Do This...Not That

Do: Ride your bike to work in gym clothes and shower before changing into professional attire. Endorphines make happy people and fresh smelling people make happy co-workers.
Don't: Ride your bike to work in your work attire that is nearly too revealing for walking -- i.e. a dress that is in appropriately short and tight.

Do: Wear your husband's button down with skinny jeans. Why buy the ever popular "boyfriend shirt," when you have access to a closet full of them?!
Don't: Wear your husband's button down with skinny jeans with friends who recognize the shirt is his.

Do: Be an aggressive pedestrian. It's a big cruel world out there and you've got the right of way.
Don't: Be an aggressive pedestrian with a foul mouth. This won't win the sympathy vote from the crowd.

Do: Eat oatmeal for breakfast. Low calories and heart healthy are just two of the benefits.
Don't: Eat oatmeal for breakfast from Starbucks. Watch them prepare it -- oatmeal from a paper packet and add water. Save yourself the three dollars and take the 10 seconds to make it yourself. Duh.

Do: Rationalize your distinct need for owning a Land Rover. Obviously.
Don't: Rationalize your distinct need for owning a Land Rover by saying you are a better driver in SUVs due to their lack of a trunk. After you just hit a post in your parking garage. Consider your battle lost, or at least on hold.

Do: Make homemade whip cream.
Don't: Make homemade whip cream with lite cream. It's not meant to be healthy for reason -- it can't be!

Do: Keep that dress you didn't mean to dry. It may not have shrunk as much as you think.
Don't: Keep that dress you didn't mean to dry and wear it to work. Especially if you are nearly six feet tall and living in the land of L.L. Bean and pantsuits. Oops.

In the words of Willard Scott, "That's it, that's all!"

(Side note: these are not all personal experiences. I.e. I do not ride bikes.)

$4 Movie Tickets...Happy Wednesday!

I sang my praises of Groupon months ago and have only fallen more in love with it since. We have gone to brunch, plays, dinner, sporting events, out for drink, canoeing, bought cupcakes, ridden in NASCARs, and the list goes on. Today I received an email and if you click on the link and sign up, you can purchase a movie ticket for $4. Now if that doesn't pacify the Wednesday blues, I don't know what will. On to group couponing.

CLICK HERE FOR THE TICKET 

Bragging Rights

Though it isn't the best quality, because I froze a frame from a video, but none the less here is the little man showing off his courtesy. Shake!

Guest Contributor: Aunt G

My walk to work today was interrupted with fits of laughter as I read an email my aunt had sent to her sisters and me. Prepare to laugh yourself to tears as you read the below email:


_________


I saw a sight that shook me to the very core.  It was so shocking that I could not begin to capture in a picture. You would have thought it was a fake picture anyway, plus it all happened so fast; it actually took me until this morning to be able to comprehend, to be able to talk about it...

My fingers are shaking so badly that I can hardly type...

Are you ready?  I'm not sure I can describe... Lord give me strength....I'm starting to feel woozie again just trying to tell you....
  
Our father....

Our father walked in my backdoor yesterday afternoon carrying...

carrying...

oh my, system is starting to go into shock again...
  
carrying a walmart sack that contained...

a package of....

(come on brain, its ok, hang in there...)









ALWAYS MAXI PADS









20 mins later I am off the floor for the second time

My sisters, I sincerely apologize for the shock I have surely caused you all....I had to. I had to share this anomaly with you simply because I was most sure I had completely lost any sense of reality that I am currently hanging on. It simply could not have been real!?!  Was it our father? Our real father? The same man we lived with the first 18 some odd years with and had how many menstrual cycles whilst residing in his basement that I'm quite positive he had no clue about!!!? I simply had to have had a daymare, but alas no. It was true. I called the mother to verify. Indeed it was the same man and not a stand-in, not a drive by padding by some look alike stranger...

Okay...hope you are breathing regularly now, heart has slowed and vision cleared...All I can do is apologize for including you in all this. I Love you all, obviously very much...while you all are off working at your jobs, these are the sorts of things I am having to deal with!

Seriously...Who is this man and what has he done with OUR father? As usual ...it was a total [teenage] ER situation.... anyway, Mom was headed to Wal-Mart yesterday, so I asked her to pick some [pads] up (...I will tell you about the phone call from the store below). Thinking I would run over later to pick up "the purchase," our backdoor opens and in walks Dad carrying, actually touching, the sack containing aforementioned "purchase." 

I will honestly tell you, I had forgotten about the whole thing and could not for the life of me figure out what Dad was bringing in...

It didn't take long for me to remember. Wal-Mart sacks are, afterall, white and very see-through...and Always packages are very blue and have very big lettering on them and are the size of a small pillow. 
I honestly think I passed out when he swung it up on the kitchen table. And I do mean swung. He didn't sit it, he swung it. If you think about it, we have seen Dad do this, of course not with maxi pads! ....Swung it up on the table so the pads would lay on their big flat side, instead of teetering on the little stand up side. 

(You remember...how they stock t the shelves so when you take one package, 12 more come tumbling down and there you sit in the middle of the aisle helplessy trying to restock the shelves, (at the precise moment every ex-boyfriend uses that particular aisle to cut through) knowing there was no way in Hell you would be able to get them to stay, swearing the stock boy must have used some magic glue the night before to get them to stay. Glue that dissolves at the consumers first touch to cause a maxi explosion in the aisle... finally giving up and slinking out of that aisle, making sure to avoid any eye contact...)

Anyway...It was like Dad knew. Knew that if he sat them "upright," the pads would teeter and fall and he would actually have to touch the sack again. I don't know, maybe theres a SOPP (standard operating pad procedure) in the ManCode book. All I know is it was beyond bizarre and quite frightening.

The whole padding only took about 4.5 seconds -- he walked in, swung and walked out.

Went to regain his manhood on a John Deere.



Now mother....

Needless to say Mom calls:

I won't go into the exact details, this is starting to get long, I know....basically the conversation came down to wings, no wings, long, or extra long, 36 or 28....you get the idea. All I know is, I was dying laughing at the visual of Mom standing in Wal-Mart, having this conversation, picking a package and 12 more tumbling around her feet.....

I wonder if she tried to restock ....   hee hee hee...  
__________


Good Dog Jackson.

I have been bonding with my puppy lately in hopes that the more attention I give him, the better he will behave. Also, I am hoping to instill my good habits in him before Dusty can infiltrate (like putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher...but that is beside the point). You can teach an old dog new tricks, but you can teach a puppy all kinds of tricks! Like in this photo -- he was dragging around a Steve Madden shopping bag. In my opinion good taste begins at a young age; that's upbringing.

We have been putting in overtime working on our commands and if I may brag, Jackson is becoming quite the professional when it comes to "sit" and "stay." And, in the past few days he has really caught onto, "shake!" Well, he gets it about every third time...you have to start somewhere. Out of pure amazement, I can't contain my excitement when he responds how I ask him to and I run around screeching -- which probably voids the whole process, because then he follows suit, running around and jumping on me, chasing after the cats and knocking things over. My theory is though, if he sees me so excited he will want to keep doing things the way I ask.

However, little Jackson Theo must rationalize his good performance a "get out of kennel free" card, because as well as he is doing with his lessons, his overall behavior does not earn him high marks. For instance I woke up yesterday to a completely shredded laundry basket that had been sitting on the sofa when I went to sleep, then there was this morning when i found a maze of toilet paper that led to the shredded remains of the tube in the den and the day to day  -- dragging Elvis around by the tail, eating all of the cat food, chewing on the dining chair legs, but perhaps the most infuriating of all was last night. Jackson stood on his hind legs his paws on the bed and tail wagging and I heard running water....Ha, that was wishful thinking. I looked over the edge of the bed to see him peeing like the carpet was his own personal urinal. Screaming from pure disbelief, I scared him, making things all the worse as he skirted out of the room, leaving a trail of pee.

WAAAAAHHHHHHH. REALLY, JACKSON?!

One minute he is the world's smartest puppy and the next he is peeing all over. Someday soon we are going to get this right. Hopefully by the holidays so he can show off for his cousin dogs.

What outfit makes you feel your best?

This was Real Simple's question of the month in the most recent issue and I inner-monologued what I would have written in response to the editor's question. Though it took me all of five seconds to confirm my answer, the reasoning needs a little explanation.

With out a trace of doubt, I never felt more beautiful, comfortable and happy as I did in my wedding dress. The way it fit, the majestic feeling of the raw silk and the once in a lifetime excuse for wearing it...though, I oftentimes dream that someday soon an invitation to a presidential ball will arrive addressed to me and I will have the dress dyed and wear it again.

In my day-to-day life though, there is one piece of my wardrobe that make me feel at my best... my black leggings, shockingly purchased at Wal-Mart a few years back, as a part of a Halloween costume. They are flexible for any use -- with a tank for yoga, an over-sized hoodie for lounging, paired with a dress for added comfort and warmth or with a tunic and belt for a more trendy look. Regardless of occasion they maximize comfort without negotiating style. One piece of clothing that can take your from the gym to cocktails and back again is definitely number one in my book. Although I wouldn't suggested doing so without at good wash in between.

What outfit makes you feel your best?

Return from Sabbatical

You know how when your life is at a lull and you think you will have so much time to get all of those things done you have eternally put on the back burner? Yet, every time my life gets boring, I get lazy. No, make that really lazy. I seem to put all brain activity on hold, slip into a high functioning comatose and accomplish no more than walking to work and back. By Thursday, even that seemed to just be more than I could handle and Friday became a personal day to recuperate from the very taxing week that had ensued.

This is the short list of the top things I was able to accomplish last week (in no particular order of importance and you will notice that blogging did not make it onto the agenda):

1. Got my highlights touched up and brightened.
2. Ran into a post in our parking garage and took out the car door.
3. Made wheat pancakes with creamy ricotta and strawberries.
4. Finished off a bag (and not the personal size) of Reese's Pieces in two days.
5. Sunned my skin so I don't look like I belong in winter.
6. Ate a delicious meal at the Caucus Room in true Restaurant Week style.
7. Went to see The Kids are All Right.
8. Grounded the dog for continuing to tear things up.
9. Caught up on Top Chef and Real Housewives (both of D.C. of course)

And, the one actual productive thing I did this week...

10. After much internal debate, I settled on which Master's Degree to pursue: Strategic PR at The George Washington University Graduate School Political Management. If I get my ducks in a row, and of course there is that matter of acceptance, I will be a student once again come January 2011! Now onto the essays. And back to the blogging.

Budgets are for the Birds

The Cawley residence is under a new budget as of two weeks ago, and it is quite possibly more annoying than my old metro commute. I have a problem of seeing things I want and really not being able to continue on without them. I mark nearly every situation in life with a purchase -- holiday? Seasonal decor. It's raining outside? Wellies. New puppy? Burberry collar. New apartment? New furnishings. Mad at my husband? Retail therapy and a new outfit. New Job? Fancy dinner out. You get the point.

New things really just make me feel better. I see a purse on Kate Spade's website and I think of the way the leather feels and the gold hardware will glimmer in the sun and how it will be the perfect addition to those one pair of shoes worn with that specific skirt...ahhh bliss. I walk past a restaurant and I can’t think of how lovely an evening out would be opposed to cooking myself.

But alas, I am finding out that these things aren't going to fund my next degree, buy us a home or pay for a vacation. So with much reservation, we are cutting back on our frivolous spending. Damn.
In light of our newest life choice, I bring you…

An Attempt at Domesticating a Budget

1. You really want new furniture, there is nothing wrong with what you have of course, but Pottery Barn just dropped a new catalog in the mail. What's a girl to do? Rearrange like it's going out of style. And I don't just mean turn you area rug at a different angle. Mix everything up; make your home feel like a whole new space. Because for a least a little while, it will feel new, curbing your appetite for that new leather sectional that is dying to live in your condo.

2. You want to go see a movie. Do you really want to see the movie, or just want to fill up time? Unless it is something you would wait in line for, it's not worth the $12 a pop ticket and in my case $15 gigantor bucket of popcorn and inevitable stomach ache to follow. I choose to fill this void with an on demand selection at $4 and a walk to fro yo. Less calories, less dollars and the comfort of your own home (that you just rearranged).

3. You are tired of your wardrobe and feel like you desperately need a new one. Ha, this is my daily internal struggle. To buy or not to buy, now that is the real question. Get a new job. All of your clothes are new to people who have never seen them before. Plus, it might come with a pay raise.

4. You have no energy or desire to cook dinner, ordering a pizza would be much easier.  I always like to have frozen pizzas on hand for situations like these. And multiple boxes of cereal. Again, you are probably saving calories this way, too.

5. You have decided you don’t like your year old car, you say? Or maybe you still like it, but like your furniture, having a new one would make you happy. Yes, I have been there too. Take to get detailed, because when you get back in and it’s squeaky clean, you will fall in love all over again
That’s all I’ve got for now. Back to online shopping I go.

Perspective

I met Saturday morning on the wrong side of the bed, as Dusty frantically shook me awake asking me to please take the dog out because he was running late to work – can you believe the nerve?! Ha. Still cycling out of REM sleep, I shoved my head through a Delta Pi sweatshirt, slipped on some flip flops and against my better judgment, looked in the mirror. Ugh. I can’t believe I’m going outside like this. The thought of putting on appropriate clothing, contacts and brushing the knots out of my hair was enough to make me wonder if letting Jackson use the floor to relieve himself would  be worth going back to bed. Yes, yes it would. But will it be worth the argument later. Sigh…

I trudge out the door, Jackson nearly dragging me to the elevator. The doors open at the sixth floor to welcome in a shih-tzu with as much energy as my puppy and they immediately began wrestling, the shih-tzu unable to hold it, relieving herself on the elevator floor. The owner made some comment under her breath and looked at me as if I had held the dog at gunpoint and forced her to pee all over. Sorry that you own an ankle length jean skirt, but your bad attitude isn’t going to change your bad taste – two wrongs don’t make a right, lady.

As soon as we go to the main floor, much to his disappointment and struggle, Jackson and I headed the opposite direction of his newfound friend. Apparently, that was enough to make him annoyed with me too, and he romped through the flower beds in front of our condo building, seeming to purposefully stomp on as many flowers as possible. His encore act was to somehow acrobat under the bamboo fence meant to keep pests like him out, do his business in a nearly unreachable area and then chase after a catsup packet caught in the breeze as I watched my pride follow, all but falling on the ground in attempt to bag his waste. I finally lost it when he ran me in circles around a no parking sign and screamed at him to stop. Now the whole neighborhood probably thinks I’m an abusive pet owner. Great.

I drug him toward the nearest garbage can which seemed like four blocks away – really probably ten feet – mad that I was carrying a bag of dog poop, mad that he was behaving so badly and mad that I was even awake at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday. My sour mood, however, turned to guilt as I reached the garbage at the same time as a homeless woman toting a cart behind full of yesterday’s treasures. Certain she not interested in adding Jackson’s bag of tricks to her collection, we continued on in search of a new can.  

It’s funny how you can be so absorbed in the negatives, and then life puts it all back into perspective. 

The Perils of Grocery Shopping

Grocery stores. Yech. Ew, I really dislike them and the dishonor they bring to the word “shopping”. Wait, I take that back, because I do like them…in Rome, Italy, where inappropriate rap music is played because the words are in English, mozzarella is fresh and beer is sold by the can. Now that is my kind of grocery shopping. Back stateside, though, they terrify me, with an overwhelming amount of garbage, terrible fluorescent lighting and presentation of just too many choices.

So, instead of using this as an outlet to vent my frustrations that not only do I have to budget money for food, but energy at the store as well, let’s return to Rome, say early fall of 2006 where a young college student from Illinois is living for a semester, and by living I mean having the time of her life…

Since the only other time I really lived on my own before studying abroad was in Washington, D.C. for an internship, where my meals were all spent at Union Pub, I really had no concept of buying groceries. How long it should take, how much time I should invest and what exactly I should buy -- all a mystery to me. To be truthful this is where that story ends, because I never acquired grocerying skills whilst in Italy and am still struggling today.

However, let’s take into consideration the sitcom of a life I lead and my tragic flaw of attempting conversation with everyone who crosses my path. Of course there is a story waiting to be unlocked from my vault of memories and relived in 12 point Times New Roman font…

One of the best qualities the city of Rome possesses is its staunch refusal to Americanize in the least. Everything is authentically Italian and thus English speaking Romans are few and far between. One of the few happened to be employed as a cashier at our local Supermercato (super market, obviously) and working the day my four roommates and I went grocery shopping for the first time. And we shopped like American do, stocking the shelves for at least a week to come. That, however, is not the approach Italians take to grocery shopping, and we looked like extreme gluttons with two carts overflowing with food and a third dedicated to wine and beer.

Marco, the cashier became a fast friend. “Ohhhhh, helloooh Amereecahn girels! Ah, haveeeng a, ah how do you say een English…ah PARTEEE!” He explained to us that he was trying to learn English and rarely got to practice and that perhaps we could help him during our time in the check-out line. Over the course of our four month stay we became we all bonded with Marco, correcting his usage of pronouns and he providing us with the economy sized Nutella from the stock room. Near the end of the semester, when our journey home was approaching, he insisted on having us to his home for a meal.

Why we thought getting in a car with a man we knew only as the cashier at the grocery store across the street and that we would safely be returned to our apartment later that day is still a mystery. We thought this situation was totally fine. Wow. The good news is that we obviously did make it back safely, though I can’t say the experience was normal, because like I said, we really knew nothing about this man beyond his place of employment and his desire to learn English. He picked us up in the most tiny, rickety car I am certain I have ever ridden in and drove as if it were the Batmobile, to a part of the city where none of us had ever stepped foot in. Which, we found out later, was the city’s form of public housing – they bought apartment buildings in the neighborhood and gave them to the Gypsies, who in turn rent them out and continue to nomad.

When we finally, by the grace of God, reached his bizarre studio apartment where the kitchen and bathroom were the only separated rooms, I think we were all questioning our decision making abilities. His home was clearly that of undiscovered serial killer. Then came the lunch menu… pasta with cream sauce and raw shell fish. I don’t eat raw anything on a normal day, and I failed to mention – I was suffering from probably the worst hangover in the history of mankind. The mere thought of raw sea food was raising the wine from the night before to my throat. I really thought if we somehow managed to not appear on the back of milk cartons, I was certainly going to die from the smell of the food; I just knew it.

While our host cleaned our plates from the table, we realized we were surely in imminent danger. In the shelves of his sloppily stacked books was, Mussolini: Mi Amore. For real. Mussolini, you know, like the heinous fascist leader from WWII? Yep, his love. I don’t remember why we told him we had to leave right that second, but I’m sure by that point I was walking into delirium, because I can still feel the painful memory of that hangover. He offered to drive us back and we stupidly accepted, though we bailed out two blocks before because I was about to reupholster his seats in red wine and through the haze I slightly remember Drea and Jules arguing with him that all American are not greedy gluttons and life exists in America outside NYC.

I lived to tell this story and so did the others. Though, luckily we were leaving Rome a week later, because we were certainly never going back to that Supermercato.

And that is my grocery shopping story.


Here is our Italian family in our residence on Via Angelo Emo and our Thanksgiving feast, which all of the vendors were very excited to help supply the fixings.

Old Friends, New Challenge

Since we cannot knock on each others' walls (physically, not on Facebook) everyday, or kick the mattress on the top bunk until the napper awakes in a huff, or meet in the hallway for brunch, or congregate on the back porch everyday, Jayme, Rose and I have brought our college days back through technology. Well, not all aspects of the college days -- I'll leave the terrible beer and  cheap wine behind. But I do miss these sisters of mine; we are as different as three people can be and exactly alike at the same time.

Now that we are making an attempt at adulthood in three separate states, we see each other every few months where it would never be more than a couple of hours. Recently, we have begun a morning email that circulates back and forth through out the day, filled with the same nonsense that we would discuss if we were all together. E-gossip, if you will. Though it doesn't make up for laughing with them in person, we are once again connected at the hip.

In our daily conversation this week, we discussed tandem blogging, where Jayme assigns Rose and I the same topic,we have a set amount of time to divulge on the subject and -- ready, set -- post at the same time, to discover how varied our commentary is on the same subject matter. So the only rules are, there are no rules.

You can read Rosy's commentary on her blog, Apt. 16, in my list of suggested readings. And, just for fun, read Jayme's blog, Another 20 Something Blog, too.

We received our first topic last night: grocery shopping. Check back tomorrow 10 a.m. EST, when our works will be posted simultaneously.... let the randomness fill the tubes of internet!

Here we are as babies!

My Favorite Household Helpers

Now that I am a big giiiiiirl and have a home that isn't going to clean itself and pets that live to destroy it along with food that won't be prepared by an imaginary chef, I have...gasp...taken an interest in household cleaning and cooking appliances. Good bye youth.Good bye Saturday morning hangovers. Good bye carefree nature. Facing this new realization that adulthood let itself in without knocking, gives me the sort of stomach dropping, facial color draining, mini heart attack as the first time someone called me ma'am (and then followed it up with "that lady"). But, such is life. I'll save my whining for something more important.

Back on topic, I have discovered some appliances in my short career as an adult that are worth sharing. So, here it goes...

 The Domestic Attempting Review of Household Items that Make Holding a House Bearable

1. Steam mop: I am a hopeless consumer, and can't help but be sucked in by those late night infomercials. And that is exactly how I found the steam mop whilst choosing items for my wedding registry. Purchased by one of my bridesmaid's boyfriends, who is a dear college friend and new I would never use a bucket and mop, this insta-floor cleaner and I have become fast friends. No wet floors to step around, or in my pets' cases -- run right through and if you add a little floor cleaner, everything smells fresh.

2. Shark Handvac: I can't stand pet hair, yet that doesn't seem to make a difference to Elvis and Elle, as they seem to leave wherever they see fit. And they don't even offer to clean up after themselves. So, I have been employed as their indentured servant and for the past couple of years have tried everything to keep my furniture and apartment clean. Seriously I have taken the vacuum to the couch, lint rolled my bed sheets and even a wet rag to my curtains. Only recently did it occur to me to purchase a hand held vacuum and since then my quality of life has improved greatly. A serious God send. This little guy is quite a beast, picking up everything from cat hair, to litter to crumbs, and I'm not sure how I lived so long with out it.

3. Magic Eraser: As I have noted before, when we moved into the new condo, it wasn't quite up to my standards -- the walls, doors and trip were covered (take into account that nearly everything I say is inflated 30% with drama) with scuffs and marks. In the laundry closet the previous tenants had left behind some cleaning supplies and in their collection were Magic Erases. I now believe in miracles. I don't know what Cancer causing agents these things are composed of, nor do I care to know, because right now I am basking in the glory of my clean walls.
Note: Target's house brand also makes these for half the price and the same quality.

4. SmartStick Hand Blender: A wedding gift that makes me excited to step foot in the kitchen. This is not the average hand mixer and can do just about anything you can close your eyes and wish for. Puree, check. Whisk, check. Chop, check. Mix, check. Blend, check. All in one little gadget with detachable parts so you can toss them in the dishwasher when you are done, CHECK. Next to number five, which of course is my most beloved of appliances, this little jewel holds a special place in my heart.

And of course, the mac daddy of all things kitchen...

5. Kitchenaid Mixer: With baking as my forte and favorite of culinary adventures, this was an appliance that I had dreamed of owning since my middle school 4-H Club competition. And when I say comepetition, I mean against myself, those amatures didn't hold a candle to me. HA. Sometimes I still can't believe it's actually mine. Ah, domestic bliss. (No comments from the peanut gallery, please.)

Wedding Review...Chelsea is No Longer a Clinton!

WOW. WOW. WOW. While I have scoured the World Wide Web, and only seem to be finding the same five photos, those were the only five that I needed to deduce that the former first daughter's $3 million extravaganza of a wedding will be one in the history books. We don't have a royal family to obsess over, so the old money, political powerhouse and slightly, err, quirky Clintons, will have to do.

From what I can see in photos, this was a classically fairy tale extravaganza from the bride's whimsically, yet still structured dress to the surrounding airspace purchased for the evening and made into a no fly zone. The causal outdoor setting contrasted with the expansive mansion was such a perfect modern day royal setting. Now we just need photos of the reception, which I hear the air conditioned tents alone cost $600,000. Talk about personal economic stimulus from the Clintons...no penny left behind!

The girl who went through her most awkward years in the spotlight revealed that all grown up, those reporters who once criticized her lack of style and frizzy hair are eating their words...and offering top dollar for any picture they can get their hands on. Go ahead, girl.

19 Kids and Counting...Please Stop Counting

I am weirdly obsessed with the Duggar family, which I'm not sure I love or despise. If you aren't familiar, they are the quaint little village of 21 living under one roof. At the head of the household are Jim Bob and Michelle, who have 19 children ranging in age from 22 to eight months and now a grandchild who is older than their youngest -- and who, by the way is being marketed as the GrandDugger, barf, she's a baby not a McDonald's sandwich. For real 19 kids...that is two football teams, four basketball teams and more kids than the amount of grandchildren on both side of my family.

They are like watching a bad car accident or one of those weird shows about stunts gone wrong, when it pains you to look, but you can't turn away, even when it has played over several times, once even in slow motion. Every time I see them on a talk show, I still can't decide whether they are genuine and endearing or they make me nauseous and are exploiting their religion in a very odd manner. It goes back and forth.

And I smart as I want to think they are for selling their lives to TLC in order to, well, continue living -- how else would you support a family that large short of marrying a Rockefeller? -- Mrs. Duggar must have missed some years of school. Like all of them after third grade. This morning they were on the Today Show, displaying their newest "gift from God," Josie who was born las fall over three months premature and only 1.6 pounds. She was rattling on how about how miraculous it was to be able to actually watch her baby develop through her third trimester before her very eyes. Hmmmmm, something tells me there is a reason women carry babies for nine months -- because they are supposed to develop in the womb, idiot, not on stage for you to watch! When Anne Curry asked if they were planning on having more children, especially after the close call with the newest addition, Mrs. Duggar's answer really made me question her intelligence. While I'm paraphrasing, her response was near to, "We'll just have to wait and see what God has in store for us. If he gives us the gift of another baby we will be just as excited as we were with every other."

WHAT?! Are you delirious, lady? Yes, I think babies are a gift, but I think I can safely say without knocking my own Christianity that you can consciously decide whether or not to have another child. It's not like God strikes a lighting bolt and an infant miraculously appears on the front stoop of your compound. Did you miss fifth grade health class? And what we were you planning on doing should reality TV not have become such a phenomenon? Starve? What about college or clothing or actually even the water bills that would accumulate after one day of bathing all of these kids.

Everyone is so disgusted with the "Octomom" for selfishly and irresponsibly having so many children as a single mom and complaining about she will abuse the system and sell photos for money. Not that I think she is the most conscientious and stable of human beings, but so what? Why are we celebrating this mega family because their excuse for having so many children is their "good religious values" when they have essentially done the same thing only masked it with uniformed family photos, Christmas caroling and lakeside picnics?

Duggar family, you are weirdly intriguing, a little backwoodsy and slightly insane, the perfect cocktail for a popular reality show, which I guess I shall watch with a grain of salt.
 
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