Friday, May 27, 2005

I Believe I Can Fly

Figured I’d leave some light weekend reading up on the blog before I take off.

In response to Muzik’s post yesterday (be sure to go over to his place and say congrats to him and his daughter!), Mamacita has posted about various graduation parties our kids have to go through these days: elementary-school graduation, kindergarten graduation, and so on. I did leave a comment about K9’s preschool graduation party, and how good it was. (Well, except for the part where they invited all parents to dance with their kids, and your humble servant danced the twist like there was no tomorrow, and someone in the daycare staff snapped a picture of me. The day I saw the picture was the day I realized that “thirty-plus” means “you ain’t a teenager anymore, so behave accordingly, or else you will look ridiculous”. Talk about a reality check! But I digress).

After leaving my comment, I realized that I12 did, in fact, also have a preschool graduation party. Only his party was a tad different from his brother’s.

K9 went to a very decent daycare/preschool. There was a waiting list, the staff was excellent, retention rate was high. At the graduation, the kids were asked to dress up, the preschool provided bow ties for the boys and gloves for the girls, and the kids showed us what they had learned in the ballroom dancing class they had taken for the last two years of preschool. (After that was The Twist, and then, everyone had pop and cake). K9 was a very cute preschooler, was a part of the Popular Crowd (did you know there even was a Popular Crowd in preschool? Well there is!), and danced with the prettiest girl in class. He still misses those days.

When I12 graduated from preschool, however, things were different. At that point, we had been in the country for one year. For most of that year, I had been gainfully employed as an Entry Level programmer, but it took Mr. Goldie a lot longer to find a job (also Entry Level). So for most of that year, our family of four lived on my 20K salary. Need I say we chose the preschool accordingly. It was the only preschool in our area that accepted Welfare daycare vouchers. There was no way we could pay the tuition fee in full, so we had to go with that. It was a run-down place, the principal was (by everyone’s unanimous opinion) touched in the head, and I12’s classroom was conveniently located in the basement. The parents were truly an underprivileged lot, not a single middle-class family among us. I12 had a teacher called Miss Yvonne, who tried to get some basic knowledge into him, but it was hard, seeing as I12 did not speak much English and didn’t socialize a whole lot. (She still pronounced him ready for kindergarten. He wasn’t. I don’t blame her, I12 has always been a tough case.)

Sometime in spring, I12 told me that they were getting ready for the graduation party. There was to be a show, at the end of which the kids were supposed to sing “I Believe I Can Fly”. Somehow, Miss Yvonne was under the assumption that the kids would memorize the words. Then again, even if they didn’t, it wasn’t going to be a big deal, as she was going to play the song on tape, and the kids were to sing along.

May came and with it, the graduation party. I took off work to attend. The basement was packed with parents, some with cameras, one or two with videocameras (not many of us could afford them, or else our kids wouldn’t have been in that Godforsaken daycare to begin with). Finally, it was time for The Song. Miss Yvonne started the tape, music filled the stuffy air of the basement, the kids were opening their mouths more or less in sync.

Thirty seconds into the song, the tape stopped. So did the kids. I suspect none of them was really singing anyway.

Miss Yvonne hit every button, unplugged the cassette player and plugged it back in again, checked the tape, but nothing worked. The parents were waiting, the two videocameras running. It was one of those moments that require a split-second decision. Will Miss Yvonne save the day, or will she allow the graduation party to be ruined by a crappy piece of equipment?

Miss Yvonne stood tall. There was a look of determination on her face. Her eyes shone. In a horrible piercing voice, she began:

“I believe I can fly,
I believe I can touch the sky,
I think about it every night and day,
Spread my wings and fly away…”

This courageous woman finished the entire song.


And then everyone had pop and cake. So ended I12’s preschool graduation party. And so ends my story. Have a good Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

The Goldie has spoken at 5:52 PM

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bonk! Goldie Goes to Mommy Wars

Recently, I had the honor of being interviewed by Arethusa (as an aside, the questions were so intellectually challenging, it made my brains hurt!), and here’s one of the things I said:

Q: I think it's safe to say that the average person doesn't desire warfare. Getting that out of the way think of the battles that have been fought in the past. If you had to choose a) which war would you be apart of and on which side would you have fought on?

A: I'd like to be a part of cats vs. dogs war. I would fight on the side of dogs. If that doesn't work out, I'd be a part of Mommy Wars. I would be a UN peace corps. I'd carry a huge plastic paddle and walk from one side of the front to another, bonking people on their heads and telling them to go home and leave the other mothers alone. Eventually the war will end because nobody likes to be bonked on the head, and the world will become a better place.

With that in mind, I thought it’s probably time to deliver my first BONK! Given the recent comments on SC&A’s post about “White House Nannies”, the timing is perfect.

“Those working moms! They shove their kids into daycare centers and go to work so they can afford a new Lexus”.

If I had a dollar for each time I heard this, I’d probably be driving a new Lexus by now. The idea seems very popular in certain circles. The underlying assumptions that: a) it is abnormal for a woman, especially a woman with children, to work outside of the home, and b) when she does so, it is for selfish reasons, in order to be able to afford the luxury items, - really bother me. There are way too many issues to be addressed here, so I thought I’d break them down and address them one by one. I decided to start with the “luxury items”. When I heard another variation of the “Lexus statement” one time too many, I posted a survey on my fave Russian forum.

I asked working moms of underage kids, or their husbands, to respond. I pictured a hypothetical situation where the family somehow comes into a lot of money – enough to meet all their needs during their lifetime and leave some behind for the kids too. Retirement, medical care, top-of-the-line assisted facilities, everything is covered. In this situation, would the wife/mother continue to work outside the home or not? There were ten responses available (five for the wives, five for the husbands answering what their wife would do). The responses went something like this:

1. I would become a full-time SAHM/homemaker
2. I would stay at my current job, because I like it
3. I would stay at my current job, because I could use still more $$
4. I would leave my current job, but would work “for my entertainment”/study/volunteer, because staying home FT is too boring
5. I would leave my current job, but would work “for my entertainment”/study/volunteer, because I want to be of help and utilize my skills
6-10. Repeat for the husbands
The survey, by the way, is here

The results surprised me.

A total of 54 people responded.
Number of people who said they (their wife) would stay home full-time: 12
Number of people who said they (their wife) would keep their current job because they like it: 9
Number of people who said they (their wife) would keep their current job for the extra money: 0
Number of people who said they (their wife) would take a “fun job”, study, or volunteer, because staying home is boring: 11
Number of people who said they (their wife) would take a “fun job”, study, or volunteer in order to be of help or utilize their skills: 22

Bottom line, 42 respondents out of 54 said that, even if they had all the Lexuses in the world, they would still be doing something outside of their homes. Sorry, but the results of my survey seem to directly contradict the Lexus Theory! And, by the way, out of these 42, only 11 said that they would work outside of home because staying home is boring. This undermines another popular theory that working moms work because they cannot stand their own kids. You can tell that I’ve heard both theories countless times, and that both of them really tick me off!

Allow me to further explain my position on this:

1) My mother, her mother before her, and practically every woman I knew growing up, worked full-time outside of home.
2) We as kids did not resent that; more than that, we respected our mothers for what they were doing. They worked hard, both at work and at home, and in that, they were our role models.
3) Our parents did spend time with us. Not 24 hours a day, but definitely some time.
4) I stayed at home with my kids during their early years (18 months with each). That did them a world of good. I’m glad I was able to do it back then. I probably wouldn’t be able to do it if I had a baby tomorrow. I think being able to stay at home (maybe working from home) for the first three years of your child’s life would be very nice, but not everyone can afford it. I got away with a four-year-break in my career, because this break occurred when I was still in Russia. And by “got away” I mean that I was able to go back to work in the same field without having to go back to school first, change careers, or otherwise start completely over from square one. I would probably be making a lot more and my work would be more challenging if I hadn’t taken that break. But that’s part of the price you have to pay for being a parent. It paid off.
5) I have reasons why I have to work fulltime outside of home right now, that I won’t go into here. Let me just say that I explained my reasons to a group of die-hard stay-at-home moms, and they gave me a go ahead. I consider myself off the hook.
6) A large part of my work is being done from home, in front of my children, and I dare say they respect me for what I do. I try to be a role model the best I can. This, in my opinion, is part of the parenting process.
7) I happen to think that chastising people because they work is just plain wrong. No way can honest labor be a bad thing. When I hear people talk about working mothers as though they are criminals or drug addicts, while getting services from those same working mothers, well that just gets my ire up.

There is a lot more I would say on the subject, but then my post would get so long, no one will read it. So, with that, I leave you. I’ll check back when I return from that Lexus dealership!

The Goldie has spoken at 11:41 AM

K9 Tells a Story of Spike, the Dog

Found it in my archives as promised. K9 made this story when he was either in kindergarten or first grade, can’t remember which. The story was a huge success in my office. One of the coworkers (a very nice guy who was inexplicably fired later) printed it out and kept it posted over his desk at all times.

Back then, it was hard for K9 to write, so he told the story to me and I wrote it down for him, this explains the fact that there are no syntax errors in this one.

Once upon a time there was a boy named Jake. One day Jake went out for a walk with his dog and met his friend Nick. Nick said, “Hi Jake, that’s a cool new dog you have! What is his name?” and Jake said, “His name is Spike, and it will go through your head if you don’t shut up!”

Then Jake went on and met his friend Mike. Mike said, “Hi Jake, that’s a cool new dog you have! What is his name?” and Jake said, “His name is Spike, and it will go through your butt if you don’t shut up!”

Then Jake went on and met his friend Jason. Jason said, “Hi Jake, that’s a cool new dog you have! What is his name?” and Jake said, “His name is Spike, and it will go through your wiener if you don’t shut up!”

Then Jake went on and met his friend Kevin. Kevin said, “Do you know that Nick and Mike and Jason have teamed up to beat you up?” Jake said, “What did I do to them? All I did was say that a spike would go through their head and their butt and their wiener if they didn’t shut up. Now what do I do? Do you want to team up with me to beat them?” Kevin said, “No, two people against three is not a good deal. Let’s run to my house and hide out”. And so they did.

But as soon as they got into the house, the doorbell rang and Kevin’s Mom went to see who it was. She said, “Oh Kevin, there are three boys that came to see you”. Kevin said, “No Mom, don’t open the door!” But his Mom said, “How very rude, these are your friends and they want to play” and she let them in. Jake very quickly ran to the door and pushed them all out and shut the door and locked it. But then Kevin’s Dad saw it and said, “How impolite! You should let your guests in” and he let them in again. They grabbed Jake and went upstairs and there was a sound of beating and of something falling. Then the three boys left and Jake came downstairs all beaten up.

All of a sudden Jake said, “Oh no! Where is my dog Spike? I’ll go look upstairs”. But when he got there, he said, “What happened to my dog Spike? And what are all these markers doing on the floor? Oh no! They have painted Spike with markers and they painted an “L” on his forehead! What am I going to do? And why did I tell them that my dog’s name was Spike anyway? His name is really Fat Mama!”

The Goldie has spoken at 8:48 AM

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Another Meme?... Heck Yeah!

I got tagged by The Mean Teacher (check her out if you haven’t already, she’s fun!) The way it works is, she chose five occupations from the list, I have to write about them, then pick five more occupations, and pass it on.

Here, BTW, is the full list that has been going around the blogosphere for a while:

If I could be a musician...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a justice on any court in the world...
If I could be a world famous blogger...
If I could be married to any current world politician...
If I could be a scientist...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be an agent...

Here are the five things that I’ve been assigned.

-- If I could be a linguist... I’d make up my own language, teach it to my friends, and spend the rest of my life talking to them trashing everyone around us without them knowing.
-- If I could be a proctologist... I’d pass.
-- If I could be a mime... I could get away with not saying anything during staff meetings.
-- If I could be a video game designer... my son would hire me to work at his electronic game company.
-- If I could be Pat Benatar... I would be invincible.

Wait, Pat Benatar isn’t on the original list. Apparently, the game has taken on a life of its own. Well, I’m too lazy to think of five new things, so, the original list is above. Also, I have tagged enough people for this week, so I’m not tagging anyone this time. If you want to play, then consider yourself tagged.

The Goldie has spoken at 1:44 PM

I12 Writes

I was over at Arethusa's this morning, reading her post on teen literature, and one of the commenters opined that kids cannot write! Imagine that!

Well, I am here to prove you wrong, MCG. From the archives of my firstborn, proud holder of a D- in Language Arts, I present these timeless masterpieces. I mean, they've got to be timeless, because they were both written two years ago and I still have them on my hard drive.

a horror story

In 4th grade, I12 was given a writing assignment at school, to write a story where the main character loses a library book and then solves this problem. Here is the story with original syntax and punctuation.

One time there was someone named Ripper. He was 39, had black eyes, and was very forgotful. He went to the library to get a book on psycoligy and forgot to take it out of his car. The next day, he had to drive toxic water to the power station five miles away. On his way, a falling tree knocked his car into the ocean. Tons of toxic water came out and got into his mouth while he was unconsis uncontionus. He woke up five days later, in a hospital. He was fired and payed $30,000 for the hospital bill, lost his car and everything in it, and had to pay $1,000 for toxic water. In the mean time, his car washed up onto the shore and someone found it and Ripper happend to be close by and grabbed the book and beat him up. He took the book back to the library and was informed that he had to pay $50,000 for breaking someone’s jaw. He got exicuted for getting in so much trouble. The end.

Saddam Husane
a fine piece of poetry

May, 2003

Saddam Husane,
Yur gunna be in a lot of pain!
Cuz yur gunna go down the drain!
And yur insane!
Itz gunna rain blood Saddam Husane!
Yur blood cuz Im gunna stab ya with yur grandma's cane!
Right in yur ballz Saddam Husane!
Im gunna rip yur head off Husane!
Yur gunna be in a lot of pain!
Im gunna tie you up with a chain Saddam Husane!
And you die in pain!
That's the end of you Husane!

Coming up next: "Spike the Dog", a story written by K9 when he was in kindergarten... if I can find it in my papers tonight...

The Goldie has spoken at 1:01 PM

Monday, May 23, 2005

Film Meme

Paula has tagged me with a film meme, so, here goes.

Total number of films I own on DVD/Video:

Dunno… probably over a hundred, but Mr. Goldie is responsible for most of them!

The last film I bought:

Don’t ask me, Mr. Goldie supplies the stuff.

The last film I watched:

Matrix, last week.

Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:

Well I can’t say I watch them a lot (I can usually only squeeze one movie per week into my busy schedule), but I definitely enjoy them… and a few dozen others!

1. The Fly
2. That Old Feeling
3. Eight Days a Week
4. Work Romance (a Russian movie – I swear, it is not as mushy as the review says!)
5. Back to Future I

Tag five people and have them put this in their journal:


The Goldie has spoken at 2:09 PM

How Do You Reply To This?

I like to think that I am generally good at comebacks. However, sometimes people manage to say things to me that just don’t give me a chance to produce a normal response, because there is none available! Here are a few examples. I have already posted in the past about how sometimes, I’d run into someone in church, and the person will tell me, “I haven’t seen you in a while”, and then just sit around and wait for me to say something. Problem is, what the heck do you say to this? You can either make excuses for having missed church, or try to prove that you hadn’t, in fact, missed church. Both responses seem incredibly lame to me, so usually, I just stare and say nothing.

Another one of my favorites, “You look sad”. Again, what am I supposed to say? Explain why I’m sad? Lame! Tell the person that I am, in reality, not sad? Lamer! My usual response to this is, “uh-uh”.

Last weekend, I heard a brand new one. I was at a party with Mr. Goldie and the kids, and one of the guests asked me if I worked for (name of my company). Turned out, she had had a job interview there, for a position in my department as a matter of fact. Out of nowhere, she says, “but I’ve got to tell you, that job is boring!”

What do I say to this? “Yes, my job is boring”? “No, my job isn’t boring”? Lame and lame! (For the record, my job is boring). What I said was, “I don’t really need an interesting job right now,” (pointing to my kids) “this is my interesting job”. You think I did OK on this one?

So, does it ever happen to you? Does anyone ask you questions that cannot be answered without making you sound, well, lame? Feel free to share!

The Goldie has spoken at 11:14 AM

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Bless K9's heart, he's been begging for a Sony PSP again (nope, he ain't getting it, he has enough game systems already!)

So yesterday, here I am, on the couch, drinking my tea and watching standup comedy, while K9 is howling in my ear: "PSP... PSP... PSP..."

Suddenly, I came up with this:

"Pee, ass, pee!"
"How can I pee? I'm an ass!"

Poor K9 cannot ask me for a PSP anymore without us both cracking up...

The Goldie has spoken at 11:18 AM

Friday, May 20, 2005

A Guy Would Kill For Roommates Like These

This happened on my campus, in ’84, in Russia. I was 17 years old and extremely naïve. It was my first year at the university, I lived on campus, and had three roommates. Then one of the roommates moved out of our room and in with her best friend a couple floors up. We now had a spare bed that needed to be filled. There was a waiting list a mile long and the administration kept sending us prospective roomies. We somehow managed to turn them all away, and were hoping that we’d be able to remain just the three of us in the room till at least the end of the school year.

Then these two girls came along. They were second-year students, and they came together. We didn’t have an excuse to turn them away, like we did the rest, so they moved right in. They told us how the evil administration had sent them both to our room and made the two of them share one bed. We felt sorry for them, indignant at the administration, and, I believe, wanted to complain on their behalf. Not to mention that there were now five of us in a 10x20 ft room and we were pretty crammed!

The girls turned out to be less-than-ideal roomies. First of all, they had too much stuff. They tried to shove it all into my closet, but it wouldn’t all fit in. They tried to stick it under the bed, but it didn’t all fit in there, either. As a result, there were suitcases and bags all over the room. The girls, also, had a bad habit of giving the room key to random people. We’d come home after classes and there’d be a large girl we’d never seen before standing in the middle of our room in her bra and underwear. That was creeping us out a lot. One thing had to be said for the girls, however, - they did not bring guys to our room. No dates coming over, staying for tea, making out… none of that.

One night, I woke up. My bed was three feet away from the girls’. I opened my eyes and saw something that did not look right.

The first thing that caught my eye was the butt. On the other bed, there was a naked butt sticking out from under the blanket. People rarely sleep naked on campus, so that in itself was strange.

To make things even stranger, a hand was sticking out of the same blanket, gently stroking the butt.

Did I say I was very naïve at 17? That’s true, I was. I had just started dating, for Pete’s sake. There was no way I could decipher what was in front of me, especially this being 1984 when that kind of thing wasn’t getting quite as much media exposure in Russia as it does now in America. Amazingly, in a split second, I managed to make the correct decision to close my eyes and play dead. I went back to sleep and never told my other roommates about the whole thing. Eventually, the two strange roomies moved out. Two years later, a mutual acquaintance confirmed my suspicions. Our roomies were, indeed, very much a couple, and apparently not shy about making out in front of three other people.

Now, let’s take a poll. Who here thinks I should have watched the whole thing?

The Goldie has spoken at 8:46 AM

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

“I’m Missing, Biatch!”

Wow. Dave Chappelle has been gone for two weeks and I had no idea. No one said anything in my part of the Internet. I just found out by accident this afternoon.

You know what I think, though? I think this was a PR move. Or, if it isn’t, it should’ve been. Let’s face it, while the first season of Dave’s show was way, way cool, the second kind of sucked. I mean, my kids stopped watching the show. What does it tell you, when an 8-year-old and an 11-year-old are actually allowed to watch a show full of swear words, racial jokes, and dirty humor, and they don’t? That the show must be really boring, right? I quit watching ages ago, for the same reason. It cannot be just the Goldie family. I mean, if the show’s as successful as they now say it is, then why did they move it off prime time and closer to midnight? I bet a lot of people quit watching, that’s why.

But, if Dave does come back, and does, indeed, shoot something new, will everybody watch? Will they tune in for at least five minutes, to see how ol’ Dave is doing? You bet!

So what do you think? Did Dave have a Jennifer Wilbanks moment, or was it all carefully staged?

The Goldie has spoken at 5:27 PM

Randomly Peeing Poodles

Get your daily dose of Lighten Up over at Muzik’s site, he has an awesome poodle story (can’t wait for the poodle’s owners’ reaction when they read it!)

I have to confess, I’ve done a lot of thinking about poodles myself in the past few years. For the last three years, K9 has been begging for a dog, but Mr. Goldie and I12 are both mildly allergic. Technically, poodle would be an ideal breed for us as it does not cause allergies in people. However, I have my doubts. You see, back in Russia, a friend of mine had a king poodle, and I am not sure if I want to repeat her experiences.

The poodle’s name was Patrick. Patrick was large, strong, fuzzy, and very much a guy. He ruled the household with an iron paw. Every morning at 6 AM, he’d come into my friend’s bedroom to wake her up for a morning walk. If she didn’t get up fast enough, he’d pee on the rug, staring her straight in the eyes the whole time. One day he decided to bring the disciplinary measures up a notch and bit her on the face instead. She came to work with a black eye. My friend and her family loved Patrick. He was generally a nice guy.

It was the early nineties, and we in Russia experienced a shortage of everything, including money. On a rare occasion, my friend’s family would go out and buy a little meat. Half the time, Patrick got it. He’d grab the meat as soon as the owners’ backs were turned.

In ’91, we were introduced to food rationing. Among other things, a person was only allowed to buy one kg of sugar per month. This was pretty tight as most people grew their own food and made preserves for the rest of the year. My friend’s family consisted of three people, so, when she redeemed their coupons for the whole summer, she got nine kg. That was a lot of sugar, my friend couldn’t decide where to store it, and shoved it behind a cupboard in the kitchen.

Fast forward two months, my friend returned from her garden with a ton of fruits and decided to get started on the preserves. She went to get the sugar. The sugar didn’t look right. It was kind of yellow and kind of wet. It looked like somebody had peed in it. In fact, that’s how it smelled, too. Patrick had struck again.

We all chipped in at work. Everyone brought in as much sugar as they could spare, and my friend was able to make her fruit preserves. The family’s love for Patrick has magically increased after the incident. In fact, I liked him too. He had a lot of rugged, masculine poodle charm. Problem is, I am now kind of squeamish about owning a poodle myself. Who knows what he can pee into.

The Goldie has spoken at 12:37 PM

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Return of The Spanking Moms

Guess who’s back, back again?
Emily’s back, tell a friend.

I stumbled upon these comments today, to an old post on spanking (old topics die hard, don’t they?) They pretty much speak for themselves. Figured I’d display them in a conspicuous place.

Comment #1 is actually two weeks old, somehow I missed it.

you said "After he told me, following one spanking administered by Mr. Goldie, that he hated life and wanted to kill himself, I stopped and told my husband to stop."

well he sure manipulated you didn't he? knew exactly how to get out of that spanking. and it worked too. outsmarted by your own kid

the Pearls are loving gentle parents. i am so sick of seeing them bashed. their children don't throw fits and whine and pout and cry. GCM, well all i see there is whining, pouting and crying, and screaming. children who throw temper tantrums at EIGHT yrs old. and upwards. i see moms who are exhausted and tired and don't want to be around their kids. i see parents who truly don't even LIKE their kids, yet pretend to b/c not to would be just horrible. if only they would teach their children to obey and control their emotions, they would be gentle too. i see women who have have HUGE problems in their marriages, b/c they won't yield to their dh's authority and spank that child, or stop co sleeping when dh wants to, or make the kid mind, or stop undermining dh's authority. i don't blame the pooor man. i wouldnt' want to be around most of those kids either.

also, the owner's being a pastor is certainly not a good recommendation (although actually Crystal LUtton is NOT the owner,e Jeri is.) women are to keep silent in the church, and are not to be pastors. (a little hard for a woman to be 'the husband of one wife'). so if you are trying to say she should be believed b/c she is a scholar of the Bible and pastor, well her theology is messed up fromt he get go. and i have read several things there that show me that her children are terrible and so are the other moderators and administarators children.

Thank you GOD, that i didn't listen to this type of non punitive garbage that these poor women are buying into. Thank God for a better way.
a gentle mom who spanks 04.30.05 - 4:38 am #

Comment #2 – left today, by whom else but my old friend Emily:

To Gentle Mom, remember, regarding Goldie's decision to stop spanking her son after he threatened to kill himself, "There's a sucker born every minute."
Emily Email 05.16.05 - 1:15 pm #

Can anybody give me one reason why I have to accept the insulting, mudslinging, through and through judgmental individuals as some sort of parenting experts? Why should I follow any advice on parenting from people who obviously weren’t raised properly themselves, as they lack the basic good manners?

I have never said that I want to have quiet, obedient children at any cost. My parenting goals are different. I am raising caring people and independent thinkers, to the best of their abilities. I am not strictly anti-spanking, but I am not pro-spanking either. I have always suspected that parents who consider spanking a necessary part of parenting, have serious issues. The above two comments have confirmed my suspicion.

Gentle Mom, next time you comment on this blog, have some guts and leave a valid email address. Emily, you need to watch what you’re saying, or you won’t be able to say it on my blog anymore. Come on people, if you want to insult my children or my friends, at least have the common decency to not do it here. Get your own site – it’s easy, and it’s free!

The ironic thing, of course, is that I never really managed to fit in on GCM – I am not better or worse than the majority of their posters, I’m just different. In fact, today I was going to write a post on WOHM-bashing that I experienced, among other places, over there. How I am going to write it now, I have no idea. The militant spanking moms have thrown me off track completely, by forcing me to defend the forum from their insults! Gee thanks!

The Goldie has spoken at 2:09 PM

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Of JWs, Funny Posts, and Sad Memories

Mamacita has the funniest post out today about painful experiences that used to await the Jehovah Witness missionaries back in her college days, while going door-to-door on campus.

Of course, being the irrational person that I am, the JW post brought back some bittersweet memories about a good friend that I lost.

I started posting on the Internet five years ago. It was on one of the Slate forums; I started reading and posting regularly because I thought it would help me get over a guy (the already-mentioned-before Mr. Crush). Gradually, I became friends with several people on the forum, and we moved our conversations into the email format. Those were good days. I’m thinking about one of those friends in particular right now. He was a guy about my age, single, professional. I liked trading emails with him. He was a lot of fun. We had a lot in common. And, when I needed advice and sympathy (like, after yet another argument with Mr. Crush), I could always talk to him. He understood me perfectly.

Then my friend got laid off from his job, but that was 2001 and all of my friends had been through at least one layoff by then. It didn’t faze me. I expected him to bounce right back, like the rest of my friends did. Problem is, he didn’t. He stayed unemployed forever, then got a temp job, then the contract on the temp job ran out. He wasn’t doing so well. I hardly heard from him anymore.

Then, two years ago, he suddenly started writing again. At that time, I was going through major problems with I12, and mentioned it to my friend. In return, he asked for my snail mail address. He said he was going to mail a book to me that had been of great help to him when he was a teenager. I asked how much I owed him for the book, and he said nothing, it was a gift from him. I felt so grateful.

Two weeks later, the book arrived. Two copies of the same book, actually. It was called “Questions Young People Ask and Answers That Work”. The book was originally printed in 1985, and had these awesome pictures of teenaged kids dressed in the 80’s fashions. Talk about “Back To the Future”!

I started reading, and soon realized something wasn’t right. I was getting these weird vibes from the book. Like, it said to listen to the adults, which is cool, but it said to listen to the adults way too much. Then I got to the chapter on education, and was even more puzzled. On six pages, the book explained how a college education is pointless, overpriced, and spiritually dangerous – not exactly the kind of message I wanted I12 to get! And my personal favorite – two chapters on overcoming the vice of masturbation, complete with a success story of “a 27-year-old man who had struggled with the habit since he was 11” and “was finally able to gain the victory” (I sure hope no body parts were cut off in the process).

Finally, the last chapter, “How Can I Get Closer to God?”, outlined in detail what one needed to do to become a… you guessed it, Jehovah’s Witness. I recalled that at one time, my friend had indeed mentioned that he had been raised JW. I have to confess to you that I was in a state of shock. Not that I hadn’t been handed booklets before, I just couldn’t get over the facts that this one came from my good friend, and that he intended me to give it to my son. That just crushed me. I felt betrayed. In retrospect, I probably overreacted.

Another confession I have to make is that I posted excerpts from the book (mainly from the chapters on masturbation) on my Russian forum, and the people there just about died laughing reading those. I gave the second copy of the book to a forum buddy of mine, because she thought it was hysterical, and wanted to have it.

I had to email my friend to say thank you and tell him how I liked the book, so I did. I tried to be as polite as possible without straight out lying. He got the message. We didn’t email much after that. Eventually, he changed jobs and moved to a different town. I got a few emails from him, and sent him a few, but after a while he stopped answering. Besides, I never knew when to email him anymore. You cannot say Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas to a Jehovah’s Witness, so I was all out of excuses to write. Eventually, we lost touch completely. This makes me sad. He’s a good guy and I miss him.

Matt, if you’re reading this, you are welcome on my doorstep anytime. Bring all the booklets you want, come on in, I’ll treat you to a hearty Russian dinner (or lunch, depending on the time of your visit), introduce you to my family, and we’ll all have a blast witnessing to each other.

I’m gonna go fetch a new Kleenex box now. Enjoy your weekend, all.

The Goldie has spoken at 4:19 PM

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Proper Tipping Etiquette

K9’s best friend (also a third-grader) came over yesterday. I had a coupon from Papa John’s, so we decided to order a pizza. I called in with the order, and as I went to get the cash, I thought I’d ask the friend something.

I: Hey, do you know how much I’m supposed to give the pizza guy?

I wasn’t quite prepared for the lecture that followed.

Friend: If it’s a hot chick, you give her three. If it is an older guy, give him two. If it’s an ugly guy, give him one-fifty. If it’s a hot guy…

That’s where I cut him off.

I: Wait, wait, wait. Why does the hot chick get more? And besides, how can I give a hot chick three dollars? She’ll think I’m coming on to her. And besides, I’ve never seen a hot chick delivering pizza.

Friend (with a sigh): Yeah, they are hard to find. Wait, you are pretty.

I (blushing) : Why, thank you very much! But I don’t deliver pizza. Anyway, I cannot give a hot chick more. She’ll freak out. Okay, that does it – whoever comes, gets two! (take the cash out and set it on the counter).

One hour later, the pizza came, delivered by a very hot guy. And to think that I never even found out what the going rate was on those! Does anybody know? And does anybody really tip the pizza delivery persons based on their looks? And does anybody else besides me think that it is really weird?

And, last, but not least, - why do K9 and his friends so often remind me of the South Park kids?

The Goldie has spoken at 6:47 PM

Thursday, May 12, 2005

School Rant

Inspired by discussions at SC&A

Ten things I do not like about K9’s elementary school:

1. None of the other parents like it, which appeals to my group mentality.
2. The kids can all kill each other on the playground, and no one will notice.
3. They harrassed the parents for a year, collecting money for a new playground. We still don’t know what was so bad about the old one.
4. Every year, K9 becomes best friends with at least one boy in class. And at the end of every year, the two get sent to different classes for the next school year. Never fails.
5. K9 once got in trouble for using the word “levitating”.
6. The school threatened to call Social Services on me on two occasions.
7. The principal told me, in front of six teachers, that I12 would “grow up and kill someone, or himself”.
8. I12: 2001/02. Third grade. Four book reports. K9: 2004/05. Third grade. Zero book reports. Go figure. (Yes, I asked multiple times, and the response has always been, “they’ll start doing it next week, I promise”).
9. One year on the last day before Christmas break, the principal gave me my son’s detention notice as a Christmas present. (To be fair, I didn’t give her any presents at all.)
10. I once got a call at work from a concerned teacher, saying: “People tell me that your son and his two friends are starting a club!!”

Ten things I like about K9’s elementary school:

1. It has two really-really-really good teachers! (three if you count the gifted coordinator).
2. It is one year shorter than the rest of the elementary schools in our district, so K9 gets to go to middle school one year early (one year and four weeks to go!!!)
3. It has a new playground.
4. K9’s best friends go there.
5. It gives me material for my blog posts.
6. They do a mean pizza bingo.
7. On the last day of school, a fire truck comes and a fireman hoses the kids down! (This is actually very cool!)
8. Next year when K9 graduates, I’m throwing the biggest party I’ve ever done, for all of my friends. Glad to have a valid reason for the party!
9. One year and four weeks to go!
10. Did I already say there’s only one year and four weeks to go?

The Goldie has spoken at 2:04 PM

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My First Attempt at A Birthday Party

Michele had a good discussion about a week ago about children’s birthday parties that go out of control – themed parties, the cost of some of them being in the five-figure range.

While I don’t believe in throwing overpriced parties for our kids, I maintain that a lot of planning and organization need to go into your child’s birthday party. Otherwise, it may turn out like the one we had at our house three years ago.

It was our first year as homeowners, and I decided, for the first time, to have I12’s birthday party at our house. The main reason behind this was that I12 had very few friends, and most of the birthday places have a “minimum number of guests” you have to pay for. There was no way I12 could meet the minimum friend requirements. So, we decided to have it at our house instead of a bowling alley or a roller rink. I didn’t know how to organize kids’ parties, so I asked around for advice. I was told to order a pizza, buy soda and ice cream, and let things take their natural course. (This actually works well with older kids.)

I don’t remember how many kids we invited, but only two showed up. One boy, whose Mom is a best friend of my cousin’s, and another kid that lived on our street. So we had a total of four kids, age six (K9), eight (Family Friend Kid), nine (the birthday boy), and ten (Boy Next Door).

I don’t remember a lot of details about the party. The kids were pretty quiet. The pizza came and we all sat down in the dining room.

Did I mention that I12’s social skills are nothing to write home about?

When the guests were halfway through their pizza, the birthday boy got up, and, announcing, “Gotta go poop”, walked out of the dining room. He came back five minutes later, and continued eating. I was sitting at the table, dying of embarrassment.

The kids played a little, then I got the cake out. We sat down again, to eat cake. Boy Next Door asked I12, “Where’s your Dad?”

Now I need to tell you that Mr. Goldie has this den where he stays most of the time. He has everything he needs there – TV, computer, couch, bathroom, bottled water. He hardly ever needs to come out. So, he hardly ever does.

In a very casual voice, I12 replied, “They’re divorced, he doesn’t live here anymore”, and went on eating.

Boy Next Door wasn’t, as far as I could tell, surprised, but Family Friend Kid definitely was! He’d seen Mr. Goldie many times at various family get-togethers and he couldn’t believe that Mr. Goldie had just up and walked out on his lovely wife and two beautiful kids. His jaw dropped, his eyes lit up. I could picture him breaking the news to his parents as soon as he got home.

“He does live here! We aren’t divorced!” – I squeaked, but Family Friend Kid didn’t look like he believed me.

After the cake, the kids went downstairs to play darts. After a few minutes of that, I faked a serious dart board malfunction and went to get Mr. Goldie. He came out of the den, fixed the dart board, and went back. Of course, the board wasn’t really that badly broken. The purpose of it all was to show the guests that I was, in fact, still happily married.

Before we knew it, the two hours were up, and the guests left. In my embarrassment, I forgot to give them their gift bags. We never saw Boy Next Door again. He still lives on our street, but he avoids us like the plague.

I resolved to plan the next party better, and I did. It was, again, I12’s party, we invited ten kids, six showed up, I did two activities, and a good time was had by all. A friend of mine helped me control the kids. She was a high school teacher and Assistant Principal in the past, and it still shows. The kids were in awe of her. The party was a success, so I decided to move on to K9, who is friends with his whole elementary school and, on top of that, still hangs out with a few guys from his old daycare. For his eighth birthday, we had fourteen kids, the party went without a hitch. Next year, fourteen kids again. I have it all worked out by now. I start planning two weeks in advance; I make a project plan (seriously!), I keep all party-related paperwork in a folder; I plan the actual party by fifteen-minute intervals; I have learned not to use toy guns as prizes, as some parents don't allow them, and never, ever to use squirt guns as prizes at a February birthday party. In short, I’ve gotten good. Hire me (naw, just kidding – two parties a year is enough for me).

But I still forget to hand out the gift bags.

The Goldie has spoken at 4:32 PM

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What Is Your World View?

Hat tip to Paula. I don't normally post quizzes, but this is very cool!

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View?
created with

The Goldie has spoken at 4:20 PM

Need Advice: Neighbors

Figured I could get some good advice from the blogosphere. Please feel free to leave in the comments or email me!

Here's the problem. Our neighbors on one side are, apparently a large and extended family that like to get together on their patio and talk till the wee hours of the morning when the weather is good (like, this night). The sound carries very well, we can hear every word of their convos in our bedroom, and we cannot sleep. Each time we manage to fall asleep, one of the neighbors says something funny to the rest of them, and they all bust out laughing, this of course wakes us up again! They only stayed out till midnight tonight, but usually they don't turn in till 2 or 3 in the morning. I have to get up at 6AM, 7AM when school's out and I don't appreciate that at all, neither do my kids!!!

They also have large speakers installed on their backyard, and very often in summer, they play music thru them. Now this one carries all the way down the street and to the other side. Unfortunately, we don't share their musical tastes (opera music, and easy listening). Why would anyone play music outside? What am I missing here? Can I play my music outside too? I like rap, hip-hop, and some punk rock. You think they will appreciate it?

This is a huge house (looks huge to me, anyway - 3000+ sq. ft) with a fenced-in backyard. It's a solid fence 7 or 8 ft tall. I cannot come into the back yard, and I don't want to ring the doorbell because the rest of the families (?) may be actually sleeping. All I can do is walk around their fence like a beggar or something, and maybe try talking to them thru the fence! That is very frustrating! I cannot even ask them to shut up, they can't see me and the odds are, they won't be able to hear me, either. Sometimes I squeak something thru the fence, they say sorry, we'll keep it down, and then five minutes later, they're talking on top of their lungs again. This is also the same family that used to spend 10K a year on the gardening service, so my guess is, we're not in the same weight category. Truth be told, I am feeling intimidated. They outnumber me, AND they're rich!

This has been going on since we moved in four years ago. At first there was just this old man living in the house alone, but, each time his kids would come to visit, we'd have to listen to a backyard party. I thought, okay, they're on their vacations and don't have to go to work tomorrow. But now they've all moved in and they stay out there almost every night, I don't get it! Either they can survive on three hours of sleep, or they don't work!

I do not know how to make it stop and I have very little support from Mr. Goldie. He cannot hear them from the master BR. I have to confess that I sleep in K9's room. He's afraid of spiders, ghosts and who knows what else and he cannot sleep alone. Mr. Goldie cannot hear them so he must think it's not a big deal, but, it is! He says to try talking to the neighbors and reasoning with them, and not bring the authorities into this cuz that would be tattling. Well I am afraid that since there are so many of them, they're wealthy, also they are born American and I am not, that I will say something to them that they will be able to use against me. For the same reason, I am also reluctant to write them a letter - I am afraid to give them something in writing that can be used against me. Granted I have never talked to them yet (tried a couple times last year - I ring the door bell, nobody answers, I go home), but don't you think that after four years, they could get the message?

Tomorrow I want to call our city and finally find out what the noise ordinances are. But where do I go from there? I need some advice really bad. Maxed Out Mama, SC&A, Vicki, Jen, Muzik, Mamacita, you have given me some great advice in the past and I need your help. Kim, you seem to live in our area, do you have any thoughts on this? Jay, you can make fun of my neighbors over at your blog but I need advice in exchange for that. To those that I haven't included on my list, it's not because I do not value your input, it's because it is 4-30 in the morning and I was woken up by a call from work and my brain is not awake yet. Please feel free to leave your advice here, our family really needs it! It's the fifth year and my patience is wearing thin! Thanks all!

The Goldie has spoken at 4:20 AM

Monday, May 09, 2005

My Kids’ Smartass Moments

Last week, I posted about wisdom-filled life truths that my children have been stating.

Some of you may feel intimidated by my kids. Fear not. The moments of wisdom are few and far between. What I hear most of the time is something like this.

Smartass moment – I12

I ran into this woman yesterday in church. Our oldest kids are in the same class. They are also both in the gifted program. Except that her son is actually trying and putting forth an effort, whereas mine is… don’t get me started.

Anyway, she asks me,

“Why wasn’t I12 at the math tournament at the High School yesterday?”

Wait, you mean there was a math tournament? I12 never told me there was one. I launched into a long rant, ending with:

“I’ll say a few words to him when he gets here.”

So we sit down, sip on our coffee, and wait for the kids to get out of Sunday school. Ten minutes later, along comes I12.

“Can we go now, Mom?”

“Wait, ~I~. Come here.”

He comes over.

“What was in High School yesterday?”

(pause) “I don’t go to High School…” (pause)

Gee, I think to myself. He probably didn’t know! Really, what kind of mother am I, always assuming the worst of my own children? Shame on me!

I12 continues:

“… on Saturdays.”

The rest is boring. I was telling I12 to get his head out of wherever he has it and do something productive at school, and he was telling me that math tournaments are stupid, and they suck.

Smartass moment – K9

K9 got an assignment in school. It’s called Wax Museum. You are supposed to dress like a famous person and give a speech on that person’s behalf, retelling their bio. It also said on the assignment, “The person that you choose must have a place in history or be a positive role model. Reading a book about the person is required.”

Somehow, right away, I knew who would be K9’s choice. I went over to subtly talk him out of it.

“~K~, let’s pick your famous person.”

“I already did.”

“It says here the person needs to be a positive role model.”

“He is.”

“And here it says you need to read a book about him. Is there a book about your person?”

“Mom, I’m sure there is a book about Eminem!”

Oy vey! Of course, I had seen it coming all along.

“~K~, the teacher will never let you do Eminem. Do you have another person in mind?”

“No. My friend and I are gonna ask her on Monday, I’m sure she’ll say yes. My friend wants to be Kid Rock.”

(jaw falls on floor)

I can’t wait to hear what the teacher said. I mean, I can kind of guess, I just hope she didn’t faint or call CPS or anything.

Sheesh, what’s with those kids these days? I12 had this exact same project when he was in 3rd grade, and did great. He came in as Thomas Edison. This is the easiest costume to make, ever. In the book, it pretty much says that Mr. Edison was an incredibly crappy dresser and his hair used to stick out in all directions. I just put some old second-hand clothes on I12, and voila! Thomas Edison, complete with a light bulb in hand.

But I digress.

One thing to add, though… in the unlikely event that the teacher does let them come in as rappers, I am definitely taking pictures! Nine-year-old chubby kids dressed up as tough Detroit guys? This should be hysterical!

The Goldie has spoken at 5:00 PM

Friday, May 06, 2005

Holy Rollers

I came across this term as I was blog-surfing the other day. This sure triggered some memories. For three months of my life, I was a member of a bowling team named “Holy Rollers”. Here’s how it happened.

Five years ago, a close friend and I decided to join a bowling league together. My friend had just spent a year teaching me how to bowl, and we wanted to see how we’d do on a team together. We joined a summer league for starters. We couldn’t find a Mixed Couples league, so we joined a Mixed Fours one. A girl from our old job agreed to be on the team with us. But we still were one person short. My friend said not to worry, and that they’d hook us up with somebody. Boy was he right!

On the first night of our league, a skinny guy walked up to us, asking if we needed a fourth person. We said, sure. The guy introduced himself as Joe, and the four of us spent the night bowling and talking. Generally, the guy seemed okay, but a few things he said caught my attention:

“I’m 26, I work at McDonalds and I have a job interview next week with Burger King. Oh, I so hope they hire me!” – um, okay, this may seem strange, but I don’t discriminate people by what they do for a living. We have all had our bad times at some point in our lives.

“I’m a Christian” – said to three total strangers five minutes after we met – um, okay, I guess, so are we. I guess it’s a normal thing to say. I guess?

“My family is horrible, they all want me dead” – alright, now we have officially passed from the Kinda-Odd category into the Way-Off. But, who knows? Maybe it was just a word of speech.

“I’m on a diet. I weigh 140 pounds and I need to lose 15. I’m fat.” – NOW I know we have major issues! Come on, I can see every friggin bone in the guy’s body, and he tells me he needs to lose weight? What he needs is professional help!

“We need to name our team Holy Rollers. We need to. We really need to. Write that down, Holy Rollers. You got it?” – so we did. I mean, we were nice people, all three of us, and the guy really insisted.

Thus began the season. I’ve got to tell you that the Holy Rollers majorly sucked. It was my first league ever, and I couldn’t bowl a hundred to save my life. Joe was getting nervous; he wanted us to win. Of course, with his 140 average, Joe wasn’t exactly carrying the team, either.

He was getting stranger and stranger with every week. He just sat there and talked for hours about how his family kept wanting him dead.

One day, my female teammate called me at work. I am not friends with this girl, and that really was the first and last time ever that she called me. She had something important to say.

“Goldie, this is important. When you come to the bowling tonight, if you see Joe’s car, but none of ours, don’t go inside, okay? Stay in your car and wait for us. I don’t want you to be alone with him in there. He’s creepy.”

Yep, he sure was.

Halfway through the season, bad things started happening to my family. My almost-5-yo fell off a ladder in daycare and broke his elbow. It was a bad injury, the nerves were hurt, he required surgery and had steel pins inserted into his bone, he was in a lot of pain and could not move his fingers for six months. He started school a year late because of that. On top of it, Mr. Goldie and I had a major argument and almost split up. As if that wasn’t enough, my Dad had a heart attack. Add to that being on call 24x7 every third week, and you will understand why I was tired and pissed most of the summer. Thankfully, my very supportive family still allowed me to have some “me” time, and continue bowling on the league. On one of my bowling nights, I walked inside to find Joe sitting there all alone. Actually, I knew why. My friend got caught up in a late-afternoon meeting, and the girl had called saying she couldn’t make it that night.

To my amazement, Joe started whining at me like a little girl.

“Nobody’s here. I want to go home. I don’t know how to enter our names into the computer. My family hates me. I’m hungry. I’m tired. And I’m thirsty too.”

“Joe, it’s going to be just the two of us for a while. Come on, let’s play.”

“I wanna go home. I want my five dollars back. All I have is problems.”

That did it. I snapped.

“Dangit Joe! Whhaddaya mean you have problems? I know what problems are. Trust me, you don’t have them!!! I, on the other hand, have real problems, so shut up and start playing already.”

That scared Joe into silence. I typed our names in, and we started playing. A few minutes later, Joe realized that he was indeed having major trouble.

“I’m hungry. And I’m thirsty.”

I sighed.

“Okay Joe, what should I get you?”

“A hamburger and large fries.”

So I did. Joe finished it all in two seconds and continued,

“One problem has been solved. But I’m still thirsty.”

“Okay, what will it be?”

“A Diet Coke. Make sure it’s a DIET.” (Joe is trying to lose weight, remember.)

So I go over to buy him a drink… I bring it back. The man (?) didn’t even help me carry the stuff that I had bought him. He just sat there, being waited upon. He takes the drink from me and goes,

“Did you make sure it’s a Diet?”

“Yes, Joe. I did. It is.”

He finished it off… my friend finally showed up… we bowled the rest of the games… and I never saw Joe again. We had to remain the Holy Rollers for the rest of the season, though… can’t change the team name when the season is halfway through.

To this day, I avoid Burger Kings. Who knows which one Joe could be working at?

The Goldie has spoken at 8:56 AM

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Morning Rants From Me!

Not everyone in my family is as forgiving as my son (see post below), so, here goes!

Rant 1

To all that come to my site looking for “stomac flu” (and I would’ve said nothing if there weren’t dozens of these searches). That’s not how you spell it. Problem is, if you really do have stomach flu, you don’t want to get information on it from my 12-year-old. What he has to say on the subject is definitely funny, but it’s not helpful! I’m genuinely worried about you guys! Don't take his advice, whatever it is; go see a doctor!

Rant 2

If I am in the right lane on a freeway, and going 9 miles over speed limit, and you are behind me and want to go 20 miles over, then don’t friggin tailgate me! Just pass me on the left! It’s called passing lane for a reason! You’re scaring me half to death and you’re not making me go faster. Because I’m in the right lane for a reason too, you know. I have five speeding tickets in the last six years and my husband would be super mad if I get another!

This reminds me: I saw the coolest bumper sticker yesterday. Get this.


Below, in small print: Mess with my car and you'll find out.

Hee hee... beautiful...

The Goldie has spoken at 10:39 AM

Life Lessons From K9

Disclaimer: my son is not always this wise. It only happens on a very rare occasion; that’s why I try and document it.

It is interesting, however, that third-graders seem to know what not all grown-ups have yet figured out.

Lesson 1

K9 is telling me what it takes to be popular in school these days:

“… and you need to earn respect.”

“How do you earn respect?” (you can imagine what went through my head… do you have to have a girlfriend? do you have to punch everyone who tries to disrespect you? do you have to act cool? what?...)

“You have to get along with everyone” (pause) “except for complete jerks.”

Whew! I think I can live with that!

Lesson 2

K9 and his two friends got into an argument with a girl in school. She then went to a teacher and complained that they didn’t want to play with her because of her skin color. Needless to say, all three boys were in a state of shock!

“Mom, how could she even say that! I don’t care what color people are. To me, everyone is green!

These are all the lessons for now… stay tuned!

The Goldie has spoken at 10:36 AM

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Runaway News Story

Since everything has already been said about Jennifer Wilbanks, I am not going to talk about her here.

Instead, I am going to talk about how the blogosphere (or, the part of it known to myself) reacted to the story.

A few things surprised me.

1) The inordinate amount of publicity JW got in the blogosphere. I would hazard a guess that she received a lot more coverage in this medium than, say, the other JW of the recent times, Jeff Weise, not to mention the papal election and other, more news-worthy news.

2) The way a lot of people have been passing judgement on a person they have never met. Yes, crank-calling 911 is a very bad thing to do, and reparations need to be made in form of fines, community service, etc. But, from a few posts/comments that I’ve read, one could think it’s a serial killer we’re talking about here. People have sure been expressing a lot of hopes concerning her future, and I am putting this very mildly!

What amazed me in particular was the amount of predictions as to how JW’s marriage will turn out, what kind of a mother she’ll be, etc. etc. Can we step back, take a deep breath, and remind ourselves that we know absolutely nothing about these two families and the details of what goes on between them? We don’t know who and why was pushing for the 600-guest wedding. We don’t know why she decided to run off. We do not know if the fiancé means what he says, or he is merely saying all these nice things to keep the media off the two families’ backs.

It isn’t your average, middle-class, suburban John and Jane getting married (or not). These are “two prominent families of their town” we’re talking about. Do you know how things work out in these families? I don’t. And I have yet to read an informed post on the issue, from someone who knows the families personally or has inside knowledge on how this kind of family operates. As far as we are concerned, we could, with equal success, be discussing soap opera characters on our blogs.

(Update: Ask and you shall receive! SC&A have just put Cyli's post up and she does have the inside knowledge of the issue. The post is here.)

Here’s some of what I’ve read in the blogosphere on the subject so far:

1) Michele has shown a lot of class, as usual. I agree with every word of her post. Interesting comments.

2) Normally, I second every word of what SC&A say. On this subject, however, I have found myself disagreeing with the posts, and most of the comments. How could I?! (ducks)

3) Not sure if this was inspired by the JW story or not, but it’s definitely relevant and I liked it a lot. Thanks, Ilona!

4) Nice touch at the end Vicki! Agreed 100%, she should have just said NO!

5) Paula addresses the problem from an interesting angle. While I agree in general, my take on apologies is that actions speak louder than words. Don’t just say you’re sorry; do something! This, again, is a general observation on my part.

6) I liked this one the most! Classic!

And with that, I’m going to abandon the subject… I have had enough of the soap opera for the week… the real life beckons.

The Goldie has spoken at 3:35 PM

Monday, May 02, 2005

On Friends and Aging

Ever since I was in daycare, most of my friends have been guys.

I don’t know why, but, on the average, I just find it easier to get along with a guy than with a woman. It might be because I get hamster jokes. (See post below.) Granted, I get along a lot better with my girlfriends than I would with any guy, but these women are far above average!

In the last few years, however, I’ve noticed a new tendency. Being friends with an attached guy is still an easy job. Being friends with a single guy, however, is becoming increasingly difficult. This includes attached guys who secretly wish they were single.

It didn’t matter when we were in our 20’s and early 30’s. Now, things change. Single guys our age start acting strange. They give off these vibes that make me highly uncomfortable.

Now that I think of it, I recall having a few older friends, five or so years ago. They also acted differently. There was a guy in my old job that I liked to chat with. Then I changed jobs. A week after I left, he got my email address from a girl friend of mine, and started emailing me several times a day. Which, in itself, wouldn’t be odd, except that his emails always started with: “Dear Goldie” and ended with: “Love, Billy Bob” (okay, his name wasn’t really Billy Bob… I made it up to retaliate for several weeks of confusion and embarrassment.) Billy Bob ended up inviting me for a “couple beers after work”. Which, again, wouldn’t be strange in itself, but the vibes… the vibes! (Plus the fact that it was a 50-mile drive for Billy Bob.) I had a very bad feeling about that meeting. Fortunately, I must have said or done something wrong during our beer date, and Billy Bob never called or wrote again. I was 33; Billy Bob was forty.

I wonder if this is the midlife crisis everyone has been telling me about. And, if it is, then how come guys my age are getting hit? This makes no sense! We are young, dangit! Are we the next generation or not? Why, it was only yesterday that we got out of college! Um, wait a minute… we’re almost forty. Just like Billy Bob.

Now when did that happen?

And what’s next? Hot flashes? Kids taking our car keys away? Nursing homes?

Our generation is aging fast, and that is scary. Have we, at least, made a difference in the world? Do we still have enough time to go ahead and make the difference? And how? Does blogging count? (yeah, right!)

In case you’re wondering what triggered this post… something did. I don’t have the guts to talk about it on this blog, but, I’m worried. Okay, I’ll say it. I’m worried that I will lose a good buddy because he’s about to join the ranks of the available. I’m not happy with this “going on forty” thing. I just hope our generation manages to get through it in one piece.

After that, we’ll all be friends again.

The Goldie has spoken at 6:17 PM

Very Tired, But Still Alive

I am back. Thanks to everyone who visited this place while I was gone. The weekend was good. Yesterday’s party was great. The kids did not break anything this time because they were busy playing on the computers, GBA, DS etc.

Hamster Alert

K9’s friend is giving away a free hamster... no, scratch that, the hamster’s not free, it’s in a cage… he’s giving it away for free. K9 wants the hamster; Mr. Goldie and I don’t. K9 has written up a business proposal three pages long, addressed to us, trying to lure us into accepting the hamster. I will post it later as I don’t have it with me right now. All I remember is a few disconnected sentences such as “a 60-dollar value for FREE”, “it’s a win-win situation”, and the winner – “and I will stop asking you for a PSP”. The male guests at our party had a blast trying to figure out how K9 plans to use a hamster in place of a PSP. (Don’t know why, but middle-aged guys can come up with some pretty violent ideas involving hamsters.)

I will let you know whether the hamster becomes a part of our household. The jury is still out on that one.

Hello, Middle Age

I woke up this morning with a major hangover from red wine. Talk about getting old!

The Massacre

I bought a 50 Cent CD over the weekend and I broke it open on Sunday and I’m liking it! How embarrassing is that?!

I12 Gets a Blessing

On Saturday night (1 AM… make that Sunday morning), K9 and I (we just got back from church) came into I12’s room to say Happy Easter. I12 was sitting in a chatroom. K9 takes one look at the screen and busts out laughing. Here’s what someone wrote:

“I12, you should never lose your I12-ness. That’s what makes you unique”.

What can I say… there’s definitely a lot of uniqueness in our family, and I12 has the most of it…


Get this. In our church, at the Holy Friday afternoon service, they don’t say “and he had a thousand she-asses” anymore. Instead, they say “a thousand donkeys”. Once again, K9 is the trendsetter. (His last trendsetting episode was on Christmas Eve ’97, when he tripped in front of a Christmas tree in our church and fell right on top of a porcelain nativity scene, breaking one of the figurines. They never put a nativity scene under the tree again. Yes, I offered to buy a new one or pay for the one my son had broken.)

I’d tell you more, but I am already tired from too much typing.

The Goldie has spoken at 2:44 PM

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