Archive for July, 2010

Been Waiting Over 7 Years For This!!!

Posted in animals on July 30th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , ,

I HAVE TICKETS TO SEE JACK HANNA!!!

I’ve been waiting MORE than 7 years for this!  Mr. Hanna became a personal hero of mine and Hubby’s around 1998, and as we were driving down to Florida from Illinois for our honeymoon in 1999, we speculated on how cool it would be to run into Jack Hanna since we were going to Sea World (where he would and still does often appear).  And guess what happened?  We ran into Jack Hanna at Sea World!!!  We were going down to an underwater viewing area for one of the exhibits (don’t even remember which one, don’t care), and it was roped off with a sign, “tv show taping in progress”.  Just as we turned around, they took down the ropes, and so we went in, and there was Jack Hanna!  And we were the only fans in there with him!  I got tougue-tied, and I forgot every question I wanted to ask him, but luckily, Hubby was able to explain to him what big fans we were.  Jack Hanna autographed a special picture for us, even writing our names on it, but I’m sad to say that this honeymoon treasure was one of a few coveted items that was put in a special box and left with so-called trusted friends during a move when it wouldn’t fit into our car.  Unfortunately, the “friends” never sent the box to us as they promised, and who knows what has happened to our Jack Hanna autograph or other treasures by now?

But that’s not the point.  I’ve been hoping to replace it and to see Mr. Hanna do a show, but he never has appearances close to my corner of Ohio.  He came to Toledo once 7 years ago, but the ticket prices were kind of steep, especially since we didn’t know if our then 2-year-old would enjoy it, plus we had just moved to the state and didn’t know any babysitters.  I’ve regretted not going to Jack’s Toledo show ever since, especially when he hasn’t come close to the area.  But about a month ago, I happened to check his website, and Jack was going to be less than 2 hours away from us AS WELL as appearing in the town where my parents live – TWO opportunities to see him!  So anyway, long story short, we have tickets to see JACK HANNA in OCTOBER!!!  I can’t wait!  This is going to make it so much easier for me to have to forget about the MLB post-season this year (my team is terrible this year and essentially eliminated themselves opening day).

Before the show, we are scheduled to attend a Jungle Jamboree with Jack Hanna also!  Maybe I can find a way to get my honeymoon autographed picture replaced.  Hubby actually tried once to get me one for a birthday, but there was mis-communication, and Jack Hanna signed it to my husband instead of to me.  I actually thought that was pretty funny and classic Jack – totally something he would do as Jack tends to use his brain to store animal facts rather than organizational details.  I think I’ll bring my favorite book, Monkeys on the Interstate for him to autograph also; I just have to sneak backstage with all my things I want him to autograph somehow.  And I’ll have to read Monkeys on the Interstate again just so I can study up on it and write a list of questions down to ask Jack in case I get the chance again – I WILL NOT get tongue-tied this time!!!  I’ll have to take a break from reading the Harry Potter series, so now I definitely won’t be finished in time to get to see part one of the last Harry Potter movie while it’s in the theater – OH WELL!  I’m going to see Jack Hanna live on stage!!!

A highly recommended read for any zoo lover - Monkeys on the Interstate by Jack Hanna

Backyard Thrill Rides (Don’t Try These At Home – Watch Youtube Instead!)

Posted in Fun Videos on July 30th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

In the newspaper the other day, there was an article that caught my interest about a couple of college engineering students who built a homemade roller coaster in their back yard (with mom’s reluctant approval).  I figured there would be  video of their creation on youtube.com, but I was unable to find the exact coaster from the article.  I did, however, find many videos featuring brave and creative souls fashioning their own various types of thrill rides and testing them out – some so amusing I had to put them together.  You can probably tell by the picture on the video if it’s going to be one you’ll want to watch in action.  And by the way, more than a few of these trials reminded me of that article I read and wrote about a while back about reasons for common ER visits called: Don’t Laugh, It Could Happen To  You…

This guy rides his backyard roller coaster in a little chair, and it even has an inversion:

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This guy uses a little mining type cart, and he seems to achieve some pretty good speed:

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This one looks more like it’s on train tracks, but it’s a long ride, and he also looks like he hits some pretty decent speeds:

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This one’s not a roller coaster, but sort of homemade gravitron:

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Are you going to be as surprised as I was about the speeds this ATV uses to wind up this poor lady’s sling shot?  This is one heck of a human sling shot!!

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And finally, this video begins with saying this kid’s parents were out of town…  uh, oh.  This guy builds a slip n’ slide off the 2nd story of his house.  Does anyone else find it funnily ironic that the test subject gets congratulated after his run by a guy with his arm in a sling?  The first tester, perhaps?

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Cincinnati Kids

Posted in TV Shows on July 28th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , ,

When I wrote about our trip to King’s Island (an amusement park near Cincinnati Ohio) a few blog posts ago, I mentioned how I have the behind-the-scenes Brady Bunch book written by the actor who played Greg Brady on the show, Barry Williams.  A few nights ago, I looked up the episode in the book where the Bradys visit King’s Island, and I read the synopsis (including the part about how the Bradys almost didn’t make it off The Racer roller coaster alive!  If you watch the episode, look for their terrified faces as they pulled into the station –  that was not acting!) and dug up clips of the episode on youtube.com

If you’ve been to King’s Island recently or in the past 10 or 20 years, then you will see how much the park has changed since this episode was filmed – enjoy!

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4 Down…

Posted in health on July 27th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , ,

My husband fell ill over the weekend, and he had to leave a show early that we went to see together on Sunday.  By Monday night, my two littlest kids were throwing up, and Hubby and I stayed up late cleaning them up and comforting them.  Monday night, I had a dream that we were on a trip, and we were scheduled to leave our vacation, but I was sick and worried about the 3-4 hour car ride.  When I awoke, I was really sick – so this thing has struck down 4 of us, and my 2 oldest daughters remain unaffected as of yet.

We are busy people!  I already rescheduled the dentist appointment we won’t make, but I don’t know what to do about our church’s Kidstuf play Hubby and I are directing – rehearsal is tonight.  I don’t see how I’ll be able to make it, but I also don’t understand how to summon the energy to stay home with sick little ones when I’m feeling so incredibly lousy.  Complicating things is the fact that my two oldest girls are also in Kidstuf, and they had to miss the first rehearsal because they were at their Grandma’s.  There is a waiting list for kids who want to be in Kidstuf, and so the kids who are chosen to be in it are not supposed to miss even one rehearsal.  If my kids get sick, they will have to miss another rehearsal, and I’m so worried for them that they won’t get to do the show!

So today, I have to find a way to navigate around the thumping in my head and the visits to the bathroom (sorry, but here we are) to care for my 4 kids so Hubby can work.  And I  have to do things in a way that won’t spread this super-contagious illness (it says something when I get an illness – I don’t usually get sick ever!) to the remaining healthy ones in my family.

Anyone want to babysit?  😉

Just Too Scary…

Posted in Kids, Movies on July 26th, 2010 and tagged , , ,

My son is newly 2 years old, and he has a favorite movie:  Monster House.  He asks for it by name, and he just loves it – even if some parts are so scary that he has to watch it from behind his hands:

VIP Squared

Posted in Travel on July 24th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Every year, my husband and I are very lucky to get a week-long break from being busy parents of 4 kids when Grandma takes the kids to her house for a week.  For the past two years during this vacation, we traveled downstate to King’s Island, an amusement park near Cincinnati.  King’s Island offers a VIP Tour, which means that for 9 hours, you get your own personal park employee to lead you around the park and to the front of all the park rides of your choosing, even holding your stuff if you really want him to!  In case you’re interested, a VIP Tour at King’s Island also includes an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, unlimited fountain drinks all day, a ride photo, an ice cream cone, a behind-the-scenes tour of The Beast, and $25 in park souvenir money – which can be spent on carnival style games, buying more food (if you need it after the buffet!), or in the park’s gift shops.  While it may seem expensive up front, if you do the math, the VIP Tour ends up being a great deal all things considered, and we highly recommend it; especially if you’re a coaster enthusiast!

Being able to walk to the front of any ride line of one’s choosing is really cool – it’s hard to imagine, until  you ride coaster after coaster without pause!

We began our day on The Beast (only because the Diamondback was not functioning, but luckily our fears of it being broken for the entire day were dispelled and they were able to fix it before long).  The Beast is an almost 5-minute long journey into the desolate forests of southern Ohio on a wooden roller coaster!  As we learned from our behind the scenes tour (included with the VIP Tour as I said), prior to its unveiling in 1979, The Beast was built on-site and follows closely the terrain upon which it is built.  It was not pre-ordered and shipped to the park in segments like many modern roller coasters.

The Beast follows its native land's terrain and disappears into a tunnel at the bottom of its first drop

After riding The Beast twice in a row (almost 10 minutes worth of roller coasters right there!!), we moved on to the Vortex, an old-school steel roller coaster with more than a few high speed inversions.  I had printed out my blog post I had written about the VIP Tour a year before, and it served as a helpful guide for this year.  And I have to say, everything was much more enjoyable this year – last year I had written in my blog that I didn’t like the Vortex much and that the Backlot Stunt Coaster was lame, but this year both rides were much more fun than I had remembered – perhaps because I knew what to expect from the park, and so the element of surprise was minimized.  I’m a person who likes to know what to expect rather than to be completely taken by surprise – I have 4 little kids, so I have enough surprises throughout my average day, thank you 😉

But whatever the case, whichever the reason, this year’s VIP Tour was even more fun than last year’s!  All of the rides we rode were better than I had remembered they were, and the Whitewater Canyon water ride was even more fun when riding with friends!  Of course, I think it helped that this year’s temperature was almost 90º instead of the unseasonal 70º we had during last year’s tour – getting soaked last year left us near frozen!  And I learned a little bit from last year’s tour – no blisters from walking around in wet shoes for me!  I brought a little bag and put a change of shoes in it.  As much as it may have annoyed my co-VIPs (but then again, I was the only gal in a group of men), I changed into my flip-flops every time we got on a water ride.  Not only did I save my feet from blistering, but I got to order our guide to carry my shoes around the park!  Ok, so I actually felt pretty badly making the poor guy carry my shoes around, but it was kind of like being a queen for a day, and –  carrying our stuff was his job after all…

The Diamondback Roller Coaster

Being led around the park by a guide all day, slipping in front of the ‘regular guests’ to get to the front of the lines (and picking whatever spot you choose on all the rides!  Note to self for next year:  front car on The Beast rocks, back row on the Diamondback is sweet, and the back is ideal and technically the front for Firehawk…) gave us plenty of time for ‘extras’ in the park: things we don’t normally do in theme parks, usually for lack of time like souvenir shopping, playing games and seeing shows.  The show we chose to see this year – and it’s strange, I know, that I keep promising myself a theater break but still I continue to find myself in a theater audience – was called ‘Too Much TV’, and it was actually pretty fun!  It began with a ‘host’ who went around the audience asking for them to ‘name that tune’ as different tv show theme songs were played.  I thought I would be good at this kind of thing, but apparently my brain had been scrambled upon one (ok, a dozen) too many roller coasters earlier in the day because I couldn’t get any of the answers correct.  But it’s ok, I didn’t raise my hand too high- unlike a fellow VIP who was called upon, but he answered correctly and won himself a Too Much TV button – way to  go!  Despite a fleeting regret in the beginning of the show (am I really watching yet another stage show?!?), I did enjoy myself.  I recognized 100% of the show titles and about 80% of the lyrics since I used to be a huge tv fan and had watched many of the shows when I was a kid (many in reruns; I’m not THAT old!)  The show included 6 dancer-singers, and it began with TV shows from the 50’s – 60’s (a few of these I watched like Patty Duke and Mary Tyler Moore – um, in reruns of course 😉 while the rest I just knew the themes since they were very famous like the Andy Griffith Show) and continued to shows from the 70s (3’s Company, Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, etc), 80’s-90’s (Full House, Perfect Strangers,  Growing Pains, Friends, etc).  LOTS of fun, especially for a former TV junkie like myself.  The singers / dancers were pretty good, and I have to say that one of the highlights of the show  was that during the Brady Bunch theme, they showed clips from the episode where the Brady’s actually visit King’s Island!!  I had totally forgotten that episode (I used to be a huge Brady Bunch fan; I watched it every day in syndication after school, and I had the book / episode guide written by Mr. Greg Brady (Barry Williams) himself – I used to check off the episodes I had seen – ahem, NERD!!), but anyway, I will have to dig it up on youtube.com or somewhere and watch it again now!!

Miraculously, the rain held off until minutes after our guide was dismissed for the day –  we had been watching the storms move in all day the day before our tour, hoping it wouldn’t affect our trip.  We had promised our guide an email depicting our thoughts on what riding The Beast was like in the dark, but as I said, it began to rain, and we were forced to take a break.  That’s when we realized just how tired we really were – too tired to wait for the rain to stop and the rides to re-open, so we’ll have to experience The Beast at night next year.  And I could not be looking forward to it more!!

On the way home, we found a White Castle (don’t have them way up here in the bufu northwestern corner of Ohio), or at least that’s what the sign said.  But the White Castle location was connected to a gas station, and the sliders did not taste quite the same…  I thought they were just old until I brought some home and re-heated them, and they STILL were a bit off…  hmmm….  Normally these things reheat really well, and I’m sorry to tell the White Castle newbie in our group that he still hasn’t really tried an authentic slider.  They hit the spot at the time and had we taken the time to stop anywhere else, we would have gotten home even later than the 1 am-ish that we did and would have been even more exhausted.  My bodily soreness from being beat up by various coasters all day was less than last year, but it also lasted a day or two longer than I remember.  Oh well, more to tweak for next year!  Maybe I will bring TWO pairs of shoes for Mr. Guide to carry around for me, haha!

And one final note…  We have a running joke with a member of our group – we went to Disney World with him almost two years ago, and it seemed that every ride which he rode stalled; including rides that didn’t usually stall.  At King’s Island, only one ride stalled while we were on it, but we got stuck in what I am sure is the most precarious position in which a person can get stuck at that park – flat on our backs, under the great blue sky on the Firehawk.  Here is a picture of how we were stuck; note that these people are in the station, which would have been better since there were people around to help.  We were stuck flat on our backs outside of the station for about 10-15 minutes, and I couldn’t help but notice how sympathetic the ride operator seemed during her announcements directing us to stay calm.

Also noticeable were the extremely red faces and disoriented nature of our fellow riders who were finally returned to an upright position and allowed to leave the ride with us.  For the record, our park guide happened to be on the Firehawk with us (on the VIP Tour, you can also make your guide go on rides!) and said that he had never seen it stuck like that before.  So yeah, while we were only stuck on a ride once during our day, what a place to be stuck!!!

And surely I don’t want to leave you with a bad impression of the Firehawk, nor of King’s Island, so here are some fun youtube videos from other riders:

Firehawk (you lie on your back and then are flipped after the lift onto your stomach.  Like Superman, you fly thru a series of loops, inversions, and open track):

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Next, not one of my favorite rides at King’s Island, though still fun, the joy in Invertigo is watching the person’s face who is sitting across from you.  Ride with a friend sitting across from you, and experience the g-forces backwards first.  Then watch your friend’s face as they experience the same thing backwards you just did – It’s priceless!!

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And now for my favorites, The Beast (start watching at a minute and ten seconds into the video for the real action):

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And the Diamondback:

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All this watching the POV cams on the coasters makes me want to do it all over again…   But unfortunately I have to wait…
So until next year…

Magic After 112 Years

Posted in animals, Travel on July 24th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you are a tangents.org fan, then you’ve already read two riveting accounts of a little tangents field trip of sorts to Cincinnati Ohio.  I don’t mean to be redundant, but I’m going to post my take on the excursion for my friends and remote members of my family to read my take on the trip.

We began our journey bright and early Monday morning, July 19, and I like how the other tangenteers failed to mention that the keys were accidentally locked in the trunk.  Someone, I forget who (and I’m not going to mention who it was that locked the keys in the trunk except that it wasn’t me), but someone had the brilliant revelation that the back seat could pull down, thus saving us a 30-mile round-trip drive to get the spare set of keys.  Us 4 adults (3 of my kids were with Grandma, and my little boy stayed with a family friend since he couldn’t have gone on roller coasters at King’s Island the following day) crammed into a little Sunfire, and somehow I got the privileged front seat for the whole trip – hey no complaints here, I was so much less sore than I was after last year’s trip – I don’t think I could say that if I had been crammed in the back of the Sunfire for two days.  But taking the little car was necessary because we estimate that we saved around $70 in gas by not taking our gas-guzzling mini-van, so thanks to the owner of the Sunfire for letting us put the miles on his car.

We arrived at our first tourist destination, the wonderful Cincinnati Zoo with more than enough time (or so we thought) to explore the entire humongous zoo complex.  I just love the Cincinnati Zoo – we visited years ago, and I don’t really remember much about that visit, other than accidentally driving our car into the zoo…  But they seemed to have fixed that entry problem by now.  Hubby and I visited this zoo last year, but we didn’t leave early enough, and after some delays and the 4-hour drive, we really didn’t see much of the zoo.  But this year, we had left bright and early and were prepared to stay all day, despite the 90º+ weather.  I was appointed tour guide (why?  I don’t know  – I’m a pretty big zoo enthusiast, I guess, and I’m a pretty good navigator until you throw hills or mountains into the equation.  And the Cincinnati Zoo has more than a few large hills and low valleys to navigate around, but we did well – Hubby and being especially thankful that we didn’t happen to have kids to carry or a double-stroller to push up all those hills in  that heat!!!)

Cincinnati has a WIDE array of species to see!  Some I had scarcely heard of, some I had NEVER heard of; I just wish I had taken better notes and written down which species I saw that I wanted to do more research on when I got home.  Oh well, I will be back – Ohio is the only state to exhibit my favorite animal, the manatee, outside of its native Florida, and we are blessed to have not one, but TWO zoos (Cincinnati and Columbus) that exhibit this beautiful creature – so yeah, I will be back downstate to get my manatee fix.  Cincinnati has two manatees that arrived from  Florida just a few months ago, and they are relatively young creatures – just 3 and 4-years old.  Manatees can live to be 60-70 years old, so the manatees at the Cincinnati Zoo were relatively small compared to the others I’ve seen in captivity.  No less breathtaking, the little guys did move a little bit faster and seemed more playful than their adult counterparts.  I knew about the ‘Sleep With the Manatees’ program that Cincinnati offers before this visit, but I was reminded again – that is of course something I would love to do.  But “Sleep with the Manatees’?  I think I’d probably have to call it something different since I wouldn’t be doing much sleeping if I got to spend the night in the manatee exhibit!  Someday…

Another remarkable, highly endangered creature housed by the Cincinnati Zoo is the Sumatran Rhino.  There are five rhino sub-species left on this planet, and the Sumatran is the most rare –  estimated at less than 275 individuals left in the wild.  A Sumatran Rhino successfully gave birth at the Calcutta Zoo in 1889, but as decades passed without any further successful reproduction in captivity, people grew concerned and developed a program designed to save the Sumatran Rhino.  Widely considered a failure, the program ran from 1984-1996 and consisted of capturing 40 wild Sumatran Rhinos and trying to reproduce them in captivity.  By the late ’90s, no rhinos had been born of the program, and half of the captured rhinos had died.  In 1997, the United States was down to only 3 captive Sumatran Rhinos: two females (in the Los Angeles Zoo and Bronx Zoo) and one male (Cincinnati Zoo).  It was decided that the animals be united for one last breeding attempt in Cincinnati.  In September 2001, the first captive-born Sumatran Rhino calf in 112 years was born (this was the 6th pregnancy for the mother; the previous 5 pregnancies were not successful)!  Another calf followed in 2004, but sadly that same year a disease outbreak killed all of the Sumatran Rhinos in captivity in Malysia, reducing the number of captive Sumatran Rhinos in the world to only eight.  Another calf was born in 2007, and that same year the calf who was born in 2001 was returned to Sumatra to try to breed him there.  If you are not an animal lover like I am, then you might find my little rant about the Sumatran Rhino boring, and I apologize.  But there aren’t words for how fascinating it was to see an live animal walking around and making noise who is so rare in our world.  Although this particular rhino species is the smallest of the 5 currently in existence, it is fascinating in other ways; such as its light coat of reddish-brown hair, its almost constant vocalizations (which we were able to witness), and its ability to twist saplings into patterns to communicate with other rhinos in the wild.  A truly fascinating creature; if you are going to be in the Cincinnati area, I highly recommend stopping by the zoo and glimpsing this historic animal specimen.  Here is a video of Emi’s 3rd and final calf who was born in 2007:

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We stopped for lunch and took in one of those 4D shows; which was alright – being in the air-conditioned theater for 30 minutes was worth the admission fee alone.  The 4D consisted of a 3D movie of animals with some additional effects –  water spraying, high-powered fans blowing (Ahhh…), things to poke your back, etc.  The air blasters on my seat were not working, and neither were my feet ticklers, but no matter, for the air blasting sound in my ears is not one of my favorite things anyway.

By the time we got around to the other side of the zoo, I was so hot and tired that I was becoming willing to skip certain parts of the zoo.  We did stop in the petting zoo, another one of my usual favorites (I know a secret spot on goats where they tend to feel sore, and my patented ‘goat rubs’ are usually very much appreciated…  not as much in the heat though).

Two exhibit buildings of note: I really enjoyed the nocturnal house and the cat house (which housed more than just cats, and many species of animals with which I was not familiar – maybe they should change the name – ‘Cat House And Friends’?  ‘Cats and More’?  ‘Cats, Etc.’?  That sounds like the work of the zoo’s marketing department; clearly my talents do not lie in that area).  The nocturnal house had plenty of species outside of the usual fruit bats you see in the nocturnal houses of many zoos.  Along with its share of nocturnal marsupials (a few species of gliders and something called a potto), Cincinnati also has vampire bats (complete with ones feeding out of little dishes of blood – delightfully and creepily fascinating!) as well as flying foxes – bats the size of my large parrot at home with faces resembling foxes or small bears.

Overall, a wonderful day with some great friends, even if it was super hot!  Up next, my run-down of the following day spent at King’s Island!

Are We Playing Politics… Or Preschool?

Posted in Current Events on July 21st, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I check out the headlines on Chicago’s suburban newspaper’s website, The Daily Herald, partly because that’s where I’m from (so I know of the locations of the news stories) and partly because my own small town daily paper is kind of boring because we’re… well, crime-less.  No news is good news, so they say, and I agree with that assessment for my little corner of the world.  But far removed am I, and so reading about the disasters in the Chicago area can be quite entertaining; especially the recent stories concerning this woman, Lisa Stone, a trustee from a place called Buffalo Grove, which is an upscale suburb of Chicago.

There have been numerous news stories about Ms. Stone, and I didn’t really pay attention until I saw this headline:

Buffalo Grove village president tells trustee to ‘shut up’

If you want to envision grown-up politicians behaving like children, read the article, for it’s like a play-by-play of a school yard bickering session.  If you would like to see the trustees in action, here is a link to video of the actual meeting.  It goes a bit long (a whopping 3+ hours – these poor people were at their meeting until 10:30pm!), but most of the action involving Ms. Stone is in the first 10 minutes (after the Pledge of Allegiance) and in the last 30 minutes of part 3 of the meeting, which is where poor flustered President Hartstein has finally had enough.

Causing most of the problem is Ms. Lisa Stone because she doesn’t seem to respect the most basic rules of politeness nor eloquence.  She interrupts the other board members; speaking out of turn, continuously overriding her superiors and her time limits (time limits which were created, voted upon, and passed by her fellow board members because of her actions at previous meetings), and she just doesn’t seem concerned about any agenda other than her own.  After watching these little pieces of political treasure (ah, Illinois politics, gotta love ’em.  Isn’t this a state poised to have TWO former governors in the pokey at the same time?), I couldn’t resist doing some internet research on Lisa Stone.  The most interesting thing I found was her election website, electlisastone.com where the very same newspaper who provided a play-by-play of her getting told to ‘shut up’  by the board president  endorses her political career with very encouraging words which are displayed prominently and proudly on the top middle of the page!  Also of interest on this site?  Check out the little video on the left side – the then-mayor of the same city, Buffalo Grove, also endorses Lisa in the election.  And guess who the mayor was during the election?  Elliott Hartstein, the same president of the village board who got so flustered with Ms. Stone that he told her to ‘shut up’.  How about those politics, folks!  More entertaining than a 3-ring circus and for free, from the comfort of your own living room!

What Did Porky Pig Ever Do To You?

Posted in Current Events, Pop Culture on July 15th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , ,

The following news story caught my eye because well, let’s be honest – any sort of physical comedy involving someone in a big mascot costume is funny.
Ok, so it’s not funny when someone gets hurt; I stand corrected.  Best wishes to Ms. Porky Pig for a speedy recovery.  From suburban Chicago’s newspaper, The Daily Herald:

Two employees of Six Flags Great America turned against a coworker dressed as Porky the Pig on Monday after posing for a photo with her.

Dmytro Petrychenko, 19, and Taras Sikalchuk, 20, were visiting the park on their day off and were seen slapping a woman dressed as Porky Pig in the front and back of her head multiple times, according to Gurnee police. Both men are from Waukegan, reports indicated.

The men were apprehended, removed from the park and issued local battery citations by Gurnee police.

The victim was taken to a first aide station after complaining of a headache and neck pains. She was treated and released, according to a Six Flags spokesperson.

Kind of reminds me of the Sausagegate incident of 2008…

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Summer Blahs

Posted in Kids on July 14th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , ,

My kids are driving me nuts!!  It’s the middle of summer, and although I’ve scarcely heard the words, “I’m bored”, my kids are driving me and each other up the walls and back down again.  My 3 girls (ages 10, 6, and 3) are bickering constantly!  By the time I get their brother (age 2) down for a nap in the afternoon, I’m so exhausted that I really cherish my “me” time, which is always laced with sounds of the girls’ fighting and bickering.  My husband suggested we do more activities together (we read books and color in the mornings, and I take them to the library every day to play), but it’s a vicious cycle.  The more they fight, the less I want to do with them, and the less I do with them, the more they fight, as if their fighting could increase.  I am so thankful that Friday is the day when I get to meet their Grandma in South Bend and arrange a trade – 3 girls to Grandma’s for the week!!  I could not be looking forward to it more!  Sure, I’ll miss them, but given the way they’ve been acting lately, it will be a challenge for me to not dread the monotony of the summer continuing when they get back.  I can think of plenty of things to do, but like I said, I’m so exhausted by the constant refereeing (aren’t refs supposed to be paid?) that it’s hard to find the energy to facilitate an activity and clean it up.  Wait, Grandma reads my blog, I better not dwell on the fighting too much.  Wouldn’t want to change her mind about next week!!

Only 39 days until school starts!  One week at Grandma’s and 10 weekend days, so really only 22 days left – not that I’m counting or anything…  Now where is that countdown timer widget?  🙂