Sometimes it's not the presence of swaying palms that makes the time special; it's the mere absence of the constant hassle and endless emergencies, even when those pressures are replaced by grocery runs, Costco trips, bank deposits, and laundry.
Case in point, I had no choice but to take a day off today, since I've gotten so behind in my household tasks and errands. Of course, the recent drama at work hasn't helped much, so on Wednesday I decided that a day off would be just the thing, and blurted out at the end of a meeting, "Hearing no objections, I'll be taking Friday off."
Response: "That's sudden. What's going on Friday?"
Me: "Nothing. I just need the day off to recover from recent employment-related threats to my mental health."
So, here I am, with a list of errands and a mountain of laundry. Strangely enough, it feels like a day on the beach.
More good news: the pups are doing really well these days. Hoover’s fur has become soft as a bunny, and Bruno is turning into the world’s best and biggest snugglebug. Those pooches are really a bright spot for me. J & T are also doing pretty well, except that J has Mono, just in time for spring break, graduation, and prom – yay!
Even more good news: Garrett is still the bomb-diggity, and he’s made so much progress on the yard that it actually ALMOST LOOKS DECENT. In the intervening weeks since my last post, I’ve had no complaints on the G front. I have, however, had plenty to gripe about on the work front.
Now for your reading displeasure, I’m proud to present the Top 10 Reasons My Employer Can Suck It.
1. They laid me off from the position I liked.
2. After laying me off, they gave me a job I didn’t want.
3. Once I started the job I didn’t want, they gave me a promotion to a worse position.
4. The promotion didn’t come with a raise.
5. The promotion required me to perform, on average, 38 additional hours per week, raising my normal weekly hours worked to almost 80.
6. The number of hours I’m now working is sucking the life out of me.
7. They moved the office to a new space with NO cubicle walls.
8. I now have to stare at my colleagues all day.
9. I am now in a commissioned position, but still don’t know what my metrics are.
10. Today, I received an EMAIL stating that all U.S. employees will be taking a 2.5% pay cut. An EMAIL, people.
I could have easily made this a top 12, or top 15. The last thing I’ll say is that if ONE more person tells me that I’m lucky to have a job, SOMEBODY is getting bitch-slapped.
When Mr. X was roughly four or five, a television show by the name of Xena: Warrior Princess exploded onto the airwaves with a burst of leather-clad girl power. Xena had a hottie side-kick, a signature banshee-call, a bustier, and skirt with flaps like a gas station car wash. It was as mesmerizing as it was mediocre.
Except to Mr. X.
To Mr. X, there was nothing mediocre about it. Mr. X wouldn't miss an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess if he had anything to say about it, but I didn't think this was too unusual.
I didn't realize how much Mr. X loved Xena until one evening, when I walked into the living room to find Mr. X, clad in his little footie pajamas transfixed by his favorite show. Not seeing me behind him, he suddenly rose to his feet, shuffled across the floor, wrapped his fat little arms around the television, planted a big, long, wet kiss on the screen, and whispered, "I love you, Xena."
Needless to say, he hates that story as much as I love it. Now if he ever brings a girl home who looks remotely like Lucy Lawless, I'm sure I'll pee my pants.
So, I started going back to the office two weeks ago to start working in my new role for my employer. Apparently, after almost three years of working from my home office, my immune system approximates that of a newborn kitten, and I got dreadfully sick with a fever within 4 days. Fabulous!
In other work-related news, I was actually pretty lucky to have been selected to take a training class that is the industry standard for my profession, and I’ve been able to get THE certification that goes along with it, which is cool. No sooner than I completed this hurdle, I was offered a promotion, making the skills and certification pretty much inapplicable to the OTHER new role I start tomorrow. Hell, at least I don’t have to go shopping again, right?
Enough about work, if for no other reason than I’m boring myself to death. I know what you want is confessions, and I have one.
I’ve been doing some outside writing. Outside the blog, that is.
Now, before you feel betrayed, I’ve been doing this writing on my breaks at work, and I can’t use my company network to get on the blogs, so I guess if I weren’t doing this writing, I’d have to take up crack or something to occupy myself in my downtime. What I’m doing is compiling some of my favorite funny experiences and character sketches. I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing this for, but it is an interesting exercise since I’m trying to distill the people and experiences into as few words as possible.
What else? Hmmm…well, Garrett and I actually have plans for Valentine’s Day, which may actually be a first. We normally don’t support what’s basically a greeting-card holiday, but it happens that we had a chance to go see the Dames Aflame show Showbiz What Sizzles this year. Like I always say, “Nothing says ‘I Love You’ like a burlesque revue.”. Ok, I never really say that, but I’m saying it now.
Speaking of Garrett, he’s still a superstar, and he’s really made tons of progress this weekend on the exterior front stairs. Yay!
On another note (and I almost forgot to add this), the weather has been FANTASTIC here, and I took advantage of the weather yesterday and took a little walk, during which my neighbor Mark informed me that yesterday was his 42nd birthday. His only disappointment, he said, was that he didn’t get his birthday spanking, whereupon he turned his little tush in my direction. So I did what anyone would have done; I spanked his booty right there on the sidewalk. I’m sure it wasn’t inappropriate because Mark likes boys. I know…I’m a good neighbor!
Anyway, that’s about it for now. I hope someone is still there to read this, and I’ll try to do better keeping this up in spite of my occupational incarceration.
Business casual is distinctly different from work-from-home casual, in many unfortunate ways. Business casual requires the all-day-long wearing of a real bra. Business casual forbids one from wearing T-Shirts emblazoned with slogans such as "REAL TITS" and "I'm a MILF". Lastly, business casual does not permit the wearing of pajama pants advertising Dr. Pepper or Guinness until noon, then switching over to jeans.
There was only one option for me today. I had to go shopping, and I had to buy stuff. This is really not how I wanted to spend my day, and I'd already penciled in the field trials for my Sunday amusement. But no, I had to go attempt to cobble together a work-appropriate wardrobe that wouldn't make me look like a hoochie or a Golden Girl, but something in-between.
I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that I found enough mediocre crap to upholster myself for the next four business days, and thankfully, Friday is casual day, so I'm set for that. Although it's not really possible that this Friday will be anywhere near as casual as the many Fridays that preceded it. In any case, there's more shopping ahead in the coming days, a prospect I'm regarding with the sort of dread usually reserved for root canals and anal surgeries.
In other news, G spent the better part of this morning working on his brick-laying project, and made some visible progress. More disturbingly, he is now removing the ceiling from my former office to run cable for the purpose of re-wiring the downstairs television. My mantra that keeps me from going nuts during such initiatives is, "At least he doesn't chase women and gamble.", I just wish he'd take up cooking as a hobby instead of tearing the house apart at random intervals.
Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now.
Really, I'm not quite sure what says poor white trash like a big, purple, pulsating, thronging hickey right in plain view. Except perhaps having such a hickey while perched on the hood of a '82 Camaro, drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon, sporting cut off jeans shorts, a wifebeater, and a mullet.
As the Mom of Hickey Guy, it's embarrassing for me, so I have no choice but to make it a little embarrassing for Hickey Guy and his girlfriend, hereafter to be known as Hickey Chicky. What the hell? I think I'll just sit them down for a nice little talk that'll start something like this:
"You know, guys, it's not that hard to make out without leaving any marks on each other. After all, Mr. H and I play some serious championship level tongue hockey and you don't see any boo-boos on me, do you?"
I'll improv the rest, but I can't promise it won't include a rendition of that old Toni Basil song Hey Mickey. Only in this case, of course, it would be Hey Hickey.
1) Last movie you saw in a theatre? Iron man, I think. That movie was kick-ass!
2) What book are you reading? Branding 101 by Donald Trump
3) Favorite board game? Taboo.
4) Favorite magazine? Atomic ranch – fantastic resource & drool starter for mid-century-modern architecture loons.
5) Favorite smells? Napalm in the morning. Other things that smell like victory: peppermint, roses, fresh-ground coffee, fabric softener, babies (note: babies are not mentioned in my Favorite sounds!), clean dogs.
6) Favorite sounds? People who don’t mutter.
7) Worst feeling in the world? Not knowing where your kids are.
8 ) What is the first thing you think when you first wake up? I hope G turned on the coffee pot!
9) Favorite fast food place? Moe’s
10) Future child’s name? That’s easy…Vasectomy Miracle
11) Finish this statement—if I had a lot of money I’d hire a chef and never freaking cook again!
12) Do you drive fast? Only on the freeway.
13) Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? Not anymore, but I used to sleep with a stuffed hippo for years as an adult. I’m way too cool for that now; plus Hoover pulled all the stuffing out of the hippo’s butt.
14) Storms–cool or scary? Scary! I need one of those “storm defender” capes for dogs.
15) What was your first car? Toyota corolla
16) Favorite drink? Scotch and soda, or Firefly and water
17) Finish this statement - if I had the time I would make myself a pair of leather chaps and roller skate around downtown.
18 ) Do you eat the stems on broccoli? I don’t discriminate. I eat the whole thing!
19) If you could dye your hair any other color, what would be your choice? Copper
20) Name all the different cities/towns u have lived in? These are the ones I can remember: Albuquerque, NM, Woodbridge, NJ, Phoenix, AZ, Monterey, CA, San Angelo, TX, Ayer, MA, Killeen, TX, Huntsville, AR, Austin, TX, Atlanta, GA. I was born in Honolulu and have also lived in Korea and Japan before I was old enough to remember.
21) Favorite sports to watch? Hockey, but only in person.
22) One nice thing about the person who sent this to you? I’m considering myself tagged by Alex, and she’s a funny gal and a very talented sculptor.
23) What’s under your bed? Tons of super-freaky porn. Just kidding…I have a telescope mirror my Dad ground, polished and figured for me and Garrett. It goes into a Dobsonian mount Dad also made.
24) Would you like to be born as yourself again? I have to be me; no one else wants the job!
25) Morning person or night owl? Night owl, caffeine-crazed morning hag.
26) Over easy or sunny side up? Over medium!
27) Favorite place to relax? Bed
28 ) Favorite pie? Any fruit pie, but I just like to eat the filling and leave the crust.
29) Favorite ice cream flavor? This is easy…Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. There’s not a care in the world that a ménage a trois with Ben & Jerry can’t cure.
Before I go on, I assure you that I will continue with the Rants by Request series after this small detour. I'll also say that if you menfolk (or ladies) aren't comfortable with some unvarnished vagina talk, you may want to find another way to spend the next five minutes. Don't say I didn't warn you!
Without further delay, I hereby present a special technique you ladies can use to make sure your gynecologist or obstetrician is giving you his or her complete attention at all times. I discovered this technique completely by accident, as I'm about to describe.
When I was pregnant with Tyler, I was still in the Army, and their policy is that when a pregnant soldier gets sick, she has to be seen by the obstetrician, no matter the nature of the illness. So about six months along, I came down with a fever and a brutal, violent cough, prompting me to waddle on into the OB's office.
I've never understood why, but the first part of my exam for my cough was a good old-fashioned-feet-in-the-stirrups pelvic exam. I was really less than thrilled, since I felt like death on a stick and didn't anticipate having to unlace my boots and take off my elastic-topped camouflage pants, but the Army was never big on giving me lots of choices, so I put on the crunchy paper gown and assumed the position.
In comes Dr. Peekupurcooter and the nurse whose whole job is to make sure the doctor doesn't try to strum your banjo, and the exam begins with the brandishing and insertion of an ice-cold speculum. As he's checking under the hood, so to speak, he's asking me about what brings me in today, how long I've had a fever, the usual questions, and I start to feel a coughing jag coming on that I just can't restrain.
Anyone care to guess what happens to a speculum that's stuck up your vajayjay when you're lying on your back with your legs spread and you cough violently? In case you haven't guessed, let me dispel the mystery: the damn thing shoots out of your nether regions like a rocket propelled grenade, right into the forehead of the guy who has his face inches from the launch site. And yes, it will leave a mark. Right on the forehead, exactly as you would have hoped.
Now, I'm not suggesting that you need to do this, but it certainly is very tempting when the doctor is condescending. Or if they don't validate your parking, right?
For those of you who might like your blogs with a side of sugar, fair warning: here's where the nice stuff ends and the obnoxious, politically incorrect stuff begins. I'm sure I'll curse a few times before it's all over, and it's a certainty that I'll offend someone along the way. At least I hope I do.
I'm going to start with an issue near and dear to my heart, and that is being called Mom by people who were definitely cooked up in some other poor woman's uterus. I've kept very careful track, and there are only two people on Earth who can call me Mom. Anyway, if you've never experienced this, let me tell you that this is the most annoying, patronizing bullshit you could possibly imagine, and I don't tolerate it for a minute anymore. I can recall one dentist, Dr. Randal Rowan, who was seeing Tyler for the first (and last) time when he addressed me thusly, "Mom, you can wait right here. Tyler is a big boy and doesn't need his Mommy present for the exam.". I'm still kicking myself three years later for not saying, "Listen, you patronizing son of a bitch, I'm not your Mom, I'm a paying customer with a right to accompany her minor child anywhere she damn well pleases, and you can call me Adrienne. How does that work for you, Randal?"
You know, in general I think the medical establishment needs to be taken down a notch or two. My GP calls me Adrienne, and I call him Dave. He was a little shocked at first, but I'm not a big advocate of paying money to kiss someone's ass. Ok, you're a doctor, and it's a big deal, but I'm a big deal too. Do you even know who I am?
One more thing...I think any medical establishment that has the stones to charge for parking should be boycotted. I suppose it's not enough that when you go to the doctor you inevitably have your sovereignty as a human being violated in at least one way and pay richly for the privilege of doing so, now you have to pay to park your car. Bastards.
Speaking of what *holes doctors can be, I'll also go ahead and throw Dr. Michaeledes (formerly of Piedmont ENT) under the bus as the biggest jerk-face-doctor-jerk-guy I've ever met. As you may know, I have a condition that results in fluctuating hearing loss, so whenever I have to go to the ear-nose-throat place, I'm in dire straits and can't hear a damn thing. So here I am, deaf as a phone pole, trying to make my emergency appointment on the phone and I'm told that my original doctor had left, and had been replaced by (I thought) Dr. Michael Levy. So the doctor comes in and I asked him to clarify that his name was Michael Levy, at which he rolled his eyes and yelled, "It's Michaeledes. I'm Greek, and it's Michaeledes.", at which point I said helpfully, "You know, if you're sensitive about your name, maybe you shouldn't have chosen a profession that involves working with the hearing impaired." After a perfunctory, rudely performed exam, he prescribed me the wrong medication and sent me on my way. Then I paid for parking. Nice!
I recognize that I'm not doing a great job of staying on topic right now, so I apologize. Let's talk about cheap toilet paper, shall we? I'd like to think that only men are buying this crap, but I'm sure there are some gals out there who are guilty of this cruel false economy. If you're guilty as charged, you are hereby instructed to read the following statement out loud three times: We owe it to ourselves and one another to treat our most naughty anatomical parts kindly, even if it means parting with another precious dollar. Don't be cheap. Spring for the good stuff, and some lady's bits will thank you.
On the topic of ladies, I can't end this post without addressing what I like to call "Prosti-toys". If you're not sure what I'm talking about, think of those crazy Bratz dolls that look like promiscuous aliens. Isn't it great that some toy designer is out there thinking of ways to encourage preschool girls to be bratty and dress like whores? Trust me, by the time they're 12 they get the idea all by themselves. As if there aren't enough forces in play to teach girls to hate their bodies, deny their intelligence, and play to the lowest common denominator, we have these unholy dolls.
Oh, and how about thong underwear for itty-bitty little girls? At the risk of TMI, I think the whole thong thing is the finest example of sexist oppression since pantyhose, and I'm not effing participating. Don't like my VPL? Great! I didn't invite you to look at my ass, anyway, and I'm not paying $15 for a pair of underwear to have $10 worth of it up my crack.
Ok, folks, I'll leave it at that for now, but fear not...more rants by request to follow.
Here's the problem: I'm drawing a blank on what to rant about (another preposition!). So, in the interest of avoiding some boring radio silence, I'm taking suggestions. You name it, I'll rant about it. Trust me, this is better than the alternatives I've dreamed up so far.
Seriously, do you REALLY want to read a detailed treatise on why Otto Von Crapp's engine light is lit? Are you interested in my opinions on how drinking commercially prepared milk has contributed to 50% of 8 year-old-boys having titties like strippers? I'm warning you...it could get pretty boring.
So, let's make it simple. If you think of a topic that would be suitable for rant, be a pal and post it in a comment. Over the weekend, I promise to booze it up and get posting, and I'll cover every suggestion submitted by the end of the day on Friday. It can be anything, political, social, just so long as it's not BORING. I think that last post under the influence was a real humdinger, so I think this could be a win-win!
Come on, folks, help a sister out (look, I did it again!)!
You see, I have my mortgage through Countrywide, and every month on the first, I send them a payment. Everyone is on the same page, and everyone's satisfied with the arrangement. Pretty simple, right?
You'd think it would also be self-explanatory that when the trophy shop completes an order for Countrywide Mortgage, that we'd get paid. On time. In full. Without incident.
Now, if I had declined to pay my mortgage since May of 2008, I'm confident that right now I'd be out on my ass wearing a barrel on suspenders in lieu of legitimate housing. Frankly, I'm miffed that Countrywide has failed to pay the $94.80 that is now 200+ days past due, and I'm considering my options.
Here's my idea: I'm considering calling Countrywide customer service and explaining to them that I'm going to be paying $94.80 less on my February mortgage payment. I'd offer to fax them the ancient invoice, and politely tell them that I'm even willing to waive the late fee.
Where the hell is a video camera when you need one? Wouldn't that be a great YouTube video?
When he first came to us, I'd heard from lots of sources that it really takes a year for a retired greyhound's real personality to emerge, and I know that's true of this special guy. Last year, I probably would have described him as aloof, quiet, confident, and gentle, especially in his first few months. He's come out of his shell steadily throughout the year, and he's become an outgoing, playful, and cuddly guy, and I couldn't imagine our lives without him. As a first exposure to greyhounds, Bruno sets the bar pretty high.
Happy Gotcha Day, Mr. B!
Move over, Vegas! I’ve created my own game where the house always wins.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by your dusty furniture, funky floors, or nasty bathrooms, you may want to play the game, too. It’s genius, if I do say so myself. Here’s how it works:
Make a list of all the household tasks that need to happen in a week: vacuum, mop, dust, clean bathrooms, tidy under the kitchen sink, etc. In my case, I have 21 jobs.
Now write the tasks on note cards and place them all in an envelope marked “To Do”.
Create a second envelope marked “Done”.
Each day, 3 members of the household each draw a card and complete the task on the card. In our case, the 4th person is responsible for the dishes and kitchen clean-up for the entire week, so no one gets off scott free.
Once the job is finished, each person puts their card in the “Done” envelope.
At the end of the week, all the cards are returned to the “To Do” envelope, responsibility for the kitchen is passed to someone else, and the game starts again.
So each day, everyone does a chore that takes between 15-30 minutes, depending on the luck of the draw, and I get to wake up to a clean house every morning.
Oh yeah, the dealer TOTALLY wins.
Behold the splendor of Tyler’s new ‘do, which was his request, by the way. I realize that as a parent it’s my job to say “No” to such requests, but it’s much more in my nature to participate in the foolishness.
In my defense, it’s not like he wanted to get a perm, and as you can see, I cut a pretty mean ‘hawk. It was pretty fun to do, and if he would have let me dye the center part blue or green, I'd have been in hog heaven. Of course that was not to be...you all know I'm banned from home dye jobs since my gothic Halloween dye-baucle.
Anyway, if you’re in the market for an edgy new look that doesn't involve color, let me know. It’ll be on the house.
So last night at a little after 10:00, I let the boys out for their last tinkle of the day, which is normally a quick process. This time, Hoover spied the hapless marsupial as soon as the door opened, and he flew past Bruno down the steps toward his new toy. He reached the tree where the poor fellow was perched, leapt up, grabbed him, and shook his new friend like shaking was going out of style.
Let's take a break from the action and peek into the window of my panic, shall we? Great!
My mind said, "Oh crap, is that a cat? What the hell is that? Where's Bruno? Damn! He is shaking the crap out of that cat...Sweet Mother of Pearl!"
My mouth said, "Hoover, no!...No!...NO!" Now back to the action...
By the time I reached the third "no", Hoover dropped the opossum, who was playing dead and probably not nearly as much fun as he had been initially. Hoover stood with the little furry guy at his feet, wagging his tail and smiling. He stared at me for a moment, and then flounced off to do his business. It was then we were able to see that it wasn't a cat, but the biggest, fattest opossum either G or I had ever seen. Incidentally, those hairless tails make me a little nauseous, but I won't bore you with the details on that right now.
Long story short, the opossum eventually wandered off in a bit of a daze, and Hoover, who didn't have a scratch on him, has been strutting around like a rock star today. As for me, in the future, I'll check the yard and make some noise before I let those dogs outside, and hopefully that will scare off any potential victims.
This picture was actually sent to me by Scott from Blue Barron's Place, and this is a picture of Hoover's haul from the track to the kennel to begin his life of retirement. As it happens, Scott hauled Hoover (in the foreground), and the dog in the background (who I think may be FKA Go Peanut Go or maybe Wiki Onetime), and he was kind enough to send me the pictures from Hoov's big break.
Now for the tagging:
For you non-gaggers out there, I'm talking about Green Vibrance Super Food, an emerald elixir I happen to love. I came across this stuff about a year ago when I was considering doing the Martha's Vineyard 30 Day Detox, and although I didn't follow through with that (big surprise!), I did find Green Vibrance to be great for a hangover. In fact, I confirmed several times (ok, dozens of times) that it's great for a hangover...reason enough to keep some around.
In any case, I'd been feeling a little rough around the edges after the holidays, and I was starting to look a little like Keith Richard stumbling off the tour bus at 2am in the wrong part of town. Not sexy...unless you're Keith Richard, maybe. Recalling that I still had some GV in the freezer, I started drinking it daily on New Year's Eve.
Fast forward to today: As I was putting away Christmas ornaments, listening to my iPod, singing and shaking my ass, I realized that I feel freaking awesome today. Seriously, totally, really good. It probably helps that I found one pair of my good jeans (yay!) and I'm wearing them, but I can only really attribute this to the Green Vibrance, which is full of tons of great stuff like wheatgrass, alfalfa, spirulina, barley, probiotics, and a host of other healthy-sounding ingredients.
Oh yeah, you should try this stuff. I'm just saying!
Maybe another realistic resolution would be to make future posts more singularly topical, but I can't promise that for you today. As I've been wont to do recently, I'm going to cover two different subjects, starting with a The Mystery of My Good Jeans.
Some background: Like most people, I have a couple of pairs of jeans that I prefer above the others in my closet. What differentiates these jeans is that they fit properly, and I don't feel like a complete 'tard wearing them. Incidentally, both these pair are Lucky jeans, which is why I only have two. In any case, I can't find either pair, which means either that they've been vaporized by some malevolent force seeking to enslave me, or they've been put away in someone else's closet. Everyone here denies possession of my good jeans, which certainly warrants some investigation, but in the meantime, I've started wearing the kids' jeans. I imagine they'll have more motivation to sort this out when they realize that they've only got shorts clean and ready for school on Tuesday. I'll keep you posted.
And now for something completely different, I have to share one of the funny, no...HILARIOUS gifts I received from my SIL for Christmas, a lovely book called Porn for Women. Wait...don't go...it's not what you think! This is a book with pictures of good-looking CLOTHED men doing various household tasks with appropriate captions sure to be a turn-on to most gals. An example: Photo: Man putting on gloves wielding a spray bottle of window cleaner...Caption: "I really prefer to get to these things before I have to be asked.". I can't do it justice here, so suffice it to say that I almost peed my pants reading this book.
Correction: I almost peed one of the kid's pants reading this book.
Happy New Year, y'all!