Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Thirteen~songs we enjoy differently away from our teens

Had a great time with the ladies at the M-spot chat last night putting this list together!

During all the spring breaks with Teens in and out of my house, My sons and I came to the conclusion there are certain songs we can't enjoy around each other the way we do when hanging out with our friends. We came up with some and then I got help from the ladies at the M-spot chat last night to fill out the 13.

1. Something in Your Mouth by Nickelback
2. S.E.X. By Nickelback
3. Figured You Out by Nickelback
4. Crazy Bitch by Buck Cherry
5. Addicted by Saving Abel
6. Pour Some Sugar on Me by Poison
7. Talk Dirty to Me by Poison
8. Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf
9. Too Drunk to…by Buck Cherry
10. Mony Mony by Billy Idol
11. The Bad Touch. Bloodhound gang
12. Animal by Nickelback
13. Fat Bottom Girls by Queen

Of course we came up with alot more songs... can you think of any to add?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10 Superstitions at Sea

In Celebration of the start of Deadliest Catch season 5 (WOW! What a season Opener!!) I'm sharing an article by Jessika Toothman... Learn More at
Those who sail the world's oceans have traditionally been awash with superstition,so hitting the high seas involves learning a laundry list of potential pitfalls to make sure no omens go unheeded or taboos are committed. And although many superstitions that plagued sailors' thoughts in past eras have fallen away in modern times, some remain alive and well today.

For a look at some of the superstitions of the sea from then and now, check out the following.

10. APPEASING THE GODS: Many cultures throughout history have attributed the powers of the sea to a plethora of authoritative deities and devils. And in an attempt to tame them and ensure a safe voyage, sailors often proffered gifts to these aquatic higher powers.

Animal and human sacrifices alike were one primitive way of appeasing the spirits of the seas. They could take place before launching, upon reaching safe harbor and at other times during a voyage. Cattle were a popular choice, but dogs, foxes, fowl, sheep, horses and a whole ark of other animals have also been among the many animals sacrificed over the millennia to calm the seas.

Libations and offerings of honey, flour, money, cloth, cheese, bread, brandy, fruit, meat, oil, wine and other gifts have all sunk slowly to the depths, having been cast overboard by superstitious sailors hoping for successful and safe travels.

9. A LUCKY LAUNCH: Breaking a bottle of wine against the hull of a new ship might seem like a waste, but this and similar practices have been traditional since time immemorial to issue a ship into its element for the first time.

Flowers and wreaths of leaves were also commonly part of the ceremony, and priests were often called upon to anoint and purify new vessels, blessing and consecrating them in the name of one patron saint or another. Some ships were even baptized.

If anything went wrong during the launching ceremony -- perhaps someone was injured while supports were being removed or maybe the ship wouldn't budge when it was ready to sail -- it was usually perceived as a bad sign. In some cases, if anyone attending the ceremony refused to drink a toast to the launch, even that was considered a bad omen.

8. WALK WITH THE ANIMALS: The presence, or lack thereof, of animals on and around a vessel was another common maritime superstition. A whole host of traditions focused on the actions of hapless animals. Rabbits crossing a fisherman's path could be a sign that no fish would be caught, but if the bunny was simply sitting beside the trail or happened to head towards the shore, that was no big deal.

Cats (with the possible exception of black cats) could be considered unlucky to have aboard a ship, but departing rats were often an even worse sign. Dogs weren't popular on some boats, especially near the nets or tackle, but spiders could herald a safe voyage -- but only if a little rhyme was spoken to them. Albatrosses were a good omen, and many other bird species were either favored or shunned by paranoid sailors. Sometimes even saying the name of an animal was considered bad luck. Four-legged animals were one example, although the list of forbidden words on some ships didn't stop there.

7. DO'S and DON'TS: If you think censoring a few words would be a chore, sailors throughout the ages have placed taboos on lots more commonplace -- and less easy to avoid -- actions. Sneezing probably topped the list, but should someone suffer any inopportune nasal activity, saluting could help avert the negative juju.

Some sailors thought arguing was an unlucky act, while others favored it before a voyage -- and did everything they could to encourage a good quarrel. Boarding or disembarking from a ship with the left foot in the lead was sometimes considered inauspicious, and we won't even try to untangle all the rules concerning a fisherman's catch and the sale thereof.

In certain cases sailors avoided carrying salt in their pockets, but in others they made use of the mineral to bring good luck. Some sailors even considered an overturned salt cellar one of the seemingly endless accidents that foretold a shipwreck.

6. SCHEDULING TO SET SAIL: A number of dates throughout the year have been deemed unlucky times to undertake a voyage, but all Fridays are on the list. Some religious holidays and the days surrounding them were thought of as good days to set sail and work, but others were viewed as awful choices and seamen would simply refuse to sail.

Sunday is usually considered a good day to set off, but the deep-rooted superstition that surrounds a Friday launch is renowned. Even if inconvenient, sailors throughout history and around the world have regularly put off a cruise to set sail on a less ill-fated day. Legend has it that Fridays herald disaster -- it's a day when boats are uncommonly prone to shipwrecks and other calamities if they had an unlucky launch.

5. CHARMED, I'M SURE: Sailors might have feared the wrath of the gods when they set sail, but that didn't mean they intended to brave stormy seas without a couple of charms for good luck. Crosses, rosaries and other holy paraphernalia were common, and charms were often blessed by priests.

Animal charms were also frequently seen. Fox tails, eagle beaks, wren feathers, seal skin and shark teeth were among the many zoological odds and ends that sailors used to boost their luck. Other charms included engraved amulets, coral and seashells.

Perhaps one of the oddest ways to ensure good luck was to carry a caul -- the part of the amniotic sac of a newborn (that in rare instances covers the face after birth like a veil). This tradition was popular for centuries. Cauls could be preserved and were supposed to provide protection from drowning and shipwrecks, making them trendy among sailors.

4. LEAVE THE LADIES ON LAND: Women just can't win. Their presence on a ship -- unless they're made of wood, bare-chested and attached to the prow -- was typically thought to be a dire situation indeed.

But even from land, some women (deemed "witches") were thought to have the power to raise the winds into a tempest using a number of interesting techniques. Tossing a stone over the left shoulder, chucking some sand into the air, swirling water in a hole, getting a piece of cloth wet and whacking it against a stone: these were all allegedly tried-and-true storm-raising methods of which superstitious sailors frequently ran afoul.

Satan helped fuel the seamen's mistrust of the fairer sex, of course, and his affinity toward women was another reason they weren't wanted on ships even in fair weather

3. DEALING WITH THE DEAD: The job of a sailor is filled with dangers even now, but back in the day, things were much more uncertain. No GPS navigation, no storm-tracking radar systems, no life jackets; about the only guarantee was that things wouldn't be dull. Due to this state of affairs, there were often dead bodies that had to be dealt with -- especially since drowning men were rarely aided -- and this was a part of the job that was universally abhorred.

Dead bodies meant all sorts of unlucky things. A storm could be brewing or there could be a haunting in the works. Touching the deceased's possessions might cause them to seek out the survivor for vengeance or mean they would be destined to perish in the same way. Drowned sailors were often rumored to cause trouble for their former shipmates, and woe to anyone who heard from or saw them again.

2. YES, WE HAVE NO BANANAS: Bananas are reviled by sailors, although the exact origin of this particular superstition isn't quite clear. There are several possibilities: methane gas from rotting bananas can be toxic, poisonous spiders and other bugs can be hitching a ride, or the peels can cause careless crew members to slip and fall. Whatever the exact reason, many ships still prohibit bringing bananas onboard today.

Whether bananas themselves are responsible for tragedy on the high seas is not really the question -- they are still considered very bad luck, especially around Hawaii. Banana bread and other foods are often off-limits too -- and you might even have your sunscreen taken away from you, depending on the skipper.

Some boats go so far as to ban the use of Banana Boat brand suntan lotion or other banana-named items on their vessels.

1. STORMY SKIES: The churning waters, lashing winds and blinding rain of a bad gale can be a sailor's worst nightmare, so many superstitions center around stormy skies. Witches and corpses aside, whistling is also not allowed on many boats -- it might have the power to call up a storm. Sailors have also blamed storms on angry gods, meddlesome spirits and a whole host of other supernatural troublemakers.

To help ward off the various dangers of the seas, sailors have developed a number of superstitious systems. Hitting swords together in the shape of a cross can do the trick against waterspouts, as can a black-handled knife and the Gospel of St. John, or clanging drums and gongs.

A ring around the moon is often thought to portend approaching rains, while a rising moon during a storm means the skies will soon clear. If a partial moon is tipped downward, rain is also on the way, with the reverse suggesting fair weather ahead. But whichever way you flip it, the superstitious nature of sailors is unparalleled.

Good Luck to the Men Crabbing the Bering Sea!

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Monday, April 13, 2009

The escape of romance books

Happy Easter or Passover or whatever traditions/ religions you follow. Here's to the second chances and new beginnings this time of year brings.

Got home this morning just in time to blog over at TRSBLUE on a great article in the NYTIMES on April 7th... Recession Fuels Readers Escapist Urges

My Mother-in-law showed it to me during our annual family gathering in Cape May NJ. Basically, Romance sales (paperback and ebooks) are up during this economical slump. And like Gone with the Wind being popular during the Great Depression I think its because people need a place to escape their world and experience a Happily Ever After or the promise of one. Not to mention romance readers are the best and would rather cut back in other places than give up their books.

Here's to conquering all and dreamy sighs

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Worthy of a fight

Whew! Been absent for awhile again! It’s been a stressful time for both Rissa and myself. But hopefully things have moved past the worst for both of us.

Many of you may not know but my third child has severe Cerebral Palsy. He is currently in our town’s special needs program. It’s a great program for kids with Down’s Syndrome, some degrees of Autism, even mild CP. But they do not have the facilities nor the staff trained for meeting a severely handicapped child’s needs. We have been fighting for years to have him moved to a specialized school. Because of his age, this September he was promoted to the area Junior High. They were even less equipped to help him than the elementary school but the powers that be insisted we keep him in their system. We did but also started working with an advocate. We couldn’t just sit back and watch as he wasted his time there.

We didn’t know if going to a school with better physical therapy facilities, adapted augmentative communication devices and posturing and mobility equipment would help. Or if he was taught by people trained in Cerebral Palsy therapies would help him learn to use them or make any difference to his development. But how could we let him continue to be denied the chance?

His IEP review was the beginning of March. So during January and February, we began our usual meetings with his speech, physical and occupational therapists, His doctors, his special needs teacher, child psychologists and social worker. Along with that, we spent time researching specialized schools and we talked to our special needs advocate. She helped us word our request to remove him from local school system in a way that would be received in a favorable light. Then we waited.

I am tired, drained from all the time and stress this has put us through. But I wouldn’t have stopped this fight no matter how insane and frustrated it made me. I’m his mother. And as his parents we are the only ones that can fight for him. All you can do is hope and pray each action you take is what’s best for him. Hoping he will get at least one break in his favor in this life. On March 17th, two weeks after all the reports and letters were filed and his IEP Review submitted, the luck of the Irish smiled on us and we received a call from his case worker… Timmy will be attending an out of District school specializing in Cerebral Palsy in September. So *caddyshack gopher dance* for us.

To continue the positive notes… We are getting ready to attend RT. I have a Kindle!!!! It was a B-day Present from daddy. Hubby took me to see the Chieftains in Concert!!! And the kidlets got me the Scarecrow from the Barbie Pink label Wizard of Oz collection, now I have the whole set… I pleasantly suffered through the “if I only had a brain” jokes. Did I ever mention I am and have raised sarcastic people? LOL
Oh and we have joined the ranks of Twitter, anyone out there on it come Follow us and we will follow you *g*

May all your battles be worth the fight and end in happy victories,