Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The 840 Adventure

First of all, let me start by saying that driving from West Tennessee to North Georgia on the Sunday after Thanksgiving is a giant pain, especially when it rains the entire trip. It took 9 hours instead of 6. Someone asked me what time we got home and I replied, "I don't know, I just know it was really late." Then Rocky pointed out that we were home by 7, it only felt like 2 in the morning.
The one high point of the trip was that we decided to take the unfinished I-840 loop instead of driving through Nashville (smartest thing we did all day). They have only been building this road since we moved to GA 10 years ago, and it still isn't done, but I digress. The day before, my aunt and uncle had done a test run for us and sent back direction. This was extremely helpful because after 840 stops there are absolutely no directions pointing you to how to get back on. There aren't even hints of where to go. State highways are not marked, and good luck getting a data signal strong enough to get gps. This is probably why there wasn't another car in sight for miles.
When we first started thinking of taking this path I looked it up on Google maps. It looked like a large stretch of the road was newly completed, which would make the drive a piece of cake. It was going to be 2 or 3 turns on major roads. What Google doesn't tell you is that although the road is complete, the exits are not, and they will dump you in the middle of nowhere with no warning.
It took use exactly 1 hour to go from one side to the other. This means we loss no time and didn't have to drive through Nashville in the rain (win!). We also got to drive through the extremely cute town of Leiper's Fork where a bunch of the country music folks live (and live very well, I might add).
The drive was pretty, it was different scenery, and we got to see the castle, which always makes me smile. Who builds a castle in the middle of Tennessee? You may recognize it from the Taylor Swift video "Love Story" (they still make music videos? huh).

Anyway, to sum up, interstate traffic, bad; bypass, need directions but good; music videos, still made

*additional info
here is the video, and the castle is in there a good bit. It's a cute song, but I can't help but wonder if she has ever read Romeo and Juliet or The Scarlet Letter (I do not think it means what she thinks it means).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Harsh Words For Black Friday

Fair warning, I'm not a fan of what Black Friday has become. If you are of the opinion that it is good fun and great deals then you may want to stop reading now.
I've worked retail during Thanksgiving and actually enjoyed the crazy pace of the day after, but that was before the early openings and lines around the building. I understand the history of the day. It is, or was, the kick off to the Christmas shopping season. It marked the day that retailers started turning a profit for the year (hence the "black"), but you probably already knew this.
I feel like they are sucking all of the fun out of Thanksgiving, and even stealing joy from Christmas. When you go into the stores right now you will not see Thanksgiving decoration unless they are in the clearance section. I really think that if our country wasn't so attached to the food we eat on Thursday then there would be a bigger push to start sales then. After all, it isn't very politically correct to stop in the middle of the week and be thankful to God for the blessings of the year, but frying a turkey and opening a can of gelled cranberries is sacred in the U.S.
A few years ago I did wake up early to see what I was missing. We drove past Best Buy and saw people in a line wrapped around the building. There were hundreds of people waiting for something the store had maybe 6 of. We went into Walmart where there were even more people waiting with police guards standing buy. The clerks had a palette with the cheap giant t.v.s stacked up waiting to be grabbed. They were standing on the counters so that they wouldn't get run down when the sale started. The frenzy and mood of the crowd was frightening. I was glad I was standing back and not there for any of the special items.
There is no Christmas cheer in this bunch. It brings out the worst in people and greed rules the day instead of grace. The stories of theft, violence, and just plain meanness makes me sad. I miss it being a fun day where part of the family watched football and the others went out on a nice shopping trip. I may go out on Black Friday, but it won't be before lunch. I will not be playing the game no matter what unbelievable deal is in the paper Thursday. No amount of discount is worth that scene to me.
I tend to get a little irritated thinking about the number of people standing in line for hours in the cold on a holiday, knowing that most of these people won't stand in line for ten minutes, inside, in order to vote. I suppose we could offer people a chance to buy a computer or television for $100 at the polls, but then again maybe it's best that not everyone votes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Not My Family

It has been a while since I have fired off a good complaint letter. I hardly ever get a reply that isn't a form letter, but it makes me feel better to say my peace.
Today's "hate" mail is due to the advertising shown during ABC Family's Harry Potter Weekend. In all fairness, some commercials come from your cable or sat. provider and my not be their fault, but given their track record, I thought a reminder of the "family"part of their channel was overdue regardless.
Here is what I sent:

"I'm not entirely sure you are to blame for this issue, but I want to cover my bases. It is in regards to advertising aired.
My family and I were enjoying your Harry Potter weekend right up until a semi pornographic commercial aired for Lifetime Movie Network. It turned our nice Sunday afternoon into a sex-ed class for our 7 year old. I know that my definition of "family" often varies from yours, but it never occurred to me that I'd have to worry about that during Harry Potter.
I own the Harry Potter movies and can easily watch them in my DVD player instead of on your channel. If the advertising continues to be R rated I will be forced to block you just like I block LMN.
In short, I'm recommending more Crayola and less under garments, more Nintendo and less casual sex, more family and less making babies."
I'm actually looking forward to the day when televisions customize your advertising like Facebook does. I know a lot of people see it as an invasion of privacy to have your trends tracked, but I rather enjoy seeing less ads for things I don't need. I also like to mess with it by occasionally posting things like "monkey herding" just to see what the computers come up with for me.
Wouldn't it be great if ABC Family had to change their name due to truth in advertising? But then what would they be? "ABC marketed to teenagers but horribly inappropriate and actually watched by middle aged housewives" is just too long.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

LL Cool JD

Did you know that LL Cool J actually stands for "Ladies Love Cool James"? I bring this up because of my title. My 7 year old son has more game than most guys who are 27, and I'm not exactly sure how it happened. Girls get all giggly around him. I'm not just talking about little girls his age either. Young, old, and in between, he has them all enchanted. My mom suggested I could write a book entitled "Raising Prince Charming". She might be on to something.
This week he has a 7 year old stalker of sorts. She realized where we live while trick or treating Halloween. Then we ran into her at a restaurant. This week she gave JD her number and told him to call to arrange a play date. (not on my watch!) What tickled me most was that JD doesn't have a clue that this little girl is after him. Her giggling, blushing, and batting eyelashes say otherwise.
I've been trying to figure out what he has that is so different, and a few things have popped out at me.
1. He has an older sister which means he isn't afraid to talk to girls, knows what girls are interested in, and has an insight some men never get
2. Rocky is complimentary of me, and JD has picked this up. He knows when a woman is dressed up, and says so. He is quick to say, "You look nice today" or that he likes your new hairstyle. As he gets older, he is also good about not saying what he doesn't like.
3. He has a great sense of humor. I know people don't usually mean it when they say they look for a sense of humor first, but even if it isn't first on the list, it is still on the list. He isn't a class clown type, or a joke a minute guy, he is just witty and quick and off the cuff funny.
4. He is adorable. Those big eyes and extra long dark eyelashes just melt your heart. I've had strangers stop me to comment on his eyelashes since he was born. I think they may have some sort of magical properties. I know I can't look him in the eye when he is in trouble. If I did, he'd never get punished.

We are going to have to work hard to teach him respect for women and restraint, or 10 years from now we are going to be in serious trouble. Let me just go ahead and apologize in advance to all of you out there with daughters who will one day be charmed by my prince. We are doing our best, but I can't help but think that hearts will be broken over those magic eyes of his.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Thankful in ALL things

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
I Thessalonians 5:18

Last year I challenged my friends to be creative when listing the things they are thankful for in November. Here is the original post Randomly Thankful. It was a huge success from where I sat. Not only did it challenge me to find the smaller joys in life, it also helped me know my friends better, and find common links we didn't know we had.
Make no mistake, I am extremely thankful for the big things. My salvation through Christ, my husband and children, household employment is a big one this year, and the family and friends I have are an enormous blessing. I can not possibly be thankful enough for these things, but they are also the things I remember to be thankful for year round.
I wanted to explain this because from the surface, my Facebook status posts might seem trivial or mocking, but I am honestly searching my life for little things that come my way that I should be thankful for. When you see my posts you can be sure that no matter how silly it might seem, it is something that I have actually stopped my day to thank God for putting in my path.
When I read over the Bible verse at the top, something struck me. God never promises us that we will have a happy life, but He does wish for us to be happy with our life even when others can't see reason for it. It is the will of God that we find something to be thankful for no matter what is going on. Some days it is easy to find things, and others it might come down to being thankful that the day is over.
Once again, I am challenging myself (and you, if you'd like) to be thankful for something different. Something you don't usually take the time to realize as a blessing. If you are on Facebook, then use your status and spread the fun.