bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for April, 2008

Who Knew about Hulu?

As many of you know, I do not have cable.  It is probably a good thing because I would watch Law & Order all day.  I’m sure I could find it on some channel at any time of day.  I don’t watch much TV.  I watch The Bold and the Beautiful when I’m home at 12:30, but that’s about the extent of my devotion to that or any other show.  (Well, there is my addiction to Lost, but that is another blog altogether)

I like sitcoms, but most are not appropriate for my family to watch, so I try to catch up online.  I can watch The Office, How I Met Your Mother, and several others whenever I’d like via their networks websites.

But, I just finished watching The Partridge Family!  Yep.  It was as groovy as I’d remembered it.  There is a website out there called Hulu.  It has all sorts of clips and full-length episodes of new and old shows.  I got to see the Celebrity Jeopardy skits from Saturday Night Live from years ago.  I was able to find another skit that I had told the kids about that was actually clean enough for them to see.  This site is amazing! 

You can watch everything from The A-Team to WKRP in Cincinnati!  With limited commercial interruptions, of course.  I just had to share this fantastic site with you.  Thanks to Debbie who shared it with me.

Gotta go.  I’m getting ready to watch “a very special episode” of Blossom.  (Sadly, (or not), Blossom is not yet on the site.  But, I can watch Emergency! and a dose of Randolph Mantooth is good for the soul.)

Idol Worship

I know it is breaking the 2nd commandment, but I have a few people that I hold in very high regard.  Jimmy Stewart is one.  I absolutely loved that guy!  I thought he was a wonderful actor, and by all accounts, a wonderful man as well.  My boyfriend (soon to be my husband) bought me his book of poetry.  It remains the only book of poetry I can stomach.  Then my mom got me this biography about him.  I quit reading it about halfway through because the writer started to suggest he’d had some homosexual experiences before he met his wife (to whom he was married a billion years).  I didn’t want to think of him in that way.  I wanted to protect my image of Jimmy.  After all, I named this blog after an object in one of his greatest movies!

Now I’m on the fence about reading this book about Abraham Lincoln.  After our family’s latest trip to the Lincoln museum in Springfield, IL (a must-see!), my love of Lincoln was rekindled.  I remember in elementary school, I was supposed to pick a President to write a report about, and my mom insisted that I choose someone besides Lincoln because I’d done so many reports on him already.  (I chose JFK.  I didn’t know the scandals about him at the time.)  So, Lincoln was a hero in my eyes.  (Oh, random fact:  Lincoln is the most popular choice by people who are asked, “Who would you like to meet in heaven?”)  While browsing the gift shop at the museum, I perused the books about him.  Several intrigued me, but I had to admit that I would read them once, and then they would sit on a shelf for an eternity.  So, I decided to use my local library for my Lincoln fix.  One of the books is titled, Lincoln Legends:  Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with our Greatest President.  I, admittedly, chose this book by its cover.  I thought it looked like a fun read.  Now, I’m trying to decide whether or not to read it. 

I mean, do I want to know that he really didn’t walk miles to return 3 cents that he owed a customer?  Or that he had affairs with women while married to his wife?  I don’t know. 

I kind of like living in my happy bubble.  If Jimmy was gay and Lincoln was an adulterer, the next thing you’ll tell me is that Santa Claus isn’t real. 


I Have Issues with Gas

Wow.  That could go different ways, couldn’t it?

Well, I’m talking about gasoline, so those of you who were expecting potty humor, sorry to disappoint you.

When I go get gas, I usually do not fill up the minivan.  Too depressing.  Today I filled up to around $40, and it was only half a tank.  Yeah.  I refuse to pay $80 for gas!  In my mind, $40 isn’t great, but it’s not bad.  Eighty would have killed me.

But, this post is not about the price of gas.  That’s neither controversial or humorous.  Everyone agrees it is sad. 

This is all about method.  And four little words:  DO NOT TOP OFF!  How hard is this concept to grasp?  Seriously.  There are four teeny, tiny words in that directive.  About 40% of the time I get gas, I have the pleasure of filling up after someone who doesn’t understand those words.  So, I cannot just put the nozzle in the tank and flip the little latch on the handle.  Oh, no.  I have to stand there and hold it in, just to hear and feel it go “click.”  So, I push it in again.  “click.”  Crud.  It’s almost bad enough to get in the car and drive to another pump.  But, I’ve already swiped my credit card.  I don’t want to pay for 50 cents of gas.  Argh!  The reason this happens is that the topping off may cause gas to back up into the station’s storage tank and cause the stations vapor recovery system to work improperly.  Boooooo!

For those of you who read this and are Topper-Offers, is it really that important for you to get the price to an even number?  Do you skip off happily from the pump as though you hit three cherries on a slot machine?  Or, do you enjoy “sticking it” to the next unsuspecting customer?  When I hear someone on the other side of the fuel island topping off, I want to yell, “Can’t you read?  DON’T TOP OFF!”  But, I don’t.  I let it harbor inside me.  Festering. 

AND, did you know you are doing damage to your car’s emission system as well?  Oh, yes, it’s true.  I got it straight from the EPA website.  Plus you are polluting the air.

(By the way, this does not apply to those of you who are going to put a certain dollar amount into the tank.  This only refers to TOPPER-OFFERS!)

The next time I see a TOPPER-OFFER, I may just say, “You know, sometimes I have the strangest feeling that I’m going to burst into flames…”

Trading Spaces

I used to love to watch Trading Spaces.  That was when we used to have cable.  I don’t even know if it is on any more.  It always inspired me to try to keep what I had and just change it a little with a coat of paint or some design.  I painted my kitchen table and chairs white and painted ivy on it while watching the show.  And, I’ve had many compliments on it.

My neighbor (and good friend) is redoing her kitchen.  Granite counter tops, tile floor, new stove, new faucets, knocking down a wall, new lighting, etc.  I am very excited for her, but envious too.  Now, before you all get all Ten Commandments on me, I am NOT coveting her kitchen.  I am thrilled for her and am not sitting around thinking, “Oh why don’t I get to do that…boohoo.”  So there!

I went with her to Expo and decided to update my kitchen by just adding knobs and drawer pulls to my cabinets.  (They did not have any type of hardware previously.)  I went with a pewter color.  Then I realized that the door knobs on the pantry and basement doors were brass.  So, I bought two new sets of brushed silver doorknobs.  But, wait!  What about the brass hinges???  My other neighbor told me about a product at Michael’s that called Rub N Buff that you can use on any surface and it will make look like any metal you choose.  So, I chose silver.  That stuff is awesome!  I am amazed! 

So, what does this have to do with Trading Spaces?  Would I like to trade spaces with my neighbor?  Well, sure.  But, what I remember on Trading Spaces was they had to work within a $1000 budget.  No, I didn’t spend $1000.  I’m proud to say I only spent $100 and the kitchen looks awesome!  Tom didn’t even blink!  He even said he liked it!  Plus, I did it all myself!

Oh, if only Ty Pennington were here…(sigh)


I Won!!!

Did I get your attention?  Well, no need to suck up to me, I didn’t win the lottery.  Nor did I win a fabulous trip to Jamaica.  I won an item on eBay.  I know.  Unless you enjoy shopping online, you probably don’t understand the thrill it is to win on eBay. 

I have a confession.  I don’t like to shop.  Especially for clothes.  (Sorry, MJ, I know you wrote actual, published articles about shopping (especially for clothing) and I was a faithful reader.  But, I never actually shopped at any of those places.  I just liked reading your articles.)  I don’t really like to shop at most places.  I do like Sam’s.  I think it is because they always have different things every time I go there, plus they have the detergent I use for a great price, and they have a gigantic container of animal crackers!  What’s not to like?  Now, I will also admit, that unlike most people, I could actually spend time browsing the local office supply store.  I have always been a paper fanatic, but I’m really a borderline stalker when it comes to office products.  I just wander up and down the aisles looking at binders and staplers, you know, exciting things like that.

My next confession is that I love to shop online.  I enjoy using to get a certain percentage back on my purchases.  I even order shampoo, toothpaste, and cleaning supplies online.  Plus, I can compare prices without using tanks of gas to find the lowest price.  And, often there is no tax involved.  I am the queen of finding free shipping, so for me it’s a win-win situation.

Then there is eBay.  Once I got out of the loony bin, I got on a cleaning/decluttering spree.  I went through the house and did it just like the books tell you to.  I had a bag for trash, a box for charity, and a box for things that belonged in another room.  Worked like a charm.  Along the way, though, something told me to look on eBay for some of the items I was getting rid of.  Sure enough, there were things on there that I was getting ready to give away that other people wanted! 

Now my dining room is, as Tom calls it, my eBay warehouse.  I think the thing I sold that made me laugh the most was one of those electric potpourri simmer pots.  Someone in Hawaii paid almost $40 for that thing!  I was shocked, but gladly shipped it to her.  I’m pretty sure that item didn’t cost anywhere near $40 brand new!  Some things have sold quickly and well, and some things have not.  Books don’t sell well unless they are current.  Not even ones from the 1930s. 

My other confession is that I buy from eBay too.  It’s not just an income.  It’s also an outgoing.  🙂  But, I do try to reign myself in.  There are certain things that I have had my eye on, and I set a price in my mind that I will pay for it (including shipping), then I watch.  And watch.  The item I just bought a few minutes ago was the DVD of The Office-Season 2.  I got it for half the price I’ve seen it in stores.  Brand new.  (Not that it would matter.  It’s a DVD, not toilet paper.)  I just got Season 1 last week.  This is a DVD that I will watch over and over, so that makes it worth buying, in my opinion.  Last week I also got School of Rockbecause the whole family thought it was a great movie.  When we got it from Netflix, Mark asked, “So when can we buy it?”  That was months ago.  I watched for it on eBay.  Last week, I got it for 99 cents.  Plus, I got Galaxy Quest for 99 cents and the shipping was combined.  So, with shipping, I got two movies for $7.00.  You can’t beat that with a stick!  An added bonus was that Mark watched Galaxy Quest for the first time today and loved it!  Tom and I liked it a lot too and it just happened to be the first DVD we ever watched many years ago.

There is some kind of rush when you win an item on eBay. The commercials are not far off.  It’s about the hunt.  The deadline.  I sat here and watched as my bid was the highest…then only 31 seconds left and someone outbid me!  I decided it was worth 51 more cents, so I bid it, and TA DA!  It’s mine!  Sweet victory!

So, if you’d like to borrow any of my new purchases, I’d be happy to lend them to you…for a price.



Thank you all for your prayers for our friend Lee.  He passed away this morning.  His heart and lungs just could not take it any longer.  While I know he is in heaven and enjoying himself, I ask for your prayers for his wife Kathy and their son Luke as they now try to continue their life on this earth without their husband and father.

Now about Karen’s dance tryouts.  Wow.  I read that post and remember how low I felt after all that.  Not a good memory, by any means.  But, now I completely understand that she didn’t really want to try out in the first place, but didn’t know how to vocalize that.  She was sending out signals that I just wasn’t catching.  I asked her last night if she could tell me exactly why she didn’t want to try out and continue on.  She said that she was tired.  Tired of going “from class to class” (this really means she hated ballet and that she had that class as a requirement and would go straight from there to the dance troupe class).  Tired of missing out on time with her friends.  Tired of getting home late.  All very legitimate reasons to not continue.  I just wish I’d known that sooner.

Well, wishes don’t always come true, unless you are Jiminy Cricket.  😉

Worst Mom or Stage Mom?

Last night was my daughter’s 10th birthday party.  We did it at the bowling alley and she had a fantastic time!  It really was fun to watch her interact with her friends.  She has chosen some wonderful friends and they all got along well, even though they didn’t all know each other.

After we got home, my husband and I reminded her that she had auditions for her dance studio’s pre-professional dance company this morning.  A little background seems needed here, so I’ll try to do it quickly.  There are three levels of ProTrack and Karen has been a charter member since she was in 2nd grade andshe was always in the first level, due to both her skill level and her age.  This year she said she’d like to try out for the 2nd level since she is now old enough.  I was all for that.  The kids in Level One seemed to be a little more immature than Karen would like.  Karen arrives at class and she is ready to learn and dance.  Not mess around.  (with a few exceptions, I’m sure.  But, I’m talking generally.)

So, back to last night…She was tired and excited from the party.  COMPLETELY understandable.  So, we told her she needed to practice her solo one more time and that we needed to burn a cd of her song.  All was fine.  Then she did her solo and I said, “Uh oh.  That’s under a minute.  I thought it had to be between a minute and a minute anda half.”  Her face fell.  She said, “Okay.  I’ll try to add more.”  After more than 30 minutes of trying to add 15 seconds (at the max), she became very frustrated.  I then said, “Hey.  Don’t worry about it.  Just do it the way you planned.  I’m sure they are more concerned with someone taking TOO much time, so that’s why they say to have it a minute.”  Then, she starts telling me that she doesn’t want to try out in front of the judges all by herself.  (which is the first time she’s had to do this.  In the first level, they try out in groups of three.)  Then she says she doesn’t want to try out for the first level because she has to try out in a group, and since she’s the shortest, she’s always in the front.  I am starting to get a little frustrated myself now.  We start discussing and we are both at this point very, very tired.  So, I tell her to just go up to bed, but it wasn’t pretty at this point, and I screwed it up. 

Her dad went in to talk with her and she calmed down, came to me and apologized for making me mad.  I assured her I wasn’t mad, just frustrated like she was.  I told her, “Just go out for ProTrack 2 and do it like you had planned.  I’m sorry I tried to have you make it a little longer.”  Then we went through the whole thing about the audition stuff.  Trying to keep my composure, I said, “Look it is almost 11:00.  I’ll wake you at 7, and you can decide then, after you’ve had some sleep.”

So, I set my alarm, wake her up and she says she’s decided not to try out at all.  I felt like crap.  I knew in my heart that I had screwed this up all on my own.  If I had just left things alone last night, she’d be at auditions and ready to go.  If she had made this decision two weeks ago, I’d be completely fine with it.  But, I truly think this is my fault.  It’s now or never and there is no second chance.  Right now, I hate myself.

I went back into my bedroom to talk with my husband about it, and he said, “I don’t understand why this is a big deal.”  I said, “What if Mark came home from this weekend (he’s repelling with the scouts) and said, ‘I don’t want to be a Boy Scout anymore.’  How would you feel about that?”  Tom said, “I would try to talk him out of it.”  I said, “Isn’t that the same thing then?”  He said, “Yeah.  I guess it is.”  And went back to sleep.

I wish I could turn back time and just have shut up.  Then, she would have tried out and either made it or not.  (Honestly, I don’t think anyone doesn’t make it, especially if they are already a member.)  That’s probably what is bothering me as well.  My mind is swimming.  I’m in tears as I write this.  Just slow, filling up the eyes tears, not sobbing.

I am not a stage mom.  I know that.  I help out behind the scenes, but I haven’t pushed her.  It just seemed like a good title.  I just know this girl as talent.  A month ago, the owner of the dance studio told me that she would be so sad if Karen had decided not to come back.  At this time, Karen was worried about the tryouts and her solo.  The owner assured me that they would talk about it in class and make sure the girls understood what exactly would be happening.

She loves to dance.  She never complained about going to her three classes.  (Well, that’s not exactly true.  She hated ballet and that was a requirement.)  I realize as I write this, some of you will be saying, “Well, see?  She didn’t want to do this after all.  But, thing that is holding me back from that conclusion is my behavior, reaction, and just plain bad mothering last night.

I’m sorry to bother my readers with this, it’s just that I feel completely responsible for a decision that I’m afraid she’ll regret in just a couple of days.


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