Idol Smackdown 2010!

Yes reality TV. This is the only reality show that I watch and I am ADDICTED to it! Nine seasons of addiction. Several of my family members and friends are into it as well. This year we are doing a little competition (smackdown) amongst 12 of us, mostly the sisters and daughters (hereafter referred to as "The sister"). We have a spreadsheet, rules, etc., and all to be in the winners circle in May to win.....bragging rights for a year!
The deal is that we each have to choose an Idol, we did that on Thursday morning. Then each week we choose the people that we think are going home, then points are awarded accordingly.
Last night was the results for week #1 of the competition and already it was a crazy, unexpected upset! The voters (as in a congressional election) are a little wacky. As Michael Sleazak of Entertainment Weekly said: "....still flummoxed by the fact that those cats... are paying the price for singing misdemeanors while musical felons like Jermaine, Tim Urban, Alex Lambert and Lacey Brown will live to threaten us again with (how can I state this in a politically correct fashion?) their "creative selection of notes".
I don't think you can imagine the volume of emails that the sisters are shooting around on the morning following an airing of Idol. I have a sampling:

Jen: Ok, it gets serious this week dawg. Put your Randy pants on and start figuring out who for you, for me is a little pitchy.
Jamie: Di Di's my girl.
Jen: Don't pick until you hear them sing goober.
Jamie: I'm not picking yet dodo I'm just saying she and I are bff's.
Jen: Kirk and John are playing but DO NOT include them in the hen-chat emails.
Stacy: Follow me beotch's. As last years winner I am good!
Jamie: I totally split my pants at Giant last night. I had to lean down and check myself out.
Chris: Those thongs don't really provide much coverage, huh? Kind of reminds me of tamps and hoops!

Chris: I'm going to make another Mojito
Jen: Is it me or does Alex Lambert have a half mullet/half Zach Efron?
Chris: I think he does. Kris Allen is easy on the eyes but I'm over hearing renditions of other people's songs.
Jen: Get used to it. When you hear the song Kara writes for the winner, you'll be wishing they were singing Lady Gaga songs again. The song she wrote last year was just tragic.
Jen: Why are these girls wearing spiders and shit on their heads?

By the way, I have ZERO points as of last night! Crazy voters. Next week I'm getting serious. Who to pick?


Giveaway! Ends At Midnight!

Ok folks, I'm combining today! Words..too many words. Tomorrow is the last day for my giveaway, so get your entries in now. You don't want to miss this. The giveaway is for one of these beautifully crafted handbags. Your choice! Each one is handmade, by me, and is a one of a kind creation. They are sturdy, lightweigt, as well as lovely and unique. They all have inside pockets as well as a cell phone pocket.
Over the weekend I will be adding them to my "Shop Buggys" (over there on the left sidebar) page and offering them for sale. So make sure you take a peek when you stop by, you might find something you love or a gift item.

*As always, leave me a comment and let me know that you would like to win one of these lovely bags and tell me which one is your fav.

*Do a short blog post about my bags and leave me a link = 3 entries

*Follow me on facebook (Donna Karwacki) for 2 entries


Random Tuesday - Good Karma!

Yesterday was chock full of nice things for me! Do you ever those days when lots of little good things happen and it just makes you feel happy? So instead of ranting today I will be spreading joy and dripping daisies.
First thing in the morning I usually pour myself coffee and head to my office for a look at my email. Delete the junk and see what the women in my family have to say this morning, they always have something to say. You wouldn't believe the email strings they send around. If someone is actually busy working that day (phfft) they will beg off of the list. So, anyway, a subject line catches my eye "Buggys, you won!" Woo Hoo! I won, I won. Staci over at Just Bloggled was doing a giveaway for a book by an author I have never read before and I entered (about a bizillion entries) and I won, yay. Thank you Staci.
Later in the morning I was visiting my bloggy buddies and stopped at Frogs In My Formula. Well, last week Frogmama celebrated her 2nd blogversary and in honor of this she was doing a giveaway. I wished her a happy blogversary and entered to win a $25 Starbucks gift card (frappacinos are very popular at my house). I won, I won! This just never happens to me...never.
I was riding a pink fluffy cloud by mid day. I just don't win stuff. After dinner last night I was back at my computer and checking comments. Sandee from Comedy Plus left me a comment saying that I had been awarded 2nd place in her Caption This Contest from last week. No way.

Ladies, really, My Cup Runneth Over. Thank you for such a pleasant day.

Please come on back tomorrow for the last chance to enter my newest giveaway!


Go Lean - Cut The Baggage

Last weekend my husband and I were in Pennsylvania to see a show at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa. When we walked down the block from the parking lot, I noticed some people gathered in front of the theater holding picket signs. My first reaction was, of course, give me the camera, this is going to be blog material! My husband rolled his eyes but remained silent, he's getting used to this. So I snapped a couple of pictures and collected the handout before going inside.
According to the handout, the Keswick is not conforming to "area standards set by the IATSE Local 8" for wages for stagehands and technicians. The standard is $36.22 per hour including health care and retirement benefits. As a result of the Keswick not paying the Local 8 standard wage, other employers in the area are pressured to lower wages and benefits. Working families earnings are being reduced. Nothing about jobs being lost, just a decrease in earnings. The handout mentions 9 other area venues that, we are to gather from this, are being pressured to lower wages. Should we assume that 1 theater is pressuring the other 9 to reduce wages? Does the Keswick have that much power over 9 other venues? I don't know who else would be doing the pressuring, the well known Pennsylvania MOB? Sounds pretty lame to me.
Be assured, I hate to see anyone lose their job or have their wages reduced. This is not my point. Actually, several things began swirling around in my fuzzy brain.

1. In my opinion, Unions are 40 years past their prime. We have OSHA, we have strict labor laws. Unions are a waste of time and money.
2. It is still a free country, if you don't want to work in this place, go elsewhere.
3. Perhaps the theater is reacting to the down economy by cost cutting without jobs cutting, and I see that as a very responsible reaction.

I have had first hand experience with unions, on both sides of the fence, and from what I have seen, the unions do nothing but cost people money. The company pays in time wasted and the members pay in dues. The union ends up oppressing the star performers and protecting the under achievers. Is this effective or efficient?

* In the 1950's and 1960's, Unions controlled 65% of the market share nationwide. Today they hold only 12% and I think they should be abolished.  Just look at the auto industry. When profits started declining back in the 1970's, the big 3 started pushing light trucks for the higher, immediate profits instead of going into fuel efficient designs. The unions were not willing to make concessions then and weren't until faced with bankruptcy.

I know this is not a funny or entertaining post today, but it obviously is a subject that just sticks in my gut. To me it seems like a no-brainer. If you want lean manufacturing then cut the extraneous baggage. Do you have any experience or thoughts on the subject? Go ahead and tell me if you think I'm wrong.



Music Box Dancers - Unbelievable!

Well, a funeral yesterday and oral surgery today, non-stop fun and excitement around here just now. I think I'll be back to normal shortly.

Have you seen these incredible children, ages about 6-7, doing their dance routine? It's from Russia so you won't be able to understand what they are saying but it doesn't matter. This will blow you away.


WW - I Did It!

Says Canadian free style skier Alexandre Bilodeau as he takes the Gold Medal!


All Idiots-First Come, First Served!

I know I'm posting super late today. I have a painful dental issue today and I have tried, unsuccessfully to get an appointment with a dentist all day! My regular dentist and 6 others are unavailable today (and tomorrow!) I finally got an appointment tomorrow with a dentist, not mine. Is Monday the official Dentist's day off? They don't work in the winter? What's a person to do? Anyway, I'll just work through the excruciating agony, no problem.
Over the weekend my husband and I went to a theater to see Kathleen Madigan perform. Unfamiliar? She's a comedian, wildly funny. We first saw her on Last Comic Standing several years ago and we've been fans ever since. The show was great and we had a wonderful time. Well, we had a wonderful time except for this one issue.....Stupid People!
I'm telling you there are too many disrespectful idiots in this world for my taste. In my world there are many gray issues, but there are also A LOT of things that are just plain black and white. For instance; when you purchase tickets to a show at a theater, or the movies for that matter, and the show begins at 8:00pm, what time should you plan to arrive and get to your assigned seat? Here you go, I'll give you multiple choice on this:
A. 7:45pm
B. 8 freakin 30pm

In my mind the correct answer is A. 7:45pm and that is when we arrived and sat in our assigned seats, got our coats settled, etc. You might get thirsty you say? Sure, we purchased our drinks at the bar prior to being seated. Oh, and we had a bathroom check at that time as well. This is a theater, not your living room folks, you can't DVR the show while you wander around looking in the refrigerator, plus there are other people to consider and yes, I know that comes as a surprise. There were people still arriving to be seated at 8:45pm! Why Bother? What you got caught up in a Mayberry RFD rerun and forgot?
Then there are the ones who need to pop up and leave their seat every 10 minutes. Oh, you think I exaggerate? The three people in front of us and toward the center of the aisle each stood up and left their seat, collectively 4 times during the second half of the show..after intermission!
I have a couple of ideas for this nonsense; first, no more assigned seats, apparently we, as a society are not responsible enough to handle that kind of freedom. Everything is first come, first served. If you arrive late you will stand at the back of the theater. Second, if you can not remain in your seat for the 45 minutes remaining until intermission, then you will have to move to the back of the theater upon your return from the bar so be sure to carry your coat along with you. Problems solved.
I only wish I owned a theater so I could try out these new rules. Who is with me? Does this make sense to you?


Ski Patrol To The Rescue!

The other day I was in my basement looking around at all the crap for an old webcam and I came across some family vacation pictures in a box. When I say family vacation I am talking about extended family; my three sisters, husbands, all the neices and nephews and generally a couple of friends as well. We travel in packs. It's always more fun with the whole group! The picture above is one of our skiing holidays at Wisp ski resort at Deep Creek Lake. We have been to Deep Creek Lake many times over the years, it's a fun place in any season.

Featured prominently above is my sister Sherri, yes, the one with the soft cast on her leg. None of us are exactly Jean-Claude on skis but Sherri, well, you want to avoid her at all cost. A kamikaze with the ski poles! Ski with her at your own risk....she will take you down with her. She's done it to me.

As I recall this incident happened on day 1 of a week long vacation. We were just warming up, getting in a groove, on a beginners run and down she went! I came around a bend and noticed a familiar heap on the side of the trail, nope she wasn't getting to the bottom under her own power. Off I went to to get the ski patrol. I had forgotten to bring my camera with me and I'm so angry with myself for not getting pictures of her coming down the hill on a stretcher!

You know I grabbed the camera before I took her to the emergency room! Oh, relax, it's not like she had a bone sticking out of her leg or anything! I couldn't help laughing at her sitting in a wheel chair at the hospital. It was such a cliche! Oh, you know, she pulled a ligament, nothing serious. She refused pain killers as we had plenty of the liquid variety back at the chalet.

Really, knowing Sherri, this was perfect because it got her out of cooking or doing dishes all week! Don't scoff, I know her.


A Bit Of Irony - And A Giveaway Clue!

As you know if you have been reading my recent posts, we have been hit with snowstorms of epic proportions here lately. Since last Friday we have accumulated 4-5 feet of snow in the area. (God Bless the snow plow drivers) I know, it's ridiculous. Not just the snow though, but we have also had high winds creating blizzard conditions, downed wires, power outages by the thousands. All first responders have been on constant high alert.
At 2:30am on Wednesday morning, in the midst of the latest blizzard, a two-alarm call went out to firefighters for a building ablaze in Dundalk. It took 2 hours to get the fire under control as the roof collapsed causing approximately $600,000 in damage. The building that went up in flames? The Sollers Point fire station. The building housed 2 National Guardsmen in addition to a full compliment of fire fighters. There were no personal injuries caused by the fire. The fire and collapsing roof did destroy 1 brand new fire engine (delivered last week), 2 ambulances, 1 bush truck and 1 Humvee. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
I'm hoping it wasn't an overloaded electric outlet or a space heater. Talk about life's most embarrassing moments! Those guys might want to explore a career change.

Giveaway Clue #3


Want an entry, or 3 to win this fabulous mystery giveaway? Yes, you're entering to win something and you don't even know what it is. Confused? For post #1 go here, and for post #2 go here.

1 entry.    Tell me you want to win in a comment
2 entries.  Add me to your blog roll and let me know you have done so.


WW - Take THAT Jack Frost!


Enough Already!

BREAKING NEWS! Today is the last voting day for the Blog-Off 2010. Pop over to Mike's at Too Many Mornings to read his latest entry and then head over to Knucklehead's to vote. Final Day!! 


No Toilet Paper!

We did it. We went to the store last night to prepare for the next snowstorm that is expected to dump another 10"-20" on us tonight. We are such a cliche! I couldn't help it, I needed cookies laundry detergent . Snowstorms generate an ungodly amount of laundry. No toilet paper though, I'm good on toilet paper until....the next millenium. We were talking about what to pick up at the store:

Me: "We need eggs, I used them all on Saturday."

The Hubs: "I'm hungry."

Me: "Wonder if there is any bread left on the shelves"

The Hubs: "Probably the only stuff left is in the "Goya" aisle."

We paid for our cookies, Tide and 10 cans of refried beans and headed home.

P.S. My friend Mike over at Too Many Mornings has submitted his final post in the Blog-Off 2010 and he needs all of us to head on over and vote for him. So, please, hop on over to Knucklehead's place and vote for Mike!


Blizzard Busts Super Bowl Plans

Stupid snow! I know we are all sick to death of the S word by now, what a ridiculous winter it has been (and, really, what would we do if we weren't complaining about something, hmm?). I live in Maryland, we have relatively mild winters, nothing too extreme, well, normally. Our total cumulative snow fall this winter is about 4 feet, with 30" falling on Super Bowl weekend! All of the restaurants and bars are closed because everyone is snowed in. Home parties are cancelled for the same reason and even if you can get out there is no place to park in neighborhoods. Think of the loss of revenue, to say nothing of the leftover cheese platters. I guess everyone is staying home and eating all that bread and milk that we stocked up on in preparation for snow. You might notice a shortage of toilet paper at your local stores. We have been hoarding it around here. Sorry, if you run short and can't find any, let me know and I'll send you a couple rolls of Scott, this stuff just throws us for a loop.

People tend to lose all good sense when we get a snowfall of more than 1/2", at least around here they do. Last weekend it snowed all day Saturday and ended sometime after midnight I believe. On Sunday afternoon my husband and I went out to run a few errands. We were stopped at a traffic light and looked over to the right where there was a line waiting at the car wash. Now I understand the need to get the salt off of your car but good lord! The snow had barely stopped and the roads were still a slushy, salty mess. Between the car wash and home these cars would be filthy again in a matter of moments! Seemed like a waste of time and $15 to me, how about you?

Well, today we noticed something that we found inexplicable. There is a family of 4 adults who live down the street from us, 4 drivers, 4 vehicles. One of the drivers is in high school so he is not going to a job that he must get to on Monday morning. This family owns 3 small to midsized cars and a 4x4 truck of some sort. It's blue, that's all I know. I noticed them busily digging out the cars, clearing the driveway and around the mailbox. Did a great job too, they got all the way down to the pavement and squared off the sides quite well. When we looked closer we noticed that they cleared out all of the little cars and didn't even attempt to clear off the 4x4 truck! No, the truck is still buried. Huh? Oh, it runs, I pulled over to let it go past on the street just Thursday. You can see it in the picture, it's the giant lump of snow on the far right.


Happy Birthday Wishes!


I want to wish my daughter (the Bee) a very happy 30th birthday today! Please stop by and give her a little greeting today. Click Here


Addicted To Reality TV

We must be addicted, that's all I can figure. We have the survivors, the obese, the lonelies looking for love, the poor little rich folk, the hoarders, etc. You know there are more! Now, apparently, we are actually tuning in to watch people in rehab, celebrities, or pseudo-celebs anyway. In case you are unaware, as I was, the show is called Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and I guess it focuses on groups in treatment, celebs, of course. That's entertainment folks!
We all have read the stories of various celebrities who have battled, and in many cases lost, with prescription drug abuse starting with Elvis Presley and most recently, of course is Michael Jackson. The  prescription list of widely abused drugs is long, I'm sure but many on that list would be painkillers. Isn't that what we always hear? Addicted to prescription pain killers following an injury or a surgery?
I guess it's like a train wreck that we just can't tear our eyes away from, the new Jon & Kate. If ever I did the channel flip and landed on that show I couldn't stop watching! Diaper changes, pancakes on paper plates, it was undeniably fascinating for some reason.
My daughter is a reality TV Addict. I don't know if she watches this show but I'll have to ask her. I bet she's tuned in. Does it make us feel better about our own lives? Maybe so.


Ok folks, here is the second picture clue for you. Just look at those gorgeous shell buttons. Beautiful aren't they? I couldn't resist them. So here is what you need to do to get additional entries to win the mystery giveaway:

1. Leave a comment telling me that you want to win.
2. Follow my blog and leave me another comment telling me that you have done so.
3. Post about this giveaway and let me know that you have done this (with a link)

What would you say in a post? You don't even know what this is! Well, I can't wait to find out what clever things you come up with. I know you smart people out there will come up with something fabulous! Let the games begin.

Another Giveaway Clue

To all of my interested readers (all 3 of you) my post is going to be a little late today, but do come back later as I will have another clue to the giveaway. There will also be additional entry opportunities!


Wordless Wednesday - Pretty Bags

I made these for my daughters as christmas gifts


Health Reform?

Pictured above is a young physician by the name of Dr. Starner Jones. His short two-paragraph letter to   the White House accurately puts the blame on a   "Culture  Crisis" insteadof a "Health Care Crisis".  It's worth a   quick read:

Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had   the   pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.
        While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that   her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.
        And, you and our Congress expect  me to pay for this woman's health care?  I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is  not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or  nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis   of culture",  a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on  luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.  It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me".
        Once you fix this  "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.