Thursday, September 30, 2004

Performance Anxiety

You know, this whole blogging thing was a whole lot easier before I discovered that people are actually reading this. Some, more than once. What the hell have I gotten myself into?!?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Daytime Television: It's GOOD For You!

Dave Barry made an interesting point once: "The more literate people get, the less likely they are to read my books." Which is rather ironic, since his band, The Rock Bottom Remainders performs to benefit ... uh ... some kids learning to write, and stuff.

I, however, have no such grand ideals. Or, maybe I would, if only people would start throwing money at me for no apparent reason (CoughCoughParisHiltonCough!). So, as another community service message which will ultimately only benefit myself, I have the following to say: Daytime Television is not only good for you, but it has 1/3 less carbs. Or more carbs.... Um, it tastes great?

I would like to write for a living. And, after a lot of soul searching, Research of Really Important Things, and vast amounts of beer, I've realized that I don't want to do it for the glamour, the prestige, not even for the jet-set lifestyle, wild parties and random sex with strangers that's inherent in the profession. Naw, I want to do it for the money! (Well, that and maybe a few of the wild parties. Or the free pens. I'm not picky.)

So, there it is. And how can you help? Burn your library cards. Cancel your subscription to the newspaper. Don't quit your jobs, though, because the paychecks are helpful when you start throwing money at me for no apparent reason. Of course, I will do my part, and actually start writing something that can be published and eventually paid for.

Just as soon as Blind Date is over.

Involuntary Acts of Employment

I've decided.
Since I 'voluntarily resigned', I'm going to 'voluntarily go back to work'. Yes, that's a good idea. I will walk back in, sit back at my cubicle (if anyone's appropriated it, I'll tip them out of the chair or sit on them, if they're exceptionally large and/or heavy), and start punching in numbers and answering the phones. "Oh, Bastards That Canned Me!" I'll say. "My passwords aren't working anymore, can you help me?" Then, around 11:00, I'll say "Oh, Bastards That Canned Me?" and they'll say "What?" and I'll ask "Can I take a longer lunch break?". "Oh, why not?" they'll say. They may even say "Take all the time you need!" And, on the off chance they aren't especially pleased with my new plan, and they ask me "What the hell are you doing here?" I will just explain. Then they may say "But you were FIRED!" Then I'll say "A-HAH!" And then I will voluntarily laugh and put Vaseline on their windshields.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Mean Girls

I just watched the movie Mean Girls, which was inspired by the book Queen Bees and Wanna-be's. I haven't read the book yet, because I'm a mom, and taking a shower requires an act of Congress, and being able to read a book that doesn't have pictures or the word 'Underpants' in the title requires an act of God.

Anyway, the book basically outlines the social structure of 'Girl-World' and the way teen girls relate to one another, boys, and their parents, and how we, as parents, can make them be healthy, happy, and successful with their self-image and sense of self-worth. Or, it could be teaching them how to commune with yaks to maintain the alignment of their chakra. Like I said, I haven't read the book. Pay attention, already!

The author of the book interviewed several teen girls, for research on her book, and I'm assuming there were a handful of Mean Girl tales, either how the girls were treated BY them, or how they treated others AS them. (As far as the yaks go, I have no idea, because I haven't read ... oh, never mind.) I remember the beginning of high school, I was picked on by our school's Mean Girls, and I also remember my mom telling me not to worry about it, because 'They're just jealous.' Which made a whole lot of sense. I mean, I had dark blue plastic framed glasses from Sears, was frequently mistaken for a boy, and had two front teeth that could be seen from space. Of COURSE they were jealous, wouldn't YOU be? Then I discovered contacts, the braces came off, and apparently I started to look like a girl (instead of, say, a wildebeest), and I was not-so-much picked on anymore. I think I was even courted by one of the more-aggressively-mean cliques, but I wasn't so keen on hanging around with people who had previously thought it tremendously funny to bark like a seal whenever I walked into a room. Instead, I stole their boyfriends and put vaseline on the windshield wipers of their cars, sometimes at the same time! That, or I thought about doing it a great deal. It was so very long ago, who can really remember?

In any case, I have never received any invitations to my high school reunions. I'm sure they're all just jealous.

I'm Out of Smarties.

OMG, I'm out of Smarties. What do I do now?!? Think ... think ... Sweet-Tarts! Thank God for non-biodegradable Halloween candy.

But, on the up-side, I got Dave Barry's new book. No chest-signing for the Tater!

(Yes, I did refer to myself as the Tater. It won't happen again.)

Muse Drowns Self in Toilet-News at Eleven!

I have nothing to say, and less to talk about. So, I'm going to talk about television (hey, it worked for Seinfeld). As you can see from the sidebar, I'm watching Alias, the Second Season. I rented the first DVD on a whim, just to see what the hype was about, and now I'm totally and hopelessly addicted. Worst of all, I've dragged my husband into my madness. (Poor guy, he is forced to watch Jennifer Garner on a nightly basis, and 9 times out of 10, she's scantily dressed and often wet. The horror.) ... Awkward segue!

(Here there be spoilers, beware!)

I'm mightily impressed with this show. Not only because of the rampant girl power, the overall cuteness of Jennifer Garner (she's just SO endearing when she's shoving some guy's nose into his brain!), but the writing. Sure, sometimes there's a plot hole big enough to fit Michael Jackson's discarded facial parts through, but overall, the writers do an excellent job with the attention to detail and the explanation of the back story. Instead of doing an hour long intro, or cramming as many soundbites as possible into the 'Previously on Alias' they periodically sum up the story, for new viewers who have wandered in, in valid reasons within the storylines (for example, they have a new set of recruits).

But, dammit! Why did they have to kill off Francie? Yes, she was the most annoying person on the planet, but I was much rather looking forward to her being this really kick-ass spy who gets the black beaten off her by Syd, rather than some genetically mutated clone. This just really messes up my week, and I really need to get out of the house more.


Saturday, September 25, 2004

My Husband is Smitten-Worthy

While wallowing in self-pity and feelings of worthlessness can be quite a time-killer, eventually it wears on you and those around you. Unless you're married to Uber-Husband (hey, he finally got his clever pseudonym, yay!), that is.

I called my mom the other day, and was busily spreading my joy and appreciation towards the Bastards That Canned Me, and she did her best to cheer me up, talking about how important my current job was, making a nice and comfortable home for my husband and children. Which, however well-intentioned, immediately made me want to shoot myself in the eye. Fast forward to tonight, when I said the same thing to my husband, and he reinforced what she said, only added the words "You're my inspiration."

Uber-husband, and most definitely Smitten-Worthy.

thanks to Afurrica for the link

Friday, September 24, 2004

Words of Wisdom

As a community service, I'm going to start posting, from time to time, little snippets of wisdom I pick up from daytime television. Today's lesson, coming straight from Judge Judy:

"Don't trust your family members, especially those who have to buy bags of hair to appear on national TV."

Tell your friends. Don't tell your family.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Cleaning Like a Mo Fo/My Friend the Llama

I have a friend, I'll call her Llama, mostly because A) I think it's funny and B) she lives far away, and can't hit me with something heavy. Llama is a swell kinda girl, known for her willingness to drop a care package in the mail just to make a friend feel pretty. She's also able to make me laugh so hard I damn near wet myself. Both very good qualities in a person.

Anyway, I recently told her that I've been pacing myself, taking my time cleaning my house to ensure that I continue to have something to do. We both agreed that that was just ... really really pathetic. She then said I should "Clean like a mo fo, get caught up, then write write write!" At first I had the mental image of cleaning the house wearing a big purple hat and a faux leopard fur trench coat, but apparently that's not cleaning like a mo fo, that's cleaning like a pimp. It also requires a set of bitches that I can smack around and make do the cleaning for me. Since I lack the manpower and the wardrobe, I guess I'll do the mo fo cleaning.

(Note to self: Find out exactly what a mo fo is, and what are the wages, do they have a union, etc ...)

Then that leaves the writing, which is the hard part.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Games People Play

One of the things I've discovered that I have a knack for, while staying at home, is reinventing those classic childhood games in new and exciting ways. Here's a sample of what I've come up with:

Hide and Go Seek the Advil

Ollie-Ollie-Oxen-I'm-Going-To-Whine-Till-Your-Head-Bursts (My daughter actually came up with this one.)

20 Questions That All Start With WHY? (This one, too.)

I Spy The Vein Bulging in Your Forehead (Oh, and this one!)

What's That Smell?

Money, Money, Who's Got the Money?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Google Me This...

It has come to my attention that there is a trend among my fellow bloggers, of reporting what amusing phrase or keywords on Google led unsuspecting souls to their site. So, after researching several Very Important Things extensively for 15 minutes, I got bored and took a nap. Then I came up with the most effective way to maintain my competitive edge: I'd cheat.

That being said, here are some ready-made keywords guaranteed to bring in an eclectic and high class mixture of readers.

Cheddar Cheese Monkey Sex
Mayonnaise Soup on Toast
Nuns on Rollerblades
Beef Jerkey
Rampant Incestuous Llama Porn

Now, we wait.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Argh! Me Hearties, I'm Off to Davey Jones' Locker.

I totally missed Talk Like a Pirate Day. Again. I'm not fit for piracy, and should be swashbuckled, keel-hauled, and Errol Flynned within an inch of my life.

Just Bid, Already!

I'm quite a proficient Seller-of-Other-People's-Crap on EBay. I even have a theme song. It's quite exhilarating to watch the last minute bloodbath, fight to the death bidding wars that ensue over the better, name brand pieces of crap I put on, and my husband and I have been known to root for the bidders, placing bets and threatening divorce if our favorites don't win. Our lives are very sad, in this way.

But what just irritates me beyond belief, are the watchers. Not the watchers who end up bidding, but the watchers who do that alone: Watch. Not to worry, those of you who are guilty of this, the watcher's names aren't displayed, just the number. This is probably a good thing, because it prevents those of us who are easily annoyed and/or just plain psychotic, from barraging the offenders with countless e-mails. "Dude, it's a plastic charm bracelet that my kid got from a vending machine in the mall. It's not Citizen Kane. Bid, or get the hell off the block!"

And don't even get me started on the folks who are so so sooooo wound up in the whole feedback thing. I understand the importance of it, I'm not going to be buying from someone with a positive feedback of 3% and with such comments as: "Do not buy from this asshole. Did not deliver, did not reply to countless e-mails, and made derogatory comments about my gerbil."

Also, sending me threatening and/or just plain annoying e-mails requesting immediate feedback will be sent straight to the recycle bin. I'll send you feedback if and when I feel like it. And leave my gerbil out of it.

Community Service Message for Scam Artists:

Especially those in the EBay Spoof business: When sending a spoof to some poor unsuspecting sap who you are attempting to rob and defraud tons and tons of money and creditability from, here's a little tip: When you sign the damn letter, it's a good idea to CAPITALIZE the first letter of your name.


Saturday, September 18, 2004

So, I am home.

Okay, I lied. At least about the 'not being at home' stuff. I can't get anything past the lot of you, can I? I did, however, get heat exhaustion. If heat exhaustion means having a splitting headache and the inability to keep one's dinner down. But my darling husband was passing interference with the kids and keeping me supplied with Advil and cool water, and my brain did not, in fact, fall out of my ears. I didn't have any bleeding from my eyes, either. Both good things.

Today's blog may not make much, if any sense. (And not in my normal not-making-sense type, but REALLY not make sense.)

The highlights of the day were:
Thing 2 got a bike from the neighbors, the ones that used to babysit before spotting the horns coming out of my children's heads
Thing 1 didn't want to participate in the parade, and I didn't have an anxiety fit over it. Hell, he's joining the Cub Scouts, I think that's HUGE.
I realized that tortillas don't taste very good, the second time around.
The kids are asleep, and quiet, and we can actually watch a movie WITH NO INTERRUPTIONS.

I am not home.

Not on a Saturday night, no. I'm out at a fancy dress ball, or at a fabulous movie premiere, or maybe even at a all-night laundromat writing great works of poetry and eating Skittles. I am most definitely NOT at home, staring at a monitor, recovering from a case of heat exhaustion while my darling husband reclines next to me on the couch and my darling children are asleep in their beds.

Nope, not me.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Things That Worry Me

Full grown adults, with no kids or kids who are out of elementary school, who continue to participate in Cub Scouts.
The realization that my daughter is a girl, and I am her mother and a woman, thus am her primary role model. Holy crap.
The dog in the Alice in Wonderland cartoon, the one with the broom for a tail. He's ERASING the path. This is a very, very bad thing.
The fact that I have much more that worries me, but I'm sitting here, staring at my screen, totally unable to recall anything.

Geraldo Rivera has nothing on me.

I spent the day cleaning out the back of my fridge. While doing such tasks, my mind tends to wander onto such subjects as: The Dalai Lama vs. Rachel from Friends. The conclusion being that, although the Dalai Lama may provide better food for one's mind, Rachel looks better in a mini-skirt. The other thought that kept rattling around in my head was that I am never going to eat again.

But the good news is that I may have found Jimmy Hoffa.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I will...

Finish cleaning out my refrigerator.
Spend more time with my daughter.
Get off my butt and out of the house more.
Stop fantasizing about Johnny Depp.
Write things that aren't blog-related.
Get my credit report sorted out.
Realize what I fool I was, and begin to fantasize about Johnny Depp again.
Organize my hou...mmmm, Johnny Depp...
Stop getting distracted.
Organize my house.
Get published.
Make a million dollars.
Attempt to buy Johnny Depp.
Get arrested for trying to buy Johnny Depp.
Make a million more dollars writing about trying to buy Johnny Depp.
Begin fantasizing about Jude Law.

Since Martha Stewart is in jail now ...

I'd figure it'd be safe to discuss the state of my kitchen. My refrigerator, at least. I started to clean it out today, and I'll spare y'all the gory details. I do, however, have a tip for the young kids out there, who are just starting out on their own and may not fully understand the complexities of household maintenance. Are you ready? Have your paper and pen ready? Sure? Okay, here it is:

Macaroni and cheese is NOT supposed to be red.

This will be on the quiz.

It's official.

I'm the most boring person alive. They say an idle mind is the Devil's playground ... but even he left for something better to do. I have hobbies, I have interests, it's just that none of them seem particularly intriguing at the moment. I'm still relearning this whole 'making friends' thing, and let me tell ya, it ain't pretty. I had a neighbor I used to hang around with before I started working, but since she let it slip that my kids were Devil Spawn, I haven't been horribly keen on inviting her over for coffee. I've spent a goodly amount of time today finding a lot of stuff for the wee one to do to keep herself occupied, and maybe I'll get motivated to move my ass once in awhile and find something for myself. Our resources are kind of limited at the moment, and anything I would like to do will have to take place with her involvement, or close proximity. Classes are not going to happen soon, due to the financial situation.

The Man has been offered a new job, with a higher level of responsibility, and naturally a higher rate of pay, so hopefully we can get her back into pre-school, at least part of the time. I have a huge list of things that I need to get done, and I'm very busily avoiding them. This is not good. Not bad, nothing is life or death, they are just not going to go away till I do them.

I'm envious of Don Martha, but she holds the market on the extra-curricular activities, and she's quite annoying, too. However, the newsletter job sounds interesting, and I didn't have to kiss anyone's ring. Good to know.

I'm an acronym! How ya like me NOW?!?

My daughter has discovered that, although she has a unquenchable need to be near me at all times, I am really quite boring. We have been going completely stir crazy lately, and I've become the Cranky Woman Formerly Known As Mom. So, I have devoted the entire last 15 minutes searching out various activities to get her brain and body busy and stimulated. Besides, I can only take so much Sesame Street and Dragon Tales before the guilt and incessant chatter make my head burst.

Oh, yes, the guilt. Now there's a subject I can devote at least 5 sentences to. When you become a parent, even before your water breaks, you are bombarded by guilt, from all sides. While pregnant with my first, although I knew it was bad and awful, I just couldn't stop myself from eating a chocolate cream pie. An entire chocolate cream pie. By myself. In under 15 minutes. I cried myself to sleep, fully aware that because of my one moment of weakness, my child would come out with 7 fingers, all on one hand, and grow up to be the kind of person who double dips potato chips and scratches himself in public. He has the correct number of digits, and they are all in the right places, so I guess I dodged a bullet on that one.

And he doesn't scratch himself in public. Much.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Welcome to the Family

We went to the Cub Scout meeting, and got the little dude all signed up. He is quite excited. I have also volunteered to do the newsletter. The entire newsletter. Either I'm really hard up for something to do, or I'm insane. I refuse to wear those uniforms, anyway ...

Joining was quite a step for him, he has absolutely resisted in joining anything. At all. The cool, rebel-without-a-shoe part of me supports and encourages his anti-lemming stand, but the worrisome I'm-warping-my-children-because-I-play-too-much-AC/DC-in-the-car part of me ... worries. While some adults can either hide their weirdness, or make good money at it, it's a difficult trick to pull off as a child. Everyone spouts the worn-out adage 'Be Yourself!' but that's small comfort when you are the only one sitting alone in the lunch room.

I digress. He's a Cub Scout now. Yay!

Coming Soon, to a Bookstore Near YOU!

I haven't read the book yet, but it's DAVE BARRY. And he, like, writes books and stuff. Do I go? Do I ask him to sign a copy of my book? My chest? Or do I get to the front of the line, stammer and stare at him in shock until the security guards haul me out, twitching and drooling?

I so worry about such things.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Beware the ANGRY VOICE!

I got my exit interview phone call today from The Bastards That Canned Me. The woman on the other end of the phone was very nice, and was very frightened of my ANGRY VOICE. My ANGRY VOICE has caused grown men to cry, empires to crumble, large dogs to wet themselves involuntarily ... Anyway, after telling her why I left, and I switched from my ANGRY VOICE to my PITY ME VOICE, she was very apologetic, even offering sage advice and words of encouragement. Which made me feel like the world's biggest ... bad person. Ever.

I've discovered that in situations like this, sometimes the best thing to do is hide under the covers for awhile. Another good thing to do usually requires vast amounts of alcohol, but the kids were home, and it was only noon... Anyway, I'm under the covers, the door is closed, and the cat is having convulsions on the other side. "Omg, omg OMG OMGOMGOMG!!!!!!!! The Woman is making those funny noises she makes when her face is getting wet, and this infernal large thing is in the way again, she needs me let me in let me in letmeinnnnnnnnn!!!" Then the door opens, the kids plow in screaming about someone touching or taking some Really Important Toy and This Is the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine), and the cat vomits on the carpet.

Which, coincidentally, has nothing to do with The End of the World, but everything about the continuation of it.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Correction: RE the Boy Scout Mafia

I have a correction to make. It is not actually the Boy Scout Mafia. It is a GANG. And, apparently, the Boy Scout Den/Gang who gets the most members wins. My son had just walked in the door, the building was still vibrating from the door slamming, (it's a proven scientific fact, 8 year old boys cannot walk into any room without slamming the door, or their faces will fall off), when the phone rang, and it was head of the rival Boy Scouts, politely requesting our presence at the initiation meeting or she would be sending incriminating pictures of myself and the school crossing guard to the school newspaper.

I'm scared. So very very scared.

The PTO Mafia/Organized Boy Scouts

It has recently come to my attention that there is a PTA Mafia in my neighborhood. It is run by a set of very scary woman, and their leader appears to be a woman I'll call Don Martha. Don Martha runs everything, including the Boy Scouts. She has been pressuring my son to join the Organization, but he has resisted so far. I'm supporting his decision, but am worried about the consquences of further resistance. While I'm not eager to be in Don Martha's pocket, it may not hurt to have such a powerful ally. When fund-raising time rolls around, she may be able to call in some favors, and my son can win the commemorative cheap plastic bracelet that is awarded for selling the most over-priced chocolates and day planners. But, at what cost? Having to work at bake sales the rest of the school year? Volunteering to sew 25 turkey costumes for the Thanksgiving Day recital? Buying all my son's school supplies from the back of a truck? Maybe even, (I shudder to think this) playground detail? And if I displease her, or if my loyalty to the PTO Family comes into question, will I end up wearing concrete Birkenstocks, swimming with the fish sticks?

Maybe I can get him to join the football team, instead. I hear the PeeWee Sports Family has better health benefits, anyway...

It's cool to be 3.

Because, when you're a 3-year old girl, it is quite okay, and actually can be very charming, to hold a conversation with your dress pulled up over your head. This is not so if you are, say, in your 30's. Doing this while in the company of others can result in a whole set of new friends, or jail time. Which can also result in a whole set of new friends.

I would like to be three again.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Second Post

It's interesting, how quickly one's morale and enthusiasm can turn into so much vapor and mist. My first week after the job ended, I came home all fired up and ready to tackle all the things I had been dreaming of doing while I was stuck at my desk. I started making quilts, I organized, I cleaned ... and cleaned ... and cleaned. This lasted a week, maybe two. Then I realized that my quilts weren't selling, my organization was wrecked the minute the kids came home/woke up, and the cleaning was a never-ending cycle. I began harassing poor, unsuspecting friends on IM, desperate for conversation that didn't revolve around Barney and their latest bodily function. I tried turning to daytime television, but without having cable television, it was roughly equivalent to smacking myself in the face repeatedly with a large book, only slightly less enjoyable.

Now, as the third (could be fourth?) week rolls in, I'm feeling a bit better, less manic. Things are starting to come back to me, what I used to do pre-establishment-whore mode. I used to take walks with my daughter (who, in the spirit of fairness, shall be deemed Thing 2, or T2 from now on). I used to take her to the library. I even used to communicate with the other SAHMs in the neighborhood. I used to do things that involved movement, and showering. I can do those things again. Really, I can. And I WILL. Honest!

I will also come up with better post titles.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

This is the first post.

This is the first post in a hopefully entertaining, possibly cathartic, but most likely bloody boring and self-indulgent blog about life after employment.

I was working, but I was a horrible employee, who took 18 minute long breaks instead of the allotted 15 minute ones, and was damned lucky not to be summarily executed at dawn. Instead, I got myself put on probation, and when my son (who, for the sake of brevity, security, and hilarity, will shall henceforth be referred to as Thing 1, or T1) got sick at school, and I couldn't get a hold of my husband (who's clever and witty pseudonym has yet to be determined), I had to leave early. Which was a bad, bad, BAAAAAAAAD thing, and I was told that if I 'chose to leave' then my supe 'would have no choice but to put in paperwork for termination the next day.' So, to avoid any and all possible drama created by having myself whisked away by the Unemployment Gestapo the next morning, I grabbed what I could carry, and left my badge on the desk. Which they took as 'voluntary resignation' which, roughly translated, means 'screwing me out of unemployment.'

So, here I am. An unemployed slug, with a lot of time on my hands, and a blog to prove it.

This is my life, and welcome to it.