Atlanta: Recalculating

Here’s what really happened to Atlanta. It wasn’t the snow or the sprawl or inept politicians that caused the giant problem, the blame falls squarely on us. What were we thinking? The weather report started on Monday by saying there was a 30% chance of snow for Tuesday, but that climbed throughout the day, first to 50%, then finally 70% by Monday evening. I kept checking the Cobb County website, because SURELY they’d cancel school, but no, schools remained open. While Moon was getting dressed on Tuesday, I thought briefly about keeping her home anyway, but the pressure of those unexcused absences and thoughts of what she might miss, and GRADES convinced me to go ahead and send her.

Once it started snowing, I wanted JD to go and bring her home, but it was 11:30, her lunch time, so we waited an hour. THANKFULLY, that was all we waited or who knows when or IF we’d gotten her at all.

I’m sure lots of people had the same thought. Why am I going to work, why am I sending my kid off, why am I still here when the snow is sticking? Somewhere in the back of our minds, I guess we kept thinking the powers-that-be, the GOVERNMENT had it all under control. It’s like those people you hear about who are stranded in the middle of the desert because they listened to their GPS and just kept going, long after common sense told them they’d made a wrong turn. We’ve become so dependent on the government, so used to being told what to do, we’ve forgotten how to THINK for ourselves.

I agree with Al Roker – our elected officials gambled that the snow would pass us, or that they’d have time to treat the roads once it was a sure thing – so they decided not to pre-treat the roads to save money.

The good stories that you’re hearing, the ones about strangers taking food out to the streets and offering their homes as temporary lodging, those were stories about the PEOPLE of Atlanta, not the elected officials. And I bet those people were Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Libertarians. One day, we’ll all realize that our problems are not with the people that vote differently from us, but with the people we’ve all been voting FOR.

Or maybe I’m wrong. That dude in the back looks totally trustworthy.

Snowed In/Out – Day 2

I woke up this morning, and like every other morning, went straight for Facebook. Except this time I didn’t feel guilty because I was looking for updates. A friend of mine was on the interstate for 12 hours yesterday, finally finding her way to a fire station to spend the night. Awesome! If you’re going to be stranded, you might as well spend your time with firemen, amiright Kittens?

Before the snow storm hit, I’d planned on attending a conference downtown for investment bankers and money people investor types working for companies with names like AIF and FCD and IDK. I was attending because I have great interest in things like Limited Partner Fundraising, Managing Post-M&A Integrations and the Credit Market. Also, Charles Krauthammer was scheduled to speak. Once the weather rolled in, I assumed it would be cancelled and that the people inviting me to come would bail. I was wrong on both accounts. Which is why I found myself in a 4-wheel drive heading INTO the great wasteland that was the 41/75 interchange. Except for the hundreds of abandoned cars on the side of the road, it was an easy drive. For us, anyway. Apparently Charles didn’t get the message and was a no-show.

The good news is that since I was out and in a 4-wheel drive, I was able to stop at the store for more essentials. I came home with wine for me, chocolate milk for Moon and beef jerky for JD.

So, totally worth the risk of icy roads and death.

While I was out doing my best to provide for the family, Moon was laying in bed watching television and JD was sitting in his pj’s by the fire, also known as the usual. I slept fitfully last night worrying about friends on the road, but tonight I think I’ll be fine. I’ve got lots of Managing Post-M&A Integrations literature that should put me right out.

Snow Daze

So Atlanta got some snow and this happened:

We were not prepared. I blame Facebook.

Every time the weather station predicts snow for Atlanta, Facebook status updates are either mocking, such as  “Time to watch everyone freak out and buy all the milk and bread”, or Southern slamming like, “Atlanta schools out because of 3 inches of snow while in Chicago we’re not even out for 3 feet!” So, of COURSE I didn’t go to the store when they began to call for snow because, lame. Which is why JD and Moon had to walk to WalMart for essentials like tortilla chips and boiled peanuts.

At least we HAD Moon. Cobb County decided that despite the calls for snow, they’d have school today. I checked the school website around 11 a.m. and noticed they were letting out early. A few minutes later, Moon called from the school to make sure I’d seen the news and was, in fact, planning on coming to get her. I’m glad she has such trust in my parenting skills.

Even though Cobb was releasing at  2:15, I sent JD out to get her about 12:30. The snow was coming down like crazy and it didn’t look like it would stop anytime soon. It took him an HOUR to go a mile and that was only because he found a back way around a closed road. But it could have been so much worse. Friends online were posting horror stories of being in traffic NINE hours, and Moon’s friend was still stuck at school at 8:30 pm!

Moon was happy to be home but when she heard her friend was stranded, begged to get her 4-wheeler out and go and get her.  You might be surprised to learn I said NO.

We played outside and ate junk food for dinner and prayed for the kids sleeping at school and the people stuck in traffic. I posted on Facebook that if anyone was stranded nearby, then could come over and hang. Someone was “this” close to taking me up on it, so close that I actually did a little straightening up – mopped, changed the sheets, vacuumed, did laundry – you know, the basics, but she found a ride home so never mind.

Cobb County decided after today’s snowy mahem, they’d go ahead and cancel school for tomorrow. Moon is THRILLED that she’s going to get to sleep late.

I’m sure the other kids will be too, as soon as they get home from school tomorrow and actually get INTO bed.

Will The Party Ever Stop?

Moon had a birthday this weekend. I can’t believe my sweet, baby girl is 12, and THIS CLOSE to being taller than I am. We started celebrating Friday night when a couple of girls came over for a pre-birthday sleep-over. Moon wanted to see a movie so we went to a fun Movie Tavern where the kids could watch an animated feature while eating fried chicken strips and I could drink a draft beer so as not to kill myself.

Afterwards, we came home so the girls could pile onto the floor on blow-up beds, eat their weight in candy and chips, and basically make the house tremble until 2 a.m.

The aftermath was not pretty, but we managed to get everyone sent home by lunch time so that Moon could begin the REAL celebration. She was ready for “Daddy Time”, also known as “Do Whatever I Want” time, so the two of them headed to the mall to spend some birthday cash. Once she’d purchased everything in Town Center, she went to her BFFFFFFF’s to hang, play Minecraft and do other special birthday things that she does every other day when she’s hanging with her BFF.

We had ice-cream cake, lots of gifts, time with friends, shopping, a movie, and a boat load of fun. It was a great weekend and a great birthday and other than the fact that my BABY is almost a teenager and will be driving in 4 years and graduating in 6, and probably getting married after that and moving away and I’ll never see her again so I might as well DIE, it was a great success.

I can hardly wait until next year when she’s a TEENAGER.

Island Fun

I was laying in the bed last night thinking about how I was sick of the internet, tablets, texting, etc. and sort of wishing that all the electricity would go out, in the WHOLE WORLD. Because, extreme. Then I was thinking about what that would actually BE like – no heat, no light, no ATM machines, and I decided that perhaps that wasn’t the best idea since I’d be dead in about 48 hours.

Which led me to think about Gilligan’s Island. Why didn’t the batteries in their radio ever die? And do you remember the episode where a phone cable was blown onto the island during a storm and they were able to tap into the line and call people? Why are there phone cables lying on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean?? Why didn’t they just cut the lines and wait for AT&T to show up?

Gilligan’s Island was cool back in the day. I used to play out a scene over and over with my cousins, Lisa and Petey. We always fought over who had to be Mrs. Howell, but since we were usually playing on MY porch, I got either Ginger or Maryann.

I was too concerned with the cool dancing and remembering the lyrics to ever wonder how they powered that record player. Oh well, it wasn’t a documentary.

I’m guessing if it were real, they’d all have died in about 48 hours.

Your Estate Sale Sucks

We went to several estate sales over the weekend and while my mom and the Aunts’ were able to find something wherever we went, I was not so lucky. It wasn’t for lack of trying. One of the sales was a lesson in What Not To Do. The woman holding the sale had evidently put a sign in the yard and just opened the door because NOTHING was priced. That’s a pain in the rear under any circumstances, but couple it with the fact that she was the only person running the sale, and it was nearly impossible to buy anything. If you were upstairs looking at a table, you either had to carry it downstairs or leave it and go downstairs, wait until she finished pricing items and/or taking money from someone else then ask her to come upstairs, see the table and give you a price. Horrible estate sale management, amiright Kittens?

Lucky for me, all I wanted was some stupid dvd’s. Apparently her father enjoyed watching movies about history because he had approximately 794 dvd’s with titles like Guadacanal Diary and WWII Planes. There wasn’t just ONE about WWII but several. I picked through them and found 5 that I thought they might be good for Moon, the history buff. The woman told me they were $3.00 bucks each and when I offered her $10.00 bucks instead, she said no. Oh, well. I placed them in the living-room next to the checkout table and left them behind. And I was totally fine with that.

The next day, since we’d been in the area anyway, we decided to go back and see if anything else had been unearthed. The dvd’s were sitting in the exact same spot. The woman was making deals left and right, so I decided to give it another go. How much for the dvd’s? $3.00 dollars. I politely explained that they were $3.00 YESTERDAY, that they were sitting in the same spot, that I was buying them as SCHOOLWORK, and that she’d be taking them to GOODWILL soon, but she refused to let me have them. So I left them behind, AGAIN. And I was totally fine with that.

Who acts like that over stupid, war dvd’s that no one else will look at twice. She was dealing with EVERYONE else, but not me, no I had to put the merchandise down or pay full price.

People are annoying.

Speaking of which, this email between neighbors reminded my of something AmmoGuy would do. And that is a TOTAL compliment.

I wish I had estate woman’s email address.

My Willpower Won’t

God help me if I ever try crack.

I must be  the most delusional person in the world. Last night when I went to bed, I really planned my day like this:

Tomorrow, I’ll start my juice/raw diet.

Then I got up and realized that juicing would wake the whole house so I opted for a banana. Then I realized that I would not be home for lunch so I took some roasted corn and red pepper soup to eat. Then I got home and ate some leftover trout, 2 chicken Mcnuggets, some leftover spaghetti and washed it down with some wine.

Then I had ice cream.

But I will not be discouraged. I have a new plan – tomorrow I’m going to get up and EXERCISE, then start my juice/raw diet. I feel sure it’s totally gonna work this time.

Play and Playoffs

The weekend is over and I’m still alive so that’s something. Mom and the Aunts’ arrived early in the morning on Thursday because, estate sale. Normally they’d get here around noon, but we’d heard about an estate sale that promised to have some great finds, so OBVIOUSLY we wanted to be the first ones through the door. Unfortunately, other people had also heard about the sale so we were more like 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th but we managed to find a few things. The biggest dilemma of the day was not whether I should spend the $15.00 for a bench for the front door, or whether my mom should buy EVERY vintage photo she saw. No, the biggest question of the day was whether the man that Ann was talking to was actually a woman. The purse and the necklace put Ann firmly in the “woman” camp, while his height, voice and lack of makeup made me think “man”. Although to be fair, if lack of makeup is any indication, I’m also male.

Not only did I forget makeup, but I realized on Friday that I hadn’t washed my hair since MONDAY. Did I mention I’ve been sick? The snorting and coughing combined with work and running around to yard sales led me to put shampooing further down the list than normal. To be honest, with the yard-sale ladies in town, everything falls below shopping, eating, and laughing.

After they left on Saturday, I went to dinner with a local ministry  at the home of one of Georgia’s premier pastors.  I am sad to say that he obviously has no discernment whatsoever because when he and his wife had to make an early exit, he gave me the code to his house so I could lock up. You’ll be happy to know that I’ve reached a level of maturity that kept me from going room to room and snooping through his house. I did manage to sneak into the pantry for a Ziplock bag but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do when there’s leftover brownies to be had, amiright Kittens?

Sunday I stayed home in bed until church was over because I was sick and I’d just eaten dinner with a pastor so I think that qualifies, after which I moved to the couch to cough and watch the football playoffs.

Despite everyone telling me that Peyton was going to LOSE to Brady, he WON and now the Broncos are in the Super Bowl which is exactly what I thought would happen two weeks ago when the playoffs began and I suddenly began to care.

And that was MY weekend. How was yours?

American Idol

You had me at Harry Connick, Jr.

He’s just so, TALENTED.

While the show was mainly about Harry, there were some other people on it as well. I’m not sure what they were doing – talking, singing, dancing, whatever. But this dude was pretty good:

HARRY will definitely win, but this guy could do as well as second.

If I see a light, should I walk toward it?

At this point, you could really freak me out by bringing a bright light into my bedroom. Okay, that would be freaky anytime, but especially so when one thinks one is close to death. I would be that one. To be honest, I actually felt a little better today, but that’s only because I did my work sitting on my couch wrapped in a robe, and my day didn’t involve having to stretch the limits of my capabilities by doing something ridiculous like showering. Or wearing appropriate clothing.

Not that nearly dying is all bad. Moon came home from school today and announced that she didn’t have any homework because she had, got this, done it at school! While I was still reeling from that news, she went into the kitchen and poured a large glass of orange juice, then brought it to ME. What. the. what. A few minutes later, I found her still in the kitchen, wearing an apron and loading the dish-washer. Obviously, she’s seen the medical report. What else can explain the fact that she then cleaned the kitchen, the dining room, the bathroom and her bedroom? I don’t know, Kittens, but either I’ve entered a hallucinatory phase of this illness, or my daughter has also gotten sick. If I’m dreaming, don’t wake me.

Other than that, nothing is new. I worked, sneezed, watched some bad television, coughed, read the new Jack Reacher novel, snorted and drank plain OJ.

Plain orange juice. I MUST be sick.