Monthly Archives: January 2014

My 2¢; We Need To Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver

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Again I found myself with the opportunity to watch the “movie based on the book” before actually reading the book. When I was younger I used to prefer the book first then the movie; it gave me a slight feeling of superiority over the other viewers to have extended plot knowledge, aka left out sub-plot lines, extensive character backgrounds, etc. Now I’m just happy to have the opportunity to watch something I want to see. Having seen the movie first I may as well give my run down on it first…I was completely lost at first & almost gave up. My finger was on the remote. It was visually jarring (as in the quickness of scene changes) & utterly beyond confusing. I remember thinking “Dammit, this is one where you have to read the book first in order to enjoy the movie!” & “Well you heard it was popular and good…hang in there, give it a chance”. So I did & I was not disappointed in the least. I have a bad rambling habit so I’ll try to keep my mouth as shut as possible; suffice it to say that by the end, the entire thing makes sense. It also causes you to look inside yourself & answer some glaringly bright “what would I do?” questions. Very good movie.

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In all honesty I’m not finished with the book yet. But my memory is terrible & when I 2¢’d ‘Behind the Candelabra’ I had already forgotten a lot of things I’d wanted to mention…things you come across as you’re reading, or the style of writing…things like that. So I thought this time around I’d keep a running post, air my complaints or bestow my praise, and continue reading. Plus it’ll give me time to steal a few pictures from Google so my blog isn’t so daggone barren.

The first complaint I must air is regarding the length of the “monologue” type letters that the Storyteller (the mother) is writing, which is how the story is told. I know I’m a detail oriented individual but my God…these paragraphs are so long & the language so fluidly fancy that I soon realize I tuned out & have to skim it to get the basic gist! I’m okay with character history, things like that, but redundancy is not okay…it’s just down right effin’ boring. For example: Okay, we get it…you weren’t sure if you were ready to be a mother, much less want to be one; we understand that you partially blame yourself; we don’t- see: don’t -need you to continually drone on & on. We. Get. It. If I have to be fair I guess we could consider the fact that possibly I’m impatient because I’ve seen the film & know the plot & outcome…and that’s true, that could be the problem.

*So several days after starting this post I find myself off the original train of thought I was on when I started it. I’ve had a number of distractions preventing me from finishing this post, namely the 3 children & their nutritional & educational requirements I had to tend to. Also, I got the notion to research some of the school shooters mentioned in ‘Kevin’, to see if they were fact or fiction….the ones I looked up did turn out to be fact. I found myself engrossed with the horror of school shootings & kept reading more & more; meanwhile my Kevin post was pushed to the back burner of my brain. I eventually came across the historic (is that an appropriate word choice?) Columbine tragedy & really got obsessed, so much that I borrowed a book titled ‘Columbine’ and proceeded to read it. Now I’ve got Columbine on the brain & really should just delete this entire post, but I really wanted to put out into the universe that:
~It is an excellent book.
~It is an excellent movie.
~I think every parent (and non-parent) should read it….it forces you to think about so many different things (feelings, decisions, happenings, nature vs. nurture, etc) that would usually be too unpleasant or controversial to think about/talk about. It really opens your eyes to different situations.
~If you haven’t read it yet then please, when you’re finished reading this, make sure you get a hold of a copy somehow!

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My 2¢: Behind the Candelabra, by Scott Thorson

I recall watching most of the tv movie (I missed the first 30 minutes) ‘Behind the Candelabra’ and thinking that it would probably be a good book to read. I’m a real sucker for reading the book that a movie/show is based off of. Often times there are many details & explanations glossed over, shortened or left out completely & I’m a detail obsessed person….I like all the information, no matter how mundane it is. (Which explains why I read & basically re-read 100’s of articles when obsessing over something….you never know when you’re gonna happen across some interesting tidbit of knowledge.)

Fortunately for me I was actually able to find the ebook via my local library app (surprising because it’s a relatively “small town” & there doesn’t seem to be a high demand for popular/new books to be added, in real life or ebook form) & put it on my bookshelf. There it sat for 21 days while I neglected it to read other ebooks….I just couldn’t get into the mood to read it. Then the library took it away because my time was up. I still wanted to read it so I re-borrowed it & made myself start it; it took 2 nights but I wasn’t able to read straight through for 2 days.

Overall I liked the book. I’d never buy it, or borrow it again, but it was interesting. I wasn’t a Liberace fan before so of course I only knew what I’d heard throughout my life….he was over the top, extravagant, gay, talented, loaded, famous as all hell. In short, the book doesn’t really reveal any other shocking or interesting personality traits, other than he didn’t let people walk all over him & he could be pretty funny. I especially liked his replies about how he “cried all the way to the bank” (I would post a verbatim quote however I already returned the book before I decided to write this), when asked questions regarding finances or shows or gossip. It would make so much more sense if I could throw in a quote for you.

Anyway, from reading the book you get the sense that Mr. Thorson is a reputable, believable individual. He admits his faults, recognizes his mistakes, and totally owns the fact that he was-and still is, considering he published a tell-all book-a money grubber. He also was forthright about his drug dependency issues, which is commendable however one becomes skeptical when he claims to have overcome them (add to that the fact that one can utilize Google for 30 seconds & read the latest Thorson news….he’s facing 8-20 years for drugs/burglary). I couldn’t help figuring he hadn’t overcome them simply because he so eagerly claimed to. But moving on….

As far as the money goes, I think we all can agree that in a similar position we would do the same ourselves. I wouldn’t go to the lengths of hurting anyone (living or deceased) by what I wrote; if there were things I didn’t want people to know, I would hold them back. Write a book that’s just juicy enough to garner interest which in turn garners money. You kind of get the feeling Mr. Thorson is defending himself prematurely against people’s snide remarks, that he may think it makes him a bad person. Personally I don’t. I’m sure he still has enough real secrets & stories left to write another book however he’s (thus far anyway) decent enough not to. A few things I saw on Google however have made me question his overall truthfulness….I saw a couple of articles where as recently as 2013 he was claiming that he had a 6-7 year relationship with Michael Jackson. What the hell?! This is completely out of left field & (to me) screams “What, wait! Look at me…remember me? I was Liberace’s secret gay lover! I’m in need of money again so listen to this crazy tale…”. I can’t remember the other headlines but I do know they were utterly ridiculous. In Candelabra he mentions several times that he isn’t great with finances & basically blows his money on furs, dogs & coke. Even after the settlement of his “famous” lawsuit against Liberace he claims the majority of the $75,000 went primarily for drugs. So it’s completely plausible to me that he’s trying to get some bucks from the media. Which is fine….if it’s true. Which is less-fine-but-if-you’re-desperate-then-well-okay….if it at least has a grain of truth to it. But making shit up out of thin air just makes you look pathetic, and everyone knows why you’re doing it. I know it’s pointless for me to harp on this but it really kind of ruined the book for me; the whole time I read it I felt like Thorson was being upfront, honest, “doing this thing right”. Then to find out he’s going around spewing lies after the fact….makes me question the book, what was true, what wasn’t, what could be true but how would you know since you can’t rely on the author anymore….

My final 2 gripes are pretty simple. He wasted a lot of pages on a seemingly minute by minute break down of lawyers meetings, actions, court dates, etc. regarding his Liberace lawsuit. Dude, I don’t need to know all that boring minutia. Tell the main points (how it started, what it’s for, what was the outcome) & be done. It wasted my time & the only reason it was in there was because it was his suit against someone else. Pride. Or maybe he needed some filler to round the book out. Either way it was a waste of time. My other issue was no pictures! Now, in all fairness, maybe since it was an ebook the pictures weren’t included or couldn’t be sent….or….something. But other books (every…other…ebook actually) have had them, usually out of order from what the table of contents claims. There is usually a photo section at the very end, after everything else. So it may not be Scott Thorson’s fault but it was definitely a let down. In fact, that’s how I happened across all those other articles because I went looking for pictures on Google. I did find a clip of Liberace’s last interview (with Oprah) & a cute clip of him cooking with David Letterman. I also found pictures of Liberace, of course, which was nice & really solidified the image of extravagance I had in my mind’s eye. It would have been nice to see some personal photos of the two of them though, seeing as how that’s the backbone of the book.

In closing, it’s worth reading if you enjoy biographies, or want a deeper understanding of the movie, or are curious about Liberace. I hope Mr. Thorson can straighten himself out & return to the values he seems to have held once upon a time, and discontinues these bizarre, lame stories. He’s really making himself seem like a bitter, scruple-less old “queen”.

It finally snowed!!

Greetings! I figured I’d post a post about how one day the weathermen were actually right (they are currently basking in the warm glow of glory) & it snowed in Tennessee! Also, since I equated your time the other day with pictures of no snow I figured the least I could do to even things up would be sharing photos of actual snow. I know, I know…my thoughtfulness truly is a quality unparalled by others.

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The porch. Dang mat was frozen!

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PS: I do know what an actual snowstorm looks like. But here in Eastern Tennessee, this is what clears the shelves. 😉

My Michael Jackson post (years after the fact).

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I would imagine it would be the rare person indeed who could claim nowadays to never have at least heard a Michael Jackson song, younger generations not withstanding of course. Almost all of us have had some contact with his genius whether through a movie, the radio, our own personal music collection, television, books/magazines…somewhere along the way we’ve heard or seen the King of Pop. Having recently read the biography about him by J. Randy Taraborrelli I have renewed my (recurring) mini-obsession with MJ. Don’t get me wrong….I’m not a super fan & I don’t claim to know every factoid about him. I just know what I’ve read/seen & have my opinions on it.
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Michael’s attitude & actions
I’ve heard & read countless times that Michael was the type of person where if an employee/friend/family member told him “no” or wouldn’t get what he’d requested, they’d simply be “out”. He’d stop associating with them or they’d be fired. People were (apparently, according to the biography I read by Tarraborelli) fearful for their jobs. This is completely understandable & completely believable. Michael was treated-quite literally-like a king; he’d become accustomed to a way of life the majority of us will never live & therefore fail to grasp. He probably hadn’t been told “no” more than 8 times since the age of 5….long, long ago he acquired the luxury of people at his beck & call, staff to cater his whims, “handlers” (for lack of a better group term) to foresee & appease his wants & needs. I can understand the mentality of it all, even if I admittedly can’t fully understand what a life like that must be like (on either side of the fence). People were disposable….and that’s not implying Michael was some hateful, spoiled, crappy person who treated others badly (I’ve heard & read the exact opposite so much I’m beginning to wonder if he had a golden heart)….he was, plain & simple, rich as shit; he was free to do what he wanted; if one person wouldn’t do this or that then fine, this person over here will. That’s what I mean by disposable. There would always be someone, somewhere & he knew it.
The reason I flew off on this tangent is because during my mini-obsession I can’t escape the “what if” plague. What if his family would’ve intervened? After his death, everyones (EVERYONES) excuse is that they knew but couldn’t help MJ because he’d either fire them or kick them out of his life. I think we can all agree that most families will get along as well as have fights, stop speaking, be really mad at each other, all that jazz. However family should & usually does find their way back to each other & make up. I know not all families do that, I realize we don’t live in My Little Ponyville or Smurf-land. But the Jackson’s prior history certainly indicates that if there is a disagreement/fight, after some time passes everyone is welcomed back into the fold, hunky-dory. I can’t help but wonder if family-someone who Michael couldn’t get rid off & would eventually make up with-would have succeeded….if they would’ve just pushed & pushed until he went to rehab, then fought & fought to keep him there Do whatever it took. Michael would’ve been mad & resisted, I’m sure….but maybe-just maybe-he’d still be here today.

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Michael, circa 1989

Michael’s appearance
Personally I think the time frame he looked his best was the last couple years of the 80’s. He was just starting his “King-ship” and getting a taste of financial freedom & making his own choices. He had a small amount of plastic surgery & turned out like the photo above. If he would’ve only felt confident enough to stay like that! Instead he had to keep pushing & tweaking, trying to achieve a certain look he had set in his mind. Unfortunately he ended up like this….

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Michael's mugshot, date unknown/after the 90's

…which isn’t even the worst photo but definitely one of the creepier ones. I hate that he felt so insecure in himself that he literally turned himself into this. To be on top of the world financially, career-wise, health wise….yet to feel so badly about yourself that you reduce yourself to an unrecognizable shell. It’s sad, very very sad. Unbeknownst to him, by starting the surgery obsession he opened the flood gates for people & the media to start running their mouth. Then he probably felt the need to continue the surgeries, in a futile attempt to be normal again; all it ended up accomplishing was more negativity.

Michael & molestation

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Michael Jackson & Jordie Chandler

Where to begin with this Pandora’s box? What is there to say–in support of either side–that hasn’t been said a zillion times before? That being considered, I’ll just stick with my personal opinion as opposed to trying to exonerate (or condemn) MJ. Nothing I say will convince anyone anyway, I don’t think…they’d have to research & read & discover just like I did in order to be convinced. For years I have been undecided as to whether or not all of the abuse allegations against him were true…now, after extensive reading, various sources and a better (aka adult) perspective on life, I can safely say that I don’t believe he molested anyone, anytime. It seems quite obvious to me that the Arvizo’s were after money: plain & simple. The Chandler situation seems to be the same way, although it seems like a bigger betrayal because they were much closer than the Arvizo’s. It would take a whole other post to specify each point so I won’t drag that up here. I think Michael was an easy target because he was lonely, insecure, had a soft spot for children (& animals, as many of us non-serial killer people do), was eccentric & rich…very…very rich. The media & the accusers picked up on these traits (though not in that order) and exploited them as long as they could. Today, Jordie Chandler enjoys his millions while living in a penthouse & apparently having a wonderful time shopping with friends…

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Jordie Chandler today; spending his "hard earned" millions with a buddy.

I’m sure the Arvizo’s are also enjoying a largely enhanced lifestyle due to their “hard earned” millions as well. The truth is we will never know the truth. Even if MJ were here today & proclaimed his innocence (like he did before, yes) people wouldn’t believe him. There will always be a divide on this topic because there is no definitive, 100% proof either way. Instances such as this really gnaw at me because I want a firm, fact-backed answer, you know? It all comes down to what you believe & what you don’t believe. I used to lump him in with the majority of the media & society, but after my research I now understand all the different levels of this situation, and of Michael Jackson. I pity the poor man. This may be overdramatic but I truly wish I could rewind time for him & magically fix all the bad in his life….it just seems so unfair, once you absorb all the details (the same details from different sources-that’s what lends credibility to them), that he suffered as he did in so many ways.

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Michael, 1988 Bad Tour, London

R.I.P. Michael Jackson.

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In concert during the glory days.

Family football….it’s a contagious obsession….

My husband (otherwise known as C in this blog) has become quite the football fan over the past year or two. He’s always had an interest in it, but now that he’s desperately in love with Peyton Manning a huge Broncos fan he’s really into it. This fact inspired a rant post (currently a draft) by me yesterday but it has also inspired 2 other things:

#1-quality time with our children & nephew, which they (our kids) kind of needed after being “Daddy deprived” this past week while he was at work (something they are re-adjusting to)

#2-I have an excuse to post a couple cute pictures & attempt to post a video for the first time! I realize I’m about 4 years behind on the magic of posting videos online, and that normal people are like “What a douche….I’ve been posting vids online since I was in diapers”….but I don’t care, haha. I’m old & willingly use that excuse for my lameness.

So, here goes….marking a notable event in history (ours, anyway)….some cute football videos & photos. You’re welcome. 😉

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L to R: H, C, A, N(ephew), D

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A apparently went out of bounds but it's a-okay because they're "training", haha.

Update: I attempted to publish my cute little family football post & received a message saying “To upload videos get Videodpress” (whatever that is); I clicked it but it did nothing. I searched for it in the Play store & found nothing. So….I guess I won’t be posting a video for the first time, haha. Oh well. 😦

My effing Husband.

Instant Disclaimer: I love my husband. I married him, after all. But as we all know even those we love get on our last nerve sometimes & we have to vent in order to maintenance our sanity. That’s all this is, a post venting about being highly annoyed; not plotting murder (that’s a different post entirely).

So, there’s a football game on today….Broncos vs. Patriots. My husband (henceforth known as “C” because I get tired of seeing husband everywhere because in my mind I hear “husthband” for some reason) decided quite some time ago that “his” team was the Broncos & of course his MVP is the man of the hour, Peyton Manning (I actually seriously honest-to-God believe he would instantly go gay if Peyton showed up & said “Hey good look-in!”. I do.). A quick background on our relationship: we’ve known each other since I was 16, he 15….we met while working at Hardee’s & pretty much dated on/off since, until we married in 2010….that totals 15 years now. He’s always been a “guys” guy & liked football, etc but he’s never been an avid game watcher or obsessive about it. Until the past year or two. I understand people change throughout their lives so I guess his fairly recent deep interest is due to that. It’s fine, a lot of guys are really in to football; I don’t mind giving up the tv because it gives me an excuse to read. None of that bothers me.

What does bother me is that watching football turns C into a f-r-e-a-k! I’ve seen the commercials/shows/etc where people at home get into the game & cheer, or boo, or clap, or complain, or what the hell ever. C, however, takes it to a whoooole new level. He screams. I mean screams. As though he were about to fight a mortal enemy over control of the universe. You can hear him-no exaggeration-in the damn driveway. He screams when it’s good & screams when it’s bad. It penetrates through closed bedroom doors, so that if other people are trying to do something else, they are still subjected to the screaming.
The clapping. I’m not talking regular appreciative clapping, like one night hear at a high school band concert. I’m talking two cymbals crashing kind of clapping! C has big hands, therefore he can create a big sound with them. It is very startling & makes me jump (I guess I’m an anxious person, though one would think I’d be the exact opposite by now because I should be used to it) every time, which annoys the piss out of me & just increases my overall anxiety.
The….seizures? I’m not sure what else to call them. “Fits” maybe. There are both good & bad fits however more bad usually. Fits are when he throws himself back (or forward), stomps/kicks his feet (yes like a 1 year old & yes I am serious), throws his arms out & about/waves them around…things like that. Occasionally he’ll spin around or something of that nature.

It’s loud. It’s startling. It’s annoying (for so many reasons). I don’t begrudge him enjoying the football game but damn, he acts like he’s there & required to be heard over thousands of people. Do other husbands react like this to football? Maybe I’m missing some super secret football code since I don’t watch it?

Who knows. Meanwhile, pass me those ear plugs & Xanax.

Effin’ eBay.

EBay, eBay, eBay…sigh…

I used to enjoy it so much. I got into it at the beginning of it just starting to become popular & well known. I’ve seen all kinds of changes-some good & some not so good-over the years & I have lots of complaints (hey, we all know I’m a Negative Nelly) but I believe my two chief gripes would be
      *asshole sellers who either peddle their wares for quadruple what it’s worth or charge buyers exorbitant (yes, exorbitant) shipping & handling charges
      *rudeness. From sellers, from buyers, from potential buyers…I can NOT STAND rudeness, especially unwarranted rudeness.

      Allow me to explain….

I get bored so I often pop open my eBay app & search for random things. Lately I’ve rekindled my obsession with Marilyn Monroe (by reading a biography) so I figured I’d check out the Marilyn market on good ‘ole eBay. Long story short, I was appalled that there are people out there selling cheap crap with her name/image splashed across it, and let me tell you they’re not selling it cheap.

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Like this. What the hell?!

Now I’m not an art expert, so I will gladly eat crow if the person responsible for this is in fact a famous Andy-Warhol-level artist….but I’ve never heard of her. This auction is so ridiculous I almost feel like it’s a joke. And, just so you can experience the full scope of this person’s ridiculousness, here is the link to her entertaining description.

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Greed at it's finest.

I just have to laugh. My fingers itch to type out a smart assed email to these idiots. First off, let me share with you the fact that (surprise, surprise) this auction has NO bids. 0. Zero. Next, let me confirm for you that I own one of these (I’m on it now) & I paid $150 brand new, at Wal-Mart. This is just some greedy, useless scam artist…they actually hoped to find some poor sucker that would eagerly pay almost $300! But, you do get free shipping so it is kind of a good deal. *eye roll*

I realize I’m getting really long winded with this post so I’ll try to shorten it up. I don’t get the whole rudeness thing, on eBay or in real life, either one. Plenty of people have called me a bitch over the years, plenty of people have said I look grouchy/am grouchy however until you give me a reason not to be nice, I’m a nice person. Especially if you’re a stranger. I guess maybe I’m old fashioned but almost all of my emails begin with “Hello” (you know, like correspondence always used to?), end with “Thank you”, etc. I’m certainly not claiming to be perfect (although I pretty much am) but I was raised with manners & I use them, as well as pass them down to my kids. I received an email from a buyer complaining about not having received their item yet & they also opened a case against me (an eBay case, where you get a negative mark on your rating if eBay decides against you), all in the same 10 minutes. Maybe I was just in a foul mood but I felt like they could’ve been a little more decent & congenial about it…at least until they found out why it was late, ya know? Another long story short, it pissed me off so I immediately refunded their money along with an email stating my reasons (no way to the post office, no box to ship it in/waiting on USPS to bring more boxes, no internet access temporarily…if you must know), and the advice that maybe in the future they could try being a little nicer to people, at least until they heard back from them, as opposed to jumping to conclusions (like I took their $27 & had a spending spree with no intention to send them the item…for their information-and I told them this as well-that whopping $27 was on hold & inaccessible to me until 1/31/14 because I’m a new seller. So there, rude asshole.); I also shared one of my all time favorite southern sayings with them: You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

PS: I can’t help feeling that I got wayyy off topic….didn’t justify my points very well….and am probably in the wrong on that whole eBay-Paypal-late item thing….but, oh well.

It’s true…I’m totally jealous of my children’s snow days!

When I was growing up (in Southwest Virginia) we hardly ever got unexpected snow days. I remember it was such a great feeling as you realized you could go back to bed, not deal with boring & annoying people and teachers, have a “free” day to yourself…the joy would literally swell up inside! But the area we lived in just wasn’t prone to snow. Sure, it had it’s fair share of good, plentiful snow “storms” but usually just a dusting (which did not stop everyone in town rushing to every grocery the day before to get the number 1 supplies required to survive a perilous snow storm: bread, milk, eggs, beer). Also not helping matters-I believe-was whoever made the final call on what the school would do. They must’ve been a Nazi from Florida because they didn’t want to close schools for anything. It was probably a woman…and she probably had 3-4 school-aged children at home. In that case I can’t say as I blame her. I remember one time, when I was in high school, and “they” (the ever reliable meteorologists) were expecting a big snow to come rolling in, and rolling in quickly. Nobody made any schedule changes & as we were arriving at school it was already flurrying. It didn’t take 2 hours for chaos to hit as they then decided we all needed to get home now and how to do it. Luckily I had my own car so I wasn’t stuck panicking with the saps who had to ride the bus…I had an awesome Geo Tracker so my boyfriend at the time (now my husband….yay for high school sweethearts!), myself, and a Friend of ours (who lived just down the street from me) piled in & headed for home. There was a steep hill you had to survive that made up the road my house sat on & it was slick! I can still remember my husband twisting the wheel accordingly & being in awe that even at his age (15…hey, *I* couldn’t drive in snow!) he knew what to do & handled the situation. Plus, our Friend was pregnant so that only added pressure! Anyways…I’m off topic. But who cares, eh? We made it & the memory makes me laugh.

The purpose of this blog was to post some pics I took this morning of our big snow that we received sometime between 2am & 6am.
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I wanted to share with the world how incredibly lazy generous the “decision makers” are in our current area (Eastern Tennessee), by giving our children days off because of this:
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Please notice how the road is not dry but clearly not slick. Clearly not snow covered. Granted, we do have to consider the whole county but I find it difficult to believe that somewhere in our county it was just sssooo bad that us stay-at-home-momma’s get to listen to the “Is it my turn to play the x-box yet?”-“I’m starving, can I have something to eat even though I just had cereal?’-“So & so won’t play with me/so & so is being mean to me/so & so called me names!” , like it’s an unexpected gift or something. Bah!

For those of you who have no snow: You lucky bastards.
For those of you who do have snow: May the force be with you.
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