Hot Dog!

I’m an avid watcher of Shark Tank. I love that show. I watch it so much that I would like to fancy myself a pseudo-expert in the entrepreneurial world. I can tell when Damon believes an idea is garbage. I know when Barbara doesn’t see a return on her investment. I see the look in Robert’s eyes when he doesn’t believe in the person. I can see when Mark is going to bow out because it’s not in his wheel house, meaning he can’t stamp it with the Mavericks logo and hock it at NBA games. I can feel a rant about a company’s inflated valuation coming from Mr. Wonderful a mile away.

My family and I make bets about which sharks will jump at the truly innovative new products and who will turn down the necessary non-sense someone is trying to unleash on our marketplace.

I was barreling through the grocery store yesterday when I was stopped dead in my tracks by this.

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I instantly threw on my Shark Tank hat.

Really? How did this product make it through production and into the marketplace? Are there really a bunch of knife-less households in America where people sit around staring at their full-sized hot dogs after cooking them, contemplating how they are now going to cut up the dog into delightful, bite-sized piece? Who are these people willing to shell out $4.00 of their hard-earned money for a clunky piece of draw clutter? I mean, it’s kind of cute, but seriously folks. You green lighted production of this woofer to do a job of a task that can be done with the side of a fork or, for free, by the human fingers attached at the person holding said hot dog?

I’m blaming Lori, Queen of QVC.

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Live while we’re young

As I’ve mentioned before, every month I go on a Girls Night Out with an incredible group of girls.  We all met over 20 years ago (that just made me feel old) back in our high school days.  Depending on the season or whatever mood strikes us, we try different and fun things on our evenings on the town.  Last night, Tina did the picking and we attempted to relive our youth by going ice skating.

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I like ice skating, of course, I would though.  I used to LOVE roller skating back in the day.  I would show up at Skateland, a local middle school hang out, before the doors opened, skates in hand, anxious to try to be the first one on the rink.  In those days, I used to try to stay on the rink all night, no breaks, never missing a song.  The real challenge came when it was time for the couples skate.  I was not much of a dater back then, so I never to go-to guy to guarantee myself a partner.  In the sixth grade, I accepted an ill-fated roll around the rink from Doug Hagemen and ended up with a broken wrist.  It wasn’t his fault someone fell behind me while I was backwards skating, but I never missed a chance to rub it in all through high school.  Anywho, ice skaing, to me, is just roller skating with your coat on, so I was all for it.

When we arrived at the rink, I felt like I was both reliving my youth….and ancient at the same time.  One this crisp January night, the rink was packed with 12 to 15 year olds, each trying to look cooler than the next.  The only other adults at the rink consisted of  a few random parents who, by the looks on their faces, had drawn the short straw and been forced stayed to supervise their children.  Most of the kids stood huddled in the center of the rink, attempting to make a dance floor on the ice, while staying upright on their skates.  The man who looked like he was having the least fun of the evening, was the police officer assigned to rink duty that night.  I don’t know if they covered “shooing a skate-less teenager off the ice rink” in the academy, but he was really good at it and called in repeatedly to perform this task.

Now me, I am not one of these “sit on the sidelines of life” type of people.  I’m only here once, so I’m going to go out and have a good time of it.  I don’t care if I embarrass myself or anyone else in the process.  I don’t know these people, and if I did, so what?  Plus, I work with owly, grumpy teenagers, I’m not scared off by their scowls.

So I did what I all those other parents should have, I jumped on that ice and OWNED it.  I skated.  I danced to the music.  I sang and made a fool of myself.

Gangnam Style anyone?

Who doesn’t want to live like we’re young?

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I got nothing

You know those times when you talking with someone and they make a statement that just dumbfounds you, so much so, you’ve got nothing left to say in reply?  Yup, that was my day….

As a reminder, I work with behaviorally disordered kids.  Craziness, stress, and chaos are like air, lights, and water at my work.

These are two of my conversations from today.

Student 1 – “I’m going to drop kick you from here to New York!”  (Yes, I was threatened with physical harm today at work.  Repeatedly.  It’s normal.  It happens all the time.)

Me – “What direction is New York from here?” (We are in Nebraska)

Notice my sly distraction to get off the topic of assaulting me?  I’m tricky like that!

Student 1 – “East.”

Me – “Correct!”

Student 2 – “Oh yeah!  What direction is Florida from here?”

Me – “I know.  Do you?”

Student 2 – “Yes.  North!”

Me – (Shaking my head)

Then, within minutes…

Student 1 – “Can I go to the bathroom?”

Me – “You just went 15 minutes ago!?!”

Student 1 – “Yeah, but I only went Number 1”

Me – “Great…”  (A few minutes later)  “Ready to go Number 2

Student 1 – “I don’t have to go Number 2!”

Me – “But you said you already went Number 1, so there’s only Number 2 left.”

Student 1 – “Umm, NO!  There are numbers 3, 4, and 5!”

Me – “What are Numbers 3, 4, and 5?  Nevermind…I don’t want to know.”

You think I would have figured out by now to stop asking them questions….

The wrong side of karma

I keep seeing these repeated posts about people waiting for karma to come around and get back at someone with whom they are upset, who they feel they have been wronged by.  Full disclosure, I have had thoughts like this of my own and may or may not have made a similar post in the past.  When I saw such karma postings, I used to give a little giggle and would say to myself, “That’s right Betty (names have been changed to protect the innocent)!  They will get what’s coming to them!”

But I have recently seen, what I call, the wrong side of karma.  The side where the person who is wishing and waiting for karma to get their enemy is actually wrong, whether in actions and words, and is wishing a karma retribution that is ill-advised.

I have come to realize that these ‘wrong side of karma’ wishers are usually ‘my way or the highway’ types of people who then, when they don’t get their way, start calling on karma.  Well who’s to say that the fact they didn’t get their way and are now throwing a temper tantrum isn’t karma’s way of trying to smack them in the face for being so selfish, self-centered, or unwilling to compromise?

How do you spell fun….

C-A-M-P-I-N-G!!!

I love camping.  I always have.  I come from a camping family.  Between vacations, quick weekend get-aways to a local park, or boy scout and girl scout adventures, we used to haul out the tent numerous times a year.  I love everything about camping…sleeping bags, flashlights, bug spray, tangled fishing poles, playing card games on a picnic table, messy smores, the smell of campfires, endless stories, laughing til your side hurts and the peace of an early morning campground.  What I might like better than all of that, is the lack of schedule.  There are no ‘to-do’ lists, no places you have to be when you are camping.

Lucky for me, I married a man who likes camping too.  Since we’ve been married, we have taken our vacations on the open road to campgrounds far and wide.  When the kids came along, we just got a bigger tent and brought more food.  Our favorite place to camp is in the mountains, in particular, Grand Teton National Park.  It’s beautiful, it’s God’s country.

Now this weekend, unfortunately, we could not get away to the mountains, but we did manage to escape to a local state park for fun time with some friends.  It also happened to be my baby boy’s 10th birthday on Saturday.  (Double digits already!!!  That went too fast!)  He’s such a camping fool, he jumped at the chance to go camping with friends for his birthday.

Here’s some snippets of our weekend….

We have recently decided that we are too old to sleep on the ground, so I give my parents my puppy dog eyes (Yes, they still work on my daddy) and he will haul out their camper to save my back and give us running water.  Unfortunately, this only works locally.  I haven’t yet figured out how to get him to take it to Wyoming for us!

The birthday boy tried his hand at the grill for the first time.  He was a natural.  A future grill master is born!

The Birthday Boy got a Pogo Stick for his birthday.  Before you ask…Yes we are crazy.  We figured, what the hell, our deductible is already met for the year, why not!

Beach time.  Not a ‘real’ beach, a sandy beach on a lake, but the kids could care less.  They ran, jumped, made sand castled, and buried each other up to the neck.  I read a great book!

We go fishing a lot in this family.  The one thing we never do it actually catch fish.  My son took a different approach this time.  After using minnow after minnow to no avail, he decided to keep one as a pet.  Meet bubbles!  That’s one way to catch a fish!

True peace and quiet.  When you can walk silently to a lake, hearing only the sounds of crickets chirping and campfires popping and then witness this…. well, it’s just the reason you go camping.

What I think I like even better than the peace and quiet, and even the lack of schedule, is the chance to be flat out silly with my kiddos.  I hope these are the memories and times they will look back on and treasure forever.  I know I do!