Monday, November 19, 2012

lies Pintercrack tells

Obviously, I have a love/hate relationship with Pintercrack.  This isn't part of the IK4T series, this is just a separate rant.  I call it LIES Pintercrack tells me.

You know how you see those "zomg this is so brilliant" pins and you think to yourself

Self, the person who pinned this isn't a total dumbass.  
That must actually be a good idea!

No? Only me? Okay, well anyway, lets pretend you do get it.

Sometimes I discover totally earth shattering stuff on Pintercrack ... like this little ditty about Tic Tacs.

Why the hell isn't that like on the label or something?

Then there is this faboosh little life altering product.

How awesome is that?  I mean there could be nothing worse, nothing more embarrassing than getting your hair in your noodles when you are eating ... right?

Then there is always these amazing gift ideas you find ...

Sorry, that one just makes me laugh.  Back to the point.  This is what the remainder of my mindless rant will be about.  

But when I saw this the first time I actually had a mini heart attack.  This was before the great Allergy House Purge of October 2012, and pancakes and waffles were a huge dietary mainstay in the Dr. DomesticRocket household.  Meatball would proudly proclaim that I had the best, the best, recipe for waffles ever and would eat them for all three meals a day had I let him.  By the way, if you would like my "best ever" waffle recipe it is the one on the back of the Bisquick box.

Being that I made batter-ey things pretty frequently I saw that picture there and was pretty amazed.  This could do for my pancake baking what koozies did for tailgating.

So I tried it.  In fact, it was like record pin-to-reality time because we happened to have a very close to empty ketchup bottle in the fridge that made the boys laugh hysterically whenever you tried to use it.  (hehehe, mom, the bottle farts!)

So within days I was making up my batter and cleaning out a ketchup bottle excited and optimistic that I could not possible screw this up.

Famous last words.

Problem Numero Uno: Who the hell wants to clean out a ketchup bottle.  It is a surprisingly difficult task.

Problem Numero B: The neck of a ketchup bottle is the size of a muther fracking pin hole.  Yes, let us pour BATTER into that.  How could this possibly go wrong?!

Problem Numero Third: Well ... the pictures speak for themselves.
make your batter ...
now I need something to pour the batter into the bottle with 
okay maybe it is user error,
maybe I went to fast,
lemme try that again ...
No. No, it still doesn't work.
Making sure I understand this, I could have had ONE mixing bowl
to clean and now I have three things?  This is easier how?
Just getting the damn thing loaded was annoying.  But then using it? Maybe that was where the easy part came into play, or so said the glitter eating hopeful unicorn that resides inside my head.

Perhaps it was because I had the "no drip" lying SOB bottle (damn thing didn't "drip," per-say  but it would squirt ketchup water with the force of a thousand fire hoses before any actual ketchup came out) but the thing clogged up like every ten seconds.  It was only good for like 5 waffles then needed refilled; I had more on my hands, counter and all the electronic parts of the freaking waffle maker than I would have had I used a blender without the lid on; AND it took me WAY longer to do this "simple" trick than I ever would have with the "old" and "complicated" way.

"no drip" cap
"modified no drip" cap
AKA: I took a steak knife to the damn thing 
Real Simple's website (where this idea apparently originated) is full of shit, and I am back to using a measuring cup and pouring stuff.  Screw the ketchup bottles, man.

This is just one of the lies Pintercrack tells, there are more ... so many more ...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

a devil lives in my garage door opener

Lets not mince words: there is a testosterone sensor in my remote garage door opener.

Don't laugh, I'm dead serious.

For weeks it has been on the fritz, missing no opportunity to piss me off, gradually becoming less and less reliable. But not enough to make me KNOW it was untrustworthy, just enough to make me hold my breath and pray like hell whenever I pushed the button and hoped to gain entry to my home.

Exhibit A: the Demon Opener
Being the logical person I was a week and a half ago about this whole situation, I mentioned to my husband that I think I need a new battery. Then a few more days of squeeze and pray passed and suddenly the day came where it wasn't enough.  Of course this day was one where I was running late, had a very pissed off Beans, bags upon bags of groceries to carry in and it was hotter than the warm section of hell.  So I snapped (my temper can be a tad infamous) and decided that squeeze and pray wasn't enough, maybe throw the mother fawker would be.

It wasn't.

Amazingly, however, it didn't kerslpode into a million pieces revealing instantaneously to my husband that I had gotten a bit frustrated.  So I scooped the damn thing up as I got my stuff and my now screaming kid and brought them all inside.  I put it on the counter so as to *ahem* subtly remind my husband that I needed that battery he said he had.  This was a Friday.  Generally, I don't drive my car on the weekends, the Jolly Green Giant I married does not comfortably fit in my Corolla.  So after the exceptionally busy weekend passes us by, and a few other "hey can you fix my garage door opener"s are uttered, I stupidly assume in all the random crap he did that my usually very considerate husband took care of the opener.


He could reorganize his garage, build a paper towel holder because he wanted to, decide that my car needed cleaned out (no idea why), BUT he couldn't change the battery.

So when I put it back in my car, ran my errands, and went to push the lifeless button ... I did refrain from throwing it again.  Go ahead, applaud.

When Bunyan came home I held it up and asked him if he'd fixed it.  A confused (yet panicked cuz he could see I was displeased) look crossed his face as he said,

"But ... but, nothing is wrong with it."

Exhibit B: Only the smart ones.
After I insisted there was, and he insisted that it worked fine for him I asked him to show me.  And he did.  And that damn door opened with NO problem.

So again, I put it in my car, perplexed but figuring whatever it is it is okay now.

Next day, again when my stress level was pretty high and my time management was at a low, I pushed the button with a mental "Open Sesame" ... and nothing happened.

When Paul Bunyan came home we both went out front with the evil little clicker in tow.  Every time he pressed it the damn thing opened.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Me?  Not once.

Of course he had to be all condescending male on me for a moment "oh well you need to hold it down ... you need to push it in this way ... are you sure you're pressing the right button?"

End result, we traded openers.  That dumb thing is working FINE for him.  Absolutely fine!  Seriously, WTF?  I am telling you, there is without a doubt, a testosterone sensor in the damn thing.

Friday, November 16, 2012

yeah, I'd kill for that

Obviously as the name of the series suggests, this is about the most basic emotion and driving force in human nature.  Jealousy.  On Pintercrack, in magazines, catalogs, on TV and in movies we are constantly shown these utterly awesome places. But in reality we have normal ones. Talk about let downs. Sometimes these awesome spaces serve to inspire us, motivating us to do something utterly bad ass with our otherwise normalcy.  However, no amount of aqua chevron stripes can alter square footage or make an incredible bay window appear out of no where.  So to open this series I am rockin' the honesty factor to the highest degree with laundry rooms.

For the sake of literary impact lets start with the things I am tortured with on Pintercrack and in other forms of visual media.  This really started when I saw a pin about an amazing blog full of ideas for your home.  I started poking around and agreed, it is a great blog with lots of great ideas.  I follow it, and continue to explore.  Then I click on a section about "befores and afters" because I loooooove me some before and after posts!  But I am puzzled when I see a beautiful image of a washer and drier and a sink ...

Puzzled because the sink and counters and cabinets look like a kitchen, yet there is a washer and drier in there.  So I look back at the title, thinking perhaps I read something wrong and this lady lives in Europe where I know you will often find the washer in the kitchen ... no, she just has a gorgeous laundry room.

And that is when I become a bad person full of hate and envy.

But really, can you blame me?  I mean, these are the images I come across when I look for organization ideas for a laundry area ...

Ah yes ... note the windows letting in light so you don't feel trapped and enslaved ...

Tile floors, curtains, crown molding, how lovely.

So white and crisp!  Heavenly, am I right?

Ooooooo and here we have an island in a laundry room ... look forward to an upcoming IK4T post about kitchen islands ...

And here we have a huge amount of storage, square footage, with a nice dash of I-hate-you.

Now this image is nifty.  Have one of those closety type laundry spaces?  You still have more than I do.

And this?  Well, this is what I have.  Ladies and Gents, I give you the Domestic Rocket Surgeon's operating room as it pertains to clothing:

To be upfront, I live in a part if the country where basements are seen as an adorable nostalgic and completely unnecessary accessory and expense. Unfortunately, the builders of my home back in 1985 thought a designated laundry room space was equally worthless apparently. Yes, my washer and drier are in my garage.

My garage.

I know (at least here) that this is not hugely abnormal.  But please, understand, our garage is a multipurpose room.  It holds my car, our beer fridge, lots of storage, and is my husband's "workshop" too.  My laundry is often covered in sawdust.  I have to clean my laundry area often.  But it is never clean.

Where do you hang your clean clothes that cannot get dried in a drier?  Pintercrack says you could hang them here ...

... or here ...

or even here, with a bit of upcycling ...

But me?  Oh, my husband rigged me a clothes line that hangs right between my car and my storage section of the garage.  Here, bask in its beauty.

Mmhmm.  The angle of the photo suggests that my clothesline might be suspended from my handing tube lights that flicker all the murther fawking time, but that is not the case.  There is a hook the size of my head gouged into the popcorn ceiling on either end.

Oh and yes, if you run out of toilet paper you have to come out to the garage to get more.  On that note, lets take a look at some of the "laundry room storage" ideas Pintercrack has to offer us.

Hide all that unsightly stuff with a curtain! Poof, gone!

Have individual baskets for each member of your family so that they come and get their basket full of clean, folded goodies and put them away themselves (sorry, I nearly wet myself laughing at the idea of my boys actually putting their clothes away, like all the way away).  I categorically refuse to acknowledge the farmhouse style sink in that picture, the one I desperately wanted in my kitchen.

These laundry baskets roll.  And look at the pretty cupboards and counters.  Want to see mine?  Okay, here ya go ...

Why I keep all those vases I do not know.  

Why yes, that is James Dean playing pool, my Tide bottle, and a really expensive-heavy-as-a-baby-flashlight.

Well lets look at the pre- and post- laundry stuff.  What about soaking and cleaning, all the pre-treating you are supposed to do.  We have seen some enviable sinks but here is another one:

Vintage!  Oh, the character.  

My sink?  

Oh that's right, *smacks forehead* I don't HAVE one.  But I do have a soaking bucket, right between my washer and drier.

Try to contain your envy.

My "utility sink" or "laundry room sink" is my kitchen sink.  My folding area?  Um, the top of my giant dog kennel just inside my garage door.

*le sigh*

Ironing is something I do about, oh maybe, three times a year.  It depends, quite frankly, on the number of weddings and funerals we attend.  So a designated ironing space would be probably wasted on me, but since I am in such a goooooood mood, lets look at one comparison.

Oh handy that!  Put an ironing board on a little glidey slidey thingy and you can store it soooo easy.  Me?

Well my ironing board gets set up in my kitchen so I only have room to stand on one side of it because the other is smashed against the counter.  Oh and my iron, it seems to have bladder control issues.  I can't complain though.  The fear of electrocution makes ironing much more thrilling.

In fact, for as hideous as those picture may be, I spent a good ten minutes making it not look so atrocious that I could post it on the internet without being utterly humiliated.  I can live with mild humiliation, complete humiliation is different.  Yes, yes, those images you just giggled at or stared at with blank horror are the better, less embarrassing versions of my reality.

So on the list of things I want in my dream home one of the top ten items is surely a laundry room that is in the actual house!  And on the list of things I would kill for ... any of the laundry spaces pictured that aren't mine.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

then I became a bad person

Occasionally, while I take a little walk through blog land or on Pintercrack, I become a bad person.

Its simple jealousy really.

All my friends pin the shit out of these gorgeous spaces ... home libraries, gardens, little reading nooks, laundry rooms, kitchens, closets that make me want to weep ... and I sit and re-pin them turning greener by the second.  Many of my pins can be translated into something, be it a failure or a success.  But pins that incorporate totally bitchin' architecture or massive square footage?  Alas, no amount of dollar store purchasing, chalkboard paint, or ways to fold bed sheets will ever fix that Pintercrack, you evil hooker.

Thus, a short blog series was born.  I've been batting the idea around in its ambiguous form since this post.  But it hit me like a ton of paint chip samples that can supposedly be turned into anything.  The concept is simple, really, pictures of supposedly real, yet perfect spaces ... with a picture of my reality and my hate-filled rantings.  The naming process?  Much harder.

Bullshit, That's a Set
Does Anyone Even Live There?!
Maybe If I Didn't Have Children, a Husband, or Dogs
Right, and Ryan Gosling's Abs Are Attainable 
I'd Kill For That

Yes, I settled on the last one.  It leaves the possibilities quite endless.  I did clean it up a bit, originally it was "Yeah, I'd shank someone for that kitchen" but I'm to lazy to type it more than once.  Besides, "IK4T" is a cuter shortcut that looks reasonable compared to "YISSFTK."  I'm all about reasonability and ease, man.

The first post in my series will be up tomorrow.  Its about laundry rooms, probably my most embarrassing space of all.

I know, you will be holding your breath until then.

Yes, I am that official, I even made a logo.  Bam!

Update: I figure to keep it simple I'd make a tag for it (look at the floaty words over there and click on them --->) and also keep a running list of things that make homicide seem worthwhile.  So here is our running list:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

parenting, something I am so good at

I'm not exactly a parenting paragon. I accept that. My kids haven't totally gone postal and blamed me in the plea bargain, so I take some consolation int that. But it's not like I pretend to be all serious and right and shit.  People (and blogs) like that drive me nuts.  

That said sometimes I possess even the astounding ability to amaze myself. Take tonight for example. In the course of one single hour the Meatball acknowledged that I am the source of his knowledge on swearing in sign language, witnessed me trying to wedgie Paul Bunyan, and said "we'll if its a pin up of you then it would be clever and pretty."

Starting at phase one -- sign language swearing fluency -- American Sign Language (or ASL) is a second language for me. Growing up with a non-verbal sister we incorporated sign into our familial language early on.  Naturally, I learned to swear proficiently because ASL offered me the opportunity to not only communicate with friends brilliantly on multiple choice tests, but also a way to covertly be a rebellious little pain in the ass in high school.   Apparently somewhere, sometime, somehow Meatball saw me sign a phrase that rhymes with "duck two" and tonight he asked me "Mom, what does this mean?" Um yeah, mom of the year I never claimed to be.  But at least I don't lie to him.  Oh, and I also told him that if he ever uses it I will shave his eyebrows off in his sleep.

No, that is't a how-to for you, but it is a totally badass ASL interpretation of Marilyn Manson's This is the New Shit.  If you watch it closely, you are likely to learn most of the bad words anyway.  Be smart about watching the video if there are children around or if you are at work.

Second high point of the evening, wedgie time. Dear ol' husband and I are being argumentative and messing with each other, so of course we resort to fighting slightly dirty. When Meatball and Beans where looking the other way, Bunyan proceeds to smack my ass hard enough to make a loud crack. Of course, the boys notice that, and somehow *I* am blamed.  Don't ask how, logic has no place in this.  My menfolk have solidarity, none of them claim to miss the toilet or leave the seat up -- yet both things happen regularly -- and no one will rat the others out.  So when the boys look the other way again I know I only have moments with which to exact my revenge.  Knowing that returning the spanking would only thrill the perverse Paul, and not make my point at all, I decide on a small, but ever so poignant, wedgie.  Of course, Paul Bunyan can strike my derierre on the downlow but I can't yank his boxer briefs up without getting caught. While I believe that parents should honor each other and never argue in the presence of their children, I categorically refuse to believe that my wedgieing Mr. Bunyan is in anyway not a healthy precedent for me to set.

Lastly, me as a pin up. Meatball really doesn't understand pin-ups a sexual beings, he knows them as a tattoo style of women he wished would be more conservatively dressed -- an indication of both the environment we've created (tattoos are art) and his youth and kootieish tendencies (he's eleven, this will end soon). So when I was mentioning using my Kitchen Aid for something I had to bake I told Paul Bunyan that I'd seen these amazing works of art (artist's website) and desperately want to do that to MY mixer.  We decided it should totally be a redheaded pin up in an apron, thus making her look like me.  Being the wise little brown noser he is, it was at this point Meatball dropped the line about how if it is a pin up of me she'd have to be clever and pretty but wondered how we could fit all the awesome on to the surface of my mixer.

Well played, Meatball.

But I will still shave your eyebrows if I catch you swearing in sign language.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

y'all are my "liebsters"

Being the geek I am I googled Liebster because I had no idea where the name of the award came from.  It means "favorite" in German.  I feel smarter.

I also feel a bit stunned that there is anyone reading this blog, never mind wanting to give me a "chain-maily blogger award" ... *sniff*  Well, I am not exactly hard to please, but seriously I am stoked.

So my metaphorical-mind-twin over at Abandon Pretenses named me as one of her picks for the Liebster Award.  She went ahead and turned the requisite "11 things" into "5 things" and while I would have happily read 6 more things on hers I am grateful that she suggested her nominees only do five too.  To my nominees, I leave it up to you.  Traditionalists, go for eleven of everything.  Lazy rebels, go with five.

Rules, such as they are:

1. Each nominee must post 11 things (or 5) about themselves.
2. Answer the 11 (or 5) questions that the person who gave you the award asked.
3. Create 11 (or 5) questions for the people you are giving the award to.
4. Choose 11 (or 5) people to send the award to.  Link and notify them.
5. No tag backs.

Here we go, five random things about me:

1. I am petrified of birds.  No joke.
2. I cannot stand anything coconut flavored, but I sniff coconut scented sunblock like a junkie snorting a line.
3. I haven't been to a dentist in 6 years, never had a cavity before hoping my luck sticks.
4. I knew immediately when I met Paul Bunyan that I would marry him -- and I was NOT one of those sappy love at first sight believers back then.
5. I love to compulsively purchase organizing type things (boxes, folders, etc) with no real plan of how I will use them.  Just the knowledge that I need organization in my life and the hope that this random item will give me that.

My questions to my nominees: (traditionalists do them all, lazy rebels do the first five)

1. What is your greatest pet peeve?
2. If you had a magic wand what is the first thing you would do with it?
3. What made you start blogging?
4. If you could have 5 minutes with any living person on the planet, who would you pick and what would you say or do?
5.  Who do you think has influenced you most and why/how?
6. What is your preferred beverage (alcoholic and/or nonalcoholic)
7. If you could only wear one color from now on, what would it be and why?
8. What is your earliest memory?
9. What do you want to be known or remembered for?
10. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
11. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

So here are the questions Kristen Mae asked:

1. What is your proudest moment?

Sheesh, you assume I am proud of something?  Ha, no seriously, I would say my proudest moment ... I guess it would be receiving my bachelors.  I did it in four years, magna cum laude, and having become a single mother in only my second semester in to college.  It was hard, but dang worth it.

2. What is a moment you wish you could do over?

Don't know that I would if I could.  Most of the ones I think of would alter my life in some way, its best I don't.

Oh except that time where I slipped on nothing slammed my chin into the ground and wound up with this enormous goose egg on my face for like 47 months.  Okay it wasn't that long, but it sucked.  And there was like 30 witness to my grace.  

3. Do you have any tattoos? Why or why not? Describe.

Not yet, I have like 40 planned ones though, does that count?  When I was younger and had money for things like that I was indecisive.  Now that I am decisive, I have no money.  Ain't that ironic.

4. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

A house on the beach.  Well not necessarily ON the beach, but close enough I could hear and smell it.  The ocean soothes me in ways nothing else can.  It is a cruel twist of fate I live in a land-locked state.

5. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

Other than having children?!?!

I did narrowly avoid a terrorist bombing once.  Only I was so drunk I had no idea until the next day.  I'm so smooth.

And my nominees ... the Liebster Award is supposed to go to people with fewer than 200 followers.  All of these people are just plain awesome and should have well over the 200 but don't yet.

I'm Walkin' On Sunshine

You're welcome, now that song can be stuck in your head all day too.

So Sue at Diapers or Wine? thinks I am a ray of freakin' sunshine.  So much so that when needing to pick only five peeps to pass the Sunshine Award on to, she deemed me worthy of such a short list.  Maybe she's hitting the wine a bit much (hey, friends share!) but whatever her reasons are, I am certainly grateful.

So on to the nitty gritty.

The Sunshine Award

The conditions of this award are to answer the eight questions below, and nominate 10 5 other awesome bloggers.  The Questions:

1. What is your favorite Christmas/festive movie?

A Christmas Story, without a doubt.  I will never pronounce the word "fragile" as anything other than the Italian "frahjiley."

2. What is your favorite flower?

Bird of paradise, but the calla lilly is a close second.  Or any that my husband gives me ... which would be none.

3. What is your favorite non – alcoholic beverage?

Dr. Pepper runs through my veins.

4. What is your passion? 

Writing, painting, and my family ... but not necessarily in that order.

5. What is your favorite time of year?

This is a toughie, I love summer because of the immediate connection I have between vacations and summer.  But in general I think I love fall.  The weather here is perfect and we can actually go outside without dying.

6. What is your favorite time of day?

Early morning when I am the only person alive in the house.  Solitude, sweet glorious and intensely short-lived solitude.

7. What is your favorite physical activity?

LOL does anyone not think something dirty here?  Am I just a perv?  My mind naturally goes where it is socially inappropriate, what can I say?!  But seriously, I would have to say running or swimming -- especially if either are at a beach.

8. What is your favorite vacation?

Anything at a beach.  A tropical one, none of this cold beach business!  Paul Bunyan and I were married on Maui and I would willingly sell a kidney to go back.

Now for my nominations.  This is actually quite a toughie because there are so many people who really have fantastic blogs that make me smile for whatever reason.  Each of my nominies makes me smile for different reasons, all of them are passionate and share that passion in some way on their blogs.

who would award an arse like me?

So it would seem I am an ass.

Well, a bigger one than I already knew I was anyway.

Two of my fellow bloggers -- Sue Diamond-Phillips at Diapers or Wine? and Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense -- both of whom are amazing and incredible and you need to follow them** if your aren't already, picked me for a blogging award.  I know, I was floored by that too ... but then I was all stuck in my pity party and going from one rains-it-pours-type thing in my life to the next and I completely forgot about one, and missed the other.

So I am an ass.  But a very humble, thankful one at least.

Now both of the totally bad ass women who nominated me for something cut the amount of people down that they were supposed to pass on the award to.  I am going to follow their leads because, 1.) I'm new to this whole thing being that this is my first and second blog awards, 2.) Being lazy is for the cool kids and I am doing two awards here so I figure this would be an okay time to slack a tad.

I am doing the responses and nominations in separate posts, but they will all be part of today.  My OCDishness is getting twitchy because I hate multiple posts on one day and I really dislike that this one will be the last in my feed ... but I will get over it and get to work.

Off to write about me and pick some other awesome blogs to share!

Basking in my giddy non-humility for a moment.

<--these are my awards -->

** Disclaimer: Word of advice, please do not read either blog whilst needing to go potty, you might pee laughing. But seriously, two awesome ladies.

Monday, November 12, 2012

plotting, fear, and parenting

Recently we had some child-less friends over.

No, no, no, not that kind.  I know you immediately read "childless friends" and pictured the people you silently wish demon children on because they have parenting aaaaallll figured out already.  The ones who will never swear in front of their children and will teach them to sleep in on weekends while always saying please and thank you and loving their broccoli.  Pssh, right.   

These aren't those kinds of friends.  Generally, we run those people off when we explain that a chilled beer can makes a great teething toy for your baby -- true story!

Anyhoo, the good kind of friends without children -- the ones you quietly envy because they can do shit like sleep in occasionally -- came over and we were having a great time.  At some point in the evening I opened a cabinet door up and realized I hadn't told Paul Bunyan of my recent dollar store splurge.

Oh yes, silly string.

One can for me, and one for the mister.

The best part of being married to someone who is so totally your soul mate is that you never have to explain your plotting, they just get it.  And he got it, because when he saw two cans of silly string in an out-of-kids-reach-cabinet he knew precisely what it was for.

The Meatball ambush.

Here is some unsolicited parenting advice for you -- cuz all parents just love that stuff! -- fear is an amazing parenting tool.

Don't get stupid on me now, please know that when I say "fear" it ain't the call CPS kind.

Its the "holy crap, is my dad really chasing me down the hall  with a machine gun style Nerf gun?" kind of fear.  I still regret not getting pictures of that one.

But Monsieur Bunyan and I will not fail to get pictures of the Great Silly String Ambush.  I might need to bring a third party in on it because it will be hard to capture these lovely memories while squeezing that trigger.  But if I needed assistance, we have plenty of people I am sure who'd be willing to offer a hand, as evidenced by the reaction the room had to our discussion.

It was at this point that I offered my theory on parenting children and fear: the key is to be totally inconsistent.  See, children thrive on consistency and routine, all true.  But as they age and start to be independent and hormonal and stuff you have to shake things up a bit.  So if your child knows you will embarrass the crap out of them, they will purposely avoid situations in which you could ever see anyone they might know.  But if you are the cool mom/dad sometimes ... then BAM sneak attack a "bye bye Bubbykins, have a great day at school! Mommy looooooves you!" every now and then at drop-off in front of other students, you have real power.

So now the question is when and where?  I won't do the silly string at school because that would be disruptive as hell (still have enough of the teacher in me).  So the plotting continues ... and pictures and an update will eventually come ...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

it was so difficult to do, and I miss it

In 2006 I got this completely impulsive and uneducated idea that I should do the 3 Day.  I say impulsive and uneducated because honestly I had no idea what I was signing up for and was already registered when the full magnitude of what I'd agreed to hit me.  It is a 60 mile walk y'all.  Seriously, how did I not GET that before I hit "sign me up?"

I am glad I didn't learn more, I might have let myself talk me out of it.  I wound up being a proud participant in this even from 2006 all the way through 2012.  I have walked with broken bones, bulging disks, and pregnant.  Because, well, I would take any of those over cancer.  

2010's (I think?) raffle prizes
After the first year of blindly stumbling I realized that the 60 miles is the easy part, the fundraising is the nightmare.  At that time you had to raise a minimum of $2,200, today it is $2,300 I believe.  My aunt was through the worst of her treatment and wanted to walk so I started a team with a catchy name and it was me, my mom, my sister, my aunt, and two close family friends.  We did it, we raised over $13,000 that year as a team we all walked nearly the whole thing with only a few exceptions.  

This replayed itself year after year.  We had others walk with us some years, some friends or family Crewed the event instead of walking but still had to raise funds.  With such a huge amount of family walking it meant our fundraising pool was limited, so I had to get creative.  We made t-shirts, had a website, and I spent easily 20 hours a week on fundraising, some weeks more.  Lots more.  Every year we had an event that we would raffle stuff off at and it took a huge amount of begging and hearing "no" before I could get it to happen each year.

And it was worth it.  

2006  rented trucks and tents
I wept crossing that finish line every year.  It is now and always has been something I am deeply proud of.  The work, the fundraising, and being part of something that really was more powerful than any words could ever describe.  The walking was hard, but it was three of the most fun days all year.  No joke.  

But the event had changed.  In 2006 the tents were blue and orange and the numerous trucks that hauled all the gear and equipment around were Budget and Ryder rentals.  By 2012 all of those trucks, trailers, and RVs where owned by Susan G Komen and had logos specific to the 3 Day emblazoned all over everything.  Our tents were hot pink and everything was Komen's.  In 2006 my registration wasn't terribly expensive, but I got a t-shirt, buttons, a water bottle, and all sorts of "free" materials to hand out or aid me in fundraising.  By 2012 I had none of that but the minimum had gone up as had the registration.

Then 2011 happened.

One of the trucks post-2008 walk
Now, I am not wanting to wade into a pro-life or pro-choice debate because for as worthwhile a discussion as I think it is IT IS NOT ABOUT CANCER.  I do not feel it is appropriate to talk about cancer and birth control or abortions in the same breath unless you are discussing something medical.  But no one was.  People were just polarized on a moral/political issue.  Again, while it was important I felt it was horribly inappropriate.  

The very first year I had walked I had a man come up to me at a solo fundraiser and yell at me that I was supporting the murder of babies by supporting Komen.  I had no idea what he was even talking about and so I researched it after the fact.  What he was apparently referencing was a grant in which Planned Parenthood received money to purchase mammography equipment in four different counties of my state.  This had happened all over the nation.  The requirements were incredibly rigorous, there is no way that Komen's money went to pay for any of the other numerous services Planned Parenthood provides.  But I guess the opposition is that if Planned Parenthood is NOT having to spend money on mammograms it opens up their money to spend on the other things people don't always like.  
2006 tents at camp
Home away from home.

As a person who spent 6 years in the trenches fundraising for Komen after learning this, you can gather at least that I felt the affiliation was one I could get behind.  But it came up regularly.  It was hard enough to fundraise, to ask people to part with their money for Breast Cancer in a pink-washed world where their toilet paper has pink ribbons on it and an economy is already tough.  To add the additional debate of "do you support Planned Parenthood" or more honestly "do you define yourself as pro-life or pro-choice" made it only more complicated.  But again, I kept going because I felt it was worth it.

Then Komen had a change in authority and some policies and Planned Parenthood was dropped.  Then people got mad, and Planned Parenthood was back.  
2009's sea of pink tents
Still, home away from home

What upset me more than the "drop" was the complete lack of conviction to make a financial decision for the betterment of your organization and stick with it.  Since you could change your mind so quickly, oh Komen, did that mean it wasn't a practical decision but rather one motivated by the politics of your new and very openly pro-life, politically oriented senior vice-president of public policy?  

It was around this time that all of us, my whole devoted team with more than  $50,000 donated from us and over 1,500 miles walked by us in prep and at the actual event started to hear a lot of negativity about how Komen's funds are handled.  How much actually makes it to the cause?  How much do staff members make?  How much is Nancy Brinker making annually in memory and honor of her beloved sister Suzie? 

Did I mention how much fun it was?
Lots of people deal with the pain of loss or surviving with
humor.  I love that.  
I am not wanting to add my voice to the clamor of people either in opposition or support of Komen and their policies. 

I just want to make it so cancer goes away.  

By 27 I had already had my own boobs cut into more than once because my risk is high and I had questionable spots.  My mother has a "scare" every year because something looks bad on her mammogram and needs further testing.  My aunt had a double mastectomy, another has had a lumpectomy.  My great aunt passed away from breast cancer.  Numerous other family members have had other cancers -- interesting fact, my grandmother received the exact same chemo cocktail for lymphoma that my aunt had for breast cancer.  

You can bitch about pink-wash all you want, I have my own very mixed feelings on it, but dammit if you cure one you can bring them ALL down.  

The Remembrance Tent.
We would write why we participated on these,
every city would have one.
I want to live in a world where "everyone deserves a lifetime," the 3 Day's official motto and catchphrase, because I believe it is true.  I believe it can happen. 

I need it to, we all do.

But it breaks my heart that something like this can turn into a political debate.  That I even have to wonder where the money my donors so generously gave went.
I will  always support the fight against cancer, but I will have to support it in a different way now.  To no longer have the experience of those three days and the powerful impact it always had on me ... well just as I know no words to describe how awesome it was, I know no words that can describe how totally heartbroken that makes me.  

At the Closing Ceremonies the Survivors all walk in last, together.
We would all take off one shoe to salute them as they entered.
This is why we walk, so that there are more Survivors.