Monday Morning Open Thread

Good morning, MTs. How are you today? Me, I’m a little grumpy and more than a little bit done with “The Footy” – a.k.a. Australian Rules Football team. It’s the championships next Saturday, and ye gods, DH’s team, Collingwood are in the Grand Final. It’s been 20 years since they last won, and they haven’t been in a championship since 2003, so the testosterone has overridden DH’s normal impulses and hard-wired all major circuitry straight into his lizard brain. This week can’t pass fast enough so I can, please Jebus, have my normal husband back. I envy all of you who are ignorant of AFL.

In that spirit, I bring you news of anything but sport. Firstly, gossip, gossip, gossip. Jamie Oliver and his wife, Jools, welcomed their fourth child – and first boy – into the family last week. The baby boy got –saddled– named with a –wacky– unique name – Buddy Maurice. I admit my love for Jamie Oliver with no hesitation; he and his wife and family are just adorable. I own a couple of his cookbooks and I really use his recipes, too. So congrats, Jamie and Jools!

From the department of Just Desserts, the sometimes-funny, always unintentionally revealing advice column in the NYT, Social Q’s. This week, a person confesses to snooping in the SIL’s e-mail account … and got more than they bargained for in the form of insults. I’ll go with the advice columnist in this – if you can’t do the crime, don’t snoop in other people’s e-mails. You almost always get more than you bargained for. And for everyone else, make sure you log out if you’re using somebody else’s computer. There are snoops out there!

What’s going on in your world, today?


Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I have been running around town like a mad woman, preparing for a two-week trip to the east coast. This Friday, the kids and I will go to Philadelphia and drive to New Jersey to stay with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for a couple nights. We plan to see fellow MotherTalker Rachel and her family. I am very excited as I have not seen Rachel in more than five years, and haven’t met the girls. We plan to get the families together on Saturday.

On Sunday, I will drive to Reading, Pennsylvania, to stay with my uncle and two cousins — on my mom’s side. I also plan to see my dad’s brother and his kids as they also live in PA. The following Friday, we plan to fly from PA to New Hampshire to see my parents, grandmother and brother — and of course, our Katie! It will be good to catch up with family and friends. Markos will join us in New Hampshire.

During that time, I will not be online much, if at all. I am handing the reigns over to our very competent Gloria and Erika who will update the site at least once a day. I’ll be back August 30. Until then, have a safe and relaxing rest of the summer!

In other news: here is a freaky story on belly bulge. Even people who are considered thin by body-mass-index-standards still have an elevated risk of early death if they have a bulging tummy, according to the Associated Press.

The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts capped unpaid maternity leave for women working at companies with six or more employees to 8 weeks, according to the Boston Globe. In a 4-3 vote, the justices ruled against a housekeeper who was fired by a telecommunications company for taking 11 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. Did I mention that her leave — pretty paltry IMHO — was unpaid?

President Obama signed into law an emergency jobs bill credited with saving more than 300,000 teaching, law enforcement and other public sector jobs, according to AP.

This doesn’t sound right, but I know my kids would dig it. A Pop-Tarts Cafe — think, Pop-Tarts sushi — is opening in Times Square, according to Gawker.

The Washington Post ran an article on how, to the chagrin of parents, they hardly speak to their adult children over the phone due to the prevalence of texting and e-mail.

Some readers at were vicariously living through a JetBlue flight attendant who ranted against a customer on the microphone, grabbed a beer and went down the emergency chute of the plane. Not surprisingly, he ended up in jail. Have you ever quit a job in such dramatic fashion?

Also in former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens died in a plane crash yesterday.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


Late-Night Liberty: Spanish and Joke Edition

My mother-in-law in El Salvador is always sending me joke e-mails and religious chain letters. I thought this joke having to do with two 8-year-old children was pretty good.

I will run the original e-mail in Spanish and then translate into English:

Dos niños de 8 años conversan en el parque.

El niño le pregunta a la niña:
“¿Que vas a pedir como regalo al Santa Claus?”
“Yo le voy a pedir una Barbie ¿y tú?”
“Yo le voy a pedir un Tampax,” responde el niño.
“¿Que es un Tampax?” pregunta la niña
“Yo no sé,… pero en la televisión dicen que tú puedes ir a la playa todos los días, andar en bicicleta, andar a caballo, bailar, ir a la disco, correr, hacer de todo y lo mejor…’Sin que nadie se dé cuenta!!!!!”

Ja! Ja! Ja! Here it is in English:

An 8-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl converse in a park.

The boy asks the girl:

“What do you want Santa Claus to bring you?”
“I am going to ask for a Barbie. And you?”
“I am going to ask for a Tampax,” responds the boy.
“¿What is a Tampax?” asks the girl.
“I don’t know,… but in the television it says you can go to the beach every day, ride your bike, ride a horse, dance, go to the disco, run, do everything and better…’Without anyone noticing!!!!!'”

Have you received any good e-mails lately?



9/11 as a marketing tool in my e-mail box… advice on how to respond?

This is just SO ODD to me. I got the following e-mail from a company that my office has hired some temps from:

Hi Melissa,

Today is a day to remember not only our troops, but also those who work towards protecting us on a daily basis including our fire and police squads.  Let’s be thankful for the beautiful weather, and all of the wonderful things happening around us in this fantastic city.  Here’s to Chicago and the amazing talent within.

Check out the latest Talent Update for this week.

Let me know if you’d like to see samples or more information on anyone in particular.  Most everyone is available for freelance or full-time.


O.K. I had the post regarding my personal feelings on the 9/11 memorials and what not. THIS just made my skin crawl. Tell me if I’m being too sensitive because of my previous 9/11 feelings… but I kind of want to write back with a “thanks, please don’t send me political stuff. Thoughts?