Thursday, January 27, 2005

Another teen phenomenon. Adventures in child rearing.

I originally wrote this when both my sons were still in their teens. After going through what I thought to be pretty much every phase a child/teen could go trough, I realized there was a major event missing from the phase list. It’s the “I don’t know” syndrome of teen hood. Unfortunately unknown to me, teen hood includes the early 20's.

My oldest son will be 23 October 18th and the youngest will be 21 on June 5th. They seem to have grown up rather fast. It seems only yesterday they were romping the house playing with the soccer ball and throwing darts at each other. No wait, that was only yesterday. I’ll just skip that part and move on to the main reason for this post. I feel compelled to enlighten other parents on a few points they may want to remember as the kids get older. Especially at those times when they will leave you wondering if the kid really did come from your gene pool.

First off, the words (snipped from a "joke" sent to me) "I don't know," will be three of the main words your kids will eventually learn to use quite freely and usually at the most irritating times. I think it’s actually a requirement for them to learn irritating behavior before a certain age.

Normally these kind of questions, "So, what do you want to study?" might be answered with, "Law, medicine, goat rearing, snail husbandry". That sort of thing. "Where would you like to go to college?" might bring on a barrage of University names like, and "Stanford", "MIT", "Cal Tech", "Vanderbilt" or any of the various institutions of higher learning scattered throughout the world.

Well, you can stop smiling now because you won't hear answers like those. What you will actually hear is, “I don't know". No matter what you ask the answer will still be, "I don't know".

On many, many occasions when given answers just like this, I have stared blankly at my child, my son, my offspring, my legacy and hope for the continuance of the family name and wondered if the child had without my knowledge, been mentally damaged at some point. Something horrendous that doesn't show at all until you actually ask them a question of any importance. After being given this answer, I asked, "Son what do you mean, "I don't know?" and my son calmly answered, "I don't know."

It is at this point that all the cells in my parental brain start nudging each other asking, "Hey! Did you hear that? What’s that mean anyway?" That cell nudges the next and asks the same thing and so on until my brain is flooded with the words, "What the hell does he mean anyway?" In the meantime, as my brain is processing his answer I'm standing with my mouth gaping wondering what traumatic thing, unknown to me had happened to my son and his thought processes. I asked him if something had happened to his brain and he answered, "I don't know". How stupid of me for not guessing.

After this strange encounter, my son turned and left the room leaving me standing there with my brain cells still on alert at a meeting in the town hall trying to figure out exactly what he'd meant. I suppose at some point he will know the answers to these and other questions. Whether he will share the information with me is unknown but I would certainly like to send a fax to my brain cells and let them all know so they can finally go off alert.

I just thought I would warn parents what to look forward to in the coming years so that you can store this information somewhere in your brain and then be able to recall it from the foggy corners when the time comes. You may also want to consider some responses so that your brain cells aren't thrown into a panic and put on alert for years following the first attack of, "I don't know".

Monday, January 24, 2005

Funny Business.

I was clearing off my desk yesterday and came across a letter I received from Allstate. As far as service goes for car insurance, I guess they do a good job but the cost is astronomical - $263.00 every month for three cars. Considering that we don't have problems, I think that is a ridiculously high price.

If anyone in the Dallas, Texas area reads this and knows of a better less expensive car insurance, please let me know. Now, getting back to the main topic of the letter.

It was a birthday greeting from my Allstate agent. I suppose this was sent in a friendly way but I was thinking that maybe he could drop my rates by 100 a month or so. That would be a much better greeting as far as I'm concerned. ..."Hey Kate Happy birthday! I'm giving you two months free car insurance!"... Now there's a greeting! His letter gave me the same feeling that a letter from my Staples Business Rewards card did.

Staples sends out checks if you buy so much per year. Great. Fab. Only when I got mine the dollar amount was $0.00. They actually spent the money to print me a coupon and mail it to me with that amount on it. I thought about taking it and depositing it at the bank. Wouldn't that give the girls at the bank something to wonder about?

I don't know what all this means in current business terms but to me it just means waste. I think my college business classes must have taught me to be more conservative with company capital.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Repost of "The Catalog".

Another day and I can't think of a decent post so I'm reposting this. Normally when I write something like this, I do so from something I've read or seen. This is no exception. I found this catalog and these things were actually items for sale. Enjoy.

Rooting through my mail I found this nifty catalog of really expensive junk that I thought would be fun to look through even though I'd probably never buy any of it.

One item they list is a $375.00 pen safe. What the safe consists of is a small box that will display 12 pens in view and 12 hidden in a bottom tray. The ad states that the pens will be kept under lock and key. I found that odd since the safe has a thin glass top.

I imagined an angry, frustrated burglar saying, "ahhhh nuts!! And me with no key" the imbecile never once considering that a slight flick of the thumb and middle finger would end the pent up frustration and give him access to the wonderful array of genuine imitation plastic pens. This sort of incident is normally reported on the "Stupid criminal of the week" report.

Another item was a gargoyle pencil holder $29.95 each or $27.95 each for two or more. Right away I began a list of lucky recipients for this incredible gift.

The catalog had both front and side views of the holder. I suppose this was so that they could be assured that one side looked just as ridiculous as the other.

The pencil cup is to the back of the gargoyle and he has a space in his mouth that holds another pencil. The expression on his face is one of, "Oh please, please, please ..not me please...". It seems the logical thing to me would have been to put the hole for the extra pencil through his head ala Steve Martin style. Perhaps that would have helped alleviate a bit of his pained expression.

And last but certainly not least is the bookmark. $16.95 each or $14.95 for two or more. This treasure of the literary world is made of very thin solid brass and has two strips of leather to mark pages. The brass handle, did I say handle? That's probably because it looks very much like a handle and along with the strips of leather, looks much like an extremely cheap whip of some sort.

I can see Conan the librarian standing in his barbarian garb, bookmark/whip in hand saying, "Read...**Crack****Crack** READ!! **Crack**..." Since I like Conan the librarian, I might not mind so much, but for 17 bucks? I think not.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Copyright of creative ideas and material

Just a word in regard to what I write on this page or any where else. Pete and I do write screenplays and currently have one for sale. It has gotten good reviews on American Zoetrope's website. Our contact information is listed.

At the risk of sounding mean or whatever, I feel that I need to properly protect my creative ideas. My ideas and writings do have my copyright and are not here for others to use, reprint or make money from. The idea for a movie about my "Wheeled Migration" is of my own creation. Please allow me to finish writing it and pitch it and make huge loads of steaming piles of cash.

Those of you that help me and give me ideas, will be cut in on the money and fame. Isn't that nice? So come on Pete (My husband Pete that is!) & Cuppajoe, fork over those ideas! Let's get it in the can.

Friday, January 14, 2005

The wheeled migration

I happened to see a short portion of "Winged Migration" this morning and it made me wonder about creating a documentary of my own.

They say you should write about things you know. Ok, fine. I was thinking something along he lines of, "Wheeled Migration". A full camera crew could follow an entire herd of cars down I-635 tracking their every move. Every turn could be examined in detail.

In a smooth, low voice you would hear, "The moronic woman in the small yellow car is just about to be smashed into tiny fragments. She has gotten in the path of the guy at the top of the petrol chain, "The Big Rig". She isn't gonna last long. It's a sad thing to watch, but it's nature's way."

We could move on to the more violent of the migrators, those being teens in cars. For simplicity, we'll refer to them as "TIC" from here on.

Here you have a TIC coming up on an elderly driver, known as "ED" - The result is nightmarish. The ED is nervously trying to escape the onslaught of the TIC but to no avail. The TIC runs closely behind the ED until the ED gives up and moves to the shoulder out of the way.

This is no place for the weak. The TIC thinking that it has a clear shot to the front of the line or the off ramp, moves past the ED. Seeing this the infuriated ED shakes a fist at the TIC as it flies past.

Snarling, the TIC moves on, swerves to the left, then the right, directly in the path of "The Big Rig" and is mashed into a thin layer on the migratory path.

Wow! More and more this is looking like a hit for 2005. I know I'm excited. We could put nice music with it as well. Hell, if we get enough sponsors maybe we could get somebody like Danny Elfman or Dean Whitbread to do some nice original music. That would boost the ratings with the critics eh?

If I plan to make a hit movie this year, I'd better stop blogging and get busy. This film could take as long as three or even four days to complete. I'll be adding a Paypal "donate" button later in the hopes of getting donations for the film.

*Note: This is what happens when I get all tanked up on California Navel Oranges first thing in the morning.

Where to live, where to live...

I think I should do a search of places to move. Now, you guys can give me good suggestions such as where you live or maybe favorite cities, areas that you like. I'm open to suggestions.

I am looking for a place that is within reasonable access of mountains and the beach. Somewhere that does not have temperatures that equal those of the sun's surface in summertime like they do here in Texas.

A place where it rains. Has bright green grass. Fall "sweater" weather. I have a thing for angora. Beautiful snow in winter. That is as opposed to ugly snow in winter. For example, "We really like this area except that when it snows, it is just so damn ugly."

Yes, yes of course that's ridiculous, but that's the kind of mood I'm in. Anyhoo, snow yes, but not the Antarctic. I have a pet snake. She doesn't like extreme cold.

This area, North Dallas, is nice if the only thing you like to do is shop and go out to eat. Shopping is great if you survive the traffic but then, how long can you shop? And everyday? Shopaholic that I am, even I can't shop that much. Unless it's a book store.

If you are like me and crave romping down long stretches of beach with your doggy romping along after you then this area isn't for you either. Or if you like to take a nice hike in the mountains and get that sweet mountain air, again like me, this area isn't for you. The dog might like it here, there are loads of fire hydrants around.

As for nature in this area, there is some. I've seen opossum, squirrels and there are a lot of birds as I have mentioned in a couple of my archived posts such as Alfred Hitchcok and "The Birds" for one. Just scroll down, that post is third on the page. I had at least one more post on birds but I can't seem to locate that one in the archives. Drat.

Ok, so the plus side is that there are a few animals here and there. That part is good. I like animals. Still, this doesn't warrant staying here. Maybe I should consider taking my camera, a backpack and bumming around the world for a bit. Then again, who knows if that would help decide where to live.

Again, thoughts and suggestions are welcome. I'll just be peeling an orange.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Mother driven to lunacy builds nest.

After raising my kids through all those things that we Mom's have to do, you would think that I deserved a little respect. But no. What I get is headache after headache and constant arguments and hassles. I love them very much but this stuff is driving me batshit.

Is it fair that my destiny be to end up with Phyllis Dillar hair from pulling mine out and bugged out eyes that look like I've seen one too many Jerry Springer shows?
Is it fair that my kids, my own flesh and blood drive me absolutely hand-clapping, stark-raving mad? Allow me to explain. I have two sons. Jc is 22 and Donny is 20. Neither of them wants to work and Donny has no interest in going to college.

Donny did join the Navy but engineering school doesn't begin until July 2005. He still doesn't want to work and basically comes and goes as he pleases skateboarding his way around the neighborhood. If it doesn't have something to do with a skateboard or a guitar, Donny isn't interested. This makes me wonder how he will fare in the Navy since you do have to actually work while on duty.

Jc will go to college but expects us to pay for it rather than him go out and attempt to work like most other people do. He sits at his computer so much of the time, It's a wonder his ass isn't shaped like his triangular chair. He is very talented with 3D Studio and other art programs when it comes to engine design. He wanted to go to some college in California that specializes in automobile design but we simply couldn't afford the ten grand a year price. I suggested more than once that he should save all his work to a disk then we could send it to the college and any others we found in the hopes of a possible full scholarship but he won't do that either.

All their lives I have tried to teach them the value of an education while making it fun and interesting. I never used learning or reading as a chore or punishment. I stayed home rather than work to help them and take time to teach them things I knew. By first grade, both my kids could read and write fairly well. Certainly well enough to be understood. They were both in classes for gifted students and always excelled in sciences. I don't remember a class that had less than a B as a grade and most were A's for both kids.

I just don't get it. Is this yet another phase that we parents are subjected to? Please, please tell me before my last scrap of sanity goes flying into the night sky hoping to home in on the Sears tower to scan for nesting sites. And in case any of you are wondering, Yes! It is that bad!

I know there are loads more parents out there so share tips please. What am I doing wrong? Is it me? Society? Today's culture? All of the above? And no. You don't get the damn blender if you pick the right one.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Rednecks and fun stuff like that.

Here is a reprint from a post I did on my husband Pete's blog, Augmented Reality. With some changes made and a few bits added.

After posting the following as a comment to Pete's "Pseudoscience and trash" post,

"Are you sure it was only 26%? LOL... Just kidding dear. I refuse to call you Bubba and If yer gonna start leavin' damn junky cars all over the yard, make sure you don't block the view of the garbage dump gates. You know how Gramma likes to sit on Sunday and watch the cars goin' in. It's a family avent. You know this.

LOL... Just helping with your redneck image honey."

I felt compelled to go take the white trash test myself. I answered honestly and the following is the result.

I, my friend, have class. I am so not white trash. . I am more than likely Democrat, and my place is neat, and there is a good chance I may never drink wine from a box.

I guess this means that I can't get those fake "Bubba-never-visited-the-dentist" teeth now. Dammit I was really looking forward to perfecting a good hick accent and getting some clothes to go with the teeth. I want to make videos. Hick videos.

Now the video part is Deek's fault entirely. He's had me all wound up about funny videos since I saw all his on the punk omelette site. If you visit the omelette, click on "video", then "punk omelette" Then just below the photo of Enrique click on "Depressed? Alleviate" then choose the movie you want to see. They are all funny.

I will make my hick videos with my husband's help. We have to work on his accent though. It's tricky getting him to sound like a real hick but he's getting better at it every year.

It seems odd that my English husband is a redneck. Ohhh I can see it coming, that one's gonna get me into loads of trouble. But people that know me know that trouble is my middle name.

Instead of Bubba, could I call Pete "Beaufort" or maybe "Beauregard"? Something like that? This just keeps gettin' worse. I hope he doesn't retaliate for all the teasing by peeing in my morning tea or anything like that. I'll stop before I do myself in. Or before he does.

Moldy ramblings from the garbled one.

Ok it's time for something normal. Or in my case, as normal as it's likely to get. This may not be an actual post - more like the conglomerated garblings of a woman on the edge. And no it isn't Kelly Ripa that has driven me to the edge I just tend to teeter there most of the time whether I want to be there or not. I'm sure you are thinking "get on with it oh Garbled One". So off we go.

After reading many blogs, I see that as always I've missed the boat on many of the more modern sayings of the day. I was hoping that maybe some of you could leave me notes on the comment area on words and phrases of the day. And before you guys say it, none of that, "I got a phrase for ya sister..." Let's be nice.

I feel out of date. I feel like the carton of milk that's stuck to the back of the fridge now all green and moldy. That's me alright. Say... be careful moving me around in there dammit. That's my spot! Yea, yea, that's it... there by the German mustard. In a squeaky voice the mustard says, "Hallo Liebling..."

Ok, maybe it was Kelly Ripa that set me off. She does irritate me. But it could also have been the lack of fruit. Fruit! I must have fruit! Oh hell who am I kidding. I'm frustrated. A frustrated writer with only one sock on and a turnip brain that isn't currently functioning. Dammit I knew I needed to move.

I think if I stay here much longer, I'll end up this loony running around in strange clothes with wild hair and only one sock. Good lord! That's me! I've gone over the edge. There's only one thing left to do. Get a glass of orange juice and watch a movie.

I'm waiting for that list people.

Gevalia coffee treats customers crappy.

This is the story of a consumer who wanted to try some coffee. Well teas and coffee. Specifically Gevalia. Listed here you will find a copy of a letter I sent to several of their business offices after I spoke with this incredible asshole in customer service.

This post is a "Buyer beware" post. If you haven't tried their lame-ass service, don't bother. If you like being cheated and then having some loser speak to you like you just don't matter and what you are asking is simply beyond imagination then by all means have a go right ahead and try them.

As for me? From now on I'll stick to the cheap stuff from the supermarket thanks. At least the checkers at the store are polite and know how the treat their customers. And if you think I am just being petty, I disagree. I am a principle person. It is within those boundaries that I make this post. If they want to be specific, they should print their stipulations for all to see.

To whom it may concern:

I ordered FOUR boxes of tea specifically to get the 2-cup teapot free. After not receiving it I called customer service only to be told the teapot wouldn't be sent since the offer was for CATALOG ORDERS ONLY. There was NOTHING printed anywhere near the offer in the catalog stating that you had to make a catalog order to get that offer. I thought it was just as easy to order the extra stuff I wanted via my monthly order form. On the form there was actually an area that asked the customer to "Add Catalog Items Here".

The supervisor I spoke to was rude and nasty and acted more like I had asked for a solid gold cup rather than the 2-cup ceramic teapot that was the issue. I will never do business with you people again after being spoken to in this manner and I will tell everyone I know how (via the internet and my website and blog) your staff acted and talked to me as well as how you cheated a customer rather than send the tea pot and settle the matter in a simple and decent way. I want my account cancelled immediately.

Kate Ford

Well there you have it. My note to their company. I hope someone notices all the nasty negative publicity. Maybe that will give them a taste of how they made me feel. And hey, I'm old school, the customer is always right. Because, as we all know, if you have no customers, pretty soon you have no business.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Last week, this week & Kelly Ripa is an elf.

Today is Sunday and I should be sleeping except that I've been surfing blogs on BE. There are so many funny, intelligent people out there. Most of the time it's a lot o fun to surf. There are as I'm sure you all know, exceptions though. Of the blogs I've visited, some of these are ok, some are good and some are just fabulous. I've found some that are my favorites and I'll add a link soon so you guys can visit the ones that sound interesting to you.

I am hoping that this coming week will be better than last week since basically nothing went very well and I was still sick after two weeks. It would suffice to say that last week sucked the big kahoona. If there are any magical people out there reading this, light a candle, do a dance, eat a twig/weed whatever- to send me good vibes. I need them people. My health sucks. Finances suck.

One blog I really liked had several posts mentioning Kelly Ripa. This is a person that for some unknown reason gets on my nerves whenever I so much as see a picture of her. She's like some odd slightly off-center elvish type person with a plastic face and she smiles constantly. And the smile doesn't even look real. Maybe that's what bugs me so much about her. The insincere smile. Ick. Is she one of the Wishmaster's evil elves? Maybe. Stepford Wife? I think it's highly possible but you decide.

There are so many really great actresses out there I guess I tend to over look people like Kelly Ripa. I really hope producers don't all suddenly want her in movies. As much as I adore films I would have to curb what I saw if it were to include her. I can see the movie headlines now, And now The Matrix like you've never seen it! Staring, KELLY RIPA and REGIS as Neo and Trinity!

I'll probably have a nightmare about that now. Neo/Regis with a hair helmet and Trinity/Kelly with her plastic smile. *shiver* I can see them doing the fighting wire stuff too, Regis' hair plastered neatly to his head and Kelly still smiling while they kick the shit out of the bad guys. And the bad guys are, Ohh let's see, Conan O'Brien and David Letterman for starters. Then the entire nightmare gets much, much worse when Jerry Springer dressed in agent clothes appears on screen.

With all that in mind, maybe I'll just stay awake.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Dreaded Lurgi Again.

Well folks, another day with the dreaded lurgi. I have decided that every germ on the planet finds its way to my body. I could eat healthy, drink 34 gallons of water a day and everything else that goes along with good health and still some random germ would make its way into my system.

I can see it now, an entire germ family complete with luggage and a couple of kid germs whining things like, "are we there yet?, can I drive?, I gotta go to the bathroom., Germy won't stop looking at me." the whole nine yards. I can see them crossing the vast ocean to get into my poor body once again. While the kid germs play, the parents sit with a map planning...

"Ohh Sam look! Let's see the esophagus too shall we? Let's do it on the way to the lungs. What a treat that will be for the kids!" "Well for God's sake Ella, we had this all planned, we're on a budget you know." "Ohh Sam, this may be the only time we get to take the kids on a trip like this. You know this person is considering seeing that, that Dr. Whatshisname to get antibiotics...*sob** *sob*" "then we may never see them grow up and **sob** multiplyyy... **sob** "There, there dear, don't mutate,we'll take the kids through the esophagus too, it'll be alright..."

Yes folks, that's what is going on in my system this very moment. Not a pretty picture is it? I think I'll eat 3000 cloves of fresh garlic. That should do the trick and burn those little suckers outta my system. And if it doesn't work, at least I know everyone else will leave me alone for awhile. Just think, smelling like that I could stand on a corner near a pizzeria and entice people to come in for Italian food. I wonder if they would pay me for that? And would the IRS consider reeking of garlic to attract customers a real job?

Monday, January 03, 2005

The New Year and what I want to do.

Well it is now 2005. Since it is January 3 and everyone has had fireworks and booze etc, I'll skip all that and just say Happy New Year. I hope that the new year brings love, peace and happiness to everyone this year. That is a simple wish and not one that is unrealistic.

I have made a few new years resolutions this year and will try to stand by them and follow through. My list is as follows;

1. Lose weight
2. Get more exercise
3. Get healthier
4. Travel more
5. Get back to my photography
6. Write more
7. Find a job

On the weight loss and exercise bit, if anyone has any good suggestions do feel free to let me know. I figure I've just got to stick to better habits. Also I am always open to suggestions even if I don't try or use them. The writing part actually reminds me of something I want to mention on here. In regard to my blog.

As I normally do, I check statistics for my blog. I noticed that my rating from votes is an 8.40. This is fine however I do hope that when people vote, they have actually taken the time to properly read through my archived material of stories, poetry etc since otherwise to me, their votes wouldn't really wouldn't mean very much.

Normally unless a blog is snotty or rude, i.e. bitching about people writing about what they had for lunch that day or something that some people feel isn't as exciting as what they have done and written about. Included in this are the pages that are so graphic intense the page hasn't finished loading before the counter reaches zero. Not everybody has a cable or DSL connection. In any case, I give 90% of the pages a 10.

My reason for that is that I enjoy the individualism of most all the blogs I have come across. I don't mind reading about what a person thinks of his or her life, surroundings, lunch or pretty much anything else they wish to share. For the most part I find it interesting and I'm glad people share their ordinary lives with me.

As for Blog Explosions idea of putting it to a vote if we should be allowed to see who voted what for our sites, I don't care one way or the other. Basically I write for me. If other people happen to like or agree with something I've written then that's great. But it isn't necessary to make me continue writing. I'll do that even if no one likes my stuff and with or without BE boosting my visitors. The content of my writing will never change since it is me.

Still, as I do try to make other people happy because that in turn makes me happy, if any one has any valid suggestions in regard to the looks of my site, do let me know and I will consider your suggestion. I have in mind to create a menu of sorts for my archived material so that readers can find things easier. It will be here when it gets here. Just like updating my blog, I do things when I get ready to. I'm not much on schedules.

As for the rest of my resolutions, I'll keep you all posted. Traveling more is something I really love but money is a huge issue. Mainly due to the lack of a job. So far the job part just seems impossible. But then maybe I'm just getting frustrated and rather down about it.

I do wish I could find a job as a photographer though. That would be a dream job. I am considering moving some of my photography to another site but in the meantime if you would like to have a look at some of my work, follow the instructions below.

Go to,
Look for Kathrine Ford's work. If you can't access the pictures, let me know. I have edited this and removed my email addy since Deek commented on how many spam losers would bother me. More so than the 200 plus a day that I get now? All of which go immediately into the trash without a look? Wow. Amazing.

If you happen to be a professional photographer, please feel free to critique my work. If you are from National Geographic or Smithsonian, you might consider giving me a job. That would be a great way to start off 2005!

Our Cash Makes A Splash

This BBC article is about how the fundraising for the Tsunami Relief has been led by public opinion - THAT'S US FOLKS !!

The UK government, for one, initially offered £15 million ($29m) but upped this to £50 million ($96m) within a couple of days. It was only just keeping ahead of private donations to aid agencies.

The United States proposed $35 million immediately but this was criticised by, among others, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, who said he "went through the roof when I heard them bragging about $35m. We spend $35m before breakfast in Iraq."

Soon afterwards, it was announced that the Secretary of State Colin Powell would visit the region. And now the White House has upped its offer ten-fold, increasing to $350m the amount to be made available for relief and reconstruction efforts.

No apology for the pun in the title. It's called, Gallows Humour.