Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm an acter...

I am an acter. I am and no, that is not a typo (unless you count made up words as typos... which they aren't, they are purposeful inventions). I am not an actor. I don't do plays or commercials and I don't get paid millions of dollars to appear on the big screen. I am an ACTER and by that I mean that I act. I take lost dogs home and I take lost children to police officers. I call the police when cars are broken into and I step in when stepping in is needed. I've called police and I've called CPS and I act. I am an acter. I've never given my propensity for action much thought until yesterday when I realized that an entire community of people were not acters. They were watchers, and they watched.

My friend Homa called me and lured me out from under the rock from which I was hiding under to escape the world of news and current events. I haven't watched the news in 100 years, or so it felt (wait...who is the president of the United States? When did someone land on the moon?), and I learned that a 15 year old girl was gang raped in a public place and in front of a crowd of onlookers who did just that... they looked on. I'm sorry, what? Surely I misheard and really the story is that a crowd people were battling each other to be the first to either step in to save the girl or dial 911 to get police on the scene thus saving the girl. Surely I heard wrong and someone thought about saving the girl. But, no. I didn't hear wrong. People watched a girl raped, tortured, sodomized, penetrated with foreign objects, and not just by one person. By a group of boys taking turns in the torture. And a group of people watched. They watched and they twittered about it. And they did nothing.

Everyone I have heard from, be it friends of mine or famous people on The View, have been rightfully appalled by the situation... so how could a massive crowd of people decide that watching such a evil act is ok? I don't get it. Is it our fear of repercussions from getting involved? For example, recently there was a boy in Chicago caught between two rival gangs and he was beaten to death while witnesses did nothing. One bystander was quoted as too afraid to step in for fear of suffering the same beating that was given to (and eventually killed) the young boy. I get that. I can honestly say that as an acter, I would be hard pressed to step into a gang war fearing for myself. But I can damn well say that I would have been dialing 911 so fast that my cell phone numbers would catch fire. And in both situations, the witnesses had phones. In Chicago, the cell phones were used to record this child's death on video and in California, they were used to twitter and text people about the atrocity being witnessed. In neither situation were those phones used to call 911 and alert the police to the crimes without alerting the criminals.

Is it that we are such a self centered society that we no longer care about the fate of our fellow man? Do we get so wrapped up in our own worlds that the screams and pain of another person don't even register anymore? I don't think so, because we rally around breast cancer victims and the families of military men and women killed in battle. We cry for the kids on Extreme Home Makeover for moldy homes and cramped living spaces. Our hearts go out to these people and rightfully so, but when a group of boys are seen torturing a teenage girl... why is that not every bit as heartbreaking and appalling? We are called to action for fundraising walks for everything from Hemophilia to Save the Spotted Owl, but there's no moral obligation to stop the sodomy of a child when you are seeing it IN PERSON? Sure you may not know that girl, but she is someone's daughter. She is someone's sister and someone's classmate and someone's friend. She is someone sharing this planet with you and yet there's no desire to stop her suffering when it takes place right in front of your eyes? And if you are a woman, know a woman, or have a daughter... the next time... you could know the victim of this hateful crime, or, you could BE the victim of this detestable crime... and what if a stranger stood by and let you or your loved one suffer?

Is it that we are we too desensitized to the violence? Is that what causes us to ignore the graphic images of someone being beaten on your very street? Our movies, video games and tv shows show us rape for extra points on certain games and Law and Order: SVU (a show I watch faithfully) gives us images of tortured women on a weekly basis. Does seeing that on tv take away the impact of seeing it in person? Are we that warped that we cannot tell right from wrong anymore because we play the bad guy for fun in video games? We applaud Tony Soprano for his wrong doing because he's charming and has nervous breakdowns, and suddenly our version of hero versus villain has become so distorted that in person, we can't even judge it correctly anymore. Did tv do that to us or is our distortion doing that to tv? Have we become such a violent society that we no longer become entertained by things that don't involve blood bathes and assaults?

I don't know what could cause a group of intelligent people to stand by and do nothing while a person is tortured, defiled and raped, but I think as a country, we need to figure out why this happened. We need to step back and determine what we are doing wrong to make this behavior deemed acceptable. It shouldn't take a bystander law to motivate us to stand up and say that treating people this way is wrong. As a human being, it should be crystal clear what we will tolerate and what we won't. I am ashamed of those people in California and Chicago, and anywhere else where someone watched another person be harmed.... and I am sad to share this world with them. I am an acter... and you should be to.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lessons Learned at the Pumpkin Patch...

1. Always make sure you've gotten your hand stamped and bought your tickets BEFORE you get in the 400 person line.

2. If you are deciding between sneakers and steel-toed boots before going to the patch, and you have a broken toe courtesy of your husband and his oafish vacuuming moves, go for the steel-toe. Yes, you may be walking awhile, but snagging that sucker on a pumpkin vine just isn't worth it.

3. When boarding your hayride back to the mainland, do not be nice. Nice guys get left in the corn field. And no, it's not heaven... it's not even Iowa.

4. If you feel a little claustrophobic from the large crowds, bring along a guy with a horrible, hacking cough. If you ever wondered what it looked like when Moses parted the Red Sea... cough in a crowd of small children.
5. If you decide to get hot chocolate and you don't want to juggle it while picking pumpkins... don't leave it in the stroller unless you are trying to colonize a bee hive in the cup holder.

6. Long lines + cold wind + nap time = DISASTER.

7. While it's all fun and games to pick a HUGE pumpkin when your husband is there to carry it, it is no longer fun when you are the one hauling it out to the parking lot and into the car.

7a. Calling 911 out in the country takes a really long time for the paramedics to reach you.

7b. New rule... children may only pick pumpkins that they can carry themselves.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Psst... H1N1? Is that you?

Ladies and gentleman of cyberspace... I have an announcement. I have become a complete and utter hypochondriac. Yes, this may come as a bit of a shock to some (but not all since I have declared myself as having chronic mono since 5th grade and had at least one brain tumor headache a month since high school), but it's true. And, what is worse, I have turned my hypochondria onto my children. I am like a Munchausen by proxy mom, without the whole psychotic "making them sick" part. They do that part all on their own.

Seriously, my kids are sick all the time. Insert comment from Lori here (sounds like... your kids are the sickest kids I have even known). They get colds like some famous baseball player that I don't know about since I don't watch baseball catches fly balls. Yeah, that analogy didn't really work, huh? In the past it didn't bother me much. I am not a "rush them to the doctor" kinda gal (after all, I learned from my mom who had me play in a soccer game even though I had pneumonia... not that I am still bitter), but suddenly every sneeze isn't just a sneeze anymore... it's H1N1. I wipe their noses with one hand while speed dialing Dr. G or my dad (whoever can get me a year's supply of Tamiflu fastest) with the other.

Tabbi got sick last week, and when she whined about it, I just told her to buck up. Then, the boys got it. I tell them to buck up too, but they just don't listen. I am sure it's a cold. I am pretty sure it's nothing... and then I watch the news and apparently Channel 6 isn't happy unless we are all sitting in our homes wearing surgical masks quaking in our boots (if you wear boots in the house... which I don't. I am lucky to wear socks, but you get my drift). I have received notification that H1N1 is in Tabbi's school, but again, outside of Trisha Shepard's scare tactics, I still didn't really care. Then, H1N1 hit people I know. Suddenly, I feel like I need to be over protective. Is that stream of snot running down Jack's top lip (I just gagged as I typed that) swine flu, or is it the juicy reminder that fall has arrived? Is Will's hacking cough the hacking cough of just a cold, or is this nefarious and scarily named disease ravaging his body while I sit here and google important things like Lady Gaga's clothes or Gossip Girl rumors (not that I really do that... really, I don't)? Do I lose all credibility with my pediatrician's office by running in with every sniffle I hear or do I sit back and wait for the big one? Why am I channeling Haley Joel Osment only I see H1N1. It's everywhere.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Tale of Two Shitties...

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Will. He was horribly afraid of going poopy in the potty unless there was a potty seat available. One day, he was at preschool and his teacher took him to the potty three times, but despite his colon's urging, he was never able to go. Time passed slowly for the young boy and his colon, but eventually his mommy picked him up at preschool and Miss M told the mommy of Will's suffering. The mother took Will by the hand to guide him out of the school but was interrupted by her son's begging to use the potty. The mommy took her son into the bathroom and lo and behold, there was still no potty seat. The mommy perched her frightened son atop the potty and after much hysterical crying, the son finally agreed to try to go. Meanwhile, Will's younger brother decided to explore the bathroom. He really enjoyed the urinals and decided that he would like to stand upon them. The mommy ran back and forth trying to keep the younger son from playing in urine and the older son from flailing about and landing his rear end deep in the potty's soiled waters. Eventually young Will was able to poo and Jack was able to stay away from the pee, and the poop experience was over.

Later that week, Will had gotten more brave about going poop in a big potty. He proudly announced to his mother that he no longer required the potty seat and intended to use the big potty alone. In fact, he bade his mother stay out of the restroom completely while he went, so that he could truly enjoy the big boy potty experience. He almost asked for a newspaper to read when he remembered he didn't know how to read. When he was done in the potty, he called for his mother to assist in the wiping. His mother entered and much to her pride, she saw that Will had successfully pooped. However, much to his mother's dismay, Will had one small error. He didn't open the lid of the toilet.

The End.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Breaking Up with Ben & Jerry

Ladies and gentlemen, today I did it. Today, I started a diet. Oh yes, I have whined about weight on this blog before, but today I am actually doing something about it. So, I am pleased to introduce my new blog: Breaking Up with Ben & Jerry at

I am not going to turn my world into a diet fest, as I hate those people and I don't care if Susan Powder reads that or if the entire cast of The Biggest Loser comes after me (although I hope it's when the season starts and not at it's end because at least I may have a fighting chance of outrunning them pre personal trainer and bootcamp). I hate diet obsessed people. That being said, I do want a journal for any potentional success (and immanent failure... wait, who said that???), so Breaking Up with Ben & Jerry is it. If you're bored, stop by. Have a snack (damn, who keeps interupting my thoughts) and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This and that...

I have a bunch of posts rolling around in my head, but I never seem to have the time or the gumption to write them. After all, real TV is back and I DVR everything. So, if the boys give me some down time, I am usually glued to the boob tube and mesmerized by Real World/Road Rules Challenge or Top Chef or some other kind of brain candy... (wait, don't I have last night's Gossip Girl waiting for me. Crap, better hurry this up).

  • Jon and Kate Plus 8. I never watched the show, and now I am starting to wonder if they never watch themselves on TV either, because they have got to see this nonsense and be humiliated, right? RIGHT??? Kate is controlling... wah wah, Jon. So am I and Mark seems to deal with it just fine. Jon stole their money. Kate withholds his parenting time. Jon is moving to New York. Kate wants the show to go on. I just wonder... we've got what Jon's doing. We've got what Kate's doing. Where'd the 8 go? Is anyone looking out for them in this mess? You know it's a bad sign when people start thinking maybe the Octomom should take Kate's 8, because at this point, even she might do a better job parenting.

  • David Letterman. I still love you, even if you've loved half of your staff.

  • Something is wrong with me. I think I have either had a mini stroke or some late onset of mental deficiency, because I am not right. Yesterday, I got out of the car and was about the shut the door when I thought "oh, I like this song." Then I thought "oh, why is the radio still on." Then I realized oh, maybe I should turn the car off BEFORE I get out and go inside the house. Yeah... Tabbi was there too, so she can testify at my commitment hearing.

  • Sarah Palin. Ok, I just wanted to take a minute to laugh.

  • My good friend Jounice is moving to Wyoming, so if you are one of the other people in that state, say hello to her. You can't miss her... she'll be the African American one. Just be careful if you become her future coworker. If she starts to get frustrated, watch for flying trash cans, because she gets those suckers moving!!!

  • And, a quiz. Is this photo... A.) What I look like before makeup? B.) A star-nosed mole? C.) Lady Gaga's newest video costume?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Plain White Tee

Some women spend their whole lives in search of the perfect little black dress. Some try on 100 pairs of jeans until they find the perfect pair. Not me. I don't wear dresses and as long as I can button jeans and walk on the backs, I am happy. But, I have spent my life looking for the perfect long sleeve white t shirt. It has to wash well, it has to be big enough to not hug my fat rolls, long enough to hide my pooch, and the sleeves have to pass my wrist without covering my hands. This search has been exhaustive. But I found it.

Right around two years ago, I discovered I was pregnant. That pregnancy brought forth the joy of my life. No... not Jack. (Don't get me wrong, he's great and all, but I didn't spend the last 10 years in pursuit of him.) No, it's my white t-shirt... the holy grail of my life. It is from Motherhood Maternity and even though I haven't been pregnant in almost 14 months, I still lovingly don that shirt and embrace its wonder. It has a little bit of stretch so that it doesn't feel like just a plain cotton tee. It has a v neck, but not so low that you HAVE to wear a tank or cami under it. It is long enough and baggy enough (and no... despite it's origins at a maternity store, there were no bows, no ties in the back and no pouches to stick your basketball sized bump in). It fit loosely without looking sloppy and the sleeves were the perfect length. It was is the best shirt I have ever owned. But, now it's gone.

There are two little people in my world who need me for everything. These parasites suck the life out of me on a daily basis. For around 12 hours a day, I am solely responsible for feeding them, cleaning them, diapers, pulling up grunders, playing, interacting, everything. Normally, I don't mind. Sometimes, I even enjoy it. But when Jack gets covered in mud and is crying hysterically.... the whole motherhood thing goes on hold. Do I let him stand there crying, knowing that picking him up would soothe his physical and emotional wounds? Or... do I preserve my favorite, sought after long sleeve white t-shirt. Time stands still as a little, Jackish white cherub angel pops up on one shoulder and a flaming red t shirt wearing Lynn-devil appears on the other. Cherub-Jack whispers "soothe him.... pick him up.... hold your baby until his tears stop... make the pain go away." The devil wears cotton says, "he's not that hurt... he'll stop crying soon... pat his head and save that shirt."

Stupid cherub.

Stupid maternal instinct.