Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gas Prices

You wanna know how I know that the oil industry is raping us? At the first report of any kind of trouble (hurricanes, supply problems etc.) prices go up immediately. They announced last week that oil production was going to be increased to ease the prices and prices haven't DROPPED ONE PENNY.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cool T-Shirts

The shirts I ordered for the boys came in today. Shirts
Only I got them on yugster.com for $14 each. (Summer Of Savings)
The Youngest Boy programmed his to say his name, then he asked "Could this be a school ID?"
Then, true to form, he programmed "U SUCK".

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Fridge

Well, the Summer of Savings has one drawback...my fridge, freezer and cabinets are FULL. It's time to clean the fridge out and get rid of the stuff that hasn't walked out on it's own. It reminds me of an experience a few years ago.

I was cleaning out the fridge and it had been a while. I was emptying out the produce drawer and in the back of the drawer I spotted a kiwi. I raised an eyebrow, "KIWI? When did I buy a Kiwi?" As it turned out, it was once a Lemon. Leave them in the fridge long enough, they will look like a Kiwi.

Journalism Class Assignment

I ran across this feature piece I wrote while at UAB and I thought I would post it. I miss Juan. I wonder where he is now.

The Color of Racism

The cool October breeze carried the scent of freshly cut grass as the gleeful sound of children’s laughter filled the air. With a look of determination in his dark brown eyes, a small boy with brown skin, swings a bat and makes contact with a ball thrown by his sister.

“We have to move soon,” the children’s father says. “The kids at school are not nice to my kids. They tell them they don’t belong here. They fight with my kids.”

It’s Birmingham, Alabama but it’s not 1963, the year is 2004 and the children being tormented at school are not African American, they are Hispanic. The boy, Juan Sanchez Jr., 8, a second grader at Glen Iris Elementary School, runs around the imaginary bases as his father, Juan Sanchez Sr. looks on.

A tall, dark-skinned girl in a pink Abercrombie shirt with fringe around the bottom, stands in a typical baseball stance at the imaginary home plate, her long hair restrained by a white pony tail holder. She swings the bat, hitting the ball and starts to run the bases as she laughs. Juan Jr. catches the ball and runs after her, tagging her at second base. Genesis, 9, is in the fourth grade at Glen Iris Elementary School.

“You’re out, Genesis,” Juan Jr. says. “I got you out.” Followed by a similar phrase, this time in Spanish.

“The black kids tell them, ‘go back to Mexico’,” the elder Sanchez says. “But we are not from Mexico, we are from Venezuela.”

The Sanchez children have been harassed at school and the administration appears to look the other way when it’s a confrontation between African American students and Latino students.

“I talked to the principal and he said he would take care of it,” Sanchez said. “But nothing is ever done, it doesn’t stop.”

Like so many immigrants in our country’s history, Juan Sanchez Sr., 28, came to Birmingham 14 months ago to seek a better life for his family after being robbed at gunpoint, twice, in Venezuela.

“They took my car, they took my clothes, they took everything,” Sanchez said. “The next time I was working, I drove a taxi, a gun was at my head and I said, ‘No more, go to America’.”

“I knew that when my kids got older they would be in the gangs,” Sanchez said. “The gangs with guns.”

Sanchez looked at his son and daughter playing ball as his youngest son Christopher who will be 3 in December, sat near his mother, Alexandria, 27, and clapped his tiny, brown hands.

“I came here to find work and when I had enough money, I was able to bring my family here,” Sanchez said. “Most people are nice to us, everyone except the school.”

“Some kids like to hit us, one hit me in the face,” Genesis said with a frown. “They don’t get in trouble.”

In a city such as Birmingham, it’s hard to believe that people continue to be persecuted by the color of their skin. Efforts to educate people with the Civil Rights Institute, the historic 16th Street Baptist Church and life-like sculptures at Kelly Ingram Park, seem to be in vain as it appears that we are destined to allow history to repeat itself.

Jane Sweeney, an employee at the Hoover Multicultural Resource Center, is familiar with the hardships that these people face.

“It’s a human condition, not a matter of education,” Sweeney said. “Throughout our history, when a new group comes in, it takes a while for acceptance from the people already here. It was the same for the Germans, Irish, Italians and then the African Americans. There is uncertainty and the fear that jobs are going to be lost even though the jobs that the Hispanic people are filling are typically jobs that have been turned down by everyone else.”

Sweeney is also aware of the discord between the African American community and the Hispanic community.

“You don’t see as much of it in Hoover simply because there are fewer African Americans here,” said Sweeny. “The teachers and the administrators and even the students here seem to want to do what they can to help these people rather than look the other way.”

Squeals of laughter erupt from Christopher as he watches his brother and sister wrestle over the baseball. Juan Sanchez Sr. stands and starts loading his lawnmower in his van telling his children not to forget their shoes.

“When Juan is taller, he wants to be a policeman,” Sanchez says, searching for the correct English words. “Genesis, wants to be a doctor.”

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

Juan Sanchez also has that dream.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Who Said Nothing In Life Is Free?

Yesterday I met my friend, Trish, in the Bruno's parking lot while running some errands. She had gone blueberry picking the day before and had a TON of berries and wanted to share. Who can turn down free berries???? I ran into Bruno's for a couple of things and it happened to be Customer Appreciation Week. FREE hotdogs, FREE Coke and FREE chips. So, I scored a Free Lunch.

My Summer Of Savings continues!
And the blueberries are DELISH! I keep sneaking into the fridge and snagging a couple, I hope to have enough left for the recipe to make the bread that she emailed me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dillard House


When we were on our way to Asheville, NC we spent the night at the Dillard House. It was an amazing place with an amazing restaurant. They serve food 'family' style. Basically what this means is that they start bringing food out on plates until your table is COVERED with all different kinds of 'down home' food. I loved it!













This was the view from our room.

They had a barn with horses you could ride, an area where you can pet the animals, and beautiful surroundings. I can't wait to go back. I love this video of the cute little goats.
video

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

John Cougar

I'm sitting here on a Wednesday night, listening to old John Cougar Mellancamp. I just realized that while driving around Ahsville NC, I saw the Tastee Freeze. Now I wish I had taken a picture of it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

WalMart

Well well well. I just finished my shopping at Walmart. My grand total was $50 but after my coupons it was $18. What a great day in the Summer of Savings!!!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Of Savings

I have decided that the Summer of 2008 is to be my Summer Of Savings! I have been scouring the internet for great deals, signing up for online contests, and printing and clipping coupons. Today, Terri and I are going to see Sex and the City FOR FREE because we both won tickets online in an instant win contest. Too bad it has ended, I think I have snagged $35 in Kroger gift cards. But there isn't a Kroger in Birmingham you say? But hold on! There is one in Auburn where The Oldest Boy will be headed in the fall and $35 can get him a lot of Dorm Room Snackage!

My dream is to win a big ticket contest that I totally forgot entering. (the forgetting part is easy, it's the winning part that will be hard)


my sig

Alcohol part 3

Now I can post pictures from my cell phone! I saw this sign at the Auburn Oyster Bar!

Alcohol part 2

I saw this book and I just HAD to take a picture of it!

Mobile Blog

I just enabled my phone to allow mobile blogging. I just may have to upgrade my phone to one with a qwerty keyboard!!!

Grove Park Inn


I was fortunate enough to spend some time at the Grove Park Inn the last weekend of May. There was a Ferrari Golf Tournament going on so we got to see many many sweet cars.


We also got to see the Back to the Future Delorean. I saw the car the day before the movie set burned down in California.


While there, I had a freaky experience. We stayed in the suite that had been used by F. Scott Fitzgerald while he was in Asheville. His wife was receiving medical treatment for schizophrenia in a nearby facility.


















The hotel elevator is in the shaft of the fireplace which can burn 8 foot logs and has been featured in Ripley's Believe it or Not. It's the old fashioned kind that has metal accordion style doors, three of them. The door you exited or entered depended upon which floor you were on. The elevator was always manned by hotel staff. They were dressed in attire that reminded me of the Overlook Hotel (The Shining).



While playing on my laptop in the little sitting area outside our room. I decided that I was bored and stood up. I asked to myself, "I wonder who I could ask if the gift shops downstairs are still open?" At that moment, the elevator stopped, the door opened and the only person on it was the elevator operator. "Is there anything I can help you with?" he asked. There was no one else on the elevator so no reason for him to stop on my floor. I was totally freaked out.



Wouldn't you be freaked out too? Look at him on the 6th floor looking down on me...sheesh.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Drumming

Here is a video of The Oldest Boy at drum camp. He is the tallest marimba player in white, second one from the left.
video


my sig

Friday, June 13, 2008

Computer Surgery

I bought a Dell computer in January. A Vostro 1400, I LOVE this thing. I have an extra battery nd built in WiFi and Bluetooth.

I was so happy with my laptop...then I started having problems with the touchpad buttons. It was starting to get very annoying, sticking, grinding etc.

I had a couple of options at this point. Send the baby in and wait 2 weeks to get it back, OR get the part and do it myself. I was informed that this was not a user friendly part but what the hey, I'm HANDY. The part came yesterday.

There were detailed instructions online and I had my 2 boys here, one of which is starting at Auburn in the fall (Engineering).

I started dissecting my laptop and when I said, "Remove the 22 screws on the bottom of the laptop." Tyler (the engineer) said, "Good luck with that."

I was alone.

Here is a pic of my sweet laptop. In pieces.



I got it put back together. I only had 1 screw leftover but I think I had an extra one to begin with! The dead part is on the right. Now my new buttons are sooooo smoooooth!

DMV

We went to the Green Springs office to get The Youngest Boy's Learner's Permit. WOW. We got there around 11:00 and was told that his state ID, his boater's license was not a valid ID. Hmmm. They are the ones who issued it but anyway. I had to go back home and get his birth certificate and a form from the school that stated he hadn't dropped out YET.
That's when the waiting began. He was number 61. When they called 59, I texted him to come back inside (he was outside on his cell phone). He came in and then they called 57. I guess we were lucky enough to be there for BINGO thursdays. They called 58, 59, then 57 again. I wonder if the ability to count to 100 is no longer a desirable skill to the DMV.
Finally, he got his permit. Now the scary stuff starts.


my sig

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Famous People I Have Touched

You know the song 1985 by Bowling For Soup? They sing, "thought she’d get a hand on a member of Duran Duran". Remember when it was a big deal to 'touch' someone famous?
Here is my list of famous people I have touched.

Paul Rodriguez - Ghost bar in Vegas
Creed - Southside
Jimmy Carter
Papa Roach
Mike Love - Beach Boys
Bruce Johnston - Beach Boys, he took a pic of me and my friend at a Beach boys concert, twice.
John Stamos - I have a drumstick he used when he played with the Beach Boys.
Bo Bice
Peter Erskin - Drummer - Weather Report
Steve Smith - Drummer - Journey
Pat Monahan - Train
Jimmy Stafford - Train - He gave me a guitar pick.
Shawn Pelton - Drummer - Sheryl Crow
Nanai Mamoura - Marimba Player
Ed Shaughnessy - Drummer - Doc Severinsen, Tonight Show Band
Gregg Bissonette - Drummer - David Lee Roth
Tony Royster Jr. - Drummer
Amy Tan
Nicholas Sparks
Winston Groom
Lewis Grizzard
Pat Conroy
David Mattingly
Mark Childress
Robert McCammon
Homer Hickman
Charles Dryden - Tuskegee Airman
Charles Barkley
Remo D. Belli - Remo Drumheads
Vic Firth - Famous maker of Drumsticks
Chris Lamb - New York Philharmonic, He is originally from Buffalo and he said my hot wings were "The Best!"

Alcohol

My friend Terri read my blog today. She asked me if it was an alcohol 'themed' blog. HA HA I responded, I have only mentioned alcohol twice. She flatly pointed out that I had only made two posts. Touche...so, I decided to make Alcohol the title of my blog. I'm 3 for 3... woo hooo!

She also enticed me to spend the ENTIRE DAY (after I got out of bed) signing up for free stuff online. John is going to freak out when he starts seeing a full mailbox. I did finally snag a free movie ticket. We are going to go see Sex and The City. This will be a righteous day for her, she has become the Queen of Free.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday

My friend Adrienne and I were talking today. She said that she was going to start a t-shirt company called "conversations with Lisa". She plans on slapping things I say on t-shirts, todays' quote was..."I'm not a social drinker, I'm a lifestyle drinker." She thought it was funny...I thought I was being honest.

Here is a pic of me and Adrienne at the Train concert at Workplay. She pointed out to me that she was the only black person there, but then, I was the only white person at her baby shower. It all evens out! She tries to keep me in line...ummmm I think I am starting to see that trait in all my closest friends!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday

It’s 12:15 and I am sitting here in Auburn Alabama waiting on my son to finish his Drumline tryouts. Which is not really a tryout yet, I think it’s a mini drum camp. From what I understand, tryouts for specific parts are in August. I caught some video before they took a break and will be posting it as soon as I get an internet connection faster than my cell phone.

It’s 95 degrees , in the shade. Luckily, I am parked under a large tree. I had hoped to play around with my blog setup but it seems that Blogger is DOWN. It always freaks me out when that happens. If a website is down, does it still exist? Ohhhhhhhhh nice breeze. I don’t hear any more playing so I guess they are wrapping up.

We are heading to the Auburn Oyster Bar as soon as we leave. Can't WAIT!

Today is The Youngest Boy's Birthday! Hubby is at home putting up the inflatable cake I have. The Oldest Boy wouldn't let me put it out on his birthday. I guess 18 is officially the age when you can say NO to embarrassing moms. I ordered The Youngest Boy a Cookie cake. It's what he wanted, covered in icing. I still have this year and two more to embarrass him!


Last night while the Oldest Boy was drumming, I went to KMart and saw the funniest thing! Straws. But the straws themselves weren't funny, it was the package. Here's a pic!

Okay, so The Oldest Boy thinks I'm weird for thinking this is funny.

He informs me that he wasn't given the boot!

War Eagle!