Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Jeopardy Audition

Back in January or February I took the online test to become a contestant on Jeopardy. They of course ask where you could travel to for an in person interview should you do well enough on the test and get randomly selected for such an interview. Luckily Charlotte was one of the choices listed!! Usually it is Atlanta, or Raleigh, so I was thrilled to see my home city on the list. I felt really great about the online test. i thought it was super easy and felt like I had done really well.

About a month ago I received an email stating that I had qualified for an in person interview here in Charlotte. I confirmed that I would be there and they sent me all the information and directions etc. So for the past MONTH I have been studying world capitals and opera and writers and currency and flipping through trivial pursuit cards like crazy.

So yesterday the big day finally arrived! I woke at 2am, my mind racing, sweating with nervousness. I finally got back to sleep at 330 and slept until 7. When I got up I didn't feel nervous. I was surprisingly calm and cool and collected.
I got dressed and totally worked the hair and make-up. I don't think I have ever looked so good.
We had to wear something as if we were actually on the show. (apparently one lady will wear a track suit for her appearance...and talk on her cellphone.

I had to drive uptown to the Westin and fill out paperwork, and get my Polaroid taken(which was a lovely pasty white close up of my huge head. I would have to say that my drivers license picture is better than the one they took.
Well we sat at tables in groups of three and had a piece of paper for our written test. It was all computerized. On the large screen the question popped up with a category and we had 8 seconds to write down our answers. It was 50 questions. I knew all but 3.

then they randomly chose 3 people at a time to come up front and play a mock version of Jeopardy.
They showed us how to use the buzzers and the right time to ring in. There are lights that go on when you can ring in and if you buzz in too early you are locked out for 1/2 a second, giving the other players an advantage.
BUT they did tell us to click that buzzer up and down , not just one click. So that is why you see those contestants clicking away like there is no tomorrow. But the coordinators were very helpful in telling us "be louder!...be happier!! You are ringing in too early! You are ringing in too late! You were right on the money!" So they really helped us get a feel for the buzzers.
Then we had to tell a little bit about ourselves and go through the personality interview and testing. We had to bring in 5 facts or interesting things about ourselves, and they asked us questions, just like Alex Trebek. So we really had to be personable and interesting.
A few people were a little over the top. Some people thought super highly of themselves. Some people were kind of blah.

But after 2 1/2 hours of interviews and testing it was time to go. I was informed that I was now entered into the Jeopardy contestant pool for 18 months.

SO they can call me within the next 18 months to appear on Jeopardy. If they don't use me or don't call then I can re-test in another 18 months.

I am really happy I did it. I feel really good bout my interview. I feel like they really liked me and I knew all my questions and did really well on the written test.
So who knows, you may be seeing me win a buttoad of money on Jeopardy someday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You must use the force...




I LOVE this video. so clever. My kids have listened to it about 450 times over the past week. (finn is SUPER into Star Wars, so anything with SW in it he has to watch over and over and over again)

I actually saw this video several months ago but until now havent put it up on my blog.
Yes, John WIlliams is the man. but I do notice that not a single star wars song is used throughout this tribute....hmmm.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

sometimes it is really hard

The other day I heard someone say
" You will always love your kids. But it is Ok to not like them sometimes"

There are days where I find this excessively true.
I LOVE my children. They are my flesh and blood. I carried them, birthed them, raised them, potty trained them, have sent them off to school and have seen them grow up a mile a minute.
I am constantly amazed by their accomplishments and how quickly they learn.
I am flabbergasted by Peters resilience and dumbfounded by Finns Natural Ham and Class clown abilities.
I am always laughing at things Finn says or does. Despite the fact that I am always getting notes home about him being a social butterfly, he is still a great kid. Actually when I was his age my parents were always getting notes home from the teacher "Sarah needs to concentrate on her own schoolwork instead of being concerned with others around her" or "Sarah needs to stop talking all the time" or "Sarah really needs to stay in her seat and focus on her schoolwork instead of cavorting around like a social butterfly". Honestly Finn and I could have had the exact same teacher. It is practically identical.
I am always proud of Peters improvements in school and never lets his disability get in his way.
I love the fact that peter will try anything once. He eats his fruits and vegetables and LIKES them. I love the fact that he has been working extra hard with his gym teacher working on his endurance and speed and has been doing so well.

But, I wont lie. There are times where I dont really LIKE my children. Days where one innocent bump with a hotwheels into the others transformer suddenly turns into an all out brawl with head butting, kidney punches and hair pulling.
Days where I ask them to do one little thing, like take their lunchbox out of their backpack and put it on the counter, and within moments i am a horrible mother, asking them to donate their left Kidney to needy children.
Days where Finn asks every 27.4 seconds "Mom can I play the Wii?". I say No and it is an all out cry-and-whine fest.
Days where I catch them on the trampoline jumping and crashing against the net on purpose because they are playing spiderman. Now I have a trampoline with a broken net and they cannot jump until I find zip-ties big enough to fix it.
Days where I cook dinner and immediately they say "ewwww I hate that" before even trying it.
Days where we stop by my parents house to drop something off and I tell them ahead of time "We are only here to drop this off. We are not going in, we are not staying" and as soon as they get there they leap out of the car and head into grandmas house. Then when I say "come on time to go" they launch into screaming, agony and endless woe. It is like leading them to the Guillotine.

I was watching Oprah a few years back and it had some stay at home moms on there who really told it like it was. They didnt lie and say ';Ohhhh I love my kids. I just LOOOOVVVEEE being home with them. I adore every precious second" and other platitudes.
Some of them said "Yeah, 10% it is fantastic and I love it. The other 90% sucks." one lady even said "I really hate it sometimes."
Of course she had on the opposing viewpoint who CLAIMED they always loved their kids and being a mom was their greatest joy in life and they never felt anything but absolute adoration and joy with their kids. BLAH BLAH BLAH and total BS.
REALLY?? I find that endlessly hard to believe. In fact I think that is a downright lie. I dont think it is possible to feel endless joy and nothing but wonderful goodness with your kids all the time. I think there must be sour so you can savor the sweet. I think women need to feel like we dont like our kids on occasion so when they do something amazing it is even more wonderful.

So honestly, although i will always love my kids unconditionally, I do not always have to like them.

And I dont even feel bad for saying that.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A saturday in the sun

I know it sounds totally glamorous. Basking in the sun, getting a nice golden tan to go with my beautiful beachy bridesmaid dress next month...sadly 'twas not the case.
I am more a hot sweaty red mess than anything. Oh and my hair is a fright. I am really pretty today you know. The only way i could be even prettier is if I had spinach stuck on my front tooth.

 We tilled and raked and sifted garden plots. We bought bags of cow manure compost to mix in with it.(yes, I am up to my elbows in cow pooh. But apparently it is really good for the soil and this year my garden needs all the help it can get.)

We mowed the lawn out front.

 We picked up dog toys, downed tree limbs and branches and junk in the back. We mowed the HIP HIGH grass in the backyard.
It isnt that we are lazy. Really I am not as rednecked as I sound. I promise.
But it has been raining a lot and so today was the first day that the yard work could REALLY be done. But it is beautiful to have a nice looking yard again. Plus my azaleas are REALLY starting to bloom, so my front yard is a collage of white, red, fuchsia and pink blossoms. Of course there is that Jasmine that has gotten out of control and has climbed about 20 feet up the crepe myrtle tree. But thats another chore for another day.

 Now my neighbor can quit giving me the stink eye every time she goes out to feed those d*** nuisance squirrel pets of hers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

That seemed to work...

When our kids turn 8 and get baptised, they are allowed to pick one place they would like to go and we go there as a family for a vacation.  When Peter turned 8, he chose Disney World. (At first it was Texas. I asked Whats in Texas?" and he said "I dont know, I just think it would be cool. Maybe we could see Sandy the Squirrel".  Once I told him that Sandy was not real and just a cartoon Character, the idea of Texas was no longer that appealing)

Well, after Peters trip Finn got to work. Yes, he still had 3 years before he really needed to be concerned, but he is always thinking ahead.
He, too, announced that Walt disney World would suit him just fine as his birthday/baptism trip.
I did the research, put in dates and kids ages and found out it would cost $______ amount of dollars. SO we set up our coin and tip jar. All of our change, coins and part of my tips go into this jar to help pay for some of the souveniers etc. I even made up this cool picture on Photoshop of Cinderellas Castle with fireworks etc to paste on the outside . Actually it is a giant animal cracker bin from Sams that I washed out and pounded a coin slot through the lid. It works great. I am betting we can get a couple of hundred dollars in coin stuffed into it.  Right now we have about 22$.

WELL thank you Nickelodeon channel. My kids are no longer allowed to watch you.
They showed a commercial for a Nickelodeon Cruise. Said commercial shows promises of sliming and meeting the characters and fun and Games etc. It sails to the bahamas, St Thomas and Puerto Rico. For 1 week. Finn saw this and got it into his head that the Nick cruise was his trip. He REALLY wanted it.  so being the good mom I am, I looked into it.
For a family of four, the bottom basement, cheapest rooms in steerage START at $6000!! SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!! (Oh yeah and this does NOT include airfare to Florida...or spending money...or tips) 
 And it goes all the way up to 17,000 for a royal suite...which by the way are all sold out. Wow, the economy must be suffering. Those poor people only able pay 17,000 for a family vacation. Whatever will they do?? They cant hold their heads with pride anymore.They will be humiliated at the club. (did you hear that Ken and Buffy could only pay $17,000 for THEIR vacation? Uhhhh, they had to go to the Bahamas...")

I told Finn that a Nick cruise is out of the question. It cost WAY too much money. I dont mind going to DIsney World,( which includes our dining plan, hotel, park passes etc. We can drive to WDW in 7 hours. In fact Disney world is 60% cheaper than a Nick Cruise.) In fact we could go to Disney TWICE for the amount of money we would pay for the Nick cruise.
But Finn unmoved. He persisted. begged. pleaded. bugged. annoyed. irritated.
He REALLY wanted to go on this cruise. It is all  heard. 



So I told him the boat sank.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's that time of year again...

Oh my dear FAFSA form...why do you stare at me and say "Oh for crying out loud! Just get out your tax information and fill me out already!! Do you want to go to school or not? Do you want federal aid and grant money??"

For paper it sure is opinionated

I LOATHE FAFSA time.
I would rather scrub the toilets bare handed than sit and fill out all the FAFSA information.

But on the plus side i SHOULD be getting more money this year than I did last year. So all in all it can't be bad. I just hate actually doing it.

blech.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUNSHINE!!

My brother Pat(a.k.a. Sunshine) is 41 today.
how did he get his name? Well he was always such a grouch, so we called him sunshine and it stuck.
One time we were driving past a Shoneys and it said "sunshine special. $3.49"
I laughed and said, HAH, sunshine special!
my mom said "I wonder what it is? Crab cakes and Sour grape juice?"

so Happy Birthday sunshine. I love you.

funny sunshine story:

This is set waaay back in about 1993.
Pat used to go out to the bar after work and come home "not all there".
one night, about 3am, I heard my door open and heard someone come in.
Next thing I know I see my brother at the window on the right hand side of my room. He is trying to open my window. Then I hear tinkling. he was peeing in my air vent. He went out of the room and back to bed, not even paying attention to me,.I thought maybe I had imagined it and it was all just a dream.(a very disturbing dream)
So in the morning I checked the vent, and sure enough he had peed on my floor.
A few nights later the same exact thing happened, except he went to the OTHER window on the left had side of my room and peed on the floor and around the vent. I tried talking to him, but he was sleepwalking or something.
a few nights later he came into my room again. This time he opened one of my drawers. I junmped out of bed and shook him and yelled.

me: PAT!
pat: huh??
me: What are you doing?
pat: hey im in here. get out of the bathroom and wait your turn
me: Pat this isnt the bathroom, this is my bedroom. You are about to pee in my drawer!
pat: huh?
me: This is NOT the bathroom, get out.
pat: oh, crap...

pat ran out of my room and kind of stumbled into the real bathroom.
from that night on i slept with my door locked.
when he got married my friend Lindsey said we should to to Home Depot and get one of those vent covers and paint one side pink and the other side blue abd write "his" and "hers".

Oh sunshine.

happy birthday, even if you are an April Fool.

my new best friend

I was reading my friend Michelles Blog the other day about her new kitchen vacuum. She got one of those quick shine glide sweepers at Walmart and raved about it.

So I decided to follow suit and head to the big W and get one for myself as well. I am tired of lugging the big old Kirby upstairs to vacuum the kitchen etc. I just needed something light that would pick up the crumbs and hair and keep me from sweeping.


I could not find this sweeper anywhere. I checked with the swiffers in the cleaning aisle. I checked with the vacuums in the vacuum aisle. I checked all the end caps and island stands. There were no glide sweepers to be found anywhere.

So I headed back to the vacuum aisle and took a look at what they had there.

I found THIS:

this is the Eureka 4 in 1 stick vac. It has a telescoping handle, and comes with a crevice attachment/tool and a floor attachment. I can use it as a handheld dust buster, or as a little vacuum. It is electric, so it is plug in. I dont have to mess with batteries, or charging it or anything like that. There is no bag, just an arm and hammer filter cup. I just push a button to pop the vac in half, pull out the cup and dump the junk into the trash. Best part was, it was under $20.

Now this is not a vacuum. This is really meant for hardwood floors, linoleum and tile. This is not meant to replace a vacuum for carpet.

BUT it picked up an amazing amount of junk from my floors. It picked up dog hair, pine needles, dust, dirt, crumbs, debris, paper bits etc. It even worked on my area rug under the kitchen table.(it is a VERY short pile carpet, so it isnt a deep cushy rug.

It actually works like a dream on the hardwoods. I put it on the steps to clean up the dog hair dust bunnies that collect there and the crevice tool got into all the hard to reach areas. It was great! Plus it is so small and compact that I can put it in with the broom and mop in my kitchen and it doesnt look like a vacuum in the middle of the floor.

Really great for bathrooms and kitchens. Plus it weighs only 2 or 3 pounds so you can just take it with you and not have to worry about banging your ankle with a vacuum as you try and lug it up and down the stairs(personal experience)

so Thank you michelle for blogging about your new kitchen vacuum. I am sorry they were out of them, but I am happy that I found my Eureka! It is my new kitchen best friend!!