Sunday, November 30, 2008

People are idiots

I found this Miss Manners in the paper this morning. I kind of want to punch this reader in the face for being an idiot.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Very often, when making a purchase with our credit card, we are asked by the sales associate to show a picture ID. This is something we find highly offensive, as it is basically a request to prove that we are not attempting to use a stolen card.

When we complain to the clerk (or the manager, who usually gets involved) that the request is offensive, we are invariably told that it is for our own protection. Most of the time, they just don't seem to understand how it is offensive. Is there anything that can be said to let them know that I really don't like being treated like a criminal when I'm trying to enhance their profit margin? I feel like I'm being rude to the clerks when I complain. I know it's not usually their fault (company policy), but that doesn't lessen the affront.

GENTLE READER: Here is how to lessen your feeling of offense:

Leave your credit card lying around some place where there are likely to be disreputable strangers. Then examine your next credit card bill. After that, Miss Manners suggests that you might want to make a sheepish apology to that insulting company.

This Gentle Idiot Reader should only use cash. Always.

Personally, I'm offended when stores DON'T ask for my I.D. I'm also offended when people steal my credit card number and use it to buy ipods at Best Buy.

Offended by Credit Card Theft in Texas

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Remembering to give thanks

Holidays are hard since I don't have my sister anymore. That just takes the wind of the sails for my holidays.

It's not that I have to force myself to be thankful. Sometimes I just have to make myself focus on what I am thankful for so that I don't focus on what is missing.

This year I am thankful for a lot of things, and here are a few . . .

  • I'm thankful that Mamaw could get on a plane and come visit us for Thanksgiving this year. I am so glad to have this time to spend with her, having her all to ourselves.
  • I am thankful for my parents, that both of them are healthy and doing well. They are wonderful, thoughtful, generous, and they both make me very proud. I raised them well.
  • I'm thankful for my parents' dogs, Duke and Daisy, who are currently at Doggie Boot Camp learning how to be properly behaved dogs that don't embarrass us. I miss having them to play with for the holiday, but I'm glad they are learning good things, like not taking running, flying leaps at me when I walk in the door.
  • I am very thankful for my job. First, I am glad to have it in light of current economic situations when many folks do not have jobs. But, I'm also very thankful that it is a MUCH better situation than this time last year when I was working 60-70 hours a week with a lot of stress and very little appreciation. I can actually enjoy my four days off for Thanksgiving with peace and without stress. I worked at home last year for Thanksgiving. NO MORE.
  • I am thankful for flannel pajama pants. I've bought several pairs this year to restock my tired old pants, and these new ones make me very, very happy.
  • I am thankful for friends, new and old. I've gotten to know some fantastic people this year, and I've had more time to spend with old friends. I am continually amazed and blessed by the people God puts in my life. I learn so much from them. They take good care of me. They make me laugh and they put up with my craziness and silly antics. They make me feel as though I have a place of importance in their world. For this, I am thankful.
  • I am thankful for my house and everything in it, and for the financial stability at this time to be able to stay in my house and live comfortably.
  • I am thankful to have enough so that I can give to help others who have needs.
  • I am thankful that I don't have to spend my weekend doing chores or de-leafing. I can truly relax this weekend, which is fantastic!
  • I am thankful for fabric softener, without which I would never be satisfied by how my clothes smell. If I could bathe in fabric softener, I would.
  • I am thankful to be in a good, peaceful place in my world.
  • I am thankful for some of my favorite men in my life, without which my feet would never be comfortable or fun: Chucks and TOMS
  • I'm thankful for Jumbalaya Jeep, who is paid off and running well at the ripe old age of 6 years old.
  • I am thankful for pizza.
I am thankful for so much more than I am sad and missing Miriam during the holidays. But it would be so wonderful to share these things that I am thankful for . . . with her.

I am thankful that I still miss her.

Thankful wishes to all of you!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Tyrant's Favorite Things

If Oprah can have Favorite Things, so can I.

My new favorite thing is for a good cause, plus it addresses my like of fun, comfy shoes . . . a necessity to realize the full potential of The Tyrant.

I recently came to know about TOMS Shoes:

If any of you watch The Amazing Race, Blake from the second place team a few season's ago started this company. But that's not the best reason to buy these shoes.

The best reason to buy the shoes is that for every pair of shoes, t-shirt, hat, whatever sold, they give a pair of shoes to a child.

So, you buy these:

. . . and a child gets those, too. But in their size, of course.

I bought those shoes above a couple of weeks ago, and I fell in love with them. Comfy, simple, fun, and (this may sound silly) but when I put them on I remember that I just gave a pair of shoes to a child who needs some shoes.

So, I bought another pair of shoes. And a shirt. That's two more pairs of shoes for two more children. No tax, no shipping. Just shoes.

For this holiday season, TOMS is hoping to provide 30,000 shoes in Ethiopia. I think that's fantastic.

So, go buy yourself some TOMS. It's the holidays. Make it a present for yourself or a friend or your family . . . and for a kid who really needs some shoes just like yours.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Tyant is Winterized.

It takes very little cold to send me into winterizing mode. I just can't handle being cold.

This weekend was the first real taste of colder temperatures, so it sent me into a cold-be-gone frenzy.

  • I broke out the flannel sheets and electric blanket this weekend. The flannel sheets were so warm and delightful, I didn't even need to turn on the blanket.
  • I finally let myself turn on the heat this morning. I've since turned it back off because it warmed up again . . .
  • I bought new space heaters. I've been using the ones my parents bought for my sister and me when I was in highschool. I decided this year . . . they might be old enough that I should consider them a fire-hazard.
  • I bought sweaters, hoodies, and sweatpants. Everything was on sale this weekend!
  • I washed pretty much every blanket and jacket that I own and that I haven't used since last cold season. I can't help it. I really love fabric softener . . . and snuggling.
  • I stocked up on hot chocolate and all of the ingredients for our family spice tea concoction to make my first batch of the season.
And, for the pinnacle of The Tyrant's winterization . . . I bought this.

Yes, that's a fire pit. I decided this year that I need fire.

Don't worry, I also bought a fire extinguisher . . . but just to be safe, someone should probably put 911 on their speed dial and keep the phone handy for the next few months.

Fire, y'all!


Sunday, November 09, 2008

De-Leafing 2008

I was able to document my day of de-leafing the yard yesterday.

First, I took my family photo in and amongst the fall leavery.

Then I was momentarily lost behind a giant pile of leaves.

Eventually, I collapsed in exhaustion at the conclusion of the de-leafing.

I wrangled 14 bags of leaves.

Also, the bread war continues. I noticed this sitting on top of the fence. But since this fence is not on the side of the yard closest to the bread-throwing neighbor, I can only assume a squirrel put it there, setting it gingerly in a place that I would be sure to find his bread-taunting tactics.

Today, my body hurts. And I am boycotting Yard Bread.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My expectations for the "change."

Now that the election is over and we have our new President-elect, it's time to hunker down accept what is to come. But more important, it's time to hold our future President to the promises he has made that won him his place in our history as the 44th President.

My expectations are the same as they would be even if McCain had won. I voted for McCain (pause for all of my liberal friends to freak out, ridicule, point and laugh, and gloat . . .). But accepting the outcome of yesterday's election, I hold the next President of my country to the same standards as any other President: to lead with integrity and to serve the citizens of this country in such ways that only improve on the situation he has been given.

Even though I did not vote for Obama, I am a huge supporter of coming together as a country, Republican and Democrat status aside, to work together for the greater good. We don't always get what we want, but we must work together to make our country the best it can be and a place to be proud of.

The big selling point for the Obama campaign was "change." But, in all reality, we will always see change in this country, regardless of if we vote for what is labeled as "change" or not. No two presidencies are the same. But we must adapt as a country to whatever change comes our way.

And the true reality is . . . the Commander-in-Chief is not in control. Even if Paris Hilton told us to vote for him, bitches.

But, to gain my full support and the support of fellow Republican voters, Obama and his Democrats have quite a challenge ahead. Yes, it is up to all of you to prove to every one of us that the choice you made is the best choice for our country, not just for a liberal agenda. You've won your change, now prove to the rest of us that we were wrong to vote against your brand of change.

It's time to stop gloating (24-hours is more than enough) and to end the partying and celebrating, and get down to business. The gloating is divisive, so get over it and embrace your fellow countrymen in the name of Obama. You need to rally the country around this change you have chosen for us. You need to reach out across the aisle and help us understand why you are a good change and something that this country needs.

Prove to us that it wasn't just the cool thing to do to vote for our first black President. Throughout this whole campaign, Obama was the hip and cool thing to do, the anti-Bush. The promise of change struck a chord with our GAP Red, MTV, Hollywood-engrossed generation. If the celebrities think he's the right choice, then that should definitely influence my vote, right?

The next four years are not the "cool thing to do." The President is not a popularity contest. The next presidency is not a fad, or a chance to do everything the opposite of the way Bush did it, just because Bush did it. Voting for change is a huge responsibility, and now that we've got the change, the responsibility lies with you to make it work. Again, for the best.

Obama has won a bad situation for himself. He has some huge holes to dig us out of. I do not envy the job he has ahead of him. But, his campaign was full of promises of change and improvement for our situation. I'll agree, some of those promises sound really good. "Sound" being the key word.

He has essentially promised the opposite of the Bush administration's blunders and turmoil, which seems to be what the country wants and has voted to support. However, I doubt Obama wants his presidential legacy to be The Anti-Bush. It's time to rise to the occasion and be the next President.

The majority of the country voted on your promises and on their belief that you can make them happen. Do not let us down.

So, of my next President, I expect the following:

  • Keep your promises and do not stop until you have fulfilled what you promised this country to earn the majority vote. 'Nuff said.
  • Fix the debt. Even just a little bit. $1 trillion is a lot for a first-timer. Do what you can.
  • Don't touch my paycheck. If you can't make it happen for me to bring home more money, I'll be happy if you just don't touch my check at all. Especially in these tough economic times, I need my money and the freedom to choose who I help with it. Let me spread my own wealth.
  • Fix the economy. Be sure to keep in mind the fixing of the debt and the non-touching of my paycheck while you fix our economy.
  • Improve healthcare. I think the word here has been "fix" healthcare. But I challenge you to improve it.
  • Improve the war situation. I know the popular idea (and your promise) is to quickly remove our troops from Iraq. Everyone thinks they know what is best for Iraq. Except me, I don't claim to have any idea. Don't do what is popular, do what is best.
  • Don't make America an easy target for the crazy world around us. It's not necessarily important for us to be popular among the cool countries. It is, however, necessary for us to survive, thrive, and help those we can help. In that order.
  • Fix us first. We can't be of much help to the rest of the world if we are circling the drain ourselves.
Above all else, don't un-do just for the sake of un-doing.

The journey isn't over - it has just begun. Gaining the presidency isn't the real accomplishment. Leading this country out of a bad situation and into a new phase of prosperity, peace, and hope is the real accomplishment that has yet to be realized.

Yes, we can. But . . . will we?