Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanks Everybody!

I didn't mean to disappear after all of your comments. Your responses have been so overwhelming. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your advice.

Several posts ago I spoke about hubby having to go back east to help his parents move out of their home of 47 years into an assisted-living center. On Tuesday, his dad fell in the bathroom against the door, and needed a lot of assistance to get out. He went to the hospital for some tests. They weren't good.

Yesterday morning we were told that Dad probably wouldn't make it through the day, although he was coherent and worried about messing up everybody's Thanksgiving. That is SO like him, and says so much about the kind of person he is. He wasn't in pain, which is a blessing. Hubby couldn't get a plane out yesterday, but left early this morning.

He got there ok, but I haven't heard anything since.

Dad P is one of the kindest people I know. He raised, set examples of goodness and shaped the man I love and admire most in the world.

Please say a prayer or send a wish to make his passing as gentle as possible.

Thanks again. You guys are the best.



Dad P peacefully passed away about an hour before I wrote the above. He waited until all his kids were by his side.

Monday, November 20, 2006

What to do...What to do...

I've got a dilemma, and I'm really not quite sure what to do. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. My mind has been so wrapped up in school assignments and family stuff that I'm not sure I've got a clear perspective.

It's regarding a family member who we love very very much. This person, who I'll call X, stays with us often. X is a young adult---old enough to vote, but not yet old enough to buy liquor. Lives at home, goes to school.

A few months ago X was visiting and we went to a used/new CD place. My kid had earned some money and wanted to add to his CD collection. X asked to borrow some money (32.00) to get some CDs, and promised to pay me back immediately---was waiting for some money from a summer job.

Since then, I've never seen a dime. I've asked about it from time to time and have gotten the brush off "I needed it to pay for my books", etc. Ok. Bad me. I know what they say about loaning money to relatives. I was stupid.

X was visiting recently and I got a nasty surprise. I never allow anyone to use my computer except for the big kid, but I allowed X to check email. Once. A few days later I got 3 receipts in my inbox from Itunes to the "tune" of about 65 bucks.

Apparently X decided to check to see what the kid had on his Itunes for his Ipod, because the kid brags about what a big list he has. There's a link on the program on my computer that goes directly to the Itunes store, and guess what? All my stuff was on file from the last time my kid bought Itunes (about 4 months ago). X didn't even need to enter a password to buy stuff. It was all "remembered" somehow.

Not only that, but there wasn't an "instant" receipt, like when you buy something online. I would have caught it immediately if it had. Those suckers trickled in over about a 2-3 day period. One of them came in at 12:20am. I know there was NO ONE on my computer at that time. I thought it was fraud on the part of Itunes. ggggrrrrr.

You can't get a "return". Once you buy it, it's downloaded to your Itunes program (where you in turn download it to your Ipod, which X did).

Yes, I know my basic stupidity about letting someone use my computer and "remembered" info got me caught in this. I'm kicking myself. Hard.

So over the last week or so, X has said after being confronted:

Well when I downloaded the music, I thought maybe we could make a deal.

A deal? The time to make a deal is BEFORE you reach into my wallet and steal my money!

I don't see what the big deal is. It's only 65 dollars.

Only? Then why didn't YOU pay for it? Why didn't you hand me 65 dollars the minute you did it? That's right. It's ONLY 65 dollars when it's not YOUR money! Not to mention you committed credit card fraud!

You shouldn't have let me use your computer (aka it's all YOUR fault for trusting me)!

What? Does that mean that women shouldn't leave their purses in your general vicinity or else it's THEIR fault if you steal from them? Gimme a freaking break!

It's not the same thing.

Oh? How is it different?

I see how it is. It's all about money with you.

I could not freaking believe this. This whole thing came on the heels of my post "Oh, The Irony" (scroll back, it was around a week ago) about people who say this stuff when they're trying to screw their friends or relatives out of money in court.

I've threatened X with refusing to pay the credit card bill and reporting it as fraud unless there is some effort made to pay me back. Immediately. There has been some dissension in the family over this. Other family members think I should let it go so X doesn't get any kind of record for "youthful hi jinks". I've insisted that X come and work the money off, because there is an actual crime involved. There has been too much letting slide of "youthful hi jinks" in this damn family. It's the principal of the thing.

X is not interested in working it off. I'm a big meanie, and it's "all about money with you".

So here's the dilemma.

We all go to my mom's house for Xmas.

In the past, hubby and I have made it a gifting habit to give all the young family members of a certain age a small token gift (toiletries, etc) and a cash gift/or gift card. No favorites. That way they can have some walking around money or buy what they really want. They all love it, because it's not like, well, you know---bunny slippers.

I don't want to push criminal proceedings, but I am completely unwilling to let this go. If X doesn't make good on this, giving an equal cash gift really sticks in my craw.
I hate feeling so angry about this.

Would it be out of line to forgo the cash/gift card gift (but give the small token gift), and put in a card that all the debts are paid? I would at least feel better about the whole thing, and X wouldn't be under the mistaken idea that I was going to just let this go. Bad behavior has consequences. I wouldn't say anything nasty in the card, just say that our gift was the debt.

Then I could put it behind me.

I don't give a rat's patootie what the family says---it's not being unfair. I could give them ten pages of what was unfair about being put in this position.

And if X doesn't like it, well tough sh*t.

Am I being really Scroogy?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Sunday Trumpet---The Breakup

The lovely Miss Heather over at My Beautiful Life is always an optimist who looks at the brighter side. So it was hard for her to find a craptastic movie to review for us.

She came through with flying colors! Check out why she thinks the storyline to The Break-up is a complete crock of doody!

If you'd like to join the Gasbags, sign up here!

Previous reviews this season:

The Eleventh

Looking Beyond the Cracked Window

A Droll Way to Look at Things

Miss Keeks

Sven's Personal Memos

Note to new Gasbags: Don't forget to post a link to these reviews on your blog on Sundays so others will do the same for you when it's your turn!

Friday, November 17, 2006

'Tis the Season to be Shopping...

If you haven't gotten all of your holiday shopping done yet, and are looking for something truly special and unique, I've got a couple of sites brought to you by blogfriends in my side bar!

Maggie Ayres--Mixed Media and Textile Artist .

If the name sounds familiar, that's because this gifted artist is married to our friend Kim Ayres (The Bearded One)! Check out her fabulous one-of-a-kind creations from Scotland. It's well worth the tour of her site just to get a look at her art!

Deb over at i obsess not only writes an enjoyable post, but is talented in many other ways as well! She's just opened her own boutique called Fadiddle for her kidswear creations, and I can't begin to tell you how clever and fun they are!

Click on the button below, and then click on the link that says "fresh".

The "Tantrum Yoga" shirt has had me laughing for days! I have a young nephew on the way who might just get one for his christening.

you know, for kids

Shop on, Dudes!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So Much Stupid, So Little Time...

A Russian woman has successfully sued Coca-Cola for making her ill. She claimed that she became addicted to the soda after participating in a bottle-cap promotion which--ahem--compelled her to drink 3 liters a day for 5 years to win prizes.

She now has a chronic condition whose main symptoms are insomnia and heartburn. Doh!

Two Russian courts agreed with her after viewing her evidence---dozens of inflatable mattresses and radios she swapped for bottle caps.

She was awarded about the equivalent of $117. in U.S. currency.


A German court has ordered a gynecologist to pay 18 years worth of child-support for botching a contraceptive implant.

Since the parents are no longer together, he also has to partially reimburse the father for child-support payments.

How messed up is that?


Your 15-year-old son calls from school because he's afraid that another student might be planning to attack him.

What would you do?

1). Tell him to go to the school office immediately (a place of safety) and ask to speak to the principal or campus security.
2). Get on the phone to the office, tell them of your concern and request action.
3). Arm yourself, your two daughters and a family friend with a box cutter and a knife, drive down to the school, storm the classroom and assault the 16-year-old student.

Who had seconds of stupid for breakfast?

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Sunday Trumpet---Happy Texas

Sven fought his way back from the ISP black hole with a roast worthy of Texas! Or should I say of roasting of Happy Texas??

I've never heard of this movie before, and geez, I wonder why?

Sven tells us why in his review . Stop on by...he'll leave the light on for ya! Yippeekaiyay!!

If you'd like to join the Gasbags, sign up here!

Previous reviews this season:

The Eleventh

Looking Beyond the Cracked Window

A Droll Way to Look at Things

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Note to new Gasbags: Don't forget to post a link to these reviews on your blog on Sundays so others will do the same for you when it's your turn!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Oh, the Irony!

In this mad time of war and upside, downside, and sideways politics, I like to watch the judge shows from time to time. It keeps me grounded in a way, if you know what I mean.

There is some sanity in the concept of right and wrong, a rule of law that keeps order, and there's the added benefit of watching a bunch of stupid people who seem to live on their own planets who I can feel superior to and laugh at.

"Yes, my unlicensed 15-year-old stole my car keys, crashed into my neighbor's parked car, but I'm not responsible for paying for their damage because they should have had better insurance! My damage is worse! They should be paying for THAT!"

"I know that several people puked all over the carpet, pissed in the stairwell and put holes in the walls with their fists and/or heads. But you rented this Miami condo to us during spring break. You should have expected this!! Why can't we get our deposit back?"

"So what if my unleashed wolf-hybrid dog knocked down the neighbor's 4-year-old girl and chewed on her hair? Any fool could see that he was just being playful!!! Her father was totally unjustified in beating my pookums off of her, and he should be responsible for the vet bills and punitive damages for the loss of conjugal rights my wife suffered because I spilled a cold beer on my crotch when I tripped on my belly and fell out of my lawn chair to investigate the screams from next door."

Where in the hell do these people come from?

These are the statements you hear on a regular basis:

"She's just greedy."

"It's all about the money with this person."

"He doesn't care about the family. All he cares about is money."

"She's putting money before our friendship."

Amazingly enough (har de har har har), it's always the person being sued for trying to screw their friend/family member out of a loan who utters this BS.

What planet do these people live on? I mean seriously!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Sunday Trumpet---Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In this week's Gasbag Review, Miss Keeks takes a page from Sven and makes burgers out of one of the scooter set's sacred cows----Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets . Can't say I disagree, movies are NEVER as good as the books, in my opinion! Drop on by and give her yours!

If you'd like to join the Gasbags, sign up here!

Previous reviews this season:

The Eleventh

Looking Beyond the Cracked Window

A Droll Way to Look at Things

Note to new Gasbags: Don't forget to post a link to these reviews on your blog on Sundays so others will do the same for you when it's your turn!

Sometimes You Just Have to Say....

I don't know what horrifies me more, the parents who requested this, or the doctors who agreed to do it.

The below article, Should Severely Disabled Kids be Kept Small?, reports on parents who felt that caring for their profoundly disabled 6-year-old at home would become too demanding, especially once she began having her periods, so they had a hysterectomy performed and have put her on hormones to inhibit her full growth.

The authors of the report, which was published in a medical journal this month, feel that growth arresting therapy can be "both ethical and feasible and should be an option available to parents."