Thursday, October 30, 2008

Proposition 8

Proposition 8 is an initiative on the California ballot next week that would legally define marriage as between a man and woman exclusively, thereby making homosexual marriage illegal by default.

This will probably not sit well with many of my friends or members of my church, but frankly, I am against prop 8, and here's why.

One argument is that gay marriage goes against God. I agree 100%. I believe it is a sin. However, we have a separation of church and state in our great country. No one is asking churches to start performing and recognizing gay marriage. We are talking about the legal definition of marriage. We are not a Theocracy. Someday, according to my personal religious beliefs, Christ will reign on Earth and all our laws will be God's laws. Now is not that time. Now we have a secular government, and I don't believe religious beliefs should affect secular laws. One of the things that bothers me most is how my particular religion has banded together to pass this initiative. I guess in some ways that's why I decided to post this--to let people know that not all Mormons, or all Christians for that matter, want to block gay marriage. Sometimes I think members of my church forget the second part of our 11th article of faith: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
I don't believe my church should perform gay marriages. I don't believe they should condone gay marriages. I don't believe they should teach it is correct in the eyes of God. But, I also don't believe they should be actively trying to keep people who do not hold our beliefs from having the same rights as everyone else under our secular laws.

The next argument I've heard is that allowing gays to marry will take away the sacredness and sanctity of marriage between a man and woman. I'm sorry, but I don't buy that for one second. One's marriage is as sacred as one makes it. What about marriages of convenience? What about marriages for business purposes only? What about arranged marriages that neither party really wants? Those are legal and take place every day. Where is the push to make those illegal? What about marriages between a man and a woman where the man domineers and abuses, using the traditional teachings of marriage from the bible as his justification? To me that lessens the sanctity of marriage far more than a loving couple who happen to be of the same sex.

The third and most logical argument I've heard is that the initiative is to restore what the people voted into law back in 2000 with proposition 22. At that time, 61% of the vote was in favor of
changing the California Family Code to formally define marriage in California as being between a man and a woman. In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court overturned Prop 22 and declared it unconstitutional. So, here's my problem--if it's unconstitutional it's unconstitutional. It doesn't matter that 61% of California voters supported it. If every single voter in the US writes in Arnold Schwarzenegger for president on Tuesday, he still cannot be president. He was not born a US citizen and therefore it is unconstitutional, even if it's what the people vote for. Our constitution has made us the greatest nation in the world and it is the courts' job to make sure that our legislators enact laws that fall within our constitutional rights.

O.K., sorry to get deep on a Thursday night. It's just something that's been on my mind this week and I needed to get it off my chest.

I'll be expecting the Bishop to be stopping by to abscond my temple recommend any minute now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Loose Ends

I was just browsing my older posts and thought I'd tie up some loose ends.

1. My house is still small, cramped and small.

2. I still love food.

3. I still hate Twilight. And the movie trailers lead me to believe the movie will suck far more than the book. That's a lot of suckage. Vampire pun not intended.

4. Ben hasn't lied about homework in 3 weeks. Now he's lying about other things instead.

5. I'm still turning Republican. In fact, I think the conversion is complete. I can't vote for Obama after reading THIS.

6. Clay Aiken is still gay.

7. I have a new infomercial obsession: Shamwow! But I'm still holding out for a Ronco dehydrator for Christmas.

8. Project Runway ended. Leann won. I thought Korto should have won. I'm now gearing up for Top Chef!

9. Fall has finally arrived! Not the beautiful colors, mind you, but the temperatures. I'll take what I can get.

10. Will had great fun torching the spider egg sacs. Let's just say it involved aerosol spray and the phrase "flame thrower."


I also have a request. I'm going to be stuck on a complete liquid diet over Thanksgiving (details on that will be forthcoming in a future post). Will someone out there take pity on me and invite my family over for Thanksgiving? I just can't go through with cooking a huge meal when I'll have to sit down to a can of Strawberry Glucerna. I know it's pathetic to beg for an invitation, but there you go. I'm desperate. I'll even bring my famous homemade from scratch cranberry jelly.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I got my first tag ever! Thanks, Marianne. I was starting to feel a little left out of the whole game of tag.

Here are the rules: I have to answer each question with only one word the pass it on to seven other people.

  • Where is your cell phone? Purse
  • Where is your sig. other? Working
  • Your hair color? Brown
  • Your mother? New Hampshire
  • Your father? Dead
  • Your favorite thing? Cleanliness
  • Your dream last night? Forest
  • Your dream/goal? Spain
  • The room you're in? Kitchen
  • Your hobby? Decorating
  • Your fear? Germs
  • Where do you want to be in 6 years? Europe
  • Where were you last night? Home
  • What you're not? Skinny
  • One of your with list items? Headboard
  • Where you grew up? Maine/Connecticut/Wyoming
  • Last thing you ate? Sour Patch Kids
  • What are you wearing? Clothes
  • Your TV? New!
  • Your pet? None
  • Your computer? New!
  • Your mood? Lazy
  • Missing someone? Yes
  • Your car? Dirty
  • Something you're not wearing? Socks
  • Favorite store? IKEA
  • Your summer? HOT
  • Love someone? Will
  • Favorite color? Green
  • When was the last time you laughed? today
  • When was the last time you cried? today

I, really? O.K., April, Tina, Karen, Stephanie, Slavka, Carrie and Anthony Bourdain.

know he reads me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yeah, that's right. Christmas music.

If your speakers aren't on, go ahead and turn them on. That's better.

That's right--it's not even Halloween yet and I'm already playing Christmas music.

I periodically play Christmas music all year long. I've had a Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas CD playing in my van since last Christmas.

I love Christmas. Actually, I love the preparation for Christmas. Christmas day itself is usually kind of a let down for me. But the weeks (or, umm, months as the case may be) leading up to it are my favorite time of year.

I love the weather, the smell in the air, the bustle of shoppers, planning the dinner, sending the cards (stop laughing--I'm really going to send some this year), finally singing Christmas hymns at church, seeing the decorated trees on display at the stores. I just love it all.

Usually I wait until mid-November to start full time with Christmas music. I also usually wait to decorate until the day after Thanksgiving. This year is different.

It's still really warm here. And green. And not very fall like. It just doesn't feel like the last week of October and the start of the holiday season. So, I'm on a mission to force that pre-Christmas bliss.

You see, I'm the queen of denial. I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that if I ignore something it will go away. I'm so good at it that I'm thinking perhaps I can use it in reverse. If I believe something to be true, it will happen.

So, I bought some pumpkin cinnamon air fresheners from White Barn, I started making Christmas shopping lists, I bought some Thomas Cranberry English muffins, and I started playing Christmas music non-stop. The decorations are going up in 2 weeks. That's right--2 weeks.

So, Georgia, I have thwarted your evil plot to keep it summer-like, thereby ruining the holiday season for me. Inside my house, it's already December.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why I'm an indoor sort of girl.

We're finally having some Fall-like weather around here. It's only 72 today! Where I'm from, 72 is shorts-wearing, let's swim in the ocean kind of weather. Here, people are having fires in their wood stoves and fire places and wearing winter jackets.

Anyway, I decided to get some fresh air and take a look at what I actually have growing around my house. At some point, someone put a lot of thought into the landscaping, so I figured I'd find some interesting things. And oh, did I.

First I met this guy:

He's pretty cute, and he eats the bugs so I like him.

But then I saw these...

...and I nearly peed my pants. The mass at the top is a dead Brown Widow Spider. Those bottom three spike-covered balls are her egg sacs. Bajillions of POISONOUS spiders are incubating on my front porch. I should go out there and do something to get rid of them, but all I can think to do is set them on fire. If you know me, then you know that would be a recipe for disaster. You know that the whole house would be engulfed in flames within minutes.

So, I'll leave it for Will.

After I stopped crying about the spiders, I headed to the other corner of the house--far away from the arachnids of death.

There I discovered these:

They sure do look like blueberries...

...but I'm just not sure. I grew up picking wild blueberries on the "mountain" behind my grandparent's house in Maine, but it's been so long. And I'm so paranoid. I know if I ate one it would turn out to be even more toxic than the incubating nightmares on the porch.

Can any of you tell just by looking?

I think I'll just leave them on the bush, blueberries or not. I already have blueberry induced PTSD. It involved Ben and his diaper. We'll leave it at that--it's a story for another post.

So, anyway, I've had my fill of the great Georgia outdoors. I'm happy to stay inside forever.

I've told Will that I'm good with moving to Alaska. No bugs, and maybe I could see Russia from my house, too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So, you may have heard about a little loophole in the Nebraska Safe Haven law on the news lately.

Safe Haven laws were created to allow a parent to abandon a newborn at a hospital or fire department or police station without legal repercussions. Nebraska failed to add an age limit for abandoned children, and has received several older kids--even teens--lately.

Hence, Nebraska has become my gossamer thread of hope on bad days. On days when I just don't think I can take anymore back talking, anymore lying, anymore fighting, anymore crying, anymore poop where it doesn't belong, anymore pee soaked sheets, anymore peanut butter on the couch, I remind myself that if it ever gets really bad--really really bad--there's always Nebraska. It's just a road trip away.

But today I read that they are quickly working out a change to the law to remedy their oversight. Sigh. So, I guess I'm back to these guys:

Ben once told me that he hated us and wanted a new family. Well, he's said it a lot more than once, actually, but the particular time I'm referring to I had had it. I simply said, "Fine. I'll find you one."

Awhile later I called him in and showed him that picture (it's one I randomly found by Googling "mean elderly couple"). I told him they were Bob and Myrtle Gummerson and they were going to be his new family. I told him they wouldn't give him a bedtime or make a lot of rules, but he would be required to help change their diapers and count out their pills.

Somehow I managed to do this with a straight face and he totally believed me. He quickly decided that he might be better off with us for awhile.

Goodbye day dreams of one way trips to the Corn Belt, hello threats of Bob and Myrtle...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Challenge accepted.

I have been challenged.

Many of you have probably heard of Nie Nie (Stephanie Nielson). She and her husband are a young, gorgeous couple with 4 young, gorgeous kids in Arizona. On August 16th, she and her husband were in a private plane crash. The flight instructor died and the Nielsons were both severly burned. Stephanie was burned over 70% of her body (including her face) and only has a 50% chance of survival at this point.

Stephanie's sister Courtney has been keeping a blog, CJane Run, and recently posted this about Stephanie.

Inspired by Nie Nie, my friend Harmony posted this on her blog.

Now, it's all well and good for Harmony. She's tall and thin and pretty and has great hair and cute shoes. Me--well, let's just say that I become paralyzed with fear and mortification when it comes to pictures of myself. I hate them.

But, I never back down from a challenge unless it involves heights or spiders.

So, here are some actual pictures of me with the kids yesterday.

And yes, this is the BAD hair cut, 4 months out.

She never said I couldn't have fun with it...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Autumn Watch 2008

It's Sunday, October 19th in lovely Grovetown, Georgia.

I'm still waiting for Fall to show up.

Back yard: still lush and green.

Air conditioner: Still occasionally kicking on to keep us at 75.


I've heard rumors that someday Autumn will come.

P.S. Fellow Lost fans: Doesn't my AC unit look like it was made for a Dharma station?

Orchid station Dharma logo


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tommy and Gina? Livin' in the suburbs, driving a minivan.

So, I was driving along today, listening to the radio, and Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" came on. Like any good child of the 80's, I cranked it up and sang along and maybe even did a little head banging at the stop light. Shut up--you do it, too.

Then Journey's "Faithfully" came on. Sweet! More singing ensued. Next up? Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer." This is a WICKED AWESOME radio station!

Then they broke for commercials and station identification.

"You're listening to Eagle 102. Augusta's home for classic rock."

Classic rock? Classic? Classic?!?!

No no no no no no!!! Classic rock is what my parents listen to. Classic rock is The Doors. The Rolling Stones. The Eagles. The Beatles. Fleetwood Mac.

Classic rock is not anything that was popular once I reached child bearing age.

Because that would make me OLD. And if you totally understood who I was talking about in the title, then it makes you old too. Totally.

Want to hear something else that'll make you cry? Cyndi Lauper is pushing 60. No, seriously. Sixty.

Here, enjoy a trip back to your youth. I'm going to go take some Geritol and put on an adult diaper.

I totally heard you singing along.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An open letter, to whom it may concern.

Dear Georgians,

Let me start by saying that you have a beautiful state here. And thanks for not minding too much that Yankee military types like us move in, bringing our crazy northern/western ways. It's much appreciated.

I do have one teensy, tiny request, though.

Do you think it might be possible to start using your blinker? You know, when you're driving and you plan to turn left or right? Or say, changing lanes?

You see, I'd really like to not hit you with my van. That's my goal every time I get behind the wheel--don't hit anyone and don't get hit by anyone. It's simple really, but I can't do it alone. I need your help.

The next time you're driving and you decide to make a turn or change lanes, I want you to put the beer down and place your right hand on the steering wheel. Then I want you to take your left hand and feel for a lever sticking out of the left side of the steering wheel.

Find it?

O.K. Now if you're going to go left, push it down. If you're going to go right, push it up.

Lights will blink and there will be a clock-like clicking noise: DO NOT BE ALARMED. Those things are normal when the blinker is employed.

Congratulations. You have just used your blinker!



P.S. For the love of Pete could you stop doing this?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Round Two

Why can't the kids all just get sick at the same time? I'd much rather have one week that's a complete barf-fest and be done with it than have it drag on and on as one kid gets better and the next one gets sick.

Apparently it's now Amelia's turn.


Wait a second. I don't feel so good...

Oh the pain...

The agony...

I'm just going to rest right here for awhile.

One sick toddler + one night = 3 loads of laundry

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Other than my family (who use this privileged information to torture me), very few people know about a strange phobia I have. O.K., so I have a lot of strange phobias (like corn mixed with other food or someone touching the fabric headliner in a car) but this one is probably the strangest.

My name is Brandi, and I'm afraid of Mr. Peanut.

It all started when I was around three. I have a very clear memory of a nightmare in which Mr. Peanut was next to my bed beating me with his cane. I've been wary of him ever since.

Then, when I was a teenager, I read a book called Communion. It's by some guy who believes he's been repeatedly abducted by aliens. In it he claims that the aliens change our memories of abduction by making us think we've dreamed of something similar in appearance to them. Like owls. AND LIKE MR. PEANUT!

No, I don't believe I've been abducted by aliens for one second, but the whole thing just fed into my Mr. Peanut phobia.

The reason I'm coming out of the closet is because I recently learned I'm not alone in my phobia. Just Google "scared of Mr. Peanut." You'll see. I'm just one of many freaks...errr...I mean normal people with a strange phobia. So, if my confession helps just one person to no longer be ashamed of their affliction, then I've done my job.

It could be worse. I could be this girl:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Math Quiz

Pencils out!

Please answer the following, and show your work:

One child that you thought was better
+ Hot dogs for dinner
+ Long looped carpet
+ 4:30 am
= ?

Got it?

How about now?

The correct answer is: Me, with PTSD caused by having to clean chunky hot dog vomit out of a deep carpet. And the smell. Oh, the unholy smell.

We will never have hot dogs again. Ever.

And I'm also irrationally angry at Will because he can sleep through it. Liam was crying and puking. I was retching because of the smell. All the lights were on. I started a load of blankets in the washing machine. Amelia woke up to see what was going on, as did Ben.
Not Will. He just kept on sleeping...

If you need a pick-me-up after that unpleasant mental image, take a look at this. It cracked me up. It's an actual vintage ad. Click it to make it larger.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


My day started at 4:44 am. I heard crying and I was trying to orient myself and wake up and figure out which kid it was. Two seconds later my legs and my bed were covered in hot, slimy projectile vomit.

Morning, Liam.

Then I had to go get a psych evaluation for an upcoming surgery. All of you who had money riding on crazy, pay up. The Doctor says I'm quite balanced. Except the computerized personality evaluation came back showing that I was off the charts abnormal when it came to following rules (as in not following them). He said it indicates that I may not be very compliant with my doctor's orders after the surgery and that concerns him. I found this very odd and very surprising because I'm a HUGE rule follower. And I'm Nazi-like in making everyone else follow the rules. I really, really want to know what questions I answered to cause those results.

So, I left the hospital feeling somewhat relieved and yet somewhat disturbed that I'm only a little crazy.

Due to the morning vomiting incident, Liam stayed home from school. At school he naps. At home he refuses. So, he was sick and cranky and tired and I've had to listen this to this for the past 4 hours straight:

And then I had a coughing fit and peed my pants.

Shut up. It happens.

But it's all O.K. because it's Wednesday! I'll get to spend my evening with the couch, some popcorn, Tim Gunn, Jason Hawes, and Wisit. I love Wednesday.

(Anyone besides me find Wisit to be both utterly fascinating and yet horribly frightening at the same time? I'm drawn to him, yet completely creeped out by him. Doesn't matter, the guy who works for Martha Stewart is going to win anyway.)

P.S. I dare you to look at this picture and not lactate.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Word association: The single player version.

If any one out there has ever had a conversation with me about, say...the economy, and I reply by talking about cake mix, I promise I was not insane or suffering from ADD. I simply have a weird and wandering thought process. In my head my answer made perfect sense, but to those outside of my head who missed the path my thoughts followed, the things I say may seem a little random in relation to the topic at hand.

I'm not usually aware of this until someone points it out and I have to back track through my thoughts and explain how I got from point A to point B.

Today I was driving to an appointment and became aware of the fact that I was doing it, and I wasn't even talking to anyone!

Let me share that train of thought:

April's baby is almost one. ----> April's husband used to work for Joe Lieberman. ----> Lori Lieberman wrote a poem that she gave to Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel as inspiration for the song "Killing Me Softly." The poem was written about her experience hearing Don McLean sing "American Pie" at a concert.----> "The players tried to take the field but the marching band refused to yield" is one of my favorite lines from a song ever because I'm a former band geek and I think anyone who was ever in marching band secretly had delusions that people were there to hear you, not to watch the game or the skinny, braindead cheerleaders.----> People who have tried to analyze the lyrics to "American Pie" have said that that line refers to the Beatles (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band=Marching band) and how they kept their popularity even though groups like The Beach Boys and the Monkees were trying to step in. ----> My step father used to really, really look like Ringo Starr. So much so that he was approached for an autograph at a New Kids on the Block Concert back when they were cool (sort of). ----> April came with me the day of that concert and we skipped it and went on rides and pretended we thought NKOTB were for the elementary school set. ----> April's baby is almost one...

See how that works? So, if you ask me about gas prices and I start talking about Turducken, just know there's a connection. Really.

Going to be one soon...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

He finally did it.

Ben finally pushed us over the edge. We've decided to send him to military school.
Here he is when we arrived--he was pretty excited. He didn't quite understand the concept.

Here he's meeting his new class.

Here they are after being issued their gear.

Then we went and checked out his room. It's a little bare, but it'll be easy to keep clean.

We're thinking of sending Liam next year if he doesn't start toeing the line at home.

Bye, Ben! See you at Christmas!

Alright, alright. Those are really from Fort Pulaski. That's where Will and the kids spent last Saturday while I was cavorting around Savannah with my Biscuit friends.