Friday, February 29, 2008

Three Things

1. Lucy plays fetch, but she doesn't always bring the item all the way over to us. After that, it becomes a battle of wills. Who will go get it first, humans or cat? Because we are weak-willed suckers, it's usually us.

2. On Wednesday I saw a side table in the middle of a pile of someone's junk on the side of the road, and I got really excited because I've been wanting one, but haven't been willing to pay real cash dollars to get one. When I went to dig it out, I discovered that I wasn't getting just any side table for free; I was getting a side table with a built-in brass ashtray for free. Don't even try to pretend you're not jealous.

3. I'm picking up a lot of extra jobs these days, and while one of them is every week on the same days, at the same time, the rest of them are just random odds and ends. This makes me a little bit disoriented. What day is it? What's your name, kid? Where did I park my car? What?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

Today Mary Liz is seven years old.

Funnier than ever.

Independent as all get out, whatever that really means.

But she still reaches for my hand in a room full of strangers. As long as she still does that, I think I'll be okay with this whole growing up deal.

with my favorite girl by my side

Happy Birthday, my lovely.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

You'll Be Wanting to Click This One Over and Over Again, Too

I think we already know that Hillary doesn't really care about you. She just wants to win. In fact, if you must know, Hillary already gave me a bad cold, plus she talked through the entire movie. And you know how I feel about people talking through movies.

Pipe down, Hillary.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Let the Sofa-Sitting Commence. Er, Continue.

This morning I dropped the car off at the dealership for some repairs (shout out to my husband for purchasing the seven year warranty back in '03, thereby guaranteeing everything but the oil change to be FREE! FREE! FREE!), then got a ride home from the dealership shuttle. I had this idea that I would take a short nap and then get down to business with all the housework that has gone undone this week due to my wonked-out schedule. I laid down on the sofa, rearranged the cat for optimal comfort (she had her nose digging into my ribs), and the next thing I knew it was three and a half hours later and I had slept hard enough to wake up with semi-permanent sofa pillow creases covering the entire right side of my face.

One would think that, after that, I might get up and get going, at least start a load of laundry or something, So far I have made myself an enormous cup of coffee, eaten three brownies, chatted animatedly on the phone with Nicole (I consider the hand gestures to be an excellent midday workout), and resettled myself with all three cats on the sofa. For extra super bonus points, I did gather all the recyclable paper that is within arm's reach into one tidy pile. I feel the slightest twinge of guilt about pretty much doing nothing while the rest of the world is at work, but it's been pretty easy to push that to the back of my mind by watching YouTube videos.

It's pretty handy, this internet thing.

Click It. Then Click It AGAIN.

You won't be able to stop.

Click here to find out how much Barack Obama cares for you. Personally. I don't mean to brag, but he has a picture of me in his wallet and he has a balloon for me. See how good you'll have it if he's our next president?

Link via Melissa at Suburban Bliss.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hitting the Ground Stumbling

Last night after we got home and I'd finally showered, I started shuffling around half bent over, as if I fell somewhere between the original monkey type creature and Cro-Magnan man in the Darwinian line. I told Jarod that I was just too tired to walk upright anymore, so I'd have to show up to work like that, stumbling around and unable to remove anything from high shelves.

When I got there this morning, of course I stood upright and got breakfast as usual. What do yo think I am, a freak?

I've been keeping a pace lately that's not exactly sustainable for me. While on the one hand there isn't anything I've been doing that I'd want to forego, on the other hand, there's a lot of sleep I've been missing, and that, for me, is no good. I have a hard time not being jealous of the kind of people that can sleep just four to six hours a night and be fine. But here I am, needing nine or ten hours most nights, and I think that's one of those things that I just need to accept and not dwell on, or at least not dwell on for longer than it takes me to figure out how to get those nine to ten hours of sleep so that I don't end up being a grumpy Cro-Magnan bitch most of the time.

Here's to goals, and to naps...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day from the McBride Kitty Cat Preserve

phae wants to be your valentine
Please be my valentine so they'll take this stupid bow off my fur.

will emerge for kitten kibble
Kitten kibble? Kitten kibble? Kitten kibble? Hair elastics? What?

i sense that you would like to see more photos of my cat
Valentine's Day is for napping.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I am Boring, Example #968,574,937

So I'm pretty stoked today, and do you know why? No, not because there are primaries and I am wearing my lucky shoes (though that certainly is exciting), but because.....I had new brake pads put on the car!

And next week? I'm taking it in for an oil change and to have a repair done that is covered by Honda's extension of our original warranty!

Also, in three weeks I'm going to have two new tires put on, which will mean that all four tires have been replaced. How can I do this? Because I budgeted for it! AWESOME!

It's pretty sad when getting normal maintenance done on a Honda Civic is a point of excitement.


In other news, I'm so totally over winter. On Saturday we had a day that allowed our basement to be warm enough that I could comfortably clean out and organize it a bit (it's an ongoing project, but I'm making solid progress), and now that I've gotten a taste of that kind of good life, I simply can't be bothered with this zero-degrees-windchill bit.

Wait, did I just refer to cleaning out and organizing my basement as "the good life?" Example of Boringness #968,574,938, served up hot and fresh.


I think that part of the reason this is all so exciting is simply because I struggled so long to make ends meet, to keep up with things, to be responsible in the way I wanted to be. I was in so much debt and behind on so much that it seemed impossible that I would ever be able to go to the grocery store and get what I really wanted without having to put anything back. Jarod was in similar straits, but together we have put together a good budget that allows us to live more comfortably. While we are still careful and responsible with our budget, the truth is that most of the time if I want to get something extra and a little bit more fancy at the store, I can. If something unexpected comes up, it's not a huge stretch to cover it. We may have to reel in our expenditures for a few weeks depending on the size of the expense, but it's never terribly painful. I never have to use a credit card to cover life's necessities. And that feels incredibly good.

If there's one thing that I would recommend highly as a means of finding peace in life, it's too make the sacrifices it takes to get free of debt. It is not easy or fun for that moment, but when it's all said and done, when the last check is mailed off to pay off the car or the credit card or the student loan, the load of life is so much lighter. I've talked to a lot of people who endured some hard times and some heavy days to put their financial past firmly into the past, and we all agree that it was not only worth it, but that it was good for us. By taking the hard road, we are better set to maintain our good habits so that we will not have to endure that kind of distress again. Lesson learned, moving forward. Life is exciting, isn't it?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Adventures in Futility, Which I'm Hoping Will Turn Into Adventures in Effectiveness

Did you know that there's really no way to explain to an eight-year-old why superdelegates matter? Or why they probably shouldn't matter in the way that they do? Probably you understand this, and have not tried to launch into an explanation before 7am. You are smarter than me, obviously. Or perhaps you drink caffeinated coffee before you officially start your day.

This morning Jack told me that he saw on the news that my candidate is losing, and I said, "Say what? He's totally winning! Where do you get your information, kid?" Turns out he saw a delegate count chart, one that includes superdelegates, so it does indeed appear that my candidate is losing. But he's not! No, really! He has earned more delegates, so therefore HE'S THE WINNER. OBAMA FTW!!!!!! But Jack had seen that dumb chart, and there was no explaining it away. Dang eight-year-olds and their concrete reasoning.

In my opinion, using superdelegates to win is cheating, and I'll be hoppin' mad if Hillary gets the nomination if Barack has earned more delegates. (I'll admit I wouldn't be quite so hoppin' mad if it is the other way around, but I will think it is wrong and that we should do something about it.) Our political system is flawed in many ways, the most obvious being that the people can speak via popular vote, yet still have the other guy (or in this case, girl) "win." It's not really winning if you have to cheat to get there, now is it?

I suppose you could argue that the rules are what they are, that superdelegates and the freaking electoral college are part of those rules, so winning by those means is not cheating. However, if you argue that way, I will think you are wrong, just as I will think you are wrong if you think it's okay to do your high dollar friends a lot of favors when you're in office as opposed to giving things to those who truly deserve them and truly representing the will of the people. There are a lot of things that are done in politics and government that are simply unjust and downright immoral.

I'm an idealist. I can't help it.

If you're with me on this, you can do your part by e-mailing superdelegates to let them know that you favor the candidate who has the popular vote being the candidate to be nominated. Of course I don't expect you to write to every single one, but if we all write to some, then we can make our voices heard. Here is a list of superdelegates who already endorse a candidate, and here is a list of those who have not yet made an endorsement. You can find an e-mail directory for Congress here. That makes it pretty simple, right? Should I be giving a sample letter?


Dear Congressperson (fill in their name, duh),

I believe that the will of the people should count above all else when it comes to deciding who represents me in government. I hope that as you consider your choice for the Democratic nomination, you will pay attention to the voice of the people. We have voiced our support by voting, and we hope you will hear our voices and cast your vote as a superdelegate accordingly.

I appreciate your time and consideration in this matter.

(fill in your name here, duh)
(also city and state of residence could be handy)

Spread the word if you're so inclined.

(This applies only to the Dems, by the way. Republicans have what they call "unpledged delegates," but there are only 123 of those. If you'd like to e-mail them, be my guest, I'm just too lazy to provide the links for everything, plus the Democrat superdelegates are definitely more of an issue in this race than the Republican unpledged delegates are.)

Edited to add: Chris (down there in the comments) mentioned that the Obama campaign is asking people not to flood the superdelegates with e-mails, as it could do more harm than good. So I'm not proposing that if you agree with me that you take a different position, but perhaps we should at least hold our e-mails until after the convention so as to make it a more neutral issue as opposed to an issue that it may appear is solely for the purpose of getting one person elected. That wasn't what I was suggesting, by the way, that we should do it just to get our particular candidate elected, and I suppose I could have been more clear. I was suggesting that the people who are supposed to represent us should actually be representing us as opposed to doing favors for either candidate, whether it be Hillary or Obama. Regardless of whether I am holding back from sending e-mails now or not, I still find it to be incredibly frustrating that it could be more harmful than helpful to ask superdelegates, in particular those who are members of Congress, to listen to the voices of the very people they are elected to represent.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

News, Schmews

So there's this big hubbub about an MSNBC anchor making a comment about Hillary "pimping out" Chelsea, and frankly I don't really get what the big deal is. It's called slang, people. I think we all can tell when it's being used as slang and when someone means it literally. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE. IT IS NOT THAT HARD.

This is why I do not pay a great deal of attention to the news.

There is some news I can get behind, though, and that news is the good news of Obama's sweep of four states and the Virgin Islands this weekend. What I'm about to say may be controversial, but I'm going to let you in on this little secret anyway.

I know why Obama won all those states this weekend. It's because I was wearing my lucky shoes.

lucky shoes

Well, probably also because he's the best man for the job, but still. I'm certain my shoes were quite helpful.

PS--Don't tell Hillary's people; they might try to take them right off my feet.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I Probably Shouldn't Think This is Funny

Lately Jack and Mary Liz have been suffering from multiple behavioral diseases, the two most common being Not Responding to Instructions Disease and Bickering with Your Sibling Disease. It's tragic, really. So much suffering, so much woe. Yesterday, in the throes of Not Responding to Instructions Disease, Jack failed to stop making outdoor noises indoors (there's a screeching noise he enjoys that pretty much kills every living thing within a twelve mile radius) and Mary Liz was unable to stop touching things that did not belong to her at the polling location (only one sticker, no way! I think that's candy under there; let me check!). In order that they might not have to suffer their terrible symptoms any longer, I told them that they would be medicated by a short period of me not responding to them, specifically at the breakfast hour. In other words, I got to choose their breakfast this morning.

I chose plain oatmeal and half a banana with a glass of plain milk for added plain-y plainness. I served it to them and asked if they could handle themselves all right while I came upstairs to see about arranging a surprise of some sort for later in the day. (It's a snow day--once again, the school is trying to make me suffer.) First, Jack came up and said, "Um, Mary? That oatmeal you gave me tastes kind of plain."

"That's because it is plain. I picked plain oatmeal for your breakfast."

"Yes, but it's plain."

"I KNOW. That's why I picked it."

He sighed audibly and trudged back downstairs, resigned to his terrible fate.

Next Mary Liz came up, having suddenly come down with a tummy ache. "Mary, this oatmeal is making my tummy feel really sick," she whined, "I don't think I can eat it."

"Okay. Just take your bowl to the sink. If your tummy aches, obviously you cannot eat another bite." She looked at me, incredulous. Was that just so easy for her? Score!

I doubt she'll be feeling the same way when I pull pumpkin carrot muffins out of the oven and she claims to have suddenly recovered, yet won't be allowed to have one. Because really, who wants to upset her delicate digestive systm? Not me. Probably I should make sure she can keep down a nutritious lunch before proceeding with anything too tasty.


The other day we were in the car, and the kids started bickering, as is the usual. I have no idea what they were bickering about except that they were both lying a little to try to prove their point and taking turns calling out my name and to tell me what heinous thing that the other one had just said or done or lied about. I've spent enough breath telling them that I won't get in the middle of things, that I won't take sides, that they need to work it out on their own, so lately my remedy for Bickering with Your Sibling Disease is to just keep my mouth shut and let 'em go at it. I only step in if it comes to fisticuffs.

After about ten minutes of both kids trying and failing to get my attention or elicit any response at all from me, Mary Liz paused for a moment and said, "Jack? I think Mary must be dead."

Everyone dissolved in giggles. Success!

Date Night with the McBrides, the "We Helped Make This Happen" Edition

Someday we're going to go out on a real date and you'll all be wondering, "Wait, is there an Obama function at that fancy restaurant? Because Jarod and Mary don't go out on dates that don't involve Obama functions."

date night with the mcbrides

For tonight, though, we maintained our usual date night level of excitement and went to the Super Tuesday watch party at the Uptown. We were there long enough to see a lot of states' results come in, including Kansas, which Holy cow, Kansas! Aren't you just the bee's knees? Three to one in Obama's favor is definitely a ratio I can live with.

And then there was you, Missouri. You kept us guessing, but now you've done it. We've done it.

thanks, mo

I'm so glad I've been a part of this.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I Know It's Been on Your Minds

But perhaps you were to scared to ask. What if she were going for Hillary, and asking her would cause a rift in our family? What if asking her opinion was your last ditch effort to make a decision, yet she declined to say?

People, Lucy Snowe has felt your anguish, and she is ready to respond. She knows it is a bit late in the game, what with the Kennedy clan already making their announcements of support and the rumor of even Bobby DeNiro getting in on the Obama action, but as with getting the chicken treat bag open, Lucy Snowe feels it's never too late. She hopes this announcement will make a difference to those of you who are still undecided and heading to the polls.

lucy snowe endorses barack obama for president

Lucy Snowe endorses Barack Obama for president.

Need I say more?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Time Well Spent

Today I spent a few hours tallying up call logs at the Obama Kansas City headquarters. For awhile I was seated near an older couple who were making phone calls to voters in Kansas, encouraging to get them out to caucus on Tuesday. Judging by the end of the conversation I was hearing, a lot of people were confused. This is the first time Kansas has caucused, and these folks had their work cut out for them explaining what the caucus process is like, where to go, and why you have to get there at a certain time instead of just going anytime during the day. I was impressed by their patience and by their dedication. Being a part of this myself has been good, but watching my fellow volunteers--of all ages and races--do what they can to spread the word has been inspiring. I have never believed in a candidate enough to do any more than show up at the voting booth. I have, in fact, abstained from voting before because I didn't feel like I could get behind any of the candidates.

This time is so very different. I am involved, and I am invested. I care about what happens next. I'm afraid of hearing the numbers come in on Tuesday because I want so very badly for this candidate to be the candidate, to be our president. I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way, who sees something like this video and feels a little bit of pride.

I am proud to be a part of this. No matter what happens on Tuesday, I will never consider the time I spent working to make this dream a reality, the dream of hope and change, to be a waste. I am honored to be a part of such an amazing group of people who have worked together despite our differences.

I'll be doing more for the campaign tomorrow and Monday, either making calls or tallying up call logs again (the latter is my preference, to be honest, but I'll do whatever is needed). If you are in the Kansas City area and would like to be part of what all of us are doing together for the Obama campaign, please stop by the headquarters at 3911 Main or call 816-531-1108 to find out how you can help in the next few days.

Whether you're for Obama or not, please get out and vote or caucus on Tuesday. Of course we'd prefer that you stand with us in support of our chosen candidate, but regardless of whether you agree with us or not, your voice deserves to be heard. To find your polling or caucus location, you can visit the Barack Obama website, scroll to the bottom where it says "Obama Everywhere," click on your state, and then click through to find your polling or caucusing information. I especially like the feature on the Kansas info page that gives a little intro and instructions to help you understand the caucusing process.

Get out there, people. Your voice is important; let's hear it.