Man’s Best Friend Indeed

At the place in which I work, I come in contact with people from all over the world.  I wanted to share something that someone told me yesterday.  It is a stark reminder of how different the living conditions in other countries are from our own and also it is a heart warming story of a dog protecting her owners.

The gentleman and his family live in Venezuela.  He was telling me how in Venezuela, the government allows the “bad guys” to carry guns and terrorize the “good guys” (like he and his family) who cannot have anything to protect themselves with.  He said that kidnappings are very common where he comes from and proceeded to tell me what happened when one of the “bad guys” attempted to kidnap his 15 year old daughter.

His ex-wife had come to pick up their daughter and son for the weekend.  They were outside his home and the kids were getting in the car.  The son had forgotten something inside the house and left the car door open as he went back inside. Out of nowhere the father saw a man brandishing a gun run across the driveway and pull his daughter out of the car.  He was holding her at gunpoint when their 10 year old Golden Retriever ran out of the front door and lunged at the gunman.  He must’ve gotten scared because he let go of the girl and ran off.

Why I find this amazing is that Golden’s are not naturally the protective type – you would assume that instead of attacking the bad guy, that they would be more likely to lick them to death.  Not this girl…she sensed that her owners were in danger and saved their lives.  He told me that she had never shown to have an aggressive bone in her body her whole 10 years.  He looked at me and said “yep, I love her”.

Then in the next breath he said “But I went out and got a Rottweiler too…she’s in training…just in case.”

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I’m Not Like You

I was going to just leave up one post today but I felt the need to vent about middle school parent night yesterday evening.  Let me start by saying, I live in an uber-suburbian area of North Texas.  Think big, blonde hair, bedazzled flip flops and jeans, botox, extraneous amounts of jewelry, Expeditions and fat wallets.  If you know what I mean…

I’m not knocking the neighborhood….we chose to live here.  It’s safe, decent and the middle school is excellent.  The kids aren’t so bad either.  It’s just the parents that drive me nuts.

As I’m sitting there last night trying to somewhat pay attention to a ruthlessly long PTA meeting, I can’t hear a word the lady is saying over the LOUD speaker because of two chatty Cathy dingbat twins sitting directly behind me. I put up with it for a while but finally couldn’t take it anymore and waited out in the hall before visiting my son’s first class. Before I left I took a look around and wondered how I ended up in an episode of the Real Housewives of Dallas.

Before you think I’m being hateful, keep in mind that these opinions and observations are coming from someone who prefers the elusive and long distance web-based relationships within the blogosphere rather than real life, tangible ones.  That is just me. You could call me anti-social, I just call myself careful and selective. At least I’m not fake.  I still have my real boobs, my lips aren’t any bigger than the ones I was born with, I prefer Jason Mraz to Justin Beiber, I don’t own any clothing with sparkles or sequins, I have a few extra pounds on me, I don’t wear much jewelry or makeup and I still shop at Walmart.  Yep, even for….gasp!  Clothing sometimes.

I guess I’m the odd man out.  I don’t dress to impress and I could pretty much care less of what others opinions are of me or my family.  We are good people and we are REAL.  I believe that friends or quality are more important than friends of quantity and that is why I have two best friends (who I call “lifers”) and their families who I hold dear to my heart.  No need to be fake to gain shallow popularity.  Unfortunately as I’m observing many of these parents and overhearing conversations, that’s what seems to be what was going on in that school last night.

In almost every classroom I moved from and to something struck me as funny and pretty much typical of the school’s demographic.  From the father trying to impress his new fellow football parent “friends” by thoroughly describing his entire middle school experience from centuries ago to the mom who somewhat yelled at the Video Tech teacher when he admitted that he was a bit behind in updating his school site.  I wanted to tell the father to shut the hell up, nobody cares and tell the mom to give the teacher a frickin break…it’s only the first week of school for crying out loud!

I just don’t get it.  Maybe I’m not supposed to, and that’s ok.  For now it is humoring me and giving me some great material to use on my blog.  So buckle up and get ready for a bumpy ride as the school year gets rolling…this is gonna be good.  We have football games, choir concerts and band concerts approaching.  I’m sure that I will be dumbfounded and flabbergasted more than once and will want to share it with all of my loyal followers and friends out in Bloggerland who seem to understand all too well!

And just because no blog can be without a picture:

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Life Before YouTube

My husband is going for a 2 day birthday trip with my father to Las Vegas next week.  Prior to every Vegas trip we have a ritual and that is to watch slot machine videos on YouTube to get the luck vibes flowing.  So last night we were doing just that and somehow we went from videos of the Sex in the City slot machine to videos of some creepy Korean boy band…which my husband found fascinating but I found utterly annoying.

While he proceeded to watch several videos of these guys singing in a foreign language while dancing like Michael Jackson groupies, I was Facebook chatting with my best friend R on my iPhone.  I was grumbling to her about what my husband had just discovered and that led us to start talking about another video on YouTube called the “Skype Laughter Chain” which my son had played for me the day before.  Now, this one IS hilarious…check it out.

You’re probably wondering what I’m getting at here.  Well, I commented to R “How did we ever live without YouTube as kids?” It seems as if YouTube is becoming more popular than cable TV.  I mean, I find that my kids watch YouTube more than the teenie bopper shows on Disney or Nickelodeon these days.  Rockstars and video bloggers are getting discovered and making millions of dollars….and, you can learn how to do ANYTHING on YouTube nowadays.  Want to learn how to play the guitar?  Go to YouTube.  Need to knit a scarf?  Go to YouTube.  Looking for a good Yoga practice? Go to YouTube.  It’s insanity!

But — I’m off track here….I digress…  The response to my question that I asked R, was her saying “Well, we DID make our own commercials…remember??” Then it came back to me.  We too, at the age of around 12, did act a fool in front of a camera and think it was cool.  In my room, with walls of pink, we set up the huge-honker VHS style camera that looked something like this:

and acted out our own “commercials” for household products we found around the house.  I remember one was for Soft&Dry deodorant.  It went something like this…

Cue Camera — I come into frame and say:

“Wow!  That was a workout! (looking distressed and tired…proceed to sniff my armpit..)
“I need some deodorant!’ (out of nowhere a Soft and Dry deodorant stick comes flying into the shot, as I catch it and proceed to apply under my arms)
“AAAAAHHHHH, that’s much better” I say.
The music in my head begins to play and I start to sing some weird jingle that I had just made up about Soft&Dry deodorant while doing some sort of disturbing Bob Fosse style jazz-hands dance.
CUT!

Or how about this one for Sea Breeze facial skin toner (yeah, you remember that stuff….)

Cue Camera — R comes into frame and says:

“I have a date tonight and OH NO! A Zit!” (R looks into an invisible mirror, completely surprised and troubled — makes Home Alone face)
“What am I going to do??  Oh, wait…maybe if I put on some of this…” (R picks up Sea Breeze and pretends to put on zit)
R Looks back in invisible mirror….”Wow!  All gone!  Thank you Sea Breeze….”
R holds bottle close to face in pure Vanna White fashion and says “Sea Breeze….it breezes you /pause/ while you’re on /pause/ the /pause/ sea.”
R then sidesteps out of camera range and waves goodbye with one Miss USA-like hand the way Jacob Marley did in that old Christmas Carol movie.
CUT!

Yup — we did.  We had our own YouTube videos back then.  Rather we should’ve called them You”Tard” videos but it was all in good fun.  Our ridiculousness was not played out on the internet for all to see, however we did hold a “viewing” for our parents.  I still can’t figure out if that was a look of horror or humor on my moms face but R and I thought we were the shit.

Would we have put this craziness on the internet if we could’ve back then?  I dunno, we probably would’ve been a little more reserved.   I have to give it to all of the kiddos out there now who bare everything to the world on YouTube.  They certainly are brave souls — the world has some very cruel people in it.  Have you read some of those comments people write?  It’s scary.

For now, I’m fine with my little YouTube channel. It hosts a variety of videos on it but you will not see me on there singing, juggling, tap dancing or anything like that.  I’ll leave that to today’s youth, they do a fine job.  YOLO!