Monthly Archive:: November 2013

7 Questions with Linzbella

Presenting our first interview on ParentsforOpie, with the lovely Linzbella!!! I first heard about Linz when she called into the Opie and Anthony Show about the Boston Marathon bombing. She knew one of the victims personally and defended him while Alex Jones spewed his conspiracy bullshit. Girl can hold her own! Well then we got to know her on twitter and the rest is history. We got a chance to ask her a few questions about O&A and parenting. 

Enjoy!!

Moms

How were you introduced to O&A?

I started off, back in / around 2005, listening to Howard Stern. One day, in 06? I heard him bitching about these guys named Opie and Anthony, so I decided to check them out. Haven’t left since… and I now despise Howard Stern. Not to mention, their show is the perfect combination of funny and serious, and they actually have really great content. it’s hard for me to get to work in the morning, because I never want to turn them off.

Besides health and happiness, if you could wish one thing for each of your kids, what would it be?

That they always remember to show kindness to others, do what they can to be upstanding people in society, and to remain passionate about life and the things they enjoy doing. (provided they are not illegal. 🙂 )

What is the biggest challenge for you in parenthood?

For me, the hardest part about being a parent is balancing everything. While multi-tasking is part of being a mom, it is so hard to equally divide your time / attention to all three children. I’d also say that many times, I am overly critical of myself; constantly worried that I am being too lenient, or other times, too harsh.

Bullies. How do you deal with bullies yourself? and what
would you advise a parent to do if their kids are being bullied?

Bullying is THE ONE THING I cannot stand. I was bullied throughout my middle- high school years, and it is an extremely sore spot for me. The way I deal with bullies, is typically, I try to talk it out with them. Sometimes, you cannot reason with them, but many times, the ones that keep talking, say more about themselves as a person, than it does about you. I try to remember, depending on the forum, that many times, these people know nothing about me, so their opinion of me does not matter. Typically, I’m a fighter; I stand up for what I believe in, and I never let anyone push me around. I’m better in real life confrontations than I am on Twitter though.
As a parent if my kids are being bullied, depending on the severity of the situation, I try to let the kids work it out on their own. Generally, I’ll give my kids advice, and if it escalates after that, I would try to contact the school or the bullies’ parent and discuss the issue. I haven’t had any of my children be bullied, (thank god).

Being O&A listeners I know many of us have the sense of humor and don’t take things too seriously when it comes to radio entertainment, but are there any hot buttons that would make you change the channel?

You know, this is a great question… So far, I haven’t heard anything on O&A that has made me want to change the channel. Things have made me mad, but generally, that makes me want to listen more. I would have to say the one thing that I cannot stand, is a boring show. When they have these snoozefests on, I don’t mind turning it off, because I feel like I’m not missing much.

What is your favorite O&A bit?

Anything with Jim Norton, and his “personalities” they all make me laugh, Chippa’s my fave.. And back in the day, when they used to have homeless people on the show. Always made me laugh. Oh!! and Lady Di tweeting out her phone number was probably the best thing I have heard this year; aside from my fight with Alex Jones. 🙂

What is your superpower?

I am really good at fixing other people’s mistakes, and good at giving relationship advice. 🙂

Thanks Linz for sharing with us, and I hope you guys check out her out on Twitter.  Check out a great interview she did on the @ItsAllAbout podcast here

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Hoopla

It’s here! It’s here!  The day that some people can’t wait for.. Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Episode!  I’m a fan, but not a super fan like some people.  I love David Tennant, so I’m pretty psyched to see it from what has been shown in the trailers.  

Here’s a few things to check out today, if you have an interest in all things #doctorWho:

BBC America- at 2:50pm Eastern Time- simulcast- Also at 7PM tonight (Nov 23).  Check out the BBC America schedule here

Morelikeradio.com- #DoctorWho50thAnniversary Show with @erockradio at 1pm today – link here 

Check out the awesome BBC Doctor Who Timeline here

Play the google doodle Doctor Who game here

Follow Doctor Who Fan @erockradio here

Some cool pictures from the filming of the 50th are in this Latimes article

Check out one of the doctor’s biggest fans, Jeremiah McDonald, who is the maker of many great viral videos including “Conversation with my 12 year old self”. This is what Steven Moffat tweeted about that great vid:

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 He will have his tribute to Doctor Who, via youtube.  I’m excited about it he does some really excellent work.

Here is a preview.

Will update when he posts the finished product!!! 
UPDATE:
It’s here!!!


Great job, well done Jeremiah!

Do you have something to add?  Add to our comments below!!! 

The Curse of Facebook

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In 2013, most people I know are on Facebook. There are 500 million accounts, along with 500 million jokes people make about being on Facebook. I joined to keep in touch with my family, near and far; kind of like my own personal newsletter. I get to observe and communicate with people I’ve met through mutual interests.

 

With that being said, I think Facebook is a curse. I think the majority of people cannot understand how electronic communication works. They don’t understand that reading comments or status updates which doesn’t reveal tone or cadence of voice, you don’t hear the chuckle in someone’s voice, and God forbid someone doesn’t type ‘lol’, could be cause for offense.

 

People have fallen out of the habit of letter writing in general. They don’t sit down at a desk with a fresh piece of paper and pour out their daily lives to someone who may not read it until several days later.  They don’t know how to communicate effectively to another person using just their words; to explain e their feelings and thoughts in a clear and concise manner.

 

Not that everyone has to be Hemingway, but even when speaking to each other I’m sure one of us has heard at a family gathering ‘what did you mean by that?” said in an angry voice.

These are same people who are your friends on Facebook. Some people have a habit of taking the worse possible meaning of a saying or phrase and making it more than it ever was intended to be. Unfriending someone has become the modern day ‘cut direct.’ We have taken status updates and off-handed comments and blown them up to epic proportions.

 

I have recently had some experience with this. An offhanded joke was taken ‘personally’ causing major problems between at least 3 family members. Over a bad joke! Now everyone is in an uproar.

Wonderful!

My only contradiction is that I communicate better through the written word. I find myself flustered in confrontation and I am always finding ‘the point I was trying to make’ 30 minutes after the fight is over.  I often write out my feelings in order to give them some semblance of order, and then read them back when my anger has cooled. I find that sometimes my anger colors my judgment and causes me to overreact (shocking huh?)

I guess the real point of this rambling is, in order to ‘understand and communicate’ effectively electronically, is to remember the following things…

Consider whose comments you are reading. My brothers have a bit of a dry sense of humor which can come off as ‘biting.’ I take that into account when reading anything they write.

Taking ‘vague status updates’ personally. Don’t assume their entire world revolves around you. Vague statuses are more about getting attention that might lead to venting. It’s like people who complain really loud waiting for someone to ask them ‘Ohh what’s wrong?’

Don’t assume the worse. Grandma taught you that rhyme right? Ass of you and me.

Don’t place importance of how many likes you get on a picture or an update. It has no direct bearing on whether or not you are loved by that person.

Facebook is where people show you their ‘highlights’ not their actual life. Don’t allow comparison to how good it looks like someone else has it to your life. Comparison is the thief of joy. Things are never as great as they seem.

And last but certainly not least, if someone is a clear cut nuisance, hide or unfriend without fuss. You don’t need a PR announcement. Just click and be happy.

 

Cheers

QE

From Satellite to Podcasting? *speculate* *speculate*

If you happened to hear today’s show, you might have heard the boys agree that they should leave SiriusXM next year. Yeah, I guess they’ve mentioned it in passing before, but it’s a running theme, and the frustration is palpable. Lucky for SiriusXM the boys are still steamed, because when criticism stops, that’s when people stop caring. (One of the gems I picked up from famous lecturer, Randy Pausch:

“He said, when you’re screwing up and nobody’s saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up. And that’s a lesson that stuck with me my whole life. Is that when you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care.”

As a listener, I really could care less where the boys broadcast as long as I have the ability to hear them on my headphones while I’m doing laundry and ironing handkerchiefs.. Ok, that ironing hankerchiefs is a bit of exaggeration, or more of a traumatic flashback to my childhood.

So as fans, what should we do? Apparently it doesn’t matter how much we complain Sirius keeps doing what they want to do, being the monopoly in the “satellite radio” industry with an app that continues to frustrate us. Well, guess what? we don’t need no stinking satellites! Have you checked out your “real” competition? Podcasts are springing up left and right, and apps like “Tune In”, are giving us the ability to listen live, call in just like the professionals. Ok, I know I’m writing this like a 6 year old, and the technology is much more complex. But what do I need to know as a listener? I download my “tune in app”, “my podcasts app”, I search my shows, and boom *stated in Bob Kelly voice* I can listen to whatever I want. Don’t forget about Paltalk, and Ustream, and all kinds of nifty places you can go to…

Never fear, O&A, we will find you wherever you may go. You sucked me in year 2005 and I haven’t left (well except for the real life that interrupts my listening and only for a few minutes when Jim gets extraordinarily angry or Anthony is berating someone about guns/race for an hour). Listener loyalty has never been higher for a radio show. (I’m a little biased here, kinda like “only in NJ” propaganda but I’ll pretend it’s real)

I hope this reaches some of the casual listeners too, because I hope to use this blog to let you know what’s up, and where you can find these degenerates as Jim so lovingly calls the talent.

What you can do:

Follow Opie and Anthony Show on twitter @OandAshow.
Subscribe to their podcast on Itunes.
Write to SiriusXM. Oh wait that’s a waste of time and paper.

If you have any other creative ideas, feel free to comment below.

@momsforopie

A Homeschooling Pest

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Some of you may have noticed (but probably not) I have not been posting much here on Parents for Opie. Nothing personal, I am just working on my other blog. (Please give me some clicks!) Between that and homeschooling my kids I don’t have much time to be witty and bitchy about my life. Trust me tho, I am. You should see the texts to my husband. I guess the main reason I have not been posting because it would just feel phony to me. When Moms posted her back to school post, I figured I should probably write something more parent related than my dumb movie reviews. Opie has been talking a lot about the bullshit parents have to deal with in school. To put it bluntly, my solution to dealing with the school was to avoiding it all together. We homeschool. I don’t have to deal with teachers, other kids, other parents, homework, bullying, school lunches, school cutbacks, and any of the other 1000 things public school kids have to deal with.

That being said, I thought I would fill all you lovely people in our reasons for homeschooling. And to reassure you that I have not, in fact, fallen off the face of the earth. Just busy as fuck and trying not to lose my mind.

I will be the first to admit that I NEVER thought I would be homeschooling my kids. I used to dream about the day both of my kids would be in school. My oldest in kindergarten and my youngest in 3K. A silent house for 3 hours?! Imagine the possibilities!!!! So where did we get this crazy idea? Believe it or not, I got the inspiration from Jim Breuer.  Jim has three daughters and was talking about his preference to homeschool on one of his appearances O and A. I had never thought of homeschooling and he shed a whole new light on it. I studied education in college so I wasn’t ever worried about teaching my children. I was more concerned about social activities because my husband and I are very introverted and don’t know a lot whole of people with kids our age. However, the stereotype of the unsocialized, strange, odd-looking homeschooled kid is gone. To paraphrase Breuer “You don’t lock ’em in a closet.” Kids are constantly around people and there are plenty of opportunities for social activities through your communities Parks and Recreation Department. He made several other great arguments for homeschooling: buying curriculums online, tutors for difficult subjects, no lice, the “need” for cell phones, boys.

Then one of the producers on the show, Danny. You remember Danny right? I miss Danny. Do you miss Danny? Cause I miss Danny. Sigh. I miss Troy too. Anyway, Danny brought up the fact that being in school doesn’t necessarily teach you social skills. The gist of his argument was you go through your school years with a certain amount of kids. For the most part, you are friends with the same kids and don’t really branch out. Basically you really aren’t learning to socialize with anyone new. This was my “aha” moment. I graduated in a class of 65 or so. I was friends with the same kids for most of my life. If anything, school made me more socially awkward.

My husband and I listened to the show (at different times) and had a lot to discuss afterwards. I can still remember texting with him as I was listening. Realizing the social aspect of school wasn’t entirely valid, we realized we didn’t need to send our kids to school just because we were supposed to. We came up with a whole laundry list of reasons why homeschooling would be a good fit for our family.  Here are our 10 main reasons on why we decided to homeschool our kids.

1. Age – My oldest makes the birthday cut off by 4 days. She would either one of the oldest or one of the youngest in her class. Both of which are not entirely good or entirely bad. Which leads us to the next reason.

2. Size/Birth Order – She is TINY and will most likely be that way forever. I mean she is practically imp size. Sorry kid. The Norwegian genes did you no good. My youngest daughter will mostly likely be tall. They get mistaken for twins all the time but at some point Lilly is gonna be taller than her older sister. I can only imagine the annoyance/jealousy this will cause once they get older. Plus they are 18 months apart but would be 2 grades apart.

3. Quality Time – Maryann is a total papa’s girl and once she attends school full-time she will hardly seem him. He works long hours and she would be sleeping by the time he got home in the evening so she could get up at the butt crack of dawn to get to school. She wouldn’t get quality time in the morning because we would be rushing her off to school. For example, one morning this summer, my husband was in the back yard for some reason or another and, naturally, the girls followed him. One of them found a caterpillar walking along our hose. They probably had 10-15 minutes of father-daughter time just observing the caterpillar. It may seem petty or simple but it’s those small moments that are important to us. As Breuer said “spend valuable time talking about real life.”

4. Money – We wouldn’t be able to afford the nice clothes and other things that kids feel they need nowadays. We are very blessed to have an incredible generous family but we can’t assume grandma will buy Lilly a new “Whateverthefuck” tech gadget or name brand jeans or purse she needs to fit in. Homeschooling allows us the opportunity to have less focus on material things and fitting in. And no we are not hippies. Just poor biker trash 🙂

5. Sleep – Today kids are not able to get the proper amount of sleep due to extracurricular activities and homework bullshit. Really,  do first graders need homework? Can’t kids just be fucking kids. Anyway, rushing through our morning routine with crabby children is not the way we want to spend 9 months out of the year.

6. Losing – It seems like today “everybody gets a trophy.” Kids don’t know what it means to lose because they never have lost! I’m not talking full contact football at 2 years old, but for God’s sake can we at least keep score at the 5 year olds soccer games. Teaching kids about winning and losing is teaching them life is not perfect. Life is hard and you need to learn how to pick yourself back up.

7. Individualization – We would like our children’s education to be customized around their strengths and weaknesses. Rather than them sitting in a classroom that is “teaching to the middle” just so they can simply pass a test.

8. Safety – After the tragedy at Newtown Elementary School, I knew I didn’t want my children to go to public school. It was a little too close to home. It may seem overly protective but several schools in our area went into lockdown for threats of some sort. I used to believe the threat of school violence was small, now I’m not so sure.

9. Values and Goals – Our values and goals for our children are simply different from what the public schools can offer our children. We want our kids to learn about art, music, food, nature, and self-reliance. I want us to teach them real life skills like how to do a mortgage or how to fix a toilet. And ultimately helping them learn about their true passion in life.

10. Happiness – We truly believe homeschooling done right is the best thing for our kids because we will get to spend more time together and get to learn together. It seems like as soon as kids get interesting we ship them off to school and we never see them again. We want to be our children’s teachers and educate them about life. “Kids will tell you what they want to learn. They want to learn, just not bullshit.” Jim Breuer

There you have it! Our 10 reasons for homeschooling. Homeschooling is of course not for everyone, but I would strongly urge anyone who is thinking about it to give it a shot! I have not had to wipe one fucking nose this fall. It’s god damn amazing. No fund raisers. No food allergies. No bullying speeches. We are all in on this homeschooling thing. How do you deal with the public schools? Have you ever wanted to say fuck it! and homeschool your kids?