Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Picture's worth 1000 words

So, take a really really good look at this picture. Go ahead. Really study it. This is a random picture I found in my husbands baby book. Why was it in the baby book nestled amongst the cute infant photos? I have no earthy idea. But once I started to look at it, I just couldn't STOP looking at it. It intrigues me. Some of the people in the photo are known, the man in the background arms a-kimbo is my husband's grandpa, the man smoking he thought was his dad but alas his dad is a non smoker. It almost caused a family scandal, but after some research we come to find out it's just an uncle -oh and his mom is the woman behind him with her arms crossed. Only trouble is, after much speculation, no one can remember when or WHY this picture happened, but more importantly, WHO in the heck was the gleeful, crazed looking woman with the gun??

What was she shooting at? Why does she look so happy? Why did she dress like that to go shoot guns in the wilderness? Did she escape from an asylum? Why is grandpa staring down the camera and not watching the action? I just can't stop staring at this picture. I stare at it until I start to laugh. I think someone could make up an entire movie plot from this one picture, it's just so rich with unanswered questions. They say a picture is worth 1000 words, but you'd have to at least double it to get your money's worth on this one. If you can't stop staring at this picture either and can come up with a clever caption or back story, feel free to share it with the rest of the class.

Monday, February 27, 2006

I name you "BATTLE SWAN"!

Seeing that I'm a little over 2 months away from having our second child, I've been on the baby name hunt. It's a lot trickier than you think. Some parents now a days have gone completely mad on trying to come up with a unique name for their baby. Alternate spellings, abuse of double letters, using too many "k's" and "y's" where there should only be "c's" and "i's", and even plain old making names up. If you want a good laugh check out this site that backs my theories. http://www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames/

While searching out a classy, feminine, not too popular name that also has a great meaning, I came across a few names that meant something so wacky I wondered why anyone in their right mind would consider naming their child that.

Asela (Spanish, Latin) "Donkey foal."
Bethany (Hebrew) "House of figs"
Blaise (Latin) "Lisp, stutter."
Claudia (Latin) "Lame."
Hagar (Hebrew) "Forsaken."
Jael (Hebrew) "Mountain goat."
Mallory (Old French) "Unlucky."
Mara (Hebrew) "Bitter."
Nira (Hebrew) "Plowed field."
Olinda (Greek) "Wild fig."
Rue (English) "Regret."
Silja (Scandinavian) "blind one."
Swanhild (Old German) "Battle swan."
Vega (Arabic) "Falling vulture."
Wava (Slavic) "Stranger."
Yumiko (Japanese) "Arrow child." 

If your parents are inspired to name you after a baby donkey as a newborn, you should probably spend the better part of your life with a bag over your head. Or why don't they just save you the trouble and just name you "Jenny"? Fig Newton fans can really get a double bang for their buck if they named their daughter Bethany Olinda, or 'House of Figs and Wild Figs'. That's fruit, FRUIT and cake. Consider the name Vega (Falling vulture) - heck if you're named after a dead and falling bird of prey I guess you've got no where to go but up? Or is that down?

But my favorite is Swanhild. I pictured a great army of Vikings, swords drawn and drooling, running at full speed into battle, and in front of them all is a beautiful bevy of white birds with long graceful necks... complete with little miniture Viking-horned hats. I see the other army crying and cowering in fear. The battle swans are HERE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Minivans - A work of the Devil

The minivan. Elevated station wagon, suburban godsend, or glorified toaster? My distaste for the minivan started right from the beginning. I came from a big family with four kids, and when you have four kids, you need something BIG to lug them around in. Growing up we always had full sized vans. Vans with three rows of seats. A van where you could literally sit 9 feet behind the driver and them not being able to hear you over the 8-track due to the large distance. A van that held two parents, four kids, three friends, all their gear, and at least one dog. I guess I'm just a big van snob. Oh and our van was extra special, even "tripped out" for 1970's standards. It was butterscotch and white, with tinted windows, and sticker that said "keep on vanning" in the back window, and as a bonus came with two huge silver side pipes that got very HOT. Many a neighbor kid burnt the back of their legs getting out of our "hooptie van" as we so affectionately called it. Road scars, my dad proudly called them.

Then the minivan came along, and yuppie soccer moms everywhere rejoiced. Boxy and clumsy looking, low ceiling, and guaranteed to be going 5 mph under the speed limit in any given fast lane. They were apparently pre-wired with GPS tracking devices that refused to let them pass any Costco or Walmart parking lot. Conducting my own experiments one year, everyday on my way home from work I would keep track of how many minivans would turn into Costco or try to pass it. Almost religiously that left blinker would come on and into Costco they would turn, giving the illusion it was impossible for them to keep driving. Must buy in bulk. Must buy in bulk.

When I was a swingin' single, I was in the market for a new car. I researched the type of car I wanted (good commuting car with great gas mileage) and the chauvinist car dealer tried to steer me away from my car and into a minivan since at the ripe old age of 20 I looked like I was about to pop out two or more kids. I remember being so offended that I had done my homework but just because I was female I should be planning ahead for my destiny to own a minivan. I thought heck, even with two kids they'll still fit in my four door sedan. Right then and there I vowed I would never own a minivan of my own. My friends with kids scoffed. You just wait they said. Once you have a few kids you'll be begging for a minivan. Well I guess that remains to be seen. Baby #2 is on the way and I'm still happy with my cute four door commuter car. There are many family car options out there, I just know for me that it will never be a minivan.

I do have to give kudos to my good friend Jill, who although has succumbed to a minivan, has not fallen victim to the minivan "way". She has proceeded to paint biker flames all over it, and has an Ozzy Osborne key chain hanging from the rear view. Now that's going out with STYLE.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dorothy Hamill - Public Hair Enemy #1

Long before the Wall-O-80's bangs, long before the mohawk, even before the sexy and shimmery mullet, there was another hair style that swept the nation... Literally. Call it the "Wedge".. call it the "Bob"... or call it by it's true name... the "Dorothy Hamill" cut. If you were a girl with long flowing locks anytime in the mid 70's, your days of beauty were numbered. After the shy and talented skater won the gold medal in 1976, a wave of crazed hair stylists sharpened their scissors and aimed for the heads of the youth of America. No longer would mom's across the nation be bothered with styling and braiding long flowing locks. No longer was tangle-free shampoo needed. Throw out your hair ribbons and bows... the "Wedge" was coming. Simply get out a bowl the exact shape of your head and trim away.

I too sadly became a victim of this fashion trend at the tender age of six or seven. 

A shot us four kids in about 1979.  Me (on the left, Kevin, Megan, and Ryan)

What followed was a life time of what I'd like to call "hair rebellion", or the act of growing my hair out long for the rest of my life. Sure, it took a LONG time to grow out the "wedge"... there was that short time in junior high when it had evolved into a horrific permed mullet, that first year of high school when I looked like a curly cocker spaniel with floppy ears, and then finally by the end of my junior year of I was back to long and flowy curly locks... I style I hold to this day. Sometimes I wonder if Ms. Hamill shouldn't be held accountable for her hair atrocities? If she had just sported a regular pony tail or nifty skaters bun none of this would of ever happened, but on the other hand, the style did end up going great with rainbow shirts, clogs and bell bottoms. How would YOU like to be the sole reason there are a ton a bad childhood photos in the world?? Hopefully she can live with the guilt... lol ;)

I must say... when I wrote this way back at the beginning of my blog seven years ago, I was mostly being sarcastic as I had come across an old pic with my trademark childhood wedge hairdo, which I had no say in.  After watching Dorothy Hamill on the most recent "Dancing with the Stars", she is such a nice person.  Like super nice and sweet.  Like she wouldn't hurt a fly and I might hurt her feelings if she ever read this.  Well if you are out there Dorothy Hamill I think you personally are awesome. Your trend-setting short hairstyle set the 1970's on fire like nothing else, right after everyone who got the memo to name their kid "Jennifer" in 1972. I think long hair and short hair lovers can put their differences aside and be friends.  :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

So Why WeShaboigen??

 Note: My blog used to be called "Weshaboigen"

So my sister asked... So why WeShaboigen, what's that from? So I thought I would share it with her and you. It has something to do with stale snacks, not the beautiful fresh snacks pictured here, but a plate of snacks two weeks old and twice frozen... But first, some background. I keep a white board on our fridge at home. Now while most people would keep a shopping list or a time efficient things to do list, I keep wacky and strange phrases that have been uttered by family members. When the white board gets full, I'll transfer them to a hard copy and start over. So at any given time a complete stranger could walk into the house and be totally baffled by the sayings on our fridge, which has the most hilarious collection of our favorite inside jokes.

So we work together, my hubby and me. We have a very frugal boss. She buys plastic flowers instead of real ones, and if the receipt doesn't say Walmart, you've payed too much. Well she's found a way to be frugal on snacks too. She goes to the local supermarket and collects the week old pastries, too old and decrepit to sell to the public and brings it to work where she promptly refreezes them and it is there they lie in wait for us. On snack day morning she proudly defrosts them and makes a beautiful display on a flowery plate and ceremoniously places them in our break room. After a few years of these most of us have learned to stay clear of the snack plate, but there always seems to be the newbie or just plain person that is too hungry, and slowly the stale snacks disappear over the course of the morning. When our boss comes back and sees the almost empty plate, I'm SURE it only reinforces her idea that stale snacks are a good thing.

So one day as everyone was standing around the snack plate, gazing at the obvious staleness I said out loud... "We should boycott". My hubby, walking by quickly at the time misheard me and said back... "WeShaboigen", what the heck is THAT? No, I said We should BOY COTT... the snacks I mean... "OK, WeShaboigen"! he says back... and a new white board phrase was born. We use it now anytime we want to make a statement that we are standing up for the little injustices of the world. So go ahead, say it... it just rolls off the tongue... WE SHABOIGEN. Oh, and always buy fresh snacks

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

That's Jenn... with two "N's".

There's a statistic floating around out there that says that 80% of American men have dated a Jennifer at one time or another in their life. There sure are a LOT of us out there. In school there were at least three in every class, so the only way to tell us apart was our last initial. I was Jenny F., a moniker that stuck with me until the ripe old age of 13, when I learned that "Jenny" was another name for a female donkey, or rather, jackass.

After that I decided a slight name change was in order. Of course one could opt for the formal given name of "Jennifer", but that tends to bring up all the times when you had done something bad, and your full name, including middle, would be strung together in the most horrible way and you KNEW you were in big trouble. So that leaves you the option of shortening your name to Jen or Jenn. Over the years and after meeting many Jenns and Jens, I've come to some common conclusions. In my opinion, the one 'n' Jen is sort of taking the lazy way out. Sure Jen will get you through in a pinch. You have all the necessary letters to form the sounds to make the name, but many one 'n' Jens are just that, one dimensional. Oh sure, they're a social breed, lots of friends, and tend to be sporty, popular, and especially gravitate towards cheer leading, however if you're looking for a little more substance and a lifetime of hilarity, try to find yourself a two 'n' Jenn. We're creative, clever, and loyal.

Many a time my theory has been put to the test when one of my guy friends starts dating a Jennifer. I ask... does she spell her name with one 'n' or two? When they say one 'n' I tell them to head for the hills. One 'n' Jens are notorious bad girlfriend material. My one friend Kyle scoffed at my theories and took his one 'n' Jen on a double date/vacation with his brother and fiance. Halfway through their vacation and trapped on an island paradise completely surrounded by water, the one 'n' Jen flipped out, went psycho, and ruined their whole vacation. So if you look around and find yourself in the presence of a two 'n' Jenn, consider yourself very lucky. Like a needle in a haystack, like a diamond in the rough... you've found a rare thing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I'm new here

So, one of my good friends told me I should become a blogger, and I don't even know where to start. So here I am at the deep end of the pool without my flotation device... well unless you count my uncanny ability to become completely buoyant due to, I think, in fact to my larger than average breasts, which allow me to bob up and down in the water without the aid of hands or feet. It's quite the stupid human trick - but very impressive to the casual observer. So here's I am, sitting cross legged in the pool while others must get by the "old fashioned" way by "swimming". I hope you enjoy your stay here and just sit back and let the wackiness wash over you.

Testing link for pdf here
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