and scared while asking me if I was into this. Even my seven year old read a page when I wasn't looking and wanted to know what a flogger was. 
The lesson here is to not leave this book unattended. 
Basically this is the true story of Sarah, a writer who was married for quite some time and raised her children. Things in life change and after her divorce she is finally feeling like she can explore the things she basically kept hidden because her husband didn't share the same.... interests as her. So instead of just regular online dating, she starts doing research on the BDSM phenomenon after being commissioned to write an erotica novel. Realizing you write better when you write from experience, and recognizing that she is really interested in BDSM, she embarks on a journey. Who knew there was the equivalent of Match.com for people who want to find a Dom or Sub? I certainly didn't, but it completely makes sense. 
So she meets Max. Max is an experienced Dom, he's handsome, he's charming, he does everything that would sweep a girl off of her feet. But he is a Dom and he makes that clear and he has expectations of Sarah. They sign a contract and she starts. 
I will be honest with you. What you read in Fifty Shades is not anywhere near this. This is so much more... gritty. It feels so much more violent. In my few days of BDSM research most would balk at me saying that this is violent but in my mind, there is no other way to explain it. In Fifty Shades you have Ana as a sub but it's erotic. It's written erotically and millions of housewives ran to the sex stores and bought floggers and ben wa balls. (I may have been one of these housewives. I'm stimulating the economy as well as myself. Don't judge.) So let me just insert in here that I am not a prude. I'm a pretty open minded individual. Also let me say that there were some experiences Sarah recounts in here that made me gasp... and feel absolutely angry and horrified. 
You learn about Max's back story and how he started in BDSM. I learned a LOT about the community, how it works, and what people get out of it. Well, kind of. I feel like no matter what, if you need to apply an antiseptic cream to your back after a sexual experience, that's not healthy. I'm a fan of a little slapping but if it leaves bruises or actual welts?  How can you enjoy that? It's absolutely foreign to me. 
Which is exactly why I loved this book. 
I had to take a few days to reflect after I read this book because immediately after I finished it I was horrified. I could not understand why a human being would not only want to try this but to continue. I left this book feeling a little angry at Max, and a little annoyed with Sarah. There is one scene where she is being caned (I believe that's what it was) and she screams out her safe word half way through her "punishment". And while Max stops, he doesn't really do anything to confirm it's OK. Sarah basically talks herself into continuing. As a soft feminist, I was ANGRY with her that she would talk herself into this and how Max rewards her basically. I still don't know what to think about this. 
But I want you to read it. Like right now. Read it and tell me what you think and how it makes you feel afterwards. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dirty confessions, swimming, and bug patrol.

What do all three of those things have in common? Don't be a loser- just try to guess.

Well you're wrong because of course nobody but  me would pull all three totally random things together in one post. Because it's what I do best, lovers.

Since it's spring on the calendar I have started what my family absolutely hates, spring cleaning. I am a maniac. If you leave your most favorite thing unattended somewhere it shouldn't belong it will end up in the donate or yard sale pile. Just ask my kids, this happens every year. We have a yard sale melt down because their most favorite thing is in the mass of crap I refuse to have in my house. I always joke about hoarders because the concept of hanging onto things because you might need it some day or you have some bizarre attachment to it or you just can't bring yourself to get rid of something useful is totally beyond me. I'm what I would call a purger. I can't stand clutter, everything needs to be organized or gone.

I cannot emphasize enough how I cannot handle mess. At all. Nothing. If you are a hoarder, do not invite me over if you do not want me to start throwing your stuff away. I really cannot even help myself. I'll clean people's houses and I don't even know I'm doing it.

So imagine my surprise when I was cleaning the dining room and I moved our weird hutch without a top thingie and see this:
I maybe hyperventilated. This consists of paper, cat toys, a ton of markers, crayons, pencils, cat food, a sock, and a battery. A good mom would have checked to see if the markers sill worked and put them in our marker box. Or found the match to the sock. Put the pencils in our pencil cup.

But I am not a good mom because I threw this all away. Just like that. And suddenly I once again had a clean floor under a piece of furniture that you cannot see under and all was right in the world again.

Big sigh of happy.

To the next order of business: swimming.

Fun fact, my kids cannot swim. I think swimming in lakes and rivers are dirty so I have never put my kids in water like that when they were younger and taught them to swim. I prefer pools with a shit ton of chemicals that kill kid piss germs immediately. But because we are broke all of the time, we can't afford to go to these pools and my kids let me know on the regular that all of their friends get to do these things.

Good for fucking them. Maybe they'd like to donate to the Strand Family Fun Fund because we are in the negative.

But I decided that it's abusive to not get your kid swimming lessons if you are incapable or unwilling to do it and quite frankly, I don't want them to drown on my watch on vacation sometime. So we signed both kids up and so far, so good.
Jackson likes his big boy swim shorts. Problem with these is that even the XS hang off his butt. But I was surprised he even got into the water on his own because he prefers the choke his parent and call it swimming method usually. He still won't jump into the water on his own. 
 Miss Olivia is all about swimming. And god help her, she is probably even less athletically able than I am so she looks ridiculous. Cute and adorable, but totally ridiculous. She's out there flailing and she believes she is swimming forward when in reality, she is going nowhere. But she's determined because she is at the age where her friends have swim parties and she really wants to be able to go without me hanging on to her.
Also happening now that it's spring is that the bugs have suddenly come alive. We've had wasps in our laundry room and we currently have a fly who terrorizes all three cats. So every day when I come home this is the scene I walk into. All three cats on bug patrol and being really unsuccessful from killing anything. So you see Lola like queen shit on the counter where she is absolutely not allowed? Right next to the stove. She knows she blends in and I think she thinks I can't see her but clearly- she's right there.

 And here's some Robert because at the end of the day, I just wish I had a Robert to jump onto. But I have a Matt, w ho currently smells really bad and keeps asking if I want to make out.  *sigh*

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thumpity, thumpity, thump.

Calm the hell down it's not an earthquake- it's just me and my 100% white girl Kardashian rear end falling off of the weight loss wagon hard.

*sigh*

This blog has become a rinse and repeat of me saying, "Yes! The fat is going to come off and I really, for sure, super duper, unicorns and sparkles forever mean it this time!" only to follow it up with "So this one time, I ate a bunch of fries in secret and I don't even feel bad."

Confession time: This was my lunch today.
 I may or may not have eaten this in absolute shame in my car and I kept my head down. I have followed it up with an entire bag of Sweet Tart jellybeans which Easter just needs to be OVER or every store within driving distance of me needs to sell completely out of them because thanks to my good friend Emily I am addicted. Even Matt said to me, while looking at me totally horrified because I am now possessive in the worst way possible of that bag, "This has to be what it's like to live with a crack head. You are out of control."

And it's true.

The only thing keeping me from going to Target and buying them out myself is that I saw this lady at the grocery store and I thought good lord. This could be me.
I would like it noted that she was literally wearing a belly shirt that you can't really see but when you looked at her head on, she had absolutely no shame that she has a large stomach and it's just free as a bird. On one hand, good for you lady for having that kind of self esteem and just clearly not giving a damn. On the other, it's like a public service announcement.

I won't even get into the fact she bought $254.03 worth of food and promptly used her food stamp card while I'm there hoping my groceries for two weeks is under $100. And had a panic moment when YAY, I found more coupons in the abyss of my purse to bring it to $102.78 so it wasn't going to be a drive home in depression and shame.

But back to my fat.

So I need to get back to exercising. I know it, everyone around me knows it, I get it. I do. I'm just really lazy. There is nothing joyful or fun about exercising. I hate every agonizing second of it. Even when I was really into running and going out every night and losing weight, I hated it. Even knowing that my hard work was paying off was not enough to keep me doing it. I don't understand all of these people who are like, "I learned to love it!" or "I love the rush I get!" because I think they are either high or total liars.

*sigh*

But here we are. It's technically spring, there is still plenty of snow and slush on the ground, it's still freezing and I feel like this has become a do or balloon out situation for me. I'm not ballooning out but let's face it, with my diet it's only a matter of time. And I keep having these dreams that I'll go to the doctor one day and they'll say I have heart disease or something and I will have to have the "I told you so" lecture from my doctor and everyone else because I could do a lot to prevent bad things happening to me. I know this. I get it.

I just really love french fries.

Zumba is on a hiatus for a little bit so I  need to do something in place of it. I can't afford a membership to the YMCA so that's out. I can't afford a gym membership either, so that's out. My only option are at home DVD's which I hate or running. And it's cold out, I believe I have mentioned this. But seeing how that's my last option that's free, it is what it is. I just need to get out there.

I also have to remind myself we have our trip to Florida in June. While I am smaller than the last time we were there, I'd really like to slim down more do other beach goers do not mistake me for a beached whale.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dear parents: take it down a notch, I'm broke.

Today I had a really infuriating conversation with Olivia in which I wanted to contact another kid's parents and just bitch them out.

Why?

Because quite frankly, I don't believe a 7 year old should have any of the following:

  • laptops
  • cell phones
  • iPads or any kind of tablet
  • eReaders
  • iPods
  • Extravagant birthday parties with 30+ kids
You know what? Fuck you. Because I know have a daughter who is asking for not only a laptop for her birthday, but she wants a cell phone so she can text her friend and then a Nook or Kindle Fire to read and then for sure an iPod because cd's are for losers. 

She actually said they are for losers. I swear I felt a pang in my heart as I have three in my purse right now. It's god damn tragic, is what it is. 

When I was younger the definition of a cool kid was based on the jeans and shoes you had. When I was in first grade (like Olivia is now), you were the shit if you had a Trapper Keeper. I remember really wanting one but just kind of knew my mom couldn't afford that but somehow (maybe from help of an uncle) I got one. I also got a Lisa Frank folder to go in it and it's pretty much like popping my cherry right then and there. I was so bad ass. Never mind I didn't know how to use the multiplication tables or the conversion charts and I used it to store my stickers and artwork instead of you know, actual homework, but still. I really really awesome when I was the only one at my table with one. 

Then in third grade light up shoes were the thing. I do remember my mom driving us all over the place looking for light up shoes. I ended up getting a really ugly pair I said fit but were really a half size too small. By the time school started that fad had ended and I had to go the entire school year with these ugly ass, too small shoes. And you know within a month only one light works so I looked stupid. 

In sixth grade, I really wanted an Espirit bag (never got it) and Nikes. I didn't get Nikes either. I got knock off, old lady Reebok's and hated life. Not only did I suck in gym class and couldn't do any pull up's or climb a rope (still can't do either), but I had to be shamed wearing my old lady shoes. 

By middle school I was starting to get more firm about not going to school looking like a dork. I begged, absolutely BEGGED for a pair of Nikes. I got a pair of old lady tennis shoes and they were ugly. But who fucking cares- it had the swoosh and that's all that mattered. I still sucked in gym though. 

In high school my only requirements for wardrobe so I didn't get beat up were at least Levi's instead of Target jeans and a Champion hoodie. I got both and that was basically it. It was enough to keep me out of the dork pool but nowhere near the popular pool. Which, at least I didn't get beat up. Nobody even paid any attention to me and in hindsight, that was probably OK. 

But kids are different today. They don't really care about clothes or anything (at least yet), they want electronics. First up, there's no reason she can't do her learning games on my laptop, she doesn't need her own. She gets really angry when I give her a 30 minute limit every other day. I don't need my kid geeking out yet. The phone? No. There is no reason for a seven year old to have a phone. There should be no reason for your kid to be home alone and need a phone to "check in" when they get home. No, Olivia wants to text her friends. Um, no. 

The eReader? Ugh. I kind of get it. But then again, I want my kid to enjoy holding an actual book in her hand, get excited walking through a library or a book store by just being surrounded by all of the possibilities. So no. No to that. Tablets and shit? No. It's basically a big phone that you can't call from but it's not as versatile as a laptop. There's no need. 

And the birthday parties with every kid in your grade? Stop that shit. Because when you do that? The rest of us practical parents hope your kid gets sick and has to cancel the party and you're out all of that money. OR that someone slashes your tires in the parking lot when you have a meltdown with a crowd of party kids surrounding you. 

I know that's not just me that thinks that. 

And what are we teaching our kids if we give them these things now? Seriously? How the fuck do we out-do ourselves next year? By the time they are 16 it'll be boob jobs and liposuction. We're the entitled generation as it is, what's this generation going to be like then? Good grief. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't Panic! I've got you.

So Google Reader is dying a slow and painful death but don't freak out, bitches. I've got you.

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See? Easy peasy, hookers.

Asshole Sara strikes again.

I got into a somewhat heated discussion today when I said I thought that there should be laws on the books permitting the government to take someone's kids away. And not just if you're abusing and neglecting them in all of the obvious ways, either. I firmly believe if you raise your child to be an irresponsible, ungrateful, law breaking, disrespectful piece of shit? 

You have failed as a parent. 

Kids aren't just born with these behaviors, these are learned. They learn them when you're too lazy to interact with them as infant. They learn them when you are inconsistent with discipline throughout their life. They learn them when you say one thing and do another. They learn them by modeling your behavior. They learn them when you don't take the time to sit and do homework with them every night. They learn them when you aren't encouraging them at their games (positively), going to conferences and being involved with their education, and when you don't know who their friends are. They learn them when you choose to work instead of hang out with them because golly gee you really want that new ATV that your buddies have or wouldn't a new Coach purse be nice? 

They learn them when you clearly have no interest in being a parent 24/7. It never stops, you're always worrying and hoping you are doing the right thing. 

I am, admittedly, a hard ass parent. I am hard on my kids and I have high expectations. I expect you to be respectful and well behaved whether you are with me or not. Whether you have friends around you or not. I expect you to do your school work and then your homework in a timely fashion. Use your manners and think of others. Be kind and thoughtful. Do what is expected of you at all times. 

Or else. 

My kids have known since they could comprehend my facial expressions and my words that I say what I mean and I don't fuck around. If I tell you to stop doing something, I damn well mean it. I will reprimand and discipline you if you deserve it whether your friends are there or not. But at the end of the day, my kids know I love them. I do it because they need guidance and they need structure. 

So when I hear about things like the Stubenville rape case I feel like punching these parents. Let me tell you one thing, if my parents EVER found out that I got so drunk and ended up raped? They would kick my ass first and foremost because I should know better. You don't ever, ever, EVER put yourself in a compromising situation. EVER. And if they ever found out that my brother took advantage of a girl regardless if she was drunk or not? They would kick his ass and not at all let him try to get out of it. 

I am appalled that the parents of those young men, who are caught on video taking advantage of a young lady who is clearly so out of it she couldn't possibly have consented, even tried to defend their actions. You people should be ashamed of yourself and you're just as bad as your children because your actions are victimizing that girl all over. And now this poor girl has other students taunting her because these boys are found guilty. 

Lemme tell you something. If I ever found out that my child taunted another over such a horrific incident? 

Oh, words would be had. And they would lose ever privilege they had and be on god damn lockdown. Because you do not do that. 

Those parents have clearly failed in parenting if their children lack empathy and compassion. I can't even believe parents would stand by and just say, "I can't control my kids". Are you fucking serious? Because let me tell you something, it's your JOB to control your kids. If I had to quit my job to escort them through the day like a god damn toddler in high school, you bet your ass I would. I would downsize my life in order to make sure my kid didn't act like this. 

Because at the end of the day do you know what this is? These are kids who have never had discipline, boundaries, or guidance. And it's a cry for help. Every kid will buck all of these but they need them and they know them. They want to know that you care about what they are doing and they need your approval and your help. 

You need to teach your sons that sex isn't a game and it shouldn't be done lightly. That women are people too and they need to be valued and not used. You need to teach your daughters to take some pride in themselves, and love themselves enough so they don't need the false proclamations of love from a boy who doesn't know what it even means. And we need to raise our kids so they have enough self assurance that they don't succumb to peer pressure when they get the "everyone is doing it" line. 

And you know what? I know a parent can do that because mine did. Never once in my life have I ever gotten so piss drunk that I passed out or cannot remember what I did. You know why I don't drink (aside from the fact I have alcoholism on my father's side of the family)? Because I really value being 100% in charge of myself at all times. I am never compromised and I never worry about regretting my decisions the day after. Because I have self worth and I value who I am. I care more about myself than I do of the people I'm with. If you feel uncomfortable I'm not drinking, that's on you, not me. 

So I was told I was an asshole. Which, maybe I am. But I feel like a lot of parents just don't give a damn. You're just trying to keep them alive until they are 18 and there is so much more than that to parenting. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dark Tide

Oh don't worry lambies, I have other stuff to post about, but let me share a really good book with you. Grab your cups, possibly with a lil' extra in them (looking at YOU, stay at home mom's), and pay attention. 

Dark Tide - Elizabeth Haynes
Dark Tide

Genevieve has finally escaped the stressful demands of her sales job and achieved her dream: to leave London behind and begin a new life aboard a houseboat in Kent. Not many people know that she financed her fresh start by working weekends as a dancer at a less-than-reputable gentlemen’s club called the Barclay, and she’s determined to keep it that way. But on the night of her housewarming party the past intrudes when a body washes up beside the boat, and Genevieve recognizes the victim, a fellow dancer from the Barclay.
As the sanctuary of the marina is threatened, and Genevieve’s life seems increasingly at risk, the story of how she came to be so out of her depth unfolds, and she discovers the hard way the real cost of mixing business with pleasure. . . .
Having read her first book Into the Darkest Corner, which was absolutely amazing and I loved, I knew I was in for a suspense that wasn't going to work out the way I thought it would. What I hadn't planned on was for it to kind of take a turn to romance, which wasn't a bad thing- it was just unexpected. 
The book is basically about Genevieve, who has a regular job during the day and after taking pole dancing classes for fun/exercise, finds herself introduced into the world of gentlemen's clubs. She knows that she can make good  money doing this and it would get her closer to her dream of buying, fixing up, and living on a house boat. What she doesn't know is that she is incredibly naive, is plunged into the dark and seedy world of backroom deals and where nothing is as simple as it seems. She meets Dylan, who is part bouncer, part grunt work guy who she can't read very well. She makes a friend, Caddy, who eventually ends up dead and floating alongside her boat. 
All of the things that happen in this book you see coming- Genevieve is so incredibly naive and how she thought she could do parties and let things go a little further than pole dancing and it'd be all OK, I have no idea. What a moron. But what I absolutely,  no way in hell, I could not believe it but it really happened- Dylan. Dude, I had NO IDEA about Dylan and I was flabbergasted. I had one theory that maybe he was a bad guy trying to turn good but no. It's not that, but I certainly didn't see it being what it was. Which, I'm not going to tell you because it clearly ruins it. What I don't understand is why Dylan is the way he is towards Genevieve at the very end. Is he always going to be a non-communicating asshole? Yikes. 
But I absolutely loved this book. It didn't have the one liners in the book that literally haunted me and a story that scared the pants off of me like Into the Darkest Corner, but I think that means she's growing as a writer. She definitely has a talent with words and painting scenes and crafting a story around a female lead that has clear faults but is trying to hard to pull her hot mess together. Definitely an author on my favorites list. 
Please check out her website, Facebook and/or Twitter. Then buy her books because you'll thank me later like you always do. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Birthday Funness. And bagpipes and lost college girls.

Lambies- this bitch celebrated her 31st birthday on Saturday. It was low key, it was fun, it was full of some of my favorite people, good laughs, and of course random shit that happens every time I go out.

The plan was to go to Old Chicago in Canal Park (which I love) for dinner, have some drinks, chat and hang out and then go see the movie Oz down the street and then call it a night. The thing about turning 31 is that while I want to go out and have fun on a kid-free night, I am not eager to close a bar down. I don't drink at all, but I don't mind going out with my friends and hanging out because I enjoy that too. But I'm old, I'm seriously feeling it and I really fucking hate that.

Anyways.

The bad part is that while I had every intention of getting a group shot of everyone, I did not. I didn't and I don't know why. I always forget to take these pictures and I hate that. I'm such a moron. But it was a great group of people. I had my friend Amy drive up in totally shit weather, I had my transplant friend Jessica, my life twin Tammy, I had Jane and Shannon from our kids' school, I had my work study/bookstore partner in crime Amber, I had Matt and Tammy's husband Chad, then my brother Travis and his girlfriend Krystal came.. and who else? Son of a bitch, I feel like I'm forgetting someone.

I swear I'm not a bad friend... it just feels like forever ago.

But it was super fun because out of the damn blue, a bagpipe ensemble comes strolling through, totally loud as can be. Strangely, I love me some bagpipes and I'm not Irish or Scottish, I just really like bagpipes, so it was kind of great they came through. I didn't get hit on but I got winked at and a double take on my way to the bathroom. Even though the guy was clearly drunk and staggering, I'm going to still count it as a win. Because he could have burped or barfed, right??

After dinner we all got our shoes totally fucking soaked and almost fell because it was icy and slushy at the same time as we walked to the theater. We saw the movie Oz in what used to be the Omnimax and the movie was really great but I felt like thank GOD we didn't see the 3D version because I would have thrown up and shit myself. For sure peed myself because I failed to pee before we went in there like the idiot I am. And holy long movie? I felt like it was long. But that's OK because I still liked it.

Afterwards is the fun part. So out of all the people strolling out of the various theaters, these three seemingly unintelligent, very obviously college freshmen girls come up to ME and ask if I can give them a ride to university. I cannot because my vehicle only sits 4 comfortably and I already have 3 of those seats taken. So between me, Amy and Amber we're trying to call various cab companies in Duluth. They either don't answer or are total douche bags and refuse to come because of roads.

So I feel bad, and offer to let them ride in the trunk of my vehicle. Which, as I explained to the one girl who look horrified, that it's not really a trunk because I have an SUV so they wouldn't be laying on each other but they wouldn't have seat belts and if we got into an accident, they'd probably die.

Not surprisingly, they did not take me up on this.

They then decide they are going to walk. Which, Matt being a total asshole, thinks this is just fine and let us all go home now. But no. That's totally not fine because it's a long walk, it's now after midnight, the sidewalks and roads are icy and shitty in general, and they'd be going through some shady ass neighborhoods I wouldn't want to walk through during the daylight. No. We cannot let them do this. By this point they had started walking.

Thankfully, Tammy, Amber and I are not assholes so we do a little car shuffle and Amber comes with us, and Tammy tells her husband they are picking the girls up and giving them a ride. Because we are decent people who aren't always assholes because you know it'd be our luck they would have all been raped and murdered or something.

So that was my birthday. It was fun, even though it didn't top last year's Chicago trip, but how could it? That trip was awesome! Maybe we'll bring back the Chicago trip next year. Maybe. It's expensive.. we'll see. But I really like going out to dinner with everyone and just having a good time knowing I pick some really awesome ass friends.

 Me and my huge ass birthday cookie at Old Chicago.
 My very first, totally real Coach purse from my parents. LOVE it.
 Birthday weekend kick off started with these gorgeous flowers from my friend Amy. They are still alive too! Plus, it made Matt a little shamed (see below)
 I got this in the mail on Monday as I puked and shit my guts out. (You've seen the movie "Bridesmaids", right? I basically re-created the bathroom scene the entire day. It was horrific. Nobody should ever have to go through that.) But guess what? I have no idea who it's from!! It came from Cafe Press but there was nothing in the box with it... who is this from? I LOVE IT. The girls at work laughed but this is kick ass. This is also my new favorite bottle because it actually fits ice cubes. YAY!!
 Because Amy shamed him, I got flowers from him for my birthday.
Other things that I got were a book, nail polish, lotion (from Tammy), a kick ass goat stamp from Gini (thanks Gini), Amazon, iTunes and Hobby Lobby gift cards (from Jess and Amber), a beautiful handmade glass pendent necklace from Shannon, and some cash. Oh, and Tammy... a girl after my own heart.. got me a fainting goat lawn ornament. It's not here yet.. it's coming. Matt did not seemed pleased but now I can't wait for the snow to fucking melt and I can put this in my yard. SO EXCITED.

But it was a great birthday. I was spoiled, I laughed my ass off, and I felt like a totally special person. And I have really great friends and family. I really do. I couldn't ask for a better group of people in my life.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The second generation of kick ass.

So, last week I had Olivia's conferences and like someone said on Facebook- conferences are the two times of year that you know you are a kick ass parent. This one was no different.

The best part about conferences is that I get to see what she does while she's at school. I get to hear her read at home, I see her do homework, but there is a lot that she does that I don't always get to see. But of course, I took pictures of stuff that was on the wall and it made me realize my kid is not only hilarious as hell but she is super smart too. For a first grader.

So here are some of my favorite things I saw:

 They had a "100 day of school" celebration so they did a bunch of work using the number 100. Here is her worksheet. She wishes she had 100 cats, wouldn't want 100 pieces of pizzas, I can make 100 pictures, I can eat 100 tacos, I could never eat 100 brussel sprouts. In 100 years I hope that I can say hi to my mom. If I had 100 dollars, I would buy an American Girl Doll.
 This one is my favorite. Look at her picture! Frowny face with lots of makeup, green skin, and of course- blue high heels while holding a cane.
 Then they did a unit on American symbols and she did something on the Statue of Liberty- she knows more than I do and I'm ashamed to say that.

Oh yes- on Dr. Seuss day she had to wear her craziest outfit. She dresses herself and this was what she chose. But she wears this kind of stuff every day anyways she was just happy to wear it again.

But you know what else is really cool? Is that she loves to write. She eagerly anticipates journal time and that is very awesome. Maybe I'll never write a book from start to finish but I sure hope she does. The other cool thing is that it turns out she's still super smart. She loves math, she loves learning new ways to do things, and she is just a total joy to have in class.

Which is awesome because if anyone asked me how did I get my child to this point I would be honest and say I have no clue. I remember bringing her home from the hospital, 100% terrified that I was either going to forget to do something crucial or she'd turn out to be a huge brat that others kids hate. Fortunately I never had to worry about either, but I know I have always worried about making the right decisions. I still do. I just want to make sure that I do the absolute best job I can do to make sure she ends up being the best woman she can be.

I want her to be strong, independent, full of self confidence, honest and kind. I want her to be able to take every chance in life she wants to take and know that no matter how it turns out, it's OK. And I went to bed that night feeling like I may not be the best mother out there, but I think I have her on the right track. I only hope she doesn't get distracted along the way.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Dark Heroine

Oh lambwhores, get your "to be read" list out and add this baby on there because you will love it. LOVE it. Swearsies.

The Dark Heroine- Abigail Gibbs
The Dark Heroine

A chance encounter on a deserted street plunges Violet into a world beyond her wildest imaginings – a world of elegance and beauty where aristocratic vampires live for decadent pleasures…a place from which there is no escape…
But beneath the splendor lies a darkness, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous heir to the throne, Kaspar Varn.
As Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds, they soon discover that it’s a passion that comes at a price…
So you know I love me some vampires and romance novels and when you combine the two, it is really hard for me to not like it. I admit- I am a bit biased but this book deserves that love because I really loved it. I also loved Kaspar and dammit why couldn't I have met a hot vampire pre-Matt? WHY, world, why? 
*sigh*
But this book is clearly the start of what absolutely be a series. If it is not a series I'm going to be a very unhappy romance novel/danger for the girl/bad boy turning out to the be hero loving reader. 
It begins by Violet witnessing the mass murder of 30 humans, in the middle of London, and then being kidnapped by the vampires who do the mass murder and is essentially held hostage ever since. You meet the Varn vampire family, and the prodigal prince son Kaspar along with others who you will either love or hate. It's seriously a toss up and what you feel for them in the beginning will most likely change towards the end. 
Vampires are tricky like that. 
But then as Violet begins to have feelings for Kaspar, and is conflicted with the political strife which doesn't make sense to her- she finds out (kind of) about the Prophecy and the Heroines. Everything rides on this Prophecy which not everybody believes in, but turns out to be true. Very true. Confusing, but true. And under it all is this really weird "will they or won't they" relationship between Kaspar and Violet. Kaspar is conflicted about Violet because he knows he is "tied" to someone and whether he likes her or not, he's stuck with her but he doesn't know who she is. Violet doesn't know this and while he's developing feelings for Violet, he knows that him being tied to someone will break her heart. 
Or will it? 
I can't tell you, but I was literally on the edge of my seat finishing this book up. There are still so many unanswered questions- the largest being who are the other heroines? You find out who one and two are in this book but there are many more. And who will die as a result of the discovery of the rest of the heroines? What happens when they go to Athenea? 
I'M IN SUSPENSE, PEOPLE. 
The best part about this book? Is that really, it reads as a YA because Violet is 17 in the beginning, but it has very adult stuff (not graphic, but you get the hint of what exactly is happening), and I loved having the best of both worlds. I want you to get this right now, read it, and then tell me what you think. 
Check out the author's Facebook page as well as her Wattpad page. I am so excited to see where this author goes with the rest of the series because she is going to catch the attention of pretty much every vampire lover out there. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

The best decision I ever made.

It seems like a lot of relationships around me are essentially falling apart for one reason or another. Or I see people who are so apathetic and don't even care and that's just as bad. I'd be lying if a large part of me doesn't even feel bad for these people because I feel like they aren't even trying. I read so many romance novels and for years I wished that I could have that. Have this great love that just thought I was the best thing ever.

I've been cheated on. I've been lied to repeatedly and continually. I've been terrified of the situation I was in. I've been confused as to why he does the things he does. I've been held up like a sacrificial lamb on the altar of marriage counseling, I've then been told I should be a better wife and turn a blind eye to all of the things that scare me about my partner, I've had my heart broken. I've felt like a terrible mother and worthless woman. I spiraled into financial ruin because of all of this.

All because of my husband.

Yet I'm still here.

And I realize that my marriage actually is like a romance novel. Every one is the same- a couple falls in love and then something awful happens, they struggle, but then in the end they get back together and live happily ever after. That's exactly like my marriage.

I get all kinds of reactions when I tell people the full extent of my story and I don't know that I'll ever do that in this forum. Not because I don't think it would be valuable to someone else or that it's a worthy story to share, but because really- it's Matt's story. But what I can say is that through it all, I've stuck by him. Even when I felt it was the wrong thing to do. Even when my heart was lonely and hurt as I lay next to a man I didn't know if I even loved anymore. Even when a lot of my friends said I was a dumb bitch for staying and deserved what I got. Even when my own family told me I'm making bad decisions because I'm not thinking clearly.

But in my gut... I knew they were all wrong.

It wasn't easy by any means. Years after what could have been the implosion of my marriage, I still cry at night sometimes. I still wonder if I'm good enough. I still doubt my motives. I still try to be the best wife and mother I can be. I still try to be the rock for this family when I really just want a rock to lean on. I do the best that I can.

It's incredibly easy to fall in love. It's so easy to be attracted to someone, for hand holding to still be exciting, to still get butterflies on a night out. It's so easy.

It's really hard to keep love going. When I hear people say, "I'm not IN LOVE with him/her" I want to punch them in the face. Being in love is so temporary. It doesn't stay forever, it's not meant to. It's meant to groom you into loving a person. Loving them through everything awful about them. Loving them every hardship you will ever face together. Every argument. Every hurt feeling. Every let down. Every hope and dream dashed.

Because that's when you see a true person.

I feel like Matt and I are a thousand times stronger now because of what we've gone through. Are there days where I think about smothering him while he sleeps? Sure. Are there days where I feel like driving past my house and never coming back? You bet. But I know the next day will be better. He'll still loves me and I'll still love him. We're going to get old and probably prank each other in the nursing home and make the nurses laugh and eventually separate us into different rooms.

When I said my vows, I really meant what I said. We've had better, and we've had worse. We've had sickness, and we've had health. We've been richer and we've been poorer. We've been through a lot together and it is not easy. We work every day at getting through it together. We're still learning how to communicate better. We're still learning how to fight better. We're still learning how to parent together. We're still learning how to be better for each other.

I love Matt more now than I ever possibly could when we got married because now I know more about him. I know he is flawed. I know he gets mean, distant, and cold sometimes. I know he lies for no reason about dumb things. I know he has interests that scare me and I don't understand them. I know he struggles with depression and refuses to do anything about it. But I also know that despite all of that, he's trying. I think I never saw any of this in the first five years we were together because he loved me enough that he was worried I would leave. And while I could be angry and upset that everything fell apart, a part of me is grateful that he eventually felt safe enough with me to show me all of these terrible things about him.

And what kind of wife would I be if I left him at his lowest point?

I wouldn't be worthy of any of the good parts of him. And I really believe that. So we've slowly worked at making our marriage stronger. It is hard. It is a struggle. I no longer wonder if I made the right decision by staying- I know I did. And it was a few years later when I was talking to a married couple who had known what had happened between Matt and I through the gossip channels of our town, and they asked me how it worked out. I told them that Matt and I were still together and things were good. I remember she hugged me, and he patted my hand and they told me that that was it- that was the key to a long marriage, working through horrible things you want to give up on. It was probably one of the most profound moments of my life.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's stressful. Why do people do this repeatedly?

So a big thing that is on the horizon for us is that we decided to sell our home. Not right now, but this time next year we'll be placing this bitch on the market and hopefully we can get out of it soon. I'm a horribly impatient person so I'm sure Matt is already sick of me and we just made this decision on Sunday. It's not that we don't love our house, but we're out of room. We need at least three bedrooms, at least two bathrooms and we've decided we need a basement and a garage we can both park in.

Finding all of this in the area of town we're still in (because we do love it, even when it's really ghetto and our windows get shot out) and within our budget is going to be really tricky.

But it never dawned on me before how much of a pain in the ass this would be. When we bought this house we got the first thing that was in our budget because I was pregnant with Olivia and we were in a one bedroom apartment. We had two house to choose from that were under $80,000 and let's just say one had 5 feet of standing water in the basement and this one did not. Sure, this one had a smell to it. It was the most filthy place I had ever seen, I don't think the toilet or tub had ever been cleaned and the siding was full of bugs so it was like the Woodpecker Buffet up in here.

We were broke, our criteria was low, and we made the plunge.

And over the last eight years we have put a huge addition on, dug up every dead bush on the property, put new siding on, remodeled the bathroom so you can stand in it (because you could not before), made a closet upstairs, put new carpet in, replaced a BUNCH of windows, put on the back deck, and the laundry room remodel.

Let's just hope we can turn a profit or something here.

But before we can list it, we have to fix the front porch, make new front steps, finish the laundry room, and do something about the kitchen cabinets. It all costs money, it takes time, and I'm freaking out.

And we can do all of that and it be for nothing if we can't get a loan for a new house. Then if we do sell our house, we have to hurry up and find a new one. I can't swing two mortgages at once so this would have to sell before we can even look at something new. So what if I get stuck with shit options?

*sigh*

The other thing is that I'll need money set aside for earnest money, home inspection, closing costs, etc. We never had to think of that before because Matt cashed out an IRA and it covered all of that, a down payment, plus money to buy new appliances. (Because my general rule is that if an entire shelf is full of mold and leaks green water when you turn it on? You buy new. If the stove is from 1950 and beyond? You buy new. No amount of Mr. Clean will make that shit right.)

So if you have tips on how not to freak out,  how to sell a house, or how do any of these with the least amount of stress? You go 'head and lemme know.

The Bronze and the Brimstone

This is the second book in a trilogy and I'll get the review of the first book up soon, but let's start with this one so I can thoroughly get you all confused.

The Bronze and the Brimstone - Lory Kaufman
The Bronze and the Brimstone
Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention to the rich and powerful.

But standing out can get you into unexpected and dangerous situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.

Meanwhile, artistic genius Shamira has fallen for a Florentine artist with bloody and disastrous consequences. Lincoln, considered an incompetent back home in the 24th-century, has blossomed – at least until he’s shot in the head with an arrow. And Hansum, after secretly marrying his new master’s beautiful daughter, Guilietta, is offered the hand in marriage of lady Beatrice, daughter of the ruler of Verona. To refuse could mean calamity for all the teens.

Amazingly, none of this is their biggest challenge. Because a rash illness is spreading across Verona – and it is threatening to consume everyone.

Do they have a future in this past?


OK, now I will say that these books are involved. And by involved, I mean that a LOT of thought and planning went into the writing of all three of these books. Some complaints I have for all three is that in some spots there is too much detail, too much time spent on insignificant things. Some of the dialogue is a little strange but once you get passed that and really look at the story as a whole? It's kind of great. 

These book are "Post Dystopian Fiction" and are written far into the future. As a summary, when you're in school and you do something wrong, instead of going into what we call school suspension, these kids go into what are called "history camps" where they essentially learn how hard it was in the past and hopefully they learn to be more respectful and understand what plight it. Except as is the case with school suspension, these kids don't take it seriously and get kicked out history camp and put into the actual past. There are no "enactors" (teachers playing a part)- there is real danger and they are really thrust into it. 

In this book lots of things change and are a catalyst for book three, naturally. The really cool thing about this being geared towards YA is that people reading this are actually learning history because a lot of research went into this book. I will say that character wise? Lincoln gets on my nerves. I didn't like him in book one and I didn't like him here either. I like Hansum, who is highly intelligent and very inquisitive, but his judgement in bringing modern day technology to the past has terrible consequences. It seems like the best idea but doesn't work out. Shamira is... OK. I don't know how I feel about her. You know her relationship with her artist beau is a problem but the fact she still does it shows that the author has some experience with teenage girls. HA! 

I want to spoil the ending for you because I really liked it and it made me pick up book three immediately after. So, so very excited to finish the third book because there is a baby involved. Take THAT for suspense!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Winners and it's that time of year again.

First up, who wants to be a mother fucking winner? You know you do so here we go:

The winner of a copy of S.E.C.R.E.T which is really awesome: #6 Anita Yancey! WOO!

The winner of a copy of Long Way Home which is really awesome as well: #2 Eileen! YAY!

So we've got a couple of winners among us, let us do the polite "I-wish-it-were-me,-bitch" clap.

Anyhoodles.

So guess what is on Sunday? Only the most fabulous time of the year! Yes, March 10 is when I burst forth from my mother and graced the planet with my awesomeness and 31 years later, I am still here. Still awesome. It's a miracle, really.

But every year I really like to do something fun for my birthday and this entire week I'm getting a lot of, "who cares?" and "why celebrate? It's not even a milestone."

Um, fuck you.

We celebrate because I CAN. It's my god damn birthday and I can do whatever I want. Maybe it's a childhood of not having friend birthday parties and goodie bags and outrageous presents from everyone. Maybe it's a reason to get out of the house and have adult time with my husband in places other than my bedroom because we're kid free. Maybe I just really like cake and want to eat it without shame.

Maybe it's all of that.

(And also I love presents. Part of it is a love of presents, not even going to lie.)

The best part of my life is that I have a lot of really great friends who like Matt, go along with my crazy and love me anyways. I try hard to get them together and just hang out for a night of fun. It might not be shenanigans, it might not be balls out crazy, but it's always fun for me. The other great thing is that I don't really have a "group" of friends I've grown up with. Most of my friends only know each other because of my gatherings, and that's kind of fun. It's a total hodge podge of great people who I love for all very different reasons. I've met them at different points in my life, so really- seeing them together is like a "This Is Your Life" episode for me.

This year we're going low key. It's hard to top last year's trip to Chicago and that was memorable to say the least. Maybe I'll do a girls trip next year, but because we're going to Florida in June I didn't think I could swing two trips financially. But I can have a fun dinner with friends and then we're either going to see a comedy thing or a movie. I kind of want to go to a movie, but literally- I'm game for anything. I'm excited just to see everyone, eat crap food, and I'm hoping for cake. Matt has made no mention of cake, but I better get a cake on Sunday for my actual birthday. (Specifically a Coldstone Creamery "A Cheesecake Named Desire" OR, I'd settle for vanilla with a buttercream frosting.) MMM.

Otherwise blood may be shed.

But I'm excited for the night out with my favorite people. I'll even try to take pictures.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Lass Wore Black

And she fucking rocked the black stuff she wore. Hypothetically speaking, of course. While no pictures were included on the pages, I can only assume she rocked it. Because really, you have to be really homely to not be able to rock black, right??

The Lass Wore Black - Karen Ranney
The Lass Wore Black

Catriona Cameron was once famed for her seductive beauty and charm. Now she saw no one, hiding from the world . . . and no one dared break through her self-imposed exile.
No one, that is, until Mark Thorburn burst into her home, and Catriona’s darkened world began to have color again. Thorburn, secretly the heir to an Earldom, claimed he was a footman. But Catriona didn’t care about the scandal their passion could cause . . . for his very touch sparked her back to a life of sensuality, one she thought she’d never have again.
Little does she know that Mark is part of a masquerade. One that will end when they become the target of a madman set on revenge. Mark realizes he will have to do more than win her love . . . he will have to save her life as well.
I'm going to just come right out and say that I have a really not guilty pleasure of loving Avon Books. Growing up I never thought I'd be one of those women who read romance novels  at every chance I got, but I also wasn't married and had no idea that I was not Cinderella and that my Prince Charming would snore and occasionally smell bad. But hey- it's the American Dream and I'm living it, lambwhores. 
Anyways. 
I really liked this book. In most romance novels you have a woman who is rude, bitchy and hates life for really stupid reasons and makes everything an absolute chore, including falling in love. Like it's this huge inconvenience. But Catriona has a legitimate excuse for being locked in her room- she was in a pretty horrific accident that has left her face horribly scarred. She has always gotten through life relying on her beauty and after the accident she no longer has that and she feels like she has nothing to offer a man, let alone anyone else. Sad day. 
But then really hot doctor Mark comes along and under the guise that he is a footman in charge of ensuring that she does not starve herself (because she detests doctors so he can't very well go in there saying he is a doctor). He gets to know her without seeing her face (she keeps it hidden behind a heavy veil) and eventually, they have relations and she questions the feelings she feels for him. He also is wondering why he's feeling the way he does about her, neither of them understanding that this is actually love and they should do something about it. 
BUT THEN, (dun, dun, dun) Catriona's ex lover Andrew (who is a crazy pants womanizer) is basically trying to kill her under the "if I can't have her, nobody will" idea. Can Mark save her? Does she ever not wear her veil? Will Mark ever even see her face? What the hell happens to Andrew? 
I can't tell you, obviously, but I will tell you I really loved this book. And I'm not even on who really likes historical romances but dammit if I'm not intrigued enough to pick up a few more. Specifically things from Karen, she is a fantastic writer. None of her characters are too whiny, the t hings her characters say and do are what you would expect a reasonably normal person would do. Sure, the story has some dramatics but it isn't so over the top where you're left saying, "Are you kidding me right now? Because like THAT would ever happen.". I definitely think you should give this one a shot if you are in the mood for a good romance novel and/or feeling especially fat and ugly after eating a box of truffles and on your period. 
Not that I say that from experience. Obviously. 
In the meantime, check out Karen's webpage, Facebook, or Twitter to see what she is up to and look at her other books. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Apparently, I'm a huge asshole.

You know why? Because god help me, I don't think the sequester is bad.

STOP THROWING THINGS AT ME.

Look, I get that with the sequester people are going to get laid off. People who need services, critical ones at that, might not get them. People are really pissed off that the military can't do fly overs at games and shit. I get that these are all bad things for some people but at the same time, I don't feel bad.

This country is in mass amounts of debt. Spending is out of control yet nobody wants to acknowledge that in order to cut spending, you have to make some tough decisions that will no doubt hurt people's ability to live like they do now. Because you might force someone on food stamps to give up their iPhone 5 to buy their kids milk.

Look at a household budget, for instance. Let's say you were always a two family income, you went on trips, you watched you shows on HBO, you had nice cars, went out to eat frequently, you maybe had a boat or snowmobile, or whatever else people buy. You buy nice clothes and your kids are in every imaginable after school activity possible. You are living the life and life is awesome.

Then let's say... someone loses a job. Your income is cut in half and all of a sudden, you have tough choices to make. Absolutely nothing is a fixed expense. The only things you need to survive is food, shelter, and water. You don't need to have your nice home, you could downsize and get an apartment. You don't have to eat out, you can have cereal at home. You don't need your fancy car- only one of you is working, make a carpool happen.

The fact of the matter is that we are an entitled nation. You think that because you work and because you aren't a criminal, you deserve the finer things in life. You think because you work hard you deserve a union's absurd wage ($25+ an hour to do carpentry? Bitch, please. If that's the case, you better work your ass through the fucking night to get the job done.) You think that because the government has the ability to help you that they should.

INSTEAD, you could get a fucking job. You could go work at Burger King, be a maid in a hotel, do something more to help yourself. Something will always be better than nothing per hour so while you bitch you're only at minimum wage, we have homeless people who would really love to have that minimum wage job. We have people who have been disabled and are basically stuck at home on disability wishing they could be more useful in life. There are legitimate people who are mortified and totally embarrassed to be getting any assistance and if they had the means to change that they would. They actively try to make their lives better. You have people who say they can't work more than one job, they can't work full time, they can't do anything. But I bet if you forced them too, gave them absolutely no other choice, suddenly miracles would happen and they could do it.

But we also have a lot of free loaders. I don't think everyone goes onto assistance as a free loader but necessity is the mother of invention. If you let people stay on it indefinitely? They will. Why try harder if you don't have to? Our nation sucks right now because we no longer require more of anybody. You don't want to go to school? That's OK, just get your GED in a jiffy and work telemarketing forever. You don't want to work full time because you're tired? That's OK, here are some food stamps and subsidized housing- have a great life.

It's bullshit.

I say this as a person who believes with my whole heart these programs shouldn't shut down because I do know that it prevents people from being homeless and there are people who only use it to get back on their feet.

So when I see all of these people complaining about the sequester I get mad because you know what? Nobody could be truthful and say their causes could absorb cuts, that seeing that some people would be without services is hard but they aren't going to die. They'll bounce back somehow and in the end, that's what we want. Nobody could compromise like god damn adults and like we tell our children, there are consequences to behavior. Nobody is able to look past their ego and make hard decisions. Nobody wants to look like the asshole, the bad guy, because they want to be re-elected.

Well here we are. Sequesterville and we are not going to die. Sure, we might not be going on vacations this year. Things are going to get tight financially. We might have to help our friends and family. We might have to get creative with getting by. We might actually learn something about ourselves we didn't know before. But you aren't going to die. Luxuries might go away, you might see sad people with hardships suffering, but we are not going to die. The world is not going to end without flyovers at your stupid fucking sports games, tradition or not. (Seriously? As a tax payer, that kind of shit infuriates me. How is that not one of the first things to go when you're working on a budget??)

So if you're looking at financial changes in your life because of the sequester, instead of complaining- make some hard cuts at home. Get rid of your cable TV. Get rid of your cell phone. Sell stuff you don't need. Carpool with friends. There are a million different things you can do to cut expenses at home. If nothing else, you'll teach your kids about sacrifice and budgeting. The worst thing you can do is to teach your kids that you are a bottomless pit of money, that they can get everything they want anytime they want. Because someday they'll be adults and you'll turn them into the next generation of free loaders.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Naked and All In.

I bet you thought I was blogging while naked or something. But fear not lambwhores, I am fully clothed but I am talking about books.

Naked (The Blackstone Affair #1) - Raine Miller

Brynne Bennett is living the good life. An American art student at the University of London and part-time photographic model, she’s putting her life back on track with school and lots of hard work. When ultra successful London businessman, Ethan Blackstone, buys her nude portrait, he isn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer. He wants Brynne in his bed and makes plans to keep her there no matter what. His dominant nature captivates and ensnares despite the demons she carries inside her. But there are secrets in this relationship. Huge ones. Can Ethan free Brynne from the past that has marked her? Will Brynne let him or will the specters tormenting her resurface to destroy them both…

I'm just going to get my complaint out of the way right off the bat because I'm finding myself getting really annoyed with romance novels post Fifty Shades- we need to move past the vulnerable woman with emotional issues and wealthy men with control issues. We need to. You can change settings, names, and little things but basically it's all the same story that we're reading. Come up with an original idea. 

That being said? I did like the book because I liked Fifty Shades. Granted, we don't have the BDSM theme running through the book but everything is basically the same. Brynne is emotionally fragile and she meets Ethan, who is hired by her father to basically look after her because of potential threats in regards to her horrible past. He basically falls for her and she falls for  him but of course she finds out that he's not just interested in her and that he was in fact, hired by her father, so they have a falling out. Just like you knew it would. 

Despite it being so incredibly similar to Fifty Shades, it's different enough where you find yourself reading it to the end and eagerly picking up the second one. 

All In (Blackstone Affair, #2) - Raine Miller

The second part in The Blackstone Affair series! Looming danger. A love worth fighting for. A man who’ll go all in.

Ethan Blackstone has a problem on his hands. He’s broken Brynne’s trust and she’s left him. He’s unwilling to live without her and isn’t giving up—he’s dead-set on getting his beautiful American girl back. The passion between them was explosive, but the secrets they hid from each other are dark and chilling and are powerful enough to destroy their shot at a life together. With political threats now directed at Brynne, Ethan is running out of time and he’ll need to gather all his strength and agility to protect her from the dangers that could take her away from him forever. Will Ethan be able to save Brynne from a past that keeps her locked in fear? Will he ever feel the warmth of her touch, the solidity of her trust again? This is a love-struck man who is willing to do whatever it takes to possess the heart of the woman he loves. He’ll go to any lengths to protect her. He’ll go all in.

Here is the fiery story of what happens when two people surrender to a love so great it can heal the scars of the past and give way to a life of pure, rapturous ecstasy.


And dammit if I didn't like this one better than the first. Again, the story line is still remarkably similar to Fifty Shades that I did find myself frustrated and I was a little let down knowing that I already knew what would happen. This story is told through Ethan's point of view which honestly, I liked better than Brynne's. Brynne has all of these emotional issues and I really struggle with people who can't just buck the hell up in life, so I find myself not liking Brynne at times. Every time things get dicey you run? Come on, get over yourself nut job. 

Of course we find out more about the threats against Brynne and finally at the end of the book we get some action! I'm finding myself hoping that book three turns into something more like a black ops vet saves the girl book. 

Despite my annoyance of the series so far being predictable, I do like Raine's writing style and I do think she  holds real promise as a writer. I will definitely check out other works of hers in the future.