Showing posts from April, 2010

Hey, neighbor

Last night I attended a local crime watch meeting. There was what I considered a decent turnout, probably about 75 people, though less than one of the first meetings, which had close to 200.

Crime, for the most part, has gone down in my neck of the woods. Fortunately, the police caught a daytime burglar last year, which resulted in burglaries dropping from an average of about 31 per month to about 11 per month. What is interesting to me is how the burglar was caught. A woman came home to see a guy getting into a car in her driveway. She was fortunately able to provide a good description of the perp and the car to the 911 operator (more fortunately, the perp just wanted to get away and not hurt her). This information enabled the police to locate the car/perp, although the officer in pursuit at first did lose him. Fortunately again, another resident noticed this car speeding away, so he pulled over on the side of the road and flagged down the officer to let him know in which direction …

Would fairies really do that?

If I had the energy or the desire, I would do some research on the tooth fairy. Whose brilliant idea was it for kids to leave their newly departed teeth under their pillow only for some fairy to sneak in and replace it/them with money? And what happens to all these baby teeth?!

Jordan lost her first tooth yesterday. Actually, I pulled it out as that little thing was barely hanging there. For about 10 to 15 minutes my kid cried hysterically, convinced she was dying (there was quite a bit of blood). After the first few minutes I was really wishing Brian was there; I just could not calm her down. Eventually, she let me take her picture, and I texted it to Brian, her grandmas and her aunts. It seemed like a big deal only because that little pearl managed to stay in her mouth loose for weeks. Other than that, I don't get the fuss.

I would have loved to forgo the whole tooth fairy facade because I think it is kind of silly. I feel the same way about the Easter Bunny (for the record, I lo…

Doing my part

As I have mentioned before, I am very anti-litter. I have called the Pennsylvania Recycling and Litterbug (1-888-LITTERBUG) hot-line dozens upon dozens of times to report people throwing trash out their car windows. I go around my neighborhood many times throughout the year to pick up litter. If I see trash in a park and there is a nearby garbage can, I dispose of it properly.

Last month, once the snow melted, I noticed the large amount of trash left behind an empty lot at the bottom of our street, a lot from which I have picked up trash numerous times. This time I decided I was tired of cleaning up after everyone else, so I called code enforcement. The person I spoke with said she would try to get in touch with the owner of the lot, but it may take a few weeks for anything to happen. Much to my surprise, in just over one week, I saw someone picking up litter from the lot. I am not sure if that person was a concerned citizen like I, or if her picking up the trash was a direct result o…

The look

As I read and hear about the latest Big Ben accusation, I am reminded that he has a family. Two parents (a father and step-mom, but I consider them his two parents nonetheless). A sister. Not sure about anyone else. And I can't help but wonder how must they be feeling and reacting to all this, even though he is an adult.

As I was thinking about what they are going through, I am taken back to a fall evening during my senior year in high school. My parents were supposed to be gone overnight. I told a few friends about this and was planning to have a handful of them over. I walked to the local grocery store, bought a bottle of pop and a bag of Doritos (yes, I remember exactly what I bought over 21 years ago, but I can't remember half the things people tell me five minutes later). When I arrived on my doorstep, about six or so friends were waiting for me, with some "adult" beverages. Later on, probably another three or four showed up as well. Those details are a little f…

11 years going on 20

Brian and I have been married 11 years today. As I said last year, it does not feel a day over 20 years!

Last year at this time, we were trying to adjust to being together a lot since I had recently been laid off. One year later, in some ways we are still adjusting. One of my friends (and former coworkers) works with her husband. They don't work directly together, but the company is small (even smaller now!), so they see each other often. I have said then and I will say now, I don't know how they do it.

Obviously what works for one couple does not work for everyone. But I think a big part of it is choosing the right person to begin with. I am always touched when I read about someone who married his or her soul mate. Personally, I am not sure about the idea of soul mates (but I believe it works for some). I remember back in 1996, when I was at a dinner for an engaged coworker. Someone asked me if I thought Brian was the one. I said I did not know. That person said if I did not…

The Dash

Someone read this poem at a funeral yesterday. I seem to recall hearing it once before, but I thought it was worth sharing. You can read more about the author as well as her poems here.

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.

He noted that first came her date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the “dash” between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars...the house...the cash,
what matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our “dash.”

So think about this long and hard...
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and alwa…

It makes me angry

I am spitting mad about the whole Ben Roethlisberger thing. Well, maybe not spitting, but definitely yelling mad. In fact, pretty much every time something about him (and particularly his voice) has come on the radio the last few weeks, I scream, often something like, "@sshole!" Of course, he is not the only jag-off on that team.

I have never had a problem with the pay athletes receive. They entertain me, sometimes actually bring me joy, and I don't believe that we all should be making the same amount of money. I am all for capitalism. But as I continue to read about the crap these people (see previous post, from last week) are doing, I am starting to change my stance.

I don't buy the whole athletes-are-heroes idea. Teachers, doctors, nurses, firefighters and police officers, volunteers, parents especially. Those people should be heroes. But the reality is that kids tend to look up to sports stars. So when Big Ben, looking all WWE, said he wanted to be a role model …

People, seriously

Well, I waited a day to pen my latest rant, so without further delay, here it is: Some people kind of suck.

Let me start off by saying that I am not perfect; I have many faults, most of which are readily apparent to those who know me. But I really make an effort to treat those around me--family, friends, and strangers--just as I want to be treated. With kindness and compassion. I try to give a little. And I truly believe if people treated one another better, if they focused more on others and less on themselves, we could solve a lot of the world's ills.

But lately it seems as if every time I open up the paper, read a magazine, or go online, I am bombarded by the transgressions of some celebrity (music, TV, movie, sports or otherwise) or politician. I sometimes wonder if it is not so much that people have gone downhill, but more that thanks to technology, we just get to find out about every bad deed five minutes after it happened. Or have we as a society become so self-centered, e…

If I won the lottery

Do you ever ponder what you would do if you won the Powerball or some other lottery? I know some of you dear readers would never buy a ticket, because of the whole throwing money away thing. I, on the other hand, buy a Powerball ticket a few times a year, because you just never know. Remember, I am surprised every year I don't win my church's big raffle. (I bet this will be the year.)

I have actually put a lot of thought into what I would do with this found money, if I ever win. If only I put this much energy into expanding my skills or making the world a better place.

Anyway, I thought I would list how I might spend that money, as it stands today. Of course the amount of money I win would affect where it goes, but I am assuming I would come away with 500k.

Pay off my house and car. I have a 0 percent interest car loan (which, sorry, Dave Ramsey, I bought new), but if I had some extra big Gs around, I would be happy to end those payments.Open up an IRA. Unfortunately, since I …

Another beautiful day in Pittsburgh

I used to be pretty meh about spring, but this March, much like last March, was a pretty good month weather-wise. Of course, in comparison to the longest February of my and many others' lives, March really had nowhere to go but up. And considering the next few days are going to be in or near the 80s, I am hopeful April will turn out to be just as good or even better.
And with the good weather comes hours spent outdoors. For us, that means going to a park whenever we can. Since Jordan has been off since Tuesday, we have visited two of my favorite parks in and around the Burgh.

Boyce Park last year renovated O'Block Playground. There is now a large play area with slides, ladders and climbing areas, plus a half dozen swings. I like that everything is in one place, so I don't have to worry about my kid wandering off. And when she tires of that or just wants to explore, there are wooded trails we can explore. A noteworthy feature of this playground is it was designed for kids …