While watching the news this morning, I heard the latest bit of MUST KNOW gossip --Marsha and Jan Brady may have been lesbian lovers! Wow! Oh my gosh! Unbelievable! I mean, well, wait a second ... I really don't give two flying figs about this or any other piece of celebrity gossip floating around like fecal matter out there in the world.
I've been with my husband for 21 years, since I was 16 years old, and even I had a crush on Marsha Brady. My husband had a crush on Jan. (My brothers both loved Greg, thank you very much.) So, you put a group of crazy kids together and I imagine they all dated one another ... or thought one or the other was pretty groovy. I mean, they were kids, then teens, growing up on set, growing up being ogled by fans and hunted down by the press, and stuff happened. Probably to every single one of them ... well, except for Cindy ... that lisp was just a bit too over the top.
But I digress ...
What I'm trying to say is regardless if someone is a celebrity or Joe Blow next door, we're all just people. I don't feel bad when the rich and famous are being chased down by paparazzi, but I do feel pity for anyone buying the trash mags selling this stuff or making such people as the despicable and disgusting Perez Hilton (the chunky male who started a website, but couldn't even use his own name so he borrowed and tweaked a no talent rich girl's instead) famous.
Only in this new generation could no talent hacks become famous for dishing dirt on celebrities. Once upon a time, in the Hollywood of old, someone like that guy would've been whacked. And I miss that nostalgia. I miss when celebrities took the red carpet looking like true glamour queens instead of whores in designer duds. Now gowns show as much breast or ass crack as the censors will allow. I can imagine Bette Davis looking down, shaking her head, and saying, "Why did I sacrifice so much for you all to just to whore yourselves out again? Did "Baby Jane" mean nothing to you???"
But again, I digress.
My main point is ... I don't care if Pitt and Jolie adopt 10 more kids or if Britney has a paunch and can't lip sync her own tune. New sex tape by Paris Hilton? Who cares? She can't act or sing, so I'm betting watching her "mate" isn't that much more exciting.
It makes me wonder though. Someone is buying these rags and religiously tuning into shows like Entertainment Tonight, yet no one ever admits to it. Is it you? Is it someone you know? Or are you sick of all the hype? Do you wish Americans would start putting the focus on actual "real" issues needing major attention (war in Iraq, next president, genocide in Darfur, the environment) or do you feel celebrities deserve to be hunted down and you're not going to miss a second of it?
Recently, I made a remark in the comments section of my blog regarding chaos and clutter in the home transferring to the mind(s) of the people living in it. SzélsőFa read this and remarked how her and I should blog about this as she's a neat and clean person herself and believes it helps her life ... so here I am, blogging about it.
If someone asked me if this was an opinion, I was would say, "NO, this is fact because I firmly believe clutter begets clutter and chaos and filth and so forth." Some people say, "Well, I would rather spend my time LIVING instead of cleaning," but is that really an argument? I mean, how well can you live when you can't find anything? How great is life when you spend a greater chunk of it searching through things that should be readily on hand? Or if you're living in limited life space because your clutter has taken over rooms? That's life? Really?
I once knew a receptionist who swore being disorganized added no extra stress to her life that, in fact, having to take extra time each day to organize would actually INCREASE the length of her work day. This was a bit strange considering she standardly came in early and left very late because she had forgotten to do so many things within her scheduled time. I asked her how "sticky notes" posted around her desk helped her instead of just creating a real system for tracking patients, their appointments, etc., and she had the audacity to say, "This is my system." Twenty or more odd Post-It Notes are not a system ... they are desparate attempt at organization and were partly responsible for her dismissal little more than a month later. I was given her job, I organized her station, threw the Post-It Notes away, and left on time every day.
Then there's the mother who says she'd rather spend quality time with the kids than clean her home. Absolute rubbish! Real quality time is teaching your kids good habits, which include cleaning and organization. Children want a home they can be proud of and it doesn't have to be a mansion, but it should be neat and clean.
Now, if you still don't believe in cleaning and organization, I challenge you to clean up just ONE area of your life. A drawer, a closet, the medicine cabinet, under your bed ... just ONE! Give yourself a week to take the things out and to ask yourself if you NEED what is inside, if you LOVE what is inside, if it is a true family heirloom (and if it were, why would it be tucked away), and then if you said yes to any of these things, keep it, but organize the space BEFORE you put it back. Mini-baskets, galvanized tin pots, oh heck, even the dreaded plastic containers can be bought at your local Dollar Store. So, do this, really, go do it. Then I dare you to come back to this blog and honestly tell me that having that little spot cleared away in your life doesn't make you feel better, if only just a little better. Tell me you didn't sit and think when you were all finished, "Geez, that looks great ... maybe I should try this with [you fill in the area of your life] next."
Yes, cleaning isn't fun. It isn't something you call up friends and invite them over to do, but being clean & organized has a major positive impact on your life. The fact is ... clean/organized people don't spend a lot of time cleaning. They don't have to spend hours scouring when they don't let things build up. A quick wipe of a shelf replaces the scrub. A quick swipe in the toilet replaces any need to use harsh chemicals or batter it with a brush.
And men, please don't tell me, "I'll try to nicely pass this on to the wife" because while I take care of the home and my family, the areas in this home solely belonging to them are areas they need to do themselves. Instead of asking your wife, be a good example to her, and start clearing away your own clutter. Either you'll shame her into it or you won't, but I'm betting you will.
If after all this, you still think being a slob is beneficial to your life, I'll give you a different challenge. If your home is cluttered, messy, or dirty, I challenge you to invite a nice group of people over WITHOUT cleaning up and tell me you felt absolutely fine with it. No embarrassment whatsoever. Or go to the house of the messiest person you know and oh, I don't know, lick their countertop. No, seriously, how about just sitting right in their home, drinking the cup of coffee they offer you, and tell me you didn't feel strange or creeped out at all.
Then seriously, whether it's today, tomorrow, or a week from now ... report back to me. Tell me how it went and if you're as neat as SzélsőFa, can you attest that cleanliness truly is next to, well, not godliness, but perhaps centeredness? The feeling of owning and controlling your space truly is a bit of heaven, no? Now ... are we going to clean up the joint or aren't we?
In honor of 9/11, I'm going to do something really weird and NOT write about it because, well, quite frankly, I don't see how all the networks cashing in on pain is really a positive step forward. I will mention Bin Laden, but only because it's relevant to an example I'm making in the post. I don't want to read, watch, or hear anymore about that tragedy six years ago unless it's, "Picture of Bin Laden's Head on a Stick" or "All First Responders Have Been Cured." So, I'll stick my own head in the sand hoping not to offend and away we go:
Let me preface this post by stating outright: there's a LOT about eBay I love, okay, let me clarify ... I don't love eBay, but I love some of eBay's great sellers. I mean, finding a vintage toy from my childhood like my Stretch Armstrong green monster doll without having to schlep around thrift shops, tag sales, and the like ... what could be better? Okay, better might be having a pile of kid's clothes that normally would be given away turn into a pile of cash instead. With the brands my daughter and son wear, I usually make a good chunk of change right when I need it most -- back-to-school time. So yeah, that could be better, it's at least a close second.
However, this past summer I seemed to run into the two kind of eBay buyers every eBay seller hates -- rogue newbies with nothing to lose and eBay shopaholics that are broke.
Let's start with the rogue newbie and let me just profess, I don't quite grasp the logic of this group. Usually, this person has a big shiny zero as their feedback and yet snipe the bid within the last 20 seconds of the auction, showing they actually fought for your item, wanted your item, and then ... then ... NOTHING. No payment, no communication, nada. It's like they've fallen off the face of the earth or decided to hide out with Bin Laden, which is just as good as falling off the face of the earth, in my opinion.
I had one rogue newbie buy a pair of boots from me, not pay, then e-mail days after numerous requests for payment were sent only to e-mail me with, "Give me a call. We'll talk. I reilly (this is the actual spelling) want THEM boots!" I wrote explaining she should just pay, we don't really need to talk about it on the phone, but that was it. She never wrote again. Paying just wasn't an option for her, but she SURE wanted to talk about THEM BOOTS!
And since I've been a broke shopaholic (years ago with the birth of my daughter), I get the logic of the second group, but it doesn't make me like them any more. These are eBayers who have a few feedbacks so are a bit more invested in the process, got hooked on what they think is a "buy now, pay later" market, and boy do they BID BID BID. Only they don't PAY PAY PAY. Instead you send out multiple invoices, a week or more goes by, and right before you can file a non-paying bidder's alert, they write you with the lie, "my computer broke," "my computer crashed," "I had a family emergency," "my dog had puppies," "I lost my uterus," you name it. Then after you're forced to e-mail back and ask them to pay you get, "well, I can't pay now, but I can pay in a week," or "the week after that," or "next month" or whatever other date you're expected to wait for to get your money ... the money the bidder before them would have paid immediately. You know this because to further torture yourself, you checked that eBayer's feedback and it was flawless, littered with PAID IMMEDIATELY, LIGHTNING FAST PAYMENT, eBayer's dream. :::sigh:::
Because bidding is all about NOW NOW NOW, bidding on eBay is the great slot machine of America. All that groovy stuff you really don't need, loaded up page by page, and well, how can I possibly live without that??? But eBay, that big superficial house on the hill, is all about eBay. They couldn't care less if someone bids and doesn't pay. Heck, ten to one, they'll still get to keep their final value fees and if by some miracle they do refund them, they'll keep all your listing fees. Even though your listing was a bust, eBay will still make money off of it. They're the pimp, you the ho, and he'll get his money, Bitch. eBays want lots of bidders, bad or not, to drive up that final bid and to make them more scratch.
So although today I awoke to some crazy buyer in my e-mail box telling me how unfair it was for me to leave negative feedback even though she didn't pay and oh yeah, how she thinks it should be removed because her birthday is this Saturday and her husband is upset about it and she would have paid, but it would've taken a few weeks, but she hasn't left a negative. No, she left a positive feedback for me, so why can't I do the same even though she didn't pay? Yeah, even though I have to deal with stuff like that, I still don't hate eBay, I just don't love them ... and I'm kind of getting tired of the whole process of listing, getting stiffed on payment, getting bitch-slapped by eBay, and then still having to give them money for all my trouble.
This made me wonder about all of you and that's the main reason for this post. Any eBayers out there? Do you sell? Do you buy? I'd love to know either way.
Today, Bloggers and Friends, my children headed back to school -- the son to 8th grade and the daughter to 9th. No, I’m not going to inundate you with photos of happy, smiling children all dressed up in their new clothes, holding up stuffed backpacks and nervously grinning while waiting at the bus stop (especially since I still drive mine to school). No, I won’t be doing a slide show of every single moment of this morning or a montage of all the first days of school before it. (You people who are sick of being forced to look at photos of other people’s kids ... can thank me later, but it’s not a selfless act.)
You see, my kids are teenagers and so the process of going to school just isn’t that terrific anymore. They don’t really want to go back. Summer’s over and so is staying up late, sleeping in, zero structure or routine. Not just for them, but for me as well.
And while I’d love to say I woke up like Suzy Sunshine singing a jaunty tune as I made them breakfast, laughing while the garbage disposer ripped apart a fork one of them put in it, or sighing happily when arriving to school and being informed that my son forgot to bring the money for his lock while his sister (who was the only one with extra cash in the vehicle) wouldn’t lend it to him … well, I won't because I can't.
I burned myself on splattering oatmeal and my cutlery service for 8 is now a service for mutants who like jagged metal scraped across their lips while eating, but only 4 mutants. Not the intended 8. NOT anymore! I reminded my son to bring the lock money about 5 times before we left the house. And I was tired from my usual lack of sleep due to reading, insomnia, and having that one moth land on my face as soon as my eyes close. What a joy!
Instead of being Snow White, I threatened weeks of grounding if other utensils ended up the way of the fork. I told my daughter to ride the bus from now on and to enjoy the one last ride she was getting from me. I told my son this was the year for him to finally get organized or to go find a family of wolves in the forest who would adopt him. Oh sure, I told both of them I loved them and to have a good day as they gratefully exited my truck, but did it even matter at that point? Was it even believable?
Holy crap, summer is really over and with it, my sanity. "Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew" -- spread over a summertime lawn once again.