November 6, 2008

Ode to Shopping- A Perpetual Pain (8 Comments)

Filed under: Gripes — The Spider Herself @ 4:35 pm

Ever unprepared for life- that is me. With a birthday coming up and no presents to be found, I scurried off to engage in The Shopping Experience. Now, this may come as a surprise to some of you, but I dislike shopping. It has to do with the painful parting of me and my money.

Around here one doesn’t have a plethora of shopping options- basically it’s one. The Great Out House. Oh well, yes, there is the J.C.Penney store downtown- the one that is so small you could fit about 10 of them in one of their regular mall stores. Plus, the World Wide Web but I was running short on time.

So I headed off to That Place to hunt for the just right gift and also stock up on food. As I wandered the aisles, feeling very out of place because I was about the only one without a cell phone stuck to my ear, I tuned into the Christmas music playing on the loud speakers. Oh Joy. I told myself the advantage to having Christmas come to stores so early was that I had more birthday gift choices. I was trying to find the positive, for once.

But, you know, I just could not get excited about the choices out there. More choices were not necessarily better choices. Everything is plastered with Hannah Montana, BRATZ girls, Princess’ or Barbie. Why can’t they make something without that? Would it not do whatever it was made to do without it? Pajamas used to have cute things on them-hearts, flowers, airplanes- now try and find something as innocent as that. All the things that didn’t have those on them were things that we already owned. The things I liked and thought Birthday Girl would like were things we already had plenty of lying around. I shouldn’t have cared what it was- I should have just bought pink things and called it good. It’s hard and now I dread even more the torturous Christmas shopping experience.

I just don’t get it. I know I am old, my brain is feeble- my children sucked whatever was up there out and we don’t watch much TV but I am so very different? I guess I get discouraged because there isn’t a choice unless I pay a whole lot more (see aforementioned money and parting issues). I may only have one store in town to really shop at but if I had ten I would bet that there still wouldn’t be much choice. I wonder what retailers are thinking when they put some of these things out there. I bet they are thinking “This will really sell!” and the sad part, in my mind, is that it does sell.

September 9, 2008

August 40th, 2008 (2 Comments)

Filed under: Gripes,Life — The Spider Herself @ 3:57 pm

I am allergic to August. (The month, not anyone who happens to be named that as far as I know)

I thought I was doing well this year. Whatever seems to bother me in August wasn’t causing me too much trouble. I thought I was doing the right things this year to hold off the worst of the symptoms.

Yeah. I do tend to get delusional, don’t I?

August came late this year.

No, I am not crying about it- it’s just my eye watering.

Excuse me, I sneezed.

Sigh. Let me know when September gets here.

August 5, 2008

Sandals and God’s Providence (1 Comment)

Filed under: Gripes,HP,Life — The Spider Herself @ 9:18 am

A strap on The Boy’s sandal broke awhile back but it still stayed on his foot.

Last Friday, right after we arrived at the park to play, the other part broke. It no longer stayed on his foot. He stayed on the play structure or the grass most of the time to protect his bare feet.

We headed straight to that “Evil Out House” place that is basically the only place to shop here. I knew that trying to find sandals at this time of year was a nearly impossible task. The shoe people and the stores seem to think we need to buy sandals in February and snow boots in August. I have found, from past experience, that if you don’t shop for sandals before the end of April, the selection will be pitiful. Then hope that the child’s foot doesn’t go on a growing spree or they don’t break. So there we were, in need, scurrying (The Boy was shuffling; trying to keep the sandal attached to his foot) to the shoe aisle with very low hopes. The sandals, the few that were still languishing there, were relegated to a small, far section of the shoe area. There were a few scattered sandals for toddlers on the shelf.

And one pair of size four.

On sale.

I think it was a God thing.

July 15, 2008

Our Civic Duty (0 Comments)

Filed under: Gripes,Life — The Spider Herself @ 8:34 pm

We performed a civic duty the other day. We filled out a special census form that was sent out to specific households. Aren’t we the lucky ones to be chosen?

When we first got it, I put it aside and told myself to not forget to do it. Then we got a postcard telling us it was required that we fill it out and if we hadn’t received it then to contact them. I thought that they hadn’t given us much time and promptly forgot about it. Then they sent another whole census. Then they started calling.

I hate phone calls like that. I feel nagged and they annoy me no end. Especially when I am cooking dinner, which I was when the first call came. I was told I could do it over the phone and it would take less time. How long? I asked. How many in the household? 5. How many over the age of 13? Two. Then it should take about 20 minutes. I looked at my sizzling frying pan and decided I didn’t have 20 minutes and told them I’d fill out the form. Then I didn’t do it.

They called again on Saturday. No, I hadn’t filled it out. How many in the house? How many under 15? It would take 40 minutes to fill it out. Hmmmm, I sure am confused as to how long this would take. 40 minutes or even 20 minutes sounded like too long to be on the phone. No thanks, I’ll fill it out.

We filled in all sorts of personal information. What kind of house we lived in, how many rooms (Rooms must be separated by built-in archways or walls that extend out at least 6 inches and go from floor to ceiling.), how long we’ve lived here, etc. etc. How much money we made in the last 12 months– not last year as reported on our taxes but the last 12 months, which would be different and more difficult to figure out.

They were especially concerned with our ethnic/racial background. They asked it twice for each person, in different ways. We indicated that the children were our biological children but we had to fill in their ethnic make up. Their Father is mainly German, I am a miss-mash of Norwegian, German, and English and so I filled that all in three more times for each of the kids. I wanted to put Brazilian for one, Tanzanian for another and Lithuanian for the third but I envisioned the panic I would cause if ever a family genealogist got a hold of the information. Brazilian!?!? Where did that come from? So I restrained myself.

Then there was the statement and pair of questions that really puzzled me. It started with this statement:

“NOTE: Please answer BOTH Question 5 about Hispanic origin and Question 6 about race. For this survey, Hispanic origins are not races.”

Question 5: Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin? (Lists different Hispanic countries)

Question 6: What is Person 1’s race? Mark ( X ) one or more boxes.

  • White
  • Black, African Am., or Negro
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • Asian Indian
  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Native Hawaiian
  • Guamanian or Chamorro
  • Samoan
  • Other Pacific Islander
  • Other Asian
  • Some other race- print race.

So if Hispanic origins is not a race, what is it? And what would a person of Hispanic origins put as their race? Why did it not suffice for the Hispanics to fill in their ethnic origin in the other area? Why wasn’t Hawaiian Native put with the Native American and Alaskan Native?

Those kinds of things confuse my little brain.

They just called to see if I had completed it yet. I told them I had done it now leave me alone! She said if they don’t receive it in 7-10 days they may call back. I can hardly wait.

Our Government- we’re here to nag you.

March 4, 2008

Rant for Today (4 Comments)

Filed under: Gripes,In the Kitchen — The Spider Herself @ 3:21 pm

A friend (yes, I have one…. maybe two) and I talked the other day about canned vegetables. (Note to self: Clue right there about lack of friends – could it be your stimulating conversational skills? I mean really! Can’t you think of something else to talk about besides canned vegetables?) We discussed that they are higher in carbohydrates than fresh or frozen because there is added sugar in them. I am not sure why they add sugar to canned vegetables but apparently they do. (Quick- run to the pantry and read some labels- I’ll wait.) Personally, I buy fresh or frozen pretty much exclusively because I prefer the taste.

Fast forward to the next day when I was making a Three Bean Salad to take to pot luck. I tried a new recipe and I liked it but will have to fiddle with it because it had a lot of sugar in it. There I go again- fiddling with a recipe! Anyway, because I have such an interesting life, I stopped to read the label on the dark red kidney beans (Great Value- because I am cheap thrifty.) First ingredient: prepared kidney beans. No surprise there.

#2- water

#3- cane syrup- what? why?

#4- salt- I knew there is lots of salt in canned beans.

#5- high fructose corn syrup!! Why?

There were more things added that help promote color retention- I probably really don’t want to know about them.

But why the sugary stuff added? I mean, kidney beans? Sweet?

I rinse them before adding them to things in hopes of reducing the salt content and so I hope it helps with the sugar too but how much have they absorbed sitting in the can?

Sigh. So, I’ll have to read more labels in the store and suck it up and buy more expensive brands.

Or go all homestead like and boil up my own.

March 20, 2007

Oh, now I get it (0 Comments)

Filed under: Gripes — The Spider Herself @ 2:11 pm

We had the radio tuned into a local radio station a few weeks ago when my brain tuned into one of the commercials. It was all about “passing gas” and when to not to it. It talked about leaving the area when “it” was about to occur and to NEVER do “it” around children because it contained noxious “gas”. It was sponsored by the Ad Council etc. I kept thinking “was that for real?” Which just goes to show how little I have to actually think about.

Finally, it was there in my mind while I was on the computer so I looked up the Ad Council to see if they had any information on it. I learned that the Ad Council was a non-profit organization that helps put together Public Service Announcements (PSA). After doing a search on “gas” I found that they indeed did sponsor such an ad. This one was directed by Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame and has been an on going series since January of 2005. BUT the point was not about “passing gas” but about second hand smoke. Ooops. Silly me. I must have missed that part.

Seems second hand smoke contains noxious gases that is harmful to children and this ad will help motivate parents to stop smoking around their kids. Of course, this is an ad campaign put on by the same people who did the “TV Boss” ads. These ads are supposed to inform parents about the V chip and encourage them to use it to “block” offensive TV shows. One of them has a strung out drug addict on the floor with a man explaining how the show was “great” television but it was too adult content for the kids (seen playing outside through the window, ages about 10) so he was going to “block” the show. The he leaves and the addict says “What a nice lady.” The kids thought that was funny. We don’t watch much TV and we don’t have cable so I have no idea what show he was talking about but I know for sure my kids wouldn’t be watching it! I am finding that some of those shows aren’t even healthy for adults! Anyway, a poll was done to see if the ads had increased parents use of the “V” chip and found a 1% DECREASE in usage. Uh, don’t think it’s working. Could it have been the timing of when they showed the ads? The reason we saw them was not because we were watching “graphic, adult content” TV shows with our kids but because we were watching CARTOONS with our kids on Saturday morning. Wow. What a concept. But it baffles Brett and I as to why they wouldn’t show that kind of ad during the shows that they think are not for kids and maybe make the parents start thinking “is this good for my kid who isn’t in bed yet?” But, no that shows my naivety again. That would mean a loss of revenue because there is someone willing to pay for that slot and they would have to run the PSA free. Oh, and the ad campaign only cost $550 million dollars.