Saturday, August 29, 2009

And the winner is?

When it comes to modern technology, the Kat family is pretty much a day late and a dollar short.

We've had Internet connection at home for a long time but that was mainly because it was a work requirement. Which means we had a computer in the house but until sometime in the last year or so never had a laptop, but once again because of work both Hubby and I each now have one of those.

We've had cable TV or satellite TV or Uverse TV since it's inception mainly due to the fact that I am a TV junkie and the rest of the testosterone beings in the Kat family are sports fanatics. I never really had the desire to upgrade any of the televisions in our house to the flat screen HDTV model and now,in less than one year we have two?

We've had pretty much every game system since Atari but since C3 is a XBOX360 snob we never jumped on the Wii bandwagon despite all the hype. Well until last week when I finally convinced Hubby that we needed some family bonding tools before it was too late and C3 didn't want to bond with us anymore.

Through our journey into the technical device era I was considered the 'techie' of the family and was able to connect and figure out how most of the new fangled devices we bought worked. When we finally got a VCR I was able to hook it up and we could rent movies and watch them although I never figured out how to record anything on it. Of course about a year later that was on the verge of becoming obsolete with the invention of the DVD player but we held firm until we could no longer rent movies on VHS... We finally got a DVD player and while I was able to hook it up neither Hubby nor I could ever figure out how to get a movie to start without calling C3 into the room.

Next we upgraded to satellite dish and didn't actually need that DVD player anymore because we could string that 100 foot telephone cord across the living room into the kitchen phone outlet and order movies directly to our TV. It even had that DVR feature that allowed any brainless twit to figure out how to record shows. The only problem was when it rained or was cloudy or tornadoes were imminent, we had no reception.

We moved up and onto digital TV when we upgraded to Uverse TV and then I could not only record stuff on one channel, I could record stuff on up to four channels and watch something different. So COOL! Thankfully they came and set up all the TVs and remotes and all I had to learn was how to work the remote control.

Then we purchased our first flat screen HDTV and all by myself and some color coded stickers I was able to hook the box back up to the new set and we were still in business. However I never could figure out how to get the TV and the box to work off one remote so we were stuck with keeping up with two remotes. Of course the TV salesdude convinced us that the new TV wouldn't work properly unless we upgraded to HD service from our supplier and we immediately call and ordered that and started paying the badgillion dollars every month. Honestly, although Hubby swore he could tell the difference between the regular channels and the HD channels, they all looked the same to me except the HD channels didn't fill the whole big screen so we mostly watched regular channels.

Then came last Christmas and C2 bought us a surround sound system that we could play DVD's, listen to the radio and I could hook my ipod up and listen to my music. Hooking that up was an experience and because the first system was faulty and not all of the speakers worked so we took it back and got another one which we had the same problem with, then eight hours later and the third upgraded system, we were able to have surround sound with movies but nothing else. We came to the agreement that was the way it was supposed to work and now had three remotes to keep track of.

So last week when I convinced Hubby to pull the trigger and get the Wii system, I finally got it working except I could only get in to work in black and white. GAH! Throwing in the white towel we scheduled the GeekSquad to come out and figure out how to make it all work together.

We learned some pretty valuable lessons today, one that HDTV really does look different than regular TV, who'd have thought? Second, surround sound does work whether you are watching normal TV or a movie or listening to the radio or the ipod, who knew? Third, we also learned that playing Wii is not only competitive but majorly addictive...

As of now, some 12 hours later, I have mastered not only bowling and hold the house record in that game and even though I've never in my life picked up a golf club or hit a golf ball, I am the reigning family champ in that sport as well. The baseball bores me but Hubby and C3 can be really aggressive in that game. Tennis obviously isn't my game and boxing, well we had to hook up the joystick looking things for that and we can't find where we put one of those... I do know that even though I'm the big winner for the day every frickin muscle in my body hurts and my joints are aching so bad that I had to take a whirlpool bath to even lay down comfortably. But, I can not wait until tomorrow...

Monday, August 24, 2009

I swore I wouldn't do it again...

Today was the first day for C3 at the high school. I can't tell you the mixed emotions that come with his entering his sophomore year. I can tell you that I cried like a baby when I dropped MY BABY off at the front door of the school. All this time I've been saying that I'm almost done with so much bravo, it was/is all a facade. I'm depressed as hell...

However in his good child/humor the hormonal mother spirit he allowed me to take the annual 'First Day of School' shot - ain't he adorable?


He even let me take a self portrait, he's such an angel...


God I love this kid!

So tonight I did something I swore I wouldn't do again.  It all has to do with my big mouth and my tendency to not be able to shut it...  Last week I went to the football booster club meeting, because we want to support our school, our football team and our son.  There were only about 10 parents there but I figured it was because school hadn't officially started.  Several requests for volunteers were made and I held my ground and dug my heels in and refused eye contact with anyone.  I've done my time with the first two, it's time for the young folks to get involved...

I drug Hubby with me tonight assuming that there would be MORE of a crowd and I didn't want to go alone.  With Hubby, there were a total of 13 parents there.  Thirteen friggin parents with a total roster of 178 football players - wtf?

I sat and listened to the poor President stammer on and on as she made more requests for volunteers and then told us all the things we could NOT do because of the lack of funds.  You know football is a big thing here in Texas and all the schools have these elaborate tunnels/helmets that the Varsity team runs through at the beginning of the game.  Our school's helmet bit the dust apparently 4 years ago and all we have left is the tunnel that is on it's last leg.  To get a new one the booster club needed $6000 and had secured a sponsor for $3000 but couldn't come up with the other half, so, no new tunnel...  Wow, 178 football players and they can't get any of the parents to help raise money or commit to spending $35 per player to buy this?  wtf?

Before I could even slap myself silly, my hand was raised and I asked one simple question - Where the hell are all the parents?  After a long discussion and tears from the President I found that I had nominated and ELECTED myself to the Membership Chairman position and committed to writing a letter and mailing it to the parents of these 178 boys.  wtf?

I really wish there was a button that I could push that stops me from getting on my soapbox and opening my mouth before my foot gets stuck in it...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me

So I finally got my day off today and it was pretty uneventful, sort of.

Had to get C3 to school at 7 am for his 9:00 scrimmage. Of course a huge storm blew in about 6:45 am with the most magnificent lightening show and horrendous thunder and flooding rains. Dropped him at the school assuming that they would cancel the game and told him to call me and I'd pick him up. Came home and went back to bed and woke up at 9:00 and the sun was shining - crap! Threw myself together, stopped for a starbucks and flew the 20 or so miles down the road and made it just in time to sit on a wet bleacher and soak my shorts and watch them do the handshake thing and head to the bus... That sucked. Mom of the Year once again!

Since I was out anyway I decided to go shopping and buy Hubby a new wedding ring for our anniversary today. 27 years. Or is it 28? Anyway, got a slamming deal on a nice ring, shopped some more, came home and took a nap. Decided to do a low key celebration without getting all gussied up and went and had some good Mexican food and a couple of sangria's. Nice.

I was rather proud of my purchase since he has gone ringless for many, many years, (because he lost the last two...) and presented it to him at dinner. He was quite impressed and said it was the perfect ring. And then, because I am the luckiest woman in the world, married to the most wonderful man in the world (well today anyway), he took me to get my present. And he picked out this:

What a good man that Charlie Brown...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Diva Speaks...

Being a certified DIVA (shut up, I have papers to prove it) I am all about the do's and don'ts of fashion etiquette. Why I practically made most of them up! There are RULES people! There is a time and a place for every outfit, every accessory, and every shoe. I've slipped a few times in recent years, like last week taking C3 to school at 7:15 am with wet hair, but in my defense I did a quick up-do and wore my Jackie-O sunglasses, lest someone recognize me... Just ask a few of my friends, my opinions on choices of outfits and SHOES run freely. I don't offer these opinions to be mean or anything, but because I want all my friends and fellow woman-kind to have their true DIVA shine through. It's not just a look, it's a whole personality.

So, today I saw that there is apparently a big hoopla because the Prez's wife, the First Lady, had the audacity to wear SHORTS that showed her LEGS while visiting the Grand Canyon on vacation last week. Puhleazzzeeee... STFU!

Any true DIVA knows that in certain situations it is perfectly acceptable to wear shorts whether you are the Queen of Sheba or the First Lady. Uh, hello, visiting the Grand Canyon in the 100 degree heat qualifies as one of those times. She's NOT the Messiah or anything special besides being the First Lady and if you people haven't seen legs before then get a frickin grip! Maybe there is some secret code book that says it's unconstitutional or something, but then none of us would be wearing shorts now would we? GET OVER IT!

Of course, I do have some issues about 'THE' outfit that she choose and a little bit of advice for next time...

First and foremost, no disrespect here, but us larger gals probably should make sure the scale of our outfit does not accentuate our um, largeness... Those shorts were hideous and looked like she'd had them in her drawer for about 20 years... A nice pressed pair of Bermuda's would have worked here.

The buttoned shirt as a cover-up, so 80's, tres' tacky... She should have tried something a little more flowy with a nice bright print. I mean yes, she is touring the Grand Canyon, but was she planning on digging another hole and needed the extra pockets?

Did anyone but me notice that she was NOT wearing a bra with her little cami/t-strap shirt? Mmmm, bad, bad, bad. We always wear a push up bra even under the cami... gravity is not always our friend.

And the hair? Honey, that hair do is only to be worn while taking off our make-up and moisturizing before bed. That is definitely not a public do... No matter how hot it is, we always do our do!

Finally, and I saved the worst for last, the SHOES! DEAR GAWD!!!! Sneakers/tennis shoes were made with ONE purpose in mind, exercise. There is NO other reason to wear them and I don't think you were planning on doing any jumping jacks in the Canyon now were you? With so many other CUTE, yet comfortable, options available to you, WHY, oh WHY, did you wear sneakers? Yuk!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I hate school!

This has been a really long week and I've worked really long hours. Actually it's been a really long month and I've worked really long hours all month. So I'm tired and I want a day off. I want a day that I can sleep in and nobody wakes me up. Can I go out on a limb here and say I really hate that school is starting in a week? I guess it technically started this week because C3 started football on Monday and that screwed up my already screwed up week.

He has to be there at 7:15 am. Normally, and every day this week, I am in the middle of blow drying my curly hair to make it straight at 7:15 am. So I've had to make myself get up earlier every day this week. Did this solve the dilemma? Uh, no. Because now instead of three cups of coffee before starting the beautifying routine that I must endure to be my true Diva self, I'm sitting on the deck drinking 6 cups of coffee to wake myself up from the lack of sleep. Which means at 7:10 am I am in the middle of drying my hair and must stop and drive him up to the school. With WET HAIR in PUBLIC!

The past 4 Friday's in a row I scheduled to take the day off. Why? So that I could have a sleep in until I want to get up, pajama day. I picked Friday because C3 didn't have work outs on Friday mornings at school (yes this is Texas and we LOVE our friggin football but it technically wasn't football during the summer, it was working out... wtfever). Needless to say my Friday off has been cancelled 4 weeks in a row. Damn job. NOW, that we have the official okay to start football practice and they start an hour earlier AND school starts in one week and there won't be any chance of sleeping in, I decided that tomorrow would be my chosen sleep in day. And just you guess what I found out about 15 minutes ago?

Yep, I got the "Oh Mom, forgot to tell you we have football practice at 8:00 am tomorrow..." Are you FRICKIN KIDDING ME? On Saturday TOO? Can't we just have one more week of summer vacation, just one??????

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And I'm back with more to say and you probably wish I'd shut up already...

Wow, I got quoted and such over on Jenn's blog! I feel almost famous!

Jenn and other fellow bloggers, make no mistake I am not a Republican Nazi that needs to be reported to Nancy Pelosi, I am a registered Democrat. I am all for health care reform, truly I am.

However, unfortunately the scare tactics and misinformation are flowing pretty freely on both sides of the political bandwagon. Even our President has made some blatant false statements about insurance.

I find it disheartening that health insurance and health insurance companies, as a WHOLE, are being blamed for all that is wrong in the health care system today. Currently ALL insurance policies are governed by every single state and there are millions of regulations and laws that must be complied with in order for an insurance policy to be approved and sold to the public. If the insurance plan that you or anyone is currently on is not up to 'par' then there has always been the freedom to choose to purchase a policy that is exactly what you want.

However, many people today want a plan with Cadillac benefits yet only want to pay for a Kia, and then want to scream and bitch that the insurance companies are ripping them off. If someone wants or expects an insurance plan with all the rich benefits they desire, then they probably need to put their money where their mouth is and fork over the cash...

Health insurance is no different than auto insurance or home insurance. You purchase the benefits that you want based on the price that you want to pay. We all accept that if our car is damaged that we have a deductible to pay and if it's totalled that the insurance company is not going to pay for a brand new car but give us the current value of the wrecked car. We all know that we have a deductible for our homeowner's insurance and hopefully we all realize that if our house burns down that they are not going to replace everything at 100% of current market value. Why is it then that we all get upset that health insurance policies have deductibles and expect us to cover some of our own costs?

Insurance should be purchased for catastrophic cases, just like you do for your auto and home. Why do we expect the government to take care of our medical needs when we don't take care of our own personal health?

If you think for one minute that a government run health insurance plan can give you all of the bells and whistles that you desire and NOT cost you a fortune, you need to seriously think again. The government run program for a family of four with an income of $80,000 will cost $1,200 per month. It is tiered down for people that make less money. I can sell that family a Caddie product right now that will have more than enough benefits, including 100% preventative care, for less than $400 a month. Which plan would you rather pay for?

The proposed plan will not be free and coverage for everything under the sun will not be in it. The proposed plan has a deductible of $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for families. Do you have that kind of money? I don't, and I much prefer to pay the lower premium I have now and stick with my $2,500 deductible plan than be forced to come up with 4 times that amount.

Health care reform should focus on fixing the things that are broken versus trying to force the American people to buying something that will not end up being what they think it is. We should work on the current government run plans like Medicare and Medicaid.

We hear all about the low income people not being able to afford health insurance, are we ever told that you have to be poorer than poor to receive Medicaid? I know many people that don't have an extra nickel to their name that have been turned down by Medicaid. Fix that system and make it work like it was intended.

Despite having paid into the Medicare system for more years than some of you have been alive, the Medicare system is broke. Why? Because the government did not have a check and balance system and has been overpaying doctors for years and years and years and the doctors took the money and kept their mouths shut.

Should a prescription really cost me $500 a month or should we relax the FDA restrictions and stop rewarding the pharmaceutical companies because they line our politician's pockets, both Republican and Democrat?

Should there be insurance for people that are sick? Sure and all the major insurance companies have stated that they would be happy to insure them and charge them the same premium as the healthy people, IF, the government enforces that we are all required to have insurance. We require this for autos and homes, why don't we make this a requirement for human life?

Sorry I got on my soapbox once again, but I do think it is highly unfair to place the blame on an industry that 80% of the people that have purchased a product from state that they are happy with their product. Let's reform health care, let's not blame one industry for the faults of many.