30 September 2008

The Fence is Crumbling Under the Weight

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I need some unbiased opinions (some of you will need to work with me on that one) on a situation that occurred this morning. What I'm looking for is some kind of idea if what I believe to be an unreasonable reaction is - indeed - unreasonable. First, a little bit of background ...

There has always been an issue in our home surrounding how early I set my alarm (4:15AM). In reality, I do not need to get up until 5:15AM - I could get up at that time, do my morning chores - get myself ready and still get out the door on time. Husband doesn't need to wake up until 5:30AM.

Now, the reason I get up so early is so that I have an hour to watch the news, check my email, read blogs and update mine. It's certainly not necessary, but I enjoy that hour of quiet time, sipping my coffee all alone. The problem? Sometimes (usually not more than once/week) I hit the snooze when the alarm sounds at 4:15. This wakes husband up and he is not able to get his last hour of sleep.

This morning I hit the snooze. When the alarm sounded again at 4:24, husband yelled, "Dana, you [insert really nasty, multiple word, expletive], get out of the f*&%ing bed!" It went downhill from there. As I was leaving the room I said (didn't yell - I swear), "All of the things I do for you and you want to bitch about the alarm clock." Now, just what is it I do for him (thanks Fairy Flutters for this idea)?

  • Each morning I wake him up at 5:30. I give him a short back rub and whisper, "Good Morning." I also leave a glass of water and his daily medication on the bedside table.
  • When he gets in the shower at 6:00, I make the bed and place a cup of coffee on the bedside table for him to drink when he gets out of the shower.
  • I make dinner and clean the kitchen every week night (and most weekends).
  • I do all of the grocery shopping, including unloading the groceries from the car and putting them all away.
  • I do all of the laundry, including picking up his dirty clothes, folding his clean clothes and putting his clean clothes away.
  • I take his work clothes to the cleaners once/week and pick them up, hanging them in his closet.
  • I clean the house - vacuum, dust, bathrooms, floors - once each week.
  • I clean the cat litter box and feed the cats daily.
  • I handle all banking responsibilities, from paying bills to making deposits.
  • I make the morning phone call to Cam to make sure he is out of bed and ready to catch the bus.
  • I supervise Cam's homework daily.
  • I make all phone calls for husband's appointments (hair cut, dentist, etc.).
  • I keep the family calendar updated with all family obligations, including those of my step-daughter and step-son.
  • I take out the trash and any yard waste (grass clippings etc.) each week, bringing the trash receptacles back in at the end of the day.
  • AND I work a full-time job, am PTO President and go to the gym at least 3x/week.
Now, if I stewed on this a bit more, I have no doubt I could come up with even more things that I do to keep the family running efficiently. Don't get me wrong - none of these things have ever been demanded of me. I do them because making my family happy - taking care of them and doing these things for them - makes me happy. I don't expect anything in return other than a little bit of common courtesy and respect should I do something terrible like hit the snooze button in the morning.

This is not the first time he has made his disdain for my 4:15 rising time known. This has come up frequently in the 5 years we have been together, but has never resulted in the reaction that occurred this morning. In addition to the initial name calling, I was told how "sick and tired" he is of my obsessive compulsive need to get up and watch TV and surf the internet at ungodly hours, that he didn't want me to do anything for him anymore because I think it gives me a right to hold it over his head (I never complain), that I could not speak my mind on the subject (he's not spoken to me since the degrading name calling), that I was to leave him alone, and he even "withheld" my morning goodbye kiss (When I asked for a kiss as I was walking out the door he shook his head no).

I understand that he wants to optimize his sleeping time, but what about what works for me? What makes me happy? Was his reaction over the top or should I abide by his sleeping schedule and apologize? I know some of you cannot believe I am asking these questions, but my reality seems have gotten so skewed that I really cannot seem to grasp what is reasonable and what isn't, and trust me, I will be told I am wrong in this situation.

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29 September 2008

TMI Tuesday #154

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TMI Tuesday

1. What do you feel is the difference between sexy and erotic?

The difference between sexy and erotic is like the difference between wearing a lacy cami/panty set under your skirt and blouse to work (sexy), and coming home to your significant other and doing a strip tease down to your lacy cami/panty set while he/she cooks dinner in the kitchen (erotic). Sexy is an adjective - erotic is a verb!

2. Do you believe there is one right person (i.e. soul mate) for you out there in the world, or that there can be many different potential mates that you could live blissfully with?

Well, after 25 years of attempting to make monogamy work, while always wondering how in the heck one "life partner" was supposed to satisfy all of my needs, and realizing that there really are different kinds of love for different relationships (Have I now given a long enough preamble?), I would say that not only are there many different potential mates that I could live blissfully with (male and female), but that I could actually live blissfully with more than one of them in the same household.

3. Do you need to hear "I love you" or similar words on a regular basis from your partner?

I don't need to hear the words very often, but I need to "see" the words on a regular basis. I need to know - through thoughtful actions - that I am important to my partner - that I matter.

4. What feeling do you have the most difficulty expressing?

All of them! Seriously, I struggle - really struggle - with expressing emotions. It makes me feel extremely vulnerable and out of control. In fact, a dear friend recently pointed out that he thought I went into "logical mode" as a defense mechanism. He was right. I've started sharing feelings here and there with people I feel "safe" with and I'm hoping to eventually find a better balance between logical and emotional thinking/reasoning, but for now they are all extremely difficult to express. In other words, I'm not the cold-hearted bitch I often come across as *wink*

5. What is worse - physical, mental or cyber cheating?

Hmmm ... this one is difficult. I used to be quite black and white on cheating, but not so much any more. I've seen/heard some pretty amazing things that make me question if cheating - any type of cheating - is always a bad thing. I think the "bad" component of cheating isn't the type that has occured, but the level one feels betrayed when they discover they've been cheated on.

BONUS: The Kinsey scale attempts to describe a person's sexual history or episodes of their sexual activity at a given time. It uses a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual. Where are you - TODAY - on the scale?

Well, in all honesty I'd say I am a solid 4, maybe even leaning towards a 5, stuck in a society/family that wants me to be a 0. Actually, I've been doing a lot of thinking on this lately and have come to the realization that what is really missing in my life is a loving, emotional (well, yeah ... and physical) relationship with a woman.

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28 September 2008

It Was Only a Matter of Time

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I received the following email yesterday ...
Mrs. D:

On Friday, Cam brought home information about parent-teacher conferences. We are having some concerns with Cameron's progress and would like to schedule a full team 20 minute conference to discuss how we can address these concerns. Could you send back some times when you would have 20 minutes available on the conference dates so we can block out a 20 minute time slot? Thank you.

Mr. R

Translated into non-educator speak ...

Your son's performance is a problem and is reflecting poorly on us. We told you last year there was something wrong with him and you ignored us, so we are going to bombard you again this year - have you sit in a room with 7 teachers who will all tell you what a "loser" your son is (and thus, you are). We will make you cry and feel bad until you give in to our demands of having him evaluated and labeling him as a special education student. You will not tell us this is a problem with our teaching as we are professionals and we are never wrong.


Have I mentioned lately that I am extremely frustrated with the public education system? That I had Cam evaluated independently and the results were that he is easy to engage and performing well above expectations for his age? That the school has gone to a "team" approach this year and placed kids in teams based upon their perception of their abilities, placing Cam in one of the lower performing groups, where the expectations for his success are also low? That I asked the teaching staff for help last year and was told they would do nothing to help me until/unless I had him labeled as special ed?

Yes ... it's going to be a fight. I will ask for an agenda for this meeting and will be told it is "informal" with no agenda. This is because they do not want me to be prepared - they do not want me to be able to challenge them. I will go, independent evaluation in hand, and be told the school cannot honor that - that they can only honor an evaluation done by their personnel. That an educational evaluation is "different" and the only guidance they will follow even though those conducting the educational evaluation will be far less qualified than the team that performed the independent evaluation.

I know far too much about this process. I know how the system works. I know that what they claim to be "in the best interest" of the student is nothing more than additional funding for the school and an excuse for them to not do the little things that would make all of the difference for Cam. I know that his behavior will be used as an excuse to not place him in more challenging classes, yet if he were to be in more challenging classes, his behavior would improve.

Yes ... it's going to be a fight ... one I get better and better at each and every time I fight it. One where I tell them that although they might hold a teaching degree, they do not know my son better than I do. One where I push back - HARD - and piss them all off ... once again.

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27 September 2008

Sunday Secret


My husband has no idea that I have a blog, or that I participate in HNT, yet I sometimes take my half-nekkid photos while he is in the next room and I am often sitting not more than 5 feet away from him when I am cropping and downloading those half-nekkid photos to my blog.

25 September 2008

Friday Wrap-Up

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There's been a rash of blog nastiness lately. For a change, it's not been my blog that is full of drama, although, with my strong opinions and blunt nature, I haven't been completely exempt from it by any means. Most of what I've seen seems to be happening in the comments section of many blogs. I am a firm believer in our right to free speech, but it seems it's the respect component (or perception of respect) that is missing.

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I am so frustrated with so many of the political posts I read lately. I see far too many (in my oh-so-humble opinion) blogs that spend most of their time cutting/tearing down the candidate they are not supporting, than they do pointing out why their candidate is the better choice. This is not in any way party specific - I see it on both sides. If that weren't enough, there has been an awful lot of regurgitating internet rumors and misinformation on both candidates that bloggers - SMART bloggers - tout as fact.

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Maybe the recent increase I've seen in blogger burn-out over the past month or so is directly related to the above issues? It seems many of my favorite bloggers, those who used to post regularly, have either announced their hiatus from blogging or have simply disappeared. I wonder if the blog nastiness and abundance of political posts aren't somehow related to their decision.

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As I continue to play out here in the blog world, I realize their are just as many expectations from bloggers on how their readers/commentors should behave, as there are bloggers. I'm afraid I am terribly guilty of assuming everyone feels the same as I do, especially when it comes to disagreement on a post.

On my blog, dissenting opinions are welcome, but commentors need to be prepared for me to stand true to my opinion. That doesn't mean I am not listening to what they are saying, or that I am not open to considering I might be wrong, but it does mean that I am prepared to debate my position. There is nothing I enjoy more than good, logical debate. Some of you have presented such good arguments, you've changed my perceptions. Yet it seems there are bloggers who feel, when this is done on their blog, it is rude, obnoxious and/or argumentative.

I also try to respond to all comments left on my posts, but I am guilty of not visiting - and/or commenting on - every post of every blogger who visits me. I've learned there are bloggers who feel this is disrespectful and portrays a feeling of superiority on the part of the blogger who doesn't reciprocate.

I think I need a spreadsheet ...

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24 September 2008

HNT - Bagwine Too

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Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I lust for have the utmost respect for Matt-Man over at Bagwine Ruminations. He's been a great sounding board, inspiration and friend, not to mention the object of my desires blog crush. He recently sent me a special gift for my blogiversary (what I'm wearing and what I am clutching) and I could think of no better way to honor him than to say,

"Reality Goes Better With Bagwine, Cheers!"


And just what does one wear with a Bagwine t-shirt? *CLICK*

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23 September 2008

In-N-Out and In-N-Out

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I don't know how many of you are familiar with In-N-Out Burger. They are a regional Burger Chain (California, Nevada Utah and Arizona) that has somewhat of a cult following. Their focus is on quality - their burger never frozen - all burgers cooked to order - french fries made with raw (not frozen) potatoes. They've managed to succeed for 60+ years in a market that is quite competitive and often focuses on price and speed rather than quality of food. Additionally, they are one of the few fast food chains in the United States that pay its employees significantly more than state and federal mandated minimum wage - starting at $10 per hour in California.

A couple of years ago there was this big hullabaloo surrounding a "subliminal" practice of In-N-Out Burger. It appeared they were printing something on their wrappers. People started talking ... could these really be ... bible verses??

Good old Snopes looked into it and sure enough, those markings on In-N-Out cups and burger wrappers?? They are Bible citations. John 3:16, Proverbs 3:5, Nahum 1:7 ... now be honest, how many of you even knew Nahum was a book in the Old Testament - you thought it was the wrapper manufacturer, didn't you?

Anyway, it seems this practice is found offensive by some. Almost as if In-N-Out burger is doing a little subliminal advertising of *gasp* the bible. In order for that to be true, we'd have to accept the premise that people know these references are, indeed, bible verses. Seems like a bit of a stretch being that Snopes had to confirm this for the general public.

Then, we'd have to operate from the position that In-N-Out was doing this to/for us. A little self-centered, don't you think? Is it not possible that In-N-Out does this as a way to give thanks to their "God" for their success and it has nothing to do with us?

Let's get real, if you don't like the reference to the bible, don't eat their food! What? Not acceptable? Of course not! Not when a Double-Double looks like this:


I'm not much into organized religion. In fact, my beliefs most closely resemble those of the Pastfarians, but if In-N-Out Burger wants to put those simple notations on their wrappers and containers, I say go ahead. But then again, I'm not sure who should be more insulted by this practice - atheists and agnostics for being exposed to a religion who's main message is "be nice to people," or Christians for having the words of their bible around a greasy box of fries.

Bottom line? I don't care if Christians wrap my burger in a Bible quote, just as long as they don't try to put them in my science book.

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22 September 2008

TMI Tuesday #153 & An Award

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TMI Tuesday

1. What is the strangest thing you have ever inserted or seen inserted (in a sexual manner) in person?

How 'bout I just give you a list and let you decide if I've inserted it, or just seen it inserted in person? That's the best you are going to get from me!
  • Eggplant
  • Wire Whisk
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Beer Bottle (long neck of course)
  • Electric Toothbrush
2. Have you ever had sex anyone whose name started with a J?

First name or last name? *giggle* Oh hell, it doesn't matter, I'm sure I have. You're not looking for a list here are you? Wait! This isn't like some long-term memory test is it??

3. Have you ever been outside completely naked?

I was in the Army for 5 years. Field exercises. Showering with a canteen and a few baby wipes. Ummmm ... yeah!

4. Do you prefer music, tv, or other noise in the background when you have sex?

I prefer porn be prominently displayed on the wide screen TV! Background? Nah - make it the focal point!

5. Have you ever used ice for sexual purposes?

Like when giving a blow job? Like as in "being inserted"? Like allowing it to melt and drip on delicate, sensitive places on one's body, just to use my warm tongue to lick it up? Maybe ...

Bonus: Have you ever been propositioned for group sex?

Propositioned or participated? As a matter of fact ...

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The other day, Flyinfox, from the Hurt Locker, was running a little contest. He posted the following picture and asked his reader's to come up with a funny caption. He also said political correctness was not necessary and strongly discouraged *whew*

My contribution: "If Jesse Jackson doesn't get your nuts, can I have them? Some of my supporters seem to think I've lost mine!"

I know ... I know ... I'm just terrible, aren't I? Well apparently, at least one person thought it was funny (and you know you laughed too) because I received co-ownership of the following award:


Thanks Flingfox!!

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We Have A Winner!

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Finally! I did the drawing and we have a winner!! Actually, we have three winners - one grand prize winner and two alternates (who will receive fine parting gifts). I changed the rules a bit because it's my contest and I can do that!

If you want to see the surprise along with me, watch the vlog. If not, the spoiler is at the end of this post!





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**SPOILER**

The winners are:
Grand Prize - Lu
1st Runner up - Ms. Lily
2nd Runner up - I Smile 2 Much

Please email your physical address to me at the email address listed in my profile, or if you would like to decline your gift, let me know that too!

Thanks to all of you who played and made my Blogiversary a very special day!

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How Appropriate

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I've been thinking a lot about Jeff B's comment on my Friday Wrap-Up post:

God I hope you won't sit on that fence too long. Playing the part of the victim, may not be what you're calling it, but it sure is looking that way. I don't want to see you or Cam get hurt by this guy.

Yes, I listen to what each of you say, and I value the support as well as the occasional cyber 2 x 4 up along side the head. Jeff shared his wood lumber with me, and it was actually the conduit (are you enjoying all of these construction references Jeff?) to the boundary setting that took place on Saturday night. I hadn't been calling myself a victim, but if it walks like a duck ... well, you know the rest ...
I will shamefully admit to reading my horoscope (it comes up when I log onto my iGoogle page), but it's not something I consult to help plan my day. Rather my horoscope is something I use to reflect on what might be going on in my life that needs to be addressed. You see, I believe in astrology about as much as I believe in the Tooth Fairy, but I also believe the generality of horoscopes lend themselves to generating some ideas for personal reflection. Today's read:

You may be quite concerned today that your feelings are not recognized by your close friends and family. But blaming others for their lack of care is a mistake. Whether you don't share enough of your emotions because you are afraid of rejection or you share so much that your disclosures become white noise, it's time to take responsibility for your own role in the current situation.

Well now, I could just dismiss this as nonsense, or I could consider that often times a message needs to be repeated in several different ways before it sinks in.

I've decided it's time to be accountable - to take action. It doesn't mean that I must leave my husband and walk out of the house, never turning back, but it does mean that I must set - and enforce - boundaries in our marriage. Will there be times when I fall back on old habits? Of course, but it's all about progress, not perfection - right??

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Vlog announcing the blogiversary winner will post later today!

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20 September 2008

Sunday Secret

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I will no longer have sex with you when you've been drinking, even if it is the only time you ever seem to want it. Not only does your performance suffer greatly, but I feel worse about myself when it is over.







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19 September 2008

Friday Wrap-Up (sans Vlog)

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Yes, I know ... I promised you a vlog of the drawing for the blogiversary prize package, but you know what? I didn't do it! That's right ... me! The ultra-responsible, anal retentive, must do what I say pain in the ass. I didn't do it! So there!! What are you going to do? Make me eat liver and onions and lima beans for dinner?? YUMMMM! Vlog will be posted Saturday along with the lucky stalkee winner!

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It's been one of those weeks - high, highs and low, lows.

Sunday night, while I was at the market, there was a pissing match between husband and son (12) that culminated in son saying, "Well maybe I should just run away" and husband responding, "Then pack your shit and get out!" Three hours later, after scouring town to try to track him down (it was 9PM), yet another call was made to the police for a "domestic" issue. Fortunately, son was found, safe and sound. Unfortunately, I know this speaks to much larger issues.

Tuesday was my first "official" PTO meeting in my presidential position. Couldn't help but wonder if any of those "conservative" mom's have naughty, HNT filled blogs they are keeping secret *giggle* And someone please tell me what genetic flaw lies in most all women (me being the exception of course) that requires the most simple decisions be discussed ad nauseum? For goodness sakes we are talking about collecting Box Tops for Education, not saving third world countries!

Last night was the Middle School Open House, run much differently this year than in years past. We followed the daily schedule of our kids - eight minutes in each class - three minutes to get to the next class. Three minutes just happens to be the exact time the kids have between classes too, and I find that incredibly ridiculous. Three minutes? I had difficulty getting from one class to the next in time (didn't want to get a tardy slip) and I wasn't standing in the hallway, picking my nose stopping at my locker to get my books for the next class!

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Found out yesterday that I'll be attending the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker in December. No ... I'm not going to Moscow - they will be in Chicago! Now, I do love the ballet (yes, I realize all of those muscular men with tight asses are gay), but I am far more excited about the music. I am quite the Tchaikovsky fan and will likely be listening far more than watching!

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17 September 2008

HNT - Strawberries

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On the strawberry: “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did”
~ William Allen Butler


Had to take a bite **click**

EDIT: After several comments and much second guessing pondering, I changed the click-through from the colorized version to the "natural" version. I like it much better now!

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The Fourth Turning - The Third Vlog

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Are you tired of the vlogs yet? It's just been a banner week for packages. Earlier in the week I got Jay's package. Well ... not his package package, but the package he sent me after I won his drawing for The Fourth Turning *giggle*



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15 September 2008

TMI Tuesday - Rerun Edition

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TMI Tuesday

1. Ever been stalked an ex? Stalked an ex? Or stalked 'a you'd like to be'?


I was once stalked by someone I met online (many years ago). He went so far as to post a profile of "me" on a dating web site. It was sheer luck that someone contacted me and asked if I had two profiles on the site as there were glaring similarities, only the one he posted included personal information I had shared only with him and would never share online (employer, make and model of car, home address, etc.). Fortunately, I was able to contact the site and have the profile he posted removed and his ISP banned from the site.

I hate to admit this, but yes, I did stalk an ex. It was bad. I would drive around looking for his car. Sit in front of his house trying to see who was going in or out. But this was 20 years ago. I think I've matured a bit since then.

Not sure what a "You'd like to be" is, so I think I can claim innocent on that one!


2. How often do you reach orgasm during sex? Has this historically been true?

This is such a crap shoot. I can reach orgasm several times during sex, but I don't always. I've never been with a partner who made this happen - it's always been a combination of sex and self-stimulation - and sometimes I just get tired of having to work so hard.

... and yes, this has always been true.

3. Teeth when used during oral stimulation, good or bad?

On me? Yes please. A little nibble here ... a little nibble there ...

4. How many times is the most you have ever had sex in a 24 hour period? How many different sexual partners have you had in a 24 hour period?

Was I supposed to count and write it down for future reference? Let's just say there have been a few tequila nights in my past where there were indications of multiple partners, but no actual photos memories to back that up.

5) Would you rather run naked through a crowded place or have someone email your deepest secret too all your friends?

Anyone want to guess before I answer? Running naked through a crowded place would be far MORE embarrassing than someone emailing my deepest secret to all of my friends, and at least there would be some interest in my secret.

Bonus: Have you ever kissed your partner on the lips after oral sex without brushing teeth, nor washing/gargling/rinsing out mouth? Turn on or off?

Is this a trick question? Of course I have! I like the taste of me, and if I am willing to let someone else taste me, shouldn't I be just as comfortable with tasting myself? Heck, I do that even without a partner *wink* My only wish is that I could find a man as comfortable with this. What a HUGE turn on it would be to give a man a blow job and then have him kiss me deeply and passionately. *DING*DING*DING* Round two anyone?

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It's TurnBaby's second blogiversary! Tonight, joining her on
TurnbabyTalks at 8 PM, will be Mr. VinnyBond of Bond's Big Leather Couch - the person responsible for her blogging start. Thanks Vinny! We are so glad you're a bad influence!!

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14 September 2008

Fab Five + One

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One of the things I wanted to do during blogiversary week was to acknowledge some of you who have been with me for quite some time - who have encouraged and supported me when my blog was disorganized and inconsistent. Those who have stuck with me through the past year. The down side to this is I really could name something special about every single one of you - but then you'd tire of my blog manifesto, and we can't have that!

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I have one commenter who came to my blog from the Yahoo "blogger dare" group, and she still comments. We've had our ups and downs, some of those on the blog, some off-line. Yet she keeps coming back here, and I think that speaks volumes to her character. This one might surprise those of you who have witnessed the cat fighting banter. Who is this mystery gal? Fairy Flutters! Yep! She is the only one from that group who still consistently comments on my blog. Hmmmm ...

Then we have the Fab Five - those first five commenters who weren't from the Yahoo Group and who still - amazingly - continue to comment today. In order of appearance:
  1. RockDog - Probably best known for his participation on Blog Talk Radio's Annie & Burl show, but also a self-proclaimed porn snob - and kindly gives lessons to those aspiring slut-next-door types!
  2. Real Live Lesbian - She's my girl blogger crush. If she weren't so completely in love with her girl I would definitely probably be stalking her.
  3. g-man - If you ever want to see some amazingly creative photography (his nature stuff is Ansel Adams reminiscent) or you need a little hot monkey sex, he's your guy - and he's been an amazing supporter of mine.
  4. Captain Corky - I'm not sure there are words for Corky. He's a talented writer and really should blog more than he does (*hint*hint*). We used to hang out on stickam on occasion. I lost my webcam virginity to him (get your minds out of the gutter)!
  5. Jay - What can I say about Jay? He claims to be a cynical bastard, but I don't believe it for a second. He's got to be one of the most caring, considerate people out here in blog land!
Yep! Believe it or not, the first five "real" people who ever commented on my blog are still stopping by. Pretty damn amazing!

What? Y'all are surprised you didn't see Matt-Man on the top 5 list? Yeah, I don't know what took him so damn long to get here either, but now I can't get him to leave! Just kidding Matt - I kid because I love.

Thanks to all of you who stop by to see what train wreck has occurred silly thing I'm pontificating about on any current day. It really is all of you who inspire me and help me to become a better person!

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13 September 2008

Sunday Secret

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I was in a very dark and desperate place when I started this blog - far more dark and desperate than anyone knew. The blogging friendships that developed over the past year have allowed me to begin to believe that I actually have value - that my place in this world really does matter. I owe each one of you a great deal of gratitude.





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**If you didn't leave a comment Friday and want to be eligible for the big giveaway (drawing to be held Friday), click [HERE] and leave a comment!**

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12 September 2008

Strawberries - Another Vlog

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Sometimes, things just work out perfectly! I've been planning on doing a post celebrating my first "real" commentors - those first few people who came to my blog that I didn't know from the Yahoo group that "dared" me to start up the blog? Guess who my second "real" commentor was? Lynn, from Real Live Lesbian! What's really sad is that she was beat out by just ONE DAY, by - of all people - Rock Dog! Oh ... but she made up for it - RockDog just gives me grief!

Anyway, as many of you know, Lynn recently sent me flowers. They were beautiful - really beautiful - but they weren't what she ordered. She let the folks at ProFlowers.com know and they compensated her with these (this is the ickiest vlog I've ever recorded, so please just muddle through and tell me how wonderful it is):




**If you didn't leave a comment yesterday and want to be eligible for the big giveaway (drawing to be held Friday), click [HERE] and leave a comment!**

11 September 2008

It's A Blogiversary

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A year ago today, on the pseudo dare of a few women I "knew" through a Yahoo group, I decided to start a blog. I didn't even know what a blog was, let alone that there was an actual community of bloggers out there. It started out innocently enough with my virgin blogging post, and it has grown into something that still baffles me on a daily basis.

I remember when I hit my 100th post. I was actually surprised to have gotten there and was still just learning about the true value of blogging. Now, here I am - a year later - 285 posts under my belt, and I am finally realizing that I'm just beginning to reap the personal rewards of blogging.

I'll be doing a few posts over the next week about how blogging has impacted my life, but wanted to start with this vlog. You see, Matt-Man (who, for the record, didn't show himself on my blog until December 13th - a full THREE MONTHS after I started this damn thing) sent me a blogiversary gift, and being the kind of person I am, I thought I'd share.

Just ignore the references to the "first vlog" - it's actually going to be the second vlog and will be posted tomorrow. Unfortunately, I couldn't find an acceptable place to edit out the reference, so you're stuck with my screwed up sequencing full use of artistic license instead.

Oh, and after you watch the vlog, scroll down a bit because there is a contest ... yes ... with real prizes and everything!



**CONTEST DETAILS**

Anyone who leaves a comment on this blogiversary post will be eligible for a coveted prize package. Now, I can't tell you what you should be coveting because then you might not enter I'm not even sure what you should be coveting. You can leave as many comments as you'd like, but it will not improve your chances of winning. The prize will be mailed, so you must be willing to trust me not to stalk you with your address.

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10 September 2008

HNT - Purple

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“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, With a red hat which
doesn't go and doesn't suit me, And I shall spend my pension on
brandy and summer gloves, And satin sandals,
and say we've no money for butter”

~ Jenny Joseph


Noooo ... it isn't a red hat *CLICK*

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Who's Your Daddy?

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I'm leafing through the coupon inserts of my local Sunday paper and am taken aback by an ad - and coupon - for a home paternity test. Really? You can now determine the paternity of your child in the privacy of your own home? Why do I find this so disturbing ... especially given my own exposure to paternity testing after my son was born?

Maybe it's the idea that we've now got yet another "tool" to bail us out when we've been a bit ... well ... irresponsible? Nah ...

Maybe it's the idea that for $29.99 ($24.99 with the coupon), a little coercion, and a $119 lab processing fee, you can have some certainty of who should be paying child support? Nah ...

What really bothers me about this is that drugstore DNA testing seems to bring up some serious questions regarding social ethics.

You see, these tests aren't legally binding (although for an additional $200 you can get a test that is admissible in court) so in actuality, they address social issues, not legal issues. Social issues that can have a serious impact on the individuals involved.

What about the potential for fraud and deception? Would it be possible to get a sample from someone without their knowledge? Sure it would, and that brings about issues surrounding informed consent.

And what happens to the people? The father who finds out they've been raising a child that isn't biologically theirs? The child who discovers the man they've assumed was their father is not their father at all? Is there a $29.99 family counseling "companion kit" available?

I understand that we all have the potential to make choices with severe, lifelong consequences, and I certainly understand the need to know the paternity of a child, but shouldn't we be addressing these real issues in our society - working towards preventing them - rather than looking for the $29.99 bail out?

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09 September 2008

TMI Tuesday #151

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TMI Tuesday

1. Describe the perfect date for YOURSELF... what you would enjoy most.

Why is it that sometimes the most simple questions have the most complex answers? In my world, the "perfect" date has nothing to do with where or what I'm doing, but rather how both of us are feeling during and after the date - the emotional connection made. I've been on a date that involved nothing more than a walk around a lake and some time on a park bench - and it was wonderful. I've been on a date that included dinner at Gibson's Bar and Steakhouse and drinks at the Signature Lounge at the John Hancock - it was miserable.

2. Do you lean more toward being submissive or dominant?

I might have a dominant moment on occasion, but submissive is my preference. The challenge in this is that people (both male and female) look at my height/size and assume that I am dominant and are sometimes disappointed when they discover the truth ... and sometimes they are pleasantly surprised.

3. What do you usually wear to bed?

Not a damn thing! The only exception to that is if I am sleeping on the sofa in the family room (usually 2-3 times/week) or if I am visiting a friend/family. Then I wear my "standard" sleep attire - a pair of yoga pants and a big t-shirt!

4. Have you ever seen a counselor?

Have and currently am. In fact, we have a family session scheduled for Thursday. I'm not one to tell my personal problems to a stranger (and oh, have I ever kept some secrets from this counselor), but when situations get beyond what is manageable - when they become harmful physically or emotionally - I have no issue with bringing in a little professional help.


5. Lights on or off?

Yes! It matters not to me. I do enjoy watching when the lights are on, but the surprise of not knowing what might be coming next in complete darkness is quite nice as well.

Bonus: Have you or a partner ever faked an orgasm?

I could swear I've answered this before ... hmmmm ... maybe it was one of my Sunday Secrets? Yes, I've faked an orgasm (or even multiple orgasms) when having sex with husband. Why? Because as much as I enjoy sex (and boy, do I enjoy it), I've not been enjoying it with him. Sometimes I just want it to be over and I know that husband, when he finally decides to "give it up," won't quit until he believes I'm satisfied, which to him means I've had at least one orgasm.

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08 September 2008

It's All About Me Monday!

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See this guy? Does anyone know what he is? If I get a bunch of "It's a grasshopper, grasshopper" comments I'm going to feel quite foolish. See, this GIGANTIC rather large critter was on my living room wall the other morning. Seriously, the thing was at least 2 feet 2 inches long!

Yes, entomology was a part of my job in the Army, but critters belong outside, not inside! I made husband hunt this down while I stood on a chair and screamed like a little girl - and yes, it was a catch and release moment for all of you critter lovers!




Some of you mentioned wanting to see the wall in my family room. Well, here it is - Venetian plaster in all of it's glory. Don't mind the strip of crown moulding over there in the corner. It's only been there for about a year while husband decides if he likes it. I decided 11 months ago that I liked it - it's crown moulding for goodness sakes, not a tattoo! And can anyone tell me what movie that is on the TV??



Did you notice those are new flowers on the mantel? I bought those for myself. After enjoying the flowers that Lynn sent last week, I decided that I deserved fresh flowers every week! My market sells "nice" bouquets of flowers for under $10, so now when I do my weekly shopping, I'm including a bouquet of flowers with my food purchase!




Oh, and I did something else exciting yesterday - I joined our local gym! This is something I've been wanting to do for over a year, but something that has not had much support here at home. Guess what? Husband was not thrilled.

You see, this means that dinner might have to wait until 7PM instead of being served at 6:30PM. More importantly, it means that I had the audacity to do something for myself - the latter being the most "offensive." How dare I! Quite honestly, I think the real issue here is that these changes might make me feel good enough about myself - give me enough self-confidence - that I just might realize that I deserve better treatment from those around me *gasp*

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06 September 2008

Sunday Secret

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Growing up as an only child, I always wanted a baby brother or sister. When I was 18, I got my chance - my mother was pregnant by my step-father. She didn't tell my step-father, and she chose to abort the baby. She asked me to go with her to the clinic. I so wish I would have been strong enough to tell her "no," but instead, I now celebrate what would have been my sibling's expected birthday.





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05 September 2008

Friday Wrap-Up

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Whew! TGIFF - no that's not a typo, but rather Thank God It's Friggin' Friday! It's been a very long week for a short holiday week. Somehow it never quite seems like a "break" when you have to go back to work and accomplish in 32 hours what you usually have 40 hours to accomplish!

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Cam went back to school (finally) yesterday. He had a longer than usual summer break as the middle school was undergoing significant renovations this summer - renovations that aren't yet complete, but at least the classrooms are finished and all of the lockers have locks.

I'm a bit apprehensive about this school year. Last year was a constant struggle, not only with Cam but with some of his teachers as well. The school has excellent on-line parental resources - the district has a parent portal with "real time" grading and the school itself has a homework assignment link. This should be exactly what I need to keep a thumb on my "Give him an inch he'll run a friggin' marathon" kid, however it requires that the teaching staff actually UPDATE the resources in a regular and timely manner - the component that was missing last year.

*sigh* We'll see ...

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It appears the issues with the debit card number theft have all but resolved themselves. All but the three smallest charges (totalling $25.90) were reversed before posting to my checking account. I'll have to call the bank this morning to have those last 3 charges reversed, file a police report this weekend, fill out and return the affidavit the bank sent to me, get a replacement debit card, and we'll all live happily ever after - just like the Big Bad Wolf - or not!

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Do you remember my Do You Have A Hall Pass post? The one where I discussed my views on the Senator James T. Meeks (I), 15th District, proposed "boycott" of Chicago Public Schools? I have no doubt some of you do *giggle*

Well, the proposed week-long boycott lasted two days. Day one - where it was expected 4000 students from CPS would board buses and register at the "privileged" New Trier High School - resulted in approximately 1500 completed registration packets. In other words, even though there was plenty of media attention, and transportation was provided, less than 1/2% of the CPS students participated. Hmmmm ...

Day two - where those same students were going to fill the lobby's of large, downtown high rise buildings to gain additional support, drew less than 500 participants, many of whom - when asked - had no idea what they were even protesting. Hmmmm ...

Not only that, but CPS lost roughly $50,000 in state school funding due to the attendance issues that resulted from this boycott. Hmmmm ...

Only time will tell if this boycott was successful and Illinois will address, and actually change, the ways in which public schools are funded, but based on current results, I have to wonder if this wasn't an attempt for Senator James T. Meeks to do a little campaigning rather than an actual attempt at change.

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03 September 2008

HNT - Sensual Too?

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"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale

Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies."

~ William Shakespeare


*CLICK* to see if I rolled over *wink*

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02 September 2008

TMI Tuesday - On Wednesday

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These were too good to leave behind, so since my "rant" got in the way yesterday I decided to post them today! Remember me? Yeah ... the one who doesn't like "silly" rules that interfere with my rant schedule hinder my creativity!

TMI Tuesday

1. When was the last time someone hit on you? What went down?


Hmmmm ... for the sake of an easy answer, we'll make this a "stranger" hitting on me. It happened about a month ago at the market (the grocery store, for you northern folk). I was standing in the frozen food isle, trying to decide which type of Ore-Ida frozen potato I wanted, when some 30-ish guy walks up and we have this conversation:

HIM: "Are you from around here because I need directions?"

ME: "Well, I'm somewhat familiar with the area. How can I help?"

HIM: "You can help me by giving me directions to your heart so that we can go out some time."

ME: *rolls eyes and walks away quickly, without the french fries*


2. If you were single and could be with any one person, who would it be (thinking singer/actor or someone famous here, but whatever)?

You know, I have very little attraction to the "rich and famous", but if forced to choose I'd pick either Hugh Laurie or Jamie Lee Curtis - and I'll never tell which would be my first choice *wink*

3. Have you ever had done anything sexual in your office or your place of employment?

By myself or with others? I've been known to keep a *cough*toy*cough* in my locked desk drawer to use whenever the urge strikes me, which it does sometimes at work. I don't know about the rest of you but just because I'm on the clock doesn't mean my sexual needs shouldn't be met!

4. Do you apologize when you make a mistake? How do you react when someone calls you out?

Hell, I apologize just to keep the peace sometimes, but I always apologize if I know I am (or if I've been proven to be) wrong.

In all honesty, my first inclination when "called out" is to become defensive, but after that initial reaction, I tend to think about what was said and try to be objective about my "fault" in the matter.


5. Top or bottom?

Yes! And upside down and backwards too!

Bonus: How old were you when you first had a willing sexual experience?

Ummmm ... 10! Remember my mom's vibrator?

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Wanna Buy A Debit Card Number?

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I was checking my email last night - right before bed - and got the following email which appeared to be from my bank:

Irregular Check Card Activity
To: DANA C
Account: Joint Checking ending in XXXX
Date: 9/1/2008
You last logged into Online Banking on: 9/1/2008

We detected irregular activity on your Bank of America Check Card on 9/1/2008. For your protection, you must verify this activity before you can continue using your card. Please visit Online Banking at www.xxx.com to review your account activity, and then call us immediately at 1.877.xxx.xxxx or collect at 770-xxx-xxxx. We will review the activity on your account with you and upon verification, we will remove any restrictions placed on your account.

My first thought was "phishing scam" so I immediately logged on to my bank account. Well, it wasn't a phishing scam ...

Here is the damage done in 47 minutes:

  • UOL*NETZERO, 6.95
  • WWW.BIDFUEL.COM, 1.97
  • BOCA JAVA, 8.95
  • MYFAX *PROTUS IP SOLN, 10.00
  • *NUTRI SYSTEM, 293.72
  • WP-OSC LTD WALSALL, 429.98
That's right boys and girls, almost $1000 in 47 minutes! Worse yet? I have no idea how this person/people gained access to my debit card information. I don't use this particular card for online purchases - it is used solely for groceries, home improvements and medical expenses - purchases where I have control of the card at all times.

The good news? Well, this isn't my first run-in with this type of issue so I am familiar with the process of correcting it (unfortunately). I know the money will be credited back to my account. The damage is minimal.

Looks like I'll be spending today filing a claim with the bank and attempting to get the charges reversed quickly so that my mortgage payment doesn't "bounce." *GRUMBLE*
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01 September 2008

It's the "Little" Things

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As you all know, I often struggle with this idea of being liked - when you don't like yourself - when you've spent years reminding yourself how unlikable you are - it's difficult to make the move back towards valuing yourself. Blogging has been a huge help with that process.

Sure, there are times (many) when I believe the comments left on my HNT's are little more than people playing "nice," and I'm often just waiting for that moment when everyone stops reading my blog because I've said something "offensive," but I really am getting better at realizing that I might just be likable - at least some of the time.

So, where am I going with this? When I got home from work on Friday, there was a box on the front porch from ProFlowers, and it was addressed to me! My first thought was, "Who the hell?" I grabbed the box and headed inside - I couldn't imagine who would send flowers, but was fairly certain it had to be family. I open the box and found these!


I also found a card that read, in part:
The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.
~ Henry David Thoreau
The card and the flowers were beautiful, and they were from Real Live Lesbian (Lynn). Seldom do I give myself credit for the "little" things I do for others, and yet here was someone forcing me to do just that. It felt good to know that I made a positive contribution to a friendship, and even better that I was able to accept that and give myself credit for it.

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