... here for your amusement ...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Foot In Mouth

I need to make a public apology! On my "It" Moms segment this week, Marni and I took a road trip. You know... Thelma and Louise, Oprah and Gayle....hit the open road idea.

Ok, so far, no harm. In the middle of our drive, we hit some construction. While waiting, I said to Marni, "Let's do a Chinese Fire Drill!" We ran wildly around the outside of the car and jumped back in. Thrills. I am in Jr. High.

Next day, the producer of the show says she got two calls from viewers who were offended by the racial slur. RACIAL SLUR? What? Oh NO!

I have never, in my 30+ years given any deep thought to that term. Did not cross my mind for two seconds that it might have a derogatory meaning. I found out how naive I was when I looked it up on the net. Here's what I found out:

Chinese fire drill
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Chinese fire drill is a prank that was popular in the United States during the 1960s. It is performed when a car is stopped at a red traffic light, at which point all of the car's occupants get out, run around the car, and return to their own (or go to other) seats. Chinese Fire Drills are sometimes executed when one needs to get something from the trunk of a car. People have reported its use as early as the 1940s, so it is likely that the phrase was current at the time, but simply was not written down that early.

The term is also used as a figure of speech to mean any large, ineffective, and chaotic exercise. In this usage, it is often shortened to just "fire drill," omitting the offensive "Chinese."

Origins of the term
The term is alleged to have originated in the early 1900s, during a naval incident wherein a ship manned by British officers and a Chinese crew set up a fire drill for fighting a fire in the engine room. In the event of a fire the crew was to form a bucket brigade, drawing water from the starboard side, taking it to the engine room and throwing it on the "fire." Because water would accumulate in the engine room, another crew was to take the excess thrown water and haul it back up to the main deck, and then heave it over the port side (in order to bail it out).

When the drill was called the first moments went according to plan, but then orders became confused in translation. The crew for the bucket brigade began drawing the water from the starboard side, running over to the port side, and then throwing the water over, and so by-passing the engine room completely. Thus the expression "Chinese fire drill" entered the English language as meaning a large confused action by individuals accomplishing nothing.

THAT IS TERRIBLE! I feel terrible! My deepest apologies to anyone I offended by my ignorance.

When I told one of my best friends, Jenni (who happens to be Chinese) she said, "What? We used to do Chinese Fire Drills all the time! I am not offended, you Honkie." So... I think we're on our way to reconcilliation.

How awful is it that our society has imbedded in it today, offensive and shameful hints of our past. As Oprah says, "When ya know better, ya do better." So I will.

In parting, I shall leave you with some more slurs I found when researching this. Racially, I am a little bit of everything: Irish, Scottish, German, Dutch, English even a little Native American (Mom calls our family : Heinz 57), and I personally am not offended by any of the following.... these things do not offend me because I am not a nationality. I am a child of God, and you can tease me all day long about that and I'll still be smilin'.

Irish twins, two siblings born within the same year (9 to 12 months apart) based on the stereotype that the Irish had/have too many children
French leave, leaving a party without addressing and thanking the host or hostess
Dutch Metal a brass alloy, worthless in itself but used to imitate gold leaf
Dutch wife, a prostitute or a sex doll (from Japanese usage)
Dutch courage, bravado or drunken willingness
Welsher, someone who refuses to pay off their bets (unclear whether the etymology of this word has a racial origin).
British teeth (or "English teeth"), teeth that are stained and crooked. From the stereotype that British attitudes to dental care are less stringent than American.
Gyp (verb), to cheat. From Gypsy.

Let us not repeat the mistakes of our past....I, for one, will pay closer attention to these things from now on. I am truly sorry for my careless remark.


Monday, October 23, 2006


Had a wonderful morning with some of my mom friends today. We get together every Monday for coffee and hours of chatter, sharing, and hysterical laughter...this is my drug of choice. It feeds my soul and keeps me sane!

Topics this morning ranged from serious to ridiculous as usual....health concerns, kids' behavioral issues to dog vomit and Dr. 90210. I've never seen this "reality" show, but thanks to a couple of my friends, the horrible visual descriptions will forever be stained into my brain! Bleaching what? That is just not right. Happy thoughts, think of happy thoughts..... OPB.

In hopes of recovering from the previous topic, I changed the subject. I asked the gals, "Do you think my son's hair is starting to look like a mullet?" (I have this thing, you see, about cutting my children's hair. It's like letting go of their childhood one hair at a time or something... it's hard to let them grow up.. or look like they are grown up. Who's with me? Anyone?)

So.... as delicate and gentle as my friends are, they yelled out a resounding, "YES!" Jenni S even got out her mullet refrigerator magnets to see which one most resembled my son. The "mudflaps" or the "Kentucky Waterfall?" Nice. With the loving support of my friends, I decided that it was prbably time. Time to cut his beautiful mullet.

After leaving the ladies, I went to the grocery store for some things before I headed back home. At the checkout, the cashier leans over to my son and says in a very sweet "kid voice", "How are you today, Princess?"

Ok... it's time!

Friday, October 13, 2006

"It" Moms 911 and Holiday Shopping!

I have been an "It" Mom on More Good Day Oregon for 10 months now and I lOVE it! We've done everything from hip-hop dancing, bungee jumping, henna tattoos to knitting and much more. Today's segment, however, was the greatest rollercoaster ride of them all. Let me tell the story.

Marni, Brian and I met at Lamb's Thriftway to shoot a segment for the NW Women's Show. We had very little information to go on, just a suggestion of "holiday shopping with kids." We took it in a "Halloween direction" and were very prepared to talk about alternative healthy snacks for kids during this infamous candy holiday.

Upon arriving, we discovered that the clients wanted us to talk more about catering Thriftway offers to those short on time during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. It took about 15 minutes to wrap our brains around the new idea. We both walked off in different directions with strained looks on our faces, talking to ourselves out loud. Yes...we looked crazy, but it worked and we ran in the new direction.

Honestly, we can be quite impressive on the fly, it always surprises me. HOWEVER, creativity can be sorely stunted when one's three year old (I won't name any names) decides to have the worst fit, tantrum, bad attitude, bad, terrible, yucky, horrid day of all times.

So, picture the pressure of clients standing by, customers on-looking, camera rolling and my precious 4th born screaming and hitting everyone in sight. This is my work environment. With sweat dripping down my under arm, I turned my mic off, and pulled the child away from everyone where I PLEADED.. uh, hem... I mean "strongly encouraged" him to stop his foul play. I'd like to say that it worked and he "got me"... but it was the cookie I gave him from the bakery that did the trick. Whatever works, people! Don't judge.

So...after I shook it off, and the sting of threatening tears subsided, we pulled it together and finished the shoot. I actually think it will be awesome. Marni is amazing! She can always think of brilliant little "gems" of substance and I love her for that!

As we were debriefing outside the store, Marni's 3 year old decided it was her turn to melt down a bit. Luckily, she let me hold her and we snuggled. Kids are always better for other people! What is that? As I'm holding her, I notice an elderly woman miss the step in front of her and fall face first onto the concrete sidewalk. She fell so hard and had no time to brace herself with her hands. It was horrible! I rushed over to her, as did Marni, and we immediately began "first aid." (I should really take a refresher course!)

Sweet, 81 year old Shirley, had cut clear through her top lip with her teeth, chipped her teeth, her glasses cut into the bridge of her nose, she injured her hand, and smacked both of her knees. Marni and I applied pressure to her wounds and stopped the bleeding. We got to hold her hands and offer sweet, sympathetic compassion as she lay there hurt and scared until the paramedics came. It was an honor and privilege to be there for her.

Praise God, Shirley was fine! The paramedics arrived and did their thing. She was sitting up and sassy as ever when we left.

So, as hard as those few moments of stress with my child in the grocery store was, I wouldn't have missed that moment for the world! A rare chance of human connection and opportunity to show love to strangers doesn't come very often. Nope.. not even a 3 year old's worst fit, tantrum, bad attitude, bad, terrible, yucky, horrid day of all times can change how cool it was to be "in the right place at the right time." Ah.... life is good. Get well, Shirley!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tennis Anyone?

Yes... before you begin reading my first blog ever, about the evening of tennis with my girls, read the blogs of Jenni Clayville and Jenni Singley. For, by that time, you will already be laughing so hard, my blog entry will be funny just by continutation.

OK, Tennis: a game where you "volley" a small yellow ball back and forth over a waist level net using a racket. Hm? OR..... not.

We are so certainly not going to win any tournaments in the near future. Plainly.. we suck. However, we do enjoy the thrill of the game. Well, the thrill has nothing to do with the game actually, read below.

I currently hold the record for the most balls hit over the very high (yet not high enough, obviously) fence at the Rose Garden tennis courts. I'm proud to say that I also hold the record for most balls retrieved from the rocky terain down the cliff aside the courts. I had one potentially fatal fall down the folliage, but managed to come out alive only sustaining two flesh wounds. Victoriously, I emerged with the ball. My "friends" were too busy laughing and checking out Singley's "hot pants" that no one bothered to see if I was ok, alive, wounded, bloody, missing limbs, etc. They appeared to only be concerned that I brought the ball back safely. SO, it was worth it! Huh? Maybe not.

"Rally"...as we call her... Allison McKenney, is always my doubles partner. This is some sick and twisted move of the part of the"Jenni's" (Remember the "Heathers?") Not that I don't love sharing the court with her.. she is definately eye candy and just as sweet to hang with..... but she's, let just say, not the best "athlete" in town. NOT that I am either.. that's where the sick and twisted part comes in. We look across the net most times and the "Jenni's" are on the ground laughing. I'd like to think that it's not at us... but..........you have to know them.

Oba was our next stop... because they have the most amazing Caesar salad ever made in the whole wide world, ever..really, ever! I crave it, and have to have it, or I might die. Unfortunately, Scott died from smelling my garlic breath all night as I slept. Sorry, honey! Crack the window, my bad.

The girls all wanted to get different appetizers and share, but I said "no." I was not going to share my coconut prawns with those hungry animals. I wanted every prawn to myself. I know, it's wrong, and I had to pray about it later. I'm forgiven. However, when the dessert came around, I was not given a spoon, and I felt the consequence of my actions. So a l learned a big lesson in sharing that night..and while they were all busy looking away, I stole a bite of the chocolate cake. More prayers.

Love those girls, love the game, love to eat... love, love, love...