Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 24 and 21. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ANOTHER Giveaway from DCKids and Warner Bros!

Hey Snarklings, got another giveaway for you from the folks at DC Kids! These folks are awesome and are always giving something away. This time around you could win 1 of 5 amazing gift sets from Warner Bros. including Teen Titans Go Action Figures & T-Tower Set, a Batman Unlimited Action Figure, DC Super Friends Gift Set and Batmobile! Sound good? YES!

Now you can create your own ultimate super hero with a fun name, look, powers and more! Also check out some amazing new videos from Warner Bros, including favorites like Scooby Doo and Batman Unlimited. 

There will be many more updates over the next year so be sure to subscribe to their channels here:

DCKids Channel

WBKids Channel

Now how about that giveaway??  It's a Rafflecopter giveaway so check out the requirements below and get to entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway And then check out these cool videos:

*Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An open letter to football broadcasters...

Dear Sports Broadcasters at NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2, The Ocho, ETC.....

Why don't you show marching bands performing at halftime during your football broadcast?

Let me break it down for you: According to the NCAA Division 1 Wiki page, there are about 85 team members on an average college football team. In contrast, in some colleges and universities there are 4 times that many marching band members. I'm not good at math but that's a lot of potential eyes.

You folks show play after play when the ball is on the field. You show the play, you show the replay, you show the replay from the 35 different camera angles you have. But at halftime, you don't show the marching band. Why??

My girl. I bought the pic.

As a parent of a member of the Pride of West Virginia Mountaineer Marching Band I'm really quite annoyed at you. You see, last Sunday, my daughter along with the other 300+ members of the Pride traveled to Pittsburgh to perform their pregame and halftime show for the Steelers home opener against the San Francisco 49ers. The Steelers game was not televised in my area (only the Redskins game was televised, every other sports channel had water polo or some other 'sport'). I was struggling to find the Steelers game online and finally came across a shady and suspicious site that was live streaming the game, and I'm sure my computer is now infected with about 5 dozen viruses. And for what? You didn't even bother to MENTION that the band was performing. For those kids, it was the chance of a lifetime performing at Heinz Field. But for you, it meant nothing.

My daughter's old high school band director has some souped up Sunday NFL package where he gets to see every second of every Sunday football game and he, too, was watching the Steelers game, looking for the WVU band. But alas, they showed no band. Oh wait, I'm lying. He DID tell me that they showed the band for about 3 seconds but there was no sound. Only the endless droning of the football commentators rehashing what we may have missed in the first half.

Look, if I'm watching a football game, I'M WATCHING IT WITH MY EYES OPEN. You DO NOT have to tell me what happened in the first half. I was sitting right there watching it. I saw it, I'm not an idiot. Sometimes I'm even drinking and I STILL remember what I saw. It's crazy but I really don't want to watch highlights of plays I JUST SAW. I WANT TO SEE THE BAND.

Let me get back to those numbers I mentioned at the beginning of this rant letter. Imagine, for a moment, how high your ratings would be if you just showed the marching band's halftime performance! 300 band kids out there, with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, associates, band directors, and we ALL WANT TO SEE OUR KIDS ON THE FIELD. That's literally tens of thousands of eyes on your broadcast, waiting patiently to watch our kids.

I promise you, I am not taking anything away from the football players. I love football players, I wrote about one here. But the band members work their asses off every single day to perfect their music, their show, they bring so much joy and entertainment to so many people. It's just a shame that this entertainment isn't ever shown on your broadcast. I'm not just talking about pro football, I'm talking about ALL football broadcasts. Let's show some respect to the band programs out there and get some cameras on these young men and women!

Yours truly,

Friday, September 18, 2015

Real Heroes

UPDATING!!!! In honor of Sid preparing to run his 200th Full Marathon tomorrow, I'm reposting this because he's awesome....

Remember a few months back when I posted about how Hollywood is making stupid people famous for doing absolutely NOTHING? The post, Real Stars vs. Fake Stars was written about my friend Holly. Lots of you had lots of really nice things to say. I like writing posts like that, where attention is brought to someone who does good things for others, as opposed to doing nothing worthwhile for anyone but themselves.

Today I'm writing about a guy who is amazing, who does amazing things and seeks nothing in return. No glory, no press, no accolades. He does what he does simply because he wants to.

His name is Sid Busch. Sid is a runner, a marathoner, and to me, a hell of a guy. See, Sid doesn't just run half marathons and full marathons because he likes the bling. Now, I'll admit, the bling is cool. But Sid doesn't keep the bling for himself. Crazy, right? No, here's what Sid does. He runs in memory of a soldier or sailor who has been killed in action. He usually carries with him a picture of the person for whom he's running. And he carries an American flag for the entire race. When he crosses the finish line, he receives the medal for the race. But he doesn't keep the medal, instead he presents the medal to the fallen soldier or sailor's family. They sometimes travel to Arlington and place the medal on the soldier's headstone. This is one of the most selfless, compassionate things I've ever heard of.

Sid has run 199 FULL marathons. That's 5214 miles. Let that sit in your brain for a few minutes. That's the equivalent of running in a straight line from Atlantic City to San Francisco and back again. Mind = blown.

Photo courtesy: Robin Schmitt
I've run several half marathons with Sid, like the Marine Corps Historic Half and the Frederick Nut Job. And each time I run, I look forward to seeing Sid and giving him a high five or a fist bump. I've become Facebook friends with Sid and visit his Where's Sid? Facebook page each week to see what his next race will be. I sent him a message last week asking if he'd mind if I wrote about him on the old Snarkfest blog and he graciously agreed.

I asked. Sid answered.

Me: Where were you born?

Sid:  I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.

Me: You were in the Navy right?

Sid: I served in the Navy for 26 years. I was a Senior Chief Sonar Tech on subs.

Me: What kind of work do you do now? How do they feel about what you do? Are they flexible with your race schedule?

Sid: I work nights 4 days a week. I drive a truck for the Post and Courier and deliver the newspapers to the carriers so they can sort and deliver them. It's flexible so I can attend my races.

Me: Do you just run races in the eastern part of the country? How far have you traveled for races?

Sid: I drive now to races, saves money, and I can pack more than with flying. I have run all over the world. Furthest was ROTA RUA NEW ZEALAND

Photo courtesy: Keri Jacobs
Me: Do you have a favorite race to run?

Sid: I have a list of 5 favorites (including ties)

          Air Force and Marine Corps Marathons
          New York Marathon
          Baltimore Marathon
          Little Rock Marathon
          Disney World Marathon

Me: Do you remember your first marathon? Do you still have your first medal?

Sid: My first marathon was at the Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, GA. It was 2 loops of the base. The medal was lost when I transferred.

         (editors note: I would LOVE to find out if it's possible to find the medal for this race!!!)

Me:  What's the reason that you do what you do?

Sid: WOW, this is a hard question. I do what I do because I have to do something more than pay lip service to those young men who have given the ultimate sacrifice to let me live in a free country. I want their families to know that their loss has not gone unnoticed.  I also do this to ease my guilt that I got too old to serve.

Photo courtesy: Sid's Facebook page
Me: What are the reactions you get from the families of those for whom you run?

Sid: The response is amazing. I have been adopted by these families, and have been treated like a member of the family.

I want to say 'Thank you' to Sid for taking the time to answer my questions, for allowing me to introduce him to you all and for doing what he does for those who can no longer run. Sid's not looking for attention, or praise. He's just a good guy doing his thing his way. And I'm proud to know him.

Photo courtesy: Sid's Facebook page

Thanks Sid, and for crying out loud, stay hydrated!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Boxtops and Breakdowns...

This morning started off like every other morning does. I woke 15 up for school, I made coffee, I woke her up again, I drank the coffee, I woke her up again. Status quo. When I emptied the coffee grounds into the garbage, then took the garbage out to the garage, I found a Boxtop. For those of you who don't have kids in the school system, Boxtops are those little square things on cereal boxes, tissues and other packaging that are worth a dime to your school. I've been cutting them off of Cheerios since 18 was 5. It's almost like my brain is programmed to do so. I collect them and send them to school so that school can make money.

Let me be clear: only elementary and middle schools in our area participate in the Boxtops for Education program. My kids are in college and high school. Yet, still I cut them. Still I save them. I'd hate for a school to lose a dime. When I get enough of these Boxtops I give them to my neighbor who still has a child in middle school.

Let's get back to me in my garage. I saw a Boxtop on the floor. I bent over and picked it up. It was covered in garage goo, so I brought it into the kitchen and I RAN IT UNDER WATER TO RINSE IT OFF. I rinsed off a piece of cardboard so a school would not lose a dime. I have officially lost my mind.

In the past 2 weeks I have run the gamut of emotions. I saw 18 (yes, she's 18 now) for the first time in a month and I didn't think I'd ever stop crying. When I got to spend 4 minutes with her during her break from marching in the WVU football game with the Pride of West Virginia Marching Band, I could not stop touching her. I rubbed her back, I stroked her hair, I kept my arm around her. It was like, if I stopped touching her, it wouldn't be real, she wouldn't really be there. God I missed her.

If seeing her for the first time was the ultimate in joy, saying goodbye to her just a few short hours later was the ultimate sadness. And seeing her sister have to say goodbye to her all over again broke my heart into tiny little pieces.

I saw my mom recently and spent a weekend with her. She broke her arm at the beginning of the summer and I spent a week with her then. This time it was good to see her again under better circumstances. When I saw her this time, she and I discussed her living situation and how concerned my brother and I were that she is so vulnerable in her apartment. She's 77, living alone in a senior citizens high rise apartment building. Many of her friends are gone and we are concerned about her, God forbid, tripping in the apartment and no one knowing that she needs help. So we discussed the possibility of moving her to an assisted living facility. I explained to her that she would still have her freedom, but that there would be someone there to check in on her. It's one thing for me to call her everyday to say hi and chat, but I'm 4 hours away. I am of no help if, God forbid, she falls in the tub. She seemed receptive to the idea and agreed that when the time felt right to her, she would let us know.

Then I began the search for affordable assisted living facilities, and guess what! THEY DON'T EXIST. I'm looking at places in Philly because she wants to be closer to my brother and her own brother. $3500 for a studio apartment in an assisted living facility. $1800 if she wants to share a semi-private room

As I drove to 15's volleyball game last night with a car full of snacks for the team, I chatted with mom. We discussed the unbelievably ridiculous cost of taking care of a senior citizen who wants to remain independent. We discussed my commitment to my children and my family. She told me that I needed to slow down and stop trying to be all things to all people. And I cried. I cried because as much as I say I'm fine, I've got this, I can handle it, I'm lying. I really don't have this. I really can't handle it. I want my mom to be safe, I want the best for my kids, but I need to realize that I am NOT solely responsible for everything and everyone. I need to learn how to say the word "NO" and mean it.

I washed off a Boxtop this morning and realized that I've lost my sense of me. The Boxtop doesn't matter. I'm gone. Put my picture on a carton of milk, or better yet, on a wine bottle. I need to stop worrying about Boxtops. I need to stop worrying if I've got enough snacks for everyone on the volleyball team (including the managers!), I need to take a step back and remember that I'm a very important piece of this puzzle, and if I don't take care of myself, everything else falls apart. I'm going to take a step back and let someone else do the legwork. Let someone else do the worrying for a little while.

And I'm not going to feel guilty if a Boxtop goes un-redeemed. In the big scheme of things, there are so many other things that are much more important than a dirty Boxtop.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Another GIVEAWAY from Scooby-Doo and LEGO? No way!!

Good morning, Snarklings! Got a link to some cool videos and a GIVEAWAY for you guys today! How about that? What more could you ask for on this cool, crisp late summer Monday?

First, check out these amazing Scooby-Doo stop motion videos created using the brand new LEGO Scooby-Doo sets!  New videos will be uploaded weekly, so be sure to visit Scooby-Doo.com and subscribe to the WB Kids YouTube channel.

For the Giveaway, just enter to win using the rafflecopter widget below, it's THAT EASY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's Really 10 Months: Special Delivery

Hey Snarklings, I'm in a new anthology that was released yesterday, and I could NOT be anymore excited about it, even if Mike Rowe showed up at my house wearing nothing but a smile. THAT'S how excited I am!

This book is available right now. You can download it or buy a hard copy but whatever you do, however you get it, you need to GET. IT. Seriously, I have literally been laughing out loud at the stores I've read. Here are a few excerpts from the book to give you a taste of what's to come.

And here's mine:

We are so proud of this book and I want to shout about it from the rooftops. However, my HOA has strict rules about that, so I'll just write  about it instead. Purchase your copy today! If you want a personalized copy, I've got 'em!! Just email me at terib19 @ gmail .com