Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Prepare To Be Amazed

Inane.  I hate inane.
I hate inane so much that I find myself assigning meaning to conversations that are actually just "small talk", a concept which I haven't been able to wrap my head around in all of my 43 years on this planet.
Inane is when Super Smarm is telling Mini Smarm how "the wife" drives the Lexus, and he has the Mercedes.  Nobody actually gives a shit about this, and I think we can all agree that Super Smarm is just car name-dropping because he thinks that it matters.  And yet, he has an audience for this drivel.
Meanwhile, I don't even know what YEAR my car is.  Or how many miles it has on it.  However, I do know that it needs an oil change, and that it is being a very, very good sport, despite the neglect.
Inane is when Carrot Chomp guy and Office Dipshit spend 20 minutes discussing their "dress watches" and how they are having the hardest time keeping them working, what with having to send them off for costly repairs.
I'm more of a disposable watch kind of person, myself.  And once the battery wears out, the watch goes in a drawer of other watches that I thought were cool at the time I purchased them.  I actually haven't worn a watch in a couple of months, because it was summer, and hey, the livin' was easy.  Wonder where I put the last one that worked?
Inane is Carrot Chomp boy continuing his really, really deep conversation with Office Dipshit by describing driving over the crest of Thompson Hill and seeing Lake Superior spread out before him, as if this was a view he personally discovered, that nobody else could ever appreciate quite as much as he.  It should be noted that he didn't actually know the name of the hill, but, he discovered it, damn it!  It should also be noted that he's probably never been inspired, after a long weekend of business elsewhere, to follow that feeling of awe and happiness and just keep driving from Thompson Hill down to the beach, then walk right into the water, business attire and all.
Inane is....mostly, people applying importance where there really isn't any.  You have a nice car, you have a nice what?  What are you doing with the rest of your life?  Just working to maintain them?  What a waste.  In his brilliant, brilliant book, Life 101, Peter McWilliams talked about that silent killer...maintenance.  Or rather, "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want".  You just don't have the time.  Sure, you can hire someone to clean your apartment, or fix your watch, or take your car in to get the oil changed (Please?)  You work hard, you have the money--go for it.  But you can't hire someone to hang out with your friends, or roll up their pants leg and walk into Lake Superior for you.
I'm sometimes saddened at what I see...people who are otherwise successful, who seem so closed off and fearful--afraid to experience REAL emotion, REAL happiness, or gut-wrench sadness.  With all that they accomplish, they're afraid to "put themselves out there".  What if it hurts?  Or worse, what if it's really, really great and instead of enjoying yourself, you spend all your time thinking about how hard you're going to land when it all goes to hell?
Sadly, any time I think that I am being fearful, I need only look around me to see that I'm a fairly liberated individual--so many others are crippled, from my friend who can't light a cigarette without making sure that the Marlboro insignia is facing upward, to people who can't face a day or an occasion without a drink, to the guy who looks longingly at the lake but never walks into the water.  I AM free, but also, feeling pain in my heart today, for those who are scared to take a leap.  So often, we (and definitely I) look upon these individuals with disdain.  When your phone rings at 2 in the morning, and you answer it to find out that it's a friend drunk-dialing you and you're pissed, you may or may not realize that this person doesn't even have the strength to have a conversation with you without booze--they are SCARED to.  THAT's the kind of thing I'm talking about here.
Anyway...that's where my head is at.  If you feel inclined, and you know someone who could use it, concentrate on releasing them from their fear.  If you pray, or meditate, wish them peace, and see what happens.  Prepare to be amazed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

We'll Call It De-Stressing And Go From There

Dumb week...

I feel a little psychotic. Luckily, I have the internet, where lots of crazy people post crazy things, and when I read them I feel better about myself. Perhaps YOU will feel better about yourself after reading this!

The people who told me I needed a vacation were so right! Just. Stressed. Out. At work, and personally, just a giant stress bomb.

Two weeks ago Monday started off with TWO job interviews, and those always make one hopeful, and maybe "wishful" as well. Then I had another one on Friday. (They were all for the same job, by the way...) By the time it rolled around to the Monday of the following week, I was a consumed with the "hopeful" and "wishful" thing, and as they days ticked by, my current job seemed utterly annoying, which it really hadn't been up until then.

Thursday afternoon, as I was just about to shut down my computer at the end of another edgy day, I got a call, and, got the job, and...that was weird. I mean, I've been wanting this, and have been talking to people about this particular job since....Hmmm....late April? So a good six months of "Pick me!" finally ended, and they did pick me. All of my friends were saying, "Wow! That's so exciting! Aren't you excited?" and, I was thinking about how I was excited six months ago, and about how now I'm just sort of exhausted. I didn't think "Yay me!" so much as I just figured that all of the other candidates must have jumped off a bridge or been attacked by mountain lions or something. It wasn't even a relief.

I couldn't imagine what I'd be like if somebody asked me out on a date while I'm in this frame of mind......"What? Are all the cool, pretty girls busy?"

Not the best place to be, but, after having had so many things NOT go the way I wanted them to go, when I wanted them to, the spoiled brat in me is pouty.

While I would NOT pick me to solve the economic crisis or perform brain surgery, I am good at some things. This I know. But another thing I'm really, really bad at, is convincing other people to "Pick Me!" if it is not something immediately apparent to them. It's always been easy, before, for me to just be myself and get lucky. I mean, I couldn't sell myself, even to someone who walked right up to me and declared that they had been searching the world for someone just like me. On the one hand, I don't think I should have to, and on the other hand, I don't think I should have to.

So, you see the problem. Stubborn. Spoiled. All that.

Besides, I have never wanted anything so badly that I would compromise myself to any huge degree to get it or to hold onto it once I had it, and this includes all things--jobs, men, material possessions--you name it. So after six months of "Not you, Shelly!", I can assure you that I have said "screw this" more than just a few times, while simultaneously lamenting my complete and utter inability to convince them that I was worth it. I told myself and my friends "this isn't going to happen" and attempted to remove myself from any feelings about it whatsoever. Classic "Defend the Heart" defensive maneuver--I've got a million of 'em.

I was unsuccessful at having no feelings about it, by the way. After all, it's only my entire self-worth on the line, for every stupid thing I decide I Must. Have. No big. Not dramatic at all. No soul-crushing disappointment after every "no" and no months spent questioning everything about myself after every non-answer. Not me...I'm not like that at all. ((eye roll))

Ultimately, I've been doing this for much longer than six months about all kinds of things, this just happens to be the most recent. I'm not entirely sure how to proceed, other than just show up, I guess, and try to put that whole idea of me being their absolute last resort out of my mind. Perhaps I will pleasantly surprise them, and after a few months they won't be thinking what a shame it is that the other candidate, the one they really wanted, hadn't died tragically.

***I probably should have even posted this until I was actually sitting in a chair a said "new job" for a year or more. Just watch, they'll be some mix-up at the pre-employment drug screening, or they'll discover some ties to the Russian Mob in the background check....DAMN IT!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Say Your Name Is Kevin...

And say you sit right next to the grouchy person in the back. We'll call her "Shelly".

Now, say you, Kevin, spend your entire day on the phone, making approximately 100 short, outbound calls, and receiving approximately 100 short, inbound calls.

And say every time you make a call, you dead-pan identify yourself like this:

"Jane. Kevin."


"Bob. Kevin"


"Michael. Kevin"

You get the idea. No "Hey, how are you?" No, "Hello, my name is Kevin". No consideration of the fact that in our building(s), we have caller ID and, almost all of the people you are calling already know it's you...Kevin.

Additionally, say every time your phone rings, you pick it up and say, "It's Kevin". (Which I'm sure it's supposed to be "This is Kevin", but it ends up sounding like, "It's Kevin" or even "Tis Kevin", are a fast talker, Kevin.)

Let's just pretend, for one moment, that this is you.


How ya doin', Kevin? Just heard a cool thing today, and thought you might be interested: Variety is the spice of life, hon. Oh yes! It's true! I hear that in other lands, people answer the phone by saying all kinds of different things! Sometimes, when they call people, they relay a bit of greeting to that person, just for the hell of it! Like, they may ask, "How's your mother?" or something that shows that they are at least vaguely interested in the other person, who, unfortunately, isn't "Kevin".

I's crazy....that would never work. And besides, who has time?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Year of Constant Resign

I wrote most of this yesterday, when I was feeling all emotional and weepy.  I thought, today, I would nuke it, but it's not as depressing as I thought it was, so, here you go... :-)
I feel like I should be writing today, but it is only a thing I'm doing for comfort or relief from feeling completely whacked out.  There are a few major life things happening right now that could either be great, or go "badly" and end up depressing the living hell out of me.
No stress there.  I wish I could fast forward through time and get past the waiting, to see the results.  I'd like to get to about mid-February--or better yet, if we could just move time all the way up to my next birthday, that would be cool.
I used to be able to predict these things with a fair amount of accuracy, mainly because I had a ridiculous amount of confidence, and as a result, got my way a lot.  Er...pretty much always.  As it stands now, I wake up every other day wondering why I even bother--not that I'm feeling depressed or sorry for myself, because I still have that stupid, insanely high confidence level.  I realize that I need certain people to do certain things in order for my life to go the way I want it to go right now, and, I might not have done enough to make them want to.  Also, I don't know how to do more.
If I had one major vulnerability as a member of society, it would be that I am completely incapable of kissing anyone's ass with any amount of sincerity.  That is to say, if I say something nice about you, compliment or support you, it's because I actually mean it, and I think you're worth it, not because I'm thinking of future gains for myself.  Also, if praising you requires me to demean myself in any way, guess what?  Not happening.  I'm perfectly capable of paying you a compliment, but I'm not going to say something nice just because I think my saying something nice will make you think better of me.  Ultimately, I don't care what you think of me. 
Until I do.
The Monday Melancholy taps straight into that "why doesn't anybody like me?" thing from Junior High.  I'd like to think that because I was "different" from a lot of people back then that it was strictly a maturity thing--hardly any 13-year-olds have the the time-acquired grace to accept someone different from them.
Funny thing is, not too many 40-year-olds do, either.  Huh.  Didn't see that coming.  OK, actually, I did.  When I was 13, I predicted that the only way I would be accepted was to do big things--"big" being open for discussion, because "big" is different for each individual person.  To my mind, it's just about striving to be the very best, at whatever you happen to do.
Here is the one and only time I will ever quote Jesus on this blog:  "If someone speaks ill of you, live so that they cannot."  That is where I am coming from.  That's my entire motivation.
Since my youth, I've poured an awful lot of energy into working harder, and giving things more thought than other people might.  I'm reminded of an example...I was working in radio, and because my brother was getting married, I had to use a few vacation days.  I didn't, and still don't, like using vacation days.  I prefer to work.  For the poor part-time jock who was filling in for me, I left a list--two pages, typed, single-spaced--of all of the things I did during every show that I thought were absolutely crucial to maintaining a certain level of quality.  They were things I noticed because I was paying attention, all the time, to how things could be better.  My expectation of myself was, and remains, decidedly high. I wanted to leave nothing to chance, hence the detailed instruction. This poor man, a lovely person who wouldn't harm a fly, looked at my list with a combination of fear and disbelief.  He'd been in radio for as long as I had, and probably thought us peers.  I, on the other hand, knew damn well that my drive to do more than most was the reason I had a regular slot with good ratings, and he was just a part-timer.  As it happens, he was never promoted during the time I worked there.  As it happens, I got job offers every other month or so.
20 years later, I still pour as much effort into my work, and also into the rest of my life.  If I went on vacation tomorrow, I would leave the same kind of list for whoever got stuck handling my work-load.  I'd probably leave a similar list for the person who would be feeding my cats in my absence.  I care about how things are done.  I sign my name to my work.  What's in it for me?  Not a damn thing, really, except satisfaction that comes from helping people stop assuming things, be it about me personally, or about my gender, race, job title, or whatever.  If someone speaks ill of you, live so that they cannot.  All negative things, spoken or written by me, or you, or anybody else, are just lies and assumptions, anyway--easily proven wrong by simply being, or doing, the opposite of what is expected.  Duh.  It's not rocket science.  (This is why it makes me absolutely NUTS when people live up to a negative stereo-type...)
OK, I lied.  There are rewards that go along with living this kind of life--really fantastic and interesting people congregate, mainly because they are "different" too--they felt the same way you did about life, with they were 13.  They're motivated.  They are willing to give it more thought, and as such, they are also inspiring.  The energy created when these kinds of people get together is incredible, and invariably creates something really amazing--might be a love affair, might be a best-seller, or it might be a lifetime of real happiness.  Could be anything, but it will definitely be good.
The last several months have been especially difficult, and I'm not just referring to my personal "things" going on, but also the climate in general.  It's been a weird world of hatred, politically.  Personally, it just feels like a drought.  It may be the combination of the two things that spurs my "why bother?" mornings.  I feel like I've been at it for a long time, and, so far, no reward.  I think things are changing, though.  Slowly changing.
When the rain came yesterday (the actual rain, here in Minneapolis) I thought, "How symbolic."  There wasn't much of it, but, it seemed hopeful.  A little more today, and maybe more later.  The things that could go "great" or "badly", will work themselves out in this way as well, I think--a little at a time.  I'm definitely not used to things being this slow, and don't like it much, being an all or nothing kind of person with zero patience.  I tend to force an issue more than not. 
Whoops!  Another lesson.  Why do I never see these coming?  You'd think, after the year I've had, that I would. 
But this one feels a little like passing all but one subject and still being forced to take all of Third Grade over again.  Fine...if that's what it takes...I give up.  Again.  The difference now is, every time I "give up", I feel less and less like the petulant child who didn't get her way.  I pout less.  I feel sorry for myself less.  That's progress, right?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jokers To The Right

Here at the cube farm, I have some new neighbors.  Three, to be exact, within the last three weeks.  There's my desk, and in each adjacent desk, surrounding me completely, my company has chosen to seat three of the most annoying human beings I have ever encountered.
I'm not saying they're not nice people or anything--maaaaybe I'm just easily annoyed these days (GAH!).
Carrot Stick Guy sits directly behind me.  Crunch!  Chomp-Chomp-Chomp-Chomp-Chomp-Chomp-Chomp-Chomp-Chomp!  The carrot chewing is quite vigorous.  Today, he turned down a lunch invitation to a Chinese Place because the Chines Place in question wasn't as good as the Chinese Place he likes.  I believe that the Chinese Place Snobbery is just a front--he really stayed behind for the sole purpose of annoying the living sh*t out of me by eating a pound of carrot sticks and nothing else.
How about a cheese sandwich or something?  Soup, maybe?
Smarmy Sales Guy is behind and to the right, and he's one of those that makes incredibly lame jokes of the Vanilla White variety--kind of like a Lutheran Pastor, only not nearly as interesting or well-read.  Everything about him screams "Former Jock" or "Peaked In High School."  You take one look at him and think, "Don't you need a personality to sell things?"  As near as I can tell, the only thing Smarmy gets excited about is a free lunch.
On the other side, Mini-Smarm, who is like a younger version of Smarmy, spends the day on the phone dropping lame, maybe it was cool for 12 seconds in the late 90's, lingo, all the while tossing a softball up in the air and catching it.  You know what?  I'm somebody's Mom, OK?  I have an automatic response when I see somebody throwing a ball indoors.  It's bad enough having to listen to you SPEAK all day...
The MP3 player is heavily employed, just to get through the day without strangling someone.
All of those that sat at these desks before, I loved to pieces--somehow, they were able to have conversations and lunch without making me want to crawl out of my skin.  These guys?  They make me want to start ice cold Sambuca shots at around 10AM, just to take the edge off.  Where's my martini shaker?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nearing The Harvest

I get a real burst of energy in those first cool, crisp days, and life seems to pick a faster pace, as well.  I love the fall.  It may be a "bounty" sort of thing--think harvest, if you will.
In a lot of matters of the moment, I feel like one of those farmers that I knew growing up--watching the sky, and hoping the weather would cooperate down to the right moment, so they can head out to the field and collect the rewards of a season of work.  They've done everything they could do up until now, to ensure success.  The last little bit, the sometimes agonizing wait for things to fully ripen, is left to fate.
I am a person of faith.  That is not to say that I am religious, because I do not categorize myself in that way.  Maybe I'm just too intellectual to attach any feelings to the Bearded Man In The Sky figure with which so many find comfort.  For my mind, there are just too many holes in the stories, and without explanation, we are asked to "just believe".  I can't help but think about all of the horrible things that were done to people while someone continued to assure them, until it was too late, that things would be "fine".  Just believe.  We're just goin' for a little boat ride to an exciting new world...(where we'll make you do hard labor until you die).  We're just rounding everyone up and putting them in a concentration camp for, just for now...don't worry.  You get the gist.  It seems so passive to me, to just believe.
Not all believers are passive--the ones that I respect, and there are many, are "doers".  I believe in energy, and I believe in energy directed, meaning, ultimately, the harder you work, the luckier you get.  Sometimes, the hard work you do consists entirely of directing your thoughts toward a positive outcome, and, that's called "praying" by most, or "meditation" by me and many others.  I respect that, because at least you are doing something, instead of sitting around and letting things happen, wondering why you have been forsaken, and explaining your disappointment away by saying that the Lord works in mysterious ways. 
(If you ever hear me reference "The Nuns" it is because one of my friends happens to work at a retirement home for nuns.  I highly recommend that you ask these fine women for help if you should ever have a need for lots and lots of energy to be directed at an outcome.  Never underestimate the power of a couple of hundred people concentrating very hard on your problem.  My friend scratches names in the prayer book over there fairly regularly, and disasters are averted at every turn.  It's a beautiful thing, prayer.)
There are lessons in everything.  Everything.  If the lesson you are supposed to be learning is the lesson of how not to be a victim of life, trust me, you'll be presented with that lessen over and over again until you learn it.  Obviously, there is no way to know for sure, but I happen to believe that nobody goes to their grave without learning their lesson--it's just that some people are too stubborn, and hold out until their last breath is leaving, when they know it's over, before they have their "ah-ha!" moment.  I choose not to be one of those people.
The last several years of my life has been filled to the brim with these lessons.  How stupid I was, just a year ago.  Five years ago, I was completely unconscious.  Because I chose to accept that there are lessons, and chose to do the (sometimes utterly crappy) things required to complete them, I shall never be unconscious again, ever.
And so....September.  The potential is heavy in the air.  Do you ever have moments when you feel like everything that has happened before, throughout your entire life, was just leading to right now?   
No?  (hehe)
Well, it's crazy amazing.  And you would think it would be kind of scary, and it is, a little.  It's been an incredible season of hard work, and now I have my eyes to the sky

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random Wednesday! Woot!

  • How does a bottle of pills spill in a purse?  I can barely get the stupid bottle open when I need them, but this morning, the pills were hanging loose with the gum wrappers and ticket stubs in the "party zone" of the purse.
  • Speaking of ticket long has it been since I've seen the BoDeans?  The answer is "December". WHY is this ticket stub still in here? 
  • Remind me later, to tell you the story about the hotel receipt that I carried around in my coat pocket for almost two years.  I believe that story also involves the BoDeans.  And Crown Royal.  And Laura Ingalls Wilder.  And drama/infidelity.  And Crazy People.  Just like all good stories should.
  • It should be noted that neither Laura Ingalls Wilder, the BoDeans nor I were directly involved in any of the drama/infidelity, and also that we are not depicted as one of the "Crazy People" in the least not any more so than we usually might be.  But it's still an AMAZING (OhMyGAWD!) true story which I'll tell you as soon as I can do so without getting sued--I would change names to protect the innocent, but I don't think there were any.  Except Laura Ingalls Wilder--obviously, she was some kind of saint.
  • Even more important than "Why don't I ever clean my purse?" is, "Why don't I have a NEW purse?"  I'm just sayin'.  December?  Come on!
  • My hair is screeching toward Emergency Color Needed status.  No, grey, I will not go quietly.  Kiss my ass.  I'm sure some day, I will reach a point in my life where I tire of the fighting, say "OK," and let it go.  But that day is not today.
  • I was adding someone's email address to a contact list, and was halfway through typing it before I realized that her email was foxyladysue@blah, blah, blah...  Foxy Lady?  For real?  This is an email you actually give out to people?  Dude...
  • *sigh* Foxy Lady probably dyes her hair.  Sh*t...
  • Foxy Lady's name has been changed to protect the foxy.


"Your password has expired"
Yes....I'm used to this.  With 27 data programs, all containing private customer information and/or private business information, I need a unique password for each, and the password must change approximately every 56 minutes for security purposes.
Having run through multiple bizarro variations of children and pet nicknames and hunky boy names, I later returned to several variations of MY name, mostly out of laziness.  I can't think of any more passwords.  And I don't care.
After being told, by my computer, several times, that the password I was attempting was either A) Used too recently, or B) Did not fit the password criteria, I typed in "What.Ever." (short for "Whatever, you stupid %^*#@%+!") and surprise, surprise, the computer liked that one.
I know, I know....I should probably use some non-word + number that means nothing combination.  I can't.  I have the patience of a gnat.  If it's not something my brain thought of all on it's own, that means I have to look it up every time I need it, then think beyond my normal typing process to key it in.  I'm so not there.  Gimme something simple.  "Bork", for example.  I would like my password for every program to be "Bork" from this day forward.  Not "Bork72" or "Bork#6".  Just "Bork".  And when I need to change it, which will be soon, I can change it to "Bork You", or "Bork This".
Seriously....Bork This.
While I'm waiting for the guys in the black van to get here and haul my non-secure ass off to the bunker for debriefing, think I'll have a cup of coffee and make a list of all my other passwords to post on the internet...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Insert Emoticon

I had the most bizarre weekend of emotions--up and down and sideways and weird...

For starters, I was sick. Well, I thought I was "sick". Turns out I was just "drained".

On Friday, while completely "drained", I worked a full day, then took my STRESSED OUT daughter to take a written exam for her driver's permit. Because she had taken the test previously and not passed, she was not just STRESSED OUT, she was MEGA STRESSED OUT, and that is the last kind of person you should hang out with, when you're "drained". The child had actually refused to take the test again. Too STRESSFUL! What if she didn't pass, again? So I became Cheerleader Mom, with the "You can do it!" and gobs of reassurance, all of which was met by a big fat HARRUMPHS! by the kid, but, because I'm nice and because I'm convinced that it is my job, I stayed positive.

Up to the last second, when she walked away from me and into the testing area, she was muttering, "I'm gonna fail...I don't even know why you're making me do this..."

She was about 6 feet away by the time I rolled my eyes and said, out loud, but not too loud: "fuck...this..."

But...I'm nice. And probably a bit of a martyr. So my pissed-off-ness lasted all of 30 seconds. What I wanted to do was say "screw it" and walk out the door, get in my car and drive the few blocks to that poultry/crack haven also known as Popeyes Chicken, because if I wasn't able to relax and have chicken soup brought to me while I lounged somewhere, I should at least be able to talk to somebody who would give me something besides just a pissy attitude. I mean...the drive-thru person might be surly, but...they never fail to give up the chicken. Even if they get your order wrong, there's still chicken.

Instead of attending to my chicken-addicted needs, I flopped in a seat in the noisy and full waiting room for what would be the third and final time, curled up a little and began a bit of meditation in which all of the positive, happy energy in the world was being pumped into the testing room, and all the shitty, negative crap was jettisoned. Why? Because I would be damned if I was going to go through this shit again. I was going to MAKE her pass the stupid thing by the sheer force my will.

20 minutes later, she emerged, smiling, declaring it to be the "easiest test, ever". All I could think to say was "You're welcome", but, I figured she'd probably rip my head off if I did, so I said nothing--just smiled and nodded.

That was Friday.

Saturday, I went with friends (a couple, and one extra) to an apple orchard. Couples. Good grief. The entire way to the orchard, one of them (who was not driving) was commenting on the other one's driving, and the driver reacted, but, to her credit, she only reacted about 6 out of the 27 times her ability to drive was being questioned. The rest of the way there and back was spent reminiscing (by the couple and the extra one) about buildings not being there when they were growing up, and many, many stories about previous trips to the orchard, going way back to the days when life was perfect. I am certain that life must have been perfect back in the day, because everything about 'today" was so crappy and so stressful for the couple and the extra one. Driving was stressful, passengering was stressful, more than 6 people in the store at the orchard was stressful. Buying gas for the trip? Also stressful. Hell, even having the extra one along was stressful.

I returned home from this adventure with a gripping headache, and, even though "gripping headache" is a relatively normal state for me, I took a gigantic vicodin and rendered myself unconscious for three hours, at 2 in the afternoon. Sleep, glorious sleep. Delightful, restorative, sleep.

I don't recommend vicodin.

I mean, it's fine on a limited basis, and I have this prescription for pain management, but I honestly couldn't imagine taking this stuff more than once every other month or so, even though brain stem boo-boo's actually hurt. Why? Because for some reason, it seems to leave your emotionally "raw" for about a day afterward. Like, somebody better be cuddling your ass and saying nice things to you, so you don't get weird.

Having no cuddler, by Sunday afternoon, I was reading Facebook status updates of former love interests, thinking, "Oh you poor thing!" and "See! He NEEDS me!"

...and feeling BAD for them!

Good gawd....

Meanwhile, grouchy, ungrateful teenager wants driving lessons. That's not stressful, right? We'll just skip the details--I'm sure you may have guessed that I spent the entire time clenching my teeth. This is why I pay someone else to do this more extra lessons from Mom. Mom's a total hater right now.

This morning, I got up and got ready for a job interview. I was in a pissy mood. At 8AM, I was convinced I didn't want to go, didn't want the stupid effing job anyway, and that it wasn't worth the effort. By 9AM I was smiling away, being interviewed, thinking, "Gee, this would be such a great job! I hope I get it!" If this employer has a "Psycho Detector", I might be out of contention. We'll see.

At my current job, I am being surrounded by new "neighbors"--people moving into to my part of the cube farm. People like sales manager-types who pat themselves on the back a lot, as if they are really good at selling stuff. Let me make this perfectly clear, oh not-for-profit-insurance-sales-manager-type-guy....I have 50 people in my Rolodex who, if you had to compete with ANY of them, selling ANYTHING, you would starve to death. And...I was married to two of them. And some of them hate my guts and would still eat your lunch, just for sport. In short...I've met some sales people. You sir, are no sales person. Please shut the fuck up.

Anyway....I will make some effort to sort things out. I think each emotion taken individually could be a post unto itself. We'll see how it comes out in the edit.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Groggy head this morning, kids...I wish I could say that it was self-inflicted, but alas, this one just popped up out of nowhere.  You know you're getting sick when the feel of air moving makes you uncomfortable.  Yeah.  We had a fan on last night, and I admitted to my daughter that I couldn't sit near it because the "air hurts my head". 
Appropriately, she gave me "The Look That Says WTF?"... 
Everybody hates being sick.  Men, traditionally, use this as an excuse to take to their beds, to make a very big show of that feigned helplessness that they so subtly display in their daily lives.  Women, with few exception, look upon getting sick in this way:
"I'm TOO BUSY for this!"
And we are.  No question.  This is why, when women get seriously ill, or have heart attacks, or whatever, they are all but dragged to the hospital while still muttering "...but I haven't finished cleaning the kitchen...and I need my black pants washed for next week..." or whatever.  Our "To Do" queues are endless, and for whatever reason, we are completely unable to delegate.  Or at least I am.
Luckily, it's the weekend, and, somewhere in my possession are the discs for the complete second season of Torchwood.  A girl could do much worse than flop on the couch and drink in several hours of pretty people doing extraordinary things.  I may be able to arrange for couch-side delivery of soup and carbonated beverages, if I'm pitiful enough.  I'll work on that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

THE STRESS!!!!!!!!!!

So, I have this teenager...
First day of high school today, and she is STRESSED to the max.  Therefore, we must ALL be stressed to the max.
The bus was late (to be expected...everybody is learning the new routes, including the driver, right?) and the teenager FREAKS. 
And I spend 20 minutes fielding FREAKED OUT texts from the child, and of course, internalizing all of her stress, wondering if a "good" mother would have stayed on the scene rather than attempting to go to work and relying on the transportation department, blissfully forgetting that the transportation department moves THOUSANDS of children, without incident, every day.
See what one stressed out person does to me?  I completely forgot that everything's gonna be fine.
Finally, the bus showed up, and still the teenager FREAKS, because now she's going be late.  Being the problem solver that I am, I make a phone call to the school, verify that Day One is not going to be that big of a deal, that it'll all be fairly self-explanatory when she gets there, that there are others in her same situation, blah, blah, blah...and I relay this info to the teenager.
At which point she tells me to stop talking to her, and that she's not going to relax no matter what I say, anyway.
You know...perhaps sometime in 5 years, I may wake up thinking about how I miss having kids in the house.  Today, I can't picture that happening.  Maybe next week, I'll be able to envision missing them again.  Just like, giving birth totally sucks, but after the pain subsides and they put the baby in your arms, you forget about it, completely.  Come on, selective memory!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Important Things Done (so far) On This Long Weekend

1. Hosted a birthday party. Well, I didn't "host" so much as I bought food, prepared it, and stayed out of the way and out of sight. I met a couple of parents at the start of the extravaganza (no, we will not be serving booze to the teenagers, but thanks for checking!) then disappeared while my apartment filled with 10th graders. I had forgotten how much teenage boys eat, and also, how freaking LOUD they are. I haven't lived with a teenage boy in over a year, and don't miss it. At all. Even the cats were looking at me like, "Damn! It's soooo freaking LOUD in here! WTF?" Also, it was noted by a couple of the adult guests who came over to distract me (girls...all girls--and we were relegated to lawn chairs on the back patio...) that teenage boys are a lot like "men", who are mostly annoying as hell until they get to be around 40 years old, which appears to be the age they start acting like normal people. Looking back, I can't believe that I spent the first 15 years of my dating life, dating younger men. Yes, that's right, I was a cougar before cougars were cool. Now, you couldn't pay me to date anyone younger than me, because they all appear to be retarded.

2. Played Monkey Ball. This was one of the activities I engaged in while trying not to be seen during the party. I suck at Monkey Ball, by the way. But video game defeat was less painful than hanging out with teenagers. I threw in a little extra Monkey Ball time on Sunday, even though nobody was home, because I was craving the meditative state one has to put themselves into in order to do this. It did very little to clear my head--probably should have done dishes or something productive, instead. And, in a related note:

3. Bought Guitar Hero 5. I've never played Guitar Hero, even though I am often heavily encouraged to do so by the children. They love some Guitar Hero. Love, love, love. If we owned no other video games, they wouldn't care. My thing is, it is actually physically painful for me to hear someone playing a song badly. Oh, I can fall off a thousand cliffs in Monkey Ball, and consider it just a game, but for some reason, I don't want to do Bon Jovi the dis-service of missing a note on one of their songs, even though I don't actually like any of their songs. Perhaps I should seek counseling for this....I dunno.

4. Speaking of songs, I watched The Sound of Music. And cried. Why did I cry? Because Julie Andrews never missed a f*cking note, that's why. See what a psycho I am? Miss a note, writhe in agony, don't miss a note, cry. Yes, beneath this crusty exterior is just some marshmallow who needs a box of tissues to get through five minutes of spot-on harmony. I have yet to be able to make it past the bridge of either KT Tunstall's "Heal Over" or Indigo Girls "Free In You" without tearing up, and that's the truth. The Sound of Music is just a gigantic goob-fest for me. I was alone while watching it, which kind of sucked, because every time the waterworks started, I thought, "It would be so nice if there was someone here who thought that goobiness was charming, cuz I could charm the pants off of them right now...". And by "charm the pants off," I mean....well, yeah, I mean exactly that. If men only knew the brownie points they could accumulate by sitting patiently through chick flicks, and providing us a place to lean when we get all goobie, they would never complain. I once had a boyfriend agree to see Evita with me, then spent the entire time acting bored. No sex for a week. I'm just sayin'.

5. Got my friend in "trouble" by giving her a copy of Twilight, which she was not able to put down, and therefore got nothing done around the house and didn't even go to bed with her spouse at the spouse pre-approved go-to-bed time. Sorry!

6. Purchased a violin bow. I play the violin about as much as I play Guitar Hero. Obviously, the bow is for somebody else. Just like all the guitar strings and various other stuff I'm constantly being asked to pick up. The fact that I was entrusted with these tasks, even though I don't actually play, leaves me a bit uncomfortable, but, then again, I must not be screwing up too badly, or they wouldn't ask, right? Oh,'s for the children, and, they have no money. I guess they would ask, wouldn't they? If you happen to go to a middle school orchestra concert in the near future and notice one kid sounds funny, you can blame me, cuz I don't know anything about violin bows...

Busy weekend, no? Oh, I left out the part about how on Sunday, I slept from about 10AM until 2:45. Don't know what the hell happened there...

Today, we're doing what we're supposed to be doing, and that is, hanging with friends and eating something that was cooked on a grill. Yeah, yeah...that's what everybody else is boring! But we'll try to keep it interesting. Tomorrow, school starts, FINALLY, and the unscheduled life of summer comes to a dead stop. Oh happy day! I hope you are all enjoying the weekend so far! Have fun eating grilled stuff!

Friday, September 4, 2009

What The Hell Happened?

There is a lot of talk about President Obama's speech on Tuesday, a planned speech to the school children of this nation.  This speech is not "required" by anybody--schools and classrooms do not have to air it, live or otherwise.  It's just happening.  He's joining the ranks of a lot of other U.S. Presidents, Republican and Democrat, who have addressed school children in various ways.
Here's what your conservative friends are saying about this (taken from various blog comments):
"He is trying to indoctrinate our children into his socialist agenda and I won't allow it."
"If my child's school does not opt out of viewing this, my child will not be sent to school that day. She will not be brainwashed or indoctrinated by this ignorant man."
"I'll be damned if my kid will watch this ignorant bastard try to brainwash America's youth, our tv at home is changed to a different channel every time his ugly mug comes on it!! "
"Getting the Obama youth ready! "
"My kids will stay home. I will refuse to allow them to listen to any liberal, socialist propaganda."
"pretty slick, preaching to our kids while the rest of us are AT WORK and can't even see what is being said... this guy's audacity is just too much....."
"It will hold our youngsters captive"
"Sorry, my child will not be attending. The nerve of this guy is unbelievable. Stay away from my kids, you big fake. I see who you really are, and it's scary how many people are still fooled by you."
" kids (ages 13, 11, and 9) already think he's after all our money and that's them forming their own conclusions!" (sure, sure...)
"Does anyone with half a brain really think B. Hussein is only going to talk on the importance of education?"
"Big Brother wants to talk and INFLUENCE your children."
"....there will probably be some kind of subliminal message or mesmeration involved to the agenda....."
I remember when I worked at a high school, and we had classes on Martin Luther King day, rather than having the holiday off.  The school had planned a short presentation (an hour, I think), in which a few people would get up and speak about the man, what he did and why, etc.  That day, a lot of parents excused their children from school, starting at the exact moment the presentation did, all claiming "appointments".  Incredibly, all of their "appointments" concluded at the exact time the presentation did.  I remember being stunned and revolted at the time.  What possible harm could come from a child learning a little bit about an historical figure?  A man who tried to make lives better for other people?  Who stood strong against incredible hatred, and empowered a nation?
First of all, I'm not comparing President Obama to MLK.  Or at least I didn't plan to until just now.  It seems that the need to overcome incredible hatred has returned.  Too bad he's the President, and therefore can't speak freely.  If he were a preacher, he could probably get more done in this environment.
If you are planning to keep your children home on Tuesday, or schedule an "appointment" for them at around the time this speech might air at your child's school...I have to ask, what are you afraid of?  I mean, seriously, what are you afraid of?  These are your children, and you are their strongest influence.  Do you truly, truly believe that a brief speech by ANYBODY (that many kids will just barely be listening to anyway) is going to un-do all of what you, the parent, have done to instill a certain type of value in your child?
If you truly believe that, then you are admitting that the "values" you hold so dear amount to little more than a house of cards, easily blown away by the slightest suggestion.  No wonder you are afraid.  No wonder you are lashing out and saying the things that you are you realize that these things make your entire political party sound completely unhinged?  How can this be a positive thing for your cause?  Your "values"?
And, obviously, you are afraid--after all, it is only fear that creates such loathing.  There will be no harm caused to anyone by viewing The President on television.  When I was in school, my teachers turned on the TV anytime the President spoke to the nation--didn't matter what party he was in.  We particularly watched Reagan a few times that I recall--not because the people who ran my school were behind some right wing plot to take over our brains, but, simply because he was the elected President of the United States, and accordingly, deserved our respect, even from those who didn't vote for him.  We used to respect the office.  What the hell happened?

Little Flashback

I vaguely recall receiving my mother into my home for a visit about this time of year, 16 years ago.  She was there to await the arrival of a baby girl--specifically MY baby girl, who was born on the 5th of September. 
If memory serves, I believe that September 5th also fell on a Saturday, because I remember Saturday morning cartoons playing on the television in the delivery room, right before things got interesting.  Inspector Gadget, to be precise. 
Go-Go-Gadget Forceps!
Just kidding.  There were no forceps.
Fast forward (you always fast forward, even when you're trying not to) and there you are with a teenager, a 10th grader, an almost-licensed driver, a singularly determined and very intelligent young lady, and an all around fabulous person (despite the occasional grouchiness) and...that is your kid.
I don't feel old, either--you know why?  Because I remember 16:  Stress!  Worry!  Hormones!  Boys!  Nonsense!
43 is soooooo much easier!  I mean....I actually don't give a shit if the guy I like likes me back!  Woooo-Hoooo!  (hehe....)  And I have MONEY!  I can buy candy any time I want to!  And I have a CAR!  How awesome is that?
Anyway....Happy Birthday, Madds.  I'm sorry you're only 16, but it will get better, I promise.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


That's my take on it, anyway.
Did I ever tell you about the time I got yelled at for sticking my tongue out at somebody?
You know...of all the bad things I've done (and, believe me, there are many), this one ranks pretty low.  However, I was actually hauled into somebody's office over this, which is why it stands out in my memory.
I was at a public appearance of some kind, meetin' and greetin', and some dude came up and started bad-mouthing me.  Like, he actually stood in line for the opportunity to tell me how he didn't like me.  
Any of you normal people out there ever inspired to do this?  Me neither. 
Anyway, the guy got done with his little presentation, and turned to walk away, so, of course, the minute his back was turned, I made a face and stuck my tongue out at him, which generated discreet chuckles from all the other people hanging around.  Bless them for their quiet reaction...the guy never even knew it happened.
But the next day...some semi-middle boss, who witnessed this, went to the big boss and told him what I did.
And I actually got in trouble....For sticking my tongue out at some crazy person.
Welcome to lameness.  I suppose this adds a third rule to The Rules of Public Appearances, which are #1)Always drink the sponsor's beer, and #2)Don't drink so much of the sponsor's beer that they don't invite you back.  Rule Number Three (correctly applied, could actually be useful...) shall be  "Keep your tongue to yourself."
OK, how about this?  Did I ever tell you about the time I was on the radio and got yelled at* for doing a (bad) impression of Karen Carpenter?  Hehe....yeah, that was a good one.  Well, to be fair, I wasn't trying to sing like Karen, so much as I was, um, attempting to secure some food which I would later barf up.  The joke was two lines long.  The letter a listener sent to my boss to complain about it?  Eight pages.
(And I fully admit to having ZERO understanding of anyone who has issues with food, since I love it so much, and I would just like to take this opportunity, right now, before you start writing letters, to say "I'm sorry" to those who can't eat like a ravenous wolf, the way I do.  I'm an idiot.  There.  Feel better?) 
There was also the time I mentioned, on the air, that blood banks love me because I'm Type O-Negative, and somehow this was interpreted in a negative way, and....I got yelled at.  To compensate for other people's stupidity (and also prove that they were completely full of shit for thinking I would ever say something bad about donating blood), I donated blood, live on the air.  (Fuckers....where's my cookie and juice, you assholes?)
Or, how about the time I made some lame joke (which I don't even remember anymore) and my boss (the big boss) called the studio line to SCREAM at me?
*sigh*  Good times...
Today was another of those days--just another in the collection of many, many occasions in which I got yelled at for something totally stupid.  Here is what I want to know:  Does anybody else ever have this problem?  Or is it just me?  Have you ever been disciplined at your job, and walked away thinking, "Was that for real?  Did they actually just YELL at me for that?  Oh.  My.  God!"  Because this happens to me ALL THE TIME.
Like, today...I got yelled at because I left a piece of paper on a copier. 
No, it wasn't a check for a million dollars, or my boss's DWI report, or nude photos.  Just a piece of paper.  It had two names and two addresses on it.  To give you the proper perspective, you should know that I work at an insurance company, and we are charged through our Favorite Law On The Books (Health Information Privacy Act) to keep your information private, meaning, if I were to take that sheet of paper outside of the building and show it to someone, I could be in legitimate trouble.  However, I'm not inclined to do that, especially considering that leaving it on a copier for an hour has generated more drama than an episode of Big Brother.  Meanwhile, if one were to walk through this office, you would note that next to every printer, every copier, and every fax machine, is a pile of papers, and the top paper usually has actual private information printed on it, like, say, social security numbers, or the results of your colonoscopy.
I notice nobody ever gets yelled at for that.
Nope....just me.
And do you ever notice, that when somebody yells at you for something stupid, that they talk to you as if you ARE stupid?  Condescending?  Like they have to speak slowly because you and your buck-50 IQ could not possibly grasp the concept of "Private Health Information"...?
Oh, never mind the 3000 other times you managed to go to the copier and NOT space out and leave your original on the glass!  Now, you are bad!  Bad shirker!  Bad!
Anyway...that's all the adventure I have for you now--just another day in the battle against Big Stupid.  I'll keep you updated from the front lines.
*and by "yelled at, I mean somebody complained, my boss told me that someone complained, and then he said, "OK, if anyone asks, you've been disciplined."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

All About The Drinkin'

Here's a funny friends call me to tell me about sales on beverages.
"Hey, did you see Store X has pop cases on sale?"
"Hey, I thought you should know that Store L is selling that really good beer you like, for 6 bucks a 12-Pack..."
Of course, it would be nice to be alerted to major sales on Absolut or Grey Goose or something.  When I go to the liquor store, I'm either pleasantly, or unpleasantly surprised. 
Then again, I think it's better for me to walk into a liquor store not knowing what I'm going to get...kinda like the meat counter:  What is the butcher recommending this week?  Rib Eyes?  Cool, I'll have that. 
This month, chocolatini's, next month, scotch on the rocks.  It's all good. 
And truly, that is the sign of a "good" liquor store, and a good meat counter--if the person running the place never got excited about anything and just sold the same-old, same-old all the time, the might as well just stock nothing but That Colorado Water that Sarah loves so much, and those gallon jugs with the black and white labels that say "tequila", or "rum".  Yes, they do exist--I wouldn't have brought it up if I hadn't actually seen it with my own eyes at a (ahem!) Walmart liquor store...I haven't ever bought anything at a Walmart liquor store, but my friend and I were curious, so, we had to check it out.  I have, however, bought all kinds of wine from Target while living in the Deep South, and desperately MISS being able to do that...Let's rock it, Minnesota!  I wanna buy a Wine Cube!!!  I have the handy travel cooler for it and everything!
It appears that my friends have me pegged as some kind of serious drinker.  Meh...not so much.  Check this out:  I left work at the end of the day thinking about nothing but the giant-ass drink that I would be mixing myself the very minute I walked in the door of my apartment.  It was that kind of day.  But I never did get around to making it.  Fell asleep on the couch.  Crazy party behavior, no?
But, I do like a serious drink--serious as in, just one and you're done.  If you can't forget why you were pissed off by the time you get to the bottom of the glass the first time, then you're drinking the wrong damn thing.  Which is why I only drink That Colorado Water if I'm being social.
Now that I have reached the age and stage of Professional Drinker, I no longer make drinking decisions based on how much the booze costs--these decisions are now based on "Do I have to drive anywhere?" and/or "How functional do I have to be, and when?"  That being said, I always like to have the option, when conditions permit, to render myself goofy if I'm feeling less than silly.
So keep sending me the sales alerts, my friends...better yet, pick some up on your way over, and we'll hoist a mean, one.